Dating for the mentally ill

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A society that thinks of itself as meritocratic turns poverty from a problem to evidence of damnation and those who have failed from unfortunates to losers.The cure is a strong, culturally endorsed belief in two big ideas: luck, which says success doesn’t just depend on talent and effort; and tragedy, which says good, decent people can fail and deserve compassion, rather than contempt.“As a young man he was attractive, funny and gregarious.He was rugby captain of Pocklington School, and also an excellent footballer and cricketer.He was compliant with his treatment.” They said his schizophrenia was ‘very intractable’ and became increasingly tangled with alcohol problems.

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Religions used to perform the useful service of keeping our petty ways and status battles in perspective.The lorry driver, Phillip Cooper, fought back tears as he recounted how he tried in vain to prevent his 7.5 tonne truck, travelling at 30mph, from hitting Mr Berthoud. Mr Berthoud’s sister Mireille hugged Mr Cooper and said the family felt compassion for him.The inquest heard that Mr Berthoud had attended an appointment with a consultant psychiatrist only the day before the crash, at which the consultant had assessed him as being at low risk of harming himself.“His difficulties were becoming clear towards the end of his undergraduate course, but he still achieved a 2:1,” they said.“To the end of his life, he thought of himself as an intellectual and a writer.

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