Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Speaking of heirs

This is huge, the finding that children improve in their depression if mother is treated and improves. Augustus John Rush proves an heir to Benjamin Rush, MD, signer of the Declaration of Indepenence, in proving a mechanism of not only independence from psychic pain but toward, in seeing God given inalienable rights, humanity. I think of my favorite psychiatrist joke, which is about our, the psychiatrist's interest, in proving 'You (no, really) hate your mother.' The psychoanalysts, in my understanding, see depression as a regression to the oral sadistic phase, think of the baby with teeth who can bite and hurt the breast. The psyche of the infant is seen as both having and destroying the desired object. Such a mechanism may be explored in the movie Psycho, and why we relate to it. The man keeps his mummified dead mother, no longer able to nurture. He keeps her because he was not able to take life from her but the memory of the hope, ? and guilt, compels. He seeks a new object but treats her like he would have his mother when an unfulfilled infant in sadistically killing her after uncovering her nakedness and having the nurturing breast. The child as we do ambivalently in the movie in identifying with the creepy character feels guilty and thrilled. If mother is really damaged, depressed, we as the infant or child don't know that we didn't do it and feel guilty, regret our sadism, draw back unfulfilled, depressed. Like the religious faithful who are relieved that G-d is not injured, the child is reassured that mother is not injured when he regresses to such a phase. So it is helpful that she is not depressed. But this is an idea, John has presented you with data and you may grow your own elaboration.

7 comments:

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

testing comments

oldhippichick said...

OK, I can tell you my mother is seriously depressed. (I actually think she has bigger issues than that mentally, but I am not a doctor.) I know she goes to a psychiatrist and is on tons of heavy duty stuff and still can not function. I expected her to have some improvement and at least get out of bed and try, but NO. I feel something is wrong. Maybe I don't understand depression. We have never ever been close. After my father died when I was 17, mom and I really were at a distance. She booted my brother and I out and moved some other man and his kids in our home. Then that fell apart in 6 months and there were others. She demands for us to 'help' her. She creates too much drama and negativity for me. She belittles me and accuses me of controlling her life.She tells her friends terrible things about my brother and I. Our needs were never thought of. Therre were always conditions made if we needed something. Now, I am ok with all this, but, now she is not well, lives alone and is depressed. She needs help and care. Frankly there is no help for her...until she wants it. So, I refuse to keep some mummified version of her in my house or mind, for that matter. Maybe I am cruel, maybe I am not sensitive, I don't know. But, I doknow one thing, I am not depressed. I love my home, other family members, and my friends. I care for my pets, work, and go to school so I have goals. I create art and garden. I feel at peace. I visit her in small chunks and that is all. She is a stranger to me. If I were not related to her, I would not be attracted to her as 'my kind of person.' It is sad, I hate it, but I go with it. I used to feel guilty, as this is what she was good at, making you feel guilty. But once I figured out the game, I just don't play.I am too busy gardening. AND LIVING. lol. I guess seeing her state of mind and living has propelled me to be something different. Maybe that was good!

Just thought I would comment.

Michael said...

I comment on 'Psycho' because it affects people. They might want to know what psychological issues are perhaps sort of subterranean in how they are affected and in so doing consider that the theory about oral development is no weirder than we are. In discussing 'Pscyho,' we go from a general principle about the attempted integration of a (nurturing) mother in the infant's psyche to this operatic miscarriage, which exemplifies something of the mechanism. A. John Rush's experimental result stimulated that reflection. One might say that, when mother got better, the child experienced the mother as not mummified and they, mother and child, were better able to work through the child's oral demand. One of the issues left out of my discussion and brought up by your objection is that developmentally this is a 0-2 or 3 years of age task but it will be returned to, the regression I referred to, especially if there are critical problem with it. Many people return to it in religion, experiencing a regression in the service of the ego, to an ideal and communal parent. I'm glad you don't have a mummified mother at home. I was thinking that might be kind of unusual, but then it occurred to me that there was a big to do at the funeral of Milosevic,10,00 people attended, but later his daughter somewhat sardonically said she wanted to have him moved to a cemetery, that 'nobody was buried in their back yard;' so related issues occur.

Trish said...

It makes sense to me that if the mother is treated then the child will improve, if for no other reason than the anxiety that a child must have with a depressed parent (particulary if the mother is depressed) I know I'm just a layman, but that is my two cents.

Michael said...

You'd be surprised perhaps that when I have had a chance set out to demonstrate chemistry or pharmacology that 'make sense,' I have sometimes proved my ideas significantly but helpfully wrong. There is kind of the thrill of a horse race in science. So there is something to not ending up in the bushes. I guess you are giving the de minimis interpretation, could ask what 'anxiety' is being overcome, 'anxiety' being fear of an event from present going into future. In my argument, the 'anxiety' is that the child's wish for incorporating the mother eternally damages or destroys her.

Trish said...

Does anxiety always stem back to childhood, or can it begin in adulthood b/c of stressors? Does the person who suffers from anxiety have a predisposition for it or can it happen like getting a cold if conditions are right? Does my question make sense? I hope so.

michael said...

Of course. A person can be anxious about getting their taxes done which is why I am doing them today. It is intuitively apparent though that a 1 year old is not psychologically the same as a 58 year old. And, in part for this reason, the impact of a depressed mother is, as you inferred, going to be different depending on the age of the person. Psychoanalysis, and I am no expert in it, through observation of children and analysis of adults has devolped ideas about the key anxieties faced at early stages of development. Some of the confusion though is in the fact that one may have a critical deficiency through biology or experience in an area(s) of growth and one will regress (go back in psychological state) from a further developmental stage to shore that up; alternatively very adverse events may cause one to regress without the prospect of support. The experiments of Rush et al. led me to reflect on ideas I learned in psychoanalytic theory. I think he would say that treatment based on a cognitive model, see M. Linehan, which looks at present relationships for those with some of these problems is better than deliberate investigation of the past. Reflecting further on your question, just as there are normal, potential and real, adverse outcomes, so there is normal fear of that outcome and that which is related to excessively unresolved critical periods.