From the Editor

The scourge of societal anosognosia about the mentally ill

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The rising suicide rate reflects poorly on us
Societal anosognosia is a global scourge, affecting many underdeveloped countries. Why do developed nations, like ours, have the same blind spot for mental illness? Might ignorance and discrimination be universal?

The tragic rise in the rate of death by suicide in men and women, among all age groups, year after year, is stunningly incongruent when juxtaposed against the elimination of smallpox and other communicable diseases through a concerted societal effort to support scientific advances in vaccine development. Societal anosognosia appears to be selective: We have comprehensive insight about diseases of the body but not diseases of the mind.

The essence and soul of a society are the collective minds of its citizens, not their bodies. Societal anosognosia is a serious dysfunction of its mind, and a rising suicide rate is a symptom of that pathological dysfunction.

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