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Approach to Schizophrenia

W

Waverly

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Joined
Mar 12, 2015
Messages
23
What is schizophrenia? Clinical psychology as it is practiced today treats this ill-understood malady with various kinds of psychotropic medications designed to stabilize alleged neurochemical imbalances in the brain which are thought to be at least partly the cause of this illness. The clinical approach uses a diagnostic view---that is, if certain behaviors present, and meet specific symptomatic criteria as outlined in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the most recent edition of this manual is the DSM V) (e.g., "hearing voices," "ideas of reference," "flat affect," etc.), a determination called a "differential diagnosis" is reached, treatment ensues, and the affected individual begins, as R. D. Laing and A. Esterson describe in their Sanity, Madness, and the Family---Families of Schizophrenics, a "career" as a schizophrenic.

Schizophrenia does not seem to discriminate along lines of race, gender, or any other attribute of person or personality. Statistically, its incidence is approximately 1% of the population. Neither genetic endowment nor environmental factors nor any combination of these have been ruled out as pertinent to its cause(s), process and progression. As any introductory college course in psychology will reveal, schizophrenia is considered an "abnormal" mental "condition" from which some people suffer and others do not. The main assertion of this work is that everyone is normal (although degrees of what is considered deviance vary).

Statistically speaking, the concept of "normal" behavior is understood to mean how the majority of people in a sample population act. The term "normal" is also, among laypersons and medical professionals alike, replete with attributions born of ignorance, prejudice and social stigma. In Sanity, Madness, and the Family---Families of Schizophrenics, R. D. Laing and A. Esterson address the question of normal behavior by asking to what degree can the experience and behavior that are taken by psychiatrists as signs and symptoms of schizophrenia indicate "social intelligibility." Are schizophrenics talking a lot of nonsense, or is there something more going on that needs to be understood by the psychiatric profession in terms of the possible validity of the client's experience and behavior? Part of these authors' focus is on how the client relates to his environment, whether familial or other, as an object in the world of others and also as a position in space and time from which he experiences, constitutes, and acts in his world. Further, these authors focus on each person's perspective on the situation he shares with others. They go on to say that each person does not occupy a single definable position in relation to other members of his family---they assert that people have identities, but that these identities may change quite remarkably depending on what relation exists within the family or group at any given time, what is going on (process), and who is doing what (praxis). In addition, Laing and Esterson claim that it is arbitrary to regard any one of these transformations or alterations as basic, and the others as variations. Not only may the one person behave differently in his different alterations, he may experience himself in different ways. He is liable to remember different things, express different attitudes, even quite discordant ones, imagine and fantasize in different ways, etc. Essentially, the authors are studying the multiplicity of persons drawn from the kinship group, and from others considered "part of the group" (close friends, etc.)---in other words, the "nexus"---and the focus of the study is on the persons who comprise this nexus, their relationships, and the nexus itself, in so far as it may have structures, processes, and effects as a system, not necessarily intended by its members nor necessarily predictable from a knowledge of its members studied out of context. Sanity, Madness, and the Family---Families of Schizophrenics attempts to answer the extent to which the experience and behavior of the person, who has already begun a career as a schizophrenic patient, is intelligible in the light of the praxis and process of his family nexus.

The statistical definition of "normal" seems, to this author's sensibilities, insufficient. Why should behaving as the majority of people in a sample population behave be considered normal? Is "social intelligibility" an index of normality? In fact, what measure of behavior does not beg the question of what is normal or abnormal, acceptable or deviant? In R. D. Laing's Politics of Experience, the author presents a powerful metaphor for such a circumstance. Suppose, he posits, that a squadron of planes, with the exception of one plane, is flying in formation. Is the one plane out of formation, or is it trying to communicate to the other planes that the entire squadron is off-course?

So, the situation as it stands is that, within a certain range (nexus, or network) which remains undefined since all monitors (transpersonal transceivers: c.f., "Toward A Psychological Theory Of An Interactive Mind" by the present author in the Introduce Yourself Forum of this website) are, at one time or another, themselves monitored, we hear each other think. Hearing each other think can, depending on the density of transpersonal agency, be invasive and painful, so we take the psychiatrist's drugs. However, we are no less "normal" than a fool who, without any hesitation, walks off a cliff---he's a fool isn't he? Isn't that what he's supposed to do?

In his Politics of Experience, R. D. Laing said "[e]xperientially, we have fragments." Thus, our identities, as objects in the world of others and as positions in space and time from which we experience, constitute and act in our own world, are fragmented as well. This is true for three main reasons. First, we are fragmented by the boundary between our self and our self-image (ego). Second, our memory does not usually retain and recall all of where we have been, what we have done, how we have felt, etc. Third, our psychological, emotional, and spiritual boundaries have been confused (or fused, if you will) by transpersonal communication. Given that our boundaries have been compromised, we simply don't know any longer with whom we are arguing---whether our mother, father, sister, brother, friend, enemy, etc.---or to whom we are listening, or what we are doing. In actuality, we may never have known, although we may have thought we did, but didn't know we didn't know. Some of us have been diagnosed, some not. Of those who have been diagnosed, some diagnoses are incorrect. Of those who have not been diagnosed, some will remain so, or be diagnosed or misdiagnosed at some time, and some diagnoses which would be appropriate or inappropriate will never be conceived.
 
Last edited:
BillFish

BillFish

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2009
Messages
2,388
What is schizophrenia? Clinical psychology as it is practiced today treats this ill-understood malady with various kinds of psychotropic medications designed to stabilize alleged neurochemical imbalances in the brain which are thought to be at least partly the cause of this illness. The clinical approach uses a diagnostic view---that is, if certain behaviors present, and meet specific symptomatic criteria as outlined in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the most recent edition of this manual is the DSM V) (e.g., "hearing voices," "ideas of reference," "flat affect," etc.), a determination called a "differential diagnosis" is reached, treatment ensues, and the affected individual begins, as R. D. Laing and A. Esterson describe in their Sanity, Madness, and the Family---Families of Schizophrenics, a "career" as a schizophrenic.

Schizophrenia does not seem to discriminate along lines of race, gender, or any other attribute of person or personality. Statistically, its incidence is approximately 1% of the population. Neither genetic endowment nor environmental factors nor any combination of these have been ruled out as pertinent to its cause(s), process and progression. As any introductory college course in psychology will reveal, schizophrenia is considered an "abnormal" mental "condition" from which some people suffer and others do not. The main assertion of this work is that everyone is normal (although degrees of what is considered deviance vary).

Statistically speaking, the concept of "normal" behavior is understood to mean how the majority of people in a sample population act. The term "normal" is also, among laypersons and medical professionals alike, replete with attributions born of ignorance, prejudice and social stigma. In Sanity, Madness, and the Family---Families of Schizophrenics, R. D. Laing and A. Esterson address the question of normal behavior by asking to what degree can the experience and behavior that are taken by psychiatrists as signs and symptoms of schizophrenia indicate "social intelligibility." Are schizophrenics talking a lot of nonsense, or is there something more going on that needs to be understood by the psychiatric profession in terms of the possible validity of the client's experience and behavior? Part of these authors' focus is on how the client relates to his environment, whether familial or other, as an object in the world of others and also as a position in space and time from which he experiences, constitutes, and acts in his world. Further, these authors focus on each person's perspective on the situation he shares with others. They go on to say that each person does not occupy a single definable position in relation to other members of his family---they assert that people have identities, but that these identities may change quite remarkably depending on what relation exists within the family or group at any given time, what is going on (process), and who is doing what (praxis). In addition, Laing and Esterson claim that it is arbitrary to regard any one of these transformations or alterations as basic, and the others as variations. Not only may the one person behave differently in his different alterations, he may experience himself in different ways. He is liable to remember different things, express different attitudes, even quite discordant ones, imagine and fantasize in different ways, etc. Essentially, the authors are studying the multiplicity of persons drawn from the kinship group, and from others considered "part of the group" (close friends, etc.)---in other words, the "nexus"---and the focus of the study is on the persons who comprise this nexus, their relationships, and the nexus itself, in so far as it may have structures, processes, and effects as a system, not necessarily intended by its members nor necessarily predictable from a knowledge of its members studied out of context. Sanity, Madness, and the Family---Families of Schizophrenics attempts to answer the extent to which the experience and behavior of the person, who has already begun a career as a schizophrenic patient, is intelligible in the light of the praxis and process of his family nexus.

The statistical definition of "normal" seems, to this author's sensibilities, insufficient. Why should behaving as the majority of people in a sample population behave be considered normal? Is "social intelligibility" an index of normality? In fact, what measure of behavior does not beg the question of what is normal or abnormal, acceptable or deviant? In R. D. Laing's Politics of Experience, the author presents a powerful metaphor for such a circumstance. Suppose, he posits, that a squadron of planes, with the exception of one plane, is flying in formation. Is the one plane out of formation, or is it trying to communicate to the other planes that the entire squadron is off-course?

So, the situation as it stands is that, within a certain range (nexus, or network) which remains undefined since all monitors (transpersonal transceivers: c.f., "Toward A Psychological Theory Of An Interactive Mind" by the present author in the Introduce Yourself Forum of this website) are, at one time or another, themselves monitored, we hear each other think. Hearing each other think can, depending on the density of transpersonal agency, be invasive and painful, so we take the psychiatrist's drugs. However, we are no less "normal" than a fool who, without any hesitation, walks off a cliff---he's a fool isn't he? Isn't that what he's supposed to do?

In his Politics of Experience, R. D. Laing said "[e]xperientially, we have fragments." Thus, our identities, as objects in the world of others and as positions in space and time from which we experience, constitute and act in our own world, are fragmented as well. This is true for three main reasons. First, we are fragmented by the boundary between our self and our self-image (ego). Second, our memory does not usually retain and recall all of where we have been, what we have done, how we have felt, etc. Third, our psychological, emotional, and spiritual boundaries have been confused (or fused, if you will) by transpersonal communication. Given that our boundaries have been compromised, we simply don't know any longer with whom we are arguing---whether our mother, father, sister, brother, friend, enemy, etc.---or to whom we are listening, or what we are doing. In actuality, we may never have known, although we may have thought we did, but didn't know we didn't know. Some of us have been diagnosed, some not. Of those who have been diagnosed, some diagnoses are incorrect. Of those who have not been diagnosed, some will remain so, or be diagnosed or misdiagnosed at some time, and some diagnoses which would be appropriate or inappropriate will never be conceived.
I think the constant referral to " Normal" as the ideal comparison and standard, needs to be superseded by " Functioning relative to environment". Society is a strange entity, with lots of weird and strange practices, beliefs and viewpoints.To somehow apply a point of ideal normality to the societal chaos to everyone, by which people can compare their lives to is pointless. Instead, assessing ones own functioning relative to our perceived immediate social/societal environment is much more preferable on a personal level for those with mental illness. :p

Must have eaten a dictionary this morning :confused::meanie:
 
Kerome

Kerome

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
12,750
Location
Europe
I think the constant referral to " Normal" as the ideal comparison and standard, needs to be superseded by " Functioning relative to environment". Society is a strange entity, with lots of weird and strange practices, beliefs and viewpoints.To somehow apply a point of ideal normality to the societal chaos to everyone, by which people can compare their lives to is pointless.
To a certain extent that is true, but even then you need to apply fairly generous brackets. In my opinion people who spend their lives chasing money and status as a path to happiness are moderately insane, yet by most people's definitions they should still fall within the sane bracket.
 
W

Waverly

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2015
Messages
23
Thank you, BillFish and Kerome, for your comments. It does seem that it is difficult to agree on a valid index of measurement or standard for what is "normal," "functional relative to the environment," "appropriate baseline psychological/behavioral response," etc. As I stated, a search for such a standard does seem to beg the question, and end in an argument of semantics. I do agree that we need to apply fairly generous brackets, since each of us views the issue from a different personal perspective.
 

cpuusage

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Sep 25, 2012
Messages
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Planet Lunatic Asylum
i like R.D. Laing & all the work of people that have explored the mystical/spiritual/transpersonal aspects to mental health.

To be objectively critical - it doesn't curry much favour, & has failed. i think on balance to see things exclusively in such terms is as myopic as seeing it all as brain disease.

imo there needs to be a far more integral/holistic & personal centred/individualised approach - it all needs to be seen in broader terms, away from the all the either/or polemics. Something that integrates brain,body/mind/soul/environment together.
 
D

Deliah

Guest
Why should behaving as the majority of people in a sample population behave be considered normal? Is "social intelligibility" an index of normality?

Indeed, why should it, what load of rubbish. I don't even believe there is a behaviour of a majority. Mumfry mumfums. That what my voices call it, a load of mumfry mumfums! D xx
 
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