I can understand why people get upset when the language used to describe a person suffering with a mental illness, becomes compartmentalised. Using an ‘inappropriate’ description to describe an already vulnerable person, can cause distress, albeit maybe unintentional.
To the person who has/is suffering, or whose family member has experienced a ‘mental’ illness, an inappropriate descriptive word can be extremely hurtful, and even worse, can seem condescending. But does it really, in the grand scheme of things, matter at all?
I have always found it strange that people get so emotional over trivial, throwaway comments, intended to help, not to hinder. Many people, thankfully, will never have to worry about saying the wrong thing or offending the poor ‘psycho’ or even the ‘schizo’ next door. The obsession with saying the right thing however, never offending and using the right ‘politically correct’ words, can get a tad boring, and in my opinion, further restricts the ‘mental illness sufferer’ from moving forward. Professor Richard Bentall of the University of Manchester, among others, called for the term ‘schizophrenia’ to be abolished. Prof Bentall stated “I think the concept [schizophrenia] is scientifically meaningless, clinically unhelpful and ultimately has been damaging to patients.”[i]
Whether the word itself offends, the treatment results should be highly offensive to society. Prof Healy opined that the risk of suicide in the first year of treatment for schizophrenia is extraordinarily high. He said that the risks of suicide [in schizophrenia] were 100 times greater than those of the general population.
“For schizophrenia generally you are 10 times more likely to be dead at the end of the first year of treatment than you were 100 years ago – there may be no other disorder in medicine where you could say this.”
Is this not an enormous tragedy? A paper authored by Prof Healy et al ‘Mortality in schizophrenia and related psychoses: data from two cohorts’ was published recently in the British Medical Journal.[ii]
It doesn’t bother me in the slightest when people commit the serious ‘faux pas’, referring to a suicide victim as a person who has ‘committed’ suicide. The act of suicide is of course no longer a crime in Ireland since its abolishment under The Criminal Law (Suicide) Act, 1993.[iii] I don’t even mind if a person says that Shane ‘committed’ suicide, even though the jury rejected that particular verdict.
The point I am trying to make, is that whatever the psychiatric label, whatever the wording used, people who are suffering ‘mentally’ need help. The methods currently being used are not working, if anything, they are making things worse. Our respective governments are ignoring the ‘problem’, doctors and psychiatry (including Irish psychiatry) are just doing what they know best; pushing dangerous pills.[iv] Despite the increased prescriptions, the suicide numbers are rocketing; what does that tell you?[v] The College of Psychiatry’s webpage wouldn’t fill a person with confidence. On antidepressants, the website states:
“The manner in which antidepressants help to restore normal mood isn’t known for definite, but it is probably related to their effect on regulating the activity of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These are chemical messengers that help brain cells communicate and pass signals to each other. The chemicals most involved in depression are serotonin and noradrenaline and antidepressant medications influence their activity. There are other theories to explain the effectiveness of antidepressants in depression, such as their effect on the inflammatory and immune system and on their potential to promote nerve cell growth or (‘neurogenesis’) in certain brain areas. It may be through a combination of these effects that they are helpful in depression…”[vi]
Ah yes, the chemical imbalance theory, and one of the worst pieces of ‘pharma industry propaganda’ ever. Actually, for the pharma industry, the best piece of propaganda; seems to be working well for them at least. The terrible reality, that psychiatry is pushing this idiocy, just makes it much, much worse.
In a recent tweet, Professor Healy stated that ‘MENTAL HEALTH DRUGS CAUSE MORE SUICIDES THAN THEY PREVENT’. This would suggest, that by pushing the ‘medical model’, the body entrusted with the expertise to help the most vulnerable in our society are actually causing more deaths than they are preventing. So, pardon my inexperienced musings and call me ‘mental’ if you like, call me schizo, call me whatever you wish, just don’t ignore the accumulating bodies.
- Pre-Crime: Psychiatrists Target Infants as Mental Patients (lunaticoutpost.com)