There is a new series of Horizon on BBC2 in which ten people are placed together in a big house while they are studied by a panel in another room. It does sound somewhat familiar, but is a long way from Big Brother since five of the ten people have been diagnosed as having a history of mental illness, and it is up to the panel of three psychiatrists to try and spot which ones are, or were, bonkers.
This interested me because recently I have been reading some of the writings of CJ Jung, a contemporary of Freud, who had his own unique ideas about psychoses and mental illness.
Although this TV programme seems superficially to be a rather tacky and exploitative idea, there is a serious purpose here, since this is a variation of an experiment carried out in the seventies to determine how sound psychiatrist’s diagnoses were when determining the level of sanity in individuals.
In this first show, the experts correctly spotted one man as being a sufferer of OCD, but incorrectly assessed another member of the team as having had no mental health problems in the past.
In a wierd moment of synchronicity I was sent an e-mail today which pointed out that the statistics on sanity state that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.