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Madness, distress and the politics of disablement$
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Helen Spandler, Helen Spandler, Jill Anderson, and Bob Sapey

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447314578

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447314578.001.0001

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date: 13 December 2017

The global politics of disablement: assuming impairment and erasing complexity

The global politics of disablement: assuming impairment and erasing complexity

Chapter:
(p.199) Fourteen The global politics of disablement: assuming impairment and erasing complexity
Source:
Madness, distress and the politics of disablement
Author(s):

China Mills

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447314578.003.0015

This chapter is about the discourse of mental health as ‘global’, and its situation within a wider global discourse of illness and disability. It argues that the distress caused by societal conditions and/or trauma, the impairment caused by psychiatric ‘treatment’, and impairments caused by conditions of inequality and by persistent poverty are often erased in global disability discourse. When we consider distress and impairment in contexts of poverty, it becomes important to understand the socio-political complexity within which all illness and impairments are embedded. Highlighting the social complexity of impairment and considering the entanglements of poverty and disability, this chapter argues that to increase overall wellbeing a global redistribution of power and resources may be more effective than increasing access to psychiatry and drugs.

Keywords:   global mental health, psychiatry, poverty, inequality, distress, impairment, redistribution

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