Sunday, December 4, 2022

Comments by verticalman56

Showing 35 of 35 comments.

  • I wish someone would do a review of Steven James Bartlett’s book “Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health: The Need to Look Elsewhere for Standards of Good Psychological Health”
    I find it hard to believe no author in MIA has not heard of this book. I sent a copy to Robert Whitaker years ago hoping he would do a review but to no avail.

  • “We need to realize that the various expressions of suffering that we today refer to as mental illness, or even more cynically as mental illness, are actually functional reactions to difficult and overwhelming life situations. And must also be seen and treated as such”

    This is so true! Anyone who has been in psychotherapy or psychiatric treatment are looked upon as if the problems they have is ONLY their fault hence dismissing the often sick world we are living in which keeps our emotional and psychological well being in a state of arrested development. To make matters worse, this arrested state impairs our innate potential in discovering higher stages of development towards self realization.

    Dr. Erich Fromm knew this long ago. In his book, “Escape from Freedom” he said

    “modern man still is anxious and tempted to surrender his freedom to dictators of all kinds, or to lose it by transforming himself into a small cog in the machine, well fed, and well clothed, yet not a free man but an automaton”

    Elsewhere he said

    “Man’s brain lives in the twentieth century; the heart of most men lives still in the Stone Age. The majority of men have not yet acquired the maturity to be independent, to be rational, to be objective. They need myths and idols to endure the fact that man is all by himself, that there is no authority which gives meaning to life except man himself. Man represses the irrational passions of destructiveness, hate, envy, revenge; he worships power, money, the sovereign state, the nation; while he pays lip service to the teachings of the great spiritual leaders of the human race, those of Buddha, the prophets, Socrates, Jesus, Mohammed—he has transformed these teachings into a jungle of superstition and idol-worship. How can mankind save itself from destroying itself by this discrepancy between intellectual-technical over-maturity and emotional backwardness? As far as I can see there is only one answer: the increasing awareness of the most essential facts of our social existence, an awareness sufficient to prevent us from committing irreparable follies, and to raise to some small extent our capacity for objectivity and reason”

    In his book, The Sane Society” he says,

    “The problem of the sense of identity is not, as it is usually understood, merely a philosophical problem, or a problem only concerning our mind and thought. The need to feel a sense of identity stems from the very condition of human existence, and it is the source of the most intense strivings. Since I cannot remain sane without the sense of “I,” I am driven to do almost anything to acquire this sense. Behind the intense passion for status and conformity is this very need, and it is sometimes even stronger than the need for physical survival. What could be more obvious than the fact that people are willing to risk their lives, to give up their love, to surrender their freedom, to sacrifice their own thoughts, for the sake of being one of the herd, of conforming, and thus of acquiring a sense of identity, even though it is an illusory one”

    It truly is a disgrace that our schools, clergies, and politicians have ignored the prophetic words of Dr. Fromm- intentional or unintentional though it may be. Fromm said that we must increase “the awareness of the most essential facts of our social existence”. And so, how can we do this since the aforementioned institutions are as lost about it as the common man on the street?
    The answer I see is through stories. Stories gives meaning to our lives. The entertainment industry knows all too well that we, as humans, are enthralled by stories and the industry spares no expense in making them. Unfortunately, much of what we see is like junk food: taste great but of no nutritional value.

    In Dr. Susan Green paper, “The pleasure and pathology of Narrative” she said that

    “Literary texts, in particular novels, provide unique ways of representing and exploring the workings of the human mind. Our capacity and willingness to be immersed in an alternative world through the power of narrative suggests our peculiar sensitivity to this form of communication and its capacity to structure our experience. But our hunger for narrative suggests a desire for knowledge as well as a desire for the ‘right’ story: when this desiring in the imagination motivates behavior and affects decisions, narrative can become dangerous”

    What a vaccine is to the body is what meaningful stories can be to the mind. We, as humans, need to know the real purpose of our existence other than work and making money. We need to realize that the way we go about living our lives is unsustainable and that our unexamined perception of reality is keeping us all in a state of arrested development. If we don’t break free from our cultural conditioning, nothing will change for the better.

  • “They do not mention any potential impact of social, cultural, or interpersonal factors, including trauma, on human emotion or behavior. Instead, they write that the best way to understand human distress is as a malfunctioning computer program”

    Understandably, they make no mention of it because it’s not in their domain of knowledge to do so. The question we are not asking, even in the MIA community is this: to what degree does capitalism, our socio-economic and political forces have adverse effects on our emotional well being and our innate potential for self realization? How can we possibly assume that the society in which we live in is a difference that makes no difference? In Dr. Dennis, Kingsley’s book “Breaking the Spell: An Exploration of Human Perception, he says

    “Human consciousness manifests in our daily lives through the cultural lens of our cognitive systems. And these systems are a result of specific, often localized, conditioning. They are often the result of our upbringing, our education, our regional legal systems and cultural ‘realities’. Our beliefs too form a part of our cognitive matrix, infused through various faith and/or dogmatic teachings. It is now accepted by modern research that the general person thinks in patterns that become reinforced over the years. After some time a person finds it difficult to adjust to a different cognitive reality, or point of view. Yet everything changes, is subject to change, and must develop (or devolve). In the end, it is all a question of how we perceive the external world internally . That is, how matter becomes a part of our mind”

    In Joost Merloo’s book “The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing” he said

    “The mechanization of modern life has already influenced man to become more passive and to adjust himself to ready-made conformity. No longer does man think in personal values, following more his own conscience and ethical evaluations; he thinks more and more in the values brought to him by mass media. Headlines in the morning paper give him his temporary political outlook, the radio blasts suggestions into his ears, television keeps him in continual awe and passive fixation. Consciously he may protest against these anonymous voices, but nevertheless their suggestions ooze into his system”

    Elsewhere he said

    “The continual intrusion into our minds of the hammering noises of arguments and propaganda can lead to two kinds of reactions. It may lead to apathy and indifference, the I-don’t-care reaction, or to a more intensified desire to study and to understand. Unfortunately, the first reaction is the more popular one. The flight from study and awareness is much too common in a world that throws too many confusing pictures to the individual. For the sake of our democracy, based on freedom and individualism, we have to bring ourselves back to study again and again. Otherwise, we can become easy victims of a well-planned verbal attack on our minds and consciences. We cannot be enough aware of the continual coercion of our senses and minds, the continual suggestive attacks which may pass through the intellectual barriers of insight. Repetition and Pavlovian conditioning exhaust the individual and may seduce him ultimately to accept a truth he himself initially defied and scorned”

    Lastly, in Dr. Robert Firestone’s book “Psychological Defenses in Everyday Life” He says

    “Our society actually exists as a kind of negative afterimage. We all live in a crazy, backward world, often unaware of the lies and double messages we are given. If we could be free for a moment to catch a glimpse of our true situation, if we could view our society as a visitor from another planet, we would be stunned at the nightmare in which we live. The things we are expected to believe about ourselves and about society are frequently the very opposite of the way things really are. Unhappily, the individual and all the members of our society are often unconsciously working together to maintain a largely defensive and dishonest way of living”

    Maybe I’m beside the truth, but the vast majority of people believe they are normal but there is no such thing as being normal since we have not yet achieved self realization. We are unwittingly in a state of collective arrested development masquerading as normal that contributes to all manner of mental illnesses and far more than we realize. To make matters worse, our sick society also impairs that which I believe we should be striving for: the emotional, psychological, and spiritual evolution of humanity. No amount of science is going to save us from all this. It’s time we stop putting the onus solely on the individual for mental illnesses and call out the sick society in which we live and those in power -political and corporate- who perpetuate it as they have no regard for the future of humanity.

  • Sorry to hear about your daughter, Russell. While lawsuits and pubic awareness are understandable ways to fight back against psychiatry and if we had a movement to help bring it down, what do we have to replace it that will not have the same fate as psychiatry? I looks like psychiatrists who refuse to question their own profession could use some therapy themselves. Apparently, they see this as an existential threat.
    This reminds me of Daniel Dennett’s The Clergy Project, https://clergyproject.org/stories/ a “nonprofit organization that provides peer support to current and former religious leaders who no longer have faith. The group’s focus is to provide private online forums for its participants and assistance through career transition grants, and subsidized psychotherapy sessions”(Wikipedia)

    So it’s not just psychiatry that is failing us, it’s religion too. It seems we are in the midst of a crisis even though we don’t feel it as such. While calling out these archaic institutions is quite in order, replacing them will be a huge challenge. MIA is excellent in diagnosing the fallacies within psychiatry but where are the proven transformative psychotherapies/treatments that can finally send mainstream psychiatry to the dustbin of history? If this became a reality, we would have no need for lawsuits.

  • “As a result of human recalcitrance to acknowledge our own pathology, in the history of behavioral science, and in particular in the history of psychology and psychiatry, almost no effort has been made to gain an understanding of human pathology that has its roots in normal–as opposed to abnormal psychology. Primarily among psychiatrists there have been a few notable exceptions, including Menninger, Fromm, Peck, Milton Erickson, and others whose observations are discussed in Bartlett (2005), all of whom have had the courage to recognize the pathological constitution of the ordinary person who so often is a willing participant in inflicting suffering, death, and destruction. But despite the work of these few researchers, psychology and psychiatry have doggedly reserved the term `pathology’ exclusively for application to individuals and groups judged to be abnormal, that is, whose psychology deviates from the norm. This, as Bartlett (2005) attempts to show, is short-sightedness in the extreme”
    From Steven James Bartlett’s book: “Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health: The Need to Look Elsewhere for Standards of Good Psychological Health”
    I sent a hardback to Whitaker years ago hoping he or someone in MIA would do a generous review on Bartlett’s book. Heck, if I was a journalist, I’d ask Dr. Bartlett for a lengthy video interview because his cause is no different than MIA’s. To me, Dr. Bartlett is a scholar par excellence as his body of work reveals it.

  • “Presuppositions held uncritically can powerfully impede the growth of any branch of learning. Because of the tenacious and obstructive nature of unexamined assumptions, it has often been an intellectually, politically, and sometimes religiously difficult project to place the prevailing beliefs of the day in question before the dispassionate eye of reason. Intrepid souls who have insisted on doing this have often been harshly rewarded for their pains, for unexamined assumptions are often closely tied to vested disciplinary interests, while attempts to question those assumptions are apt to run aground on the shoals of what is perceived to be counterintuitive, in conflict with establishment belief, and therefore seen literally to be “para-doxical.” One of the central assumptions of both the practice and theory of traditional psychiatry and clinical psychology is almost never discussed in the literature, and even more seldom is it questioned” from Steven James Bartlett’s book: “Normality does not equal mental health: I need to look elsewhere for standards of good psychological health”

    “Our society actually exists as a kind of negative afterimage. We all live in a crazy, backward world, often unaware of the lies and double messages we are given. If we could be free for a moment to catch a glimpse of our true situation, if we could view our society as a visitor from another planet, we would be stunned at the nightmare in which we live. The things we are expected to believe about ourselves and about society are frequently the very opposite of the way things really are. Unhappily, the individual and all the members of our society are often unconsciously working together to maintain a largely defensive and dishonest way of living”
    From Robert Firestones book: “Psychological defenses in every day life”

  • lol!…I got that book too!

    The irony is that our mental health providers are suppose to help those with all manner of emotional distress, yet as they adhere -without question- to the gold standard of psychological normality, it inevitably makes things worse in their attempts to heal those in need. My dear niece is paying a high price for it as they misdiagnosed her BPD for decades and now she has to start therapy all over again which will take years to treat-even with the best therapist.
    It’s frustrating as hell to see friends and family members seeking therapy with nothing much to show for it. It seems we must become our master and disciple in striving to be sane in an often insane world. Thank goodness for Dr. Bartlett and even MIA for calling out the sham we often see in mental health.

  • I’m reminded of Steven James Bartlett’s book: Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health: The Need to Look Elsewhere for Standards of Good Psychological Health. Says he,

    “The fortitude and obduracy of systems of belief are their strength but also their downfall. Conservative thinking-adherence to and defense of conventions that are dominant at any particular time-therefore automatically brings with it a limited field of vision and a self-chosen myopia. If any blame can he laid for periods of slowed, nonexistent, or retrograde intellectual and scientific development, for periods of uncreative, sluggish, and at times imperceptible growth, that blame can be placed both on the natural human unwillingness to call into question beliefs that apparently have served well enough in the past and on the deeply entrenched disinclination to step outside of the preferred category set. Individuals who are willing to do these things tend to be few, and they should expect to meet correspondingly deeply rooted resistance, which of course indeed they have throughout the past. As a consequence of the psychology of belief, when we look at the history of science we see that its most basic concepts and presuppositions are often the least examined. They form the basis for all else in scientific thought, so that in their very mental activity scientists make habitual use of them. This results in it being all the more intellectually difficult and challenging to place them in the light of day. Since they serve as the fundamental, core conceptual vocabulary of scientific thought, they resist critical examination, because for a scientist to do this, he or she believes, often incorrectly, that those very concepts and presuppositions must be used”

    Will somebody in MIA please write a book review on Dr Bartlett’s book? Better yet, a 3 or 4 part video interview would be the best way to get the word out on his body of work that we are in dire need of in this day and age.

  • The fallacy of humanistic psychology reminds me of Dr. Bartlett’s book: an excerpt

    “When normal human psychology supports and indeed promotes the delusional reification of stipulated definitions it becomes dysfunctional, for to equate what is purely a construct and hence fictitious with what is real is delusion, while to recognize delusion is to acknowledge that cognitive failure has occurred. In the context of psychiatric nosology, when stipulated definitions of “mental disorders” inappropriately lead to their reification as real “disease entities,” nosology similarly becomes dysfunctional. We need to take this statement out of the abstract framework of nosology and to place it within the framework of the people who are directly and indirectly affected-psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, social workers, their patients or clients, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, the courts, the political system, and the wider society. When we do this and find our feet firmly planted on the ground, it is hard to avoid the strong impression that group delusion must be at work when definitions are constructed by panels of experts, then are agreed upon and ratified, then are given official endorsement as diagnostic rules by today’s psychiatric community (recall once again that rules are not true or false), and then are misconstrued by psychiatrists themselves, and subsequently by much of the rest of society, as “true statements” about real diseases”

    From Steven James Bartlett’s book: “Normality does not equal mental health: The need to look elsewhere for standards of good psychological health”

  • As I shared in another comment
    “We cannot evade the conclusion that it is the psychology of definition as it is deployed in contemporary nosology that is responsible for the misperceived perceived necessity that there exist a dysfunction in the individual patient. Today’s nosologists, like many in psychiatry’s history, are psychologically induced to claim that corresponding to a definition of a mental disorder-one one which has been legislated and enacted by a powerful professional body perceived as a source of authority-is a real disease”

    THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DEFINITION AND CLAIMS TO TRUTH
    “An examination of the psychology of psychiatric definition shows that it is no accident that the majority of definitions of mental disorders, as found today in editions of the DSM and the ICD, are construed to be true statements. Yet, as we have seen, such definitions are first and foremost prescriptions that aim to persuade others that what is stipulated and legislated lated should be accepted as diagnostic rules, and rules, we are reminded, are never true or false; they are only conventions, some of which have a value, and others of which do not. The definitions of psychiatric nosologies gies get into trouble when nosologists include descriptive content in their stipulated definitions. It is a psychologically normal characteristic for diagnosticians and other clinicians to construe this descriptive content, which typically enumerates behavioral and psychological symptomatology, ogy, as referring to the real world in a true or false manner. But, in fact, this is a psychological deception”
    From Dr. Steven James Bartlett’s book “Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health: The Need to Look Elsewhere for Standards of Good Psychological Health

  • “We cannot evade the conclusion that it is the psychology of definition as it is deployed in contemporary nosology that is responsible for the misperceived perceived necessity that there exist a dysfunction in the individual patient. Today’s nosologists, like many in psychiatry’s history, are psychologically induced to claim that corresponding to a definition of a mental disorder-one one which has been legislated and enacted by a powerful professional body perceived as a source of authority-is a real disease”

    THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DEFINITION AND CLAIMS TO TRUTH

    “An examination of the psychology of psychiatric definition shows that it is no accident that the majority of definitions of mental disorders, as found today in editions of the DSM and the ICD, are construed to be true statements. Yet, as we have seen, such definitions are first and foremost prescriptions that aim to persuade others that what is stipulated and legislated should be accepted as diagnostic rules, and rules, we are reminded, are never true or false; they are only conventions, some of which have a value, and others of which do not. The definitions of psychiatric nosologies get into trouble when nosologists include descriptive content in their stipulated definitions. It is a psychologically normal characteristic for diagnosticians and other clinicians to construe this descriptive content, which typically enumerates behavioral and psychological symptomatology, as referring to the real world in a true or false manner. But, in fact, this is a psychological deception”

    From Steven James Bartlett’s book, “Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health: The Need to Look Elsewhere for Standards of Good Psychological Health”

    For the love of God, will someone in MIA please create a well deserved book review of Dr. Bartlett’s book. It speaks to the very concerns Helen W. addressed. Better yet, if MIA could raise some funds to create a lengthy video interview with Dr. Bartlett, I’d be willing to donate $100 to help out.
    Just as we cannot ignore the injustice to continue in our mental health institutions, so too we ought not ignore what Dr. Bartlett has to say about the utter inhumanity being perpetrated by mental health providers whose methods are just as abusive -if not more- than criminals and sexual predators. We should be mad as hell about this!

  • I’m not quite clear what point Shira was trying to make regarding The Minnesota Starvation Experiment. When she said that much can be learned from it, two Swedish scientist did just that and discovered the underlying cause of eating disorders. A documentary was made about it titled, “The Stockholm Solution” (it’s on Amazon Prime Video). In the documentary,
    Dr. Cecilia Bergh says that

    “the psychiatric symptoms that all patients have – such as anxiety, depression and obsessional acts and thoughts – are consequences to the distorted eating behaviour, to the starvation or to the binge eating”

    As I understand it, it’s the eating disorders that creates all manner of psychological ills- not the psychological ills creating the eating disorder. The question I have on this is: how did psychiatry get this so wrong for so many years? It’s shocking to me it’s taken so long to prove scientifically, as Dr Bergh did, that eating disorders are NOT mental disorders- they never were. And how do so many women and those in the documentary end up refusing to eat in the first place? It’s as if they were brainwashed by society to believe that not eating is normal. So much so, that Dr. Bergh said that the women they treat at her facility had forgotten how to eat. I felt heartbroken when she said that. I’m convinced that the society in which we live makes us psycholgically sick yet we all think we are normal.

    Just as women are being brainwashed by unrealistic standards of beauty which adversely alters their state of mind, so too the news media does the same with all manner of propaganda, lies, and malicious hyperbole in our collective political discourse. As a result, the vast majority of people are losing their grip on reality and have lost their regard for truth just like women with eating disorders! What really upsets me is that our mental health community, with few exceptions, says nothing about this ongoing collective madness.
    That’s because psychiatry has problems of its own that Erich Fromm warned us about decades ago in his book “The Crisis in Psychoanalysis”. In a recent book by Dr. Steven James Bartlett, he said in “Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health: The Need to Look Elsewhere for Standards of Good Psychological Health” that

    “As a consequence of the psychology of belief, when we look at the history of science we see that its most basic concepts and presuppositions are often the least examined. They form the basis for all else in scientific thought, so that in their very mental activity scientists make habitual use of them. This results in it being all the more intellectually difficult and challenging to place them in the light of day. Since they serve as the fundamental, core conceptual vocabulary of scientific thought, they resist critical examination, because for a scientist to do this, he or she believes, often incorrectly, that those very concepts and presuppositions must be used”

    Psychiatry was wrong about slavery, homosexuality, and now eating disorders. It makes you wonder what else they have gotten wrong and it has not yet been revealed (there is a difference between being in a groove and being in a rut). I believe that the only field of human thought that can bring the psychological, emotional, and spiritual evolution of humanity to higher stages of development is the right kind of psychology. But time is running out and I fear the worst.

  • I should have defined what being a neurotic is. I’m following Dr. Karen Horney’s definition of it. Here is an overview

    https://www.verywellmind.com/horneys-list-of-neurotic-needs-2795949

    Sure, you can be aware of your neurotic tendencies and if you want to keep them that’s Ok too. However, and if self realization means anything to you, holding on to your neurotic ways would defeat the purpose of self realization. As Dr. Horney said

    “A better possibility of dealing with destructive forces in ourselves is that of outgrowing them. The way toward this goal is an ever increasing awareness and understanding of ourselves. Self knowledge, then, is not an aim in itself, but a means of liberating the forces of spontaneous growth”

    Elsewhere she says,

    “To the extent that we take our growth seriously, it will be because of our own desire to do so. And as we lose the neurotic obsession with self, as we become free to grow ourselves, we also free ourselves to love and feel concern for other people. At any rate, whether for ourselves or for others, the ideal is the liberation and cultivation of the forces which lead to self realization”

    I regard Dr. Horney (pronounced horn-eye) as one of the most brilliant humanistic psychoanalyst that ever lived.

  • In the Acts of John http://www.gnosis.org/library/actjohn.htm that was not included in the new testament there is a passage said to have come from Jesus himself regarding suffering. Even if this story were to be untrue, what is being said speaks volumes

    If thou hadst known how to suffer,
    thou wouldest have been able not to
    suffer. Learn thou to suffer, and thou
    shalt be able not to suffer”

    From what is said above, there are two kinds of suffering: real and imaginary. Carl Jung looks at this psychologically by saying “all neurosis is a substitute for legitimate suffering”. Jung would most likely agree with Meher Baba when Baba tells us what happens when we break free from imaginary i.e. neurotic suffering

    “An individual who mistakenly believes that he is a coward may live a lifetime of misery during which all his actions are shaped by this incorrect belief. But if some event in his life challenges him so deeply that he unthinkingly strides forth with great courage, then the illusion will suddenly vanish and he will see himself as a different being. Often it takes real crisis to bring out a sure knowledge of the real inner self, and it is always a creative knowledge.”

    As I understand all the above, when we suffer greatly it inevitably carries with it an existential dimension even though we may not be aware of it. What is tragic is that when we suffer repeatedly in various ways and degrees we never put it into question. We assume that because so many people suffer, it’s normal to suffer even though we are not aware of the degree in which suffering keeps us in bondage. From my own experience, delving deep into my unresolved feelings going as far back as childhood and bringing them into light of awareness was very painful but also liberating. I regard this experience as the drama that ends all drama. My liberation gave me a newfound awareness and a renewed perception of reality of the likes I never thought possible (it’s also a lonely state of mind). I regard this awareness as the result of legitimate suffering which is qualitatively different from neurotic suffering that never ends. I believe we can all wake up but it is not for the fainthearted. It takes a lot of courage and humility. But once realized, we become MORE human. So much so, our identification with our given race, religion, and political affiliation drop off considerably. You see the world with new eyes. Dr Robert Firestone said that

    “Our society actually exists as a kind of negative afterimage. We all live in a crazy, backward world, often unaware of the lies and double messages we are given. If we could be free for a moment to catch a glimpse of our true situation, if we could view our society as a visitor from another planet, we would be stunned at the nightmare in which we live. The things we are expected to believe about ourselves and about society are frequently the very opposite of the way things really are. Unhappily, the individual and all the members of our society are often unconsciously working together to maintain a largely defensive and dishonest way of living”

    The above quote implies that we have all been culturally conditioned, programmed, -literally- by our given culture since childhood. As a result, and as Anais Nin said, we don’t see things AS they are, we see things as WE are -and who are we really? Are we willing to take the proverbial red pill to find out or remain -as we are- prisoners of our cultural conditioning?

    When Iva said that

    “These are the situations that momentarily lift the veil that helps us not to think about existential givens in everyday life, and we are forced to think about them. We start pondering our very existence and its basic questions: meaning, death, anxiety, loneliness. The fact that this kind of crisis brings us closer to inspection of existential givens means that it also presents an opportunity for discovering the uniqueness of our existence”

    True, but unfortunately, many people who experience all manner of suffering are too afraid to look within. They would rather die than find the underlying cause of their neurotic suffering and end this compulsion to repeat it. I believe that learning HOW to suffer legitimately requires extreme humility and the courage to accept the truth about ourselves no matter how we may feel of the outcome. But it’s only when we are in great danger as we see with Covid -19 that many people will question their mortality. Even so, this questioning is no guarantee it will dispel their neurotic suffering since legitimate suffering is not easy to achieve.

    It requires rigorous self awareness, humility, and the courage to accept the truth that we are living in an often sick society that got us sick since childhood by believing in things that are not true. These misguided beliefs whether religious, political, or cultural, go against our capacity towards self realization. We are instead, plugged into this sick society a la Matrix and we don’t know it. When we realize we are not who we are and want to know the truth about ourselves and the world we live in the awakening can begin. We must regard the search for truth as
    a supreme concern- as if our live depend on it. Because it does!

  • I sent this book to Robert Whitaker about 5 years ago but never heard from him. Most likely because he’s a very busy man. Anyway, I hope some day someone at MIA will review this important book that is very much in line with MIA’s mission. Here is an excerpt from Dr. Bartlett’s chapter “The psychopathology of peer review and editorial bias: blocks to creative research”

    “Peer reviewers and editors are not umpires of the truth or falsity of doctrine; their role is to remain neutral. And yet, again and again throughout human history, and continuing today under the guise of relativism, multiculturalism, deconstructionism, postmodernism, feminism, and their cohorts, peer reviewers and editors will often, as it is indeed psychologically normal to do, reflect in their evaluations of prospective publications their favored tastes and prejudices, their ideological and disciplinary preferences, and then will, like religious and governmental censors of times past and present, reject or seek fundamentally to modify manuscripts that diverge from the orthodoxy they advocate. Like religious and government censors, they stand guard before the gate to block the entrance of the “forbidden sentiments” and “false doctrine” that have so threatened the dogmas of the past. All of these are patterns to be expected; they are only human; we can predict these behaviors from our knowledge of the underlying psychology. And yet we realize that important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in any discipline occur only as a result of the efforts of researchers who are capable of extending, or of breaking free from, the limits of existing understanding. When we see things from this perspective, the 12 predictable abuses to which peer review and editorial bias can give rise will be seen to constitute nonmetaphorical pathologies that can play a destructive, harmful role as obstacles to the goal of publishing original, creative research”
    Steven James Bartlett. Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health: The Need to Look Elsewhere for Standards of Good Psychological Health

    Dr. Watson, if you are reading this, I have a free hardback copy for you should you be interested. I believe it can help you make your case against the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Barkley, or those in the psychoanalytic community who, as Dr. Bartlett implied, are self-centered and narrow-minded with orthodoxy. I believe what they did to you and many others who dissent is a crime against humanity. I wish MIA would raise funds to make a documentary like no other by revealing to the world that our mental health institutions can be just as inept and dysfunctional as rivaling political parties. I have $100 to donate for this documentary! Let’s do it MIA!

  • “Mental distress is today often perceived as something devoid of context, as an individual medical condition or a failure instead of a human condition linked to the social context one exists in”

    Iva’s observations ties in with Dr. Emmy Van Deruzen’s who makes the distinction between mental distress that manifest in our mind by -as I understand it- all manner of character defects and pent up unresolved feeling and the distress causes by this often sick society we live in. In her lecture, Dr. Deruzen said the following

    “what is existential therapy? Well, I like to call it existential therapy because it is not just about psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a therapy that focuses on the mind, on one person’s individual mind. It’s very individualistic but existential therapy focuses on life it, focuses on the life that you lead in the way that you lead it. It focuses not just on what is in your mind but also what is in between you and other people, in between you and the political world, in between you and your cultural environment, your family, your backgrounds, your history, your future -all those different elements come just as much into focus as your mind” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCo266WuzJg&t=726s&ab_channel=TheWeekendUniversity

    Aside from the above, and among the many books I’ve read that saved my existential life, one of them is by Steven James Bartlett titled “Normality does not equal mental health: the need to look elsewhere for standards of good psychological health” An excerpt:

    “The fortitude and obduracy of systems of belief are their strength but also their downfall. Conservative thinking-adherence to and defense of conventions that are dominant at any particular time-therefore automatically brings with it a limited field of vision and a self-chosen myopia. If any blame can he laid for periods of slowed, nonexistent, or retrograde intellectual and scientific development, for periods of uncreative, sluggish, and at times imperceptible growth, that blame can he placed both on the natural human unwillingness to call into question beliefs that apparently have served well enough in the past and on the deeply entrenched disinclination to step outside of the preferred category set. Individuals who are willing to do these things tend to be few, and they should expect to meet correspondingly deeply rooted resistance, which of course indeed they have throughout the past. As a consequence of the psychology of belief, when we look at the history of science we see that its most basic concepts and presuppositions are often the least examined. They form the basis for all else in scientific thought, so that in their very mental activity scientists make habitual use of them. This results in it being all the more intellectually difficult and challenging to place them in the light of day. Since they serve as the fundamental, core conceptual vocabulary of scientific thought, they resist critical examination, because for a scientist to do this, he or she believes, often incorrectly, that those very concepts and presuppositions must be used”

    Dr. Bartlett seriously questions our entire educational system and the mental health field as we know it. He is among the few who are not afraid to question authority. You would think someone in MIA would do a throughout review of his book because I believe Dr. Bartlett has a lot to offer MIA and its readers. Iva, if you are reading this and interested in writing a review, I’ll send you a free hardback copy.

  • I believe that mass shooters cannot be psychoanalyzed because the cause of their behavior is beyond our understanding of psychology.
    Most shooters fall within the realm of normality which means that anyone can be a shooter or as Hannah Arendt said, anyone can behave like Eichmann because there was nothing pathological about him. He said he was “just following orders”. You have many people in the military and law enforcement who “just follow orders” believing that doing so is normal just like Eichmann did. We ought to realize that killing another human being reflects that we still have much to learn on what it means to be human. It seems as if our mental health researchers are also unaware that being normal is not normal and that it needs to be studied in depth.

    Dr. Bartlett is already on to this

    “With the exception of many criminals, bullies, and other people who have already behaved violently or abusively, the majority of psychologically normal people are “sleepers”-that is, they are dispositionally inclined, when the situation is right, to aggression and destructiveness. Their patterns of thought and behavior are to be understood dispositionally, that is, in the conditional sense that, if an adequately provoking situation arises, then the behavior that results will tend to be malignant: they have a pathogenic willingness to inflict harm, which remains latent until an appropriate situation arises. Such a situation may, for example, come in the form of war, ideological conflict, unrestricted power over others (as in an inadequately supervised prison), narcissistic injury, or in many other ways. Such “adequately provoking situations” unfortunately, as we know, arise with great frequency and prevalence”

    Steven James Bartlett. Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health: The Need to Look Elsewhere for Standards of Good Psychological Health

  • I believe that, when it comes to depression, sadness, and all manner of despair and suffering, we lose sight of the fact that, since childhood, we were all culturally conditioned by narratives and we unwittingly internalized them as absolute truths. As ego developmental psychologist Dr. Susanne Cook Greuter said

    “The ego’s task is to turn experience into a coherent narrative about the world and make us thereby feel safe, important and to belong. How does it do that? It does so by telling a culturally influenced story about who we are and why we’re here and for what purpose. When we are not able to tell a good story about ourselves, our past and our future we feel lost and anxious. Ego is all about denying our mortality therefore facing and embracing this is a part of late stage realization. Human development moves from the newborn’s unconscious union with the mother to a conscious union with everyone and everything. As we grow up we construct meaning by learning the vocabulary and the scripts available to us from our languages and our cultures. Languages divide the seamless experience into separate objects with distinct boundaries and evaluative attributes. We are so totally immersed in a sea of symbols that we hardly notice the way it lose us into the dream of knowledge. The idea of a separate self in western cultures is just one result of this phenomenon. It is ironic that concepts such as purpose and soul as well as ego are symbolic abstractions that do not exist outside of language and our agreed-upon definitions. Yet we treat them almost always as if they were palpable real thing”

    In his book, “The Struggle for Your Mind: Conscious Evolution and the Battle to Control How We Think” Dr Dennis Kingsley said that

    “Throughout our lives we are subjected to indoctrination by a systemic structure of processes and institutions. Within this conditioning environment beliefs almost “grow” into us. And once they are a part of our socially constructed selves they are sustained, reinforced, and protected, often unconsciously, by psychological processes of perception. With few rare exceptions, all people are brought up within specific culturally defined environments (or templates). A person’s dominant social milieu then attempts to offer a variety of accepted socio-cultural norms of thought and behavior. These may operate through various forms, such as personal faith, religion, science, language and emotions, denial and doubt, happiness and fear, safety and security (identity and belonging), well-being and materialism. Once ingrained, a person is liable to perpetuate such traits, believing them to have been obtained through “free thought.” In the end, we reinforce beliefs that have grown into us, accepting and defending them as our own. So when we say, “I don’t believe,” what we often in fact mean to say is, “I automatically reject everything my brain is not wired to receive.” The end result is that for most of us we only believe those things we want to believe or that fit within our perceptual paradigms and/or experiences”

    So the question arises, is there a difference between biological, psychological, and existential depression? If so, I believe it is the latter that underlies the others and if we continue assuming its a difference that makes no difference, all manner of human suffering will continue. Would it be true to say that what Dr. Fidel actually did was to question his own existence in a profound way? i.e. all that he knew about himself and his place in the world? As Magdalene said “he was socialized to adopt to fit into his family of origin, education system, society, and the political economy at large” As I understand it, this was a narrative he unwittingly adopted as so many of us do believing it would make us happy. In this, Dr. Fidel reminds me of Dr Josef Breuer depicted in the film “When Nietzsche Wept” based on Irvin Yalom’s book by the same name. Free to watch here https://vimeo.com/127137268 As historically inaccurate though it may be, the film nevertheless dramatizes the truth about our false self and how it torments us in countless ways. And as painful as it may be in letting go of all that we believe ourselves to be, in the end it is also liberating. It is what Dr. Jung referred to as legitimate suffering.

  • Hi Magdalene,

    Thank you for sharing your perspective on Dr. Fidel’s book..I’m this close from buying it. I’ve been trying to get Robert Whitaker or someone else in MIA to do a book review on Dr. Steven James Bartlett’s book “Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health: the need to look elsewhere for standards of good psychological health”
    I sent this book to Robert a few years ago but it seems he’s a very busy man. Anyway, I believe Dr. Bartlett is a must read for anyone who believes in the MIA mission. In this, perhaps you or someone you know could do a book review on Bartlett’s book. I’ll even send a hard-copy -free of charge- for anyone interested.

  • Varun,
    So you want to reveal the truth about the university mental health system? Why not reveal the truth of our ENTIRE mental health system? Dr Steven James Bartlett’s book “Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health: the needs to look elsewhere for standards of good psychological health” just might help your cause.
    Says he,

    “As a result of human recalcitrance to acknowledge our own pathology, in the history of behavioral science, and in particular in the history of psychology and psychiatry, almost no effort has been made to gain an understanding of human pathology that has its roots in normal–as opposed to abnormal psychology. Primarily among psychiatrists there have been a few notable exceptions, including Menninger, Fromm, Peck, Milton Erickson, and others whose observations are discussed in Bartlett (2005), all of whom have had the courage to recognize the pathological constitution of the ordinary person who so often is a willing participant in inflicting suffering, death, and destruction. But despite the work of these few researchers, psychology and psychiatry have doggedly reserved the term `pathology’ exclusively for application to individuals and groups judged to be abnormal, that is, whose psychology deviates from the norm. This, as Bartlett (2005) attempts to show, is short-sightedness in the extreme”

  • Robert said that

    Robert said that

    “this blaming ultimately prevents us from acknowledging the obvious truth: the regular presence of mass murders in our society needs to be seen as a societal failure. Blaming it on the “mentally ill”—whoever that mythical group may be—simply helps perpetuate that failure”

    I believe that this failure in our society resides in the pathological narratives created by political extremist, politicians, and especially Donald Trump who has an Authoritarian personality par excellence along with his shameful administration who follow him blindly because they are intoxicated by keeping power.

    In this, Hannah Arendt said that Eichmann was no madman but instead he was just “following orders” because he had “curious, quite authentic inability to think”. The same can be said of any leader of any country who have too much power and the US is certainly no exception as the Republicans become subservient to Trump’s whims hence complicit in his malignant and racist narratives that appeal to the irrational emotions of the masses and especially those who are sleepers.

    “With the exception of many criminals, bullies, and other people who have already behaved violently or abusively, the majority of psychologically normal people are “sleepers”-that is, they are dispositionally inclined, when the situation is right, to aggression and destructiveness. Their patterns of thought and behavior are to be understood dispositionally, that is, in the conditional sense that, if an adequately provoking situation arises, then the behavior that results will tend to be malignant: they have a pathogenic willingness to inflict harm, which remains latent until an appropriate situation arises. Such a situation may, for example, come in the form of war, ideological conflict, unrestricted power over others (as in an inadequately supervised prison), narcissistic injury, or in many other ways. Such “adequately provoking situations” unfortunately, as we know, arise with great frequency and prevalence”

    From Steven James Bartlett’s book “Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health:the need to look elsewhere for standards of good psychology health

    I wish someone in MIA would do a book review of Bartlett’s book

  • Hi Zenobia,
    I hope you are reading this.
    I gave a book to Robert Whitaker titled “Normality does Not Equal mental Health: The Need to Look Elsewhere for Standards of Good Psychological Health” Written by Dr. Steven James Bartlett. I sent this book to Robert about a year ago in hopes he -or someone he knows in MIA – would do a book review. Much of what Bartlett is arguing for ties in with Dr. Dalal’s many concerns. Ideally, I wish someone in MIA would do a 3 part video interview with Dr. Bartlett because his findings puts into question the whole of psychiatry as we know it. Anyway, I have an additional hardback copy that I’m willing to part with for anyone in MIA who will do a good book review. So if you are up for it, let me know where to send it.

  • Dr. Johnson,

    Dr. Deepak Chopra pointed out that

    “Suffering is when you are attached to your pain. But pain needs to be witnessed (embraced). When you lock up your pain, it becomes anger; anger is nothing but remembered pain. What is anxiety and fear? It is anticipated pain. What is guilt? It is redirected pain (towards oneself). What is depression? It is the depletion of energy when you don’t know these things. These are the sorrows of our society, when we do not embrace our pain”

    Would it be true to say that when you refer to trauma, you are referring to remembered pain? If so, would you say that it is adequately dramatized in the film, Good Will Hunting where Will is being told repeatedly, “it’s not your fault” to the point where he breaks down in abdominal sobbing?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYa6gbDcx18

    Would the film, “Prince of Tides” be another dramatization of remembered pain where Tom is gently confronted with the trauma he experienced when he was 13? In both cases, we see how they try to avoid feeling what had actually happened to them in the past. It is as if the body remembers what the mind tries to forget.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jE2DdTOyiM

    I’d appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you

  • Hi Marigold,
    You may already know this but any kind of psychotherapy has its benefits and its limits. Mainly because most therapist do not have the deep experiential awareness needed in helping others. All they have are theories that are turned into ideologies -unbeknownst to themselves. Any person can have a PhD ten times over and it would not make a particle of difference because it’s all head stuff. As Dr. Alice Miller said in her book “Free from Lies: discovering your true needs”

    “I AM FREQUENTLY asked what I consider to be the decisive factor in successful psychotherapy. Is it realization of the truth and the liberation from the injunction to keep silent and idealize one’s parents, or is it the presence of an “enlightened witness”? I believe that this is not a case of either-or, since both are essential. Without an “enlightened witness,” it is simply impossible to bear the truth of early childhood. But for me an “enlightened witness” is not just someone who has studied psychology or been through primal experiences with a guru. In my view, “enlightened witness” are people who have found the courage to face up to their own histories, thus achieving autonomy without having to compensate for their repressed impotence by exercising power over others”

    I believe Dr. Miller’s observation is true. Of the 4 psychotherapist I had in my lifetime, only one I regard worthy of being an enlightened witness. Unfortunately these days, it’s near impossible to find such therapist since their diploma hanging in their office says nothing about being an enlightened witness.
    And when it comes to DBT, BPD, and many other forms of therapy, I believe they are far removed from addressing our most pressing inner conflicts at a deep level. This is not to say that all of them are useless, rather, we need more than just theories to free ourselves from all manner of suffering.
    In this respect, and as I reflect on my own path to inner freedom, what has saved me is the sudden realization that we, as humans, are not self realized i.e. our creative potential for emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth have not yet been fully realized. Why? because we are stuck in a rut, confined within a social economic environment that have adverse effects towards self realization.
    Take, for instance what Dr. Mari Ruti said in her book, “The Case for Falling in Love: Why We Can’t Master the Madness of Love

    “The French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir famously states that “one is not born a woman, but becomes one.” What she means is that none of us enters the world with an instinctive understanding of what being a woman means. We gather this understanding gradually, through being immersed in a cultural environment that holds particular views about men and women. We begin to learn how to correctly “perform” our gender well before we learn to speak. By the time we are adolescents, the codes of appropriate femininity are so deeply ingrained, so automatic, that we consider them as innate. We don’t recognize them as cultural constructs, but rather take them to be an accurate reflection of our “nature”; they are simply who we “are.”

    As I understand Dr. Ruti, she says that we are culturally conditioned beings, programmed, -literally-, by the culture in which we live. Hence we have unwittingly buried our authentic self. This means that we must begin exercising the virtue of self awareness and find within ourselves our true self, trying though it may be.

  • (apparently, my first reply shown below did not go through -good thing I made a copy)

    So I’m watching Dr. Sheldon Solomon’s lecture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17oXQnIVO_Q
    Titled “Election 2016 Fatal Attraction 092216” and he has a lot to say about the problems we are facing today. Whether it’s climate change, crony capitalism, immigration, and mental health. In his lecture, he quotes from Erich Hoffer’s book “The True Believers” and Hoffer’s description of a leader fits Trump to a T:

    “Charismatic leaders, need not be exceptionally intelligent, noble, or original. Audacity and a joy in defiance; an iron will; a fanatical conviction that he is in possession of the one and only truth; faith in his destiny and luck; a capacity for passionate hatred; contempt for the present; a cunning estimate of human nature; a delight in symbols (spectacles and ceremonials)…the arrogant gesture, the complete disregard of the opinion of others, the singlehanded defiance of the world [and] some deliberate misrepresentation of facts”

    Here are Trump’s blind followers

    “faith in the future via identification; the process by which the individual ceases to be himself and becomes part of something eternal. The primary impetus for all populist movements is a critical mass of frustrated and disaffected citizens subject to grave economic and/or psychological insecurity “in desperate need of something…to live for.” Such citizens are thus prone to unwavering dedication and loyalty to a leader who confidently espouses a cause that infuses their lives with a sense of “worth and meaning”

    “Mass movements also require an external enemy to enable the charismatic leader to direct/deflect the rage and righteous indignation of the frustrated and disaffected followers toward a tangible scapegoat, an individual or group of individuals designated as an all-encompassing-repository of evil who must be subdued or eradicated”

    “All active mass movements strive…to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside of it…It is the true believer’s ability to “shut his eyes and stop his ears” to facts…which is the source of his unequaled fortitude and constancy. He cannot be frightened by danger nor disheartened by obstacles nor baffled by contradictions because he denies their existence”

    As far as I’m concerned, the above quotes are the definitive diagnosis to one of our many major social ills that makes all social movements for change near impossible. The vast majority of the masses are vulnerable to credulity and are willing to believe anything especially in troubled economic times.
    The 24/7 propaganda machines in politics, advertising, education, and religious organizations are keeping the masses dumb and stupid -to put it bluntly- and the worst part that they are clueless of their conditioning. It is the very ideas and beliefs that they internalized that prevents them from realizing they are being royally duped. So how do you wake them up from their delusions and fears? This is not so much about the changes need in our mental health field, what we actually need is a transformation in consciousness that can then change everything for the better. But we can’t do it if the masses continue think, feel, and believe in things that keep them programmed -literally- to behave like automatons.

  • Hi Emily,
    Glad you found Fromm’s quote meaningful. I have all his books and read them religiously. Mainly because much of what he says and the way he writes carries with it a humanistic, existential, ethical, and social approach to the perennial problems of human existence.
    He looks at human suffering from within but also from without since the world we live in has adverse effects to our well being. I’ve also been reading a few of Dr. Steven James Bartlett’s books. “The Pathology of Man” and especially “Normality does not equal Mental health: The Need to Look Elsewhere for Standards of Good Psychological Health”
    According to Wikipedia, Dr. Bartlett is the author or editor of more than 20 books and research monographs as well as many papers published in professional journals in the fields of epistemology, psychology, mathematical logic, and philosophy of science.
    I sent this book to Robert Whitaker last year in hopes he or someone in MAD would do a book review. Ideally, it would be great for MAD to have a 3 part interview with Dr. Bartlett because much of what he says is very much in accord with MAD’s mission in
    rethinking psychiatric care and if there is anyone who has done that with depth and aplomb, it’s Dr. Bartlett. I’d be willing to donate $50 to anyone in MAD to help defer the cost of getting Bartlett’s book reviewed. Or can also send another free hardback copy to you or anyone you know who is willing to get Bartlett”s book noticed and with the attention it deserves. His book is not for the fainthearted, but I’m sure anyone at MAD would have no problems with that.

  • “Today, millions of people in America and Europe try to find contact with tradition and with teachers who can show them the way. But in large part the doctrines and teachers are either fraudulent, or vitiated by the spirit of public relations ballyhoo, or mixed up with the financial and prestige interests of the respective gurus. Some people may genuinely benefit from such methods in spite of the sham; others will apply them without any serious intention of inner change. But only a detailed quantitative and qualitative analysis of the new believers could show how many belong to each group” Erich Fromm, from his book “To have or To be?” 1976

  • “Hold your fire, colleagues. We don’t have the evidence we thought would show up. We’ve stumbled and have relied on opinions rather than evidence. It’s time to reboot, to rethink things, to go back to basics and use the scientific method to debunk a lot of what we’ve been saying”

    Dr. Warme, I sent to Bob Whitaker a copy of Dr. Steven James Bartlett’s book “Normality does not Equal Mental Health” in January of last year in hopes he would review it (or someone he knows would be willing to) I believe this book was made for MAD. I still have an extra hardback copy I can send you should you be interested in writing about it on MAD. I have not found any reviews of this book yet I believe it has profound insights and meaning as to how our mental health institutions have lost their way. I offered this book to the psychology department at the University where I work but they won’t touch it because it most likely puts into question their profession. One which, you would think, should be an antecedent to the truth and even to the future of humanity.

  • Hi Mr. Spiegel,

    Should you be interested, I have a copy of Dr. Steven James Bartlett’s book

    “Normality does Not Equal Mental Health: The Need to Look Elsewhere for Standards of Good Psychological Health”

    I can also send it to you via Amazon, I just need an address.

    I sent this book to Whitaker in hopes he or someone else could benefit from it and hopefully write a review. Ideally, an interview with Dr. Bartlett would be great. If funds were to be raised to help pay for the cost of travelling to see Dr. Bartlett, I’d be willing pitch in $50.

    I read a lot of humanistic psychology and consider myself an autodidact on it because few schools teach it and I’m too far away from them. I like to think of Dr. Bartlett picking up where my hero, Dr. Erich Fromm, left off in his pursuit of that which our mental health institutions are unaware of- MAD’s supreme concern.

    My book donation to you (or anyone else you might know is interested in it) is my way of helping anyone at MAD make a greater positive difference in the mental health field than I ever could.

    George C.

  • “Why is it seen as an acceptable ‘answer’ to say someone was ‘mentally ill,’ when so many who are diagnosed don’t harm anyone?”

    That’s because most of us are asleep in our waking state. In the words of Dr. Arthur J. Deikman

    “So habitual is the trance of ordinary life that one could say that human beings are a race that sleeps and awakens, but does not awaken fully. Because half-awake is sufficient for the task we customarily do, few of us are aware of the dysfunction of our condition.”

    Dr. Bartlett picks up where Deikman left off…..

    “When I speak of “predispositions” or “propensities” what I mean is that, with the exception of many criminals, bullies, and other people who have already behaved violently or abusively, the majority of psychologically normal people are “sleepers”-that is, they are dispositionally inclined, when the situation is right, to aggression and destructiveness. Their patterns of thought and behavior are to be understood stood dispositionally, that is, in the conditional sense that, if an adequately provoking situation arises, then the behavior that results will tend to be malignant: they have a pathogenic willingness to inflict harm, which remains latent until an appropriate situation arises. Such a situation may, for example, come in the form of war, ideological conflict, unrestricted power over others (as in an inadequately supervised prison), narcissistic injury, or in many other ways. Such “adequately provoking situations” unfortunately, as we know, arise with great frequency and prevalence”

    Steven James Bartlett. Normality Does Not Equal Mental Health: The Need to Look Elsewhere for Standards of Good Psychological Health

    I sent this book to Robert Whitaker a few months ago in hopes he would pass it on to all in MIA as a book worth reading. I believe it is, especially for those who strive to make sense of the madness we see every day and want to do something about it. From what Dr. Bartlett said, it means that there are many Thomas Mair’s and Omar Mateen’s among us that will strike at any given moment and so how can the FBI or CIA stop them BEFORE they go on a killing rampage? There is just no way you can do it unless all the news media will stop contributing to the madness by all manner of propaganda that depicts Muslims, Christians, Gays, Blacks, Whites, as evil. The media must stop trashing all religions, not just Islam. They must stop the vitriol coming out of the mouth of the likes of Ann Coulter and Michael Savage. There is so much anger, so much lies,deceptions, and distractions that prevent the masses from knowing the truth, All this along with political and religious ideologies acts like a virus in the mind and it affects some more than others. Those among us who are more credulous, whose capacity to think critically and objectively has been severely impaired by so much lies, misunderstandings, confusion, in addition to any dire socio economic condition they may be in, are more likely to act out their rage but by that time, it will be too late. The words coming out of the airwaves can be just as deadly as the spread of biological viruses. We are good at addressing the latter but not the former and because of this I fear the worst.