“You’re Crazy” Can Be a Compliment

Editors note: Much of this post came from a comment previously published on MadInAmerica.com. The comment was by Marian Goldstein. Because comment copyright ownership is still a matter of debate in the internet era, we’ll be glad to pull this if anyone objects.

It is my experience that whenever our immediate reaction to something is, when we say “You’re“crazy!” we’re actually dealing we’re our own craziness, a block in our own consciousness, usually produced by fear, not another person’s craziness.

We can quote studies and statistics, and understand with our rational mind, “This or that percentage of all children in

Continue reading “You’re Crazy” Can Be a Compliment

11 Mental Health Research Ideas

Recently, my favorite blogger, 1boringoldman.com did a post about four of NIMH”s mental health research grants that add up to $10 million. $250,000 each…. for what? It turns out they are basically me too studies or finding out answers that are irrelevant or already solved, or solutions harmful to us.

So here are some free mental health research ideas for these people to see whether or not they actually want to help us. These are ideas of programs that could help folks with mental health labels to move towards control of their own lives. All of these programs could generate

Continue reading 11 Mental Health Research Ideas

FAQ about the Distress Model

These are questions that came up from one of our most thorough critics. We thought we’d reproduce them as a blog for anyone who has questions about our approach.

1. Our system is broken and people are dying: and veterans are dying: I know this too. This is why I feel like we need a whole new system, not just fixing the old system. But getting a very clear handle on what is broken and what works is useful. Also, I don’t think I’m leaving people in the lurch by building an alternative, because I’m not tearing down or working

Continue reading FAQ about the Distress Model

My Alternative to the Disease Model, Part 1 of 2

 

Label and Medicate: The Disease Model of Emotional Distress

The Disease Model of emotional distress victimized and traumatized me inexcusably several times in the past. Eighteen months ago, in the hospital, my clearly situational, trauma-based depression was inappropriately framed as a disease.

I’d previously been carelessly and crassly misdiagnosed — then, mistreated — twice. Part of my real problem was my dysfunctional family: my parents “bullied” me, choosing a lackluster counselor, unhealed from her own family problems. I was especially angry at a seemingly negative system by the time I was labeled unfairly in the hospital.

Was I

Continue reading My Alternative to the Disease Model, Part 1 of 2

David Dodd – Healing Crises Requires Understanding of Human Emotion

One way to talk to people who are comfortable with the disease model of mental illness about how limiting it is, is to point out that there are many missing links in the relationship between current psychiatric medications and science’s understanding of human emotions. Just because a model suggests a course of treatment doesn’t mean it is a completely scientific account of what’s going on with the person who is suffering.

Incomplete Understanding of A Disease Kills People

Will some future science of human emotions ever make psych meds look as primitive as bloodletting?

The medical profession has often

Continue reading David Dodd – Healing Crises Requires Understanding of Human Emotion

The difference between temporary distress and permanent disease

One of the very important disctinctions to peer approaches to mental struggles is that we view problems as temporary and not permanent. It’s a repairable life situation problem, not a lifetime chemical or structural or genetic problem. This is one of the key ideas of the Open Dialogue Model that makes it effective.

Our distress versus disease model is an important paradigm shift to help promote solutions.

I know that in my own personal experience, I wasn’t that ill at the beginning. I became more ill after realizing that I might have these struggles for the rest of my life,

Continue reading The difference between temporary distress and permanent disease

Increasing Peer Support: A Radical Proposal for a Governor

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch could save a ton of money by increasing peer support.

Damien Licata, chair of the NH Mental Health Consumer Advocacy Council (my old job) asked me for some thoughts prior to his meeting with NH Gov. John Lynch, whose “broken” mental health system is being sued for civil rights violations by the U.S. Justice Department and others.

Here is what I told a friend to tell the governor about increasing peer support:

Public mental health systems all over the country are becoming economically unsustainable. State governments can’t afford to give everyone with a problem

Continue reading Increasing Peer Support: A Radical Proposal for a Governor

Anonymous – My epiphany on DBT, Trauma, and Undiagnosing Emotional Distress

Undiagnosing Emotional Distress as an alternative approach for mental illness seems to be the issue.

I attended a presention by the DBT guru at my local community mental health center. DBT stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a type of mental health talk therapy treatment that focuses on mindfulness or being in the moment, tolerating distress, and developing people skills. The founder of DBT, Marsha Linehan, is a person who is herself in recovery from mental health diagnoses. She recently shared her story for the first time in the New York Times.

The pillowcase project from Fulton State Hospital in

Continue reading Anonymous – My epiphany on DBT, Trauma, and Undiagnosing Emotional Distress

How I Overcame Emotional Distress vs. Disease

Ken Braiterman, Board Chair of Wellness Wordworks, a proponent of emotional distress vs. disease

My experience of learning how to handle emotional distress vs. disease

Welcome to Wellness Wordworks’ site. My name is Ken Braiterman, Wellness Wordworks board chair. I’ll be blogging at this site about overcoming emotional distress vs. disease. Our business is changing the mental health system from a “disease model” to a “distress model.”

I will also write about my personal recovery from being a homeless, psychotic, traumatized cab driver in New York City. I journey through being a mental patient, to a recovery advocate, and

Continue reading How I Overcame Emotional Distress vs. Disease