Politics and Opinion

An unreasonable argument? Medicine, politics and paranoia

A potential hidden problem, or an unreasonable argument?


The nature of mental illness in the mind of an educated person - an argument with regard to the profession of medicine.

 

Opinion

 

The essence of the following argument is that mental illness can be hidden, and paranoid beliefs can easily be hidden in well-educated and apparently reasonable individuals. So can racist beliefs, in a well educated person, becuase such people know very well that to voice such statements is considered bad, uneducated, and generally not expected of anyone with a university education. But racist or elitist views could still exist. Should the mental health of the medical profession should be checked out more carefully for this, given that they deal in areas of life and death? Their beliefs are very important, because any hidden beliefs, and particularly any hidden paranoid beliefs, could lead to results for the patient and following is one theory as to how it could happen.

 

Naturally, this is a very risky argument. It is highly likely it would be regarded as offensive. However, the bases for experimentation on human subjects, or using women and children or others as human shields, and so on, suggests that it is in the human nature of many to be falliable. To be greedy. To be corrupt and even to use people as human guinea pigs if people think they can get away with it. One can look at history. In many many countries, this has happened.

 

The following is a theoretical example, developed using one idea, the idea of the use of a person's own abstract reasoning capacities, as a method which could be used to abuse them by an educated professon, or in fact, by anyone at all, but for the purposes of this argument, it is how it could be done to a patient, by a doctor, or a medical professional. The ideas are not necesarily based on anything factual, and have no relationship to any medical personnel anywhere in the world in particular.

 

It is an argument that uses an example of how an educated professional could use a particular technique to influence or control another person, and it is developed as a theroretical argument to show how it could be done. The essence of this is to illustrate how an understanding of mental illness can be used for, or against, and that this understanding does exist in academic educated professionals is the basis of this reasoning.


'Associations' - cognitive associations:
'Associations': The doctor or medical professional could use a patient's own thinking or abstract reasoning, as a method of control. What is meant by an 'association'? What, for instance, a person might think about when they see, say, geraniums: maybe an elderly neighbour used to always have them on a balcony and so they always 'associate' geraniums with this elderly neighbour. Cognitive associations are known only to the person who has them: they are personal. The next person at the shop waiting in line, when they see geraniums, does not have the same assoication to them.

 

Everyone makes associations, sometimes, but possibly it is not normal to notice them or even be aware of them. But, in a medical situation, where doctors have sometimes advanced understanding of issues to do with psychiatry and psychology from consultation with other professionals, and in a situation where such a medical professional is also elitist, racist, or paranoid, a doctor might decide to find out what a patient's cognitive associations are. For this, they might ask about dates of anniversaires, birthdays of relatives (or possibly, in conversation, or even for clinical reasons: other events in the patient"s life). 

 

Why is this any concern? Naturally, it is not, if the doctor is mentally healthy. They may be trying to find out about other medical history and so on, to better treat the patient, or just be being friendly. But in a situation where the doctor is suffering undiagnosed paranoia, such questions could be asked with maleovlent intent. In fact, this argument is suggesting, that possibly such things could develop into a situation of patient abuse and the following is one way that in theory, it could develop. It is not written to create fear, but to try to consider the nature of mental illness in the mind of an educated person, how they may have a very advanced understanding of certain things to do with psychology, and how this can : 'go bad'.

 

If a doctor has undiagnosed paranoia?
So if a doctor has undiagnosed paranoia, they could, in theory, and this is the theory: use a patient's assocations, medically, to abuse them. To create false medical results based on what the patient believes and even insist the person get a psyciatric diagnoses so it can be on record that they are mentally ill, when in fact, it is the doctor who is mentally ill, racist, or elitist.

 

How could a doctor use a patient's associations to abuse them? Here is one way: the doctor finds out about their associations, and then tries to make them aware of them, unnaturally. This is bad. Why? Because trying to avoid things creates an awareness of the event in the mind. (This is one of the bases of phobic avoidance). To do it intentionally to another person, then, such as a patient, could be maleovolent because it could be done with the intention to create an avoidance of a time or day in the mind of the person, the patient.

 

Why would someone such as a medical professional or staff person, do this? To try to control, to try to make a person avoid things, to set up associations deliberately.

 

An example: Fear of finding out about pharmaceutical prescribing:

Some people are paranoid about computers for instance, and might try to limit the activity of others on them. A doctor, or medical professional, for instance, could be one of these people. He knows maybe, that the patient uses computer technology a lot, and he personally is paranoid about them scanning the receipts of his prescriptions into them. He has no rational basis for this. He is paranoid. But because of his paranoia, he is trying to make the patient stop doing things like this. (Or, he really has been involved in genuine medical fraud, and is paranoid for another reason). So the doctor might have found out the patient's cognitive associations and be using them as a form of hidden coercion to link medical abuse to it, so as to try to stop the patient from using computer technology, because he fears that his crime will be discovered, or he is paranoid about computers for no real reason, except a vague anxiety that he has never bothered to get checked out or evaluate (mental illness).

 

So,  here is a theoretical example of what such a doctor could do, if they are paranoid: he (or she) builds up in the patient's mind an awareness, say, of the patient's aunt's latest, say, award - giving anniversary date, for example, which he got from obtaining information about the patient's mother's sister (the patient's aunt)  by asking for family history information, when the patient first visited his clinic, in conversation. He then sends out advertising leaflets on the same date of it, again and again, evey month - or his staff do. Or other medical staff do, from other clinics or medical advertisers and they just keep on being sent to the patient. Spam, letters, advetising leaflets, and a high proportion of them are advertising for medical tests to be done at his clinic on the 12 th of this or that....... It is always on the date or often on the date of the patient's aunt's award ceremony (which was very important to this relative of his, a very nice event, and which he remembers attending) which was the 12th of March. But the 12 of May, the12th of July, the12th of October.. .? Why, the patient asks him or herself? Because the doctor, in this example, is trying to set up a associaton to the date of the 12th - in the thinking of the patient.

 

What happens now?

Now the patient is aware of it, the date. In their mind, and in this theoretical example, this is what the doctor intends. To force the patient to make an association to the '12th'. It is maleovolent, in this context, because it is done for a reason: to try to control the patient's behaviour in certain ways. Such as creating fear of going to the doctor on these days. Trying to set up an avoidance pattern . Then: the following happens, and this is where the result of this process shows: Maybe the doctor then later says that the results of the patient's medical test were '12.01' and on the other result: 36.01. Then they give the patient a choice as to which date they want to book the next appointment for: the 12th of October or the 27 October. The patient decides to choose the 27, then feels guilty. 'This is ridicuous isn't it? ' the patient asks themself, thinking back to how all those letters were sent out on the 12th. But it's a subtle sense of control the medical professional is obtaining over their behaviour, and next time he asks them about their use of computers he mentions medical receipts: 'Do you post them to the health insurer or do you email them?'' he asks. The patient says they send them online, because the health insurance company offers this option. After listening to this, the doctor then suggests the patient should make another appointment as the one on the 27 October is no longer available, and sorry, he did not realise. Unfortunately, the doctor says, the only one available is on the 12 October. The appointment is for a medical test, which, as the patient would be aware, is important that it's results are accurate -  and the patient worries. The patient is beginning to distrust this medical professional.

 

So how could this change the patient's behaviour?

Next time, the patient decides to claim for health insurance, but instead of scanning the receipt into their computer for sending to the health insurer - they mail it. So in this theoretical example: The doctor has influenced and in fact changed, the patient's behavour, just by applying subtle coercion (whether this result would apply to some, many, any patient.. is another argument possibly).   The doctor, in this theoretical example, did it because he is paranoid. But no one knows this.  No testing of him to find out if he is, has been done. (Or, the doctor may be racist, or elitist, for which testing of beliefs about various things could be done, but are probably usually not.) The intentions of the doctor are not easily provable, but it changed the behaviour all the same, of the patient. It was done, using this theroretical example, by the use of sophisicated medical and psychological methods, in such a way that no patient could easily explain it to any authority and expect to be taken seriously. It is the power of mental illness in the mind of an educated person, which, in this theroretical exampe, is a doctor.

 

Medical fraud and perceived 'threat'
In the above exampe: clinically, if this situation actually happenned, it would be a form of paranoia on the part of the medical professional: an effort to protect themselves from percived threat, when in fact, no threat from the patient, or from anyone else, may exist. The doctor is just scared, for example, of being caught and not aware of why he is scared, having committed no crime, and unaware that he suffers from delusions of persecution, excessive anxiety, or phobic fear of being caught 'committing crimes' say, involving medical fraud, or other situations.

 

This is why mental health testing could be useful for the medical profession, to make sure it does not occur, and even lie detector testing, due to the nature of the jobs they have involving life and death. it is not unheard of: in some states in the USA there have been some reports of lie detector testing being used for medicaid fraud, which is a major problem in the USA (although possibly it is the patients tested, not the doctors). Another argument for psychologcal and lie detector testing of doctors and medical staff is that in countries which are said to have a reasonably high level of unreported or reported mental illness, it is not unreasonable to assume that some of this could have got into the medical profession, who are after all, part of the community and not a separate species.

 

 Anyone can suffer from paranoia: doctors and medical staff are not exempt

To summarise: A doctor or anyone in the medical profession - or anyone at all of course - could be paranoid. That is, suffer from genuine clinical paranoia, such as delusions of persecution (believing patients are out to get them, dislike them, are going to report on them to health insurance companies for medical fraud, or any other personal issues the medical person may have. Paranoid beliefs, excessive anxiety over crime, unreasonable fear of authorities, grandiose beliefs about their status and overly anxious thinking about what will happen to them if caught having committed fraud as a result, seeing questionning by patients or authorities as something to be feared above all else and a threat to themselves, seeing potential danger as a result from the patient, or from anyone else such as health insurance companies, or authorities. In severe cases of paranoia, a medical professional could believe the patient will report them, and see this as a threat, and actually act on this paranoid belief that they are in danger by taking steps to make sure the perceived threat does not occur, such as by making sure the patient cannot scan receipts of prescriptions into a computer, as the above example described.

 

If psychological testing of medical staff were required, in addition to regular and compulsory lie detector testing, paranoia, racism and elitism, as problems in the medical world could be monitored, and paranoia, in particular. The danger of undiagnosed paranoia in doctors and medical staff is the essence of, and reason for, this argument: due to the potential of undiagnosed paranoia to cause very severe damage to a patient in ways, that, used by a doctor towards any patient, could be subtle, yet, for the patient who relies on this medical professional, very persuasive.

 

Written by Katrina Wood

January 2017

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