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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kathy Shaidle: Everything people are saying about Robin Williams is right — and wrong — at the same time

Inevitably, Robin Williams’ suicide saw the “raising awareness about mental health issues” camp fighting it out online with the “he was a selfish git” crowd.
When the latter reject the “disease model” of addiction and mental illness— people like Theodore Dalrymple — they do so prompted by a laudable instinct: they think depressed people or addicts use the “disease” model to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.
This is a bit like the New Atheists’ concept of “God,” as “an old man in the ky.” They proudly and loudly reject that concept, seemingly unaware (despite their alleged sophistication and superior education) that so do most actual believers.
Likewise, few actual addicts who accept the disease model (and not all do) use it as a “get out of jail free” card.


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