Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On Psychiatry


Holly Case has penned an interesting article, which reminds us that mental illness remains controversial and misunderstood. As you read her piece, linked above, you won't agree with or accept everything she or Szasz has said, but it's healthy to be reminded that so-called civilized nations have sometimes used psychiatry as a political tool.

A few excerpts ... and some comments:

(Szasz) declared that ‘psychiatry is a threat to civil liberties, especially to the liberties of individuals stigmatised as “right-wingers”

Interesting statement, considering the controversy surrounding the upcoming release of the new DSM-5, and the threats by some professionals in France and elsewhere, so upset by it that they are declaring their refusal to buy and use it.

Truth itself is under attack and is in some quarters seen as both defeated and irrelevant.

Szasz learned, 'at an early age, the lesson that it can be dangerous to be wrong, but, to be right, when society regards the majority’s falsehood as truth, could be fatal. This principle is especially true with respect to false truths that form an important part of an entire society’s belief system. In the past, such basic false truths were religious in nature. In the modern world, they are medical and political in nature.'

Arno Gruen's concept, The Insanity of Normality, comes to mind as she discusses the trials of Anders B. Breivik and Adolf Eichmann.

The mere refusal of certain segments of the Christian Church to recognize the intermingled physical and spiritual aspects of both mental illness and spiritual health, only serves to highlight the problems which Szasz was attempting to address.

Are ministers even trained any more in the methods of using truth to set people free?

Those who hide their heads in the sand will not be prepared when the tsunami, which the prophet is raving about, finally arrives.

May we have more prophetic voices, ... and ears to hear them!