Showing 122 of 127 comments.
MIA’s whatnow, lol?
The students/detainees being abused *are* “ethnic minorities,” Rachel.
Hannah has been writing here since September 2017.
Hi Robert. RE: your earlier writing here, would you be willing to stop using terms that are slurs against sex workers, and to recant your statement that all rape survivors experience self-hatred?
Another barrier to large-scale action is white male activists calling people “divisive” for talking about racism and sexism in activist spaces, Steven.
This is a good article.
Hi Sera – these are undoubtedly degrading, violent, maddening and unjustifiable experiences that no one should ever go through, yet which are orchestrated on a mass scale for the purpose of breaking our people. That’s why I never enter those rooms, and find it infinitely preferable to align with and educate (on madness) already-radicalized groups experienced in direct action to defend those most-harmed by capitalism, to hold autonomous sanctuary spaces for psychiatric survivors (thanks for the shoutout to my local group!!), and to draw dicks on the writing of bootlicker shills as above who deserve nothing better.
Wow, I will have to look further at the data but I would believe this. Besides the inherent natural dangers of tobacco, it’s also a biological “sponge” that soaks up contaminants in soil and fertilizer much more than other crops, a “perfect storm” when phosphate fertilizers contain polonium-210…
An NYT article about it: https://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9E00E2DC1E3EF932A35751C1A9609C8B63&legacy=true
Not being able to get services/accommodations unless you agree that your difference is a disorder is a real clusterfck, kind of how like “if we don’t diagnose your gender dysphoria as a disorder, you can’t get coverage for HRT / surgery” is a double-bind for transgender people. I hope authors looking at this will also consider how this is used as pro-austerity logic in, say, the UK’s current humanitarian crisis where tons of people are being pushed into homelessness and suicide after being declared “fit to work”.
Hi Robert. RE: your earlier writing here, would you be willing to stop using terms that are slurs against sex workers, and to recant your implication that ALL rape survivors experience self-hatred?
Hmm, for me it’s often the opposite. Phone-talking particularly can be a dissociation trigger, you can’t “see” each other’s body language but you still have to respond in real-time. Whereas writing correspondence over longer intervals of time has given me and others more chance to reflect on each others’ thoughts and feelings. Studies have also found that autism-diagnosed people can often convey their ideas better, and *leave better impressions on others*, through text-based communication. This is an experience I can directly relate to, as can, I suspect, many people who deviate from standard “paralinguistic cues” as you put it. (The study that was conducted across three universities is really very interesting, you can read more about it at “Autism And The Burden Of Social Reciprocity” on ThinkingAutismGuide.)
And also, in my experiences, social connections formed through sharing writing, at times, gave Mad people I knew the best chance to talk out-of-sight of medical institutions and society’s diagnostic prophecies about us, and become “more real” in our communication that way.
Lmao that is ridiculously specific and no group of more than 3 people will be in that much consensus or even agree more-than-superficially about what terms like pride or recovery mean, and the only way an entire forum community could be in lockstep about those things would be with some cultlike level of control
Lol, other people “see it” too, you just have to talk to them like human beings and not like a condescending lecturer
Hi Robert, interesting perspective. I’m wondering, re: your earlier writing here, would you be willing to stop using terms that are slurs against sex workers, and to stop implying that all rape survivors experience self-hatred?
Hi Ms. Hari – thanks for writing this, I relate to it a lot as I have both a childhood autism diagnosis (which I ignore as I generally see psychiatric authority as illegitimate) and current personal experience of lots of the things known as the autism spectrum. Would it be okay for me to contact you by email to talk more about this?
This is really a great piece on an outstanding group and I seriously wish MIA were doing more to promote it than just burying a link in the “Around The Web” list.
wait, what? are you saying that people randomly “turn straight” sometimes as an “accidental side effect” of dietary changes? this sounds absurd but i’m not sure i’m understanding you.
Hi Susan, cheers on your research! It sounds pretty needed at this point in time… sorry you have to deal with heaps of misguided commentary from people who refuse to learn what words mean.
You say: “Many books expose psychiatry’s crimes against humanity. However, few analyze psychiatry in relation to capitalism, and even fewer attempt this with a marxist analysis.”
Here are a few that might fit the bill:
Capitalism and Schizophrenia
Gilles Deleuze/Félix Guattari – University of Minnesota Press – 1983
The Wretched Of The Earth
Frantz Fanon – Presence africaine – 1963
Complaints and disorders: the sexual politics of sickness
Barbara Ehrenreich-Deirdre English – Feminist Press – 2011
The protest psychosis: how schizophrenia became a black disease
Jonathan Metzl – Beacon – 2011
And the documentary “Century Of The Self” (Kurtis) is excellent too, for a look at how industrial psychology is used to regiment the lives of “normal” people (via the Gruen Transfer, etc.) just as much as it’s used to categorize and police the “Mad”.
Jewish people and crippled/disabled people never really stopped being scapegoated for those things either, just something to keep in mind…
Yeah, also, the higher divorce rates are prob my favorite thing about modern American culture. To a large degree, our grandmothers stayed because they had to. Economic dependence, cultural backlash, and patriarchal laws. I know countless women of my generation, mothers included, who are far better off because they got to get out.
Interesting cross-cultural comparisons, Robert. I’m wondering, regarding your earlier writing here, would you be willing to stop using terms that are slurs against sex workers, and to stop implying that all rape survivors experience self-hatred?
Nevermind me, darlings. I’m just bitter as the arctic.
Well, that’s nothing new.
Huh, maybe psychiatry has some redeeming potential after all.
Hi Robert – this is powerful writing. I’m wondering, re: your last article here, would you be willing to stop using terms that are slurs against sex workers, and to stop implying that all rape survivors experience self-hatred?
Robert, are you willing to stop using slurs to describe sex workers, and implying that all rape victims experience self-hatred?
Hi Robert – I really appreciate what you’re trying to do here but you’re making unfounded/projecting statements about people in the sex trades and using slurs that aren’t yours to reclaim. (As far as I can tell, anyway. I don’t want to make assumptions about how you have/haven’t done economically.) Also, please don’t assume (or encourage an audience to assume) that self-hatred is an experience of all rape survivors. Ok? Thanks.
If Women Ruled The World,
Everything Would Be The Same.
(except I would feel slightly guiltier for belonging to one more oppressive group I guess.)
No, man. Niacin and warm baths don’t cure social objectification. I want to be treated like a human being. That’s all.
Thank you, Uprising. Thanks, Oldhead and Stephen.
Oldhead, I made it through the first 3 chapters back in like 2011…. 10 Yards Of Linen. 1 Coat. Hegel. Something like that, right?
To be clear, nomad’s and liberalminority’s criticisms of the cooperative are not my criticisms. It could be a relatively benign workplace, I have no idea. Just, capitalism is exhausting and eats you, and my last straight job was in a yogurt factory and it was hell, and I was drinking and I saw this and the bitter irony of it just felt like the focal point for all my lunatic prole issues.
Thanks for all being here. Through whatever combination of luck, privilege, resistance, and fighting dirty, I hope y’all keep making livable niches for yourselves. We need to make more ruptures for others.
I’m in a pretty small city now, but we had about 30 people turn out today for a series of workshops/talks on being Mad and interacting with racism, police violence, sizism/body policing, etc… followed by an actually really amazing concert. Happy creative maladjustment day.
I don’t really believe in meaningful work. I don’t think there’s help for people like me.
Look. there’s a human ghost behind these words.
I’m a human being. Who tried to get help for myself and others through a lot of channels for a long time. Legal advocacy, direct action, formal, informal, social movements, social media, whatever. Who made a lot of self-representations on websites in this electronic massive-archive in this at-once hyper-connected and infrastructure-collapsing stage of late civilization. Tried everything. I’m probably going to kill myself.
Sorry. I can’t think straight.
Yknow. I haven’t read Marx’s “Capital”,
but I have the marks of capital all over me.
Oh my god this is hilarious.
My last job was in a fucking yogurt factory.
I can’t even think. I just. I want to die. I just want to die.
there’s no private messages here but if anyone wants to get in touch
i might be reachable by message at http://sunfishlungfish.tumblr.com/
Hi Natan, for what it’s worth I’m pretty sure that DJ Kamil is writing as a Black psychiatric survivor?? Peace, – Lily
Good news?! It seems Garth is out of the hospital – John, can you write another update here on MIA to let us know what happened in more detail? Thanks for your vital, much-needed work and reporting on this!!
Niall – it seems that Garth is now free according to this update from Gary Hipworth? Will we be seeing another article/update on what happened here on MIA? Thanks for your work around this!!
Thanks for the info /framework stuff, seriously.
1. I’m so sorry, and
2. Your research about munchausen’s – and, by extension, how families cast outliers as containers for their sickness, and how this is mutually enforced/constructed with medical / legal / economic authorities – sounds fascinating. And I’m really, really, curious if you have any perspective you’d like to share on the Justina Peltier case? Wherein a hospital said that Peltier’s parents had munchausens and were misdiagnosing her, and said hospital proceded to detain Peltier in a psych ward for an extended time. It’s an absurd case that I can’t wrap my head around.
Wow – was this in Portland? Who from the Icarus project was facilitating / curious what their group’s role in the event was?
“People in the U.S. are in general not politically educated enough to comprehend class struggle, unlike the working classes in much of the rest of the world, so terms like “leftist” end up being misapplied to capitalist war criminals such as the Clintons and have become largely meaningless.”
… Yeaaaaah. 🙁
I love how much this is not a fucking recovery narrative. This is beautiful.
I saw this last night! It was great!
” I am completely alienated and would be happy to see the cities burn.”
autonomist-marxian feminist here, but yeah, “false consciousness” is a bit too close to “lack of insight” for my comfort.
hoooooly shit “nothing inherently wrong with swaths of us being wiped out from time to time”
The invasive, demanding “right to know” the alien, the Other, the native.
The paralysis inflicted by telling people they can’t change the world until they’re “healed.”
The orthodox-communist scapegoating of the mutants / criminal-class.
All these things are real. We never can do a simple thing, can we?
We can never start on neutral ground. Unless we’re playing chess in New Orleans. 🙂
Yeah, I’m lucky enough to be living somewhere right now, where there’s both a radical mental health / psych survivor group, and where I can get medicaid to cover me working with a non-medicalizing counselor.
And, like, honestly I’m finding the latter more useful right now. Because I just don’t have the energy to listen to other people’s issues, or figure out how to share time and space with multiple people right now. But, the rad-mad group is definitely something I’m grateful for, and want to help build on their political work when I’m less overwhelmed.
Dolores who wrote the piece I linked to above, is talking about how there was this “Modernist” society that pressured everyone to be the same, but then there was this postmodern/neoliberal shift, to “everyone must be unique,” like you said. And there are ways that capitalism/the state pretty quickly absorbed that into consumer culture, and made self-improvement a replacement for social change or organized resistance. But also I think there are ways that introspection can be used in / contextualized in liberatory politics.
So, going to just quote Judith Butler on this I guess:
“What if we shift the question from ‘who do I want to be?’ to the question, ‘what kind of life do I want to live with others?’? It seems to me that then many of the questions you pose about happiness, but perhaps also about ‘the good life’ – very ancient yet urgent philosophical questions – take shape in a new way. If the I who wants this name or seeks to live a certain kind of life is bound up with a ‘you’ and a ‘they’ then we are already involved in a social struggle when we ask how best any of us are to live.”
Hey, I really like the nuance you just unpacked that with… It makes perfect sense, that someone could find involvement in mental-health treatment empowering in the sense that, for the first time, it’s a study of yourself/your thoughts instead of a study of academic jargon and dead white men.
I was, like, born after the culture shift into “unique” self-stylizing had already happened… This helped me make sense of it, I think…
Just saying, calling people sheeple is p. much the definition of class-elitist middle-school fake-deep victim blaming.
Hey uprising – thanks for sharing that – counterpunch prints some pretty great stuff sometimes – have you seen this?
The misguided identification with the professional class is something I want to come back to and comment on more later…
Hi Sera – real quick –
I think that this:
“…when it comes to psychiatric diagnosis, I can be almost equally as certain that anyone outside of my immediate field of work just won’t ‘get it,’ no matter where they stand on anything else”
is a mindframe that comes out of being at a relatively low point in social struggles/consciousness right now. People can come to believe that only paid policy workers like themselves have informed views on these social conditions, because there’s not a strong loud mass movement/culture among the rest of the people experiencing them.
But I think it’s still vital for people in your position to search for the thoughts/actions of people “outside your line of work” – people on disability, or working in the service or retail sectors, etc, are also psychiatric survivors, are also disabled, also have direct knowledge of how these systems/labels hurt people, also engage in small acts of sabotage and resistance every day, etc.
I’d write more, but I’m, like, tired from transplanting lettuce all day.
Also: quick note: I think Everyday Feminism is run by the same people who run the Polaris Project? Which is a NPIC / NGO “anti-trafficking” organization, which pushes policies that directly put sex workers and migrants in more danger of policing / criminalization. A number of sex worker bloggers have written about it I think.
Hi – thanks for writing this. I know I reacted pretty negatively to your last article, mostly to the framing of wage-labor as empowering, especially because of the recent waves of suicides among people being declared fit-to-work. But, really good to see this pop up today. “Tools For Conviviality” was a helpful though way-over-my-head analysis for me to stumble across as a 16-year old, I should probably revisit it soon…
Cool, I don’t know if they’d at all be in a place to do that sort of thing, but it sounds like a great program!
I guess I am anti-recovery because
– Just because medical authorities chose to diagnose and coerce me, doesn’t mean I have to recover or change or improve myself in any way
– Fundamentally, how I want to live has little in common with what authority considers healthy
etc, but I appreciate what you’re saying here.
Hi Corinna – I don’t know you and you don’t know me – but I’ve said it before, the main question that clinical/industrial psychology poses is, “how can we – as a society – continue inflicting the SAME forms of structural violence and oppression on people, but not have them ACT so traumatized/debilitated by it?”
The way you’re talking about peer trauma/recovery movement sounds way better – and a world away – from how that’s being (or can ever be) talked about in the state-funded Social Work world. The kind of lense that doesn’t just go, “oh, well, the traumatized people can fix themselves sometimes sorta,” but recognizes, starts from the ground, that madpeople and psych survivors are excluded and pathologized for the very strength of their visions, how much they embody what the ruling class wants to bury, and how loudly they say the politically unnameable.
We’re not going to find that there with them. We’re only going to find that in affinity with other outsiders and people struggling against patriarchy, white supremacy, all other power structures…
But I’m also looking at your (excellent) article on coalition work damaging advocates. And how a discussion came out of it – on how that damage/burnout happens, not just trying to engage with state/bureaucratic groups, but even in working with grassroots movements, climate activism, etc. So I don’t want to say anyone should be banging their head against a wall if that’s what’s happening!
I have a couple old friends out in your part of the country. Maybe we could compare ideas and projects if I’m ever out that way.
Guns don’t kill people, nuns kill people.
For the record I reported my own first comment and asked mods to remove it – because there’s no “edit” feature here – even though it was directed at Agni, I realize it’s not constructive.
Chutney: I’m really glad you’re here, I think stories like yours are really vital to both the psych survivor / mad movement and lgbt movements, for people to remember the nature of the beasts/institutions we’re dealing with here.
I’m a female-assigned person, pretty dysphoric about the whole thing, but I’m in my 20s so there’s been some degree of open lgbt culture around me since I was born…
I’m reminded of Leslie Feinberg writing about their “after the revolution” dream of living in a hut by the sea where nobody would bother them, and going into town to tell people how the “old country” was, both of the beauty and courage they lived with, and how dark it was so people would know why they could never let powers like that take over again.
I remember your art from Icarus! Good to hear what you’re up to now, give em hell!
Go Chris! 🙂
sorry – was addressing agniyoga.
really sorry you had to deal with medical torture like that.
You know what’s an attack on my body? Gender assignment at birth. You know what gets people off to a bad start in life? GENDER ASSIGNMENT AT BIRTH. You know what’s disgusting and unnatural? Color-coding your infant children so that strangers know what their genitals look like. You know what trans people don’t need? YOUR ASSUMPTIONS.
What’s causing it is that people are FINALLY no longer being overwhelmingly forced by family/state/police violence into living a lie, into spending their lives closeted and alone, into hiding under the mandate of “pass or die.”
What’s causing it is that people are finally getting free, getting together, and getting active, to make space for the next generation to live authentic lives, so that they no longer have to live in hiding and fear, as their many, MANY elders and earlier counterparts did.
adult o.d.d.? drapetomania?
Right on – hey, yer not Johnny B from New Jersey are ya? I knew a Johnny B in Jersey who did youth outreach around harm-reduction and addiction. 🙂
Thank you for laying this out so clearly, Paula.
“They are almost never told, “In order for your insurance to pay my bills, I will have to give you a psychiatric diagnosis, but you have the right to know that psychiatric diagnoses are unscientific, that getting one does not help alleviate suffering, and that getting one carries a wide array of risks of harm, from plummeting self-confidence to loss of employment and of child custody and of security clearance…even to death from treatments that are justified on the basis of your label.””
Yes, yes, yes. I’m lucky enough to be working with a counselor right now who basically said this exact thing to me, and takes medicaid. But this is a crucial thing to realize, to not get taken in by this propaganda.
Both of those things work in tandem pretty seamlessly, though. Institutionalizing people in prisons, AND austerity-based minimum-cost maximum-profit management.
Also, “criminal” and “mentally ill” are both subjective terms… both defined by power-holding elites to describe people who don’t behave “correctly” in capitalist society… so it isn’t that surprising that there’s a lot of overlap between those groups.
xo. stay crime, stay craxy.
Childhood exists mostly in the imagination of adults, it seems.
I get messages from spiders. I hitchhiked from Arizona to Florida. And?
I don’t, not really. I’m in the U.S. too. But they sound pretty good, they use “survivor” language and “mental DISTRESS” rather than “illness.”
Here. I need to bring this up again because this just happened. Hundreds of disabled people blockading thoroughfares in London, because the government wants to let snoops into FUCKING SURGERY UNITS to try to declare people “fit to work.”
This blockade and the organizing it’s part of is part of an urgent, desperately-needed strategy by vulnerable people, to draw SOME KIND of line in the sand, to stop the abuse and disposability that capitalism throws them into. Look. This is what’s happening.
“The British government has just published statistics revealing that thousands of people seeking welfare benefits DIED WITHIN WEEKS of being found “fit to work” and having their benefits cancelled.”
This is NOT “such an interesting discussion,” DOCTOR. This is what the work ethic does. It fucking kills people.
“psychiatry is nothing more than a strip-mining project.”
I feel this. yeah. extracting money and soul-force too. mind / heart definitely felt like an open pit quarry in the wake of ‘intervention’.
+1. Like. 🙂
ok, sorry if that was derailing, I know there are a lot of benzo-dependence-specific issues that are really dangerous to ignore.
To write so comprehensively from such a state is an impressive feat of strength, and we definitely need this kind of reporting…
I think current addiction protocols hurt lots of groups of people. Instead of rushing to distance benzo sufferers from “addicts,” is it not better to look at how more humanistic approaches could help people suffering from all kinds of dependencies and addictions?
Yeah – Then again, American ‘democracy’ has been behind installing lots of dictators across the Third World, and many cultures in ‘underdeveloped’ countries still have more holistic/spiritual ways of understanding chronic illness and emotional distress…
Good for them, so glad she’s free and not letting this case slip by quietly.
The missionaries and entrepeneurs of the “First World” are actually responsible for quite a lot of the oppression and poverty of the “Third World,” yaknow. From European Evangelicals training African students to be homophobic, to military interventions (before the coup of Iran’s democratic government and subsequent 1979 revolt, women had attained quite a lot of social power!) to colonial economic policies that keep women destitute (The IMF actively blocks minimum wage hikes and worker organizing in Haiti and elsewhere!) …so we should be careful about who we see as backwards…
Thanks for writing this, Jay. Definitely sharing this with people I know IRL.
Chill out man. English die soon. Me glad. Shit change. Death to the formal lexicons of the white ruling class.
That Princeton study you linked to looks interesting… thanks for including it. Glad counterpunch is running this too…
Also this Zurich study is really good, though mostly technical / complex math: http://www.plosone.org/article/comments/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0025995
That’s awesome to hear, Chris! I’ve heard really good stuff about UE!
How can you quantify Dark Nights of the Soul by *percentage points*??
Well that last part’s false and far from universal.
I could tell you some stories….
Dr. Holzman is not autistic AFAIK
^- Yep. Like.
Oh my god, literally everything a human being does or experiences in the world changes their brain and is reflected in the neurological level.
Oh, no. And MarShawn McCarrel, an Ohio BLM activist, just took his own life too.
When I was having a really hard time last month, a comrade of mine from New Jersey mailed me a letter that she’d held onto for decades, entitle “On the Suicide of a Revolutionary.” It was Julius Lester’s memoriam for a lost friend, radical scholar Bob Starobin. I don’t know. I’m honored to be among people who keep these records, who try to keep each other afloat and destroy what’s destroying us.
“And yet we knew:
Even the hatred of squalor
Distorts one’s features.
Even anger against injustice
Makes the voice grow hoarse. We
Who wished to lay the foundation for gentleness
Could not ourselves be gentle.
But you, when at last the time comes
That man can aid his fellow man,
Should think upon us
Hi Lois – “This Bridge Called My Back” was a really important text for me in understanding the social construction of difference, wondering if it was an influence at all for you?
Thanks for writing this – it’s always good to hear about more critical psychology / pedagogy. I think it’s also key to remember that disabled activists and survivors of institutions themselves contributed a lot of intellectual labor, created a lot of the theory around social models of disability, and that it wasn’t just the work of more-enlightened or more-progressive psychologists.
Thanks, Alex… I’ll recruit you to sabotage society with me sooner or later. X)
TURN ILLNESS INTO A WEAPON
Ah, but maybe us outsiders and commoners are better-positioned than academic elites, in terms of respecting and supporting each other through “fringe” states of consciousness? 🙂
I’ve nomaded around the country and settled in a small artsy city for now… and after I’d been here a while, it hit me… spending this much time around middle-class culture was making me physically sick! The assumptions that come out of the well-off hivemind can really wear ya down. So I consciously started seeking out the cracks and margins more, where there’s a common understanding that we’re all mad here… and less of the illusion that cops, doctors, and other powerful institutions will help us…
Hi Nas. I’m glad you were able to tell this story and are reconnecting to the parts of yourself you lost at that time… College was a pretty toxic environment for me too, it sounds like you put a lot of work and energy into building community and meaningful resistance… but sometimes the hegemony is still too much and we just have to get out with our lives. I dropped out. I remember relating pretty strongly to a few things you wrote when I was on the Icarus forums back when. Good to hear your voice here too.
“I guess what I am trying to advocate is we need an absolute right to housing.”
I… agree? ‘Job creation’ is mostly a fake solution to a fake problem, and survival being dependent on wage-labor is a lot closer to the root of the problem. But not everyone has the option of living off the grid. And also a lot of what gets billed as “post-capitalist” or “outside the economy” is just as exploitative, I think this is a really good critique/overview of all that:
FWIW, I’m not a liberal, I’m an anarchist, I think gun control is bullshit and I don’t vote.
I hate everything about this conversation.
I hate that anybody can think it’s acceptable to publish this without even mentioning the wave of suicides among people being declared “fit to work”
I hate that being economically-productive is being held up as the measure of people’s worth, their ethics, their participation in community, I’m disgusted to hear workplaces being referred to as communities rather than the points of conflict and alienation that they are.
“I don’t see how survivors who are not anti-psychiatry can possibly be making alliances with serious activist groups such as Black Lives Matter”
Well. They’re doing it anyway. It’s not that hard.
Yeah, I support the lying strategy. Also re-appropriating the goods we need to stay alive. Definitely I’ve found that a complete break with ruling-class morality is, like, a bare minimum requirement for starting to live in truly ethical ways.
“There is no left vs right politics or white vs Black or gay vs straight in science and medical stuff, only fact and fiction.”
Can’t believe I’m wasting my time on this, but:
Hi Justin, I don’t know if you read the comments at all, but thanks for this thoughtful article… I appreciate the emphasis on the many different things Anthony could have been living through that get reduced to “psychotic break” by colonial/psychiatric language.
Yeah. What else is there to say. Police were born out of slave-catching patrols and union-busting militias. Psychiatry acts as a para-policing force. Prisons are a form of re-enslavement, and mental hospitals are a form of prison. It’s infuriating to see how racism, sexism, etc, have fractured our resistance… I’m somewhat withdrawn from the social world right now but I might be in a place soon to bring more psych-survivor issues into local anti-prison agitation… Cheers!
Getting people to unpack their needs, look critically at situations they were previously “submerged” in, etc, is an important practice… but, I mean, like Freire wrote, dialogical encounters aren’t possible between antagonists. A battlefield isn’t a conversation. I can see how this is a good set of practices, but only for people who we’re actually hoping to find affinity with.
Hi lshane! I relate to this a lot! Curious about said superhero cult group… Definitely it’s depleting to try to engage with people in a society that treats us as disposable. Glad yr around.
“Consider suicide, I do that these days
I thought about what I could do with my grave
Google search how to make a grenade
Toggle my aim, scribble some names
Took a few breaths, blew out some steam
AND SENT THAT SHIT OUT AND I BLEW UP THE GAME.”
Yeah, good chart, staying alive has felt like participating in my own objectification for as long as I can remember, so. Would be nice to get somewhere else but I’m not banking on it.
Reporting about things that can impact people’s neurology is important, for sure. But, it’s also just really clear to me at this point, that anti-autistic groups like Autism Speaks use “epidemic” and “danger” language to dehumanize autistic people, even going so far as to defend parents who murder their autistic children. (“Chance” is probably fine.)
Things that are pushed as alternative or “natural” autism “treatments” are often really dangerous, but mainstream medical approaches like ABA are also abusive as fux. And the idea that autism needs to be cured props up the attitude that autistic people owe society allistic behavior. Invasively demanding that they make eye-contact, stop stimming, and change other harmless personality traits.
Looked at Justin’s profile page, couldn’t find any email, sent a tweet. 🙂
Autistic people advocating for themselves are all across the spectrum, actually. Yes, it is true that they are often in sharp disagreement with parents and “caregivers.” I’m quite clear on which side of that disagreement I fall on. I’m sorry if you’re not.
Right on. Right. the. fuck. on.
Yes. Roles that are not recognized as assigned roles. That’s huge. Reading Friere’s stuff about that last summer is one of the things I feel best about doing in a while.
To Mad In America moderators and admins:
While I understand that you’re re-printing a study that was first printed elsewhere, I’d hope to see a bit more discretion in wording/quoting, in line with a human rights-focused site like this. Autistic self-advocates have been very clear, for the past decade, that “epidemic” and “risk” are dehumanizing ways to talk about autistic life. They also challenge the framing of the autism spectrum as a disorder, and for allistic people to throw the “disorder” label onto others involuntarily is definitely uncalled for. And yes, “autistic person” is the preferred term over “person with autism.”
Since labeling different ways of being as diseases is what drives psychiatric oppression, I would hope that psych survivor authors could have more empathy for the autonomy/liberation movements of other marginalized/disabled groups. (The social model of disability works from an understanding that a disability isn’t a disorder per se. Rather, how social structures treat people are what determines whether or not a certain condition is disabling.) Autisticadvocacy dot org has great collections of writing by autistic people answering back to the “epidemic” language of groups like Aut. $peaks, and maybe some MIA writers would be interested in collaborating on publication with them in the future, if you want to develop a more holistic approach to the whole thing.
– Lily C.
BPD Transformation and JM:
I want to let both of you know that autistic self-advocates, across the board, are against the framing of autism as something people are at “risk” of – as a varied way of being, it is not a “danger” per se, and autistic people are saying it’s dehumanizing to frame their way-of-being as an “epidemic”. Forcing people to think and act certain ways or face being labeled as defective is the same thing that drives psychiatric violence – so I would hope to find more solidarity from the psychiatric survivor community. If you want to learn more, ASAN’s research is a great place to start.
If people are going to bemoan oppressed being too beaten-down to “fight for themselves” – well, if that’s really something they’re looking for, at the very least they better not concern-troll the people who’ve been fighting back in Minneapolis and Chicago.
And ideally – put some resources where their voices are – legal funds for the arrested and families of the slain.
Whoa, this was a really great read. Since this has suddenly come up again on the comments feed – Jay, I wonder if you’ve seen this essay by an anti-psychiatry nurse making a similar critique?
I think there’s still a lot we can learn from neurology. 🙂
The issue is what power agenda it’s being used to serve…. as I think you’ve seen… but it’s always a good sign when more scientists and specialists stop writing behind pay-walls and start talking with social movements more. Good to hear you here.
I mean, facebook pages are generally not very public-square and much more a corporate platform for self-promotion, so that’s pretty typical. I’m so glad I got off fbook 2 years ago. :\
Oh this looks hella interesting.
The colonization aspect is something I really want to see more fleshed-out literature around, I remember a friend/mentor of mine describing to me the particular role of psychiatry in forced assimilation of First Nations people in Arizona and New Mexico.
So, stuff on that, plus Early Marx On Species Being? I want to see it.
“The biggest objection I have is not to offering the drugs, but to lying about what they are and what they are “treating.” A couple shots of Jack Daniels “treats” anxiety just as well as a hit of Xanax or Valium. They all reduce anxiety and bring certain side effects.”
YES thank you. This.
Cool, I question that too, Nancy. But a lot of folks are self-identifying as Autistic, and doing really great work/advocacy around saying that it’s not a mental illness at all, but a human variation that deserves respect and accommodation. Like, check out autisticadvocacy dot org.
(*I question whether it’s appropriate for me to say I’m on the spectrum…)
I’m so glad you got out, Cat. Best wishes staying fierce and awake and sober. Whether pills or liquor or powder, pushing addiction is a big industry weapon for breaking down cultures and keeping us in line, for sure. xoxox
Hmm, but done by who? Probably the government and psychiatrists will do nothing, unless they turn back toward old-timey eugenics arguments of calling *poverty itself* a SIGN of “illness and degeneracy.” (No, please!)
But imagine people using this common ground to network between consumer/survivor and anti-eviction/forclosure mobilizations, building campaigns with better anti-racist analysis. Imagine getting more concerned doctors and scientists active with defending benefits/social security as a public health need, along the lines of the Planned Parenthood doctors now distributing free water filtration to Flint, MI residents. (Can’t pull up the link, but google it! Good stuff!) ….Imagine this being brought into activist circles, to interrupt the narrative of ~”self-care”~ being the answer for “preventing burnout.” Imagine that glory. Okay, 1, 2, 3, go! ^_^
YEAH, thanks for posting the “social model of disability” blurb, uprising. Honestly, I was just talking about this with a friend a couple weeks ago, disability justice organizing seems to be doing better intersectional / broad-based work around liberties than specifically rad-mad/anti-psych groups, and like, drawing more people into a better economic critique too.
It really is not okay for us to tell people that they’re “taking it too personally” while making loaded references to a genocide that we don’t suffer from. I’m also a survivor of psychiatric torture, also in this for the destruction of capitalism – but it’s not okay to use the image of racial terrorism to dramatize our case, and then dismiss the thoughts and feelings of people actually dealing with that racism.
Hi Elizabeth. “Twenty-two years later, I have held allegiance with my twenty-eight year old self. I have not forsaken her, I have not turned against her in order to fit into the world.” This is beautiful. I’m 25 and I remember thinking as a child that this whole system depends upon the betrayal of our former selves. Even at the micro-level of children’s revolt against compulsory schooling, and how few remain in opposition as adults.
Your story also reminds me of reading “My Name is Chellis &….” There is really so damn much that this culture doesn’t want us to perceive, so much magnificence, because once we’ve seen it, we’re never really okay with playing along in capitalism or patriarchy.
There is, absolutely, no “that person.” No Other who deserves what’s wrongly done to us. Many people are too fearful to admit that, and spend their whole lives just trying to convince the world that they, individually, deserve to be in the sphere of respect and authority. But we can get past that fear and find solidarity with each other, and let ourselves see what’s been hidden and called “delusion” – I think you’re right that that energy is nothing other than love, and it is, as a matter of fact indestructable.
“A cigarette shortens your life by two minutes, and a day at work by eight hours.” Please let’s destroy productivity before it destroys us. We’re worth so much more than our exchange-value.
“All one needs to do is replace the word “white” with “mental health professional,” replace the word “person of colour” with “psychiatric survivor,””
We probably should *not* do that.
But I appreciate what you’re saying here – the cognitive dissonance of group dynamics can get real dangerous real fast.