Wrongly Labeled

Some further comments, in addition to those by Nick Welsh on the plight of the “mentally ill.”

Everyone realizes that in or a near a jail is not a good place for them. But it seems to me that the same thing should also be said about in or near a hospital or doctor’s office. It is true that some symptoms are medical issues, but by my count only a tiny percentage. In our society, the title of “mental patient” is just as disparaging as jailbird. Furthermore, medical treatment has become a national disgrace: anti-depressives and other psychiatric drugs, “Wham bam, thank you sir or mam!”

What most of the symptomatic people need is individual and/or group psychotherapy. Needed even more is what might be called “it takes a village.” To see this latter idea beautifully spelled out, step by step, see the classic film Lars and the Real Girl (2007). – , professor emeritus UCSB Dept. of Sociology

Tom Scheff is a professor emeritus in the UCSB Dept. of Sociology

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