Schizophrenia; the Tragedy of a Promise Unfulfilled

Robert Berezin, MD
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When I was a psychiatric resident in 1971, the treatment for schizophrenia and manic-depression seemed to be very promising. The hopeful period of deinstitutionalization had just begun. It seemed like we were turning the corner. We were emptying out the state hospitals. And let me tell you, they really were snake pits. And the promise was that patients would return to the community. There they would have individual and family therapy; housing; assistance with working; and help with activities of daily living, when necessary. Finally, an enlightened age… finally. As a resident, I did not medicate my patients. I had the opportunity to get to know them in a human and real way in psychotherapy. Manic-depression was still known as manic-depression and not the ubiquitous bi-polar. To this day, I cannot say bi-polar. Patients are people, not ‘objects’ like batteries with opposing poles. It was understood that mania was the problematic state that it actually was.

It didn’t happen. So many became homeless. As Allen Frances documented, we have closed a million psychiatric beds and locked up a million psychiatric patients in prison. – “Psychiatry and Recovery: Finding Common Ground and Joining Forces.”

Here’s the problem. Historically people are frightened by the schizophrenias and manic-depression mostly because of changes in consciousness itself – delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, bizarre behaviors, etc. Individuals with schizophrenia most easily lend themselves to be characterized with labels, as if they are just things, not people. Experts have always presumed that ‘they’ could be defined with whatever is the ‘in vogue’ theory of today – whether it was witches, demonic possessions (still going on), devils, or brain diseases where ‘all we need are drugs.’ In our recent history, the treatment of the severe mentally ill had, in fact, an enlightened period. In the late 1890’s and early twentieth century the theory then was that the cause of schizophrenia was industrialization. And the treatment of choice was a ‘pastoral cure’. All over Massachusetts, huge tracts of beautiful land were bought for the purpose of pastoral retreats, both public and private. Unfortunately, when the money ran out, so did the enlightened period. Soon, schizophrenic patients were warehoused on this beautiful property.

It didn’t take long until the warehousing turned into the snake pits of the forties and fifties. In some private institutions, psychoanalytic therapy was undertaken with mixed success. The next major turn was that Thorazine and Lithium were discovered in the mid 1940’s. By the 1970’s, drugs became the ‘treatment’ for schizophrenia and manic-depression. Psychiatrist weren’t treating people, but ‘brain diseases’. So in reality by the time deinstitutionalization occurred, the central ‘treatment’ was drugs. This then lead to the deterioration of psychiatry today.

Let me add here that throughout those years, there have been traditions of caring that have been truly remarkable. See – “Reflections on Geel – Schizophrenia is not a Medical Disease. Human beings with schizophrenia do best with care and respect.” Also, there have been oases of wonderful treatment places like Westwood Lodge, under Harry Stack Sullivan.

Here’s the secret. People with schizophrenia and real manic-depression are people. They are not objects. Our human plays of consciousness are very complex, but they are ordered as a story. In the psychotic worlds, there is an additional disruptive dimension to the regular stories of life. Do to some combination of maternal deprivation, a genetic propensity or something epigenetic, there is additional damage to these plays – an unmanageable limbic terror/rage. The cortex cannot encompass this powerful rage in a cohesive way. It fragments the cohesion of the play itself and the intactness of the self persona. When the self and its primal play flies apart, it generates a state of terror, the dimensions of which are far more powerful than regular anxiety. This terror/rage is the central characteristic of all the psychotic character worlds.

Although the self and its plays are fragmented, consciousness continues its ongoing process of playwriting. Consequently, the cortical imagination now writes new plays that are anchored in this limbic rage/terror experience. Disrupted plays of a fragmented self and terror-filled feeling and otherworldly plots are written and inhabited. The feeling of these plays are captured by words like awe, dread, or horror. This leads to the delusions, hallucinations, and bizarre behavior.  Schizophrenia has, as its foremost feature, the rupture of the self. Its pre-psychotic character world is in fact problematic, hollow, and not sustainable. It is a false self, like a cardboard cutout. The eruption of the psychosis is a built-in inevitability. The fragmentation is not anchored in the Authentic-Being and always becomes unmanageable. The resultant terror/rage is the worst and most unbearably frightening state of all potential human experience.

Due to the powerful limbic rage and terror, they are more vivid and compelling than non-psychotic plays. As a result of the fragmentation, what would be regular thoughts in an intact play, are experienced as literal, heard voices in the plays of paranoid schizophrenia. These auditory hallucinations are given form by the cortical imagination as voices of otherworldly figures who generate terror and awe. Since the psychotic world is an invisible play of consciousness, just like non-psychotic plays, voices are heard, but no personas are ever seen. There are no visual hallucinations in schizophrenia. Visual hallucinations come exclusively from toxic states, tumors, drugs, seizures, or incomplete morning. There is another tragic feature of schizophrenia – The Humpty-Dumpty factor. Once the self and the plays are fractured, they cannot fully be put back together again.

In manic-depression, the central feature is that limbic feeling cannot be contained by the ruptured play. It spins out of control without limits. Manic flights of feeling are likewise not to be romanticized. A patient in a real manic psychosis can be quite humorous in his early mood-elevated phases. It can even feel ebullient. It is contagious and manic people make us laugh. It, however, always escalates out of control. In its final and inevitable form, shows itself to be a terror/rage state. At that point it is almost indistinguishable from a catatonic state.

None of the psychoses operates as stand-alone states. They each reflect damaged characterological plays. The various bizarre plays of otherworldly characters and terror/rage feelings are in the potential cortical imagination of all of us. This is recognizable in the broad appeal of the genre of horror moves. In psychosis, the play that is believed is a horror movie, with its built-in characteristic horrific imagery and horrific feeling.

Unlike all the rest of psychiatric problems, from the disruptive element in schizophrenia and manic-depression, there can be an appropriate usage of Thorazine and lithium. When used judiciously, they can help keep the horrendous terror at bay. And I have found that when useful, there is a tradeoff and a downside that often is worth it. But drugs are not the treatment for schizophrenia and manic-depression. They do not treat the human problem. The real issue is the human story. And this is what needs to be treated, just like all the rest of our character issues. (Please see the appendix to my book – “Do No Harm: The Destructive History of Pharmaceutical Psychiatry and its Bedfellows – Electro Shock, Insulin Shock, and Lobotomies.”)

There are a number of remarkable stories where people overcome and manage their schizophrenia and live wonderful, difficult, and productive lives. Unfortunately, they are the exception. In today’s world, it is our moral obligation to treat people who really need it, and so many are ignored. This will require a renewed effort to understand the complex issues of living a life that has some damage, but is no less valuable. We must take care of people who cannot help themselves; people who are isolated; to provide what cannot be done independently; and to have places of refuge where people can go to periodically heal, and come back out again for a productive life. There are a number of places out there that struggle to provide this environment, but nowhere near enough. For a full human life we do not need a medical model, but a human one.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. I believe that many students of psychiatry were drawn to the profession due to an certain affinity arising out of various personal experiences in life. Since the vast majority of people have very little comprehension of severe psychiatric disorders, their only concept is informed by popular notions of what it is. Therefore, when more recent times, when people enter into formal education and entry into the clinic setting, they are shocked and disoriented to find that they will not be practicing psychoanalysis on their schizophrenia patients (and treating their talk therapy on split personalities and patients damaged by their bad mothers). And those who entered the profession before the advent of psychotropic medications would not have their deeply rooted notions of mental illness dashed and subjugated to the influx of new science. Those people are still clinging to those beliefs and many of them populate the ranks of researchers. Their incapacity to accept modern science is holding back research and contributing to the pervasive misconceptions that still have a stranglehold on the public. It is that ignorance that is preventing the legal professions from treating victims of medical illness (i.e. mental illness) with enlightened justice. We putting people on trial to explore whether they “knew right from wrong”, we are putting people on trial and making it almost wholly impossbile for the insanity defense to be employed (again, because of pervasive misunderstanding and its attendant hostilities), the mental health community is obsessed with stigma and distances itself from those who comit crimes due to their illness because of the public rage (again, born from ignorance).

    Those who cling, who still believe in environmental causality (maternal fault), despite the fact that the vast majority of the inhabitants on this planet who have had atrocious parenting – and parents, do not suffer from psychosis, are demonstrating that they are not processing the world around them logically. They ignore so many realities that clash with their intractable beliefs.

    The brain can malfunction or not function in such ways that permit logical, reality-based thought processing (within certain reasonable ranges – permitting broad personality differences in the human race) just like other organ and biological systems of the human body. Why is it so extremely difficult to accept that the brain is engineered to a degree of complexity (far beyond our current ability to understand scientifically) that something in that complexity of thought generation, processing, and auditing can go awry in serious ways? Do we blame bad mothering for diabetes or cancer? No, although some minds are predisposed to interpreting in certain ways that might even cause them to place such blame. Epigenetics is just another theory that believers in environmental root cause have expored and promoted to keep clinging tightly to environmental root cause theories.

    Backward beliefs keep the public ignorant and as long as there is ignorance, people will never see the need to make war on psychotic illness like they have made war on cancer, and diabetes, and heart disease. Only enlightenment will dispel stigma. When people are educated out of this morass of discredited theories, they will see the need to provide supported housing and the complex – and expensive – infrastructure that will finally get the mentally ill out of prisons and off death row. This is serious!

    Open the mind and stop clinging to discredited theories. Lives are being destroyed as we cling. Better, less harmful, more effective medications are desperately needed to help those who suffer!

    • I am wondering what theories you feel have credit? My son’s ‘psychosis’ responded well to an Open Dialogue approach and he came through the experience after 2 weeks, with only a few benzos to help him relax and get back on his sleep schedule. His ‘psychotic’ experiences did seem related to his life and stressors, although I realize not everyone with stress become ‘psychotic.’ I have worked in the mental health field for years and realize that the use of neuroleptics, while they do control psychotic experiences rather quickly, come with serious short term, medium term and long term side effects…including brain shrinkage…Whatever psychosis is, shouldn’t we at least agree to look for less damaging treatments? I have known so many people, in addition to my son more recently, who have had full and continuing recoveries from psychosis and are not on meds..but, they also have not talked much about it either because of the stigma…

      I agree however that prisons are usually horrible places to be and the death penalty is barbaric and uncivilized…

    • FaceOfChange, I believe that you are the one who’s clinging to discredited theories. As Dr. Phil Hickey has stated, extreme problems with thinking, emotions, and behavior are not “illnesses.” There is absolutely no evidence to support your notion that so-called psychotic “illnesses” are caused by some sort of brain deficit. Such ideas are remnants of last century thinking. I suggest this TEDx talk by psychiatrist Jim van Os to help you start getting your thinking up to date. Dr. van Os explains why psychosis is not an illness.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE3gxX5CiW0

      • There is no such reality in which the bio/neur -chemical/pathophysiological or hereditary construct of consciousness disorders has been discredited. Therefore, it is not possible for me to be clinging to discredited theories. Although mental illness makes the subject person acutely sensitive to stress as the disease onsets and thereafter, stress, trauma, and bad parenting does not cause psychosis. So what would be the explanation for a human being who obeys a voice command to throw themselves in front of a train, or dismember someone, or gouge their own eyes out, or throw their child off a bridge claiming to have been commanded to do so by God. What else but a severely disordered brain can explain someone who believes that a pro-sports team who refuses to offer them a contract out of jealousy for their skills is having their home bugged and is following them to kill them, how is it not a disorder of thought processing to stalk someone – or kill someone to get their attention? Verbalizing as hemorrhage of thought(i.e “talking to oneself”)…is that not unusual behavior? Please offer an explanation for these bizarre behaviors. Please do. That said, science will move forward probing into how the brain generates and processes thoughts and feelings. Researchers will move forward and not be held back by those who have cognitive incapacities to comprehend psychosis as a disorder that is biologically based. The brain is so infinitely complex that any intelligent person should not dare think they understand how it works.

        • My, oh my, FaceOfChange! I can’t say for certain what has caused, in your words, your “verbalizing as hemorrhage of thought,” but I’m pretty sure your rant is not due to your possessing a “severely disordered brain.” More likely, you are expressing a natural human response to feeling vexed. I believe this natural human mechanism explains much of what gets labeled psychotic “illness.”

          Of course, I cannot begin to explain the behavior of the fictional loonies in your make-believe scenarios – people flinging children off of bridges and whatnot! Let’s deal in fact and reality, shall we? Take Leonard Roy Frank for example, who is presently being eulogized here on MIA. As a young man, his “bizarre” behavior got him psychiatrically incarcerated, where his bio-psychiatric brain-blaming “doctors” forced him to endure dozens of electro-shock and insulin coma “treatments” to fix his “severely disordered” brain. How misguided! How barbaric!

          Dr. Eleanor Longden is another interesting real-life example. She was so severely tormented by voices that she tried to drill a hole in her head to get the voices out. You can hear the short version of her story here in her brilliant TED talk.
          http://www.ted.com/talks/eleanor_longden_the_voices_in_my_head?language=en
          There is, and was, nothing wrong with Dr. Longden’s brain even though she experienced a life-and-death struggle with her mind.

          And what about the curious case of Anders Breivik? Can you explain what caused him to shoot to death 69 young people in a summer camp after killing 8 other people with a bomb?
          http://world.time.com/2012/06/20/as-breiviks-trial-nears-its-end-psychiatry-takes-a-beating/
          Not even the court-appointed psychiatric so-called “experts” could agree if he was insane or not. Are you more of an expert than the professional “experts?” If you are, please offer an explanation for Anders Breivik’s behavior. Please do.

          Bio-psychiatry is a joke, and bio-psychiatric reductionist explanations (a.k.a. brain blaming) for “abnormal” behavior is so last century. Please get with the times. Please do.

      • I hate to disagree with you, but there is an overwhelming body of solid evidence which proves psychosis is absolutely an illness of the brain. Psychosis is not an extreme problem with thinking or with feelings and behavior. It transcends those things. Extreme problems can be solved with non-medical treatment. Mental illness is a medical issue.

        • There is not a shred of evidence which “proves” that the extreme state known as psychosis is caused by an illness of the brain. If you have overwhelming evidence, how about sharing a citation? And of course, there are no medical tests for ANY mental “illness.” That’s because mental “illness” is not a medical issue. The mind cannot have a disease any more than society can have a disease. Concepts like “mental illness” and “social ills” are metaphorical. Of course the psycho pharmaceutical industry would like everyone to BELIEVE that mental “illness” is a medical issue. However, the need for that industry to continue to profit is not a compelling reason to believe their propaganda.

    • Face of Change,

      I agree with Suzanne, and those within the psychiatric community itself, who have confessed that the bio bio bio psychiatrists have been practicing “mindless” psychiatry. Your claims that environmental causality can have nothing to do with what presents as symptoms of “mental illness” is quite a myopic viewpoint.

      But I do agree, “Better, less harmful, more effective medicines are desperately needed.” Especially since it’s now known the current antidepressants and ADHD drugs can CAUSE the “bipolar” symptoms, and the bipolar cocktails can CAUSE the “schizophrenia” systems. And I’m just heartbroken by the million plus little children who had the ADRs of the antidepressants and ADHD drugs misdiagnosed, according to the DSM-IV-TR, as “bipolar.” This US psychiatric misdiagnosis fest is absolutely iatrogenic harm on an almost unfathomable scale.

      • To be fair, many more in the psychiatric community believe wholeheartedly in the bio component of mental illness. As flesh and blood human beings, nothing that we do or think is separate from our physical makeup. If we alter any part of the anatomy of the brain, there is a corresponding change in us. We cannot lift a finger without a complex interchange of the flow of electric pulses brought on by chemical changes within the biology of neuronal tissue. We cannot think a thought outside these physical mini-processes within the structure of our brains. Anything that goes wrong or that is out-of-whack, to the slightest degree, impacts our humanity in terms of our emotions, cognition, etc.

    • If your conception (or psycyhiatry’s) of psychosis is credible, how do you explain the fact that schizophrenia-diagnosed residents of developing countries (like Columbia, Brazil, India) do dramatically better in terms of long-term outcomes than those who receive all the best of Western medical technology? Or that Open Dialog, which uses antipsychotics extremely conservatively and focuses primarily on a family/community intervention, has the highest success rate of any known treatment approach, by an order of magnitude? Or that schizophrenia is more common in immigrant populations and racial minorities and in urban settings?

      I do agree with one point – research is showing that providing housing and food and meaningful work are much more important than insisting someone “take their meds.” Unfortunately, that’s the exact opposite message from what most people diagnosed in America today get. They are told they have a lifetime illness, that they should give up on their aspirations and resign themselves to living on disability, that they will be unable to work or otherwise have a normal life and won’t be able to survive without constant psychiatric support. And at the same time, we consign them to lives of poverty and don’t even provide the minimum support for survival.

      And as for the “bad mothering” argument, the association between psychosis and early childhood abuse and neglect is quite robust, 10 or 20 times stronger than the most optimistic genetic correlation currently percolating around. The fact that most abused children don’t develop psychosis by no means should leave parents and society off the hook. As an analogy, if two people are hit by a car in the leg at the same angle and the same speed, and one of them breaks his leg and the other one does not, we don’t blame the guy with the broken leg for having weak bones. We know the car caused the damage, but each person’s body is different and responded differently to the harm. Psychological injury is very real and can cause any of the manifestations we call “mental illness.” It’s pretty disingenuous to suggest that war is not a cause of PTSD because only a minority of soldiers develop it. It wouldn’t have happened without the war, the war was traumatic, so the war is a cause. Maybe not the only one, but you really can’t say that everyone who doesn’t respond to our social system the way our society wants them to has a disease of the brain.

      —- Steve

      • Contemplating the psychological effects of abuse can be limited by cultural exposure. We in the west have very little comprehension of the abuses and stresses endured by children in certain other cultures. The vast majority of those children are not afflicted by psychosis. Also, what is the explanation for well-defined patterns of family history-over multiple generations- of pychosis? I suggest that anosognosia, the inability to comprehend that one is mentally ill is not just a disorder present in some people with clinic level mental disturbance. I observe that it is on a spectrum, where people who are considered to be free of mental illness have some incapicity to comprehend, and are thus, resistent to notions of biological root cause.

    • Face Of Change is an interesting name for someone regurgitating the same psychiatric pseudoscience that has been oppressing our true understanding of “altered states and mental conditions” for decades. How is it that the World Health Organization’s comparative study of mental health recovery in developing nations versus industrialized nations proved definitively that a major indicator for NOT recovering from mental illness was living in an industrialized country where the “medical model”, (drug therapy), is practiced. I mean no disrespect by this post. I believe that you are passionate about your beliefs and sincerely concerned about the welfare of psychiatric patients. My opinion stems from a very personal place. Watching my brilliant, empathetic, altruistic and schizophrenic Father (who spent a lifetime on neuroleptics) decline into dementia, a scientifically known contraindication of long-term use of neuroleptics. My Father’s life was not improved by drugs. He was debilitated not only by drugs but the stigma attached to the label. This has been my personal and professional experience. I spent years working with mental health clients who were drugged into oblivion, for their own good of course, what folly! I have become fervent advocate of approaching these conditions in the most human way, with compassion and respect, not labels and destructive chemicals, both of which “steal” lives. Pity and pills only further dehumanize and humiliate. Hope, humanity and help, which programs like Open Dialogue provide and perhaps modeling what happens in developing countries – a humanistic approach that often doesn’t include “chemicals”. I am not adverse to chemicals if they are used responsibly with discretion and in conjunction with other therapies. I will never in this lifetime “reduce” another human being, simply, to neurological malfunction. We’re more complex than that, in my opinion. In closing another important, documented fact: despite the proliferation of psychiatric drugs and diagnoses, mental illness rates are steadily increasing in the western world. What accounts for this if the “medical model” is actually working? Maybe if we approach these issues in a multi-faceted way instead of using the one dimensional medical modality: DRUGS, we might have greater success. You spoke many times of “enlightenment” and “science”. May I suggest you pick up Robert Whitaker’s book Anatomy of an Epidemic, you’ll enjoy it. It’s packed with research, science and enlightenment.

    • This nick FaceOfChange has read too much of people such as Torrey, DJ Jaffe, and perhaps also Allen Frances. They are a political force driving for more forced control of behaviour with neuroleptic injections, etc.

      “Backward beliefs keep the public ignorant and as long as there is ignorance, people will never see the need to make war on psychotic illness like they have made war on cancer, and diabetes, and heart disease. Only enlightenment will dispel stigma. When people are educated out of this morass of discredited theories, they will see the need to provide supported housing and the complex – and expensive – infrastructure that will finally get the mentally ill out of prisons and off death row. This is serious!”

      In this piece, the “complex – and expensive – infrastructure” means legislations to force-inject neuroleptics to “suspect” people.

      • That is, Torrey, DJ Jaffe, and perhaps also Allen Frances, are machinating towards more “freedoms” to forcefully drug people. The “argument” they try to use about prisons and them needing homes, it’s often just a thing to try to collect people to support their cause. Their cause is to support more liberal forced-drugging of people, and so on.

  2. Ah yes, the old argumentum ad populum. If so many parents are narcissistic, lazy, violent, and ignorant, then they can’t possibly be called abusive or be held accountable for destroying their children’s minds. I can’t believe you would publicly embarrass yourself with such an absurd argument. If you are a parent, I’m very frightened for your children. Thank goodness you aren’t my mom or dad.

  3. Robert

    You wrote: “There is another tragic feature of schizophrenia – The Humpty-Dumpty factor. Once the self and the plays are fractured, they cannot fully be put back together again.”

    I have a quick question: “How can you possibly know that?
    The answer is you cannot predict how deeply a fellow human being may heal.

    *Many* people have fully recovered from the diagnosis of so-called “schizophrenia” (whatever that is):

    Here are several who refused to believe they were “Humpty Dumpties”:

    https://discoverandrecover.wordpress.com/recovery-success/

    How sad that some people never recover because they believe the bizarre and hopeless prognoses of shrinks.

    Duane

    • Also, your comment about ‘manic-depressive’ being a more (scientifically) accurate term than ‘bipolar’ was rich. I’m white. I would never suggest that ‘negro’ was a better term than black, with an explanation of the negroid race was more accurate; because nobody has truly black skin.

      Why? Because individuals and groups have a right to choose the terms *they* feel best describe them; not others, who are not members of that group, especially those who have historically faced discrimination.

      I give up on psychiatrists. Really, I have no desire to change hearts and minds in your profession. I just want to see you all replaced.

      That’s all. Replaced.

      Duane

    • Just like Duane, I am very unpleasantly surprised by Dr Berezin’s claim that “once the self and the plays are fractured, they cannot fully be put back together again” and that it is a “tragic feature of schizophrenia”.

      I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in September 2012, after more than a month spent (involuntarily) at a psychiatric hospital. My story has been published on this website. I have not taken any neuroleptics or other psychiatric drugs since 15th November 2012, but the “voices” never returned. And today I am much more peaceful, serene, relaxed and resilient than before my episode of hearing voices. I have overcome various fears I had before that episode. I feel really free.

      I still work as a university lecturer – I write articles, I teach students, I present papers at international conferences. No one at work knows about my diagnosis, and therefore no one at work has been trying to make things easier for me and support me because of what I have experienced.

      Let me also add that I have had no professional psychological support of any kind. And unlike many women who have returned to health after one or more psychotic episodes, I cannot count on the support of a husband or partner. I just have to be strong and tough, and I feel that it is good for me: if I viewed myself as “the fragile and vulnerable woman with mental health issues” and in need of being constantly supported and reassured by her psychotherapist and by other people, maybe I would never return to health.

      Moreover, thanks to the many weeks I spent in very difficult conditions in a public psychiatric hospital in Poland with mostly working-class people, I now feel completely at ease with people from all kinds of backgrounds, including young working-class males who once made me feel shy and tense. We all shared the same experiences and fears in the hospital. I do not look at people in the same way since that time, and I fully understand the dangers of labelling.

      There is nothing “tragic” about my experiences. On the contrary, I emerged as a far stronger, more resilient, more open-minded, wiser, and simply more fully human person from this life-changing episode. And I certainly don’t view myself as in some sense “damaged” by this episode and by the stay in the psychiatric hospital.

  4. Tragic mistakes made by even well meaning psychiatrists :
    Not understanding the numerous ways psychiatry impedes the return to equilibrium. Read here at MIA.
    No guts , always ready to inject or prescribe into others without the even slightest inclination in all their years of study and practice to inject into themselves the same stuff even once to really see and feel a small iota of what they are doing to others . Not to speak of even , one electric shock treatment without anesthetic. Despicable , cowardly, and a baffling lack of empathy combined with an aversion to scientific inquiry.
    So utterly unlike a medic on the battlefield who risks all to save his wounded comrades.
    Yes there are those who you may say are like” Humpty Dumpty” never to be put back together again in just the same way (Like me now, new and improved). Remember the lyric Bob Dylan wrote in his youth ” he not busy being born is busy dying” ? It’s from his song ” It’s Alright, Ma ( I’m Only Bleeding)
    Psychiatry is a main reason more people are still suffering from what could have been temporary distress.
    Also the tragic mind block not allowing enough humbleness and respect to surface to ask survivors if they themselves have retrieved anything of value for other’s , from their harrowing odyssey’s through distress and psychiatry .
    This reply just went on tilt.
    Like Duane said ,” That’s all, Replaced.”

    Anti Psychiatry will set you free and we need medical freedom and to fight together against coercion in it’s many guises.

  5. I could not agree more with what Fred said, “Psychiatry is a main reason more people are still suffering from what could have been temporary distress.” For me, the episode of hearing voices was just temporary distress because I completely rejected the terrifying label imposed on me by psychiatrists and very soon decided to come off neuroleptics – without any help from anyone. Sadly, most people diagnosed with schizophrenia really believe that they are severely mentally ill and trust psychiatrists. The diagnosis literally destroys their lives and self-esteem. It is really a pity that the Inquiry into the “Schizophrenia” Label (http://www.schizophreniainquiry.org/; Philip Thomas, who is a blogger on this website, is a member of its co-ordinating group) has not yet published its report (I was awaiting it impatiently).