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An email to me mentioned that “straight-up” reality is not as funny
as altered or interpreted, even distorted iimpressions (such as political cartoons)
Not always so, that straight-up reality isn't amusing. My latest read is THE BOOK OF WOE, a comprehensive investigative report on the most recent manual of psychiatric disorders just released by the APA (.American Psychiatric Assn.). The author is a "self-defrocked" analyst, now in "secular" practice as a psychological therapist. Notwithstanding his (even personal) relationships with some of the world's most important (famous or imfamous depending upon who's adjudging -- or analyzing) psychiatrists, his prominently published articles in news papers, magazines, especially one in Wired . . . have stirred the witches' brew of conflicting "sects" and "schools" of psychiatric orientation, advocation, and implementation (of pharma-funds provided institutionally and even personally as "perks" for prescriptions of antipsychotics and ASDS doses, etc.
From DSM 4 a few years ago to this latest DSM 5 catalog of construct-categories of (behavior) psychiatric disorders, just the number and names of assumed "mental illnesses" are, not funny, satire. And, deeper, the ongoing reciprocation-of- reification committed by the field is the stuff of the stage, though, for many patients, more like tragi-farce.
The attempts to "medicinize" mental "illness" within a context of substantive comparmentalizations (such as physical illnesses (organ dysfunctions, viruses, etc. etc.) is not to be contemned, but to be cast aside as unattainable, unrealistic, UNREAL. But there is the faction of the field that still seeks neurological (even observable -- fMRI etc.) bases for bulimia, hebephilia, schizo-affective disorders, and all the rest of human differences and varieties of behavior. Should "bereavement" be discontinued as a diagnosed mental illness in DSM 5? Aspergers and autism criteria diluted? And now we have the advocates (pharma/psycho-meds) and parents (desperation and insurance coverage for pharma . . .) engaged in a 4-team contact (via
emails and blackberries and blogs and all) game of their agendae. Should more minutiae be notorized as separate syndromes in the nosology?
It really gets to the point of . .. "Wha the fu--??" The issue of concern is supposed to be the domain of those of an almost ultimate echelon of intelligentsia, insight, and those structures upon a foundation of MD requirements.
One of the statements of summary of the situation quoted in the book is . . . the field is characterized by a combination of (or conflict between) THE GANG THAT COULDN'T SHOOT STRAIGHT . . . and . . . PARALLAX (neither of which I've seen).
But I have seen a significant source of psyco-history on the WEB: HISTORIC INSANE ASYLUMS (and there are other spec. sites. Danvers, though an impressive example of the "golden age" (only for the shrinks') of "mental health" was a prime Kirkbride structure. But throughout the whole country there were an astounding number of even more monumental edifices wherein, when psychiatry got named and involved, the "treatment" of patients became techno-torture in many cases, horrendous mutilation malpractice in others (organ-ectomies depending upon from which, intestine, ovary, clitoris, or other, the systemic etiology of, especially, schizophrenia originated. (Prefrontal lobotomy was first "performed" [?] at Danvers, actually with an ice pick of which the handle had been altered. I forget the name of the "performer".
And in the last sentence there's a perfect example of the humor (though sick-) in the straightforward.
Check out Historic Insane Asylums. Well worth a half-hour tour of the site (without any threat of being committed).
And I could go on and on and on on this subject, its subjects, and their subjectivities seen as science,. (Freud!!!!!)