Category Archives: psychiatric disorders

Dissatisfaction is the permanent condition of mankind

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 08.56.39Witch-doctoring, says Dalrymple (from 16:15),

can work for those who believe in witches and spirits.

However,

there is no total explanation of the human condition. There is no theory that will release us from dissatisfaction.

A little more stigma, please

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 19.44.37It would have saved the lives snuffed out by this amok-pilot

Andreas Lubitz’s problem, writes Dalrymple, was

one of character rather than of illness.

He was a narcissist whose enthusiasm for fitness was

not for fitness for any end other than a purely self-regarding one. The picture of him out running, pouting as if engaged on something serious and staring ahead with earphones in his ears to exclude the outer world from obtruding on him in his self-absorbed bubble, suggested a man more than usually self-centred.

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 17.37.28He is reported to have been

determined to make more of a mark in the world than his native talents would permit, reducing him to the necessity of doing something terrible to catch the attention of the world that he so craved, and no doubt felt that he deserved. For narcissists, anonymity is the worst of fates.

Dalrymple says he cannot help but think that Western culture

is propitious to the promotion of narcissism of the type that I suspect that Lubitz suffered from — or made others suffer from.

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 17.36.37Psychiatry

will never make the likes of Lubitz whole. We shall never be putty in technicians’ hands. That is not the same as saying that he should have been allowed to fly aëroplanes. A little more stigma and prejudice would have saved the 149 lives he so egotistically snuffed out.

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 17.38.37

They called this totalitarian a liberator

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 22.57.49A cupboard packed with skeletons

Freud excelled in the arts of totalitarianism, says Dalrymple. The father of psychoanalysis

denigrated, excommunicated, falsified, minimised, concealed, lied, distorted history, embargoed, and resorted constantly to that ad hominem (which is something of course that I would never do), in a way of which Stalin might have been proud or at least not ashamed.

Bureaucratic mentality

H.M. Prison Winson Green, where Dalrymple was a specialist

H.M. Prison Birmingham

Speaking grosso modo, Dalrymple writes that prison officers he worked with were more astute and kinder than staff at psychiatric hospitals.

They had not had their heads filled with psychological jargon. When they came to me to tell me that a prisoner was not himself, or was acting strangely, or that ‘he’s not your typical con’, I soon learnt to take their observations seriously.

Rampton Secure Hospital

Rampton Secure Hospital

Dalrymple says that prisoners he knew were in general

far more afraid of psychiatric hospitals than they were of prisons. One of their most plaintive cries was, ‘You’re not nutting me off, are you, doctor?’

In official reports of disastrous cases in psychiatric hospitals, salient phrases include ‘lessons have been learnt’ and ‘errors of communication’.

One could write almost all reports on disastrous cases before they have occurred. By ‘lessons have been learnt’ is meant ‘it will be exactly the same next time’.

The lesson that has been learnt

is always that a new form, longer and more complex than the old, should be introduced. The form-filling gets in the way of genuine contact with or concern for the patient. The form-filling is the work itself.

Mental mastery

Drawing by Hyacinth Freiherr von Wieser at the Prinzhorn Collection, 'the first, largest, and best collection of art by psychotic patients'. Dalrymple goes on: 'To Dr Hans Prinzhorn [1886-1933] belongs the honour, to my mind a considerable one, of having recognized artistic merit in the productions of psychotic persons and not merely pathological manifestations of grossly disordered psyches. It bespeaks a laudable openness and largeness of spirit in him as well as an admirably independent aesthetic judgment.'

Drawing by Hyacinth Freiherr von Wieser. Held at the Prinzhorn Collection, ‘the first, largest, and best collection of art by psychotic patients’, says Dalrymple. ‘To Dr Hans Prinzhorn [1886-1933] belongs the honour, to my mind a considerable one, of having recognized artistic merit in the productions of psychotic persons and not merely pathological manifestations of grossly disordered psyches. It bespeaks a laudable openness and largeness of spirit in him as well as an admirably independent aesthetic judgment.’

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?

One, but the lightbulb has to want to change

One, but the lightbulb has to want to change

A doctor writes

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 08.40.38

Dalrymple is available to answer any questions you may have about corpulence, intemperance, liverishness, lunacy, narcosis, senility, hemp, alimentation, misopædia, inoculation, etc., etc.