I wonder if this is as good as it gets?
That was the question Jack gave to a waiting room full of his psychiatrist's patients as he was leaving. What you see is the angst-ridden reaction to that question from a couple of semi-neurotic Manhattanites patiently waiting to discuss their all too normal "problems" with their guru of the new religion of the 20th century.
Sometimes an off-the-cuff remark has pearls of wisdom far too valuable for the common swine. Take a good, long look at the people in that picture. They got it. It hit home. What if this IS as good as it gets?
How can you go through life knowing this is the pinnacle of your life's achievement? Look at that face. Nothing is worth it anymore. Her investment banker husband doesn't understand, and her interior design business leaves her flat and emotionless. Even the endless parties filled with meaningless conversation about opera, charities, and Junior League leaves her an empty shell of a woman, crying for understanding in a world she has carefully crafted to provide her with everything but substance.
At this point, Jack provided the substance that her analyst couldn't provide at $500 an hour. You'd think she'd be happy to attain such understanding, but the rabbit hole is deep, and if it doesn't come with a 6-figure price tag, it can't be worth it.
She has all she needs, and nothing she wants. Her basic, core survival goals of food, clothing and shelter have all been met, her "surrogate activities," i.e. Junior League, just don't do it, so she's left an empty, distraught, shell of a human, trying to satisfy tertiary goals by paying a hand-holding analyst with an endless supply of Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil.
If this is as good as it gets, perhaps now is the time for these pseudo-nut jobs to adjust their goal of the moment, talk amongst themselves, and all head to the nearest yuppie watering hole for a few laughs and bask in the revelation that a baby-steps goal to the bar is more therapeutic than 12 years on the couch.
Psychiatry is primarily a social institution which removes from society the "mentally ill and attempts to subdue their symptoms using drugs. Patients are diagnosed, labeled and drugged. Emphasis is on "Normalization". The suppression of difference, originality and vision - Conformism - making obedient robots that do not create anxiety in others.Psychiatry Anti-Psychiatry Re-Visited
I can't help thinking of Winston Smith in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. If you read the book or saw the movie, you realize Winston was the only sane and normal person in Oceania. He wondered about his childhood, the people he worked with, the proles, Big Brother, the thought police; and he would stumble onto shops in the prole areas where he found interesting treasures of a dead past, such as a piece of coral and a book with blank pages, which he used as a journal... something to leave behind as a reminder that he once was... The sort of thing you or anyone you know might do, only, in Smith's reality, this was thoughtcrime. The cure for Winston's mental derangement included interrogation, malnutrition, humiliation, torture, and ultimately, death at the hands of the thought police. At least he was fully conformed and loved Big Brother by the time he got a bullet in the back of the head.
OK, so Nineteen Eighty-Four was fiction, and in this reality that could never happen because we care about people and only want to help mentally diseased people get better and function as successful members of our society, right?
Compare this waiting room pic to Cushing and Pleasence above. What's with the dark colors? I mean, the BBC production was made on a budget in 1954 so color was out of the question, but those women in black look like a couple of old Italian grandmothers in mourning. All that's missing is the burqas. and some ashes.
But I'm wandering from the point here.
Mental illness and the cure isn't much different than it was in Nineteen Eighty-Four, except in our society we're ALL potential nut cases, and we're ALL in the process of being cured. (Come to think of it, that IS the premise of "Nineteen Eighty-Four!") Instead of torture, we have maintenance drugs. Instead of humiliation, we have group therapy. Instead of malnutrition, we have diet programs. Top it off with a constant intake of fluoride from water, ice cream, and canned foods to keep us complacent and apathetic, coupled with TV and the Internet, and the new age of conformity is here to stay. Keep everyone the same and you keep society healthy, right? Got schizophrenia? We're here to help. We can't have free-thinking, metaphor-speaking, outside-the-box thinkers in this society!
Psychiatry routinely says someof us have a disease, and so we can be forced to take drugs or be incarcerated. Psychiatrists often cannot prove that the disease exists, or that the collection of disabling symptoms is from that disease. Yet they are allowed to take our more vulnerable citizens, tell them they are defective in a genetic way, lock them up and pour drugs down their throats. Psychiatry often prevents the societal changes that might come about from true scientific exploration of social trauma. Read psychiatrist Peter Breggin's work to understand the depth of the deception. He calls psychiatry a religion. Of course, many of our fellow citizens have emotional problems and find real help consulting therapists. But psychiatry, as a mouthpiece for the mind-control drug industry, goes much further. It says their specialty should be allowed to label 20 percent of Americans as defective. Psychiatry won't let society look behind the curtain to see if trauma caused the disorder. ECOLOGY OF MIND MIND-ING ECOLOGY
Schizophrenia stands out as the only mental disorder with noticeable changes in brain structure visible through CT scan or MRI, meaning there is actually a measurable change in brain structure. But.... so is epilepsy, and we don't consider epilepsy a mental disorder, nor do we incarcerate or lobotomize epileptics. So, why is it we need to "save" schizophrenics by forced conformity through drugs, Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) and segregation?
It's simple. Schizoids are the wild cards of society. They don't think like everyone else. The metaphoric thought patterns, hallucinations and delusions are usually the only way they can communicate the trauma that brought them to this point, and that communication, as strange as it is to "normal" people, is their own brains' way of fixing that trauma. This different way of looking at the world for solutions is the springboard that propels humanity from a static state. It's like adding a few new colors to the palette and seeing things from unknown perspectives.
Look around, and you'll see symptoms of schizoid behavior all around you. Modern music without metaphor is dull and stupid, and will never make the charts; Einstein's hallucinations of riding a beam of light while holding a mirror, wondering if he can see his reflection, created the impetus to his theory on special relativity; Joan of Arc's hallucinations and extreme delusions as messenger of God saved France from total elimination; and John Nash would've been institutionalized long before he wrote his 27-page dissertation outlining his "Nash Equilibrium" for strategic non-cooperative games, which won him a Nobel Prize in economics. The Bible is filled with people exhibiting all the signs of schizophrenia, i.e. speaking in metaphors, delusions, hallucinations, non-linear thought, religious allegory, etc. Every one of Jesus' parables were communicated in metaphor, and he was certainly a non-linear thinker. It stands to reason if Jesus were here today, he'd be wacked out on antipsychotics in some asylum.
A genius like John Nash would never survive these days. Roving bands of psychologists through society's school systems would unearth any non-conformist patterns, and the potential genius child will be medicated with drugs such as Haldol and Thorazine until the wild card genius is completely eliminated. They can sometimes have severe side effects, so second-generation antipsychotics will be needed such as Risperdal, Zyprexa, and Geodon. Then there's ECT, if all else fails.
Thorazine, by the way, isn't intended so much for a curative effect but for keeping the patient "calm" and controllable. Two interesting byproducts of Thorazine are involuntary drooling and what's known as the "Thorazine shuffle"... Unless you've tried this drug you can't imagine the horror of being so dead tired you can't move, but at the same time, being unable to stop moving, so you shamble about, dragging your feet and drooling in an endless search to do something because you can't do nothing and you're totally incapable of doing either. What kind of hell is that? And where would John Nash be today? Most likely, an institutionalized, drug-warped, drooling zombie with Jesus as a roommate.
And where would we be without Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac and a few million other musicians? Probably listening to Barry Manilow, which accounts for the fact that his latest album, The Greatest Songs of the 50's, debuted at #1. Only Michael Jackson's Thriller and The Beatles' White Album hit that high. In the Canadian movie My Life Without Me, when the daughter says: "There's no such thing as normalcy", the mother replies: "Barry Manilow is normal!" (I don't know about you but these two facts scare me.)
Is it possible that the war on drugs or, more aptly, the war on some drugs, has brought us to the point where our Ritalin-embalmed, maintenance-drug dependent, non-smoking, non-drinking, grossly Politically Correct, McDonald's-gorged, lock-step, wanna-be police state society thinks Barry Manilow is cool? Just shoot me now....
I mean, WTF... Barry Manilow, songwriter, went platinum with an album filled with songs he didn't even write. He writes the songs my ass! And that's my point. The most creative people in our society are unheard of, unknown or forgotten and it's the Barry Manilow hacks getting more credit than they deserve by re-doing someone else's material. This no talent hack is just one of many scavengers sucking at the teat of popularity because the powers that be couldn't recognize creativity if they fell over it.
Let's take a look at a sample of genius that could never survive in today's environment.
Abraham Lincoln, Virginia Woolf, Lionel Aldridge, Eugene O'Neill, Ludwig van Beethoven, Gaetano Donizetti, Robert Schumann, Leo Tolstoy, Vaslov Nijinsk, Charles Dickens, John Keats, Tennessee Williams, Vincent Van Gogh, Isaac Newton, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, Michelangelo, Winston Churchill, Vivien Leigh, Jimmy Piersall, Patty Duke, Charles Dickens. To name just a few. stampoutstigma.org
A friend of mine was diagnosed as schizophrenic. Never mind that he spent four years in the military, earned a degree in electrical engineering, and was the first person I ever met who could discuss quantum mechanics, eastern mysticism, and the commodity market and bring them full circle into one, elegant equation. His greatest fear was becoming violent and doing harm, so his psychiatrist gave him a chemical lobotomy. He once told me he couldn't remember if he had taken his daily shower or not so he would either spend the day taking one shower after the other or go for weeks without. In August you could see him walking around town in 90 degree weather wearing his white coveralls and parka, not knowing if it was hot or cold. I asked him if he had any regrets about his lobotomy. He said, at the time, he was very depressed and had no sales resistance. He just did what his psychiatrist suggested and the procedure was irreversible. At least he wasn't violent. This black sheep had become a lamb in a world of wolves and I expect him to be a non-person in some unknown institution somewhere without so much as a visit from the normal community he tried so hard to conform to. Such a waste and a loss to the world.
Going to a psychiatrist has become one of the most dangerous things a person can do.
-- Peter Breggin, M.D. Author of "Toxic Psychiatry"
Is it any wonder our society is so dull, boring and devoid of original, groundbreaking thoughts and ideas? Look around and wonder what happened to the genius inspirations the 21st century promised. Where are our flying cars and electric houses? Where's the peace on Earth and prosperity for all? Where's the instantaneous global transportation? Where's the colonization of space? We were promised George Jetson and got George Bush. We were promised Star Fleet and got Halliburton. We were promised HAL9000 and got Windows. We can make a phone the size of a chicklet but can't keep a connection and we still use keyboards on our computers. (how quaint!)
I guess the only way you can maintain business as usual is eliminate change.
"To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone - to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink - greetings!
Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death."
(From Winston Smith's journal, Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell)
I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
Don't compare yourself with others. They're more fucked up than you think.