Hey; Don’t Just Shoot the Messenger!

Hugh Middleton, MD
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Global leaders in the critical psychiatry movement met on 18 Sep 2015 for a one-day conference to address an urgent public health issue: the iatrogenic harm caused by the over-prescription of psychiatric medications.  The event was recorded and can be viewed on this blog, or on the Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry’s YouTube channel.

We are also editing the talks into shorter videos and these will be made available in the next few days. The speakers’ slides from the event can also be downloaded here.

The conference took place at the University of Roehampton, just outside central London. I was there. It was packed and energetic. Main speakers included Robert Whitaker, Peter Gøtszche, James Davies, Peter Breggin and John Abraham. We were treated to an expert review of the ways in which the widespread use of harmful and barely (if at all) helpful medicines has become the mainstay of psychiatry’s contribution to society.

MiA readers wanting to know more about the Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry can find their way to the website through these links, watch a recording of the conference or download the slides. The conclusions are compelling and they were warmly received by an enthusiastic audience. Were medicines of such dubious value and so obvious a set of adverse effects being used in any other field, their use would be much more tightly regulated, but as we all know that is not how it is. Why is that?

At gatherings such as this, when people discover I am a psychiatrist I often become a lightening rod for their anger and frustration, and I imagine others in a similar situation have had the same experience. It’s okay; it comes with the job, but a couple of things happened at Roehampton on September 18th which reminded me why this can happen, and why all of this is so much more complicated than the simple black-and-white “Pharma and psychiatry bad, everyone else good.”

The first was what happened when one of the audience interrupted a speaker and clearly had more on their mind than the programme could accommodate at that time. The interruption wasn’t welcomed and indeed a threat of forcible removal was made. That didn’t happen and the situation was calmed but there were a few heated moments. The second was a comment from the floor about the adverse effects of antidepressant and antipsychotic medication. The person in question recounted considerable, predictable and prolonged difficulties with adverse effects, dependency and difficulties with withdrawal. When asked “How did you come to be started on them in the first place?” the answer was of course, “The doctor prescribed them.” When asked “Why did you go to the doctor?” the answer was “I was having difficulty sleeping in the course of a some difficult personal circumstances.”

Working as a psychiatrist exposes me to people who want medication as much as it does to those who don’t. We can question why and how those who want medication have come to that position, but it is commonly difficult to shift and the result is frequently a prescription with the advice “OK. If you want to find out whether meds can help, try this and see how you get on.” Hardly expert knowledge or advice, but when it happens, most usually it is a response to a situation that would otherwise result in a request for another opinion and another doctor providing the prescription instead. Many of the distressing stories we heard at Roehampton were of people who had tried one antidepressant after another in the hope of relief … where was the belief that somehow, somewhere there is a pill that can safely and reliably relieve their distress coming from? What was the person who went to the doctor because they were distressed by difficult circumstances actually looking for? They were having difficulty sleeping. The doctor might have prescribed a benzodiazepine sleeping pill, but we are all quite rightly very wary of benzodiazepines, and an SSRI is the more commonly used alternative. This is not because there is confidence it will work, but because that is all the doctor can do under such circumstances, and a prescription is frequently received as a symbolic token of concern and acknowledgment of the recipient’s difficulties.

As a result it often brings-short term relief, and then the cycle repeats. I am sure practitioners reading this will recognise the cycle and the deeper and deeper holes they and their clientele can get into as it goes round and round, but what starts it? Why did that person go to the doctor when they were distressed by difficult circumstances? What were they actually looking for? Could it have been found somewhere else, and if so where? How can our institutions mark and respond to the fact that someone might have become overwhelmed and incapacitated by life’s challenges without having to identify them as “ill”?

It is not just pressure to prescribe from patients or clients that psychiatrists have to field. We are all familiar with situations in which a very distressed, disturbed or confused person is a source of concern to others. As I have mentioned on these pages before I am sure I have signed more papers authorising the detention of someone because others wanted me to, than I have because I’ve been firmly convinced that would be the right thing to do … and if I don’t respect others’ legitimate concerns I am at risk of professional censure. There are critical psychiatrists out there who have been disciplined for not detaining people when others think that should have happened, and of course detaining someone almost always also means medicating them. Put very bluntly, a lot of psychiatric prescriptions are issued (not only to detained patients) because a negotiation has been conducted between the prescriber, the patient and the patient’s associates resulting in “agreement” that the patient should take something to quieten them down. The dynamics of such negotiations are fascinating and often very compelling expressions of social control.

The gathering at Roehampton on September 18th was nothing if it wasn’t one of people keen to see a different way of responding to personal distress and confusion than the current, widespread use of harmful mind-numbing medicines. As a result it was fascinating to see how difficult even a gathering such as that found an episode of social disruption. All credit to the organisers and the frustrated person at the heart of it for settling things down, but there were tense moments which have to remind us how powerful expectations of accepted social order can be. It isn’t nice, but very often psychiatrists find themselves powerless conduits of such forces, and understanding what they do and why has to include a recognition of this. We have been drugging and incarcerating inconvenient people for centuries and although this must change, wider expectations remain and they are deeply embedded in our understanding of how an ordered society should conduct itself. Of course we have to shout as loudly as we can in criticism of those who cynically exploit the opportunities this provides, but we also have to address the core issues themselves.

Doctors, per se do not have a monopoly on a remedy for understandable personal distress, and expecting them to provide it gets no one anywhere. Wider recognition of this might stimulate the development of alternatives.

There is a limit to how much variation an ordered society can accommodate … those limits could and quite possibly should be much wider, but infinitely wide would be unrealistic and unworkable. Relationship, cooperation and collaboration depend upon a degree of mutual conformity. Not everyone can conform all the time. Drugging and incarceration aren’t ideal solutions. Humane and relational approaches have to be more widely developed but the need for some way of responding effectively when one person’s difficulties disturbs the many is unlikely to go away. Obviously there are those who think that what they do is appropriate and justified, but I would venture that many psychiatrists actually do what they do more often because they feel themselves to be powerless servants of wider social pressures, and would dearly like to be able to do it differently.

* * * * *

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Hugh,
    Hopefully you have on on your metaphorical kevlar body armor given the likelihood of strong responses to some of these points.

    First, here are my personal-opinion answers to your series of questions about the problem-seek-medication cycle:

    What starts it (the cycle of ineffective drugging)? Real life problems, the myth of a chemical cure, the false belief that psychiatrists are real doctors and medications effective treatments.

    Why did that person go to the doctor when they were distressed by difficult circumstances? Because they wanted emotional help, or lacked the awareness of alternative resources, or wanted to numb their problems, etc.

    What were they actually looking for? Depends on so many factors, usually emotional help/support or a way to avoid the problem.

    Could it have been found somewhere else, and if so where? Yes, in non-psychiatric therapists, friends, family, etc. Psychiatrists have nothing unique to offer except for pills which usually cause long-term harm.

    How can our institutions mark and respond to the fact that someone might have become overwhelmed and incapacitated by life’s challenges without having to identify them as “ill”? Stop identifying them as ill, DUH. What is so hard about understanding that? Stop diagnosing people. Psychiatrists have no reliable nor valid diagnoses, nor will they ever. Life problems cannot be turned into illnesses nor medicated away.

    Other points:
    – “Drugging and incarceration aren’t ideal solutions.” – This must be the psychiatric understatement of the century by Middleton. Nor are these truly solutions to anything, except for temporarily getting rid of unwanted people.

    – Regarding “as many people seeking pills as not seeking pills”, that sounds doubtful to me. Did this guy keep a running record? Anyway, it must be true that many seek pills, and if so that reflects to me, 1) The desire for easy, quick solutions that is too common in our technological fast-paced culture, 2) The lies and misrepresentations commonly made by psychiatrists at the bidding of their corporate owners about the efficacy of neuroleptics and about the fact that that supposedly “treat” real “diseases.”

    It’s hard to talk with many psychiatrists because their use of language doesn’t reflect the real life problems people have. Some are better, but they tend not to think or act under the “disease” model and they tend to work in outpatient settings.

    Until psychiatrists can abandon false diagnoses and dangerous drugging, i.e. stop being psychiatrists, the best option for people in severe emotional pain is to avoid psychiatrists and seek help elsewhere.

    • The ones who actively seek do so because they truly (and erroneously) believe in medicine and efficacy.

      For the people who have had success and good experiences, I don’t ever want to discount those people. We know they’re out there, we know they exist. But they cannot be allowed to shield or cover up, or distract from, the reality of the endless and abundant atrocities.

      These two opposing realities must be kept in perspective, at all times.

      • I agree with this; as much as I disdain most psychiatrists and their methods, I try to keep in mind that there are some good ones, although mostly these do not take diagnoses seriously and do not use medication heavily. And yes some people have been helped by short-term drugging, and even a few by long-term, although I haven’t talked to many of them.

  2. Finally comes some common sense. As an individual who has received help from every end of the spectrum (medical, spritirual, alternative, peer support) I appreciate the idea of accountability on the part of the psychiatric “survivor.” Individuals who act surprised that they have short/long term side effects from psychiatric medication are the same sorts of folks who sue cigarette companies because “no one told me specifically” that it can cause lung cancer. What is surprising that a quick fix (a pill to get rid of an emotion?) would come with consequences? While we may not be ill, absolving ourselves of responsibility on this level could make us look a bit incompetent.

    • Individuals who act surprised that they have short/long term side effects from psychiatric medication are the same sorts of folks who sue cigarette companies because “no one told me specifically” that it can cause lung cancer.

      No. People get surprised by the short and long term effects of psychiatric drugs because they are usually told by physicians that the drugs are safe and effective. Often they are also told (as I was) that they have a chemical imbalance and MUST take psych drugs for life. Like portions of this article, your comment is an attempt to put the responsibility for the crimes of psychiatry onto its victims.

          • I kind of agree with both of you – I think it is dangerous that so many Americans trust their doctors (in all specialties, not just in psychiatry) to know things and give them good information, when the evidence of the whole field being sold out to Big Pharma is so substantial. At the same time, it’s not reasonable to expect the average consumer of medical care to be educated and assertive enough to deny the pronouncements of doctors, who in many ways are the holy priesthood of our society. For a lot of people, questioning doctors is akin to questioning the entire underpinnings of everything they believe about life in the USA – if doctors are on the take, what does it mean? Whom can I trust? Where do I go for advice? It feels very unsafe and insecure.

            So by all means, let’s encourage everyone to educate themselves, but that does not absolve doctors from blame when they intentionally lie to their patients or don’t bother to inform themselves about key aspects of their own profession. We don’t expect everyone to know how to fix their car or install new plumbing fixtures – we expect mechanics and plumbers to be experts in their field and if they don’t know their jobs, we appropriately blame them for ripping us off. Why should doctors have any lower expectation? In fact, shouldn’t they be expected to be even MORE responsible and careful in what they say, based on the amount of trust people are putting in them?

            That many docs and most psychiatrists don’t set that expectation does not mean those who listen to them are any less victimized. We should stand to fight oppression, and the first step is self-education, but those who are not educated are still being harmed, and it is 100% the doctor’s responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen.

            —- Steve

    • I agree with uprising. I went to my PCP as a mandated follow up to orthopedic surgery, was lied to about the safety of drugs I ended up being prescribed, but did NOT go in requesting. It took many appointments to finally get a physical therapy referral, which I felt was the better approach. I wanted to be off all the drugs almost immediately, since none of them helped with the “bad fix.” I kept requesting to be taken off the drugs, and I rarely took the “as needed” one. My PCP then denies the common ADRs and withdrawal symptoms were adverse effects of the drugs. And then comes the gaslighting by psychiatrists. The whole medical care system is a racket, particularly once the psychiatrists get involved.

  3. Wow, not quite sure how best to respond here. I guess my first reaction is that a psychiatrist’s or medical doctor’s first duty is to inform their patient of the truth, even if it’s hard to hear. So if someone comes seeking a pill to make things all better, the first response should be, “I need to be totally honest – there is no pill that can fix your situation.” Handing out pills because patients demand them is just plain irresponsible. You’re the doctor – you get to decide what you prescribe.

    When I was briefly involved in the horrible job of deciding whether or not someone was to be held against his/her will in a psychiatric ward, I ran into a guy who was clearly asking for antidepressants. His friend insisted that there was no reason for his depression, that it was one of those “biochemical depressions” and that he needed drugs. I told the guy the honest truth: that there was no drug that would make him feel better tonight, that he’d most likely have to try out two or three or more and that it took weeks to see if it helped or not, and that it would not address any underlying issues that might be causing the depression. He looked increasingly distressed by the information I gave him, so I decided to ask him why he was depressed. I found out he had broken up with his girlfriend a few weeks back! And he thought it was all his fault! I ended up conducting an impromptu therapy session in the ER and ran him back to a time he was hiding from his dad behind his bed, knowing that his dad was going to ask him what he did wrong and would belt him if he didn’t have an answer, even though he had no idea what his dad was upset about. The guy felt MUCH better after only 15-20 minutes of conversation and was very excited where he could get more of that kind of help. He was a perfect therapy client who really WANTED to know what was going on, but had been duped by social messages and his “helpful” friend into thinking a pill was what he needed.

    Just because the person is asking for drugs doesn’t mean s/he wants drugs. It usually means s/he wants hope of improvement and has been told that drugs are the answer. And certainly, the friends or family members who are asking us to drug the patient have their own agendas and should not be considered decision-makers in any sense at all.

    I appreciate Hugh’s honest description of how these events occur, and I agree 100% that the doctor is often trying to appease a patient or his/her friends and family, or even protect him/herself from social and professional consequences. But the fact that this occurs speaks volumes about the moral bankruptcy of the psychiatric profession, as well as their almost complete lack of skill in understanding and handling human beings in states of distress. As the example above shows, most people want real help, not band-aids or symptom suppression. They’d love it if there were a magic pill to make everything all better, but we do them a huge disservice by pretending such a pill exists or ever will exist. They are best served when we assist them in learning that they have within them the capacity to find a path forward, and that we are there to assist them in finding the path that works best for them.

    Psychiatry provides little besides temporary symptom suppression (in some cases) and empty promises (in the vast majority of cases). If psychiatrists started with the unvarnished truth about the risks and limitations of their “magic bullets,” most people who come seeking drugs will start to realize that drugs in themselves are not the answer. It is psychiatry’s ethical duty to get them that message, whatever the patients may have heard on the Zoloft ads, but I see very few doctors honest enough to admit that they don’t have the answers or to empower the client to seek real solutions that transcend momentary numbing of the “symptoms” of life being a rough go.

    —- Steve

    • Very well said Steve.

      …..Imagine a world where pscyhiatrists used their knowledge of psych drugs to educate, protect and prevent clients from believing erroneous myths that have been circulated about the effectiveness of psych drugs. Imagine psychiatrists sitting down with their patient and talking through all the issues and problems with the drugs – I bet many people would decide to wait and try other methods first……..

      • Which is why most psychiatrists don’t do that. As BPD says below, it takes away their market advantage. Plus it warps their brains too much to think they might actually be harming their clients in some if not most cases.

        BTW, I have no objection to them talking about what psych drugs might be useful for – I remember a lady who was totally incoherent due to meth use, and they gave her a shot of Inapsine (a fast-acting antipsychotic), and in 20 minutes, I could talk rationally to her. Very useful! But only for the acute situation in order to be able to have the necessary conversation about what happened and why and what her options were to deal with it. Having her take Inapsine every day to prevent her from getting high or psychotic when she took Meth (the Methadone model) would be rank stupidity.

        A little honesty would go a long way, but it would mean a total repositioning of psych drugs and psychiatrists as an adjunct intervention in short-term emergency situations rather than something that 20% of the society supposedly needs based on the warped concept that their brains don’t work properly!

        —- Steve

  4. Steve,

    Good story about this patient.

    I think it is too much to expect most psychiatrists to tell clients the truth about psychiatric drugs: that these drugs often lead to worse long term outcomes, that the evidence for their efficacy in controlling symptoms is minimal, that the side effects can be truly dangerous, and that they don’t address in any way the cause of one’s problems.

    Psychiatrists’ reluctance to be fully honest is understandable, because admitting these things would amount to psychiatrists’ devaluing that only thing that separates them from other mental health professionals and (falsely) qualifies them as doctors: the ability to prescribe psychoactive drugs. Over time such honesty would threaten psychiatrists’ ability to earn high incomes and live comfortable lives. Money and status are more important to most psychiatrists than their clients’ wellbeing. You have to judge people by their actions or lack thereof.

    In my opinion, this article might be renamed, “Don’t Visit the Messenger”. I.e. Don’t visit psychiatrists if you want effective help.

  5. I remember when you confessed to being a psychiatrist; I looked to see if there was literally a target painted on your chest hah. It’s incredible to me that anyone can in good conscience apply the philosophy of buyer beware when it comes to the the practice of medicine and specifically psychiatry. We’re talking about the ability to take someone’s life both physically and psychologically. Patients are not the same as consumers. Given the current state of health care we often don’t have much of a choice which provider we solicit. Many doctors are either completely misinformed or simply not informed altogether about what they are prescribing, not only due to negligence but because of the deliberate dissemination of misinformation. I was neither informed that Ativan was a psychiatric medication nor was my doctor aware that it can cause a discontinuation syndrome that lasts for years. Then, of course when you do try to question the authority of the all mighty pill you are labeled as a patient of psychiatry and therefore any concerns you have, no matter how legitimate, are categorized as symptoms of a frenzied mind and a person who is not fully capable of rational thought. This is why I did a video on gaslighting.

  6. “First do no harm…”

    I sure as heck did not have access to the internet 20 years ago when I first encountered psychiatry…where was I suppose to do all this research, anyways?

    Not to mention how much emotional pain and turmoil I was going thru…’

    Screw that ‘blame yourself’ crap.

    The pharmacists I dealt with over the years gave me waaaaay more information than any of the docs…

  7. I agree with so many of the points made. A truth is that often doctors will resort to prescribing medication becasue of a lack of time, or willingness to spend time looking into the causes of emotional distress. Sometimes the patients does want something to take away the pain without having the eomtional willingness to delve into ditressing issues. Often patients have been brainwashed to beieve in “chemical imbalances”
    Given all that, what would people recommend that a doctor due in these circumstances: A patient comes to the office saying “I think I have depression”. The doctor tries to explore the issues that may be distressing the patient. The patient indicates that he doesn’t want to talk, he just wants a pill. The doctor attempts to inform the patient about the truth about medication, but the patient is still insistant. The doctor tells the patient that the so-called anti-depressants are actually just numb emotions, and have lots of side effects and can impair actually getting better, but the patient still wants a prescription. What do you, as the doctor, do?

  8. The panel discussion on solutions was interesting. I really agreed with the fellow who was emphasizing ways of guaranteeing informed consent and with the views that nutrition, inflammation, gut problems, etc. are often incorrectly ignored.

    There is one thing that most of the panelists seem to agree upon that I don’t understand AT ALL. Maybe someone can explain it to me. Paraphrasing…:

    “Instead of identifying problem within people, within their brains, characterized in the form of illnesses, we should identify their problems and look to the outside world and the way they responded to the outside world, to come up with human solutions.”

    “The idea that a group of experts can accurately categorize the nature of someone’s experience and decide upon an intervention is a mistake.”

    “Outcomes are determined by the real life problems people have, adversity, discrimination, poverty, abuse…”

    “Clinical psychology still [incorrectly] locates blame within the individual. There is an element of [incorrectly] locating the problem within the mind or the head of the individual.”

    “We adopted a false philosophy of being, for instance that depression is abnormal.”

    “It is nonsense to say that the problems are located within the individual mind.”

    Now, isn’t it obvious that all the above stuff is wrong from, for instance, the example of a person with “combat PTSD?” Such a person goes to a traumatizing environment (War), returns, but has enduring difficulties in their original supportive civilian environment. After returning, they still have problems, but it’s obviously not an environmental problem. There must, therefore, remain a problem within the individual (even if it’s not biological). Furthermore, isn’t it obvious that most or all people with “combat PTSD” basically have the same problem. It is not a separate problem for each person with a separate traumatizing experience.

    I’m also sure about the case of depression (since I had it and having known quite a few depressed people). Depressed people, similarly, do have a real problem that is quite dysfunctional and is not at all just a natural response to environmental situations. Furthermore I believe that most if not all “depressed” people do have the same specific psychological problem.

    I’m not prepared to argue that, for instance, ADHD is a real thing, but I am quite sure that PTSD and depression are real problems located within individuals. This does not, of course imply that I think that these problems are biological or should be treated with drugs.

    What do I know anyway? Am I missing something here?

    • Hi, I hope you don’t mind my replying to your comment. I’m not on the professional side of the equation and it seems like your questions are directed more toward that audience, so to speak. But I can’t resist, so here it goes.

      Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is better understood, in my own mind, as Disordered Hyperactive Attention. I personally think the word deficit is misleading.

      We live in an environment that forces us to split our attention in many ways (hyper-attention or hyper-active attention). This is easily proven by the fact that most of us who use computers rarely ever have just one tab open in our browsers. I currently have 5 tabs open in one browser, with no other computer program running besides the internet. Some other people totally blow somebody like me away: having TWO monitors, multiple browsers (each loaded with tabs) and other computer programs running in addition to web-browsers.

      And that’s just the computer / internet. We also have cell phones very nearby (loaded with apps and programs) and other things going on, all at once.

      To me, this ADHD thing is mostly attributable to the reality of our world as IT has rapidly changed in the past couple of decades.

      See, TV has drastically evolved since the 80’s. Look at where it’s at now. We went from cable TV to extremely advanced, interactive technology (for example, X1 Entertainment Operating System). A little known fact is that OUR MINDS went through tremendous transformation as television evolved (and especially when the internet arrived).

      To note, this is also the same cause of climate change (electricity and telecommunications).

      The matter of electromagnetic toxicity should be a multi-discipline top priority in this world, but it almost never factors in.

      As for PTSD, damage is damage. Take somebody who has been in a war zone and put them in one of the most luxurious places on earth and they’re certainly going to bring the damage with them. It isn’t a problem with the individual. It’s like losing a limb: it doesn’t grow back. So when somebody has been through catastrophic trauma and shock, some things will not be recovered and will not be healed. The person is permanently changed, altered, transfigured (disfigured). We are forced, by the nature of survival, to endure the damage. Peace is the greatest hope.

      Depression: I personally see depression as one of the least understood human experiences of life. I’ve always felt that there’s something there, begging to evolve.

    • Saul,

      I’ll try to argue some points with you:

      1) PTSD and depression are not discrete illnesses. They are generalized labels for a variety of subjective experiences that can occur to different degrees and be caused by many different external and a few internal causes. So saying they’re real things located inside individuals is misleading. They’re not the same reliable thing.

      To take PTSD, the supposed symptoms of PTSD could be caused by being constantly terrified of being shot by al Qaeda gunman outside your base, getting imprisoned as a hostage by ISIS then getting ransomed by your host nation, stepping on a roadside bomb and losing your leg, having to shoot a woman who was wearing a suicide belt, the isolation and loneliness at being away from your family and home for a long time, criticism and bullying from one’s fellow soldiers and superiors, sexual assault by a fellow soldier, and on and on. How each individual responds to these experiences will also vary based on their history, how much relational support of various kinds they have, how good was their parenting, how secure or resistant to stress are they in various ways, etc. Not the same thing in each person.

      2) Your point about PTSD and the environment is somewhat of a fallacy in my opinion. The problem (in a given individual) is environmental, but it’s the past traumatic environment affecting the mind of a person in a present non-traumatic via memory and learned ways of relating.

      Memory and the internalization of traumatic experiences can be carried with an individual through time and through different geographic locations. For example, people who are called “personality disordered” or “schizophrenic” usually are severely neglected and abused by parents or peers, in some way, as children or young adults.

      By a reductionist logic, if you move the person out of that environment and to a different location, they should just forget about it and get better. But that’s not how the mind works… personality is built via remembered experiences of relationships and comforting or traumatic incidents. If someone is terrified or treated badly and doesn’t get a chance to resolve the trauma and put it in perspective within the context of a new safe relationship, it will continue to haunt them even in a new environment where it “shouldn’t” haunt them.

      I think your point about PTSD or depression being “things” located “within individuals” is correct but perhaps not in the sense you think. What I believe happens in these cases is mostly that people have traumatic experiences, or experience deficits of needed environmental or relational support, and then their mind carries with them the memories and effects of these traumas and deficits. So yes in a sense they are carrying with them a set of memories, a template/schema, an internal model of reality that causes them to have difficulty adapting to or fitting in with the new environment that may be non-traumatic or supportive of their needs.

      But it’s not really “the same thing” across a population who are labeled depressed or PTSD or whatever. Each case is individual. People come to traumatic experiences with different levels of strength/weaknesses, and the trauma and the way it is experienced in each case is unique. It’s the same thing with “depression”. There is a reason that the reliability of depression is so low in DSM field trials. It’s because it sucks as a diagnosis; i.e. doctors cannot usually agree on who has the fabrication or doesn’t have it.

  9. I’d like to thank those who worked on and spoke truth in this conference, it’s a discussion of facts hidden for way too long. I was glad to see a discussion on the problems with the pharmaceutical approval processes worldwide. I loved Peter Gotzsche’s straight forward truth telling. Discussions of the fraud behind the DSM “bible” were an important inclusion. And truly, a discussion of the massive iatrogenesis problem in the world today, especially in regards to the mockery that is the psychiatric industry, is sorely needed. Thank you to all involved.

  10. In this video Mr. Whitaker is talking about creating a healthy society. This grabs my attention. http://youtu.be/RaZb_KVPd80 (he beings speaking at 16:27)

    The Preamble of the Constitution of the United States is one of the most excellent pieces of writing I’ve ever read. There is no greater leading, guiding, governing principal. This is awesome and perfect,

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    In America, we don’t have tranquility. We have a wide variety of tranquilizers. In America, the vast majority of people think welfare means government dependency (food stamps, cash payments, housing). Welfare means well-being. In America, justice rarely ever factors in as one of people’s greatest needs. We depend on state appointed attorneys and we get what we pay for. State appointed attorneys are paid by the state and they don’t bite the hand that feeds. Those of us with experience know that justice in America is an illusion, and true justice is out of reach.

    The people of the United States of America have failed to live up to the Preamble of the Constitution, citizen and government alike.

    Mr. Whitaker says it’s the responsibility of society – “social obligation” – but there is a HUGE problem with that.

    Look at the view counts on that video: 61 views.

    I’ve made this case before. I watch to see where the mind of the masses is. They’re in oblivion. There’s no united majority, in a nation with over 320 million people, who put social concern and service to humanity as their primary focus in life.

    I see humanity as being in a constant, perpetual state of crisis matched by a constant, perpetual state of ignorance (ignoring it, not responding).

    The opposite of ignorance is acknowledgement (recognition, realization). But to realize something makes it more real, while ignoring it keeps it some sort of suppressed / repressed / oppressed.

    In the past decade (at least) people have been SCREAMING at each other to “wake up”. Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!

    There are those who are awake (conscious, consciously aware) and those who are asleep (unconscious, semi-conscious). Spiritual people talk about humanity’s great awakening (which can be an incredibly turbulent process). We have a lot of unpleasant things to wake up to (a terribly troubled world full of overwhelm, powerlessness, helplessness and hopelessness). So what do we do? Tune out, distract, forget.

    We are a MASSIVE body of life (over 320 million Americans and over 7 billion people, worldwide). I truly believe that most people cannot grasp what it means to be so incredibly massive. We need unity in order to make changes but it is quite very difficult to unite a massive, complex, diverse body of life.

    We’re fractured, split and disassembled. Who can bring about a great assembly in order to cause a cultural, societal shift in which we finally decide to take care of ourselves and each other? Instead of always believing that somebody else is going to do the work and somebody else is going to come up with the solution.

    I’m inexplicably exhausted and tired. It’s so bad that I’m constantly looking for another word because “tired” just does not convey. The thing of it is, I know that this condition of being so brutally tired is far greater than myself. In other words, I’m not nearly the only one. So what do we do when we’re tired and aimless and directionless and overwhelmed and habituated (to a sick society), and on and on and on and on and on. Endlessness.

    Is THIS the sort of “societal discussion” you’re calling for? Remember, we’re massive and fractured, and it depends on UNITY to make change. We’re really not all the same. Mr. Whitaker says he’s not religious. He’s got a lot of company, a lot of people aren’t. We’re not all liberal, we’re not all conservatives, we’re not all spiritual, we’re not all religious, we’re not all political, we’re not all academic, we’re not all honest, we’re not all good people, we’re not all heart-centered, we’re not all willing, we’re not united.

    We are the Un-united States of America.

    See?