'The Sickness Label Infected
Everything we Said'
Lesbian and Gay Perspectives
on Mental Distress
Thus psychiatry has its own blind spot. It may see only one dimension of the
doctor–patient dialectic: the disease or demon within the sufferer. What
patients' narratives particularly highlight are the demons without, amongst
which the madhouse-keeping psychiatrist himself, his techniques and his
milieux, may well all too readily figure as the final instance.
Roy Porter (1999)
Mental health professionals in Britain should be aware of the mistakes of the
past. Only in that way can we prevent future excesses and heal the gulf
between gay and lesbian patients and their psychiatrists.
King and Bartlett (1999)
In this chapter I present an account based on several sources of knowledge, one of which is lived experience. By presenting what I call a 'personal case study' alongside historical accounts and recent research, I hope to humanise the issues being discussed, partly to counter the dehumanisation that comes with being pathologised. However, this 'case study' involves the practice rather than the patient coming under scrutiny, with the patient observing and