心の丸窓/Round window of the mind(67) Paranoiac feeling at the worldwide panic

☞「心の丸窓」は心の杜の医師による心の診療に関するコラムです。

 

Round window of the mind is  the column about
mental therapy written by doctors of Kokoronomori Shinjuku Clinic.

When we are faced with a thread, and if it is too strong, we would lose the control of our reason and the capacity to deal with it. And we would regress to the immature state of mind, of which a psychoanalyst Mrs Klein called as paranoid-schizoid position. She thought that when a baby feels uncomfortableness, such as hunger, pain, wet clothes, etc. the baby feels like being attacked from outside. Even in adulthood, we do keep this position in our mind and sometimes, especially when we are faced with a thread, we regress to such a state.

 

However, we are able to recover our adulthood capacity to think rationally, if there are certain conditions. How quickly we can recover differs depending on one’s maturity, mental health state, environmental security, and other factors. When one cannot recover from the paranoid-schizoid position, one would feel anxious, sceptical, alert, and paranoiac.

 

The reaction with such state may also vary. Someone may try to deal with it by becoming omnipotent, which may lead to a hypomanic state. Another one may believe that enemy is out there trying to attack him. For example, he may believe that a certain country is intentionally created the virus to attack his own country. It may also cause what is called scapegoating. One of the members of the community is identified as an enemy threatening the community from inside. If this is believed among the members of the community, the belief can be reinforced by confirming each other. This may lead to a state of group hysteria and it becomes even more difficult to recover the rational, adulthood mind, let’s say, sanity.

 

A film, “Contagion” shows us how people may react and behave in worldwide panic of the pandemic. It tells us how easily we may believe demagog and can be controlled by it without being aware of it, because we do have the paranoid-schizoid mind in ourselves and there always be a pull to be possessed by it. It may not be easy, I think, but very important to try maintaining the objective view on ourselves and to “Stay calm and carry on”.

 

(Gugan)