Mad Pride is a movement that celebrates "madness" in all of its forms. Mad Pride activists advocate for the right of every individual to experience and express the physical, cognitive, and emotional characteristics, traits, and phenomena that are pathologized as "mental illness," including but not limited to hearing voices, emotional distress, queerness, meltdown, panic attacks, self-harm, and suicidality. I often include autism acceptance as an important component of my Mad Pride presentations.
Cognitive liberty encompasses the right of each person to 1) alter their consciousness in whatever way they choose and 2) not have their consciousness altered against their will. Learn about how cognitive liberty advocates support a variety of movements including Mad Pride, fat acceptance, disability justice, drug users' rights, and religious freedom.
I currently serve as an editor at the critical psychiatry web magazine Mad in America, where I have worked with individuals in writing about their personal experiences with mental health treatment. I am experienced in providing training and consulting in writing and sharing your personal mental health story.
Every day, numerous individuals with psychiatric diagnoses are subjected to coercive mental health care including involuntary civil commitment, forced psychiatric drugging, electroshock therapy, involuntary outpatient commitment, and coercive behavior therapies. Coercive care is a form of violence that can be incredibly traumatic for victims and survivors.
My presentations often explore the role of coercive care in contributing to the marginalization of Mad and neurodivergent people as well as exacerbating distress. I am a victim of involuntary commitment myself, and my presentations often touch upon my personal experience with psychiatric coercion.
One important emerging approach to mental health is trauma-informed care. The basic principle of trauma-informed care is to ask not, "What's wrong with you?" but "What happened to you?" Trauma-informed care assumes that people in distress are having a natural reaction to a traumatic event.
Context-informed care takes this a step further, exploring all of the systemic factors that may be driving an individual to express distress, including familial, educational, workplace, and societal circumstances. Context-informed care places a special emphasis on power dynamics within each of these systems and the role of powerlessness in creating "madness."