ISSN: 1230-2813
Advances in Psychiatry and Neurology/Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii
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vol. 26

Shared voice

Andrzej Cechnicki
Dorota Dużyk-Wypich

Adv Psychiatry Neurol 2017; 26 (4): 203-205
Online publish date: 2017/12/28
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Life is not a play, as it might seem,
but since we are invited – we should dance.

Brett Butler

Yes, we need to dance… People who faced mental crisis encounter some problems when it comes to dance. We are simply scared that we can’t dance. We are afraid of dancing in public during a great party called life. We undergo the therapy and slowly move forward. First clumsily, bumping and faltering, then in a little more courageous way, though carefully and a little stiffly. Over the time, dance may be more and more pleasant. We sway, whirl across the stage and improvize, being happy about that. Eventually, we invite others to dance and live life to the fullest.
So, we invited people from associations that unite people suffering from mental illness in Poland and this is how the Academy of Leaders was established. Its name might be intimidating, but it emphasises the importance of activities for the benefit of sufferers. We meet each other and try to do something together to share our joy from dance with others, or at least give them hope that they can participate in dance. Now we would like to invite those who are outside our country. Meet us and read our stories. Perhaps you will find some resemblance to your experiences or it will be something completely different.
We published a book about our struggle. More than one book. We show our faces, even though they still did not release from stereotypes about the mentally ill. We faced difficult problems during treatment, including the terrifying state of certain mental hospitals and inappropriate therapy. However, we met highly dedicated therapeutists, right people in the right place, because psychiatry means people. They struggle with those who decide about treatment, and strive to obtain better conditions. This is why the First Mental Health Congress was held in Warsaw – health, as we call it, because it is health, not disease, that we want to reach. We know that healing is feasible, all you need is good advice.
Actually, I could see the therapeutists dancing softly on therapeutic camps, literally. We organized evening dance parties and it was so nice to see how much fun doctors and nurses have. I was charmed with joyful gambols of a certain doctor and I desired to do what he did. At the very beginning, I was sure it’s not possible, that I’m not able to do that. This is only for therapeutists who have no complexes… Years have passed… and actually I...

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