So I was watching 12 Monkeys for the first time in several years. I had forgotten about the themes revolving around psychiatry and just remembered the movie as being about an inevitable time loop that I always regarded Bruce Willis as being too dumb to figure out in time, even though the audience had it down maybe 3 quarters of the way into it. That being said, I always enjoyed the movie a lot especially for its gleefully insane Brad Pitt. Anyway, if you haven’t caught the flick in a while, you really should. My favorite Gilliam movie by far.
I am a person who is rather distrustful of psychiatry. I often think especially that, at least in Canada, child psychology/psychiatry is truly diabolical. These fuckers stake claims on our children’s behavior like it’s the wild west. Every year, new disorders are popping up and hyper kids are given a laundry list of mental afflictions ranging from ADHD to “Conduct Disorder”. If I were a kid in this era, I’d be so strung out on ritalin, lithium, and what-have-you that I’d hardly be a person. I’d have a list of “disorders” as long as my arm. And yet I have grown up to be a pretty normal guy. Explain that, eggheads!
Not to mention that pills seem to be the answer to everything. Sometimes I’m sure pills really help people. Other times I think it’s like performing brain surgery on a paper cut.
For all my criticisms, I do believe in the traditional clinical psychology in which you sit down with a trained counselor and talk out your problems. You might be able to get the same results from an insightful friend without paying $100/hr+ but at least the method is sound.
Where 12 Monkeys gains a shade of relevance is in a great couple of lines spoken by Madeline Stowe.
“Psychiatry–it’s the latest religion. And we’re the priests–we decide what’s right and what’s wrong–we decide who’s crazy and who isn’t… I’m in trouble, Owen. I’m losing my faith.”
Consider me an agnostic.