Why is female vulnerability still only acceptable when it's neuroticised and personal; when it feeds back on itself? Why do people still not get it when we handle vulnerability like philosophy, at some remove?
While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.
The fact that compulsive drives for success will arise only in a competitive culture does not make them any less neurotic.
Also the natural sexual functions of establishing an intimate human contact frequently assume greater proportions. This is a well known fact about detached people for whom sexuality may be the only bridge to others, but it is not restricted to being an obvious substitute for human closeness. It shows also in the haste with which people may rush into sexual relations, without giving themselves a chance to find out whether they have anything in common or a chance to develop a liking and understanding. It is possible of course that an emotional relatedness may evolve later on. But more often than not it does not do so because usually the initial rush itself is a sign of their being too inhibited to develop a good human relationship.
Just this past summer, I took online courses in introductory logic and law through civilization. Often the weight of history, with its facts heaped upon facts requiring complex chains of inference to sort through – I mean complex for someone with the soft brain of a tomato merchant; for me the premises are obvious and the conclusions dire and inescapable – threatened to crush me, and I was ultimately forced to abandon the whole undertaking. By way of recovery, I spent the rest of the summer immersed in a Freudian meditation on some choice tabloids. The mysterious lives of celebrities make for challenging induction. The reasoning process involves navigating many gaps in our knowledge of them. What is certain is that under the iceberg of glitz and glamor lie neurotic, depraved individuals with bizarre habits and hobbies, people who think they’re above the law.
Religion is an attempt to get control over the sensory world, in which we are placed, by means of the wish-world, which we have developed inside us as a result of biological and psychological necessities. But it cannot achieve its end. Its doctrines carry with them the stamp of the times in which they originated, the ignorant childhood days of the human race. Its consolations deserve no trust. Experience teaches us that the world is not a nursery. The ethical commands, to which religion seeks to lend its weight, require some other foundations instead, for human society cannot do without them, and it is dangerous to link up obedience to them with religious belief. If one attempts to assign to religion its place in man’s evolution, it seems not so much to be a lasting acquisition, as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity.
The declining of responsibility for the self can also be hidden behind a pseudo-objectivity. A patient may make astute observations about himself and give a fairly accurate report of what he dislikes in himself. On the surface it seems as though he is perceptive and honest about himself. But he may be merely the intelligent observer of a fellow who is inhibited, fearful, or arrogantly demanding. Hence, since he is not responsible for the fellow he observes, the hurt to his pride is cushioned—all the moreso because the flashlight of his pride is focused on his faculty for keen observations.
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.
At times, Melete continued, it had seemed to her that this fact was what had created this behavior. Her sense of reality, in other words, had created something outside itself that mocked and hated her. But as I say, she said, those thoughts belong to the world of religious sensibility, which has become in our times the language of neurosis.
Both the mentally healthy and the neurotic are driven by the need to find an answer [to the problem of human existence], the only difference being that one answer corresponds more to the total needs of man, and hence is more conducive to the unfolding of his powers and to his happiness than the other. All cultures provide for a patterned system in which certain solutions are predominant, hence certain strivings and satisfactions.... The deviate from the cultural pattern is just as much in search of an answer as his more well-adjusted brother. His answer may be better or worse than the one given by his culture - it is always another answer to the same fundamental question raised by human existence. In this sense all cultures are religious and every neurosis is a private form of religion, provided we mean by religion an attempt to answer the problem of human existence.
A psychologist said to me, there are only two important questions you have to ask yourself. What do you really feel? And, what do you really want? If you can answer those two, you probably can leave your neuroses behind you.
That you find Kierkegaard frightful has warmed the cockles of my heart. I find him simply insupportable and cannot understand, or rather, I understand only too well, why the theological neurosis of our time has made such a fuss over him. You are quite right when you say that the pathological is never valuable. It does, however, cause us the greatest difficulties and for this reason we learn the most from it.
Our “increasing mental sickness” may find expression in neurotic symptoms. These symptoms are conspicuous and extremely distressing. But “let us beware,” says Dr. Fromm, “of defining mental hygiene as the prevention of symptoms. Symptoms as such are not our enemy, but our friend; where there are symptoms there is conflict, and conflict always indicates that the forces of life which strive for integration and happiness are still fighting.” The really hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. “Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.” They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted, still cherish “the illusion of individuality,” but in fact they have been to a great extent deindividualized. Their conformity is developing into something like uniformity. But “uniformity and freedom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible too. . . . Man is not made to be an automaton, and if he becomes one, the basis for mental health is destroyed.
Old Scully, who according to Jennifer, hadn't the imagination to think the worst. Something she said once, as though neurosis was an artform.
We will not read of that which hurts our pride or fears or 'feelings'. We forget, or gloss over, or excuse, an experience which injured the tentacles of our personality. We forget the pscyhiatrist's definition of a neurosis as 'refused pain'. In the same way we escape from mental pain. We refuse to believe what we do not like.
It was Freud's ambition to discover the cause of hysteria, the archetypal female neurosis of his time. In his early investigations, he gained the trust and confidence of many women, who revealed their troubles to him.Time after time, Freud's patients, women from prosperous, conventional families, unburdened painful memories of childhood sexual encounters with men they had trusted: family friends, relatives, and fathers. Freud initially believed his patients and recognized the significance of their confessions. In 1896, with the publication of two works, The Aetiology of Hysteria and Studies on Hysteria, he announced that he had solved the mystery of the female neurosis. At the origin of every case of hysteria, Freud asserted, was a childhood sexual trauma.But Freud was never comfortable with this discovery, because of what it implied about the behavior of respectable family men. If his patients' reports were true, incest was not a rare abuse, confined to the poor and the mentally defective, but was endemic to the patriarchal family. Recognizing the implicit challenge to patriarchal values, Freud refused to identify fathers publicly as sexual aggressors. Though in his private correspondence he cited seduction by the father as the essential point in hysteria, he was never able to bring himself to make this statement in public. Scrupulously honest and courageous in other respects, Freud falsified his incest cases. In The Aetiology of Hysteria, Freud implausibly identified governessss, nurses, maids, and children of both sexes as the offenders. In Studies in Hysteria, he managed to name an uncle as the seducer in two cases. Many years later, Freud acknowledged that the uncles who had molested Rosaslia and Katharina were in fact their fathers. Though he had shown little reluctance to shock prudish sensibilities in other matters, Freud claimed that discretion had led him to suppress this essential information. Even though Freud had gone to such lengths to avoid publicly inculpating fathers, he remained so distressed by his seduction theory that within a year he repudiated it entirely. He concluded that his patients' numerous reports of sexual abuse were untrue. This conclusion was based not on any new evidence from patients, but rather on Freud's own growing unwillingness to believe that licentious behavior on the part of fathers could be so widespread. His correspondence of the period revealed that he was particularly troubled by awareness of his own incestuous wishes toward his daughter, and by suspicions of his father, who had died recently.p9-10
I am an atheist and I consider religions to be a form of collective neurosis. I am not an enemy of the Catholics, as I am not an enemy of the tuberculars, the myopic or the paralytics; you cannot be an enemy of the sick, only their good friend in order to help them cure themselves.
The tenacity with which the neurotic adheres to any attitude is a sure indication that the attitude fulfills functions which seem indispensable in the framework of his neurosis.
The pride in intellect, or rather in the supremacy of the mind, is not restricted to those engaged in intellectual pursuits but is a regular occurrence in all neurosis.
Dr Allendy said that it was necessary to become equal to life, that the romantic was defeated by life, really died of it, whether by tuberculosis in the old days, or by neurosis today. I had never thought before of the connection between neurosis and romanticism. Wanting the impossible? Dying when unable to reach it? Not wanting to compromise?
Anyone who is truly crazy, in my book, wouldn't be able to understand the dialectic of crazy and not-crazy. Listen, I've worked for the pharmaceutical companies, they have a vested belief in making you believe that if you have a chemical imbalance you need them to be 'cured' of your current issues and personality. Indefinitely. Imagine diagnosing personality only in terms of its negative aspects. Does this strike you as a strategy designed for health? The only way to deal with a problem is to fucking deal with it. Get inside what positive motivation, what intention, makes you behave in the way you are... and how you could maybe satisfy that need in a healthier or at least more agreeable manner. America wants quick, easy and painless; being a real person is slow, difficult and very messy.
in this type of anxiety neurosis the anxious attitude is so intimately a part of the individual's method of evaluating stimuli, of orienting herself or himself to every experience, that he or she cannot separate him-or herself enough from anxiety to comprehend the goal of avoidance of, or freedom from, anxiety. What Nancy sought was to be able to step cautiously from rock to rock without falling; the idea or possibility of not being on a precipice at all did not occur to her.
Facing up to non-being enables us to put our life into perspective, see it in its entirety, and thereby lend it a sense of direction and unity. If the ultimate source of anxiety is fear of the future, the future ends in death; and if the ultimate source of anxiety is uncertainty, death is the only certainty. It is only by facing up to death, accepting its inevitability, and integrating it into life that we can escape from the pettiness and paralysis of anxiety, and, in so doing, free ourselves to make the most out of our lives and out of ourselves.
The demons are not easily dispatched, instead attaching themselves to otherwise beautiful things, a favorite food or a love note left for you, to see how you react when they rear up.
It is naturally a sign of inner liberation when a patient can squarely recognize his difficulties and take them with a grain of humor. But some patients at the beginning of analysis make incessant jokes about themselves, or exaggerate their difficulties in so dramatic a way that they will appear funny, while they are at the same time absurdly sensitive to any criticism. In these instances humor is used to take the sting out of an otherwise unbearable shame.
When preparing for Book One, I talked to a couple of psychiatrists about psychosomatic phenomena, neuroses and dissociative conditions, for example the so—called hysterical blindness suffered by many who saw the Killing Fields in Pol Pot’s Cambodia: their eyes objectively see, but they are not aware of it and are blind because they believe they can’t see. One specialist told me that among modern Western people, ’metaphorical’ symptoms such as Fredy or those Cambodians evince are much rarer now than earlier in the twentieth century or before. Nowadays most people are better equipped by education to verbalise their neuroses, and have lots of jargon in which to do so. For most of the dissociative dimension, I could draw on things I knew from within myself.
The origin of illness may be in the past, but the virulent crisis must be dynamically tackled. I believe in attacking the core of the illness, through its present symptoms, quickly, directly. The past is a labyrinth. One does not have to step into it and move step by step through every turn and twist. The past reveals itself instantly, in today’s fever or abscess of the soul.
Well, aren't you just saying it's better to be neurotic, sensitive, and miserable than unimaginative, adjusted and content? Is it really better?
Freud is all nonsense, the secret of neurosis is to be found in the family battle of wills to see who can refuse the longest to help with the dishes.
...for in that city [New York] there is neurosis in the air which the inhabitants mistake for energy.
[Judith Warner:] Our neurotic quest to perfect the mechanics of mothering can be interpreted as an effort to do on an individual level what we’ve stopped trying to do on a society-wide one.