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Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry von Peter Stastny (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 01.11.2013
  • Verlag: Peter Lehmann Publishing
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Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry

The great book of alternatives to psychiatry around the world. (Ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry, therapists, psychiatrists, lawyers, social scientists and relatives report about their alternative work, their successes, their individual and collective experiences. The book highlights alternatives beyond psychiatry, current possibilities of self-help for individuals experiencing madness, and strategies toward implementing humane treatment. These are some of the questions, which are addressed by the 61 authors-(ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry, medical practitioners, therapists, lawyers, social scientists, psychiatrists and relatives from all continents: What helps me if I go mad? How can I find trustworthy help for a relative or a friend in need? How can I protect myself from coercive treatment? As a family member or friend, how can I help? What should I do if I can no longer bear to work in the mental health field? What are the alternatives to psychiatry? How can I get involved in creating alternatives? Assuming psychiatry would be abolished, what do you propose instead? Peter Stastny was born in Vienna, Austria, where he graduated from medical school in 1976. Since 1978, he has been working and residing in New York City. Taught at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx until 2009 and has conducted several publically funded research projects in the area of vocational rehabilitation, social support and self-help, in collaboration with individuals who had survived personal crises and psychiatric interventions. Currently, Dr. Stastny is working on the development of alternative services that obviate psychiatric intervention and offer autonomous paths towards recovery and full integration. These activities have engendered a close collaboration with the user-survivor movement, as manifested by joint research projects, publications, service demonstrations, and community work. He is a founding member of the International Network Toward Alternatives and Recovery (INTAR). Peter Lehmann. Born in Calw, Black Forest (Germany). Education in social pedagogy. Living in Berlin. Author and editor since 1986, then foundation of Peter Lehmann Publishing and Mail-order Bookstore. 1989 co-founder of the Association for Protection against Psychiatric Violence (running the Runaway-house Berlin). In 1991, co-founder of the European Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP); from 1997-99, Chair of ENUSP; until 2010, board member. From 1997-2000, member of the Executive Committee of Mental Health Europe, the European section of the World Federation for Mental Health. Since 2004, member of INTAR (International Network Toward Alternatives and Recovery). In 2010, awarded with an Honorary Doctorate in acknowledgement of "exceptional scientific and humanitarian contribution to the rights of the people with psychiatric experience" by the School of Psychology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, Faculty of Philosophy. In July 2011, awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by the President of Germany. English publications include, "Coming off Psychiatric Drugs: Successful Withdrawal from Neuroleptics, Antidepressants, Mood Stabilizers, Ritalin and Tranquilizers," ebook, edited in 2013.


    Format: PDF
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 432
    Erscheinungsdatum: 01.11.2013
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783925931574
    Verlag: Peter Lehmann Publishing
    Größe: 2706 kBytes
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Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry

Actual Alternatives


When (ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry take their lives into their hands in order to advance their recovery-assuming they were once labeled "ill"-should this be classified as non-compliance and "playing doctor" or as autonomous behavior? (Recovery is a relatively new concept within the psychosocial arena and which is used by those critical of psychiatry as well as by psychiatry itself. "Recovery" can mean, among others things, re-discovery, healing, improvement, salvation or the regaining of independence. A positive connotation of hope is common to all uses of this term, but it has many different implications. For some, recovery means recovering from a mental illness, a reduction of symptoms or a cure. Others use it to signify an abatement of unwanted effects of psychiatric drugs after their discontinuation, or the regaining of freedom after leaving the mental health system, or "being rescued from the swamp of psychiatry.")

Doctors generally do not want patients to treat their cancers, stomach ulcers or infections on their own, nor do they want them hoarding an assortment of herbs and concoctions in their pantries to drive out their everyday madness and its particular variants. In spite of this, (ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry-alongside practicing professionals, who report about reasonable and effective help for people in emotional distress-are seizing the opportunity in the following chapters to report that they have indeed resorted to such "household remedies," partly out of despair in psychiatry and its often unsuccessful or harmful methods, and partly out of cautiousness, curiosity or self-initiative. Similar self-healing mechanisms were well known long before the so-called psychopharmacological revolution, even among psychiatrists.

Many rather simple and reasonable methods have been discovered and rediscovered over and over again by (ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry, especially when their efforts are supported by an attitude that supports such experimentation in the psychosocial field. Psychiatrists are particularly keen on finding successful therapies, and are therefore prone to latch on to something that is yet unproven. When patients are encouraged to search for personal healing, they will take this up with considerable zeal. Unfortunately, many suffer needlessly for years, until they come to a realization similar to the one described by Bert Gölden of Germany after he discontinued the psychiatric drugs:

"Today, now that I no longer take any psychiatric drugs, my existence is once again overshadowed by anxiety. In other words, I sacrificed 21 valuable years of my life hoping pointlessly for an improvement or a cure. I find myself at the beginning once again and have to find a new form of treatment...Recognize your suffering and become your own therapist-help yourself, because no one else will" (Gölden, 2013).

We hope that the specific and concrete alternatives described in the following chapters can be adopted much earlier by people who are confronted, perhaps for the first time, with psychological crises and their social consequences. Endless experiments with a wide range of psychiatric drugs and repeated psychiatric hospitalizations, for the most part result in nothing other than a lifelong career as a mental patient, with all of its unwanted psychological and physical "side effects." In such situations, an early discussion of individual strategies with and without professional help would be rather welcome, which might include the offerings of organized self-help as well as models of professional support. An intellectual and practical engagement with Soteria, Windhorse, or crisis centers, with Runaway Houses like the Villa Stöckle 1 , with advance directives, supportive and possibly insight-oriented psychotherapy, as well as with general alternative views and approaches, could be especially useful

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