Summary And Reflection Of Agnes's Jacket

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A Review and Reflection of Agnes’s Jacket by Gail Hornstein Evan Watters (2010), in his article, ‘The Americanization of Mental Illness’, describes how USA has exported mental illness to the world, he calls it "homogenizing the way the world goes mad” (para.1). Coupled with the constant expansion of the DSM and its diagnostic classifications, the pharmaceutical companies and the medicalization of psychiatry around the world, has greatly impacted how we approach mental health/ illness and its treatment. In Agnes’s Jacket, Psychologist Gail Hornstein sets out on a quest to (as her title states) search for the meaning of madness. After reading Agnes’s Jacket helped me to realize the huge disjuncture between what I thought I was getting into with …show more content…
Symptoms are sometimes expressed differently and mental health professionals therefore will diagnose differently, even on a cultural basis. But Hornstein stresses the point that there are alternatives to the medical model, including peer support groups like the Hearing Voices Network (UK) and Freedom Center (USA), which prove to be far more beneficial to mental health patients. There is a belief that mental illnesses are all incurable brain diseases that can only be managed with heavy drug doses. She warns that not every life problem is medical and therefore does not need to be treated with drugs. Before reading Agnes’s Jacket, I always assumed that the pills that are prescribed actually helped the patients and out of naivety I neglected the myriad of possible side effects. Helen, whom Hornstein met at a psychiatric survivor group meeting, described that the medication never really worked for her, however she did admit, the voices seemed to be more muffled. In fact, Hornstein met several other people who managed to live with schizophrenia without medical treatment and in some ways managed to keep their symptoms under control much better than those who sought treatment. Therefore, the medicalization of their problems prove to be a greater disadvantage to patients than do

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