Sunday, 7 July 2013

why do anti-stigma organisations reinforce stigma?

I am of the mind that anti-stigma organisations in the mental health world are not in the business of trying to eradicate stigma and discrimination but are more about keeping the status quo, not rocking the boat but making sure that the mad people in society are still kept under control.  

Their campaigns seem wishy-washy, woolly attempts at getting to grips with the real issues of stigma that exist in psychiatry where labels masquerade as diagnoses and lifelong mental illness prognoses are given to people with whom psychiatry doesn't know how to engage or work with appropriately.  Anti-stigma campaigns directed at society will be never ending because the root of the discrimination begins at the point of contact, when a person enters the psychiatric system.

A balancing act costing a million a year with the illusion of making a difference when in fact the same old stigma and discrimination continues.  Psychoses become schizophrenias and the lucky ones escape with bipolar although disorder is still the name of the game.

The wise among us learn to disappear back into society after episodes of madness, leaving our labels in the psychiatric system.  Others struggle to break free and have no option but to take out membership of the clinical club although in private are non-believers, rebels and dissenters.  Swallowing the drugs but anti-psychiatry in nature.  

Others of us come back in to join in challenging the system, the beliefs and the power.  Someone's got to do it.  Critical of psychiatry, compromise and control.  Freedom fighters.  Resisting the lure of celebrity, position and hierarchical shenanigans.  Each to their own.  It's a matter of conscience, choice and enjoyment.


  1. 'Psychoses become schizophrenias' appallingly true are your words, Chrys!
    My daughter has fully recovered from her psychosis experienced last summer ( probably due to antimalarial medication and a personal trauma). She came from Poland on her own to spend 2 weeks with me and my husband in Dunfermline. She is her old delightful self, nothing wrong with her. Yet a few psychiatrists slapped on her a label of 'paranoid schizophrenia' last summer. Fortunately they didn't manage to ruin my kid's life!

    Best wishes from so sunny now Dunfermline, what a glorious weather we have!

    1. Great to hear about your daughter's recovery Zofia!

      Thanks for commenting, Chrys


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