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Gail Hornstein: Why don't mental health professionals take first-hand accounts of madness seriously?

cpuusage

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Gail Hornstein: Why don't mental health professionals take first-hand accounts of madness seriously?

Gail Hornstein: Why don't mental health professionals take first-hand accounts of madness seriously?

Gail Hornstein: Why don't mental health professionals take first-hand accounts of madness seriously? - YouTube

Published on 24 Jul 2012

Gail Hornstein, Professor of Psychology at Mount Holyoke College (USA) and author. In this conversation Gail Hornstein asks what would happen to mental health practice if professionals fully acknowledged the work of 'experts by experience'?

 
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NeatMonster

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Thanks for sharing this cpuusage.

Something I've encountered time and time again, within all tiers of the mental health system, is an assumption about insight. Two words I've heard time and time again are 'insight' and 'eloquent.'

Because I was 'eloquent' in the way that I described my ongoing experience it was always assumed that I couldn't therefore be ill. I was too eloquent to be experiencing illness. Because I exhibited 'insight' into my condition I couldn't therefore be experiencing true psychosis or serious mental illness.

I wrote to the British Medical Journal complaining about this. I highlighted that a sizeable cross-section of the severely mentally ill are being completely overlooked because of these assumptions. They didn't respond. I didn't expect them to in honesty. An acknowledgement would have been nice of course but I didn't get that either.

I've been diagnosed over the years with Bipolar Disorder, Paranoid Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder and Paranoid Schizophrenia. Each time I've had to seek out independent experts in their fields because the NHS make blanket-assumptions about insight and eloquence. If you exhibit either or both, then don't hold your breath for a meaningful diagnosis.

Makes me think of the Jack Nicholson quote in 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest';

'Isn't that crazy enough for you? You want me to take a shit on the floor?'
 
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cpuusage

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Gail Hornstein: Counter-narratives - YouTube

Published on 24 Jul 2012

Gail Hornstein, Professor of Psychology at Mount Holyoke College (USA) and author. Gail asks in this conversation filmed at the Centre of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Mental Health (CEIMH) at the University of Birmingham, UK, what would happen to mental health practice if professionals fully acknowledged the work of 'experts by experience'?

 

cpuusage

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Because I was 'eloquent' in the way that I described my ongoing experience it was always assumed that I couldn't therefore be ill. I was too eloquent to be experiencing illness. Because I exhibited 'insight' into my condition I couldn't therefore be experiencing true psychosis or serious mental illness.[/I]
Yea, have had aspects of all that as well. There is a stereotyped model of how a mental patient should look, sound & behave.

i think it's all dealing with such broad & complex areas.

On one level i think that we are dealing with what presenting speech & behaviour other people deem to be problematic, Not necessarily what the individual deems to be a problem, or indeed what is an actual problem for them, but rather what is a problem for others & society (sometime it all matches & sometimes it doesn't). Of course often an inner distress within the individual's thoughts, feelings & emotions can lead to an outer expression of distress, But Not always - it doesn't always follow that the outer presentations & inner World are 'congruent'. i think that can be a problem in many regards, But then it brings back the questions as to the social / behavioural control aspect of psychiatry. There are also the questions as to how much some 'mental illness' are more behavioural conditions?

How different people 'present' has potential 'pros & cons', within the current society & system that we are in.

Phenomenology is obviously central to psychiatry & psychology, But there is a central & major problem as to how do we truly know what the actual subjective experience is of others? We can listen to personal accounts, we can observe behaviours, But we don't really know.

i know personally & of people that have far better / higher functioning than i do, who on aggregate i don't think have been through the same severity of mental health difficulty as some others, But also present a lot of psychological, emotional & behavioural disturbance, - is that honestly entirely reflective of the actual state of their inner World? I think it's a very difficult conundrum within these fields, & something that i think would only be resolved to some degree with synthetic telepathy, that may at some stage become a real technology.

For me the critical point is that people are unique individuals, with unique life experiences & within unique overall life circumstances & that things ideally need to be addressed as such.
 
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firemonkee57

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I think if you get a severe mental illness dx it's very difficult to get your personal account of your experiences taken seriously. You are assigned a narrative and if you agree with it you are seen as having 'high insight'.
 
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