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Sunday, November 27, 2005

“Why Psychological “Disease”, Isnt”

“Why Psychological “Disease”, Isnt”

In the world of medicine, the normality of an individual is directly related to his/her biological construct. If a kidney functions as it should, the individual is deemed healthy. If it fails to perform its function, the individual is dubbed sick. This system follows throughout the rest of the human order, from government, to educational systems, to psychological studies, to practically everything else. Regardless of race or location, all of man kind follows a set of rules designed to best protect every individual living within that system and ensure his/her obedience to it to receive its rewards. It matters not to the world that Albert Einstein, considered to be one of the most influential people of theoretical physics, was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder at age 12. Or that Kurt Cobain, a radical musician, was a known bipolar case. The world cares about their contributions, but cares not of what went on inside their minds to create such contributions. If a person, any person, genius, or Joe Bloe, is biologically different from the majority, he is defined as diseased. He is therefore to be treated, and helped, because his condition does not allow him to be an adequate member of society. Open your minds, just a bit, and I hope that I may bring a new perspective to this assumed truth.
Why is a dysfunctional kidney a detriment to its carrier? Without a kidney, one would be unable to digest food, without digestion of food there would be no calories equating energy for one to perform tasks, without one’s performance of a task there would be no output of used energy, without this output of energy a system loses a part to its well-oiled machine, without the machine the system cannot survive, without the system all the ones who depend on it cannot survive, without their survival the human race will become extinct, and extinction is unfavorable. In Chinese philosophy, death is looked upon as a celebration, a release from the burdens of the physical earth. We do not know why we die, although there are many opinions on the matter. If evolution has taught us anything, it is that any matter can be looked at from many different angles, and perspective is the determining factor of any given solution to a problem or answer to a question. The majority of our world believes that a failed kidney is a problem, this was the reason for the first witch doctor shaman, to the present neuroscientists. We have advanced in our knowledge of the operation of the human body to be able to pin-point most abnormalities down to the neuronal and even genetic level and fix them. We fix them because they cause pain, limitation, or to their carriers, they bring death, and all are unfavorable. The human being busies himself as much as possible to prevent thought. But if we look at the bigger picture, the cosmic question of the meaning of the universe itself, not simply understand how we are here or how the universe came into being, but why it did. Perhaps the human urge to fix is a bit too arrogant and simplistic. The fatalists say that nothing is coincidence, and everything happens for a reason. Using this argument one could say that if you caught the Ebola virus, you were meant to die. But the existentialists believe that free will is the cause of the universe, and thus everything you experience can be controlled. In this argument, medicine is perfectly logical. Psychological diseases such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, hypomania, and so forth are labeled diseases because scientists have observed that they affect the biological function of the body. Just like the question of the universe, many know how these conditions occur and how to treat them, but nobody questions whether they may have a reason for appearing that is not a negative one.

“now the insane person (or, these days, the one thought to be missing the proper responsibility-gene) is neither for or against the society in which he or she lives but is, nevertheless a disturbance to it..... a disturbance that must be accounted for. Our society, America in particular, has found it hard to deal with what appears to be the non-rational .... (rationality always defined in terms of what a society calls rational). What our thinkers resort to is to shift the inexplicable into one or another psychological and/or sociological categories, thus solving the problem of the irrational person, and so negating his or her act.” The Warriors, Sol Yurick.

Responsibility for one’s own actions determines maturity in many societies. If one works hard in school and applies oneself, this serves as a basis for a sturdy college education, which leads to a prominent career, and thus benefits the greater society. If one makes a choice not to work hard, and not follow the general pathway, that individual should accept the consequences of their choice. Much of the working class is irritated at the homeless and criminal population because they feel that they have made a choice and instead of accepting their consequences, live parasitic lives which drain the working man’s salary and energy. Psychologically diseased people are excused from this labeling, because they are defined as unable to make such choices because their cognitive ability to rationalize is affected. They therefore are looked at as children. It is rarely questioned that perhaps the mind itself consciously decides to “disease” itself.

I have been diagnosed as bipolar, schizophrenic, ADHD, by different physicians. What is their basis? That I have frequent mood swings in which I ride the high of euphoria then plummet to the depths of despair, that my thoughts are fast and uncontrollable, that my behaviour is irrational, basically any adjective or action which shows a complete lack to adapt to the set system of life. And yet, I have worked in a variety of jobs from the conventional 9-5 to the unusual, gone to university, graduated from high school (early- 3 years), have self-taught myself everything from playing instruments to drawing to hair dying. I can understand a psychological perspective of why psychological diseases are considered detrimental to life, but what most psychologists fail to understand is that having these supposed symptoms actually allows the individual far greater opportunities than the average human. It is comparable to X-Men "mutants" who don't fit in society, and yet with their powers can do things which humans are inable and completely unaware of being able to do. I truly believe that anyone, anything, is capable of doing anything. However, many people believe in the words "impossible" and "unrealistic" when it comes to many aspects of life. I think what bipolarity, schizophrenia, and other such conditions allow the human who possesses them to be able to think outside of the system, to see the impossible as a real option, to not be bounded by law or any previously conceived notion about anything. I may not be able to lift objects with my mind, cause thunderstorms, or predict the future (yet) , but I can do quite a lot more than someone who isn't "diagnosed". Why do I feel that these symptoms are abilities? I shall use lucid dreaming in comparison to the episodes experienced with psychological diseases. What is lucid dreaming? A normal dream, is uncontrollable, unpredictable and random. Lucid dreaming is the ability to know when you are dreaming, to be consciously aware that your unconscious mind is working, and thus be able to control what happens to you in your dreams. An example of this can be seen in the independent film "Waking Lives". I compare my high and low states when my thoughts run wild, and in my world there are no limits, my thoughts travel freely to lucid dreaming. In real life, I cannot fly, but in my dreams I frequently do, and explore many other areas of seemingly impossible tasks which I'm sure most people do as well. However, I know when I am flying, and am aware that I am dreaming, thus there is no normal limit of the mind which still applies to dreams that are random. With lucid dreaming, I can predict what I want to dream about, I can make anything happen consciously while I'm still asleep. When I am in my high states in the real waking world, my body does things which it normally would not think are possible. For example, when I am not in such drug-like states, I cannot do the splits. When I am in these high states, I am more flexible than a gymnast, I have extremely controlled balance, faster reflexes, heightened awareness of my environment, heightened abilities in drawing, musical compositions, writing, improvisational activity of all types that as chaotic as its existance begins actually has a precise perfectionist pattern to it. It is the harnessing of this type of unlimited energy and the openess of mind that is very similar to lucid dreaming. The normal limits, mannerisms, and daily practices of life do not apply. It is as if the entire world is my playground, and I am in control of literally everything, possess the power to dictate the universe with my mind. I am not implying that most people do not have control of their lives, they do. I am simply saying that the control which they possess is still very limited because it is control of the world which they believe is real and their control is only the ability to understand its rules and be above them. But there are still limitations, like gravity. Can I fly? No. But I do believe that scientific research will lead to a way to harness unlimited mind energy into an energy which literally frees the body from the limits of basic physic law. Physics, biology, are the foundation of our existance, and they are our ultimate government. The ultimate politician in this sense would therefore be someone who could break these laws of physical government. There have been numerous examples of this throughout history. Most if not all poets, artists, and other creative peoples have expressed the nature of their inspiration to be a limitless whirlpool source, and simultaneously a black hole of the most painful darkness. Jesus could bring back the dead to the living. John Nash, in the biographically based"A Beautiful Mind", was a schizophrenic who advanced economic theory to a new level. Buddha could orate to a million people and have his voice sound slightly different to every individual. Shaolin monks can do martial arts movements which look impossible, many monks even live far past normal human age, the oldest currently being 133. Yogis in India can levitate off the ground. Psychics, although ridiculed by the traditional scientific community have still been able to help police officers find missing children through the power of pre-recognition, clairvoyance, etc. Indigo children, are this generations' newest example of human progression. Characterized by their high intuition, sensitivity, immense creativity, talents in many areas, lack of respect to authority, inobedience to regimented rules, and a list of other characteristics which can be found by a basic search on google. Many journalists are skeptic of phenomena that cannot be explained by modern science, and many scientists automatically group unexplained phenomena into the general "religious" category. What if this is something beyond religion, beyond science, beyond anything that is able to be understood by the human being, in even the most simple way? I think that there is a reason for the rise of psychological difference. In America, most of it can be contributed to heightened stress of a competitive lifestyle, but this makes even more sense. The mind tries to escape rule, even though it itself is an organism which is comprised of an organized and rigid manner. The CT of a brain scan is a beautiful artistic creation, proportionate and perfect in its design. But, like a robot who wants to possess feeling, Pinnochios do exist in real life. And those who dream big, can usually become "real boys" as shown in the classic fairy tale. When mania imposes itself on me, everything melts into everything. There is no literature, there is no music, no science, no religion, no life, no death, because everything and nothing becomes intertwined and connected in an endless field of energy. It is like tapping into this energy, and becoming saturated with it in every sense. The effects are similar to LSD, the sensations described being "hearing colors", "seeing sound", "hallucinations". Except unlike drug-induced behaviour, this is an all natural effect. The dopamine levels rise as high as they do with any drug, but as there is no substance, there is no side effect to these experiences, unless considering the classified term disease.
Grandiose visions of oneself, such as feeling like God or beyond, able to do anything, limitless, are all the classifications of the condition of bipolarity. So everything that I experience, is in fact normal according to these observations of pyschiatrists, neurologists, and various other ologies. However, they are always looked at as unrealistic, and if not bad or good, simply irrational. There have been many cases of suicide in which people have attempted to fly out their windows. Although I think that in such states, there is a link between life and death which makes both unnessary, what if death isn't a bad thing? "Death is just another adventure" -Albert Einstein. What we don't understand, we fear. And we have very limited knowledge about many things, especially how the human brain operates. Most people can only use 3% of their brains! Even "geniuses" can only use up to 10%. Where do these percentages come from and what do they mean? Basically, that any human can only use that portion of the different regions of the brain at any one second in time. So yes, the human brain is fully functional and fully used, but never all at once. Geniuses can use more parts of the brain simultaneously. But there has not yet been a human who has used 100% of their brain at once. I think within psychological "illness" there is a key to unlock this trapdoor of activity. Life has dreams. Dreams can be life. Lucid dreaming is control of dreams. There must be an equivalent to life. And I do think that it exists within the abnormal hyperactive energy found within the human brain during episodes of illness.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I admire your point of views on psychological "illness." I agree that the answers, if you will, lie during episodes of "illness," in naturally altered states of mind. As you put it, "...because everything and nothing becomes intertwined and connected in an endless field of energy." The feeling of complete independence from life and death simultaneously, and instead being able to (on a personal level) control events as a result of it... that is something amazing, though the responsibility is a burden and when the responsibility is in the hands of others, it is a complete lack of control.