🙏. Any -ism is reductionism. That unfortunately is still the biggest problem in mental health. We reduce it to symptoms, to cause effect models, to brain matter. It would already help to just look how other cultures look at mental health from a more systemic perspective. TCM for instance does not even treat symptoms but systems. And our mental and emotional life is just part of that bigger picture.

But we have to tread carefully to not demonize it all. I for instance think that PTSD diagnosis was a blessing for many to finally understand what was going on with them and in them, e.g. all those broken soldiers coming home. Unfortunately it has been also too widely used and now every adverse live event is seen as traumatic which is just not good evidence based science in the first place. And the treatment itself has become a victim of the biomedical model ignoring the whole existential dimension of traumatic experience.

I think our MH system suffers a kind of “epistemological despair,” as I call it.

It only believes what it sees which are data points or neurons firing. But it does not know how to interpret it in the bigger picture. Nor how to empower patients to become their own best experts as you did! That would require to integrate the Socratic “understand thyself” into the picture.

Well, you got me going here, Sarah!

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I’ve had direct experience of conflicting and misapplied diagnoses. Many thanks for this clear-eyed report.

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