Living With An Oppressive Mental Health System

Trauma is the new explanation of why people don’t get over serious psychiatric labels, and it’s another explanation I don’t entirely buy. When it comes to any personal problem a person may have, I don’t need in fact any explanation of why people don’t get over that personal problem. I need for people to get over it. Trauma then is in some ways very much like the genetic explanations for what otherwise would be seen as a psychosomatic condition. It’s a way of, if you were driving a vehicle, going over the same ground over and over again while whining about not getting anywhere.

People who aren’t nut jobs have had traumatic experiences in their lives, too. They just don’t dwell on those traumatic experiences. They get over them, and they go onto tackle other matters of importance to themselves and other people. There was a time before we abjudged certain activities to be criminal, and in which those activities were freely engaged in. Laws have since been enacted to curtail certain human behaviors, but the motives guiding those behaviors are the same as they were before they were made illegal.

Social oppression, in contrast to individualized trauma, is something I understand quite well indeed. If the problem comes of power disparities, of lop sided relationships, of bullying and authoritarianism, then the solution comes of change. That’s right. The solution comes of trading those lop sided power relationships for more equitable, just, creative, and giving relationships than an individual was in before. When the status quo is a bleakness of prospects, putting up with the status quo is something one cannot afford to do.

Take, for example, the situation of a therapeutic environment where the staff lives in neighborhoods that the patient/consumer could never dream of living in, and consider this staff having lifestyles way beyond the means of those people this same staff would claim to serve. Hey, where’s Karl Marx and company when you need them!? Aren’t the staff the social parasites, in this instance, and the patient/consumers the host body for those parasites!?

I, not too long ago, heard a mental health professional talk about a client telling him that he, his client, was ‘screwed’. He said he could not help but agree with the opinion of his client that his client was ‘screwed’. My impression is that if this mental health professional’s job were in jeopardy, he’d obviously failed his client, this would be less likely to be the case. Instead you have a situation where when the professional fails his client, the client bears the brunt of the blame. Certainly, if the professional’s job were at stake, this predicament would not last.

People are trapped in dead end disastrous situations, and rather than getting them out of those negative circumstances they live under, the system serves as a further reinforcement of those negative circumstances. If the system served it’s clientele, as it should serve them, then it would be trying to get them out from under those negative conditions. It should in fact serve it’s clientele to a greater extent than it serves itself and it’s staff. This, it would seem, is just not the case.