Scroll to the end for project details, plus a handy link so you can get involved too.
Changes I’d love to see: (consider them demands, not requests)
Mental health and illness are terms that appear to promote the fallacy that it’s all in the mind. It isn’t; it originates in the brain and neurons and thus is a neurobiological thing, so neurobiological disorder is my proposal. I’d be happy with neurotoxic disease for bipolar – and that’s what my psychiatrist says it is. I think more scientific and less shoowah names would go a long way towards erasing stigma. I would like the name bipolar to change simply because it is so inaccurate.
The same treatment for all disorders and diseases – do I even need to qualify that one? Mr Spock would rip his eyebrows off at the current logic applied.
It’d be very good indeed if the media didn’t judge things based solely on people’s diagnoses. Man with bipolar commits crime? THE BIPOLAR DUNNIT! Apparently no other factors matter. There are always other factors, you fucktors.
I would also love lunatic chic to GTFO, because it’s as cruel and disrespectful as poverty porn (photography). There’s a certain breed of muggles who are titillated by the asylums where people were abused and died, and all the accoutrements of it. Straitjackets ffs! They don’t think about what it feels like to be forcibly strapped on for fucknose how long. Actually they just don’t think at all.
The dismantling of corporate monopolies where medication production is concerned – fair prices not fat profits. Okay, I googled that and couldn’t find it as a slogan, so it is miiiine all mine. And apparently fat prophets are a thing.
Early diagnosis helps a shitload with treatment, quality of life and prognosis. If people weren’t so damn nasty about mental illness, more people would get help sooner. I think this one is absolutely essential, in order to minimise suffering. Stigma has the power to maim and kill.
I live in South Africa and what we need is better state (which is free or dirt cheap, but often poverty stricken and inadequate esp in terms of psychiatry, to the point where hospitals run out of meds) healthcare and cheaper psychiatrists, doctors etc. We have about 50 million people and 37% are unemployed, we rank in the top ten countries in suicide rates. This isn’t important, it’s vital.
Better disability support and benefits – I bet this point is valid everywhere except Scandinavian countries. Too many mentally ill people are poor, unemployed, homeless. It’s bullshit. It’s inhumane.
Research to be liberated from the clutches of big pharma. We need research into better meds, fewer side effects, better palliative care and a cure. I’m so sick of reading research paper conclusions that say the research proves that we need more research. Fuck that. Go back and do it properly the first time round. And stop telling us shit we already know.
The anti psychiatry movement to be derided and dismissed globally. They need to stop standing shoulder to shoulder with $cientology by exhorting us to stop taking meds. It’s irresponsible and can cause increased suffering and suicide. Their understanding of science is deeply flawed and their research is shoddy. Also, they’re assholes.
Jobs. We have quite specific strengths and skills, we are not our weaknesses. Flexitime jobs created/located for us, plus no freaking stigma in HR please.
Advocacy groups to have more clout and be heard properly by politicians, lawmakers, money makers and all the movers and shakers. I get the feeling that protesting has been only marginally effective since the end of the Vietnam war. It’s unacceptable and undemocratic.
I’d really, really love it if certain people stopped treating me (and you too) as a leper. Glazed eyes and a turbo speed topic change as soon as I mention bipolar, being treated as stupid when I’m highly bloody intelligent tyvm. And please please please do not treat me as a pariah when I pissing well tell you the risk factor for the rest of the family to develop bipolar and other issues. It’s short sighted and discourteous and unfair on anyone who would benefit from an early diagnosis. Dammit.
Let me know what I left out and I’ll edit this post to include it.
Is that so much to ask?
(Memes made by me, help yourself.)
Here is the offishul project pledge. (The nitpicker nerd editor in me tweaked the prepositions. I jest couldn’t help mahself.)
“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2015 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride in, dedication to, and acceptance of mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”