Vampire Slaying and Cultivating Insanity |
Paul F. McDonald ~ March 15 2002
Though mental illness has not always been recognized, certainly is it is more prevalent now than it ever has been. According to recent studies, some twenty million Americans suffer from clinical depression. Paxil and Prozac have become as familiar to a lot of people as Tylenol and Alka-seltzer. Mental illness has reached literally epidemic proportions, and the only alternative seems to be a world in which people are drugged out of their minds in order to simply function on a day to day basis. The roots of the problem most likely go back and back, but they are finally reaching critical mass. Going to the "analyst" has become almost trendy in certain parts of the country. Fortunately, the psychosis of Andrea Yates is far from typical, even as mental illness is decreasingly a local problem. The infamous philosopher Nietzsche called such a degree of psychosis the "epileptics of concept" - in other words, people who have gotten hold of an idea - often a religious one - that literally drives them insane.