if only the gov would put money towards actual mental health care & not just ~defeatdepression~ and ~anti-stigma~ campaigns
okay i want to make a post on a kind of rhetoric that’s been really bothering me on pro self-diagnosis posts inspired by this post and others like it. i’m not taking about self-diagnosis at all, just an assumption i’ve been seeing a lot around tumblr lately.
the thing about therapy/psychiatric care is that its very much a class issue
like therapy costs money, psychiatric care costs money, diagnoses cost money
mostly because it ignores the other ways in which psychiatry is a class issue and implies that psychiatry as an institution primary affects the rich. this isn’t about this lone post or i’d just ignore it. it’s a problem that most self-diagnosis awareness posts fall into along with other anti-ableism posts, and that’s a problem because it’s important to understand how psychiatry affects people who live with mental illness outside the relatively privileged sector of private therapy. there’s nothing wrong with discussing how expensive and limited private mental health care is, but there is in implying by omission that that’s the only kind worth talking about.
my purpose here is to keep psychiatry from being rebranded as the domain of the wealthy when in many ways psychiatric care is what’s left to the poor, to people who can’t afford expensive regular therapy or fancy rehab centres. psychiatry is also about the approximately 50% of inmates in US prisons and jails struggling with mental illness, including those only in the system because they couldn’t get psychiatric care anywhere else. psychiatry is about people hospitalized against their wills. psychiatry is about over-medicating foster kids. psychiatry is about people who get shunted between homeless shelters, local jails, and hospitals, because they can’t afford therapy or their medication. there are lots of people who get diagnosed BECAUSE they’re poor, who get shunted into the psychiatric system either in what’s left of the public hospital system or in jails or prisons.
and it ignores that in some countries (like canada, where i live) it’s also an access issue. class plays a part, as it always does, and those with enough money or reaaaaally good insurance can access expensive psychologists for therapy (although psychologists don’t typically diagnose here afaik? i haven’t really see many psychologists though, for the reasons i just mentioned) but psychiatry, psychiatric emergency services, hospitalization, and community mental health centres are 100% free. instead, there are biases in types of diagnosis, gender, race, and also inequities between provincial resources and rural/urban resources (all of which also exist in the united states, of course). and mental health spending in my province is 3.5% of total health care expenditure.many of these barriers to access aren’t discussed except by those who’d directly experienced them.
basically: you can and should talk about how class and psychiatry intersect, but when you act like psychiatry is an ivory tower that affects primarily the wealthy you’re ignoring the (often oppressive) affect that it has on the rest of the mentally ill population.
Then there’s considering the affect a diagnosis has on you. Legally speaking, my status as a community psychiatric inpatient means I can’t go to certain countries, can’t do certain jobs, have to disclose my illness when applying for jobs and many other shitty things.
What I’m basically saying is this: If you want to say I am somehow “privileged” because I have an official diagnosis you can go fuck yourself.
There’s also the fact that many people with physical illnesses (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, etc.) get psychiatric diagnoses because the insurance industry doesn’t like conditions that can only be managed, not cured. Unless you’re wealthy enough to pay for doctors out of pocket, you’re going to end up with doctors who are told by insurance companies how they are allowed to bill certain things, or who work for HMOs/PPOs/etc. that have actual policies that say “syndrome/disease/condition <insert name here> will be billed as a psychiatric condition if you want to keep your job”.
Because if it’s billed as a psychiatric condition, they only have to pay for the hours of therapy in their contract, and don’t have to pay for the (often expensive) drugs necessary to properly treat the condition as a physical condition.
beyond outright straight jacket fetishes and shit you know what scares me
the gaze fixed on Crazy Girls in every single piece of media ever where other characters and the viewer are invited to regard them with this combination fear/disgust/fascination/titillation
i described this feeling previously in the context of being genderweird as sth along the lines of “men look at you down the barrel of a gun and they can’t decide whether they want to fuck you or skin you” and i think that captures it. you get it overtly when there are conversations between characters like “really, you want to fuck HER?” but there’s this nervous excitement to it, like fucking the crazy girl is a particular kind of trophy
i don’t know where i’m going with this. i hate that gaze