"Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Ierrellus » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:36 pm

Our sense of reality changes in sync with changes in personal experience. The sense can be of repetitive, mechanical survival struggles or of exhilerating, blissful tastes of well-being and beauty. Those are extremes in a range or spectrum of human reality realizations.
I think "sane" human experiences are those that traverse the entire range of human possibilities. "Insanity" may be the inability to travel freely among possible senses of reality.
For centuries philosophers have debated the extent to which sensory informational feedback determines a sense of reality. In the mid-1950s Aldous Huxley experimented with mescalin. His findings were that sensory information can be intensified with drugs or can become scattered and recombined in "bizarre" ways. Huxley referred to these mental excursions as trips to the "hinterlands" of the mind. His conclusion was that minds impose necessay limitations of the "doors of perception" so that we can survive. Torrey agrees with this conclusion.
Given that we possess a wide range of possible senses of reality, of which we know very little, it seems to me unecessarily extravagant to assign creativity, soul, aesthetic appreciation, etc., to any one of these or to some supernatural influence. J. cannot always communicate on the give and take level of intersubjectivity. Her creativity is impaired. Yet, her beautiful spirit often surfaces above the handicaps, describing who she really is.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby lizbethrose » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:58 am

Ierrellus wrote:Our sense of reality changes in sync with changes in personal experience. The sense can be of repetitive, mechanical survival struggles or of exhilerating, blissful tastes of well-being and beauty. Those are extremes in a range or spectrum of human reality realizations.
I think "sane" human experiences are those that traverse the entire range of human possibilities. "Insanity" may be the inability to travel freely among possible senses of reality.
For centuries philosophers have debated the extent to which sensory informational feedback determines a sense of reality. In the mid-1950s Aldous Huxley experimented with mescalin. His findings were that sensory information can be intensified with drugs or can become scattered and recombined in "bizarre" ways. Huxley referred to these mental excursions as trips to the "hinterlands" of the mind. His conclusion was that minds impose necessay limitations of the "doors of perception" so that we can survive. Torrey agrees with this conclusion.
Given that we possess a wide range of possible senses of reality, of which we know very little, it seems to me unecessarily extravagant to assign creativity, soul, aesthetic appreciation, etc., to any one of these or to some supernatural influence. J. cannot always communicate on the give and take level of intersubjectivity. Her creativity is impaired. Yet, her beautiful spirit often surfaces above the handicaps, describing who she really is.


And I'm so glad you see it that way, Ier. Really.

One thing this thread is exposing is that MI isn't 'alike' from person to person and probably shouldn't be accepted only through established labels. Another thing is one Bob brought out:

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as "winter depression" or "winter blues", is a specifier. Some people have a seasonal pattern, with depressive episodes coming on in the autumn or winter, and resolving in spring. The diagnosis is made if at least two episodes have occurred in colder months with none at other times over a two-year period or longer. It is commonly hypothesised that people who live at higher latitudes tend to have less sunlight exposure in the winter and therefore experience higher rates of SAD, but the epidemiological support for this proposition is not strong (and latitude is not the only determinant of the amount of sunlight reaching the eyes in winter). SAD is also more prevalent in people who are younger and typically affects more females than males.


What Bob didn't say is that SAD is caused by a lack of vitamin D3 in the blood. Vitamin D3 deficiency can lead to various cancers, diabetes, low blood calcium, high blood pressure--etc., etc., etc.--and depression. I'm currently trying to fight this because the best source of vitamin D3 is through sunlight on the skin--specifically through the absorption of UVB rays through the skin--and, where we live, we've had no sun this so-called summer. (One newspaper said we've only had 78 minutes of summer since the equinox.)

Add to that is the function of female hormones and how those hormones decrease in post-menopausal women. Sorry, fem-libs, we've been 'designed' to prepare our bodies for impregnation. When the design is no longer functional because of age, it stops and takes with it a lot of hormones that keep us healthy.

My point? There's a lot more to female endocrinology than there is to male endocrinology--We're the finely tuned race car while men are the more reliable Ford.

I believe--I hope--that's taken into by neurologists. I wonder if the general public understands it.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Ierrellus » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:32 pm

Liz,
If "men are from Mars and women are from Venus", if the physical fine tuning of males and females is different, the difference does not negate the known fact that effectiveness of both male and female immune systems is bolstered by positive self-image, realization of personal integrity, recognition of the soul.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Ierrellus » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:46 pm

Bob,
Below are two quotes. One is from an Italian psychotherapist; the other is from a Russian theologian. I believe you are one of the few individuals here who can see how these quotes allign in healing or even care to see that.
"There is no better therapy than creative expression. If we go digging beneath our calcified, institutionalized personality, plastered in its roles and habits, we find that our self wants to play and create, and we can help it manifest itself. Many of our troubles come about because we do not bring out what we are and would become. Thus we condemn ourselves to an unfulfilled, frozen life. . . .To be creative is to be fully human."--Ferrucci.
"Creativity is our image of God."--Berdyaev.
What these quotes mean to me is that we have intrinsic powers of healing, that the peeling away of "roles and habits" does not necessarily entail what some existentialist philosophers describe as horror, nausea and anxiety and that this given power to heal, which is in our genes, is an attribute for survival and is evidence of the soul.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby lizbethrose » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:57 am

Ierrellus wrote:Liz,
If "men are from Mars and women are from Venus", if the physical fine tuning of males and females is different, the difference does not negate the known fact that effectiveness of both male and female immune systems is bolstered by positive self-image, realization of personal integrity, recognition of the soul.


I don't always agree with popular writing--as a matter of fact, I usually ignore it. But i do think that Immune systems can often be strengthened by positive awareness of what the human mind can accomplish. There's absolutely nothing wrong, misplaced or incorrect about the power of thought, at least, not in my mind.

On the other-hand, can the will to survive overcome the power of thought?
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby lizbethrose » Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:44 am

How's J. doing?
"Be what you would seem to be - or, if you'd like it put more simply - never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Ierrellus » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:20 pm

"When the beauty of the soul is seen, it is invariably considered to be the true identity of the person. It is not an extra layer, an exterior ornament, a chance phenomenon. This beauty, the moment it is perceived, is taken to be the real thing.
"And when people are seen for who they are, they feel affirmed. This is the great secret of good psychotherapists." (Ferrucci 2009).
Perhaps I've been lucky. I've had such good psychotherapists and friends who can see beyond the survace ravages of a cronic illness. I've met persons who, on first acquaintance, appeared to have hard, ugly faces; but, who, after I knew them for a while, had faces that mellowed and melted into soft, magnetic beauty. This is the experience of seeing a soul.
When I was a child I was amazed, intrigued by all of the faces I met. Growing up, I found that I and they had donned protective, hard as steel masks that hid true identity. I saw others as little more than insatiable appetites that consumed anything other than them. Sometimes with age or illness the mask becomes too heavy to wear. It is shed, allowing the open, vulnerable, beautific vision of a child, the sight of the soft, almost magical beauty of faces.
The psychotherapist who is able to see patients in this way is able to assist in the healing process. Or, if the illness is cronic, is able to reassure the sufferer that his/her inner beauty and essential value remains inviolate.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Ierrellus » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:36 pm

On creativity and insanity. The folk wisdom about this is encapsulated in the idea: genius is next to insanity. This is not always the case. There may be some truth in the idea that those who suffer MIs are socially ostracized and are thereby more open to personal reflections that are unencumbered by expectations of social roles, etc., and that such openness can evoke creative imagination.
The stereotype of creativity as therapy is basket weaving in the institutions.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby TheJoker » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:27 am

jonquil wrote:Consider the notion of "time" in regards to mental health and the system designed to "help" people with so-called "mental problems." There seems to be a meme in place that is based on getting people functional fast, to keep them on the job or living in their square peg world doing whatever it is they do there. Hence the ideas about brain dysfunction or chemical imbalance or neurological roots to the problem, with a diagnosis and a cocktail of drugs designed for that diagnosis. The DSM is now so fat that you'd practically need a forklift to move it.

People have forgotten that each of us lives in a social and economic nexus, one that is very oppressive and requires a good deal of conditioning in order to make us adaptable to it. The "sane" people are the ones who have been able to adapt and become hardcore sociopaths to a good degree, while the "insane" ones are those who have not been able to adapt to a very insane system. It's a total clusterfuck for sure.


Brilliant. :)

Might I add that current civilization practically breeds destructive tendencies in individuals too.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:08 pm

Joker,
Thanks for your post. Does your agreement here indicate that you believe the problem of insufficient therapies for MI sufferers is caused by socioeconomic priorities, ethical failings or what?
For therapists who are trying to treat the whole human being please google Thomas Moore, James Hillman, Piero Ferruci, Andras Angyal, etc.
For the holistic trends in psychotherapy google psychoimmunology, ecopsychology, psychosynthesis, etc.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:17 pm

Liz,
As J. reagains more of her sense of a common, communicative reality, her sadness at time lost and people connections forfeited become almost unbearable. So she drifts back into her safe, private world of familiar illusions. Still, I try to offer her nonthreatening, consistent caring. That is working. Nowadays her different personalities all see me as a friend. That's progress. Together, we baked zucchini bread. That's progress. The remaining problems have mostly to do with her inabilty to concentrate long about anything she does or thinks. I'm attempting to help her slow down her rapid speed of awareness in order to savor the sheer beuaty of living and sharing in the here and now.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby TheJoker » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:26 pm

So when we look at the Aztecs of past history sacrificing hundreds of people every year on sacrificial alters in tremendous blood shed, would we describe that entire culture and people mentally ill?

Was Spanish Catholicism their treatment or cure?

What does the normal person or individual look like?

Is normalcy just another term for social obedience to conditioned or coerced expectations?
I am a humble disciple of chaos. Who wants to join me? A-N-A-R-C-H-Y!

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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Ierrellus » Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:06 pm

Joker,
About the Aztecs, no they were not mentally ill. Neither were the Spanish. Both were doing what was considered"normal" within their given cultures. And we cannot rewrite history from the perspective of what we have learned.
What is "normal"? Nobody knows; but, we do know what well-being and personal integrity are about and that these heal us. We do know that love generates life while hatred and fear destroy life. Given the situation in Africa today, we still have much to learn. As Bob will tell you, we improve in understanding by evolving. We cannot look back with what we now know in horror at how primitives behaved. We cannot judge modern primitives through the perspectives of our technological or ethical advancements. We can offer care, love, support, food wherever those needs cannot survive political atrocities.
As for MI sufferers, we can work toward whole human healing even in the teeth of media, religious and political adversities.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby septimus » Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:09 pm

Joker, you're trying really hard to prove that mental illness isn't an illness, rather that it is a sign of a psychotic, terrible society and hatred of originality. You're not taking into account that mentally ill people were living long before the "big, bad corporations" and "governments with their oppressive laws" and "slave societies" existed. Mental Illness is not a sign of cultural or societal degradation, the "broken system" or other external influences. Perfectly happy people get sick, massacre their families, not because of that deeply traumatizing car crash, or their mother dying, or their rights abused by the authority, no, because they heard the wrong tune on the radio or have seen the wrong color, just like that, out of the blue. No previous signs of aggression or ill behavior, a great example would be Andres Breivik, the Norway shooter. A perfectly nice, calm citizen, wealthy, with a job, no repressive childhood memories of abuse as far as we know, and yet, he kills those children under a cover of political doctrine: that's that wrong tune on the radio, the "psychotic seed" as I like to call it, just needs nourishment and the right type of "climate" to grow, extreme fundamental ideas are doing a great job at that. I suspect you are "bias" in this topic, blaming the world for not accepting you, because if the theory that mental illness is actually not a condition which needs treatment, but rather a symptom of the wrongdoings of society is true, then you can rest, knowing that it isn't your fault for being who you are, but rather the society you live in.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Moreno » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:37 am

septimus wrote:Joker, you're trying really hard to prove that mental illness isn't an illness, rather that it is a sign of a psychotic, terrible society and hatred of originality. You're not taking into account that mentally ill people were living long before the "big, bad corporations" and "governments with their oppressive laws" and "slave societies" existed. Mental Illness is not a sign of cultural or societal degradation, the "broken system" or other external influences. Perfectly happy people get sick, massacre their families, not because of that deeply traumatizing car crash, or their mother dying, or their rights abused by the authority, no, because they heard the wrong tune on the radio or have seen the wrong color, just like that, out of the blue. No previous signs of aggression or ill behavior, a great example would be Andres Breivik, the Norway shooter. A perfectly nice, calm citizen, wealthy, with a job, no repressive childhood memories of abuse as far as we know, and yet, he kills those children under a cover of political doctrine: that's that wrong tune on the radio, the "psychotic seed" as I like to call it, just needs nourishment and the right type of "climate" to grow, extreme fundamental ideas are doing a great job at that. I suspect you are "bias" in this topic, blaming the world for not accepting you, because if the theory that mental illness is actually not a condition which needs treatment, but rather a symptom of the wrongdoings of society is true, then you can rest, knowing that it isn't your fault for being who you are, but rather the society you live in.


Interestingly people who are considered mentally ill in the West fare better in cultures that do not follow the psychopharmcological model.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/magaz ... wanted=all

Unfortunately, as the article goes into, because of the money involved the americanization of mental illness is slowly reducting these alternative approaches to what we call mental illness.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby lizbethrose » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:34 am

That's a very interesting article, Moreno, Thanks for posting it. There's a lot there to think about before deciding which way to go without disrupting the thread.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Ierrellus » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:21 pm

Septimus,
Thanks for your post. I don't think the article Moreno cites completely negates your take on this matter.
Moreno,
Appreciated the article. Here's my "however". To prevent harm to self and others some intervention becomes necessary. Drugs are the closest we've got so far to addressing these problems. While I agree about the Americanizational influence on how to see MIs as it affects other cultures' attitudes and folk wisdom, I must recognize that there are some standards of criteria that are necessary to consider before anything can be done. I don't believe we in America are totally without these. Perspectivism is nice, liberal and holistic; but, it does not get down to the real matter of what can we do, here and now, to help the mentally ill regain self-esteem, which appears to be square one of recovery.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Ierrellus » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:38 pm

Liz,
If J. has multiple personalities, she is not schizophenic. D.I.D. (google multiple personality disorder) for this current diagnostic term) is not shown on MRIs to include brain damage. Schizophrenia does show brain damage. The problem I'm getting into at this stage of learning is finding that most of the severe forms of psychosis have identical symptoms. Lack of her family's consideration of me as someone willing to help, I can only listen to what J. says. She claims 14 personalities. I've seen three distinct ones. One is a child, very innocent. One is a fundy evangelist. One uses words the other two wouldn't consider using.
J. had mentioned "schizophrenia" as something someone told her. Her constant thirst and need for "booster" shots to maintain some sort of stability seem to indicate schizophrenia. Her different personalities do not.
I see from the two persons who have joined our discussion that the social context is very important in determining how we think and what we do with sufferers of MIs as well as being influential in how MI sufferers see themselves. While these ideas may interest those of us who enjoy some sort of "standardized" normalcy, they do little or nothing to inform us about what we ought to be doing to address the here and now problems.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Moreno » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:46 am

Ierrellus wrote:Septimus,
Thanks for your post. I don't think the article Moreno cites completely negates your take on this matter.
Moreno,
Appreciated the article. Here's my "however". To prevent harm to self and others some intervention becomes necessary. Drugs are the closest we've got so far to addressing these problems. While I agree about the Americanizational influence on how to see MIs as it affects other cultures' attitudes and folk wisdom, I must recognize that there are some standards of criteria that are necessary to consider before anything can be done. I don't believe we in America are totally without these. Perspectivism is nice, liberal and holistic; but, it does not get down to the real matter of what can we do, here and now, to help the mentally ill regain self-esteem, which appears to be square one of recovery.
The point of the article is that thinking of these people as MI and treating them within the whole psychiatric pharmacological models seems NOT to work as well. This might indicate that their standards of criteria are better.

Back in the late 50s early 60s white suburban women were beind medicated in extremely high numbers. It was inconceivable to the medical community that there was anything they could have a problem with on a general level, so individual women were pathologized. A look at Mad Men might give a useful perspective to what might have been depressing these women.

It is in the pharmacological industry's interests for us to view people as individuals that are broken - they have bad DNA, they have a disease.

Humans spend billions of dollars medicating themselves via these companies, rather than actually dealing with the sources of their problems, many of them societal.

It is like doctors giving every patient pain killers and sending them home.

That is our current approach to suffering.

And so a primary feedback loop from citizens is being cut off.

It is not a society for the people, clearly. It is the opposite.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Moreno » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:51 am

Ierrellus wrote:Liz,
If J. has multiple personalities, she is not schizophenic. D.I.D. (google multiple personality disorder) for this current diagnostic term) is not shown on MRIs to include brain damage. Schizophrenia does show brain damage. The problem I'm getting into at this stage of learning is finding that most of the severe forms of psychosis have identical symptoms. Lack of her family's consideration of me as someone willing to help, I can only listen to what J. says. She claims 14 personalities. I've seen three distinct ones. One is a child, very innocent. One is a fundy evangelist. One uses words the other two wouldn't consider using.
J. had mentioned "schizophrenia" as something someone told her. Her constant thirst and need for "booster" shots to maintain some sort of stability seem to indicate schizophrenia. Her different personalities do not.
I see from the two persons who have joined our discussion that the social context is very important in determining how we think and what we do with sufferers of MIs as well as being influential in how MI sufferers see themselves. While these ideas may interest those of us who enjoy some sort of "standardized" normalcy, they do little or nothing to inform us about what we ought to be doing to address the here and now problems.
But actually they do. One could for example integrate the way families deal with people who would be diagnosed over here in our own interpersonal practices.

There is also a whole wealth of approaches to dealing with people with DID who have tended to have undergone incredible abuse. They are not ill. If I hit your arm and it bruises, the bruise is not an illness. DID is what happens to brains/minds when they have underone traumatic stress, generally for long periods of time.

The medical model will view their brains as abnormal and suggest medication, as if the person has a genetic or other disease. This is philosophically idiotic.

(note: I am not saying medication cannot help in certain cases/situations, but the current model is philosophically weak and scientifically naive.)
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Ierrellus » Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:47 pm

Moreno,
I concede on your points well taken. I admit that the neuroscience/reductionist model, coupled with psychology is naive, or at best inadequate.
My concern is where do we go from here?
I admit that schizophrenia is a personality disorder. As such, it involves not only brain chemical malfunction, but also a lifetime of interface between self and culture, self and society and self and family. Culture evolves over centuries and offers little hope of immediate change. Society is primarily concerned with its own preservation, not with that of individuals whocannot contribute to it. Family is torn between hope and despair over the quick fixes or lengthy therapy currently offered. Self is the victim.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby turtle » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:04 pm

i dont think schizophrenia is a personality disorder....
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Moreno » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:56 pm

Ierrellus wrote:Moreno,
I concede on your points well taken. I admit that the neuroscience/reductionist model, coupled with psychology is naive, or at best inadequate.
My concern is where do we go from here?
I admit that schizophrenia is a personality disorder.
Wait, I haven't said that I hope.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby lizbethrose » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:45 am

I'm not going to go to Wiki to get an 'accepted' definition of 'multiple personality disorder.' I think schizophrenia and MPD co-exist, because that's the way some people present their MI. In either case, the 'monad,' the oneness of the self, has disintegrated. Reintegrating the 'self' can't always be done, if the compartmentalizing of 'feeling' is too strong. On the other hand it might be understood and accepted--even played with by the patient. "Get out of my mind, Josie, you're nothing more that a fear I may never understand, but I don't need you any more for protection."

At least, that's how I look at multiple personalities.
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Re: "Mental" Illness: The Future of Treatment

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:56 pm

turtle wrote:i dont think schizophrenia is a personality disorder....

Turtle, Moreno Liz, et.al.,
Turtle you are right in that current literature does not describe schizophrenia as split personality but as a schism in ability to communicate on a rational basis with others. "Personality" may be the wrong word. Let me clarify with a living example. Below is a message J. wrote on the morning of 8/3/11.
"enternal (SIC),
my own left for years in a dream. Over try everyone dies if taken in (the) spirit fond of God every day salute (the) president"
So, who wrote that message? One person? Two or more persons? The word "internal" and the phrases "over try"and "left for years in a dream" suggest a writer whose message most people can understand. They suggest a writer who is aware of her own mind. I suggest that the person who wrote those phrases is the executive aspect of "personality" or personhood, if you will. It seems that this part supervises its constituents, keeps them in line and more or less united in a communicable sense of reality. Otherwise, these aspects appear to wander off, assert themselves as individual takes on reality and wreak havoc with memory and time.
J. cannot focus on watching a movie for over 20 minutes. She cannot write a complete sentence. Yet she can describe movies she has seen and can speak in complete, coherent sentences.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
I admit I'm an asshole. Now, can we get back to the conversation?
From the mad poet of McKinley Ave.
Ierrellus
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