I agree with you: there is definitely something else at play here besides the medicalization of psychiatric illness. Though I haven’t finished reading all of them, I went through two of the articles and I gotta say that I don’t agree with “Medicalization leads to increased stigma.” The study done by Mehta and Farina used a small sample of 55 male psychology undergraduates from a single college. OP didn’t really operationalize “stigma”, so it’s hard to say if “stigma” was increased. It wasn’t a very sophisticated social experiment.
From what I’ve seen in the other studies, the focus is mostly on schizophrenia, plus some depression and (alcohol) addiction.
Sorry for the rambling!! I was just interested in talking about these studies. While I’m not saying that medicalization /helps/ alleviate stigma, to say that it leads to it is a bit of a stress.
There was actually a newer study published two months ago called “No matter of etiology: Biogenetic, psychosocial and vulnerability-stress causal explanations fail to improve attitudes towards schizophrenia”. There’s also this, which considers both sides.
I think another important thing to note is that in the United States, medicalization is so important. With insurance companies involved, SOME sort of diagnosis is usually necessary for coverage. This is especially important for people on Medicaid. Without it, mental health care is no longer financially acceptable. This medicalization model, in a sense, legitimizes mental illness to insurance companies as a biological disease needing treatment (and coverage). I’m not saying it’s right… Just that medicalization is a complex, multi-faceted issue.
Long story short, I have this really awful white Communications professor who is just a racist homophobic sexist piece of manure all day every day during lecture. During a lecture about language, he repeated about seven times that “Words have no meaning in and of themselves”, and proceeded to say, in his best ‘white man trying to imitate the black stereotypes he saw on TV’ voice “N*ggaaaaaaaa”.
So I’m telling a group of friends about this particular incident, and the majority of them are appropriately outraged that this man is employed as an educator. Until one white friend says “If he says it like that it means ummmm in Chinese, Russell Peters did a skit on it”. Like…..I just told the entire story. I started with ‘he is talking about the n-word and has been repeatedly racist’ part and ended with the ‘he said it out loud without apology with a self-assured smirk on his face’. He knew what he did. You know he knew what he did. Why would you bring that up. That’s irrelevant. He did not mean ummmm. He meant the racial slur. Why would you even consider for one second, considering the background I’ve just given you, that he meant ummmm.
Autism isn’t something a person has, or a “shell” that a person is trapped inside. There’s no normal child hidden behind the autism. Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion, and encounter, every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person—and if it were possible, the person you’d have left would not be the same person you started with.
This is important, so take a moment to consider it: Autism is a way of being. It is not possible to separate the person from the autism.
Therefore, when parents say,
I wish my child did not have autism,
what they’re really saying is,
I wish the autistic child I have did not exist, and I had a different (non-autistic) child instead.
Read that again. This is what we hear when you mourn over our existence. This is what we hear when you pray for a cure. This is what we know, when you tell us of your fondest hopes and dreams for us: that your greatest wish is that one day we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces.
Super incredibly maddening thing about mental illness:
Fighting your ass off to live a normal life and function as well as you can, and instead of getting credit and having people be proud of you for all the efforts you’re making, having people use your apparently normal behavior as a reason to invalidate you and think you weren’t that sick to begin with.
It takes a lot of badassery to act this normal, but the effort is all invisible
So much this.
*turns on adorable animal feeds and gives you soft pillows and blankets*
this will vastly improve my life.
The current pope called gay couples adopting kids child abuse and has openly spoken out against gay marriage so you know he’s still kind of scum so stop reblogging those fucking photosets about how great he is