Psychiatry’s Response: Attack and PR


In the last decade or so psychiatry has received a great deal of criticism.  The fundamental point of contention is psychiatry’s insistence that an ever-increasing range of problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving are in fact illnesses that need to be aggressively treated with drugs, intracranial electric shocks, and other somatic interventions.  It is further contended, by those of us on this side of the debate, that this spurious medicalization of non-medical problems was not an innocent error, but rather was, and is, a self-serving and deliberate policy designed to expand psychiatric turf and to create an impression of psychiatry as a legitimate medical specialty.

Psychiatry’s much-touted “diagnoses” have also been the subject of adverse comment.  It is argued that the simplistic checklists in successive editions of the DSM are no more than loose collections of vaguely defined behaviors and feelings, and do not produce meaningful or helpful information about clients or their problems.

In fact, it is widely asserted that the pseudo-diagnoses generated by the DSM taxonomy are intrinsically disempowering and stigmatizing.  Problems, the resolution of which was, in former times, considered well within the ability of individuals and families, are now seen as requiring psychiatric intervention, and dire warnings are issued as to the expected consequences if this intervention is not pursued.  In former times, society’s general message to youth was:  you can succeed.  Today this message has been significantly diluted by psychiatry’s message:  your brain is broken; you need pills.

For decades psychiatry supported this disempowering message by promulgating as fact the chemical imbalance theory, even though it was known that this theory was false.

Psychiatry has also been criticized on the grounds that the drugs and electric shocks that constitute the bulk of its “treatments,” far from correcting any anomalies or abnormalities in the brain, are actually destructive of neural tissue – and this destruction is cumulative with continued use.

Finally, psychiatry has been criticized widely for its corrupt and corrupting relationships with pharma.  Because of these corrupt relationships, psychiatry routinely and knowingly compromised ethical standards in both research and practice, and reduced its profession to little more than organized and legal drug-pushing.

Psychiatry has taken little or no corrective action on any of these matters.  The chemical imbalance lie is still being told to clients.  New “diagnoses” are still being created.  Diagnostic thresholds are still being lowered.  And pharmaceutical largesse is still finding its way into psychiatrists’ pockets, though, thanks largely to the efforts of Senator Charles Grassley, perhaps not as unstintingly as before.

The fact is that the criticisms directed against psychiatry are valid and founded.  They are also extremely serious.  Psychiatry is intellectually and morally bankrupt, and has no meaningful response to these criticisms.  The vast majority of the human problems that psychiatry claims to address are not medical in nature, and are not amenable to a medical approach.  Conceptualizing these problems as illnesses is the fundamental flaw which has derailed modern psychiatry since its beginnings.

Psychiatry and its spurious ideas and practices survived in former decades for two reasons.  Firstly, because psychiatrists confined their attention to a relatively small section of the population, and secondly because, in general, there was less questioning and challenging of establishment ideas and practices.  But today, psychiatry’s inane claim that fully a fifth of the population have a brain illness cannot withstand the scrutiny of a more educated public that has found its voice through the Internet and other media.

Psychiatry is dead, but, perhaps understandably, they won’t sign their own death certificate.  They won’t acknowledge their errors.  They won’t back down.  And they won’t stop, or even curtail, their destructive practices.  They will not even seriously debate the issues.

Instead, they’ve gone on the offensive.  This offensive is two-pronged.  Firstly, they attack those of us who speak out against them, and secondly, they are actively developing links to the media in the hopes that this will encourage reporters to portray them in a more favorable light.

Attacking the Critics

An example of the former appeared in the Lancet Psychiatry on May 27, 2014:  Attacks on antidepressants: signs of deep-seated stigma? by Nutt DJ et al.  Here’s the opening paragraph:

“Psychiatry is used to being attacked by external parties with antidiagnosis and antitreatment agendas. However, the recent disclosure that a doctor (Professor Peter Gøtzsche) had joined a new group, the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry, whose launch was accompanied by newspaper headlines such as ‘Antidepressants do more harm than good, research says’ and ‘Psychiatric drugs are doing us more harm than good’ in The Times and The Guardian plumbs a new nadir in irrational polemic. What is especially worrying is that this doctor is a co-founder of the Nordic Cochrane collaboration, an initiative set up to provide the best evidence for clinical practitioners. What is the truth about antidepressant efficacy and adverse effects, and why would Professor Gøtzsche apparently suspend his training in evidence analysis for popular polemic?”

Note the offensive tone from the outset:  “Psychiatry is used to being attacked by external parties with antidiagnosis and antitreatment agendas.”  The implication being that those of us on this side of the issue who criticize psychiatry’s spurious nosology and draw attention to the destructiveness of its treatments are simply people with “agendas.”  And Dr. Gøtzsche’s criticisms are not to be taken seriously, but simply condemned as “a new nadir in irrational polemic.”

The article then pushes the claim that antidepressants are efficacious and safe.  The authors concede that there are some adverse effects, but contend that:

“…the new antidepressants, especially the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are some of the safest drugs ever made.”

They grudgingly acknowledge that there might occasionally be “extreme” adverse effects, but immediately offset this admission.

“The incentive of litigation might also distort the presentation of some of the claims.”

In other words, those clients who report that the drugs are helpful should be believed; but those who say that the drugs harmed them are just angling for damages.  How convenient!

The authors then launch an attack on psychotherapy, but first they prepare the ground:

“Antipsychiatry groups usually claim that depressed patients should be treated with exercise and psychotherapy instead of drugs.”

This is actually a caricature of this side of the argument.  Most anti-psychiatry material, including my own writing, conceptualizes depression not as any kind of brain illness, but rather as the normal (and even adaptive) response to loss, negative life circumstances, or counter-productive habits.  Successful amelioration of depression involves recognizing these precipitating factors and working collaboratively with the client towards resolutions.  This is a highly individualized endeavor, and is not adequately embraced by any simplistic formula such as “exercise plus psychotherapy.”  Indeed, it is a central tenet among us that simplistic solutions (e.g. eat these pills and you’ll be fine) are generally unhelpful.

Dr. Nutt et al then speculate as to what motivates these attacks on antidepressants and on psychiatry in general.  They don’t, in this context, acknowledge even the possibility that our motivation could be founded on a rational assessment of the situation.  Instead, they suggest:

  • firstly, that GP’s (who prescribe most of the antidepressants) don’t really want to do this kind of work;
  • secondly, because there are still strong remnants of mind-body dualism in our society, there may be some deep-seated resistance to treating something as ethereal as “the mind.”
  • thirdly, that “… the anti-psychiatry movement, although now long in the tooth, has revived itself with the recent conspiracy theory that the pharmaceutical industry, in league with psychiatrists, actively plots to create diseases and manufacture drugs no better than placebo,” and
  • fourthly, that “… anti-capitalist flavour of this belief resonates with anti-psychiatry’s strong association with extreme or alternative political views.”

So there it is:  we’re a bunch of politically extreme conspiracy theorists!  Such enlightened discussion!

The authors conclude:

“Whatever the reasons, extreme assertions such as those made by Prof Gøtzsche are insulting to the discipline of psychiatry and at some level express and reinforce stigma against mental illnesses and the people who have them. The medical profession must challenge these poorly thought-out negative claims by one of its own very vigorously.”

So those of us who, like Professor Gøtzsche, dare to “insult” psychiatrists by voicing criticism of its concepts and practices are expressing stigma against people who receive psychiatric attention.  In response to which I can only invite my readers to decide which is the more stigmatizing thing to say to a client:

“Why are you depressed?”


“You’re depressed because of a chemical imbalance in your brain.”

And, incidentally, Professor Gøtzsche and two of his colleagues have invited Professor Nutt and his co-authors “to a public debate where these views can be properly aired.”   To the best of my knowledge, this invitation has not been accepted.

And also incidentally, according to the disclosure information at the end of the Lancet Psychiatry article, Dr. Nutt and two of his co-authors have received grants, personal fees, and other payments from multiple pharmaceutical companies.

Extreme as it is in the condemnation of its critics, the Nutt et al article is by no means an isolated example.  On May 20, 2013, the very eminent psychiatrist, and then President of the APA, Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, wrote DSM-5: Caught between Mental Illness Stigma and Anti-Psychiatry Prejudice, which was published in Scientific American.  Here are some quotes:

“[Anti-psychiatry groups]…are real people who don’t want to improve mental healthcare, unlike the dozens of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and patient advocates who have labored for years to revise the DSM, rigorously and responsibly. Instead, they are against the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses—which improves, and in some cases saves, millions of lives every year—and ‘against’ the very idea of psychiatry, and its practices of psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. They are, to my mind, misguided and misleading ideologues and self-promoters who are spreading scientific anarchy.”

“Being ‘against’ psychiatry strikes me as no different than being ‘against’ cardiology or orthopedics or gynecology—which most people, I think, would find absurd. No other medical specialty is targeted by such an ‘anti’ movement.”

“This relatively small ‘anti-psychiatry’ movement fuels the much larger segment of the world that is prejudiced against people with disorders of the brain and mind and the professions that treat them. Like most prejudice, this one is largely based on ignorance or fear–no different than racism, or society’s initial reactions to illnesses from leprosy to AIDS. And many people made uncomfortable by mental illness and psychiatry, don’t recognize their feelings as prejudice. But that is what they are.”

So, those of us who dare to criticize psychiatry are “…misguided and misleading ideologues and self-promoters who are spreading scientific anarchy.”  We “fuel” prejudice and stigma against psychiatry’s clients, although research suggests that the broken brain theory, which underpins almost all psychiatric activity is inherently stigmatizing.  Our attitudes are “…no different than racism…” and we – poor deluded creatures that we are – don’t even recognize our prejudices.

Again, enlightened discussion!

Psychiatry and the Media

The second prong of psychiatry’s offensive is the development of close ties to mainstream media.

The World Psychiatric Association is an association of national psychiatry societies from 117 different countries and represents about 200,000 psychiatrists.

The WPA’s Action Plan 2008-2011 was adopted by their General Assembly in September 2008.  According to the 2010 WPA document WPA guidance on how to combat stigmatization of psychiatry and psychiatrists, one of the goals of this plan was “…an improvement of the image of psychiatry and psychiatrists in the eyes of health professionals, the general public, health decision makers and students of health professions.

According to the 2010 document, the plan first identifies the shortcomings in the image of psychiatrists.  These include:

“The public opinion on psychiatric facilities has been consistently negative during the past decades…”

“Five misconceptions about psychotropic medications were found to be prevalent in the general population. They are perceived as being addictive…, a ‘sedation without curing’ …, an ‘invasion of identity’…, merely drugging patients…, and ineffective in preventing relapse…”

“Negative attitudes about electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) were often observed.”

“Perceived low prestige and low respect among other medical disciplines have been among the main reasons mentioned for not choosing psychiatry as a career…”

“Medical students also perceive psychiatry as lacking a solid, authoritative scientific foundation…. This attitude is partly based on uncertainty concerning the nosology and diagnosis of mental illnesses, which is mentioned among the reasons for medical students not to enter psychiatry…. The classification of mental disorders in the DSM and ICD categories has been subject to criticism because the majority of these diagnostic categories are not validated by biological criteria…, thus reinforcing the image of psychiatry as not being ‘real medicine’. One aspect of this discussion includes the question as to whether research using diagnoses that are not validated as inclusion criteria ‘is equally invalid’….”

“Medical students were often less skeptical than the general public towards psychotropic medications….  However, psychotropic drugs were criticized for not targeting the actual cause of the illness….  Psychotherapy was rated more positively in some instances….”

“The general depiction of psychiatry in the news and entertainment media is predominantly negative. In a media commentary, psychiatry was portrayed as ‘a discipline without true scholarship, scientific methods, or effective treatment techniques’…”

“They [psychiatrists] are ascribed a low status among physicians…, academicians…, and mental health professions….”

“Psychiatrists are accused of relying too much on medications….”

“Within the medical community, the status of psychiatrists is usually described as low. Some authors suggest that there is a ‘lack of respect among the medical community’…”

From this side of the debate, these criticisms seem founded, and suggest a major need for substantive and far-reaching reform.  But the WPA’s recommendations for combating what it calls these “prejudicial beliefs” are largely PR.

“It [the Task Force] also recommended that national psychiatric societies establish links with other professional associations, with organizations of patients and their relatives and with the media in order to approach the problems of stigma on a broad front.” [Emphasis added]

“Changing the depiction of psychiatry in the media is an important prerequisite for changing public opinion…” [Emphasis added]

“We were unable to identify any studies describing interventions specifically targeting the stigmatization and discrimination of psychiatrists. However, there were several recommendations on how to change their negative image, most of which focused on developing a positive relationship with the media. This includes active participation of psychiatrists in the flow of information…and provision of expert knowledge on mental health issues…and forensic cases….” [Emphasis added]

“The Quebec Psychiatric Association developed recommendations on how to improve the image of psychiatrists with the help of a communication firm. Their strategies include becoming more visible in the media, responding to public needs and critical events, and increasing the visibility of psychiatrists in the community….” [Emphasis added]

“Our review of the literature on stigmatization of psychiatry and psychiatrists produced only a very small number of articles on research concerning the development and evaluation of interventions aimed at reducing such stigma. The main results indicated the importance of close collaboration with the media.” [Emphasis added]

“Skills of presentation and communication, for work with the media and governmental offices, are of considerable importance in the development of mental health services as well as in any effort to change the image of psychiatry.” [Emphasis added]

“National psychiatric societies should seek to establish and maintain sound working relationships with the media.” [Emphasis added]

The American Psychiatric Association has also been active in this kind of activity.  Their Workgroup on The Role of Psychiatry in Healthcare Reform produced its report earlier this year.  Here’s a quote from one of their recommendations (p 59):

“The APA should develop a communications campaign that addresses how to best advance the APA agenda, internally with its members and externally with key stakeholder audiences. This campaign will likely require external communications expertise.  Psychiatry’s value proposition for health reform is not self-evident to key policy/payer audiences and members. Moreover, a fully informed and educated membership will be essential to fulfill the demands for psychiatric services that the APA’s agenda embodies.” [Emphases added]

The APA already has a Council on Communications, currently chaired by J. Raymond DePaulo, MD.  On the APA website it states:

“The council is charged with transforming public attitudes towards psychiatry by:

  • Connecting the public emotionally to psychiatrists, ·
  • Creating excitement about psychiatrists’ ability to prevent and treat mental illness, and ·
  • Branding psychiatrists as the mental health and physician specialists with the most knowledge, training, and experience in the field.” [Emphasis added]

The APA also has a fairly sophisticated media office.  They have a very user-friendly “Newsroom” tab, in which they  “…offer a variety of resources to journalists including background materials and information on psychiatric disorders and other mental health topics.”

With the click of a mouse, a journalist can: Request an expert; Join the Media Database; Receive News Releases (archived back to 2009); and Receive DSM-5 Information.  There are also links for the most recent editions of Psychiatric News and for twice daily emails of Psychiatric News Alerts.  In short, they are putting out a red carpet for journalists, and they are making it very easy for journalists to produce articles favorable to psychiatry.

So if you’re seeing a great many sugar-coated articles on psychiatric topics in newspapers and magazines, as I am, it’s not a coincidence.  It’s part of psychiatry’s strategy to improve their image without the inconvenience of having to make any substantive changes in their practices.


In the past fifteen years or so, psychiatry has been repeatedly and convincingly exposed as something flawed and destructive.  Psychiatry has no defense to offer against these contentions, but instead has launched a massive smear campaign against its critics, and a tawdry PR campaign to whitewash its ever-deteriorating image.  But chickens always come home to roost, and ultimately, when all the rhetoric is spent, psychiatry will be judged on its merits.  Come the day!

* * * * *

This blog first appeared on Philip Hickey’s website,
Behaviorism and Mental Health


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


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  1. Philip,

    This is why when people suggest that we need to moderate our alleged extremist position to get more psychiatrists on our side, I feel very defensive. In my opinion, you have provided excellent proof that is is business as usual with most of psychiatry.

    If folks want to tell me why I am wrong in a respectful manner, I am willing to listen.

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    • I agree. I’m not going to sit in a circle, hold hands, and sing Kumbaya in an attempt to get more psychiatrists to listen to me. Most of them don’t listen and never will. Not all psychiatrists are bad people but psychiatry as a medical specialty is harmful to our health these days. But of course, I also will be attacked as having “extremist views” because I state that I’m tired to trying to talk to people who have no intentions of listening to me in the first place. So be it.

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      • I don’t think any of this is extreme in any sense. “Extremist” is a label thrown around by the powerful when they want to discredit someone. It’s an ad hominem attack. “So and so is an extremist, therefore you shouldn’t listen to him/her.” It draws attention away from what people are actually saying.

        I’m not surprised to see it used by Psychiatry, but I’ve been disappointed to see it used by “mh” reformists. If you want to reform Psychiatry, then by all means, please do. That would be preferable to the status quo. But don’t you (reformists) dare suggest that people who want to abolish Psychiatry are extremists. Philip has, in my opinion, just outlined above why Psychiatry should not exist. This position is not extreme and it is not quixotic. For some, this is a moral issue.

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        • Uprising,

          Not to sound like a broken record, but if psychiatry didn’t exist, you still would have to deal with the problem of its influence seeping into mainstream medicine. Unfortunately, I have had that experience recently and it greatly angers me that this is an issue. I greatly resent the fact I have to hide my psych med history out of fear I won’t get good care. But thanks to electronic medical records, that is exactly what I feel I need to do.

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          • AA, your comment gives me an opportunity to thank you for consistently reminding people how badly mainstream medicine has been corrupted by the Psychiatric-Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex. Every time I see you make this this point I am grateful to you.

            It was actually a general practitioner who gave me my first psychiatric drugs and who first told me the fairy tale about chemical imbalances. It was another GP who later added another psych drug I shouldn’t have been taking. And now, I don’t go to medical doctors anymore on a regular basis, because I got really tired of being treated like every complaint I had was a symptom of some BS psychiatric diagnosis. It was especially painful to be dismissed that way when I was going through acute psych drug withdrawal. And the several GPs I saw at that time were just as clueless and dismissive as the psychiatrists I had to deal with. So I really value what you’re saying.

            Let’s face it though, Psychiatry enables all this bad behavior on the part of non-psychiatric MDs. Big Pharma does, too, but I think Pharma would be easier to contend with if Psychiatry were thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the public and made an example of what can happen to any MD who forgets the oath of “first, do no harm.”

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          • AA, that’s certainly a fear many of us share. A couple of years ago, I was experiencing what I termed “dizzy spells” several times a day. They would last 20 seconds or so during which time I had the frightening sensation of falling backwards. Afterwards I would often be completely disoriented.

            Anyway, I ended up in a neurologist’s office and we got the spells under control eventually. However, the doctor later told me that he had just “assumed they were panic attacks.” An EEG later showed they were actually frontal lobe seizures.

            I truly doubt he would have made such a dismissive assumption had I not come to him pre-labelled as a crazy person, i.e. a patient whose legitimate complaints were not to be taken seriously.

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          • AA,

            And it’s going to get worse. As part of psychiatry’s efforts to “integrate” with general medicine, the questions: “Are you depressed?, and Are you anxious? have now become standard part of general medical examination protocol. The tentacles continue to spread.

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          • When I told my neurologist that I had had my first psychotic break, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Maybe it’s a one time thing.” What comfort. Not everyone in medicine buys into psychiatry.

            And even though I’ve learned from experience (the hard way) that psychiatry was a corrupt cult that has done me harm, I still need to read the views of critical psychiatrists and people in the recovery movement. Marketing combined with the mantle of science and medicine is a powerful institution in which billions of dollars are at stake. I doubt that it will change much until criminal charges become the norm for treating people like they have no understanding whatsoever about where they hurt and what they need to feel safe.

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          • I agree that the psych diagnoses seem to function as doctor code for ‘don’t bother providing proper medical care to this person,’ or her entire family. My family had over $100,000 taken out of our paychecks for medical insurance, during which time my children were not properly immunized, one of my children went without needed glasses for years based on improper eye exams, medical evidence of the sexual abuse of my child was covered up instead of being reported as is required by law, my husband passed away at the age of 46, I dealt with a “bad fix” on a broken bone, covered up with a bad drug cocktail, resulting in psychiatric misdiagnosis and several different anticholinergic intoxication poisonings, then more “snowing” by a now FBI arrested doctor.

            Greed, lack of ethics, and the psycho / pharmaceutical industries’ fictional and iatrogenic disorders and misinformation have made a mockery of the mainstream medical community, at least based upon my family’s experience. Hopefully, our new doctor will be better.

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      • Well, we are apparently all communist anti-capitalism political extremists who indulge in conspiracy theories and stigmatise poor “mentally ill” people (ourselves?).

        There is no reason to pretend that dialogue with these guys is possible.

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    • AA, I really don’t think the problem is our “extremist” position. The problem is the lack of respectful debate about it. I am not at all talking about you here so please don’t feel attacked but there are survivors who shriek about “brain rape” and the “Holocaust of psychiatry,” etc., etc., etc. and it is these voices who ensure that psych reform is not taken seriously.

      For example, if someone comes along and declares that schizophrenia = excessive dopamine, the productive response is to ask for convincing evidence of that position while providing our own evidence against the position.

      Ditto if someone comes in guns ablazing and equates antipsychiatry with Scientology, patiently and respectfully demonstrating that the former does not equal the latter is a lot more helpful than what usually goes on in these discussions.

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      • Francesca,

        You make some good points. But I am getting to think that it really doesn’t matter what words we use. The psychiatrists who want to listen will and the ones who don’t want to will continue to be about “business as usual”. Sorry for being cynical but I for various reasons, I feel that way.

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      • Francesca,

        I’ve only seen people use the phrase “brain rape” in the context of talking about forced psychiatric drugging. Why on earth is it not okay for for people to use that phrase if they feel it is an appropriate description of their experience? To whom is that disrespectful? How does that ensure that psych reform is not taken seriously? Is it not further abuse to suggest that someone who feels they have been “brain raped” should just shut up about it, or sanitize their accounts so that they might be more palatable to the very same people (psychiatrists) by whom they have been violated?

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        • Francesca,

          I have to agree with Uprising on this. Thank god, I have never been the subject of forced drugging but I greatly fear that it could happen to me in the future due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think my fear is quite common.

          Anyway, I think when people have been greatly traumatized as folks feel they have regarding forced drugging, they should be able to label their experiences in a way they feel is appropriate. For anyone to say that is extremist would be pretty outrageous in my opinion even though a person might have good intentions.

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          • Jonah,

            I agree with you, it is inappropriate for anyone to be assuming others to be self unaware or “choosing the words for defining the experience of anyone else.” I hope such condescension ends.

            You were forcibly medicated for a spiritual belief, or maybe just a theory about a spiritually based question. I personally was forced medicated, according to my medical records, for belief in the Holy Spirit and God. And I, too, suffered what could only be considered chemical rape (although when this 135 lb woman was tied down by six gigantic men, despite being somewhat incoherent because I’d been medically unnecessarily put on a hypnotic drug at the previous hospital, I do remember being terrified of actual sexual assault, too).

            I was so over medicated, or what the FBI calls “snowed,” (the doctor who admitted me has now been arrested for “snowing,” and harming many patients for profit), however, that I don’t even remember much of the first ten days I was hospitalized.

            My husband claimed it took him almost a week to even find out what hospital I was sent to. My family was told they were not allowed to visit me. My friends came to visit, and were not allowed in.

            Thankfully, my insurance company refused to pay for much more than two weeks of the willy nilly psychiatric drug torture. Some day I will hopefully be able to calmly relay the ungodly disrespect of the forced treatment and the psychotic insanity the psychiatric drugs cause, on a formerly healthy person (I was actually dealing with a medical cover up of a “bad fix” on a broken bone and the medical evidence of the abuse of my child, according to all my family’s medical records) with as much eloquence as you.

            I do have thousands of pages of journal entries, and copious calendar notes, describing most of my experience. I just haven’t had the strength to go back and read it all, and organize it into a book yet. I’m still working on venting about the injustices, because I personally believe for me, and likely many, that is necessary to heal.

            I personally disagree with those here who are unable to understand that appalling, greed inspired, and unrepentant hypocritical injustices take time, and talking through, to heal from.

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          • AA, I think I’ve been misunderstood (again). Accurately labelling one’s own horrific experiences is a natural part of the healing process. However, in the bigger picture of dealing with the psychiatric system as a whole (as opposed to a particular victim of that system), inflammatory language comes across as emotionally overwrought and diminishes our message.

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          • Someone else,

            Thank you so much for offering your comment (on June 20, 2014 at 11:23 pm). I wrote a rather lengthy reply to it and somehow hit the wrong button just, so the page suddenly disappeared. That happened just moments ago.

            Now, I haven’t time to reconstruct my thoughts, so I will post again, to you — probably that will be at the bottom of this page — sometime in the next 24 hours or so…



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        • @ uprising,

          Thank you so much for your contributions to this discussion — most especially this last comment of yours. My intro to medical-coercive psychiatry was at age 21.5 (nearly three decades ago). Having conceded to pressures from family and friends, to allow myself to be met by a psychiatrist in an E.R., I would offer a long series of yes or no questions; the last of those questions were offered by an assistant of the psychiatrist (my guess is, probably a resident).

          In every which way, I had been insisting, honestly, to the psychiatrist, that I had no intentions to harm myself. So, there should have been no problem, at last, when I was asked by his assistant “Do you think you are going to die and be reborn…?” I answered “Yes.”

          To me, that “Yes” seemed like the best possible answer.

          But, now, that answer of mine was taken as an indication that I was supposedly “a danger” to myself. (I.e., it became the psychiatrist’s license to “hospitalize” me against my will.)

          The nearest unoccupied psychiatric “hospital” beds were in another facility, barely a mile away; but, he would need to transport me by ambulance; no one explained any of this to me. I did not know that my fate had been sealed that way, that I would be strapped to a guerney to be forcibly injected with neuroleptic drugs. And, I was calm as I lay on that guerney before being strapped down. I felt safe momentarily, as there was a Chaplain sitting beside me, holding my hand.

          But, two men came in, to tie me down. I screamed “NO!” as I saw their needle, but to no avail.

          It took a while before my mind would go totally unconscious, so the ambulance ride was a horrific experience, in which I could not help but struggle against the straps; and, as they’d put a face mask on me (which is, I guess a safe-guard against “patients” who are spitting), there’s no way I would have appeared human to the ambulance driver, his partner — nor to my mom, who was riding along with me. Frankly, I could not help but hate her in those moments — as she was the one who had done the most to arrange for my ‘meeting’ with the E.R. psychiatrist. Indeed, surely, as I struggled, she could tell that I was furious with her; so, despite my being heavily ‘tranquilized’ then, it remains an incredibly nightmarish, indelibly etched memory…

          I’d awaken slowly, hours later, alone, in a bed, in the “hospital”; someone came in to have me sign a paper; I don’t recall what it was, but I don’t recall it being explained to me, and I doubt that I could have made sense of it then myself, considering I was still feeling drugged; but, it may have been a contract to allow the attending psychiatrist permission to speak with my family.

          (Ironically, my parents would later complain, that he was very hard to reach — and mainly failed to return their calls.)

          Soon, I’d be on my feet. I’d wind up wandering into a ‘day room’ where, after a very brief exchange of words with a “patient” there (nothing too extraordinary, I’d just mentioned that I was having a hard time discerning the difference between “patients” and staff; he went away; and, in retrospect, I think it may have been to report my having said that); two psych-techs would come in, to silently lead me, by my arm, into small room where, without a word spoken to me, again, I’d be tied down and forcibly injected.

          So, that forced ‘medical treatment’ had happened twice, that day.

          All of my friends and family had done what they thought was right; and, I had agreed to cooperate; yet, upon entering the realm of medical-psychiatry, I was being treated worse than most pound dogs are treated, when entering the pound…

          Months later, I could only begin to get through to a single family member (my Mom), that all that ‘medical treatment’ had been, in fact, terribly abusive.

          How did I finally get through to her? I did so by explaining, as clearly as possible, in a letter, that I felt as though I had been raped — indeed, repeatedly raped…

          The effects of not only those two attacks with IV needles (their liquid nueroleptic drugs being repeatedly pumped into my veins) — but also the neuroleptic pills, that I’d later be told I had no choice but to swallow… All those toxic chemicals created extraordinarily torturous effect, after all… truly incredible disorientation — the walls and the ceiling seemed as though breathing — and, worst of all, akathisia (which cannot be adequately described for the sake of warning those who’ve never felt it). The accompanying suicidal feelings, which I had never in my life previously experienced, would not be taken seriously by anyone.

          That is to say, I mentioned those feelings to my dad, as I spoke with him on a pay phone; and, he relayed his concerns, about this, to the attending psychiatrist; that psychiatrists, in turn, spoke with me — and, from that conversation, he concluded (and explained to my parents), that I was supposedly just trying to gain sympathy!

          Of course, you can imagine, how horrified I was to find that my parents wanted me to stay longer than the roughly two weeks that was permitted by my ‘hold’; as I was being released, the psychiatrist would make himself unavailable to their calls; and, they were fully unwilling to take me home; likewise, my friends; none would even momentarily consider taking me in…

          So, I had to choose between being homeless or conceding to be “re-hospitalized” in another facility…

          Within hours of arriving there, I would be again forcibly drugged…

          Now, I know there are many countless individuals who have experienced far worse, at the hands of psychiatrists and their assistants than I.

          But, surely I have the right to declare, that I was being seriously abused by psychiatry (in more ways that one) — for weeks, that turned into months; and, indeed, it’s perfectly fair to say, that I was repeatedly brain-raped.

          Again, thank you, uprising; your commenting has allowed me to relay my sense of some those gawd-awful memories of medical-coercive psychiatry, which, as you can see, are recollections that come back to haunt me, even to this day…

          Francesca, if you have read my comment to this point, please get just this much, at least: No one in this movement for social justice should be choosing the words for defining the experiences of anyone else…

          I will reserve the right to speak my own mind and define my own experiences…



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          • P.S. — a minor clarification: I began my comment, above, by recalling how, upon first being introduced to medical-coercive psychiatry “I would offer a long series of yes or no questions.”

            I had meant to write this: I would be offered a long series of yes or no questions…

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          • Jonah,

            Thanks for your support and much more importantly, thank you for so eloquently describing your experience of psychiatric forced drugging. I’m at a loss as to exactly what to say, given the power of this story you have shared, because I feel like whatever I may say cannot possibly be adequate, so I will just say this:
            I am deeply, truly sorry that this happened to you. What they did to you was beyond wrong and inexcusable. I’m fairly certain (from having read other comments you’ve written) that you know this, but I feel the need to say it anyway. For some to call what you went through “treatment” or “care” is, to me, disgusting and is double-speak at its worst. Thank you so much for sharing this and for vocally defending your truth.

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          • I don’t know why I continue to be shocked by the absolute lack of compunction the “helpers” in the mental health system are capable of, but this one got to me. To think they would consider the belief in reincarnation as a psychotic symptom is beyond the pale. According to this standard, three quarters of the world’s population is probably subject to enforced psychiatric hospitalization.

            Thanks so much for sharing your story. I hope it and others like it reach the right eyes and ears. And “brain rape” certainly sounds like an apt description of what you’ve gone through. Your strength in surviving it all and being willing to tell the world what happened is admirable and appreciated.

            —- Steve

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          • Hi Jonah,

            I see that the use of loaded questions is being put to use in America as well.

            “Do you believe you will die and be reborn?”

            I was asked if i had a knife and answered that i had a drawer full of knives, forks and spoons. I was then asked if i could use one of these knives to protect myself, to which i answered of course i could. On the form used to detain me it is written “knife for self protection”.

            When i read your comment i got a feeling of Deja Moo, I’ve heard this .BS somewhere before.

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          • Hi, Jonah. I didn’t read your whole comment but the boldface type caught my eye. I want to make it clear that I would never presume to choose another person’s words. I am just trying to suggest to people that if the goal is to be heard by one’s opponents, the wording of the message has to be designed with that in mind.

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          • @ uprising and Steve and boans,

            Thank you for you thoughtful replies, in response to my comment detailing why I feel it’s perfectly reasonable to state, that: I was brain-raped by psychiatry…


            @ Francesca,

            Thanks for your response as well. I have posted my overall sense of it (as well as offered my answers to the questions you’ve posed, to me) in a comment below (on June 21, 2014 at 1:11 pm). You can find that comment of mine with this link:



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          • “The accompanying suicidal feelings, which I had never in my life previously experienced, would not be taken seriously by anyone.”
            It is akin to my experience – the psychiatrists caused me to have a first and only real suicide attempt where I was 100% determined to kill myself.
            I don’t even want to describe other aspects of the “help” I got in the hospital because already reading your account was so triggering for me.

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        • Uprising, yes, it’s usually (though not always) in reference to forced treatment. People are of course entitled to use whichever words they choose however inflammatory language (e.g. Scientology’s “industry of death”) doesn’t open doors to productive discussion.

          I certainly don’t think people should “just shut up about” psychiatric abuse. I very much support getting the truth out there. However, I do think we should do it in such a way that gets us listened to. IMO, the phrase “brain rape” doesn’t accomplish this.

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          • OK, I see your point but what kind of words do you suggest to convey the message? And why on earth do you think that calling forced drugging and restraint rape is somehow inflammatory? For whom? For psychiatrists who do that and see their victims suffer and somehow don’t realise/care that what they do is wrong and abusive?
            How would you explain the experience I had in a “non-inflammatory language” if the only thing I could possibly compare it to is gang rape? How am I supposed to convey the message? Please, tell me because I don’t know.

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          • Francesca,

            Can you really say that V R Kuchipudi, and friends, having me medically unnecessarily shipped to them, so they could cover up prior medical malpractice and other crimes against my children, with “snowing” (drugging until only the whites of the eyes show), for profit, was not a form of rape?

            Here’s evidence of Kuchipudi’s similar, for profit only, crimes against other patients:



            I will concede, I do not remember much about the experience, because the hospital that medically unnecessarily shipped me a long distance to V R Kuchipudi had, according to the medical records, put me on a hypnotic drug, prior to shipping me to Kuchipudi.

            But I do, distinctly, remember being terrified of sexual rape as six giant men violently strapped this 135lb woman to a table, then pumped me full of at least seven drugs (according to the medical records), all of which had major and moderate drug interactions.

            Can you really say such terror of rape, although it resulted in a chemical assault on my brain, rather than a sexual rape (to my knowledge, but I don’t remember much of my first ten days in Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, and did have concern of actual sexual assault due to my drug induced lack of awareness of what happened, thereafter), isn’t a form of rape? Honestly, I think “brain rape” is an accurate description of what I was personally subjected to.

            I strikes me, if you haven’t actually experienced the true evil of (hopefully) the worst of the medical profession, you should not really feel it’s your right to dictate appropriate commentary about others’ experiences.

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      • I would argue that equating antipsychiatry with Scientology should be met with a demand to return to the issues at hand. I would observe that anyone stating this is engaging in an ad hominem attack in order to avoid dealing with the data. A simple response: “What does religion have to do with the effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs over time? I’ve presented data to show that those receiving antipsychotic drugs do worse in the long term. Why are you avoiding answering that question? What are your data to refute that? Is it possible you are resorting to this kind of attack because you don’t have a scientific response to my query?”

        This will probably not convince the person trying to distract the reader with their smear tactics, but an alert reader will easily see who is talking facts and who is trying to distract.

        I do agree that people have every right to give their own experience the framing they believe it deserves, and we should not have to protect psychiatrists from hearing the emotional impact of psychiatry’s “helpful” interventions. At the same time, I agree with Francesca that sometimes we do have to be careful of how we frame things with people who are “uncommitted” in the debate, so that it is difficult to view the critique of psychiatry as anything but rational and well-grounded. I suppose I hold the professionals (like myself) most responsible for getting this message out. Survivors’ views should really be considered valuable regardless of the style of presentation, because after all, they are the ones who had the experience.

        Bottom line, I don’t think “playing nice” with psychiatry as a profession is worth wasting time on, but I do think there are possible allies who should be approached with a more diplomatic message. It’s important to consider the audience.

        —- Steve

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        • On the issue of “brain rape”

          The law where i live allows a mental health practitioner to deprive someone of their right to liberty, but not their right to consent. The only person who can remove the right to consent is a psychiatrist.

          The reason that a person is referred is that they have explicitly refused an examination by a psychiatrist, and they are therefore detained by police and delivered to a hospital.

          Before being examined by a psychiatrist, a doctor does a mental health assessment, and a physical examination of the person. They specifically do not request consent to conduct these, and force and coercion will be used if one refuses.

          They imply consent where it could not possibly be assumed. The person has refused examination by a psychiatrist, why would they then consent to examination by a doctor?

          Part of the physical examination involves the insertion of a tongue depressor into the persons mouth.

          This constitutes the offence of aggravated sexual assault. It is an offence to insert any object into a person’s anus or mouth without consent.

          I have heard many patients describe the process of being referred as feeling like they were raped. The reason for this, i believe, is because they were.

          Our Chief Psychiatrist calls these assaults “accepted practice”. How quaint.

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          • It has been comedic trying to have this matter dealt with. 5 letters to the Chief Psychiatrist (responsible for over sight of the Act) and 3 letters to the Minister.

            Me; I was physically examined by a doctor when i specifically denied consent.

            CP; he has designation and authority under the Act.

            Me; Which section?

            CP; you could complain to the regulating authority.

            Me; no point if he has the authority to do so. Which section?

            CP; he doesn’t work for the hospital anymore, you could complain to the regulating authority.

            Me; I know who to complain to but there is no point if he has authority under the Act. Which section?

            One can only live in hope that the person whose primary responsibility is the protection of consumers, careers and the community will actually recognise what these protections are in the Act.

            So far i have identified 2 that he has been turning a blind eye to. Doctors don’t like the law, so I’m going to ignore the corrupt methods they are employing to overcome these protections.

            And were paying this man for what?

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          • Good points.
            Btw, psychiatrists have also a possibility to force physical examination on you – I was forced to take blood tests (for HIV and hepatitis infections) and ECG against my will (not that I have anything against it in principle but I just was not interested in being examined for that at that time and by these people). I find that super violating – no other medical practitioner would be able to force me to take any of these tests (I’m not even mentioning the presumption on their part that psychiatric patients are somehow in need for screening for HIV).
            I am a person with a phobia against needles dating back to my childhood (obviously – iatrogenic). Each time I have to take a blood exam I am super stressed but usually nurses and doctors are nice and take their time and effort to relive this stress. I guess I don’t have to mention how bad my phobia got after being so nicely treated by the “professionals” at the psych ward. They have caused PTSD in me and worsened every symptom that I’ve ever had, yet they don’t even consider the idea that they could be doing something wrong…
            It is assault and it’s rape what is happening in these institutions and I suggest anyone who’s not comfortable with the language to be subjected to such procedures and then we can talk again.

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        • Steve,
          I am afraid that the victim always ends up looking hysterical and unbalanced for people who are biased in favour of the abuser. And it doesn’t really matter what words you use and it’s unreasonable to require the victims to be kept to some standard of “rationality and calmness” while their abusers will spit out obvious bs without ever being challenged.
          Sociopaths always look more rational than their victims – that’s just their nature. and normal, empathic people are able to be moved by emotional honest accounts. It’s the psychiatrists and people who profit financially or otherwise from the abuse who will label you “extremist” or “unreasonable”.
          There is place for scientific discussions but there is also place for testimonies on brain rape and the horror of forced psychiatry. The movie which changed public opinion on ECT and asylums “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” wasn’t full of scientific debates and studies – it showed the reality of the institution. And sure as hell it was “inflammatory”.

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      • a. So what are we supposed to do with the historical fact that psychiatry helped engineer the holocaust by practicing on “mental patients”? Keep it to ourselves so as not to look “extreme”?

        b. If something is clearly true the fact that someone uses ad hominem kill-the-messenger tactics should not deter you from pointing it out. Their tactics is one thing that might prove your point in the eyes of your audience.

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          • Francesca,

            I beg to differ with you because what you see as “the cause” by defending coercive biopschiatry in certain cases YOU approve is not in keeping with those of us who believe this bogus medicalization of typical human problems/crises/suffering/loss or used for inconvenient people the more powerful want discredited and removed/destroyed for the purpose of social control and destroying certain targeted people with impunity.

            I’ve already given my views about suicide elsewhere and rational people believe that the police and criminal justice should/must deal with bona fide criminals while those like abuse, trauma victims falsely accused of being bipolar to aid and abet their more powerful, usually male abusers should not be allowed to be medicalized to prey on and detroy women, children, the elderly, blacks and other less powerful groups with brain/body killing “treatments” of the mental death porofession.

            See book, The Protest Psychosis, for an example of biopsychiatry’s evil racism and stigmatizing blacks to medicalize and remove them from society to aid and abet further social oppression, one of many notorious examples of psychiatric predation on less powerful groups.

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          • Donna, you’re saying that “rational” people believe that only criminal acts warrant intervention? So a person who believes in emergency suicide prevention must therefore be irrational?

            Why you are calling me “irrational” when you can’t even comprehend what I’ve written? Nowhere have I said that I defend biopsychiatry; indeed, I’m very much opposed to it.

            Nor do I “support” coercion. I do acknowledge that there are rare and extraordinary circumstances where we have no other choice. Forced intervention/treatment must always be the very last option but nevertheless it will sometimes be necessary.

            What I do support is more effective and earlier voluntary care. Now if you want to talk about what that entails, absolutely, that’s a worthwhile discussion. But a blanket statement along the lines of all involuntary treatment is evil just doesn’t pass the laugh test never mind foster worthwhile dialogue.

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          • Francesca,

            I simply disagreed that you should be able to dictate the “cause” for all psychiatric reformers, protesters, victims, those killed or otherwise destroyed by the current fascist psychiatric system, etc. You can certainly leave me out of your supposed “reform” movement while many others have objected too.

            “Godwin’s Law” does not apply to biopsychiatry since they were and are responsible for creating the evil, bogus eugenics theories with the robber barons of the 1930’s that allowed them to justify gassing to death those they stigmatized as mentally ill in Germany as practice for the Holocaust they advocated to Hitler while moving their gassing apparatus to concentration camps. Those presiding at the Nuremburg Trials admitted that without psychiatry, the Holocaust would probably never have happened. With its junk science DSM and pretense that normal/typical human problems/stress/crises are mental diseases of one’s individual brain due to bad genes, chemical imbalances and other bogus claims while lying and denying all social, relationship, environmental stressors, injustice, oppression, inequality and other situations known to cause human distress, the current biopsychiatry paradigm continues its same predatory eugenics agenda with all humans except the psychopathic 1% targeted rather than any particular group as in Nazi Germany. This allows those in power to blame their victims for the evils they inflict with the pretense that their faulty brains are the problem and not their predagory “shock doctrine” while robbing the globe of all its wealth and resources to make slaves of the majority of people while culling the rest with toxic drugs, food, vaccines, etc.

            You have accused me of saying YOU are irrational in a comment because I don’t agree with you about coercive treatment, but I certainly did not mention or address YOU in that post though you seem to believe you are the moderator on this post feeling free to vilify and degrade people who deviate from your mantra.

            So, I think the problem is that you cannot engage in rational discussions when anyone disagrees with your ideology without insulting and bullying them.

            As I said, you are entitled to your opinions, but I don’t appreciate your putdowns because you disagree with me or others for that matter.

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          • Application of the “Godwin’s Law” is pretty dumb. Actually the history of 3rd Reich and Holocaust is a very relevant topic for many mechanisms which have occurred through history and are no different today. And have the obvious advantage that any analogy is easily understood since everyone has a t least some knowledge about the topic. Anyone who’s turning around and saying “she’s used a word Nazi, she’s an unreasonable extremist” is displaying lazy thinking and is unlikely to critically listen to you anyway.

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      • @ Francesca Allan
        shriek about “brain rape”

        I am sorry to have to tell you that but that comment is extremely offensive for me. As a victim of forced drugging resulting in almost complete anterograde amnesia I totally agree with calling forced drugging brain or mind rape. Sexual rape is in essence forcing someone to undergo a sexual act against his/her will and leaving this person stripped of rights to their own body. The same thing happens when someone injects you with mind-altering drugs (or any drugs for that matter) – it is brutal force used to take over control over your body without your consent and it’s deeply traumatising. I’m not even getting into the assault of restraints. I do feel violated aka raped by the psychiatry and that is the closest analogy to the feeling I have about what was done to me and I’ve read many stories of people similarly victimised who use the exact same wording. Similar thing goes for the term “zombification” – I remember telling my friend at the time I feel like that on drugs before I realised that this term is widely used by other people with similar experiences.

        Similarly, psychiatry was instrumental in conducting Holocaust, this is a historical fact and some of the abusive practices are alive to this day.

        I don’t think calling rape “unwanted sexual contact” is going to make rape apologists more likely to agree with you. Similarly I don’t think psychiatry’s PR machine will bother to ope itself for discussion if we used euphemisms for what they do.

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  2. “Come the day,” pray to God. Today’s DSM stigmatizations are no more scientifically valid, than was psychiatry’s claim that being Jewish was a “mental illness.” When will wisdom reign?

    Thank you for continuing to point out the disingenuous propaganda of the psychiatric industry, Dr. Hickey.

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  3. Big Psychiatry has NOTHING to say about the people it has harmed and won’t admit it ever harms anyone. They have NOTHING to say about the collateral damage from what they do with their labels and drugs.

    Why ? They are constitutionally incapable of being HONEST with anyone including themselves.

    Admit it big psychiatry the APA , you harm alot of people and I never found anything from your “side” that addresses this, no no its always more PR to make yourselves more billions.

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    • I read the stuff that came up, sooo easy for an MIA reader to see right through it as and pull it apart, but what is the public thinking ?

      Better yet, what are my thinking ?

      Is it worth starting 10,000 teens down the road to a lifetime on psychiatric drugs to save ONE from suicide ??

      SSRIs are psychiatry’s gateway drug and once the gate is open it’s damb hard to shut.

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    • Ugh. I see psychiatry is desperate for new customers. I hope people don’t just look at the headlines, because buried in the articles about the uptick in teen suicide attempts is a statement to the effect that correlation is not causation, and they cannot link the increases in suicide with the decrease in psych drug use. But of course, let’s throw that out there and get the public riled up.

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      • I remember from my hospitalizations that the most common method people were using to attempt suicide was on impulse to take the whole bottle of pills psychiatry gave them ! More females attempt suicide than males. (3 female attempts for each male attempt.)

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      • Yet, the best available evidence shows that unmedicated patients with bipolar disorder do not have a higher risk of suicide.
        Storosum and colleagues analyzed all placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trials of mood stabilizers for the prevention of manic/depressive episode that were part of a registration dossier submitted to the regulatory authority of the Netherlands, the Medicines Evaluation Board, between 1997 and 2003 [28]. They found four such prophylaxis trials. They compared suicide risk in patients on placebo compared with patients on active medication. Two suicides (493/100,000 person- years of exposure) and eight suicide attempts (1,969/100,000 person-years of exposure) occurred in the group given an active drug (943 patients), but no suicides and two suicide attempts (1,467/100,000 person-years of exposure) occurred in the placebo group (418 patients). Based on these absolute numbers from these four trials, I have calculated (see Figure S1 showing calculation, and see Figure 2) that active agents are most likely to be associated with a 2.22 times greater risk of suicidal acts than placebo (95% CI 0.5, 10.00).
        PR that.

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        • As far as I am aware, there is no evidence anywhere that antidepressants have an impact on reducing the suicide rate. The only data we do know of suggests that they most likely increase it. The only drug I know of that has been shown to reduce the suicide rate scientifically is Lithium, and it wasn’t by a lot. Somebody tell me if I’m missing something here.

          —– Steve

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          • Steve,

            First, I want to say that I always appreciate your very intelligent, expert comments on MIA as I’ve told you before.

            However, I am very disappointed that you would write a comment to answer another one about the latest fad fraud bipolar that Dr. Insel, Head of NIMH, has declared invalid seemingly supporting this menace by claiming toxic lithium can prevent suicide. The comment above that elicited your comment gave evidence by Dr. David Healy, Psychiatrist and author of the excellent book, MANIA: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder, that those falsely accused of having this bogus, voted in stigma created with DSM III with Big Pharma to push the latest lethal neuroleptics and epilepsy drugs on mostly abused, trauma victims, had no higher risk of suicide from their bogus “bipolar disease.”

            Could you cite the evidence that has been duplicated by others that lithium prevents suicides for the fake bipolar disorder that is pushed today on a vast number of people? I doubt very much that is the case, but even if it seemed to prevent it in biopsychiatry’s bogus ghost written, Big Pharma twisted “evidence,” the lethality of lithium causing brain, liver and other deadly organ damage since the supposed therapeutic dose is almost the same as the deadly, toxic, life threatening dose is enough reason to avoid this poison like the plague despite your dubious claim it reduces suicide for “bipolars” but not a lot!

            Also, living the life of a drugged, unfeeling, brain damaged, disabled, obese, destroyed wreck of a human being/zombie could never justify this poison drug any more than the equally life destroying neuroleptics in my opinion.

            I would ask you not to give ammunition to the opposition without tons of evidence that the so called benefits outweigh the huge risks/known harm of lithium you cite are proven. And even then I’d have to ask who’s side you are on to seemingly push this poison on anyone including your worst enemy!

            If you consider that someone making such a claim about the great value of ADHD drugs might have put your children at increased risk, I would ask you not to make claims that will put those given a bogus bipolar stigma at risk for poison lithium or other toxic drugs. You must be aware that this fraudulent “disorder” was created by the very character disordered that created this stigma for adults in the DSM III followed up by Joseph Biederman’s single handedly creating the child ADHD and bipolar epidemics while on the take with Big Pharma while illegally receiving federal grant money as well. Since this corruption is well documented on the web, I won’t go into detail about all the fraud related to the bipolar monstrosity and assault on humanity by the biopsychiatry/Big Pharma cartel!

            Again, I am dismayed by your comment implying that lithium is good drug that can prevent supposed increased bipolar suicide when the opposite is really true per Dr. Healy above who exposes this false claim is used to justify predation on those so stigmatized as is true of the so called depressed. After what the mental death profession does to trauma victims with their bipolar demolition enterprise, I would be surprised if there weren’t a lot of related suicides given this stigma is deliberately used to discredit, stigmatize, ostracize, prey on, destroy and profit from the victims while aiding and abetting the abusers in power! Also, all of psychiatry’s toxic drugs cause suicide, brain damage and a host of other life threatening effects, which are the only effects that are often used to pretend it was the so called “mental illness” that caused the suicide, a well known Big Pharma ploy invented by CEO Mitch Daniels!!

            I regret if this post offends you, but I find your post very offensive and questionable.

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          • Hey, I’m the last guy in the world to support bipolar disorder as a diagnosis or lithium as a “good drug.” Lithium is essentially a poison to the system, and its main claim to fame in my book is that the difference between the “therapeutic” dose and the lethal dose is so small that they have to constantly check your levels so they don’t accidentally kill you.

            My comment was mostly meant to summarize that there is no literature support for SSRIs reducing suicide attempts or ideation, rather the opposite. I am a scientist and have to acknowledge the evidence that exists, and having done a lot of research on suicide rates and psych drugs, I have become aware that there is research showing that lithium does reduce the suicidal thinking rate. It may do so by poisoning the brain so badly that thoughts of suicide are impossible to formulate, but that’s what the research has shown. I don’t for a minute consider it a recommendation to supply lithium to suicidal people. The point was more that the idea that an increase in suicide rates is not likely to be in any way connected with the rates of SSRI prescription, except if it goes up.

            I am still waiting for someone to show me any research to the contrary, but having presented this many times as a question and gotten no response, I think we are safe to assume that such evidence does not exist, even in the pharma-distorted published literature most likely to favor such “research findings.”

            Hope that clarifies things. I am no apologist for lithium or bipolar disorder or really anything in the DSM, except possibly for PTSD. Except I don’t think of that as a disorder, but more a normal response to being abused. I don’t believe “mental illnesses” as defined in the DSM even exist, let alone justify medical “treatment” with drugs that are really poisons.

            —- Steve

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          • Steve,

            I stand by what I said. Copy Cat cited far more recent evidence than yours by expert Dr. David Healy that you have yet to share with us on MIA about the bogus bipolar stigma and the invented increased suicide that supposedly goes with it to justify the latest lethal drugs on patent and/or the horrific poison lithium you recommend for suicide prevention with no qualifications. This exact same fraud has been used to push SSRI drugs known to cause suicide like ALL of their toxic drugs/treatments including ECT that drove Ernest Hemingway and Sylvia Plath to suicide.

            Your comment was actually a non sequitur regarding Copy Cat’s article because lithium is mainly and probably only used for the bogus bipolar stigma for the presumed increased suicide it supposedly causes as well as other supposed symptoms.

            Since Dr. Healy and others have shown that “bipolar” does not increase suicide, the bogus argument of using lithium to prevent the mythical increased suicide is also bogus and a moot issue. Also, everyone knows that SSRI’s are the gateway drug to both suicide and a bipolar stigma due to their lethal iatrogenic effects, so it’s all too possible that the SSRI effects were used to pretend that the now “unmasked bipolar” (another vile Big Pharma blaming the victim fraud) was the real cause of the suicide attempt and on and on ad nauseum with their neverending junk science and spin doctoring making all of psychiatry/Big Pharma “research/studies” highly suspect and questionable including yours about the suicide benefits of the lethal lithium.

            So, there was no point in your volunteering that lithium reduces suicide especially with no context, evidence or application in this case since Copy Cat shared that Dr. Healy has given current evidence that the great claim of bipolar causing more suicide just like the lie that “depression” in itself causes suicide without psychiatric stigma, drugs and oppression is just one of many of biopsychiatry’s Big Pharma con jobs.

            So, your claim of lethal lithium reducing the nonexistent increased suicide in so called bipolar is a moot issue, so there was no point in your risking others’ lives while making this false claim based on old psychiatric spin and junk science, which probably includes the “science” you read that claimed lithium slightly reduces suicide. Per Dr. Jay Joseph, the tons of claims by bogus biopsychiatry used to con and brainwash everyone are rarely duplicated and proven.

            Despite your implication that a gun was put to your head to force you to put forth any knowledge you might have about preventing suicide when it had no bearing on this post or the post you targeted with this response, it was not relevant or accurate in this case, but rather dangerous.

            As with any Big Pharma or other drug ads, I think such a comment should include all the known deadly side effects and other needed warnings that the supposed cure might lead to one’s grave disability and even early death.

            Again, I usually have a very high regard for your comments as I have said numerous times and this one seems greatly out of character for you in my opinion, making me feel quite betrayed and disappointed by one of my heroes making such a claim.

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          • Fiachra,

            At this point in time the FDA drug interaction checker lists “moderate” (as opposed to “mild” or “major”) drug interaction warnings with lithium and the various antipsychotics I checked. That doesn’t address withdrawal effects, however.

            But this is evidence the “bipolar” drug cocktails the psychiatrists are putting all the patients who experienced ADRs and adverse withdrawal issues from the antidepressants and ADHD drugs on, are not likely to actually benefit the patients. How embarrassing that should be to those doctors who claimed they knew “everything about the meds.”

            And, unfortunately, I lived the psycho / pharmaceutical industries’ “cover up all ADRs and withdrawal symptoms of our precious new ‘wonder drugs,’ so we can get them approved for use in the captive child market” fest. So I can tell you with 100% certainty that, at least for me, but likely for most, the “antipsychotics” and “mood stabilizers” absolutely do not cure the ADRs and withdrawal effects of the “antidepressants.”

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          • I just want to add, it’s almost incomprehensible to me, that supposedly intelligent doctors are so stupid as to believe that when a person has one of the commonly known “black box warning” bad reactions to a drug, that rather than properly weaning the person off the drug. Doctors claim the adverse reaction is an “unmasking” of a new fictitious and unprovable disease, which needs more drugs. The stupidity and lack of ethics of the medical community is simply staggering to me. Forgive my disgust, decent and ethical medical practitioners.

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          • Someone Else
            The lines are provided for them, for every event.
            ‘ten per cent brain loss is not really significant’
            ‘Suicide in schizophrenia is because the person has lost their chance in life’
            ‘Chemical brain imbalance’
            ‘Schizophrenic smoking is causing the early deaths’
            ‘When a person takes the antidepressants they improve, and its then that they can carry out their suicidal tendencies’
            ‘A person relapses when they stop medication’ – (they rebound)
            ‘Schizophrenia is an illness’ (for the most part it is not – its the same as normal human behavior but more pronounced)
            ‘Anti Psychotics’ (for major tranquillisers)
            ‘Diabetes is genetically connected to schizophrenia’ – (the diabetes comes from the drug treatments)
            Theres lots more as well.

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  4. Thank you once again, Philip, for yet another crystal clear and well-argued post. I am gratified to see you identify yourself as “anti-psychiatry” as well. It is clear to me that the leaders of psychiatry are terrified that this position will be seen as more and more reasonable by the public. To me, this means we should use the phrase as much as we can. In my experience, the average person not in our movement is not turned off by the phrase. It just makes them curious as to why we have this position.

    Thank you again for your marvelous posts. Keep up the good work!

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  5. Dr. Hickey,

    Thank you for another excellent and very thorough article about the ongoing perils of the bogus biopsychiatry hijacking of humanity based on their never ending ability to lie and deny the truth and push their increasingly fascist agenda to aid and abet their fellow perpetrators in power via main stream media also sold out to Big Pharma and those in power.

    Here is a new article I just read that not only infuriated me, it made me literally sick! I would love to see you apply your great research skills and thoroughness to the appalling fraud and complete lack of care for their victims in this latest of biopsychiatry’s great media agenda you expose to continue their ongoing lies, pretense and fraud in the name and game of “medicine” and great supposed care for their suffering victims who are at such great risk without their so called help.

    Be careful! This article could be dangerous to your health with a great anger, shock reaction or apoplexy!!

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    • Hi Donna

      Note the use of the term “horrible side effect” in the first sentence of the article?

      It’s almost like the industry is saying it’s dangerous to tell people that it’s dangerous to take these drugs. So best we just keep it to ourselves eh?

      On the issue of Attack and .PR, i find this is good news. It means that they are worried that the public is becoming aware of what’s going on, and damage control is required. A bit of luck they will shoot themselves in the foot with their damage control.

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      • “Many people stay in a hospital or treatment facility weeks to months after an attempt, often against their will. … If they had been taking antidepressant drugs, if they’d had their depression controlled, they might have avoided that.”
        Oh, I love that quote. So the solution is not – don’t put people on “anti-depressants” or don’t force them to stay in hospitals against their will – no, the solution is hide the truth. Lovely…
        If the antidepressants are so wonderful then why are these kids killing themselves on them? It should be all unicorns and rainbows, right?

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    • The mainstream media has been bought out by big Pharma advertising dollars. We need to make advertising pharmaceuticals illegal again. If nothing else, so our “news” organizations can go back to actually informing the public about actual “fair and balanced” news. It’s funny, I grew up in the US hearing about all the propaganda going on in Russia, now it’s my country that’s inundated with propaganda. Thank you, APA and big Pharma.

      As to the possible increase in suicides after the black box was put on the antidepressants. My ex-psychologist’s neighborhood high school had six kids commit violent suicides between, I think it was 2006 and 2010. As each of the first four died, the “rumors” in the neighborhood were, “well, it’s okay, he was mentally ill” (which implies the kids were on drugs). But by the time the fifth kid killed himself, those “rumors” were starting to sound mighty cold hearted, and the kids knew in their hearts it was a lame excuse. After the sixth kid killed himself, the “mental health professionals” and other “civic leaders” jumped in claiming to “take control of the situation.” And, of course they never pointed out that the use of the psychotropics could be behind the suicides (despite the black box label), they just wanted as many kids as possible to be screened for possible depression. And my ex-pastor, who I have medical evidence covers up child abuse by shipping people off to the the psychiatric professionals, was one of the “civic leaders” heading up these efforts.

      But it strikes me that stigmatizing (possibly abused) children with unprovable “life long, incurable, genetic mental illnesses” and putting them onto drugs that are know to cause suicides and violence takes away all a child’s hope, and in reality, is quite an evil medical practice.

      I do wish the psychiatric profession would honestly address and debate the issues, rather than just attacking and propagandizing.

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    • Dr. Hickey,

      Here is another take on the supposed increase in suicide due to black box and other warnings about SSRI’s causing suicide by Dr. Mickey Nardo of 1boringoldman. Of course, the fact that Kirsch and others have exposed that SSRI’s are not better than placebo with toxic side effects is not considered in the article I cited. Rather, the implication as always is that psychiatry with its great drugs saves lives by preventing suicide with their important drugs and “treatments.” What a farce! I have seen the effects of these toxic drugs described by Dr. Peter Breggin as “I don’t care” drugs that cause what he calls “spellbinding” or an inability to see how badly one is being affected that probably help push would be school/public shooters/killers over the edge with the intent to commit suicide as well.

      Dr. Nardo indicates that this topic has been madly circulating in the media, so it seems quite consistent with your exposure of the “attack and PR” strategy by the APA and/or biopsychiatry to look out for their guild interests rather than patient health and safety since SSRI’s and psychiatric drugs in general have been coming under much attack lately especially with regard to their use in children.

      As I said, I would certainly be interested in what you have to say about this latest PR campaign of biopsychiatry considering your latest post here.

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      • Dr. Hickey,

        Thanks for your encouraging response. Your hard hitting articles are always excellent and thorough, so I will look forward to reading one about this latest psychiatric debacle.

        In case you haven’t seen it, Dr. Nardo has added more articles on his blog on the SSRI topic today (6/21) with one comparing all the bogus media articles that merely parrot the dangerous puff pieces of biopsychiatry/Big Pharma per usual.

        Also, you may have seen the many critiques of the original BMJ article by Dr. David Healy and other experts exposing the SSRI harm/fraud:

        One excellent point made in these comments that I’ve been seeing elsewhere is that the decline of SSRI antidepressants may be due to their coming off patent and disease mongerers like Nassir Ghaemi trying to stigmatize everyone on the planet with the bogus bipolar used for both murderers (see Gary Sampson, Robert Hanson and other serial killers) and abuse/rape victims (see military female “bipolar” rape debacle) to “irritability” in children no less per a new study by NIMH. With the new Latuda neuroleptic and most atypical neuroleptics on patent at least in injectionable form for better “compliance,” there is all the more incentive to push the bipolar fad fraud while Ghaemi is pushing what Dr. Joel Paris calls “bipolar imperialism” by hijacking PTSD, so called borderline, anxiety, depression and any others he can annex to his concentration camp of destroyed bipolar inmates poisoned and defamed into oblivion. Ghaemi has accepted money from the makers of Latuda.

        Another factor is that if young people were abruptly taken off these drugs, they may have been more susceptible to such “side effects” as suicide because many if not most doctors don’t know or care that one must be slowly weaned from psych drugs. Many school/public shooters/suicides were on these drugs or in withdrawal.

        Other critics of the SSRI media campaign in the comments about the above BMJ article point out that often black box warnings actually increase usage while having almost no effect in decreasing it.

        Other contributors to suicide are cited such as the increasingly bad economy, pain killer and other prescription and illegal drug abuse, etc.

        Given that drugs for so called bipolar are even more lethal than the gateway SSRI and “ADHD” drugs to the iatrogenic harm fraudulently stigmatized as bipolar, I wonder if by protesting this outrageous media campaign to defend SSRI’s, we might be playing into biopsychiatry/Big Pharma hands!

        At the same time, however, given that the lack of efficacy and safety of SSRI’s has been so widely exposed by those like Kirsch with his book, The Emperor’s New Drugs, and Dr. David Healy, brain washing the public once again that SSRI’s cure depression and prevent suicide after all the progress made to expose these useless, toxic drugs is “depressing” indeed. Thus, there are many PR advantages to this article for biopsychiatry’s latest ad campaign, so their PR people are earning their money while the danger to would be patients grows exponentially with every lie they publish with no oversight.

        Given your extensive knowledge and research, you may be all the more aware of other hidden agendas in this supposed SSRI campaign while exposing the surface agenda.

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  6. The Lancet article is behind a paywall so I can’t read it in full.

    I’m assuming it does not answer any of Professor Peter Gøtzsche’s arguments. Could you comment on this?

    I have heard Nutt express similar views on a BBC Radio 4 programme on anti-depressents when he said, in an incredulous, faintly outraged manner, “I do not know where David Healy gets his figures from?” The interviewer did not ask Nutt if he had asked David Healy where he got his figures.

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    • John,

      I was able to get a free log-in without difficulty. Maybe it’s been paywalled since then.

      Dr. Nutt does toss out a few references to “prove” that antidepressants are effective, and that they reduce the incidence of suicide, but he ignores the more compelling contrary evidence.

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        • I could open the link and read the article this time.

          Yes, he has a few references, but not very convincing one and not ones that answer the critics.

          Mainly it is a attack on those who attack the good name of psychiatrists. It is trying to say his critics don’t know what they are on about while not actually addressing their arguments.

          Oh well……….

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  7. “Dr. Nutt and two of his co-authors have received grants, personal fees, and other payments from multiple pharmaceutical companies.”

    Dr. Nutt is completely nutty for psychopharmacology (which is to say, he’s a true enthusiast).

    His credentials include Prof of Neuropsychopharmacology, Imperial College London.

    Many of his views were highlighted, at a British Association of Psychopharmacology (BAP) lecture that he gave, at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, in July of 2011. That lecture described a number of ways in which Dr. Nutt believes the “science” of psychiatry is being maligned, it provided some of his favorite theories, and it predicted that the future of psychiatry shall offer, “Personalised treatment (stratified medicine)” to be determined by personal genotypes and “Improved treatments based on better knowledge of brain mechanism.” One slide suggested that “something called C‐Ro154513 binding reduced in nucleus accumbens” may be key to treating alcoholism.

    His Powerpoint presentation was quite a hoot.

    It had been posted online, in a link to the RCPSYCH website but was removed shortly after receiving scathing attention from certain bloggers who are known to MIA readers (pharma-skeptics within his field).

    Fortunately, that PDF was archived at, so it can still be be found and studied online.

    For those who may be interested, here’s the link:

    If you go there, you’ll see, in a slide mentioning Dr. Nutt’s ‘declaration of interests,’ he is described, as being on the, “Advisory Boards ‐ Lundbeck, Servier, Pfizer, Reckitt Benkiser, D&A pharma.”

    Also (according to that same slide), he has received “Grants or clinical trial payments” from a company called “P1vital” (as well as others), and he has “share options” in that company.

    Here’s a link to P1vital: There you can see the latest fruits of the sort of psychopharmacological R&D, which Dr. Nutt is monetarily invested in…

    From the home page, of that website: “P1vital is an innovative Clinical Research Organisation specialising in experimental medicine for Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders and obesity that: Provides CNS efficacy biomarkers in anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, cognitive disorders and obesity…”

    One may reasonably imagine that P1vital’s investors expect big dividends…

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    • oh dear, his presentation says anti-psychotics enabled patients to live outside hospitals and in the community. That’s not strictly true. In fact it’s a myth told by psychiatry to justify the drugs. The drugs came along more than a decade before the asylums were closed down. Also, a lot of patients hate their drugs. He doesn’t seem to have any knowledge of survivor/service user views at all.

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      • “He doesn’t seem to have any knowledge of survivor/service user views at all.”

        Yes that does seem to be the case, and it seems he’d prefer that more of his colleagues would join him in his blissful ignorance, as one of his slides asks the question “Why is this?” … “psychiatric disorders still not valued as much as ‘real illness'” …and he offers his answers with a few bullet points, including this doozy: “Undue focus on adverse effects not benefits.”

        (On the same slide he literally pathologizes the leaders of the critical psychiatry movement, referring to a “Paranoid perspective that some psychiatrists have of the pharma industry.” Attempting to illustrate that point, he provides a brief quoted phrase, that he’s apparently attributed to the writings of Pat Bracken and MIA ‘foreign correspondent’ Philip Thomas: “sickened by the corruption of academic psychiatry.” I guess he believes there is no such corruption?)

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        • Thanks for the link. It struck me initially as a power point on the psychiatric industry’s paranoia. And, since the medical evidence does seem to be coming in proving the psychiatric industry is one that has spent the last 60 years forcibly drugging people while disrespecting their patients. And instead recording the ADRs and withdrawal symptoms of their drugs as the symptoms of the “serious mental illnesses” in their DSM “bible.” Perhaps, they should be “paranoid,” due to their complete and total lack of respect of patients, and creation of the “serious mental illnesses” with their drugs?

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      • I don’t know if that’s accurate. Once Thorazine became widely available, there was an initial spike in hospitalization but fairly soon after that asylum populations decreased. Now, whether one had anything to do with the other is far from clear but what is clear is that even as inpatient care has decreased, the number of the chronically disabled on the outside has risen.

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        • Francesca,

          I suggest that you read Robert Whitaker’s very informative books, Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic that answers the question/issue you raise. Most MIA readers came to this site based on Whitaker’s shocking exposure of the history of biopsychiatry and all the harm it has done to its would be patients.

          I must say that I have found it frustrating at times when you have criticized mine and other comments while admitting to not reading the article or researching the point in question while the person commenting had done that basic homework that seems required for any legitimate, informed comments.

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          • Too late, Donna. Read them, bought them, cite them in papers. I am fully aware of the harm inflicted by biopsychiatry.

            Not sure what you mean about me not reading before commenting. I always read the article in question. I don’t, however, take the time to read comments that go on for paragraphs pretty much saying the same thing over and over.

            A lot of those comments don’t demonstrate any “basic homework” being done and don’t appear particularly “informed.”

            My points were merely that:
            1. There was an initial spike in hospitalization after Thorazine.
            2. That spike was followed by a steady decrease in hospitalization rates.
            3. We can’t go back in time and remove Thorazine from the equation so we are just making our best guess about how deinstitutionalization came to be.

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          • Francesca,
            I’m guessing the reason Donna thought you hadn’t read Whitaker’s books is because he points out that deinstitutionalization was the result of political decisions, rather than a result of the effectiveness of the neuroleptics. But the psychiatric industry propagandizes that the effectiveness of the neuroleptics is what allowed for deinstitutionalization.

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          • Francesca,

            When you replied to one of my comments at MIA with disagreement, you specifically said that you had not read the article, but…….., which I found quite frustrating. The article in question had to do with the alleged violence of the “seriously mentally ill” with the most violence supposedly committed by the many stigmatized with the bogus bipolar stigma that includes everyone from serial killers, rape/abuse trauma victims to irritable children. Thus, I questioned if any overall conclusions could be made about all of those fraudulently stigmatized with the latest bipolar fad fraud.

            One had to read the article to understand my concern. So, I stand by what I said.

            Glad to hear you’ve read Whitaker’s books. You are entitled to your opinion as is everyone else here.

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          • Someone Else, Bob Whitaker can’t “point out” the reason for deinstitutionalization. Nobody can. All we can do is look at the many possible factors and make our best guess as to what was the primary impetus.

            As I clearly stated in my comment, some very good evidence for Whitaker’s claim is the increase in numbers of the chronically ill DESPITE the advent of antipsychotics.

            I’m thinking Donna took umbrage at my comment because I pointed out (and, yes, “pointed out” is the correct phrase here because I made a provable assertion) that hospitalization initially spiked after Thorazine. That finding is actually evidence against the bioreductionist model yet once again some of you choose to pontificate rather than reflect.

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          • Donna, as to my making a comment without reading an article, I have no memory of the article or the comment so I’m really not in a position to say why it happened.

            However, I would be surprised if my objection to your comment would have been negated by anything in the article. If someone’s comment is “black is white,” then I think I can fairly disagree without finding out what s/he was trying to challenge.

            Again, I don’t recall the comment but it’s not at all clear to me that I would have had to read the article in order to have grounds to disagree with something you wrote.

            As I said, I don’t think I comment on ARTICLES without reading them. I might, however, look at something in a comment underneath if it catches my eye.

            Lastly, gracious of you to allow me my opinion.

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  8. Psychiatry is dead, but, perhaps understandably, they won’t sign their own death certificate. They won’t acknowledge their errors. They won’t back down. And they won’t stop, or even curtail, their destructive practices. They will not even seriously debate the issues.

    “Power cedes nothing without a demand” — Frederick Douglas

    “The system will collapse under its own weight, our job is to give at few kicks and stay high!”
    — Abbie Hoffman

    Both quotes apply to this situation. One cautions about being too lax, one about carrying the fate of humanity on your shoulders. I believe that psychiatry will collapse under the weight of its own contradictions, but we need to give the process as good a push as possible because lives are at stake. With pressure applied in the right places and with the right timing we don’t need a majority vote, just a critical mass of public support. And I’m confident we can achieve this.

    Good News: The APA publicity machine is a paper tiger — we have outmaneuvered them before and we can do it again. Anyone who takes this movement seriously and is not aware of our takeover of the Toronto Sheraton when the APA and we met there on the same week owes it to him or herself to check out this and subsequent issues of Phoenix Rising, the former Canadian survivors liberation publication:

    A great article btw and of course well researched. The quotes you provide from the psychiatric disinformation machine are hilarious!

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    • Hey oldhead,

      I just read the first article about the Sheraton action and it is amazing. I was definitely not aware of it. I’m going to read more, but I wanted to first thank you for sharing the link. I had heard of Phoenix Rising, but I didn’t know it was archived online. So much to learn…

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      • Great, Uprising —

        I was waiting for someone to independently rave about these links to our true history…although the PDF format makes it difficult, it’s worth the effort. You basically have to scroll down, down down to & maybe even past where it says “Movement Notes” to the article by Don Weitz to get the full flavor. It’s easy to get lost in this stuff and experience the echos of the spirit we need to regain.
        (More coverage continues in the next issue, also online at the same psychiatric survivor archives site, one of my favorite analyses of the Toronto conference is there; you have to again scroll down to “Movement Notes.” Also a copy of the historic Statement of Principles adopted in Toronto is in that issue.)

        Spread this stuff around to people who are unaware please!!!

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  9. “and ultimately, when all the rhetoric is spent, psychiatry will be judged on its merits. Come the day!”

    And by then there will be many more victims, including millions more children… Their brains damaged by drugs, forced to develop abnormally and be damaged for the rest of their life. Why anybody at this point would even want to try to have a reasonable debate with them is itself sickening. Why not just go back in time and try reasonably debating the nazi’s.

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      • Francesca,

        Your attempt to define my reality about what I think about the bogus thorazine/neuroleptic great psychiatric miracle “cure,” is quite abusive to say the least along with your other insults. Most honest experts will now admit that the great “magic bullet” claims for both the original and atypical neuroleptics were nothing but a psychiatry/Big Pharma fraud given these horrible drugs didn’t work and caused deadly brain/organ damage with reduced lifespans of 25 years on average while destroying what lives these poor souls had left with the miserable zombie like effects of these poisons along with obesity, diabetes and tons of other bodily harm.

        Bob Whitaker gives many reasons why the mental hospitals emptied which had nothing to do with the toxic drugs or any great psychiatric miracle proclaimed by their usual spin doctoring in his book, Anatomy of an Epidemic. So, thorazine is not the issue here; it is the neverending “mad science,” lies, fraud and violent torture perpetrated against the so called mentally ill throughout psychiatry’s entire sordid history that Bob Whitaker tackles in his book, Mad in America, especially. Thorazine pales in comparison when you review all their torture treatments from their inceptionthat make the Spanish Inquisition and witch burnings look compassionate!

        Anyway, my major point is your criticizing others when you don’t read the articles or comments by your own admission, which shows you are here just to promote a certain ideology without considering others’ points of view. The fact the you then attack and criticize people for not agreeing with your ideology is pretty absurd in my opinion. Such claims that certain posts say “black is white” is an insulting way to disagree with someone to make them appear “crazy” no less on this web site of all places. People who live in glass houses….

        Sadly, I’m not sure I disagree that people suffering psychosis may benefit from some compassionate, ethical help but psychiatry as a whole has betrayed the public trust so much and so many times with its massive corruption, violence, coercion and deceit, they should not be trusted to help such sensitive souls or prey on other normal people by falsely accusing them of being bipolar or psychotic to line their pockets while destroying countless lives to push their life destroying stigmas and toxic drugs.

        Finally, I regret that we are having this battle, but I felt you might want to know how your attitude toward others can feel very offensive and insulting in case you don’t realize it. It’s one thing to disagree about psychiatry, but to insult and disrespect others for no reason is not called for or necessary.

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          • Thanks for your support Fred. I have literally howled with laughter over some of your comments, which have been of great help/consolation when considering our horrible misfortune of being born when biopsychiatry got the great idea to sell out to Big Pharma and invent bogus, life destroying stigmas with the predatory idea of using them to force their horrific, deadly torture “treatments” on most of the planet to make billions at the cost of countless destroyed/lost lives as the intraspecies predators/psychopaths they all were/are. This dirty trick was thought up by the medical expert of the APA at the time who came up with the brilliant evil ploy to exploit psychiatry’s bogus medical status and hijack the whole “mental health” system as Freudian analysis was waning and they faced too much competition from other mental health experts doing talk therapy.

            Since they helped Big Pharma make billions that also padded the pockets of corrupt politicians, FDA and other officials with revolving doors, and served as agents of fascist social control in the guise of medicine like Stalinist Russia, their power has grown exponentially and they have become increasingly invincible thanks to the backing of Big Pharma billions.

            However, there is some small hope now that Big Pharma has all but dumped psychiatry now that its reputation has been so tarnished by this association and they’ve been forced to pay billions in fines as a result of bogus studies, false advertising, promoting dangerous off label use of toxic drugs especially for children/toddlers no less and huge numbers of people disabled or dead from such fraud. Thus, Big Pharma has been pursuing other seemingly more lucrative markets as the truth about “toxic psychiatry” has become more evident and society and governments are being left holding the bag of the millions permanently disabled now on social security disability thanks to the fraud and deceit of the psychiatry/Big Pharma industrial complex.

            Another consequence of psychiatry led corruption in medicine is that because it has become increasingly so widely exposed on the web, in books, media and other sources, many people have become all the more aware that ALL of main stream medicine is corrupt and dangerous. Just taking so called medications as prescribed is one of the leading causes of death today. Thus, many are avoiding all of main stream medicine like the plague it’s become with examples like the latest statin horror show/betrayal perfect examples that such avoidance is the safest thing to do.

            Anyway, thanks again for your validation and nice to hear from you! And can we have more of your hilarious comments? You’ve gotten too serious lately like me! Ha Ha

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  10. Psychiatry was doomed the day the internet was born because it’s all built on lies that are getting more and more and more exposed.

    Every one of them know that on any visit with any patient that might be the day that a patient calls him or her out on some crap like the ‘these pills fix your chemical imbalance’ lie and all the rest of it.

    Hey doc why didn’t you tell me I was going to get withdrawal reactions from hell from this pill you said was “non addictive” ?

    I looked it up and read all these angry web pages written by people who got really sick from it.

    Do some PR to get rid of that.

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    • You know copy cat i was sitting thinking about the way the telephone would have made it hard for the snake oil salesmen.

      Once people could telephone the next town and warn them that they were heading their way, it would have made their existence much more difficult.

      I’m hoping the internet has the same effect on psychiatric practices.

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  11. Psychiatry knows well the power of the media and must be stunned that Professor Gøtzsche and the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry have had their evidence and arguments in the mainstream media.

    If psychiatry could accept and take responsibility for the problems it has within then it may be possible to have civilised debate in an honest fashion.

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  12. Phillip, thanks again for a great piece. To a large degree, I think this outlines how battle lines have been drawn. Those who support psychiatry talk about psych drugs saving lives, restoring mental health and decry dissenting voices as anti-scientific, shrill voices aligned with Scientology.

    The problem comes in how to challenge the modern practice of psychiatry in a way that is actually productive and accomplishes true change. this is where I differ from the abolitionists here. There are people who want to take psychiatric drugs, or feel it is too challenging to come off them. There are those who want to enter hospitals for crisis care and feel served there. For those people we will still need doctors. We will still need psychiatry, even if we personally have serious problems with the practice.

    More important to me is we lead the charge to reform the practice of psychiatry. That means making sure the “consumer” receives a more global understanding of psychiatric drugs and their effects before taking them. It means focusing on changing the prescribing patterns of physicians to be far more cautious in prescribing these drugs. It means shifting towards a greater balance of power in favor of the “consumer” and not the medical practitioner. It means creating a system of alternatives that can truly create options for people in emotional distress. It means scrutinizing the abuses found in hospitalization and fighting against outpatient treatment that mandates drugging.

    Reform is a long hard slog requiring many voices, many conversations and greater media awareness of the issues. We are already seeing a great degree of scrutiny of these issues in the last few years. Some of these voices will be very angry out of the great harm they’ve experienced. I think that these voices are very important. But when anger becomes the main tone of the conversation, it is unlikely to lead to productive outcomes. More likely it will lead to defensiveness and potential allies leaving the conversation.

    My hope is for actual realistic changes and reform that is possible rather than the complete abolition of psychiatry which I see as impossible.

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    • I agree with you that we need to take away the power of psychiatry to force its unwanted interventions on people. But I don’t see how that can be done from within. We (survivors and others) are in the same situation as all other oppressed groups. Slavery wasn’t ended by finding more kind slaveowners.

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      • I would agree that there needs to be quite a lot of change outside of the system. Alternatives such as Hearing Voices Network, Open Dialogue, Peer Respite centers, therapists, peers and on line support for those who desire to come off meds, etc.

        I also think that enormous harm has been done to many that needs to be acknowledgeda no addressed.

        However, calling the whole practice slavery does a disservice to people who choose to take psychiatric drugs, who choose to enter hospitals, who choose to remain on psych drugs because coming off them may prove too challenging, etc. For those who choose to enter or remain “in the system”, it is key to examine how to best reform it.

        For those who have been profoundly damaged, and I work with many, I get the desire to dismantle the whole edifice. But I think we need to recognize that there are many others who will desire psychiatric “care.” I want those who seek that form of care to have the best information possible, the most support to have access to and choose alternatives. I want them to have as much power as possible for making their own decisions. And I want doctors to shift to becoming deeply cautious with their prescriptions.

        I just don’t see it as slavery. And about ending slavery. that would mean that I would tell all the people I know on psych meds that they are slaves; that their choices are simply wrong and that they should be forced to stop taking those drugs.

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        • “calling the whole practice slavery does a disservice to people who choose to take psychiatric drugs, who choose to enter hospitals, who choose to remain on psych drugs because coming off them may prove too challenging, etc.”

          Jonathan Keyes,

          Why do you feel you need to say that, I wonder?

          Please, carefully reread Ted’s brief comment (which you are apparently replying to); I think you are misreading it.

          Ted explains, quite clearly (and I fully agree with him): “…we need to take away the power of psychiatry to force its unwanted interventions on people. But I don’t see how that can be done from within. We (survivors and others) are in the same situation as all other oppressed groups. Slavery wasn’t ended by finding more kind slaveowners.”

          Can you not understand what Ted is calling slavery there?

          I have said this previously in my MIA comments, but it bears repeating:

          It is medical-coercive psychiatry that must be abolished.

          No forced drugging — nor forced ‘treatments’ of any other kind.



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          • And in your scenario does forced treatment include all forced intervention? What are your thoughts on suicide prevention? Grabbing someone off a bridge railing is using force.

            There are profound implications to the civil libertarian argument that ensure abolition will never happen and for good reason.

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          • “And in your scenario does forced treatment include all forced intervention? What are your thoughts on suicide prevention? Grabbing someone off a bridge railing is using force.”


            First of all, I want to thank you for your preceding comment response to me (I’m referring to your comment, above, on June 21, 2014 at 12:41 am). You began that comment, “Hi, Jonah. I didn’t read your whole comment but the boldface type caught my eye…” That’s a very interesting way to begin a comment, imho. It is really very interesting…

            But, please understand, I am not offended, that you didn’t read my full comment; for, I do grant you, that, I had not begun that comment by directing it to you, so you should have felt no compelling reason to pay it full attention to it, from the start.

            Only, I think, that you did not read my whole comment and yet did offer your response to it, should suggest to me, that, maybe I need be careful to avoid putting too much effort into dialoguing with you, in comment threads — as dialogue can’t happen unless people are actually demonstrably willing and able to carefully listen to (or read) each others’ expressions.

            From your having said you did not read my whole comment while, nonetheless, responding to it with your views, I can’t help but gather, that, probably, (A) You have your own somewhat politicized agenda regarding psychiatry, which you are determined to forward; (B) the details of my experiences within the realm of psychiatry — as well as the details of experiences of others who likewise describe having been brain-raped by psychiatry — are not of particular interest to you; and (C) your attention span for reading may be limited.

            That is all to say, my takeaway from reading your earlier comment response, to me, which explains that you didn’t read my comment in full, is that: I should not hope or expect you’ll want to engage, in any real dialogue with me, as you may be paying very little attention to what I’m saying.

            Now, on the other hand, I see you’re asking me a couple of brief and interesting questions (now copied and pasted, in italics, at the top of this comment).

            As they are interesting to me, I’ll answer those questions… but will not expect your full attention (even as, now, I promise you, that I am, for your sake, going to be as very brief, direct and to the point, as I possibly can):

            Mainly, Francesca, you should understand about me, I do not oppose force in all instances; I do oppose forcing psychiatry on people.

            I will elaborate on that point, in answer to your two questions…


            I posted my comment to Jonathan Keyes (on June 20, 2014 at 2:53 pm), and, in reply, you ask me,

            “And in your scenario does forced treatment include all forced intervention?”

            My answer:

            Imo, psychiatrists should not be allowed to force their so-called “treatments” on anyone. The world we live in would be a much better (safer and more happy) place, I believe, if the only psychiatry that could be practiced was the sort that is voluntarily accepted and which can be rejected very easily, at any time.

            I am not opposed to the existence of psychiatric ‘care’ that is voluntarily accepted — and quite easily rejected.

            OK, so…

            Now, Francesca, moving on, to your 2nd question.

            You asked me, “What are your thoughts on suicide prevention? Grabbing someone off a bridge railing is using force.”

            My thoughts on suicide prevention cannot be summarized in just a few words, as there are so many various sorts of suicide attempts; some of them, I believe, should not be prohibited, for I do believe that broad prohibitions against suicide are a terrible mistake; broad prohibitions against suicide cause far more harm than good. In fact, I believe they cause more suicides than they prevent, in the long run.

            Meanwhile, I do think some kinds of interventions against some suicide attempts can be called for, they are ethical and are truly compassionate and quite reasonable.

            E.g, about your saying, that, “Grabbing someone off a bridge railing is using force.”

            Again, I must say, my positions on use of force, regard psychiatry; I am opposed to all forced ‘treatments’ by psychiatry.

            Imho, psychiatrists should not be allowed to order anyone into their ‘care’ — nor either should they be allowed to keep people unwillingly in their ‘care’ — ever.

            I am most particularly opposed to any and all unwanted brain ‘treatments’ — as I believe “no” should mean “no” when it comes to any attempts to inject people, against their objections, with psychotropic drugs. (Naturally, I am opposed to forcing ECT on people, as well.)

            Such is not to say, that I believe people who work in an E.R. have no right to defend themselves.

            Only, I believe they can do it without forcing invasive procedures.

            And, imho, of course, there should be laws against killing oneself in public — mainly because of the truly dangerous spectacle that can be created by such behavior.

            I say, the police should be legally allowed to restrain people against killing themselves publicly; and, imo, at such times, the State can offer such individuals counseling. (I am against State funded ‘mental health care’; I’m not against State funded counseling for problems in living — as long as it is not forced on people.)

            Again, my bottom line, as far as these MIA discussions (on ‘Science, Psychiatry and Community’): Simply, abolish medical-coercive psychiatry; that means, put a permanent end to psychiatrists’ practices of forcing and threatening to force psychiatric ‘treatment’ on people.

            That really means, first and foremost:

            Let’s put an end to their practice of brain-rape.



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          • Jonah, if you wish not to engage in discussion with me (and, trust me, I’m not getting anything out of it anyway), then it’s best not to directly address me in your comments. And, just so you know, the reason I didn’t read your whole comment is because your writing isn’t that interesting.

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          • Okay. “Criticizing psychiatry is not the same thing as criticizing psychiatric patients.”

            I am not trying to be insensitive. I’m sorry that you got kicked out of a group, though I have no idea what that was about out of context. Anyway, I don’t think what you did was a crime. Presumably, you were aware of the risks and also knew that it was not “medicine to correct your chemical imbalance.”

            But, to my original point, it’s not fair for anyone to say that those who would like to see an end to psychiatry are necessarily also critical of psychiatric patients. It’s just not true. There might be people out there who feel that way, but I’m not one of them. It’s like, some folks are saying, “Oh, you people who want to abolish psychiatry are not realistic and will drive away potential allies with your extreme stance,” while meanwhile, the former are making the latter out to be some kind of bogeymen that they really aren’t. I realize that blog comments are not super conducive to nuanced discussions, but don’t try to tell me what I stand for, please.

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          • Uprising, people aren’t making extreme anti-psychiatrists out to be “bogeymen.” They don’t have to because the extremists are taking care of that all by themselves. What’s happening is people who may otherwise have been sympathetic to the cause are reading the extreme rhetoric and rejecting not only the extremists’ position but ALL criticism of psychiatry, including very warranted and well-articulated criticism. That is the tragedy of the psych reform movement.

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          • “Uprising, people aren’t making extreme anti-psychiatrists out to be ‘bogeymen.'”

            As I’ve said above, the use of the word extreme in this context is inappropriate and is a subtle ad hominem attack.

            In this one comment section alone, you and Jonathan Keyes, whether intentionally or not, have indeed made bogeymen of people who are firmly against forced psychiatric drugging.

            I’d appreciate it if the pro-forced drugging element here would refrain from using the anti-forced drugging element as a convenient scapegoat for why there isn’t broader support for meaningful psychiatric reform.

            The point of my above comment to you – a point which you have ignored – was that to be critical of psychiatry is NOT necessarily to be critical of psychiatric patients. Yet you and Jonathan K. have carried on here as if those two attitudes were one and the same. And again, that is not the case.

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          • By the way, has anyone else noticed that the pro-forced drugging element around here basically uses the same tactics to try and marginalize the anti-forced drugging element as psychiatry uses in its attempts to marginalize all of its critics?

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          • Uprising..

            I am not trying to make bogeymen out of anyone who “doesn’t support forced drugging.” Its strange that you would think I am bullying people when I am by far and away the minority on this issue on this site (at least by commenters that post.)

            And fr5ankly, pinning me as “pro-forced drugging” is pretty strange. I would fight hard to make it as rare as humanly possible. I think the use of “forced drugging” has been horribly and overwhlemingly abused.

            But I acknowledge that there are ciircumstances that are really really challenging. Someone coming into the ER who has a long history of assault who is experiencing psychosis and then becomes intensely threatening is an example. If deescalation doesn’t work, there are very few options.

            Call cops, who come with guns and tazers? Subdue the person and restrain them…indefinitley? Until they calm down? What if they don’t calm down and attack and hurt people every time you release your hold?

            These are really challenging circumstances. But…I totally support your right to the view that chemical restraints should never be used. I understand that especially for those who have suffered through it, it seems unimaginably abhorrent. I agree. But I also think tazers and bullets are abhorrent too. I will just have to disagree with you in these rare cases.

            However, I am guessing that we agree on 90 percent of other issues related to critiqueing psychiatry and developing alternatives.

            I guess my hope is that we allow for varying voices…even vocies we profoundly disagree with…and not just see them as the enemy…but as people we can engage with, perhaps find common ground…or at least develop an understanding of their thought process.

            I am not trying to shut down heated debate, or passion. And by the way, I do not find the position of opposing forced drugging extreme…at all.

            But I will strongly disagree with folks who want to end psychiatry- overnight- without a strong set of alternatives in place. Anyways, hope you have a good night.

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          • Jonathan, i can only speak from my personal experience on this issue of forced drugging, and don’t know what it’s like elsewhere.

            Here in western Australia it is done as part of patient management. If you refuse to take any oral medication to knock you out for example, then you will be restrained and injected.

            Saying no is interpreted as being aggressive, and warrants the use of force. Try and contest it you have no chance. All those involved in assaulting you will not testify on grounds that they may incriminate themselves. No one would even take your complaint, knowing there is a legal out.

            This precedent was set when a police officer beat a young man to death in front of fellow officers, who then refused to testify.

            Its well known here that you can do pretty much anything to a person once they are behind locked doors and you will not be held accountable.

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          • Jonathan K,

            Thanks for your response. I’ve quoted you at length for the sake of clarity.

            “I am not trying to make bogeymen out of anyone who ‘doesn’t support forced drugging.’ Its strange that you would think I am bullying people when I am by far and away the minority on this issue on this site (at least by commenters that post.)”

            It did seem to me that your comments made a bogeyman out of those who would abolish psychiatry altogether, as in when you portrayed such persons as being anti-psychiatric patient. (I think I can see how your line of reasoning led you to that conclusion, but it’s not accurate.)

            To me, it’s not an issue of minority or majority, it’s more the fact that those who are in favor of forced drugging, even if only in rare circumstances, are aligned with power on this issue and so statements by them on this matter can feel oppressive to those who disagree. Obviously, the same is true for people like myself, who also think that psychiatry is so rotten as to be unsalvageable. I don’t think it is rude to point out that people who have a stake in the current system are less likely to feel that way. After all, this is not small talk at a cocktail party. Innocent people are being physically harmed by psychiatrists every day.

            “And fr5ankly, pinning me as ‘pro-forced drugging’ is pretty strange. I would fight hard to make it as rare as humanly possible. I think the use of ‘forced drugging’ has been horribly and overwhlemingly abused.”

            I apologize if it was offensive to characterize your position as “pro-forced drugging.” I appreciate that you are (I believe) opposed to so-called “Assisted Outpatient Treatment,” for example, but I was simply making a distinction between those who oppose forced drugging entirely and those who do not oppose it entirely. To me, your position is superior to those who are in favor of forced drugging on a psychiatrist’s whim, which is the present status quo. Still, it is curious to see you write that forced drugging has been horribly abused, when the practice itself is abusive.

            “But I acknowledge that there are ciircumstances that are really really challenging. Someone coming into the ER who has a long history of assault who is experiencing psychosis and then becomes intensely threatening is an example. If deescalation doesn’t work, there are very few options.”

            I agree that there are challenging circumstances to which there are not any easy answers under the present system. That is one of the reasons I think the present system needs to go.

            “Call cops, who come with guns and tazers? Subdue the person and restrain them…indefinitley? Until they calm down? What if they don’t calm down and attack and hurt people every time you release your hold?”

            So the choice is between restraining someone indefinitely or shooting them up with drugs that will damage them? I respectfully refuse to accept that choice. I think someone who attacks and hurts people needs to be separated from people until such time as they are not a threat. I don’t think psychiatrists should have anything to do with this.

            “These are really challenging circumstances. But…I totally support your right to the view that chemical restraints should never be used. I understand that especially for those who have suffered through it, it seems unimaginably abhorrent. I agree. But I also think tazers and bullets are abhorrent too. I will just have to disagree with you in these rare cases.”

            I agree that tasers and bullets are abhorrent. I think that there needs to be law enforcement reform as well.

            I appreciate the sentiment behind the hypothetical violent person in the hospital, but I don’t think it’s necessary to have a perfect solution manifested and at the ready before one can call for the abolition of a system that is already abusive and corrupt. And you have said yourself, as someone who works in a hospital, that these cases are rare.

            “However, I am guessing that we agree on 90 percent of other issues related to critiqueing psychiatry and developing alternatives.”

            I think you are probably correct, and I will say that I value your contributions to this site.

            “I guess my hope is that we allow for varying voices…even vocies we profoundly disagree with…and not just see them as the enemy…but as people we can engage with, perhaps find common ground…or at least develop an understanding of their thought process.”

            I generally agree. I would caution, however, against going so far out of one’s way to make adversaries feel welcome that one begins to alienate those with whom one already agrees on most issues. It seems to me that this may be self-defeating.

            “I am not trying to shut down heated debate, or passion. And by the way, I do not find the position of opposing forced drugging extreme…at all.”

            Thank you for making that clear. I wonder if you think that wanting the abolition of psychiatry is extreme, because ending all forced drugging is a prime reason that many people to want to end psychiatry as a profession. I realize that you think abolition is impossible, but I wonder if you think the view itself is extreme.

            “But I will strongly disagree with folks who want to end psychiatry- overnight- without a strong set of alternatives in place.”

            I respect that. I would like to see psychiatry vanish from the face of the earth as soon as possible, but I would also like to see a strong set of alternatives in its place. I don’t think that the latter ought to be a prerequisite, but I do think it would be preferable, and having strong alternatives in place would certainly hasten psychiatry’s demise as a profession.

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        • Jonathon – I feel that there is at least some inconsistency in your position, since if the establishment, orthodoxy, or mainstream professionals- you name it–would knock off the abrogation of civil rights and the worthless inclusion of psychiatric testimony in courts, then there could instantly be this psychiatric mecca that you are stumping for. Meanwhile, how the slaves are made is that way as it’s done here and now.

          The poor people can take it that we think it’s slaving they are going through, I bet. But if the powerlords of the professions just introduced the basics of democratic freedoms into their aberrant propagation of unfreedom, and the unfreedom of choice that you say you fear, we wouldn’t have to protest. But what you think are the needed directions to take as a movement would still be needed, since practices being what they are, the cure is worse tha nthe disease. Meanwhile, since the untruth rules and so does total unrestraint in denying rights, to the extent that doctors can dictate, what you say to limit our attention to is unrealistic for leaving out the real and present basis for deciding action and rhetoric with which to push for change.

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        • Uprising…I hope this comment is in the right place…and I’m sorry I don’t have the time to fully respond to you…but I want to thank you for your really thoughtful post. That’s definitely the kind of conversation I hope to have here…

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          • I’d just like to add something to the problem of “psychotic guy with a history of violence”.
            First of all this case, which is by every count extremely rare is being used as an excuse for all the human rights abuses that all “mentally ill” have to endure much like a tragic but rare event of a terrorist attack was used to deprive people in US of many of their constitutional rights (NSA spying, airport security naked scanning etc., Patriot act, indefinite detention, droning American citizens, just to name some). There needs to be proportionality of the response to a threat and it is totally out of balance. this “dangerous schizphrenic” bogeyman has been used to justify coercion which in every law I’ve seen is always theoretically restricted to “immediate danger to self or others” or something similar and comes with theoretical legal protections. Therefore I think that any claim that “coercion should only be restricted to extreme cases” is unrealistic – it’s already restricted to those and lo and behold – it’s being abused on an industrial scale.
            Secondly, there are other ways to handle people who are disruptive or dangerous. That is the role of law enforcement and if you have some reason to believe that someone is behaving dangerously because of psychotic state then you can use force to put him in padded cell and wait until they calm down. Also there should not be any special, separate (in)justice system for “mentally ill”. I find the idea that psychiatrists are somehow better qualified in judging someone’s sanity than a moderately intelligent judge contrary to my experience.
            Finally, suicide should be legal and as long as you’re not breaking any laws while killing yourself it’s up to you. Sure, you can have restrictions on that (like when you find someone unconscious you can try to rescue them or you can have crisis intervention teams to persuade someone not to do it) but it should be non-coercive.

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    • Jonathan

      You have just presented the most articulated presentation I have read here at MIA for why you think the mental health system can and should be “reformed.”

      “Reformed” into what. Every reform you mention still ultimately retains oppressive power relationships ( psychiatry, therapy and other so-called”mental health” experts) and of course all the mind numbing psychiatric drugs.

      Why do you say psychiatry can never leave history’s stage? Do you believe there always will be, or has to be class distinctions and related forms of oppression in the world? Where is your imagination? Are human beings inherently greedy and violent, and forever needing other powerful classes lording over them? Is capitalism the highest achievement of human organization?

      Psychiatry, or as I say, Biological Psychiatry, is not dead, or about to fall under it own weight. It remains very powerful and an increasingly necessary part of this system’s economic growth and means of controlling volatile sections of society. Neither psychiatry (and its related mental health system) and the economic and political system system that gave rise to it and depends on it (as a means of social control), can be reformed.

      Should we fight for reforms, yes. But fighting for reforms will not lead to a revolutionary change. It will end up reinforcing the status quo. It should be actually viewed the other way around. Genuine reforms will only grow out of the struggle for revolution. And in this case it means a complete dismantling of the current mental health system.


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      • My own experience fighting for reform of the use of psychiatric drugs on foster youth reinforces your comments, Richard. We spent 5 years working collaboratively with a lot of people, including the news media and the state legislature, as well as various social service and mental health types, and attorneys and judges, and got a law passed that increased oversight levels. This improved the conversation, increased advocacy for kids in this area, raised public awareness, and did reduce the use of psychiatric drugs to a noticeable degree.

        But foster youth are still being drugged up at 3-4 times the rate of the general population, and are still being told they have “chemical imbalances” to explain why they are depressed about the deplorable treatment they have received, both before and during their stays in foster care. They still don’t get listened to, still are blamed for getting upset about being mistreated, still get the message that they should be happy about their conditions and just get on with their lives, rather than being allowed and encouraged to express and work through their appropriate pain, grief, and anger. Why? Because they have no power. Because the DSM and the current model of treatment allow and encourage clinicians to distance themselves from their clients. Because our society at large is unwilling to acknowledge the oppression that is embedded in so many aspects of day-t0-day life.

        Reform is important, but we need to get beyond taping on severed limbs with band-aids. We need to really deal with the realities of social oppression, both within and beyond psychiatric “treatment,” for real change to happen. It is not a matter of policy changes, it’s a real change in culture that needs to happen, where people no longer look to doctors for help with psychosocial problems, and where the idea of medicating away someone’s emotional experience, rather than sounding reasonable as it does to most people today, starts to sound to most people like the invalidative and intentional misdirection that it really is.

        —- Steve

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          • We can and we should, and we both do. I just think it’s important to recognize that while I’ve helped make things better for foster youth, they are still in an extremely vulnerable position with little protection, and unless the current paradigm of THOUGHT is changed, there will still be atrocities committed to foster kids in the name of healthcare. Until all or most of us in social services get away from the ‘we know best’ mentality and start with a much more humble approach, clients will continue to be harmed.

            As I think I’ve said before, I am not opposed to options. I’m opposed to lying, arrogance, and enforcement of “treatment” on the uninformed or powerless. We have to address the power dynamics before real informed choice is a possibility. But we do need advocates on the “inside” in the meanwhile, because people are suffering and need our support. I just don’t think it will be enough until the general public sees that the psychiatric emperor has no clothes.

            —- Steve

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        • Steve

          Yours is a powerful example of the limits of reform in this system.

          I work with a prescriber who has read “Anatomy of an Epidemic” and she said she agrees with most of it. But with the intense gravity of the status quo and how it influences “the path of least resistance” in community mental health, this ultimately leads to a tremendous pressure (including demands from the clients) to “relieve suffering” with more drugs. Mere reforms is not going to change this.


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          • I appreciate the feedback, but I am pretty confident that I have stopped many instances of potential psych drugging, both directly through my work and indirectly through policy and law changes in Oregon and through many trainings I’ve done. In truth, though, I don’t see drugging as the biggest problem – I see it as a consequence of allowing DSM “diagnoses” to stand as genuine medical entities when they’re actually social constructs that in some cases are fabricated from almost no evidence whatsoever (i.e. “Intermittent Explosive Disorder” and Oppositional Defiant Disorder). When we can stop legitimizing these diagnostic manipulations, the justification for forced drugging will be gone. I think that’s the goal we really ought to pursue. But in the meanwhile, I give no credence to drug “treatment” of “mental diseases,” because I know they aren’t really diseases at all.

            — Steve

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          • In many of the settings I have been in, I have seen the notion of a diagnosis as an afterthought. The doctor sees the patient, sees some symptoms and then prescribes drugs. Big mood swings…mood stabilizers. Psychosis…anti-psychotics. Depression…anti-depressants. Then some diagnosis is written up later. The classic one is schizoaffective disorder, or as one psychiatrist out it…”the garbage can of disorders” because everything possible is in that term.

            Different doctors give different diagnoses for the same set of symptoms. I think many of them just want to make sure they are paid and generally pick one of the biggies so that insurance covers it.

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      • Hey Richard.

        You suggest a revolution…

        I agree. To me the revolution means creating alternative structures outside the psychiatric paradigm of “care”. My hope is that eventually these alternatives would supplant, or at least radically diminish the influence of the psychiatric model.

        But in the mean time, we have a n enormous complex system that keeps churning along. I believe that we should examine how to reform it to better protect the welfare of people who are “in the system.” I guess I would liken it to making sure McDonalds cooks its meat properly. I would prefer that McDonalds doesn’t exist…but while it does, I will fight for workers to gain a better fair wage, fair labor practices, etc.

        So I guess I am confused most by your last paragraph-

        You say that we should fight for reforms, but that will only end up reinforcing the status quo. Do you believe we should be fighting for reforms, or that it is just a waste of time?

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        • Jonathan

          Thanks for the reply.

          I say when you make “reform” the “goal” of your work then you are leading people to believe that the system they are living under only needs some tweaking to make it better, not that it is fundamentally flawed from the outset.

          When you unite people around a reformist type strategy and program you are setting people up to become demoralized when they constantly see the system derail their struggle into various dead ends and very limited freedoms.

          Safe alternatives to this system should be fought for, but this system has historically isolated, attacked, crushed , or coopted these parallel systems. So creating parallel systems should struggled for but NOT be the central part of out struggle. We need more direct action hitting at this system of psychiatric abuse combined with the type of ideological assaults that are made at MIA and elsewhere. All this needs to link up with other human rights battles throughout the planet.


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          • .I hear you when you say that aiming for reforms can easily lead to watered down mushy dead ends. At the same time, I think only shooting for the whole enchilada (the end of psychiatry) can lead to a whole lot of frustration as well.

            Anyways, thanks for the conversation Richard.

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          • Obviously, it is important to have some sort of services available to help people. However, psychiatry’s view of how to help is keeping a clinical distance – to the point they have no clue what their patient’s real concerns are because, instead of listening for the real problems, the practitioners are completely distracted by looking for their DSM symptoms, so they may make a diagnosis. And once diagnosis is made, in the eyes of the practitioner, the patient is viewed as if they are the disorder, rather than as a human being, thus making the person’s real life problems completely irrelevant. But, in reality, the people are not the disorders, and none of the disorders even have any scientific validity. Then this results in the person being tranquilized based upon the psychiatrist’s deluded belief system, so the patient can not even think through and work out their own problems.

            For those of you who work in the industry, try and imagine how completely absurd and unhelpful it is for a person with real life concerns to be subjected to a “professional” who harbors belief in the DSM “bible,” a book of stigmatizations you personally have neither read nor know anything about. And how insane it is to deal with a “professional” who supposedly promised to help you and “first and foremost do no harm,” who does not even view you as a fellow human being.

            For a rational human being, it literally was insane trying to understand this kind of irrational behavior – and from a supposed intelligent doctor, no less.

            Help is needed for those in distress, I agree, but psychiatry’s approach does not help. It’s just ludicrous. And tranquilizing people does not fix real life problems, nor does it make them go away. Is it actually wise to maintain a system that’s completely based upon fraudulent science, and appalling disrespect for other human beings? I don’t think it is.

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          • It is the lack of listening, and the invalidation of people’s experiences, that is at the core of what is wrong with psychiatry. I’m with Dr. Joanna Moncrief – if we are honest about what psych drugs are and adults make an informed decision to use them, that’s up to them. The problem is lying to people that something is physiologically or even psychologically wrong with them because they ave having feelings or experiences that make us uncomfortable.

            What really seems to help most is to have someone really care about you. Physical aliments even heal more quickly when the doctor has a good “bedside manner.” Respect is, indeed, the key, and any system that approaches people without that respect is dangerous and needs to be dismantled.

            — Steve

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        • Revolution in the sense of which Richard (I believe) and I speak is not a subjective feelgood term, it means eliminating capitalism and the alienation emanating from being forced to live in a corporate-controlled dictatorship in which the only underlying principle greed and class domination.

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          • Duck a simple question?

            This one?

            To “start a campaign to get anyone who works in a “mental health” setting to take a pledge to nevere ever engage in any forced psychiatric procedure, and to allow this to be put on the internet and subject to commentary by those who have been subject to that person’s “care”? Sound fair?”

            I will fight for making sure that any type of “force” is used as rarely as humanly possible. I am happy to work towards that reform. “Force” should be reserved for the most challenging situations when all other deescalation skills have been tried but the “patient” continues to be violent.

            But since I a answered your question, please answer mine. Since you are opposed to all psychiatric hospitalization, will you pledge towards taking home a large angry man who is deeply confused, going through a profound psychosis, threatening and with a history of assault and rape when they come through the Emergency Room doors? (This happened a few days ago.)

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        • Revolution in the sense of which Richard (I believe) and I speak is not a subjective feelgood term, it means eliminating capitalism and the alienation emanating from being forced to live in a corporate-controlled dictatorship in which the only underlying principle is greed and class domination.

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        • To me the revolution means creating alternative structures outside the psychiatric paradigm of “care”.
          I do agree on that. It’ll be difficult to get rid of psychiatry if there are no viable alternatives.

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    • Nor is it in your interest I presume.

      OK where do I start after pointing out that I don’t think you’re worth arguing with and posting for others’ sake…and, understanding the inarticulable rage many must feel reading this post, I’ll try to be patient and “reasonable” as I try to explain some of it.

      Maybe first by pointing out how you attempt to invalidate people’s anger while pretending to “understand” it, whereas our rage at both physical and emotional abuse at the hands of the “mental health” apparatus is in fact one of our most valuable tools for “healing.”

      Also I think I’ll stick with Szasz: Mental instiitutions like concentration camps cannot, by definition, be “reformed,” they must be abolished. Psychiatry should be recognized as a tool of social control, both for those who break written laws and (primarily) those who break unwritten ones. We should sort out the two, send the ones who are accused of lawbreaking to the justice system and demand that the rest go unmolested.

      If you’re really interested in reforms how about you starting a campaign to get anyone who works in a “mental health” setting to take a pledge to nevere ever engage in any forced psychiatric procedure, and to allow this to be put on the internet and subject to commentary by those who have been subject to that person’s “care”? Sound fair?

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      • Oldhead,

        I am not interested in arguing with you. But no one here gets to set an agenda that abolition of all psychiatry is the only way to change the system. If you choose to define the fight in that way, that is your choice. But there are others that choose to see change in a different way. I don’t believe in purity tests, and in large part that is what I see turning people off from this movement.

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        • Sounds like an evasion of a simple challenge: To pledge to do no harm by refraining to indulge in coercve practices. and to be held accountable by those you profess to serve.

          In lieu of an organized survivors’ movement I set my own agenda, thanks.

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        • Jonathan, I completely agree. The unrealistic (and ill considered) call for abolition endangers the psych reform movement as a whole. And this fracturing of our otherwise collective voice plays right into psychiatry’s upper hand. The reformers want less forced treatment and the abolitionists want less (as in no) forced treatment. You would think we could find some common ground here.

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          • The funny part is that we agree on most everything. We agree on the need to create alternatives that are effective options for people in distress. We promote peer respite, Hearing Voices Network, publicizing a much broader understanding of the perils of psychiatric drugs, eliminating forced outpatient treatment, litigating against pharmaceutical companies who cause iatrogenic damage and deaths, etc, etc.

            But the language of the debate can sometimes shift to all or nothing. No psychiatry or radical reform of psychiatry. Complete abolition or systematic reform. And if you’re on the wrong side, look out.

            Thats sad because our true mission is to shift the public debate in favor of examining these important issues. And that requires ongoing conversations, often with people we disagree with. Bob Whitaker speaking at NAMI, or to a group of psychiatrists in Texas comes to mind. Will Hall speaking to the APA also comes to mind. Crossing difficult lines to have uncomfortable conversations is key.

            My hope for this site is that we could have more of these challenging conversations with people who truly disagree with us. I think of the term NAMI mommies, used almost as an epithet here at times. I have serious problems with NAMI and how it promotes a drug based way of managing emotional distress. But I think it is deeply important to “cross the lines” and have deeper and less angry dialogue with “NAMI mommies”, and others that we disagree with.

            Through those respectful conversations, openings are possible. Change is possible. At the least, a greater level of understanding is possible.

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        • Jonathan,

          As part of the system, you use the ploy of defending coercive psychiatry by using examples of rapists, pedophiles, serial killers and the worst psychopathic malignant narcissists or evil people of society with many practicing psychiatry aiding the 1% looters to vilify psychiatry’s victims to brainwash the public and justify psychiatry’s abuse and violence against the most nonviolent who are often women and children with abuse related trauma fraudulently stigmatized as bipolar to blame and detroy these victims.

          As many have pointed out, the violent, rapists and other criminals breaking the law should be handled by the police and criminal justice system while those suffering emotional distress, grief over loss, trauma from abuse, rape and other reasons should be left alone and protected from predation, coercion and more abuse by the biopsychiatry/Big Pharma cartel.

          Of course, currently, biopsychiatry and the criminal/prison system is one and the same with the perpetrators and victims both vilified, stigmatized and drugged into oblivion and early death due to their lower social status for social control and increased profits for the biopsychiatry/Big Pharma/corrupt government hacks revolving door cartel!

          I think your argument is spurious based on the many people who are abused by biopsychiatry rather than those supposedly abusing them!!

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      • “Psychiatry should be recognized as a tool of social control, both for those who break written laws and (primarily) for those who break unwritten ones.” And it is now, and has historically also been, used to defame and discredit completely innocent and trusting individuals so unethical and paranoid doctors may proactively prevent malpractice suits due to “easily recognized iatrogenesis.” And it is now, and historically been, used to cover up sexual abuse of women and children for powerful or well connected rapists and pedophiles.

        But defaming and tranquilizing people does not cure “bad fixes” on broken bones, nor hide medical evidence of the sodomy of a child.

        I believe that psychiatry is an industry based upon fraud that allows the unethical and incompetent currently in power to legally destroy or kill whomever they please. Psychiatry has been given too much power, and is now, and seemingly always has been, corrupt.

        For those who advocate for forced treatment, how do you propose eliminating the use of psychiatric stigmatization and coerced or forced psychiatric treatment by paranoid of malpractice suit doctors and powerful rapists and pedophiles?

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    • Jonathan,

      You’re raising a huge question: what constitutes a legitimate target for those of us on this side of the issue? I’m hoping to get a post up on this soon. I have real problems with the notion that we need physicians to treat problems that are not medical in nature.

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      • I hear you. But for those who are on meds, and may take years to taper off them; and for those who want to take psych meds intermittently- as in a benzo or even an antipsychotic occasionally, there is still a need for a prescriber. Certainly it doesn’t have to be a psychiatrist. It could be a nurse prac or a regular GP, but the prescription of psych drugs will still need to go on in some form.

        I am for shifting to a deeply cautious approach to prescribing meds, but I don’t think its realistic or even desirable to want a cessation of all psychiatry.

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        • Jonathan,

          Freud advocated cocaine for so called mental illness before it almost destroyed him and others not to mention the tobacco pipe that gave him mouth cancer.

          Doctors used to prescribe alcohol for life’s woes and now they demonize/ostracize anyone using/abusing it and other supposed “bad” drugs from which they can’t profit to push the multibillion dollar bogus addiction treatment agenda by hijacking the free AA 12 step programs.

          Doctors also used to do ads for what they supposedly believed were the most healthy cigarettes. Big Tobacco fought violently that their products were not harmful or addictive while secretly adding to their addictiveness all along in recent times.

          The biopsychiatry/Big Pharma/Junk Food cartels have used the exact same tactics as big tobacco to push their toxic products since they use the same spin doctors.

          As Dr. Johanna Moncrieff exposes in her book, The Myth of the Chemical Cure, psychiatric drugs are just other psychoactive drugs that should be seen as no differently than illegal drugs. We don’t need medical drug pushers to con and force people into taking them for what Dr. Hickey rightly calls life problems and certainly not medical problems.

          This bogus medicalization is a coverup for the fact that biopsychiatry exists to make huge profits for the 1% in power and to exert vicious, violent social control against anyone who challenges the power of that 1% and its thug enforcers. It has no helpful medical purpose whatsoever, but rather, sidetracks/derails/brainwashes people about the real source of their problems while discrediting them in the process to make them all the more ineffective in challenging their oppressors of which biopsychiatry is chief among them!

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          • Bear in mind, Jonathan Keyes, I don’t believe psychiatric “hospitals” should exists; and, yet, I know that closing such facilities would put many people (such as yourself) out of work; but, really, I think you (and, maybe almost anyone, who is drawn to the sort of “hospital” work that you do) would be a good person to work in the prison system. I say that in all seriousness. I am not being facetious as I say that; I am being quite serious. From all you say of yourself, it seems to me that you would enjoy the challenges of such work; and, your counseling skill would be well used there…

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        • Jonathan,

          Have you been a so called “patient” of biopsychiatry? If not, I don’t think you are in a position to justify what Dr. Fred Baughman, Neurologist, calls 100% FRAUD and the worst medical crimes ever perpetrated against humanity! Many other experts, parents and survivors totally agree with Dr. Baughman and others in his camp like Dr. Hickey.

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          • Yes Donna. I have been a patient of biopsychiatry. I have gone through my own process of psychosis/spiritual emergence in my 20s. I was given medication that made things way way worse so I stopped taking the drugs. I consider my experience of biopsychiatry mild compared to some of the horror stories I have heard.

            My experience simply was the blasé normal case of going to a psychiatrist, having a 10 minute conversation, and then being prescribed a drug. The drug made me feel truly out of my body, panicked and suicidal. I think in many ways it’s very lucky that I did not tolerate it and that I did not go back to ask for a different one.

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          • “My experience simply was the blasé normal case of going to a psychiatrist, having a 10 minute conversation, and then being prescribed a drug. The drug made me feel truly out of my body, panicked and suicidal. I think in many ways it’s very lucky that I did not tolerate it and that I did not go back to ask for a different one.”

            Jonathan Keyes,

            What your are saying, in this latest comment of yours (on June 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm, in reply to Donna), is very surprising to me. I am sitting here wondering, to myself, ‘Did I simply miss his having mentioned this previously?’

            I mean, Jonathan, have you ever mentioned those personal experiences previously, on this website?

            I am literally dumb-founded — because, for the life of me, I cannot imagine how it is, that someone who has experienced such negative effect from psych drugs, would become a persona who forcibly drugs people?

            Though your comment is brief, all that you’re saying is shocking to me, really — especially, as you say, “The drug made me feel truly out of my body, panicked and suicidal. I think in many ways it’s very lucky that I did not tolerate it and that I did not go back to ask for a different one.”

            Wow, lucky you! …that you had been afforded that option.

            But, how terribly sad, I feel, to know that you can somehow ‘justify’ forcing those drugs on “patients” in your “hospital” job.

            I am praying for your enlightenment — now more than ever…



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          • Jonathan Keyes,

            You are misrepresenting my views.

            Someone on this website had asked me what I would recommend if I was working in a prison and found that a prisoner was suddenly brutalizing himself/herself, by hitting himself/herself repeatedly in the face.

            I said I would consider the use of a straight-jacket and a padded room, in that instance; but, I added, quite clearly and unequivocally, that no way would I leave that person alone.

            I added, that I would seek someone who could well listen to that person, who could hopefully get to the point of being trusted, to offer good counseling.

            Eventually, the person would tire of trying to hit himself/herself in the face; and, of course, then, the straight-jacket would be removed.

            For a convicted criminals, who are in prison and suddenly self-harming that way, such suggestions as these seem to me much more sensible than turning to forced drugging.



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          • <I am literally dumb-founded — because, for the life of me, I cannot imagine how it is, that someone who has experienced such negative effect from psych drugs, would become a persona who forcibly drugs people?

            Stockholm syndrome?

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          • I find the crossover between the criminal justice system and mental health very interesting. It’s got to be one bit of ‘turf’ that psychiatrists view as an area for expansion.

            If they can convince the public that they have a cure for criminality, then the whole prison population become clients, and hey Presto big bucks.

            Shouldn’t be hard to achieve. A large group of unwanted, stigmatised individuals, who are ripe for the taking. I think we will see more of the medicalising of criminality in the years to come.

            They had a cure for homosexuality, for being Jewish,or political descent, why not criminality?

            Give me prison anyday, at least the rules are obvious in there. The rules in hospitals are like the “zone” in Tarkovskys Stalker, totally destabilizing for your state of mind.

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          • Again, Jonathan Keyes, I feel it is important, to emphasize:

            You were misrepresenting my views.

            You should, please, understand, I was speaking of prisons, where people are locked up, as a result of having been processed through the criminal justice system; also, there are people who are locked up by that system, having been charged with crimes, and they are awaiting their trials.

            You took those conversations out of context — as what you said was suggesting, that I would somehow recommend that psychiatric “hospitals” should put people in isolation…

            But, I don’t believe anyone should be put in isolation; and I don’t believe that psychiatric “hospitals” should exist…

            Psychiatric “hospitalization” (which is, of course, much more accurately described, here in the U.S., as an un-Constitutional incarceration, wherein psychiatrists shall forcibly ‘treat’ a person whom they are claiming, without proof, is “mentally ill”) is something you have never experienced first hand, and that represents your good fortune; but, that you know, to some considerable extent, how very aversive psychiatric drugs for supposed ‘psychosis’ can be — that you know, first hand, that they can easily create suicidal tendencies — should lead you to realize that forced psychiatric ‘treatments’ are a terrible crap shoot…

            How many individuals have been driven to suicide by such ‘treatment,’ we shall never know for sure — because their deaths will not be officially counted, as caused by their ‘treatment’; their deaths will be attributed to their own supposed ‘pre-existing suicidal tendencies.’

            I am speaking of a phenomena, that most “hospital” workers must deny; for, countless souls are lost to such suicides…

            Again, I suggest, to you you and others, especially, as you are in the position of being a counselor: Get out of the business of forcing psychiatric ‘treatment’ on people.



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        • “still a need for a prescriber”
          Yeah, a good neurologist would do. Would actually be better given that he/she is more likely to recognise the neurological symptoms associated with drug use and withdrawal. Psychiatrists are totally unnecessary for that purpose. As they are for handling human distress – you have a brain problem you go to a neurologist (or other doctor if the problem is cause by infection, malnutrition or something like that), you have a life problem – well that’s where the alternatives should be available: “safe houses”, psychotherapy, peer support groups, Open Dialogue etc..
          Most “mental illness” is caused by trauma and/or chronic stress. you can’t battle that with drugs and ECT – you can only (at best and for a short time) suppress the symptoms.
          Btw, I’m not even 100% against drugs – they may have a value but please don’t talk to me about “anti-depressants” or “anti-psychotics” – they are no such thing.

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      • “I have real problems with the notion that we need physicians to treat problems that are not medical in nature.” I agree this is a huge part of the problem. A person goes to a psychologist to talk, and instead of listening and helping the person come to grips with her real life issues. The person is labeled with a “mental illness,” and is then treated AS the disorder, and of course tranquilized accordingly, rather than being respected as a real person with a real life problem. It’s nonsensical, truly the psychiatric approach is absolute opposite of helpful. Tranquilizing people makes it harder, not easier, for one to work out one’s real life concerns.

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      • (Since this is on that exact topic and Jonathan posed this question to me earlier I hope you won’t mind me jumping in here, Philip, as there are no “Reply” options
        left in that particular thread.)

        “will you pledge towards taking home a large angry man who is deeply confused, going through a profound psychosis, threatening and with a history of assault and rape when they come through the Emergency Room doors?”

        First of all, hell no! Don’y you have cops in your town, and detention facilities? What was he doing in an ER in the first place?

        Second I hope the absurd (not to mention manipulative) nature of such a rhetorical “question” is apparent to all. The underlying premise is that, unless one is willing to be held personally accountable for the consequencces of capitalism (or psychiatry), you have no right to condemn or oppose that system.

        So, shut up everyone!

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        • Hey, certainly the question was rhetorical, and really not meant as an actual question. I am certainly not trying to say you have no right to oppose the system. I’m not interested in you “shutting up.” But it was made to illustrate that there are shades of grey, confusing issues that are hard to examine.

          Just to share some background, I work as a therapist and an herbalist in a private practice. I often help people come off psychiatric drugs. But I also work very part time in a hospital setting.

          I don’t work in the ER, or in the really acute units of the hospital anymore. I generally work in the unit where voluntary patients go who are depressed, suicidal, etc. I spend quite a bit of my shifts just talking to folks…well mainly listening.

          But in the past I worked with many hundreds of people who were going through some type of psychosis. For the vast lion’s share of those folks, the issue of violence never came up. And in almost all the cases that I worked with people- simply listening, offering support, food, a safe place to vent and be angry was all that was needed to help folks in distress to feel better.

          But there were times when we received people who truly were predatory, had histories of being assaultive, of having been in prison for many different types of crimes such as rape and murder. Some of these folks could become violent, attacking not only staff but often other patients. The justice system is not interested in these cases because they are “mentally ill” so they don’t go to jail.

          It is deeply challenging to know what to do in these cases. You ask, where were the cops? Personally I would never want anyone with a loaded weapon anywhere near someone who is going through psychosis and is also potentially violent. That just doesn’t seem like a great option. Certainly peer respites are not an option. Sending them back on the street seems harsh. Pretty complicated.

          But man, these are extreme cases. I am willing to examine these extreme cases because I think its important to do.

          But it seems like a lot of effort is going on to discredit anyone who is not a strict abolitionist here. And that saddens me…because I think there are a lot of people who are open to the message of deep, systemic changes to the mental health “system.”

          Anyhow, I’m sure you’ll come back with something that further tries to argue with me…and I’ll listen. But I would prefer it if you could think of me standing right next to you talking to you, having a cup of tea or a beer. I’m not out to tear you down, shut you up, or anything else. Anyhow…out for now.

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          • “The justice system is not interested in these cases because they are ‘mentally ill’ so they don’t go to jail”

            I know here that these cases are out on the street as quick as the hospital staff can make them look like a police problem, and nothing to do with mental health. I’ve seen it done.

            It reinforces the belief in the public that there is need for more services etc when there is a violent incident.

            I can’t blame the staff of hospitals for not wanting to deal with these people, but picking and choosing the ones you want to help in these instances seems a little hypocritical.

            It’s sometimes a bit of a game between police and mental health services to drop people who are a problem into the others back yard. And the community bears the cost.

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          • Indeed a game between mental health services and police/jail. If no major crime is committed, and a person appears psychotic, they are usually brought to a hospital ER, even if they have a history of being assault ice and dangerous.

            Recently, a man who had been in prison for a number of years for numerous crimes was brought from jail to our ER because he was “decompensating”. He then proceeded to attack ER nurses, injuring one by kicking her hard in the chest.

            Really challenging cases and ERs have really crappy ways of working with people in these situations. Restraints? Forced meds? Then what?

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          • It’s certainly a large track in the system Jonathan.

            I’ll give a brief description of two instances that i observed.

            One man i met who spoke very little English got drunk and stoned on cannabis, fought with his wife, and police were called. They didn’t want him in the lockup so the deliberately provoked him by telling him they were going to pack rape him at the station. He became fearful and tried everuthingnto get away from yjem, and they dropped him at a hospital. 8 weeks later he was still scribbling from the mouth because of the drugs they were giving him. It was only because i spoke a little of his language that i got the story from him and explained to the hospital manager how they had been ‘stung’ by police. So a man who needed a night to sleep off the drugs and alcohol ended up in hospital, labelled and drugged for the next 2 years that i know of. Should have seen the managers face when i explained what had happened. Of course they couldn’t admit to their mistake so kept him on the drugs via a community treatment order.

            Another man i met who was obviously going through some severe disturbances in his mind tried to get admitted to a locked ward but was obviously very dangerous. No way were they going to admit him, so off he went and hurt someone and got arrested and jailed.

            Difficult to go into details in comments but it’s a two way street and people easily fall through the cracks.

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          • Personally I would never want anyone with a loaded weapon anywhere near someone who is going through psychosis and is also potentially violent.

            What do you call a needle full of Thorazine?

            But it seems like a lot of effort is going on to discredit anyone who is not a strict abolitionist here.

            Actually it doesn’t take all that much effort, it’s pretty much a no-brainer to counter most arguments in favor of psychiatry.
            It is primarily people’s arguments, not their value as human beings, that are being discredited.

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          • Well, in my country there are institutions where drunk people are brought to sober up. Justifying coercion because police doesn’t like to deal with problematic individuals (which should be their job) is pretty lame.

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        • I wonder how a psychosis can make someone become a rapist? I’ve seen that many times: people who are criminals and happen to be diagnosed with one or the other “mental illness” and then all the violence and crimes are justified by the “illness”. I know in some cases psychosis can make people scared to the point they attack others in self-defence from a perceived thereat that isn’t there but I’d be very surprised if psychosis could lead to rape. And I do agree – cases like that are better dealt by law enforcement.

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        • There is no doubt that prison is a stressful environment, and it’s easy to convert the reaction to that environment into what can be labelled a mental illness.

          Many prisoners I’ve spoken to willingly go along with the diagnostic process to obtain drugs to deal with the stress. There the drugs you take when the good stuff isn’t available.

          I’m really skeptical of the figures produced about the levels of mental illness in prisons, because a lot of prisoners will try to con the doctor’s into giving the diagnosis to obtain the drugs.

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        • This really surprises me. Are you referring to involuntary treatment? It used to be the case that, for some defendants, prison was preferable to pleading NCR and going to a forensic hospital for the sole reason that they wouldn’t be medicated in prison.

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          • No, not referring to involuntary treatment.

            I don’t know what NCR is, but from the prisoners and ex prisoners that I’ve spoken to, it’s kind of known that the brutality you suffer at the hands of those in the mental health system is far worse than anything in the prison system. In some ways your correct, they want to avoid the medications that are used to torture people. Done kind of regularly to child molesters.

            Information is shared to find ways of being put on certain preferred medications. Pain killers are highly sought.

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          • Funny this reminded me of a friend who had a child who was labelled with ADHD and prescribed ritalin.

            The kid was the only person in the house who wasn’t taking the drug, because there was none left by the time the rest got their share.

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        • Jonathan Keyes,

          You should reread your own blogging.

          You, Jonathan, wrote: “…yes, I have taken part in restraining individuals and delivering injections of medications to patients who become severely hostile, threatening or self-destructive.”

          That quote is from a blog you posted on this MIA website (November 30, 2013). …See:

          Meanwhile, yes, as explained, above, I offered one single scenario wherein I could imagine recommending use of a straight-jacket; very importantly, note:

          First of all, that was not in a “hospital” setting.

          In that hypothetical situation (presented to me by another MIA commenter), I was told of a prison inmate who was continually beating himself/herself in the face, and it was explained to me, that s/he was totally inconsolable.

          In my humble opinion, under those circumstances, resorting to use of a straight-jacket, in a padded room, until s/he settles down — and offering understanding company all the while — is a better alternative than forced drugging.



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          • “restraining individuals and delivering injections of medications to patients who become severely hostile, threatening or self-destructive.”
            Wow. Being hostile is not a crime. I have every right to be hostile to psychiatrist as long as I am not trying to harm him physically. That involves swearing, shouting, telling him to p** off, refusing to talk to him/her or anything a person in distress can do. Being a pain in the ass is not a reason to restrain someone. Same goes with self-destructive. I kindly request that when I cut myself or bang my head at the wall or whatever you consider “self-destructive” you either talk with me if I agree to that or you p** off and go mind your own business.
            This is exactly the kind of statements that make me “hostile”. Nothing except self-defense allows you to physically assault anyone. What is so difficult about that?
            Not mentioning that the system often creates hostile situations by bringing people against their will to psych wards thereby escalating the situation many fold.

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        • Yes, I have taken part in restraining individuals who are being given IMs when they have become violent. I have said that before. But I have never said I have done this as any form of “treatment.” But I will protect other staff and patients from people who are being violent…

          As a last resort after every other intervention has been tried. In the hundreds and hundreds of interventions that I have been involved in, I have almost always been able to help someone to deescalate. Sadly, there are cases where that just doesn’t work.

          I would never, however…support using straight jackets.

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          • “Yes, I have taken part in restraining individuals who are being given IMs when they have become violent. I have said that before. But I have never said I have done this as any form of “treatment.””


            In your blogging, you have described the forced IM (intramuscular) drugging, that you do, as “delivering injections of medications to patients,” yet you insist, that we must not call it “treatment.”

            Such wordplay seems like a case of what I consider ‘teenage’ argumentation.

            Perhaps, you know I am a parent (as I have mentioned this, in my MIA comments). I am in the midst of raising a teenager, as a single dad; and, what you are doing with your words is what I won’t allow her to do.

            I mean, I will call her out, any time she comes up, with that sort of thing.

            I will do this with humor, and then she and I laugh…

            Here, with you, I am finding no humor…

            I mean, this is all quite serious, imho.

            You do, by your own admission, on occasion, at work, wind up forcibly “delivering” what you call “medications” to people whom you refer to, as “patients.” Furthermore, here you remind us, that this “delivering” seems necessary, to you, because these “patients” have become (in your view) “violent”.

            I wonder, would they appear “violent” if they weren’t being forcibly ‘held’ by you and your associates, in your “hospital”?

            You and I have been down this road, in our conversations previously.

            I think that truly demonstrably violent people — i.e., those who are doing considerable harm to others — are calling (perhaps, unconsciously) for a kind of help that “hospital” workers can’t provide. They may need to be faced with criminal charges and placed behind bars.

            And, simultaneously, I know, that: Some highly credible academic studies, of psychiatric “hospital” settings strongly suggest, that most ‘containment events’ in so-called psychiatric “hospital wards” are actually provoked by staff.


            (Note: I have offered you that link previously, and I have referred you to that study, by mentioning its conclusions to you, on more that one occasion; thus far, you’ve never responded to my doing so…)

            And, of course, Jonathan, we can reasonably presume, that it is neuroleptic drugs (a.k.a., “antipsychotics”) that you are forcibly “delivering” into “patients” veins.

            I find it fascinating (and, quite frankly, quite extremely disturbing — even horrifying) to now know, that, actually, you do this forced “delivering” of neuroleptics, even while knowing, from your own firsthand experience, that such drugs can make a person suicidal. (You have, in this comment thread, offered that revelation — by describing your own brief experience, having voluntarily taken ‘antipsychotic’ drugs. You say they made you feel that way, so you simply ceased taking them; of course, its great that you were afforded that option, to just put them out of your life — no fuss, no muss…)

            Meanwhile, you allow yourself to write, “I have never forcibly “treated” anyone with injectable drugs.”

            Now, I don’t know why you say that…

            Indeed, to me, all that you are saying, taken together, seems as though a lot of less than forthright speaking — and, really, an excellent example of specious reasoning.


            Perhaps, you should be a lawyer? maybe even, eventually, a Supreme Court Justice…

            After all, your reasoning here reminds me of Antonin Scalia’s infamous defense of waterboarding. (Note: For our foreign MIA readers, who may not know, Scalia is the Senior Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, known to be quite reactionary, in most of his rulings…)

            Scalia once explained, without even batting an eyebrow, that, in his view, water-boarding cannot be considered cruel and unusual punishment, in the eyes of the Court, as it’s not intended to be punishment, it’s intended as a technique for extracting information.

            That may or may not seem as entirely objectionable to you, as it does to me.

            But, coming back to you… as for your stated refusal to use straight-jackets on “patients” in “hospitals,” that’s quite perfectly well and good, imho — truly — as long as you’re working in a “hospital”; after all, frankly, I would hope you could find far better alternatives, in your E.R. — as that’s where you have said “patients” may become “violent”.

            I’ve said previously and say again now, emphatically: I do not believe there should be psychiatric “hospitals”; and, I have never recommend putting anyone in a straight-jacket, in any “hospital” situation.

            As for your saying this: “In the hundreds and hundreds of interventions that I have been involved in, I have almost always been able to help someone to deescalate. Sadly, there are cases where that just doesn’t work,” again, I recommend, you might consider working in the prison system.

            That is a legitimate system of control (unlike the ‘mental health’ system) — because it is guided by real court procedures, which are defended by our Constitution and it’s Bill of Rights.

            You could take your counseling skills to the prisons, I think; for, there are all sorts of occasions to ‘de-escalate’ people there; and, in prisons, they need professional peace-makers, such as you’re describing yourself, to be…

            Or else, maybe you could just find more people who are interested in your holistic health offerings — in your private practice. (I think you’ve explained that you offer acupuncture? Or, maybe I’m wrong about that; but, in any case, I think acupuncture could be much better for you… and for everyone — much, much better than “delivering” injectable IM “antipsychotic” drugs.)

            What else can I say?

            Well, I think helping to de-escalate troubled people (i.e., reducing tensions without resorting to use of ‘tranqulizing’ drugs) is a good thing to do, Jonathan. I’m glad to think of you engaging your energies that way. Only, I find, this fact, that you can (even as ‘just’ a seemingly last resort, at times) wind up forcibly “delivering” into a “patient” drugs, that (I now see) you very well know can cause a person to become suicidal.

            That you, in fact, well know this… (that these sorts of drugs, which you wind up helping to forcibly ‘deliver’ can have such horrendous effects) is just so incredibly disconcerting…

            I really need to take a walk now — and may need to take a somewhat long break from this back and forth convo, for now…

            Will certainly check for any possible replies, by this time tomorrow…



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          • Well I would, in the situation so described. It would be the most effective and honest approach, and most likely to be understood by the restrainee. That is assuming there is a valid reason for holding the person captive to begin with.

            You do apparently support chemical straitjackets, however; I guess you see this as “taking the high road”?

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          • Whatever is easiest for the staff is how it works where I’m at.

            If that involves provoking someone to restrain, medicate or use the isolation room, so be it.

            Punishments have been things like leaving people in beds and making them lay in their own faeces for hours. Of course if these things are found out about, they are “isolated incidents”, and the staff will require better training.


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          • Oh, right now, there’s one more nagging thing, on my mind, about all this…

            So, I add this one question, which I’d meant to offer you (Jonathan Keyes) in my comment, above…

            As regards your reference to, “the hundreds and hundreds of interventions that I have been involved in, I have almost always been able to help someone to deescalate…

            Question: Can you please estimate, what percentage of those ‘deescalations’ were, to some extent, about leading a “patient” to realize, that s/he should ‘just’ go ahead and ‘voluntarily’ swallow some kind of pill?

            I feel I must ask you that question; for, in the psychiatric “hospitals” that I was introduced to (albeit, this was decades ago), the ward’s strong-men could seemingly only relax, upon knowing that every supposed “danger” was being eliminated by ways of convincing the “patients” of the ‘good’ in being “compliant” with the doctors’ orders.

            And, most ‘containment events’ came about, as a result of some “patient” refusing to ‘voluntarily’ swallow the pills that were being prescribed ‘for his/her own good’ — i.e., full submission, in terms of accepting ones ‘treatment’ was usually the only way to avoid forced drugging; and, a lot of the “hospital” staff were quite good at very kindly convincing almost any would be ‘resistant’ “patient” of the need to ‘just’ go-along-to-get-along, that way…

            I presume you know, that that kind of ‘deescalation’ is extremely common, in “hospital” settings…

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          • Sorry to squeeze in here. I know there is such a thing as crisis, but the main problem to me seems to be the long term doom and gloom.
            Most people in crisis are distressed, but not out of control.

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          • “Yes, I have taken part in restraining individuals who are being given IMs when they have become violent.”
            Were these people there on their free-will? Where they brought in for being violent in the first place? Because if someone is brought by force to the hospital while having not committed any crime they have all the right in the world to be upset about it and if you don’t like it – ask them to leave.
            Anyone who is forcibly “treated” should have a right to defend him/herself. I can’t stand the whining of the psychiatric staff about all these “violent patients” while in 99% of cases I’ve seen they are the ones who are the attackers (not even mentioning the drugs that are given to them which can cause violent outbursts).
            “I would never, however…support using straight jackets.”
            Me neither but how is restraint and drugging better exactly?

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          • “I wonder, would they appear “violent” if they weren’t being forcibly ‘held’ by you and your associates, in your “hospital”?”
            Great comment Jonah and thanks for the link.
            Holding someone captive against his/her will is aggression and any aggression on the part of the “patient” should be considered reactive/defensive and justified.
            Unless someone is actively attacking you you have no right to attack them – that holds true for everyone except psychiatrists and psych ward staff apparently.

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          • “Punishments have been things like leaving people in beds and making them lay in their own faeces for hours. Of course if these things are found out about, they are “isolated incidents”, and the staff will require better training.”
            Yeah, because you require “training” to understand that leaving someone tied up lying in his faeces is wrong… Same thing was reported a few years back in the infamous Otto Wagner Spital in Vienna and I am pretty sure it happens all over the place. Of course there were no consequences.

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    • I respectfully disagree:
      ” There are people who want to take psychiatric drugs, or feel it is too challenging to come off them.”
      So do heroin addicts or alcoholics.

      “There are those who want to enter hospitals for crisis care and feel served there.”
      That is a different story altogether. I don’t think anyone at MIA is advocating replacing psychiatry with a “you’re on your own, deal with it” kind of void. There have to be alternatives and some form of safe houses where people could voluntarily go to receive support and “take time off” would be one of them.

      “For those people we will still need doctors. We will still need psychiatry, even if we personally have serious problems with the practice.”
      Doctors, not psychiatrists. For drug-related issues and neurobiological problems there are neurologists. For other physical problems which affect mental states there are other medical professions. For mental distress there should be non-medical alternatives.

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  13. Dr. Hickey,

    Hope you see this latest article posted at MIA:

    This sure fits right in with what you have been saying about when all else fails psychiatry’s motto is blame the patients, attack critics and use PR spin!

    Psychiatry’s latest attacks and lies are providing much ammunition for more of your future great, thorough articles that do such a great job of exposing psychiatry’s never ending spurious claims.

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  14. To those trying to bully everyone into being good little robots with the exact same thoughts and mantras, this seems just like the oppression of biopsychiatry that attacks and preys on the individuality and uniqueness of every human being by turning them into good little obedient lobotomized, drugged, shocked zombies to be slaves for the 1% they aid and abet.

    As far as preventing suicide, psychiatry’s vicious, coercive violence against the suicidal and forcing toxic stigmas and drugs on them known to cause suicide is more apt to cause more suicide than less. Moreover, I agree that if one wishes to take one’s own life, they should have that right especially in cases where people are dying of cancer and in agony while being kept alive by all the more toxic torture treatments that cost a fortune and bankrupt the health care system.

    It seems to me that the suicide and school/public shooter rates have increased greatly with the huge expansion of the biopsychiatry/Big Pharma cartel.

    If one is determined to commit suicide they will succeed, so usually those with so called attempts that come to the attention of psychiatry are really “cries for help” with psychiatry’s response like the abusive parent saying, “I’ll give you something to cry about” or torture you so much you would never dream of seeking such so called “help” ever again, putting one all the more at risk for suicide.

    And the supposed prevention of suicide with their life destroying stigma to justify coercion, violence and toxic suicide inducing drugs is just one more evil lie, spin doctoring promoted by the psychiatry/Big Pharma cartel with the pretense of saving lives while making those they stigmatize appear to be the most deranged would be serial killers to frighten the rest of the public into allowing them to destroy innocent people while violating all their human/civic rights with impunity.

    So, anyone advocating for forced treatment here should speak only for themselves!

    Caveat emptor!

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    • So, anyone advocating for forced treatment here should speak only for themselves!

      Why do you think that other self-described “progressive ‘mental health’ workers” have so much difficulty making the same declaration?

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    • “If one is determined to commit suicide they will succeed, so usually those with so called attempts that come to the attention of psychiatry are really “cries for help” with psychiatry’s response like the abusive parent saying, “I’ll give you something to cry about” or torture you so much you would never dream of seeking such so called “help” ever again, putting one all the more at risk for suicide. ”
      Precisely. If someone really wants to die there are ample possibilities even in the most restrictive ward – break the window and stab yourself with the glass is one of them. Unless you keep someone tied up 100% of the time you can’t prevent it.

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  15. Francesca,

    Jonah just helped validate my experience and reality by expressing his frustration with your commenting on a small part of his post in bold print without reading the whole post per your own admission. He said he felt a reluctance to engage too much with you since you weren’t willing to spend the time to read his post to fully understand what he was saying.

    This is after you claimed on this post that you never did that when you yourself have admitted it when I posted a comment you criticized without reading the post and now with Jonah’s comment.

    Do you suffer from memory problems or are you just too eager to force your opinions on others without considering theirs?

    I suppose in the future when you wish to inflict your ideology on others without even considering what they have to say or an article in question, you could remain silent about your not reading the articles, posts or others’ unique ideas that are presented or in dispute. However, your responses will still give you away in my opinion.

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    • Donna, I have no idea where Jonah made that criticism nor do I have the interest level sufficient to search for it. Unfortunately, I am not (like many others are not) interested in reading verbose and redundant comments but when I came across my name followed by bold print, I did of course take a look and respond to what was addressed to me.

      When I said I didn’t comment without reading what I meant was I don’t comment on an ARTICLE without reading the article. However, if somebody starts a page-long comment with the assertion “black is white,” I certainly don’t feel obliged to read the whole comment if I want to dispute the opening point.

      Yes, I do suffer from memory troubles so that’s an accurate (though irrelevant) point. However, I am not in the least bit interested in forcing my opinions upon anybody. Never have been. When I see something that I believe is egregiously wrong, I say so but it’s not my concern whether anybody changes their mind as a result of my input.

      Your accusation that I “inflict [my] ideology” is a perfect example of the kind of irrational, overwrought statement that ensures that your writing won’t be taken seriously. Donna, I don’t have an “ideology” beyond trying to mitigate the damage that you and others inflict upon the psychiatric reform movement. If my responses “give [me] away,” then I see that as a good thing.

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      • Francesca,

        Here is the post in question where you did claim not to have read the article while arrogantly critiquing both the article and my comment about it that you probably didn’t read either. I asked about your memory to give you the benefit of the doubt about bad memory versus dishonesty since you keep claiming you ALWAYS read the article before commenting. I believe others’ comments are equally important to read, so I think you are equally uninformed about the issues by ignoring them and others’ experience and perspectives to force your own narrow view about how to reform a corrupt, broken, predatory system that is beyond redemption at this point in the opinion of many including Bob Whitaker who has acknowledged that the current biopsychiatry agenda of stigmatizing, drugging and coercion is a failed system/paradigm.

        As Jonah said, your insulting putdowns of supposed “verbose,” “redundant” comments you refuse to read to justify your refusing to consider other’s feelings, experience and opinions does not make one wish to waste much time engaging with you or considering your own repetitive ideology with little to back it up either. Your nasty attacks, raving and insults against me show that your claims of being impartial about others’ views are dubious at best.

        Anyway, your many hysterical, degrading attacks on me are absurd, very opinionated, one sided and bullying considering you refuse to read both the articles or comments before pontificating and judging each person’s comments as if you are the appointed judge of this blog! I guess I hit a nerve by challenging your self appointed role of critic of each comment on this blog without reading them. Did you read the article?

        Yes, like many MIA readers, I am very passionate about the crimes of biopsychiatry and though not all of my comments are potential Pulitzer Prize winners, I have gotten much positive feedback from many MIA members for many of my posts because I do my homework and learn much from other MIA readers.

        I hope you will reconsider how you treat fellow MIA members so that even if we disagree, we can have mutually respectful relationships here without name calling, insults and other childish attacks.

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        • Donna, the comment to which you have your knickers in a twist about is pasted in its entirety below the asterisks. I challenge you to find ONE insulting or ill-informed remark within it. You are correct, though, that I very unusually did not read the article in question and I explicitly said so for exactly this reason. My comment was a general one covering the supposed mental illness/violence link.

          I am sorry if “verbose and redundant” struck a nerve. It is, though, an entirely accurate description. So, either read the comment and tell me BRIEFLY what specific language offended you or please let this go. Now that I’ve seen the comment that so upset you, I really have to wonder.


          Haven’t read the article but from the description it seems like a positive development. In general, when Fuller Torrey et al talk about preventing violence, they are targeting the severely ill, i.e. those alleged to lack insight (because we all know that NOT doing something equates to CAN’T do something). These are the same folks targeted for involuntary treatment. What’s lost in the debate, however, is that involuntary treatment IS violence.

          I know there are lots of studies showing lots of conclusions: some say mental illness is an increased risk factor, other say it makes no difference, and still others alleged a lower correlation with violence. I think there probably is an increased risk of violence but that’s mostly due to mental illness itself being correlated to risk factors, i.e. drug abuse, homelessness, poverty, unemployment, isolation, etc. If you held those confounding factors steady, most of the risk would disappear. The thing is, though, that removing the risk factors would be an uphill battle and would require a paradigm shift in how we deal with poverty, etc.

          But all this misses the point. Even if a person with MI is statistically ten times more likely to commit a violent offence, it is just not acceptable to target individuals on the basis of group statistics. It’s illegal when it comes to race and it ought to be illegal when it comes to mental status.

          One final concern is how we define violence. Are we talking actual criminal convictions or ‘not criminally responsible’ pleas? Or are we talking about the prediction of an underqualified psychiatric social worker? The most common victims of MI violence are psych staff, family members and the police. What’s got to be acknowledged is that these three groups are also the most likely to be inflicting or attempting to inflict violence upon the MI person.

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          • Seriously, Donna, I don’t know what the hell you are talking about. I didn’t even ADDRESS your comment in mine, never mind make insulting remarks about it. (But I do thank you for one thing. You have perfectly encapsulated why I don’t often participate in these go nowhere discussions that accomplish absolutely nothing. Any member of the public or potential psychiatric ally who reads this bizarre analysis of yours is going to have even further doubts about our movement.)

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          • Francesca,

            Thank you for posting your own verbose, irrelevant remark that reminds me of why I was so frustrated at the time with both you and the article I cited that you admitted not reading along with its very misleading title. After saying you did not read the article, you posted this absurd comment that had little to do with the actual article, which was really saying it was those with the bogus bipolar stigma who were most violent, so the title was somewhat of a dirty trick. The reason, of course, is that the bipolar fad fraud is now what Dr. Thomas Szasz called psychiatry’s “sacred symbol” that was schizophrenia that justified their fraudulent existence that has now been replaced with the horrible bipolar fad fraud by including everyone and thing but the “kitchen sink” in it from serial killers and rape victims to irritable children so they can poison everyone on the planet from literal cradle to grave while pretending they are deranged mental cases needed poison neuroleptics and AOT forced commitment for lifelong exploitation and profit. Thus, based on my tons of research, I found this article offensive and outrageous as a result.

            I’m not going to waste my time explaining further since you aren’t willing to do the homework/reading/basic courtesy to be able to provide relevant comments that actually apply to the topic or post at hand rather than spouting the same mantra and ideology while vilifying anyone who doesn’t share your every thought and belief.

            I just noted that Suzanne Beachy on another of Dr. Hickey’s post was not in the least bit happy about your attacks on her either when you accused her of being dishonest and so forth, so I don’t think it’s just me and Jonah who find your treatment offensive. On that same post you kept complaining about those like me who don’t totally agree with your ideology and are therefore ruining our great protest movement! What a joke!

            Anyway, I’m done here. I now understand your hostility to me and others here I guess (anyone who doesn’t totally agree with you, which would require mind reading and total submission to your every thought and command).

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          • If you read the entire article and other posts from the article on so called mental illness and violence, you will see that others got exactly what I said in my critique of the article while you were off on your own agenda and tangent that had little to do with it since you didn’t read the article, so couldn’t comment intelligently on it. The title of the article implied that it was about the so called mentally ill not being violent, which is a good thing for the “movement” and when you read the article it was a dirty trick betrayal showing how so called bipolars are supposedly the real violent ones with the most crime. Again, no surprise when they include serial killers and rapists like Gary Samson and Robert Hanson along with abuse/rape trauma victims in this bogus stigma invented with DSM III for this exact purpose along with pushing the latest neuroleptics and “mood stabilizers” on patent that have made billions for the biopsychiatry/Big Pharma/Government industrial complex at the cost of millions of destroyed lives.

            You are right, you would have to understand mine and others’ outrage over the bogus bipolar fad fraud given that I had to rescue loved ones from this monstrosity at great cost to understand why I did not appreciate your “comment” at the time.

            So, I guess we all have our hot button issues! Perhaps those would be critics you claim would think my comment outrageous might understand it in context if the mental death profession would only allow that to be considered.

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          • Donna, a quick glance at your most recent comments shows they are just as incoherent as your earlier ones and I’m not willing to spend the time to read and address them carefully.

            So I will ask you once again: Could you either BRIEFLY specify which words or phrases offended you OR stop nattering at me, please?

            Your rabid attack on a general comment about the supposed link between mental illness and violence is absolutely mystifying to me. There was absolutely nothing inaccurate or insulting in the comment and it was certainly relevant to the GENERAL topic. In what universe does that make my comment “absurd”?

            As for Suzanne Beachy, you’re right that she wasn’t pleased when I called her on her dishonesty. People usually aren’t pleased to be proven to have acted unethically. Suzanne deliberately took another person’s words out of context which is tantamount to libel. That’s dishonest and I’m glad I pointed it out to readers.

            My “ideology” is not what makes me speak up when people like you make a laughingstock of the entire psychiatric reform movement. It is my legitimate fear that mainstream psychiatry will never take us seriously and it’s times like these that I can understand why they don’t.

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  16. Jonathan,

    It appears that though you experienced some brief mental health treatment, you did not have coercive treatment against your will?

    Regardless, you and others are entitled to your own opinions just like those differing with you and the more main stream views are entitled to their/our opinions. The fact that the biopsychiatry/Big Pharma cartel has perpetrated so much fraud and corruption of medicine and human disability and death in itself is enough to justify abolishing it. Plus, its bogus medicalization of typical human problems to exert coercive social control and abuse the victims of the power elite all the more makes it unconstitutional! It’s a total violation and betrayal of all human, civil and democratic rights and is based on the same evil eugenics agenda used by psychiatrists that to justify gassing to death those they stigmatized as “mentally ill” or “human vermin” they later used to promote and justify the Nazi Holocaust to Hitler and not the other way around as many have been misled to believe. Hitler was one of their many victims and almost destroyed by his own doctor!

    Again, the violent people assaulting others or doing other criminal acts should be dealt with in the criminal/prison system. From what I understand, a vast majority of prisoners are now stigmatized and drugged so the 1% can profit form the prison industrial complex and the Big Pharma one in collusion with corrupt lawyers, judges and others in the so called justice system or that industrial complex serving the 1% business needs as well. Thus, it seems to me that prisons must have the personnel to dole out the same type of “treatments” doled out by psychiatric hospitals, so what you describe seems like a turf war than any statement about the so called violently mentally ill who should be in jail unless or until they can shape up or if murderers/rapists they should be confined for life.

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    • The comment you make about coercive treatment against your will really drove a point home for me Donna.

      They just don’t know unless they have experienced it. Things like oh it can’t be that bad etc.

      I have not trusted another human being since it happened to me two and a half years ago, and probably never will. I look around my community and see them all as enables of this vile system of abuse, that is done for reasons of not keeping ones house tidy, or not sleeping properly.

      Of course, does a rapist really understand the psychological damage they do to their victim? Or do they find ways of justifying it in their own minds. Usually too busy looking for their next victim I’m afraid.

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      • Kind of funny in some ways.

        My wife was concerned about me being stressed over some matters. Call mental health, they’re good people who can help him. She never got to see the man she loved ever again.

        I told her at one point i was glad she got to see Aushwitz, because many of the people who were murdered there was as a result of people like her. Point a finger at the Jew.

        A warning to any family member who is considering calling these people for assistance. If you do it is the end of any relationship you have with your loved one. Things will never be the same again. So be sure they need ‘help’ before you destroy their lives.

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        • “A warning to any family member who is considering calling these people for assistance.”
          I’ve already told my family that should I even be in any form of crisis I wish they never ever call any type of “mental health services” and if they do I’ll never speak to them again.

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  17. A friend of mine when he was an 18 year old recruit in the Marine Corp during the Viet Nam War was stationed in Hawaii . During training on a long march he broke his foot and could no longer walk . His Sargent ordered him to get up and keep marching, my friend could not stand up and was left where he lay. He crawled for hours by himself for miles back to base. He arrived at base after dark was examined and found to have a broken foot . He explained what happened was thrown in the brig given a psychiatric diagnosis put on librium and discharged from the Marine Corp. He became addicted to librium for over 40 years.
    He came to the point where he had to take librium even though his muscles cramped up because if he stopped the cramping became unbearable. He had not the patience to do a slow taper nor any help to guide him. The military eventually acknowledged he had a service connected disability and approved a monthly payment.
    Fred Strauss was a real friend and I never met anybody with more integrity.He never passed a homeless person or someone talking to themselves or in distress on the street without stopping to talk and hear their words and offer help if they needed. He died in a VA hospital . He deserved better.

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  18. Great post. I’ve seen this coming for some time. Psychiatry is out to call thinking critical of biological psychiatry “stigma”. Disagree with us, then, they say, and you are “stigmatizing” us and our patients. We’ve got enough little NAMIfied Frankenstein’s monsters out there, who have “owned up” to agreeing with everything we say, to keep you on the defensive (if not marginalized) for some time to come. Given direct-to-consumer advertizing, now we have a media sponsored by your friendly neighborhood prescription drug pusher, the biological psychiatrist’s best “business partner”. Anybody who says anything contrary to the position taken by biological psychiatry’s trend setters and reigning dons is subject to attack as a matter of PR. Nobody needs to die in the melee, not when you can just stand back, and take in the comedy. Only it isn’t a comedy. Unfortunately, as there are people actually dying, as a direct result of their biased practice, so goes the biggest flaw in their arguments. Donning blinders rectifies nothing. I’m not saying the facts necessarily win out over deceit in the end. I am saying we know whose side the facts aren’t on.

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  19. Well, this is exactly what I call “crocodile tears”!

    This is the pitiful screams of the people who granted the authority to torture people how they see fit – and exercising such authority without any sore conscience.

    The critics of psychiatry can sometimes be excessive in their critiques, turning them into the insultive and hyperbolic rhetoric – the recent post, “Ode to Biological Psychiatry”, is a good example of this – but none of them intitiated violence against anyone. Psychiatrists do this each and every day.

    This is the most important difference – this is only one side of the conflict which is violent, and it is defininitely not the critics – this is institutuional psychiatry. I can sometimes disagree with some of the critics as well, but with them I can be sure that they won’t think about intiating violence against me for my disagreement with them; and with institututional psychiatrists, one can’t be sure whether or not one would be perceived as “delusional” and, therefore, in a need of “theraupetic” torture.

    So, while I’m harshly critical of both Thomas Szasz and E. Fuller Torrey, I make the principal distinction between these two opponents of mine. Szasz is one whom I may describe as equal opponent – while I consider him to be flat wrong on many issues, I appreciate him as a person who would, despite all disagreements, treat his opponents (including me) as equals, as well as I treat him. And Torrey is a dangerous opponent, one who openly advocates initiatory violence against the ones whose experiences, thoughts and behaviours do not fit his model of “normality”.

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    • If I remember correctly “Ode to Biological Psychiatry” was characterized as “an attempt at humor.” Am I to infer by your reception to this piece that Biological Psychiatrists are not the only people on earth deficient in funny bone?

      Nor am I harshly critical of Thomas Szasz, but perhaps you could call me mildly critical of the good doctor. He was, after all, a capitalist. In the not only department, there’s R. D. Laing and Co. promoting the psychotherapy lifestyle and religion. I’ve got a lot of reservations about that.

      Also, my idea of superiority isn’t E. Fuller Torrey. The late Judi Chamberlin did debate Dr. Torrey. The debate can be found at the National Empowerment Center website. He was, and remains, not without his weaknesses. If he ever wants to debate again, you can tell him I’m available.

      As far as Normality goes. My apologies. I’ve never met the dude.

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      • Yo Frank — I think we’re on the same page 90% of the time but what do you mean when you say Szasz was a “capitalist”? You mean his philosophy or practice? Because tho he was a libertarian conservative, to actually be a capitalist you have to exploit others’ labor for profit; as he was a on-on-one talk counselor I don’t see how that would apply. Just charging for your one’s services does not make one a capitalist. And even if he were, his analysis was revolutionary and spot-on, and indispensible to our movement (or whatever may be left of it).

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        • Libertarian conservatism, generally, and in particular, the libertarianism of the Libertarian Party, seems very supportive of the laissez affaire type of economy. Out of this unregulated economy we get the new monopolies of global corporations, euphemistically referred to as the 1 %. Thomas Szasz complained about, for instance, David Cooper’s left wing politics, and he wasn’t too fond of other professionals sympathetic to the left. I guess, to answer your question, I mean about his politics, and not his practice, but I don’t see how they aren’t in a sense connected. Thomas Szasz did see government mental health spending as essentially socialism in action, and as something he opposed because of its intrusive nature. It meant big government. As an anarchist I can see the point Szasz was making. At the same time, I don’t see Thomas Szasz as one to propose any major changes in the conventional relations between capital and labor. Marx’s notion of alienated labor was just beyond him. Nor did he, unlike Laing, spend much time on the subject of alienation in general. Otherwise, I’m in complete agreement with you. “His analysis was revolutionary and spot-on, and indispensable to our movement (or whatever may be left of it).”

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          • Good, we’re speaking the same general language so let me try to hone this down a bit for the sake of intellectual ferment and development of a revolutionary analysis. (I didn’t know you considered yourself an anarchist, it would be great to have some kind of anti-capitalist coalition within this still imaginary resurrected anti-psychiatry movement that seems to be on a lot of people’s minds.)

            I have no illusions about libertarianism as a viable force for change, I’m a leftie (not a liberal or libertarian) and have made no pretense of being otherwise. But as I think you’re just saying a little differently, I think this has pretty much zilch relevance to his significance to the anti-psychiatry movement. While as you mention Szasz did not connect the relationship of “problems in living” to capitalist alienation (the common denominator of almost all emotional AND physical misery), it doesn’t matter. We can take the next step and do that. What Szasz has done is to provide us with a priceless analysis of why the very foundations of psychiatry are based not only on logical fallacy but semantic absurdity, with which we can use help educate people of all political stripes so that the issue of psychiatry or no becomes one of common sense, not political leaning — just as the left and (at least most sectors of) the right today would unite to oppose lynching.

            I’m interested in developing a clear and well-articulated anaylsis of ways to bridge the libertarian/leftist divide, because I believe a fusion of both perspectives could be useful to us all and provide spark for some real political gains. So I’m interested in feedback on this from anyone who can relate to what I’m getting at.

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          • To old head , Frank and others,
            I think if there were 4 person cells all over the country or world ,made up of #1 a whipped cream pie wielder ( to push the pie into the face of psychiatrists or Big Pharma execs.) #2 a video camera operator to film the event #3 a lawyer for protection and to make a statement and #4 some one to take the hand off of the video if necessary to where it could be downloaded to Utube or national news . I think this would bridge differences and provide sparks for real political gains.

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          • My criticism of Szasz goes much deeper his politics, which are not my main concern (BTW, leftism and libertarianism are not mutually exclusive – there is libertarian socialism as well as libertarian capitalism; I myself may describe myself as “left-libertarian”).

            The aim of my critique is his radically dualistic mind-body model, which I find to be experimentally refuted by consciousness research – from parapsychology to transpersonal psychology to near-death studies. In fact, mind and matter seems to be one and the same thing (or, at the very least, in constant and intense interaction).

            Well, I can wait for the furious dismissal of what I said – most people are not informed of such type of research, and dismiss it as “nonsense” – without a single attempt to look at the evidence before reacting. I can recommend you to start your examination here:


            Please look at these papers before dismissing them! And this is just the tip of the iceberg – there are about 150 years of research of such phenomena.

            After learning a lot about the actual state of consciousness studies, I evaluate the “szaszian” model of mind as generally wrong. It has its own good points which deserve to be remebered – insights about the social opression and scapegoating, and usage of language to label others – but its mistake is absolutization of these insights. The “sociolinguistic” model of mind which is result of this absolutization cannot stand scrutiny.

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          • Thumbs up, Fred. Sometimes all you’ve got to fight absurdity with is absurdity, (or, pie) and as there are other people out there, maybe some of those other people can add 2 + 2, and make the connection. I’m all for guerrilla theater, and any other form of direct action that may help us educate the public, for starters, and achieve our aims.

            As I see it, oldhead, left libertarianism is anarchism. (It may not be so in all cases, nonetheless, it is in mine.) Right libertarianism is the libertarianism of the Libertarian Party, its allies, and supporters.

            Actually, my education was in Sartrean existentialism. Man, the individual, is condemned to be free, and is, therefore, 100 % responsible for his actions. There is no God, and so man (the generic, and so don’t read out woman) makes himself what he is and. likewise, he makes the world he lives in. Considering the issue in depth, I couldn’t find any meaningful difference between this radical view of freedom. and the libertarian elevation of the same.

            Jean-Paul Sartre spent much of his life trying to reconcile his early existentialism with the engaged politics, as he saw it, of Marxism. Ultimately, given a petrified bureaucracy, Stalinoid purges, etc., he declared the effort a failure, saying that he was reverting to an earlier position, that of pacifico-anarchism. (One could say he just got old, but then, it can happen to the best of us.)

            What was at one time termed the first successful Marxist revolution, the USSR, itself dissolved in the early ’90s. The People’s Republic of China, if the second great revolution, suffering from many of the same faults the Soviet Union had, threatens to go capitalistic at any time (if it is not there already). I’d say, if there is still a left, we’ve gained a few lessons from the aftermath of the 1917 revolution.

            As for Thomas Szasz exposing both the ‘logical fallacy’ and ‘semantic absurdity’ of the main psychiatric mission, I agree completely. Additionally, he will always have my vote for being unwavering in his stand for the abolition of forced psychiatry. If our movement ever forgets that, as well as alternatives, half of the issue is opposition to force, and deprivation of liberty, it would no longer be my movement..

            Sorry, Fred. I will have to follow your hyperlink. I haven’t found a way beyond the Cartesian mind body split yet, (and even Szasz thought he’d gotten ‘there’). Despite the limits the physical universe has, the metaphysical universe is still way off the chart so-to-speak. I don’t see anyway anybody can find ‘understanding’ on graph paper. I will keep looking nonetheless.

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          • Frank — yeah, we could discuss revolutionary history & theory at length (maybe sometime we’ll get a chance to). All I’m saying is, vis. a vis. Szasz, that while everything is interconnected on some level, we do not go to Szasz for expertise on political/economic theory, any more than you would hire a pizza guy to fix your central air. But when it comes to destroying the medical model, he’s our guy!

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  20. Dr. Hickey,

    Here’s an example of a global PR campaign to spread psychiatric abuse and fraud throughout the world with special emphasis on Africa to decrease the “immense burden of mental illness like depression” and other vile, predatory lies and pretense to prey on other countries who have their own views and remedies for human distress that have proven far more successful than the fascist psychiatry regime per Robert Whitaker and others.

    This reminds me of other predatory corporations like Big Pharma when tobacco companies and others hawking poison [products expanded their sales to third world countries as more and more people in 1st world countries became aware of the harm and fraud of their products.

    This article also makes me literally sick when you consider the flagrant lies and huge potential for more harm for so called “depression treatment” and others known to cause huge iatrogenic harm in the U.S., Great Britain and other countries.–+ScienceDaily%29

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    • That is pretty disheartening! Disgusting, really. I suppose they choose not to recall that outcomes for these “mental illnesses” are actually better in those countries not exposed to our helpful “treatments.” I hope Africa can resist!

      —- Steve

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  21. Someone Else,

    This post on the horrific treatment of female rape victims in the military who dare report it given bogus DSM typical “female discrediting” stigmas like borderline and bipolar per Dr. Judith Herman and Dr. Carole Warshaw, respectively as domestic violence/trauma experts shows how vile, predatory, evil, vicious, psychopathic and grossly dishonest the mental death system is when it comes to dealing with the harmed victims of those in power. This is a perfect example of psychiatry using junk science, life destroying stigmas to discredit, silence, abuse, rob all human, civil rights, deny any justice and aid and abet the more powerful perpetrators also exposed by abuse/trauma experts. Most egregious is these female rape/trauma victims who dare report it are not only given bogus, discrediting stigmas, but are robbed of all credit and benefits for their service rather than punishing the perpetrators and helping the rape/trauma victims.

    Such psychiatric demolition enterprises are alive and well in work bullying/mobbing cases, divorces, custody battles, main stream medicine and any other endeavor that the mental death profession has hijacked to make a literal killing financially from the powerful at the huge expense of their victims. This corrupt, predatory profession used for such unjust “social control/predation” for the nasty purpose of ensuring the survival of the richest in the human jungle/rat race they foster must be demolished if there is any hope for human freedom and democracy.

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  22. Donna,

    Just now, I’m back from a brief time-out (was away from this MIA website for roughly the past 36 hrs), and I am noticing your latest comments on this thread… and feel it important to tell you: Despite what your detractor says, you are making a lot of good sense, in your comments — most especially in your last comment, above (on June 23, 2014 at 12:06 am).

    Your detractor’s reply is proof of her desire to paint you as someone who is not making sense; perhaps, she actually believes you are not making sense; but, I assure you, if that’s the case, then that is just your detractor’s opinion.

    Also, please know, I appreciate your mentions (in more than one of your comments) of my stated dilemma — i.e., your expressions of sympathy… for my feeling, that, really, there’s probably no point in attempting to dialogue with someone who is quite clearly (by her own admission) automatically prejudging whatever I post.

    That person chooses to comment negatively on what I write while explaining that she has not actually read it. What can we say, after all, to a person who peppers a comment thread with countless comments, offering her opinions (including critiques of our own ways of expressing ourselves), when she will not actually take the time to really hear us — to listen?

    Repeatedly, she tells us she’s not reading what we have to say, yet she’s commenting on our views nonetheless…

    Someone who is determined to argue but who repeatedly indicates s/he is actually ignoring what we have to say is really not someone worth dialoguing with, imho.

    (Note: The detractor asked me a couple of good, pointed questions, above — regarding my views on the issue of suicide. I answered those questions, as best I could, briefly; and, she had nothing to say, in response, except to insist that my writing is not worth reading… And, she suggested that, if I was unwilling to speak with her, so be it. She is plainly being absurd.)

    I think, sometimes, people do not care to admit, that they don’t wish to speak with us; they really just want to speak at us — or speak over us…

    I was speaking with her — and was carefully responding to her questions…

    I am not doing so now — because, I do my best with such persons.

    But, there comes a point at which I feel, that doing my best is going to be just letting go, moving on…

    Unless or until I find that a person is willing to apologize for being so discourteous, I will ignore — as dialoguing is not possible when a person won’t consider what I’m saying…

    I guess, if it comes to my attention that s/he’s somehow totally misrepresenting reality in ways, then, maybe, for the sake of MIA readers, some further comment may be required.


    Imho, the main thing that requires constant bearing in mind, Donna, as we engage in discussions on this website: Some people think there is “a movement” taking shape, here, in these comment threads; other people think that there should be “a movement” taking shape here. People who hold such these views of what is or what is ‘supposed to be’ happening here will naturally become frustrated when they do not see that happening…

    But, they won’t see it happen, imho; they can’t… because, in point of fact, there is no single (‘unified’) “movement” being expressed in these MIA blogs. So, of course, neither is there one (‘unified’) “movement” that’s going to emerge, in the comment threads.

    There will be no such singular “movement” that will take shape …not here, on this website anyway.

    According to Bob Whitaker’s personal mission for it, this website provides a forum for discussion about “Science, Psychiatry and Community.”

    So, people may speak of “our movement” here — as though there was an understanding of what that means…

    I, myself, came to speak, at last, of “this movement for social justice,” in my first comment, above — as that’s the movement that I feel animates my own expressions here.

    Meanwhile, some others speak of “the psychiatric reform movement.”

    That’s fine for them, but not for me…

    “The psychiatric reform movement” does not interest me. This is not to suggest, that I believe its proponents are ‘bad’ people. (Not at all.) Simply, I feel that that is a movement, which holds no interest for me, as my experiences with and observations of psychiatry have proven to me, that Psychiatry is a religion, in which I have no faith whatsoever.

    I can’t get excited about that “psychiatric reform movement,” at all; I have no interest in joining any “psychiatric reform movement,” just like I have no interest in joining most other religion’s reform movements. (I will do my best to contribute to reform, within the realm of my own religion, of Buddhism.)

    And, let’s make no mistake (I believe you agree, when I point out): Psychiatry is a religion.

    Frankly, imo, it is a terrible religion over all; and, yet, there are some decent people involved in it; and, certainly, I don’t begrudge anyone the right to practice and follow it.

    What I do object to — nay, what I most strongly oppose — are any and all of its believers’ claims, that they supposedly have a ‘right’ to impose their faith on others…

    The worst dangers that Psychiatry presents, arise from the fact, that its believers are, everywhere, in ‘secular’ societies, co-opting the powers of the State and wielding evermore considerable influence in the courts (not to mention, the school systems, public health care system, prison systems) such that, there is no one alive today, in our society, who’s well-being is well protected from its deadly influence.

    I am willing to bet that your detractor absolutely hates it, when you refer to the “mental death profession” as such — because she describes herself as an advocate of the “psychiatric reform movement.”

    She may know it is well described that way; however, that would not matter to her, I think.

    After all, we read this,

    Francesca Allan on June 21, 2014 at 12:47 am said:

    The issue isn’t whether the phrase is accurate or not. What’s being discussed is whether that terminology is helpful to our cause. Many (including myself) believe it is not.

    She speaks of “our cause” as though her cause is everyone else’s cause; but, of course, it’s not.

    Again, emphatically: I am not seeking “psychiatric reform,” I am seeking to end all unwanted impositions of psychiatry — to end the scourge of forced ‘treatments’ of Psychiatry, such as those which were imposed on myself, in my early twenties…

    I consider myself an abolitionist, because I am completely opposed to psychiatric slavery.

    As an abolitionist, I have no problem with letting psychiatrists be psychiatrists; only, the should keep their practice to themselves and those who truly wish to be ‘treated’ by them.

    And, personally, I do feel that accurate phrasing is important. (Imho, it is quite important.)

    In fact, I find it almost unfathomable, to consider what Francesca is saying, in that brief comment of hers, above.

    Apparently, she thinks I should not speak of having been brain raped, only because that would upset psychiatrists whom she cares to draw to her movement.

    So, here we must realize, we are dealing with someone who deeply disagrees with us.

    In her view, we should not call a spade a spade… because her goal is to “reform” psychiatry.

    I think you must realize, it’s inevitable that we will have detractors (you will and I will and others who are similarly critical of psychiatry will) because we are so out-spoken, exposing the lies and the criminality of that profession; have no doubt, you are doing a great thing, studying these issues and relaying what you learn; hopefully, others get as much out of reading your comments as I do…

    Your comments are full of great insights, Donna. Thank you for offering them…

    Hopefully, in this comment, I have not been too verbose…



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  23. Hi Jonah,

    Thanks for your hard efforts to write this comment to further help to validate my reality and feelings after my own very frustrating/upsetting encounter with Francesca with her typical insulting remarks, bullying and pretense that she is the dictator of some nonexistent supposed unified movement here to win over main stream psychiatry. Yet, in mine and others’ opinion this is not only a lost cause, but rather, if I was winning over main stream psychiatry, I’d question my own sanity not to mention a total loss of any ethics or honesty.

    As you know, you and I have had debates in the past and even greatly disagreed at times, but our capacity for mutual respect, compassion and empathy allowed us to settle our perceived differences and continue to respect what each other offered to MIA and act accordingly.

    As a result, when I saw how disrespectful Francesca was to you I found that very upsetting and my heart went out to you to the point I challenged Francesca’s cruelty to you. Her behavior also validated my own reality that though Francesca is quick to criticize, attack and insult others, she seems to be blind about how her behavior comes off to others as very offensive, disrepectful and hurtful.

    I also admired your assertive response to Francesca saying that given her lack of interest in reading your overall comments as well as my comments and even the main article on the post, you weren’t willing to waste too much time on communication with her either given this disrespectful attitude from her. Again, it helped me validate my own reaction and feelings to this pervasive lack of empathy and good will from Francesca toward anyone who does not share her strict standards of what is needed to reform mainstream psychiatry, which in our opinion cannot be reformed due to its fraudulent, corrupt, unscientific, bogus, harmful, coercive, rights violating, murderous current paradigm that grows worse and more predatory globally ever day.

    Thank you for your support for my comments that are based on my own horrible experience having to rescue family from the bipolar fad fraud at great cost, which can probably only be understood fully from that perspective.

    Finally, I have always found your posts very interesting, well researched, enlightening and even funny at times since you aren’t too tolerant of others’ bull…, so as we have discovered, we are wasting our time trying to communicate with those who believe they are above reading anything others write that is not in full agreement with their rigid agenda to reform mainstream psychiatry.

    Sadly, this type of attitude keeps one very narrow minded and ignorant overall and left with just empty ideological slogans rather than a humane approach to this very challenging issue that sees human beings as unique individuals rather than a huge mass of identical, lobotomized slaves to be subject to all their toxic poisons and violence and spit out by the Big Pharma/psychiatry industrial complex for the sake of their global billions.

    Again, thank your for your support and concern, Jonah and its’ nice to meet you again. I always enjoy reading your posts even if I don’t always comment.


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    • Don’t know whose post to make this a “reply” to, but in general…

      I’m probably adding fuel to the fire by stating this but I see no option: Donna, Jonah & others are letting Francesca’s comments get to them and divert the discussion. Deliberately or not Francesca employs a provocateurial style, leading her targets to respond to what they experience as personal attacks (and sometimes they are) BUT as soon as that stuff becomes the subject of discussion rather than the original topic, the diversion has been successful. When people continually offer up distracting non sequitors & ad hominem stuff it’s better to continue the discussion with others as tho they aren’t there. Tho it would help to let them know that’s why they’re being ignored & they have the power to change the situation. I think this is a better approach than waiting for comments to be officially “moderated.”

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      • Oldhead, I can assure you that I most certainly do not intend to provoke people and I challenge you to review from start to finish any discussion that I have participated in here on MiA and show me an instance where I have been the first to introduce a non sequitur or an ad hominem attack. If you’re waiting for censorship to bolster your argument, you’re going to be waiting an awfully long time.

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      • My feeling is that it doesn’t matter so much who “started it” or if they meant to, we all have agency and can choose to channel discussions in more constructive directions at any point (well, until we run out of reply buttons that is). I like your suggestion of moving the conversation past what is perceived as distracting rather than focusing in on it.

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  24. This post is directed to Francesca about a comment she made further up.

    Why do you think mainstream psychiatry is ever going to tkae us seriously? I don’t believe that’s ever going to happen and I’m not going to waste my time trying to convince them that they need to listen to us. It’s all just a big waste of time. There are a few good psychiatrists out there who get it but for the most part the rest of them could care less about dialoging with us and trying to find some common ground. If you want to gather in a circle and hold hands with them and sing Kumbaya that’s fine with me but I’m having nothing to do with any of that.

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    • I’ll sing Kumbaya and hold hands with psychiatrists, superglued to their desks and superglued to their hands, then call the press and say that at least for the next hour they are not doing any harm.

      I’ll just repeat that dialogue is fine if that’s what you want to do, but it is only one tactic when it comes to effecting social change.

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    • Uprising, I don’t see those as necessarily mutually exclusive options. If NAMI were to come to my hometown and make a presentation, the best thing I could do would be to try to get involved and give some balance to the discussion. Then, presumably, when the media reported on the presentation, the public would be made aware that there were dissenting voices.

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      • True, the two options are not mutually exclusive. And yours is a valid approach to getting an alternative perspective heard, but it’s not for everyone. It is not for me. Would you please consider that there are differing values and goals among people here, and that it may not be appropriate to speak in terms of “we” and “you” (plural) as if everyone is agreed on something? (I’m referring to many of your other comments, not this last one.)

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        • Uprising, I think I’ll be in charge of how I express myself, thanks. Although every comment on this blog represents somebody’s own opinion, our overriding goal (to reform psychiatry) seems to be uniform. So when I say something like “XYZ doesn’t help us,” that’s not to say that XYZ doesn’t further any particular individual’s goal; it’s stating that XYZ doesn’t help the cause.

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          • See, that’s exactly where you are wrong. It’s true that there’s a common thread in that the majority of people who write and comment here think that psychiatry should AT LEAST be reformed. I’d like it if psychiatry could be reformed, but I’d like it better if psychiatry did not exist. So you see, my goals are somewhat different than yours, and therefore your verbiage does not apply to me.

            It’s amazing to me how concerned you always seem to be about what some hypothetical moderate shrink might think about what is said here in the comments section of a webzine, but you seem to have a complete disregard for the feelings of the people with whom you interact here. So I’ll just leave it at that, and if you ever change your perspective and decide to treat others with respect, then maybe we’ll chat sometime.

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          • Uprising, everybody here wants reform in mental health care. For some, that means getting rid of psychiatry altogether. For others, that means ensuring informed consent and providing alternatives to conventional care. There are myriad approaches possible. While our specific goals may differ, our overriding principle is the same: current psychiatric practice stinks!

            Is referring to my comments as “verbiage” your contribution to the new, improved communication style we’re striving for? Please see Emmeline’s thoughtful comments on this subject.

            I am not concerned about what a “hypothetical shrink” might think about what’s posted in these discussions. My concern is how much credibility the public is going to give us after reading some of the rants here.

            I’m sorry you’re feeling disrespected and disregarded. That’s never been my intention.

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      • I would in that theoretical situation hope to see a demonstration outside challenging the legitimacy of the event, and challenging the right of those present to speak for the psychiatrized. I would’t get drawn into rigged, controlled discussions in which we would always be presented as “extreme” compared to the “reasonable” pharmaceutical-shill bloodsuckers who were so kindhearted as to let us participate. We need to expose these scams for all they’re worth. And it’s not hard, we just need to keep putting the truth in front of people and not back off.

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  25. Mr Nutt… what an appropriate name.
    “Whatever the reasons, extreme assertions such as those made by Prof Gøtzsche are insulting to the discipline of psychiatry and at some level express and reinforce stigma against mental illnesses and the people who have them. ”
    I love the idea that people who mostly are ex-psych patients and were considered “mentally ill” at some point in their life would be stigmatising people who are in the very same situation – we are apparently stigmatising ourselves. This guy lives up to his surname…

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  26. ” Connecting the public emotionally to psychiatrists, ·
    Creating excitement about psychiatrists’ ability to prevent and treat mental illness, and ·
    Branding psychiatrists as the mental health and physician specialists with the most knowledge, training, and experience in the field.”
    Wow…creating excitement, seriously? Oh, I’m so existed about the brand new psychotropics that psychiatrist can prescribe to 1yr olds who are diagnosed with predisposition for a newly “discovered” mental disorder which is surely going to kill them if they are not “helped”. This is a language of a advertising company which is trying to sell you a washing machine and not of a medical doctor. They expose themselves for what they are.
    I wonder how people would react if proctologists were trying to make them “excited” about a new way of diagnosing prostate cancer. WTF…

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