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Re:    "Do you think that mental illness doesn't exist ......"

I thought I'd said enough.



It's not the "mental"  it's the "illness"  that I don't like.    I think the medical model is misplaced.

An anecdote:   For a li'l while, in 05  I had a job as a shepherd on a loony farm.   As part of my job training they sent me off for a day's jaunt of a course on terminology in mental illness.
There were abt a doz womenfolk including a sista from Hackney who had a huge rasta hat holding in her locks and she sounded like she'd never been outside the borough.
The boys were me and some old gent in a suit n tie who'd just got off the boat from Jamaica.  He was so straight you'd'a thought he'd never encountered Jamaica's best known cultural produce.   The sista looked at him daggers throughout the day.

Among the stuff the lecturess ran through, was incidence and examples of schizophrenic behaviour.  As she moved towards her next topic, the besuited gent put up his hand and told her that much of what she'd said would get you into a secure ward here was taken as absolutely normal in Jamaica and people would prolly think you a bit odd if you weren't like that.        Cultural context.


A little later I was provoked.   She told us that research indicated that there would soon be a gene therapy for schiz.    I put up my hand and she paused with a resigned look of having had a question from me before.  I said we didn't allow for that kind of thing in my culture.  She acknowledged me and continued with her presentation, then paused  and asked with appropriate puzzlement what was my culture ??

I said "Western culture.  Schizophrenia is a collection of behaviours and I come from a culture which has values of free will and individual responsibility."
All hell broke loose with people standing up and shouting at her. And I hadn't got so far as gene therapy being a mechanistic approach and the mind body dichotomy, ....all that.
Poor soul had to declare tea break and as we started boiling kettles in the little tea and biscuits room provided, the Jamaican suit came up to me and said " You know where this leads ...you know where this leads !!??     Eugenics !! "



She never got her audience back.


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