Paranoid Public

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by Ben Huot

You are now in the 5th Generation Subsection of the Writing Section

October 11, 2022

Whether it is terrorism or a pandemic
People cannot accept death
And they cannot accept anyone hurt
Who looks, thinks, or acts like them

Death is a normal part of our lives
As inevitable as having to follow rules
I understand how people can be afraid of death
I am afraid of a number of things as well

Most of the things that I am afraid of though
No one is going to fight a war over
Or shut the entire world down over
Most people would say what I fear is irrational

But there are at least as many good reasons for what I fear
As what others have for what they fear
Many people might think I am irrational and so fear me

Fear motivates some people
To do evil, some to do good
And others to do nothing but run away

Just like creativity
Fear with boundaries
Is much more useful

If you can control your fear
You can use it to work for you

If you are unwilling to do certain things
No matter how afraid you are
Then people can trust you more
Even when knowing you are afraid

Fear works on the very simplest level of your brain
It is often referred to as the fight or flight response

Having Schizophrenia feels like
You have always have adrenaline
Running through you
And the medicine feels like it is
Slowing you down and suppressing you

But the usual response to fear
From a person with Schizophrenia
Is to run away from the situation
Not fight over it

With training or drugs the person
May respond differently
But that generally makes a person
Less afraid and more in control

Some people think evil is a kind of mental illness
Or that people are evil because of genetics

These are overly simple answers
That do not provide meaningful insights
Into how to solve these kinds of problems

Christianity teaches us that all have within us
The potential to be truly evil
All of us do evil things sometimes

Some people have the self control to
Avoid things that society thinks are violent
Or what we have chosen to make illegal

Some of this is learned and some is genetic
There is also the big factor of free choice
Human freedom to love also allows freedom to hate

Hate and fear are not necessarily related
I don’t feel hate for anyone
But I do feel fear all the time

I think one of the reasons why Christianity can be helpful
Especially to those who suffer with Schizophrenia
Is that God can be trusted as He never lies

The Bible also talks about
The hardest topics we deal with
Without offering simple or easy answers

There is so little trust today
Because there are so many lies
Because society is trapped
In a re-occurring cycle of distrust

Christ loved us first
So that we can choose to love Him
He has saved us
So we can choose to follow His desires
Not our own

The government does not trust us
So we do not trust the government
Businesses do not trust customers
So customers do not trust businesses

This is a virtuous cycle or a cycle of violence
Both sides can have re-enforcing effects
So that both feed off each other
Especially when you involve a lot of people

Terrorism as is like all warfare a cycle of violence

Gandhi’s approach was to not respond in kind
So although you cannot get the satisfaction of revenge
The violence then stops with you
And more don’t then get hurt later in the cycle

This is also known as forgiveness or pacifism

The cycles of symptoms with Schizophrenia
Are all driven by stress
Much as most illnesses are
For acute symptoms

One of the big stressors in a society
Is people working and living in close proximity
Crime and violence thrive
Where people do not have time or room to think

Our society has become less and less willing
To engage in self reflection
We want to distract ourselves and not be alone

On a personal level with Schizophrenia
Different things are real to the paranoid by biology
But there is also a greater sensitivity to pain
For a person with Schizophrenia

This is because pain hurts more when you are afraid
Essentially pain is not purely physical
Like Schizophrenia is not just mental

With Schizophrenia life in civilization
Like today in the human world
Is a disease that makes interaction difficult

Because everything feels more intense
Not mentally but physically
And so the reactions can be more extreme

The first thing I think
When I do become stressed
Is to leave not get angry

Paranoia takes the healthy concern
People have for how others think of us
And amplifies it to painful levels

So in general people with Schizophrenia
Are more likely victims of crimes
Than committing them

So what should a person be afraid of?
Is it just what everyone else is afraid of?

And what if the mentally ill responded in kind
The same as society does
When it feels threatened?
The public is paranoid too

Maybe the public is afraid of the mentally ill
Because of what they would do if afraid
Maybe they need to exercise more self control

Also what the majority wants is more tolerated
Than what the minority wants

This is why our country formed the laws it first had
To protect the minority from the majority
And limit the power of law enforcement
To prevent the abuses of fascism