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One flew over the cuckoo's nest

KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest?Europe Veteran

So I was watching this film, and I was considering how psychiatric institutions damage those who are involved in them. The patients are damaged by medications which seem to rob them of half of their impulse to live, but perhaps in a subtler way the guards and the nurses are damaged too, by not being allowed to follow their natural impulses in the face of suffering but being stuck in the protocol, the expectation of how the system wants you to behave.

It struck me that in many cases the systems we build as humans contain roles which are unnaturally constrained, where people's natural inclinations, compassion, loving-kindness cannot be expressed. For example the police, or even a truck driver who is supposed to take stuff from A to B without sharing any of it or letting anyone on board his truck. Psychiatric institutions are just one example of this.

Do you think that these systems shape people? That we become used to closing an eye, to not looking suffering in the face?

ThinGentlement

Comments

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Everything we do shapes us. Our systems have resulted in huge separations, they are one of the biggest ways we buy into duality and believe in it.

    Whether psychiatry or otherwise, it's always crazy to me how little we don't look for root causes of anything. We look at symptoms and treat and often go no further. Yes, people's brain chemistry is off and can be corrected. But what made it go off to begin with? Sometimes it's genetic disease and not much can be done about that right now. But in cases of so many other things, that chemistry change has a cause, and it is often the way we deal with our lives that causes that change.

    I read a great article yesterday on addiction, and a doctor who works with the center for addiction studies and is treating the link between addictions of all sorts (including sex, internet, food and of course drugs and alcohol) and what they call "Adverse Childhood Events." The more of those experiences you have, the more your chances of being an addict increases, because it's the ritualized behavior of the act of eating, drinking etc that comforts the person who experienced those events that were never properly dealt with. The things having a severe impact on the emotional and mental health of children are so common in America it's no wonder our addiction rates continue to climb. It was really interesting to see someone finally working with root causes.

    Anyhow, sorry to get off topic. A lot of the reason those hospitals existed to that extent was exactly to hide those people and our discomfort with them. Now there are better (kind of) options but they are still largely hidden away, in homes of different types. But also, the strain on families caring for such people is incredible, and without more support they often get to a point they don't feel they have another option.

    I haven't seen the movie in many years, but I remember thinking how crazy it was the the main character experienced what he did at the end when he was mostly a normal guy calling out the BS in the world. I should watch it again one of these days.

    yagrsilver
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @karasti said:

    I read a great article yesterday on addiction, and a doctor who works with the center for addiction studies and is treating the link between addictions of all sorts (including sex, internet, food and of course drugs and alcohol) and what they call "Adverse Childhood Events."

    A short aside: Question seven on the test is, "Before your 18th birthday, was your mother or stepmother:often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?

    I've always been frustrated by the double standard here. Dad ended up in the ER too many times to count because of my mother...but it is irrelevant to the test.

    More to the point of the thread though, I'm not surprised that the systems work poorly; I'm surprised they work at all.

    Shoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @yagr said:

    @karasti said:

    I read a great article yesterday on addiction, and a doctor who works with the center for addiction studies and is treating the link between addictions of all sorts (including sex, internet, food and of course drugs and alcohol) and what they call "Adverse Childhood Events."

    A short aside: Question seven on the test is, "Before your 18th birthday, was your mother or stepmother:often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?

    I've always been frustrated by the double standard here. Dad ended up in the ER too many times to count because of my mother...but it is irrelevant to the test.

    More to the point of the thread though, I'm not surprised that the systems work poorly; I'm surprised they work at all.

    (What 'test' was that...? Link?)

    Sadly, in those days, 99% of abuse within a relationship was definitely man-on-woman. As and when the reverse was true, men were often too reluctant or intimidated to complain or report matters, because then, they were afraid of being ridiculed or laughed at, and/or disbelieved. Therefore Domestic abuse figures were ina ll probability inaccurate, and the thought that a woman could be the aggressor and abuser, was far from anyone's minds.

    Tragically, that majority still stands, although thankfully nowadays, more and more men are finding the courage to stand up and be counted, which can only be a good thing.
    So if the test is dated, it might be understandable.
    If the questions are current, there is no doubt that they need updating.

  • yagryagr Veteran

    Hi federica! Participants for the ACE test were recruited between 1995 and 1997, certainly recently enough in my estimation to acknowledge female abusers.

    Here's a link to the questions: http://kindredmedia.org/2015/03/whats-your-ace-adverse-childhood-experience-score-take-the-quiz/

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited July 16

    Recently enough, yes. But on a practical level, still taboo and unspoken.

    A 2013 review examined studies from five continents and the correlation between a country's level of gender inequality and rates of domestic violence. The authors found that if one examines who is physically harmed and how seriously, expresses more fear, experience subsequent psychological problems, domestic violence is significantly gendered toward women as victims. However, **they went on to conclude **"partner abuse can no longer be conceived as merely a gender problem, but also (and perhaps primarily) as a human and relational problem, and should be framed as such, by everyone concerned."[143] Many organizations have made efforts to use gender-neutral terms when referring to perpetration and victimization. For example, using broader terms like family violence rather than violence against women.[144]

    (Due to the spelling throughout the article, this would appear to be American in author-origin).
    It makes for very interesting, albeit sombre reading.

    So as recently as only 2013, it has been reported that domestic abuse should now be termed in a genderless way.
    That's just 4 years ago. In contrast to your estimation, even though the problem has existed for many more years, it was that recently that finally, it was acknowledged officially as a dual gender issue.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    Do you think that these systems shape people? That we become used to closing an eye, to not looking suffering in the face?

    Not just social and psychiatric institutions but many spiritual paths avoid not only suffering but reality ...

    Many crazy, damaged, eccentric people may have greater qualities of extreme empathy, compassion, positive alternatives etc. Even some Buddhist institutions offer extreme delusions if not discerning ... :p

    I personally as a shape shifter (wer-lobster) prefer a system that shapes me to be:

    • open minded but not to the extent that my brain falls out
    • open hearted but not so my heart ends up on my sleeve
    • open to others but at my own convenience

    ... ah well, we do our best ...

    silver
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @lobster said:

    @Kerome said:
    Do you think that these systems shape people? That we become used to closing an eye, to not looking suffering in the face?

    Not just social and psychiatric institutions but many spiritual paths avoid not only suffering but reality ...

    Many crazy, damaged, eccentric people may have greater qualities of extreme empathy, compassion, positive alternatives etc. Even some Buddhist institutions offer extreme delusions if not discerning ... :p

    I personally as a shape shifter (wer-lobster) prefer a system that shapes me to be:

    • open minded but not to the extent that my brain falls out
    • open hearted but not so my heart ends up on my sleeve
    • open to others but at my own convenience

    ... ah well, we do our best ...

    I think you might mean 'safeguarding my Compassion Wisely'.... no? ;)

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @lobster said:

    @Kerome said:
    Do you think that these systems shape people? That we become used to closing an eye, to not looking suffering in the face?

    Not just social and psychiatric institutions but many spiritual paths avoid not only suffering but reality ...

    Well spotted friend @lobster ... I believe the "test the teachings" advice was one of the best the Buddha ever gave, and too many other religions would have you believing in the equivalent of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (a bona fide religion in some parts of the US or so I hear).

    Many crazy, damaged, eccentric people may have greater qualities of extreme empathy, compassion, positive alternatives etc. Even some Buddhist institutions offer extreme delusions if not discerning ... :p

    I would have thought even Trungpa's shambala has some redeeming features?

    • open minded but not to the extent that my brain falls out
    • open hearted but not so my heart ends up on my sleeve
    • open to others but at my own convenience

    Brain falling out and heart on sleeve are occupational hazards for dabbling in religion, but I believe lobsters have some fancy distributed nervous system allowing them to survive such things?

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @yagr indeed. I think the article I read specified they have updated the terms to include other factors like racism and bullying. I don't recall if it was updated to reflect domestic violence regardless of gender or not. Though perhaps they determined that abuse against the mother had a more severe reaction (I don't think I'd agree with that, though). I'll find the article and message it to you. The article was from a month or so ago.

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