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Today’s Top Tweet – Is psychiatry “fixated” at a base level of human understanding?

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Is psychiatry “fixated” at a base level of human understanding? Generally speaking, I would say yes and no.

Yes… because individual spirituality is often suspect in psychiatric circles. We’ve all heard the phrase “magical thinking.” Problem is, some people really are on the edge, and not in a good way. So that only reinforces psychiatry’s potential marginalization of sane, non-violent individuals who might be pioneers in redefining how we, as human beings, relate to God and all of creation.

No… because psychiatry does recognize recognized religions. That means it’s okay, from the psychiatric perspective, to identify with traditional “Catholics”—a social group that tends to closet or turn a blind eye to in-house gays while at the same time calling homosexuality disordered. Contradictory?

Having said that, there are always exceptions. Some psychiatrists no doubt are more open-minded and aware than others. Contrary to what the APA and other “Royal Colleges” would have us believe, there is variation among psychiatrists, just as there are exceptions and variations among Catholics and Catholic priests.

Sociologically, psychiatry is a lot like a religion. And its ever-changing DSM∞ is reminiscent of new interpretations of religious scripture. If practitioners in a given “school” deviate too far, they’re out. So even those who think freely must toe the line or lose their jobs, in both psychiatry and religion.

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5 thoughts on “Today’s Top Tweet – Is psychiatry “fixated” at a base level of human understanding?

  1. Edits –

    So that only reinforces psychiatry’s not-so-subtle marginalization of sane, non-violent individuals…

    to

    So that only reinforces psychiatry’s potential marginalization of sane, non-violent individuals…

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    while at the same time calling homosexuality a disorder

    to

    while at the same time calling homosexuality disordered

    ***

    Added link to

    a social group that closets or turns a blind eye to in-house gays

    ***

    stylistic edits

    ***

    added links to support claims

    there is variation among psychiatrists, just as there are exceptions and variations among Catholics and Catholic priests.

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  2. A great question. I feel like psychiatry… or perhaps I should say psychology, is in this push and pull between wanting to explore a greater realm of experience, but also wanting to be taken seriously as a scientific field. (Not that the two should be mutually exclusive, but it seems at times they are.) I think we are seeing some movement in that direction lately with more holistic mental health emphasis, but there is a long way to go. And yes, how can psychology validate one spiritual experience while still treating psychosis? That’s tricky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great observations. It is tricky and I don’t pretend to have all the answers. Was hoping to spark some debate so appreciate your comments.

      What really amazes me is how so many people uncritically accept the latest psychology/psychiatry perspectives.

      Even Lady Gaga… it’s nice that she’s come out with her “mental illness” but, at the same time, by using that term she might be inadvertently reinforcing a somewhat unhealthy worldview.

      Liked by 1 person

      • To me, part of the problem is that we have barely even broached the subject of mental wellness. Until we are more comfortable with mental wellness, and the fact that we ALL have mental health, mental illness will always be this stigmatized thing. Once we as a culture (and the scientific community as well, and, heck, insurance companies, because they may only choose to cover a ‘diagnosis’) accept holistic mental health, then we can start asking deeper questions about the spectrum of individual experience.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Again, great comments. It IS a political and economic thing, to be sure. But imo many are so wrapped up in today’s world that they, for whatever reasons, cannot or don’t want to step a few steps outside.

    I’m not sure if I’d say we’re all well or that we’re all *potentially* well. Take the example of psychosis. In some instances, if well managed, it can be as (I think) R. D. Laing put it, part of a greater breakthrough instead of a mere breakdown. But if not well managed, well, one might get sucked into the wrong side of the system and probably never reach full potential. That, to me, is a real tragedy.

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