The Vatican, Ritalin, and a Canadian Study of Long-term ADHD Outcomes

Robert Whitaker
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The Vatican conference on “The Child as a Person and as a Patient: Therapeutic Approaches Compared,” which took place on June 14 and 15 in Rome, was not really focused—as I had thought it would be—on the merits of medicating children for psychiatric disorders. The two Americans who had tirelessly campaigned for this conference, Marcia Barbacki and Barry Duncan, had hoped that it would serve that purpose, but the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, as it invited speakers, decided on a broader, more diffuse agenda. As a result, there were talks on the nature of suffering, reports on the health problems of children in different regions of the world, and presentations on Catholic perspectives and approaches for caring for children who are ill.

Even so, there were, within that larger agenda, presentations on the prescribing of psychotropic drugs to children, with Marcia and Barry securing invitations for a number of people who have written critically about this practice. There were seven of us “critics” who were given 20 minutes each to speak. There were also several presentations by European psychiatrists and physicians who supported such treatments, speaking of them as a way to ease the suffering of ill children.

I was the first of the seven “critics” to speak, and prior to my moment on the stage, there had been two presentations on ADHD, both by speakers from Catholic institutions, who spoke of ADHD in biological terms and told of the importance of stimulants to treat it. The second such talk, by Professor Cinzia Dello Russo, a researcher at the Pharmacology Unit at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, was titled “Neuropharmacology: Current State and Prospects.” She told of how ADHD was a brain development disorder, and how stimulants might change the ADHD brain in ways that helped it develop more normally.

This seems to be the new story that is emerging in biological psychiatry. Whereas psychiatry once told of psychiatric drugs that fixed chemical imbalances, the field is now telling of how the drugs may be “neuroprotective,” protecting against some toxic disease process; or how they may stir the growth of new neurons in select areas of the brain, which is seen as helpful; or that, in the case of stimulants, they somehow counter abnormal brain development said to be common to youth with ADHD. All of these tell of how the drugs, in some manner or another, are good for the brain.

I then gave my talk. I had been assigned the topic of “The History of Psychiatric Drug Care: The Global Spread of Psychotropic Treatment,” and like all speakers, allotted 20 minutes. I spoke briefly about the conventional history, which is that the arrival of chlorpromazine in asylum medicine in 1954 kicked off a “psychopharmacological revolution,” this great leap in care. Then, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a second generation of psychiatric medications came to market that were understood to be safer and more effective than the first generation, and which were also understood to fix chemical imbalances in the brain.

I then quickly reviewed three reasons to be skeptical about that story of progress. I told of the soaring number of people disabled by mental illness over the past 25 years in developed countries around the world; of the fact that the chemical imbalance theory of mental disorders had never panned out; and of how outcomes for major mental disorders—schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder—had, if anything, worsened, in the modern era.

That was the first half of my talk, and at this point, I think–from the point of view of one of the moderators for my session—I was veering from the expected script. Next, I turned my attention to pediatric disorders, starting with the rise of ADHD. I told of how it came to be identified as a disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, and how this diagnosis spread throughout much of the developed world in the past 15 years. I then noted that long-term studies—such as the MTA study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health—had failed to find that the stimulants provided any benefit. And if that were so, I asked, where is the rationale for the long-term prescribing of stimulants? We know that these drugs can cause adverse effects, and if they aren’t providing a long-term benefit on any domain of functioning, then shouldn’t we worry that this practice is causing harm?

My time was about up, and so I hurried through a few more comments about the evidence base for antidepressants and antipsychotics in children. I spoke of how most pediatric studies of antidepressants had failed to find that the drugs provided even a short-term benefit over placebo, and of how, in the one longer-term study of antipsychotics in children, the TEOSS trial funded by the NIMH, only 12% of the youth were seen as benefitting from the drug by the end of 12 months.

While there were many in the audience who welcomed my talk, I think it is fair to say that one of the two moderators, Dr. Daniel Cabezas, who is a consultant to the Pontifical Council, was not particularly pleased with it. Later, as I thought about that, I could see why. I was following a presentation by a researcher in the pharmacology unit at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, and it was clear that my presentation directly challenged what she had said only moments before. In the conservative environs of the Vatican, I imagine that must have seemed a rather impolite thing to do. As David Cohen told me when I sat back down, my talk seemed very “American,” in the sense that I hadn’t tried to couch my words, but rather had honed in on the bottom line, and while some in the audience may have appreciated that approach, it probably wasn’t the usual way things were done there, in the halls of a Vatican conference.

Given that experience, on the way back home I kept wondering: is it possible to have a real exploration of the merits of psychiatric drugs?  And then, when I arrived back in Cambridge, I received an email from Bonnie Kaplan, who writes on this website, that provided a link to a new study of long-term ADHD outcomes in Quebec, Canada. This study reminded me anew of the importance of keeping this question alive, even when doing so can seem so difficult.

The paper, authored by Princeton University economist Janet Currie and colleagues, was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which is headquartered in Cambridge Massachusetts. It is titled: “Do Stimulant Medications Improve Educational and Behavioral Outcomes for Children with ADHD?”

The three researchers mined a rich data set from the National Longitudinal Survey of Canadian Youth to answer this question. In 1994, Canadian investigators first surveyed more than 16,000 children, ages 0 to 11, and then followed their progress through childhood, with follow-up surveys done every two years, through 2008. The final data set consisted of 9818 children, and, among other things, it provided information on whether the children had symptoms of ADHD (as determined in the survey questionnaire.)

Now, in 1997, Quebec greatly expanded insurance coverage for medications, and in the wake of that change, the diagnosis of ADHD and the prescribing of stimulants in the providence soared, to rates markedly above the rest of Canada. This allowed the researchers to assess whether, as the result of this expanded treatment, the outcomes for children with ADHD in Quebec improved.

Here is what the researchers found:

“The increase in medication use is associated with increases in unhappiness and a deterioration in relationship with parents. These emotional and social effects are concentrated among girls, who also experience increases in anxiety and depression. We also see some evidence of deterioration in contemporaneous educational outcomes including grade repetition and mathematics scores. When we turn to an examination of long-term outcomes, we find that increases in medication use are associated with increases in the probability that boys dropped out of school and with marginal increases in the probability that girls have ever been diagnosed with a mental or emotional disorder.”

From a societal viewpoint, the findings can be summed up this way: Increased treatment led to more unhappiness and depression, worsening relationships with parents, and a decline in educational outcomes. The increased prescribing of stimulants took a toll on Quebec society, in the form of worsening outcomes for children diagnosed with ADHD.

This study is a valuable addition to the long-term outcomes literature for ADHD.  We already had the MTA study, funded by the NIMH, which failed to find that stimulants provided a long-term benefit on any domain of functioning. We already had a ten-year study by Western Australia, which  failed to find any long-term benefit. Now we have this new Canadian study. The “evidence base” for long-term outcomes with stimulants is becoming ever more robust, and thus we come to the very question that I raised at the Vatican conference: If the drugs do not provide any long-term benefit, and we know they can cause adverse effects, then, over the long-term, isn’t this a story of harm being done?

The answer to that question, of course, is yes.  And given that we are talking about a medical practice that is affecting so many children in the U.S. and around the world, if research is indeed showing a lack of long-term benefit (and thus of harm), then such findings need to be publicized. This is a pursuit of profound moral dimensions, and yet, having come back home from the Vatican conference, which I attended with such high hopes, I now see it more than ever as a task that is so very difficult to achieve.

 

 

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103 COMMENTS

  1. I’ll say it for at least the 50th time. I think the efforts should stop bothering to try to change these peoples minds or fight with them over exposure in the media and focus on preparing criminal charges against them and finding or conditioning courts to press those charges. These people are lying in spite of scientific evidence to support behaviors that are causing SERIOUS HARM and even wrecking the lives of people, including innocent children, while they are profiting from it. There is no way that should not be considered a crime. They should have never been allowed to ignore or argue the evidence of harm being caused by them. The fact that they did should prove criminal culpability.

    • I agree. What is so interesting to me is that psychiatry claims that its “treatment” is based so solidly on science and yet, with every scientific study that comes out the so-called “treatment’ proves to be harmful rather than healing. And yet they go right on claiming just the opposite of what the studies say. This is a prime example of a group being delusional and living in a fantasy of their own creation; they refuse to face the real world. The worst problem is that they’re allowed to go right on harming people right and left with nothing being done to stop it. One conference at the Vatican is not going to force them to stop harming hundreds of thousands of people, no matter how much we like to think otherwise. Until the law and the courts are brought into this nothing is going to change one little bit for the better.

  2. Wow, that is a major study! I’m sorry the Vatican conference didn’t provide what you expected, but politics reigns, even at the Vatican. Studies like the one you just mention are so important in countering these political/economic messages that are so self-serving to the ruling class. THANK YOU for continuing to fight the good fight. I know you get discouraged, but you continue to inspire me and others to keep going when we get discouraged ourselves.

    Thanks also for this new study – I have every intention of making full use of it. I’ve been saying for many years that there is no evidence of long-term benefit for stimulants, but this is the first time I can say there is definitive evidence of long-term damage. Let’s get this study as broadly distributed as possible! Given the new DSM controversy craze, would someone from the NYT be interested in this latest research?

    —- Steve

  3. “Labeling a child as mentally ill is stigmatization, not diagnosis. Giving a child a psychiatric drug is poisoning, not treatment… ” and
    “Diseases are malfunctions of the human body, of the heart, the liver , the kidney, the brain. So it doesn’t matter how a child behaves, there is nothing to examine. If he is sick then there must be some objective science to it. Which can be diagnosed by physicians and objective tests.

    As soon as you go to a doctor, they take a lot of blood. They take Xrays. They don’t want to hear how you behave.” Thomas S. Szasz

  4. I too thank you and the other speakers for all your efforts. I think the absolute collapse of the chemical imbalance myth has shown some of the drug proponents for who they really are. Proponents of drugs. Period.

    I think many believe that we, as a species, are “better” on drugs. Sure we may not know exactly why yet, but the answer is just around the corner. Will the drugs produce undesirable effects as well as desirable effects? Sure, but you have to take the good with the bad no? It’s a kind of willful blindness Bob. They “have” to believe that we can be better under the influence. We can’t possibly negotiate all the richness and challenge that life affords clean and sober.

    No, the un-medicated life is not worth living.

    D

      • Hi Duane, speaking of hope & self-regulation, I thought you might like this;

        The Entrance to Oneness

        Welcome to the path of the heart! Believe it or not, this can be your reality, to be loved unconditionally and to begin to become that love. This path of love doesn’t go anywhere. It just brings you more here, into the present moment, into the reality of who you already are. This path takes you out of your mind and into your heart… Ram Dass, Love Serve Remember.

        Read More: http://goo.gl/5FfQi

        It resonates well, in my heart, especially as I found an increased awareness of my heart’s role in energizing my sense of self, helped me to transform psychoses, by going through the processes, four times.

        It also relates well to a rising science of the heart? Please consider;

        “As for myself and my improving self-regulation through increased ‘internal’ awareness. it has come through digesting new knowledge with the practice of experiential integration, having, like many of my fellow travelers here, faith in my innate intuition. Hence I write to such a fellow traveler;

        “I have always trusted my “intuition” over my often confused rationality, and increasingly accept the evolved wisdom of my body and its ability to know, what “rationally,” is “unknowable.”

        Although I don’t favor their rather commercial approach to science, the folks at HeartMath Institute do point out some great science of the heart, and practical ways to use it.

        “The heart’s nervous system contains around 40,000 neurons, called sensory neurites, which detect circulating hormones and neurochemicals and sense heart rate and pressure information. Hormonal, chemical, rate and pressure information is translated into neurological impulses by the heart’s nervous system and sent from the heart to the brain through several afferent (flowing to the brain) pathways. It is also through these nerve pathways that pain signals and other feeling sensations are sent to the brain. These afferent nerve pathways enter the brain in an area called the medulla, located in the brain stem. The signals have a regulatory role over many of the autonomic nervous system signals that flow out of the brain to the heart, blood vessels and other glands and organs. However, they also cascade up into the higher centers of the brain, where they may influence perception, decision making and other cognitive processes.

        “Since emotional processes can work faster than the mind, it takes a power stronger than the mind to bend perception, override emotional circuitry, and provide us with intuitive feeling instead. It takes the power of the heart.” (McCraty, Atkinson, Tomasino, 2001).

        Best wishes,

        David.

        • Interesting lack of response to my comment to Daune here;

          “It resonates well, in my heart, especially as I found an increased awareness of my heart’s role in energizing my sense of self, helped me to transform psychoses, by going through the processes, four times.”

          Especially since Daune makes this comment last year;

          Could the best way out of a “psychosis” be THROUGH the psychosis?

          Duane

          https://www.madinamerica.com/2012/04/jungs-first-dream-the-mad-god-dionysus-and-a-madness-sanctuary-called-diabasis/#comment-5955

          To which my brother in arms, my kindred spirit replies;

          Madness is a the natural process of transformation you describe Duane if it is allowed to have a life of it’s own, and is received in a safe and loving way.

          https://www.madinamerica.com/2012/04/jungs-first-dream-the-mad-god-dionysus-and-a-madness-sanctuary-called-diabasis/#comment-5963

          To the many “rationalist” readers it might appear that use Michael’s name with an impolite lack of social etiquette in my response to Robert below;

          In 2012, Dr Michael Cornwall, was moved to write that David Bates has an understanding of madness beyond compare, and I do understand that what I write is generally dismissed, because it unsettles a consensus of human reason. Yet does Michael, with his decades of front-line experience, make this comment because he’s being irrational? With all due respect Robert, you may not really understand what the term “unconscious” means, and I suggest you will continue to be disappointed, by people’s NEED to cling to an image of reason, which is self-deceiving. Due to a historical need to deny our evolved nature.

          Yet does Michael understand that it is my deeper awareness of subconscious processes, which allows me to trigger Robert’s rationalized response to a “threat” subconsciously perceived?

          If readers follow this thread carefully, taking time to digest the comments I’ve made, and Robert’s own comment, they may see a personal challenge, at first ignored, and then made more real by my posting of the “inconvenient” reality, of some black & white statistics?

          Read this comment;

          Sorry, David – one more thing to say.

          Bipolar chick?

          “Bipolar chick
          Timeline

          Personal Blog
          Just one bipolar chick. But one is all you need sometimes! disclaimer: This page is for entertainment only. ”

          She’s a CULTURAL CONFORMIST, an “entertainer” – because technology (internet) has TRANSFORMED life.

          And you begin to understand our rational illusions about reality, as a NEED of positive physiological state (internal sensations)is stimulated by the mind?

          Please understand, that I’m not trying to attack or embarrass anybody, I’m trying to show people the subconscious processes which stimulate our sense of reason. When I use the term scan,/b> I’m referring to the subconscious processes, Shcore describes, as happening so fast, they fail to cross the threshold of consciousness. Please consider that we may have become so stuck in Descartes error, that we literally can’t see what is right in front of our eyes.

          Please consider;

          WE CANNOT PERCEIVE WHAT WE CANNOT CONCEIVE:
          We can only perceive, or literally see, what we can conceive of. We must have neuronal firing in our brains, whether it be in the imaginable state or actual perceptual state, for us to register an object as a reality.

          Example: When Magellan’s fleet sailed around the tip of South America he stopped at a placed called Tierra del Fuego. Coming ashore he met some local natives who had come out to see the strange visitors. The ship’s historian documented that when Magellan came ashore the natives asked him how he had arrived. Magellan pointed out to his fully rigged sailing ships at anchor off the coast. None of the natives could see the ships. Because they had never seen ships before they had no reference point for them in their brains, and could literally not see them with their eyes. Therefore, it is to our advantage to expose our brains to varied stimulus so that the proper neuronal connections are forged. In this way we expand and enrich our ability to experience more of our environment in a meaningful way.

          Finally words from my brother in arms, my kindred spirit;

          It seems obvious that when faced with the choice of allowing a realization that Jung either was singularly psychologically blind to the identity of his own benefactor Dionysus, or a realization that Jung deceptively hid the identity of the phallic maneater Dionysus– that Jung’s followers were in so much cognitive dissonance, were in such a bind that they unconsciously chose the third alternative. They went into a collective trance. Like the throng in the Emperor’s New Clothes fairy tale, they couldn’t see the reality before their very eyes.

          Orwell famously affirmed this psychological axiom –’To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.’

          That’s why Perry’s patrician jaw dropped and I saw him for the first time at a loss for words when I spoke my Jungian blasphemy about the big secret hidden in plain sight. When the defense of denial collapses on a secret that big it is a dramatic thing to witness. Perry became almost giddy–he kept repeating–”Of course Michael, yes, you are right, you are right–I never saw it, none of us did–oh, you must publish this, must publish this!” And so I am right now.

          God bless you Michael, for NOT being an intellectual rationalist.

          Best wishes to all,

          David Bates.

  5. Dear Robert, you wrote;

    “This is a pursuit of profound moral dimensions, and yet, having come back home from the Vatican conference, which I attended with such high hopes, I now see it more than ever as a task that is so very difficult to achieve.”

    As I’ve written on another thread, and even on a post that contained comments about the event while was being held, perhaps the difficulty involves our “unconscious” processes and our universal tendency to “cover-up,” our true motivations, with rationalized denial.

    Could you expand on your use of the term unconscious, in your discussion, on televised interview, please. See interview and comments here:

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/05/inside-story-americas-redefining-mental-illness/

    There is a comment on the above thread about your facial expression during the interview, Robert.

    If you care to expand on your use of the term unconscious, I will expand on the hidden nature of “affect” and why I believe the difficulty of our challenge to raise awareness, will continue.

    In the meantime, I would like to encourage people to consider the nature of our cognitive dissonance, please consider;

    “Our Consensus Reality & Cognitive Dissonance?

    Cognitive Dissonance:

    This is the uncomfortable feeling that develops when people are confronted by “things that shouldn’t ought to be, but are.” If the dissonance is sufficiently strong, and is not reduced in some way, the uncomfortable feeling will grow, and that feeling can develop into anger, fear and even hostility. To avoid cognitive dissonance people will often react to any evidence which disconfirms their beliefs by actually strengthening their original beliefs and create rationalizations for the disconfirming evidence. The drive to avoid cognitive dissonance is especially strong when the belief has led to public commitment.

    There are three common strategies for reducing cognitive dissonance. One way is to adopt what others believe. Parents often see this change when their children begin school. Children rapidly conform to “group-think,” and after a few years, they need this particular pair of shoes, and that particular haircut or they will simply die. The need to conform to social pressure can be as psychically painful as physical pain.

    A second way of dealing with cognitive dissonance is to “apply pressure” to people who hold different ideas. This explains why mavericks are so routinely shunned by conventional wisdom. To function without the annoying psychic pain of cognitive dissonance, groups will use almost any means to achieve a consensus reality.

    A third way of reducing cognitive dissonance is to make the person who holds a different opinion significantly different from oneself. This is normally done by applying disparaging labels. The heretic is disavowed as stupid, malicious, foolish, sloppy, insane, or evil and their opinion simply does not matter.

    When we are publicly committed to a belief, it is disturbing even to consider that any evidence contradicting our position may be true, because a fear of public ridicule adds to the psychic pain of cognitive dissonance. Commitment stirs the fires of cognitive dissonance and makes it progressively more difficult to even casually entertain alternative views.

    “Without deep and active involvement in controversy, and/or a degree of philosophical self-consciousness about the social process of science, people may not notice how far scientific practice can stray from the text book model of science.” _Harry Collins.”

    Respectfully,

    David Bates.

  6. No civil rights struggle has been easy and this one is no exception.

    Think about this: in spite a bloody civil war that was supposed to be the end of race inequalities in the US, the US Supreme Court issued Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, which was the law of the land until Brown v. Board of Education 60 years later. That’s 60 years of many who had their civil rights abused. It wasn’t until 10 years later that the 1964 civil rights law was passed.

    Many good battles have been already won with respect to psychiatry, think O’Connor v. Donaldson or the “slap in the face” by Tom Insel to the APA. This is going to be a long term struggle in which we need perseverance. We are on the right moral side of history, and that is what counts.

    • Given the things happening today in black communities (police brutality, mass incarceration etc.) the sad reality is that this war has hardly been won even if some battles were. Which should also be a cautionary tale for our movement.

  7. Many Thanks, Robert. I hope your experience at the Vatican did not discourage you to count them as promising interlocutors. It sounds to me that it went as well as it could be expected: you got to say your (far too short) piece at a place where you never know who’s listening. Of course the reception must have been chilly to say the least; do not underestimate how outlandish what you are saying is, even if it is completely true. For all that the evidence is beginning to accumulate, critics of mainstream psychiatry are still a voice crying out in the wilderness.

    I hope Marcia and Barry will persevere with plans to bring first-hand personal accounts of psychiatry survivors to the Vatican. If there’s an institution that should be attuned to the value of personal accounts, it should be the Catholic Church.

  8. Thank you so much Bob and everyone who was with you for your outstanding efforts. It is so appreciated.

    Regarding this exert on neuroprotective drugs:

    “”This seems to be the new story that is emerging in biological psychiatry. Whereas psychiatry once told of psychiatric drugs that fixed chemical imbalances, the field is now telling of how the drugs may be “neuroprotective,” protecting against some toxic disease process; or how they may stir the growth of new neurons in select areas of the brain, which is seen as helpful; or that, in the case of stimulants, they somehow counter abnormal brain development said to be common to youth with ADHD. All of these tell of how the drugs, in some manner or another, are good for the brain.””

    Out of curiosity, I did a google search to see what was going with mainstream drugs and neuroprotection. It seems that there is research but no definite claims that they are neuroprotective. Yet psychiatry is going to claim their drugs have this effect when it hasn’t even been proven that mainstream meds have this property? Then again, I shouldn’t be shocked. Anyway, there is nothing these folks won’t stoop to to get drugs wrongly prescribed.

    • They claim that probably because SSRIs seem to cause adult neurogenesis. Which may be good (depressed people supposedly have lower rates of neurogenesis) or may be bad – for instance excess neurogenesis has been linked to memory loss (presumably by the fact that when too many new neurons are integrated in the network the old connectivity gets disrupted although this mechanism is a speculation). But even if the biological effect is real it’s still a huge jump to say that these drugs cure or even treat any real disease.

  9. Thanks for posting Bob, for presenting the case for caution in psychiatric drug prescribing and for persevering in speaking out boldly for the sake of children and their/our future.

    It’s great to hear that you approached the event with high hopes. It gives encouragement to all of us who are doing what we can in our small corners of the world to challenge the dominion of psychiatric drug prescribing and what amounts to social control.

    The paradigm shift is coming, the tipping point is near, so let’s keep on keeping on.

    All the best, Chrys

      • David – the thing about a tipping point or paradigm shift, in my opinion, is that it’s only after the event, looking back, that it all makes sense.

        So no I wouldn’t like to guess when.

        But I do think that a number of things are impacting on the psychiatric system eg the global recession/depression, the failure of psych drugs to heal, the lack of proof re biomedical model of mental illness, the work of Bob Whitaker and many others to expose the truth, the fact that people completely recover despite disabling psychiatric diagnoses etc.

        • I agree with you Chrys, although the psychiatrist’s I speak to here in Australia, are far too unsure of what else to do. “Tell me what else I can do, tell me exactly how people recover without medications,” they ask me. Trouble is they want to explain in five minutes, like we all do, they want quick and simple answers.

  10. The Vatican had a great opportunity–I thought this was its motivation in part–to counteract the Catholic Church’s reputation as a major enabler of child abuse. Unless something changes since Bob wrote the above account, the Vatican has failed to vindicate those within the Church who care more about chilren’s welfare than they do about putting a good face on Catholic Charities and various institutions serving the Church. Many religious institutions, e.g. Jewish Charities, make the same mistake by working hand in hand with the “mental heath” system.

    It ought to be obvious to various faith organizations that the bio-psychiatric ideology is antithetical to any kind of spiritual faith. It propagates a misanthropic and reductionist view of human nature: The soul does not exist. The function of the service provider is to tinker with the human brain (with drugs) to “fix” it thus bringing the person into conformity to a soulless and secularized society. The trend toward the subordination of the individual to an array of surveillance and disciplinary institutions has greatly increased in the post-9/11 era. The Church has put its weight on the side of the Panopticon. It’s time for new liberation theology, for a Christian revolution.
    Seth Farber, Ph.D.
    author of THe Spiritual Gift of Madness…
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Spiritual-Gift-Madness-Psychiatry/dp/159477448X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367953344&sr=8-1&keywords=farber+gift

  11. Bob, I don’t know if you will actually see this, but I think almost all of us thought the Vatican conference was going to come down on the side of protecting children.

    I think we forgot that one of the main activities of the Catholic Church lately has been to protect child molesters from any consequences for their crimes. In coming down on the side of those who would drug children, the church is following exactly the same path. I too am disappointed, but not really surprised, by what happened, but I don’t think you, or we, should be especially discouraged. It’s just the same old same old.

    • I think that what many people fail to see is that just because people are in positions of leadership, in any organization, does not mean that they will necessarily be any more enlightened about anything than the rest of the population. I’m not taking up for the Roman Church’s leadership, but I suspect that they accept and swallow the same messge of the “broken brain and you need drugs for life” put out by the drug companies and biopsychiatry as most of the rest of the people sitting in the pews on Sunday. Plus, just because you may be enlightened in one are of life doesn’t mean that you’ll be enlightened in all things. What the drug comapnies and biopsychiatry have accomplished by their unholy alliance is one of the greatest manipulations of thinking in history. It’s really difficult to combat. But we’ve got to keep plugging away because so much depends on it.

      I’m not surprised since I expected this very kind of result before the conference ever took place. Call me a cynic if you choose but I worked for the Roman Church for a long time and have some little idea of how things work and don’t work in reference to it.

      • Perhaps your missing something Stephen, as you protect your own image of reason? Consider;

        ”Crime Of The Century”

        Now they’re planning the crime of the century
        Well what will it be?
        Read all about their schemes and adventuring
        It’s well worth a fee
        So roll up and see
        And they rape the universe
        How they’ve gone from bad to worse
        Who are these men of lust, greed, and glory?
        Rip off the masks and let’s see.
        But that’s not right – oh no, what’s the story?
        There’s you and there’s me
        That can’t be right?

        Stephen, you might also consider;

        “It is ironic that at a time when clinicians and researchers are making significant breakthroughs not only in right brain social-emotional models of optimal development but also in right brain models of the etiologies and treatment of a wide range of psychopathologies, strong economic and cultural inhibitory restraints and cutbacks are being felt by practitioners. How can we understand this? We are constantly told that the reason for this lies in objective economic factors. But the paradigm shift in psychology and neuroscience suggests subjective unconscious forces are at play here.” Excerpts from:

        Schore, Allan N. N. (2012-04-02). The Science of the Art of Psychotherapy (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) (p. 347). Norton. Kindle Edition

        In our blog’s and comments here on MIA, do we ever acknowledge the reality of unconscious forces are at play here?

        Hence my question above, as to why Robert used the word unconscious in his interview on a recent TV program.

        Best wishes,

        David.

    • Hi Ted,

      Its interesting that the same old same old you refer to, has often been labeled “cover-up.” I suggest that the reason the same old same old continues, is that we all posses the cover-up mechanism within?

      Yet on a webzine titled Mad in America, no one mentions the term “unconscious” very often, as we NEED to protect our individual image of reason.

      Hence, to use Robert Whitaker’s own words;

      “And voila, you have a process for creating a societal delusion.”

      Social politics, with its denied agenda’s of self-preservation, will continue to produce the same old same old, as we all deny the reality, of just how we actually function in the anxiety, stress, )or whatever label we care to apply to it) of the lived-moment.

      An interesting preface to the book “Madness & Civilization,” illustrates the problem of human madness on a continuum of lived experience;

      “We have yet to write the history of that other form of madness, by which men, in an act of sovereign reason, confine their neighbors, and communicate and recognize each other through the merciless language of non-madness; to define the moment of this conspiracy before it was permanently established in the realm of truth, before it was revived by the lyricism of protest. We must try to return, in history, to that zero point in the course of madness at which madness is an undifferentiated experience, a not yet divided experience of division itself. We must describe, from the start of its trajectory, that “other form” which relegates Reason and Madness to one side or the other of its action as things henceforth external, deaf to all exchange, and as though dead to one another.

      This is doubtless an uncomfortable region. To explore it we must renounce the convenience of terminal truths, and never let ourselves be guided by what we may know of madness. None of the concepts of psychopathology, even and especially in the implicit process of retrospections, can play an organizing role. What is constitutive is the action that divides madness, and not the science elaborated once this division is made and calm restored. What is originative is the caesura that establishes the distance between reason and non-reason; reason’s subjugation of non-reason, wresting from it its truth as madness, crime, or disease, derives explicitly from this point. Hence we must speak of that initial dispute without assuming a victory, or the right to a victory; we must speak of those actions re-examined in history, leaving in abeyance all that may figure as a conclusion, as a refuge in truth; we shall have to speak of this act of scission, of this distance set, of this void instituted between reason and what is not reason, without ever relying upon the fulfillment of what it claims to be.” An excerpt from “Madness & Civilization” by MICHEL FOUCAULT.

      Yet of course we don’t really want to talk about madness and its unconscious processes, for it would trouble our image of reason.

      Best wishes,

      David.

      • David Bates, among all 20 commenter’s verbiage on this page, your verbiage now takes up more than half of all the comment space…

        (51% of all comment verbiage is yours.)

        I let you know that as you’re dangerously close to falling under the halfway mark.

        Best wishes,

        FYI

        🙂

        • Hi FYI:))

          I knew I could count on you to illustrate my point about the cover-up tendency, we all have. Just as in groups which are pro-medication, there is always those who are self-appointed guardians of the status-quo.

          You might consider your expectation-bias, as you expect me to behave the way you want me to, and conform to the groups similar expectation? In case you missed the point of Rolla May’s meaning about cowardice and conformity, here it is again;

          “Many people feel they are powerless to do anything effective with their lives. It takes courage to break out of the settled mold, but most find conformity more comfortable. This is why the opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it’s conformity.” _Rollo May.

          http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Rollo_May#Quotes

          Be well,

          David.

          • “He is often excessively occupied with fantasies about his own attributes and potential for success, and usually depends upon others for reinforcement of his self-image. A narcissist tends to have difficulties maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships, stemming largely from a lack of empathy and a propensity for taking advantage of others in the interest of self-aggrandizement.”

            “narcissism is usually considered a problem in a person or group’s relationships with self and others.”

            http://www.answers.com/topic/narcissism

            “to call attention to oneself in ways meant to distract others by “showing off” or being an exhibitionist … is also at the core of a theory about the development of Narcissistic Personality Disorders, whose self aggrandizement is seen as an avoidance of shame to the point of complete unawareness. Like the East pole, people remain connected with others, although in a way that is devoid of true intimacy (i.e. the sharing of vulnerabilities). It creates a hollow, false sense of self and, like the addiction strategy, seems never to be enough to satisfy the underlying need.”

            “Humility can be a path leading away from the poles of this compass and bringing us to healthier ways of living and relating. We can move from shame to humility when we allow ourselves to feel accepted and loved with all our flaws, all our vulnerabilities and failures. Humility can enable us to preserve our attachment to relationships and groups that mean safety and security to us. By striving for humility, we can make the choice to be autonomous and authentic, without diminishing ourselves or destroying the possibility of relationship in our interpersonal worlds.”

            https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/06/psychiatrys-oppression-of-young-anarchists-and-the-underground-resistance/#comment-26251

  12. But Stephen, Ted
    The Catholic Church has consistently taken progressive positions on certain issues over the years. They have consistently called for greater social equality (see Catholic social teaching), they have opposed and spoken out against wars, they have opposed the death penalty.)
    The “broken brain” ideology is so overtly un-spiritual, so materialistic, that I expected the Church to be more critical. The fact that it has not is significant in ways beyond my ability to understand. It would take a seasoned observer and former Catholic priest like Matthew Fox–whom might himself be a prospective ally from his position now as Anglican priest.But all these institutions disappoint…so often they defer to Psychiatry.
    SF
    http://www.sethHfarber.com

    • Dear Seth, is the disappointment more to do with the social-politics of institutionalized religion, which always distorts the message directed to the individual soul, by all the great teachers?

      I understand your position on the presumed “reductionist” view of the human as a product of biology, yet in my experience, changing my metaphors of self-interpretation towards the reality of my internal chemical make-up, has had an expansion effect.

      As J Z Knight points out in “what the bleep do we know,” is this view a denial of God, no on the contrary, it lets God be, it lets God in? With such a view though, God is no longer a Patriarchal Father figure, but the Cosmos within.

      Consider, from this perspective, the apparent last words of the historical figure known to most as Buddha;

      “483 BC – Death and Pari-Nirvana

      Having achieved the goal of spreading the teaching to the greatest number of people, Buddha dies at the age of eighty years, as a result of food poisoning. He dies in a forest near Kusinagara, Nepal, in the company of his followers reclining on a bed where he speaks his last words:

      “All compounded things are ephemeral; work diligently on your salvation.”

      With these words on his lips, he passes into the state of Pari-Nirvana.”

      Best wishes,

      David.

      • David, Yes institutional religion does distort the teachings when it succumbs, as it usually does, to the Constantinian temptation. The archetype of course was when the early Church abandoned its values in exchange for the support of the Emperor–Constantine. Read Anabaptist theologian (the late) John Howard Yoder or his friend Baptist theologian Stanley Hauerwas. What happens these days is a Constantinian creep. Instead of following the way of Jesus the Church becomes preoccupied with exercising power in an effort to impose Christian values–an oxymoron of course. The alliance with Psychiatry is one manifestation of Constantinianism. The OTHER way leaves it to God–the Christian disciple’s only task is to surrender power modeling the values of Jesus. One finds analogy in other religions.

        THe panENtheist is not a radical dualist. The seeker discovers that the soul is one with God, the cosmos is one with God. But bio-psychiatry does not assert the divinity of the soul.

        The question still remains how to change the collective dream of humanity.

        YOU might find that a specific chemical read-out correlates with a sense of expansiveness of your being. This might cause a positive feedback loop: As you notice your chemicals are lined up your felicity increases which in turn makes your chemical read-out more satisfying to you, etc. I prefer to skip reading the chemicals and judge my personal efficacy using other criteria. But the main point, about which you and I might agree (?) is that the locus of power lies within the self, not in the brain.

        I need to qualify the latter. Due to socially baneful and potentially environmentally catastrophic effects of plutocracy and capitalism, ultimately the locus of power must lie– be transferred to– in a community of selves, of minds, dedicated to spiritual values, to the values of Christ, not Constantine. Or to a community of selves dedicated to changing the dream of humanity and realizing its ancient messianic aspirations–the realization of the Kingdom of heaven on earth.
        Seth
        Seth Farber, Ph.D.
        http://www.amazon.com/The-Spiritual-Gift-Madness-Psychiatry/dp/159477448X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371814777&sr=8-1&keywords=farber+gift

        • Hi Seth:))

          We do share the same aspiration to bring a further realization of heaven, right where its always been. Right in front of our eyes.

          My efforts here, are to try to show people their reactions beneath their sense of reason. IMO it is our socialized cover-up of our true-self, which prevents us from recognizing our self-preservation agenda, as we scan blog posts and comments, seeking sources of threat & resource.

          ALL the great teachers, share in common, the journey within, and the NEED of isolation to achieve communion with the soul’s destination, IMO.

          Hence, I post;

          ““In mechanistic observations of objective thought, the heart has become sealed off, as a sense organ. The heart as an affective receptor-organ is impaired by our lost ability to understand ourselves organically, at the level of both internal and external sensory awareness, and the heart has become weakened as a transmitter-organ of affective power for the true intentions of the soul. (p, 114.)

          Extending attention into the flesh is simultaneously an exploration of the affects which have captured individual souls as well as crowds of souls. In such an exploration we begin to come to terms with what our age of reason and individualism has excluded from consciousness. The few deep breaths taken by Kant’s angry man represent the beginning of a vastly more extensive and conscious knowledge of bodily processes.

          It is known that interference with parasympathetic regulation by anxiety or other negative affects (anger, or the inverted anger and anxiety of depression) can be lessened by attempting the conscious regulation involved in attentive breathing. The most advanced practitioners of some forms of yoga are capable of regulating areas under the control of the autonomic nervous system, such as heart rate. As these practices of pathways into bodily awareness are brought into alignment with their simultaneous intellectual exploration, we may yet come to understand what Spinoza meant by knowledge as the pathway to becoming one again with God. (p, 161.)

          The Resurrection of the Body:

          With the resurrection of the body and its projected and introjected energetic affects, we also resurrect the specter of ancient demons as the negative affects to be struggled against within and without. But once it is recognized that these affect demons are families of affective energy patterns that can be undone, they can be converted back into living energy as they are released from distorting blocks of inertia and repression. Then these families of negative affect have no power to whip up the superstition, anger and anxiety that prevail when their unconscious capabilities become so ego inflated through judgment and projection. (p, 164.)”

          Excerpts from “The Transmission of Affect” by Teresa Brennan, PhD.

          King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
          “Having eyes, see you not? and having ears, hear you not? and do you not remember?”

          http://biblehub.com/mark/8-18.htm

          Yet of course readers scan and don’t pause to catch the gap between the spark and the flame.

          IMO the gap is synaptic (on cellular level) the spark is within our hearts (innate orienting responses) and the fame is our God given mind (God, being a personification of the cosmos).

          Hence, in early Hebrew thought, his name is unmentionable? Although I’m not a Hebrew scholar and please correct me if I’m wrong.

          The question is, on this thread. Are we covering-up our personal self-preservation agenda’s? Like the plug for your book & Roberts reaction to sense of threat, when he spotted the statistic highlighting reality.

          Yet consider this: understanding a deeper emotive reality, do I get, that other people don’t get this meaning about educated rationalists.

          Yet IMO, the great book is too often misunderstand by an educated priesthood, which as in Jesus time, is still meddling with our common understanding of reality, “as it is.”

          Which section of Hebrew society, really wanted Jesus dead? The great book teaches in existential metaphor, when we understand how to read it, and have gained a mature orientation to the reality of life.

          With respectful regards,

          David.

          • Please excuse the Freudian slip, I meant to write flame not fame

            The younger readers (emotionally speaking) can now have a field day, with their rationalized interpretations of my intentions.

            But I do understand their NEED to create a positive affective state within.

            As Allan Schore points out;

            “The attempt to regulate affect – to minimize unpleasant feelings and to maximize pleasant ones – is the driving force in human motivation. (p, 85)”

            Best wishes to all,

            David.

          • David, Yes it is axiomatic in Eastern religion that the “ego” can obscure awareness of the self. But I would argue that the individual self need not be destroyed or dismissed as illusion. Rather yogic discipline would lead to shift of identity from ego to self. The self is the individual aware of her vocation as servant of the Divine, the Self, and her unity with the cosmos.

            This means one’s obligation is not self-effacement. The self must fulfill its obligation. Its vision is a gift from God, its calling often requires it to enter into spiritual combat. The prophet is an archetype that must be incarnated by many people if society is not to be destroyed by the servants of Empire and the Priesthood which blesses the Emperor’s work in the stolen name of humanity.

            I have been arguing for quite some time now David that madness often is an initiatory ordeal, that madness is often divine calling. I believe that many within the Mad movement have suppressed the memory of their visions (deemed “grandiose” by the apostles of Reason) in order to conform to the norms of a secular society–ruled by Reason. Have you read Exploration of the Inner World by Anton Boisen?

            So those who have ears and eyes and don’t see the miracles are blinded by their commitment to scientific naturalism. As Paul Levy interviewed in my book realized his calling was to go out and preach: “All you have to do is open your eyes and look.” Look and you will see God’s signs. The first time he said that a blind woman regained her sight, literally. Paul had a calling and he complied. But that entails the affirmation of self as a servant of Self, not self-effacement of the self, not accommodation to secularism.

            You write, “The question is, on this thread. Are we covering-up our personal self-preservation agenda’s? Like the plug for your book & Roberts reaction to sense of threat, when he spotted the statistic highlighting reality.”

            You are positing a false conflict. My calling requires that I publicize my book. There is no financial gain on my part. The goal is not egotistic aggrandizement but salvation of the earth. The same is true of Bob Whitaker, although I don’t know to what you refer. Bob’s calling requires he engage in spiritual warfare, i.e., intellectual combat. Those with power are poisoning the community with psychiatric drugs.

            So you identify one archetypal vocation–the contemplative. But others require a more activist stance.
            Demons are not ALWAYS “families of affective energy patterns that can be undone {by self-awareness].” Just as often they are servants of Ignorance who are inflicting great harm upon their fellow human beings. As someone aware of the power of Psychiatry you ought to realize this, and take it into account in your
            writings. Even yogis like Jesus and Gandhi (despite his personal limitations) realized their sadhana involved conflict.
            At stake is the salvation of the earth…
            Seth
            Seth Farber, Ph.D.
            http://www.sethHfarber.com

    • This was my point exactly. People in leadership positions can be enlightened in some things and terribly unenlightened in other areas. When it comes to supposed mental illness I get the feeling that the Vatican buys right into the propaganda put out by biopsychiatry and the drug companies.

  13. Thanks Robert for the research on stimulants. They are being handed out like candy in our schools and on our college campuses. The real impact has yet to be measured. Like a tornado that wipes away the dreams. There will be parents out there that will receive a call one day that their sons or daughters have experienced a spiritual emergency and they will be clueless to the cause. The stimulant abuse will lead to other prescriptions that will further devastate the spirit. I pray they find this site first.

  14. For those interested in a statistical view of the mental illness debate and the focus of attention of people with lived experience. Below seems reflect the reality of how far we have to go?

    Mad In America
    3,295 likes · 333 talking about this.
    https://www.facebook.com/madinamerica?fref=ts

    Bipolar chick
    71,836 likes · 8,683 talking about this
    https://www.facebook.com/BipolarChick1?fref=ts

    Perhaps a researcher can tell us what the math means?

    Best wishes,

    David Bates.

    • I’ll tell you what it means to me:

      There are SOCIAL people, then there are MENTAL people.

      3,295 MENTAL people
      71,836 SOCIAL people

      Here’s the difference, communicated via music:

      For the MENTAL ones:
      http://youtu.be/szFw6Adk1hk

      (lyrics, translated to English:
      English

      Job 28, 12-14
      But where shall wisdom be found?
      And where is the place of understanding?
      Man does not know its worth,
      and it is not found in the land of the living.
      The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
      and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’

      Job 28, 20-22
      From where, then, does wisdom come?
      And where is the place of understanding?
      (…)
      Abaddon and Death say,
      ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

      But where shall wisdom be found?
      And where is the place of understanding?
      It is not in me.
      It is not with me.)

      For the SOCIAL ones:
      http://youtu.be/gYHlhrV6HTM

      That’s not to say that we don’t ever cross over, mix and mingle. But to me, the distinctions are real. There are MENTAL (intellectual) people and there are SOCIAL people (who live life like a party, live for fun and PLAY. Cultural conformists).

      • Thank you so much mjk, for bringing the reality of the God conflict, in America’s social-politics and mental illness debate, to this thread.

        As you quote from the Book of Books;

        But where shall wisdom be found?
        And where is the place of understanding?

        Wisdom is found within, when we go beyond a too literal, and rather childlike, reading of the great book, and come to understand the existential meaning of its metaphoric interpretation of the human condition.

        As Melvyn Bragg points out the King James Bible. It has had a huge influence on the world of ideas, and lies at the core of America’s national identity, and its sense of destiny.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/authorinterviews/8421679/The-Book-of-Books-Melvyn-Bragg-interview.html

        Yet IMO, the great book is too often misunderstand by an educated priesthood, which as in Jesus time, is still meddling with our common understanding of reality, “as it is.”

        IMO the great book is written as a mixture of objective reality and dream interpretation, with the existential question of, “what is it, that is dreaming?” A book written for all times, all ages, and all points along our individual, emotional development.

        The Resurrection, on which our Christian faith hinges, is IMO a metaphor for a reality, hidden in the background. And IMO, we have reached an age where knowledge of this background reality, is rising, and we can, at last, join hands, as one species, one family.

        Hence, I post these excerpts from a good Catholic girls writing, to be seen and comprehended by those who have eyes to see:

        “In mechanistic observations of objective thought, the heart has become sealed off, as a sense organ. The heart as an affective receptor-organ is impaired by our lost ability to understand ourselves organically, at the level of both internal and external sensory awareness, and the heart has become weakened as a transmitter-organ of affective power for the true intentions of the soul. (p, 114.)

        Extending attention into the flesh is simultaneously an exploration of the affects which have captured individual souls as well as crowds of souls. In such an exploration we begin to come to terms with what our age of reason and individualism has excluded from consciousness. The few deep breaths taken by Kant’s angry man represent the beginning of a vastly more extensive and conscious knowledge of bodily processes.

        It is known that interference with parasympathetic regulation by anxiety or other negative affects (anger, or the inverted anger and anxiety of depression) can be lessened by attempting the conscious regulation involved in attentive breathing. The most advanced practitioners of some forms of yoga are capable of regulating areas under the control of the autonomic nervous system, such as heart rate. As these practices of pathways into bodily awareness are brought into alignment with their simultaneous intellectual exploration, we may yet come to understand what Spinoza meant by knowledge as the pathway to becoming one again with God. (p, 161.)

        The Resurrection of the Body:

        With the resurrection of the body and its projected and introjected energetic affects, we also resurrect the specter of ancient demons as the negative affects to be struggled against within and without. But once it is recognized that these affect demons are families of affective energy patterns that can be undone, they can be converted back into living energy as they are released from distorting blocks of inertia and repression. Then these families of negative affect have no power to whip up the superstition, anger and anxiety that prevail when their unconscious capabilities become so ego inflated through judgment and projection. (p, 164.)”

        Excerpts from “The Transmission of Affect” by Teresa Brennan, PhD.

        King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
        “Having eyes, see you not? and having ears, hear you not? and do you not remember?”

        http://biblehub.com/mark/8-18.htm

        As I’ve pointed out, in my reply to Robert’s sense of threat, when I posted the comparative numbers of two facebook pages, “Face to face, my “understanding of madness beyond compare,” as Michael Cornwall points out, is well received, as I introduce people to a deeper awareness of themselves, which is long suppressed by the time we reach adulthood.”

        Do you not remember a time before birth, when you understood a sense of ONENESS?

        Best wishes,

        David.

  15. Thank you very much.
    Parallel to ADHD drugs, I am also very concerned about my recent discovery of the widespread prescription of stimulants like Aricept to older people for everything from mild cognitive decline to Alzheimer’s, which also appear to have no benefit and cause harm, to a population that is, like youth, disemplowered and physically and emotionally especially vulnerable.

  16. Can you guys please stop beating up on David? I think we get the picture. I’m getting tired of it. I think David gets that if he writes less per post, more people will be likely to read it.

    I might start counting the number of posts about the number of words in David’s posts…

    — Steve

    • “Can you guys please stop beating up on David?”

      Beating up on David? Are you kidding? Who’s beating up on him??? I don’t see anyone beating up on him. Really, I don’t.

      David dominates the conversation by posting way more verbiage than everyone else combined.

      Maybe if more people were honest about how that made them feel, he wouldn’t do it. Meanwhile I think he’s fair game for a bit of joking around.

      At least, this way he doesn’t have to take himself so seriously.

      Have you seen how many times on this page he’s claimed to have, “an understanding of madness beyond compare” (or claims that Michael Cornwall says that about him)?

      He’s repeated that nonsense three times already.

      Apparently he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else on this page (and maybe smarter than everyone else who posts on this website).

      He needs help seeing how much room he takes up in a conversation and how that crowds other people out.

      Do you think you help him by making him out to be a victim? I don’t.

      Please, look carefully at everything I’ve posted. I am just bringing awareness of real numbers and joking around a bit and also reminding David of what he says about narcissism. Can you seriously claim that’s beating up on him? I don’t think so.

      What’s sad is that so few people are willing to honestly confront him and let him know the kind of impression he’s making…

      –FYI

      • Not saying he’s a “victim,” I’m just getting tired of reading about it. I usually skip most of his stuff, because a lot of it is written by someone else, and frankly, it just takes too long to read. But now I have to read more about how long his posts are, which is more I have to not read. It gets dull.

        — Steve

      • Great comment FYI, perhaps you could ask David Ross, M.Ed., LPCC, how we became friendly, with a previous experience, to yours?

        David & I share a common interest in metaphor & meaning, David understands that the appearance of the FOOL is within the eyes of the beholder.

        You might also ask him about this question above:

        https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/06/leading-experts-to-speak-at-vatican-about-the-controversy-of-children-and-psychotropics/

        The trouble is, the comments from this post seem to have gone away. I’m not sure why that would be.

        As I pointed out to Kermit last year, the owners of a website are entitled to censor & delete whatever they wish. Its a matter for their conscience, not mine.

        Be well my young friend,

        Respectfully,

        David.

        P.S. It will be interesting to see if this gets censored, although the great thing about the internet, is its memory, like an elephant?

  17. Dear Seth, in response to your comment;

    Demons are not ALWAYS “families of affective energy patterns that can be undone {by self-awareness].” Just as often they are servants of Ignorance who are inflicting great harm upon their fellow human beings. As someone aware of the power of Psychiatry you ought to realize this, and take it into account in your
    writings. Even yogis like Jesus and Gandhi (despite his personal limitations) realized their sadhana involved conflict.
    At stake is the salvation of the earth…

    As I’ve written before, our rational illusion is contained within our need to deny our evolved nature. We project from within, what becomes rationalized as the system out there.

    Yet the system, IMO is within us ALL. Its within the subconscious activity of our mutual autonomic and central nervous systems. Which IMO are symbolized in the Cross & Crucifiction.

    As Brennan alludes to, in her writings, although it takes a familiarity with this strange term AFFECT, to grasp the meaning;

    ” Vertical and Horizontal Chains of Meaning:

    The linguistic chain is split from other chains of life meaning and logic–hormones, genetic codes, solar systems–by the insertion of the subjective “I” where it does not belong. It does not belong in an order whose logic is at right angles to that of the human perspective, as if the codes of living logic, together with the chemical senses, communicate on a horizontal axis, while the human historical viewpoint functions on a vertical one. Without the insertion of the subjective “I” position into the original codes of the flesh, the structure of the linguistic chain is homologous with that of other living chains within. With this insertion, the structures of living meaning are more or less at right angles.

    Life meaning is the result of interweaving–yet diverse–chains, capable of transformation from one order of symbolization to another. Symbolization dependent on understanding the proportionate and rhythmic intersection of numbers of vast and small internally consistent chains that are all communicative and in this respect like languages. If sensory energy is composed of fleshy codes that parallel those of language, this explains why the body seems to do its own thinking, so to speak. (p, 145.)

    It behooves us, as a species, to reconnect conscious language and understanding with the fleshy and environmental codes, from which our consciousness has been split by subjective fantasy and illusion. Those natural codes do their best work in the dark, although bodily physiological and chemical processes do push for admission to consciousness, past the blocks of a self-obsessed linguistic gateway. For us speaking beings, consciousness has been changed into parallel systems of signification; the linguistic, the sensitive, and the affective.

    They belong in a certain natural configuration, and a correct alignment appears necessary for an unimpeded or less impeded flow of nature’s energy. Correct alignment might be described as a symbolic transformation, meaning that the different alphabets of the flesh could be aligned in such a way that life is released from one order into another, yielding more freedom, intelligence, and energy. Symbolization is the means for transformation as the process whereby energy locked up in an alphabet in which it cannot speak (such as traumatic grief) is released back into the flow of life by words, or by the strange chemistry of tears. (p, 149.)

    The notion of aligned codes, like that of the transmission of affect, is at odds with subject/object thought and the “visualization” basic to “objectification.” The gateway between linguistic consciousness and codes of bodily sensation is manned by visual images. Which is to say, to make itself conscious, a bodily process has to be imagined–given an image. Our unconscious ego acts as a visual censor blocking bodily information surfacing to conscious awareness. It is a visual censor because it identifies objects from the standpoint of the subjective “I.” Images are stored from the three dimensional standpoint of a subject arrayed against an object. It is only when we depend on visual perception that we are led astray, into the subjective thought that takes the human standpoint as central. Such thought requires that one stand apart to observe the other and reduce it to predictable motion, the better to study it as an object. It also requires the intention of the body’s life energies, be prevented from fully connecting, in an embodied process. (p, 150.)

    “Hallucinations tend to make the abstract concrete and visa versa. This reflects the ambiguous position of image in Western epistemology, generally. Image has been assigned an inferior function, somewhere between sensation and thinking. On one hand, images are the “dregs of sensation,” carriers of information about sensations, on the way to the summation of sensations into concepts. If, on the other hand, it is realized that sensations cannot account for the formation of concepts, imagery may be granted the function of illustrating autonomous and immaterial concepts in sensuous terms. In ancient times, images were gods or messengers of gods versus sensuous misrepresentations of the unrepresentable.

    The status of image was much higher before we discovered the intellect. The idea of man as slave to his senses was a later transformation of the subjective enslavement to the power of the image. Perhaps this was necessary as a long transitional defense against the image. Distance was gained from the image by seeing it as immediate and concrete. Indeed, it is likely that the very birth of intellect was associated with the cognition of image as image (rather than, say, an idol).”

    Excerpts from “The Transmission of Affect” by Teresa Brennan, PhD.

    Perhaps, the best way to grasp the nature of “affect,” is to imagine how we can stare at a stranger across a street, and how they will become aware of sense of being stared at?

    Perhaps the Cross as an enduring symbol, has resonated down through the ages, because it represents a hidden reality within each of us? Hence I write of a Messiah Species;

    http://www.bipolarbatesy.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/a-messiah-species-existential-meaning.html

    On a blog with a fool’s title, although I do understand the nature of archetypes.

    Regards,

    David.

  18. David,
    You are insistently reductionist in the name of fighting reductionism. You insist that the outside is always the inside turned inside out. To assert that there is only one kind of ignorance, one form of the demonic, is myopic. You write that demons are “families of affective energy patterns that can be undone {by self-awareness].” But this is not always the case. If it were why would there be this website in the first pace? The demonic takes many forms. If not then this website would not even exist.
    There are millions of people whose lives are ruined by Psychiatry or by the prison-industrial complex,by corporate state capitalism, the industrial infrastructure and a growth economy leading to environmental destruction and global warming that may destroy humanity. To look at the demonic in only one way, from one angle is not enlightening. Like all fundamentalisms it identifies only one path to freedom and denies the multiplicity of the Divine, the diversity of self-expression,the variety of the manifestations of Ignorance. Such imposition of uniformity
    does not serve the cause of liberation.
    Best,
    Seth
    http://www.sethHfarber.com

    • Seth,

      Please explain to me where I’m being reductionist and not taking into account “the multiplicity of the Divine, the diversity of self-expression,the variety of the manifestations of Ignorance.”

      And how I’m not serving the cause of human liberation, by calling for a deeper realization of what we are? How does my experience and self-expression in my blog post cause, in your words.

      “Such imposition of uniformity does not serve the cause of liberation.”

      Are you possibly being myopic, in your rather tribal view of human life? Please explain to the readers just how my view is reductionist and irrelevant, please.

      Please consider my personal quest for guidance and its conformation by those strange coincidences, Jiung calls, meaningful, or synchronicity;

      “Is it time to re-address the tribal metaphors of life’s meaning, to a species understanding? In a Universe of 96% dark matter/energy. Life is “The Resurrection.” That great symbol of sacrifice we see in Christ on the Cross, as all the Light Matter Energy, sacrificed to create your life? How does the Universe become Eternal? By evolving into a form which can act upon itself, YOU & your children’s, children’s children, forever & ever, Amen! Or whatever metaphor of gratitude you use.”

      Excerpt from:
      A Messiah Species? Existential Meaning in Metaphors?

      http://www.bipolarbatesy.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/a-messiah-species-existential-meaning.html

      I wonder if you spotted this;

      King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
      “Having eyes, see you not? and having ears, hear you not? and do you not remember?”

      http://biblehub.com/mark/8-18.htm

      Do you not remember a time before birth, when you understood a sense of ONENESS?

      Can you comment please?

      Respectfully,

      David.

      P.S. The sense of oneness, is felt via my nervous systems, not understood via my subjective experience. Imo there is, as with all human experience, much paradox in the statement, “we are all different,” can you describe just how different your internal organs are to mine, please?

  19. David, I don’t have time to read all your references. It is simply a matter of having to economize so I can get other work completed.
    You write, for example:”The linguistic chain is split from other chains of life meaning and logic–hormones, genetic codes, solar systems–by the insertion of the subjective “I” where it does not belong. It does not belong in an order whose logic is at right angles to that of the human perspective, as if the codes of living logic, together with the chemical senses, communicate on a horizontal axis, while the human historical viewpoint functions on a vertical one. …” I have no idea what you mean. And I would wager that those who have not read all your sources do not know either.

    Thus from my perspective I made a point. “Demon” can interpreted to point to affective energy patterns that can be dissolved by self-awareness. That makes sense–your argument is cogent. But it can also be used to refer to external forces that are oppressive. I maintain they are complementary. But every time I refer to latter you go into long discussion about the former, most of which is completely abstruse. My inference is that you are denying the existence of the kind of phenomena about which Bob and others write: Psychiatrists who prescribe destructive “medications” that make it impossible for clients to function.

    Treating these external demons AS IF “they” denote internal resistance to change or to evolution of the self is to deny the problem which cannot be solved by any kind of increase in self awareness.It is denying the existence of real demons–real forces of oppression. It sounds more sophisticated to posit ALL the problems lie WITHIN. But that is not true. It is another form of reductionism to deny external forces that are demonic.
    Bob is involved in a political battle to limit the power of these demonic forces. It is not an illusory battle. It requires our support. That is my point. Maybe you agree but one could never tell from reading your responses.
    Best, Seth
    http://www.sethHfarber.com

    • Seth,

      I understand the time pressure and have stated here many times, how we scan posts and comments, and subconsciously seek threats or resources for our established sense of self.

      I understand how we all read different sources, and I understand your statement above;

      Its vision is a gift from God, its calling often requires it to enter into spiritual combat.

      I share your vision and I’m trying to show you how YOU are the mechanism of transformation as the generational tide of humanity rises to a realization, that we are in fact, the Universe perceiving and acting upon itself. We are, the very mechanism, by which the Universe IS eternal.

      Although I hate endorsing Descartes mechanistic logic and his perception of a clockwork Universe and a clockwork sense of self.

      Please consider how you come to the moment of your own actions and how;

      “we can only be aware of what we currently know and our immediate surroundings, life is not a thought, it’s an experience.

      Hence: The fantasies of your thought are not real. They are generated by your attachment, and therefore by your desire, your hate, your anger, your fear.

      The fantasies of your thought, are generated by yourself” _Buddha.

      We suffer because we mistake the fantasies of our mind for reality.

      It is fundamental, therefore, that we learn to distinguish between reality and the fantasies of our mind.

      There are two worlds:

      1. The world of the mind.
      2. The world of reality.

      The world of reality is real, the world of the mind isn’t real.

      Of the objects which present themselves to our consciuosness, in fact, some belong to the reality that surrounds us , while others belong to our mind – that is, to our memory. (the body/brain and its nervous stimulation).

      We tend to falsly believe that “both” kinds of mental objects are real, yet this is a false assumption based on our past, not the present reality, by which we are surrounded and unknowingly immersed in.
      Only the mental objects which belong to the surrounding environment are real, not those which belong to our memory ( the body/brain nervous energy of the past)”

      https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/06/building-the-mental-health-vanguard-reflections-on-the-new-mad-in-america-directory-psychiatric-drug-withdrawal-and-hopes-for-the-future/#comment-26582

      Please consider how we get stuck in moment we can’t get out of, because we “judge” with an expectation from what we’ve been taught? Hence we suffer from psychological blindness as Michael puts it, in his brilliant essay.

      Of course, people have read his essay and paid him the stereotypical social compliments, but how many of us paused long enough to really perceive his lived wisdom and understand why he waited so long to publish this piece?

      Perhaps destiny, is about time and the unfolding of an eternal now?

      As I’ve said elsewhere on this webzine, do people believe that Michael was moved to make an incredibly generous comment to me, because he’s a fool, because he was being irrational?

      Or like wiser churchmen, does Michael perceive the nature of Faith.

      A sense of self, based more on belief than reason?

      Sometimes I wonder if the folks in this community believe their own rhetoric.

      Or have they misplaced their faith in their own nature, and become psychologically blinded by the light of imagined reason?

      https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/06/building-the-mental-health-vanguard-reflections-on-the-new-mad-in-america-directory-psychiatric-drug-withdrawal-and-hopes-for-the-future/#comment-26611

      Some time ago I suggested to members of this community, that if I had an hour in room with Stephen Fry, he not see mental illness in same way again. And of course I was judged as being egoistic and stupid.

      Perhaps because people do not understand their own and group emotional systems, or how it projection works?

      As I’ve suggested above “the appearance of the FOOL is within the eyes of the beholder.”

      Yet how did this apparent fool know how to trigger Robert’s sense of threat, in his response above. And like Barry on another thread, does the silence towards a tough real-life question, speak volumes?

      Is your reductionist viewpoint, a knee-jerk reaction, from all you’ve learned, thus far?

      In Jungian terms, are you judging or perceiving?

      Reality, is there in every breath you take, Seth.

      I guess, our perceptions our colored by our physiological state and our learned psychological posture? And of course, in my worldview, the two are not divided. There is no separation.

      Regards,

      David.

      • Sorry, I meant to paste this too, yet time pressured my senses;

        Please consider how we get stuck in moment we can’t get out of, because we “judge” with an expectation from what we’ve been taught? Hence we suffer from psychological blindness as Michael puts it, in his brilliant essay.

        Of course, people have read his essay and paid him the stereotypical social compliments, but how many of us paused long enough to really perceive his lived wisdom and understand why he waited so long to publish this piece?

        Perhaps destiny, is about time and the unfolding of an eternal now?

        As I’ve said elsewhere on this webzine, do people believe that Michael was moved to make an incredibly generous comment to me, because he’s a fool, because he was being irrational?

        Or like wiser churchmen, does Michael perceive the nature of Faith.

        A sense of self, based more on belief than reason?

        Sometimes I wonder if the folks in this community believe their own rhetoric.

        Or have they misplaced their faith in their own nature, and become psychologically blinded by the light of imagined reason?

        People may want to re-read Michael’s brilliant essay again and try to peer through their psychological-veil?

        https://www.madinamerica.com/2012/04/jungs-first-dream-the-mad-god-dionysus-and-a-madness-sanctuary-called-diabasis/

        Best wishes to all,

        David.

        • David,
          Thanks for directing my attention to Michael’s essay.
          This is certainly a question we must confront: “Why have you made this English cross so useless”?
          Jung’s Christ was viewed through gnosticism at its best–not necessarily Gnostic, that is not Platonic but world-affirming. But a God who evolved, who needed us.
          But today we need not the metaphysical Christ. We need the prophet. As “mtocalcutta” below mentions the major source of blindness, of Ignorance is greed. The lust for power and money of the psychiatrists and corporations, the refusal of balance, of ethical rules,is leading to catastrophe.
          The prophet must find ways to turn the cross into a spiritual weapon as Christ did.
          When Christians place their faith in the power of the Empire, the prophet must declare war on idolatry, even idolatry in the name of Christ.
          R D Laing was asked by a so called schizophrenic if he was a Christian.
          He said, “I’m a Christian in the sense that Jesus was not crucified between 2 candlesticks in a cathedral. I’m a Christian in the sense that Jesus was crucified in the town garbage heap between two thieves.” Laing opposed the principle of caste hierarchy upon which “psychodiagnosis” is based. The psychiatric fashions have changed but mental illness remains its sacred symbol.
          Seth

  20. I was very validated by this article and the comments. It is very hard to try to speak about drugs and our children (adults too). I appreciate all of the dialogue, but in my opinion, as wonderful and though provoking many of the comments are (I have great experience with all types of pathology) I find that it is much more simple. It main cause is GREED. The power of the drug companies are unparalleled. The tentacles that that emanate from that into all health care are myriads. In all of the levels, greed is what blinds. There are those within who truly have innocently chosen to believe entities we should be able to believe, but they are usually the ones who suffer the most (and their children) from the lies…all the lies. It is sin of the worst magnitude to willingly believe lies to justify greed, inability to admit wrong, and to face changing global views. There are those who desire the easier way or the more affluent way…they are in danger of hell. Prayer is needed, now, more than ever…

  21. Bob,

    Old World intellectuals can be just as arrogant as New World intellectuals. So David Cohen´s view of being very “American” is not relevant, in my opinion. Americans have the succinctness of the Brits without the airs of superiority. People may not like Americans, but they like that particular quality.

    Established thinkers will come across as arrogant when they overstep the boundaries of their contributions. I have yet to see you do that in either your writings or your talks. So whether you’re talking at the Vatican or at your local community college, it doesn’t matter, your fans love it.

  22. Oh yes thanks I read that 10 days ago but forgot it. But David did not mean Americans seem arrogant compared to Europeans but blunt, candid, unreserved as opposed to the supposedly less direct style of Europeans.
    However I am also skeptical of David’s comment. While that ostensible difference is probably the case in many situations, this was too important an opportunity for Bob to be anything less that fully forthright and honest. Speaking truth to power trumps the custom of showing deference to authority, even the Pope. That is after all “what Jesus would have done.”
    SF
    http://www.sethHfarber.com

  23. Yes, I believe that David was referring to the candidness of the American style. If someone is put off by candidness, more reason to be candid. Being arrogant is a problem, but that is not more American than European. In any case, Whitaker is not arrogant.

    • Europeans ofter see American style of writing/talking as somewhat rude. This is a cultural difference in a way that people express themselves in language and I’ve heard that many times from people working in different fields. American English is very distinct compared to British English not only in words and phrases but the way it is used. It’s something one should have in mind when speaking to a European audience.

  24. The difference between American style and European style must be genetic. Between my country, Finland, and America the difference is even more pronounced. It could very well be that the people who fled Europe to America were people who didn’t cope with the society of the time. Maybe they were more of the ADHD type or maybe they just weren’t accepted in a civilised society. And now they’re passing their genes in a closed territory. This might be a problem but I’m sure Europe will eventually find the faulty genes of Americans and see the difference in brain scans and give drugs to control Americans and invent handy lies for it. One day, Europe will rise again!

    (Sarcasm alert)

  25. If you read his last paragraphs I think you’ll see that he agrees
    that his style is not the issue. The issue is whether those in a position of authority have the courage to face the truth and to defend the vulnerable at the risk of offending the powerful.
    Seth Farber, Ph.D.
    wwww.sethHfarber.com

  26. I (I’m a mental health counselor) was recently chastised by a psychiatrist for telling the mother of a patient about the MTA outcomes–he stated I was taking advantage of this uneducated (his word) woman and that I also misunderstood the implications of the MTA study. He said we are “supposed to be working together” and that I undermined him by talking about risks of medications and lack of long term evidence for benefit. I mark it as a significant moment in my career– the system was wagging its finger at me. I thought I might lose my job. Still employed though.

      • I understand the MTA study quite well, as well as the Quebec study and the Raine study and the comparative study of Finnish and US youth with ADHD diagnoses as well as the Oregon State University medication effectiveness study as well as Swanson’s 1993 “Review of Reviews,” all of which find that stimulants have no long-term positive impact on a child’s school performance, school completion, college enrollment, delinquency rates, teen pregnancy rates, self-esteem, or social skills.

        JD is correct in warning parents about this kind of research. The fact that the psychiatrist doesn’t know it or wants to keep it quiet does not make this less true. Strategically, it might have been better for him to share his concerns with the psychiatrist ahead of time and talk over what the psychiatrist’s beliefs are about the implications of the study, but bottom line, professionals have a duty to give clients the best information they have, and professionals are allowed to have professional opinions that disagree with each other.

        I have to wonder what qualifications you have to tell JD what he does or does not understand, especially based on such limited information as he discloses in a single post? Perhaps he’s a lot more educated than you think he is. Perhaps he knows something that you don’t.

        Your lack of humility in approaching this controversial and subjective topic lowers your credibility significantly in my eyes.

        —- Steve

      • Ok fair enough gold star. I certainly don’t know everything. Please explain the three and eight year data for the MTA study. Also, can you help me understand why a significant portion of patients in the MTA study NO LONGER MET CRITERIA FOR ADHD at the 8 year mark? Is ADHD a vanishing brain disease? Did these children’s neural pathways heal as they matured? Did their deficiency of dopamine at the synapse correct itself when they were no longer medicated? And what do you make of these other studies (Raine, OSU) which also fail to demonstrate significant long term benefit for stimulants in treatment of ADHD? Thank you!