George Snedeker snedeker at SPAMconcentric.net
Sun Jan 14 17:31:52 MST 2001

I wrote about mental illness from the point of view of someone who has
suffered from depression.however, I did not make my own experience central
to the analysis. instead, I objected to certain forms of reified thought.  I
also did not suggest that people should not have access to treatment. I did
question the types of treatment working class people receive. I also did not
say that people should not take medications if they help.

I also do not think that their was anything condescending about my
statements about mental illness or its treatment. Laing's analysis is
onesided, but so is any analysis which only focuses on brain chemistry. the
virtue of the analysis of people like Laing is that it drew our attention to
communication as a factor in mental illness. now days, this focus has been
replaced by biology. it seems to me that both the social and the biological
are important factors.

this discussion has become over heated. we seem to have some difficulty
moving from biography to history. I do think that it is important to see our
own experience in relation to a totality.

I think that the power relations of psychiatry differ from those of other
types of medical practice.  however, the power of the medical profession
should generally be questioned even when what they do to us helps.we also
need to keep in mind class relations and the nature of capitalism. these
relations do penetrate everyday life.

I don't think we should avoid discussions because there is a disagreement
between people on the list. we do run into trouble when people stop hearing
what the other is saying.

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