I felt so inspired by reading the article Researchers Doubt That Certain Mental Disorders Are Disorders At All by Alison Escalante that I wanted to share my own insights about this quite complex but important topic, being HSP and being a member of the neurodiversity movement myself!
Why is talking about our anxiety difficult? Why is talking about our burnout or depression taboo while it is ok to talk about a broken leg?
In western countries, our mental health is something we too often pretend is not here as long as we are “ok”. Because it is taboo and we hid it and as soon as some symptoms show up we want to get rid of it as quick as possible. Medication is the way we fix it. While in some situations it might be vital to use medications, in many others the problem can be linked to an answer to a hostile environment. We however tend to put everything in the same basket under the name “disorder”.
We are not educated (enought) to take care of our mental health the same way we do with our physical health. You broke your leg, you fix your leg, uou do not remove the tree from the garden you fell from to pick up cherries. However, regarding mental health, you can’t think the same way in terms of treatment. We too often do not understand that mental health related stigma can be signals sent from our body to inform us that something is wrong. Instead we interpret those stigma as the cause that something is wrong, not the consequences. However, how sustainable fixing the consequence rather than the cause can be?
Removing a character from “disorder” is an important step in the direction of understanding and therefore respect. It is only in 1990 that the World Health Organization decided to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. Before that, being a part of the LGBTQ was seen as a disorder and therefore could be expected to be “cured”. Since then, 17th of May became the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
Finally more and more specialists acknowledging that ADHD is not a disorder is also a victory for the Neurodiversity Movement which claims that each brain is different and some more different than others, but it does not make them being a “disorder”! “If ADHD is not a disorder, but a mismatch with a human environment, then suddenly it’s not a medical issue. It’s an issue for educational reform”.