Psychiatry: Worth Keeping If “Slowed Down”?

Ron Unger, LCSW
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The faults of modern psychiatry are numerous and profound, and many readers here know firsthand about its destructive force.  But are these faults so vast that there is nothing worth saving?

Bonnie Burstow has suggested that facts lead to “the inescapable conclusion that psychiatry has no foundation and should be phased out”  Elsewhere she has written about “psychiatry’s utter invalidity” and suggested that reform cannot work, as it will be inevitably coopted.

Philip Hickey has also supported an “anti” psychiatry perspective, suggesting that psychiatry is now “so rotten and flawed that anti is the only appropriate stance consistent with human decency.”

I am sympathetic to these arguments, but I am also concerned they may be too extreme to be practical in a world that could still benefit from a medical specialty focused on mental and emotional problems.

Of course, I don’t mean at all to say that mental and emotional problems are typically “medical” in nature, as I believe they more commonly are simply reactions to difficult events or environments, which can in turn be worked through with some human understanding and non-medical assistance.

But I would propose there are three legitimate roles for a medical profession specializing in issues related to the mind and behavior:

First, even for conditions with causes unrelated to anything medical, it may still be helpful to have a medical intervention at some point to cope with the difficulties.  For example, a manic episode, with severe loss of sleep, may not be due to specifically “biological” causes, but it still may be helpful to have a medical person who can recommend appropriate drugs to moderate the episode before more disasters ensue.  (It is true that a general practitioner might also propose particular drugs, but it seems reasonable that we have medical specialists who can give more expert advice around such issues.)

Second, even though most mental and emotional problems may be primarily caused by social and psychological factors, others may have a specific medical cause.  So there is a possible place for medical specialists who would be skilled at identifying these kinds of cases so people can get appropriate help.   And even when the primary cause of a problem may be non-medical, it is still possible that medical factors may be contributing to vulnerability or to making the problem worse, and so there is a possible place for medical people with expertise in identifying such factors and proposing helpful interventions.

Third, even when mental and emotional conditions have non-medical causes, those conditions can lead to medical problems, and this chain of events is a legitimate area of medical concern.  It appears for example that adverse childhood events frequently lead to mental and emotional reactions that then lead not just to “mental health” problems later in life, but also to physiological reactions that then lead to much higher rates of physical illness.  Medical specialists with understanding of these dynamics could be helpful in better addressing some of these serious health issues.

[Edit added later:  As madmom suggested in the comments, a fourth role could be to support people in efforts to wean off of psychiatric drugs.]

So, that’s three [four] arguments for continuing to have a medical specialty focused on “mental health” – but it’s really not an argument in support of modern psychiatry which actually does a very poor job of addressing these three areas of concern, due sometimes to over-reach, and sometimes to neglect.

The over-reach is most glaring.  Instead of carefully exploring individual problems, being open to the possibility of medical causes but also to psychological and social ones, and keeping in mind that many problems might best be solved without medical interventions, mainstream psychiatrists prefer to quickly assign people to categories or labels, assume based on the label that it must be a biological illness, and then rush to prescribe drugs with little attention to risks, possible long term problems, or possible alternatives.

On the neglect side, there is often a failure to carefully look for objectively identifiable physical health conditions that might truly contribute to vulnerability, or nutritional factors, or problems with intestinal bacteria that may contribute to inflammation, etc.  Physical health problems caused by mental and emotional issues, and those caused by the drugs provided for treatment, are also commonly neglected.

In fact, the problems with modern, mainstream psychiatry are so vast that one might argue we would be better off just eliminating it as a profession, and then creating an entirely new medical specialty that would do things differently.  Others might argue that simply reforming the profession would be more doable.  I won’t take a position on that:  I am just asserting both that we do need medical expertise in the field of mental health, and it needs to be very different from what we have now.

One psychiatrist who has put a lot of thought into what sort of medical approach might be truly helpful is Sandra Steingard.

She has proposed that a better psychiatry would be “slower” (kind of like the “slow food” movement.)

This “slowness” might show up in a number of ways:

  • Slower to be sure one knows what is wrong with someone, wanting to know the person as a complex individual, not just a category
  • Slower to assume that a situation is an emergency and requires any kind of force
  • Slower to propose drugs as a solution
  • Slower to be sure drugs will help, instead proposing that they will create a “drugged state” that may help or may not
    • Or that may seem to help for a bit and then make things worse
  • Slower and taking more time in explaining possible risks, and in proposing possible alternatives.

A psychiatrist practicing in this way would come across as much more humble, but also wiser.

It’s interesting that “jumping to conclusions” is a trait commonly identified as contributing to psychosis, yet is also so prominent in the practice of mainstream psychiatry.  So slowing down may be helpful, not just for the patient, but also for the physician.

Are you curious to hear more about how a “slower psychiatry” would work?  Sandra Steingard will be speaking at the next ISPS-US online meeting/webinar on Monday, 5/23/16, 4:30 PM EDT.  A small donation is requested, but there is also an option to sign up for free.  I hope some of you show up to hear about and discuss this important topic!  Here’s the link for more information and to register.

171 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, I’m first. Okay, you’re basically making an argument that medical problems which may cause concomitant emotional distress should be treated by doctors. That’s pretty much what anti-psychiatry people have always said. So I don’t know if or where you disagree.

    If one relies on M.D.’s for their medical care and chooses to do so, there is no reason for a separate field of “psychiatry,” which is based on the claim that there can be “mental” diseases, which more and more people are starting to realize is impossible. No such ideology is necessary to prescribe an occasional sleeping pill, or help someone detox from drugs originally prescribed by psychiatrists, etc. And no medical degree is required for regular old counseling.

    There can no more be “mental health” than there can be “mental illness.” Psychiatry, by embracing the concept of “mental illness,” has proven itself to be illegitimate and useless to its “consumers,” and should gracefully bow out of the game.

  2. Hi Ron,

    Given that ignorant and greedy people primarily control the institutions regulating psychiatry and have no motivation toward real change, my opinion is that rather than worrying about reforming the system, whenever possible people should vote with their feet by discontinuing drugs, rejecting diagnoses, not seeing psychiatrists, and exiting the system whenever possible if already involved, as well as helping others to do so. I know it is not easy to leave the system, to stop believing in diagnosis, or to taper off drugs, but people do have choices.

    And we cannot expect disease model psychiatrists to stop invalidly diagnosing and harmfully drugging, just like we cannot expect drug cartels to stop exporting heroin, lions to stop hunting antelope, or serial killers to stop murdering. It is what these people do: the financial and social-control motivation is far too strong to expect real change.

    I see this post as largely a rationalization for preserving aspects of the existing system that primarily profits psychiatrists. We need to recognize that Big Pharma companies and leading psychiatrists operate as legalized criminal cartels, as Peter Gotzsche writes about, with Big Pharma as the suppliers and psychiatrists as the distributors. Viewing it that way is not “extreme”, in my opinion; but simply objective.

    I think the first problem here is the following: “a medical specialty focused on mental and emotional problems.”

    A medical specialty focused on mental and emotional problems” is rather like a trash-removal company focused on skyscraper building, or a pet food company focused on home swimming pool refurbishment. Who would hire such a company? Why would such a company even focus on something unrelated to its expertise?

    This is a contradiction. Such a specialty would not be medical, i.e. related to processes primarily originating from or caused by physical factors, but would instead have to be relational and focused on the impact of environmental, person-to-person, setting-to-person social factors.

    Sure, some doctors could help with medical conditions related to emotional distress, but doctors already do that anyway. Why call that psychiatry?

    When you say, “even for conditions with causes unrelated to anything medical” – it is interesting you choose to use the words “even for”, as if such conditions were not so common. On the contrary, no supposed problem named in the DSM that I’m aware of has ever been proven to have a medical, biological, or genetic cause. Can anyone name one?

    Regarding, “modern psychiatry which actually does a very poor job of addressing these three areas of concern, due sometimes to over-reach, and sometimes to neglect.” I think the neglect part is correct, but the overreach part would be an understatement. This is a profession founded on ghost-like diagnoses fabricated out of nothing, which then creates drugs to treat these illusory conditions, and uses them over long time frames with no evidence of efficacy nor (often) adequate warning about the potential side effects. That is not overreach, it is fraud, and in some cases murder.

    Rather than eliminating the profession and then implanting something else, why does just eliminate it, period? There may not need to be a replacement.

    It is interesting that the 3 out of 5 points you suggest from Sandra relate to drugs. If anything, attempts to help people in crisis should have very little to do with drugs, maybe 5-10% of the effort should relate to drugs as a short-term optional palliative strategy which explicitly admits that the drugs are not given for any known medical disorder, but rather to damp down negative emotionals in general.

    The only reason drugs are being discussed continually is not because they are helpful or necessary for most troubled people (see the evidence in Whitaker’s Psychiatry Under the Influence, as well as Kirsch’s research, and Whitaker’s Timber article), but because they are profitable and without them psychiatrists and corporate leaders might lose their houses, cars, and prominent social positions. This is the real question here: To what degree should psychiatrists and drug companies lose their influence, power, and ability to profit off vulnerable people?

    My advice, which may or may not be right for any individual, but at a group level is almost certainly better than becoming involved in the system, would be: If you are not yet seeing an establishment psychiatrist, do not see one. If you have already become involved with the diagnose and drug system through such a psychiatrist, educate yourself about how to taper off safely and about resources for finding help from non-disease model therapists (or the few such psychiatrists) or support groups, and use these resources and self-education to extricate yourself from the system. For the few who do find more benefit from a psych drug than a placebo, face the truth that you are not using a medication that treats any disease, but simply dulling down your ability to feel your pain.

  3. Stop labeling and drugging people! The numbers have been going up for ages because “mental illness” (and the treatment thereof) is an industry. The numbers keep going up because in order to sell “treatment”, you have to have “mental disorder”, and so selling “treatment” involves selling “disease”.

    There were never more than 21 or so people in Bedlam until the move, that coincided with the launch of the Trade in Lunacy among the well-to-do, from Bishopsgate to Moorefields around 1676 or thereabouts, and that for all of Great Britain. Now you’ve got thousands upon thousands of people who think themselves loony-tunes. Quite some switch, huh?

    Stop selling “mental disorder” and its treatment (mainly psych-drugs), and you reverse the damage. Duh! Slowing down the business? As you are not getting people out of the business, probably not such a great idea. Quit selling “mental illness” and its treatment, and then maybe you are getting somewhere. This artificial invalid business has wasted way too many lives as is. Let’s end it, and with this end, end the sheer waste.

    • Forced psychiatry is not worth keeping. Forced psychiatry is a crime against the human species. Imprisoning, torturing, poisoning, and even killing people, and calling it “mental health” treatment, slow or fast, is not the kind of thing we need to be doing to people. When all treatment is voluntary, and not voluntary in the sense of a plea bargain, you can get back to me on this matter. I’ve done plenty of “hospital time”, and I’m thankful not to be still doing it. Imprisoning people, and calling it medicine, stop that, and then you can say whatever you want to about whatever it is you’re doing. I still don’t think “slow” psychiatry is nearly as effective as no psychiatry, but then that’s my opinion on the subject.

  4. “Good,” psychiatrtrists tend not to drug, or use few drugs, tend not to lock people up, see diagnosis as irrelevent or only as a start of a long conversation, do not use ECT.

    Apart from the fact that a few good psychiatrists offer limited drugs for a few people there is little difference between what they do and what therapists, counsellors and other workers do.

    Even if you want to keep psychiatrists they should not dominate the care of the mentally distressed.

      • Real doctors. The increasingly irresponsible GP’s writing prescriptions for antidepressants, sleeping pills, and a little Valium or zanax?? The drugs they prescribed causing the sickness or withdrawal that then lands them in the shrink’s office? What kind of “real” doctors??
        “Need” psychiatry? No.
        “Need”
        In addition, need, as Peter Gotszche said, to get rid of 98% of the psych drugs being prescribed….

        • The increasingly irresponsible GP’s writing prescriptions for antidepressants, sleeping pills, and a little Valium or zanax??

          You definitely have a point there. I was making a hypothetical point anyway, mostly related to the theme of “slowing down.”

  5. Ron

    Whats suggested in this article regarding drug moderation is what a lot of doctors would maintain happens – but in practice, medications can generally be used without responsibility.

    Do you think it’s possible for most people to get better without drugs?

  6. Ron, I believe that you forgot to mention a possible fourth reason to save the profession of psychiatry: to help people safely wean off harmful psychiatric medication when this is warranted.

    Psychiatrists could play an educational role by teaching people the best, most judicious use of psychiatric medication and to warn people about the side effects, while monitoring patients closely and reporting meticulously adverse events. I believe that delaying putting people on medication and having a built in ‘exit plant’ written into any treatment could also recycle some good out of the profession.

    The risks and side effects usually outweigh the advantages of staying on a psychiatric medication for life; this is what the data shows but we need to profession to become more honest on this point and retool their profession accordingly. I think medical training would be a good preparation for these roles but they would have to change the training to become ‘slow medicine’ practitioners, lower their expectation of monetary gain and change their billing practices and accept a lower status and level of authority, such as in court cases.

    • There certainly needs to be some kind of prescriber capable of helping people taper off psychiatric drugs, but why would anyone want psychiatrists to be responsible for this? Not only are they the cause of the problem of psychiatric drug dependency, but most of them seem to be willfully oblivious to its existence.

        • That’s true. I consider it psychiatry-by-proxy and it wouldn’t have happened if psychiatry hadn’t used its pseudo-medical theories to give these drugs a false veneer of legitimacy as “medicines.”

          I don’t think this damage can be undone unless psychiatry is thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the public and abolished as a medical specialty. Primary care doctors could atone for their part in all this by learning tapering protocols and taking responsibility for the proper care of the people they have made dependent on psych drugs. Surely that’s not too much to expect, considering all the damage they have done.

          • “That’s true. I consider it psychiatry-by-proxy and it wouldn’t have happened if psychiatry hadn’t used its pseudo-medical theories to give these drugs a false veneer of legitimacy as “medicines”

            Yep…my primary care doc can quote DSM diagnoses to me, and once suggested I try a certain drug being trialed by one of her psychiatrist colleagues. I accepted the pack and went and researched it and was able to present the facts…it had been refused approval in the US as it caused liver failure and hadn’t be shown efficacious, and there had been reported deaths in Europe. I handed back the unopened box of pills along with the printouts of the research. Next visit I was informed that no longer were any patients at the practice taking those meds.

            Shrinkology in its current form needs to be totally and absolutely discredited as it has become so pervasive in medical practice, in law, and in broader society.

            Any gentler approach would take generations, and pharmaceutical companies would find ways to corrupt medicine and medical science – it is too lucrative a field for them to leave fallow.

            I think people LIKE to believe in easy solutions to life’s unanswerables and so will always be vulnerable to the quick fix these guys seem to offer.

            Psychiatry is far more dangerous than snake oil of the past, because it is backed by money, influence and power.

            It needs to be totally obliterated, and a completely separate field set up to deal with the misery and addiction it has foisted on innocents all over the world.

          • reforming psychiatry or replacing it with a wiser medical specialty

            Ron unless I missed it this is the first I noticed you use the qualifier “or replacing it with a wiser medical specialty.” That’s a very significant difference. I could agree with the latter for the specific purposes you mentioned depending on how it played out in practice and, of course, if it was voluntary.

          • You’re not getting it. Psychiatry is not a medical specialty, it is a medical fraud. You can reform something that has a valid foundation and is being misapplied; you cannot reform something that is built on false premises from the start.

          • we are more likely to succeed in persuading the public and policy makers if we can show we have a better approach that covers all the bases

            We are the public. Again, you don’t need to convince anyone of anything other than to leave you alone. If you go to the government asking them to help you with your emotional problems you should expect to get burned; that’s common sense.

          • I hear your contention that psychiatry as a whole is necessarily built on fraud: I just disagree with you.

            Fine, but without providing rational arguments for your disagreement it’s not much of a dialogue.

            Providing examples of individual psychiatrists who are more beneficial than most is beside the point, also known as the exception that proves the rule. The foundations of psychiatry were in place long before Dr. Steingard.

            there’s no need to follow such beliefs or anything fraudulent in order to be a psychiatrist

            Actually there is. Technically at least it is fraudulent use a legitimate medical degree to falsely represent oneself as engaging in a medical practice treating imaginary diseases.

          • you seem to be stuck in believing that all psychiatrists believe or propose that they are always treating diseases

            If they don’t believe they are treating diseases or medical conditions then the fraud would constitute presenting themselves as psychiatrists, i.e. doctors who purport to treat pathologies of the mind.

            The recurrent error here is: pointing to individuals who are sometimes helpful, often by virtue of disregarding the precepts and standards of their profession, does not demonstrate that it is the profession that has been helpful, but the iconoclastic individual who has bucked the profession.

          • Ron, probably on the order of 1 or 2% of psychiatrists publicly admit that DSM diagnoses are fraudulent, as well as that psych drugs do not treat actual known diseases. A larger but still small minority believes these things but would not admit it for fear of exposure, humiliation or job loss. And most psychiatrists are deluded into believing the diagnosis and drugging koolaid. From reading resaerch by John Read I believe that number is around 90% of psychiatrists; a very large majority at least, that believe in the reality of serious diagnoses like major depression or schizophrenia being biological illnesses requiring drugs. It’s gonna be hard as hell to change that given the symbiotic relationship they have with the corporations. These psychiatrists are like drug addicts in a way; they need to cling to and infuse themselves with the lies about diagnoses and drugs to keep practicing their profession as profitably and guiltlessly as they do.

          • that will be more effective than just condemning everyone

            Isn’t this what they call a “straw man” argument around here? I didn’t “condemn” anyone much less everyone, as I am talking about systems and mentalities here, not individuals.

  7. Slower psychiatry appears to be a good compromise, as the main problems are associated with treating rather than curing as with other medical professions.

    You have to label a sad person who can’t work medically depressed in order for them to get government money.

    This is also a practical solution because there are people who have been affected by abuse or war so severely that a competent medical professional with experience has the best position to offer compassion.

    In the end the goal should be equipping the healers with the best tools to protect the sick, not do harm.

    The oath goes first do no harm, so never do a surgery unless it will save a life.

  8. Well, I have to say, this was not an argument for maintaining a limited role for psychiatry, because in my experience, psychiatry generally does absolutely none of the things you mention. Because they believe that “mental illnesses” are biological and can be “diagnosed” by behavioral checklists, they never bother to look for any actual physiological causes that might exist, like lack of sleep, low iron, thyroid problems (low or high), side effects of other drugs, nutritional deficiencies, etc. Nor do they bother to ask about psychosocial causes in most cases. A recent study of kids in residential treatment centers showed that over 80% readily disclosed childhood abuse or trauma to the total strangers who interviewed them, but something like 20% actually had this identified in their files. This suggests that in at least 60% of the cases, they didn’t bother to ask the kids about their history, or if they did, didn’t consider childhood traumatization to be relevant enough to write in the chart!

    The profession is corrupt from top to bottom. While there are some “good psychiatrists” out there, I don’t see how the profession will ever garner the humility to admit it has misled us and choose another path. Perhaps a new specialty, starting from scratch, might be able to work OK, but we’ll have to do a ton of damage control on the huge mass of mythological misinformation the profession and its Big Pharma allies have already unleashed upon the public.

    • Steve,
      No they are not going to change; there is no real motivation to do so. Moreover, people like Dr. Steingard who are honest and self-examining are rare in the psychiatric field. Most people in the field tend to be narcissistic, close-minded, controlling, and uncomfortable with explanations that don’t fit their preconceived way of labeling and explaining disturbing behaviors. This is a field that attracts such people, given how simplistic and coercive it is. It is, as Gotszsche charged, a field with much in common with organized crime rings: Psychiatry is in fact a legalized criminal cartel, when it comes down to it.

      Although the comparison may be upsetting to those who like to think of themselves (perhaps unrealistically) as “balanced” and “moderate”, I cannot help saying again that expecting most psychiatrists to voluntarily stop overdrugging and invalidy diagnosing is like expecting a pathological liar to stop lying, a serial con man to stop swindling, a crack dealer to stop importing coke, etc. It won’t happen without a huge input of energy in each case. These people have no other training and they are making a lot of money using these invalid diagnoses and unevidenced drugs. Why would they stop?

      Ron’s article is basically wishful thinking and needs to be exposed as such.

  9. We really don’t need psychiatry as a “medical ” specialty at this point. They are hanging on by their toenails but how to eliminate a field that is so connected to big pharma and that has such a huge lobby with legislators who get their pain meds and other meds from them? The problem is how to do this? If someone is in psychotic crisis and we don’t have available respite or place for them to begin to heal then what is to be done? Who do you go to when your insurance will only cover you if you go to a psychiatrist and accept a diagnosis? You have to have answers and resources and then psychiatry can be a field that will wither away…..

    • For the insurance question, many outpatient therapists and even some psychiatrists will collude with a client to give them some arbitrary label that they don’t even fit the criteria for in order to get insurance coverage. For example, my therapist and psychiatrist used to label me variously “dysthymic disorder”, “adjustment disorder”, “generalized anxiety”, “panic disorder”, even if I didn’t have these particular problems at the time. We would laugh about it because we were using whatever would get the system to pay. That is what you do; just do whatever it takes to take advantage of the existing system.

      On the other hand in hospitals and for people who cannot access professionals who see through the DSM’s smoke and mirrors, these labels are a real problem, especially if there is a requirement to take drugs. There is no easy answer to that in some cases. Whenever there are family or friends who can offer support, the person should attempt to leave the system. If not, there may not be any easy answers at all.

      • For someone in psychotic crisis, if the episode is acute, the chances are still better not sending them to a psych hospital and not getting on drugs. Otherwise the process of patientification and zombification begins and will likely turn an acute episode into a life as a “chronic schizophrenic”.

        So the answer would be for family or friends to educate themselves and try to help their loved one without going to a doctor who knows next to nothing about psychosis.

        For those without friends and family, most of them end up in prison or on the street and that is something we should be ashamed of as a nation. More money is needed to care for these people; and not only more money but more money focusing on psychosocial intervention not drugging. Without that nothing will change.

  10. You have to label a sad person who can’t work medically depressed in order for them to get government money.

    Who do you go to when your insurance will only cover you if you go to a psychiatrist and accept a diagnosis?

    How are these considered to be arguments in favor of psychiatry?

  11. I have bipolar I, but am finally med-free, and psychiatrist-free, thanks in part to reading this web site.

    What I would have liked to seen slowed down in my experience is the rush to medicate people in the mental hospital during a full blown manic/psychotic episode in order to minimize the cost / length of stay in the hospital. http://willhall.net/opendialogue/ — Open Dialogue in recent years, and John Weir Perry http://www.global-vision.org/papers/JWP.pdf decades ago showed that psychosis can be extinguished without prescription drugs. I would like to have tried meditation over medication when I was hospitalized two times, even if that meant a stay of four weeks rather than two.

    The amount of money on psychiatric visits and medication since I was hospitalized has probably been more than the extra cost associated with a longer hospital stay. If you are safe in a mental hospital, there would be no additional “disaster” taking place. At the very least it should be up to the patient whether to take meds in a mental hospital, or to be given an alternative longer stay without meds. I think it is unjust to present only one choice, which forces people to become hooked on psych drugs, which are difficult to quit and which your average psychiatrist will not advocate quitting, but instead staying on forever, when they are really just needed perhaps temporarily in cases like mine anyways, and as I mention in this post, most likely not needed at all.

      • “Mania” = lack of grounding. That can be remedied in so many natural ways, including with visuals as extremely effective and lifelong tools. It’s a matter of practice, then it becomes second nature.

        In Chinese Medicine, lack of grounding is often associated with an energetic kidney imbalance, which can cause the adrenal glands to misfire, which, in turn, can throw us into a state of agitation and panic. A brief series of acupuncture treatments and natural herbs which balance kidney energy can remedy this.

        Herbs are regenerative and need only be taken temporarily, because they raise the vibration of the physical body (whereas chemical drugs lower our frequency because they are unnatural). So there is no dependence, our bodies eventually mimic the herbs and generate what we need on its own. I had heard this in an herbal training I took, tried it, and it was exactly my experience. I went from psych drugs to herbs to nothing now, other than meditation and nature walks in order to stay grounded.

        There may still be personal issues to address after one finds their grounding, but that is sooo much easier to do when grounded, which automatically quiets the mind and soothes the body, including emotions. When we are grounded, we can also better manifest what we need and want with more ease, so the healing path becomes much clearer.

        Psychiatry complicates things to the point where they distort issues beyond recognition. Plus, I feel the premise of “psychology”, as a factor in our human condition, in general, is completely misguided and without practical focus, as per the education and training, which I have had, myself. I’d say the entire field is ‘ungrounded.’

        Chinese Medicine and natural healing, on the other hand, keep things streamlined, clear, and practical, which tremendously increases the effectiveness of any healing treatment.

        • Alex, as to “‘the premise of “psychology’, as a factor in our human condition, in general, is completely misguided.” Isn’t that because the psychologists are taught to believe in the DSM as well? That was my experience with the one psychologist I dealt with, and a friend who was a psychologist, both were firm believers in the DSM.

          And regarding, “chemical drugs lower our frequency because they are unnatural.” We’ve discussed in the past that once I was weaned off the drugs, I had a “frequency,” or seeming energy, that resulted in numerous people commenting that they could literally “feel the energy,” I felt it too, and I was even having problems with my cell phone and hotel key cards. And I had a pastor during my second drug withdrawal induced mania who told me “some people can’t pray in private.” And several strangers actually spoke to me about my manic thoughts, which shocked me, since I had no idea how they could know what was going on in my mind. Is it possible that, since the brain compensates for the drugs damage, that once one is weaned off the drugs, because the brain was changed, their “frequency” would be much greater than the average person’s “frequency”?

          “Psychiatry complicates things to the point where they distort issues beyond recognition.” So true.

          • Someone Else, re my comment about psychological framing of the human condition being misguided, what I mean by that is that whereas the mental health field centers around creating our stories as a result of our psychological make-up (“if this happened to you or if you did this or if you believe this, then you are more than likely this kind of person,” etc.–aka, stigma and false projections/conclusions), I think what that dismisses is our spiritual nature, which is inherently and universally one of high creative permission, at least that is my personal belief.

            This is who we truly are, in our process of constant change and evolution, and this does not seem to be on the radar in common psychotherapy, and certainly not in psychiatry, at least in my experience; the focus is on ’emotional symptoms’ based on a questionable psychology–that is, perspective. All that judgment and social values of a sick society applied to the detriment of a client’s spirit. To me, that leads to non-personhood, which is pure social trauma and spirit-wounding.

            My experience with psychology is that it is more about manipulation by figuring out what pushes a person’s buttons (either in a positive or negative way), and then there is this illusion of control over a person. I have found that, more often than not, our stories are heard through judgment, and our psychology is used against us, to “prove”–or attempt to prove–that something is ‘wrong’ with a person, rather than to use this information supportively, with compassion, and encouraging.

            I think that is so backasswards, and it screws people up terribly. That’s the gaslighting and double-binding about which we’ve often spoken. I think it’s common in the field to use a person’s psychology against them, rather than as a tool for healing. I believe this is abusive, extremely betraying of trust, and criminal because it is totally sabotaging to a person’s well-being.

            And yes, indeed, what you describe about change in frequency and how tapering from the drugs affect this, is pretty much my experience. We are vibration and what we ingest affects the frequency of that vibration. That is simple energy protocol.

            Chemical drugs lower our frequency because it creates blocks and resistance in our bodies, which in turn, causes our bodies to adapt to a forced and unnatural process. When we taper from the drugs, then our body is free to again find its natural rhythm, which is our natural frequency, so there is literally a ‘bouncing back’ process, which requires adjustments, including in our consciousness.

            So the higher frequency you’re describing after coming off the drugs is more akin to your natural frequency, which is suppressed on the drugs. When we feel that, which is intense, we realize that our bodies have to catch up, as they have been also compromised by the drugs, as well as many false beliefs we took on along the way.

            Change happens first, virtually, and then there is a physical process that occurs to match it, which is how we perceive the change on a physical level, which marks a passage of time.

            As all that shifts, changes, and heals, we become physically aligned with our true spirit nature, and this raises our frequency quite a bit, it can be overwhelming because is powerful, like waking up from a spiritual coma. The trick at this point is to focus on healing the body, to strengthen it in resilience so that it can follow that spirit frequency accordingly, and be in synch with it. Then, we are aligned with ourselves, mind body and spirit.

            That’s when we transform our reality and really feel our creative nature and power–that’s the intense feeling with which we suddenly become attuned when we come off the drugs. That’s exactly the path that unfolded for me, it was quite something, I could never have anticipated this amazing process.

            I’m sure some people have this feeling, simply from being raised well and encouraged and supported in their environments as they were developing, validated for who they were unto themselves, and not living for the approval of others. A good upbringing will teach kids that they have creative power and free will, otherwise we are stifling our kids. I learned it later in life, as the result of my healing.

            Really love what you bring up here, SE, thanks 🙂

  12. Ron, thanks for your thoughtful post. I do believe that there are good, empathetic psychiatrists, although this is not the popular opinion on this website. I used to think that it would be great if a regular doctor, not a psychiatrist, could see my son. I’ve since reconsidered my position. I’ll use my relative’s psychiatrist as an example to contrast her with our family doctor. She;s a psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst. They meet regularly to talk. For a long time. She used to be a heart specialist, but decided that she preferred the kind of work she does now. That’s a good sign that she’s interested in communicating with people who can be difficult to get through to. For the longest time, he needed someone to talk to outside the family. He had no friends. It’s difficult to retain old friends and make new friends when one is struggling to the extent he was. The family can only do so much. A paid “friend” is better than no friend at all. The family doctor, in contrast, has lots of other patients, and tends to see everything through the biological medical lens. He hasn’t got the time, the training, nor presumably the inclination to be a “friend” to someone who is not at all like his other patients and who needs don’t fit into a ten or twenty minute time slot. There is lots of negative things one can say about psychiatry the way it is practiced and reimbursed in mainstream medical care. I share with you the vision that there is a better way, like the “slow” movement is proposing.

    • She;s a psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst

      So already this is an atypical situation and I’ll bet a dime it was the psychoanalyst part, not the psychiatrist part that was the key here. Or more likely the person herself.

      At any rate, the fact that some individual psychiatrists manage to be helpful despite the limitations put on them by their profession does not constitute glowing praise for the profession itself.

  13. Hi Ron
    Sure I said the same thing on Dr Steingards article about slow psychiatry. The train must always be turned slowly. There seems to be some false belief in the community that psychiatrists can put a hair pin bend it the track and turn it quickly. False, a cocktail of drugs can so easily result in a train wreck. But when your making money out of train wrecks????

    I have areas I disagree significantly with Dr Steingard. But on this one, I think she is on to something.

    • I like your train wreck analogy, boans. When I was going through my drug withdrawal induced super sensitivity mania, I was reminded of the fact that the most common cause of death on both sides of my family was train wrecks. And I felt I’d survived the railroading, and was the little engine that could. 🙂

  14. My very strong impression is that “psychiatry,” in general, is not a human relations field. in fact, it’s quite the opposite, cold and academic. So how could it make sense that they would help people with emotional issues?

    Ethics and honesty aside, emotional imbalance and mental chaos due to trauma and patterns of chronic life stress require loving care to heal. Anyone with the capacity to hold a loving space of permission to see a process through to its completion/transition is a healer. It does not have to be from any particular field.

    But psychiatry, of all fields, is the last place I’d look, simply because, overall, it functions as controlling and forceful, rather than actually healing and personal growth-oriented. More than anything, it seems to keep people stuck in their issues and spiraling downward.

    My 2 cents.

    • I agree, Alex, love, compassion, and actually listening is the answer. Not force, coercion, and pretending people can be understood based upon whatever scientifically invalid label they were given. Really, the entire system should be scrapped, but it won’t be, since it’s so profitable, which is really a shame. “For the love of money is the root of all evil….”

      • “the entire system should be scrapped, but it won’t be, since it’s so profitable…”

        With so many options these days regarding good, effective healing, my hope is that people who DO perceive they have choices would learn about what *healing* really means, which, in essence, is to create positive change. When we lose the ability to create positive change–within our bodies, lives, and society–then we have cut ourselves off from our creative powers.

        Good healing guides us to improving our lot in life, from wherever we are, not getting stuck in a compromised life and health situation. Change and growth is natural, so when it is not occurring, we are doing something unnatural to block healing. My experience with psychiatry is that it blocks natural healing and keeps people dependent. Psych drugs and blatant stigma undermine our natural healing mechanisms, the first one is physically compromising and the latter is socially and professionally crippling–quite a bad combo, in fact, it’s horrific and insidiously tortuous.

        Good and true core healing can happen in so many ways, I do not see the need whatsoever for psychiatry. The failure rate is so high, and who has ever really and truly healed via psychiatry? I’ve heard people swear by their psych drugs, which is fine if they have found stability with that, but is this healing? I don’t think so. And there is so much good healing going on now, looking up healing on YouTube and google is always revealing about this. This would be a great social evolution, to integrate true healing into our social education and practices.

        • “Psych drugs and blatant stigma undermine our natural healing mechanisms, the first one is physically compromising and the latter is socially and professionally crippling–quite a bad combo, in fact, it’s horrific and insidiously tortuous.” I couldn’t agree more.

          “Change and growth is natural, so when it is not occurring, we are doing something unnatural to block healing.” And this doesn’t just block individual healing, society as a whole needs to embrace change and grow, so we may collective evolve into a better society. Psychiatrists, in general, want to prevent this, since currently they have been given way too much power in our current society.

          And we all know, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I’d say psychiatry is at the absolutely corrupt phase. So I do agree, “I do not see the need whatsoever for psychiatry.”

    • Also, I find that ‘psychiatry,’ overall, sorely lacks imagination and creativity, which I feel are vital in order to address these issues with any effectiveness and hopes for personal evolution.

      Although I very much like and appreciate Dr. Berezin’s work a great deal, specifically because it is creative and tells a human story, and is therefore open to support and navigate real growth, healing, and transformation, which, personally, I feel is the order of the day. This is where we find authentic and true change, at the core.

  15. Hi Ron, Here are a few other things that I feel should be considered regarding this issue:

    – Psychiatric drugs are only as good as placebos (so many studies point to this). It is not like psychiatrists understand the workings of the brain so precisely (the way diabetes is understood in terms of insulin deficits in the pancreas). Drug companies come up with these psychiatric drugs on a trial and error basis – so, snake oil or jellyfish juice may work equally well. The problem with all these drugs is their nasty side effects.

    – Don’t forget neuroplasticity – mind states bringing about structural changes in the brain. So, doctors may simply look at the structure of the brain and come up with medicines to treat (target) these abnormal structures. In reality these “abnormal” structures are reversible, as meditation interventions have shown – I can give references for this if needed.

    – I have observed that several psychiatrists have now gone into the field of mindfulness. Recently, I also came across a study published in the journal “neuroscience” where they investigated potential physiological markers of mindfulness meditation competence (as an objective assessment of mindfulness meditation quality – see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26850995). So perhaps, psychiatrists could also carry out these types of assessments to guide individual’s to mental health.

    – It is best not to conclude that dementia and Alzheimer’s are simply biological. Studies have shown that elevated default-mode activity of the brain is associated with amyloid plaque deposition (this is what defines Alzheimer’s). Elevated default-mode activity is also linked to rumination, worry and mental proliferation, etc. Studies have shown that mindfulness and all meditation practices significantly reduce rumination, worry, etc., thereby diminishing the activity of the default-mode network (I have listed some references that back these statements at the bottom of this post).

    Also, there are other studies that point to psychological causes of Alzheimer’s – for example, there is strong evidence that stress is linked to Alzheimer’s (see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26655068 ).

    The following references support what I wrote above (regarding the activity of the default mode network and Alzheimer’s):

    Brewer, J. A., Worhunsky, P. D., Gray, J. R., Tang, Y. Y., Weber, J., & Kober, H. (2011). Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(50), 20254-20259.

    Greicius, M. D., Srivastava, G., Reiss, A. L., & Menon, V. (2004). Default-mode network activity distinguishes Alzheimer’s disease from healthy aging: evidence from functional MRI. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101(13), 4637-4642.

    Wells, R. E., Yeh, G. Y., Kerr, C. E., Wolkin, J., Davis, R. B., Tan, Y., … & Press, D. (2013). Meditation’s impact on default mode network and hippocampus in mild cognitive impairment: a pilot study. Neuroscience letters,556, 15-19.

    Garrison, K. A., Zeffiro, T. A., Scheinost, D., Constable, R. T., & Brewer, J. A. (2015). Meditation leads to reduced default mode network activity beyond an active task. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 15(3), 712-720.

    Larouche, E., Hudon, C., & Goulet, S. (2015). Potential benefits of mindfulness-based interventions in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease: an interdisciplinary perspective. Behavioural brain research, 276, 199-212.

  16. Hi Ron,

    Thank you for this article, My hope is that psychiatry can transform itself and live up to this vision. Yet, I doubt it can given the current, profit before people economy that we seem to worship in this country.

    Question: Speaking of alternatives, has anyone tried BCAAs as a nutritional approach for help with what gets labelled “mania?” I have seen it work wonders within 6 hours of beginning the supplement, as described in the study below. Yet, (no surprise here given the relative lack of big profit potential), little follow up research has been conducted on this very promising nutritional “treatment.”

    Here is a study of BCAAs for mania:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12611783

    Also, meditation is really effective with almost all mental health problems. We need more research on this approach as well!

    Thanks again for this article and to all for the rich discussion!

  17. In various organs of our body (such as the heart, liver, spleen, etc.), it is extremely rare that various problems spring up due to biological/physiological abnormalities that happen to suddenly arise from nowhere. But as soon as people display “mental illness,” a biological/physiological problem in the organ brain is presumed to cause it. Psychiatrists completely ignore neuroplasticity/epigenetics – according to which the changes seen (biological/physiological problems) are a result of mind-states (mind-states resulting from various psychological/social causes). In other words, their “causation” interpretation goes completely the other way around!
    One sentence in this article illustrates this point. The sentence: “It appears for example that adverse childhood events frequently lead to mental and emotional reactions that then lead not just to “mental health” problems later in life, but also to physiological reactions that then lead to much higher rates of physical illness.” If someone keeps proliferating/ruminating/regretting about their childhood experiences, this itself can lead to physiological/physical health changes over time. But if one learns to be open to experience (for example, through meditation/mindfulness training – which is the best way to prevent rumination, etc.- see: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272735813001207 ), then I think one could potentially prevent these resulting physiological/physical complications from arising.

  18. Frank, I respectfully disagree that catatonia is a manufactured term by psychiatry. I have seen my daughter lie helpless with catatonia. It is a real condition, whatever the cause, it could be a side effect of psychiatric drugs, or a side effect of psychiatric drug withdrawal, it could due to a spiritual crisis, a trauma, a terrified mind in turmoil, it happen with or without the influence of drugs, I think there is a lot of speculation but no proof of etiology; no drug tests, no MRI’s etc. I think there are many causes but from a medical perspective if is left untreated, it can lead to death through starvation or thirst. Sure you can defecate in your bed or not take a shower for weeks or lie in a coma, but the body organs would shut down if nourishment is not administered through an IV or feeding tube. In my daughter’s case, she couldn’t even shut her eyes for a week so her eyes became glazed and she had waxy limbs, a whereby you can ‘pose’ a person, lift their hand, leg, etc. and it would stay in that position, very odd. Some psychiatric terminology is helpful to determine categories and levels of care. Fortunately, my daughter had a stunning recovery from this condition, probably for a combination of reasons: ativan (benzo’s at 4mg every four hours through an IV dro) but also and I think this is EQUALLY IMPORTANT, because in the ICU unit of a hospital, a ‘psychiatric patient is afforded with the same dignity and rights as those with heart disease and other life threatening conditions; family and friends can drop by anytime they want, bring flowers, sit by the bedside, listen to music, bring instruments, the priest can drop by with healing oil and annoint a person, people can read outloud to their loved one, as is common for peope in coma’s, etc. They can have a private room with a phone, use aromatherapy, family members have a high degree of contact and can bathe a person in bed, comb their hair, etc. This is the EXACT OPPOSITE of how patients in distress receive care in a locked back ward of a psychiatric facility. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROOFS OF STIGMA BUT NAMI NEVER SAYS A WORD ABOUT THIS. THE REASON WE NOW CONSIDER PEOPLE IN DISTRESS TO BE DANGEROUS AND LOCK THEM UP IS BECAUSE OF THE EXPLOSION OF AKASTHESIA RELATED BEHAVIOR CAUSED BY MEDICATING PEOPLE IN DISTRESS WITH TRAUMA HISTORIES WITH DANGEROUS PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS THAT HAVE PARADOXICAL EFFECTS THAT WE KNOW NEXT TO NOTHING ABOUT AND THERE IS AN EXPLOSION OF AKASTHESIA RELATED VIOLENCE, HOSTILITY, AGRESSION, RESTLESSNESS, HOMOCIDE, AND SUICIDALITY AND WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT.

    • I can’t presume to have all the answers here. One thing I will say is that people said to be “catatonic” represent a fraction of the people on any psych-ward, and that begs the question of what are all the others are doing so confined. I am against forced psychiatry. If you are going to treat anyone, don’t do it against their will and wishes.

      Psychiatry presumes “disease”. Psychiatry has always presumed “disease”. “Catatonia” is a specialist term for a phenomenon that they don’t understand very well. This doesn’t make it is a pathological condition. Walter Freeman, notorious for pushing lobotomy, early in his career did autopsies on deceased mental patients looking for abnormal brains, but he found few abnormalities. He went on to develop the lobotomy, a way of treating “mental illness” by mutilating the brain, and thus the relief for “mental illness” was seen rather than in correcting an abnormal brain, by producing an abnormal brain through surgery. Psych-drugs operate on a similar basis. Abnormality presumed, is the basis for an abnormality achieved, through trying to correct the abnormality presumed. Thomas Szasz following Rudolf Virchow defined pathology as a “lesion in an bodily organ”. Freeman couldn’t find any lesions, but given a scalpel, he could produce them.

      I’m glad you found something that worked for your daughter, and that she didn’t have to endure neglect on a psychiatric facility back ward.

      I think akathisia tends to be under reported by patients and staff. Neuroleptics always gave me a pretty severe case of akathisia. I think another reason reason “people in distress are considered to be dangerous” is because we lock them up. Locking a person up raises the level of distress, and it often meets with physical resistance. Violense, after all, in this instance, is being used against a potential suspect of future violence. People in the mental health system, unlike people elsewhere, aren’t allowed a “self-defense” defense. Of course, attempts at self-defense can be aggravated by akathisia. Akathisia makes people feel horrible, and certainly must be a contributing factor when it comes to violence.

  19. Despite the question mark in the title, the goal of this blog seems to be to preserve psychiatry at all costs. This article mentions Hickey and Burstow in passing as if both of those authors haven’t already destroyed all the arguments put forth here to preserve psychiatry. I hope one or both of those authors have the time and inclination to respond to this farce.

  20. I too think the transition should be a gradual process – after all, they too need some job to keep going. Also, honestly, I do not think their intention is to be purposely “evil” – it is just that they have been deeply “brainwashed” into the DSM belief system.

  21. Ron

    I respect many things you do and write about regarding therapeutic methods of support for people in various forms of psychological and emotional crisis, however I need to be blunt in my assessment of the main point of this blog.

    You stated: “…but it’s really not an argument in support of modern psychiatry which actually does a very poor job of addressing these three areas of concern, due sometimes to over-reach, and sometimes to neglect.”

    This statement indicates to me that you are vastly understating the nature of psychiatric oppression, and this may explain why you advocate for preserving some reformed part of the institution.

    I agree with all commenters who are arguing for the elimination, or better, the “withering away” of Psychiatry.

    Ron, I believe the essence of your position is attempting to legitimize the ultimate scientific separation of “mind and body.” ALL medical doctors need to be better trained with the best that modern science can offer regarding the true nature of the mind/body connection. There is NO need for some type of specialty you advocate for.The more knowledge medical doctors have regarding these connections the better they will be able to help people engaged in some type of extreme conflict (or medical crisis) with their environment and all the physical and mental interactions that may occur.

    “Slowing down” oppression does not stop it from happening. Given the omnipotence of the Biological Psychiatry paradigm of “treatment” and the entrenched nature of the institution’s connections to Big Pharma, “slowing” things down is NOT a solution or even a reasonable alternative. The “train” needs to go in the OPPOSITE direction not merely be “slowed down.”

    As to a present role (and for the next several decades) for the more knowledgeable and well meaning psychiatrists, they DO have an important role to play in helping dependent people safely withdraw from the prolific amount of psychotropic drugs affecting millions of victims. There is plenty of important work they can perform advancing the science of withdrawal, securing prescriptions, and offering compassionate support for psychiatric victims.

    Richard

  22. Ron, as a final comment on my behalf, I have very much appreciated this conversation. I think it’s perfectly fair and reasonable to put on the table what you have, and courageous and trusting how you’ve navigated this discussion to the depth that it has gone.

    I’ve made no secret of my opinion that psychiatry, in general, is not a healing field but one with dubious political agendas that do not serve clients, but more so, which harm them extensively and profoundly. Were we able to ferret out the individuals with integrity and who focus on the greater good, rather than individual personal agendas and embroiled in their egos, I’m all for seeing this come to light. In the meantime, I do know with certainty that there are so many paths to healing and wellness that require none of this, even for the most challenging cases of psychic imbalance and chronic self-sabotage.

    To whomever we turn for support, I think the bottom line is that *choice* is a matter of exercising free will and we can each take responsibility for the choices we make in life, while forced anything is oppressive and harmful. Psychiatry will take a step closer to earning my respect when they are humble to their clients, not controlling and overpowering to them (abuse of power)–which most of us have testified is the psychiatric experience. That’s just plain old nonsense, and not the slightest bit in the interest of the client or their healing. How is that in any way even remotely close to, “First, do no harm”?

    Thanks again, all good stuff to chew on I think.

  23. Ron- Regarding your comment that someone with training could understand the complexities of drugs: Even if they knew something, it would be a list of perplexing names of drugs, along with a complicated list of brain regions as well as a separate list of fancy names that describe DSM categories. What else would they know? I do not think anyone can understand all the complexities of the brain, with billions of neurons and trillions of synapses, let alone how this information connects and interacts with various compounds that are introduced as well as how all this information connects to a person’s actual experience and wellbeing. Also something we forget is that all these understandings about the brain and neurons, etc., happen in an individual’s mind – so, it is much better to try to understand the mind. The mind was extensively analyzed 2600 year ago – see the following article to get an idea: http://sgo.sagepub.com/content/spsgo/5/2/2158244015583860.full.pdf

  24. Thanks Ron!

    My psychiatrist in San Francisco actually helped me get off psychiatric medication. I am off psychiatric medication after being on it for 14 years!! and i feel amazing and connected with my self, power, and creativity. i really do owe this to our therapeutic partnership. and to many therapists, colleagues, and friends who supported be in the past. psychiatrists in the past that i had encountered at Yale student mental health services, in community mental health, in private practice, and in the University of Pennsylvania health system were all pretty dismissive or confused or brainwashed.

    My psychiatrist has traditional biological and medical training from Stanford and Tufts, but she’s an integrative psychiatrist and has training in chinese medicine, trained with Andrew Weil, energy work, and jungian analysis. She’s amazing, and she allowed to follow my intuition with coming off psychiatric drugs while also educating me on withdrawal symptoms and dangers. We are in total partnership.

    She works in private practice and for the community mental health system.

    True she is a rare gem, but I think that psychiatrist can learn and un-learn. Medical school has taught them the wrong things. Big PHARMA has had too much influence in education, clinical research, and with bribery. But people can learn more and un-learn bad training, although it takes A LOT of effort.

    Perhaps we need to really look at what our top medical schools are teaching new budding psychiatrists. some of whom may be in for it for just the money and power and legacy, but i believe there are helpers in there too.

      • i agree that psychiatry has invented many diseases.

        it framed homosexuality in the 70s as a disease, and homosexuality is still pathologized to this day, and it has been for a long time before the 70s.

        it wanted to create introverted personality disorder in the 90s (i think it was the 90 or 2000s- from the book ‘Shyness’)

        the psych meds psychiatry has invented have caused irreparable harm, and have caused people to commit suicide, attack other people violently, and go into psychosis and then have the label of being crazy, develop diabetes, develop chronic health conditions, and i believe had made people chronically sick, and have effectively isolated people.

        this is all true to me. AND i feel like psychiatrists can be useful in helping people get off psych drugs and with short-term prescriptions.

        i have a lot of friends who are on psychiatric medication, and feel that they need it now.

        There may not be such a thing as psychiatric illness. But there is trauma- personal, collective, and historical. And we do live with other people in a society that can be very oppressive and violent and bullying. i have a friend who is trans and she says she needs the psych drugs she’s on now. and i respect her decision. for the amount of opposition and violence she has faced, i want nothing but peace for her.

        we all numb ourselves in ways to violence and sadness we experience in life. and there are different ways to regulate it…heck some people watch Netflix all the time or surf the internet!

        i numb myself too. i eat junk food to numb myself. even though i know it’s bad for my overall health. i drink diet soda to numb myself. i do this very occasionally now, because i realized how bad it is for my physical health and mood, and how addictive it can be and is formulated to be, but i have control over it now- but i still sometimes do it…and i spend hours on facebook to numb myself.

        there is a serious housing crisis in San Francisco where i live, wars all over the world, and a human history and present of genocide against humans and other species, and destruction our of planet and ecosystem, and so many -isms and phobias and prejudices and oppressive frameworks, like racism, sexism, heteronormativity, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and more. i try to help the best that i am able. but also need to take time for self nourishment, care, and unfortunately sometimes i just can’t take it all and numb myself.

        but i hope we can reach a place in our time as humans where instead of constantly needing to numb ourselves, we can live in peace.

  25. I just read Ron’s article and all the comments . Ron’s article was a good anvil to bounce numerous insightful comments off of . Overlooked is the real probability of Eugenic Substance Production ( POISONS) being passed off as some kind of medicine by the pharma cartels and definitely not limited to psychiatric drugs and extending into wherever they traffic . Those that have not actually been forced to repeatedly take poisons like thorazine and others are unlikely to understand what I’m talking about . THERE IS NO OVERSIGHT ON WHAT BIG PHARMA IS DOING BEHIND THEIR CLOSED DOORS OR ON WHAT EVEN MORE DIABOLICAL SUBSTANCES THEY WILL INVENT IN THE FUTURE .
    Ron want’s to know if there is a place for psychiatry . Yes Ron there is , IN THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY AS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW CHEMICAL AND ELECTRIC NAZIISM CAN RUN RAMPANT IF PEOPLE DO NOT CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER .