Tag: The Myth of Mental Illness
The metaphor of “mental disease” is doing more harm than good. Rather than being a tool for communication, it has crossed the boundary from a metaphor to a theory that underpins much of what happens within public mental health services. This places psychiatrists in a position of dutiful compliance with what is essentially a fallacious model.
Szasz clarified what mental illness isn't, but not what it is, and it is something. I will show that it's just a concept that evolved in order to dehumanize those who cope in ways that don't further society's survival, and thus to justify their exclusion so as to maximize society's efficiency.
In spite of constantly increasing opportunities to tell different stories to the canonical story of bio-psychiatry, it can be risky for academics to voice a different perspective than the mainstream model of mental illness. In this conversation, a communication professor and a psychology professor discuss their challenges and personal experiences with going against the grain, such as what it means to be labeled “anti-psychiatry” by colleagues and responding to students upset to learn their medications may not be all they thought they were.