Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Faces of Mental Illness

By Patricia Lefave, Labelled, in 11 cost effective minutes

Currently in Canada the system has an ad campaign going called the “Faces of Mental Illness.” Ostensibly this is designed to help remove the “stigma” of HAVING a mental illness which is presented of course as a “disease like any other disease.” Those who accept that they HAVE an illness want to get rid of that stigma which much of the time the mental illness system likes to pretend is not there.
Of course the faces presented all just happen to be pro bio psych, which comes as no shock to the many of us who are NOT pro bio psych, as we are all well aware that if we “ain't with 'em then we are against 'em.” There are, in fact, many experiencers of the system who are “against 'em.” But you won't see us, or hear our opposition, amongst the Faces of Mental Illness as presented BY the mental illness system, since a democracy, this system is not.
There is no room, or welcome, for debate in bio psych, certainly not from the labelled in opposition to it, for what should be obvious reasons. This is the only political system that can get rid of, or otherwise control, the opposition TO it by declaring the opposition itself to be part of an illness in those who will not accept that they are ill. How absolutely TRUE all a-ROUND.
That is exactly what makes this kind if unquestioned political power so scary; even scarier is the fact that the MAJORITY of the public will never really see or understand this power as it IS, and even most of those psychiatrists promoting it, or backing it, won't either. The majority of them KNOW they are well intentioned and would never knowingly do harm. Yet, they DO harm, and they allow themselves to be talked out of seeing the harm they are doing. This is not a system which encourages critical thinking and in fact does just the opposite. The only attitude necessary to prevent any real critical thinking is that of suggesting to the group of people in control that they are superior human beings in control of inferior, or sub-human beings. When that is the premise with which you start the system of judgement, and on which you run it, you can talk almost anyone, into doing almost anything, to those who are not as “real” or as valuable a human being as those who are placed in control of them. It is a very old story and one that needs to be ended for good, and rewritten in terms of boundaries and equality as the premise of thought and nothing else.
For now though we get this:
Contrived ads encouraging fear mongering, by a fear based system, promoting perpetual mysterious illness, hopelessness and helplessness, and public campaigns featuring only the good “compliant” spokespersons who will co-operate with the system's agenda and not make any waves, or cast doubt on the reality and efficacy of this system. This as a system which focuses on containment and control, rather than wellness, change, or, God Forbid, any suggestion that all is not right with the identified patient's world and that most of the problems experienced by those in the system are psycho-social GROUP problems of humanity as a whole, and not as the neatly located illnesses within individuals that everyone else can focus on as THEIR problem. The log in the eye of the observers must EVER not be pointed out by those with that speck in theirs. Of course having said that, I already know that when I say that it gets automatically defined as “religiosity” whereas if a doctor said it, it would be accepted at face value and probably with a few smiles as well. For creating a perceived “difference” where there is no real difference is the stock in trade of the system. The public accepts it without question based on WHO is saying it, (experts and authority figures)  and not on WHAT is being said.  All dysfunctional groups which do not allow or encourage critical thinking and principles above personalities think and act the same way.

So We Get the Faces of Mental Illness Campaign
No debate welcome or tolerated, since those who disagree must simply be “presenting with” symptoms that cause them to take an adversarial role for no other reason than that is what their mental illness, left untreated, causes us to do.
“Terry” is one of the Faces of Mental Illness and is being defined as a Local Hero. Terry is still quite young, is drugged and says this to those learning how to get past that stigma while watching him on the current T.V. Campaign:
He knew there was something not quite right about him when he was sixteen but he did not know what it was.  He states he still gets symptoms of schizophrenia and admits that he sometimes gets angry and confused about things,[1] But he also assures the public that he “is not someone to be afraid of as long as he is on medication.”
 There is another, less than subtle, message in that statement isn't there?... and that message is the opposite one to that of the one being presented by Terry  and it is this:
“The public SHOULD be afraid of anyone with a similar label who is NOT on “medication” and who is not compliant like Terry. That describes me.
For this is the difference between those who COMPLY[2]  and those who do not accept that they HAVE a real disease “just like diabetes.” These diagnoses can, and often ARE made in ten to fifteen cost effective minutes and that is all the time it might take to change your life forever and have it run FOR YOU by others, who will never again hear a word you say as legitimate,  and who will treat you like a walking, talking disease process no matter what your personal truth may be. They will be afraid of you because bio psych has told them they SHOULD be and the public generally does not question experts or authority. 
The “stigma” comes WITH the labelling process and those of us who have been labelled and controlled by it  and who do not accept our legally imposed definitions are trying to tell the rest of you that.
Of course as a patient I once knew, locked up for life in a psych hospital as a “really BAD schizophrenic” because she “thought” she had been harmed by others, used to put it; “I tell you and tell you, but you don't hear....”

[1]  Are feeling angry and confused universal symptoms of mental illness in ALL human beings or just those labelled as such?
[2]  Good patient

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