lES MALADIES MENTALES? MENTAL ILLNESS, DOES IT EXIST?

Français then English, paragraph by paragraph.

Pourquoi Il ne faut pas accepter les diagnostics de la Psychiatrie, ou

La normalité n’existe pas!

Bien que les psys parlent des maladies mentales comme si elles vraiment existent, les termes qu’ils utilisent nous montrent que les maladies mentales sont imaginaires et mythiques. Comme tout le monde le sait, les constellations célestes ne sont qu’imaginaire et ce qui constitue Orion pour l’Ouest, c’est quelque chose de différent dans l’Est, qui utilise tout à fait différemment des éléments célestes. Les psys utilisent ce terme aussi, “les constellations”, et ils ont construit leurs constellations d’une manière complètement analogue.

Although shrinks speak of mental illnesses as if they really exist, the terms they use show us that in fact “mental illnesses” are imaginary, the stuff of myths. As everyone knows, the nighttime sky is made up of constellations that are imaginary and that what constitutes Orion for the western world would be meaningless to someone in the east. The Chinese have a zodiac but it is entirely different from ours. Shrinks use this term also, constellations and they have constructed their constellations of mental illness in an entirely analogous fashion.

Parmi des centaines de comportements humaines, la conférence du DSM, composé de  psys, a choisi ceux qui vont ensemble (mais pas toujours et pas tout le temps) pour constituer une maladie mentale comme la schizophrénie ou la bipolarité ou la dépression. Comme dans les menus des restaurants chinois on choisit quelque chose de chaque groupe de symptômes — on peut être trop agité ou trop léthargique, ou on peut entendre des voix ou avoir des pensées “différentes” qu’on étiquette les délires, ou on peut faire les choses trop vite ou trop lentement etc— mais en utilisant une formule de leur création, en trouvant ces constellations dans les personnes/ patientes les psys peuvent alors diagnostiquer n’importe qui.

Among the hundreds of human behaviors possible, the committee of the DSM, all shrinks, have chosen those behaviors, (called symptoms but they are really just behaviors ) that go together —but not always and not all the time—to make up a mental illness like schizophrenia or bipolar or depression. Just as we choose food at a Chinese restaurant, or used to, they choose something from certain groups of symptoms — one can be too agitated or too lethargic, one can hear voices or have delusions, or one can do things or speak too fast or too slow etc — but using a formula they created, finding these constellations in the people who visit them, their patients, these shrinks can then diagnose anyone at all.

La chose la plus importante à savoir c’est qu’exactement comme les motifs ou dessins imposés dans le ciel que nous appelons les constellations célestes, ces constellations psychiatriques sont basées dans l’imaginations (assez limitées) des médecins du DSM. Les constellations célestes n’existent que dans les histoires et les mythes grecs, c’est à dire dans l’imagination, et le fait que tout le monde les voit dans le ciel ne dit qu’une chose, c’est que nous avons appris à les voir. Mais nous voyons les constellations psychiatriques et les maladies mentales parce que nous avons appris les voir. Mais elles existent seulement parce que nous les avons accepté sur parole et leur réalité de plus. Nous nous sommes dit, « oui, ce que je vois, c’est une chose réelle cette constellation, cette maladie mentale, et je suis d’accord. » Mais les chinois ne voient pas Orion, n’est-ce pas? 

The most important thing to know is that exactly like the imaginary drawings superimposed on the starry sky, psychiatric constellations are also based in the imaginations (perhaps rather limited) of the DSM committee shrinks. The celestial constellations only exist in the stories and myths of the Greeks, which is to say, they are imaginary and the fact that everyone in the west “sees” them only suggests one thing, that we have been taught to see them, these artificial groupings. But we “see” psychiatric constellations, the so called mental illnesses, only because we have also learned to “see” them. Their reality depends on the fact that we have been taught to see them and accept their “reality”. We have said to ourselves, “yes, what I see, it’s something real, this constellation, this mental illness,  yes, I agree.”

But ask yourself, do the Chinese “see” Orion? And if not why not?

Et il ne faut pas voir ou accepter l’existence réelle des choses, des constellations ou des maladies mentales. Si on disait que faire les choses vite ou lentement, ce n’est pas un symptôme mais juste une différence humaine, qu’entendre des voix ou que voir les choses imaginaires, c’est un don pas un symptôme, et que ces deux tendances ne sont pas liées dans une constellation pathologique, les soi-disant maladies mentales se révèleraient ensuite n’être rien de plus que de l’imagination, une fantaisie peut être, mais une création imaginaire de psychiatrie, quelque chose qui n’a jamais existé vraiment.  

It is not necessary to either see or accept as real these celestial constellations or the psychiatric ones, called mental Illnesses. If we said, for example, that doing things fast or slow, that’s not a “symptom” just a human difference between people, if we said that hearing voices or thinking different thoughts is a gift rather than a symptom, and that these human differences are not somehow inextricably linked in a pathological “constellation”, the so called mental illnesses would reveal themselves to be nothing but imaginary, a fantasy perhaps, but fundamentally an imaginary creation of psychiatry, something that actually never existed.

La prochaine fois je vais discuter la réalité de la souffrance mentale, qui n’est pas la même chose qu’une maladie mentale.

Next time I will discuss the reality of mental suffering, which is not the same thing as a “mental illness.” 

4 thoughts on “lES MALADIES MENTALES? MENTAL ILLNESS, DOES IT EXIST?”

  1. I might deal with the autism diagnosis problem someday in my blog or maybe not but for now let me deal with the last part of what you write:
    “My main gripes with the concept of mental illness are :
    1) The pretence of science behind it. Calling psychiatry scientific debases real science.
    2) The way it professionalises human relationships. If a friend is ‘going through a rough patch’ then you’re probably going to step up and offer help. If the friend has a ‘schizophregenic disorder’ then you’re more likely to get frightened by the big words and conclude it would be dangerous and irresponsible to try to help unless you have the appropriate degrees and malpractice insurance.“

    But those are precisely the reasons why mental illness “constellations” are invalid and as a result so is the concept of mental illness. A diagnosis is only as good as the science behind it — and as soon as you say the science is non-existent or bogus the same constellations and diagnoses become not just useless but the names of a fiction… like saying, “You’re ill with Cassiopeia !” Of course that is exactly what the shrinks do but they claim science backs them up and the world as a whole tends to believe them. However.
    If what the shrinks fear is true, that they are not RDs not real doctors because they have no scientific basis for anything they do, if psychiatry is just a fiction, and diagnosis is just opinion and moral judgements, what then? No one would need a diagnosis to get “help” from “doctors” who don’t know the hell what they are doing and psychiatric mumbo jumbo like “schizophrenia” and “schizophrenogenic” etc couldn’t scare friends away because they wouldn’t exist.

    And neither would the need to prove ones right to exist by positing a superior autism diagnosis or proving that being bipolar or schizophrenic or whatever is somehow a good thing… because if the diagnosis doesn’t name something considered to be real it can have no power over a self or over others.

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  2. Well, yeah, it’s abusive, stigmatising, othering and causes suffering. But for some people it relieves the suffering of feeling seen as a malingerer or snowflake and it can get them access to resources they wouldn’t otherwise have. Personally I wouldn’t consider that a good exchange but I’m not in the business of telling others what kind of relief they should prioritise so I’m not gonna tell them they’re not sick if thinking they are makes them feel better.

    And then there’s people like me, who sincerely embrace mad pride. I reckon my autism diagnosis is a badge of superiority. It arose from many personal qualities, including my abilities in maths and science, the fact that I don’t only say I value honesty and loyalty and dislike pretence but I also act that way (unlike most neurotypical people IMHO). And it’s taught me a lot.

    And my bipolar? Well that’s just life turned up to 11. Why would I want grey when I can have colours many people never even get to see? We’re all heading for the same place. Might as well have an interesting journey.

    My main gripes with the concept of mental illness are :
    1) The pretence of science behind it. Calling psychiatry scientific debases real science.
    2) The way it professionalises human relationships. If a friend is ‘going through a rough patch’ then you’re probably going to step up and offer help. If the friend has a ‘schizophregenic disorder’ then you’re more likely to get frightened by the big words and conclude it would be dangerous and irresponsible to try to help unless you have the appropriate degrees and malpractice insurance.

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  3. Hiya! Yes all those point important — but the diagnoses also directly CAUSE suffering and anguish as well. Suffering is real and it is human. Calling something a mental illness is Othering and stigmatizing no matter whether one wants the label or not.

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  4. The ‘constellations’ metaphor is a good one, but I think your last sentence is especially important.

    A lot of people embrace their diagnosis because they think it’s the only way to publicly validate their suffering. If you tell them they don’t have a mental illness what they hear is “You’re not really suffering”. This is aggravated by the way some people use diagnoses to try to win suffering pissing contests (“I have Major Depressive Disorder. You’re just sad. You don’t know what real suffering is.”) Of course it’s further aggravated by the fact that you often can’t get reimbursed by insurers without a formal diagnosis. If you don’t have that label Corporate America says you don’t need help.

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