More Talk About Madness

“You’ll be telling me you’re in favour of euthanasia for the mentally ill next, Steve.”
“Under certain strict conditions, I’m in favour of euthanasia for anybody who’s enduring a legalised torture chamber. But that’s a red herring – the vast majority of mentally disordered people can certainly lead a positive life, if only we’d stop being ‘saints’ and genuinely encourage them.”
“By ‘encourage’ them, I suppose you mean force them to work at something.”
“The only force necessary to get most people to work in a decent society is to give them a conscience, show them a useful goal, and withhold the soft options.”
“We’re never going to agree on this Steve. You just come across as being heartless.”
(silence).
That was a terminal indictment of a lover.
http://www.windowsofmadness.co.uk

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2 Responses to “More Talk About Madness”

  1. Again, my dear Leo–you hit the nail right on the head… somehow there is this feeling that “LOVE” equates with “leniency” and “compassion” equates with “letting people go down the tube”: perhaps those hundreds of thousands of people on the streets with psychiatric (mis)diagnoses… stigmatized (no one’s giving paying jobs to any who have/have had them)… and besides, in the city where my own travesty happened, there are so many wealthy and over-educated “liberals” (yes, I, too am well-educated–I just don’t follow the “party line”) who will not look their neighbors in the eyes and greet them with a smile… and who take “the word of science and prevailing medical theories” at their word… (of course, none of these are keeping up with current research showing the fallacy of all this–all too happy to “keep the Indians on the reservation”). Well, I now see why you are being heard by so many, and I am not–your dispassion and wry humor are much more appealing than my confrontations. You present a “balanced” approach in saying this is going to change in ten years… and are waiting it out. I have become so incensed I’m working for immediate change (probably to the detriment of my “message”).

  2. Hi Letha (or do you prefer Christina?),
    Thanks very much for your messages. I was certainly irritated enough about the situation when I worked on the front line in psychiatric nursing, but since moving into part-time healthcare tutoring I’ve managed to recover some equilibrium! As regards your kind response to my ‘Society Needs Care Too’ article, you might like to access my other ‘academic’ pieces which are published under my incarnation ‘Kevin Leighton’. They can be found through Google or Yahoo searches for the ‘Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing’, ‘Journal of Mental Health’ and ‘International Journal of Nursing Studies’. The articles are drawn from either my Ph.D. thesis or subsequent clinical research projects, all looking closely at the cultural bias and impracticality of individualized care.
    I enjoyed checking out your site – keep up the good work and take care.
    Cheers,
    Leo

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