Asda and Tesco had to pull some horrible Halloween costumes after there was outrage about their insensitivity towards the mentally infirm.
It is also telling to read through the highlighted tweets. There was a Twitstorm about this issue. One suggested (in pure sarcasm of course) to bring “gollywog” costumes.
Amongst the tweets there was one stating a figure of 1 in 4 people (that would translate to, 1.75 billion in total) “experiencing mental health problems in any given year”.
Now hold it a moment.
I don’t think depression as a “mental health” issue should rate right up there with schizophrenia, and much less, homicidal psychopathy.
Yes, depression is a serious mood disorder and I have lost at least one friend to suicide. Depression is with us, all the time, lurking in the background, and if our brutally mentally healthy forebears from Europe or wherever would be forced to live in today’s insane world, they’d probably come down with depression, anger and suicide too.
But a deeply depressed person, on average, would not take out a butcher’s knife and go out looking for victims to slaughter.
And our brutally mentally healthy forebears would also not have put such a butcher into an asylum, but would have strung him up – fast and messy. Very publicly. There was no sympathy for mass murderers back then, no deeper look into where society failed this angry person. The sympathy was for his (or, occasionally, her) innocent victims who really had done nothing to “deserve” what they got – a nasty death. The goal was simple – to eliminate the threat to our children.
It follows that if there was ever a genetic component to that “disorder”, it was not propagated as a dead man begets no offspring.
Tough luck for the scientists. Because that way, they could speculate but not study the disorder for potential hereditary traits.
I feel it’s completely wrong, unscrupulous and also, suspiciously suspicious to lump normal people suffering from depression in with psychopaths under the label “mental patients”. Furthermore it’s totally misleading to take an MPD (multiple personality disorder, which we used to call a “split personality”) and put her on an equal level with someone who habitually, compulsively, commits the most brutal crimes. The one is a victim; the other, classically, a perpetrator. Schizophrenia (well-described chemically) is a completely different kettle again; it falls under a “reality disorder” where the patient actually gets confused as to what is real, due to chemical upsets in the brain. Schizophrenia has been shown to have a genetic component and a biochemical mechanism – unlike MPD which is in many cases caused by severe, early childhood emotional trauma and often, sexual abuse.
By now I’m sure I’ve lost my line of argument. My point is:
Yes, it was tasteless of Tesco & Asda to bring out gruesome “psycho” costumes. (But, they appear to be as in line with Halloween as “devil” and “witch” costumes which have not yet received their Twitstorm… in fact, how politically correct in today’s world is Halloween?)
But the twittering reaction somehow floors me. To equate one’s sister who committed suicide due to depression, with a murderer with a butcher’s cleaver? To say that 1 in 4 people experience “mental health issues” – I’m sure the tweeter meant “emotional health issues”? Since when is depression the same as insanity? Is this saying that every 1 in 4 people at any given moment will yank out a pickaxe and go murdering people in the streets?
And as for the sensitivity of psychopaths – oh my? How sensitive is it of them to go chopping people’s heads off? I note a distinct shift of people worldwide to hypersensitivity.
Pastor in church tells an Irish joke.
Voice from the back: “Oy! Watch out!”
Pastor peers down the pews. “What say, back there?”
Paddy: “…because Oi’m Oirish!”
Pastor: “Oh! Paddy! No problem, I’ll tell it again, slowly.”
I’m now waiting for the Twitstorm because I insulted the Irish by telling a joke…