Psychiatrists who believe in and practice the disease model of so-called mental illness to the detriment of their patients are displaying, in my opinion, a trait that the Oxford Dictionary describes as “stupidity” — that is: “behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgment.”
I gradually came to this belief about most psychiatrists as I worked alongside them every day for 28 years in the public mental health system in the SF Bay Area. I’ve probably known 40 or 50 psychiatrists professionally over the past 40 years. I’ve known several of them personally as friends. All of them are bright, accomplished medical doctors who are very dedicated to practicing their specialty of medicine to benefit the health of their patients, as they have been trained to do and as the APA and NIMH reinforces them in doing.
None of them suffer from a lack of intelligence. But only six of them that I’ve known have practiced from a perspective that shows good sense and judgment, and that is because they were not devotees of the disease model of mental illness. Those six medical doctors, like Loren Mosher of Soteria House and my friend and mentor John Weir Perry of Diabasis House, were proponents of a humanistic, heart-centered and non-pathologizing approach to helping people in extreme states and other experiences of emotional suffering.
I’ve previously written about the huge failure of imagination of most psychiatrists that is inherent in their formulation and zealous defense of the psychiatric disease model. I explore that lack of imagination in my article titled “If Madness Isn’t What Psychiatry Says it is, Then What is it?” in the ISPS journal Psychosis. The narrow constraints of the disease model theory and practice create a closed system of thinking where a kind of unquestioning conformity exists — one that lacks the permission for broader imaginative exploration, as was the spark and genesis for the powerful work that RD Laing contributed, for instance. Laing’s heretical rebellion broadened the scope of our understanding. His imagination and brutal honesty allowed him to see the forest for the trees. He could see the bigger picture of the toxic social and economic factors of modern industrial society that alienate and traumatize all of us and our families.
The groundbreaking vision of psychiatrist Carl Jung (who said, “The gods have become diseases… curious specimens for the doctor’s consulting room.”) also shows how a broader perspective can help to encourage exploration of our human birthright. We aren’t automatons, faulty beings that need technicians to manage us and modulate an arbitrarily defined range of emotional experience and expression, as psychiatrists seem to do in their assembly-line, med-dispensing function, where they hurriedly scan and adjust the dosages of four or five patients every hour. In contrast, Jung and Perry and other transpersonal and humanistic leaders such as Maslow saw our birthright to include spiritual, soul, psychic, archetypal, mystical, shamanic and mythic dimensions that need to be honored for the sacred manifestations that they are.
Here at MIA I also wrote an article challenging the hubris of psychiatrists that Jung asserted. It’s called “Are Some Psychiatrists Addicted to Deference?” It too focuses on what I’ve come to imagine makes psychiatrists believe what they do and act the way they do towards those they try to serve. Their elevated status as licensed physicians gives them enormous power to dominate in the mental health hierarchy where MDs are held out to be at the top of the food chain. Most psychiatrists that I’ve worked alongside arrogantly expect deference from their patients and co-workers. They take it as impertinence if their ideas and authority are questioned or challenged.
Even though I’ve been speaking out on MIA against the hegemony of the psychiatric power structure and its underlying belief system since 2012, I still want to attempt to further demystify the aura of self-serving legitimacy that most psychiatrists protectively wrap themselves in. I want to do that because of the ongoing chorus of anguish by the people I see every week who have been injured by psychiatry. Dozens of people over the decades have basically asked me the same kind of anguished question: “How can someone like my psychiatrist who is very smart, someone with a medical degree, who has been sitting a few feet away from me for years, keep on totally missing what I need as they persist in treating me like I’m invisible?”
So today, with those many suffering people in my thoughts and that damning question burning away inside me, I decided to write this article on the inherent stupidity of blindly adhering to the failed theory and practice of psychiatry.
The most glaring and tragic fact that shows this blind allegiance to the failed disease model is the real-world track record of that model. There, psychiatry stands alone among all other medical specialties with a death rate of psychiatric patients that has them dying 25 years sooner than the average life expectancy. And this obscene death rate is for so-called diseases — such as what wrongly gets called schizophrenia — that have zero lethal, physical or organic risk. The disease model of psychiatry is also used as justification for true human rights abuses such as forced treatment, medicating children and teens and vulnerable seniors, ECT, psychosurgery and more.
So I think it is fair to say that many psychiatrists display an enormous lack of good sense and judgment — that the stupidity charge that I’m making is possibly deserved.
I’ve seen this disease model-induced stupidity be manifest very clearly when a psychiatrist who has been in the presence of people in emotional distress countless times consistently responds with the most parsimonious amount of empathy and compassion. Because of their true-believer ideology that they were first indoctrinated into in medical school, later reinforced by guild membership, most psychiatrists perceive the suffering person sitting only a few feet away from them through the aperture of pathology. And from that clinically detached, diagnosis-bound vantage point, they emotionally distance themselves and blindly inflict medical interventions that often harm rather than help the person in distress. They also proclaim that such illness is lifelong, and diagnostically label the person in a hope-killing ritual ceremony of identity degradation.
It’s a testament to the power of the brainwashing that has been done to psychiatrists that such a rigid, unscientific and almost religiously zealous belief in so-called mental illness is the hallmark of these practitioners. Psychiatrists are in the firm grip of a collective force field of an almost fundamentalist belief system that blinds them to the harm they unwittingly do and the human rights abuses they commit. NAMI, big pharma, major university research, enormous federal DSM-based program funding and draconian forced treatment laws all combine to reinforce, promote and financially support this belief system. From within the cultic echo chamber of convention and the orthodoxy of medical schools, reinforced by the constant drumbeat of the APA and the NIMH, there is tremendous pressure exerted on the 25,000 psychiatrists in the United States to not deviate from the disease model party line.
The very brave dissident psychiatrists that I’ve personally known such as Loren Mosher, Peter Breggin, Daniel Fisher and John Weir Perry all paid dearly for breaking ranks with their fellow psychiatrists. They were ostracized as class traitors, were marginalized and mocked for their humane approaches to helping people.
I like what the social prophet George Orwell bluntly cautioned about the human proclivity for blindly embracing stupidity: “To see what is in front of one’s nose takes a constant struggle.” In reading Orwell’s 1946 essay, I started to get some more clues to the riddle of why psychiatrists can behave with such a lack of good sense and judgment, can blindly cling to a paradigm that defies the facts, no matter how smart and well-meaning they are. I think old Orwell contributed something more than what is revealed via cognitive dissonance theory, which tells of how we may deceive ourselves and create self-serving narratives that relieve our emotional discomfort even though they clearly are not objectively true.
Orwell wrote, “We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against a solid reality, usually on a battlefield.”
We see this dynamic too in Anderson’s iconic story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” which has become a classic idiom about logical fallacies — errors in reasoning that invalidate the argument. In that story the naïve but honest and clear sight of the child was able to see through the hoax that others believed, and soon they began to see through it too:
“But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.
The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, “This procession has got to go on.” So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn’t there at all.
At age 71 now, pausing in these reflections, it seems to me that the real-time flow of history often has a way of blinding us to what came before and what may emerge next. This chapter of how we understand and respond to the emotional suffering of others is clearly dominated by the psychiatric disease model of so-called mental illness. But I believe it will give way to the next chapter that MIA and a vibrant worldwide movement of protest and human-heartedness are ushering in right now.
Every day a growing chorus of voices proclaims the naked truth about the disease model of psychiatry. It’s not a matter of if it will collapse, but when. Psychiatry is based on a logical fallacy — the idea that emotional distress must be caused by physical disease — and for that reason it cannot endure.
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.
I just love the way you put this. when people defend psychiatrists and say they are just doing what were taught, i say- can you imagine if the rest of us knew so little about the tools we use in our jobs?!? if a carpenter knew nothing about how a hammer works, if a chef could not properly use an oven… Thank you for this, and for saying “when” it all collapses, not “if”. i’m in my 40s and so looking forward to that day!!
all the best,
Thank you for your comment Erin- yes, how can a carpenter not know how a hammer works, a chef how an oven works, a doctor who took an oath to first do no harm not know when they are doing harm?
The sad thing is I think they KNOW they are doing harm to their patients, but because we are mentally ill we are sub-human to them, and so they don’t care about us. “to do no harm” does not apply to psychiatry. “To prevent mentally ill people from possibly doing something bad in the future even if it ultimately kills the patient” is their true intent. We are being punished for our thoughts, and punished for things we haven’t even done yet, and probably never would do in the future. Can you imagine the uproar if the government singled out a group of people and punished them because they might break some law in the future? Yet it happens everyday, and most people don’t care.
The pills that pychiatrists use are themselves the problem with pychiatry and they are truly fundamentally draconian. We punishment those that are brave enough to seek help for there mental health problems most notably depression and anxiety. Which is something very natural and it’s easy to see some that has recently gone through a divorce or someone that has lost a child or suffered some type of abuse might go to a pychiatrist in order to get pills to help “take the edge off” their owes. However those pills are nothing more then pills. The are ingested, digested and is broken down as well as builds up in the liver. This is how the therapeutic effect happens. The human users mental homeostasis is altered in order to create a new sense of homeostasis. Which leaves the use typically feeling emotionally numb and eventually unable to think very well. It’s typical for users to stop wash their hair and brush their teeth or doing general things that once made them happy while taking antidepressants for an extended period of time (which is any length of time someone takes it I would think). This typically leads to one of two things: the user ends up needing more medication or they try to get off the medication cold turkey. Those that choose more meds get more cognitive function taken from them by way of over stimulated pleasure centers of the brain leading to the user to do less things that made them once “happy”. However those that choose to stop taking the medication initially will feel okay. But 6 days to two weeks later suicide and manic episodes or even a stroke could kill the once antidepressant user. This is because that build up of the medication in the liver which gave the “therapeutic effect” is now gone leaving the antidepressant user in mental anguish. It is easy to rationalize it this way, prescription pain medication is addictive not just because it makes you not feel pain it is addictive because they body becomes fundamentally dependent upon it. Making someone feel even more pain then they would had felt otherwise because the body’s homeostasis( the body talks to it’s self) is off balance. So in that way antidepressants are little more then pain pills for the head that are beyond addictive really. How does one get off antidepressants without lying to their pychiatrist? What needs to happen is we need pychiatry that complements the current functioning of the brain. The only the that comes close that would be THC pills are something. Very similar functioning you know THC build up in liver for therapeutic affect. Does not interfere with one’s ability to feel emotion or change take one’s ability to control their own moods.
I remember the day I realized my psychiatrist had no idea what he was doing. The man drugged me into oblivion causing off-the-chart toxic effects including Akathisia and kept writing in his office notes I was getting worse and worse as he added more drugs. As I had almost completely tapered off of all the polypharmacy he wrote in his notes, “Aria is on a little bit of Trazodone and doesn’t seem depressed at all?” He never could (or refused to) put it together that the drugs changed who I was when the evidence was right in front of him. I think the majority of psychiatrist are very narcissistic and don’t want anyone questioning what they think they observe and hear from their patients. I fear for anyone who is currently seeing a psychiatrist and who may come contemplate seeing one in the future?
Thank you Aria, for sharing the awful and very frequent example of a doctor who would blindly keeps increasing meds without questioning if they were causing harm.
I’m very glad you found your way forward despite his harmful treatment.
In all the years I was poly drugged my psychiatrist never thought about reducing or taking me off the psychiatric drugs. I have great concern for people who are on psychiatric drugs because they may not realize how much these drugs have changed who they are?
“Do psychiatrists harm their patients out of stupidity?”
Thank you for your comment registeredforthissite!
They are a combination of toxic, stupid, and extremely dangerous. I just heard about the suicide of a young woman who had postpartum issues, was drugged and shocked, and in despair at the cognitive damages and memory losses ended her life.
This is just what the majority of them do- disable, poison, torture, and destroy people.
Whether they are poisoning little kids with ADHD drugs or shocking people bc they have no clue what to do after sickening their patients, they are contributing to the distress, deterioration, and deaths of thousands every day.
Thank you truth. It surely is thousands harmed or dead every day.
Psychiatry’s downfall will come from the hubris and greed of its professionals. When they were content with smaller DSM manuals that contained a handful of diagnostic labels and only a teeny percentage of the population to lock up and “treat” they had an easier time of it. But now that they keep adding “diseases” to their manuals, selling more and more useless drugs and have one out of every 6 people (more than 15% of us I believe) more or less in their clutches and more “severe” cases who require disability because they can’t work it’s becoming obvious this is out of control and unsustainable.
They need to remember what led to the demise of Maximilian Robespierre, a major leader of the French Revolution. He kept accusing more and more people of treason to the Republic of France. After he’d guillotined a lot of people, everyone with their head still attached realized no one was safe with Robespierre running the show. So they set Robespierre up on a blind date–with Madame Guillotine. 🙂
More arrogant than stupid. Unwilling to look at actual data or actual PEOPLE in front of them. More interested in being right than getting it right. The field breeds narcissism.
Hi Steve, maybe arrogance and stupidity multiply each other.
Arrogance and stupidity are certainly dangerous partners. A stupid person who is humble enough to know he is ignorant and seeks enlightenment can get better. An arrogant person who knows his or her business and gets good results is perhaps worth tolerating. But to be both arrogant and ignorant or stupid together is unforgivable, and that’s unfortunately a good description of the average psychiatrist, in my experience.
Of course, there is also the arrogance of knowing you’re doing evil and profiting from it, and continuing because you just don’t give a crap, and that’s the worst of the three.
Socrates–perhaps the greatest philosopher who ever lived–went around asking questions. He prefaced these questions by freely admitting his ignorance.
No wonder most psychiatrists make rotten philosophers. Plus a philosopher is a lover of wisdom, not a lover of ignorance and endorser of lies.
If ever a psychiatric bigwig–such as Torrey, Ronald Pies, or Lieberman ever goes on television or some other public media source and admits that there is no chemical imbalance in the brain–we told people that so they would take the pills we prescribed…well, in that case I will have to apologize. 😉
Arrogance has been my experience when talking to psychiatrist and appalled that anyone should challange them no matter how small the challange is
Thanks for writing John. Yes, they so often bristle and are appalled at the slightest challenge. I focus on that arrogant behavior in my MIA article- “Are Some Psychiatrists Addicted to Deference?”
At the end of the article I share about a psychiatrist telling Bob Whitaker after Bob had done a group presentation something like- “I’m not interested in talking about the questions you raised Mr. Whitaker, I just want you to know that I don’t like your attitude!”
No doubt he thought Bob didn’t show enough gratitude to him since he’d deigned to sit through the lecture after all.
How many heart surgeons, neurologists, and cancer specialists fuss and fume because their patients don’t show them sufficient gratitude and deference? But then all their patients want to be treated. Real doctors don’t need to force treatment on unwilling people. If psychiatry worked they wouldn’t need force; everyone wants to feel better, no matter how out of touch they are.
Thanks for the article Michael, excellent and spot on in my view. Like Orwell, George Kelly was onto something similar years ago…
Exactly. It always amazes me that I know more about the valid studies done in the area of drugs and psychiatry than the psychiatrists who work in the hospital where I am employed. I will ask them if they’ve heard of this study or that particular person writing papers and I always get blank looks as they shake their heads no. What’s wrong with this picture, that a former “patient” knows more about the current literature and studies concerning “mental illness” than the people responsible for the supposed “treatment” of “patients”?
Doctors in other medical specialties must keep up with what’s going on in their area of medicine so why are psychiatrists so lacking in knowledge about what’s going on in theirs?
I think that they’re willfully stupid and do not want to know anything about anything because then they’d have to begin looking within themselves to discover their true objectives for the things that they do. And if they did this, in true humility and honesty, they would have to admit that they’re wrong and that they are harming people. They can’t allow themselves to know this.
“Doctors in other medical specialties must keep up with what’s going on in their area of medicine so why are psychiatrists so lacking in knowledge about what’s going on in theirs?”
Stephen, I can assure you that that is not the case, at least not across the board. I have encountered shocking instances of ignorance in other medical specialties. There are big problems in medicine as a whole. Admittedly they are particularly, excruciatingly, bad in psychiatry.
My GP is a total ignoramous. He told me fruit has no carbohydrates!
Tried to prescribe me Metformin though I’m not diabetic. He claimed it would help me lose weight. People who take it say differently.
My new term of endearment for the man? Dr. Pillshill.
Yes, I fired a new GP after my initial visit with him because of multiple problems I caught him in. There is no doubt that something is not right in the education of doctors. The big question is what can lay people like us do about it? I’ve taken to noncompliance when it comes to dealing with my doctor. If she presses the issue I explain the facts to her as I know them. We’ve developed a working relationship where it’s her job to advise and my job to make the decisions.
In response to the article cited by klh above: George Kelly explained in his Personal Construct Theory (PCT)that we are all making up our best guess of reality as no one has access to all dimensions of greater reality. when our construct of reality is too different from the greater reality we often express hostility towards those who propose an alternative closer to the greater reality. This would explain why the majority of psychiatrists maintain the invalided beliefs that human suffering is primarily in our genes and chemistry and why the they are hostile towards those of us with lived reality of recovery, calling us names such as antipsychiatry and messengers of false hope. At times I am a particular lightning rod for such hostility perhaps because I am a card carrying member of of the psychiatric tribe and an experienced neurochemist who questions the evidence base of the dominant medical paradigm. Those of us who have recovered from the label of severe mental illness say ,”We are the evidence base” upon which a new approach of compassionate care should’ve developed. Our creation of Emotional CPR is a step we have made in that direction. I had to self publish my recent book, “heartbeats of hope” which can be obtained on NEC website, http://www.power2u.org
Thank you Feelindiscouraged. Justice is going to happen someday. I may not live to see it, but I believe a day will come when psychiatrists who harm their patients will be going to jail for doing it.
yes, yes. yes – the guy who almost killed me had killed before and killed later – the son of friends jumped from his mother’s balcony. The only thing wrong with him – the pharmaceuticals. The psychiatrist was mildly scolded by his cronies and was back to his practice in 6 months.
I’m surprised his cronies scolded him at all. Wasn’t his prescribing poisonous drugs only business as usual?
His six month break from “medicine” was probably some lengthy vacation to Costa Rica with his wife/mistress or both. 😛
His cronies – the medical governing body for Ontario Canada did not scold him for almost killing me – in fact they agreed with him – he did prove that I was mentally ill. They also wrote that his notes were almost illegible. He provided a new set of notes – pure fiction. They believed him. I received their decision – some of the names of the ‘deciders’ were blacked out. I’ll will try to get them under Freedom of Information. He was scolded for prescribing one drug which they felt was not called for. He was also scolded for OHIP fraud. (Ontario Health Insurance ). He double-billed in one day. He was not scolded for drugging me to insanity. I was diagnosed with dementia!!!!!
A couple of women who lost children to psychiatry and I started a website http://www.cpso.co – we tell our stories there. If you do look, my story is the one with the brain with a jolt of electricity going through it.
Ah. Shame on him for clogging the bureaucratic machinery! The only crime a man in his position can be held accountable for.
Does it really matter “why”?
I don’t believe it should matter why oldhead. If someone injures others even unwittingly they should be held responsible. I guess I’m trying to tip the scales a bit in the court of public opinion to hasten that day when justice is done, by hopefully undermining the publicly perceived legitimacy of psychiatry.
Certainly a worthwhile goal!
I often see people calling psychiatrist evil as a way to make sense of their appalling behavior. There are some out there that are, but in my experience, it’s a toxic combination of, bad education, arrogance, and bias that leads to horrible patient outcomes they often remain oblivious to.
Many psychiatrists (and doctors) I have encountered blindly trust their education, and rarely ever have a working knowledge about the mind or body despite studying them for years. They are not trained to think but memorize facts and apply treatments following a certain protocol in a way that is profitable.
I had very nice doctors whose treatments robbed me of 15 years of life and mental abilities via drugs and ECT and had I continued with their recommendations, I’d be dead. They were intelligent men who could not put together my real troubles or the side effects their cures caused and they were threatened by anything to the contrary.
Thank you Jane42. I’m very glad you didn’t continue their recommendations- and very sorry they robbed you as you say.
My problem with Psychiatry is not that all its practitioners are actively abusive. Most of the psychiatrists I have seen were sort of nice, but distant.
The real problem for me (besides the drugs useful only as emotional pain killers and very addictive) has been that psychiatry’s labels have enabled abusers in my life. My ex-fiance kept reminding me I was crazy to get me to do things his way and insult me. My mother uses my “mentally ill” status as an excuse to treat me like a pet or rag doll. She has an overwhelming, unhealthy need to be needed. She needs to get a life.
If I can only escape it will be good for both of us….
I’ve seen this happen to others too, the psychiatric labels and neuroleptic drugs enabling abusers. Some use threats of rehospitalization if they don’t do as they’re told. Once you have a psychiatric diagnosis and a hospital record, you’re less likely to be believed.
FeelinDiscouraged, I’m so sorry that this happened to you. Hope things get better soon.
Psychiatry enabling abusers is *extremely* common.
I do primary care in a public mental health clinic. Your article completely resonates with me. It’s frustrating because so often I feel like I’m working at cross-purposes not in tandem with the 10 or so psychiatric prescribers (MDs, NPs, pharmacists) at my site. Many of them are nice and well-meaning but caught up in the way of thinking you describe; several of them are arrogant, self-righteous and un-empathetic. I have one patient on 3 psych meds (not prescribed by me) who’s been stable for years who recently talked to me about wanting to slowly taper off one of his three meds, as a trial, with his ultimate goal being to get down to 0-1 psych meds. I thought that was a great idea & completely supported him. He was so hopeful; so proud of how well he was doing. But his psychiatrist is one of the horrid ones and completely squashed the idea when he brought it up with her, basically telling him he’d relapse and wreck his life if he changed his regime. When he came back to see me in primary care he was thoroughly deflated. The light had gone out of him. I don’t want to leave this site and abandon my patients because they need someone who cares for them as people and I feel committed to them. But I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to last in this setting.
People like you are an absolute asset. Don’t let them corrupt your good heart.
Thank you registeredforthissite! You are an absolute asset too.
This also begs the question of why you continue to refer to him as a “patient,” rather than a victim or prisoner of psychiatry.
foglight, if I may say so, you are serving as a light in the darkness where you work. It’s so sad to see the light go out of someone as you describe, when they receive what I believe is a form of medical curse from a psychiatrist-
The hope destroying message given that they must always be heavily medicated feels like a life sentence.
Foglight, have you ever seen the movie Schindler’s List? You might identify with the hero.
Find out if there are orthomolecular practitioners in the neighborhood so you can secretly refer people like the guy who wanted his meds cut back. Don’t admit to the 10 shrinks you’re doing it. Shake your head and act sympathetic if one of your colleagues complains about losing a patient who never came back.
Foglight, please don’t leave. All the good ones leave. Your patient could have been my daughter.
Scaling my tone way back to a friendly guy.
I personally need my prescription. I’m now 40, am not suffering with delusions 24/7, have job and a mortgage.
Have no problem with you educating others so they don’t take medicine they don’t have to take.
Thank you for writing mepat. I’ve always respected another person’s inherent right to choose to do what’s right for them- as I want that respect for my choices extended to me too.
We also try to educate people who want to come off their psych pills not to do it all at once. That can make you very sick–physically and neurologically. In that sense we can agree, Pat.:)
The psychiatrist : A fixture of society a picture in plain clothes a modern day brave new world gestapo officer making rapid selections in broad daylight . Only those that have felt the outrageous effects of their “treatments” and tried to speak to them about what was certainly a well meaning error and then watch them double and triple down on the “treatments”, understand the terror that psychiatry represents and the diabolical toxic formulations of the pharmaceutical cartels and the terror they create . Just how far will gestapo pharma double and triple down on in its development of poison concoctions and is there a limit to their behind close door terrorism , cloaked as health giving medicines . And all this and more protected and encouraged by a fascist state . Certainly most all of us could say much more .
Thank you for writing Fred Abbe. I deeply believe what you’re saying that only those who have felt the terrible harm done by psychiatry can understand “the terror that psychiatry represents..”
Thank you, Michael, for a terrific article. My experience with working in a state hospital, community mental health and outpatient, and on a medical unit is that psychiatrists are for the most part rigid in their thinking, distant from their patients. arrogant and self-righteous. Their self-interest is to me at the heart of this. They want to continue to earn a 6 figure salary and keeping themselves in power at the top of the food chain giving orders to those who actually talk and listen to those we serve and their families. Prescribing these dangerous and unnecessary drugs is easy money. They complain in meetings about being paid so little compared to other MDs in other specialities. I have given some of them books including Mr. Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic and DVDs, and even had trainings on person centeredness and recovery-oriented therapy but most sadly ignore the information. I have been friendly with many and most are very complimentary of the work I do with patients and their families.
But I have lost so much respect for them due to them not wanting to change their ways and hurting patients that I now warn my clients about seeing a psychiatrist and the drugs they prescribe. I do believe that in some cases psychiatric drugs are helpful but short term use. The field is corrupt, no doubt in my mind. I do see changes. Keep up the pressure MIA.
Thank you knowledgeispower. That was my experience too- bringing solid research and information to psychiatrists about humane alternatives almost always was rejected or ignored. The self-interest you describe that keeps psychiatrists locked into their belief system and treatment practices also can’t be underestimated.
Proverbs 15:18 A wrathful man stirreth up contention; But he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.
Things happen when all those involved including dr’s work together. All social workers on here were trained in Carl Rogers person centered therapy.
I wasn’t but I recognize he moved his life’s work past his therapy to making change happen in the world and even global affairs. His work could potentially be realized with improving healthcare.
I was stupid for believing it.
That’s contentious cat.
Why is Cat contentious, Pat?
If taking my prescribed medicine at a low dose and thereby going on dates with beautiful women throughout course of my adulthood and having a career is wrong….I don’t want to be right.
That is not wrong. You are free to take whatever you want if it helps you feel better.
But that is not the point either.
It’s the point to me. They said they want to abolish psychiatry. I love my dr. She was the one who helped me realize by visiting my neighborhood love boutique my woman and I could pretty much solve the problem. The solution worked perfectly and even spiced things up. I only rarely have difficulty during our intimacy. She is a wonderful woman and dr.
I don’t weigh in much on the abolition issue. There are more practical things than that.
However, even if they did abolish it, why would that prevent you from getting whatever drugs you want? If anything, it would prevent it from being forced down your throat.
The “wonderfulness” of your doctor doesn’t mean much. Their intentions and niceness does not factor into the consequences of what they do (which may have been good for you). While your doctor may have been nice to you, it is not necessary that she has not caused harm to other people by the nature of what she does.
With regards to the specific advice about going to a store for sex toys, anyone could have given you that advice. That MD in Psych is irrelevant to give that advice.
Your psychiatrist does not need to be a psychiatrist for you to love her.
There are many things that people should know about psychiatry before they ever step into it.
Ok. Well I’ve made my point and you too. “No matter how thin you slice it there are always two sides.“ – Spinoza.
Many of the psychiatrists I have come across…they weren’t “evil” like the devil. Just that they simply did not fully understand the consequences of what they were doing and of their profession.
The problems with psychiatry do not start and end with drugs. There are socio-legal consequences, obfuscating truths using labels, misguided statistics being published, disease-mongering, injustice towards abuse victims etc.
To take drugs or not is your choice.
The fact that you found a human being in the position of psychiatrist who has allowed you to see whether tapering off of drugs is good for you or not is great. Many would not afford that privilege to their patients.
There was a time, not too long ago, that I found a “wonderful” psychiatrist too. But it took me some time to realise, that their niceness does not matter. They are not your friends (trust me, even your own psychiatrist will change colours when the need arises). They are bound by one and only one adage. “Do no harm to oneself or to others”. And they will follow that (even if they do harm in the process) irrespective of whether they are being nice to you or not.
Also, not for a moment am I going to place myself in a position of moral superiority to the psychiatrist. I know that I, or in fact anyone else on this site, would pretty much do what they do if I were in their position, and if I did not have the experiences I have had. But I (we) am not in their position. And they (the psychiatrists) are not in our position.
And thus, the snakes and the mongooses will do battle.
P.S. My reply was to your original comment (about how your Dr. looks like Liz Phair etc.) before you edited it.
Ok. Well maybe I created that whole story up and am actually fervent in nether region, but didn’t like this virulent attack on psychiatry. Realizing that there are people out there with that side effect that you people make look bad that I wanted to stand up for the other side of this squabble.
I don’t leave my friends behind.
Pat, there’s a difference between your psychiatrist and psychiatry as a profession. The conflicts that you keep bringing up and even creating seem to be related to this confusion. You have had your own experience and no one is entitled to invalidate that experience, and no one is trying to. However, you can’t extrapolate from your experience to all experiences, because then you are invalidating others who have had very different experiences than you. When someone has a different experience, it’s your job to listen, just like it’s my job to listen to your experience. That’s how this works. If you have a comment on the article that comes from your own experience, that’s totally your right. It’s just not your right to say that those who want to abolish psychiatry because of their own crappy experiences or their own research are not entitled to their own conclusions. Please feel free to communicate any DATA that you have that might refute the article, or please feel free to give your own personal ANALYSIS of the data that is presented, but it’s just not OK to keep accusing people of being horrible because they don’t agree with you. This is a free country. People are entitled to draw their own conclusions about psychiatry. If you want to have that freedom yourself, you need to grant it to others. Otherwise, you will get into endless arguments and accomplish nothing but annoying yourself and others.
I believe psychiatry is like astrology. But, even if we abolished involuntary psychiatry, you could still visit Dr. Quackenbush if you chose. And Madame Zelda the All-Seeing too!
Mepat, what you VOLUNTARILY wish to do to your body is your business. What I object to is when they forced me by court order to take Geodon which caused me to develop akathisia and tardive dyskinesia, and started causing my blood sugar levels to rise. I am fine with informed consent, if the person was truly informed about all the possible side effects of these very dangerous drugs, and if the person has the right to say no, they do not want to take them. I am pro-choice. The problem is that the current configuration of psychiatry is most certainly not pro-choice when it comes to antipsychotic medications.
Hi Michael, nice article about the postured pretense and lack courage in the average practicing mind doctor, who of course must surely know their own minds, as they label the mind’s of the patient suffers. While regarding the word ‘stupidity’ I’ve heard it said that Einstein was asked during the fourth season of his life, what he thought about human personality traits. With a rye twinkle in his eye and tongue slightly protruding, he said the only one he was reasonably sure of was stupidity. ‘It seems to be as endless as time,’ he is reported to have said. While a mere temporal moment later, he whispered ‘then again, what material substance of mine, is contained within my name?’ The truth is but one, the ancients said, yet the sages call it out by many names.
Perhaps, the way to win this war against institutionalized stupidity would be to outflank the fearful perception of otherness labeling words, by a humor that critiques the Doctor’s own sense of reality? For example; if I raise my hand up to my face, creating a gestalt moment of temporal perception, and notice my mind’s quick judgment ‘hand,’ then wiggle my fingers to notice that the word hand, is not the lived experience of my hand. Will I come upon a momentary sensation of illusion, with regards to my habitual use of language? And would, per chance, a good intelligent mind doctor, by a similar mode of self-exploration, perhaps be able to notice the ‘motion’ of mind that judges from a fear of the others possible movements, that for survival’s sake, one is pressed to see a word, rather than the motions of nature in action?
But then again, in the fourth season of life, what price wisdom in a world grasping for material wealth? Although Steve Jobs, the creative force of nature behind those clever ‘apples’ inclined to distraction or knowledge, depending on the user, is reported to have said that he would trade all his clever devices for one afternoon with Socrates, in the hope of finding a form of wisdom, worthy of an inheritance.
In my experience, so-called mental illness is a right of passage experience instigated by the nervous system, in mother nature’s need for her child to mature and face reality, as it is. And if one can endure the process, it may even be understood as a call (as in Campbell’s 4 stage monomyth) to understand the nature of mind, from the inside-out. Wilhem Reaich’s bio-physics model of rhythmic pulsation in the arising nature of ideation was of enormous help, especially his mind stunning question ‘does the brain move?’ Like all the organs of the body.
I guess I have rambled too much within this wordy wise comment on your article of frustration, at ‘how’ people see a world made words in a time impoverished era of gestalt expectation. But I wish well Michael, once more into to mystic of life within a cosmic whale, my friend.
Thank you BigPictureAwareness! I love you comment. maybe next time I’ll ask Hermes or another even more tricksterish magician to help me write so humor disarms where holding feet to fire may fail.
Hi Michael, thanks for your reply. I mention Socrates ‘KNOW THYSELF,’ and Plato’s clever disguise of his own wisdom of self-knowing, after witnessing what happens to anyone who dares to speak truth to the human condition. A phenomenon of experience made wise parable some 500 years later when ‘axial-age’ wisdom was brought to embodied peak-experience in the great awakener Jesus, the Christ.
While during said axial age an individual we name Buddha, asked ‘where are you between two thoughts, my child?’ An interesting development in the evolution of human consciousness, some say, while Ken Wilber seems to believe (have faith, my son) that there is a similar phase or stage of evolving consciousness happening right now.
While I write this formulation of words (names), with an intention to draw attention to the great delusion of our postured pretence of being normal, of which the experience of psychosis may, in fact, be self-created as a response to the disembodied sense that knowing numbers, letters and words, is actually knowing thyself.
While during said axial age, I wonder if the mystery schools attended by people like Plato and others, did initiate the individual into a self-realization process known as metempsychosis? Furthermore, a wise sage in China, where John Weir Perry began to notice how we become ‘encultured’ as Maslow pointed out, taught a process of understanding reality for 50 years, yet lamented how so few, in their impulsive drive for survival, by gaining material objects, showed any desire for the acquisition of know thyself wisdom.
BTW did you read Jung’s comment in ‘psychology and alchemy’ that the conscious mind is taught to repeat ‘words’ much like a Parrot? While in facing the bathroom mirror each morning, I question the mirror function of my mind, by asking myself, ‘what do you see, mind,’ ‘eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth and are the ‘names’ of these parts of me, the whole reality of me?
Be whole, Michael.
Sure there are some side effects but my woman and I work through it with love making pleasure toys that help reduce side effects and give me a ton of energy in that area.
It’s worth it to us because I’m not delusional and we have s finacially stable life.
TMI, Pat. You and your girlfriend are “getting some.” “Nuff said! Glad you can work and your finances are okay too.
Unfortunately for myself and people like me the opposite is true. Because of psychiatry I never have been gainfully employed and am still a virgin at 43. Plus my “bipolar” label has given my emotionally abusive mother an excuse to run my life and everyone sides with her, telling me how lucky I am to have her since I’m too sick and helpless to care for myself.
“Ignorance” might be a better word than “stupidity.” Ignorance facilitates psychiatric atrocities. Ignorance drives people into psychiatry, whether as perpetrators or as victims. Hence it is crucial that the truth about psychiatry reach a wide audience. Truth begets freedom. Ignorance begets slavery, or in other words, ignorance begets psychiatry.
Thank you Slaying the Dragon of Psychiatry for bringing your truth.
You are not making much of an argument for psychiatry or psychiatric drugs. You are making an argument for emotional sexual love. Get rid of the shrink, get off the drugs( I don’t think you need them)–and keep your girl friend.
It doesn’t seem like the shrink added anything.
Whatever one’s opinions may be, telling someone “get rid of the shrink, get off the drugs (I don’t think you need them)” is simply a bad idea. That is a choice the person must make for themselves. Do you want yourself, or the creators and maintainers of this website, to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit? What if such advice causes something horrible? It will destroy this place.
Since when does exercising my right to free speech–and my obligation as a citizen and a psychotherapist (with 30 years experience) to help my fellow man and give my best advice—-make me a criminal?? Besides I was just drawing the conclusion from mepat’s own statements–that what helped him was love, sex and the encouragement of his psychiatrist. (I believe the drugs created a placebo effect due to his trust in his shrink.) Do not lecture me, “registeredforthissite.”
The fact is I have faith in mepat’s capacity to meet the challenges of life. I would wager you have more faith in psychiatry. Every book Thomas Szasz ever wrote said in effect to readers:”You do not need psychiatry.” Every book by Peter Breggin said to readers: “You do not need psychiatric drugs”(and he did add warning to get off them gradually). Every book by Laing said to “psychotics”:”You are smarter than the shrinks.”
“a choice the person must make for themselves” So that means it is criminal for me to express my opinion??. Do you realize how many people must have told poor mepat he needed the drugs and could not function without them?? And yet when I– one person– give an alternative opinion you claim that the very expression of my opinion deprives mepat of the right to choose for himself. In the name of liberty and choice you try to suppress choice and intimidate me into not expressing my alternative opinion. That is the purpose of this website–to counter the incessant psychiatric propaganda.
It is the expression of “controversial” opinions and views that make this an exciting and important website. Thank God, there is nothing illegal about that.
Cold turkeying is usually a bad idea. If Pat becomes drug free he gets my full support. But he needs to educate himself before hand.
I don’t want Pat to wind up in the mad house, charged with “noncompliance,” “agnosognosia” and a host of other crimes against psychiatry. That could get him in some deep crap! I’ve been angry at Pat, but I don’t hate him or wish that mess on him.
I’m glad I read up on coming off psych drugs in advance. My withdrawals are not a cakewalk as it is.
Very good piece, Michael
“The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, “This procession has got to go on.” So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn’t there at all.”
I did not realize the story ended like that! Yes interesting-“The procession has got to go on.” No matter
what the cost.
Look at all that could be lost– the country houses, the swimming pools,private schools for kids, vacations paid for by the drug companies, the prestige of the medical specialist, the power, the billions for the drug companies… Does it matter that they,once idealists (probably), are no longer helping people? That they are doing great harm?
The truth is not highly valued in modern society.
“The vast majority of psychiatrists are bullshitters, uncommitted to either facts or fiction…It is not in the bullshitters’ interest to know what is true and what is false, as that knowledge of what is a fact and what is fiction hinders the capacity to use any and all powerful persuasion..” (See Bruce Levine, “Psychiatry’s Current Greatest Controversy: Fraud, Bullsh*t or What? at Mad in America)
They don’t like lying–they would prefer not to know the truth.
Thanks for writing Seth. I haven’t read Bruce’s article yet but it sounds great. Yes, the way the Emperor’s New Clothes story ends is very telling isn’t it- when held up against the stance of psychiatry?
It always amazes me how someone who went to med school for twelve years cannot seem to grasp the basics of confirmatory bias, the Nuremberg Code, empathy, ethics etc. etc…. Blows me away.
Thanks for writing Cognomen. It always amazes me too!
I showed up a highly functioning professional with work stress and after “treatment” was an 85-pound agoraphobic obsessive mess who couldn’t get out of bed or read. How is watching your patient literally deteriorate into the sickest they’ve ever been physically, emotionally, mentally and psychologically before your eyes and then insisting they “need the drugs for life” not stupid? Clearly, they aren’t working when the patient is worse than they’ve ever been and yet they’re taking SIX drugs?
Or calling me “anorexic” when I reported the weight loss (from Adderall) and inability to eat. What anorexic person shows up telling you “I can’t eat and I’m scared”?
How is pointing your ink pen at the inside of a plastic brain and saying “you have a chemical imbalance right here for which you need Lexapro” not stupid?? (I later discovered from pharmacogenomic testing that I don’t tolerate SSRIs – DOH!) And then how did you not FEEL stupid when my physician family member (who practices in a real specialty of medicine) said to you “says who???” in response to your stupid plastic brain and you couldn’t answer him??
More stupid…how well can the drugs actually work if you require SIX OF THEM? What about the first five?? or three??
And even more stupid…not to believe that the polypharmacy could be the cause of all the adverse effects I was experiencing? It’s common knowledge that the more drugs you’re on the more adverse effects you’ll get and the higher risk of complications. It’s on the damn commercials at the end super fast, straight from the manufacturer. Yet when your patient inquires about them, they’re suddenly “rare” and “not from the drugs” but rather from their so-called “mental illness” instead? And don’t even get me started on the withdrawal I got when I was ripped off of them cold turkey…” oh, it doesn’t last that long. The drugs are out of your body now” as I paced with bloody feet from akathisia that almost claimed my life from the suicide I was going to have to be forced to commit because I could no longer endure that horror and NO ONE BELIEVED ME.
Not knowing the BASIC and FUNDAMENTAL differences between addiction and physical dependence when it’s RIGHT ON THE DRUG SHEETS that come with the product that they’re NOT THE SAME THING. And that when one of your patients has trouble reducing a drug you prescribed, it doesn’t mean they’re suddenly a “drug addict” that needs ripping off the drugs, but instead means that their body adapted to the chronic presence of the drug(s) jUST AS IT WAS PREDICTED IN THE DRUG LITERATURE THAT IT WOULD.
And perhaps the most stupid…You prescribed me SPEED (Adderall) and TRANQUILIZERS (2 benzos and Ambien). HUH??? And a dangerous antipsychotic (Seroquel) FOR SLEEP??? HUH???? And all of this to a young 20-something woman of child-bearing age
Lastly, I found out old my psychiatrist is a lesbian (from finding her facebook). How stupid is it to practice in a field that literally just called YOU “mentally ill” for your sexual preference not too many years ago? How can you have faith in it still after that??
That physician family member I spoke of above told me that most medical specialties that are grounded in science are distrusting of psychiatry and, for the most part, do not respect psychiatrists as anything other than the quacks they are. You know what’s stupid? That REAL DOCTORS don’t stand up in numbers and, true to their oath, reject this harmful biological model of psychiatry and drive the people who are practicing it and harming their mutual patients out of business (or force the profession into meaningful change).
Thank you for your powerful comment, benzosurvivor.
They can’t do that since no doctor is willing to stand up and speak out against another doctor; it’s the “brotherhood” business. You will never get doctors to stand up and speak out against those in their group who do harm to people.
True. They didn’t take the oath to do no harm, they took the oath to admit no harm, and the ‘Oath of Silence’ The oath is known as Omertà. It is a code of silence and secrecy that forbids members from betraying their ‘brothers’ to authorities or rival gangs – i.e.Mafia.
As a result of this deceit the medical establishment as a whole is losing credibility.
Yes, doctors are still largely trusted. Even revered at times. But less than they used to be. This trend is progressing.
(I’m non native, so pardon my language)
I want to actually say couple of words in defense of the psychiatric worldview.
The biological model and the idea to interpret all the delusions and hallucination as something inherently random, noisy, non-meaningful leads to non-human approach. That psychosis is something of outer to nature, that the psychotic process is an outside guest inside the person’s mind, completely separated from the person’s consciousness.
In Russia, where I live the history off trauma which lead to psychosis are completely dismissed in psychiatry tradition (there is a special term among psychiatrists for the person’s story – OBYASNYALOVKA which means something like ‘excuse’ or ‘pretense’ with strong negative notation).
I think both ideas – treating psychosis as something human and meaningful and treating psychosis as a random fluke are too contradictory in order to have any compromise on them. You either this or that.
The treatment compromise e.g. psychotherapy or a mix of psychotherapy/antipsychotics is possible when you actually choose a human approach.
But with biological model of the disease I believe you can’t have a valuable compromise. If you accept the biological noisy idea – then you certainly would stick to increasing meds. Because what else you can do? If the person still have residual delusions or mood changes then the only way is to either switch medications or add another one / increase dosage which in turn lead to almost criminal treatment plan with concurrent multiple antipsychotics (As far as I recall there is no scientific data on concurrent administration of antipsychotics).
Thank you for joining this conversation Igor, and sharing news about psychiatry in Russia.
I think psychiatrists are like other people, in that when they feel that certain things must be so, and that feeling is very strong, they come to a point where they consciously decide that they should believe it. They no longer leave it as an open question. They know somewhere in themselves, that they can’t possibly be certain, but they have given in to the feelings, they have surrendered their reason to their emotions. When other people do that, they call it psychosis, but when the professional people do that, they call it something else, more honorable, but it’s the same thing.
Thank you, dfk, for your comments. If I were a psychiatrist who had been prescribing drugs that had caused harm to patients, because that was how I was taught by the medical school and other professionals who were my mentors and colleagues, and now from experience and lots of research and just common sense saw that what I was doing was not right I would be in a state of distress. My conscience would hound me until either I admitted that I was on the wrong course and then take action. Some psychiatrists have done this. It takes courage. Most continue to go on with blinders. They are choosing to ignore the evidence, covering up the truth with more lies, and attacking those who are speaking the truth. Is this any different reaction to other corruption we have seen in past history? You are right psychiatrists are just humans. But the profession of medicine has a higher calling. We should expect that the medical field acts out of well being for the patients they serve with treatment that is evidenced-based. It would be their own suicide if they admitted their wrongdoings, so they keep on with defending their disease model. I would respect an apology but taking full responsibility would mean the profession admitting they cannot to act in a harmful way toward patients despite mounting evidence that they are doing more harm then good, that there are safer, alternative ways of healing emotional distress and psychosis. I would personally need to leave such a profession and have to speak out against it.
Dr. Kelly Brogan had to completely change the services she provides in order to live with herself. Many of the good psychiatrists go rogue.
I certainly agree with the main point, that mainstream psychiatry with its disease model shows a lack of good sense or judgment.
But I would also point out that good sense or judgment are not so easy to come by when we are facing something that seems threatening.
Terrible experiences are threatening to people, and so they often lose their good sense or judgment and become mad (or become fools, as the medieval expression had it.) Those faced with madness feel threatened, and often lose their good sense and judgment, and embrace destructive dogmas like the medical model.
But it doesn’t stop there: because people who feel threatened by the foolishness and destructive power of psychiatry don’t always show the best “sense and judgment” either.
One way this comes out is exaggerating the wrongs of psychiatry, which has the unfortunate effect of reducing the credibility of our movement.
Michael, you wrote that “….psychiatry stands alone among all other medical specialties with a death rate of psychiatric patients that has them dying 25 years sooner than the average life expectancy. And this obscene death rate is for so-called diseases — such as what wrongly gets called schizophrenia — that have zero lethal, physical or organic risk.”
Really, “zero” lethal risk for the kind psychic turmoil that gets called “schizophrenia”? It seems to me that this is actually far from the truth. Without any help from psychiatry, madness can lead to suicide or extreme or risky behavior of many sorts that can lead to early death. And those who become mad are often people previously subjected to childhood abuse, which we know puts people at risk for an early death from a huge number of ailments.
I think we come across as much more credible and effective when we “only” blame psychiatry for contributing to the early death rate by pushing dangerous drugs that often aren’t needed, rather than blaming them for all the deaths when that accusation is easily refuted.
I think we all have important truths to tell, but we can only manifest “good sense and judgment” when we also watch out for our own errors and seek to correct them, rather than dig in and defend them. Michael, I know that you in particular have important truths to tell! I hope that all of us, the “mad,” the psychiatrists and mental health workers, and those who critique psychiatry etc., will find the space to slow down and notice errors, so we can all come to really practice “good sense and judgment,” qualities that are not easy to find!
Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, all of the mental ailment labels in fact, are non-terminal. Cancer kills. Schizophrenia doesn’t kill. Psychiatrists, with their treatments, do that.
I’m not so sure I would call suicide a risk so much as i would call it a right. Plus the risk of an early death would probably have more to do with psych-drugs than anything else.
I also feel that we are not so much ‘manifesting good sense and judgment’ by calling the lack thereof disease in others, and trying to correct it. Doing so, makes it a shame, that they cannot reverse the charges (lacking good sense and judgment being characterized as madness), and label their tormenters, does it not?
Here’s the question no one is asking. How many people commit suicide who wouldn’t have if they hadn’t been subjected to disabling, horrifying drugs (my Haldol experience was Hell on earth! Lasted for over a year because my psychiatrist said Haldol shouldn’t do that) and defamatory psych labels? No one can say, because that’s dealing with stuff that never happened.
Nevertheless, psych doctors can make unproveable because unknowable assertions like “30% of all suicides would have been prevented through ‘treatments.'” This was on a science report, no less! And everyone nods in amazement at this psychic’s expertise.
That percentage is not cherry-picked but pulled out of thin air. Expert illusionists that psychiatrists are!
Thanks for writing Ron. I don’t believe that certain DSM diagnoses like so-called schizophrenia have been proven to be “physical or organic” brain diseases. That’s why I wrote that such DSM diagnoses wouldn’t be potentially lethal, as the proven “physical and organic” disease processes such as cancer and heart disease are, which are treated as such by the medical specialties of oncology and cardiology.
Michael, it seems to me your post would be read by most anyone as blaming psychiatrists for the 25 year early death rate, which you call “obscene.” Would you agree that it comes across as blaming them for that?
My point is simply that we should take care to only blame psychiatrists for what they are actually responsible for, and no more. Your article was about the stupidity of psychiatry, and what they are to blame for. When figuring out how much psychiatry is to blame for early deaths, it’s really irrelevant whether the early deaths are caused by some physical or organic process, or something else; the key question is just whether and to what extent psychiatry is to blame for them. I think it is clear that most anyone reading your article would think you were blaming psychiatry for all of the early deaths, while I think the evidence would indicate they are only responsible for some of them. Do you agree or disagree?
Hi Ron, you seem to doing your level best to be reasonable amidst a plethora of manifest impulse to project subconscious organism states onto the other. That paranoid sense of the personal nature of the politics of experience, that is forced, through self-ignorance to see only a world of us and them. Yet, should we not notice the current phenomena in our democratic world, where ordinary people are voting with a manifest sense of ‘a pox on both your houses?’
While I invite readers of this comment thread to ponder the sage question, ‘where are you between two thoughts?’ And furthermore, ‘are you certain that you know yourself because you know numbers, letters, and words?
As Socrates would say to the predatory critics, who are bound by their nervous system, to swoop upon thy subjective head; Know Thyself!
While I might add, staying the course in experiencing psychosis, one finds oneself exploring the nature of mind, from the inside-out, wherein, despite the consensus opinion, there no mechanistic process of this and that.
Perhaps a reframe is in order, for the political agenda of this webzine, whereby we might see the upside of lived experience as a call to the next step in humanity’s global consciousness. Especially, as the great cities of the so-called first-world face the structural flaw in our so-called civilisation; housing affordability. Even the rich are now facing the reality that their grandchildren will not be able to afford to buy a home, under the present dynamics of a purely material economy.
Interestingly, the Catholic Catechisms speak of an economy of salvation, in which a purifying exile may see the return (as in Campbell’s monomyth) of the ancient art of; realisation. Perhaps, madness can be understood, more along the lines of mother nature’s wisdom, in the grand plan of making the species homo sapiens, fit for purpose?
Why are they not morally responsible for the consequences of the policy they implement? ( Of course they are not legally responsible. No one is.)
Dr Joseph Biederman takes over a million dollars from Johnson and Johnson and assures them his experiment will make their “anti-psychotic” look good. He is still teaching at Harvard. Biederman invents a new disease: pediatric bipolar disorder. 100s of thousands of children who previously would have been seen as restless are now placed on toxic drugs—and have their lives ruined. Biederman is not responsible? And the APA which does not punish him for taking money–a bribe– to fudge results of experiment–they are not responsible? And Harvard which knows about this bribe and does nothing Thy are not responsible?
Psychiatric knows about tardive dyskinesia. In 1994 the APA published Task Force report. They know most people taking neuroleptics for years will get TD—yet they continue to push neuroleptics as treatment of choice. A few years ago Bob Whitaker showed that most of the people taking neuroleptics are harmed without any benefit.
Yet APA ignores the evidence and its president calls Bob “a menace to society.” They are not responsible for the effects of the drugs they continue to push? This goes on and on..
No one is responsible for the consequences of destructive social policies–even when the evidence was obvious?
I very much agree with the idea of holding psychiatry responsible for all the things it is guilty of, many of which you list. I am simply opposed to charging it with offenses that it is not guilty of. I think this weakens our case overall. All psychiatry has to do then is refute the false charges we have made, then use the fact that these false charges were easily refuted to imply that all the other charges are also baseless.
We are much better off focusing on the issues where we are clearly right, and where psychiatry and the mainstream mental health system has been clearly wrong!
Hi Ron, thanks again for writing. I believe that when our society tasked and bankrolled and gave psychiatry the legal authority to be the medical specialty to respond to people in emotional distress, that a grave responsibility was accepted by psychiatry- especially in light of every psychiatrist’s solemn physician’s Hippocratic oath to “first do no harm.”
Because of the logical fallacy that the disease model of psychiatry is based on- that there are underlying “physical and organic” disease processes causing the emotional distress that is wrongly described by diagnoses like so-called schizophrenia, then deaths of psychiatric patients treated with that diagnosis are wrongful deaths in my view. Wrongful deaths because the physicians lied about the true causation of distress and because they knowingly prescribed medications that are proven to possibly have health ravaging side effects and meds that even increase the incidence of suicide.
Podiatrists, Opthomalogists, Orthopedists and other medical specialties like psychiatry, don’t treat patients with “physical and “organic” diseases that are potentially fatal. But those medical specialist’s patients don’t die dramatically earlier under those medical specialists care like the patients of their fellow MDs who are psychiatrists do.
I believe there should be an informed consent notice given to every patient that is about to receive psychiatric care- “Warning! You are receiving potentially life threatening treatment by the medical specialty of psychiatry. Our patients routinely die 20-25 years earlier than the national average. We can not prove the existence of any underlying physical or organic disease process that itself causes these deaths except in the instance of Alzheimer’s disease. Please know that former NIMH director Thomas Insel affirmed that there are no blood tests, X-rays, MRI tests or genetic tests that can confirm the DSM diagnosis and prognosis that you may be receiving today from your licensed Psychiatrist.”
Michael, are you saying that if psychiatrists lie and say psychosis is a medical illness when it isn’t, then it is OK to hold them responsible for every early death, even though we would expect many of those with psychosis to also die early if there were no such thing as a psychiatrist?
It seems to me that you are dodging the question of whether or not it is OK to leave the impression with readers that psychiatry is to blame for all of the early deaths of those diagnosed with “psychotic disorders” etc. As you know, I very much am in favor of blaming them for SOME of these deaths. But if we are ever to get beyond preaching to the choir, we need to use arguments that we can back up with facts, we need to avoid sounding like we are exaggerating anything. Blaming psychiatrists for all of the early deaths plays well for the MIA audience, where most (with good reason) are angry with psychiatry. But it doesn’t hold up when looked at critically, so it makes your argument unlikely to carry beyond the “choir.”
Your ideal consent form in its essence says that Psychiatry has no right to exist because it is based on fraudulent and harmful science.
So let’s cut to the chase and call for Psychiatry to be abolished.
There is no such thing as true “informed consent,” nor can there be, as long as Psychiatry has the amount of power it is allowed to currently possess.
And as long as we live in a profit based society Psychiatry WILL be granted this type of oppressive power. So discussing what true “informed consent” would look like is interesting, but it is an unobtainable “pipe dream” short of actually abolishing Psychiatry once and for all.
And as long as we live in a profit based society Psychiatry WILL be granted this type of oppressive power.
True, probably, but phrasing it this way implies that in a socialist society psychiatry would NOT be given oppressive power; given the mindset of many present-day “socialists” I see no reason to relax.
To Uprising: I do believe that anytime we express views that are more “radical” than are justified by the facts, that we are being a liability to our movement. I think just as we insist that psychiatry should face facts, we should also be willing to do so.
I don’t have a problem with Michael’s statement. Our statements are necessarily imprecise whenever we generalize because that is the nature of generalizations. It’s funny how it’s okay for anyone defending psychiatry to use sloppy reasoning and fallacious arguments, but anyone who questions the legitimacy of psychiatry as an institution is required to provide mathematical proofs of their arguments.
By radical, I mean going to the root of the matter, which in this case is that psychiatry is an illegitimate medical specialty that serves as an agent of social control. That is the reason it will always be dangerous and it is also the reason why attempts at reform will not work.
I think that your critique of Michael’s statement is nitpicking and that the real reason for it is that you think that any criticism of psychiatry beyond your own brand of petite-bourgeois consumerism is a threat to the “movement.” My evidence for this is your posting history.
Aren’t they responsible for the early death as they are the ones who prescribe the drugs that destroy peoples’ health? Typically, the diversion is to blame “disease”, if not lifestyle, but both of these are in order to take the heat off psychiatrists. Psychiatrists who would appear innocent despite all, while blaming their victims. Meanwhile, you’ve got that mortality rate, and people dying at younger ages as time goes on. These same psychiatrists have been ignoring the evidence of their own destructive practices for ages. I’m not sure what the answer is, but whatever it is, it certainly isn’t exonerating psychiatrists of the crimes that they have perpetuated.
I don’t think we should only be blaming psychiatrists either. There are social workers, psychologists and all sorts of other people, colluding and collaborating with psychiatrists in keeping the destructive machine operating. There are families and their mental health movement, too, that feed the industry. These so-called experts are feeding a machine that is gobbling up people and spitting out gristle and bone. Medical doctors should show an interest in peoples’ health, and right there, what do we get from psychiatry except cynicism over bad outcomes. Bad outcomes that could only be a matter of people living down to the lowered expectations other people have of them, and especially those who set the tone, the psychiatrists running the show.
“I think it is clear that most anyone reading your article would think you were blaming psychiatry for all of the early deaths, while I think the evidence would indicate they are only responsible for some of them. Do you agree or disagree?”
The age of death for people in treatment for the most serious of mental disorder labels, early since the introduction of neuroleptics, has gotten younger by 10 years or so since the introduction of atypical neuroleptics in the 1990s.
I’ve been in the system, and to suggest that there is any answer beyond drug, drug, drug is heresy to the people there running the system. The only people in that system with the right to prescribe, in general, are psychiatrists. The evidence says change your prescribing practices and, not only do you get more recovery than at present, but you also will be saving lives.
Of course, we could be blaming deinstitutionalization and antipsychiatry (or critics) for the lower recovery rates and rising mortality rates of people in psychiatric treatment. Some psychiatrists do just that, however, as if reinstitutionalization would be a life saver, such is a long shot. More money in the system is not always the answer, and yet such is the illusion that such thinking would foster.
You said: “My point is simply that we should take care to only blame psychiatrists for what they are actually responsible for, and no more.”
And when we do blame Psychiatry for ALL the things they ARE actually responsible for (even those things you would agree with) somehow it NOT enough for you to call for Psychiatry to be abolished.
It seems like in all the recent discussions at MIA you are so quick to come in and somehow defend Psychiatry , or at least, LESSEN the impact of the totality of their crimes, and the implications for Psychiatry’s future.
Why are you SO interested in defending Psychiatry? Do you feel this is somehow a threat to your own professionalism as a therapist and educator in the System?
If I was a conspiracy theorist ….., but I’m not, so I won’t go there. But I am pointing out a trend here that is worth taking a look at.
Richard, I’ve already stated that my interest is only in defending psychiatry against unfair attacks, not against the fair ones. And you are right, this does have something to do with my interest in appearing credible as an educator – but I also want to convince as many of the contributors and readers here as I can to also frame arguments so as to come across as credible, rather than as fanatics making irrational attacks! My interest is in seeing us really persuading people (not just the choir members) and causing change to be made, and that does require coming across as credible in my opinion.
I agree that we should always make credible statements. But the thrust of your arguments of late (in defenses of Psychiatry) is to DENY the critical role of a vanguard (and vanguard like statements) in overcoming and ending all forms of psychiatric abuse. All this should point to the ultimate demise of Psychiatry as a medical specialty.
Was there not an important role for those people in the 1960’s who made slogans such “Get the F%$K Out of the War Now!” And those people who actually had slogans favoring the NLF achieving victory over the U.S.
When I first saw these slogans (before I became politically conscious) I found them rather shocking. But they certainly did promote much intense discussion and a desire on my part to find out how someone could take such a provocative position. All this led me in the direction of becoming more radical and to taking a more decisive stand against the Vietnam war.
Your whole approach at MIA of late is to “tail” after the struggle and urge everyone to avoid “being too extreme.” In the 1960’s and 1970’s we use to call these kind of people “firemen” – constantly trying to water down the struggle and keep the embers of rebellion from erupting into a full blown conflagration.
Time to reexamine your role here.
Richard, we probably just have to agree to disagree here. You aren’t convincing me of anything. I know that sometimes it is important to condemn something as both harmful and useless – as it was with the Vietnam war. But that model or metaphor doesn’t fit everything. Sometimes those who imagine themselves the “vanguard” go overboard and lose credibility as they start making attacks that go beyond anything that can be justified. Then the whole movement that “vanguard” is part of is weakened. That’s my view, and I don’t imagine it will shift anytime soon. I hope some of those reading these comments will be able to take my points into account and will become more effective as a result.
Psychiatry, given all the lies it embodies, if anyone was paying attention, should have lost all credibility by now.
Our movement was much stronger, in my opinion, before it sold out to government funding, that is, before it went from being a mental patients’ liberation movement to being a mental patients’ movement.
You’ve now got this “pe-ah” movement, so-called, that is infested with careerists and other lackey’s for the psycho-pharmaceutical industrial complex.
This creates a situation. Mainly a rapidly expanding mental health system to deal with a burgeoning “epidemic” of people wanting their piece of the “disability” pie.
Don’t get “well”, kid, says the careerist. I needs my pay check.
I’m just saying we need to revive the movement to liberate people from the system rather than becoming embroiled in that system’s devious expansion.
If Ron were a survivor himself he might feel differently. His life is not apt to end 25 years early. Plus he has to get along with all those nice, smiley psychiatrist coworkers. They treat him cordially because he’s a “normal” and not a lowly “consumer.” It’s much easier to be comfortable with the status quo in that situation. His brain is in no danger of being fried or damaged through massive druggings.
Ron clearly believes that anyone with a radical analysis is is a liability to the “movement” of Critical Psychiatry (TM).
my interest is only in defending psychiatry against unfair attacks
Once the enemy is defined as such what constitutes an “unfair attack,” metaphorically speaking? If psychiatry is by definition a tool of repression, and not a branch of medicine, what polemical weapons of self-defense are forbidden to us, and why?
If I remember correctly Robert Whitaker gave a reasoned argument in another thread why he is ‘critical psychiatry’ and NOT ‘anti-psychiatry’. It would appear that Ron is in the same camp…maybe I’m incorrect…
A few more points:
In response to FeelinDiscouraged: I don’t feel any need to always get along with psychiatrists. I was fired from one job for repeatedly criticizing them, and where I work now I was recently attacked by a psychiatric nurse as being a danger to my clients because I’ve attacked his belief that he can know that some people need to stay on drugs.
To Uprising: I do believe that anytime we express views that are more “radical” than are justified by the facts, that we are being a liability to our movement. I think just as we insist that psychiatry should face facts, we should also be willing to do so.
And samruck2, yes, you are correct that I see myself aligned with Whitaker, being critical of bad psychiatry or opposing psychiatric corruption, but not being opposed to any thoughtful and restrained medical assistance with mental or emotional problems.
Hey, Ron. First of all, I think you’re right to urge restraint here; as you said, unreasonable accusations don’t help reform the mental healthcare system.
But I don’t think Michael has been unreasonable. As far as I can tell, he doesn’t blame psychiatrists for causing early deaths. What he blames them for is clinging to a form of treatment that is unsupported, if not contradicted outright, by outcomes among their patients. If you’re a doctor of medicine, failing to acknowledge evidence piling up around you should be a bit of a no-no, right?
Michael, in his comments for example, made points about how patients are dying at dramatically high rates under psychiatric care, and he even explicitly said he sees the deaths that happen when under the care of psychiatrists to be “wrongful deaths.” I actually agree with Michael that many of these deaths are due to bad treatment, my point is simply that it is wrong to suggest that they all are, when many people who are having severe mental crisis would die earlier than usual even if there were no psychiatrists.
There are certainly plenty of wrongs being practiced by mainstream psychiatry, and ignoring of evidence for wrongs, we don’t need to be exaggerating to make our points.
I actually agree with Michael that many of these deaths are due to bad treatment, my point is simply that it is wrong to suggest that they all are, when many people who are having severe mental crisis would die earlier than usual even if there were no psychiatrists.
We can’t know that because there *are* psychiatrists and their bogus “treatments” *are* killing people who otherwise might have lived. Your argument here is ghoulish. You’re essentially saying that many would have died anyhow, so let’s not criticize psychiatry too harshly for murdering them.
When it comes to drug deaths because of the many ailments associated with taking these drugs underestimation is the rule. A person has a heart attack, and nobody suggests that this is because this person was taking neuroleptic drugs. developed metabolic syndrome, with attendant heart disease, and is therefore a cadaver. The stats add up, kind of like war casualty figures, and as far as it goes, you’ve got a lump in the rug. When the guilty deny everything, the dirt stays hidden.
Yes. The 30% figure they love to pull out of thin air.
This is anecdotal but my great aunt was diagnosed with schizophrenia in the 40’s and died recently at the age of 87. Once Grandpa rescued her from the institute he took care to never let a shrink near her again. She took no neuroleptics or other drugs and experienced no cognitive decline either!
Schizophrenics used to live about as long as most people. This thing about the 25 year life expectancy gap is pretty recent. I first read about it in a NAMI periodical that refused to connect the dots. Might cause meds noncompliance, dontcha know? People becoming drug free, recovering, leading happy productive lives and not needing “treatment”? Oh, the horror!
Uprising, what I’m saying is let’s blame psychiatrists for the deaths they cause, but not for the deaths they don’t cause. It seems you would have to twist a simple concept like that quite a bit to suggest I am being “goulish.”
I think that you are trying to understate the toll in human lives that psychiatry has taken. I call that ghoulish, yes.
Uprising, I haven’t claimed to know just how many of the early deaths would happen if psychiatry didn’t exist, only that we have reason to believe that there would be some.
Hmm. What if your “severe mental crisis” was brought on by psychiatric drugs? A lot of MI victims are in this boat!
Ron I’m surprised old friend, that you would imply that some writers, readers and commenters here are coming across as “fanatics making irrational attacks” as you stated in one of your comments above. Isn’t using that kind of name- calling and inflammatory language about critics of psychiatry who may disagree with your positions, much like what we’ve come to expect in some of the rhetoric that Jaffe, Torrey and especially Lieberman used when he publicly called Bob Whitaker a- “Menace to society!”
Yep. Nefarious mischief. Broo-ha-ha! Conjures up an image of some mustache twirling villain in a top hat and cape.
It’s hard not to come across as irrational if the public has already been duped into believing the irrational lies of your enemy.
I try to “tone things down” myself, by revealing stuff bit by bit. Telling total strangers “mental does not exist” can make them think you are saying people never suffer extreme sadness for months at a time, or hallucinate, or have untrue ideas that cause suffering to them–and sometimes others.
Educating the public is right and necessary. Psychiatrists and their minions are a lost cause. Does Ron imagine he can present a convincing argument to Simon Legree so he’ll set all the slaves on his plantation free? Give me a break!
Michael, if you really are at risk of coming across to people as an irrational fanatic, and then if I point that out to you, I hope you can see that’s a friendly action. Much as if you were at risk of driving off a cliff and I pointed that out, it would be a friendly action, an effort to help you out. I’m trying to save you from going over the cliff, because I support the main drift of what you are doing, and I don’t want you to lose your credibility by making claims you can’t back up. You have enough claims that are solid, why not rely on those?
By the way, in response to FeelinDiscouraged, I agree that educating the public is more doable than educating most psychiatrists. But still, it takes having some credibility, which is easily lost when we put forward supposed “facts” that are easily disproved.
I’m trying to save you from going over the cliff, because I support the main drift of what you are doing, and I don’t want you to lose your credibility by making claims you can’t back up.
Yes, sounds like Michael may have a touch of anosognosia — possibly grounds for involuntary commitment, considering that cliff. It would be for his own good. What are friends for anyway?
Michael, I understand your defence of antipsychiatry rhetoric and the need to speak truth to power, as we say. Yet, from a Jungian perspective, should we not recall Jung’s advice about our conscious sense of rhetoric, which may well be motivated by an ‘unconscious’ politics of the nervous system, as two famous critics of conscious normality, point out, in their introduction to Alan Watts, ‘The Joyous Cosmology.’
May it be posible, that we all commit the same sin of a rhetoric is reality illuson, in a feast of critism, so to speak, as we strive for recognition, one above the other, to use a Fritz Pearls, term for the politics of experience. While all the while, everyone of us, yearns for an Epiphany experience. “Tell, me doctor, in no more than 140 characters, what is the matter with me, and why am I so afraid of my own sensations of lived experience.”
Within the church of psychiatry’s doctrine, are the seeds of demise, for it cannot explain its own existential experience, and as Joseph Campbell suggests of other churches, reliant on doctrinal faith; ‘they have the words, but lack the lived-experience the words allude to.’
Yeah, except that Michael is not at risk of coming across as an irrational fanatic, except to you. And Ron, give me a break – you are not here to help anyone; you are here to be combative with anyone who has a straight-forward and radical critique of psychiatry as an institution.
So, Ron, how would we distinguish between the lives they are responsible for ending early that those they are not? I agree it’s unwise to overstate the case, but I find no reasonable way to determine what percentage of the 25 year earlier death rate is caused by psychiatrists. For instance, if someone on Risperdal dies of heart disease, would they have died on their own without Risperdal? If so, would they have died later without it? Did Risperdal contribute to the person’s decision to smoke, as smoking is often reported as being a means of reducing the side effects of antipsychotics? Is the person’s decision to smoke their decision, or is it a consequence of antipsychotics? If the person dies earlier due to smoking, is psychiatry in any way responsible?
I find it much simpler to frame it this way: receiving treatment should improve the quality of life for the person receiving the treatment. If the person’s quality of life is reduced instead, including increasing health issues which create impairments and sometimes even death, it doesn’t really matter what percentage is whose responsibility – the “treatment” is making the patients worse on the average, and killing some of them early. I suppose it is possible to acknowledge that other factors are also involved, but this, of course, provides an “out” for psychiatry – they can claim that this death was caused by smoking and that one by suicide and the other by diabetes, without ever taking the slightest responsibility.
I’d be very interested in hearing how you would approach this dilemma.
I would also submit that whatever we say, the psychiatric “thought leaders” will ALWAYS paint anyone who doesn’t 100% agree with their dogma as an irrational extremist. It is an unavoidable side effect of trying to pull the pigs’ snouts out of the trough.
Sorry, that was probably insulting to pigs…
should we not recall Jung’s advice about our conscious sense of rhetoric, which may well be motivated by an ‘unconscious’ politics of the nervous system
Now there’s a novel excuse for doubting the validity of our anti-psychiatry perspectives.
Hi Steve, I very much agree with you that it is difficult to determine exactly how many of the early deaths that bad psychiatric practice is causing. That issue is open for debate. But my point is simply that we shouldn’t talk as if we know that psychiatry is causing all of them, when we have reason to believe that some early deaths would happen even if psychiatry did not exist.
And I agree with you that corrupt psychiatrists will try to paint us as extremists whenever we criticize them. My point there is simply that we shouldn’t make it easy for them by making claims we can’t back up with facts.
While I agree that attributing all early deaths to psychiatry is factually incorrect, still, psychiatry is the profession who has chosen to group clients in this way and the comparison between the labeled and unlabeled is their comparison. We would expect those labeled with heart disease and treated to do better than those with heart problems who receive no treatment. The opposite appears to be the case. I believe THAT is the point we need to hammer away at. I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about the “other reasons” that this cohort dies earlier, because, as I have said, it is impossible to sort out that complex of a causal structure. HOWEVER, when we compare those receiving to not receiving “treatment” who have been so grouped by psychiatrists themselves, the “treated” group dies earlier, among a host of other problems that ensue. That point is factual and undeniable, and is more important than trying to figure out what percentage of people who took “atypicals” and developed diabetes would have developed diabetes anyway without the drug. I hope that makes sense to you and others on this thread. The idea that “not all of these deaths are caused by psychiatry” is a distracting straw-man argument. Obviously, they are not ALL caused by psychiatry, but the statistics tell us clearly that psychiatrists are killing a large number of their own patients.
Perhaps you can propose some language that takes the admitted uncertainty into account, and yet doesn’t give psychiatry an “out” for their failures?
Sorry, duplicate comment.
Psychiatry does not have a disease model, psychiatry is a disease model.
Yes the psychiatrists are stupid to put people in jail BEFORE they have committed a crime. “In the one case, the psychiatrist “accuses” the innocent; in the other, he “excuses” the guilty.” Szasz
Then the psychiatrist expect insight in their “patient” or victim when they have just robbed the victim of their brain function with poisons-drugs. The patient can not speak from the poison.
You are not allowed to be stupid https://medicalhumour.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/you-cant-fix-stupid-but-you-can-sedate-it/
For a true psychiatrist “insight” is simply believing everything they say, parroting their wisdom back to them, and worshipping them like God.
If you don’t believe every word of this known pathological liar and imagine that he’s God that means you’re delusional!
Thank you for this blog, Michael. I do know the psychiatric practicers I dealt with were not just the most stupid people I’ve ever personally met, but the most unethical, the most delusional, the most delusions of grandeur filled, and eventually all of them were seen to be the most paranoid and dangerous as well, according to their own medical records and my medical research.
I just wanted to add a quote that describes today’s psychiatric industry quite well. It came to mind because I was thinking it was an Orwell quote, but it’s actually a C.S. Lewis quote. “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”
Thank you Someone Else, I’d been thinking about fitting that great Lewis quote into this article somewhere, but didn’t manage to do it. I’m very glad you brought it!
Used to read C. S. Lewis all the time as a teen. Since coming off most of my psych “meds” I can understand a lot of his nonfiction again. 🙂
The mental healthcare is polarizing and volatile debate when better to find common ground.
This is pretty much the premise of the Rogerian argument layed out by Carl Rogers and it seeks to appease strife and solve conflict.
All stakeholders could probably come to understanding that pharmaceutical industry has skyrocketed the rates of mental illness and possibly we could take a new look at that.
On the other hand there are people in recovery who want to utilize medicine so we could retain that perspective.
This is the ideal path to usher in meaningful change. Recognizing world views and deciding is better to weed it or feed it.
Besides I pretty much won the game today. I thought it would be so much harder than that to prove my point.
One commenter said if you tell me not to take medicine there could be a lawsuit and another said he doesn’t think I need them and that people tell me need them. Steve and others give me the hood cop bad cop routine when Ive managed to do alright on my own.
Keeping with Rogerian argument is the surest way to enlightened path.
Pat, I actually agree with your post. My only complaint about you is when you create conflict for no reason. Sharing your own experiences is great, as is making suggestions as to how people can come together, which you did above. I happen to agree that a synthesis would be the best solution. The only problem is that some folks are making so much money that coming together to build consensus will most likely never happen.
What game, Pat?
I’m glad you think of yourself as a winner, anyhow.
Wish I could think of myself as one. Lol.
This sorry state of affairs is no news to anyone who’s read R.D. Laing or Stanislav Grof. I was fortunate to attend the California Institute of Integral Studies, where Stan still taught (along with Rick Tarnas) throughout the time I was taking classes. The man is a walking encyclopedia of the development of Western psychiatry, and had innumerable case studies to which he referred off the top of his head. One of his main themes is the damage psychiatrists do to someone passing through a “spiritual emergency” (psychospiritual transformation) by diagnosing them as psychotic – with respect to establishment parameters – and administering heavy anti-psychotic drugs. This freezes them in their process and keeps them in turmoil, convincing the psychiatrist that they were right – a self-reinforcing belief. The loser is the person who was in the process of achieving a new state of being, but now is in an institution as a vegetable. In this way, psychiatry is a major gatekeeper of the old paradigm. There is an illuminating scene in the film “12 Monkeys” where the chief psychiatrist doesn’t want to be bothered by extraordinary possibilities being raised by a younger physician in the psychiatric ward, and just tells her to follow the program, don’t ask questions, administer the meds and move on. Sad but true. Transpersonal and integral psychology, folks: pointing the way to the new paradigm. Poison for the Establishment, I suppose.
Thank you arjuna- I went to CIIS too and am happy to be working with some young grad students from there on developing a Laignian style residential haven for folks in extreme states, that also draws on transpersonal and Jungian psychology. It’s going to be called Gnosis Retreat Center. Michael Guy Thompson, who blogs here on MIA is the point person. The new paradigm, as you say- ever evolving.
Michael, I am very interested in exploring this new Gnosis Retreat Center. Is there a website or something where I could find out more about it?
Great Arjuna! The site is GnosisRetreatCenter.org
“Gnosis: Greek for knowledge of the heart.” And would you, could you, be brave dear Michael and write a few words about your knowledge of your heart?
I ask, not to accuse you of false impressions about others and misleading rhetoric, but in an authentic desire for understanding, beyond the yarda, yarda, yarda, of mere words. And in posting this comment, I can only hope that the moderator of this webzine sees an authentic desire and not a personal attack. For sadly, the truth of our anxious social norm’s, is that all they know of the major organs of their body, is mere words.
Hence, just as in this blog article of faith and the resultant assent of the comment thred, the blind continue to lead the blind, with a misplaced faith the the ‘power’ of words. Such is the politics of manufactured assent in our social world. Where, just as R. D. Laing pointed out, we play the game of survival, and the first rule of this social game is, Do Not Mention The Game.
Dare I say, from an Eastern perspective, that those who live by the word, die by the word (existentially) through the anxious avoidance of their hearts “pulsation of sensation,” to use a very, very apt description from Reich’s Character Armour, diagnosis of the human condition. BTW the second edition has perhaps, the most extensive, description of a person centered relationship to the phenomena labeled schizophreania, I for one, have read. But who has the time to read, when we are so busy, making a living?
Should we make the effort to “know Thyself” as Plato and the Oracle would advise, or simply cower in self-defence, towards the great social edifice of know thy-place?
Arjuna3, I went to CIIS also–before you, before Tarnas, 1980-4.
Yes this is very true–R D Laing was the first to make this point..
But too often transpersonalists assume that there is a small subset of “schizophrenics” who are going through a “spiritual emergence.” Grof even at times seemed to imply that standard psychiatric treatment is fine for the real schizophrenic. Wilber in those days was even more conventional drawing a red line between the pathological pre-personal(the “schizophrenic”) and the transpersonal
I don’t think John Weir Perry, Michael’s mentor, ever made those distinctions.Nor does Michael. Nor does my friend and former classmate Stuart Sovatsky. Is there any “psychotic episode” –breakdown– that does not present an opportunity for a spiritual breakthrough?
Hi Seth, in private conversations Perry never really strongly emphasized that there are 2 categories of extreme state experiences in the way Grof more pointedly did- that is, you’re either in a spiritual emergency or you’ve got a psychiatric disease. John really focused with Diabasis House on first and early episode extreme state processes because the Esalen inspired Agnew’s Project study he was part of confirmed for him what he’d written about in “The Self in Psychotic Process” that Jung wrote the forward to in the 1950’s.
John saw how Diabasis like Agnew’s and Iward and Soteria,(not Laing’s Kingsley Hall) could divert 60-70 percent of first breaks from being in the system if they went through madness without meds in a loving setting.
But what about the 30-40 percent Diabasis couldn’t reach or help? He said he believed they were somehow unable to avail themselves but he wasn’t sure why- just that folks who had the flattest affect and tended towards paranoia instead of florrid super active imagery and emotion charged mythic narratives would somehow need to have their emotional psyches recharged, because he knew without that they were in a barren inner wasteland. Turns out they really were and are. But that’s not because they aren’t in an archetypal process as I found out and shared with him.
After the Diabasis and Iward(where I’d worked for years)med free madness sanctuaries were shut down, I worked for the next 25 years with many folks who had been on Iward and hadn’t been among the fortunate 60 percent who exited the system after being there. So against my job site clinical supervisor’s direction, but with Perry’s off site anxious blessing. I decided I would ask these so-called flat affect hebephrenic schizophrenics to please share their dreams with me.
Then out it poured, dream after archetypal dream, full of emotion and amazing imagery, mythic themes along with psychic phenomenon too.
When he saw what was happening, Perry strongly urged me to write my work up from this period with so-called “chronics” because it had reversed his belief that people who don’t get through madness on the first or second try are pretty much lost.
I am currently writing a long journal article or possibly a book on it, so stay tuned for the details. Bottom line, because of going through my own un-medicted underworld journey of madness, I never questioned whether anyone else could be reached and helped out of the spiritually barren and often terror fueled darkness filled wasteland too, if true merciful love was offered to them.o, I always believed that by definition, if you are experiencing extreme states your’e in an archetypal/spiritual. polytheistic deity inhabited process. So because the elevator in the psyche/soul goes down as well as up, hell is a spiritual zone too and the denizens of the wasteland are with the wasteland gods and ghosts when we pass them on the street, and if we only see their tragic outer condition, we just don’t know the whole story.
Nicely said, Michael. Again, I’m reminded of Laing’s experience of psychiatric practices prevalent in his day, which condemned schizophrenics by comparing their behavior to that of “healthy” people and finding it incomprehensible; thus, they are “crazy.” But when he took the time and trouble to research their developmental – especially familial – histories, suddenly much of it made sense as their “best effort” to accommodate an unhealthy, shifting and challenging environment that denied their native traits and inclinations. In popular terms, it is a sane effort to accommodate an insane world. I see the traditional psychiatric perspective as a function of a materialist worldview that sees life as an accident, consciousness as a collateral by-product of brain function, and spirit as a nonsense delusion fabricated by humans to ease their fear of the unknown. In this view, meaning and purpose go out the window, ignoring the important work done by Victor Frankl regarding the vital need of people for a sense of meaning in their life, and the philosophical theses of Kierkegaard, leading to the existential nightmares of Kafka. When one’s containing myth only contains half of one’s experienced, or at least felt sense, of existence – as Wilber presented in his four-quadrant circle where the right half is the material world which materialists claim is all that is “real” – then one can expect that an underlying sense of existential angst, directly perceived or not, will warp the very sense of being in humans, resulting in various psycho-spiritual, emotional, and behavioral aberrations. In short, when the whole person is ignored in favor of attending to only the physical body, one can reasonably expect endless and intractable problems.
Responding to Seths comment: this is a ticklish subject. I asked Stan how one might determine whether someone was going through a spiritual emergency or was a classic schizophrenic. He said there was no cut-and-dried template with which to make that judgment (or words to that effect), but that it depended on the experience and sensitivity of the psychiatrist. I am grappling with similar problems vis-a-vis addiction. Some people are “true” addicts, while other people “just” have a drug problem – though the symptoms can be devastating for them, too. One problem is that at an earlier stage in a person’s developing addiction, the symptoms may be indistinguishable from someone with a drug problem. The difference is that true addiction will inevitably lead to death, whether living or actual; and that a true addict can never “decide” to quit on their own. Even when they’ve “hit bottom” and decide they must stop, they can’t without outside help – though no one can do it for them. People with a drug problem, even though it may be destroying their life, can and do sometimes decide they’ve got to quit – for their family, for their job, for their lives, etc. – and proceed to do so in one way or another. I hope you see that there is a vague yet important difference here, just as Grof suggests the two people with similar symptoms may represent two classes of sufferer: a person in spiritual emergency, and a true schizophrenic. I did not get the impression that Stan was saying there was no hope for the latter; only that anti-psychotic meds may well be required to stabilize them and halt their deterioration, while therapy proceeds.
…completely down a rabbit trail…but the longer I watch this website…the more I wonder how helpful it is for everyone to continue using the phrase ‘extreme states’…having helped my wife thru d.i.d. and all the various PTSD issues, panic attacks, catatonic whatevers, flashbacks, self injury, mini seizures, etc…part of the healing process for her was for me to keep my calm and to minimize her symptoms. Minimize as in not blowing them out of proportion and calling them ‘extreme’ but just to tell her, ‘it’s part of the healing process’ and helping her feel safe as I walked her thru them…I had to learn to ‘keep my cool’ when she was ‘losing it’ and as I did, she could draw from that peace to calm herself…I just don’t think it’s helpful to keep calling it extreme…those ‘extreme states’ really are NOT; they are just kind of normal reactions of the mind to various trauma and other things..imo
Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled program….
Seth, this is a ticklish subject. I asked Stan how one might determine whether someone was going through a spiritual emergency or was a classic schizophrenic. He said there was no cut-and-dried template by which to make that judgment (or words to that effect), but that it depended on the experience and sensitivity of the psychiatrist. I am grappling with similar problems vis-a-vis addiction. Some people are “true” addicts, while other people “just” have a drug problem – though Lord knows the symptoms can be devastating for them, too. One problem is that at an earlier stage in a person’s developing addiction, the symptoms may be indistinguishable from someone with a drug problem. The difference is that true addiction will inevitably lead to death, whether living or actual; and that a true addict can never “decide” to quit on their own. Even when they’ve “hit bottom” and decide they must stop, they can’t without outside help – though no one can do it for them. People with a drug problem, even though it may be destroying their life, can and do sometimes decide they’ve got to quit – for their family, for their job, for their lives, etc. – and proceed to do so in one way or another. I hope you see that there is a vague yet important difference here, just as Grof suggests the two people with similar symptoms may represent two classes of sufferer: a person in spiritual emergency, and a true schizophrenic. I did not get the impression that Stan was saying there was no hope for the latter; only that anti-psychotic meds may well be required to stabilize them and halt their deterioration, while therapy proceeds.
Crap. Sorry folks, I’m just getting the hang of this site, which I just joined. I thought my comment didn’t post so tried re-posting at a different level.
Happens to the best of us, arjuna3. 🙂
No I do not accept this distinction, Arjuna. To me this is a secular version of the Augustinian idea of original sin and predestination. Psychiatry has always claimed–and the Freudians first provided a quasi-theological rationale for this–that it could tell who were saved and who were predestined to eternal torment. The great unwashed masses, particularly “psychotics” and “personality disorders”(the door was open a bit for the latter by Kohut and others in post 1960s era) could never recover. They were supposed damaged irreparably by trauma in “oral” phase of childhood/infancy.
Grof comes from a Freudian background–as I did until I became an apostate in my last years of grad school–so this distinction is very much in his unconscious. In my own books and essays I have critiqued the psychoanalytic theology. Grof never did–and although It has lost its spiritual resonances these distinctions continue in the now dominant bio-psychiatry. Michael is old enough to remember well the disdain and contempt with which the mad were treated when the field was still psychoanalytic. Even among Jungians Perry was a black sheep FOR breaking wiTH party dogma,
So I do not believe that there is a group of persons who have lost the capacity to exercise free will, and others who are not. Yes some people turn out to be to be more addictive than others. But we cannot identify them in advance. That is the not the vocation of the therapist in a world in which therapeutic expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies.
The transpersonal psychology movement is itself at fault for abandoning those persons most brutally treated by the psychiatric priesthood. THey could have followed in the footsteps of Laing and Perry but by and large they did not. Grof’s compromise did not go far enough.
I DON’T have time NOW to elaborate…
I didn’t say that at all, Seth. What I said is that some people – those who are having a spiritual emergency – may be able to pass through it without meds, just by being compassionately supported by empathetic support and therapy; while others – true schizophrenics – may need meds and more time, with the same therapy etc., to finally emerge into coherent self-governance. Perhaps my analogy with addiction muddied the waters; sorry if it did.
I am not talking about what you said Arjuna. Of course you did not say schizophrenics were predestined to damnation I am talking about the history, the psychic resonances, behind the distinctions you make. Of course you did not say what I said–I was explicating the deep structures beneath the surface grammar, to use an analogy. You don’t know the history.
For centuries the mad–“schizophrenics” as we call them in most of the 20th century–were regarded as irreparably damaged, and beyond repair. They were supposedly incapable of having intimate relationships. Thus the Freudians were silent when 50,000 of them in US were lobotomized in the 1950s.
R D Laing and the counter-culture revolutionized(at least among a subset of intellectuals and therapists) the way “schizophrenics” haD been viewed since the birth of the asylum (see Foucault)–as the ultimate Other. Yet among psychiatrists they remained the Other–the sacred symbol of Psychiatry, to quote Szasz
Grof was influenced by the counter-cultural changes and in some respects was a leader. But he continued to perpetuate the stereotype of the “schizophrenic”–but he opened the cage. Some among the mad were not really psychotic. They were ON a journey and could be guided back. But the rest were irreparable, and had to be left to the ministrations of the psychiatric soul killers Grof still depends upon this spurious distinction. They had to continue to take the brain damaging “medication” that des5troyed their brains.
Arjuna read what Bob Whitaker has written about the “medication.” Reade DR Peter Breggin.
I have to run–for now.
“Every day a growing chorus of voices proclaims the naked truth about the disease model of psychiatry. It’s not a matter of if it will collapse, but when.”
I think this viewpoint comes from spending too much time around critics and victims of psychiatry – such as on this website. In the real world psychiatry is booming; its willing customers are everywhere. However please keep up the good fight.
Thanks Sally- I’m not predicting the disease model of psychiatry will drop into the dust bin of history anytime soon, but because I see so many people coming to see me in therapy the past few years who are really burnt out on it- that’s what gives me the most hope. Most of them have never heard of madinamerica.
“I think this viewpoint comes from spending too much time around critics and victims of psychiatry – such as on this website. In the real world psychiatry is booming; its willing customers are everywhere. However please keep up the good fight.”– Sally
Sally makes a very good point, and I think it is very true that many people who post here are in a state of self-assurance by staying in a comfortable environment with agreeing voices. The world is larger than that.
People here completely fail to ignore that there are large swathes of people, internet forums, blogs etc…all dedicated to their liking of psychiatry. And most people here are not equipped to make any cohesive arguments against those people with their little arsenal of half-baked Szasz quotes, and the same old “there are no tests, scans” arguments.
One can never abolish psychiatry for how can you abolish something which a fair share of people like and find useful? One can only educate others of the dangers of it, and perhaps in their own lives, seek some remedies for what happened to them. The choice of getting into psychiatry is to be left to the individual.
Now, where I disagree with is, “psychiatry is booming”. Yes, it is booming in the sense that helpless and desperate people (which are large in number) seeking any source of refuge in times of need go to psychiatry out of a lack of options without knowing what they are getting into. Society also tells them that this is the right way.
What does need to happen is that people need to have full knowledge of the dangers of stepping foot into psychiatry. For without that knowledge, many of them will simply end up on here again. Not now. Maybe not next year. But 10 years, 15 years down the line….some of those “willing customers” will realise the same follies that countless others realised before them, when they were “willing customers” too…
Perhaps even some psychiatrists will change after the pressure of these places catches up to them, and then act like these occurrences never happened and were just some “bad experiences” of a few people.
The numbers in this place too are steadily booming.
“fail to ignore?” My guess is you meant either ignore or fail to recognize. If you run any google searches these forums for idiots/malingerers/abusers will come up in spades. Pretending they don’t exist is impossible.
The argument that there are no tests is a legitimate, reasonable one. But our rational arguments are no match for the mindless propaganda sound-bites of Big Pharma and the Psych Industry. I grow more misanthropic by the day.
People are stoopid!
Yes, it was a typo. I meant “People here completely fail to recognise that there are large swathes of people, internet forums, blogs etc…all dedicated to their liking of psychiatry”. Thanks.
When I said “booming” I merely meant that it has no shortage of takers; it wasn’t a positive statement about psychiatry. I agree that it’s only flourishing for want of an alternative, and I personally don’t see therapy as a good alternative, at least not as it’s currently offered.
I also agree that most of us are not well equipped to argue with our peers about the merits and underpinnings of psychiatry. Myths about “chemical imbalance”, genes and the like have been too successfully propagated and cemented. I’m very much with FeelinDiscouraged on this.
Yep. My Mom has often used my “schizo-affective/bipolar” status to get what she wanted. Now she is addicted to Celexa and can’t even realize it. Sits around in a semi-vegetative state most of the day watching TV for hours on end. Can’t even remember what she watched later.
She has the soft diagnosis of depression and could go off the drug at any time if she wanted. Yet she swears it helps her nerves. Why is she nervous? She is retired for Pete’s sake! The original excuse for taking Celexa was the nasty boss she worked under. She left him 5 years ago. *Sigh.*
This is contradictory, Registered. What is it then — that people are beating down psychiatrists’ doors because they’re desperate and don’t know where to turn, or because they like psychiatry and find it helpful?
Though “beating down psychiatrists’ doors” is bit of a literary exaggeration, it’s both. That is, both desperation/lack of options, and some portion find it helpful, and other cases where the dynamics are different. Varies from person to person.
But mostly, that people do not know what they are getting into, and once into it, do not know how to undo some of the consequences.
Being well-informed is important. It’s usually worse when the people who go there are young people, who still do not have power in their hands and can easily be overridden.
I first saw a shrink because I was severely sad or “depressed” and afraid to go out in public. As a college freshman I still was suffering flashbacks to the bullying and sexual harassment from high school. The doctor gave me a tiny amount of stellazine (6 mg.) It took the edge off my anxiety. I was in a play and began to make friends.
Unfortunately I still had issues. Two years later I had to move back in with my folks due to finances. Stressed out, I saw the doctor again. He had “saved” me before after all–I thought.
He put me on anafranil. This made me higher than a kite. Dr. Quackenbush denied this was possible. Things only went downhill from there.
I actually think that the large numbers of people taking these medications now is a huge boon to the antipsychiatry movement. That means large numbers will experience firsthand both the side effects us survivors have been complaining about for years and they will experience the medications lack of long term efficacy. I think the currently booming business is the path to busting it. I’m happy there are so many medicated people now because firsthand experience may be the only thing to open minds and create a revolution against pharma and psychiatry as the solution.
What was it something like 11% of the population drugged in 2010, up to 16.67 last year, it’ll be over 20% very shortly. Considering how few people find real help from the meds, and that those numbers are only people currently taking psych meds, and doesn’t include the huge number of people who previously took one or more, we are approaching critical mass!
That could be a good thing for us Psych Survivors in the long run as you point out KS. Too many people accused of severe mental illness can also help us. Since these drugs cause or exacerbate emotional/cognitive problems that will happen too.
Like the Salem witch hunters, the Pharma-psychiatry industry can’t seem to quit while they’re ahead.
“I actually think that the large numbers of people taking these medications now is a huge boon to the antipsychiatry movement.”
Wish I felt the same way.
Antipsychiatry of any sort was bigger 40 years ago, before the DSM III. This rise in labeling goes along with the PR successes, despite bad practice, of the APA. If it were a boon for antipsychiatry, it’s more of a boon for the pharmaceutical industry and the mental health treatment system as a whole. The prozac generation, in my view, is hardly less psychiatrist friendly than the generations that preceded them.
16.67 %? You’d think there would be a saturation point. How long can the psychiatric industry keep people convinced that these drugs are good for them? Stay connected. With a growing ‘artificial invalid’ population, simple economics eventually should be playing a role in any dispute.
Frank, I’m not anti-capitalism. But if I were I’d be happy about this rapid expansion of Psychiatry and Big Pharma.
40% of the population artificially disabled and addicted to overpriced drugs–all covered by the few paying taxes…This will be the downfall of our economy.
Right now, it’s more like 5-10%. But thanks to Murphy’s Law I believe this number will more than quadruple in the next 20 years.
40% of the population artificially disabled and addicted to overpriced drugs–all covered by the few paying taxes…This will be the downfall of our economy.
Though there is some truth to it, I don’t like this argument because it divides the working class against itself by encouraging workers to view disabled people with contempt and suspicion. If someone is truly worried about the economy, then they should take a look at endless war around the globe and tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.
BIg pharma and psychiatry as comrades in arms, FeelinDiscouraged, and you don’t think that’s a capitalist (corporate) matter? When did big pharma and psychiatry become poor working people?
I said artificial invalids and I meant artificial invalids. You’ve got all these people on this side of “disabled” who are calling themselves “disabled” and nobody is crying “fraud”,er, foul. I’d say there’s gotta be a limit if they’re expecting the rest of the population to support them into perpetuity.
Somebody mentioned 40 %. Really, driven by the play “sickness” bug? “Sick” by expert opinion? You got any reliable tests for that?
40% was a fictional percentage. With all the “treatments for mentally ill” children though it could happen.
Their disability is certainly artificial–no disputing that. That’s what’s so disgusting about psychiatry. It maims and kills people who would otherwise be healthy.
Psychiatry and Big Pharma are crony capitalism at its worst. But what they are doing–making shoddy products in the form of neuro-poisons and tricking gullible people into taking or forcing others to take them is not good for capitalism in the long run. It will lead to the system’s collapse which will lead first to anarchy then tyranny.
Capitalism is not my religion and selfishness is wrong. Love people; use things. Not the reverse.
Re: disability —
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There are stressed states of mind and body that make it impossible to acquire and maintain employment and/or do other daily tasks that most people take for granted being able to do. I’m not saying that these are necessarily permanent or that they are diseases, but they are real conditions that some people find themselves in. I don’t think it does the anti-psychiatry cause any good to pretend otherwise.
Furthermore, psychiatric “treatments” themselves disable people.
So the disability is real, even though much of it would be avoidable if not for psychiatry.
Uprising, I agree with you. I am not against giving money to the truly disabled but creating unnecessary disabilities as the psychiatric racket does. Nobody suffering iatrogenic damage or so drugged up they sleep 12 hours a day ever aspired to be permanently disabled.
The p doctors told me my only hope for a normal life and getting off SSI lay in taking their drugs “exactly as prescribed.” As I got sicker and sicker they claimed it was “my illness” no matter whether the issues were cognitive, emotional, or purely physical!
I am really angry at how they took me in! And myself for being gullible and too sensitive. (My being too sensitive led to me seeing that accursed shrink.)
Unfortunately right now I feel sicker than ever. 🙁
I’m not one to think the entitlement by stress excuse would last forever. I hope not anyway. I suppose it might have to do with growing up for some people suffering from delayed adulthood syndrome, however, I’m of the opinion that a real job beats a pretend disability any day of the week. Of course, some people suffering from delayed adulthood syndrome never reach “adulthood” properly speaking.
FD, that is the common ploy. Tell you you’re too sick to work but if you follow their instructions exactly to the letter you’ll get better. Then when you get sicker and sicker, they either blame you for bad behavior, or tell you it’s your illness getting worse. They took me in the same way. I was horribly depressed because of circumstances completely out of my control, and they deliberately disabled me.
Worse, in my case, I believe that the psychologist who first told me that I needed to go on disability was receiving kickbacks for referrals. His brother was a disability determined and reassured me that I would be approved because it would go across his brother’s desk. I was literally poisoned and funneled onto the disability system. But at the time, I was a severely distressed domestic violence victim with very little education and no support and so I was easy prey. But I do believe there was fraud committed to get someone like me into the system.
Frank, kicking people when they are down is not a good look for anyone. You are blaming the victims, as usual.
I knew somebody once who gave me this the “consumer” is always right line. I, at least, know better.
What? Did new and improved social services [sic] cease to be social services (i.e. bureaucratic red-tape and BS)?
I would think that knowledge acquired, through victimization, might be able to spare a few people from further victimization. On the other hand, there is no limit to any folly pursued if pursued indefatigably and diligently enough.
Sure, uprising, wising up is not always an option, is it?
Although, he said wistfully, there could always be a time when the “victim” role, like the “patient” role, became a bad fit.
Once again this whole dispute would be moot if everyone received a guaranteed income and no one had to “play disabled” to eat.
I wasn’t even talking about people who feign disability.
Uprising, I don’t even think there are very many people who feign disability. But our disability system is basically an all or nothing kind of deal. Especially for those who receive SSI rather than purely SSDI. Working a small number of hours would be beneficial to a large number of people, if only for the increased human contact and feeling of contribution to the community. But for those on SSI, every dollar you make takes a dollar from your check and for low income folks, they risk losing Medicaid coverage, and other social services. A minimum income and Medicare for All would go a long way toward getting people out of the disabled mindset because it would no longer be an issue of keeping your benefits intact for basic survival.
I think that I agree with everything you wrote, kindred. And SSDI, while not as punitive as SSI, is also very restrictive and prevents recipients from moving off of it.
I see your response on email but I don’t find it here. Anyway you write “John saw how Diabasis like Agnew’s and Iward and Soteria,(not Laing’s Kingsley Hall) could divert 60-70 percent of first breaks from being in the system if they went through madness without meds in a loving setting.”
In his books Trials of the Visionary Mind, I believe he claimed 90%. But still I always wondered about the other 10%.(Same thing with Soteria.) Perry did not say in his books why or who. So it’s interesting and encouraging to read your account and experience here.
I have to say Perry did not fall prey to type of elitist view that characterized many in TP community–partly because of Freudian influence. Thus he opened up Diabasis to all first breaks.
Besides Perry and Laing, Anton Boisen ought to get credit: He shows very persuasively that the “hospital patients” and the great spiritual leaders (St Paul, George Fox) were going through an identical experience. He does not take the next step because he assumes the patient has constitutional limits, just as Perry did. But I found the implications to be tantalizing.
Ron’s question was addressed to Michael, so I will put in my two cents down here where I won’t be butting in.
Psychiatrists and their drugs/electroshock are not the only reason the “mentally ill” die young. Most medical professionals will (maybe unconsciously) provide poor quality care to those they regard as non-productive. My pro-psychiatry dad observed this before I did.
Many folks taking psych drugs abuse coffee, cigarettes, and junk food because the pills make us suffer and these milder drugs alleviate some of it. Plus poverty makes it hard to eat right and make other healthy life choices. And loneliness/isolation is bad for the heart.
These are all indirectly related to the psychiatrists’ “treatments.” Yet the pharma-psychiatric industry can only do what it does because of:
1. the other medical professionals covering up for them
2. corrupt government officials covering up for them in exchange for campaign contributions
3. mainstream media saying whatever the “experts” say due to drug company sponsors
4. ignorant sheeple unwilling or afraid to think and too lazy to read books (most “grateful consumers” fall into this category)
5. and less ignorant folks who don’t care if the “crazies” live or die.
The Johns Hopkins Genetic Research facility sent a person to my house for an interview and blood sample. They believe that bipolar is genetic. They are attempting to prove this. But when you say my cousins and my uncle and my father were all genetically manic-depressive, you over look the fact that they all came from the same family dynamics; and the same lack of spirituality, which could account for the same behaviors. I don’t know a lot about genetics but I know what I see in my family.
My dad is a retired clergy and Bible scholar. He pokes fun at people who make assumptions then go through the Bible digging up proof texts to support what they already know because they want to believe it.
It sounds like the John Hopkins Research Center has a similar mindset. They have already determined that “bipolar” is genetic. This is their belief–not just a hypothesis. Now they’re desperately looking for proof to support this foregone conclusion.
One of the fundamental core principles of science is skepticism. You’re always supposed to look for evidence to DISPROVE your hypothesis, and only when vigorous efforts to disprove it fail is it considered true. You aren’t supposed to try and skew the data to prove the hypothesis you want to be true! Something is scientifically true only if it is THE BEST hypothesis among all possible hypotheses. You don’t get to pick your favorite!
Sounds like a good plan for hard sciences, soft sciences, and any scholastic discipline. In debate we were taught early on to anticipate any argument our opponent might make and prepare a rebuttal.
Right. The difference is in science, when your “opponent” wins, you acknowledge it and thank him/her for furthering your understanding of science. Science is not about BEING right, it’s about GETTING IT right. Anything else is propaganda and politics.
Wish more theologians and Bible scholars would adopt that attitude!
This is a very good reason to stay away from large institutions like John Hopkins or their equivalents anywhere in the world. With their overly biological garbage, and the subsequent fear-mongering, coercion (which can range from subtle to extreme) and all the other psychiatric protocols that come with it, one can never realise their full potential as a human being.
1.) As mentioned, family dynamics plays a role. Once a single person in the family is labelled with any DSM label, the corresponding protocols of biology based views will filter down environmentally to other members of the family, because those initially labelled members will become a “family history” to them.
2.) They are labelling people as manic depressives due to mania caused by psychiatric drugs like SSRIs and Ritalin. Once one member X is labelled bipolar this way, another member Y who is one generation down, to whom X may be a second degree relative will also be labelled similarly if they respond similarly to psychiatric drugs. Here, the actual correlation may not be “bipolar”, but just a disposition to experiencing mania due to those specific drugs.
In cases where X and Y have totally different psychiatrists, the psychiatrist of Y will not even know that X was labelled bipolar due to drug induced mania, but will simply count the label of X as a family history of Y.
3.) “Bipolar” is a descriptive behavioral label indicating a person has experienced two mood states with no explanation of etiology (unlike single gene disorders). Being a criminal or a doctor is as genetic as anything else in the DSM.
4.) If a person has a disposition to depression, he may have a counteractive disposition to other things which positively counteract it. Unfortunately, getting labelled would inevitably result in a supression of the positives and an excessive focus on the negatives.
5.) Once a person is labelled bipolar for any reason, all adverse events in life will simply be “factors in the course of the illness”, and nothing in and of themselves (as prime factors in the life of the person). The person will subsequently experience mistreatment which would end up becoming a self-fulfilling prohecy, thereby adding credence to the initial diagnosis of “illness” , and also subsequent diagnoses to other family members.
Genetics can’t account for many of these things. Best to stay away from these Johns Hopkins types. All that will happen to people with these guys is that they’d be prevented from ever reaching their full potential. Even if, in some individuals, genetics was a modest causal factor, it would still be imprudent to have to do anything with these people due to point 4.
If someone is really desperate for pills, they may rather go to someone in private practice.
Anafranil caused me to go from a Major Depressive Disorder label to a Bipolar 2 one.
If SSRI’s “unmask” so-called mood disorders maybe taking folks off would mask the problem again. According to shrinks that’s all their drugs do anyhow. But this would mean fewer pills to sell. So they’re agin’ this idea!
Interestingly, and not to dispute your points at all, the folks at Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Unit were the first to say they didn’t think I was bipolar at all. After 11 years of bipolar treatment, they diagnosed me with MDD. I thought they were nuts at the time but I was still fully indoctrinated as seriously mentally ill and genetically bipolar when I saw them in 2013. Took another two years to get off the SSRI, and three years to get off drugs entirely. At eight months “clean”, I’m starting to feel like a normal human again, of course, with lingering paranoia of being dragged back into the system and drugged.
No no no – it is not genetic – don’t believe that for a second. We all have iffy genes – it’s what triggers them is what’s important – your genes are not your destiny
It’s quite likely that genes are responsible for my high score in neurotic tendencies. Neurosis should not be seen as a mental illness label. Like being an extrovert or openness, all a high neurosis score means is you are susceptible to negative emotions. And there are benefits to being neurotic too.
Domestic felines are highly neurotic. Due to their position in the middle of the food chain, neurosis is an effective survival mechanism for a cat. In our highly competitive society, a similar case could be made for the neurotic individual.
These are the same people who stole Henrietta Lacks’s cells before she died of cancer and then made a killing off of them as they sold them to researchers. And of course, her family members do not receive one penny of compensation for the sale worldwide of their mother’s cells that are used for research.
Psychiatric patients die 25 years before everyone else. 25 years before Mad people who reject psychiatry. Let that number sink in. Does it sound stupid to you? Because it doesn’t sound stupid to me! – 25 years is not a mistake or an accident. Remember, psychiatry doesn’t “save” any lives because Madness is NOT an “illness”, and certainly not any condition that endangers one’s life. Nope. The quacks are robbing us of that much time, because it’s the maximum that they can rob, without outing themselves as cold-blooded killers. Psychiatry is SINISTER, not stupid.
The high ranking, “well-informed” psychiatrists are certainly evil. Sinister, not stupid. But there are some well-meaning psych doctors who are part of the outer circle and don’t attend APA meetings are read many articles in psych journals. They may even believe what they say when they tell you you have a chemical imbalance in your brain.
The nice psychiatrists we see, who don’t lie and want us to do well–they are either stupid or uninformed. Those are the good ones. 🙁
There’s a lot on here about schizophrenia and psychosis and that is well and good. But people are getting hard core drugs for simple things like getting a divorce and freaking out about it. Some people want a hard core drug. I remember just wanting some relief from being so terrified of being alone in the world with three kids. Alone and divorced is not a druggable offense. I needed life skills and vocational therapy. I was given prozac. And because I come from a culture where you take pills to feel better, this made sense to me. And the prozac gave me systemic lupus erythematosus, a horrible disease.
So YES, psychiatrists HARM their patients out of Stupidity.
Read your novel, Frances. Need to review it for Amazon and Goodreads. I liked it, but it made me want to cry. Too easily triggered right now.
Thank you for reading my book, FeelinDiscouraged. My neighbor across the street cried when she read it too. It means you are both wonderful human beings. 🙂
Thanks. For many years my psych drugs kept me from crying at all. Even when I wanted to. Now it’s surprising how easily I burst into tears. 🙂 Hard to cry at funerals or empathize with others’ griefs when your soul’s full of novicane.
Yes, psychiatrists harm their patient out of stupidity – and ignorance and arrogance. I’ve posted parts of this before – how I came to be forced to have ECT because not one idiot psychiatrist recognized benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome – I had cold-turkeyed from a low-dose benzo which I took at a time of extreme stress. ECT – a dangerous practice, in ignorant and dangerous hands.
I wrote this (excerpt) as an open letter to my doctors. ” I tried to withdraw from the benzo. I felt horrible. You insisted I was “depressed.” You said it was because of my traumatic childhood. My childhood was not the issue. The issue was your drugs.
You didn’t recognize my adverse reactions to the benzodiazepine. And you didn’t recognize the withdrawal syndrome. You diagnosed me with ‘Anxiety Disorder’ and ‘Depression.’ You gave me an antidepressant. When I became agitated and developed a tremor as drug effects, you said I had ‘Major Depression with Agitation.’ When the agitation became so severe that I lost my sleep entirely, you gave me even more antidepressants. You also gave me sleeping pills.
You said I had an ‘Adjustment Disorder’ – but the only things I wasn’t adjusting to, were your drugs. I collapsed frequently, sometimes on the street, and was twice taken by ambulance to an emergency room. You did not recognize that one of the drugs was causing my blood pressure to drop precipitously.
When I started twitching and shaking uncontrollably, you gave me more sleeping pills – to be taken three times a day and at night. When I fell asleep during an appointment, you said I had ‘Vegetative Depression.’ When I was in constant motion, you said I had ‘Bipolar Disorder.’ You then settled on ‘ Psychotic Depression.’
You gave me antipsychotics. I started howling like a dog. I marched in place. My body movements became chaotic. My face twitched, and my tongue darted in and out of my mouth.
You gave me 35 different psychiatric drugs. You gave me a new drug almost every week. You said you were ‘unmasking’ mental disorders. You didn’t allow for a wash-out period between drugs. You were treating the adverse effects of pharmacy and polypharmacy with more polypharmacy. Why did I accept all those drugs? I would have done anything, agreed to anything, ingested anything to stop the horrendous agitation – it’s called akathisia.
I couldn’t stop moving. You said it was a symptom of my mental illness. You told me I was demented. I was afraid I would kill myself. I was afraid I wouldn’t kill myself. I wrote a Living Will and a Do Not Resuscitate directive. I gave away my belongings. I wrote farewell letters. I detailed how my ashes were to be disposed. I asked my husband to shave my face – one of your drugs caused the growth of facial hair. My husband watched in helpless disbelief, horror and grief.
I wanted to withdraw from the drugs and went to a psychiatric facility for help. You seized me and kept me there forcibly. You said I had ‘ Dissociative Identity Disorder’ and ‘Somatization Disorder.’ You said I was ‘delusional, self-absorbed, and violently agitated.’ You cold-turkeyed me off many of the drugs and wrote that I was ‘an excellent candidate for ECT.’
I refused treatment, but you coerced my husband into signing. You told him electroshock was the last and only option. You held me for 10 weeks and treated me to 25 general anesthetics and 25 bilateral, grand mal seizures. I don’t remember much except the assembly line of gurneys on shock days. I shook from terror as I looked up at your cold, matter-of-fact faces and waited for merciful oblivion as the anesthetic hit. You kept me on the sleeping pills – three times a day, once at night and you added new drugs. You told me I would require institutionalization, medication for the rest of my life, and weekly maintenance electroshock treatments. I did not go back for maintenance ECT and I gradually tapered myself off all drugs. For years I lived with the fear that you would have me returned to your facility and committed for more electroshock. I WAS NO LONGER A HUMAN BEING. You could not have been more destructive.
When you promise to do no harm, you should acknowledge when it happens, and share so that it does not happen again. You will never admit that you did harm and no one will ever learn from your mistakes. The oath you took was ‘to admit no harm.’ You also took ‘the oath of silence.’
I have been drug-free for many years and see no psychiatrists. I had a ‘spontaneous recovery’ from every label I had been given when I withdrew from the pharmaceuticals. Well, not quite. When I tried to get help for the trauma I experienced at the hands of doctors, I was told what I was saying was libelous and that I had “Paranoid Ideation.”
Doctors systematically destroyed my brain and nervous system with drugs and electroshock. I have amnesia. More than 20 years of my life are totally missing. Most of the memory of my life with my husband is gone. I also have anterograde amnesia – the loss of the ability to create new memories. I have cognitive impairments, optic nerve damage, tremors, seizures, vocal tics, diminished lung capacity, poor working memory and poor organizational skills. I function with a wall of ‘sticky note’ reminders.
I live in terror of those who forgot they once took an oath to do no harm. However, if I met any one of you, my doctors, on the street, I would not recognize you. You stole my memory.
Three of the dozen women incarcerated with me are dead – two from suicide, one from a post-ECT heart attack. What was wrong with them in the first place? Try thyroid problems, gluten intolerance, B12 deficiency, zinc deficiency, kidney not filtering properly, head injury, inner ear problem, toxic chemical exposure ….. (I’m a good intuitive)
……… Doctors are too ignorant to make a proper diagnosis.
Dear amnesia, I am very, very sorry this all happened to you. I am sending you a HUG for what it’s worth.
Thank you for the HUG – a longer/slightly different version of this story appeared in a magazine – dozens of people commented on how their story paralleled mine – dozens of letters. It was also shared in blogs and dozens more wrote about similar situations.
If I may ask what magazine was your story written in? Is there a link to it so I could read it in its entirety? Your story sounds very much like mine except I never had ECT. I too had a “so called spontaneous recovery” from several psychiatric diagnoses once I became drug free. It’s unbelievable psychiatrists refuse to accept the drugs they prescribe cause horrific emotional and physical effects that they like to describe as mental illness.
Here’s the original article http://vitalitymagazine.com/article/an-open-letter-to-doctors/
ultimately there were more than 40 comments – many from people who had gone through the same thing – some with and some without ECT.
Thank you for the link to the magazine. I’m so very sorry this happened to you.
@”amnesia”: Thanks for the link, – which works!, – but I couldn’t load the “comments”, or even read/see them. But your words from 2012 are still there. Thank-you. I bet you’d agree – Psychiatry is a pseudoscience, a drug racket, and a means of social control. It’s 21st Century Phrenology, with potent neuro-toxins.
The DSM-5 is nothing more than a catalog of billing codes. ALL of the alleged “diagnoses” in it were literally INVENTED, not “discovered”. I’m grateful that I survived psychiatry…. too many of my friends did not….
BTW, “ECT” = ELECTRO-CUTION TORTURE. We may as well be HONEST, and call it what it is…. Electro-cution Torture(“ECT)/
Trying to get to some of the comments – http://www.cpso.co/college_says1.html- this should get to the public outrage
unable to post a link but here is a mass of comments – Julia Woodford, Editor:
We also carry a horror story this month, submitted by a woman whose insomnia diagnosis led her in to the dark world of prescription drug addiction. Seeking help from her psychiatrist, the woman ended up on a mixture of benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and Oxycontin, which ultimately left her a blithering idiot in a psychiatric ward. The moral of the story – prescription drugs can be dangerous enough to ruin your health, your mind and your life. Don’t read the story unless you have a strong stomach.
John M Grima, Toronto:
I had some trouble believing this woman could be so ignorant of one’s health. I can understand that when we go to a doctor, we can expect a prescription. But I cannot understand how this woman kept trusting and receiving ALL those prescriptions from her ignorant Doctor … Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lori Farquhar-Bryenton, Toronto:
I was saddened by this letter but it’s all too prevalent these days. People get caught up in this and they don’t realize the harm being done to them until it’s too late.
Crystal Hawk, Toronto:
I’m so glad this is finally seeing the light of day so others can read it and learn hopefully not to let this happen to themselves. Thanks for sharing this very difficult story. Hopefully it will make a difference for many others.
Toni B. Rhodes, Atlanta, GA:
I went through something similar to your experience, with doctors piling up psychotrophic drugs to find the ‘right med’ for me. Now, 5-1/2 years benzo free, I’m starting to feel better but still have protracted benzo w/d syndrome. I pray both of us will eventually heal.
Elizabeth K. Ellis Moorhead, MN:
Excellent, excellent article. So full of reality.
Patrice Campion, Ireland:
Thank you for sharing your personal story. We are grateful for courageous people like you who step out from behind the shadow of shame, and tell the world about your experiences, so others may avoid this same life experience. May you continue to remember, even if it is better to forget. God Speed. x
Mary Maddock, Cork, Ireland:
An excellent article! It is so heartfelt and so honest. Yes doctors can do outrageous harm. Many people have been crucified by psychotrophic drugs in the name of ‘help.’ People live in fear of receiving them against their will when they know they have caused them serious harm. THANKS for writing this article!
Iianne Knight, Canada:
Living by the Laws of Life and the Laws of Nature, historically, from ancient times forward, have restored many to vibrant wellness without any drugs. Surgery or radiation. I hope that you will be able to rise to this personal challenge that you have received to study the masters and become one of our finest teachers.
Pamela St. John, Chapel Hill, NC:
What an amazing, well written and powerful article you have given the world….I am so glad you are writing a book!! I keep your story as inspiration for the work that must continue for changing these horrendous conditions, pray for your continuing return to full health, and give thanks for your passion to help others along the way. I read Peter Breggin’s book, Toxic Psychiatry, when it came out and felt very supported by that in my own growing beliefs around ‘mental health.’ Your evidential experiences will be tremendous back up for those in the field who have tried to speak out.
Heartbreaking, but all too common. There are posts by patients all over the Web with similar stories. To the enduring shame of medicine, few doctors recognized adverse effects of the drugs they throw out like candy. Even fewer know anything about gradual, individualized tapering off these medications to minimize withdrawal damage. There are maybe a dozen Web sites run by patients – NOT doctors – offering support. I run one of them, SurvivingAntidepressants.org, but I would gladly shut it down if medicine stepped up to its responsibility to patients to get them safely off these drugs.
I was started on Prozac in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. I lost the 20 years of my life that followed, to a parade of psychiatric drugs, all prescribed for the effects of the drugs before. Now it’s taking me another five or six years to safely get off them. I’ve lost the best years of my life – not only lost, but I can’t describe the suffering I experienced during those years. I wanted to die most of the time. My children lost their mother. I have no savings to retire on. I have no partner and at this point it looks like I’ll spend the rest of my life alone. Thank you modern medicine. I no longer see doctors. I don’t believe in any of your ‘interventions.’ You have no idea how much damage you are doing, and you don’t want to listen when we try to tell you.
Toni Rhodes, Atlanta:
This story is heartbreaking. I went through a similar experience – getting hooked on a benzo that a doctor prescribed. Fortunately, my husband intervened; otherwise, my doctor would have given me ECT. I went through a horrific withdrawal process and now have protracted benzo withdrawal syndrome, which is awful but not as bad as being on the drugs. I wrote a letter to my HMO describing all the ways I was mistreated by doctors in the system, and I actually got a call from one of the doctors, who said he would take my case before a board to see if changes could be made in procedures. Maybe doctors in this country are beginning to see how wrong they have been. Too many of us have had to suffer!
Add me to the list of victims. Addicted to sleeping pills in 3 weeks. I was getting panic and anxiety attacks from the interdose w/d. They threw the whole drug catalog at me and diagnosed me with so much stuff. I’m 16 months off my last dose of benzodiazepine and still very ill. Psychiatry is a profession gone bad. If I had my way they would be lining up for the unemployment line.
I have a similar story. I am called a Psychiatric Survivor. I have refused to ever use those drugs again (now they say SSRI’s don’t work) I know they don’t work … 20 years ago. I went through 6 years of nothing but drugs and baloney, no help, nothing. After many hospital stays and crap, one day the “dr” threw me away and said I could not be helped and would end up killing myself. This “person” still practices but I plan on writing and posting my experiences online. Somewhere, someday, naming names. I have struggled but found success in alternative therapies. I now fully confront any “dr” who needs confronting and I don’t care what is about or what is written down in my ‘file”. I have a file now on doctors. Do no harm? Everyone of us should be able to sue for damages. I agree, psychiatrists et al should be sent to Mars or if there is a hell, hopefully there is a special place for doctors who harm, injure, destroy and yet make quite a good living at our suffering.
Anothervictim, USA :
Another victim here. I am so sorry for this lady. I went from relatively mild situational anxiety to psychosis on drugs. I was polydrugged (14 drugs over a 4-month period) since doctors used drugs to treat adverse effects from other drugs. I am now 7 months free of all drugs and my body and brain still feel like when I was on the rugs, meaning that the (hopefully temporary) chemical brain damage that was caused by the drugs remains. I have no idea when I’ll be healed and able to restore my normal life. I was an amazing sweet mom and wife and an MIT graduate with a perfect GPA and on the worst of my withdrawal I had slurred speech and could not even recognize a tube of toothpaste … Cannot feel love for my family either. This is what these drugs do, a chemical lobotomy. That feeling of agitation is called akathisia or “Hell on Earth”, psychiatrists dirty little secret … and 7 months later I still have it. For those who feel good on the drugs and are able to get on and off of them without issue, beware, your brain will not stand the beating forever and sooner or later will rebel. So if you’re one of the lucky ones that has a ‘sturdy’ brain be thankful. IMHO, these drugs should only be used in extreme cases where the risk significantly outweighs the benefit, not because you’re depressed that your dog ate your LV purse.
I too am a victim/psychiatric survivor. I was a teacher who became a jailbird after I was given Risperidol, Haldol, and Seroquel. I had no family near. There was no empathy for me after I lost my baby, you see. I got pills instead of empathy. All I needed was some empathy. I was strong. I could have made it. Instead of comfort, the medications and actions it caused me to lose roughly 10 years rebuilding my life and establishing a new career. They almost killed me. After starting the medications – I lost my life. Now all I have is the new one I’m building. My integrity as a person was shattered. I explain things one way to myself – but in another way to others. What a shadow the ordeal cast on what was once a clean slate that was called my life.
Roberto, Idaho USA:
This is just an amazing story and hard to believe, but never the less it is TRUE. Millions of people TRUST their doctors blindly because this is all they know to do. Some doctors have a way to win your TRUST to the point that NO matter how your health keeps on declining you will still TRUST their judgment like this lady did for the many years until it is too late. Some people really believe that thee DRUGS are a godsend, but in reality they may help for a while until something else goes wrong and you begin to experience hell on earth …
The article is hair-raising. I’d like her permission to use her story in my book. My husband cried when he read her story. My husband is a physician.
This story should be required reading for all medical students. It’s sobering.
‘Open Letter to Doctors’ posted in Dead Man’s Vitamin
Lori Farquhar-Bryenton, Editor:
I came across this story today and felt I had to share it with others. Although I have spoken with many people with similar stories, I have never come across such gross negligence.
Gross negligence: n. carelessness in reckless disregard for the safety or lives of others, which is so great it appears to be a conscious violation of other people’s rights to safety. It is more than simple inadvertence, but it is just shy of being intentionally evil. If one has borrowed or contracted to take care of another’s property, then gross negligence is the failure to actively take the care one would of his/her own property. If gross negligence is found by the trier of fact (judge or jury), it can result in the award of punitive damages on top of general and special damages. Also:
Gross negligence is a conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm to persons, property or both. It is conduct that is extreme.
If this is not a case of gross negligence then what is? Why can’t we hold psychiatrists responsible for the harm they cause? Why is this being allowed to continue?
With no due recourse and nowhere to turn, this lady can only endure what has been done to her by mental health “experts.”
Thanks. Gross negligence? It goes beyond negligent and it’s way beyond gross.
How are we supposed to taper “under supervision”? I can only do it on my own. When I asked for help with it, the doctor wanted to “add a little bit of Abilify”! I write notes to myself: You feel bad because you are in withdrawal. It will be over before long … because otherwise I might start to believe them again. There is nothing wrong with my brain. My list of diagnoses went from schizophrenia to paranoia to chronic undifferentiated schizophrenia to schizotypal PD to schizoaffective to bipolar personality disorder. If I had never seen a psychiatrist I would never have had any of these labels or the hundreds of pills and the almost ruined life. I am still tapering. On. My. Own.
“Open letter to Doctors” Posted in Gaia Health
Heidi Stevenson, Editor:
This woman’s health was taken over and devastated by creatures who call themselves doctors. Anyone’s life can be destroyed in this system that dares to demand it be the only approach to health.
Wow! I just finished reading this amazing testimony and my heart goes out to this person who survived the ordeal. This is the part I read that just blew me away “A psychiatrist asked: is she still alive?” meaning that she had taken so many pills that she should have died.
A shocking and tragic story. Sadly, there are thousands of people annually who have their lives destroyed due to psychiatric drugs prescribed by cynical psychiatrists.
Doctors may look side effect up but are rarely interested in interactions between drugs but, yet they do occur. The shocking cocktail which the poor woman was given is criminal. Several of the drugs were undoubtedly taken at the same time. Many in the list interact with each other resulting in for example increase in effective concentration, increasing toxicity, reduction of blood pressure etc.
The open letter, so excellently formulated, so vividly describing the disgraceful, unethical and low level to which much of psychiatry has sunk, should be widely spread. It is also a perfect example for workshop discussions for medical students, in the hope that they will not be tempted to fall into the culture of greed and corruption which symbolizes psychiatry’s situation today.
Shocking. Sad. Criminal.
I read this with tears in my eyes. I watched a similar thing happen to my sister after horrific vaccine damage at age 12. She died a year and a half ago at age 40. Doctors offered no hope for her ‘rare’ condition that they had absolutely had ‘no idea’ where it materialized from. They treated her with such disrespect and disgust those last days … as if she were somehow at fault … I think they know deep down. If they allowed themselves the thought that what they are doing is harming people, children, to the extent that it really is, well, maybe a few would just want to go jump off a bridge. We could only hope…
EXCELLENT post! It’s appalling how completely the medical community has abandoned the tenet “First do no harm” in favor of “Protect the MAXIMUM profits & best interests of Big Pharma AT ALL COSTS, and NO MATTER the extent of ‘collateral’ damage from injury & death of innocent people.
Comments from Facebook groups as the story continued to spread
My heart goes out to the author.
Jennifer Bryant Roeder:
I am horrified of what you went through and am amazed you survived. I am so sorry. It’s unbelievable how psychiatry destroys so much of our minds and our lives. Thank you for sharing your story.
Wow. Amazing story, beautifully written. Thanks for sharing.
“I’d like to drive a dagger through the heart of psychiatry, but I can’t find a heart.” Irish psychiatrist Michael Corry (1948-2010) the above quote is part of a poignant piece at the linkhttp://vitalitymagazine.com/article/an-open-letter-to-doctors/ I venture to say, we can’t find a brain either.
I completely agree with everything you wrote. If I wasn’t afraid of jail and going to hell my psych doctor would be in serious danger. Bottom line: if there was any justice in the world my psych doctor would be in jail.
I have no doubt we will reach a tipping point soon and then the tide will turn. Word is getting out.
My experience is similar in so many ways to that of the writer … But it is so sad that in spite of the work of the likes of Peter Breggin and Robert Whitaker these drugs are continuing to be prescribed and people are blithely taking them. And I wish somebody would tell Woody Allen to stop subliminally advertising benzodiazepines in his films.
I just read your story. Omg I am so sorry. I hate psychiatry with a passion.
Wow. It is unbelievable how you were treated – what happened to you is criminal and it just boggles the mind that these doctors can be so callous, careless, cruel and (seemingly) ignorant of the adverse effects of all these drugs and treatments and get away with it because it is the ‘standard of care’. The psychiatrist who pushed all these drugs on you was worse than the worst drug pusher – except psych drugs are more dangerous. Your statement – “one should not have to survive going to a doctor’ nails the ‘irony’ and tragedy of what is happening in mainstream medical model health care. I will share this with family and friends.
Anne Woodlen, writer, social activist, psychiatric survivor
Dear God. Your words are triggering an adrenalin rush in me. The horror – the horror, of what we’ve been through. It’s hard for me to read because it brings up memories that I’ve moved away from.
I think – hope – that what you’ve written will be a punch in the face to “civilians” – people who think the psychiatric system is beneficial. You write with simple, direct clarity. Facts. No howling or whining, just a strict report of events, which is very, very powerful.
I’ve had it bad in the psych system, but not as bad as you. (Jesus, there ought to be criminal indictments against all these people who call themselves doctors.) Your story ought to be required reading for all students preparing to engage in mental “health” treatment. Would you consider letting me publish your writing on my blog? It is important, it matters, and I feel a terrible sense of urgency about it.
I am reminded of the Book of Job where Satan destroys everything Job has. After each crop is destroyed or each flock of animals dies, a servant comes to Job and says, “I alone am left to tell you.” You, alone, are left to tell us. You survived with enough of your brain intact to tell us the damage that psych meds cause. You are one of the reasons I believe in God. Bless you.
David Healy MD/Psychiatrist/author/Pharmageddon/www.RxISK.org
This is an extraordinary list of meds. This is definitely something we need to showcase but in the early days of getting Rxisk up and running I’m trying to get as many general health issues into the frame as I can first. There are some equally terrible things from mainstream medicine – so keep an eye on the Rxisk blog when we get it going.
Robert Whitaker/author/lecturer/Mad in America/Anatomy of an Epidemic
Your story is one that tells of how this system of “care” we have can take people down an ever-downward path. This is much of what I wrote about in Anatomy of an Epidemic, which is how an initial small problem gets converted into a much bigger and more lasting problem. I am so sorry that you have suffered in this way, and I hope that you can continue to recover in the time ahead.
Paula Caplan/Harvard psychologist/author/They Say You’re Crazy/When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home
Oh, God, this is a nightmare! Your story is indeed terrifying and so, so sad. What a tragedy to see how you were being fed all those awful drugs and then, when you reported the negative effects, told they proved how sick you were! You are a miracle for having gotten out of it and for being so brave to try to help others.
Ginger Breggin/Peter Breggin MD/psychiatrist/Your Drug May be Your Problem
I am so sorry for your ordeal. Stay strong and keep building your support network! (Great idea about the ECT speakers group! Bravo!)
Sir William Osler (1849-1919)
Canadian physician known as ‘the father of modern medicine’
“The battle against polypharmacy, or the use of a large number of drugs (the action of which we know little, yet we put them into the bodies … the action of which we know less) has not been fought to the finish … Do not use rashly every new product of which the peripatetic siren sings. Consider what surprising reactions may occur in the laboratory from the careless mixing of unknown substances. Be as considerate of your patient and yourself as you are of the test-tube.”
“It is only too true, as you know well, that a most successful – as the term goes – doctor may practice with a clinical slovenliness that makes impossible for that old friend, Dame Nature, to cover his mistakes.”
“It is astonishing with how little outside aid a large practice may be conducted, but it is not astonishing that in it cruel and unpardonable mistakes are made.”
“The daily round of a busy practitioner tends to develop an egoism of a most intense kind, to which there is no antidote. The few setbacks are forgotten. The mistakes are often buried …”
“Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis.”
David Healy MD/psychiatrist/author/Pharmageddon/www.RxISK.org
“No one knows a drug’s side effects like the person taking it.”
Neither Dr. C., nor the CPSO, nor the Independent Opinion, nor the “expert tribunal” ICRC (Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee) chose to listen to the patient. Decisions were based on Dr. C’s records, records which were described by the CPSO as lacking: “Put simply – the documentation of the treatment of this patient is impossible to follow.” Dr. C. was reprimanded on many counts. Of the above-mentioned people, Dr. C. is the only one who met me. A group who never met me, never asked questions of me, decided I was mentally ill on the basis of Dr. C.’s notes. Hopefully the HPARB will listen to the patient. (PENDING since November 2012)
In the words of the great Canadian orthomolecular psychiatrist : ‘How can something that makes well people sick, make sick people well?’ And at the end of his very last audio interview a few weeks before his death: ‘All psychiatrists should be transported to Mars – we’d be better off without them.’ Yes, indeed we would.
Psychiatrists often have rotten bedside manners and would fail miserably in a bona fide medical specialty where they had to treat people like human beings rather than diseases of society (the true role of the keeper of the mad is to protect society from the crazy folk. Not to cure or help the mad themselves.)
If shrinks were forced to look for real jobs no one would hire them as cashiers at Wal-Mart. Who would want an arrogant, surly jerk running up your groceries and refusing to admit when he got your change wrong?
i’m so sorry for what you went through. Really. Such a shame and sounds like flat-out abuse, under the covers of psychiatric arrogance and idiocy. Helps me learn to be wary of these monsters.
Allen Francis, in the fourth season of life, does try to be honest about ‘how’ psychiatric diagnosis is seeing something that exists (the other’s behavior) with an ‘expectation, of what the psychiatrist is seeing and interpreting through the ‘superficial’ medium of the Word. While approximately 500 years before the Sermon on the Mount, Socrates wandered the byways of Athens asking its citizens to contemplate (a word that conjures the original purpose of prayer) the phenomena of the human good. Like the great awakeners of the axial age period of evolving human consciousness, Socrates did not write a word and was said to be suspicious of ‘how’ words ‘imprison’ knowledge, by trying to make the motions of nature ‘static.’
Furthermore, I am told that it is written, “Robert, what do you see when you look in the mirror?” While, a good ‘existential’ therapist, desiring to demonstrate just how and why the post-modern social world is ‘alienating’ of the human sense of self, might ask Robert, “do see your eyes and mistake a word for the reality of and the function of your eyes?” Furthermore, can you admit the ‘habituated’ nature of your behaviour and why, in addressing psychiatrists with well-chosen words, you find yourself (existentially) behaving like a well initiated Jew standing before a famous wall in a famous city, where words are repeated in parrot-like fashion, with a heartfelt hope of personal transformation.
I invite readers of this comment thread to contemplate (an inner phenomenon of the self) as St Augustine advises, that commenters will reflexively shy away from any invitation to reveal their private sense of subjectivity. As Ken Wilber points out, in his call for an ‘integral’ psychology and spirituality, (echoing Freud’s formulation of Totem & Taboo) the societal taboo on inter-subjectivity, bars the way to the next step in our human consciousness.
Asked why he taught by parables, Jesus, the Christ (no Christ is not simply Jesus last name) replied, “they see, yet do not see, they hear, yet do not hear, and neither do they understand. Although, missing from this comment, for political purposes I suspect, is the word ‘thyself,’ from this parable of the human condition, which is ‘existentially’ relevant unto this today. For we ‘initiate’ our children well, “see my love, how the world is made of words.” Learn this lesson well, and may it keep you in good grace, as you endeavour to make a living.
While, in the politics of experience, the wise know the ‘paradox’ of statehood and selfhood, in the need to organise the road to humanity’s salvation, whispering in a hushed tone, all these wise ‘aphorism’s’ are actually about ‘you’ and your human experience. And knowing the manifest politics of my nervous system, I prophesy the non-response to my invitation to ‘expose’ the ‘privto bonno,’ as St Augustine and wise others framed it, of one’s private experience of a subjective self.
BTW Freud called Hebrew mythology, ‘exposure myths.’ While Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers ask, is there a mythology we live by today? Experientially, it is easy to see and easy to do. And paradoxically, strangely hard to be wise.
That is a very poignant, well written very moving horror story. Thank you for telling it. I hope you will write it up for Mad in America. Fortunately you made a “spontaneous recovery”’ from every “disorder” with which they claimed you were afflicted. But unfortunately you still suffer from the effects of your treatment. It’s not clear if you’re still with your husband but it seems your marriage survived the assault on you by psychiatry. They often do not–your husband deserves credit.
Amnesia, yours is a cautionary tale because until you decided to withdraw from the drugs it seems you had complete trust in your psychiatrist. You trusted his authority and you assumed he had your best interests at heart–until he resorted to coercion. If you had any doubts you do not express them above. In fact if you write this up I think you should be more explicit about this–at some point your trust in him turned to an awareness that he had betrayed you. At some point you realized–either gradually or suddenly, or both–that this man in whom you placed all your trust was not helping you and did not have your best interests at heart. But until you came to this realization you were a victim of his brand of psychiatric insanity This is an important part of the story that I think you should include if you submit it to MIA.
It is misplaced trust that leads so many Americans to become victims of the mental health system, of psychiatric drug pushers. If Americans stopped trusting psychiatrists they could avoid the harm that is currently inflicted on them. Unfortunately it’s almost impossible to find genuine support from “mental health” professionals–or anywhere. Instead in the name of mental health the mental health professions offer a variety of “medical treatments” that are harmful, debilitating and brain-damaging. If these don’t make the patient “better” more brutal treatments are used– in the 20th century psychiatry decided that the cure for “mental illness” consists in various assaults on the brain
The goal of this system is not to provide support but to make money for the mental health professionals and their partners in the pharmaceutical industry. But if the patient does not “improve” the shock doctors are brought in–this is pure sadism unconsciously intended to torture
and injure the patient for committing the crime of not getting “better.”
Seth, can I ask you about the academic process of gaining a PhD, as you so aptly seal your sense of self, with a ‘trust’ in words and their ability to accurately describe the reality of personal experience. Do you, unwittingly self-avoid the sensations of embodied experience and therefore block your own desire to see the next step in the human potential movement, take place?
I can’t help but wonder what the delightful lady from that much loved show about ‘nothing’ (Seinfeld) would exclaim about the politics of experience and its manufacturing of assent (opinion) taking place in the here and now of this comment thread; yarda, yarda, yarda….no doubt. Despite the common assent of our shared opinions, rhetoric is not reality and as far as I can see, we simply enact the trick of self-avoidance, as we retreat into onclaves of like-minded groups, just like Barak Obama pointed out in his lecacy speech.
Sadly, when homo-normalis-rationalis, is aked what said organism knows of itself, the forthcoming answer is merely words. Which, as Maslow pointed out, will ever remain imperfect images of truth. While there are self-arresting questions homo-normalis-rationalis can ask itself to dissolve the illusion of both history and time.
“What time is it now?” (insert local number of caregorized time here), then ask;
“What is time?”
Or you could ask a psychiatrist in a gentle, open and loving manner; being human, you walk and talk. How, do you do that? A self-arresting question I now pose to my clients, as a way of showing them that their experience of so-called madness, can be felt as a somewhat sane response to a mad, social world, just as R.D. Laing suggested.
With all due respect Seth, one should not underestimate the parent-child dynamic in our ‘know-thyplace’ social world, or as Sheldrake suggests of our personal evolution, the habituated nature of our human behavior.
I happened to see this–there have been so many I stopped reading them all.
“Homo-normalis-rationalis” is very good term–from Maslow? I like “normates” also.
I got my PhD from CIIS in 1984. Like many students I did a “phenomenological” dissertation.
However I got my Masters at the New School, and I worked in the mental health system.
I agree with you. It’s worse today, but even then education (including internships) consisted in an indoctrination into a reductionist misanthropic determinist view suppressive of human potentiality.(In those days it was mostly Freudian) But I soon became an apostate. The books I wrote were strongly influenced by Laing first, then Szasz–and everything I wrote was informed by the big picture in my mind formed by my “spiritual” experiences and readings in grand thinkers, particularly Sri Aurobindo.
I do not think words are completely inadequate–they can convey some sense of experiences beyond the realm of the senses.
Hi Seth, I asked the question on another thread, about ‘how’ the right answers to difficult existential problems are prefaced by the right questions. Yet, how will homo-normalis-rationalis, see that there even is a problem with normal perception, as long as its survival needs are being met?
It is a chastening experience to read Reich’s The Murder of Christ, and note how he predicted his own demise, while Laing asked his fellow psychiatrists and psychologists why Reich’s work is so habitually shunned.
The deafening silence that greets such existential questions, under the guise of being intelligent, speaks volumes, I think. And I do believe that this community is yet to truly understand its role in history, and that the best way to counter the dis-information of biological-psychiatry is to turn the ‘existential’ table by humorously asking existential questions like; Being human, you walk and talk. Tell me good mind Doctor, ‘how’ do You, do that?
Watch the non-plussed response say nothing while conveying the reality of normal Self-Ignorance. Stay thy hand Prince Academus and keep thy subject Void, and you just might begin to feel the nature of your own reality?
There’s another reason, I believe. Electroshock proves they can do more than dispense drugs. This validates them as practitioners of a hard science and real doctors.
“See, we can do real honest-to-gosh surgeries in the form of ECT. We are SO REAL SCIENTISTS! NYAH!”
Seth: I didn’t blindly trust the psychiatrist. I was so agitated from the drugs I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid I would kill myself and I was afraid I wouldn’t kill myself. I carried Peter Breggin’s book ‘Your Drug May Be Your Problem’ from doctor to doctor – I even took along David Healy’s report on the effects of antidepressants on twenty healthy volunteers. I eventually became the ‘healthy volunteer’ for ECT. Seven psychiatrists and MD psychotherapists refused to see me – I wanted help in withdrawing. These were doctors who apparently did not take the Hippocratic Oath but took the “Oath of Silence’. I understood my situation – at least initially. I also saw naturopaths, psychotherapists, craniosacral therapists, social workers. I don’t remember any of this. My husband has the cheque stubs – massive amounts.
The head of psychiatry of a local hospital felt that I was not depressed but traumatized and overstimulated. In his report to the psychiatrist who was drugging me, he recommended that the drugs be withdrawn. So – one drug was cold-turkeyed and I got worse and that was proof enough for the first psychiatrist that I absolutely needed the drugs for the ‘major mental illness’ which he had ‘unmasked’. I even attended psychiatric ‘daycare’ at the local hospital – I have the most interesting artwork from that time – of course, I don’t remember being there.
As a final act of desperation I went to CAMH (I later learned it’s Toronto’s shock mill) for help in withdrawing. They saw my extreme agitation and vocalizations and decided I would not be a candidate for psychotherapy but that I “would be an excellent candidate for ECT”.
I refused consent; my husband was coerced into signing when told it was the last and only hope for me.
He paid dearly for that signature. When he saw his formerly bright, articulate, energetic, trendy, slender wife return as a cognitively impaired, confused, lethargic, bloated amnesiac who frothed at the mouth when she had spontaneous seizures; he collapsed and was hospitalized with takotsubo cardiomyopathy – better known as broken heart syndrome. He was also misdiagnosed, improperly medicated, and almost killed – that’s another story. I couldn’t go back for maintenance ECT because I now had an invalid husband to look after – a husband who had never in his first 60 years missed a day of school or work for illness.
I am writing a book about consciousness, high sense perception, energy healing, and orthomolecular medicine. My experience with psychiatry will be one ugly, ugly chapter. I will publish my medical records and the words doctors used to describe and ridicule me.
I have 700 pages of medical records. I am uniquely suited to writing about the depravity that is psychiatry.
Again, your post is the one that jumps out at me. I wish you the very best on your book writing project. 🙂
Wow. That is quite an ambitious book.
Psychiatrists are very dangerous. Thomas Szasz once said that on the door of every psych ward and every drug-pushing psychiatrist’s office there should be a sign–like the one Dante had emblazoned over the entrance to hell–that read:”Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” Without that warning there can be no informed consent.
It’s not surprising the psychiatrists did nothing to save you from the drugs..But the naturopaths, psychotherapists, craniosacral therapists?
Were they too brainwashed by Psychiatry to help?
It is almost overwhelming finding this website; so MANY people have suffered like me. Others are doing art and music and writing books to tell the tale; to tell the truth. I am humbled. I thought maybe my little graphic novel would be seen and then people would understand and then people would start using psychotherapy instead of pills and the sun would come out and the birds would begin to sing. “sigh”
Where’s your novel, Frances? Is it on Amazon? What’s the title?
I’m considering asking the Manager of this site if I can put a little of the graphic novel on here. I’d have to write a personal story to go with it. And yes, it is on Amazon. It’s called Little Porcupine Goes to the Psyche Ward. Have you ever read Maus or Persepolis ?? Those are famous graphic novels in case you have not read them and are unfamiliar with graphic novels.
I was also trying to find it.
It should still be available on Amazon. Do you see it there ??
Found it – ordered it – read a little about you. I once made a living with my camera. Post ECT I couldn’t figure out how it worked. Now own a point and shoot which I rarely use. Thank God I have photographs – a record of sorts of my life – of people I don’t remember knowing, of places I don’t remember visiting. I have to keep my husband alive as he is the custodian on my memories. .
Did you say that you have trouble with short term memory as well ?? At least you know who your husband is. My bf is taking care of me also. I have double sciatica and am limited physically, so he does a lot of stuff I can’t do. The camera I use to use is too heavy for me now, so he bought me a little digital camera. I also rarely use it. I am excited that you ordered the book. It is a little sad and intense in the beginning, but it has a happy ending. I hope you find this post because there was nothing to click on under your last comment.
I did see the post – thank you – yes, problem with short term memory
“Myth is much more important than history, for history is simply journalism.” -Joseph Campell. And there is, of coarse a myth we still live by today. The God-awful myth that we truly know ourselves because we our mind’s have the capacity to recall numbers, letters and words. Hence, we not defeat the doctrine of the church of biological psychiatry by repeating that sure sign of madness, doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. We can pitch an intellegent critique towards the tent of psychiatry, till doomsday and nothing will change the delusion of our common faith in the ability of words to accurately describe our human experience.
For it the very height of self-deception to assume that the word human is the reality and experience of being human. Yet, sadly, through the sheer power of ‘habituation’ this is what we do, in our need to ‘reflexively’ avoid inner self-awareness. This is the ‘paradox’ of being normal, that wisdom in all its word form guises, has tried to explain since before history (written subjective opinion) began.
R.D, Laing, who is a hero to many in this community, once wrote an article about ‘how’ Wilhelm Reich is so religiously avoided, and ‘shunned’ by the clever Dicks of psychology, yet this is the lived phenomena of being normal, as the wise have pointed out, from time immemorial. “Where should we expect to see the like of David again?” Ask the wise Rabbi’s, with the clever answer to personal experience, “Why with a Leper of coarse, the inner man who is always ignored.”
In the totem and tabbo of our know thyplace social world, perhaps we should spend time educating ourselves, about ourselves, rather than simply educating ourselves on ‘how’ to make a living? And in honor of Reich’s astonishing contribution to body psychotherapy, may I paraphrase the georgous Randy Crawford when she sings:
When your body reaches for your heart
Open up and let it through
Every body needs a heart around
Things can tumble down on you
You discover when you feel around
You don’t have to be alone
Just your own love is all you need to know
When you’re feeling down
Oh oh you might need your body
You might need your body, too
(You might need your body too)
If there’s fire stolen in you’re heart
And you’re sure it’s wrong and right
Don’t be blinded by the words in your head
Re-align to your heart and become whole, instead.
As I begin therapy with my own clients by asking them what they know about their body, besides words, I invite readers of this comment thread to be brave enough the venture their thoughts on what they truly know about themselves.
Pretty much amnesia says it all . G-d show us what to do and give us the strength to do it. To the moon ? No she said, he said :” to Mars .”
I have read a good portion of the comments on the anti ECT thread, Sara’s thread and the Do shrinks hurt people out of stupidity (yes) thread. I have always said that if cardiologists had the success rate that psychiatrists have, no one would go to them. No one would put up with it.
And seeing how fallible human beings are in charge everywhere, there is really no reason to look up to doctors in any profession.
Agreed – my husband was supposed to die 13 years ago – cardiologists said so and then proceeded to medicate him in a manner designed to make sure that he did. They insisted on all manner of medical procedures plus a pacemaker/ICD. I wouldn’t let that happen. He was in the ER resuscitation room 4-5 times because of the drugs. I did a lot of research, replaced his meds with nutrients. Cardiologists are speechless wondering why he is no longer a candidate for any procedure. He’s still on a blood thinner and a mini dose of another drug which is being reduced. He has most of his life back. We are now dealing with concussions from the meds which stopped his heart or lowered his blood pressure so much that he would pass out. Cardiologists are the second highest ranking killers after psychiatrists. He needed stress reduction and magnesium. His heart didn’t do well when told his wife was demented, psychotic, needed pharmaceuticals for the rest of her life plus weekly maintenance ECT, and furthermore – she would not be coming home but be going to an institution.
I always say that if cardiologists had the track record of psychiatrists, no one would go to them. But now I’m reading from you that the cardiologists aren’t much better. I went to a rheumatologist who was even worse. I don’t trust my dentist. Well, fallible human beings are in charge.
I was told by an orthopedist that I would not walk nor run again. This after he xrayed one knee and that supposedly “proved” it to me. I didn’t see anything wrong in this xray. The bones were not making contact. The idiot didn’t even look at the other knee, the one that worked fine. Apparently the bones were too close together, he claimed, I think they’re the same in both knees. Maybe he’d never examined a short person before. Thankfully, I did not take him seriously. I know people who think these medical people are gods on high and would spend the rest of their lives in wheelchairs just cuz THEY say so. Or….maybe they want to be DIS abled and need a doc’s note…… Geez I did not want that and still run 5k. I’m 59. Run away from these a$$holes.
It’s the whole medical system, not just the shrinks who are quacks. I have double sciatica and have spent 15 years going to specialists, all to no avail.
best thing I ever did for my sciatica was buy an ‘ab lounger’ When I ‘hyper extend’ myself, it flexes the back joint where that nerve starts to run down my leg and it seems to be enough to ‘fix’ the pain anytime it comes back…
“It’s the whole medical system, not just the shrinks who are quacks.”
The number of people I’ve known who have been harmed by medical treatment is staggering. My dad had a reaction to Lipitor that landed him in the hospital, where he acquired an infection that killed him – but not without an eight month long battle on life support.
A friend developed osteopenia after taking PPIs for years. Didn’t know anything was wrong until she started having repeated bone fractures from no-impact injuries. She was only in her 40s.
Another friend went for a knee replacement. Was told before surgery NOT to mark which leg was the surgical leg and which non-surgical. She ignored that advice and marked her legs as “THIS KNEE” and “NOT THIS KNEE” and was later told by both the surgeon and surgical nurse (privately and separately) that had she not done so, they would have operated on the wrong knee.
My mother has been dealing with chronic Lyme disease for over five years and has been dismissed by doctors as it being all in her head. Now dealing with Lyme related cardiac issues and psoriasis with little help from doctors.
I’ve had repeated surgeries to repair the damage from my hysterectomy. Thank ALL THE GODS that I refused the mesh surgery my doctor had pushed me to have as an alternative to hysterectomy now that the pelvic mesh lawsuits made it clear what a disaster that has been for women.
And then there was the recent experience of being treated VERY differently from my fiancé when we presented to our doctors (in the same practice) with the same symptoms. I was dismissed without so much as an exam, while his doctor wanted to do surgery. They – his doctor, the surgeon, and the radiology place – pursued him for about a month. We’re getting better slowly with a drastic elimination diet. I asked his doctor during the visit if this could be diet related and was told emphatically no.
Yeah, I’m so SO over western medicine. Doctors are bullies and western medicine does at least as much harm as good. I don’t know of a medical school that requires the hippocratic oath anymore. The new oath seems to be “do more benefit than harm”, and that is a distinctly different approach than “do no harm”.
Don’t forget that medical error is the third overall leading cause of death. That should give everyone pause before they go to a doctor for anything.
Frances as soon as you stop going to doctors and specialists your sciatica will get better, even after all this time. POOF! Yep, I bet it will. Get them out of your life and don’t ever take their advice anymore. Take your own advice because you know better. After all, you own your body.
Surprisingly, my mother saw an ethical surgeon in the 1990s when she had a disc injury from falling off her boat and pretty severe sciatica. He refused to operate and told her she’d have back problems for life if he did. He told her to get a couple of canes and walk every single day. So that’s what she did. And she healed. Everyone I know who has had back surgery has ended up with either repeated surgeries or permanent sciatic nerve pain, or both.
“After all, you own your body”
A little louder please, Julie!! This very basic concept bears repeating frequently and loudly!! We live in an era of medical slavery!
Don’t get me started on medical harm. I have seen with my own eyes two hospital roommates die at their hands. I saw a guy admitted to psych from the ER and while they were doing the psych intake he dropped dead. The psych staff said, “he was a regular.” Well that was why. The ER profiled him upon arrival instead of treating his cardiac issues, which likely he had come in complaining about. Saw it all with my own eyes, heard them lie, too. And what lies did they tell the family? 2011. I saw them panic, too. Hurrying to cover it all up.
I was on an eating disorders floor where the drug of the day was Zyprexa so I confronted the head nurse since she felt like talking to me. I asked her why they were lyiing to patients and telling them Z was a sleeping pill. She said “Who cares? It makes them gain weight. Don’t the ends justify the means?”
I saw the dollar signs everywhere.
If anyone wants to buy Frances Dale’s graphic novel, go to amazon. Under books, simply type in “Little Porcupine” and it should pop up. Type in anything more complex and you’ll have issues. The more people who order it, the easier it will be for others to find it. 🙂
DO PSYCHIATRISTS HARM THEIR PATIENTS OUT OF STUPIDITY?
Do we harm ourselves out of ourselves by the lack of patience?
It’s interesting to note, when looking with patience upon this blog article and its ‘energized’ comment thread, ‘how’ the human nervous system mysteriously guides our ‘self-affectation.’ Take note, if you can, how we are ‘impulsed’ to avoid that with which we are ‘unfamiliar’ and ‘especially’ any words which attempt to enkindle an ‘exposure’ affect?
While thrice nightly, some do say, the ‘affect-images’ of said nervous system motivation, calls attention to what lies beneath the ‘threshing floor’ of our conscious awareness. Furthermore, can we, as a community that swears by its like-minded interest in human rights, develop a sense of our role in human history?
Borrowing Bard like terms, I might venture to say; “I come not to praise history, but to bury it!” For the ‘phenomenology’ of the ‘self’ is but one, and no amount of name calling affects its reality of lived-experience, within the space-time continuum. Hence, when Jesus, the Christ says; they see yet don’t see, they hear yet don’t hear, and niether do they understand. He was ‘psychologically’ right. But of coarse, the WE of NOW can’t possibly BE the WE of THEN, can WE?
A Middle Path, Any-Body?
Ah! The Humanity!
Actually if a Middle Path between forcing neuroleptics and/or electric shock on the youngest of children , every other age group, including seniors in nursing homes , and psychiatry not existing at all …. Considering the damage psychiatry is and it’s continuing growth and power ….the Middle Path as solution might be , to tar and feather psychiatrists and run them out of town . Not that I’m advocating that ( I wouldn’t want to be banned), just trying to answer the question theoretically and accurately what a middle path might look like that would provide a possible faster solution to psychiatric abuse (a tautology).
I do agree with antipsychiatry . I was mercury poisoned by dentistry but forcibly put under psychiatrists control for decades as their idea of a solution . Torture cloaked as healthcare is not a solution . All things considered oldhead’s statement concerning the middle path, I totally agree with.
A middle path between what and what?
I must assume that many of the people in this thread and elsewhere on MIA are forcibly committed to psychiatric “treatment,” as otherwise I assume it would go without saying that the solution to psychiatric abuse (a tautology) is not to argue with and complain about psychiatrists but to STAY AWAY FROM THEM. Period. Right?
Yes, my biggest ‘mistake’ was going to a psychiatrist in the first place. Then I was on the psychiatric merry go round which is hard to get off.
I have a spiritual understanding of why/how this all came to be and then again, I don’t understand a thing.
Hi Frances, I love your authentic comment on the merry go round of lived-experience. And I wonder if you might a Socrates type in willy guise, knowing that the ego’s admission of knowing nothing is the first step on the path to know thyself, wisdom?
For wisdom is a worthy inheritence for those who but percieve the Sun and feel, within their hearts, the ancient Vedic truism; Thou art That!
Our father, which art in the heaven’s… … … …
Truth is but one say the wise, while the timeless sages call it out, by many names.
Why the Consciousness That Is Everything wants to experience this torture, I don’t know.
“For wisdom is a worthy inheritence for those who but percieve the Sun and feel, within their hearts, the ancient Vedic truism; Thou art That!”
Do you mean heart or do you mean soul ?? ‘ Thou art That’ is an involuntary utterance from the soul.
As Rumi said, all of this will get you to the door, but will not get you through the door.
And some did sit upon the ground and feel the radiant warmth of the Sun. And they did desire not to build upon a precept of this warm sensation, they did their best to let rise an involuntary sound within their larynx, AUM!
And some do say that upon listening to the sound (vibration) of the Sun, a child Awakes. And it is said by the wise, that unless you see through the eyes of a child, you will not perceive the web you weave, as you confuse the yarda, yarda words of communication, with real-time, communion.
A middle path between absurdity and absurdity is still absurdity.
Given absurdity, I think a more radical course of action is called for.
Root out the nonsense, and what have we got? Sense again, reason.
The phony disease industry is just too much…in my humble opinion.
Hi Frank, what I’m trying to convey here is the paradox of normal perception, which our need of attachment to each other, continually heaps confusion upon confusion, through the process of enculturation, as Maslow points out. While Laing, being of that great post WWWII generation, and hoping to show how society creates an alienation from our own nature, says: the range of we think and do, is limited by the way we fail to notice, that we fail to notice.
And taking Laing’s often ‘intuitive’ comments seriously, I confess that the greatest sin of my life has been, acting on the ‘impulse’ to take experience for granted. Paradoxically, whenever I felt comfortable within my skin, no thoughts arose to question the nature of my experience, and I was, more often than not, to lazy to make the effort to educate myself about ‘how’ I do being me. Reich’s most intuitive comment by far, I believe, is; Everyone is right in some way, it is merely a matter of ‘how.’ Contemplate, for example, his call for authentic awareness of self, by people who happily label themselves, Normal:
“The Schizophrenic Split:
The fact is that the schizophrenic is, on the average, much more honest than homo normalis, if one accepts directness of expression as an indication of honesty. Every good psychiatrist knows that the schizophrenic is embarrassingly honest. He is also what is commonly called “deep,” i.e., in contact with happenings. The schizoid person sees through hypocrisy and does not hide the fact. He has an excellent grasp of emotional realities, in sharp contradistinction to homo normalis. I am stressing these schizophrenic characteristics in order to make comprehensible why homo normalis hates the schizoid mind so much.” -Reich, Wilhelm. Character Analysis (pp. 401-402)
“Schizophrenia” is an invention of psychiatry. Laing and Reich were psychiatrists, Maslow was a psychologist. Having successfully betrayed any “schizophrenia” I might have contracted from this psychiatrist or that, sans regret, I need neither psychiatrists nor psychologists. Were I to say ‘the middle path’ was indulging these bastards forever I’d be in a real bind, wouldn’t I? I don’t say that, and I don’t give them my money. I feel that ‘the middle path’ must be a way of entertaining these folks in perpetuity. I prefer a more radical path, I imagine they shouldn’t have any trouble, if they work on it, finding meaningful employ in another field of endeavor should enough other people follow suit. If not, there you go along the path of farce without cessation. As I said, I’m not supporting you in this habit.
Hey Frank, I’m all for refusing all mental health “treatment.” Which road is that?
Because I refuse it, I am recovered from it. Because I got away from others who refused to see me as anything but mentally ill, I am recovered from being seen as mentally ill.
It was a very very bad idea. The wrong road. I got off of it. I live a full and happy life now, not depending on anyone, nor needy, nor suffering, nor depressed. I actually have a career, too. Because I left the psychs far behind.
Personal is political. Live well. Set a good example, ya’alls.
A middle path between your head and your heart. For beyond mere words, which Maslow describes as imperfect images of truth, what does the usual ‘politics of experience,’ as the conscious manifestation of the ‘politics of the nervous system,’ (see introduction to Alan Watts “The Joyous Cosmology,” actually know about the ‘thermodynaic relationship (some wise wit’s call it ‘wedded’) between the organ named brain and the organ named heart?
Furtheremore Oldhead, desirious of being young still, is thy name, as a word, descriptive of thy whole-self?
And without desiring to be a predatory critic in the manifest politics of experience, I invite you to contemplate, with Christian-like prayer, Wilhem Reich’s self-arresting question; “does the brain move, like any other organ of the body?” While, beyond the yarda, yarda and even unto more, yarda, yarda, yarda, of this webzine’s subconscious political agenda, wise men and woman are asking, “what about self-regulation,’ beyond this prism of a ‘treatment’ oriented agenda?
Let me ask you , Oldhead, ‘are you, perchance, more self-protective, than self-perceptive, in your ‘reflexive’ assumption that you actually know yourself because the Mother of all your muses, memory, can recall to conscious awareness, numbers, letters and words?’
Ah the ‘paradox’ of human nature?
An adams apple or collar bone path perhaps?
Hi Frank, I see you are into facilitating ‘epiphany,’ experience, beyond our attachment driven, yarda, yarda, Yarda.
And they did take him to a place the English call Calvary, a place also known as SKULL. For there was a rumor, even a murmur that Adam’s skull is buried there.
Say What! Cry Prince and Princess Adademiac. Away with you Jester, we know the Truth and we know the Way. Besides, you do not wish to block our grasping need to make a living, do you?
Big Picture, this strikes me as pseudo-spiritual gibberish. Could you try plain English?
I doubt that Maslow, Watts or Reich would be able to make much sense out of this either.
Dear oldhead, Does a tree remain a tree if you (in your extra-ordinary capacity for perception) refuse to judge it, a Name? And are you OLHEAD, no more than a WORD?
You will find me on record as quoting Abbie Hoffman saying “Words are the ultimate in horseshit.” Does that help?
A lot of us are Oldhead. I chose rural isolation with my aging parents to escape psychiatry. But I still have to assume my “bipolar” role occasionally. And feign “meds compliance” so my mom won’t worry and get me “help.” She insists on taking celexa for her nerves. After all, her doctor and the TV commercials say celexa corrects an imbalance in her brain–so it must be true! Ironically she distrusts much of television’s news, but swallows drug commercials unquestioningly. Maybe the news media should take lessons from Big Pharma. Lol.
Dear brothers & sisters of the survivor community, could we re-frame the struggle to free the human subject from its experienced conditioned delusion, through the vehicle of comparative mythology?
I invite the more willing to be authentic, to contemplate the possibility that our lived-experienced, which homo-normalis-rationalis (Maslow’s term for Laing’s notion of an alienating social adaptation that is taking us further and further away from own nature, by a process, psychoanalysis calls, transference-countertransference, whereby we see ourselves through the vice of analogy, which has become more, and more mechanistic, because we are bound, within, by the sin of taking lived-experience for granted.), continues to shun, as-if, we are like the Lepers of old, because of the paradox that too-much self-consciousness is disruptive of the experience psychologists name; flow.
Beyond the politic agenda of this webzine’s good intentions, there are sources of knowledge which can transform the understanding of psychotic experience, through a positively biased perception, beyond the innately biased perception of being-normal. For there is an ‘existential’ question looming large in background of our daily awareness, which is, as some say, the Zombie Apocalypse of Climate Change. And my existential point here is that the word apocalypse is much misunderstood, here in so-called modernity. Please consider;
Word Origin and History for apocalypse Expand
late 14c., “revelation, disclosure,” from Church Latin apocalypsis “revelation,” from Greek apokalyptein “uncover, disclose, reveal,” from apo- “from” (see apo -) + kalyptein “to cover, conceal” (see Calypso ). The Christian end-of-the-world story is part of the revelation in John of Patmos’ book “Apokalypsis” (a title rendered into English as “Apocalypse” c.1230 and “Revelations” by Wyclif c.1380).
Its general sense in Middle English was “insight, vision; hallucination;” meaning “a cataclysmic event” is modern. Copied from: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/apocalypse?s=t
While, IMHO after going through the lived-experience of an inner-apocalypse call of my nervous system, to know the nature of my mind, from the inside-out, Plato’s and the Greek sense of ‘metempsychosis’ is an experience of self, that corresponds to the Buddhist notion of pure consciousness. For those interested in re-framing this politics of experience merry-go-round, I invite you to listen to the many voices, currently trying to blend science with spirituality, at SAND:
Thank you so much for being a rights holder, for being a human. Your writing resounds deeply, in part, because you are declaring the groundswell of now and history; Thomas Szasz, the antipsychiatry movement’s impact (Foucault’s Madness and Civilisation is poetry, heart and rationale). And for all the other parts of your article. This helps us all feel powerful, with roots getting firmer in the ground. I think we need to repeat what we know, like mantras that filter through from behind the scenes.
I heard only a few weeks ago the term rights holder when I met a fellow traveller, and as a peer she illuminated so much. And very recently, thanks to her, I invited my counsellor (appointed by a current Australian royal commission) to support me at a civil compensation claim against the (small c) catholic church. You can imagine the stench of power and the smoke/mirrors pantomime that has for sometime battened down the empire. She was my rights holder, ally, humourist, intelligence holder, noticer of dissociation, representative, etc… Under enormous stress, I was able to educate my legal reps, and great stress (by necessity) help them rethink their unintentional, well meaning world views (patriarchal, legalistic, psychiatric, and catholic) that would prejudice me. Phew, sorry, I’m raving. Short of it is, without rights holders, in the face of long enduring power holders and rights refusalists, there is no hope. It’s the bedrock of recovery. And yes as you say, the paradigm is changing. From an Australian perspective there is a huge groundswell of rights holders bringing change in multiple ways. it’s tangible, visible, audible.
Thanks so much,
I haven’t read the comments here as there are just too many! Michael, the question of intelligence in the profession amuses me and brings back memories of discussions I had with my parents way back when. I come from a well-educated family and (I am ALWAYS very embarrassed to admit this) we are all highly intelligent, whatever the heck that means. My dad went to Johns Hopkins and I remember being a music/math nerd.
When I took myself to therapy, and eventually, psychiatry, I then introduced my parents to my therapists via family therapy, and finally I got on pills, my choice, and we had to meet the psych. I was so embarrassed to introduce my parents to these idiots.
I had been so proud, way back, to introduce them to faculty members at my college. This had certainly not been embarrassing at the faculty weren’t stupid! I recall, in a family session, a therapist was clueless about Jewish culture and traditions, mispronounced a Jewish holiday, and worse.
My dad noted that one of my shrinks was just plain thickheaded, had no common sense, and had warped logic. They didn’t get a logical explanation from him as to why I had “schizophrenia” as I never had it!
Years later, my dad tried to point out that maybe I was depressed because I was locked up, but the shrinks wouldn’t hear any of it. My dad was a scientist, an electronics engineer and I can see why his company, Raytheon, hired him, promoted him, and eventually paid to help him get a second master’s degree later in life.
My dad believed in human rights and told me I should, too. He told me I should read Judi Chamberlin’s book, told me it was very important. He told me I was much smarter than the doctors. Before he died he told me I’d outsmart them someday. He said I’d make it, too. He died in 1997.
Hi Julie Greene. It sounds like your Dad was a wonderful father. 🙂
He was, Frances. Thanks, I been feeling kinda reminiscent lately. Bet it’s just my age, huh? Uh oh, aging is a mental disorder and I need a shrink, right ha ha ha ha…..
I feel encouraged by the existence of this site. Maybe some day it will all change.
My dad believed in human rights and told me I should, too. He told me I should read Judi Chamberlin’s book, told me it was very important.
So did you read it, and was it helpful?
Oldhead at the time I was brainwashed and as expected I confused the message with a “stigma” campaign and didn’t quite understand what she was saying. I thought it was a push for better treatment or more treatment. Or a good doc vs bad doc message. My approach then was kinda juvenile, the usual way a mental patient is taught to think.
I notice those that are new to the system tend to believe there are actually “good doctors” out there and their goal is to stick around and find one. So they keep on dismissing the bad ones, telling themselves they hope to find “better docs.” Of course, the harm’s been done. They’ve been brainwashed into thinking they NEED a doc and can’t live without one. This is the basic lie. This is the invisible disease no one even notices.
I’ve been too busy to comment much around here lately, but I wanted to chime in with this.
Recently, while discussing with my counselor my history in the mental health system and all the damage the massive overdrugging did to me – which he agrees did enormous harm – he asked me if I agreed that my ex-psychiatrist (a long-time colleague of his) had had good intentions. He also wanted to know if I thought those good intentions were enough.
I agreed that she had good intentions, with some caveats. But I have thought long and hard about the second question, and my answer is no, good intentions are not enough. She had a decade to witness the effects of the drugs she was prescribing to me. She was a very smart doctor, graduating at the top of her class from the medical school of a highly respected elite private educational institution. She had ample opportunity to assess the criticisms of psychiatry and with an undergrad degree in chemistry, she certainly had the knowledge to understand how the drugs effect the human body and brain. She certainly understood that the so-called “mood stabilizers” and “antipsychotics” did not function in the way they claimed to, and that they were simply major tranquilizers. She was old enough to have been practicing before Prozac was released, and to have witnessed the massive drugging that has taken place in America over the last three decades and the nonsense of type 3, so-called ‘latent’ bipolar. She is culpable of harm. Plain and simple. Though I believe she wanted to help, I also believe she ignored the knowledge she had, and lied to her patients, believing that “the ends justify the means”. Not only that, she purposely caused me to experience a horrible drug withdrawal reaction and then blackmailed me into “admitting” that I “needed” the drugs before she would represcribe the medication I was addicted to – one of her “mood stabilizers”.
I used to believe that the doctors just didn’t realize the harm they were doing. I no longer believe this is a matter of stupidity. I think these doctors are intentionally lying to patients because they know that their very livelihood will go away if they abandon the biomedical/chemical imbalance/drugs cure all model. That’s what we are fighting. A profession who realizes it will be eliminated if the truth gets out. F&ck their livelihood. These are our lives.
Hi Kindred, check out my review of my former psychiatrist that I just put up…
I get good ratings on Yelp because I write rather specific details on my experiences and I am honest. It pays to have MFA-level training in memoir. My shrinks didn’t want me to get my degree. I now know all too well why. They wanted me to drop out of college and go to day treatment instead. I disobeyed and they were pissed. ha ha ha ha……
Hocus Pocus Diagnosis where the focus is on the label, and Not on the facts of the individual’s experiential stressful life, the hypnotizing, mesmerizing effect, objectifying the person to be controlled and managed by harmful synthetic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and ECT, electric current through the brain, with No Cumlative Healing Effect, making them instruments, tools of torture, used by pontificating psychiatrists provided by pilfering medical / pharmaceutical companies at the expense of suffering individuals for the MONEY. Medical records are documentation for the day of reckoning when correctly understood. ‘Mental illness ‘ is simply a denigrating description, a maddening metaphor, a pejorative psychiatric label for the accumulated stresses and strains of a person’s life beginning at conception such as the different timing of environmental risk factors like toxins, infectious diseases during mom’s pregnancy and / or trauma; physical, mental, emotional, and / or sexual transmitted through one’s family effected by a corporately controlled culture ( allostatic overload, Bruce McEwen, neuroscientist ) that a person Unconsciously Reacts To and is simply given a description of that person’s lived stressful experiential life, a ‘ diagnosis ‘ by an unaware, often compassionless pro. So What? ! To continue to call that person ‘ mentally ill ‘ is to be obtuse, be ignorant of the facts, the reality, the truth of that person’s lived stressful experiential life. Allostatic overload effects epigenesis. Allopathic medicine is eugenics. IG Farben and the History of the Business with Disease www4.dr-rath-foundation.org The Rockefeller Medicine Men – Medicine + Capitalism by E. Richard Brown, University of California Press Age of Fear-Psychiatry’s Reign of Terror, documentary on youtube.com. Project MK ULTRA Mind Control Techniques CIA Program, youtube.com A documentary about the CIA and Psychiatry using Chemicals and Electricity on innocent human beings. Psychotropics – Chemical lobotomy ECT – Electrical lobotomy Psychiatric Drugs Are More Dangerous Than You Ever Imagined Peter Breggin MD http://www.breggin.com. Psychopathic pontificating professionals harming suffering human beings for the MONEY. Why Capitalism makes us sick? youtube.com Dr. Gabor Mate Criminals.
Many thanks to everyone who commented and contributed to the lively and very valuable discussion here!
Dozens of people on my Facebook page and in Facebook groups who read my article also shared about the harm and human rights abuses done to them by psychiatry, and about the great need for receiving true compassion during times of suffering and when in need of helpful caring from others.
The article was picked up and featured in the Human Rights section of Evonews.com with a commentary by Dr. Harold Mandel.
Thank you again to everyone here on MIA for the powerful activism that is present here everyday.
Dr. Cornwall, I found MIA a year ago and read most of the recent blogs and try to catch up on older blogs. I just came across this GEM of yours! Wow, what a powerful and honest piece! It totally resonates with my experience. I saw a psychiatrist during cancer treatment (thin as a toothpick, a bald head, extremely weak and physically unwell from radiation, toxic chemo and the steroids that caused severe insomnia) but she was exceptionally cold hearted, not an ounce of understanding or compassion. Instead she published 4 damaging labels onto my widespread electronic records along with disparaging and false statements. In fact she actually labelled the known side effects of platinum based chemo (vertigo, tinnitus, etc) a “Somatization Disorder”. I gathered health documents and letters from doctors who have known me many years and spent $22K on legal fees obtaining further proof. I’ve tried to get her to correct these records/labels as they are severely impacting my health care but she clings to her precious ego and stupidity. I said to my husband “How could any doctor be this stupid?” My husband replied “It’s not possible for *anyone* to be this stupid. She did this with arrogance and intention”.
As you and Steve McCrea concluded stupidity and arrogance seem to build off each other and makes for a very dangerous combination.
Thanks for this excellent blog! I think it deserves a second posting for those that may have missed it!
Yes, all forms of psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and psychotherapy are based on stupidity. What it really is is simply that these practitioners have found a way of avoiding having to face their own feelings. And so they prey on others, others who are stupid enough to let them.
This is a serious discussion,Jolly, and such a broad generalization as you make is foolish, if not stupid–and it is not at all what Michael and others are saying. The point is that the disease model, the mental illness model, is harmful–and stupid.Not ALL psychotherapy is harmful. Not all therapists “prey” on others.What does that mean anyway?:How do they “prey? on their clients???
Please note Michael IS- a therapist and he wrote,”The very brave dissident psychiatrists that I’ve personally known such as Loren Mosher, Peter Breggin, Daniel Fisher and John Weir Perry all paid dearly for breaking ranks with their fellow psychiatrists. They were ostracized as class traitors, were marginalized and mocked for their humane approaches to helping people.”
Michael’s premise is there are humane forms of therapy.
We might agree on this point–there are risks involved in therapy because the therapist (usually) becomes financially dependent on her clients.
The biggest problem is with the term “therapy.”
I would also disagree with Jolly, but not for Seth’s reason. I don’t think all psych fields are based on stupidity.
IF the field is based on putting people in categories, that is, based on What Is Wrong With You I Will Fix You! Then it very well may be edging on eugenics, since separating helpers from helpees is suggesting a tiered society. Once you start the separation, that is, the Division of Labor, it is tough to break that mentality.
However, not all of psych is based on I AM The Great Helper Who Is Superior And Will Cure the Ailing Helpee. A handful refuse to use diagnosis and do not base their work on stating that anything is “wrong” with the person/people they are working with.
I have met a few who claim to be “alternative.” All I can say is….There’s alternative, and there are outright quacks out there…,,,,,,,,, YOU CHOOSE. And it’s okay to say NO THANKS.
I personally got better because I realized that going to any sort of shrink, healer, doctor, etc, was verifying the disease state and sustaining me as an ill, disabled person. I realized it just didn’t have to be that way. Thus ended 34 years of “mental illness.” Which had little do do with drugs. it was all about brainwashing. I left all that behind, and i believe others can benefit from recognizing the depth of the brainwashing done to them, too.
Julie wrote: “I personally got better because I realized that going to any sort of shrink, healer, doctor, etc, was verifying the disease state and sustaining me as an ill, disabled person.”
Yes, going to any kind of a healer, even an ‘alternative healer’ is sustaining you as an ill person.
But so to is saying things like, “I personally got better…”
If two parents took their child to a psychic, it is not impossible that both those parents and the psychic could eventually get hauled into court, and it might not go well for them. They could all be held accountable.
But if the parents take their child to a government licensed therapist, like our Michael, then as he is state approved and authorized, it is very unlikely that any allegations could ever get made against any of them.
And of course Michael’s business model depends upon holding the parents blameless. After all, how could there be anything wrong with them if they are picking such an enlightened therapist as Michael, to help them solve the problems going on between they and their child.
This is the main difference between the middle class and the working class. The middle class hires its own private practice doctors, where as the working class has to accept what public services are offered.
I learned this from the Milan School.
It is actually far easier to protect the children of poor parents, because they are always having contact with social services of one sort or another.
For the well off, it is like Michel Foucault being sent in the 1930’s to a psychoanalyst, mostly because he did not seem to fit in, and because his homosexuality was starting to develop.
When a parent insists on finding a doctor who will affirm their view, “There is something wrong with this kid”, we call that Muchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy, or just Medical Child Abuse.
But when it is not only the parent causing it, but there is also now a brand of doctor who have built their business on catering to parents who want confirmation that there is something wrong with their child, and when the private practice version of these doctors will never report the parents to authorities, that is a much more serious problem.
The main problem with ALL FORMS OF PSYCHTHERAPY AND RECOVERY is simply that they are committed to the premise that the issues and the solutions exist inside of your own head, instead of in learning how to organize and fight back.
So for example, say someone is a slave. The therapist will try to show them that as long as they don’t actually feel their feelings, they can become a happy slave. But the therapist is never going to help them learn to be John Brown, and try to start an armed slave revolt.
All a therapy license does is say that people can take their children to such a therapist, and they won’t face legal challenges over it. Whereas if they were taking their children to a channeler or faith healer, they could maybe face legal challenges.
So the therapy license is a license to abuse.
This is indeed a serious matter.
Like it says here, “Therapy and recovery are simply the turning of your experience of injustice into a medical problem and a self-improvement project.”
Therapy is always abuse, usually self-abuse, because it does nothing whatsoever to redress the original injustices. It just turns it against the patient. It breaks down people’s defenses until they can be made to live as Uncle Tom’s.
Therapy destroys political consciousness, makes people compliant.