Life–beyond the walls of the mental health center

“Mental illness” has become a lifestyle for some people. The mental health system supports this lifestyle. You’ve got within that system people who identify as having this or that disorder. This or that disorder puts bread and bacon on their table.

When we speak of a broken mental health system, this “mental illness” lifestyle is part of the reason why we would characterize that system as broken. Mental and emotional stability are no longer seen as a matter for will power when they are seen as matters of genetic make up and factors beyond human control.

You can’t cure people who are damned for having bad or defective genes. If you don’t explain that the bad gene theory is only a theory, some people will believe anything they read in the press or see on television. Just because biased researchers are intent on pursuing this bad gene theory doesn’t mean that it has anything to do with reality.

The plain fact of the matter is that people who have been labeled “mentally ill” are not so labeled because they have a discernable birth defect. They receive labels because their behavior is found to be annoying or disturbing to other people. The hunchback, the sixth finger, and the third eye are not on the body here, these psychological deformities are manifested in behavioral traits instead.

There is not a whole lot of mental health in the mental health system. Mental health is not what people in the mental health system are being sold. People in the mental health system are sold psychiatric labels, and the drugs that go along with maintaining those labels.

The conventional mental health system is primarily about two things: dependency and unequal power relationships, both of which are embodied in the term “mental illness”. Mental health, in other words, is to be found outside of the mental health system, and therefore, its brokenness.

Psychiatric drugs are one of the primary methods by which relations of unequal power and dependency are maintained. Just like with illicit drugs, psychiatric drugs affect people’s abilities to function in dramatic fashion. This sedation in turn makes people more docile and pliable for custodial and suppression purposes.

The answer to this problem is not to be found in the mental health system, it is instead to be found in the community. Effective community integration and interaction is the cure to segregation from the community in mental health facilities. It is the cure, in effect, to what is referred to as “major mental illness”.

Peer support specialists present both a potential threat to, and an exasperation of, this present brokenness of the system. Career mental health workers, be they professionals or paraprofessionals, are part of what keeps the broken system broken.

Outside of the system, you’ve got a man or a woman living among men and women. Within the system, you’ve got consumer patients and mental health staff among consumer patients and mental health staff, and the mental health staff are the force that lord it over the patient consumers.

There are much better products on the market for consumers to consume than “mental illness” labels, mental health services, and psychiatric drugs. Receiving psychiatric treatment is a sure sign that one has not fully digested this very basic lesson in logic.