Do Psychiatrists Harm their Patients out of Stupidity?

Michael Cornwall, PhD
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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.

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288 COMMENTS

  1. 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,

    -erin

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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. 🙂

      • Steve

        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

  5. 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.

  6. 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….

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 .

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

      • 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.

          • @mepat:

            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.

        • 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. “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.

  15. ^Mepat,
    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.
    SF

    • SF,
      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.

  16. 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.
    sf

  17. 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).

  18. (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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

    • 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.”

          • 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.

  21. 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.
    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110207/full/news.2011.75.html
    https://davidhealy.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Richard-B-goes-Mad.pdf

    You are not allowed to be stupid https://medicalhumour.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/you-cant-fix-stupid-but-you-can-sedate-it/

  22. 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.”

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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?
    Best
    Seth

    • 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.

      • 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.

  27. “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.

    • “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!

      • 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.*

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

  28. Hi Michael
    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.
    Seth

  29. 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.

  30. 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!

      — Steve

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • Frances

      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.

  31. 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. 🙁

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

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  34. 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.

  35. 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?

  36. 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.

  37. Amnesia,
    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.

      • BigPicture,
        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.
        Seth

        • 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?

  38. 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.

    • 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?

  39. 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”

      • 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.

          • 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.

  40. “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.

  41. 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.

          • 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.”

            Hear, hear!

            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”.

        • 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

        • “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.

        • 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?

    • 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.

  44. 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
    n.
    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:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88n7r2NPKIU

  45. 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,
    Cassy Nunan

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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.
      SF

    • 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.

        https://www.amazon.com/Sickened-Memoir-Munchausen-Proxy-Childhood/dp/0553803077/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=820JEZX3RTDRXV1CV0KK

        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.

  50. 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.”

    https://www.amazon.com/Anti-Social-Family-Radical-Thinkers/dp/1781687595/ref=sr_1_1/133-7844907-9115968?ie=UTF8&qid=1502060959&sr=8-1&keywords=the+anti-social+family

    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.

    https://www.amazon.com/Against-Therapy-Jeffrey-Moussaieff-Masson/dp/1567510221/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502061393&sr=1-1&keywords=against+therapy

    Therapy destroys political consciousness, makes people compliant.