Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Comments by marlop

Showing 1 of 1 comments.

  • Great article, well-written and I agree with the thesis that more often than not psychiatry pathologizes experiences that are simply normal human responses to unhealthy experiences.

    However, let me play the devils advocate for a moment. What about when it doesn’t feel normal or good or healthy or tolerable to you? I’ve struggled with hideous depression and if someone said, “You’re just having a normal reaction to a problematic environment,” I would have felt like the person didn’t get what I was saying. I would have thought, “No actually, this is different. This is not the same as that. A strong reaction is one thing. This is more than that and it’s limiting my ability to live the life I want to and share myself and connect. I would hope that people who are healers, whatever the letters are beside their name, would have curiosity, support and advice. Don’t pathologize, but also don’t minimize. You have to find out what’s wrong before you can work towards the solution.

    Another problem area:
    “It seems to me that if the medical model of psychiatry and the DSM were like other medical specialties that diagnose physical health problems, then finding out what is wrong ASAP would be absolutely right.”

    I see this binary again and again. The medical model works great for physical diseases, but is a horrible fit for mental/emotional issues.

    Two points. First, I’m not convinced the medical model is all that great for dealing with physical issues. Sure, for extreme and acute medical emergencies it’s great. But for chronic physical ailments, the track record is not that excellent. Many of the treatments cause hosts of other issues. Prevention, diet and lifestyle changes, are highly under valued. Plus, stress and emotional issues are at the core of most physical issues, so you can’t just divide mind and body like that. This divide is a holdover from the old Descartian division of human from nature/body, and new science shows this split is limiting and false.

    Which leads me to the next point. While psychiatry and the other fields have much to be critiqued and challenged, we wouldn’t even be having these conversations and this website wouldn’t exist, if these fields drew attention and appreciation to the inner universe that was being ignored by the medical field. Its time for them to grow and we are urging them on, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    Furthermore, advances in neuroscience and psychology, while in their infancy, are moving into far more nuanced and interesting places, including not just looking at pathology, but looking at what healthy emotional and mental life looks like and how we can foster and encourage it.

    Anyway, I wanted to add my two cents to problematize this physical medicine = good/ mental medicine = bad dichotomy that seems simplistic.