Psychoanalysis and Psychosomatic Medicine: Treating People as People

It has been with growing alarm that I have witnessed over the last 15 years the handling of people in need of help as things rather than people. Eric Fromm’s book The Heart of Man confirmed to me the narcissistic nature of that approach. The sufferer is faced by the terrifying realisation that they have ceased to be in the eye’s of those treating them. It is then that a final ultimate conclusion is reached. It is the “carers” who are sick when they fail to see people as people.

Psychoanalysis has over a hundred years of of clinical experience. We are all driven by psychology and it’s only in the cases of true neurological disease such as Alzheimer’s or in cases of brain damage that we become subject to biomechanical  factors.

Over the past few decades, psychosomatic medicine, like social psychiatry was sidelined by the hegemony of more reductionistic molecular biological approaches to psychiatry.  Since the 1970s there had been a decreasing interest in this potentially fruitful integration of biology and psychosocial/interpersonal factors (despite the availability of such excellent journals as Psychological Medicine, Stress Medicine, Psycho-oncology, International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, etc.).  Recently, there has been a swing back towards recognizing the clinical value of psychosomatic medicine.  It has been formally approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties.  There have been many names for this re-emerging field: consultation-liaison psychiatry, psychological medicine, etc.  Since 2001, the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the American Psychiatric Association, etc. have given formal approval to Psychosomatic Medicine as a subspecialty of psychiatry.

( Psychoanalysis and Psychosomatic Medicine, March 25, 2007 )

Sweeping away important discoveries vital to mankind has all the hallmarks of Fascism. Marinetti called for a move away from peace loving and knowledge into a world that celebrates violence and all the chaos and brutal loving passions. He did this in pre Mussolini Italy. There were others like him in Europe who manifested the necrophiliac tendencies identified by Eric Fromm and other Psychoanalysts. The world didn’t need them to tell them to go to war. The threat to peace and life loving people was obvious. 65 years later the same psychology lurks in our systems for helping those in distress. The “mental health” system is beset by an obsession with suffering, death and toxic treatments. As well as a narcissism that is blind to the life of the people it deals with. The conclusion, at least to those who have escaped the tyranny or cured themselves of its coercion, becomes obvious. Necrophilia (in its meaning of a love of death, disease and decay) has taken over what should be a system that uses all the methods of healing at our disposal ancient and modern. It is an irony that one major tool – Psychonalysis – has fallen prey to the very psychological forces that it undestands and identifies.

I hope to see over the next few years or decades a realisation of the truth of what has happened. With clarity of mind comes the vision of what really abuses and destroys so many people, sometimes even with their own consent to that treatment. We escaped nuclear war. Fromm identifies the withdrawal from truly loving life that caused so many to casually consider total destruction. I have identified elsewhere the nature of toxic pharmaceuticals as a chemical nuclear weapon against the mind and body. We are well away from the horrors that hung over the world before 1989. But we must continue to end another, less well known nuclear terror and Cold War.

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