4Sight vs. Mental Health

I'm going to just come right out and say it and be my usual radical self; the mental health field needs to be abandoned. Well, maybe abandoned is too strong a word. At least re-booted. Yea, let's go with that.

There are a great many reasons why we need to re-think the mental health field. Here are some of the top ones.

To start off we need to recognize that the field itself, especially the terms around it and participation in, is, to many, embarrassing. People, for the most part, don't want to admit that they are having problems. Aside from the fact that having problems with your thoughts is generally deemed a weakness, the terms themselves have all kinds of negative connotations. Given the fact that we used to put people in insane asylums and referred to them as "crazy" and "sick in the head" it's no wonder. Of course, this is a huge problem because it all further exacerbates the undesirable thinking that you're trying to overcome in the first place.

The Privacy Factor
Consider this; if you're having "mental health" issues, you're inherently saying either I don't know what to do or I do but I can't do it. In other words, you need help. After all, that's why you seek out a specialist, right? But think about how this specialist works. Maybe one hour per week, right? Presuming you sleep an average of eight hours a night, you're spending less than 1% of your time weekly in a supportive environment. It's kind of like being an alcoholic and working in a bar.

Voluntary submission
Most of the time when a person does enter the "system" it's because things have gotten so bad for them that they need help. The old "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" comes to mind. This is a very arbitrary exercise which prompts several questions, "do those who really need a mental check-up seek help and do those who seek help really need a mental check-up?". Even "is there something that I could have done sooner to prevent this from getting out of control. After all, there's usually no barometer to measure when to go other than the thought that you need to. If you're thoughts are the problem, how do they skew that decision? And if others are pushing you, what does that say about the disconnect between the need to go and your desire to do so? It's like asking a person with vision issues if the lettering in a sign is too small.

Requirement of a professional
Getting a bachelor's degree in the field is really only the tip of the iceberg. The minimum really includes some type of certification and post-graduate work after a foundational degree. And for the real leaders of the field it means getting a doctorate. All this makes access expensive and limited. And think about this; what does this say for parenting? If helping a person with mental health issues requires a specialist, how are you as a parent supposed to raise a mentally healthy child?

Islands of Disorders
I'm not even going to go into the fact that the DSM, which is the go-to book of the industry, has been discredited by the National Institue of Mental Health (NIMH) as being invalid because it's scientifically invalid. That's the NIMH, the federal agency that oversees the field. But let's talk about what the DSM has. It's like an a la carte menu of determining specific diagnoses, mostly for the purpose of doling out pills. Yes, pharamceuticals. Imagine that. But the base premise doesn't even seem to make sense. Discrete behavior problems? If you want to know why that is all you need to do is think about the system that was already in place before mental health arrived. That's the physical health industry which is supported by insurance. All they did was follow that model, wrongly in my opinion. You have this, so we need to do this, and it's going to cost this. Seems like a very universal and detached approach to a very custom problem.

Diagnosis subjectivity
In line with that is the fact that the diagnoses themselves are preposterously confusing. As an example, you need to exhibit "this", when it is even hard to clarify what "this" is, for x amount of time and at least 5 of these 9 things altogether. Frankly, it's ridiculous. I mean it's great if you want to charge $200/hour and have someone come back week after week, but if you want to actually help the person with the issue understand what they're doing wrong and how they can get better, then you're doing the opposite by making it overly complicated.

Uncertainty of treatment
And the worse part of all - or the best part if you're a therapist - is that there's zero guarantee that you'll makes any progress, let alone that your problem will permanently go away. If you ever wanted to be suspicious about a solution, you really have to wonder about someone who claims to be the expert, takes your money, but makes no promises in return. That's a racket if I ever heard one.

Undemocratic caste system
More so, there is a decidedly socioeconomic slant to all of this. In a phrase, people who have money or perform - meaning they make money for an organization or fulfill an important task or the like - can get away with a lot of behavior that we would probably all consider to be symptoms of mental illness. In other words, if you are unfortunate enough to be on the low-end of the wealth scale, chances are you have less latitude with your behavior than someone who's rich. Meaning, a dysfunctional poor person will end up in jail whereas the same person in the higher income bracket could become an executive. Go figure, eh? If there was ever a sign showing the downside of income disparity, this is a huge one.

Solutions that hide and avoid
Finally, there is no metric for success. The end result seems to be "how can we keep this problem from coming up rather than solving it". After all, the former can result in the sale of services and products which is the American / capitalistic way. What I mean is that taking drugs or hiring attorneys or employing any other mechanism you can conjure up to mask what is really going is a really bad strategy. The biggest reasons why I write that is because you're not even looking at the cause, so for all you know, there's only going to be a lot more people entering this situation while those already in it are getting worse. The issue that comes to mind in this area is homelessness where the emphasis at best is to put them in supportive housing. We look for government to help payfor their cost of living but we don't focus on how to get them to be able to live (financially) independently. I'll suggest that the reason for this is that we really don't have any good programs to do this, uncertainty of treatment all over again. It's like sticking your finger in the hole in the dam when you really should be looking at why the river is pushing more and more water into the artificial lake you created in the first place.

So when you look at all of this together, you have to wonder why we're not up in arms as I write this. To explain that I offer three justifications. First, we, meaning people, tend to keep doing things as we are even when things slowly get worse, like the frog in cold water that is slowly warming. Momentum is a factor. Second, the problem itself tends to make us myopic. Meaning, if you're having problems with your thoughts, you tend to focus on yourself to the exclusion of others. You certainly aren't likely to take a step back and look at the society as a whole, see a widespread problem and develop a strategy for change. And the last reason is the key. What good is disrupting something, no matter how bad it is, when having a void will likely be way worse. And to that concern, I shall segue into the next part of this article; a solution may already be at hand.

4Sight was developed to be a behavior management system. In effect it walks and talks like mental health, but takes a completely different tact. In fact, it was even born while trying to come up with a web site for youth experiencing adversity, but that's where the similarity ends. 4Sight uses some of the knowledge gained as well as universally agreed to concepts from the field of mental health, but it has two fundamental differences. It is designed to be a simple, self-help system and, more importantly, it looked at the origins of what behavior is and how it is learned so it's organic, not full of confusing academic rigor. The result is an end-to-end explanation of why humans do and say what they do; what is the behavioral goal for an adult, how do you measure it, how do you raise a child to become that adult, and how do you work with that adult when they aren't meeting the standard. It's comprehensive and complete. It is a straightforward and unifying explanation of people. To explain this all in detail, I'll contrast it to the talking points enumerated above.

To begin with, 4Sight has no stigma. Not only because it's new, but because of the terms it uses. There are the processes of self-esteem (SE) and self-confidence (SC) and you either do them with accuracy or you don't. That's it. Behavior is on a spectrum depending upon how each of those processes is executed. And the best part is that one of the primary ways of determining if someone has a self-esteem issue is how they view someone else's issues. If someone is perjorative in any manner about your having issues, then they've just demonstrated that they have issues. It's inherently foolproof in its implementation.

So because there isn't this stigma, the need to hide isn't there and that's why you can put the "ecosystem" to work. We all tell a story and it gets ingrained into everything we do. The people we associate with, what we do both for work and for fun, all of our daily activities. And there's a good chance that whatever your shortcomings are, you likely have enablers in that surrounding environment. Now imagine that all those people know about your SE and SC issues, either directly because you told them or indirectly because as 4Sight becomes common knowledge they'll be able to spot the identifiers. If that's the case all these people will also know how to be supportive. In effect, your support network becomes incessant in a good way. I've never been a depressive person, but I can only guess as to what it's like to be suicidal. What if every person you interacted with, even if they had something negative to say, delivered this theme: "I like you. I value you. You matter. Don't take anything I say as to counter those statements, and if you do, tell me and we'll discuss it." When the cat is out of the bag and shame is erased it becomes increasingly more easy to talk about it. And nothing can change your undesirable thought processes with greater power than having them questioned out loud with others present. Nothing.

Next is the fact that it's dependent upon one and only one metric; accuracy. It's very easy to spot and measure. I don't have a system yet for how that measuring would be done but really measuring isn't the best way to work through SE and SC issues. It's all about the conflict that the inaccuracies cause, within yourself and between others. Accordingly, the focus is on resolving the conflict by determining the inaccuracy in a process.

I've already talked about the lack of need for a specialist. 4Sight is so simple it's meant to become part of the cultural dialog. Common knowledge or common sense as it were. Truthfully, the hardest part of implementing this new concept is identifying and unlearning all the maladaptive strategies and behaviors (MS/B's) we've already learned. And as the concept becomes common knowledge, it will be even easier to make people acccountable which is why it can eventually be universally applied.

The next talking point has already been alluded to as well. There are no specific items. There's a spectrum of behavior and, if you wanted to make a chart, it would have two axes with SE on one direction and SC on the other. You'd plot your emotional intelligence as it were like you would specifying a point with an X and a Y value. In the end this is all irrelevant because the solution is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) oriented, something borrowed from the existing system that works really well. The focus is on the behavior - what you say or do - not your score. And, even then, it's about the thoughts the drive the undesirable behavior. Challenge the thoughts and you'll change the behavior.

As a result, there is really no diagnosis to perform. The question is really how often do you perceive the past (SE issues) or assess the future (SC issues) with inaccuracy and to what extent do these skewed processed affect you. No one is going to be perfect after all. It's just a matter or reducing their incidence to as little as you (and really also those with whom you interact) desire or are comfortable with. It's about frequency and severity. Pretty simple, huh?

The other items should be self-evident now. There is an end-game. Reduction of incidents. If you want you can keep count. Also, this approach is highly democratic. No matter what your societal status or income bracket, you are held to the same standard: lack of undesirable behavior, which really means no abuse. Anyone can call you on it - as we're all accountable to each other - and it's easy to identify. It's like coughing out in the open. We all agree it shouldn't be done so pretty much no one does it. And if anyone does, there is nothing that holds you back from saying something or, at the very least, learing. Once a thing becomes widely accepted, peer pressure works and that is really the best way to homogenize the behavior of a group. You can run but you can't hide. There is no avoiding it.

How would this all be done? I'll take a cop-out while at the same time being truthful (well, accurate). I don't know, although what I really mean is I don't know for sure. And that's the answer you want anyway. I can't know. This is literally a new paradigm for society. Something unheard of before and probably borne of the internet where privacy is being extinguished and knowledge is being distributed. I have some idea. There's merely an initial consultation where you talk about the MS/B's present. After that it's all about identifying when you've been triggered and up to you and your environment to challenge the undesirable thoughts. And once this knowledge becomes even close to being widespread the ability to recognize the problems and how to make progress will become ubiquitous. It's like before there were lanes of traffic for cars and intersections with controls. 4Sight adds the structure so that accidents will become a rarity.

And while, to some extent, this article maligns the mental health care field, it doesn't attack those in it. To some extent they are a victim of what was put into place before them and, while the start was good, a course correction is needed. The reason I say this is that this program - from coming up with standards, distributing them to the public at large and implementing them - will require a team of experts in order to be successful. The good part is that this team is already assembled and organized fairly well. 4Sight is like adding a new coach and adjusting the rules of the game so that play becomes competitive, fair and consistent. The players are fine. The leadership needs to change. And on that note, I'll end up discussing why, now more than ever, do we need this change. The timing is critical.

The reason that this hole re-boot is incredilby important now is that we happen to be at a nexus in time, likely propogated because of what I mentioned already; the internet. And just like Gutenberg's printing press gave people access to the state of society and a countering knowledge, the web is allowing us to see the abuses prevalent thoughout the world and the hypocrisy of our leadership. In a phrase, bad behavior is obvious and we're mad as hell about it.

And what it is that we are seeing, on a ridiculously wide-scale and to a severe degree, is lying. After all, that's what an inaccuracy is. A perception or assessment that is not true. Or worse, flat-out wrong. And where leaders - business, political and even religious - were able to shape the narrative before, it is no longer within their control. They can tell you how it is, but you can see for yourself. Right there and in color and, in many instances, living, as with video. It's really hard to tell someone what reality is when they can see it for themselves. And that's exactly what is going on these days and why everyone's in an uproar.

I could go on about the speific issues that exist and how they can change but, frankly, I think the news in Amercia alone shows why we're so divided. I'll simply suggest that lying is at the root of it. We are all pretty dishonest with ourselves and we're often not looking to be accountable for how we think. We are letting emotions be our behavior and we're not willing to explain, defend even, what is driving us. And that is bad, if not downright dangerous.

In the end it's the past - shame and guilt - or the future - worry and fear - that are at the root of our undesirable behavior. And in most every case we've created a perception or assessment that doesn't exist. We all matter. We don't need to put others down to feel that way. The future is going to be alright *if* we work together. We don't need to be afraid and protect ourselves because we think someone else is going to disrupt that. We all want the same thing. To live in safety and enjoy the process while we do it. Be happy and independent. Make that universal and all our societal ills will go away. 100% guaranteed. Why do I know that? I have 4Sight. I can see the future. And once you do too, you'll see the same path to get there. One for all and all for one. We have a great many issues that we need to start working on together or else we're all in a lot trouble. Collaboration beats conflict and confusion every time. It is time. Are you ready?

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