mental illnessgreenspun.com : LUSENET : GLASSER Choice Theory & Reality Therapy : One Thread
What does Glasser think of mental illness?
-- Jimmie Woods (email@example.com), March 13, 2000
Ever since he published "Reality Therapy" in 1965 Glasser has said he does not accept the concept of mental illnes. He wrote "We believe that, regardless of how he expresses his problem, everyone who needs psychiatric treatment suffers from one basic inadequacy: he is unable to fulfill his essential needs." Glasser breaks away from the medical model and explains psychological phenomena in psychological terms. He does of course recognize physical brain damage and its consequences. He simply does not see this as mental illness.
An interesting point is that even if a person did not accept this definition of psychiatric problems it still remains as the best working hypothesis if one is to make progress.
A major opponent of Glasser's psychological analysis will always be the pharmaceutical companies who will never make a lot of money from psychology.
Latest summary of Glasser's ideas is "Choice Theory".
-- Brian Lennon (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 13, 2000.
In relation to Brian Lennon's response to Jimmie's question: I don't think I would move on from this, though, to advise someone who is on medication to stop taking it. If I have a broken leg I may not be able to satisfy all my needs but I still have a broken leg and need to do the things you need to do to deal with it. Padraig O'Morain
-- Padraig O'Morain (email@example.com), March 17, 2000.
On one of Glassers first visits to Ireland he dealt at great length with this very question of 'encouraging' people to come off medication. He said that even he would not do any such encouraging and would try to treat people on the medication others had put them on. The analogy he gave to show his reasoning was interesting. He said it was like the time his mother would tell him to wear his jersey or he would catch cold.If he didn't were his jersey and caught cold she would say: "I told you so." If he did wear his jersey and was all right she would say:"wasn't it lucky you wore your jersey" He couldnt win.He himself, of course, has given upo prescribing many years ago.
-- ken lyons (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 17, 2000.
Regarding medication: If someone has been prescribed psychiatric drugs it is ABSOLUTELY VITAL (literally) that they do not suddenly stop taking these. These are highly dangerous products, most of them very addictive and many of them life-threatening if stopped suddenly. Please read TOXIC PSYCHIATRY by Peter Breggin. Read the BRITISH NATIONAL FORMULARY, the vade-mecum of British medics and pharmacists.
Glasser's view of mental illness is another matter. He offers an alternative explanation of why people do "crazy" things. The so- called "bi-polar disorder", the "schizophrenic", the "neurotic" and all the other DSM categories ... that is what he is talking about. When people are leading lives of severe need frustration and their existing vocabulary of behaviours is not working, their creative system suggests alterantives, some of which may appear quite odd to others. This is Glasser's explanation of craziness. It is not a brain irregularity (although prolonged stressing and depressing will have obvious consequences for our body chemistry). It is a choice, the best one the person knows how to make in the circumstances.
I go along with Peter Breggin's description of psychiatric drugs as "chemical straightjackets". As such they are undoubtedly necessary in certain cases (e.g. someone who is a danger to self or others). But neither they nor any other mood enhancing substances (no matter how organic they may be) will every put a new thought into someone's head, offer a new choice. Indeed they generally hamper the whole thinking and choosing process. The person with a broken leg might be well-advised to take pain-killing medication but it would make good sense to have the leg set in plaster as well.
Glasser was and is a revolutionary. Take my word for it!
-- Brian Lennon (email@example.com), March 17, 2000.
Hi everyone, Just to add my agreement to what Brian has said and to continue the metaphoric broken leg analogy comment by Pauric by commenting that, yes if he comes off one kind of treatment he has still got to do something about the problem. What is being suggested is a different solution to drug therapy i.e. perhaps Reality Therapy!!
In my work as a therapist/counsellor, I have supported many people while they slowly - very slowly - come off psychotropic medication and replace it with the discovery that there are less damaging and more effective ways of regaining peace and happiness in their lives. Asta
Best wishes, Asta
-- asta ghee (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 27, 2000.
Lately I have been reading "Reality Therapy". In response to this string of reasoning and discussion, I have a few questions. What is going to happen to this theory when researchers actually map the gene for bi-polar disorder? I realize a quick thinker can reason through it, but that doesn't make it true. I sincerely appreciate Dr. Glasser's theories and practices, and readily observe that there are many scenarios where they are the only model that will work (ie. "Tough Love" type schools). But this blind denial of the brain as an organ with the capacity for similar biological weaknesses as a kidney or heart, is upsetting as it flies in the face of modern understanding. When the currently known concordance for schyzophrenia is approaching 100%, and for bi-polar over 50%, can you ethically deny mdx treatment to one of the twins and not the other?
Would appreciate your responses to these questions, as I may not fully understand your theory and practices yet and I would like to.
Dr. Chris Bayley
-- Chris Bayley (email@example.com), January 22, 2003.
WELL YOPUSEEM TO HAVE IT IN YOPUR MINDTHAT YOU ARE INSOMEKIND OF FIX JUST BECAUSE YOUR WHOLE WORLD VEIW THE PERCIEVED WORLD IS IN CONFLICT BECAUSE YOU DONT KNOWHOW TO RECONSILE THESE BLEH BLAH BLAH JUST FORGET IT YOUCAN NOT BOTTLE WISDOM WE USE THE IDEAL THAT THERE IS NO MENTAL ILLNESS WECANOT HELP BUT I DONT BELIEVE WE ARTE SELLING BIPOLAR INSURANCE YET IT IS MERELY ABETTER STANCE TO TAKE IE THAT THERE IS NO ORGANIC THING KEEPING YOU FROM THINKING PROPERLY AND THEN IF YOU FIND YOUR MANIC DEPPESSION GENE THEN FINE WE WILL WORK THAT IN AS NEEDED---- AS WE HAVE LEARNED --SCIENCE IS PLASTIC ----AND IS ALLWAYS PLAYING CATCH-UP-BALL TO THE FACTS- ALLWAYS UPDATING AND THO I SUPPOSEDLY SUFFER FROM MANIC-DEPRESSION- I DONT SUFFER ANYMORE SINCE I GOT THE IDEA THE REALIZATIONS THE PERMISSION TO NOT BE DEPRESSED THAT GLASSER PROVIDED ME WITH -THESE EVENTS WERE EASY ENUFF FOR A LAY MAN LIKE ME TO UNDERSTAND -THAT I COULD HELP MY DEPRESSION-- ---- WHAT THIS THERAPY IS ABOUT---AN OPEN MIND HELPED ME -AND ALSO THE EXPECTATION OF NOTHOING INRETURN -----BOY WAS I SURPRIZED WHEN MY MANIC DEPRESSION JUST BECAME LIGHT MANIA-- ALL THE TIME NOW 8IM GOING ON 9 MONTHS NOW OF NO BAD THOTS OR EMOTIONS- IT WORKS !-[IN OTHER WORDS I AM HAPPY AND VERY HAPPY THANKS TO THIS THERAPY --THANKS FOR READING MY PIECE-- GOOD LUCK --ZINAROO
-- JULIAN PORTER (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 13, 2003.