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VaticanBrackenJune2013
VaticanBrackenJune2013
VaticanBrackenJune2013
VaticanBrackenJune2013
VaticanBrackenJune2013
VaticanBrackenJune2013
VaticanBrackenJune2013
VaticanBrackenJune2013
VaticanBrackenJune2013
VaticanBrackenJune2013
VaticanBrackenJune2013
VaticanBrackenJune2013
VaticanBrackenJune2013
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VaticanBrackenJune2013

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This is Pat Bracken’s presentation from the Vatican conference about children and psychotropics. The bottom line to all of our presentations was that given the evidence regarding minimal benefit and …

This is Pat Bracken’s presentation from the Vatican conference about children and psychotropics. The bottom line to all of our presentations was that given the evidence regarding minimal benefit and substantial risk, psychosocial options should be first.

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  • 1. The Medicalisation ofEmotional DistressDr Pat BrackenVatican CityFriday 14thJune 2013
  • 2. The Medicalisation of EmotionalDistress The ‘medical model’ of sadness and distress Understanding distress in social, culturaland spiritual context Problems with medicalisation ‘De-medicalising distress’
  • 3. Medical Model Assumptions-emotional problems are best understood as diseases of thebrain-as such, they are universal-the same classification system works cross-culturally-the same treatments (antidepressants in the main) can beused-‘expertise’ developed in Western universities and researchcentres is relevant to communities around the world-indeed there is an urgent need to make this ‘expertise’available to people in the developing world
  • 4. Why is this popular? People do feel physically sick when they arevery sad Some benefits: physical, psychological, socialand economic Heavily promoted by Pharmaceutical industrythrough media and medical profession
  • 5. Problems with Medicalisation Ideology, not scientific Promotes dependency on professionals Shifts focus from the context/real origins ofemotional problems Undermines communal and spiritual sourcesof support Technicalisation of life renders usexistentially vulnerable
  • 6. Gannath Obeyesekere ‘The work of culture isthe process wherebypainful motives andaffects such as thoseoccurring in depressionare transformed intopublicly accepted setsof meanings andsymbols’
  • 7. Gannath Obeyesekere ‘My contention is that what is called depression in theWest is a painful series of affects pertaining to sorrowand is caused by a variety of antecedent conditions –genetic, sociocultural, and psychological. Theseaffects exist in Western society in a relatively freefloating manner: they are not anchored to an ideologyand are therefore identifiable and conducive tolabeling as illness. But this need not be the case inother societies where these affects do not exist free-floating but instead are intrinsically locked into largercultural and philosophical issues of existence andproblems of meaning’ (Obeyesekere, 1985)
  • 8. Peig Sayers ‘I remember well when I was trying to work while atthe same time the heart in my breast was broken bysorrow, that I’d turn my thoughts on Mary and on theLord, and on the life of hardship they endured. I knewthat it was my duty to imitate them and to bear mycross in patience. Often I’d take my little canvasssheet and face the hill for a small amount of turf andon the road home the weight on my heart would havelifted. God’s son and his glorious Mother are truefriends’ (Peig, Talbot Press, page, 211, translation byBryan MacMahon)
  • 9. Saint Anthony
  • 10. Resisting medicalisation Democratic imperative Stay open to the cultural, spiritual, existentialand communal dimensions of sadness, lossand distress Develop services that use local idioms andunderstandings Encourage critical reflection on the limitationsand risks of medical interventions

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