Having returned from an east coast trip to attend the memorial of my stepfather, I am a little late with my monthly update. The trip back east was hard as my mother is currently suffering from her loss. I tried to spend time with her to offer her support, but my need to stay busy and our vastly differing interests made the week challenging for both of us.
Those who may have visited my blog may notice that I have only published one post this month. I have been working extensively on one essay that I am trying to prepare to get published. It is frustrating because I feel unproductive, but I have a need to master the essay and prove that I can publish.
Early in my career as a social worker, I couldn’t even see the phenomenon of mental health warehousing let alone know how address the issue in a relationship. My college texts had promoted the mainstream eugenic presumptions associated with mental illness. I didn’t know what was needed to recover from things like psychosis, personality disorders, or addictions and live a fulfilling life other than to tell the client to take their medication.
Now, in my twenty-three years of experience working in the system, I have seen many other workers not really learn about the effects of mental health warehousing. It’s as if those of us who work in the field slept during social psychology lessons of Stanley Milligram and the Stanford Prison Experiments. And many of us who do understand the dehumanization process associated with warehousing may abandon the work for private practice. It’d nice it they left a little space in their practice for warehoused individuals. Perhaps some do.
Believe me, I never imagined that mental health warehousing would happen to a conscientious person who excelled in the mental health professional like myself. I used to think I was empathetic towards clients because that’s what always impressed others about me. Now I think I was just sympathetic and encapsulated! Indeed, though it could happen to most us, we rarely think that way. When I did land in warehousing, it was a real education.
When I profess to love you forever,
You should know, cause I already told you
That I’m lying—that my love is for never.
Now I can see that your attractive look
Diminishes as time passes on, first
Impressions of your beauty, I know I mistook
In Madness and Civilization, philosopher Michel Foucault has predicted a proliferation of madness as disparities increase and modern society advances. Indeed, with psychopharmacology industry booming, rates of addiction, fueled by the opioid epidemic, skyrocketing, terrorism wars raging abroad, ongoing drug wars afflicting low income neighborhoods, escalation in homeless encampments in major cities, and a rise in bullying in schools, and even cyberbullying, it really does seem like higher percentage of people have been forced to explore their mental health struggles. While mass shootings have kept danger stigma in the media high and the media response continues to reinforce silence about mental struggles, the field of psychotherapy does have a lot more trends to address.
When I look through my state’s psychotherapy association’s annual conference, I see many of these trends getting addressed in workshops. But ever invisible is the issue of psychosis. Is it possible that the issue of psychosis functions as a significant part of the madness narrative? Is it possible that psychosis too is affecting more and more Americans as Foucault inferred?
What the Statistic Say: Read More
My mission has become a haze
In these droning hours—
Grass coated medians:
Another couple hundred miles,
Another tank of diesel fuel,
Another nook and cranny town
Left unexplored by my consciousness
As the gas logo sign posts,
Bat me in the eye
Pillars and bridges are swooping down
With on and off ramps
Leading to livelihoods
That embrace all the homes
That I defy.