On mental illness

File:Museo del Prado - Goya - Caprichos - No. 43 - El sueño de la razon produce monstruos.jpg
“The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.” Goya, ca. 1797-8. (Image/Wikimedia Commons)

“Snowflake” culture got big during my last semester of university.

Like many students, one of the last things I learned in school was that we now need service dogs to cope with exam week.

Around the same time, the recent spike in suicide made headlines. Unfortunately, I can confirm that that’s going on with college students as well, and it worsens as exams approach.

While this has probably always been true, it’s reasonable that my elders regard young people nowadays as fragile. And it should come as no surprise.

In say, the 1950s, divorce was unheard of, personal problems were hushed up, communities were tight, and standards of conduct were high. Trust was taken so completely for granted that people looked down on neighbors who had locks on their doors. I know this from research, but also from my elders.

In the 2010s, by contrast, divorce is the norm among couples that marry at all. This usually leaves children fatherless, and with little sense of stability or personal identity. Further, the soul-baring demanded by pop culture normalizes mental illness and demands that sufferers wallow in it, even at the expense of healing. Finally, entire generations have grown up with no attachment to anything greater than themselves and nothing to live for at all.

Young people who want a solid place to plant their feet don’t even know where to look. As I’ve argued in the past, mass culture doesn’t just provide shallow alternatives to a healthy, Christian worldview. Mass culture provides so many alternatives that most Millennials have no exposure to any worldview that would give their lives purpose or direction. If they bumped into a Pearl of Great Price, they wouldn’t know what it was for.

And yet, people who grew up in the 50s are amazed at the self-destruction of my generation. I don’t get it. We should be sad about these things, but not surprised. Without God, this sort of social breakdown makes perfect sense. We should rather be thankful that it isn’t worse!

For Those in Mental Darkness

Heavenly Father, we beseech thee to have mercy upon all thy children who are living in mental darkness. Restore them to strength of mind and cheerfulness of spirit, and give them health and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


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