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Democratic Psychiatry

Democratic Psychiatry, sounds like an oxymoron of Foucauldian proportions but it


isn't. Over the years I have heard the silence the mental health profession imposes on
its users. It’s not the bad practitioners I am talking about but the good ones. They are
probably the most lost here. They get accolades they don't breach ethical boundaries
but they don't do any good either.

The practice of mental health requires a belief akin to the belief in God. As long as
one believes they have found a way through they come out of the clinic feeling better.
Those who question those assumptions, they fall by the wayside and their voices are
never heard. Clients who question the practitioner are said to be resistant or worse still
their curiosity worked into their symptomatology some unlucky ones get medicated.
As someone once said to me “ you don’t know what it is like to get diagnosed, you
loose your sense of self, no matter what you do after that is looked as insane”.

How many people will have to feel this way before we sit up and acknowledge the
gaping holes in our mental health system? When will the client be able to speak and
be heard?

Mental health must be looked at from the users perspectives their concerns however
trivial must be taken into account. One must consider the damage a diagnosis can
cause an individual. It may help some people but what about those who see the label
as damaging?

Practice must look at each individual within their own language rather than fitting the
client into the language of psychiatry. How does this work? simple ask and
the client will tell you.