ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Belief Compliance isn't Needed

Jack Bragen
Friday May 10, 2019 - 04:29:00 PM

A psychiatrist once said he thought consciousness could be an illusion. The same psychiatrist, or perhaps a different one, said that either you believe in human psychic ability or you don't. He was implying that it didn't exist and that it was a superstition. I responded by saying that a person could be uncertain about it and could think that maybe it exists. Begrudgingly, he acknowledged that, probably in the absence of a good argument to the contrary. 

It seems that doctors are often atheists who disbelieve in anything that can't be proven with science. Atheism is also a religion. Medicine is partly a cult, the basic belief being that the human body and mind are inherently in need of continuous repair. The second assumption in medicine is that the human body and mind are mere machines and should be dealt with as such. 

"Telepathy" or something like it, occurs in all human interactions. When someone speaks in a tone that conveys an emotion, such as anger or love, what do you think allows people to interpret that? Human beings continuously exchange energy. Modern science is not modern enough to explain human experiences. Modern science doesn't explain how it is that we exist. 

My father once said, "Schizophrenia is an illness that you cannot think away." Science has its uses. Yet science is not applicable to most of the things that people deal with and experience. 

Science has allowed people to develop atomic energy. But it hasn't figured out a way to prevent us from wiping ourselves out through atomic energy. Why can't people get along? Answer: people aren't rational. 

A quote of Ram Dass, from memory of one of his books (I can't find the exact quote on the internet): "My brother believed he was Jesus. His psychiatrist believed he was a psychiatrist." Psychiatrists know how to prescribe medications that allow some people with mental illness to barely get by. They also have legal authorities and obligations. Psychiatrists are necessary. However, they aren't omniscient, even when they believe they are. 

Mental health treatment could stand some improvement. We are still in the Dark Ages of mental health treatment. I became permanently medication compliant in 1996, and I have not had a full relapse since then. At the time I made this commitment (voluntarily) it was because, firstly, I believed I might not survive any more psychotic episodes, secondly, my parents were getting too old to help me when I was in a relapse, and thirdly, I realized I needed to get serious about treating my condition. 

However, I do not have to share every belief and disbelief of psychiatrists and psychologists. It is okay to think for myself, including disagreeing with some amount of the line that psychiatrists and other medical practitioners offer. To defer complete authority to mental health treatment professionals over one's thoughts will not help me. Medication compliance is fine. However, total belief compliance isn't needed or advisable. 

In modern times, few people speak any more of the human aura, of energy, or of the chakras. Society has excluded the New Age Spirituality that flourished in the 1980's. In the 1990's, I went to the Berkeley Psychic Institute, and I even saw the founder in person a year or two before he passed away. His name was Lewis Bostwick. 

BPI was very validating much of the time. They either helped me or made me worse, I don't know which. However, the concept that human beings have an energy field is not new. 

Damaging events and experiences do more to shut down the higher faculties than does psychiatric medication. When someone in your environment is excessively controlling and/or demanding, such as someone with narcissistic personality disorder, you are robbed of the ability to get the personal space, to think, and to process. When you are exposed to an excessive number of doctors, and excessive medical appointments, it makes you sicker. Doctors haven't figured out a way to make a sick person well, with some important exceptions. 

Giving an antibiotic for syphilis and vaccinations for polio and numerous other prevalent diseases have been milestones that have bettered the human condition in developed countries. 

However, managing chronic conditions so that a very sick person can live a bit longer and in poor health, while this is a big moneymaker for the medical industry, does not serve people very well. I get that people don't want to die before they have to. I don't want to. But there has to be some kind of quality of life for people. 

My main point is: The mechanical model of the human body and mind, ascribed to by most psychiatrists and most medical doctors is limited, and should not be applied to all things. Secondly, just because doctors are usually correct about the need for medication compliance, it doesn't mean that we must think, feel and believe according to their wishes. 

Jack Bragen's books are available on Amazon.