Posts Tagged ‘schizophrenia’
October 7, 2015 | by Dan Piepenbring
From the psychiatrist R. D. Laing’s transcripts of his sessions with Edith E., a young woman he took on as a patient in 1954 and later wrote about in The Divided Self. Laing, who was born on this day in 1927 and died in 1989, is remembered for his progressive thinking on sanity and madness. He struggled to make sense of Edith, whose schizophrenia was so abstruse that on paper it amounted to “an intolerable mass of incoherent data.” To draw her out, he tried to react to her comments as spontaneously as possible, sometimes addressing himself to a doll he’d brought in. Edith admitted to hearing voices that instructed her to disrobe or to go to a certain subway station, where she would, one voice said, see someone beaten to a pulp; she talked at length about mouths, tonsils, and sucking, and once claimed that her mother had cut her into pieces and that Laing was her “new, good mother.” The case is discussed in further detail in Alan Beveridge’s Portrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young Man, a study of Laing’s early work from which the following exchange is taken.
EDITH I’ve no tongue. I’ve a tongue but it’s not my actual tongue.
LAING You have a tongue in your mouth anyway.
EDITH Yes, I’ve a tongue in my mouth, but it’s not my actual tongue. I’ve no actual tongue. Read More »
June 6, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- It’s the fiftieth anniversary of Joanne Greenberg’s I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, a YA novel about her time as a schizophrenic teen. “Not long after I Never Promised You a Rose Garden became canonical, it also became a lightning rod … Greenberg claimed full recovery, and many psychiatric professionals worried that this would inspire a false and dangerous hope. Schizophrenics, they said, simply cannot recover.”
- A new location (and ambiance) for Foyles, “London’s temple of books”: “Light streams down from rooftop windows on to a spacious white-walled atrium catching the edge of a 1930s dancefloor like a spotlight. It’s a huge change of scene for Foyles … which was once famed for dark forbidding bookshelves and a payment system so arcane that many visitors chose to steal rather than buy their favored paperback.”
- Chester Nez, the last of the original Navajo code-talkers, has died at ninety-three.
- What if it were your job to deliver bad news all day? You would succumb to a deep and enduring existential malaise, experts say.
- “The best way to think about the universe is as a multidimensional space-time loaf.”