In the past years, political theorists, philosophers and historians have increasingly studied changing mental health diagnosis and placed them in the…
Cure and mental illness. A short reflection on the conceptual analysis of the neoliberal characterisation of ‘cure’ in mental health
I had never really thought about how political labels might be involved with mental health and its labeling. Does that mean I am a Neo liberal?
From reading his short essay, it makes me think about imposed categories. It looks like he is saying that a conservative is someone who defines themselves and figures that everyone else should define themselves, and that it is only natural to label oneself and to fit into categories. Whereas a Neo liberal is someone who is defined, who resists definition￼￼￼￼. It is as though this author is saying that a conservative understand the human of being as involved with a natural rights to define things, and this definition, this act of defining is what makes one human, but it also reflects the actual truth of the universe￼.
Then, by contrast, the Neo liberal understands the human being as that which is not defined, and problematizes any universe which is defined, locating the human being and it’s essential activity, namely freedom, as the natural activity which arises outside of being defined.
I feel like this precipitate of what the author is saying mirrors what he has described as relationships with the market economy.
Also, this points to the inherent irony involved in neoliberalism, whereas conservatism would find irony merely in particular situation, as defined, rather than irony as an essential part of the human being existing in the universe at all times. The irony being in this case that the differences in political situation is that one defined itself essentially, that the essence of being human is to define and to be defined — there is no irony in this position– while the other find irony everywhere in the fact that it is being defined and having to use terms which itself does not admit it is a part of, or only vicariously a part of.
Wow. So much going on there.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼It is interesting that the author notes someone else who says that neoliberalism poses to be defined by acts rather than by definition, but then the author goes on to use that definition to make their arguments, as if by fiat arising ironically within an irony that it wishes to set aside. Similarly my comment as well.
As to a “cure” for mental health. ￼￼I am not sure that I am a Neo liberal list, but that probably makes me a Neoliberal by default￼.
I think our new paradigm of mental health doesn’t really make distinctions between being mentally ill and being mentally healthy categorically. Rather, referring to an earlier post of mine and a paper that I am developing, The general ideal of mental health is conservative, and this conservatism sees the human arising naturally in a set of definitions that are universal, that arise naturally in the universe because that is the nature of being human in the universe, along with everything else. It thus sees and promotes as natural everything along a smooth scale of determination; that there is this human being who owns or has a psyche located in the brain, and this brain can manifest itself as a conscious agent in the world along the continuum of mental illness all the way to mentally healthy￼.￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
On the other hand, and this is more my view, for an example of the opposite, there is no good faith comparison between someone who is psychotic in general, what we could associate with the spectrum of psychosis (namely schizophrenia, bipolar one, schizoaffective are the names that we put along the spectrum) and someone who is anxious because they think they’re going to be fired from their job￼.￼
I feel that society as a general motion tends to lump together psychology, psychotherapy, mental illness, and mental health, into a continuum that is assumed while still working out the actuality of its parameters and distinctions.
I feel that is a weak and, actually, bad way of doing science (which is really what the whole history of psychology is based upon). ￼
I am not so sure that there is a smooth rule which extends through the human being and it’s arising in the world to place them on a continuum of mentally ill or mentally healthy. For someone that suffers from depression, say, the idea that they are mentally ill, To my mind, is saying something different than to say that someone who suffers from schizophrenia is mentally ill￼￼￼￼.
Recently, I watched a portion of this movie that a friend offered me called “Zietgiest: moving forward” (you can watch it free on YouTube). The first hour of the movie is basically a very compelling argument how the idea of a foundational cause called genetics, or biology, which is responsible for mental health or mental someone’s mental well-being ￼is not correct￼￼￼ an accurate way of portraying what is actually occurring in these situations. ￼
However, because I do see that certain types of psychosis, the kind of psychosis that lie on the more acute side and chronic side of affect and form, are indeed measurable to a physical diversion from what is “normal” brain appearance, as being “curable” in potential, which is to say that we can give people medication and they definitely stop being as acute, similarly to disease of diabetes, say. ￼
Yet, in the context of mental health, although we like to think that schizophrenia, psychosis and depression exist along a continuum of mental illness and mental health, the disease of depression does not respond in the same way as psychosis or schizophrenia does to approaching it from this medical model standpoint of curing a disease.
Indeed, we could talk about “curing” depression, but the way that we are going about it is based on a completely different set of protocols and notions then those used to address the disease of acute chronic psychosis￼￼￼￼￼￼￼.
￼Because of this actual distinction, because this is what is actually occurring despite what anyone would argue￼ (for sure, though people will continue to argue that medication’s for depression are curing depression, the statistics that would back up that assertion are utterly miserable, while the statistics which go to say that certain medication’s can cure acute chronic psychosis, are much much better) I am not sure that using the word “cure” in all mental health contexts, as if to apply mental health to this assumed general standard, without actually looking at what the standard even is, is an irresponsible way of treating mental health￼.
There is a further issue that I have with the idea of “cure” as well as the idea of “mental health”, But that is outside of the topic of de Cock’s essay￼￼￼￼.x