Monday, February 04, 2013

ONE SIZE FITS ONE


“I believe it is time for the C/S/X Movement to split.... the "Recovery Movement", the "C's", who try to be PC, perhaps to protect their funding, maintain relationships, or because they believe what they are saying, undermine our voice and destroy our credibility when they support forced treatment, mandated medical model treatment with no choice, or profiling in any way. I think it is time to make it very clear there are two philosophically separate factions speaking so that we are not constantly wasting our energy trying to create the construct of a unified movement that does not exist.”  Amy Smith (from a Facebook post, Feb. 2013)
She is right that the C/S/X (Consumer or Client/ Survivor/ Ex-patient or Ex-inmate) movement is not a unified movement.  It has certainly not settled on an agreed upon philosophy or a definition of recovery. 
I feel lucky because I have survived 49 years of what the system has thrown at me over the years.  They keep coming up with different words for their approaches and develop new drugs, but the truth is it is still designed to change me and to turn me into a chronically normal person. So nothing has really changed. 
I have been an advocate since 1988 and have been called a traitor by family groups, consumer groups, and providers, but I am still here.  My main sin is that I really do believe that people should be allowed to determine their own path to wherever they want to go.  I also believe that if the state decides to declare “parental rights” and lock a person away in a state hospital then they owe that person all it takes to put his/her life back together in the community. No time limit.  No service denied because Medicaid will not pay any longer.
I am both an Ex-patient and an Ex-inmate.  When I have been held against my will, I look at that as being a prisoner.  When I am in a psychiatric unit without being held against my will then I am a patient. 
If you have read this blog before you know I think we are bio-psycho-social-spiritual beings and that I hate the reductionist bio-medical model.  I don’t think you improve things much by simply adding a system planned “recovery” model to a bio-medical model.  What do I mean?  I mean a state like Tennessee taking the definition of recovery from SAMHSA and saying since SAMHSA says recovery is possible we are going to set time limits on services.  In TN, NC, and FL you had better be one of the people who recover fast.  I mention these states only because I know about them.  I am sure there are others.
There is a wide range of views among us about the reality of mental illness as defined by the mental health system.  From folks who say there isn’t any such thing as mental illness to those that declare it to be a totally biological illness.
I don’t know where you find the real movement.  A movement based on our humanity and rights to be treated as fully human and not as criminals if we haven’t committed a crime.  A movement dedicated to humane, respectful, peer driven, scientific, and spiritual services delivered by a peer driven system with a motto that one size fits only one person.  

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