Wednesday, 4 March 2009

"Is it time for ISPS to remove the term 'schizophrenia' from its name?"

Some more thoughts about the ISPS, and about diagnoses, human nature and power imbalances in our egocentric culture.

So, looking at the ISPS Denmark, basically, what have we got? A semi-professional* organization, who, in spite of what its name might suggest, doesn't really regard psychological treatments as having the potential to, successfully replace medical treatment of extreme states of mind, but merely sees these psychological interventions as a means to get people, successfully, hooked on psych drugs. For life.

The Danish - and obviously also the Swedish - group consists, as I say in a comment at Gianna's blog, of a bunch of drug pushers, whose aim it is, to consolidate the "patients' " compliance to the drug "treatment" by massive indoctrination. Which, in their terminology becomes "dialogue". Well, yes, as a matter of fact and undeniably it is a good thing to know at least the basics of psychology if you want to make your indoctrination as efficient as possible. It's called "mind control", and, yes, it has got everything to do with psychology.

The ISPS' central, international organization recently launched "Psychosis", a journal with articles related to psychological treatment options for extreme states of mind. The table of contents reflects two things:

1. the wide range of - fundamentally - different views on so-called "psychosis" inside the ISPS, and

2., as I point out in a comment on Gianna's post on the journal, and especially on one - great! - article featured in its first issue, the power balance between the labelling and the labelled. Or maybe I should say: the somewhat grotesque power imbalance between those two groups. Again, we here have a medium, that chooses to give about 90% of its space to professionals theorizing about the experience, and about those, who have/had it.

Well, at least it seems, it's not 100%... And, and this is really groundbreaking!, the journal doesn't advertise. No Zyprexa, Risperdal, Seroquel, or whatever else ads. Incredible! Congrats on that one, ISPS!

But - no, I'm not finished with you guys! - the journals name is "Psychosis". What exactly is "psychosis"? Let me tell you:

"Psychosis" is, just as any other psych label, the Establishment's - unfortunately widely successful - attempt to pathologize human nature - in favor of the culture represented and promoted by the Establishment.

Most people aren't aware of the fact, that natural does not equal to normal. Be sure, it so doesn't! Actually, the more our culture moves away from what is natural, the less these two adjectives do equal. Thus, driving a car is completely normal, although it isn't the least natural. It's a cultural phenomenon. It is judged by cultural norms and values as being normal.

While in nature things just are, or are not, without becoming judged, in culture things become measured and judged by the at any time given cultural norms and values. So, the things that in nature just are, in culture become normal, or abnormal, worthy, or unworthy, good, or bad (mad??), etc. And the more a culture moves away from nature, the more things it measures and judges in this way. And the more rigorously it divides normal from abnormal, worthy from unworthy, good from bad, etc .

It is the ego that makes us cultural beings, in addition to being natural beings. It is the ego that needs to measure and judge, in order to delimit itself from the oneness, that nature is, in order to define itself as a unique individual. Or as a unique, individual culture. And when the ego rules, as it does in an ego-centered culture like our modern, western civilization, it will do everything imaginable to make the distinction between itself and the other as pronounced as possible. It will do everything imaginable to alienate the individual from its human nature, from the oneness with nature in general.

For instance by judging perfectly natural phenomena as abnormal. Or as strange, like in "alienation" (i.e. distinction, or split, schizm, like in "schizophrenia" - who is really "schizophrenic" here???) - from nature.

While anyone can relate to and identify with (identification = oneness) emotions and states of mind like anger, fear, confusion or joy, and quite easily can understand for instance "extreme confusion", because they've experienced confusion themselves, it gets a whole lot more difficult, if not impossible, to relate to, identify with, and thus to understand "schizophrenia" or "psychosis".

While anger, fear, confusion, joy etc. are viewed as normal by our culture, the extremes of these emotions aren't described as lying end to end with, and as, indeed, being basically the same in their nature as the as normal judged intensity of these same emotions, but as diametrically opposed to it, as abnormal, strange, unintelligible, pathologic, sick. And in order to ram this home, in order to cement it in people's perception, the extremes got renamed. With pathologizing labels. "Psychosis". Meaning: not to be understood. Or: meaningless. While it is our nature to always and in everything look for meaning, for oneness, our culture has created the ultimate tool to alienate us from our own nature by creating the concept of "mental illness" (i.e. meaningless behavior, thoughts and emotions) to describe our own nature with.

"Is it time for ISPS to remove the term "schizophrenia" from its name?" Well, that depends. It depends on whether we, humanity as a whole, want to continue on our egos' and culture's path of increasing alienation from (our own) nature, on our egos' and culture's path of regression**, deeper and deeper into unconsciousness, or if we can overcome this culture's narcissism, realizing and accepting that there is nothing strange, meaningless, nothing "schizophrenic" or "psychotic" to (human) nature. Realizing and accepting that we all just are.

As my above jottings show, removing the term "schizophrenia" from ISPS' name, and replacing it with another pathologizing label, won't do. The problem is, that, basically, what my train of thought leads to is, that neither a medical nor any other degree actually qualifies anyone to guide another individual through and out of extreme states of mind. That which qualifies someone for this task is only and solely being in touch with, and conscious of their own human nature, their true self.

* Membership is open both for professionals and non-professionals.

** Note the parallel to what is described as a "schizophrenic" mechanism.

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