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The mad movement has often been confined in a kind of ghetto… The recent New York Times article may be one way to break out.

by David W. Oaks, Director, MFI

For eons there’s been this conflict between those considered “mad” and those considered “normal.”

That’s why Al Gore’s film Inconvenient Truth is for me one of the most important “mental health” documentaries today. The science is in. The numbers are crunched. What’s called “normal” has room for improvement.

But Mad Pride has too often been talking to ourselves.

Now there’s a chance to break out of the ghetto:

The New York Times ran an article about Mad Pride, MindFreedom, a number of sponsor groups and more in the 11 May 2008 fashion section!

Some in the Mad Pride movement reading The New York Times article of course will not like it. The article includes both those who choose to take prescribed psychiatric drugs, and those who refuse them. Easily, the article could have been about one, to the exclusion of the others.

But one way out of the ghetto is a two-way street between those with a wide variety of opinions about prescribed psychaitric drugs.

Perhaps this is one way to break out of our ghetto. The general public is becoming interested in our topics more.

After all, with the climate crisis there’s a realization that maybe, just maybe, “normality” is not all its cracked up to be.

Maybe, just maybe, Martin Luther King, Jr. had a point when he called over and over an “International Association for the Advacement of Creative Maladjustment.”

Spread the word! Break out of the mad ghetto — the whole planet has a lot more in common than they think with psychiatric survivors and mental health consumers!

I know some will dislike the way The NY Times article also shines spotlight on those who embrace taking prescribed psychiatric drugs, as well as those who don’t. But that is actually one way to be sure that dissident positions are included — to include a variety of views.

I look at the Mad Pride article as a sandwich — and in the middle is one heck of a great pickle, advertising wonderful events like Bonkersfest, and great groups like MindFreedom.

I’m also glad the author struggled to find alternate ways to describing us. I have an essay about why it’s important to find other phrases when talking about others, besides “mentally ill.

On the MindFreedom web site you can “drill down” deeper into Mad Pride. Check out the way Martin Luther King persistently, for decades, talked about how the salvation of the world lies in the hands of the “creatively maladjusted.” He could have been talking about today, during the climate crisis.

All madness is not good. But all good changes begin somewhere, and that first voice can be labeled “mad.”

I encourage all new visitors to MindFreedom to join… get active… hold a Mad Pride event even if small. You’ve heard of greening your garden, or your home, or your form of transport? In a way Mad Pride is about greening your mind, to find the kind of support you need to truly challenge crises like the Greenhouse effect!