Cookie-Cutter Treatment Be Gone!

Providers often see people at their worst so they stereotype everyone and think no one can recover.

Yet our doctors and therapists can’t write the end of our stories before they’ve started.

A friend went to see a new shrink circa 2004 and told the guy, “I was the CEO of corporations before I retired.”

The doctor told him: “You shouldn’t invent a story about being a CEO to feel better about having schizophrenia.”

With “help” like that, how is anyone supposed to recover?

My experience was that I was shell-shocked because I was shunted into a community mental health system ill-equipped to help a young person with so much potential. I lost my voice, and my quiet nature was viewed as pathological.

If you are a provider who chances to read this blog entry, think of it this way before you stigmatize a person: they might be helped by being placed in a higher level group. Refrain from thinking about how this person can benefit the group and see how the group can benefit the person.

As soon as I realized that the community mental health system was the end of the line: I started to shout louder that I wanted to live on my own and obtain a full-time job.

I’ll end here by telling readers that if you have a goal you want to achieve: shout louder.

See how you can take action to achieve your goals. Research, research, research the kind of help available to you in this regard.

Remember: it’s 2015. Recovery is possible.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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