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Mad Pride is a mass movement of the users of mental health services, former users, and their allies.
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- Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.
- Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary (1911)
- Much Madness is divinest Sense -
- To a discerning Eye -
- Much Sense - the starkest Madness -
- ’Tis the Majority
- In this, as all, prevail -
- Assent - and you are sane -
- Demur - you’re straightway dangerous -
- And handled with a Chain.
- Emily Dickinson, "Much Madness is divinest sense"
- Augustine claimed that human beings had totally lost their capacity for free will as a result of Adam’s original sin. Their souls were severely damaged and they were totally dependent on external intervention for any possible hope of redemption. Augustine developed his interpretation at a time when Christianity unexpectedly attracted the “blessing” of imperial power. “By insisting that humanity, ravaged by sin, now lies helplessly in need of outside intervention, Augustine’s theory could not only validate secular power but justify as well the imposition of church authority—by force if necessary—as essential for human salvation.” The parallel with Institutional Mental Health is chilling. Whereas Institutional Christianity impressed upon individuals the sense that they were helplessly damaged as a result of original sin, Institutional Mental Health now impresses upon individuals that they are helplessly "mentally ill” as a result of “bad” child-rearing or “bad” genes.
- "Mad Pride" is the new twenty-first century rallying cry of three generations of radical ex-mental patients who refuse to genuflect before the altar of Psychiatry. ... The Mad Pride movement is not merely a movement for mental patients' rights. It is a movement about the right to be different.
- Seth Farber, The Spiritual Gift of Madness: The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement (2012), p. 1
- Diagnosing people as mad has more to do with social control than therapy. Many of those labeled as schizophrenic, bipolar, and other kinds of "mad" are not ill. ... They are seeing and feeling what is wrong with society and what needs to be done to change it.
- Seth Farber, The Spiritual Gift of Madness: The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement (2012), back matter