Here we are at the start of Mental Health Week, and I read in my morning newspaper that “one in seven children and young people experienced a mental disorder in the previous 12 months.” Then on the radio I heard that the same proportion of adults had suffered anxiety disorders in the same period.
How can this be?! If any mental condition is as common as that, how can we call it a ‘disorder’? Surely we’re defining as disorderly aspects of normal human experience. Surely we’re setting the bar too low and steering people into treatment who don’t belong there.
This is not an original thought, of course. Medicalising normal human states is an international sport for Big Pharma. The rest of us are free to laugh at it and carry on with our messy lives, balancing sadness with joy, anxiety with hope.
Actually, with the world in its present state, I’d say that if anyone is not experiencing extreme anxiety they are by definition suffering a mental disorder.