Carry on

Letters to the Boston Phoenix editors, November 18, 2011
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  November 16, 2011

voicesletter

I wanted to tell you how much I admired your cover article in the October 21 Boston Phoenix ("Voices Carry"). It's one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, and compassionate pieces on mental illness I've read in a long time.

I'm a medical resident with no personal history of psych issues (beyond the obvious standard it takes to get this far in medicine), but a longstanding interest in anti-psychiatry and interrogating/opposing the dominant model of mental illness, its diagnosis, and treatment. I hadn't known about the Hearing Voices Network, and was really moved to read about it. Your analysis of the current, intrinsically contradictory state of thought about the nature/causes of mental illness is dead on, and your presentation of Marty manages to be both unflinchingly candid and empowering without either fetishizing or sanctifying her. It's really an excellent piece of work.

I heard a few years ago about a nascent movement in the UK (they're so far ahead of us!) that applied harm-reduction theory to self-harm behaviors like cutting, and your article reminded me of it. I've always meant to chase it down; it's such a splendid and radical application of an already-amazing model.

Congratulations on a beautifully written intervention.

JESSE SOODALTER
PROVIDENCE, RI

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