Comments by Giuseppe Tibaldi

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  • I would like to thank all of you for your comments here, including the abrasive ones, as well as for your mails.
    This proposal has many roots: I tried to summarize most of them in the presentation of the Italian experience. One of the main roots is the impact of recovery stories on individuals involved in the mental health system: I don’t know how many of the readers of this blog have seen Eleanor Longden’s talk on If you’re going to check how many people viewed her talk, you can understand what I mean. I don’t care at all how many of them are mental health professionals.
    Eleanor’s personal account lasts 15 minutes, but it opens the door to comprehensibility and hope.

    As Ute writes, in her second comment, “Narratives in their immense and multi-layered, even exciting, exposure of the many senses in wider and altered qualities of experiences and perceptions, as truly mental, emotional and culture related, fully human experiences, do, by their collective presence, expose the ignorant, poor, fragmented barbarism of reductionist psychiatry…”

    I’m sure that two of the most dangerous side-effects of biological psychiatry, at the larger cultural and societal level, are hopelessness and lack of any interest for the (interpersonal and ecological) meanings of the “psychotic” experiences. I agree that “recovery” is going to become “old wine in new bottles”: for this reason, in Italian, I prefer to avoid this word (“guarigione” – in Italian – is nearer to healing), but hope and comprehensibility are not old wine, or weak tea. I consider them as a powerful tool to put the emperor under siege.

    This tool can be shared by all: survivors, family members – like madmom -, mental health professionals (surviving the reductionist wave), general public. Is it not enough? I agree: every stakeholder in this field has different priorities, objectives and time-frames, but some of them must be shared, in my opinion.

    In the southern regions of Italy, at the evening, all citizens meet in a central square, where they can share positive experiences and critical remarks. I believe that MIA is something similar to such an open square. I thank Robert, and Kermit, for inviting me to come here (it’s evening time, in Italy).

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