schizophrenia and immigration

something else from The Diversity Illusion:

“Diversity can make people unhappy; it may even drive them mad. In London studies have shown higher incidence of schizophrenia, suicide and self-harm among ethnic minorities living in neighbourhoods with fewer people of the same group, than in areas where they are dominant, even when they are more affluent.83 Under the Marxist consensus this was always explained as a product of discrimination and prejudice, which could be solved through anti-racism measures. The mental health profession is even accused of racism because it disproportionately sections members of some groups. When in 2007 psychologist Swaran Singh co-published a systematic review pooling data from all British studies of detention of ethnic minorities under the Mental Health Act, and found no evidence that higher rates of detention were due to racism, he was denounced in public. And yet, he wrote, ‘careful studies in different countries have shown that rates of serious mental illnesses are high in all migrant ethnic minorities, indicating that this is a function of migration rather than ethnicity. Researchers have used culturally neutral assessment scales devised by the WHO, rated the assessments blind to ethnic origin of the patients, and even had psychiatrists from the Caribbean recheck the diagnoses. The findings stand’.84

“Mental illness is a part of the immigrant’s experience, a process that can be sad, stressful and isolating, sometimes even more so for the second generation. In 1932 Ornulf Odegaard, a Norwegian psychiatrist, reported high rates of schizophrenia among his countrymen in Minnesota, and it seems unlikely that this can be explained by the racism of American natives towards blue-eyed Nordic immigrants. And higher rates of psychosis in migrants have since been reported in several countries. A 2011 University of California report found that levels of mental illness were far higher among Mexicans in the US than Mexicans back home. As Dr Singh said: ‘Childhood exposure to economic adversity, family breakdown, social exclusion and living in areas with poor social cohesion all increase the risk. Ethnic minorities have higher rates of psychosis as they are much more likely to suffer these adversities….’

“High mental illness rates are caused by the shock of dislocation and diversity, a shock that can be sustained with community support. As Dr Singh explained, in minority groups ‘values and beliefs, family structure and community norms…can bolster resilience and reduce the impact of adversity’.” [kindle locations 1809-1834]

i’ve read about this before. what i’d like to do, though, is flip the premise on its head, jayman-style:

what if it’s not migration — and winding up in a diverse setting — that results in schizophrenia (and other mental illnesses?), but rather what if schizophrenic people — or individuals predisposed to getting schizophrenia — are more likely to emigrate?

assistant village idiot?

previously: “the diversity illusion”

(note: comments do not require an email. albatross!)

“the diversity illusion”

if you don’t follow me on twitter, you will have missed my flurry of quotes yesterday from telegraph journalist ed west‘s excellent new book, The Diversity Illusion: What We Got Wrong About Immigration & How to Set it Right. (john derbyshire likes it, too, btw!)

the book is about the situation in britain, but an awful lot of what west has to say can be applied to the u.s. and elsewhere as well. i’m about halfway through it, so i still haven’t gotten to the “setting it right” part yet, but i’m gonna share some of my favorite bits so far with you right now (some of these might be a repeat from yesterday — sorry!). ok, here we go:

“In over sixty years of enormous change such debate [about immigration] had been restricted by taboo, fear and mockery. Immigration is the most thought about and least talked about subject in British history. [kindle locations 173-175]

Never in modern history has a free population simply suppressed discussion of a major issue. As Kevin Myers noted, the people of Britain and Ireland ‘have taken a secret, Self-Denying Ordinance not to discuss immigration or race in any meaningful way’. In living memory barely a newspaper article, radio or television show has seriously questioned the diversity orthodoxy, and even in the intelligent Right-wing press scepticism has had to be couched in such a cryptic way that the paper’s horoscopes are more candid.” [kindle locations 202-205]

“Labour’s attempts at creating a truly multicultural society have unquestionably succeeded. But why did the Government do this? What drove them towards imposing such an enormous change on England, one that will have profound, long-lasting and irreversible effects? And why did the entire political class go along with it? What, indeed, are the benefits of diversity? …

“[E]veryone in a position of power held the same opinion. Diversity was a good in itself, so making Britain truly diverse would enrich it and bring ‘significant cultural contributions’, reflecting a widespread belief among the ruling classes that multiculturalism and cultural, racial and religious diversity were morally positive things whatever the consequences. This is the unthinking assumption held by almost the entire political, media and education establishment. It is the diversity illusion. [kindle locations 344-346 and 386-389]

A belief in the benefits of a multicultural, multi-racial society is an article of faith in today’s largely atheist society; to not believe is to not be in communion. [kindle locations 411-412]

Liberalism on race (and many other subjects) is a status signifier…. If ‘Pygmalion’ were performed on the stage today Eliza Doolittle would not blurt out ‘not bloody likely’ but ‘bloody immigrants’.” [kindle locations 731 & 737-738]

[R]acism, or what anti-racists understand as racism, is a universal part of human nature, ‘as human as love’ as novelist Thomas Keneally put it. Racial *hatred*, however, is different, a pathological variation of that human preference for sameness and kinship. One might regret that, just as one might regret that greed, lust and violence are part of human nature, but building a society based on the assumption that they can be driven out through re-education is an optimistic idea.” [kindle locations 1009-1012]

“Writing about Tibet, liberal blogger Dave Osler once stated that China ‘has resettled Han Chinese colonists there to the point where Tibetans are at risk of becoming a minority in their own homeland’. On his own country he declared that ‘further mass immigration obviously has the potential to rejuvenate the population of this island once the politicians can get their head round the idea’. Tibetans becoming a minority in their country are a threatened species; the English are being ‘rejuvenated. Of course the Tibetans have no choice in becoming a minority, yet when the British express their opposition to ‘rejuvenation’ they are condemned as racists.” [kindle locations 1145-1150]


“Globalism has many benefits, but mixed with universalism it can become an ideological dogma that ignores the human consequences. Phillippe Legrain asks: ‘Why can computers be imported from China duty-free but Chinese people not freely come to make computer here? Why is it a good thing for workers to move within a country to where the jobs are, but a bad thing for people to move between countries for the same reason?’ That is because human beings are not computers. Goods can be freely moved about only because they can be discarded when they are no longer useful; humans cannot. Immigration is long-term and has permanent effects for everyone involved. [kindle locations 1279-1284]

“The universalist ideal rests on the belief that human beings are willing to share such a collective system with the rest of humanity. But evolutionary psychology suggests that humans have developed kin selection, those tribes with the strongest sense of in-group altruism being the most likely to survive…. No universal altruism has evolved because a sense of universal altruism would have no evolutionary advantage. Garrett Hardin argued in a 1982 essay, ‘Discriminating Altruisms’, that a world without borders or distinctions is impossible, because groups that practise unlimited altruism will be eliminated in favour of those that limit altruistic behaviour to smaller groups, from whom they receive benefits.

“An extreme example of this is the white liberal environmentalist who decides, for the good of the planet, that he or she should remain childless – the result being that future generations will contain fewer white liberals (some might argue that that’s not a terrible thing).” [kindle locations 1660-1669]


The latest projections suggest that white Britons will become a minority sometime around 2066, in a population of 80 million, which means that within little over a century Britain will have gone from an almost entirely homogenous society to one where the native ethnic group is a minority. That is, historically, an astonishing transformation. No people in history have become a minority of the citizenry in their own country except through conquest, yet the English, always known for their reticence, may actually achieve this through embarrassment.” [kindle locations 142-146]

great stuff!

i’ll stop there because i can’t (or shouldn’t) reproduce the entire book here. (~_^) read it yourselves! i highly recommend it.

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