Tolerance and Intolerance in Psychiatry

Our reference here is the book Tolerance – The Liberation of Mankind, by Hendrik Willem van Loon, originally published in 1925. The volume we have was independently published on June 12, 2021, by an unnamed source. As the book says, it is “The history of Tolerance (or the lack thereof) in the history of man as described by one of the best popular historians of all time.”

The book introduces the word by saying, “I refer to the Encyclopedia Britannica. There on page 1052 of volume XXVI stands written: ‘Tolerance (from Latin tolerare — to endure): – The allowance of freedom of action or judgment to other people, the patient and unprejudiced endurance of dissent from one’s own or the generally received course or view.'”

Some additional dictionary definitions are:
— capacity to endure pain, hardship, harm, or unpleasantness
— a permissive attitude toward beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own
— the allowable deviation from a standard
— the diminished effect of a drug over time with its regular use.

One colloquial phrase representing tolerance is “live and let live.”

The book is basically a history of the world from the viewpoints of tolerance and intolerance. (Mostly intolerance, as the case may be.)

Tolerance and Racism

In the U.S., one generally thinks of intolerance as black/white racism or religious intolerance, with anti-semitism rising rapidly alongside. It isn’t necessarily the same in other countries or times. For example, in Belgium intolerance also exists between white Flemish speakers and white French speakers.

Tolerance and Psychiatry

It should be plain to see that psychiatry cannot tolerate any deviance from what they imagine is normal behavior, and seeks to compulsively and coercively “treat” it. Since psychiatry has never been able to understand, control or successfully cure such deviance, their efforts lead to continual failure.

When we speak of “coercive psychiatry” we mean that psychiatry is used as a means of social control against which one has no recourse and cannot fight back, which is destructive of one’s self-determinism, causing distrust instead of faith. Psychiatry intends to substitute their own vision of “normal” for any individual beliefs one may hold; which fits the definition of intolerance pretty closely.

The literature abounds with scholarly articles about tolerance and mental health, often involving exhortations to accept others’ differences. This corresponds with psychiatry’s insistence that one must adapt to one’s environment rather than control one’s environment.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders revision 5 (DSM-5) deals with tolerance only in the sense of Substance Use Disorders, when an individual requires increasingly higher doses of a substance to achieve the desired effect, or the usual dose has a reduced effect. Such tolerance as one criteria for a Substance Use Disorder does not apply in the case of a prescription drug used in the context of appropriate medical treatment (i.e. “generally accepted practices”).

One example of psychiatry dealing with tolerance/intolerance in patients is called the “Intolerance of Uncertainty;” the conjecture is that such individuals tend to be less tolerant of ambiguity, uncertainty, and unpredictability in their lives, and that this is a mental disorder. These individuals can then be labeled with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (or any one of several other diagnoses from the DSM) and prescribed harmful psychiatric drugs to suppress their anxiety. In particular, we noticed a number of psychiatric research articles examining this issue in relation to COVID-19, pregnancy, education, stress and burnout, autism, pain, religion, depression, vaccination, … in other words, pretty much in all areas of life.

The Root of Intolerance

Whenever there is so much unresolved discussion over a topic, we can be sure that there is a general lack of understanding about it. There is certainly an excessively long historical preoccupation with intolerance. Perhaps one can observe that intolerance of uncertainty is not really a psychiatric condition to be treated with drugs, but an expression of a human aberration which should be treated by increasing one’s ability to observe and confront different, unknown, confusing, or uncomfortable conditions.

This basic characteristic about tolerance is the ability to tolerate views; that is, the ability to look, to know by looking. Thus intolerance is an inability to tolerate views, viewpoints, or looking; it’s a decision to refuse to observe.

Intolerance as discussed in the cited Tolerance book is essentially concerned with a dismissive, antagonistic or hostile attitude toward others’ different beliefs, leading toward repeated attempts to suppress or eliminate those other beliefs. These beliefs run the gamut from political, economic, religious, racist, to just plain cussedness; and the political and economic conditions often seem to be behind a lot of the intolerance.

While many have perished for their contrary beliefs, we observe that there is a general failure to permanently stamp these out. We make no judgments here about the truth or falsity of any particular beliefs.

Consider what happens when one tries to control another person or situation, but fails to do so. One then attempts to justify one’s failure. One way to justify such a failure is to attack the other and make less of them. One way to attack another is to say oneself is right and they are wrong.

Thus we see a definite relation between tolerance/intolerance and the human condition which causes an individual to make oneself right by making another wrong.

The book reaches its final conclusion about tolerance by saying that “fear … is at the bottom of all intolerance.” This can be fear of another’s politics, economics, religion, race, or just plain fear of difference. It’s actually an inability to recognize similarities, and observing (and misunderstanding) only differences. Both sanity and intelligence are intimately related to one’s ability to recognize differences, similarities and identities.

How to Overcome Intolerance

The solution to tolerance should be fairly obvious: rehabilitate and enhance one’s ability to observe and recognize differences, similarities and identities. Find out how to identify what makes something logical or illogical by taking this short, free online course: “The Investigations Course“. We trust you understand that psychiatric labels install fear of behavior; and that psychiatric drugs or other treatments can only suppress the fear and not eliminate it.

It should also be obvious that psychiatry is not your friend when it comes to tolerance. Contact your local, state and federal officials and representatives and urge them to stop funding psychiatry.

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