Is there a "right" way to talk about illness and disability? The current popular favourite is person-first language. It really got going in the 1990s, with the American Psychological Association leading the charge. Instead of talking about a "disabled person", person-first language literally puts the person first, as in "person with a disability." This has… Continue reading Is Person-First Language All It’s Cracked Up to Be?
ADHD 101: Parents Edition by Sandy Pace of Mental Health 101 is a guide to help parents effectively support their child with ADHD. It's written from his perspective as a peer support worker, psychology major, person with ADHD, and child of parents who followed the what-not-to-do handbook when it came to handling the disorder. The… Continue reading Book Review: ADHD 101: Parents Edition
I've written before about a police wellness check gone wrong that resulted in an unconscious woman being dragged along the floor, in handcuffs and without a shirt on, by a police officer doing a so-called wellness check. In this latest story of a wellness check gone wrong, CBC News reports on an incident where police… Continue reading A (Re)Traumatizing Police Wellness Check
One of the most common and damaging stereotypes about mental illness is that mentally ill people are chronically dangerous and violence-prone (Corrigan and Watson, 2002). This stereotype is especially strongly linked to people with psychosis. Like many stereotypes, it's not true in the vast majority of cases, but the general public may not realize that.… Continue reading Psychotic Does Not Mean Violent
My news source of choice is the CBC, Canada's public broadcaster. Usually they're pretty good, but sometimes they slip up. This was the case with an article published on the CBC website on March 18 about a Russian woman, Margarita Gracheva, whose hands had been cut off by her "psychotic husband." The "psychotic" adjective was… Continue reading Stigma in the News: A “Psychotic” Abuser
Ask anyone of a certain age what comes to mind first when they hear the term electroconvulsive therapy (aka ECT, aka electroshock therapy, aka shock therapy), and chances are they will mention the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest starring Jack Nicholson. The reality is very different.
Over the last three years (wow, has it been that long?), I've read and reviewed a lot of books. Here are a few quotes that stood out for me. No One Cares About Crazy People In No One Cares About Crazy People, Ron Powers intertwines a sweeping history of mental illness stigma with the stories… Continue reading Interesting Book Quotes from Past Reviews
As an official Crazy Person, I'm all for laughing at ourselves. It makes the hard stuff a little bit easier. But when other people use stigma as an excuse to laugh at us, that makes this Crazy Person very unimpressed, because stigma isn't funny. Canada's public broadcaster, the CBC, seems to do a pretty good… Continue reading Mental Illness Stigma Isn’t Funny
drawing of a ho Last year I wrote about a police wellness check gone wrong, in which a young woman was dragged half-naked in handcuffs through her building by a police officer, While the woman was apprehended under the Mental Health Act, a story about the matter in the Kelowna Daily Courier used the word… Continue reading Homelessness & Addiction: A Newspaper Embraces Stigma
Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness is written by Roy Richard Grinker, an anthropology professor at The George Washington University. Autism and cross-cultural psychiatry are listed as areas of expertise on his faculty page. He's the father of an autistic daughter, who he refers to a number of times throughout the… Continue reading Book Review: Nobody’s Normal