Re: Grids & schizophrenics

Esteban Laso (
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 17:30:42 -0500


Tony Downing wrote:

>Doesn't this gloss over the fact that their deviant contruals are even more
>trouble to themselves? Paranoid thoughts and terrors are no fun, even if,
>from within the frame of reference of the sufferer, they may seem
>justified; a lot of schizophrenics are very unhappy; a lot commit suicide.

As Goffman said, "being" and "becoming crazy" are the offsprings of the
social stereotypes of being "sane", "healthy" and "normal". But are
delusions "more trouble" to the deluded than to his neighbors? I don't think
so -and would use here the psychoanalytic cleavage between "egosyntonic" and
"egodystonic" symptoms. Some people feel a great distress with their
delusions, some others not. To some, getting at a sound delusion is a great
relief! Anyway, their experiences are troublesome, for them and for their

>I'm not trying to argue against the idea that a constructivist account of
>delusions, in schizophrenics and others, has a lot to offer but there is
>now plenty of evidence, e.g. from abnormalities in eye movements, from
>brain scans etc. and from genetics, of an underlying neuropathology in
>schizophrenia. Therefore, an adequate constructivist account of the lives
>and thoughts of these troubled people must encompass the neuropathology
>which can distort the inputs to their construing, and perhaps also some of
>the processes of construing at all.

Sorry if this bothers, but is this so? Is there an "undelying
neuropathology" in schizophrenia? I'm not saying that there is no such thing
as "neuropathology", nor that it cannot account for some aspects (or some
cases) of schizophrenia. But is every schizophrenia a neuropathology? I
don't think so -actually, I _strongly_ doubt it! Jim Mancuso told us, a
couple of days ago, the weakness of the "medical disease" narrative of
schizophrenia. I agree with him -there is something to be done!

Now, Jim also commented on the greek roots of "methanoia" and the validity
that implies in the scientific market. Well, that was my first
suggestion -to ponder over the marketability (sorry for the neologism) of
our terms. But there is still more to say. The original concept was
"methanoical journey", the quest for a new integration. Schizophrenia, like
all the other medical pigeonholes, is an intersection of many converging
lines -and can be construed in many different levels. Why not focus on the
lines themselves, not in the knots they tie? Maybe then we'll be able to
disentangle the web...
And I find myself trying to say what Kelly said long before -and way better:
let's use propositional constructs, not preemptive or constellatory... Let's
see the processes the so-called "psychos" have to face, rather than their
places in our diagnostic manuals.

Esteban Laso