Rosella Tolfree's World
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“I am hungry doesn’t mean that one’s identity is the state of hunger, but that one’s being is the equal to that of the state of hunger.”—Sune Bentzen, Linguist
The Committee for Better Mental Health (CBMH) is a group founded in the last eras of the First Age. Fully backed by the billionaire Felicity McCourtney, herself a self-proclaimed bipolar. She blamed her bipolar mental identity on society’s barriers as a youth and a young adult. The group sought changes to the discrimination laws to make mental health a self-determined identity issue.
CBMH was successful in nations like the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Colombia, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, and Portugal. They followed this up with limited success in the United States. The states of Vermont, Maine, Oregon, Colorado, New York, and Maryland picked up mental health identity protections. California attempted a citizens’ ballot proposition, but it failed by an overwhelming majority because of a successful social media campaign mounted by the political advocacy arm of the APA. CBMH made multiple attempts to codify mental health identity in the civil rights acts at the US federal level, but all failed because of the APA’s lobbying effort.
Example of Legal Language Used for Defining Mental Health Identity
“Mental health identity” means the mental identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned mental status, which may be demonstrated by:
(1) Consistent and uniform assertion of the person’s mental identity; or
(2) Any other evidence that the mental identity is sincerely held as part of the person’s core identity.
The limited success spurred the group to press harder on their political agenda. The activities of the CBMH sparked political backlash across Europe and the US, with protests from both sides. The protests became violent, requiring police or national armed forces to deal with it.
The opposition accused CBMH of being nothing more than a Marxist front organization and a Nazi Übermensch theory based on its origin with Hans Asperger, who had ties with the Nazis. While CBMH accused the opposition to be in bed with big pharma and corporate elites.
An increased number of “hate crimes” was seen in those locations that had adopted mental health identity laws, which included school mass bullying. This resulted in some young adults and late teens committing suicide at higher rates in these locations. Various members of the APA were quick to point out that this was the opposite desired effect, and the direct result of self-diagnosis. The CBMH countered that this was the result of non-acceptance by some hateful individuals.
Meanwhile, in the locations where CBMH was successful in changing the laws, legislators dismantled government psychological supports provided to children and adults. The reasoning was that these were no longer needed as there was now no actual psychological science guiding the diagnosis and treatment. If people who claimed to have a disorder wanted treatment, that was now a private issue between them and a doctor. It was no longer a concern of public health.
Children were seen under these laws as having the same level of protections as adults and would be assigned government advocates to ensure parents would not force unnecessary treatments.
In the US, the state courts were mixed on the application of the discrimination by mental health identity, including how it was being applied within the context of criminal law. At the heart of the legal problem was the notion of self-determination of one’s mental health status. Some judges were accepting, while more conservative judges were not. At the Federal level, the courts didn’t entertain these protections with the minor exception of the Southern District of New York. The SCOTUS never picked up any of these cases.
The biggest opposition to CBMH came from a well-funded American group of neurologists in the field of neuroplasticity. They published scientific paper after scientific paper showing and countering “mental health identity” based on the natural adaptive nature of the human brain. And thus, provided the underlying mechanics for the possibility of treatment to recondition the brain into other behavior patterns. These papers became fodder for conservative talking points. CBMH struggled to find medical researchers willing to publish counter papers and stuck to the social sciences making political and moral arguments instead.
Then Sawa Kaneko and Ei Yoshimi, two Japanese molecular geneticists, discovered that autism spectrum disorder was a combination of micro-deletions across the human genome resulting in a differential neural development. The variations in phenotypes between cases were results from the amount of the deleted genetic information. This further explained the links between such syndromes as Angelman for also showing ASD. Scientists found poor neuroplasticity to be the culprits for mental comorbidities, such as anxiety and ADHD. Later, additional research would find that other common mental disorders such as bipolar and schizophrenia were also related to genetic micro-deletions.
The CBMH used this genetic discovery to show mental health identity as being a form of evolutionary adaptation. In doing so, questions arose about the concept of self-determination of one’s mental health identity and if genetic testing should be the determining factor.
By this point in history, the whole notion of mental health identity hit a social brick wall when legislatures allowed human cloned reproduction using advance CRISPR technology to strip away many genetic based disorders. With advent of these technologies and advance A.I. systems, medical psychology was transformed, offering the “cure” for all known disorders without lifelong use of drug therapy.
CBMH tried to fight for the right to be born naturally, but it was too late. Society had bought into these new wonders. The political winds had changed, and younger politicians backed by these new technologies stripped away the old mental health identity laws.
Other Mental Health Postings & Stories
Mental Illness During Rosella’s Time
Dawn Mason’s Extreme Hatred Bias
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Seth Underwood writes adult science fiction and political dystopian science fiction. His future political dystopian U.S. world features decades of despot presidents, a flooded world, and new para-military force known as the Ranger Marshals. He has freemium stories at www. sethunderwoodstories.com