Sunday, September 14, 2014

REPORTAGE ON A MENTALLY ILL CITY

On first arriving in this city, in my capacity as a trained psychoanalyst, i was struck by the indifference with which my arrival was greeted. This indifference, i soon discovered was an ineffectually concealed belligerence. Clearly i was an unwelcome presence and my being here,in this official capacity was, with people accustomed to dissimulation, an unnerving encounter.

Observably a simulacrum of seemliness prevails. This is a people who are uncompromisingly moralistic. Sometimes their moral sense is intractable. But it is soon discernible that such a rigid adherence to morality camouflages their depredations. While publicly they denounce aberrant behavior they nurse ,in their imaginations, rococo fantasies of incest and subversive neurosis. The more their imaginations betray their apocryphal standards the more irreproachable their outward demeanor becomes.

This populace has an inveterate propensity towards narcissism. They all believe that the selves they present so assiduously are the selves they actually are. Though their unconscious attests to the nebulousness of any self conception they are an intransigent lot. Habituated to repression and overcompensating an insidious unconscious with dubious probity their denial of their inwardness, inversely proportional ,in its ferociously redoubled self censorship, with disquieting reminders of it, is conspicuous.

They are a neurotic lot. In a subterranean dimension of their minds they are people who believe that they can have anything. A pervasiveness of guilt, a guilt they experience with immeasurable resentment, belies their potentiality for self destructive behavior. Among their young teens instances of self harm and anorexia/bulimia are glaring reminders that the unconscious is ineluctably inveigled into their conscious minds and the contradictory intersections between the two produce devastating consequences.

It is also surprising, though in retrospect incontrovertible that they have a very high proportion of mental illness. Their defense mechanisms, predicated on denial, are insufficient as a bulwark against insanity. By counterpointing misshapen chaos with compartmentalizations they endeavor, through an incompensatory superimposition of rationality, to counteract neurosis. But,as stated earlier, such protective measures founder and collapse.

Ultimately in their simultaneous valorization and impugning of the mentally ill they demonstrate a singular lack of empathy. Their indefatigable discourses around what constitutes madness renders them incapable of apprehending the trauma the mentally ill face . They create institutions around mental illness yet see the mentally ill as incapable of resuming subjectively fulfilling life . Rates of recovery are high but rates of relapse and recurrent hospitalizations, augmented by an obdurate allegiance to a norm , reveal the amorphousness of their scaffoldings.

Conclusion- A state of avoidance, of not creating a healthy dialogue around madness, has cost this town dearly. My own attempts at restitution, foiled by their resistance, has left me concluding that unless a cataclysmic rupture shatters this precarious false equilibrium, these self destructive patterns will tautologously replicate in multitudinous variations, betokening eventual annihilation.

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