Quotation by Jean M. Goodwin

On the whole, "organic" illnesses of the body are viewed as a misfortune over which the victim has little control. Not so for "mental" illnesses. These diseases of the mind become diseases of the "self." We (our "selves") can distance ourselves from our "bodily" illnesses: "my leg is broken" or "my heart is failing." But, because of mind-body dualism, our mind is our self. "My mind is sick" is not differentiated psychologically from "I am sick." We cannot distance ourselves, take a detached view of our minds: we are our minds. When a disease affects brain function, the afflicted person and those around him feel that the "self" must be somehow in control of the disorder of "self."
Jean M. Goodwin (b. 1946), physician, professor of psychology, and James S. Goodwin. "Impossibility in Medicine," No Way: The Nature of the Impossible, eds. Philip J. Davis and David Park (1987).
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