Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Comments by Joseph Tarantolo, MD

Showing 6 of 6 comments.

  • Your welcome Eugene, nice to be appreciated,
    What struck me as a psychiatric resident were the people who showed up in the Emergency Room wildly “mad” who beaome calm and “normal” as soon as they arrived at a quiet accepting ward. It was not the Snake pit that made them “normal” but rather having an asylum. The big deficit in the world of “mental illness” treatment is the lack of non coersive asylums, places to heal, to be away from that which was maddening. Must be voluntary! And that is where I disagree with Torrey and take on Szasz’s mantel of the respect for freedom of choice.
    best
    jt

  • Dear Fred,
    Most did not survive Auschwitz. Mira did! Why?
    When determinists explain “madness”, e.g. Freud and Biological psychiatrists they miss because there is no understanding of the human will. Except it is. Madness or whatever you want to call it, call it psychosis or schizophrenia, just names ,is a way, a very human way of coping with painful life. Mira , it seems, did not retreat. She willed herself to survive, whatever it took. Nothing is determined except death but we have something to say about when.
    Thanks for sharing Mira with me.
    best
    joe t m.d.

  • Dear Dr Steingard,
    Thank you for your commentary.
    I think we are in agreement. But I must do some “splitting” to convey the issues.Who we are is not equal to our body and our body does not equal who we are. Let’s not be too concrete. Who we are affects our body and our body affects who we are.
    Reading Dr Dunlap’s study from 1923 I was struck by how little the debate has changed . Dementia Praecox and Schizophrenia were invented a hundred years ago. Madness, however, has been with us for thousands of years.
    William Allanson White, in the commentary about Dunlap’s study points out that there were many things wrong with the “Schizophrenic” patients in his hospital, St Elizabeths: malnutrition, thyroid and adrenal problems, various toxins, poverty etc. So even then we knew calling it all a “brain disease” was silly.It has been said that in the WW2 concentration camps, psychosis was 100%! Cruelty breeds madness. But that is only one example.
    I just did a phone consultation: A 25 year old “mad”person has done his best after 6 years of madness only after spending 3 weeks in jail: free of psychiatric intervention and held accountable for his behavior. Where’s the lesson in that?
    Sometimes, with careful study, one might understand an individual. We dare not, I think, jump to the conclusion that we can understand a whole class of people. Politicians for example,like to say “Americans deserve good government!” Well, I have a hunch not all Americans deserve good government.
    jt