[D-G] On Schizophrenia

Super Dragon superdragon at addlebrain.com
Sat Jan 15 14:37:53 PST 2011

Hi Julia
Yes I agree with your persective here, especially on the balance between not romanticizing suffering and not pathologising difference.  I managed to escape diagnosis as I stayed at home alone through all the psychotic episodes but it wasn't an experience I would want to live through again. The only thing to do with expereinces like that is make them do some useful work or reinterpret the affect as D and G recommend. I've been able to keep within a sustainable threshold of affect since discovering that. Ironically, when I first read D and G I thought at last some people that just 'get it' and a language in which I feel at home too. It took a while to realize what a narcicisstic tautology this sense of belonging was...

Your current work sounds really interesting. I keep meaning to check out Apocrophal Theatre as I know I would really engage with it. Currently a bit bogged down with bringing unusual perspectives (not just mine) into the design of clinical Mental Health research. Interestingly, some of the psychiatrists are really up for that although its been and still is a hard slog putting views in that change the perimeters of a pathologising methodology without ending up filled up with it myself. 

Cheers Ruth   

Sloughing one's skin.-The snake that cannot slough its skin perishes. Likewise spirits which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be spirits (Nietzsche: Daybreak:V:573)   

--- julia.barclay at googlemail.com wrote:

From: Julia Barclay <julia.barclay at googlemail.com>
To: deleuze-guattari at lists.driftline.org
Subject: Re: [D-G] On Schizophrenia
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2011 16:02:10 +0000

To clarify shamanism is something, in the modern context shifted out of its cultural place, I am somewhat skeptical of as well - for a variety of experiential and intellectual reasons, but I do wonder how phenomena that existed in another cultural context morph into the contemporary as pathological.  I'm working on some new theatre work with my company Apocryphal Theatre in relation to William James' 'Varieties of Religious Experience' which is extraordinarily prescient for lectures given in 1901-2 in its humility on the one hand and attempt to grasp spirituality as a psychological phenomenon on the other.  

I have friends who have had schizophrenia diagnosed and do not say any of what I do lightly.  I just think we have to be careful about pathologizing a whole range of experience, as that may in fact induce the paranoia itself associated with them.  D&G are quite clear that schizophrenia as a 'disease' is isolating and sad but also look for other ways of interpreting what may be called symptoms of a disease in a different frame.  This is not to be dismissive of the pain and suffering of those who are isolated or even worse to romanticize it, but to be clear that we are not demonizing a different level of perception as if it had no value whatsoever.

I am no expert in any of this but I am an expert in living in a culture that wants to over-pathologize all difference and medicate any manifestation of 'aberrant' behavior, even if that means grieving 'too long' after the loss of a loved one.  This too is insanity of an insidious kind.

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