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R.D Laing was a psychiatrist who espoused the idea that schizophrenics chose to "go crazy".

Here's a summary of his beliefs: http://www.sonoma.edu/users/d/daniels/laingsummary.html

What do people think of his ideas? I'm intrigued by them although I disagree that psychosis should be treated without medication. I keep thinking back of my recent experiences and wondering if I had chosen the psychosis.

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He held some sway in the 70's, probably moreso in the UK than elsewhere. The Politics of Experience was an interesting read. His poetry not so much. I found his writings more interesting than practical. I guess I became jaded pretty early in my career. I did rise up to his defense once, though. I was watching an interview with him on Patrick Winston's 'Biography' show on the original Arts channel (later to become A&E). I always loved Patrick's interviews, but he simply lambasted Laing in this one. One of the few times I've written a letter of complaint to a media host. Rather recently, his son wrote a very scathing bio. I've avoided it.

But as someone who really thought outside the box regarding Schizophrenia (I was also a big fan of Harry Stack Sullivan in my early years), he was definitely worth reading. We all need a conceptual Ctrl-Alt-Delete every once in awhile.

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I don't think his 'choice' hypothesis is borne out by research or experience. Especially with the great progress being made in genetics. Three years ago Harvard researchers identified 3 genes associated with SZ and Bipolar. They were able to correctly identify patients with SZ/BD 80% of the time. I think SZ is probably one MI with the least personal control.

a.m.

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