Re: Return response/ Recovering Psych. Patients

Tooth Barbara Ann (
Fri, 27 Jun 1997 10:42:09 +1000 (EST)

Dear Rob

I will try and send some information to you. I think when you talk about
"denial" of illness you are treading on dangerous ground. From my
experience people's response to schizophrenia is no different to how
anyone responds to a serious illness. It can take people a while to accept
any illness, but that does not imply "acceptance" is a necessary process.
It really does depend on the person and their life experiences. If I were
subject to some of the treatment dished out by well meaning professionals
who were trying to treat my schizophrenia (no I don't have it this is just
an example) I am sure I would be in "denial" and I definately would not be
medically compliant. In fact I think being "medically non-compliant" can
be a strength. I think we need to ask ourselves quite a few questions.
Quite a few of the people I have spoken with have been very damaged by the
health profession in their well meaning attempts simply because we seem to
be talking a different language. Many people just want to get on with
their lives and the information we think they need to do this just doesn't
seem to be useful to many people. So why should they comply? We often
insist on people taking medication that they frequently report having side
effects which are much worse the symptoms they are trying to treat. There
is also a great tendancy to overmedicate for what I think is our
protection in many respects. I think we need to look at people's strengths
in their life and how they can manage the illness in a way that is useful
to them, rather than focus on deficits from the illness. In reality this
is only a part of their life after all! Also I think you need to be aware
that many people who have the illness will tell health professionals what
they think they want to hear rather than what is actually happening for
them. This is because if they did say what was going on for them they
would be subject to all sorts of nasties that we drag out of our
"therapeutic tool kit".

Well I suppose this gives you some idea where I am coming from, are we on
different planets? you can send your proposal to my home address 42 View
St Paddington Q4064 Australia. I no longer work at QUT.