Overcoming the mental illness of stigma

I remember seeing an article titled Overcoming the stigma of mental illness recently, and I couldn’t help thinking, rather than the ‘mental illness’? There is no ‘stigma’ attached to ‘mental health’, is there? The message we seem to be getting here is that people who are ‘mentally ill’ can’t recover their mental health, and so they need some kind of special treatment from society at large.

This makes me wonder deeply, and what I deeply wonder about is whether we should be rewarding mental health professionals for being such out and out failures. Okay, financially and status-wise they aren’t failures, and maybe it was this professional failure, this failure of their patients, that folks are paying them for. After all, if they got enough people out of the mental health/illness system, some of these professionals would be out of work.

‘Stigma’ as a rationale for illness is a kind of sticky subject. I don’t have to overcome my ‘sickness’ because it’s ‘biochemical’. It’s ‘biochemical’ because my psychiatrist tells me it is so. My psychiatrist says so because all the other psychiatrists say so. The psychiatrist who doesn’t say so is a quack. He’s not a quack because he said anything incorrect, mind you, he’s must be a quack because he disagreed with all the other psychiatrists who are in complete agreement.

Psychiatry is obviously not a profession for experimenters and non-conformists. This fact in itself throws into question any pretense it makes of being a scientific discipline. How scientific can you be if you have forsaken free thought? As for its bid to be a branch of the medical sciences, well, the source of ‘mental illness’ is still, strictly speaking, unknown. As much as psychiatry knows, psychiatry keeps showing us how much it doesn’t know.

The nature of ‘mental illness’ keeps changing. Once the people judged ‘insane’ were thought to be curable. Then we found that most of the ‘insane’ were incurably so. Then we found that the ‘mentally ill’ could recover their mental health. Then we found that most of these ‘mentally ill’ people were only capable of a partial recovery at best. Then we determined that chances for recovery depended on the opinion of the expert with whom we conferred. Alright, it only remains for ‘mental illness’ to become a fleeting condition again for the stigma associated with it to dissolve as well.

If the psychiatrist says you have a chronic condition, I suggest you consult another psychiatrist, and if that psychiatrist suggests you have a chronic condition, then I suggest you consult with still another psychiatrist. I suggest, in fact, that you keep switching psychiatrists until you find a psychiatrist that doesn’t think your mental condition is chronic. When you have found such a doctor, voila! The goal of overcoming your ‘mental illness’ is within sight, and with it, any stigma attached to that ‘mental illness’.

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2 Responses

  1. Science is a true profession for experimenters and non- conformists. Real science is not about consensus. If there is consensus it’s tentative and restricted to what can be observed and repeatedly reproduced. A true professional, an engineer, chemist or surgeon can logically explain to a layperson the reasoning behind every little thing he does. But he never need be dictated to by the layperson. Structures aren’t capable of standing and atoms don’t react according to the wishes of people.

    Psychiatrists (coercive) are wholly dictated to from without their so called profession. They already gave up their dubious professional status as physicians. They are told what to do by politicians who act on the shrill clamourings from the electorate. The clamourings of course are in part seeded by PR and by the politicians, past and present, themselves.

    • Psychiatrists are in the drug companies pockets, and the drug companies have the money and the lobbyists to pull the strings of politicians. Long term drug treatments have the worst results. Drug companies don’t want people to know about these matters. The mental illness rates have been climbing because the drug companies and the psychiatrists in their pockets are suppressing information. That information is that psychiatric drugs work worse than no drugs whatsoever. The drugs are making people ‘sick’. If you want to get people working again, you have to first get them off the drugs.

      The media has crafted the public’s view of “mental health issues”. The papers are full of stories about killers trying to use the insanity defense. Some of these killers make successful use of that defense. Slasher movies fuel the frenzy. Law enforcement has fostered the myth that people with problems are dangerous. It’s a myth, people in “mental health” treatment are much more likely to be the victims than the perpetuators of violent crime. The excuse is usually he or she went ‘off meds’. The excuse is as phoney as a 3 dollar bill. Sometimes those meds make a person more likely to commit a violent crime than otherwise.

      Those scientists you speak of should know better. They are working in the interest of drug companies and not in the interests of truth or of better patient care. We’ve got a hogwash job taking place, and the bio-medical school of psychiatry is getting the hogwash. Many, many people have been harmed, many killed, due to this effort on behalf of the medical model of psychiatry to legitimize itself as a profession. Ways that truly work the psychiatric establishment is intent on hampering while fostering those methods that are known to fail. Isn’t it funny that such mistaken professionals should be focusing on people they consider deluded. Okay, maybe funny isn’t the right word to use. Isn’t it sad.

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