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The symptoms of mental illness are not the “plan of Satan”, Mr Morrison

I have refrained from writing this post for four days, as it is my apperception (the mental process by which a person makes sense of an idea by assimilating it to the body of ideas they already possess) I have gained from considering the erudite wisdom of Viktor Frankl’s ‘Man’s Search for Meaning‘, an empirical resource of psychiatric and psychological study, in which he reasons that between the action and reaction there is a void in which we have a choice to make in how we react in life to the action. We may either react in an impetuous and emotional manner in which unknown consequences flow from such behaviour, or we may sit back, and in a measured, thoughtful and rational response set out our thoughts. I have not chosen the path of impetuosity, as I consider the words I am about to write below should be set out in a context of personal experience, and hopefully, therapeutic value for people living with a mental illness.

As you may gather from the headline to my post, I am obviously responding to Mr. Morrison’s words spoken last Sunday at a Pentecostal Church established in Perth by the former Australian tennis player, Margaret Court. May I indicate at the outset of this post, I do not intend to display any impiety towards the Pentecostal religion; people are entitled to believe in any form of religion they so choose to believe in; just as I or any other person may abjure any form of religious belief.

My apostasy for religion does not influence my thoughts about Mr. Morrison’s words spoken during his sermon last Sunday about mental illness. As I explained herein my words are derived from personal experience. Many of you may be already aware of this fact, but for those of you who are unaware I have almost recovered from a mental health breakdown in March 2021, a breakdown which culminated from both the post traumatic shock I suffered of seeing my deceased mother on the floor of her apartment approximately 14 hours after she had passed away, as well as almost 43 years of undiagnosed mental illnesses. My mental illnesses had been undiagnosed for such a lengthy period of time because of my shame to admit to my thoughts, and it is the issue of shame which motivates my reaction to Mr. Morrison’s words.

If you are also unaware of what Mr. Morrison said during his sermon (his words decrying government and the United Nations have been more than adequately addressed by the Prime Minister Mr. Albanese) about mental illness, it is reported in the Murdoch media (don’t get too excited, Uncle Rupert, I am still unhappy with you and Lachlan) that:

“While he noted there were “biological issues” or “brain chemistry” that resulted in clinical disorders, he sought to link the everyday anxieties to a spiritual deficit. Mr. Morrison declared that if people gave into their worries, they were giving into “Satan’s plan”.

The symptoms of mental illness, including worry and anxiety are not part of “Satan’s plan”. Mr. Morrison’s words are reckless, and they are also indicative of the anachronistic mindset of a medieval cleric manipulating the benighted minds of the parishioners during the Dark Ages. To link such symptoms to “Satan” or evil, only increases the risk of propagating thoughts of shame amongst the two million or so people suffering from a mental illness in this country.

It is shame which causes many people suffering from mental illness coming forward to seek help. Without displaying too much impiety at this juncture, for Mr. Morrison to link the symptoms of mental illness to “Satan’s plan” is just a product of dissolute pious mumbo jumbo of the greatest degree, and it has no place in psychiatric medicine or psychology. I know, because I have been now undergoing psychiatric treatment and psychological counselling for 16 months, and Lucifer plays no part in either field of treatment.

So I strongly reject Mr. Morrison’s misconceived words about mental illness, but if you think I may have be prone to displaying emotive language in this post, you should have been at my house on Monday when I initially read the above-mentioned article.

I would also like to share with you now the importance of candour and advocacy in normalising mental illness in our society. I have openly shared my mental health journey on Facebook and Twitter since about April 2021. The genesis of my online advocacy about the journey of my mental health treatment and recovery, and the need to normalise the condition in society, arises from the shame I had about my various mental illness thoughts which consumed my mind since 1979.

Whilst I was hospitalised during my first admission to hospital in March 2021, I heard many of my fellow inpatients express the feelings of shame they held about their mental illnesses, and how they were too ashamed to allow the illness to be known in their individual communities.

It became apparent to me, being the outspoken person that I am, society needed to have an open discussion about mental illness, so that more people would come forward to admit to their suffering, and to seek treatment. I have received a number of social media messages from various people since April last year in which they thank me for my advocacy, but this week I received a message from one of my 23, 700 followers on Twitter which best encapsulates the need for an open discussion about mental health in this country. The message I received from this person (for their privacy they shall remain anonymous) read as follows:

“Hi Michael – we have never met but wanted to thank you for your up front and honest tweets in relation your mental health condition. I suffer from anxiety which has re-emerged after 20 years of control. Bit of a dark place now but reading your words provides confidence and reassurance that there is a future and a path forward. Thanks again.”

I do not derive any narcissistic pleasure from this message, but it does give me comfort that by being candid and discussing online my journey back to a healthy state of mind I have given this person hope they will do the same.

Stay well, my friends.

 

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13 comments

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  1. Kerri

    The concept of “auditing” in Scientology is much the same as the old adage “a problem shared is a problem halved. If we could only learn to talk about our various concerns we surely would emerge more at ease!
    If for no other reason than the simple fact that haven spoken our troubles aloud we have acknowledged and normalised them to some degree.
    Of course none of this has anything whatsoever to do with our “thank goodness” “ex” PM.
    Other than maybe the more we talk about his abysmal performance as a politician, the more we can come to terms with the catastrophic mistake of having allowed this narcissistic god botherer to ever even enter politics let alone reach its nadir in Australia.
    Bullet almost dodged.

  2. RoadKillCafe

    And even then, this Engadine shitter, this smirking jerk, this liar from the shire, this arrogant, delusional piece of shit, this scumsucker still has and had his fans, his braindead, his acolytes his voters. It aims to bring the same delusional bullshit that permeates America, truth becomes collateral damage, warped version of “Christianity” is the reality.
    Cunning as a shithouse rat is this morrison, even though he’s lost his rug, the bald patch loud and proud, he speaks the same evil. He intends to go on.

  3. Stephengb

    Good article Mr Springer, thank you.

  4. Phil Pryor

    Morrison is most probably seriously sick, functioning by having utter bullshit accepted, a deviate from normality, perhaps a chronic neurotic psychopath with some schizophrenic wounds, a shocking selfromancing, evil loving, risky ratbag raving rubbishy rotted invention of a creative fantasiser, a holy by concentrated willpower invention of the inner drives which must avoid irrelevance and embrace a contrived presence.., who knows? What is this dropping? Why have we all been cursed by a contrived nonhuman freak who had to be noticed, had to pose, had to lie in order to exist, had to dodge the “stain” of mediocrity and imagine his own magnificence? Meanwhile, the real Morrison is a LIAR, telling everyone about fantasies and frauds and fictions that never EVER existed. There is no object god or god object out of Rome, Mecca, Tel Aviv, Delhi, Beijing, Wall st., Donald Trump’s arse, Walt Disney’s dreams, Putin’s hopes, anyone’s fears, desperate needs and crimes.., Check out the real universe with today’s better than ever telescopes, microscopes, science. Failures, frauds, freaks and filth like Morrison should be eliminated completely, starting with our awareness, our daily routines. FAR CANAL, as in Venice.

  5. wam

    I met mental illness 62 years ago when a boy who lived down the road became a friend. He started school a year ahead but got distinctions in eng, latin and french but failed the rest so was in my class and we often walked home from school. He repeated his triplet and ended up a year behind. I began going to his place for to help him with maths and science and he passed at the 3rd try.
    He was the ugliest boy, if you imagine punch with his nose and chin and added a protruding adam’s apple you have ‘the loon’. His sister was lovely and intelligent but his mother had the most unsightly body shape imaginable. When loon’s sister turned 16/17 her body changed and within a few months she had gone from an attractive young girl to a carbon copy of her mum.
    I went to see her in, not parkside but similar, I forget the asylum’s name, and she invited me to the monthly dance. It was sad enough sitting with her having known what she was in her teens but the other dancers were a huge range of mental states and I left too distraught to return.
    The experience has never diminished in all those years and I think it, or perhaps the guilt of it, has made me more sensitive and sympathetic to people suffering from mental illness and addictions.
    ps
    Scumo rose through fear.
    The copperman had done his job dumping the rabbott and winning 2016. Now he was teetering on the brink of being unelectable and the winner will get a short time in office but a PM for ever. A powerful incentive for treachery.
    The boys were marshalling forces to take over and dutton or scummo with bishop dropped at the first vote. Choice between a thug and a liar presents no contest and turnbull’s votes went against dutton.

  6. andy56

    I think we got rid of morrison a bit late in the piece. He was the head of government and he tells us not to trust government?
    WTF was he the PM for if not to do good. He had his chance and he wipe his arse with us. He should be taken to task and asked what he achieved cause from where i sit, he just enjoyed the sinecure. Power for power’s sake. Fuck you too morrison.

  7. Josephus

    What can we do though? What if you live tragedies , as in Dresden or now in Ukraine? These are exogenic mental illnesses not endogenous ones . I mean dreadful things happening to you not the rather wierd tale of wan about a normal human transforming into a gargoyle, which sight must shock anyone witnessing it.
    I do think of the varied reactions to the few holocaust survivors also.
    I believe that apart from a few faiths such as Quakers religion can be a dangerous delusion. Morrisons self serving smugness revolted me beyond words. That said, the fact that the man was not sacked when he left his country in secret to go on a vulgar holiday with ‘the girls’ , the hair washing set- up obscenity etc, one has to ask, why didn’t his party shout LIAR as English citizens have about Bojo? And telling the vast crowd assembled before parliament in March last year how lucky the mainly women there were not to be shot… I have to stop writing as I feel sick.
    Keep the bastards honest citizens of Australia ! Never allow a fanatic to govern. Why did his colleagues acquiesce ? Ditto the other nutters in power in this dangerous world. Sri Lanka , the Arab Spring, mass civil disobedience can work for a time, though but better is it to ban ultrareligious people from power.in the first place.

  8. Heinrich

    That any one individual succumbs to mental illness is no surprise. The pressure is on everyone, but some are required to face much heavier loads than others. It looks like pot luck where one lands on the spectrum of damaging environments.
    I read some of Viktor Frankl’s work and he walks the walk. However, one thing I would caution: projecting on to another person the ease with which any one person can navigate their way out of a negative complex they find themselves in. Viktor’s path and survival of a Nazi concentration camp is atypical. He entered a Nazi con-camp at the age of 37, some 7 years after gaining his MD (Psychiatry). Viktor was an adult, well grounded in an understanding of mind, and in particular its negative constructs.
    More typical of mental illness are the 99% of people who are not so well prepared, in particular those who are in truly negative mental environments or serious life-threatening situations from the get go. For example, a child borne with fetal alcohol syndrome, or some serious debilitating disease or violent intervention in their life is going to be facing an uphill battle to a balanced outcome.
    The lack of understanding in general and complete lack of empathy in some instances makes the journey for many more difficult than need be. Morrison displays his variation of mental illness by bible-thumping and attempts to shame others. It’s an old game. Let him go, he will wake up to his weakness in time. And if he doesn’t wake up in time, well, there is the afterlife.

  9. pierre wilkinson

    good article Michael
    Morrison is well placed to discuss mental health as he seriously suffers from delusions so is an object lesson in what to avoid…
    blaming satan is such a sweet cop out for personal responsibility whilst attributing difference to imagined evil, it sickens me that such negative short sighted opinions are allowed to proliferate in our modern world to the detriment of those who are genuinely suffering through no fault of their own
    happy recovery and strength in the future

  10. Arnd

    I’m not sure about this whole “mental illness” thing. Sure, if you have full-on delusional episodes, go seek medical intervention.

    But run-of-the-mill depression? I mean, I am myself on medication which is regularly reviewed by a psychiatrist and still very much in the early stages of tuning … – but honestly: these days, if you’re not depressed, you’re not paying attention!! It’s the happy-go-lucky guys (including the insufferable happy-clapper Pentecostals) who need their heads read!

    MLK Jr. said it best: “We need to be maladjusted!. (Also, MLK Jr. is a much better preacher than Scotty from Marketing, too!)

    These days, I keep reminding myself of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Ones who walk away from Omelas, which left me with a lasting impression when I first read it as a teenager nearly fifty years ago. It puts the lie to the notion that we can make ourselves feel better by making other people feel worse – yet that is exactly Scotty’s MO, and always has been.

  11. Heinrich

    Arnd, Le Guin had an interesting basis for a story. The first thing that sprang to mind was the ill-conceived actions of the WEF, UN, IMF, etc. Gains for the few, based on baking in losses of the many, achieved through disinfo & regulatory capture is prime-time twisted thinking. They wouldn’t do well if they were given a taste of their own medicine. The “notion that we can make ourselves feel better by making other people feel worse” is true, up until the person becomes aware of what s/he is doing. At that point, the game gets dropped.

  12. GL

    Arnd,

    Now I have to dig through my stacks to find my copy The Wind’s Twelve Quarters to reread The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas which, like you, I last read waayy back in 1975.

  13. Malcolm Ansell

    There is little more than can be said about Morrison – He was inadequate to the job when he started with Tourism NZ/Australia, inadequate when treasurer, and was seen by a large proportion of our Australian people, to be, along with the entire front bench, absolutely inadequate for the job of governing our country, let alone being anything of a leader! Very revealing and sensitive piece here from Mr Springer – thank you. After the election of a ‘Strong Man’ and subsequent re election of 2 more ‘Strong Men’, maybe we don’t need to keep electing Personalities, and we could continue to focus on Good Sense, as we did in this last election….what is actually good for the general population? Leadership has been absent for so long here, and only existing in pockets around our poor abused world, so being reminded of a little of it, gives me some hope now as opposed to intense, biting, hateful, cynicism!

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