Do I Enjoy Prescribing Meds?


After talking for awhile about big pharma corruption, the distortion of research and academic psychiatry, and the overselling of psychiatric medications a bright social work intern who has been on our team for about six months pointedly asked me, “So, do you enjoy helping people by prescribing medications or by helping them in other ways?”  I had to pause for a moment to think about it.  “I don’t enjoy prescribing as much as I used to.” When I first started working as a psychiatrist out of residency, I took great pride in my ability to help people with medications.  I could get the symptoms of more than 90% of people in the hospital well under control by the time they left.  I even kept track.  In the clinic if my patients didn’t use drugs and more or less complied with meds, I could get more than 80% of them much better.  It felt like I was doing battle with illnesses and winning.  That was enjoyable.  But over the years, I see far more that needs help than just symptom relief and I feel far less like an all-powerful warrior.

I started wondering what it would’ve been like to have been a psychiatrist in the 1960’s when psychiatric medications first began being used in hospitals.  Would it have seemed like magic to them?  Or like “Awakening”?  I suspect they weren’t dazzled by medication’s ability to calm people down and make them less acutely dangerous.  After all they had lots of other ways of doing that already – barbiturates and other sedatives, seclusion and restraints, wrapping in wet sheets, ice and hot baths, ECT, lobotomies – although over time antipsychotic meds have basically replaced almost all those other things so they’re probably significantly better. Also hospitalizations were much longer then so I doubt that most people were acutely agitated and dangerous a lot. I suspect that the ward wasn’t as much of a battle zone as it is today. (If you want a view of inpatient psychoanalytically based treatment of psychosis from that era read the wonderful first person account “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”).  It’s only in today’s world that hospitals are only paid to reduce acute agitation and dangerousness by Medicaid and people are released after only a few days, usually with nothing else accomplished.  Today’s acute hospitals have grown to value meds for their acute sedative properties, especially at very high dosages. (BTW – if you want hospitals to do something more humane than sedate and release in a few days, pressure Medicaid to pay for something else.  All of my local private hospitals that accepted Medicaid and were more humane are now broke and closed.)

I’d bet that what really impressed those inpatient psychiatrists 50 years ago was that with meds they could communicate with and have a relationship with people they couldn’t connect with before meds.  This is still the property of meds that I find most enjoyable today.  Someone can be entirely isolated in their own world – of voices or paranoia, or delusions or depression or dissociation or panic or mania or obsessions or anorexia, etc – and by taking medications they can “come back” and reconnect with the world.  I know a man now who only says, “It’s alright.  It’s OK.” over and over, never bathes or changes clothes smelling horribly of urine and dirt, and is usually homeless when he’s not on meds.  When he is on meds he can have most of a conversation, live somewhere, eat, change clothes, bathe, and have friends more or less.  That’s pretty satisfying.  But he always refuses meds when he has a choice, so after a few weeks out of jail or a hospital he drifts away again.  That’s pretty heartbreaking.

I remember when I was a first year inpatient resident at USC and I went to see a panel presentation that included the legendary R.D. Laing.  He seemed to be on a different plane than everyone else.  I couldn’t tell whether he was enlightened or psychotic or a charlatan.  He talked about schizophrenia becoming healed when everyone on earth was reconnected and when the Earth was aligned with the moon and the planets and the sun and the stars.  He said the key was loving the person with schizophrenia.  After the panel, I went up to the microphone and said, “I’m trying to do that, but don’t find it so easy to love people who are really psychotic and who I can’t understand and whose emotions don’t seem to be connected to what we’re talking about.  How do you get through to do that?”  He told me to keep trying.  It would work out.  It seems to me that medications have often helped it work out; helped us to connect and share love.

Most of the time now I don’t prescribe either to reduce agitation or dangerousness or to help people connect with other people and life; I prescribe to help reduce suffering.  People come to me suffering with a whole range of problems.  They’ve usually had experiences where a psychiatrist made some diagnosis, described their suffering as the symptoms of that diagnosis, and prescribed pills that really did reduce their suffering.  Maybe not as dramatically as the ubiquitous commercials on TV, but they felt better, often a lot better.  They want to be back on meds.  Sometimes that first successful psychiatrist is me.  It’s pretty enjoyable to help people feel better.  Isn’t that what a doctor is supposed to do?

Three of the top selling categories of pills are pain relievers, anti-anxiety pills, and antidepressants. I think that all three of these are “anti-suffering pills”.  When we’re suffering for almost any reason, we’re likely to feel pain, anxiety and/or depression and want relief.  The problem, in my view is that if we externalize our suffering and make it a symptom, then our response is to just fight to get rid of it.  But we might be getting rid of an important part of ourselves at the same time, leaving us more damaged instead of relieved.  I’m particularly disturbed that in DSM-5 we’re eliminating grief and making it more of Major Depression.  Grief is important suffering. It’s how we know we loved.  It’s how we honor our loss.  It’s how we rebuild our hearts to love again.  It’s not just a depressive symptom to be eliminated so we feel better.  That feels to me like it’s making us less human.  If instead we stick with our suffering and work through it, learn from it, find meaning in our suffering and gifts in our wounds, we will recover stronger and more human.  It’s not that I want people to suffer, but I think separating ourselves from our suffering and medicating it to eliminate it isn’t really recovering any more than locking it away and trying not to think about it is.

When I’m at my best, I’m both prescribing meds and helping people work through their suffering.  Meds can often be very helpful in reducing overwhelming suffering to where it can be worked with.  Meds can be a tool of recovery and not just a tool for symptom relief.  It’s generally not the case that the more a person is suffering the more likely they are to work through it; more often it seems to me it’s the opposite – we need some hope and sense of power over our suffering to really dive in instead of avoiding it.

When antidepressants were first developed, psychotherapists thought that taking meds would make therapy less effective because the person wouldn’t be motivated in their therapy if their depression was helped with a pill.  When they did the studies, it repeatedly came out that depressed people more often did better and improved more with a combination of meds and therapy than with either one alone.  Somehow, we’ve stopped emphasizing that combination over the years.  Too many people are on meds alone.  Many of them are getting meds from primary care doctors without ever getting mental health evaluations or therapy.  The new integrated care paradigms mostly call in mental health professionals if antidepressants don’t work.  “Responders” will never know what else might be going on or what else they might have benefitted from if their PDQ-9 score goes down with a trial of antidepressants.  They’ll just get refills.

I guess I do still enjoy prescribing meds to help people – to help them become less agitated and violent so they aren’t restrained, seclude, or locked away, to help them connect to other people and life, and to help them have some relief from their suffering so they have some hope and belief in themselves and motivation to find the strength to work through suffering and recover.  Like most things in life, though, that’s a lot less simple pleasure than it used to be when I could just be a warrior fighting illnesses with medications.  Life seems a lot more complex and interrelated to me now and I feel a lot less powerful than I used to, but when it all comes together and I can feel someone really recovering and my meds helped along the way; yeah, I still enjoy that.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. Mark, I work acute inpatient as a therapist and I have seen people who are suffering from severe confusion, delusions and mania “improve” on meds as well. I have seen people shift from severe psychosis to increased stability after taking meds and I would guess that the sedation from the drugs allows people to get some rest and sleep. However, I have seen many cases where people don’t get “better”, they just become increasingly sedate, quiescent, dulled.

    You say you like to improve suffering but doctors are increasingly not prescribing pain medications, because they are addictive and potentially lethal. Doctors have increasingly stopped prescribing benzodiazepines because they are addictive and potentially lethal. Both of those drug classes “relieve suffering” as you say, but they are fraught with complications. I’m wondering how you see that differently with antipsychotics or mood stabilizers. They indeed can help some people, but they come at the cost of severe side effects and long term health problems when taken regularly.

    Is a doctor relieving suffering if they are immediately decreasing psychotic symptoms, but at the cost of causing long term health problems such as obesity, cardiovascular problems, dystopia, akathisia, etc? Relief of suffering is great if it is prolonged. If it is only for a brief window and the long term picture leads to increased suffering, is it worth it?

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    • round here it’s benzo bonanzo and SSRI are given away like they are human right, no more free school milk (uK think, you probably wouldn’t understand), more like dole out the prozac to mum as human right. So I’m not quite sure where the Doctors prescribing less benzo’s came from. In the UK it’s report after report calling for less of them to be prescribed and not a lot changes.

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      • Yes its still benzo bonanza out there (love that btw) but there is much more caution for giving it out to people who have addictions issues or there is concern about suicidality. From wikipedia…

        “Numbers of benzodiazepine prescriptions have been declining, due primarily to concerns of dependence. ”

        I would guess that a lot of doctors have shifted over to prescribing antipsychotics for conditions they used to give benzos- like anxiety, insomnia, “agitation”. Maybe they somehow think this is better.

        But my question remains- if you know that the long term effects of antipsychotics are universally dangerous to health and well being- why would you prescribe them on a long term basis?

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  2. I am sad to see psychiatric drugs or brain damaging poisons referred to as medications. I strongly recommend Dr. Peter Breggin’s great books like Toxic Psychiatry, Your Drug May Be Your Problem, 2nd ed., Medication Madness, The Antidepressant Fact Book, Talking Back to Prozac, Talking Back to Ritalin, Reclaiming Our Children, Brain Disabling Treatments In Psychiatry and others along with his great web sites. Finally, Dr. Breggin has gotten the credit he has long deserved for being so right as the conscience of psychiatry when almost everyone else sold out.

    There are many other books exposing the fraud of the DSM and the deadly but useless effects of psychiatric drugs. Yes, there may be an initial placebo effect, but they have been shown to be quite useless and ultimately brain/body damaging while making the so called “patient” far worse off in the long run as shown by many experts in countless books and articles. Of course, ECT and other similar brain damaging treatments are just as vile if not more so.

    Sorry, I think if you truly study all the literature by those not in Big Pharma’s pocket, you would have to seriously question how much you are helping people with such poison drugs known to destroy countless lives. Dr. Grace Jackson, Psychiatrist, does a great job exposing the great dangers of these drugs in her books like Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs. Her book, Drug Induced Dementia: The Perfect Crime, is another horrific exposure of the huge harm of psychiatric drugs.

    Given all the disease mongering by Big Pharma and cohorts due to the shooters they mostly created, perhaps those like you and your colleagues could fight more NON-DRUG treatments that really help people.

    Have you heard of such things as the “halo effect” or even just wishful thinking that might make you think these poison drugs work better than they do? Also, your so called patients probably have many reasons to hide the truth created by psychiatry itself!

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  3. This entire blog reads like a sad lament for a return to the “good ole days.” A time when things were more simple, less complicated. A time when we had state hospitals and back wards where psychiatry had the power and control to keep patients for weeks and months at one time. A time when psychiatrists could be “all powerful warriors” with unfettered ability to drug people into submission, removing all their symptoms and truly ending all their “suffering.”

    Unlike today, when things are so much more complicated because we now are aware of the great costs and harm done by psychiatric drugs (of which there was not a single reference made within in this blog) and we have a survivor/activist movement shaking the status quo of Biological Psychiatry and making life more difficult for their “business as usual.”

    I, myself, long for the “good ole days” at Mad in America when we had the likes of Dr. Steven Moffic to contend with. It was a more simple and straight forward defense of Biological Psychiatry.


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    • You misunderstood my intent. i’m not lamenting the loss of the old days – I’m not old enough to have prcaticed then. I’m wiritng aobut my own develpmental process as i’ve gotten older taht things seem much more complicated and interpersonal and less clear and responsive to my will than they did when I was younger. i’ve expereinced simialr shifts with regard to marriage and childrearing and even going to the movies.

      i do think that i was taught a relatively “developmetnally immature” way of prescribing to simplify it and make it applea to young doctors, but i know mnay psychiatrists who have moved well beyond that approach.

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    • Gee. Richard. I check in now and then to see if anything has changed. Guess not. The “good ole days” are still here at MIA.

      But the “good ole days” of the 1960s in psychiatry are gone. In fact, I found it fascinating and helpful to talk to people no matter how unusual their words were. Often, if you empathized and looked for symbolic messages, much could be learned. But it took much time and patience.

      Glad to know I was missed.

      Dr. Moffic

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      • As one Steve to another,

        I agree that there was a time when talking to clients was the primary intervention for psychiatrists. There are some amazing stories from Laing and Erickson and others about how to accomplish this. So why, in your opinion, did the psychiatric profession stop talking to their clients? How did we get to this weird place where (and this is really true) a psychiatrist I knew said he was “treating” a woman for 15 years for depression, and had “tried everything,” but had never even once in 15 years asked her what she was feeling depressed about? And I am not buying the “insurance companies just don’t pay for it” argument – good psychiatry is not a function of how much money you get paid. It doesn’t take long to ask that question, and he had 15 years to do it in. Besides which, when I asked him what she’d been depressed about, he acted as if it was an irrelevant question. How did a person’s psychological understanding of their own emotional state become irrelevant?

        I’d really like to know what you think, as you appear to have been present throughout the long transition away from talking into becoming brain mechanics. How did it happen? And more importantly, do you see how the profession can ever move back in that direction again?

        —- Steve

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        • “How did it happen? And more importantly, do you see how the profession can ever move back in that direction again?”

          $$$$ and power – so deep and so vast that the propaganda machine of the MSM is totally corrupted.
          It’s all firmly locked with the economic fascism and burgeoning totalitarian by an aristocratic elite.
          What you gotta worry about is not what the SOB’s are doing now but what they are going to do next.

          You have a population that believes it has democracy and capitalism when in fact the reverse is true.

          It’s two minutes to midnight – One thing can’t change without the other changing – it’s a massive crushing machine.

          You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last
          But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast
          Yonder stands your orphan with his gun
          Crying like a fire in the sun
          Look out the saints are comin’ through
          And it’s all over now, Baby Blue.

          If you or your loved ones have problems – run hide – get them help outside of the machine if you can.

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        • Well, maybe we have something in common, Steve, besides our name. And, I appreciate your kind and respectful reply. It is this kind of interaction that can move all of us back in the same direction, not the blanket scapegoating of psychiatrists.

          I think many social changes contributed to the transition: the limited success of talk therapy with certain conditions; the promise and marketing of medications (including “thought leader” psychiatrists paid a lot to talk them up); the power of for-profit managed care to influence what care gets provided and paid for; and competition among the different mental health professionals (including psychologists who still want to be able to prescribe medications).

          But, believe it or not, younger psychiatrists seem to realize what they have missed and want to learn about more than medications. They do want to know what is wrong with medications. The older ones like me are retiring (and I know there will be some applause out there), though we still try and try to have constructive conversations about what needs to change. All sides have valuable perspectives, if we listen respectively to them. Many have been chased away or stay away from this site.

          -Dr. Moffic

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          • I can see it would be very uncomfortable for most psychiatrists to post here, though Mark and Sandra seem to be managing it OK. Perhaps the perspective to consider is why there is so much anger in the consumer world toward psychiatry. As you just commented, psychiatrists used to talk to patients but don’t seem to take the time any more. This, combined with the dishonesty about causes (pretending to believe in “chemical imbalnaces” when they’re not known to exist) and denying or minimizing adverse effects (can’t tell you how many kids I know from my profession who got “bipolar” diagnoses after adverse responses to Ritalin or SSRIs) leads to anger and resentment and distrust. And amazingly, the best cure for anger, resentment and mistrust is – ta daaaaa! – LISTENING TO THE CLIENT. This just seems so obvious to me that I just can’t even fathom that idiot I described above being paid $200 an hour to throw drugs at a person he does’t even bother to get to know. How can that be permitted to ever happen, Steve? But he is being empowered by the psychiatric system to continue to practice that way.

            I hope that the younger psychiatrists really are interested in figuring out where the profession left the path of wisdom. But I think the most important point is for the profession or the professionals to ADMIT that the path of wisdom was, in fact, left behind many years back, for reasons that appear to be more economic and egotistical than scientific. Perhaps we will see a resurgence in young psychiatrists reading Erik Erickson and trying to construct imitative “word salad” as a means of reaching a person who is deep in a psychotic state. Or maybe they will read the literature on Soteria House or Open Dialog and start some new initiatives. But I’m not holding my breath. I believe you dramatically underrate the powerful interests behind this movement away from talk therapy and toward drugging. There is too much money being made for the paradigm to peacefully change with a new generation of psychiatrists. It’s gonna be a fight. Look what happened to Loren Mosher, an insider who dared to challenge the dominant paradigm, and was excoriated and shunned, even though he was absolutely correct in his conclusions.

            I do think you’re right about one thing. What is funded is what practiced. Perhaps an emeritus psychiatrist like yourself can put some serious energy into convincing the profession to advocate for funding things that have long term benefits, rather than continuing to focus on short-term symptom reduction and short-term profits.

            —- Steve

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          • I meant Milton Erickson, not Erik, though Erik was quite a fascinating and competent practitioner as well and certainly focused on communication rather than enforced brain chemistry manipulation.

            I am still interested in hearing your reply…

            —- Steve

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  4. I agree with Richard Lewis when he rights that the article reads like a sad lament for a return to the “good ole days.”

    Given what we now know empirically about the extreme costs and profoundly limited benefit offered by psychiatric drugs, particularly when prescribed under a “first, frequently and forever” model of practice – I don’t believe any attitude other than the utmost sobriety is morally appropriate to the subject.

    “When I’m at my best, I’m both prescribing meds and helping people work through their suffering.”

    No, sir. When you or anyone else in your position of power are “at your best,” you are listening and responding to the needs and requests of the person before you, you are not assuming that either medication or no-medication is the way to go, before you’ve have even bothered to hear and understand the person-in-context. When you are at your best, you are not ignoring empirical evidence that suggest long term use of psych medications is contra-indicated. And when you are at your best, you are not ignoring the empirical evidence which now documents, in exhaustive detail, the extremely limited usefulness and extremely severe dangers of psychiatric medications. When you are at your best, you follow the now formally evidence-based practice of limiting the role of psychiatric drugging in “treatment,” adopting a selective use model and discouraging reliance on dangerous medications whenever possible.

    That would be you at your best.

    It’s true I am not “anti-medication.” Which is to say that, I believe that if an individual believes that short term, selective use of certain psychiatric medications is the right option for them, I defend their right to make that choice just as much as I would defend the right of someone not to be pressured or coerced into taking medications against their will.

    But given the fact that I know how to read, and have chosen to read empirical data, neither can I possibly be “pro-medication” given what we know.

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  5. Mark thanks for being so honest in your blog post. I like how you admit to feeling like a “powerful warrior” and that you don’t have as much power now as what you used to have. That’s encouraging for me, as a warrior on the opposing side, if you like, who doesn’t often feel very powerful, more like under pressure.

    I’m one of the ones for whom psychiatric drugs and coercive practice were abusive and depressing. I only had suicidal impulses on venlafaxine whereas life to me is sweet and the psychoses only meant I was more sensitive to the world around and maybe more vulnerable than usual. I count myself fortunate to have survived “mental illness” and psychiatric treatment.

    I think your blog posts are refreshing because of their honesty that come over as arrogance. Maybe because I’m like that too. And it’s that very arrogance that helped me resist psychiatric power and the do-gooders who think that I need to be protected from the cruel world and its pain. When the reality is that psychiatry is far more scary and insidious in its doctrines of madness being biological, in our genes. A patriarchal system that is far too big for its boots.

    RD Laing was one of a kind, a fellow Scot like me. Here’s tae us, wha’s like us, damn few an’ they’re a’ deid!

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  6. Thanks for your honesty Mark. I was harmed the most by psychiatrists who are thoughtful and considered, because I trusted them a little bit more than the others. The concern I have with this line of thinking is that the psychiatrists and community aren’t taking responsibility for their part. If you need someone to be on a drugs in order to connect with them, do you ever ask yourself what might be going on with you? Any relationship between 2 individuals should not label one as mentally ill and the other as a doctor. If psychiatrists are doctors of the soul (the literal meaning), why do they need someone to be on a drug in order to love them?
    I do appreciate your acknowledgment that suffering can have value. I’ve never found taking a pill to help me work through any issues more easily though. For me it has always been the opposite. On a pill the issues get all muddled up and there are more problems that the pill creates so the whole thing just becomes a huge mess. Others may SEE a person on a pill as being more able to work through things, but it might be a superficial judgement. For me the only time I wasn’t able to shower or take care of myself was when I was on psych drugs.
    Perhaps what is needed is a higher level of faith. If we believe those we work with need a pill to work things through, perhaps we don’t hold enough confidence in the human spirit to actually support them. There may actually be enough love in your heart to open up to anyone. My understanding is that love is what heals, which you also elude to. The love needs to be huge to be healing.
    If we are too scared to open up to someone because they are violent, smelly, incoherent or something else, that is valid. Yet our own fear is part of the picture. We may feel vulnerable and need to protect ourselves. Our own fears may be getting triggered. We may need to humbly admit we are not capable of helping everyone and do what is necessary to protect ourselves. Let’s just admit when we need to do that.

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    • Two points:

      1) I think that most emotioanl healing doesn’t happen within the confines of professional treatment relationships. I try to meet a very high standard of being able to connect to and even love people with serious mental illnesses and keep increasing my self awareness and ailibity over time because I think psychiatrists should be the poeple in our society most able to do this (family have a great caapbility as well coming form anohter direction). MOst of the people who I can’t realte to end up locked up not by me – usually in jail. That side of the “relationship” I have only a very modest impact on. I’ve seen too many people tragically exculded by their families or loved ones because their mental state was intolerable.

      2) I have seen people who could work through things better when thye were on meds – for example they could work on their marriage when they weren’t paranoid or delusionally jealous of their partner, or they could go back to school and rebuild their career when they weren’t paralyzed by depression and negative voices in bed, orthy could work on loss and grief when they didn’t have a panic attack everytime the subject was brought up. These kind of examples aren’t rare – they’re the majority – and I doubt just a placebo or charm effect.

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      • Your second point is really key here. You say you see symptom relief in a majority of patients and that people who are suffering are getting “better.” And the logic were to continue, then If this is the case, then what you do is…good.

        And I agree, many people do get symptomatic relief from psychiatric drugs. Benzodiazepines make you feel relaxed when you are very anxious. SSRIs often make you feel happier when you are depressed. Antipsychotics often do quell severe symptoms of mania and psychosis.

        But that is only one part of he equation and I see you ducking the other part. What about the side effects, the long term health ramifications, issues of dependence and withdrawal? Do you talk about these issues with patients so they can make a more informed choice?

        Do you talk about alternatives to drugs?

        Just a thought but….cocaine makes you feel good in the moment. Heroin relaxes you and takes away your pain. But would you ever suggest taking those drugs for dealing with pain and suffering?

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      • ” they could work on their marriage when they weren’t paranoid or delusionaly jealous of their partner, or they could go back to school and rebuild their career when they weren’t paralyzed by depression and negative voices in bed, or thy could work on loss and grief when they didn’t have a panic attack everytime the subject was brought up. ”
        Well trained dogs jumping through hoops doing what you think they should do under the guidance of drugs and probably drugged suggestion indoctrination in anti-therapy technique.

        Behaviour control is not mental health. Nor are behavioral accomplishments.
        If you facilitate anyone to mental health – you don’t have to care what they do in society – they will take care of that on their own – your job is finished right there.

        What did they really want, what would they have really done if they had been human? Fully human?
        You will never know.

        Was any one of those fully independent and self fully self-responsible?
        Of course not. They are propped up cannot exist without being propped up and have become the extensions of the wants of others.
        Psyches as spaghetti sauce.

        Don’t pretend, don’t soft soap it – all these meds are lobotomizers – that’s how they work.
        But then again as Laing said and you agreed – you do not understand how emotions work in relation to “symptoms”. So that leaves you with using control methodologies. Lobotomy is as lobotomy does.

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      • Mark,

        It is true that some families are supportive, but you don’t mention or admit that many so called families are abusive and tend to target certain members as scapegoats and golden children especially in narcissistic families. There is now tons of information on the web about abusive, narcissistic and psychopathic people who destroy countless lives in homes, work environments and society at large such as the books, Working With Monsters, Snakes in Suits, The Sociopath Next Door, The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcisists, Why Is It Always About You and countless others as well as web sites.

        The mental death profession has mostly left it up to victims to try to struggle to survive alone while they aid and abet the abusers since they are usually the more powerful members of society.

        Have you read the book, The Emperor’s New Drugs about the fact that SSRI antidepressants are no better than placebo for the most part. Dr. Peter Breggin does a great job exposing how useless but deadly psychiatry’s poison drugs are while exposing how they make people “spellbound” enough to not realize how bad off they really are on them.

        You expressed your “shock” or outrage that I have pointed out these poison drugs are no better than placebo and that’s putting it far too kindly because they are way worse than placebo in that they rob their imbibers of 25 years of life on average. Sadly, it appears you have avoided such homework or research per the blogs by Dr. Joanna Moncrieff currently posted and many others exposing the horrible effects of psych drugs.

        Did you see the study that shows that neuroleptics are especially deadly and useless for those over 40? That article is on this web site. Perhaps you are young and wise enough to save your soul and try to make some real change in what can only now be called the mental death profession professing nothing but evil lies, brain damage and death per the many books I cited and many others.

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    • “If we are too scared to open up to someone because they are violent, smelly, incoherent or something else, that is valid.”

      I don’t think so. Selflessness, you know.

      Faith is the HIGHEST TRUST. Fear can be good. Scared sacred.

      In selfless, Sacred Faith anyone can attend to anyone. I’ve done it (no college education required, no degree required, no training required, no title required, no license required, no bank account required … Hell, you don’t even have to have an address!).

      song written by a homeless woman, WOW

      Just need to care. That’s all it really takes to respond to somebody in crisis. Care is what miracles are made of.

      In the comments section of the video, look who I found: Stinky McPuddlemaker

      Stinky McPuddlemaker
      1 year ago

      This song literally tears my heart out :={

      They made a sad face. Stinky McPuddlemaker needs an ^A^

      Stinky McPuddlemaker needs someone to Care.

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  7. Perhaps people would truly be helped if someone were willing to help them work through their trauma issues. However, that takes a lot of time and effort and hard work doing therapy; it’s so much easier and simpler to pop a pill into someone’s mouth, often against their will, and say: “Gee, Mr. Jones, how much better you seem to be doing now that you’re on your ‘meds’!” And of course, the insurance companies don’t want to pay the big bucks to do any kind of talk therapy with people in distress. A lot of money can’t be made off of people if they aren’t chronically “mentally ill.”

    The interesting thing about the good old days before the toxic drugs is that when people finally did get out of the “hospital” they never or seldom came back. Whatever their problem was seems to have been episodic. But we’ve made it into something that is chronic through the use of the toxic drugs. Go figure. No money to be made if the so-called “illness” is a one time thing.

    Why not be a warrior doing trauma work rather than prescribing toxic drugs?

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  8. I have noticed that MDs and those with a tendency to be favorably disposed to clinical pharmacology tend to assume that medications work, and tend not to look very far beyond immediate, short-term reactions to drugs – as is the case with this author. This perspective ignores, or glosses over, the long-term damage these drugs cause, and also ignores the tenuous evidence base for their effectiveness in the first place.

    Then I have noticed that people who have been harmed by the medications, or who are disposed to be suspicious/mistrustful of Pharma and perhaps of psychiatry or medicine in general, tend to assume that everyone has a negative reaction to medications, that they help no one and harm everyone.

    As in most things in this world, the truth, I believe, lies somewhere in the middle. MDs should examine the science behind the chemicals they prescribe, and discard everything they’ve been taught that could possibly have been influenced by the profit motive. Biased pseudoscience has left much of conventional medicine in a rotten state.

    People with an “anti-” perspective would be well-served by making “I” statements rather than sweeping generalizations. Drugs do help some people, and don’t harm everyone. Unfortunately, though, we don’t know who will be helped, who will be harmed, and why medications are active, or useless, in general or in any given case.

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    • I don’t think many of us here are completely “anti”. But we see a state in which doctors make no attempt to give a full understanding of medications, their potential side effects, long term health effects and difficulty with withdrawal of these drugs. Imagine two conversations. Here’s the first.

      Doc: “You seem to be having a lot of ups and downs, and mood swings. I’m going to prescribe you some Seroquel. Just take 100 mg in the morning and night. It should really help. I’ll see you in a couple months for a follow up.

      Here’s the second.

      Doc: Wow, it seems like you are really going through a lot right now. Can you tell me more about what’s happening?

      (30 minutes of conversation later)

      Doc: Well there are a lot of options to explore for trying to get more balance in your life. I’m really not well educated on a lot of them but let me steer you to a few places where folks know more than me (link to therapists, nutritional advice, holistic care, etc). If none of this really works for you and you want to explore medications I am happy to talk to you about it. Taking medications is not something that should be considered lightly. They can help some folks but they also come with a number of complications.

      Let me tell you about them (10 minutes later)

      If you are still interested in taking these medications after hearing al that I am willing to start you out on a low dose and monitor how this affects you very closely over the next few months. And if you want to get off of them at any time, I will work closely with you in doing this in a safe manner.

      So yeah- if there was more honest information, more discussion, more in depth exploration…then I think almost no one here is opposed to people making an informed choice about taking medications.

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      • Exactly! You hit the nail on its proverbial head here. When I was a “patient” in the state “hospital” where I now work, I was not give one bit of information about any of the drugs that the psychiatrist wanted me to take. I was supposed to just “trust” him when I had absolutely no reason at all to trust anyone. The kind of conversaton that you gave an example of does not take place where I work. The psychiatrists don’t believe that the “patients” are not capable of understanding what they’re told so they tell them nothing at all and make all kinds of paternalistic decisions for them, all “for their own good,” of course!

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          • This conversation doesn’t take place in hospitals, and I would guess it almost never takes place in private practice. Why? I wonder. If all the facts were laid bare, what percentage of folks would actually take the drugs? Probably a lot less. And doctors get paid for prescribing and “managing medications.” Without that, the entire funding mechanism for “mental health care” and psychiatric hospitalization falls to pieces. It’s in the best interest of the doctors and the hospitals to not talk about the severe problems associated with psychiatric drugs.

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    • “and tend not to look very far beyond immediate, short-term reactions to drugs – as is the case with this author. This perspective ignores, or glosses over, the long-term damage these drugs cause, and also ignores the tenuous evidence base for their effectiveness in the first place.”

      Ah, yes. I remember that mentality from several of the psychiatrists that ruined my brain and henceforth my life with those drugs. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.” along with “We have no way of knowing if the drug caused his problem, so there’s no point in blaming it.”

      Two very common mentalities within psychiatry, and ironically, both of them are irrational.

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    • “Then I have noticed that people who have been harmed by the medications, or who are disposed to be suspicious/mistrustful of Pharma and perhaps of psychiatry or medicine in general, tend to assume that everyone has a negative reaction to medications, that they help no one and harm everyone…. Drugs do help some people, and don’t harm everyone. ”

      But this is supposed to be the whole point behind evidence based medicine in the first place. Scientists have observed for many generations that as long as something is given or done to a person in the name of treatment, they will often report getting better even if they’re not, and in the case of subjective illnesses, they may actually get better. But of course that says nothing about the treatment itself.

      Even now in 2013, it’s still very possible that EVERY SINGLE person who ever got better on a psychiatric drug did so not because but rather despite the brain changing effects of the drugs. There’s STILL no real evidence that the drugs are correcting ANYTHING that is causing those symptoms.

      In the spirit of evidence based medicine, these drugs would be illegal. If doctors think they have medicinal uses, then they need to do the science first and prove that these drugs are actually helping people. After so many billions of dollars in tax and insurance company money being thrown in that direction, they STILL haven’t completed that simple FIRST-STEP that would make their treatments EVIDENCE-BASED.

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    • “Drugs do help some people, and don’t harm everyone. Unfortunately, though, we don’t know who will be helped, who will be harmed, and why medications are active, or useless, in general or in any given case.”

      Psych drugs help the people and the people behind the system who give the drugs but rarely or never help the people who receive them unless it’s for just the short term.
      And yes we do know the answers to all those questions – just read Robert Whitaker’s books.
      Psych drugs are psych death is the short and simple understanding – mostly true.
      The modern psychiatrist’s job is to categorize symptoms and figure out which drug to give to their patients and everyone is a patient for the goals of the Bio-Med Psychiatric Industry.

      The problem is that this class of people working in the psychiatric Industry has no understanding of human emotional functioning beyond some basic level and they are unlikely to learn it. In fact perhaps this industry and educational process attracts those with some kind of blunted emotional syndrome. Eventually they will diagnose themselves as having some kind of syndrome for the next DSM and give themselves psych medications but that won’t help the rest of us because they will continue even more in their robotic and mindless ways.

      You see there is emotional functioning and there is “emotional functioning”.
      There are levels – to say for the sake of argument.
      A person on a lower level of understanding will model and project the universe upon that level, They can ever see the next level.
      What are some factors of emotional understanding? Acceptance, depth, intensity flexibility of emotional experience ..and of course dis-identification from their indoctrinated social matrix.
      The last is one of the special benefits and curative process of those fortunate enough to have experienced and passed through some kind of psychosis.
      And all of those factors are everything psychiatrists usually are trained to avoid and I offer as example that the mind crime of having too much emotion is now a syndrome or something on the DSM which requires “treatment”. (goodbye evolution).

      But of course , again I’m preaching to the choir.

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    • Any great claims of being “helped” by psychoactive drugs is purely subjective and in the eyes of the more powerful psychiatrist making his great living at the expense of his/her so called patients by doling out admittedly bogus DSM stigmas that have absolutely no validity, science or medicine to back them up!! There is plenty of evidence that ALL so called treatments of biopsychiatry are brain damaging and shorten human life about 25 years on average and make those years on earth an unmitigated hell.

      I believe anyone would balk if lied to that they had cancer and were forced to have chemotherapy for it, which is exactly what the mental death profession is doing with its invented, voted in junk science DSM stigmas they created when they sold out to Big Pharma to pad its own pockets at the horrific expense of their existing and future VICTIMS to push lethal DRUGS/poisons on a brainwashed public.

      Please don’t judge the many who have had their lives, careers and everything else they held/hold dear destroyed by the vile mental death profession of biopsychiatry professing nothing but LIES and FRAUD!

      Since even Dr. Thomas Insel, Head of the NIMH, finally admitted what anyone doing the slightest homework knew for decades, that bogus DSM stigmas are total pseudoscience, junk science with no validity, reliability, science, medicine or anything else to back them up, anyone speaking of these garbage can stigmas and any so called treatments for them is professing nothing but fraud despite any great permissions to do so by the chief frauds in power like Insel, Lieberman and Head of DSM5!! Though the public at large has not been informed of these vicious, life destroying lies, this does not mean that continuing “business is usual” is anything but the most evil, monstrous endeavor just like all other human Holocausts based on vile eugenics theories throughout human history that also had the power of the law behind them. But, history does not treat these perpetrators kindly and hopefully, some day some of the perpetrators exposed in the debacle will have their own Nurembury Trials. In my opinion, it can’t happen too soon.

      So, please don’t lecture to us about what any of us critics of the mental death profession can say about its huge and horrifying fraudulent evil even acknowledged by their own Chief!!

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  9. All that anybody, here or in the media or anywhere, needs to know that Mark Ragins.

    By his own admission, he works at a treatment center for the poor where they force people to have to take drugs to receive services. He admits that many of his parents were foster children growing up and were those who make up the atrocious statistics of foster kids being zonked out on these drugs, but in defending himself in forcing these kids to keep taking the drugs to receive services when they turn 18, he said “But I work with them to determine which drugs they want to continue taking, since they’re not children anymore and don’t have to just do what they’re told.”

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      • a lot of people I meet at the day center were in care, or nearly in care, or in and out of care when they were children. When I talk to them about the awful childhoods they had I think social services and the state failed them: failed to note what was going on in their lives, failed to protect them from their abusive parents, failed to listen to them, failed to provide safe and nurturing alternatives to the brutal homes they came from. Then they grow up, become distressed, enter the mental health system and are drugged, patronized and finally blamed for not getting better after the superficial, “help,” they get. What they deserve, at a minimum, is an apology from the state and the social service departments who so badly let them down, not tranquilizers and yet more neglect.

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        • Based on my experience and observations, it seems psychiatry does nothing more than victimize victims further, and cover up crimes of unethical doctors, religions, and governments. It’s a stupid way to rule the world, because it leads to the most evil people being in charge. Is that really what benefits humanity? No.

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      • I think it’s easy to say that, but is it really true? So often people are told they don’t have to take medications, but in practice it is simply false. I’ve often been told this, but sooner or later, I suppose I should say sooner, one way or another I’m full of drugs. I wish I had a dollar for every time a counselor insisted I didn’t have to take any drug I didn’t want to, after I had already been forced to. As you pointed out, Medicaid doesn’t pay for much else, and programs don’t survive without profit.

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          • I feel my neck and head muscles tightened and get angry and defensive and end up thinking that was the goal of the writer, wheterh it was or not, and that doesn’t help me converse.
            It’s very hard for me to get my head around the balck and white thinking alot of the responses have – soemone says taht everyone who has ever benifited from meds just has a placebo effect, someone else sasy that helping people with medications is like killing kittens, soemone else ataches just a cuckoos nest video. But in this particular post I was reacting to the all that anyone needs to know about Dr Ragins” intro – I can’t define mysefl narrowly in one sentence, so I can’t respond.
            I am aware of the irony that much of what I’m describing is how many of you feel when talking with treating psychaitrists. I don’t think that works either.

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          • “I .. get angry and defensive a.. someone else says that helping people with medications is like killing kittens, – MR”
            OK This is dysfunctional psephology probably as part of a neurosis. The subject is concerned with ego defense (and first and foremost at that) and that blocks an objective response to the criticism. A person cleared of neurosis through some kind of process does not maintain an ego need in pursuing either an art or science. It bottles the person , makes growth difficult or impossible. This unfortunately is the state of all P’s- they are not put through a rigorous process and purge in a confrontative growth process. The thesis , also reflects this emotional dysfunction (it’s all about the needs of the author’s ego at the sacrifice of everything else) as well as is a deafness of mind drug usage.The latter being primarily motivated by the former.

            MR is not unique and thus is a source of material for me as I am profiling this class of persons indoctrinated by biomed ideology or having a personality type that fits in this environment in which they have been empowered by a corrupt and fascist political-economic system.
            Mr is one of many and they have common characteristics of which I understand and I suspect there is not a wide awareness of certain of these characteristics even in the alternative culture.
            In the defense of ego , both here and later on in the other post MR is shutting out the input of a large segment of oep who are relating narrative evidence that they or others have been destroyed – annihilated – by these bio-meds. MR can’t hear them – he is armoured.
            No MR, you are not killing kittens- you are killing people – you are killing what is the essence of people and you are so arrogant and solipsist you can’t see it and can’t even see it when you literally write it.
            In one sense the discussion of psych drugs is almost irrelevant. One characteristic of this group of people who I see as dysfunctionally destructive to others is that they try to do the same thing with drugs as with behavioral interactions. David Allen is a prominent example of this .

            “I could get the symptoms of more than 90% of people in the hospital well under control by the time they left.- MR”
            ..He writes it and and he still doesn’t understand himself – does such a person really understand wht the concept of “others” means? –
            I I I – control control control .

            The MR-Allen group- they are simply running in the wrong and opposite direction, Their basic ideology of mental health is actually anti-health, and their therapy , anti-therapy.

            Drugs and even mind drugs can have theri uses but the overwhelming truth is that anyone on mind drugs cannot achieve completion as an integrated fully emotional functioning independent self-responsible human being. I have known and met many people on mind drugs -every single one of them has been murdered – condemned to a living death with no hope of becoming whole because of the drugs. I know this because I’ve been there- I know every side being SZ, being psychotic being and psych meds and going through a transformation process in which I finally became a fully functional human being. That was 35 years and two careers ago. My existence is the proof that psychiatry is lying and my experience of what true or effective help is tells me that MR is self-delusional or self-serving in his assessment of being of “help” to others.
            The parrot that repeats your words that you want to hear is dead MR, it has died and gone to inner space where it waits for life – you have killed it along with the bunny rabbits and humans – you nailed it’s feet to the floor and propped it’s eyes open but it is dead – it’s just a prop in your self-glorification fantasy.

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          • Errata:

            “dysfunctional psephology” s/b “dysfunctional psychology”

            “Deafness of mind drug usage” s/b “Defense of mind drug usage”

            “I I I – control control control” .s/b
            “I, I, I, – control, control, control

            and following that phrase should not have bee in bold.

            sigh…. aiya aiya

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      • I feel that this is an easy way to dismiss and nothave to deal with the feelings that are stirred up surrounding the issues that you write about.

        We’ve been dismissed all too often by almost everyone in the system. Enter the dialog and wee what comes of it rather than just stating that someone is “narrow and enraged.” We have lots of reasons to be enraged and I don’t think that we’re the side that practices being so damned narrow.

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        • Thanks for sharing your body sensations and the defensiveness you feel when reading these comments. Hearing that, I feel more open towards you. I imagine you feel some things similar to how many of the commenters feel and have some other perspectives or experiences that perhaps others are unfamiliar with or see as contributing to the system that hurt them. Imagining you feeling angry and defensive, I feel more open to you as a human being. Mnay of us, myself included put up a front of attacks rather than saying we feel angry and defensive, which might open up a more companionable dialogue. I imagine many psychiatrists, therapists and a while host of other professionals in a variety of fields are trained not to share their feelings, in essence trained out of their humanity. Imagine psychiatrists had to use Non-Violent communication. That would mean no labeling, only identifying feelings and needs and making requests. When you are interpreting you can say “I’m imagining…” or “I’m telling myself…” None of us are perfect at communicating but re-humanizing all experiences is important to me. (Again if you need to protect yourself from violence, that is another conversation, but it isn’t the majority of cases we are talking about, I don;t think). If I were a psychiatrist and you were my patient, I could read: “I feel my neck and head muscles tightened and get angry and defensive and end up thinking that was the goal of the writer, whether it was or not, and that doesn’t help me converse,” and label you paranoid or delusional. But I’m not, so I will just call you a human being. I could call you mentally ill, but it’s not my style. I like that you feel angry because I imagine it might help you to understand how enraging this labeling system is for many people.

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      • Are you saying that the policy has changed? Or are you just being deceivingly overly technical?

        In an article you linked to in your first MIA post to inform readers of your “medication policies”, you said:

        “If we offered services besides medications, if we didn’t require people to be on medications before we
        helped them with housing or employment or benefits, if we supported people while they were trying to
        get off medications and learned to rely on emotional and interpersonal help, maybe we’d have more
        people in our clinics who could get off medications. But, we’re not doing any of those things, so we
        continue to select for people who should stay on their medications. ”

        So, are you saying that technically since the village doesn’t offer those services, but rather you connect people with those who do, then technically they don’t have to take the drugs to receive the services, the ones you wont hook them up with unless they are?

        Or are you saying something else completely?

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        • Oh and I will second what cataract said. If you ask DJ Jaffe he’ll even tell you that “assisted outpatient treatment” laws don’t force people to have to take drugs at all, but of course they do and it’s all they really do. Everybody under those AOT orders have to go to the hospital every 2 weeks to get a depot injection or else the police will come and pick them up and take them there. You see, DJ Daffe is being overly technical, in a way I fear that Mark Ragins may be. The AOT just forces the treatment, which can be anything, but of course everybody knows it’s not and that treatment revolves around drugs, so it’s actually forces drugs, but technically not, but in reality it is.

          If you ask anybody from within the psychiatric community, they will tell you that they don’t force people to take drugs. Yet at least a million or more people a year are being forced to take these drugs. Obviously one side is not telling the truth. Either the “mentally ill” are agreeing to take the drugs and then just making up stories about being forced to, or the people forcing the drugs are lying to the public. Of course the former isn’t true, and could never be.

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        • In that quote the “we” referred to the system in genral, not to the Village and I was criticizing that approach and offering alternatives.
          Many people at the vilage don’t end up on meds, some of whom I think that’s the right choice and some I don’t and they get full services anyway.
          Many people I lower their meeds and some I help get off, but we weigh both the possible negatives of staying on the meds with the possible negatives of gettign off them – recently a woman i thought should try ot get off chose to and is returnin g to work, but another woman i thought should try to get off didn’t because seh didn’t want to risk her DCFS case taht’s been going on for over a year despite my storng advocacy for her to get her kids back. Another woman i thkn should try to get off her meds, her husband is concerned taht seh might try to smother and kill their 3 year old again and DCFS isn’t letting her back in her own house despite my advocacy either.
          In the same way that many people on this site think that psychiatrists should ask more about what led to symptoms (which i heartily agree with, I never do an initial assessment in under an hour of conversation, and I do know when that started, it was when causes were taken out of DSM 3 when it replaced DSM 2), I think we need to ask alot about the postiive and negative impacts of meds on their feelings and their lives and what’s likely to happen if they taper off meds. Shared decision making to end meds is just as complex as beginning or continuing meds.

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          • You know, doctors who share their patients’ private details online (even anonymously, as the details would obviously be recognized by those involved, which would be traumatizing) are a pet peeve of mine, and this is off topic, but… isn’t trying to smother and kill someone a really good reason to never be allowed to live with them again?

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  10. Hi Mark Ragins M.D. Even though you enjoy prescribing drugs , why should anyone do that ? Aren’t you just a superfluous middle man whose elimination would at least leave those wanting drugs without the stigma of a life long label ? All that’s needed is honest information about these drugs , real full disclosure , their real track record , how really safe or dangerous they really are , their real long and real short term effects, in large print ,in video and or audio what they are really made of, how they are really made, who really makes them and really why .They should be sold no questions asked to anyone over the counter who’s old enough to serve in the military. Mark really this would be to your long term benefit because within the status quo, when you’re really old and your loved ones put you in a nursing home , and you start rambling about how you used to be an M.D. the staff will be forced to medicate you into silence and you will be labeled at least agitated if not demented depending on how much your M.D. enjoys prescribing drugs. He may even enjoy administering ECT, or he may enjoy experimentation.

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    • I was thinking about this issue seriously a few weeks ago. Our present model of having MDs overssee and prescribe lots of medications is falling aprat becuse the demand for meds of many kinds is astronomical and climbing and the supply of MDs ot prescribe them (even if supplemented with Nurse Practitioners and Pshyciian assistants) is more or less static. Though many people on this blog are profoundly anti-medication, the problem our medical system is having is how to satisfy the growing demand for meds of all kinds.
      We presently have three models for taking meds:
      1) self administered – most pills are simply bought in the pharmacy without a prescription or doctor. Many pills that were prescirpition in the past are no longer. This legal market is supplemetned by a large illegal marekt where people buy lots of psychoactive chemicals on their won. Note that insurance companies won’t give patients a blank check because they’d spend too much.
      2) MD prescribed and monitored. Each prescription is explicitly approved by a MD (intial or refill). Many on this blog think that the MDs are doing a poor job of actually overseeing this segment of the psychoactive mendication market – and Fred asks ,perhaps facitiously, if people wouldn’t do better if they took self responsiblity and bougth med s of their own choosing. WE don’t know, but most people have issues with short term rewawrds vs. long term problems, not just psychiatrists.
      3) The model being used in califronia for “medical Marijuana”. I don’t even know if this was intended as a serious model, but it consists of people geting an initial evaluation by a MD sayin g they have a condition that would benifit form Marijuana and then the patient gets a yearly marijuana card taht lets them buy whatever type in whatever amount they think best. There’s an assumptoion that everyone already knows enough about marijuana to use it well.
      it seems to me that we could set up a systme for other meds where there is an initial period of medication collaboration and patient education and building self responsibility followed by gettign a yearly card for our Blood pressure meds, or asthma meds, or seizure meds, or psych meds. DOing something like that would free up the MDs from thousadns of probalby useless “med checks” and allow the saved time to be spent on the front end creating fuller initial listening, mutual understanding, and discovering usefulness, and understanding longer term implications of meds

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      • Hey Doc, Don’t take this as a personal attack..but you are the author, not rank and file commenters such as myslef and more is expected I think.
        Seriously when I saw those things (yes those) my opinion did go down a notch – doctors are not supposed to be fallible. 😉
        You know – presentation of self in everyday life and all that.. as an intellectual, a writer, a careful and caring poisen etc. .

        Those thing ah , trying to say it nicely…I’m talking about using a spellchecker.

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          • Aha! the people have spoken – or given feed back that is. 🙂

            I don’t mean to be super picky or making a personal attack, but the number of common errors the good doctor makes and the lack of careful punctuation and capitalization is noticeable.

            It really does make a negative impression. If it was jut a commenter it would be different, we sort of expect flaws in quick comments – but the author of article – all eyes are on them.

            And in the spirit of transformative therapeutic change 😉 just the use of a spellchecker would make a world of difference.

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  11. This is a troubling blog post, in various ways, yet I feel no need to explain all the difficulties it presents, to my mind.

    I’d only wind up offering many words, poorly repeating what other commenters have already put quite well.

    I mean, I can begin instead by saying this: I agree entirely with Chaya and with Andrew L. Yoder. (Everything they say, above, I second.)

    Now, here, I add this, about my own personal experiences, as they relate to the author’s relayed experiences, regarding R.D. Laing…

    I was very impressed by the writings of R.D. Laing, when I first encounter them, back in the early 1980’s. (I have mentioned this previously, in MIA comments.)

    I had just recently entered college, and my discovery of Laing was a revelation. His overall message appealed, as it seemed suggesting, that he well understood, we were living in time, in which society was growing increasingly ‘psychotic,’ in the worst ways possible. In a desperate attempt, to ward off the ‘Other,’ men and women (the ‘moderns’ of our ‘Western’ world) had lost their bearings.

    Laing explained it beautifully, so why should I accept the ways of such a society, I wondered?

    Laing viewed the individual so-called “psychotic,” as potentially quite enlightened; s/he was someone outraged, at the world; s/he was rightly beside herself or himself, standing in defiance, of the insanity, of society, at large.

    The staggering (incomprehensibly enormous) dangers of the Cold War (with its mind-bogglingly massive build-up of nuclear weaponry, by the time I was in college) were the outgrowth of a collective ‘psychosis’. Laing explained this, in so many words.

    He was quite eloquent, so I would well relate to that ‘madman’ (or ‘madwoman’), whom Laing honored; and, in deed, I wound up acting out, my own relatively outrageous sort of ‘personal protest,’ in my parents’ backyard. One night, as my folks were preparing to leave the house, to socialize with friends, I’d ‘frisbee’ a stack of cheap dinner plates, one by one, into their garage door.

    Never, previously, had I been in any way directly ‘rebellious,’ at home; only my siblings had been… Thus, quite instantly, that night, I became known as ‘psychotic,’ to my family and friends (that was thanks largely to the E.R. psychiatrist, who my parents contacted by phone; he happened to look a lot like the author of this blog post!).

    (Yes, Mark Ragins — if you’re reading this — I see, in your thumbnail picture, a very striking physical resemblance, to my first “hospital” psychiatrist. No kidding.)

    So, I would become known as ‘psychotic,’ to everyone I knew.

    At first, considering myself in such a role was no worry.

    I knew that the days of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” were long gone.

    Playing the ‘psychotic’ would be fairly romantic, I felt.

    But, I would soon find how ‘psychotics’ are treated in “hospitals”.

    Certainly, they would not be treated as cultural heroes.

    I was ‘treated’ quite recklessly, really.

    I was forcibly drugged — twice, my first day.

    That changed everything.

    Later (many years later), in the course of reading more Laing, I’d learn that he thought a great deal of his own supposed ability to very quickly identify “psychotic” individuals, as such. I would learn (from those further readings): Laing figured he was so very ‘knowing,’ in that particular way, he had harbored doubt whatsoever, that he could ‘know’ who was or wasn’t ‘psychotic’ — always.

    That discovery, about him, was terribly disappointing for me.

    (I had initially chosen to idealize Laing; for, he seemed so wise. This new information, I felt, revealed an extraordinary arrogance, on his part — perfectly antithetical to his view, that society, at large, was the true ‘psychotic,’ ostensibly in need of salvation.)

    That and individual supposed ‘psychotic,’ would be, in any way, singled-out — ‘outed’ — by a psychiatrist, who would think so highly of his own self-declared, outstanding ability to discern who is or is not supposedly ‘psychotic,’ seemed patently wrong.

    (Still, it seems patently wrong to me.)

    My having been tortured with repeated forced-druggings, in a handful of relatively brief “hospitalizations,” in the course of barely over two years, had seemed so contrary to what Laing believed, yet as I came to realize that he figured himself the perfect identifier of ‘psychotic’ individuals, my view of him changed considerably.

    I began to think that maybe he would have condoned the sort of ’emergency treatment’ I’d received.

    Then, just this past year, via comments on this website, I became aware that Laing forcibly drugged one of his own friends — which represents, I believe, a most incredible violation of everything that I’d thought Laing stood for (considering he was supposedly a foremost pioneer, in providing non-coercive care for ‘psychosis’).

    Mark Ragins recalls his youthful exchange with Laing, explaining,

    “…when I was a first year inpatient resident at USC and I went to see a panel presentation that included the legendary R.D. Laing. He seemed to be on a different plane than everyone else. I couldn’t tell whether he was enlightened or psychotic or a charlatan. He talked about schizophrenia becoming healed when everyone on earth was reconnected and when the Earth was aligned with the moon and the planets and the sun and the stars. He said the key was loving the person with schizophrenia.”

    Dr. Ragins continues,

    After the panel, I went up to the microphone and said, “I’m trying to do that, but don’t find it so easy to love people who are really psychotic and who I can’t understand and whose emotions don’t seem to be connected to what we’re talking about. How do you get through to do that?” He told me to keep trying. It would work out. It seems to me that medications have often helped it work out; helped us to connect and share love.

    Mark Ragins (our blogger) ultimately states, “It seems to me that medications have often […] helped us to connect and share love.”

    And, really, I don’t doubt there’s considerable truth in that statement.

    However, upon reading that, I can’t help but think of the man whom Mark describes, in his preceding paragraph.

    About that man, he blogs,

    I know a man now who only says, “It’s alright. It’s OK.” over and over, never bathes or changes clothes smelling horribly of urine and dirt, and is usually homeless when he’s not on meds. When he is on meds he can have most of a conversation, live somewhere, eat, change clothes, bathe, and have friends more or less. That’s pretty satisfying. But he always refuses meds when he has a choice, so after a few weeks out of jail or a hospital he drifts away again. That’s pretty heartbreaking.

    What is heartbreaking, I think, is how that story is told.

    That poor man has apparently been through a classic, modern ordeal — the psychiatric “hospital” revolving door mill…

    To some small extent, I know that ordeal, from first hand experience. (Thankfully, I extracted myself from it, by, once and for all, successfully ridding psychiatry and its ‘meds’ from my life, roughly 25 years ago.)

    That man has been repeatedly ‘medicated’ by our so-called “mental health” system — in and out of “hospitals” — never finding good reason to choose to remain ‘medicated’; i.e., modern Psychiatry has apparently made no favorable impression on him, ultimately — despite the fact that it has, seemingly, made him, when ‘medicated’ comprehensible, to a psychiatrist, such as Mark.

    Though I may be misreading Mark, I take his telling of that particular story to be his best ‘true-life’ example of why some individuals should, perhaps, be forcibly ‘medicated’ and coerced into staying ‘medicated’. (Of course, I may be misinterpreting him; but, that’s what I take away from his telling us about that man.)

    I take the blogger to be saying, that man should really be ‘medicated’; and, that’s what I find terribly heartbreaking — especially, as I think to myself, ‘Hey, there is a man who could really teach Mark something!’

    Yes, I may be dreaming the impossible dream, here, now, as I say this, but I do find myself thinking: ‘Here may be a perfect opportunity for this psychiatrist, Mark Ragins, to take an huge leap, toward learning what Laing was attempting to convey, about the power of love. Perhaps, Mark could even transcend Laing’s own limitations, if he cared to do so; after all, apparently, Laing himself failed to realize the full potential of the power of love, in relation to ‘psychosis’ (he failed, e.g., when resorting to forcibly drugging his own friend!).’

    I think: Here is a wonderful opportunity for Mark.

    He could go out and find that man and befriend him, by ‘just’ sincerely sitting with him, gaining his trust, day by day… offer nothing more than a bit of company, at times — in whatever form may be acceptable to the man.

    Mark (I say what follows, to Mark, presuming he will read my words):

    Mark, might it be possible to find a way to sit with that man for a bit, a couple of times a week — realizing, he is truly not so entirely incomprehensible, as you paint him in this blog?

    I know you think of him as being completely incomprehensible, when he’s not ‘medicated,’ but I presume, that, when he says, “It’s alright. It’s OK.” over and over, that’s just because you’ve only observed him in your work environment, where he’s doing his best to assure you (and everyone else) that he doesn’t need the kind of ‘help’ you’ve offered.

    He’s OK without psychiatric ‘care’ — even though, by this point, you can’t fathom truth of this.

    Were you to approach him with an open mind and an open heart, in his own chosen environs, and were you to convince him, in all sincerity, that you were there only to listen to him, not to drug him and not to captivate him, then I suspect you’d find him capable of utter a variety of phrases.

    You’d be able to understand him better, eventually — if only you you allowed yourself to take the time to do so…

    If you had no agenda, other than being his friend…

    Make it perfectly clear to him, that you are absolutely not going to captivate him, and you are not going to drug him; you are absolutely not coming to him with the intent of getting him back on psychiatric drugs…

    In deed, promise him you’ll do everything in your power, from this point forward, to defend him against forced drugging…

    I presume, that, eventually you’d find what his true needs are, and you’d realize he does not truly need psychiatric drugs; but, he does have needs. You could consider how you might help him to meet some of those needs.

    And, of course, everyone needs a friend who’s there, just to listen…

    I’m willing to bet, that you could learn MUCH through developing that kind of friendship — that kind of deliberately non-medical endeavoring.

    Or, if it is not friendship, think of it as work.

    Work ‘pro-bono’ on behalf of any number of individuals, like that; be the psychiatrist who would listen, rather promote ‘medications’; many people could use such psychiatry, as that; for they are alone and homeless, and they choose to be alone and homeless — if the only alternative presented requires their being ‘medicated’ by psychiatry.

    You’ll could realize, soon enough, a man such as that man whom you’re describing, can become far more comprehensible than your current description of him suggests.

    Currently, you seem to have the notion, that some people must remain totally incomprehensible, when ‘unmedicated’; and, that is not a notion which I buy into.

    Really, I think it reflects a profound mis-understanding, on your part; but, don’t feel badly, it’s a misunderstanding shared by many psychiatrists.

    I trust you can get beyond that mis-understanding — if you really put your mind to it…



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      • Thank Chaya.

        Sometimes, it’s lonely posting comments, as it’s hard to know if people are reading them (especially, as I often get rather wordy).

        As most comments don’t receive replies, I trust that I’m not alone in this sort of loneliness.

        (Oh, by the way, Matthew says that he’ll be putting ‘like’ buttons on this website — or maybe ‘I feel ya’ buttons. He’s not sure when, but it is on his to-do list. I’ll be sure to repay you when he does. 😉 )

        Respectfully, J.

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          • “I find your posts to be of interest.”

            Stephen Gilbert,

            Thank you for that line, which I take as a kind acknowledgement and hello.

            Certainly, your posts are on my “of interest” list, too. :)))

            (It’s funny that you use that rather neutral term, especially, as — maybe you noticed — I mentioned yesterday, in a comment, that I can be embarrassed by overt words of praise.)

            “Of interest” is great.

            I have my favorite “of interest” posters…

            I read them when I see them posting; but, how in the world can you read almost all comments, I don’t know?!?!

            Especially, as you work around psychiatrists, all day, (and you are as critical of psychiatry, as anyone, posting on this site), I can’t help but wonder: Don’t you ever get weighed down, by psychiatry issues? — and want to just take a vacation? getting totally away from the subject? (I think I would if I were working in the thick of it, like you do.)

            Sometimes, I get so very tired of thinking about psychiatry…; though I know these are extremely important matters, many lives depend on this movement, of psychiatric survivors and others, who are willing to speak up…

            These issues certainly require addressing, yet I generally do my best to limit my daily intake of MIA blog posts and comments, because sitting in front of my computer screen, reading them can really be grinding.

            (Also, the MSM can be grinding! So, at times, I go on extended breaks, away from the Net entirely, to regenerate and refocus.)

            Anyway, again, thanks for the nod…

            Respectfully, J.

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          • This is a reply to Jonah

            Yes, it gets very tiresome being around psychiatry all of the time, especially when I have to watch what they do to the people in their power on a daily basis. Many of them couldn’t debate there way out of a wet paper bag if their lives depended on it, the psychiatrists that is. But because they have the letters M.D. behind their names they get to determine the lives of countless numbers of people every year.

            I try to stay informed so that I can keep passing information on to the Administration as to what is really happening in this so-called field of “mental illness.” I keep hoping that some day, one day, they will do something to change the way people are dealt with at the hospital where I was once a patient and where I now work.

            I take long walks with the dog, especially when I get home from work.

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    • Your recommendations more or less describe how i do appraoch this man. Isee him several times a week, bothin the Vilalge and in the neighborhood, never in any real clinical / office context. I do sometimes understand what he’s saying or can make a guess – lie he’s reassuring me or like when he talks about bad people over and over i assume someone was mean to him or hurt him. I thkn he likes me a great deal I’ve never locked him up or forcibly medicated him, and our few blocks around here tend to tolerate him, but whenever he leaves here – like looking for family in San Diego, he’s invariably picked up and locked up, almost always in jail, not hospitals – often he’s kept there for a long time until he’s found to be incompetnet to stand trial and then he’s medicated and eventually let out to repeat the whole thing again. I don’t know if RD Laing would’ve tolerated him or not, but he doesn’t meet his responsibilities as a citizen well enough to stay out of jail.

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      • I’ve never locked him up or forcibly medicated him…


        That’s wonderful, really — as it’s such a complete contrast from the message generally implied by your blog post’s title (and your blog post’s conclusion).

        You enjoy prescribing meds — but not as much as you did early-on, in your career. (That’s the primary message that any quick read-through, of your post, will tend to offer readers who frequent this website.)

        Like many of the commenters, on this page, I have no use for psych ‘meds’ — and feel they tend to be way, way over-prescribed, so I’m appalled to think of psychiatrists enjoying writing scrips…

        You seem to enjoy that aspect of your job (which is the main aspect of most psychiatrist’s work).

        Hence, I’m pleasantly surprised by your saying, to me, about that ‘homeless’ man whom you’ve referred to, “Your recommendations more or less describe how i do approach this man…”

        [Note: There, in quoting you, I have corrected one of your typos.]

        I appreciate your reply.

        But, upon considering your blog post and your subsequent, replying comments, over all: I think you may be doing yourself a bit of a disservice.

        So, here I humbly offer further recommendations.

        It seems to me, that maybe, in various ways, you’re unwittingly creating some misunderstandings, of what your practice of psychiatry entails. IMHO (in my humble opinion), you are failing to be impeccable with your words.

        Many who read the blogs on this site (including I, myself) will tend to scrutinize the words of any psychiatrist, quite carefully…

        I.e., having been abused by Psychiatry (in a myriad of ways) — in deed, being railroaded by so much classic psychiatric B.S. that’s typically delivered through a systematic corruption of words — it’s only natural that many of us will gladly take any opportunity that avails itself, to critique a psychiatrist, especially if s/he seems to be towing a conventional line…

        That’s going to present problems for you, if you are not more careful with how you present yourself and your subject-matter.

        Now, from reading your comments (including the one which you offered me, directly above), I see that, actually, you are engaging commenters respectfully, in the main. And, that’s very good.

        (Though, note: in my humble opinion, it was a mistake for you to refer to one as “narrowed and enraged,” as I take his points to reflect perfectly valid concerns, and I don’t read his words as being offensive, at all. It was good, I think, how Chaya helped you through your discomforted reactions to that commenter.)

        But, various commenters have remarked on your many typos. (Perhaps, you are writing your replies from a not-so-smart phone, which doesn’t have spell-check?)

        I agree with them; IMHO, it would be good if you could begin spell-checking your comments. (After all, in so many ways, it seems that problems arise, in psychiatry, where there is carelessness in the use of words.)

        However, I do find myself entertained by one line that you’ve offered — a new term you have invented, inadvertently…

        You write, in your comment to Fred Abbe (on December 17, 2013 at 9:12 pm):

        “Many on this blog think that the MDs are doing a poor job of actually overseeing this segment of the psychoactive mendication market…

        The psychoactive mendication market; excellent! …and, maybe you’ll agree with me, that’s a wonderful phrase you’ve coined.

        Just look at the definition of these two words:

        psy·cho·ac·tive … 1. (chiefly of a drug) affecting the mind.”


        mend·i·ca·tion … 1. The act or practice of begging; beggary; mendicancy.”

        In MANY ways, “patients” of psychiatry do beg for relief — of course, that’s relief not only from sufferings, which may pre-date their intro to psychiatry, but, really, also (and, in deed, many times, mainly) relief from Psychiatry itself.

        I fully suppose that almost any psychiatrist must feel overwhelmed, at times, by such begging — unless or until s/he believes strongly, in that ‘great power of medicine’ that’s close at hand, that Rx ‘medical relief’ at his/her disposal (that ‘magic bag’ of “medications,” which comes with the job).

        It must be very easy for most psychiatrists, to write a scrip, in response to psychoactive mendication, yes?

        For, that incessant sort of begging, whether it is direct or indirect begging, must have very real/tangible impacts on psychiatrists — truly, psychoactive impacts, effecting psychiatrists’ brains.

        It’s good to know that you’ve never forced ‘meds’ on that man…

        Really, I am positively impressed by that…



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        • P.S. — Mark, I am genuinely impressed to find that you have never forced ‘meds’ on that man; and, no less, I am amused, to consider, we may well have discovered, in the midst of your typos, the ultimate cause for psychiatrists’ notoriously liberal prescribing habits (i.e., we have found, that writing scrips provides the psychiatrists, themselves, instant relief from psychoactive mendication).

          But, my thoughts wander back to that
          ‘homeless’ man… where, on a more serious note, I find myself curious, to know more, about the second clause, in the last sentence, of your reply.

          You explain there, at last,

          “…he doesn’t meet his responsibilities as a citizen well enough to stay out of jail.”

          I wonder what “responsibilities as a citizen” you are referring to, in this instance?

          (It goes without saying, we do all have responsibilities, as citizens; but, which ones is he failing to meet, I wonder?)

          I don’t doubt there’s truth, in what you’re reporting; there, at the end of your reply, is a truth, surely; but, it’s vaguely stated.

          And, I wonder, would it not, perhaps, be just as true, to explain, that, society has a responsibility to that man, which it is failing to meet?

          From your initial description of him (in your blog post), I’m inclined to figure he’s been victimized by psychiatry… (given psychiatry’s worst, most horrifically stigmatizing, pseudo-scientific ‘medical’ labels and its matching, usually unwanted, highly aversive psychoactive medications, which are, in fact, demonstrably brain-damaging, in the long haul).

          I am inclined to guess, he has been quite seriously damaged by psychiatric ‘treatments’ — including damage in the form of much traumatization, meted out via “involuntary hospitalizations.”

          (I presume he has had ‘meds’ forced upon him; though, from all you say, in your comment, I get that you had nothing to do with any such incidents…)

          IMHO, being that this man’s life was, most likely, utterly derailed (and, perhaps, even decimated) more by psychiatry than by any pre-existing ‘condition,’ I think society owes him, at the very least, a sincere offering of ‘sanctuary’ off the streets and away from psychiatry.

          He should be given, by society, guaranteed freedom from Psychiatry.

          If he hasn’t been offered that, then society isn’t meeting its responsibilities, IMHO.

          And, that’s not to suggest you aren’t doing him any good; I gather (from what you say, in your comment, to me) you are doing him good; but, perhaps, he needs help caring for himself, besides…

          And, he doesn’t need psychiatric drugs.

          IMHO, from what I gather, of your descriptions of him, he needs sanctuary…

          After all, IMHO, no one needs such ‘meds’ who doesn’t want them; he knows that…

          On some level, he well understands…

          There are always healthy/viable alternative to ‘medicating’ a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors.



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  12. It is somewhat possible to see how psychiatrists felt about psychiatric medication in the 1960s by googling “psychiatric ads 1960s.” “You can’t set her free, but you can help her feel less anxious. Serax.” “For prompt control of senile agitation. Thorazine.” “Cooperation often begins with Haldol. A first choice for starting therapy.” It was certainly a Brave New World.

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  13. I could, in no way, assess the character, integrity, and competence of each individual psychiatrist that exists, and I’ve no doubt that there are plenty of well-intentioned and compassionate people in this field. I imagine you may be one of them. From what you write, you do seem to reach out to clients in a heartfelt way.

    But overall, I think it’s become more than obvious that psychiatric treatment, and particularly all this medication crap, has severely harmed countless people—SEVERELY harmed, very badly, chronically. You see the rage, right here in this thread and all over this website. It has also driven people to suicide, as it almost did to me, with its stigmatizing negative projections and aggressive messages of disenfranchisement and marginalization.

    The field, itself, is madness—illusions about power and social hierarchy, along with toxic medications that hardly have credibility when you consider the _obvious_ economics and politics of it all. This is all written and spoken about at length on this and other websites, has been for a long time now.

    Psychiatry is the one field I know of where there are myriad examples of clients complaining of being hurt and harmed, and the responses can so easily be glib, cold, dismissive, and blaming to the client. Ok, so ‘first do no harm’ has fallen to the wayside, here.

    What pisses me off even more is that when a client tells a psychiatrist that the meds are hurting them or that they are feeling disrespected, demeaned, and/or stigmatized, the doctors get angry, defensive, blaming, and shaming. That’s unconscionable, and it happens OFTEN. I experienced this many times, and I’ve heard and read about this countless other times.

    When someone is hurting you and you tell them, and they give you a hard time about it, and add more insult to injury, that’s clearly oppressive and abusive. This kind of life experience is what leads people to seek mental health care to begin with, only to experience it all over again in the field, by those who are supposed to be remedying it. Mind-boggling paradox, and tragic.

    My hope is that we can, once and for all, begin to ascend past all of this by turning to other sources of healing, and forgetting about psychiatry. Regardless of the small handful of well-meaning psychiatrists, the field is tarnished by this plethora of negative testimonials. I’m one of them.

    Fortunately, I kicked 20 years of meds, and eventually healed all the damage it had done to me. Took a few years and lot of different and somewhat radical kinds of healing, but it all worked, thank God. Now, on the other side of this, looking back with new clarity, it is easy to see how meds were only pouring salt into wounds–wounds from which I was able to heal once I was OFF the meds, and clear from the confusion and malaise they had caused me for so long. In the meantime, they compromised my life for two decades, until I wised up.

    I was resentful for a time, but I no longer have ill-feelings on a personal level, I’ve done my work around this and have moved on in my life, far away from this. Dropping resentment and blame is good for my health. But cause and effect is easy to see, here, and I’m painfully aware that this field has become a vampire to society, and I’d like to see that kind of energy disempowered, one way or another, for the sake of living in a safe and trustworthy world. Diminishing the power of psychiatry would be a good start, in my opinion.

    I do apologize for being so blunt about this, I realize this is your field, and I really mean nothing personally. Still, I experienced a lot of blatant harm from a variety of psychiatrists over the years, that led to needless suffering. And so have tons of others. ‘Nuff said.

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    • Thank you, both, I appreciate that.

      I don’t want to ramble on here, but one thing I want to add: what most gets my attention is the psychiatry-academia-government triumvirate, which is where I feel communication shut-down becomes the issue. These are extremely non-transparent entities. Psychiatry is under great attack, so I imagine its sole, or at least, dominant purpose now is that of maintaining its vast sphere of influence which they have so now enjoyed and exploited, in any way, shape, or form.

      When in a relationship with people who are spilling their guts and laying down their burdens in trust, while feeling anxious, vulnerable, and, perhaps, fragmented, that is extremely dangerous! In the case of mental health care, it’s been a genocide of lives, minds, hearts, and spirits.

      This is what I would love to see dissolve, these buttresses which hold these three together, which keep the whole situation alive and kicking.

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  14. “Someone can be entirely isolated in their own world – of voices or paranoia, or delusions or depression or dissociation or panic or mania or obsessions or anorexia, etc – and by taking medications they can “come back” and reconnect with the world. I know a man now who only says, “It’s alright. It’s OK.” over and over, never bathes or changes clothes smelling horribly of urine and dirt, and is usually homeless when he’s not on meds. When he is on meds he can have most of a conversation, live somewhere, eat, change clothes, bathe, and have friends more or less. That’s pretty satisfying. But he always refuses meds when he has a choice, so after a few weeks out of jail or a hospital he drifts away again. That’s pretty heartbreaking.”

    What world does HE want to connect with? And what world is he CHOOSING to disconnect from, and why?

    If he’s telling you it’s okay, he’s telling you something. Obviously, he doesn’t want the neatly packaged life of domestication. He’s choosing to get away from it, and he’s telling you it’s okay.

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  15. Allow me some alternative paradigms…

    “But he always refuses meds when he has a choice, so after a few weeks out of jail or a hospital he drifts away again. That’s pretty heartbreaking.”

    No that’s a wonderful affirmation in the triumph of human beings- even the heavily disturbed have enough common sense to realize that any emotional life is better than a drug lobotomy and realize that a drug can never solve a problem of consciousness.

    If you take away a person’s suffering you take away what makes them human.
    And I am talking about the long term use of drugs not temporary relief from crisis.
    The most import thing is that so long as the Bio-med “solution” is applied as a solution the person is condemned to psychic death – they can never become a full person because they need all their emotional parts working unrestricted to get there.


    “I’m trying to do that, but don’t find it so easy to love people who are really psychotic and who I can’t understand and whose emotions don’t seem to be connected to what we’re talking about.”

    Yes, that’s obviously true – you, like so many others (suffering under the Star Trek Spock-Data Syndrome) do not understand human emotionality and Dr, Laing’s advice to you still applies – you need to keep trying or rather START trying.

    All of the “good things” you think you are doing – you are not doing good – you are murdering psyches, finalizing drug lobotomies – it’s not a relationship when the person is a drugged puppet or trained dog pleasing you with the correct behaviour -it’s just a fantasy – your fantasy – and you are alone there – the other being no longer exists as a person.
    Who are you protecting from suffering? Yourself from seeing it? Psych Meds do not eliminate suffering – they suffocate it – the psyche of the person become trapped like in the “Phantom Zone”.
    What is this “recovery” If you have something positive to offer, why use this word. The popular idea of “recovery” as well as the bio-med model idea is not much better than an Ice pick lobotomy.
    When you can write a book called “A road to Cure” then you will have something and you will have finally understood What Dr, Laing was saying.
    People who have had rotten lives when they become cured will naturally become troublemakers – I wish you well , I hope you unleash generations of troublemakers upon this we certainly do need a new population that will demand their political and economic freedom.

    “It’s pretty enjoyable to help people feel better. Isn’t that what a doctor is supposed to do?”


    OMG you actually said “feel better” . Feel better than who?
    Yes, massa, I’m quivering, shuffling ma feet along “feeling better”..
    Is that your vision of “success” for others “Be the best you can be ” is that?
    Well at least you can still be looking downwards.
    It’s insulting.

    No you want to help people to feel and the first thing and best thing they will feel is pain. Oodles and oodles of wonderful pain. Purifying rage, oceans of sweet sadness etc – then they have arrived, then they are free standing on that big open plain of emotion where nothing bothers them.
    But every one knows all this, I suppose I’m preaching to the choir.

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  16. Thanks MJK Utah Phillips is great . Hail to the ” Chief .” I escaped 5 times from “mental hospitals” . They caught me once and brought me back and tortured me to Hell : at the first opportunity I escaped again. If these psychiatrists cared at all about us they would help organize and finance an underground railroad and Esalen type retreats. Did you ever hear Utah Phillips sing about moose turd pie?

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    • You’re welcome.

      I’m familiar with moose turd pie (lol) but what really stands out for me is Bread & Roses and Dorothy Day. I worked for a Bread & Roses festival in Lawrence, Massachusetts (where I lived for 9 years and two of my children were born). I later went on to sleep and dine in the Dorothy Day establishment.

      Utah came into my life, via Ani Difranco, sandwiched between Lawrence and Dorothy Day. Utah is a sort of father to my soul. It’s interesting because this is the second time I’ve offered up Utah Philips to Dr. Mark. I hope he takes a closer look.

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  17. I hope one day you will write an article titled “Do I enjoy facilitating the mentally ill to be cured”?.

    Or just take the short form “Do I enjoy curing people”? which though technically can not be correct is easier to communicate.

    When do you think you will get there? How many cures have you racked up or facilitated to date?
    I am thinking of starting an Organization something like a “Society of the Cured” as a kind of social service or legacy to civilization.
    Cure is possible. I was cured – so are many others.
    Dare to dream. Dare to cure.

    If you have not yet cured anyone, perhaps you need to tone down your enjoyment a little bit until you achieve something more useful. Perhaps alter your paradigm. Perhaps you must feel that you life efforts have been useful but by recognizing failure you may finally achieve real success.

    As Dylan said ” there’s no success like failure. And that failure’s no success at all.”

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  18. I must say it takes some guts to post on this web-site with an almost inflammatory title; “Do I Enjoy…” I do respect the writers’ willingness to engage, and his openness and honesty. He cannot speak for all psychiatrists/Psychiatry, anymore than other writer’s can speak for all survivors of psychiatric maltreatment. Similar to Steingard’s recent article in WaPo, I think having M.D.’s join in this intense dialogue can help change the system for the better.

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    • I don’t really agree with this simile.

      There are people on this blog who seem to think that the three goal areas I described – reducing violence and aggression, connecting with people, and reducing suffering and increasing ability ot work through suffering by making it less overwhelming are bad goals. NOne of them sound like strangling kittens to me though – maybe “domesticating kittens”?

      There are people on this blog who see medications as ineffective at achieving any of those goals or even counterproductive. Maybe “herding kittens”?

      There are those who think that the benifits are only temporary and not worth the long term inpacts. Maybe “raising kittens”?

      there are those who think that all medications are poisonous for everyone and that any effort to help people that includes medications must be either delusional or lying. That group might like the “strangling kittens” simile.

      I believe that those are good goals in general, that meds if used the way I descirbed in my previous blog about prescibing strategy can be helpful and do substantially more good than harm, though life is uncontrollable. So my simile would be “raising kittens”.

      NOw there are some people, myself included who think that raising kittens is a thankless pursuit more likely to get you scratched than love, but I certainly wouldn’t criticize those people who enjoy raising kittens or try to drain them of all joy drowning them in anger, blame, and suffering.

      Who knows they might swithc specialties and raise puppies instead.

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      • I think most psychiatrist come to understand that they are involved in something that is not altogether honest if not an outright fraud….

        Most of them lead lives of quiet desperation while going about the only business they know….some of them seek absolution from selected patients they chose to confide in….

        That was the old days….the internet is the new confessional…

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      • “There are people on this blog who seem to think that the three goal areas I described – reducing violence and aggression, connecting with people, and reducing suffering and increasing ability ot work through suffering by making it less overwhelming are bad goals.”

        Well no- I don’t think anyone here would disagree that those are bad goals. Most of us would simply disagree with the methods of attaining those goals.

        1- “Reducing violence and aggression”- Through long term sedation of a patient with antipsychotic major tranquilizers with harmful side effect profiles? Is that truly the answer?

        2- “Connecting with people”- I think we can all agree that connecting, truly connecting through listening and seeing how someone can be of service- is a good thing.

        3- “Reducing suffering and increasing ability to work through suffering by making it less overwhelming”- OK. but again is the method of decreasing suffering primarily prescribing a drug that sedates and reduces anxiety with drugs that have long term consequences?

        Again- the goals sound great- the answers sound pretty iffy. I’m sure you wouldn’t prescribe booze to help people feel more comfortable at work. Why prescribe Valium? Or Seroquel? I’m sure you wouldn’t prescribe meth for a kid who is having a hard time concentrating. Why prescribe Ritalin?

        Are drugs (“meds”) really the answer to these problems? We agree with the goals but I’m not too sure about your logical reasoning behind attaining those goals.

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        • “Well no- I don’t think anyone here would disagree that those are bad goals.”

          I disagree – they are behaviour oriented value ridden and ethnocentric goals. More importantly they are the goals of the would be controller not the goals of the afflicted.
          To achieve personality change the facilitator works with the person and with what the person wants.
          What the person wants and no one else. The person facilitates what is there, what the person is dying to become, the facilitator does not take anything away, he helps sufferers to suffer more intensely and more effectively, aggressors to be aggressive more effectively etc.
          People like MR do not trust human nature , they do not trust that the integrated person , the person become whole will do good so they try to control them to become good and in doing so keep them as fractured.
          This type of person is warped – they cannot trust that the basic nature of humans is benign – they do not even trust themselves – they live in fear and need to control.

          A facilitator also trusts their own process – what happens outside the protected place is beyond the control, the purview and the interest of an effective healer. culture and society belongs to culture and society and is irrelevant to the work of personality change.

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      • I should tell you my kitten story.

        The kitten story is about a man who takes a little girl into his car for sex training.

        Sex kitten, you know. So it’s really just a sex story.

        It’s a long story. In fact, it is SO long that it is … Eternal.

        I read your comment and it didn’t exactly “trigger” me but I did have to run to the bathroom to shit. Sudden realization in the mind can effect the digestive system.

        I realized that you, a psychiatrist, are absolutely NOT the right PERSON for somebody like me, with a story like mine.

        Well, I’d rather be telling my STORIES in court but it’s way too late now and it’s never going to happen. There is no REAL Justice in this world. But there sure is a whole lot of evil, ignorance, rape, lying, deception, theft, violence and extreme incompetence.

        I’ll see if I can tell the whole SICK, FUCKED UP story as short as possible.

        When I was 5, playing on a pay phone, some man approached me and asked me if I wanted to see his kittens. He said they were in his car. I said yes. I went to the car but there weren’t any kittens. He said they were at his house and asked again if I wanted to see them.

        I got in the car. There are people in this world who laugh and think that’s funny.

        I remember what happened, up to a certain point. After I hit him there was some flash of blinding light and I don’t remember getting out of the car.

        That sort of thing really messes a person up in the head pretty badly. Something so bad that DRUGS MAKE WORSE, ifc.

        I went into foster care and the “mental” system at 15. I told them EVERYTHING. I never got “help”. I got PSYCHIATRIC BRAINWASH & PSYCH DRUGS.

        Fast forward to 2008. Homeless. Living in my van. With MY CAT. I wrote a lot.

        The last thing I wrote before some evil shit happened and I ended up self-immolating: “now I ride in car with kitty”.

        I went from getting in a car to see kittens to … living in a vehicle with a cat.

        Want to know what I figured out, for myself, by myself, during my time in my van?

        I was the kitten in Mr. Liston’s car.

        (‘splain to me how psych drugs fit the equation here, considering the “nature” of the trauma)

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        • As someone who was repeatedly raped at age six, while I was in the middle of getting shock treatment at the same time, your story, mjk, just made me cry. Usually on MIA I make a lot of political comments, but what you wrote just hit me hard this afternoon and I wanted to write this.

          Because I was being shocked, my memory of the rapist was very foggy, but a couple of months ago, I woke up screaming in the middle of the night. My dream, with no context, had shown me a vivid picture of this man, lying on my bed, smirking, waiting for me to come back from the bathroom. I didn’t want to remember what he looked like, but my dream insisted. I woke up screaming because I knew it was him.

          I was told by the shock doctor that it never happened, that it was a symptom of my mental illness. Were you ever told that?

          I wish that I could have protected you and comforted you, I wish that I could comfort you now. All of us who have suffered this way should try to protect and comfort one another, but our movement doesn’t have enough of that. We attack one another, we intellectualize too much, we drive one another away.

          I’m sorry that happened to you.

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      • “domesticating kittens – herding kittens” – raising kittens”
        Do you not hear yourself MR? – all of that is supremely insulting to human beings and human freedom – it is all murder of the consciousness of others to make them extensions of your own ego.
        You are firmly in the business of murdering human beings – murdering their spirit, murdering their aggression, murdering their negative emotion (and thus murdering all possibility of emotional misinformation) etc etc.

        And all of your three points – you warp to use them to dis-empower others placing power in the hands of yourself and others – their bosses etc.

        Woe betide the poor sap that becomes aggression-less under your manipulations in our collective exploitative and jackbooted environment.

        It’s the typical anti-therapeutic anti-healing attitude which is to take away and suppress what is there instead of help or intervene and help the person to integrate to emotionally, to transform to become effective and to become self actualizing fully emotional and self responsible resilient and tough.
        All your posts are about what the person does in the outer world – out in society how to control this – bluntly speaking that is not your business – not the business of a healer – your business if you are a worker of the mind is the inner world – if you can intervene and assist in a protected environment the person to change their inner world they will take care of their outer world themselves – what happens out there will be life itself – that is not the interest or concern of a healer.

        It’s only the interest of a healer if the person brings it to the healer to be worked on and even then what is being worked on is the person and not the outside events.

        Even when a healer relates (not merely talks) to a person about the outer , they are really only interested in and dealing with the inner and with inner changes.

        When I transformed from being a SZ to being fully alive nothing at all changed about my social circumstance – not for a long time. The outer world is not the inner world. A number of people I had known did not notice I was now alive and that they were now dealing with an emotionally alive person.

        Large numbers of our species apparently have no ability to see the inner world. Unfortunately most of present day P-docs seem to have been drawn from this number.

        The more you concern yourself with the outer world it demonstrates you have no tools to deal with the inner world and probably are not even interested in finding them.

        The key concept in assisting transformation is work – emotional work -done by the afflicted. Or they don’t work – in which case their choice not to work becomes work to them as it is emblazoned in their consciousness by the helper.

        An experienced helper can get this started by interventionist techniques in an instant. It’s not rocket science – there’s nothing complicated to “figure out” all people operate on the same principles of emotional functioning ALL .

        Psychiatry with their lie of brain disease is saying they don’t and they don’t treat certain people as if they were human and apply the same human approach they would to others – they abandon them and abandon all hope for them as human.

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      • The whole medicalization of the human condition by biopsychiatry is EVIL, fraudulent and yes, a very bad goal to rob people of their very humanity, Mark. Who are you to judge people’s lives, their pain and suffering, crisis and other human sorrows and dictate whether their reactions and grief are excessive or not, should be poisoned away or not, etc., etc.

        Perhaps books like De-medicalizing Misery by Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, Trauma and Recovery by Dr. Judith Herman, Toxic Psychiatry by Dr. Peter Breggin and many others will help you to see that biopsychiatry has no business hijacking people’s very lives and humanity in every minute area to dictate if their anxiety, stress, anger and other very human emotions are too little or too great!! This is the insanity and not the victims of biopsychiatry. Sadly, biopsychiatry and its adherents have lost their moral compass as they continue to try to dictate to others how to live and feel. It’s truly sick to try to force people to stop being anxious when that very anxiety or stress is an alarm bell that the person needs to escape an abuser, a dangerous situation or a narcissist/psychopath in general. And all too sadly, biopsychiatry seems to primarily consist of the personality disordered since its chief DSM III creator, Robert Spitzer, among others was known to be one of the greatest malignant narcissists around. Sadly, biopsychiaty preys on humanity’s/their own victims while calling it help and medicine, which is the real height of insanity. See the book, Political Ponerology, explaining how psychopaths have hijacked our globe on a macro scale with biopsychiatry playing a huge role. When you hold up the goals of your profession to the light, they are on a par with all other evil eugenics holocausts.

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  19. Ted,
    Thank you for your kindness. I try to read as many articles that are most relevant to the issues I am most interested in. But I often cringe at some of the very antagonist blogging to some pf the authors. I appreciate each and everyone’s opinions on MIA, and I have tried to share the appreciation and knowledge I have gained from the MIA site. I realize how many people who blog have been horrifically harmed by the MH system. Honestly, when I blog most everyone who responds to my comments, though many disagree with the origin of my son’s (2) breakdowns have not personally attacked me. I am grateful beyond. I was brought up to respect the opinions of others, even if I don’t agree. I wish there was more civility in our world: can’t we agree to disagree?

    I wish to ask for more kindness towards one another, as you just responded so compassionately to mjk. I have met a wonderful (IMO) p-doc who I hired to review my son’s medical records and his insight and review of what the psych hosp did to my son has validated everything I witnessed happening to him. Until I met this p-doc, all the other p-docs from both of my son’s locked hosp and out-ot f/u, I felt there wasn’t a decent p-doc practicing. But I have read some of the p-docs who blog but the hostility is troubling, IMO. I can’t convince the p-doc I met to write for MIA. I would love for him to share how he would have treated my son in his practice (says the worst place to take anyone in severe emotional crisis is to a psych hosp). But I respect that his comfort level for writing on MIA is not there yet.

    Most know I lost my first-born son, I feel there isn’t enough kindness and respect for people in this crazy world today. I’m on this site now because I want to be part of the change I envision needs to happen in MH. I have one small voice, but in my son’s memory I hope, one day, there will be alternative programs to offer a person and let help, hope and recovery reign.

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  20. Advice to Dr. Ragins: I have read all your blog postings and most of your comments, and I would be totally amazed if you told me that you had spent more than one minute reading the MIA website before posting here.

    So I am advising you to: 1) Do your homework, and 2) Try to find some humility. I am not talking about false humility. I am talking about humility based on a rigorous scientific evaluation of the state of your profession, including a cost/benefit analysis of prescribing psychiatric drugs. That analysis should include the many postings at MIA by articulate psychiatric survivors and other dissident doctors and activists in the mental health field.

    Even a partial reading and acceptance of a critical analysis of modern psychiatry found at MIA should lead any one working in the field to acknowledge that the scientific and philosophical foundation of the psychiatric profession is on extremely shaky ground. And that anyone prescribing psychiatric drugs today is literally “flying by the seat of their pants.” That prescribing these drugs is fraught with so many scientific and ethical contradictions that only a fool would profess extreme confidence at the content of their prescribing methods.

    There are other doctors who successfully write at MIA and still prescribe psychiatric drugs who at least express some humility regarding the conflicting ethics related to this activity, and they share how they are morally wrangling over these troubling questions. You reveal none of this.

    Dr. Ragins, in contrast, you come to MIA with enormous hubris(excessive self-confidence and arrogance) and grandiosity regarding your gifted ability to prescribe psychiatric drugs. For example, you started this blog by making note of your past 90% success rate in the hospital and 80% success rate in the a clinic at finding the right drug regimen for a patient or tweaking someone’s prescriptions so that their “suffering” was relieved.

    Dr. Ragins, critical psychiatry 101 would tell any critically thinking doctor that patient improvement can often be illusionary or very time limited due to the brains constant tendency to seek homeostasis and make compensatory changes pushing back against the effects of perturbing neurotransmitter systems. So, if in fact some of your patients did feel better before leaving treatment, the important questions to ask is: for how long and at what price?

    Dr. Ragins, another vital question to ask is: TODAY, WHERE ARE ALL THOSE 90% AND 80% SUCCESS STORIES YOU BRAGGED ABOUT. Following your hubris about your past successful prescribing ability, you then complain that today’s prescribing environment, including today’s patients are so much more complicated and things ain’t so easy any more.

    Dr. Ragins, I’d like to posit a theory for why today things are so much more difficult when prescribing psychiatric drugs. Perhaps, all those patients that you and your contemporaries started on antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and benzodiazapines have now undergone many years of the brain’s compensatory changes(I mentioned above) in response to each category of drug.

    Perhaps those on antipsychotics have shrunken brains and amassed extra D2 dopamine receptors that have now become supersensitive leading to breakthrough psychosis and creating a desire to add stimulants and other dopamine enhancers to compensate for the brain deadening effects of the drugs. Perhaps these patients now comprise the statistics that Harrow, Wunderlick, and Whitaker discuss when describing those now “chronic” patients whose global functioning has deteriorated and have settled into a prolonged state of disability.

    Perhaps those on antidepressants now have fewer serotonin receptors in their brains and other structural changes noted by Dr. Peter Breggin and others, and now are part of the statistics of those people with the condition of Tardive Dsyphoria.

    Perhaps those started on benzodazapines have become hopelessly dependent and addicted to drugs that possibly permanently alter Gaba receptors in the brain leaving many people feeling like emotional cripples.

    Dr. Ragins why do you not make reference to any of these potential problems with psychiatric drug prescribing or your role in it? Perhaps some of these long term negative effects of psychiatric drugs might explain why things are so much tougher today. Do you even acknowledge this possibility?

    Dr. Ragins, your problems at MIA are not because you prescribe psychiatric drugs or that you have some different views than other people writing at MIA. Instead, it is your hubris and grandiosity.

    We do not need any more “condescending (warrior) saviors” or Dr. Feelgoods. If you hold on to these qualities you will continue to have a tough time here. Please do some homework and work on humility. You may have something to offer our struggle, but we may never get to it unless you are willing to make some changes. If you do write again I look forward to something very different.


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    • Well said , but I doubt MR can hear you. He can’t tell the difference between a real human being and someone he has crippled into submission and mimicry behaviour with himself as the self congratulatory puppet master. So given that huge disconnect from humanity how can anything else get through?

      These people are fixed and rewarded for their mass failure and destruction of human beings – the system that has empowered them is the problem.
      MR serves as a cautionary tale for patients as to what to avoid – if they can.

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      • Excellent point Skybluesight,

        Mark must be aware of the degrading mental death victim’s required “yes masser” death shuffle to prove they are a total slave of the bullies in the psych wards degrading and torturing them to the utmost subservience, terror and horror under some Dr. Ratchett inciting the rest of the ward mob underlings to torment the victims to show them who is boss! No win lies and nightmares are the norm for such victims. Mark must know that if his/their victims ever hope to escape their clutches in the mental death wards or forced community torture treatment, they’d better suck up and pretend everything including the poison drugs are just great and they’ve never felt better though their lives are all the more destroyed than ever, but saying so will only make things worse.

        But, Mark believes this means all of his so called patients past and present for the most part are all miraculously healed and saved thanks to his great gifts.

        Mark, you have been in a position of ill gotten power for far too long and fail to see the dynamics of such fake power forced on people via the fear and torture of our vile legal system that has become increasingly fascist and totalitarian thanks to the mental death profession. Are you proud of that? You can’t just pretend you just deal with the so called good aspects of psychiatry because you are knee deep in all of its human rights abuses, fraud, lies and evil you exploit to your benefit whether you wish to admit it or not.

        As a biopsychiatrist in power you enjoy the blissful ignorance of not having to know what your victims really think of you. Thus, you find such honesty here shocking and brutal since you do not have to tolerate what you and your cohorts dole out to your many victims on a regular basis. And you obviously don’t tolerate it very well. Such books as The Powers of the Weak explain how those with less power try to subvert such unfair power. The Brer Rabbit and Uncle Remus tales are examples of such coping along with other folk literature. The problem is that the people whose lives have been destroyed by the mental death profession don’t have much left to lose unlike their perpetrators now living in luxury at their victims’ horrific expense.

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  21. Mark,

    How about this?

    Instead of a lecture on black-and-white thinking…
    How about your putting yourself on a neuroleptic drug for a few weeks? (much longer would be inhumane)

    You can get back with us afterward?
    Whatta say, doc?

    Then we can have a calm, civil, nuanced discussion…
    You, of course will be drugged outta your gourd.
    It will be the kind od “dialogue” you shrinks enjoy so much.


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    • Oh, and sorry you didn’t appreciate the video from ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’

      I remember reading the words of Dr. Peter Breggin (one of his books, forgot which one)… He explained that the *only* good thing about a psychiatric hospital was being *released* from one! Why is that concept so hard for you psychiatrists to get your head around?

      For those who missed the previous post… The “Chief” –


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    • It would be most useful for patients if psychiatrists tried their drugs even if once! But they won’t. If pushed, the argument is that they don’t have that disease so it’s not not sensible to take that drug, etc. Truth is the drugs affect everyone the same way. Some block dopamine receptors, some H1 receptors, etc. If you doctors so readily prescribe these drugs to almost anyone who walks at your meeting, why dare you not to experiment with these drugs your own body? Doctors force them to so many of their patients, yet dare not try the effects of these medicines on their own bodies for one single time, dare to speak that they try the effects upon a longer span of time.

      Some courageous Isreali researchers tried the effects of their medicines, and this is what they reported:

      “The Israeli researchers [Belmaker and Wald’s (1977) letter to the editor]( of the British Journal of Psychiatry reporting their personal experiences of haloperidol:

      “Haloperidol is an effective antipsychotic agent which is a relatively specific blocker of dopamine transmission in the brain (Anden et al, 1970). As part of the preliminary trials in a study of possible dopaminergic mechanism in affective disorder, the two authors each were given haloperidol 5 mg intravenously in a two-minute push. The effect was marked and very similar in both of us: within ten minutes a marked slowing of thinking and movement developed, along with profound inner restlessness. Neither subject could continue work, and each left work for over 36 hours. Each subject complained of a paralysis of volition, a lack of physical and psychic energy. The subjects felt unable to read, telephone or perform household tasks of their own will, but could perform these tasks if demanded to do so. There was no sleepiness or sedation; on the contrary, both subjects complained of severe anxiety.

      The present experience was similar to that previously reported of neuroleptic effects in normal subjects (DiMascio et al, 1963; Heninger at al, 1965), though previous studies used neuroleptics which block both dopamine and noradrenaline receptors (Anden et al, 1970).We used a relatively specific dopamine blocker, haloperidol, and experienced profound cognitive and emotional restriction. Dopamine blocking by neuroleptics may function to restrict cognitive and emotional processes in normals as well as in schizophrenics and thus it is possible that it does not specifically antagonize schizophrenic pathology. In the presence of psychotic anxiety or delusions, such cognitive or emotional restriction may be desirable and therapeutic. However, the restrictive effect may be a general one…”

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  22. Thanks for writing candidly about the subject of prescribing psychoactive medicine. It is interesting to learn how your thoughts have evolved from the beginning of your career to your more nuanced and informed views of today.

    When and how to relieve suffering is a difficult question, and the example of grief is a good way to illustrate that dilemma.

    It is courageous, and important to write on MIA that there exists some people for which anti-psychotics can be beneficial. But it is counter-productive to do so without insisting at the same time on their excessive use, their long-term damaging effects, and the recognition that the MIA audience is full of people that have been harmed by them or seen harm caused by them to other people.

    Your use of the word “enjoys” sounded odd to me. There are many interesting dialogues in the comments of your text, but I am afraid the ambiguity about the meaning of the word “enjoy” in your title and conclusion unnecessarily closed some doors. Words can hurt, and some unfruitful suffering might have been avoided by choosing a word that does open a path to so many misinterpretations in this context.

    Looking towards reading you again, I did enjoy reading all of your posts 🙂

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  23. When and how to relieve suffering is a difficult question.

    First, the drug pushers erroneously classify many behaviors as “suffering” so they can justify their drugs.

    As for real suffering no one wants to be relieved or robbed of their suffering except the suicidal. Suffering is the human identity, without it we are lost. We can intervene for those in genuine crisis or facilitate people to be more resilient and accept and enjoy their suffering more than they are but to rob them of their suffering essentially destroys them as human. And having destroyed them of that their resulting condition is used as a further justification for more drugs.
    Yes, I said “enjoy’ – most people enjoy their suffering more than they are aware of it. If people can understand that the inner feeling is part of oneself and not the exterior event which provoked the human response then this can be understood. Thus you can see that resilience is a battle for acceptance and love of one’s own body for one’s feelings are the body and thus is the inevitable understanding that love of one’s own feelings and emotions – ALL of them – is not only possible it is unavoidable as one achieves personality integration.
    The easiest way to destroy a human is to “relieve them of their suffering”.

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  24. I am not particularly in agreement with the author of this post; it doesn’t seem to be presented as organized or persuasive, and reliant on an outdated view of the medical model. However (and I realize I am taking some risk saying this), I am seeing, in these remarks, an awful lot of rage – which, in itself, is OK, but it’s crossing the line into outright personal contempt and slander. “Grandiosity…murderer…etc., etc.” Robert Whitaker has always been able to disagree strongly, but with a civil tongue, and without long diatribes that either attack the author personally or leading comments that seem to be for the purpose of shaming. I have no doubt that the people who comment here have had horrific experiences at the hands of the system, and I honor that. But is it possible we are inadvertently passing on the trauma?

    If our movement is to be taken seriously, perhaps we should stay away from simply raging against The System (incredibly flawed as it is), and have a true dialogue – even with those we disagree with. Bloggers should be able to comment without being the object of mudslinging. Where is the moderator?

    How can you make change if you’re preaching to a choir?

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    • Jonathan

      I have made two responses to this entire blog, and I am the person who used the term “grandiosity” to describe part of Dr. Ragins’ approach to prescribing psychiatric drugs. I used other terms such as “hubris” (excessive self-confidence and arrogance) as a further descriptive term.

      I would welcome any feedback that showed where this was an improper use of these terms or didn’t accurately portray the content of Dr. Ragins’ blog. Please reread part of his blog where he brags about his 90% and 80% percent success rate to see if the word “grandiosity” does not apply. I believe I gave him very constructive feedback pointing out exactly what he does in his writing to inflame and turn off his readers and what he desperately needs to change in order to be taken seriously at MIA.

      Yes, this was sharp criticism, but sometimes this kind of pointed feedback is necessary in the learning process. This is especially true given how provocative and baiting his choice of words and concepts are in comparison to other writers at MIA.

      Compare Dr. Ragins to Dr. Sandra Steingard. Dr. Steingard prescribes psychiatric drugs but she shares her deepest emotional and scientific moral dilemmas in doing so. She responds to almost every commenter, and when they are angry she acknowledges their pain and anger and validates their experience before she might challenge their viewpoint. She displays not a scintilla of arrogance or excessive self-confidence in her role as a prescriber. What doctor truly in touch with reality could be excessively arrogant prescribing these drugs in today’s world. Sandra has earned all the respect she receives.

      I have raised serious questions on MIA with Sandra in the past but I have never been disrespectful or saw the need to be sharp in my criticisms. Dr. Ragins is in a league of his own. We have not had a writer since Dr. Moffic who has been at his level of such an “in your face” defense of Biological Psychiatry masquerading as some how being “progressive” or supportive.

      Jonathan, I am not a survivor but I have worked in community mental health (as a therapist/counselor) for over 20 years. I have worked with perhaps two dozen psychiatrists in that period. I have seen first hand the take over of Biological Psychiatry and the medical model and the damage it does on a daily basis. I am sickened by it and confront my own moral dilemma every day I work there.

      Despite all this I do not consider myself “anti-psychiatry” but I proudly state that I am “anti Biological Psychiatry.” I do believe we can unite with dissident psychiatrists and other activists in the mental health field with a strategy of “unite all who can be united” to completely dismantle the mental health system in this country. We can’t succeed at this if we don’t single out and sharply criticize particularly vile defenses of Biological Psychiatry. I stand by my words.

      Respectfully, Richard

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      • @Lewis,

        “Dr. Steingard prescribes psychiatric drugs but she shares her deepest emotional and scientific moral dilemmas in doing so. She responds to almost every commenter, and when they are angry she acknowledges their pain and anger and validates their experience before she might challenge their viewpoint.”

        I agree wholeheartedly!


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    • “Rage” lol – I suppose you find the opinions expressed here to be “non-compliant”? Yes that is a very serious issue. Quite outrageous indeed!

      For one thing it should be noted that the author of this piece has titled it “I enjoy” thus opening his personal feelings for public inspection and discussion.

      Well sir, you are using propaganda techniques to try to invalidate the opposition POV that you do not like. Not unlike Big Pharma’s propaganda team hard at work or system mandarins attempting to enforce compliance on dissidents.
      You have labelled cold blooded analysis as “rage” and denounced negative opinions as “mudslinging and uncivil” You try to discount and invalidate the opinions of others by my making aspersions to their state of mind- that their negative opinions are merely “passed on trauma” and need to be silenced.

      These sir, are personal attacks – you have crossed the line!!!
      Where is the moderator, indeed!!!

      However I will not report you as you do not seem to be part of the choir and it would be worthwhile to preach to you.

      My cold blooded opinion about Psychiatry is that it is an institution practicing mass murder (both psychic and real) and is run by cold blooded killers at the top who are motivated by wealth and power. Civilized humanity is in conflict with these despots.
      A big lol on the lack of “true dialogue” with the system being the fault of the voices of protest. And a big lol on using this concept on trying to suppress the voices of opposition attempting to provoke dialogue. You apparently wish to block civilized people from performing an intervention upon a sick and dysfunctional system.

      People are entitled to civilly and respectfully express their complete lack of respect and contempt for such a system. Naturally, tyrants and those who speak or propagandize for them will wish to suppress all such content.
      How can you make change if you have muzzled the choir?

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      • “My cold blooded opinion about Psychiatry is that it is an institution practicing mass murder (both psychic and real) and is run by cold blooded killers at the top who are motivated by wealth and power. Civilized humanity is in conflict with these despots.
        A big lol on the lack of ‘true dialogue’ with the system being the fault of the voices of protest. And a big lol on using this concept on trying to suppress the voices of opposition attempting to provoke dialogue. You apparently wish to block civilized people from performing an intervention upon a sick and dysfunctional system.”

        No longer part of the mental health world, other than as a well-informed witness, I find this statement to be 100% accurate. I think the jig is up.

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      • No, I’m not “using propaganda techniques,” nor am I “trying to invalidate the opposition POV.” In no way, shape or form am I interested in “muzzling the choir” or somehow blocking the exchange of ideas. I’m simply one person, expressing his opinion.

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        • (you posted in the wrong reply)

          I regard that statement as practicing propaganda technique # 1 as you actions believe your protestations and there is no retraction of your intent to repress others.

          Yes, just one person who would like everyone else to be thinking the same and to not be thinking so much other “divisive” stuff lol
          “I was referring to the overall trend (as I see it), of increasing division within our community. Just how I see it, and I stand by my original comment”

          #1 pretend you are one of the group and have the values of the group and then attack those values from within.
          Or another way to say is : Use the values of the group as a weapon to destroy the values of the group.

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          • Thank you skybluesight, for educating me about my own motivations. I have learned that:

            -I am practicing propaganda, rather than simply expressing my opinion;
            -I am dedicated to the repression of other people;
            -I am “destroying” the values of the group (how can this be done?), and I am merely “pretending” to be part of this “group” (which group are we talking about? Isn’t the ‘group’ here readers of MIA?)

            Thank you again for setting me straight!

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        • “Thank you
          “, for educating me about my own motivations. I have learned that:

          -I am practicing propaganda, rather than simply expressing my opinion;
          -I am dedicated to the repression of other people;
          -I am “destroying” the values of the group (how can this be done?), and I am merely “pretending” to be part of this “group” (which group are we talking about? Isn’t the ‘group’ here readers of MIA?)

          Thank you again for setting me straight!”
          – JD
          That was content-less post, and sounds like propaganda technique #2.


          “2 Use personal attacks to attempt to provoke members of the group into personal counter attack and then hopefully if they go too far you can appeal to a higher power (moderator) to get them silenced.”

          This is purely personally emotional sarcasm not a rational argument and belies your previous statement of intent for calling for more rationality and less personal emotion.
          What is the underlying message in such sarcasm? Is it “Gee you are crazy for saying these things” ? So if that is the message your post is a personal attack.
          I also notice you have failed to address in a calm rational manner any of the counter points I have made to your position. After pretending to call for more rationality you in fact resort to emotional sarcasm as some sort of defensive attack any of the rational arguments made to you that show your apparent insincerity and contradiction.

          I wonder.. Are you yourself victim of that same rage and trauma that you accused others here of being under such duress?

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        • “and I am merely “pretending” to be part of this “group” (which group are we talking about? Isn’t the ‘group’ here readers of MIA?) – J Dosick”

          “If our movement is to be taken seriously, perhaps we should stay away from simply raging against The System (incredibly flawed as it is)
          -J Dosick”
          ” I was referring to the overall trend (as I see it), of increasing division within our community J Dosick”
          This dishonest technique in argumentation is called “changing the goalposts”. First JD says says certain people should shut up and/or dilute what they say in the best interests of “our” community. then when suddenly when cornered he denies his previous statements saying he is merely a member of the “Group” that merely reads MIA.
          Whatever JD’s motivations he advocates repression and attempts various ploys to actualize it. My perception this repression is anti-confrontational. Indoctrinating anti-confrontational attitudes in the population is one of the methods fascists achieve control EG. “Be nice, don’t call us murderers while we murder you”.
          Indeed if populations are indoctrinated with anti-confrontational attitudes there is no need to police them , they will police themselves.
          But more to the point anti-confrontational attitudes are anathema to mental health and personal growth. Bio-med Psychiatry does not just administer lobotomizing drugs – they find that the human part of human beings tends to reject them so they have concurrent social programs to teach their patients anti-confrontational attitudes and to avoid negative expression and negative emotions.

          These are done in many ways ranging from informal groups in government run drop in centers to formal “Talk therapy” groups run at hospitals for their permanent out-patient “consumers (Bio-med’s corruption of psychotherapy which is anti-therapy)”.

          These ideologies are so effective that they are actually indoctrinated into the social workers, neo-anti-psychotherapists etc and penetrate deeply into the general population.
          This whole ideology of which anti-confrontation is a part is destined to produce Mental Unhealthiness under spurious auspice of promoting mental health.

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  25. Yes. Please do click the “report comment” button on any and all comments that you deem to be personal attacks and/or slander.
    I will be interested to see the results, as I have not noticed any comments violating the posting guidelines.

    slander n. oral defamation, in which someone tells one or more persons an untruth about another which untruth will harm the reputation of the person defamed.

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      • This is true – it goes both ways; the term “narrow” is unfortunate. In this case, the majority of personal attacking is directed at the author. The posting guides ask for civility and not attacking personally, aside from the dictionary definition of ‘slander.’ And no, I’m not going to “report” comments here, because everyone will know I’m the one doing it, henceforth making me a target as well!

        I can’t help but wonder if the likes of Torrey, Jaffe, etc. feel emboldened by this kind of dischord.

        Report comment

        • This is quite counterproductive in my opinion. You call me out, “where is the moderator,” and initiate a conversation about tone. I am obviously going to drawn to this thread by your comments, but you won’t press the report button? Complaining and “backseat moderating” instead of just being in touch with me does not help me intervene any faster. Please use the systems we have set up to assist with moderation if you want moderation assistance. There is no record at all of who presses the “report” button. I can’t even tell without digging very deep into the logs.

          I have not read this whole thread yet but I’m inclined to trust our regular commenters that there’s nothing in it that constitutes a personal attack. If anyone sees something that is an attack, please send me an email or press the report button. You can contact me via the Contact page or at: [email protected]

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  26. “And no, I’m not going to ‘report’ comments here, because everyone will know I’m the one doing it, henceforth making me a target as well!”

    Do you really believe that? I highly doubt that would happen. And I object to your portrayal of those who have posted critical comments as being somehow vengeful or otherwise out of line.

    “I can’t help but wonder if the likes of Torrey, Jaffe, etc. feel emboldened by this kind of dischord.”

    One can only ask them, I suppose. Personally, I doubt that such individuals need the comments on this particular article to feel “emboldened”. And I’m not sure what discord you are referring to.

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    • I don’t have ANY problem with critical comments – that’s the cornerstone of democracy. I pretty strongly disagree with this post. However, I do believe that there are some unnecessarily personal attacks here. I’m simply stating that as what I see as a fact.

      I don’t believe that Torrey, Jaffe, etc. are paying attention to this particular article, no. I was referring to the overall trend (as I see it), of increasing division within our community. Just how I see it, and I stand by my original comment.

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      • What it looks liek to me is that JD is using three different propaganda techniques all with the intent to silence the opposition.
        1 pretend you are one of the group and have the values of the group and then attack those values from within.
        Or another way to say is : Use the values of the group as a weapon to destroy the values of the group.

        2 Use personal attacks to attempt to provoke members of the group into personal counter attack and then hopefully if they go too far you can appeal to a higher power (moderator) to get them silenced.
        3 Use the threat of outside hostile forces to threaten and intimidate the group into silence.

        Unjustly accusing negative opinions to be personal attacks in order to silence them is in itself a personal attack.
        The only personal attack I have noticed here is yours when you portrayed all the negative opinion to MR as the voices of rage and trauma of the emotionally disturbed.
        So while professing to stand by democracy and freedom of opinion, you , at the same time, advocate silencing all negative opinion so that that there isn’t any “division” of opinion within the community – only monolithic thought that it the thought you advocate.
        So. in effect, you revealed your own agenda and inconsistency in the same short post.

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        • Skybluesight

          Jonathan is a very positive contributor to MIA. If you read his past blog and click on his name in the comment section you can read all of his past comments for evaluation.

          I do not believe his intent is to silence all negative opinion or weaken the role and impact of MIA. Jonathan is one of us. I do believe his fears regarding the pointed criticisms of Dr. Ragins are misguided. You are correct that if everyone adopted the approach of softening the nature of the debate and discourse here at MIA that this would definitely weaken our struggle.

          I do believe overall in the principle of “civil discourse.” BUT I believe that we have to hold certain participants at MIA to a higher standard based on their social role in world, or in this case their role in the mental health system. Some participants here with high status in the mental health field could try to coopt our movement by diluting our message and lead things in a more reformist direction.

          Some people may also try to barge in here at MIA in a very arrogant and unconscious manner defending themselves and Biological Psychiatry inflaming people along the way. This has been Dr. Ragins’ role so far. I believe he deserved to be sharply criticized. I make a huge distinction between Dr. Ragins’ role and that of Jonathan. I wish I could sit down with Jonathan for a long discussion; maybe this can happen in the near future. I live near Boston.


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  27. The only purpose of a moderate view in this struggle is to help convince people who don’t have a dog in the fight which side is the good one.

    What is a person who keeps going to a psychiatrist trying to reason with them while they’re getting billed and perscribed drugs in the process ?

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  28. Jonathan Keyes

    You raise a very good question. Despite the overall strength of Biological Psychiatry today I believe that the psychiatric profession, as a whole, is increasingly on the defensive having been wounded by the survivor/ activist movement, and MIA is a big part of this.

    Many psychiatrists are aware that there are some serious ethical and scientific flaws in their profession and they fear it could crumble apart at some point in the future. So in response to this situation they are definitely interested in criticizing the most egregious violations within psychiatry because it makes them look bad and threatens their very existence. But at the same time they are fearful of a thorough going evaluation of the entire paradigm of treatment in the mental health system; they are afraid the revolution might go to far. This happens in every social/political movement.

    For those enamored with the power and prestige of their profession and afraid of radical change, they believe they have too much to lose if things go too far. In response to this situation some of them will attempt to join with the survivor/activist movement to try and tone things down and lead it into a more reformist direction. That is, only want to change the most obvious and extreme forms of oppression and ethical violations. They are deathly afraid of a total dismantling of the mental health system in this country and around the world.

    Those who lean toward reformism will want to avoid too much confrontation and move very slowly in challenging the status quo. They will push people in the direction of trying to work more within the system and change legislation, and act as a pressure group on liberal politicians. This would be a dead end for our movement. We must be on guard against those who would attempt to hijack our movement.

    A minority of dissident psychiatrists can be united with, and others can and will change, but it will require principled and vigorous struggle. Back in the 60’s right wing critics of the antiwar movement would yell at us “Love it or Lose it!” We would yell back at them “Change it or Lose it!” This same approach can be taken toward psychiatrists today. If they don’t rise up and overthrow the Biological Psychiatry wing of their profession then their entire profession may end up in the dust bin of history.

    If all new psychiatric drug prescriptions were stopped today there would at least be 20 years of valuable work necessary to help people taper off of and learn to live without psychiatric drugs. Radical and dissident psychiatrists could play an important role in this process as well as completely redefine the nature of their work in the coming decades. After that, who knows.


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    • Interesting points Richard that I can identify with, as a survivor activist and campaigner in Scotland (been following the discussions by Email). I’m relatively new in mental health activism (since 2008), having before that been a community development worker for over 30 years in other settings. Where it was grassroots, empowering work, and I though that mental health stuff would be the same, but it isn’t.

      As you say, there are many users/survivors (Scotland doesn’t use the “survivor” terminology) who are reformists, working within the hierarchy, it seems, along with government and psychiatry. Some of these folk have been the most badmouthing and backstabbing towards me. Especially the “celebrities” who have made careers out of agreeing that forced treatment is good for us or necessary. I don’t agree with this and thing that my voice and other critical voices shouldn’t be silenced.

      I really don’t think that going slow will change anything. It has to be more of a tactical movement with different folk doing different strokes. Challenging psychiatry on a number of fronts, in solidarity but at the same time doing the thing we’re good at. I’ve had many people wanting me to join their “thing”. However that might mean being taken over. It’s a balancing act.

      Some people like to take the psych drugs and be in the system. Others of us don’t. It’s the others of us that are being made to conform and I would rather that the folks who are OK about forced treatment should opt in.

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    • Thanks Richard, for a more in depth understanding of what you feel. It’s interesting for me to explore the notion of reform vs. abolition. I agree that the profession of psychiatry is on the defensive and the critique is coming from a number of quarters. As the psychiatric system sees their flaws, some may be open to incremental change. And I agree that that is not enough. That is simply window dressing.

      But at the same time, I see a variety of voices calling for everything from absolute abolishment of prescribing psychiatric drugs to folks willing to accept a much more modified position for psychiatrists…in essence saying that there needs to be much more information given to patients; much more awareness of the perils of psych drugs before prescribing them, as well as a n acknwledgment that psych drugs are not curing a biological illness.

      So I guess my question is, does reform have to mean watered down mush that really doesn’t get to the root problem of psychiatry? Can it mean a complete sea change of the whole practice of psychiatry that truly is based on informed consent? Or is reform a nasty word, and we should be replacing it with abolition, and focusing on the abolishment of the practice entirely?

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      • Jonathan Keyes writes,

        “I guess my question is, does reform have to mean watered down mush that really doesn’t get to the root problem of psychiatry? Can it mean a complete sea change of the whole practice of psychiatry that truly is based on informed consent? Or is reform a nasty word, and we should be replacing it with abolition, and focusing on the abolishment of the practice entirely?

        Jonathan Keyes,

        It seems to me quite clear, that, here (in your reply to Richard D. Lewis) you are suggesting that you’d like to inspire what you call “a complete sea change of the whole practice of psychiatry…” a change “that truly is based on informed consent.”

        QUESTION: Why should any careful reader of your MIA blog posts and comments believe that you really want informed consent???

        Certainly, I don’t believe that you really want informed consent…

        After all, there is no informed consent happening, when you, Jonathan Keyes, are forcibly drugging “patients” of your “hospital.”

        When you perceive threats of violence, in your “hospital,” there are occasions when you are able to ‘de-escalate’ those threats, by truly non-violent means.

        However, you do support forced IM (intramuscular) drugging (with nueroleptics, a.k.a., “heavy tranquilizers”), Jonathan.

        In my book, that is your way of ‘pre-empting’ seeming threats of violence, with what I think of, as ‘the nuclear option’; it’s your psychiatric “hospital’s” license to forcibly drug so-called “patients,” when they seem to be getting out of hand.

        I’m sorry, Jonathan Keyes, but you are simply the wrong person to claim, that psychiatry can be reformed.

        I don’t believe it can be reformed; I believe it is comprised of many tens of thousands of professionals, who would never wish to provide all “patients” with informed consent.

        But, hypothetically speaking, if it could be reformed (i.e., deeply reformed, in the sense of offering all of its “patients” informed consent), you would not be someone to lead that reformation…

        That reformation would require the cooperation of countless psychiatric survivors, many thousands of whom are now actively, completely dedicated to undermining the ‘authority’ of all psychiatrists, everywhere.

        IMHO, you could not inspire me to set one foot inside your “hospital” — as you, yourself, are still wielding that needle, as your ultimate ‘preemptive’ weapon.



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        • P.S. — Jonathan Keyes, I have said to you previously, and I will say it again…

          My strong suggestion to you, is that: you should stick to your counseling/therapy practice and renounce your practice of forcibly drugging “patients”.

          That is also to say, IMHO, you must reform yourself, Jonathan Keyes.

          Otherwise, who will take seriously your claim of desiring a true reformation of the ‘mental health’ system, including informed consent for the “patients” of Psychiatry?

          Really, Jonathan Keyes, I am trying to help you.

          For, I deeply believe and expect, that, as long as you (or any other “hospital” worker) are someone who continues to defend the practice of forced IM drugging (in deed, even more so, as long as you or any other “hospital” worker are someone wielding that neuroleptic-filled syringe) …as long as you defend the sort of protocols, in any “hospital,” which are designed to overwhelm and immoblize “patients” with brain-invasive ‘treatments’ (whether they be psychotropic drugs or ECT or neuro-surgery), you are, thus, supporting protocols which represent anything but informed consent.

          Anyone’s objections to brain-invasive ‘medical’ treatments must be honored.

          No matter how well-meaning a person you and any other “hospital” workers may seem to be, you and any other “hospital” workers shall only wind up appearing to be hypocrites, to MANY psychiatric survivors, as long as you defend and/or wield the use of that syringe, as a ‘preemptive’ weapon.

          Hopefully, I have not been overly personal, in my comments.



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          • Ok, I expect to see you make this comment over and over again to every psychiatrist who writes here as they send people to hospitals or actually prescribe forced AOT. I will be following your comments closely with every poster connected to the mental health “system” who takes part in sending people to a hospital, every nurse and every tech. I will be highly surprised if I don’t see frequent and regular comments from you

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          • Jonathan Keyes,

            Your reply didn’t make any sense to me, at first. I’d read it over and over (and over), walked away from it… came back a bit later… and read it again, no less than ten times — and couldn’t understand why you were responding as did.

            ‘He thinks I should offer all those others the same sort of message, that I offered him?’ I pondered.

            Just couldn’t make sense of your saying that — and, so, wound up going back and reading through my last comment to you — the “P.S.” (on December 22, 2013 at 2:49 pm).

            Coming to the end of my review of that “P.S.” comment, I instantly realized why I’d been having such trouble interpreting your response.

            You were replying to my conclusion, and I’d mistakenly left out a phrase!


            (As I can be a bit of a perfectionist with my writing, I’m kicking myself now, as I do get it; I should have done a read-through before posting.)

            (Was in a rush to make an appointment and didn’t properly review what I’d written, in that P.S.; I’m really sorry and will certainly strive to be more careful.)

            OK, well, I am sorry for the confusion.

            I was unclear; and, the way in which I was unclear led to your response, which suggests that, you are feeling I should offer all those other professional ‘mental health’ workers the same message I was offering you.

            But, no, I shouldn’t, because the message I was intending to write was muddled, at the very end of that P.S. of mine…

            I left out a simple phrase, but that created real problems in my messaging.

            Please, accept my apologies…

            The best I can do to rectify that confusion, is to simply re-post my concluding lines, as follows, with that previously missing phrase installed (in bold print).

            So, here you go, this is what I meant to say…

            Jonathan Keyes,

            Anyone’s objections to brain-invasive ‘medical’ treatments must be honored.

            No matter how well-meaning a person you and any other “hospital” workers may seem to be, you and any other “hospital” workers shall only wind up appearing to be hypocrites, to MANY psychiatric survivors, as long as you defend and/or wield the use of that syringe, as a ‘preemptive’ weapon, whilst ostensibly promoting informed consent.

            Hopefully, I have not been overly personal, in my comments.



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        • “No I’m still clear about this. And I stand by my statement.”

          Jonathan Keyes,

          Are those two brief sentences addressed to me?

          I’m not sure, as they form a comment appearing beneath my last comment to you, yet it is not addressed to anyone, and, judging by its width, it appears to be descended from a comment a considerable ways up the thread.

          You haven’t been commenting long, on this site.

          Sometimes it’s hard to tell, which comment is being addressed, by a commenter — as the reply buttons, on any given thread will cease to appear, as the replies exceed strings of 5 comments. (I’m fairly sure that’s how it works, but I’m not certain.) And, commenters naturally begin using reply buttons that don’t actually correspond to the comment being commented upon…

          I’m presuming you’ve noticed that…

          At that point, at which reply buttons begin disappearing, commenters start using reply buttons that don’t correspond with the comment they’re replying to; and, so, I suggest (as I know you are interested in advancing dialogue, on this site) at that point, it’s more important than ever, to clearly address one’s replies.

          One might do that in any number of ways. Of course, using the commenter’s name can be helpful. And/or, one can place a quoted line from the comment being addressed, at the top of ones own comment.

          (You see me doing that here, atop this comment of mine. You see, I’ve quoted your entire comment, as your whole comment consists of only a dozen words.)

          Also, one can refer to the time stamp of the comment which one is addressing.

          In any event, I feel that advancing a dialogue, in comments, requires an effort — at least to be clear, as to which comment we’re addressing.

          E.g., here, I believe this latest comment, from you (on December 23, 2013 at 12:55 am) is probably addressing my last comment to you (on December 22, 2013 at 10:44 pm).

          And, yet, I’m not sure.

          If I am right about that, please let me know. Thanks… as I am always willing to dialogue with anyone who promotes forced drugging.



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    • “I believe that the psychiatric profession, as a whole, is increasingly on the defensive having been wounded by the survivor/ activist movement, and MIA is a big part of this.”
      I don’t see that anywhere except on the internet where it doesn’t count. I live in Alberta, Canada and have connections and reports from other provinces. I also am fine tuned to the MSM. I am involved with several government programs at a grassroots level as a neutral observer.
      From directors to social workers to university volunteers all are under the lock thumb of Bio-med psych – not the slightest glimmer of awareness.
      The MSM increases their dose of mind washing.
      The SZ society is run by straw dogs under the hidden direction of executive Government Health officials who are in hobnob collusion with the Pharmaceutical companies – the most powerful industry in Canada.
      After recent legislation changes the Government through official mental health services has instituted new posts and administrative districts to apply the power of Community Treatment Orders (CTO’s) – they are now successfully controlling the non-compliant, the children in schools (new recruits) and co-opted families into teaching programs where they “teach” them about mental health and the bio-med model (also a “snitch” program).
      The MSM is truly vomit worthy in their co-option with the Bio-med industry…
      Sorry no reform here.

      Things have gotten worse and are set up to get worse.

      If I start some kind of public awareness-information distribution society here , I will be the first one and be the only member. I though I would join one but it appears I have to start one.

      As for the people who want it all nice and sweet, that doesn’t work in social reform, personal growth or personality change. Sorry but I recognize the attitudes previously expressed as anti-growth there is nothing positive there fore me. Happy face fascism is on of the tools of emotional repression.

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      • I agree completely that the progress some people think we have made is rather imaginary. As you say, it’s just on the internet and doesn’t count. The bottom line is that ordinary people have never even heard of our movement to rein in psychiatry’s power. We should try to talk to real people and not just ourselves.

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      • I get what you’re saying but even on the internet things have changed.

        The war on Scientology has died down and that was the go to foil.

        Sites like this are here, it’s harder to just attack the person now. The message is there and is it really not getting through ? Look at these heads of organisations, softening their stances or calling for different treatment modalities.

        Really this is something that I think is working. Maybe it’s just a thing where a psychiatrist may look up one day from his pad and the revolving door isn’t spinning every 15 minutes anymore, eventually it just won’t be revolving at all.

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        • I don’t think it’s entirely imaginary. I do trainings for new volunteers for the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program here in Portland, OR, and of course, I go into the DSM and its subjective diagnoses and the damage that drug use has done to foster kids and others in society. 5 years ago, I used to get a good deal of discomfort from some of the trainees about questioning the “professionals” who “must know what they’re doing.” The last few years, it’s gotten easier and easier, and lately, the bulk of the people in the group are already aware of what I’m saying, have big concerns about Big Pharma, and understand that there is a lot of politics behind the “medication movement.” Culture change takes time, but it is happening. There are so many more articles in the NYT, on NPR, in the Washington Post, that are critical or at least questioning of the current paradigm than there ever used to be, and this is having a big impact.

          That being said, I also agree that writing back and forth on MIA makes only tiny scratches in the surface of the issue. It actually is much broader than the use of psych meds – it has to do with our society’s belief that “the authorities” should be able to decide what is what, and those authorities being bought off by corporate interests from one end of the government to the other. It is going to require a BIG shift in our approach as a country to take this movement down. Psychiatry is just one part of it, and they’re not going to go down without a fight. I am just not sure how to rouse the public sufficiently to fight back. We need a critical mass of angry people, and I am not sure we have it yet.

          —- Steve

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          • Curb your enthusiasm!
            But really, talk or some small talk doesn’t mean much – commiserations, sympathies, whispered agreement and it all disappears when someone like yourself doesn’t show up for work.
            Did you save any people from chemical lobotomizations? Did you get the afflicted real psychotherapies or real and non destructive places/treatment to get over bad states of mind?
            Maybe something you did translated into he actual – you didn’t say.

            The wall street movement achieved nothing and psychiatry outrage is nowhere near that level.

            The media is a mass lying machine – you have to own them or control the people that own them…
            Some guy on MIA went to Rome with the RC’s and got very excited having big intellectual discussions, he returned thinking he had achieved something but he was just fobbed off-diverted.

            What matters is power – as you mentioned.
            Here in Alberta the murder of seniors in long term care with psychotropics continues unabated hidden behind a wall of power, more and more children are being lobotomized, from all reports every psychiatrist is a hang-em-high with lobotomizers type.

            Oh and BTW , a lot of doctors here are outsourced from other counties -so they toe the line taking orders from hospitals and the Government executive so they can keep their work visas. The MSM is aggressively promoting the brain disease ideology in prime time TV.

            If anyone knows of any “progress” here in Alberta , let me know. So far I have not found any activism – Zero – except some CCHR Scientologists who are operating out of B.C

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  29. After reading this whole blog, I would like to say that I think there is great hope for Dr. Mark Ragins. Otherwise, I would not have bothered wasting my time trying to provide concrete evidence to try to persuade him to reconsider main stream biopsychiatry’s views and the massive harm it has done and continues to do. I admire that he was able to relate to those like Chaya about his own emotions and upset upon being challenged/criticized while acknowledging this is how psychiatric survivors feel about their own mistreatment by biopsychiatry: misunderstood, unheard, negated, disrespected, angry, frustrated, silenced, abused, disempowered, etc. etc.

    I am outraged at mainstream biopsychiatry and all the horrific evil and harm it has done since the Nazi Holocaust it created with evil eugenics theories to the present in the guise of medicine and “mental health.” Today’s DSM bogus, life destroying stigmas are no better than so called medical terms like “human vermin” to justify “mercy killings” or gassing to death of the so called “mentally ill” as practice for the horrific German Holocaust of the Jews, gypsies, gays and anyone else deemed subhuman, impure or powerless enough for the gas chambers.

    I hope Dr. Ragins will give some very serious thought to all the comments here. I appreciate the fact that he has read Robert Whitaker’s books and has already reconsidered his approach to psychiatry during his career.

    I do admire and respect him for hanging in there with us and not giving into the temptation to “take his bat and ball and go home” despite his social position of power. We are a tough bunch as Dr. Steingard knows, but she and others have won our respect by being honest and admitting what they don’t know and expressing real concern about the great potential for harm in biopsychiatry that has changed their current practice.

    I have learned not to engage at all with certain people who have proven to be too psychopathic/narcissistic or plain evil (see Dr. M. Scott Peck’s The People of the Lie) because they are too blind, corrupt, sadistic, greedy, power hungry, well defended and deadly/dangerous to attempt to engage as the vampires of society that one astute person noted above.

    I see Dr. Ragins as being a decent type of person who wants to do the right thing while caught up in this horrific paradigm created when the psychopathic KOL’s at the top of the American Psychiatric Association sold out to Big Pharma and corrupt government hacks to create this nightmare corrupt totalitarian, fascist human holocaust to benefit the 1% power elite only as part of their evil “new world order” biopsychiatry has been plotting since their inception as described by its original psychopathic creators (see quotations online about psychiatry’s world domination goals). Dr. John Nardo does a great job exposing this long term corruption on his web site, 1boringoldman, among many others though I don’t agree with all he says like promoting ECT in limited ways.

    Despite my own seeming negative posts, I have responded favorably to Dr. Ragins when he talks about his attempts to reach out to people especially without toxic drugs despite the very serious funding and other limitations he himself must deal with on a daily basis when dealing with people who may be poor, homeless or facing other huge challenges. I am sure that must be frustrating.

    I urge that domestic violence victims should be referred to DV shelters and not further destroyed by biopsychiatry to aid and abet their abusers, which include the psycho monsters running the very lucrative, fraudulent, corrupt family court system exposed all too well on the web. All one has to do is read “The Battered Women’s Testimony Report” to see how abused women are routinely treated with contempt by the courts as also exposed by Lundy Bancroft in his many books and articles as a DV expert and facilitator of batterer groups.

    Consider the parable about an old man seeing a boy on a beach throwing starfish back into the sea so they would not die. The man criticizes and ridicules the boy that that his attempt to save the many starfish left to die on the beach is a futile waste of time since the task of saving them all is impossible.

    As he keeps throwing the starfish back into the sea, the boy says to the man, “It matters to the ones I save.”

    So, like Jonah, I am impressed with Dr. Ragins’ attempt to relate to that homeless person without forced drugging. I hope he has realized that biopsychiatry has destroyed all too many people’s careers, finances, homes, health, children and lives in general with many in middle and upper classes (see book, Not to People Like Us: Hidden Abuse in Upscale Marriages describing the consequences of all too common upscale domestic violence and child abuse). Many soldiers/military have been destroyed by biopsychiatry with bogus bipolar stigmas and toxic drugs including female rape victims being raped by the mental death profession a second time with a bogus bipolar stigma for their trauma symptoms to negate, destroy, gas light, disempower them and aid and abet their male abusers.

    Thus, I hope when Dr. Ragins encounters each individual he will remember it matters to the ones he “saves” and sometimes that means doing “nothing” via biopsychiatry and everything as a fellow human being that is the only thing that matters. A recent article said that lonely people could be greatly helped just by short term encounters with various people in stores and other brief interactions. Given that Dr. Ragins is attempting to improve his own skills in relating to people, he may not realize that such a brief positive encounter expressing warmth and empathy can go a long way with the disenfranchised in society.

    One final caution is that the malignant narcissist, Robert Spitzer, who created the vile, bogus DSM III for the most part by treating humans like rock specimens as he did in his real life, admitted that if the causes of the many “symptoms” listed in the DSM were ever considered like abuse for example, the whole DSM house of cards would fall apart.

    This sham has certainly fallen apart big time from Day 1 with books like They Say You’re Crazy, The Selling of the DSM, Making Us Crazy, Toxic Psychiatry and many others, so the fact it is still being shoved down the throats of one and all of the 99% masses shows that biopsychiatry is only about fascist, totalitarian social power and control over the majority of citizens a la Soviet Russia and has absolutely nothing to do with any kind of health whatsoever! Dr. Joanna Moncrieff exposes this horror show in her books and articles like “Psychiatric Imperialism.”

    Psychiatrists like Dr. Ragins should consider the lament that evolved from the Nazi Holocaust:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Martin Niemöller

    As they say, the life you save may be your own directly and indirectly.

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  30. From Donna’s comment Sunday, December 22, 2013 2:02 PM

    “I have learned not to engage at all with certain people who have proven to be too psychopathic/narcissistic or plain evil (see Dr. M. Scott Peck’s The People of the Lie) because they are too blind, corrupt, sadistic, greedy, power hungry, well defended and deadly/dangerous to attempt to engage as the vampires of society that one astute person noted above.”

    I have tried to get at this before because it really hits a nerve in me.

    How can you say that there are such evil, ill-intentioned people in this world but then try to make it seem like it’s all them, never us?

    What you say about “them” makes the following seem so JUSTIFIED (is their intolerance, hatred and loathing toward those any less or different than your intolerance, hatred and loathing toward them?)…

    “Today’s DSM bogus, life destroying stigmas are no better than so called medical terms like “human vermin” to justify “mercy killings” or gassing to death of the so called “mentally ill” as practice for the horrific German Holocaust of the Jews, gypsies, gays and anyone else deemed subhuman, impure or powerless enough for the gas chambers.”

    Pray tell, what should be done about these psychopathic/narcissistic evil people? Those too blind, corrupt, sadistic, greedy, power hungry people?

    Would you like to see them jailed, imprisoned? Eradicated? Serious questions.

    How can you possibly say that psychopaths and narcissists exist, but then you want to say it’s all bullshit when psychiatry and the “mental” system makes those very diagnoses.?

    Which is it Donna, psychopaths exist or they don’t? Narcissists exist or they don’t? And why is it that it’s only “them” and not anyone DIAGNOSED AS SUCH by psychiatry and the “mental” system?

    I know you’ve got great, great JUSTIFIED intolerance and hatred of psychiatry and the “mental” system. SO DO I.

    But I keep showing, repeatedly, that we live in a SICK society where, like it or not, there ARE some people in this world, who are regular citizens, not among the “elite” and “powerful” of the world (people like Jeffery Dahmer – an extreme example but it gets to the point) whom YOU WOULD NEVER WANT TO SIT AT THEIR KITCHEN TABLE TO DINE WITH, OR SPEND A NIGHT AT THEIR HOUSE.

    Did you read about how, when I was a 19 year old single mom of two kids, on my own for the first time, just left FOSTER CARE, and in two months’ time, I had been literally chased out of my apartment BY THE PEOPLE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, who DIDN’T WANT ME THERE? Donna, they SET THE BUILDING ON FIRE after they repeatedly broke into my apartment and kept wiping me out.


    So please, consider that. And don’t forget that cynical afrikan website I showed ya.

    And lastly, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again:

    psychiatry and the “system” DOES NOT KNOW HOW to DISCERN people for who they really are. They don’t know how to differentiate GOOD people who suffer from the truly heartless, sadistic, brute animals of the world (no salvation, no redemption).

    See what I’m getting at?

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    • mjk,

      I have tried to avoid getting in more futile arguments with you as you may have noticed. In the past I tried to compliment you on your word play and brilliance with words, but you seemed to misunderstand my intent and attacked me for seemingly insulting you by not fully honoring your brilliance with the English language when I had admired you for it a zillion times. I still marvel at your great ability with words and ideas I’ve read here just recently. Yet, I hesitate to engage with you because you’ve misunderstood my intent before it seems.

      Thus, I don’t think you are in a position to evaluate much I have to say because you seem to have some grudge or prejudice against me for no reason I can fathom. I have explained before where I stand on evil people that some experts call psychopaths and narcissists.

      I come from a Christian background so I think evil is alive and well and resent the mental death profession trying to pretend there is no evil but only “mental illness” or “sickness” when the mental death profession is the poster child for horrific human evil shown by the many ghastly human holocausts they have created with the DSM nightmare only one of many.

      Though some people like Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy might be fatally and permanently twisted beyond redemption due to a combo of their genes, horrific life experiences and choices they make and others might be evil due to brain dysfunctions that destroy their ability to empathize with other humans or normal ones for the most part, I believe that evil is a choice for the majority of people.

      The Bible and other sacred texts do a good job of distinguishing between good and evil while current DSM psychiatry did not invent the terms narcissist, which goes back to Greek mythology, or psychopath, which just used to mean crazy in general. Psychopathy has a long history of being called “moral insanity,” “insanity without delirium” and other descriptions. The major promoters of psychopathy in modern times have been Dr. Hervey Cleckley with his book The Mask of Sanity and Dr. Robert Hare with his books, Without Conscience and Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work. Dr. Hare also created the Hare PCL-R or the psychopath test, which I’ve come to see is just another list of symptoms and personality traits of evil people well defined in the Bible. Main stream biopsychiatry with its bogus DSM has ignored experts Cleckley and Hare and invented the bogus term “antisocial personality disorder” to describe the behavior of garden variety criminals who aren’t psychopaths since psychopaths are defined by a complete lack of conscience, guilt, remorse or empathy. The reason biopsychiatry and its DSM doesn’t bother so much with the character disordered is because they can’t get paid to treat them so they made these Axis II disorders they ignore while putting all criminals/murderers/abusers and victims into the bogus bipolar fad fraud garbage can stigma as plotted by the original criminals who created DSM III. So, you are wrong if you think biopsychiatry cares about helping or curing evil people; rather biopsychiatry preys on the many victims of evil people while pretending they are the evil ones.

      I have learned through very painful, hard won experience that WHY is a luxury question, but I also know that when I encounter real evil people I sure see, know and feel it now pretty quickly and know enough to run like hell away from them. That’s what the Bible calls discernment, so it is up to each of us to decide in this world of moral relativity as to what we consider evil or not with the mental death profession exploiting our moral tower of Babel to impose their own amoral, psychopathic paradigm on one and all. In other words, by society refusing to grapple with these issues, the mental death profession has been happy to oblige with its own fascist, oppressive evil in the guise of morality and “mental health.”

      So, you are asking me to resolve and answer age old questions at a time when they have never been so ill defined and confused as they are now allowing the most evil and vicious humans to exploit our stupidity, confusion, laziness, apathy and cowardliness and fill the vacuum as is the case with biopsychiatry and its fascist cohorts in power preying on the rest of us.

      I believe we all have the potential for evil, so we must study various moral, philosophical and religious ideas and paths from the best of history like Jesus, the Buddha, Aristotle and many others to discern right from wrong and act accordingly. Our world is a perfect example of what happens when fewer and fewer people take such serious issues lightly. The book and web site, Political Ponerology, explain how evil people or psychopaths hijack countries and the globe during seeming good times with people only waking up when the bad times necessarily arrive.

      I believe that people mainly become evil by piling on one evil choice after another and failing to turn back before it is too late and they are corrupted and evil almost beyond redemption. C.S. Lewis’s book The Pilgrim’s Regress grapples with this issue. But, perhaps with enough effort one can always redeem one’s self from being hopelessly evil. I don’t pretend to know the answers to these huge human dilemmas.

      Again, if I’ve learned nothing else, “why?” is a luxury question and when I encounter an evil person or or evil people I try to run like hell since as the Bible warns evil, anger and many other nasty things are all too destructive and contagious that can confuse and destroy us if we linger too long.

      Then, of course, there is systemic evil whereby evil, corrupt system create evil people acting as cogs in a huge crushing system whereby specialization leaves no one person truly responsible as Dr. M. Scott Peck explains about evil groups and debacles like Mai Lai in Viet Nam.

      I hope this answers your question in that I don’t pretend to have the answers to these huge life challenges you have put before me. Again, I know that evil people (AKA psychopaths and malignant narcissists) exist, but I can only speculate how they got that way since I am both blessed and cursed with more than my fair share of a conscience, empathy, compassion, guilt and a host of other human traits that make life far more difficult.

      I’m glad to see you engaging here a lot more mjk as I tried to encourage you to do before and I regret if I have offended you past or present when I meant to do the opposite.

      I am very sorry about all the suffering you have endured in your life due to evil people over whom you had no control from childhood. I sometimes have a hard time understanding you, but I appreciate your seeming to hang on to your own Christian and moral principles in spite of all the hardship, loss and pain you have suffered.

      I can assure you I am not into a holier than thou attitude and don’t pretend to have the answers as to why and how evil and suffering exist other than the fact that I know they exist for sure. We all have to struggle with our own evil, selfish, narcissistic inclinations to be decent human beings for sure.

      Hope I’ve clarified where I’m coming from with my own confusion and agony as to why human evil and suffering exist. C.S Lewis’ excellent book, The Problem of Pain, is one great source that grapples with this human dilemma.

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      • “word play”

        It’s not you Donna, it’s me. I have a strong personal issue with “word play”, for a few reasons, primarily that those exact words had been used AGAINST me, by my so-called “state appointed attorney”, in a condescending, flippant, dismissive way. The other reasons are that there *is* a somewhat negative connotation which undermines what it is that I do (with words). Very personal for me, and VERY frustrating. So I do apologize to you that *my own* personal issue vibed on you in the way that it has. I remember the very first time you and I crossed paths here, two years ago, and it was mutual recognition and praises. I value and appreciate that.

        “resent the mental death profession trying to pretend there is no evil”

        WORSE than that, people outright deny GOD! Yet, MY ENTIRE LIFE is a LIVING TESTIMONY so I sure do understand the resentment.

        “Again, if I’ve learned nothing else, “why?” is a luxury question and when I encounter an evil person or or evil people I try to run like hell since as the Bible warns evil, anger and many other nasty things are all too destructive and contagious that can confuse and destroy us if we linger too long.”

        I think I’ve heard that before and … *shaking my head no* … in MY life, why is the ONLY question. There is no other question that can bring *understanding*. Understanding is the God level (understanding is Most High). Understanding *surpasses* knowledge but NOTHING surpasses Understanding. We can agree to disagree on it but I just don’t, and can’t, believe there’s anything “luxury” about it. I think it is Humanity’s ultimate aim.

        (without Understanding, there can be no Peace)

        “antisocial personality disorder” is something that fits one of my many multiple personalities (that’s a half-joke). What matters the most, to me, is the *treatment* (lack of it, in addition to *injurious* and unnecessary “treatment”).

        “I hope this answers your question in that I don’t pretend to have the answers to these huge life challenges you have put before me. Again, I know that evil people (AKA psychopaths and malignant narcissists) exist,”

        What I’m getting at is that we *DO* have real suffering conditions (whether it’s ADHD or PTSD or personality disorders or autism or schiz / psych issues). What I think, more than anything else, is that

        1. the “treatments” are mentally retarded
        2. there isn’t enough understanding

        But it’s OKAY if I’m a megalomaniac. That just means I’ll have as many haters as I have followers and fans (more half-joke). LOL

        megalomaniac ~ incubus

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        • Hi mjk,

          I guess I was at a loss for words when trying to express my delight at your brilliance with words and the language, so I’m sorry I hit a hot button of yours when using the unfortunate term, “word play” as I said before. You had suggested some good alternatives in a past post when we discussed this before I’d appreciate your repeating here. I just was amazed at some of the fantastic word associations you used to convey some brilliant ideas! I’ve been told I’m a pretty good writer in terms of persuasion and conveying ideas, but yours is a special genius I’m not sure I have the proper words to describe. As a former English major I especially appreciated your genius with thought and anguage.

          When I said “why is a luxury question” I meant it only in a very narrow way because while I was wasting much time trying to figure out the why of certain evil people in my life and why and how/why evil and suffering exist per experts et al, I wasted much crucial time that should have been spent escaping these monsters (see Dr. John Clark’s Working With Monsters, also about psychopaths or evil people). Otherwise, as you can see, I’ve spent much time trying to learn about and distinguish between good and evil from a moral, religious, spiritual, philosophical, human point of view and gain discernment about these issues to conduct my own life in a decent, intelligent way as much as possible.

          Also, Dr. Martha Stout, author of The Sociopath Next Door, exposes how evil people who lack any conscience, guilt or remorse about harming people don’t agonize about such issues unlike the majority of people who do have a conscience. Thus, we can do ourselves great harm by second guessing our gut response or discernment that a person is evil and dangerous to us and delaying our escape when they are literally plotting our destruction for some self serving, greedy, vile purpose with no qualms about who else may be harmed in the process including children in their path. Guy de becker, author or The Gift of Fear and national violence expert, exposes how we do ourselves much harm when we fail to trust our gut and “gift of fear” warning us to avoid harm from certain dangerous people. Thus, when I see/feel somebody is evil now based on the many obvious red flags I’ve learned from experts and victims including my own experience (see web sites like Narcissists Suck, Love Fraud and many others on psychopaths), I don’t waste my time agonizing over the why of their evil or if I’m being fair enough, but rather, just try to get the hell away from them having suffered greatly from failing to do so in the past in time.

          I don’t buy into any of the bogus DSM stigmas including ASPD. You have shown you have an intelligent mind and you don’t have to buy into these bogus labels either. I have no doubt you’ve suffered from much trauma based on your life experience for which you are not to blame in the least and should not be stigmatized as being at fault in your own abusive victimization. I’m sure like the rest of us you have your own mixture of good and bad traits, but trauma reactions are not evil though it is your responsibility to try to cope and recover. It’s like the boy who was told by his father that he had a good dog and bad dog fighting inside of him. When the boy asked his father which dog would win, the father answered, “The one you feed the most.”

          So, here’s to you and I feeding our good dog inside us in the coming year mjk and know that when you share your word/thought brilliance I will be admiring/enjoying it even if I don’t always comment about it. You could create those inspirational quotation books with your genius in this area in my opinion.

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  31. Hi mjk,

    You seem to know a lot about music and musicians with whom I am unfamiliar.

    But, I love music and find it essential to my survival and well being. Whenever “my music dies” I know that I am dying literally. I love classic and other rock, the latest hits, classical music, etc. Some of my favorite devotional pieces are Beethoven’s ninth symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Jesus Christ Superstar, Mozart’s Symphony 40 and 41 because they are evidence of heavenly genius, Christmas carols and many others.

    I like the song you cited above with the title being inspirational, but I had some trouble understanding the words from your link. What does it mean to you?

    Are you near any churches or other places that have music and other Christmas program, meals and events? I’m glad you are finding ways to heal your heart and spirit right now. Libraries can be great places to see people and borrow free music, books, movies, etc. I’m a big fan of movies too. How about you?

    I hope you join others over the holidays with church and other gatherings for music, worship, meals and other activities. And though holidays can sometimes be a downer, just remember “this too shall pass.”

    Feel free to drop me a line over the holidays since I’m always checking my computer.

    I’m glad you are placing such a big focus on your spiritual, mental and physical recovery.

    God bless you.

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    • I have to be honest.

      (God Bless us both, because this might be awkward)

      I feel like you see me as an imbecile.

      “Are you near any churches or other places that have music and other Christmas program, meals and events? I’m glad you are finding ways to heal your heart and spirit right now. Libraries can be great places to see people and borrow free music, books, movies, etc.”

      This feels condescending. It’s like you’re a social worker, or a counselor, and I feel pathetic.


      I am sure you’re well intentioned but I really do need to let you know how this feels for me. I feel like I’m being “helped” and I don’t know what about me consistently gets this particular response from you. It’s true, I have done a whole lot of “soul puking” and “crying” (with words) so maybe that is what about me that stays in your mind the most.


      Some of the lyrics are a bit off but I thought this song was such a great fit for the conversation we were having. And, this song effectively puts evil in it’s place, giving rise to the greater message.

      “Meet Me In The Sky”
      (feat. K-Young)

      [Chorus: K-Young (Krayzie Bone)]
      You can you meet me meet me in the sky, the sky, the sky, the sky, the sky!
      You could meet me in the sky, (You can meet me in the sky!) the sky, the sky, the sky, the sky.
      ‘Cause we can fly above all the haters!

      [Layzie Bone:]
      They done give me my wings! Let’s fly, high, high, high, high! [x4]

      [Layzie Bone:]
      I done made it up the mountain, lookin’ down on the valley, and I’m feelin’ I can fly, so I dive off the cliff.
      Hear the little kids scream; they don’t know I got wings.
      ‘Til I sprinkle them with the dreams, and I hit ’em with the gift.
      Say ‘Bye bye’ to them haters, haters.
      No more lies… they can’t fade us, fade us!
      Why they wanna test? Now you rockin’ with the best and my whole fan fam’ is the greatest, greatest.
      Moves countin’ like a calculator, evaluate the master playas. Operation: ‘Stack Your Paper.’
      Captivatin’ money makers feel the love from above, he’s an eagle, he’s a dove, call him Bone’s emancipator!
      Everybody’s a congratulator. Come and ride on this elevator, better yet take this escalator.
      Graduate to the new skyscrapers!

      When we put ’em on a level that’s if you can deal with! We take it to ’em runnin’ nothin’ but realness!
      Surely livin’ in the life, it’s for the thrills. We went up and over the hill, went through the whole drill!
      Haters try to kill with kindness, when there’s nothin’ they can do to to the finest.
      Though they won’t dare cross over the line, for tryin’, y’all know what’s gonna happen, so they might as well remain behind us.
      Way behind! We go to hardcore grind, and never take an issue for granted since I’m cool they go and take it for weakness.
      Better take it in stride!
      They don’t wanna see us alive, but you always steady creepin’, reapin’, weepin’, niggas went and got in way too deep in (deep in).
      You gotta practice that before you start preachin’. (preachin’)
      But ain’t no way that they can keep up (keep up)
      ‘Cause we keepin’ the heat on. It really don’t matter where we can meet up!


      [Wish Bone:]
      Nigga had it bad, cause I never had more than plenty cash, thinking the rainy days was over!
      Livin’ in the past, livin’ ghetto fab’, never lookin’ back!
      But the fact is that I never went nowhere!
      The truth is, me and my own ghetto got a love affair. (got a love affair)
      It’s so real, things we did, my conscious outta here.
      I don’t care, I deserve everything I earn.
      Hell yeah I deserve some pain! I know I hurt!
      Stop talkin’! Night-walkin’ real night stalkers, zoners, hungry, heard it here first!
      If you don’t believe me, with wings I’ll meet ya!

      [Krayzie Bone:]
      Playa hater hate! They can hate me but they better stay away or see Krayzie look insane!
      So if they wanna hate me let ’em hate me from the bottom, way up underneath my feet.
      ‘Cause really I’ve been turnin’ them leaves to never ever let the suckas rise, or let them bustas kill the high.
      ‘Cause they jealous in the mind, they remind me of gravity always grabbin’ at me pullin me down.
      Passed on for the flight, keepin’ me on the ground.
      Still I rise and when I takeoff they fall. (they fall, they fall)
      Raise to the ceiling, try and stay away from the pretender.
      You don’t really even get involved. (-volved)
      We play ’em all from afar, in a distance. (distance)


      [Bizzy Bone:]
      And when I met Him in the sky, He had a body like a man and the lower body tellin’
      The Lord that he had a plan to make Him sure I wasn’t evil.
      But I’m comin’ with my people. Ain’t no sequel, ain’t no women, ain’t no vessels.
      I’m a settle with a scepter and a lethal dosage. I will live forever with a serpent on my head.
      Little glory, that’s my man! I’ll be damned! If I comin’ through, I’m runnin’ with my pistol.
      Weren’t for Moses, I’m a die but I’m a come back with y’all (with y’all, with y’all)
      That’s the way to get y’all. Picture sinister plots! I’m not ‘nigga with no land.’
      I imagine a strand of lightning bolts and tightened ropes.
      I’m fightin’ folk with no hope. Earth got me loc’ed!
      Now chillin’ in the smoke house! No doubt! No clout!
      Now we’re goin’ all out! Earth-ball that’s all! Never let the devil call.
      Revelations! Little Bizzy nigga so long! Go long! Metal was so precious.
      I was resurrected! Why? Juniors fly to The Creator.
      And my brother be, brother be ‘C’. Throw it up! Uncle ‘L’ comin’ straight from the sky, what!


      One of my favorite Christmas songs, Gabriel’s Message

      (I’m sharing it to bring GOOD FEELINGS, where so much is heavy and loaded, charges of evil, evil, evil… )


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      • mjk,

        You know mjk, everything isn’t always only about you and your trauma, suffering and the like alone.

        My above comment was from the heart whereby I thought I was sharing with you based on very hard, traumatic times we have both endured as women. Due to a very ugly divorce and extended families, I have found myself alone on holidays, so I tried to reach out to you in case you were in a similar position. You should know by now I am not big on the mental death profession, so I just tried to reach out to you as a fellow human being who has listened to you expressing agony over a life of trauma with which I can identify since I have endured my own fair share like many MIA members.

        As far as your claim I am treating you like an imbecile, how does my raving about your brilliance with words give you such an indication? I acknowledged you seem to know a lot about music with which I am unfamiliar and said I had trouble understanding the lyrics of the song you shared seeking guidance from you. How does that come off as me acting superior when I’m asking you to help me understand it while saying you have more experience there?

        Yes, I have tried to encourage you when you would just sneak some of your brilliant words on MIA so you might participate more just as others have encouraged me at times when I needed it. Like I sure appreciate that Duane just reached out to us given that slap in the face you just gave me. Jonah has asked for a “like” button to get similar encouragement that we all can use. Come off your high pedestal why don’t you among those of us who are just humans struggling along who need all the help and encouragement we can get from each other for sure.

        I also shared some low cost/free things that have helped me get through tough times and be with other people too since you have spoken of limited finances at times. I use the library constantly and get lots of free DVD’s, CD’s, books, etc. while avoiding paying big pay TV fees.

        Mjk, once again, I feel you are putting me in a no win situation since people who have endured traumatic events with family members sometimes find holidays difficult including myself. Thus, I tried to reach out to you in case you were feeling the same thing. I am fortunate enough to have my son, but he is not always available to me for all the holidays, so it’s been tough. You have lamented being separated from your children and I can indentify with that.

        I was speaking to you as one trauma survivor to another though I must say I think you have had it tougher, so I find it sad that you think I am trying to boost my ego at your expense or treat you as an inferior in any way when I feel lots of empathy for all the abuse and trauma you suffered. I can assure you I have better things to do than try to further hurt somebody like you, which would make me a monster. Since I was concerned you might be alone for some of the holiday I said I’m available if you want to be in touch since I’ve been in that position too.

        I wanted to respond to your latest ridiculous interpretation of my trying to reach out to you in a positive way that once again became a no win. How many times do I have to tell you that I think you are a very brilliant person though I don’t always understand everything you say and do? Like this latest gem of yours.

        Thanks for sharing Duane. Can you help mjk see she can be her own worst enemy when people reach out to try to relate as fellow human beings?

        I haven’t gone over the lyrics of the song you provided yet, but I’ll do that in the near future.

        My offer still stands while you are full of sh..t in terms of your interpretation of my last email.

        Again, God bless you and if you want to be in touch over the holidays feel free!

        Report comment

        • It is a consistent response that I get from you and it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to relate. I said what I needed to say.

          So, from condescending to almost spitting in my face.

          “I wanted to respond to your latest ridiculous interpretation”

          “My offer still stands while you are full of sh..t in terms of your interpretation of my last email.”

          Ridiculous? Full of shit?


          I respect you, Donna. I really do. I’ve never said a bad word to you, AT you or about you.

          I said what I needed to say (and I am GLAD that I did).

          ~ mjk

          Report comment

          • mjk,

            Thanks for validating why I stopped the crazy making of exchanging comments with you.

            I constantly see comments from you that come off as outrageous, bizarre, gross, offensive and horrific, but since I don’t like censorship I keep my mouth shut and don’t bother you or comment about it.

            I’ve been minding my own business only to be attacked by you above about expert views on psychopaths and narcissists or evil people and my own struggle with the issue.

            In good faith, I tried to respond to you with the caveat that we have had issues before only to have you pull the usual pity/victim ploy at my expense. Now, that’s what I call creepy….

            Part of my last response was tongue in cheek because I found your attacks on me so absurd when I was trying to reach out to you with empathy during the holidays as a fellow trauma survivor as I said. But, I see it’s always about you alone.

            I also see now that this was just a setup to berate me about my views in the first place when I thought you were sincere about wanting to understand my views. But, you keep warning one and all about your traits including ASPD.

            There is a saying that even Oprah touts all the time: “When someone tells you what they are believe them.”

            And I have gotten the message loud and clear about your intentions toward me. Rest assured I won’t be taking your bait again so you can rake me over the coals and try to make me appear the villain of the peace when I’ve been minding my own business and not bothering you in the least since our last dreadful encounters until you attacked me above again.

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  32. So a Merry Xmas to all the Bio-Med P-docs most of whom are off on their extended holidays in Bali or Cozumel or wherever their enormous salaries take them.
    I suppose on this Xmas day they would rather be with their patients that they care so much about because those patients suffer so much. I guess because so many of them are so alienated that at this time of year Santa Shrink brings them an extra dose of medication to keep them cool.

    To sentence a person to a living death, to cripple them for life, to get rich off it and feel so proud about it. I think we need a coin a word to describe this psychiatric syndrome that psychiatrists exhibit.

    How about “Shrinkfluenza” – but the “afluenza” guy only killed four people , psychiatrists kill millions – so how about “Grandiose Shrinkfluenza” or “Mass Grandiose Shrinkfluenza” to cover the lot of them as some kind of Group Madness?
    “And to all a good night” – and a special sympathy for all those unfortunates who have entered the long dark night of the pill from which they will not return.

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  33. Hello Mark Ragins,

    Since you took the time to respond to my two-sentence comment above(, I thought I would try to clarify the intent behind it, in the event that you are still reading.

    Judging by your response, you seemed to have missed the intended message. My comment had nothing to do with animal abuse.

    The second sentence was dependent upon the first. The point was really about context – the context of your article, and its title – and the callous disregard your writing seemed to show for the feelings and experiences of others, including your own “patients.”

    I hope you write here again. Seriously. And I hope you keep writing here, at least until such time as you can see that there are legitimate reasons for people’s reactions to your words.


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