Some Thoughts on Vocabulary

I am dissatisfied with much of mainstream vocabulary and ideas around matters of emotional distress and extreme states.  I operate from the position that common approaches toward something many are calling “mental illness” are in a pre-scientific phase and have a long way to go. Today’s labels (like bipolar, schizophrenia, and even depression) make a lot of assumptions that are unsupported by science (the chemical imbalance theory, for example).  They also don’t account for what can be a steep power differential between the labeler (a professional with privilege) and the labeled (a person in a marginalized emotional state).  Psychiatric labels describe behaviors as seen from the outside but say nothing about why such states come about… Read More

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