Monday, December 5, 2022

Comments by Kalina Jones

Showing 9 of 9 comments.

  • I’m very interested to see someone talking about OCD from an alternative lens! I would love to see more explorations on alternative ways of viewing what are labeled obsessive-compulsive doubts. I do find the way we categorize the cycle somewhat useful in understanding the significant distress my doubts cause me. I also find the way those experiences are discussed by professionals to be as unhelpful as you did.

    I was lucky enough to talk to a therapist once who said he believed ERP could be “extreme.” But otherwise, I was told by another after a 5-10 minute jaunt flipping through the DSM OCD criteria that I definitely had it and that it’s a brain problem, so no wonder I was struggling. There is nothing to be done to change it besides taking meds, though she admitted that there “are no good treatments for OCD.” (She didn’t even mention ERP.) Obviously super hopeful and optimistic; just one more variation of the coercive call to view oneself as sick and to please just do what the professionals say.

  • When I shared about the University of Toronto considering the policy on my personal social media, the reaction I got was actually really heartening. I’m in the US and I saw an overwhelmingly outraged response to this idea from many people who don’t identify as activists or have any particular interest in critiques of the biomedical model. I think there is certainly support for such measures from those who are deeply entrenched in conventional psychiatry’s paradigm, but perhaps (and hopefully) “This is so wrong” will be an intuitive reaction for many people.

  • When I was an undergraduate studying psychology, we read an awful lot about the “biopsychosocial model,” the model of viewing mental health problems and personalities and such that was supposed to be well-rounded and based on all that we know about these things. That was conventional psychology (not psychiatry, notably) and biology was still only 1/3 of the equation, alongside the psychological and sociological. In practice, even psychologists and therapists often make biology a much larger part of the equation, a fact made worse by the problem that much of what they often consider scientific isn’t evidence-based.

    Thank you for reading, and for the comment! I’m glad my piece gave you a little bit of hope for the future. Mad In America often has that effect on me!

  • Thanks for the comment! What you bring up about the scientific invalidity of diagnoses is one of the things that frustrates me most about trying to change how we think about “mental health” or emotional distress or whatever we call it. It’s just so accepted that these are medical pathologies that it’s hard to even know where to begin to plant the seed that “Hey, we all think this very definitive stuff about “mental illness” and chemical imbalances, but all of us believing it doesn’t make it true.” And that it’s not valid seems fairly accepted among academics, which makes it all the stranger that we have to feel shamed for our supposed quackiness for questioning it. But ah well, it is what it is until we keep bothering everyone about it and it isn’t that way anymore! 😀

  • Thank you! And yes, you’re absolutely right. I always knew assertiveness was an issue for me, but I saw it as sort of a side issue when, in reality, it’s one of the primary issues. It was sort of acknowledged by practitioners, but I’m not sure that any of them ever considered that me being able to stand up to THEM was all that important. Another aspect of my story that I didn’t have time to delve into here but that occurred to me is that I actually had the option to say no to the meds as I sat crying in the hall because I was seen as a “good,” cooperative patient. That is really remarkable because so many people would not have had that choice, and I’ve only realized more recently how terribly unsafe and traumatic it would be to actually be in crisis under the care of mental health services.

    Thank you for reading and for the thoughtful comment!

  • Thank you for reading, and I’m glad you are finding your way to healing as well! I totally understand where you’re coming from when you talk about the mental health industry. I’ve always felt a distinct power differential between practitioner and client that seems to be built into the system, and that’s one reason I’m hesitant about trying to bring about reform by entering those kinds of professions. How can we ever begin to heal if we’re made more powerless by the system intended to “help” us, the system in which we’re blamed if we find our own answers and they don’t match the ones we were told? I’m sorry you had to go through so much help that wasn’t helping, but I’m glad for the journey you’re on now. I’m rooting for all of us.

  • Thank you so much! And spot-on about non-compliance. I’m afraid that not having the same insights they’re having about you isn’t quite the same as lacking insight. I think that as movements like those represented by Mad In America gain traction, it will be easier for us to remember why we left conventional psychiatry and to never feel so desperate and out-of-options that we return against our own better judgment.

  • Thank you for the comment! I actually grew up in the Methodist church for 16 years and then got into more “evangelical” movements for a few years after that. The decision to leave was initially an emotional one, but as I explored other perspectives, I knew that going back didn’t rationally make sense for me. I’ve now identified as religiously pagan for about 5 years and am very happy with where I’m at.