What’s normal? The politics of psychiatric labeling

What’s normal? The politics of psychiatric labeling

Being labeled ‘mentally ill’ can be an enormous burden: on individuals, their families, and their friends.  It’s a label that can hang like an albatross around someone’s neck, instead of serving as a guide to the most appropriate support.The evolution of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual” – the ‘bible’ of American psychiatry – is a classic illustration of this process at work…

Concepts of suffering and anguish have always varied across historical and cultural contexts, and they manifest in the body in many different ways. For example, the autism spectrum has variously positioned people as being intertwined with the spirit world and deserving of elevated status, or disabled to the point of requiring highly-specialized treatment for remediation…

Psychiatric concepts, methods of research and even data are not ‘givens.’ They are all embedded in social systems, and shaped by cultural, political and economic forces…

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