Why do we keep treating 'mental health problems' like diagnosable medical conditions instead of the complex existential phenomena they obviously are? Why do we submit to the false authority and doctrinal absurdities of hubristic 'mind doctors', when a holistic, humane, preventative perspective is clearly required?
MIA's Ana Florence interviews United Nations Special Rapporteur Dainius Pūras about his own journey as a psychiatrist and the future of rights-based approaches to mental health.
For me, this documentary raised so many issues beyond Tony’s individual story. I was deeply touched by his honesty and I sincerely hope he is now getting the trauma-informed support he has needed since he was a desperate, terrified 8-year-old boy more than half a century ago. But it also raises wider concerns.
Writing in The Guardian, clinical psychologist Dr. Lucy Johnstone says it is wrong to view our natural fears as mental health disorders. "The more we label our understandable human reactions as disorders, the greater the temptation to disconnect them from their source and focus on new individual “treatments” instead."
I ended up admitted to a psychiatric hospital without being involved in that decision. At a time of stress and vulnerability I expected genuine support. Instead I had the police on my doorstep and I was locked into a building for three weeks. Forced hospitalisation was a serious trauma and I continue to suffer post-traumatic stress over a decade later.