Social Construction of the Normality in Psychiatry and Science FictionKosilova Elena
The problem of normality in psychiatry has not been solved yet. Therefore, a philosophical understanding of the notion of the norm and abnormality becomes particularly important. These two concepts should be discussed together. To solve the problem the author uses the method of analysis of norm and abnormality in psychiatry and fiction. In psychiatry there are only disorders. Their classification was historically developed by means of social construction. The conceptions of normality are different in three kinds of psychiatry. In the state psychiatry it is the absence of social complaints to the person, in commercial psychiatry it is the patient’s mental comfort, in the scientific psychiatry the statistical criterion takes place. Science fiction is a kind of literature where the normality is specially questioned. The author shows that the statistical criterion does not work in defining the norm. We can distinguish the following criteria of normality: 1) normality as a possibility of communication. In the psychiatric situation the communication of the doctor and the patient is also possible. For this, the psychiatrist must carefully and delicately grasp the biased vector of patient’s senses. When the patient turns off, the doctor’s task is to carefully go round and avoid the defense, without breaking it. 2) Normality as a possibility of mutual interaction. For a patient, the interaction with the members of the family is important, as well as with the big society in the process of inclusion. 3) Normality as an adequacy. It is an adequate person who has a non-rigid personal basis, which allows him/her to open himself/herself to a new experience. The psychiatrist must constantly increase the patient’s adequacy with the same accurate ways, as in communication with him. The novelty of the approach is, first of all, to exclude the statistical criterion of the norm and to introduce the criterion of mutual understanding and interaction. The notion of adequacy is also introduced, based on the attitude to the world, openness to it and willingness to interact with it. Fantastic worlds are a model of abnormality, and the subjects of fantastic works are a mental laboratory for understanding and overcoming the mutual abnormality of different cultures and minds.