tv Carl Erik Fisher The Urge CSPAN April 14, 2022 8:13pm-9:17pm EDT
>> cspanshop.org is c-span's online score. beausoleil selection of c-span products, apparel, book, home decor and accessories or something for every c-span fan and every purchase helps support our nonprofit operations. shop now or anytime at cspanshop.org. >> good evening everyone. thank you so much for joining us. my name is nell pepper and on behalf of harvard bookstore i am so pleased to introduce this virtual event with carl fisher his urge history of addiction in conversation with leslie jameis. hope you're all well and safer thank you for joining us virtually tonight throughut virtual events like tonight, harvard bookstore continues to bring authors and their work to our community. every week we host events here on our zoom accounts and upcoming virtual events include
conversation d. leonard discussing his new booko emotional how feelings are doing and farah freeman conversation with emma klein. please check out the event schedule and her website at harvard.com. while you're there you can sign up for our e-mail newsletter for an update and browser bookshelves from home. this evening's discussion will conclude with question. if you have a question for speakers at any time during the talk tonight you can click on the q&a button on your screen will get through as many questions as time allows this event will also close captioning available depending on the version of zoom you are using. you may need to enable captions yourself by clicking on the closed caption button on your screen. in the chat also be posting the link to purchase copies of the urge and harvard.com. hustles a link to donate and
support of this series and of our store. your purchases and financial contributions make events like tonight's possible and help ensure the landmark independent bookstore in cambridge. we really appreciate your continued support throughout these two years. and in the past even since before this strange time we thank you for contending to show up into ten. not only in support of our authors but also the fantastic staff of booksellers at harvard bookstore. we truly appreciate your support now and always. and lastly as you may have experienced in virtual, technical issues may arise. of course hope they don't buy but if they do we will do our best to resolve them quickly. thank you so much for your patience and understanding. and now pleased to introduce our speaker. carl eric fisher is an addictioa
he is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at columbia university where he works in the division of law, ethics and psychiatry. also maintains a private psychiatry practice focusing on complementary and integrative approaches to treating addiction for his writing has appeared in novels, slates, scientific minds among other outlets. leslie jameis is the author of the memoir recovering the collection make it scream make it burn and the efficacy and novel in the closet she's a contribute writer for the near times magazine and her work has appeared in publications including the atlantic, harper's company or times book review oxford american and virginiaiv quarterly review. she directs the graduate nonfiction program at columbia university. site bilby discussing carl eric fisher's upcoming book the urge of ourur history of addiction cl
eric fisher draws on his own experience as a clinician, researcher and alcoholic in recovery as he traces the history and experience of addiction via exploration not only medicine and science but of literature, religion philosophy and public policy. the urge makes evidence our current decade-long opioid overdose crisis is only the latest iteration of a century long struggle that is persistently reflected the broader questions of what it means to be human and to care for onee another. i'm honored to turn over to our speakers the digital podium is yours carl and n leslie. >> carl, it is so great to be here with you tonight to get a chance to talk about this tremendous new book which is about a subject very near and dear to my heart.
really doing something i've never seen done before quite like this. the sweep of your gaze and the amount of research and the way in which you distill it and ask us to think about and hold in our minds and hearts there is a compassion along the rigor of the book i appreciated the whole way through. i was really struck and this was one of many things i wanted to ask you about the kind of synthetic and simultaneously broad and deeply humane gaze the book achieves by virtue of really bringing together at least three pretty distinct perspectives historical narration, new experiences as a clinician. we actually get to see you kind of working with a few particular patients and their struggles with addiction.
and then this personal perspective and her own story. we are moving between the narrators on the page. theoh clinician, the recovering alcoholic the sympathizer and there's something powerful about getting to seek all of this at once. i guess i wanted to start, many people have familiarity with this book and what it covers. for those who do and those who don't thought it might be useful by starting to give a sense of what it holds. what do you think iss the value of looking at this kind of broad history of addiction? how can look in at the history of addiction deepen our understanding of addiction? and inform our senses how to approach addiction crises?
at the patterns, long sweeps, what recurs, what is the use of taking that broad historical perspective? critics go ahead thank you leslie. thank you so much for the kind words. it means the world to me really. the recovery in your other work was such an inspiration truly. at such a different book and also i think some similarities i'm excited to talk about i'm excited to talk about i'm excited in conversation with you. particularly here about some of the similar choices you made bringing in history, bringing and other voices. for me it proceeded pretty organically. i was in recovery and did not feel like i was in danger once i got to a certain point of stability. but i was still really mystified and did not have the sense of
what had happened to me. naturally i went to medicine because that is what i was, that is what i had been studying. and i probably don't need to say this to the audience that chose to coming but it is very polarized. it is really divisive. even within medicine, even within science. it's hard to find common ground or some sort of sensible synthesis across different views.he i really learned from my teachers the way i have it other domains of my life as i saw some of the best thinkers, some of people admired the most weight reach back into history. they perceived a need to go to say philosophy or cultural history, portion of the history of racism and oppression to make sense of a crisis. whether it's an individual crisis, a clinical crisis, or
sociological crisis. that really got me started and got me thinking addiction cannot be understood by anyone field. and i don't think there is a synthetic t definitive account o be crafted that's also part of why brought in the personal story. i don't think there is a way to give the final word or solve addiction in any way. but to try to represent my own attempt to make sense of it for myself and relationship to what i was seeing. to understand critical work, what i was seeing as i started off work in the criminal legal system. and to bring it back rigorously to myself, why does it matter? why does it matter? why does it matter? as you and i differ i have sucha a tendency to take a very high
level analytical philosophy, very r ivory tower printer realy wanted to fight that because otherwise what is the point? >> the way it creates such a meaningful experience for a reader, or at least this reader to beget these glimpses of the personal experiences that were informing the research. i know you mentioned being in recovery and still feeling a sense not only about the addiction itself, although the sort of disagreement, polarization, inconsistencies event and how the treatment you are receiving. i think one of things i really appreciate about this book as you're able to be really complex and how your document the inpatient treatment program you are a part of pretty really willing to give up something to
find deeply useful. and also some of things he found problematic let both of these things go the patient wants. is it self sort of perceptually or analytically away of fighting the kind of black and white, all or nothing mentality. there is a way -- but to bring that sense of view is like a living human being going through your own version of this crisis to know that all that personal investment, that romance of vulnerability that bafflement i think any of us who struggled with addiction can bring all ofa my intelligence to bear on thi' thing. motivating the research what
particular i was reading this book i was really struck by the way that like a mother hen jim lane's engraving who is kind of like failing to attend to her baby as it's falling out of her arms, echoes so powerfully away the narrative of the crack mother was constructed and awake america really racialized oppressive weapon. the way women who haveed struggd with addiction have so frequently been figured as terrible mothers, veiled caregivers, irresponsible in a different way than men who struggle with addiction often on. i was so powerfully struck from 18th century crack mother, narrative from the 1980s but
how strong the residents were across the century. could you give us a few more instances where you felt the strong historical echoes what they help eliminate for you? >> yes. i want to say at thest start, ts social phenomena like a moral panic or drug of endemic or interesting to me is also difficult analytical and writing chance to make sense of why i would talk about in b the first place. because problems of addiction are not nicely drug problems and vice versa. we see that in the current crisis. plentyhe of people are dying of opioid overdose as they may not identify with label addiction. they may not have expensive addiction. the might be a totally casual user who stumbles across poisoned supply. so i wanted to be careful to
separate out what was important about those crises it was important about jim lane, even earlier moral panics from tobacco and how that was associated with native savagery. because often times one of the major themes was our response to drug epidemic reflect the governing image of addiction. andd that image like you just said might be conflictual. might be many different ideas of addiction so many points in history simultaneously we've had that sort of oppressive set of stories about the wrong kind of users. and in many case ideas about addiction really cover for xenophobia, oppression, racism, misogyny, patriarchy. and also simultaneously preserves the higher level supposedly compassionate attitude toward addiction.
so addiction becomes a flexible construct you can deploy according to your whims and prejudices.in as i say that some of the other historical examples come to mind are this division between medical and recreational use hurt or a and non- medical use or medical and luxurious use depending upon the time. you're talking about which stretches back to the english romantics and even earlier. and in a way was almost consciously adopted by people but not by samuel tabor taylor coleridge both a totally different ideas about what their problems were. and i don't think either would call the addiction in the same way people called addiction at the turn of the 20th century work today. the same sort of division is persisted and put to use in the
crackdowns against supposedly dangerous wet cocaine users or supposedly invading chinese opioid usersal or others that really motivated prohibitionist movement through the 20th century that last of the presena day. get this back to where you mentioned about treatment. that became important for me too write about. even though i had a pretty great experience it was not perfect. i saw a lot of problems with today's treatment apparatus. i also saw simultaneously even the same rehab certainly when i went out to become an addiction clinician, i saw the way policies and oppression was put to use the way addiction was pue to use as they weapon in their service rebounded on to everyone.
i don't know i might have gotten a little away from your actual question are think bowie saidr before the good drug bad drug divide comes to mind over and over again. >> yes. i'm so glad you said what you did about having to wrap your mind about what it meant to be writing about moral panic or drug epidemics and a book o on addiction when on one level seems but i think when you start to think hard about it there are these really tricky questions i handed up thinking about it quite a bit as well. and in my book i wanted so deeply to honor the harms brought by addiction itself an addiction on a broad scale.
and also the harms and brought the narrative about the harms that addiction does not so much of exactly what you are saying about how to addiction panic becomes a cover for so many other oppressive social forces that are geared toward preserving racial and classtr hierarchies. to kind of hold in mind both addiction is a really pernicious and baffling thing. also the ways we talkts about it they can become toxic and do a a lot of damage and hold both those truth at once. think it's wonderful even at this text have show and analyze how the tension plowed over time. >> can i ask that actually?
what comes to mind first of all you do a tremendous job in recovering i probably don't need to say b that. i think it's very clear from a very different angle. i was looking back at it earlier this week and today it really became clear that paradox almost of holding those two truths together that something i wrestled with. wondering if there is a another thing when your favorite response so in the book or something you wondered about yourself? i also had a sense of addiction profoundly real and also because of the ways the concept has been deployed over time, recognizing university galaxy with the rest of human suffering. trying to honor both of those perspectives as well there are
people at the extremes of human behavior out consider myself one of them who have almost membership in a special little tribe where there is something really unique about that experience about that shared experience of powerlessness as people have described itt over and over again not just in 12 step traditions and other recovery traditions throughout the years. but then also make any sense of the fact that to me at least addiction is contiguous with the rest of human struggles with the will and self-control. making sense of human agency. >> it is a great question i can share a couple thoughts about it but also makes me want to read this short passage that came from your book it's so connected very question of how to ietreat addiction as a phenomenn and as an experience and also
treat it as connected to you and meeting a broader experience rather than you pushback really and really necessary ways i think against this binary of addicted or not addicted there is a momentt on 22 in your book for you say from the beginning the work addiction was and not a narrow description of medical problem but eventually rinse and complicateoward histories of the human condition is not just about drugs but about willingness and agency being someone who chooses and their related timeless of our seamless inability to control ourselves. and may be the broadest most interesting version of the question i want to ask here is what are the aspects of the more
universal aspects of human experience moves us toward? certainly the question of world power agency and what does it even mean, how much are we in control of her own lives? how much can you choose to be a certain way versus another way? what is freedom, to what extent is freedom is at always a delusion? i'm curious to hear say a little more you are going to take this prerogative perspective of addiction can show us things that are broader than just this experience we call addiction. what would some of those mysteries of the human condition be for you? >> my mind actually goes to the american myth of some of those stories. not because it's uniquely american, some of those characteristics of addiction you're just talking about we see it reflected i think and our
reactions to americanness and our ideas about americanness ana over and over again against cross cultures they construct an identity around addiction in reaction to even for addiction. a lot who really defined themselves next masters of the universe, and that is commonly a theme is that when someone findividual addiction you and i were talking off-line about the broader fears about what is addiction threatened even as individuals people for home individuality and self-determination are really important seem really threatened by addiction count by the notion of addiction by the notion of powerlessness.
i wonder might even set the dividing line a little sooner somebody else might. we even have cross-cultural data that kind of speaks to this but the catholic versus protestant countries have it make sense of their alcohol problems. i think the university alley of it is people do reach a point whether or not they call addiction, feel out of control and that seems timely. how people make sense and that is tremendously diverse. tbut again the phenomenon of it of feeling lost and adrift in that way is a constant i don't know is really constructive and what it reflects about the prevailing cultural motions about what we value as individuals. >> 's kind of the way the
tension between the powerlessness and agency plays out your describing the experience of addiction itself the cultural narrative in an american tradition that has completely went toxic waste to self-control, discipline, individual agency like pulling yourself up by your bootstraps very connected i think both to a certain sense of fantasy of mobility but also that kind of focus on discipline it makes sense on a broad scale substance is also interesting tension between agency and powerlessness
in various parts of a recovery process we talk and wonderful ways about complicating in the disease model but one of the things that can fill limited about the disease model that always struck me if you're going to take on the disease model but simultaneously hold this as a condition that people can do something about in their lives even if you don't prepare tend to say exactly that something is. there is some agencies involved in also powerlessness is involved. all this at once. i am wondering, see their couple wonderful questions part in the q and a. i want to encourage people go ahead. we will for a few more minutes. put your questions and when you have them i'm sure this could be a lot of wonderful questions but i want to make sure theyth all t out there rather than log
jamming at the end of the session. popped up, up we them soon. want to ask you a little bit about the decision as a writerwn what you wanted this book tv to include some of your own personal story. i guess what made you want the book to include that personal dimension? thenng how did you go about crafting that part of the book? what kinds of things were you thinking about as you turned your life into narrative because there really is a process of transformation, decision-making, wewe can tell the same stories about our lives in different ways a you choose to tell him ia certain way when you put them at aue book. what sorts of questions were you thinking about as you put your story into these pages? how did you think about l the
question of your stories woven into these historical narratives? how did you think about momentsu of contact? >> the first question is easier. [laughter] the first question is easier because i don't have a lot of writing experience frankly i did not have a lot of models to go off on the craft question. but the motivation was multifaceted. i felt, for me, would keep me honest. it would be more honest for me too disclose my own history and why i was doing the project it was such a dominating motivation to make sense of myself but then i just wrote history court maybe made it about my parents not myself but i don't know how i would do it didn't make sense to me did not compute. like i mentioned before and very analytical i saw that ted tendency in me too just make it
intellectualized. a look back at earlier drafts of the book. and it struck me and did even put in the personal i was really traumatic the way i came to treatment and i was completely touch with reality per their pages and pages on that and barely any that got into the book. i needed to make sense of it for their pages and pages about family. very little of that get a sense of it. i did not know how they came together and struggling with these ideas of this theme can be threaded through and that way. the bottom line was what history
was saying of the theme paris probably only when i was about halfway through the book that i got a sense of that recurrence that you are describing. same themes came up so boldly for me i don't know they are universal. but for me that medical, non- medical divide that romanticization of drug use and even addiction, and the way that oppression rebounds to harm everyone. those sorts of ideas came up so regularly even in the chronological framework prettyas start at the beginning and said okay, what was going on earlier in my life that has to do with capitalism and market forces and the way those influence drug crises and addiction? what early in my life there's log discussion on tobacco. i saway it really in it
outstanding when both of my parents they were both chainwe smokers. that was only the tip of the iceberg think back then i knew implicit i can type explicitly at age ten or 11 or 12 years old that was only the most obvious example of their lack of control. the alcohol was more insidious but also it a bit more challenging in certain ways. so at that point it came together very rapidly and then it was a matter of writing the personal parts. >> it's fascinating to hear talk about that process of figuring out which themes or ideas felt kind of essential in a certain section or generated by the historical material in that section and then using that idea to figure out whatd was relevant have your own personal experience pretty mention the
pages and pages of writing about the manic episode that brought you into treatment and only a little bit of that ended up in the book are pages and pages of writing about family and only a little of that ended up in the book. it of course made the writer mind inmate wonder what was the process like? talk us through what was the material that ended up feeling like it mattered and why? why did those other pages not matter? what ended up helping you to decide what was essential to include? >> it wasn't about addiction what had to get back to the central thesis of the book. i think addiction is anpl enormously complex multifaceted and really important phenomenon that has a lot to teach us. but it is note everything. [laughter] there are times i was an hole and i really hurt people. i don't think that was an addiction in some cases i write about it. very rigorous about what is actually speaking to the think i am trying to figure out?
when i am trying to figure out, figure out is the worst word possible. what i am trying to investigate say for example different modes of rehabilitation, in this case what happened in the 1960s? weird multiplicity of different treatment modalities that came about in the vacuum left when organized medicine was not doing a lot to treat people with addiction problems. the question there for example in what was happening to me rehab that i could trace back to the 60s? and i had no idea what was coming from there. and also i suspect mostly treatment providers had no idea on their origins in those times. matt actually wound it being the most fruitful way to kind of makes sense of my experiences rather than for example i don't know just writing about the most emotionally rich times.
i don't know there's a lot of emotionally rich times the onesn that bothered me the most are the most painful for me that was not even necessary i guess for. >> right, right. that sometimes can be an overwhelming sense of jeff and it comes to writing by your own life but overwhelming scared that none of a it matters and there is so much and maybe not of it needs to be there. so it can be really fruitful to have almost like a magnet to draw through the b experiences d that relevance can cling on michael magnetic filing for some things. cap so many more questions there so many questions and i want to make sure we have time for all of them. i'm going to go ahead and start bringing out some of the questions from the people who are here with us and hopefully leave my own as we keep going.
but let's just start with audrey wonders earlier we areab talking about the reagan era of mothers meant to mention the crackhead moms are there any portrayals or addiction and literature filled that are particularly harmful in any you think are helpful accurate? >> yes. so many. the many are harmful, so many are helpful. tropes and think are really beautiful. you've written about cliché and your love forli cliché. if i, am remembering that rate. i think tropes also are pointing towards something true at least true at the level of arc held cultural belief. if not something real about the actualal phenomenon. so one trope i think is reflective of truth is the notion of coming together in community to follow common
problem. dangers of individualism. i saw evidence over and over again of people really achieving tremendous gains in community other help movements in the 20th century things like 1840s washingtonian movement or say native american healing circle some of which came together explicitly as a response of addiction. >> that is a great spirit i the way you wrote about that the early traditions in recovery. it is not known enough about history for. >> not at all. it really affects us today. it is not just a reflection of all of the different ways that causes and conditions come together to cause drug
epidemics. it's also part of a legacy of oppression the still has its effect today for sure. you can see the mirror image project but bad tropes too. the firewater myth is coming to mind for the notion this case native americans have a particular sensitivity or phone number the ability to alcohol. and that sort of brokenness metaphors come up over, and over, and over again. the crack mothers or the jim lane stuff is reflected through the eyes of misogyny. i don't know that it's much different than that. it's not all that complicated. from that angle at the different versions of the same kind of brokenness idea that i think was put onto other oppressed groups or to people who use drugs as an oppressed group. >> yes. all of these eat each one is 16
more questions i would love to ask you. salma who is here says the way your book is described seems to me like the prophet himself wrote it down. everyone else should hereto. however in your book to you describe as they circle an eternal one to try to find the most effective way to cope or do think one can ever leave the chapter of life behind? >> a greatat question. this gets to which is one of leslie's favorite words. it's a love of single simple causes. talk about a little bit more ini the book. it's almost like all joking aside it's also dead serious in a life or death issue that we have a desire to be in a single cause both the caseer of drug bt also the case of the response of
the drug epidemics reflect our ideas on how to deal the addiction. and a pendulous swing from reductionist answers to clinical and medical answers, totu mutual health answers without stepping back andre appreciating the ente landscape of addiction has been a common thread throughout. there are these cycles. sometimes there really disheartening and really awful missed opportunities where we are so close to a compassionate response and understanding to addiction. and then we sort of lose it and the historical thread.ut there is a solution or at least a lesson i took out of it that was helpful for me and my own journey was the need for thinking across multipley level. there so many social and cultural conspiring against us in that regard. i'm not just talk about social
media, also the increasing specialization of medication overallnk. i think there's a great deal of freedom and acceptance and peacefulness in being able to think about a complex phenomenon like addiction across the physical, social, mental,os spiritual, communal, economics fears altogether. i don't know if that's even approaching an answer to a question but i appreciate it's really good one. >> it is one of the most important questions. i love to give you an opportunity. it rolls off your tongue. i don't know if i've ever tried to say it out loud. it's important concept to carry around. even if it was a bit joking incarnation. thatf we do, all of us, have ths love of what if there could be a single cause that could explain
why this is? so often when things i tell my students is people never do anything for just one reason. you shouldn't do that in your work either. it applies to addiction as well into the way we wanted treated treated. there couple questions here i might bundled together i think they are connected. your books going to the notion of prohibition, also about what is your opinion on safe injection sites and other treatments? >> absolutely. p prohibition is when the big things. just to give people a preview to maybe enticer you to preorder a book from harvard bookstore and support your local bookstore. i described four main social responses to drug scares and drug epidemics the notion of addiction altogether. one of those for his prohibitionists. one of the four is a tendency to try to crack down and to
regulate drugs often solely through a supply-side mechanism. back in the 1920s prohibition for sure. i don't know if you met capitol prohibition which is a constitutional amendment or the phenomena of prohibition that prohibition is absolute essential theme in a major lesson is prohibition in isolation is caused incalculable harm. ever since tobacco rolled across europe and asia after north americannd colonization. there are accounts of people encutting off noses and even seizure of someone's entire property and the death penalty for tobacco at a time of the 1500s or 1600s nobody had a sense of the health risk appeared was all about associations with savagery in the wrong sorts of users back
then which goes to show how ineffective prohibitionists. we have a lot of trouble learning that lesson. but i also don't think legalization. as the answer. at least in the sense there are these other domains that come into play with scientists in the clinical and mutual help. we also have examples of say the modernrn tobacco industry which was unchecked in theat absence f adequate regulation or oversight these addiction supply industry also caused incalculable harm. it's really challenging to find reasonable middle ground in between is really important. somebody asked about safe injection sites. also the supervise consumption sites or overdose prevention sites. i've a simple opinion on that think they are vastly underutilized. for been happening since the 1980s inin europe.
even more so they have been happening forever. whenever there has beens prohibition or crackdowns, people have gathered together in community to use drugs together because people use drugs for reasons. also to find ways helping each other with the potential harms of drugs. for people who do not know, most prevention sites are a safe, supervised facility like in new york city right now people can get access to sterile supplies and use of drugs such as opioids in a place or if they happen to overdose and get medical help. it can also be a place of connection people can get. support and get connected to the services they need not strong-armed into one model of recovery hopefully they get engaged and provide a real human connection that allows them to do better. there are many, many historical
analogs through the book for the interest of time and respect for the other questioners i would leave it at that. the notion of harm reduction at large in terms of organizing philosophy is a big theme of the book for sure. >> talk about such necessary ways and concise forms here and glad for that were question and your response. iethere is a question from jami, hi jamie. what was the most surprising or transformative idea that you encountered in your research? how did it change your sense of the book? >> coming in with a tough question. good to see you. even if it's just a jg in a little zoom box. there are a lots. it could not choose and be honest and say it's the most for sure. the one that comes to mind because we've been talking about the o overall scope of the books
the long tail and the long history of drug epidemics. i had an outside sense that oh, there had been problems. a group in north jersey and so in the 80srt and 90s was certainly a witness to the scaresad around crack. i had a sense there may be problems in the 70s and 60s that was motivating some of the policies to see it go back to 1492 and earlier, that was really amazing. amazing to me in the sense the perennial struggle as well as the struggles of people have even when it's not necessarily addiction. >> and i think so much of the
best and most important writing comes from those experiences with their personal, intellectual or emotional or so culmination of all the above that have that startling revelatory overturning quality because it's what we can get back to readers but "stranger things" as well. a few questions i think are related or can be spoken to in a related way. how is addiction management individuals without interventions can you speak about programs are that useful for the majority and then a separate question managing addictions andag individual agencies at cross purposes how does it play a part if any? >> thank you for the thoughtful questions. i do not want to punt instead into sales or marketing but i
interviewed john kelly who is a major psychology researchers that studies and is very nuance and thoughtful about w aa. we did a good 30 minutes of an interview on this which i will release in my website about abe week or two. going to punch that it's just too much to say other than to say 12 step programs i think are a tremendous good and have saved so many lives. :andy sort of compassionateplura
one-size-fits-all model that is allied with coercion and systems of power and has worked in certain ideological ways. so it's both and. we could talk about it all of our lifetimes. it's a fascinating phenomenon. what was the other one, i totally forgot. >> i think you've spoken toav it some. we have a few more so i want to hit that. it's part of what can be spoken heabout for arguments to engage
it's so wonderful in these incredibly complicated issues. soso might you recommend any bos that you think are hopeful for family members that help writers glean insights about the family pattern? >> i'm going tove give a very basic m clinical one with generl information purposes only. before i do that, i'm going to ask if you can give a literary one that is helpful in terms of maybe a novel or some sort of piece of art that is helpful for people struggling. how do i help somebody struggling and deal with the issue i've encountered in my own life when somebody is struggling with another condition.
one book written by a couple of colleagues is called beyond addiction and the subtitle is how it's a nice distillation of a therapy called craft which comes out of the university of new mexico and is not at all opposed to the programs that can be helpful. it's neighbors and you canps fid different attitudes into different groups. but i think this book beyond addictionve is a really nice stipulation of common questions like how do i establish healthy boundaries without being punishing and give the person's well-being first when i think about say for example withdrawing andpe allowing negative consequences to happen so forth and so on. it's my number one go to for questionse like that.
i also was thinking of literary references and wondered if you had something. >> an incredibly beautiful story it's one of the most complicated, revelatory and heartbreaking accounts of what itdy feels like to love somebod. i would recommend it to all. there are so many great questions and i hope that we can get to all of them. this one from much earlier on in your estimation or observation is there a correlation pertaining to addiction and being diverse on the spectrum of all autism and adhd?
>> i wouldn't want to say too much about it because i. particularly i do write about this i think we are going through a point in psychiatry where we used to think that if y were essences almost like you could hold in your hand and now there's a broad recognition that mental illness or disorders or whatever you want to call them are much more contingent and flexible and continuous. the i whole field is wrestling w to make sense of this. if there is no continuum there's no cutpoint from the disorder.
it's the end of chapter 11 that i finally say but i think it's a really important thing to keep in mind because it balances against the tendency to hold onto labels and if i had any sort of broad overarching hope for the buckets to hit pause on the sort of labels that becomele overdetermined and instead to think across multiple levels and find the points of connection and integration. there's a lotw, to be written about that because we need people with different experiences to investigate those questions in a similar way. >> i think we have time for one
or two more with behavioral addictions but she asks can the iphone be considered an addiction? i take a more capacious view of addiction. i used to have a pretty tight -- this goes right along with the question. i had a pretty tight notion of addiction. there's so much to learn from the origins of the term, the dance between concept and term is so instructive and particularly thehe way the word enters the english language was so different than the way we think about it today. it was taken up by protestant
theologians because it seemed to get at that area of freedom and powerlessness. anything could be -- i had to correct myself because it wasn't a status, it was a thing you did, it wasn't a thing that happened to you. i don't think just having a tendency or having to do something but the way that they would have talkedd about it, if you devoted it in a way that took away your well that is the key is the first person experience control. it'sng in a low-key way of waitg presence and what is happening
here. avoiding the discomfort of being alive or conscious in my own skin. judith who is an addiction therapist and looking forward to reading the book, how long have you been in recovery when you started theco book and how did writing it impact your recovery process? >> i hesitate on that because i started writing about my experiences rightap as soon it happened which is unusual for me because well, it's not that unusual. i was journaling in a very sort of disciplinarian sort of way in part because my parents, as good
as they were. there are ways i had to raise myself and so constantly writing lists and trying to be a parent to myself and disciplining myselflf. it was disorienting and so profoundly challenging to the reality that i had thought and created about myself to the story that i'd written about myself and i needed to write about. at first i didn't have the sense that i was writing for a book and .01% of that made it into the book but it was a process of writing. toel make sense of what felt tre to me and felt authentic coming
into contact with my suffering, which was such a glancing process coming slightly like what you're saying about the iphone, slightly closer and moving away to the rationalization so that took years and years. the simple answer i started immediately and then it took me ten years to carry that through but then the more simple question what was in your mind and when were you protecting the schedule to do the rest. that entire disciplinary practice of journaling is coming
to be interesting to me. to be continued. thank you for the conversation. thank you. you guys are great. i can't wait to be back with you in person. we are so glad and lucky to have them. >> i can't tell you how much it means justst to be here. it's a miracle we are able to spend this time together and connect ins this way. you're careful reading and thoughtful reflection all the questions is a heartbreakingly supportive and appreciative. >> thank you so much to both of you for this illuminating conversation and all of you at home for joining us.
the link is in the chat. you can search for the book and we urge our history of addiction. thank you to both of you. have a lovely evening and keep safe and well. thank you so much. >> they were tasked with transcribing many of the conversations. in fact, they were the ones who made sure the conversations were
taped as johnson would signal to them between an open office and there's. >> i want a report of the number of people assigned to kennedy. if i can't ever go to the bathroom, i want to go. i promise i won't go anywhere. i will stay behind these black gates. it was a great advantage to know what it was like because the education is such an important issue both for a governor but
also for president, so that was very helpful to me. >> using material from the biography series first lady. >> i am very much the kind of person who believes you showed to say what you mean and mean what you say and take the consequences. >> the online video library will feature first lady lady bird johnson, betty ford, rosalynn carter, nancy reagan, hillary clinton, laura bush, michelle obama. watch in their own words saturday at 2 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span2 or listen as a podcast on the free mobile app or wherever you get your podcasts. >> good evening everyone. i'm the executive director of