If you’re an atheist or an agnostic living in the United States, perhaps you frequently look around you and think, “There sure seems to be a lot of crazy theists in this country!” And your impression appears to be correct (if a new survey is to be believed) because it turns out that 1 in every 5 American theists really is crazy. But the survey wasn’t just of theists, but of all Americans, so that probably means that 1 out of every 5 atheists is crazy as well. And crazy isn’t really the right word. It’s more like mentally ill, which is serious, and herein my cheap joking ends. This today in U.S. News and World Report:
A new survey finds that 20 percent of U.S. adults — over 45 million people — experienced mental illness in the past year.
Overall, 4.8 percent (11 million people) suffered serious mental illness, 8.4 million people had serious thoughts of suicide, 2.2 million made suicide plans, and one million attempted suicide, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
It’s just what psychiatrists and Big Pharma wants you to believe. Being a woman is having an anxiety disorder and being a man is having a personality disorder. Personally I side with Thomas Szasz in that the whole idea of mental illness without organic failure is dubious.