Royal College of Psychiatrists Still not Interested in Discussing Important Evidence on Long-term Antipsychotic Treatment


The annual meeting of the UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists is in full swing at the moment in London. The conference will again not be debating important new findings about antipsychotic drug treatment. Two years ago the conference organising committee rejected a suggestion to discuss this issue.

This year I proposed a similar symposium, which would have included Lex Wunderink, who led the Dutch first episode antipsychotic reduction and discontinuation study and Robin Murray who was going to present data from imaging studies (including an ongoing study at the Institute of Psychiatry) on how antipsychotics affect the brain. I was going to speak briefly about the subjective effects of antipsychotics, and about the Radar project, a national research programme funded by the UK’s National Institute of Health Research.

The proposal was rejected again. I am extremely concerned that the Royal College conference organising committee do not appear to be aware of the importance of this issue. Here is my correspondence with committee:

Dear Chair of the Conference Committee,

I was disappointed that my suggested symposium concerning new evidence about the potential drawbacks of long-term antipsychotic treatment was rejected again. There is increasing public and professional concern about the use of antipsychotic drugs, and yet it seems the Royal College is not interested.

To my mind and many others, the long-term results of the Dutch First Episode study (Wunderink et al, 2013) are some of the most important research results ever published in the mental health field. They raise questions about our whole approach to treating schizophrenia and psychosis. In addition to this, the evidence that long-term antipsychotic treatment is associated with brain shrinkage is obviously a hugely significant issue (Robin Murray was going to present data on this in the proposed session).

Other institutions are aware of the importance of this research. There was a session at last year’s APA conference in Torontoon long-term antipsychotic treatment, which was so well attended people had to be turned away. I was recently approached by the Editors of PLoS Medicine to write an article on antipsychotic treatment, because they were concerned about these issues. Moreover, I am part of a group of investigators, including several leading British psychiatrists, who have just been awarded a large grant by the NIHR to study antipsychotic reduction and discontinuation in the light of the concerns about the long-term impact of these drugs.

I have now twice asked the principle investigator from the Dutch First Episode study to present at the Royal College annual meeting, and twice I have had to tell him that the Royal College do not want to hear from him. I strongly believe that British psychiatrists need to hear about this research. I speak frequently all over the country, and I know that many are not aware of it.

If my presence in the proposed session is a problem, I am most happy to withdraw in favour of another speaker. In fact I would be grateful for any suggestions the conference organisers had on improving or expanding the proposed session.

I believe the Royal College’s lack of interest in this topic reflects badly on the College in particular, and on British psychiatry in general. Hence I have copied in the President.

Yours sincerely,

Joanna Moncrieff

This is the reply I received (with names redacted):

Dr Moncrieff

I do not really have anything to add to [the original standard rejection email], other than to reiterate that we had many more suggestions than it is possible to accept (the acceptance rate is well below 1 in 3). We use a system of rating submissions by all committee members to inform our final choices. There were many excellent submissions this year and we have been unable to accommodate them all – not because they are flawed or uninteresting, but simply because they did not compete successfully for the limited spaces available. Your submission was in that category. There is no reason that a future submission may not be successful, but it must be competitive with other submissions for that meeting.

Many thanks for your interest in organising a session for the meeting and I am sorry you were not successful on this occasion.

With best wishes, sincerely

To which I replied:

Dear congress organising committee representative,

Thank you for your reply.

I remain astounded and concerned that the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ International Congress organising committee do not regard the new evidence on long-term antipsychotic treatment as important enough to include in the programme for the annual Congress.

I will indeed keep trying. I believe that British psychiatrists would welcome, and benefit from, the opportunity to consider this challenging research.

Yours sincerely,

Joanna Moncrieff.

I did at least receive a courteous reply, encouraging a future submission:

Dr Moncrieff

Thank you very much for your email – and your intention to submit a future proposal on this interesting topic.

Many thanks, best wishes


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. Oh dear…such dangerous drugs, so freely used, so much actual evidence needing to be seen to inform psychiatrists of the direct treatment issues, and yet the Royal College refuses to allow its members to even have any opportunity to know about it.

    What can one say? These guys are happy for their members to go on killing people and causing brain damage and PREVENTING their patients’ recoveries…what happened to do no harm? Bet there’ll be a session or two on implementing ADHD drug treatment for babies, though.

    This must be astoundingly frustrating for doctors like yourself who want to see evidence-based treatment.

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  2. Hi Joanna-It is indeed frustrating to encounter people who don’t want to hear anything new. This May I attended the annual conference on Biological Psychiatry. Kim Do and Tony Grace who both investigate the dopamine system presented. Kim Do’s work is all about Reactive Oxidative Species (brain inflammation), which impair signaling at NMDA receptors, being the culprit in hearing voices. (My book, Neuroscience for Psychologists and Other Mental Health Professionals, covers this story.) Tony Grace, who got an award, also views the fast spiking GABA interneurons, which are controlled by NMDA receptors, as controlling dopamine and therefore is the key for psychosis. An article this month in the Atlantic (One Day in February), is about inflammation and psychosis. The inflammation story seems to be going mainstream. I don’t think psychiatrists are going to quit prescribing antipsychotics until they have an alternative. Perhaps making the case for minocycline, sarcosine, or N-acetylcysteine would give them something to do. These drugs are a much better alternative than dopamine blockers. If they have an alternative they might be more receptive.

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    • I agree, we need to focus on alternatives! I often do mind experiments on myself based on research about alternatives, but I sure wish psychiatrists would be more open to discover new alternatives with real, evidenced-based research. And I wish psychologists would do the same, but they seem to have jumped on the psychiatric bandwagon…

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      • I have alternatives: psychosocial rehabilitation, psychodynamic psychiatry, individual and group therapy, expressive, occupational therapy, vocational rehabilitation… That’s right, most psychiatrists you are not really interested in talking to your patients anymore, too much work when you can get paid for 15 min. of work writing scripts, so easy. Maybe a reduction in salary. Goodness no, not that, then let the rest of do the work and distribute your large salaries to programs and staff that do the work of recovery which works and actually helps our clients. I cannot defend psychiatry anymore as it is in the U.S. They have really lost credibility.

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          • You bet, Fiachra! The experience of a safe, supportive group of individuals who can be vulnerable with each other with rules of confidelity (and no cross talking, not monopolizing, etc are also useful) and care are the most powerful healing environments. I will be starting a caregivers group soon and looking forward to it. As a group facilitator I am not the healing force, I just keep the rules and move the process along, it is the power of those willing to share their experience and be willing to listen to others and be a support to others that is the key.

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    • Not unless they can make buku bucks prescribing these things without having to do any work. I’m with knowledgeispower – we already know a range of effective alternative approaches. Organized psychiatry’s only real objection to alternatives is that they undermine psychiatry’s lock on their market share and prevent them from profiting from the misfortunes of others. It isn’t just that they’re not interested, they have an interest in suppressing this information and continue to do so because it benefits them in terms of power, prestige and income to suppress it. They don’t want an alternative – they’re just fine with the status quo and will do almost anything to preserve it, whatever the impact on their patients.

      —- Steve

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    • Why would they? Without medications to prescribe their entire ethos is under question. `Real’ doctors write prescriptions, that’s what they do. And why is hearing voices such an issue anyway? If you listen to the Hearing Voices network, many perfectly functional people in the community hear `voices’, and many of them thoroughly enjoy the experience. The only problem appears to be when the voices are offensive, abusive and frightening, and when understood as an expression of the individual’s life experience, may be therapeutic. We really need to look towards functional therapies as the major goal in helping distressed people. I have serious reservations about the amount of time and money being poured into the search for biological causes of the distress where little is gained, in place of effective treatments such as psychotherapy. Perhaps equal amounts might serve the sufferers far better. It’s lovely to know what happens in dementia, it might eventually be useful to know WHY it happens, but in the meantime we have to deal with the outcomes right NOW anyway.
      If I was hallucinating and the voices were abusive and frightening, I would much rather learn to deal with that via support and psychotherapy so I can live a normal life.
      Before you call me a shortsighted Luddite, I agree that if we can find causes we should, but I believe it is very shortsighted to break down the causes of emotional suffering into component parts. Does it matter whether the dopamine system is responsible for auditory hallucinations? Does it matter what bit is not working properly when WHY it isn’t is related to the awful abuse this person suffered as a small child? Do all those malfunctioning bits come together when the individual goes through the Open Dialogue process and recovers after just talking it all through, anyway? Instead of always looking for DISorders, maybe we should search for why people get well and how THAT happens.

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      • I was writing in response to Jill Littrell, PhD’s search for bio psych -iatry or -ology as an aim for…what? Unlike her I don’t think they’ll stop when they get an alternative because the only alternative that they’ll recognise is another drug. There ARE alternatives but psychiatrists don’t want them because they’ll lose too much. Status, power, and MONEY. The big three. Hitler stayed put, long after it was clear that his resignation and negotiation might have saved his people a lot more grief. Louis XVI, the Duke of Athens, Nicholas II and Napoleon stayed put, subjecting their people to the chaos of a revolution and even worse tyranny. No, psychiatry will never relinquish control – willingly. It must be a bit nerve wracking for the rank and file who may well be seeing the tide coming in, but then cognitive dissonance responds quite well to denial, for a time.

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        • Deeeo42, well said.

          I think that there’s a big body of False Research around the “Illness of Schizophrenia”: IMO Schizophrenia is basically speaking a form of disabling anxiety; and effective ways of treating anxiety can be found in the psychological process.

          Psychiatric “medications” are not medications either, they are tranquillisers and this is why they make things worse in the longterm.

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          • Yes Fiachra, you’re absolutely right. If you look up the descriptions the old psychoanalysts used, many of them mention anxiety as a core factor.
            Freud – a withdrawal of emotional investment in external or internal objects secondary to what we would today call a narcissistic injury – positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions were restitutional, i.e., attempts at self-cure.
            Edith Jacobson – lack of differentiation between self and other.
            Jung – feeling-toned pathogenic complexes and trauma
            Harry Stack Sullivan – severe and dissociative warping of the personality and self-esteem – severe anxiety and loneliness.
            Melanie Klein – projective identification, a feeling of falling into bits –
            Bion – terror: a fear of being eaten up not just by the therapist or hospital, but by her or himself as well –
            Herbert Rosenfeld – paranoid reaction of being colonized and invaded because of pathological projective identification – a defense around unthinkable, primitive agonies.
            Elvin Semrad, and David Garfield – the result of ego breakdown triggered by unbearable anxiety and other affects
            Margaret Mahler – a derailment in separation-individuation with symbiotic deficits
            Frieda Fromm-Reichmann – strong conflicts between dependency and hostility.
            Kohut – paranoid delusions as a psychologically meaningful way of expressing emotional states).
            Lacan – imaginary and symbiotic entanglements with the primary caregiver
            Gaetano Benedetti and Maurizio Peciccia – always self-loss – at the poles of autonomy or relatedness.
            And when I worked in psychiatry in the 1970s we ALWAYS called the drugs `tranquillizers’, minor – Valium, which we didn’t use because it was addictive, and major – Largactil etc. I didn’t hear the term `anti-psychotics’ until well after I fell under the psych bus in 2000. In fact I was given them for sleeping! And then for the `bipolar’ I never had. After 13 years I got away and am now perfectly well and totally drug free.

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  3. Thanks Dr.Moncrieff for attempting to bring science/evidence into psychiatry.

    An idea to get the long term use of antipsychotics in the field of discussion is the number of persons/patients on the medicine/drug. Sales of $18 Billion dollars a year in antipsychotics , says Doctor Friedman 2012 (USA)

    This number of people combined with the reported reduction of average life span of the mentally ill. In combination with “brain shrinkage is obviously a hugely significant issue ”
    Doctor Frances writes

    Anecdotal evidence of myself, diagnosed with serious mental illnesses (SMI) at the age of 19, I am now 48, do not take antipsychotics and I am doing relatively well. (stable)

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    • Your story gives me great hope… I hope someday I’ll be free of the “poison pills” too (I believe these drugs are healing in the short term, damaging in the long term), but for now, I’m striving to improve my perception of reality and myself, my identity.

      In my opinion, my psychology is the root cause of my mental illness and how we interpret our life experiences shapes our psychology. Like you, I’m going by anecdotal evidence so I’m open to “real” evidence that proves I’m wrong… not that experience can’t be real, but our interpretations can distort how we perceive reality. My mission is to see reality as it is, not as it appears to be!

      I don’t wish to stop my meds until I dig deeper into my mind and discover what triggers my symptoms (for me, hopelessness is both a trigger and symptom of my suicidal thoughts). I believe hope is one of many factors that results in healing and this community gives me the ultimate hope that someday, the mental health system will evolve the way life itself has evolved!

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      • Myself, I use science to log my days like a seafaring captain. My photos and my own notes can not be forgotten.

        In my case, my mother and father (who were not educated) believe anything a doctor tells them. They were told I was ill at age 19 ( which was true) but my parents assumed I was “mentally ill” once again, any time I was greatly upset after that first incident. Any parent wants to protect their child, and out of fear of the future will drug and institutionalize their child. A power struggle. When is the child an adult? The mother and father do not want to relinquish control. Psychiatry serves the mother and father, keeps their child a child forever.

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  4. Although, I think your work is fantastic, it messes with the revenue stream that now exists. The APA and the UK are more interested in the IL-6 receptor theory with a, wait for the punchline, drug that effects IL-6 neurotransmitter. Too bad the science didn’t follow first with I don’t know, verifiable statistics, but alas, that’s the situation where we find ourselves in, again.

    I heard Ketamine for depression is also a new poster child for psychiatry. That should fit into Pharma’s income possibilities quite nicely since the side effect most associated with this street drug is psychosis. We’ll skip the bipolar diagnosis completely and go straight to the schizophrenia diagnosis. And since those are probably the level of drugs that cause the most brain damage, 10 years to create disability will be left in the dust. We’ll be doing it in half the time.

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  5. I’m beginning to think that it’s not a matter of them not knowing about this evidence. I think that they’re turning a blind eye to all this on purpose. After all, this is the only tool that psychiatrists have that keeps them labeled as real doctors. Their ability to prescribe these toxic drugs is what legitimates them in the medical world.

    Let’s face it; if I know about all this sitting in a Podunk town in the southern part of the United States how could they NOT know about it? Ethically and morally they’re required to keep up on the latest developments in their field and yet they don’t know about any of this?????? Give me a break. But of course I must remember that I just shared Nancy Andreasen’s study about “antipsychotics” reducing brain volume with a psychiatrist who’d never heard of it, even though she published the study in 2011. She’s a Bio-Bio-bio psychiatrist par excellance and did the study twice because she thought she’d made a mistake the first time. She had to admit that these drugs reduce brain volume.

    So, either way they are in the wrong. If they are turning a blind eye to this they’re wrong and if they’re not keeping up with the latest in their field (and let’s face it, there really isn’t that much going on in the field of psychiatry to keep up with, at least not in biopsychiatry) then they shouldn’t be practicing. They are endangering and harming people either way and this is wrong!

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    • I’m beginning to think that it’s not a matter of them not knowing about this evidence. I think that they’re turning a blind eye to all this on purpose.

      How could “they” possibly not know? — everyone here does! It’s their “profession.”

      Anyway, an important distinction, as people spend too much time wondering what they’re “doing wrong” when their totally valid points and arguments are dismissed.

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    • You don’t think shrink. If you learned something they didn’t, it has to be from dubious sources, and therefore a projection of some source of dubious wish-fulfillment on your part, they being men of learning and you, but a gullible simpleton.

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  6. Class action lawsuits need to happen to get some justice here for those that psychiatry has harmed, certainly does not make up for loss of human life and health of so many, but at least will make a point about harm done in face of evidenced that what they are doing is harmful. I have some clients that have sued pharmacy companies, i.e. zyprexa, for side effects that caused diabetes and were given large sums.

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  7. Dr Joanna,

    What schizophrenia? Successful withdrawal from “antipsychotics” would mean that theres no “schizophrenia”( – and put psychiatrists out of work). It’s basically the antipsychotics that disable people, and cause the expense to the taxpayer.

    I was disabled for 4 years while I consumed “antipsychotics” and I “relapsed”several times when I tried to stop taking them (but I was able to come off them successfully and recover through tapering very slowly and moving to the Talking Treatments).

    The problem with coming off antipsychotics is the (OverWhelming) Rebound Syndrome – if this is treated successfully (i.e. equipping a person with suitable skills) – then recovery is likely to be permanent.

    You can be sure that the Royal College of Psychiatrists would sabotage any move in that direction.

    (The average psychiatric patient is a prisoner).

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  8. Wow! Last year’s Toronto APA meeting had a session on long term neuroleptic use? That is encouraging.

    I know there is a great deal of research bias in psychiatric organizations. In some cases, they are going to be the last people you will find receptive to new information. This is why other venues become so important. I think the issue of harm due to the use of neuroleptics should be discussed and debated on college campuses across the country. If the Royal College of Psychiatrists is going to be the last place that is receptive to the evidence, I’d think that by getting the information out there anyway, eventually they can be pressured into presenting the evidence that at present they would suppress.

    Thank you Dr. Moncrieff for trying to apply a little pressure in the here and now. Hopefully that pressure is going to build to the point that sometime in the future they relent.

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          • Yes, but it’s a sticky point, they’re supposed to be medical doctors concerned about people’s health. If it were otherwise, acknowledged or unacknowledged, we’ve got something of a scandal on our hands.

            This nation has a really big prescription drug problem, and the mental health system, all told, might be considered a result of that prescription drug problem. That’s the way I see it. Doctors have their vested interests, and their divided loyalties, but some of them might be reachable all the same. After all, health is supposed to be their big concern.

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  9. Thank you for continuing to try to educate the psychiatrists, Joanna. My medical research into how I was made “psychotic,” I was eventually made so sick my psychiatrist claimed I had, “the classic symptoms of schizophrenia.” Found that, in fact, it was combining multiple neuroleptics, plus additional drugs, which resulted in anticholinergic intoxication syndrome. Here’s what has to say about just combining the antipsychotics, Geodon and Zyprexa:,1744-1113&types%5B%5D=major&types%5B%5D=minor&types%5B%5D=moderate&types%5B%5D=food&types%5B%5D=therapeutic_duplication&professional=1

    And anticholinergic toxidrome, as all doctors should know, makes a person “mad as a hatter” / “psychotic.” And it can be caused by both the antidepressants and antipsychotics.

    And since it is common medical knowledge, to all except seemingly the psychiatrists, that the antidepressants and antipsychotics can alone, and definitely in high doses or when combined, make a person “psychotic,” via anticholinergic toxidrome poisoning. And the psychiatrists absolutely can not tell the difference between “psychosis” caused by neuroleptic or poly pharmacy induced anticholinergic intoxication syndrome, and “psychosis” caused by “the classic symptoms of schizophrenia.” It truly is unwise for the “bipolar” drug cocktail recommendations:

    to be advocating combining all the drug classes they are recommending, especially the antipsychotics and antidepressants. And this is especially true, given the enormous number of innocent US children who have been misdiagnosed as “bipolar” by today’s US medical profession, thanks to Joseph Biederman, and apparently due to their inability to read the DSM-IV-TR, which clearly states that it is a misdiagnosis to claim the adverse effects of the antidepressants, or any other drug, is “bipolar.”

    Grown adults, garnering trust by calling themselves doctors, that defame and torture innocent children or anyone, for profit, are deplorable.

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  10. The excuse given by the Royal College for not accepting Joanna’s proposed symposium is just appalling. The “institution” of psychiatry, as represented by the Royal College, clearly wants to avoid a discussion of evidence that challenges its conventional wisdom.

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    • What a strange reason for not accepting Dr. Moncrieff’s proposal, “did not compete successfully for the limited spaces available”. This is the most relevant and hot topic in psychiatry right now. They are definitely avoiding as it appears they are not prepared and frightened what the outcome of all this will mean to them. They cannot hide forever. Much appreciation to Dr. Moncrieff for her efforts.

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  11. Thank you Joanna for the very important work you do, both re reserach and to get the word out. Unfortunately I am not surprised, the last decades my colleagues and I have tried to reach out to people in different positions in psychiatry, but we are met by silence. The last months I have tried to reach Simon Kyara, psychiatrist and wellknown researcher to suggest a meeting and to invite him to our international scientific symposium re psychiatric drug risk and withdrawal which we host in October. Silence! Your post inspires me to write an offical letter like yours and to get it published. Thank you!!!

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  12. Thanks for trying Joanna. Such a noble effort. As someone who became psychotic BECAUSE of Wellbutrin, and then dealt five years (and counting) of antipsychotics, I am too appalled at the institutions lack of curiosity into the issues of brain shrinkage and long term outcomes. How frustrating!!!!!!!!!

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  13. What we also need is a list of credentialed allies who are willing not only to write articles but to testify in court for people who are about to have their lives destroyed based on uncontested junk science presented by the Torrey-ites et al. If certain bio-psych arguments could be roundly refuted to the point of raising reasonable doubt in the minds of court-committing judges, and a few people could be sprung, these arguments could then be the basis for class action and ultimately a court challenge to the medical model itself and the legitimacy of courtroom psychiatric testimony.

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  14. I don’t know much about class action lawsuits but that sounds good to me. They gave me abilify clozapine seroquel haldol and zyprexa so I would definitely qualify! (And celexa and Zoloft and Wellbutrin and ambien and lunesta and lexapro and lamictal and lithium). I miss being drug free.

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      • Yes, lets find some lawyers! Lets try to get some cases going. Otherwise this is just more online therapy and recovery.

        But one thing I have found is this, lawyers are not really allowed to give legal advice unless they take a case. I don’t know if the law restricts them, or if it is more their insurance.

        Problem is that if they tell you something but do not take the case, they could be construed as giving you legal advice, and it could be bad legal advice.

        So you are denied the kind of casual advice you might hope to get, even if they don’t take a case.

        So always they will say, “We are not accepting the case, but we suggest that you contact other attorneys.” They don’t give you any benefit from their knowledge and experience.

        So for example, I always talk about how I helped put a Pentecostal Daughter Molester into our state prison. This guy had his whole church backing him, saying that the daughters were being “rebellious”. And for them that means rebelling against God. Who would ever want to do that?

        So once the guy was convicted I set about trying to line up attorneys so that the girls could sue their parents. But this happening is very rare. But then if not in the case of a major multi-count felony conviction, then when? I also wanted them to sue their church. Treat it like a hate group, like the KKK. Except it doesn’t run on racial prejudice, it runs on prejudice against children.

        To get lawyers who will talk, you have to look for activist attorneys and for legal scholars. Look for those who have recently written books or articles. And look for those who have handled high profile recent cases which push the envelope.

        When it comes to law suits, most of it is just case law, precedents. Statutory law is often secondary.

        So we can look to the model of the big tobacco class actions. Most of the time the Judge would just offer some reason why the suit was invalid, putting themselves in between the jury and the evidence.

        So it can take many tries. But each time you get a little bit further, and then finally the jury does get to decide based on the evidence, and then you can win.

        Let me present something else about this though.

        1. Medical malpractice lawsuits are really hard. Usually it means getting doctors to testify against the judgment of other doctors. They don’t like to do this, as their profession has tremendous status.

        2. But saying that actions taken have nothing to do with medical treatment, but are simply abuse motivated for profit or other psychological needs, Josef Mengele territory, this is a different story. And then there is the issue of compliance with mandatory reporting.

        3. Children suing their parents is extremely rare, even though most child abuse and most child sexual abuse occurs in the home, within the family, and is done by biological parents. Medical abuse is usually being invited because the parents wants to be vindicated in their view that “something is wrong with this kid”. What they would like most is for the child to commit suicide.

        One of those who was first able to get the Statute of Limitations extended for child sexual abuse was:

        But even though she is a survivor of familial childhood sexual abuse and was primarily motivated by that and the situations which came up in child custody cases, she used to have up on her web site a message explaining that most of the impact of SOL extension was being felt by the Roman Catholic Church. It’s around $2.5G by now, the resignation of some cardinals, and the bankruptcy of some archdioceses.

        So in light of this I point out that it is probably easier to get people to sue their psychotherapists and psychiatrists, than it is their parents. Though usually I would say that when one suit is warranted, the other likely is too.

        Difficult to sue parents, but here is one case:

        Lawsuits against parents invariably intersect with inheritance laws, and the backwards system we have in the United States encourages silence, denial, and the continuing abuse of more children.

        Also, people who abuse their children are not in touch with their own feelings, they think in rigid and defensive ways. So by the time you can finally get them into a court room, they will be senile. And worse, they usually will be suicidal. You can tell this just from how they talk.
        He started out his legal career defending parricide cases. He was the only attorney in the country who specialized in these.

        But now he also handles civil cases dealing with child abuse. I got to see him in action once and then to meet him outside the court house.

        He has written in his book

        that when defending a parricide case it is difficult to get any leniency from jurors. They are always considering that there could be something the deceased might say which would sway them.

        But in cases of attempted parricide it is completely different. Just get this senile-suicidal who survived the attempt up on the witness stand and let the jurors hear them. Very quickly jurors see that especially from the position of an adolescent, this person is intolerable and a threat to their very existent. Jurors always lighten up once they have heard from the parent first hand.

        C. P. Ewing, Attorney and Forensic Psychologist

        He explains that parricides are always victim assisted.

        So yes, getting these senile-suicidals into court is what has to happen. But also understand that what these people really want is for someone to kill them.

        Professional Process Servers always say that divorce cases are the most dangerous. Well, children suing their parents will be worse. But it must happen!

        Then also consider when dealing with therapists the importance of sidewalk action, picketing, passing out fliers, trying to get more complaintants, going after practice partners, land lords, and insurance carriers. I’ve shut down lots of businesses in my day, ones which were not subject to any tough laws like mandatory reporting, and ones which had never engaged in anything as serious as medical child abuse.

        It is just a matter of organizing and committing to action, instead of recovery and more therapy.

        People resist legal action and go with therapy because that way they don’t have to feel their pain. See the greater part of the pain is only indirectly related to what happened years ago. It’s more in how one’s life options were destroyed, and in how one still is living in a society which encourages all sorts of child abuse.

        If you confess on your therapist’s couch and punch their pillows, you don’t have to feel any of this. You just partake in the fantasy of healing which they are selling you.

        And who cares if your life is still not in any way repaired, and if today’s children are still being abused in very similar ways.

        But if you do try to obtain redress, then you are forced to face how difficult it is and to see how it never was just your parents, your therapist, or your doctor. It is our entire society which sanctions such abuses, and doing anything about it will always be an uphill battle.


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          What I tried to do was set up a precedent to establish that ECT caused brain injury in order to force governments to pay for rehab for victims, thus embarrassing them (they pay for the ECT), and costing the taxpayer even more money, and to set the scene for a class action. I, at considerable personal cost, got my very cooperative GP to schedule an MRI brain scan and neuropsychological tests. These are not covered by Medicare (Australia). The results showed brain damage as I knew they would. I then got her to refer me to a neurologist. I did not tell him that I’d had ECT because I knew I’d be dismissed. He confirmed brain damage and I asked him to refer me to neurological rehab which he did. Then I told him that the only brain injury I’d ever had was from ECT. He knew almost nothing about it but that’s OK, neither did the doc who prescribed it. He also was appalled that psychiatrists use cingulatomy etc for behaviour as this was developed as a last resort for recalcitrant epilepsy.
          My aim was to set a precedent where the medical profession outside psychiatry, recognises that ECT causes lasting brain trauma requiring rehab. Few if any are warned of this so there should be a case for litigation. Can you imagine the impact of hundreds if not thousands of people lining up for help for their Acquired Brain Injury? How embarrassing would it be for psychiatrists to please explain why all the patients they treated are injured? How disturbed the doctors’ insurance companies will be when the damages bills start coming in? How happy the lawyers will be to have huge class actions to conduct and win?
          As long as we try to sue psychiatrists with just our results we’ll get nowhere, but with confirmation by neurologists, maybe there’s a chance.
          I’ve posted this suggestion for over a year now in an attempt to get people to organise a movement with a distinct aim, and a set of procedures to DO IT. I even attempted to set up a group myself. I got 3 responses, one a Scientologist.
          I live in Melbourne Australia, I am getting old, I have never been a committee type person and couldn’t organise myself out of a plastic bag. I am also just getting my life back after 15 years and don’t have too many left. I’ve shown it can be done and I want to hand the idea over to someone a) more central, numbers are important, b) younger, stronger and more dynamic, c) with greater legal expertise and d) without significant brain damage, maybe a friend, relative or activist who would have more credibility than an ex `patient’.
          People on this site and many others complain, and bitch about how awful it all is but when someone comes up with a practical suggestion, it is shunted aside in a sea of rhetoric, or ignored. Is complaining so cathartic and pleasurable that solutions are seen as interfering with the fun? Are we just as much wankers as the psychiatric `researchers’?
          I still believe it can be done but one person at a time will achieve nothing.

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  15. Excellent work, Dr. Moncrieff! As tedious as it may seem, this kind of patience and persistence cannot fail to have an effect. Of course, the sooner the better, and every day the scam and the damage continues is too long…. But the bio-psych side just has to hope the critics will go away, or that some “research breakthrough” will save their profession. Neither will ever happen.

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  16. Dr Joanna,

    This article is very informative.

    There are so many people that would benefit from knowing that “schizophrenia” can be a “passing phase” – with suitable help
    (and that the drugs themselves can be a serious problem).

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  17. No surprise here – the main potential results of acknowledging how ineffective antipsychotics are in the long-term, and how they can cause effects like tardive dyskynesia/brain shrinkage, are job loss, loss of prestige, loss of income, and shame for the profession. No wonder psychiatrists are burying their heads in the sand.

    I would be tempted to avoid it all too if I had such a profitable scam/con going…

    This brings to mind the behavior of tobacco executives decades ago who did everything to deny and avoid evidence about tobacco being harmful. It’s human nature to lie, avoid, deny, deceive, obfuscate, and bullshit when confronted with information that will likely reduce one’s prestige and income. Exactly what psychiatrists are doing right now…

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  18. This topic is so important because not only antipsychotics don’t seem to improve long-term outcomes in psychotic patients (in fact, they worsen the prognosis, as Robert Whitaker has shown) but even more frightening is the fact that the vast majority of antipsychotics that are now being prescribed are given to people with no psychotic complaints whatsoever. I know so, because I received 4 of them for plain insomnia. Virtually any symptom can lead to a prescription for these drugs today. What on earth possesses the profession of psychiatry to use heavy-duty drugs with severe side-effects for things like insomnia, everyday stress, exam nerves, loss of a loved one etc.? This is not about finding an effective treatment for schizophrenia anymore. I even doubt if it ever was. It’s about creating the biggest possible market for a class of drugs that are actually more toxic than the benzodiazepines, albeit less addictive and probably easier to come off of (I’m in severe protracted withdrawal from multiple benzos right now and I have a hard time believing antipsychotics could be even worse than this, but you never know; I was very lucky I only took those 4 antipsychotics for a relatively short while). Everyone should watch this video. Now tell me it’s really about helping people get relief from their psychosis. Since when is insomnia the equivalent of hearing voices? The only voices I ever heard were those of my doctors telling me to swallow all their toxic drugs.

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  19. I empathize with you, Dr. Moncrieff. I hear a lot of bogus excuses and standardly dismissive responses, too, trying to reason with established systems. They never seem to budge, regardless of anything (perhaps they throw a bone here and there in the pretense of “progressive change,” which only always amounts to being a decoy away from corruption), and, in addition, I certainly don’t get paid for my efforts here, so it turns out to be an energy-drain, overall, since nothing at all comes back from these efforts other than sheer frustration, repeatedly. There must be a better way, or at least a different perspective.

    Maybe they’re not as powerful as they believe they are, and as they have mainstream society believing they are, via propaganda. And perhaps they are compensating for their massive insecurities and fears of change by putting up oppressive walls of resistance to the truth, and, in fact, do everything in their power to sabotage the truth of these matters, as it would spoil their own personal party. Wouldn’t be the first time, I think that’s pretty much status quo.

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  20. It’s par for the course. Groupthink works this way, for all in-groups. Professionalism is in many ways a formalised process to filter out the ‘troublemakers’ and mind-guard the upholders of the status quo.

    All in-groups act at times like psychopaths. Truth isn’t valued so much as image or if you prefer the lingo, narcissistic projection.

    There can be no doubt in any informed person’s mind that antipsychotics permanently damage the brain.

    But the potential damage to psychiatry’s image is considered by most to be far more serious and so the information, though broadly known, is taboo.

    Speaking of lingo, I don#t think it is generally helpful to disseminate these kinds of messages by using psychiatric nomenclature. For instance, most people if told that anti-emotionals reduced the volume of the brain would think that was probably a good thing, as it suggests a reduction in noise.

    Brain shrinkage is better.

    Otherwise, thanks again to Dr Moncrieff. I doubt she would be much disheartened and will keep chipping away.

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