If You’re Having Mental Health Struggles, You’re Not The Problem

When we look at trends in diagnosis throughout history, we can see two things:
that diagnosis has been used as a political tool and that distress is inextricably connected to experiences of power and powerlessness, rather than arising from some kind of fault in our brains. In the UK, Dr. Lucy Johnstone, alongside a group of psychologists and former users of psychiatric services, has developed a new framework for understanding the experiences we call mental health ‘problems’. She explains: “The
Power Threat Meaning Framework shows how the abuse of power at all levels lies at the root of distress and despair. The way forward is to recognize the ways in which we struggle to survive these threats, reclaim our own narratives and our own sources of power, and ultimately, to create a fairer, more equal society for all of us.” The UK also has a lot to learn from organizations like
Mariwala Health Initiative in India, whose work centres the redistribution of power and movement building in healing marginalized communities. Their collective social justice-informed approach,
alongside recent drug-free support in Norway, is a radical form of resistance to
the globalized medical model.

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