ART & ORGANISM
DYSFUNCTION is ultimately a dis-ease of ADAPTATION, difficulty or inability to COPE with a real or perceived challenge to meeting a real or perceived biological need.
A first clue that an element of development, ecology, evolution, or physiology is more-or-less dysfunctional is when the organism presents symptoms that affect its ability to cope with challenges to its ability to meet biological NEEDS, an early expression of which is STRESS, manifest at the level of tissues and organ systems. IF persistent, it will be expressed in cognition and behavior.
The problem of variation haunts medical science. In the 19th century, one of the founders of experimental medicine, the French physiologist Claude Bernard, claimed that individual variability was an obstacle to medical judgment. If we could show that the abnormal was a mere quantitative deviation from the normal, he wrote, we would possess the key to treating any given individual, no matter how he or she veered from the rest. After all, if the pathological is merely a deviation from the normal, then not only the aim but the very possibility of the therapeutic act becomes clear: return the sick individual, organ, cell or system back to a normal state. ” –Sholl’s essay, “Nobody is Normal”
Any human trait can be pathologized when developmental or physiological circumstances leads to one of their constituent elements being deficient or expressed in excess (visit A&O notes on the Delphic Maxim]. WE would all likely agree that part of the human condition is more-or-less difficulty in identifying and expressing feelings. In the extreme it is termed “alexithymia,” and some people manifesting these traits are “prone to developing so-called somatic symptoms (bodily complaints such as pain or fatigue) and the use of compulsive behaviours to regulate their feelings, such as binge eating and alcohol abuse.” (read “Dark feelings will haunt us until they are expressed in words,” by Tom Wooldridge (2020) in Psyche, 2020 14 May )
- Making a virtue of necessity? Reading: Witty Ticcy Ray by Oliver Sacks
- “In Their Own Worlds by Sanford Schwartz in NYRB 7 June 2018 READING: