Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

They looked in the mirror and found themselves wanting. Senate committee pushes for new mental health commission

And how will they pay for this?
Committee: Drinkers should fund mental health program Since we all know that drink is the rue of the working class and work is the rue of the drinking class.

And since this is Liberal Senators who are pushing this maybe they got nostalgic for a little bit of Trudeaumania.

Margaret Trudeau's 'dark place' of despair

Margaret Trudeau shares struggle with depression

We were all depressed during the Trudeau era.

Since madness and mental illness are social constructs it is no wonder that Margaret internalized the darkness and lonliness of living with Canada's Philosopher King. It was a dark time, even though it was the seventies, as much as it was a time of self indulgence.

Mental Health is a serious matter, of course, but it is a 'medical' specialization that arose from alienation. It is an attempt by the medical establishment to grapple with the conditions of impersonal subjectivity created by capitalism. For which they are agents of social conditioning, to make us believe we are not subjects alienated by capitalism but are merely subjects of our own making.

Which is why I reccomend reading R.D. Laing and David Cooper along with Wilhelm Reich, and Michael Foucault.

IN his highly influential book, Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault indicted the modern West for its treatment of the "insane." According to Foucault, Western societies, bowing before the Enlightenment idol of Reason, built a theoretical and institutional quarantine against madness. The Cartesian rational mind must not suffer from exposure to irrationality; the madman must not roam freely through town and country as he did during the Middle Ages, a mocking reminder of human mortality and God's infinite wisdom. Instead, Foucault claimed, the insane were thrown into cells with other dissidents from the rising bourgeois moral order--the poor, the criminal, and the licentious. The supposed liberation of the mad during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century by "alienists" Phillippe Pinel in France and William Tuke in England, he argued, only furthered their exclusion. These reformers herded the mad into asylums, where an arid "science" of psychiatry silenced their Dionysian voices. Enlightenment, Foucault held, was bought at the cost of excluding the mad: Such was the heavy price of Reason's "progress." Public Interest: Madness and Enlightenment. - Review - book reviews

I was fortunate to hear Dr. Laing speak in Calgary before the very Mental Health community that he was opposed to. His speach was quite challenging to their conceptions of dealing with conditions of schizophrenia. In that he opined that the best method is the therapist working directly with the patient by entering their madness and walking them out, ala the shaman or the LSD tripper. Failing that he defended Bedlam, the imprisonment of those who could phsically harm themselves, with the attendants being the threapists who are trainined in martial arts to struggle physically with the patient and subdue them, since this was the physical reality they needed to come back in to. Further he shocked members of the audience by insisting on allowing glass in the patients cell/room for them to be able to cut themselves to physically return to their bodies from their out of body states. Laing thesis is that madness is a reality that must be breached by the therapist, not a condition that must be controled by drugs.
Is the pharmaceutical industry distorting psychiatry practice

R. D. Laing and The Politics of Diagnosis

The Politics of Experience RD Laing (1967)

Introduction to 1967 Dialectics of Liberation conference

Psychiatry Anti-Psychiatry Re-Visited

Anti-psychiatry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Madness and Colonization: Psychiatry in the British and French empires, 1800-1962

Power and discipline in psychiatry's knowledge base

The Genealogy Of Power: On Michel Foucault

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