Human Connection and Mutuality: A New Response to ‘Mental Illness’


From The eMental Health International Collaborative: “‘What has happened to you?’ – this question has brought a new dynamic into the mental health space. As the adversities and disadvantages in the lives and communities of people who suffer distress are better understood, questioning ‘what has happened?’ not ‘what is wrong?’ is an imperative for connecting to a person in distress. The question is based on the notion that people are responding to their environment and experiences and not a ‘mental illness’.

. . . We have lost much of the genuine curiosity to understand one another in the context of the medicalisation of human experience. So often the bedrock of mental health systems and structures is to focus upon ‘disorders’, ‘risks’ and ‘intervention’ by expert professionals.

. . . The time for change is upon us. The time to embrace legitimate human distress and shape responses through human-to-human connection has arrived. Mental health services should focus on the human-to-human relationship as the primary mechanism of supporting individuals to construct their unique personal narrative.”

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  1. Well, I am amazed and relieved that the author did not put “””””schizophrenia”””” in quotation marks like the words “”””treatment”””” and “”””””risk”””””.
    Maybe language is evolving again and soon there will be no words not engulphed by such irritating inkblot tests. I mean what age am I as a reader of such articles supposed to be? Is it that my gormless brain cannot do the current attitude to certain words without those sprinklings of notifications, those sometimes outward moral, worthy nudges to bring everyone’s conscience to the same pulpit? Conscience has become the new soul. Lets all venerate the most flawless conscience and strive to have a pristine conscience in the morning and maybe to achieve that win, since nobody wants to be celebrity or a rock star anymore, we could compare our filthy consciences in public. Must make dinner at seven, jot a card to uncle Bill, deworm the cat, iron tomorrows clothes, clean dishwasher, scrub all stains from conscience and pop quotation signs around as many words as possible and not just the ones I want to highlight but the ones a multitude of casual strangers tell me they want me to highlight. Sign your confession here…I do solemnly swear that I abide by the law of visible and proven good conscience and that I must use speech marks on gaelic or swahili or cockney english or catalonian or manx or norn…enough, enough.

    If Shakespeare didn’t do it neither shall I.

    A baby cries. No other baby for miles around says “might be fitting if you just tuck in a few speech marks”.

    Anyways my friend…I do enjoy using speech marks myself quite wontonly and liberally, so I am a fine one to yearn to turn all articles into crisp scissored doillies, with airy gaps where the optical floaters of speech marks used to be. It must be my migraine so please accept my apologies and ignore my terse lack of flexibility in this hour. The rest of the article is great. I would only say along similar lines that if I am the wise patient or client or therapy shopper, then I should prefer to be understood as who I am, which is someone who feels ill with schizophrenia.

    If I am not allowed to call myself thus then I am presumably not deemed wise. Perhaps I am deemed pitiful or wretchedly traumatized or even wicked, from a pulpit perspective. If I am deemed anything by anyone other than myself then I have a cruelty levelled at my freedom of choice to define myself as ill and schizophrenic…and were I to declare myself dazzlingly sane and have anyone else other than myself ridicule me for my free choice of description, perhaps by calling my choice a label, as maybe a psychiatrist might do, poo pooing my self-definition of sanity, then I shall prefer to stay mad enough not to have to listen to anyone anywhere who deems me not wise enough to know what words to use about me. Or indeed what treatment I wish to choose, either from the vast array of traditional orthodox treatments to the wonderful touchy feely, cossetting alternatives. It is ALL MY CHOICE. So please don’t wheel aside the dismal theatre prop of the psychiatry guild pulpit only to replace it with an even more ornate bamboozling staircase for oratories.

    Lastly, I am getting a whiff of subterfuge going on in the haste with which the alternatives focus on the deep meaningful relationship. As if it is to facilitate something remarkable, a beatific, forced conversion into speech mark gentleness.

    ALL of my feelings are remarkable already. I do not need only some of my feelings parcelled off as they are the blessed gifts of connectivity. Relationships are transformer boxes that two people inhabit to transform each other, usually into one another. But relationships are not the relationship you have with your self. A therapy that helps you be more like you through you hearing you is almost the quieting of relationship. One thing humans find it almost impossible to do is leave each other to be utterly rare.

    The onus should maybe be not so much on connectivity but disconnectivity from worrying about what anyone else thinks.

    But please never feel I did not enjoy this article. I found it stimulating and I applaud what you are rolling out for all the people who will absolutely thrive on it all. I have no doubt of that. We need so many alternatives. Many, many.

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  2. This article is brilliant. The author wisely speaks of leaving the old (biomedical) narrative behind and I agree with this imperative.

    Speaking as an educator in a psychology training program, the thing is the entire foundation of the profession, as currently practiced, is based on the DSM-focused biomedical model. Training programs are required to follow it to be accredited. We are required to show that our students are competent in using it. What the author is talking about here, to be actionable, involves blowing up the entire profession, training model, accreditation standards, ethics code, everything. And that is why it will never happen. Despite the fact that it should.

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    • “What the author is talking about here, to be actionable, involves blowing up the entire profession, training model, accreditation standards, ethics code, everything. And that is why it will never happen. Despite the fact that it should.”

      But the reality is, it not just should. In a way, it has already happened. Given that the psychologists are all now required to do tele therapy, since they’ve been declared “non-essential” employees, due to Covid-19. In a way, it does appear that Covid-19 is the new schizophrenia.

      And all of us here know the entire DSM was confessed to be “invalid” eight years ago, by the head of NIMH.

      Meaning everything the DSM “bible” believing psychological profession believes in, is a delusion. Thus, “blowing up the entire profession, training model, accreditation standards, ethics code, everything” does actually need to happen.

      The psychologists should all be running, as fast as possible, from the psychiatrists’ DSM “bible,” if they want to salvage any shred of credibility. Although, make no mistake. I know first hand, that those psychological DSM “bible” thumpers that I had to deal with, who are hoping to “maintain the status quo,” are turning to blatant criminality and attempted thievery. And I do have legal proof of this.

      However, I would imagine those psychologists and therapists may now be questioning “maintaining the status quo.” Now that they, and their pastors, have been declared “non-essential,” their businesses closed; they’re locked in their homes, and forced to wear face masks, when they do go out.

      Personally, I’m quite certain, “maintaining the status quo” is a bad idea for at least the 99% of humans, at this point; which does include the psychological profession, and the pedophile protecting pastors, with whom they’ve “partnered.”

      Why is it that you don’t agree that the “ethics” of the psychological profession needs to be imploded? Given the history of your profession, and the criminal child abuse covering up history of the DSM “bible” writers, that too many psychologists apparently can’t stop worshipping …

      And all this un-“ethical” systemic child abuse covering up, by the psychological and psychiatric professions, is by DSM design.

      No doubt, major systemic “mental health” industry change is indeed needed. And, no doubt, the “helping professions” should be about “Human Connection and Mutuality,” instead of the current, scientifically fraud based DSM, stigmatize and neurotoxic poison “biomedical” model.

      Run away, as fast as you can from the psychiatric DSM “bible,” psychologists. Otherwise you may likely be following the systemic neurotoxic poisoning, Pharmakia forcing psychiatrists, to where they belong.

      What if the Holy Spirit blaspheming, systemic child abuse covering up, psychological industry is wrong? And there is actually a God?

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    • Great points!

      Don’t forget how state licensure for all of the counseling professions require demonstrating proficiency in the medical model – in both diagnosis and promoting medication use. So it’s not just the training programs but licensure as well.

      To buck the current system would essentially mean those seeking licensure would have to lie about their actual practice. This isn’t a sustainable model.

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  3. If they want to dispose of the biochemical lies as a cause of the fake mental illnesses, I say, “yeah!” However, I am just skeptical. But, “Human Connection and Mutuality: A New Response to Mental Illness,” when did connection with other human beings on a “mutual” basis become new? As far as “what happened to you” rather than “what is wrong with you”—that is usually my response–to say someone who has come in from a terrible rainstorm and looks like a matted dog. The alleged old response of “what is wrong with you” does beg an answer that something must be wrong whether it is or not. However, we are still at the horrible mercy dangerous concept of labeling others and ourselves with deleterious falsehoods that really only harm, damage, and disturb our natural harmony and freedom as given to us by our Creator. Yes, we do label and name that which we see in our environment; trees, buildings, cats, dogs, flowers, snakes, etc. But, that is only only mere shorthand, so we in essence do not bump into that which we should not bump into. But “short-handing” human beings in to labels whether we do it to ourselves or others is not only a diagnosis, but harmful. Thank you.

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