I agree with many of the points being made about othering people and using the language of mental illness and the DSM in pejorative ways to dismiss and demean people. I wouldn’t mind if we gave it all up. But, how can we then develop a common language to share our experiences with others that captures the uniqueness, individuality and diversity of our experiences as well as what we have in common. One thing I’d really like to see is to quit talking as though “psychosis” is the only experience called “mental illness”. There are all kinds of extremely distressing and debilitating experiences, behavior, thoughts, perceptions and emotions so the only issue here is not just “psychosis”. I also reject the notion that many of the signs or traits known as symptoms can’t be measured. Certainly, we can measure things like memory, concentration, pace of thoughts, lethargy, fatigue, comprehension, ability to read, write, eat, confusion, following directions, pain, repetitive thoughts and actions, having the sense of mastery over our thoughts, feelings, actions, ability to sleep, hours of sleep, levels of sleep, nightmares, a sense of calm, involuntary dwelling on past events and incidents, level of anxiety and fear, sociability, involuntary degree of fearfulness when faced with certain situations, etc. And when I say “measure” I don’t mean against someone else or some norm but to measure against a previous level of functioning that we desired and want to restore or work to achieve. And of course, many people can experience changes in functioning but disability depends on our ability to control these functions, and the degree to which we experience the changes to be extreme and for how long. These are all things that can be extremely distressing and debilitating to oneself that can make it impossible to meet our basic needs and/or carry out the kinds of activities we want to do. Drastic changes will exist for many of us no matter what we call that change or think about the change. So, how can we develop a common acceptable language outside of the medical model to assist people who need and want help and agree that the experiences of some are not the experiences of all.