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.
The workshop was a very powerful experience as we were faced with the immense pain of the stories of indigenous Australians, compounded by psychiatric imperialism. We were also reminded once again that like the Māori and Pacific Islanders, First Nation Australians have an awareness of community, spirituality, identity and connection to the natural world that has been disastrously eroded in Westernised countries, with profound impacts on all aspects of our wellbeing.
Let’s try to get some other messages out there that challenge the old, tired, damaging narrative of diagnosis and disorder. Messages that offer hope and solidarity to people and messages that put the responsibility for the primary causal factors of emotional distress firmly back where it belongs.
Despite my experiences, I remain hopeful. The array of dissenting voices against traditional psychiatry has never been more compelling. The next five to ten years offers an exceptional opportunity to transform the way we, as a society, respond to mental health problems.
From Scientific American. Peter Kinderman writes: In my book A Prescription for Psychiatry I offer a manifesto for mental health and well-being. I argue...
Person-centred therapy holds the promise of facilitating autonomous, free-thinking individuals, as fit to flourish without compromise as possible if that is what they choose and can endure. PCT locates the problem in the environment, proximal and distal, and the solution begins by providing a respectful, unoppressive, non-interfering environment for the distressed person, free from threat.
The treatment of mental disorders with drugs is not the same sort of activity as the use of drugs in medicine. The ethical implications of the two situations are different. Insisting on equating the two obscures these differences and presents the use of drugs for mental distress as less controversial than it actually is.
In this topsy-turvy turmoil, as one paradigm collapses and new ones emerge, MITUK is committed to telling the truth as we see it, regardless of controversy. We are at a historic moment in the history of psychiatry, with a unique opportunity to help shape a better future. We welcome your interest, comments and contributions.
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