I’ve never liked to be singled out for anything, whether it be praise or admonishment. Didn’t you do well. Aren’t you clever. Go to your room. You are banned. That hairstyle suits you. Where did you get that hat?
For I think that “special treatment” in mental health matters can be another word or words for patronising, patriarchal, bullying, stigmatising and discriminating behaviour from people who have labels after their name. Rather than labels instead of their name.
For example. I am a psychiatrist. I am a social worker. I am a mental health service user. I am a schizophrenic. I am a train driver.
The other day I was speaking to a class of social work students and said that I call myself a psychiatric survivor. Some said they found that term offensive, took it personally. I said that for me it was empowering, it made a statement about my personal experience.
To go about saying “I am a former mental health service user” or “I used to use mental health services” would definitely, in my opinion, single me out for “special treatment”. Same goes for being known as a “psychiatric survivor”.
I’d rather be sent out of the room for challenging the system than stay in the room and be subject to patronising, patriarchal, abusive treatment. That’s for sure. I’ve never been one to lie down and take it.