Friday, May 08, 2009

Books to Recommend

There are two books I would like to recommend to psychiatric survivours and anyone else who is interested in understanding the need for anti psychiatry activism or alternative mental health systems which are currently moving AWAY from psychiatry. Ironically, these two books are also written by a psychiatrist and offer validation of something which I saw myself within my own experience with dysfunctional families, cults and psychiatry itself.
The books are:

The Wrong Way Home: Uncovering the Patterns of Cult Behaviour in American Society and
Them and Us: Cult Thinking and the Terrorist Threat, By Arthur J. Deikman, M.D. (both published 1990)

Both of these books acknowledge the existence of a pattern which I, and many others, have seen for many years. Seeing this has often earned us a psychiatric label. Mine was Delusional Disorder, Paranoid. In them you will find some of the experiences we have had as 'patients’ which are denied by psychiatry. How ironic is that?
I intend to use some quote from these books as a means of explaining my own connections to this and the new understanding that evolved from it.

Here is a sample from: Them and Us

“Compliance with the group and dependence on a leader have served necessary functions in the survival of the human race. They are important in childhood where they provide safety, security, encouragement, and support. Groups and leaders have legitimate functions for adults as well. They can stimulate, reinforce and guide individuals’ energies in constructive ways; they provide meaning and counter isolation and loneliness with acceptance and warmth. But the fantasy of parents must be transcended by adults; for it is no longer functional. (emphasis mine PL)...
Indeed, regressive dependency makes our survival and progress more difficult because reality must be distorted in order to construct shepherds out of sheep. ...
...As a psychotherapist, I find the parent world in the fantasies of people with normal and useful adult positions—teachers, housewives, carpenters, lawyers, executives, students—people in all the occupations that comprise everyday society. The evidence is strong in that all of us show the effects of having been raised in a hierarchical world in which there were those above us and those below. From such a perspective there is always a higher authority. ...
...the quickest tip-off that something is amiss occurs when you see members of a group devalue outsiders while ignoring the faults of the leader and fellow believers. Outsiders—Them—are defined as inferior, bad or damned. Those in the cult group—Us—are perceived as superior, good or saved. We see this in the most extreme form in the mind of the terrorist.

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