#70 Disillusioned – ‘Terrorism And Mental Health’

Disillusionment is one of the major sources of my mental health issues, and humanity seems to provide bucket loads of it to my door step, on a very regular basis. Today London had another terror attack in which 5 people were killed and 40 were injured*. Naturally in such tragic circumstances it is understandable to be negatively affected. My heart goes out to the families and friends of anyone affected. It is a terrible day for anyone involved and I couldn’t imagine the horrors of even knowing someone in such a situation. Also huge respect to the emergency services and civilians who were swift in their actions to prevent further casualties.

The deeper more existential thoughts come shortly after this initial reaction. Especially when I see the hyperbolic reaction of people, countries and organisations. Immediately fighting and scoring points. The issues struck me one by one and the media coverage was first to hit.

When you don’t publicly fund news organisations they have to rely on advertising for income, the amount they get is then based entirely on the number of views it gets. Straight away the equilibrium shifts dramatically. Your first task now as a news agency is no longer to show news; but to get views. This is a very important distinction, one which was evident today.

So how do you get views? Well you get there first – to the scene. You film everything, you get more angles, more interviews and speculate! Speculate! Speculate! You have to stir up emotion – positive, negative we don’t care! People must keep watching. And that is exactly what they did.

The level of decorum shown by the news outlets was so low that you’ll have to search the Mariana Trench to find it. Sky News, amongst a host of others, began showing helicopter shots of dead bodies and gory shots of injured people. Now, I don’t know about you but if I’m told someone has been run over, I don’t need to see their mangled remains to believe it. Or when someone has been flung over a bridge onto their head, I will also believe you. Not to mention it is a major national news story, these pictures will reach virtually everyone – including the families of the people being shown.

What a lovely way to find out your family member has been horrifically murdered.

The secondary reaction comes from the public, typically through social media, which has been a sports field of political point scoring today. Everything from blaming refugees, blaming certain politicians for supporting certain policies, to outright muslim bans, and a barrage of racist twaddle. The lack of respect, intelligence and understanding astonishes me, and makes me disillusioned in equal measure. I don’t feel part of humanity when I see that, nor do I want to be.

I almost want to hibernate for the next 10 years just so I don’t have to catch wind of Tonald Dump’s* view on this. Not to mention, had you scrolled further down your news website today, you may have noticed that a US led drone attack bombed a school in Raqqa, Syria, killing 33 innocent men, women and children, who were using it as a make shift refugee shelter. This is in addition to the 52 civilians killed in a US raid last week.

In all my days as an anti-terror strategist (currently 0 days), I don’t think I would ever recommend killing entire families of innocent civilians, especially if I want them to like me. Donald Trump Tonald Dump however, doesn’t agree with my strategy. That is because, just last week he sought to reduce the legislation on killing civilians, which currently states you cannot attack any location if there are certain to be civilian casualties. Dump is trying to change this so that he can legally kill them. The US already kills a lot of civilians, but they just want to change the law so they don’t have to pretend they’re not doing it*. If I was to design a policy to stir up hate and anger for one country that would be exactly it.

More killing is inevitable, on both sides. I mean, you have a country which invests 600 billion dollars a year into its military (US), which by the way is more military spending than the next 9 countries put together. If you are spending that much, you need an enemy. Otherwise you are just a bunch of angry people in a field with lots of expensive equipment. Yes, IS will eventually be defeated, but another enemy will be created emerge.

Who knows, maybe my criticisms are misguided, maybe there is no better use for 600 billion dollars. Thankfully the US only has a homeless population about the size of Northern Ireland, 48 million people without access to healthcare and the highest tuition fees in the world. Nope I was wrong, more bombs please!

Mentally speaking though war is simply no good for anyone. You have the primary people effected; these are the soldiers and civilians in the direct line of combat – for instance 49% of all returnees in world war 1 returned because of mental issues, not physical. The next level is the aid workers and non combat personnel, who develop a wide range of mental issues from being close to war. Then there’s the families who are indirectly affected, and then the general public and so on. Now don’t get me wrong, I am very aware how far away from the heart of the conflict I am, and I absolutely am at the back of the queue when it comes to such serious events like this. But it is undoubtedly an effect of war. I am disillusioned, hopeless and depressed because of it, and I am sure I am not the only one.

I’m disillusioned because the terrorist threats are a creation of our doing, and current policy and ill-education only adds fuel to the fire – as does money. The effect for me, is that I retreat, I don’t want to share with the world, or be part of it. My mental health concerns pale massively in comparison to the plight of people physically involved in any of these events, but the effects on mental health from terrorism should be considered a worthy side note. This war we have created is both physically and mentally damaging to so many in society and we, in our ignorance only want to point fingers and score points.

The facts are there to see. We need to educate ourselves.

Mindfump.

*Those numbers may change.

*Tonald Dump, who may or may not be the president of a country, shall be called this because it was revealed today that he is trying to take a 17-year-old girl to court because she made a website for a school project that let you rub his face with kittens – not a joke. His team has been instructed to take anyone to court who uses his name in a way he does not agree – FREEEEEDOM.

*If you’re interested the US currently kills 10 civilians for every enemy combatant – and that is a conservative figure, some have it as high as 128:1. 

 

 

 

64 Comments

  1. Some good food for thought, Mindfump… I’ve been noting a certain lack of equanimity in news reporting in recent years, and it was apparent again today.
    Just my personal musings, but I wonder if in the future what now is printed as “Terror Attack” on-screen will one day become “Terror Attack!” … with added exclamation marks depending on severity?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always find that with the constant ‘breaking news’ bar at the bottom of rolling news coverage. What do they do when there is genuinely breaking news? They almost have to go ‘no, really, this really is breaking’. I think the exclamation point will be the first thing and the year after it will be two exclamation points and then an @ symbol followed by WTF!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah yes… no hope of reversing the rise of hyperbole, sadly: next stop a deranged Jon Snow running up and down the studio, shouting “Wake up, people…!” and similar hysteria.
        But, wow, to think of a REAL slow news day with nothing happening? Sounds like bliss.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is my beta comment, since I am mindfumped really hard. Actually I am not mindfumped, I totally understand what you’re saying and thanks for articulating that. I’m just overwhelmed with what happened, hopefully I will manage to write down my thoughts soon. Thank you (again) for writing this! ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well written post, I can relate a lot to what you’ve said. In fact yours one of the most sensical opinions I’ve come across today. The world is crazy and I guess I’m just product of that. I had a close call with terrorism when it was just the IRA to we had deal with. I had drop off at canary wharf and the place was blasted to pieces 20 minutes later. I feel for so sorry for all the hurt that happens that then gets spun to whoever’s promotional campaign, be that corporate or political. Take care D.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Possibly the best analysis of current American Government military policy I have ever read. Great work.
    Now if only Tonald could take your comments on board in a common sense way. Instead I’m sure you can expect one of those drone missiles. Hey, they have to use that pointless $600b for something, don’t they? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

          1. May he was sent he to truly find the boundaries of human stupidity. I’m sure we will look back in future generations as say thinks like ‘can’t do that that, that would be a very trumpian thing to do’. Thank you for your kind words!

            Liked by 1 person

  5. You know I actually missed all news coverage of this… I was merrily painting away, no tv or phone. I used to read the news a lot on my phone but I haven’t been keeping up over the past month or so. The news is just so depressing, it does nothing but confirm my theory that humanity is irredeemable :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean Hansen (and it’s nice to see you back) but I am torn. Torn because I feel like if we turn away from the issues then there’s only the stupid people left, it’s almost a duty to try and take note to change things somehow. Otherdays I want to lock myself away and go canoeing on a quiet lake in the middle of no where.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean. On my better days I imagine a brighter future, lead by those who engage and invent. It coincidentally has far fewer Americans…
        On my darker days I’m pretty sure no amount of trying is going to fix what seems to be an inbuilt greed and selfishness in humans. Because every atrocity, tragedy or war can be traced back to someone or some people getting greedy…
        Hence my recent struggles 😛

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I totally relate Hansen, I’m going through the same struggle especially after today. Things will get better they always do, but trawling through this shit so regularly gets tiring. How’s the painting coming along anyway?

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Yep, a lot of us are feeling disconnected from humanity. Here in the states, the people are polarized by politics. Most seem to have strong views one way or the other. Then there are the quiet ones like me, that just wish all the hate would go away. Thanks for your insights.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you touch on a very important point. Polarisation is a major problem, because it doesn’t promote debate or talking. It just separates people into teams. It will change eventually but lets hope it is sooner rather than later.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think this was my favourite of all your posts!

    Also, can you not just imagine what Obama would’ve done if a website were made where you could rub his face with kittens?? He probably would’ve went to go meet the young mastermind and have her rub a real cat over his face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha so true! Being Obama must be one of the most frustrating things right now, seeing everything he has done in 8 years taken away. Although he did do more drone bombing and skirt international law in war zones a lot, lest we forget. Also thank you for your kind words as usual!

      Like

      1. Oh yes, he was definitely involved in sinister things, but still a cool guy nonetheless! Can one be POTUS and not engage in some circumspect activity? Unfortunately, we probably will never find out first hand.

        Always! It’s good to have you back, Mindfump.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. So much to say – but I’ll start with the fact that I am so glad I started following you!

    Concerning names: I refuse to say the title and name together, so when necessary, I use “Pwesident Twump”.

    Concerning disillusionment: I was devastated on November 9th. No one could speak to me for days. What helped me most was officially declaring myself part of the Resistance. I can’t do much from so far away, but I take every chance I can to lend my voice and add my ideas/views to the chorus. It really helps my state of mind.

    This post helps my state of mind – and from what I can see – dozens of others. It makes a difference. Don’t withdraw. Resist!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a wonderful comment and I appreciate the compliment. I totally agree we cannot just lie down and accept non-truths, racism, xenophobic behaviour and the list goes on. We at least need to show the truth. Stand up we shall.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been looking for a way to express the way I feel. Well, today I found it. It is in full form in your writing on Disillusioned – ‘Terrorism and Mental Health’. I am so grateful to you for sharing in your amazing way with words to help us all understand our own feelings on this subject. I’m going to share your message on my websites, twitter, and facebook pages.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your words are very flattering. I think in these times it can be really difficult to even know what we think ourselves. I certainly struggle to put it into words. I do think it is important that no one is scared to voice their opinion, and I guess that is my 2 cents anyway. Very gracious for your words and shares, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m adding your site address to my sidebar. I think it will be great for people to connect with you. I’m also creating a new site called ‘Living on the Borderline in Bipolarville’. I think it will help those of us who have mental illness have a place to share in an accepting environment.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That is a very kind gesture, I appreciate the enthusiasm for my writing! I think your new site sounds wonderful as well, anything we can do to raise awareness is a good thing in my eyes. Keep up the good work and thank you once again.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Excellent post Mindfump, I was thinking yesterday as I was reading the news about how the sensationalised nature of the media (certain news agencies are more at fault at this than others!) – stoke up a shocking amount of fear amongst the public, through the 24/7 news reels, the emotive language used and so on…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I am not the only who noticed this. I had to turn it off, as it was just too sensationalist, almost indulgent in the drama. Respect, taste and decency are rarities in the modern media world it seems. And thank you for your kind words 🙂

      Like

  11. I find myself in agreement with everything you’ve said. I tried my best to be skeptical, but anyway I looked at it you seemed to me spot on.

    Frankly, I’ve paid comparatively scant attention to the political news since the election. There are a couple stories I’m half-following, but that’s about it. And my reason is about the same as yours: For the sake of my mental health and well-being.

    So far as I’m concerned, I have a clear enough idea of the overall picture that I don’t really need to tune into the day to day details, unless something really changes. Who knows? Maybe Trump will suddenly cease to become a malicious buffoon, maybe the US will suddenly adopt policies that create far fewer enemies, perhaps ducks will start burrowing like moles, too. But until something happens to create genuine change, I know which way I’m voting come the next election, and I know who I’m making my modest monthly donations too, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can only deal with the the daily political landscape with a concerted effort. On down days I avoid it as much as possible. But equally I feel like if all the sensible people avoided it then nothing would change. Here’s hoping some sensible people are watching and grow up to be in positions where they can do something about it. I suspect though that the mental damage done to society is huge, change can’t come soon enough.

      Like

      1. Agreed. It can’t come soon enough. I’ve got three young nephews growing up now that I’m worried will think today’s standards for such things as truth and decency are natural, that they’ll lose any sense things can — and ought to be — much different and better.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I am the same, I teach english over here in Austria and I always ask the teenagers what they think as I am the same, I am terrified they think this is all ok behaviour by anyone. That this is normal. I’m optimistic though. We once lived in a land where the king ruled and could kill anyone they wanted and somehow the people got power. We can overcome this as well.

          Like

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