Day #4 - Wednesday - July 3, 1974
Your Mirror Can Also See Inside You
When I wrote that psychiatrists and psychologists ruined more marriages than they saved, I wasn't surprised by the angry reaction.
I had contended that shrinks look at ordinary marriage problems as "cases," to be dissected, rearranged and deranged, leaving the "patient" totally disoriented.
What would happen if aÂ physicianÂ examined a patient and said, "You have such and such a disease. Now do something about it," without prescribing treatment.
Mother Nature is like an oyster. She heals emotional wounds through passage of time. An oyster finds a grain of sand has forced its way into the shell. As time goes on its mucous continually covers the irritant until eventually what was a sore spot becomes a magnificent pearl.
However, if one instead took a sharp instrument and sliced the pearl in half, the only result would be to expose the original grain of sand, the irritant.
According to a report in The Chronicle, behavioral researchers have shown unmistakably that psychiatry is a very imprecise tool in diagnosing mental illness.
On specific diagnoses (labeling a patient "depressive") psychiatrists can agree among themselves only about 40 per cent of the time.
Any couple having problems in their marriage can be considered depressive. Instead of sitting down and saying simply (as he should), "Look, you two. Grow up. Marriage is a give and take proposition and one of you is taking too much," the psychiatrist takes your time and money to tell you that because your mother slapped you across the mouth once for talking back, you've hated your mother ever since and consequently hate your husband, or wife.
The best psychiatric treatment you can have is taking a long truthful look in the mirror and saying honestly to yourself, "Okay, what am I doing wrong?"
Your mirror will tell you. The basic trouble with marriages is too many of you are afraid to face the truth and hope an outsider will agree.
You don't need psychiatry. All you need is the Count Marco column.
The title of this column reminds me of the Friedrich Nietzsche quote: "And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you."