Saturday, September 06, 2008
Experience and reactions.
We all react to what we experience. We all seek at some point to create order in life and at times control those events which are uncontrollable. We each have our stories of joys and sorrows, blessed memories and traumas. For some individuals, the way they experience the world has led them to despair, or led them to obsessive behavior as a reaction to the extreme chaos they have internalized. Those we label as mentally ill are those whose reactions to their experience society judges to be without value or problematic. This creates stigma, but if we understood these reactions, if we sought to understand the experience, we would find that these reactions may be the person's only way of dealing with the intense emotions, oppression, or other experiences they have had. As Laing stated, that what is termed insanity may be a sane response to an insane world. We lock people up for behaving in ways we do not like. We argue it is for their own good, and we claim that we can predict their behavior or judge them to be a harm to themselves or others when in reality we do not truly possess this capability, we can only hypothesize based on our own limited perceptions. We believe falsely that those labeled mentally ill are more prone to violence while our 'sane' ones continue to involve themselves in wars and conflicts.