The Rise Of Psychiatry Has Augmented The Rise Of Madness Through Medicalization

When psychiatry is ‘curing’ the deviants of society and is invested in the restoration of normality.

It’s been a long while since I’ve last written, I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe, just maybe it’s because I’m not feeling too high or too low, the lows always lasting longer than the highs. Psychiatry has been playing on my mind lately, pills and potions; we’re overdosing, sick, sick, sick, I hear them say it. The pills fail to fill the void, has the void always been there or are the pills’ telling me that something needs to be fixed.

I was never meant to fix myself, the bruises on my thighs are like my fingertips, eerily matching the darkness that I feel. The darkness is like beautiful cherry blossoms that are always about to bloom, they are always so pretty, but they are always gone too soon. 

An attack on psychiatry: The original rise of asylums has allowed the confinement of madness to be ‘treated’, reclassifying a non-medical problem as a medical problem. Medicalization is the defining of non-medical problems in medical terms, usually as an illness or disorder, and usually with the implication that a medical intervention or treatment is appropriate (Zola, 1972). Medicalization leads to “normal” human behaviour and experience being “re-badged” as medical conditions. Rebadging “deviance” as a series of medical disorders, the engines driving medicalization have been identified as biotechnology (especially the pharmaceutical industry and genetics), consumers, and managed care. The hubris of psychiatry, believing originally that they could cure all psychological problems with psychoanalysis, psychiatry still failing to improve the average levels of happiness and well-being in the general population. Psychiatry is able to pump out psychotropic drugs, not save mankind, attempting to alleviate our ‘age of disenchantment’.

We are treated, analysed and regulated scientifically, living by a manual which fails to understand the sociological impacts and failings of society. Have we potentially been manufacturing our own madness? Postmodern psychiatry seems to have become a tailor-made diagnosis for an age of disenchantment. Are these psychiatrists potentially manufacturing madness? Is the medicalisation of madness reducing creativity, the creative aspects of people commonly misinterpreted as deviants? Centuries of creative people from all modalities have suffered from mental illnesses, resisting treatments which could potentially ease their conditions, fearing that it could cloud or alter their mind, drugging them into submission, proceeding to quash their inner creative impulses.

Edvard Munch: “I want to keep my sufferings. They are part of me and my art.”

Van Gogh: “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence, whether much that is glorious, whether all that is profound, does not spring from disease of thought, from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.”

Psychologist Maureen Neihart: associates the shared characteristics amongst creative production and mental illness, which include mood disturbance, a tolerance for irrationality, greater openness to sensory stimuli, restlessness, speed of thinking, and obsessiveness of thought.

Marcel Proust: “everything great in the world is created by neurotics;”

Seneca quoted Aristotle as having said, “No great genius was without a mixture of insanity.”

Many psychologists believe that artists use their work to heal and soothe their minds. But if drugs heal artist’s minds for them, is their work still needed, or would it even be produced, would their work even be needed? I always found that my over-sensitive and stimulated mind would always find so much more beauty in the world, glimpsing the magical and maniacal way of being present. Sometimes the pills keep me from spiralling into the abyss of the rabbit hole, the terror, but also the creative language which comes from seeing both sides, the place that is sometimes so warm and comforting but at the same time cold and hard. We’re definitely a pill popping society, whether it be vitamins or hard core anti-psychotic sedatives (Haloperidol…I’m talking about you, you’re such an exhausting and all-consuming prick). I’m not writing off psychiatry as a professional form of medicine, I just believe that they are infested with conflicts of interest, most commonly the extensive influence of the pharmaceutical industries over modern medicine.

End note: I do not mean the use of the word “madness” to be taken in any offensive way; it is used in the same way that sociology and psychology have referenced it in academic journals.

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13 thoughts on “The Rise Of Psychiatry Has Augmented The Rise Of Madness Through Medicalization”

  1. I’ll try and be brief responding to this (not going to be easy) BECAUSE THIS TOPIC IS PERSONALLY PSYCHOLOGICALLY FRUSTRATING……. NOT TO MENTION THE PHARMACEUTICAL CORRUPTION AND OVER/MIS-MEDICATED APPLICATION….. UGH

    You went into great detail and references to support your position (which I agree with)

    I would go on forever, but if you look into my blog you can see my frustration with “pharmaceuticals” “psychiatry” and just over all mis-diagnosis and malpractice of mental health…..

    We don’t have a mental disability —- we have a mental difference
    *Generic specking of course
    I refuse to take medication (to control me)
    THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN THAT, BUT HERE IS ONE OF MY QUICK RANTS ON THIS

    http://mindmasterjedi.com/2015/01/12/prescription-medication-commercials-rant/

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    1. I’m so impressed that you spotted that, I was listening to ‘centuries’ as I was writing. I like to include lyrics in my writing, guess it’s their art form, I always find some aspects relatable. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m a huge fan of FOB (and MCR) their lyrics are so relatable, it’s like they can see and feel everything I’m going through and living with. All of my blogs have a musical theme, nearly always pop punk 🙂

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    1. Really great article, I have done some research into neuroscience, always finding it interesting. I really enjoyed their analysis of the white queen, how she projects herself forward by using her past experiences to determine her future actions. Great piece!

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  2. I’ve been listening to the same song on my car stereo for the last week. It’s only about 2 minutes long, and I just let it loop over and over. I was wondering why, and then I started listening with my heart, really visualizing the words sinking in and letting my heart feel them. I felt much better.

    Psychiatry and its pills manifest a bad (brain-centric) model of the structure of our personality. The garden of our souls need tending, and that requires concepts more powerful than “manic” or “depressed”, which are merely symptoms, I believe, of disconnects deeper in our personalities.

    I needed a framework for thinking about those disconnects and skills for focusing energy towards correcting them. The style of my own self-treatment is to talk to those parts intimately. Kind of like “Hello, greed. What are you up to today?” They don’t collaborate – I have to get a hammer lock on them before they’ll relate to me. I recognize the practice and framework as idiosyncratic, but it’s gotten me through so far.

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    1. I always think that songs or artwork inspire further realisation of our emotions, but it always takes me a few times to have the full realisation of the art’s impact. Letting it sink in can take a while, our heads never fully listening whilst they are trying to compose a series of other thoughts about our daily lives. Our emotions sometimes taking the backseat. I guess knowing the different aspects of yourself is essential, differentiating between them can be difficult, they seem to interconnect so much. I’d like to imagine that we all approach our thought processing as idiosyncratic, I guess at its foundations we are all the same, but looking deeper we respond to stimuli and process it in such different ways, we don’t all end up with the same conclusion.

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  3. While I can appreciate the need for medication in certain circumstances, it’s a merry-go-round that I was only too eager to step off. What I was taking left my emotions in a state of permanent… well, jangledness. Is that a word? I felt like I was about to jump out of my skin 24/7. Awful. Truly awful. I can understand why many of us aren’t too eager to medicated now…

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  4. Pingback: Whewell's Ghost
  5. I agree that madness is a handmaiden of creativity, but I don’t think they always go together. I also agree that we over-drug, and we probably do create our own insanity demonstrated in the way that we run frightened from depression, when actually it seems a pretty normal response in a huge variety of situations. As you said in another post, areas of grey.

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