Monday, 25 May 2015

wrong tools for the job (from Jan13)

[first published 7 January 2013]

I've often thought of psychiatry as being about tackling a skelf (splinter of wood) in the finger with a sledgehammer.  The wrong tools for the job. 

Mental ill health, stress and breakdown, for me was to do with mind and body, not brain.  So giving me psychiatric drugs that affected my brain chemicals didn't deal with the root cause which was the disruption to my wellbeing, peace of mind and feeling at home in my body.  In fact it added to my stress and caused me depression, lack of confidence and alienation.  To self and others.

I can only speak for myself in this.  Maybe others find the psychiatric drug regime helpful, the controlling measures of benefit, the abdication of personal responsibility a useful procedure.  Although I wanted an escape from pressure and stress, I didn't want another person taking charge, in loco parentis.  And this seems to be the only deal when you enter the gates of psychiatric institutions, the land of make believe.

Of course the biomedical model of mental illness is the reason for it.  They think it's a brain thing and act accordingly.  And so we have brain altering chemicals, shock treatment to the brain and neurosurgery for mental disorder (NMD) or brain surgery for mental illness.  Wrong tools for the job.

I never believed psychiatry and the brain thing, so managed, eventually, to take charge of my own mental health and recover.  Despite the psychiatric labels that still linger in my medical notes.  Indelibly written, subjectively given.  A work of fiction to my mind.  Lacking substance or power.

It helps if you're non-conformist and free thinking, although you won't be popular.  At least not openly.  It means walking your own path, doing your own thing and being prepared to stand firm when necessary.  The sledgehammer can do a bit of damage in its quest to remove the skelf.  Which often works its way out, either by itself or with help from a friend.

I'm looking forward to a new paradigm where mind and body are the focus, when a person is known to be the expert of their own experience and the right tools for the job are in the hands of a caring profession.

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