Wednesday, 20 February 2013

non-compliance and insight, resilience and recovery

Why does psychiatry link non-compliance with lack of insight?  What is this all about?  It shouldn't be a foregone conclusion that people in mental distress or crisis don't know what's happening.  The reverse is often true, in my experience, and we are all too aware of what's going on when in the midst of a mental crisis. 

On admission to a psychiatric hospital, whether voluntary or not, a patient has to swallow the psychiatric drugs or else.  The regime is set and any objections or resistance is met with a detention and compulsory/forced treatment.  Because you won't get any therapy (OT, psychological) until you take the medication.  Compliance is a sign of insight returning, according to the psychiatrist and their nursing cohorts.

Who watch the patients for signs of abnormal behaviour, overfamiliarity, laughing inappropriately, walking strangely, questioning the status quo and any other actions that you might do in the normal world but are frowned upon in the locked wards of psychiatry.  Where resilience is seen as a threat and recovery is for the distance future when labels have lost their power.

Me and my family are resilient and recovery-focused even when in psychiatric circumstances.  It's natural for us and we don't lose our insight when unwell although each of us may be non-conformist in different ways.  We might seem like we're going along with the treatment and yet be internally resistant.  Or we might defy the regime and resist the assault. 

The psychiatric system has no right, to my mind, in forcing their beliefs and treatments onto me and mine.  We've never been religious although people of faith and principle.  Religion binds and constrains whereas faith is about freedom and choice.  A clash of culture and beliefs.  Non-conformity makes sense to those of us who are resisting a coercive system.

There's no point in the government promoting recovery and wellness while the psychiatric system demands obedience to the mantra of lifelong mental illness, biomedical models and genetic liability.  The clash of culture catches the non-compliant in the cusp.  We have recovered and survived the system and mental illness label by not believing it.

Give us some credit and recognition for our stand against coercion and for the freedom to choose.  We deserve to be respected for daring to speak out against the injustice and control of psychiatry, bringing balance to a system that can so easily silence the voices of reason in a chaotic world.

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