Blog des AK Psychiatriekritik der NFJ Berlin

Kategorie: Mad Pride

Dear Man: Sexism, Misogyny, & Our ‘Movement’

Thousands push the limits (their own and the system’s) on a daily basis to fight the oppression of individuals labeled with psychiatric diagnoses, and to change the way the world understands various kinds of distress. Some of us call the body of people engaged in this work a ‘movement’. I am one such person who is often referring to a ‘civil rights’ or ‘human rights’ movement within this context, although I recognize the problems with referencing a singular ‘movement’, as well.

But, if we are to accept this body as a movement, we must also be willing to take a real look at its flaws, downfalls, shortcomings and anything else that may run counter to our expressed goals.

One of the ways that this movement falls short is related to its treatment of women and the recognition that sexism is a very real and present issue herein.



Peer Supports Under Siege: A Call for Help and Solidarity (And how this affects you, too)

One of the great challenges of working as a legislator is finding time… time to get to know what things look like from the inside… time to get to know what’s really helping people verses what just sounds good… time to recognize that what sounds good has often been made glossy and shiny more by money and marketing and less by substance and what’s real.   Time can be a curse when you’re always running short of it.  It can be hard to place blame or point fingers given the heavy demands on the average politician, yet the consequences of that lack of time have the potential to be fairly dire.

Not surprisingly, the Massachusetts Mental Health System is currently experiencing a budget crisis.  Why?  I’m not entirely clear, but it has something to do with “Chapter 257.”  What the heck is Chapter 257?  I’m still trying to figure that out, too, but here’s a one-sentence explanation offered by the ‘Campaign to Strengthen Human Services.’


Open Letter to Allen Frances

This is an open letter from INTERVOICE to Allen Frances, Professor Emeritus at Duke University, about an article he published in the Huffington Post entitled Psychiatry and Recovery: Finding Common Ground and Joining Forces.

Professor Frances is an influential American psychiatrist best known for chairing the task force that produced the fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) and for his more recent critiques of the current version, DSM-5.

His article was written in reaction to an Op-Ed by Eleanor Longden, an INTERVOICE board member, published in the Huffington Post entitled Why I Thank the Voices in My Head. This article followed up the very well-received video of Eleanor’s TED talk about her experience of hearing voices. Within a month of being posted online, the video of her speech has been viewed on the TED website over 780,000 times and on YouTube a further 58,000 times.

This open letter addresses the points of concern we have about his article and seeks to initiate a dialogue, both with Professor Frances, and others who are concerned and disheartened about the direction that psychiatry is taking.


Recovery Project community


Whatever your reason for approaching this manual, on behalf of the RECOVER Project community—past, present, and future—I welcome you. This is an exciting time to be a part of the peer recovery movement. Since beginning my work as the Director of the RECOVER Project, I have witnessed tremendous expansion in this grass-roots movement growing up around us. As you approach this manual, please know that this work of peer recovery is at once radical and revolutionary. We are all pioneers, building this movement as we go. Imagine, a resource center developed and designed by people in recovery for people in recovery, a storefront space on a main street, easily accessible and open to all. Ten years ago, when we started this work, we began to imagine the possibilities. We have come to appreciate the messiness, inefficiency, and mystery of this process. Our community has learned to live in the questions, knowing that each time we believe we’ve reached an answer, more questions are revealed. At the end of the day, we have leaned to value the process over the product, as the process itself is where we grow.

This manual is based on the experiences the RECOVER Project has collected over the past ten years. Inside, you will find some theoretical underpinnings, lots of practical applications, and the voices of those actively engaged in recovery. “From the Ground Up: How to Build your own Peer-to-Peer Recovery Center,” is designed to be an organic, living document. There are opportunities within the manual for sharing your community’s voices and experiences. Through this platform, we will learn from and support one another. We urge you to share your successes and challenges with us as you cultivate your recovery center from the ground up, and look forward to supporting and sharing with you as we grow together.

With gratitude,P


The Story of Legal Capacity: Specificity and Intersections

In this article I explore legal capacity as it has impacted my life, through the lens of a negative experience and a positive one.  As many of you know, legal capacity is an important right guaranteed in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  It is also guaranteed in the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and in a broader sense is incorporated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).   My aim is to encourage people to be aware that legal capacity is a social construct, it is not an inevitable fact of life and can be changed – indeed we are seeing it change before our eyes with respect to the particular act of marriage.  Legal capacity is being similarly reshaped from a disability standpoint, in a much more comprehensive way.  Please see CRPD Article 12, the draft General Comment on Article 12 by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the IDA CRPD Forum Principles for Implementation of CRPD Article 12, and my article Norms and Implementation of CRPD Article 12, for more information.