On June 6, I wrote a post titled Psychiatry DID Promote the Chemical Imbalance Theory. The post generated a number of comments, five of which were from TherapyFirst, who in his first comment identified himself as Joel Hassman, MD, a practicing psychiatrist.
Dr. Hassman did not argue with the general notion that psychiatric practice today consists almost exclusively of the prescription of drugs. Indeed, in one of his own blog posts on June 16, 2013, he wrote in an open letter to newly qualified psychiatrists:
” . . . you are now agreeing to basically just prescribe medication and give limited, selective diagnoses that serve insurer and/or bureaucratic agendas first and foremost.”
” . . . your interest will be narrowly directed to prescribing more likely multiple medications from moment one of meeting the patient . . . “
And this general position – that psychiatry consists essentially of prescribing drugs – continues to be evident in his comments on the MIA post.
But then he introduces a twist that I haven’t encountered before – he blames the clients for what he aptly calls the “chemicalization” of mental health. Here are some quotes:
“Everyone rails about psychiatrists and other prescribers just dumbing down mental health care complaints to writing scripts, but, in the last 10 years or so, people come into treatment venues just wanting drugs, and dismiss any other intervention for care, irregardless of how appropriate and indicated as a standard of care such a treatment is warranted.”
“Seems to me it fits the antipsychiatry narrative at the end of the day. It is easier to crucify the doctors, harder to attack the general public who are reinforcing ‘better living through chemistry’, eh?”
“Sorry, but if there is going to be a valid and honest discussion/debate about who is at fault in the ‘chemicalization’ of mental health, don’t just pick on the doctors. Patients are pervasively demanding drugs, often ones of abuse potential of late, and have little to no interest in problem solving nor wanting to implement real and effective change for the better.”
“…where are the muzzle prints on these ‘victims’ foreheads that demand they take medication?”
“…you as a patient come to someone with an expertise and then have the gall to argue and demand interventions that do not fit as treatment A for the problem in front of the clinician, and I am to refer to him/her as ‘victim’?? Get real!”
As I noted earlier, this is an unusual and complicated perspective. On the one hand, there’s an element of truth in Dr. Hassman’s position. A great many people do indeed go to psychiatrists for the specific purpose of obtaining a prescription. And I think we can believe Dr. Hassman’s assertion that some of these individuals may become impatient and dismissive, and perhaps even demanding, when invited to explore other options.
But on the other hand, drug prescriptions are psychiatry’s stock in trade. It’s what the vast majority of psychiatrists offer, and what their customers have, reasonably and legitimately, come to expect. I have even heard numerous reports from clients that they were pressured by psychiatrists into taking pills.
I’m old enough to remember a time when outpatient psychiatry was almost entirely a talking and listening profession. Depression was considered a fairly ordinary and understandable phenomenon – part of the human lot, so to speak – and remediation was conceptualized as being largely a matter of seeking support and solace from friends and loved ones, and of making positive changes in one’s circumstances and lifestyle. In extreme cases, people did consult psychiatrists, but the purpose of these visits was to discuss issues and problems – not to obtain drugs.
I imagine that psychiatrists in those days felt that their years of medical training were somewhat wasted. The problems that they were helping people address were not considered medical in nature, except perhaps in very extreme cases, and there was nothing particularly medical about the “treatments.” And, of course, there were fewer psychiatrists.
Obviously things are very different today, and I think the fundamental questions here are: how did these changes come about? and, who’s to blame?
There is an obvious parallel between the growth of psychiatric prescribing and the growth of the illegal drug trade over the past fifty or sixty years. It is also obvious, and generally accepted, that the illegal trade is driven by demand, and would collapse overnight if that demand were to dry up.
So the question arises: is what Dr. Hassman calls the chemicalization of psychiatry essentially a product of consumer demand for drugs? And, of course, the answer, at least to some extent, is yes. If people stopped going to psychiatrists for prescriptions, then psychiatrists would have to either disband as a profession or find something else to do.
But there is another side to this coin. People who deal in illegal drugs make no pretense that their products are medications. For psychiatrists, however, this is their primary marketing tool. For decades, they and their pharmaceutical allies have promoted this fiction using every means at their disposal. Very few psychiatrists have distanced themselves to a significant degree from this position.
They have spread the seductive deception that virtually all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are caused by neurochemical imbalances which can be corrected only by ingesting their products. They have issued, and continue to issue, dire warnings as to the consequences of not taking these pills. They have persuaded parents that their children’s brains are impaired, and that even toddlers need to take the pills. And so on. The whole sordid tale has been exposed many times, but psychiatry, without a hint of shame or compunction, continues to spread this self-serving and destructive deception. In fact, at the present time, psychiatry, as represented by the World Psychiatric Association and the American Psychiatric Association, is actively working to improve its tarnished image with a view to expanding its market even further.
So, Dr. Hassman is probably correct when he writes that some clients do come to psychiatrists to obtain drugs, and are resistant to alternative suggestions. But I think there’s a bigger issue:
A steady stream of individuals, of all ages and from all walks of life, coming to psychiatrists for drugs is precisely the objective towards which the psychiatric leadership and vast majority of the rank and file have worked diligently for the past fifty years.
It wasn’t the customers who invented and disseminated the term “a chemical imbalance, just like diabetes.” And, it wasn’t the customers who wrote and expanded the DSM to provide an impression of legitimacy for the drug-pushing activity. That was psychiatry!
* * * * *
This blog first appeared on Philip Hickey’s website
Behaviorism and Mental Health
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.
Hi Dr Hickey,
I’m surprised at your comment about introducing a twist you haven’t seen before.
Never seen a DARVO?
Deny, accuse, reverse victim and offender. It’s a common tactic of many domestic abusers. I think we may see here a strategy when the game is finally up.
Glad you responded to Dr Hassmans comments.
Why do so many otherwise reasonable people agree to taking psychiatric drugs? – Its because the doctor tells them to, and people trust doctors. This year there were 57 million prescriptions for anti depressants in the UK. Can any country be this depressed?
Thanks for commenting. There’s a very compelling article by Andrew Yoder on Mad in America this week. He touches on this general topic, and it makes great reading.
Thanks for acknowledging me Philip. Andrew Yoders article is brilliant and full of goodwill.
In my opinion Mental distress is only ‘like diabetes’ in the sense that with some diabetes a change in diet and lifestyle can pull someone free.
I see the chemical approach as more like an industrial agriculture approach.
I’ve heard it called “flip the script,” but I hadn’t previously come across psychiatrists blaming clients for demanding drugs. Usually, they complain that the clients won’t take the drugs! Thanks for DARVO – that’s a nice acronym.
we’re dealing with a deeply ingrained societal issue…everyone is in on this in some regards…
that said starting with blaming the patients is ridiculous…if we look to the balance of power and authority — who has it?
pharmaceutical companies and doctors…
blaming vulnerable people who are trying to survive is misguided and also likely to further traumatize an already struggling group of people.
still, we must, as this website and me and you Phil Hickey, have been doing — encourage all folks who are impacted to see that we can certainly become educated and empowered and ideally with time and education and growth and maturity learn to doctor ourselves with appropriate professional guidance and partnership when and if needed.
As always, well said!
Doctors have the ability to refuse the medication (actually it’s their responsibility – to prescribe only when to the best of their knowledge and clinical experience it’s medically advisable) and they also have an ability to force meds on you (at least these who work in hospitals and crisis centers). So psychiatrists can spare me the bullshit that it’s patents’ fault. It’s like doctors treating cancer prescribed chemotherapy to people who don’t need it because the patients demanded it. It’s obscene.
I see you sent a comment to my blog, Dr Hickey, so I will comment here this one time to reciprocate as respectfully as I can offer in this forum.
So, to you and the followers here, educate all of us physicians what to do with the growing number of patients, especially in Community Mental Health Clinics, who have NO interest to approach care in a multifactorial manner, just medications. I sincerely say this, if the message from the “psychiatry critics” is so irrefutable, why hasn’t this message found a way to impact on some sizeable portion of the general public? Patients are not showing any decrease in drug seeking, no, it is a steady increase in the past 5 years, at least.
And I like the way the narrative here frames it as “blaming the clients/victims”, which to me shows some subtle disrespect to the framing of the interaction in this process, they are “patients” to us. It really does reinforce the “narrative” that defines the antipsychiatry movement I have crossed paths with these past 4 plus years on the Net. Ignore the 95% of debate and commentary that might encourage fair and reasonable discussion, but just hone in on the 5%, the random chance mistake or diverging view an author or commenter makes, and then not only shine the spotlight on it with 10,000 lux lighting, but make sure any moderate or unbiased reader is sufficiently blinded and has no ability to see there is more to the commentary/discussion that might actually have validity and make sense to why a position is held.
Oh, and while the detractors to psychiatry have some valid criticisms and concerns, they don’t own the debate and run the discussion alone.
Please read the Open letter Dr Hickey links to above at Cantmedicatelife.com, not to solely go to my site, but read the post, period. You might want to look at some other related posts, if interested, and I say up front you don’t want to read my political posts, as I am very cynical and outspoken about our political system these days. In my opinion, politics as illustrated by what I feel this blog exemplifies as the extremist and zealot attitudes that fuel our alleged representatives at state and federal levels.
Been practicing 21 years now, do the best I can do with the little left I have options to provide and encourage patients to explore for care interventions, and yet I will end this one time comment at this thread with this challenge for those readers who are genuinely interested in care and support, provided by physicians with responsibility, integrity, and concern for individuality:
DO YOU THINK WITH THE USUAL SUSPECTS AT BLOGS LIKE THIS WHO ARE VEHEMENTLY AGAINST MEDICATION USE, IT WOULD END IF PSYCHIATRY STOPPED PROVIDING MEDS FOR CARE AS A FIRST INTERVENTION? DO YOU HONESTLY THINK THE ATTACKS WOULD NOT THEN TRANSFER TO ACCUSATIONS OF DISRUPTIONS AND VILE INTENT WITH THERAPY?
I think this post today reinforces my points about the antipsychiatry movement. But, I do appreciate some direct approach to a discussion, even if it will be framed in a narrow and boxed perspective.
You have your choir, Dr Hickey, and I am not one of them. Again, thank you for the heads up in your comment to me earlier today about this.
Have fun, everyone.
Joel Hassman, MD
Board Certified psychiatrist
I hadn’t read your piece.
I want you to know that just as psychiatrists are not a completely homogenous mass, neither are the folks you’re herding all together here as anti-psychiatry.
I and many people like me who also frequent and/or write for this site are extremely pragmatic about reality on the ground as it is today. Meds are necessary with much more frequency than would otherwise be the case given the total and complete lack of any sort of infrastructure of care that might support meaningful alternatives. The thing is some of us have a vision of a better world — one in which the infrastructure that could support real options for choice exist…one in which the need for medications truly would be a rarity.
I work towards that end…it doesn’t mean I don’t see what is going on here and now. It’s a very important distinction.
I have some pieces that speak to that here:
To my friends and readers who still take psych drugs (and to everyone on and off meds too)
at the bottom of that post is a collection of other pieces that also deal with these issues of where we are vs. where we will hopefully move towards…a healthier and saner reality. Not being able to see shades of grey seems to be an issue on all sides of these arguments.
also, to the doctor again, as some others have now talked about in this thread, my experience too, when I very seriously sought alternatives to drugs while under the care of a psychiatrist I was not offered anything at all…it was drugs or nothing.
The only way I was able to free myself many years later when it became clear the drugs were killing me was on my own as I could not find a doctor who knew anything about withdrawal. I’ve now networked with 1000s of people all over the world. There remains virtually no MDs that know much about withdrawal. I literally had to learn about withdrawal through my own experience and now have helped 1000s of others free themselves. —
I know more about withdrawal now than I care to know frankly. We are living in the midst of a nightmare that the medical establishment widely denies.
Being forced to take drugs is the experience of some very significant percentage of folks who didn’t want to take drugs. Many of those people end up gravely harmed. I am included in that group. To deny our experience doesn’t really make any sense. A whole lot of us never wanted drugs and were harmed by them…that doesn’t change the reality that other people want drugs and only drugs…and actively seek them.
People are endlessly diverse and have many different and conflicting experiences…so we have to have space in our minds to consider many different experiences if we want to grasp what is going on broadly in society.
I made this comment already and I’m concerned that it may have been censored. My point was to thank Monica for emphasizing that the psych reform movement includes a vast array of positions. IMO, some of them are extremist to the point of absurdity and these harm the credibility of the movement overall.
Monica – Just a supremely well-worded statement in your blog that I am sure you are consistent with in every sense. Thanks for linking it.
I fit here and there into the constructive criticism implied, but assuredly believe that there are as many answers needed as their are individuals in need, and then some. And as you point out, far too many options are off the table and now impossible, and many impossible to get information on by the intentional designs of established careproviders and the doctrines they go on and demand allegiance to (“Got Insight?”) and, generally, as hard as it is to believe, expect to see result in expressions of gratitude to them. As Dr. Hickey explains, these are complicated positions….
Wow, you are expressing a lot of anger. Are you sure you are directing it at the right target? In my experience (and I have a lot) with our psychiatric system, it’s always been the doctors who are demanding adherence to the medical model. Nattering on about financial woes or an unhappy marriage will only get you labelled lacking in insight.
I am heartened that you promote a multifactorial approach. I would certainly consult a psychiatrist like you.
I’m an educated man but I find it hard to understand Joel Hassman’s comment. I get the tone, outraged indignation that he has been misunderstood or quoted out of context or something? But I don’t get the overall gist of any argument.
I did look at his blog. What I saw read to me like an angry defense of his profession. He may or may not be justified but he shows little understanding of the anger of people who have been seriously damaged by psychiatry.
It’s not just you, John Hoggett. I, too, find Joel Hassman’s rant in this comment section to be pretty much incomprehensible. Like you, I get that he’s miffed and defensive. At least he is able to express that much pretty clearly.
I also took a look at his blog, titled “Can’t Medicate Life.” The very first words under the title are these:
“If you want to get better, take a pill”
LOL! Why is he lambasting, blaming, and shaming psychiatric clients who are simply trying to follow that advice?
Your quote is dishonest because it’s clearly out of context. The header on Hassman’s blog actually reads “If you want to get better, take a pill, but if you want to get it right, face the truth.”
The quote, “If you want to get better, take a pill, but if you want to get it right, face the truth” is bad science and bad medicine. If you take a pill you have a small chance of getting better, you have a better chance if you take nothing.
That, according to this website, is the truth.
ha ha ha ha WHAT “context”?! How is quoting the first half of Joel’s nonsensical buzz phrase “dishonest?”
With reference to your comment about Dr. Hassman’s quote, I’m not sure, but I think what he meant was: if you want a “quick fix,” take a pill…
Thanks for clarifying this Philip, however my basic argument still stands. You may not get a quick fix, things may get dramatically worse.
And that is the truth.
Also, when I see a professional for emotional distress I like to see someone who understands me and who communicates well. I do not see that in that quote or his general tone. That worries me
Unfortunately that’s my impression too. I don’t want to extrapolate too much from a bunch of internet posts but he sounds a bit arrogant. I appreciate that he understand some issues with meds but the rest of what he writes is either incomprehensible to me or appears as defensive/passive aggressive.
Yes, also someone who is not arrogant, dismissive and/or demeaning in general. Also, someone who is coherent more often than not.
I’m worried too.
Phil, yes he certainly did mean that as would be obvious to anyone from the context.
And Suzanne, quoting 1/2 of a sentence that suits your purpose as a stand alone is a dishonest citation.
I disagree, Francesca. The second half of Joel’s buzz phrase is a non sequitur, and the first half “if you want to get better, take a pill,” has everything to do with what Joel is whining about. But if making a harsh judgment about me gives you some kind of jollies, go for it! Cheers.
That was harsh judgement? You can’t summarily dismiss the second half of a sentence that utterly changes the connotation of the first half.
Francesca, I see the phrase as a non sequitur. But thanks for sharing your perspective on what is “obvious to anyone” and for judging my comment “dishonest.”
Dr. Hassman – People have chosen the “chemical cure” throughout history, and even without biological psychiatry, some would still do so. But PhARMA has spent from $40 to $60 billion per year on promotions for a few decades, and psychiatry has been right there with them. The promotion has been about getting our entire culture to interpret daily experience – sadness, fears, worries, spiritual struggles, interpersonal conflicts, sense of being overwhelmed – all in terms of physical brain illness. As Healy argues, mental “diseases” were marketed more than their chemical cures. Once one is convinced they have a brain disease, the pills almost sell themselves.
Psychiatry embraced this: ran with it via DSM,
with individual psychiatrists accepting tens, hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions per year from PhARMA in speakers’ fees, lending their names to ghost written journal articles, consulting contracts – not to mention millions in PhARMA research grants (or research institutes) for med schools, and dozens of pages per issue of PhARMA ads in major journals, and the PhARMa-funded APA convention.
Psychiatrists who resisted risked their licenses, their jobs or seeing their career hit dead ends. The vast majority of psychiatrists did nothing to correct the excesses or untruths pushed at the public by PhARMA. Psychiatry was silent in the face of direct to consumer TV ads pushing SSRI’s “thought to correct chemical imbalances.” Ronald Pies claims – ridiculously – that no well-trained psychiatrist in the past 30 years endorsed the chemical imbalance theory. But even if that were so, psychiatry still sat by and allowed PhARMA to push this marketing ploy on the public.
Where is the groundswell from psychiatry against journals’ refusal to withdraw obviously inaccurate (if not fraudulent) articles like those promoting Paxil’s Study 329? Why hasn’t psychiatry led the charge against ghost written journal articles, or decried drug companies’ billion dollar pratfalls in court over Zyprexa, Risperdal, Neurontin and others? One reason PhARMA’s promotions have been so successful is that, in the face of PhARMA’s campaign, psychiatry has been, at best, supine, and more often than not has eagerly abetted PhARMA.
Psychiatry needs to speak out – forcefully and often – against PR juggernauts that mold opinions in ways that hurt patients. So do psychologists, social workers, counselors and primary care doctors – I fault these too-often lazy and cowardly professions too (I am often ashamed that I belong to one of them). But none has had remotely so much to gain from this juggernaut, and none has so passionately embraced it, as psychiatry.
Beautifully put! Psychiatry has never acknowledged, much less apologized for, these wrongdoings. Today they’re busy – with media help – re-inventing themselves as dedicated, ethical, and selfless practitioners. I think it’s important to maintain focus on this truly scandalous aspect of their profession.
This entire response of yours strikes me as very smug and condescending. All it does is reinforce my attitudes against certain psychiatrists who believe that they are the sole authority on everything, especially my own particular life.
It seems as if you’ve chosen to dislike everyone who comes to this site, no matter what any of us believe about all this “mental illness” business.
As to your claim that all people want when they come to the community mental health clinics is the toxic drugs; that’s what is punded into their heads when they’re “patients” in so-called “mental hospitals.” Take your drugs, take your drugs, you’re not getting out of here until you start taking your drugs is the mantra that they have to listen to day in and day out. There are no alternatives provided to anyone in the state hospital where I was once a patient and where I now work. The only “treatment” is the toxic drugs and no other message are allowed to be given people receiving the “treatment.” What do you expect people to do when they get free from these places, but to go and do what they were told. Give me a break!
This was directed at Dr. Hassman.
Thanks for coming in. Good point.
Joel, I do appreciate your comments and agree that clients demanding drugs is a very significant reality. However, I can’t agree that this client action happens in a vacuum, as your comments seem to suggest. Our culture has undergone significant changes in how we conceptualize what a “mental illness” is and how to treat it. This is especially true since the DSM III came out in 1980, and it did not happen because patients suddenly started deciding to demand drugs. It appears from the history I am familiar with to have been an intentional move directed from the heads of the psychiatric profession to position themselves for a greater market share and to aspire to a more “scientific” approach to mental health. Which was not entirely ill-intended, I have to say – the approach to mental health in the 60s and 70s was anything but scientific. Unfortunately, however, scientific started to mean physiological, for a lot of reasons that don’t have a lot to do with the actual health and welfare of patients. Loren Mosher’s experience with the Soteria House project is proof enough of that – Soteria patients clearly did just as well over the medium range as anyone receiving hospital/drug treatment as far as symptoms, but did better in terms of social variables, and cost less to care for, but somehow, the project was de-funded and Mosher was persona non grata. This is not science, it’s politics, and I think it is important to recognize that fact.
Another huge factor you are ignoring in your comments is the effect of DCT drug advertising, which is banned in most industrialized countries, for very good reasons. One look at the Zoloft commercial with the sad little circle guy and the dramatization of serotonin nerve transmission should quickly answer the question of why consumers sometimes come demanding drugs: they have been lied to and have believed that the “scientists” at Astro-Zeneca and so forth have their best interests at heart. This has happened in medicine in general, not just in psychiatry, and it is a very predictable result of the use of the magic brainwashing device called television to promote propaganda about the ostensible causes of mental illness. A recent survey showed over 80% of respondents believed that depression is caused by a lack of serotonin in the brain, despite that theory being pretty much discredited in the mid-80s. This is the result of effective propaganda campaign of which Goebbels himself would be proud.
That being said, is it not the physician’s responsibility in the end to correct any misimpressions that the patient may have about treatment? Isn’t it really your job to tell someone, “Drugs can lead to a temporary reduction in symptoms, but will most likely impact your health in a negative direction the longer you take them. The first line of defense against depression is to make lifestyle changes. Here is a list of effective options.”
Yes, US culture is degrading and more and more people are relying on drugs to solve their problems. Some of them show up in your office. I don’t think that absolves you or any other doctor from being honest and prescribing only those things that are likely to help. You can’t personally defeat the entire onslaught of DCT advertising personally, but if you and others like you are honest with patients, we can start moving the culture back into a more sane assessment of the real risks and benefits of drug treatment. It is not your fault the public has been duped, but it is your responsibility to un-dupe as many people as you possibly can, and not simply blame them for being gullible to forces that are way bigger than them as well as you.
Steve, great comment, very well said.
” who are genuinely interested in care and support, provided by physicians with responsibility, integrity, and concern for individuality”
In fact, I am genuinely interested in getting MD degree holders completely out of the picture when it comes to taking care of people’s problems of living. MD degree holders should stick to issues of the body -and that would include the brain as in the case of neurologists with diseases like Alzheimer’s or CJD- , where their training and expertise are directly applicable.
For “problems of living”, get institutional professionals completely out of the picture, be them MD degree holders, PhD degree holders or experts in theology. If you have problems of living, trust your friends, family or pastor. If you don’t have any friends, family or you are an atheist, too bad. Please do not expect me to pay for you to contemplate your existential problems or to mask them with poisonous psychotropic drugs.
” If you don’t have any friends, family or you are an atheist, too bad.”
“If you don’t have any friends, family or you are an atheist, too bad.”
Well, I agree with what you’ve write up to this point. Surely we have to provide help for all people. It’s just not right to drug peoples’ problems and cause a whole another array of them in the process. The extreme selfishness of the society is the root of modern day evil, the idea that everyone is responsible only for oneself and not others.
Very much agree with what you wrote and write in general.
“Patients are not showing any decrease in drug seeking, no, it is a steady increase in the past 5 years, at least.”
Great. And that proves exactly what? Drugs are advertised on a massive scale as safe and effective and making your life full of sunshine and butterflies.
In the end it’s your responsibility to prescribe or not the drug according to your knowledge and assessment and not because patient says so. If the patient wanted heroin would you also prescribe?
It’s madness to say that the general public somehow generates the problem. The general public doesn’t know better because they’re drowning in propaganda from pharma ads on one side and psychiatric establishment on the other side (with fake grassroots organisations like NAMI in the middle). It’s simply ridiculous to say that they patients should know better and what can a poor psychiatrist do. And even more to expect that some lone voices, not backed by millions of dollars such as MIA can be very effective in educating the public against PR specialists and people wearing white coats.
As to general points you make about the movement – I suggest you read other blogs on this website about different criticisms and visions for alternatives presented by the antipsychiatry movement you describe. Yes, some of us also criticise some forms of therapy other than drugs simply because it’s based on premises just as flawed and potentially harmful as drugs. People have read your comments and understood them and the criticism of your view is of picking on 5% – it’s a valid criticism of the concept you presented.
Once again, thank you for your article, and I agree many within the psychiatric industry do basically nothing but blame the patients. Although, I am now aware of the fact psychiatry has turned itself into legalized psychotropic drug pushers, so no doubt there are many patients who are addicted to drugs going to psychiatrists seeking their drugs, to get high.
And I personally believe part of the reason there is an increase in the number of drug addicts is because of the psychiatric industry’s disingenuous claims that their psychotropic drugs are nonaddicting “medicines,” that cure fictitious “chemical imbalances, when in reality that is untrue. Many of their drugs are chemically identical to street drugs, and these disingenuous claims are increasing the numbers of people becoming addicted. And the medical community promised to “first and foremost do no harm,” so theoretically patients should have been able to trust medical doctors. But now we have to “doctor ourselves,” Monica, you are correct.
As to psychiatric practitioners coercing and forcing patients to take these psychotropic drugs, this is absolutely true. In my case, I was told, “If you do not take all the drugs as prescribed, doctors will call you paranoid.” That was a threat. And, as I’ve mentioned previously, I was eventually shipped to a doctor, and forcibly medicated, whose now been arrested by the FBI for having lots of patients medically unnecessarily shipped long distances to him, “snowing” patients, ordering unneeded tracheotomies for profit, resulting in many patient deaths. And, according to all my family’s medical records, these coerced and forced psychotropic drugs were mandated so paranoid of malpractice suit doctors could cover up a “bad fix” on a broken bone, a bad drug cocktail given to cover that up, a “Foul up” with Risperdal to further cover that up, anticholinergic intoxication poisoning to further cover that up, and medical evidence of the sexual abuse of my four year old child by a pastor and / or his wealthy friend. I was drugged up based on a list of lies and gossip from them, according to my medical records.
My point is, blaming the patients is not always appropriate behavior. There absolutely are doctors inappropriately forcing patients onto the psychotropic drugs for reasons of greed and complete lack of ethics.
My last few appointments with a psychiatrist they have refused to provide me with the drugs I’ve requested.
My first appointment consisted of being jumped in my bed whilst asleep by police ready to tazer me, and mental health workers, evidence of an illness fabricated, and shoved into a police van and deposited in a filthy cage. I was then assaulted by a doctor and finally got examined by a psychiatrist who said there was nothing wrong with me and out on the street i went.
When i stepped in front of a truck because of these events and spent 6 months in hospital they said i was ill. Psychiatrist said that it was as a result of the trauma caused by my original detention. A good man’s life destroyed because the mental health worker had a liability issue.
Now they won’t give me an overdose.
One minute they’re dragging you out of bed and can’t wait to stick a needle into you, the next they won’t assist in resolving the problem that they caused.
Funny people really. I do like the idea of living where you guys do, where if your having problems you make an appointment and go talk to the doctor etc. Sounds like that might have a future.
Yes, I too was illegally dragged out of the comfort of my own bed by five paramedics, while the sixth one told the other five that what they were doing was illegal, since I was “neither a danger to myself, nor anyone else.”
“Funny people, really”, or sick, twisted and disgusting? But, hey, at least the doctors defrauded my insurance company out of $30,000 for a bunch of unneeded psychiatric “torture.”
Your position is that there was absolutely no reason to believe that you were posing a danger to yourself or others? You were sleeping soundly when your door was kicked in by 6 goons and you were dragged off to hospital? There was no indication that you were suffering from a serious mental disorder at the time? If this is true, it should have been front page news.
No, I had suffered from a sleep walking / talking problem, one night ever in my life. And this sleep walking / talking disturbance was likely caused by drug withdrawal induced super sensitivity issues. However, my husband and I had not been informed by the doctors who’d weaned me off the drugs that people suffer withdrawal issues from the psychiatric drugs. So out of ignorance, my husband called the paramedics.
But I awoke when they got there, explained my dream, and agreed to just go back to sleep. That’s when the five dragged me out of my bed, while the sixth said that that was illegal since I’d agreed to just go back to sleep and I was neither a danger to myself, nor anyone else.
Except, apparently I was a “danger” to ‘paranoid of malpractice suit’ doctors wanting to cover up a prior “bad fix” on a broken bone, which had been covered up with a bad drug cocktail, then further covered up with a “Foul up” with Risperdal, then even further covered up with egregious drug cocktails that have major drug interaction warnings claiming they cause anticholinergic intoxication, a known form of drug poisoning.
And, unfortunately, I was taken to my local hospital, which was no longer covered by my new insurance group, since I’d changed insurance groups upon the recommendation of a doctor, due to all the prior blatant malpractice by doctors who worked through that hospital.
That hospital ended up inexplicably putting me on a hypnotic drug and shipping me a long way to a doctor whose now been arrested by the FBI for having lots of patients medically unnecessarily shipped long distances to him, “snowing” many patients, ordering unneeded tracheotomies for profit, resulting in many patient deaths.
We have some major lack of ethics issues going on within our mainstream medical community. And my pastors did read all about it, and explained that what happened to me is exactly how doctors have historically covered up their easily recognized medical mistakes. And with the new HIPPA laws, pulling off what my pastors called the “dirty little secret of the two original educated professions” is much easier.
Google iatrogenesis, I think the Wiki article still confesses it’s a well know lack of ethics problem that doctors often cover up “easily recognized iatrogenesis” with “complex iatrogenesis,” then resort to the “controversial iatrogenesis.”
I had no prior personal or family history of mental illness, and the etiology of my supposed “bipolar” was a misdiagnosis (according to the DSM) of the ADRs and withdrawal symptoms of the bad drug cocktail consisting of Voltaren, Ultram (given due to the “bad fix”), and Wellbutrin (given for smoking cessation). And, according to my medical records, the doctor who I paid outside my health insurance for a second opinion from, unfortunately ended up being friends with the people who raped my four year old child, so I was misdiagnosed based upon a written list of lies and gossip from them.
I should have empathy for you due to the fact your child was harmed by the lack of ethics of the psychiatric profession, and I am heartbroken due to the staggering number of children being attacked, but you claim I have no credibility because I was attacked by unethical and greedy doctors. That doesn’t strike me as polite, Francesca.
To clarify once again, Francesca, it was the paramedic who claimed I was “neither a danger to myself, nor anyone else,” not I. Although, he was correct. My dream just prompted me to want to drive down to Chicago, and sit in Daley Plaza, in the hopes of seeing Mayor Daley. Silly, I know, but it was a dream.
But in real life, Mayor Daley’s father had given my great grandmother a diamond watch years and years ago, as thanks for her public service, so supposedly Mr. Daley and I were friends in my dreams. Silly, probably, dangerous, no. But there actually are lots of people who feel they are awakening to something known as a “collective unconscious” or “unity of souls.” So who knows?
I think you’ve confused me with another commenter — I don’t have any children.
I didn’t mean to imply you had no credibility. It’s just that I believe there may be more to your story than you have divulged or more than you are aware of.
If you were neither a danger to yourself nor anyone else and if your husband can testify to that, I cannot imagine why this hasn’t been addressed in a lawsuit.
The historic, and current, function of psychiatric stigmatization is to discredit a person, so they may not find a lawyer, Francesca. And that was the problem I ran into.
It should be front page news.
The trouble is that the victims of these interventions in many cases are subjected to the smear of mental illness, something you seem to be suggesting yourself.
These good people who we trust wouldn’t do such a thing. Abuse their position of power?
Any complaints and one is then subjected to the psychological abuse of being told it didn’t happen, and the argument from authority proves it.
The deaths and destruction of people’s lives that result from these interventions are easily covered by blaming the victim. The cost is borne completely by them, so why should the mental health worker be concerned. They will either get repeat business from their actions, or the person will end up on a slab in the morgue, proof that they needed their help.
It’s quite an act of projection that the person who is the real danger to self or other is given the power to do that damage to others with impunity.
This one actually did make the news here.
Mr Dimer has since disappeared. Can’t blame him really.
The numbers of people who were being killed at this particular hospital did get out of hand for a while. Necks broken during restraints etc.
Yes, boans, all my doctors projected their own sins and problems onto me, according to my medical records. And the mainstream medical mantra is seemingly all about blaming the clients (so doctors can cover up their malpractice and medical evidence of the sexual abuse of little children for pastors). Charming, huh? How embarrassing, I used to think doctors and pastors were respectable, what a fool was I!
Read all about the doctor who medically unnecessarily detained me, V R Kuchipudi:
And you’re right, boans, I was smeared. According to the medical records, I was admitted by Kuchipudi with a “chronic airway obstruction.” But I’ve never in my life had any “airway obstruction” problems, other than the first 5 minutes in that hospital. However, according to the medical records, the only really important medical concern during this “airway obstruction” issue was for the medical workers to double check that I actually was an organ donor. (Take your name off that list, if you happen to be kind enough to have put yourself on it.)
But, thankfully in my case, the “airway obstruction” did not result in “brain death.” What’s really weird, however, is that this “chronic airway obstruction” somehow magically turned into “bipolar,” and resulted in a disgusting “snowing” problem that lasted for ten straight days.
I had picked up my medical records, and had them for a while. But it wasn’t until I’d read Kuchipudi’s arrest warrant in 2013, and understood his MO, that it occurred to me that I was admitted with a fictitious “chronic airway obstruction,” because that is what is “cured” with the profitable unneeded tracheotomies.
Truly, it is the psychopathic doctors that are the dangerous ones, not the 135 lb innocent woman who was disappointed and upset because my ankle was not properly fixed, and my pastor and / or his best friend raped my little child. But the unneeded psychotropic drugging did result in a spiritual awakening, maybe? who knows? At least it’s an interesting story. It’s a story with tremendous hope and lyrical beauty, but not a lot of kudos for the group whose now commonly unrepentant “mistakes” are the number three killer of all Americans.
The doctors have too much power. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We’re at the absolute corruption point. We need change!
Yes someone else,
The interesting thing i noticed about the case of Mr Dimmer posted above was that they gave him someone else’s medication and nearly killed him. After he was released he was then detained again for something like 4 weeks.
They were trying to shut down any complaint he might make. I’m sure he was treated very well during this period, and groomed accordingly.
I did read the arrest warrant for Kudipuchi et al. I was surprised they even got caught. Somebody in the system obviously didn’t like him lol.
When I questioned the social worker whose lies were used to send me to Kuchipudi, I was told she mistook me for another person with the same name. Perhaps that’s a common excuse for medical crimes?
As to why Kuchipudi got caught, he left the hospital I dealt with him at, right around the time I sent that hospital the medical evidence of his (and his psychiatric partner in crime’s) “snowing” of me. Perhaps he became too much of a potential liability? But I think he was possibly caught because he continued his shipping of many patients who’d dealt with prior malpractice to him, at a much smaller hospital, so his crimes became much more obvious … but that’s just a theory.
But he may also have been caught because of the absurd amount of drugs he was prescribing to patients in general:
Boans – Please quit seeking to work out how and when to end it all with violence to yourself. Make a commitment to posting here all the time instead. I really want to see more mentions of things like “the argument from authority” in the threads. Okay?
I love Francesca how you believe that these things cannot be done and if they are they generate a scandal… Getting people out of their homes and beds happens often for no good reason, based on a facebook comment on other such non issue and the actions are then justified by lying in official documents and the phrase that solve it all “danger to self and/or others”. The hospital I was locked up in has a long history of abuse, which was widely reported (and is just a tip of an enormous mountain) and they have happily lied in my documents to justify their actions (or omitted drug names and dosages). How do you think one, especially “severely mentally ill” is suppose to fight it when one has no money and patient advocate is good friend with the doctors and there is no evidence except my word (crazy person) against good psychiatrists? I find your ideas about reality of so-called “crisis interventions” hopelessly naive.
I don’t think of my psychiatrist as a drug dealer: I accept that she does all she can to talk with me (about MY problems mostly) but like it or not, at the end of the day, she’s not the junkie.
Now, could I pay for my sessions out of pocket? No; even though I think they’re worth it, perhaps I’m just tilting at windmills, I can’t reconcile the fact that I believe in talk therapy with the fact that she is silent on my ‘habit,’
my worry is that taking a pill is avoiding ‘disruption and vile intent’ that hide behind the veil of prescription drug use; thus I’m really feeding my ‘psyche’ with cowardice, lies and irresponsibility: what got me my diagnosis in the first place and; because I’m not independent enough of the people around me, I have never redressed.
I am not a better person for having had a psychotic episode. However I was not alone for the journey, and for this I have forgiven those people who had to provide me with a drug and abandon me to myself.
Thanks for coming in. Please read Andrew Yoder’s article on Mad in America.
Philip Hickey’s argument is that people demanding drugs for mental distress is due to the power of drug companies and psychiatric institutions who are complicit with the drug companies. It is a bit like the rising obesity levels which are due to cheap fats and cheap sugary foods being sold by supermarkets. Do we blame the person buying the food, the shop worker, the manager, or the profit driven supermarkets?
In a profit driven system the cheapest, most unhealthy product that makes the biggest profit for the corporation wins out.
Corporate greed is to blame. But only a stupid, horribly misguided society believes it’s acceptable to worship worthless pieces of paper above all, while harming, torturing, and killing people in any hypocritical and sick way you can dream up. The unrepentant currently in charge are grotesque.
This is a fair point. But I don’t think that anyone in the “cheap fats and cheap sugary foods” business is pretending that these products are wholesome. But psychiatry does make that false claim for its products. In fact, it goes further, and promotes the notion that they are necessary to treat their fictitious illnesses.
Really good point John. There is a school of thought that says- “Hey- you didn’t have to eat at McDonalds, or buy sugary cereals, or purchase energy drinks, cheetohs and Top Ramen.”
And while I agree that the consumer does play a small role, they are up against a sustained media advertising blitz and are selling foods that are addictive and easily purchased in stores all around you. They are also generally cheaper than whole foods such as organic produce and grains.
Similarly with Big Pharma, there is a sustained marketing blitz to “sell” these drugs as health producing and efficacious. Learned doctors then parrot this information to the point where its very difficult for the average “customer” to examine alternatives.
Who is at fault? For the lion’s share I would say Big Pharma/Doctors/Insurance Companies/NAMI.
Some people ask for drugs because they are advertised on TV all the time, along with cartoon images of neurotransmitters coming out of a brain cell and going into another one, along with a narrative reinforcing the idea of chemical imbalance. (Only US and NZ allow Rx drug ads to public.) Some people ask for drugs because they believe that these drugs are scientifically studied and are the best responses/solutions to their broken brains. Some people ask for drugs because they are habituated/addicted/dependent etc. on them, and can’t withdraw despite trying. Some people ask for drugs because their family/friends take them. Some people ask for more drugs from the physician because they trust their doctor to do the best for them, and believe that docs still adhere to “Above all, do no harm”.
And some people ask for drugs because they go to the many “information and education sessions” held all over the country, said to be about research and therapies for “mental health”, that are sponsored by patient groups and academic centers, paid by for profit drug and device firms etc. , where they are told about new drugs and treatments to ask their doctor about.
Thanks for coming in, and for drawing attention to the cartoon images of brains. These facile images are one of the truly despicable aspects of psychiatry-pharma promotions.
Philip Hickey, I must say that was the perfect use of the word facile. You are my favorite blogger here. I hope your writings reach the masses someday.
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So, Joel, does that mean you stand 100% in support of doctors like V R Kuchipudi, and his multitude of greed inspired crimes committed against many patients? And agree with my former psychiatrists that I, and the FBI, have “odd delusions” Kuchipudi’s behavior was inappropriate?
And does it become embarrassing ever to have it pointed out that the way in which the psychiatric community gained it’s societal power, other than just because selling drugs for fictitious disorders is really profitable for the pharmaceutical industry, is because your industry has historically promised to cover up easily recognized malpractice and sins for the incompetent doctors and wealthy or religious child molesters? There’s no valid science behind what you do, it’s all just “social control” for the unethical “elite,” currently in charge.
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“Psychiatry should not exist”? Tell us how that is different from the rhetoric of the Nazis saying Jews should not exist.
Again, hypocritical of me to comment, but when do those of you who want to be legitimately heard distance yourselves by ostracizing this extremist ugliness to where it belongs?
Your silence as a group is why responsible and fair people avoid you all like a plague.
Umm, maybe write “incompetent and unethical psychiatrists should be removed from practicing”. Then you have a legitimate and respectable forum.
Hate seems to sell well here!
Joel Hassman, MD
No. You either misread my comment, or are deliberately putting words in my mouth. I said “psychiatry,” not “psychiatrists,” should not exist. I don’t hate anyone and I don’t wish anyone harm. I do, however, think humanity would be better off without your profession. That’s all.
There are some hard won stories of overcoming overwhelming circumstances that I admire, and there are wonderful advocates, some of them writing out of desperation here on MIA- however my story is “Dr. Strangelove, or how I learned to love the pill” – you can call people nazis but that doesn’t make them or you Hannah Arendt. Even nazis can live with themsleves.
If I ever recover my full independence then I won’t feel ashamed for seeking psychiatric help. I will have moved on.
Jews are people, psychiatry is an ideology, not dissimilar to National socialism.
People are avoiding the ugly truth, not dissimilar to the way the existence of the camps in Germany was denied.
Mechanisms for removing those unethical and incompetent psychiatrists would certainly be one way to maintain some credibility for the profession.
Of course silencing dissent has been so effective.
I think that there is a key subtlety that you are missing here which I will explain with one of my famous analogies.
Those like me who believe that psychiatry should be disbanded as a medical specialty ARE NOT saying that there is no value in humans supporting/helping other humans. What we fail to see is why that responsibility of “helping” people with their life issues needs to fall in MD holders whose vision of “helping” , for the most part, is to push drugs into people. And those who do not push drugs do not add anything you cannot get from a non MD trained person.
The analogy has to do with sex/love. Being against prostitution does not mean that one is against sex or love.
Similarly, being against an institution, psychiatry, whose primary job is to invent diseases with the goal of imposing behavioral “normality” in society -by force if necessary- and to enforce that “normality” by putting people in drugs, does not mean that I do not believe that people have “problems of living” or that people shouldn’t be able to take as many drugs as they want.
Just as the solution to having people unable to find love/companion IS NOT to increase the supply of prostitutes, I do not think that the solution for people to having problems of living is to increase the supply of psychiatrists.
Data from the World Health Organization shows very convincingly that those developing countries that have adopted “metal health policies” along the lines of what Western psychiatry recommends have seen measures like the suicide rate increase. It’s like increasing the supply of prostitutes, I am pretty sure that the STD rate would increase too.
So, continuing with the analogy. I am sure that not all pimps are bad people and that many people -including prostitutes- are thankful to said pimps. But that is irrelevant as to what the role of prostitution should be in society to deal the the problem of people feeling lonely/needing sex (particularly men).
Similarly, the discussion of the disbanding of psychiatry is completely orthogonal to the fact that among so many people there surely are some who are nice people.
And certainly, even if society were to decide that prostitution is fine, it would be an abuse to force medical plans to pay for people’s “sexual well being”. You want to go with a prostitute, you pay out of your own pocket. Now all Obamacare plans need to cover mental health and substance abuse “treatments” which of course is an abuse since that means that people like me who will never see a psychiatry again voluntarily in their entire lives will have to pay higher premiums so that some people can see drug pushing psychiatrists.
So the abolition of psychiatry as a medical specialty is just that, about psychiatry, not about the issues that psychiatry “allegedly” addresses which more often than not are made worse off through psychiatric interventions.
The argument that Insel used to ditch the DSM and to rethink psychiatry is precisely that outcomes have worsened with the way psychiatry is practiced currently https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeZ-U0pj9LI . I think he is a fool to believe that all major problems of living and thought will be fixed by a better understanding of brain circuitry, but at least he recognizes what you fail to see: in its current form, more psychiatry means worse outcomes.
The analogy has to do with sex/love. Being against prostitution does not mean that one is against sex or love.
Great analogy I totally agree with.
Um one is a job description, the other is thousands of years of cultural identity and history. A small but significant difference, or so I think
The anger runs both ways. Here is a tiny sample of the negative comments I’ve received on my website in the past few months.
“…you are a deluded liar who most likely failed all academic work and probably runs this poor excuse for discussion in psychology to fuel your narcissistic personality disorder. Did you know your type of incoherent and grandiose language is characteristic of schizophrenia? Best see a psychiatrist – you know, man of reason and science…”
“It’s people like you that make things increasingly difficult for those who suffer with mental illness–you demean it. Do you think people want to be forcibly hospitalized or on medication for the rest of their life? If dragging down an entire 25% of our population really makes you feel better about yourself, then I suppose you’re well on your way. I’m not going to insult you by telling you to kill yourself because that would mean you would have to believe in at least a portion of mental illness and we all know that you’re incapable of that–you’ve been spewing your own bullshit so long that you now believe it, it seems. It probably feels very courageous to sit behind a computer screen and degrade people, doesn’t it?”
“I spit on you. I hope all your children, their children and their children suffer like I have and you have to see it the terror and confusion in there eyes.”
And I receive these expressions of anger because I maintain that the problems psychiatry addresses are not illnesses, and that the drugs psychiatry administers are not medications. But I knew what I was signing on for when I started blogging in 2009. I knew that there were individuals who were so invested in the mental illness identity, and so dependent on the drugs, that they would interpret my words as attacks on their very sense of self. I routinely make one attempt to engage these individuals in dialogue, and I don’t take their vituperation personally. On the other side of the coin, there are a great many people who have been harmed by psychiatry, and who are also angry. And I think they have the same right to express themselves as the former group. On my own site, I don’t censor or moderate either class of comment. Anger is an intrinsic part of this landscape, and will likely remain so for some time.
We don’t write in a vacuum, and these are not ivory tower issues.
Psychiatrists have the power of the state backing them, whereas Jews had the power of the state opposing them. Psychiatrists are a professional organization, Jews were ordinary citizens. Nazis were a political entity attacking a cultural group. Psychiarists are the political entity, and they are both defining and attacking a cultural group. There is a huge difference in power between a group of people trying to live their lives and a group of people backed by political and social power trying to tell other people how to live their lives.
I am not down with hate speech or overgeneralizations against psychiatrists or anyone else, but the analogy between people protesting psychiatric abuse and people plotting the extinction of a cultural/ethnic group based on an ideology of superiority does not hold up.
Please try not to make sweeping insults, Joel. No one “avoids me like the plague.” And the only people I’ve ever had a major problem with in my entire life are the people who raped my innocent four year old child, the doctors who wanted to cover up their easily recognized iatrogenesis with complex and controversial iatrogenesis (psychiatric defamation and anticholinergic intoxication poisoning), and those continuing to cover up the abuse of my children and attempted murder of me due to an “I don’t want to pay you,” after defrauding millions from your family, problem.
I have not heard of, “responsible and fair people,” avoiding this site like the plague. I’d be interested in hearing more about who they are. Maybe you meant something else. If so I’d be interested in what that was.
I think that, “Psychiatry should not exist” is as valid an opinion as, “Psychiatry should not exist” The first does need an explanation, otherwise it is merely an unexplained opinion, but it still a valid opinion. Psychiatry is only a profession after all, and to say it should not exist is no more Nazi like than saying motor engineering should not exist, or the fur trade, or the death penalty. No, I’m not comparing psychiatrists to furriers or executioners. I’m saying it is valid to say a profession should cease.
Personally I’m easy on this issues. I just think psychiatric diagnosis are invalid and most psychiatric treatments cause more harm than good. So as long as psychiatrists mainly do what other professionals who work with mentally distressed people do, ie talk and a bit of social work, I’m fine with the profession continuing.
“Psychiatry should not exist”? Tell us how that is different from the rhetoric of the Nazis saying Jews should not exist. (…) maybe write “incompetent and unethical psychiatrists should be removed from practicing”.
You’ve just generated a double strawman. Firstly, it may be the valid point to want to stop psychiatry as it has practiced and understood since it’s dawn and one is entitles to such a view. I can’t see how that compares to Nazism. Secondly there’s a difference between wanting to remove psychiatry as a discipline and wanting to get rid of psychiatrists (as say ban their practice as harmful) and wanting to get rid of psychiatrists physically (I guess that’s why you invoke the Nazis).
I’m not happy with the quote either because I don’t approve of using psych diagnoses as put downs but I must say that I’ve been thinking this discussion over and I do think Dr. Hassman has some cause to criticize us. Some of us do make preposterous arguments and are content to rant and rave rather than get busy with realistic improvements to our mental health system.
I agree. Its more important to me that we affect actual on the ground change then to tilt at windmills talking about the complete cessation of psychiatry. My initial hope is that prescribing patterns would change, just as they have changed for opiates. In the last five years it has become increasingly hard to get prescribed large doses of opiates for interminable periods of time.
This has been due to increasing iatrogenic damage and deaths caused by opiates. I am hoping we can see a similar examination of benzos and then a much more cautious approach in the prescription of those as well as other psych drugs.
I think its possible that the work of Whitaker and others can especially help us to examine a low or no-drug policy for those going through a first time psychotic break
This is not some pie in the sky fantasy. It requires patience, media exposure and publicity, as well as thoughtful dialogue…yes dialogue…with those who will actually be making the changes…doctors.
This comment was meant in reply to Francesca’s comment above.
Yes, survivor rage although understandable is not productive, in fact it’s very counterproductive. We should have welcomed Dr. Hassman here and encouraged respectful dialogue. Both sides could have gained a lot of insight about the other. There’s not a lot to be gained by insisting on speaking only to people who share your point of view. Let’s all of us make a pact to do better next time.
I think Survivor Rage is wonderful. It sometimes spurs people on to doing more than commenting on a blog.
Sometimes I’ll talk to people who have opposing views, sometimes not.
I’m not joining the pact.
I’ll leave the moderation of comments up to the moderator.
Thoughtful dialogue with Dr’s is only one tactic and it is not for everyone.
Thoughtful dialogue is not always appropriate.
I have friends engaged in campaigning against the sponsorship of major arts organisations by fossil fuel companies (it is a climate change issue for one thing, the oil company gets good publicity for a very small amount of its profit). They do not engage in thoughtful dialogue with the arts organisation or the fossil fuel company. They do however engage the public in humorous guerrilla art events at fossil fuel company sponsored art events.
The time for dialogue with the enemy is when you are winning. Prior to that you need to gain allies and undermine the enemy sufficiently that they are prepared to talk, and preferably surrender
I get that in all movements there are various parts. In the environmental movement in the 80s and 90s to save old growth forest land, there was a need for tree sitters, loud protests; as well as lawsuits and political action in Congress. Eventually huge stands were placed out of reach from logging due to bills passing in DC.
Similarly in this movement there is a need for multiple spokes to the wheel: i.e. Angry voices, protests, media campaigns, judicial and political action.
At the same time. I often see our group as marginalized, seen as too radical, zealous, perhaps aligned with Scientology, etc. I wonder if an excess of rage and bile turns off a large group of people who could possibly be swayed.
Jonathon – Again to you. I hadn’t read this yet before the other rejoinder. Thanks to John Hoggett for hos eloquence and to in return for the introspective reply. Back my mind goes to Dr. Hickey, we need all the voices–not in unison, but in light of shared knowledge of the dimensions and importance of the problem. It is huge and terrible.
Jonathon – Maybe you are signed up for comment notices. (I usually just re-visit threads.)
The tilting windmills metaphor is not in itself off, but your application is a bit rigid. Really, the development of analogies and thinking over hypotheticals can open up directions for ideas not found in any other way. Cannotsay’s analogy is very helpful, for instance. And if we can’t stand believing what we know, that people are getting right now misled, abused, detained, thinking about what must seem a nice thought, though too unrealistic to become a fact, is not destructive or merely idle. But it could be. It just isn’t so much evidently the whole of the truth as it happens to take place here.
So, on track with what you’re usually saying, from my viewpoint as a survivor, the biggest problems are from leaving criticisms unmade and questions unasked, and it is easy for anyone to be guilty of that. Myself and many others got no help at all from decades either of compliance or questioning, take your pick. Like Dr. Hickey has reminded us, the anger is natural and the imaginations getting carried away are likewise not an offense, not a major hold-up. The cream rises to the top here pretty much as anywhere, and most commenters want more of that cream, basically, is how I explain outbursts and rants as well as compliments and skeptical remarks.
There are prescribing guidelines for benzos (time restriction) and psychiatrists happily ignore those and are not held liable for it. Plus opiates are prescribed for things they’re actually helpful with (pain reduction), psych drugs’ efficacy as anything than major tranquilizers is kid of questionable.
“who will actually be making the changes…doctors.”
Doctors are only going to make the change if they’re kicked hard enough. It’s not like asylums were closed and abuse exposed by the good docs and nurses who worked there. Sure, there were a few but it was the public outrage that forced policy changes.
Psychiatric victim blaming: How it works
1. Lets prescribe addictive drugs like Clonopin to clients and make fat stacks of cash !
2. When our clients get addicted/dependent we make more cash for the psych industry with addiction treatment and get clients to blame themselves and teach them to say “hello my name is… and I am an addict ” as confirmation the blame is on the client and not on psych pharma for selling drugs that cause wicked dependence and addiction.
Addiction is a genetic “disease”:
It’s not our fault our drugs got you hooked, your brain is defective and so is your DNA…
People without defective brains and good DNA don’t get addicted to Clonopin and Xanax.
Didn’t you listen when you went to treatment ???
I think psychiatry’s position would be that people “without defective brains” and having “good DNA” wouldn’t be prescribed Clonopin and Xanax.
I’m willing to believe that there can be a genetic predisposition to addiction, making some more likely than others to have trouble coming off meds.
So am I when I see scientific proof of this or maybe a DNA test.
I think withdrawal is worse for some than others is due to the fear of not having the drug snowballing into more fear.
The belief “Without the drug I will have a panic attack” causes a panic attack.
Beliefs are not genetic.
Since pretty much all human traits appear to have a genetic component, it’s not unreasonable to guess that some people may have more trouble with addiction than others do.
I agree with you that actual “beliefs are not genetic” but tendencies appear to be. A fearful person who is prone to panic attacks is more likely to have trouble without Xanax at the ready.
I know you are incorrect about psychiatry refusing to force medicate people with “good DNA” and “without defective brains.” Because shortly prior to my being drugged up, I had had 40 hours of unbiased psychological career testing done. That 40 hours of unbiased psychological career testing found no psychological problems whatsoever, and I was told I should be a “judge” or an “architect.” And, I had an IQ in the borderline genius range. And I had zero family history of any psychiatric problems. Plus I, and all my relatives, were graduates of very respectable American universities and many were medical doctors, bankers, and dentists. My dad was even arguably the number one MIS specialist in the nation in the banking industry in his day; but, that of course was when the banking industry still was ethical, respectable, and fiscally responsible. My point however, is no “bad DNA” here. Can you agree? (Albeit, I concede, my family has historically, and my children are also, not within the “bell curve” intellectually – top 1% instead, and we are much more moral and ethical than most.)
And how do you psychiatric practitioners test for “bad DNA” anyway? My understanding is there are no tests to check for such a derogatory claim.
But, I ended up being force medicated by various psychiatrists – according to all my family’s medical records, so doctors could cover up a “bad fix” on a broken bone of mine and medical evidence of the sodomy of my four year old child. Plus, my ex-pastor’s denial of the granddaughter of the head of the investment committee of the board of pension of a major US religion a baptism. A pastor sin marked indelibly throughout eternity at the exact moment our current “religious” war began on 9.11.2001. (My daughter was denied a baptism to cover up the sexual abuse of my son, if that isn’t innately clear to you. And I’ve learned from sexual abuse survivors this means my ex-pastor’s involvement in the cover up of the sexual abuse means he was likely involved in the child sexual abuse.) And, according to my medical records, I was misdiagnosed based solely upon a list of lies and gossip from the people who abused my children.
So how can you prove unethical or deluded psychiatrists don’t force medications on people who don’t have “defective brains”? Or can you prove my brain was “defective” or I do not have “good DNA”?
Especially since my subsequent pastors, who were kind enough to read all my chronologically typed up medical records and research, were kind enough to explain I’d dealt with the “dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.” And by confessing this to me, they meant that historically, and obviously today also, psychiatry’s role is to drug up women and children to cover up sexual abuse for the religions and easily recognized iatrogenesis for the incompetent doctors.
What’s your proof psychiatrists don’t force medicate people “without defective brains” and / or “bad DNA”?
Someone else, I think you’ve misunderstood me. I don’t believe there’s such a thing as “bad DNA.” I’m just saying that from psychiatry’s point of view, it’s the assumptions of bad DNA and general biology that is their justification for chemical intervention.
With kindness, I’d like to suggest that your narrative of your child’s not being baptised having some kind of connection to 9/11 may have been the kind of thing that psychiatrists wrongly attributed to neurobiology.
Just an FYI, Francesca, I never discussed that with doctors, I didn’t think it was that big a deal initially. But I was drugged up based upon lies and gossip from the pastor, according to my medical records, so he must have thought it a good idea to cover up that sin. And my subsequent pastor shuddered when he heard about the sin, implying he thought it an egregious sin.
So you don’t believe in “Bad DNA,” but you assume it exists?
I think that “from psychiatry’s point of view, it’s the assumptions of bad DNA and general biology that is their justification for chemical interventions” is a big part of the psychiatric industry’s problem. Because, first of all, assumptions aren’t related to any sort of scientific validity or rational thinking, it’s just assumptions. And weren’t you taught as a little child that when you assume, you make an “a– out of you and me?” And, you’re current day “assumptions of bad DNA” is basically like the Nazi psychiatrist’s assumptions of bad DNA in the Jewish people. Don’t you agree?
As to the fact that my child was denied a baptism at 10am on 9.11.2001, I didn’t discuss that with doctors. I didn’t think it was such a big deal, because another pastor did baptize my daughter. But I was drugged up based upon a list of lies and gossip from the pastor who denied my daughter a baptism, according to my medical records, so that pastor likely wanted to cover up his sin. It hadn’t actually occurred to me that denying a baby a baptism was an egregious sin, until I told my next pastor about it, and he shuddered in horror.
I think it’s key to examine this idea of the “patient responsibility”. In some ways there is truth to this idea. In an ideal world, all people should have a full awareness of the implications of taking prescription psychiatric drugs, their complications and long term effects on health and problems with withdrawal.
Unfortunately, most people don’t. They are not fully informed…and that is fully the responsibility of the doctor and any pharmaceutical companies selling the product. And when a drug is shown to cause tremendous complications, that should be explained….fully. Sorry…no free ride for a doctor because well…the patient wanted it.
A clear example of this is benzodiazapene prescription. I have worked with countless people who have become easily hooked on these drugs when they went and consulted a doctor for sleep issues, insomnia, etc. and then down the road it becomes next to impossible to quit them without horrendous long term withdrawal complications. The doc doesn’t get a free pass because…well…the patient asked for them, or because…he saw an ad on TV for Xanax.
We have moved to a quick fix paradigm of mental health for many reasons. It’s lucrative for pharmaceutical companies and doctors (15 minute med check ins are way more lucrative and easy than 1 hour psychotherapy conversations). It’s a simple way to manage distress…stimulate and sedate. And in the short term it appears effective. (Give a manic person a boatload of tranquilizing drugs and they’ll come down pretty quick). It feels impossible to truly help people due to the overwhelming need and the lack of resources…so it is easier to do something, anything…even if that means just throwing a drug at the problem.
But the toll is piling up. The adverse drug reactions are increasingly apparent. Those injured by psychiatry are not staying silent. The underlying suffering is not being fully addressed. Monolithic solutions to complex narratives end up feeling false…and often lead to worsening problems.
Doc Hassman, I hope you stick around. I always appreciate hearing various voices, especially when I disagree.
I don’t know about it being “fully the responsibility” of the prescriber. With the Internet so easily available, I think there’s some onus on the patient to at least investigate what they’re being prescribed.
I agree that there is some onus on patients…but the top searches on the internet will mostly take you to sites that promote the idea that mental illness is a disease that needs “treatment” in the form of psychiatry and perhaps therapy. The leading advocacy group NAMI certainly promotes this so it takes a little more work to ferret out alternative viewpoints. Then individuals have to either take the advice of doctors and NAMI, or…people on the internet.
But I agree that there is a certain segment that certainly know what they are choosing and understand the risks and benefits. There is also a segment that are focused on shopping for the more addictive benzos and opiates. But many of these have been unwittingly hooked on these drugs by doctors in the first place.
Creating more places on the web for accurate and clear information about the true pros and cons of psych drugs is a really important mission. It can also be helpfuyl if this information is explained by folks that don’t “have an axe to grind” like many of us here. One good spot is askapatient.com. You can see first hand reports of how the drugs affect people with ratings for the drugs.
You’re quite right, Jonathan. And upon thinking it over, I remember that it was my skepticism that led me to my research, not the other way around. Also, in general, it is not unreasonable to assume at first that a medical professional has a patient’s best interests in mind and is going to make the best decision based on his medical training and experience. Perhaps I should have said that patients really ought to do some research, not that they have an obligation to.
I agree with Jonathan. Finding accurate information on the web has been difficult, especially when one is drugged on mind altering drugs, but also because patients on the web have only been been pointing out psychiatry’s crimes against humanity for just over a decade. But psychiatry’s knowledge, based upon the medical journal articles, of the adverse effects of their drugs – and thus, harm of patients – has been known within the medical industry since well before 2000.
Plus, how embarrassing for me to have to confess, I used to naively believe in the promise that doctors were there to help people, and “first and foremost, do no harm.” I thought doctors had taken the Hippocratic Oath. But since you doctors want to blame the patients, please stop advertising that you’re experts in the drugs, and advertise that you no longer promise to “first and foremost, do no harm,” rather than perpetuate your fraud. Please be honest. Then you will have a right to blame the patients.
Poor people don’t have access to the internet, Francesca.
Not to mention all the children who are prescribed drugs and have absolutely no power or control.
“I think there’s some onus on the patient to at least investigate what they’re being prescribed.”
great an then people complain about “Dr Google” and internet educated conspiracy theorists. How is a person with no medical or biological background supposed to do all the research on every drug they get? Especially when they get these drugs prescribe usually when they are deep in the black hope and feel bad or unable to function in one way or the other? It’s all nice and advicable for people to get educated on any subject but the responsibility for prescribed treatment lies solely on the doctor.
The toll is indeed piling up. And I don’t think we’ve begun to see the extent of it.
“In an ideal world, all people should have a full awareness of the implications of taking prescription psychiatric drugs, their complications and long term effects on health and problems with withdrawal. ”
In other words they should be able to write their own prescriptions. That’s an absurd notion. Of course it’s advisable for everyone to inform themselves and check on the doctor but in the end he’s supposed to be the professional who knows what he’s doing. Even if the patient is dumb as a doorknob it does not excuse the malpractice.
Regarding people seeking drugs/meds for a cure/treatment.
“For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.” .” wrote Thomas More.
Regarding “I have even heard numerous reports from clients that they were pressured by psychiatrists into taking pills.”
The trick with the drugs, is that if a patient is genuinely ill, they must be taking medicine for the illness. If the patient is NOT taking any medicine, they can’t be that sick , can they?
With no physical evidence of disease, the patient can not receive disability (welfare) payments.
One doesn’t need to provide physical evidence of a disease in order to collect disability benefits. Fibromyalgia (I believe) can’t be physically confirmed yet is grounds for benefits. If fibromyalgia isn’t a good example, there are other diseases without objective diagnostic tests. The criteria for receipt of benefits is (and ought to be) a genuine inability to support yourself financially.
You need a diagnosis… you can’t simply write in “the patient’s feeling bad”.
I don’t know why AA’s comment re: Joel’s documented and public attitude toward so-called “anti-psychiatry (which, apparently, Joel might consider everyone who visits this website) was deleted.
This what AA had quoted from Joel’s own blog:
“Frankly, I know in my heart that most of these buffoons who just rail away and claim they were mercilessly abused by doctors and other mental health care providers in these alleged efforts to seek care, well, we are reading Axis 2 crap at it’s worst.”
(I found the quote in like two seconds on there, and I also saw that he’s even tagged some of his blog-posts with, “antipsychiatry and their personality disordered problems.”)
It seems to me like this information ought to be here since other subsequent comments refer to it.
Oh wild, this comment^ posted out of order, right around where AA’s comment had been.
I don’t understand why my initial comment was deleted and would appreciate a response from a moderator. As you wonderfully pointed out, what I quoted from Joel’s website is quite relevant to this this discussion and frankly is extremely insulting.
Well dang, AA, now one of my comments is gone, too. The only thing I can figure is that it was ruled as having violated the posting guidelines because I had said that the quote you provided showed that Joel wasn’t serious about discussing anything here.
That conclusion on my part was based on Joel’s own words, such as addressing everyone on this website as “anti-psychiatry” in his comments, and the quote, in which he says that all such “anti-psychiatry” people are “buffoons” who make up psychiatric abuse stories as a result of their “axis 2 personality disorders.” Given how I reached that conclusion, that you were correct about Joel not really being here to discuss anything, I personally don’t see why my comment was deleted.
I respect the need for moderation, and appreciate that modding calls can be tough, but I just wanted to state my case that I was not personally attacking Joel and I was not attributing anything to him that he had not already written himself.
Oops, I was wrong. The comment I referred to as having been deleted is still here somewhere; it says “your comment is awaiting moderation.” Oh well, then I’ve stated my case in advance…
I guess since AA’s now deleted comment was the first in a thread, its deletion caused the subsequent comments to be organized differently(?).
Hi Uprising. I sent messages to all the comment authors yesterday after the comments were removed to the moderation queue… check your email?
Just a reminder that in most cases, discussion of comment moderation in a thread is considered off-topic: http://www.madinamerica.com/posting-guidelines/. For the sake of transparency I’ll share the moderation rationale here, but if you’d like to discuss this further we should move the conversation to email or the forums and leave this comment section for discussion of Philip’s blog post.
There were two issues with the comments. One, they ascribed motivation to another person when that person’s actual motivation cannot be stated as fact. Two, the comments pertained to the character of a person, rather than to the substance of that person’s ideas. As such, they constitute a form of ad hominem — a mild one, as personal attacks go, but nevertheless not the kind of engagement we’re trying to foster here.
You might well argue that with his documented public attitude Joel has contributed to the shutting down of dialogue himself, and also engaged in character attacks and the ascribing of motivations to psychiatric survivors. The fact remains that MIA is asking all participants in conversations on this site to take the high road and work toward opening up constructive dialogues. Play the ball and not the player, essentially.
I hope this makes sense. I’m open to talking more about it with you if you like, but I can’t get into extended debates about moderation decisions here in the blog comments.
Fair enough. Thanks.
In Austria there are over 130000 people addicted to meds. Explanation: “underlying mental illness”. I kid you not. They get addicted to wonder drugs because they are ill and not because the drugs are addictive, overprescribed etc. Blame the victim all over again.
“antipsychiatry and their personality disordered problems.”
It doesn’t require much comment. That’s indeed a line welcoming dialogue. That is exactly what people point out that persuing dialogue with people who want none is a futile endevour.
Whoops that comment was meant for Francesca 5 posts up.
Comment removed for moderation.
As one who has tried very hard to be respectful to Dr. Hassman on other blogs and haven’t felt it was reciprocated, I have a totally different take. I felt many posters were very respectful and made some great points that were never addressed by Dr. Hassman. I will leave it at that since I don’t want to risk having this comment be deleted but my point is that it takes the willingness of both parties to have a respectful dialogue.
We need to effectively warn the public about the dangers of psychiatry . Dialoging with psychiatrists or big- pharma or the government is about as productive as trying dialog to convince a gold miner during the California gold rush of 1849 to put down his pick and shovel stop murdering Indians and stealing land that is not yours.
Wow, your own site seems to at least somewhat echo my point of view:
” “Now we see a huge rise in support groups, we see pressure brought to bear to bring in labels.” He said parents and teachers also put enormous pressure on physicians to label and treat children.”
Yeah, we the doctors are still the primary villains even to this day, truth that doesn’t fit the narrative here needs bashed and buried!
Incredible! And save your typing, I won’t be replying further, talk amongst yourselves.
Joel Hassman, MD
Look at Dr. Hassman’s last post. He specifically posts because he found a blog entry supporting is point of view. Again, in my opinion, he never responded to the posters who were respectful to him who had a different take.
I am sure there plenty more Dr. Hassmans in psychiatry. You seem to think we are too radical and I just trying to point that folks who have been respectful have gotten nowhere with him.
And as Phil pointed out in a response to me which I didn’t respond to (sorry about that), he has found it impossible to dialogue with psychiatry and he certainly is not what any of us would call a crazy extremist.:)
I don’t know Jonathan, you strike as a reasonable person but it seems you are asking for the impossible.
Finally, your criticisms remind me of the flak a relative took as active feminist in the 70s. Stop being so radical was the constant mantra. Well, that wasn’t worth didly when for example trying to get police to stop treating rape victims as criminals.
Finally, I have seen responses to various posts I have made. My apologies for not responding as I am suffering big time brain fog and have a hard time keeping up with everything. But if I see something have missed, I will try to respond.
I am compelled to respond to you AA, simply because you have no idea who I am and what I do in my office, yet make comments like you do.
First of all, what problem do you have when I say I don’t want to participate here, but, I think you do it to bait me, so congratulations, you win this time. But, while you get a return comment, I think people need to know what I have ascertained about you between here and 1boringoldman.com.
You don’t like psychiatrists, and offer some superficial pleasantries and then go for the jugular when you sense it is time to pounce.
I hope there are more psychiatrists like me, because I believe I practice psychiatry the way it was intended: to treat people as individuals, find out who and what they are about, and then come up with a treatment plan that hopefully intervenes with the issues that drive the need for care. I.e. bio-psycho-social factors, and believe me when I write this, meds are not my first choice over 50% of the time, but, as of now, people rebel and outrage when I mention therapy and self reflection to consider change with social factors.
So, I accept the charge of hypocrisy in writing this comment, and hope the authors will allow it simply because I am accused of things I would like to rebuke as accepted as legitimate defense, and, I would like people to come to my blog and debate me in honest and fair fashion.
Hey, you might prove me wrong with something, and shockingly, I will acknowledge it, and gasp, thank you for the correction!
But, as I wrote at a post at my blog this weekend, I am not timid, not reflexively letting people be labeled as victims without accountability as comfortable sharing, and, I moderate.
There are some sending comments, and so far ALL are being printed. Because I think people who want to engage with me want dialogue and debate, not shout downs and raging without limits.
Hey, if you are interested, I will be working in Frederick Maryland for two months come July. See me as a patient or as an interested personal discussion, you might walk away seeing me as a responsible and respectful doctor, and genuine person.
Zero tolerance for antipsychiatry though. Rigidity and inflexibility does not deserve efforts to engage when shown to be “my way or no way”. Hope this reply is worth your consideration, AA. And to be fair, I don’t want to dialogue with you anymore after this post, sorry if that is received as me claiming “the last word”
I just give up interacting with you. Be safe, be well, and thrive as productively and effectively as you can.
Joel Hassman, MD
Thanks for a good laugh Dr. Hassman. I think it is interesting you wrote what you did without addressing the specific issues I raised. I think your profession calls that deflecting when faced with issues that are too threatening to you.
You keep replying in vague generalities that come across as attack mode and nothing more in my opinion. So what you perceived as my going for the jugular was extreme frustration with what I felt was your hypocrisy.
Just like you claim that I am clueless about you, I would make the same point regarding what you claim to know about me. So let me set the record straight as I have done on previous blogs.
I do not hate psychiatrists although I despise most of what psychiatry stands for. But as I previously mentioned, there is a neurpsychiatrist/sleep specialist out of my area that I know has helped people with withdrawal issues. If he were taking patients, I would see him in a heartbeat due to my sleep issues.
My point Dr. Hassman is I am anti BS which seems to occur frequently in your profession. However, you don’t seem to disagree based on your various posts on other blogs.
I have also constantly made the point that abolishing psychiatry will not solve the problem with the overprescription of psych meds since I feel that the BS of psychiatry has seeped into “mainstream” medicine. You conveniently overlooked that.
I know this is going to shock you but I actually don’t doubt you are a different person off line than on the net. You so remind me of a professional (not a psychiatrist) on another board who I bet is the exact same way.
Regarding whether I baited you, you’re the one who chose to respond to what I said. I think you need to practice what you preach about taking responsibility for your actions.
Sorry Dr. Hassman, one more comment and then I need to stop.
I am sure you are familiar with your colleague, Sandra Steingard, you writes on this blog. Have you ever asked why she is great respected even by folks who vehemently hate psychiatrists? I don’t expect a response but I wanted to throw it out there for your consideration.
I was going to make an appt, but I honestly don’t want to be referred to as
“These Axis 2 shitheads, they are out to not only ruin your life, but some are genuinely ready to take your lives if you don’t genuflect to narratives and agendas that will cause much harm to your neighborhoods, your cities, your states, your country, and this planet.”
Nor do I like to know that my hairstylist or doctor referred to any friend or family member as a “cretin”, although the name calling does not make them a cretin.
Yes, I agree with you Joel, I don’t do well with inflexible and rigid personalities either.
I think you should be allowed to post comments with complete abandon and no moderation.
Because it would only strengthen your hatred and dislike for cretins.
I will reiterate, I think there is an important distinction between professional voices, who I believe have a responsibility to be fact-based and fair and honest about admitting to possible counterarguments or new data, and survivors, whose rage is 100% appropriate and should not be edited in any way. It is not the survivor’s job to make the perpetrator feel more comfortable. Imagine if we said that a child abuse survivor needed to curb his rage so we could have a more rational discussion with those who believe that some child abuse is not so bad, or a rape survivor who was cautioned not to be too confrontational so that those in political positions to make changes to rape laws aren’t offended or scared off.
Survivors have every right to their feelings and to have them be heard. It is the job of those of us within the system or professionally advocating for change to choose our tactics and strategies based on political necessity. It is important to do that work, but not at the expense of silencing or muting the voices of those who have been harmed. If the psychiatric profession can’t handle hearing the direct impact of its own actions, then dialog is unlikely to be productive in any case. It is only through conveying the honest voices of those who have been damaged that we can enforce any kind of change with those who don’t want to hear the truth. It will require others outside of the mental health profession, along with the few but hopefully growing number of courageous “insiders,” to really bring about the change that we want. And those outsiders are moved to action by stories like Justina Pelletier, not by statistics or science. We need rage and honesty as the motivating energy to alter the status quo. It won’t happen by peaceful negotiations, even if dialog does eventually become a viable part of the picture.
So I say, let the rage fly! It will be up to Jonathan and me and others like us to put those feelings into more digestible portions for the weak-hearted “insiders,” many of whom know the truth but are afraid to speak up. My hope is that your stories will inspire them to greater courage.
“Obviously things are very different today, and I think the fundamental questions here are: how did these changes come about? and, who’s to blame?”
Obviously, the answer is: because drugs work. Very simple. If people did not respond favorably to the meds they were prescribed, they would have stopped taking them. Obviously, a great many people were helped. How ridiculous it would have to be to expect to sell billions and billions of dollars worth of these products if they were ineffective.
Have you ever heard of placebo effect? Do you know that placebo effect in psychiatric disorders is much higher than for majority of physical illness? People get better on homeopathy which is essentially water.
Not correct blakeacake. Many people stay on the meds because when they try to get off, the withdrawal symptoms are horrendous.
Of the 34,000,000 Americans taking antidepressants, how “many” use them because withdrawal is terrible?
There is no way of knowing the exact figure since many psychiatrists and doctors still think withdrawal ends after two weeks. They also taper patients way too quickly so as a result, they falsely blame withdrawal symptoms on a return of the illness.
For anecdotal evidence about withdrawal issues, you might want to visit http://www.survivingantidepressants.org. Also, if you are good at searching the web archives, please search for http://www.paxilprogress.org as unfortunately, it was taken down by the site owner last year. But it started in 2004/2005 and had thousands of folks who were suffering from withdrawal and came to this site for advice on tapering slowly.
Surviving antidepressants.org has been in existence since 2o11 so there aren’t as many cases. Hopefully, there won’t be but I can’t say I am optimistic.
By the way, blakeacake, there were many people given horrible tapering advice by their doctors who found their way to these sites and were successful in doing it slowly. But many folks learned too late about these programs. Additionally, many people never learn that withdrawal symptoms are keeping them on the psych meds and that is why they stay on them.
One more source – Read the antidepressant solution by Dr. Joseph Glenmullen who describes a case history with a patient who didn’t need the med any more but was staying on it due to horrific side effects. I know one case history is not proof of anything but it will give an idea of what the issues are in getting off of psych meds.
Finally, let me give my own experience. Many years ago, I cold turkeyed off of Prozac due to horrific side effects.
The next day, I came down with horrible depression when there was no reason for me to be depressed. Everything was going great at work and in my life. I didn’t realize until I started tapering off of psych meds that it was the CTing of the med that caused this reaction and not a relapse of my depression.
Anyway, I hope you will keep an open mind about this issue.
Good question – we don’t know because nobody has bothered to do a study of that. There’s no buck to be made in showing that anti-depressants are addictive and harmful.
I believe withdrawal is a serious problem for some people on some meds.
“The next day, I came down with horrible depression when there was no reason for me to be depressed.”
Certain types of depression attack regardless what our outward circumstances may be.
“Not correct blakeacake. Many people stay on the meds because when they try to get off, the withdrawal symptoms are horrendous.”
How can you assert that the reason these drugs sell so well is due to the horrible withdrawal process when you don’t know how many are taking them for that reason?
“many people never learn that withdrawal symptoms are keeping them on the psych meds and that is why they stay on them.”
If many never learn it is the withdrawal symptoms keeping them on the meds, how would you know that?
“Dr. Joseph Glenmullen”
Are you referring to the tongue guy?
best of luck
“They have persuaded parents that their children’s brains are impaired…” The power of words.
Some doctors of medicine love to practice their craft-to bring healing to the sick. Granddad did. Still saw 18 to 25 patients in the mornings at age 75. Didn’t perform surgery any longer, though. He was as gruff as you can get but they loved him, thousands of town folks did. Absolutely no bedside manor. Actually, he was scary. A retired Admiral, his voice exploded like a 16 inch cannon when he told patients they were fine. “God Dammit, I said, there’s nothing wrong with you!” He wasn’t there to make money off of anybody’s misfortune. But if you were really sick or broken from a car wreck, he’d fix you or die trying.
I wish he’d known about A.D.D. when I was a kid. I can’t imagine what it would have been like. To be a student, a real student, to contribute, to be seen and understood for the good, thoughtful kid I was. He could have prescribed a life-giving medicine for me and everyone would have known that I wasn’t the worst kid ever. I would have cried my eyes out, if only they could have only known I wasn’t the worst kid ever, that I wasn’t trying not to study. To have been able to participate in classroom life, to hear my teachers, to read and do my lessons, quietly, thoroughly.
“They have persuaded parents that their children’s brains are impaired…” is a cruel thing to say. My brain was/is impaired. Many are doing the best they can to help others. Many do care.
“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.”
― William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Your granddad sounds too good to be true. ha ha And you’re being disrespectful to him to suggest he’d be dumb enough to fall for bogus, voted-in DSM “diagnoses” like ADD & ADHD. But then maybe your granddad really IS too good to be true, as in fictional?
blakeacake, I don’t want to be mean but you sound like it was not ADHD taht was your issue:
“I would have cried my eyes out, if only they could have only known I wasn’t the worst kid ever”
Yeah, I don’t think ADHD is the issue here either. Blakeacake seems to enjoy provoking others and being mendacious and manipulative for her(?) own entertainment. That kind of behavior is sure to engender some intense dislike from one’s peers and family members.