Thursday, November 22, 2012
Why Can't Psychiatrists HEAR Us?
By Patricia Lefave, Monophrenic
They can't hear us because when we talk to psychiatrists about our problems, we are talking to people trained in dysfunctional relating to hear what we say in terms of an alternate reality. That style of “hearing” is already in their heads the first time we meet them.
So if you are “having trouble making sense of it” it can ONLY be you who has the thinking problem because they already “know” that “the mentally ill have trouble making sense of things.” They KNOW this as an abstraction in absolute terms- absolute terms when applied to YOU, but NOT applied to them, since they perceive themselves as “objective observers” OUTSIDE the parameters of the kind of thinking that is the cause of YOUR problem.
So, when we go to APA meetings to display our mad pride, or our protests, or our intent to “occupy” the space there, or to try to talk TO them directly, and we get dismissed, or “corrected” or patronized like “a naughty child,” you need to know that psychiatry dismisses what we say BECAUSE psychiatrists are taught to do that. That is because what we are saying is just “irrelevant,” attention seeking and a part of the “illness” which we have which THEY are fighting against so stoically.
Logic does not penetrate the illogical, INCLUDING the illogical concepts of psychiatry which are now running rampant.
So, instead of trying to talk TO them, talk ABOUT them from very close by to their APA meetings, and conventions, and talk about your experience of THEM and why it is, as it is, due to the definitions of the labelling system. Also talk to each other from very close by, and in public, calmly, and with no shouting ever, (since that's a “symptom”) but sounding very matter of fact about it, while being somewhat incredulous that so many highly educated people could be talked into ACCEPTING such obviously inventive nonsense as that being fabricated (and use that word) for DSM. This has to be done in pedantic detail if the “spell” psychiatry has cast over the public mind, and the minds of many of it's own members, is ever to be broken.
Use humour too. Get the public laughing at the absurdity of it rather than fearing the “nuts” who may be “a danger to self and others” and who are “threatening” action in the vicinity of the meeting. We have to change the emotions being generated by this.
Let me put it this way in my little fairy tale style parable:
If you try to talk to a chicken which genuinely believes it is a bull training for a big bull fight, and you say directly to the chicken, “You are a chicken,” then that chicken will hear what you say to it as an insult, an attempt to attack and a character flaw in YOU for saying it.
The chicken does not know it's a chicken and views being told it IS one as an insult delivered to a bull. So in order to tell the chicken something about itself that is does not know and does not want to know, you will have to get a mirror and hold it up in front of the chicken's beak, point at it's feathers and ask about them casually.. “say, I was just wondering....does your hide ever get too hot for you?”
Announce the presence of what appears to be an egg under it's long tail, while admitting that you are, of course, no expert on eggs. Talk in clucks and then ask it where it learned to speak in clucking, like you, as you did not know that bulls knew the language. Invite the bull over to your place for a big mess of chicken feed and as it enjoys the meal ask it where it developed such an acquired taste for such an unusual meal that most bulls you know don't seem to care for much. Take it for a ride to a farm and get it to just stand next to an actual bull. Introduce it to another chicken and see how they get along. etc. etc.
If done slowly and consistently enough, that Chicken MAY just wake up eventually to the reality of itself and decide to drop it's Bull persona but it is likely going to have to think it was it's own idea in order to save chicken face.
(chickens are very sensitive about being seen as stupid or unaware you see.)
We cannot have a meaningful dialogue with a group of people who believe we are incapable of meaningful dialogue. So instead, for now, we must talk to the public and to each other ABOUT what it is like to try to have a meaningful dialogue with people who cannot hear a word we say as real, or valid, and what it is like to be controlled by people to whom we cannot make ourselves heard no matter what we say for how long or how often we say it. We also have to tell them what a truly frightening experience this can be for so many.