Is it now normal to be abnormal?
Letter to the Editor:
Recently, I listened as a teenage girl talked about her boyfriend's professionally diagnosed emotional disorders. What surprised me was that she spoke of these disorders as if they were status symbols.
I don't want to insinuate that anyone with an emotional disorder should be ashamed. But, emotional disorders don't equal bragging rights either. Emotional and mental disorders can certainly be a burden to bear.
My colleagues and I have discussed often that there seems to be more mental and emotional illnesses today than ever before. This is our personal observation. I do not know of any research done on the increase of mental illness to prove that we are right or wrong.
Supposing we are right, the question would then be "why?" I would like to suggest three contributing factors:
1.The dropping of traditional morals. In the 1960's, my generation began to dump the old traditional moral system. The results have been devastating. In 42 years of pastoral counseling, I have seen that those who believe and practice old fashion morals are generally more balanced emotionally.
2. The decline of the family unit. This is probably the biggest factor. Multitudes of studies have been done proving that those who grow up in a stable family with both mother and father are mentally and emotionally leaps and bounds ahead of those who do not.
3. A media and technology system that provides unceasing activity and demands for instant gratification. Peace and quiet are so unusual today, that when they occur, some people can't handle it. Constant stimuli is the norm. Has anyone researched the possibility of Attention
Deficit Disorder being induced by technology?
Following the norms of society is often called being part of the "rat race" which may end in a "rat trap."