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date: 24 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses contemporary problems in the United States regarding mental illness. It introduces the concept of being epistemically adrift, a concept related to epistemic injustice, but in the sense that too many interdisciplinary disagreements about the nature and existence of mental illness prevents those living with them able to determine how to live flourishing lives. Examining the life-world informed by psychiatry, anti-psychiatry, and the criminal justice system/mass industrial prison complex through a phenomenological lens, we see that there are many confused notions of responsibility for those with mental illness, leaving them epistemically adrift and left to their own devices for navigating their own lives and health. The article concludes with a call for more open engagement with the lived experience of individuals in order to better understand how to live within mental disorder.

Keywords: mental illness, epistemic injustice, mass industrial prison complex, criminal justice, psychiatry, anti-psychiatry, phenomenology, life-world, lived experience

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