More commentary in the Guardian on wearing the the new black in Europe (a mental health diagnosis).
A new survey from the European College of Psychopharmacology, a meta-analysis of a gathered mass of earlier research, reports that a staggering 164.8 million Europeans – 38.2% of the population – suffer from a mental disorder in any year
A couple of thoughts came to mind when I read the article. One, is that there is no mention of schizophrenia. By omitting "schizophrenia," it's an easy sell to convince readers that, yes indeed, the mental health industry has gone too far in labelling everyone because these labels can be short hand terms that we toss around for people we are just trying to make a bit of fun of, and who we really don't think are "clinical."
Of course, the prevalence of schizophrenia is the same as it's always been (about 1 in 100), so it appears that schizophrenia is not part of this label creep. But the prevalence of its near identical sibling, bipolar disorder, has skyrocketed. I think a large part of this upward trend for bipolar, is not just the resulting side effects of increased use of drugs which can trigger mania, but has to do with the fact that nobody wants to be called "schizophrenic." It's so much more acceptable to be "bipolar."
Keep in mind that psychiatrists want to OWN schizophrenia. It's their bread and butter, after all. So far, they manage to deliberately obscure the fact that many people actually RECOVER from this state, usually by taking themselves outside of the psychiatric model of the so-called "disease." When the public appears to catch on to this diagnostic label creep for relatively mild neuroses, psychiatry has always succeeded in the past and will continue to succeed in future, to convince the public that schizophrenia is a true mental illness. And, the public will nod its collective head in agreement that schizophrenia is a terrible scourge and there is no remedy but compassion for this dreadful disorder of the brain.
With all the focus on biochemical solutions to the problems of the psyche, brought to you by none other than big pharma, I have been waiting for my chance to repeat what John McCarthy ruefully says (in his delightful Irish way) about his reliance on psychiatry for 20/30 years. "The King is wearing is no clothes and I bought his suit." Please read the full interview at Beyond Meds.
In the interview, McCarthy echoes Ron Unger's post, about trying too hard to recover.
McCarthy says: "But God what I have learned from the upside: madness is an emotional feeling just like joy, love, happiness, sadness, all the others, but I shut the door in its face as I was taught to do. Rejected all it had to give, and it, madness got mad at me. I fought it, it fought back and it won. I learned so painfully and slowly, to let it in, be comfortable with it, and it has rewarded me for my kindness to it.