Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blog #1 Ronson Chapter 3

In this chapter, Ronson explains a new type of therapy made to cure psychopathy. A budding psychiatrist, Elliot, learned about a new type of therapy, nude therapy, and found that it makes people uncover their emotional nakedness, and cures anxiety. Elliot thought that this same idea could not only work for people with anxiety, but also work for psychopaths. Elliot believed in the fundamentals of this therapy; if you let people dig deep down and think about all of their awful qualities, the psychopathy would burn itself out. So he began working with psychopaths at Oak Ridge Hospital. He would put them into a room naked for weeks, and put them on LSD. While they went crazy, the theory was that all of their psycho thoughts would disappear. Eventually, they settled down and developed emotions. All was going well at first; the psychopaths started to act like true emotional people. When Elliot was tired and burned out, Gary stepped in to continue Elliot's work. It was successful for quite a while. Unfortunately, years later, when the statistics of the research came out, it turned out that this type of therapy actually made the psychopaths worse, and more likely to cause harm.

I thought this was a very interesting chapter. Although I am not necessarily a big advocate on holistic medicine, (in this case, just letting their psychopathy run its course), I do think that Elliot had a good idea in beginning this type of therapy. If it worked for people with anxiety, why couldn't it work for psychopaths?But then it all made sense. Anxiety is a mental disorder that can be fixed, let's say with drugs, but psychopathy is who someone is; it can't be changed. So if Elliot would have better compared the two illnesses, he probably would have realized that this type of therapy was probably not useful. I liked the gruesome aspect of the chapter. I love learning about serial killers (that may sound weird), but it's just really interesting to me, and I think it made the chapter more exciting to read. I think that if Ronson had not added real-life serial killers stories to back up the therapy, it would have made the chapter less convincing.

Thursday, September 15, 2011