Flimsy Sanity: The Mind is so Fragile

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Mind is so Fragile

There are lots of books on diet and exercise but not so many about preventing mental breakdowns. The body has amazing abilities to heal itself, but once a brain is broken, it never completely recovers. Prolonged stress like that experienced by an abused child, a bullied school kid, a foot soldier at war, an abused spouse creates a lifelong brain handicap that can sentence the victim to a marginal, fearful existance forever. People think that the insane are some creatures to be feared rather than the victims they are. Even schizophrenia, the most dreaded of mental illnesses, shows a high correlation with childhood abuse according to Science Daily. The psychiatric business would have us believe that the chemicals in our brains are just unbalanced and it doesn't have a lot to do with life events. Maybe hypervigilance does change chemistry, I don't know.

Even short periods of intense stress can lead to some very irrational choices, and I think most people have had moments of insanity. Shooting strangers (except if you are uniformed) is insane. I am glad that the Blacksburg shooter was not labeled a schizophrenic, or bipolar or clinically depressed because the media would use it to churn up the public's prejudice against the mentally ill. They say he was a loner, but so are almost all creative people. Andrea Yates who was irrational (due to probably too much religion) was in the news for a long time. The 350 other children killed by their parents that year did not make the AP.

UPDATE: I guess he was taking medication for depression as were other school shooters in the past.


  • At 10:49 AM, Blogger Peacechick Mary said…

    In some ways, I feel so sad for the shooter. He must have been in terrible pain (mental or emotional or physical and maybe all of them). I agree, sanity can be a fleeting thing especially in a world that is insane with violence.

  • At 4:50 AM, Blogger Flimsy Sanity said…

    Yes, PC Mary. I don't know if his writings were autobiographical, but one short story he wrote was about being sexually abused by a stepfather. Abused children are never really whole.

  • At 10:02 AM, Anonymous RJ Adams said…

    He was "Evil" so he's gone to Hell. We are "Good" and will go to Heaven. End of Story. Why THINK about it?

    SIGNED: Christian America.


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