Social Connectedness & the Future of Compassionate Mental Health

From a blog post by Dr. Charlie Heriot-Maitland on the Compassionate Mental Health website:

“Our brains are naturally very good at adapting and responding to our environments. That is, after all, how we’ve survived (in an evolutionary sense), but these built-in adaptive processes are still very apparent day-to-day. For me, these wonderfully adaptive processes are highlighted most amongst people who come into mental health services, many of whom have experienced challenging social environments. Sadly, we have inherited a cultural narrative that what these people are experiencing are signs of a ‘mental illness’ and we’ve come up with a collection of cold, detached (and sometimes outright shaming) terms to describe these, e.g. ‘schizophrenia’ and ‘antisocial personality disorder’ – to name just a couple of the near 300 or so listed in DSM-5.

When will we consider that perhaps what we’re seeing are examples of people’s brains doing what brains are supposed to do? When will we consider that the brains of people in mental health services may not be ‘abnormal’ after all, but no different to anyone else’s brains?

Time for A New Story
Changes are certainly underway in developing new narratives, but I wonder when we will truly begin to contemplate mental health through a different lens, and fully embrace the different choices of narrative? When will we consider that perhaps what we’re seeing are examples of people’s brains doing what brains are supposed to do? When will we consider that the brains of people in mental health services may not be ‘abnormal’ after all, but no different to anyone else’s brains? …”

Read more here.

Social Connectedness & the Future of Compassionate Mental Health
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