Sunday, 2 December 2007

Here they go again, the colonized!

I received an invitation for a demo. I like the overall idea, the initiative, I like that SOMETHING actually is happening. However, I'll never be able to identify with being "mentally ill", I'll never be able to accept that individuals like myself belong at a hospital, popping pills indefinitely. I am in complete denial, "suffering" from a total lack of insight. No insight, absolutely zero. But, as a matter of fact, I think that exactly this, my complete denial, made recovery possible for me.

Well, I commented on my Danish blog. Here's the first of a couple of posts I produced on the matter:

Thursday, December 13, 2007 LAP (a Danish users-organization) will hold demos at Copenhagen, Århus and Odense. The demos' aim is to draw attention to "the mentally ills' " social and treatment-related conditions. Also, a petition initiated by Sindnet-users (Sindnet is a Danish dating-site and web-community for users) will be handed over to politicians at these occasions. The users' want list contains 12 issues, of which I, without trouble, can support the 11. However, that I neither signed the petition nor will participate in the demo is due to the 12th issue, which says: "We want more beds at psychiatric wards."

What I want is anything else than more beds at psych wards. What I want instead, and what I think is missing on the list, are alternatives to psychiatry. Alternatives like crisis-centers, facilities like Soteria, Windhorse or the Weglaufhaus at Berlin.

I don't share the view that individuals in crisis belong at a hospital. A hospital-atmosphere, no matter how newly painted in pastel shades the walls might be, communicates a self-perception of being "ill": helpless, dependent on care, not able to take care of oneself. This glaringly contrasts with the first and most important condition for recovery: empowerment.

Of course, and not least from my own experience, I am pretty much aware of that an individual in crisis can have serious trouble with taking responsibility for and care of himself. Why he, undoubtedly, would need support. But to place an individual in crisis at a hospital is not to support him retrieve the resources necessary to, again, take his life into his own hands. To place an individual in crisis at a hospital is to confirm his self-perception of being defective, weak, ill, and with the latter it is nothing but another message about the biological brain diseases which psychiatry would so like to make its users believe in to be able to sell its "treatment", its pills to them.

Seen from this angle, the want for more psychotherapy and free access to it for everyone, falls flat. Talking to a psychologist can't cure a physical illness. Talking to a psychologist can resolve emotional, existential problems. But what does an individual with an emotional, existential problem do at a hospital? He's not physically ill. Or is our brave new world already arrived at the point where it is a physical illness to be a thinking, feeling and alive human being?? If this is the case, I guess, psychologists aren't at all needed anymore in this brave new world. Neither "more psychotherapeutic and analytic training of staff/psychiatrists" is needed in this case. The only things needed are more pills, more ect and preferably also implants and psychosurgery. And, sure, more beds at psychiatric wards.

A want for alternatives, free of psychiatric indoctrination and "medicine", would have been nice and would definitely have made me sign the petition and participate in the demo. A want for more beds at psych wards I can't and won't support.

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