Critical Psychiatry: “Stop Psychiatric Abuse”


On his Critical Psychiatry blog, Duncan Double offers his response to Peter Gøtzsche’s and Peter Breggin’s latest blogs on forced treatment. “They want to abolish all forced intervention in psychiatry. Here I do not agree. Society does expect psychiatry to manage madness on its behalf. However much informal and voluntary interventions, including psychotherapy, may have developed since the origins of psychiatry with the asylums in the 19th century, they have not completely replaced the need for compulsory detention.”






  1. Duncan,

    I think the present day abuse of forced treatment is many many times worse than no forced treatment whatsoever (and a person taking their chances on a criminal system).

    Part and parcel of forced treatment involves the denial of Psychiatric drug reactions and drug damage.

    If there there was no forced treatment – I believe standards of care would immediately improve; and that a lot of people would be prepared to approach an open minded service.

    Regulator dishonesty in the UK is atrocious. I’m referring to the General Medical Council, The Ombudsman, The Information Commissioners Office. Inferior treatment from these agencies in in “mental health” is automatic – I can demonstrate this to you.

    The GMC itself is a lot more twisted than most of the doctors they expel.

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    • Att. Duncan (hopefully),

      I don’t have all that much confidence in UK Mental Health 2nd opinions. What I’ve noticed in the UK is that doctors will volunteer to back each other up (regardless) and the GMC will also support any type of uselessness in Mental Health.

      I’ve made complaints to the GMC, and I’ve received replies from them. I would be happy to send these in to Critical Psychiatry in support of what I say.

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      • … “doctors will volunteer to back each other up (regardless),” this is called the “white wall of silence.” And absolutely, forced psychiatric treatment (and even putting patients on psychiatric drugs while lying to the patient claiming the drugs prescribed are “safe … meds”) is used to cover up malpractice, and proactively prevent non-existent malpractice suits, for incompetent and paranoid doctors. It happened to me.

        And forced psychiatric treatment is very profitable. One of my former doctors was even eventually arrested and convicted by the FBI for having lots of patients, medically unnecessarily shipped long distances to himself, “snowing” patients (drugging them until only the whites of their eye are visible), then performing unneeded surgeries on them for profit. He and his criminal crew defrauded $30,000 out of my private health insurance company, prior to his eventual arrest for defrauding the Medicaid / Medicare system with his medically unnecessary forced psychiatric “treatments” and unneeded surgeries.

        Forced treatment is being used to proactively prevent legitimate potential malpractice suits by incompetent and unethical doctors. And most the doctors, and the US government, absolutely will “back each other up (regardless),” via the “white wall of silence.” It’s shameful, and wrong, especially since the doctor whose malpractice initiated my deceived / coerced / forced psychiatric treatment has now killed another person, too.

        Forced treatment is torture, and should be made illegal. Today it is being used by criminal doctors, for criminal reasons.

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  2. It is interesting to see the comments coming from Anonymous at Donald Duncan’s blog-site, Critical Psychiatry. The question I would have for Donald Duncan is how can you disapprove of human rights abuse and approve of it at the same time. I don’t see how you can force treatment on a person without violating what would ordinarily be that person’s legal rights. According to Duncan society demands the management of mad folk, and I’m saying, sure, if society is Donald Duncan, but that’s not exactly canvasing the entire population about their feelings, nor trying to influence those feelings. Duncan, who you’d think would be on the progressive end of the spectrum, is not progressive enough to support the abolition of forced psychiatry and the human rights abuses that accompany it. He does say there should be less of it, and he says he welcomes the discussion. Just like Allen Frances and his ilk, I think you can only be so serious about curtailing human rights abuses when you aren’t out to end them. Well over 100 years ago there was all this fuss about the moral reform. Moral management was going to remove restraints from patients completely. 100 years later and the argument for removing restraints is still being made. So much, less force leading to more force, for reform. Abolition is the only way to firmly nip the problem in the bud, and with finality. If he’d not been pushed by the American south into taking action, Abraham Lincoln saw slavery continuing unabated until the 1950s. Although chattel slaves have been emancipated, in the main, Duncan would permit no end of the psychiatric plantation. I would suggest that we can, and should, do better.

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  3. As is very common, Duncan confuses the need for protection/safety of citizens in society with the “need” for enforced “treatment” of the “mentally ill.” Certainly, there needs to be a mechanism for policing society and assuring that people don’t hurt one another. How do we jump from that to pretty arbitrarily labeling certain people “mentally ill” and forcing them to take drugs or have electricity passed through their brains against their wills? It does not follow that a person being unsafe to themselves or someone else needs to be “helped” by having their brain chemistry forcibly altered in ways that are neither understood nor predictably positive. We need as a movement to STRENUOUSLY make this point over and over again: policing our society and making sure people are not hurt by other people is a legitimate government function. Forcing people to take drugs just plain isn’t.

    At least when someone is arrested, no one is trying to pretend that the inevitable trauma of the experience is intended to “help.”

    —- Steve

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