This article the Insanity of Treating the Insane first appeared in Healthcare News on July 9, 2019.
“Heaven wheels above you, displaying to you her eternal glories, and still your eyes are on the ground.” – Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri
There Is No Safety In Numbers
Not long ago, health care practitioners treated mental illness by severing connections in the brain’s prefrontal cortex. Surgeons employed this procedure known as “the lobotomy” to reduce symptoms of mental disorder. Those who survived the lobotomy sometimes experienced relief from mental illness as well as less spontaneity, responsiveness, self-awareness and self-control. While the lobotomy has drifted off to medical obscurity, 75 years later an estimated 20 million Americans still embrace the idea that restricting the intellectual and emotional range of the sick mind also cures it.
Treating mental illness relies upon the subjective, while somatic matters approach illness through diagnostic testing which can often yield a more precise diagnosis. That which is psycho has a seemingly unfair disadvantage to somatic, although general medicine has enjoyed far more decades to advance from its early days of leeches and amputations. By comparison mental health treatment exists in its infancy. For the patient, opioids have replaced the orbitoclast (lobotomy’s primary surgical instrument, described as an ice pick with some gradation marks), although the nine million Americans who suffer from mental illness fall somewhere within an estimated 20 million also suffering from substance use disorder (“SUD”).
The concentric circle occupied by the brain both sick and sickened may as well be infinite, at least to the extent modern medicine understands co-occurring disorders. … Read more →