Comments by Jann Schlimme

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  • Thank you all for your thoughtful comments on the topic “Can psychiatry be reformed” or “Can there be a humane psychiatry”? Isn’t “humane psychiatry” a paradox? I have my doubts too, since the background for this paradox is a (often mainly biological) medical model as “Oldhead” wrote. Personally I could do without the term – but mostly I want to do without this medical-model-system whether termed psychiatry or gnagnagna. I like to help without this medical model – and I can do that within this system in my office (kind of subversive, but not really subversive of course).

    We as action group are aware of this problem and we had an intense debate about this question: do we really want to use the old term “psychiatry” (with all the problems discussed here)? At last we decided to use the term because we wanted a debate about help for persons with “mental health” problems/psychosocial “disabilities” and we wanted a PUBLIC debate. In other words: we want persons to participate in this debate who are not already critical about psychiatry or not already informed about these topics.

    Anyway, we are convinced that in the actual help system in Germany humane (respectful, sustaining and self-help oriented) help for persons with mental crises/psychosocial disabilities is also possible and also given. Many of our action group have experienced that too – also often the opposite has been the case – and many of our action group are actually providing it – not saying that we are perfect in this. But this kind of help is NOT the standard and it is NOT already the direction into which the help system is developing. To the contrary, we have the feeling that the help system is in real danger to remain unchanged or become even more inhumane and we want to fight against that.

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  • Thank you for your comment and support. I cannot find much to disagree – I would like to add that the so called “antidepressants” and neuroleptics also cause a lot of problems when tapered. Actually this is the major block of my daily work – helping to taper these drugs and find different ways to get along / manage / deal with or overcome the mental distress and its psychosocial and life.historical backgrounds. The solutions need to be psychosocial and as normal as possible – therapeutic help should be self-help of course. That implies that my help is only temporary and that a time will come, when it is no longer needed. Sometimes this time comes quickly, sometimes it takes quite some time. Unfortunately only a minority of psychiatrists think this way in Germany – it is truly a shame for my profession and a disaster for their patients.

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  • Thank you for your thoughtful comment! The manifesto is, as I said in the blog, a paper drawn up by 23 persons with diverse backgrounds. Most of them have lived experience in mental distress and / or psychiatry – they would not work with me on such a manifesto if I would not mean what I say and would not prove it – or at least try to prove it – in daily practice as psychotherapist and psychiatrist. Of course I make mistakes, and I encourage the persons I accompany to criticize me for that. And they do – which is helpful for developing the therapeutical relationship. Please get me right, it is far from perfect.

    What we try to do with this manifesto is change the help system in Germany which is often more like the situations you describe in your comment. So: we work for this change and are grateful for the support form MiA.

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