1982-09-20 Rheydt, Germany / Mad World / Verrückte Welt / Mundo Louco / Mundo Loco

Capitalism is in many respects a mental illness generating system.

The World is becoming mad. Many of the current explanations offered by mental health professionals, social epidemiologists, health scientists, neurobiologists, and anthropologists claim it is.

Experiences of social isolation, inequality, feelings of alienation and dissociation, and even the basic assumptions and ideology of materialism and neoliberalism itself are seen today to be significant drivers.

Mental illness is now recognised as one of the biggest causes of individual distress and misery in our societies and cities, comparable to poverty and unemployment.

One in four adults in the UK today has been diagnosed with a mental illness, and four million people take antidepressants every year.

Psychological and social factors are at least as significant and, for many, the main cause of suffering.

Poverty, relative inequality, being subject to racism, sexism, displacement and a competitive culture all increase the likelihood of mental suffering.

Commentators often talk about Society, social context, group thinking, and environmental determinants in connection with mental distress and disorders.

But we can actually be a bit more precise about what aspect of Society is mainly driving it, is mainly responsible for it. And in this context it’s probably time we talk about the C word – Capitalism.

Capitalism is in many respects a mental illness generating system.

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