Why I Live Beyond the DisUnited States of Northamerica
he philosophical psychiatrist, R D Laing, was endowed with immense courage, visionand vigour, and by reason of his unique skills made valuable contributions topsychiatry and caused to come to be events which startled and disrupted long-established analysts of the mind. Laing was a member of that mental health infantry squadroncarrying out a mission meant to clear the way for the main body of troops. His insights intoschiophrenia, the world!s most debilitating mental disease, will never be forgotten.
Like many illustrious warriors favoured with superhuman eminence, Laing!s first #umps, off the high board into the murky pools of the unconscious, neurosis and psychosis, were belly flops. Heroic in nature, Laing did not return home from battle after his preliminary overthrows. He climbed up far above the ground again, lunged, cut through gloomy waters,and touched bottom where he scraped his skin and bruised his bones yet more. He went back again and again and again and persevered, until his death, searching for something new in thetreatment of mental patients.$rom page %&' to %&( in
Self and Others
, Laing!s masterpiece, he talks about a little boy of five who runs to his mother holding a big fat worm in his hand, and says, )*ommy, look what abig fat worm + have got. he says, )ou are filthy/away and clean yourself immediately. "he mother!s response to the boy is an e0ample of what Ruesch 1%2345 has called a )tangentialresponse. +n terms of the boy!s feeling, the mother!s response is at a tangent. he does notsay, )6h, yes, what a lovely worm. he does not say, )7hat a filthy worm/you mustn!ttouch worms like that8 throw it away. +n this response there is a failure to endorse what theboy is
9 state of transitory confusion, an0iety or guilt might be generated in him.:ateson, ;ackson, Haley and 7eakland in their article, )"oward a "heory of chiophrenia,
1%23<5, discuss this condition and term it the )double-bind pattern. 9ccording to the authors, the likelihood of such a configuration e0ists when these si0 elementsare present= two or more persons8 repeated e0perience of the state of affairs8 a primary negative in#unction= )Do not do this. + will punish you if you do8 a secondary in#unctionconflicting with the first at a more abstract level, and like the first, enforced by punishment orsignals which threaten survival= a negative gesture, a tone of voice, a posture, etc8 a tertiary negative in#unction prohibiting the victim from escaping from the field= false promises of devotion, affection or love8 and, the absence of these constituents when the victim learns thathis or her universe is composed of, essentially, double-bind patterns. "he victims, in this scenario, are caught in a mesh of contradiction between two conclusionsand they cannot decide how to act or react rationally. He or she cannot make a sane choice. "he prey is deceived and, to survive, must mislead others to protect himself or herself. "hey learn to re#ect what is genuine, and lay blame on what is unreal or real ridiculing as immature