Saturday, August 13, 2016

Changing mental health services

An article in The New York Times says that alternatives such as the Hearing Voices Network (HVN) and Open Dialogue are starting to take hold in the USA. As the article says, these approaches may be better integrated with mainstream services in the UK. Gail Hornstein, whose books To redeem one person is to redeem the world and Agnes's jacket, are well worth reading, is quoted as saying that it is important "these groups do not become medicalized in any way". I understand what she means but the main problem, as I keep saying throughout this blog, is the biomedical assumption of psychiatry. The article also quotes from Caroline White, who has heard voices since she was in grade school and is involved with HVN:-
I was told by one psychiatrist at age 13 or 14 that if I didn’t take the meds, my brain would become more and more damaged ... Of course I believed it. And I became hopeless, because the drugs just made me feel worse.
Both mainstream and alternative mental health services need to stop making such claims and demeaning people in this way.