THE SANITY in INSANITY
ILLNESS : A NEW PERSPECTIVE)
we define Insanity? For that we will have to define sanity first.
The difference between
the two is a thin zigzag line and we use socially acceptable behaviour as the major criteria to differentiate.
Furthermore if Insanity
is defined by sane people, sanity will have to be defined by insane people
In the U.K. 20% of general population are mentally ill. About 40% of total hospital admissions for systemic diseases have mental
illness. Other stats are
6% Population mania & Depression
9% Women mania & Depression
9% Population Anxiety & Neurosis
1% Population Schizophrenia & Pyschosis
5% Population above 65 yrs Dementia & Alzheimers disease
20% Population above 80 yrs Dementia & Alzheimers disease
(3) CLASSIFICATION OF MENTAL ILLNESS
(A) AFFECTIVE (MOOD)DISORDERS (Mania & Depression)
Extremes in mood (affect) are inherent in human condition Distinguishing pathological mood alternations
from normal changes in feeling has eluded clinicians for centuries Extreme exaggerations of mood, mania (elation) & depression
(sadness) with a marked tendency to recurrence would be called affective disorders by the modern day psychiatrist
(B) ANXIETY & STRESS DISORDERS [ NEUROSIS ]
is a common emotional response to the external viciissitudes of life. Paroxysms of persistent feelings of worry and resultant somatic responses of trembling, sweating, rapid
breathing & sleeplessness would be classified as Neurotic disorders
In conversion (Dissociation) Disorders i.e. Hysteria,
mental disease manifests as physical illness e.g. gait disturbances pseudoparalysis.
Aphonia (loss of voice) pseudoseizures (fits) or pseudoblindness or pseudo amnesia (loss of memory)
(C) PSYCHOTIC (Delusional) DISORDERS. [SCHIZOPHRENIA]
are mental states with illogical thinking, loosening of associations, Inappropriate emotions, paranoid or other delusions
& hallucinations lasting at least 6 months.
(D PERSONALITY DISORDERS
Inappropriate & socially unacceptable characteristic ways of thought, feeling & behaviour
(the so called personality) constitute this group.
(E) MEMORY DISORDERS
dementia implies memory loss after 65 yrs the so called Alzheimers disease
abuse (drugs, alcohol etc), Behavioural disorders, sleep disorders etc complete the spectrum
(4) PSYCHO GENESIS OF MENTAL STATES
a) A human
is born with certain temperamental traits determined by genes. His adult behaviour, his vulnerability & response to stress, his ability to recuperate and his psychological
interpretation of the past stressful experiences all depend on genes. Different individuals respond differently & store
past events differently in their memory areas of cortex.
b) At birth Freudian Complexes are born. Sigmund Freud put forth his hypothesis of sexual inferiority complexes arising in
The male child is attached to his mother and is constantly worried
that the father maydisapprove and according to ‘Freud is afraid that the father may punish him by castration and that
he may then resemble his sister; without the penis (The oedipus complex)
The female child is attached
to the father and is worried that the mother has already castrated her penis as a punishment (she believes she, like her brother
had a penis) (The electra complex)
In adult life the sons
inferiority to the father translates as an inferiority to any other man and similarly the adult woman develops an inferiority
complex to other women.
As the child grows, the
complexes to the same sex magnify and at a adulthood, it is this inferiority that provides the drive for competition, career,
marriage, material success, etc as the man tries to prove himself superior to the other men around, whom he identifies unconsciously
with his father.
c) Childhood events play a very large
role in the psychological makeup of the individual
Frustrations of not getting what
one wants, Communication gaps with parents, siblings & classmate jealousy, difference of opinions with the Teachers, peer
pressures all contribute to the mind set of the child.
Further traumatic events in childhood years like death of a near one, change of school, physical illness, parental
disharmony, failure in class, & realizations that the economically well off children have all the benefits of a easy life
without any struggle all contribute to ones psyche.
d) Large turnabout events of life like change from educational institutions to the work place, change from one family to
another as in marriage, marital problems, having offspring, change from economic security of the father to economic insecurity
of an independent adulthood, all are unexpected stressors to the adult human. His
reactions to these changes are largely dependent on the Pavlovian Conditioning of the past by the parents, teachers, society
and other influences constituting his inner circle. He is conditioned to respond
in a particular manner as dictated by the concepts and ideology of his inner circle.
These responses need not be necessarily correct for the situation or acceptable to the individual; but he is forced
by his unconscious conditioning to proceed in the custom dictated manner.
Repressions build up in the mind creating
great conflict. The individual pushes these to the back of the mind in an attempt
to ignore or forget the conflict rather than active solving of the conflict. These
then manifest in hostile behavioural patterns in the later stages of life.
e) Stressors at work Place, Social life,
personal & family fronts are of the following types- frustration stressors, performance stressor, physical stressor, Bereavement
Stressor, Threat stress or all cause psychological turbulence.
sub divided the mind into conscious and unconscious mind. The unconscious consisted of ego, i.e. what one thinks he is & superego ie what one thinks he should be. Conflicts in ego & superego create all the turmoil
The Ego & superego are defined by ones past experiences and psychological interpretation of these.
At every moment there is
a clash of ego and superego. For e.g. a man might feel he is capable of being
the chief manager but he is actually just a salesman. There is now a conflict.
Conflicts are either pushed
away to the back of the mind (resulting in repressions) or psychodefences are used to camoflague them. These can be rationalization, intellectualizing, philosophising, escapism, etc. These further compound the problem as whenever the psychodefence is broken the conflict come back with
Chemicals like noradrenaline, serotonin & dopamine excesses or deficiencies
in the brain have been blamed in depression and mania respectively. Increased dopamine has been blamed for schizophrenic episodes
(5) REANALYSIS OF MENTAL
us analyse the different spectrum of the so called mental illness from a different perspective altogether
A) NEUROSIS (ANXIETY)
Worry and Anxiety Responses to stress are usual first line defences to stressors or events perceived as threatening. Adrenaline is released to prepare for a flight or fight response. These cause trembling, sweating, palpitation, hyperbreathing etc, since the body is actually
preparing to combat the stressful event. Unconscious memory of the past anxiety provoking events may cause a general sense
of free floating ever present anxiety. So are we justified in labelling these as unwanted?
B) MANIC DEPRESSIVE (AFFECTIVE) DISORDERS
& mood Dips are responses to frustration and unfulfilled desires let downs to unusually high expectations or super ego - ego conflicts.
The mind may react by extreme sadness and total withdrawal which
may serve to decrease input and stimuli to the already tired mind ? sleeplessness due to subconscious efforts in problem solving,
feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness since the psychodefences generated to rationalize or intellectualize ones inadequacies
are now broken and this may continue till the time the mind comes to terms with ones actual capabilities and worth or worthlessness.
Can we debate on the utility of the bodys Inherent defence mechanisms?
Or should we blame the rise/fall in neurotransmitter chemicals
in the brain for the mental states without knowing with certainty whether these are the cause or the effect of the mental
C) PSYCHOTIC DISORDERS[SCHIZOPHRENIA]
of schizophrenia, patients are usually intellectuals with a high degree of intelligence
psychological conflicts reach a point where they can be tolerated no more and all logical thought associations break probably as an attempt to release the mind from intellectual burdens of reasoning. Hence the inappropriate emotional responses can be easily understood for e.g. if a
patient laughs at the death of a dear one, it is because he can no longer bear
the sadness of the bereavement and hence, his mind as a defence mechanism has broken all logical connection between death
hallucinate and hear voices telling him whats he want to hear or what he is afraid
of confronting and similarly see visions which satisfy his desires or expectations.
are mind generated real time fantasies which temporarily satisfy the patients ego. for
e.g. One may believe he is the prime minister at last and may hear phone calls from
his cabinet ministers.
paranoid delusions (suspiciousness) may take the form of suspicions of sexual infidelity or irrational beliefs of persecution
etc. For e.g. one may believe that he is being followed by the Mafia, or that his wife is having an extramarital relationship
with his boss.
delusions may be created by the brain as a defensive mechanism to stabilize the turbulence in the mind. There are already existing doubts in the patients mind which tear him apart by creating a conflict between
doubt and fact. The brain creates the delusions to endorse a final evidence,
thus allowing the patients mind to conclude in one direction, the direction of the doubt.
The delusions therefore serve the purpose of settling the conflict in the patients mind.
(D) PERSONALITY DISORDERS
these, we have to first define normal personality. Inappropriate and socially unacceptable behaviour may be very well justified
by the individual displaying the disorder.
(E) SENILE DEMENTIA
causing loss of memory in the elderly (or Alzheimers disease) may be a process in which memory loss could be a necessary component
of ageing, as a defence to unwanted anxieties to the individual nearing the end of his life.
This can be compared to the somatic diseases of cataract, Osteoarthritis etc which compulsorily reduce the exertional
activities of the elderly, to comply with the reduced cardiac function, which is concomittantly present
So Does Insanity signify
the cracking of the human mind due to unresolved psychological conflicts OR Is it an unconscious compensatory mechanism of
the human mind to deal effectively with repressions, unfulfilled desires and unacceptable memories? The result of these causing
temporary stabilization of the superego ego imbalances. This is probably necessary to avoid catastrophes in life like suicide, homicide and destructive behaviour
So should we look down
upon these mental states as mental disease or should we consider them to be compensated states of the troubled human mind.
We need to understand that
the various manifestations of the so called mental illnesses are nothing but enactions and verbalizations of countless unfulfilled
desires and expectations that characterize the species called human beings.As Lang has put it,
“Insanity is the reaction of a sane mind
to an insane society”.
The Way of the JKD
The solution to complexity is
always Simple ,
The path in tortuosity is always Direct ,
The rules of battle are dictated
by Effectivity ,
The actions in life, by being Fluid,
The right thoughts always result from Open mindedness.
Knowing your ignorance is the best part of knowledge ,
The way towards this you may call Jeet Kune Do,
Where there is one thought , one action
And No mind ,
There the mind will react spontaneously and flow in freedom
Like the reflection in a mirror
Like an echo to a sound
Action will be free, unconscious and unhindered
Like water assuming the shape of its
JKD is the emptyness in a vaccum,
JKD is the overflow in an ocean,
JKD is the movement in stillness
And stillness in motion
‘The moon in the stream’.
JKD is that Nothing
which differentiates a winner from a loser,
JKD is that effortless effort,
Which reaps success ,even in adversity.
JKD is the music to the noise of the mind,
JKD is ‘the flow’ in the dance of life.
The Ideal student of the Arts
pursuing the arts, the student decides that he needs expertise in a particular field.
to give it all he’s got, if he needs it that badly.
to obtain the learning from an institution or a teacher.
the institution/teacher, the best of all available choices
to follow the teacher till he learns to a level of competence, decided by himself and his teacher.
an agreement in principle, that he will follow the ethics of the Teacher – student
students priorities should be as follows:
first, Teaching next, Goal thereafter and Self last. Forgetting these priorities
will result in disaster.
unspoken ethics are those of open mindedness, trust, obedience and commitment
towards your own betterment..
student has to be open and keep aside his preformed notions.
the student is a novice, he is to trust the Teachers word in the art, even if
proved otherwise. (He is in no position to judge right or wrong!)
Teacher will always explain the subject in great detail, often thinking out aloud, the associated insecurities and complications
of every alternative.
student may be put on a pedestal sitting on the same level as the teacher in order to teach the student how to think.
student should not think less of such a teacher who treats him like an intelligent human being capable of understanding the
reasons and the logic behind every decision.
teacher who allows questioning of his concepts (which he follows with total reverence),
is not uncertain or hesitant, but has total conviction in his teaching and hence
is open to debate.
student should never fail to agree on matters backed up by strong logic. In the advent of being unable to accept the facts
as they stand, He should confide in the Teacher, and confess his limitations and seek advice.
the student must simply keep his mind aside and obey, as now the time for reasoning is over and the time for action is here.
agreed in mind, the student must never act on impulse. This is a totally wasting the teachers efforts and is making a farce
of the debate and a joke of oneself.
occurs, the student must apologize and at once correct his action. He is to realize that he, the student is the benefactor
of the teaching and not the Teacher.Such a student needs to clear his concepts, since he will not be able to progress without
doing that. This has to be done all by oneself, without the Teachers help.
obedience and adherence to the decided path might result in a loss to the student. It is to be realized that this loss is
incidental or is necessary for growth or for preserving ones loyalty to the teaching system.
Teaching system is always more precious than the present objective. Since without the Teaching there will be no goal at all.
student must be totally committed in his efforts towards betterment.
Teaching should always result in success fir the student and pride for the Teacher. A good Teacher can never be repaid, except
by crediting the victory to his teachings.
who teaches with his heart, body and soul is never to be hurt, for there can never be any thing more despicable in the student
Teacher will always forgive, no matter what , if the student is truly prepared to honestly follow the ethics of the relationship.
to be remembered that no relationship can equate the Teacher-student relationship, as this is a selfless relationship
the student stands to win and the teacher only basks in another’s victory.
only when the Teaching is over, and the student stands on his own, battling for
victory, that the firm and reassuring support of the sheltering and protecting Teachers hand is most missed,
is when one tries his best to rewind the casual words spoken with concern by his very dear Teacher.
at one time, your battles were his own. Then the realization dawns, You were
carefully held and carried through the then rough times!
that is when you miss him the most and you feel the loneliest…..