“Crazy Theory”

“Insanity — a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.” ― R.D. Laing

[ . . . ] “In Laing’s view, we treat people who experience themselves as robots, machinery, or animals as crazy, but we don’t find anything crazy in theories that treat people as robots or animals. Our theories of madness may be madder than the language spoken by those who are ‘mad’. The ‘word-salad’ of the schizophrenic may contain more insight into the inner world than the psychiatric, medical, or psychoanalytic language we translate it into. This is the basis of all Laing’s thinking – our theories freeze and reify experience, and we need to be freed to listen. They stop us from actually listening to the ‘mad’, safely putting us on the side of the sane. In this way, however, we repeat the same fragmented, robotic, split, and depersonalised speech that we hear from the schizophrenic.” [ . . . ]

Legacies of ‘Anti-Psychiatry’ and R.D. Laing – By Benjamin Noys

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