From: jim <jmd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 20:56:07 +0100
In message <Pine.BSI.3.96.980623031734.13436A-
100000@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, Alan Myouka Sondheim
>But for some of us it _is_ an illness; it's not negative thinking,
>negative thoughts at all. It's something else, clinical; when I get
>depressed, I can literally feel a change in my body chemistry.
Does that mean whenever you feel a change in your body
concomittantly with a change in emotion or mood that you are suffering
from an illness? Are love, solicitude, the orgasm, also diseases? Among
the rich panoply of emotions and moods, why do you characterize
'being depressed' as an illness and not, for example, the elation that
overcomes us and induces a vision of the world sub specie aeternitatis?
Isn't you're judgement simply based on 'negative thinking', if you will?
>I used to get tired of people saying "it's all in your head" or
>"you like being depressed," whatever.
But Das Man does that! We take pleasure as one takes pleasure. If we
don't, there is occlusion, obstruction, conspicuousness. We are
assimilated to object, subsumed under the categories.
Let's play typical modern philosophy, if you will:
there is a mind-body problem there; but has the natural scientist,
unbeknownst to the uninformed philosopher, somehow, in some sense,
SOLVED the problem? Discovered that mental states are, afterall,
identical to physical states of the brain?
The confusions which underly that problem are intrinsic to the concept
of 'mental illness'.
Nobody is disputing that the mental influences the physical: I think that I
can get a coffee in the cafe, so my body moves. Nobody is disputing
that the physical influences the mental: I can't think without my morning
coffee. But independently of 'political' adjudication, how can it
coherently be thought that, just like the body, the MIND can suffer
illness (we aren't talking about cerebral hemorrages or tissue damage to
It makes no sense: nowadays, in the States, mental illness is becoming
"an authenticity deferment": addictive drinking, drug usage, complusive
smoking, ..., are all diseases. So are species of violence. I am becoming
a MINDFULL-LESS, physical organism, exhaustively explained in
terms of the causal interaction of inhibitors and excitatory chemicals
across synaptic gaps. If the organism does behave in accord with the
dictates of 'political' Das Man, I'm mentally healthy; if not, I'm mentally
ill; and the psychopharmacologist gets his financial reward when I am
given chemicals to effect respect for political Das Man.
Enough, but, Don't leave your "philosophical criticism" on the desk
when you walk away. After you walk away is when it becomes most
Alan, either if you haven't read Thomas Szasz (The Myth of Mental
Illness, The Manufacture of Madness, Ideology and Insantiy) or you
have and are not convinced by his argument. You might also be
interested in the recently published book, something or other Madness
in America. Read him again, please. Also check out the new area of
research called Colonial Psychiatry -- the crimes committed against
humanity in the name of mental hygiene!
>This is a breakthrough,
What was discovered??????
> and has nothing to do
>with the concept of negative thoughts, whatever. It means in fact that
>there's a possibility that numbers of people might be able to live lives
>in the future that they themselves regard as healthy.
No, that 'political' Das Man considers healthy. And it means that by that
many numbers of people, They have reduced the demand that Society
change, that Society pivot on Care, ... (An interesting statistic out of
Japan; roughly 80% of all elderly people feel that technology has either
not improved or simply worsened their quality of life).
The next time that someone tells you "it's in you're head," you should tell
them (respecting their own ontic views), "Of course, it is; that's why I'm
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