Pain and neuroses are the consequences when love and other needs are unfulfilled.
According to Dr. Janov most shrinks (The American Psychological Association has 137.00 members) in the US lack the skill to cure imprinted mental pain. Often propelled by their own hidden pain they are fooled to study head-shrinking techniques they believe will help others. They, simply, work as jailors in our “prison of pain”. Like “screws” in the penitentiary system, they exploit their “jailbirds” and become part of an eternally repeated pattern of quick fixes, dominated by painkilling in stead of curative treatments. They do not need to be involved in drug trafficking because they are licensed to provide legal painkillers.
According to DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and The American Heritage Medical dictonary, the category of neurosis has been eliminated. In a neurotic world where the medical and psychological profession fail to cure their patients with mental illness this controversial and “magical” elimination of a well descriptive word caused me to reflect on my experiences and feelings during and after the process when I demystified my epilepsy. How long can a neurotic society be willing to, at the price of a shortened life potential, over-tax its human and material resources?
Neuroses can either be a stimulation / strength (short term) or a depression / disability (short and long term). They develop as a consequence of that our basic needs, of love, touch, care and attention, are neglected before and after birth. They are evolution’s life saving reactions in order to alleviate the pain it means not to get our needs satisfied in a natural, unconditional way. These painkilling habits, in the baby / toddler, grow later into neurotic patterns, which if not eternally maintained lead to memories/feelings/anxieties/mental illnesses rooted in the original pain, which became imprinted and repressed because we had been too vulnerable to survive if we had felt it as babies.
After having read the “Primal Scream”, I thought the original imprinted pain, the root of my epilepsy was my only problem. However, my personal journey over decades has been more disturbed and affected by neurosis. I discovered slowly, while I tried to change that the supposed allies, in my surrounding, were my secret neurotic “enemies”. But if the neuroses of the surrounding were difficult to overcome, that was nothing compared to the difficulty of overcoming my own. My pain was a sine qua non to my neuroses, and they were impossible to detect and dissolve until the imprinted pain was re-lived. It was only then I discovered that they had been there and been the driving force in my neurotic life pattern.
Only when I understood the functions of my neuroses and their importance for my survival, I realized that they represented the personality / identity I showed outwardly. My original potential never could develop because of my unbearable pain which automatically propelled my neurotic compensatory acting.
I will never be able to evaluate the differences between the outcome of my neurotic life with a potential non-neurotic behavior. I can only limit myself by saying that they had been different and that a non-neurotic life-pattern had been the natural way, free from anxiety and humiliation which a need for painkilling neuroses created. The suffering was partly compensated by a false value system beyond our true needs. This value system with its tempting economical and social compensations, mainly for the successful, is very hard to change. This social, economical and political paradigm makes the world spin around. Even if, I managed to resign, I am still part of it. That is maybe why a theoretical, non-neurotic Primal Paradigm is struggling in the background in spite of its obvious advantages.
I have been fortunate to experience and overcome traumatic, repressed pain and lifesaving neuroses. The repressed pain propelled my unusual journey in my search for a normal life and eventually I could share love, care and sanity with other human beings. With a lot of luck in a very competitive world I was given the chance to learn, the hard way, to fight myself to both mental and physical health. The result was “not perfect, but with excellent constituents”. When my neuroses did not dissociate me from my real needs, my life became, eventually, easy to understand and to live.
Is the official elimination of the word neurotic a sign of how deep the general pain/neurosis is? It seems to be an evolutionary part of the Birth of Our Culture. Properly used and interpreted, the word neurotic is an excellent description of much of the behavior we, daily, “see” around us.
Like Sartre I don’t like official honors. However, since your personal comment not will be considered an official honor, I feel proud to accept it. My own Simone de Beauvoir, Eva, (who helps me keep my primal life experiences straight and simple, making them possible to understand for non-insiders of “Evolution in Reverse”), gave me the following comments:
“I like your description of how you, eventually, managed to understand your neuroses. You discovered them and understood them after you had experienced and made contact with your pain. You only knew that you had been neurotic, when you no longer needed to filter out your pain with the help of neuroses.
All around us, we have built up a value system that makes it easy or at least possible, to live with our neuroses, which probably very few see through. After you have seen through this value system, after a lot of pain, you find it easier to be part of it.
Yor comments, I think, show that you changed during the year I have followed what you think and write. The comments may be a sign of resignation, but the conclusion is very positive. You know what you do! Eva”
I’m trying to become a writer who does therapies, not a therapist who writes!