Who are the mentally ill?
Ever human being has to grow and work on issues and problems confronted daily.
An inexact social science, psychiatry can assess and hope to get it right.
However, with all due respect to this science of the mind, in my years of counseling for myself, in supervision, and with others in a professional and pastoral role, I have found that is is indeed, a practice.
A supervisor once told me that he was manic while completing his doctoral thesis. He said he could have been diagnosed bipolar given the routine of work and little sleep to complete the project.
Because insurance companies require a diagnosis, and given that we have a need to label and categorize people, the DSM, a manual with codes, was created, and, adds to the maladies every decade or so with a new problem.
Religiosity was added a decades or so ago as a problem when one is obsessive about religion and its own practice.
Someone was diagnosed bipolar by a Ph.D. in psychology and has been considered flawed ever since, and, left outside the loop, as the emplyee's boss call it.
What a shame.
We have a need to lord it it over others with labels.
That same person carved a place in life and is a very productive citizen now, no thanks to
that person's archdiocesan authorities who toy with the practice as if it is another false god, and use it to their advantage against ordinary people struggling to find their place given the "card" dealt them.
This renewed conversation will come up again when the next massacre occurs like that in Tucson.
To grip it is impossible.
Who is mentally ill is a question wide open.
This Nation I love operates like most humans in a most dysfunctional way when it comes to communications. So, go figure?
God help us all.
God, at least, is more stable than this ever-changing practice we call psychiatry, and those we call shrinks.