The Premise of Madness

The Premise of Madness

The following is one of Dr. David West Keirsey’s last distillations of his work on “Madness”.  Even I forget that he even included the method of intervention.

“Though this is madness, yet there’s method in it” — Shakespeare

The Factors of Madness

Methodic — mad action is a means of defining interpersonal relations
Entranced — mad action occurs only when one is socially unaware
Nonsensical — mad action makes no sense to those present
Designed — mad action is precisely relevant to those present
Habitual — mad action is repeated often from time to time
Disguised — mad action is exclusively role playing
Staged — mad action occurs only on circumscribed occasions
Defensive — mad action protects the player from being found unworthy

A person who fails to live up to expectations can be demoralized, that is either depersonalized or demobilized or beguiled or besieged. Which one of these kinds of demoralization befalls a person is pre-determined by that person’s temperament. Born that way and a failure, the person’s own kind of madness follows.

Managing Symptoms

Just as are the symptoms of physical disease managed by prescribing surgery or drugs, so too are the symptoms of social conflict managed by prescribing role practice.

Since playing a defensive role is done automatically in a social context, supervised symptom practice in the absence of that context renders the symptom useless. The symptom practitioner is cooperating with a symptom manager, not defending against critics. Cooperative symptom roleplaying differs from defensive symptom roleplaying. Defense is entranced concealment of shame, while cooperative is entranced display of trust.

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