Dolly Sen is screwing light bulbs into the sky, illuminating a way through a particular kind of darkness that is uniquely personal and yet familiar and tangible to those who have found themselves in similar situations, such as when that bleak fug descends on the mind, casting long shadows on the sunniest of days or some childhood trauma, that arrives unannounced in full flow to darken your day and celebrate its own anniversary. Such is the territory that Dolly ventures through, Dolly is mad, she is angry and burning bright. Dolly has written a book , its like a manifesto, or a guide book or maybe both . You may not be planning a summer vacation in your own dark disturbing labyrinths deep within but should you end up there , this may well be a good book to accompany your journey.
Dolly is also an artist , perhaps the best kind of artist, why ? Perhaps because she cant be pigeon holed, a writer, film maker, activist, speaker and visual creator and she is reassuringly off brand. Her latest book DSM 69 has just been published, its a handbook of just over a 100 pages of wit, rage and wisdom taking a subversive look at psychiatry, using art, words and mischief and its guaranteed to get you thinking. Bunny Shepard
As Dolly states
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of MentalDisorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, is supposed to be book on the classification of mental disorders, but reads more like an Argos catalogue, where you may or may not get what you ordered, handed to you in boxes by people who don’t know you, and are just waiting for the next person in line to be a bastard to. The only difference is there is no warranty when they break your soul.
I guess you can say I have no time for it. My own experience highlights the common experience that the DSM is at best a system of low scientific reliability and at worse a label-maker that promises you impersonal unbearable hell on top of very personal unbearable hell. The disorder is not within the person; it is psychiatry itself.
The DSM is a diagnostic tool that aims to pathologise all things human. For example, grief is part of being human; it is not a mental illness. The human condition is not a mental health condition.
I have been brutalised by psychiatry, and sadly I am not the only one. Those who have not gone through the mental health system have little idea of its abusive nature. The few decent people who work in the system sadly cannot subtract from the damage done.
This book is a Dolly Sen Manual (DSM) of Psychiatric Disorder, to show by subverting or parodying the form you can the change the position of power to show how disturbing and fundamentally flawed psychiatric authority can be. And maybe that madness can make perfect sense.
Dolly’s book is available via http://www.eleusinianpress.co.uk/dsm69-by-dolly-sens-manual-of-psychiatric-disorder/
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