Has anyone in the psych survivor movement noticed that we are seen as having "stigma?" Yet all other oppressed groups are victims of bigotry. They are oppressed by bigots. But we HAVE stigma, notice? Sort of sounds like a mental illness, doesn't it? And so:
WARNING: FOR THOSE WHO HAVE TROUBLE TELLING REALITY FROM NEAR-REALITY, THE FOLLOWING IS A SPOOF! THIS IS A SPOOF! DO NOT LET SMALL CHILDREN READ THIS!
The National Alliance for Peer Consumer Recovery (NAPCR), and its sister organization, the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) announced today a breakthrough in the treatment of stigma, a disease that afflicts many mental patients. According to Ted Chabasinski, J.D., Executive Director of the NAPCR, an important new drug has been discovered to treat stigma. Chabasinski, one of the two mental health consumer leaders officially recognized by the federal government, said the new drug, Stigmatrol (R) (beelzebub bitartrate), developed by one of NACPR's funders, GlaxoSmithKline, has been shown to be safe and effective. In a two week study submitted for FDA approval, Stigmatrol (R), when added to the normal medication regimen of psychotics, was shown to reduce symptoms of stigma by sixty per cent, while the mortality rate was only about fifteen per cent. The FDA is expected to give its approval on January 15, 2011.
END OF SPOOF! END OF SPOOF! NOW, BACK TO FULL REALITY, NOT THAT DIFFERENT FROM WHAT YOU JUST READ.
Language is important, people! Words are important! Pay attention! NAMI knows words are important. That's why we have "stigma." And the mental illness system, and the "consumer leaders" that they appoint, know it too. That's why we no longer have a liberation movement. Now we have a "recovery movement." If you think this is not an important distinction, that it's "just words," you are not paying enough attention.
The way we talk about things is important. The words we use to talk about issues frame the ideas, especially for the general public. If we allow our oppressors, and the people who are paid to collaborate with them, to define the issues, we will lose the war.
Words are important, words are powerful. And our movement needs to reclaim that power.
Ted Chabasinski (the real Ted Chabasinski, not my evil twin.)
--While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.