Recovery from mental disorders, lecture by Pat Deegan

Patricia Deegan PhD is a psychologist and researcher. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teeenager. For years, Patricia has worked with people with mental disorders in various ways, to help them get better and lead rewarding lives.

This film features clips from a lecture by Patricia Deegan on the subject of her own route to recovery. She describes how her diagnosis took on ‘a master status in terms of her identity’. Her humanity seemed to others ‘to be quite secondary.’

‘He had read a generic text book and simply applied it to the case in font of him. Schizophrenics don’t recover, Pat Deegan won’t recover. It was that simple…’

‘…And then I remember having a thought. And I had never had that thought before, but the thought came to me, “I am going to become Dr Pat Deegan and change the mental health system so that no one ever gets hurt in it again.’

What do you think her psychiatrist had to say?


  1. I was 29 – already a medical doctor when I was diagnosed. I faced stigma, discrimination and complete collapse of my career. I spent ten years in and out of mental health hospitals until I decided that recovery was and is in my own hands. I stopped drinking, ate a healthy diet based on fresh veggies etc and exercised regularly

    I have written a book – Moodmapping about my own recovery and continue to research the impact of physical illnesses and poor health on mental wellbeing

    Well done Pat – and as you well know, you are the tip of the spear, rather than a single arrow. There is an army of people following you 😉

    Love and hugs

    • David Clark says:

      Thanks for your comment Liz and lovely to hear from you. Will check out your book and website. Yes, Pat is the tip of a spear, but there are also so many recovery advocates out there – like yourself- doing great things. Please keep in touch. My best, David

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