Tag: biochemical basis of mental illness
Generally, most people, even little people, recognise that Santa is just a game. Children perhaps wholeheartedly believe in the story for a while but flaws in the narrative soon become apparent. Unfortunately, not nearly enough people recognise that the chemical imbalance is also a charade.
Depressed, anxious, and substance-abusing people can beat themselves up for being defective. And psychiatrists and psychologists routinely validate and intensify their sense of defectiveness by telling them that they have, for example, a chemical-imbalance defect, a genetic defect, or a cognitive-behavioral defect. For some of these people, it feels better to believe that they are essentially defective. But the “defect/medical model of mental illness” is counterproductive for many other people—especially those “untalented” in denial and self-deception—for whom there is another model and path that works much better.
There is an enormous irony in a psychiatrist using the epithet "thought police" to express censure, when it is psychiatry itself that routinely incarcerates and forcibly drugs and shocks people on the grounds that their thoughts and speech don't conform to psychiatry's standards of normality.
We have lost our ability to tolerate distress, to find meaning in emotion, and purpose in experience. As the sociologist Nicolas Rose has noted, we have recoded our moods in terms of neurochemistry. Emotions no longer have context. They are aberrations in neurochemistry. I’m no longer hurting because I’m lonely, but because I’m running low on endorphins. Buprenorphine for depressive despair reinforces the belief that emotions should be obliterated, and can only be done so through modulating biochemistry.
How are we going to get anywhere at all if people believe that speaking to alternatives just means occasionally putting something out there that isn’t about psychiatric drugs? Assuming that the Mental Health Channel folks genuinely believe they’re offering a product that’s ‘well-rounded,’ how do we even get to a point where they understand why it’s not, and can make a well-reasoned decision about where to go from there? Yes, it’s about the drugs. But, in some ways, no, it’s not at all about them. It’s about the damage we do by convincing people that there’s no other choice than to take the drugs because of a ‘chemical imbalance’ or ‘chronic brain disease’ that, just like cancer, will only get worse if it goes untreated. It's about the inescapable nature of the boxes people put us in (even some of those boxes not filled up with pills).
The more we worry about the separation from reality, the more scared we get and the more separated we get. This month I found out about another trap. When you can see the beauty and spirituality and mystery and magic of what is going on, it's tempting to do things to make it last longer and help yourself get further into it, like skip sleep or skip meals or use drugs. I had to fight those temptations often through this month, and still am, to be honest, because there is so much of this process that was not just scary, but glorious and giganticly interdimensional and impactful.
As I write these words on a Monday evening, my spirit aches. It aches with grief for the lives lost in Connecticut last week; it aches with dread for our collective American future in Sandy Hook’s aftermath; and it aches with love and empathy for Michael, a thirteen-year old boy whose once private life has, for the last day and a half, been on display for millions to see, exploited by a mother whose opinions are representative of America’s most pervasive mass delusion: that “mental illness” is a biologically-based condition requiring psychopharmaceutical “treatment” and “mental health care”, and that “the mentally ill” are a class of Other that threatens the safety, security, and health of America.
I wanted to explain to you the biochemical and genetic and epigentic basis for all "mental illness." I want you to know that I...