[ExI] Science or Scientism?

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 13 22:32:39 UTC 2018

The relationship between mental patients and staff reminds me of the one
between cops and suspects.  A big gap is there in both cases, and the cop
and the staff member are both afraid of the suspect or patient.  That makes
them more susceptible to violence.  And second, the patient and the suspect
are both dehumanized, like the Jews were to the Nazis, so that something
done to them is not really something done to a fully human person.

"One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest"  Ever see that?  What did you think of
the part played by Jack Nicholson?  Did you think he was 'crazy'?  That is,

He wasn't.  He was perfectly sane but a psychopath.  A rather harmless
one.  When they gave him shock treatment, it was not as a treatment but as
a punishment, since neither the psychopath nor the psychotic benefits from
shock treatment - only depressives do, and not all of them.  As that did
not work, they gave him a lobotomy.  Dark days in the treatment of mental
patients.  As most of them have been.

bill w

On Tue, Nov 13, 2018 at 3:58 PM SR Ballard <sen.otaku at gmail.com> wrote:

> Abuse by staff in centers is so, so common. I have been verbally harassed
> and threatened by staff, threatened with restraints, and with heavy drugs.
> And I’ve also been threatened with police action and forced into “high
> security” wards before. For honestly, not doing very much. For example,
> saying the word “hell” or because of a stigma attached to my diagnosis.
> I’ve seen people given shots and five-point restraints and all of that.
> And it’s definitely shocking, disturbing stuff.
> To a certain extent I blame them, and to an extent I don’t. I understand
> why a culture of abuse nearly always grows in places like that, not that I
> condone it. It’s a similar reason to why guards brutalize inmates— it’s a
> natural outgrowth of how the institution is set up. For example Japanese
> prisons rarely have any of the kind of violence that American ones do. But
> that’s because they are managed in a completely different way to American
> prisons.
> I think it wouldn’t be so much of a problem if people just understood
> what’s expected of them (as a patient) in psych. When they get in, they’re
> not in a place where they really can learn.
> And different setups really do matter. Like the difference between psych
> at a county facility versus private hospital is nearly indescribable. The
> private psych was honestly quite helpful. County psych is honestly very
> dangerous at times.
> SR Ballard
> On Nov 13, 2018, at 1:22 PM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>  For example, my mother suffered from catatonic depression for about a
> year after losing one of her jobs.
> That reminds me of one of the uglier aspects of working in a mental
> hospital - harassment by the staff.  Once we had a patient with catatonia
> and he exhibited waxy flexibility.
> So the staff would put his arms and/or legs into a certain position and he
> would hold it just like that.  Then another position, etc.  Sadly, the
> patient knew exactly what they were doing and that they were laughing at
> him the whole time, and it made him hostile.
> I also saw a guy punched.  All of the above happened when I was just an
> aide.  Aides would never do any of this stuff around upper staff.  Some
> staff were really cruel.
> bill w
> On Mon, Nov 12, 2018 at 11:50 PM SR Ballard <sen.otaku at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I’m quite inclined to agree with you on all counts here. If I knew that
>> my child would have issues such as Downs, micro encephalitis, hydro
>> encephalitis, etc, I would not keep the child. Whether that meant getting
>> an elective, or giving up for adoption.
>> To be honest, I’m not sure I’ll have biological children anyway. Firstly,
>> while I do have a high IQ, and come from a family with high IQ, I had very
>> difficult emotional disconnection growing up.
>> Until 16 I thought there were only 3/4 emotions and all the rest were
>> figures of speech. I could not read facial expressions almost at all until
>> I taught myself using some online resources meant to teach
>> micro-expressions and lie detection. I am quite bad with faces, to be point
>> I have on occasion not recognized my own parents (for example after they
>> get a haircut, etc). The real Turing point for me was reading a book on NLD
>> (Non-verbal Learning Disorder) written by a mother and her son who had the
>> condition. I have never identified with anyone in my life more than the boy
>> in that book. We experienced so many of the same struggles and many of the
>> stories she told about him could have just been straight out of my own
>> life.
>> I believe it is this book:
>> https://www.amazon.com/Bridging-Gap-Nonverbal-Learning-Disorder-ebook/dp/B001NMQZH6
>> In each of the chapters, she coaches parents through a different type of
>> situation they might face, and how to explain it to their child in a way
>> that will make sense. Reading those explanations was just... so profound
>> and explained so much. I literally cannot explain how much this book really
>> changed my life (as lame as that may sound).
>> Additionally, for about 12 years I suffered with mental health issues,
>> which have just recently let up. I have spent enough time in psych hospital
>> to know exactly what you mean when it comes to budgeting issues. These
>> issues are quite sever and run in the family. For example, my mother
>> suffered from catatonic depression for about a year after losing one of her
>> jobs.
>> But probably, the bigger reason I probably won’t have kids is because I’m
>> terribly introverted (quite content to never leave the house) and frankly,
>> I scare most of the guys I date. Not that I have anything against eternal
>> bachelorhood. It has it’s perks.
>> But I do wonder, somewhat, why there isn’t a more effective voting bloc
>> for Downs or MR in general. I understand why mental health doesn’t, as the
>> stigma is still quite intense in some regions, cultures, or religious
>> groups in the US. But it seems to be making a bit of progress. Out where my
>> mother lives, she used to do volunteer education services teaching people
>> that mental health issues were not caused by either Sin or Demons. It’s
>> still a very real belief in some parts of the US, unfortunately.
>> SR Ballard
>> On Nov 12, 2018, at 6:29 PM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> And it's a shame that so few states provide a level of quality education,
>> with special student Master's level education for the teachers.  No
>> surprise that life expectancy is better than the 70s.  But many were better
>> off in an institution.  Most people can't realize just how much time and
>> expertise it takes to raise a mentally retarded person, much less the
>> costs, and much less having to keep them at home for their lifespan.    Few
>> could be left home alone. Parent can get really frustrated with having a
>> child, in effect, living in their home all their lives.  Parents who do
>> this are saints, devoting most of their time to this.
>> When presented with these facts, many parents choose to abort after the
>> amniocentesis shows Down's.  Extremely controversial issue, of course.
>> Privacy laws went into effect long ago.  In my time you could stroll
>> through a hospital for the MR and peruse the hydrocephalics and all.  In
>> fact, I think the average person would be stunned.  George Wallace's wife,
>> then governor, went to Partlow (in Tuscaloosa) and came out crying on TV
>> and vowed to go to Montgomery and put through bills for a lot more money
>> for the MR and mentally ill, but with George Wallace pulling the strings,
>> it never happened. I'll bet most people would come out like Lurleen Wallace
>> did and have great compassion for the people who had to live and work in
>> those environments.  But whoever ran a political campaign mentioning money
>> for these people and the staffs?   Expert help is needed, but rarely
>> provided.  When I worked in the Mississippi state mental hospital (for $200
>> a month plus room and board, cooked by the inmates) you could get a job
>> there with a 2nd grade education.  Seriously.
>> Keep in mind that the MR make up more than 3% of the overall population,
>> and mental patients add much more to that, and you can see the level of
>> money needed to provide adequate care.  Given how many people are affected
>> by having these people in their families, one would think that there would
>> be effective lobbies.
>>  bill w
>> On Mon, Nov 12, 2018 at 6:01 PM SR Ballard <sen.otaku at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Nov 12, 2018, at 5:08 PM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>> I have no idea.  But I can tell you this:  I taught MR for several years
>>> in the 70s, and 25 was what was listed in the texts.  I have strong doubts
>>> that those afflicted are any better now than they were then.  It has really
>>> stuck in my mind, because, for one thing, that was the average, meaning
>>> about half were lower.  Trisomy really screws up your body.  Most -
>>> percentage unknown - die fairly young.  For one hint, averages are NEVER
>>> reported as ranges, only as single points, so whoever did that is a
>>> statistical moron.  Do you have a particular interest in this?
>>> bill w
>>> Well, perhaps things have actually changed somewhat, due to
>>> de-institutionalization. As a side effect of being raised in a supportive
>>> family environment, the life expectancy of those with Downs seems to have
>>> increased somewhat dramatically. And, due to changes in educational law
>>> (mandating public school accommodation) it seems that more are receiving
>>> education to a higher level than before— what the standard grade equivalent
>>> is, I’m not so sure.
>>> And no, I had no particular interest in it before this conversation, but
>>> considering how common it is, I was surprised that it isn’t better ... that
>>> there isn’t more straightforward information to the answers to my questions
>>> readily available online? Which, of course, piques my interest. I love
>>> learning things which have absolutely no practical application in my life.
>>> It’s a hobby that makes me quite good at trivia, but quite a bore at
>>> parties.
>>> I’m quite aware that averages are reported as a single number, just as
>>> you should be aware that most texts intended for a lay audience will
>>> instead list them as a range if they are not a pretty number, as decimals
>>> and “odd” numbers bother people. The only exception I can think of is body
>>> temperature in Fahrenheit.
>>> SR Ballard
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