I Am Also Mad

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Today I read Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association, and I was drawn to an article about the new APA President, Jeffrey Lieberman, because the front page teaser announced that “he is ‘mad as hell'”.  

What, I wondered, is he so mad about?

In the article, which reports on Dr. Lieberman’s address at the opening session of the annual APA meeting in May, we learn that he is angry not only about “stigma associated with mental illness” but also “the lack of respect toward psychiatry as a medical specialty”.   He went on to say, “I suppose there might have been a time when psychiatry wasn’t as scientifically based as it should have been. But that was then and this is now.”  He goes on to bemoan the pharmaceutical industry’s abandonment of the field and the critiques of the DSM by “self-styled critics and the anti-psychiatry movement.”

But Dr. Lieberman finds hope for the profession.  He states, “The emergence of psychopharmacology, neuroimaging, molecular genetics and biology, and the disciplines of neuroscience and cognitive psychology have launched us into the mainstream of medicine.”

Dr. Lieberman, I am also angry. The reference to the 1976 movie “Network” is, oddly, something I often think about when I am writing these blogs.  It is the feeling that drives me to stay up late at night writing.  My recollection is that the famous rant in that movie was in part directed at an industry that pursued profit above all else. Dr. Lieberman may label me a self-styled critic or an anti-psychiatrist – whatever those terms might mean – but I remain resolute in my belief that we can not move forward until we acknowledge the role psychiatrists, including leading academic psychiatrists, have played in distorting the evidence base that we so proudly promote. 

Ironically, on the very next page, there is a story about Patrick Bracken’s talk about psychiatry’s need to develop a new paradigm.  This talk was based upon the article, “Psychiatry Beyond the Current Paradigm” written by Dr. Bracken and colleagues and published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. Dr. Bracken is critical of the field’s focus on what he calls a technological paradigm.  He states, “Psychiatry faced three great quests over the past 30 years – the quest for valid classification systems, the quest for biological and psychological causal pathways in mental illness, and the quest for technological treatments used independently of context – and all are falling apart in front of our eyes.”  Despite all of our advances in research, “What matters is the quality of the relationship between the patient and the therapist, whether the patient feels respected, and whether the encounter is meaningful.” In the article, Bracken and colleagues point out that rather than using our aspirations towards a technological paradigm to garner the respect of our medical colleagues, we can use our profound understanding that treatments are context dependent to lead the way in medicine.

After reading these articles, I went to one of my favorite bloggers, 1boringoldman, who coincidentally had just written about the Bracken article.  Dr. Mickey Nardo, a retired psychiatrist and the author of that blog, is such an articulate and wise man that I am hesitant to paraphrase but here goes.  He wrote about the arc of his career – how he veered from the intended pursuit of basic science towards the practice of internal medicine to psychiatry – a field that he thought had the hope of combining humanism with science in a way that could be of great help to others.  Having read his posts for some time, I have no doubt that he achieved this goal.  He was more wistful than jubilant as he realized that what was being described as the future of psychiatry in the Bracken article was the career he had started about 40 years ago.  

It is a central conceit of modern medicine that our intellect will allow us to rise above conflicts of interest and allow us to use our scientific principles to see the fundamental truths.  Giving talks for drug companies, serving on advisory boards of pharmaceutical companies, earning a considerable share of our incomes from these companies, we tell ourselves, will not taint us as long as we are true to science.  Dr. Nardo, Dr. Marcia Angel, another of my heroes, and so many others have demonstrated by their diligent investigation, that this is not true.  Are the current leaders of my field really this naive?

Mad is a good term for this website.   I spend a lot of my time talking to people who see things in their world that others do not see.  Such views  are often considered mad.  I guess my experience – seeing something that seems so obvious to me and yet is ignored by others – is classified as anger rather than madness because I am clearly far from alone in recognizing it but, at the same time, I do not understand why it is not more obvious to all.

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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.

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102 COMMENTS

  1. Sandra,

    I wonder what Jeffrey Lieberman wants to happen?

    Business as usual?
    That’s not gonna work.
    The word’s out and anyone paying attention knows psychopharmacology is a joke.

    New and improved drugs?
    That’s not gonna work either.
    Pharma is done investing in failure.
    And psychopharacology is a failure.

    Studying the brain for bio-markers?
    Good luck with that…
    It’s been tried for decades.
    Nothing found – Zero, Zilch, Nada.

    New and improved treatments?
    With what?
    And by whom?
    We already have medical doctors who specialize in the brain.
    They’re called neurologists.

    It appears as though the safest and most effective treatments can be done by holistic folks – things as simple as diet and exercise in many cases. And emotional distress can be taken care of without a medical license – by counselors and therapists.

    It sounds as though Lieberman is upset that prospects for the future in the field of psychiatry are grim.

    Duane

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    • _Anonymous,

      Thanks for sharing that link, to Dr. Steingard’s May 17, 2012 blog post (titled “Coercion”).

      I’ve just now spent the past hour or so reminding myself of that page of comment-conversation, rereading and recalling how I’d first wound up posting on this site — on that page — having been inspired by your straightforward expressions, there.

      Dr. Steingard wrote, in that blog of hers:

      “I also talk frequently with people who are angry that they were forced into hospitals and are forced to accept treatment that they do not consider treatment. I know this is ultimately a failure on our part to connect and understand. But I also work with these people for years and try to forge some sort of mutual understanding and collaboration even in the midst of our disagreement.”

      I am shaking my head while rereading those lines; at this moment, they just seem so totally wrong-headed, IMO.

      How can she come to think that way, I wonder?

      (I wonder about her way of thinking, just like she wonders, above, about the errant thinking of her colleagues.)

      I guess she’s convinced herself (and/or, her training convinced her?) that psychiatric “treatment” is absolutely necessary for some people.

      You and I have agreed, that’s a ‘religious’ conviction, essentially, inflicting itself upon the lives of unwilling converts.

      Many of us (psychiatric survivors, especially) understand how very convoluted such a faith is — from so many angles.

      (Again, I am shaking my head.)

      Yet, I am truly glad that Dr. Steingard blogs here; she’s doing good — e.g., by standing up against the likes of Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman and others, who work, apparently without shame, flatly denying the harms caused by their profession.

      But, will Dr. Steingard turn the corner and see the light, in reality?

      Will she realize the folly of talking people into the supposed ‘good’ of accepting brain-damaging ‘treatment’?

      I hope she does wake up to that reality; however, more than a year has passed since she wrote her “Coercion” blog.

      I’ve not seen her return to the subject.

      And, I’m not holding my breath…

      From Electroshock, its brain-disabling effects (1979), by Dr. Peter Breggin:

      “I believe it is the right of every individual to be free of unwanted interferences in this life, except when the individual has broken criminal codes and been found guilty in the criminal courts. No one should be incarcerated ‘for his own good,’ and no one should receive treatments, medical or psychiatric, that he does not want. Involuntary treatment is not only a ‘crime against humanity’ (Szasz, 197O), it results in horrible abuses, and seldom if ever helps anyone.” (p. 195)

      Dr. Steingard should, of course, feel free to respond to this comment, if she so wishes…

      Respectfully,

      ~Jonah

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      • P.S. — In that above-mentioned thread of comments, under Dr. Steingard’s “Coercion” blog post, one comment of hers, at last, really stands out (IMO); in that comment, she writes (on May 19, 2012 at 7:06 am):

        I am fully in support of developing programs in which people can be safe and not forced to take medications. I also think that there needs to be a legal separation between involuntary hospitalization and involuntary medications. I also agree that this is an extreme intrusion on an individual.
        I mean it with utmost sincerity that your voice is important and I have been following what you and others write both here and elsewhere on this site.
        I do try to taper people off medications even if they are on an outpatient commitment. I say this not to win your approval or respect but just to further the conversation.

        http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/05/coercion/#comment-8866

        IMO, there is, in fact, the expression of some really significant common ground, in that statement.

        It would be good if she could expand on those points, in further comment(s) and/or a follow-up blog post.

        But, Dr. Steingard’s above-quoted practice of indoctrinating forced “patients” into accepting unwanted ‘treatment’ — spending years talking them into acceptance — is, IMO, really awful…

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        • Anonymous and Jonah,
          I will admit that what I am about to write is a kind of non-response response. I wanted you to know that I have read what you have written and I take your comments seriously. I wrote the Coercion post because I did not want to run from my own personal role in a system that includes coercion. Without getting into personal stories – which I can not do for many reasons – I do not think I can address some of your questions. I know that one place where Anonymous and I have a disagreement is that he would prefer people in jail than in hospitals. Perhaps in another post I can address why we disagree.
          I appreciate Jonah ponting out that we may have some common ground. I also respect that we may not. I also respect why this topic is so serious and important.
          Sandy

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          • I know that one place where Anonymous and I have a disagreement is that he would prefer people in jail than in hospitals.

            I hold the position that numerous abolitionists of forced psychiatry have held over the decades. That locked buildings, are carceral in nature, and that the label you slap on them, ‘hospital’ or ‘jail’, is really just window dressing. If the government locks you in a building and calls it a hospital, does that make it a hospital? Even historical and half of the present day facilities around the globe, mark the distinction between bona fide hospitals and mental hospitals by building them separately.

            We know that when psychiatry talks of its ‘hospitals’ and how many ‘beds’ they have, we are not talking about people laid up in hospital beds convalescing, accepting well wishing visitors, hooked up to vital sign monitors, being visited and consulting in an equal consensual relationship with physical medicine doctors who are detecting, and treating bona fide medical disease in their bodies. No they are talking about places where the alleged doctors and nurses within such ‘hospitals’ talks a good game about the inside of the ‘patient’s’ bodies but conspicuously don’t even examine or prove disease inside anybody’s body. Hospitals in name only.

            Hospitals have flowers, get well soon cards. Mental hospitals have men asking permission like five year olds for a safety razor to have their daily shave.

            My rationale, my logic, is not original on this, many others have said it, in prison, even the terrorist, can read his Koran, write some letters, sit in his cell unmolested. Society is safe. He’s behind high walls.

            In a psychiatric facility his entire neuronal connectome, is the playground of guesswork quacks with their chemistry set of uppers and downers, his torment never sleeps, with every beat of his heart forced drugging pumps society’s contempt for his human right to own his own body into every cell of his nervous system. Biological violence.

            The argument from how many human rights are lost, the argument that lays out that the person denied freedom of movement in society is better off than the person denied of movement PLUS denied freedom of bodily integrity, is fundamentally, wholly, completely, unassailable and will in the end, forced psychiatry versus criminal justice system, as interventions compared side by side, the brain altering intervention of the two, always comes off looking like an intervention with aggravating factors, and is so sickening and invasive, revolting, really to the general public once understood, that in the end forced psychiatry can be defeated on human rights grounds.

            It is not liberal, it is not progressive, it is not kind, it is not humane, to subject the misbehaving to forced brain alteration in place of jail and claim in jail they would be harangued nearly as much they would be if the contents of their living skull were owned by state psychiatry.

            If the concern is criminal records for nuisance offenses, consider the stigma of involuntary mental patienthood often eclipses the stigma of being a convicted felon. If people want psychiatry in prison give them psychiatry in prison. Just as if they want a snickers bar in prison. Just don’t force it down their throats.

            If the political project is to somehow craft some special doublespeak new age happy go lucky ‘non prison’ with high walls and locked doors and bean bags and dream catchers and pipe organ nature music, and have this be society’s response to minor criminals than so be it.

            But in the end I prefer people who have not harmed another to be free. Free. Free to harm themselves just as you are happy to allow the wire walker to walk across the grand canyon without feeling it is your right to intervene. Free to climb Everest just as you allow these people to do that. Free to eat themselves to an early diabetes heart disease grave just as hundreds of millions are. Equality. Freedom. Non-discrimination. An end to the unbearable hubris that says psychiatry! of all professions, a profession that has not made a single discovery about a single thing, somehow has earned the right to be a social control arm of the state. It hasn’t. Psychiatry’s legal power is nothing but a convenient legacy power left over from the days where it was ok to shove ice picks into our brains and win the Nobel Prize for doing so. It must go, and the political project has begun. We are on the right side, medicalizers of human behavior are on the creepy Dr. Mengele side, and I am confident that society can eventually be made so revolted by the massive number psychiatry is going to do on hundreds of millions of children and adults this century, that society will finally smack psychiatry down and strip it of its ill-deserved power to enter the bodies of non-consenting strangers. There will dawn a day on this earth, when people no longer have to fear psychiatry. Carceral total institutions are carceral total insitutions whether they are labeled jails, prisons, Japanese American internment camps, FEMA camps, Gulag archipelagos, the back of a police car, Joseph Frtizl’s basement, the Tower of London, the island of St. Helena, or a ‘hospital’.

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          • I’m out of patience.

            I cannot hear the “jail or psychiatric hospital” line one more time.

            Are you telling me that we (as a society) are not smart enough to come up with another option?

            It’s always the same thing: “Psychiatric hospitals are better than jails.”

            How about something OTHER than those two options!

            Please. Give me a break!

            Duane

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          • “I wrote the Coercion post because I did not want to run from my own personal role in a system that includes coercion. Without getting into personal stories – which I can not do for many reasons – I do not think I can address some of your questions.”

            Dr. Steingard,

            You say you did not want to run away; and, yet, now, two days have passed since you posted your latest blog, above. Can anyone read what’s been posted below it — in terms of reader comments — and fail to note your conspicuous near-perfect *absence* from the conversation (just a couple of extremely minimalist, cordial replies on your part)?

            Without drawing conclusions, I am, nonetheless, wondering: ‘Is Dr. Steingard not, in fact, currently running from her own role in that coercive system, which is being critiqued, by these readers?’

            Honestly, I’d rather not think that you are running away…

            After all, from your reading of my two comments, above, you know my feelings about the overall content of that “Coercion” blog post; you know my feelings about it are far from positive; however, there is also this: I believe it took some real, moral courage for you to write that blog; and, moreover, your having responded, afterward, as you did (quite thoughtfully, to many of the commenters), reflected, I believe, a genuinely respect-worthy interest in your readers’ concerns.

            Now, a year later, without your deliberate prompting, this subject of coercion arises again, and, about it, you say only (to my self and to _Anonymous, above), “Without getting into personal stories – which I can not do for many reasons – I do not think I can address some of your questions.”

            You say, “Perhaps in another post I can address why we disagree.”

            Well, I humbly suggest, it might have been better had you left the “Perhaps” off that sentence; i.e., in my opinion, it would have been better to promise to write such a post — and much better than doing what you’ve done here, to this point.

            IMO, it would be good for MIA readers — and for you… to know that such a post is forthcoming, because what’s happened here (your disappearing) is not quite right (at all, IMO), as I believe it tends to undermine a considerable degree of trust, which many readers have afforded you, this past year, while you’ve been carefully addressing other issues, in your blogging.

            It’s now two days after your posting, of this latest blog, titled, “I Am Also Mad”; and, besides a few, extremely brief and courteous replies, you’ve apparently abandoned the discussion.

            This is so very (totally) contrary to the way you engaged your readers a year ago…

            Therefore, RE your saying, “I do not think I can address some of your questions,” here’s an exceedingly simple string of thoughts, that comes, at last, to mind:

            Certainly, you must know, no one wants you to write in a way that might expose the privacy of your individual “patients”; only, we expect you to be forthright, regarding your professional views and practices.

            That’s all.

            I encourage you to look to the current example, of your fellow MIA blogger, Vivek Datta, M.D., M.P.H..

            I’ve not read all of his posts; but, he utilizes ‘composite’ case histories, as examples; and, for now, I’m pleased with him — at least, in this one sense, that he seems sufficiently determined to remain *fully* engaged and responsive, trading comments with his readers.

            That is all I have to say, on this matter.

            Hopefully, you can understand that I hold no sense of enmity toward you…

            Respectfully,

            ~Jonah

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          • Jonah-
            I was not sure where to put this but this is my response to your most recent comment.
            I did not reply for several reasons.
            1. I did not have time this week. I am not sure what the core etiquette of blogging is, but sometimes, I just do not have the time to respond.
            2. I thought that with the Coercion post and subsequent comments, I did my best the address that topic. I honestly was not sure what else I could add.
            3. You are correct that I could use composites. It is what comes to mind. In my current position, I am called to an emergency room where I sometimes am asked to make a decision about whether an individual can be held against his will. I think that an attempt at composite would sound defensive and I do not think that is a helpful response. I understand that there is a fundamental arbitrariness to some of these decisions. I understand that some of the writers here have been on the receiving end of these decisions and they may have very good reasons to disagree with the decisions that were made.
            4. If some of you choose to fight to change this system, go right ahead. One thing I can say is that I work in a state that has a strong legal aide division. I am happy they are there. I see the fundamental imbalance and I want the people with whom I interact to have good legal representation. But I admit that I do not have an answer. I have struggled with this my whole career and I just do not know what is the best solution. I applaud having alternatives to hospitalization for those who are experiencing extreme states, but even where I work, those programs do not accept individuals who are violent and they still rely on the emergency rooms.
            5. I was at a loss at how to respond to comments that equate what I do with the KKK and Nazi’s. I do not want to shut out comments. I do not want to be defensive. I do not want to get into a virtual shouting match. I believe in free speech and I respect that people are entitled to their opinions, but I just do not know what more to say.
            Respectfully,
            Sandy

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          • I thought that with the Coercion post and subsequent comments, I did my best the address that topic. I honestly was not sure what else I could add.

            I don’t think there is anything you can add. I restate that the rationale for me mentioning it in the first instance was, that you wrote about what you were ‘mad at’ about psychiatry on International torture day, in a post published side by side with 4 other articles by others that mentioned torture and coercion and force, but your post mentioned it not at all. This is why I left a comment at all. Jonah may have been expecting some response, but I was not fussed about any response myself.

            In my current position, I am called to an emergency room where I sometimes am asked to make a decision about whether an individual can be held against his will.

            If you’re just ‘holding’ people, you’re not ordering, petitioning, rubber stamping, decision making, on forced drugging at all, merely being called to psychiatric facility to make a decision on detention, and not entering people’s bodies against their will, then your invasiveness in the lives and bodies of strangers just got 10,000 times lighter in my eyes. I somehow doubt that this is what you meant by only mentioning the aspect of your power and where people are ‘held’. I think you are using language like ‘held in hospital’, language that sounds like a decision merely on where the person will ‘be’, you’re leaving out what is being done to that person’s body by force.

            But I admit that I do not have an answer. I have struggled with this my whole career and I just do not know what is the best solution.

            Liberty is the answer. People being able to own their own bodies without fear of bodily invasion is the answer. People who undergo mental or emotional crises having their body treated with respect, is the answer. Brains being inviolable, is the answer.

            “I applaud having alternatives to hospitalization for those who are experiencing extreme states”

            When forced drugging happens to somebody, ‘hospital’ didn’t happen to them. Please don’t ever confuse opposition to forced drugging as some opposition to the building people are in. I am much less concerned about someone being in a ‘hospital’ than I am with someone being inside a stranger’s body by force. These may be the euphemisms you use for forced drugging, wording centered around not what is being done to someone’s body, but the kind of building they are in? I don’t know.

            “but even where I work, those programs do not accept individuals who are violent and they still rely on the emergency rooms.”

            Forced drugging is an act of escalated, aggravated violence against any violent person, unless of course, the person’s violence was to walk into an emergency room wielding a syringe threatening to inject the staff by force, in which case it would be an equal act of violence. We don’t have any adequate explanation of why ‘violence’ is a ‘medical’ problem, or a ‘medical emergency’ requiring a ‘medical emergency room’, and again, for the third time in this comment I am going to relay we are very much less concerned about what room someone is in, and more concerned about them losing their right to own their own body which is a far and away exponentially orders of magnitude aggravatingly invasive response, irreconcilable, with any modern conception of human rights, when one considers the only other people who the state puts needles in by force, are those on death row.

            I was at a loss at how to respond to comments that equate what I do with the KKK and Nazi’s.

            When I engaged in light hearted banter with other commenters, referring obviously and clearly to the President of the APA, as a ‘grand wizard’ of psychiatry, I was referring to people who hold the position President of the APA. When I referred to Israel hunting down war criminals, I was making an analogy to medical human rights crimes, on the International Day In Support of Victims of Torture no less. I even made several comments within my comments that I was speaking broadly to psychiatry and not specifically about the author, you.

            Everything I’ve just said is verifiable from my other comments. I didn’t wantonly call all psychiatrists Nazis or members of the KKK, and that will be clear to everybody.

            I reiterate, it is only marginally an impetus for concern what kind of building someone is in. It’s all about entering bodies by force, tinkering with living conscious human brains by force, and the unmitigated horror that this represents to all defenders of the human right to bodily integrity and bodily ownership equality.

            Forget case studies, forget composites, there is not a single story of a particularly bad criminal that can sway people who are opposed to the death penalty, and there is not a single case where it is not absolutely disproportionate to forcibly enter a stranger’s brain and chemically meddle in the flow of their higher order human functions, their frontal lobes choked out, partially disabled by drugs, in response to what? unruly behavior? Nobody in society gets forced needles but those labeled ‘mentally ill’ by your profession, and those executed in death penalty states, by executioners. There is simply no ‘mental patient’ behavior in a controlled environment like a facility, where the individual is outgunned, out-muscled by the staff, that can’t be controlled without going five alarm invasive on the situation and crossing the holy of holies, the blood brain barrier by force. The argument for bodily integrity and the brain being inviolable from a legal human rights perspective is utterly unassailable. Water tight, iron clad, I and many others have thought about every avenue of the issue for years and there is just nowhere to go but stop, don’t enter the body by force, and abolish this sickening practice that has no right to exist.

            Either you’re being called to the emergency to OK mere detention, or you’re signing off on the entering of that person’s body. When you use language that makes you look like you are just making decisions on where a person is ‘held’, you leave out a lot of the story. The bit involving human bodies.

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        • Yet, I am truly glad that Dr. Steingard blogs here; she’s doing good — e.g., by standing up against the likes of Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman and others, who work, apparently without shame, flatly denying the harms caused by their profession.

          I am glad that Steingard blogs here too and I agree with what you said. The reason I left the comment was, there was a post, conspicuously ‘mad at’ psychiatry, on the International torture day at that, conspicuously absent was any mention of psychiatry and human rights or coercion. That’s like an ‘Anonymous’ magnet. We must never forget, and I think this what the entire general public forgets in their pally relationships with voluntary psychiatry, the same psychiatrists tens of millions of people find compelling and nice, and helpful, also have ‘relationships’ where they are the face of absolute unmitigated terror for the people they coerce. This must never be forgotten.

          No matter who your psychiatrist is, the nicest one you’ve ever met, whoever it is, they could just as easily have spent the previous day excusing murderers in court, or petitioning for innocent people to lose the right to own their own bodies. This is why coercion mangles the ethics and face, of all who choose to accept this power.

          We know there is a bizarre mangled ‘coercive psychiatry’ flavor of the clinician’s illusion in play that seems to make forced psychiatry practitioners thoroughly remember the actions they prevented via forced brain disablement tranquilizer drugging, whether snuffing out the blood flow to the frontal lobe of an innocent yet deeply despairing suicidal person ‘prevented’ an action, or whatnot, they’ve participated and done these things in their careers, and the forced psychiatry clinician’s illusion prevents them from noticing the multitudes of ex detainees aka ‘patients’ who wouldn’t even speak to them or make contact with them if they saw them on the street, the lifetime of rage inspired by the lines forced psychiatry crosses, clinicians actively deny the collateral damage and much like foreign policy, people who believe in using force and preemption see what they want to see.

          Bush believes he helped Iraq and the hundred thousand dead Iraqis was worth it. Forced psychiatry clinicians believe transferring quality of life from the psychiatric survivor to the thankful consumer side of the ledger is a job well done. A few lives destroyed in order to create a few lives ‘saved’ and success story poster boys for forced psychiatry. That’s how forced psychiatry works we know this by now. It’s a shell game where the extreme anecdotes and stories of lives saved, are showcased in a shiny golden treasure chest on a mountain, with double rainbows and a happy moon face moon shining down on psychiatry’s grand creation, the ‘lives saved by involuntary psychiatry’. The mountain is lush and green with beautiful flowing grass. Of course out of sight, millions of forced psychiatry’s dead or destroyed lives are the fertilizer upon which the lush grass grows. The mise-en-scène psychiatry has created for the public about forced psychiatry, actively hides the lives destroyed by forced psychiatry, effectively sending the message that it is ok to break innocent strangers on the wheel in North Los Angeles, destroy their lives, smash their credibility and dignity and humanity for life, provided we prevent someone else’s suicide in West LA. It’s forced psychiatry’s whack-a-mole justification of bull in a china shop terror, and the powerful rule the narrative. And in the end, no one pays but the people destroyed by forced psychiatry, the 401k still fills up, the house and car payments get made, and the psych survivors get “I’m sorry you had such a bad experience”.

          That was directed at all of psychiatry not the author in particular, as I said, I’m glad the author blogs here, and it does do some good that she does blog here.

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          • “Bush believes he helped Iraq and the hundred thousand dead Iraqis was worth it.”

            Further on this… if you’re one of the hundred thousand dead, you’re just a skeleton in a grave, you’ve got no voice. Just like the pro war neocons only want to hear from the Iraqis happy to tear down Saddam’s statue and rejoice, forced psychiatry only wants to hear from the people who are happy they were blasted with neuroleptics and put on ice for a while. If you’re in the grave of forced psychiatry, or your life post psychiatry feels about as safe as Iraqi feels today, then the interventionists, the preemptionists, well it’s
            ‘talk to the hand’ might makes right and look over here, don’t look over there, look at the happy little mental patients who are ‘alive today’. Don’t look at the people who live in constant fear of being ‘helped’ against their will. Don’t look at those asphyxiated to death during forced drugging take downs. Look at the happy Saddam statue tearing down Iraqis. Forced psychiatry apologists are like Bush posing in front of the ‘Mission Accomplished’ sign on the aircraft carrier.

            Forced psychiatry as an idea, is so hateful, so bigoted, that it stands alone in its depravity and condescension.

            Let’s break it down:

            1. Society wouldn’t dare, dare, hold up thankful poster boys, the ‘thankful coerced’, the ‘success stories’, as a justification for a forced wide-scale system of government intervention in the economic lives of people based on race.

            2. Society wouldn’t dare, dare, hold up thankful poster boys, the ‘thankful coerced’, the ‘success stories’, as a justification for a forced wide-scale system of government forced surgical intervention in the stomach size of people based on weight.

            Society wouldn’t dare, dare, hold up thankful poster boys, the ‘thankful coerced’, the ‘success stories’, as a justification for a forced wide-scale system of government intervention in the bedrooms of people based on sexual orientation.

            Society wouldn’t dare, dare, hold up thankful poster boys, the ‘thankful coerced’, the ‘success stories’, as a justification for a forced wide-scale system of government auditing of the ability of all visitors to Las Vegas to handle gambling losses. Can’t gamble til you prove you’re rich enough to play.

            Society wouldn’t dare, dare, hold up thankful poster boys, the ‘thankful coerced’, the ‘success stories’, as a justification for a forced wide-scale system of government intervention in the garments women wear. Iran or Saudi Arabia would.

            Society DOESN’T BLINK when psychiatrists hold up thankful poster boys, the ‘thankful coerced’, the ‘success stories’, as a justification for a forced wide-scale system of government intervention in the LIVING BRAINS of people based on psychiatric labels.

            AND psychiatry can’t prove a thing is diseased about the brains of living people it forcibly invades. That is the definition of insanity.

            It is only acceptable because society has been trained, by psychiatrists, to see those labeled mentally ill as disposable garbage people, less than, unworthy of basic human rights, and for in excess of 200 years your profession has been carving up our living bodies, hacking into our skulls, our bloodstreams, jacking this or that chemical up or down, like a bull in a china shop, and your profession has the hubris to point to the ‘thankful coerced’.

            Like the fat guy happy he got forced Lap Band surgery. The Iranian woman happy she is dressed modestly according to Islam. The Saudi Arabian woman happy she is protected from car accidents. The Las Vegas gambler happy the government vetted his bank account before letting him play poker, the citizen in the police state happy the government forced him to wear a condom, so long as the coercers can point to at least a few people who are happy to be pushed around, the pushing around system is ‘justified’.

            The only group of people who are denied the right to own their own body based on who they are (said to be) not what they do, are those labeled ‘mentally ill’.

            And it is group who takes away the other group’s freedom that gets define what the unfree group is. The unfree group is whatever psychiatry says it is. If psychiatry says they are brain diseased, by fiat, than as sure as the Federal Reserve declaring the face value of a 1 dollar note, the cultural fiction becomes reality. Your brain is diseased if psychiatry says your brain is diseased.

            The poor, scared, disheveled, overwhelmed mere citizen, the ‘non expert’, stands before a judge, the ‘expert’ on hypothetical ‘brain diseases’ petitions the judge that the citizen should lose the right to own their own body. The judge, bamboozled by all the quack talk about brains, hands over the living brain of the citizen to the ‘expert’. Because the state owns our bodies. The needle goes in.

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          • Anonymous-
            The above response was directed towards a specific comment from Jonah on my “silence” here. I am just not sure where to put the response since there are no reply buttons. I was just trying to not ignore him.
            It is true that most of what I am doing today is opining on the detention question but I think it is disingenuous of me to say that is “only” what I am doing if that decision might be one that ultimately leads to the person receiving drugs against his will. That is why I am not making a fine distinction.
            Sandy

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          • The above response was directed towards a specific comment from Jonah on my “silence” here. I am just not sure where to put the response since there are no reply buttons. I was just trying to not ignore him.

            I know Dr. Steingard. I just felt the need to reiterate why I commented on coercion n the first instance, Intl. day of torture context, and respond that nobody wantonly labeled all psychiatrists Nazis or KKK.

            Thank you for your response. Your contributions, particularly remembering the response to the Anosognosia propaganda of the forced drugging lobby, Torrey et al, will be useful in the fight against them. Give it enough time, maybe you will be convinced of the case for bodily ownership equality.

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          • Dr. Steingard,
            Thank you for your reply (above, on June 29, 2013 at 4:53 am). We are running out of reply buttons. Here I’m replying just briefly (under Duane’s brief comment of two days ago) to indicate that I’ll be posting my full reply to you at the bottom of this page. I am just now beginning my Saturday morning; after I feed myself, I’ll write and post…
            Respectfully,
            ~Jonah

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          • To Anonymous 6/29/13 7:38 am-
            At the risk of stirring this up again:
            I am not “pro” involuntary treatment. I try to do everythig I can to help people stay out of hospitals.
            However, until I am prepared or able to keep everyone out, I think it is hypocritical to condemn those who work in hospitals. I am not sure if this makes sense. But if there is someone who I do not know how to help, safely, out of the hospital and I play some role – even if it is a passive one – in that person getting admitted, then I share some responsibility for what happens after that person is admitted.
            Of course, if no psychiatrist ever agreed to participate in the current system, it would not exist. I can only take responsibiity for my own actions and that may be the choice I make one day. But for now, I am just trying to acknowledge my own personal responsibility.
            Sandy

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  2. Sandra

    I work in community mental in a neighboring state from you. I do my best to steer people away from the medical model of Biological Psychiatry and all their drugs.

    The overwhelming weight of the status quo and the tendency to drift with the path of least resistance in this environment is incredibly hard to avoid. The push to “medicate” comes from so many directions including misinformed “clients” coming out of a culture of addiction requesting certain drugs.

    Many “clients” are coming into the clinic asking for medication management while already on benzos and antidepressants prescribed by PCP’S that are clearly not working except to make things worse. Now clinicians and doctors (if they are among the small minority who are educated about the dangers of Biological Psychiatry) are faced with the enormous task of helping them work through the complicated withdrawal process if we can educate them first that their “meds” are part of their problem.

    Sandra, I do have some success with a small percentage of individual people I work with, but what I observe going on around me is truly painful and at times demoralizing.

    It is time for some dramatic challenges to the status quo; this situation we face in our work will not change through patient education on blogs or through small incremental steps. We are up against powerful forces whose economic and political interests will not respond to the truth even when it slaps them in the face.

    I fantasize about a new type of activism that takes some of the best of the 1960’s while adding new approaches to waging the battle against all these oppressive forms of so-called treatment.

    What if at every place (conference, training, rounds, DSM 5 education etc.) where one of the representatives of Biological Psychiatry attempted to present their bogus science and harmful model, they were confronted by organized groups of people exposing and countering their lies and distortions.

    Wouldn’t it be righteous to create some genuine paranoia in their ranks so when they did speak their nonsense they would be nervously looking around the room for where the disruption of their status quo might be coming from.

    In the 60’s this happened all the time when defenders of the Vietnam war and the purveyors of racism and other backward ideology promoted their views. These types of confrontations often educated and activated large numbers of people in a short period of time.

    We currently have enough science, experience, and numbers to BEGIN to seriously challenge and disrupt their business as usual.

    What we lack is the right program,organization and collective will to make this happen at this time. The current situation begs for such an organized effort from all sections of the mental health field with survivor activists leading the way.

    Sandra, you are clearly a maverick in your field and doing some good work. Are you ready yet to take the next step to become part of a more activist movement?

    While I am asking you this question I am really attempting to put a finger on the pulse of the entire readership of the MIA blog about how they see the next steps for our movement.

    Dare to struggle, Dare to win!

    Richard

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    • I believe that you are right. We have everything at our fingertips that we need, now we need some good leaders to come to the front so we can begin making our moves against these people who intend to keep controlling us, no matter what.

      Some people feel that what we should do is gather in a circle with those who torture and confine us, join hands and sing a verse or two of Kumbaya, and then ask them nicely to free us. They want us to try and understand where our oppressors are coming from. I know exactly where they’re coming from, I see them work their deeds on people each and every day that I go to work! And they don’t want to dialog with us; they want to control and coerce us, plain and simple.

      They’re never going to free us until we force them to do so. Slave owners had to be forced to let their slaves go, women had to force men to accept them as equals with the same rights, the gay men at Stonewall had to fight the police, and we have to stand up and drag our oppressors into the courts of this land and force them to turn us loose. They are never going to give up their power and their egos being stroked just because it’s the right and moral thing to do. They will never free us until we force them to free us and it’s time to begin fighting back rather than just posting on websites and holding nice, civil discussions to exchange ideas. When are we going to march forward and make them give us what we so justly deserve as human beings?

      As you say, it’s time for these oppressors to have to begin looking over their shoulders to see if any of us are present at their meeting. To use one of their own terms; it’s time to make them paranoid any time they’re tempted to speak their mantra of oppression and coercion.

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      • “As you say, it’s time for these oppressors to have to begin looking over their shoulders to see if any of us are present at their meeting. ”

        The internet is killing psychiatry. It’s split the myths wide open. As a false, yet recognized as legitimate part of the establishment for the entire 19th and 20th centuries, the mad doctors used to have control of the narrative. It is a remarkable testament to their weakness right now, that even with the LIMITLESS OCEAN of cash that big pharma has on their side, they still can’t stop countless people losing faith in psychiatry week on week.

        When the actual leader, the Grand Wizard of the APA, is worried about an unfunded movement of critics, in the face of his products being sold in billions of dollars worth of TV ads, you know how weak psychiatry’s standing is becoming.

        Trust in institutions isn’t coming back. We can ride the wave of distrust in government, right into developing a widespread bodily integrity equality message, just like gays, we just want equality, except instead of a marriage license we want the world to stop raping our brains and scapegoating us as killers.

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        • Anonymous

          Your writings on forced drugging (as they go deeper with each posting) have provided the most devastating and comprehensive critique of this form of psychiatric oppression that I have read anywhere. You have provided greater depth to my evolving belief system; keep writing.

          “The internet is killing psychiatry.”

          I think it is more accurate to say that MIA and other activist websites on the internet have “wounded” Biological Psychiatry.

          This oppressive paradigm of mistreatment will not be eliminated by word battles alone. Like all oppressive institutions throughout history it needs to be confronted in many arenas of battle.

          Our analysis desperately needs to be transformed into organized radical political action in the material world. I agree with Ted and Steven who commented above, although I do not put as much faith in the arena of legal battles as Steven appears to be doing.

          As we engage in more direct action we will learn even more about our enemies, and also find out more about who our genuine friends are in the battle to defeat Biological Psychiatry and dismantle this entire mental health system.

          And all this being an important part of a much larger struggle for social justice and human rights throughout the world.

          Richard

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          • Anonymous

            Your writings on forced drugging (as they go deeper with each posting) have provided the most devastating and comprehensive critique of this form of psychiatric oppression that I have read anywhere. You have provided greater depth to my evolving belief system; keep writing.

            Thank you Richard very kind of you. I just give a few off the cuff remarks here on MIA and I enjoy the discussions here for the most part. I agree, the internet has wounded psychiatry. Psychiatry has cancer, it may take a long time to die but the cancer is terminal. I relish shoveling soil on its grave God knows it has put millions of people in the grave either immediately, early, or with diminished dehumanized lives blighted by its lies.

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          • I don’t believe in it whole hog since it’s one of the parts of the unholy alliance that is condemning people right and left to be locked up in psych wards and forced into treatment that is no trreatment at all.

            However, I think it’s one of the few avenues open to us at this point in time so we need to use it to our advantage; although I forsee a very long battle even getting to the courts and then another long battle after we get in. But at least it’s a start and more valuable than sitting around holding hands and singing Kumbaya with the very ones who are oppressing us. Sorry, I just can’t seem to get off the Kumbaya thing these days!

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    • Hi Richard,

      I appreciate you challenging/questioning all of us regarding our willingness to engage in concerted “on the ground” efforts to reform/reframe/revision the current mental health care paradigm in real and meaningful ways.

      I thought it worth mentioning that Sandra serves on the Board of the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care and is also training in the Open Dialogue model.

      There are many on MIA who are taking action to transform mental health care. I would definitely count Dr. Steingard among them. And you.

      Very grateful for you both! Jen

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  3. I am glad to read what the last commenter suggested. He speaks as an enlightened mental health professional, I am a psychiatric survivor, but I totally agree that we need a revival of the best of the Sixties.

    Perhaps we could extend the scenario he talks about, with progressive, dissident professionals within, confronting the lies of the standard drug-company apologists, while outside others demonstrate, bringing attention to the public to what is going on.

    We did in fact have this in our movement in the 1970’s, at least in California, and we need to have it again.

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  4. Perhaps in another post I can address why we disagree.

    If there is going to be some future post. I think it should be about what you’d like to see in 50 years.

    People will always become mentally or emotionally distressed and there should be places for them to go if they want to go there. Your medical knowledge, of poisons, that the consenting, might find useful for a while in risk/benefit trade-off, is useful, to people who want the drugs. To know how much of a drug is going to kill a man of a certain size and weight, and all this, is a useful skill, if you are working for the person who has consented to a relationship with you, in which case he’d right be called ‘patient’.

    Having a skill-set, and who you work for, is significant. A demolition expert, knows how to knock down a house with a wrecking ball on a crane. He is useful to the person who bought a house and wants to knock the house down and redevelop it. His skills are also useful to the Chinese government when they want to forcibly destroy people’s homes for the ‘good of the nation’ to build the Beijing Olympic village.

    If a psychiatrist is using force, they are working for the state. If a psychiatrist is controlling crime, or orwellian pre-crime, they are working for the state. If in the future model system the distressed individual wants to numbed out with Thorazine, they need the skill-set of someone who knows how to administer that drugs without killing them with an overdose. But any system, any model, premised on reaching in and not reaching out, premised on blind assumptions of ‘they’ll thank us later’, is going to be steamrolled into the ground by the argument for human rights and the countervailing collateral damage that such policies create.

    Just the pleading, heartwarming, incredibly viscerally moving tears of joy and thankfulness of the wife of an ex fat man whose ‘life was saved’ by a theoretical total therapeutic state, FORCED bariatric surgery, would not be justification for every fat person being forced to live in terror of being rounded up and having a Lap-Band forcibly installed. No amount of focus on the ‘thankful coerced’ is going to change the fact that these violent and invasive policies always destroy some, terrorize many, to ‘help’ a few. It is an iron clad, water tight argument as tight as any four point restraints. People who don’t have the stomach to see a few people at liberty to harm themselves are WILLFULLY blind to the compounded harm caused by a wide scale bull in a china shop social engineering. No model whereupon psychiatry retains the reserve power to enter the body of anybody it declares a fair game target will ever be acceptable.

    And just as it sounds absurd to introduce forced bariatric surgery today, the clinicians who worked in such a system of brutal involuntary obesity treatment, would have minds filled with memories of ‘cases they can’t talk about’, that amount to nothing but clinician’s illusion bias. Just think about it, the Sopranos actor died of a heart attack, in such a system of forced bariatric surgery, the forced Lap Band surgeons would have all these case histories in their minds of enormously moving, thankful, tears of joy wives of ex fat guys saved from heart attacks, saaaavvvedd, oh its so beautiful, saving lives, yes, the ‘serious’ business that ‘isn’t taken lightly’ of forced bariatric surgery. And that fat guys on the run from the authorities, sleeping in their cars, living in fear of being rounded up, be damned, for the forced bariatric surgery clinician has got fresh memories of the ‘lives saved’.

    If forced psychiatry didn’t exist, and it was being proposed for the first time today, psychiatry would be laughed out of the room. You want to do what? establish a system of forced brain drugging in every city in the world? and you can’t prove anybody’s brain is diseased? Hahahaha Laughed out of the room, is what would happen if forced psychiatry were to be instated for the first time today.

    It would be like chiropractors asking for the power to SWAT team their way into anybody’s home and give them a remedial massage by force. Forced psychiatry is utterly logically, ethically, morally, untenable.

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    • I think a tough question, that I appreciate Sandy and other psychiatrists are in a place to help address, is how to best work with people who are in the system right now. How to respond effectively to truly difficult situations given the current legal and social structure around forced treatment. Situations where, say, if one encourages use the of the criminal justice system, the person will very likely end up forcibly drugged in a “prison” rather than a “hospital,” because in fact the systems are so deeply intertwined. It’s impossible to talk about jail vs. forced drugging as if these were actually discrete options.

      I suspect that people “on the ground” like Sandy are very interested in the most effective way to practice harm reduction NOW, rather than focusing on 50-years-down-the-line, which I’m grateful for. The more people are sucked up in the system today, the more fall-out there is later. Something I notice is that those who stay in the system of forced and coerced treatment longer seem to experience a spiral of trauma and powerlessness that makes their behaviors increasingly difficult for others, to which the system responds with even more forced treatment. I hope Sandy and others can help promote gentle ways of extricating people from an oppressive system.

      I do agree that the quote about “whether the patient feels respected,” seems naive in the face of the life-altering imbalance of power often at stake between the patient and the therapist/psychiatrist. So many people have told me how terrifying it is to say the wrong thing to a “trusted helper” (or even to a friend, who then reports on you) and end up forcibly carted off to a hospital. This is one of the first things that absolutely needs to change. Ironically, if we changed the system to listen to better and stopped criminalizing the very common occurrence of suicidal or violent thinking, far fewer people would actually end up taking their lives.

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      • The 50 year thought experiment allowed for society to change and be exposed to the critiques of psychiatry it needs to take on board. With the legal powers psychiatrists have today, they either wait until retirement to stop coercing people, or quit today and cleanse their conscience. That’s how I see it. Everything else is just lipstick on a pig, ‘prettifying the slave plantations’ as Szasz used to call it. I think the tinkering, the piecemeal so called ‘harm reduction’ and all this, is a position one can adopt for sure, but like tiny bits of tinkering in a vast problem, like sending arms to Syria, there will always be those who say the interventionists should just go home, retire. I won’t condemn your faith in the internal reformist approach, and I don’t think anybody else should condemn people like me and our faithlessness in it. There are many schools of thought.

        It depends on your perspective. Some would say ‘alternative minded’ people who work in the system today are doing more good than harm or have the scope if they get ‘innovative’ to do more good than harm. There are many good reasons why I chose not to go work in the system. If I had faith that I could help people within the system without completely compromising my values I’d be doing it.

        There is a reason I know even just personally people who have pledged to commit suicide if forced psychiatry ever touches them again. I would never confirm or deny in writing whether I hold such a position about my own future should I be forced into psychiatry again. This is more than just an oppressive system, it’s a grenade pin in many peoples’ lives, and if hey get hit once more, it’s game over. Life would become untenable.

        Even understanding how that sort of violence can be part of someone’s day planner and something they leave at work when they put the car keys and change in a bowl once they get in the door of an evening, is absolutely almost beyond my comprehension.

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        • I’m certainly not condemning your point of view or your choice to take a strong activist position. The fifty years question is an important conversation to have. It’s also important to talk about the one year plan, the one month plan, and the one day plan. To my mind, every person who is diverted from a violent system is a victory, with benefits for that person and society a whole that resonate into the future because one less persons life has been horribly muddled by trauma in the psychiatric mill. In order for most people who find themselves stuck in this all-encompassing system to find freedom from it this year, somebody inside needs to offer some leadership. One day when the majority sees the issues at stake clearly, coercive psychiatry will be shunned like the gay-therapy programs recently in the news again, and staff will be hard to come by outside of a small group of ideologues.

          Until that time they can always fill their ranks with fresh young oppressors who have been Indoctrinated by schools and senior staff that this is a good system. I’m saying: bless the hidden and not so hidden rebels who are on the ground daily in effort to divert people from many of the worse offenses of the psychiatric system.

          I see your clear and accurate criticism of coercion, and I want to celebrate that some people are avoiding a much worse fate thanks to insight and intervention with teeth from folks like Sandy.

          I realize the torture theme of the day is a hugely triggering one that’s gets everyone’s righteous anger on the rise, including me!

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  5. Great article! It is the beginning of the end for biological psychiatry and their medical model when they complain about critiques of their pseudoscience. It seems like an opportunity for real science to emerge from the truth about biological psychiatry.

    Best regards, Steve Spiegel

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    • I’m going to respond to the actual Steingard article on this page now.

      But Dr. Lieberman finds hope for the profession. He states, “The emergence of psychopharmacology, neuroimaging, molecular genetics and biology, and the disciplines of neuroscience and cognitive psychology have launched us into the mainstream of medicine.”

      Notice how they lust, literally lust to be putting their scans up on a screen, pointing to a lesion, and correcting it, just like the real doctors do, you know those ones that get respect. The pesky identities, voices, and human rights of the bodies they seek to ‘fix’, are just noise. The crowded din of the ‘patients’ and what they have to say about their lives, completely irrelevant, it needs to be listened to in their eyes about as much as the survivors of forced psychiatry need to be listened to, not at all. Just a barrier to being seen as the wizards of brains.

      Psychiatry, particularly the Grandmaster of the APA, would qualify for Southern Poverty Law Center hate group status with what it says about those it labels ‘anti psychiatry’.

      Like the late Tony Soprano said ‘Those who want respect, show respect’. Psychiatry not only carried out and continues to carry out human rights atrocities against millions, it actually lied to Billions. Combine that with the fact it hasn’t made a single objective discovery about its principle object of investigation, and how does this profession deserve any respect? For the mere sake of politeness? custom? cultural tradition of reverence for white coats?

      They talk a good game. That’s it.

      “neuroimaging, molecular genetics and biology, and the disciplines of neuroscience”

      Neuroimaging: not in clinical use. In quack research use only.

      Molecular Genetics: not in clinical use. In quack research use only.

      Biology: No patient’s biology gets examined. Talk of biology exists in psychiatry’s mouth only.

      Neuroscience: Not in clinical use. Quack research only.

      60 odd years of drugging people whom they call names. 200 years of somatic tinkering. Zero evidence that distressed humans are the biological defectives they believe they are.

      I think most of psychiatry has become nothing but a brain blaming cult. In the 19th century a mere appearance of science was enough to confirm racist suspicions about the skull size of then hated races. Psychiatrists cling to the idea that the brains of people like me are diseased and defective with the fanaticism of a 19th century scientific racist. That is what makes it possible for them to carry out forced drugging and then pat their dog and sleep at night. It was what made it possible for the Nazi T4 euthanasia program psych nurses to gas us, it is what made it possible for the eugenic forced sterilization program psychiatrists to rubber stamp forced sterilization, and it is what makes the world knee-jerk and brain blame with every new gun massacre, every teenage mood, every human weakness, every bad habit, psychiatry has created a global nightmare of mass dehumanization, creation stories of pat brain blaming explanations for every negative event in human life, and the Grandmaster of the APA is one of the most delusional human beings alive on planet Earth at this moment if he thinks his profession has earned respect. And you know the hundreds of thousands of researchers who mindlessly perpetuate the foolish notion that irrational thoughts = a brain disease? Those hundreds of thousands of researchers, the people who hold these ‘rational’ beliefs about blaming bad brains and bad genes for human lives, they actually believe they themselves are pictures of normality, and ‘health’. Whatever the scientific sounding elites of the day say is the current ‘rational’ worldview, shall rule the day. And then the world found out that the ‘rationality police’ themselves, where in fact suffering from top to bottom with irrationality. Who watches the watchers? And who checks the rationality of the rationality arbiters? The profession charged with dealing with delusion was founded on a delusion 200 years ago and continues to live in delusion. That delusion is that the big bang, evolution, and the human body, somehow conspired to create all the bad irrational thoughts individuals exhibit in a modern mass society, that when a gun goes off in a school that’s a twist of the cellular world, the molecular inner universe of the body displaying a ‘symptom’ just as a pancreatic tumor is generated by nature. Utterly childish and ridiculous. Every single thing about it is hiding behind arguments from authority, credentials, and blind deference of the masses to false expertise. There is nothing there.

      Did you know Mozart wasn’t a talented composer? He was just nature playing the right molecular notes in Mozart’s brain’s neuromechanics?

      And did you know James Holmes wasn’t an angry young man, he was a molecular automaton sent from the primordial soup of early Earth, through evolution, up through hundreds of thousands of generations of genetic mutations, to 2012, where this force of nature taught itself to make bombs and buy body armor online and rampage through a theater at midnight. Just like breast cancer. Just like diabetes.

      That’s what psychiatry believes. It sounds like something from the mind of L Ron Hubbard. Combine psychiatry’s psychotic beliefs with psychiatry’s power to forcibly enter your body, and you have to wonder why the world is so worried about Islamism.

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      • Actually, whatever else one might say about L. Ron Hubbard, he’d have agreed with everything said in this blog. He considered psychiatry to be the most barbaric practice on the planet, and viewed psychiatrists as a long-standing group of evildoers behind most of the ills on the planet. I always felt that last was rather extreme hyperbole, but there are times I wonder whether he was right after all.

        Anonymous, thanks for your passion for this issue. You are right, as the saying goes, you can’t negotiate with terrorists. While there are many individuals within the profession that have a heart, the core of the profession is invalidation, power, and coercion, and it does untold damage to millions planet-wide, and is in my view irredeemable.

        “Brain-blaming cult” sums it all up quite well.

        —- Steve

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        • “you can’t negotiate with terrorists.” Exactly!

          We can give a little of a pass to a concentration camp guard who shows a little mercy, spares the occasional child, gives you two bowls of rice, but in the end Israel still hunts down 94 year old ex guards. Maybe we need a new psychiatric survivor homeland. I think the only good thing about Somalia is it only has like 2 psychiatrists.

          When I said the L Ron Hubbard thing I meant in terms of the grand narrative stretching back across space and time.

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          • Indeed. I was such a worker for 9 very long and difficult months, and did everything I legally could to spare or release the inmates, and was actually quite successful in doing so. But it weight heavily on my conscience to commit even one person to that horrendous institution. It sometimes seemed it would be kinder to just go ahead and let them kill themselves. The psych ward is a sick place, and the analogy with a concentration camp is apt.

            — Steve

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      • “and you have to wonder why the world is so worried about Islamism.”

        I’ll elaborate on that briefly.

        The world is scared of Islamism and thinks it is the greatest security threat facing the modern world.

        I think psychiatrism is.

        Psychiatrism, or al Qhiatry, is a radical interpretation of the hippocratic oath that has declared medicalized holy war on responsibility and common sense worldwide.

        The former leader of al Qhiatry, is hiding in San Diego in a cave speaking out against the new book of fatwas, DSM 5. He likes the DSM 4 book that he led.

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  6. Ma’am,

    Weathervane of the coercing traditional, pharma psychiatrists, such as Dr Lieberman shows direction towards governments money being spent on colossal electronics/computer projects like mapping brains, study large molecules, using ultra miniaturised devices inside human body. Hence, they are gradually moving the back yard earning booths to that side. Cheer Dr Lieberman as he is preparing to follow the example of his former ally, Dr Thomas Insel, NIMH director (Source: http://criticalpsychiatry.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/abandoning-diagnostic-criteria-for.html). Part of preparation is to call himself “mad” and to talk about “stigma;” as if announcing an interim comradeship with the “anti-psychiatry,” courageously using that taboo word. As an electronics physicist, I admire the post by Dr Phil Thomas, Why Neuroscience Cannot Explain Madness, in “Mad in America” refuting such an illusion ahead of that becoming the new income door of coercive traditional psychiatry. Lol, in the tempest he has to throw the multi-billion dollar DSM-5 into the surmounting waves.

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  7. Anonymous said: “There is a reason I know even just personally people who have pledged to commit suicide if forced psychiatry ever touches them again. I would never confirm or deny in writing whether I hold such a position about my own future should I be forced into psychiatry again.”

    Anonymous, I wouldn’t confirm or deny the above in writing either but I will say this. The next person who tries to arbitrarily incarcerate and/or force drug me is at risk of serious bodily injury.

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    • Indeed. It is actually a testament to our movement’s nonviolence that we restrain ourselves from retaliating to such a large degree. I’d like to see them dealt with the legal way. After a fair trial, a prison cell, restitution paid from their own assets not insurance.

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      • Exactly! I’ve been saying for two years now that the only way that we will be able to free ourselves from our oppressors is by taking them to court, over and over and over again. All of the other rights movements had to go to the courts to finally get the things they justly deserved. But every time you mention something like this out come the people who want us to “understand” our oppressors and have meaningful dialogs with them. Have meaning dialogs with them?!!!! Give me a break! These are the same people who claim that you can never believe anything a mental patient says because it’s well known that we only lie and that we all try to manipulate everyone to get what we want! They want us to gather in a circle around the campfire, hold hands with these quacks, and sing a verse or two of Kumbaya! I don’t think so. The only way to beat them is to force them into the court system. Oppressors must be forced to free the people they control and coerce. But of course, this is too strong of a sentiment for some people in our movement.

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  8. I found this article in Psychiatric News web site: http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/newsarticle.aspx?articleid=1697802

    He’s whining about a lot about how the psychiatry isn’t respected enough and so on. People on this site won’t need education about where he’s wrong, etc. It’s plain in out in eyes. But reading through it, I just had to facepalm every time he wanted something for psychiatry, and then in the same statement also said that we also need to reduce the stigma of mental disease. At times he also mentioned improving the mental health system. If he wanted to explicitly talk about about reducing the stigma of mental illness, he would have made it one part of the speech, and the problem of psychiatrists not getting enough respect and funds from pharma another part. Now he’s mingling the parts about the respect for psychiatrists, funds from pharma, and the stigma of psychiatrist patients in single sentences throughout the speech. It’s as if he’s trying to use the acknowledged stigma of mental patients to support their own case.

    Here’s a version of Lieberman’s speech from the above link where I’ve removed all the “and also to reduce the stigma of mental lllness” and other crappy parts. I have not added anything in there, I have just removed parts of it.

    DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT THE ORIGINAL SPEECH FROM LIEBERMAN, THIS IS A MODIFICATION AND SATIRE. DO NOT USE IT IS A REAL REFERENCE OF WHAT LIEBERMAN REALLY SAID

    ————————————————

    This is “our time,” said incoming APA President Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D.—time for psychiatry to seize on its advantages and realize a long-deferred dream of equity.

    Speaking at the Opening Session of APA’s 2013 annual meeting in San Francisco last month, Lieberman said he was angry about the continued stigma associated with disparagement of psychiatry in some quarters.

    … I have recently thought about that scene in ‘Network’ because as I view what is happening to the field of psychiatry, I feel ‘mad as hell, and I don’t want to take it anymore.’ The truth be told, that is why I ran for APA president—because I felt mad and wanted to use all of the power and influence of APA to speak up and stick up for our profession.

    “Throughout my career, I have been acutely sensitive to the lack of respect toward psychiatry as a medical specialty,” Lieberman said. “I suppose there might have been a time when psychiatry wasn’t as scientifically based as it should have been. But that was then, and now is now. For such attitudes and practices to persist in the 21st century is nothing short of discriminatory and prejudicial.”

    “The pharmaceutical industry has all but abandoned the development of novel psychotropic drugs,” he said. “And DSM-5 has become a lightning rod for self-styled critics and the antipsychiatry movement. Psychiatry continues to be a punch line for jokes.”

    Yet at the same time, Lieberman said, he felt profoundly optimistic about the future.

    “It is for these reasons that despite the lingering effects of stigma and inequity, I say that this is our time, and our time is within our professional lifetimes,” Lieberman said. He urged members individually and collectively to fight for the respect for the psychiatric profession.

    He pointed out that APA has a key role to play in this process. “APA is our best weapon in the fight for respect and equality both for our profession,” he said. “Therefore, I am calling on APA to redouble its efforts in representing our profession both inside the Beltway and across the country at the grassroots level of the membership and district branches. This is the time for us to seize the moment, for psychiatry to take its rightful role in the field of medicine.” ■

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    • Waaa…..waaaaaa…..waaaaa! So sad, too bad. I think he’s beginning to hear the strains of the song from the Wizard of Oz, you know, the one about “Ding Dong the Witch is dead, witch is dead, witch is dead; ding dong the Wicked Witch is dead!”

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  9. I just want to say that I agree 100% with the views expressed by Anonymous here. Psychiatry’s status as a legally sanctioned coercive force is the root of all the evils it has perpetrated over the years, including making it acceptable as “science” the type of reasoning that not even Astrology would consider valid. If psychiatry were to lose its ability to impose itself onto its victims it would became very quickly irrelevant.

    I have also said many times that taking particular psychiatrists to court in carefully chosen cases that would expose psychiatry’s evil, in the aftermath of the Insel crisis, would be the best way to send this quackery to the ash heap of history. We have now a window of opportunity that might last 2 or 3 years at best, before psychiatry comes up with its next scam.

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  10. Dr Steingard;

    “a field that he thought had the hope of combining humanism with science”

    Could you be so kind as to direct me to wherever it is on Dr. Nardo’s site that Dr.Nardo personally articulated this particular goal?

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  11. Thank you Dr. Steingard;

    I searched 1boringoldman+humanism and came up with the greatest number of hits for the term humanist here:

    http://1boringoldman.com/index.php/2010/05/16/re-forming/

    in which Dr Nardo seems to look down his nose at the Catholic Church and finds the term Secular Humanist to be Invective laden.

    Quoting Dr. Nardo’s post:

    “Independent of one’s thoughts on either of these issues, gay marriage and abortion, it’s hard to figure how they are among the most insidious and dangerous challenges to society. This kind of talk cannot be grounded in a rational look at our society that I understand – particularly the issue of gay marriage. It seems likely that the actual point is more apparent in this statement: the Pontiff also criticized Catholics who are ashamed of their faith and too willing to lend a hand to secularism.

    Once, long ago, before the in vogue epithet was liberal, someone said to me, “you secular humanists all think…” I had never heard the term before. I was in a club that I didn’t know existed – the secular humanist club. It was in the days before the Internet, so it was a while before I ran across the meaning of the term. Secular humanism is a humanist philosophy that espouses reason, ethics, and justice, and specifically rejects the supernatural and religious dogma as the basis of morality and decision-making [sounds good to me]. I’ve since heard it frequently, but never as anything but a slur. It’s a way of defining an enemy as if it is a cohesive group. Well, there may be secular humanists meeting on the sly, but I’ve never heard of them. It means someone who isn’t religious or doesn’t look to religious dogma for answers [which is a lot of us].

    There’s something else in the Pope’s statement besides the invective – secularism. He says the reason some Catholics might support abortion or gay marriage is that they are ashamed of their faith. In his scenario:

    abortion and gay marriage are dangerous challenges to society
    secularism is a bad thing, and an enemy of the Catholic Church
    support for these things is because people are ashamed of their faith

    It’s very hard for we erstwhile secular humanists to get into the right mindset to hear the Pope in his own context. In his universe, the Catholic Church defines society. And secularism is a term that ism-izes rational thought – as if it is a belief system. I suppose it’s something like the question, “Do you believe in evolution?” – again, as if evolution is a belief system rather than simply the narrative applied to a large body of clear scientific observations.”

    “It is very hard for we erstwhile Secular Humanists, . . . ”

    I’ll take that as Dr. Nardo’s embrasure of ‘Humanism’.

    1st: We must address the Legal Aspects of Govt. funding/respecting ‘Humanism’, not only in medicine but in all aspects of American life.

    It’s Illegal, period, and for the purposes of this discussion it is specifically Illegal for the Centers For Medicare Services (CMS) to dispense public funding/support for ‘Humanism’ in any area of endeavor.

    the 1st Amendment states:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Billing Medicare/Medicaid to ‘Respect’ Humanism is prohibited by the Highest Law in the land.

    Depriving people of their Unalienable Civil Rights by financially supporting/respecting Any Religious Belief System or single Religious Belief is Prohibited BY LAW under US 18C13 Sec 214 & 242

    http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/18C13.txt

    And Further:

    “Secular humanism is a humanist philosophy that espouses reason, ethics, and justice, and specifically rejects the supernatural and religious dogma as the basis of morality and decision-making [sounds good to me].”

    Please notice the title bar:

    http://www.americanhumanist.org/humanism/humanist_manifesto_iii

    “Good Without A God”

    Humanism therefore does fall under the 1st Amendment as a Religious Belief.

    “Secular humanism is a humanist philosophy that espouses reason, ethics, and justice, and specifically rejects the supernatural and religious dogma as the basis of morality and decision-making [sounds good to me].”

    And Psychiatry Doesn’t “reject the Supernatural and Religious Dogma” ?????

    The Occult World of Carl Jung

    http://psychroaches.blogspot.com/2011/07/occult-world-of-cg-jung.html

    ” humanist philosophy that espouses reason, ethics, and justice, ”

    So did Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin.

    In brief, as my Less Diplomatic politically Conservative Brethren have had it:

    “The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist is the Satanist knows who they’re working for.”

    I’ve a number of further nits needing picking with Dr. Nardo, but since he’s not here, I’ll take them up with his Secular Humanist at his own site.

    And Thank You Dr. Steingard for bringing this ‘Humanism’ issue to my attention.

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    • I will admit to sloppy (albeit colloquial) use of an important term. I should have said something like he saw in psychiatry a chance to integrate science with empathy. I think he saw the value of the human connection in healing. But these are my words and he has written many blogs so he is clearly able to speak for himself.
      Sandy

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    • It is by no means clear how you arrived at your conclusion that secular humanism is a religious belief. Your “therefore…” hinges on a headline (“Good Without God”) that completely contradicts your conclusion.

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      • “It is by no means clear”

        Good Without A God ?

        Humanism has to drag God into their discussion to identify their beliefs.

        Involving God even to deny or negate God involves Religion.

        If you don’t believe that Secularism is a religion, try debating it with an adherent.

        Try getting an atheist to prove that there is no God. Have them produce the objective, hard science, and good luck to you.

        If humanism Had a case to make for its “Good” (without a God) it would have no need to Invoke God merely to bootstrap its own pretensions by.

        Governments/Societies can ignore Atheists and harm No One.

        Governments/Societies cannot however, Support Atheists OR any denomination of any other BELIEF, Without harming many.

        If you still don’t think that this is FAR more than simple semantics:

        Justice Roy Moore spent $11,000 of his own money to erect a 10 Commandments monument, and lost his job over it.

        What we have Here, with Humanism, is the US Treasury being Billed to prop up the other side of the argument, and That is Illegal.

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      • Ross;

        We need to dig further into this Humanist Manifesto, I quoted the Title Bar as an opener, not the main course.

        From the Humanist Manifesto III itself:

        “Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness. Progressive cultures have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community. We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of nature’s resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life.

        Humanists are concerned for the well being of all, are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views. We work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open, secular society and maintain it is a civic duty to participate in the democratic process and a planetary duty to protect nature’s integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner.”

        “are committed to diversity”

        Except those who believe in God.

        Ross, in that entire page do you find an actual mechanism for bringing into existence all of their high flown, pie in the sky’ idealistic desires?

        Of course not.

        This Manifesto is nothing more than 1 World Govt, NWO, Agenda 21 (secure and sustainable?) sand box progressivism.

        “Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness.”

        Oh Really? Dead giveaway that these people are interested in Society over the Individual.

        “Progressive cultures have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community.”

        In a Pigs Ear they have. Progressive is PC for Collectivized. “Progressive” Societies have murdered over 100 Million people in the last century alone.

        “We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of nature’s resources and the fruits of human effort, . . .”

        Not “Equal under Law”, but Equality of Outcome/Socialism.

        They might as well have just directly attributed the sentiment to its true origin: The Communist Manifesto.

        “a planetary duty to protect nature’s integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner”

        As in UN Treaty’s dealing in “Carbon Credits” which have made Al Gore one of the Richest men in the world, and all of it built and peddled on flat out Lies.

        http://www.climatedepot.com/
        http://junkscience.com/

        The question to be demanded of Humanism is WHO will be in Charge of all this redistribution, and What is to stop them from running rampant over the Rights of the Individual once they’ve achieved this power/capability to PROMISE the Entire Planet all of this wonderful sounding stuff?

        Ross, Psychology itself is Humanism.

        Want to play along with them?

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        • “Ross, Psychology itself is Humanism”

          Bingo!!

          Beliefs undergird any “ology” or “ism” and the belief structures undergirding psychology have led us to where we are today. I would argue that, given those beliefs, we couldn’t have arrived anywhere else.

          Change, real change, involves a change in beliefs and this is far easier said than done. That’s why It’s more likely for help to come from outside the current paradigm from other disciplines rather than from within.

          Good stuff dbunker.

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          • David Ross; (are your credentials meriting of the term Doctor? I ask, in true candor, because if they are, I will address you in said term out of respect for the work you put it into it, . . . so long as you don’t Ever ask me, . . . “Why can’t we all just Share and Share alike, . . . it’s only “Fair” after all.”) 🙂

            Thank You for your kind words Sir.

            Furthermore, re: Humanists:
            http://www.teapartyinfo.com/quote-bank.html

            “Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”
            ~Daniel Webster

            Duane;

            As Dr. Thomas Szasz put it:

            “Until Psychiatry becomes nothing more than a conversation between equals”

            Unequivocally and most emphatically YES.

            S**t Can it. ALL of it.

            Legal experts will argue the validity/supremacy of the next source (and why shouldn’t they at various multiples of hundreds of dollars an hour) but this does sum up the argument in an easily digestible nugget:

            http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2004/Oct/BasicLegalConcepts.htm

            Definition of Fraud

            All multifarious means which human ingenuity can devise, and which are resorted to by one individual to get an advantage over another by false suggestions or suppression of the truth. It includes all surprises, tricks, cunning or dissembling, and any unfair way which another is cheated.

            Source: Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed., by Henry Campbell Black, West Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, 1979.

            Duane; Psychology’s Eidolons were an Atheist, (Freud) a Socialist (Adler), and the Fuehrer’s, Jew Bashing Boot Lick (Jung).

            These 3 A’holes are the Trifecta of Depth Psychology upon which all subsequent schools of Psychological Theorizing are built.

            There is Nothing which CAN be ‘Fixed’ in Psychology/Psychiatry since the whole thing is built upon a foundation of FRAUD.

            A house erected on rotten concrete cannot be ‘Improved’ upon. It is doomed to collapse no matter what color new siding and drapes, or expensive appliances are added to it.

            And to Both of you, I hope you’ll enjoy these two following essays.

            http://frontpagemag.com/2013/oleg-atbashian/inside-every-liberal-is-a-totalitarian-screaming-to-get-out-2-1/

            http://frontpagemag.com/2013/frontpagemag-com/inside-every-liberal-is-a-totalitarian-screaming-to-get-out-2/

            Duane, you Know, . . . I actually like you and respect you.

            Why the Hell did you ask me a Loaded Question like that? 🙂

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          • DBunker,

            I’ve enjoyed your comments for years. My apologies for putting you and David on the spot. Thank you for your deep appreciation for freedom.

            “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.” –
            Thomas Jefferson

            My best,

            Duane

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  12. Dr. Steingard,
    Thank you for your response (above, on June 29, 2013 at 4:53 am). Here I’m replying to each of your five points, in order:
    “1. I did not have time this week. I am not sure what the core etiquette of blogging is, but sometimes, I just do not have the time to respond.”
    RE “core etiquette of blogging” – I don’t know if there is any such thing (likewise, I don’t know if there’s any core etiquette of commenting). But, the moderators of this website place a high value on civility (for good reason, I think).

    And, this website is dedicated to “Science, Psychiatry and Community”; so, about your saying, “I just do not have the time to respond,” here is my response:
    Even as I do empathize (I certainly know what it’s like to feel too busy to be hooked into the Internet), I also know that, a year ago, you wrote a blog (“Coercion”) that was inevitably provocative for MIA readers; and, you, subsequently, tended to the readers’ responses. Now, you’ve unwittingly written a blog that was provocative for MIA readers. _Anonymous has well-explained why it was. This morning (June 29, 2013 at 6:29 am), he’s commented, to you, that: “you wrote about what you were ‘mad at’ about psychiatry on International torture day, in a post published side by side with 4 other articles by others that mentioned torture and coercion and force, but your post mentioned it not at all.”

    Many psychiatric survivors are mad (as in, being ‘angry’) at psychiatry, Dr. Steingard, because they have been *tortured* by psychiatry. That torture is always meted out, in the form of supposed good intentions – which makes it difficult to defend against, rationally speaking. The fact that some of us can speak fairly ‘rationally’ about these matters, leaves us commenting on this website; those who would be (understandably) sarcastic and/or personally caustic in their expressions have been essentially eliminated from the discussion; but, no one should be dissuaded from guessing that there are now countless thousands in this country (and millions, historically) who have been tortured by psychiatry.

    A properly vocal contingent of MIA readers/commenters are such survivors, who are completely dedicated to the principles of informed consent. Hence, we are utterly opposed to all arguments favoring forced ‘medical’ treatment — especially, any ‘medical’ treatment that includes brain invasive ‘treatment’.

    The moral of this story: In any community, it’s probably best to, at least, acknowledge the responses of those who could feel particularly provoked by our own expressions; and, probably, we should do our best to refrain from say anything at all, that could be read as particularly contentious – if/when we haven’t the time that’s needed to be careful and complete in conveying those expressions – and also the time to address responses.

    “2. I thought that with the Coercion post and subsequent comments, I did my best the address that topic. I honestly was not sure what else I could add.”
    Near the top of this page, I mentioned my interest in one late comment you posted, under your “Coercion” blog. I am especially interested in the following line. You say, “I also think that there needs to be a legal separation between involuntary hospitalization and involuntary medications.” To me, it seems, that one sentence, at least, requires expansion, from you; after all, it’s not at all clear: Are you suggesting that you are willing to substantially reduce the powers, that are currently afforded psychiatrists (such as yourself), when ordering a “hold”? Might you even be suggesting that you’d favor laws, which would establish a universal guarantee, of informed consent… for all “patients” of psychiatry?

    “3. You are correct that I could use composites. It is what comes to mind. In my current position, I am called to an emergency room where I sometimes am asked to make a decision about whether an individual can be held against his will. I think that an attempt at composite would sound defensive and I do not think that is a helpful response. I understand that there is a fundamental arbitrariness to some of these decisions. I understand that some of the writers here have been on the receiving end of these decisions and they may have very good reasons to disagree with the decisions that were made.”

    I believe that _Anonymous has responded to this very well, by his saying (above, on June 29, 2013 at 6:29 am): “If you’re just ‘holding’ people, you’re not ordering, petitioning, rubber stamping, decision making, on forced drugging at all, merely being called to psychiatric facility to make a decision on detention, and not entering people’s bodies against their will, then your invasiveness in the lives and bodies of strangers just got 10,000 times lighter in my eyes. I somehow doubt that this is what you meant by only mentioning the aspect of your power and where people are ‘held’. I think you are using language like ‘held in hospital’, language that sounds like a decision merely on where the person will ‘be’, you’re leaving out what is being done to that person’s body by force.”

    “4. If some of you choose to fight to change this system, go right ahead. One thing I can say is that I work in a state that has a strong legal aide division. I am happy they are there. I see the fundamental imbalance and I want the people with whom I interact to have good legal representation. But I admit that I do not have an answer. I have struggled with this my whole career and I just do not know what is the best solution. I applaud having alternatives to hospitalization for those who are experiencing extreme states, but even where I work, those programs do not accept individuals who are violent and they still rely on the emergency rooms.”

    Of all five of your points, this fourth one is, by far, the most triggering for me – in this sense, that it leaves me, now, at a near-total loss of words. (But, let me emphasize: It’s not your fault that I feel triggered by what you’re saying there; it’s not your fault that I find myself speechless. It’s just that, I have had, in the past quarter century, since the last time I was “involuntarily hospitalized,” so many *negative* recollections of my ‘treatment’ by psychiatry; I don’t want to “change the system”; I want the practice of forced brain-intrusions to be abolished. And, I am dumbfounded just thinking of what I know (from experience) is the utter *futility* of a system which forcibly drugs people first — and offers them a bit of legal assistance later. It makes them into slobbering fools, then it sends them before a ‘special’ judge.

    [Note prominently: That system is completely Un-American – totally unconstitutional. What amount of added legal representation for that system’s victims will effectively *end* forced brain ‘treatments’ altogether? That’s the level of legal representation – and only that level of legal representation — would be fair; anything less is purely a travesty of justice. Really, I am appalled by all suggestions, that there are states, in the U.S., where the subjects of the ‘mental health system, as you say, “have good legal representation.” I will address this a bit further, in responding to your next point, #5.]
    “5. I was at a loss at how to respond to comments that equate what I do with the KKK and Nazi’s. I do not want to shut out comments. I do not want to be defensive. I do not want to get into a virtual shouting match. I believe in free speech and I respect that people are entitled to their opinions, but I just do not know what more to say.”

    I don’t believe anyone was equating what you do with the KKK and Nazi’s; however, I think it’s quite possible (even probable) that there are psychiatric staff (psych-techs and nurses – even, perhaps, psychiatrists) working under your leadership – and/or, working beside you – whose ways of ‘treating’ their “patients” as well as whose ways of treating your “patients” (when you are not present) are guided by principles that have similarly guided countless KKK members and Nazi’s, historically. The genetic theories of so-called “mental illness” — that are quite pervasive, throughout the system – make certain of this; and, you, yourself emphasize that you have occasion to order force “holds” for violent people (of course, called, “mentally ill” and “mentally disordered”). The really very ‘logical’ assumption of those who believe that genetic “disorders” lead to violence is to ‘treat’ the offenders as human refuse, to be tagged with labels that mark them for a lifetime of rejections and abuse — and to be pumped willy nilly with drugs that make them subservient, impotent and likely to live very short lives.

    About your saying, at last, “I believe in free speech and I respect that people are entitled to their opinions…” I must say this: I had my free speech drugged away by Psychiatry – more than once.

    The first time, I’d been laying calmly on an examination table, in an Emergency Room. There was a hospital chaplain sitting beside me, holding my hand. When I saw the first hypodermic needle coming (it was ordered by the E.R. psychiatrist), I yelled, “NO! NO!” (like a would be rape victim might scream “NO! repeatedly), and my free speech, as such, was quickly ‘medicated’ away – so they could put me on a gurney and wheel me out to an ambulance, to be transported to a nearby “hospital”.

    Many, countless, people, have, likewise, had their free speech drugged away, by E.R. psychiatrists; but, you insist that you believe in free speech (of course, that’s amongst the very first ‘guaranteed’ rights, in our country’s Bill of Rights), so am I to assume that you would have respected my right to go on yelling “NO!”?

    Honestly, I know that is an unfair question – because you weren’t there; so, here’s a question that I think is fair: Given your professional responsibilities (as a psychiatrist, in the E.R.), how can you (or any other person who might, likewise, be authorized to order “patients” forcibly drugged) really respect free speech?

    I was raised hearing this “Just say no to drugs!” slogan repeated everywhere I went. (It was a phrase supposedly attributed to the First Lady, Nancy Reagan; and, it was extremely popular – and catchy.) That brief line meant, say “no” to mind-altering drugs – period. It was good advice, IMO.
    It seems to me that now, a sixth of all Americans are taking prescribed mind-altering drugs, and people who are saying “no” to psychiatric drugs are, nonetheless, having those drugs forced upon them – and are, thus, having their supposedly inalienable right to free speech violated – in fact, very seriously, massively violated. Wouldn’t you tend to agree?

    Please, take your time responding. Whether you reply today or tomorrow or the next day doesn’t matter to me. I am really in no hurry…
    Respectfully,
    ~Jonah

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    • P.S. — a clarification regarding my comment, above (on June 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm):

      Rereading it, I notice a potential ambiguity in the following line,

      “…we are utterly opposed to all arguments favoring forced ‘medical’ treatment — especially, any ‘medical’ treatment that includes brain invasive ‘treatment’.”

      The word “forced” in the first half of that line is supposed to apply to the entire line.

      Hence, to be more perfectly clear, I could have repeated the word “forced” (inserting it also in the second half of that sentence).

      So, here’s what I meant to say:

      “…we are utterly opposed to all arguments favoring forced ‘medical’ treatment — especially, any forced ‘medical’ treatment that includes brain invasive ‘treatment’.”

      In case it’s not already perfectly clear, let me be clear now: I am not opposed to the prescription of psychiatric drugs.

      I am opposed to forcing such drugs on people.

      When a person says “no” to a mind-altering substance, that “no” should be fully respected in all instances.

      Especially, here in the U.S., where free speech is supposed to be guaranteed, there should be no way to ‘legally’ silence people — including and especially people who are accused of being “a danger to others or themselves”.

      Respectfully, ~J.

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  13. Jonah-
    I feel that I am in a bind. I do not want to say something that is triggering to you and yet since I do not know you, I am not sure what will be hurtful. And yet, silence from me is also hurtful. One thing I did not put in my list for my relative silence on this topic is that it was not the topic of the post. I have re-read my coercion post. I still think I captured much of what I can articulate about this. It was my attempt to just be honest here about the work I do.

    I can address one point you ask about above, namely the separation between holding someone against his will in a hospital vs. giving someone drugs against his will.
    In VT, a person can be held in a hospital but this does not allow the hospital to forcibly drug the person unless there is an emergency in which the person is considered to be a danger to himself or others in that instance. In order to force a person to take drugs in a non-emergency situation, there is a requirement for a separate hearing. This is not something I can prove to you but it seems to me that the legal representation offered to people in VT is far superior to what I have seen offered in the other states in which I worked (MA and PA).
    Given where I currently work, I am involved in the first but not the second process. I was not trying to be euphemistic in my language. At the same time, I know that my actions put people in a system where involuntary drug treatment may occur.

    The dilemma for me is that the options for me are to quit entirely, work in a setting that is entirely voluntary, or to remain where I am and try to be as honest as I can in making decisions and informing people of the true risks and benefits of these drugs.
    Perhaps the only ethical choice is to quit but I have a number of people who come to see me who seem to value what I do.
    If I went into a setting that was entirely voluntary, this seems to be an error of omission since there will still be indivduals who are brought into ER’s in extreme states who would never get to me and who I would not know how to help in this other setting. This is what I was trying to get at when I wrote above:
    “I applaud having alternatives to hospitalization for those who are experiencing extreme states, but even where I work, those programs do not accept individuals who are violent and they still rely on the emergency rooms.”
    So for now, I choose the last option. For what it is worth, I at least give the options serious consideration but I do not want to pay you the insult of pandering to you or others on this site. I am trying to take responsibility for my actions.

    Finally as to my role here on MIA: I do not intend to trigger readers. I try to be respectful. The internet is vast. No one needs to read what I write. I will leave it to the adminstrators of MIA to ask me to leave if these contributions are not helpful.

    I also offered a response today to Anonymous which you may not have seen. I think it at least partially addresses what you raise:
    To Anonymous 6/29/13 7:38 am-
    At the risk of stirring this up again:
    I am not “pro” involuntary treatment. I try to do everythig I can to help people stay out of hospitals.
    However, until I am prepared or able to keep everyone out, I think it is hypocritical to condemn those who work in hospitals. I am not sure if this makes sense. But if there is someone who I do not know how to help, safely, out of the hospital and I play some role – even if it is a passive one – in that person getting admitted, then I share some responsibility for what happens after that person is admitted.
    Of course, if no psychiatrist ever agreed to participate in the current system, it would not exist. I can only take responsibiity for my own actions and that may be the choice I make one day. But for now, I am just trying to acknowledge my own personal responsibility.

    I am sorry if this offends. I am sorry for your suffering.
    Sandy

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    • “Jonah-
      I feel that I am in a bind. I do not want to say something that is triggering to you and yet since I do not know you, I am not sure what will be hurtful. And yet, silence from me is also hurtful.”

      Dr. Steingard,

      In this latest comment, of yours, you are raising what is, to my way of thinking, an all-too-familiar notion, that *many* people (especially, many ‘mental health’ workers) consider a gospel truth — that only one who’s “considered to be a danger to himself or others” can be forcibly drugged without legal proceedings.

      Specifically, you write,

      “In VT, a person can be held in a hospital but this does not allow the hospital to forcibly drug the person unless there is an emergency in which the person is considered to be a danger to himself or others in that instance. In order to force a person to take drugs in a non-emergency situation, there is a requirement for a separate hearing.”

      Dr. Steingard, to be quite frank, I am shaking my head as I read that — and can’t help but think to myself, ‘She has got be kidding…’

      But, please, don’t take my saying that personally. Please, don’t. (Really, you shouldn’t.)

      This response of mine (this momentary feeling – of incredulousness) will very quickly pass; I will adjust myself to this reality, that you actually believe that canard.

      And, please understand, I know you are *not* kidding; I actually believe you are being quite sincere — attempting to offer me a sense, of the supposedly wondrous ‘legal protections’ in play, in the environs, where you work.

      But, you seem to be unaware, that those are the very same ‘protections’ which exist throughout the entire country.

      Everywhere, in the U.S., one must, theoretically, be a ‘danger to others or to himself/herself’ — if s/he is to be forcibly drugged by an E.R. psychiatrist (and/or, by some other authorized psych-worker).

      Do you honestly think that such a legal standard provides actual justice?

      Dr. Steingard, I was deemed “a danger to himself” four separate times in barely over two years (more than twenty-five years ago).

      Yet, I was *not* a danger to myself — not in any of those instances.

      I will go on no further, elaborating, here and now.

      Rather, I would much prefer to go out now and enjoy the sunshine, maybe take a hike…

      In fact, yes, a hike — or maybe a walk on the beach — would be nice.

      So, here, now, at last (making this, for the benefit of both of us, as relatively brief a comment as possible), I’m just going to go on a wee bit further — and address those very first sentences, of your latest comment (those sentences which I’ve quoted at the top of this comment).

      Dr. Steingard,

      It’s my opinion that you feel you are “in a bind” only because you have, unfortunately, not taken my words at face value.

      So, I suggest: Take my words at face value.

      E.g., do not worry about saying something that might seem ‘triggering’ for me.

      Sparing me from the revelation of some seemingly ugly reality is *not* what I’m asking for — not from you nor from anyone else; I do *not* want to engage in any conversations with anyone who’s pussy-footing around the truth; on the contrary, as indicated, last night (on June 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm), I simply “expect you to be forthright, regarding your professional views and practices.”

      And, as I said, in concluding my last comment, to you: “Please, take your time responding. Whether you reply today or tomorrow or the next day doesn’t matter to me. I am really in no hurry…”

      I really meant that; I offered you that line because, from this point, forward, it would be great IMO if you did *not* feel any potential silence, on your part, to be hurtful; indeed, you should be able to enjoy your Saturday, too.

      So… At the end of my long comment, above, I was very deliberately aiming to allow you, to give yourself ‘permission’ to take some time for ‘silence’ — even days if needed.

      Right now, I am going out — for a number of hours, probably.

      If, as I return, I find that you’ve not replied to this comment, then that’s no problem at all.

      That would be perfectly fine by me.

      Respectfully,

      ~Jonah

      P.S. —

      Dr. Steingard, you would do me an huge favor by realizing that these comments of mine are *not* meant to pressure you.

      From what you’ve already offered, it seems to me that you’re doing your best to address my concerns. Thank you for doing so… ~J.

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      • Thank you, Jonah.
        I understand that the dangerousness criteria are problematic since it often relies on future predictions and we know we are not good at making those predictions. I believe they are applied in inconsistent ways.
        I do stand my assertion that there is at least an attempt at reasonable due process in VT, more so than what I observed in other states. If I get my energy up for this (and I am prepared for the many comments), I will try to write more about how it works.
        I think you have gotten my message that I make no pretense of having good answers to your important and profound questions. I only have more questions.
        I hope you had a good walk.
        Sandy

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        • I understand that the dangerousness criteria are problematic since it often relies on future predictions and we know we are not good at making those predictions.

          This is not the point. Even if you had a time machine and could stop Hitler, entering his body by force would still be a human rights abuse. It’s an accusation, too, not merely a criteria. It’s a government accusation that a citizen is a dangerous citizen. It happens behind closed doors with no court hearing, and the penalty is higher than even a supermax prison, prisons which, incidentally, control the most violent offenders in society using procedures, rooms, shackles and bars. Not with needles.

          The point is, the leading cause of provocation to outrage in an emergency room setting is being forced to interact with your profession against people’s will. This outrage then leads to members of your profession labeling the person dangerous, and we all know it is a fait accompli apparently, that ‘dangerous’ people should lose the right to own the inside of their brains. The fact of the matter is no matter the ‘dangerous’ actions of an ’emergency room’s’ spontaneous prisoner, (they are supposed to be happy about this and keep their cool apparently), the most dangerous actions to humanity taking place in an emergency room are forced drugging. It is an escalation of violence, and an act of violence. An act of hate toward the ‘mental patient’ declared human body. It is declaring that an individual’s consciousness, their inner world, has no right to exist. Therefore it snuffed out.

          It is not hypocritical to condemn those who choose to work in forced psychiatry. Working in forced psychiatry is always a choice. There are people I know who choose to work in only voluntary psychiatry and I have limitless respect for them just solely on this ethical fact.

          In VT, a person can be held in a hospital but this does not allow the hospital to forcibly drug the person unless there is an emergency

          It is not a ‘hospital’ forcibly drugging humans to control them, it is people. People who choose to accept this as an acceptable part of their job, people who see no red line being crossed when brains are altered by force.

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        • “I think you have gotten my message that I make no pretense of having good answers to your important and profound questions. I only have more questions.
          I hope you had a good walk.
          Sandy”

          Dr. Steingard (Sandy),

          I did have a good walk, thanks.

          And, I sincerely appreciate your saying this,

          “I make no pretense of having good answers to your important and profound questions. I only have more questions.”

          But, about your saying this,

          “I understand that the dangerousness criteria are problematic since it often relies on future predictions and we know we are not good at making those predictions. I believe they are applied in inconsistent ways.”

          I read that and feel just doubtful (wait, strike that, because, actually, to say I “feel just doubtful” is *not* a strong enough wording; I must be more honestly emphatic, to lend you my honest feeling, which is really a conviction), …really, Dr. Steingard (Sandy), I feel now completely convinced, that, by this point in time, you do not even come close to understanding the extent to which such criteria are problematic.

          You do not grasp the full extent — nor even anything close to the full extent — of just how problematic those criteria are.

          You may understand a bit — but not really nearly enough — about how problematic such criteria are.

          And, yet, what I perceive as this lack of understanding, on your part, is *not* something I wish to shame you with — quite the contrary, in fact; it seems to me that you should not be shamed; and, I do not care to shame you, at all.

          I like you, and I feel for you — especially, considering your dilemma, as you’ve described, in your comment, above, on June 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm.

          In that comment, you write,

          “…The dilemma for me is that the options for me are to quit entirely, work in a setting that is entirely voluntary, or to remain where I am and try to be as honest as I can in making decisions and informing people of the true risks and benefits of these drugs.
          Perhaps the only ethical choice is to quit but I have a number of people who come to see me who seem to value what I do.
          If I went into a setting that was entirely voluntary, this seems to be an error of omission since there will still be individuals who are brought into ER’s in extreme states who would never get to me and who I would not know how to help in this other setting…”

          You are deeply invested in a career that is wrought with virtually endless, profound moral complexities — ethical dilemmas; nonetheless, from reading your blogging, I think, surely, you must be someone who does considerably more good than harm, on the job.

          Of course, that’s not to say I imagine you do no harm.

          IMO, *everyone* does harm, who has occasion to order and/or administer *forcible* ‘medication’ of people on account of their being deemed “a danger to themselves or others”; everyone who is engaged in the process of advancing forced brain ‘treatments’ does some considerable harm, in the process…

          Though, of course, occasionally, such ‘treatments’ also saves lives. (I admit that sometimes there is some good that comes from such ‘treatment’.)

          Simply, knowing what I feel I know about psych-meds and psychiatry, if I were you, I’d find a different job.

          Maybe I’d open up a private practice? If so, it would be ‘med’ free — or else, prescribing only in ways designed to wean people off the pills that other doctors have got them hooked on (i.e., developing strategies for ultimately getting people off psych-drugs entirely); and, of course, never, under any circumstances, would I ever order anyone forcibly drugged.

          Finally, I do want to stress this one point, about something you said to _Anonymous.

          You wrote,

          “…To Anonymous 6/29/13 7:38 am-
          At the risk of stirring this up again:
          I am not “pro” involuntary treatment. I try to do everythig I can to help people stay out of hospitals.
          However, until I am prepared or able to keep everyone out, I think it is hypocritical to condemn those who work in hospitals. I am not sure if this makes sense. But if there is someone who I do not know how to help, safely, out of the hospital and I play some role – even if it is a passive one – in that person getting admitted, then I share some responsibility for what happens after that person is admitted.
          Of course, if no psychiatrist ever agreed to participate in the current system, it would not exist. I can only take responsibiity for my own actions and that may be the choice I make one day. But for now, I am just trying to acknowledge my own personal responsibility…”

          Because the day has gone by, and he has not yet commented on that, I will do so — just very briefly.

          Dr. Steingard (Sandy), I don’t doubt that you are trying to acknowledge your own personal responsibility. Only, I ask you to please, please, please understand: From all he has said, it’s very clear — crystal clear, really — that _Anonymous does *not* (nor do I) condemn people who work in “hospitals” (i.e., who work on psych wards).

          As far as I can tell, from all he says, he does *not* broadly condemn people who work in the “mental health system” nor who, more specifically, work in psychiatric so-called “hospitals”.

          As far as I can tell, from his replying comments, he might actually *like* some MIA commenters, who work in psych hospitals.

          In any event, _Anonymous has stated (in many ways, quite clearly) that his concern is primarily the forced brain ‘treatment’ — i.e., the *lack* of informed consent, in psychiatry, which leads to unwanted neurochemical intrusions. Of course he has concerns about other intrusions, of the Therapeutic State, upon personal sovereignty, but none are so condemnable as that one.

          That’s how I interpret his views.

          I feel the same way.

          (Surely, he can read this comment of mine, and correct me if I’ve misinterpreted his views here.)

          Thank you for attention, Dr. Steingard (Sandy); considering the comments you’ve offered me today, I do feel heard; and, that’s a good feeling…

          Respectfully,

          ~Jonah

          P.S. — Only after writing this, do i see that _Anonymous has replied to you…

          P.P.S — Maybe if you really feel a strong calling to work in “hospital” settings, you should become a “hospital” chaplain… (no kidding). Follow the comments of Stephen Gilbert, to learn about his profession.

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          • Exactly. Who could be against a Chaplain working on death row? He’s not putting needles into anyone. Same goes for the debate around government forced brain drugging.

            In fact I like the idea, a chaplain comes by to pray and offer words of solidarity with the condemned, right before the psych nurse goons come in and perform the take-down and forced injection of consciousness altering drugs.

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    • In VT, a person can be held in a hospital but this does not allow the hospital to forcibly drug the person unless there is an emergency in which the person is considered to be a danger to himself or others in that instance.

      If the person empowered by the government says it is an emergency, than it is an emergency?. There is no excuse for entering bodies. Police have been able to arrest unarmed people without shooting bullets or drugs into their bodies for centuries. There is no reason why people should have their behavior declared a ‘medical emergency’ and then have their bodies entered, their consciousness deleted by forced drugging. In labeling someone’s conduct a bodily ownership forfeiting ’emergency’, or in engaging in the emergencization, of the situation, psychiatry piggy backs on the public’s understanding of real medical emergencies, such as people being in cardiac arrest, and therefore whitewashes the reality of forced drugging. The situation of government empowered agents, and it is the government forced psychiatry legislation that gives you your power, declaring things an ’emergency’, behind closed doors, under cover of both stigma and medical privacy, and then ‘going in’ to the body, is pretty much the same in the majority of jurisdictions. The declaring of a situation an ’emergency’ is subject to no checks and balances, the person has no right of appeal, it is essentially one of the most discriminatory and controversial government powers in existence, and exists only because of a multi-century long tradition of the ‘mental patient’s’ body being treated as less sacrosanct than the physical medicine patient’s body.

      So it’s essentially be detained without charge or trial in a building on the authority of government power, called a ‘hospital’ or whatever the coercers wish to label the building, if you dare get outraged, bang. They can label you an angry ‘dangerous to self or others’ person and bang. The needle goes in. That’s the reality, and there is no scrutiny on psychiatry’s labeling of danger, it happens behind closed doors, subject to zero oversight, and is an example of Nostradamus risk prediction , one in which people lose more rights, the right to own their own body, than even a convicted murderer sitting in a cell in a supermax prison loses. In the end there is nowhere to run, nowhere to move, in this debate. Defenders of forced so called ’emergency’ forced drugging, are treating, living, conscious, many times innocent, human beings, as if they were wild animals to be shot up with tranquilizer darts on safari. That truth is inescapable. So, to recap, if you’re in Virginia, and you get angry that you’ve been imprisoned in an ’emergency room’, you can be declared by psychiatric fiat to be ‘dangerous’ and then you get put in the category that only mental patients and those on death row get put in, those who ‘get the needle’. For expediency, the perps become human rights abusers.

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      • Vermont not Virginia. Who cares. The so called ‘argument from medical emergency’ justification is invalid no matter what jurisdiction it is being made in. This is the 21st century. We are supposed to have certain inalienable rights. Brain freedom, bodily ownership equality, is the battleground in every state.

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  14. Let’s not forget also that forced psychiatric drugging depends on all of these:

    1. The decision maker on whether to enter bodies by force is a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists seem to have very unique beliefs about the human body that they can’t prove.
    2. The psychiatrist’s ‘expertise’ is what declares the citizen ‘dangerous’.
    3. The body being forcibly entered is orbiting around psychiatry’s endless 200 year propaganda campaign about something being wrong with the body of the designated ‘mental patient’.
    4. The obvious scapegoating and wagon-hitching to famous ‘dangerous mental patients’ that goes on. If lay public hear a psychiatrist say ‘oh we only do that to the DANGEROUS ones. Implicit in this is that forced emergency drugging is justified, deserved, proportionate to the danger the citizen poses.
    5. If they did it to you, it ‘must have’ been an emergency. It is a rare part of my job, happens ‘occasionally’, but so integral to it, that I cannot switch to only working with voluntary patients. etc etc etc.
    6. The citizen’s tax dollars purchasing handcuffs for cops, guns, tasers, leg irons, fortified rear seats of police vehicles, prisons, jails, prison vans, for the proven dangerous people in the world, should have added to it, syringes and psychiatric drugs, for people declared dangerous by fiat behind closed doors, by biological psychiatrists who believe in brain diseases nobody can prove exist.
    7. If frontal lobe neurotransmission alteration is such an acceptable form of social control, let’s see how it fares out in the light of day and not hidden behind closed doors. Let’s change the whole TV show ‘Cops’, to repeated scenes of cops stabbing syringes into drug dealer suspects, and watching them become limp drooling chemically lobotomized zombies. If it is an acceptable form of social control, lets have teachers arm their classrooms with syringes full of neuroleptics to tranquilize unruly kids that hit other kids. Instead of boxing matches, we could have two burly guys face each other in the ring, first to inject the other wins. And the crowd cheers.

    Only when all forced drugging perpetrators face the inherent affront to human dignity that is controlling other human beings by entering their brains by force, will they repent. Only when decoupled from the false authority of ‘hospitals’ and ‘doctors’ and ‘nurses’ does the cold, grisly reality of what forced drugging is, come into focus. This is the wholesale biological domination, of human beings’ living conscious brains, by others, and a moral atrocity of the highest order on par with involuntary labor relations and involuntary sexual relations. It’s framing as ‘the only thing we could do in an emergent situation’ is profoundly offensive and does not stand up to scrutiny. That is why this practice happens behind closed doors, under lock and key of medical privacy, stigma, and public reassurances of justification from officially state empowered psychiatrists as we have seen here.

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  15. And I will say I agree with Jonah, anyone who has chosen to accept a role in government forced brain tinkering against strangers, is likely to be someone who does both some good and some harm. The good can be impressive, working within such a mangled system with very few ways to innovate, shows if nothing else a desire to help. The red lines crossed by forced brain entering are so profoundly extreme, they are the nuclear weapon or chemical weapon of bioethics, in my opinion that in being a forced psychiatry worker, one would always be in a situation of one step forward two steps back morally and ethically, and then some months three step forward, one step back, some months some other combination of steps, very uneven, very hard to gauge, creating some thankful fans out there, and some people who wish you were put in prison. It is a position I’d never want to be in. Which is why I don’t chose to put myself in it. It’s clear we have a long way to go before the ‘brains of mental patients’ get the same human rights protections as the brains of the people who forcibly enter the brains of ‘mental patients’.

    I guess it all comes down to what your brain is filled with:

    If your brain is:

    a) Filled with ‘facts’, knowledge, skills, authority, expertise, you get to keep your brain.

    If your brain is:

    b) Accused of being diseased/out of order, you lose the right to own your brain, or live under threat of being rounded up and brain altered, kidnapped from your home, sentenced in Kangaroo courts to long term brain alteration etc.

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  16. It would be even better to read all this passionate expertese written in response to the many dozens of opinion articles out there promoting forced treatment and winning over followers. Usually, when I rally the courage to respond in other, much less unfriendly contexts, I am quite alone. Why spend so much energy arguing before such a sympathetic audience that is already converted. Please rally up the courage to spend more time wrestling with the true bullies writing for nearly every other media outlet.

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  17. Duane,
    No space to answer above. Yes, to answer your question, but it depends. It depends on the beliefs/assumptions undergirding the counseling approach. I’m a firm believer in Nouthetic Counseling, for instance, because I believe in the foundational beliefs behind it.
    http://www.nouthetic.org/about-ins/what-is-nouthetic-counseling

    I can’t say the say for other psychotherapies (Behavioral approaches, Rogerian, Psychodynamic, REBT, etc.)

    Feel free to contact me thru my email if you have additional questions on this.
    Thanks Duane,
    David

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    • David,

      Thank you for the link.
      Fair enough.

      I too have a tough time with many forms of counseling, psychotherapy – particularly in the area of moral relativism.

      Also, I question how “healthy” it is to reveal ones heart to a stranger – one who does not always see themselves as an equal.

      But I don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. And IMO, talk therapy offers more opportunity than drugs.

      Be well,

      Duane

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        • Thanks Duane. I hear you about not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I’m no fan of drugs. You’ve read enough of my comments to know that. Unfortunately, counseling approaches based on say a moral relativistic philosophy can do harm, IMO, just a different kind of harm than drugs.

          All the best,
          David

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          • I agree.

            In fact, IMO moral relativism is how we ended up in this mess! There seems to be no appreciation for right or wrong; a paranoia of sorts – of “black and white” thinking when it comes to matters of conscience.

            This, IMO is why psychiatry has a hard time doing the “right” thing. It has no understanding or appreciation of the right thing!

            Duane

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    • “I’m a firm believer in Nouthetic Counseling, for instance, because I believe in the foundational beliefs behind it…”

      David,

      Thanks for sharing this. I checked the Nouthetic(dot)org link and read the page. It’s really interesting, IMO.

      Though, I’m not a Christian, I respect many of the teachings attributed to Jesus, as conveyed through the Book of Matthew.

      I’ve just now Googled Jay E. Adams (who is apparently the founder of Nouthetic.org — The Institute for Nouthetic Studies).

      I see he’s called “Dr.” Adams because he’s a Ph.D..

      And, I see he has some critics.

      E.g.,

      “…Psychologists have argued that nouthetic counseling[9] can do considerable harm to patients. In addition to techniques which critics consider ineffective, patients who are not helped by nouthetic counseling often consider themselves religious failures.[10][11][12] Further criticism comes from The Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology and Counseling, which states that “Adams seems to be not fully knowledgeable regarding the theories he criticizes” and that “confrontation is also essential to the theory of Adams.” However, it does go on to state that this confrontation “is defined as caring confrontation.”…”

      There’s not enough information on that Wikipedia page to satisfy my curiosity about Dr. Adams’s methods.

      A sixth of all Americans are on psych ‘meds’ and receive little or no counseling of any kind.

      Many (maybe most) leaders of religious organizations have nothing to say about this; I’d guess they have their own opinions but avoid broaching the subject.

      I’m wondering, do you know if Dr. Adams, being a leading Christian counselor and teacher of Christian counselors, has broached it…

      Respectfully,

      ~Jonah

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      • Jonah,
        Thanks for your thoughts and your queries about 1) the psych meds and 2)lack of counseling. These are not easily answered. I can tell you that Nouthetic Counseling is not a proponent of psych drugs. Here’s a brief piece by Adams on the issue:

        “The use of psychotropic drugs, on the other hand, inhibits the body from functioning as it should. It is that use of medicine that we deplore. Mood changing drugs affect a person in such a way that the benefits of pain and other unpleasant feelings are not realized. Discomfort was designed to call attention to some underlying problem (organic or non-organic) so that it might be dealt with. One would hardly want to desensitize the nerve endings on his fingers because he has found that touching a hot stove hurts. If he did, the first he would know of the fact that he was resting his fingers there would be when he smells meat cooking! To desensitize these nerves, in the long run, would cause serious damage to the body. As an alerting system and warning device, then, pain is a friend. We do not believe in masking such pain by drugs.”

        In short, Adams doesn’t buy the chemical imbalance myth but what he does buy is actual organic conditions if they exist (i.e. brain damage).

        Your second query is a tougher one to answer and I won’t pretend to be able to answer it fully or completely. I can only add that people don’t seek counseling for all kinds of reasons. Cost, time commitment, don’t think it helps, bad experiences (personally or family/friends), stigma, culture, etc.

        I think the church can do a far better job of counseling their own members and STOP sending them out to secular authorities. Jay’s group and others are trying to help churches do this and train up counselors within the church to handle the increased numbers of people receiving counseling.

        If you have time, check out some of Dr. Adams’ writings under the “Resources” tab.

        Best,
        David

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