In response to a Schizophrenia Committee set up in the UK last year an inquiry investigation is being launched into the harm caused by psychiatric labeling. The story as it appears in PsychMinded bears the heading, Inquiry to investigate how schizophrenia ‘label’ is dehumanising and stigmatizing.
Some of us have issues with the word “stigmatizing”, but if you were to replace it in your mind with the word prejudice then I’d say the whole thing follows.
The commission, set up by the Rethink Mental Illness charity and chaired by Professor Sir Robin Murray of London’s institute of psychiatry, has been criticised for failing to involve service users adequately.
Apparently this is another instance of the voice that speaks for the voiceless (i.e. ventriloquism advocacy). When this practice is coupled with the practice of dragging in a very few token services users (i.e. dummies), it can become a very effective weapon in the fight for defusing dissent and assuring the disempowerment and further marginalization of service users.
An inquiry panel will, instead, examine the fundamental validity of schizophrenia and psychosis, examining to what extent schizophrenia and psychosis diagnoses are useful or not, and whether people with such diagnoses suffer discrimination.
There are better ways to treat people, are there? My answer to this question would be a unequivocal, “No doubt!”
The inquiry panel will also examine why ethnic minority and black people are up to six times more likely to be given a schizophrenia diagnosis than the general population.
Hmmm. Do I detect a hint of a double standard operating here? Unless black people are disproportionately damned by bad genes, the government must be using these labels to oppress racial and ethnic minorities.
Let’s hope that this inquiry may result in a lot of rewording, and the better treatment that goes along with such rewording.