The Instigator
livinginsanity
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
wonderwall324
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Insane asylum patients should be given painting supplies as an outlet for their psychotic tendencies

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/25/2008 Category: Arts
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,492 times Debate No: 3797
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)

 

livinginsanity

Pro

Painting is fun, and crazy people need some fun. I know from personal experience insane asylums are not fun, so to be fun, they should paint. Painting also relieves stress. Insane asylum patients are pretty stressed.
wonderwall324

Con

Painting is great, but to allow asylum patients can be counterproductive for them. Look at Van Gogh he was a famous and it is said that the reason his paintings look the way they do was because of exposure to the paint. It actually affected his vision. He then later commited suicide. He as a later mentally challenged person could not handle the responsibility of paint. There is a correlation between his painting and his insanity.
Debate Round No. 1
livinginsanity

Pro

Well, we can give them water colors. Those aren't poisonous. Or there are a variety of "little kid" paints that would prove non-toxic to asylum patients. They would have only one responsibility: to paint. Their artwork could also prove helpful for psychologists to study them and have an outlet into the mind of their patients. It's beneficial, and soothing. Plus, who doesn't like to splash pretty colors all over a blank white canvas?
wonderwall324

Con

There are 4 reasons we should not look to painting to help mental patients.
1) It dehumanizes the patients. They would be treated with a treatment reserved for children. To say that this is their sole responsibilty is to force them to do something they may not even want to do. They are then looked at as incapable of doing anything on their own.
2) It reduces therapy to a meaningless practice. If the patients sole responsibility is to paint than they will do nothing else. I could just hand a mental patient crayons or paint. What is the point?
3) There is no actual evidence that this technique works. It could just be a waste of time.
4) The results they find are hard to read. Art is very hard to interpret and there is no clear answer. One therapist may think the art says something entirely different than another.
There seems to be little relaxation in forcing someone to do something they would not choose to do. At the point in which there is little support of actual benefits and the difference in interpretation of the results we should look to forms of therapy that will produce change within the patients instead of reinforcing the facts we have already discovered.
Debate Round No. 2
livinginsanity

Pro

Most of your arguments had to do with taking away a patients agency. Nowhere in the resolution does it state that they HAVE to paint. It just says that they should be given the stuff so they can if they want to. And who doesn't love to paint? It's a great way to express yourself. In the movie "Charly" about a mentally retarded man named Charlie who was given an operation to speed up his development and basically make him smarter, he was given many stimulating objects, including painting supplies. He painted a lot of pictures of his beautiful teacher, which freaked her out. True, paintings can be and have been misinterpreted, but still, paintings have always served as a window into the soul. Consider two paintings of the same subject: one a quiet, green meadow, painted in the morning, the other a dry brown meadow seemingly on fire in the sunset. They convey two very different feelings that aren't hard to decipher. You can put a lot of emotion into a painting, which can help control your emotions. Painting provides a creative and relaxing outlet. There are many illnesses where the ability to speak is lost. Painting and art can offer a way to express the thoughts and emotions that are trapped inside you, while making something beautiful. How is painting not productive? Who doesn't take pride in their accomplishments? Even in a hospital people should be able to create something of their own. Its also very constructive. Some people with mental handicaps may have violent natures or react violently to therapy. Instead of attacking their therapist, they can attack their canvas with paint. If paint wasn't calming, constructive, and beneficial, why would so many people throughout the ages willingly turn to that profession, instead of one more stable with a better regular paycheck? Painting is productive and soothing, and should be offered to all in special needs hospitals who seem as though they need a creative outlet to their inner frustration.
wonderwall324

Con

First off it does not say anything in the resolution about being forced to paint, but my arguments are in reference to your claim that it should be the patients "sole responsibility". Even if you don't look to the dehumanizing and the reduction of the therapy to a meaningless practice arguments you should look to the lack of evidence. They have no proof that this method is any better than the current methods used. We already can delve deep into the subconscious with the methods used in the squo. As far as being able to see what the patients are feeling it appears as though the benefits are no better than the squo. This brings me to the arguments that painting is an outlet for your emotions. Look at some real examples of people who let out their anger and insanity with creative outlets. First, look once again look to Van Gogh who commited suicide after years of depression and insanity. Next look to Sylvia Plath who let out her emotions with her poetry and was so overwhelmed that she committed suicide. These are two of the many suicides committed within two different mediums in the art field. They become transfixed with their emotions and it takes hold of them and leads to their demise. My next point is that there is a huge difference between the mentally retarded and mentally insane. Their are different 'treatments' and places for them. To use a mentally retarded person as an example is not what the resolution discusses. Insane asylum patients do not need improvements in intellegence or anything like that. The insane can be super intelligent. My last point again is the interpretation of paintings. Yes your example may be obvious but most are not. Look at Women I by Koening (i think). It was viewed as a slam towards women and he was seen as a woman hater. When really his painting showed that there was more to women then meets the eye. Most paintings mean completely different things to different people. When misdiagnosis and misunderstandings can occur because of people untrained in art are trying to interpret the paintings the patients are at risk. So in conclusion the uncertainty of results and possible problems that can occur from allowing this means that painting should not be allowed.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Ineffablesquirrel 8 years ago
Ineffablesquirrel
Hmm, realizing that the debaters said the topic was not a serious topic, painting actually IS a positive activity which helps many patients in psychiatric hospitals. The U.S., though, is far behind in most all treatment areas (which is sad), and therefore, most treatments aren't available to patients. On the other hand, many European countries provide their patients with techniques like painting, farming, and other creative outlets to assist in their mental growth, development, and healing. These type of activities (treatments) have been shown to provide patients with a meaningful outlet to express themselves.
Posted by Issa 8 years ago
Issa
Maybe but they could end up hurting themselves or someone else and the hospital could get in really big trouble for putting their patients in harms way.
Posted by analytical-one 8 years ago
analytical-one
Well, what about cooking or some sort of sport? And if they need a creative outlet, they can draw...
Posted by Issa 8 years ago
Issa
yeah but what if they swallow them huh?
Posted by whyugottabelikedat32 8 years ago
whyugottabelikedat32
We should give them bouncy balls instead of painting supplies, then they couldn't make a mess and avoid cost to have it cleaned up.
Posted by livinginsanity 8 years ago
livinginsanity
Yeah, it was the first thing that popped into my head. You're doing a pretty good job though!
Posted by wonderwall324 8 years ago
wonderwall324
i know. especially since this topic is quie difficult to negate.
Posted by livinginsanity 8 years ago
livinginsanity
This isn't a serious debate... i just wanted to do something.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Ineffablesquirrel 8 years ago
Ineffablesquirrel
livinginsanitywonderwall324Tied
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Vote Placed by b3rk 8 years ago
b3rk
livinginsanitywonderwall324Tied
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Vote Placed by Issa 8 years ago
Issa
livinginsanitywonderwall324Tied
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Vote Placed by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
livinginsanitywonderwall324Tied
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