Tag: overcoming adversity
Imagine if we, as a society, started recognizing trauma, pain, grief, fear, the need for connection and understanding, and oppression without defensiveness or denial. What if, hypothetically, we saw the signs in people who were "defiant," "withdrawn," "oppositional," "depressed," "manic," or otherwise as desperate pleas to have their needs met, and stopped telling them they were sick for doing so? What would a society that actually encouraged expression of emotion, compassion, and empathy look like?
I competed in the 1996 Olympics in Judo. I also achieved complete mental health recovery from 12 psychiatric diagnoses and 29 psychiatric medication. I've also now mostly recovered from a traumatic brain injury, which probably was exacerbated by a lifetime of contact sports, ten years of psych meds before I learned about mental health recovery, and seven shock treatments, that are totally ineffective at promoting mental health recovery.
The last four years I've been running Poetry for Personal Power, a stigma reduction campaign funded by SAMHSA. Poetry for Personal Power has been going to Missouri Universities and asking students what they do to get through hard times and we now have about 400 incredible videos on You-Tube, with youth wellness tools.
My goal now is to focus on solutions for emotional distress, not talking about medical harm. We all know about the problems with medical harm, but not all people are clear about solutions. I'm not that clear, either, but I'm working on it. I'm not talking about revolution any longer, just trying to make my piece of the pie work.
The primary lesson of the mental health civil rights community is that we have to learn to lean on each other to get though adversity, which means opening up and admitting when things aren't moving in a direction we want or expected or try to typically project publicly. We have to ask for help. Here's what I'm chewing on or what's chewing on me.
A lot of posts on this site are about the problems in mental health care. This post is about some solutions. Many of us can do small, simple things to move advocacy forward. We can all make a difference so people can learn how to handle emotional distress without using disease based approaches with chemically based "solutions." Here are 5 things you can do in the next five minutes to promote UnDiagnosing Emotional Distress.
I want to keep urging people to move toward the entrepreneurial approaches, because I think they are very powerful and not well understood or trusted in our community. I have chosen to build a business because I think it's one of the best ways I can impact on our world. After looking at the results of different types of advocacy work, this is the pressure point I've found most likely to make a difference.
I've been working for 2 1/2 years on a system to provide non-medical care for people with emotional distress. I want it to be...
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.