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From Chris Wayan's journal 1994/5/30

I just read Norma Klein's "The World As It Is." From the blurb, I expected a story of a therapist in personal crisis while trying to help a brilliant, difficult patient.

Not exactly. It's a grim tale of power games inside a mental hospital in New York. Shrinks on dope, falsifying records, betraying each other... killing patients.

In therapy, Dr. Stern projects his own guilts and hates onto his patients. One of them finally realizes he'll never call her sane, and her husband won't defy the doctor and get her released. Life sentence! She breaks out and runs.

The other main character, a depressed shy man with no social skills, trusts his wife not to okay shock. She does. They fry his brain. He ends up selling socks.

All my fear and hatred of institutional psychiatry is confirmed. Every detail confirms what I saw as a kid visiting my uncle in Agnews State Hospital: they mistreated him just like this. Later they took me to a therapist, who I mistrusted--for good reasons. Psychiatry has a lot to answer for.

Feel uneasy now, as I go to bed; I fear more nightmares. That book woke my paranoia, it's working overtime. Wait--it's NOT paranoia; I just don't like having my face rubbed in the smell of human evil. I always call mixtures of realistic fear and rage "paranoia", just as I call grief "depression." In my theraholic family, we grew up with the jargon! Until now, I didn't notice that clinical buzzwords not only turn emotions into illnesses but they label you the cause, the locus. Paranoia and depression lack justifiable outside causes--that's part of their definitions.

But it's realistic to HATE the people who battered me, FEAR my government, MISTRUST doctors, and MOURN lost loves and lost years.

Emotions are real actions.

With direct objects.

And real causes.

2006 NOTE

Around age ten, I was socially paralyzed and constantly ill. My folks took me to a therapist for two years, I just couldn't trust him. Felt bad about wasting their money and trouble, but I just couldn't open up to him. Clearly I was hopeless...

I just learned he's now on trial for molesting dozens of his teenage clients.

LISTS AND LINKS: therapy - ooooops! - the power of names - a second disturbing dream inspired by Norma Klein: Rescue Fever - what they did to uncle Hugh - rants - hatred - fear - trust and mistrust - sadness and grief -

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