From Dr. Gary Sidley/Tales from the Madhouse blog: “Future generations will look back on our efforts to resolve our current ‘mental health’ crisis with a mixture of horror and amusement. I can imagine – in the year 2119 and beyond – social history courses exploring the underlying reasons as to why the so-called civilised societies of the early 21st century treated its distressed citizens so barbarically, ultimately concluding that a reliance on psychiatric pseudoscience and a tolerance of gross human-rights violations were the key factors.
The present focus on ‘mental health’ is unprecedented. A continual stream of media reports highlight failings in the current system, while celebrities and members of the royal family add their voices to the clamour for an expansion of services for the ‘mentally ill’. Although well intentioned, this energy is typically misplaced; we do not require more of the same. The illness-like-any-other approach to human distress, as espoused by Western psychiatry, has been an abject failure. Despite dominating research and practice for over 60 years, this bio-medical paradigm has benefited few and damaged many.
Let’s be clear.
- We do NOT need ‘early detection’ in schools that tag more and more children with dubious diagnostic labels.
- We do NOT need to drug more and more of our citizens with ‘antidepressants’ and ‘antipsychotics’.
- We do NOT need more anti-stigma campaigns that worsen discrimination by implying that the ‘mentally ill’ are a distinct group, inherently different from everyone else.
- We do NOT need to waste further millions in bio-genetic research, chasing non-existent ‘mental illness’ genes and the corresponding wonder drug.
So, what do we need to do to resolve the mental health crisis?”