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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 Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447314578.001.0001

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Psycho-emotional disablism in the lives of people experiencing mental distress

Psycho-emotional disablism in the lives of people experiencing mental distress

Chapter:
(p.99) Seven Psycho-emotional disablism in the lives of people experiencing mental distress
Source:
Madness, distress and the politics of disablement
Author(s):

Donna Reeve

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447314578.003.0008

The traditional social model of disability focuses on the public, structural barriers faced by disabled people and has been criticised as having little relevance for those people experiencing mental distress. However, this group of disabled people do experience psycho-emotional disablism in the form of disablist hate crime and prejudiced attitudes from others. Using this as a starting point, this chapter adopts an extended social relational definition of disablism (Thomas, 2007) to show the interconnections between mental distress, disablism and impairment and considers how they are mediated by structural disablism, psycho-emotional disablism, and the psycho-emotional effects of impairment. A three-fold model is proposed which recognises: mental distress as a diverse way of ‘being’ rather than pathology; the disabling consequences of living with prejudice and stigma; the ‘stickiness’ of impairment within accounts of living with mental distress; and the experience of people living with mental distress and other forms of impairment.

Keywords:   impairment, mental distress, prejudice, psycho-emotional disablism, psycho-emotional effects of impairment, social model of disability, structural disablism

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