Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Call me crazy?

There’s an article in the New York Times, “‘Mad Pride’ Fights a Stigma

“It used to be you were labeled with your diagnosis and that was it; you were marginalized,” said Molly Sprengelmeyer, an organizer for the Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective, a mad pride group in North Carolina. “If people found out, it was a death sentence, professionally and socially.”

She added, “We are hoping to change all that by talking.”

Participants write and distribute publications, stage community talks, trade strategies for staying well and often share duties like cooking or shopping.

Many psychiatrists now recognize that patients’ candid discussions of their experiences can help their recoveries. “Problems are created when people don’t talk to each other,” said Dr. Robert W. Buchanan, the chief of the Outpatient Research Program at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. “It’s critical to have an open conversation.”

Call me crazy, but I think these folks might be onto something. Learning about coping strategies from one another? Testing what works and what doesn’t, and reporting on it? Maybe “we were broken into” isn’t the most embarrassing thing you can say in public.

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