The following presentation forms part of my work for the “Crime, Power and Victimisation” module I am currently studying at Liverpool John Moores University.
We were asked to construct a case study which would allow us to analyse, contrast and compare the medicalisation/mental ill-health forms of psychiatry, where the issues are firmly located in the individual, to the mental distress approach – sometimes unwisely, in my view, called “anti-psychiatry” (when one looks to make better is surely hardly an “anti-“!) – where environment, society, even neoliberalism as a real bogeyman, all serve to play a much more important role.
Essentially, I would argue – in particular from my own experience – that we are not born mad; we do not even become mad; we are, most particularly, driven to mad reactions by what Oliver James famously described as “selfish capitalism”.
Through the academic mind I have slowly begun to acquire over the past semester – I clearly have a way to go, mind (maybe two or three years before I can truly rub shoulders with those who truly deserve the description) – I have started to construct an argument which connects a democracy disappearing to a savage increase in mental ill-health/mental distress.
I hope at least you can keep an open mind on this very fledgling thesis. I am still in my beginnings as a man who can evidence his intuitions: so whilst I do ask of you to be firm, exact, accurate and precise in your critiques, at the same time be kind if you can find it in yourself to be so.
I am still suffering greatly from the life that has hurt me.
And maybe, too, from the hurt I have caused.