Such is the power of its hold over our way of understanding ourselves in recent years that if you look up the word in a dictionary of current usage you’ll need to take a long gaze to get beyond its most common usage – diagnosis in medical terms.
Yet, until not that long ago the word was actually quite useful, in disciplines involved in recognising and solving “problems”.
If instead of limiting our understanding of current usage we look to etymology – origins- of the word we find that it means…
to set apart from, in order to come to know…
in more common parlance to study.
Interesting how a word that has come to be so powerful is used to do just that – to separate and set aside a person from the rest: “the normals” – or more accurately those who have yet to have their unique human characterstics deemed “abnormal”, deficit, disorder.
Objectifying begins when we call them names, and have them come to call themselves by that name.
At the centre of every “mental health” “issue” is a human being [usually more than one] in pain, feeling powerless and disconnected.
Yet too often what we call “treatment” serves to objectify, isolate and render those already struggling yet more disconnected and yet more powerless.
A person’s struggle always makes sense in a broad-enough context.
Choosing to embrace the diversity of human experience enables us to explore meaning in midst of difficulty, and enables us to generate a range of ways we might support a person in finding their power, reconnecting and living a life worth living.
Its time we chose to stop the silly argument that put people in double bind no-win situation forcing them to choose between what we advocate and what someone else advocates – that serves o one well.
It’s time to open our minds, and open up our thinking and our language to create spaces in which people can be human, find their power, reconnect and make their own choices.
The first revolution comes when we choose to change the way we look at things.
Join us, change yours.