Page 6 - Boca ViewPointe - March '23
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Page 6, Viewpointe                                                   March 2023
       Book Review

      Six Cases Of Unsettled Minds:                                                                           The stories are intensely moving as we root for the
      The Psychology Behind                                                                                individuals, as they seek to achieve mastery over their
                                                                                                           condition. The thrust and attractiveness of Ms. Aviv’s
      Suffering                                                                                            study is the rehabilitation of the individual by whatever
                                                                                                           means—whether complacent therapy, pharmacological
      Rachel Aviv. Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and                                             drugs, friendship and purpose, or self-knowledge. Most
      the Stories that Make Us. New York: Farrar, Straus and                                               like Roy and Bapu don’t lick it. Some adapt, Naomi found
      Giroux. 2022.                                                                                        in  her  confinement  penance,  regained  her  self-esteem,
      Prince Harry, Duke of Surrey. Spare. New York: Random                                                is reunited with her family. Laura gains reputation and
      House, 2022.                                                                                         renown partially though her popular blog recounting her
      “Give me Liberty or give me Death.” Patrick Henry                                                    journey, marked by her friendship with fellow survivor
                                                                                                           Cooper which leads to the question of whether marriage is
      By Dr. Ronald J. Meyers                                                                              the solution. Ms. Aviv’s own story of confronting anorexia
                                                                                                           relates to her own survival and adaptation to the world by
         Rachel  Aviv, a staff                                                                             becoming an empathetic journalist.
      writer for The New Yorker                             She continues to recount case studies of five other      Might Prince Harry also serve as a case of extreme
      and specialist in medicine,                        troubled individuals, while also tracing the history of   mental suffering, like the aforementioned? I don’t think
      education and criminal                             psychiatric treatment in the twentieth century exposing in   that I’m being hyperbolical. On its face, there appears to me
      justice, draws upon her own                        other words its limited successes and glaring failures.   a strong case to be made for a young man who, traumatized
      experience with mental                                One of Sigmund Freud’s most cogent insights was   by the death of his mother and suffered rejection from
      illness to disclose the effort                     the  notion  that  the abnormal  is  a  differentiation,  only   his brother Willy, his father Charles, and his stepmother
      to understand ourselves                            exaggeration of the normal; which leads to the conclusion   Camilla. He was bullied and denigrated as a youngster
      through the stories that we                        that such individuals are not so different from us, but rather   in school, notwithstanding his princely status—whose
      tell that inform and define                        extensions of our behavioral tendencies, with depression,   very moment of birth relegated him to becoming--not the
      who and what we are. She draws upon her own life and   eating disorders, urge to suicide, extreme unhappiness and   heir but the spare. The paparazzi (Paps) who hounded his
      punishing  experience  with  anorexia  as  a  six-year-old   contested the millennium viewpoint that the mental ill   mother, and in his view were responsible for Lady Diana’s
      confined to hospital because of the inability of her parents   were aberrations who need to be confined and separated   death, and he himself, and then his wife, mercilessly
      very simply to get her to eat.                     from society. Freud’s views have had a major influence   pursued, spied upon and exposed by them in gaudy
                                                         on psychotherapy in the twentieth century, including in   headlines; this apparently with the complicit involvement
                                                         Ms. Aviv’s reportage.                             of his own family, whether regarding the uniform he
          Stamp and Coin Club                              her childhood) in which she has been actively involved in   wore to a costume event, the number of enemy he shot,
                                                           She traces five case studies (and treats one friendship from
                                                                                                           and finally the decision for standdown from his prince
                                                         some instances over many years. Dr. Roy Osheroff, a medical   responsibilities and exile (which he argues was merely
           Boca Raton Stamp & Coin Club asks you to start   doctor and proprietor of an extremely successful dialysis   offered as an option not necessarily his final choice).
         a new hobby.                                    practice, suffered a serious case of melancholia, which led      Prince Harry, with superb professional help, writes a
           Visit with us at the Stratford Courts Auditorium   to his confinement in several venues. Bapu a well born,   graceful and heartfelt story, now at the top of the Times’s Best
         located at 6343 Via Sonrisa del Sur, off S.W. 18th   wealthy Hindu upper class woman in an unhappy marriage   Seller list. But does not gainsay that he basically sought to live
         Street, between Powerline Road and Military Trail.   and dissatisfaction with her in-laws, who in pursuit and   an exemplary life, overcoming the diminution, serving with
           We meet the second and fourth Thursday each month   adoration of Krishna embraced piety and poverty and cannot   honor in the military and with his philanthropic initiatives, the
         at 7 p.m. Please call membership coordinator Harvey   be deterred from abandoning family and world possessions.   example of his mother’s service and compassion wedged upon
         Golinger at (561) 752-4922.                    Laura Delano descendant from the notable American   his heart, and not least of all, satisfying the whims and dictates
                                                         Franklin and Eleanor scion, class president and squash star   of granny, the Queen. I can heartily recommend Prince Harry’s
                                                         in high school, well-educated at Harvard, attendee of not one   compelling account of his dutiful dedication to the Gilbert and
                                                         but two debutant balls; but like Roy Osheroff suffering the   Sullivan caricature of the “life of duty” and his survival. He
                                                         throes of depression and suicidal. Naomi Gaines, who grew   surely bore a stiff upper lip except when it threatened to destroy
                                                         up on the wrong side of the tracks in the projects in Chicago   his wife and his sanity. Perhaps it finally can be argued that he
                                                         and Minneapolis, who in her depression jumps off the bridge   was following forbears, like Thomas, Patrick and Benjamin,
                                                         into the Mississippi River with her two infants; she is rescued   who forswore the flawed institution of whimsy and selfishness,
                                                         but one of her infants dies, and she is sentenced to years in   in a most modern declaration of independence; in adapting and
                                                         prison for the premediated murder.                adopting the idealized path of fatherhood and a virtuous life in
                                                            Her work features the range of the principal approaches to   the land of equality. He belongs to and in America, we surely
                                                         psychotherapy from benevolent engagement to incarceration,   wish him well—without the puffery.
                                                         to the preferred pharmacology, to electroconvulsive therapy
                                                         (which was imposed as well on my father and brother to treat      Dr. Ronald J. Meyers, a resident of La Paz, is an Emeritus
                                                         their depression--with no apparent salubrious benefit).   Professor of English. 


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