Autism in France: Psychoanalysis, Packing, Other Travesties

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ouroborosUK
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20 Dec 2013, 9:02 am

I am french. I am currently living abroad but I have been living in France for most of my life. I have only just found out that I probably have AS, and I am glad I was in the UK when it happened. But I have some experience with the french mental health structure. I have been treated for depression and anxiety, and although I never went to the hospital some people close to me did. I can try to summarize the way I understand the problems there.

In my opinion the two main roots of the mental health problems in France are psychoanalysys and medication, or more exactly the abusive use of both.

I have nothing in itself against psychoanalytical methods as a therapeutic tool. It is not science, but it can be helpful. Analysing his own past and construction are useful, the way you grow up obviously influences much of who you are, and understanding it can be very insightful to understand and improve yourself. That much simply looks obvious to me, and it is true for both autistic and neurotypical people, although the introspection process is probably different. The problem is that many french psychologists (and many psychiatrists) will *only* use those theories, not only as therapeutic tools but also as a general pseudo-scientific framework. On the individual basis of a therapist-patient relationship, it leads at best to nothing and at worst to much suffering for everyone involved. On a more general level for the mental health community, the bigotic and rigid adherence of those professionals to a set of beliefs that has no roots in real experience gets them more and more connected to each other, and less and less connected to the outside world (both patients, professionals with other methods, and the general public). This is roughly the same working principles as a cult: the world view of the affected persons puts them together with the other affected people and apart from the rest of the world, and they only grow more and more deluded as they receive support and positive feedback from their fellow believers and rejection and negative feedback from the rest of the world. And many people with ASDs and other conditions are victims of those delusions.

I also want to stress that while I write about a general and serious problem, it in no way describes all french mental health professionals. You also have people using various other methods, as well as professionals who use psychoanalysis but don't rigidly stick to it and are open to other approaches.

The other problem, medication is caused by two factors: mental hospital doctors, and GPs. France is one of the countries with the highest anxiolytic consumption in the world, and it used to among the first for antidepressants too (it is not the case any more, according to recent studies). The problem is that most of those drugs are given by general practicioners, and as a result many depressed or anxious patients are never referred to specialists. The GPs probably mean well but I believe most of them are not competent enough to regulate that kind of treatment (prescribing the right antidepressant is complex to say the less, and anxiolytics are potentially dangerous drugs with a high potential for abuse and addiction), and anyway efficiently treating a mental condition is not just giving pills. The problem in hospitals is that many of them are run by extremely incompetent and "old-school" psychiatrist who haven't changed the way they work for 30 years. And the way they work is usually just giving anxiolytics and other "regulating" drugs until the person is so anesthezied and exhausted it is not a "problem" any more, and then sending them out. (Many are soon back in, as you may guess, and it goes on again.) To be fair, mental hospitals also dramatically lack funding and don't have the money to hire younger, talented people and to develop modern therapies ; the french public health system is good overall but mental health is completely neglected. (The situation is much better in private institutions but they are few and most people can't afford them.)

Another consequence of the psychoanalysis problem is that opposing bigotry tends to turn you into a bigot yourself if you are not careful, and that is indeed what happened to some opponents of psychoanalysis in France. Those opponents are neuroscientists, neuropsychiatrists, cognitive scientists and cognitive-behavioral therapists, whose approaches are completely different from psychoanalysis. They got so violently attacked by the psychoanalytical world for questioning their world view that many of them became violent and closed-minded themselves. The two factions are now violently antagonizing, the cognitivist accusing the psychoanalysts of being worthless charlatans with no theories and no results, and the psychoanalysts accusing the cognitivist of seing people as identical robots and neglecting individual personalities and histories. It leads to people doing politics and not science, or even worse to politics influencing science. It also causes a unhealthy amount of paranoia among mental health professionals ; as some people previously noticed in this thread it durably hampered the work on other approaches, notably any non-psychoanalytical work on developmental and environmental factors (most psychoanalysis will reject it for not being psychoanalytic, and most cognitive science will reject it for being too psychoanalysis-like).

That is what the french mental health system looks like for me. The two factions fight each other through journal articles, web sites, open letters, petitions, reports and political influence (to the point where it becomes difficult to find anything in French on those subjects that doesn't contain a covert or overt political agenda ; it is extremely annoying when you are just looking for information). On each side you have deluded bigots and more open-minded people who do their best to be good clinicians. The uncompetent and dangerous doctors in mental hospital make the very phrase "mental health" a bad joke in most of those places. I can't blame the GPs, I can't say they are doing well but I think the reason why they give those drugs is because all that chaos has understandably made medical doctors and the general public very suspicious and afraid of the whole mental health system.


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Anty28
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20 Dec 2013, 12:31 pm

Interesting analysis. While it's true that psychoanalysts keep wreaking havoc and that cognitive/neuroscientific approaches are often misunderstood, shunned or caricatured, (despite some progress), the other side has its issues too - lack of unity, visibility and organisation, pregnance of other pseudoscientific ideas such as links with vaccines or diets, presence of radically pro-cure elements such as Vaincre l'Autisme (literally Defeat Autism ; yes, they denounce psychoanalysis, but apart of that they're no better than Autism Speaks). This makes for endless debates in our community.



ouroborosUK
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20 Dec 2013, 2:25 pm

Anty28 wrote:
Interesting analysis.


Thanks :)

Anty28 wrote:
While it's true that psychoanalysts keep wreaking havoc and that cognitive/neuroscientific approaches are often misunderstood, shunned or caricatured, (despite some progress), the other side has its issues too - lack of unity, visibility and organisation, pregnance of other pseudoscientific ideas such as links with vaccines or diets, presence of radically pro-cure elements such as Vaincre l'Autisme (literally Defeat Autism ; yes, they denounce psychoanalysis, but apart of that they're no better than Autism Speaks). This makes for endless debates in our community.


Could not agree more. Both sides have issues. Honestlt, I am more supportive of the cognitivist side right now bluntly because I think that regarding ASDs some of them (but not all, as you point out) have a valid methodologic and scientific framework and the psychaoanalysts don't. But that doesn't make cognitivists right and psychoanalysts wrong.

The point you raise about unity, visibility and organisation is interesting. In order to be structured and visible in the academic world you need conferences, journals, scholarly societies, teaching positions in major universities, etc. It would be easy to argue that all those tools are in the hands of psychoanalysts for political and historical reasons, but the truth is that I have no idea of to what extent it is the case.


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traven
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09 Jan 2014, 1:08 pm

Living in france actually I don't think it's something(AS) to get diagnosed
because firstly a medicine never listens to you and you find yourself with medications without wanting them
anyway in this rural area there's no psychiatrist that would do any good

Now I'm living alone after thirty years with a narcistic husband who get's violent sometimes but with words so often,
I feel really alone because all people I know want me to go back to him (he's very charming with other people when he wants to)
but now he has become a transvestite and threatens me a lot and makes me suffer from feeling guilty for everything,
which he did already but it's worse now; I want him dead, he says, or he wants to kill me or anyone who's friendly to me.

so I cry a lot but I don't want to be registered as the problem person.



ouroborosUK
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09 Jan 2014, 1:40 pm

traven wrote:
but now he has become a transvestite and threatens me a lot and makes me suffer from feeling guilty for everything,
which he did already but it's worse now; I want him dead, he says, or he wants to kill me or anyone who's friendly to me.




Get help now. Not for Aspergers but for your abusive husband and your situation. Go to associations against conjugal violences and/or your local social worker (assistante sociale). They are not doctors, they won't judge you and have no power upon you. If they are good they will advise you, support you and inform you on what you can do. If they are not good at least they won't harm you.

traven wrote:
so I cry a lot but I don't want to be registered as the problem person.


You are not a problem person, you are a person with problems. Many people are or have been, on this board and outside. Start by acknowledging the problems in your life and start working on ways to fix them. I know it's easier said than done but there is no other way out. If people don't believe you when you tell them your husband is abusive they probably don't deserve your trust, as I said you can probably find other people to help you.

Conjugal violence often arises from complicated situations, but without bearing judgement on anyone the universal truth is that you must protect yourself. You are in control of your own life and you have a right to be safe. Hang in there!


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traven
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11 Jan 2014, 2:57 am

that's a quick and kind advice
a little too standard though and not for me(asp)

oh I find myself defending again (whiped out)

too many nt's around here ?or the wrong forum topic, oh s**t
bullying, but not like bullying
making you KO with words, asap

people like to feel good by feeling better, specially 'friends'



Anty28
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16 Jan 2014, 1:25 pm

Sophie Robert's film about autism and psychoanalysis in France, Le Mur (the Wall) is legal again. If you can speak French, you can read it here :

http://www.lavoixdunord.fr/region/interdit-par-la-justice-il-y-a-deux-ans-le-mur-film-ia19b0n1850259



ASPartOfMe
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10 Feb 2014, 7:50 pm

French team claims they "cured" autism by giving diuretic at birth

NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-heal ... ins-n23931


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DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman


Max000
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24 Feb 2014, 9:46 pm

alex wrote:
Quote:
Unlike most modern countries, the Autism Spectrum in France is viewed as a disease that can and should be cured. The dark-ages culture of neglect and abuse remains extremely strong. The documentary The Wall or Psychoanalysis Put to the Test for Autism reveals how outdated theories haunt Autism there.

David Heurtevent is a 32 year-old autistic self-advocate from France. He has travelled extensively and even got a degree from Georgetown. We invited him to share his views on the issue of autism in France and to explain how you too can help.


Read On!!: http://www.wrongplanet.net/article421.html


:scratch: So how is this different from the US? It sounds identical to what Autism Speaks advocates.



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24 Feb 2014, 9:51 pm

WorldsEdge wrote:
As an American, I'll hold my criticism of France in check until something is done about a place like the Judge Rotenberg Center. Viz:.


Me too. The US is probably the worst country in the world for people with ASD.

What other country in the world uses electro shock on autistic people?



mr_bigmouth_502
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25 Feb 2014, 1:00 am

Max000 wrote:
WorldsEdge wrote:
As an American, I'll hold my criticism of France in check until something is done about a place like the Judge Rotenberg Center. Viz:.


Me too. The US is probably the worst country in the world for people with ASD.

What other country in the world uses electro shock on autistic people?


On that note, how is Canada's treatment of people with ASD, in your opinion? I haven't heard anything about electroshock therapy being used here, though the schools here could certainly learn a few things about handling ASD students.



Max000
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25 Feb 2014, 1:25 am

mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
Max000 wrote:
WorldsEdge wrote:
As an American, I'll hold my criticism of France in check until something is done about a place like the Judge Rotenberg Center. Viz:.


Me too. The US is probably the worst country in the world for people with ASD.

What other country in the world uses electro shock on autistic people?


On that note, how is Canada's treatment of people with ASD, in your opinion? I haven't heard anything about electroshock therapy being used here, though the schools here could certainly learn a few things about handling ASD students.


I don't know. You are in Alberta. You should know better then me. But nothing can be worse then the what we have in the US.



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26 Feb 2014, 2:39 am

Max000 wrote:
mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:
Max000 wrote:
WorldsEdge wrote:
As an American, I'll hold my criticism of France in check until something is done about a place like the Judge Rotenberg Center. Viz:.


Me too. The US is probably the worst country in the world for people with ASD.

What other country in the world uses electro shock on autistic people?


On that note, how is Canada's treatment of people with ASD, in your opinion? I haven't heard anything about electroshock therapy being used here, though the schools here could certainly learn a few things about handling ASD students.


I don't know. You are in Alberta. You should know better then me. But nothing can be worse then the what we have in the US.


Do you think anyone else would know?



had
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26 Feb 2014, 7:32 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
French team claims they "cured" autism by giving diuretic at birth

NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-heal ... ins-n23931



not at all !

they discovered that the bumetanide (burinex/bumex), a well known drug, HELP autistic peoples to understand their environnement, and get in touch with their pairs. that don't cure anything : it's a "booster" for autistic ppl !

during their research, they aswell discoverd that using bumetanide during birth work on mice, the new born mice aren't autistic : that's means that the cholrine level at birth have a big role in the development (or not) of autism.
that's not applicable to humans.

they (Ben Ari and Lemonier) say again and again that's not a cure at all, just a drug that can help and reduce the worst side of autism (kids look at their parents with burinex, don't without ; for example)
it it's important to understand. btw, butemanide is just a duiretic, not a strong drug from psychiatry with sides effects.



BehaveinLA
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26 Feb 2014, 3:22 pm

Can't wait till you have a screening of this. Hope it gets into a film festival soon!