On Access Intimacy and Mental Health

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For many years I, and so many others I know, have resisted identifying as disabled for very good reasons. If you believe your distress is largely a result of family trauma and/or capitalism, racism, and other forms of structural violence, why would you identify as disabled? If you frame your distress as a form of spiritual or existential crisis, why would you use the word disabled? If you believe we all have the capacity for full recovery, or nothing was ever wrong in the first place, why would you identify as disabled?

 

For me, the reason is to be part of an amazing and supportive community with revolutionary politics that include an emphasis on creating communities of care. To be part of a group with a long history of organizing for liberation and human rights. Identifying as disabled also allows me to acknowledge the recurrent and sometimes severe nature of my struggles, and to seek structural changes that wouldn’t make it so hard to be in this world. Instead of trying to assimilate and “pass” as normal, it is so much more helpful for me to think about how to get support and get access needs met.

New Alternative DSM Zine out from Icarus member unraveled

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I am proud to announce the long awaited release of the zine “Depictions of Self-Identified Madness: A Visionary Alternative to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”. The zine is a collection of over thirteen self portraits created by individuals who self identify as having madness, mental health issues, or as being a psychiatric survivors. Accompanying their self portraits are their responses to questions about their experiences.

(A small group of) friends make the best medicine

For the past few months, myself and a few NYC Icaristas have been quietly conducting an experiment around alternatives for running peer-support groups according to the model suggested by Friends Make the Best Medicine. Four of us have been meeting regularly, as a part of a closed group of committed participants, according to a model that I am proposing to call "Icarus Cells".

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