Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pills, labels, diagnoses... seem to be, to some extent, an effective way of managing something big, difficult, complicated and nuanced. But they also take something that is big, beautiful, complicated, difficult, colourful and full of infinite possibility, stories, art, love and also healing -- something that is full of the self -- and reduce that to monochrome, only comprehensible because the thousands of shades of the thousands of colours are completely missing. Is it possible to be anything other than a "survivor" of mental health care? Why is it so horrendous to accept that sometimes things are so unfriendly and unsafe that the mind reacts with primordial protectiveness to save the self? Why then must we not trust the processes of the body and the mind, and find ways to work with them rather than ways to control them?

To understand, to dig, to excavate and to really connect with that space from which these needs arise is only difficult because there is a lot to be unlearned before one gets there... and yet, being there is easy, natural. NVC talks about needs as a spiritual energy almost, an energy that is linked with the universal human experience. How is any mental health venture that really takes you away from needs somehow preferable? Why is suppressing things so important? I think this is my fundamental disagreement  with pills and diagnoses. It is significantly more disturbing to me than the individual who chooses to ignore their problems because it's easy or socially more acceptable to do so, because diagnosing, you take away the colours, the experiences. In "treatment", as opposed to "healing", you diminish the person to turn them into some odd caricature of themselves. You rob people of their choices, and that is, to me, excessively antithetical to the whole point of existing and living and being.

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