It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May.It complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Father's Day, Siblings Day, and Grandparents Day.Over the last 40 years as a dissident therapist and activist, I’ve known many people who were so negatively impacted by their subjective experience of receiving and indefinitely enduring a psychiatric diagnosis that I’ve come to see such dehumanizing labeling as the infliction of what amounts to a medical curse.
Her psychiatrist told her: “The idea you’re having about writing a book someday is a grandiose delusion, it’s a symptom of your mental illness!
” My friend asked me, “Do you think her saying that so long ago is possibly still holding me back, Michael?
I remember that awful sinking feeling of hearing her tell me it was only a grandiose delusion of my illness every time I’ve started to write my book, and it always seems to somehow make me quit trying to write it.” I replied, “She cursed you.” My friend’s eyes got big and her jaw dropped as she asked, “What did you say? I believe she gave you what amounts to a medical curse from her position on high of power over you, and from her total belief that only she knew the truth about your capabilities.
She believed you must be grandiose, given how she saw you as forever being impaired and mentally ill because of the diagnosis she’d given you.” My friend then softly cried as she shook her head and said again and again, “She did curse me.
Many people struggle for decades or actually succumb and take their own lives because of the emotional pain and corrosive weight of their experience of being so unequivocally labeled.
Their psychiatric label is objectively and powerfully reinforced by the injurious psychiatric treatments that accompany and always follow the officially decreed label.Part of the distortion, confusion and mystification of experience that RD Laing described, that happens when we are caught in a bind by receiving two contradictory mega messages about ourselves from others, helps to create the murky aura of a medical curse when we are labeled.This untenable double bind takes place when in essence we are told, with kindness: “I am a medical professional that only has your best interest at heart, just like all the many doctors, nurses, and healthcare staff you’ve been helped by since you were a baby and small child.Tragically, their grossly untrue views about us, that they impose on us, can become as destructively powerful as if they have cursed us.It would be much better, because we could then understand it, if the medical curse was given with them snarling in fury and condemnation rather than being given from their placid, professional faces — faces that often, unbeknownst to themselves and usually not known to us, are expressing friendly fascism.But over and over I’ve seen the aftermath of that powerful ritual of receiving and internalizing a lifelong, pathologizing diagnosis.