#4495 - Friday, January 27, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#4495 - Friday, January 27, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
This issue features responses to issue #4494 which featured selections from the article The Social Construction of Mental Illness
and its Implications for the Recovery Model, by Michael T. Walker, Ph.D.
Unlike psychotherapy and the issues of anxiety, depression, and addiction, the issues of psychosis, psychiatry, and the drug industry have not been much addressed by the nonduality movement, as far as I know, except in the context of entheogens.
I've withheld the names of people who wrote me privately. They are regular Highlights readers over the years.
This article confirmed my own observations. I am retired and come from a corporate working environment. For the past 3 years I have been teaching part time in a local community college. It was quite a shock to find that so many students have been labeled for mental problems. Labels range from attention disorders to Schizophrenia and Asperger. These students are heavily medicated. I had one young woman 19 years old who told me that she was depressed (not suicidal) at 14. For the past 5 years she has been taking 7 different medications which make her ill, listless, overweight and sleeping 14+ hrs. a day. She cannot focus for more than an hour. These medications have been prescribed by her psychiatrist and cost hundreds of dollars per month. Its hard to fathom how a professional can be so negligent.
The sad thing is that students buy into the labels and act as if disempowered. A couple of days ago, I received an email from the higher ups stating that enrollment of students with mental illness has substantially increased over the last year urging teachers to make curriculum revisions and accommodations for these students. So, at the administrative level, the problem is not dealt with and the sickness reinforced. I have observed that students with a diagnosed attention disorder problems are quite adept at focusing their attention on text messaging and social networks good motor skills but underdeveloped cognitive skills. I just wish that this information would get out to the mainstream.
I appreciate your daily emails,
Thanks Jerry, for sharing these excerpts on " The Social Construction of Mental Illness and its Implications for the Recovery Model "In my personal experience of relating to those I know or have known who have been officially diagnosed as being mentally ill, I've always been struck by how "undifferent" they are than myself. Sure, they may exhibit what might be termed as 'odd' behaviour, but in talking about their problem, suffering or difficulty they can exhibit keen intelligence, coherence and lucidity....and as already mentioned it all sounds like pretty much familiar territory to me.The crux of the biscuit as I see it is that the 'story' is related as if it were concerning a third party. Of course, the first person singular is used when relating the story, but in actual fact it's a believed in mental construction which , as clearly pointed out in this paper, is strengthened and confirmed by the medical 'experts' called in to help solve the problem. These are strategies which we're all familiar with of course, not just those who may be suffering in extreme through their misplaced identification.The problem very often is that once this identification with the labelling has taken place, the "sufferer" has found him/herself a socially recognised and accepted 'hiding place' and may vehemently oppose any attempt to "blow their cover" so to speak. (Not that any of us like it when that happens!),So what needs to happen for an opening to take place? Who can say?On another vein: I'm reading Michael Foley's 'The Age of Absurdity - why modern life make it hard to be happy' at the moment. Perhaps you've read and reviewed it already, if not I'd recommend it as a worthwhile read. The author doesn't profess to be a 'nondualist', at least not yet (I still haven't finished the book ), but I like his humorous approach.Regards,name withheld
A very pertinent article that I have read before.
If the notion of 'Mental Illness' is chucked into the rubbish tin along with other fictitious made up ludicrous notions of the past such as there being witches wizards and so forth then so too does the notion of "recovery" have to go.
If Mental Illnesses are made up then there is nothing to recover from and nothing to be treated.
What then remains?
What remains are the enormous social and political issues, relationship abuse, violence, grief, childhood sexual and emotional abuse, poverty, unemployment, job loss physical illness, drug abuse lack of education, that arise with inevitable certitude once the diagnostic label is removed.
Psychiatric diagnoses are convenient labels that society uses to conceal such issues by hiding them from view and at the same time make a profit by feeding folk tons and tons of drugs in the vain hope of treating these fictitious metaphorical illness.
What the drugs do of course (in the guise of treatment) is to anesthetize folk from the effects of the social circumstances of their plight.
Their plight remains the same. (Folk are so drugged out that they stop complaining.)
The social circumstances remain the same.
Treatment must be for life.
Folk are happier because they think they are being treated.
A lot of folk are making an awful lot of money.
An alternative is in the last paragraph of the previous post.
"Diagnoses don't speak about the repercussions of
abuse, loss, illnesses, war, manipulations, judgments."
Who is it, now, that speaks of these?
Right now, there is no "they" to diagnose ...
nor even to explain "the way things really are" to.
Now what is the proper diagnosis for this state?