Street Psychiatrics and New Configurations of Madness
This chapter discusses how the women in the daily-rent hotels found themselves enmeshed in a complex web of addiction, mental health diagnoses, and housing instability in which specific forms of social recognition were in operation. In 1997, the disallowance of substance use dependence as a qualifying disabling health condition for SSI benefits spawned the development of a new disability economy. Despite widely accepted scientific evidence demonstrating the high frequency of mental illness and substance use disorder comorbidity, a new social actor, the “neurocrat,” was constructed to document mental health disorders in exception of substance use disorder for SSI applicants. As...