A creative individual submitted an ‘alphabet’ about the mental health system to MindFreedom, that is intended to educate the World Social Forum.
[Background: The “World Social Forum” is an enormous event gathering together many different people from multiple issues about social justice, etc. Below is a forwarded creative piece from psychiatric survivors who intend to bring an ‘alphabet’ about psychiatric oppression to the event…
[Disclaimers: That’s all the info we have, the views expressed are that of the writers and this is not necessarily an endorsement, this is a forwarded message, for more info use the contact data provided below, feel free to forward.]
statement on neoliberal psychiatry
Date: November 24, 2006 8:45:52 AM PST
I wrote an alphabet which is put below this message and it is made as a warning for the dangers of neoliberalism when executed on psychiatry.
This is our preparation for the World Social Forum.
Can you discuss these issues in your networks and if you have any comments or remarks, please send it back to me so. we want to spread this alfabet amongst visitors of the World Social Forum.
The World Social Forum takes place in Nairobi, Kenya, January 20-25, 2007. More info on www.wsf2007.org
with kind regards,
Telefoon: + 0031 / 040-2515342
Mobiel: + 0031 / 06-47018432
Tevens Ing. Milieugerichte Materiaaltechnologie (Duurzame Bedrijfsvoering)
Also Bachelor of Environmental oriented Materials Technology (Sustainable Engineering )
Neoliberal Alphabet of Psychiatry and Mental Health Care
This alphabet is made to warn you and describes psychiatry in neoliberal execution.
Warning, this is no fiction. The following is based on our experiences and knowledge.
Abuse and neglect in all kind of forms is still the main cause of psychiatric problems. Also inside psychiatry a lot of harm is done.
Branded and stigmatized is what the patients still are, by the unaccepted features and manifestations of their inner lives.
Children don’t get the basic love and affection they need, because work goes above the family in neoliberal days. Attention for individual matters is negatively referred as drawing attention. Children get structurally neglected and develop all kinds of anger problems. Clinics and homes for children are still based on discipline and universal group activity schedules, suitable for every universal child.
Drugs are for sale on commercial markets, to create the happiest person ever. Being different or feeling unhappy is analysed as a chemical balancing disorder and pharmaceutical commercials show us that we have choice or responsibility to be perfect. Then all of us should fit into the standardized life schedule.
Emotions are more frightening than ever, since we made Work our highest aim. Therefore a scope of drugs is established to relieve the people from the feelings* except sexuality (G), and the humans can be just like working robots.
Fear of the unknown is ruling in all actions. Every inappropriate move is seen as a potential danger or threat to ones social circumstances or to society. Generally every one must assimilate in massive globalizing patterns, or else you will be asked to take drugs or get therapy to behave yourself.
Gender related issues are widely spread in the neoliberal culture. Sexuality is exploited and inequality between men and women is very obvious. Gender implicates certain expectations: women are expected to show their beauty, and men should be rough and strong. If you are not, you will probably have problems during your entire life.
Historical roots of psychiatry are obviously repressive tools for the state to create a homogenous society. Since a few ages ago the strange persons were banned into the woods, into prison, into death. Patients were all sent away, locked up or murdered. Real cures for the trouble have not been developed. They were only restraints.
Illness or disorder is the neoliberal description of the sufferance of the soul. The word illness gives a false image of uncapable people who are sick in their brains, and it diminishes the patients rights, feelings and identity. This attitude towards patients also diminishes on how hard coping with certain emotions can be.
Joy is often hard to find in psychiatry.
Keeping your mouth shut is what patients often have to do, otherwise they might get in more trouble, such as increasing medication or treatments. Performing yourself as normal as you can is the most common way to get out of the mental institutions. Besides, who would believe the bizarre stories of the defect life of a psychiatric patient…
Love is what we all need. Solidarity, compassion, support, understanding, warmth, humanity, encouragement, empowerment, and inclusion.
Mental institutes and psychiatric hospitals are very badly equipped for specialized therapies, due to poor investments of neoliberal politics. Most institutes still consist of large population sleeping facilities and group activity schemes, with minimalized personal attention and lacking individual needs, all designed for universally standardized psychiatric patients.
Nurses and doctors do have good intentions and want to help the patients, but they are also stuck in the bad system of psychiatry, which is due to our history. Psychiatry lacks knowledge and the institutes lack investment and personnel, so to help the patients is a really tough job. The core tasks of assistance personnel is nowadays basically to keep order amongst all the patients in group therapy times and to arrange meals and of course hand out the medication, to standardize the patients.
Our philosophy as former patients is that psychiatry should include social backgrounds. And psychiatry needs to develop meaningful treatments as soon as possible.
Patient movements are necessary to gain fundamental rights and recognition for psychiatric patients.
Quality of care means in our opinion that finally after the care the patients are grateful they received the care. Helping means: to make one get better. Patients of psychiatry should decide whether a form of care is helpful.
Relatives, friends etc. should have an important role in finding the best cure for ones sufferance, because relatives know the patient very well.
Seclusion is nothing good for the patient. Patients should not loose their complete social lives by being banned/institutionalized or imprisoned. Patients should be stimulated to participate in daily life of society. Every patient is a unique precious human.
Treatments should be established to reach recovery with joined efforts from the patients, relatives and the staff. Patients should be supported to live their lives, in the way they want to live. Patients should have a right to selfcontrol, a right to deny a certain treatment, and the ability to choose between different options of treatments.
Unheard complaints are a common torture for psychiatric patients. Screaming patients banging on the door is a reality.
Valuable skills of the patients should be stimulated as much as possible, instead of complete denial and letting down on odd persons when he/she is having their trouble. Maybe he or she can be a brilliant artist in this period of distress, to give an example. Patients are more helped with love and compassion and with the basic human feeling of being a welcome identity.
Working 9 to 5 is not what life is all about. There is more in life. So psychiatry must be reshaped and from now on regard for social lives.
Xenophobia in neoliberal culture is closely related to the brands and stigmas of neoliberal psychiatry.
You can help Psychiatry! By promoting this alphabet as much as you can.
And if you want to do more: Find out more about your local, regional, national or continental mental health services and let us and everyone else know what you know.
Zap to our website : www.mindrights.nl
At time of posting the above new web site was not yet up. The writers suggest visiting:
Actiegroep Tekeer tegen de isoleer! / Stichting Mind Rights