We urge the BPS to consider the implications of proposals to grant psychologists prescribing rights. Specifically, we note that uncritical use of diagnostic language and assumptions in the field of mental health begs crucial questions about the nature of distress, while potentially contributing to the overuse and misuse of psychiatric drugs. We are also concerned about further restricting the right of service users to be offered a choice of understandings and approaches, especially in the field of mental health.
My view is ECT should be treated as an experimental, unproven procedure (because it is) and stopped nationally pending rigorous controlled research which monitors whether it works better than placebo 6 months or years after the final session has stopped.
Psychiatric diagnoses have far-reaching consequences for every area of your life: welfare, employment, health and travel insurance, physical and mental health assessment/treatment, adoption rights, and social stigma, to name but a few. Yet they are just subjective opinions with no scientific basis and can change over time.
We need a new narrative of shared distress to replace the failed one of individual disorders. We need human connection and mutual support. We can learn to manage our feelings in a way that helps us through the crisis and gives us the energy to make much-needed social and environmental changes afterwards. The usual dividing lines melt away in the face of global emergency. We really are all in this together.
It took me a long time to realise that I was being gaslighted. In fact, I had no word to describe the experience until years after I had finally escaped, when I came across the term by chance. What is worse, whenever I talk about my past relationship now with friends in my new life, I am horrified to discover how common manipulative relationships are.