I’m a psychologist – and I believe we’ve been told devastating lies about mental health


Ulf a plant were wilting we will not drive nurse it worse “wilting-plant-syndrome” – we would change its conditions. Yet when humans are suffering under unliveable conditions, we’re told something is wrong with us, and expected to keep pushing through. To keep working and producing, without acknowledging our hurt.

In efforts to destigmatise mental distress, “mental illness” is framed as an “illness like any other” – rooted in supposedly flawed brain chemistry. In reality, recent research concluded that depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance of the brain. Ironically, suggesting we have a broken brain for life increases stigma and disempowerment

It is here that we fail marginalised people the most: Black people’s understandable expressions of hurt at living in a structurally racist society are too often medicalised, labelled dangerous and met with violence under the guise of “care”. Black people are more likely to be Taseredsectioned, restrained and over-medicated than anyone else in our mental health services today.

InThe UK could learn a lot from liberation psychology. Founded in the 1980s by the Salvadorian activist and psychologist Ignacio Martín Baró, it argues that we cannot isolate “mental health problems” from our broader societal structures. Suffering

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