Anti-psychotics-anti-depressants = brainwash?

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aelf
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18 Jun 2011, 5:18 pm

Verdandi wrote:
You made yourself a lot clearer.


Oh, good. I find it hard to tell sometimes. 'Cause... well... you know. Social disconnect and all.



Verdandi
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18 Jun 2011, 5:29 pm

aelf wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
You made yourself a lot clearer.


Oh, good. I find it hard to tell sometimes. 'Cause... well... you know. Social disconnect and all.


My social disconnect is why we got to this point.

And you do have a point. I would say that my depression is indeed culturally driven.



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18 Jun 2011, 6:09 pm

I think I understand where you're coming from but I'm not convinced. Maybe in milder forms of depression but psychosis? I don't buy it. Are you suggesting that someone who believes he has an alien tracking device implanted inside his left ear and he's picking up voices from the mother ship may actually be right? Or are you suggesting that the psychosis itself is caused by external cultural influences that he can't cope with and therefore he snaps?


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aelf
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20 Jun 2011, 9:41 pm

Seph wrote:
Or are you suggesting that the psychosis itself is caused by external cultural influences that he can't cope with and therefore he snaps?


That's a good idea, and worth exploring, but wasn't really what I was thinking of.

Quote:
Are you suggesting that someone who believes he has an alien tracking device implanted inside his left ear and he's picking up voices from the mother ship may actually be right?


This is closer to what I meant.

Even if he can't be right, the form of the correction is closer to brainwashing than to convincing, or educating.

Ideas about what is real are just as subject to cultural construction as ideas about values. Modern western cultures hold very unusual beliefs about the nature of reality if you look at them in terms of what other cultures have believed throughout history. Seems to me that any reasonable approach to the subject would have to admit that what the culture believes is real cannot just be taken for granted.

For the most part, I think the problem would be taken care of if we still had a living shamanic tradition to offer to people experiencing "psychoses".

As a person who has very abnormal ideas about reality in comparison to the culture I live in, and would likely be considered psychotic, schizophrenic or delusional by mainstream psychiatry, I am not at all comfortable with the idea of letting people whose ideas about the world seem crazy to me alter my brain until I agree with them.



wavefreak58
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21 Jun 2011, 5:57 am

aelf wrote:
I work with my hands. Lots of people who work with their hands get repetitive strain injuries. From a physiological perspective, the pain they feel is kind of a message that says they are damaging their bodies by doing what they are doing over and over again. The response that most people in my culture have to this phenomenon is to treat the pain so that they can go back to doing the things that damage their bodies; they behave as though the pain were the problem and not the activity.

Absent the proper context, this behavior seems wildly insane. Of course, when you add in the context that these people are doing this in order to continue to make money, in order to continue to eat, in order to continue to live, well, now it makes sense. But it only makes sense when you have that cultural context, not otherwise. Behavior that would seem clearly insane is rendered quite reasonable by cultural context and conditioning.


How is any behavior not connected to culture? Culture is part of reality. Your example of repetitive stress injury is not even a new thing. Work related injury has bee with us for a long time. The culture changes the nature of the work, but people have pushed themselves beyond their physical limits for all of history.

We need to recognize the cultural components of how we define good and bad, health and illness, etc. But we can never separate ourselves from our culture. Even if you separated yourself from this culture, you would just be living in a different one.

Don't get me wrong. There are definitely elements in this culture that promote self-interest and economic gain over "the common good", even going so far as to suggest that the such singular pursuit of self interest and profit actually is for the common good.

The opening post is actually a good example of cultural influences. The term 'brainwashing" illuminates a cultural bias of its own. Bias is not meant as a negative term, here. We all have a bias in our world view because we all have a unique aggregation of experience and perception.

We are a cultural species. We are constantly reshaping that culture, but we can never escape it.


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