Mental Health/Mental Illness in 2024

Mental Health/Mental Illness in 2024

So it's 2024 and it's an election year, which means the campaign and arguments are going to be predictable. 

Democrats will argue that the Republicans are a bunch of lunatics who are destroying American Democracy by electing a psychopath in Donald Trump. 

Republicans will argue something along the lines that Democrats want to turn kids into something other than a man or a woman, and Q has the answers... or something. 

Look, the whole Q situation is really just a bunch of people who got mentally ill on the internet and never watched Star Trek Next Generation.  

But how did we get to this point?

One theory I have is that people forgot about mental illness.  Not viewing reality correctly or having very odd beliefs about something that is not that much grounded in facts or observable things is usually considered a mental illness of some kind. 

The problem is that people began trying to de-stigmatize mental illness, by just calling it "mental health." Because health is a happier word than illness and I guess "words matter."

To be honest what I've learned as a writer is that words are just words, if you write enough of them eventually they tend to lose its meaning and power of you, it just becomes a situation where there are always more words to write and use in the future so having any kind of feelings in the present about them is somewhat arbitrary. If someone finds words are causing them discomfort, the solution is usually different words that make them feel better.  But the problem is not necessarily words it's the discomfort to begin with.  And usually the alternative words that make one person feel better are also words that make other people feel discomfort.  And who is to say whose feelings about words are more important? 

For me it's just healthier to disconnect my feelings from words, and practice writing them.  The more I write the healthier I feel, this is probably why we learn to read and write at an early age.  

The lines between Mental Health and Mental Illness have always been blurry, or exist in a gray area with a very thin line that is sometimes visible.  What is mental health for someone is probably mentally ill for someone else. Something that is joyful, and happy to one person might be someone else's version of hell. 

Here is an example I am pulling from my real life, (its something writers do).

I was standing in line for the San Francisco Ferry in Vallejo back in October to see the Blue Angels at fleet week.  While I was in line there were two older couples behind me talking to each other.  I was alone so I could listen to what they were saying and joking about.  

One guy commented about his friend who was a guy complaining to him about his wife. Apparently this guys friend was irritated that his wife was telling him how to do everything. 

The two guys laughed along with their wives at the complaint from their friend, one guy said he told his friend "It just never stops, its called marriage, you know this you were married before, a happy marriage is one in which the wife just tells you what to do and you say nothing." 

Having been raised by a single father and have not been in a relationship for the last decade.  The mere thought of living with a woman who constantly tells me how to do stuff is more like my version of an inner circle of hell than it is a happy life.  But I've also met enough women to understand that telling their husband how to live might be just part of their DNA and unavoidable.  

But I think the happiest marriages are the ones in which the wife realizes that her husband playing golf and being away from her for a little while each week is probably a good thing for the marriage.

But these people's conversation I overheard also plays on some stereotypes.  One being that women have better mental health than men so it's okay for women to just tell men how to do things. 

But what I think is the real issue in this relationship conundrum, is that women secretly suck at communication even though society and stereotypes tell people that women are better communicators of emotions.  I've met plenty of women before who just feel their emotions, don't put much thought into the psychology as to why they are feeling certain way.  So they just say a bunch of words with girlfriends or friends in gossip, then forget about it in a month or so and feel better or have some other kind of feeling of discomfort that requires more words to be said in gossip.  Eventually, if women gossip enough amongst each other and say enough words about their feelings they eventually return to normal and feel better. 

But women understand that life is about the things we do, and they see their husbands not doing much, so it just becomes easier for the words to be directed to their husbands about doing things and if this goes unchecked it could be like an every second of every day type of relationship mental illness. 

This is almost a religious problem. 

Back in Ancient Roman times, everything that possibly could happen during a day was a superstitious religious thing.  The Ancient Romans adopted the Gods and Goddesses of the lands they conquered, they had some main Gods and Goddesses but there were many other gods and goddesses for pretty much every possible scenario someone could experience in life.  

They had a god for a keyholes, doors, baths, literally thousands of gods for every possible event.  So if anything bad happened it was because people were not worshiping the gods enough.  For example, if your key did not work in the door, it was because people stopped worshiping the gods responsible for keys and doors. 

But in a modern relationship if a key doesn't work in a door, the wife might say "what haven't you called the locksmith yet to fix this? I asked you do that weeks ago." 

The thing about religion is that it disconnects our responsibility in some ways for bad things that happen in our lives and gives it towards a mystical god of some kind.  For example in Ancient Rome it was not us mortal humble humans fault for bad things that happen, it was because the gods were unhappy with us that were making bad things happen. 

In some ways that's a better for our mental health, then taking "full responsibility for everything in our lives at all times."  

Nobody needs to be that mindful, that anxious, or that responsible, that sounds like stressful existence.  It's easier to take a page out of Ancient Rome and blame the gods. 

It also kind of doesn't matter if it is thousands of gods or just one, if something fantastic happens in our lives give some credit to the higher ups on Mt. Olympus or the Heavens, it is a good reminder for us to stay hungry and humble and tamp that ego down a little. 

If something bad happens in our lives, it's okay to just view it as something bad that happens and not give it some big psychological reason.  As my Dad says sometimes "Everything may happen for a reason, but not everything that happens needs a reason." 

 As I have mentioned earlier one important part of Mental Health that often times goes overlooked is correctly labeling and identifying symptoms of a mental illness.  Sometimes this is easy, other times it is more difficult because they can be hidden.  

When it comes to society being mentally ill, I usually find that words are involved somehow.  What was once an abnormal, irregular thing that was considered mentally ill, suddenly becomes normalized and no longer mentally ill.  This sort of situation more or less glosses over real problems but makes things appear and look better.  It's sort of the equivalent of putting a fresh coat of paint on a car that has an engine that sort of works but no transmission to make it go anywhere.  The car has some components that work, some systems that function, but one major one that makes the car a failure, but it looks nice.  

Politics is kind of like that sometimes, people trying to sell a beat up old car with a new paint job.  It's like the Toyota MK2 Spyder from the early 2000's.  It's a two seater convertible, with a small engine and no trunk space, with a top speed of maybe 100 mph if you're going down a steep hill and can catch the wind right.  But none of that matters, it looks fast and is a fun car to drive and if you're in a sales office with a good salesman you might find yourself stuck with it.

As a test of sanity of the CA Legislature over the last 15 years I went to this link, BILL ADVANCED TEXT SEARCH

That link allows you to enter words and phrased into a search bar, and it will search the texts of bills to show you how often they appear in any session of the state legislature.  You don't have to read the full texts of the legislation, just the numbers should suffice. 

So as test of gender dysphoria of the CA Legislature I looked up how many times at least one of these two phrases has appeared in legislation. 

Gender Expression 


Gender Identity

I decided to keep things simple. Here are the results. 



Session Number of Times Phrase Appears
1999-2000 0
2001-2002 2
2003-2004 11
2005-2006 15
2007-2008 17
2009-2010 25
2011-2012 46
2013-2014 57
2015-2016 76
2017-2018 108
2019-2020 114
2021-2022 166
2023-2024 77


For the record, the one of those phrases in appears in 185 different sections of law when you search the entire CA code. 

My stance on this has always been that Americans have the freedom of speech and the human right of free expression.  It's every American's inalienable right to these things.  For example, it's always been a right of Americans to talk about how they feel about themselves and if people wanted to do some artistic expression and cross dress they are free to do that if they want.  

The logic here being that people use words and speech to express how they feel about themselves and how they "identify" Which I believe is to be a solid logical thought.

So I did another test to see how many times the phrases.

Free Expression


Free Speech 

are used in the CA Legislature in the bills they introduce. 


Session Number of Times Phrase Appears
1999-2000 5
2001-2002 19
2003-2004 10
2005-2006 16
2007-2008 11
2009-2010 9
2011-2012 10
2013-2014 5
2015-2016 2
2017-2018 20
2019-2020 14
2021-2022 6
2023-2024 4


For the record the phrases "Free Speech" or "Free Expression" appear in 17 different sections of the California Code. 


The CA Legislature played right into the hands of the Republicans once Trump got elected and now are trying to calm down for the election in 2024. 

They went all in on this gender stuff that people now are having a teenage revolt against.  Usually when an authority of some kind like government or parents begin trying something new and barking orders on how to behave at someone, there is an inevitable revolt of some kind that goes on in people. 

In the grand scheme of history this is going to be seen as a temporary moment of oddness that eventually gets fixed because well science textbooks still exist. 

It's not like the science facts I learned about basic human anatomy that were normal and widely accepted back when I was in high school and college from 2000-2009 are no longer facts or that expressing those facts I learned from those teachers I had is me wanting or causing people to harm themselves. 

And it's not anyone's fault the CA State Legislature has been on a 5-6 year long mental illness on this issue.  College is about 5-6 years of mental illness, eventually people realize some of the stuff they learned in college wasn't important in the real world and move on. 

Hopefully the CA State Legislature will improve, and the early signs are that they have recognized they maybe went a little too far and are calming down a little. 

But still to have Gender Expression and Gender Identity exist 10 times more often in the California codes of law more than the phrases Free Speech and Free Expression....

Is a little odd and unequal.

At least try to make those scores more equitable. 

A little More....

Quick takes from the blog post below.

1. The phrases "Gender Identity" or "Gender Expression" appear in 185 different sections of the CA Code.

2. In 2001-2002 the either one of those phrases appeared in 2 bills that were introduced that session. 20 years later in 2021-2022 either one of those phrases appeared in 166 different bills.

3. The phrases "Free Expression" or "Free Speech" appear in 17 different sections of the CA Code.

4. The word "coitus" which is a scientific word for a man and woman having sex. Appears in the CA Code 0 times, and has appeared in legislation 0 times over the last 25 years.

As a word it shares the same etymological root as Congress, co which means "come together". The other root of that word itus means "go". The scientific and medical use of the word dates back almost two centuries to the mid 1800's.

Here is kind of the problem. Usually, when people have trouble understanding what a word or phrase means, we are taught correctly to look up the word in a book or dictionary of some kind.

For example, coitus is a word people may not know what it means, but you can look it up.

After several years of "Gender Expression" and "Gender Identity" being in common use and existing in law....

I still don't know what those phrases mean. Or what they are. Or how they are defined.

People have an individual sexuality and individual psychologies unique to them based on genetics, nature, nurture, how they view the world, who they are in contact with, what they read, and so on and people have the right to buy whatever they want in a free market, and express themselves how they want in a free society, so long as no crime is being committed.

Gender as a word began being used for the male or female sex in the 1500's in English. It shares a root with words like genetic, gene, genus. It comes from a French word that described masculine and feminine qualities. In the 20th century the word sex began to take on erotic qualities and the word Gender became the word used more often in polite company and was considered better manners.

What I think closely describes what these 185 different sections of law is "Gender Bender" which is of course best associated with David Bowie who passed away in 2016.

For the record the phrase "Ziggy Stardust" appears 0 times in the CA Legislation. David Bowie was also not gay or bisexual, he played the part of Ziggy and androgyny because it sold tickets and records and made him money. And as an artist sometimes artists do mentally ill things just for the hell of it.

He described himself as a closet heterosexual, even though he was married and a father. He publicly and professionally acted a certain way.

Which I think is more the issue with the CA Legislature then they would care to admit. Professionally it is probably good for them to be as Ziggy Stardust like as they can.

Even though privately the CA Legislature is probably more of a closet heterosexual.

My conclusion is CA has kind of created a David Bowie gender with this non binary/gender identity/gender expression kick they have been on in recent years. And they still don't quite know what they are doing.

I mean in 2021-2022, there was 5,129 bills introduced, and 166 using those phrases, which is 3.2% of all legislation introduced.

A study in 2022 estimates that 1.6% of the population is transgender. And this population is growing among young people.

Which means that 98 to 99% is not.

My point being is that these percentages are all out of wack and CA Legislature at least should know this stuff.

Be like David Bowie, and come out of the heterosexual closet, just for the hell of it introduce one piece of legislation with the word Coitus.

Its as if this kind of legislation is making people a certain way, as opposed to just letting the invisible hand of the free market sell sex as it always has and allow people to figure things out on their own.

I'm not a fan of this rise in phrases and law.

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