Thursday, April 27, 2017

Comments by JordanGoldstein

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • I really appreciated this article, and have a lot more thinking (and eventually doing) to think/do about it. Judging by the comments section, it’s provoked a lot of thought (and strong reactions) already. Not that I want to add that pile, but I do have to note that the inclusion of the “Black Tourette’s” comment struck me as pretty problematic, especially considering the context of this article and its otherwise thoroughly intersectional awareness. Just had to put that out there. Thanks again for making this article happen!

  • I think what you are saying here is important because it challenges the status quo. In many ways I agree– I think the category of psychopathology in general is a tool and a construct. I also don’t believe in “mental illness” as such. I think it’s deceptive and dehumanizing to prescribe poorly-understood drugs to people in the name of even an immediate need to relieve suffering. I think psychotropics in the way they are talked about and used can often be a huge threat to personhood and agency.

    That being said, I feel that the framing of your argument as a response to “what psychiatry says” is reductive and combative. To say that “the only inevitable outcome” is such and such negative things in response to “the inevitable outcome” is so and so positive (yet problematic) things may serve to open up minds, but immediately closes them again around the OPPOSITE idea. It mires the discourse in binaries and dogmas, when it is incredibly complex and sensitive and individual. If both “sides” (if we want to think of it that way) speak in terms of absolutes and insist on causalities rather than correlation and nuance, I think we all lose.

    Personally, I take meds. But I don’t take them personally. I don’t say they help me in any definitive or provable way, but there HAS been a correlation to feeling better and taking certain meds over time. I’ve also taken ones after which I saw distinct mental and physical changes. I feel incredibly lucky that I have never been permanently messed up by them. But it’s taken some time to orient myself towards the idea of pills for my brain in a way that feels ok. My experience tells me that the stigmatization and disempowerment that you refer to is not always, completely OR inevitably out of the hands of the individual. These are not primary symptoms of taking meds– they are maybe side effect, but also products of our environment, how we internalize messages, how we frame our experiences, and how we making meaning of them. We all (probably) only have one life to live. If a drug, illegal or not, may help us to live that life, EVEN at the expense of long term health, I think we can be justified in those decisions, as long as we are informed as best we can be. Like why it’s ridiculous to criticize people for smoking cigarettes. These are choices people make with their lives. I guess I just find it unproductive to fight generalizations with generalizations– it further polarizes an already polarized conversation.

    Thank you for your article. Keep speaking truth to power, and not-power.