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  • Ymddiheurwn nad yw rhai tudalennau o’r wefan Gymraeg wedi eu cwblhau eto. Mae’r rhain yn cael eu hadeiladu ar hyn o bryd a byddant yn fyw yn fuan iawn.
    We apologise that some pages of the Welsh site are not yet complete. These are currently under construction and will be live very soon.

    Ymddiheurwn nad yw rhai tudalennau o’r wefan Gymraeg wedi eu cwblhau eto. Mae’r rhain yn cael eu hadeiladu ar hyn o bryd a byddant yn fyw yn fuan iawn.
    We apologise that some pages of the Welsh site are not yet complete. These are currently under construction and will be live very soon.

    Beyond medical

    In this section you’ll find alternatives to the medical approach to improving mental health and wellbeing; so that the question that underpins mainstream mental health services is no longer about “what’s wrong with you?” and has been changed to ask “what’s happened to you?”.

    Early disease models of mental distress were based on the theory that chemical imbalances within the brain lead to symptoms of illness that can be corrected by medication. Although the theory was considered inadequate as early as the mid-1980s, it has still continued to be the basis lying behind the diagnosis and treatment of many conditions such as schizophrenia and depression.

    Survival strategies such as self-harm, hearing voices, and eating “disorders” are often judged by mainstream wisdom as “symptoms” of “mental illness” rather than a natural and normal response to difficult life experiences.

    Author Robert Whitaker, founder of Mad in America, has written and spoken (along with others) about looking beyond the medical approach. He challenges the prevailing disease model as an effective means of treating mental distress saying that it has not achieved the outcomes expected and has failed to produce scientific evidence that it is improving the mental health of the American public. He highlights several projects that have shown success in the non-medical treatment of mental distress: the Soteria project; the Norway Medication Free Inititative; and Open Dialogue’s model developed in Finland.

    There is much debate online and in mental health publications about these issues, as well as on our blog. There is an increasing acceptance that trauma contributes hugely to mental distress and new ways of working are gradually being developed and introduced to support people in Powys and the wider world, although the medical model is still the dominant one overall.

    We want to highlight some of the alternatives to the medical model here.

    The Liverpool view: rumination, replies & remedies

    “People are often blamed for how they think. The insulting label of ‘personality disorder’, for example, manages both to label people as “ill” and simultaneously blame them for their ways of thinking.”

    Professor Peter Kinderman, Director of the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Psychology, Health & Society, writes about what we can do to help ourselves lead happier, healthier lives. More here.
    Interview with Psychologist Lucy Johnstone

    Part of The Future of Mental Health Interview Series on the Psychology Today website. Lucy talks about the possibility of “non-diagnosis” and psychological formulation. More here.
    Other interviews in The Future of Mental Health Interview Series are available here.

    From mental illness to a social model of madness and distress

    A report considering the stigmatizing and unhelpful approach of the medical model which dominates professional and public thinking. With contributions from mental health service users/survivors. Supported by Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the NSUN network for mental health and Shaping our Lives – an independent national user controlled organisation, think tank and network. More here.

    Psychiatry: the perils of Psychiatric Diagnosis....

    Trauma, Somatic Experiencing and Peter A. Levine PhD

    Critical Perspectives on the Biomedical Model of Mental Distress: Causes or contributory factors