Conspiracies are interesting phenomena in the study of mental disorder. The theory of conspiracy originated from a model of the mind that believed mental illness occurred when there was a breakdown of the normal order of the universe. This model made conspiracy theories particularly attractive to some psychologists and psychiatrists.
In an inpatient mental health setting, these issues can be amplified even further. In this article, outline the major conspiracy theory in terms of the evolution and spread of conspiracy theories across time. Furthermore, consider this in light of current concerns about the social impact of these types of memes, particularly as a result of the spread of misinformation, fake news, and conspiracy theories on the Internet.
Consistent with the focus of this article, we note that a number of different types of conspiracy theories have emerged and spread across the United States. These include beliefs that there is widespread child sexual abuse in America; the belief that the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States were staged; the belief that fluoride causes brain damage; and that fluoride causes learning disabilities. The spread and evolution of conspiracy theories are not confined to the realm of mental health. The Internet is rife with conspiracy theory Memes, some of which have gained wide popularity. For example, a recent high ranking Google search result displays the results for a single phrase, “study monkeys,” and includes numerous conspiracy theory Memes about the study of monkeys.
There are a number of potential reasons why so many individuals and communities view conspiracy theory beliefs as having an impact on their mental health. A few reasons have to do with the increasing difficulty of dealing with conspiracy theories, coupled with the general rejection of certain conspiracy beliefs. Additionally, a lack of trust in the medical community and the scientific community is also a significant factor. It should be noted that the factors affecting the overall popularity of conspiracy theories are different from those impacting the public’s perception of general health. As a general rule, conspiracy theories which are generally deemed to be legitimate scientific viewpoints are more widely accepted by the general population.
One reason why conspiracy theory is important to the mental health of the general population is because it serves as an effective mechanism for dealing with difficult or disturbing situations. Consider, for example, the disturbing events that occur during times of war and conflict. When people become convinced that they or another group is “forcefully trying to manipulate or change the course of events” – i.e. that an occurrence or outcome is deliberately contrived – a fundamental breakdown in the ability to process information and communicate effectively arises.
It has been suggested that the emergence and relative popularity of conspiracy theorymemes are indicative of the erosion of societal norms regarding the acceptability of certain types of behavior. The willingness of individuals to embrace and publicly identify with a fringe perspective, regardless of its validity, may contribute to an increase in criminal activity, increase social stress, and/or promote the idea that legitimate authorities and established institutions are not trustworthy. It has also been postulated that a lack of trust in the medical community may contribute to the recent spike in diagnoses of individuals suffering from mental health issues, leading to an increase in spending for individuals in the clinical practice seeking to treat these patients.
The goal of this article is to expand on the discussion surrounding the use of conspiracy theories and the ways in which they can be used to facilitate secondary prevention. While we believe that it is likely that the increased prevalence of these types of Memes is related to the increased need to validate certain behaviors and emotions, it is also possible that there are a number of unique aspects to each of the types of conspiracy theories that contribute to their spread. For example, it has been argued that the seemingly random nature of false flag operations is conducive to their quick and convenient spread. Those who participate in such operations may believe that they are acting as a part of a larger system of events when actually nothing could be further from the truth.
Therefore, theories that espouse the use of “tricks” or false flags should be controlled in order to prevent the spread of misinformation. By educating ourselves on the history of conspiracy theories and the role of “tricks”, we can better understand the ways in which certain groups may utilize them to further their cause. Additionally, we can take steps to combat this type of misinformation by educating ourselves and others on the dangers that can be associated with it. By adopting strategies such as educating ourselves about the definition of “conspiratorial” and sharing this information with others, we can work towards creating a safer and more stable environment where false flags and Memes can no longer thrive. Through education, we can ensure that our culture no longer coarsens into fear and paranoia but embraces reason and fact.