Illness and Consciousness

Foucaultian Slip? We were visiting one of the relatives who is gravely ill today. Since she sleeps nearly all the time now, I brought my books along to to some reading and writing. I have been reading Foucault’s book, Madness, The Invention of an Idea, and posting my thoughts on this subject, which is very […]

Mental and Physical Illness

Organic pathology Physical ailments are much easier to recognize than mental disorders. For example, a person with the flu has a fever, aches and pains, and other recognizable signs; there are laboratory tests that can determine whether a person with a sore throat and a fever has an infection. A doctor can successfully treat the […]

Introduction to Madness

The family’s gone. So I thought I’d pick up some light reading. I frequently gravitate toward the philosophy section of the bookstore, and it was there I came upon the book Madness, The Invention of an Idea by Michel Foucault (Foulcault, M. translation: Sheridan, A.   Madness, The Invention of an Idea. New York: Harper Perennial Modern […]

Chicago Art

We made it in to Chicago again. I’ve always heard about the Chicago Art Institute, and finally got to go. We spent the whole day at there. It was delightful and reminded me of my younger days. I lived in New York City for quite a while and enjoyed “my” museums. I felt that some […]

Philosophical Musings

Intentionality According to The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Intentionality is the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs.” [1] Daniel Dennett, eminent philosopher of consciousness defines “the intentional stance” as a way to view the “behavior of a thing in terms of mental properties.” […]

Glial Cells, Junk DNA, Dark Matter, and Autism

I only use 10% of my brain? When I was a kid, the rumor was that even the smartest people only use 10% of their brains. Einstein was said to be such a genius because he used 15% of his remarkable brain. I thought this was pretty nutty. Surely 85-90% of a person’s brain isn’t […]

Attitudes About Mental Illness in the 1950s

I am trying to understand what it was like in the 1950s for families who had severely mentally ill members to take care of. My family was among that number. I can speak for my own experience as a younger sibling, as my older brother Michael, was very low functioning, autistic and nonverbal. He was […]

Do Not Be Surprised

Why throw away interesting stuff? In preparing to move, I am sorting out my stuff. I always save little tidbits of interesting items. For instance, there was a short article about some man who just won a settlement against a tattoo parlor. The tattoo depicted a man stabbing someone in the back with a knife, […]

1950s and Autism Treatment

As I mentioned previously, Mom remembered that Michael, my older autistic brother was at the Bronx Developmental Center for a little while in the mid to late 1950s. She would schlep there twice a day, once to drop him off and then to pick him up. The ‘state of the art’ thinking of the medical […]

Nineteenhundred and forty-six

(Note: This is another part of my continuing series about the state of mental heath treatment during my parents’ time and how it affected them in caring for their first child, my older brother Michael – autistic, low functioning and nonverbal) 1946 This was a good year. It was the year my parents got married. […]