Category Archives: psychiatry

Pronunciamento of the philosopher-shrinks

Screenshot 2020-02-05 at 08.23.27An attempt to invalidate the political opinions and choices of opponents on spurious, potentially dictatorial, psychiatric grounds

Dalrymple points out that the assertion by a group of psychiatrists that Donald Trump is unfit psychiatrically to be president of the USA is

absurd and unethical.

It is

political prejudice masquerading as medical diagnosis and prognosis.

The psychiatrists

presumably take comfort in the unanimity of their opinion, as did the 100 German physicists who denounced relativity theory because Einstein was Jewish. If they had been right, said Einstein, one would have been enough.

Regarding the president’s paranoid style of thought, Dalrymple notes that

if Mr Trump did not believe that there were plots against him, if he were convinced that there were not, this would be delusional. For him blandly to say that he had no enemies in Congress, and that no members of Congress were meeting together to plan his downfall, would be a sign of madness, a loss of grasp of the most obvious reality.

The quack psychiatrists

must have a very unflattering view of the United States and its system of government—something like an electoral tinpot dictatorship—if they suppose that the fate of the country, indeed the world, rests upon the mental state of one man.

It seems, says Dalrymple, that they

would prefer the rule of philosopher-psychiatrists to that of people with psychiatric pathology (the vast majority of the population, if the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is to be believed).

The philosopher-shrinks believe in

a version of the basket-of-deplorables hypothesis. People who voted for or supported the president did not have a different opinion, they had an illness. Mr Trump is incapable for medical reasons of making a rational choice, and this applies to millions, tens of millions, of Americans.

Dalrymple points out that psychiatry

is not an exact science, and much of it—psychoanalysis, for example—is not a science at all. To leave the State to the discretion of psychiatrists is like leaving industrial policy to alchemists or public health policy to astrologers.

Educated voters for, and supporters of, Trump

are well aware of his character defects, which require no very great psychological acuity to descry, but prefer him to the alternatives for political and economic reasons.

Psychiatric imperialism

Screenshot 2020-01-30 at 09.42.36The growing pseudo-sophistication of credulity

Under the empire of the shrinks, writes Dalrymple (himself a shrink), there is a dialectical tendency to reinforce people’s wish to

objectify themselves and their behaviour, the better to escape personal responsibility and avoid genuine but painful self-reflection.

He observes that

the doctor wants to give patients a diagnosis, and patients want the doctor to give them a diagnosis. Every unhappy person leaves the doctor clutching a prescription. And every study shows that, whatever they are given as an antidepressant, their pills have a powerful placebo effect. Unfortunately, they can have serious and unpleasant side-effects. Gone are the days when doctors can dish out coloured water as a placebo to a credulous clientèle.

We don’t believe any more in spirit possession, he says,

but we do believe in serotonin – too much or too little or in the wrong place – as the root of all our troubles.

Psychoanalysis is that mental illness for which it regards itself as therapy

An American psychologist by the name of John Gartner argues that Donald Trump should be removed from office on psychiatric grounds:

We live in a pre-fascist society…The German psychiatric association said nothing during the rise of Hitler…We are facing a crisis that threatens to engulf the world in flames…Trump meets standards for commitment and should be required to undergo psychiatric evaluation, whether he wants to or not…The man is threatening to murder an entire country…We cannot call the authorities because the homicidal patient is the authorities.

Dalrymple notes that Gartner

displays no knowledge of or imaginative insight into what it is like to live in a totalitarian dictatorship—his Jewishness notwithstanding—despite countless memoirs, academic books, and films attesting to and describing life under authoritarian rule. Such ignorance or lack of imagination is culpable. For an American to compare contemporary life in the USA, no doubt unsatisfactory as it is in many respects, with life in a fascist dictatorship is self-dramatising, self-pitying, and an insult to those millions who suffered or died under totalitarian dictatorships.

It is legitimate to oppose the government and to despise the person of the president;

it is another thing to claim jurisdiction over whether he should be entitled to be president and whether he ought to be removed by committal to a mental institution. In the Soviet Union, psychiatrists occupied the kind of commissarship that Gartner is appealing for.

Gartner

shows an implicit contempt for US institutions and history if he thinks that the election of one allegedly unstable man can turn his country into a fascist dictatorship almost overnight.

He is

what Kraus said of psychoanalysis, a cause of the disease it pretends to cure. He believes that people who show instability, anger, paranoia, feelings of persecution, and cognitive confusion would and should be involuntarily committed for psychiatric evaluation.

Dalrymple suggests that Gartner read Chekhov’s 1892 short story Ward No. 6, in which Dr Ragin is committed to his own asylum.

Don’t mention the Muslims!

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-02-55The religion we dare not name

Lying in bed late one night unable to sleep, Dalrymple resorts to a normally reliable curative: the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Two papers in particular quickly banish the insomnia,

  • one by Jeremy W. Coid, Kamaldeep Bhui, Deirdre MacManus, Constantinos Kallis, Paul Bebbington and Simone Ullrich headed Extremism, religion and psychiatric morbidity in a population-based sample of young men,
  • and one by Kamaldeep Bhui, Maria João Silva, Raluca A. Topciu and Edgar Jones on Pathways to sympathies for violent protest and terrorism.
Bognor Regis Chess Club in the great days

Bognor Regis Chess Club in the great days

Dalrymple writes that in addition to being quite unilluminating, the articles’ conclusions are

as dull as the annual accounts of a local chess club.

The authors

would make Armageddon sound boring.

They are also pusillanimous. We all know, Dalrymple notes,

what kind of terrorism and extremism the authors are thinking of, but the title of neither paper mentions it. We walk permanently on eggshells.

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-33-38What religion are we talking about? The articles do not tell us. The whole subject

is dealt with in so opaque a fashion that it is difficult not to believe that the authors feared retribution—from the politically correct if not from terrorists themselves. They are like those puppies that, being curious, approach a danger, but then retreat, approach again, and retreat again.

Perhaps the authors wished to prevent readers from drawing the obvious conclusion, that

Enoch Powell had been right all along.

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-36-55We should all like to know, says Dalrymple,

why some people become terrorists, other than for the most obvious reason: that to kill, maim, and destroy, supposedly for a good cause or some allegedly higher purpose, is a delight to a certain kind of person, worth even dying for. In addition, I doubt that there are many more self-important people than terrorists.

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-46-45You might think that psychiatry and psychiatrists would be able to shed some light on the matter, but this, Dalrymple points out,

is a manifestation of a modern superstition, that human self-understanding has made great strides pari passu with technical advances such as brain scans and a knowledge of neurochemistry. In fact, we have not advanced beyond Pope’s description of Man as ‘the glory, jest and riddle of the world’.

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-49-03screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-10-50-26

 

 

From Utter Weakness and Impotence to the Supreme Sexual Power

Roman oil lamp, Altes Museum, Berlin

Roman oil lamp, Altes Museum, Berlin

This 1969 work of 224 pages by Dr M.S. Rao went into many editions, Dalrymple points out.

Dr Rao, of Jaipur, is also the author of An Introduction to the Real Psychiatry: the Science that Studies and Corrects the Malfunctioning of the Fine Human Brain (1971; 528 pages).

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-14-22-23

Detail of sculptures, Khajuraho group of monuments, Madhya Pradesh, early 11th century

Užívání antidepresiv je moderní obdoba vymítání ďábla

Není to psychologie, jste to vy: přestaňte vaše chování zaměňovat za nemoc

Literatura, vzkazuje Dalrymple,

přinesla lidstvu daleko více světla, než v co psychologie vůbec může kdy doufat.

Místo nalézání sebe sama během dlouhých let terapie pomocí povídání o sobě,

byste se raději měli věnovat nějakému zájmu nebo činnosti.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 09.05.07

Brezhnevian psychoanalytic xyloglottism

Much psychoanalytical writing, writes Dalrymple, has 'all the stylistic flair and intellectual excitement of a speech by Leonid Brezhnev'. Such langue de bois can  be read or heard only 'as an act of religious devotion, or even of contrition'.

Much psychoanalytical writing, writes Dalrymple, has ‘all the stylistic flair and intellectual excitement of a speech by Leonid Brezhnev’. Such langue de bois can be read or heard only ‘as an act of religious devotion, or even of contrition‘.

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.

Get a hold of yourself!

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 10.28.10Dalrymple argues that psychology

doesn’t help us understand ourselves. In the last 100 years we haven’t found anything of any value. We haven’t moved beyond Shakespeare.

On psychoanalysis, he remarks:

I daresay some people will have benefited from it, but they will have benefited from witch-doctors. It doesn’t help us to understand the human condition. I’m not sure anything will ever do better than literature, and even literature doesn’t help that much.

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 14.46.33Dalrymple explains (from 37:05) that a book was recently sent to him through the post by its publishers

in the hope that I would make some reference to it or even review it.

In 360 pages, the book

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 14.40.02sought to prove, with an immense machinery of academic references, that human beings, on the whole, are happier if they have some face-to-face and person-to-person contact.

Dalrymple’s comment:

Imagine someone going to Shakespeare and earnestly explaining to him the content of this book.

‘Well, William. Did you know that human beings need one another to be happy? I bet you didn’t, because, poor chap, you lived in the 16th century.’

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 14.31.50I don’t think the Bard would have been bemused, because nothing human bemused him, but he might have been amused.

Two lines of his might have run through his head: Lord, what fools these mortals be!* and O brave new world, That has such people in’t!

*A Midsummer Nights Dream, Act 3, scene 2, 110–115; †The Tempest, Act 5, scene 1, 181–184