If Only

If you could only see me from the inside out...running in a field of flowers amid the morning dew...Supping white wine inside my thoughts...if only

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tidbits of Information

Since working in areas dealing with mental health, I have read several pieces of literature regarding mental illness; articles that left me with questions.

Over the years, when man began his documentation of things he learned, a voluminous amount of things were written. In college lectures and medical seminars we can find these things as part of the discussion.
Some of the professions discussed are novelists, poets, artists, and musicians; yes, there are other professions to discuss, but in mental health these are big subjects. Various lectures are open for individual opinions. Students are assigned poems to read, and then they must determine what the poet is actually saying.
Great poets, novelists, and artist are often picked apart. I am not sure this collaborative effort can do justice to the well known greats of yesteryear.
The saddest thoughts about the discussion are that the people being discussed have long ago passed away and can’t defend their own actions. They are judged by a group of men or women, labeled insane, and forever branded that way; and so it goes.
Some notables did some really unorthodox things. For instance, Salvador Dali delivered a course of lectures at the Sorbonne, in Paris, in the 1920s. He had his foot in a pail of goat’s milk. He was an eccentric artist and was quite sane (from all of my readings it seems so) but dubbed as having a predisposition to madness. I am sure being sane, he had his own valid reasons for doing this. But now, because of the opinions of others, we think of him as being predisposed to madness.
Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels is another example. Often times, throughout the annals of history, he has been labeled as being quite mad, but it was later discovered that he had a very painful problem with an ear issue. The treatments for medical issues back in that era were far different. Death rates were high due to lack of medical knowledge.
So, who can say that all of the notables were really mad or maybe they were medically challenged, leaving them to do strange things?
-To be continued-


Balachandran V said...

I am waiting for the next part!

Now it is known that all mental illnesses have physiological origins, don't they? Many great artists have suffered from schizophrenia, in which mental state they could produce art forms - paintings, writing, sculpture - of unearthly beauty.

I am waiting for the next part! :)

G S Pillai said...

Hi Sandy,

Am happy to be part of this discussion, and I shall share my thoughts, even as you are unfolding yours.

Firstly, Regarding what comes to be called as Mental Illness. There is of course an organic side to it, as in tumours of the brain. As neurological understanding of mental illness improves, we can hope that newer treatment methods will be invented in the future, that are both scientific and humane at the same time.

But as I am sure you know, not all illnesses of the mind can be attributed to an organic pathology - at least not as far our current level of knowledge allows us to see. It is possible that in the future we may be able to do so. We would then be able to assign organic causes to what we now refer to, simply, as functional disorders of the mind.

G S Pillai said...

but having said that, I think it is extremely unlikely that we would succeed in finding medical causes to each and every case of what is called as 'mental illness', much less create a world that is free of the same.

G S Pillai said...

because, mental illness, is a convenient diagnosis to silence and to exclude those who might have questioned the structural violence that characterises much of the world today.

Sandy said...

Balan, as bluebird said, all mental illness can not be organic related. The study of mental health and many theories have been transported down through time and continue to evolve. It is very interesting to have learned that in the schizophrenic state many prize winning pieces of art have been produced. I am very much interested in the information, and this field since working in it for a period of time...

Sandy said...

He bluebird,
I am very pleased at having you be a part of this discussion. I think for sure that in decades to come things will be unraveled that we would astounded to learn; if we only knew those things now. I think in reading the variance of things that people did, many years ago, I must wonder what might have been going on with them physically or otherwise that caused them to act as they did. You are so right in that it is a very convenient diagnosis; for many reasons.

Anonymous said...

Having suffered from severe and chronic depression, I have found that my outlook on life and the world around me has alowed me to retrieve from the darkside beauty and sensitivity. Many in my family have suffered from various malidies of the mind. They were all of very high intellects. I have found that writing stories and poems are a gift that comes strongly thoughout my family.

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