MARY O'HAGAN

Showing Tag: "mental health" (Show all posts)

The end of compulsory treatment

Posted by Mary O Hagan on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, In : Compulsory Treatment 
Western culture places a high value on freedom of the individual. We only justify the removal of freedoms when citizens transgress or are regarded as not fully human. Since the eighteenth century enlightenment, rationality has become the pinnacle of full humanity. People seen to lack rationality are easily denied full human status and full human freedoms; among them are slaves, women and mad people.  

There is a growing international movement to abolish special legislation allowing compulsory ...
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User/survivor leadership

Posted by Mary O Hagan on Tuesday, October 12, 2010, In : Users/survivors 

Click here to find the full article. 

The international mental health user/survivor movement has been around for nearly 40 years. It started as a protest movement but it has over time become more absorbed into the mental health system. The movement has created leadership opportunities in its independent activities, and the idea of leadership in one’s own recovery, but the policy of service user participation in mental health services has failed to deliver consistent participation, let alon...


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The beliefs that drive services

Posted by Mary O Hagan on Wednesday, October 6, 2010, In : Services 

The mental health sector, like any other, is crowded with bureaucracy, politics, standards, indicators, jargon, gossip and other day-to-day diversions. In this atmosphere it’s difficult to disentangle oneself enough to burrow down and explore the bedrock of beliefs the mental health system is based upon. These beliefs drive our thoughts and feelings, our behaviour and our systems, but we are often barely aware of them.

Occasionally I get the time to dig down into these bedrock beliefs. I d...


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Psychiatric Drugs: The two stories

Posted by Mary O Hagan on Saturday, September 25, 2010, In : Treatments 

Psychiatric drugs are controversial. There’s the good story and the bad story. In his book ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic’, Robert Whitaker puts it like this: ‘There is a famous optical illusion, and depending how you look at it, you either see a beautiful young woman picture which tells of a revolutionary advance in the treatment of mental disorders. Or you see an old hag picture which tells of a form of care that has led to an epidemic of disabling mental illness.’

When I used mental he...


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Is the mental health system crazy?

Posted by Mary O Hagan on Saturday, September 18, 2010, In : Employment 

People with major mental distress often suffer multiple personal, social and economic losses. Our personal loss of power and self-esteem does not so much derive from the condition itself, but the attitudes we and others have towards it. We may feel shame. Those around us may feel pity and fear. Our paid helpers often reinforce these responses by pathologising our experience. Once our personal losses have taken hold, a cascade of social and economic losses tends to follow, such as isolation, u...


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Thinking about suicide

Posted by Mary O Hagan on Monday, September 13, 2010, In : Suicide 
Welcome to my first blog.

David Webb is a friend and colleague as well as a survivor of many suicide attempts. He has recently written 'Thinking About Suicide: Contemplating and comprehending the urge to die.' 

The book is based loosely on David's PhD, the world's first PhD on suicide written by someone who has survived it. It is not an academic book, though David does have a cerebral approach to the issue. He writes of the absence of interest in first person accounts in the suicidology literat...

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