Tag: alternatives to diagnostic labels
When people seeking help are relegated to “the Other,” how can they ever form a “therapeutic alliance”? Without collaboration, treatment devolves into coercion and oppression. We must change our language and relationships so new narratives can be born.
These labels left me docile to a broken mental health system—a carceral system that viewed me interchangeably as a patient or an object, but never a person.
As a father whose 27-year-old son is trapped in the mental health system, I am painfully aware that I have been unable to protect him. At age 19, my son naively told his mother and his doctor that he was hearing voices, marking the beginning of a hellish nightmare which he is still unavoidably immersed in. I would like to explain my perspective on why this is the case.
If you want to leave the system and the drugs and get your diagnosis removed, the following guide might stimulate some effective action. Like with many of life's challenges, having excellent re$ources could potentially gain these results more quickly, but the most important elements are attitude, awareness and strategy.
I was going to leave the 'mental health' system on my terms, with all the paperwork proving them wrong. Or I was going to run for my life with an open diagnosis, hoping I would survive withdrawal. As I surveyed the landscape for any other path, there was only institutionalization. There was no template for what I had to do... so I made it up.
The Journal of Humanistic Psychology compiles diverse research offering diagnostic alternatives toward a paradigm shift in mental health care.
Lately, after a number of discussions, we have been changing our practices around the issue of labels. No longer do we give a diagnosis at presentations. We place the young person’s story, as told to us, front and center. People listening rarely ask, “What is their diagnosis?” now that lived experiences are central. We are providing a sense of their struggles. We are trying.