Tag: David Oaks
For decades, one of the most prominent voices for radical change, or “non-violent revolution” in mental health care has been David Oaks, former director of MindFreedom International. Many activists today were drawn into their work due to David’s influence. Robert Whitaker, for example has credited an interview he did with David in 1998 for propelling him into noticing and writing about the way psychiatric drugs were harming more than helping. My own journey in becoming outspoken on these issues has also been massively influenced by David’s activism and ideas, which is one reason I care strongly about the issue I am bringing up here. While David has been helpful, directly or indirectly, to so many of us, he now needs our help.
After 4 decades as a psychiatric survivor human rights activist and 3 decades with spinal arthritis (ankylosing spondylitis), that fused my spine into peanut brittle, I knew I needed a break. The break that I got about 3 weeks ago was not the one I expected. I slipped off a wet ladder in my writer's studio, and it resulted in a complete break of my neck.
There are two main problems with the term "medical model." First, it automatically frames the debate in the terms of the oppressor, and secondly, it's confusing. Many people in our community say "medical model" when we mean, "The idea that something wrong in my brain caused my emotional suffering." So why not just use a term that says this? When we say "Disease Model" we can clarify exactly what we are against. With just one word changed we can say we do not believe that a mental "disease" came from nowhere to put us out of action.