Voices From the Past: David Cohen, Part 1, Montreal: November 1994
Voices From the Past: David Cohen, Part 2, Montreal: November 1994
The Mad Movement Today: David Cohen, 2013
There is enormous creativity and inventiveness in what might be called the Mad Movement today. There is also a greater social awareness of the weaknesses of psychiatry. However, although many people today consider themselves psychiatric critics — for example, they’re aware of medication abuses or the extent to which drug companies have ruled psychiatric practice and research, or the invalidity of DSM psychiatric diagnoses — psychiatry has grown and prospered enormously over the past few decades.
In my view, that’s because the myth of mental illness persists, and because few people in or out of the helping professions reject psychiatric coercion on human rights grounds. The idea that “mental illness” is an actual, real entity remains as strong as ever. The problem is that although everyone knows how to recognize a mental illness, no one knows what it is. And the practice of locking people up on the basis that they suffer from a mental illness and therefore might be dangerous is as popular as ever. Coercion remains the only constant in psychiatric practice, and it’s invoked most intensely precisely when psychiatric treatments fail to deliver as promised.