What power do psychiatric diagnoses have? Part №1
It seems to me that everyone is afraid of insanity. With the diseases of the body, we are somehow easier to reconcile than with the diseases of the soul. Your leg hurts, or your hand, or your head - this is some part of you that just "went out of order". But you stay, as a healthy whole after all. And while there is a sense of the integrity of your body - you keep the opportunity to "fix the problem." Or - albeit with limited opportunities - somehow live on more than less "in the collection".
And madness is chaos. Loss of landmarks in time and space. Feeling that you break up into pieces. And these parts are fighting each other. They drag you in diametrically opposite directions. Tear irreconcilable contradictions of their values, opportunities and desires. The world around becomes unpredictable and menacing. Overcrowded dangers, from which there is nowhere to hide. For within you is war. And it's hard for you to identify yourself in all this chaos.
Even in such conditions, in my opinion, it's too early to address psychiatrists. Just their patients are completely sure that with them - everything is in order. Just "green men" shook the Earth. Or evil people refuse to acknowledge the obvious fact that I am Napoleon Bonaparte. Or "divine voices" sound only in my head, because I am the Chosen one, and all the rest are wood-grouse and freaks.
If you are reading this article - I'm sure that everything is more or less OK with you. Yes, maybe you sometimes have - or often - a vague feeling that something is wrong with you. But you sincerely want to help yourself to cope with this life out of control. So your integrity is preserved. And for sure there is a healthy part, which is still in contact with reality.
Everyone can get into a psychotic episode. On overwork, stress, deep shock, loss of a loved one, in grief. In the abrupt change of living conditions - with divorce, unexpected dismissal, a serious illness of a loved one. I think each of us at least once experienced this sense of the collapse of stability and predictability of the world, its hopes and expectations. Let's try to figure out what this is - a psychotic episode?
Psychic - first of all - an instrument of our connection with reality. If it is completely simplified, then this connection is realized through perception - processing of data - our reaction. Each of these stages can have its own "episodes".
We all have organs of perception - they are sensory organs. There are only five of them, and four of these five are in the head. These are the eyes - the ears - the nose - the tongue. Accordingly, for visual - auditory - aroma - and taste methods of perception. For tactile perception, we are skin - the largest organ of the human body. Skin is the boundary of the contact of our body with the environment. And on the one hand it acts as an organ of perception, and on the other hand as an organ of protection.
Mechanisms of protection have every organ of perception. We can screw up our eyes-to shut up our ears and "turn off" our nose-to shut our mouths. And all this will be bodily adaptations - manifestations of protective properties and body, and psyche. Because both the infant and the elder know that reality can be dangerous. The threatening physical and mental integrity of our body. Frightening. And these "fears and horrors" need to be defended. How?
For example, careful processing of signals of perception. A great help here can be the previous life experience. A baggage of knowledge about how the world works. We collect this baggage all our life. But most of the ways to cope with anxiety and all sorts of horrors - read defensively - we recruit in our infancy - childhood. And sometimes - unfortunately - they "grow" in us as the most effective. Of course, they helped us to survive and grow up when we were very small, weak, strongly dependent on the absolute power of adults. And the harder, harder and more hopelessly we had to struggle in infancy and childhood for our survival - the more grandiose and unshakable children's, archaic ways of protection can be fixed in our experience. And most importantly - we can inherit from our adults, or as a result of our life experience - a strong knowledge that the world around us - is dangerous by definition. And that the only way to somehow survive is to keep a circular defense. Always. Regardless of the signals of reality.
This way of perception - it is precisely what disposes to all sorts of psychoses. Because, first of all, psychosis is the separation of a person from reality. When his eyes and ears are constantly tuned to view their very different from reality scenes. How to put a shield with headphones with the translation of a thriller - and go to a children's morning performance.
By the way, I heard that in some Moscow dentists there is such an "advanced" service - while you are drilling a tooth you look at some cartoon or comedy ... Such ... kind of idea ... Original ...
And if we try to be saved "in an adult way", somehow explain to ourselves and others our inadequacy, although temporary, but the salvation from mental chaos can become the certainty of the diagnosis. After all, even the most little-comforting verdict still gives us at least some kind of stability. Gives long-awaited soil underfoot. Fixes the internal form. In the diagnosis there is a list of symptoms. Attributes that bring you to the same sufferers as you. Your loneliness and confusion end. And there is a hope that you "will be cured". Get rid of the pain.
You can start telling seriously what kind of paranoid you are, or hysterical, or depressed. To start to be interested in scientific - popular, or quite serious articles about the causes, the course and the possibilities of curing their "illness". By the way, interest in psychology and the desire to become a professional in this field grows sometimes from an urgent need to "heal." Find tools for self-help and self-support. Well, "to the heap," and others to try to support and treat. At the base of this version there are still the facts that all the great discoveries in psychology are made by such ... people far from soulful balance. Fade, Jung, Lacan, Adler, Erickson, Perls. Everyone - with their "cockroaches". Having tamed them, they became able to offer the world real ways of surviving in internal conflicts.
The human psyche for me is like a picture of a mosaic. In which there are many different pieces. If all these pieces together produce - first of all for the person himself - the impression of the "whole" - then everything is more or less in order with the person. If suddenly they start to get confused and crumble, or one or two fragments outshine everything else, and such a picture is fixed for a long time - yes, there can be a problem. And the diagnoses in all their certainty, this problem, in my opinion, only aggravate.
In each of us there are different traits. All of us from time to time, depending on what happens to us in life, we are schizoid, and manic, and hysterical, and depressed, and paranoid. And obsessive - compulsive too. But here the key is from time to time, in the context of reality.
Author - Irina Lopatuhina
Psychologist, Gestalt therapist