As Society Degrades Some Mental Illnesses Now “Normal”

March 4, 2014 Alistair McHarg

While society may be quick to apply the term “mental illness” to a broad spectrum of behaviors, it is slow to acknowledge the idea that sanity itself is an elusive entity, difficult if not impossible to define, and largely reliant on context.

What do we mean by this? Well, let's pick a simple example. If you're a half-eaten jelly doughnut in Akron Ohio, you are also a half-eaten jelly doughnut in Chagrin Falls, Calcutta, Medicine Hat, and St. Petersburg. In other words, location has no impact on how you are perceived, valued, or for that matter, consumed.

The same cannot be said for behavior designated as inappropriate, which is to say, demonstrating some form of mental illness. Behavior considered the height of fashion in Cheboygan, (assuming there is fashion in Cheboygan) might be considered bizarre, disturbing, and unwholesome in Chad, Bongo Bongo, and Ulm.Funny in the head? - Social collapse and decreased mental illness diagnoses.

This presents significant challenges to healthcare professionals including psychiatrists, bartenders, and psychics. However, these challenges cannot hold a dimly lit candle to recent developments observed by representatives of the American Association for the Advancement of American Associations (AAAAA).

At a recent press conference, AAAAA spokesman Quentin Auchtermuchty shocked attendees with this conclusion taken from the executive summary of his recent study enigmatically entitled, “Our Recent Study.”

“The contextual relativism of sanity, qua sanity, poses difficulties for today's care giver, further complicated by global erosion of character, mores, manners, and social conventions which, when taken collectively, might be referred to as “politesse.” Take narcissism as an example. Long held in contempt by nice people everywhere, narcissism has moved front and center into mainstream culture as anyone who watched the Oscars can attest.

“In recent decades, behavioral disorders known as attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and messed-up disorder (MUD) have emerged to describe an entire suite of behaviors including, but not limited to, short attention span, irritability, inability to focus, rudeness, insensitivity, intolerance, selfishness, and more.

“Only recently classified as illnesses, these disorders are now relatively . . . squirrel. Non-stop communication has reduced us to a short attention span society where every single form of digital chatter has been dumbed down to nuggets of 3-seconds or . . . so what? Got a problem with that?

Bipolar disorder has been cited as the cause of so much mischief by prominent figures that it’s been downgraded from illness to a way of being colorful.

“Shifts in cultural standards may mean a decrease in sales for pharmaceutical companies, and fewer billable hours for healthcare workers, but, on the positive side, they do acknowledge the link between mental illnesses and a society that is increasingly whackadoomian.

“To recall the time honored axiom,” Auchtermuchty smirked knowingly, “an outgoing tide strands all boats.”

APA Reference
McHarg, A. (2014, March 4). As Society Degrades Some Mental Illnesses Now “Normal”, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 16 from

Author: Alistair McHarg

April, 1 2016 at 7:52 pm

I absolutely cannot stand it when I'm told that I'm not really bipolar or its not a real illness, because "everyone's a little bipolar." It makes me feel like I should just be normal, but since that's impossible, I'll stay broken and malfunctioning forever like a recalled toy. I hope awareness of the actuality of mental disorders and diseases can help that.

Borderline borderline
March, 7 2014 at 9:11 pm

American Associations for the Advancement of American Associations? This can't be a real thing. It sounds like something out of the onion. I guess this is another joke website. Unsubscribing.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alistair McHarg
March, 9 2014 at 8:52 am

The American Association for the Advancement of American Associations was not a real thing until I made it up, at which point it became real, because I made it up. Thanks!

March, 7 2014 at 1:57 am

I think it would be a terrific title! ;)

March, 6 2014 at 10:45 am

Hi!I feel like the stranded boat at times! I just can't get the boat to understand that I'm purposely trying to navigate my way to greater Wackadoomia. I believe that the population will embrace the prospect of a boring bipolar, rather than a colorful one. After all, what would the world be like if every bipolar was colorful;it would become ho-hum very quickly. Anyways, I'll just keep on sailing to Wackadoomia. Have a terrific weekend. :)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alistair McHarg
March, 6 2014 at 11:10 am

Hi Cindy: You may have given me the title of my next book - Sailing to Whackadoomia - what do you think?

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