A souls silent scream to be itself manifests as
mental illness in the eyes of those that demand fealty.
"Mental health professionals in the West, and in
the US in particular, create official
categories of mental diseases and promote them in a diagnostic manual that
has become the worldwide standard.
American researchers and institutions run
most of the premier scholarly journals and host top conferences in the fields
of psychology and psychiatry.
Western drug companies dole out large sums
for research and spend billions marketing medications for mental illnesses." -
"A survey published in the early 1970s found that
whereas a majority (59%) of people who had visited a professional
psychotherapist for emotional
distress reported having been "helped" by the consultation, much larger
majorities of people who had consulted
a clergyman (78%) or
a physician without specialized
psychological training (76%) or - get this - a
lawyer (77%) reported the
same thing." -
illness as biochemically based creates greater tension than
labeling mental illness
as a disorder of the spirit -
such as demon possession,
incorrect thinking or
Individuals with "schizophrenia" in
Third World countries fare better over
time than those living in "developed" nations.
Over the centuries every
culture has developed unique ways to deal with someone who is behaving in a
culturally non-normative way.
"Muslim and Swahili spirits are not
exorcised in the Christian sense of casting out. Rather they are
coaxed with food and goods, feted with
song and dance. They are placated, settled, reduced in
emotional reactions from family members correlate with higher relapse rates
for people who have been diagnosised as schizophrenia.
Reactions such as
overprotectiveness or constant intrusiveness may cause relapse.
"Spirit-possession beliefs had
Critically, the story allows the person with
schizophrenia to rejoin society when health is restored.
individual enjoying a time of relative grounding could, at least temporarily,
retake his or her responsibilities
in the kinship group.
Since the illness was seen as
the work of outside
forces, it was understood as an affliction for the sufferer but not as an
identity." - Ethan Watters
In a study conducted in Türkey those
who labeled schizophrenic behavior
as akil hastaligi (illness of
the brain or reasoning abilities)
were more inclined to assert that schizophrenics were aggressive and
should not live freely in the
community than those who saw the disorder as ruhsal hastagi (a
disorder of the spiritual or inner self).
Another study, which
looked at populations in Germany, Russia and Mongolia,
found that "irrespective of place endorsing
biological factors as the
cause of schizophrenia is associated with
a desire for social
Unfortunately social distance
increases isolation enhancing schizophrenia.
"Behavior can not be
It can simply comport with, or not comport with, our
expectations of how
people should behave.
Analogously, brains that produce
atypical behaviors are not
They are brains
that produce atypical behaviors.
The erosion of
is the most pernicious effect of the
role of psychiatry has come to play in
It has successfully replaced huge chunks of
individual accountability with diagnoses, clinical histories and what turn out
to be pseudoscientific
explanations for deviant
behavior." - Irwin Savodnik
psychiatrists have amassed an impressive body of evidence suggesting that
mental illness is
In some Southeast Asian cultures, men have
been known to experience what is called amok, an episode of murderous
rage followed by amnesia; men in the
region also suffer from koro, which is characterized by the debilitating
certainty that their genitals are retracting into their bodies.
Levant there is zar,
a condition related to
spirit-possession beliefs that brings forth dissociative episodes of laughing,
shouting and singing.
"Behind the promotion of Western ideas of
mental health and healing lie a variety of
cultural assumptions .
Westerners share, for instance, evolving beliefs about what type of
life event is likely to make one
psychologically traumatized, and
we agree that venting emotions
by talking is more healthy than
Our biomedical advances are hard to separate from
our particular cultural
beliefs." - Ethan Watters
Human troubles - from
squabbles to misbehavior of many
kinds - is to be viewed not as an inevitable part of
the human comedy, but as
psychopathology to be treated with
"Mainstream Western psychology has
limited the definition of
mental health to the interpersonal
context of an urban-industrial society.
All that lies beyond the
citified psyche has seemed of no human
relevance - too frightening to
think about." -
vast broadening of the definition of mental
disorders has skeptics
suspicious of the
motivations of the American
Psychiatric Association and the pharmacuetical
is feared and has such a stigma because it represents a reversal of what
Westernized people have come
to value as the essence of
human nature. Western culture highly values
an illusion of self-control and
control of circumstance,
we become abject when
mentation that seems more changeable, less restrained and less
controllable, more open to outside influence, than we imagine our own to be." -
metastasizing Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders of the American Psychiatric
Association appears to be caught up in a contemporary
narcissistic quest for
individual perfection through the
application of neurotoxins.
mental-health discourse introduces core elements of Western culture,
including a theory of human
nature, a definition of
a sense of time and
memory and a source of
None of this is universal.
One set of ideas about pain
and suffering is being presented as definitive.
There is no one definitive
psychology." - Derek Summerfield
Social engineers claim
are necessary to create a
civil and just social culture of
individuals capable of serving
"We say we are being
kind, but our actions suggest otherwise.
Viewing those with mental
disorders as diseased sets them apart and
may lead to our perceiving them as
Biochemical aberrations make them a
different species." - Sheila Mehta
The implicit ideal -
the properly medicated healthy, normal and
truly happy camper - will harbor
no serious worries or
animosities, no sadness over losses or failures,
no disappointments with family,
no doubts about
themselves or conflicts with
others, and, certainly not the expression of strange ideas or
behaviors defined in media as
"For more than a generation the West has
aggressively spread mental illness around the world in the name of science
changing not only the treatments but also the expression of mental
illness in other cultures.
In the end,
and anthropologists tell us is that all
mental illness, including
PTSD and even schizophrenia, can be
every bit as influenced by
cultural beliefs and expectations today as hysterical-leg paralysis or the
vapors or zar or any
other mental illness ever experienced in
the history of human
madness." - Ethan Watters
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