diability, especially mental problems

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lem_
diability, especially mental problems
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hi

The Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP), which represents more than 10,000 practitioners and is part of the distinguished British Psychological Society, will tomorrow publish a statement calling for the abandonment of psychiatric diagnosis and the development of alternatives which do not use the language of "illness" or "disorder".

 

what do you think? i think that the worst thing a social scientist can do, is believe that they think in a vacuum.

what will happen to the disabled after the revolution? what can they offer now? should we be ashamed at all of not working [as much]?

jk1921
Meanwhile, the American

Meanwhile, the American Psychiatric Association is busy putting the finishing touches on the DSM-V5, which will include a new "Somatic Symptom Disorder"--a highly controversial diagnosis that will basically catgeorize anyone with unexplained physical symptoms as "mentally ill."

What will happen to the disabled after the revolution? Well, first of all there will probably be a complete redefinition of what counts as "disabled." There are probably many people today who are classified as "disabled" under the various rules of the state agencies that define this stuff, because they cannot "work competively" under capitalist conditions and thus these people are unable to make whatever labor they are able to perform visible to captial through the labor market. Yet, many of these same people are probably able to contribute something to social labor regardless, but they are deprived of the chance to do so because they cannot make their labor "count" as a valorized activity. For those who cannot do any labor at all--well, then under full communism Marx's famous principle, "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs," should take care of any "shame" the disabled are made to feel under capitalism. The issue then becomes who determines when a genuine disability exists? I would suspect that under communism, when drudgery is abolished, labor will take on another subjective meaning, such that the issue of shirking will no longer exist and there will no longer be reason to doubt someone who says they are not able to enage in social labor. Dismiss that as the ramblings of a middle aged hippie if you want. 

A.Simpleton
The mystification of 'disease' ..

Good post lem_

Thanks to a couple of radical profs. and lecturers 40 years ago I learned a lot about 'labelling', mental 'illness' and the revealing of all sorts of baseless and hidden agenda 'facts' methods' used in psychology, child psychology in particular, personality 'disorders'. Has anything changed I ask myself?

In fact I kinda came in early on a 'medical' psychology/social psychology battle: crudely simplified into A Simpleton's language it went like this:

Medical Psychology (considered - more 'proper' and 'scientific' see other threads passim) took a label for certain behaviour and - say - called it 'schizophrenic' :schizophrenia: then clinically sampled, probed, analysed enzymes/neuronal connections et al to 'explain' it and 'cure' it : 'control groups' allegedly 'randomly' selected ...blah blah. 

Social Psychology started from the 'social' end: living conditions, life experience - questioning all the unscrutinised assumptions, unwarranted classifications, and exposing a whole hierarchy of bias and class based issues surrounding the false ideologies around 'normal behaviour' the false reasoning around firm categories, the Establishment's subsequent 'correct' attitudes and treatments etc.  

E.G

i) This particular prof. did his own study of 'schizophrenia' in a number of institutions but from the point of view of the life history/background of the people themselves since they were 'diagnosed'. He noticed that once 'labelled' schizophrenic they ever more conformed to the behaviour 'expected' of them by the alleged 'medical experts - re-inforced by the very environment they were in, the pre-judged attitudes of the clinicians etc.

ii) A medical psychologist's paper appeared claiming the presence of an unusual enzyme in 'x' number of 'patients' across six institutions as a possible 'medical' basis for this alleged 'abnormality': my prof. having already revealed the vacuous circularity of the very label, found that all six hospitals had the same caterers and the enzyme was present in the food .

So yes 'thinking in a vacuum' even for social scientists is pretty empty stuff. It superficially seems that it is more 'enlightened' to de-categorise 'illness' 'disease' but maybe it's a way of improving cure targets? like getting folk off the unemployment register simply by calling them something else .

Adolf Eichmann : head of extermination camps was pronounced by a psychiatrist 'perfectly sane' to stand trial for genocide .....er.....

I leave it there for now

 

AS

LBird
Drapetomania

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drapetomania

Illness:

Quote:
Drapetomania was a supposed mental illness described by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851 that caused black slaves to flee captivity.Today, drapetomania is considered an example of pseudoscience, and part of the edifice of scientific racism.

Cure:

Quote:
In the case of slaves "sulky and dissatisfied without cause" – a warning sign of imminent flight – Cartwright prescribed "whipping the devil out of them" as a "preventative measure". As a remedy for this "disease," doctors also made running a physical impossibility by prescribing the removal of both big toes.

'Science', eh?

baboon
"'Science', eh?" eh?

No that's not science but an example of the ruling class' use of racism and repression. It's part of a long line of the bourgeoisie's use of technological advances and quackery to impose its class rule and further repression from eugenics to industrial slaughter. But it's not science.

jk1921
Pseudo-science

baboon wrote:

No that's not science but an example of the ruling class' use of racism and repression. It's part of a long line of the bourgeoisie's use of technological advances and quackery to impose its class rule and further repression from eugenics to industrial slaughter. But it's not science.

Right, it even says in the Wikipedia entry cited that it is an example of pseudo-science. One wonders what current psychiatric diagnoses will one day go the way of the dodo bird, but its hard to see this as an indictment of science itself, rather than an example of the penetration of ruling class ideology into science, which is shown for what it is as a result of changing social conditions.

LBird
Racist science - there is always a prefix to science

baboon wrote:
No that's not science ... But it's not science.

jk1921 wrote:
Right, it even says in the Wikipedia entry cited that it is an example of pseudo-science. ... but its hard to see this as an indictment of science itself, ....

Unfortunately for baboon's and jk1921's opinions, 'drapetomania' is exactly an example of 'science'. When it was outlined, many people took it for 'science'.

But...!

baboon wrote:
...but an example of the ruling class' use of racism and repression. It's part of a long line of the bourgeoisie's use of technological advances and quackery to impose its class rule and further repression from eugenics to industrial slaughter.

jk1921 wrote:
...rather than an example of the penetration of ruling class ideology into science, which is shown for what it is as a result of changing social conditions.
[all my bold]

baboon and jk1921 are far closer to the proper way to regard 'science', here.

'Science' must be located in 'class ideology' and 'changing social conditions' if it is to be both understood and either accepted or rejected.

I'm not sure why baboon, jk1921 and any other posters who have their doubts about 'social objectivity' can't see the contradiction in what's being said, here, by both baboon and jk1921. On the one hand, they can both see that 'science' can't be separated from 'ideology' and 'society' (indeed, these are needed to judge whether it is 'science'), but on the other still seem to want to cling to a 'science' outside of ideology and society.

The only way to discern 'pseudo-science' is to locate it in ideology and society.

baboon and jk1921 rightly condemn Drapetomania, as does any non-racist, but the condemnation lies in our notion of 'social-objectivity', which is an ideologically different point of observation from the notion of 'social-objectivity' maintained by the society of the ante-bellum South.

It does not lie in any supposed 'objective scientific method'.

A.Simpleton
We're getting a bit warmer?

Two latin verbs;

Scio / scire / scivi / scitum : vb. I know :deriv: noun 'scientia'knowing or being skilled in : knowledge, skill, expertise . (i.e. whether arithmetic, bricklaying or French)

Cognosco / cognoscere / cognovi / cognitum : to investigate for the purpose of learning, to become acquainted with (equally whether carpentry, soil composition, ethics)

These different roots continue to exist today : savoir/connaitre in French: sapire/conosco in Italian.

Bear in mind that I post this as an attempt to pin-point clarify or at least clarify exactly where any disagreement exists, if indeed it does.

1) The above definitions surely help us to see that 'cognition' (the 'investigation' for the 'purpose' of learning) comes first .We investigate what is put in front of us and - though in my experience children at least always ask 'why?' (!) - the 'purpose' of investigating it seldom is or can be explained.

Thus the 'expertise','knowledge', 'skill' - the ''science' 'scientia' in Latin - gained comes from a restricted, prescibed by whoever, choice of 'things to investigate for learning' (part of 'cognition') and an unscrutinised 'purpose' itself born of the previous cycle as the 'body of accepted fields of investigation and purposes' is passed on: as is the body of knowledge itself.

2) It does not, however, necessarily follow that just because restriction, prejudice, social bias etc.has been/is a powerful force for unquestioned assumptions and dominance in knowledge,that 7000 years of humanity's 'body of knowledge, skill and expertise' is somehow uniformly and so pervasively tainted as to be no longer meaningful or useful.

The radical Professor I mentioned above revealed all the obscene falsehoods and class based oppressivenes to me re : 'scientifc' bases for race ,class intelligence et al. IQ the 11+ exam, mental illness etc. at one of the most elite universities in the world . He helped many of us to 'unlearn'.

**

'Science is a socially embedded activity. It progresses by hunch, vision, and intuition. Much of its change through time does not record a closer approach to absolute truth, but the alteration of cultural contexts that influence it so strongly. Facts are not pure and unsullied bits of information; culture also influences what we see and how we see it. Theories, moreover, are not inexorable inductions from facts. The most creative theories are often imaginative visions imposed upon facts; the source of imagination is also strongly cultural.'

[Stephen Jay Gould, introduction to "The Mismeasure of Man," 1981]

Surely such a statement would not 'surprise' Karl Marx'?

'Man's natural social activity is labour': mental as well as physical which I have to remind myself of ! so brainwashed are we by the 'division of labour'

So surely 'science' as mental labour,skill, expertise is alienated just as physical labour is  : its 'mental workers' either collaborating happily with the ruling class or perhaps 'conscious' of their alienation ? ready to expose/fight against the danger of the misuse of the very skill they have, the empty claims that are made in the name of their expertise?

The Harvard Graduate : Biologist ,Paleontologist who wrote the book above certainly seems to be ..

Not quite sure what all this adds up to but ...

AS

  

 

 

lem_
"He noticed that once

"He noticed that once 'labelled' schizophrenic they ever more conformed to the behaviour 'expected' of them by the alleged 'medical experts - re-inforced by the very environment they were in, the pre-judged attitudes of the clinicians etc."

yes! but equally, i think that whatever you think of psychology and psychiatry, the use of the term "illness" is justified. simply because, like i said about social scientists - no-one thinks or acts in a vacuum; some people fail to reality test / act / feel at all comfortable, in conditions that others can. it is sad that we seem pretty unable to study that, without damaging the individual [true] or ideology [as you say].

 

and no there is no biology of it - maybe ever [bar genetics etc.]! let me add: i framed mental ill health as a weakness and it is but not one that its sufferers can be held responsible for! which is the very tricky bit... cheers!!

LBird
Hip-hop?

lem_ wrote:
"He noticed that once 'labelled' schizophrenic they ever more conformed to the behaviour 'expected' of them by the alleged 'medical experts - re-inforced by the very environment they were in, the pre-judged attitudes of the clinicians etc."

yes! but equally, i think that whatever you think of psychology and psychiatry, the use of the term "illness" is justified. simply because, like i said about social scientists - no-one thinks or acts in a vacuum; some people fail to reality test / act / feel at all comfortable, in conditions that others can. it is sad that we seem pretty unable to study that, without damaging the individual [true] or ideology [as you say].

I'm not so sure that the term 'illness' is justified, lem_, when applied to an individual.

It's a bit like when someone has a right foot injury, limps when walking and favours the right side. This can have the effect of developing a left hip pain, because of one's unnatural gait.

To then label the left hip as problematic, having an 'illness', needing attention for 'left-hip-opathy', which has its roots in the organic structure of the left hip, is to follow the procedure of psychiatry.

To follow this analogy, if an individual seems to have a 'mental illness', the roots of this are not in the individual but in the society which forms that individual. Of course, the symptoms of 'mental illness' and 'left-hip-opathy' are real (I'm not trying to undermine the suffering involved), but the solutions are elsewhere than in the individual or in the left hip. The wider structure which contains the individual or the left hip must be examined.

lem_ wrote:
and no there is no biology of it - maybe ever [bar genetics etc.]! let me add: i framed mental ill health as a weakness and it is but not one that its sufferers can be held responsible for! which is the very tricky bit... cheers!!

You're spot on, here, lem_!

It's not 'biology' but 'sociology' that is the correct level of reality which must be examined.

It's not 'individual weakness' but 'exploitative social structure' that is the root of the problem.

lem_
Of course, the symptoms of

Of course, the symptoms of 'mental illness' and 'left-hip-opathy' are real (I'm not trying to undermine the suffering involved), but the solutions are elsewhere than in the individual or in the left hip

 

hi again, i doubt we disagree about anything substantial here. in today's social relationships, i am happy to consider my recovery from schizophrenia as, if not primarily mine, then centred on me - as something that is more my [quasi moral] responsibilitty. if i hadn't have learnt to reality test / have insight [a loaded term?] that would have been fatal, whereas my mother could have chosen to do nothing but belittle everything i thought or did and that would not necesarily have prevented recovery. anyway... i don't think it's a pressing problem, but feel like the nature of treatment has robbed me of something.

you've heard of sorteria? IIRC they say that those who been previously institutionalized reacted less well to that treatment, and if ideally psychiatry is not coercive then that's presumably quite insightful. you lose your love of freedom, i guess...

LBird
Deliverance: duelling banjoes or class struggle?

lem_ wrote:
you've heard of sorteria? IIRC they say that those who been previously institutionalized reacted less well to that treatment, and if ideally psychiatry is not coercive then that's presumably quite insightful. you lose your love of freedom, i guess...

No, I haven't heard of 'sorteria', so I'll have a guess.

Is it based on the Greek word for 'deliverance', 'security', 'safety'? Sounds pseudo-religious to me.

Since psychiatry is coercive, I'll bet it involves individual 'deliverance'?

In my opinion, the only 'deliverance' for us all lies in restructuring society. I think that the cause of mental illnesses is damaging social relationships (especially socio-economic exploitation, upon which all the others depend), not in the individuals themselves who are affected.

As for 'institutionalisation', mate, we're all bloody institutionalised into bourgeois thinking. Becoming a Communist means that we've all 'reacted less well' to that treatment. One reason for coming to this forum is to try to cope with that!

My apologies if I've misunderstood your post, lem_.

lem_
well, it's just a word...

well, it's just a word... meant for non coercive institutions :-)

 

it's vaguely hippy - based on laing. i am sorry, i can't remember the spelling :-0

lem_
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soteria

 

"Soteria is a community service that provides a space for people experiencing mental distress or crisis. Based on a recovery model, common elements of the Soteria approach include primarily non-medical staffing; preserving resident's personal power, social networks, and communal responsibilities; finding meaning in the subjective experience of psychosis by "being with" clients; and no or minimal use of antipsychotic medication (with any medication taken from a position of choice and without coercion)."

Fred
both banjoes and class struggle

Do we not want both dueling banjoes AND  class struggle?  I found  "Deliverance" an extremely MENTALLY  disturbing film, especially when the color texturing kept changing later on, and felt that to be a way into a kind of unwelcome craziness.  I still recall its effect on me years later. 

 

 

I am struck by lem's phrase "belittle everything I thought or did".  This society goes in for "belittling" in a big way. Parents and schools do it,  friends can do it,  posters on various "communist" web sites do it as a defense but sometimes just as an unpleasant thing to pull off, as a cheap but finally ineffective way to get "one up" on somebody.  I suppose our conditioning under capitalism leads all of us to do it to each other from time to time.  But lem "BELITTLE EVERYTHING I THOUGHT OR DID" captures a certain feeling  that stems from the nature of this sick society, and which many suffer from unknowingly, in a rare and expressive form of words. So thank you for your poetic insight. 

 

LBird wrote:
 In my opinion, the only 'deliverance' for us all lies in restructuring society. I think that the cause of mental illnesses is damaging social relationships (especially socio-economic exploitation, upon which all the others depend), not in the individuals themselves who are affected.

 As for 'institutionalisation', mate, we're all bloody institutionalised into bourgeois thinking. Becoming a Communist means that we've all 'reacted less well' to that treatment. One reason for coming to this forum is to try to cope with that!

     Absolutely agree comrade.  The only thing that remains to be done is laugh out loud, fart at and mock, the ridiculous notion of "non-coercive institutions" under the bourgeoisie and their Soteria - if I may take the chance to do a touch of belittling myself. Isn't Soteria a way the bourgeoisie have found for "treating"  those in need of love,  affection and help on the cheap?   

 

lem_
i dunno man, it's just a more

i dunno man, it's just a more preferable treatment model.

i don't mean to sound sarcastic... but how different is it to designing better drugs to treat a physical even mental problem.

 

it's not something i'm campaigning for as a communist, i just brought it up because the topic of medical coercion did. a friendly theoretical name drop.

 

edited to add

you've heard of sorteria? IIRC they say that those who been previously institutionalized reacted less well to that treatment, and if ideally psychiatry is not coercive then that's presumably quite insightful. you lose your love of freedom, i guess...

for me, freedom is a somewhat bourgeois notion anyway. used in the abstract anyway!