Mental health organisations challenge the language of illness and disorder
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.
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.
I’ve been teaching mental health nurses in England for two decades. Over the years I’ve developed several inter-connected gripes about mental health nurse education and, by extension, mental health nursing more generally. Sadly, I see no reason to believe that this state of affairs will change dramatically in my lifetime.
As part of their ongoing mission to keep their classifications updated with the most recent available findings, the American Psychiatric Association announced Thursday the supplemental addition of “Obsessive Categorization of Mental Conditions” to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders.