A cure for mental illness:

Go live outside.

Okay, I am starting to be slightly convinced that living in organized structures with strict routines is driving us insane. More interestingly, I read something in the New York Times a little while back citing a study showing that mental illnesses are starting to Americanize--e.g. anorexia in Hong Kong is starting to look like anorexia in America....

The study suggested that this could be attributed to the way that it's primarily Americans who are doing the research on that end and characterizing disorders (DSM-IV TR what). Here's another thought, though--what if it's the Americanization of lifestyle that's doing this?

I don't just mean English-dominated Internet or media. I mean the drive to live in little nuclear units, sterilize all the time, use forks and sit on chairs...hell, that's gotta do some weird shit to the brain. And it makes sense that there would be no need to stop people from developing the circuitry that leads to the especially harmful mental disorders if the brain itself evolved in an environment free of these stressors. I do wish the Sumerians had kept records of any incidence of mental illnesses (okay, fine, maybe they did and the tablets just didn't make it, stupid Time and march of progress, etc.).

Shockingly enough, I am not completely pulling this out of my ass. The deer mouse model for obsessive compulsive disorder shows a spontaneous development of a repetitive jumping behavior once the mouse is taken from the wild and put into a standard cage (where, by the way, the genetically engineered models don't normally do anything half as wild). Crazy!

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