This is something we do on our ward. Manic and psychotic people with aggression and/or agitation need to be kept in a state of boredom for their own good…to prevent them from rubbing each other up the wrong way, becoming uncontrollably high and generally to make them that bit more capable of being ‘normalised’.  The ward, advertised to me as a place of control and restraint, violence and multiple dangers, is such a quite and smoothly run ward that these things do not happen at all. Boredom prevails. And its odd because all the research says boredom in psychiatric hospitals is the cause of violence. Boredom then is cause and cure.

We live in a destimulated society. We have empty performances. Ceremonial declarations. The blank sexuality of TV. Perhaps the culture industry exists less to prevent revolutionary consciousness from emerging and more to prevent sudden epidemics of citizen-psychoses.

Society isn’t sick. Nor is it akin to the Asylum. It’s vast play ground of implicit psychiatric patients. War being the occasional upsurge of some manic impulse to destruction. Society as schizophrenic. Capitalism as bipolar. Not any of that. It’s a Field of Stimulation and Destimulation…attempting to perfect a dynamostasis that paralysises just enough to keep things ticking over.


One Response to “Destimulation”

  1. 1 Mr. Mister

    I’m sorry to hear that you find the environment you work in so sedate – for patients, yourself.

    Most the violence I encounter on the ward where I work is the realest.

    There’s a lot of performance, theatrical shit but the violence is extreme and seems to put people in a place outside performance – stimulation/destimulation say, with the real possibility of death and/or irreversible damage.

    The patients are rarely bored, genuinely;
    they’re afraid, or confused, or high, or over-active, distracted, overfed, preoccupied or asleep.

    I suppose i’m trying to counter the idea that things are bland or sedate.

    I struggle, it’s hard work and I’m exhausted, but reading this back – I feel sort of pleased or relieved to be working somewhere that keeps me so engaged.

    If my team finish a shift and nobody has died, I feel like we did at least an OK job. Forgive the melodrama, but that’s the economy we work with – everyday. I suppose that’s the closet to keeping things ‘ticking over’ I’ve felt in this space.

    Reading your blog, I have to ask myself whether a numb society, if you like, pushes me towards this kind of work – or whether the work challenges the idea that destimulation can be thought to exist in the first place?

    My point I guess, if I have one, is that states of engagement – real face to faces (writ Levinasian) are out here.


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