“The freedom of man is, in political liberalism, freedom from persons, from personal dominion, from the master; the securing of each individual person against other persons, personal freedom.”  ~Max Stirner

While completing my third assignment from Blogger University, to follow 5 new bloggers, I came across a post that actually angered me. I wasn’t angered by the author, I was angered by the content. I was reminded about an issue in our “free” society that no one seemed, well the vast majority — there are plenty of people outraged by these issues, to care about.

Note: even my boyfriend thought I was getting a little too worked up about this “issue.” 

The content of this article irked me because I felt the desperation and deep rage, the kind of rage a caged dog feels right before he decides that his efforts to escape are futile and settles in a state of learned helplessness, this author had. – I have been here. The issue was the application of “behaviorists theories” in mental health practices.

I would consider myself to be an advocate of the science of Psychology. I love that people are taking the health of our mind as serious as the health of our bodies. However, it seems that there is a disconnect between the theory taught at universities and the actual practice in the field. I do know that there are great instances where the application of theory is well done, but there are many more where it is not.

What this article addressed was the ways in which the mental health industry has failed. My anger came in when I was reminded of the horrible experience I had being a mental health worker. There were so many similarities, even though the author and I worked in two different faucets of the system: she ASD children and I co-occurring mental illness and addiction rehab. I could feel the anger welling up inside when she described situations where she felt that the children she worked with were “trained” out of their natural personalities and were manipulated to behave in a “socially acceptable manner” i.e. like non-ASD children.

I can’t stand the idea of taking away another persons dignity because they do not behave in a way that makes me feel comfortable. I can’t stand the lazy practice of bullying ill people, or anyone different, into behaving in a more “mainstream” sort of way.

I thought mental health was supposed to empower those suffering from illness to help them find their true selves and overcome their plight. I thought patients were to have the choice of what They wanted to change about Their illness and not have it be decided for them, it’s undignified, selfish, cruel, and bordering on abusive. Telling sick people and neurologically different children that they must stuff themselves deep inside, to accept humiliating and patronizing treatment all in the name of “treatment” is just plain wrong! I think this plays a large role in why so many people relapse. It is because they learn from the get go that they are not valued and are even seen as less than human when they arrive for ‘therapy.’

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