“Decolonizing Global Mental Health: The Psychiatrization of the Majority World” (Book Review)

von freakoutcrazy

We are all familiar with the plague of pathologisation that has gripped the world over the last quarter of a century. Just about every nook and cranny of human experience has been redefined, commodified and re-branded, usually in the interests of the pharmaceutical industry. Teenagers and young adults are no longer shy, but suffering from avoidant personality disorder and thus in need of drugs, therapy, or both. The mood changes that have affected women during the course of the menstrual cycle for countless millennia have been transformed into premenstrual dysphoric disorder. We are no longer allowed to grieve for more than a few weeks without being diagnosed with major depressive disorder. The rise in diagnosis of ADHD in children and mild neurocognitive disorder has taken this trend to the limits of the human life cycle. Indeed, it is rapidly becoming clear that, for most of us in high income (HI) countries, not having a psychiatric diagnosis is a sign of abnormality. At the same time we should not be surprised to discover that this creeping ‘psychiatrisation’ is highly contagious, and is afflicting low and middle income countries (LAMIC). One of the main agents responsible for this is the Movement for Global Mental Health (MGMH).