Erica Jong Gets It Wrong

Erica Jong, the author, has posted to her Huffington blog an entry with the heading Guns and Madness.

So sad that the corporate media does not know what paranoid schizophrenic thinking is. I know because my college boyfriend and 1st husband had a paranoid schizophrenic breakdown.

As if Erica Jong, leading members of the APA, or anybody else knew exactly what “paranoid schizophrenic thinking is”. They simply don’t. Not only that, but she has joined this large body of people endeavoring to get Jared Lee Loughner off in multiple murder charges on a Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity plea. If unhappy, disgruntled, and suspicious equals “paranoid schizophrenic”, then there are a very large number of “paranoid schizophrenics” in the world that have not been caught and “treated” yet. We can only pray that their complaints about the hardships they face don’t drive them to go out, buy guns, and start shooting.

He thought his brain was controlled by a giant computer run by the government. He thought he could fly off the roofs of buildings. He thought he could walk on water. Fortunately, he did not have a gun — or I wouldn’t be alive today.

Jared apparently subscribed to views expounded by some of the conspiracy theorists current in today’s world. That’s a far cry from having a brain controlled by government computers, or possessing super or miraculous powers. Had he had thought he had super or divine powers, maybe he wouldn’t have needed his Glock 19.

My first love was treated with anti-psychotic drugs and later, much later, was able to have a fairly normal life — if he stayed on his medications. His story is not a tragedy like Jared Loughner’s.

Neuroleptic, better known by the misnomer anti-psychotic, drugs seldom prevent tragedies. More often neuroleptic drugs are the source of tragedy.

I suggest Erica Jong do a You Tube search for Tardive Dyskinesia, and while she’s at it, she should look for any You Tube video on psychiatric drugs featuring psychiatric survivor, Leonard Roy Frank, or psychologist, Dr. John Breeding. She also might pick up copies of investigative journalist Robert Whitaker’s Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic. Her knowledge on the subject is very limited.

Erica Jong is very hard on people who have been labeled by psychiatry when she calls Jared Lee Loughner a “paranoid schizophrenic”. She doesn’t seem to grasp the fact that the vast majority of people who have had any experience with the mental health/illness system are neither a danger to themselves nor a danger to others.

I think it would be a good idea for Ms. Jong, and other people of a prejudiced mindset like her’s, to make the acquaintance of a few more people who have been labeled by the mental health/illness system. She might even consider looking for examples of people who have fully recovered from a “serious mental illness” label. (They are out there. Believe me.) I feel certain that if she did so she wouldn’t have such negative feelings about them as she apparently still harbors towards her ex-lover.