On “Schizophrenia”

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The first time I heard someone labeled schizophrenic I was in Prospect Park, on a walk with my mom. I was about 10 years old. A man was talking to himself and appeared to be house-less and perhaps on drugs. My mom, a very good teacher and explainer of things to me, said, “That man is schizophrenic. That means he can’t tell the difference between what’s inside of himself and what’s outside.” In retrospect, as were many of the things my mom said to me as a child, this seems like a relatively sophisticated and sensitive explanation. I can appreciate her intention, looking back.

My mom studied psychology in the 70’s and gave me a version of the description she had learned. She, like many, assumed herself qualified to diagnose someone schizophrenic after less than a minute of observation. There is no blood test, brain scan or any other reliable diagnostic procedure to diagnose what we call “schizophrenia.” While, of course, anyone who sets foot into a psychiatrist’s office is likely to be suffering in extreme ways, schizophrenia, in fact, does not exist. Meanwhile, it is the mental health label that many people, even skeptics, think is the only real one.

Often times when I mention that it does not exist, I see the light bulbs go on in people’s minds and they become visibly awakened. Their eyes light up, they look relieved, and they have a lot to say! The truth about the man we saw in the park 20 years ago: if he had been given a home, good food and help sobering up, he likely could have seemed “normal.” The truth about getting an actual schizophrenia diagnosis from a psychiatrist is that many people get it either after or during a recreational drug experience, spiritual breakthrough/psychic opening or as a result of stressful and traumatic experiences.

People who tell a psychiatrist they “hear voices” can get the label, regardless of what hearing voices means to them. Prophets, religious people, mediums, and ordinary folk have been hearing voices from beyond since the beginning of recorded history. Nearly all religions document these experiences. Hearing threatening voices is often a result of trauma. In either/any case, there is no cookie cutter “schizophrenia”- everyone who gets the label has a different experience and needs to be seen as an individual; not as a category. This is obvious for nearly every other diagnosis, so why does society, even those radically inclined, have a blind spot about this one?

Since there is no uniform physical basis for this label, giving everyone who receives it a similar class of brain-damaging drugs – neuroleptics – is wrong, and fails to help most people. What it does do, if someone identifies with the label, and their community identifies them with it, is make them a lifelong outcast and sick person – both from the debilitating effects of the drug, and the identification with a label that scares people.

Please, for the sake of humanity, don’t use the word schizophrenic to describe anyone. Tell us what you mean instead – and if you don’t know enough about someone to say what you mean, please just admit it. If you had a bad drug experience or a trauma or heard a voice from beyond, would you want to be ostracized as a schizophrenic? Would you want to be made sick for life?

If we go back to my mother’s definition (which is one of many vague definitions of schizophrenia) – not knowing the difference between what’s inside of ourselves and what’s outside – and look at the things that make life worth living, they all put us in that category. Falling in love, hearing music that enters our heart, having children/giving birth, connecting powerfully with another person in a meeting of the minds, feeling empathy, deeply caring about something, experiencing oneness with nature, are all examples of times when the line between inner and outer reality is blurred. This is how we achieve what we value most in life; connection.

There are extreme cases where the blur between external and internal reality can be torturous, or so strong that one may shut down and disconnect. Let’s remember, though, that everything starts as an impulse to connect – which requires inner and outer realities to merge in our hearts.

Hearing voices from beyond is a cornerstone in my life and is the source of nearly every success I’ve ever had!

Another question that arises is this: Why do we often glorify recreational drugs use but not what we call “schizophrenia?” People often take recreational drugs, whether occasionally or regularly, to experience a more extreme version of merging inner and outer realities – and sometimes receive profound insights from these experiences. I’d venture to guess that we view the “schizophrenic” as alone, dysfunctional, and unable to relate with others. We see how s/he has been ostracized, yet the ostracizing takes place mostly after the diagnosis is given. The diagnosis, in essence, creates the disease. It allows us to simplify the questions in someone’s life and say, “Now we know what’s wrong with them.”  Recreational drug use, on the other hand is more likely to be associated with social life, community and togetherness.

But when we use the label schizophrenic, do we know any more than before? If curiosity about a person closes off, we know less. We also have no potential to learn more. Intelligence is a responsibility and a gift. Using mental health labels puts a dam in the flow of that river and its power to heal and transform us all.

Without these labels we are left in an abyss at times.  We must acknowledge that life is a mystery and our experiences have meaning, even if we don’t know what it is right away.  We must create entirely new language and ways of relating with one another.  This gives us plenty of real work to do in understanding ourselves and others, with an open mind.  Surely as we move away from labels and towards a more honest understanding of life experiences, we will go through many changes and challenges, some of them painful, as we are forced to look at the dark side of the power structures in society, seeing that the Emperor has no clothes.  The better ways may not be clear yet, but acknowledging this with humility would be a good step.  Acting as if we know everything is a placebo sort of pseudo-confidence that our culture seems to favor.

49 COMMENTS

  1. I spent one grad course this past semester focused on the history of the development of the diagnostic entity “schizophrenia”. Where it came from and how we got to our present-day criteria…I concluded that it is bogus – and really, a tragedy of devastating proportions.
    I applaud your input!!

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    • “a tragedy of devastating proportions”. So true. This is what people who don’t understand the critical psychiatry / alternatives to psychiatry / survivor of psychiatry movement need to see. Most of us don’t believe psychiatry is some ‘conspiracy’, it’s just a grand mistake. A vast, grand, epic, mistaken interpretation of human problems. Vast and grand like war and slavery are vast and grand. Huge. One of the kinds of mistakes, or ideologies, that straddles the course of centuries of human history. Devastating proportions indeed. It’s huge. Sadly, living as a nonbeliever, is like being a nonbeliever in the middle ages. Very lonely, very dangerous, and you can be kidnapped off the street and forcibly converted into this pseudo-medical secular religion at any given moment, because the humans that really believe in psychiatry’s tenets, believe in them with such fanaticism, that they are willing to initiate violence against strangers to force their beliefs on others. This is what forcing psychiatry on people by law is, the blind assumption of the majority, the mob, that because they believe troubling/strange/unusual behaviors/crises/beliefs are ‘brain diseases’, that they have the right to authorize government to enter the brains of any man, woman and child in society by force (if they deem it necessary). At the hard center of government psychiatry, the true fanatics lie. And like a radical Islamist willing to blast ball bearings and fire into the bodies of strangers because of their fanatical beliefs, any forced psychiatry state hospital perp, can chillingly sleep like a baby after entering the bodies of unwilling strangers. It’s a very dangerous belief system and its an epic tragedy that it is essentially illegal not to believe in it. It is the official state religion, hiding in plain sight, camouflaged as a sleek, prestigious science. If there is any justice in the world, any self-correcting mechanisms in the course of human history, humanity will come to remember this belief system of psychiatry with shame, out of basic human decency there will come a time when government and psychiatry will be separated like religion and state, and a memorial and a museum to the dead and diminished will be established in every major city. Literally millions of people have lost the right to own their own body over the last couple hundred years, on the altar of psychiatry’s reductionist dehumanizing quackery. I fear there are millions of lives left to be destroyed or diminished before enough people wake up to enable the snake to be de-fanged. It’s a noble and worthy cause, to make any contribution that stops the bleeding.

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      • Furthermore, I think in the final analysis arguably the most terrifying thing about the psychiatric belief system is that it shows us just how easily human beings can behave in inhuman ways toward their fellow human beings, how handily and readily various groups can be thrown out of the human race. The strongest bonds, forged between parents and children, can be severed in an instant, with an ‘argument from authority’ pre-packaged in pseudoscientific prestige. Parents can love their children and be close to them, and with the stroke of a shrink’s pen, alienated from them for life, dehumanizing them as walking ‘brain diseases’ unworthy of the basic human right to say no to strangers putting things in their bodies against their will. Psychiatry shows us the propensity for scapegoating, othering, and dehumanization that exists within us all. If there is one thing the experiences that get labeled ‘mental illness’ taught me, it was that people see what they want to see, believe what they want to believe. The danger lies in those believing they are ‘helping’ having unfettered forced access to the bodies of strangers, or the ghoulish, horrific lobbying of the forced drugging lobby, a baying mob of demagogues intent on ‘eliminating barriers’ to forcing their beliefs and drugs into the bodies of anyone they see fit to target, and I’m certain it never even crosses their mind that they are doing anything other than what’s ‘right and just’.

        If psychiatry had never happened to me, I’d have probably kept believing this sort of fanaticism was a thing of the 19th or 20th centuries, that we were living through some ultra civilized era where the real nasty things in human history had been dealt with and were over. We are right in the middle of something real nasty with psychiatry. Time will tell if humanity can course correct as it has done in the past. I know I will probably never live the glorious day when the majority comes to our rescue and liberates us from this threat, when the majority retches at the thought of assaulting the brain of another human being with toxic drugs, and indoctrinating an impressionable young person with a forced conversion into a quackery that tells them they have no future, that they are destined to be ‘lifelong brain diseases’ unworthy of basic rights. But maybe someday, somewhere, there will be people who no longer have to live under threat of being psychiatrized. They will be lucky people. I think of all the millions of people shunted off, thrown out of the human race, relegated to asylums in centuries past, or a pariah status and a series of brutal ‘hospitalizations’ in our time, and the mobs cheering it on, and sometimes I don’t even want to get out of bed or go outside. The quacks call this a ‘negative symptom’ and blame… you guessed it, the brain.

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        • I am glad to see yet another commenter point out that psychiatry has become a religion, and yes, nonbelievers are almost in the position a nonbeliever would have been in the Middle Ages. People believe in psychiatry’s claims even though their own experience, the evidence of their own senses, tells them otherwise. Isn’t this pretty much the definition of a delusion? And if so, doesn’t it mean that the fanatic believers in psychiatry are “mentally ill”?

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  2. Chaya,

    This blog post on the “schizophrenia” label is very well written. I agree with everything you say in it.

    Of course, as it is a relatively short piece, you may not be covering *every* base, on this topic. (That’s quite understandable.)

    One aspect of the topic, that probably should be addressed, regards these concepts of ‘self-control’ and ‘free will’ …and the seeming potentials for violence (against oneself or others…) and/or ‘just’ a seeming/potential inability to provide the most basic sorts of care for oneself.

    Staunch civil libertarians (such as I consider myself to be) tend to oppose the legal powers that are granted to psychiatrists, which give psychiatrists the ‘right’ to ‘treat’ such individuals against their will.

    Yet, most psychiatrists argue that they need such powers, to ‘help’ such individuals.

    Really, in practice, that ‘help’ is largely about controlling people who supposedly cannot control themselves, due to supposed “mental illness” and/or supposed “mental disorders” (such as supposed “schizophrenia”).

    With those issues in mind, I’d like to suggest an answer to a certain question you raise.

    You write,

    Why do we often glorify recreational drugs use but not what we call “schizophrenia?” People often take recreational drugs, whether occasionally or regularly, to experience a more extreme version of merging inner and outer realities – and sometimes receive profound insights from these experiences. I’d venture to guess that we view the “schizophrenic” as alone, dysfunctional, and unable to relate with others. We see how s/he has been ostracized, yet the ostracizing takes place mostly after the diagnosis is given. The diagnosis, in essence, creates the disease. It allows us to simplify the questions in someone’s life and say, “Now we know what’s wrong with them.” Recreational drug use, on the other hand is more likely to be associated with social life, community and togetherness.

    I believe the concept of “schizophrenia” tends, quite often, to be associated with a presumed complete and utter, ‘total’ (or, ‘near-total’) loss of self-control over ones own mind (and, then, possibly, also… loss of control over ones own outward behaviors).

    In fact, when some people refer to ‘extreme’ states of mind, they may be referring to that sort of experience. (And, that is why I won’t refer to myself as experiencing ‘extreme’ states.)

    Of course, all this is not to say that I believe that everyone who’s been tagged with the “schizophrenia” label has experienced such seemingly total or near-total loss of self-control… (nor that I believe everyone’s report of an ‘extreme state’ entails such loss of self-control).

    Surely, many who’ve been labeled that way never experienced such total or near-total loss of self-control; and, some never experienced it before their lives were turned over to psychiatrists and psychiatric drug ‘treatments’ (i.e., such ‘treatment’ very often creates and/or exacerbates a loss of self-control); however, I do believe that some people have, before coming to psychiatry, wound up in the midst of losing some really significant degree of control over their own minds (and, perhaps, have lost some amount of control over their outward behaviors, too), such that they do feel really feel quite unusually ‘out-of-control’ of their own lives.

    Such states of being may be mere ‘extreme’ states of what many or most others have experienced, at times.

    But, some people do wind up seemingly ‘stuck’ in such ‘extreme’ states; and, some pass in and out of such states, at seemingly random intervals.

    So…

    At least, some proportion of those who’ve received that “schizophrenia” label have experienced a total or near-total loss of self-control, prior to being introduced to psychiatry.

    Meanwhile, the concept of “recreational drug use” (as opposed to presumed “drug addictions,” which often do not develop, as a result of using “recreational drugs”) tends to suggest some certain amount of maintenance, of self-control.

    One who’s ‘just’ occasionally ‘losing ones mind’ to “recreational drugs” is ostensibly choosing to create what s/he knows to be a very temporary state of relative ‘loss of control’ in his/her own mind.

    And, like you say, “Recreational drug use […] is more likely to be associated with social life, community and togetherness.”

    Hence, the ‘recreational drug user’ isn’t going to be widely and automatically perceived as requiring professional help.

    Respectfully,

    ~Jonah

    P.S. — There were times, in the past, that I’d occasionally describe my ‘breakdown/breakthrough’ experiences (which were experiences in my early twenties) as having included certain “extreme states”; however, I do not describe those experiences in such terms anymore… as I’ve realized, that: In the minds of many people, the term “extreme states” implies ‘totally out-of-control’.

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  3. Thanks Kris! Ted, I wrote a blog which you may have read about “Common Disorders Psychiatrists May Have.” Thinking about posting it here soon. Jonah- Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Extreme as in “extreme states” is always relative to culture. Almost everything our current culture has normalized is actually extreme, in my view. Our culture is in a n extreme state of UNCONSCIOUSNESS lol.
    As for self-control, that is a very interesting topic/question. Most things people seek out in life involve being out of control in one way or another. As a being on a spiritual path (which I actually believe we all are), I am actually happiest when I am least in control. I suppose it is a paradox- we want to CHOOSE when we can be out of control and how, but I doubt anyone really enjoys total control. I think as humans we all have a lot less self control than we care to admit and society is run on addiction. Some forms of self-control loss are more socially accepted than others though-so some lead to increased power and status while others lead to being labeled mentally ill.

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    • Chaya writes, “Most things people seek out in life involve being out of control in one way or another. As a being on a spiritual path (which I actually believe we all are), I am actually happiest when I am least in control. I suppose it is a paradox- we want to CHOOSE when we can be out of control and how, but I doubt anyone really enjoys total control. I think as humans we all have a lot less self control than we care to admit and society is run on addiction. Some forms of self-control loss are more socially accepted than others though-so some lead to increased power and status while others lead to being labeled mentally ill.”

      Chaya,

      Thanks for your reply. I can appreciate and respect everything you’re saying there; however, I wonder if what you’re saying there is actually addressing what I was saying in my comment, above (on August 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm)?

      Perhaps, I could have been more clear.

      Here, I will attempt to restate what I was saying; hopefully, this is more to the point…

      Certainly, no one is ever in total control, of what’s happening, in his/her own life; for, no one ever has complete control of what happens to himself/herself.

      Likewise, no one is ever in total control of others’ lives.

      We are all being buffeted by unforeseen circumstances, more or less, constantly.

      To be resilient, we must learn to accept that we’re never in full control of our circumstances.

      No ones circumstances are ever totally controlled by himself/herself.

      This is why some people develop faith in a ‘higher power.’

      That ‘spiritual’ outlook can be useful, as it’s one which embraces the reality that, we are never guaranteed to be in total control of anything. (Note: One can strive to develop ‘perfect’ faith, but not even ones own faith can be totally controlled; it will wane sometimes.)

      Meanwhile, I was speaking very specifically, of a tendency of the “schizophrenia” concept, to be associated with a potential ‘total loss of control’ of ones own mind (and, then, possibly, a ‘total loss of control’ of ones own behaviors).

      Indeed, I was referring to the possibility that some people may get, seemingly, ‘stuck’ in a mode (of what seems, potentially) such a total lack of self-control.

      I believe that, oftentimes, the “schizophrenia” concept and label has been affixed to people who seem as though, potentially, totally losing self-control; I would argue that most people labeled that way are usually very much in control of themselves; but, they are interpreted as being totally ‘out of control’ …and/or, as being in a process of totally losing control of their own minds.

      Especially, if/when there are no clearly accepted causes for what is seemingly happening to them, they will be called “seriously mentally ill,” and “psychotic” and, very often, “schizophrenic”; that’s just what happens…

      Not all of those would be “patients” are actually totally losing control.

      (I must emphasize, that: I believe most people who’ve been tagged with that “schizophrenia” label have not totally lost control of their own minds and/or behaviors; actually, I suspect only a miniscule percentage of people have ever completely lost control of their own minds for any extended period of time; and, I believe people seldom ever completely lose control of their own behaviors.)

      Simply…

      One tends to look upon people who choose to temporarily ‘lose their minds’ (e.g., by their occasionally turning to “recreational drugs”) quite differently from those who have supposedly totally ‘lost their minds,’ by no choice of their own.

      On the one hand, we have those who are choosing to lose their minds temporarily; on the other hand, we have those who supposedly had no choice in the matter.

      With that perspective, in mind, I believe it’s only natural they’re viewed and treated differently.

      But, my saying that is not to recommend psychiatry for the latter group; certainly, I do not condone the forcing of psychiatry, upon such people; never, under any circumstance, do I condone forced psychiatric ‘treatment’ (neuroleptics, ECT, psychosurgery).

      I believe loving care, including wise guidance, always suffices.

      Respectfully,

      ~Jonah

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  4. Chaya,

    Great post!

    I especially enjoyed these three statements of yours:

    “… everyone who gets the label has a different experience and needs to be seen as an individual; not as a category.”

    “The diagnosis, in essence, creates the disease.”

    “We must create entirely new language and ways of relating with one another.”

    Yes, yes, yes!

    Duane

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    • “We must create entirely new language…”

      Duane,

      I agree that Chaya has offered a great post here.

      (Hopefully, these comments I’ve offered do not distract from her many fine points.)

      But, do we need to create a new language?

      Is that a ‘must’ — really?

      I’m not so sure; it seems to me, there’s a lot of useful language that already exists, to explain all sorts of experiences, but it’s been sidelined by terms that profit pharma-psychiatrists (who, as we know, aim to ‘treat’ effects whilst offering short shrift to causes).

      Freud has been thoroughly trounced and discredited, many times over, by various commenters, on this website; but, is there nothing worth salvaging from any of the ‘psychodynamic’ theories?

      See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychodynamic_psychotherapy

      At the very least, it seems to me that the concept of “neurosis” could be useful (IMO, it was, perhaps, best defined by Karen Horney; see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurosis#Horney.27s_theory ); but, it went out of style, upon being nixed by the DSM III committee.

      On the other hand, I think, one can do well, sticking to utterly ‘plain-speaking’ language.

      I.e., maybe one ‘just’ needs a way to share his/her experiences, in a ‘safe’ space, with no reference whatsoever to any ‘mental health’ terms, of any kind?

      Respectfully,

      ~Jonah

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  5. Thanks Jonah and Duane,
    As for the self-control topic, I hear the distinction you are making Jonah. There is a difference between how society views different types of loss of self-control. Something I was reflecting on later today, was whether self-control is a euphemism for compliance or obedience. Perhaps the distinction is more about whether one is compliant to societal norms and rules. It does take a certain amount of “self-control” to be obedient but I’d say we can all agree there are times when this obedience is limiting and not in alignment with our purpose as humans. Some of Bruce Levine’s recent articles speak well to this.
    As a kid I was scolded in school for not having enough “self-control” because I “called out.” I wanted to say the answers or say what was on my mind and didn’t always wait to be called on. I’m not sure if it was that I couldn’t wait, or lacked self control. Perhaps I just had a different priority. Expression was more important to me than cooperation and following rules. Or perhaps I didn’t even know that “calling out” was against the rules, or just forgot when I really wanted to say something. I was labeled lacking in self control, mainly because my teacher wanted to control me. Once again we see a lot of projections whenever there is a label. Perhaps she felt out of control when I called out. I think whatever labels and terms are being used come down to who has the authority. For example, psychiatrists are not exercising self control across the board. They are giving out drugs excessively and without proper discrimination or informed consent. But they aren’t being labeled schizophrenic because they have more presumed power, authority and status in most cases.

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    • “Something I was reflecting on later today, was whether self-control is a euphemism for compliance or obedience.”

      Chaya,

      Certainly, “self-controlled” can be used as a euphemism for “compliant” and/or “obedient”; it’s good that you’ve pointed this out. (I’m glad that you’ve raised this….)

      That’s certainly something to bear in mind, about that term, “self-control” (it can have its limits, because surely many ‘authority figures’ use it that way).

      I get what you’re saying, there; based on your early (childhood) experiences, in school, you came to associate the term “self-control” with calls for silence and conformity.

      I tend to think of “self-control” quite differently — as a positive, as a virtue; I generally view it in the light of ‘owning’ the ‘rights’ to ‘manage ones own life’ …guiding ones own activities.

      And, simultaneously, I think of this concept of a ‘locus of control’ — as it refers to the central control of ones activities.

      When psychiatrists forcibly take over the life of someone whom they suspect of being ‘psychotic,’ they act as usurpers, doing their best to remove the ‘locus of control’ from the life of that so-called “patient”.

      Psychiatry takes over the “involuntary patient’s” ‘locus of control’ (just like the leaders of a military coup take over the seat of power, that controls a government).

      The moment psychiatrists begin ‘treating’ someone without permission (i.e., most especially, once they begin forcibly drugging someone or forcing ECT upon someone), they are utterly dispossessing that person of whatever control s/he previously had over his/her own life and mind.

      Afterward, the psychiatrist may look at that person and remark upon how he or she supposedly “is now exhibiting good self-control” (of course, that’s purely a euphemism, and it’s entirely inaccurate). It’s really a lie.

      On the contrary, when I say that someone exhibits good self-control, I’m judging that s/he behaves in a way that’s genuinely mature, emotionally intelligent and adept, truly a master of his/her own life and mind.

      (Along those same lines, when I think of ‘good self-control,’ I think of great yogis and yoginis I’ve observed — men and women who’ve practiced for years, day after day mastering their yoga poses; I imagine, likewise, great athletes, such as Olympic gymnasts, divers… even golfers, if/when they’re able to demonstrate extraordinary poise and grace under pressure.)

      Respectfully,

      ~Jonah

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      • The Harrow studies suggest that the people who got of neuroleptics and later on fared much better than the other group had qualities such as a stronger locus of control, etc. Some years ago when I was given diagnosis such as bipolar and schizophrenia and treated with neuroleptics, I understood without very extensive research that the diagnosis and treatment were crap. I observed directly that neurileptics were ruining my life and from brain level I understood that chronic blocking of dopamine and other receptors is not a good idea for me. When I told about these issues to my psychiatrist and psychologist, I saw huge attempt in making me lose my own locus of control, etc. For instance, when the adverse effects of neuroleptics started to kick in (14-16 hours of sleep, yet tired, increased anxiety, social phobia, etc), they suggested that it’s because of “post-psychosis depression” or my disease. When I told about the adverse effects of drugs, they wrote things such as “patient had paranoid thinking towards medication”, “the patient uses a lot of scientific and philosophical terms, but they are not coherent”, etc. Psychologist said that if I don’t eat neuroleptics, it will cause damage to my brain. She also warned my several time about reading things form internet and gave me a guide published by a pharma company.

        In a sense, there was a huge pressure on me to accept that I have a serious brain disease which is controlling my mind and therefore I need to give in to drugs and the control of psychiatry. The reports and their talk constantly tried to paint a picture that my thinking was totally incoherent and illogical, I can’t do my current job, etc. Yet with my illogical and incohorent thought, I quit the neuroleptics and returned to my work. I had to dismiss massive amount of attempts to control me by these authorities. When I’ve read these regular mental health forums, I see that a huge number of people writing there have quite authoritarian view of the whole situation. For instance, if someone considers about lowering a drug that is causing problems, often someone comes warning that “you shouldn’t even consider doing that without approval from your doctor”, “you’re not a doctor!”, etc. Perhaps in the current situation, escaping from life-long neuroleptic treatment often requires enough resilience, anti-authoritarion attitude, capacity of doing research and self-experimentation, more internal locus of control, etc.

        Actually, I think I got out of the system pretty much on my own. At the time I didn’t read any stuff critical about psychiatry. I just thought that I was misdiagnosed and mistreated but still kind of believed that “real” psychosis, bipolar or schizophrenia definitely warrants for treatment with neuroleptics. It was only one year and a half ago when I read Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic that I started to see these problems from a wider perspective.

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        • “She also warned my several time about reading things form internet and gave me a guide published by a pharma company.”

          Yep, authoritarians of all stripes, especially those whose authority comes from government monopolies such as medical licensing, would absolutely love to wind back public access to information to circa 1994. Leaving the former arrangement, newspapers, evening news, etc. I think worldwide, authoritarians recognize now that they let the cat of the bag with the internet, the last wild west, the last libertarian space in existence in the world. Hence all the attempts to spy on us and control it.

          The opponents of human rights and the opponents of free expression and critical analysis of psychiatry’s assertions, controlled the narrative for generations, and now they know the people they used to be able to easily indoctrinate are just a Google search away from a dissenting opinion. They can’t stand this. That’s why the forced drugging lobby hates this site, they know we have the forbidden fruit, that is irresistible to people experiencing the natural human instinct to know more, to get free of these drugs and labels. That’s why Whitaker was accused of having ‘blood on his hands’. The internet is corroding mindless deference to authority everywhere. It is the singularly most beautiful technology in existence and without it I’d be a pickled dead brain in a jar, it literally saved my life, and I’ll join with others to smash any threat to this freedom or any freedom.

          “I didn’t read any stuff critical about psychiatry. I just thought that I was misdiagnosed and mistreated but still kind of believed that “real” psychosis, bipolar or schizophrenia definitely warrants for treatment with neuroleptics. “

          You’ve heard of the ‘stages’ of grieving after a death. Claims of ‘misdiagnosis’ are one of the stages of psychiatric survivorhood, we’ve all been there. It’s a scary thing, a sign that even those who’ve been through the system are willing to condemn their neighbors, albeit, for a little while, to being viewed as the ‘real’ ‘mental patients’. Then you see that nobody deserves to be treated that way, no matter what they believe. Science can’t prove that believing you’re Jesus Christ is a brain disease. Science can’t prove that believing the NSA is spying on you is a brain disease. This profession of psychiatry hasn’t earned the right to even use the word ‘diagnosis’, parroting, aping, the real doctors, who demonstrate genuine disease.

          Actually, I think I got out of the system pretty much on my own… It was only one year and a half ago when I read Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic that I started to see these problems from a wider perspective.

          I got out on my own too. Hence my skepticism that such liberation can ever systematized, and pre-packaged in a ‘place’ run by government. I intend to do my best to ease the path for self help potentialities to be replicated as successfully as possible, that involves information dissemination, and as much as they’d like to be able to stop us there is no stopping us. The enemies of freedom, the paternalistic doctrinaires who look down their nose at our brutally hard-won counterexpertise, cannot stop their sons, daughters, citizens, coming across our message. They are on the wrong side of history. We can only laugh at those who try to put this genie back in the bottle. You can see how desperate they are, with their censoriousness, their ‘blood on hands’ mantras, their foot stamping ‘I can’t believe NAMI let him speak!’ garbage… we must just laugh at them and double down our efforts to spread info in the info war.

          The UK has just, predictably, launched efforts to censor the internet, one of their targets is any site that in the government’s determination ‘promotes’ so called ‘self harm’. This rubbery definition could easily be extended to sites promoting alternatives to the psychiatric mindset. The threats to our freedom of speech are on the march worldwide, and we need to counter them.

          I know many people that discovered Whitaker’s books in the last couple of years, and I’m constantly impressed by how fast they are able to reorganize their lives in light of new information. I have a lot of respect for Whitaker, that said, I recommend reading Szasz, nobody ever said these things better than he did.

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      • Lately there have been some comments comparing psychiatry to religion, with quotes from Szasz, etc. In a sense, many people and patients seem to view psychiatry in a similar way to the spiritual view of the world. They saw themselves likes leaves in wind, their life largely controlled by actions of spirits, universe, God, etc. Their locus of control was largely external. The primitive man had also another system called magic where the locus of control was more internal. These people believed they can change the universe according to their will with proper techniques. That kind of thinking can perhaps be seen as a precursor of science.

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        • I think Szasz was pretty rational and I look at the Szaszian view of life, and minding (not ‘mind’) as a practical common sense way of trying to make the best of this hard task, life, making the best decisions one can, daily, to carve what one considers a good life (and a good death) out of the rough block of marble we are given.

          I have much respect for freedom of religion, so long as nobody’s religion is being forced onto me by law, and I understand billions of people find useful philosophies and belief systems that help them live their lives.

          You spoke of a ‘kind of thinking’, I’ve seen all sorts of kinds of thinking lead to disaster and tragedy, and I know the best we can do in a free society is not force any kind of thinking on anybody by force of law. I’ve seen friends forcibly drugged long term in their own homes for refusing to put down the Christian bible, people kill their kids because at sometime in their lives their civilization planted the idea in their head that an omnipresent being was monitoring their actions and thoughts, that there existed demons, devils, and satans, people blast fire and ball bearings into strangers on a marathon track under cover of holy book, ways of thinking and beliefs are clearly either a wonderfully helpful force to some a destructive force for some. Same goes for the escapism of all sorts of ‘illicit’ drugs.

          I try to make the best decisions I can, and avoid the other humans who will force themselves on me and use violence to impose their beliefs on us. The par excellence example of this in our context is forced psychiatry and its infantile biological determinism / brain blaming masquerading as progressive modern sleek dripping with prestige 21st century brain scan utlra high tech enlightened ‘evidence based’ neuroscience, better living through chemistry garbage.

          Psychiatric survivorhood could in a sense be considered the death knell to any vulnerability to ‘argument from authority’, whether it be government, medical, military, or academic. The knee jerk deference to establishment power elites is probably the most pernicious force in the modern world.

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          • Yeah, I haven’t read Szasz, but I have him on my quite long reading list.

            Today when I was walking in woods, I revisited the original suggestions in Harrow studies about locus of control related issues. I know Whitaker gave it another spin, suggesting that the other group fared much better because they were not taking neuroleptics, but there may still be something to Harrow’s suggestions about people having more internal locus of control, resilience, etc, survive because of these qualities. For instance, maybe in the current system you need these exact qualities to figure out on your own the drugs are not really helping.

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2754306/

            “In severe psychiatric disorders a more external locus of control is not specific to schizophrenia and after the acute phase is not associated with one particular diagnostic group. A more external locus of control is related to fewer periods of recovery, to both depressed mood and psychosis, and to various aspects of personality (p<.05)."

            It seems that the current psychiatry very radically tries to shift the locus of control from the person to themselves. Earlier people had demons, etc, controlling what happens to them. These days the demons are called bipolar, psychosis, etc. People talk about these as some demons external to them, demons which cause them to act in irrational ways. Then they go to witch-doctor who tries to banish demons with their mixture of frog skin and Datura. Yet they know that they can't ever live a real life in society because they have this demon living inside them. Demons control their mind and life and witch-doctors are their only hope in banishing demons.

            Since my teenage years I've been quite distrustful of official authorities and the common wisdom. I know there are people out there who have more knowledge or information about some special issue than I have, but I don't trust them because they have MD after their name, I decide if I should trust them based on what they are saying. Sometimes it even takes a "leap of faith" and constant evaluation of the current situation. At times, I've taken time to learn different areas of science, and after some time I've noticed that lots of the mainstream information is crap or boring. Often the most interesting and intelligent new information comes from the maverick or rebel part of the community, somewhat outside of the mainstream. Of course there are also plenty of true crackpots outside the mainstream. Feyerabend wrote a book on philosophy of science called Against Method about related issues.

            I personally got out of the system before reading any current or older critique of psychiatry, and I think it was in part because of my quite sceptical view of authorities. I think many current survivors of psychiatry have once bought the stuff psychiatry told them and then heard about alternative way of thinking through other channels, such as Whitaker's books or psychiatric survivors. In my case I didn't need even those, I hadn't heard of them, I just had this sceptical view of all professions and strong belief in my own abilities to change my own mind and even the universe. Maybe in a sense I have quite strong internal locus of control, tendency to methodological anarchism, etc, and that's what saved me. At the same time, current psychiatry and other psych-methods often try to strongly transform person's locus of control from internal to more external, to their hands.

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          • “…a practical common sense way of trying to make the best of this hard task, life, making the best decisions one can, daily, to carve what one considers a good life (and a good death) out of the rough block of marble we are given.”

            Are you a Mason?

            A Bag Of Tools

            By: R. L. Sharpe

            Isn’t it strange That princes and kings,

            And clowns that caper In sawdust rings,

            And common people Like you and me

            Are builders for eternity?

            Each is given a bag of tools,

            A shapeless mass, A book of rules;

            And each must make – Ere life is flown –

            A stumbling block Or a steppingstone.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giKpzJl4QwU

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          • subvet I’m not a mason but I’m a firm believer in self determination, individual liberty and personal responsibility.

            My favorite sculpture is this…

            http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rqVoxjG_lX4/T_rgCmaBDfI/AAAAAAAABXI/L8lzSI6AHOk/s320/Carlyle_SMM_sky.jpg

            Man carving himself out of stone. I look at this for minutes and remind myself that it is only me, not government, not some rescuer, not some random quack, that can sort this life out. It reminds me that the decisions I make each day, shape my life, and that ultimately I am in control.

            There is also female versions:

            http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m2nb7nrgzB1qefvafo1_500.png

            “only you with time, can define your life, it’s yours”…

            -Texas El Paso post-hardcore band ‘Sparta’… led by Austin’s finest musical genius Jim Ward…

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMe1H1oUPrM

            Thank you for your musical youtube link.. I think it’s cool that we share these.

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          • Further, if you’re into music, I think the New Jersey Post Hardcore band ‘Thursday’ has a song that has meant so much to me:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eivypMxtpY

            The video, above…

            “Between Rupture And Rapture”

            Lyrics:

            in the veins of the ultraviolet light,
            the phosphor is starting a fire
            shooting up in the iodine;
            its turning on

            rupture the wall around my heart
            i feel so lost,
            i’ve been shaking. you can’t save me
            (forget what the doctor said)
            every bird in mid-flight is calling out your name
            before it hits the window and it sings the rapture

            without a second opinion
            the chemicals saturate
            to counteract the code
            through the double-helix we are twisting
            (too scared to let this go)
            someone call the head nurse
            she’s coming to the capitol
            to wrap us up and throw us in the dirt, with a dream thats turning off

            rupture the wall around my heart
            i feel so lost,
            i’ve been shaking. you can’t save me
            (forget what the doctor said)
            every bird in mid-flight is calling out your name
            before it hits the window and it sings the rapture

            we’re coming to the capitol [x2]
            the distance between us will rupture
            coming to the capitol
            in our hearts the disease wont touch us
            coming to the capitol

            love, now its too late
            (love) to turn this off
            alone is all we are
            even when we we feel this close
            it’s just a lie we believe

            these are the words that escape from our lungs,
            rupture the wall ive built around my heart
            i’ve been shaking
            you can’t save me
            im turning off
            we can’t find a way
            out of this moment
            were lost in a dark hallway”

            Lyrics by New Jersey ’emo’ band supremo Geoff Rickly. Someone I’m very fortunate to have connected with. A true American genius. A man who figured it out so young, we hasn’t in mid 20s before he put out ‘war all the time’… a true poet.. and amazingly accessible, if you write to this guy he writes back. A true understander.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAD6lJiHBdA

            Thanks subvet, you’ve got me into music again… after months of not even listening to it.

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          • Anonymous,
            I felt you might be a Freemason of some flavor because the sentiments you expressed were in line with R. L. Sharpe’s famous masonic poem.

            After I encountered and was ensnared for a time by psychiatry, I discovered Gurdjieff and through him, Sufism. I eventually joined a Sufi group in the late 70s and almost went to Afghanistan with an American contingent to fight the Soviets in 1980. Now that I know the background of that conflict I am very glad that I did not go.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14Jgk1pNMus

            Modern Freemasons, most of whom have never heard of, and are never told, about Sufism, are very interested in schizophrenia.
            http://www.aasrcleveland.org/aasr/charity.htm

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        • As to the ‘Afghanistan conflict’ I can give you this:

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/posts/kabul_city_number_one

          Adam Curtis… one of my heroes… although this link doesn’t give you all parts of his coverage, you’ll have to dig around and find the other parts of this coverage, seeking and clicking links inside the starting point I’ve posted here… trust me Adam Curtis is a genius and if you poke around all his work you’ll see.

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  6. Also Jonah- I agree with you about language. We don’t need a whole new language- we need to take back the language we have. Certain language has associations, yet those associations are not always inherent in the words themselves. I love talking and writing about language, because it forces us to look more closely at the words use and see how much power they have. For example, in the first draft of this article I used the word “homeless” but changed it to house-less. The first time I heard that term was only a few years ago, from a man considerably younger than me. That really stopped me and made me think about a lot of things. Sometimes changing language can serve the purpose of stopping us and making us question our presumptions or look at what we have been blind to.

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  7. Anonymous, you said: The UK has just, predictably, launched efforts to censor the internet, one of their targets is any site that in the government’s determination ‘promotes’ so called ‘self harm’.

    This is terrifying. Can you point me to a link? I’d like to read about it.

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    • https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2013/sleepwalking-into-censorship

      This is a link explaining the ‘mental health’ related censorship that awaits the voters of the UK.

      Of course, it must be understood that the UK ‘conservative’ government is just implementing the ideology of US ideologue and Obama administration official Cass Sunstein, whose 2008 book about ‘nudge’ politics has naturally inspired the UK authoritarians. It’s decision engineering, his other books ‘Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech’ calls for a rewriting of the 1st amendment in line with what he thinks it should be.

      His ‘choice architecture’ ideology, should terrify anyone who cares about liberty. Currently the British Prime Minister is using Sunstein’s thought to be the ‘architect’ of what the Britons see on the internet.

      Another master of the universe from academia seeking to change ‘change peoples behavior’.

      It’s no surprise that the first country to implement Sunstein’s policy is a country with far less liberty than his native USA, the UK.

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      • Yeah, I’ve seen that list of things to block earlier. It seems to include lots of sites with ‘wrong’ information, such as web forums, anorexia and eating disorder websites, esoteric material and web blocking circumvention tools. Maybe with time more enlightened people will start to move to other kind of systems where there’s less control, such as Tor networks.

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        • Hermes,
          I did some signals intelligence work at one time and eventually realized through a study of Gurdjieff that “The biggest secret is that there is no secret.” Encrypting communications only attracts attention to them (and that may well be the source’s intent). However, I moved to Linux in 1998 because I value the ability to throw a few stones at stray dogs defecating on my lawn, and I can’t do that from a glass house.

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet-security/10225735/Users-of-darknet-websites-advised-to-dump-Windows.html

          “The attack on Sunday coincided with a report in the Irish Independent that Eric Eoin Marques, the man believed to be behind Freedom Hosting, had been arrested and accused by the FBI of being “the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet”.

          Marques faces allegations that he aided and abetted a conspiracy to advertise material showing the abuse of children, and US authorities are reportedly seeking his extradition on four charges.

          Given the timing, many people have speculated that the JavaScript code was inserted by investigators with the FBI, aiming to round up users of illegal child abuse sites believed to be hosted by Freedom Hosting.

          Some have even suggested that US authorities are involved in the sting, with researchers from Baneki Privacy Labs and VPN provider Cryptocloud claiming to have traced the source of the Tor breach back to the US National Security Agency (NSA).”

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          • Yeah, I know that encrypting information can make you more suspect. Encrypting information can mean that they’ll keep it indefinitely, until they can maybe one day decrypt it. I read about this thing you posted about the day after I posted my comment. I personally haven’t been overly secret or concerned about my identity, though I’m not either directly revealing it all in public Facebook profile at this time, etc. I do encrypt my computers and backup drives, and also more sensitive data that I have in “cloud” such as Dropbox, but that’s more to block script-kiddies than NSA, etc.

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          • “Some have even suggested that US authorities are involved in the sting…”

            Heh Heh.

            I’m partly insane and part of how I handle that is studying pornography. I actually study it, from time to time, looking for patterns and themes in popular interests, behaviors, etc.. I actually watched an actual gang rape – no doubt in my mind that what was staged as a “gang bang” turned out to be a teenage girl being gang RAPED. They had to TELL HER to smile, when it was all done, because … she wasn’t smiling. I took a screen shot of the tears and pain in her eyes, that she was holding. When commanded to smile, she did.

            Anyway, sexuality is an ENORMOUS, HUGE, GARGANTUAN – probably even CORE ELEMENT – in plenty of “mental” / “psychological” / “behavioral” conditions. I know insanity to be a SEXUAL disease, and I’d really like to see people catch up to speed on that FACT.

            Here’s another fantastic fact:

            18 U.S.C. 2257

            OF COURSE the United States was involved.

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      • Choice architecture is not an ideology, it is a reality. Being terrified by it and not acknowledging its existence and its inevitability is sticking one’s head in the sand. Demonizing choice architecture is like declaring nuclear physics evil because it paved the way to the atomic bomb.

        That there are imposters posing as scientists – and fortunately some of the prominent ones are denounced on this website – does not invalidate science.

        Choice architecture technology reminds me a lot of advertizing technology. I don’t like commercials – on the other hand I would not put a gag order on the fishmonger shouting “Fish for sale!”

        The world is not black and white.

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  8. I won’t define what science is other than describe it as one of the pillars of western culture. But, in the heat of the moment, I made up the word anti-science and if it already exists I’m not sure what it means. Some worldviews maintain that there’s nothing wrong with science but that it misses the point, that science will never answer many fundamental questions in life. For those who believe that science will eventually yield the answers to all questions, such attitudes could be called anti-science. I definitely don’t belong to the group whose ultimate faith is in science, so I do create some confusion by using the word anti-science.

    Remainder of Comment Removed

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    • Chaya, let me explain more.

      If someone calls me anti-psychiatry, it gives me deep satisfaction because I know it comes from someone who believes established psychiatry has or will have all the answers. I happen to believe it has no answers and I’m not holding my breath. But that’s beside the point.
      Likewise if somebody calls me anti-science in the sense I suggest in my previous comment. The difference being that science gets some things right. In that context I say that science can do harm and anti-science can do good.
      Equating good morals to good science or bad morals to bad science is a mistake.

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  9. I was cured of Schizophrenia. I have no problem at all with the label itself in fact I can extend the meaning more precisely. The symptoms listed under the DSM are a very good classification.
    It is not the label itself to describe common symptoms that is a problem, it is how the label is used.
    I have heard nowadays psychiatrists take you into a room and tell you you have SZ like it is a death sentence and tell you you will have to be on meds for the rest of your life. This is misuse of a label.
    I am from the old days probably in a more enlightened place (but not today) , this was never done to me. ‘They’ never even told me my label, I just read it on the forms they foolishly gave me to transport to the social assistance-and it meant nothing to me. So this encouraged identity sensitivity was never done to me. I never spent one second thinking about the horror of ‘being’ a SZ.
    The most significant reason for that is my SZ was successful, I was mind washed by psychosis and fear, the last of my social identity was purged. Being in worlds where the basic reality of my senses was in doubt – why should I care about the label of things when the lesson of dis-identification from labels was so thorough? Psychosis is a great cure to learn to separate the idea of labels from the things themselves. One can do this by dropping LSD as well – its one of the pillars of the old ’60’s hippie ideology.

    This is one of the benefits of SZ the de-structural-ization of the ego , to breakdown the old system to prepare for the new system. I understood this after the fact and I understand this process as part of SZ.

    No, I want ‘them’ to use the label SZ. They have to write something on the folders and the label describes common behavioral patterns that stem form a specific emotional structural problem – that is all it is not the other stuff which is piggy backed onto it. ..

    I have to account for a gap of 30 years in my life – “traveling in Europe” doesn’t cover it. Neither does “connecting’ with the universe.

    I want them to use the label and I wnat them to acknowledge that I am cured, that I am transformed , That I resolved this problem such that my personality was only restructured and in fact I became fully emotionally alive.
    I am not acknowledged, I am ignored and denied. I do not exist, I never existed. And now strangely enough (actually not strangely, it’s par) the counter culture community wishes to deny my existence as well.
    Cure,fix, transform, challenge , change, restructure, solve, , get optimized.. These words and others like them, both the bio-med industry and the counter culture do not wish to use. It is because in my growing opinion now because they have no experience in and thus no ability to use a paradigm of success. These entities seem to be locked up in deadly battle with each other, each ignoring the obvious – which is just simply be successful – start assisting cure instead of encouraging failure.

    No my problem with SZ was not the label nor the typical dysfunction that I had described by that label but the fact that I was cured. My social identity was objectively damaged since SZ was declared an incurable biological ‘disease’ when it was so obviously a emotionally dysfunctional condition and curable for myself and I believe for many others.
    ..
    Life may be a mystery but that is irrelevant. What is important is for SZ people or anyone with a mental illness to clearly define their troubles and work on them, through mediation, therapy whatever. Mental illnesses are problems of consciousness and can only be resolved by the application of conscious effort be it the ‘zen of no mind’ or ‘the principle of the application of brute confrontatative force’.

    If you refuse to define mental illness , you cannot define mental wellness and there is an objective reality to both these things, the weller than well fly jet planes, write books, go into combat, get on the board of directors -as opposed to taking a respite in a cracked up state whether it is a place run by zen monks or Bio-med pill-pushers.
    Life is concrete not abstract philosophy.

    Using a label is not the same thing as treating people like labels and also the label SZ can be used without any application of the theory of brain disease and use of psychotropics. These are two separate issues.

    To clarify a little more, I completely agree with the diagnostic of SZ (which I went to my local SZ Society and studied, noting that a Pharma company had collated the DSM info and printed the materials adding their own conclusion that SZ was a ‘chemical imbalance’ – used by this supposedly altruistic society – but even that is no never-mind). I see this definition as precise pertaining for the most part to a fairly common type of emotional problem and I see it as extremely useful. And it is useful to me in identifying others who have problems like I did an knowing an approach to help them. Now this definition should be understand in that I see all those symptoms as psycho-social with emotional roots and understand the curative or transformational process as psycho-social.
    So in other words I take the same set of observations as the Bio-Med Psychs and see them all through the light of human experience – not chemistry. It’s a human psychology that requires a more fundamental understanding of psychological processes than the typical human has.
    The cure of course for SZ is emotion.. wonderful emotion , invigorating rage, oceans of soothing depression, golden heavens of sadness.
    That might sound like a different vision of health than is commonalty heard, it’s strange but both the Bio-Med industry and the common mental wellness community have the same thing in common – they are running the wrong direction.
    SZ need drugs to help them experience emotions not avoid them..but yeah, it’s not that straightforward – I am just making a point.
    All SZ have fear and anxiety to the deepest level – it’s the driving engine of SZ positive symptoms. ..But drug away the SZ’s fear and you take away everything the person is and cut them down. The positive symptoms occur when the old fragile personality finally fails in it’s desperate attempts to manage and block impending emotional conflict.

    Yes, Bio-med psychiatrists are unwitting monsters ignorant of basic human psychological processes and murdering personalities by the millions but really so what? . in terms of curing ourselves they are irrelevant – complaining about hem is advancement Zero or perhaps getting back to Zero for the negative. If people can use them to get some emergency respite and the get away form them it’s not that bad – but it is getting harder to get away from them nowadays.
    Nevertheless,they are not the problem, and neither are labels.

    We identify problems work on them and solve them and in this case we work on problems of ourselves . Part of the lessons to SZ is that the SZ’s world cracks entirely forcing the SZ to 100 percnet accept they have self-problems and motivate themselves to work on them with full commitment.
    Cure for this condition cannot be partial, – it is not like quitting smoking and one is still the same – one’s basic self changes – this doesn’t happen without full acceptance of a need to change.

    In this case , it is completely correct we can’t work on a label – in all the work I did to transform myself I never once thought about any label.
    ..
    It is equally not useful to become fixated on the misuse of labels. In this case you are still using the label just on the reverse side of it. This is still empowering Bio-med psychiatry. It’s defining oneself in terms of opposition to something – which is a false self.
    ..
    Complaining about the misuse of the label however is completely valid – dumping the label itself is not constructive

    The best way of understanding human problems is to have paradigms that include others understanding not exclude them and place yourself at war with them . R.D Laing’s paradigm is completely compatible with using the label SZ in it’s purely diagnostic form.

    The label SZ does not denote a disease – this is an add on- an interpretation of the symptoms observed commonly to define a type- SZ denotes standards symptoms of a very specific type of psychological emotional problem.

    Sure ,when we use the label SZ, we know more than from absolute zero – I find out right away form experience, the label is not irrelevant – just because the Bio-med industry misuses it is not my problem – is their problem.

    I don’t like the approach to try to deny the existence of mental illness, it is not resilient, nor positive goal oriented – you are defining yourself and others out of existence. It really looks like simply trying to soothe people who feel hurt at the expense of being realistic and encourages them to engage in denial that they have a problem to winch they must exert efforts.It looks like denial and blaming others for one’s feelings. And maybe a request – ‘be nice to be’ which is ok but doing this way is not learning to communicate effectively.

    Taking it out on the psychiatrists is an easy displacement – they are mindless monsters but this is not curative for SZ.

    The best way to refute Bio-med psychiatry is to take 100 people that they consider incurable and hopefully assist fifty percent of them to be cured. Just one cure destroys their entire paradigm of failure.

    I experienced horrifying states of madness and at one time slit both my wrists and neck (it was the perfectly logical thing to do – actually, to try to escape the mental state) – I understand it perfectly why it was etc and I don’t need anyone to try to pretend it was the fuzzy wuzzy desire to connect because it was what it was – intense mental suffering and trying to define it as something ‘nice’ from a position of being removed from it is discounting my experience.

    I got out of ‘there’ alive, free, tough, resilient. I don’t need anything sugar coated. The rubber has to hit the road somewhere, I don’t see how advising people to go off the road is going to help get the gears in motion.

    And I just thought of a last thing here. Of course! My contact with the mentally ill is and has been extensive and now I am evolving that. . The label SZ does not mean ‘nothing’. I am most familiar with SZ people ‘my people’ (for the main) and recognize them, harmonize and can advise or assist them the best.There is a real world connection between ‘label’ and my shared experiences and correlated experiences with those such labelled. I find other people labelled differently to be in fact, different! and I am not so familiar to advise them. However, recently I have found out that it is very confirmed to myself that my internalized principles from an effective psychotherapy are universal and I am having some success with a few people labeled bipolar. Though I myslef have never had this precise experience I do I can understand it through associate experience which is very definitely different.

    So labels are not meaningless, they relate directly to different groups of people with those groups having common experiences of self of troubles with self .. on the main ,as it were …

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  10. Sometimes we come across people with such different takes on life we may as well be living in completely different universes-ha! This happens to me quite frequently, which I believe is a sign that I think for myself, somewhat religiously. Thanks for sharing your thoughts despite our obvious complete difference in outlook, skybluesight.

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  11. I can see skybluelight’s point. Delusions are real and that includes all religions. The problem is that psychiatry makes schizophrenic behaviour a manifestation of disease when being a defense against disease is closer to the truth. By convincing people that they have an irreversible disease, confounding illness with cure, and drugging them out of their minds with no end in sight, they crush any fighting chance for most. Psychiatry kills and dismissing crimes against humanity as irrelevant is not going to get much sympathy on this site.

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  12. Anonymous (can’t go further in thread because there’s no longer the reply button):

    subvet I’m not a mason but I’m a firm believer in self determination, individual liberty and personal responsibility.

    My favorite sculpture is this…

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rqVoxjG_lX4/T_rgCmaBDfI/AAAAAAAABXI/L8lzSI6AHOk/s320/Carlyle_SMM_sky.jpg

    Man carving himself out of stone. I look at this for minutes and remind myself that it is only me, not government, not some rescuer, not some random quack, that can sort this life out. It reminds me that the decisions I make each day, shape my life, and that ultimately I am in control.

    There is also female versions:

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m2nb7nrgzB1qefvafo1_500.png

    Man, Anonymous. See, maybe three-four hours before I saw your post, I was at work, bored, without nothing to do, and for some reason decided to further research what my nick Hermes might represent. One of the first pictures from Google image search was a sculpture of Hermes where he was building a sculpure of another god or person.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hermes-louvre3.jpg

    I had seen the picture before (I’ve been to Louvre, maybe I’ve seem the actual statue too), but it left me thinking about what the sculptor had thought about, etc. I don’t usually think about this kind of things and I don’t look at sculptures. It totally blew my mind to see after some hours the sculptures who were forging themselves. I can’t believe the synchonity. And I’m not suggesting I’m forging you people in any way, or whatever ideas you may get. 😉

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    • “I can’t believe the synchonity.”

      Be careful or I’ll have to introduce you to Dr. Coincidence.

      Dr. Coincidence was a sick man. He was a man who was trapped in the toxic air of his supposed superiority and authority.

      Dr. Coincidence was absolutely careless about Me, my PERSONAL issues, and instead, pathologized everything about me – causing my VALUE to be lost. And by value, I mean … My intellectual property.

      I had been rapid processing a large volume of information. I was also experiencing a toxic reaction to Effexor XR (which killed my brain, and I’m sure of it – “science” not needed).

      I was hospitalized in December of 2005. Too much was happening, all at once. I know for a fact, though I lack the scientific language, that there was a cosmological event happening at that time. INTENSITY, ooh. INTENSITY.

      I found a “pattern” and was doing the mental work, to understand. Dr. Coincidence told me that “it’s all a coincidence”.

      I said, “If it has a pattern, it can be defined. If it can be defined, it has a meaning. If it has a meaning, it has a purpose. If it has a purpose, it cannot be a coincidence.”

      He smirked and dismissed me.

      Dr. Coincidence was a sick man. He was a man who was trapped in the toxic air of his supposed superiority and authority.

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  13. Hi.

    Can somebody write a new article about schizophrenia being brain damage? How, if the collective knew that and thought of schizophrenia as brain damage, instead of a “disease” or “mental illness” (words matter!) – what impact and effect that might have? And, I’d like to know what “environmental causes” they’re talking about. ??

    “Schizophrenia is thought to stem from early damage to the developing fetal brain, traceable to a complex mix of genetic and environmental causes. ”

    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2013/taming-suspect-gene-reverses-schizophrenia-like-abnormalities-in-mice.shtml

    ty

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  14. Mjk, I believe people who receive a schizophrenia diagnosis all have different life experiences. Some may have brain damage, and others may not. Even brain damage is a spectrum-I believe my brain has been affected by trauma (and psych drugs) but how do I know what to call brain damage and what to call mental diversity? There’s no uniform answer. So I prefer not to use the term schizophrenia at all. I think it just confuses people since some may be referring to genetic brain damage, while others may be referring to trauma induced mental diversity and who knows what others are thinking? Most people aren’t even thinking about what they mean when they use the word.
    The other cool thing about the brain is that it has ways of compensating for damage or trauma by getting stronger in other areas…so I really like the term mental diversity!

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