Will Psychiatry’s Harmful Treatment of Our Children Bring About Its Eventual Demise?

Michael Cornwall, PhD
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The safety of our children is a sacred obligation we strive to preserve. Anything or anyone that harms them becomes the object of our distrust and potential wrath.

I want to raise the possibility that psychiatry, for all its accomplished champions like Thomas Insel of the NIMH, may have forgotten the elemental fear people feel for the safety of their children. If psychiatry becomes perceived as a consistently increasing threat to our children, then are its days as a monolithic social institution numbered?

This essay was prompted when I recently had a pronounced visceral reaction of repulsion as I read about dozens of young children being subjected to new MRI brain scan research. Many friends that I shared this research with had a similarly strong negative reaction. The NIMH-supported research article, “Disrupted Amygdala Reactivity in Depressed 4- to 6-Year-Old Children,” was reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The two experimental groups were described as “… depressed 4- to 6-year-old children and their healthy peers.”

The pathologizing process of diagnosing and labeling a 4-year-old child as being a clinically depressed research subject and therefore unhealthy compared to their peers, is done with the assumption that making that medical diagnosis is in the best interest of the child.

It is harmful to assume something is wrong with a young child’s brain when there is no doubt ample evidence that something has happened or is happening in the child’s life, that is causing them distress, to say nothing about the negative effects of a child receiving a DSM identity-transforming diagnostic label and being officially categorized as an exceptionally young mental patient.

Plus, what does a doctor tell a 4-year-old child before the MRI machine starts? “Please hold very still now, because we need to find out if there is something wrong with your brain.”

The children in this research on depression were also described as being “medication-naive.” None of them had been on medications — yet.

If the word “naive” was instead used to mean that the children were innocent, then that would be accurate because a 4-, 5-, or 6-year-old child is indeed innocent and is helplessly at the mercy of the adults who decide what happens to them.

For over 30 years, I’ve known and worked alongside many child psychiatrists. They are some of the most dedicated and caring people I have ever known.

When I would repeatedly protest to them about the dangers of prescribing antipsychotic meds and SSRI’s to children and teens, the psychiatrists often, with true anguish would respond to me by saying, “But Michael, I have to do it! The latest brain imaging research says that psychosis damages the brain, and it has been shown that depression is caused by a lack of serotonin.”

The solid, peer-reviewed  research I would then offer, attempting to counter their biochemical, genetic-based, disease model beliefs, would unfortunately not be taken seriously enough to change my psychiatrist coworkers’ minds.

To no avail, I would urge them to consider that valuable scientific inquiry in the broader field of psychology doesn’t have to be limited to only studying genetics and the physical human brain. They shunned the evidence proving the efficacy of psychosocial alternatives to psychiatric medications. They seemed compelled to elevate applied neuroscience as a reified paradigm of understanding and treating human psychological distress.

It should be no surprise that almost all psychiatrists continue to believe what they were taught in their medical training, and believe what is affirmed in every journal they read about the future of psychiatry being applied neuroscience, and that they believe what is repeated to them by every drug company rep who frequently visits them with medication samples.

The path seems to be clear ahead for even more research on preschool children’s brains, because NIMH Chief Thomas Insel has a clear vision that he is determined to make happen.

When he says, “The future of psychiatry is clinical neuroscience based on a much deeper understanding of the brain,” Dr. Insel means that his five-year plan called the Human Connectome Project, that will build a baseline data base for brain structure and activity using MRI imaging is leaving the DSM era of psychiatry in the dust.

The DSM is an embarrassment for a world class research scientist like Insel. But what he envisions is much more ominous for children and everyone else.

Insel’s leadership at the NIMH has the very strong support of forced treatment advocate, Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, who says of Insel: “He is the best director we have ever had.”

Insel and newly-elected APA President Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman want to preside over a new era of psychiatry where it gains the stature of any other medical specialty based on hard science. Insel and Lieberman want a research-proven genetic and biological basis for psychiatry, to qualify it as a fully functioning and respected clinical neuroscience.

Dr. Lieberman has recently said in The Scientific American, that vocal critics of psychiatry are “Misinformed or misinforming self-interested ideologues and self-promoters who are spreading scientific anarchy.”

Dissidents such as may appear on Mad in America are dismissed as scientific anarchists by the head of the APA, while President Obama and Congress are hugely bankrolling the new NIMH research on the brain.

The dramatic future for psychiatry envisioned by Doctors Insel, Torrey and Lieberman as a golden age of applied neuroscience appears to be assured.

Is psychiatry, as such a powerful monolithic social institution, truly “too big to fail?” Or is there a hidden vulnerability present in the proud edifice?

I wrote a blog here on MIA a couple of years ago called “I Don’t Believe in Mental Illness, Do You?”

What that means to me is that I don’t believe in the centuries-long medical model project of pathologizing human emotional suffering that is the hallmark of psychiatry.

The medical model never satisfied my answers about the causes and healings from my own experiences of emotional suffering and madness, or spoke to me as a reliable guide in helping the children and adults I provide therapy for.

If I did believe in the medical model, I would surely do what my child psychiatrist friends unintentionally sometimes do — I would risk harming innocent children while truly believing that I am helping them.

What we believe can dictate what we do. But surely our beliefs should not result in children being harmed.

The problem is, that the medical model belief system sets psychiatrists up to be blind to its harmful applications. Psychiatrists who did lobotomies and sterilizations convinced themselves according to medical model tenets, that such harmful procedures were necessary and in the recipient’s best interest.

The fact that child psychiatrists in Australia will actually administer ECT to children under 4 years old, and that antipsychotic and antidepressant medications are given to toddlers in the U.S., is dramatic continued proof of how the treatments dictated by a morally numb psychiatric science are still failing to pass the caregiver litmus test of “First, do no harm.”

Blindly failing that ethical test means that psychiatry is clearly in the process of losing the moral authority to deserve our trust, especially as we learn more of how our children are at risk of being harmed.

So, I have come to believe in recent years that Dr. Insel’s vision and the incredible psychiatric social experiment of pathologizing human emotional suffering will ultimately fail, because psychiatry will continue to zealously and blindly cross a morally repulsive line and forget that a great many people will never accept their children and grandchildren being exposed to danger.

I believe that at some point, those continued treatment excesses with our children will finally cause the general public to lose faith in and simply abandon psychiatry, moving on to a new paradigm of care where the growing demands for safe and nonpathologizing alternatives are met.

The obsolescence of psychiatry may not happen in my lifetime, but you will see the tide turn even more in that direction when a first young blogger appears on Mad in America to proclaim, “I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and put on antipsychotic medications when I was very young. Please understand, I was only four years old when they started injuring me.”

54 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Michael,
    Your article is an eloquent cri de coeur, a passionate declaration of your faith. However, sadly, your faith that the depravity of psychiatry will lead to its demise is belied by the facts you present in your article. In fact a headline that more adequately conveyed the discussion in your article would have been “Will Psychiatry Continue to Prosper Despite Its Harmful Treatment of Our Children?” Your reasoning leads to that conclusion– or at least to that question.

    For example you tell us you have worked with child psychiatrists who are among “the most dedicated and caring people” you know. You tell us when you protest over their giving neuroleptics and SSRIs to children they respond to you “with true anguish”: “But Michael I have to do it.” And you tell us:” The solid, peer-reviewed research I would then offer, attempting to counter their biochemical, genetic-based, disease model beliefs, would unfortunately not be taken seriously enough to change my psychiatrist coworkers’ minds.” Specifically you say,”They shunned the evidence proving the efficacy of psychosocial alternatives to psychiatric medications.”
    Presumably this includes the well publicized studies about the harmfulness of neuroleptics, from UNESCO to Harrow, as well as the recent research that Bob presents ( e.g., Wunderink, Open Dialogue), which led to the recent calls for more cautious use of neuroleptics by establishment psychiatrists and psychologists. They must also shun DSM-4 editor Allen Frances’ critique in Saving Normal. They must ignore this statement by Insel (recently cited by Bruce Levine): “For too many people, antipsychotics and antidepressants are not effective, and even when they are helpful, they reduce symptoms without eliciting recovery.”

    Whitaker has not called for an end to the medical model. Some of the studies are done by medicalists (as I call them) and their methodology is conservative. Their only nod to phenomenological methods is to include
    some “quality of life” indices in their definition of efficacy. Yet they show the drugs don’t work, they cause immense harm–particularly to children– and the diagnoses are not reliable, and pinning a defective brain diagnosis on a 4 year old child sets into motion a self fulfilling prophecy that will handicap her for life –unless she rebels. Had Laura Delano not rebelled instead of Harvard she would still be in day treatment.

    One would hoped that the cognitive dissonance caused by the recent studies would lead as Bob hoped to changes in prescribing practices. No instead these child psychiatrists ignore the evidence and continue to drug kids with neuroleptics and SSRIs. They ignore and will continue to ignore studies that show that children will be permanently ruined by chronic ingestion of neuroleptics.

    Obviously Michael these “caring” young psychiatrists to whom you refer will not deal with cognitive dissonance by refusing to drug children. You write that “child psychiatrists in Australia will actually administer ECT to children under 4 years old, and that antipsychotic and antidepressant medications are given to toddlers in the U.S.” They will deal with the evidence by ignoring it. Right now psychiatry’s “scientific” status is based upon IOUs and the skillful use of propaganda. They will continue to hide behind a façade of scientific legitimacy, they will read and sign articles that are ghost-written by employees of the drug industry—and, as David Healy showed, they will never see the raw data, only the data after it is massaged by drug industry ghost-writers.

    Parents who do not accept their children being drugged will be threatened–as we saw recently in Massachussets– with the removal of their children due to their “negligence.” But how many will
    rebel? Most people trust their doctors. What your essay shows us Michael is that “dedicated and caring” (your words) doctors are perfectly capable of acting as functionaries in the psychiatric gulag–no matter how harmful it is to children. This leads to a conclusion that there is no stopping Psychiatry–a conclusion antithetical to the one implied in your title. If even the most caring doctors you know–doctors who are themselves mothers and fathers– will continue to act as Eichmann did– or even Mengele– continue to harm children rather than sacrifice their perceived self interest, upon what do you base your faith that psychiatry’s harmfulness to children will bring about its demise??
    http://www.sethHfarber.com

    Seth
    Seth Farber, Ph.D.

  2. Michael thanks for speaking out on behalf of the children. Doctors Insel and Torrey really do need to take a think to themselves about the stance they are taking. As a mother and grandmother I am not prepared to let them get away with it. People are desperate and look to doctors for help but there is no excuse for drugging and shocking children. It’s a disgrace. We have to keep speaking out about it until they come to their senses.

    They’re clutching at straws because the drugs don’t work so it’s up to us survivors to move forward with alternatives, keep promoting choices for people in distress and altered mind states. Despite their looking in the wrong place for the solution I do believe that the voices of reason will break through and a paradigm shift will happen. There is always hope and I expect to see it in my lifetime.

  3. Antidepressants: puppies, kittens, babies, comedy clubs, races (drag races and figure 8’s), old movies (W.C. Fields, Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Spanky and Our Gang, Shirley Temple, etc.), exercise (run til you hit the “wall” and then keep going for the endorphine rush), sky diving, mountain climbing, volunteering at the homeless shelter or soup kitchen, music!, fishing, and on and on and on….no drugs necessary.

  4. Thanks for this powerful article, Michael.

    “Dr. Lieberman has recently said in The Scientific American, that vocal critics of psychiatry are ‘Misinformed or misinforming self-interested ideologues and self-promoters who are spreading scientific anarchy.'”

    “Scientific anarchists”? I would take that as a compliment, especially since it is coming from an unscientific authoritarian. Lieberman, the high priest of a pseudo-scientific death cult that poisons little children as an act of faith is accusing non-believers of being ideologues. That is some staggering hypocrisy.

    I am very grateful for people such as yourself who have fearlessly worked alongside the delusional (psychiatrists) for the sake of others’ well-being. Doing so must require an amount of fortitude that I do not possess and which I greatly admire. Thank you.

  5. Having been badly abused by psychiatry myself as a child, of course this article really speaks to me. But I agree with Seth Farber, much as I don’t want to, that I don’t think this overreach by psychiatry will lead to its losing its power. There has to be a political movement that uses these issues to get the public to understand what is going on. Some of this is going on in Boston, with the public uproar over the kidnapping and abuse of Justina Pelletier. I can only hope that this will spread. Right now at this moment I’m not so sure.

  6. I would endorse Dr Cornwall’s grounding thesis. I share the concerns he so succinctly expresses.

    The question as to whether psychiatry’s argued for harming of children will effect its existence as an institution, is an important one.
    There are dynamics that would suggest so. Activism by clients of psychiatry is now a powerful force. There are dynamics which suggest we might continue to support what is harming is.
    The nexus of these things is clearly complex.

    I like the idea that we simply do the right thing, we who see things as does Dr Cornwall. That is we act across a determination that things must so change that the institution Dr Cornwall describes will wither away.

  7. I was first taken, forced into a mental hospital when I was 16 years old because I believed I must be the messiah.I committed no crime.If all the psychiatrists in the world simply applied to each other all the tortures that psychiatrists as well as social workers yes social workers medical doctors and dentists applied to me, on and off till I was 55 years old, only leaving out for themselves, physically escaping 5 times from mental institutions like I did in desperation and in longing for free air. The handful of them left alive would be scuffling mindless zombies. But there would be none of them left carrying out torture on ever younger children in exponential numbers today.
    Education polishes stones and dims diamonds but psychiatry and medical care seeks to brain damage the best and brightest of our children at inception or before or as soon afterwards as possible.
    The only logical thing is to ???????????? Sadly ,Tragically, Seth is right. Dr. Michael Cornwall how can you help us ?

  8. Totally agree Stephen.

    I have told people that even if the Harrow study totaled 50 years of patients doing better off an antipsychotics than on them, it wouldn’t matter since most psychiatrist just don’t want to believe that people can function better without meds.

    Wow, putting a two year old on bipolar meds. Essentially, that kid’s life is destroyed. How heartbreaking.

  9. Michael
    Chrys’ insightful comment I think enhances my understanding of the problem.
    The problem is that once the child is labeled the parents have a problem that requires a solution.
    AS Chrys points out very few parents had the reaction she had as a survivor. In other words the desire to help children benefits those who want to build up psychiatry–not to build the opposition. Once the child is labeled the white middle class parent does not doubt the child has a problem. Don’t forget EARLY SCREENING is presented as a program to prevent future problems. Even the left(those most critical of society) will often accept this as a humanitarian program opposed only by anti-psychiatrists and stingy Republicans–and demand more money for these “humanitarian” mental health programs. In this environment left-wing or liberal forces are easily coopted by astro-turf movements like NAMI.

    Furthermore the labeling often makes the child symptomatic. Chrys writes,”I think the pressures are great if you have a child or young person in mental distress, and the system tells you what you must do. ,A good parent will want to relieve the distress and this can lead to trusting the professional who shares the burden. ” Exactly.

    What alternative does the critical psychiatry movement have? I prefer to use the term “anti-psychiatry” but many people in our camp will reject it, so I’ll alternate/ In other words, to paraphrase David Icke, they have created the problems–but they are also there to provide the nervous parents with a solution. Icke calls it, “problem, reaction, solution.” In this situation the anti-drugging forces do not APPEAR as the protector of innocence, but as opponents of services for the disadvantaged!

    We are trying to persuade the parents there is no problem. Or that the problem lies in the school system Or psychiatry. Or society. Or them!! How many white parents want to hear that. (I mentioned above how different black parents are.) NAMI will say, “There they are–blaming the parents again.”

    Here in NYC it is usually impossible for a distressed or labeled ADULT to find a psychiatrist who will agree not to drug the patient or to help them get off drugs. The critical psychiatry psychiatrists usually either do not see patients, or do not take insurance–one such “holistic” doctor will put her patients on vitamins (not drugs) but she insists upon weekly visits for which she charges $425.

    I think Michael and I agree: The system creates the problem. But the problem exists and we don’t have a “solution” that is acceptable. While psychiatric drugs will destroy the child in the long run, in the short term it appears as a solution because it makes her more obedient. So it is the destroyers of innocence who appear as the protectors of innocence. This is the dynamic of our upside down world that I think Michael and others are overlooking. Chrys writes,. ” I will always resist when possible and look for a better way.” Exactly the way I feel. Probably the majority of us here were–like Chrys–rebels from a young age.
    Most middle class and working class white Americans were not.
    Seth Farber, Ph.D.

  10. I see a couple major problems, which it seems Chrys and Seth are touching on. First, society as a whole, trusts in mainstream medicine. And mainstream medicine has taken psychiatry under it’s wings, and given psychiatry legitimacy. Mainstream medicine, in my opinion, needs to begin distancing themselves from psychiatry if they are to keep their credibility in the long run. No one yet has mentioned mainstream medical doctors as a force for change, but I believe they could and should be.

    I agree, psychiatry creates the “problem,” there’s a “reaction,” then the psychiatrist comes in with the “solution.” But I’ve found that those who are unaware of how ungodly sick psychiatric drugs can make a person, can’t comprehend or believe “trusted doctors” would ever give an innocent child (or anyone) drugs that could cause “mania, suicides, and violence” or atrophy of the brain at 1% per year, or diabetes, or breast growth in little boys, etc., etc.. What the psycho / pharmaceutical industries have been doing for the past several decades is so evil, it’s simply incomprehensible for any decent person to even believe, especially given all the pharmaceutical industry propaganda. Chrys, is a unique mother, because she had lived experience so understood.

    And Stephen, I agree it’s heartbreaking, “an entire generation of people are being destroyed.” I keep hoping I can stop being shocked by the magnitude of the psychiatric industries’ current crimes against so many children (and adults). It’s so disgusting it blows my mind, and it’s so difficult to get others to understand how serious the damage they are doing may turn out to be to humanity in the long run.

    And it is this fraud of psychiatry, pretending they know what they’re doing, when in fact they don’t know how their drugs will affect the human race in the long run, that is so frightening to me. Today’s psycho / pharmaceutical industries’ could actually be destroying the human race as we know it, for their short term profits and ego trips. No one knows. But you are right, Michael, “We have to stop it somehow.” Thank you for the article – and please try to get mainstream doctors to stop advocating psychiatric quackery.

  11. I look to what Foucault examined as madness and deviance for resource. Resource to resist.

    There is something of a system in place and running in human collective life. In some of its aspects that system is monstrous, and not open to being immediately combatted.
    As the process of that system bears on individuals who resist it, we encounter the constituency who implement and sustain that system, and we encounter that constituency who resist that system.

    The butcher’s shop of that system’s suppression of those who resist, is also the laboratory and workshop of the means of resistance.
    The interface is asymmetric, and the means of resistance being forged are not on open display; but rather must be sought out by those with an interest in them.

    What we then require are the meta-perspectives of resistance. Frames of reference which recognise and valorise the resisting the system sets out to grind into oblivion. Frames of reference which can recognise and retrieve and makes use of the means of resistance forged by those in the grinder.

  12. But Someone Else thinks mainstream doctors might become a “force for change” re Psychiatry. That will not happen. Besides although medicine is not as bogus as psychiatry it too is corrupt. The AMA is not much better than the APA. The drug companies and insurance companies have turned all of medicine into an industry.
    ColinB makes some brilliant points. Foucault’s writings are prophetic but the system has gone beyond anything Foucault imagined. You write: “What we then require are the meta-perspectives of resistance.” We have meta-perspectives—of heroic resistance, not yet of effective resistance
    because the system has no bounds–there is no inside that remains a sanctum .
    Are you aware of groups of “targeted individuals”? MK-Ultra was never stopped. When Church Congessional committee outlawed such experiments in the 1970s, they simply went underground. They now have the ability literally to read people’s minds and put voices in their head through Voice to Skull technology using electro-magnetic or microwaves wave frequencies. This technology has been written about by Robert Duncan who has MIT doctorate and interviewed 600+ targeted persons. Here is the description by European Coalition against Covert Harrassment. This describes video that you can watch online :Using detailed research, the EUCACH.ORG panelists—Magnus Olsson, Dr. Henning Witte, and Melanie Vritschan– describe Transhumanist Agenda that is now using advanced scalar technologies, super quantum computers, a quantum cloud, a super grid of over 1000 grids that is connected to HAARP for global coordinated mind control of a growing population of human robots that are created via these technologies for a global control and enslavement agenda. EUCACH.ORG Panel

    Magnus Olsson, Dr. Henning Witte, and Melanie Vritschan, three experts from the European Coalition Against Covert Harassment, revealed recent technological advances in human robotization and nano implant technologies, and an acceleration of what Melanie Vritschan characterized as a “global enslavement program”.\

    People ARE resisting but they cannot yet stop the invasion of their brains. But they resist.

    • Seth, I think I’ve reflexively retreated from the material plane of things, across my biographical development. I think I’ve done so as reaction and response to the degree of asymmetry involved in the spectrum of empowerment. The material and what stands around it representing an extreme of a type of empowerment; those seen as unhealthy across diagnosis representing an extreme of a type of empowerment.
      Foucault then seems to me to make a good fist of considering how discourse plays crucial part in mediating that spectrum of empowerment.
      The fundamentally disempowered are then not passive non-agents in all of this. Across their existentiality those who are so disempowered resist the power that disempowers them.
      That resistance is active and intelligent. It scans and evaluates the disempowering environment. It researches the ground and dynamics of the disempowering power; it researches what countervails that power. It is a deeply empirical activity.
      That activity yields sensing and cognition and theorising with potential to countervail the disempowering power. What is so produced has to then be retrieved from the overall field where an environing power will nonetheless grind on to effectively destroy the capacity of the individual to produce such countervailing resource.
      That grinding destruction is crucially mediated by the discursive process which Foucault points to. Psychiatry (as we currently find it) and other disciplinary projects are crucial components and players in that discursive process. Psychiatric perception and understanding constitutes a knowledge prism which deconstructs and reconstructs what countervails the disempowering power, in realtime. What in fact and truth countervails the disempowering power, is reconstructed by psychiatry as symptom and indicator of unhealthy; psychiatry thereby eviscerating the ground of effective countervailing.
      In this patient/client-psychiatrist interaction and exchange, the patient-client faces defeat in any immediacy; but the countervailing resource can be saved. That saved resource then embedded in the being of the persons coming out the other end of the healthcare grinder.
      The crucial matter then, is to retrieve the saved resource; the very human and existential moment of effective resistance. Effective micro resistance. People have to recover themselves around and across such retrieved moments and resources. Groupings and movements and systems have to be built around and across that recovery and retrieval.
      Sympathetic Professionals and concerned parents and allies, can pre-empt the destruction of the resisting individual, can prevent the destruction running its course.
      Effective micro-resistance can involved the destruction of the resisting individual. What arises in the field of such micro-resisting can be streamed into what takes on macro force.
      The question then is what is involved in the meta-resourcing of that streaming. Clearly that meta-resourcing is counter-cultural, because what it intends opposes what a prevailing culture is mediating.
      My sense is that the seed-insight for that meta-resource is already in play in the existentiality of those psychiatry sorely treats.

      • “The material and what stands around it representing an extreme of a type of empowerment; those seen as unhealthy across diagnosis representing an extreme of a type of empowerment.”
        Should read.
        “The material and what stands around it representing an extreme of a type of empowerment; those seen as unhealthy across diagnosis representing an extreme of a type of disempowerment.”

  13. ColinB897 Thanks for your lucid analysis” . “Groupings and movements and systems have to be built around and across that recovery and retrieval.”
    ” It researches the ground and dynamics of the disempowering power; it researches what countervails that power. ”
    “The question then is what is involved in the meta-resourcing of that streaming. Clearly that meta-resourcing is counter-cultural, because what it intends opposes what a prevailing culture is mediating.”

    What is IT that countervails that power? It is NOT power. It is the opposite of the power Foucault so well describes. It is love, a culture based upon love. I don’t know if Foucault ever acknowledged his mistake..He engaged in a performative self contradiction since his critique–and it was a critique– assumed something outside and beyond the will to power. It must be love– which presumes ontological equality . Such a resourcing is INDEED counter-cultural. Its contestation must be more than local. It must be universal, metaphysical, it must be based upon a vision cosmic in its scope–it must constitute a counter-culture. The 60s Resistance knew this –before it became sectarian. For example “Make love, not war.” The feminists knew this: “The personal is political.” Love is the basis for a critique of domination, for an alternative culture.
    My latest book argues that premise–and argues that the anticipation of a radical counter-culture, the “seed -insight,” can be found in the visions of the Mad. (“My sense is that the seed-insight for that meta-resource is already in play in the existentiality of those psychiatry sorely treats.”) To abdicate such a vision in favor of single issue campaigns has been the doom of the anti-psychiatry movement, of the survivors’ movement. The Mad movement betrays its calling when its chooses identity politics over universality, rationality over its own utopian-messianic vision of human– of cosmic –redemption.
    Seth
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Spiritual-Gift-Madness-Psychiatry/dp/159477448X

    • If you allow that I am riding the dragon of your existential impulse Seth. I very rarely have the opportunity to have my impulse play out in the locus your investing. So I can better understand my positioning in terms of where I’m coming from, than I can fully grapple with the horizon of perspective which you open up.
      I understand myself in terms of resistance by an isolated individual. I understand those I support, in terms of their resisting when isolated by the machination of collective process and its power. I sense and think-about and theorise-about and talk-about the nexus of this, in terms of an autistic-social dynamic. My life concern is autistic-survival: where the exigency in this is so great, and the mechanics of the autistic-social dynamic so fills the existential foreground; that I am pinned down in the immediacy of resisting and surviving.
      The consequence then is that I do not articulate (with discourse) the genre of broader contextualising perspective that you do.
      This perspective obtains for me aesthetically (cf. Daniel Tammet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzd7ReqiQnE ) or emotionally. There it has ontological and epistemological dimension (so satisfying your condition that “Its contestation must be more than local. It must be universal, metaphysical, it must be based upon a vision cosmic in its scope–it must constitute a counter-culture.”). However, that perspectivising is predicated on and consumed in the resisting of a moment, and is never positioned to become structural across the ever-shifting dynamics of the autistic-social nexus.
      I understand why you associate the construction “identity politics” with such moments of playing out.
      I then understand the position of an autistically situated constituency to be relatively benign compared to the exigency of constituencies aggregated across other diagnoses and treatments. I see their point-present struggle for survival and the continuance of resistance, as more onerous. The point then being that structural or metaphysical outcome is then even less possible than with the autistic. Seed-insight is consumed as it arises, and it is fundamentally difficult to stream evidence of it out of a consuming inferno. Counter-culture here takes on terrible existential form.
      I’m not sure what the impulse to resist and survive translates to. On one interpretation it translates to an integrity dynamic. We have evolved as earth-bound sentient creatures, and perhaps a radical integrity dynamic simply cleaves to the truth of what we have evolved to be, and refuses to partake of collective mythology. Maybe that sense of things comes close to what you phrase as ontological equality.
      In the sense that cleaving to the truth of what we have evolved to be, would be optimally functional: then we would there have effective caring; and perhaps that caring merits the term love.
      I think we may be dealing with echoes of the same events in human life. You articulating what you derive from these echoes on a cosmic and universal horizon; you concerned that bettering macro-effect should emerge. Myself concerned that the existentiality of the individuals embedded in events should not be overwhelmed in this moment.

  14. So much to ponder in Michael’s blog and the comments that follow ,their truths still turning in my mind especially the exchanges between Seth and Colin ,with my dictionary in hand their voices like poetry .What an exchange !
    So what have I retrieved as a resource for healing and/or resistance?
    and who will hear or even believe or understand how it is useful, no one I know of for sure so far but me. 1. The path of persistence and determination 2.Prayer, We’ve all heard the saying ” There are no atheists in a foxhole.”3.Helping others along the way. 4. 37 years ago I discovered that swallowing 1200mg.of flushing niacin for body weight of 180lbs. and entering a hot bath tub of water with 6 handfuls of batherapy the green mineral bath formula not the original and rubbing the body with a foot long luffa is very helpful for extreme state of 2 days of no sleep,with unwanted voices,and stress. 5.I found I could make a gemstone tranquilizer necklace much more powerful than anyone could imagine that can take a person too stressed out to sleep into a meditative empty mind state within 20 minutes (Baltic amber big chunks),amethyst, rose quartz, and lapis.) 6. That energy healing is for real ,the most remarkable method I learned was YuenMethod. With help from exceptional teachers I also taught myself Homeopathy, Traditonal Naturopathy and other natural modalities the most valuable for me was Hal Huggins protocol dentistry (removal of mercury fillings and root canals and checked for cavitations)see Paracelsus Klinic ( Dr. Rau). also specific herbal formulas Bach Flower Remedies, fresh made vegetable and dark green leave green juices or smoothies ,and along with what Dr. Michael Collins knows along with Will Hall and recommendations from Beyond Meds and other survivors I believe a guerrilla survival kit can be created that could work almost anywhere a person could find shelter even their own apartment ,preventing interventions by the bio psych gulag dragnet. I have put these things out before to others who basically grew silent and showed no real interest.There is more to say. I hope this is of help to those who have need and that our enemies see all this as inconsequential and those souls still battling have not been harmed by our honest conversation.Of course Bob Whitaker’s 2 books are of great value. I look forward to reading more of all of your writings .Read “Sick and Tired” by Robert Young . In Solidarity, Fred

  15. Coming at this late Fred: been pinned down in a draining difference of opinion at work; should children in their autistic foxholes have their perspectives heard and respected, or should they be seen as getting it wrong when they disagree with those exercising authority over them.
    Your “who will hear or even believe or understand how it is useful, no one I know of for sure so far but me”, applies there. The perspicacious perspective they come to in their existential foxholes, so exquisitely tailored to meeting their own needs to survive and thrive, that its veracity simply passes unnoticed and un-noted through the membrane of interface with a contextualising collective.
    Your reference to prayer sees me thinking in terms of “faith”. I’m thinking of ontology and epistemology in one person. It strikes me that what provides individual integrity in the foxhole, is akin to the collective ontological/epistemological exercise being run within one person. Such that we have something akin to an absolutely self-reliant faith action at the centre of things.
    So there is an indeterminate constituency running perspective (sensing, feeing, thinking) a contextualising collective is in others instances deeming madness (and crucifying individuals thereby), who are not being drawn completely into the vortex of a collective’s reductive meaning-making. There is a constituency of guerrilla survivors in foxholes.

    I think Dr Cornwall’s linking of neuroscience and psychiatry and the effects of a psychiatry defining itself in term of neuroscience, then succeeds in placing the overall field of this in perspective; giving grasp of fundamentals thereby. Discourse becomes possible because succinct grasp of a phenomenon has been offered.
    One of the difficulties then is (and I think of my situation at work this week), that it is challenging to bring that comprehensive perspective into play (with colleagues) in realtime practice.. Part of that difficulty is that such potential discursive partners would themselves have to imaginatively cross the Rubicon of entertaining what is collectively deemed in and of the realm of madness (mad sensing, feeling, thinking, talking, theorising).

  16. To all,
    Here is another remarkable survival tool,safe for all including children. The strength and form is adjustable. Can be a daily tea drunk any time or made into a herbal extract to stop voices or tone down extreme states .Usable for any situation or condition by anyone safely. Used as an extract if head ache or diarrhea occur it will pass next time use smaller amount. As tea or extract it makes anyone relaxed without making thinking dull.
    The Formula was taught to me by Joseph Liss ND the most brilliant human being I ever met for whom curing cancer was a routine event. He called this his All Purpose Compound Tea and he drunk it daily . I experimented with it and used it as an extract when going through an extreme state.Here finally ,to be mixed in equal parts and organic is Doc’s Tea……Fennel,Alfalfa,Elderberry,Nettle,Anise,Dandelion,Uva Ursi,Yarrow,Comfrey
    Make it ,Enjoy it, Use it
    ColinB897, Make some of this tea for everyone in a discussion. Communication will be better. Even for the kids in your care if they will allow it.
    Fred