The following article from the op-ed page of the March 10, 2002, New York Times focuses on schizophrenia. But in this book I go beyond schizophrenia. I explain that none of the people described in the DSM-IV, the official diagnostic and statistical manual of mental illness published by the American Psychiatric Association, are mentally ill. I don’t deny the reality of their symptoms; I deny that these symptoms, whatever they may be, are an untreatable component of an incurable brain malfunction.
I do not see their symptoms as mental illness but as an indication that they are not nearly as mentally healthy as they could learn to be. What I believe and will explain in depth throughout this book is that the basic human problem has nothing to do with the structure or physiology of our brain. We are by our nature social creatures and to be mentally healthy or happy, we need to get along well with the people in our lives.
Unhappy people like John Nash, and all those whose disorders appear in the DSM-IV, are not mentally healthy. They are lonely or disconnected from the people they need.
As I will explain in depth, they express their unhappiness in the symptoms described in the DSM-IV plus many others like pain and anger. For them to become more mentally healthy and happier, we have to offer compassion, social support, education, and counseling. They do not need brain drugs and electric shocks, all of which harm their brains.
Foreword by Terry Lynch, M.D.
one : Who Am I, Who Are You, and What Is Mental Health?
two : The Difference between Physical Health and Mental Health
three : Unhappiness Is the Cause of Your Symptoms
four : The First Choice Theory Focus Group Session: Choosing Your Symptoms
five : We Have Learned to Destroy Our Own Happiness
six : Introducing External Control Psychology and Choice Theory
seven : The Third Choice Theory Focus Group Session—Joan, Barry, and Roger
eight : The Role of Our Genes in Our Mental Health
nine : How Can You Say That We Choose Our Symptoms?
ten : The Fourth Choice Theory Focus Group Session
eleven : Luck, Intimacy, and Our Quality World
twelve : The Fifth Choice Theory Focus Group Session
thirteen : Important Material from Al Siebert, Ph.D., and Anthony Black
fourteen : You Have Finished the Book, Now What?