Joseph Hassid biography

January 17, 2006 at 11:37 PM · Can someone give me informations about Joseph Hassid biography who underwent à lobotomy an died 26 years old?

Replies (100)

January 18, 2006 at 11:42 AM · I know a few things from Ivry Gitlis, wich was a close friend of him when they were both young. He was born in Poland, one year later than Gitlis (1923?)he studied with Flesch, he did all we have from him untill the age of 16, then ,cause to a depression, he went into a hospital diagnozed schizofrenic . Gitlis and other people say that he falled desperately in love with a girl; but both his parents and hers' were severely and brutaly against their love.He was a very difficult ,introvert sensitive and fragile person (his playing is the witness) so he couldn't stand it and he dropped sick.Medicine in the 50s was not as it is today, so that explains his 10 years in the hospital with no amelioration and the unsuccessfull lobotomy. That's destiny, I think he was in the head of the list of artists or , should I call them "angels" who came on earth to live a everlasting meassage of the purest art and then went back to Heaven. Hassid, Rabin, Goldstein, Neveu, I.Sitkovetski, Lipatti, just a few names.

The funnt thought is that their disparition made place to Heifetz, Milstein ,Menuhin, because honestly, if hassid lived and continued playing better and better I don't know what would have happened to Heifetz. In my oppinion Hassid's art cannot be surpassed!!!


January 20, 2006 at 12:35 AM · His Hebrew Melody recording is my favorite violin reocrding. Such a unique vibrato.

January 20, 2006 at 02:02 AM · And his Sarasate's Playera is exceptional

January 21, 2006 at 12:43 AM · Hassid is in the index of a book titled "The Lobotomist" which is a biography of Dr. Walter Freeman. The index only is online at the book's website - From that you might, or might not, conclude Freeman performed the procedure on Hassid.

I came across this article about Freeman and some of his patients some time ago. It's interesting. link

January 21, 2006 at 06:30 AM · Unbelievable. It made me really sad to read that article. I find it really amazing how some people can display such gross disregard for other peoples lives by sanctioning such an extreme procedure, for what in many cases were only unusual personality quirks.

An arrogant and overly ambitious doctor, determined to make a name for himself and subsequently destroying many lives in the bargain. Imagine how different the world would be today if all the people with colourful personalities out there were lobotomized. Mozart and Beethoven would have escaped it by accident of birth, but many others, born later, who have made a major contribution to the world, would probably be gone. This bent to 'normalize' and control human conduct is beyond me. If people are not hurting anyone, leave them alone. Thank goodness the procedure is no longer. Reminds me of a brilliant film with James Stewart called 'Harvey', which illustrates my point perfectly.

It may have been Hassid's unique mental state that made him such an amazing artist. His recordings are just so emotive and amazing. Something was definitely going to be lost if a lobotomy was performed on him.


January 21, 2006 at 08:47 AM · The story of Francis Farmer is a sad one too. She was a beautiful American actress and activist who lived at the wrong time in the wrong circumstances as the wrong sex. She was commited involuntarily and had a lobotomy done by Freeman.

The movie about her, "Francis", which came out in the 80s, has got to be one of the saddest movies there is. It's hard to take what she's portrayed as in the movie reduced to what she is afterward. They did a fine job with it.

January 21, 2006 at 09:17 AM · yesterdays lobotomy is todays prozac is todays aderoll, is todays...yea. dont sound so upset

January 21, 2006 at 10:38 AM · Personally I don't mean to sound upset by it. There are plenty of comtemporary things worthy of being upset about. What upsets you?

January 21, 2006 at 02:19 PM · I've seen that movie about Francis Farmer. A young Jessica Lange plays her I think. It's an excellent film. Very sad.

I would'nt equate a lobotomy with Prozac.


January 22, 2006 at 01:30 AM · It's a little like equating Prozac with a good stabbing.

February 3, 2006 at 12:33 PM · Disturbing article!

Procedures against the basic laws of nature!

Grotest way to change God's creations.

nutrition! exercise! love! rest! that's the key!

March 11, 2006 at 02:30 PM · My teacher was with Flesch at the same time as Joseph Hassid. The other pupils (including I am told Haendel) were in awe of him!

I was recently contacted by a distant member of Hassid's family who wanted to speak to Ivry about Hassid.

Nothing seemed to come of this, and some of the older violin players are understandably reluctant to talk about poor Joseph Hassid all thses years later...makes one feel VERY mortal.

Having heard a recording of him, I can honestly say it's typical of all those wonderful Flesch pupils...and Flesch was ABSOLUTELY not fair play with them.. (he was awful to his pupils!)that may have contributed (?)

March 11, 2006 at 02:56 PM · Flesh seams to have been also a curser for them:

Hassid surgery murdered; Neveu dead on a air

crash in her 30s; Ferras kills himself, and Szering died young and alcoholic. A legacy of very bad luck?

March 11, 2006 at 05:38 PM · With all due respect, it is not a fair assessment of Carl Flesch. Just because a few people met their unfortunate demise the way Hassid, Neveu, Ferras, Szeryng did, does not in any way take away from the Legacy of Carl Flesch.

It just so happened that Neveu's plane crashed, a poor kid (Hassid) developed schizophrenia and was unable to cope with normal life and perform in the way he did as a teenager (dies after lobotomy) etc. These are incidents that could happen to anyone in any walk of life.

In fact Szeryng lived a good life, and always promoted the teachings of his mentor Flesch. I studied with Yfrah Neaman who at one time was Flesch's assistant. He too was a great exponent of the same master as is Ivry Gitlis and Ida Haendel.

Here is an interesting post at

Between January 1947 and June 1952, 180 people died as a result of leucotomies in England and Wales. W S Maclay, the President of the Section of Psychiatry of the Royal Society of Medicine, said: "the total is considerable when one thinks in terms of individuals and not of statistics and percentages".

One of those individuals was Josef Hassid, the Polish violinist, who died after a leucotomy in Long Grove Hospital, Epsom, England. He was 26 years old.

Hassid had come to London with his father in 1938 and was prevented from returning to Poland by the outbreak of World War II. In London he gave recitals and concert performances and made recordings for HMV. But in 1941 he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to St Andrew's Hospital, Northampton, where he was given insulin coma therapy and electroconvulsive therapy. After a short period out of hospital he was detained in Long Grove Hospital which had a wing for Polish civilians, and remained there until his death. (by Sue K)

To me, the playing of Josef Hassid is very much like a mix of the best of Heifetz and Kreisler rolled up into one player. Would have been great if he had not been afflicted, perhaps he could have become one of the most influential violinists of the 20th century.

Yes it is unfortunate that there are just a few gems of recordings of Hassid between the ages 15-16. He was an extrordinary genius of the violin.

March 11, 2006 at 06:18 PM · Good quote from Vonnegut at the top of that page.

March 11, 2006 at 10:54 PM · Haendal hasn't exactly had a tragic life. She never got the huge career that she should have had but she is definately not one to fall into that supposed rut of luck.

March 12, 2006 at 08:06 AM · I don't want to go into personalities.

My remark was merely intended to say, big personalities have big defects. This supposed stuff about "bad luck" is manifest nonsense, (although my teacher too, had a major car accident in the 60s which prevented him ever from playing professionally again).

What they do say is,- for very sensitive pupils, the kind of ways Flesch behaved could render them neurotic or worse. It was absolutely common for most pupils to leave his lessons in tears...

There is NO comment to be made of the phenomenal results Flesch got, and he opened a whole world of violin technique based on sound theory.

For those that have ever studied with some of those Flesch pupils, there is a dedication to music making which simply one would describe like Heifetz as "absolutism".

To my mind Hassid, was a musician who was like a 2nd Heifetz, but today, would anyone dream of using ECT to treat mental illness??

What they did to him was simply criminal, and the worst kind of vandalism.

-it's no suprise for a pre nuclear age where for a long time those same arrogant scientists believed for a long time such things as Massive doses of X rays were actually beneficial to the body..

In our post hiroshima, post chernobyl age, Hassid would probably have had a complete recovery in the hands of real "experts" not quacks.

After that, I don't think it's ever fair to talk about the "career" of one or other musician... this is a concept which has come later in the 20th century, and was to my mind VERY far from the thoughts of any true great musicians and is to the very great disservice of true music making.

It's a different epoch, a different generation.

Such luck we have recordings of Hassid, Neveu, Gitlis etc to inspire us, - there is "no last word" in music.

March 12, 2006 at 02:22 PM · Surely ECT is still used? Mental health care has always had a barbarous side. The latest generation of anti-psychotic drugs have horrendous risks of physical damage (admitted by their manufacturers) and some argue may also lead to suicidal depression (not admitted - but if it is true, it is arguable it has killed far more poeple than leucotomies ever did). But the drugs sometimes work. So did leucotomy sometimes work, according to a physician I know who supervised leucotomy patients in England. One dangerous therapy I heard about on the radio is using probes to kill targetted brain cells (ablation, I think the medics call it). Barbarous? Maybe, though I were mentally ill I would rather risk that than taking some of the most widely prescribed drugs which are so heavily marketed and hugely profitable. And for some people a modern therapy of killing targetted brain cells with probes has been a life-saver. I am neither a medic nor a mental health patient but count both among close friends. I just wanted to say I don't accept things have got less barbarous.

March 12, 2006 at 08:36 PM · To Gareth:

Hassid suffered from acute schizophrenia which started out in form of memory lapses (in the early stages) and then bloomed into depression and worse.

Hassids mother died when he was very young, and thus he grew up with his father, who saw the gifts of his child and worked very hard in developing them. It was during Jossef's battle with deppression that he was angry with his father and music (violin) etc.

There are absolutely no facts surrounding your assumptions that Carl Flesch had something to do with the illness of Hassid and the destabilization of his mental state.

Has it occured to you that sometimes these things happen because of hereditary reasons?

Anything is possible, but accusing CF of this and that is out of the question.

I would have heard of his behavior from Yfrah Neaman, and on the contrary, Yfrah always spoke of him with utmost affection and respect.

And I am sure that we would have heard something from Max Rostal, Gitlis and Haendel if it was the case.

And as far as medical evolutions, take dentistry for example: what do you think they did when they had to extract George Washington's teeth, do you think they used novicane and the tools of today?.......not really.

They used the best tools and know-how available to them at the time.

BTW, Hassid was presented to the London public in 1940 (a solo debut at the Wigmore Hall) and a concert debut at the Queen's Hall, during which he suffered a further memory lapse while playing Tchaikovsky concerto.

In 1941 he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to St Andrew's Hospital, Northampton, where he was given insulin coma therapy and electroconvulsive therapy. After a short period out of the hospital he was re-admitted to the hospital in 1943 (Long Grove Hospital which had a wing for Polish civilians). He was to remain in the hospital for the rest of his short life.

It was after the death of his father in 1949 that the decision was taken to attempt a cure via "brain surgery" Thus days later, on November 7 1950, Hassid died. He was 26 years old.

(Born December 28 1923- died Nov. 7 1950)

March 12, 2006 at 09:04 PM · I've never said that Flesch was the cause of Hassid's illnes or the others premature and tragic

deaths. Only mean that maybe Flesch had a kind of

omen for them.

March 12, 2006 at 10:04 PM · Nice one Jim.

Carlos, my post was directed to Gareth. Then again perhaps it should apply to you (carlos) as well.


What about Emanuel Feuermann who was one of the great cellists of the twentieth century, especially admired and appreciated by other cellists. Pablo Casals, speaking with Jose Maria Corredor in 1954, being asked about the best cellists of his day, immediately named Emanuel Feuermann. Casals remarked, "What a great artist Feuermann was! His early death was a great loss to music." Feuermann, likewise, had been a great admirer of Casals.

Emanuel Feuermann died unexpectedly on May 25, 1942, following a minor operation, when he came down with an infection. Unfortunately, the medical use of antibiotics was not yet much advanced at that time. The inside story is: The "routine medical procedure" that caused death was a hemorrhoid operation that was, inexplicably, performed by his wife's gynecologist at a small Jewish hospital for refugees."

Here follows some additional information (by Bob Battey who discussed these matters w/Feuermann's niece):

* At his funeral, pall-bearer Toscanini broke down crying, and shouted "this is murder!"

* Other pall-bearers were Ormandy, Serkin, Elman, Huberman, Schnabel, and Szell. A quartet including Erica Morini and Frank Miller played the slow movement of Beethoven Op. 74.

* He was color-blind.

* His first several instruments were loaners from a patron; the first instrument he bought was the Tecchler (now owned by Martha Babcock in the BSO), on which the Dvorak was recorded. Then a Montagnana, which he finally traded in for the Strad (now owned, I believe, by Parisot) in 1937. The price was the Montagnana + 1,000 pounds.

* His close friendship with Hindemith ended when Hindemith allowed Koussevitsky & Piatigorsky to give the first performance of the 1940 Cello Concerto, even though it was being written for Feuermann. Feuermann could not offer a venue as prestigious as Boston for the premiere.

* The plan had been to record virtually all the trio literature with Heifetz & Rubenstein. They were extremely well-matched musically and personally (the only known photo of Heifetz laughing is with him & Feuermann). Additional trio sessions were his first scheduled work after his surgery.

* The last concert he gave was the Dvorak with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Ann Arbor, a few weeks before the operation.


Just for Carlos:

Hassid suffered from acute schizophrenia which started out in form of memory lapses (in the early stages) and then bloomed into depression and worse.

Hassids mother died when he was very young, and thus he grew up with his father, who saw the gifts of his child and worked very hard in developing them. It was during Jossef's battle with deppression that he was angry with his father and music (violin) etc.

There are absolutely no facts surrounding your assumptions that Carl Flesch had something to do with the illness of Hassid and the destabilization of his mental state.

Has it occured to you that sometimes these things happen because of hereditary reasons?

Anything is possible, but accusing CF of this and that is out of the question.

I would have heard of his behavior from Yfrah Neaman, and on the contrary, Yfrah always spoke of him with utmost affection and respect.

And I am sure that we would have heard something from Max Rostal, Gitlis and Haendel if it was the case.

And as far as medical evolutions, take dentistry for example: what do you think they did when they had to extract George Washington's teeth, do you think they used novicane and the tools of today?.......not really.

They used the best tools and know-how available to them at the time.

BTW, Hassid was presented to the London public in 1940 (a solo debut at the Wigmore Hall) and a concert debut at the Queen's Hall, during which he suffered a further memory lapse while playing Tchaikovsky concerto.

In 1941 he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to St Andrew's Hospital, Northampton, where he was given insulin coma therapy and electroconvulsive therapy. After a short period out of the hospital he was re-admitted to the hospital in 1943 (Long Grove Hospital which had a wing for Polish civilians). He was to remain in the hospital for the rest of his short life.

It was after the death of his father in 1949 that the decision was taken to attempt a cure via "brain surgery" Thus days later, on November 7 1950, Hassid died. He was 26 years old.

(Born December 28 1923- died Nov. 7 1950)

May 17, 2006 at 09:29 PM · Interesting discussion about a tragic figure. The view of the medical and psychological community today is that a paranoid schizophrenic (which Hassid MIGHT have been - you can't really "diagnose" someone accurately from their history) is a person with a mental disease. When I was trained as a clinical psychologist, there was much more controversy in the field as to how much is physiological and how much is purely psychological. Today there is broad agreement that it is basically a medical problem (complete with the findings of actual physical abnormalities in the brain pathology of schizophrenics).

But I think that it is very, very unlikely that you can catch schizophrenia from your violin teacher (just in case anyone out there is worried).

My wife (who is a Paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department, as well as a Licensed Physicians Assistant) and I have read the same information about Hassid's lobotomy procedure. Our conclusion is basically that he was probably butchered by the procedure itself, but who knows. Certainly medication is the treatment of choice today. Except that I wonder whether it is really "treatment" (i.e., cure) or just something to help control the symptoms. But at least you can stop taking medication; you can't stop the effects of a lobotomy.

But in any case, the bulk of opinion, plus just simply listening to the tragically few recordings Hassid made, seems to be that he may very well have surpassed Heifetz had he had a chance for a normal life.

His case is probably the most tragic of any great violinist. But there were some others, as has been noted. (By the way, wasn't LeClaire murdered?)


PS. I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

May 17, 2006 at 10:23 PM · "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy."

Sandor, you are a freaking genius. How do you come up with this stuff?!

May 17, 2006 at 10:31 PM · Oh dear God, I just read that article that's linked at the top of the page. That's the most barbaric and awful thing I've read in quite a while, to think that anyone could have done that to poor Josef Hassid just makes my blood boil!!!

May 18, 2006 at 12:59 AM · Think of the hundreds, maybe thousends of talented

or genius musicians murdered by the nazis.

May 18, 2006 at 01:56 AM · That makes me mad too, obviously.

May 21, 2006 at 11:43 PM · Just been listening extra carefully to those 9 famous Hassid recorded performances. The only word that comes to mind is incredible. Granted, nobody is perfect, and many extraordinarily talented people with all kinds of unique personal characteristics and eccentricities and even psychological problems have learned to play the violin masterfully. But to be as mentally disturbed and ill as Hassid was, and still master this most difficult of instruments? It is indeed a miracle.

May 22, 2006 at 12:51 AM · Greetings,

or perhaps as Gitlis argued it was necessary...



May 22, 2006 at 03:07 AM · Well, if mental illness is necessary to be a great artist, I've got it made....

March 31, 2007 at 09:29 PM · Sander MArcus said the following:

"Posted on May 17, 2006 at 2:29 PM (MST)

Interesting discussion about a tragic figure. The view of the medical and psychological community today is that a paranoid schizophrenic (which Hassid MIGHT have been - you can't really "diagnose" someone accurately from their history) is a person with a mental disease. When I was trained as a clinical psychologist, there was much more controversy in the field as to how much is physiological and how much is purely psychological. Today there is broad agreement that it is basically a medical problem (complete with the findings of actual physical abnormalities in the brain pathology of schizophrenics)."

The scientific community has still to find any truly conclusive proof that schizophrenia (and any other mental illness) is biologically based. In fact, their fanaticism in forcing people on drugs and the increasing spread of "mental illness" would prove that they are delusional and that mental illness is emotional.

Hassid fell in love with a girl and his parents were against the relationship just because she wasn't Jewish. Society has a problem with helping this person see that that causes great emotional stress the same way that in England (and many other countries still to this day) a man has the right to see his family and slaves as his possession. When a person even shows physical signs of abuse, with transfering modern psychiatric doctrines to that, the wounds are either a sign that the person is psychiatrically unbalanced when they don't or can't follow their father's wishes or they have a disease which shows up in painful bruises which their is "strong evidence" of being genetic (rather than that they are beaten buy their father). Further more, if they die (even from medications which are meant to turn off their mind so they can't rebell anymore) this is a tragedy of the disease not that they were abused.

You can go to wikipedia for example and it says this in their article about "schizophrenia" (do a word search for structure)

"Differences in brain structure have been found between people with schizophrenia and those without. However, these tend only to be reliable on the group level and, due to the significant variability between individuals, may not be reliably present in any particular individual. Significant brain atrophy and enlarged ventricles are the most conspicuous of such differences."


Thus the medications (interfering with the natural action of dopamine) cause the change in structure with schizophrenics who have been forced on them and they enlarge the ventricals and shrink the frontal lobe) THE REASON THEY SAY THAT THIS ONLY OCCURS IN GROUPS IS BECAUSE IT ONLY OCCURS SCIENTIFICALLY WITH THOSE PUT ON THE "MEDICATIONS"!


And some people really have a problem having a healthy brain because then it tells them where it (the brain and the ability to reason) came from and that wasn't from societal programming or rewards!

It's easy to say that a schizophrenic has delusions and lives in another world but when this world is emotional (and arguably the world we take with us when we leave this "objective" world) and this world points out inner wounds that need attending to would happiness or any other emotions be able to be itself, I think that it's arguably more real that the criteria used to lable this world unreal by those who would say a schizophrenic is insane.

You can check out the activities of a man name Mosher who was a psychiatrist who rebelled against the system and started places called Soteria projects where people were treated as emotional being who simply needed egalitarian compassion

Or you can go hear for the proof that the drug companies can NOT present any conclusive evidence that mental illness is biologically based from click on knowledge Base, click on Acitivism in mental health, click on 2003 actions, click on Mindfreedom Hunger Strike

Or you can go to

or you can go to for a humorous side to it all

What I understand is that, after having suffered a truly disabling emotional wound, what is called "society" said to poor Joseg Hassid. There is something wrong with your brain, according to our rules you should be fine so we are going to attack the very biological cause which allowed you to even feel sad or dissent from us.

You know what and it's their loss. Can they even feel that sadness? I certainly can!

And it REALLY hurts!

Here is another article about brain damage from psychiatric drugs Breggin is another psychiatrist who dissented and brought out the truth about the false model that mental illness is biological.

The very terminology used to determine mental illness inreality is the same type of sociological concepts that define poverty, minority status os one who lives in a war zone (deviance from statistal based norms). To force a person on "medications' or treatments which only damage their brain and their ability to respond and then say (because they have been disabled) that they are healed. This is Facism not Healing.

Also, these "medications" are as addictive as street drugs (and basically work the same way in that they interfere with neurotransmitters). When a person has been forced on these drugs and tries to get off of them his withdrawal symptoms are labeled as part of his disease (and he is never told how addictive the drugs ar). This is another corruption of a system which tortured Joseph Hassid to death.

Have you ever heard a commercial for anti-depressants saying that you may be depressed because of a chemical imbalance (they say "may be" because they have no proof that depression comes from any chemical imbalance and it sounds good to say "may be" as if this might be the cause rather than we believe it's the cause but won't tell you we have no proof of that). A drug pusher will tell you the same thing. "This will make you feel better." And now which one is being more honest.

You can read a whole article about the drug companies response on the MindFreedom article I already mentioned

March 31, 2007 at 10:55 PM · Dear Roelof:

Obviously you have done much reading and introspecting over this question. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the last word on this topic has yet to be written. The "nature/nurture" argument in psychology and psychiatry has yet to be settled. Until then, I think it's important to keep an open mind.

Unfortunately, "progress" in my field (psychology) is sometimes indeed driven by economics. What if it turns out that what we call "Schizophrenia" (or even what we call "Clinical Depression") is best treated by long-term individual counseling. Unfortunately, today, you can't get a dime to do research on long-term individual counseling for these problems - no one will fund it. The research goes into medication and short-term treatments and symptom modification, because that's where the money is. So the professionals who believe in those approaches get the research funding, and they're the ones who train everyone else.

Through all this, as objectively as it is possible to be, there probably is a combination of physical predisposition and interpersonal history to blend to produce a "schizophrenic."

While Hassid was alive, one of the greatest psychiatrists to treat schzophrenia, Harry Stack Sullivan, was totally committed to a psychological point of view and a strong advocate of long-term counseling as the most appropriate and most effective treatment.

And considering the conditions in most mental hospitals around the world in Hassid's day, he was probably lucky to have survived as long as he did.

So, if I may be so bold as to make a plea, let's try to continue to look at these problems as objectively as possible, considering all the possibilities, and not look at them from the point of view of an ideology. There aren't too many medications or medical treatments that don't have side effects and sometimes unintended consequences. In fact, medicine has a term for this - it's called "iatrogenic," which means a disease caused by the treatment. And keep in mind that there are many, many serious and common sense professionals out there on all sides of this issue who are doing their best to be open to what will best help their patients.

Be well. Cordially, Sandy

April 1, 2007 at 04:55 PM · With respect to an open mind:

Sander Marcus:

You say

"Through all this, as objectively as it is possible to be, there probably is a combination of physical predisposition and interpersonal history to blend to produce a "schizophrenic."

And then you also state:

"So, if I may be so bold as to make a plea, let's try to continue to look at these problems as objectively as possible, considering all the possibilities, and not look at them from the point of view of an ideology."

And you talk about iotragenics...

Iotragenics are what happens when a cure is actually effected by a medication and there are side effects. In the mental health system as it now stands this is not what's happening. There IS no biological basis for mental illness and the whole ideology of seeing it is as something biological has done nothing but create a whole new wave of mental illness which then, according to this ideology, needs to be treated with an ideology which is said to help while things are only getting worse and worse. Calling someone ill, based on judgements which don't define disease but which define social status and then policing this social prejudism by retraumatizing them is bullying not healing and the result is not iotragenic but physical damage and deeper emotional wounds.

You say that "as objective as it is possible to be" is having the ideology that it's probably half a physical predisposition (Being as objective as possible really doesn't entail ignoring objectivity). There's never been proven to be a physical disposition. Yet the appropriate use of money would be to allow this ideology to be seen as fact(despite the fact that in countries where they don't have the money to use these "medications" people have less relapses and become more functional, despite the fact that this ideology you say is objective has only caused a whole epidemic while being touted as a cure for chemical imbalances as yet to be found and you tout objectivity as ignoring the fact that YOU are approaching the problem from an ideological perspective and then say that ideology should not be argued about because you can not back up your assumptions that there is a biological cause).

Now, I'm going to let someone tell me that the color purple or a poem or a song or a dance or the integration of art into a world where emotions are allowed to gel into an understanding of life is something dangerous and then have them say that I am being ideological when I ask for proof of such a phobia while, in the meantime, I can not even present evidence that all these thing are very healthy because this phobia that the color purple is dangerous has to be implimented and allowed to create a whole epidemic of new phobias which then exist because people haven't realized that there is something wrong with the color purple and have to be medicated to have their minds disabeled would they even try to appreciate the color purple!?!?!?!?

My damaged mind would not be an iotragenic effect of the need to suppress interest in the color purple. Interest in the color purple is Not a disease there is chemical proof of.

You also state "The research goes into medication and short-term treatments and symptom modification, because that's where the money is"

As I have already stated: To the psychiatric community, which sees mental illness as something biological, symptom modification is retraumatizing a person (an emotional wound is seen as a disease in itself rather than something which needs to be allowed to heal the way science, statistics and morality show that it can heal:because that's how it heals despite the fact that your society has to re-evaluate it's belief as to what sanity is, or what is appropriate conduct or whether fitting in statistical based norms is healthy)

AND more research into "medications" which have no basis except as ideology (the same as that America which seems to believe that happiness comes in the form of being the highest consumer of sugar which causes the most loss of productivity...and then supposedly diabetes isn't related to sugar consumption although sugar damages the pancreas and this causes diabetes but you can't know that because the sugar companies and the drug companies lose economy: and heart disease and more things that actually do have to do with chemical imbalances which can be proven but that the body could heal itself or that it could have been prevented this isn't allowed into the media because of the economy: YES they would need to go after a healthy mind which could figure this out or express the consequent emotional confusion and not express itself in statistical based norms for a country which needs health care no one can get (because being addicted to pills is health and only those who can afford this deserve to live) while thriving off of an intelligence where Corporate propoganda is reality and soft drinks refreshments and other junk food .......

See if you can say something without repeatedly proving the fact that YOU are talking about ideology while saying that someone is close minded who points out that you are being ideological, provides proof that your way isn't working and shows the lack of even having a credible proof that what you are promoting or it's method are not really medications or healing ( this while the whole argument for "medications" as they are produced becomes unhealthy because these medications adjust chemical imbalances whose true cause are withheld from the media because people wouldn't need drugs anymore).: Let's see if You can listen to you own plea! With your scientific approach to mental health, not voting for what is considered the majority party could be considered a mental illness.

You say the nature/nurture argument has yet to be settled:

Yes, in a facist system one cannot freely provide proof that things are getting worse and not working and that disability it running rampid and the argument won't be settled till the mother earth is literally drowned in the economy you say is looking for "progress" because this ideology which is the second wave of colonialism (existing strongest in countries which take over the economy of others for exploitation) is going to keep using their facist grip on the economy to turn off any dissent.

You said that yourself (the "economy" of mental illness and who gets funding, while there is no economy and only waste) and then talk about iotragenics as if using a clinical sounding word excuses the fact that what you call medications have no scientific basis. The same as that the drug companies talk about etiology when they only know how their drugs effect the natural healthy working of neurotransmitters but then deny that their drugs cause chemical imbalances where there is clear etiology (and purport that they adjust chemical imbalances instead), and you talk about iotragenics. This way a woman would have some disease which appears as bruises all over her body and this isn't caused by her husband beating her when she's not scared to say that her being seen as his possession is unfair and he as response beats her because society gives him that right and doesn't want to deal with the result of what it believes is an appropriate response which will change her behavior to be more harmonious to what it believes is harmony.

Further abusing a person emotionally in a asylum and then damaging their brain as if healing is instilling fear of being re-assaulted or that healing is fear of having a healthy brain! THIS IS FACISM and how I support this is not based on ideology.

To concoct some "disease" based on vague sociological concepts that also define poverty, minority status and one who lives in a war zone, then spend more than half a century saying it is biological based, find no proof of this, create a whole epedemic of "mental illness" while exploiting fear of anyone being called ill with a disease that doesn't really exist while in the mean time damaging countless people's minds with what you tout as "medications" in order to say it's probably half biological when your ideology has caused nothing but a scourge and proved to be unhealthy. This is truly sick.

If poverty, minority status and wars create harmony what's next?

A rose is a rose is a rose

This you can see when you look at one

One truly looks at your ideology and one really doesn't see healing, in fact one doesn't see ideology either: one sees facism and fear and lies made out to be truth out of fear and addiction and greed.

And in the mean time with all your "ideology" you haven't even begun to use your imagination!

April 1, 2007 at 04:26 PM · Did you just call Sander a fascist?!

April 1, 2007 at 05:07 PM · Does it really have to be explained that I'm pointing out that the mental health system which forces treatments on people which only damages their brain is fascist? Or that a system which hides the truth about the truth of what they are doing is corrupt. And that Josef Hassid died of such torture and is supposed to be considered to them "collateral" damage.

No I don't believe we are living in a wonderful society because people act like they are healing others when they are only suppressing dissent or the ability to express or actuate how society makes them feel!

I've listed quite a few links, you would have to read them further. Having an open mind doesn't involved ignoring human rights abuses.

April 1, 2007 at 07:12 PM · Sorry, I must have gotten lost somewhere in that loooooooong post.

April 1, 2007 at 07:59 PM · Most people get over a broken heart. If Hassid couldn't, could it be that he had a latent mental illness waiting to come out at any slight provocation?


April 1, 2007 at 09:34 PM · Or just that he was an incredibly sensitive and emotional person, not necessarily ill.

April 1, 2007 at 11:03 PM · My goodness, I didn't mean to start something. As to Josef Hassid, there is no way to know for certain the source of his problems. My views of Hassid are entirely speculative, as I believe are everyone else's. His problems may indeed have had nothing to do with anything wrong with his brain; we'll never know. However, knowing the disgraceful history of how people identified as "mentally ill" have been dealt with by most societies throughout history, I hope I have made it clear that I am highly dubious as to whether Hassid was understood or treated properly.

There is certainly also a lot to be critical of in the concept of mental illness and the uses (and misuses) of psychotropic drugs and other medical treatments. In fact, my training was primarily based on the view that most of what are called "mental illnesses" are actually problems of relationships and personality, problems which can be explained and helped in the realm of the psychological, not the medical. I have changed that view somewhat over the years, but it is still basically how I see things.

Anyway, in no way do I wish to be a spokesperson for the entire medical and scientific community. It would take entire course to explain my orientation towards this field and even the concept of what science really is and isn't, and this is something for which there is no time here, and this certainly is not an appropriate forum for a dispassionate and comprehensive discussion about this anyway.

So, if you disagree, I'm sorry that you feel that way, and I'm also sorry if I haven't made myself clear.

In the meantime, I agree with most that Hassid's tragedy was a personal tragedy for him and a huge loss to the rest of the world for all of us. Those 9 short pieces he recorded are astonishing and beautiful.

Cordially, Sandy

April 1, 2007 at 11:08 PM · “In fact, my training was primarily based on the view that most of the "mental illnesses" are problems of relationships and personality, problems which can be explained and helped in the realm of the psychological, not the medical.”

I’ve been puzzling over my unscientific observation for years and I hope Sandy or someone knowledgeable may be able to explain this:

There are people with mental problems everywhere in the cities North America, but where are the mental patients in China?

I’m not suggesting that there aren’t any mental patients in China. Of course there are people with all kind of illness including mental problems in China, but you rarely see them wondering on the street, hanging around in university or at work place in China. I grew up in Shanghai with population of over 25 millions. We had only one small mental hospital to keep patients with severe mental problems. Shanghai has always been very crowded as far as I can remember, but I rarely ran into people with obvious behavioral problems that people here would describe as being mentally ill, with the exception during the ‘cultural revolution’ period where a lot of people went mad and suicidal was rampant. No evidence that mental patients were locked up in jails as it is often the case here in North America. My pet theory is that lack of privacy has a lot to do with the fact that people in China are less like to develop into a full-blown madness than those who live in the West where people like to ‘mind their own business’. Chinese family members, neighbors, friends and coworkers all like to run each other’s life if they see something is unusual. If the best cure for mental problems is to nip them in the bud, then there’s something to be said about an environment with minimum privacy and maximum intrusion.

April 1, 2007 at 11:31 PM · may be in the "older" china, mental problems carry a bigger stigma and families try to take care of the sick on their own. as the country becomes more open, or westernized if you will, we may see a better defined problem. here is a link.

April 2, 2007 at 12:46 AM · Yixi and Al: Interesting issues, which gets into the whole question of to what degree the concept of "disease" is defined by society. Even things like cancer - a thousand years ago nobody died of "cancer", they died of old age at 40. And in our society, we tend to diseasify everything. Who ever heard of "Restless Leg Syndrome" before a few years ago? Some societies probably absorb and have acceptable roles for people we would label as having a pathology. Either that or there is something about our society (as is argued by many others) that produces medical and psychological problems that do not exist anywhere else. Good point.


PS. By the way, I don't think that anything I may say can or should stifle anyone else's dissent or differing opinions. And by the same token, I don't think that anything that others may say can or should stifle mine.

April 2, 2007 at 12:57 AM · good point or not, one point that i would point out is that it seems tempting for some living in this era to look back and point finger at what is considered inappropriate... according to current standard of morality or ethics or what have you. does it make any sense, prunes?

wasn't it the case that at one point in time many highly prized violins have undergone french varnishing? shall we offer those luthiers lobotomy, or is it simply a phase in history?

haven't all medical procedures have to go through the trial and error phase? (hey johnny, those poking upstairs through the nose does not seem to work, say, can we work on a pill instead? not after i tie them up and put the current through!)

if we look back at our own lives, at things we have done that we now acknowledge to be quite stupid, we can probably start looking back further, at others' doing, with a more understanding and accepting attitude.

PS, i like sandy's PS.

PPS, how to take off the french varnishing, really?

April 2, 2007 at 01:14 AM · Al, I have no idea how to take off the French varnish.

But as to your other point, there was a very famous surgeon in medical history named Ignaz Semmelweis (I think he was Swiss). This was just before the era when they discovered that infections were caused by germs.

In surgical wards, surgeons would work with pride wearing the same operating gown that had blood and stuff from all the previous surgeries of the day. It was a badge of honor. And they wondered why the post-operative death rates from post-operative infection were 90%, especially in the delivery wards.

Semmelweis noticed it, too, and he also noticed that in the midwife wards there was an extremely low death rate. He watched the midwives to see what they might be doing differently, and saw that they always washed their hands and kept everything clean.

So he started instituting that procedure, and the death rates went down drastically in his surgical ward. His learned colleagues thought he was crazy. He was eventually hounded out of the medical profession and died in an insane asylum.


April 2, 2007 at 03:35 AM · Wow, I can see how it would look crazy. Ritualistic maybe. Maybe bad enough that they wouldn't be interested in the evidence.

April 2, 2007 at 01:34 AM · Hey, I just made a statistical error. The death rates weren't 90%, that is a gross exaggeration. They were only 35%. That doesn't sound like much, but just think how many malpractice attorneys that would keep in business. Anyway, Semmelweis reduced the post-operative infection rate to 1%. He was met with hostility by the medical professional wherever he went.

April 2, 2007 at 01:48 AM · Thanks for the link, Al, most interesting articles. However, Epoch is Falun Gong linked publication, whether you support it or not, you’ve got to take it into account that the publication belongs to certain advocacy groups. Also, 30% of the population suffer from mental diseases? Well, as Sandy said, it depends on what we mean by mental disease and who is gathering the data… Still this figure sounds unbelievably high to me. I’m not aware of any of my family members, friends, former schoolmates and colleagues back in China showing any mental problems. There must be a conspiracy and everyone in my family is keeping me out of the loop:(

Al, I think you and I are in agreement (again) regarding judging the past based on our current standard. This is the impression I got from reading the Epoch articles: although they are all about current situation in China, the approach in thinking and the tone are very much confined to certain special interests in the West, IMHO.

Epoch aside, I am sharing the view with Sandy that there are a lot to be explored in terms of the impact of the society has on medical and psychological problems without denying that some problems are genetic or physical regardless environment differences. My chief concern is that people in China these days are so much into wholesale adoption of western science and technology that they are quite willing to accept whatever outrageous figure on mental disease people throw at them. They’ll then get a hammer whenever they see a nail and look for psychiatrists for help whenever a perceived mental issue shows up. The communist China has always been generous in providing free or low-cost medication to everyone so people are used to seeking drugs whenever they feel the need. Developing mental health awareness and education in China may just be the thing we should hope to avoid, not until different views can be freely debated without political pressure.

PS.I like Sandy’s PS very much.

April 2, 2007 at 02:03 AM · yixi, no, i am not very political with chinese politics, and i can imagine that link can be unreliable if it is used for that purpose.

overall, with increased social pressure in china with the modernization (and the attempts to make fiddles even cheaper and faster:) i would think you would see an uptrend in mental illnesses, as a result of better education, detection and hopefully, management.

here is another link..hope it will pass your political censor:)

sandy, 1% postop infection rate sounds awefully impressive back then before the onset of penicillin use. you sure?

he should be met with hostility because he must have made his collegues look very,,,deadly:).

April 2, 2007 at 02:06 AM · al, I didn't mean to say you are political but I'm glad we clear this up. Neither am I. Politics does nothing in pursuit of truth other than cloudying our vision.

I’ll check the other link. Thanks again.

April 2, 2007 at 02:41 AM · al ku, I think that simple ethyl alcohol can take off varnish (but you have to be very careful that you don't disrupt the coats underneath). I'm sure you can call a luthier and ask them.

April 2, 2007 at 02:53 AM · Roelof Bijkerk, thanks. not that i have a violin that needs the treatment, but that i am curious whether people would leave the french varnish the way it is, or try to restore the old self,,,

the strad to be on auction in christies in the other thread,,,the varnish looks very reflective. buffed up?

April 2, 2007 at 02:56 AM · Yixi, I like your theory about being into other's business. Perhaps the fact that everyone is in everyone else's business may seem intrusive, but in reality is a form of caring. You have some many people caring about you in one way or another, discussing and advising you, and there is a feeling of community. Studies have shown that people who are part of a closed-knit community or have close friends, married live longer than single alienated folks. Maybe is a form of a community too, albeit a virtual one. But you have a point. Western world has too much privacy and deviant behavior will go uncorrected and unadvised. No one is watching out for you, or even caring if you exist. Of course mental illness is the result, especially if you have no hope, no faith and no salvation.

April 2, 2007 at 03:28 AM · Yixi Zhang

I think that perhaps in China it is more evident to people when an authority isn't what they make themselves out to be. Here, where many would say that the media is more based on free speach, it is owned by people who truly suppress information because they want to sell a particular way of looking at things because this is based on lobbying by industries which is supposed to represent "the pursuit of happiness" and that making a lot of money is everyone's dream.

Right now for example, a lot of things you wouldn't even hear about (like what is truly going on with the industrial war machinery of the US and their "inteventions" in other countries in order to maintain exploitation), you would hear this on local community TV stations which the cable networks were required to provide.

Now ATT has gone into the cable business and is trying to stop this (every community was to have a local access channel where you can watch democracy now or free speach network or many other truly informative venues, this was funded by the cable companies and didn't cause them any financial problems, because they use personal property and public in order to have their cables (they go through people's back yards etc.) they were required to have community access in order to give something back to the community. ATT is now trying to stop all of this and has managed, under devious guises of saying that it interferes with competition (now that there are two companies ATT and Verizon there is supposed to be competition, although funding community access never really caused financial problems)...they have managed to interfere with the financing greatly. When the proposal to interfere with the funding of community channels was clear not to go through the house and senate (after the last elections) to stop funding they actually went to the FCC: Federal Communication Commission (whose head was chosen by Bush and doesn't really believe in free speech but rather in indoctrination). They got a majority because of the Bush appointed commissioners. And thus, they are trying to put a stop to people actually knowing what is truly going on in Iraq and other places (The United states didn't promote free speech in Iraq by the way because they said that anything against the US government or the war was considered promoting terrorism).

That's just one example of how people are fooled here thinking that we have free speech and that they can find out the truth from the corporate media outlets....

"Mental Illness" has never proven to be a disease, but rather an emotional wound. People who have been very successful in helping others with these emotional wounds and can relate to them are not even allowed to use their methods in asylums because of the drug companies and the consensus that it is a chemically based illness.

And the people who are considered most severe (the ones you stated are in institutions in China) are the ones who do significantly better when they aren't forced on medications. In countries where there is no money for "medications" people have less relapses and integrate better into society. To tell somebody that there is something wrong with their brain biologically and then give them "medications: which damage their brain and prevent them from being able to understand, while you bar people who could help them understand what is going on as an emotional wound and in the meantime make them truly disabled, these are human rights abuses NOT medical miracles of healing.

Now you can say that psychology or psychotherapy (emotional healing) does go on in the asylums along with "medications" but these "medications" have only been proven to damage the mind rather than address a chemical imbalance and the patients are told that they need the medications because there is something wrong with their mind (while the medications damage their mind rather than correct a chemical imbalance). This is VERY confusing to be made to think there is something wrong with your mind when in reality what is going on (and what you or others think is crazy behavior) is something your mind can understand and which has a different language then what is called sanity. Also, to be able to understand the language of the emotional wounds (which are called mental illnesses and which are "treated" or rather oppressed with damaging controlled mind altering substances) to be able to understand the language of what is truly going on you need a healthy mind and NOT a mind damaged by medications which are said to heal it.

So people not "medicated" do better but this doesn't support the bias that they were "crazy" to being with.

Further more if you eat less or no sugar, white flour, processed foods and you eat more or all organic foods (and I think veganism or vegetarianism help because it takes stress off of your liver which cleanses your whole body). I think this makes your thoughts more stable (but this is NOT the food you get at an asylum nor are you given such information from the media). There really is true scientific evidence that all these things take away things that truly are diseases but the drug companies block you from being told these things (Because they want to sell you a pill that takes care of one problem to cause umpteen more).

Oh and Maura, if these posts seem long, try looking at the white part of what you see on the page and your eyes actually take in the words by themselves more (because they aren't directed to decipher the black and thus can do it more by themselves rather than squinting at one thing) and you might zip through it more.

You might even start hearing Shostakovich

April 2, 2007 at 03:57 AM · al ku, varnish can make difference, certainly if there is so much that it gets in the way from the life of the vibrations. But I think there is way too much focus on much of this (and how a violin looks or whether or not the workmanship is fine despite that it has NOTHING to do with the sound). There are certain things I can hear different about varnish (I don't really know what you mean by French varnish unless you mean spirit varnish) but it was only interesting in as far as it went as the main part of what makes a violin sound the way it should starts somewhere different. Whether it's the varnish or a host of other things: like the bridge, the sound post, the bass bar, the angle of the neck and then also the bow: There was something else going on beyond all of that which I found afterwards. I'm sure people have messed around with strads and that one does look rather shiny. I think it's the light perhaps and it's probably just been polished up to glimmer for the auction (and somewhere along the line might have acquired and extra coat someone put on it to make it "look" better).

French varnish is just a different sound I think and one would make a violin a bit different knowing you were going to use that varnish (and chose different wood etc.)

What's amazing to me about violins is how they are like the human body: we have a waist and shoulder and hips. The hips and shoulders are wider than the waist (like the upper and lower bouts of a violin compared to the F hole areas). Were the hips and shoulders thinner we wouldn't have as much freedom to move as we do and so in the belly (bottom part which allows the top to blossom) this area is thinner on a violin. I found that needs enough area to let the vibrations move around: you can see this on strad violins here: So as to your question about French Varnish: It has a sound all it's own and if it enhances the violin you would leave it but this would only be had someone fixed up a factory made violin I suppose.

So people put French varnish on violins to make them more shiny? I hadn't heard this. I know people put shellac on cheap violins thinking they are making them look better (there's one I fixed up where it was actually in drops like sap which had dried running out of fruit: and it was still sort of gooey after years). There was some idiot Spanish violin maker who took Strad violins apart (after the Spanish crown got them) and adjusted them to "mathematical" proportions.

You see I think the secret to a Stradivari violin is that they walk around on their own: The lower bouts actually take walks you see! I just haven't gotten one to knock on my front door yet. What the should-ers do I can't say out of privacy concerns.

Er, should I or not?

I've been crying about Joseph Hassid for a couple of days and feel better but this discussion is supposed to be about him.

Many of you people are calling something an illness when in reality it's just something misunderstood because the mind (whether it's yours or theirs) hasn't been given the space to understand it. I truly hope that this discussion might do something to help Joseph Hassid or any other person like him to be acknowledged as a very sensitive person and not as someone with a disease.

Just listen to this whole emotional world that comes out of playing, the incandescence of his forthright demure stance which brings to light a whole new world while "this" one literally burned him out. The whole psychiatric profession with it's whole history with their fanaticism in finding something which all their studies show isn't where they are looking and so they ask for more money and say they are making headway while they have created a whole epedemic and paranoia and human rights abuses: They are supposed to be healing or having anything to say about Joseph when he can create a whole world which gives people place for healing and truly does heal!?


There was never anything wrong with his brain!

April 2, 2007 at 04:14 AM · Maura this as short as it gets right now LOL

Oh and Maura, if these posts seem long, try looking at the white part of what you see on the page and your eyes actually take in the words by themselves more (because they aren't directed to decipher the black and thus can do it more by themselves rather than squinting at one thing) and you might zip through it more.

Or you might hear shostakovich or (well it's the wrong season you can't go searching for nuts outside just yet with the squirells)

April 2, 2007 at 04:18 AM · yes I said "nuts"

April 2, 2007 at 04:53 AM · Sander is saying his training was directed toward addressing the problem as a problem with personality and relationships. There's a huge dilemma that I think would tend to lead to drastic treatment strategies instead, which don't require the participation of the patient. That dilemma is that much or most of the time, as Sander realizes, the patient will resist. Tonight I was at a bar with a friend. A squirrelly little guy comes up and says you're a friend of so-and-so. I said yes. He's apparently an acquaintance of his, and so he starts acting like he knows me well enough to be annoying. His mental problem is probably milder than schizophrenia, but would counseling help even him? Probably not much and not soon. Hitting him with some drug though might at least keep him out of peoples' faces.

April 2, 2007 at 04:56 AM · Regarding mental illness: There is a principle in Buddhism called the oneness of body and mind, verified in part by the recent progress in brain imaging technology demonstrating there is an electrochemical (neurological) component to every experience (including "spiritual" phenomena).

Of course,what remains to be fully understood is how to grasp (and enjoy) the single entity of life that encompasses both aspects, and use it as a source of joy, compassion, and healing.

So, I don't know the subjective experience of having a lobotomy any more than how to remove French varnish, but I am saddened that Rabin suffered as he did, regardless of its cause.

April 2, 2007 at 04:53 AM · Jim W. Miller

So you move from stating that people who do not want to be "treated" have no right to resist when science has only shown that this treatment hurts a persons brain and has caused a whole epedemic in society: you move from that to wanting to drug a person who only approaches you at a bar and tries to start a conversation and that committing human rights abuses (drugging him to damage his mind) would keep him out of people's faces.

It's VERY clear you have a problem with people simply going beyond the boundaries of what YOU have decided is how they should behave and in the mean time promote human rights abuses and lack of compassion.

Some petty judgement of yours that someone needs counseling because they try to talk to you at a bar moves into force drugging them to keep them out of peoples faces.

People also resist being raped by the way, that doesn't mean they are not taking part in their "healing" when they resist regardless of what you think is wrong with them and that they are causing problems when they DON'T want part of what you call a "treatment."

If there was anything wrong with this guy as your story goes I don't believe so, but if it true he is making assumptions (just for arguments sake that someone is) you are many times worse trying to force your "treatment" on people when they don't want it! He's just talking to someone at a bar while you are trying to cause permanent neurological damage!

April 2, 2007 at 05:20 AM · "It's VERY clear you have a problem with people simply going beyond the boundaries of what YOU have decided is how they should behave and in the mean time promote human rights abuses and lack of compassion."

Bejork, what I wrote was a test just for you. If you were in my face, you'd have three choices - leave, take a drug, or get punched (a definite human rights abuse :)

April 2, 2007 at 05:33 AM · Jim W. Miller

You clearly need some help with your violent tendencies!

You have moved all the way from calling someone intrusive who just tries to start a conversation at a bar to showing how intrusive you are in wanting to damage his brain with drugs to advertising your ability to break the law and become violent as if it says anything else but that you are a sick person.

YOU need help!

I'm sure there is somewhere in your brain that will tell you that violence, coersion and prejudism don't work. You need to listen to that rather than trying to destroy that part of humanity.

April 2, 2007 at 05:30 AM · R.B. - What you're missing is that you aren't trying to have a conversation. You're doing what I'm calling "getting in peoples faces." As far as you're concerned you have that right. The bar story didn't happen. Like I said, it was a test for you.

April 2, 2007 at 06:33 AM · This discussion is about Joseph Hassid, a gift to music and the world (which thanked creation by destroying his mind) and NOT about advertising violence and making excuses when to punch someone out in the bar or inflict any other human rights abuses because you think they are "crazy." or any harmonic of such propoganda.

Jim W Miller you need to stop or go elsewhere! your disrespect for the truth is apparent.

Neither is this a place to say someone is not holding a conversation and getting in peoples faces when they can expose that what you call treatment is a human rights abuse and back up that it is a human rights abuse.

Neither is this discussion about making up stories and then saying that someone who didn't see how devious you were failed your "test."

And as to passing "tests" go do some true research as to what happens in the mental health system and you'll find out what you don't know and that the information is freely available!

April 2, 2007 at 06:06 AM · Well, you win some, you lose some.

April 2, 2007 at 08:06 PM · No one is born with schizophrenia, it's a combination of your predispostion and the right set of factors that will produce any mental disorder not just schizophrenia. Hassid and any other human suffering from some form of a mental disorder, was a victim of which Alice Miller calls Soul Murder. When a child is subject to disturbed parents or caretakers, in-addition to the not yet developed Ego, the child gets overwhelmed with emotion and the Psyche fragments under pressure. At this time it depends on what kind of predispostion the child has, what kind of blue print, what kind of Ego structure he or she has which will determine how severe his mental disorder will be. Every child perceives and handles pressure's differently, that's why there is a different out come for everybody. Someone stated Hassid's mother died when he was young, how young? did his father re-marry? In closing, I have always felt Menuhin somehow escaped this tragedy that destroys so many human beings like Hassid, Rabin and probably Ferras. However,long live their talent!

April 2, 2007 at 02:03 PM · Interesting point. I don't how early his mother died, but I believe his father did not get remarried. The father seemed to have devoted his life cultivating the boy's talent. Hassid had had memory lapses before he went to Flesch possibly indicating that the boy was already showing signs of stress. I'd say long live life and healthy development of children and after that if they can manage, talent.


April 2, 2007 at 03:44 PM · Someone close to me has schizophrenia. He/she hears voices. Other people talk to him/her who aren't there--like "A Beautiful Mind." Sometimes the other people tell him/her to do dangerous things that harm him/her or others. He/she has already tried to commit suicide once (and nearly succeeded). He/she is on medication now, and everyone who is close to this person prays as much as you can imagine for a miracle. I hear it is quite a journey, trying to find what works (medication and naturopathic means). I'm grateful it's not a journey I must take.

If this truly is the disease Hassid had, I am heartbroken to think what he and those who loved him suffered through. I am grateful for the nine immortal recordings he left as a legacy. It truly is a tragedy he died and left us feeling such acute loss and yearning for more of his music.

The time for second-guessing in this case is gone. Thinking about Hassid only increases my love of sunrises, a new day, more life. It flies too quickly, and we're not promised even our next breath!

April 2, 2007 at 03:11 PM · Here here, kimberlee! Every day is a gift and I truly live by this belief.

April 2, 2007 at 04:45 PM · I've waited to respond to all of the sanctimonious posturing until my anger died down. but for all of those who are so quick to blame the medical profession for its shortcomings I have to ask about the millions of people whose lives have improved because of these drugs. One might just as well listen to many of you play violin and decide that there isn't much good to be derived from teaching since so many of you play badly. Put your soapboxes away.

April 2, 2007 at 04:42 PM · I certainly agree. I have personally and professionally known people (including a couple of family members) with this level of problems for whom medication was a Godsend, and others for whom medication was a disaster. The answer is usually requires an accurate diagnosis of the underlying reasons. Two people can have the same "symptoms" but for entirely different reasons.

You can't paint a broad brush-stroke and say it's always medical or it's always psychological or it's always social. That's like saying that if you play slightly out of tune it is ALWAYS because of faulty hand position, or ALWAYS because the violin strings went flat, or ALWAYS because you didn't practice enough, or ALWAYS because you don't have good relative pitch to begin with.

And every day IS a blessing. You become aware of that more as you get older, but it is true at any age.

The miracle of Josef Hassid is what he was able to accomplish (rather than what he was not able to accomplish), considering whatever his personal and/or medical demons might have been.


April 2, 2007 at 05:22 PM · I don't know. To me, enjoying his beautiful music is increasingly more like eating tasty veal after following this thread. I don't eat veal anymore.


April 2, 2007 at 05:39 PM · For Sander:

Semmelweiss was hungarian, worked in Vienna.

April 2, 2007 at 08:04 PM · I've been taking Prozac for about almost 10 years, no complaints here.

April 3, 2007 at 01:13 AM · Thank you for the correction, Daniel. ANd Rick, bless you; one brief story like yours is worth a thousand words.


April 3, 2007 at 01:34 AM · My pleasure Sandy. I always enjoy your post!

April 3, 2007 at 04:21 AM · Jay, I understand where you come from. If you think medical profession get to be blamed too much, try becoming a lawyer:) For years I couldn’t figure out why so many people are so angry with doctors and lawyers and why the criticisms frequently sound so harsh and unfair while most of these professionals are dedicating huge chunk of their life working their neck off to help people. Years gone by I still think most of the criticisms aren’t fair but they are chiefly the result of frustration and misunderstanding about the profession they criticise. These days I'm more and more inclined to feel for people outside the profession that they can’t fully understand why things the way they are, and when they have or had some difficult time dealing with these professionals, often all they have is to criticise and complain – it’s a sign of powerlessness in many cases, and that is not really too much for a professional to take, I think.

April 3, 2007 at 04:45 AM · It's completely not true that the psychiatric profession with their model of mental illness being something biological has improved peoples lives. There is only more mental illness and the true scientific evidence of what "mental illness" truly is is suppressed as well as that which helps the most.

As to anything being sanctimonious it's the drug companies and the psychiatric community making an ideology out of a belief that all their research shows does not exist (when their "treatments" only create more mental illness and more relapses they say they need more money for research while in countries where they don't have the money for such "treatments" people have less relapses and integrate into society better: when they use medications which damage the mind they try to pass this off as something the "disease" did and then say that someone needs medications to treat the damage which their drugs created. They treat a chemical imbalance they can't prove exists in order to create a chemical imbalance)

The sanctimonious posturing I see is by the fanaticism of the drug companies, the psychiatric system and how they suppress any treatment which leaves the brain in a healthy state.

I am sure you can find enough people that say their lives are improved by drinking coca cola or eating snickers bars who knows what else that people decide they need although there's certainly no scientific evidence that it improves their life, treats a chemical imbalance or improves society. To take such addictions and use it as an excuse to force such consumptions on people and call them medications is FACISM.


Further more someone who is going through the kind of emotional crisis Hassid was going through (and is a sensitive artist who actually understand emotions at a multidimensional level) need to have a healthy brain in order to understand what is going on DESPITE THE FACT THAT SOCIETY HAS A PROBLEM WITH SOMONE BEHAVING IN A WAY THEY CALL DEPRESSED BECAUSE IT POINTS OUT THAT THERE ARE PROBLEMS GOING ON IN SOCIETY WHICH SOCIETY DOESN'T WANT TO TAKE NOTICE OF.

And consequently what is called treatment is a human rights abuse!

April 3, 2007 at 04:59 AM · Jay Azneer says

"One might just as well listen to many of you play violin and decide that there isn't much good to be derived from teaching since so many of you play badly. Put your soapboxes away. "

Put your own soapbox away, to try to help people in a way that has only been proven to make things worse (and which killed Joseph Hassid and many others) and say there's something wrong with giving up on it because you don't want to see what you really have or would do. this TRULY IS sanctimonious.

So try to live in your own world and see what you are doing instead of projecting it on everyone else!

You'd have to also study the links which contain the information about the psychiatric drugging which the corporate media, the FDA and society doesn't want you to know!

April 3, 2007 at 05:02 AM · I'm starting to lose interest in responding to these particularly predictable hypocritical statements.

You people seem not to be able to live in your own world and have to act like everyone else is doing it?

April 3, 2007 at 03:11 PM · I agree to a point that the psychiatric profession with their biological theories can make and has made people with mental disorders worse. They treat the symptoms and not the root cause of the disorder, as a result people are hooked on a drug all there lives with sometimes negative side effects. However, on the other hand, you can't deny medication hasn't helped millions of people. For example, in my opinion ,there would be more suicides in general if some of these people were not on some kind of Anti-depressant. What I have found out through years of research, and many years in therapy, is that most people can't and don't want to know the root cause of their problems. There is too much emotional pain a person has to face to get to the root cause of their problems to begin with. Therapy is by far not an easy process! As a result, most people stay in denial about their trauma, and use some form of medication to control the symptoms of their abuse. What a big SHAME. But what is the root cause of all these mental disorders? How to they develope? What is not being talked about? Who is getting off the hook here? Believe me, It's not just the psychiatric profession at fault here. I suggest anyone interested in knowing more about the root cause of all mental disorders, should read one of Alice Millers books. She is a well known, world wide, Psychoanalyst from Germany.

April 3, 2007 at 05:31 PM · Rick:

The personality and interpersonal causes of the problems labelled here as "mental illness" actually do have a rich history and have been written on by many, many brilliant and insightful people. Many of these professionals viewed psychological problems as human problems of living, growing, and coping, rather than as abnormal medical problems.

In fact, that is exactly how Freud changed over time. He started as a physician studying a "disease" (Hysteria), and ended up viewing this as a problem springing from the issues involved in normal human personal development.

And there is no doubt that there is a legitimate place for temporary symptom relief, even if it does not necessarily provide a permanent "cure."

I think that today, however, the zeitgeist (spirit of the times) is indeed to focus primarily on trying to find physiological aspects and treatments, and the psychological is relegated to more of a "case management" role.


April 3, 2007 at 08:44 PM · There's just a new article about how electroshock (which now is STILL used) does permanent brain damage in anyform that it is used!

April 3, 2007 at 09:15 PM · Dear YiXi:

I lived in Shanghai for 3yrs, and am married to a lovely woman of Chinese descent. I have also studied pyschology, and have first hand experience with schizophrenia. The fact YOU do not see schizo patients in China means obviously you have no training to teach you to see it. I have seen hundreds of people in Shanghai who clearly show symptoms of mental disorders of some sort, who are clearly untreated, to the enormous strain of their families. And, China does have hospitals overflowing with patients. China does not admit her problems or mistakes. If you knew anything about the SARS outbreak you would know my assertion to be true, and borne out by the WHO. SARS was magnified many times worse by the incompetence and secrecy of health officials. Anyway, if China reports few schizo patients, it is only because China chooses this. Were China to have an honest assessment and reporting mechanism in place today, you would certainly see many millions of cases. In fact, you would see a normal distribution of cases, which would prove that China would have the same distribution of cases you see elsewhere. Also, you would see in China the complete spectrum of illnesses. China has every illness known to man, and every unknown illness.

Although mental illness may afflict violinsts, I believe the subject is best left for experts, or at the least people who have devoted a considerable part of their lives to the study of it. I would certainly prefer to read learned opinions, than none at all, as this is what I consider to be respect for fellow readers. True, I feel sad to know the likes of Hassid came and went so early, but so did Mozart. I prefer to leave the matter at that - a loss, perhaps never to be seen again.

Can we get back to music, please?

April 3, 2007 at 09:55 PM · Roelof, just FYI, it's spelled "fascism"...

April 4, 2007 at 02:16 AM · Dear Ron,

Thanks for your response to my post. With greatest respect, I wish to point out that, had you read my post carefully, you would have noticed that I made explicitly the following points regarding what I observed in Shanghai:

a) I said it was my unscientific observation;

b) I said I was looking for someone knowledgeable to explain my unscientific observation which implies that I'm not an expert in this field and I don't have trained eyes;

c) I also specifically said: "I’m not suggesting that there aren’t any mental patients in China. Of course there are people with all kind of illness including mental problems in China, but you rarely see them wondering on the street, hanging around in university or at work place in China."

I was only commenting on what I (the lay person) have seen and what I haven’t (ie, my ignorance). I still stand by this observation. That's been said, when it comes to mental patients on street and at other public places, it does not always take an expert to see that they are there. If people are delusional to the point of attempting to harm themselves or others for no obvious reason, any 'reasonable person' (to use a famous legal term) on the street can tell whether this person appears to have some mental problem. I see a lot more such people in Canada than I ever saw in Shanghai. Of couse a lot what I didn't see could and do exist, but that wasn't what I was talking about.

Of course, I’m most interested in hearing what experts have to say about this and if you are one of them, I'm very pleased to meet you. I also expect views from an expert will be offered in a fair and respectful manner and I hope I’m not asking for too much.



April 4, 2007 at 03:54 AM · YiXi:

I stand corrected.

hmmm, when I landed in Shanghai,I saw many more people with "unusual" behaviour than I recall seeing in Canada. You, from China, see more unusual people in Canada, than you recall seeing in China. Now what do you infer from this? As Artie Shaw would say... vverrrrzy interrrreshtink. Hey Sander, can you help us with this one? anyway, back to music?

April 4, 2007 at 04:23 AM · I've lived in Canada for 20 years. I'm in law and policy and I'm working with people from all walks of life on daily basis. Back in China, I was a nurse and worked with patients on a daily basis. I'm not sure how to infer from this.

Sandy, where are you when we need you?

Yes, back to music.

April 4, 2007 at 07:37 AM · Once again. There is NO scientific basis for what are called mental illnesses. The criteria used to determine these illnesses are sociological and involved with same kind of sociological constructs which define poverty, minority status and one who lives in a war zone. There is NO scientific proof that what is called mental illness is organically based. In the meantime, The methods used to "treat" these illnesses by the psycho-pharma method all have been proven to damage the organic brain while at the same time not attending to any proven chemical imbalance. The drugs used for "treatment" in countries which can afford them, when missing in treatments in countries which cannot afford them prove that when people AREN'T giving these drugs that they get better without the amount of relapses and integrate into society better. Also, when people are treated in a way which simply allows them to express the "crazy" thoughts they have and are surrounded by others who are compassionate and egalitarian while NOT being forced on medications (in countries which do have the money for the drugs), then they integrate back into society better and do not have the amount of relapses. This treatment is also considerably cheaper as well as being more effective and this is simply because it empowers the people and helps them understand that they can learn express themselves (even though they might have been incredibly confused and society told them it was because they had something wrong with their brain). For it to be considered proper to use methods which have been proven to be less effective (even in a system which judges emotional wounds as being diseases) and in the mean time negate the fact that such method is part of a covert way of ignoring how such a "society" ignores emotional wounds it causes itself, this is a very cruel way of undermining diversity and social evolution itself. The psycho-pharm industry makes up a disease it has no proof is biological treats it as if it is biological which causes brain damage and then prevents methods from being used which show that they don't know what they are doing: all of this for some proof they say they will find which they need more and more money for while there is a whole epidemic going on of what THEY call mental illnesses while methods that have been proven to actually help things see such occurrences as emotional wounds. All this so that people can believe that a pill will make them happy or stop them from being confused rather than seeing the human condition in a wider scope which entails learning how the natural mind tries to communicate, regardless of whether this fits into a social machinery based on fear.

Many people will swear by Coca Cola, Chocolate products, or other consumptions which they believe they need to feel better but which have not been proven to attend to a chemical imbalance (no matter how much the scientists believe they will find one of those using these products believe that it exists). To advertise these products as attending to a chemical imbalance because it is believed to be there or to force others on such consumption for such a belief are human rights abuses, and certainly when such substances have been proven to do damage to the body, this happens in asylum to almost 100% percent of patients. Even if something does attend to a chemical imbalance (which is not the case with ANY psychiatric drug) this does NOT mean that the body could have readjusted the imbalance itself with a a change in behavior and or nutrition.

April 4, 2007 at 08:08 AM · Thanks Maury, I can't go back and edit that one so it will have to stand. I really wonder if there is another word for such behavior because it might be considered more covert than fascism perhaps. It's more like what the CIA does in any developing country whose resources might not be exploitable to USA big business anymore.

April 4, 2007 at 08:55 AM · It's called conspiracy theory.

April 4, 2007 at 11:27 AM · roelof, what is your background with your understanding of mental illness? from self reading, or self study, or a more formal education and if so from where?

ps, i fail to see the word "music" in the original thread, thus i am aimlessly drifting, having to nowhere to go back to.

April 4, 2007 at 04:15 PM · Roelof:

As a clinical psychologist, I can tell you that the very views you are expressing have been articulated by many in the psychological and psychiatric fields for decades, although they are usually in the minority. And there is a lot more understanding and empathy for your point of view from people on this website (including me) than you think.

As I said, I was trained from a totally psychological point of view to behavior and interpersonal problems, and I myself have come to a grudging admission of the appropriateness of a medical point of view slowly and over time and only in certain instances. And it certainly can be very helpful for relieving symptoms (just as aspirin can help headaches without curing them).

But, yes, although it isn't my area of expertise, I know of no scientific study that finds a medical "cause" for what is called "mental illness" (in the same sense that we know that there are cancer cells in the body).

And I, too, believe that the concept of "illness" is accepted much to quickly in this area. My term for it is that we "diseasify" everything. As I said, what the heck is "restless leg syndrome"? I didn't know it was a "disease."

As far as treatment, as a critic of the psychopharmacological establishment, you're going to have to wait in line. There are plenty ahead of you.

A close relative of mine has been treated with heavy doses of drugs plus shock treatments only last year, much to my dismay. Being totally familiar with his situation, my guess is that if there is a medical basis to his history (and there is some evidence for it), it accounts for maybe (maybe!) 10% of his current problems. Most of it is clearly (to me) psychological. But even though I'm an experienced clinical psychologist, they won't listen to me because I'm a close family member and therefore not "objective" enough.

As to the demographics of mental illness in China, I have no idea what the situation is. But I do think it is true that basically society defines problems as medical, psychological, political, social, criminal, religious, economic, etc. If the medical/psychological professional community has a voice in that society's definition, then that community will make the definition that will be accepted by society. And that, I think, is very much what happens.

I don't know if any of that clarifies anything for anybody, but in any case this discussion was supposed to be about Josef Hassid. So let me say a few things about Hassid. From what I have read (putting myself in the mindset of a malpractice attorney), a lobotomy was the wrong treatment. And even if it was the right treatment, it wasn't done with a good outcome. Indeed, it seems to have been done improperly, as evidenced by the fact that he died soon after. I rest my case.

Cheers to all.


April 4, 2007 at 05:17 PM · sandy, even these days surgery carry risks of complication. just because the patient dies does not say much about malpractice.

i am quite surprised that you being a clinical psychologist take the view that mental illness does not have a medical basis.

for people suffering from chronic depression, if the serotinon uptake inhibitors inhibit something, does that suggest to you at least there is a chemical basis and in the medical point of view, a medical basis?

in your opinion, is there a need to distinguish what we do not know from what what we do not believe that exists?

April 4, 2007 at 07:43 PM · Al:

I didn't say it doesn't have a medical basis. The consensus today is that it does. But I think that it does not necessarily in every case or every type of problem. The tendency is to assume that it is physiological and then look for proof. Sometimes they find it.

The point is you really can't make a blanket statement that ALL problems judged as abnormal are an illness, or that ALL such problems are not. The history of my field is rife with errors both ways.

Even now, in one of my areas of expertise, academic underachievement, there is a certain classic type of underachievement problem whose history as a psychological problem is well documented but not widely understood. Many of these kids are mislabelled as ADD when they are not. It used to be the opposite, when ADD was not well understood, that many kids with ADD were mislabeled as having some sort of personality or attitude problem. The reality is that both types of problems exist, but that the similarities are such that without a very careful and specific differential diagnosis, it is easy to misdiagnose the problem. You tend to perceive what you've been trained in to perceive.

The real problem in my field is learning enough about enough different points of view, that you can either 1) make an accurate differential diagnosis, or 2) recognize when something is not in your realm of expertise and needs to be referred, whether that is to a psychiatrist or to a behavior therapist or to an acupuncturist or an internist.

Ideology does not make for a good diagnostician. And I have indeed seen problems that look just like true physiological mental illness that in my humble opinion are not. And, I've also seen many, many psychological or situational problems that actually needed to be dealt with medically (as a psychologist, you get a lot of those referred to you).

Anyway, I do believe that we are quick to diagnose the medical in today's world because it seems more clear, more scientific, and less messy. That makes it more economical, but the question is, is it right to begin with? And that, I believe, is a legitimate question. I just don't think that one is necessarily being objective if they keep coming up with the same answer before even examining the specifics of the problem.

If someone (as is my family member) obsessed with his unhappiness and with killing himself because of his supposed over-dependency on another family member, it's much easier to throw him in a hospital and give him drugs and shock treatments - rather than intensive, long-term counseling and a humane setting where he can have the chance to work out whatever those issues are. That ain't practical, and insurance won't pay for it (they will pay for the hospital treatment).

Sorry about the diatribe. And I don't really ascribe any political connotations to anyone's point of view.


April 4, 2007 at 10:32 PM · al ku just because "medications" suppress the the reuptake of seratonin doesn't mean that they are addressing an illness. It does mean that they are interfering with natural workings in the brain WITHOUT proof that they are addressing a chemical imbalance. The whole history of how anti-depressants were allowed to be used by the FDA is a study in coruption. They only passed marginally as being at all effective and then only when people were given anti-depressants along with sedatives. Then the last half of the trial period wasn't put in the report which turned out because when people had to get off of anti-depressants (which they do in trial experiments) that they were having flue like symptoms, inability to sleep, sever restlessness and even seizures along with other problems. So it really points out that for anti-depressants no to become addictive (and possibly do permanent brain damage) a person should only be on them for one day. When it says in a commercial that your depression could be because of a chemical imbalance this mean that it could be because of anything because they don't have any proof that it's organically based. More over any substance that interferes with the natural workings of the brain (without addressing any chemical imbalance) could show to be an "anti-depressant" because it would turn off the brain which is trying to point out that there are emotional issues that need attending. MUSIC does this, it attends to emotional issues.

I find it descriptive that, in China, it is widely known that the media is controlled by the government, but here in the USA when you try to say two words about things the corporate media doesn't want you to know youa re called a conspiracy theorist or asked whether your information comes from the people who are lobbying to make sure the truth doesn't come out

April 5, 2007 at 04:06 AM · My friend Joseph said about this discussion "it gets better" and sure enough.

From being a conspiracy theorist to someone's excuse for trying to insult squirrels (which never happened) and this whole parade of putting things which are called "medications" in the classification of medications even though the very method of the discipline which decides whether something is a medications or not is completely compromised – because then you can believe that in the future you will prove that there was a reason for this mass drugging which has caused an epidemic of brain damage and disability (along with apathy) which is all considered functional: To it being healthy to not have a healthy brain but have your brain damaged so that you don't know you aren't emotionally healthy anymore (because society ofcourse can't deal with something as multidimensional as emotions because in such a case harmony doesn't exist out of fear anymore).

Well here is a link just to make sure that when you call me a conspiracy theorist you can make sure I'm one of those nasty radicals that's completely undermining society by exposing what the drug companies really do. Remember I'm the conspiracy theorist not those who point out that what I say is based on conspiracy theory despite not having investigated the truth of it.

About US "interventions" since world war 2:


From the site

Or you could simply go to and do a search for the word CIA

Oh and make sure when there's evidence that something isn't a medication even though you're sure it makes you feel good (whether it's chocolate, chips, candy, going to the mall and buying more consumer goods you don't really need, watching TV sitcoms which are in some sort of competition to see which can be the most hysterical about pettiness – while sitting through all those wonderful commercials –, getting plastic surgery or such more upbeat things as doing street drugs or enhancing your moods with cigarettes, alcohol or the stuff you can get a prescription for) : make sure you just keep on trying and don't look back., you might actually need something as superficial and decedent as music.

Stay away from such bourgeois stuff!

April 4, 2007 at 10:31 PM · roelof, i appreciate your feedback.

i dont know you, so i will read your comment with an open mind, assuming you know what you are talking about since you have such a strong stand on your belief, which i respect, not necessarily the nature of your belief but your strong conviction.

you repeatedly say that since we do not know the root of the problem, we are simply using drugs to suppress the symptoms. you are right on.

that is exactly the case where finally there are meds out there that can by and large control the symptoms for many people with much less side effect than previous generation of meds. people do not suffer from the root of the problem but its symptoms. until one day in utopia we find all the roots for all the people, what do we do with all the symptoms for the time being?

this is like you get stranded in a snowy mountain and refuse to stay warm because you believe the best solution is to get out of the mountain. you are right, except you could be dead.

let me use major depression as an example of mental illness. people develop depression from different etiologies. as previously stated by others, there are no serum markers that can easily identify individuals with the problem. do you really need them? it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, tastes like a duck, but does not come with a label.... what the duck! you can lose a job, lose a spouse, lose a dog, or for no apparent reason at all, depression just hits like a mack truck. you have problem sleeping, lose all desires, you feel hopeless, helpless and worthless.

you advocate caring support and counseling. i am all for that. but is that all that is needed? in the current health care system, how many people are clinically depressed and how many are competent providers? YOU WILL BE SHOCKED TO FIND OUT THAT RATIO! stats indicate at least in the western culture, 1 in 4 persons develop the major depression over their life time. the prevalence is therefore quite high at any one time. for most people, they do not get the proper care in terms of the quality of counseling. (oh sorry, john, your session has to be stopped starting monday because your hmo only allows 6 sessions. sorry, may be try acupuncture or meditation. or eat some garlic or something. good luck, john. click)

the proper use of the drugs in a not very ideal world improves quality of life, quality of daily function, so that there is less of a chance of people harming themselves or others, more of a chance of people getting back their old self. this is a very big deal until the rescue team finds you on the mountain.

not perfect, probably never will, but many many lives have been saved, many many people's careers have been reestablished because of the combination of drugs and counseling.

if the current meds were available for mr hassid back then, there is a very very good chance that he would have benefited from them.

btw, your use of the word addiction is incorrect. look it up.

April 6, 2007 at 11:01 PM · I never said that the root of the problem isn't known I said that it has shown time and time again NOT to be organically based. What has shown to be the MOST effective economically and in treatment is not acknowledged. You can list umpteen reason why you think it is a problem people don't get treatment in a system which, because of ideology, doesn't acknowledge what truly helps and so prevents such treament from being available, but this again only shows the bias against what TRULY works. There is a difference between addiction and cure. Integrating into a society which is slowly destroying the planet, by using drugs to turn off your mental faculties (and create addiction) and call this healing is worse than a joke.

I have to add that in another post I wrote this "Even if something does attend to a chemical imbalance (which is not the case with ANY psychiatric drug) this does NOT mean that the body could have readjusted the imbalance itself with a a change in behavior and or nutrition. " I forgot a not. It should read" "this does NOT mean that the body could not have readjusted the imbalance itself with a a change in behavior and or nutrition."

I meant to point out that even when a chemical balance is known that the information which would readjust this imbalance without making a person dependent on drugs is withheld (or not even investigated).

I can't correct that BAD mistake in that post (also from April 4) So I correct it here.

Simple investigation in sources beyond mainstream consumer oriented propoganda will tell you all these things.

April 5, 2007 at 01:04 AM · Today,Hassid family could get 20 millons or more for damages

April 5, 2007 at 05:14 AM · To that China-comparison: I've worked for some years besides my study in a psychiatric hospital, 9 nightturns/month on an acute phase station. There was a doc, who graduated about cultural differences in mental illnesses concerning the occurence of paranoid psychosis in Germany and in South-Korea (something like that). He talked a lot about several similar case studies and provided us with literature. If you check amazon or google for transcultural/ethnopsychiatric psychology, you'll find a lot of books and studies. Here is a short introduction into "Transcultural Psychiatry" and a short list of books. China was an often mentioned comparison with its unique old medical tradition and its completely different point of view than western medicine. The symptoms were said to be completely unclassical due to different educational, cultural, social or environmental influences. The western illness-stencil didn't fit that well, so the term "culture-specific symptoms" appeared quite often. I'd love to read a study of a chinese or an african psychologist about western symptoms once. :/

Back to music and Joseph Hassid. For those who might not have heard him playing yet, here you can listen to four of his very few recordings (La Capricieuse, Humoresque, Meditation, Playera).

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