Dear Mental Health Professionals: Please Stop Defending Yourselves and Listen


As trained mental health professionals and clinicians, we’re supposed to understand the importance of reflection, consider our biases, be open to another’s perspective, and, perhaps most importantly, listen. But when it comes to opening up to ideas or information that challenge your worldview or how you conduct your business, on the whole, you’re doing a pretty poor job with all of the above.

For instance, in an article that an Irish news source was brave enough to publish, a woman describes her experience of fighting back against the mental health system, the trauma she experienced through so-called ‘treatment’, the harm from diagnoses, and her own recovery journey supported by Intervoice and the Hearing Voices Movement.

Rather than listen, engage, and try to learn more, professionals flooded the comment section with threats to the editorial board. In addition to reactive defensiveness, most of the comments claimed that this article was a public health danger, and was irresponsible and “unbalanced” (apparently balanced means that every statement made by a person with a viewpoint other than the status quo must be followed or preceded by an ‘expert’ statement refuting the perspective).

This is standard practice — assuming that the “experts” must be right and any opposing perspective is ‘dangerous’ or ‘uninformed’. This would be an understandable concern if it were true. But do you ever consider the possibility that it just might not be?

Most people who enter the mental health field do so with good intentions. Plus, aspects of mental health treatment can be very helpful for many. This can be true at the same time as the fact that much about the system and standard operating procedures are extremely harmful and based on elitism, oppression, and lies.

Perhaps you might take a few moments to consider: What if everything you think you know isn’t quite so?

Condemning that which you do not understand is not “help,” no matter your intention.

It has been demonstrated that clients tend to lie about how much you are really helping them — they like to be seen as nice and agreeable, probably for good reason. Aren’t those the very qualities every therapist hopes for in a client? A nice, agreeable, thankful client willing to feed our grandiose visions of ourselves. If you think this is cruel or ridiculous, then ask yourself how you react when a client is deemed “difficult.”

Do you slap a personality disorder diagnosis on them? Tell them they are treatment resistant? Dismiss their concerns as projections or primitive defensiveness? Do you then pat yourself on the back for being so helpful with your diagnosis and interpretation?

A common response might be: “Well, there are at least some conditions that are clearly neurologically- or genetically-based, so it’s imperative to get a correct diagnosis.” This statement is not based on replicable or unbiased evidence. Even if one were to concede that there is some evidence pointing to neurological differences, these can easily be explained by the traumatic impact on the brain from the environment and do not necessarily indicate any causal effect on behavior.

Brain difference does not equal brain disease.

But, at least blaming the brain helps clients feel less stigmatized, right?

The bio model of disease and biological/genetic defect does not, in fact, lead to better outcomes, increased acceptance, or decreased stigma. Rather, medicalization of an individual’s emotional suffering is associated with increased need for distance, decreased therapeutic alliance, decreased hope and harsher treatment.

In other words, diagnosing and telling someone what is wrong with them in order to try and fix them, while perhaps comforting in the short term, is actually quite harmful.

In addition, rates of diagnosed mental illness and suicide continue to increase, despite record-breaking spending on mental health care. This might be said to be a result of spending on unnecessary treatment while those in need go ignored, but then why is it that there is a dose-response relationship between increased treatment and completed suicide? Why do societies who are less “developed” fare better? And why do people who are “non-compliant” appear to have better outcomes?

Rhetoric does not equal fact.

Asserting that mental illness is an illness like any other, akin to diabetes or cancer, does not make it fact, no matter how many times it’s stated or for how long. Stating that schizophrenia is a serious illness and requires lifelong management does not make it fact. Suggesting that people have chemical imbalances that drugs can fix does not make it fact. Quite the opposite: Evidence seems to defy each of these statements.

An illness like any other: There has never been any replicable study demonstrating identifiable pathology that is akin to diabetes or cancer, in the brain or elsewhere. We keep promising “one day,” but that day has yet to (and probably never will) arrive.

Schizophrenia is a genetic illness requiring lifetime treatment: Schizophrenia, as a concept and diagnosis, appears to describe such a widely heterogenous array of experiences and behaviors as to be almost completely meaningless. It lacks validity and reliability, making it unscientific as a medical entity.

People can and do recover from experiences labelled as schizophrenic. Some might use tautological reasoning and claim “Oh, well then they never had schizophrenia in the first place,” but this is not science, it is circular and illogical reasoning.

Further, just because we’ve been told for the last century that “schizophrenia” must be genetic, the evidence is scant, at best, and rife with biases and errors that make any conclusion, particularly one put forth with such certainty, to be an illogical and unethical error. The lack of replication or conclusive genetic findings can keep being blamed on small sample sizes (because somehow tens of thousands of participants is “small”). But maybe this elusive chase for “missing genes” can be put to rest once and for all and we can finally admit that something else is going on.

Mental illness is a result of chemical imbalances: There is no evidence to support the theory that there are chemical imbalances in the brain causing states like depression, mania, or anxiety. The chemical imbalance theory is a myth exploited by pharmaceutical companies to sell happy pills. Drugs are drugs, whether legal or not, and their “effectiveness” on making us feel better does not mean that we have some imbalance that they fix.

You are extraordinarily privileged.

Granted, many individuals who work within the mental health system have plenty of experience with oppression, poverty, discrimination, and pain. I am not speaking to you; I’m speaking to the doctors, to the folks with fancy letters after their names who hold the power and influence over everyone who works underneath them. You don’t get fancy degrees without privilege.

It is nearly impossible to get through 5-10 years of training and graduate school without some history of receiving a message that you are smart, that you are capable, that you can succeed. You definitely cannot get through the process without money or a healthy sense of entitlement. Even with scholarships and stipends, one has to pay for rent, food, electricity, conference fees, travel, guild membership fees, books, supplies, etc., with little possibility of secondary work. The hidden expectation of one having the funds to cover the extraordinary expenses of graduate training is baffling at times. The idea that a student or young professional can’t afford it somehow is a laughable idea… for good reason: they almost always can.

Yes, you might have hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans (or is that just me?), but to believe that you could even do such a thing in itself requires a certain level of privilege. People who grow up in poverty, discriminated against in school, or having to work at a young age just to get by do not tend to have the entitled belief that they can borrow such unfathomable amounts of money and actually survive. There are exceptions, of course, but this is certainly not the norm.

This is most important when considering the fact that most people who you are labelling as mentally ill, especially seriously mentally ill, have had very, very, very different life experiences than you. They tend to be poor, of a racial minority, of a sexual or gender minority, and/or severely traumatized. Of course, having any one of these particular experiences does not necessarily mean you have a clue what it’s like to experience some other form of oppression, nor does it mean that you are not still privileged.

And, dear mental health professional, you likely have experienced trauma yourself or been very close to someone who has. This does not mean that everyone must respond as you do or that adapting to society is the right way to survive.

Folks who get labelled as mentally ill also tend to be anti-authoritarian and do not accept the insane world we live in as one to be accepted or adapted to. They don’t quite fit in. To claim that not fitting in, refusing to abide by societal norms, or rebelling, even in the most unhealthy ways, against society is disease is actually, in fact, arrogance.

Being a family member of a person diagnosed as mentally ill is not the same thing as experiencing it yourself.

Most people who become mental health professionals and/or researchers do so because of their own personal experiences with extreme emotional distress; or, perhaps more specifically, close others’ experiences.

There is no doubt that when an individual is suffering that those around him or her also tend to suffer. Very few people harm others with the intent to create harm. In fact, people stuck in their world of pain and victimization are often acting from fear, not cruelty.

It can be hard to grapple with the complex emotions one might experience in response to a loved one’s suffering: anger, resentment, hatred, jealousy for the attention they receive, pain, awareness of the injustice in the world, sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, etc.

Rather than grapple with these emotions, society has created some abstract concept, “mental illness,” to direct all intolerable feelings toward. It is so much easier to be angry and resentful toward “bipolar disorder” than your father, mother, sister, or son. It makes sense. But it is an illusion.

Additionally, the destructive family dynamics that so often provide the context for so-called mental illness to develop in the first place too frequently go ignored or are deemed irrelevant.

This is NOT THE SAME THING AS BLAMING FAMILIES. Everyone suffers in their own ways, and having an identified patient who exhibits the symptoms of the family was once accepted as understandable. Everything exists within context.

Sadly, by telling someone that they are, in fact, defective (i.e., “ill”) and that the problem lies within them, you are, very directly, reinforcing the message of the family system and society. You are relegating trauma, oppression, racism, poverty, abuse, gaslighting and cruelty to the trash bin of a “trigger.” You are giving the message that “You need to adapt to this sick horrible society,” rather than acknowledging that suffering may, for some, always exist.

This will, of course, make people feel good — we all like to confirm our beliefs about ourselves, even when they include being bad, defective, or, well, just different.

You, as a family member, are just as likely to be reenacting your past and toxic patterns as anybody whom you diagnose as ‘other’.

You have been indoctrinated into an ideology.

Whether considering psychoanalytic ideas, cognitive-behavioral, medical, etc., each still is an ideology. These are frameworks and belief systems that help one have direction, provide a structure for making sense of the world, describe a philosophy of ideas about propriety and social norms, and speculate on ways to solve human suffering.

Just because it can be molded to provide a base for a randomized control trial does not inherently make it true or scientific.

At best, the mental health field is a pseudoscience providing a means for social control.

Say what you will, but no other word covers the educational process besides indoctrination. The process of obtaining a doctorate (medical or otherwise) requires submissiveness, idealization of professors, obedience, faith, and a complete intolerance for challenging of the status quo. Even as revered professionals, if someone dares to question or challenge the status quo, that person is censored and vilified. One must avoid any offense at a colleague or superior, lest they be deemed mentally ill themselves.

I have written about my own experiences struggling against this indoctrination process. Obtaining my degree required — quite explicitly — me to conform and stop questioning, to ignore a vast evidence base that refutes much of the distorted information being taught, and to violate my own integrity. Does this really seem surprising?

That is not science, that is religion. Which begs the question: Where is the line between ideology and delusion?

You are also delusional.

This statement doesn’t feel good, does it? Is your immediate reaction to recoil in anger and claim “I most certainly am not”? Might you find yourself doubling down on your beliefs in response to such a judgmental statement? So does anybody else who gets told this.

Everyone is delusional. It’s just those whose beliefs do not fit with societal norms that get labelled and drugged. Our belief systems help us defend against overwhelming existential anxiety — and we all have false beliefs that help us do so.

You have not figured out the meaning of life.

You might believe you have. The right drug, the right protocol, the right diagnosis, the right interpretation, and suddenly there’s no more suffering, right?



You just might be wrong.

And what then?

This blog is dedicated to Matt Stevenson, who always made sure that no one ever got too comfortable in their beliefs… myself most definitely included. Rest in peace sir. Rest in peace.


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


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  1. It seems to me, all this training is more akin to the implementation of affinity fraud used in a ponzi scheme, it exploits hierarchy.. health systems couldn’t be a better vehicle. I witnessed it first hand. You see the young trainee GP or psychiatrist who is under a consultant – green as they come – asking the usual questions using political correct language.. avoiding the word depression or anxiety (they say low mood) then they toddle off to see their master, come back and before they know it, they are writing out Risperidone prescriptions for anxiety and sleep. You have to go along with this, otherwise you might not be going home that day. So you get the prescription, flush the poison down the loo, and tell them what they want to hear next time you are forced to go.

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    • Fortunately, if you chanced to get the correct treatment (seldom to never at the hands of the trainee and his master), you’d never go back, with good reason. If trainee and master found out, you’d be even more heavily medicated- this time in a way trainee and master could witness- while your diagnostic statement pointed out you were completely delusional because you thought the “unacceptable” treatment was effective.

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  2. By chance in 2012 I caught my GP Surgery in London claiming for me as a Severely Mentally Ill person, nearly 30 years after I had recovered.

    I wrote them this Email on August 29 2013, 7:31AM:-

    For the Attention of: the Acting Manager and Doctors at Newton Medical

    Re. SMI Resolution

    I have been advised to write a Letter with a view towards resolving this SMI Problem

    A Severely Mentally Ill Person costs the UK Taxpayer about £36,000 per year or £1 million for the period of time I have been in the UK.

    Doctors at Newton Medical were aware that I was not Severely Mentally Ill when they put my name on the Severe Mental Illness Register: My main job is in construction.

    This was done behind my back for Money.

    I require payment for the misuse of my name and the wasting of my time.

    I need Acknowledgment of the Fact that my name should not have been put on this Register.

    I’ll need access to my personal details at the Medical Center from time to time to ensure theres no further misuse of them.

    I also require what I am entitled to anyway.
    The misuse of my personal details has opened up problems that need to be sorted out.

    Record Amendment
    The Irish 1986 Record Summary is an example of genuine Malpractice:

    The 1986 Record Summary was sent over as a result of a Handwritten Letter (I have a cpy) Requesting Warning against Adverse Drug Reaction (depot); this Warning was intentionally OMITTED.

    Nov 1980 On Admission at Galway I presented in a mentally well and ordered manner according to The Discharge Summary 1980/1 and Admitting Doctor at the Galway Unit; not psychotic and aggressive (as per Altered record)

    1980 – 1984 Every hospitalization is a medication event

    Dec 1983 Hospitalization is missing. This hospitalization would have highlighted medication problems.

    April 1984 Hospitalization: Adverse reaction to first time Depixol injection is kept off the record. That it was a short stay is not mentioned.

    Post April 1984 Recovery and return to productive life was as a result of halting strong medication and Moving to the Talking Treatment (NICE now recommends this)

    This 1986 Record is Inaccurate, Incomplete, Misleading, Altered throughout. I have a Statutory Right to Amend it.

    To clear up Records
    There is too much ‘mental’ detail on my Record. I would like a clearing.
    The ‘Day Hospital’ was a counselling interaction and details are not suitable on a system.

    Medication/ Recovery
    I require up to date credible representation on my medical records.

    Yours Sincerely


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  3. “In addition, rates of diagnosed mental illness and suicide continue to increase, despite record-breaking spending on mental health care.”

    Despite? Because of! Much of this increase is due to medicalization–using drugs to sell “diseases”, and “diseases” to sell drugs–and the very idea of “mental health”–thereby, increasing the patient count.

    I’d say the profit motive has a whale of a lot to do with it. When Big Pharma does so well on Wallstreet, what does the little guy matter? Develop the next Xanax, Prozac, or Abilify, and you’re in the money. You and all of your investors. Putting profits over people drives the whole ball game, and this means that rather than treating the whole person, it is convenient to focus on “disease”, regardless of whether that “disease” is real or not. If folks can profit from it, it’s real enough for those who are making millions off of it. The rest of populace are the gulls that feed their industry.

    “Mental health” workers are the grunts on this professional vulture totem pole, but they are still there. When you figure that a 20 % “mental illness” rate is crazy itself, then you’ve got that much figured out. Were a professional resisting the drive to indoctrinate more and more “patients”, that professional would be jeopardizing his or her own career. You’ve got a problem such as exists with many state hospitals. They can’t close the place down, it is the mainstay of the community, the main source of income for many or most of the locals. At least, so goes the rationale for keeping the system running.

    Suicide prevention, in my view, given this perspective, in all likelihood, fuels the rising suicide rate. Suicide has to first be seen as a problem before it can become, in fact, more of a problem.

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    • Frank, you nailed it… “Putting profits over people drives the whole ball game, and this means that rather than treating the whole person, it is convenient to focus on “disease”, regardless of whether that “disease” is real or not. If folks can profit from it, it’s real enough for those who are making millions off of it. The rest of populace are the gulls that feed their industry.” A good example is all the off-label prescribing of psychotropic medications where mental illness symptoms do not even exist… anti-psychotics and benzos to treat acne?! Welcome to the mental health system. The patient takes these toxic drugs only to become anxious, depressed and suicidal! Acne is the least of their problems! Then more pills are prescribed to treat side effects… and patients are sucked into the medication vortex! Our health care system is no longer about healing and health… it’s about bottom lines and profits. Oh yes, and greed with a capital ‘G.’

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    • Telling folks they’re mentally ill monsters, that they are hopeless without drugs that make them ill–sometimes seize–segregating them from others with the MI System, forcing them to live in poverty, publicly defaming them all the time….Gosh, why would they not want to live?

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  4. As a former “mental health” professional, I can only say that you nailed it (as usual). Humility is the starting point for any attempt to help another. They are the only ones who know what is really going on and what will help. If you won’t even listen to the person you’re “helping,” don’t be surprised if your “help” ends up being resented and leading to worse problems.

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      • I haven’t been “in the biz” for decades. My last job involved evaluating people at the hospital for involuntary detention in the psych ward. Three days in, I knew I had to get out of that job, though it took months to find something else. Don’t get me wrong, those who met me were very fortunate, as I worked my ass off to keep them as far away from the hospital as possible, and had some pretty amazing results right in the ER. But I couldn’t help everyone, and it tore my heart apart when I saw what happened to them in the psych ward. That was when I knew I had to go into a different role, and have been an advocate for either the elderly or for foster kids ever since. Which is perhaps a shame, because I was the kind of therapist that people really wanted to see – I actually cared about their viewpoint and tried to help them come up with their own plans, and even shared a lot of my own experiences as needed to help create safety and common reality, and I was always interested in any current or past trauma and how these affected them, as well as checking eating and sleeping habits, work stress, etc, depending on what was called for. But I felt like I was in collusion with an evil system, especially as DSM diagnoses and drugs took over from listening and caring.

        So that’s my story. I still consider myself a caring and competent therapist, but any work I do now is informal and on a volunteer basis. I can’t work with a crazy system!

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          • Steve, thanks for leaving too! There have been lots but its one of those not talked about things. I have run into folks I knew in the profession and many have walked away if they are able too or some are just putting in time and I mean time in a prison like sense. It’s bad as you know.
            Oldhead private practice can work only if you take on private pay folks. Most folks can’t pay privately and use insurance. Back in the day, it was difficult to get on the insurance boards. Second time around for me I just gave up. Most folks attach themselves to a doc and he/she leads the practice. DX is still needed for insurance to pay.
            Private pay means you need a set skill and you need exposure to the rich. I found you had to go into branding and marketing and that turned my stomach. The other issue in private practice is the need for more and more patients. That is why other family members are immediately seen as cash cows. I would talk about my family and would almost see the therapist salivating because I had several kids.
            It makes good people into money hungry cogs in the system.
            Then there is ethical concerns about where you practice. Do you practice in a community where you live or not?
            I was once offered a great job well paid, neat hours, working with kids but it was in the community where I lived. The kids I would be seeing would be aware of who my own kids where and could possible come to the house. This would create issues if there was any abuse going on and and confidentiality issues. I would never ever say anything but I was afraid the kids would worry and no not the best thing for them. So I missed out. However, stuff did happen and in light of those events it was probably a good decision on my part not to accept.Some professionals don’t mind this but until we all can be open about trauma and getting, giving , and receiving support I still ind it to be dicey.
            Now that I have been in the system I have never been sure if the system grapevine was in effect. When I worked in agencies – it was there and I was aware of the whispered stories and tales – yuck!- so possibly my second foray into private practice might have been hampered – who knows?
            If one had access to wealthy folks one could be a “helper” with those family members in need. But it would be fraught because my guess would be there would be trauma and secrets and skeletons in the closets.

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        • OK I thought you were actively counseling people.

          What about private practice? Doesn’t that dispense with the need for reports, DSM bs, etc? I know/have known some psychotherapists who don’t take notes during their sessions so no one can get at them, legally or otherwise.

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          • It is a possibility, but marketing is not really something I’m any good at. CatNight also outlined some of the limitations – when you work without insurance, you’re working with the rich or well to do, and those who are most in need of help can’t afford it. My adjustment has been to go into advocacy, which requires no specific license and enables me to help change the system which creates much of the distress which I would end up listening to in therapy. My bottom line is that real therapy has to involve engaging in a reassessment of the social system in which one lives, not only a re-examination of one’s own beliefs and values. And that can be done from other perspectives besides being a therapist. Of course, a lot of folks get free counseling from me on a short-term basis, just because that’s the way I am and sometimes I’m called into service. But I have never figured out a way to make a business out of it. It’s kind of not me, I guess.

            Thanks for your interest, and thanks to CatNight for your in-depth response as to why it’s not as easy as hanging out a shingle.

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  5. Noel Hunter, you are on the right track. Well done. However, there are a few things that need to be corrected.

    “Plus, aspects of mental health treatment can be very helpful for many.” No. Psychiatry and all so-called “mental health treatment” must be abolished in order to foster true human flourishing. Some people may think that mental health treatment is helpful, but that is because they don’t know the history of psychiatry.

    “In addition, rates of diagnosed mental illness and suicide continue to increase, despite record-breaking spending on mental health care.” As Frank rightly points out, rates of so-called “mental illness” and suicide continue to increase BECAUSE OF, and not in spite of, record-breaking spending on so-called “mental health care.” It is psychiatry and the madness industry, with all of its “mental health” and “mental illness” mongering that CAUSES most of the problems. The more money that is funneled into the “mental health” machine, the more people will suffer.

    The chemical imbalance hypothesis is a hoax, but more importantly, the notion of “mental illness” is itself a myth. This requires further explanation and elucidation.

    The part about indoctrination was spot on. Excellent.

    You’re right. Psychiatry is a religion. Szasz has written clearly and extensively on this topic. See e.g.

    This article could do without the whole “privilege” thing. It is a delusion of left-wing victimization culture that equates any human achievement with “privilege.” There is indoctrination in psychiatry, but there is also indoctrination in modern progressivism. This also applies to the false notion that a profit motive in psychiatry must mean that socialism is the answer. It’s sloppy thinking.

    Other than that, great article. Keep up the good work.

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    • Good points, Slaying the Dragon.

      To paraphrase Noel on the subject, “Plus, aspects of mental health treatment can be very harmful for many.” The “mental illness” industry is fond of heaping praise on itself, but as for recognizing damage when it is done? That would be bad for business, wouldn’t it?

      If we could cure more professionals of their profession, we’d be well on the way to “curing” their “patients”. Not so patients, too.

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      • Exactly. The question is whether or not the disease of psychiatry can actually be cured. Is psychiatry a terminal illness? It seems to infect so many brains. I still hold on to the hope that there is a cure for the disease of psychiatry. There are plagues that have been terminated, and other diseases that have been extirpated from the earth. What will it take to eliminate the terrible plague of psychiatry?

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    • Excuse me, but what exactly do you mean by “left wing victim delusion culture”?? I’ll tell you one thing Mr. Superior, I am way tougher than you will EVER be! Screw your sanctimonious insults! You and your constructs to make yourself feel superior to someone, anyone (right?). Yo u would have crumbled a long, long time ago were you to walk in my shoes (and many others). I FIGHT for my survival and independence every single day! You would not survive a simple two minute talk with me, buddy. For your information, and I gather that you are fairly young, it is liberals who have been fighting for you to even have a forum such as this. WE are the ones who have set you free! Conservative mental health people are the worst when it comes to pigeon holing and making a few extra bucks. Lastly, you don’t know what you are talking about. People like you think inside a little cave where they construct silly accusations instead of getting out in the world and finding truth that way. There’s a whole big world out there! Do I sound like a victim to you? Ha!

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      • You would not survive a simple two minute talk with me, buddy. For your information, and I gather that you are fairly young, it is liberals who have been fighting for you to even have a forum such as this.

        Give me a break please. If I were a liberal I would find your tone embarrassingly egotistical and macho. And please tamp down the ageism while you’re at it, it cuts both ways.

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    • DS you need to define “left wing,” as I suspect we have markedly different ideas about this. So do you, “Conscious.” For one, liberals are NOT left wing, they support capitalism big time. My guess is that Dragon Slayer could hold his own with you for far longer than two minutes. However, DS, this is also “sloppy thinking”:

      This also applies to the false notion that a profit motive in psychiatry must mean that socialism is the answer.

      I guess you should also define socialism as you conceive of it. Anyway, the “profit motive” is not the problem with psychiatry any more than it is with anything else. However psychiatry does serve capitalism by labeling its malcontents as “mentally ill,” and neutralizing them by giving them the “treatment.” This does not preclude other potential ruling systems from doing the same, socialism included — but it would be an infantile and undeveloped form of socialism that would embrace psychiatry, and if it didn’t dispense with it psychiatry could be a big part of its downfall and subversion by counterrevolutionaries.

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      • Nice job of projection there, oldhead. I don’t think you get what he is saying about there being a culture of left wing victim delusion. He is saying that rights don’t need any help, but the left does, and therefore have somehow created a culture that allows us to play the victim with our various mind challenges. And that, is simply not true. You also need to get out, and read authors writings who write outside mainstream psychiatry.

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        • I will leave it regular readers to appreciate the humor in this characterization.

          You just identified yourself as a liberal, I believe. So you shouldn’t be calling yourself a leftist. There’s a big difference.

          I understand completely the stereotypical charges Dragonslayer is making and largely reject them, although I won’t deny a grain of truth, however overgeneralized. But as long as you cling to capitalism your criticisms also ring hollow. Psychiatry is a tool of capitalism in a capitalist culture. So is liberalism.

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          • “I will leave it to regular reader to appreciate the humor in this characterization.”

            I certainly do Oldhead. If I weren’t in a public library now, I would be laughing out loud! I take it Conscious1 doesn’t come here very often.

            I will take advice from Conscious1 and read books other than those written by Torrey, Lieberman, and other respected members of the A.P.A. You know how hopelessly devoted to their writings we at MIA all are. Ha ha.

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      • Anyway, the “profit motive” is not the problem with psychiatry any more than it is with anything else.

        The idea of maximizing profits for the few at the expense of people as a whole, and their health, is not a problem with psychiatry, oh so cozy with the drug industry, and the bosses of the state? You think?….”Success” being put forward as the 60 billion dollar man, producing corporate lackeys is what our educational system is all about. How can you say that, OldHead?

        Achievement of what, Conscious1? A world technological take over? Monopoly by elite. Isn’t that what privilege is anyway? Elitism and privilege walk hand in hand, but it’s not a matter of achievement, it’s a matter of rigging the game. Achievement so that people can live in gated communities cut off from the common man or woman. (The common man or woman they are so scared of when they are reduced to criminal activity.) I don’t think so. Government by, for, and of the rich is screwing us royally as is.

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    • Privilege is not a delusion concocted by the left wing. I am guessing you are straight, white and male. You grew up and went to school in the suburbs and still live there now. As a result you are completely blind to how the rest of the country lives. Privilege is rarely noticed by those who are steeped in it. Only its absence is felt. In spite of what your limited experience has taught you, America is not this magical perfect meritocracy where working hard equals success. The question of whether you truly deserve all the good things you’ve enjoy in life hurts like hell. It also stings a bit to imagine that that some people might have actually worked harder than you but couldn’t get ahead in life because of their skin color, gender or sexual orientation. That existential pain, that cognitive dissonance, is the real reason you are so quick to rail against the so-called myth of privilege and socialism. This is the same line of thinking used by Big Pharm and Big Pysch- Everyone could just choose to be happy, healthy and rich. Bad things only happen to bad people. Good things only happen to good people. And anyone who disagrees is just a whiner who likes being a victim. Same mentality. Same b.s.

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      • The greatest privilege of those who have it is the privilege of pretending or believing that your privilege doesn’t exist.

        The concept of privilege is by no means supportive of a victim culture – to the contrary, it is a concept that deals very directly with power dynamics such as those shown by most “mental health professionals” when they are confronted with their patients’ reality. Because they have power, they can freely ignore or minimize their clients’ complaints – they have a whole system of diagnoses they can use to blame the clients for not liking their “treatment.” Rather than hearing that “your treatment made me barely able to move and I lacked the will to even complain, so I stopped,” they can claim that you have “anosognosia” and therefore “don’t understand you are ill” and therefore can be forced to receive “treatment” at their discretion. To understand psychiatry’s ability to ignore facts and feedback from their own clientele is to understand privilege. It really is that simple. They abuse you because they have the power to do so and you don’t have any recourse within the system when so abused. It’s not a victim culture, it’s very simply the reality of the power dynamics that exist within the system, and the exact same or very similar dynamics exist at all levels of our social system and are very highly responsible for much of the “mental illness” that same system later feels compelled to “diagnose.”

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          • I wouldn’t be so “absolutely” on the subject of “victim culture”, OldHead. There are people who play the victim role unto death, and quite literally. People who wouldn’t be such candidates for a Darwin award had they been a little more skeptically self-reliant, and, as a result, less victimized.

            Acknowledging the existence of a “victim culture” however does not prevent me from being a left-winger, nor does it prevent me from criticizing a capitalism gone crazy. When some people are way too rich, and others are way too poor, beyond any merit, it speaks to a great need for social change, social change in the interest of social justice.

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        • The concept of privilege is by no means supportive of a victim culture – to the contrary, it is a concept that deals very directly with power dynamics such as those shown by most “mental health professionals” when they are confronted with their patients’ reality. Because they have power, they can freely ignore or minimize their clients’ complaints – they have a whole system of diagnoses they can use to blame the clients for not liking their “treatment.” Rather than hearing that “your treatment made me barely able to move and I lacked the will to even complain, so I stopped,” they can claim that you have “anosognosia” and therefore “don’t understand you are ill” and therefore can be forced to receive “treatment” at their discretion. To understand psychiatry’s ability to ignore facts and feedback from their own clientele is to understand privilege. It really is that simple. They abuse you because they have the power to do so and you don’t have any recourse within the system when so abused. It’s not a victim culture, it’s very simply the reality of the power dynamics that exist within the system, and the exact same or very similar dynamics exist at all levels of our social system and are very highly responsible for much of the “mental illness” that same system later feels compelled to “diagnose.”
          So well said!!!!

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      • I assume you are responding to Dragon Slayer.

        The problem with the typical “privilege” rant is that it generally doesn’t go any further than name-calling, or what has been referred to as the “politics of denunciation,” rather than addressing the function of white and male privilege in a capitalist culture and how to level things out, other than eliminating men and white people.

        I also notice that people whose politics consists solely of denouncing others’ privilege have often barely scratched the surface in terms of recognizing their own.

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        • People with privilege don’t need to be denounced; we simply need to be aware of such privilege and how it arises. It is not the fault of the privileged that they are privileged, but it does create a much higher level of responsibility for critiquing and altering the system when it harms those with less privilege. Ultimately, the goal I would pursue would be to minimize privilege differences, which is actually part of the “American Dream” we’re all supposed to be allowed to pursue – essentially, everyone deserves a fair shot at success, but the game is rigged.

          I’m a white male from an upper-middle-class background and so have plenty of privilege automatically sent my way by this society. I don’t need to feel bad about that or apologize for it, but I do need to use that privilege consciously and wisely to help empower and improve the lot of my fellow humans. I am sure I fail at this all the time, but that’s one of the reasons that issues of psychiatric oppression, as well as racism, domestic abuse, and the mistreatment of children, have been big focus areas in my life – the folks I mentioned don’t have social power and I do, and it’s my job to try and alter the system so that those with less power are able to get more of it and have a better chance at survival.

          It is unfortunate that “privileged” is seen or is even intentionally used as an insult or put down. It should be neither. It should be a call to action to empower those lower on the privilege scale, as well as a call for compassion and understanding for those who are not so fortunate as yourself, rather than blaming those without privilege for their condition when a large part of their condition is a result of social dysfunction and is not within their control. The parallels to the “mentally ill” being drugged and institutionalized should be pretty obvious in this context.

          —- Steve

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    • I agree with Dragon Slayer here. The section accusing the intended audience of “privilege” is classist and seemed like an attack for attacking’s sake.

      First, I should state that I do agree with the author on the root issue she was addressing. Whether you think of the divide in the populace as:

      “privileged”/”everyone else”
      “poor and ill-served by government agencies”/”everyone else,”

      ….earning a degree is more taxing and takes much longer when you don’t have a car, can’t afford class materials, and have to work two part-time jobs, take care of a family, or both while attending school. To the extent that a) non-white, non-Asian, non-Jewish, non-Persian ethnicity, b) being something other than a heterosexual or a well-behaved gay man or lesbian woman, and c) trauma contribute to poverty, they constitute obstacles too.

      In other words, labeling psychiatrists “privileged” is probably reasonable.

      It’s just that the “privilege” section didn’t make any points. There was no connection made between the fact that many psychiatrists come from financially competent households and the lousy ways they ruin people’s lives. Those lousy ways are taught in medical school and would be taught to anyone of any background.

      The effort to dismiss the equalizing potential of student loans didn’t fly. I can’t think of any belief that would qualify as an “entitled.” The only thing that matters regarding beliefs about paying back student loans is whether they are right or wrong. If someone gets through medical school and launches a career and doesn’t mess up, they will pay off their student loans. Not believing that obvious fact can’t be blamed on an inability to engage in “entitled believing.” In fact, I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t believe it.

      The tuition at medical schools isn’t the reason the APA isn’t brimming over with people who are poor, of a racial minority other than Asian, of a sexual or gender minority, and/or severely traumatized. The accusation of entitled believing seems like an attempt to avoid acknowledging that it isn’t only rich kids who get to go to medical school. Student loans go to those who qualify for them based on their college transcripts and standardized test results. The thing to do when you realize you’re wrong about something is delete everything you’d written about it before you had to admit it doesn’t support your argument and move on to stronger points.

      This is in defense of only part of what DS wrote. I also agree with what s/he wrote about indoctrination to rigid political beliefs [of any kind, in my opinion], but that didn’t help make the case against the privilege section. It was a counter-attack, just as off-topic and alienating (to some) as the attack on privilege was.

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      • The section accusing the intended audience of “privilege” is classist

        This is a good example of why the notion of “classism” is worthless. It can be easily flipped to defend the rich and privileged against people who are not so fortunate. That’s probably why neoliberals love it. It also does a good job of serving as a stand-in for – and distraction from – any kind of actual class analysis.

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      • It’s much easier to get good grades if you live under the roof of a rich white man. Just try to disagree with that. Nutrition, tutors, time to study, better primary/secondary schools, networking, legacy admissions…all that is not
        Afforded to people who grow up with poor parents.
        You must try. You
        must work hard. But it’s easier if you have money. And it’s next to impossible if you don’t. Not impossible. But if I had to choose—I’d choose easier. Who wouldn’t? But no one gets to just “choose” easier. That is handed to you along with your birth certificate.

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    • Amazing how many folks on this site think Communism or at least Socialism is the antidote to Psychiatry. In my Consumer days, I would go to Day Treatment where they told us to vote democrat and strongly encouraged socialism as well. Psych professionals are very left-wing. Amazing how many people on MIA think they’re all GOP members! Obviously they haven’t stepped inside a Mental Illness Factory lately. NAMI members were always joking about shooting GOP politicians they hated and acted surprised when I refused to laugh. I never joke about shooting democratic politicians myself.

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      • Not sure where I read that communism or even socialism were antidotes to psychiatry. I don’t think capitalism is, either. It appears to me that the fundamental issue with psychiatry has to do with believing that humans can be grouped into those who “live correctly” and those who “have problems,” and that “having problems” with the status quo means you are “mentally ill.” I think it’s pretty obvious that this kind of oppression is not dependent on political beliefs, but on an unwillingness to face the true level of oppression that exists within our society and a willingness to “blame the victim” when something goes wrong. In other words, those in power, regardless of party affiliation or of political orientation, are happy to use the “mental health system” to keep their populations under control. We saw Stalin use psychiatrists to herd dissidents into internment camps. We saw Hitler use psychiatrists (or was it the other way around?) to herd Jews and other “undesirables” into concentration camps for forced labor or extermination. Psychiatry is an equal opportunity oppressor – it can be and is used by both ends of the political spectrum to keep the common person in line.

        Or as Mad Magazine once cleverly put it: what’s the difference between Capitalism and Communism? In Capitalism, Man exploits Man, while in Communism, it’s the other way around.

        — Steve

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      • Psychiatrists are very infrequently left-wing, but a great many are liberals. As I mentioned earlier, ne’er the twain shall meet.

        Under true communism there would be no government hence no forced psychiatry. However that’s a long way off. But even many of those who identify as socialists today are totally clueless about the repressive function of psychiatry. However this is an affront to true socialism as well.

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  6. “Schizophrenia” is actually an iatrogenic illness, not a “genetic” illness. The symptoms of “schizophrenia” are created with the “gold standard schizophrenia treatments,” the antipsychotics/neuroleptics.

    The negative symptoms of “schizophrenia” are created via neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome.

    And the positive symptoms of “schizophrenia” are created via antidepressant and/or antipsychotic induced anticholinergic toxidrome.

    The primary actual societal function of today’s “mental health” industry, according to your own medical literature, is covering up child abuse, by turning child abuse victims into the “mentally ill” with the psychiatric drugs, en mass. Today, “the prevalence of childhood trauma exposure within borderline personality disorder patients has been evidenced to be as high as 92% (Yen et al., 2002). Within individuals diagnosed with psychotic or affective disorders, it reaches 82% (Larsson et al., 2012).”

    Absolutely today’s “mental health professionals” are not just deluded by your belief in your scientifically invalid DSM “bible,” which does not include either of those known “schizophrenia” symptom mimicking, neuroleptic induced illnesses; but you are also deluded by the fraud and lies of the pharmaceutical industry. The majority of you are also child abuse profiteers, thus also people who empower pedophiles.

    Everything you do is based upon your love of money, and your desire to maintain your power, the current status quo. The money you worship is created out of thin air by fiscally irresponsible globalist banksters, who un-Constitutionally loan this made up money to our government at interest. A little history about today’s banking system and the origin of the money you love.

    Today’s allopathic medical system is known as “Rockefeller medicine,” Rockefeller is one of these globalist banksters, about whom our founding fathers forewarned us Americans.

    The war mongering and profiteering Rothschild and Bush families are also amongst these globalist banksters, and there are others, of course.

    And the nefarious beliefs and behaviors of these globalist, “luciferian” banksters, who you function as dutiful child abuse covering up slaves for, are being confessed to all over the internet now.

    We do live in a sick society, controlled by the wrong people. All Americans were lied to, we were all deluded, including today’s “mental health professionals.” Please wake up, “mental health professionals.” Maintaining the “status quo” is not actually in even your best interest, unless you are communists, since that’s what these globalist banksters desire, a communist or feudal system controlled by them, not you.

    The never ending banker wars of aggression, to get Rothschild’s usury/debt based banking systems into the anti-usury Muslim nations, are destroying this planet. These “elite” very literally tricked you into becoming unrepentant, scientifically invalid, defamatory, child abuse covering up, torturers and murders. Wake up, take the “red pill,” garner some insight into what is actually going on in our world please.

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    • I doubt this was “masterminded” but I fully believe my “bipolar” mood swings resulted from the drugs I took to treat them. When an SSRI triggered my break with reality they claimed it proved I was SMI all along and needed neuroleptics and “mood stabilizers” in addition to SSRI’s. Now, instead of selling me ONE drug they could have me take THREE instead. How convenient.

      If I had a bad reaction to whiskey, would it mean I should take uppers all the time in addition to staying perpetually drunk? According to psychiatrists it would. Avoiding “whiskey” entirely is not an option they favor.

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  7. Thank you, Noel! Thanks especially for clarifying the extent to which trauma is at the root of what gets diagnosed as “mental illness.”
    As a trauma survivor and a psychiatric survivor, I must take issue with Slaying the Dragon contradicting the statement that “aspects of mental health treatment can be very helpful for many.” While most of it wasn’t helpful to me, I found EMDR extraordinarily helpful in resolving many trauma responses; in fact, it was just short of a miracle.

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    “…People can and do Recover from experiences labelled as S…..”

    When people do Recover they might be acknowledged as Recovered and asked for their stories. But in the UK the Medical system would seem to want to pull the Recovered back into Sickness.

    The UK Severe Mental Illness Register came on the scene in 2002/03 for the “benefit” of people’s so called physical health – at the same time categorizing the people on it under the “Severely Mentally Ill” Title.

    The idea behind the SMI Register was that anyone that had at any time experienced a “SMI” would get registered to have their physical health monitored

    The initial rule was that people on the Register should be informed. I don’t believe this rule is now applies.

    People on this Register can now be identified homogeonously as a “Person on The Severe Mental Illness Register”.

    As the Register became established, tie ups were also established to make Sectioning of ‘the registered’ should they step out of line, a lot easier.

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  9. Thank you very much . Your blog clarifies how the main body of today’s psychiatrists are just as deadly as the psychiatrists were in Hitler’s Germany during World War ll when they volunteered to make up 40% of Hitler’s SS .
    Today the US goes to war against isis and the taliban while not even one Seal Team is assigned to even slightly curtail the much larger global terrorism threat pharma and psychiatry perpetrate globally on the population and the youngest of our children .

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  10. Super man: please listen and stop defending yourself.

    Everybody else: ok I’m ready to listen.

    Super man: you lack all of these qualities that are needed to be a good mental health professional.

    Everybody else: ok Thats nice to know Goodbye.

    Super man: mad in America supporters will you buy my book.

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  11. I opened the Article from the Irish News source about the lady who recovered with the help of the Hearing Voices Movement – but the Comments Section with 157 Comments wouldn’t open.

    Dr Alan Frances has said (I believe) that if a person can cope with their ‘symptoms’ then the symptoms are nothing really to do with a Psychiatrist.

    I followed the Articles list of helpful websites and read in one of them that “Schizophrenia” and violence are not strongly connected.

    But I notice there’s a lot of Homicide and Suicide in Ireland these days. One Irish Coroner has attributed this to the mass introduction of SSRIs into Irish society. This connection is nearly completely ignored in the media.

    I had several suicide attempts in the early 1980s in Ireland reliably caused by the neuroleptics I was consuming. My historical Psychiatrist had also produced several supportive Research papers on the same drugs.

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  12. Good article, again. One thought:

    Granted, many individuals who work within the mental health system have plenty of experience with oppression, poverty, discrimination, and pain. I am not speaking to you; I’m speaking to the doctors, to the folks with fancy letters after their names who hold the power

    Actually I think you should speak to the underlings as well, because they also acquire “relative” privilege as a result of carrying out their superiors’ wishes, and participate in the professional/client power relationship, even without the fancy cars. Many “workers” from lower income settings also compensate for their own unsatisfactory lives by seeing themselves as “healthier” than their charges.

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  13. Dear Noel Hunter, Psy.D.,

    thank you for this well cited essay.
    It must have cost much time to find citable resources in the nerfed net.
    I want to add for the sake of the argument from a left perspective,
    that the key to overcome psychogenic afflictions might be indeed self-love
    and compassion for others.
    And that privilige was to weak a word for the generic psychiatrist.
    I would go as far as eugenoid narcissism, as nobody who really wants to help would be able to neglect the inner critics and kiss ass all the way up, when it would mean to make (pseudo) science against the intended humanitarian goals.
    It is just a cushy job for socially awkward kids that took high school too serious and cannot be compared to psychology, which seems to attract much more genuinely caring person.

    End of Rant, please keep up the good work. 🙂

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  14. Great article Noel, very insightful.

    I’ll take note with this passage and also add,

    “Folks who get labelled as mentally ill also tend to be anti-authoritarian and do not accept the insane world we live in as one to be accepted or adapted to. They don’t quite fit in. To claim that not fitting in, refusing to abide by societal norms, or rebelling, even in the most unhealthy ways, against society is disease is actually, in fact, arrogance.”

    I believe you need to be arrogant to jump off the incurable train of what mental health and getting off the toxins that are so addictive. Trying to reduce the dosage and titrate is nearly impossible without a manufactured liquid form. You have to go against a medical doctor. One of the most highly trained professions that anyone can become. It takes courage to stand up to the medical profession and be “arrogant” or as the root of the word explains “to claim for oneself”. To finally risk going through the withdrawal symptoms and being thrown back into the system. And most of the toxins’ side effects include psychosis which will require more aggressive treatment and a more deadly diagnosis. You then risk AOT or worst yet ECT, or being held in a hospital forever.

    Thank god for arrogance.

    Thank you also for putting a link to the article. I have to say that it was one of the most thought provoking comment sections I’ve ever read through. I do have to say though, I felt bad for the newbie psychiatrist that kept arguing with the very knowledge poster. She just couldn’t come up with any statistic, point to any physical malady or identifiable defective gene. The more she argued the more desperate she got. It was like watching a child learn there was no Santa Claus. To be duped into spending and financing all that education cannot be a good feeling after that argument. I really felt bad for her.

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    • When I was four years old my Dad told me there was no Santa Claus. He did not hurt my creativity because he read The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings to me as well.

      He did teach me that he would never lie to me for his own amusement. Unfortunately, because the adults around me thought he did a horrible thing in teaching his child the truth, they continued to lie more emphatically than ever that Yes, there really is a Santa Claus!

      I decided most of the grown ups around me were stupid or crazy. Now I know they just thought it was fun to lie to naive children.

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  15. Thank you for this article!

    Mental illness is a social corpse pit, with emphasis on “social.” It is a dialectic between exclusion and isolation. I don’t know when my problems began, but I know I always felt different. Different became a reason to be excluded, and being excluded became a reason to isolate. I felt my life becoming this horrible, solipsistic nightmare as childhood taunts of being “weird” in school became work-place guffaws of being “schizophrenic” or having “a complicated mind” that continued the trend of exclusion and isolation. The world inside my head was beautiful and pleasant; the world outside became bewildering.

    At some point, this process broke me. It began in my teens. However, my abusive parents, my mother specifically, kept me from getting psychological care. These days, I am torn. I went 45 years before I finally had a breakdown of such proportions that I developed a neurological disorder from the stress. But somehow, I made it 45 years! How? And how, despite the crushing depression I feel day in and day out, am I able to write this, even though I can barely speak because what were once sporadic paroxysms are now etched into my neural training leaving me to convulse and spasms all day long? How can I be “mentally ill” and also “smart” and “compassionate”? Because the “mentally ill” part is an illusion foisted on me by society. (And I’m the one that’s delusional…!)

    I’m cursed with being very intelligent, and so these days all I can do is sit here and observe my mind washing around, out of control, sloshing this way and that, spilling out little more than gibberish most days. I get to observe the hell I am in. I just don’t get to control it. But in this state, I have the experience of experiencing my mind deteriorate. But it’s not my intellect that’s fading. It’s the parts of my brain that exists to create and fortify social connection. Those neurons are so twisted up with self-reinforcing but negative patterns of firing, scrambling to make connections that they haven’t been able to for 45 years. They gave up. I become less and less “appropriate” over time. I am regressing, often presenting as a 4 year-old or a teenager. A part of my brain is dying because I was born a little different and grew up in isolation because the world has become, for the vast majority of its inhabitants, a place *not* where having money is the most important thing, but *spending money* is.

    Ever since I my neurological disorder set in (it’s only been 8 months), I feel like I’m on an “enhanced financial treadmill.” I feel like my life has become this endless chain of hoops that I have to jump through to be accepted by the medical community. And by society. What is wrong with the world when I have to deal with people, random strangers, who come up to me and ask “What’s wrong with you?” and proceed to tell me about how if I just believe in God, or just do yoga, or just let it go, or just forgive my parents, or just get therapy, or just …, or just…. Just. (Anyone have a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance handy.) We, as society, have given up on each other, I think. As I descend into this new life of disability, pain and madness, I become so frustrated at the Happiness Industry for inculcating society with quivers of thought-stopping platitudes that get knocked and loosed at everyone who might be suffering, instead of being truly present and human and, when proffering the question of “What’s wrong with you?” being prepared for a genuine answer. I don’t want help. I don’t need it. I’ve lived my life untrusting of others. It’s not help I need to not be mentally ill: it’s connection. I won’t call such a person a “friend.” But a human. Here’s a perfect example. I’m in a wheelchair now because of my neurological issues. I was at the movies the other day and a lady offered to help me carry my stuff to the theatre. I said “no,” and she was upset. Look. I’m all set. I have a drink holder on my wheelchair, and I’ve figured out how to set my purse so I can carry just about anything on my lap. Oh, and by the way, I had to figure that out on my own. There was no OT to help me. I had to buy my own wheelchair because getting in to see the neurologist that gave me the diagnosis to *months*, but back then, I couldn’t walk reliably *then*. I was left for dead, and did what I do in that situation: adapt and survive. So, why was she pissed off? She was pissed off because she couldn’t publicly demonstrate her humanity in front of other humans. But where are the other humans to help me and my boyfriend, when I am alone all day long, despite reaching out regularly to people I know, forced to figure out how to get around the city using whatever means I can? In this world, once you become ill, you are on your own until you become a hero. But you do that part alone. And once you become a hero? It’s not you that is desired; it’s your journey. It’s wanted to be captured, written about, sold and made into film. But you, the hero, the one that fought alone and survived, are still alone. Go back to being a hero, hero. You are *so* strong.

    I have been so raped by therapy that it’s unfathomable. The spending-money treadmill is terrifying. “Jump through the next hoop, you sad little monkey, and you’ll feel better.” I have a severe personality disorder that leads me to magical thinking. But I don’t impose my magical thinking on others. And yet, the healthcare and psychiatric field is filled with magical thinking. “Talk therapy will heal you.” “These pills will stop your nightmares.” “ECT is the only viable next step.” Yes, thank you. I was already electrocuted by my father when I was 4. ECT is *totally* going to put me on a good track. Certainly not likely to set me on a path of panic attacks and suicidal ideation, right? Hello? Anyone? No answer? Hey, didn’t this guy named Milgram do an experiment involving authority figures and unethical procedures. Could be a dream. Or I was the only one who actually watched the video in high school.

    The world is not a dark and scary place. Society is a dark and scary construct. I like to think that we are on the precipice of something good: some point in time in the not too distant future when the confluence of millions of years of social evolution in the form of isolated cultures clashes for the last time and find a way to be better whole. But I am delusional not because I am disconnected from reality. I am delusional because I am disconnected from society. I don’t get to enjoy whatever anesthetic that others do to feel safe and warm in society. I’ve managed to skirt the edge for so long. Illness has thrown me onto the Happiness Industry’s treadmill, promoting the joy of spending, demanding that I be happy one day. I don’t like this. I’m finding peace in shedding my connection to society as much as possible, living as I am. I don’t *want* to be happy all of the time. I don’t *want* to forgive my parents or the bullies that were allowed to torment me relentlessly. It’s not bad. It’s just lonely. But it’s safer and warmer in the dark.

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  16. Hi Noel,

    I looked up the journal and was able to access the 157 Comments. The main commentary concerned how dangerous it was for a “Schizophrenic” to stop taking their medication because if they did this they could become very violent:- Suicidal/ Homicidal

    Around 1983 a friend of mine advised me to go to see my Psychiatrist to get something done about my restlessness – he assured me that this was a medication side effect.

    I visited my Psychiatrist and he acknowledged the drug restlessness possibility. He prescribed side effect medication, which worked well for a while and then wore off. My Psychiatrist then gave me the option of quitting my Modecate (fluphenazine decoanate) injection circa October of 1983.

    (According to the notes this decision was the Registrars and Adverse Drug Reaction was not stated as the reason).

    I managed to come off the injection type medication by April 1984; but I experienced 4 hospitalizations one Suicide Attempt and one ‘near miss’ in between.

    After this I switched to oral medication and tapered from there. I had refused medication in 1980 but by 1984 I couldn’t survive without it.

    Once I was off the strong medication I returned to functioning and handed back my disability check.

    My anxiety was still High but I was able to recognise the dynamic; and I found CBT type solutions which did actually work.

    In 1985/6 my Psychiatrist asked me how I had recovered as he had often complained about my lack of progress. I told him the truth, that the ‘injection’ had caused my Suicide Attempts and my years of Disability. The next time I saw him he told me that he was going to Canada on a Sabbattical.

    He produced this published Paper on the usefulnness of depot injection type medication in Ireland in 1998.
    Bristol Myers Squibb:- 9.6 Million Euros

    In 1983 Dr Allen Frances and others identified Fluphenazine Decoanate (Modecate) Depot injection with Acute and Suicidal Akathisia.

    On November 8 1986 I wrote to doctors in Ireland and asked them to send Adverse Drug Reaction Warning concerning Akathisia to medical representatives in the UK.

    The Irish doctors sent over in Response on November 24 1986, a Negative Mental Health Summary of me with Adverse Drug Reaction Warning deliberately OMMITTED.

    They also sent me a False Reassurance Letter in November 1986 wishing me well.

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    • Uh, who is trying to silence a survivor, DS? The privilege Noel is talking about is that of psych profiteers. And denying the existence of privilege in general is absurd, in fact Christ addressed it quite a bit and you say you’re one of his fans, correct? This in no way negates the struggle against psychiatry, nor contradicts your final sentence.

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    • “False notion”, Slaying the Dragon? If there’s a “false notion” of privilege, which I doubt, is there a “true notion” of privilege?

      I don’t think we are helped by trying to make anti-psychiatry a leftist issue. When has the left, once in power, EVER abandoned psychiatric manipulation and oppression? A revolution may bring about more equality, however any classless society is still a long ways off (and a psychiatry-less society, that’s not on the left wing agenda yet.) Ending psychiatry is not dependent upon overall revolution intent on economic transformation, however there are many social and economic issues at work in putting people in the mental health system. I agree with you then. If we make this a right, left, or moderate issue we threaten the cause by alienating people who actually support it.

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  17. Thank you, everyone, for your comments. I appreciate the stories shared, the debates had, and the varied issues that arise that I hadn’t even thought of when writing. It’s always interesting to me how one person can be angry that I went to far with an issue while another can be equally angry that I did not go far enough – this is the beauty of humankind. Differences are what keep us strong and always learning – so, again, thank you all.

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  18. Many people think people with mental illness are violent and dangerous. This is not the case, with help from Heavenly Father and support of love ones this can be managed. Media is partly to be blamed whenever a person commits crime and they found out the person has mental illness, they automatically put it down to his mental state which gives bad reputation to people with this condition. Myself I have never committed a crime nor am I violent . I am genuinely a kind guy with a heart of gold who just wants to have a voice . I never was given the opportunity to go back to school due to raymond west wind school division and there choices. I am smart , I have inherited gifts and abilities from god. I am not going to let the system dictate me! I am a leader and I am child of god with Divine potential .

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  19. Noel, You wrote, “Most people who enter the mental health field do so with good intentions.”

    I could not possibly be in stronger disagreement with you. People go into psychiatry, psychotherapy, and counseling so that they can assume a parental role with people, and thus give themselves an adult identity. They can become like their own parents were with them. Now of course the language and terminology will be updated. But therapy, recovery, and healing are always of turning everything back against survivors and crushing them.

    So there are always again two choice, either find ways to fight back or become a collaborator. Those who go into mental health and psychotherapy are pursuing the latter.

    So it doesn’t matter if they mean well or not, or if they are willing to listen. What we need to do is find ways of blocking them.

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