There is much talk of following the recovery model within Mental Health. However, psychiatrists have redefined the meaning of recovery to mean something entirely different. In General Medicine the word “recovery” means to heal to the extent that there is no longer a problem that needs ongoing medical attention. Whereas, in the Medicalised Mental Illness System, recovery “means different things to different people” and it can be defined as “leading a meaningful life, despite your illness.”
Some psychiatrist's patients do not accept that they have a medical illness from the outset. Psychiatrists refer to these patients as “lacking insight into the illness.” However, now it seems, we can recovery by believing we are well and having a meaningful life.
So who is deciding that my life is meaningful? When I was crazy, everything was meaningful to me, even though many of the meanings where ones only I saw.
So if you where to ask me at the height of my troubles, “is your life meaningful and do you have good mental health?”, I would have answered, yes, to both. Looking back I can clearly see that my soul was troubled, and my mind unclear. However, I did not believe it then, so in a sense it didn't exist, and perhaps it wasn't the right time for me to change.
The inconsistent logic they use here has the effect of undermining True Recovery, like mine. It says that I have recovered because I have a “meaningful life”, but the thing that sucked meaning out of my life in the first place was the Mental Illness System.
This religious-type mindleap may be an effort to allow people who are still on psychiatric drugs claim some level of health. It is true that many active Service Users are no longer are bouncing off walls, or putting their heads in nooses, but are they really “better?”, can they claim they have “recovered?”
Please let me know if you know of any other field of medicine where you can be both recovered and in need of drugs.
If, like me, you never really thought you had an illness in the first place, how can you now be said to have recovered? My perception of my situation never really changed that much. I always thought my Mental Health Problems were caused by the head wrecking-childhood I had, coupled with the hashish-adolesence. The were problems to overcome, not an illness that I couldn't overcome.
If you examine the “reformed” definition, it really means Maintained Illness.
Written by Gordon Lucas at CreativelyMaladjusted.Net