Re: terms

Errol Back-Cunningham (
1 Oct 1996 14:10:50 GMT

In <52r62k$> (David Lloyd-Jones)
>pald1208 <> wrote:
>>David Lloyd-Jones wrote:
>>> Back-Cunningham) wrote:
>>> > In fact the whole thing is just good old psychobabble.
>>> Errol,
>>> This is a very silly thing to say. Schizophrenia, depression and
>>> bipolar affective disorder are as real as death or money, and you
>>> scoff at them at your peril. They affect a big chunk of a percent
>>> the population, which means you're meeting several of them every
>>> probably begging on the street if you live in a large city.
>>> -dlj.
>>No they're not.
>>Read Thomas Szasz: "The Myth of Mental Illness"
>> "Ceremonial Chemistry" and others.
>>Read Paula Caplan on the DSM's creation: "They Call You Crazy"
>>People have, to quote Szasz, "problems in living" not "illnesses".
>To say there are no crazy people begging on the streets is itself
>crazy -- though the "problem in living" this time is a gullible
>acceptance of rightwing ideology.

Not at all - personally I maintain that dictatorships who all
seem to be rightwing in the end, actually LOVE the DSM and all its
terms. It is a means of repression when they need a plausible reason
to incarcerate, outside of the judicial system and criminal law.

>Szasz did fine work in fighting the incarceration of the mentally ill,
>but the fact remains that many of them surive, even survive on the
>streets, because of daily medical treatment which makes it possible
>for them to function.

In many cases, like electro-shock therapy - it improves behaviour
to the point where it is acceptable to the rest of us - but what
does it actually do?

>I quite agree that schizophrenia is a suspect catchall category;

All I was trying to point out, and that there is a school of thought
that disagrees strongly with the terminology and the premise.

>the same time there are "schizophrenics" whose illness can be
>objectively identified by the pattern of their eye-movements. The eye
>movement pattern now is a predictor of breakdown in functioning later.
>My argument with Errol is not over mental illness. I make no claim
>that "schizoaffective" has any real world correlative -- merely that,
>like "fairies" or "gnomes" the word has a precise meaning, and Errol
>was too lazy to look it up, preferring to confabulate.

A bald statement - too lazy - or merely trying to draw attention to?
It really was _not_ in my Oxford dictionary :)