Obamacare, mental health, and what is normal anyway?

ObamaCare and mental health; could normal be the the balanced functioning of a government system that supports the balanced functioning of the people? Photo: Markusram

WASHINGTON June 29, 2012 - When you work in mental health the question of what is and isn’t normal always floats in the back caverns of the mind, waiting for another opportunity to ask itself. A more interesting question is, “Why do people put up with so many things that a sensible and even partly compassionate person knows is not normal?”

According to Miriam Webster normal means: 

1. in accordance with a rule or principle; not deviating from a regular pattern

2. occurring naturally and not due to an illness, vaccine, or experiment

3. of average development or intelligence, well-integrated and balanced functioning of an entire organism, and sane

4. a solution with one gram equivalent of solute per liter, with a straight-train structure,  no basic or acid hydrogen, and not associated (as in “normal molecules”).

To rephrase, normal is sustaining regular patterns according to certain principles. The principles and patterns occur naturally, building and sustaining balanced organisms; anything that messes with this is insane.

(The fourth Miriam definition of normal is not included since many of us don’t know the difference between basic or acid hydrogen, and think a straight-train is one on its track.)

This (straight) train of thought started when looking for the status of mental health in ObamaCare which led to some frustration that led to the thought, “This is insane.”

Sanity would be a new health care plan, or any legislation, written in straightforward, plain English.

This has nothing to do with morality or making research easier. It is about being normal, the balanced functioning of a government system that affects the balanced functioning of a bunch of organisms (us). 

There is so much rationalized insanity in the world, any aliens in our neck of the cosmic woods will do well to keep on moving. How would you explain to them we know this planet, our only place of residence, is a greenhouse of naturally occurring, well-integrated organisms that thrive according to certain principles, but, we’ve gotten in the habit of poisoning it and oh well, that’s life.

What if they ask us about children going hungry and getting blown up?

Everything we do in discordance with the principles that sustain us is insanity. Miriam W. says so, and Miriam knows something about almost everything. You can look it up.

What is funny, sort of, is that it may be insanity that finally saves us. The whole planet is getting very unwieldy, and not only because of toxic fumes. Still, you can look at the world’s craziness as the death of what does not work, making way for new growth (hopefully according to life’s principles). 

Life is not about right and wrong. Nor is it about perfection; who wants to live in Pleasantville? When its principles are adhered to, life thrives. When those patterns are disrupted, life withers. In that sense, we are all alike, two-legged, four-legged, multi-legged, winged, slithery, scaled, and rooted. 

For people to mentally and emotionally heal and mature, they have to be honest with themselves. Maybe that is the bee in the bonnet here. If we want to live insanely, let us be honest. Though we do not have power over death, we do know what sustains life yet live as if ignorant.

There is nothing complicated about the truth. 


The world is a little nuts but that doesn’t make depression or bipolar disorder normal. Learn about the symptoms and treatment of these illnesses at Healthline.com.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Jacqueline Marshall

Jacqueline Marshall is a writer for Help For Depression, and freelances primarily in the areas of psychology and personal development. She has a MA in Counseling Psychology and is a licensed therapist living near Chicago.

Jacqueline has experience helping those diagnosed with severe, persistent mental illness, and in providing general therapy services for individuals, couples, and families. Prior to counseling, she worked in graphic design and music education.

When not writing or counseling, Jacqueline enjoys reading literature and math-less books about quantum physics. She is a published poet, and has studied animal communication and energy healing.  


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