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The battle for acceptance: Defining the relationship between medicine and the world of madness and distress 

The battle for acceptance: Defining the relationship between medicine and the world of madness and distress
Chapter:
The battle for acceptance: Defining the relationship between medicine and the world of madness and distress
Source:
Postpsychiatry: Mental health in a postmodern world
Author(s):

Patrick Bracken

and Philip Thomas

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198526094.003.0006

In Chapter 3, we examine the first theme of postpsychiatry: the relationship between psychiatry, exclusion and coercion. At issue here is the nature of power and the role of professionals in the lives of service users. We draw attention to the work of members of groups such as Mad Pride, Mad Women and the Hearing Voices Network, who refuse the psychiatric way of framing their experiences as ‘symptoms’. We examine the idea of citizenship in the field of mental health. In recent years, citizenship has become a fashionable idea in advanced liberal democracies, and it is not surprising to discover its influence in liberal discourses about mental health. However, we argue that ‘a citizenship agenda’ has real value in helping mental health professionals to think outside their biological or psychosocial frameworks, and to consider issues that are of greater concern to mental health service users.

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