Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse died this week, apparently another victim of heroine and other drugs.  We learned about the power of heroine to take great talents from our midst in the John Belushi post.  I think the only way to examine this situation and link her to Pope John Paul II is through addiction, submission to Christ, and confession.  Let's get started!

The Priory Clinic in London
Ms Winehouse entered rehab for the last time this past May.  She checked into the Priory Clinic on her doctor's advice.  The Priory is not a rehab facility but a mental health institution.  As mentioned in the Belushi post, the success rates for rehab are very low, less than 10%.  We know that certain neurotransmitters are at work, but we don't know how to effectively treat the craving for these highs.

Scottish singer, Susan Boyle spent time at the London Priory clinic
immediately following the extreme stress of her meteoric rise to fame
a few years back.  As we learned in her post, she sang for
Pope Benedict XVI.  Boyle is a second degreer.
Autism, learning disabilities, Schizoaffective disorder, alcoholism, eating disorders, drug addiction, Aspergers, depression, and a host of other problems are treated at the Priory.  Celebrities from the late Amy Winehouse to Susan Boyle, Kate Moss, Lisa Marie Presley, and Courtney Love have been treated there.  

When we look at the mental health treatments of 50 years ago we are horrified.  Back then, lobotomies were all the rage.
Lithium had just been discovered as a treatment for Bipolar and other mood disorders, and electroshock and insulin treatment were cutting edge.  This clip from A Beautiful Mind, (a flick I highly recommend,) shows what an insulin treatment was like around 1960.  
The "religion" of Scientology is centers on a hatred of psychiatry.  We'll get more into that in a future post.  As a rational Catholic, I know that the scientologists are on the WRONG track.  The answer to mental health is not denying that it can go wrong or attributing mental illness to demons or engrams or sins of the fathers.  The answer is in research, funding, prayer, compassion, love, and all the tools given to us by God.  He gave us the sacraments and amazing brains.  Let's use them together.  
Let's fund mental health in parity with physical health.  Let's get national healthcare so that treatment is accessible to all.  Let's strengthen our families and our friendships to prevent more minor mental illnesses.  Let's put on Christ and be his hands, ears, eyes, and voice!

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