Mental health and the neurodiversity paradigm

When considering the landscape of mental health, we also have to consider the normalisation of stigma and the dehumanisation of those who are struggling. Since the advent of psychiatric medicine, mental health concerns have been described in pathological language. What if we used the language of the neurodiversity paradigm? How would it impact the wellbeingContinue reading “Mental health and the neurodiversity paradigm”

How the shame cycle barricades us from recovery

They say in life that nothing is certain, but if anything is, then it’s the fact that shame will deny us entry into recovery. I’m going to consider this from the perspective of addiction recovery, although it applies to recovery from any psychological trauma. I merely choose addiction recovery for this article because it makesContinue reading “How the shame cycle barricades us from recovery”

Addiction advocacy and the inspiration paradox: A reflection at 6 years sober

Today I am 6 years sober from addiction. During those six years I have learnt many lessons, but in this reflection I would like to consider something that has played on my mind for the past three years of my advocacy work. Inspiration. While not overtly a bad thing, it is often misused to infantiliseContinue reading “Addiction advocacy and the inspiration paradox: A reflection at 6 years sober”

“Just get your sh*t together” and other ridiculous things I have thought

Life is full of ups and downs. My passion in life is helping people climb back from the “downs” into “ups” that often seem impossible at the time. In order to do this, I had to go through a personal hell and walk out the other side. People often tell me how inspiring I am,Continue reading ““Just get your sh*t together” and other ridiculous things I have thought”

Autistic people, substance use, and vulnerability to exploitation and county lines

This article was co-authored by David Gray-Hammond and Katie Munday Trigger warnings: This article discusses gaslighting, trauma, criminal exploitation (on various topics including sexual exploitation), substance use, mental health, cuckooing, county lines. Due to the extensive trauma that we experience as Autistics in our formative years, many of us find ourselves seeking connections with otherContinue reading “Autistic people, substance use, and vulnerability to exploitation and county lines”

Creating Autistic Suffering: Neuronormativity in mental health treatment

This article was co-authored between David Gray-Hammond and Tanya Adkin Trigger Warning: This article contains mentions of systemic mistreatment in the mental health setting, traumatisation, references to pathologizing theories and language, mention of cultural ignorance, and discussion of mental health conditions inlcuding cluster B diagnosis and misdiagnosis. It seems to be common knowledge in theContinue reading “Creating Autistic Suffering: Neuronormativity in mental health treatment”

Creating Autistic Suffering: Ableism and discrimination

This article was co-authored between David Gray-Hammond and Tanya Adkin Trigger Warning: This article contains discussion and examples of ableism and discrimination against Autistic and disabled people. Mentions the R-Slur. When you’re first confronted with the word “ableism”, it seems a bit abstract and unreal. This is because it is so ingrained into our societyContinue reading “Creating Autistic Suffering: Ableism and discrimination”

Creating Autistic suffering: Failures in identification

This article was co-authored between David Gray-Hammond and Tanya Adkin Trigger Warning: This article contains discussion of systemic abuse and trauma inflicted by professionals. Some of the research cited contains person-first language and other problematic or ableist language. There is also discussion of sexism and racism. The first part of this series looked at theContinue reading “Creating Autistic suffering: Failures in identification”

Creating Autistic suffering: In the beginning there was trauma

This article was co-authored between David Gray-Hammond and Tanya Adkin Trigger Warning: Some of the research quoted in this article contains person-first language or references to aspergers. While the authors do not agree with the use of such language, we must access the research and statistics available to us. We are also aware that someContinue reading “Creating Autistic suffering: In the beginning there was trauma”

What is psychosis and how can I recognise it?

There are many myths about psychosis. Chief among them that those of us who experience it are dangerous individuals. While there are predictors of violence towards others in psychosis (such as co-occuring substance use), generally those experiencing psychosis are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. As Autistic people, or parents of AutisticContinue reading “What is psychosis and how can I recognise it?”