mental illness and capitalist medicine

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Tue Jan 16 09:09:40 MST 2001

Gary wrote....
<These cultural differences of course will have an enormous bearing on
the outcome of any illness. That is plain dialectics. However I am not
at all convinced that it is correct to argue that the illness can be
reduced to the same cultural factors....>

But who on this list has done that in this discussion about
schizophrenia, Gary?

...<That to me is bad dialectics because it eliminates the interaction
between nature (genetic etc cause of schizophrenia) and nurture
(cultural reaction etc to the illness).>

It is you that has now decided that THE cause of 'schizophrenia' is
indeed only nature (genetic, etc.), and that culture can only react to
'disease', but does not actually have a role in causing it.      Out of
curiosity, do you feel the same about ADHD?      Is culture only
reacting to a disease state ('hyperactive' children) that is caused by

<As a young arrogant man I used to lecture on him (Laing)in the early
70s and took great delight in excoriating the families of the mentally

You are now admitting to the desire to be doing some personal penance,
from out of a feeling of personal guilt, is fundamental to your current
analysis of schizophrenia today?     Laing did center totally in on the
family, as opposed to other aspects of how society can be partially
causative of schizophrenic states.     He made the family the ONLY
cause.      He was in error.

Lest we go further with this overly personalzed debate, I want to
express agreement with you and Carrol, that medication might be, in some
cases, the most important road to take in the treatment of some
individuals suffering from schizophrenic delusions and illusions.

However, I have seen that chronic schizophrenics need a variety of
interventions to make life more livable for them.     Many more than
just the medications alone.    Would you not agree with this?      As it
is, the capitalist medical system only wants to fund the pills.

I'm not sure what it is about suggesting that current structure of
society is causing an aggravation of mental disease, that seems so
threatening to some on this list?    To realize this, is not to say that
their are no other components to mental disorders.      And it is not to
say that medication has no place in treatment.

Schizophrenia inside a jail or concentration camp, has some major
disimilarities from schizophrenia found in society at large.    It is
entirely plausible to think that schizophrenia has a much different
charater to it in traditional cultures, than in the extremely
dehumanized and alienated modern capitalist society.


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