“Psychiatry alienates people from their capacity to name, invalidates people’s conceptualizations, imposes a stigmatized identity on them, places them on paths not of their own choosing, deprives them of liberty, and imposes harmful treatments on them.” — Bonnie Burstow.
There appears to be a fundamental fear of human distress in the patriarchal industrial colonist culture wherein anyone in psycho-spiritual distress is seen as a leper and then shuffled off or dumped on this psychiatric “expert” or that one, into this department or that department, and pumped full of toxic, brain-damaging anti-depressants (SSRI’s), anti-psychotics, or blasted with electroshock as a “last resort treatment” (usually for depression but sometimes for other things like eating disorders). Up until the 1970’s, electroshock was used as punishment for and a deterrent to homosexuality which was viewed as a mental “illness”; these days the targeted mental “illness” has just changed.
All this happens with little to no time being taken to just sit down with people and listen compassionately and non-judgmentally to their distress, which goes SUCH a long way in helping people de-stress their distress and make room to find better ways to cope. The inhumane way that people in distress are generally treated by psychiatry and much of western psychology results in even more suffering, all (or much) of which is so god damn unnecessary and preventable. Continue reading