Posts Tagged ‘psychiatry’

A Broadcast by MissMiracle’s MIC :-D

October 29, 2013

NB ‘MMus’ is the trading name of MissionMiraculus Ltd.

‘My interpretation of what’s in your head – by MissMiracle’s MIC

 MMus Ltd.  is a community based project group delivering specialist services to mental health users. Initially this will be delivered within the west midlands (December 2013 – June 2014). It will then be rolled out nationally, then internationally.  Specialist services are to be determined on a case-by-case basis.  Money for this purpose will be funded by grants and funds raised  by MMus’ Charity Trust.

The current Mental Health system works for some people and fails others.  By using a catch all process, the MHS delivers its care in a way that’s far too general.  Specific issues that make a huge difference in someone’s treatment are often missed because those issues fall outside of the standard mental health flowchart.  MMus will try and address this imbalance.  By promoting and creating specific life events tailored to a specific user’s needs, their difficulties will be healed. We expect to find exponentially improved recovery rates and to enjoy hearing about the thriving lives which proceed from our healing work.

Here are two hypothetical situations

Paul is a sufferer of depression.  He is currently being treated in the usual pharmacological way.  Psychologists have long reported that Paul’s issues derive from a lack of self-worth; he is a person who lacks self-esteem in a wide range of areas of his life.

What could help Paul ?

Paul needs to feel valued by others to truly value himself.   A 10 min chat with Paul reveals that he likes nature and gardening.  So MMus arrange for the city council to grant a space in the central Park to build a small garden.  Paul is asked to help create this garden with other MMus users who share the same aims.  The garden is created and Paul sees  a triumph.  MMus then gives support to Paul and he eventually finds a job as a park warden.  Moreover – he is so delighted with the success of MMus methods that he joins the organisation and takes on new clients with mental health issues he can relate to and who enjoy gardening…. Thus begins a cascade of ‘self-help’.

Lucy suffers from an aggressive personality, a diagnosed personality disorder.  She is on a low dose of anti-psychotic medication and anti-depressants.  She has been sectioned twice and she now just sits at home worrying and becoming more reclusive.  As far as the Mental health System goes she gets a visit once a week by a support worker.  MMus Gets a grant from the Government to run an art workshop for a week.   Lucy is invited and discovers a love for carving wood.  This then gives Lucy a objective to focus on and MM will then help promote and share her work.

These are two very Happy Ending scenarios and, in the MHS, for every 2 people you will help there will be 8 people you can’t. Our aim is to change these statistics . We believe that we will reverse these statistics.

MMus Is a way of targeting specific care shots to specific people whether it be de-cluttering, helping with a driving licence etc etc.  It’s the little things in life that really make the difference, these lead on to the more remarkable changes and ultimately is a cheaper way of getting people back into society that constantly giving them mind altering drugs.

MMus is trying to break the habit of “managing people” and change this to “inspiring people.”‘

RESPONSE? 🙂

 

 

 

How Janie is experienced….

October 18, 2013

Please fill in our ‘Polldaddy’ survey re Bipolar/Manic Depression and Anxiety/Depression levels of experience. There will be prizes for the  respondent who provides contact details, completes the survey questionnaire and offers the best idea for a short, catchy slogan to be attached to the relaunched identity of MissionMiraculus and Miss Miracle’s MIC

….by her loved ones…

Zainy Jainey Take a Chill Pill!

Zainy Jainey Take a Chill Pill!ound all their alarm bells.

It’s a bipolar relevant matter. My bf (boyfriend) and bf (best friend), my elder daughter and, to be fair, no one else who has expressed concern, have jointly and separately provided a wake-up call for me during the last three weeks. It hasn’t been that I have performed the constant nightmare role in their lives but that I was slipping into something that reminds them of trips to the nuthouse and this has been quite sufficient to unnerve them.

There are, of course, reasons for this instability. Last night I opened up my floodgates of grief re my Dad’s departure for unknown territory a year ago and this has been grounding for both me and my sister and, moving forwards, for those in my world who I love and who love me.

It’s all about ‘early warning signs’ of course – but unless you have an accurate map based on an accurate understanding of causes and pathways then the ‘EWS’ work will be entirely futile. As it has been over and again during years gone by.

This time the medication routine is nailed into the strategy (not necessarily forever but certainly til we get to safe ground) and I am continuing to listen to trusted others.

I am also mindful of anxiety levels around me and mindful to examine the flow of fear that moves across the networks of my friends and families in relation to my social conduct and expressive behaviour.

Just as laughter is poised on the interface of pleasure and pain, so hypomania is poised on the interface of psychic-emotional pain and pleasure – it is that critical point of meeting where fear in the form of anxiety enters the system as adrenalin and begins to flood the body. The body doesn’t have a clear ‘knowledge’ of the meaning of this tidal wave and it moves obediently in accordance with the instructions of the conscious and subconscious mind.

To come to rest the body needs to discharge this adrenalin in a manner that does not merely excite further outflows from the adrenals.

Consequently the ill-advised approaches are:- 1. enter a state of conflict or anger; 2. To be controlled by the adrenalin fuelled state as distinct from remaining mindful of the fact of this flooded condition; 3. To allow the adrenalin flow to go unimpeded.

Due to the pleasurable experience of high adrenalin flow in the body providing that it is linked with excitement rather than fear, the experiencer can be or become inclined to indulge in the flow and to resist external attempts to bring it under control.

Due to the body state – flooded with adrenalin – the very worst move by friends, relatives or mental health services would be to attempt to intervene abruptly and from ‘above’ to bring this condition to a halt. In the vast majority of cases this would be experienced as threatening and frightening by the possessor of the condition and the overwhelmingly likely reaction/response will be resistance. THE RESISTANCE WILL BE IN PROPORTION TO THE FORCE BROUGHT TO THE CONDITION.

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Remember always: adrenalin, at an evolutionary level, is the body’s device for commanding extraordinary levels of emergency mental, emotional and physical energy. The ‘sufferer’ will be in an ‘enhanced state of consciousness’ and an ’emergency-alert body state’.

Where the discharge of the adrenalin is directed toward creative or academic pursuits the results may be surprising in their levels of achievement. Where the discharge is directed toward sporting expressions, similarly, the achievements may be untypical of what would be predictable by the person in their ‘normal’ state. Sport is an excellent vehicle for discharging adrenalin since it clears the body of those poisonous chemicals associated with adrenalin which will collect in the body and harm it whenever it is simply left to fester undischarged.

This of course, is a level of understanding that remains light years away in any NHS psychiatric hospital. It is also why MissionMiraculus has a strategic interest in creating a service that will compete with the NHS for such patients and holds high hopes that it’s bench marked and staticised and published results of the first 2 years of business in this regard will demonstrate that its ‘shared humanness’ ethos and its translated from theory treatment plans outstrip the NHS success stories hands down.

Which is why, if you take an interest in bi-polar/manic depression and/or depression & anxiety, you should link across to Facebook MissionMiraculus page right now and ‘like’ our page there. While you’re at it track the life of Arrabbella Faith on Facebook and sign up to see the ‘Laughing for a Change’. Its Headline act is the well known ‘Barbara Nice’ – well known in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Less well known are a group of ‘new and developing comic artists’ amongst which will be Arrabbella. Only £5 a ticket from the Box Office at the Birmingham Rep and on a Sunday night beginning at 7pm – so it won’t be a late one.

It will, however, be a fun one.  Please fill in the poll questionnaire and take note of the contact details for this site, below. The 1st, 10th, 25th, and 100th person to fill in the questionnaire will win a gift from the Company ‘Miss Miracle’s MIC’ upon providing your email address or mobile telephone number and name. Candidates for a prize should nominate their preference for a gift leaning into the following fields of preference: a book; a gift leaning to nature; a gift from the domain of ‘art and culture’; ‘surprise me’.  The 1st and 1000th respondent will receive a special invitation to the first formal meeting of MissionMiraculus re-launched, a three-course meal with its core team members and the chance to take the stage on the day if they so wish.  The RRP of the gifts are range from £50 to £500 in today’s values. They are forecast to rise in value over the next five years to an exponential degree, ie way out of proportion to the UK annual inflation rate. These gifts, therefore, are recommended for investment purposes as well as for pleasure.

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Manna from Heaven

January 31, 2013
Hiding from the Wreck

Hiding from the Wreck

Or, rather, from my loft (same difference?)..

I very sensibly arranged to have my loft insulated lately and today is the day that the event will take place. Indeed, I am writing this just 40 minutes prior to men entering my home to find that preparation for their work has turned my home, which had lately begun to look quite civilised, into wreck of the hesperus – not that I’ve ever read that poem, but it’s entered daily parlance so I’m assuming that the overwhelming chaos in which I daily find myself is a fitting tribute to that concept.

Not that I had or have ever wished to make such tribute. It seems that my life has been predisposed to the matter. No sooner do I exert myself to the huge effort and commitment of a mega clear up than something comes along in my life that undoes all my good intentions and returns me to this whirling disorder.

I’m not, at the best of times, the most domesticated animal ever born, so maintaining simple dignity is a challenge even then, but when my life is turned upside down like this, it’s like beginning to drown in life’s drivel..

I maintain my sanity by ignoring it and sitting down to write. It hardly answers to the demands of the occasion but it answers to my need to hide from ugliness by living inside my mind.

It is, perhaps, one of my more crazy habits.

Still, in recent years my crazy habits have been very kindly tolerated and accommodated by an ever growing circle of true friends who seem to acknowledge, accommodate and forgive them all by focussing on what virtues I possess. If it weren’t for these dear friends I dare say I would still be living half my life in the loony bin, drugged up to my eyes on anti psychotics and hardly able to walk in a straight line, so deleterious are such drugs upon one’s co-ordination, hope factor and social opportunities.

I was reading a very interesting account by Jan Wallcraft in her recently initiated blog – I can’t recall it’s name now, which is infuriating – I’ll get back to you about that.. She was writing about ‘recovery’ and her attention was focussed on the use of that concept, and the bending of it, by psychiatry. Psychiatry has taken the concept of ‘recovery’ on board by emptying it of any meaningful content. They have to because, as dealers for pharmaceutical companies they must, perforce, continue to peddle the crappy idea that people who have intense life crises that see them ending up in front of a psychiatrist will probably need to be held down with drug addictions for the rest of their lives.

Jan has a very good point. The concept of ‘recovery’ has been utterly corrupted by these idiots. And around the country, certainly in Worcestershire, the regional mental health trusts are ‘leading by example’ of identical idiocy. Pernicious idiocy is what we’re talking about of course.

Still – there’s a case for re-claiming the proper meaning of the word. In the last couple of years I have been ‘reclaiming’ – and ‘recovering’ the identity of ‘Janie Greville’ as it had been ‘identified’ prior to `1997 when I fell foul of my ex husband’s good will and thus the mental health services.

Little by little I have noticed that I am addressed as an intelligent, creative, productive and affectionate if impulsive human being. This would fit nicely with the ‘Janie’ I was prior to meeting my ex-husband. I managed to sustain something of that identity even during much of my relationship with him. When it became impossible to ‘be myself’ with him I ended the marriage.. And apparently my entire edifice of being. His temporary blind rage ignited the mental health services in 1997 to an energy of purging. The intent, it would appear, was to purge me of my identity, my personality, my character, my aspirations, my earning power and my reputation. It all fitted in well with how my enraged ex-husband would like to see me punished for the crime of ending the marriage. It barely fitted in very well with my purpose of improving my – and my children’s – lives, however.

So I kept rebelling. Each time I rebelled I found myself back in hospital drugged to a state of bare consciousness. A steady stream of psychiatrists and cpn’s and one very silly social worker, ‘maintained’ this despicable culture. May I name a few people? I’d better not, I’m not wanting to excite trouble I can avoid.

I’ll name those who stand innocent of this fiasco, though. Verity and Fez, social worker and cpn respectively, who have intervened in my life in only beneficial ways.

There is a Dr Dhaya in the background, also, who doesn’t appear to have input much harm into the situation. He has stayed in the background, exactly where he belongs. To that extent he must be praised. It’s just a possibility that he is notably less dogmatic and arrogant than so many of his colleagues.

There is also a man called Dr King, now largely if not entirely retired now, I think, who ‘saw me’ in ways that were not merely hopeful but positively flattering. I like being flattered, don’t we all? Most of all, though, I like it when I am treated as a person I can recognise as me. He had that capacity. He occasionally addressed the part of me who saw me in my potential even hypothetical best possibilities. That tended to make me feel a bit nervous – I always fear disappointing others and prefer to underplay my abilities rather than the reverse, though at times I too see the possibilities, fear of failure has held me back.

But I support the attempt to paint my picture in as optimistic a light as possible – after all, it’s encouraging and hopeful. And a huge contrast to the kinds of portraits offered to me by his predecessor. I feel I owe him a tribute for this; partly because it held me for a few years in a state of survival instead of probable death; partly because he may in fact be somewhat a designing architect of the identity I now approach.

After all – we, none of us, are ‘islands’. This cliche needs to step out of its space as simple cliche. We are in fact less islands, or lands, than junctions into which and from which energies move and flow, or become stuck. Everything that encourages flow enhances the self, everything that inhibits flow or excites explosion, is to be condemned as destructive of the self. Every successful achievement is the achievement of a community of goodwill and support and input – even those achievements that appear to be the production of a single person are in fact the achievement of a community of this kind.

It is true, likewise for destructive as well as noble actions. None of us act alone however lonely we may feel at times. This knowledge tends to support the idea that we should choose our friends carefully for undoubtedly we shall in time become the measure of the friends we spend most time with and the values we nurture most in our minds.

Well! What a splendid way to avoid the clearing I need to do to turn my wreck back into a home, and the loft insulators are still not here, they were due 15 minutes ago – gosh I hope they haven’t forgotten!!!

By Janie Greville 2013.

Merry Christmas and an Aborted Old Year !

December 10, 2012

228483_10150573506395514_893365513_18705285_5857753_n sisters

Like my style? 😉

Abortion.

What might we like to abort today?

Justice? Barely.

Injustice? Possibly.

Abortion is a sensitive, delicate subject.

..It is particularly delicate and sensitive for me.

Every Christmas since December 30th 1994 I have approached Christmas with an intent to please and make everything lovely.

And then completely ruined it.

Well – actually – I managed Christmas 94, 95, 96 just about Ok.

Probably the first because I hadn’t quite hit the wall.

Probably 95 because, well, I’d convinced myself that silence really was the way forward; false smiles the cheer of the good.

’96… 96 I was fraying within. Reaching the end of my personal, fragile weave…

’97 I’d already tipped over to the point where I’d so successfully repressed my pain and its source that I didn’t even have a conscious awareness that this… This.. THIS was the cause of my unbearable trauma.

This year I’m determined to focus on this earth, this blessing, these blessings, the beauty of all that is and all that can be.

I refuse to bleed my griefs into the fabric of the season.

Were I a good Catholic girl I would find myself in commune with those who understand my undying pain.

http://https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSpl-CyZl-kqZAvxp2-B8pj1QXRbWNMzekp2T4iULAq_BFdrpqA

But I’m not even a Catholic, let alone a good one.

By culture I’m a Scandinavian-Germanic-(Celtic) Calvinist who happens to abhor abortion simply because in my own bizarre, no doubt, eyes, every conception is, at the very instant of it – a miraculous wonder of life burgeoning: a ‘god given blessing’ to share this earth with a new innocent emerging..

http://http://uploads5.wikipaintings.org/images/sandro-botticelli/the-birth-of-venus-1485(1).jpg

My husband-of-the-time, who had announced, most decisively from my point of view (‘shared values’ etc) that he ‘wanted at least 4 or 5 children’ ordered me to have an abortion in early? mid? December 1994.

The Doctor I visited in the fervent hope and belief he would refuse such a crime on the grounds of inappropriacy and unsuitability simply reached for his form and sent me to the hospital for a scan and abort.

Question asked: ‘Why do you want an abortion?’ Question answered, in a hesitant, reluctant and reticent form as a quotation as required ‘because my husband and I think our family is complete’. Response: reach for form. Eye contact: Nil.

My husband-of-the-time came with me for the hospital appointment. He would. He’d want to ensure I went through with it.

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I sat in the waiting area after the scan to assess age of gestation. I sobbed. Then sobbed. Then sobbed some more. I begged my H-of-the-time not to make me kill my baby.

He sat beside me watching some tv screen ahead and above him as if I weren’t there. He didn’t say a word to me. He didn’t look at me. He didn’t give a shit how I felt.

When we were called in the sister/nurse did give a shit. She took my right hand in hers, or both my hands, can’t be quite sure, and she showed caring. It was a caring I hadn’t experienced in a long while.

She told me that she had something to tell me that, under the circumstances maybe was a good thing.

The foetus, as she named it, had died within me a fortnight before. It had been poisoning my body as a result of not naturally aborting (as a ‘miscarriage’) and so if I hadn’t come for this scan I could have died.

I saw this as my baby giving up on life in the belief that I didn’t love him/her enough.

I suffered years of flashbacks and dreams about my lost baby. I imagined the nurse having been bribed to tell me this and that my baby wasn’t dead but was killed because I believed the lie.

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However absurd the idea of that :- my sense of myself as a murderer of my longed-for baby sat in my ‘god shaped hole’ for years. And years. And years.

It spilled out one day in 2009 in a preceptorship course session. Not very neat. Not very tidy. Not well handled (by me, I mean).

It made one of the students cry.

I shouldn’t have been glad.

But I was glad.

Especially perhaps, because it was a male student. He healed my total loss of trust in men (apart from my father and my grandfather.

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(I use an ‘in-service soldier’ image because – I believe that mental health practitioners need to realise that – that’s what they have to have the courage to be in order to do their job well)

Only now do I look back with shame as I realise –

I was glad.

At last I had shared a bit of my pain.

(But shouldn’t have got such a healing from the comfort of strangers… sadly no comfort had come from anywhere else..)(Not that it had had a chance – I’d shared it with no-one else.)

It must have lessened it.

Because in 2012 I sit here writing these words: sure – I’ve cried a river as I’ve written this, have had to stop, at times, just to protect the keyboard and find a way to carry on.

But until 2009 I was driven by my unconscious and my sleeping nightmares.

I had spent a full 11 years or more, by that time, attempting to live with an unbearable reality.

It had driven me round the bend.

Not so crazy that I so lost the plot that I didn’t know the difference between truth and reality.

I was very clear on that.

Some bits in the middle were not so easy to determine.

I must say though.

I only have and would only ever publish what I know.

I know that you visit. I know that you skim through to see what you find interesting.

I have no idea what you think.

On this particular entry: I would love to hear from you.

I imagine that most of you probably come from a pro-abortion background and may feel offended.

Please don’t.

Try to imagine that for ME PERSONALLY pregnancy in my body is always experienced as an existence of 2 in 1.

I don’t assume or judge others for having different views.

Who am I to judge?

I do judge internally and very rarely, openly – those who act to transgress my essential identity and values. Identity and values that, as it happens, are entirely legal. I don’t judge others in this value/view: I can imagine that experiences outside of mine could lead me to hold different views. But I haven’t had them. So I don’t.

Especially where I been explicit and honest about them. I used ‘the pill’ a few times. Probably about 3 months in the whole of my life. I doubt it was that long. Actually I used the ‘rhythm method’. Oh – and celibacy.

I didn’t mean to be a catholic.

It was the way I was brought up.

It was the way my heart beat.

It was where the stars were placed on the instant of my birth.

It was the result of my father’s piano playing.

It derived from my adoration of babies..

From my yearning to share the joy of living

From my wishful conviction in the multiplication of love

From my conviction that the world is always as big as the heart

….

..or as small…

Tell me.

What do YOU think? 🙂

Survival & Threat: Payment by Results

December 3, 2012
Volcanic Brightening Burst

Volcanic Brightening Burst

Survival & Threat, Recovery, Discovery, Thriving.

Where would you put your life in relation to the above concepts/standards of living?

Where is the course of your life, normatively, and progressively, in relation to them?

In a sense you could see birth through to adulthood as a mixture of survival and discovery with recovering an thriving peppered in amongst the mix. Perhaps most of us become a little more reflective as we mature, with more painful events and consequential errors of judgement causing us to retract at times and more pleasurable events and consequentially advantageous judgements enabling us to enlarge, at others.

Remembering always that consequentially destructive, constructive and creative decisions, actions and habits by no means ‘show up’ in their ‘true colours’ at once.

I sat down to write because I hadn’t published anything for a week or so (as you probably know this blog is intermittent and driven by impulse more than by systematised strategy) and I was wondering about my own ‘mental health recovery’.

My father’s death has somehow brought to light more clearly than for some time that my attitudes and values hamper my peace of mind far less than many around me who have no history of ‘mental illness’. I guess that my stability emotionally is aided by sodium valproate, a mood stabilisor, and that co-extensively and certainly more importantly my thinking is steadied and directed more helpfully by the work I have done with a psychotherapist over the last year and a half (seeing her on average about once a month).

The loving, light spirited yet somehow deeply spiritual time I shared with my father on the Saturday before his death added to my strength and the unexpected discovery that he had written a will favouring me and my sister, though it has thrown some family members into disarray, has by no means diminished my feelings of well-being – though nor has it diminished my sense of responsibility towards angry and upset family members.

Running parallel to my father’s death has been an emerging perception of me, by the mental health services, that I am ‘recovering well’ and needing little or no support from them. That said, I have four sessions with the psychologist left and running alongside that I see a ‘social worker’ also about once a month. The social worker has a value – as does the psychologist on the grounds of their sex: they are women and I have needed to align myself more strongly and trustingly with my same sex associates and to begin to feel safer in friendships with same sex people. This has been a great success and I feel altogether a more rounded, happy and contented human being since my psychologist moved me in that direction.

To be a heterosexual woman who feels uncomfortable with women makes for a very uncomfortable relationship with oneself. How can you feel safe with, trust and value yourself if you’re that kind of woman?

So – what a difference it’s making to my life!!!!

Anyway – the point is: Am I moving to be discharged from secondary services and declared fit for work because I am now well, or is it because of ‘payment by results’? I suspect it is the latter and that I’ve been allowed to recover because of the latter where I was tripped up and into ditches by the same before because it suited their own budgets and careers.

Psychiatry is a thorn in the side of positive mental health in my view – no doubt, if you know me or have ever visited this space before this view will come as no surprise to you.

Apparently my ship is due to be released from its naval fleet: Thank f***g goodness for that!! Do I sail away, never to be heard of again? Hmmm.. Good question… A sea shanty comes to mind…

Quote, Unquote, ~Take Note.

October 23, 2012

Keeping head under mud

“What is Recovery?
In our research, we differentiate between personal recovery and clinical recovery in the context of mental illness. Personal recovery is an understanding that has emerged from people who have personal experience of recovery in, with and from mental illness. Many definitions of recovery have been proposed by those who are experiencing it:

…[quotations from ‘user led’ individuals and groups defining ‘recovery’]…

By contrast, clinical recovery is an understanding that has emerged from professional-led research and practice, and involves ‘getting back to normal’ – being symptom-free, in employment or education, living independently, having friends, etc. Our research focus is on personal recovery, not clinical recovery. On this web-site we use the term ‘recovery’ as a shorthand for personal recovery.”

Please note the above, published on the website Researching for Recovery, as a vehicle of the ‘Institute of Psychiatry at the Maudslay’

Is it just us or is this the use of power to keep the reins of power? We wonder how much money the Institute of Psychiatry receives to professionalise and disempower ‘experts by experience’ in the field of mental distress? This is merely our interpretation, of course, and I guess once again – it won’t do our career interests a lot of good… Story of our life

Let us know what you think.

Remedial Anaesthetics: Or the Science of Psychiatry.

September 13, 2012

That’s it for the time being: I thought you might like to reflect on the title ‘Remedial Anaesthetics: Or the ‘science’ of Psychiatry’.

Interesting isn’t it. Aesthetics is the ‘opposite’ of ‘anaesthetics‘. You wouldn’t automatically connect the two words/concepts.

This brings us to the etymological sense of ‘aesthetics‘. I’m guessing sensory experience is involved in it – Oh yes, indeedy, the Shorter English Dictionary (a large two volumed item for those not ‘in the know’) provides the pre late 19th C definition as ‘perceived/received by the senses‘; ‘the science of the conditions of sensuous perception’.

Hold onto this. We will be returning to it in due course. It is not insignificant. The counterposition of aesthetic and anaesthetic in relation to Modern Medical Science, specifically Psychiatry will prove, we suspect to possess the conceptual power of a volcano. In the right foundry, that is. 😉

 

Volcanic Brightening Burst

Volcanic Brightening Burst

 

(Please note ‘science’ is once within quotation marks and once without. That’s because I can’t decide which is more appropriate. What do YOU think?)

The Genesis of a Modern Myth?

August 13, 2012

Relevance at Best Contingent

“By the middle of the 19th century it was also generally accepted that the superintendent of any properly run lunatic asylum should be a physician. But the terms mental illness and mental disease survived, partly because they clearly implied that what had previously been called madness or insanity was medical territory. The doubts about causation also survived, even within the medical profession itself. Indeed, the school of psychoanalysis that emerged at the end of the 19th century regarded all mental illnesses as entirely psychogenic disorders to be treated by psychotherapy; and until the 1930s mental disease remained largely uninfluenced by the physician’s pharmacopoeia and, apart from general paresis, could not be shown to be accompanied by any cerebral pathology, macroscopic or microscopic.”
Taken from The British Journal of Psychiatry, 2001, 178:490-493

The introduction of an economic, intellectual and pragmatic framework for ‘mental illness’ as an arm of pharmaceutical (and other) medicine produced an accompanying plethora of previously ‘unnoticed’ ‘illnesses’ that became fully instated within our culture. Language is so creative – as it multiplies sounds and formations on screen or paper so it also multiplies products of its representations in the world. Thought creates reality.

The industry of ‘mental illness’ has been a resoundingly successful one – the reach of its empire has spread to at least one in four members of our society.

Those of us unfortunate enough to be ‘diagnosed’ (= described and over powered) with the ‘illnesses’ of severe’bipolar I’ and ‘schizophrenia’ will suffer a 1 in 15 chance of death by suicide. This is comparable with suicide rates of approximately 11.5 per 10,000 in the general population (over twice of these are by men).

The problem with this statistic is that it is presented as a description rather than as a prescription. However, it is a description that is inadequately explained and one that is thus too easily slipped from the lips of the well to the ears of the vulnerable, only to become a self fulfilling prophecy.

‘Functional Mental Illnesses’ are presumed to be brain disorders that erupt in the human brain and disorganise the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of the victim such that their conduct becomes altogether ‘unacceptable’ to those around them. ‘Chemical Imbalances’ are spoken of, ‘excessive Dopamine’, etc., etc.

Medicines are needed to keep the ‘illnesses’ at bay. These suppress active symptoms and in the case of ‘severe’ ‘illnesses’ also inducing depression, obesity, anxiety, irritability, potential liver damage, kidney damage etc etc.

The medicines are prescribed for life and are described as preventing ‘relapse’. In the majority of cases for schizoid and bipolar illnesses there is no clear knowledge or understanding of the cause of the ‘illness’ nor why the medication ‘works’.

Those taking it could explain. Mostly it simply shuts down dopamine production (to any useful degree) and leaves its subjects in a state of lethargic numbness, where nothing matters much any more. Life loses its colour, taste, texture, taste, sound – subjects stay around to be polite and because some part of them keeps hoping that someone, something, somewhere, will switch the life machine back on and release them from the dungeon of death to which they have been sentenced.

They don’t work because, were they fortunate enough to have a career in the first place, the consultant has probably tacitly encouraged an early pension (say – 20 or 30 years early). They have few friends because word has got round and, anyhow, it’s all too obvious, the weight gain, the poverty, the slurred speech, the slowed intellect.. They live in squalor because they can’t even motivate themselves to keep things decent. Having been turfed out of acceptable society they learn to be unacceptable.

If their first or second brush with the mental health services ended in a ‘section’ they were in all probability treated, at the most delicate, critical, vulnerable, sensitive time of their lives since birth – in the most brutal, shaming, humiliating. insensitive manner they have ever experienced. No one will allow of the possibility that they have been seriously harmed by the experience. Their subsequent collapse into a pattern of ‘illness’ as described above will be regarded as proof of the appropriacy of arrogant stupidity as protocol behaviour toward those with highly sensitised needs.

Happily at last the issue of inhumanity is being heard in the right places. However, it continues unabated in those same places, or was so doing last time I checked.

Perhaps it is time to grant to art the power of discernment when it comes to the treatment of life. Humans have an inventive capacity to produce tools to assist them in their lives and to mend those tools, to boot. These same tools should not be turned upon the lives without very careful reflection. Too little is spoken of aesthetics these days – the best of all human endeavour is … beautiful, graceful, economic, balanced, effective, satisfying.. : would that describe a bad scientific hypothesis?

Thanks for listening 😉

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