a reply to: AgarthaSeed
There probably is something to that thought. We, particularly in the west, are exposed to a ton of chemicals in just about everything we put into our
bodies and the connection between most of it and aspects of bad health are evident.
However I think that this is only a singular factor among many.
One of my current areas of deep personal interest, lately, has been studying the evolution of Western society from Julius Caesar onward. I'm finding
the study very enlightening as it applies to the current political atmosphere in the US. A side effect of this academic research has been rather
Every time I begin studying about some new King or Warlord, there is always at least one person in the story ( Quite often the subject themselves )
who displays obvious signs of major and easily recognizable mental health issues. In fact there are a number of historically relevant groups of people
who it seems were almost all fighting such problems. Further... Before the days of the Industrial Revolution it is arguable that some mental health
problems were seen as or acted as advantages or virtues. The Norse/Viking culture and British dynastic Monarchies in specific.
Then the Industrial Revolution somewhat changed things. The advent of asylums altered perceptions from what I can see. From that point forward there
are still a lot of famous or influential people who exhibit symptoms or signs, but these traits are no longer discussed without commentary... From
this point forward it appears that famous people are "eccentric" and all others "insane".
We have a myth these days that our recent ancestors lived horrible lives. That they died young, mostly starved and worked the fields from before
sunrise to after sunset - always on the verge of starvation. However the facts show that this is not really the case. Infant mortality was much, much
higher - sure. But those who survived that had a good chance of reaching advanced age. Communities were much, much more interconnected during the
agrarian periods. Between neighbors and the Church there was a strong social safety net and support system.
Today's Amish "barn raisings" are a window into how things used to work on most levels.
IE pre Industrial Revolution life was nowhere near as bleak as we're told it was. It was actually much less stressful and demanding than our current
model. Our ancestors had fewer and different pressures placed upon them.
I offer that our modern, detached and dispassionate "everyone is essentially a replaceable number" approach to things is a major factor in the
prevalence of mental health issues. I argue this with the caveat that these issues always have been fairly common to begin with, it's just that
historically the symptoms were not as demonized and singled out as they are now.
edit on 10/19/15 by Hefficide because: clarity