Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Neurosis: Its Origins

Originally posted on March 13, 2015

I confess that I am taken somewhat with the new theories of neuroscience that serve as a testable biological source of neurosis and psychosis, but in spite of my wanting to expand psychoanalysis radically, including issues such as temperament and cultural and social issues, I really think that fully half of significant psychiatric disorders—often with some co-morbidity including sensitivity—may be because our society as well as current relations as well as early childhood relations were bat-crap crazy. We should not overlook the idea that we are only emerging from pre-civilization, and what we have come to call civilization is perhaps more technically advanced than the ancient Romans, and, true, we don’t crucify slaves and slaughter rebellious tribes—or make them fight lions in the Coliseum—but not all that much. The list of the lies we live by goes on and on.

Kids are still teased mercilessly if they aren’t courageous to the point of risking life and limb. And so forth.

Anyway, I wonder if students of psychiatry today—including medical students—get any sense of the sheer drama of human life–the story-narrative? The way people can lay down a matrix of interpretation that acts as an astigmatic lens, distorting all that it perceives? For example, what about the lies that we perpetuate so broadly in culture that many don’t see them as lies? Further, most of those that aren’t taken in are inarticulate in sensing or commenting on the sheer toxicity of believing in these lies? What if the sheer prevalence of these lies accounts for more stress than anyone wants to admit?

Supposing that the small but not insignificant percentage of “oversensitive” kids  just take these lies a little more seriously? Also, there’s a fuzzy area: Some less than oversensitive kids have parents who are zealous in their mythmaking, scarily so. Also, what if there are widespread taboos against criticizing these scary lies?

For example, dare people say out loud that teaching kids about a hell that one is condemned to for eternity is as toxic as feeding them a spoonful of lead and mercury? Teaching sensitive kids that if they so much as permit themselves to imagine what are called “bad” thoughts can get one condemned to eternal torture—could that be really bad for kids? Because there are impressionable kids who end up believing this stuff and they really really believe it and it scares them to their bones. It’s pretty clear to me that such “software programming” can make one very prone to severe neurosis!

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