Interview with Clare Christina on Examiner.ComSubmitted by Icarus Project on Wed, 05/19/2010 - 3:08pm
With the numbers of “diagnosable” mental illnesses being so high, it isn’t any wonder activists are questioning just how much sense these diagnoses make. Where is the line drawn between illnesses and gifts, between insanity and individuality?
The Icarus Project is a group of activists who live with “experiences that are commonly diagnosed and labeled as psychiatric conditions.” They envision and strive to create a culture that accepts their experiences rather than trying to drug them up to fit into “a conventional framework.” For them, their experiences are not “diseases” but rather “mad gifts needing cultivation and care.”
This grassroots network has plenty of online and print resources, as well as local support groups and campus groups across the U.S. and beyond. These groups “support alternatives to the medical model and acknowledge the traumatic legacy of psychiatric abuse.”
I spoke with Clare Christina, one of the organizers/facilitators of the NYC lcarus Project, which is a local autonomous group that is supported by the national Icarus collective. The group meets monthly for peer support and to collaborate on various artistic events and fundraisers.