Can ‘Mad Maps’ Offer Patients a Way to Take Charge of Their Psychiatric Care?

This is a perspective that is difficult to obtain and a battle no one wants to fight on either side.

 

Longreads

Like advanced directives for the dying, DuBrul explained, mad maps allow psychiatric patients to outline what they’d like their care to look like in future mental health crises. The logic is: If a person can define health, while healthy, and differentiate health from crisis, that person can shape his or her own care. The maps are not intended to be rejections of psychiatry, though they could be that. The maps are designed to force patients and family members to plan ahead—to treat a relapse as possible or even likely—in order to avoid, or at least minimize, future mistakes.

When Jonas was 16 months old, Giulia and I put a bottle of anti-psychotics in our medicine cabinet, just in case. This might seem reasonable, but it was silly. We hadn’t yet heard of mad maps, so we’d never discussed what a situation would have to look like for Giulia to take…

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