Foucault would have laughed. That is, at the flyer, and its politicization of mental healthcare. Proclaiming that we must be emancipated from psychiatry, it had a distinctly retro feel to it, harkening back, as it does, to the heyday of post-structuralism, on the one hand, and the era of Soviet mental hospitals, where dissidents were often confined, on the other. That the flyer was Italian, in a city known for its liberal politics, in 2013, is another story.
Mental health care, clearly, is in dire need of a new look. Not just because the subject has fallen out of fashion on the left, for whom Freudian psychoanalysis was once as important an intellectual current as Marxism. Rather, because it continues to play an enormous part in our lives. From self-help culture, to prescription drugs, we often forget how important the influence of psychoanalysis is. Much, as this flyer would argue, to our detriment.
FREE OURSELVES FROM PSYCHIATRY
MADMEN TO BE UNTIED
The anti-psychiatric collective “Francesco Mastrogiovanni” was created because in (Italy) there are men and women not free to decide whether to take drugs or not, (and who are ) not free to choose a therapy. Men and women are taken against their will and locked in a psychiatric ward, filled with psychiatric medications and often tied to their beds. Prisoners, who cannot use language, because the words of people in a ward are alienated. In every way. Words without meaning, words deprived of meaning because (the person) who speaks is not reasonable. Not reasonable because reason is outside the psychiatric ward, because reason belongs only to the power that imprisons, that ties, with chemical and cotton ropes.
Mental hospitals have been the social dumps for incompatible people, those that could not be prosecuted under law, but are too odd for the society in which they live, incapable of carrying out their assigned task.
The end of criminal insanity represented by the mental hospital was not the end of insanity itself, as a category/chain to be used against who doesn’t live their lives with ease.
An unease that would be stupid to deny, but that is criminal to imprison.
Nonetheless, it’s what happens in this country with TSO, the compulsory medical treatments [Trattamento Sanitario Obbligatorio.] The mark of insanity makes normal what normal is not. Who is insane is “out.” Out of his mind, out of human assembly, out of the rules that basically protect physical integrity and freedom.
To defeat the prejudice about psychiatry, we need information, as well as direct action, against abuses.
We don’t want to tell people how to live. We are not doctors, nor jurists. We are just people willing to offer support to psychiatry victims, to those who don’t want to take medicines, to those who are hospitalized, tied, drugged against their will.
We have created an anti-psychiatric telephone service for those who are caught in psychiatry’s web, and want to be released.
The service has an answering machine, which works every day. Once a week, on Tuesday from 7 pm to 9 pm, we answer directly.
The number is: 328 7623642.
The telephone service is self-managed and self-financed.
The meetings of the anti-psychiatric collective “Francesco Mastrogiovanni” are held every Tuesday at 9pm in Corso Palermo 46.
FRIDAY 15TH OF FEBRUARY CORSO PALERMO 46, 20 PM – VIDEO ABOUT LEGAL PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS
FUNDRAISING BUFFET MEAL FOR PSYCHIATRIC TELEPHONE SERVICE
PRESENTATION OF COLLECTIVE “FRANCESCO MASTROGIOVANNI”
Translated from the Italian, by Giulia Pace. Introduction and photograph courtesy of Joel Schalit.