What place for human suffering in today’s civilisation?
Those of us who work with children/young people are confronted with a drive to protocolise, standardise and pathologise everyday life, with the consequent effects: the segregation of certain subjects and certain practices.
Children and young people are mainly the target of the evaluative arrow, establishing early and determinant diagnoses, which, as a sentence, bury children behind the violence of diagnostic labels, shaking the knowledge that parents elaborate, depriving them of their function, sweeping away family traditions, reducing the subjects/children to mere objects of intervention.
The emphasis placed on deficit, dysfunction and disability leads to the suppression of suffering and the pathologisation of childhood, inciting early certification, since carrying a diagnosis will enable access to the right to health, access to a right that sometimes behind the generous will of bureaucrats conceals other interests.
The ideal of adaptation and normativisation of speaking beings eliminates subjectivity and suffering, worthy modes of response that children/young people find to the discomfort that afflicts them. (2)
When we talk about mental health, do we take into account these singular ways of response that each one finds in the face of the malaise of the time, a unique and singular response? What place is given to the word and to the malaise?
For a child, as for any other subject, there will be no other normality/health than the mode of functioning that is specific to them. Addressing children/young people as subjects in their own right will allow them to find solutions to their problems one by one, thus restoring to them a fundamental right: the right to speak, to be recognised and respected as subjects in their uniqueness, without being trapped in protocols, disorders or deficits.