Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

Are You Authentic?

Monday, October 24th, 2022

We have noticed a gush of social media posts about “authenticity” or “being real” and thought it might be an appropriate subject for this blog.

Authentic:
– worthy of acceptance or belief
– conforming to an original
– not false or imitation
– true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character
– being really what it seems to be, genuine
– genuineness as a reflection of the true person and not simply of a professional acting in a role

[Ultimately from Greek authentikos, from authent?s perpetrator, master; from autos self + -hent?s accomplisher, achiever.]

Checking it out, we also noticed a surfeit of psychological and psychiatric dialog about authenticity. Apparently the subject is not so well understood, given the excessive amount of scholarly discussion and argument over it. An example is “What the new science of authenticity says about discovering your true self“, a recent article we saw from a psychologist who claims that “it can be challenging to find your authentic self.”

We think the real challenge is recognizing what is authentic in spite of all the psychobabble.

One’s Real Self

We would like to think that everyone would agree with the statement that they are themselves and not someone else. So we can call one’s own self or personality “oneself,” or one’s “identity,” or one’s “beingness.”

Interestingly enough, a person has the ability to combine with or take on parts of another. When done willingly and knowingly, we call this “acting” and extol this ability in actors and actresses.

However, when done unwillingly or unknowingly, this becomes a problem and could be called a “facsimile personality.” Without detouring into the mechanics of how this occurs, we note that a person can display the characteristics of one or more personalities in addition to, or in place of, their own. In extreme cases this might produce a “split personality” or certain symptoms of so-called schizophrenia.

Psychiatric Confusion about Authenticity

Some psychiatrists notice that some thoughts and feelings are genuine expressions of oneself, and some are expressions of mental trauma or the side effects of psychiatric drugs. However, we do not find an effective psychiatric process for self-discovery, or an effective method for recognizing or rehabilitating authenticity.

We do find a lot of psychiatric psychobabble, so instead of burrowing down the rabbit hole of psychiatric mumbo-jumbo, let’s just get down to what we can do about it.

Practical Aspects of Authenticity

The subject of facsimile personalities is extensive, and not something we are going to fully address here. However, we can address some aspects which might prove useful in our original quest for authenticity.

There are three elements that bring about an Understanding of oneself, others, and the world around you. These three elements are Affinity, Communication, and Reality. After all is said and done, authenticity is recognizing what is real. And in no small measure, recognizing what is inauthentic and unreal about psychiatry.

Intuition – Your Friend or Foe?

Monday, October 3rd, 2022

Lately there has been an abundance of social media postings about intuition or gut feelings. We were curious about this, as many people seem to be promoting the use of intuition to reach critical Life decisions rather than direct observation and rational thought. We suspect this might be related to a misunderstanding, mistrust, or confusion between rational and emotional reactions to Life situations.

There are many ways to describe and define the word “intuition”:
– insight, a snap judgment
– instinctive knowingness, spiritual perception
– perceive directly without reasoning
– an impression that something might be the case
– knowledge gained without evident rational thought or facts
– knowledge gained by feelings rather than thought
– knowing or understanding something without reasoning or evidence
– knowledge dependent more upon past experience than present perception

[from Late Latin intuitio “act of contemplating”, from Latin intu?ri “to look at, contemplate”]

The idiom “gut feeling” speaks to the visceral sensation or emotional reaction one is said to experience. The idea that emotions are experienced in the gut has a long historical legacy, and many nineteenth-century doctors considered the origins of mental illness to derive from the intestines.

In truth, pure knowingness, not influenced by space or energy, is a property of a spiritual being; it is not dependent upon observation. Below this state there is knowing about, which is the province of data, or speculations or conclusions or methods about data. True knowledge is certainty, not data.

In order to play any game (such as The Game Of Life) one has to reduce one’s knowingness by assuming one cannot know or knows wrongly, since if one fully knew everything about the game (e.g. knowing all the moves of both sides in a card game), it would no longer be a game.

One convenient way many humans accomplish this is to substitute for rational observation in present time with irrational recall of past events. This gives rise to the type of intuition we know as a gut feeling, where unconscious recalls impinge upon the body and mind to produce feelings that may or may not apply to present circumstances.

This type of intuition has a formal definition in psychiatry and psychology: a faculty in which hunches are generated by the unconscious mind rapidly sifting through past experience. Psychology and psychiatry provide guesses about how this is supposed to work, with many wasted efforts attempting to justify the substitution of intuition for rational observation and thought.

Of course, consulting one’s past experiences is certainly a valid use of experience in evaluating present time situations. The problem with gut feelings is that this process is unconscious and liable to pull up irrational responses rather than rational ones.

Attempts by psychology and psychiatry to teach people how to use their intuition is, to be blunt, fraudulent; since their concept of intuition is by definition an unconscious process based solely on the past, and as likely to be irrational as it is to appear rational. They may promote meditation as a path to using intuition, and we have written previously about the psychiatric corruption of meditation.

On the other hand, true intuition which is a spiritual knowingness and awareness can be rehabilitated by boosting one’s awareness, and improving one’s ability to consciously observe and consider things in present time, as well as considering consequences in future time. Learning more about how to make good judgments is also a positive approach.

The real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness” and stigmatize unwanted behavior as “diseases,” using the psychiatric billing bible the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as their justification. The bottom line is that all psychiatric “treatments” are harmful, including attempts to focus on intuition where it unconsciously restimulates past events.

If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It!

Monday, June 20th, 2022

[Flaunt: To show oneself off or move in an ostentatious way.]

Social media often emphasizes a need for one to promote oneself, to have a “brand”, to make oneself and one’s abilities known and available.

Saying “flaunt it” is somewhat of a dramatic usage, perhaps even melodramatic, but it serves to emphasize that there are things one can do to make oneself and one’s abilities known and used.

A much less vivid expression, perhaps, would be “If you’ve got it, use it; if you can’t use it, get rid of it.”

Why is this important?

There are group insanities that suppress people from being effective. It can be manifested in a number of ways.

Here are some examples:
1. Exclusion of others — an obvious example is a refusal to employ someone or allow them to belong.
2. A failure to use people — Making practical and effective use of people; if they are well-trained in an area but not allowed to perform in that area. There can also be a disparity between what someone is doing and what they consider is their purpose or interest.
3. The substitution of violence for reason, all too common in this current society.

We’re sure you can think of other examples. One’s optimum survival, and the optimum survival of all the groups to which one belongs, depends on being effective, having a high worthwhile purpose, and demonstrating a mutual confidence between the individual and the group.

Yet there is one group dedicated to suppressing these things.

It should be obvious by now that psychiatry is not an encouraging industry, neither by definition nor by example. Psychiatry is an Industry of Death.

The main resource in consideration here is people, the most critical building blocks of society. Yet psychiatry has no cures, and depends on damaging their patients to continue in business.

Psychiatrists proclaim a worldwide epidemic of mental health problems and urge massive funding increases as the only solution. Yet Community Mental Health programs have been an expensive and colossal failure, creating homelessness, drug addiction, crime and unemployment all over the world.

The end result of psychiatric treatment is not a cured patient, returned to society as a well-adjusted, functioning contributor, but rather a person with the same or worse mental symptoms, told they must remain on debilitating psychiatric drugs for life, because psychiatrists know of no other cure.

Psychiatry defines “self-promotion” as an aberration of presenting oneself to others as accomplished, and that it is boastful and obnoxious. An entire category of psychological research is devoted to so-called “Imposter Syndrome”, making people wonder if they are really competent or not, and heavily suggesting that one may need psychiatric treatment for such. There is a psychiatric lobby for including this fraudulent condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

We’re totally sure that you can promote yourself effectively without bragging or being obnoxious. After all, the whole subjects of Marketing and Public Relations are involved with making things known and well-liked. Just don’t depend on psychiatry to help you with that!

The many critical challenges facing societies today reflect the vital need to strengthen individuals through workable, viable and humanitarian alternatives to harmful psychiatric options.

Forgiveness – A Benefit or a Detriment?

Monday, December 27th, 2021

There are lots of quotes and sayings about forgiveness, not least from the Bible, and there is an abundance of published psychological and psychiatric “research” about it and its relationship to mental health. But we know that when so much discussion and argument about a subject persists, the total truth is generally widely unknown or unacknowledged, and speculation predominates.

Current research is limited by the fact that there is yet no consensus on the definition and measurement of forgiveness. Yet it is not necessary to know everything about it in order to use it. It’s not necessary to know “why” in order to know “how.”

It’s not that forgiveness is necessarily good or bad, but there may be more to know about it. And there is more to know about how psychiatry and psychology continue to promulgate crackpot theories for dealing with it, particularly how psychiatry focuses on harmful psychotropic drugs as the cure-all for all things related to mental health.

What Might It Be?

A common definition for forgiveness is a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

One opinion is that forgiveness should also include offering something positive—empathy, compassion, understanding—toward the one who hurt you.

A contrary opinion is that forgiving someone is a sign of weakness.

Another opinion is that prayer is required.

Some psychiatrists suggest that a part of the brain monitors and controls forgiveness and revenge, and that functional magnetic resonance imaging can illustrate this notion; which leads to the speculation that bombarding the brain with electrical or magnetic energy can influence this.

And there are several different proposed psychological multi-step process models that purport to move one through various emotional stages in addressing a given situation.

The psychiatric billing bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), lists a number of diagnoses for which forgiveness might be considered as a treatment, but which more likely result in a money-making prescription for an antidepressant. Here’s an example: a diagnosis of “Victim of crime.”

Our Advice

We’re not going to give a conclusive definition here, nor specify how to definitively handle such situations. We think guidance from one’s own circle of supporters is a primary consideration. But we do have a bit of advice we can add to the fray.

When one forgives, one validates and accepts that another’s action against one was bad. There is no reason one must accept it. There may be such things as justice and mercy involved, but the real way to deal with it is to continue loving one’s fellows because one understands them in spite of their provocation. Considered in this light, forgiveness is pretty low on the scale of usefulness.

The wrong thing to do is accept a psychiatric diagnosis and a psychiatric treatment.

The wrong thing to do is accept a psychiatric diagnosis.
Bad Dog

A Truly Great Library Contains Something To Offend Everyone

Monday, May 3rd, 2021

“He who takes offense when offense was not intended is a fool, yet he who takes offense when offense is intended is an even greater fool for he has succumbed to the will of his adversary.” –Brigham Young

Offense and Offend, two related words of wide contemporary usage. Here are a few different meanings (we take wide liberties with grammar):

– something that outrages
– the act of displeasing or affronting
– the state of being insulted or morally outraged
– to transgress
– to violate a law or rule
– to cause difficulty, discomfort, or injury
– to cause dislike, anger, or vexation

[Ultimately from Latin offendere “to strike against, displease” from of- “on account of” + -fendere “to hit”.]

We mention these words because we notice a large amount of social commentary and speculation about those taking or giving offense.

In particular, we notice an apparent spike in instances where someone has taken offense at another, or at another’s opinion, or at least remarking on such; whether such offense was intended or not.

We’ve noticed this tendency more and more frequently over the last few years, and wondered what possible relation this could have with psychiatric and psychological infiltration into society.

We’re not the only ones who have noticed this phenomenon. Psychology Today published various articles about it, although we don’t think they accurately attributed its cause.

Sensitivity Training Destroys Personal Responsibility

Psychiatry’s deliberate infiltration of religion and pastoral counseling provides some clues. Psychiatrists first sought to replace religion with their “soulless science” in the late 1800’s. In 1940, psychiatry openly declared its anti-religion plans when British psychiatrist John Rawling Rees, a co–founder of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), spoke of psychiatry infiltrating the Church.

Another co–founder of the WFMH, Canadian psychiatrist G. Brock Chisholm, reinforced this master plan in 1945 when he spoke about freeing the race from crippling religious values.

As a result of psychiatry’s subversive plan for religion, the concepts of good and bad behavior, right and wrong conduct and personal responsibility have taken such a beating that people today have few or no guidelines for checking, judging or directing their behavior. The consequences have been devastating for both society and religion.

Sensitivity Training developed by psychologists in the 1950’s spread rapidly to religious leaders and churches, invalidating personal responsibility in favor of lowered moral standards, leaving a confused populace open to being morally outraged, i.e. offended, by nearly anything.

Since 1967, morals have been usurped through the education system with the implementation of “Values Clarification.” Part of the Outcome-Based Education (OBE) package of techniques, “Values Clarification” emerged from Germany and was introduced into the U.S. classroom under various names, including Sensitivity Training, Self-Esteem training, Anger Management and Conflict Resolution, to name a few. None are any more than mental techniques designed to modify behavior – or more bluntly, alter beliefs and lower personal responsibility.

Psychiatric Folly

If a person acts in ways that annoy, upset or offend psychiatrists, they may be diagnosed as mentally ill and treated against their will.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has an entry called “Intermittent explosive disorder”, which means repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts which are out of proportion to the situation.

In other words, psychiatrists can call you mentally ill and prescribe harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs if you give or take offense. This should act as a warning not to call your psychiatrist names.

Then again, some of these drugs have side effects which look to an outsider as if the person does have such a disorder. Aggressive or hostile behavior is a side effect of psychostimulants, newer antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety drugs. Of course, if you experience such side effects, you can also be diagnosed with the mental disorder “Other adverse effect of medication”, so psychiatrists can label you mentally ill whether you are taking their drugs or not.

If you know of any psychiatrist or psychologist who has committed a legal offense, a sexual offense, financial irregularity, malpractice, fraud or any other crime, report this to the police and to CCHR.

The Gray Shades Of Gaslighting

Monday, March 23rd, 2020
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation or brainwashing intended to gain control of another person or group and make them question themselves, their memory, their perception, or their sanity.

The term originated from the 1938 play (and subsequent film adaptations) Gas Light, where the protagonist’s husband slowly manipulated her into believing she’s going mad by dimming the gaslights and telling her she was imagining it.

This is apparently a common Hollywood theme; I recall seeing the same premise in a 1960’s Perry Mason episode.

If it’s common in Hollywood, chances are it’s common in real life.

In the current political and social climate, fake news is the new standard for gaslighting. Frankly, this is nothing really new; the Russians have been at it since communism began around 1844, in one form or another.

The psychiatric Connection
The 1920’s Russian Revolutionary Communistic plan for world domination as originally conceived used psychiatry as a weapon designed to undermine the social fabric of the target country. The practice continues today using mind-altering psychiatric drugs to overwhelm a person and create terrorists who have been drug-deluded into committing heinous crimes against humanity.
Not only do psychiatrists commit gaslighting in the form of manipulating terrorists to do their dirty work, but also they cover their tracks by diagnosing and treating the results of such manipulation. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) labels as a mental disorder being a “Victim of terrorism or torture”; or more generally, being a victim of psychological abuse.

And on the other side a person can be diagnosed by a psychiatrist as a perpetrator of psychological abuse.

They’ve got you both coming and going; gaslighting and being gaslighted. And then they can prescribe an addictive, mind-altering psychiatric drug to keep you there, since they don’t keep collecting your insurance unless they can keep diagnosing you and “treating” you with psychiatric drugs.

Don’t think we’re making this up; it’s right there in the DSM.

Coercive psychiatrists are themselves often thought by their patients to be perpetrators of gaslighting. This can create a conflict where the patient is unable to trust their own sense of their feelings and surroundings in favor of evaluations by the therapist. Gaslighting has also been observed between patients and staff in inpatient psychiatric facilities.

All in all such manipulations are unhealthy. Since the psychiatric industry itself admits it has no capacity to cure, we observe psychology and psychiatry taking advantage of vulnerable patients for their own purposes instead of the therapeutic care and treatment of individuals who are suffering emotional disturbance.

Don’t be caught gaslighted — execute a Living WillLetter of Protection from Psychiatric Incarceration and/or Treatment.”

How psychiatry Perpetuates Itself Through Environmental Psychology

Monday, February 10th, 2020
Reference:
United Nations Promoting Sustainable Development
Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2015
Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Sustainable: Of, relating to, or being a method or lifestyle for using resources so that the resources can be maintained and continued, and are not depleted or permanently damaged.

[from Old French sustenir (French: soutenir), from Latin sustineo, sustinere, from sub– (under) + teneo (hold, uphold, possess, guard, maintain)]

The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and their 169 associated targets adopted in 2015 and accepted by all Member States seek to realize the human rights of all and balance economic, social and environmental factors towards peace and prosperity for all.

To this end we examine some of the existing factors which block or inhibit the realization of these goals, and which must be eliminated so that the goals can be achieved in practice.

SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy
for all.

Target 7.a: By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology.

How Psychiatry Obstructs Target 7a

Joel Stephen Kovel (1936–2018) was an American psychiatrist known as a founder of “eco-socialism”. He ran for the Green Party’s presidential nomination in 2000.

Eco-socialism is an ideology merging aspects of socialism with that of green politics, generally believing that the expansion of the capitalist system is the cause of social exclusion, poverty, war and environmental degradation through globalization and imperialism.

Kovel believed it is more important to restructure societies to reduce energy use before relying on renewable energy technologies alone. As a staunch socialist he was vehemently anti-capitalism and anti-globalization. We imagine this would have made him antagonistic to the United Nations and its Sustainable Development Goals.

Environmental Psychology

Apparently, though, one of the primary influences of environmental psychology is not a direct attack on renewable clean energy, but rather a profusion of psychological research and publications detailing the psychological trauma leading to mental health problems due to environmental concerns and effects, which of course can be profitably managed by expanding the funding and influence of psychologists and psychiatrists.

The United Nations also recognizes that achieving SDG 7 is related to the promotion of mental health. The unfortunate aspect of this is that the current international model for promoting mental health involves psychiatric and psychological services which are also known to be harmful.

Psychiatrists and psychologists proclaim a worldwide epidemic of mental health problems and urge massive funding increases as the only solution — funding that should rather be given, for example, to promoting access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Decades of psychiatric monopoly over mental health has only lead to upwardly spiraling mental illness statistics and continuously escalating funding demands.

The claim that only increased funding will cure the problems of psychiatry has lost its ring of truth. Psychiatry and psychology should be held accountable for the funds already given them, and irrefutably and scientifically prove the physical existence of mental disorders they claim should be treated and covered by insurance in the same way as physical diseases are.

The many critical challenges facing societies today reflect the vital need to strengthen individuals through workable, viable and humanitarian alternatives to harmful psychiatric options.

Psychiatric fraud and abuse must be eradicated so that SDG 7 can occur.
Eco-Anxiety

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?

Monday, April 29th, 2019

The old joke, “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?”, brings us to the present observations. [Answer: Just one, but the light has to really want to change.]

It is currently common for the main-stream news media to carry stories about well-known people who are being castigated for something inappropriate they may have said or tweeted many years ago. Often these famous people are apologizing for some past insensitivity. The conflict the media enjoys promoting appears to be between those who say people cannot change, and those who say people can change.

We wondered where or how this conflict may have originated, since there is a very long history behind this conflict. We’re sure we could write a whole book about this, so we’re just going to touch on a few interesting aspects.

We think there is no hope for humanity and society unless one can change for the better, and many methods have been developed to address such changes. But when a person says they have changed for the better, and they no longer endorse some prior unfavorable position or opinion, there can be an enormous backflash of mistrust from those who cry foul about such a change.

There must be some basic lack of confidence or doubt in one’s ability to change for the better. We think this stems from psychobabble originating from psychiatry and psychology.

As an example, there is a persistent theme in psychology and psychiatry that there is no evidence that intelligence can increase after cognitive training, education, or any other treatment.

“Scholarly” articles abound about intelligence and IQ (Intelligence Quotient), but the reality is quite simple. Intelligence, which is often confused with IQ, is actually the ability to recognize differences, similarities and identities. IQ is a relative measure of so-called “mental age” compared to others, and has been abused and exploited ever since the term was coined in 1912. Today there are many different IQ tests, since there are so many theories and disagreements about exactly what intelligence is.

One crackpot theory comes from Lecture 36 of the Teaching Company course, Understanding the Brain, from neuroscientist and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine professor Jeanette Norden, Ph.D., who says “Short of having massive brain damage, what we call IQ doesn’t change.” This is the misanthropic psychiatric point of view which makes the ridiculous claim that no change is possible.

In fact, one third of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) patients indeed experience such massive brain damage, and many suffer a steep drop in IQ. Before-and-after IQ testing of persons given ECT typically show a loss of 20 to 40 points.

Unfortunately, IQ has been used by psychiatrists and psychologists as justification to suppress and harm entire populations. For example, eugenicist Paul Popenoe and psychologist Lewis Terman used biased IQ tests to belittle non-white races.

Psychiatrists developed the racial purity ideology used by Hitler which lead to the Nazi euthanasia program and, later, ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. No wonder there is such an aversion to the true data about intelligence, IQ, and one’s ability to change — these have been used by psychiatry and psychology to commit eugenics atrocities.

The psychiatric industry also has a history of deliberately reducing their patients’ intelligence, evidenced by this 1942 quote from psychiatrist Abraham Myerson: “The reduction of intelligence is an important factor in the curative process. … The fact is that some of the very best cures that one gets are in those individuals whom one reduces almost to amentia [feeble-mindedness].”

Psychiatry has enshrined the difficulties of change in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), with seven disorders under the category of Adjustment Disorder, which are a group of behavioral, emotional and/or physical symptoms that can occur after going through a stressful life event, indicating one is having a hard time coping with change. By emphasizing change as a disorder, they have given change a bad name.

So when someone apologizes for having said something stupid in the past, and says they now see the error of their ways, why not give them a break and take it on face value? Let’s acknowledge that people can indeed change for the better, in spite of the claims of psychiatry and psychology that “they know best!”

Seriously, Is That Funny?

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

The earliest known psychotherapy consisted of getting a patient to laugh.

Laughter includes both surprise and rejection. We’re sure you can think of an example; here’s a start — think of a cartoon or a joke that made you laugh. Now observe the surprising part of it, and observe the idea or concept being rejected.

Let’s take an actual example of a joke:

A man goes to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist says “You’re crazy.”
The man says, “I want a second opinion!”
The psychiatrist says, “Okay, you’re ugly, too!”

The surprise seems to be the unexpectedness of the second opinion; it wasn’t predicted.

Apparently one also seems to reject the idea that a psychiatrist would actually say something like that when he was being asked for help.

An individual who is too serious has lost his ability to predict, and cannot be surprised into rejection. When one rehabilitates the ability to laugh, just by laughing for no reason, it benefits the person immensely.

We recently have seen many examples of people being too serious and unable to laugh. There are Facebook pages devoted to various jokes and cartoons. One such page requires participants to actively ask for admission, so you know they are viewing and posting on that page on purpose. Then, they make comments on the various jokes and cartoons about how it isn’t funny, or how it is offensive, or how much they dislike it. They have essentially lost their laughter, and are going through life serious as a stone.

A person who is unable to laugh will be strictly literal, unable to tolerate confusion, and unable to appreciate remarks made in fun.

Some psychologists and psychiatrists have learned to respect the value of laughter; as the joke goes, how many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but it has to want to change.

Other psychologists and psychiatrists may mistake genuine laughter for ridicule, which is decidedly not the same thing. And some may consider it only as a stress coping strategy rather than the simpler explanation described above. There was a period in psych-influenced education which considered that if you’re laughing, you’re not learning. We actually knew a high school principal once who thought that children could not learn unless they were quiet and sitting down.

The study of laughter is called gelotology, from the Greek word gelos meaning laughter. There is even a branch of yoga called Laughter Yoga, which incorporates breathing, yoga, and stretching techniques, along with laughter. There are at least fifteen English words and phrases describing various kinds of laughs.

When neuropsychiatrists study laughter, of course they mean they are studying the brain; they get hung up in the physiology, brain waves, serotonin, hormones, and other mechanical aspects. They get all scientific on you, talking about “activation of the ventromedial prefontal cortex.” They seem to lose sight of the simplicity of the effect, so that they can patent it and manipulate it with some drug. You can’t charge someone’s insurance for a prescription for laughter.

They’ve even got it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as “cataplexy,” which is a sudden, generally brief muscle weakness, like weak knees, due to strong emotion or laughter. We suppose this is where the acronym ROFL comes from (Rolling On Floor Laughing.)

Well, what’s the bottom line? We think that psychiatry is a joke, but we’re not really laughing about it. Perhaps we should. Check out a few of our psych jokes here.

High Anxiety

Monday, November 19th, 2018

We recently watched the classic Mel Brooks movie “High Anxiety.” Besides the fact that it is absolutely hilarious, and relentlessly parodies psychiatry and psychiatrists, it also leads into a discussion of anxiety as popularized by psychiatry and psychology.

The American Psychological Association says, “Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.”

The American Psychiatric Association says, “Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress … Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness, and involve excessive fear or anxiety.” But they go further and list many different types of anxiety disorders. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists no fewer than 54 disorders using the word “anxiety,” plus a number of other disorders with different names but which may still be considered as a type of anxiety disorder.

Psychiatrist Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke, played by Mel Brooks in the movie, suffers from “high anxiety,” manifested as vertigo ostensibly from a fear of heights, which in the DSM would be a “Specific phobia.”

The English word “anxiety” itself means, among other definitions, “apprehensive uneasiness, worry, or nervousness typically over an impending or anticipated ill, or something with an uncertain outcome.” [Latin anxietas, from anxius, from angere “to choke”]

Psychiatrists and psychologists attempt to give it a “medical” definition, which is necessary in order to prescribe drugs for it. One medical dictionary says this, “Anxiety disorder: A chronic condition characterized by an excessive and persistent sense of apprehension, with physical symptoms such as sweating, palpitations, and feelings of stress. Treatments include the comfort offered by understanding the condition, avoiding or desensitizing exacerbating situations, and medications.” Google says this, “a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.”

The relationship of anxiety to stress should be self-evident. You might like to review what we have written previously about stress.

Anxiety, like stress, is not a mental illness, and cannot be fixed with a drug. It can only be fixed by finding and eliminating the causes of the condition. For example, many doctors and nutritionists are finding that anxiety attack symptoms can be the result of food allergies. There are many other potential causes. We recommend a full, searching clinical examination by a competent non-psychiatric doctor, to find out if there are any undiagnosed and untreated actual medical conditions.

There is an international nonprofit organization called “Anxiety and Depression Association of America”, whose purpose is the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety and other “co-occurring  disorders.” Naturally they claim, falsely, that anxiety disorders have a biological basis, giving them a reason to prescribe drugs. The National Institute of Mental Health says, “Anxiety disorders are generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both.”

If you were thinking of an anti-anxiety drug, be warned that these can cause hallucinations, delusional thinking, confusion, aggression, violence, hostility, agitation, irritability, depression and suicidal thinking. They are also some of the most difficult drugs to withdraw from.

Anxiety is an emotion, and is really a conflict, or the restimulation of a conflict, or something containing indecision or uncertainty. It is exemplified by a conflict between something supporting survival and something opposing survival. It is rooted in an inability to assign the correct cause to something, which itself is rooted in an inability to observe. As we said, the cure is not a drug, but in finding out the correct cause.

Be Well.