Taking away the power of psychiatry? How naive, some of you say. It can never happen. Anyway, some others say, why would we even want to do that? This comes especially from those who have been appointed by the psychiatric establishment to be our leaders, some of whom imagine themselves as becoming the leaders of psychiatry themselves.. And some people who I greatly respect say we should just focus on creating alternatives to the present system. I think that’s great, but what makes such people think that psychiatry, and the drug companies behind it, are going to allow these alternatives to replace the present system? Those who benefit from the way things are now won’t give up their money and power without a huge fight. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not being realistic.
THINKING CLEARLY ABOUT OUR SITUATION
Before going further, I urge my readers to have a look at Jim Gottstein’s recent excellent clear-eyed look at our movement and where it stands in the context of American politics right now.
Yes, we have little power or credibility right now, but we can change that. All movements for human rights and social justice in this country started out with little power. The movement for the rights of black people took almost four hundred years to get to the point where it is today, where we have elected an African-American president, something I and most people never thought they would see in their lifetimes.
I am old enough to have been involved in the civil rights movement of the Sixties. I remember how it inspired millions of young people like me. And the movements for liberation, including ours, that followed it were inspired by that movement too.
But our movement was almost destroyed by the federal mental illness system and its bribes. Now we are starting to revive, but the militancy of the civil rights movement is not there right now to inspire us, though of course black people still have a long way to go to reach their rightful place in American society. For most of the people reading this, the civil rights movement is part of ancient history. But there is much to learn from history, and I think it’s very important to study what other oppressed people have done.
Another group whose struggle we ought to look at is the movement of gay people. I think their situation is similar to ours in many ways. They can hide who they are, and most of them did for many years. Almost ALL of the thirty million or so people in this country who have been inmates of psych wards are still in the closet, a situation we ought to be trying to change.
But let’s look at what gay people have accomplished. Like us, they were treated with contempt. “Faggots” and “pansies” could expect terrible treatment from the media and most ordinary people.. Their gathering places were frequently raided by the police for no other reason than that they were gay. So what did they do?
They didn’t talk about such nonsense as “stigma,” which sounds as if the reason for bigotry against us is some quality we have. No, they came right out and threw the names they were called right back in the faces of the bigots. “We’re here and we’re queer! Get used to it!” They didn’t beg to be treated with respect, they demanded it. And it worked. We can do the same, with the same tactics.
I should note here that the campaigns against so-called “stigma” by groups like NAMI, when studied, showed that they actually made public attitudes toward us even worse. Of course they did. Like all other groups, we have to demand respect, and speak for ourselves.
THE BASIS OF PSYCHIATRIC POWER
At bottom, psychiatric power is based on what is essentially a religious faith in psychiatry. People believe in the “miracles” of psychiatry in spite of the complete lack of factual basis for these beliefs. Doesn’t sound easy to break that delusional faith, does it? No, it won’t be. But we have to try.
The fact is that there are a number of pressure points where those of us who want something better than a kinder, gentler, and still destructive psychiatric cult can exert some influence.
I hope those of us who really want to change things, both people like me who have suffered at the hands of the Church of Psychiatry, and our sincere allies, will start discussing strategy from the perspective of taking away psychiatry’s power.
PREPARING OURSELVES FOR THIS FIGHT
Before I talk about some possible ways we can start our enormous task, I think it’s important to think about what might hold us back.
First, of course, is to completely detach ourselves from the fake movement that SAMHSA has created. It has led, and was intended to lead, to an attitude that we can make progress by being incorporated into the system we should be fighting. Those who have bought this (and those who have been bought) tell us that we should mainly talk to the system, not to the general public. But talking to the general public is exactly what we must do to make any real changes. In a democratic country, it is the power of public opinion, not the power of mental illness bureaucrats, that should control public policy.
A few “leaders” who have been appointed by SAMHSA have benefited greatly from the present situation. But the great majority of people who have been sucked into this fake government-controlled “movement” are sincere folks who don’t see any alternatives. They hear talk about “recovery” and “peer support” (perfectly good concepts) and they are conned into believing that this is all we can expect. Of course, as long as psychiatry maintains its power, “recovery” will mean compliantly taking one’s drugs, and “peer support” will mean supplying the system with cheap labor.
I think we can reach the people who have been fooled by the system by showing them that we can really fight back and accomplish something. Recruit them into our actions. Point out to them what’s wrong with becoming part of the system. As for the government-appointed “leaders,” we should ignore them as much as we can. We can’t stop their betrayal of our movement, but we should stop taking them seriously.
We should try to make our movement into a supportive and caring culture. The Icarus Project has tried to do this, and I think it’s important to look at their successes and their ideas. We have a hard job ahead of us. It can certainly be draining and scary–it has been that way for me. So we need to spend some energy on mutual support, and on ways we can help one another overcome the alienation and broken self-esteem our psychiatric experiences have imposed on us. If our groups include real support for people, not just political activism, we will be able to accomplish much more. There is no reason we can’t do this if we decide that it’s really important, and it is.
I also want to say, and I know this will sound simple-minded, that we really have to believe in our cause ourselves. We have been attacked and damaged by one of the most evil institutions in this society. But sometimes people seem to trivialize this. Calling ourselves “consumers” is an example of this. Was Anne Frank a “consumer” of Nazi brutality? Was Frederick Douglass a “consumer” of slavery? Was I a six-year-old “consumer” of shock treatment and rape?
Our movement is about something more important than which brand of cornflakes to buy.
Again, there are many people who know they have been abused, and are rightfully angry about it, but use the word “consumer” because that’s what everyone around them says. But it is the mental illness system who wants us to describe ourselves this way. They know the power of language, and we should pay attention to the meaning and power of language as well.
NOW, SOME POSSIBLE TARGETS
We are not at the stage of our movement where we would have been if the federal mental “health” system had not disrupted our progress. Unlike, say, the gay movement, which started almost the same time as us, we can’t yet mobilize thousands of people at a time. We can’t effectively confront SAMHSA directly, and our demonstrations against the APA, while a good thing to do, can’t be large enough to create the kind of disruption for them that would force immediate change. But there are softer targets, institutions and groups that support the system that would be vulnerable to the amount of pressure we could realistically create.
One is NPR, National Pharmaceutical Radio. For years, they featured Frederick Goodwin, a leader of his profession, who once famously called inner-city demonstrators “monkeys” who should be the target of a massive drugging campaign. Even NPR had to get rid of him when the millions of dollars of drug company money he had received came out into the open. This was in spite of the fact that NPR itself had taken millions of dollars of drug company money and as far as I know still takes it.
Another regular guest on NPR is our friend E. Fuller Torrey, who as we all know wants to lock us all up and drug us with no legal recourse.
But I don’t know of even one instance where NPR has invited one of us, the people who are affected by psychiatric abuse, to present our case.
NPR is an example of the liberal establishment that consistently denies our humanity, while holding itself out as an arbiter of morality and social justice. Because of this pose, their dependence on listener contributions, and the strange attitude of the right that sees NPR as some kind of radical group. NPR would be very vulnerable to pressure put on it from our movement. Hypocrites like this could be very embarrassed by people like us exposing them for what they are. Their listeners and other funders might think twice before funding them further.
And while normally, at least in the past, demonstrations and campaigns against media outlets were not effective because, as one would expect, other media would not cover them, the times have changed. There are a lot of radio and television outlets and commentators now who would welcome the chance to expose NPR. I am not saying we could have one demonstration and they would cave. It might take a while, but this is a campaign we could win. And what we could accomplish with this is more exposure for our ideas and people on NPR, and even before we would win this, I think our campaign would get a lot of coverage.
A couple of other similar groups, establishment liberals who treat us like dirt, would also be good targets. The American Civil Liberties Union, as Jim Gottstein has shown, treats our oppression as not worthy of their attention, and us as non-persons. Just like NPR, they have a reputation to uphold as saintly progressives, though in fact their treatment of our issues is disgraceful. Again, they would be very vulnerable to being exposed as the hypocrites they are, and I think many of the people who contribute to them would be sympathetic to our issues (and stop contributing) if we brought them to their attention.
The various state Protection and Advocacy programs are yet another institution that claims to be our advocates, but in most states just take the funding and use it to build bureaucratic empires. The reason they got this money, many millions from the federal government, was that our movement had started to bring the violations of our rights to the public’s attention. The P&A’s just grabbed the money and ran. This money should be ours.
I can hear some of my readers now saying something like,”Oh, they are our allies. We shouldn’t attack our allies.” But in fact, in practice, they really aren’t our allies. They’re part of the problem, not part of the solution. The government has given them a lot of money to protect our rights, but in most states they only pay lip service to that. A pressure campaign against them would either force them to do what they should do, or even better, have their funds taken away and given to people who would really do the job.
There are a couple of important issues I don’t think we are pushing as hard as we can. One is the outrageous crimes against humanity committed by Dr. Joseph Biederman and his colleagues. To the credit of our allies among progressive mental health professionals, I see this issue brought up a lot by them.. But I see very little about this being mentioned by psych survivor groups. Hundreds of thousands, maybe as many as a million children, are being diagnosed with the childhood bipolar label invented by Doctor Biederman, some just being labeled, others whose brains have lost the ability to regulate their moods because of earlier drugging with SSRI’s and amphetamines, but all heavily drugged and their lives ruined.
Biederman was revealed by Senator Grassley of Iowa, hardly a radical, as having taken millions of dollars from psychiatric drug companies in return for promoting their drugs. In one instance, he was caught telling Johnson and Johnson that, in return for a large contribution to his Harvard-based research institute, he would provide fake research that would show the benefits of using Risperdal on children. Harvard’s response to this was a slap on the wrist.
We should make Doctor Biederman the poster boy for American psychiatry, because in fact he really does perfectly represent the moral depravity of the psychiatric profession. The public often tends to ignore horrors perpetrated on adults, but when they hear about children being abused, they get very upset. When we won the vote to ban shock treatment in Berkeley, I think part of the reason was that people got especially upset that I, as the spokesperson for the campaign, was shocked as a child. If I had been an adult victim, I don’t think people would have been so upset and concerned.
Yet another aspect of psychiatry’s outrages, the latest edition of the DSM, has of course been widely publicized. The furor has died down to some degree, but the fact is that the new DSM is scheduled to go into effect just as the APA has its next convention next May in San Francisco. Yes, there has been a lot of publicity, but I think we need to emphasize more that the new DSM would label as “mentally ill” something like 80% of the population. The public needs to realize that the horrors of psychiatry could be unleashed on almost everyone, not just on some tiny group of weird people wandering the streets talking to themselves and ready to kill people.
No, the fact is that most people can become labeled and victimized by psychiatry. This is an important idea that we need to concentrate on. When people realize that they too are at risk, they will become ready to stop what psychiatry is doing.
Of course there are many other tactics and targets we can look at. Demonstrations against local abusive institutions are always relevant. Bringing speakers to your town like Bob Whitaker, Peter Breggin, Bruce Levine, or many others is a good idea too.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers. No one has. I am sure others will have more ideas and better ones. But I hope my imperfect and tentative effort here will lead to the kind of tactical and strategic thinking we must do if we are to defeat the people who want to lock us up and drug us and ruin our lives.
It won’t be easy to do this, but we have to try. We owe it to the tens of millions of people, the millions of children, who we should do all we can to protect.
And we owe it to ourselves.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.
As Paula Caplan’s excellent recent post in MIA points out, the basis of psychiatry’s power is the ability to diagnose – and to create those diagnoses out of whole cloth, publish the book thta defines them, and make a lot of money from selling the product. Paula pointed out thta the American Psychiatric Association holds all this power and is an unregulated monopoly which both defines and creates the “problem,” then profits from it.
Well, I don’t think that is the ONLY basis for their power. Actually, these diagnoses would not be paid attention to if psychiatry didn’t already have its cultlike status. But I think these very labels can be used against them, since ultimately, they are nonsense, dangerous nonsense, and people like Paula are doing a good job of showing that. I haven’t read her post yet, but I am sure it is up to her usual high standards. MIA is getting more and more interesting.
If people weren’t given diagnoses, there would be no basis (and, most importantly, no payment) for the rest of the things that are done to them in the name of psychiatry.
Med-school third raters who passed up their opportunity to become real doctors, aren’t worth of even uttering the word “diagnosis” and being taken seriously. You don’t get to bandy about the word “diagnosis” and not be laughed out of town unless you’ve seen inside a human body since med-school.
A piece of work who sits opposite on the other side of a desk from distressed humans and pulls out a copyrighted label bible, ticks off a checklist, and slaps a label on a kid or an adult, deserves to be laughed out of the medical profession.
But their social control function is useful so we keep them around.
If they didn’t destroy so many lives, and have so much scary legal power, you’d almost have to pity them.
Those who are waiting for liberal groups such as NPR and the ACLU are in for a long, LONG wait. Liberal groups are the problem not the solution!
Libertarian thought is what is needed here, people and groups that respect the Constituion of the United States, especially the 8th and 14th amendments.
Demanding, not asking.
DEMANDING that Constitutional rights are upheld – not “special” rights or “special” (mental health) courts, or “special” hospitalizations (imprisonmnents).
Due process of law.
EQUAL protection under the law (not “special” treatment), with LESS than equal protection.
A federal law.
Yes, this WILL take an Act of Congress.
And I will spare readers the re-posting the vision on how to get this done.
If y’all ever REALLY get serious about getting a federal bill drafted, lobbied, passed in both houses, signed into law…give me a call. There are plenty of folks who kmow how to get in touch.
Anything less than a federal law is asking “pretty-please”… And I don’t have the time to waste.
I agree – the civil liberties groups don’t seem to understand that those of us with psychiatric histories deserve rights protection. Judi Chamberlin once told me she was aksed to interview the world-reknowned human rights activist Noam Chomsky about human rights and psychiatry, and he told her it wasn’t a human rights issue, it was a medical issue.
Noam Chomsky doesn’t see us as human then.
And circumcision, forced organ harvesting in the third world, the Nazi doctors, North Korean and Imperial Japanese medical experimentation, are nothing but “medical issues” containing no human rights element either.
Before you go any further attacking Noam Chomsky, I think it would be prudent of you to consider the significance of psychiatry being a ‘medical speciality’, then look at what that means in our society. So long as psychiatry IS perceived as a valid practice of medicine, the scrutiny of its practices and models of treatment are not matters for ‘public debate’. The public does not have recourse to criticize ‘medical’ practices, but medical practitioners do!
It is fairly easy to determine that due process is not fulfilled; that the legal rights of people facing commitment and forced drugging are not upheld. What is perhaps almost impossible to comprehend is that these hearings aren’t about ‘legal or human rights’ of people, but the degree to which psychiatrists are viewed as ‘protective guardians’ in our society; that THEY have the legal power to protect ‘us’. Judges presiding over commitment hearings do not question the legitimacy of the psychiatrist’s claims and almost never fail to sanction whatever the psychiatrist has decided is in ‘the best interest of the patient’. The judge defers to the ‘medical expertise’ of the psychiatrist.
This is a matter of where the medical profession stands in our society. Noam Chomsky is well aware of this. I am well aware of this. It is precisely the lack of integrity, lack of ethical standards and absence of simple human decency that defines the medical profession these days , that needs to be addressed by the public.
The first order of business, IMO is to defrock and dethrone the medical profession. No special honor or privledge should be given to any MD in this country today who has not stood up to protect the people from the fraud committed by his/her ‘peers’.
It is well known within the medical profession that the focus of concern is self preservation. Doctors don’t rat each other out, and none are willing to stand up and admit that their ‘profession’ is dictated by the pharmaceutical industry and health care insurance providers. “Patients”, the ‘people’ are no one’s number one priority anymore within our health care system. This is an undeniable truth. Unless or until the medical profession is held accountable, human rights issues for ‘patients’ are little more than a sick joke.
Chabasinki is a hero of the movement, and a human being who has thrown his life success in the face of his oppressors, who ever thought a forced electroshock child survivor, could become such a giant? His life story deserves to be told and retold, and his work in the past and now deserves and commands respect.
In fact what he and others did with the temporary electroshock ban in their city, is downright Jeffersonain. There were days and nights in that city, where the sun rose and set, where the brain rapists were legally prevented (as they should be), from raping people’s brains with electricity. Unfortunately the brain rapists reasserted their power, and it was over, but still, the story and memory of those days of light and inalienable rights in that city, are the stuff of legend.
CCHR, scientology’s antipsychiatry charity, has fallen and killed itself by among many factors, a factor I identify as “numbers overclaim”.
Scientology is a small religion that has joined with opponents of psychiatry’s ideology in finding it offensive that human dignity is thrown out the window when a mindless cult claiming every person who has personal problems is “brain diseased” when they don’t even examine brains, Scientology sees this as a ridiculous pseudoscience, so do many secular opponents of psychiatry. While most people find this religion to be strange, as I do too (but I find all religions to be strange but I respect people’s right to believe), I find it is best to view them as the moral equivalent of the fundamentalist Christians who fund water wells for African villagers. We all dislike the idea of African villagers going without water, and if some fundies want to give them water wells, well good.
Scientology’s CCHR wants to stop children’s brains, and adult’s brains from being raped by pseudoscientific quacks. Despite the bizarre space opera religion that the sentiment comes from, we should be able to, in a free society, with freedom of belief, freedom of religion, and freedom of thought, to accept that such people genuinely feel empathy for the kids getting destroyed by this quackery. One of the cardinal, deadly, mortal self-inflicted wounds of CCHR, has been to claim that “billions” of people are being destroyed by psychiatry.
This is utter bullshit, therefore I value vigilance when it comes to what I call “numbers overclaim”.
Numbers overclaim is watched carefully by the wider world. It needs to be guarded against.
Ted, who I respect a great deal, I feel, respectfully, needs to be alerted to how others feel about numbers overclaim. (Now don’t feel for a second I feel comfortable doing this, it to me is like correcting Thomas Jefferson on minor points, and I don’t like it, but I feel it needs to be done).
“Hundreds of thousands, maybe as many as a million children, are being diagnosed with the childhood bipolar label invented by Doctor Biederman”
This is patently numbers overclaim. Biederman deserves to be on the run in Brazil hunted by the Mossad like some modern day Dr. Mengele, but in a country of 300 million people, saying 1 in 300 were labeled “childhood bipolar” is just numbers overclaim. With respect. It’s maybe tens of thousands, if that. It’s still unacceptable, but it’s not a million people.
My view is that if the child psychiatry drug-company-bought-and-paid-for “thought leaders” of this world are allowed to molest the childhoods of our children, there IS the potentiality for the “million” numbers to become true.
And, one more of Ted’s claims: (with respect),
“Almost ALL of the thirty million or so people in this country who have been inmates of psych wards”
This again, it’s probably 3 to 9 million living people. In any one year the late hundreds of thousands of people. 30 million is 10 percent of 300 million people, it’s simply utterly not the case, I’m sorry.
It’s simply not 30 million people. I’m sorry.
I agree with much of Ted’s talk about what we need to do as a movement. One thing we don’t need to do, is fall for scientology-style overclaiming of numbers. People simply won’t believe it, I don’t believe it.
In an obtuse, indirect way, in a domino-effect way, psychiatric belief systems, infect billions of people’s minds, this much is true. Even if psychiatry hadn’t torn apart and raped my life and brain and body, I’d still be an everyday Joe who believed people who “act funny” and “believe strange stuff” are “brain diseased” thanks to societal indoctrination of psychiatry’s pathetic pseudomedical belief system.
This issue IS a “millions and billions of people” problem, but SPECIFIC claims about childhood bipolar labels, and involuntary commitment, need to be kept in check for numbers overclaim. I’m sorry. I hope you’ll take this with the meek respect you imbue in me Ted… you ARE a fantastic hero and a life well lived. Without doubt.
If I don’t say this, thousands of readers are going to think it, and not comment. Because research shows and logic shows, readers don’t bother to sign up to websites to comment unless they care, and barriers to entry such as exist here at Mad in America, such as email address signups for commenting, further decrease the chances of someone commenting.
So if there are 55 comments, possibly 5500 hundred people read the article.
NOW, that out of the way, let me respond to the bulk of the article,
I think you’re absolutely right about the co-opting by government of large swaths of the movement, and SAMHSA, and NPR, and so on.
Your pertinent reminder that ANYONE can be targeted by forced psychiatry is essential as ever. People do think it is just “those people” that get forced into psychiatry, but the law states, it can be ANYONE. This is important for us to emphasize.
Any reader, anyone the reader knows, stands to be mercilessly brain raped if they DARE become “too” distressed and too “disorganized” in their thoughts. But trust the survivors of brain rape, YOU WILL STILL KNOW you’re being brain raped. Your pleas for mercy will simply be spat on and ignored.
Anyone who cares about people, who is a person, who has children, who has brothers, who has sisters, should be aware of what government imposed pseudoscience awaits them if they happen to experience the human condition’s more extreme experiences.
Next time you’re going through a bereavement, next time you’re at a funeral, next time you’re reading about a vicious child molestation in the press, next time you’re reading about a case of child neglect, NEVER FORGET, these people, experiencing the extreme ends of human experience, are NOT going to find love and compassion and understanding in their time of need, they are going to find government/corporate pseudoscience/quackery, “brain disease” bullshit and toxic drugs, sometimes by brutal violence force at the hands of the handmaidens who work in forced psychiatry psych wards/state hospitals and outpatient commitment.
A regular reader of this site, has NO moral, logical, scientific reason, to think they personally, or their loved ones, would be safe from harm, in seeking “help they need” from the government or private psychiatric system.
This is a crisis, a red-alert, a primal scream, from the critics of the science, the critical analyses of the science, the reports back from the lived experience of what happens behind the locked door, and there is no reason, apart from BLIND, MINDLESS, STATUS QUO, UNSOPHISTICATED THOUGHT, to believe you or your loved one is safe if you place your trust in these professions or institutions.
If you’re new to this site, hang around, read all you can, you might just save a life. Your own, or somebody else’s.
We live in very dangerous times.
The power of psychiatry, the title of this article, is nothing to be messed with. It is real, people who oppose this power aren’t conspiracy theorists or scientologists, they are for the most part, measured, careful, serious people, who know there is a large difference between a profession being seriously mistaken, and “conspiring”.
Psychiatry IS mistaken. This is obvious if you scratch the surface of the narrative. You’re lucky, you’re on the internet, and you can research for yourself. Keep researching, keep looking, keep thinking.
A quack who doesn’t even examine your brain, has no standing to label you or anyone else as “brain diseased”. You wouldn’t take toxic and heavy AIDS drugs if you’d never tested positive for HIV would you? Why would you take the word of a person represented to you as a bona fide “doctor”, who just looks at you, asks you some questions, checks off a checklist from the copyrighted DSM® psychiatric label “bible” that once labeled all gay people as having “sexual orientation disorder”?
A profession soaked in drug company money, drugging millions of children, winning the Nobel Prize for the lobotomy, a profession that has the power to seize, detain, without trial or charge, even Hollywood stars, if they dare become too “out of order”, is not a profession you can trust.
You may have been raised to believe everything is fine in this world. That only countries who do bad things get wars started against them, that only those completely guilty of murder get the death penalty, that there is a place to go to “get the help you need”, but stick around, scratch the surface, I wish it wasn’t true, but we are in the midst of a religion called the Church of Psychiatry, as Ted Chabasinski says, and what you’ve been led to believe is completely different from the reality on the ground.
Because psychiatry can be forced on all of us, it is our responsibility to learn what it can do, what it can’t do, what it knows, what it doesn’t know, and arm ourselves with information.
Psychiatry is an ultra-fundamentalist biological determinist scientism religion. And it has the ear of the goverment, and the untrammeled power to sweep you out of your home, transport you to a brain rape facility, rape your brain, lie to you, lie to your kids, and get away with it.
The rub? The people who do it, think it is a legitimate medical practice.
Millions of parents, go to a doctor, don’t witness, hear about, see about, make eye-contact with any tangible, legitimate evidence of objective medical tests proving biomedical, biochemical, biological, neurological, neurochemical, ANYTHING in their kids’ brains, yet proceed to drug their kids daily.
This is a religion people! wake up!
Up until the 1970s, “mainstream society” took it at psychiatry’s word that every gay person “had” something called “sexual orientation disorder”, up until 2012, “mainstream society” is taking it at psychiatry’s word that everyone and anyone with minor or major personal problems and unwanted thoughts, feelings, and beliefs “have” any number of psychiatry’s manufactured “disorders”.
When will society stop letting psychiatry tell them what is “out of order”, and start smacking down psychiatry and telling THEM that THEY are fundamentally “out of order”.
A pathetic pseudoscience, revered by hundreds of millions, and a minority of people who see it for what it is.
Sounds like slavery was viewed in the 18th century doesn’t it? Everything’s fine, look away.
If you think “mental patients” deserve to be called “mental patients”, even when they sought no relationship with the profession that labeled them as “mental patients”, if you think these human beings, who the day before they were labeled so, were your neighbors, your brothers, your sisters, and were just human beings going through a crisis, deserve to be offered as the human sacrifice to a profession of quacks jockeying to prove their salt next to real doctors like neurologists, if you think the human beings labeled “mental patients” deserve to live in fear of being ripped out of their communities and interned in facilities without due process and forcibly have their brain altered with life shortening tranqulizer drugs by strangers from the government, if you think people labeled “brain diseased” ought to be thought of as brain diseased simply because you have blind faith in some quack who slapped a label on them and never even examined their brain, you’re no better than a scientific racist from the 19th century who thought black people were inferior just because some quacks permeated that story throughout the media and society.
So as Ted Chabasinki says, take away the power of psychiatry. If you’re a supporter of the power of psychiatry, you’re a supporter of torture, brain rape, and lies. Never underestimate the anger of resolve of those you view as “mental patients’. We will win our human dignity, and our human rights, in the end, not least because you know damn well you could become one of us whenever the government says it is time for you to become one of us.
The figure about the number of kids diagnosed with childhood bipolar comes straight from Bob Whitaker, who I think is a very knowledgeable source.
The thirty million figure for the number of people who have been inmates of psych wards is derived like this: in 1982, during the Berkeley shock ban campaign, the NIMH released figures that said at that time, seven million people had been given shock treatment and thirty million people had been inmates on psych wards.
Since then, the number of inpatient admissions to psych hospitals is generally estimated as about two million a year. Assuming half of these are readmissions, there would be one million more people each year over the thirty years since then, which would mean thirty million new “mental patients” have been created. Of course, over those thirty years, many ex-inmates would have died, but some would still be around.
So I think my estimate is conservative.
Mind-boggling, isn’t it? Because, as I pointed out, almost no one is willing to come out of the closet, most people, just as you did, assume the number must be very low. I think it is very important for us to realize how large this number is.
I don’t know what we can do to get these people to come out of the closet, but if we could, it would obviously be a tremendous help.
Otherwise, thank you for your support and kind words.
This 2011 scholarly legal paper about due process in civil commitment nationwide in America says lives as criminal internment.
The most recent national study of
involuntary commitments found that 424,450 of the 1.7 million inpatient
admissions to psychiatric units were involuntary.
Let’s take just one state, Oregon,
The commitment of only 988 people in a population of 3.5 million
National figures of 400,000 a year, if half of those a repeats of the same person, then I still think your original numbers are way too high.
I’d like to see you or anyone reading this point to where exactly Bob Whitaker says there are a million childhood bipolar diagnoses too.
I hate to keep discussing this, but I didn’t say that these were involuntary commitments. Your figure of 1.7 million sounds OK. My figure comes from the national group of state mental health directors.
(Oh, and keep in mind anyway that many of these “voluntary” admissions are really coerced.)
And my original figure of thirty million came from the NIMH.
As for what Bob Whitaker said, just ask him. I don’t remember where I saw the “possibly as many as a million” figure,(might have been cited by Jim Gottstein) but I think the “hundreds of thousands” was either stated on this website or in his book.
I agree with you that people should be careful not to just throw out numbers that have no basis in fact, but that isn’t what I did. Can we stop with this already?
Comment on MADINAMERICA our task is to take away the power of psychiatry ted chabasinski
What about the figtures we all hear constantly about how 1/4 of the US takes anti-depressants? That is a HUGE number..AND in REALITY the whole country is being mass medicated by fluoridated water, which was invented by the Nazis to make prisoners docile. 65% of the US & UK have fluoridated water. It causes brain damage, lowers IQs, causes canc-, bone fractures. Sodium fluoride is used in the water, & it the ingredient in rat poison. Toothpastes with it say to call poison control if swallowed.
All the anti-depressants & anti-psychotics have FLUORIDE. It calcifies the pineal gland, which affects our spiritual receptivity, which is why they say it “Cures” what they call schizophrenic symptoms – they are not symptoms of any disease, they are spiritual receptivity which is also where our creativity comes from as well. Hearing voices is just hearing God or demons talk to us, and they are REAL, not imaginary. Not a ‘hallucination” which implies they are NOT REAL. EVERYONE hears voices as thoughts in our heads. They come from the spiritual realm. The word ‘inspiration’ means ‘a spirit goes into it’.
Dr’s 2nd question is always “DO YOU HEAR VOICES?” and anyone who says they hear God or demons (or voices since they don’t know theology and don’t understand what they really are is THOUGHT by THEM to have auditory hallucations, a supposed symptom of schizophrenia.
I have composed music since age 4. ( I am 55) I spent 7 years in psych hospitals, on the drugs, and it ruined my creativity – I believe the fluoride interfered with the pineal gland’s function to connect to the spiritual realm where all inspiration comes from – thoughts, music, art etc.
It is the DRUG the Nazis were looking for to complete worldwide genocide (the people BEHIND the Nazis are the social engineers from the US & UK whose agenda is DEPOPULATION of the PLANET by 90%) so the REAL AGENDA HERE IS GENOCIDE, USING MENTAL HEALTH AS A COVER> THAT IS THE NARRATIVE THAT NEEDS TO BE TOLD TO THE PUBLIC. WE ARE ALL ALREADY VICTIMS OF PSYCHIATRY.
Ted – THE real allies IN THE ANTI-PSYCHIATRY MOVEMENT ARE CHRISTIANS. THEY are the ones who were sneakily genocided by the Nazis in their t4 euthenasia program, FALSELY BEING CALLED mentally il.. for 50 years, Christians have been called schizophrenic by atheistic psychiatry.
It is NORMAL CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY to hear voices. Jesus said “my sheep hear my voice” John 10:27. ALL CHRISTIANS would be called schizophrenic , and MILLIONS HAVE BEEN since WWII by the nazi psychiatrists & and the jewish dr’s who are also theological ignoramuses when it comes to Christian theology.
The holocaust of CHRISTIANS by the MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM is far bigger than the Jewish Holocaust.We are ALL holocaust survivors, and need to tell THAT NARRATIVE to the public.
IT is not an analogy; it directly is a CONTINUATION OF NAZI GENOCIDE (Eugenics, euthanasia by the social engineers who funded the Nazis).
We need to CHANGE THE LANGUAGE as YOU SAID _ it is NOT TREATMENT by GENOCIDE>
The drugs are DEADLY BY DESIGN. This is what we need to scream.
God sent me into the psych system AFTER becoming a Christian at 33, to be a witness against it & write my FREE BOOK which exposes atheistic psychiatry their genocide.
Someone had prophesied over me at a Christian prayer meeting at a school for prophets in FLA ‘I’m gonna use you to write a manual”.
I wrote the book MANUAL FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL HEALING-GOD;s ANSWER TO PSYCHIATRY in l999.
Then I was sent back there. I asked God why, HE said :I made you a witness to all this; I didn’t give you that book to have it sit in a closet”.
WE NEED TO LET THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT TAKE UP THIS CAUSE because it is and has always been, an anti-Christian agenda by atheistic psychiatry, which is REALLY run by people who are devil worshippers, masquerading as atheists.
When I was at the hospital,, I kept seeing a truck go by that said WB MASON. I sensed God was hinting to me that MASONRY was behind psychiatry. When I got out & did research, it proved true. I have seen the handbook for the 32nd level Scottish rite, written by Albert Pike, a sat-ist. It says :”WE WORSHIP THE LUCIFERIAN PRINCIPLE BUT DON”T TELL THE LOWER LEVELS THIS”.
Dr Robert Hanna Felix, first head of NIMH, was also head of MKULTRA, and head of 32 level Scottish rite psychiatric research.
Most Christians do not realize, that THEY WOULD BE CALLED SCHIZOPHRENIC by psychiatrists. This ignorance is part of the problem. THEY Need to be educated to this danger. That is one reason I wrote the book.
Of course the whole anti-psychiatry movement has been coopated by devil worshippers –that is a technique they always employ, and the devil employs. This is what is happening with Scientology. They have ties to the OTO (L RON HUBBARD did) which is sat-. What is happening is that the devil is on BOTH SIDES of every issue, and INFILTRATES all sides to point fingers at the wrongs of the other side, to get people to run to and fro, being deceived on both sides. People think if scientology speaks the truth about psychiatry being mind control & genocide (which it is), then scientology must be TRUE. But they do the same thing! I had a guy who was into scientology years ago, telepathically will me across the street, and take him home to sleep with him. A complete stranger. Then he told me he was a scientologist. So I knew THEN they were dangerous, into mind control. But they DO speak the truth about psychiatry. This is how the devil invalidates the anti-psychiatry movement, by using scientology, since most people correctly intuitively discern that it is false, which it is. What we need are people who have true religion to speak up against psychiatry. Christianity (not all denominations; they are all infiltrated and corrupted too, as all man-made institutions are), but as a biblical theological, worldview, IS true and really is inspired by the HOLY SPIRIT which is the spirit of truth which has been on earth for 2000 years.
The church of psychiatry says that spiritual experiences Are mental illness and drugs are the cure. The reverse is true. Drugs cause mental illness and GOD is the cure.
There IS such a thing as mental illness. Jesus rebuked unclean demonic spirits which caused mental & physical illness. He gave his followers authority to do it. All diseases, both mental & physical are caused by spirits whose ‘assignments’ are the names of those disease. I have rebuked Canc-, asthma-, depress-, & been healed. Jesus healed people as a TESTIMONY that he WAS the savior, and God heals today when we pray in Jesus name, for the same purpose.
These spirits can jump around thru verbal and physical contact. I have picked up spirits of depress frm others who had it; I coughed spontaneously, or rebuked it, and it left.
All drugs which affect the mind are also openings for these spirits, including caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, pot, lsd, etc & all psych meds. This is WHY the psych meds CAUSE rather than cure mental illness.
TED the whole KEY to this issue of defeating Psychiatry is by CHANGING THE LANGUAGE. IT is what they have used to perpetrate their genocide. Calling it MEDICINE or healthcare when it is the opposite. It is all Orwellian doublespeak.
Lawyers in c ourt need to OBJECT to calling it TREATMENT and insist that it is Torture, & genocide. These issues NEED to be addressed by the supreme court.
The whole mental health system is completely unconstitutional. It violates the FIRST amendment for religious freedom, the anti-slavery amendment (since patients are unwilling medical guinea pigs, which is involuntary servitude or slavery): it is cruel & unusual punishment since the treatments are all torture. In addition to the due process violations in hearings. (allowing medical records which is hearsay).
The reason this has not been addressed for 50 years is obviously because the legal system has been infiltrated and hijacked by the illuminati social engineers (devil worshipers ) who run mental health & education and are mostly masons. Most judges are masons.
John Rawlings Rees, head of the World Fed of Mental Health, said they would infiltrate 4 AREAS; the churches, education, legal and medical, and be a 5th column in the media ( they have plants in all the media which is why they spew this psychiatric propaganda so effectively). He was speaking to illuminati social engineers, like the Rockefellers, who are the American arm of the Illuminati who fund everything . I know a Rockefeller for over 35 years; she said to me years ago, “I know all about psychiatry”. God has told me to pray for her – that she would talk about the Illuminati stuff. There are people who have renounced and exposed the illuminati agendas who come from these illuminati bloodlines (all into witchcraft).
I had a pastor tell me years ago “ your dr’s want TO HELP YOU’ . he was a good man but like many of them, was clueless about what is really going on spiritually behind psychiatry – the anti-christian agenda. Many pastors have sent their sheep into the psych system for evaluation, which destroys them. I have friends who committed suicide from the drugs, after being told “wrongly” they had a chemical imbalance. There are many false Christian pastors- the illuminati have infiltrated churches deli erately to subvert them and bring this ungodly thinking into Christianity.
My article Illuminati Mind Control in Psych drugs, music & Education
Has a testimony of John Todd, an illuminati bloodline member who became a born again Christian in the 70s who testified that he wrote checks to major Christian churches to control and subvert them, and also controlled the major record labels, all of which had (and still have) prayer rooms where they pray demons onto the masters of all the records, for spiritual control.
Ted, one of their agendas is BISEXUALITY. They want to depopulate the planet by 90%, gay sex is NON PROCREATIVE so of course the illuminatit support gay rights. They are using the pop music to indoctrinate and impart spirits of homosexuality onto people. There IS such a thing as a spirit of homosexuality. Whatever spirits are on musicians gets transmitted to their listeners thru the music, either live or recorded. John Todd made a video DEMONS BEHIND THE MUSIC BUSINESS – John Todd where he recounts a conversation with David Crosby, who says the whole purpose of rock music is spiritual control over the population and to get a record deal one has to be a witch; to advance as a witch one has to be BISEXUAL. This is why female pop starts kiss other women – as a rite of initiation and to indoctrinate the public.
I know people who HAVE been delivered from spirits of homosexuality. It is not that hard. The media doesn’t cover it because they are owned by the illuminati and it doesn’t support their agenda.
Aligning with the GAY RIGHTS movement is the same problem as aligning with SCIENTOLOGY. It is ALL MIND CONTROL.
My book was written to HELP MENTAL HEALTH LAWYERS to fight the CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES.
God has been very interested in this issue for years, and in using the presidential elections as a forum to expose the abuse by the mental health system
In 2002 I was in a psych hospital and asked God who he wanted to win the election. I heard the name RON PAUL. God was telling me to call the man and send him my book. He has been a prophetic witness in congress for 20 years against the unconstitutional laws. At the time I didn’t know who he was. Praying l.ater, I realized God wanted him to run THEN
In 2004 God told me to write BUSH and tell him NOT to sign the mental health parity bill – since it is just used to hold mental patients involuntarily, since the hospitals do it for insurance money. I wrote him & sent the book. I told him to sign an executive order making it illegal to hold anyone involuntarily OR treat them. This would OVERRIDE all the unconstitutional STATE MENTAL HEALTH LAWS.
After that, God Told that the WHOLE REASON he gave Bush the presidency, was so he would DO THIS. Since he was a born again Christian he would understand the danger to Christians by the atheistic mental health system. Unfortunately, the presidents are being brainwashed by illuminati controllers (Rove said he was Bush’s brain) etc so there is a BIG SPIRITUAL BATTLE GOING ON.
During this election God wanted to use all Christians, Bachman, Perry, Paul to expose atheistic psychiatry & their mass drugging with Fluoride.
Any governor could ALSO sign an exec order OVERRIDING all the mental health laws.
It would be the FASTEST way to do this; faster than congress, or the Supreme Court.
My article FREE BOOK ON WEB IS HELP FOR MENTAL HEALTH LAWYERS (free minibook) addresses all this. http://www.1prophetspeaks.com
TED, you could talk to the NYTIMES with Me to do major exposes of all this.
What is your email? Phone no.?
My email is [email protected]
I couldn’t find the ‘1 million’ number, i remember it and posted the info on my website, but there is a graph on page 241 in Anatomy of an Epidemic. It shows the number of juvenile bipolar diagnoses made was over 800,000 in 2003. Source: Moreno C.”National trends in outpatient diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in youth”, Archives of General Psychiatry 64 (2007), 1032-39.
I remember the number this way:
“1 million children with bipolar disorder ON DISABILITY.
Wish I could have gone to New York!
There’s always San Fransisco in May!
Thanks for the clarity in this article. I wondered why there were so many people in ‘recovery’ taking their medication, becoming peer support specialists, and breaking down only to return to their jobs upon release. Don’t people realize THE MEDS CAUSE PSYCHOSIS!
That’s not recovery to me.
The only place I know that the figure one million is used to quantify the children diagnosed with bipolar is in an essay written by psychologist, Jacob Azerrad, Ph.D. published on the ahrp website. There is no citation for the statistic and there is the error in the essay of calling Clonidine and Trileptal antipsychotics—Clonidine is a blood pressure medication, and Trileptal is a seizure medication. http://www.ahrp.org/cms/content/view/829/52/
Thanks Ted, a great piece of writing and a call to arms. Nothing wrong with that in my mind and as an activist I both challenge and work alongside folk. We’ve got to use all the resources we have at hand to change the system and the balance of power.
What you say makes a LOT of sense. If anyone is interested in reading Alex Gorsky’s deposition (CEO of Johnson & Johnson), it’s got TONS more about Biederman’s “deal with the devil”… he was promising results back in 2001, if not earlier. That’s a mere 2 years after his “groundbreaking” paper making possible the mass diagnosis of children with bipolar disorder… and their conversion into lifelong RISPERDAL customers (that’s in the deposition and accompanying exhibits, too!)
NPR does terrible stuff on our issues. I would point out, however, that David Oaks was a guest on Talk of the Nation back in 2007 around the time of the Virginia Tech shootings. Judi Chamberlin called in, too. How can we create many more opportunities like THAT?
What can we do in our local areas to make a change? Especially if many of us are completely isolated. It would be a one-person demonstration. How does that work? And how much time should we focus on PROTESTING the negative VS. ADVOCATING for the positive (alternatives! resistance! etc.)
Practical questions from a sincere ally who DOES want to make a difference…
The best article I have read on MIA yet! Finally talking about tactics, militancy, our “friends” in the reform movement, and the futile attempts in appealing to mainstream psychiakilling (just made that up). First off, your statement that “we have little power or credibility right now, but we can change that” is partially off base. It is off base because WE HAVE ALL THE CREDIBILITY and psychiatry has zero. However, psychiatry has the backing of government and PHRMA while we have the science. As for the militancy issue, WHERE IS IT?! Are people not seething mad when adults and children alike are maimed, killed and sterilized? People just don’t want to face the music that this is a eugenics operation once again evidenced by Frederick Goodman’s assertion on inner-city demonstrators being “monkeys”. As for tactics, what we really need to do is nail home that psychiatry is going to be used increasingly against political dissidents and is just a tool of our corporate oligarchs. Protesting outside abusive institutions is also a brilliant idea and should be incorporated into a national Occupy your local psychiatrist/mental health/guidance center day. As for the pseudo left press (NPR, NYT etc.) don’t expect much help from them but whitewashing and apologizing for psych’s. mass murder. In the end we need to get off our butts, away from our computers and start bringing the fight to them. People have to be willing to get arrested, look silly in front of their neighbors and not back down. The establishment is crapping their pants because they know that if they lose, they’re going to jail!
“Protesting outside abusive institutions is also a brilliant idea”
There is no such thing as a non-abusive institution.
If people are having their brains raped with forced drugging on the pretext of false brain disease claims, then everyone is getting abused.
I agree, there is plenty of scope for organising protests outside hospitals, clinics where children are given ritalin and other drugs, schools which won’t let children in unless they are on drugs, GP’s that prescribe benzo’s for any length of time, drug company offices, training institutions etc etc etc
It is only this kind if confrontational tactic which will get in the news and get people’s interest. But at the same time we need to organise in ways that will support each other and help sustain a group in the long term and inspire others so as to help create a movement.
Thank you for helping to revive the movement for patient’s rights. As you know, I was involved with the Network Against Psychiatric Assault in the 1970s and the demonstrations against psychosurgery and shock treatments at UCLA. As a survivor and activist in the civil rights movement and the women’s movement, I found my calling and became a psychotherapist, a “wounded healer,” and was influenced by the Radical Therapy Movement that incorporated the ideas and practices of Laing, Claude Steiner, Loren Mosher, and Gregory Bateson whose systems thinking helped create Family Therapy and placed human beings in their social contexts, rather than viewing them as isolated pathological entities whose problems are intrapsychic and biological.
I recently retired from a life these past 35 years that has been devoted to being there for the people who put their trust in me, people in distress who felt a loss of power in their personal lives and within the political systems and institutions that affected them. My commitment was to help my patients shed whatever labels they had internalized and value their own uniqueness and humanity and, as best I could, to help them leave the system and/or never enter it in the first place. As I’m sure you’re aware, it’s much more difficult for many who have been “diagnosed,” medicated, and institutionalized to creat their own lives than it is for those who’ve been given needed emotional support and never entered it in the first place, although it is those who do leave, like you, whose individual and collective voices can have the most impact on the system. As the world has become more and more conservative and people have been mis-led by the media and psychiatry into believing its tenets, the struggle has become all the more difficult, but I’ve seen how empowered individuals can become as activists for justice and how collective action can create change that affects individual lives. I also know that many dear and precious souls have been lost to the system and that the struggle must continue. I’m very grateful to Bob Whitaker for his research and writing and for creating this forum, and I join you, Ted, in offering my support in this complex and difficult struggle.
Great to hear from someone who figured out all this as early as the 1970s?
Any advice on how young people can cope in living in a world that believes in all this BS?
Trust yourself. Remain sceptical of all authority, including those who claim to be “medical” experts. Don’t allow others to invalidate you in any way. Don’t accept labels, diagnoses, and name-calling. Value your deepest sense of your own humanity and engage in dialogue with those who offer genuine support.
Ted, I loved the personal ad you wrote for the forum here. Marry me? Does it matter that I’m already married? j/k
Sometimes your fighting words drive a stake through my vampire heart.
You draw a circle of fire that shuts me out.
Paraphrasing a Catholic priest, Ron Rolheiser: In a world polarized by competing ideologies and torn by factionalism, we must welcome the stranger, show hospitality to, those who are different from ourselves. In welcoming the stranger, in showing real hospitality to those who seem foreign to us, whom we do not understand, we are given the opportunity hear new promise, to hear a fuller revelation…
You mention The Infinite Mind. Bill Lichtenstein, the producer of that show, is an award winning journalist and a fellow traveler. Brilliant, mercurial, award winning journalist that he is, he also wears a bipolar label.
At this very moment, Bill is fighting against the use of seclusion rooms and restraints in schools. See the opinion piece he recently wrote for The New York Times that launched a firestorm: http://terrifyingdiscipline.weebly.com/
The Infinite Mind would’ve been better with you in it. I would’ve loved to hear you be the host and referee for that last Infinite Mind show on antidepressants.
The civil rights movement you describe so eloquently would be much stronger with guys like Bill Lichtenstein IN it.
“Bill Lichtenstein, the producer of that show, is an award winning journalist and a fellow traveler. Brilliant, mercurial, award winning journalist that he is, he also wears a bipolar label.
At this very moment, Bill is fighting against the use of seclusion rooms and restraints in schools. See the opinion piece he recently wrote for The New York Times that launched a firestorm:”
If Bill Lichtenstein “wears” the label slapped on him by psychiatry and fights ONLY for troubled children in the troubled children industry to the neglect of adults thrown in seclusion and forgotten about, then it only makes me sad.
It would be like me, a survivor of seclusion and chemical restraint, assenting to that treatment of other adults, and then going and making a cause in troubled kids in schools, to the complete neglect of all human rights of adults.
People who fight for the human rights of only SOME humans, are not human rights advocates at all.
Lichtenstein’s work is nothing but mainstream psychiatry piped to the masses.
Why do you say that what I write shuts you out? I gather you probably aren’t a psych survivor, but I haven’t said I wouldn’t work with, or be friends with, someone who isn’t.
That last comment of mine was directed to “edge but didn’t appear in the right sequence.
What is a psych survivor? Sometimes I feel like I’m a failed science experiment.
You haven’t said that you wouldn’t work with people who haven’t suffered as you suffered. I will look for ways to be of service.
The doctors trial, was the first of the Nuremberg trials.
It’s interesting that you mention the “Doctors Trial.” I was James M. McHaney’s chaplain in the retirement center where he died. He was the chief prosecutor for the trials. Unfortunately, by the time I knew him he was in no condition to be able to talk about the trials.
Too bad there’s no one of his measure willing to stand up today and prosecute people like Beiderman and his ilk who have caused harm and done it knowingly.
I’m glad I’m not on trial here. I’m going to agree with anonymous that The Infinite Mind was for the masses. Not every show was mainstream however.
How do we know Lichtenstein isn’t fighting for the civil rights of ALL persons? He’s not a personal friend of mine so I don’t know.
Look at all the money he raised for this project of his:
The American Revolution project is about a renegade radio station in Boston in the sixties and seventies.
Every post and every link to the truth takes away the power of psychiatry.
Millions of kids and adults are told they’re mentally ill and that mental disorders like ADHD or Bi-polar are the same thing as having a medical condition like diabetes or cancer. I’ve got one thing to say to those pushing this pharmaceutical agenda: Prove it!
Copy paste and post the truth !
GREAT article, Ted*)! <3 I have mixed feelings about
SAMHSA- I haven't come to a firm conclusion about them,
myself, although that criticism you espoused is that I
have as well… Everything else you wrote is dead
on in my estimation and very nicely done-!!
Great post. Having lived through and participated in the uprisings in the 1960’s I believe you are absolutely correct to say that merely creating alternative treatment models will not build a winning strategy to defeat Biological Psychiatry. If we do not hit back against backward and reactionary institutions, and the theories that justify their existence, they will continue to batter us.
I will repeat an idea about strategy and tactics that I brought up in another recent posting. The DSM 5 is scheduled for publication in May of 2011. I believe over the next year this should become one major target of our struggle. During this year there are sure to be dozens of trainings throughout the country promoting this document and all it changes. I recently attended a training at a community mental health clinic that was a web cast around the country focused on the proposed changes in the DSM 5. This broadcast took place in Rhode Island and the psychiatrist leading the talk, believe it or not, took unlimited questions from the audience. This event very easily could have been disrupted and/or transformed through confrontation into a very educational experience for those people watching. Thousands of people might have been reached by this one protest.
The DSM is THE BIBLE of the pseudo religion of psychiatry. It concentrates everything that’s wrong with so-called diagnosis and treatment in this country. The APA will certainly make a major effort to promote and defend this document in the coming period; WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LET THIS GO SMOOTHLY FOR THEM! Their entire existence depends on the DSM and they stand to make millions of dollars selling these books for 130 dollars a piece.
Every person working in the mental health field is forced to use this book to meet the standards of documentation. There is aready a primitive undercurrent of discontent over the content and use of the DSM. We need to exploit the beginning seeds of demoralization and discontent that clearly exists because of Biological Psychiatry’s complete take over with their medical model of treatment.
Most importantly, millions of people who have had a diagnosis and medications forced on them, have a vague notion of this so-called diagnostic manual which has given them a life long label. Through major demonstrations against the DSM 5 we need to firmly plant another pole of understanding about the true nature of extreme states of emotional distress as opposed to the brain diseases they have been told they have.
At the same time that we confront the DSM 5 and the trainings promoting it, we could also create an opposing series of trainings around the country that is comprised of some of our best speakers presenting real science and real life stories from survivors.
We cannot allow the grand presentation of the new testament of their new Bible to go unchallenged. DSM 5, JUST A BUNCH OF JIVE!
I like what you are saying about disrupting the brainwashing, oh, excuse me, “training” in the new DSM. What you suggest could well be done by people in the field, well, if they are willing to put themselves at risk for being driven out of the field. If enough people are willing to do it, I think it would be very worthwhile.
Re: A Big Tent versus a “Fringe Group”
Any successful political movement requires a “big tent” in order to be successful.
IMHO, we have nothing of the sort.
Having spent the past seven years online, reading the comments of others, on this site and many others I’m concerned about a trend, a habit by commenters.
In short, bashing.
Not bashing bio-psychiatry, which needs a good thrashing, but taking shots in these three areas:
2) “Organized” religion
3) The military
IF we are going to build consensus, we will need these three groups, big-time.
We are a pluralistic society, but we (the “people” of the United States) are largely Judeo-Christian (with many other faith groups as well); we have a “free enterprise” system; a Republic, whose very Constitution is defended by a military.
We are missing the obvious.
We have clergy – rabbis, mnisters, priests, monks, clerics who counsel people in pain, who know nothing about alternative options. We have military service members who are given psychotropics out the gazoo – many of whom have had their lives all but destroyed as a result. We have wealth entrepeneurs, philanthropists who hire people to help them find places for charitable contributions… and yet there’s a tendency to paint these groups.
The attacks are vicious – wealthy folks are all seen as self-absorbed and greedy; people of faith are described as not-so bright or unenlightened; service members are called heartless killers or worse.
And we wonder why our “movement” is going nowhere.
If we want to be successful, we will need to stop the stereotyping and build consensus, with people of these very groups mentioned.
Otherwise, we will forever remain a “fringe group.”
In short, we have can no longer paint ourselves into a corner… remaining, ironically, the “one percent.”
Duane, you are absolutely right! We have to find common ground with people who may not agree with everything we say and do. I’d add to your list: GOVERNMENT. While lots of government workers are frustrating and bureaucratic, and government leaders are often in bed with Pharma and the psychiatrists, there ARE people in government who are genuinely trying to do a good job and are as frustrated as we are with “the system.” And in the end, our government (which is, after all, put in place by US) will have to participate in bringing and end to the madness that is psychiatry.
Thanks for telling it like it is.
I’ll second that emotion, Duane and Steve.
In the spirit of working with government officials, I found this (see below) in my email this afternoon from the Director of the NIMH. I met Dr. Insel one time. Basically he said that mental health treatments SUCK so I subscribed to his blog.
By Thomas Insel on October 02, 2012
NIMH just reached a milestone — our first grant was awarded 65 years ago last month. Rather than celebrating, this anniversary has been allowed to pass quietly. With so much progress in genomics and neuroscience, we at NIMH have mostly been trying to keep up. But these kinds of anniversaries afford a good time to take stock — all of us at NIMH would be remiss not to consider how far we have come since 1947.
There have been many achievements: Nobel Prizes, great technologies, new treatments, and a vast enterprise for exploring the brain and behavior. But looking back is also sobering. Our original charge, from President Truman, was simply an executive order to fix the problems of America’s returning veterans who were struggling with “shell shock” or “combat neurosis.” Last month, we received another Presidential executive order. The topic – you guessed it: PTSD and TBI. Mission not accomplished.
During the same decades when scientific discovery has led to the eradication of many infectious diseases, has converted childhood leukemias from 95% fatal to 95% curable, and has reduced cardiovascular mortality by nearly 70%, our success rate with PTSD has been no better than our success at reducing war or trauma. In fact, for all mental disorders, while we have treatments, we lack cures, we lack vaccines, and we lack diagnostic biomarkers. Most of all, we lack a rigorous understanding of the disorders, at least on a par with our understanding of infectious diseases, childhood cancer, or cardiovascular disease. We need better science at every level from molecular biology to social science. Serendipity helps, but science, science that is rigorous and deliberate and even disruptive, is our North Star. That is why NIMH uses as its tag line that “research = hope.”
But there are many barriers to progress, not all of them are scientific. Some involve policy, some involve poverty, and remarkably, some are simply linguistic. In mental health, we are stymied by our language. The most obvious linguistic problem can be found in our current diagnostic terms, what my predecessor Steve Hyman has called “fictive categories.” Terms like “depression” or “schizophrenia” or “autism” have achieved a reality that far outstrips their scientific value. Each refers to a cluster of symptoms, similar to “fever” or “headache.” But beyond symptoms that cluster together, there should be no presumption that these are singular disorders, each with a single cause and a common treatment. Recall that Bleuler, who first introduced the term schizophrenia over a century ago, referred to “the schizophrenias.” And with new genetic discoveries, scientists are beginning to describe “the autisms,” a group of neurodevelopmental disorders of diverse causes.
Those who constructed the DSM were looking for a common language to describe symptoms, not a common biology or a common treatment. As someone who entered psychiatry pre-DSM-3, I can attest to the value of a common language. But there have been costs as well. In DSM-4, for instance, the diagnostic criteria for depression require 5 of 9 features, so it would be possible for two people with 1 of 9 criteria in common to have this same diagnosis. Not exactly “precision medicine,” but this approach has delivered diagnostic reliability. What is missing is validity. DSM never presumed to confer validity or explanatory value, but the field has imbued these symptom clusters with biological meaning, perhaps understandable in the absence of biomarkers or diagnostic tests. Ironically, this linguistic oversight has precluded the development of biomarkers that might confer validity. One reason we do not have biomarkers for mental disorders is our presumption that the biomarker is only valid if it maps on to a “fictive category,” rather than developing diagnostic categories based on the experimental data, as proposed by RDoC, our version of “precision medicine.”
Language traps us in even more subtle ways. There is no shortage of problematic words in our field. The term “stigma” may perpetuate a sense of being victimized with the unintended consequence of increasing discrimination and exclusion. There is an interesting ongoing debate about calling PTSD a “disorder” when it is unequivocally an injury. And conversely, for some in the autism community, a presumption that autism is an injury when much of the evidence points to autism as a neurodevelopmental disorder.
As a provocative question for our 65th birthday, I was recently asked if we should continue to be identified as NIMH when we study mental disorders more than mental health? Does the inclusion of “mental health” in our name (in contrast to the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke) reveal an ambivalence about our mission to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illness, especially serious mental illness? There is no ambivalence, but I appreciate the spirit of the question.
Some linguistic problems are easily solved. We can improve our current diagnostic categories via RDoC. We can find words that improve on “stigma.” Other linguistic issues, like the name of our institute, require literally an act of Congress. But on all of these issues, we need a broad conversation to help us understand how our language may be holding us back, limiting not only our impact but our imagination. Words matter, often in ways that are both subtle and profound.”
If you had a chance to tour the research campuses at NIMH, meet with researchers and then do lunch with Dr. Insel himself, what would you talk about?
I would ask him about the “bipolar boom” because the numbers I’ve seen, they do haunt me.
I guess I can’t edit. To be clear, I’ve never been invited for a tour and a lunch by the Director of the NIMH. But, if I were Insel, I would meet with people in this movement.
We don’t need to set ourselves on fire to catch his attention.
Words are power enough.
Insel sounds like a wide-eyed cult member.
“In fact, for all mental disorders, while we have treatments, we lack cures, we lack vaccines, and we lack diagnostic biomarkers.”
Vaccines? Is this guy serious? He thinks there could vaccines against life’s psychological crises?
Rather than his pathetic “research” (and he’s DEAD WRONG if he thinks psychiatry’s research has led anywhere in 100 years), the NIMH being a fanatic biological determinist brain blaming behemoth, does not inspire “hope” in anyone but those deluded into blaming brains.
In fact the “research” is pretty much a betrayal of millions of people, it is a wall of silence, a giant “talk to the hand” as arrogant researchers stick their blind eyes in microscopes, but couldn’t be less interested in getting to know what happened in somebody’s life to lead them to be labeled by psychiatry.
And being traumatized from a war, or a divorce, or whatever, is not “an injury”, in the objective bodily sense.
We live in a time of cultist bioquacks who live on a completely different planet to the planet where humans have human problems and need human understanding.
We live in a world of intelligent fools, making things more complicated than they need to be, and in the process, shutting out the very people they claim they are going to help.
Hubris is the name of the game with a person who dares say that a profession that has done nothing but call people names and tranquilize them with drugs, has “come far in its research”.
Hmm. I’m really wondering. Ah, the language? Who made that miraculous discovery?
I think the movement has come along way and of course I agree it’s not far enough…Whitakers book has really shaken the foundation of psychiatry and big pharm. change doesn’t happen overnight! But the aftershocks are continuing to reverberate….I did bring Whitaker to our traditional mental health community and he met alone with the doctors, and then with the entire community of traditional providers, people who have received services and family members, many were quite noticeably shook up by his presentation, many many people from all groups thankedvme for bringing him to speak. a year after I’m seeing the conversation between doctor and client change. There is now a shared dialogue and decision making about what approach to take, meds, no meds, work with me to help me get off the meds etc. traditional community MHCS providers are adding programs that are run by people with lived experience, states(Vermont), counties are funding new models for “first break” experiences, like Soteria, PREP which isn’t quick to label or use medications….acknowledging the hard work from the trauma survivors theyve changed the landscape, some of the doctors are now questioning the drug companies,that’s radical, their clients are starting to question the meds, thats being informed, people with lived experience are setting up their own support systems and educating each other, living by example,. “Peer ” respites are getting funded. As these new models of compassionate care and support continue to emerge, the paradigm starts to shift…what actually makes sense for those needing and wanting support and answers, shelter from the storm, is already taking on a life of its own, self reports of what really is helpful is powerful. The world of psychiatry knows the drugs are killing people, causing serious life threatening illness and disabling people, this is catching on and spreading like wild fire. While you criticize SAMHSA, we have to also recognize our allies, no one person or group has all the answers or is THE spokesperson, or even pure, but SAMHSA’s willingness to fund some of these projects for exploring transformation helps to get the word out in the main stream. Just as NIMH funded the first Soteria. This doesn’t make these organizations perfect, or even ok, yet they can be vehicles that contribute to change. We all know better, ( consider the MIA audience here, preaching to the choir, but at least samsha has been willing to back up good ideas with start up pilot money.
Remember my analogy to the civil rights movement? We need all allies to join the cause and not throw out the baby with the bath water! The ” us against them” is further stigmatizing and labeling, how about welcoming all who care and together we make music, loud beautiful chaotic music.
Looking forward to our talk!
I too am impressed by some of what SAMHSA has done, and I agree, we need as many allies as possible.
I think we are missing the obvious politically – namely, politically conservative groups.
Look no further than the Forbes family, with their donation to the Freedom Center; Charles Grassley’s work; the effort made by Ron Paul (with strong libertarian tendencies) and his efforts with a ‘Health Freedom Act’ and ‘Parental Consent Act’.
What about religious groups who abstain from processed foods, caffeine, etc, such as the Seventh Day Adventists – why should a person of this religion be forced to take mind-altering drugs? Have they heard from us? If not, why not?
What about young men and women who have served in the military, having sworn to protect the Constitution, who lose their rights after being traumatized by war, labeled and drugged into oblivion. Have they heard from us? If not, why not?
We need to beegin to think BIG. And ACT as if we believe in our cause, before we will be taken seriously.
And we need to get a federal bill passed and signed into law… Yesterday!
I didn’t know about the Forbes donation to the Freedom Center? What happened with this? when? how much money? Thanks.
Re: Forbes and the Freedom Center –
And there are *plenty* of philothranpic organizations who would be willing to help – with *private* money. And there are plenty of individuals and organizations who would help with *lobbying* efforts – to protect freedom for (temporarily) vulnerable people in crisis, if we would stop bashing the wealthy, conservatives, the military and people of faith long enough to ask for their help in this fight!
And yes, it is a fight – for *freedom*!
apologies for the typos and double-name
So reliable. Thank you for the info.
Well, Yana, I’m not totally clear about what you are saying. No doubt there are well-motivated professionals, and I say the more of them the better. I have no problem with that. One of the finest human beings I have ever met was Loren Mosher, the psychiatrist who as you know created the first of the Soteria Houses. I really liked and respected him.
And you probably also know that when this drug-free experiment showed that people in distress did much better with kindness and emotional support instead of drugs, its funding was cut off. Even more significantly, Loren was driven out of his position with the NIMH.
This shows, I think, why it isn’t enough just to create good alternatives. Soteria Houses, to me, are the most important of all, because they get to people before they become drugged and defeated “mental patients.” This is a major threat to the system, because ultimately this means many fewer people trapped in the system, who then will not be creating jobs and power for the drug companies and psychiatrists and all the rest.
The drug companies and the psychiatric profession are well aware of this, and they have no motivation to let it happen. Soteria Alaska is having trouble getting the system to send them people who are experiencing their first break The original Soteria had the same problem. This shouldn’t surprise anyone.
I notice that SAMHSA is NOT funding any Soterias. The Second Story House, in Santa Cruz where you are, while certainly a good thing, is only reaching people who essentially are already trapped in the system. I also notice that the Mental Health Services Act money here in California, literally billions of dollars that was supposed to go to alternatives, isn’t funding any Soteria Houses either.
For this to happen, there has to be a political change, a redistribution of power.
My major problem with SAMHSA is that they have literally chosen who our leaders are. As a result, what was a vibrant civil rights movement that was starting to make real inroads in public opinion just like all the other movements for liberation that flourished in the last half century, has become by and large simply a branch of the mental illness system.
This business of saying that the people who take over a movement for liberation are really allies doesn’t make sense. Real allies don’t do that. Peter Breggin, for example, though certainly not above criticism, never has claimed to speak for our movement and has been very respectful of us. I could name many other professionals who have been similarly respectful, and I am happy to work with them. They don’t try to take our movement over. They criticize the mental illness system from within, and this criticism is very helpful.
SAMHSA was not around when this takeover first took place, but it might be enlightening for you to know that the first of these phony “Alternatives” conferences took place after one of our government-appointed “leaders” wrote to the NIMH and openly said that if they would fund his “technical assistance center,” he would see to it that the “radicals” who were giving the system a hard time would be taken care of. NIMH gave him his money, and he gave them what they wanted.
This man was so brazen that he actually sent around copies of the letter he wrote to a number of people, including myself and my then wife, also an activist in the movement.
I may distribute this letter soon, and it should make very clear what the motivation of NIMH/SAMHSA is. They are not allies. Allies don’t take over a movement.
The times they are a changing and real change happens, but sometimes it’s slow. I do know what happened in Loren’s lifetime, and I also see what’s happening now….Soteria never died, and while it went under ground (comment edited at commenter’s request), they (the pharmaceuticals) are now being seen for what they are, corporations without soul, no science behind their “studies, falsified studies etc…you know all this….no or positive results…and what are the people doing? Looking desperately for another path. You say second story ” is only reaching people who are trapped in the system”. Well, firstly that’s not true and secondly the people trapped in the system deserve support and a way out too, we can’t just abandon them! There’s so much work to do, both to help those who have been harmed as well as show a new ( or old, I.e. Soteria way….). We must move forward, take with us what we know is good and leave the bad behind, we can do this by focusing on what does work and continue to show the seekers of truth…imhavevfaith it will catch on, it’s already happening. Look at Vermont! The State is funding Soteria! How much more “system” can you get, to stand up and actually write demands for non coercive, non medicated solutions? That’s a huge sea change!
Thank you so much for the blog Ted. I will not be able to respond to everything now, but as the mother and ‘care-taker’ of our adult son who is discharged from a state psych hospital this very day I want to mention just two things that my husband and I have learnt over the past three years and especially the past three months:
Stand in your truth in love, respect and conviction. (We for example explained to our son’s doctors in clear terms what our truth about ‘mental disease’ and we put it in writing and asked that it is put onto his file for everyone to see. It does not help to alienate anyone. It is amazing how we did make some impact. One by One we raise the awareness
Create something new instead of fighting the system. The world is waiting for this and ‘they will come running.’ There is nothing as disheartening to be on the war path all the time. We will make sure that that which we stand for is established. This will be our final task on this earth.
Keep walking. Anna-Mari
“There is nothing as disheartening to be on the war path all the time.”
So true. SO very true.
I’ve never been to d
So what I really want to say is that when more and more of us stand in our own power and not see ourselves as the victims of this all time lie, we automatically dissolve the power of the system. I believe that when we do this it will go quicker than we can imagine. I am witnessing this right now. It is time for an approach away from resistance, from being ‘anti’ but ‘pro’ something (pro truth for example.) Let us insist on the truth.
The TRUTH WE need is that Jesus heals mental illness, and also that a lot of what is CALLED mental illness is NOT.
Please see my article & free minibook
Message to Families of Mental Patients
I welcome your response
God also had me write a B OOK FREE ON MY WEBSITE Manual for Transformational Healing-God’s Answer to Psychiatry which exposes atheistic psychiatry & their genocide by drugs, & tell show to heal mental & physical il,ness thru prayer/worship.
Most people who are called mentally ill are really sensitive souls who are called by God to heal others – they need a relationship with God To develop the tools to do this. The psych drugs exaactly destroy those abilities.
Thank You for all that you do. Very Good info from you, prophet.
Why does anyone assume that if good alternatives are created, and if people who have been abused start speaking about their pain, that somehow the people who have caused this pain and fought these alternatives will somehow magically give up?
It really bothers me, this fear of fighting back. Unfortunately, we have lost sight that we were originally a movement for human rights. And as such a movement, we need to use the same tactics as all other movements.
Slavery existed in this country for hundreds of years. And the suffering caused by slavery was well known in all those hundreds of years. The slaveowners didn’t free their “property” just because they knew they were causing pain. Women didn’t get the vote, or the greater respect they have now, by just passively waiting for things to change. Gay people didn’t make the progress they have made by passively sitting around and hoping things would change.
My politics mostly comes from the civil rights movement of the Sixties. Those brave people inspired many others who had oppression of their own, including me, to fight back.
Unfortunately, we don’t have that example in front of us now, but we shouldn’t need that to understand that passively waiting for things to change doesn’t work.
I am WITH YOU on this!
This is a fight to end all fights.
This is a fight for freedom.
And we are foolish to think those in power will suddenly relinquish their (delusional) powe, simply because they are asked politely to do so.
In refernce to “alternatives”… This is a separate subject, IMO. We can begin to search for, and create a new paradigm of care, as we fight for the freedom to CHOOSE such care, without coercion.
At the top of the list is an end to FORCED treatment.
A person diagnosed with a “severe mental illness” is in the position of an African American in the 1960’s.
From Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. – ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech, March on Washington –
“In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the ‘unalienable Rights’ of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”
The entire speech –
You are correct. The only way things will change is if we become more militant in our stance. We have to speak out against the system every chance that we get. The quack doctors are not going to have a great conversion and change of heart and offer us the sacred olive branch of peace. We will have to force their hand and expose them for what they truly are. Being nice and positive and understanding will only get us more forced treatment, more drugging, and ultimately death. We are fighting for our lives and the lives of children who can’t protect themselves. I know. I work in a state hospital which has become nothing more than a forensic establishment because of all the people who are supposedly “mentally ill” who’ve been dragged into the justice and legal system. If you don’t comply you will be forced, one way or another, to be drugged, period. If you don’t comply they will make sure that the police and courts make you comply. The time for being nice is over.
Re: “We are fighting for our lives and the lives of children who can’t protect themselves.”
Ted a lot of thesse bullies are really cowards who are just used to getting their own way.
teh court dr who said to me “if you believe in the bible, you’re mentally ill” was shocked by my reaction, which was “REALLY? Do you waNT TO RETRACT THAT – COS i’M GONNA TELL THE NEWSPAPERS YOU SAID THAT?” HE TURNED WHITE & SCURRIED AWAY. He did not DARE tell the judge what he had said to me, because he KNEW the judge would have said “SO WHAT -that is her constitutional right!”
I agree that speaking about ones suffering is not a major route to social change but I also think creating safe forums for people to speak about the abuse they have suffered can raise confidence which some may then go on to being involved in the struggle.
I also think Speak Outs, where people bear witness to the abuse they and others have suffered are useful tactics when done in front of abusive institutions (as most are in psychiatry). They hold the institution to account, raise the confidence of those speaking and those who hear these stories who have similarly suffered and can also get media attention. In experience it adds something to a demo and helps create a supportive and hopefully confrontational and angry community.
I organised one in London outside the Royal College of Psychiatrists last year and out of that a group emerged. I really wanted to combine it with a sit in, but did not have the people who wanted to join me at the time. But these things take time to grow and in some ways the group flourished and went on to organise several other demonstrations as well as supporting people who were detained by psychiatry.
So I’m all for speaking one’s pain, but in the context of building a demo and a movement
“Why does anyone assume that if good alternatives are created, and if people who have been abused start speaking about their pain, that somehow the people who have caused this pain and fought these alternatives will somehow magically give up?”
I completely agree with you and I’ve said stuff along that lines in comments on this site before. I believe the focus should be on getting criminal charges in order and finding courts in this country that would be willing to try psychiatry for it’s crimes. The most damning part of Whitaker’s works is that psychiatry had the evidence that it’s treatments were low in efficacy and high in harm and simply went about concealing or distorting those facts for the sake of their own good. That is criminal and they ought to be tried as such.
The Supreme Court believes psychiatry’s lie that people have psychological problems because of brain diseases. For hundreds of years, brain blamers have been imposing their simplistic faith based beliefs on the masses, it’s not something new and unique to the period of time Whitaker has studied, the drug era.
We do need to fight, but we also need something to fight FOR and people who will fight along side of us. Most of what has been said here is true in one way or another. It seems what we need to do is to work to create and fund alternatives and demonstrate their effectiveness, as Mosher did, but then be prepared to take on the inevitable backlash of the swine who will object to having their snouts removed from the trough. In doing this, we need every person who is committed to the rights of those receiving “care” in any form to decide what is right/wrong with them, what they need and want, and what is actually helpful in getting them closer to meeting those needs. Some will be in the system, some outside. Some will be part of the government, churches, the military, even inside psychiatry itself. We need all of them.
The other thing I know is that changing systems takes time, because we’re actually changing culture. The Church of Psychiatry has spread its gospel message far and wide in our society, and many special interests are bound up with it in one way or another. As Ted correctly states, those with power will not give it up voluntarily. But part of that power comes from the beliefs of the large group of “true believers” who are not aware of the actual truth. Prying away as many of these people as possible with effective public relations campaigns will also be essential to this plan working. And remember that many of the believers who can be “turned” work within the Church of Psychiatry itself. I’m an insider rebel and know many others who would join up if a movement emerged, but they don’t feel they can for fear of their careers. We can say that’s gutless, but that’s realty. We need to create a NEW reality where it’s OK to question the psychiatric paradigm and where the priests are disrobed and shown for the charlatans they are.
It’s hard to believe in the Wizard of Oz once you’ve seen the man behind the curtain!
So let’s create, let’s inform, let’s find allies, and let’s take the power back, and let them know we won’t stop!
There IS a role for everyone to play God puts people IN the system to act as undercover agents, to work against the brainwashing of the patients (like telling them “there’s nothing wrong with you) and to use their KEYS to help them escape. Most valuable.
I worked as a substyitute teacher in the public schools for 7 years. I was there to tell kids there was nothing wrong with them – the SPED kids who were being TOLD there WAS – same idea as psych patients. I was like an anti-teacher. WHile teh ultimate goal is to get all the concentration camps closed, there stil needs to be people there to help people escApe individually in all possible ways – legally and miraculously. I esc aped both ways – thru god providing keys & open doors, and also using lawyers, and being discharged.
I love what you have just written here Steve. We do need to create alternatives, as above all else in order to get rid of what currently exists, we have to have something else to put in its place, and we have to prove that it works, and the fact is, it does. The evidence shows that basic humane care is thousands of times better than what they do. Heck doing nothing is a billion times better than what they do.
But this post is also really true. We need to ensure that what we are asking for is not taken over by the system. We talked about recovery, so they took that word and turned it into “you can live in the community IF you take these drugs for life!”. We talked about peer support, so they hand pick the who they approve to supply such support and it ends up being an extension of what they do. We have to stop them hyjacking what we know works, and not allow it to be watered down.
Steve, I like what you have just written here. Have to get off the computer now, but will respond more later.
Truly an excellent article and discussion.
This mission is to dis-empower an army, because psychiatry is weaponized.
Great post Ted, thank you. No point me saying much as I would be repeating myself and repeating what you have said. I do want to challenge the notion that without diagnosis there would be no treatment. In my country psychiatrists are salaried employees of the state and do not have to bill based on diagnosis. My son had no diagnosis but was medicated and died. In the past 5 years, 75% of the children under 18 years who have died from suicide under the care of this health board, had no diagnosis but were on meds.
It seems to me that we would benefit from a ‘task force’ to examine the tactics of and build our own on the model of the Gay Liberation Movement. They started out with Stonewall in the ’60s in the position of vilified individuals who as a group were considered mad, bad and of no value or interest to mainstream society. I was one of those who initially felt (I don’t say thought because I hadn’t given it ANY thought at that point), “these people are icky.” My mind changed with AIDS and especially with the AIDS Quilt Project. The intensity of the protests to take AIDS seriously and then the humanizing effect of the quilts totally changed my heart and then I became able to think clearly and accept LGBTs as just like myself, deserving of all good and protection.
People who have been stigmatized by mental health intervention are also considered “icky.” That is the truth–mainstream media and the general public feels indifference, fear and repulsion–they don’t think we deserve due process or fairness or anything else.
We need 1)a very strong, loud and pervasive protest presence and 2) humanizing images and stories to convey to the public what it is like to be victimized and ostracized.
But it is unlikely these will develop: as mainly traumatized people and c.s.a. survivors, we do not have even the vestigial self-esteem the LGBT community was able to muster. We are trying to win a race and most of us only have one leg or no legs. This site is an example–people vent and worry and condemn (myself included), but we do not act. We do not have the lawyers, doctors, actors and strong activists (not to mention wealthy patrons) that the gay movement eventually mustered and deployed.
Wish I saw things more optimistically, but I’m a practical realist. The last handicap we face is infiltration by Scientology. Yes, I must mention it again because it is really a bummer when people don’t understand that psychiatry and Scientology are twins. But learn it for yourself. I was treated very well in Scientology, declared a Clear and actually the beginning processes cured me of decades of inhibitions. But I know what it does to people without the financial resources I had and that’s why I warn people.