- Dec 23, 2012
Can mental illness be prevented?
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George W. Albee
On leave in 1957, Albee served as director of the Task Force on Manpower of the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health. The book he wrote as a report on the nation's mental health human resources shortages was a major factor in redirecting national strategy in intervention. The work of the commission led to the development of the community mental health centers. Nicholas Hobbs called Albee's book one of the three most significant of the decade in the field.
By the mid-1960s, Albee was in a continuing, often acrimonious debate with psychiatry over the inappropriateness of the illness model of mental and emotional disorder and over medical hegemony. Albee's involvement in this debate continues, with clinical psychology also becoming a target of his wrath for devoting so much of its resources to one-to-one intervention in mental disorder rather than to prevention.
[...] He was a founding member of the American Psychological Society (1988) and an organizer and first president (1989) of the American Association for Applied and Preventive Psychology.
In 1971, Albee moved to the University of Vermont, where he established, in 1975, the Vermont Conference on the Primary Prevention of Psychopathology (VCPPP). Through 1993, VCPPP has held 17 conferences bringing together researchers, policymakers, and implementers of prevention programs throughout the world. VCPPP has become one of the world's leading forums for stimulating discussion and disseminating information on all aspects of the prevention of psychopathology. The books resulting from the conferences, many of which Albee has coedited, have helped shape the field and define its agenda.
A number of related themes have been interwoven in Albee's writing and lecturing over the years, constituting the heart of the message he has tirelessly carried across the American continent and around the world, from England to Australia, Hawaii to Hong Kong, Portugal to Pakistan. Major theses of his talks and writings are that social evils like racism, sexism, ageism, unemployment, child abuse–indeed every condition in which inequalities of power prevail and exploitation results–are responsible for far more psychopathology than twisted molecules; that mental and emotional disorders are too prevalent for any society to provide sufficient practitioners to treat the afflicted; and that consequently the most effective and humane way to reduce human suffering is through primary prevention.
Oh plenty of them around.I married one of those. I was brought up by two others.
Also of interest - Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study -Trauma can be incurred in many different ways. This is only now becoming understood. Our culture has trauma and abuse that is often not recognized. There is, of course, too the sort that is obviously heinous and ugly. It can all impact the general well-being of those subject to it.
As a social worker and clinician working with “the seriously mentally ill” for many years, I never came upon someone who didn’t have fairly severe traumas in their histories. Yes, I can say those who I encountered who were in that particular labeled segment had a solid 100% rate of trauma in their histories. Mental illness in large part is a reaction to trauma. It’s quite simple really. When we start listening to people’s stories of pain rather than numbing them out and effectively silencing them with neurotoxic drugs we will start healing them. Until then people will remain broken. One of the most basic needs for a wounded human being to heal is to be seen. Recognized. Validated. Yes.
Without appropriate care and integration trauma changes both our bodies and minds for many years and sometimes for our entire lives. Right now the mental health system knows virtually nothing about how to care for people who have been traumatized and in fact often traumatizes them further. It’s downright dangerous to subject a traumatized person to most social services. This is a tragedy that has to end.
The woman in the above video is not alone in knowing how to approach those traumatized. We need this sort of empathic and loving care system wide.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. The study is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente's Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego.
More than 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) members undergoing a comprehensive physical examination chose to provide detailed information about their childhood experience of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction. To date, more than 50 scientific articles have been published and more than100 conference and workshop presentations have been made.
The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States. Progress in preventing and recovering from the nation's worst health and social problems is likely to benefit from understanding that many of these problems arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences.
The phrase "mental illness" doesn't mean much any more as the DSM is largely silly and always has been.Can mental illness be prevented?
I've just been listening to an inspiring radio documentary:Of course all this information is complete Bullshit - it's peoples Defective Biology that is to Blame & we better Drug everyone up.
(If only!)This book is psychiatry's Silent Spring.
Amen (but I'm not sure that "psychosis" is well-defined, if only because it just says "illness" in a dead language.)The phrase "mental illness" doesn't mean much any more as the DSM is largely silly and always has been.
However you can ask better questions such as can suicide or psychosis be prevented? There's a lot we could do. There's a lot we could do about a whole lot of other issues too.
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