Madness Radio: Patricia Deegan Personal Medicine


First Aired 9-12-2007

Longtime consumer-survivor movement leader and pioneer in recovery education Pat Deegan talks about her story surviving a schizophrenia diagnosis, empowered medication decisions, and her development of innovative assisstive technology. Check out www.patdeegan.com

I love Pat Deegan, and I love this interview. But I had a chance to look at the computer program she discusses here when the mhc was trying valiantly to show it to my son, and I'm disappointed.

We were taken a room with posters referring to "mental illness" on the walls. The examples used to demonstrate what kind of data to put into the program referred to medication ("I would like to find a medicine that allows me to do X." "I know that if I don't take my medication at bedtime, I won't think clearly the next day." These are paraphrased; the point is they were about medication.)

My son doesn't experience himself as having a mental illness, and he doesn't want to take medication at all. I know that he saw this program as just another tool to convince him he has to be on medication for life. He barely engaged with the man demonstrating it. He kept pacing around and leaving the room.

I've listened to this interview a number of times, and it really gets me jazzed. Dr. Deegan says that being labeled sz was not helpful to her and that the medications were disabling at times. It's disappointing to see how this program was presented to my son.

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