Ever since I read Mad in America and later Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, I have been wondering how to spread this knowledge to the masses and how to do this in a way that will make a difference to as many people as possible.
I used to teach creativity and brainstorming to corporations, and I would like to use the brain force of the MIA readers to find out new ways of influencing as many as possible with our message. In creativity research it has been shown that it is important to not be critical of your ideas in the early stages. Anything you can think of may be valuable, even if it seems crazy in the beginning. Often the craziest ideas can bring the best results.
These ideas are called stepping stones. Just write them down, share them, and often you or others will see a practical modification of the idea that may actually be used.
Another principle is to just try out associations with any word and your task. You could associate mountain and spreading information on alternatives to psychiatry. Maybe you will get the idea of spreading flyers in the wind from a high mountain. This would be a typical stepping stone that would have to be reworked into something more practical, but it is an original starting point. Just pairing with, e.g. cats, could get the idea of making a humoristic YouTube video where the cat is against using antidepressants. Many YouTube videos actually have a creative commons license and may be modified with a funny soundtrack.
I would like to challenge the whole MIA community to come up with crazy suggestions. Stepping stones. Just do word associations from a dictionary and present the ideas. If you have a thought of working the crazy idea into something useful, please present it, but don’t hide the crazy idea. Others may find practical uses based on it.
Submit the ideas as comments, and build on each other’s ideas by commenting. If you don’t want to present it publicly, send me an email at [email protected]
The following will be some of my ideas
I just have to put in one of the best ideas that actually comes from Chaya Grossberg. (see in the comments section): Anybody can edit Wikipedia articles! Just press the EDIT button on the top right of the page, and you can edit the article from the first word. You can also press the edit in each section. You can make your own section using ==This is my new section== if you want to. This is a fantastic opportunity for influencing the masses.
People searching on Wikipedia come there because they genuinely want information. They are often searching because they don’t know e.g. what “Bordeline personality disorder” means. This may be the reason why 160796 persons looked up this article in just august of 2014. This means that if you write something on this page, preferably from the start, it will be read by over a million genuine information seekers within 6 months! The potential is mind blowing. Remember to put references to every sentence, preferably many links including to MIA articles. Statements without references are often removed by peers.
Even people who don’t feel like writing directly themselves may be vigilant and inform others in MIA about changes that need to be made or good things that have been removed. There are so many articles that need modification that there is work enough for everyone. Here is a list of things to edit:
psychosis has been viewed 79625 times
depression has been viewed 19581 times
anxiety has been viewed 78458 times
adhd has been viewed 23361 times
schizophrenia has been viewed 186579 times!!!
delusion has been viewed 28033 times
paranoia has been viewed 33315 times
borderline personality disorder has been viewed 160796 times !!!
psychotherapy has been viewed 33848 times
psychoanalysis has been viewed 38552 times
suicide has been viewed 80086 times
You can find these statistics on http://stats.grok.se
Get started! This should be a real grassroots effort!
I discovered one of the more creative ways some weeks ago: Make a hit radio station with my own voice messages. I made one quite quickly on a site called radionomy.com. This site lets you choose the music you like from their built-in library. You can check it out here.
Or go to radionomy.com and search for “psychology.”
The station is now playing non-stop for anyone who wants to listen in any country, and it will continue to play until I delete it.
I chose to take only the greatest hits with the biggest artists, in order to get the maximum number of listeners. You can listen to it on your computer or download an app so you can have it streaming on your mobile 24/7. The only other station tagged with “psychiatry” is Psychiatry Online. I have not heard a single audio message on their site yet, so they may just be keeping the station for future use.
It may seems too good to be true to be able to make a radio station, but it is now also possible to publish your own book on Amazon.com as a Kindle e-book, for free. Actually you get 70% of the selling price as royalty. Suggested price is $5.99, if you want to sell all over the world, which means that you make $4.20 for each book you sell. Imagine selling 10,000 books and getting a transfer of $42,000 into your account! It is as easy as uploading a file. You can check out my book (under the alias of Nils Nilsen) here.
Once you have made a radio station or a book, you will need to spread the word about it, and Chaya Grossberg has an excellent blog on this site about actively networking to spread the message on Facebook , Twitter etc.
Normal blogging is an excellent way of spreading the news, but one problem may be that many have neither time nor attention span to read them. Among young people – the group that may be “saved” from the negative effects of psychiatry – many are not used to reading long blogs, and often the language in typical psychiatry-related posts is too complex. Many may need to hear or see the message, preferably in short segments that can stimulate their often excellent information-searching and networking skills.
So what would be the ideal medium for spreading information to this group? If you want the message to be heard by over a hundred million people, the answer is clear: viral YouTube videos. These videos are typically humorous, often with animals or babies. I have modified one of the more popular videos with over 154 million views. I cannot post it on YouTube since they don’t allow modifications of other‘s videos, but you may look at it privately here.
If you are satisfied with getting the message to around 10 million young people, the choice would be to get it said through one of the popular youtubers who have up to 10 million subscribers.
Another possibility would be to get something published in Huffington post, which has a monthly hit rate of around 80 million. Comments in New York Times, Washington Post and the Guardian are also read by many. The first comments on blog postings by big authors like Allen Francis may be read by thousands.
The way to finding big postings to respond to is to put the google’s settings to last 24 hours and search for, e.g., Huffington +antidepressants + comments
For the daring, a trip on the NAMI group on linkedin.com could be interesting. This groups has over 10 000 members. A critical blog post usually attracts many comments. And it is fun to discuss with people who have such opposite views of the MIA authors.
It is often frustrating to see all the misinformation being spread by the commercial machine of Big Pharma, but we can make a difference. If all readers of MIA tried to write comments whenever the big sites discussed psychiatry, the message would reach thousands. If some creative individuals made interesting videos on youtube, some made radio stations, some wrote books and the rest of us used our connections to spread the links on facebook, linkedin, twitter, pinterest and all the other social networks, the message could be spread all over the world. This could improve the quality of life for literally millions and would probably save thousands of lives.
I have a dream…
I have a dream that one day the whole world will know the truth about psychiatric treatment and be able to make informed decisions about what kind of treatment they want. The following are a few dream scenarios that may make this happen:
- The big movie producers make films with the topic of psychiatric treatment gone wrong. There is plenty of dramatic plots that could easily be made into films that really touch people.
- Knowledge about psychiatric treatments, both positive and negative becomes a part of what children learn in school.
- Psychiatric topics go as viral as kittens and babies to inform the younger generations of the dangers.
- Insurance companies and government realize that they are losing enormous sums to the pharmaceutical industries.
- Survivors are involved in massive peer counseling to compensate for the shortage of non-medical treatments.
All of this may be made possible by involvement and creativity in MIA. If only one person spreads the news to at least 2 persons who spread it onward, one per day, we would cover the world’s population in 32 days. If all the readers of this post do the same, we would save 9 days…
So get going! Comment with your craziest ideas, let’s have some fun, spread this on all the social networks so we can have ideas from others too!
* * * * *
hm- where do I start….
1 set up a psyche drug withdrawal, self help programme, under the name of Speak Out Agaisnt Psychiatry, or Mad in America, or anything that says you are doing it because the mainstream is dangerous, and not just because you want to offer an alternative service
2 Put Crime Scene Tape around the door of ECT suites and call the press
3 Hold Poison Cupboard signs up outside hospital pharmacies and call the press, or wait to be chucked out and make sure the press are there
4 Set up a voluntary advocacy service under the name of Speak Out Agaisnt Psychiatry, or Mad in America, or anything that says you are doing it because the mainstream is dangerous, and not just because you want to offer an alternative service
5 Set up a counselling training for the severely distressed, or self help Open Dialogue training (it’s not as hard as you might think, once you have the basic listening skills) under the name of Speak Out Agaisnt Psychiatry, or Mad in America, or anything that says you are doing it because the mainstream is dangerous, and not just because you want to offer an alternative service
6 Go to the AGM, or other public meeting, of your local mental health provider and have a cry in
7 Go to a school with a high ADHD rate, or a child and adolescent psych clinic, stand outside with signs saying, “Drug Dealers Out of School,” and call the press
8 Go to AGM of service provider and ask for proof that their servies are effective and not damaging, ie outcome studies for the treatments they use in the light of Robert Whittikers reserach. They are likely to have none. Then do some kind of high profile action to show they have no proof which will undermine them with the public and thier funders.
That’s enough for now. I would like to recomend a book called Strategy and Soul for people looking for inspiration on developing grass routes movements that use creative strategies to undermine what look like indefeatable power structurs though: http://www.strategyandsoul.org/Strategy_%26_Soul/Home.html
The basic message is to undermine unlegitimate authorities by using high profile actions that call them on values that the mainstream share such as transparency, or First Do No Harm.
This is great! I am so happy that you are sharing your ideas. They are already inspiring me. I hope others will share ideas like you do. If some ideas are too crazy to put in print on MIA, please send them to me directly at [email protected].
…by the way, the radio station way of influencing people is very interesting, but nobody is listening to mine at the moment!
It is very easy to do.
just click on the link and you have good music all day with some good CBT techniques and quotes from MIA in between.
I have highlighted this beacon of positivity and shall continue to attempt 2 shed light on the truth a/b psychiatry whenever & wherever I think it’ll help..
Can it b that the most powerful tool for communication is our own stories??
“Coming out” about my experiences is something that has happened recently for me and continues to..
Someone eloquently articulating what they know to be true, with grace, can have a powerful, “ripple” effect wherever it occurs.
I have a friend, one of whose life goals is to use her gift of drama to create films that address psychiatric repression & “liberation;” I’ve forwarded this article 2 her.
I share in your dream!! Bon courage
Thank you Jessica!
We all have our talents and may contribute in our special ways. Personal stories are very powerful.
Edit Wikipedia definitions of mental disorders
add things like Psychiatric survivor to Wikipedia
create a wiki on how to come off psych drugs
That is a brilliant idea. Never thought of that, but it is so obvious! Let us all staret searching for anything psychiatric we can edit!
We may start with
It is actually as simple as clicking on the edit link!!
I never realized that we may influence millions who search on exactly the topics we know something about. I can’t wait to put in my critical voice on any imaginable topic.
Please post ideas to wikipedia pages that may be edited!
…And of course, people outside the US may edit the corresponding pages in their own language!
I’d like to second what Chaya said about Wikipedia, and what you’ve said before about a holistic present day psychology approach to ‘Schizophrenia’.
This approach starts with the idea that there is no such thing as the illness of ‘Schizophrenia’, just problems that can be sorted out – and in my experience this works.
Wikipedia represents a ‘long term illness’ model. But your work is full of solutions and examples of success.
I just added the following to the page Psychiatric drugs on Wikipedia under the section “Research”
Research is usually done through Randomized Controlled trials where one group gets a placebo, usually a sugar pill, and the other group gets the drug. If there is a statistically significant difference between the drug and the placebo in two of these trials, the drug may get the approval of the FDA. These trials are usually performed by the makers of the drugs, and this may obviously bias the results in a positive direction. In addition companies may do as many trials as they want and just publish the ones with positive results. If a company does 40 trials, they may easily get 2 statistically significant trials bu chance, even if the drug has no positive effect. By having a large number of participants in a trial, it is easier to get a statistically significant result, even if the difference is clinically insignificant.
It appears instantly on the page. Let us see if it gets removed! If not, this is a fantastic way to spread the news. It is probably a good idea to keep the language as neutral as possible.
This page was viewed 12301 times in the last 90 days.
Check out the pages that are worth modifying on
Here are a few search words with amazing influence potential
in august 2014
abilify has been viewed 2861 times
zoloft has been viewed 6580 times
prozac has been viewed 7529 times
paxil has been viewed 2118 times
psychosis has been viewed 79625 times
Depression has been viewed 19581 times
OCD has been viewed 6777 times
anxiety has been viewed 78458 times
adhd has been viewed 23361 times
schizophrenia has been viewed 186579 times!!!
delusion has been viewed 28033 times
paranoia has been viewed 33315 times
Borderline personality disorder has been viewed 160796 times !!!
psychotherapy has been viewed 33848
psychoanalysis has been viewed 38552
suicide has been viewed 80086 times
Get started editing!!!
May I offer some suggestions (I know I should try editing myself but no time for that for the next few weeks:( )?
– when discussing placebo-controlled trials I’d add references to I. Kirsch studies on placebo effect where he addresses the “unblinding” of patients due to drug’s side effects and he proposes using “active placebo” to correct for this effect, which is practically never done
– I think this piece needs a lot of citations, otherwise they’ll likely remove it due to lack of evidence – the references should be given for the FDA drug approval guidelines, data on clinical trial publication bias and the discrepancy between the results from big trials and actual clinical efficacy (to back up this claim:”By having a large number of participants in a trial, it is easier to get a statistically significant result, even if the difference is clinically insignificant.”)
– I’d add some examples on controversy about anti-depressants (again, I. Kirsch and colleagues and other papers dealing with the issue) to give a well-documented example of the problem
Very good point! I will put in Kirsch and try to find all the other references. Almost all of these are mantioned in Bregin’s and Whitaker’s book. We could reference articles on MIA to bring people to the site. Moncrief’s articles are well referenced.
A good idea is to search om MIA for the original reference, but also link the MIA article mentioning it. It is always impressive with many citations.
Good news, bad news.
Big pharma have teams of people trolling wikipedia editing anything negative about their industry. I’ll be interested to see the results of this exercise.
Good news is that I actually made a small edit to the Rosenhan experiment page some time back to include the second part of the experiment mentioned below (the inverse part wasnt included on the page). Someone picked up on my edit and rewrote the whole article basically as a result.
Edit to include MIA. Expand to provide more information and links.
I like this. An easy project that many could take up
Send letters to all APA members telling them that they missed a recent awared ceremony, but that they have been awarded honorary degrees from the Joseph Stalin University, Dept of Inhumanities, in Pest Control and Eradication.
Great! I like your black humor. Give us more please!!!
Make formal applications to have hospitals renamed after famous serial killers and kidnappers.
I like the idea of changing the sign at a local hospital to the Ariel Castro Memorial Hospital. I mean the only real difference between Castro and what they are doing at this hospital is that Castro didn’t have his paperwork in order.
I feel strongly about ensuring that those with the power to do something about the abuses, do not get the opportunity to later claim they didn’t know what was happening. Whilst the gates of the gulag are not going to fall any time soon, they will fall, and the time will come where the evidence will be examined. Dont let them deny culpability.
Off topic. I saw Orions Belte some years back. Thats a beautiful country you live in Kjetil. The recent Troll Hunter has put me off visiting though lol.
Well there’s one hospital in Vienna that could do with Adolf-Hitler hospital or Mengele Clinic. It actually fits to a lot of its history so it’s not be completely random ;P.
Wow, that’s a great one. Send these e-mails also to media and get someone to try to award them with the degree (some sort of clever token) in front of cameras, and then post it on youtube etc. Michael Moore’s style.
I think it’s great to talk about how to get the word out. There isn’t enough of that. And I agree, we should just let our imaginations run free, and some ideas may well work out fantastically well.
Thank you for this article.
Thank you Ted!
I think a lot can be done in the legal field. The billion dollar fines are among the most effective brakes om the pharma industry and may be the reason they are pulling out of psychiatry. and it all came from the simple idea that they are defrauding Medicare if they are promoting medication off label.
There should be a way of holding doctors responsible for irresponsible drugging that leads to injury or death. Any ideas are welcome.
Psychiatry Free Zone
March across America
And or anywhere else
Teaching and learning along the way
We need posts in the psychiatric drug forum,
Most people involved with mental health google the name psychiatric drugs plus the words withdrawal , side effects, taper ect
Titling posts (drug name goes here) plus “withdrawal” or “side effects” and some random words and it often becomes a first page search result leading more people to this site.
Want views? maybe try tagging the search for key words “bipolar medication weight gain” that should bring in 1000s of views. Maybe tomorrow I will try tagging those search keywords.
Great! This is just the kind of knowledge we all need to have and use!
You have hit the nail on the head. I have thought the same since I was dipped in the flames via the tragic death of a loved one via Cymbalta. Some of my thoughts have been to have a seminar(s) of survivors and victims, relatives of victims in order to meet eye to eye. We could have various breakout sessions where different subjects and training could be covered. It has been a dream to arm these victims, survivors and current patients with materials to take to their doctors, pharmacists, medical examiners, coroners, their own centers of influence, school nurses, local newspapers, etc. If the expense and time constraints prohibit an in person gathering we could access Google Plus or some such online meetings (or do both). There are so many survivors and family members of survivors that the one thing lacking is organization. The knowledge, the passion and the determination is already there. I have only one small counter-thought and that is with regard to your #4. Government and Pharma are intertwined. Not to say we shouldn’t try to affect change in that direction but there needs to be a severe house cleaning.
I have found, just in the small capacity that I’ve been able to reach out to people online (I am sick in my own withdrawal right now), that people don’t listen or are comfortable in their denial. Medication spellbinding is real and it is powerful and some of these people are not ready to hear the truth. I have been name-called and told I was not sensitive to “mental illness” by trying to direct them to the truth. The psychiatric brain-washing runs deep and people are still very trusting of their doctors over the layman messenger. The good news is, in spreading the truth, there are SOME people who’s lightbulbs go off and who “get it” and if you can save only a few, it’s better than none. And, people can’t unhear information once it’s been presented. Even if they reject it, down the line when they get sicker and sicker from the drugs, perhaps they’ll remember the information they were given and do some more research on their own. We can only hope.
If you have a Facebook account join us at Prescription Drug Dangers group with over 2500 members and growing by leaps and bounds. We are a community that gets it and you would be very welcome.
I like your sentence: “people can’t unhear information once it’s been presented”. Many of these thoughts will mature in people’s minds, and the seeds we sow may bloom much later.
An enterprising psychiatrist or psychologist could design a modern day Rosenhan Experiment.
It would quite likely put professional registration at risk, and result in being ostracised. Surely there’s one among them with courage and not looking to fade to mediocrity and insignificance in their careers.
I know I’d volunteer to be admitted to a hospital and suffer the abuse again to expose what is going on.
…..a modern day Rosenhan Experiment.
Great idea in theory but it won’t happen because of ethical constraints. Modern day psychiatric facilities watch to insure that patients swallow the pills that they are given and use force when they don’t comply with the doctors orders. Given the toxicity of these pills it would be unethical to have confederates endanger themselves in the psychiatric setting.
Sometimes one needs to go to some extreme lengths to get people to listen.
In the words of one of our politicians
It’s better to die on your feet than live on your knees.
It is possible to do an inverse Rosenhan experiment. He actually did this himself. He told a lot of hospitals that many fake patients were going to come along, and many hospitals thought they discovered the fake patients, more than 40. The only thing was that no fake patients ever presented to the hospitals. This should not pose any ethical risks,just telling hospitals that are going to get fake patients and we will publish it. This might make them be more careful in their diagnostics.
Providing the opportunity to do the right or wrong thing during the process of becoming an involuntary patient has a lot of potential. Im sure that entrapment would be the defense. But its not a very good one.
I know from experience where I live that there is a cultural attitude of carte blanche to do anything that suits staff, including commiting criminal offenses. A belief that they are bulletproof. This is an advantage. Many a criminal been brought down when they believe they wont be caught.
A series of integrity tests at each point of referral and involuntary admission. I have already done a 6 month participant observation study and know where corrupt acts are likely to occur.
An I am quite prepared to volunteer to expose these people who are abusing some very vulnerable people.
I know one Authorised Mental Health Practitioner who has been submitting false documents for at least ten years that I know of. Think he would be one person who would be confident that his criminality will remain undetected.
I wonder if he should be put to the test. Because whilst I dont have the evidence to prove that he has cost people their lives, I know that his actions were a major reason that I walked in front of a truck. Somehow I get the feeling Im not the only one.
“Somehow I get the feeling Im not the only one.”
I’m pretty sure you’re not wrong. I had the same feeling about the psych ward I was an inmate of and lo and behold it was enough to google them to find several press releases about previous scandals and abuse. And that’s only what came out in press – a tip of the mountain. The funny part is that each and every time nobody did anything and the hospital got cleared. I wonder why that keeps happening. There is zero accountability in the system.
I wish you all the luck. Honestly, we are in a dire need for whistleblowers – there are very few in the mental health system and when they are they are usually dismissed and accused of malpractice themselves (it happened to one nurse who reported abuse at the hospital I was held in – she got fired and everything was swept under the carpet even though there were other people coming out. But these were patients so they could file that under crazy talk).
One of the best silencing tactics available to hospital administrators is if a patient does manage to obtain the evidence required to pursue a cause of action is compensation.
Two options available to someone in this position, civil action and compensation, or criminal action with a higher burden of proof and a long drawn out process. Lawyers have good reason for advising the civil action route. Compensation is negotiated and the person signs a non disclosure agreement. Thus the abuses are silenced, and the corrupt enabled, and the good corrupted. A gradual regression into the state our system is in at present.
An experiment designed to expose these abuses could not be silenced using these techniques. Unless of course the researcher was open to bribery. The very purpose would be to be heard, not silenced with a few dollars. Oh how ugly for them to be confronted with someone who cannot be bought, blackmailed, threatened or negotiated with.
That was what made Elliot Ness famous wasn’t it?
“An experiment designed to expose these abuses could not be silenced using these techniques.”
That’s why I’m never going to agree to anything that requires me to keep my mouth shut or not name names.
The really funny part is that the patient advocacy can represent you in court only while you’re in a hospital (that is drugged to unconsciousness or the drooling and staring at the wall zombie state) and after you’re out they “can’t help you anymore”. It’s ridiculous. I’d need to hire a private lawyer to go after them and if I lose I have to pay costs which I could not afford so I’d go into debt. Unless you’re a rich guy with a lot of free time on your hands you’re screwed.
Yes B, they have defanged the watchdog here as well by ensuring a lack of funding to pursue any criminals within the system.
The price of justice is just too high these days in our democratic society.
Interesting times though, watching as the cancer spreads.
Btw, wouldn’t it be the perfect way to evaluate the new DSM-V which is supposedly sooo reliable? I’d love to do that. But I am afraid that the hospitals would probably ignore the whole thing – it seems like the most common (and unfortunately quite successful) tactics.
…an inverse Rosenhan experiment
The hospitals would need to cooperate and would surely be reluctant to admit or publish the embarrassing information that this test would produce.This is especially true in the US where many of these facilities are for-profit hospitals..
The “thump” experiment was done in the 70s, I’m not sure how effective it would be today.
ah sorry, my bad, yeah correction, the “thud” experiment I see it’s the same thing you’re talking about.
I’ve met a number of people who have been subjected to toxic chemical cocktails and multiple incarcerations for the most minor moral infractions.
Being able to define not cleaning ones home properly as a mental illness, and then claiming to have a ‘treatment’ for it is about as unethical as I can think. I just get the feeling that playing by the rules suits one party in this game.
I remember the sign Arbiet Macht Frei, but was there a smaller one saying “no cameras”? I’m sure if that was the rule it delayed any action over what was really going on.
Just to add, I’m sure you know but these days the opponent is sneaky. You might not be able to market drugs directly to consumers, but in Australia we have this “R U OK?” campaign where you’re supposed to find someone “in trouble”, a friend a mate, and then push them to “get help”.
This gets plastered all over mainstream media, from football celebrities to newsreaders, and.. just happens… to you know… be sponsored/funded by mental hospital chains and drug companies.
This is the kind of attack people are under without even really understanding that it’s not really about helping out friends, it’s about funnelling more people through a system, cash money.
Oh yeah barrab. Can’t say I haven’t noticed the signs.
Don’t suspect a friend, report them.
Suspicion breeds confidence.
Trust in haste, regret at leisure.
Education Dept policy is being changed to encourage teachers to check students facebook pages when a suicide occurs and seek treatment for anyone who makes comments deemed inappropriate. You will only speak about suicide in terms that we define as being appropriate, or….. we will ‘help’ you.
…..push them to “get help
Funny how these kind of folks never seem to want to help those in financial trouble. Rare is the day that a psychiatrist helps a distressed patient with some of that free money they get from big pharma.
One which can be an expensive form of civil disobedience but call police of members of APA for being delusional and posing a danger to self and others. I don’t know what is the penalty for that if they actually come to round them up but it may be worth it…
This is a very good steppingstone idea. I would like to challenge all the readers to modify it into something that could really be done.
I can make a startling claim here that I could take any person to a hospital any day of the week and show them patients being assaulted.
The provisions of our Menatl Health Act do not suit doctors so they have a way of overcoming the provision that involves deceiving the patient. Every single patient being admitted to our hospitals is given a physical examination done under the guise of “implied consent”.
This consent however could not be implied, and the burden of proof is with doctors to demonstrate that they have consent. Minus a signed consent form they could be charged with these assaults that our Chief Psychiatrist has deemed “accepted practice”.
Nice to be above the law really.
Quite a guy really our Chief Psychiatrist.
For a person whose primary responsibility is the protection of the rights of consumers, carers and the community, one would think he would know what those protections are. Instead when he receives legitimate complaints he rewords the relevant section of the Act to exclude any protections, ar attributes powers to doctors where they dont have any.
Makes one wonder about giving this guy the say on lobotomies and forced ECTs when he doesnt know about some basic protections offered by the Act he is responsible for.
I get the feeling he has a tendency to ignore the law where it doesnt suit his doctor friends. Negligence in high places lol.
Invisible Theatre – a technique invented by Augusto Boal
go to a big pharma conference, a service provider conference, an astroturf event with a two or three people in prepared roles.
In the middle of a relevent speach someone pretending to be the mother of a dead patient starts wailing and crying out, “I did everything they said i should and they killed my son!”
Someone else, a man in a suite, starts hissing, “Get her out of here, we’ll loose the drug company funding.”
A few other characters flesh it out and one person acts as the ineffectual voice of the patients and goes, “No no, leave her alone, those drugs are damaging.”
On a related note: make up a totally bs pseudo-research of an imaginary drug treating an imaginary DSM label, register for a conference to give a talk (Here’s the problem – it must be someone within the profession to pull this out) and watch out if they figure out that you’ re pulling it out of your a**. Have someone in the room record the reactions.
Honestly I think that ultimately the win comes when psychiatry and pharma loses it’s popularity, it’s cool factor, when people just stop accepting it as legitimate. That can happen.
All the marketing and money won’t work then. It was good to see Peter Gøtzsche on the daily show, for instance, now sure he mentioned organised crime on the same show that defended Hilary Clinton but at least some people might start questioning things where they weren’t before.
Thanks for this; in the throes of withdrawal from Klonopin myself and most days everything dark and futile…this article and comments give me some hope for the future personally and planetarily (is that even a word?-pffft who cares…)
Great post! I am focusing on dream #5. Let’s repurpose church buildings (or other faith properties that are in threat of immanent extinction) and create respite/recovery communities for peers with lived experience.
Hi, Thanks for your column. My idea is about a southeastern city agency that offers free alternative therapy services to all cancer patients and their families and friends. There are yoga, tai chi, reiki, art therapy, music therapy, massage therapy, horticultural therapy and all sorts of support groups along with individual therapy. There is also which I love the best – a library and librarian who researches anything you want,
There is no policy for medical treatment. You can be a stickler for following the doc’s orders or not. It doesn’t matter. Survivors,active patients, and others are thrown together into the alternative therapies. One can only guess who is who and it really doesn’t matter except for specific labelled groups
And it’s all free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As a former LISW and as a person who had multiple altered mental states due to extreme trauma I love this concept. This is what the Community Mental Health Centers should have been. If you use these centers for those undergoing stress it would provide a large and wide umbrella and I am thinking hospitalizations would actually decrease because we could get folks in before a nonchangeable crisis occurs.
I also like the heterogeneity. I feel by keeping those of us with altered mental states away from others it is basically y a kind of apartheid and makes things worse instead of better. The Idea of peers in Special Education speaks of the need to allow those with disabilities see what normal is and run with it,
I think this is a great idea and more could be added meditation sitting room, poetry and drama therapy ect This could be a subtle game changer for all if done the right way. Hope this interest you.
On the subject of social media, on a negative note :
My comments on “Popular social website” questioning psychiatry have been down-voted into invisibility..
Some of them were deleted on the “Science” sub, and while I posted no links, I used my own experience, which the rules do not prohibit.
“Arguments that run counter to well established scientific theories …must be substantiated with evidence that has been subjected to meaningful peer-review,” read the rules. If I’d to guess, Moderators used this rule to take down my comment, however, others commented right-and-left on the post (regarding latest “schizophrenia” “research”) speculating as if schizophrenia was a brain disease, and this has *never* been substantiated [not even by the new “research,” which was my point…]
I’d say Ms. Grossberg (+ others) are right, and that a powerful win 4 “psychiatric liberation” would be revising commonly referred-to sources regarding “mental illness” that are so rapidly poisoning (figuratively and literally) the minds of public…
…And I DON’T think this will B easy. I don’t mean to be alarmist, but, should many of the brilliant-and-inspired strategies above be implemented, counteractions and censorship may come swiftly, not only at the hands of the “powers that be,” but at the hands of those who have no political interests in keeping the “medical model” in place… (It is my argument that many besides Big Pharma have interest in seeing their co-workers, neighbors, and “loved ones” neatly “dealt with” and packaged away into boxes of “mental illness.” Aforementioned “willful ignorance” and closed.minded-ness 2 the truth prove this to me..)
(*In* *addition,* I commented on a “pop culture” news site to reprimand a parent who, essentially, has gained recognition through sharing her adolescent child’s emotional and behavioral struggles under the guise of “advocating” for “mental health.” As of now, People dotcom has been trying to “approve” my comment 4 3 days. ) #myGriping
Create mems such as this one:
Sneak in into psychiatric conferences to protest and film these protests and post them on line (examples can be taken from recent Supreme court protests or Code Pink interrupting Obama).
I was thinking of doing grafitti on the White House.
Obama is an idiot.
Then I realised I might get fined for the grafitti, but get 10 years prison for exposing State secrets.
This is a very good so-called stepping stone idea. It is a bit crazy, but it may spark ideas for how to be seen.
demonstrators with signs outside the white house
2. Contacting your congressperson
3. Getting legislators or even Obama involved in mental health thinking in some way
4. Getting some national attention through some original action, even a hunger strike
I dont know how many people are aware of what the Black Standard of IS represents.
The translation of the Arabic on top says “no God but God” and the circle at the bottom is the seal of the Prophet.
Might be worth making a Black Standard with the Latin words “first do harm” and the seal of the APA below it.
Imagine that flying over the White House lol
Beheading videos with voice overs of a psychiatrist introducing himself and explaining the diagnosis of his patient, and the chemical imbalance in his brain. Hence the need to ‘treat’ him.
Mmmm maybe a bit harsh
put challanging comments on pro-psychiatry posts on facebook. Here is one from UK charity Rethink that I posted earlier – there post went:
“Our fundraising packs for Schizophrenia Awareness Week are in huge demand today – don’t forget to order yours by emailing [email protected] with the name and address of where to send your pack. They’re full of ideas about hosting a fundraising event and the pack also includes this handy little DIY Fundraising Box!”
My comment underneath went:
“what a great way to sneak pill cutters into wards! A real way to help people forced to take mind numbing and addictive, damanging medication. Thanks Rethink Mental Illness”
Here is another Rethink one:
“Here’s our (yummy!) Yogurt Cake-it’s one of the recipes that can be found in the fundraising pack for this year’s Schizophrenia Awareness Week – the pack contains lots of different ideas for holding a fundraising event. You can get yours by emailing [email protected] with your name and address-we’ll get one sent out and you can begin baking your own cakes! Don’t forget to send us a picture when you do!”
To which I added:
” Fantastic – something to pie some psychiatrists, AMHP’s, CPN’s, Social Workers and ward managers with! Great idea Rethink, best thing you’ve come up with for years! I’m hoping to share this with all my facebook friends, especially those who have been so damaged by psychiatric drugs (well, the ones who are not dead yet) and all those who have never had anyone ask them why they are so distressed and have been so belittled and infatilised by pschiatry.”
It is easy to become member of the NAMI group on linkedin with over 10 000 members. It is also very easy to become top contributor there.
Pooping on the Astroturf – a series of competitoins
1 a prize for the perosn who gets chucked off the most Astroturf social media sites – CHADD, NAMI, Rethink etc – before Christmas
2 a prize for the most eloquent conversatoin that challenges drug based psychiatric care on Astroturf social media sites
3 A prize for the most waccy, but accurate and challenging comment on Astroturf social media sites
Here is another addition to a Rethink post on facebook. Their post went:
“A new exhbition featuring artwork by artists with schizophrenia has just opened.
Have you ever used art as a way of expressing yourself? Or has another form of creativity such as writing or composing music ever been helpful for you?”
To which I added:
“I made a great banner, tie die and applique, pink with pin stripe spelling out Shirnks Stink – I hung it outside the Royal College of Psychiatry, took a photo and put it on the cover of a zine. Really felt much better afterwards”
Ask Mr Whittiker if we can use his source material, especially his presentations, and use them to give talks to user groups, carer groups, service providers and commissioners.
Ask service providers for thier outcome studies. Ask them to justify them in light of Mr Whittiker’s research and hit the press when they produce inaduate responses, preferably with a picture freindly bit of direct action.
It’s all about finding groups and people who are receptive to the true research about psychiatry while undermining those who practice, fund and support psychiatry as it is practised at the moment
“Ask service providers for thier outcome studies.”
When I did that I got threatened with a law suit (no kidding) against me for spreading misinformation and smearing doctors good reputation. Which I actually don’t mind – I want to see them defending it in an actual court.
another excellent tactic B
Then call the press to say what they have threatened you with – why would a reliable service threaten anyone for asking legitimate questions? To go public with thier bullying tactics would be to undermine them.
You can demand they defend themselves in the court of public opinion as well as in court.
I found the threat of litigation to be laughable.
I make a complaint, manager does a formal investigation and finds that a crime has been committed. Manager tells criminal to keep their mouth shut and threatens me with state funded libel action.
Do the mafia get to investigate allegations of their criminal activity, and then hide the evidence and silence complainants? I dont think Al Capone would have found any irregularities in his books if he were the one looking at them.
Must save a lot of taxpayer money being able to ‘disappear’ complaints.
Our government in their wisdom has set up an independent watchdog called HaDSCO. So you are directed to a complaints body with virtually no investigative powers.
You make a complaint, and they say there’s nothing we can do to help. Bit like leading someone down a dead end alley. Sure that eventually you will get tired of trying to have anything done, or top yourself.
“So you are directed to a complaints body with virtually no investigative powers.”
Wow it’s basically the definition of patients’ advocacy in Austria. You give them a list of specific complaints and they a) check the hospital’s documents b) ask the doctor politely: “hey have you abused someone or committed malpractice?” of course even asking to address specific concerns. And when this “investigation” doesn’t discover anything they tell you you can hire a lawyer because that’s all they can do. which they of course strongly advice against because “you won’t be able to prove anything anyway.”
But that passes for “patient’s protection”.
“Manager tells criminal to keep their mouth shut and threatens me with state funded libel action.”
Btw, that’s what the head of the unit told me when I complained to her about her staff and what they did. I’m questioning their professionalism and they can sue me for that. I’d love to see that though, yet another scandal from the same hospital. Not that it changes much but it adds to a long record so it may stop some people from going there for “help”.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has shown exactly how this enabling behaviour works B.
Complaint about abuse, engage with complainant to identify what evidence needs to be destroyed. Internal investigation doctors the evidence, and then refer to external body. External body is aware that evidence has been doctored and therefore is reluctant to waste their time.
Abuser is protected, and moved to other facility if too many complaints occur, and large numbers of victims are either severly damaged or committ suicide. If one does slip through the net and actually has a complaint heard by the courts, it has been an ‘isolated incident’. Certainly silencing via vigorous defence of any claim has been done as well.
Great for abusers, not soo good for the hundreds of victims.
Only took them 40 years to look.
Man gets repeatedly raped by a priest and then when the institution finally admits it, they tell him if you try and complain we will destry you in court.
Nice people eh? Good on ya Cardinal Pell
It’s quite a dilemma though and involves a certain mindset.
If one were serving God or patients then exposing the abuses would be the right thing to do. If one were protecting the institution then the destruction of any evidence of wrongdoing would be the thing to do.
It’s a test of ones integrity. Sad that there are so many who fail this test and chooose to serve the wrong master. Imagine how good things could be if we could get the abusers removed from the system rather than spreading their corruption like a cancer.
Ahhh one can dream I guess.
“Great for abusers, not soo good for the hundreds of victims.”
True. Btw, it works exactly like you’ve described it also in other places – look at the recent domestic abuse scandals in the NFL. It’s all about money, protecting their ass and punishing the victims.
The fact that I’ve cc-ed my e-mail conversation to the press is probably the only reason this person agreed to talk to me in the first place – I’ve tried before and my e-mails “got lost”. But the press didn’t show much interest either. So actually them suing me wouldn’t be such a bad thing, the only problem is I don’t think they’re stupid enough to actually do it.
I admire your courage in trying to spread the news. I think we should just accept that we will get a lot of negativity against us for presenting views that are not mainstream. I actually think it is fun to get some “heat” when I discuss things on the NAMI group on linkedin.
“The thinking man who scorns the prejudices of simpletons necessarily becomes the enemy of simpletons; he must expect as much and laugh at the inevitable.”
Marquis de Sade.
What about the movie: ‘The Country and Western Song played the Wrong Way Around’ – Your average cheesy Schizophrenia Film has a promising young person that comes ‘unstuck’ , they end up in Psychiatry and from then on all they can hope for is a pathetic life. They loose their dreams. They might try to quit medication but they end up back in hospital and eventually come to accept their ‘illness’ and make the best of their tragedy.
Supposing the next scene involves a chance encounter with their exit route. They stop the medication with suitable help. They make the breakthrough, get back into life and everything comes back again.
Great idea! We actually have a very good director, actor, producer and camera expert in Kermit!
Maybe he can build on some of your ideas?
Thanks Kjetil for an excellent thought provoking article and I share your dreams.
I host a local community radio show on wellbeing, focusing on techniques for wellbeing and “alternative” therapies and have a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/compass0800
Ideas I have are to:
Run education sessions for mental health teams
Campaign to the mental health commission (here in NZ)
Get personal stories out there
Great ideas! Maybe we should gather youtube videos and powerpoints that may be used for such presentations. Make them really professional and available through MIA!
If you create content under Creative Commons license you ensure that it can be freely distributed, copied and modified:
Expose What the Recovery Model Saves
If the taxpayer knew what it cost them – they would probably support a Full Recovery model.
In the UK ‘Severe Mental Illness’ costs on average £36,000 per ‘sick person’ per year.
Below is an example of ‘Severe Mental Illness’ costing £160,000+ per ‘sick person’ per year.
Most people can make complete recovery – with suitable help.
This is a very good idea! Money talks, and taxpayers care about how money is spent. Not only does so-called treatment cost a lot, but there is a lot of productive work and taxes also lost with people who don’t recover.
The trick will be how to get this info out. We have a lot more channels now than before. Sometimes individual case stories go viral on face book, especially if it touches peoples hearts.
Btw, I’d also try to spread the idea of the emotional CPR. It is something that targets also people who were never in contact with the system or their only contact was through someone in the family. It gives people tools to address problems in a peaceful and constructive way other than call the cops and lock him/her up.
Emotional CPR is a very good positive idea that can be accepted by all, even if they may have a bias for biological thinking. Do you have any good links?
I find myself torn on one particular issue regarding “spreading the news”.
It is not well known in my community about how easily the mental health system can be used for nefarious purposes. The ability to silence anyone subjected to abuses makes this a perfect means of destroying a person, and not having it come to public attention.
The fact that a liability issue arises as soon as one member of the public makes an allegation about another means that AMHP are quite prepared to fabricate evidence to avoid this liability. My wife told me that it is just a matter of knowing what to tell them in order to get them to act. So it is very easy to have a person detained unlawfully by mental health services, which will anger them and tie them up in a vicious complaints process for some time. One also has the added advantage of being able to call police or child protection and rightfully inform them of the person being detained by mental health, thus smearing them even further.
It’s a wonderful weapon to use against a person you may have a disagreement with, and all paid for by the state. Many lawyers and Private Investigators are aware of this, but it’s not widely known in the community.
I wonder if making the public aware of the weapon that is in their hands, that with nothing more than a phone call another persons life can be completely dismantled, and they will have no access to procedural fairness is an ethical thing to do.
I guess that our impending dragnet for mental health week will see a large influx of people into the system, and a new wave of lives destroyed. Still, if it’s what the public want who am I to complain about a few thousand people ending up like me. Went to sleep in a democracy, and woke up to fascist thugs dragging me off to a hospital for thought crimes.
I have two suggestions:
1 – mass personal advertising. MIA could sell e.g. car window stickers with slogans like “‘anti’-depressants cause suicide” or “psychiatrists destroy lives” or similar.
2 – create an app. If i was creating one i’d make one about recovery from schizophrenia. I wouldn’t actually advocate being drug free, just encourage reading about the subject, as well as emphasizing psychological therapies, healthy eating, exercise, stress management, etc.
If i was further along the line of recovery i would consider doing 2, but it would seem slightly ridiculous to do it right now, as i am only recovered to a psychiatrists standard (i.e. i’m sane, but disabled in real terms).
Just to add that the reason i wouldn’t advocate being drug free (directly) is that i think it’s just to controversial to say it directly and i’m concerned that the app would therefore gain a bad reputation, so i would choose to do it more subtly.
I think these suggestions are very good! There seems to be many MIA readers capable of making apps. Go for it.
For everyone else: we can reach millions each year by editing Wikipedia! Just try it, it is really easy.
You can go to
to get access to all the original articles that Robert Whitaker is referring to in Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic . The short summaries could be pasted directly into Wikipedia. The reference could be both to the website, MIA and the original article. That would look really thorough and impressive.
Check out “Psychosis” on Wikipedia and see if you can notice my edit!
Thanks for your suggestions about social media. I think I will try this route.
Another idea: a pledge to be signed by conscientious psychiatrists who reject the use of force and coercion. It could be signed by any mental health professional who opposes using psychiatric torture and pledges to only treat voluntary patients and would be publicly available on the internet so you can easily check if your doctor is or is not a human rights abuser.
That’s a wonderful idea B. It would certainly be a useful resource to anyone having difficulties and who did not want to have a ‘gun’ put to their head. Can’t help but think it would save lives. Imagine being suicidal and knowing that seeking help wouldn’t mean incarceration and forced drugging. Wow, a person might be able to relax a bit, and build a relationship with someone who would then be able to help them.
Much better than the current model where seeking help is likely to get you killed.
Might even be included in a code of conduct for ethical psychiatrists and mental health workers who gave a damn.
This would be a perfect solution to the problem. Imagine having a doctor like Peter Breggin or someone like him who understands theoretical and applied psychiatry rather than an egotistical pill pushing profiteer. The only way to change the status quo is to make it less profitable than patient oriented mental health care.
Brilliant idea! Any idea how to practically do this anyone?
Which one? The pledge? Well, that one would require setting up a website with the database and a bunch of volunteers to seek out mental health professionals and ask them to sign the pledge (either on the website or on paper which can be then posted on the website).
Here are my two ideas.
1) Write book reviews on Amazon: Good reviews for critical psychiatry books and negative/bad for non critical books like the DSM5. In your negative book reviews make sure to say that a much more informative and up to date appraisal of psychiatry can be found in Robert Whitiker’s books. If enough people buy a copy of anatomy or MIA then the section that shows most customers eventually bought … would show Anatomy or MAI. Why not buy a copy yourelf while you are at it, and send it to a friend, or leave it out in a doctors surgery, Psychiatrists waiting room or whatever.
2) Open an instagram account. If you use hashtags like depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, psychiatry, anorexia etc. you get access to what I call, ‘the kingdom of the sad’. Interestingly at a phenomological level all those hashtags lead to similar kinds of images (e.g self harmed wrists, skinny legs and tummies, suicide notes i.e. sadness writ large). These are the people you want to reach, so post pictures of joy, messages of hope, take photos of critical book covers, quote your favourite critical writers. I guess you could also hashtag NAMI, APA; RCPsych etc. whislt you are at it.
These are very good ideas, and the central feature is to get positive ideas in places where people will search. I don’t know how many hits Amazon book review gets, but this can be checked out by looking at the rank of the book. Instagram is great for reaching young people. Like you said, surprise them with positive quotes, and informative sentences. We should build a bank of these statements , and they may also be used to influence thousands of information seekers on Wikipedia.
Kjetil–can you explain what changes you made to “Psychosis”? I just looked it up and it seems fairly mainstream to me. I think we should radically question diagnosis itself, given the way it is made and used in the coercive system.
Wikipedia is not a democracy. Doctors who have the biological model of mental illness in their mind , are correcting any unconventional Wikipedia addition. The doctors do not perceive their own fear of psychosis is keeping their patients on drugs for the patients lifetime. The patient is not supposed to feel pain, anger or discomfort, so once given the drugs, they must be kept on them. Those with the gold make the rules.
Okay, good point, but I was asking Kjetil.
BTW, I know of a war on Wikipedia over how a subject was presented and eventually the founder got involved in the controversy and ruled on the right side, not necessarily the ‘power’ side. Don’t know if this always works.
There are two things I’m currently doing. First, I’m writing my experiences. It’s blunt, horrible, and sarcastic, but it’s very real. The other thing I do is really hard. When a friend says something like; my ex is so psychotic, she must be bipolar. I correct them by informing them where everyone can see that I am bipolar. Most people don’t openly use Taoism slurs anymore because they are frowned upon by society. They referred to generalizations made about peopleand based on something that couldn’t change: the color of their skin. Using a mental illness as the butt of a joke is no different in my opinion.