What Distinguishes “Antipsychiatry”?

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University of Toronto lecturer Bonnie Burstow discusses the key elements that distinguish the antipsychiatry perspective from mad, critical psychiatry, psych survivor and other perspectives on her new blog BizOMadness. Burstow agrees with Thomas Szasz that “mental illness” is “a literalized metaphor” that does not accurately relate to dire emotional distress. “By contrast, the various treatments of psychiatry (e.g., the drugs, electroshock) have been demonstrated to create illness. It is this reality that is the bedrock of antipsychiatry.” That’s why antipsychiatry thinkers don’t want to “improve” psychiatry, writes Burstow. “Because you only seek to improve something you judge as having some legitimacy—not something which you contend has none.”

Antipsychiatry thinkers, writes Burstow, therefore also see institutional psychiatry as an “incarceral project” that is “intrinsically about power-over, the bodily surveillance and control of ‘othered’ populations (especially women, the racialized, the poor, gay and transgender, the very young, the very old).”

On Antipsychiatry (BizOMadness, July 5, 2014)

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78 COMMENTS

  1. This article is very useful to someone like me, who is relatively new to terms like this. I especially appreciate that it doesn’t assume much prior knowledge of the subject. It is the clearest explanation I’ve seen of what “antipsychiatry” means.

    I don’t like labels much, but by the definition given here, I’m definitely antipsychiatry.

  2. Damn, where have I been and why have I never heard of this person? (I would’ve missed the article had I not seen yr note, Uprising.) My initial response was to hold my breath, because any time a media or academic person presumes to define our terms for us there’s a 90% chance they just won’t get it — but she actually does, and gets it to the degree that I’m guessing she must be in contact with some of the more sophisticated anti-psychiatry theorists here at MIA. In any case, it’s good to have another site to put in my favorites, and it looks like we have an ally here.

    • They do not create ‘mental illness”—which she makes clear. They cause brain injury which has negative psychological and biological manifestations. THey do not cause chemical imbalance. There is no such thing. The drugs are harmful PERIOD.
      These are literalized metaphors. You cannot beat the system Fiachra by using embracing psychiatric jargon. It will take you down with it, spiritually, permanently.
      I suggest you re-read the essay which was good.
      Seth Farber, PhD
      http://www.sethHfarber.com

      • I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that an SSRI, for instance, creates a serotonin balance. And it’s certainly true that many people become manic on antidepressants, trading a sometimes resolvable problem (depression) for a psychiatric disaster (bipolar disorder).

        • How would we ever know if an SSRI caused a “serotonin balance” if we don’t know what a proper serotonin balance is and can’t in any way measure it? Besides which, these drugs are not fine surgical instruments, they are crude tools which disrupt many systems within the body (did you know there are a ton of serotonin receptors in the gut, for instance?) It’s like trying to fix a watch with a sledge hammer, without even bothering to see what is wrong with the watch. Regardless of what you do, you’re going to cause damage, because you don’t know what you’re doing, and you’re using the wrong tools. Aside from which, there may be nothing wrong with the watch at all.

          Of course, you’re right, you can make someone mentally or emotionally unbalanced by screwing with his/her brain chemistry, but that doesn’t mean that anyone with emotional issues is in some way biochemically “off.”

          — Steve

          • Yes, Steve, I am well aware of the structure, function and location of neurotransmitters. My point was simply that SSRIs (or any other psychoactive drug, for that matter) can mess with a person’s neurochemistry and cause distress as a result.

            I think if you’re willing to agree that meds can cause brain chemical changes that can lead to mental distress, then you are logically forced to at least consider the possibility that in some cases brain chemical changes can do the same without the triggering psychoactive drug.

            I have never claimed that the answer to emotional distress is better living through chemistry. It’s still important to recognize, though, that it is in fact neurochemistry that leads to individual thoughts, feelings and experiences, regardless of the origin of any particular neurochemical state.

          • I do agree that sometimes changes in brain chemicals can cause genuine distress. But for me, until we can specifically demonstrate a causal connection (like with Parkinsons, for instance) between a certain condition and a certain chemical deficiency and attendant physiological damage, we can’t ever claim to be curing, treating or healing anything.

            I’d also add that biochemistry is massively modifiable by each of us. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here, but hugs, fresh air, walks in the forest sex, sleep, eating, changing scenery, meditation, getting a massage, smiling, laughing, smelling something nice – all of these things modify our biochemistry all the time. In fact, there are a number of studies showing that simply thinking of something changes our “PET scan” dramatically.

            Bottom line, I’m sure there is a small percentage of “depressed” people who have something actually wrong with them. The vast majority of the time, whatever it is can be addressed in myriad ways without drugs, and should be. I have no problem with prescribing something for a real physiological problem, but we all have different brain chemistries all the time throughout the day, and we are a far, far way from even a rudimentary understanding of what is going on.

            Of course, there is also the possibility that we are spiritual entities occupying and influencing our bodies, which opens up a whole different realm of possible ways to intervene. But whether you believe that or not, I think the whole chemical imbalance concept is so crude and destructive that we ought to scrap it, even if there is some tiny percentage of people where it might actually reflect reality in some way.

            Thanks for writing back.

            —- Steve

    • Do the drugs cause what is commonly referred to as psychosis? I think there is evidence that they do. I’ve seen R. Whitaker himself talk about a Tardive Psychosis rate of something like 3 % a year occurring with neuroleptic drug use. Having been on neuroleptics, I’ve had many adverse effects from these chemicals that, to my way of thinking, had to be confused with the “symptoms” of what was taken to be “mental illness”. The drugs exasperated, in my case, what was taken to be “delusional thinking”, and “delusional thinking” that cleared up when I took myself off them. Perhaps, it could be said that they slowed the clearing up of “delusional thinking”, and it was the removing of the drugs that helped me get a grip on reality more than anything else.

        • Gotta agree with you on that point! One article in Canadian J Psych showed that 6-7% of kids taking stimulants at normal dosages had psychotic symptoms noted in their charts (retrospectively). That’s hardly rare – if someone medicates a hundred “ADHD” cases in a year, they’d have made 6 or 7 of them at least somewhat psychotic. But how often do you ever hear anyone talk about amphetamine psychosis as a result of stimulant “treatment?” Never! Plus the drugs they use for “ADHD” increase dopamine, and the ones they use for “psychosis” decrease dopamine. So they give the kid stimulants, crank up his dopamine, he becomes psychotic, so they give him Risperdal to DECREASE his dopamine, which they are increasing with the stimulants? How stupid is that!

          — Steve

          • Well, not mentioning all the off-targets of the drugs, dopamine pathway is hardly the only thing these drugs affect. Putting a kid on one psych drug on another to battle “side effects” is criminal. There are no real studies on interactions between these drugs.
            But for psychiatrists it’s much easier to just dismiss any drug-related problems as “underlying illness getting worse” or “treatment-resistance” or “unmasking of bipolar”. I sometimes really wonder – are they so stupid or so evil?

  3. This is getting too lofty and scholarly, an incarcerial project. Plenty was known about the drug company NIMH, NAMI, APA version of psychiatry previously but the last 20 years has provided much more in terms of revelations.

    They are targeting pregnant woman for the patented sales products that cause miscarriages, children that die the day they are born, and newborn babies in need of operations to put their organs inside their bodies.

    They target the elderly, toddlers children in foster care. The breakthrough atypical Risperdal (safe and more effective) (that is a dopamine 2 receptor blockade drug just like Thorazine and Haloperidol (for which Risperidol is named) are) causes adolescent boy to develop femail type breasts.

    Ciba Gigi and the USA Psychiatric, NAMI, CHADD and drug company leadership saw to it that Feingold’s information, Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D.sLendon Smith, M.D.’s and Parris Kidd, Ph.D.’s information was ignored so that sales of Ritalin and Adderal could increase every five years for 5 decades. The use of psychostimulents was discovered by accident in the 1930’s as Dr. Lendon Smith relates. That is their “stae-of-the-art” – 1930’s crude norepinephrine drugs Hah!

    Antipsychiatry is what any human being would call themselves.

    Lawrence Stevens, J.D. Antipsychiatry.org is a good example.
    http://www.antipsychiatry.org/stigma.htm

    Don Weitz, M.D. “Call Me Antipsychiatry Activist – not consumer” is another.
    http://www.radicalpsychology.org/vol3-1/don.html

    Coercive Psychiaty a Torture System by Alice Halmi INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION AGAINST PSYCHIATRIC ASSAULT
    http://www.iaapa.de/zwang2/halmi_english.htm

    Against Psychiatry Zine – Fritz
    http://www.theicarusproject.net/articles/against-psychiatry-zine

    No requirement exists to adhere to the scholarly bombast of Szasz. He was pointedly against orthomolecular (listing people by name which he did not do for the conman Drug Shoch Psychsurgery ‘Psychiatry’) and decades later he repeated himself. Thus – Szasz is not especially good at scholarship.

    As the APA and NIMH worked together to suppress biochemical psychiatry – in 1973 – and then came out with the DSM-3 in that same decade (proclaiming everything to be diagnosable and according to their “employing the Medical model” theoretical “biochemical imbalances” — calling for massive product sales of “centrally acting drugs,”

    – the problem is not with treating valid mental symptoms by treating valid medical causes.

    The issue is rather that the entire edifice since circa 1967 has been an intentional propaganda fraud involving a merger of the NIMH, drug company leadership, the APA and parts of the USA Government.

    As Thomas Szasz states this involves an incarcerial project, correct – they are taking a stance of their being the Authority — a second police and judicial and executioner system that they pretend the right to conduct (based on lies) where they get to select people into behavior and psyche made-up (non-Medical) categories at whim and pretend this is some “mental illness diagnosis” that calls for treatment – whatever treatment they decide – kidnapping, psychosurgery, sterilization, continuous drugging, euthanasia. Especially drugging: with a small number of selected, favored crude lucrative pills and shots.

    So it can be looked at as – and is – a political power play where their agents get to play the Authority endowed with the objective judgement to select people into descriptive categories.

    Such as of pre-crime and wrong-thought, see H.R. 3717 and the “serious mental illness’ “anosognosia” operations they have crafted and are running currently,.

    And it is also, more simply, on a lower level, the drug sales propaganda – “diagnosis” is done by the clinician’s “Professional opinion” – this based on interview, behavioral reports and contrived psychological word tests, while “treatment” is “Medical model” consisting of lucrative xenobiotic patented trademarked centrally acting drugs.

    And only exclusively those – only intellectual property rights trademarked drugging chemicals need every apply — no B-Vitamin, antioxidant, amino-acid nor even Omega-3 fatty acid chemical pill has yet made it to their official armamenarium – to their official, Professional Protocols for Diagnosis and Treatment in Psychiatry.

    The 1970’s are long gone and not one B-Vitamin or amino acid has been added to the official list of chemotherapy items employed by modern Biopsychiatry. What drugs are used? Have her meds adjusted. A new breakthrough wonder drug is on the horizon.

    One can be Antipsychiatry without disbelieving in chemical imbalances (when the APA, NAMI, drug companies and NIMH and ACNP say that phrase – it is merely a gambit, just a propaganda gambit and nothing more. It has no depth of substance –they have not a “Medical model” nor a “theory” nor “paradigm,” no honest opinion nor mistaken belief. They are sociopath conmen.

    Whether at a Government level or a sales tactical level for older and newer pharmaceutical concerns wanting to make a billion dollars in short order — and their KOL’s key opinion leaders in place at Tufts, Harvard, Emory, Cornell and Columbia and the APA and NIMH they have no Paradigm, they have no interest in establish validation of their “model,” that is a laugh. What they want is what they have created Psychological word test diagnoses by the authority of the Professionals and ersatz Medical treatment using “psych drugs” and “ECT” for “mental disorders,” “mental illnesses.” And ineffectual opposition and critics to make a social noise like there was an open forum. And concerned independent grassroots groups like CABF and NAMI.

    Writing in support of the suppressed biochemical, functional orthomolecular Medicine,

    Stand Up.

    Daniel Burdick S.E.A. Springfield Eugene Antipsychiatry
    Springfield and Eugene Oregon, USA

    What GSK really thinks about Paxil for Children – pg 5
    http://www.ahrp.org/risks/SSRI0204/GSKpaxil/pg5.html

    The Real Biederman Scandal
    “Bipolar” Harvard propaganda – USA Kids lives for Sale by Psychopharm
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=million+joseph+biederman+wozniak+OR+wilens&spell=1

    ________________________

    Psychopharmaceutical corruption and diagnosis

    As the Grassley-led inquiries found, Biederman and two other colleagues at Harvard took $4.2 million from 15 drug companies that they failed to report. (See, also, Levine’s excellent article on Biederman, Exposed: Harvard Shrink Gets Rich Labeling Kids Bipolar.) Grassley’s investigation focused on these serious financial problems, but I find the psycho-cultural consequences of Biederman’s work more interesting from a neuroanthropological perspective. From The New York Times:

    Dr. Biederman is one of the most influential researchers in child psychiatry and is widely admired for focusing the field’s attention on its most troubled young patients. Although many of his studies are small and often financed by drug makers, his work helped to fuel a controversial 40-fold increase from 1994 to 2003 in the diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder, which is characterized by severe mood swings, and a rapid rise in the use of antipsychotic medicines in children.

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=+furious+seasons+biederman+bipolar

    ________________________

    One of the US most prominent Psychiatrists Charles Nemeroff, M.D. of Emory and Columbia’s TeenScreen
    https://www.google.com/search?as_q=Nemeroff+Columbia+TeenScreen+Sharav+OR+Boring+OR+Pringle+OR+Idaho&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=cchr+wiki+wikipedia&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=images&tbs=&as_filetype=&as_rights=&gws_rd=ssl#as_qdr=all&lr=&q=Nemeroff+Columbia+TeenScreen+Sharav+OR+Boring+OR+Pringle+OR+Idaho

    David Moyer, LCSW
    http://beyondmentalillness.us/about/

    John Hammell
    http://www.iahf.com/world/981011a.html

    Little Did I Know – David Moyer, LCSW
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY3fuiRMZc8

    Hyla Cass, M.D. Psychiatrist
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WDMxK8qtD8

    Orthomolecular Psychiatry – Citizendia
    http://www.fakten-uber.de/orthomolecular_psychiatry

    Charles Gant
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar0bJ-k5Z3Q

    Masks of Madness with actress Margot Kidder (full 53 minutes)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJfHB4NHUXI

    History of Orthomolecular –
    http://orthomolecular.org/history

  4. Great web site to add to my collection on antipsychiatry. Dr. Bonnie Burstow does a great job breaking down the various movements protesting psychiatry in various ways while providing excellent reasons for why she is antipsychiatry with a great, clear explanation of that as well.

    Her exposure of the pathetic kangaroo courts for those forced into treatment shows the despicable pretense of claiming legal rights are respected while going so far as to allow psychiatrists to drug their victims into oblivion right before the bogus trial so that they will be unable to even speak or stand never mind defend themselves. And none of this is questioned including the original violation of one’s rights by psychiatry and allowing them to continue such glaring abuses of power throughout the bogus court process whereby even the better lawyers are supposedly forced to go along given the ill gotten powers of psychiatry.

    I have heard of Dr. Burstow before, but wasn’t familiar with her website, so I am glad it has been covered at MIA.

    The Antipsychiatry Coalition is another excellent, valuable site with many great articles, especially the ones by Lawrence Stevens, J.D. citing all the fraud, quackery and huge harm done by all of psychiatry’s assaults on their victims including their junk science DSM stigmas:

    http://www.antipsychiatry.org/

    The book reviews are great with special emphasis on the excellent review of the great book, Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry:

    http://www.antipsychiatry.org/br-pibp.htm

    Other gems on this web site are by Don Weitz of Canada including Psychiatric Fascism and Why Psychiatry Should Be Abolished:

    http://www.antipsychiatry.org/weitz2.htm

    http://www.antipsychiatry.org/25reason.htm

    Lawrence Stevens, J.D. does an excellent job proving that schizophrenia is a nonexistent “disease” among many other superb articles exposing the fraud of psychiatry’s spurious claims:

    http://www.antipsychiatry.org/schizoph.htm

    There is much more great information here including classics of the antipsychiatry movement despite the fact that it hasn’t been updated recently.

    I highly recommend it.

    • “drug their victims into oblivion right before the bogus trial so that they will be unable to even speak or stand never mind defend themselves”
      Happened to me – I was so drugged that I don’t even remember seeing a judge – I was shocked to learn that I supposedly talked to a lawyer and saw a judge. It’s a mockery of justice system.

  5. The drug companies’ and Psychiatric leadership’s patent drugs are a bad choice of chemical items. They have the psychostimulents, anxietolytics, antiodepressents and antipsychotics and it is all for the most part crude bad very old products. Everything they write and say about these things including what they write about diagnoses of disorders is crafted propaganda.

    What they do is able to be “a power over” with surveillance and dealing with ‘othered populations’ (with the other populations including all US citizens in the case of the now defunct TeenScreen and with the proposed HR3717 act) and it portrays itself as Modern Medical treatment for Medical problems seen in manifested behavioral and mental ‘symptoms’ which they describe for their practitioners.

    You are stating that there is no illness – other than what illness the false treatments of continuous brain-drugging and electric shocks across the head inflict on the victims. In this you are like Fredrick Baughman, M.D. and others.

    You use this term “dire emotional distress,” stating that their fraud of “mental illness does not accurately relate to dire emotional distress.” This is like Mational Empowerment Center and MindFreedom using terms such as psychological and emotional overwhelm, and extreme states.

    This is what activist, advocate John Hammell calls the words of “psychosocial theorists.”

    People have biological problems (heavy metal toxicity, fungus and microbe infections, essential mineral depletion, unhealthy damaged gut flora unavble to screen out toxins and make essential nutrients) and biochemical problems that are seen as behavioral, learning, depression, anxiety and mental dysfunction.

    Thus the fraud of biopsychiatry with its sophisticated propaganda and its crude pitiful array of a handful of halogenated chemicals has this going for it: people have been progressively been degraded and breaking down since circa the 1870s.

    Thy manage to do no appropriate needed tests, no differential diagnosis and do there magic

    its a mental illness so we do no medical tests because its psychologic not Medical and we treat it Medically with prescribed Medicines because it is Medical model and not psychoanalytic…

    rational though blockading, 1984 double think, simplistic idiotic superficial propaganda by endless rote repetition from multiple pretend-independent sources which propaganda simple and repetitious is logically self-contradictory internally incomprehensibly inconsistent…

    we have to wonder who devised this propaganda – it is the big lie- and the anti-rational aspect and force to make people conform –

    Anyway my poit and John Hammell and al lthe rest is that they have also used the fact that people are having medical troubles – not merely psychosocial ones, not emotional overwhelm –

    so there making up Authoritative Pronounced official flimsy names ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Panic, Postpartum Depression Schizm-Frenia! that they state their elite kind are the only Professionals who can detect by observation and judgement

    and their treating these with their patented intellectual property rights chemicals

    is slick because the people really are messed up and they do nothing to look for the problems involved – they name a deviance category (the DSM is a naming of loose descriptive syndrome categories) say that is a Medical/mom-Medical diagnosis of sysnrome/devience/disease/ illness/ disorderlyness/abnormness that needs to be controlled

    and they give the euphemistic “meds” which really do… something… and since it is the only game allowed media coverage… it all seems plausable.

    That is the best they have. That is how it is.

    Much of the plotting here is being missed by you all. Do not throw out the orthomolecular baby with the dirty pharmaceutical bat water.

    Divided we fall. We cant fight two opponents with one weopen. We need the entire world view, not a psychosocial stilted paradigm. Who promotes this crippled half blind approach.

    Psychological psychiatrists… psychotherapy cult organizations… psychotherapists… people better at philosophy than biochemistry. The drug company strategists?

    Merge the rhetoric guys. Not not be curmudgeons here. We need the full truth to fight the persistent game playing of the psychopath conmen of pharma and the NIMH/APA/ACNP/NAMI and the medical writing and political influence and firms.

    Its the scholar thing to do.

    Its the ethical thing to do.

    Between 1955 and 1973 they suppressed Biochemical Psychiatry so they could substitute the DSM-3 “we are employing the Medical model” in its stead. What happened?
    Abram Hoffer, M.D.
    http://www.orthomolecular.org/history/hoffer/ahlife.pdf

    JOM History
    http://www.orthomed.org/jom/jomhistory.html

    Abram Hoffer, M.D. The tranqillizer drugs were so profitable after 1955 that the drug companies own Psychiatry
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE2rpITjlhI

    Medline Censorship
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=journal+orthomolecular+medline

    Dan Burdick, Eugene Oregon USA

    • I don’t understand the distinction people try to make between orthomolecular psychiatry and biopsychiatry. Both allege biological dysfunction as the cause of mental disorders. The fact that a particular agent happens to be a vitamin does not necessarily make it “safe.” Many of the treatments used by that quack Abram Hoffer involved massive doses of non-water soluble vitamins which are definitely toxic at high enough doses. The absolute lack of effectiveness of orthomolecular treatment is another issue altogether.

      • Good point. It really makes no different if you’re trying to medicate distress with SSRIs or vitamins or LSD. If there’s a real vitamin/microelement deficiency do a blood test and give supplements/fix the diet but treating vitamins as panacea for everything is just as dumb as prescribing SSRIs for everything.

      • “I don’t understand the distinction people try to make between orthomolecular psychiatry and biopsychiatry.”

        Agreed — how about when they kept people in an alcoholic stupor on the “ships of fools,” wouldn’t that be considered primitive “biopsychiatry”?

    • Though I agree with you Dan that there are genuine biological issues that people have that can lead to emotional distress – you mention …”heavy metal toxicity, fungus and microbe infections, essential mineral depletion, unhealthy damaged gut flora unavble to screen out toxins and make essential nutrients”- I don’t see orthomolecular high vitamin dosing as the answer…and I have to agree with Francesca below that simply exchanging industrially manufactured vitamins for industrially manufactured drugs is not a good answer.

      I also really agree with Donna below that “psychiatry preys on (…) those suffering emotional distress from typical human problems like domestic, work, school abuse/bullying/mobbing/rape and other human cruelty that can lead to post traumatic stress that can do a number on the body/mind as well.”

      I think a lot of holistic practitioners (acupuncturists, naturopaths, herbalists, nutritionists) really are focusing a lot of effort on examining how nutrition and the modern lifestyle leads to emotional distress. Simply shifting away from the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) to a more whole foods diet would do far more in my mind than mega dosing vitamins.

      But really even dietary concerns are secondary to the most essential needs- good housing, safety, reducing environmental and social stressors, etc.

      We also have to acknowledge that not all suffering needs to be tranquilized and medicated. Again – as Donna puts it so well…

      “There are natural disasters, loss of loved ones through death or divorce, job loss, monetary loss and countless other misfortunes that can lead to human suffering. Sadly, psychiatry has robbed all of these normal human reactions to loss and medicalized and stigmatized them so they can profit from the suffering of their victims as they plotted when they sold out to Big Pharma in the 1980′s.”

  6. Dan,

    I think you are taking too narrow a view about the problems that get “treated” by psychiatry. Perhaps the medical issues you discuss may be relevant in some cases, but bear in mind that toxic long term stress can wear down one’s immune system and cause various illnesses too.

    I think a majority that psychiatry preys on today are those suffering emotional distress from typical human problems like domestic, work, school abuse/bullying/mobbing/rape and other human cruelty that can lead to post traumatic stress that can do a number on the body/mind as well. However, the most critical factor is to get validation about what is going on and find a way to free one’s self from the abuse causing the trauma. Only when the victim is free from their oppressor(s) can they begin to feel safe and focus on recovery.

    There are natural disasters, loss of loved ones through death or divorce, job loss, monetary loss and countless other misfortunes that can lead to human suffering. Sadly, psychiatry has robbed all of these normal human reactions to loss and medicalized and stigmatized them so they can profit from the suffering of their victims as they plotted when they sold out to Big Pharma in the 1980’s. Sadly, psychiatry refuses to acknowledge any of these social factors just as they ignore the medical problems you point out that may respond to the alternative treatments you cover.

    Therefore, I don’t think there is a one size fits all answer to what causes the so called symptoms psychiatry stigmatizes, but I know the answer isn’t for psychiatry to refuse to listen to what brought on the symptoms from the sufferers since they insist on ignoring all context or environmental/social stressors so they can stigmatize and drug the victims with impunity.

    So, your approach may be right in some cases with “schizophrenia” while it may not apply in many others whereby psychiatry has just medicalized typical human stressors and losses.

    • “I think a majority that psychiatry preys on today are those suffering emotional distress from typical human problems like domestic, work, school abuse/bullying/mobbing/rape and other human cruelty that can lead to post traumatic stress that can do a number on the body/mind as well. However, the most critical factor is to get validation about what is going on and find a way to free one’s self from the abuse causing the trauma. Only when the victim is free from their oppressor(s) can they begin to feel safe and focus on recovery.”
      I’ve just returned from a neuroscience conference and I can tell you: the scientific community agrees -for basically all “mental illness” the biggest correlate is chronic stress, especially experienced in childhood/adolescence. One of the biggest risk factors for “schizophrenia” for instance turns to be being brought up in an urban area, 2nd being a migrant which both are associated with significant social stress. Sadly, the “medical” practitioners didn’t get the memo…

  7. Hi Donna, Well put. I’m glad you straightened that out. But you won’t get Dan to yield any ground because he is the Prophet of Orthomolecular Religion, er Medicine. It’s better than psychiatry and like most systems when you believe in people they get better. That is orthomolecular medicine in the hands of a true believer has a powerful placebo effect. But there are social factors, as you say. And even all the Vitamin 5s in the world don’t compensate for homelessness.

    And Soteria and Diabasis and Open Dialogue and other approaches (HVN) demonstrate that the problem is not a biochemical imbalance which no one has ever demonstrated. Thomas Szasz put it best in his early days– patients suffer from “problems of living.” And if you do not have a decent home to live in what you need is housing, not vitamins etc Furthermore as I have demonstrated and witnessed, the schizophrenic IS a shaman manqué, and if she were given the opportunity to assume a socially valued role conducive to her temperament–say a shaman in the premodern world– she might enable others to commune with other worlds. Get my latest book and read the interview with Paul Levy and you’ll see here is one of the most gifted shamans (or transpersonal healers) in the country, so to explain him in orthomolecular terms or psychiatric terms is ludicrous. Let him explain himself. He was locked up 5 times as “psychotic” so he has the credentials to prove it- he is a wounded healer. As is the destiny of all of of us–wounded healers– who would save the earth from the spiritual/ecological crisis that is leading to its destruction. Which is why I am calling for a new utopian-messianic-shamanic wing of the anti- psychiatry movement.

    But I had to digress. My point is: Let’s rehabilitate the term”antipsychiatry.” I am for the abolition of psychiatry in Burstow’s sense. And she has done us a service. Because that term has been so tarnished that no one dares to use it. I have been reading MIA for several years assiduously and I have never read anyone describe herself as an antipsychiatrist. It’s like saying, “I am a communist.” Or “I am a religious fanatic.” One problem was the two theorists associated with the term–Thomas Szasz and R D Laing–both repudiated the term. Bonnie ought to have explained Szasz’s position because it really was inconsistent. Laing embraced the term ephemerally. I use it. I am not against the voluntary use of drugs. I am in favor of the abolition–in time–of psychiatry. So I hope others will join me in referring to the antipsychiatry movement.
    Seth Farber, Ph.D., author of http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Gift-Madness-Psychiatry-Movement/dp/159477448X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404842255&sr=1-1&keywords=farber+gift

    • Good post, Seth. The issue of the potential utility of “psychosis” to a culture and the impact on the healer (vs. patient) of embracing this “gift” rather than trying to stomp out any manifestation of it is something I often talk about. I recently read an article (maybe on MIA) about a “schizophrenic” guy who was taken from the USA to an African tribal community and trained as a shaman, and he came back calm and focused and able to complete an advanced degree and put his healing wisdom to work. Culture is a HUGE part of how these manifestations are perceived, as well as the consequences of how they are handled.

      I will point out, however, that there are some on MIA who embrace the Antipsychiatry identity, including Ted C., among others. After reading this, I have to say that with Burstow’s explanation, I have to agree that I am antipsychiatry according to her definition. It is unfortunate that the psychiatric “profession” has misappropriated the word and redefined it as “pretending that people don’t suffer” or “refusing help to those in need.” I am not sure what will remedy this situation, though I think it might be helpful if the media stopped portraying psychiatrists as benign therapists who spend most of their time listening to people “on the couch” and started reflecting the true reality of what psychiatry is, so that being “anti” that does not have the connotation of being against helping people who are suffering distress, but instead indicates opposing the minimization and trivialization of the traumatic events and genuine social and emotional challenges that living in today’s “modern world” encompasses, and often blaming the victims of such events for not responding “properly” to being horrendously mistreated.

      It’s a pretty monumental task to reclaim a word, though it’s been done before. I’d love to hear some thoughts on how best to go about it without creating more opportunities for psychiatry and Big Pharma to marginalize the movement.

      —- Steve

      • Hi Steve
        Thanks.
        What I really meant was that there were no professionals who will get near the term “antipsychiatry.” Yes I knew Ted did. Thomas Szasz was antipsychiatry but he claimed he wasn’t becausehe wasn’t against seeing clients. But he regarded the fact that he was a psychiatrist as irrelevant.
        All my books and particularly my last book are about spirituality and madness. My last book was inspired by the Mad Pride movement. I had hoped to influence Icarus–TIP–to reaffirm the mad gifts idea. They didn’t. So I am arguing now for the creation of a utopian-messianic wing of the mad movement.
        http://realitysandwich.com/164531/mad_pride_prophets_messianic_vision/
        The idea is not to focus on healing mad people but empowering the mad to use their gifts to save the world. The goal should not be to revolutionize the mental health system but to abolish it, and change the world. It’s a complex argument with an intellectual
        history of various schools in anti-psychiatry.

        Steve do you have a reference for this article?
        The biochemical imbalance is a myth. For God’s sakes 6 yrs ago David Oaks and 10 other people went on a hunger strike and finally the APA admitted they had no proof of a biochemical imbalance. They did not even know how to define a chemical balance. It was just a way to sell drugs. Some of you people are retreating to a reductionist materialist view of the world. If you approach life as a psychosocial theorist–to borrow the term Dan wants to throw out—-the world makes sense. Donna and Jonathan gave some examples. That is the right methodology. Not looking at people as if they were machines.

        Francesca writes'”neurochemistry… leads to individual thoughts, feelings and experiences, regardless of the origin of any particular neurochemical state.”
        That’s backwards. It is thoughts and feelings that most often lead to neurochemical changes. We are complex spiritual-emotional beings. You can’t make sense of any of it by starting with neurochemistry–unless you’re dealing with brain damage. We know now through telepathy and quantum physics that one can impart information to another being without any transfer of energy. Mind can prehend mind directly, non-locally. Psychiatry is still living in the 19th century. It’s a good way to sell drugs but not to optimize human potential.
        Seth Farber, Ph.D. author of http://www.amazon.com/The-Spiritual-Gift-Madness-Psychiatry/dp/159477448X/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404936877&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=farber+gft

        • “Francesca writes ‘neurochemistry… leads to individual thoughts, feelings and experiences, regardless of the origin of any particular neurochemical state.’ That’s backwards. It is thoughts and feelings that most often lead to neurochemical changes.”

          Seth, you have utterly misunderstood my point. I do not have this “backwards.” Ask yourself this: Can one have thoughts and feelings without neurochemicals? No, one cannot. As I said, REGARDLESS OF THE ORIGIN of any particular neurochemical state, it is in fact one’s neurochemicals that provide our consciousness.

          • Francesca, How do you KNOW you “have” a neurochemical state– that is,that
            your brain is characterized by a neurochemical state? You would NOT know unless you were conscious, unless you were aware. If you were comatose you would not know So it is consciousness that “leads to” neurochemical states. Or in other words could you have neurochemicals in the brain without having thoughts and feelings? You have made the assumption that the physical is the primordial. I think it is consciousness that is primordial.

            Quantum physics leads to the same conclusion. You do not have a quantum object with a specific physical location until you measure it, until it is observed.
            Seth

          • Seth, it is my consciousness that allows me to look at an apple and recognize it as such. Obviously, when I’m asleep, I lose that awareness. That doesn’t mean that the apple only exists when I’m awake!!!

            We don’t require consciousness to have neurochemistry. We have neurochemical states even when we’re in a coma. And, yes, in accordance with science, I know that consciousness cannot exist in the absence of physicality.

            I really have no idea why you are trying to compare your theory to quantum physics or, indeed, to any scientific field whatsoever. What you are describing belongs, along with all other perfectly unfalsifiable theories, under religion’s umbrella.

          • Telepathy is a phenomenon that has been validated over and over using scientific criteria and methods. See Chris Carter’s book for references. You throw around the term science Francesca to validate the ontological perspective you prefer–a materialistic ontology based on 19th century Newtonian physics. Thus you assume that ideas, feelings are CAUSED by materialist processes, but not vice versa. Yet the first thing you will learn in a course on scientific methodology is that correlation does not necessarily entail causation. Thus it is plausible and no more or less scientific to assert that your ideas and experiences cause the neurophysical processes in your brain. In fact the validation of telepathy provides evidence that mind can act upon ” matter” and upon other minds without the medium of matter. Alfred North Whitehead, the great 20th century philosopher also l believed this. Quantum physics also showed that 2 quantum objects that had been “entangled” were instantaneously aware of what the other was doing. Einstein called this “spooky action at a distance.” Scientists have shown that the information does not require a transfer of energy–it is a non-materialistic process faster than the speed of light. Mind can act directly on mind. In telepathy one mind “prehends” what the other mind is doing.Just as the quantum object prehednds what its twin is doing. Yes experience is usually correlated with physical processes, but not always. (There is evidence of life after life.) These phenomena undermine the materialist ontology, according to which only matter is ultimately real. Whitehead believed even material object were sentient. He called this pan-psychism. You have identified a materialist ontology with science, but you are using the word “science” to give status to a materialist ontology. All that scientific experiments have shown is that there is a CORRELATION between mind and matter not that all mental experiences are caused by matter, but that material processes are never caused by mind. The placebo effect is another example of how mental ideas or expectations can cause neurophysical processes.
            I believe that everything is conscious to a greater or lesser degree. This ontology–theory of the nature of existence– is not less “scientific” than materialism. In fact materialism cannot explain the data of quantum physics. Eastern philosophy also posits that everything is conscious. The idea of the universe as a giant machine is not compatible with modern science. William James also believed that science validated the mystical and the paranormal. The world is more mysterious and miraculous than 19th century science would lead you to believe. Here is a brief essay I wrote.http://realitysandwich.com/167830/ecodoom_redemption_mad_movement/
            Seth Farber, Ph.D.

          • Telepathy is a phenomenon that has been validated over and over using scientific criteria and methods. See Chris Carter’s book for references. You throw around the term science Francesca to validate the ontological perspective you prefer–a materialistic ontology based on 19th century Newtonian physics. Thus you assume that ideas, feelings are CAUSED by materialist processes, but not vice versa. Yet the first thing you will learn in a course on scientific methodology is that correlation does not necessarily entail causation.

            Thus it is plausible– and no more or less scientific– to assert that your ideas and experiences cause the neurophysical processes in your brain. In fact the validation of telepathy provides evidence that mind can act upon ” matter” and upon other minds without the medium of matter. Alfred North Whitehead, the great 20th century philosopher also believed this–that everything including matter is sentient. He called this pan-psychism.Quantum physics also showed that 2 quantum objects that had been “entangled” were instantaneously aware of what the other was doing. Einstein called this “spooky action at a distance.” Scientists have shown that the information imparted from the quatum object to its twin does not require a transfer of energy–it is a non-materialistic process faster than the speed of light. This relationship is called non-locality. Mind can act directly on mind. In telepathy one mind “prehends” what the other mind is doing.Just as the quantum object prehends what its twin is doing.

            Yes experience is usually correlated with physical processes, but not always. (There is evidence of life after life.) These phenomena undermine the materialist ontology, according to which only matter is ultimately real. Whitehead believed even material objects were sentient. He called this pan-psychism. You have identified a materialist ontology with science, but you are using the word “science” to give elevated status to a materialist ontology. All that scientific experiments have shown is that there is a CORRELATION between mind and matter not that all mental experiences are CAUSED BY by matter and that material processes are never caused by mind. The placebo effect is another example of how mental ideas or expectations can cause neurophysical processes.

            I believe that everything is conscious to a greater or lesser degree. This ontology–theory of the nature of existence– is not less “scientific” than materialism. In fact materialism cannot explain the data of quantum physics. Eastern philosophy also posits that everything is conscious. The idea of the universe as a giant machine is not compatible with modern science. William James also believed that science validated the mystical and the paranormal. The world is more mysterious and miraculous than 19th century science would lead you to believe. Here is a brief essay I wrote. http://realitysandwich.com/167830/ecodoom_redemption_mad_movement/
            Seth Farber, Ph.D.

            http://realitysandwich.com/167830/ecodoom_redemption_mad_movement/

          • “Telepathy is a phenomenon that has been validated over and over using scientific criteria and methods”
            Actually… no it wasn’t.

          • B claims I am lying or wrong when I say telepathy has been scientifically validated. B cites no books or evidence. The best summary is Science and Psychic Phenomenon by Chris Carter. BTW the resistance to this evidence comes not from scientists but from fundamentalist
            materialists. Thus Carter cites copious research and interesting survey:
            ” Two surveys of over five hundred scientists in one case and over a thousand in another were made in the 1970s. Both surveys found that the majority of respondents considered ESP “an established fact” or “a likely possibility”: 56 percent in one and 67 percent in the other.

            In the study by Evans (1973), 53 percent of the “ESP is an impossibility” responses came from psychologists, although psychologists made up only 6 percent of the total sample. Only 3 percent of natural scientists considered ESP “an impossibility,” compared to 34 percent of psychologists.” [page 132]”

            Is anyone here surprised that the dogmatic skeptic who refused to accept were mostly psychologists? Their whole method is bogus science. I suspect B is either a psychologist (whose firstg language is not English) or a believer in psychiatry or psychology

            A reviewer of the Carter book wrote aptly:
            “Chris Carter, in Parapsychology and the Skeptics, treads the same ground that Damien Broderick did in Outside the Gates of Science. Both show convincingly that parapsychologic[al] phenomena have been demonstrated, repeatedly and with statistical significance, using methodologies which have withstood the criticism of skeptics, over multiple decades. And that despite this convincing evidence, a skeptical community continues in a denial mode, contrary to reason and science. His goal is to demonstrate that the skeptics are ideologues, intent on defending a semi-religious worldview for irrational and non-scientific reasons.”
            Seth Farber, Ph.D.

          • @SethF1968
            “I suspect B is either a psychologist (whose firstg language is not English) or a believer in psychiatry or psychology”
            I’m not a psychologist but I’m not sure what you mean by “believer in psychiatry or psychology”.
            When it comes to sources, just look up Wikipedia entry for telepathy, there are sources listed there:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telepathy
            “A variety of tests have been performed to demonstrate telepathy, but there is no scientific evidence that the power exists.[7][58][59][60] A panel commissioned by the United States National Research Council to study paranormal claims concluded that “despite a 130-year record of scientific research on such matters, our committee could find no scientific justification for the existence of phenomena such as extrasensory perception, mental telepathy or ‘mind over matter’ exercises… Evaluation of a large body of the best available evidence simply does not support the contention that these phenomena exist.”[61] The scientific community considers parapsychology a pseudoscience.[62]” There’s no known mechanism that could explain telepathy (and no, quantum physics is not one of them) nor has it ever been tested using reproducible experiments.

          • What Szasz objected to was the school of psychiatry known as “antipsychiatry” often associated with RD Laing.

            He was not anti-psychiatry in the sense of wanting to ban it, however he made it clear that logically, scientifically and morally the profession didn’t have a leg to stand on.

          • Szasz objected to the term “antipsychiatry.” The article F quotes puts it aptly:”In practice, the prejorative tone of the term “anti-psychiatry” has often become a way to stigmatize and ridicule any critical voice in the medical field …” It was for strategic reasons that Szasz opposed use of the term. I think Szasz was really antipsychiatric in the way Bonnie describes it, but the term has negative associations– this also explains why you will not find any “professionals” here who overtly identify with it, except me.
            The reason I say Tom’s objection was disingenuous is because he thought his training as a psychiatrist was irrelevant to the service he provided to his clients. And he opposed most of what people did in the name of psychiatry. Thus he was really for the abolition of psychiatry.( BTW Tom wrote the Foreword to my first book, so l have some familiarity with his work.)
            Seth

          • Critical point: “Szasz is opposed to involuntary hospitalisation, whereas, as Redler (1976) confirmed in his letter in response to Szasz’s article, “most of us [Laing and colleagues] agree that even involuntary hospitalisation has a place”.”

            http://www.dbdouble.freeuk.com/Chapter2DBD.htm

            When Laing & co. hadn’t even come to the conclusion that involuntary hospitalization should be abolished, I think it safe to say that antipsychiatry has progressed towards taking a more truly antipsychiatric stance since their heyday.

            These guys (not a gal among them) came out of doing their residency in total institutions, and so you can see how conflicts of interests might have had something to do with it. If Laing had his “whole way” house at Kingsley Hall, and this in turn might have made the total institution something of a contingency plan, he still wasn’t able to take the leap to abolition, and with it, mental patients’ liberation.

        • I will try to find a link and post it. It was pretty fascinating! And I agree with you – there is so much that we control about our physiology and emotions, it is stupid to assign us as being somehow created by our bodies. We appear to be the creators, not the created. That we sometimes become sort of victims of our own creations doesn’t make that less true. And healing, in my experience, almost always results from increasing our awareness of the degree to which we are creators of our universe.

          Neurochemistry is largely within our control.

          — Steve

    • Maybe we could put in a hyphen, i.e. “anti-psychiatry” to distinguish ourselves from the one word “antipsychiatry” associated with Laing as a school of psychiatric thought, not a political movement.

      Also, though I revere Szasz as the original and premier theorist in terms of exposing the madical model, we don’t have to accept his entire philosphy, we can pick & choose. Anyway, though Szasz wasn’t anti-psychiatry in the sense of wanting it banned, he did see it as scientifically and morally bankrupt.

      • I disagree with Szasz about a lot.
        But he never made a good argument that he was NOT an antipsychiatrist.
        (Nor did Laing, at least re 1960s)
        Szasz was in favor of relationship between psychiatrist and client. But he did not support doing any of the thing psychiatrists do qua psychiatrists.
        Bonnie does not speak of banning it but of its long term abolition.
        SF
        http://www.sethHfarber.com

  8. Great post by Dr. Bonnie Burstow on her blog. I read D. Cooper’s Psychiatry and Antipsychiatry (1967) not that long ago, and was surprised to discover that he was just giving the name Antipsychiatry to any sort of psychiatry that wasn’t crafted along biological medical model lines. I think Bonnie’s piece shows we’ve made much progress conceptually since that time. I consider myself antipsychiatry. I wouldn’t say I’m for the abolition of psychiatry though, as I don’t think that is a viable objective, at least in the foreseeable future. This doesn’t mean it isn’t something I wouldn’t like to see. I think it more important to oppose forced psychiatry. You could say I’m anti-forced-psychiatry. I’m an abolitionist when it comes to non-consensual psychiatry. I feel it should be as illegal as non-consensual sex. I think we would have a much harder time abolishing consensual psychiatry. Should it be a goal? I can’t say. I just can’t give it the kind of importance that I would give to eliminating unwanted coercive maltreatment. Get rid of forced psychiatry, and the human rights of people who have experienced the mental health system are on their way to being restored. The mental health system itself, as far as I am concerned, is a human rights violation, but I can’t say I would prevent a person from consulting a psychiatrist of his or her own volition, if he or she chose to do so. I’m glad that Dr. Burstow is there. I understand she is the co-author of a book coming out very soon, Psychiatry Disrupted, and it’s definitely way up there on my reading list.

    • If forced psychiatry were abolished, true “consensual” psychiatry (of which there is really very little anymore) would probably wither away. At the very least, psychiatry as we know it today would be unrecognizable. It is simply not viable without a background of state coercion.

      • I don’t think consensual psychiatry any more likely to wither away of it’s own obsolescence than was the dictatorship of the proletariat. At any rate, the fall of the bureaucracy of the intelligentsia doesn’t seem, of necessity, to have led to a classless society of any sort. I do think, however, that the evolution of caring community relationships can serve as a real antidote to fraudulent professional relations, and counseling on the auction block, or in the marketplace, as if friendship bore a price-tag. It’s the way things change when, for example, one bypasses monetary exchange through some kind of bartering arrangement. Psychiatry, consensual or non-consensual, tends to be very stuck in the box of convention. Get rid of all the middlemen, and we’re suddenly out of the realm of supporting a non-imaginative non-solution.

          • Psychiatry, and biological psychiatry, has just gotten stronger and stronger of late. I don’t think the abolition of psychiatry can be, or should be, imposed on people. On the other hand, forced psychiatry is imposition by definition. Taking away people’s freedom, and forcing unwanted treatment on them, is just plain wrong. I feel we’re in a rather Brave New World-ish type situation here. Owing to this situation, we have to make the difference. If civilized psychiatry means mental health surveillance and social control, I have absolutely no problem with being a savage. This difference means coming up with relationships, and means of operating, that fly in the face of the interests and expectations of latter day corporate imperialism. If psychiatry doesn’t just wither away over the entire world, maybe we can make it wither away on our own little street corner.

      • Nobody here supports non-consensual psychiatry. In fact although allowed it is a constitutional violation of right to freedom. It’s not an “abolitionist” position. It’s basic civil liberties.
        Burstow makes a more radical argument–for the long term abolition of psychiatry.
        Many people have not read the article and don’t understand her argument.
        SF
        http://www.sethHfarber.com

    • Frank, If you read Bonnie’s helpful article carefully you’ll see she is not talking about “imposing” the abolition of psychiatry. In fact she does not discuss the “how.” The issue is THE LONG TERM GOAL which provides a sense of orientation. She writes: “Given the intrinsically flawed foundations, the profound harm done, the inherent violation of human rights, and the nature of the political agenda, moreover, antipsychiatry sees no place for psychiatry. Accordingly, not the “improvement of psychiatry” but psychiatry abolition is the long run goal (for an articulation of how this might be approached, see Burstow, 2014). But why not try to improve it?, you may ask. Because you only seek to improve something you judge as having some legitimacy—not something which you contend has none.” Presumably the book will talk about “how this might be approached.” However I agree with Bonnie. For the reasons she gives the abolition of psychiatry SHOULD be the “long term goal” of the movement.
      I discuss this also in my more “spiritual” terms in my own recent book.
      Seth
      Seth Farber, PhD http://www.sethHfarber.com

      • Alright, Seth. I know everybody has their political agenda. I also know people have to be realistic. It’s like the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement. On the one hand, you have what you can do, on the other hand, wishful thinking, you have what you would do. Psychiatry, the business, is not doing poorly. Okay, I have to start with that reality. Non-consensual psychiatry is psychiatric slavery. The same can’t be said of consensual psychiatry. It’s like free speech, and hate groups. People have the right to join them, and say whatever they want, but nobody is going to wish them away. I don’t like the use of the word abolition used in regard to consensual psychiatry because I think it diminishes the importance of abolishing non-consensual psychiatry. I have a great deal of trepidation about putting this long term goal forward if it’s going to mean that some people start thinking we aren’t really serious about our goals, we’re really fringe, and we think it is as important to get rid of psychotherapy the luxury as it is to get rid of psychiatric (slavery) coercion and torture. No need to argue over this matter. I’ve got priorities, and ending psychiatry across the board, without regard to coerciveness, isn’t one of them. Ending involuntary treatment, well, that’s different. I don’t think there should be any forced psychiatric (mal)treatment.

        • “I’ve got priorities, and ending psychiatry across the board, without regard to coerciveness, isn’t one of them. Ending involuntary treatment, well, that’s different. I don’t think there should be any forced psychiatric (mal)treatment.”
          Agreed. I think that is the first thing that we should concentrate on. The rest may follow later but that is the priority.

  9. It’s difficult to understand how anyone who’s been tortured by psychiatry as I have been, could say with a straight face that they are not anti-psychiatry , in the sense of Bonnie Burstow’s discussion.
    There is unfortunately no medical freedom in AmeriKa . That is a huge problem for the people.Government Supported Pseudo Science guilds each comprised of variable pseudo science mixtures plus double speak for profit and expansion and control, impoverishment,enslavment and or culling the population and the insurance to provide this for us at a discount or for free. Yipdeedo! And even burial insurance. Of these Psychiatry takes the cake and gets the award as”One of the Most pseudo-science packed , enslavement procedure scams ever devised by psychopaths posing as caring human individuals ever seen on planet earth. And that is an understatement.
    Seth has got it right ,If you could experience what the real cutting edge of healing is you would be amazed .
    All those on this thread are welcome to call me for a free demonstration of distance healing .It’s most easy to show you rapidly if there is any acute pain . I do YuenMethod and I’m very skilled at it. Feel pain( can help any issue) go away as you sit on the phone. Its either there or it isn’t. There is no risk and no cost. The moderator and Bob Whitaker are also welcome. My number 312 -590- 8538 The amazing and really scientific brought to you here at MIA.You don’t need to believe in it. A neutral lets see what happens attitude is fine. Your free will is not violated every thing is done with your permission. Unlike so many things this is not a scam. In solidarity, Fred

    • Fred, I completely agree with you. Having been made ultimately gravely ill for years by meds and psychiatry, once I dropped all the psychiatry bs and turned to energy healing, I went from Z to A in record time. Everyone around me witnessed this, and my work with chakra meditation and the like inspired my partner so much that he signed up for the same program I was in. With energy work, there is no discrimination among who is centered and who is not. We all go in and out of our centers, that’s the river of life. We heal when we know our center, and that goes for anyone.

      In 2001, I was disabled by chronic insomnia, crippling anxiety, and catatonic depression. My thoughts were horrific, 24/7, and I could only feel terrible in my body. At my most stressed and hopeless, I did attempt to end my life, which led to a terrifying hospital experience. This is after 20 years of meds and psychotherapy.

      I had also been working full time during the time I was receiving mental health services, and had attended both college and graduate school, did well at all of it. I had had a pretty conventional suburban life, except that I was on meds and seeing psychotherapists the whole time. I didn’t keep it a secret, either, everyone knew, it was fine, no issues either socially or professionally.

      At least, not until I moved to San Francisco many years after all of this began for me, then it suddenly became a different story, all this stigma came flying at me, from within the field!

      I hadn’t realized how the meds were slowly decomposing my body, until the shit hit the fan right after grad school. I was also very negatively impacted, emotionally, by the abundance of stigma which I had experienced while in a graduate school counseling psychology program, generated by disclosing a DSM diagnosis.

      By 2003, thanks largely to a medical intuit with whom I later trained and interned, as well as a first-rate herbalist, I had tapered off all meds (9 in total by that time) and started energy work, which is inherently spiritual–not religious, but with focus on who we are as spirit, our spirit voice, akin to sense of self/inner being; who we are at the core, not as a reflection of how others see us, but how we, ourselves, feel in our bodies. I could barely form a coherent sentence at the time, from the damage done to my brain from the meds. But I persevered, and eventually found my balance and voice again.

      From what I learned, that is our essence—how we feel, as opposed to going by any artificial social hierarchy as a reflection of our being.

      In 2005, I was brave enough to sign up for a singing class, which came from doing some volunteer work, which by matters of fate led to a hardy career in theater in San Francisco, which came to me. It was not something I had consciously sought, and it changed my entire self-perception, and therefore, my life.

      I opened my healing and teaching practice during this time, based on what had helped me to become whole and integrated after the mental health field debacle, made my film, and all of that led me to where I am now, living productively and at peace among the Redwoods of Northern CA. After over a decade of torturous days and nights for my partner and myself, thanks to the downhill spiral that psychiatry led me on, we are now both completely healthy and in true bliss, all thanks to what I learned in energy healing– that we are our own authority, and we can create and navigate our physical lives consciously when we know our true spirit. Miracles, indeed.

      I could never have foreseen being where I am now before I learned that we are, indeed, limitless beings, if one can perceive beyond the mere physical. We all have equal capacity for this, but not everyone chooses to see this, for whatever reason. Our origins are spiritual and energetic in nature, not physical. Physicality is a limited and limiting perspective. Healing can only be about energy and self-awareness. That is where we can perceive the big picture. There is nothing to prove to anyone. We can only know this for ourselves, and once we do, we can create the world around us we most desire.

      A closed, angry heart may choose to not receive healing, and if that’s the case, there is nothing anyone can do about it, other than to be an example of healing and hope to influence by this example.

      At the core of a closed heart, there is fear, which is not compatible with unconditional love. We each open up to healing when we can trust, and unfortunately, psychiatry has betrayed peoples’ in abundance, which has closed hearts down and has created a society of walking wounded, so our environments have become closed off, too, in large part. Makes it challenging to offer healing, so personally, I appreciate your courage and faith. To me, that is what uplifts humanity, inherently. Thanks!

      Finally, am I anti-psychiatry? Well, for me I am! Others have to choose for themselves.

  10. Thank you Alex ,I always learn from your comments ,and know and look forward to the insights you provide this community and your efforts to guide whoever is ready to an authentic healing experience of their own.
    The thing about energy healing certainly Yuenmethod that people need to know is that it is easier taught to children than adults . This is because children have fewer blockages and preconceptions to learning then adults. Considering the concerted efforts to psychiatrically bully children they could especially benefit from an education in energy healing starting even at the age of first grade or before.
    If only Robert Whitaker could set aside the time to learn energy healing from my teacher Kam Yuen originator of http://www.Yuenmethod.com or from someone Alex recommends, he would find a whole new world of effective healing open up for him and others.If he then wrote a book about the experience, no telling how many he could benefit. After all one of the things Kam Yuen does is do energy work on members of the LA Dodgers baseball team. They are not in the business of wasting time with stuff that that does not work.Plus there is nothing more scientific while at the same time being an art.
    I urge everyone who hears to learn an authentic method of energy healing. It’s more important than owning a computer in this time we live in.Don’t give up.

    • Thank you, Fred, likewise, for sure. You have a beautiful heart.

      I hadn’t heard of the Yuen method until you had mentioned it previously. I checked out the website, and indeed, this would be similar to the perspective from which I work. There are a lot of teachers of this stuff on the rise, now, as the alternative to established healing practices that have proven to be either fruitless or damaging to the client. Many different styles, approaches, and personalities–hence, diversity!–but it all boils down to the same thing: energy is the root of all existence, so when we tap into this aspect of our being, then we can make any changes we wish…aka, healing. Not only that, we can manifest consciously, so we know how to get the experience from life we most enjoy.

      I’m one of those teachers. I’ve taught this for about 5 years now, and the results have been staggeringly positive.

      Send an email if you like, Fred. I’d enjoy discussing this further with you, if you feel inclined. Contact info is on my website. http://www.embodycalm.com/Contact.html

      • Actually, anyone can inquire further with me if they wish to do so. I limit the extent to which I talk about in on MIA, because I feel there is a lot of stigma attached to what I do–ironically enough! Still, I’ve stuck my neck out a few times so I have appreciated that opportunity here.

        I know it’s hard for a lot of people who comment here to buy this stuff, or to even think it’s relevant, which is fine. I just don’t find it fruitful to get into arguments about beliefs. We’re all free to choose, and to live by our own truth. I just speak mine, I don’t necessarily feel compelled to always defend it. But I’m happy to elaborate any time, upon request.

  11. To the people who think that abolishing forced “treatment” would be enough: What should be done to protect children and elders and anyone else who may have “caretakers” that are inclined towards forced psychiatric “treatment” of their charges by proxy?

      • I agree with that completely. My concern is that even if psychiatry were somehow disentangled from the state and psychiatry could no longer force anyone to do anything, there would still be the problem of the authoritarian (and sometimes totalitarian) institutions that we call families, orphanages, nursing homes, etc., where a person wielding absolute power over another person may choose for their dependents to be psychiatrized.

        As long as psychiatry is allowed to exist, it will always be lurking in the shadows, whispering into the ears of caretakers. Of course it will. Psychiatry pretends to be a medical specialty and doctors are among the most esteemed professionals in our society. Even if psychiatry were no longer backed by the coercive power of the state, its interventions would still be profitable and it would still be constantly trying to expand the market for its services.

        Furthermore, psychiatry has already used its power to thoroughly entrench its belief system in our culture. Even if forced “treatment” were abolished today, psychiatry’s faux-medical religion would still be widespread among the populace.

        So, if the goal is to stop psychiatry from harming innocent people, then I think that banning forced “treatment” is necessary but not sufficient. Psychiatry is incapable of anything but harm, because it is founded upon the lie that human distress and extreme states are medical conditions, and that lie is itself the foundation of a vast system of profit and privilege. Psychiatry has no legitimacy whatsoever, and should not exist as a medical specialty.

        I’m here to learn, but right now this seems to be the only logical solution.

          • Psychiatry as religion would allow one to argue for the division of powers. This would be a matter of calling politicians to jump out of bed with it, and its lover, Big Pharma. Right now psychiatry is like a secret official state religion and, therefore, unconstitutional. Not so secret maybe, but not until somebody calls it out.

          • That’s a good point. Everyone is entitled to their religious views. Still, I think that people have a reasonable expectation that anyone with MD after their name, especially given the power and prestige that society bestows on persons with that title, ought to be practicing based on science, rather than religion.

            We don’t allow priests, rabbis, or imams to pose as doctors and run electricity through people’s brains or give people dangerous drugs under the pretense of it being medicine.

        • “As long as psychiatry is allowed to exist, it will always be lurking in the shadows, whispering into the ears of caretakers.”

          Lots of bogus philosphies are being whispered into all our ears constantly, that doesn’t mean we have to listen.

          I would say the imposition of psychiatry by “caregivers” falls into the category of involuntary any way you look at it, and would be included as one of the forbidden scenarios were involuntary “treatment” to be banned. It’s a totally valid concern, no question.

          • “Lots of bogus philosophies are being whispered into all our ears constantly, that doesn’t mean we have to listen.”

            Yes, there are, and no, of course we don’t have to listen. My main point there was that as medical doctors, psychiatrists are perceived as having an air of respectability that most other purveyors of bogus philosophies don’t have. Every day, otherwise reasonable people assume that psychiatrists are legit because of the “MD.” (Btw, this is in no sense a blanket endorsement of other MDs. I’ve had serious problems with many of them, too, though there is no other medical specialty that I’m aware of, besides psychiatry, that is completely fraudulent.)

  12. Healing, like social change, is neither a science nor a religion. It is a creative process, an art. It requires a fertile imagination, courage to step into the unknown, and developing a keen sense of discernment. The rest is about humbly trusting a process–navigating it and learning from it, rather than controlling it. We can influence it either positively or negatively with our attitude and example. I find that integrity and authenticity are the most positive influence to any process. Otherwise, clarity is never achieved.

  13. Jonathan Keyes (MIA Author) “I don’t see orthomolecular high vitamin dosing as the answer.”

    Jonathan if a person is ersatz “diagnosed” by label-and-drug psychiatrists and they have too high copper, or a cerebral allergy, or need niacin and vitamin C and so forth then allergy testing, blood lab work and hair mineral testing can find important answers to what underlying medical problems exist that can be resolved by restorative, integrative medicine.

    If low thyroid or tobacco or wheat allergy or under-methylation are a major causal Medical underlying problem then dealing with the causal underlying medical diseases is the answer. Psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and social reform may not have lasting benefit for people with unaddressed causative medical problems.

    Stand Up. Integrate the rhetoric.

    Daniel Burdick, S.E.A. Springfield Eugene Antipsychiatry

    Eugene Oregon USA August 2014

    Health Freedom Activist John Hammell who is in the WE BECOME SILENT documentary:

    Urgent Appeal “On the Back Wards” by John Hammell — http://www.iahf.com/on_the_back_wards.html

    More Info Re Orthomolecular Treatment for Depression/Schizophrenia by John Hammell
    http://iahf.com/world/981011a.html
    https://www.facebook.com/NutritionbyNatalieRD/posts/10201002335392872

    Eva Edelman wrote a short introduction on why we would even think that nutrients could work as a mental health treatment, why supplements would even be thought of a therapy in mental health treatment
    http://www.nami.org/Content/Microsites107/NAMI_Lane_County/Home98/Newsletter_PDF_Files1/NAMI_Lane_News_2013-Spring.pdf

    Richard Kunin, M.D. the discoverer of the import of manganese to Tardive Dyskinesia wrote this introduction —
    Principles That Identify Orthormolecular Medicine: A Unique Medical Specialty
    http://www.orthomed.org/home/kunin.html

    Vincent Bellonzi, DO Austin Wellness Clinic

    Functional, Restorative Medicine
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeq6xRU2ASQ

    Functional vs. Mainstream Medicine
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99INrbeiCwA

    Doctor Bellonzi practices Functional Medicine, which is a holistic approach to balancing the body and restoring health.

    When you’re not well you go the doctor who takes a history of your symptoms. Based on these symptoms, you are assigned a name for a disease. With this diagnosis, a therapy or procedure is prescribed or, more likely, a drug is prescribed to suppress the symptoms. Nosology is the classification and naming of disease.
    _______________________________

    The need for valid sincere differential diagnosis
    Robert Sealey “One Person’s WRAP Recovery Program”
    http://www.mentalhealthrecovery.com/recovery-resources/articles.php?id=50

    The need for valid sincere differential diagnosis
    David Moyer, LCSW — Little Did I Know
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY3fuiRMZc8

    The need for valid sincere differential diagnosis
    David Moyer, LCSW — Beyond “Mental illness” Transform the Labels Transform a Life
    http://beyondmentalillness.us/about/

    The need for valid sincere differential diagnosis
    Dan Stradford — Safe Harbor Project
    Finding the Medical Causes of Severe Mental Symptoms: The Extraordinary Walker Exam
    http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/about/default.htm
    http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/stradford.htm

    Role of copper in human neurological disorders
    Vishal Desai and Stephen G Kaler 2008
    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/88/3/855S.long

    Elevated dopamine in undermethylation subtype
    http://www.nutritional-healing.com.au/content/articles-content.php?heading=Major+Mental+Illness+Biochemical+Subtypes

    Depression Mensa Medical
    http://www.mensahmedical.com/images/Depression_PP_2.pdf

    ATTENTION DEFICIT AND HYPERACTIVITY DISORDERS
    by Lawrence Wilson, MD drlwilson.com/articles/attention_deficit.htm

    Non-Drug Treatment of ADD/ADHD
    Dr. Mercola and Dr. Lendon Smith
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2001/01/07/lendon-smith.aspx

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity MBD
    http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2005/jul2005_report_adhd_01.htm
    http://www.savvypatients.com/add.htm
    http://www.nutritional-healing.com.au/content/condition.php?condition=ADD/ADHD

    Autism Research Institute
    Autism Treatments: Heavy Metal Detoxification and Metallothionein Promotion
    http://www.whale.to/vaccine/cave.html
    http://www.healing-arts.org/children/mtpromotion.htm

    DHA and Postpartum Depression
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=postpartum+depression+DHA+horrocks

    B-6 and Pregnancy — B-6 needed for Hormonal Balance and production of Serotonin
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=B-6+pregnancy+serotonin+hormonal+balance

    It’s all done with smoke and mirrors. Or, how to create the illusion of a schizophrenic brain disease
    Mary Boyle, University of East London
    Reprinted from Clinical Psychology Issue 12. April 2002
    http://www.critpsynet.freeuk.com/Boyle.htm

    INTAR “WE know what helps and what hurts.”
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=intar+%22we+know+what+helps%22+bertram+karon

    ICSPP
    https://uniteforlife.wordpress.com/category/icspp/
    http://www.schaler.net/fifth/breggin.html

    Thomas Szasz permanently against Orthomolecular
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Thomas+Szasz+orthomolecular++coercion+as+cure
    http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2000/abstracts/2000-v15n03-p118.shtml

    ISPS
    http://www.isps-us.org/koehler/longterm_followup.htm
    ISPS is an international organization promoting psychotherapy and psychological treatments for persons with psychosis

    Sequoia Psychotherapy Center — Medsfree
    Kevin McCready “What Heals Human Beings?”
    http://www.medsfree.com/Choice.htm
    http://www.toxicpsychiatry.com/storage/McCready%20K.%20creating%20empathic%20environment.pdf

    Laurie Ahern “Mental illness is a coping mechanism”
    National Empowerment Center
    http://www.power2u.org/articles/trauma/ment_cope.html