Welcome to my blog, talesfromthemadhouse.com.
Western psychiatric services continue to be dominated by a bio-medical approach to human misery and suffering. The assumption that mental distress is primarily the result of a brain abnormality – embedded in the ‘illness like any other’ mantra – results in a pernicious brand of psychiatric provision that disadvantages service users in a number of ways, including: the promotion of stigma, passivity and hopelessness; non-compassionate responses to those people deemed not to have a ‘proper’ illness; a grotesque overuse of toxic psychotropic medication; and widespread coercion and discriminatory practices. This blog will provide a forum to explore and debate the murky world of Western psychiatry.
Despite my damning critique of the Western world’s approach to mental health problems, I remain optimistic that positive changes can be achieved over the next few years. Never before has there been such a diverse range of people protesting about the way psychiatry operates; service user groups, journalists and psychiatric professionals (including an increasingly vocal collection of dissident psychiatrists) consistently share their discontent with current provision, often supporting their arguments with research evidence. Biological psychiatry’s common assertions that the anti-psychiatry voice represents merely a batch of misinformed radicals, or the product of inter-professional ‘turf wars’, are sounding ever more implausible and reflect a growing desperation to protect vested interests – in particular, the status of psychiatry as a legitimate branch of medicine.
I intend this website to serve the following functions:
- To provide a vehicle – via blog posts – for sharing ideas and opinions about psychiatric practice in the Western world;
- To share a weekly ‘news review’ to highlight recent developments (the good, the bad and the downright ugly) pertaining to mental health and psychiatry;
- To act as an information resource by listing key articles and references, structured under appropriate headings, as well as providing links to other high-quality websites that address similar issues.
Thank you for reading and I hope you will feel inclined to follow this website.