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Re: The Who Mailing List Digest V4 #68

> The Who Mailing List Digest
> Thursday, March 20 1997Volume 04 : Number 068
> Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 14:23:19 +0000
> From: mark.klyn@mohican.mwsu.edu (Mark Klyn)
> Subject: Reply to Ledbetter's request
> Date:          Wed, 19 Mar 1997 19:53:02 -0800 (PST)
> From:          TheWho-Digest-Owner@igtc.com (The Who Mailing List Digest)
> To:            TheWho-Digest@igtc.com
> Subject:       The Who Mailing List Digest V4 #67
> Reply-to:      TheWho@igtc.com
> Okay Ledbetter (the #1 contributor to this cool list), you asked for it
> so you will get it. By the way I brought up this Tommy thing in my
> psychopathology class, thereby introducing several people to The WHO.
> < Oh, and Mark E. Klyn, that was a very good and concise summary of how
> < Freud's beliefs would relate to our Pete and his auto-destruction.
> < <applause>  And now, for your next assignment, compare and contrast
> < the symptoms displayed by Tommy and real children with autism.  (Just
> < kidding of course, although I actually did once have a lengthy
> < discussion with a friend of mine on that very subject.)
>      Tommy in fact does not have Autism. Autism is an organic
> condition, meaning it has a biological etiology (cause). Rather,
> Tommy's affliction is based upon the anxiety he experienced when he
> saw his mother's lover kill his father (Captain Walker), which by the
> way has Oedipul overtones. The official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders IV
> (DSM-IV) would indicate that Tommy is an individual with a Conversion Disorder
> (300.11).

1.  Oedipal

2.  His father kills the lover, not vice versa.

3.  Is that the book (DSM-IV) that prescribes a disorder for every one
of us?
>      Okay, now let me explain the Conversion Disorder. Basically it
> is a holdover from Freud's original work. It is one of the classic
> Hysteria disorders. In Conversion Disorder, an individual has a good
> deal of anxiety. Rather than expressing this anxiety as "normal"
> people do, individuals w/ Conversion Disorder, convert their anxiety
> into physical symptoms. These symptoms often involve paralysis,
> numbness, and loss of sensation (deaf, dumb, and blind). Under the
> Umbrella of Conversion Disorder in the DSM-IV are four specifiers, or
> types. These are 1) with Motor symptoms or deficits, 2) with Sensory
> symptoms or deficits, 3) with Seizures or Convulsions, and 4) with
> Mixed presentation (TOMMY).
> So now we have the disorder, but we might ask, Why is he able to play
> pinball if he has these motor and sensory deficits?
> Answer: When Tommy plays pinball, his overall level of anxiety is
> reduced (like me),

You're reduced?

> therefore he is able to at least to a degree, reduce his
> motor and sensory deficits.
> His cure comes about of cours when he smashes the mirror. This is a
> more symbolic way of Tommy dealing with the anxiety, realizing that
> his father's death was not his responsibility, thereby reducing his
> anxiety. Freud might say that his Oedipul conflict, and the resulting
> anxiety, were resolved when he smashed the mirror, and lost the guilt
> (anxiety) feelings about being in competition with his father for his
> mother.

1.  His mother smashed the mirror.

2.  If I didn't know any better, I'd have to say that this post shows a
psychologist's typical lack of regard for the facts...

3.  I think your analysis is wrong as far as where Tommy's anxiety comes
from--I don't see it as being Oedipal so much as just shock; a child is
likely to go into shock when any one part of his world is broken with a
violent act; Oedipal or not, the child may just be afraid that its world
will be shattered once more.  (Though that is what it takes, in Tommy's
case, to remove the shock.)  Then again, I'm not the psychology expert
here, am I?

- --LP.