Saturday, 26 May 2012

Sanity Disruption

The combined effects of somaterratic disease (bodily illness from environmental causes) and psychoterratic disturbance (mental states generated by our relationship to the environment) delivers sanity disruption.

A sanity disruption epidemic is occurring because we can now more clearly see the links between endocrine (hormone) disrupters such as fungicides, other ‘cides’, plastics (phthalates) and other forms of environmental pollutants (heavy metals such as lead) that are entering our bodies via the air and food chains – and mental health. Epidemics of autism, bipolar syndromes, depression, anxiety and suicide speak loudly here, especially in young people.

In addition to being smothered by environmental mind pollutants we are changing our home environments at such a pace and scale that the positive psychoterratic states (biophilia, ecophilia, topophilia, endemophilia, eutierria) are being overwhelmed by the negative ones (biophobia, ecophobia, solastalgia, ecoanxiety). Both urban and non-urban home environments are being rendered toxic by global forces (urban sprawl, slums, large-scale development) that are deeply implicated in social dysfunction.
The combination of negative somaterratic and psychoterratic conditions creates sanity disruption. World-wide, we are experiencing mental health epidemics on an unprecedented scale. The WHO, have stated:

An estimated 450 million people worldwide have a mental disorder. At any given time, approximately 10% of adults are experiencing a current mental disorder, and 25% will develop one at some point during their lifetimes. Mental disorders are found in all countries, in women and men, at all stages of life, among the rich and poor, and in both rural and urban settings.

Mental disorders account for 13% of the global burden of disease, and this figure will rise to nearly 15% by 2030. Depression alone is likely to be the second highest contributor to the global burden of disease by that date.

Mental disorders also are associated with more than 90% of the one million suicides that occur annually. In reality the number is likely to be far greater, due to common underreporting of this cause of death.

As we enter the third generation of humans exposed to now ubiquitous toxic substances (the world was by default ‘organic’ until about 1950), we are witnessing the tragic results of this ethically blind experiment on ourselves. Our genetic makeup is now being altered in multi-generational ways as genetic damage is passed on as a deadly Chinese whisper. Add to that the psychoterratic pressures we are placing on ourselves and I think we can see at least one of the major factors behind the epidemic of mental health collapse we are seeing worldwide.