The helpful delusion: Evidence is growing that mental illness is more than dysfunction, with enormous implications for treatment

This article by Prof. Justin Garson has been published in Aeon magazine. It begins:

“Most people thought my dad lived alone. He didn’t. He lived with God and the French actress Catherine Deneuve. They were outside of him but somehow projected their voices into his mind.

Throughout my teens and 20s, the four of us would have conversations over coffee and cigarettes. Catherine was always kind to me. One day before a job interview, she said I looked quite handsome and my prospects were good. She never meant to harm my dad, but she did get him into trouble once in a while.

One night, around two in the morning, she played a joke on him. She said she’d flown from Paris to Washington, DC in the flesh, and was hiding in his apartment building. She was tired of projecting her voice into his head, she explained, and wanted to see him in person. Upon hearing this, he jumped out of bed naked and ran through the narrow hallways of his apartment complex in Dupont Circle screaming: ‘Catherine! Catherine! Where are you?’ She would taunt: ‘I’m just around the corner!’ He must have seemed like a real maniac. That night ended with another hospitalisation. These stays always followed the same script. First, the doctors would give him drugs that stopped him from hearing God and Catherine. Then they would watch him for a few days. Then they would reprimand him for getting off the antipsychotic medications, and threaten routine blood tests to ensure his compliance. Then they’d let him go. To them, ‘bipolar disorder’, ‘schizoaffective disorder’ and ‘schizophrenia’ were names of diseases, akin to ‘cancer’, ‘diabetes’ or ‘fibromyalgia’. They weren’t portals into strange, exhilarating and sometimes frightening new worlds …”

You can read more from here.

Rate this post

Any reply would be very welcome


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

Your email address will not be passed to any other organisation. It will only be used to send you new posts made on this website.