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Psychosis as a form of knowledge? mrtook

Posted by chujoe on June 17, 2010, at 15:59:40 [reposted on June 18, 2010, at 1:00:56 | original URL]

In reply to Re: Scientology, posted by mrtook on June 17, 2010, at 15:20:44

I agree that the threshold should be high. Your idea of a living will is interesting and it might be effective for someone who was not competent but also not dangerous; if a person is dangerous to herself or others, though, I think the interests of the family and/or the state would take precedence.

The idea of stating in advance that one wants to endure psychosis as long as one is not a danger was explored in the 1960s by R.D. Laing and other radical psychiatrists. The idea was that the psychosis was a journey into self-knowledge, a "trip" in the lingo of the day. I have some sympathy for this view because I believe that even radically "other" mental states might contain valuable experiences and knowledge. (Clearly, a person undergoing such an experience would have to be carefully and tenderly cared for, not tied to a bed.) The problem with Radical Psych is that many people who have lived through psychosis describe it as hellish and the very opposite of a creative or generative experience. Joan Greenberg, the author of "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" Mark Vonnegut, son of the famous novelist and author of an account of his own psychotic break, "The Eden Express," each describe psychosis in this way.


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