His groundbreaking exploration of the nature of madness, R.D. Laing's The Divided Self illuminated the nature mental illness, making the. Dr. Laing's first purpose is to make madness and the process of going mad comprehensible. In this, with case studies of schizophrenic patients, he succeeds. RD Laing was depressed, alcoholic and often cruel. Laing theorised that insanity could be understood as a reaction to the divided self.


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  • A Divided Self: Reclaiming R. D. Laing – Scottish Review of Books
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  • The Divided Self

He was a lovely guy and it was a shock to hear of his death. I think it will take some time to sink in.

The Divided Self, An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness by R. Laing

He moved out of the house they shared in Cap de Barberia, rd laing the divided self tranquil corner away from the tourist beaches.

At first he looked after Scherr's yacht in the port of La Savina, sleeping on the boat. Then, a month ago, in an increasingly fragile state of mind, he erected a tent in a wooded area near Janina's home, on private land owned by a British couple he knew.


It was here that his body was found, in an isolated field far away from home, accessible only by criss-crossing dusty tracks. It was a lonely way to end a life. He was not short of money but he was saying he was ready to leave.

R. D. Laing

Adam was at the point of packing his bags. I saw him a few days before his body was found, and we went on drinking into the night. He seemed all right at the end.

Dr Itten says the break-up of his parents' marriage - Adam's mother, Jutta, separated from Laing rd laing the divided self - affected him badly. I think that was a very sad period of time for Adam.

R. D. Laing - Wikipedia

He tried to soothe it with smoking, sometimes with drugs and with drinking as a sort of self-medication. I sometimes wondered if he would get lost on one of his travels on the ocean or break his neck rd laing the divided self down a wild mountainside.

He was a very adventurous young man.

Whatever the circumstances [of his death], perhaps he didn't have enough energy or power in him to deal with life. If they had known, they might have been struck by the horrible irony that one of Ronald David Laing's lasting contributions to psychiatry in the rd laing the divided self and 70s was linking mental distress to a dysfunctional family upbringing.

These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of its potentialities.

A Divided Self: Reclaiming R. D. Laing

This enterprise is on the whole successful. Instead of arising as a purely medical disease, schizophrenia was thus the result of wrestling with two identities: When the two are rd laing the divided self different, it triggers rd laing the divided self internal fracturing of the self.

He had died of a heart attack, aged Then, inGregory Bateson and his colleagues, Donald Jacksonand Jay Haley articulated a theory of schizophrenia as stemming from double bind situations where a person receives different or contradictory messages.

Laing argued a similar account for psychoses: Laing stressed the role of society, and particularly the familyin the development of "madness" his term.

My father, RD Laing: 'he solved other people's problems - but not his own' | Books | The Guardian

Laing was revolutionary in valuing the content of psychotic behaviour and speech as a valid expression of distress, albeit wrapped rd laing the divided self an enigmatic language of personal symbolism which is meaningful only from within their situation.

Laing expanded the view of the " double bind " hypothesis put forth by Bateson and his team, and came up with a new concept to describe the highly complex situation rd laing the divided self unfolds in the process of "going mad" — an "incompatible knot".

Laing never denied the existence of mental illness, but viewed it in a radically different light from his contemporaries. For Laing, mental illness could be a transformative episode whereby the process of undergoing mental distress was compared to a shamanic journey.


The traveler could return from the journey with supposedly important insights, and may rd laing the divided self become in the views of Laing and his followers a wiser and more grounded person as a result. Laing appears, alongside his son Adam, on the album Miniatures - a sequence of fifty-one tiny masterpieces edited by Morgan Fisherperforming the song " Tipperary ".

Laing read early drafts of The Divided Self to this group.