Definition of insanity and mental illness

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What is insanity?
What is mental illness?
What causes insanity?
What causes mental illness?


  1. Insanity and mental illness are behaviours not biological diseases.
  2. Choice, emotion, mood and memory have their origin in the human spirit, not the physical body or the brain.
  3. Disease and body chemicals do not cause choice, emotion, mood. While disease can affect behavour, disease never forces choice, emotion or mood.
  4. All behaviours associated with mental illness are sinful. Each of the individual behaviours associated with insanity and any mental illness are sinful since they violate specific passages of scripture.

A. Mental illness is a behaviour not a disease:

1.      "Madness and its synonyms are fuzzy terms. It is clear, however, that mad persons are unwanted persons and that we use the term broadly to refer to abnormal, unwanted behavior." As a rule, a person behaves "madly" for reasons of his own, that is, because of the particular adaptation he has made to the events that comprise his life." (Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 24)

2.      Even chemical psychiatrists understand that insanity is nothing more than a collection of behaviours: "Since the primary concern of this article is mental illness, it is critical that we agree at the outset that such illness does exist. Although this proposition may seem self-evident, it remains a source of confusion or debate (Szasz, Myth of Mental illness, 1961). There is, for example, a reluctance to call someone mentally ill, inasmuch as the border between illness and normality is not well defined. There is also disagreement about whether "normal" means average or ideal. What is clear, however, is that there are patterns of behavior that are very uncomfortable for a person and for those with whom he or she interacts. And some patterns are so maladaptive that illness is obviously a proper designation." (The Biological Approach to Psychiatry, Samuel H. Barondes, The Journal of Neuroscience, June 1990)

3.      "Suffice it to say that people exhibiting odd and offensive behaviors have, of course, always existed. But the idea that such behaviors are the symptoms of medical, that is, "mental," illnesses is a modern idea, inseparably connected with the practice of incarcerating or otherwise coercing the persons exhibiting them." (Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 17)

4.      "The existence of madness or mental illness as abnormal behavior is intrinsic to society, to people living together governing themselves and one another by sets of rules called custom, religion, and law. It is inherent in the concept of abnormal behavior that it is conduct that displeases others and causes them to suffer. As a rule, the person said to be having a mental illness does not suffer and does not seek psychiatric help. He makes others suffer, and it is they who seek psychiatric help for their suffering by removing its source, that is, by imprisoning the disturbing person. In 1800, the mad-doctor "treated" persons who did not want to be his patients, for behaviors that embarrassed and upset their relatives or society. Typically, today's psychiatrist does the same." (Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 23)

5.      "the typical chronic mental patient is unemployed and unemployable, homeless, economically dependent on his family or society, and inclined to violate marginal or not-so marginal social rules." (Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 36)

6.      "the public loses sight of the fact that bad habits are not diseases; that the diagnosis of (mis)behaviors does not make them diseases; and that psychiatrists have nothing to do with treating diseases, but everything to do with regulating behavior."" (Coercion as Cure, Thomas Szasz, 2007 AD, p 101)

B. Sins others suffer at the hands of the insane:

  1. Mental illness is a metaphor for sinful behaviour. Mental illness is not a medical condition, but a moral behaviour choice.
  2. The mentally ill are unwilling to work, although medical tests say they have no physical diseases or problems.
  3. The mentally ill create dependency on others for no medical reason.
  4. The mentally ill cause interference with the quiet peace of others
  5. The mentally ill cost others large amounts of time and energy to others
  6. The mentally ill cost others large amounts of money through destructive living, court costs, publically funded lawyers, welfare, disability, begging, physical damage of property, professional fees, debts that have gone into collection, not paying their rent to landlords then use every legal means to live rent free for 5 months, accept unnecessary compassionate gifts of money to avoid starvation and freezing to death in the cold on the street.
  7. The mentally ill are lazy and cause extra work for others
  8. The mentally ill disrupt the peace of organized communities, parks, city centers and public gathering places.
  9. The mentally ill are troublesome and cause trouble to others
  10. The mentally ill are non-productive takers who contribute nothing to society  
  11. The mentally ill embarrass and humiliate others
  12. The mentally ill display thoughts and feelings that others disapprove of and dislike
  13. The mentally ill are bothersome to others
  14. The mentally ill physically assault, hurt and injure others with no consequences or personal liability
  15. The mentally ill are offensive to others
  16. The mentally ill are annoying to others
  17. The mentally ill are controlling and demanding to others
  18. The mentally ill are unpleasant to others
  19. The mentally ill behave in ways that others find socially unacceptable.
  20. The mentally ill cause others to walk on egg shells.
  21. The mentally ill are moody and make people unpleasant.
  22. The mentally ill physically are threatening and violent to others.
  23. The mentally ill cause a net negative downward effect in every area of the society they live in: money, time, social and moral values.
  24. The mentally ill are easy to baptized, but usually fall away after a short time. The mentally ill expect to be picked up for church, taken out for lunch, given cash and dropped off home. However, if you tell them to walk or take a bus, they never show up, unless they need food or cash. When you make it clear that you are not going to give them money or food, they never show up again.

C. How others react:

  1. Other call the psychiatrist for relief of their suffering: The psychiatric industry traces its origin historically when relatives of the insane sought relief from the trouble they suffered from the behaviours of their insane kin. Today the mentally ill do not seek out psychiatrists, but others for whom they cause trouble usually make first contact. (The only time the insane seek out a psychiatrist is when they want to be labeled with a diagnosis in order to escape work and get a monthly psychiatric disability cheque for life... or some other self serving benefit.)
  2. Others avoid their company and limit personal contact: unwanted
  3. Others find a way to "dispose" of the insane (unwanted) family member by banishment, throwing out on the street or limiting personal contact.

D. Self destructive and sinful behaviours:

  1. The mentally ill destroy their reputations
  2. The mentally ill destroy their credit rating
  3. The mentally ill destroy their careers
  4. The mentally ill destroy their marriages
  5. The mentally ill destroy their relationships with their children
  6. The mentally ill destroy their own personal property
  7. The mentally ill liquidate their own personal property for almost nothing
  8. The mentally ill live anxious sedentary lives which makes them physically sick
  9. The mentally ill are overweight and a lack of physical fitness
  10. The mentally ill are addicted to cigarettes, alcohol and drugs

E. Sins of the heart:

  1. The mentally ill cause harm, work or annoyance to others, but it doesn't bother their conscience.
  2. The mentally ill are narcissistic, selfishness, self-absorbed, self centered
  3. The mentally ill are jealous, angry and vengeful at others who "have it better"
  4. The mentally ill are rebellious, anarchist, anti-establishment, rejects the core values of society
  5. The mentally ill are lazy and undisciplined.
  6. The mentally ill are chronic liars and deceivers.
  7. The mentally ill are angry and have outbursts of uncontrollable anger and rage.
  8. The mentally ill do not keep dates or appointments, unless it is something they want to do.
  9. The mentally ill fail to do their adult duty: Most people who are diagnosed as schizophrenic between 15 - 25 years of age, are unwilling to assume the normal duties, responsibilities and commitments associated with adulthood. Schizophrenia is the solution to avoiding adult responsibility when the time to cease being dependant has passed.
  10. The mentally ill lack of self control
  11. The mentally ill lack of self discipline
  12. The mentally ill are exhibitionist, enjoy attention and like others to notice them.
  13. The mentally ill suffer from high self-esteem, viewing themselves as much better than everyone else.
  14. The mentally ill have an attitude of entitlement.
  15. The mentally ill are anxious. For Christians, anxiety is a sin which violates a direct commandment of Jesus and is caused by lack of faith. For non-Christians, anxiety is predictable when they reject God and his love, care, providence, protection and peace.

F. behaviours on the edges of the bell-curve:

  1. The mentally ill engage in unconventional behavior
  2. The mentally ill are excessively happy or sad when it is not socially appropriate or for no apparent reason. (there is always a reason)
  3. The mentally ill do odd or strange behaviour.
  4. The mentally ill engage in appropriate behaviours at inappropriate times.

G. Anxiety and Depression are sins:

  1. The mentally ill are depressed. For Christians, depression is a sin which violates a direct commandment of Jesus and is caused by high self-esteem. For non-Christians, depression is predictable when they reject God as creator but instead believe they evolved from random change processes with no meaning, purpose, design for their existence. Rejecting God is a rejection of the hope of a future heaven where riches, honor, perfect health, justice and reward, will right the wrongs and hardships suffered while on earth.
  2. The mentally ill deceptively claim to be sick and seek medical diagnosis as a solution to resolve personal problems and achieve personal goals. They seek to convince as many non-medical people (bank tellers, grocery clerks, neighbors, friends and family) as possible they are sick or not feeling well to develop a reputation of someone who is needs to be helped by others. These can be enlisted at a later time as a witness to their illness.


  1. Historically, psychiatric coercion came into being in 1650 AD as a form of social control and a parallel prison system.
  2. Jails are full of people who break criminal laws, but asylums are full of people who break social laws that annoy and bother other people. Criminals bother, annoy and harm others in ways that break laws. The mentally ill bother, annoy and harm others in ways that break social laws.
  3. Mentally ill people habitually behave in sinful ways.
  4. Insanity is a behaviour of choice, not a disease.


 By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.

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