Monday, 5 December 2011


edited Sept 16, 2013

What if ...

physical fractures that are caused by a traffic accident were treated like the fractured integrity that is caused by harm in our lives?

Imagine meeting with a medical expert and hearing this:
After exhaustive testing and investigations, we have concluded that your movement impediment is outside the spectrum of normality, and you will never be able to walk again. You have an ambulatory disorder, and will have to learn to live with it.
It’s not your fault, it’s not anyone’s fault, the cause is a chemical imbalance in your skeleton. Your responsibility is to face up to your illness and the fact that you will never walk normally ... that’s what having an ambulatory disorder means ... and cooperate with the rigorous regimen of movement training that we have set up for you. 
You will also have to learn to live with pain, but don’t worry – we will help you with all the extensive pharmaceutical resources that modern ambulatory disorder research has placed at our disposal.

Obedience submission compliance is essential here - you can only be helped if you place yourself in our hands and realize that we are the only serious, evidence-based scientific alternative, and refrain from bringing up irrelevancies or asking awkward questions.

Car? What car? Didn’t you hear what I just said? We’re not talking about cars here, we’re talking about your responsibility for realizing the realities of your situation, being positive, putting the past behind you and looking to the future like the good little disordered patient we need you to be.

What did you say? You still insist on blaming the driver of the fantasy car that you keep babbling about for your disorder? We can’t help you if you reject the realities of your situation and disappear into paranoid problems that only exist in your sick little mind ...


I can’t go on, this is way too depressing, I have actually met with this kind of logic from our national mental health services when I was attempting to heal non-physical  childhood harm.

But I was extremely lucky ... I finally  connected with someone in the health services (not a psychotherapist) who was able to give me the space I needed to look at how my integrity had been fractured. And that is another story - my Thanks to a Helper who Helped


September 2013:
I am adding something in response to this tweet by a Swedish psychologist:

English version: "The diagnosis debate pops up with regular intervals. My question about what one should have instead is never answered."

One alternative that looks good to me, was suggested by Thomas Szasz a long time ago: "Problems of living". 

And I also like "metaphors in the language of everyday reality" as alternatives. More about that here: 

"The Tidal Model: Psychiatric colonisation, recovery and the need for a paradigm shift in mental health care." 

Phil Barker and Poppy Buchanan-Barker

I am pasting in two paragraphs:

The Process of Change
Unlike normative or adaptational psychiatric models, the Tidal Model holds no assumptions about the proper course of a person’s life, focusing instead on the kind of support that people believe they need now, to take the next step on their recovery journey. The language of recovery and journey is emphasised since, as Deegan (1996a) and others (Barker et al, 1999) have illustrated, the process of entering, surviving and recovering from seriously disabling life crises, is invariably expressed in metaphorical terms. This is the language of everyday reality, which differs markedly from the anodyne, abstruse language of psychiatric medicine or nursing diagnosis (Barker, 2000). 
People experiencing life crises are (metaphorically) in deep water and risk drowning, or feel as if they have been thrown on to the rocks. People who have experienced trauma (such as injury or abuse), or those with more enduring life problems (e.g. repeated breakdowns, hospitalisations, loss of freedom), often report loss of their ‘sense of self’, akin to the trauma associated with piracy. In such instances, people need a sophisticated form of life-saving (psychiatric rescue) followed, at an appropriate interval, by the kind of developmental work necessary to engender true recovery. This may take the form of crisis intervention in community or the ‘safe haven’ of a crisis house. In nursing terms, once the rescue is complete (psychiatric nursing) the emphasis switches to the kind of help needed to get the person ‘back on course’, returning to a meaningful life in the community (mental health nursing).

I would appreciate feedback on this from professionals and "experts from experience"

No comments:

Post a Comment

As the Vulcans say: "I rejoice in our differences". Comments, questions and differing opinions are welcome.

Because of spam, comments are now moderated.