The Language of Suffering

From Mad in Norway: Language shapes reality. The language we use is decisive for what and how we understand and interpret. The language determines the story that is told. What lies behind and what the road ahead might look like. Language can open, and language can close. Language is a crucial part of the narrative about who we are, about how we have become us, about who we can become.

Read original article here, and full English translation here


  1. Well written. Intelligent. Interesting.
    Edison made innumerable mistakes but we know what he contributed to mankind. He didn’t quit. Perseverance is important. I don’t think we created suffering out of thin air for something to do. I believe most of those involved in trying to relieve severe human suffering mean well and have been grouped together with the greedy, deceitful and at times criminal element seeking big bucks above all else.
    In time using meds to treat psychiatric disorders will become razorsharp vs the scythe in use today. We are on the cusp of incredible breakthroughs as we apply the latest science, technology and chemistry to improve our health and ability to function.

    Report comment

    • We always seem to be “on the cusp,” yet those razor-sharp understandings and interventions never seem to have developed. I’m glad at least that you recognize that we’re trimming hair with a scythe right now. It is difficult to understand, though, why you don’t consider giving someone a shave with a scythe is a pretty dangerous undertaking, especially when there are less dangerous options, including letting one’s beard simply grow out!

      Report comment

    • Schnell says, “In time using meds to treat psychiatric disorders will become razorsharp…we are on the cusp of incredible breakthroughs…”

      Dream on.

      Psychiatry already scalps people with diagnostic language and dangerous drugs, and no amount of “breakthroughs” will change that.

      Report comment

      • Schnell says, “In time using meds to treat psychiatric disorders will become razorsharp…we are on the cusp of incredible breakthroughs…”

        What? Again? Somehow, I get the sense I’ve heard this before….oh yes! Now I recall….it was back in the late eighties when Prozac made the headlines….and then the nineties roll in, bringing the “newer” antipsychotics, that turn out to be, well, not so new at all….and then around 2000, someone named “Insel” starts blowing his horn about “genetics”— and guess what happens? Nothing! Not unless you consider a shitload more “diagnoses” and heap more iatrogenic illness “nothing”….and now things are so desperate (for psychiatry!) that they’re turning to (of all things), psychedelics. Which reminds me of the saying, “all that’s old is new again”…

        And the psychiatric merry-go-round keeps going round….and round….and round….

        Report comment

  2. Psychiatry is the language of gaslighting. And the DSM is it’s dictionary.

    But here’s two diagnoses that actually ARE real:

    BLD: Borderline Labeling Disorder
    BPD: Borderline Prescribing Disorder

    And most psychiatrists have both, i.e. “comorbidity ”.

    Comorbidity? Why not say comor-diddly? That’d be real.

    Report comment

  3. Psychiatry is the language of suffering.

    Pal Espen Olsen writes, “Yet, in our little corner of the world, we have now locked ourselves into a specific language to categorize, understand and remedy mental illness.”

    “A language that invites us to take the suffering out of the context in which it exists, that sickens understandable responses to difficult experiences and harmful life conditions that are obviously connected to larger, society-related conditions.”

    “We throw around bad labels and medicate widely without it seeming to reduce the amount and degree of suffering.”

    “I am tempted to think that we have created a monster. A monster that oversimplifies and sickens and produces for its own survival without creating significant change and improvement for anyone but itself. A monster with the power to define and prioritize, which leaves many in shame and powerlessness.”

    Psychiatry created a language of suffering that’s now become a world of suffering. Its DSM decontextualizes, mischaracterizes, dehumanizes and devalues the human experience. But most people don’t realize this, (including most psych professionals). The medicalized language fools them into thinking it’s true when it’s not. And so the charade continues.

    Report comment

  4. The most dangerous thing about psychiatric language, (the DSM) is it’s their word (the “therapist’s”) against yours, courtesy their self-serving “power imbalance”.

    And unless you’re willing to roll over and play dead (i.e. “be compliant”, i.e. “be agreeable”), you often end up paying a heavy price, in more ways than one:

    1. More “diagnoses”
    2. More “medications”
    3. More “psychotherapy”
    4. More iatrogenic illness
    5. More threats of confinement

    And most tragic of all:

    More more self doubt, more self blame, and finally, more self hate.

    And no one in their right mind would call this “therapeutic”. Except, of course, most psychiatrists/“therapists”.

    No surprise there.

    Report comment