There are “too many people being labelled, categorised into boxes, prescribed medication”

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Psychiatry = diagnosis/labels.

Here in Ireland we’re moving away from this type of terminology and using language like mental health instead of psychiatric.

Personally, I’m against labelling people. Did you know that all of these diagnosis in the diagnostic statistical manual (DSM) were mainly social issues and traumatic life events years ago before it evolved into these so called “illnesses”? I always say, if anyone went to a psychiatrist there’d be a label/diagnosis for everyone there’s that many of them.

The history and evolution of psychiatry is so fascinating. It blows my mind how the medical model is still so dominating. I’d recommend watching a fascinating documentary on YouTube called ‘Behind The Walls’.

We’re slowly shifting towards a new way of helping people on their journeys with a more holistic approach, looking at the person as a whole and trying to get to the root cause of the problems.

I’m not anti-medication as I do believe it can have it’s place short term but I’ve seen too many people being labelled, categorised into boxes, prescribed medication and told that they have an “illness that requires medication”. These so-called illnesses are not scientifically proven. They were made up by psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies. These big pharmaceutical companies are making a fortune. It’s not right and we need more awareness around it. People put a lot of trust into the hands of psychiatrists and a lot of them seem to be brainwashed into believing that these “mental illnesses” even exist.

There are numerous psychiatrists that campaigned against psychiatry. I’d highly recommend looking these up and their work…Peter Breggin, Thomas Szasz and Ivor Browne.

The fact is, medication will never “fix” someone. The brain is extremely complex. People need to be listened to, feel safe, supported, comforted and guided in the right direction. Stress is the biggest killer and most mental health problems stem from trauma/stress.

Often, people are misdiagnosed as having a mental health “illness” when in fact, there could be something physical going on like a vitamin deficiency or hormonal imbalances for example.

Thankfully, in the 12 years I’ve been working as a mental health nurse, I’ve seen some good changes. We have more psychologists and therapists, nurses specialising in different areas, training for health care assistants etc. but it still remains very medicalised. The waiting lists for psychology/psychotherapy is way too long. Another great change was the establishment of the Mental Health Commission promote, encourage and foster high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental health services in Ireland. Unfortunately, they only do yearly inspections. If it was up to me, they’d be monthly.

Research tells us that a lot of mental health problems stem from childhood. I’d love to see regular mental health and well-being workshops in primary and secondary schools or even better, a mandatory subject of ‘Mental Health and Well-being’ or ‘Mental Wellness’. If we taught kids from a young age about mental health, self-care and coping skills, maybe there wouldn’t be as many suicides as there is now. Maybe if people in distress were really listened to in a non-judgemental way and if they had a safe place to express their distress with the right help and support, there’d be less of a need for acute mental health services.

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Emma qualified as a Mental Health Nurse in 2010 and has worked in numerous areas of mental health throughout her nursing career including acute services, day hospitals/centres, residential units and community rehabilitation services. She has always been extremely passionate about alternative therapies and psychological interventions. She also has a special interest in Dementia. 

Her mission in life is to create awareness around mental health, self-care and well-being. Her dream is to set up a Holistic Health Retreat Centre where people in distress can go as an alternative to the current mental health services, which she believes, focuses too much on diagnosis and medication. 

She has set up Holistic Health Ireland on social media channels which offers support, inspiration, hope, guidance and resources. She hopes for it to be an online hub/resource for all Holistic Health Practitioners in Ireland. She also uses this page to share her professional and personal opinions around mental health and well-being.

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