Myth of Mental Illness

The “Myth of Mental Illness” is a book written by Thomas Szasz (1961), and in it he argued against labeling people with emotional and mental health issues. Szasz felt diagnosing people with emotional and mental health issues is labeling conditions that are personal and social issues —-> motivational need issues. R. D. Laing (1960) echoed Szasz’s argument against labeling individuals with mental health concerns. Laing fought against stigmatizing people with names like deranged, insane, crazy, or any other aberration. R. D. Laing felt the major issue should be addressing a person’s network of social relationships (Belonging-Needs). He said mental/emotional health issues are rooted in human relationships. Baruch Spinoza (17th Cent) felt both mental health and bodily health are products of right and wrong living. He suggested that living by Nature will equal health and a failure to live by Nature equals ill-health. I respect the way the Finns view and treat mental health issues. In Finland, the treatment model for mental illness is so different than in the United States. In Finland, with the first sign of mental illness the initial paradigm for treatment is social fabric treatment —> the community surrounds and supports the person having emotional and mental health issues. This social environmental support is given until the person’s mental health symptoms alleviate and the person returns to their usual family, work, and community routines. For the most part Finland’ social fabric treatment is done without psychotropic medication. I contend that the Finland Model is testament to our powerful need to belong. 

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