Drought and mental illness: a question of definition
The technical definition of "drought" is of prolonged, abnormally dry weather. Yet somehow, whenever I check in on the Australian rural world, most of Australia is "in" drought, or "just coming out of" drought, or "facing" a drought. There's a simple failure here to face the reality of the continent's climate. It is dry, normally dry, and Australian agriculture is often trying to do things that the climatic conditions cannot support.
I thought of this when I read a piece in the Guardian suggesting that one in ten pre-school children might be suffering from mental illness. Now I assume that most people would agree that mental illness is by definition an abnormality. But if one in 10 in a population is suffering from something, isn't that just a variation of normal, and something that should be catered to and allowed for, rather than "treated"?