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The Return of the Double Bind, or, It's Some Catch that Catch 22.

Some years ago now I wrote a blog entitled, "Domestic Disturbance", which examined the role of the family in mental illness. As I remember, I quoted from R.D. Laing's book, "The Politics of Experience", alluding to the so-called "double bind", a situation in which a person receives contradictory or conflicting messages, thus placing them in a position where no matter what their response, they will always in some way be wrong. Some would say that an example of a double bind can be found in Joseph Heller's World War II novel, "Catch 22", which examines the sometime sheer craziness of bureaucracy. Heller creates a situation where those who are deemed insane are judged not fit to fly missions, but the very fact that they declare their insanity shows a rational concern for their own safety. This contradiction means that anyone judged insane is still sane enough to fly. This edict is referred to as Catch 22, and as the main character John Yoss…

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