Abolishing Forced Treatment in Psychiatry is an Ethical Imperative


Forced treatment in psychiatry cannot be defended, neither on ethical, legal or scientific grounds. It has never been shown that forced treatment does more good than harm, and it is highly likely that the opposite is true. We need to abolish our laws about this, in accordance with the United Na­tions Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which virtually all countries have ratified.

Forced treatment in psychiatry is not evidence-based medicine, as this builds on reliable research, clinical expertise and the patients’ values and preferences, none of which apply.

First and foremost, the patients’ values and preferences are not being respected, although the fundamental human right to equal recognition before the law applies to everyone, also to people with mental disorders. This is clear from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Interna­tional Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Na­tions Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.1,2

Secondly, clinical expertise is highly misleading in psychiatry. Doctors tend to credit the drugs for any spontaneous improvement and to put the blame for any untoward symptoms on the disease. What makes the practice of psychiatry particularly problematic is that many drugs can create the diseases they were supposed to alleviate, or worse diseases, or they have adverse effects that are similar to the symptoms used to define other psychiatric disorders.2 Therefore, many patients get several psychia­tric diagnoses and become in treatment with several drugs.2 Because of the changes in the brain caused by antipsychotics, for example, continued treatment can lead to supersensitivity psychosis, which should be treated by tapering off the drug, but which is usually treated by an increase in dose, or the addition of an additional antipsychotic, which increases the harms.2 When patients try to come off their drugs, they often get abstinence symptoms similar to the disease being treated, and they are therefore usually put back on full dose.2

Thirdly, it has never been shown that forced treatment does more good than harm, and it is highly likely that the opposite is true. A register study of 2,429 suicides showed that the closer the contact with psychiatric staff – which often involves forced treatment – the worse the outcome.3 Compared to people who had not received any psychiatric treatment in the preceding year, the adjusted rate ratio for suicide was 44 (95% confidence interval 36 to 54) for people who had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital. These patients would of course be expected to be at greatest risk of suicide (confounding by indication), but the findings were robust and most of the potential biases in the study favoured the null hypothesis of there being no relationship. An ac­companying editorial noted that some of the people who commit suicide during or after an admission to hospital do so because of conditions inherent in that hospitalisation.4

Antipsychotics are the most commonly used drugs in forced treatment and if we wish to find out how deadly they are, we cannot use the placebo controlled randomised trials in patients with schizophrenia, as they seriously underreport deaths. For example, only 19 of 50 deaths on olanzapine described in trial summaries on websites also appeared in journal articles; and for suicides and suicidal events the numbers were one versus nine and four versus 18, respectively.5 Another reason why trials in schizophrenia are unreliable is their cold turkey design. Patients are almost always in treatment with an antipsychotic drug before they are being randomised,2 and when they are abruptly switched to placebo, their mortality risk increases markedly. One in every 145 patients who entered the trials for risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine and sertindole died, but none of these deaths were mentioned in the scientific literature, and the FDA didn’t require them to be mentioned.6 Many of the patients killed themselves; the suicide rate was two to five times the usual rate for patients with schizophrenia, and a ma­jor reason was withdrawal-induced akathisia.6

In trials in dementia, pre-treatment with antipsychotics is less likely, and a meta-ana­lysis of short-term trials of newer antipsychotics showed that for every 100 patients treated, there was one additional death on the drug.7 It could be even worse because deaths are underreported.5

Patients are also being forced to receive electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) although it is one of the most controversial treatments in medicine. Some psychiatrists say they only use it in life-threatening situations but it has never been documented that ECT can save lives whereas we know it can kill. The death rate appears to be around one per 1000.8 The randomised trials are of poor quality and there is no evidence for any long-term benefit beyond the treatment period for either schizophrenia or depression, whereas it is clear that ECT “works” by damaging the brain.8 With a strict definition of memory loss, between 29% and 55% of the patients are affected.9

Two patient stories

Forced treatment inevitably leads to abuse and gross human rights violations.2 Here are two patient stories I know about personally, as I have met with the patient and the father, respectively.

A very moving documentary tells the story of Mette, a young Danish nurse, who, after having been diagnosed with paranoid schi­zophrenia received vast amounts of medicine and 150 elec­troshock treatments.10 Mette was seriously harmed, stigmatised and surrounded by prejudice and ended up on disability living allowance. One day, however, she decided to reclaim her own life and escape from psychiatry, which she did successfully and then achieved some of the greatest goals of her life. Mette’s story illustrates that forced treatment is easily abused.2 Even when it so clearly doesn’t work and actually harms people, psychia­trists continue with it out of despair in an endless progression, causing further harm for the patients’ brains and personalities.2

Garth Daniels in Melbourne began smoking marihuana heavily and was admitted to hospital in an acutely psychotic state aged 21. He is now 38 and has spent about 14 years in mental hospitals; has been seen by some 400 psychiatrists and registrars; and has accumulated an estimated 15,000 pages of files. He has had virtually every known psychiatric drug, often in heroic doses, as well as ECT, which he hates. His family has observed that he has had akathisia (which predisposes to violence)2 and that his behaviour deteriorated when he was given large doses of drugs. In contrast, on each of five occasions over the years when his dosage was reduced, his condition improved. Depot injections have been particularly bad and have resulted in visual hallucinations, agitation and violence, leading to restraint, more drugs, more agitation and still more drugs. Garth’s father says that his son is normally a quiet and placid person and that when he was on a moderate dose of amisulpride, he presented as alert, aware and affectively intact to the point of being a warm and interested person.

The hospital has routinely applied for permission to give another 12 ECTs each time they completed the approved course, although this went against Garth’s Advance Directive and his family’s wishes. Garth has been given about 100 ECTs despite the fact that guidelines recommend a maximum of 1211 and that the number of ECTs is the best predictor of long-term brain damage.12

Garth has been seriously abused against official guidelines in other ways, e.g. he has been tied to his bed for 69 days straight and began to give up hope. His father was concerned it could result in suicide if his forced treatment didn’t stop, but the response of the psychiatrist responsible for Garth’s care, Professor Paul Katz, Clinical Director of the Mental Health Program at Eastern Health, was to make an application to a Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to revoke the father’s Medical Power of Attorney and to remove the father as guardian. Garth then sued Katz for assault. With a devilish kind of irony, one of the treating psychiatrists has admitted that part of the reason that Garth was incompetent to withhold consent for the ECTs was because his memory was impaired as a result of the ECTs, so they had to keep giving it to him against his will!

Garth was recently examined by an independent psychiatrist, Niall McLaren, who had access to his voluminous files. Garth is regarded by his usual psychiatrists as an incurably dangerous schizophrenic although he does not show any symptoms which could sustain such a diagnosis or a disturbance of contact with reality. Garth has been subjected to two decades of treatment for schizophrenia and has utterly failed to respond. McLaren also noted that Garth’s medication had been reduced very quickly, even abruptly, which is serious professional malpractice, as it markedly increases the risk of suicide and homicide.2

Garth’s family recently moved to another state and took him with them, thus evading the reach of the Victorian Mental Health Act. He is currently being treated as an out-patient on low doses of medication, with no ECT. His family report that his mental state has never been better. Despite the dire claims of his former treating psychiatrists, he has absolutely no signs of psychosis.

The courts don’t respect the evidence or human rights

In 2006, lawyer Jim Gottstein won an Alaska Supreme Court case about forced treatment with olanzapine.2 The court decided that the government cannot drug someone against their will without first proving by clear and convincing evidence that it is in their best interests and there is no less intrusive alternative available. In another case, the court decided that if an alternative is “feasible,” the state has to either provide it or let the person go.

Gottstein has noted that the public’s opinion is that the drugs work, and that if people weren’t crazy, they would know that the drugs are good for them.13 Accordingly, psychiatrists argue at court hearings that no sound person would refuse medically sound treatment, and the courts comply with their wish. It was therefore essential for Gottstein’s success to use scientific data to convince the Supreme Court that this isn’t true. The court ruled that, “Psychotropic medication can have profound and lasting negative effects on a patient’s mind and body” and “are known to cause a number of potentially devastating side effects.”

This was a stunning victory for human rights in psychiatry but there is a long way to go. The lawyers assigned to represent the patients generally fail miserably, and the psychiatric profession has explicitly acknowledged that psychiatrists regularly lie to the courts,2 e.g. by exaggerating the dangerousness of a mentally ill person’s behaviour, or by stating that the treatment works even when this is clearly not the case, or by ignoring its harms.

In one such case I was involved with, I demonstrated to a Norwegian High Court that the psychiatrist’s arguments were scientifically wrong and that the patient’s treating psychiatrists had committed serious malpractice by not responding to dangerous symptoms of intoxication, but the court didn’t care the least and ordered continued treatment with olanzapine although the patient was already objectively damaged by this drug in terms of tardive dyskinesia and had possibly even had malignant neuroleptic syndrome, which carries a high mortality. I find this absolutely disgusting. The lawyer’s appeal to the Supreme Court was rejected with the argument that there was nothing of a principled nature. The Supreme Court didn’t seem to care that some of the key evidence provided by the psychiatrist was objectively wrong. I doubt this is how courts react in murder cases when it is shown that the evidence provided to a lower court was wrong.

Jim Gottstein invited me to Anchorage in June 2016 to give a talk  about abolishing forced admission and treatment and to meet with various people. The trip was sponsored by the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights and made possible by a grant from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. Jim arranged for me to be an expert witness in a case of forced drugging and the proceedings could best be characterised as a sham where the outcome was determined beforehand. The lawyer for the patient is not informed that there will be proceedings until the day of the proceedings, which means that there is no possibility for preparing a proper defence.

Furthermore, the petitions I saw for continued confinement and drugging of patients in Alaska were untruthful to the extreme. Although the patients were very different, the arguments were the same for all of them and there was a prefabricated text on the forms (in italics below), e.g.:

Petitioner has reason to believe the patient is incapable of giving or withholding informed consent. The facility wishes to use psychotropic medication in a non-crisis situation. This is a statutory requirement AS 47.30.839(a)(2). So, this is just saying that the criterion has been met, but the petition doesn’t state what the facts are that lead to that conclusion.

The patient’s prognosis with this course of treatment: good.

The patient’s prognosis without these medications: poor.

Of the medications requested, the patient has previously taken the following medications and experienced these results or side effects: Has taken these medications and done well without side effects.

The following less intrusive treatment options/alternatives are available: none.

Firstly, it is highly unlikely that the patients are unable to provide or withhold informed consent. The UN Convention makes it clear that “unsoundedness of mind” and other discriminatory labels are not legitimate reasons for the denial of legal capacity, and that the concept of mental capacity is highly controversial in and of itself:1 “Mental capacity is not, as is commonly presented, an objective, scientific and naturally occurring phenomenon. Mental capacity is contingent on social and political contexts, as are the disciplines, professions and practices which play a dominant role in assessing mental capacity … In most of the State party reports that the Committee has examined so far, the concepts of mental and legal capacity have been conflated so that where a person is considered to have impaired decision-making skills, often because of a cognitive or psychosocial disability, his or her legal capacity to make a particular decision is consequently removed. This is decided simply on the basis of the diagnosis of an impairment (status approach), or where a person makes a decision that is considered to have negative consequences (outcome approach), or where a person’s decision-making skills are considered to be deficient (functional approach). The functional approach attempts to assess mental capacity and deny legal capacity accordingly. It is often based on whether a person can understand the nature and consequences of a decision and/or whether he or she can use or weigh the relevant information. This approach is flawed for two key reasons: (a) it is discriminatorily applied to people with disabilities; and (b) it presumes to be able to accurately assess the inner-workings of the human mind and, when the person does not pass the assessment, it then denies him or her a core human right — the right to equal recognition before the law. In all of those approaches, a person’s disability and/or decisionmaking skills are taken as legitimate grounds for denying his or her legal capacity and lowering his or her status as a person before the law. Article 12 does not permit such discriminatory denial of legal capacity, but, rather, requires that support be provided in the exercise of legal capacity.”

Secondly, there is no sound scientific evidence in support of blanket statements that the patient’s prognosis is good with medications and poor without. The fact that these patients have often received their drug cocktails for a long time actually demonstrates that the prognosis with the drugs is poor, which is also what the science tells us: the prognosis with treatment with antipsychotic drugs is poor.2,6,13 Patients fare better the less these drugs are being used.

Thirdly, it is close to impossible to take antipsychotic drugs or any other psychiatric drugs without side effects. It is therefore almost invariably misleading, and usually flatly untrue, to state that the patient “Has taken these medications and done well without side effects.”

Fourthly, it is misleading in the extreme to suggest that there are no less intrusive treatment options available. There are always less intrusive options available, as the very wide variation in ECT usage shows, and forced drugging is not necessary, as there are no psychiatric drugs that can cure psychiatric disorders whereas all of them can make matters worse.14,15 Compounding the matter, psychiatric trainees are required to pass tests in administering ECT but they are never required to show proficiency in not using ECT or in not using drugs or in tapering them off.

As regards ECT, the patients should be told that many psychiatrists treating similar conditions will hardly ever or never use ECT and that it is wholly a matter of chance or risk which type of psychiatrist the patient sees. Many jurisdictions insist that patients can be forced to have ECT against their will if they “unreasonably refuse” it. However, it is not at all clear what would constitute “reasonable refusal to accept ECT,” and what criteria the hospitals apply in deciding when refusal is unreasonable. In practice, refusal to accept ECT is always taken to be “unreasonable.”

Whom should the judges believe?

When psychiatrists say the treatment is helpful while the patients say it is not, we should let the patients decide, as they know best. Indeed, they are the only ones who can tell how a drug affects them subjectively. Drug trials is psychiatry are biased in many ways, e.g. because the placebo controlled studies have not been adequately blinded.2 The blinding is often broken due to the drug’s side effects and this leads psychiatrists to overestimate the effect,2 sometimes to such an extent that they can see the exact opposite of what is actually true. This was demonstrated in a double-blind placebo controlled trial funded by the US National Institute of Mental Health and reported on in 1964. It was a six-week study of newly admitted patients with schizophrenia in treatment with phenothiazines like chlorpromazine. None of the 270 patients became worse and the drugs were reported to reduce apathy, improve motor movement and to make patients less indifferent – exactly the opposite of what these drugs do to patients, and which the psychiatrists had admitted a decade earlier – and side effects were said to be “mild and infrequent … more a matter of patient comfort than of medical safety.”6,16

Antipsychotics are very poor drugs. Even helped by all the formidable biases in the trials,2 the outcome is poor. The minimal improvement on the Clinical Global Impressions Ratings corresponds to about 15 points on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale,17 but what was obtained in recent placebo controlled trials in submissions to the FDA was only 6 points,18 although it is easy for scores to improve quite a bit if someone is knocked down by a tranquilliser and express their abnormal ideas less frequently. Thus, the FDA has approved newer antipsychotic drugs whose effect is far below what is clinically relevant.

Although patients are not often subjected to forced treatment with antidepressants, it is nonetheless telling that the patients themselves, both children and adults, say in double-blind placebo controlled trials that the drugs don’t work for them while their psychiatrist say in the same trials that the drugs work.2 It is also noteworthy that in a large sur­vey from 1995, people thought that antidepressants, antipsychotics, electroshock and admission to a psychiatric ward were more often harmful than beneficial.19 

Abolishing laws of forced treatment

Forced treatment cannot be defended, neither on ethical, legal or scientific grounds. We need to abolish our laws about this, in accordance with the United Na­tions Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.1 The evidence we have tells us that forced treatment increases the harm done not only to patients but also to others.2,6,14.15 Violence breeds violence, but perhaps the strongest argument against forced drugging and ECT is that, apart from psychiatric patients, only soldiers at war are forced to run risks against their will that might kill them. The difference is that soldiers have usually chosen themselves to become soldiers whereas psychiatric patients have not chosen to become psychiatric patients.

In rare cases force may be needed, e.g. if a patient is dangerous, but restraint without belts, i.e. holding the patient firmly, will suffice. And if that is not enough, the case should be a matter for the police, which it is in Iceland and in Trieste.2

It is a myth that psychiatrists need access to forced treatment. With adequate leadership and training of staff in de-escalation techniques, it is possible to practice psychiatry without using force.2,20,21 In Iceland, belts have not been used since 1932 when a psychiatrist burnt them, and there are psychiatrists all over the world who have dealt with deeply disturbed patients for their entire career without ever having used antipsychotics, ECT or force.2 Peter Breggin never uses such treatments, and Niall McLaren has never used ECT. While he was head of department for a total of eight years at two Australian hospitals, ECT wasn’t used at all (McLaren, personal communication). He didn’t bar it, simply made it more difficult for his staff to use it, as they had to justify it by showing there was no alternative. At the same time, the admission rate to the hospital dropped, the average duration of stay dropped and the bed occupancy rate dropped by as much as half. In both hospitals, some time after his appointments had expired and he had moved, ECT was resumed and the bed occupancy rate quickly rose again.

There are many initiatives to reduce the amount of forced treatment.2 But the necessary culture change will never happen if we don’t make it illegal. Surely, there will be difficult cases where it will be missed, but we will need to live with that, as the benefits of abolishing forced treatment are far greater than the harms.2 Further, there are ways of dealing with the difficult cases without force. For example, we are allowed to prevent a patient with anorexia from dying by feeding her and don’t need psychiatric laws for this; we are entitled to save people’s life if we can.

In many countries, a person considered insane can be admitted to a psychiatric ward on an involuntary basis if the prospect of cure or substantial and significant improvement of the condition would otherwise be significantly impaired. But is this ever the case? Are there any treatments that can cure insane patients, or which can lead to such substantial improve­ments that the patient’s condition would be significantly impaired if she is not forced to go to hospital immediately? I don’t think so, and, considering the abuse that takes place at psychiatric wards,1,2 this clause should be removed from the law of all nations. There is already a clause that, if patients present an obvious and substantial danger to themselves or others, they can be involuntarily admitted, but we don’t even need this. According to the National Italian Mental Health Law, a reason for involuntary treatment can no longer be that the patient is dangerous. This is a matter for the police.2

In 2015, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities called on States parties to protect the security and personal integrity of persons with disabilities who are deprived of their liberty by eliminating the use of forced treatment, seclusion and various methods of restraint in medical facilities, including physical, chemical and mechanic restrains.22 The Committee found, like patients do,2 that these practices are not consistent with the prohibition of torture.

If you still accept forced treatment and involuntary detention after having read my article, I hope you will read a heart-breaking book, “Dear Luise,” that describes virtually everything that is wrong with psychiatry.23 Luise had begged and begged not to be treated with antipsychotics, which she didn’t tolerate, and had seen her best friend at the care home being killed by them. Luise was herself killed only six months later, aged 32, by a lethal injection. Both women dropped dead on the floor. The system, however, congratulated itself for its first-class homicide where everyone seems to have been immunised beforehand against being found guilty. Luise’s mother was told that Luise had received the ”highest standard of specialist treatment.” The officially accepted term for deaths such as Luise’s is “natural death.” She had told her mother: “I’ll be next.”

We must stop this, and as the psychiatric profession is not likely to reform itself, real court cases – not sham proceedings – might be a good way forward.

Acknowledgements: I have been inspired by the hundreds of patient stories I have received from patients or their relatives; by the many previous patients who have reclaimed their life and escaped from psychiatry and now call themselves psychiatric survivors; and by my collaboration with lawyer Jim Gottstein and previous Supreme Court lawyer Ketil Lund, psychiatrists Peter Breggin, David Healy, Joanna Moncrieff and Neill McLaren, science journalist Robert Whitaker, psychologist John Read, and Dorrit Cato Christensen, the mother of the young Danish woman killed by antipsychotic drugs who established the organisation “Death in Psychiatry.”


1 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. General comment No. 1 2014 May 19. http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G14/031/20/PDF/G1403120.pdf?OpenElement (accessed 1 April 2015).

2 Gøtzsche PC. Deadly psychiatry and organised denial. Copenhagen: People’s Press; 2015.
3 Hjorthøj CR, Madsen T, Agerbo E, et al. Risk of suicide according to level of psychiatric treatment: a nationwide nested case-control study. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2014;49:1357–65.

4 Large MM, Ryan CJ. Disturbing findings about the risk of suicide and psychia­tric hospitals. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2014;49:1353–5.

5 Hughes S, Cohen D, Jaggi R. Differences in reporting serious adverse events in industry sponsored clinical trial registries and journal articles on antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 2014;4:e005535.

6 Whitaker R. Mad in America. Cambridge: Perseus Books Group; 2002.

7 Schneider LS, Dagerman KS, Insel P. Risk of death with atypical antipsychotic drug treatment for dementia: meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. JAMA 2005;294:1934–43.

8 Read J, Bentall R. The effectiveness of electroconvulsive therapy: a literature review. Epidemiol Psichiatr Soc 2010 Oct-Dec;19:333-47.

9 Rose D, Fleischmann P, Wykes T, et al. Patients’ perspectives on electroconvul­sive therapy: systematic review. BMJ 2003;326:1363.

10 Mettes Stemme (Mette’s Voice). http://madinamerica.com/mettes-stemme-mettes-voice/ (accessed 9 Dec 2014).

11 Royal College of Psychiatrists. Information about ECT (Electro-convulsive therapy). http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/treatmentswellbeing/ect.aspx. July 2015 (accessed 5 Feb 2016).

12 Sackeim HA, Prudic J, Fuller R, et al. The cognitive effects of electroconvulsive therapy in community settings. Neuropsychopharmacology 2007;32:244-54.

13 Whitaker R. Anatomy of an Epidemic. New York: Broadway Paperbacks; 2010.

14 Breggin P. Brain-disabling treatments in psychiatry: drugs, electroshock and the psychopharmaceutical complex. New York: Springer; 2007.

15. Breggin P. Medication madness: the role of psychiatric drugs in cases of violence, suicide, and crime. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin; 2008.

16 Cole JO. Phenothiazine treatment in acute schizophrenia; effectiveness: the National Institute of Mental Health Psychopharmacology Service Center Col­laborative Study Group. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1964;10:246-61.

17Leucht S, Kane JM, Etschel E, et al. Linking the PANSS, BPRS, and CGI: clinical implications. Neuropsychopharmacology 2006;31:2318-25.

18 Khin NA, Chen YF, Yang Y, et al. Exploratory analyses of efficacy data from schizophrenia trials in support of new drug applications submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration. J Clin Psychiatry 2012;73:856–64.

19 Jorm AF, Korten AE, Jacomb PA, et al. ”Mental health literacy”: a survey of the public’s ability to recognise mental disorders and their beliefs about the effectiveness of treatment. Med J Aus 1997;166:182-6.

20 Fiorillo A, De Rosa C, Del Vecchio V, et al. How to improve clinical practice on involuntary hospital admissions of psychiatric patients: Suggestions from the EUNOMIA study. Eur Psychiat 2011;26:201-7.

21 Scanlan JN. Interventions to reduce the use of seclusion and restraint in inpa­tient psychiatric settings: what we know so far, a review of the literature. Int J Soc Psychiat 2010;56:412–23.

22 Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Guidelines on article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The right to liberty and security of persons with disabilities. Adopted during the Committee’s 14th session, held in September 2015.

23 Christensen DC. Dear Luise: a story of power and powerlessness in Denmark’s psychiatric care system. Portland: Jorvik Press; 2012.


  1. Bravo! I have nothing but praise for any mental health professional who will take a position in opposition to forced treatment. Forced mental health treatment involves abduction, imprisonment, torture, and the list goes on and on, and any other persons besides those in the profession would be prosecuted for what is being done in mental hospitals. Mental wards in mental hospitals and general hospitals are locked, and patients are not free to come and go as they please, often even when their status is said to be “voluntary”, a status, by the way, that represents more of a plea bargain than a real designation. I would never take a neuroleptic drug of my own volition, but in the hospital, I was given no choice. In a university hospital, I spit the drug out in the toilet every day, but when I arrived at the state hospital, the nursing staff stood over me, and made sure I took the drug. If I didn’t, they had goons and syringes. Among patients, I don’t think there was a single patient in the hospital that wasn’t on some powerful drug, and, from my understanding, these doctors have not been able to show a great deal of promising results through the use of such drugs. I’m only thankful that I didn’t find myself as severely damaged from the experience as some people seem to have been. How is a person going to be “helped” by imprisonment and drugging anyway? The drugs were not medicine, and the imprisonment was not beneficial treatment, nor healthy in the slightest. Getting out was all a matter of learning how to play the staff, and of giving them the answers they wanted to hear. Protecting one’s health, given these very dire circumstances, would be a matter of not getting “caught” to begin with. Once a patient, it’s easy to find oneself readmitted, and leaving the system can become more of a challenge than it should be, in some measure, due to the withdrawal effects of psychiatric drugs.

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    • What are your thoughts about the family members who are made responsible for a person who goes off their meds periodically and during that time repeatedly gets violent, commits crimes, makes threats, and cannot be restrained? These families have to deal with posting bail, trying to come up with money for lawyers and doctors, replacing broken furniture, sometimes replacing vehicles, but since you’re their family member, they’re just supposed to deal with it. Do you feel any empathy there or are you just so wrapped up in your own mental problems that nobody else matters?

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      • If a parent has a negative relationship with their child, then I don’t feel any empathy for the parent whatsoever. If the authorities won’t intercede, then I will. My only regret will be that as a civilized society we will have to keep feeding that parent.

        Children should always have some other place to go. No child should ever be trapped or forced to stay in a familial home.

        Any parent who is keeping their child on brain bending drugs, should be arrested at once, along with any doctors or therapists who have helped them.

        I’ve already helped to put one such parent into our state prison, though the actual conviction was for sexual molestation.

        givemeyourking, are you keeping a child in your care on psychiatric medication? Are you looking to this forum for support for this? That is indeed the sort of things most abuser parents do. They get support either from their churches, or from therapists.

        What state, what county, what city, do you reside in?


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        • Cute.

          The only area I agree with you is that families shouldn’t be forced to stay together at all costs. There should be places for mentally ill/severely DD patients to go without their relatives being held responsible. Unfortunately, in many states, you can’t simply drop off a mentally disabled person at the hospital or police station without being charged with a crime, even though they may be an adult.

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        • And Nomadic: I’m guessing you’re not a fan of the Rotenberg method either. But many of the parents of the hard cases that have gone there will SWEAR by the improvements in self control their children gained during their stay. These were patients that NOBODY else would try to help and the Rotenberg center did help.

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          • givemeyourking, I know this may be seen as veering a bit off topic, but your comment regarding the ‘Rotenberg Method’ is way off-base in many ways. as someone who has been agitating to close the Judge Rotenberg Center for many years, I recognize the same reasoning that has kept this horror of a facility open.

            First of all, though many parents and family members do support JRC and their methods (i.e., use of pain and skin shock), the reasons they do support it (and many do not) have more to do with convenience. It’s true that having children with extreme behaviors can be incredibly stressful, and the use of ‘aversives’ has the TEMPORARY effect of stopping ‘problem’ behaviors. However, in the long term, JRC’s methods cause trauma, injury and severe depression. A person stops self-injuring for a short time, but doesn’t learn about other, more ‘positive’ behaviors can be substituted.

            There have been studies that have shown that JRC parents are themselves misled and coerced into agreeing to have their kids shocked – JRC advertises (predominately in poor communities) that they are an alternative to incarceration; they lie about the extent of aversives, and keep many parents in the dark about what actually goes on there. Most ‘students’ stay there for years and even decades – which by itself suggests that their ‘method’ doesn’t work.

            But perhaps most significantly, JRC is the ONLY place in the US that is allowed to use skin shock – every other state has outlawed it. That’s because the ‘status quo’ in behavioral techniques for self-injury is positive supports, which has been shown to work much more effectively. JRC is the only place using torture (the UN has said that’s what it is); yet there are good outcomes in all the other states.

            Saying that ‘these are people NOBODY else would try to help’ is essentially repeating the propaganda that JRC spreads, which belongs in the dustbin of history, like much of what is done in modern psychiatry.

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          • Jonathan, thank you for explaining this. After reading this thread, I looked this up and there are a few extremely disturbing YouTube videos that talk about this, with graphic video, which is why I’m not posting it here, so any curious folks out there, be forewarned. But it is gut and heart-wrenching, and infuriating.

            I wondered how this is legal and still practiced. It’s child abuse and sadistic. The staff doesn’t at all seemed bothered by the extreme pain they are causing to these kids, which really catches my attention here.

            The fact that this is not a no-brainer to some people concerns me a great deal. Talk about ‘forced treatment,’ jeez–except that their parents gave permission, or at least they gave approval for something drastic and extreme, they have to know that.

            Still, these methods and outcomes have been long-reported, so they do have access to the goings on here, and the extreme controversy around it, so in essence, they are giving the green light. I understand their desperation, but this???

            So where is the root of the problem, here, and how can we instigate change? Parents give their kids over to this place and, with all permission and support of the law, the kids face aversion shock to instill socially acceptable behaviors. I wouldn’t know where to begin disentangling that particular and incredibly toxic domino run.

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          • Hi Alex:

            Thanks for your interest! Fortunately, JRC’s methods have fallen out of favor. The FDA has proposed an outright ban on skin shock, and it looks likely they will approve the ban – although their decision has been postponed until (perhaps) after the election, which is worrisome. Still, JRC would be able to use ‘aversives’ that don’t use shock – like they did before they developed the “GED” shock machines.

            I am still amazed at how long it has taken to stop the place down. As a lifelong MA resident, it boggles my mind to no end that, even though there have been many State, National, and International investigations into JRC, the State of MA has not been able to stop it, and/or have, in many cases, refused to, believing the army of lawyers and lobbyists JRC has at its disposal. Even the current House Speaker here has steadfastly defended them, and a prominent State Rep, whose nephew is held there, has fought for them for years.

            JRC uses the PR tactic of having parents tell their stories – usually en masse, using a similar template: They say how much they love their kids, explain in great detail how severely self-injurious they have been, and that JRC has been a godsend for them, etc. When presented like that, it’s remarkably effective.

            Also, interesting to note that whereas in the past, most referrals to JRC were for people on the Autism spectrum, more recently, they are taking troubled kids (mostly minority children from NYC). It’s fascinating how blind society can be to things like this – even the Boston Globe has run Op-Eds praising the place. Instilling fear of ‘risk’ can very easily lead to such tyrannical ‘solutions.’

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          • There are a lot of people who would agree with you. If you go on youtube, you’ll only see people talking about the negative side of the Rotenberg treatments.

            But ABA therapy doesn’t work for everyone and sometimes aversive treatment DOES work. I’m not saying it’s for everyone but at least it’s an option at this one place.

            And people are driven to desperation. There are not enough mental healthcare facilities anymore to place their needy family members in for the professional care they need. Just throwing a SSI check at a family and telling them to take care of things themselves doesn’t magically qualify them to deal with a severely mentally disabled person. They should never have shut down all the hospitals. Revamped, yes, but shut down altogether, no.

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          • Well, I’m glad to hear that, at least, although the ‘waiting period’ you mention is worrisome, indeed. Given that, and also that they are continuing with adversives and that whole philosophy, sounds like they are throwing a bone. Although I will call it an opening that at least this has been duly noted, but damn, it has to stop.

            To me, this seems like a state of emergency situation calling for immediate action to cease and desist. It makes me think of day care centers where the owners are discovered to be harming their charges, and they close it down immediately, there is no waiting period. It is seriously over-the-top how varied our individual perspectives are on what is abusive and harmful vs. what is helpful and supportive–never mind “healing.” That’s certainly something to consider, when appealing to the general public.

            How we treat our children is one of our most polarizing issues, which I believe speaks to a lot why these things occur in our society all-too-frequently.

            And yes, it is totally mind-boggling. Their website has their “anti-bullying policy” and “bullying incident report forms” on pdf, which is the height of irony, and an excellent decoy from the truth of that matter. Also, I notice that their board of directors are ALL professors of psychology, except for one that is the vice-president of a bank. Makes me shudder.

            And where does their funding come from? Is it private or govt funded? Do families pay out of pocket? Insurance? And is this yet another non-profit with the usual smoke and mirrors bilking funders under false pretenses?

            I think what you’re describing here, Jonathan, is such a perfect example of social brainwashing/programming through fear mongering and emotional appeal/manipulation, and the actual violence to which it leads, all legal. And even were the physical violence to be stopped, the psychological violence is even more powerful and insidious, and long-lasting in its post traumatic stress.

            Never mind what is truthful, manipulation and emotional appeals are what sell and get funding. Well, it’s sop in our society, that’s considered ‘good business sense.’ I think this is what we’re up against.

            This is exactly what I’d call systemic abuse, with all the components of the ‘system’ working inside deliberate illusions, for $$ and power. I’d also call it social stonewalling, because grievances are met with defensiveness and lies. That is an extremely dense and toxic reality.

            Well, this has really captured my attention, I appreciate all the info and updates on this, Jonathan. I don’t know if or how I can help in any way, but if so, I’m open to it. This is really awful, and it is in black & white.

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          • Givemeyourkind, aversion de-conditioning may work on one thing but it replaces it with even more trauma, it is a never-ending loop of trauma and post-trauma. I’d need to know exactly what is meant by ‘helped,’ because that can be construed in a variety of ways, in order to *appear to* fit the desired outcome, but in reality, this is not the case. That happens quite a bit when trying to persuade on controversial issues, the whole exact truth is not revealed.

            What I saw on YouTube along with testimonials are enough evidence that this is not kosher and that kids are being harmed. Especially when it comes to any kind of alleged “health care,” ONE CHILD HARMED is too many, imo, and immediate and thorough investigation should take place. When the responses such as what I saw them give is the best they can do, I’d say it is time to shut them down, for the good of society. This place produces trauma, I think that is clear as a bell.

            I think your belief that this is about ‘mental health care’ is where you run into trouble, here. This is not about “mental health care. ” it is about family dynamics that are not being addressed. Even with a kid that behaves aggressively, it is the family which needs to grow, as a unit, and that hardly ever happens. This is scapegoating, and it spirals out of control in places like this. This would not be a good prognosis for future well-being for anyone concerned.

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      • We are all individuals. No two people are alike. I happen to know for a fact that not everybody who goes off their psych-drugs becomes violent, and there are cases where violence is thought to be induced by psychiatric drugs instead.
        You mention violence, crimes, threats, and a need for restraining this person. Crimes involve breaking the law, and they are a matter for law enforcement, not mental health services.

        The question here is empathy for whom? The family, or the unruly family member? Some family members don’t particularly like other members of t heir family. Some family members can make life miserable for other family members. Some family members, who have not yet cut the apron strings, and perhaps should, are over 21. When such people are treated as if they weren’t 21, we have a rights problem.

        The easy answer is to say we’ve got a person here with a “disease”. Although that does represent a way to dismiss or ignore an individual’s basic humanity, I would challenge anybody to find physical evidence of “disease” in such a troubling individual. I’d say, at the least, this scenario you suggest represents for the family a major communication problem, and drugging your kin is not going to resolve the matter, and it may, in fact, physically harm the person being drugged.

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        • Empathy for the family. A family who endures days on end of shouting, cursing, breaking things, and fecal smearing messes to clean up. A family who can get no respite. A family who cannot get this person put into institutional care for lack of hospitals.

          As much as people feel sorry for the mentally or developmentally disabled person, all I can feel is bad for the family who has to put up with them.

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          • Empathy for the family would include empathy for individual family members including the member you find so disturbing. You say you have empathy for the family, but you seem to have much less for a certain member of that family. A member you apparently think of as a burden.

            You have a tendency, givemeyourking, to make these vast generalizations stemming, I imagine, from your own personal experience. It must be remembered that your experience has not been the experience of everybody who visits this website.

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        • So you’re against drugging. You’re against aversives. When ABA has produced zero improvements, what are your suggestions? (And here I get a bit specific, so forgive me for veering off the main discussion somewhat.) Do you allow a person to slam his head into the wall or floor until he knocks himself out? Do you allow him (an adult) freedom to race out into a busy street without looking? Do you allow him to throw or smear feces? What’s left but drugging to calm the person when nothing else works? When all the compassion in the world doesn’t calm an agitated person who is clearly chemically and mentally unwell? You can’t just let them loose to kill themselves!!

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          • You are not really getting specific. You speak of a person. The question that is not being asked is how does this person feel about anything. The only question is how do we prevent this person from doing this or that. What does that person want? You must wonder sometimes. We are talking about another person, not some extension of yourself.

            I’d be the last person to say I have all the answers because I don’t have all the answers. I just know that the situation you describe is not the same situation a lot of people find themselves in, and they must deal with those situations. You’ve been trying to generalize from this one situation. It’s not a good idea to generalize. People, and the situations they find themselves in, differ.

            There aren’t a lot people, if you were to ask, who fit the stereotype. I’m just wondering what might be missing from your example. It’s not like you have an idea as to what it actually might be that “ails” this person. We get your urgency, all the same, over someone whose humanity you have hidden from us. There is another side to your complaints that we haven’t heard from. Wherever your problem person is coming from, he or she is a complete mystery, especially, it would seem, to you.

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          • It would seem to an extent that what you are talking about in a person is what people generally refer to as “autism”. There are people who have had good results working with people said to have “autism”. Usually, I understand, it’s a matter of getting to them early, and if you’re talking about an adult, it is already too late for that. You apparently see this person you are talking about as a burden. Counseling, for you, might help, if that’s what you’re asking about. I mean it’s that, or finding a place to stash your little problem, making life easier for you, isn’t it?

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          • Tranquilizing people is not a new concept, and I have to say, when I did mental health assessments, I was super impressed by what a shot of Inapsine would do to a previously incoherent person, allowing me now to have a conversation with them. However, this is VERY different than deciding to force a person to continue to take a drug for years that they may hate or that may not really work for them or whose side effect may ultimately kill them decades early, based on some speculative, subjective label that’s been applied to them without any actual scientific evidence that such a course is generally beneficial, and with increasing evidence that such a course is generally quite disabling and may ultimately be fatal.

            For sure, we need to find better ways to help, but the current paradigm actually impedes or prevents this, because all “schizophrenics,” for instance, are assumed to be the same, assumed to have a biological reason for their distress (despite almost no evidence this is true and plenty of evidence to the contrary), and are assumed to “need medication” for the rest of their lives (again, in direct contradiction to established long-term data). The hard fact is, long-term “treatment” with these drugs does not really work, as you’d know if you would read “Anatomy of an Epidemic” and consider the scientific record described in the book. They are, at best, a short-term method of reducing symptoms while other needs are sorted out.

            A look at the Soteria model or the Open Dialog model should convince a rational person that it is not only possible for so-called “schizophrenics” to recover without drugs, it’s actually easier and far more likely to happen via these methods. If such approaches are available and have been shown to be effective, why aren’t they being used? I think you know the only viable answer: the field is corrupted and is not interested in real solutions that might cost them profits and prestige and force them to look for new clients.

            So it’s not as simple as you suggest. It’s not a choice between drugs and no help – it’s a choice between sticking to a failed paradigm or working hard to come up with a better way, including actually applying the knowledge we have of what DOES work to our clients.

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          • Steve,

            The talking treatments do work for “Schizophernia”, and the process doesn’t have to be expensive at all.

            It doesn’t have to be about stopping drugs either – after a while the drugs become unnecessary.

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          • You are correct; the person I spoke of is severely autistic and mentally retarded. He is over 21, and all past therapies have had little impact on his severe condition. He does not communicate except to occasionally repeat things he has heard in the past. He prefers to talk (or shout) to himself constantly, in some kind of garbled babble. The behaviors I described earlier seem to just be what he likes to do, not actually forms of communication. He doesn’t seem to notice anyone else or their discomfort at his constant noise and messes.
            I fail to see how your idea of me getting counseling for myself will help his issues. The headbanging, or trying to run into the street, for example. What would the purpose of counseling be? To get me not to care that someone is harming himself? I should just butt out and leave him to it? When the police arrive to pick up the body, I’m sure they’ll take a charitable view of my defense: “my counselor told me to work on myself, not on him.”

            But I can see that you’re so against drugging someone who cannot consent (only because he cannot understand what it is to consent) that you think it’s preferable to allow them to further damage themselves and the mental health of everyone forced to live within earshot. Maybe YOU’RE the one who needs to get a little counseling with a few of your own extreme issues.

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          • Well, I see an unusual situation here. Usually, when it comes to families, people talk about unconditional love. You don’t see that here, or even a lot of empathy. I was thinking the problem seems to one involving the whole family unit rather than any one individual. Perhaps some kind of mediation wouldn’t hurt.

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        • You asked what it is that HE wants. As best as any of us can tell, all in the world he wants is to destroy the home and himself. As low as his IQ is, it’s hard to find his “basic humanity” as you put it. It’s certainly not for lack of trying and expense put forth. Yes, he is a mystery.

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          • Low IQ, “autism”, destructive…I don’t see a lot of pluses there. I can see straight off why he might have difficult living with himself. If there are any pluses, maybe an outsider could help you find them. I just wouldn’t generalize from your own situation. Most of the people who visit this website are neither in the situation of your family member, nor of yourself.

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          • No, I don’t concede that forced drugging is necessary in certain cases. Right now we have the opposite problem. You name it, they’ve got a drug for it, and if you don’t take it of your own volition, they’ve got somebody to force it on you. Hardly specific, about as general as it can get.

            I have seen where a person, intellectually challenged is the polite way of putting it, was given a psychiatric label, and then put on a neuroleptic. In the case I know about I don’t think it was a good idea. The drugs don’t discriminate, they harm people irregardless of whether they’ve got all their marbles in one box or not.

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  2. I have a question for the people who imagine that:

    A. Brain drugs have magical effects to restore reason.
    B. Patients lack insight due to lack of brain drugs.

    If that were so, then why do people already on these magical brain drugs so often wish to go off them? With or without consent they are in fact drugged–which according to such a rationale would lead to reason, insight (also known as self-loathing) and all that other stuff psychiatry wants consumers to have.

    Depression especially is no fun. If my antidepressants made me feel better there is no way I would go off them! It’s the shrinks who have poor insight. Rather than it being due to chemical imbalances, it’s due to arrogance, stupidity, and the obscene amounts of money they make torturing their unwilling consumers.

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  3. We’ve been taught from the beginning to have unquestioning respect for people with university degrees. These people have become, or replaced, the voice of God. An idea or thought is valid only if some expert with a degree sanctions it. Those of us without degrees are just chattering–we are not competent enough to do our own thinking, so those with degrees must do it for us. This has led us to being collectively very foolish which has then led to a lot of tragedy. Graduates with Masters and PhD degrees design the curriculum for our schools here in America. They have told us the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery, and we have foolishly believed them. It did no such thing–slavery was NEVER abolished, and the 13th Amendment allows the State to LEGALLY enslave anyone at anytime. Since the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, the Congress, courts, and executive branch of the government are all sworn to preserve, protect, and defend it, meaning the entire government and everyone working for it are preserving, protecting, and defending slavery. This affects everyone because we can all be caught up in this slavery net through so-called criminality or by being “a threat to ourselves and/or others.” On top of it all we are taught to have unquestioning respect for the people in charge of enslaving and exploiting their fellow Americans.

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    • University Degrees and Depot ‘medications’:- My University Hospital Psychiatrist (when I was connected to him) was on the examining board of the Royal UK College of Psychiatrists, and he himself partook in the writing of many research papers on the usefulness of depot ‘medications’. And the University Hospital got well paid from the manufacturer.

      But he didn’t know how to prescribe these drugs. He was incapable of telling the difference between the side effects of his own medications and genuine mental illness. The death rate on these drugs in Ireland is high, and he covered up the connections between depot and suicide. He certainly doctored my records and he doctored the drug company research.

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        If the researchers are hiding the Danger Information (as my University Hospital Psychiatrist was doing), then I suppose it’s not surprising that doctors using the ‘medication’ feel ‘protected’.

        I believe in my University Hospital Psychiatrists case, the manufacturer was an American Company.

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      • Interesting Fiachra.
        “He was incapable of telling the difference between the side effects of his own medications and genuine mental illness.”

        An experiment of sorts was conducted by myself on this matter. As a result of a ‘set up’ by my wife and a psychologist, I had a knife planted in my pajamas after I collapsed in bed from being spiked with benzos. The police and Community Nurse who attended my home decided that they would conceal these crimes from the Doctor the Community Nurse had referred me to. Not knowing that I had been drugged with benzos, and after he interviewed me and found out two significant facts in three minutes (lives with wife, went to college was the extent of his clinical notes about his assessment) he diagnosed me with psychosis, bi polar and some other serious mental illness, and prescribed more benzos, and two anti psychotics to be forcefully administered. Examined by another Doctor two hours later when the benzos spiking began to wear off, all of a sudden the serious mental illnesses had disappeared, and I was released.

        So your right, they can’t tell the difference, and in fact at times end up documenting their own paranoid delusions. A laughable quote from the diagnosing doctor in my case; “potential for violence, but no actual history”. That’d be him too right? lol

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        • oh, and ‘doctored’ records? The set of documents I have obtained show the drink spiking and well, if any questions were asked (and they were asked during a “formal investigation”) would also reveal a list of criminal offenses totaling prison terms of over 100 years.

          Can’t have that, kidnapping, stupefying to commit an indictable offense, conspiring, fraudulent documents….. so the Clinical Director authorises a set of fraudulent documents to be distributed to my lawyers etc, minus the ones proving the drugging, and now I am a knife weilding mental patient who is delusional about being drugged. Got all that from “man asleep in his bed” lol.

          Lucky they are above the law, and can authorise people being drugged without their knowledge, kidnapping, or they might get in trouble for such serious offenses. Just so much easier to bury the victim.

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  4. From the front lines in my state from last week
    Police were called and I was surrounded by police firefighters paramedic s at least nine uniformed males for a 5 ft 155!woman
    I did of play well and ended up restrained and forcibly medicated
    I know have my Td and Parkinson’s back but at least I am out for now
    Is there an underground railroads for u
    I said my Ed off trauma they turned it into paranoid skizophrenia
    I know how to play but felt nothing would work and was doomed so I gave them the worst I could think of using my privileged status not to be killed
    But the names ere there in my minds and the beautiful magnolia tree that has killed so many of our endothermic and sister Blake
    Some of the lowly AIDS were kind
    They knew that I knew honthu hansled it the paskeep away and in your mind say what you want
    No females No cxlincian with ability to dx
    I have lost my ability to write
    Trust has become a melting icicle under my head
    Don’t understsnd

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  5. I totally agree that we need to abolish forced treatment. In the UK, a tradition of case law provides a potentially powerful vehicle by which to take this forward, and there is plenty of downright illegal behaviour documented and out in the public domain that is ripe for challenge.

    There are many courageous stories on this site, of service users willing to give their all to prevent the abuses they suffered being passed down the line to the people that come into the services after them.

    When it comes to it though, so many of us ultimately find ourselves crying out as lone voices in our own situations. Sometimes it seems that the so-called professional radicalism that permeates the Twittersphere, in practice often just gets thrown out of the asylum window by “critical psychiatry” practitioners themselves, in an apparent reluctance to take risks and expose themselves and their views to the scrutiny of their employers. And without concrete and unequivocal support, service-users are hard-pressed to make sucessful challenges against even the everyday injustices we face as voluntary patients. Inequality becomes further ingrained into the health care system with each voice that is silenced, and there seems little hope for the dear souls being held against their will.

    Many of the professionals who post here at MadInAmerica seem to be drawing salaries from institutions around the world that enforce the very barbaric treatments that they oppose. Have you thought seriously about collectively using some of your personal financial resources (your blood money! 😉 ) to help bring about test cases in the countries in which you live and work? Most of your most vulnerable service user groups lack the financial privilege to take action personally, but maybe you could club together to help out an incarcerated service user, in a practical way? GoFundMe anyone?

    Or, you know, just speak out every time that you see injustice occur – and I don’t mean by holding a group tutting session with your Tweeps…

    We, the service users, will carry on shouting out, with or without your overt support. But we could be stronger together if you would add your voices to ours, every time an injustice occurs, in your workplaces, at the time that it happens.

    When we come to it
    We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
    Created on this earth, of this earth
    Have the power to fashion for this earth
    A climate where every man and every woman
    Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
    Without crippling fear

    When we come to it
    We must confess that we are the possible
    We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
    That is when, and only when
    We come to it.

    By Dr Maya Angelou


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    • We definitely need a test case that shines a glaring spotlight on the myth of mental illness and the institutionalized fraud that is psychiatry, and which challenges the fusion of government and psychiatry at all levels. We need law students and ACLU types who recognize psychiatric oppression from our perspective, not the “more money for mental health research” and “rights” of the psychiatrized, when our basic human right is not to be psychiatrized in the first place.

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  6. Unfortunate that one of your acknowledgements goes to David Healy, who, while providing invaluable research and testimony and education and God knows what else regarding the dangers of psychiatric drugs, continues to advocate for and administer ECT, which is simply a bogus lunatic “procedure” that causes brain damage and disables its victims. It matters little if it is applied with or without supposed “consent”; the outcome is the same: memory loss, cognitive dysfunction, trauma.
    What was ultimately more damaging to Garth Daniels? The neuroleptics or almost 100 ECT?

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    • I would think that if you could make informed consent a requirement for ECT, doing so would be very much an improvement over what we’ve got now. Although ECT by itself may be bad, forced ECT, over objections, must be much worse. Get rid of forced treatment, and you will have gotten rid of forced drugging and forced ECT. One of the reasons doctors perform ECT is because there is a demand for it. Where there is no demand, it shouldn’t be given.

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      • Well, there is no “informed consent” because almost all shock docs and “facilities” offering the service LIE about and misrepresent ECT and the REAL risks it entails. And, after the first ECT induced brain injury, how is further ECT “voluntary”?? Is the person “capable” of agreeing to MORE after a few closed head injuries?
        Why is there a “demand” for ECT? Is it bc about 10 people on the planet survived it and a few high profile ones wrote books about it, claiming benefit or bc of the PR spin that has been put in place over the years?
        Desperate people should not be allowed to “demand” a brain damaging procedure like ECT any more than they demand a doctor smash them in the head with a bat multiple times causing similar closed head injury craniocerebral trauma.

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        • I didn’t say shock docs don’t lie. If you abolish forced treatment, you abolish forced shock. Misinformed consent is still consent. Give people the right to refuse unwanted and harmful treatments, and there is going to be less of it. At present, under law, people don’t have that right, at least, people corralled into the mental health system don’t have that right. I think it is a right they should have.

          I didn’t say I was for shock treatments either. Not only are the facts out there, but opinions differ. It’s just that I understand that there is a real difference between voluntary and involuntary. People can wise up, and if harmed, refuse to be subjected to it again. Right now, you can’t even do that if the shock doc decides you “need” it. Abolishing forced treatment means abolishing forced shock as well. I don’t see how that wouldn’t be an improvement over the present situation in which people are given no choice whatsoever.

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          • Absolutely agree that forced treatment with drugs or ECT needs to be abolished.

            Not sure about “misinformed consent is still consent”??
            And, again, the concept of “wising up” and knowing one has been harmed leading to rejecting more treatment doesn’t work so well for people with increasing brain damage who aren’t even aware they are being harmed because they are in a state of euphoric shock or post-concussive syndrome or so sick they just cannot think or make reasonable decisions.

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          • I can remember a case years ago in the UK where an individual carried out a number of calculated and extreme crimes and afterwards claimed insanity.

            Years later I’ve seen the investigating Police Officer interviewed (in documentary). According to the Officer the person was not mentally ill whatsoever but took a certain satisfaction from his behavior.

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  7. Thank you Professor Gøtzsche,

    As far as I know it’s a Public Representatives job to make the best use of taxpayers money regardless of ‘University Degrees”.

    You advocate non drug recovery.
    I believe non recovery methods to be the most successful and economical for the 2 big “dead end” diagnoses.

    In my own case (carefully) coming off psychiatric drugs cured me.

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  8. Thank you for speaking out against forced treatment, Peter, I absolutely agree abolishing forced treatment in psychiatry is an ethical imperative. My experience with such was, hands down, the most appalling experience of my entire life.

    And seven years after I had been medically unnecessarily shipped a long distance to a Dr. V. R. Kuchipudi, then forcibly “snowed” by him and his psychiatrist partner in crime, Dr. Humaira Saiyed. Kuchipudi was finally arrested by the FBI for having lots and lots of patients medically unnecessarily shipped long distances to himself, “snowing,” then performing unneeded tracheotomies on many patients, for profit. He’d initially admitted me with a non-existant “chronic airway obstruction,” according to my medical records.


    Kuchipudi was finally convicted for fraud against the Medicare / Medicaid system earlier this year, and his forced treatment of me resulted in my insurance company being defrauded out of $30,000 for his forced treatment of me, to “cure” a one time ever sleep walking / talking issue. And, of course, to cover up prior iatrogenesis, in my case a “bad fix” on a broken bone and anticholinergic toxidrome poisoning.

    Forced treatment is being used today, by unethical doctors, to cover up easily recognized and complex iatrogenesis, and to defraud big bucks out of health insurance companies for such unneeded medical “care.” We need to take away the right of doctors to force massive, toxic drug cocktails down patients’ throats, and otherwise defame, torture, terrify, and demean innocent human beings for profit. It’s immoral, and it should be illegal. Shame on the medical community and its greedy, “dirty little secret.”

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  9. My prediction is not that they will abolish forced treatment, there will be much higher use of it especially with what happened in Orlando.

    The violent people out there are untreated mentally ill people, whether they are violent with self harm or harm to others.

    The government will start to profile these people and many people will become involuntarily committed or treated for their own good, for the safety of themselves and others.

    Get ready if you thought it was bad before with the over prescribing of medications for people who are just sad or angry, it is going to get far worse when they profile anyone who is not happy or expresses opinions that are contrary to popular opinion and are not shared by the majority, who are groomed by those in power who influence them.

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    • I tend to agree with you that psychiatric survivors and mental patients are going to become the scapegoats for violence, be it in Orlando or anywhere else. I don’t think that makes the abolition of forced treatment an undesirable goal. I think that just makes our long and hard struggle a longer and harder one. Mental health law circumvents the constitution, and gives people an excuse to treat people in the mental health system as less than fully human. Problem. They are fully human, and because they are human, we should abolish the system that reduces them to a subhuman status. It is forced treatment, and forced treatment alone, that prevents these humans from being treated like other humans. Forced treatment is what differentiates mental patients from everybody else. Thing is, it doesn’t prevent them from being everybody else. This dichotomous separation is a complete fiction. Ultimately, I think the truth is on our side. Forced treatment is a form of enslavement in that it doesn’t exist without deprivation of liberty, and for the same reason, it should be abolished. Eventually I think people are going to have to see the justice in our cause for the very same reason that it’s hard to hide an elephant in the middle of a room. Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.

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      • Frank,

        My own experience in the last few years is that its not a question of me not having rights – but that I’m not being allowed the rights I have. I’m not in a weak position but at the same time I’m amazed at what the regulators will allow doctors away with.

        My case is controversial. I was a ‘revolving door’ client for a number of years in Ireland and then I made full Recovery as a result of stopping treatment. I live in the UK and technically speaking they have no ‘authority’ over Irish Medical treatment. There’s also the problem of a toxic record sent over from Ireland which deliberately suppressed Adverse drug Reactions (I have a copy of my historical ADR warning request letter).

        They’re now trying to tell me they’ve lost the Irish record over here ( it’s not possible to lose a record from a computerised system) but they still want to ‘trade’ off previous doctors silly comments.

        My problem was that after 20 years of wellness in the UK my ‘mental illness’ was ‘revived’ but behind my back.

        The GP himself had a mental breakdown and was asked to leave. The other GP s are claiming he retired. I’m not so sure he did.


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        • I don’t think your situation is all that unusual, Fiachra, and I do think it is a matter of rights. Mental health records leave a paper trail, or perhaps the more correct term today would be digital trail, and this trail is used against people who have been in the system almost universally. Funny how they lose your ‘toxic record report’ when convenient. Drugs are their panacea, and so losing such a record is probably not so unusual. Doctors don’t diagnose “mental wellness”, but they conveniently have “disorders” for anybody looking to pin one on anybody. In the USA, all sorts of bad things have occurred in hospitals instigated by staff, and when they get caught, they get off with little more than a knuckle rapping. This is because patients are under served by the justice system. There must be many different records on me in many different places, but if you go to any one of those places, you aren’t going to find the records that are somewhere else. All in all, these records are nonsense, but nonsense that is not recognized as such by the mental health system, nor the criminal justice system. I don’t know of any facilities keeping “mental wellness” records. Patients are presumed “sick”, and staff “well”, until otherwise informed (or misinformed) by a trained expert, and the trained expert isn’t in the possession of facts, the trained expert is in possession of suppositions. What the expert has are research results, in other words, that reinforce the prevailing ideology, an ideology that thinks keeping good people down is the way to go.

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      • “Mental health law circumvents the constitution, and gives people an excuse to treat people in the mental health system as less than fully human. Problem. They are fully human, and because they are human, we should abolish the system that reduces them to a subhuman status.”

        I am in the UK, so can only speak with knowledge of our system here, but I would go further than this in our case and say that it is the (often wilful) ignorance of mental health law amongst healthcare leaders that is leading to the treatment of people within the system as less than fully human. The law offers far more protection in the UK than is actually afforded to most involuntary service users, and I really don’t know why so many are looking the other way while the law is being perverted under their noses.

        As context, I am a service user myself, and I take psychoactive medication in moderation and by choice. I’m utterly appalled that people more vulnerable than me don’t get to make their own choices, and I feel a huge burden to challenge the injustice and the misuse of public funding within this section of our NHS.

        I found this community whilst researching my own options for managing a diagnosis of ADHD. Whilst my medication choices may go against the grain with some here, I think that one positive by-product of the increase of adults like me choosing to enter the mental health service in mid-life is that, by the time we do enter it, many of us have been round the block a few times, we know what standards we should be able to expect from our public services and our healthcare providers, and we are in a relatively strong position to campaign to make things better.

        In this context, it is deeply unfortunate that our access to services sometimes seems to be limited by an apparent functional alliance between that sub-section of anti-psychiatry campaigners would rather challenge the legitimacy of our problems than develop therapeutic provision for us, and that sub-section of mainstream psychiatrists in the UK who would rather not acknowledge ADHD at all, possibly recognising the potential pitfalls of increasing the attention skills of a clinical population that often presents with a comorbid and highly treatment-resistant Bullshit Intolerance Syndrome.

        I am fully human and, because I am fully human, I am compelled to fight against a system that reduces anyone else to a sub-human status. The finest stimulants on the market don’t touch the sides when it comes to dampening down my concerns for equality and justice. I’m absolutely enraged about what is happening in my own community and I’m just not letting it go.

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        • If mental health law isn’t about locking people up against their will and wishes tell me what it is about. I see a situation here where one group is under served by the law simply because the law is out to “treat” them whether they want to be “treated” or not. Given a person who doesn’t want it, must such “treatment”, “mistreatment” where said person is concerned, be imposed upon that person. When they are trying to impose such “treatment” on this person, a few rights and protections don’t hurt, but it’s not the same as having real legal support, that is, defense teams. You think there is a rights system in the UK, okay. In the USA, if there is a rights protection system, there is legislation in process at this moment to jeopardize it. In a nutshell, if we have any rights and protections, we don’t have enough, and those rights and protection proceed from the fact of non-consensual coercive treatment.

          Which is worse, Bullshit Intolerance Syndrome or Bullshit Tolerance Syndrome? I mean you can sink in it up to your hips, and beyond, and it is still what it is. Psychiatrists sell “disease” to hungry “buyers” through its “treatment”, primarily drugs. I would merely suggest that for a career anybody might have better things to be doing with their time than buying substance induced physical impairments from a so-called physician. I’d even, in such an instance, consider the possibility of retiring early into some kind of productive business. There are, of course, businesses built upon catering to the evasion of business, surely, but it doesn’t of necessity have to be one of those.

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          • Do you think taxpayers are going to pay for “real legal support, that is, defense teams” for “mentally ill” people? I think not. If they cared that much, they would be willing to pay for the care traumatized, distressed people need in the first place, and we wouldn’t even be talking about all this.

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          • You’re calling this a movement, which means something should be moving, like public opinion, legislation, etc. I haven’t seen any movement so far except in a reverse direction. There is plenty of information out there, so why all the public ignorance and apathy? Now I agree they are nurtured by corporate media and government policies, but the courts and court appointed attorneys are very much a part of the government as well as being heavily influenced by the corporate world. So the “movement” is either going backwards or in circles.

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          • You’re calling this a movement, which means something should be moving, like public opinion, legislation, etc. I haven’t seen any movement so far except in a reverse direction.

            Yeah that’s the catch. 🙂 I often say similar things to that, though there has been some improvement in “survivor consciousness” over the past few years. Depending on the circumstances and my mood I often speak “as if” there were a viable movement, e.g. “if our ‘movement’ existed here’s a tactic we might employ.” But again, I do sense a palpable growth in consciousness. It needs to manifest.

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          • We had a small mental patients’ liberation movement. Things change, now we have a large mental patients’ movement. The smaller movement, merged with another movement and, thereby, got absorbed into the mental health movement. This is the reverse direction, dkjamil, and you’re absolutely right.

            The mental health movement is about getting the government to pay for “mental health” treatment. It is not really about “mental health” at all. Pumping money into “mental health” is the way the mental health system expands. If you want more non-labeled non-drugged, and chronically so, people, you’re going to have to get this movement to contract.

            I’d say that the kind of movement that we need to be seeing is a movement away from that represented by the mental health movement, and closer to that of the original, now mostly co-opted, mental patients’ liberation movement. Even a small resistance struggle beats the constantly expanding “mental illness” lifestyle movement that we are witnessing today.

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          • In the comment above, next to last paragraph, final sentence.
            Rather than “movement” the word should be “system”

            If you want more non-labeled non-drugged, and chronically so, people, you’re going to have to get this system to contract.

            Such system contraction can only come with a few defeats for the mental health movement. A movement that operates mainly through promoting mental health system expansion.

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          • Frank, I’m very interested in a small patient’s liberation movement. That works. In such a movement it would be possible to get clearer terminology–for example, “mental AND physical illness” would be used only when someone is on drugs and receiving treatment, as they do actually make you mentally and physically ill. Also, mental “health” is a complete misnomer, because the treatments and drugs in this field have nothing to do with health, wellness, and healing, and that concept goes with the biomedical model anyway. With the treatments and drugs we are talking about mental, or mind, control, imprisonment, enslavement, straitjackets, torture, abuse, and so on. We are talking about controlling and further abusing distressed, traumatized people–not giving them any genuine help.

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          • You (using the word “you” generally here) would be creating something clear many could relate to–clear, consistent terminology, clear goals–so even though small, it would have the potential to gain much broader appeal.

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          • Yes, in some cases I think factionalism a good thing. I think we need to have groups splinter away from the consumer/user part of the mental health movement, and the mental health movement itself.

            The “mental disorder” rate has been going up since the time they started locking people up from being “mentally disordered”. In recent years, what with scapegoating people in the system for violent crime, and drug company influenced “disease mongering”, the mental disorder rate has skyrocketed. You don’t lower this rate by jumping on the same bandwagon.

            Begin with a small movement involving small groups of people, and you can either grow, or be suffocated by the manipulative interests of the “mental illness” industry, but we will, at least, be engaged in something besides mental health system promotion and expansion. I think the problem right now is that the movement is involved in system promotion and expansion, and thus spreading the “mental illness” epidemic that goes along with it.

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          • I don’t think, as politicians and others would have it, that we are in any “crisis” in mental health now because of a “broken” mental health system, rather I believe that the mental health system works all too well. The illusion is that it is about prevention and recovery, the truth is that it is a business, that of maintaining a patient population, and through doing so, putting bread and butter on the plates of mental health professionals. The “mental health crisis” line is job security for mental health professionals, permanent disability for patients, and a continuous influx of new patient recruits. When people start rejecting the mental patient role, the system contracts. Mental health isn’t something you can sell. What is being sold is mental health treatment, and it’s a business, like any other business, that would go bankrupt without a steady supply of patients.

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          • Setting words off with quotation marks, apostrophes, and asterisks doesn’t work for me. I don’t even know what I’m using; I’m calling quotation marks apostrophes. Even when done for the sake of brevity, it only adds to the confusion. Same goes for euphemisms and using general terms when specific words are needed in order to be as clear as possible. For example, the term mental health doesn’t work for me at all, no matter how many people use it. What they are calling mental health is about control, period. When someone loses control over themselves, for whatever reason, others step in to control them. On the other hand, I have no problem with the term chemical imbalance if drug-induced is added to the front of it, because the drugs do definitely cause drug-induced chemical imbalances in the brain and body leading to very real mental and physical illnesses. Every time the doctors told me my son had a chemical imbalance in his brain, I could not argue with them because they had already administered the drugs, therefore he did have a chemical imbalance, they just neglected to say it was drug-induced. Looking back I can never remember a time when they said his behavior was CAUSED by a chemical imbalance–very clever. They infer whatever, then let people assume the rest. Same with the genetics. They always asked leading questions about the medical histories of other members of the family, but never actually SAID his behavior was genetically based. These people, call them doctors if you must, are only interested in obfuscation.

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          • What is generally referred to as the mental health system, is about something more than maintaining a patient population. It is also about control. The curriculum planners of our schools work overtime to make sure every minute of almost every day in a child’s life is controlled by the school environment. Those students that do not go along with this and rebel are sent to what we euphemistically call a mental health professional or service, and they proceed to control the children’s minds with drugs and/or psychological manipulation. There are several things going on here, and they need to be talked about openly and clearly.

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          • Sometimes quotation marks are necessary, but sometimes I misapply them, or neglect to apply them, too. “Schizophrenia” is a “disease” label. I don’t want to pretend that there is any validity to DSM label categories, and so I resort to quotations. The same applies to other instances of specialist jargon, in that it is specialist jargon, and neither English, nor reality. Bullshit goes into quotation marks to differentiate it from non-bullshit. Were I not to use quotations marks, you might actually think I was talking about “mental illness”, “schizophrenia”, etc., they are other people’s words, not mine, and the quotation marks are an important part of saying so. I want to leave the lies to liars by the application of quotation marks. Not to do so is to add to the confusion.

            I agree about “mental health”, but I don’t always apply the quotation marks. It is about control, however there is self-control as well, and going into that means going into presumptions about “mental ill health”, the other side of the social control equation.

            Chemical imbalance, theoretical or actual, wasn’t the subject being discussed in this thread. I certainly agree that drugs create chemical imbalances that aren’t found in nature, or impugned “mental disorder”, but that wasn’t what we were discussing which was the need for a smaller movement detached from the mental health movement, a movement that could grow, but that was not so much a part of “mental illness” industry “treatment” movement.

            To repeat, I think we need a movement away from the mental health movement with it’s connection to the “mental illness” industry. I think we need to return to a mental patients’ liberation movement. The problem is mental health system expansion and promotion. Mental health treatment, the business, interferes with non-interference/nonintervention as a policy.

            Lack of self-control is used to justify social control, but this is another matter entirely. Society doesn’t need to suppress madness (i.e. lack of self-control) so much as it imagines it does. We’re not talking about violence and threats of violence here, or anything explicitly criminal, and majorly criminal rather than nuisance.

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          • “If mental health law isn’t about locking people up against their will and wishes tell me what it is about.”

            All it has ever been about is locking people up against their will and wishes. Peter Breggin has written, in part drawing from Foucault, that the original reason for Psychiatry was to lock up homeless men who are not breaking any law.


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          • I was saying the quotation marks don’t work for me in my own writing and was using the examples below that to demonstrate how I would write without them on this particular subject. When you have factionalism, the different factions will be speaking in different ways, but it is important to try to be clear about the subject, however one does it.

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          • Earlier I said I was very interested in a patients’ liberation movement, leaving out the word mental you had placed before it. I think allopathic medicine is a crock, mainly because doctors practicing it are convinced it will only work–people will use it on a large scale–only if nothing else is available. That is how we end up with no choices when dealing with distressed, traumatized individuals. But we are not the only ones in this predicament. We need liberation from this no-choice-allopathic-mentality that has a viselike grip on our health services.

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        • Mental health professionals should get out of the schools, and we should be marching against their presence there, and their mental health screenings they oversee. Many people are calling for more pediatric psychiatrists. Crazy. There was a time when there was very little “major mental illness” among children. More child psychiatrists are only going to escalate the numbers. Fewer children should be labeled and drugged, not more. Another problem with the mental health system in the schools is that labeled children grow into labeled adults. If chronicity is learned. the mental health system in the schools is teaching it. Certainly, there must be much more productive subjects on the curriculum.

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      • The reason forced treatment is even a thing is because THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE. A fact that you seem to miss over and over again in your thoughts. Perhaps this is why you have a chip on your shoulder about it: you continually forget that there are other people around while you scream and flail and throw things or whatever it is you do, then you’re forcibly treated to make you stop bothering them. Why not just try to live peaceably with others? And if you cannot, then how do you have a leg to stand on in arguing against forced treatment?

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          • Everybody has problems. We all have frustrations and feel that we’ve been fucked over from time to time. We don’t all scream and flail and throw things. Some of us stay in control of ourselves even when frustrated. That’s the difference between those who need medicating and those who don’t.

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        • “We all have frustrations and feel that we’ve been fucked over from time to time. We don’t all scream and flail and throw things.”

          Everybody’s problems are not of the same intensity.

          If you’ve never screamed or flailed things it’s because you haven’t been pushed far enough. There are things an abusive human being can do to you (and associated things), that can push you way past the edge.

          Psychiatry won’t make the victims of abusive people any better. It’ll enrage them even more and lead them down an even darker path, as it has in so many people’s lives.

          Getting fucked over by a boss, and enduring years of gaslighting and psychopathic abuse from a psychopathic parent, and realising that nothing has happened to the abuser but you ended up in psychiatry….well, they’re two very different circumstances.

          As long as people aren’t screaming at those that have nothing to do with their situation and not spoiling public places, that’s fine. But if they’re screaming and inflicting violence at their abusers and their supporters, I will give them my wholehearted support, and if people stop them, I will give them my whole hearted support to be violent against the obstructors of justice as well. Hell, I might even join them in doing so.

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  10. The Murphy Bill is a clear indication that what Bruce Levine calls the “Rehumanizing Resistance” is losing ground–rapidly. This Resistance is making the same mistake Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Movement did. Both narrow what should be a human rights issue concerning everyone down to a specific group like a particular race, or people labeled mentally ill. The isolating effect of this narrowing of the issue is magnified by the mental health industry’s use of violent acts to advertise their practice and products. At every opportunity they attribute the violence to the person having been off their meds, or never having been properly diagnosed and put on them in the first place. This puts fear into people’s minds and they don’t want to think about or hear other points of view.

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    • I don’t agree with this logic because before anti depressants people were violent all throughout human history.

      It is the governments way of suppressing violence through medications and possibly political dissidents as well, since people who are predisposed to violence are usually due to being oppressed in some way.

      We see more violence in poor communities of color, and it is rising in middle class and labeled mental illness.

      So yes if we can medicate them into non violence through forced treatment, that will be better for the majority of people who are non violent and privileged.

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      • Tax payers are supporting the state hospitals as well as all the money the state pays to doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies. And “pillar of the community” types and “good family” men and women are running the show. Too many people want to live in Andy Griffith’s “Mayberry.”

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        • The majority of people are indeed happy and enjoying their lives, it is the minority of mentally ill people that are the problems of society.

          The taxpayer will medicate them and force them to be happy with involuntary treatments, so they don’t bring them down with their sad faces.

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          • The general public is not concerned with the happiness of a troubled and/or disruptive person. Generally people are concerned with maintaining order and the status quo in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible. This definitely takes priority over what appears to be a few malcontents expressing dissatisfaction with mental health services. The public thinks suppression is the answer while the ones being suppressed know, from experience, it only makes things worse. There needs to be more focus on the fact that the “treatments” and drugs have nothing whatsoever to do with health, wellness, and healing. Instead of mental “health” we need to call it what it is–mental imprisonment.

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          • I don’t know where you’re coming up with this kind of stuff. Very few people who are happy in the state “hospital” where I work. They are all forced into treatment and forced to take the toxic drugs. They are not happy at all.

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  11. “Medicate them into non-violence through forced treatment”?? Forcing violent treatment on people makes them less traumatized and less violent?
    Drugs (they aren’t ‘medications’) that are documented to cause agitation, AKATHISIA, abnormal thoughts, psychosis, and homicidal and suicidal ideation and actions are likely to “medicate away violence”. Really? Drugs whose ‘withdrawal” also triggers the same effects are “medicating away violence” how?
    Worked well on all those “medicated” school shooters and homicidal/suicidal pilots didn’t it?

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    • Most people don’t have those reactions to psychiatric medications, only a small number.

      Imagine the amount of violence if those medications did not exist, and this mentally ill segment of society was able to see what is really causing their problems?

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        • This is exactly what the German psychiatrists stated with they began gassing “mental patients” in their gas chambers. And of course this was done with the blessing of the German government. And of course, it was done for the poor dears who were nothing but “useless eaters” who had no real life to live so it was better to “euthanize” them for their own good. And of course, it was for the good of the German people because then they wouldn’t have to pay for the upkeep of these useless eaters. Give me a break!

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          • Don’t fear the truth it will make your mental illness worse, embrace it.

            The mentally ill are useless eaters to society, they depend on the government for money.

            And its true the mentally ill are prone to violence, you guys are too politically correct to the point of dishonesty, and it is defeating your cause.

            Accept that we are dependent, vulnerable, defenseless, and weak, or they will continue to euthanize the mentally ill as they do now with lack of compassion in the form of little social assistance, prisons, homelessness, and medical treatment based on greed rather than compassion.

            They are aware of what Hitler did, but if you are not honest with yourselves and accept that you are a victim, they will not treat you like one and give you the help you are entitled too.

            If proper help was given this fear and anxiety from losing liberty to the mental hospital will not exist to begin with.

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          • I agree, Oldhead.

            This guy is insulting, dismissive and against everything MIA stands for. I cannot understand why on earth he’s still here.

            I try and avoid his posts as they can be triggering, but sometimes stumble across them regardless as there are simply so many of them. He baits people, trolls their posts and insults.

            I find them truly offensive.

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        • Don’t be triggered into distress from the truth, emotional and psychological distress increases the odds of violence.

          These drugs are societies quick fix to keeping the victims of society quiet until they can fix it. There are people on these medications since the 90’s, and they are still working to fix the problems.

          My advice to the mentally ill is to be honest so the wait does not take longer.

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  12. The people with the money, the yellow metal, make the rules.

    The word “medication” has been mutilated by those who define reality.
    “The patient’s prognosis without these medications: poor.”
    The false doctors define poisons as helpful “medicine”, where in the past (before the drugs discovery) they would put the accused person in shackles, handcuffs and/or leg cuffs to prevent them from action.

    As long as the world is stupid enough to believe the psychiatric poisons are medicines ( people are stupid) the system of giving “medicine” (invisible shackles) to stop “bad” behavior will continue.

    Only with first hand experience of the psych drugs does a person know they are not medicines.

    I agree with “forced treatment” but it should be called by its true name of “preventive detention”. Where there has to be a reasonable amount of evidence the person is about to commit a crime or has already committed a crime. http://www.britannica.com/topic/preventive-detention
    If I say to many people I am going to kill some one else, such as Mr Smith, I can be arrested. Similarly if I say to many people I am going to kill myself, the Government has to stop me from harming myself. http://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/crime-penalties/federal/criminal-threats.htm
    Unless people have the right to kill themselves (autonomy), which they can, but only with a doctors permission. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/assisted-dying-bill-senate-approval-1.3640195

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    • This article is written by a doctor, and probably a lot of informed doctors would agree with its message. I’ve got friends that are psychiatric nurses that are very compassionate and definitely on the side of fair play. It’s not all doom and gloom. It’s a question of organising.

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      • Actually, it’s a message that most doctors are in disagreement with. An American Association for the Abolition of Involuntary Mental Hospitalization was founded by Thomas Szasz, Erving Goffman, and George Alexander in 1970. This organization dissolved in 1980. Were this subject popular among doctors, perhaps the American Association might have led to an International Association, and such an organization would still be active today.

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          • I agree, and I love it when one of them can prove the exception by making the kind of pro-rights statement that we’ve got here from Dr. Peter Gotzsche. It is, also, in his case one that is made on the basis of the factual evidence. He is reiterating what he said in London at King’s College, and he’s definitely to be commended for making it.

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    • Criticizing the doctors and psychiatry may be one way of bringing attention to their harmful and ineffectual “treatments,” however, the bigger problem is that they are paid for and supported by the state using taxpayer money, and people generally agree with what they are doing or don’t care. More than anything else, the public wants to maintain order and the status quo, and it threatens everyone else when you allow disturbed and disturbing people to express themselves rather than suppressing and silencing them. We, and our “everyday lives,” are the problem, but we can’t face ourselves–and don’t want to.

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  13. Forcibly Treated – Anonymous

    By defying her doctors, withdrawing from pharmaceuticals, and refusing further electroconvulsive therapy; spontaneously and miraculously recovered from all psychiatric diagnoses and labels.

    Diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Dysthymia, Anhedonia, Agitated Depression, Major Depression, Personality Disorder, Major Depression with Agitation, Adjustment Disorder, Vegetative Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Psychotic Depression, Schizotypal Traits, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Somatization Disorder, Avoidant Personality Traits, Suicidal Ideation, Paranoid Ideation, and Dementia – all within eight months.

    Treated aggressively with 35 drugs in an 8-month period – no wash outs allowed:

    Ativan (Lorazepam), Rivotril (Clonazepam), Xanax (Alprazolam), Clonazepam (Rivotril), Valium (Diazepam), Celexa (Citalopram), Novo Pranolol (Propranolol), Amitriptyline (Elavil), Propranolol, Imovane (Zopiclone), Effexor (Venlafaxine), Lithium Carbonate (Lithium), Moclobemide (Manerix), Imovane (Zopiclone), Seroquel (Quetiapine), Wellbutrin (Bupropion), Imovane (Zopiclone), Nortriptyline (Aventyl), Nortriptyline (different strength), Perphenazine (Amitriptyline), Gabapentin (Neurontin), Ativan-sublingual (Lorazepam), Trazodone (Desyrel), Ritalin (Methylphenidate), Fluvoxamine (Luvox), Oxycontin (Oxycodone), Methotrimeprazine (Nozinan), Paxil (Paroxetine), Remeron (Mirtazapine), Zyprexa (Olanzapine), Risperdal (Risperidone), Parnate (Tranylcypromine), Haldol (Haldoperidol), Aventyl (Nortriptyline), Cogentin (Benztropine), Loxapine, Chlorpromazine (Largactil), Starnoc (Zaleplon.)

    Described in medical records as rather bizarre, “walked throughout the appointment”, delusional, demented, self-absorbed, violently agitated, twitching, trembling, shaking, mumbling, muttering, groaning, moaning, pacing, toe-tapping, passively suicidal, having abnormal involuntary movements, and having a prolonged mental illness.

    Considered a poor candidate for psychotherapy.

    Described as ‘an excellent candidate for ECT.’ Detained for 2½ months and forced to undergo 25 anesthetics and 25 bilateral electroconvulsive ‘treatments.’

    Informed of the requirement for institutionalization; plus drugs and weekly maintenance ECT for the rest of her life.

    Threatened with libel and labeled paranoid by psychiatrists offended by her reports about being medicated to insanity.

    Author of the widely-shared internet documents An Open Letter to Doctors http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/an-open-letter-to-doctors/ and Iatrogenic Insanity http://www.cpso.co/iatrogenic_insanity.html

    This Kafkaesque scenario started with a benzodiazepine taken for bereavement-related exhaustion and insomnia. Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome followed, as did a diagnosing and prescribing frenzy, and akathisia. To this day, the doctors deny everything.


    The damage is profound. Book in the works. Medical records will be published. Dedicated in part to the women who did not survive ECT.

    Thank you to PETER GØTZSCHE, MD

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  14. I survived years of psychiatry addicted to benzos and ADHD pills and Remeron and Zyprexa withdrawal after I trusted the doctors words “don’t worry its safe” for insomnia.

    Got off all of it but managed to make myself sick with alcohol a year or so later and ended up inpatient psych after deciding to go to the ER and ask for detox instead of buying more alcohol that day to avoid withdrawals again.

    After all the crap I went through getting off benzos and zyprexa withdrawal that was a worse worse withdrawal, that inpatient psych doctor used the take these drugs or be forcefully injected threat on me. No that crap never helped me no thanks, booze is my problem.

    Ya really, and how will you like it when I see you on the street when this is all over and stick a needle in YOU ??? or just kick your butt really really badly ? I also told the staff be nice and you guys all park in nthat parking lot out back right ??

    What the hell I go for some alcohol withdrawal detox and instead of getting any detox treatment I am supposed to ingest 2 anti psychotics and these epilepsy drug mood pills or be ASSAULTED !!!? Assaulted put your hands on me ?

    Dangerous pills or an even more dangerous injection ???? Somebody reading this isn’t going to like the idea retaliating later outside these hospitals but unwanted needles into a persons body that’s RAPE. Unwanted penetration is rape, a persons body is sacred, the only thing that is really really yours.

    I never got injected, empty threat or they took my counter threats serious because YOU CANT RAPE ME without a nasty bad *ss payback. Rape me I hurt you in future peroid.

    I thought it all out , I hurt that doctor get convicted of assault get a year be out in 8 months.

    There was no reason for me to have been treated the way I was in that place, maybe I am a stupid person for getting toxic on alcohol and needing to go to a hospital but I wanted help but instead got a month long nightmare, people making threats to assault and penetrate my scared temple my body with dangerous drugs…. Uunnecessary un called for nightmare so they could collect insurance money.

    If you want to believe my behavior was responsible for the way they treated me no mix of words or explanation can change that, he was in the hospital he ‘needed’ the treatment… Thats what people say. Thats how they get away with it. No I was just a stupid person who should have put down the booze, manned up and walked it off and sweated it out instead of trying to take the easy way with Atavan and a hospital bed 3 meals a day.

    All this crap I went through is why I donate time and write on this website, the stuff I saw going on in that hospital I swore when it was over I was going to speak out. They screw people up , pump all full of drugs and hold them as long as they can to get that insurance money. People that wanted to stay kicked out others in much better shape held hostage for insurance money.

    The worst part of it was making friends then watching them get assaulted and or made worse with toxic drug cocktails. I am a good friend to people but if I stepped in to stop an assault I would just get assaulted too, a punch I can take that Haldol needle could be neurological damage for life so I had to just watch. All I wanted was help with alcohol detox and got to live all this why ? No reason.

    Universal Health Services patient abuse , link to Google search > http://www.google.com/search?q=universal+health+services+patient+abuse

    I believe the reason the worst time for suicide is after the hospital is because people find out “help” is an abusive nightmare so they chose suicide over so called “help”.

    And also I don’t do the suicidal thing, I kind of like being on the surface and have a never say die attitude, always have but these UHS CRIMINALS write suicidal on my medical records to defraud my insurance company. “Suicidal” underground in a box terrifies me, always has.

    And my records after its over they wouldn’t send them so I spent $100 to get a paralegal to do it all official and force them.

    Keep exposing these criminals MIA. Its so bad whats going on.

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  15. Murphy just sailed through committee last week folks.

    That involuntary “treatment” is a crime and should be abolished should be considered a no-brainer here by now. But all the consensus in the world is meaningless unless people decide to organize en masse against passage of this fascist legislation.

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    • Bad things happen in this world, and they can only get worse when the traumatized people the bad things happened to are met with more bad things being done to them by “good” people (doctors definitely see themselves as good people) backed up by more “good” people (tax payers supporting the abuse definitely see themselves as good people). Somehow all these “good” people need to be shown the great harm, pain, and suffering they cause with their “treatments” and drugs when they further abuse people needing love, compassion, and support at a time of crisis in their lives. The “good” people need to be shown that as long as they support these “treatments” they most definitely are not “good” people but bad, even evil (having knowledge without love) people and should be portrayed and thought of as such.

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      • I don’t even know what the word good (with or without the apostrophes) means anymore, because so many people who clearly see themselves as moral and good, doing charitable works, etc., are in complete denial about the harm they are doing to themselves, others, and the planet.

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      • The definition of good is “respecting and protecting innocent life.”

        The definition of evil is “hurting, oppressing, or killing for fun or for profit.”

        So, does the Murphy Bill, psychiatry, the government, etc, respect and protect innocent life? Or does it hurt, oppress, or kill for fun or for profit?

        In our current society the concepts of good and evil are so twisted that people often believe that great evil is actually good. Here’s a perfect example. 9-11. Conspiracy theories aside of who was actually accountable and what went on, the official narrative says that terrorists were to blame. Reports indicate that approximately 3,500 Americans died on 9-11. The American government’s response of the War of Terror on Iraq (and other Middle Eastern countries) has reports of up to a million Iraqi citizens dead. So, to put it simply, those who are labeled terrorists and the bad guys killed 3,500 people, yet those who killed (the US govt) over a million people are called the good guys. Kill 3,500 and you’re evil, but kill a million and you’re good. The current concepts of good and evil are so incredibly twisted that people have no clue what is really good or evil anymore.

        That is why the understanding and definitions of good and evil need to be reevaluated.

        Good = Respecting and protecting innocent life.
        Evil = Hurting, oppressing, or killing for fun or for profit.

        Using these definitions psychiatry cannot proclaim themselves to be good. The US (and other Western) government(s) cannot proclaim themselves to be good. By their own actions, psychiatry and the government are evil, not good.

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        • Ragnarok, It is interesting you should bring up 9-11 in the discussion about who is good or evil according to their actions. It reminds me of what happens so often now when one is attempting to examine and criticize our collective behavior. The person trying to do this can suddenly find him or herself being accused of supporting terrorists and terrorism. Really, we need to question our confidentiality laws presumably made to protect the victim but actually protecting perpetrators, then concealing the abusive actions of our so-called caregivers. The specific actions of those in the medical field “hurting, oppressing, or killing for fun or for profit” need to be fully exposed to make it clear exactly who is a terrorist and supporting terrorism when talking about issues of abuse.

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        • Back to Murphy, I can only read bits of it at a time as it makes me too nauseous to read more. But, aside from the aol and all, there is a missionary zeal to recruit more & more “mental health” workers and establish more “mental health” connections to connections to everything — hospitals, schools, sports and other “everyday” institutions.

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  16. A good article I would like to point out something the author sems to have missed the presense of these laws impairs treatment of people with siucidal or homsaide Ideation if one is suffering from one of these and wisely wishes to avoid being locked up you can’y say anything about it so hw s any mental health professional going to be able to treat you effectively

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  17. I am posting this comment on behalf of Peter Gotzsche. He was informed of a discussion in Australian government re ECT, when a member of the Upper House in Australia asked question of a representative of the Ministry of Mental Health about the forced use of Electro Convulsive Therapy.

    Here, writes Peter, is a transcript of that “extraordinary” exchange:

    Dr CARLING-JENKINS (Western Metropolitan) — My question is directed to Ms Mikakos in her capacity representing the Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley, and concerns the administration of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) without informed consent.

    One advocate became so concerned about the increasing incidence of ECT administered to his son that he appealed directly to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. A reply from the director of the human rights treaties division directed, and I quote:

    Under … the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities … the state party has been requested [to] take all necessary measures to ensure the suspension of the forced … (ECT) to Garth Daniels, while his case is under consideration by the [UN] committee.

    While I recognise that it is not Victoria which is a direct signatory to the UN convention, this is still a serious directive. Despite this, Mr Daniels continues to be given ECT against his express wishes. What will the minister do to ensure that serious directives such as this are addressed at a state level?

    Ms MIKAKOS (Minister for Families and Children) — I thank the member for her question. As the member said in her question, it is obviously not appropriate for me to go into the specifics of a particular case; I need to respect the privacy of the individual concerned. However, I make the point to the member that acute mental health treatment is complex and difficult, and supporting a loved one during compulsory treatment can be both distressing and a difficult experience.

    The minister responsible, Minister Foley, of course is not directly involved in intervening in any individual’s treatment. He needs to rely on the expertise and the knowledge of medical professionals who make these clinical decisions. I understand that decisions regarding treatment for a patient under a compulsory treatment order are clinical decisions made by professionals in the patient’s best interests and in consideration of all available options. There are a number of important accountability mechanisms which govern the use of ECT for compulsory treatment patients, the most important being the oversight provided by the Mental Health Tribunal, which is an independent statutory body.

    I reassure the member that the Victorian government takes the issue of human rights very seriously. Our track record on this issue is very strong, and I think we have just seen that very recently through the Premier’s commitment to resettle the 267 asylum seekers in offshore detention here in Victoria and to give them a chance of a safe home living in our state. This government will continue to show leadership on issues of fundamental human rights, including for the protection of children, even in the face of a federal government that is too cowardly to do so.

    The member is correct that Victoria is not a direct signatory to any international conventions, although we respect and appreciate the role which the United Nations plays in upholding the rights of all people, including Victorians. This is a complex issue that the member has raised. The minister responsible will of course be guided by advice that he receives from his department, but I understand that the department is taking very seriously the issue of the UN correspondence in respect of this particular matter. Obviously the minister will continue to receive further advice on this matter to ensure that in all complex cases, including this one, there are appropriate accountability measures in place at all times’

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    • Highly educated people with advanced degrees, the experts we rely on to do our thinking for us, are capable of producing the worst and most foul-smelling bullshit on the face of the earth. Their words and actions are truly a powerful condemnation of an educational system that gives NO, ZERO, value to compassion and humanity except as some sort of charade. CHARADE: AN ABSURD PRETENSE INTENDED TO CREATE A PLEASANT OR RESPECTABLE APPEARANCE.

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  18. Thank you for writing this. It’s so thought provoking. And I love how most of your talks you go straight into the numbers and fact based data. All I can say is bravo. But the one thing we do need is 1000 more like you, that are formulating scientifically based arguments and that aren’t former patients. As you said in your article, it’s so easy for the psychiatrists to commit perjury. It’s easy enough to do in a commitment hearing and they do it all the time.

    I just wish we could get this data out to the general public. It’s a shame. And the situation is now going to get worse with the Murphy Bill moving forward. The law will now require forced psychotropics that don’t work and cause brain damage. Absolutely fabulous.

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    • The law will now require forced psychotropics that don’t work and cause brain damage.

      Careful with the negative projections — it CAN be stopped but it’s largely up to us, and how many people are resigned to rolling over and accepting it.

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      • Thank You for this blog . An interesting documentary on not rolling over and accepting oppression . Idea’s on the possible effects of well thought out civil disobedience and how it is done. See the documentary “1971” on Netflix if possible .
        Also the documentary “I AM” is important .
        The following is found here on front page of the website. http://www.PatRisser.com
        Amicus Brief by the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons stating that : ” A civilized State does not forcibly drug its citizens, no matter how offensive. State use of the medical profession to force such drugs on its patients is improper and vulnerable to abuse. A precedent allowing forced drugging with mind-altering drugs could lead , one day to atrocities analogous to those prohibited by the Nuremberg Code. ” Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10 Nuremberg, October 1946- April 1949 (Washington D.C. :U.S. G.P.O. 1949-1953 ) (“The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.”)

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  19. Am I mistaken in my understanding that most psychiatric medications are ingested voluntarily? Maybe the first fix is not completely voluntary, but aren’t the additional fixes voluntary for most adults?

    Why do people go along with this?

    My assumption is that is for a combination of the following reasons:

    1. The patient believes the doctors, believes that they have a defect, and believes they need these drugs.

    2. The patient is in a bad place, they are living without social legitimacy, they are between a rock and a hard place. They don’t see anyway to redress the injustices which have made up their lives. They accept the POV that it is all their own fault.

    3. The drugs make them feel better, so they have the same kind of appeal that alcohol and street drugs do.

    We need to start organizing and fight back against this!



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      • dkjamil, are you replying to me?

        What do you mean they have no choice?

        I don’t know what Open Dialogue is, but I know what Soteria House is.

        What does the lack of these have to do with people voluntarily taking psych meds?

        The people I know, out and about walking around, are taking psych meds voluntarily.

        One first got put on them because he was having a nervous breakdown, and being a jerk and causing problems for his wife and children, so he got 5150ed. And he got medicated.

        Another was having a panic attack, which mimicked the symptoms of a coronary. So he got to the hospital and asked to be admitted over night for observation.

        Well in the County Hospital they deal with coronaries all day long. They have ways of quickly determining that he wasn’t having one. So they loaded him into an ambulance and shipped him to an out of town psych ward which they have a contract with. He stayed there for a month, and then checked himself out.

        Both these guys got medication and a diagnosis from that first visit.

        The first guy doesn’t really like the medications, but he does believe that it is necessary. He lives in fear of having another melt down.

        The second guy loves the diagnosis and the medication. And he loves the disability money too.

        Isn’t it like this for the vast majority of those on medication. Today, aren’t there not that many people long term institutionalized, unless convicted of a crime.

        Aren’t most of those on drugs voluntarily swallowing them?

        Isn’t the only big group that is being involuntarily medicated, children?

        Am I missing something here?

        And isn’t the main reason the people take these drugs simply fear, or just the same appeal that street drugs have?

        Hard to stop people who are going to prescribe ethanol or street drugs for themselves. But with the guys who have medical licenses and are writing these prescriptions, we should be able to stop them.


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    • “3. The drugs make them feel better, so they have the same kind of appeal that alcohol and street drugs do.”

      For the most part, no they don’t. Many doctors dismiss their patients’ complaints about meds and say they should just give it a bit longer..ie 6-8 weeks, by which time it can be VERY difficult to get off them. Or they switch them to another drug which also means that the patient will be on drugs longer and have a horrible time coming off, and is then convinced by the Dr that this proves they really need the drug as their underlying illness is returning.

      I know too that there is coercion. The Drs said if I didn’t take the drugs voluntarily I would be put on a treatment order and forced to take them, and/or held down and injected.

      When I eventually got a Dr to agree to my coming off them (Zyprexa and Avanza…eeeekkk), he told me to just stop…no tapering, nothing, from this incredibly dangerous combo. I followed his instructions and stopped abruptly once and very nearly died. Next time I didn’t follow his suggestion and tapered very gradually indeed. It was prolonged and absolsutely horrible but I persisted.

      It has now been more than five years since I have taken any meds and I am pretty much back to normal, except I have a lot of anxiety and depression if put under any stress whatsoever.

      Pretty much can’t see any doctor now and have also lost any trust in both the medical and legal professions as far as human and health rights go.

      If EVER you see a psychiatrist you must be aware that the second you walk into their office is the second you surrender ALL your human and legal rights.

      I actually think this is where the fight against mass psychiatry can be won…by making people aware of what they stand to lose (ie all human and legal rights) BEFORE they seek psychiatric “help”.

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      • Kim,

        Thank you for responding to me and for sharing your experiences.

        I understand that these drugs have a chemical addictive power of their own, and that this will be magnified when being fed to people who basically have been denied a place in the world and have already been broken by talk therapy and other abuses.

        And I know that the doctors are completely misrepresenting them. I mean the doctors don’t know or care what the drugs do, because the drugs are just being used as a punishment. If you don’t comply with the expectations of Capitalism and The Family, then you should be drugged until you have learned to comply. Am I right here, is this how it works?

        And so all of this is completely in the realm of Josef Mengele. And isn’t also one of the intents in the drugging that the Doctors and the Parents want to feel safe from organized reprisals. So then aren’t the drugs designed to make the victim passive and compliant, someone who would rather live by making appeals to pity, instead of by organizing and fighting back?

        But please tell me, you speak about being threatened with a treatment order and being held down and injected. How common is this? From where I sit, I’m not seeing evidence of this. I see lots and lots of people who are being prescribed psychiatric medications. Usually it is at tax payer expense, or on their health care plans. I don’t think many people would pay out of pocket for such things, because alcohol and street drugs are more cost effective.

        And then where we have had good free meals programs and good homeless shelters, City officials have exerted influence and gotten these programs closed down, and replaced them with programs where clients will be required to submit to case managers. Some of these program administrators have been borrowed from the private companies which enforce the Clinton-Gingrich Welfare Reform.

        So whereas our society does not want to feed or house people, they are happy to pay for psychiatrists and drugging.

        So for a doctor to threaten you with that order and being forcibly drugged, what did they need to have on you, jury conviction for a violent felony? Sleeping in the park? Just being irritable and giving police a hard time?

        Please enlighten me, as I clearly am not yet seeing the full picture. From where I sit, the main group of people being subjected to involuntary drugging is children. And of course a child could never give consent to such. All child drugging is forced.

        South Carolina’s John C. Calhoun used to say, “I can hitch up my wagon, load up my slave, and go anywhere I want, and no government has the right to stop me.”

        Well today it’s, “I can gas up my mini-van, load up my kids, and drive them to any doctor I want, and no government has the right to interfere.”

        Louis Theroux – America’s Medicated Kids
        Maybe if they can’t be busted for drugging their son, maybe they can still be busted for keeping their dog on drugs?



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  20. Back to a previous thread that got too long:

    I think the problem right now is that the movement is involved in system promotion and expansion, and thus spreading the “mental illness” epidemic that goes along with it.

    Not sure exactly who you’re referring to but if that’s the case why would you call them “the movement”? — it sounds like you’re talking about the equivalent of counterrevolutionaries.

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      • Sally Zinman and Gayle Bluebird have developed a power-point presentation for what they are calling the History of the Consumer/Survivor movement. I take issue with any “consumer” movement” in that I’m not out to “consume” that which destroys me. This is the issue. Some people are out to “consume” that which destroys them, quite literally, and you can see this in the early mortality rates for those given the most serious “mental illness” labels and, therefor, put on the most debilitating drugs.

        Mental health treatment was not always the gateway into mental health work that it is rapidly becoming. Decent employment outside of the system, well, that’s more problematic, and it is not being facilitated by the majority of people who go from mental health treatment into mental health work. If people are not leaving the system, the system is either maintaining its numbers, or growing. Any look into the literature on the subject will tell you that the system is growing.

        There are an increasing number of careerists who made their way into the system in this fashion. These careerists generally treat the mental health system as a condition of life, one of the eternal verities, let us say, because it is in their interest to do so. They wouldn’t, if they could help it, go without a paycheck for one thing. This flies in the face of any and every effort to decrease the numbers of people of people in the system. It could be their entrance into the work a day world, and if it is, they will need people to be facetiously “helping”.

        I’m saying that what used to be “our” movement is now “their” movement, and that we need a break away movement if we are get our movement back again. “Their” movement is the non-liberation movement of “mental patients” seeking subsidies they refer to as “entitlements” from the federal government, and paid by the taxpayer. “Our” movement is a movement of liberation from the mental patient role, and, therefor, towards what one would call “mental health” if “mental health” is actually independence from, and of, the mental health system.

        In a nutshell, I’m for a return to the values that defined our movement prior to 1985 when the survivor paid for International Conference on Human Rights and Psychiatric Oppression gave way to the government paid for Alternatives Conference. Zinman and Bluebird write: “We made many movement decisions that left many of the more purist activists behind.” I’m saying that they were bad decisions, and that expanding the mental health system (increasing the numbers of mental patients) rather than getting people out of the mental health system (decreasing the numbers of mental patients) is not a worthwhile aim.

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        • While I hesitate to talk about individuals, as the cooptation of the movement was not the work of just one or two people, I must say I’m disappointed but not surprised by this. Sally Zinman did good work in Florida for awhile but never really had much of a political analysis; I think but won’t swear the other person you mention has always been some sort of mental health professional. But once someone declares themselves part of the “consumer movement” they have given up all credibility as far as the mental patients’ liberation or anti-psychiatry movement is concerned.

          What especially pisses me off here is the arrogance of the use of the word “we” in the statement “we made many movement decisions that left many of the purist activists behind.” Fuck that shit. They made NO “movement decisions” because at that point they were no longer part of the mental patients’ liberation movement. They left their own sorry selves behind. The thing about “more purist activists” is a bunch of shit too. Despite the delusions of the sellouts, they STOPPED being activists (or became activists for the system). It’s not a matter of different levels of “purity,” as they have no claim to any purity whatsoever. The original movement activists largely went their separate ways after the 1985 Vermont conference (where a large group met with Bernie Sanders), some continuing their activism in different venues, some just living their lives. But “left behind”? Give me a break. To leave someone behind you have to go somewhere yourself.

          Do you have a link to this power point thing or something like it?

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          • Yeah it works. Maybe I’ll put it in “favorites” in case I need an emetic sometime.

            I’m familiar with this vicious line that these sellout operations “evolved” from our movement. Metastasized maybe. I hadn’t seen any current versions of this so-called “history” and didn’t know they were still putting this stuff out. Don’t they realize they have been exposed, discredited and rejected in the eyes of conscious “survivors? Maybe it’s time they were told. I can hardly believe they have the nerve use shots of Madness Network News to support their reactionary propaganda and revisionist “history.”

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        • Frank, the name of the conference you mentioned, International Conference on Human Rights and Psychiatric Oppression, sounds great. So does a patients’ liberation movement. I just can’t go along with putting mental before it for several reasons, the main one being I can’t separate mental from physical health. There is just health, or we are talking about something else, like distress, or trauma, or extreme anger and fear, all of which can affect our overall health in many ways. The themes of human rights, liberation, freedom from oppression, all go along with the concept of mind freedom that Mind Freedom International espouses. The goal is freedom, by no means limited to people caught up in a psychiatric system that is all about preserving and propagating mind control, imprisonment, and enslavement.

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          • I’m not in complete agreement with you on this, dkjamil. Bio-psychiatry speculates that “mental health” is “physical health” while destroying physical health with pharmaceutical products, and claiming that “mental ill health” affects “physical health”. When you’re treatment destroys physical health there is going to be a greater need for physicians from other specialties, but here it is iatrogenic, physician caused, damage that is creating this need for physicians from other specialties in the first place. Freedom from physical ill health here would entail liberation from the ravages wreaked by damage rendered from treatment for “mental ill health”. As the ancients put it, “First do no harm”. Were this maxim applied, the need for physicians from other specialties would certainly not be so urgent, and, in fact, might not have arisen at all. Iatrogenic damage is always a matter of not heeding the maxim.

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          • Frank, in your comment on bio-psychiatry you’re making my point in a way (quotation marks sometimes don’t help make things clearer for me). The psychiatric system comes up with all sorts of bogus terminology and reasoning, the DSM being a prime example. Basically, they are destroying your health with drugs they are using to control your behavior and silence you. I simply think of their drugs as causing the (side) effects that are stated on the endless lists of (side) effects that come with the purchase of the drug. They state that the drugs cause what they are calling (side) effects, but are in reality illnesses.

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          • I just can’t go along with putting mental before it for several reasons

            Just as an FYI — we originally referred to ourselves as the “mental patients liberation movement” not because of some naïve acceptance of the medical model but because the people we were trying to organize saw themselves as “mental patients”; there was no “survivor consciousness” around such negative self-identifications at the time. We had to work with what we had. No one would have known what was meant by psychiatric inmate or psychiatric survivor if we used them to advertise our meetings. Later terms like “psychiatric inmates liberation movement” and simply “anti-psychiatry movement” became more popular, each having a slightly different shade of meaning.

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          • Now that I’m aware that this revisionist “history” is still apparently being told with a straight face (don’t the authors ever read MIA?) I think it’s almost mandatory to look at the above link section by section, point by point so that people googling “mental patient/health movement” etc. don’t perpetually get this sort of misinformation as their first search “hit.” I guess that would have to happen in the forums.

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        • Doctors, hospital staff, social workers, insurance administrators, anyone working in the psychiatric system, do expect to get paid for their work, but they want something else as well. They want to be seen as good people. The definition of the word good includes words, and ideas, like morally excellent, righteousness, beneficial, embodying the virtues of honesty, truth, and honor, etc. I have dealt with many of these people over the years and know for certain they want to be seen in a good light, as good people–even if they are drugging children for classroom behavior issues. The parents and teachers who go along with, and want, this drugging also wish to be seen as good people. Much of the drugging and involuntary treatments are done to prevent things from coming out that would tarnish the good reputations and image they work so hard to create. When I look at their actions I cannot think of them as good people even if, or perhaps especially if, they are family members.

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          • I looked at the history of the movement link–that was a nightmare. The way they use “Mental Health System” is very deceptive. It gives the impression it is a very broad field with a lot of choices when there are none. It is a psychiatric system only with all resources supporting psychiatric drugging and methods of control (a replacement for the word treatment because using quotation marks around this word doesn’t make any difference for me). And are they serious about the “radical militant group” label? They seem like the radical militant group to me because they want to take away everyone’s rights and freedoms by forcing only the psychiatric option onto the entire populace. Also, people telling me at this point that drugs worked for them or someone they know is completely meaningless. If we had real, meaningful, easily accessible choices and someone said this to me, it might be worth considering, but not as things stand. And charging people with being anti-psychiatry doesn’t make sense to me either–I’m anti-abuse, period. The way they use the word recovery is deceptive as well–I really have no idea what they mean. Since these people have gone and set up this, whatever you want to call it, and anyone interested in that sort of thing can go there now, it seems like you could get back to the original idea without distraction from people who want to support only the psychiatric model.

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          • OK so this faux “history” thing really has me going. I suppose it’s impossible to cut/paste from pdf which makes it really hard to pick apart. But so many things about this are wrong on so many levels.

            The line put out by these professional “consumers” (on a site apparently sponsored by a corporate “behavioral health” outfit) is that the movement “evolved” from its original protesting and “militant activism” to a new more mature and sophisticated “mainstream-acceptable” format; that from a “separatist” (undefined term) movement we had started to “re-enter” so-called society. It’s basically a narrative about how the movement was corrupted and bought out lock stock & barrel by the psychiatric establishment.

            The first part of the presentation is a reasonably accurate synopsis of the movement’s origins and progress up till the early 80’s. However the section that begins with “The 1980’s — Moving Forward” is nothing less than a blow by blow description of the capitulation of the movement until it was rendered nearly non-existent (which is celebrated progress). It should be carefully studied by those who wish to understand what happened and what we should “never again” allow to happen; it begins on page 20 (small page #’s).


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          • I wish they had bothered to define “separatist” as well. I think they mean “separatist” in two senses. One, not paid for by the federal government/taxpayer, and two, separate from the mental health system. The idea put forward here is to work with the mental health system which is further a matter of taking federal funds. My objection is that also means mental health system expansion, in other words, more and more people labeled and drugged. An elite led patients’ movement I think is the idea, and one that I have many serious issues with.

            I believe where you say page 20, OldHead, you mean slide 20. It would seem the first part of this presentation was probably drafted primarily by Zinman, and the latter part by Bluebird. Towards page 20 it turns towards art, broadly speaking, and not very good art at that, something more closely resembling “art therapy”. I suppose it could be seen as training for up and coming artists, or, more disturbingly, additional mental health expansion through “art therapy”; undoubtedly financed, in large measure, by the taxpayer.

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          • It seems redundant and unnecessary to refer to the movement as anti-psychiatry if it is made clear what the movement is about. That way you separate completely from people who think the field of psychiatry has something to do with health ( and they have other places to go obviously). For example, “mental health” treatment becomes psychiatric treatment, or psychiatric methods of control. Psychiatry has nothing to do with health; it is about oppression from beginning to end. The only time health should come up is when discussing how the drugs psychiatrists use to control behavior and silence people have adverse effects on your health. The name of the conference Frank mentioned is perfect actually– International Conference on Human Rights and Psychiatric Oppression. It is important to be clear the movement is about human rights and freedom from oppression while simultaneously associating oppressive practices like mind and thought control, intelligence manipulation (Fromm), imprisonment, and enslavement (taking away ALL rights and freedoms and treating the person like an object), with the field of psychiatry. This is not being anti-psychiatry, which is an unclear and narrow concept, but anti-abuse and anti-oppression–a cause everyone can relate to.

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          • Frank — Yeah slide 20 I guess, I wasn’t sure why the two sets of numbers.

            As for separatism: This term was very prevalent in the 70’s of course among numerous groups of oppressed peoples who were trying to find their identities as a group. In many cases it simply meant having groups like Black students associations, women-only events and concerts, gay support groups, etc. which were off limits to Caucasians, men and heterosexuals respectively. In some cases people would also limit as much of their day-to-day lives as possible to interacting with those within their own communities. This was generally considered an inviolable principle, and the decision to adopt “separatist” politics and lifestyles was respected as legitimate by most, but not all, activists.

            In the mental patients liberation movement separatism meant that even “supportive” mh professionals were not eligible for membership, nor in most cases were supportive family members, friends, etc. unless they had been subject to psychiatric oppression themselves. (There were groups of allied people such as those above who worked in association with us but membership and decision-making were limited to ex-inmates for the most part.)

            The way “separatism” is referred to in this piece however makes it sounds like we were all survivalists living out in the woods, and only re-entered consensual reality under the guidance of more “rational” non-“purist” “consumers” such as themselves. What bs.

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          • DKJ

            Psychiatry has nothing to do with health; it is about oppression from beginning to end.

            Which is why we’re anti-psychiatry. If there’s been a consensus on anything in the organizing forum & elsewhere it’s that anti-psychiatry is the most effective term by which to define ourselves, and the histrionic reactions to it by those associated with the “mental health” industry confirm this. The International Conferences were also strongly anti-psychiatry btw.

            All this needs a separate forum however. Maybe one of the authors could write a piece here defending their position on “history,” but it could get pretty ugly.

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          • I don’t see, dkjamil, any confusion in the term anti-psychiatry, but that’s an argument I would set aside for another place and another time.

            With Zinman and Bluebird, oldhead, I think non-separatism means being a part of the mental health system, and promoting “mental health” treatment. Consumerism is the new mental patientism. I’m not one to advance mental patientism. I advance rejecting mental patientism instead.

            What would one contrast with “purism”? Why, of course, corruption! I suggest that psychiatrists are not the only people corrupted by the drug companies, and I would further suggest that this corruption affects every aspect of the mental health system, and that it, in fact, extends to so-called peer-run alternatives in many cases.

            The numbers of people taking federal money for so-called “mental disabilities” has grown astronomically. I don’t see how this situation can ever be a good one. Rather than expanding the mental health system, I would like to help contract it. When people are leaving that system, we will have seen real improvement.

            To my way of thinking, Zinman, Bluebird, and many, many other people are working in the opposite direction. do you know what direction that is? Mental health treatment become the gateway to mental health work, you are going to need plenty of patients to support all these new mental health employees. What does this growth spell? Mental health system expansion, ever more people labeled and drugged. I’d prefer to see more people outside of the mental health system entirely.

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          • The International Conferences went away, btw. I understand completely why you are against psychiatry, it’s just that I see anti-psychiatry as a label that limits many people who are against abuse and oppression from identifying with the movement, preventing them perhaps from looking into the issue in more detail.

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          • As far as I’m concerned ‘against psychiatry’ and anti-psychiatry are the same thing. It is only a label where one is not ‘against psychiatry’. If you are ‘against psychiatry’, you are anti-psychiatry, however if you want to use another word to describe yourself, that’s fine with me. I’m good with anti-psychiatry.

            Anti-psychiatry is honesty where anything else is kiss-ass, and it’s good, very good, to have an in-your-face word like anti-psychiatry to offend the reformers. I’m not, for instance, peddling pills, and I’m proud to say so. I’m not selling treatment. I’m not in treatment. I promote non-treatment, or what some folks call, erroneously, “mental health”. The more of it, that is, non-treatment, the better. My word for doing so is anti-psychiatry.

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          • Frank, Oldhead made a comment (6/19/16 7:33 pm–I forgot to note the post, it’s getting late) “Unfortunately I don’t see a discussion of abolishing forced “treatment” anywhere on the public radar right now; even normally progressive people confuse us with Scientology when these issues come up.” I am simply saying the label anti-psychiatry does not help to clear up this confusion–it increases it.

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          • If anti-forced-psychiatry would clear up the confusion, I could see using that expression, only I disagree with you on this point, I don’t think there is any confusion. People are calling it a label because somewhere or other their interests lie in the mental health treatment business. My interests don’t lie in that business, and I, for one, don’t need to promote it.

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  21. This represents my attempt at opposing outpatient commitment laws in California. I presented research before the Orange County Board of Supervisors when they were considering adopting the California ‘Laura’s Law’ a few years ago. They delayed adoption for a year, were beset by letters and comments from parents, the Treatment Advocacy Center of E. Fuller Torrey, and others who were ginning up fear, and eventually succumbed to pass it. This paper represents essentially what was in my testimony: http://www.madinamerica.com/2014/02/current-research-outpatient-commitment-laws-lauras-law-california%E2%80%8E/

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    • One of our priority goals should be to expose Torrey for the charlatan he is. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out what “studies” he uses to justify his rhetoric then methodically deconstruct them and translate it into understandable talking points for all to use, including lawyers.

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    • If we don’t face the fact that our entire culture/society is based on an antiquated patriarchal ideology that never for a moment gave up slavery, therefore must maintain a police state to oversee its slave state, there is simply no way out of the godawful mess we have gotten ourselves into. All the talking, writing, blogging, speechmaking, organizing, and protesting in the world is not going to make one bit of difference if we don’t face facts, and continue instead to believe in a world where we can imagine we are free only if we are white and can toe the line.

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  22. I’ll just add some more thoughts, I think the ethics are who to involuntary commit or force help upon.

    From the perspective of this anti mental health community, many people who don’t pose a threat to themselves or others are being involuntarily treated and I would believe that is true given the current state of the psychiatric system.

    Though we need to be rational and recognize there are instances where forced treatment is necessary, and that removing someone from their toxic environment would help their emotional health until whatever problems they are experiencing that may cause them to break down are addressed.

    These are often family problems, money problems, and related social problems from the community which oppress them as victims.

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    • 1. I would see more ethics in restraining oneself than I would in detaining another.
      2. There is no “mental health community”. The mental health movement is all about mental health treatment, a far remove from “mental health”, whatever that may be. After all, we’ve got no doctors capable of diagnosing it.
      3.a. Forced treatment = deprivation of liberty. Treating adults like adults makes more sense. With freedom goes responsibility regardless of whether you would try to evade that responsibility or not.
      3.b. All sorts of prejudicial mistreatment stems from the fact that there is this law that allows for circumventing constitutional rights when it comes to a certain group of people. Close this loophole, and we’re back to equality under the law. One law for all people rather than two laws, one law for this group of people, and another law for that group.
      4. There are often solutions to family problems, money problems, and related social problems for the person that is diligent in seeking them out. Otherwise you’ve got an old adage in reverse if such be your preference: Seek not, and ye shall not find.

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      • That is misguided to say that everyone is capable of helping themselves. You would let someone starve who doesn’t know how to fish, or would you teach them how to fish?

        If they don’t want to learn how to fish, you must force them to learn for their own good, for their own survival.

        The problem with the involuntary commitments of the mental health community is that they are not done with love nor compassion, they are done to keep people from causing a disturbance due to their sadness and anger.

        They must be done with more resources to address problems with family, money, or other conflicts with community.

        The perspective like yours is mostly likely what perpetuates the harm and loss of liberty to the victims of mental illness that you and those like you so fear.

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        • People are pretty clever creatures. I’m not expecting a lot of mass starvation here in the west any time soon.

          No, the problem with involuntary commitments is that they are involuntary, not chosen, imposed, as in tyrannical.

          When it comes to non-consensual coercive mental health treatment, less is better, but none is ideal.

          I’m for freedom. You’re for “harm and loss of liberty”. My perspective is for releasing people into the world rather than imprisoning in psychiatric prisons that call themselves hospitals. “Harm and loss of liberty” are not something I am fostering, and so your argument makes absolutely no sense.

          People may indeed be harming and enslaving people in the name of mental health, but I am not, and will not, encourage them to do so. I’m afraid the same can’t be said of you.

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          • You are indeed for freedom, but for the freedom of the strong to hurt the weak.

            You refuse to see some people are too weak to help themselves and blinded from your own pride, or maybe anger from your own loss of liberty.

            It is not your fault for holding this view, but you ought to forgive and recognize that not everyone is as strong as you are to survive on their own, and they need a helping hand even if it comes as an involuntary commitment.

            It is when freedom is taken away not for helping you, but for helping someone else that this becomes harmful.

            Americans are going hungry if you choose to open your eyes.

            American’s are also being poisoned by their own foods and are dying from cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, and everything else.

            Forcibly removing them from their situations and showing them the truth will help them heal, whether in mental health or otherwise.

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          • There are other options besides, prison, homeless, and forcibly treated, Jack. There are programs in several cities now that focus on getting people places to live and food without any requirement that they participate in any treatment. Not only do they get more people interested in voluntary treatment this way, the ones who don’t get ANY treatment also improve on their “symptoms” and quality of life.

            The fact that someone is homeless or suffering in some way doesn’t give us the right to force our idea of “treatment” down their throats, in this case, quite literally. Please remember that these people are being forced to take drugs that make them feel awful, often prevent them from working at any kind of meaningful employment, and create conditions that lead to early deaths. It is not a trivial thing to force a person to receive “treatment” against their will. The long-term negative consequences are pretty dramatic, and as I said above, there are other options besides neglect and force.

            —- Steve

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          • “Help” that is forced isn’t “help”. I wouldn’t say this is necessarily true 100 % of the time, but it is true in the vast majority of cases. I know that mental health professionals often don’t work in their clients interests, but rather, in the interests of their family or the state. “Helping” the government put me away does not mean that I am being “helped” in the slightest.

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          • (“Help” that is forced isn’t “help”. I wouldn’t say this is necessarily true “100 % of the time, but it is true in the vast majority of cases. I know that mental health professionals often don’t work in their clients interests, but rather, in the interests of their family or the state. “Helping” the government put me away does not mean that I am being “helped” in the slightest.”)

            There are really no statistics to back these claims, though forced treatment appears misused a small number of times in my opinion.

            When it is misused it is a grave injustice to the patient, and I agree it needs to be revised and monitored for what is the worst case.

            Many people are beneficiaries of forced treatment because the absence of treatment in American society is far more dangerous.

            Where would you want them to be in prison or homeless, or forcibly treated?

            Choose the lesser evil until you can choose the greater good.

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          • Your inability to control your aggression is why you are a mental patient, you only give society a good excuse to put you away when you can’t control your anger and be civilized.

            I suggest that you look at things with love and compassion, and practice unconditional forgiveness, showing compassion to receive compassion, and helping others without expecting anything in return from them.

            You will be able to defend against those who you fear will steal your liberty through passive resistance, rather than active resistance which they will provoke you into.

            None of us are perfect and we all are prone to lose our cool, but it is the weakest of us such as the mentally ill who must bare the biggest burden of this unfortunately, since they have the least amount of tolerance afforded to them as the rest of society in dealing with oppression.

            I hope you learn to embrace your victim-hood as a mental patient which is how society labels you, so that your labors don’t enable your oppressors who label you that way and harm everyone like you.

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        • JackDaniels said: “Your inability to control your aggression is why you are a mental patient, you only give society a good excuse to put you away when you can’t control your anger and be civilized.”

          This sort of insulting and gas-lighting is just what happens when patients question or confront psychiatry about its systematic and systemic abuse of vulnerable people. JackDaniels, YOU are not being civilised!

          Your suggestions and comments are not being made with the love or respect you claim to support, but rather from a position of seeing someone as a “mental patient” in need of a good lesson in compliance…and if it takes forced drugging or whatever else, then it is justified because someone disagrees with YOU…you, as a non-“mental patient” have the power to be judge, jury and person who tames (by force if you so wish) a “mental patient”.

          Status. That is how psychiatry works. It labels, insults and tortures people who challenge it…the techniques are clear in your posts on this forum.

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          • “Status. That is how psychiatry works. It labels, insults and tortures people who challenge it…the techniques are clear in your posts on this forum.”

            I’m not commenting on this dialogue and commenters, just this latest post. Kim, this is so succinct and well said, and I feel totally accurate, that’s where it all gets so stuck in this vicious cycle. I’d draw a big red circle around this, as far as clarity goes.

            When reasonable challenges to another’s way of thinking are met with this, what you describe here, than that is a toxic society, it is completely unsafe and oppressive, and only chaos and various levels of violence (including psychological violence) are manifested here.

            Unfortunately, this level of retaliatory defensiveness over disagreements (which I would call “diversity in thinking”) seems to have become a way of life. People’s egos become so threatened, and they cannot see past that.

            Indeed, when it happens in the psychiatric world, then this only repeats the dysfunctional dynamic which more than likely led a person into the mh world and diagnoses to begin with–and then, yes, forced treatment in order to be socially compliant, which is, without question to my mind, abusive, tortuous, and utterly anti-nature.

            I think for true change to occur, this cycle must be broken. But without reasonability, what options does that leave? How can non-violent change occur when reasonability is sorely lacking? Gaslighting and insulting, stigma-filled projections, are emotional violence, and leads to rage.

            When reason doesn’t work we use force of one kind of another, some kind of overpowering manipulation–at least we try. What would be a third option, I wonder? I’d bet the farm we’d find true change in whatever that is.

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          • Damn, am I glad people are finally making a stink about the presence of this two-bit provocateur!

            Rather than engage him, which just eggs him on and gives him ego satisfaction, I suggest people report his comments to MIA, there’s a button after every comment via which you can do so.

            I’m not telling people how they should respond. I don’t remember a parallel to this situation though I’m sure there has been. Anyway, I wouldn’t argue with the Klan about racism & won’t argue with this entity about mentalism. But I don’t think there’s any reason he should be allowed here, to me accommodating those who have clearly positioned themselves as our enemies is liberalism at its worst. Anyway, my sympathies to those at MIA who have to sort these things out.

            Btw I believe this guy is a perfect example of why calling people “mentally ill” should be considered hate speech.

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          • You are too easily insulted that is your problem, and you really harm serious mental patients with your sensitive views.

            I am giving you the tools not to lose your freedom again to the mental hospital, if you learn to control your aggression society has no reason to see you as a risk to their safety.

            Learn what kind of victim you are, a spoiled mental patient who is overly sensitive, or one that has real problems like no support system, love, money, shelter, etc…

            Psychiatry sees people like you and judges everyone in the same light, which just causes more problems and perpetuates the very fears you have for others and yourself.

            When you lose your mind in the process of believing dishonest delusions you created, people who aren’t offended by being forcibly helped aren’t able to be saved.

            Again for all of you, choose the lesser evil until you able to choose the greater good, or you’ll be left with the greatest evil. This is evident by the mentally ill who don’t have your luxury of complaining from your arm chairs at the moment because they aren’t being helped.

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          • Oldhead for Christ sake you speak as if you are a slave because you were involuntarily committed for a few weeks?

            There were actual slaves had much worse lives than you.

            Then liberalism is your friend if you want to ban speech, and consider mentally illness has prejudiced speech.

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          • Jackdaniels, I said the opposite–non-violence, and I especially have a disdain for psychological violence, which is what I feel people in general have a hard time side-stepping when they are in fear and feel threatened.

            I think this is especially epidemic in the mh world, as Kim pointed out. I think “psychology” is used more as a tool for manipulation and oppression than actually helping people to deal with their inner conflicts and demons. I said that I wondered if there is another option, nothing having to do with force, control, manipulation or violence, but more so with self-empowerment and clarity.

            I don’t have the power to force anyone to do anything. I prefer for people own their power of free will and use it wisely, for the greater good. That’s always my intention and practice.

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          • Oldhead, I can see why you’d want to report it, since it is false and seemingly “accusatory” statement made with absolutely no foundation whatsoever, but I’m not personally offended by it. When I did live with diagnoses because I believed that paradigm via my cultural programming (it was the only one I knew of at the time that addressed my experience), I was really open about it–with friends, at work, etc. My bosses always knew, I told them, I felt it was my responsibility. It never interfered with my work, I had it under control.

            And it was nothing I was ever ashamed of, that never even occurred to me until I actually went through the public system. I could see that it was all shame based.

            Personally, I had thought these experiences I was having were really interesting, albeit very challenging, which is why I eventually went to grad school to learn more about how our psychology works. I was extremely disillusioned with my experience, for all the reasons we talk about here.

            At the end of the day, it’s a crock of shit and applies to nothing practical, imo. In fact, indeed, it is extremely oppressive and dehumanizes people. I used to love psychology, but now I think it’s all academic and nothing at all real. And, that’s it is used primarily to control and manipulate others, to “figure them out.” I see no point in that, it leads to nothing productive or creative.

            The reason my professional work deals with ‘stigma,’ per se, is because that suddenly popped up in black & white when I began a psychology graduate program. That’s where the phrase ‘mentally ill’ became an insult, when I first encountered a pejorative and demeaning attitude about it being projected. I had discussed this in my interview as an asset, which was fine and the panel could see this, which is what I expected, that seemed reasonable to me.

            But once I entered the program and began to disclose, some of my fellow students/therapists-to-be, along with a couple of professors, freaked out and gave me seriously hard time. At that time, during grad school, this was the last thing I needed and it confused me, I had a hard time with this. I felt betrayed by the entire profession at this point.

            Suddenly, being diagnosed with a ‘mental illness’ was a threat, to the therapists. I’d never experienced anything like this before graduate school. No stigma or personal negative association like this whatsoever. But in grad school, there it was, most flagrantly. And it continued and grew the deeper I got into the mh world. That’s why I think it is dangerous, uncategorically.

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          • I reported it because whether or not it offended or threatened you personally it should offend everyone politically because it’s hate speech directed at an oppressed group. To me it’s not much more complicated than that.

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          • You want the website to deny my freedom of speech, because I speak out against the mentally ills freedom to remain in society when they present an immediate danger?

            That is why this website and its advocates will never make progress in solving their problems.

            There is no common sense or reason relating to the protection of liberty.

            Here is a hint for everyone, when in doubt look at the order of America’s constitution for a guide.

            The right to life comes before the right to liberty, and the right to life and liberty comes before the right to the pursuit of happiness.

            When you deny someone’s freedom of speech in order to protect the mentally ill who are a danger to someone’s right to life, you are not guided by the right moral compass.

            This is why America is the best country in the world.

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          • While perspectives would naturally vary about this, I’d agree that anything directed at another with the intention of demeaning, shaming, or insulting them should be moderated, as an example of fruitful communication, as a standard. Unfortunately, that would include a whole lot of posts and comments by others, often vicious, to my mind, which are left standing. Although I’ve often been disagreed with on here about what is abusive and what is not. Regardless, there’s a lot of ‘hate’ around here. This is par for the course.

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  23. Late edit:

    When I say ‘force them to learn for their own good’ I mean a temporary loss of liberty until they can survive on their own.

    I understand this is subjective, but it can be done compassionately with the goal of independence and freedom in an efficient amount of time.

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  24. I’m always shocked at the number of people that buy into the “ Accordingly, psychiatrists argue at court hearings that no sound person would refuse medically sound treatment ” claim that psychiatry (and NAMI) make. Never mind that there is no factual or scientific evidence to back up what their claim.
    If a person with a true life threatening illness, like cancer, decides not to undergo treatment, the doctor will recommend that the patient do so, but respects that person’s wishes. No one questions their sanity.
    Yet someone takes a pill, has an adverse effect from it and is told, “You are not aware you’re ill. You’re out of your mind and resistant to treatment and need it forced down your throat”.
    I’m glad I got out of the system when I did.

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  25. So to continue on the topic of movement co-optation, which is relevant to the issue of opposing forced “treatment”:

    DKJ — We are the anti-psychiatry movement, not the movement to end all oppression everywhere. Although we should be part of that movement, also known as world revolution, otherwise we’re irrelevant.


    With Zinman and Bluebird, oldhead, I think non-separatism means being a part of the mental health system, and promoting “mental health” treatment. Consumerism is the new mental patientism.

    You’re right, and it’s a blatant misuse of what the term “separatism” had always meant in the context of our movement. The movement birthed by people like Howie the Harp and Judi Chamberlin never once even entertained the question of fusing with the mh system; separation from it was a no-brainer and not subject to debate. OUR “separatism” simply meant that our membership and decision-making were completely of and by current and former psychiatric inmates, and sometimes those who had been abused in the then-new “community mental health” system. Giving up separatism would have meant opening voting up to more than just ex-inmates, but would never have entailed rolling over and shaking hands for a few extra favors from our masters. These people are very clearly working against the very principles the movement was founded on. To me it’s still sad in the case of Sally Z, who I think is not instinctively an opportunist but never had much serious political understanding. The others I don’t have much empathy for. None of these folks were around in the beginning, btw, but Sally’s Mental Patients Rights Association in Florida did some good work for awhile based on the example set by the older groups in SF, New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Too bad it’s all down the drain. But bad examples are educational too.

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    • You had a movement that was once against forced treatment and that now is much less against forced treatment because the government is paying their bills. There is no unforced treatment as people when they enter the hospital in any capacity are kept on locked wards. Volunteer status is either a matter of a judgment call, this person is less ‘bonkers’ than that person, or what amounts to little more than a plea bargain. Outside of the hospital, as in so-called peer-run alternatives, it is different, but people usually get into the alternative through hospitalization, although certainly not always. I personally think that the abolishing forced treatment is more important than establishing alternatives because, were it abolished, alternative would no longer be alternative to force as force would be history. With all theses people “with lived experience” getting into the mental health business, the importance of abolishing force is sacrificed to other concerns, primarily the matter of keeping their own “alternative” business going, and in so doing, they get drawn closer into the same business that forces treatment on people against their will and wishes. Keeping a stance apart from the traditional mental health system, one can see so much more clearly that it isn’t a good idea to cave into the powers forcing treatment on people, but that’s not a matter of working with them. You can’t work with them without to one extent or another excusing them for the inexcusable. That anyway, is my opinion.

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        • Rather than being forced into a once size fits all so-called “treatment” people should be given a multitude of choices about what they want to do about their issues that they’re experiencing. Respite houses have much better results in dealing with people who are in distress than the institutions that people are forced into against their will. People have absolutely no choice about anything dealing with them and that’s WRONG. And the government can’t keep paying for people’s upkeep since the funds that disability is taken from are hemorrhaging and are going dry. We need some different approaches to what the system is doing now but the powers that be will not allow anything to be done, other than what is done now.

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          • There are, as of yet, not a great number of crisis respite centers. That more choices should be available goes without saying. The problem is, as I see it, that these new services also become a matter of expanding the mental health system. We don’t need more people in treatment, call it “recovery” or what you will. We need more people outside of treatment. More people in treatment means more mental patients, and more of those little numbers in the DSM-5 (i.e. mental health system, or rather, mental illness industry, expansion.) More and more and more people labeled and doped up is not the way to go. Fewer and fewer would be making things more manageable all the way round.

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          • Whose going to fund these respite houses? The psychiatric system is funded by capitalism, where the private or public insurance companies employs people to help those who are in distress.

            You need practical solutions before you take away disability or welfare from the mentally ill, otherwise they go to prisons or the streets and die there.

            Those medications are dangerous, but they are not as dangerous as starving or violence for people who can’t support themselves.

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          • As mental health treatment does nothing but break people economically, the mental health system is not funded by capitalism, the mental health system is funded by taxes. The mental health system could actually be seen as a turn towards socialism.

            Insurance companies help themselves more than anyone else, those people in distress you are talking about are supposed to be “ill” and maybe they aren’t “ill”. I’ve heard psychiatrists call diagnosis an “art”, and of course there are no exacting “mental illness” tests. Drug companies, too, make money off their victims, but then it is not really a self-sustaining enterprise when your chief customers have to pretend to be “sick” in order to qualify for your product.

            This whole social service welfare industry is very much a vulture type business. One “sickness” feeding off another, and none of them breeding self-sufficiency. Someone mentioned teaching people how to fish, well, I’d say that the way the system works, by and large, is by teaching a segment of the population how not to fish. Were they all fishing, no problem, no “illness”.

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          • I don’t have anything to do with Jack Daniels views, and my views don’t happen to agree with his in the slightest.

            Reagan died years ago. I think his (feed the rich) trickle down theory atrocious.

            I’d also like to point out that government buy out, movement sell out, co-optation of the movement that people have been pointing to occurred during the Reagan years. Apparently, someone in government figured out how to divert our energies, and through funding. I’d call that socialism, that took, if of the NAZI variety.

            Zinman and Bluebird accuse the movement of the 70s of negativism. The new improved movement is is positive. For treatment/collaboration rather than against. I see the mental health system as the problem. The system began with the locking up of unruly people. Now out of this systemic lock up, you’ve got people confusing the issue by selling treatment. Problem. The mental health system is all about the presumption of “sickness” where no “sickness” has been found. The better way of treating people is not to “treat” them in the first place. I’m not encouraging anybody to buy “mental health”. I’m not selling snake-oil. If you want to put your money into the snake-oil business, well, that’s you, that’s not me.

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        • With forced treatment and the government paying people’s bills, many, many people die. Many of these deaths are the direct result of treatments received. Assuming that treatment and government subsidies are saving any lives is a matter. without thorough going research, of pure supposition.

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          • People do die on medications but it is not a mass genocide as you anti psychiatry people are over stating.

            Also you offer no solutions to replace people who can’t pay their bills and need government handouts to live.

            Someone mentioned a respite house, well get your charities to put more of them up because right now the majority of people need government welfare and forced treatment to survive their mental illnesses.

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          • the mental health system is not funded by capitalism, the mental health system is funded by taxes.

            Say what? Who collects the taxes but the capitalist government?

            The “mental health” system is a capitalistic venture just like any other industry (with the additional function of social repression). It’s not so much “funded by” capitalism; it embodies capitalism.

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          • I’m really not a capitalist. However, I don’t see capitalism in the welfare statism of the modern mental health system. You’ve got all these social service vultures crawling out of the woodwork to prey on the unfortunate for their own advantage, and to the disadvantage of the unfortunate. The status quo would be thus self-perpetuating.

            I would say it’s not good economics at all, be it capitalist or socialist. It certainly isn’t good health, nor good work, policy. It’s not even good play policy. It is bureaucracy of the worst sort. I want people to know for certain that there is a door into and out of the “mental health treatment” lifestyle brackets. Entertaining an “I think I can’t” attitude is not just negativism, for human beings, it’s unrealistic.

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          • Whose going to pay for you to get treated for your mental illness when you become a danger to society?

            Capitalism or socialism will get you the necessary care until you are able to function as a normal person in society, whether that is holding a job and supporting yourself or just not being a nuisance to society when you are off your medications and causing a scene in public.

            Don’t step out of line, and the men won’t come and take you away

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          • JackDaniels, you are talking paternalism, and paternalism is a big part of the problem. In the criminal justice system people at least have due process. One is innocent until proven guilty in a jury trial. In the mental health system there is much less due process. One presumed “sick” is committed through a court hearing that doesn’t include a trial by peers to a facility, and it is presumed that the person committed, and presumed “sick”, will be “sick” for life.

            Old Head, it was Marx himself who said, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” I’m just saying that I have to separate any struggle for a more equitable economic system from the struggle against psychiatry. In the struggle against psychiatry this gives us some common cause with conservatives and right wingers in the same struggle where our interests in getting rid of the therapeutic state are the same.

            There can be no denying to a certain extent that the mental health system is an example of socialism in practice. You’ve got the government through the taxpayer providing funding for a segment of the population thought to be unable to provide for themselves.

            What was it Marx said? Oh, yeah. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” The real problem is that this population thought to be unable, is artificially unable, and not unable at all in actuality. So you’ve got a sort of mock socialist system set up with this particular form of socialism creep into a system that still claims to be capitalistic.

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          • There can be no denying to a certain extent that the mental health system is an example of socialism in practice. You’ve got the government through the taxpayer providing funding for a segment of the population thought to be unable to provide for themselves.

            Nope. Socialism would mean that workers and communities democratically control the means of production and the distribution of goods and services.

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          • “Nope. Socialism would mean that workers and communities democratically control the means of production and the distribution of goods and services.”

            We’re talking re-distribution, yes. As for workers, Lenin’s revision of dictatorship of the proletariat actually meant dictatorship of the intelligentsia. Mao’s revolution, too, because China wasn’t a industrialized nation, was to translate into dictatorship of the peasantry. Now were the peasants ever in power there, or loyal communist party officials? There’s no doubt that in the case of either communism, or our form of government, we’re talking politicians and bureaucrats.

            As for, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Marx wrote that. When the government is providing for people described as “mentally disabled” the question arises, is this “disability” a reality or a fabrication? I’m sure, Uprising, that your answer would probably vary from mine.


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          • You’ve got the government through the taxpayer providing funding for a segment of the population thought to be unable to provide for themselves.

            If everyone were entitled to a guaranteed minimum income there would be no need to identify as “disabled” just to eke out a semblance of survival.

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          • That’s just silly, Frank. Unless you are talking about the democratic control of the means of production and mechanisms of distribution by workers and communities, you are not talking about socialism.

            That is the test (and no, I don’t care what Bernie Sanders thinks about it). So wealth redistribution via a liberal (capitalist) welfare state is not socialism. State capitalism (e.g. Leninism) is not socialism.

            I get it, you are a Reagan-anarchist and you want to use the right-wing definition of socialism, hamhandedly link that to psychiatry, and tie it all up with a nice little ableist bow. That’s cool, but I’m bored now, so you will have to hammer out the details with jackdaniels.

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          • OldHead, doing nothing is usually the way people get fired, not hired.

            I’m certainly not a Reaganite, UpRising. I’m just saying that this isn’t your grandparents capitalism we’re living under. Wealth is being re-distributed in ways that would have been unthinkable in another age.

            I don’t really think socialism has to be about freeloading. I do think that worker co-opportives, and intentional communities, and such like, do give us imaginative ways to effect revolution without violence. The way things are now, under corporate imperialism, a portion of the population is expected to be unemployed. Multi-nationals have always had these companies fleeing across borders for the cheap labor. I’m thinking it’s a stupid way to run things because, in the main, it is. Our oligarchy has a place for charity, so long as it isn’t threatened itself. I’m saying there are better ways for communities to get on with things than to rely on this sort of prefab impoverishment, the other side of the 1 %.

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        • JackDaniels wrote: “Whose (sic) going to pay for you to get treated for your mental illness when you become a danger to society?”

          Note he says: “WHEN you become a danger…” This assumes as fact that any/all “mental illness” will result in a person becoming “a danger to society”. This is not the case and, indeed, it is a proven fact (through validated academic research) that people with “mental illness” are more likely to be victims of violence than they are to be perpetrators.

          Why, JackDaniels, do you insist on pedaling blatant misinformation designed to see further discrimination and forced treatment of innocent people? What do you gain?

          Why, MIA, do YOU allow these offensive and abusive posts to continue? Were JD putting up scientifically validated facts re the effectiveness of treatment, and medication, and the actual danger “mentally ill” people present, I could understand it, but the fact that he is able to post his hate speech to justify locking up and torturing people is absolutely beyond me.

          “….or just not being a nuisance to society when you are off your medications and causing a scene in public.” So “causing a scene” is reason, according to JD, to be locked up and forcibly medicated? WOW. Beggars belief.

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          • I’ve been avoiding bringing this to the attention of Emmeline (the MIA moderator) because I’m sure she already considers me to be a nuisance. But others could contact her via the MIA site by going to the “About Us (Contact)” link for staff at the top of the page; this way it will become clear that this is a sentiment shared by many.

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      • You had a movement that was once against forced treatment and that now is much less against forced treatment because the government is paying their bills.

        Don’t know why you keep saying this. Whoever you are referring to are NOT “the movement.”

        Lots of early movement activists collected “disability” and simultaneously fought tooth & nail against forced “treatment” and psychiatry per se. This is way different than organizations taking money from the mh system to work against the movement to which they fraudulently claim to be the heirs.

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      • I personally think that the abolishing forced treatment is more important than establishing alternatives

        I agree, especially when people claim that “establishing alternatives” is a precondition to ending force. In a sense ending force is a precondition for establishing “alternatives.” But it’s also a logical deception to imply that what exists is sufficiently valid to continue pending finding a “better way”; there is no valid function being served by psychiatry in the first place, you don’t need an “alternative.”

        As for encouraging the human support we all need to get us through the storm, until the collective alienation we experience under capitalist culture is addressed in the form of major political transition, it’s a major undertaking. But it’s not inseparable from political activity, both can go together. And in fact the comradery of fighting the system together can have a major positive influence on people’s attitude and spirits. Still there’s no “magic bullet.”

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      • With all theses people “with lived experience” getting into the mental health business, the importance of abolishing force is sacrificed to other concerns, primarily the matter of keeping their own “alternative” business going, and in so doing, they get drawn closer into the same business that forces treatment on people against their will and wishes.

        Also agree, and people have to start asking those with one foot in the system and one out “which side are you on?” This is why the anti-psychiatry delineation is so important — if “lived experience” people working in the system want to be considered part of the movement they should be happy to publicly proclaim themselves anti-psychiatry unless all concerned agree that it would be more tactical to do otherwise (in which case they would be expected to assure comrades in the movement that ending psychiatry is their political goal). If they hedge on this they should not be trusted to come down on the right side when it matters the most. If they are not anti-psychiatry they should not be eligible to be members of the anti-psychiatry movement. Why would they even want to? (Of course they could still be part of coalitions around specific issues.)

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    • I’m not talking about a movement to end oppression everywhere, I’m suggesting ways to appeal to others unhappy with the oppressive system we are living under, however it manifests itself–possibly getting more support for the movement so it can actually move forward.

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      • I’m not trying to be difficult–just trying to explain a difficult concept. I grew up in a family opposed to allopathic medicine, and psychiatry was not considered a legitimate part of any kind of medicine. Also, psychiatrists were never considered to be real doctors. Yet, I could not relate to anti-psychiatry when I heard it. It’s like it was giving psychiatry legitimacy. Something must be real, big, and important to warrant an entire movement against it. As far as we were concerned, it was a bunch of rubbish that needed to be thrown out, and nothing has happened to change that opinion. Everything that has happened has only confirmed it many times over.

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        • “Something must be real, big, and important to warrant an entire movement against it.”

          Like war, or oppression, or psychiatric slavery.

          “As far as we were concerned, it was a bunch of rubbish that needed to be thrown out, and nothing has happened to change that opinion.”

          A mountain of rubbish doesn’t diminish the fact that we are dealing with rubbish. Assuming you want this rubbish removed (recycled, whatever), it might help if you had a movement to remove rubbish. We could consider it a environmental movement for the “mental hygiene” set, and call it, anti-psychiatry. How about that? Given enough people, believe me, we can get this rubbish elsewhere.

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          • Frank, you said in one of the replies above, “Psychiatrists are not the only people corrupted by drug companies…and that it, in fact, extends to so-called peer run alternatives in many cases.” The problem is so much more than psychiatry. In my experience it begins with, and includes the families all the way down the line to where we are today–the Murphy Bill, families that support the system and demand more forced treatment all the time. We are talking about human rights and psychiatric oppression–in that order. The term anti-psychiatry has become all tangled up with Scientology, making confusion inevitable when you use it. Now, when you realize the psychiatrists are not the only problem, but the entire psychiatric system is, as well as the entire mh system, and an awful lot of the families involved, and the taxpayers willing to pay for the whole lot, then everyone becomes the enemy, and you just end up looking paranoid. When I got sucked into this whole mess and had to deal with the doctors, social workers, therapists, and mh workers, my first reaction was, and still is today: where is all this prudery coming from? The point of the entire exercise is to silence people. Really, the main thing going on here is the keeping of family secrets. Since we see ourselves as civilized, we are going about it through psychiatry. In other countries with fewer resources they simply kill the troublesome family member outright, even if it is their own child. Saying the movement is about human rights and psychiatric oppression is inclusive and clear.

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          • If the term is confused with Scientology by anybody, no problem, explain that you aren’t them. Nobody owns the English language.

            Medical model is psychiatry. All psychiatrists are medical doctors. They are so strong on biological emphasis and basis, frankly, because without it, a medical doctor becomes redundant.

            Anti-mental-health-system is too clunky. Anti-psychiatry works just fine. If the mental health system survives, perhaps the damage wreaked by psychiatrists with medical degrees will go by the wayside. Anti-forced-psychiatry is the important thing, get rid of that, and you’ve gotten rid of the worse the mental health system has to offer.

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          • R.D. Laing said he only provided the standard psychiatric services because people wanted him to, and I believe him. People must keep their respectability. It’s a matter of supply and demand. People want to hide their dirty laundry, and the psychiatrist helps them do this. Same goes for the society when it uses psychiatry to get rid of the undesirables. As long as you use the term anti-psychiatry you are missing the mark. You can keep shooting it off all you want–you aren’t going to hit anything, because there is nothing to hit. It’s a false front for something that nobody wants to tackle–respectable families protecting their reputations.

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          • As long as I use the term anti-psychiatry I am not missing the mark. I’m not applying the term to you, dkjamil. I am applying it to me. Respect my freedom of speech, thank you.

            No less a buffoon than Joseph Lieberman opposed pro-psychiatry to anti-psychiatry. I’m not here to promote (the pro part) psychiatry. I am not seeking mental health treatment. If I were to promote anything, it would be a rejection of mental health treatment. You won’t catch me in a psychiatrist’s office, not as a patient. I’m good with that.

            I’m well aware of the fact that anti-psychiatry is the great bug-a-boo of modern psychiatry. You’ve got bio-psychiatry’s big wigs applying the term to anyone who dares to criticize their presumptions and biases. I would go beyond criticism. I’m not buying what they have to offer, and I encourage other people to join me in my boycott of their services. .

            I’ve seen R. D. Laing on video talk about how he wasn’t anti-psychiatry because he liked receiving his fee. So much for R. D. Laing. There are plenty of psychiatrists out there. You can keep anyone of them in business that you would choose to keep in business. Don’t blame me for their business. I have nothing to do with that.

            R.D. Laing before he died lost his license to practice medicine. Of course, he was helped a lot by his enemies in the same field, but I can’t say he wasn’t entirely undeserving. R. D. Laing was exceptional in some regards. There are psychiatrists much worse than he was in absolutely no danger of losing their licenses. Although their social standing may be beyond dispute, I’m not going to use the word respect when speaking of them. They don’t deserve it.

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          • “Unfortunately that rubbish holds great power over many people.”
            Because so many families support it and demand more of it all the time. The main issues are human rights and psychiatric oppression–in that order.

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          • I clicked on the wrong reply–my response is above this, and I would like to add, I don’t see anything funny in any of this. The general populace needs help understanding that the sexual abuse of children is not acceptable. The fact it is against the law doesn’t seem to matter to anyone. In addition, the children are blamed and punished for the sexual abuse from beginning to end. It doesn’t seem too much to ask that the people responsible for this are targeted and held to account. The psychiatrist’s only job is to deflect that targeting.

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          • Oldhead, you said on 6/23/16 at 8:20 pm on this thread, “…If there’s been a consensus on anything in the organizing forum and elsewhere it’s that anti-psychiatry is the most effective term by which to define ourselves, and the histrionic reactions to it by those associated with the ‘mental health’ industry confirm this. The International Conferences were also strongly anti-psychiatry btw.” I already pointed out those International Conferences have gone away. As for the term anti-psychiatry getting “histrionic reactions from the ‘mental health’ industry,” the people reacting are doing their job, which is to divert everyone’s attention from the real issues of abuse and oppression, and the anti-psychiatry crowd are helping them do it. As long as that is the case the anti-psychiatry movement is better off not going anywhere.

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          • I told you before that this was not the time and place to discuss this subject but you kept going at it. Okay. So be it.

            I’d ask, what is the anti-matter, but you probably wouldn’t get that one either.

            As far as child molestation goes, you’re talking crime, and I don’t know where else it has come up in this discussion, not that I’ve kept that kind of track of the anti-matter. I’m not against prosecuting child abusers, but I’m also not against having children reach adulthood, legally and physically. Something to consider.

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          • DKJ — This site is about psychiatry. I’m not exactly sure what your purpose is here if your focus is primarily on other, albeit related, issues. Your input has often been interesting but it makes no sense for you to be attacking anti-psychiatry unless you’re pro-psychiatry.

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  26. If you promote alternative treatment programs, then you are still reinforcing the idea that there is some kind of a disorder which needs to be treated.

    If you just mean homeless shelters, public housing, or communes, then that’s okay.

    But if you endorse any manner of medicalization, psychologicalization, or moral defect promotion, then you are only compounding the problem.

    Anything which says that the victims need to recover, instead of that the original perpetrators have to be brought to justice, is wrong.

    Right now parents can get their child put on drugs and convince that child that they have a defect, and all the therapists involved will be happy to be collecting their fees.

    And all Mind Freedom is going to do about is probably years and years later. They decry forced treatment and over use of medication. They won’t expose how it all starts with familial child abuse. Rather they see the remedy in pity seeking.


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  27. Reply to some of the above posts, many centering around jackdaniels, talking about aid to the homeless which doesn’t involve mental health treatments.

    The problem which underlies all of this is that they want people to submit to case management, that is they want to be able to interrogate people. So they want to take people who’s lives have been already shattered, and then to be able to interrogate them and show how it is they themselves who are really at fault.

    Of course this is unacceptable and this is abuse. It is similar to the issue underlying welfare payments, it is all intended to regulate the poor through ritualized humiliations, rather than to provide for their needs.

    The psychiatrists and psychotherapists back up the middle-class family. What they want to do is cut of any claim to being more than what they have tried to make you into.

    So those for those who want justice and who want to reclaim what of their life which has been taken, rule number 1 is always, do not discuss your affairs with anyone. Do not discuss in confidence, as that is always just more abuse.

    I am involved in community groups and I am always counciling this. Do not talk. Learn to be your own attorney, and attorney advice to client number 1 is do not talk about your affairs.

    Lawyers, not therapists, social workers, or psychiatrists, are the ones who might be able to help someone obtain the fair chance they have been denied.


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  28. I would like to add the “Call for Stop Torture in Psychiatry in Norway”

    Abolish Forced Psychiatry on the basis:

    – Page 5 of the speech of Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E Méndez in 22. meating of the “Human Rights Council” 4. March 2013: “States should impose an absolute ban on all forced and non-consensual medical interventions against persons with disabilities, including the non-consensual administration of psychosurgery, electroshock and mind-altering drugs, for both long- and short- term application. The obligation to end forced psychiatric interventions based on grounds of disability is of immediate application and scarce financial resources cannot justify postponement of its implementation.”
    – Report A/HRC/22/53 of the Special Rapportuer on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of 1. February 2013, Section 32: “For example, the mandate has held that the discriminatory character of forced psychiatric interventions, when committed against persons with psychosocial disabilities, satisfies both intent and purpose required under the article 1 of the Convention against Torture, notwithstanding claims of “good intentions” by medical professionals (ibid., paras. 47, 48)”. Section 82.: “The prohibition of torture is one of the few absolute and non-derogable human rights, a matter of jus cogens, a peremptory norm of customary international law.”
    – “Dignity must prevail” – An appeal to do away with non-consensual psychiatric treatment World Mental Health Day – Saturday 10 October 2015 «The concept of ‘medical necessity’ behind non-consensual placement and treatment falls short of scientific evidence and sound criteria.»


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  29. God help us. I’m scared. I have seen this and am traumatized. It’s scary. For the first time ever in my 53 years, this past summer I realized that I no longer live in “the land of the free” USA. I’m reeling and shocked and still do not know what to do or where to find help. I have no words to describe the horror and abuse- and dehumanization, abuse and violation of civil rights. Psychiatrized people have zero rights and it’s frightening. What can I do to protect my loved one and me? They attacked me after I stopped my son’s death from occurring. And they further abused him and traumatized him after he got out of ICU from their previous forced overdose. And the psychiatrist restricted all visits while he was physically ill after near death, he was being beaten by med techs, put in restraints and drugged even more. The psychiatrist documented awful things regarding my son’s very character to justify their attempted murder and abuse. I don’t know what to do. I was in a fight for his very life daily— up agains lions (administration) for three months. I had to be there every day to ensure my son didn’t die and to get him home. But he’s severely traumatized as am I (he much worse) I feel blacklisted and that I’m up against the mental health mafia.

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  30. Dear Dr. Gotzsche- What steps can I take to ensure my son’s safety? Do I have to hide him away as I am pretty much doing right now? He is no problem – never has been for me. His diagnosis began with his immature and bad decision to smoke K2 or spice or whatever it’s called. Ever since, he’s been drugged.

    This past summer is so difficult for me to describe. I get weak and sick to my stomach still just thinking about it. I’ll try to describe in short: court ordered to a residential treatment facility where he was forced to take a high dose of anitpsychotic -Clozapine and high dose of effexor and was only supposed to be there 6-9 months. He excelled in their program – doing chores, attending groups, day programs, chores – I have records. For 10 months they documented his “compliance” and that he was respectful to all and respected by peers. Then, in his 10th month there, they received over $7000 in backpay — things happened and he began asking about the money. That very day – they instantly “ran out” of his 500mg of Clozapine. He immediately called me, scared, asking if he was going to have to go to the hospital. I assured him I would call to get his Clozapine reinstated. I called and was met with incompetent, defensive, rude staff members, blaming my son for everything. My husband, my son, and I pleaded with them for 6 days to reinstate the Clozapine. Nobody can just cold-turkey off 500mg of Clozapine. The sixth day he was Baker Acted (forced hospitalization in FL) for no reason. I still cannot get in writing the reason for the Baker Act. But the police took him to two “psych only” hospitals -both refused him. He was physically ill by now because of the abrupt cessation of Clozapine. He was taken by ambulance to a medical hospital.

    DAY OF BAKER ACT: while suffering WD’s from Clozapine, he was forcibly injected with Haldol X2, Ativan X3, Versed X2, and Geodon X 1 to my knowledge after receiving his records. ER admitted him to medical because labs were horrible. I informed ER he cannot tolerate haldol and geodon and to never give it to him. I was ignored. Labs continued to get worse, yet

    DAY 2: forcible injection of Haldol and Ativan even though he was not a danger nor combative.

    DAY 3: taken to psych, labs even worse, he was in restraints and in respiratory distress. YET, they forcibly injected him with Haldol X 3, Ativan X 3, and Benadryl X 3 (were they trying to kill him?) — it was documented that he was experiencing extreme EPS, yet they stuck him in isolation to suffer their forced cessation of 500mg of Clozapine and 250mg of Effexor now, plus their forced overdose of drugs. He suffered in isolation alone for 14-16 hours! I do not know how he is even alive. He fought death. I saw it later. I received a phone call that he was in isolation because he was spitting on the med techs. NO! I found him later with white foam pouring out of his mouth and every time he tried to speak, it flew out! That is what was happening!

    DAY 3 continued: My husband and I show up for visitation. A nurse says my son is in “crisis” and we cannot see him. I finally convince her to set up a private room visitation because I heard his agonizing groans and refused to leave.

    This is what my husband and I saw as we entered the room: my son, seated, rigid, back arched, head thrown back, skin beet red, sweating profusely – pouring off like water, eyes rolled back completely in his head, white foam pouring out of his mouth. Every time he struggled to breathe, I heard gurgling sounds. He struggled so hard just to get air. I held his hand and told him I was there. He desperately tried to talk as white foam and agonizing groans came out of his mouth – every muscle tensed – struggling. This is when I noticed his jaw was tightly clenched shut. He could not talk. A med tech sat in front of him with a towel to constantly wipe up the foam pouring out of his mouth. Then, as I looked at my son, his right eye began to spontaneously bleed in two places, filling his eye, and the skin around his eye, with blood. I asked the nurse what what happening. She told me to leave. I refused to leave. I insisted they get medical help for him because he was dying right in front of me. She finally agreed to have an ICU nurse assess him. He was immediately transferred to CV-ICU. If I had not seen him – I know he would be dead.

    ICU documentation: patient arrived “with respiratory failure, kidney injury with rhabdomyolysis, leukocytosis, dehydration, clozapine withdraws.” More ICU documentation “A total of 48 minutes of direct delivery of medical care (excluding time for procedures) involving decision making of high complexity needed to assess, manipulate, and support vital organ system failure and/or to prevent further life threatening deterioration of the patient’s condition…” He stayed the night in CV-ICU with Ativan and Precedex IV drip.

    In medical for next 4 days. His WBC count was 20,000 and CPK 4000. All psych wanted was clearance from the infectious disease doctor, which they received and he was thrown back in psych after only 4 days in medical. He was receiving accuchecks and insulin even though he is not diabetic. The infectious disease doctor told us the WBC was to high because his body was reacting to whatever it was he was experiencing. I still do not have anything in writing. I heard talk of EPS, malignant neuroleptic syndrome. I suspect forced overdose – especially of haldol – a drug that he has not been able to tolerate in pill form in the past. He lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks. Not documented. But we weighed him.

    Back in psych for the next 7 days, he is still physically ill. The psychiatrist restricts all visitation, the med techs beat him many times daily, put him in restraints multiple times daily for hours at a time, and the heavy drugging continued with thorazine, restoril, vistaril, depakote, ativan, clozapine restarted and more. Meanwhile, the psychiatrist, who knows nothing about my son, completely assassinated his very character badly and mine somewhat (even though she never met me!). I feel this was done to justify their attempted murder and abuse. Blaming the victim of their crimes against him. They assigned a stranger to make medical decisions for him, forcing the family away.

    An advocate issued a memo via fax early morning his 7th day back in psych (2 weeks total in hospital), to QI, attorneys, administration and all involved of the fact that the hospital had violated the Baker Act law in many ways and it needed immediate remediation. I received a call by 1PM letting me know my son was being discharged back to the residential facility.

    I could write pages about what happened at this facility for the following two months – they were trying everything to get him baker acted, arrested, or put in a state mental hospital, but they failed because I was there constantly and they could not lie about him. Although they threatened, harrassed and intimidated both him and me daily, my son never once reacted violently. He was never violent in the medical wards of the hospital. Only in the psych ward where no one could visit him, was it documented that he was violent! I think they were documenting the behavior of their med techs. He lived in that residential facility/home with 10 other men and staff for 10 months with no violence. No violence before or after. At the home he was still physically ill from his hospitalization and suffered: light sensitivity (had to wear sunglasses all the time), no peripheral vision, migraines, nausea and vomiting, insatiable thirst, confusion, mumbled speech at times.
    I constantly asked for medical evaluation and they threatened to send him back to the hospital. They told me he was faking and that he was non-compliant.

    I was finally able to get him home. But he is traumatized as am I. What can we do? He does not even fully understand the gravity of the situation. He cannot even bring himself to read the medical records. I can barely read them myself. I read your article and am now upset again and staying up too late to write this. We need help. I have been seeking help for him for years now. How is any of this even legal? I could even write much more. I have my own notebook of daily, hourly documentation of events and conversations. I am dealing with the mafia and it is scary. This is so wrong and I do not know how to fix it. I research – but need to keep my mind together – I can’t get so overwhelmed. I pray for answers and healing and help.

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