Thank you for your in-depth comment! I’d say I partially agree with your statement “there is no such thing as mental illness.” I know that’s a popular belief among the anti-psychiatry community and that it comes from Thomas Szaz. I’d agree that DSM labels are pretty much nonsense. I mean, the people who make the DSM have said that quiet part out loud a few times. My favorite was the Wired article with Allen Francis. Francis seems to want to be a whistleblower now, even though he took 500k from Risperdal very shortly after his work on the DSM-IV. If he really wanted to do good, that $ would go back to the people his DSM hurt, or go towards creating more compassionate mental health facilities. But anyway…the point I was getting to: I do think people struggle and suffer in a myriad of ways, and when this suffering/struggling is outside the norm and interferes with daily activities of life, some people find it useful to call it mental illness. For people who don’t like that label, I don’t think anyone should put it on them. I do sometimes refer to myself as mentally ill. After years of trauma and powerful drugs, I do have episodic psychosis and paranoia (I feel like it would be weird if I WASN’T paranoid. I mean, every adult in my family was violent, nobody would help me, and they locked me up and put me on drugs when I tried to defend myself. During my formative years, the world really WAS out to get me. Now I’m in my 30’s and probably won’t ever shake that feeling completely). So, I struggle and I suffer, and at times, this struggling interferes with my daily activities of life. I don’t mind the phrase “mentally ill” and sometimes use it. But “bipolar” “borderline” and eventually “schizoaffective”-none of that did anything for me. It would have been more helpful if they’d focused on my symptoms individually and gave me a say in how those symptoms should be treated. I got so sick of “Shut up, you need this pill.” I’ll probably never see a mental health professional again, even though I do still struggle to manage my emotions and thoughts a lot at times. I never broke the cycle of in-patient stays and suicide attempts until I parted completely with the system. You bring up a lot of great points about why the system is so ready to ignore child abuse and trauma. I think pediatric psych patients endure a lot of abuse. they get it at home and then get more of it from this system that’s supposed to help them. I have to wonder how many other abused kids from the early 2000s ended up just like me, constantly defensive and paranoid because when they were at their most vulnerable, whole systems of educated professional adults told them THEY were the problem. Anyway, thank you for reading and for your insightful comment. I enjoyed reading it.