Lingering Doubts About Psychiatry’s Scientific Status


Professor Sir Simon Wessely is a British psychiatrist who works at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London.  He is also the new President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and in that capacity, he recently wrote his first blog, titled, appropriately enough, My First Blog (May 24, 2014).  The article is essentially a perusal of, and commentary on, the program for the RCP’s Annual Congress, about which Sir Simon expresses considerable enthusiasm.  He also engages in a little cheerleading.

” . . . We [the RCP] are the most democratic of colleges.   We welcome the views of patients and carers . . . “

This statement struck me as odd, because it’s not so long ago (December 20, 2013) that I read a post by British psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff, Psychiatry has its head in the sand: Royal College of Psychiatrists rejects discussion of crucial research on antipsychoticsIn this article, Dr. Moncrieff describes how she approached the RCP 2014 Conference planning committee, and asked that a symposium on “Re-evaluating antipsychotics – time to change practice” be included in the program.  To her surprise, this proposal was rejected on the grounds that there were too many competing suggestions.

Dr. Moncrieff’s proposal was based on two ground-breaking studies (Ho, BC, Andreasen, NC, et al; and Wunderink L, et al.), both of which, at the very least, raise serious concerns about psychiatry’s current use of neuroleptic drugs.  This certainly seems important, but in fairness to the RCP, perhaps there were topics of even greater moment, and Dr. Moncrieff’s suggestion simply couldn’t be accommodated.

Curious as to what these topics might be, I took a look at the conference schedule, and found a few entries that might conceivably have been nudged aside for Dr. Moncrieff’s proposed symposium.  These include:

  • Developing your teaching portfolio
  • Succeeding as a new consultant
  • Leadership development for the jobbing psychiatrist – what we all need to know
  • Private practice
  • Advanced communication skills for public engagement
  • Making parity a reality
  • How to get into Academic Psychiatry

And just possibly:

  • Debate – Hamlet’s Ophelia: was it suicide?

In fairness to Prof. Wessely, he probably didn’t have much hand in the design of the program.  (He’s the incoming President.)  But he must have been aware of the College’s rejection of Dr. Moncrieff’s suggestion, and he might have expressed some regrets about this matter rather than asserting platitudinously that the RCP is the “most democratic of colleges,” that welcomes the  ” . . . views of patients and carers.”

Anyway, there’s lots more cheerleading in Prof. Wessely’s post, including:

” . . . Psychiatry, like all branches of medicine . . . “

“We do not shy away from controversy . . . “

“[Attenders] will be left in no doubt about the prevalence and public health impact of the illnesses that lie at the heart of psychiatry.”

” . . . The endless fascination of psychiatry.”

 ” . . . The state of psychiatry is good.”

” . . . The importance of psychiatry in the modern health service.”

This is the kind of thing that we’ve come to expect from organized psychiatry in recent years, and it adds little to the current debate.  But there was one statement in Dr. Wessely’s article that I would like to address in more detail:

“Any lingering doubts that psychiatry is not scientific will hopefully be dispelled, since the science of psychiatry is on constant display from the start to the finish of the conference.”

I think it would be accurate to say that the most fundamental principle in modern psychiatry is that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are illnesses, caused by chemical imbalances or other putative neurological anomalies.  The first part of this principle has been enshrined explicitly in the DSM’s definition of a mental disorder since DSM-III, and implicitly since DSM-II.  The second part has been promoted vigorously by psychiatry for decades.  This proposition is fundamental in the sense that from it, everything that psychiatry does, and stands for, flows.

The statement is also an assumption, proof of which has never been provided.  Nor is the assumption self-evident. In fact, as those of us on this side of the issue have contended for decades, there are more parsimonious, and more helpful, ways to conceptualize these problems.  The inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity characteristic of the condition labeled ADHD, for instance, can be conceptualized simply as a failure on the child’s part to acquire certain skills and habits that are considered appropriate for his age.  Depression can be conceptualized as a normal response to loss, or to an unfulfilling, treadmill kind of life.  And so on.

In science, of course, it’s perfectly OK to start off with an assumption (scientists call them hypotheses), and to design and execute experiments/studies to test their truth or falsity.  But psychiatry has never established the truth of its core assumption.  In fact, all attempts in this area have failed!  So – instead of debunking this cherished assumption, as real scientists would have done, they have simply assumed it to be true, and have steadily promoted its acceptance through endless repetition, manipulation of the media, and vigorous condemnation of critics.

Then, to create the impression of science, they have conducted vast numbers of studies and trials, all designed to test various peripheral matters, but all ultimately depending for their validity on the core assumption.  This isn’t science.  It is nonsense, dressed up as science.

To illustrate this, let’s consider another assumption that is nonsensical:  that all criminal activity is ultimately the result of alien abduction during infancy.  Let’s suppose that I, basking in the narcissistic, error-prone grandiosity of which supporters of psychiatry sometimes accuse me, subscribe to this belief.  Let’s further suppose that, to promote and study this core assumption, I start a new scientific discipline, which for want of a better term, I’ll call E.T.ology.

So I build a website, and attract a following, and we set about conducting E.T.ology studies to support our contention.  We produce numerous papers showing that crime is most prevalent in areas where UFO sightings are most frequent.  We demonstrate, through various statistical analyses, that criminals received less than average parental supervision during infancy, rendering them more vulnerable to alien abduction. And so on.  And we publish these studies in our very own Journal of E.T.ology.  We also speculate as to what the aliens actually do to their victims to instill the seeds of future lawlessness, and in this regard our scientists use colorful pictures of criminals’ brains to demonstrate chemical imbalances, neural circuitry anomalies, and other evidence of tampering.  We develop and publish a manual for the early detection of abduction victims.  The manual lists items like:  failure to conform to age-appropriate social norms, deceitfulness, impulsivity, irritability and aggressiveness, recklessness, spitefulness, defiance, etc.

We have impressive-looking graphs and tables in our journal articles.  We use statistical terms like correlation-coefficient, standard deviation, confidence interval, risk ratios, etc., with an easy familiarity, and we dismiss the protests of dissenting voices as the bigoted railings of anti-science deniers.  We construct a sophisticated propaganda apparatus, and in our annual conferences, we have sessions on “advanced communication skills for public engagement” and related topics.  We develop close ties with politicians from all branches of government, and from all corners of the political spectrum, and we advocate relentlessly for the creation of “space-shields” to protect infants from these alien invaders, who are robbing our children of their future.

We also, and entirely coincidentally, receive considerable financial support from the manufacturers of space-shield technology.

In this analogy it’s easy to see that what we have created is not science, but a travesty.  It is a travesty because we will not subject our core assumption to serious scrutiny, and because we routinely allow our commitment to this assumption to direct and taint our discussions and our research efforts.  What we have built is a sandcastle which, however impressive it may seem, has no defense against a flowing tide, and must ultimately collapse.

Similarly, psychiatry, despite decades of failed attempts at validation, continues to cling to its core assumption – that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are illnesses.  This spurious assumption underlies, drives, and ultimately invalidates everything they do, and stand for. 

It is also the fundamental justification for their existence as a profession.  If the core assumption were to go away, as eventually it must, then psychiatry, as it presently operates, will cease to have any relevance or purpose, and will simply collapse.  In fact, it would have collapsed long ago, but for the massive, ongoing financial support that it receives directly and indirectly from its symbiotic, and incidentally corrupt, relationship with pharma.

So when Professor Wessely writes that  ” . . . the science of psychiatry is on constant display from the start to the finish of the conference,” he’s referring to the sandcastle.  He’s admiring the well-sculpted towers and turrets, the arched windows, and the pennants streaming in the sea breeze.  But he’s ignoring the fact that the edifice, of which he is so proud, has no foundation.  And he also, apparently, hasn’t noticed that the tide is coming in.

* * * * *

This article was first published 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.


Mad in America has made some changes to the commenting process. You no longer need to login or create an account on our site to comment. The only information needed is your name, email and comment text. Comments made with an account prior to this change will remain visible on the site.


    • And the cool thing and the thing that keeps me “copy catting” (spreading the word online) is that once a person reads just one good article explaining how “This isn’t science. This is nonesense , dressed up as science” that person is usually immune to all further nonsense they encounter from then on. Slowly more people are learning.

      Future generations are going to point to today’s psychiatry and especially the mass drugging of youth as an example of how stupid and ignorant past generations were.

      Report comment

    • “This isn’t science. This is nonesense , dressed up as science.”

      `My name is Alice, so please your Majesty,’ said Alice very politely; but she added, to herself, `Why, they’re only a pack of cards, after all. I needn’t be afraid of them!’

      The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, screamed `Off with her head! Off–‘

      `Nonsense!’ said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.

      Report comment

  1. We’ve got the same problem here in the states. I know of a group calling itself a “mental health coalition” in my area. While calling themselves “inclusive”, they are anything but “inclusive”. Ex-patients attended some of their early meetings, and were completely deprived a presence on their board. Why? They hired a Peer Support Specialist to be the “consumer” “peer” mouthpiece for the board. This person obviously can serve their token representation purposes. Actually, these guys are mainly the local mental health system, and their backers, together with local law enforcement, and that kind of thing. “Inclusion” is the exact opposite of anything they want, and it’s the opposite of what we’ve got. Whatever it is they are about, it isn’t “inclusion”. When it comes to a potential speaker, or whatever, for example, disagreement with their major premise, “mental illness is a real illness like any physical illness”, etc., translates “controversy”. They don’t want “controversy”. That “inclusion” would actually mean differences in opinion, as well as real dialogue, is completely beyond them, or rather, it’s not “inclusion” they want anyway, they were just saying that. They are actually just another repressive branch of the organizations for oppression that they each represent. The problem is this kind of suppression of any real discussion necessitates the development of opposition to their actions in a way that real inclusion never would. What we’ve got here is a cheer-leading section, or a choir, and cheer-leading sections, like choirs, aren’t for everybody (i.e. inclusive).

    Report comment

  2. Again, Dr. Hickey, good job! Your articles are so clearly written and well argued, even entertaining.

    Your discussion of “E.T.-ology” should become a classic.

    And as you say, the real argument against the nonsense of psychiatric ideology is just that, that it is nonsense. I think this argument should be repeated over and over. This isn’t the place for subtle scientific arguments, because there is no science here, just drug company money.

    As you can see, I am a big fan of yours, and I am glad to see your frequent contributions to Mad In America.

    Report comment

  3. In all fairness, a lot of scientists in scientific fields are lacking in the scientific part of their job description these days and likely always, but there’s an enormous culture of pseudo-science being created by the games needed to be played for funding and general corruption that cries out for evaluation and correction; which a lot of scientists of integrity are demanding these days. Most of the science news we hear or read is crap even before the journalists get a hold of it.

    But, as you say here, psychiatry is on a whole ‘nother level. Psychiatry is about as sophisticated scientifically as the television show “CSI”. A blonde hair is found in an enormous study. The detectives look at each, then look again at the hair, then one looks at the other and says, “bimbo”. Waddya know— it did belong to a “bimbo”, what an astounding bit of logical deduction that was! What exactly is this subtype of female humans called “bimbo”? It generally refers to women who are in their most fertile years, have blonde hair (bleached or natural), wear a lot of make up, spend a lot of time teasing their hair, are not very intelligent, and are sexually “promiscuous”? Whatever that means. I’ve no doubt the detectives and everyone at the lab knows how to test for bimbo-ness and rate it on a scale from 1 to 10; but it ain’t scientific and “bimbo” is not a valid scientific category in the taxonomy of women, or anything else. And none of those scales would measure anything but the pseudo-scientists who develop and use them. Stereotypes fueled by prejudice, like the bulk of the booming number of diagnoses in bio-bio-bio psychiatry and the DSMs should not be treated like discrete entities when they are little more than a Rorschach for the people who use them when the person being evaluated has no voice.

    Meanwhile, back in the lab, it is discovered that a corpse has “N-H-4” on his sleeve. Ammonia. Hmm. What scientist wouldn’t say “N-H-4” instead of “ammonia” when playing at being a scientist? Jargon! The show can’t go on without it— you know what your problem is? You have a disease in your brain, that’s just like diabetes, except totally different except for what I’m about to do. (Pulls out prescription pad.) It’s called Type II bipolar disorder. We’ll fight it with a fistful of drugs and a threat— you will become a full-blown psychotic mess because “kindling” , if you do not comply with my evaluation and the treatment I have planned for you. Do not ask any questions that do not flatter me and let me know how awed and grateful you are for this little bit of time I’ve spent and this little bit of effort I’ve made on your behalf— unless you’re paying cash, then I’ll have to work a little harder to convince you I’m worth it. Just think about what we could do with another twenty minutes! See my receptionist.

    Psychiatry writ large has the opposite of scientific curiosity, and is, at the top— more than anything else— an obscenely well rewarded racket that pretends to have special insight into human suffering and crises, and that wants no objections or contradictions from other psychiatrists and psychologists, especially if it concerns the woeful harm they are doing to their “patients” or “clients. And they sure as hell don’t want to hear anything from their patients that doesn’t smooth over their refined feathers and assure them that they really are real scientists and real scientific authorities and real doctors of such stature that the patient can do nothing but agree if they know what’s good for them— there’s always force for those who refuse to bow down and kiss the ring. (Unless they’re paying cash.) Why the very idea of letting “mentally ill” people give any account of themselves and any of their experience— especially their tortured relationship with psychiatry— is just nuts, because the patients are all nuts. Right?! Who cares what they say? Nobody will believe them once they’re labeled.

    Report comment

    • “should not be treated like discrete entities when they are little more than a Rorschach for the people who use them when the person being evaluated has no voice.”

      Tom Insel and I and most of the scientific community would agree there! The hodge podge is the balefull descendant of “behavioral medicine.” and unfortunately it took till now, Till Tom, to call for a change and to look to the real science being done. This is not all big pharma research about psychology. It comes from a number of disciplines whos findings are remarkably consistent between them. Then too, how is genetic research reaping huge funds from psych drug mfgs for reporting clusters of genes that are shared across many “diagnostic classes?” and have you any refutation based in data that the genetic work is false, weak or compromised?

      As for how docs play god most cavalierly…you are too damn right and I applaud your attempts to reign it in. A listening ear on a doctors head is a rare find. This holds for all specialties, unfortunately.

      P.S. I doubt any of you are any more upset than are we (who see things differently on the disease issue) over reading about Illinois attempting to surrender the prescription pad privilege to mere psychologists! If this catches on we will be dumping any differences and joining forces.

      Thanks for listening.

      Report comment

        • I had no idea those twin studies were “hallowed”, but it was a thought provoking read. I was struck by how much statistic methods have changed since the introduction of super computers and our ability to do pseudo random, drunks walk Beyesian analysis use Markovs chains and montecarlo on those new machines. It has certainly changed how we ask questions and find probables since the 1930’s!

          I said ther same thing about the “junk DNA hypothesis since day one. We now find out that a lot of it is “epigenetic” interface, which is how the genetic and the environment interact to reset the adaptation of the person. This is not just about adaptation to psych insults, trauma etc, but to many other genetically controlled things like methylation at the cell level and mitochondrial level perhaps. Thus the confusion still ,of low energy conditions mistaken for depression, or esp Major Depression as the underlying energetic paths are not addressed…points to the need to move beyond “behavioral” to labratory testable diagnostics. I know that word confounds a lot herre, as many comments to me have pointed out , but seem not to have a clue what the point is. I dont have that problem in other places where we think just looking at overt behavior is so yesterday…so 1930’s if you care.

          Report comment

          • Well, personally I don’t believe there are a lot of things in biology that are truly “junk” be it vestigial organs or genetic material. Biology is an extremely efficient beast and usually gets rid of stuff like that fast unless there is some residual or unknown function left there. It’s usually a matter of time to find it.
            However, I don’t agree with wileywitch that the notion of junk DNA was exemplifying some inherent problem of science – science is supposed to pose hypothesis, make experiments and observations and self-correct and this exactly has happened for non-coding DNA. Problem is when the practice doesn’t follow or the studies are biased or suppressed due to conflict of interest. Which happens often in medicine and in psychiatry most of the time.

            Report comment

        • thanks for the in dept non attacking response.

          first it is not my profession. I am a Taoist Scholar, unemplyed mostly in this society so driven by cash and “advancement”

          my schooling was in psychology, emphasizing the senses and physical and light on the philosophy except my sociology classes where I encountered Szasz’s thought.

          As for pricks and “dr. God..etc… I hear it all the time from parents of children incarcerated or in supervision. I hear it from friends who are free to live outside on their own and are constantly running into it and fighting for a human person as therapist.

          So perhaps you can accept that my interest is benign. Again thanks.

          I and others focus on the moswt ill because others do not. We find it sad that there are those who seem to think we are trying to hog the system. I find it sadder that the system is so underfunded and that among the “alternatives” to neuroleptics there is so much obvious snake oil being presented. There is a large community watching and commenting on those treatments that package the obvious things, throw some “science” around it and patenet a system to take on tour for cash. It harms both sides of our difference because it confuses putsiders, us and those who cut the funds.

          As for ranting about TRANSIENT MENTAL ILLNESS! you have no idea how many lines I have devoted to MALFEASANCE by diagnosticians who never spend energy of consider other causes like blood clots, lymes disease, bromine intoxication, excessive calcium serum levels just to repeat some examples I have cited from concrete cases…or the reports of those who do care and the resistance they get from the blood draw and lab dept. as reported in a reply on Psychiatric Times . So I think your criticism here shows that we tend not to talk across this line, to ignore the discussions of “those people.” across the lines. There is a growing sympathy on the pro pharma side for the lived experience of the misdiagnosed. be quite sure of this fact. however certain opponents deride terms like “worried well” as demeaning. It is meant to distinguish those of sound mind and difficult times, the “blues” as I personally refer to it…from those with SMI/ bad biology. hence the issue over the 1 in 5 figure someone brought up here. Well its not 1 in 5 are SMI or need drugs even, but 1-5 will have PSYCHOLOGICAL issues SOMETIMES in their life. That might be a depression over a divorce where they blame themselves. All the drugs in the world wont touch the cause of that! It comes back to wrongfully portraying pro pharma as an ALL PHARMA ALL THE TIME solidarity. A false representation, a straw man!

          Most of those I correspond with see hospitals in their state aws a slight improvement to the alleys for their kids. Slightly better than living with the methheads or junkies they are preyed upon by. And many of them cry to visit kids who are not medicated medically but for ease of imprisonment. These are not issues we should remain divided over.

          Report comment

          • What ‘alternatives to neuroleptics’ do you refer to that are ‘snake oil’ with some ‘science thrown around it.’

            Abram Hoffer and Humprey Osmond gave 30 grams of niacin to a catatonic so-called “schizophrenic” who couldn’t eat. The man was dying and this was a first test for them which worked the man was able to feed himself and much improved after two days.

            Interestingly, the so called catatonics were found by the Doctors in this school using EEG readings to be as overstimulated as the manic psychotics.

            Linus Pauling is the top USA biochemist of the 1900’s help the discovery of DNA’s structure and so forth. He joined up with Hoffer’s wing of Psychiatry 10 years before it was suppressed.

            So anyway these people represent the best in chemical treatment and testing (and science and chemistry) and are not alternative.

            We are not Alternative. They are not Traditional.

            As to alternatives to neuroleptics (dopamine 2 receptor blockade chemicals) – what “alternatives” do you reference.

            One of the top priority alternatives is not using them. With the fraud of the atypicials (which of course are *not* ‘atypical’ because they, too, are dopamine receptor 2 blockades drugs as were all the previous Thorazine spin-off (Me too patent) drug products.

            Not using them. One prime concept of this is with the targeting of children to increase sales which they have done as much of as possible since they did the atypical fraud. Clearly children shouldn’t be targeted for Thorazine type drugs just because they make a lot of money from the new patented ones.

            Another case of not using the neuroleptics (dopamine blockade – nervous system seizing from the Greek neuro- plus “lep” which means to seize, “lep” also found in the word epileptic) is for “psychosis.”

            Robert Whitaker and his friends did a great job of popularizing the WHO studies that show that people fare better in third world poor countries incapable of funding never-ending drugs. The studies are IPSS and DOSMED or DOSMD.

            Peter Breggin, M.D. and Courtney Hardin (and Abram Hoffer) have the same idea even without (and before) DOSMD and IPSS. That being – since the neuroleptic major tranquillizer drugs are neurotoxic – they are not much of a candidate as long term treatment!

            Peter Breggin suggests temporary use of minor tranquillizers.

            As the Jen and Tardive Distonia site points up a single use of a major tranquillizer can leave a person maimed.

            Malcolm Peet studied the IPSS and DOSMED and how outcomes in “schizophrenia” and prevalence of “depression” correlate with national dietary practices. (Sugar is a robust correlate with poor outcome in “schizophrenia…”)

            Now, when you mention “worried well” differentiating people with the minor troubles from those with “serious mental illness” this is being used as catch phrases nowadays for propaganda. As in articles on defunding “recovery,” “peers” SAMHSA and feel good programs — and using the money for the serious or major “mental illness.” This harkens to Vera Sharav writing about the Lisa Cosgrove revelations that 100% of the members on the major mood disorder and psychotic disorders DSM committee panels have conflicts of interest with the drug companies.

            Jaffe and Torrey and others are putting out this material on quote serious of major mental illness being really important and needing funding for serious Medical treatment – which being sell more product.

            You use an abbreviation SMI, so I suggest that you should extricate yourself from the trap. If people have things going wrong with their health or biochemistry and their brains are misfunctioning they need help. If they are emotionally and psychologically beat up from life they need help. There’s no need for us to parrot the selling lines they dream up for us though… “anosognosia” and so forth.

            You did not actually specify and link to any of the “snake oils” and it is not actually clear what you have in such a list. Perhaps you are thinking of Psychosocial or Psychoanalytic offerings. — You write: “I find it sadder that the system is so underfunded and that among the “alternatives” to neuroleptics there is so much obvious snake oil being presented. ”

            When you write of the Malfeasanse by diagnosticians who never spend effort to investigat other causes (like blood clots, lymes disease) I object to your use of the word “other” though it is very consistent with the way the game is played. The way they have rigged it DSM diagnoses are non-Medical diagnoses which are treated Medically with pills and other concrete interventions. Should a Medical cause be found then instead of being the underlying cause it actually invalidates the Psychiatric DSM Diagnosis. Their DSM diagnoses are made now a days in the case where there is no Medical explanation – thus the Psychiatric diagnosis rather than a Medical one. And as to the Psychiatric diagnosis they theorize that it is Medical with their Medical model and they are doing important research. (This is mind stunning propaganda and it is the foundation of their program). Thus you are correct – not doing differential diagnosis is malfeasance. But it is not “other” causes because “other” than what? If a doctor characterizes someone as in need of treatment they need to know what the underlying problems are and what to treat.

            Dan Burdick, Eugene Oregon USA

            Robert Sealey – Differential Diagnosis
            One Patient’s Recovery from a Bipolar II Mood Disorder
            By Robert Sealey, BSc, CA author of Finding Care for Depression, Mental
            Episodes & Brain Disorders

            Malcolm Peet

            Long Term Follow-Up Studies

            Optimal Dosing for Schizophrenia – Safe Harbor Alternative Mental Health

            One hundred percent of the members of the panels on ‘Mood Disorders’ and ‘Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders’ had financial ties to drug companies. The leading categories of financial interest held by panel members were research funding (42%), consultancies (22%) and speakers bureau (16%).

            Vicissitudes of Psychiatry’s Diagnostic Manual Revisions – Vera Sharav on Lisa Cosgrove’s revelations. May 2012
            Drs. Cosgrove and Krimsky’s comparison study of the DSM-IV and DSM-5 panel financial interests found, ironically, that APA’s financial disclosure policy adopted for the DSM-5 panel was not accompanied by a reduction of financial conflicts.

            Report comment

          • Orthomolecular psychiatry ought to be dead by now. Thomas Szasz said that Abram Hoffer was a quack and Szasz was absolutely right on this point. I met this idiot Hoffer in the late 80s. The reason he could claim such great results is because he was willing to diagnose just about anybody with schizophrenia. If vitamins worked, Big Pharma would be all over it with vitamin uptake enhancers or some such. It doesn’t make any sense to rail against BIOLOGICAL psychiatry but then be willing to entertain mega-vitamin mumbo jumbo.

            Report comment

          • Sorry but i think it’s far less complicated. The “alternative” to poison is no more poison, for starters. Then you deal with the original problem, before psychiatry stepped in and said it was you.

            Report comment

          • The original problem has changed. Not using fake treatment is the start. Whitaker broadcast that the Risperdal and Haloperidol “tests” were crafted just to pass the current system with zero regard to any principals, Medical, ethical, honesty, science. The atypicals are a fraud. That they inflicted (inflict) on as many new sales targets as possible.

            So the opposite to fraud is not allowing the fraud crime to be committed. While the opposite to fake Medicine is not necessary no Medicine (that is Psychosocial theorists and the items they profit from) it can be legit Medicine.

            Things are not as they were. The health of USA citizens was declining generationally cumulatively. It was noted by the wealthy dentist Weston Price that the grandparents generation was notably more healthy in the 1920’s compared to the young people’s health. He created his seminal book Nutrtition and Physical Degeneration by using an airplane and photography equipment to travel around the world and take before and after pictures of indigenous people both still eating their traditional diet and those exposed to the Western commercial colonial food from the store. In one and two generations the health of the people degenerated.

            So we the canaries in the coal mine have had many generations in the Industrial Revolution and World Wars and Robber Barron situation. Partially hydrogenated oils never existed before 100 years ago and the amount of sugar eaten soared after say 1890 of course.

            Now it is the multiple simultaneous vaccines and the repeated antibiotic courses. So from the larger health prespective things are not as they were. Plus psychosocial the robber Barron manipulator types have been doing a lot of divide and conquer, and dumbing down, and killing of the leaders type moves so of course it is not just the “orthomolecular” ideas that have the as you write original problem… long gone. We have the new problems of the 2010s. (The results of the last 130 years.)
            Natasha Campbell McBride, M.D. speaks at the Weston Price forum. She tells how mothers and then their babies and then the baby grows up are affected by the multi-generational bad effects of worsening gut health due to antibiotics and vaccines and bottle feeding etc. etc.

            Gut and Psychology Syndrome

            Dan Burdick, Eugene Oregon USA

            Report comment

          • The thing is that mega-vitamins don’t equate to “no more poison.” Many of these vitamins are not water-soluble and can be toxic in mega-doses such as Hoffer prescribed. I don’t know how widespread orthomolecular psychiatry is since Hoffer’s demise but the idea that because they’re vitamins they must be benign is a dangerous one.

            Report comment

          • Ok, well, God I was in over my head with you and full of nonsense. Ignore the complete risibility and look at as worthless, please. As for thinking you were in practice like for drugs, I was hoping and guessing and needing to say. Thanks for steering my idiotically under-informed goof talk back to something sane. I now owe you apologies from ear to ear. My intention really was not to hold open the possibility that you were not yourself a psychiatrist.

            I believe you deserve some space. Isn’t about right that pent-up frustration works out in release of anger? Unfortunately–but it wouldn’t be the only way if there were lots of language for the process.

            My bigger concern is rights, you seem full of remembrance for what that problem represents in psychiatry. It’s really no fun trying to get totally coolheaded again when what you have to look forward to is diminished by what people will associate with the bare fact of psych. lock-up. One game of pretend courtesy attends knowledge of voluntary in-hospital, another involuntary. I know both sides of each.

            I went over what didn’t work for me in experiencing this creep of feeling like I was waiting for what happened. My symptoms extend to bodily reflex actions, that are subpersonal, activated according to true memory, sets of reactions for spatial portions of movement and time-slices of movement, that were physical reactions of mine in a dangerous event. The triggers are traffic stimuli, sometimes images, somehow emergency vehicles a lot, and doctors in an emotional way. Sorry, sorry, sorry, I used you identity carelessly.

            About trying me on ranting about transient mental illness, I think that’s the phrase in use for critique, one that seems worth public notice. I am some certain percent jerk and apologize for not explaining myself well. But I wish you had been a doctor. I don’t know yet how they live with themselves, millions of people are hung up. You take your label to see the doctor, basically, not yourself or anything about you. They hate that you recover or mention trying. That is my experience, and sorry for you and the Tao not getting freedom right off the bat here.

            Once I know what to do, I don’t worry much, but this is a moronic public scene these days for beginning talks about bucking a generally malfeasant-Left project, like the shrinks’ one. You can exactly come to your senses and be attacked for saying you feel OK by the whole variety of mental health worker type. Maybe you said it confidently or not in the middle of professing your faith in them. It’s beyond odd, and it feels like a physical barrier, like a tumbling car interior imposing on you, for instance.

            Report comment

          • I have to say, Walt, I find the old “Endogenous/Exogenous” or “the blues” vs. “clinical depression” argument a bit tired. There is, as far as I am aware, still no way to make any determination as to whose depression is “endogenous” or “clinical,” other than the DSM fiction of how long it lasts or how bad it feels, which is, of course utter and complete nonsense. I am sure you have met people who were abused and/or neglected as young children, and you can clearly observe that the “exogenous” depression experienced by many of them is long-lasting and severe. Did this happen because they were “genetically vulnerable?” Does this imply that young children SHOULD be able to tolerate abuse and neglect, and that those who have long-term adverse reactions are in some way malfunctioning? Or does it suggest that we should treat our kids better so that we don’t create an unnecessary lifetime of misery for them?

            I am glad you are able to see the absurdity of labeling 20% of the population genetically defective, and I am particularly happy to hear your concern about kids who have been through hell being hospitalized and drugged into lethargy for the convenience of their adult caretakers. I work as an advocate in the foster care system and see this every day. I agree 100% that these are issues that we can and should unify about.

            Unfortunately, the issues I mentioned in part 1 of this post directly impact the ability of the system to execute part 2 on these unsuspecting youth. If we admitted that, in the absence of any physical indications (which I HIGHLY commend you for attending to in your practice), we really have no idea how or why kids’ behavior deteriorates, and that we have no reason to assume it is biological, and every reason to believe it is a result of their ongoing mistreatment, where is the justification for drugging them into submission?

            I have some hope that you are open to hearing what I am saying or I would not bother. The justification for the massive drugging of our abused and neglected young people (and a lot of abused and neglected adults as well!) is the “chemical imbalance” theory or one of its biological cousins. The dogmatic belief that some people have “SMI/Bad Biology” is at the core of what is wrong with the mental health system today, because it allows those in power to ignore oppression, poverty, violence, racism, bullying, and professional hubris as causal factors. And as Alice Miller so eloquently writes about, those with the least power are always left holding the emotional bag, as it were.

            Until we see objective methods to tell who has “bad biology” and who does not, I think we need to absolutely avoid using that construct at all. It doesn’t mean we can’t utilize drugs in some cases – Johanna Moncrief’s approach is certainly much more valid, admitting that we are using the drugs for their noted effects rather than pretending we’re “treating” something “biological.” But continuing to pretend that we can distinguish between those who are really “ill” and those who are suffering as a result of life experience is a fiction we can no longer afford to maintain.

            — Steve

            Report comment

          • Steve, how I wish I’d had an advocate like you when I was a drugged-up foster kid whose perfectly natural responses to abuse and neglect were pathologized and labeled as clinical depression. I wish I’d known to question the “bad biology” myths I was fed at such an impressionable age, myths that made me think of myself as inherently flawed and broken, with nothing to look forward to but a lifetime of despair — which (with the help of iatrogenic harm caused by psych drugs) can become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. What a twisted thing to do to a young person who’s already had it rough, whose chances of a bright future are already slim. Thank you for calling out this absurdity for what it is, and for anything you can do to put a stop to it.

            Report comment

          • Hi, Emmeline!

            Thanks for your kind words. It is always great to hear from a foster care survivor who has been able to create a positive life plan for herself. It means all that much more to me to hear from someone with your lived experience in the system.

            I am currently working as an advocate for foster youth with the local CASA/GAL program here in Portland, OR. I have heard only too many stories like your own, kids who have suffered endless trauma and who have little to no social support, who are somehow counseled that they ought to feel good about themselves and their lives and that their suffering is somehow the result of some biological flaw in their physiological makeup. They don’t exactly blame you for feeling bad, but that ends up being the message – if you were a really together person, you’d be OK with all this and just happily attending school and going to whatever counseling they sent you to and living with whatever random person they found willing to take you in for a price and who could kick you out at the first indication of any slight disturbance or disagreement with the management. Don’t know WHY anyone would find such an arrangement depressing, angering, or anxiety-provoking…

            I have only seen a few of your posts but they’ve all been right on target. I’m interested to know more about your story, but most of all, keep on posting – your voice is very much needed!

            —- Steve

            Report comment

          • The truth is that both hospitals and prisons are broken in US and there is little practical difference between the two. It really matters not if one gets physically abused and drugged in a mental institution or prison. Trauma and suffering are equal. Deaths also happen in both, from negligence, overdrugging and staff violence. Again – little difference. The whole system is broken so discussing which kind of abusive environment is slightly less abusive is pointless.

            Report comment

    • @steve in portland and the abused foster children below on this thread…even we in the pro drugs camp are repulsed by treatment operations that expell “consumers” for having symptoms that led them there. its a true catch 22 that we all need to stop.

      As for my delinestion of indogenous. ..i dont have one because all depends on nature and nurture. we need to remenber this and not mske genetslized proclamations based on “this one came thru” or “this one was crushed by.” predeliction (genetics or prior experiences) are part of each human ¨consumer.” acying to ignore or diminish the dignificance of it is cookie cutter sloth and a sign someone chose the wrong career.

      Ttaditional chinese medicine talks of shallow and drrp symptoms. my investigation has been to the question “when does mood (tranient ) become affect (persistent. .personality). i believe timelones are idiosyncratic and depend on both genetics and experience even that in womb. i hope this clarifies it. id like to know more of your CASA work in pdx. i wss court advocate in Ws some while ago and have an urge to re involve. no fan of the c.”p.” s system.

      Report comment

  4. Brilliant article. But hang on…

    The RCP welcomes the views of patients and carers ???

    That’s funny, because my experience (in the UK) has been that if the patient’s view is that he no longer wishes to take toxic, debilitating medication that for some considerable time has proved itself useless and completely unhelpful, his view is ignored and dismissed as the incoherent ramblings of someone without the capacity to make such decisions. And should the carer step in to support the wishes of the patient, All Hell breaks loose, with three firms of solicitors and two barristers at the fore, funded by the bottomless pit of public money, until the carer has been successfully portrayed as a bohemian half-wit and displaced, and the patient has been incarcerated so that the opposite of his view can be enforced. Very democratic.

    Bring on the tide. Nay, tsunami.

    Report comment

  5. Thank you very much for your honest post, Philip

    Bio Psychiatric ‘science’ really is nonsense dressed up as science, and Kings College has a lot of influence outside of the Institute of Psychiatry. Psychotropics don’t just damage the brain they damage other organs as well.

    I was in Moorefields Eye Hospital today – I’m receiving treatment for a serious eye condition. The staff and doctors at Moorefields are extremely dedicated. But when I have tried to discuss psychotropic damage to my eyes – doctors have behaved like they can’t hear me. What I mean is, they literally ignore the fact that I have spoken.

    I brought the subject up today again, and the Eye Specialist told me directly that he was not prepared to discuss previous psychotropic drug exposure and psychotropic eye damage with me. So far this doctor has been the most honest.

    Moorefields Eye Hospital is a World renowned Research Hospital.

    Report comment

    • Fiachra,

      Thanks for your comment. Traditionally doctors don’t criticize other doctors and, although this is perhaps good for practitioners’ morale, it has been an obstacle to progress in general medicine. In psychiatry, however, it has been disastrous. I believe that enormous numbers of real doctors see through psychiatry but still feel bound by the “hypo-critic” (literally) oath and turn a blind eye to these matters from a misguided sense of loyalty. If this barrier falls, floodgates will indeed open.

      Report comment

      • It’s an abscess in the body of medicine and all the sciences that festers in marketing and all the institutions that protect professionals and professional bodies from being held responsible for their predatory and dangerous practices. Confusing education, maintaining the status quo, and high pay with wisdom and care can be a real threat to others.

        The only phenomenon that I can understand lowering the quality of care in the mental health field is a natural aversion to vicarious trauma.

        Report comment

        • Note to wileywitch (fyi) – Your first comment was very moving. I appreciate your wit, as well, at all costs. My words when talking crazedly feel about right, and when listing big names in academic research pertinent to psyhciatry and human relations, I imagine it seems mundane and off-track for the expected comment. But with the exception of Josef Parnas and Thomas Fuchs, this is just about all the movers and shakers, and the phenomenology leastwise counts. My point is that Walt-baby knowingly means to trivialize psychiatries promotional schemes by simplistic reference to “behaviorism” some way. I am sure you realize as much. But I was doing it for myself, like W-baby did for himself, and don’t care about his stupid trip.

          Lastly, these are all pretty mannerly folk that I take looks at, but they all care about the future almost exclusively. I care about whose dying today. Keep your thunder and ignore jerky Walt.

          Report comment

          • I know what I know, and am not going to be swayed or second-guess myself about things I’ve already experienced too much of, too many times.

            It’s always nice to see those little innuendos challenged openly, but I’ve got enough on my plate finding the barbs in studies and talking back to them in my space, on my computer, in my voice, for my own self-protection and vindication.

            This paper linked here at MIA:


            is both precise and enlightening where some clarifications are concerned, while avoiding the elephant in the living room deftly. Some good, some bad, some wtf?, and some WHA?!

            No one needs scientific training and advanced mathematical skills to see that the statement— “1 out 5 people suffers from a mental illness”— is an unmitigated and unsupported statement that should put psychiatrists— both researchers and clinicians— on the witness stand and worked over until they admit it’s bullshit and that their willingness to tell so many people who are treading in a world in which too many psychiatrists are being grossly overpaid, overprotected, and unduly defended WHILE they gut their patients’ psyches and damn them to drugs that psychiatrists don’t understand—-

            THIS HAS GOT TO STOP! The primary delusions of the field of psychiatry are neither scientific, nor logical, nor beneficial.

            No excuses.

            Report comment

          • Wileywitch, from the paper you linked to:

            “Treatment with AD has been associated with mania or other forms of excessive behavioral activation [28]. These responses may reveal an unrecognized bipolar illness or may be drug induced, since they may also occur in allegedly unipolar patients.”

            The word “allegedly” here speaks volumes about how psychiatrists have so little capacity to acknowledge the harm that they cause. Depressed patient consults psychiatrist and is given Prozac. Three weeks later, she’s stark raving mad. “Aha!” concludes the psychiatrist, “an underlying bipolar disorder has been triggered. We’d better add a mood stabilizer and an antipsychotic to her cocktail.” And thus a lifetime of chronic disability is launched.

            In my own case, and that of many others I have spoken to, there was no prior personal nor family history of mood swings yet our doctors managed to twist the facts around to suit their agenda. I’ve even had somebody tell me that I must have had prior mood swings but I’m just a poor “self-historian.” That’s an interesting assertion because not only would I have to have been poor at noticing mood swings but this blindness would have been shared by my family and friends, all of whom were interviewed at one point or another.

            Report comment

        • I’ve recently heard about the case when a dentist left two broken needles inside someone’s tooth and was not held responsible because the “experts” said it was a “normal side effect of treatment”. Well, in such case anything is normal and malpractice and negligence don’t exist.
          It’d be great if there was a system promoting honesty and responsibility but the current one incentives cover up.

          Report comment

      • Thanks for replying Philip
        I think a lot of Doctors have their hands genuinely tied, but I believe there’s a facility available to me here in the UK, where I can have my comments and concerns written onto the record. I’ll probably follow this one up.

        Report comment

        • Thanks Francesca
          I think a doctor should record a full physical history of any area that’s causing a problem that they intend to diagnose and treat. And especially if the client draws this to the doctors attention. My eyesight was one of the first things to be affected by psychotropic exposure.
          Deliberate avoidance of discussion points to worrying possiblities. Either way, it isn’t good medicine.

          Below is a link to an information guide (with side effects) on just one of the medications I consumed:

          Potential damage to eyesight is included in the list of disasters, along with an almost guarantee of permanent neurological damage.

          Report comment

          • i find this small section really important! The discussion and article are important but until now I have never found information addressed to my concerns with visual distortions when I was on a psych cocktail. Since I have several children I was trying to drive because there was no other c hoice in the burbs. Nightime driving was awful due to blurring and distortion. No one listened to my complaints! Recently I had to go back on meds due to trauma issues and developed double vision, I stopped the meds even though the doc prescribed cogentin.
            Hasn’t anyone studied this! My guess is a soon as we divulge the meds we are on the eye docs go running the other way!!!
            There is no talk between psych docs and other docs involved in your care. Bad medicine which flies in the face of how things were handled thirty years ago where docs actually wrote letters to each other. And HIPPA is no excuse for the blatant abandonment of morally decent medical treatment.
            I really thought I was alone in this!! Thanks for bringing it up.
            Also I have been involved in an emotionally abusive marital relationship that only recently have I been able to remove myself from. Verbal abuse is a hidden private affair that non of the so called professionals were able to diagnosis. I would complain to my husband about my eyesight difficulties and he would just say take cogentin.
            Even though I was a highly respected Mental Health professional it meant nothing to my doctors and residents in any of my hospitalizations. My husband was deemed innocent because of the initials after his name.It has taken over ten years to see the destruction that my own experience of the psychiatric caused to my body, mind, and self esteem. If I talk to people who knew me before my husband’s intervention they act like I am a different person. I was. the moment I started saying I wanted to leave the marriage that something was wrong I was shuttered to get help and thus was almost destroyed. It will take several more year before I can actually manage not to be affected by family and marital trauma before I can see myself clear of all medication. I have learned when your are in an unhealthy environment you can’t just go off meds. The worse part is my extended family has no idea of what the ill effects of medication can be like and I live in a state that is totally pro medication. People do not know of the work of Robert Whittaker and others or of this site. They are clueless and they are my support system! Last year I found a like minded therapist. He is just a frustrated as I am but at least I have a person who understands. He also sees my husband for what he is in glaring neon colors!

            Report comment

          • Psychiatry and medicine in general have often been inadvertent supporters of domestic abuse, especially when the abuser is rich and/or powerful. One of the great dangers of the “no fault” DSM diagnostic system is that it allows a victim of abuse to be identified and labeled by the abuser and to become an instantly non-credible witness. Psychiatric coercion, of course, also allows the abuser to induce the constant fear of being committed into the victim’s life. I was conned in this way once by a very smooth abuser, who had slipped his wife some meth and hauled her into the hospital, created a conflict in the parking lot where she “attacked” him, and of course, her head was spinning so badly between the drugs and being forcibly hauled into the ER that she was incoherent. I knew something was wrong but didn’t pinpoint it until later – he was not the least bit upset about her “attacking” him or being “forced” to commit her – it was all strategy. She verified this later by saying, “He did it. He said he would do it and he did it.” Unfortunately, she refused to accept my attempts to get her into a DV shelter. I’ve learned a lot since then.

            It is very, very dangerous to “diagnose” someone without an identified cause, especially in the “mental health” arena. I am sorry to hear what happened to you, and I wish it were an isolated incident, but unfortunately, it is not.

            —- Steve

            Report comment

          • @ Steve
            “I knew something was wrong but didn’t pinpoint it until later – he was not the least bit upset about her “attacking” him or being “forced” to commit her – it was all strategy. ”
            That’s exactly what has happened to me – the guy I was involved with basically used the system to drive me crazy and at the same time to pose as a hero/victim who takes care of a crazy woman although she’s such a horrible human being. Fortunately for me it didn’t really work in our social circle (I’ve learned later this guy had a history and also he wasn’t very good at hiding his true colours – most people disliked him immediately for being false and fishy) but it worked like a dream on the psychiatrists – they immediately assumed he’s a poor victim and that I need fixing. That is the danger when people who have zero knowledge about the person’s circumstances, relationships or anything at all are trying to make a judgement in 10 minutes starting from a presumption that the person in question has a mental disorder.

            Report comment

  6. You have got it exactly right Philip Hickey

    when the evidence such as locking people up and drugging them and the way psychiatry treats those who disagree is everything other than open ,moral decent or scientific.

    Thank you Philip Hickey, PhD
    for your compassion and honesty.

    Report comment

  7. “Cheerleading” and other descriptions of propaganda are the job duties of the leaders of Psychiatry in the USA, such as the head of the APA and of the NIMH, as well as Ivy League Professors. These are known to industry intelligence as key opinion leaders, KOLs.

    Well done selection, Dr. Hickey, of cheerleader quotations, “The science of psychiatry,” “the branch of Medicine.”

    This one the “public health impact of the illnesses that lie at the heart of psychiatry” brings up the question of what illnesses are in the toxic heart of Psychiatry such that it is so intent on selling patented trademarked brain-drugging chemicals to teenagers toddlers pregnant woman and so on.

    The simple answer is amoral, sociopath capitalism. The profit motive.

    Also, the corporation sort of becomes a social entity.

    Sociopath contains another answer though – while it may be a catch phrase itself sociopath is current and Kurt Vonnegut breathed life into the term.

    Sociopath people who are concerned only with their image, their image as successful leaders – just for today – are in many positions of power in the corporations and related groups (PR firms, Ivy League schools, false-front controlled-opposition groups, false-front independent-concerned-nonprofits). Sociopathic people with no concern for the welfare of anyone including their own children, people who have plans that look impressive and sound persuasive which are fundamentally wrong and lack any long-term meaning.

    Vonnegut uses the word “psychopath” which is just as well since it’s all post Freudian clap-trap.

    As Abram Hoffer, M.D. states the money from the tranquillizers (that being, Thorazine and the spin-off patented dopamine-blockade drug products) was so great after 1955 that the drug companies took over Psychiatry. That is what’s happened to Psychiatry today.

    After the Thorazine marketing using tasked “detail men” worked so wonderfully they quickly got the strategics under way. The detail men meeting with Psychiatric directors is one of the many aspects of the ascendent Psychiatry covered by the miraculous documentary expose Hurry Tomorrow by Cohen and Rafferty filmed inside a locked ward.

    Hurry Tomorrow

    KOLs – Key Opinion Leaders

    Kurt Vonnegut – “What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences, without senses of pity or shame, have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations and made it all their own?”

    “But I have to say this in defense of humankind: In no matter what era in history, including the Garden of Eden, everybody just got here. And, except for the Garden of Eden, there were already all these games going on that could make you act crazy, even if you weren’t crazy to begin with.”

    The drug company Psychiatry merger suppressed Psychiatry’s own best people working on biochemical imbalance treatment during the 1950s and 1960s using a false document they concocted – the 1973 Task Farce 7 Report.

    The 1973 58 page A.P.A. Task Force 7 Report

    ” According to Hoffer, APA task force co-author Thomas Ban was well known for his tranquilizer studies and that Ban previously stated that much of his income derived from grants from companies and other sources interested in selling tranquilizers.”

    Thomas Ban states that they are now, quote “dedicated,” to both the treatment of psychopathology employing centrally acting drugs and to the very “study” of psychopathology employing centrally acting drugs. Thus it is evident from this statement of intent alone that they have zero interest in finding “biochemical imbalances” and restoring them. They have not searched in vain for proof, in other words, as they have no interest in proof. They want to employ centrally acting patented drug products at maximum profit for the people concerned. They are dedicated to that
    T.A. Ban on their dedication –

    The drug company Psychiatry created the DSM-3 project in the 1970’s which laid out how Psychiatrists could diagnose behaviorally and Psychologically using interview, Psychological word tests and professional impression, and treat employing the Medical model, as they say, using brain drugging patent chemicals.

    DSM-3 also claimed reliability, that being that everyone was looked at objectively, externally according to observable “symptoms” and different Psychiatric “Doctors” would get the same “Diagnosis.”

    This reliability claim is seen by some as a response by industry intelligence to R.D. Laing pointing out that Psychiatry is not a science, and Rosenhan taking that forward with the Thud experiment.

    Years later this was taken one step farther by Gert Postal and the IAAPA.

    They got the false-front independent non-profit concerned group idea going in the 1970’s too. Later this non-profit concerned group idea was reused CABF, CHADD, “Postpartum Progress”

    Daniel Burdick, Oregon USA

    The late Dr. Abram Hoffer speaks of the huge tranquillizer money profit resulting in the take over of Psychiatry by Psychopharma –

    Postpartum Progress

    R.D. Laing, “Psychiatry is a fake science used as a system of political control, used to shore up a violent and collapsing society.”

    The Thud Experiment of David Rosenhan (Impersonating patients is enough for Psychiatry)

    Gert Postal and the IAAPA (Impersonating a head Psychiatrist is good enough for Psychiatry)

    What the claim of reproducibility that came with the DSM3 means is that when one places a person in a selection category they reliably could be placed in that category with a re-eval. The naming system (nosolgy) (without and Medical diagnostics) says NOTHING about why the person is “eligible” for that selection category.

    Behavior Analysis of Psychotic Disorders: Scientific Dead End or Casualty of the Mental Health Political Economy?
    Stephen E Wong

    “DSM diagnoses affect clients’ relationship with major social institutions by determining their legal status, eligibility for services, disability benefits, and supposedly appropriate treatments. For professional classifications that hold such great social and institutional significance, DSM diagnoses are peculiar in that the reliability and validity of many of its categories are unverified.”


    PsycheTruth Videos

    Is Psychiatry A Scam? Truth About Mental Disorders, Psychiatrists
    Colin Ross & Corrina

    How to Find a Doctor You Can Trust, Functional vs. Mainstream Medicine. Dr Vince Bellonzi

    Recovery for Mental Illness Redefined


    Philip Dawdy on “Psychiatric diagnoses” —
    “Criticizing the Diagnosis is Insulting to Clinicians,” Janet Wozniak, M.D. Psychiatrist.

    Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

    “Each of the mental disorders is conceptualized as a clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome.”

    Report comment

  8. In the blog: “continues to cling to its core assumption – that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are illnesses.”

    While many sloppy psychiatrists might think so, it seems not to be the case of the profession nor of Tom Insel. Otherwise, why still talk of Differential Diagnosis and matters like time of symptoms present? Is not the idea of time taken in account to distinguish transient matters of “the blues” from actual matters of brain function. And how many times do you have to ignore the lab results because they are not focused on your archaic notion of gross abnormalities but more on examination in real time in vivo observations of the ephemeral process? I grant that I think there is a great issue with common praxis, but I think you over state the case. Autism for example has cases on the spectrum that might fit your misunderstood and not well tolerated criticism. On the other end where it includes utter inability to function from infancy…its hard to imagine this as a case of just looking at the world differently but in as valid a way. Diapers and drool transend such facile representation. Its hard to understand how seeing things differently, seeing police as spacemen come to kill you, dying because of it…is a functional fully informed resistance to…to what?

    Report comment

    • waltinseattle,

      Thanks for coming in.

      In response to your comment to wileywitch, you say that you, Dr. Insel, and most of the scientific community would agree with wiley’s critique of psychiatric diagnoses.  Please see my post Psychiatrists DID Promote the Chemical Imbalance TheoryWith regards to the genetic work, you can find critiques of some of this in my earlier posts here and here.  With regards to physicians generally being poor listeners, I can only offer my personal observations, based on my own (severe) health problems over the past 13 years.  I have probably been treated by at least a hundred physicians in inpatient and outpatient settings.  In all that time and exposure, I can thing of only one physician who did not listen attentively to my concerns, and who was not willing and ready to discuss these concerns openly and undefensively.

      In response to your second comment, “all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving” is not particularly my idea.  It’s actually an accurate paraphrase of the APA’s definition of a mental disorder in DSM-III, IV, and 5.  I challenge you to name or describe a significant problem of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving that could not readily be embraced by a DSM “diagnosis”.

      I have recognized explicitly throughout my writing that some significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are the direct result of real organic pathology.  Who could dispute that?  Psychiatry’s error, however, is the assertion that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are illnesses.  This is organized psychiatry’s formal position, as stated in the DSM.  Admittedly Dr. Insel distanced himself from the DSM on April 29, 2013 when in his blog post Transforming Diagnosis, he described the manual as “at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each.”  But he promptly renewed his allegiance to the guild on May 13, 2013 in an NIMH press release written Dr. Insel jointly with Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, then President of the APA and titled DSM-5 and RDoC: Shared Interests.  In this document they stated:

      “Today, the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), along with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) represents the best information currently available for clinical diagnosis of mental disorders. Patients, families, and insurers can be confident that effective treatments are available and that the DSM is the key resource for delivering the best available care.”

      You mention Dr. Insel in both your comments, and you convey the impression that you are speaking on his behalf.  If this the case?  Are you associated with NIMH?

      Report comment

    • Well, I hope that you recognise then that neither autism nor psychosis are illnesses – at best they are behaviours which can be in at least some cases demonstrations of illnesses (such as HIV-induced psychosis or Rett syndrome associated autistic features). However, there is no illness called autism – it’s just a poorly defined cluster of symptoms. Saying that because Rett syndrome girls are very much impaired autism is a real illness is a bit problematic.

      Tears can be a sign of pathology like eye infection and they can be a normal physiological response to either physical or emotional stressor but tears are not an illness.

      Report comment

      • Hi,
        I hope I’m not diverging, but whats happened to the ‘Nervous Breakdown’ : ‘Life gets too difficult. All the emotions come to the surface, and the thoughts and feelings get out of proportion. Then the person gets help, deals with any problems, and gets back into life again. And nine times out of ten, that’s the end of it.’
        This normal young persons phenomenon has now become a sinister lifelong mental illness.

        Report comment

        • And if it does, its another tragedy. to shortcircuit grief is to thwart working thru it. if i agree with a few tenants here on mad in am this is a big one. psy drugs have s place and blues are not it. lifes issues coming up are not the place. if tslk support and time dont redolve things then ask the drug q agsin. but stoll ask before writing.

          Report comment

      • I would hope we were passed detailing the distinction betwern what is symptom.what is causr. yes i understsnd hierarchy of comcrpts and set theory snd nesting. and i know that errors of subset includions do not invalodate the higjet order voncrpt.unlesd they are exhaustive. .i.e..lead to a nul set or no duch sumptoms at all.

        Report comment

  9. waltinseattle is a caught up in myths of his own, and doesn’t mean his support if that entails something like reparations for the sloppy application of nifty, attention-getting constructs to populations who consist of live patients, not at all attended to like they are full of contents that must be sifted through to arrange their pertinent aspects along the differential diagnostic spectrum. He lacks the strenuous control over his imagination to keep from going down blind alleys about the most florid of delusions…. And here too he will have all the answers, whether or not in question form. Who does he keep up with? Which cheerleaders? George Graham and Bill Fulford? The phenomenologists Gallagher and Zawawi and Ratcliffe? The down on it with genes Dominic Murphy? I think whoever he share his marvellings with that he must also have become entranced with the invitation to psychiatrists to play philosopher of science that Al Francis moderated in the run-up to the DSM-5. This is only serious criticism of the industry in the minds of he and brave Tom.

    Report comment

    • where to start? I will pass. except to say you have a different take on Differential Diagnosis than I use and attack the profession for not using. D.D. ruling out all other causes for the symptoms. diseases, poisons lesions, clots etc…and then looking at the lenghth of time and variati9ons to get the right billing code…after D.D.

      Report comment

      • Walt–sorry, not doing well at the time. Really, bold and OK of you to fight back. It was against confusion and grief.

        Peter Breggin’s not my point man on this or anything, but he says that the PTSD (explanatory redescription) “diagnosis” is really helpful for his purposes. As with most of the problems in your field–that rejects information from patients and critics like mad–the psychosocial take goes down for the count a bit, too, in failing to catch us up on how to understand the role of a “symptom” as a re-adjustment. I had to go into psychological theory to learn anything offhand, never could from a shrink. They can’t look you in the face seriously about a little thing like this if they’ve got you on another label.

        Report comment

  10. OK, Walt, in case you looked it’s Zahavi, Dan with them phenomenologists and you could add Uriah Kriegel. But the neuroscientists who aren’t citing Bennet and Hacker must still be out to lunch, right?

    I hope you can tell that you have not yet added substance to the discussion, just your name which we will all promise to recognise. And thank you for thanking Dr. Hickey, and for paying your taxes, and for keeping your hair? Congratulations on your degree and facebook skills.

    Report comment

  11. Dr. Hickey ,Thank you again for so eloquently bringing the truth forward.
    As we watch the tide come in on these foundationless sand castles of dressed up nonsense,,,,,,,,,,
    I am reminded of another absurdity that to me is an illustration of the kind of action we might expect from these deadly sand castle builders.
    Dental amalgam fillings are over 50% mercury . Mercury is the 2nd deadliest element on the periodic table . Any scraps of mercury that are left over after a dental procedure are placed in a container marked with a skull and cross bones and marked as a hazardous material. And yet this same material is deemed safe by the American Dental Association to be installed in the mouths of children. There has been some progress in banning mercury as a dental material in the U.S.A. The attorney Charlie Brown has been battling for this cause for over 30 years. Today 50% of dentists still install silver amalgams as they are called even though they are made of over 50% mercury into the mouths especially of the poor and their children.
    Even though Charlie Brown wins court decisions heres how things played out on the ground. President Obama for a period appointed as head of the FDA a person who previously worked for 10 years for Henry Schein Company (a mercury amalgam manufacturer). This person effectively was able to stonewall decisions arrived at in a court of law concerning banning of mercury as a dental material used in human beings. It is banned in some countries like Finland.
    We must continue to fight the Pysch-Nonsense Profession Industrial Complex until it stops moving with ever improving strategies and growing numbers.

    Report comment

  12. Dr. Hickey, I can’t get used to how obvious it is that psychiatrists willingly only care if they have control over people and now and then feel pained by criticism, caring nothing about how their field is situated and served by other disciplines.

    “Well I don’t know how this comes out at Stanford or Oxford, but we like to say 20 mg no matter what.” They think thoughts like this will sound impressively authoritative.

    “When I am picking my nose and think about autistic genes it seems central to care.” They give the impression of this mode of decision.

    “Let me say he over-states the problem after being implausible, that looks humble.” They innocently and blithely surmise.

    Report comment

    • This is right next to stupid. A very dumb comment, that no one would want credit for. The frustration that overwhelms, trying to express so that you can understand, not just to get something bothering you out, is not effort that doctors like to reward. I know there are helpless mental cases, but can’t understand why doctors who know that they make others helpless with labels, drugs, and abrogation of civil rights, getting not very much understood right along the way, just let their mistakes ride.

      Why does your profession do that Walt? Why the heavy hands except for coming at so-called diagnoses and getting confirmations on how they were supplied. I know that millions of people were diverted from any moderately helpful course of treatment. It stand to reason and is never talked about by you.

      Report comment

  13. A quote from Antonin Artaud: I myself spent nine years in an insane asylum and I never had the obsession of suicide, but I know that each conversation with a psychiatrist, every morning at the time of his visit, made me want to hang myself, realizing that I would not be able to cut his throat.

    Report comment

    • When captured by a psychiatrist it is as if a previously blinded cyclops ,protected by the gods has captured and labeled you and officially placed you on the well worn path to becoming a nobody in the eyes of all the people you love, and a pariah to the community. He can now with complete abandon and without any pangs of conscious proceed to unleash Medieval procedures upon you, transforming you into his very own ATM machine. As you are always a step behind in trying to make sense of the gathering clouds of your predicament you are pushed ,descending into the chemical,and or electrical lobotomy, psychiatry has designed for as many unsuspecting individuals as possible.

      Report comment

    • “but I know that each conversation with a psychiatrist, every morning at the time of his visit, made me want to hang myself, realizing that I would not be able to cut his throat.”
      Actually I both tried to kill myself thanks to abuse I was subjected to and spent hours making plans on how to get back on the system. The psychiatrists should be grateful that my family pulled me out and I am grateful too since if I killed any of these bastards I’d be responsible as for actual human beings. I seriously don’t understand how these people can look at themselves in a mirror but I don’t understand that about concentration camp guards either.

      Report comment

  14. 40 years of DSM non-Medical labeling based on professional opinion as diagnosis, and treatment being (patented) centrally acting drug chemical pills and shots. Or 5 or 6 of them. Employing the Medical model – using drugs.) NIMH and APA (and Psychology and Neurology and the AMA) has no trouble with this set up. Lucrative setup. Now things are improved because of Tom Insel. The NIMH is coming with the new improved view. This is a three decade late breakthrough oh NIMH.

    Shock drug and Psychosurgery are physical interventions but to correct biochemistry one needs actual biochemical testing and use of biochemicals not just patent frugs. Lucrative.

    Report comment

          • Basic science doesn’t produce drugs and make money – that is why it’s mostly publically funded. People discover things and some of them can be later on taken over and developed into e.g. drugs, like it was done in case of insulin for type I diabetes. Junk DNA was called that because at the time people didn’t know what if anything at all the non-coding regions of the genome could be doing. Now we know much more about it and that is how basic science works and is supposed to work – to pose hypothesis and verify them. Epigenetics and junk DNA are not quite the same thing though. Currently the only drug treatment I can think of that stems from epigenetic research is certain cancer treatments (
            Problem is if some hypothesis (like chemical imbalance) are taken over by the industry without bothering to go into the real science behind them and used to produce drugs which have close to zero efficacy and loads of toxic effects and we have little idea what they are really doing.

            Report comment

  15. “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts” – Richard Feynman

    Many years ago as a student at Stanford University I was very dissatisfied with my study of philosophy and psychology. It was not until I had spent seven years seriously studying Yoga that I got what I wanted. Philosophy at the time was ordinary language philosophy and psychology was simply depressing! Now I am sure Zen Buddhism would have done what Yoga did for me only as it turned out I found a Yoga teacher first.

    The fact that people who take up one of these discipline tend to be both healthy and content or at least feel positive about their lives has not as far as I can see made much of an impression on academic psychology or medicine–just a little. Whereas fifty years ago meditation was consider the occupation of wackos, now it is respected. And Hatha Yoga has become very popular. But it has hardly been integrated into the world of mental health and illness.

    Even diet is still somewhat obscure. National habits change slowly. In the meantime have a diet soda and some crackers with plenty of high fructose sugar. Given today’s homes and schools only very clever children stand a chance.

    What is it about drugs that they have such an allure? Remember Tristan and Isolde and the love potion? Elixirs. If people are going to take something why not the psychedelics which are virtually non-toxic and do produce good results.

    Well, as a society we are locked in a prison that only a few dare even try and escape. It is Plato’s cave. Many love their chains. And fear the light. Psychiatrists for the most part go about and oil the chains so they do not squeak so much.

    Report comment

  16. the day we accept extacy for PTSD etc, and Ketamine for a 2 week repressant of suicidal ideation ( that window is very important- those who come for Tx and take drugs often do the suicide within that time window, dugs seem not to matter. neuroleptics anyway) that day will be the very same as hells icing over.

    Report comment

    • Ketamine is an aneasthetic and a very dangerous one. Why people insist that tranqualising people in distress is a way to go? Why can’t they just express their emotions? It really matters not what drug you throw at people, legal or not. They all have some effect on some people and in certain cases may be helpful (in some cases even for physical illness) but making blanket statements about LSD or THC being somehow better than psych drugs is bs. All these drugs do is at best provide temporary symptom relief.

      Report comment

      • After someone confides suicidal thoughts…only then! you have some bad experience behind your reaction or some prejudicial ideas. after talking and confiding…a subliminal (so low they dont feel it) dose is administered. it has been experimentally shown to work up to 2 werks. 2 weeks of engagement time. LSD OR THC would be nothing but irresponsible at that time. i dont have recollection of any responsible persons even whispering such drastic intervention for smi. for stable persons with some cognitive cspacitu later maybe. i considet the psilocybin advocates over optimistic and rash. again…dont let your past experience or prejudice color what you think im saying.

        Report comment

  17. “Significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving” (a paraphrase of the APA’s definition of a mental disorder in DSM-III, IV, and 5) is superficially reasonable sounding as a description of what “Mental illness” is supposed to mean.

    That is propaganda. It is structured intentionally.

    Then they use the word “Mental disorder” and interchangeably. Then they speak of “Medications” always meaning patented centrally acting sales products.

    We do need “ever improving strategies and growing numbers.” We need to include orthomolecular.

    Report comment

    • Orthomolecular is snake oil. There’s enough problems with toxic drugs as it is, we don’t need to add vitamin poisoning to it. There are cases when supplementing vitamins and microelements like iron can help (just as changing a diet can) but it’s in specific cases and shouldn’t be done unless the blood levels are checked.

      Report comment

  18. The original problem has changed. Not using fake treatment is the start. Whitaker broadcast that the Risperdal and Haloperidol “tests” were crafted just to pass the current system with zero regard to any principals, Medical, ethical, honesty, science. The atypicals are a fraud. That they inflicted (inflict) on as many new sales targets as possible.

    So the opposite to fraud is not allowing the fraud crime to be committed. While the opposite to fake Medicine is not necessary no Medicine (that is Psychosocial theorists and the items they profit from) it can be legit Medicine.

    Things are not as they were. The health of USA citizens was declining generationally cumulatively. It was noted by the wealthy dentist Weston Price that the grandparents generation was notably more healthy in the 1920’s compared to the young people’s health. He created his seminal book Nutrtition and Physical Degeneration by using an airplane and photography equipment to travel around the world and take before and after pictures of indigenous people both still eating their traditional diet and those exposed to the Western commercial colonial food from the store. In one and two generations the health of the people degenerated.

    So we the canaries in the coal mine have had many generations in the Industrial Revolution and World Wars and Robber Barron situation. Partially hydrogenated oils never existed before 100 years ago and the amount of sugar eaten soared after say 1890 of course.

    Now it is the multiple simultaneous vaccines and the repeated antibiotic courses. So from the larger health prespective things are not as they were. Plus psychosocial the robber Barron manipulator types have been doing a lot of divide and conquer, and dumbing down, and killing of the leaders type moves so of course it is not just the “orthomolecular” ideas that have the as you write original problem… long gone. We have the new problems of the 2010s. (The results of the last 130 years.)
    Natasha Campbell McBride, M.D. speaks at the Weston Price forum. She tells how mothers and then their babies and then the baby grows up are affected by the multi-generational bad effects of worsening gut health due to antibiotics and vaccines and bottle feeding etc. etc.

    Gut and Psychology Syndrome

    Dan Burdick, Eugene Oregon USA

    Report comment

  19. Check out,

    I’ve been researching, studying, and inventing alternatives to AMA,APA, and ADA orthodox dogma for 39 years.To paint everything not accepted by the 3 guilds as snake oil is unrealistic and dangerous to your health.
    I have experimented with niacin for decades for example . Its wonderful stuff. If not for Hoffer I wouldn’t have known.

    Among a group of Canadian soldiers who had been prisoners of war for over 4 years of the Japanese during WorldWar ll only those that took 3000 mg. of niacin a day were able to overcome the trauma of their imprisonment and fully return to civilian life.
    A must read IMHO ! > Niacin The Real Story < Abram Hoffer,M.D. , Ph.D. Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., and Harold D. Foster, Ph.D.

    Report comment

    • I certainly don’t portray everything outside standard treatment as snake oil. Orthomolecular psychiatry, however, is quack fodder and Hoffer was the field’s premier quack. I met the guy; I certainly am not interested in reading his rubbish.

      Report comment

  20. I tried to get current with getting the process explained, that one for going through what you couldn’t yet because of no hearing for your thoughts, no significance granted for your beliefs, no power to demand or refuse helping services needed. The present marriage of psych professions with the hospitals there as the cake is brutal. People are dying, I almost can’t believe this place.

    Report comment


    STOP CHILD ABUSE at the hands of psychiatrists
    FROM cfs treatment guide

    Justina’s Law, if passed, could have profound ramifications for the ME/CFS community. Hundreds of children with ME/CFS have been taken from their homes on the basis of psychiatric diagnoses that are just as unsubstantial as somatoform disorder. This law would give legal grounds to parents suing to get their children back. It might even help get some of these pseudo-psychiatric “diagnoses” relegated to the dustbin of history, which is where they belong.

    Please ask your representatives to support H.R. 4989, “Justina’s Law.”

    Find your representatives here.

    You may use the template letter below.
    Please support H. R. 4989, “Justina’s Law.” Justina Pelletier was incarcerated by the state of Massachusetts for over a year based on a psychiatric diagnosis for which there is not one shred of scientific evidence (somatoform disorder). As a result, Justina’s disease (mitochondrial disease, a rare inherited disorder) has progressed, and she is no longer able to walk. Justina is not the only child to have suffered this fate. In 2009, Ryan Baldwin, a boy with myalgic encephalomyelitis (aka chronic fatigue syndrome) was taken away from his family in North Carolina and placed in foster care, where he grew steadily worse.

    Please prevent more cases like Justina’s and Ryan’s. Support “Justina’s Law.”

    Report comment

    • From my reading she did not have symptoms long enough for their assertion. nor did they even permit her to havr physiological testing for cfs or mytochondrial disorder. thats enough to take to court over. its a human problem not a profession problem. but it falls on the profession to clean house. keep up the pressue. no squeakie. fixie

      Report comment

  22. First some book keeping complaint. I find no place to start a comment to a comment in the system. So I am forced to do them here, divorced from the previous thread, the context.

    travailler-vous i’m not offended or ticked. I am a bit frustrated its taking us time to do the dog smell dog thing and to understand our different writing styles and “where we come from” content wise I am fascinated.

    Old head, I was if you could trace, in a conversation with trailser when you said I rambled. You call it ramble,,, i call it going from one previous thread to another previous thred without stoping to bring outsiders into what I presume my correspndent could follow.

    Rd. Hickey. I think the first critique of the metastudy would have been the “meta” rationale for “apples and oranges.” treated interchangeable. It seems to be a very frequent weak point, or at least a common place to open.

    As for the challenge to find a feeling …. not diagnosable. Well, if we have a diagnoise on one thing one time? are we doing much? but +the book, the not supposed to be used that way. condemn any who do it, even if its 90% of the field!

    Just, please, spare me any forced polarities about whasts what or not and it must be this or the other and evidence either proves or disproves. I find it a hard misrepresentation of reality used to simplify ones maps, little more.

    Dan Burdick: replying to your “alternatives to bigpharma/neuroleptics/”atypicals” question. You can see a parade of the “alternatives” in the hearings Tim Murphy did re SAMHSA: art or dance or painting as primary tx facility .”.we dont want to use any meds or any “diagnosis/stigmatics! and no “experts” just peers”. There’s a merry go round in Cal that got funded to end stigma, btw or attend the “alternatives Faire last year or next. Are you familiar with the term New Age? can you say medicine show without seeing some of the new Tx(reg tmark, copyright) as being as thin a veneer as any in the patent office, perhaps seeds “discovered in jungles, used there but “invented by the guy who thought of a trip through the patent process? No, I was not thinking of “alternative chemical/nutritional/orthomolecular things. Not at all. Thats a different thing and there, I am as “alt” (to use the paradigm of the ruling AMA dynasty) as thee. I am trying to figure it in the meridian sysstem. Liver fire, It seems the spleen is going to have to be in there with those side effects clusters…kidney, the regenerative rules the foliation and prunning…gutbrain as per the ciliac disease (some [people really think guts DONT leak? wow..) your links were fascinating. Seems some other commentators dont like orthomolecular one bit, well yes, I heard of a woman who was fine when her Calcium and D were taken down a few notches.

    me my

    Report comment

  23. Fiaracha. i hear you and do not doubt that talk and support worked for you and were sufficient. i believe every case needs this, which requires any form of “intervention.”

    Often anti-psych or anti-pharma an uncontested observation which is this: a great # of first event of psychotic behavioral symptoms…around 1/3 if i recall… remit WITHOUT intervention of any.sort. perhaps 1/4 more are in your category of remission with talk and support. the rest, under 1/2 of the group, do recovery with stronger interventions which include drugs, or are those who DO NOT RECOVER and there we coint also those who die principally as psychotics who suicide at very high numbers.

    Its a defensible.position this unrevovrred group contains a set who were harmed by drugs. and another subset who were pporly served by bad or no talk/support in their “standard tx” intrrvention.

    Im happy for your recovery but.more imterested in parsing what will help those who need.more and in understanding what more is best and harm. While accepting psy drugs for short.term, i see the dsnger of forever drugging. .still i know of the cases that stay.alive with spells or long stretches…only with drugs. that is where we ARE.

    IMm not.going to advocate stopping but am interested in proving that class and preventing suicide. i hear the concerns every day of mothers who’s sons are suicidal and rarely on wstch in our prisons.

    Report comment

  24. Excuse my faulty interface. im interested in improving outcomes for those who survive with drugs or never recover or who kill themselves. not a slave to standard drug intervention. id like to see more “alt” ie pre pharma era medicine…even some of the orthomolecular tx. labs are discovering what.might parse good viy mineral etc.interventions. i am most interested in anti inflamatory treatment which sees the behavior as a redult of “non-psychologic” underlying problems…immunilogical in particular. i am for.evidence pushing change, not philosophy per se.

    Report comment

    • I take particular issue with,

      “you may hear claims that Laura’s Law is an infringement of civil rights. At the core of our civil rights is our ability to choose to do what we want. When a person is unable to understand the nature and consequences of their decisions because of their illness, that person is fundamentally deprived of the ability to exercise any civil rights… We make a mockery of civil rights when we ignore people with severe mental illness, leaving them on the streets until they do something we characterize as a crime, then we lock them in our overcrowded jails and prisons ”

      Again, going back the case of Truvada in the context of HIV prevention. We know that Truvada helps curb HIV transmission in high risk populations . In fact, we know that more scientifically so than any of the AOT programs do for the so called “mentally ill” because unlike the subjective determinations that plague all the studies in favor oo against AOT, HIV infection can be determined scientifically through very accurate biological tests. So the effect of coercive HIV policies can be very accurately measured aside from the civil rights debate.

      So why is it rational to refuse to use condoms “in the heat of the moment” as well as to refuse to take Truvada -in spite of the science that says that HIV transmission risk increases when none of these two measures are implemented-, but it is not rational to refuse neuroleptic drugs?

      Are we making “mockery of civil rights when we ignore people ” whose life could be saved if they were to be forced to take Truvada? Why do we ” leave them on the streets until they do something” that results in HIV transmission, thus assuring that they will die of a condition that could have been prevented had they been forced on Truvada?

      See, I have a huge problem with this double standard. The notion that there should be a “civil rights standard” for those who can be forced on neuroleptics and another for everybody else (to the HIV/Truvada people, you can add people who could benefit from forced on exercise to prevent heart disease/diabetes, etc).

      If we believe that the equal protection clause of the 14-th amendment applies to all equally, then programs like AOT are a direct violation of said clause. If you are saying that “mental health” is different, then the standard known as should apply to all mandatory “mental health” interventions. But if “strict scrutiny” were to be applied to these interventions, very few of them (probably none of them) would survive.

      In short, the violation of human rights in AOT and involuntary commitment programs is very clear. Having a judge defending the salaries of those who implement these civil rights abuses -since the abolition of coercive psychiatric measures would send many of these judges to the unemployment ranks- doesn’t negate that fact.

      Report comment

  25. But why is it so hard to ‘debunk’ psychiatrys claims?
    I know psychiatry has Deep pockets from pharma, and intelligent, well payed academics at their disposal.
    But how come we can’t silence them with the truth?

    And I’m so so terribly afraid this ‘tide’ isn’t coming… or that psychiatrys ‘levees’ or ‘piers’ or ‘wavebreakers’ are many.

    What can I do, as a layman patient? The end reciever of ‘scientific lies’? I want to protest, but it all backfires and leads to Another label…

    I really, really set my hopes to you Philip Hickey, and many of your academic friends.
    Please, please please, keep bringing these issues up to people that needs to hear them.
    //Ove, the lonely swede.

    Report comment