Monday, September 21, 2009


The majority of us would support real reform if it was sane, reasonable, and apolitical, but this second attempt to socialize medical care is, again, none of those. The evidenced is the presence of over 3,300 lobbyists in DC throwing millions at the legislators. So the American taxpayer is still waiting and hoping for a solution that won’t bankrupt our already weakened economy.

It would be way too easy to turn this into a rant about how the current proposed “healthcare reform” only takes the money away from caring for the seniors in our population to offset a fraction of the costs created by adding 45 million people who aren’t currently “covered” and pass the rest of the expenses as a tax to the middle class in the form of a new national healthcare “insurance” premium.

This effort, just like the Wall Street bailout, is designed to maintain the huge profits made by the hospital corporations, the medical equipment manufacturers, the pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies, the processed food industry, and God only knows who all else is paying huge amounts of money to the politicians in DC to maintain the status quo.

Only the really wealthy big businesses will benefit from the proposal and we, the taxpayers, will get the bill for it. Those 3,300 lobbyists sole purpose is to maintain the profit structure currently offered by government sponsored healthcare. The money arrayed against real change is enormous.

This is a simple statement of the facts but has nothing to do with a workable solution to the real problems facing our healthcare system.

The solution is actually much simpler, cheaper and would be easier to implement than a new bureaucracy that will predictably will “produce the same results as the public education system and have the charisma of the IRS.”

The real cause of the failure of our healthcare system is that the mental health science currently supporting physical healthcare has failed to grasp even simple concepts which, when applied, would rapidly lead to a much more mentally balanced and significantly more healthy population.

Over 60% of all illness comes from stress. That is a fact. Until we get a handle on how to avoid stress, or treat it much better than we do, the explosive growth of the health care system will continue unchecked until our economy collapses because the root cause of health problems still exists and is still growing. If we could wave our magic wand and eliminate stress, overnight we would see a decrease in health care costs of about 60%.

Eliminating the majority of our stress and “mental illness” is not an impossible mission. If we were to implement what we already know, the results would be astounding. The first step is to abandon our current mental health paradigm. It is based on 100 year old disproven theories and is still unable to cure one type of mental illness. Current mental health experts can’t even agree on what mental illness is or if it even exists.

Psychiatry has basically abandoned thinking therapy for the pursuit of chemical treatments. Fifteen of the top selling twenty drugs in the USA in 2006 were for depression, anxiety, or pain. This is a massive problem with only one eventual outcome: a population with a majority dependent on drugs for their sense of well being rather than their own personal resources and self-reliance. The statistics show we may have already reached that point: 70 million Americans have hypertension, 46 million suffer from depression, 43 million from anxiety, 20 million can’t sleep, 16 million have road rage, and almost 3 million are incarcerated in prisons and jails.

The World Health Organization predicts, by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of death and illness, morbidity and mortality worldwide in all age groups. Depression already is the second highest cause of morbidity and mortality in the age group 15-44 years. Currently, the cost of treating a patient with depression varies between $2500 and $4500. When approximately half the world’s population lives on less than two dollars a day, what chance have they for any kind of treatment at all?

The pendulum has swung so far that even obvious relationships between thinking patterns and conditions of physical and mental ill health are being ignored by all but a few in the race for the next best selling drug. There is so much money being made by the pharmaceutical companies that any alternative kind of treatment is ignored. Just look at the number of ads on TV for psychoactive drugs. If you aren’t yet convinced your life is miserable, the ads will soon convince you that you are, and that you desperately need their drug with a list of side effects that occupy the majority of the ad time.

How did we get so far off track? What has brought us to this point? Simply put, Freud was wrong, and his focus pointed the entire profession of mental health in the wrong direction. Freud studied patients who, for the most part, were "unsuccessful;" they were unable to get through a day most of us would consider unremarkable. Treating patients who have become a danger to themselves or others has been, and remains, the focus of modern mental health care. However, this ability to recognize and diagnose pathological behavior after it has happened demonstrates inability to address the causes of dysfunction or offer methods of prevention.

The need for a new Mental Health Paradigm is obvious if we let the exploding number of people in emotional distress, historically referred to as mentally ill, speak for the need. And any aspiring scientist knows that to keep relying on what has already been tried and obviously doesn't work, is the least likely avenue to discover a workable solution to a problem. Insanity is defined, tongue in cheek, as “doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.” Studying results never has had much effect on changing the cause of an event.

Next post: "The Gift of Sanity"