Why Mainstream Psychiatry is Ableist

Chaya Grossberg
138
2996

Psychiatric drugs and electroshock, the main treatments used in psychiatric medical practice, are rough on the body. While some people like the effects on their mind (and others find them to simply “not work” or to be terrible or even agonizing), they never have a good long-term effect on the body. This is a problem for disabled/differently abled individuals.

For those with very strong kidney/adrenal, liver, digestive and other organ function, the stress of psychiatric pharmaceuticals can be fielded for quite some time before fatigue sets in. Maybe these folks can take psychiatric drugs for many years and still work at a job, maintain relationships and keep a solid sleep schedule and basic motivation. These are often the people who find the drugs to “work.” Their bodies are able to easily release the toxins and continue functioning alright.

But for those who already have any kidney/adrenal, liver, digestive or other organ weakness, damage or dysfunction, it is another story. The psychiatric chemicals do not detox easily, the kidneys and adrenals are further weakened by the stress of having to work so hard to detoxify them and the digestive system is vulnerable to getting sluggish.

Of course, there are some people who are physically damaged by the drugs to the point of losing their basic health and motivation, but still feel that they need them, that the drugs are better than not taking them. Is it fair to leave disabled people with so few choices, though? To only offer treatments that make their physical disabilities or chronic illness worse?

There’s a large range of tolerance of these drugs, with those with the strongest physical constitution more likely to tolerate the meds for a longer period of time. Those with more fragile, sensitive or weak bodies are more likely to be damaged, even permanently, by the stress of taking these drugs every day, especially if they are on multiple drugs or on them for years on end.

That’s why it is gaslighting to criticize people for seeking alternative treatments, or for opting to go about their lives in ways that don’t rely on psychiatric pharmaceuticals. Gaslighting, or manipulating people into questioning their own sanity, applies here as people are often ridiculed, put down, ostracized or abandoned for trying alternative treatments. This is usually after psychiatric drugs made them too sick to engage with life.

I was told by a doctor once, “Herbs don’t work. If they worked people would use them.” He then put me on a drug that didn’t work, and I now use herbs for sleep, relaxation, nutrients, adrenal nourishment, hormonal balancing, and physical healing with great success. The psychiatric meds I was subsequently put on, because none of my doctors knew about safe and effective alternative treatments, ended up making me bedridden for a couple of years and with neuroleptic malignant syndrome for three months.

For disabled and differently abled bodies, treatments for the mind and emotions MUST support the physical body as well, or we will only get sick physically, which is not exactly a cure for anxiety, loneliness or grief.

Many differently abled people are not aware of how vulnerable their bodies may be to these drugs, and doctors are unlikely to tell them. If doctors were doing a full physical before putting people on psych drugs to make sure it was safe for that person’s health, the process would take longer and many people would find nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances and other issues to correct before even going on them.

Cautions about the health dangers of psych meds for disabled and chronically ill folks are less effective than they should be. Even with the long lists of possible side effects, black box warnings, commercials that list all the side effects out loud, magazine ads with almost an entire page full of them, many people still think of these drugs as basically safe and medicinal, even as “good for their mental health.” This is due to (mostly indirect) pharmaceutical marketing that implies they are safe and effective, the stigma associated with “not taking your meds” if you’ve received a psychiatric label, and other agendas to control people such as family and social pressure.

Ableism is when able bodied people are seen as more relevant, valuable and somehow intrinsically mattering more than those with disabilities. The entire field of psychiatry is ableist, in offering medication that can only be tolerated by the extremely able bodied. Those who are already physically ill or disabled will be made more and more ill by psychiatry over time, and the field of medicine marginalizes disabled folks by not addressing these issues or warning them sufficiently about these concerns from the beginning. Disabled folks are not given options that are sustainable and effective for them.

The fact that psychiatric drugs will make a tired person more tired (eventually if not right away), a sick person more sick, a weak organ system weaker, shows an inherent discrimination against differently abled bodies. It shows that people with physical health concerns are being completely marginalized by psychiatry.

A field of medicine that was friendly to differently abled folks would strive to ensure that all treatments and procedures were designed to strengthen both the body and mind. Some alternative and holistic modalities do this. It’s called the nourishment model and includes things like nature therapy, person-centered nutrition that takes individual constitution into account, adaptive exercise, creative arts, herbalism, and hands-on healing. Then there are alternative treatments that can help build the body such as vitamin, mineral and supplement therapy. Disabled folks will often have better success with these, if they can tailor a program to their own specific nutrient needs and deficiencies to support their bodies.

Psychiatric drugs completely ignore the body and what it might be asking for. This is ableist. This is why the disability rate keeps rising as more and more people are being put on meds. This is why the disability community should never be gaslit, or told they are crazy for seeking and researching alternative treatments.

Of course we need to be cautious. Alternative and holistic treatments can cause harm to disabled bodies as well (none have ever caused me as much harm as psychiatric drugs though, not even close). There are very expensive products that aren’t covered by insurance that may have minimal effect or make things worse.

Most vitamins and supplements are not covered by insurance, regardless of whether they have been proven to work. This again is ableist, because it makes the treatments people with disabilities and chronic illness need inaccessible and even stigmatized.

Some nourishing methods of healing can be free or very low cost such as foraging wild weeds which have more nutrition than store bought vegetables (but this isn’t REAL medicine). Some issues of accessibility can be overcome with knowledge of plants and nutrition, community support and grassroots organizing. This is why education and stigma reduction about the need for alternatives to psychiatry for disabled and differently abled people is crucial.

Any one-size-fits-all medical system will be ableist. Alternative treatments and approaches can be much more helpful to less able bodied folks if they are catered to each individual and their specific needs, preferences, beliefs, sensitivities and health challenges.

Psychiatric drugs, on the other hand, have been shown to harm the body. They have been thoroughly researched by their own funding and have still been found to cause extreme harm. Every psychiatric drug advertisement and prescription insert must list these potential health dangers because they are serious risks. And guess who they are more serious risks to? Yes, those who are more physically vulnerable, who are less able bodied.

Ableism says it’s okay to have insurance only cover the harshest treatments, which only the most able bodied people can tolerate. Models inclusive of disabled folks would cover a wide range of options so that more people could access safer options that support their bodies, mind and emotions.

138 COMMENTS

  1. I really agree with your ideas chaya…thanks..
    I do have a problem with trying to take psychiatry down…
    we need to take the practices of psychiatry down…
    the misuse of drugs is rampant in medicine..
    why not take down only what is rotten…
    we need to keep what is good…

      • steve the important model of causation
        bio/psy/soc…..and the concept that
        psychiatry should be a discipline that
        bridges neurology and psychology….
        and my psychiatrist is a beautiful
        example of a person who deals with the
        truth….and anti-psychiatry is dangerous..
        just take down the bad..

        • But how do you know the good ones from the bad ones? Even the decent ones where I work refuse to quit forcing the drugs on people and refuse to let them free until they conform to the thinking of the psychiatrist. These seem to be good people but they continue to participate in doing harm to the people that they’re supposedly “caring” for. The only ones I might even begin to trust would be the ones who refuse to force the drugs on people. So far, I’ve only met one of those out of all the ones I’ve work with and around.

          • I wish someone would provide statistics on who is doing the prescribing, and what percentage is on demand and what is forced.
            A very large proportion of psych drugs are provided (not forced down) by GPs, and to ignore this part of the equation is to distort the whole picture.

          • Stephen Gilbert, rejecting the drug paradigm can be career suicide for a psychiatrist. Breggin almost had his license taken away and Kelley Brogan is maligned as a “hysterical” female. Sexism is alive and well in psychiatry–knotting it together with sanism helps.

  2. Chaya, psychiatry “works” by destroying its “consumers” according to Dr. Peter Breggin. Breggin knows medicine, but unlike most shrinks he cares about people more than dollars.

    The drugs work by disabling the brain. Let’s assume–as Jaffe says in his review of Anatomy of an Epidemic–all odd thoughts, feelings, and behaviors stem from neurological problems. That still would not excuse what psychiatry does.

    Take Brittle Bone Disease. We all know something is wrong with the bones. Does that justify taking a crowbar to that person’s limbs? That’s what psychiatry does to the brains and nervous systems of those they “help.”

    • Agree with everything you have stated. But if Breggin didn’t care about money, he wouldn’t be charging hundreds of thousands of dollars to be a witness at trials related to psychiatric abuse and malpractice. Otherwise, he is a brilliant man whose books and work exposing psychiatry’s evil actions
      deserve applause. Instead psychiatry brands him as a kook and refuses to learn from what he has exposed.
      And, Little Turtle, we see what psychiatry has done- it is quackery, causing destruction and death- this pseudo crap “specialty” is known for insulin comas, spinning chairs, ice baths, prescribing neurotoxic drugs causing addiction, withdrawal, brain damage and death, and of course, lobotomies and electroshock, destroying lives and driving ppl to suicide. Every shrink I ever saw was an ignorant, uneducated
      Misfit with zero empathy and no people skills. They need to be stripped of their license to sicken and torture ppl. Probably 80% of them belong in prison, being fed antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, “mood stabilizers” and electroshocked 3 times a week… Real life monsters who poison little kids like Rebecca Riley….

          • Recovery is psychiatry’s kryptonite. Every person who gets better by not “complying” and saying “no thanks” to being treated like a child makes them horribly threatened and angry.

            This is why they go around slandering the “untreated” and forcing drugs and shocks on them. Mass shootings are wonderful–as far as they’re concerned. A boon for business.

            People getting well, going on to lead productive lives, embarrass and even scare them. Much better to keep them maimed and useless and sometimes dangerous to others. Bizarre murders by the “mentally ill” are great PR for psychiatry.

          • Recovery puts the lie to the story that they tell everyone that they’re ill for life and need to take the drugs forever. Recovery is a buzz word in the system which really means nothing. It’s there to make people think that the system cares and is with the program. In reality, the system has no interest at all in people getting their lives back and living fulfilling lives.

            What the system likes to do is talk about being “in recovery” as opposed to being recovered. What I think this implies is that you’ll always be ill but you accommodate your life as best as you can. It’s that old idea of once an alcoholic always an alcoholic but I don’t hold to this kind of thinking at all, especially when dealing with “mental health” issues.

            Every damned meeting that I’ve gone to lately for peer workers all they want to talk about is being in recovery. When they introduce themselves they give their name and state that they’re “in recovery”. When I introduce myself I state that I’m recovered and there’s a lot of silence in response.

        • Here’s some TRUTH about “recovering/recovered” as A.A. puts it:
          On the title page of the “Big Book”, as it’s called, titled “Alcoholics Anonymous”, it says: “The story of how many thousands HAVE RECOVERED from alcoholism”(emphasis added). The founder of AA spoke of becoming “recovered”, simply meaning that he’d found a way to live sober, one day at a time. And, A.A. does NOT say that “alcoholism is a disease”, but rather that it is LIKE a disease, and it works better to treat alcoholism LIKE a disease. The other co-founder of A.A., “Dr. Bob”, on his deathbed, said, “Let’s not louse this thing up”. He meant that there was a danger of “medical professionals” twisting the A.A. recovery program into something it’s not. Sadly, that’s exactly what’s happened. PhRMA, drugs, and MONEY and POWER and CONTROL have all warped the recovery message.
          How long does one have to live in recovery, before one becomes recovered?

          • I’m very angry at the lying quacks who “help” alcoholics and other drug addicts by turning them onto the “good stuff” they push. Glorified dealers in lab coats!

            These trusting souls have no idea there are trading one drug addiction for another.

          • As one poster once put it very aptly on a different article on MIA, when addressing the question as to why people use psych drugs, calling them the “kool aid”:
            “They drank the kool aid because you didn’t give them anything else to drink.”
            All these comments, and so far, nobody (as far as I can tell) has had anything productive to add into the mix.

            All people on psych drugs are tricked into using them? Nobody has any idea that prescription drugs are often addictive? Come on, give me a break.
            These days, people know that antibiotics can have nasty side effects. Via the internet, people have access to information like never before. But somehow, the psychiatrists are able to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes?
            Yes, some people are very trusting. But most are not. If they are, they’re going to get scammed right left and center, not just in the “medical” world, and they’d better wise up quick.

            At some point, getting “recovered” has to mean getting out of the victim mindset. Recovering from the obsession with psychiatry and its evils, and finding out what else exists in their life apart from anger, resentfulness and whatever.
            Now that would really be recovery.

  3. Psychiatry is a system of social control. It is also a system of destroying people. The drugs, the shock “treatments,” the occasional operation (I hear psychosurgery is making a comeback…), plus…

    even if a person/”patient” is given innocuous placebos, being psychiatry-ized is an effective way in which to silence people. I’ve seen this happen even in non-drug “treatment,” with counselors and psychotherapists.

    I’d also like to point out that Mental Health, Inc. -hates- “weaklings.” I use the ” ” because…I don’t consider any human being a “weakling.” I think+believe -all- people are created in God’s image, and therefore are to be afforded respect and dignity. Psychiatry, on the other hand…

    is cruel enough to the relatively “high functioning” with good insurance. As one looks further down the totem pole, the cruelty and nastiness of Mental Health, Inc. becomes more and more obvious. When one starts out disabled or differently abled–a “weakling,” from the psychiatric standpoint–the situation will be far, far worse (for the person/”patient”). And then…there are the many people who start “treatment” healthy and “normal”(ish), who are then ripped to shreds, destroyed, and cast aside. The shrinks hate “weaklings,” and they also destroy people, thereby creating “weaklings.” I’m fairly certain psychiatry has always been this way, or at least they have been since the brain crippling “treatments” became the “standard of care.”

    • “Mental illness” is not viewed as a neurological issue nor a cognitive disability but incurable, irredeemable moral degeneracy. Don’t believe me? Look at the list of “symptoms.” Many are character flaws.

      There are three major problems with medicalizing bad behaviors.

      1. You write people off as hopelessly depraved and encourage them to quit trying to become better people. Saying, “Evil is hard wired into your DNA” may excuse nastiness on one level, but it teaches everyone that striving to become morally upright is impossible for the Designated Criminal Class.
      2. Because “Mental Illnesses” are random clusters of thoughts/feelings/behaviors harmless cat ladies get labelled “bipolar” just like Ted Bundy though they are kindly, law-abiding, and have no significant traits in common with him. Pick 6 out of 11 and you’re “bipolar.” Ted Bundy and Aunt Betty may have just one trait in common, but according to Psych Experts they are exactly the same and should be punished–I mean treated–accordingly. This also understandably leads to “stigma.”
      3. Since every illness requires medicine you try to solve character issues with mind altering drugs. How is that supposed to work? If mind bending drugs turned people into model citizens we wouldn’t have groups like AA or NA. Heroine addicts would never commit violent crimes. Wrong on so many levels!

  4. we can keep bashing at all of psychiatry…
    the past does not go away…we have to
    change what is not helping us…
    I have been helped by a psychiatrist
    and a psychologist….I will not bash them…
    you need to take bad stuff to the trash can…
    like what the big pharm is doing…

    • I’m not surprised more discoveries are being made. Nor am I opposed to research or “bashing” them Little Turtle.

      It was probably a neurologist who discovered this. As far from psychiatry as an astronomer is from astrology.

      Pretending to know things they don’t or even know to be falsehoods and committing random acts of violence on bodily organs under the guise of medical treatments–these are unconscionable.

      Enough unbiased research would prove how much senseless damage psychiatry inflicts. There is proof that structural disorders in “bipolar” brains are caused by psychiatry. But these studies aren’t widely publicized.

      Bring on the research. But stop the Lies.

        • There may well be biological causes for some extreme states. Vitamin therapy helps a minority of cases. But until they know WHAT causes the problem doctors cannot fix it.

          If they actually found a neurological cause for “madness” it would be the death of psychiatry. Neurologists would take it from there. Shrinks would retire or get real jobs.

          And psychiatry has ruined my social life. Lonely and isolated thanks to that pseudo-science.

          Why is there an anti-psychiatry movement but not an anti-cardiology movement? Hmm.

          Renowned cardiologists don’t make television appearances to demonize those with heart problems. 🙂

    • What is the “new neuron?” What is its significance?

      Being opposed to psychiatry doesn’t mean not believing that biology plays a role in what is called “mental illness.” For instance, anyone who doesn’t sleep for 3-4 days will start hallucinating, just as if they were “schizophrenic.” It is the LYING about what they pretend they know but really don’t that is the big problem. I’m always interested in new research, just not in dishonest “interpretations.”

        • Psychiatry has been claiming for the last fifty years that they were going to discover the causation of “mental illness” in the brain but they’ve never, ever been able to come up with anything at all. I suspect that mental anguish and psychological and emotional distress have more to do with the mind and our thinking than anything to do with the brain.

          • Poor nutrition and brain damage may play roles. But further damaging the brain and drugs that sap the body of nutrients are not the answer to either!

            Another physical cause is known to be the psych drugs themselves. But that’s heresy in the Church of Psychiatry.

      • Being opposed to psychiatry doesn’t mean not believing that biology plays a role in what is called “mental illness.”

        Steve — Just yanking your chain a little, but your phraseology implies that there is a “something” which some people call “mental illness” and others something else. But this implies a legitimate category to begin with, whereas “mental illness” is simply a term intended to imply some sort of definable order in people’s idiosyncratic responses to societal oppression and alienation. But there is no such order. Two people howling at the moon for completely different reasons do not have “howling at the moon disease.”

          • Because the term “mental illness” has been co-opted by the “mental health” industry and is used to refer to DSM “diagnoses” that are not valid or scientific and are employed to blame the victims of our oppressive society.

            I think that’s a pretty simple answer.

          • Semantic nitpicking, but words have power.

            A mental illness cannot exist in a literal sense. Your imagination cannot be inflamed nor your empathy infected.

            Traumatic brain injuries are real and effect people’s behaviors. These are PHYSICAL though. Not mental in origin.

            If they found a physical cause for hallucinations, bizarre beliefs, crippling fears, and extreme mood swings that would be a physical illness lodged in the brain (a physical organ.) Not a mental illness at all.

          • Okay, so if hallucinations, bizarre beliefs, paranoid fears to the point of screaming in the street that “they” are out to get you, etc. are not “illness” then how would you prefer to classify them? Or just call them those names? But of course, there are people who totally object to the idea that there are “bizarre” beliefs because they want everything to be normal, or perhaps abnormal.
            So let’s call everyone crazy, or everyone sane, and normalize everything! No more madness!
            Only problem is, that “emotional suffering” or whatever else you want to call it, won’t just magically disappear because you struck the words “mental illness” out of the dictionary.
            Would you prefer “demonically possessed” perhaps?

          • the term “mental illness” has been co-opted by the “mental health” industry

            More nitpicking…but to say the term has been “co-opted” implies that it once served a valid purpose.

          • I’d kinda say it was more or less invented by the “mental health” industry. I’d be that if you looked at documents from say 1900, the term “mental health” would never be used. I have always considered it euphemistic at best.

        • I agree 100%. That’s why I put “mental illness” in quotes and said “what is CALLED ‘mental illness.'” The concept of “treating” something like not wanting to do what your teacher tells you in class or feeling angry that your dad abused you is beyond ridiculous.

          • So-called “mental illnesses” are exactly as “real” as presents from Santa Claus. But NOT more real….
            All so-called “mental illnesses” are social constructs.

          • You’re implying that people with idiosyncratic behavioral patterns (whatever that means) are in control of their behavior and choose to act what most people (probably including you) would call weird.

            However, most people with, for example, severe paranoid fears, would 100% prefer to live without these thoughts and emotions controlling them. Yes, many of them prefer to have them drugged away and not live a life under the cloud of “madness.”

            Ignoring these people and pretending they don’t exist is bad enough, but constantly implying that they are stupid for taking psych drugs, or stupid for being gullible enough to believe the psychiatrists, is demeaning.
            If only some of you people could get out of your “bash psychiatry” box for long enough to see that there is actually a world outside and that there are people who don’t think like them but are also intelligent, rational human beings deserving of respect.

          • The drugs caused my problems. They turned my depression into full blown psychosis after keeping me awake for 21 days in a row.

            I have friends in the system still. And they are much nicer than SOME commenters here!

  5. Great post, Chaya. I went on psychiatric drugs after having difficulty coping with an illness (most likely autoimmune, but it doesn’t fit into a clear diagnostic category and therefore will probably never be officially diagnosed). All I ever heard was that psych drugs wouldn’t do anything to worsen my health issues. BS, it was a total disaster which has taken me 5 years to have a semi-recovery from using alternative therapies (and I do have to give a therapist credit too). It should be recognized that individuals with physical health conditions or suspected conditions are even more at risk of having long term adverse reactions, but that isn’t convenient for the psychiatrist or the other physicians who just want to get rid of the chronic pain patients that don’t fit into neat diagnostic categories.

  6. Its an interesting take but I can’t quite buy the argument.

    Psychiatry is not discriminating. It damages everybody with every single medical treatment it prescribes. Its not damaging less able bodied people more is it? A toxic neuroleptic is just that, pure and simple, it has to just damage everyone doesnt it?

    Be careful, psychiatry loves it when it can identify “certain vulnerable individuals”*, who, through no fault of the psychiatrist, have had an adverse reaction/got diabetes/taken their own life. They play the divide and conquer game, saying that they weren’t to know that it was going to be you who would have your health wrecked.

    LittleTurtle, I know where you are coming from. But unfortunately this profession, this industry, these institutions have knowingly misled patients and damaged them in a concerted, funded campaign of deception. Its hard to come back from that. In any event, they only change when they experience the fear of public accountability and outrage.

    * Prof Pariante, to Parliamentary Committee

    • There was a myth about a king named Procrustes who forced every visitor to sleep in his bed of iron. The bed was the length of the perfect person according to Procrustes.

      If the guest was “too tall” the host would chop off his lower extremities and he would bleed to death. If “too short” the king would put him on a rack and pull him asunder. By golly the guest would fit no matter what!

      One day King Procrustes made the mistake of inviting the hero Theseus home. Theseus had brains as well as brawn. Hercules would have been happy just throttling the bad guy. But Theseus believed the punishment should fit the crime.

      He made King Procrustes fit his own bed by adding 6 inches to his height.

      You can probably see where I’m going with this. The psychiatrist is Procrustes; his iron bed is the DSM 5.

      Psychiatrists should be forced to take tests for every last “illness” in their monstrous volume. Especially the Personality Disorder clusters.

      • the “personality disorders” are the worst. if they label someone with one, especially a “severe personality disorder,” they treat them worse than many of the “Bipolar” or “Schizophrenic” people, and then they say “well, patient xyz has a -personality disorder-, not -mental illness-. there’s only so much we can do…”

        ive come to believe that many of those labeled with “personality disorders” are people who are being punished by their shrinks. a big part of psychiatry is punishment for pissing your shrink off, then rewards for being a “good patient.” there is no winning within Mental Health, Inc…the best “solution” is to try to get out, when and if possible.

        • If you don’t take any guff from your shrink, you have a personality disorder. If you aren’t compliant with your alleged treatment, you have a personality disorder. If the shrink doesn’t like you, you have a personality disorder. If you don’t “improve” after your alleged treatment, you have a personality disorder. It doesn’t take an Einstein to grasp the essential nature of personality disorders.

          • Got my BPD label when I grew suicidal over a break up and my mom repeating, “He couldn’t handle being with a bipolar like you.”

            Unworthy of love!

            I have given up on any sort of love or intimacy and shut myself away from humanity. Even friendships are impossible. 🙁

            Eventually I hope to earn $18,000 a year writing from home. Then I can have a modest place without vermin swarming or my mom’s constant put downs and monitoring. I could own a car and drive quietly to buy my groceries, occasionally visit the library and attend a large church where I won’t be noticed much. They would only make fun of me for being an “old maid.” Better being invisible.

            I have a lot of love to give–even now–but no one wants it or me. The only folks who want me around are emotionally abusive.

            I have a few superficial acquaintances at church or the library but they’ll treat me with disgust or horror if they know my past. So I put up on a mask and never let ANYONE past my front porch. Most aren’t even allowed there. I dress to blend in and become inconspicuous.

            Not into looking attractive. Lost cause. Don’t say anything but superficial nothings. Smile a lot but avoid laughter or tears. Act as much like everyone else as possible. Blend in like a chameleon.

            Different is socially unacceptable. I would do almost anything to be like everyone else and fit in. Different is bad, wrong, unlovable, and ugly. Different is frightening.

            I always say weird things when I open my mouth so I’m very guarded and careful when I talk. I don’t hate myself but everyone else would. So…I do my best to be fake. That’s what everybody likes.

          • Alternatively, the actual reason someone is determined as a person with a personality disorder is because they meet the criteria for that personality disorder.

            The majority of people that meet the criteria for personality disorder never actually get given the diagnosis of personality disorder. They simply go through life with a permanent dust-cloud of chaos behind them which they simply refuse to either look at or deny any involvement in stirring up.

            “If you don’t take any guff from your shrink, you have a personality disorder. If you aren’t compliant with your alleged treatment, you have a personality disorder. If the shrink doesn’t like you, you have a personality disorder. If you don’t “improve” after your alleged treatment, you have a personality disorder. It doesn’t take an Einstein to grasp the essential nature of personality disorders.”

            I’ve done all those things at turns and yet still do not have a diagnosis of personality disorder. In fact, casting the net wider, I’ve known many people do those things and they weren’t given a diagnosis of personality disorder.

            I think what tends to happen is that some people seek the attention of psychiatry, and are found to meet the criteria for a personality disorder, and then throw a wobbly about it.

            Don’t shoot the messenger?

          • But why did you go to the shrink in the first place? What did you honestly expect them to say?
            From reading these comments, you would think shrinks prowl the streets and drag people into their offices, label them, force-inject them, and then get the judges to put an “always on drugs” order on them, under pain of death.
            However, the reality of the situation, as I keep pointing out and people keep ignoring, is that people want the drugs to cope with life, and get them from their local GP.
            But hey, don’t expect reasoned discussion of the facts on the ground here on MIA…

          • And all you literalists–who can’t figure out what metaphors, similes, or conceits–and who think my quotes sum up what I imagine RR was actually saying are 100% wrong. 😛

            I was pointing out how most “diagnoses” are insults. And btw, some people ARE ugly, stupid, and fat. Not sure how a life long diagnosis can help.

            Yes, obesity is a diagnosis. But if you lose weight the diagnosis changes. Unlike psych “diagnoses.”

          • Rachel is correct; psychiatric “diagnoses” constitute a form of pseudo-medical hate speech.

            By the same token, however, Rachel, they are also completely fictional, so the only way they can negatively affect your ability to live, relate to others, etc. is if you believe in them.

            It is important to purge our residual belief in psychiatry and to examine it over & over until we truly internalize what we know intellectually; this can be seen with the tragic case of Matt S., whose brilliantly articulated deconstructions of psychiatric mythology ultimately succumbed to some shrink’s “diagnostic” predictions, as Matt had never truly detached from the psychiatric mindset.

          • Rachel777. Think of yourself as a spy for coherence. You’re already showing promise, as it doesn’t matter being different as long as nobody on the street notices, while you carefully build your network.

          • Frankly RR, I find your remark insulting and i bet others do as well.

            “He wouldn’t have called you an ugly, worthless moron if it didn’t apply to you.”

            Getting “loved ones” labeled BPD is popular with some truly evil people. The wife MAKES her husband beat her before MAKING her shrink “diagnose” her as irredeemably “toxic.”

            There are videos on Youtube popular with misogynists about EVIL women with Borderline Personality Disorder who should all kill themselves. Doesn’t sound like the wives are as evil as the normal husbands does it?

    • I’ve known people who have been punitively diagnosed with these labels despite not meeting the diagnostic criteria.

      I’m feeling parts of this conversation are quite cruel and unfair to people who have been given these labels. Just for the record, I haven’t, yet I still feel some of the weight of predjudice and othering just reading this.

      I understand that close to one in five people in the general population would meet the criteria for such hideous labelling. Why should people who are in distress be singled out and effectively tarred and feathered with when most to whom these subjective descriptors could be applied are exempted from being so labelled? These “diagnoses” create a perception that a person being inherently abusive and untrustworthy, even if they have never abused anyone. Often the distress they are experiencing is related to having been subjected to abuse. How would you like to have your very nature “diagnosed” when you were suffering the greatest stress and misery of your life?

      Psychiatry shoud not be allowed to make these kinds of judgements and set them in stone.

  7. Hi Chaya,
    Ive been watching a tv series called Catch and Cook recently. It covers a lot of the local food that is available, and did not seem to have the negative health effects associated with MacDonalds etc. Things like flying foxes, goanna, stingrays, bush turkey, mud crabs etc. People seemed relatively healthy on this diet for 40 000 plus years, and then started getting all sorts of health problems with the introduction of other foods. So i’m with you on these ‘newcomers’ to the scene telling us their pills are the only solution.

    Just a general question about gaslighting. It seems to me that in order to be gaslighting that the element of intent must be present. I watched the movie Gaslight a couple of times and I noticed that (spoiler alert) Charles Boyers character did not actually deliberately use the dimming gaslight to drive his wife insane. It was an unintended consequence of the search for the jewels. No doubt he was doing other things with the intent of driving her crazy but the gaslight, it seemed to me, was just an added bonus.
    Not denying that there are people who use this tactic with patients or others, but be sure that it was intentional and then get em out of your life I say.

    • My Mom was not a “NAMI mommy.” I sought out psychiatry and made my Faustian pact because of guilt from my numerous imperfections.

      Mom hated me for my diagnosis. She took advantage of it though to turn me into her project or doll. If I succeed in escaping she will be devastated. Tough.

      • She could catch another one Rachel 🙂 Not your issue if your gone.

        Humour warning.
        I got to thinking about the Catch and Cook show and ….. I’m waiting for the episode done by Jeffrey Dahmer.
        Hi, I’m Jeffrey Dahmer and today I’m going to teach you how to catch and cook a psychiatrist. Now not all psychiatrist can be caught, there is a size limit, but if your careful you might find one ripe for the picking. Too many patients making a complaint results in them meeting the size limit. So, today I’m going to stand in a public place and act a little crazy. Two psychiatrist have of course declared me sane before my trial, and well the folk I was eating were mentally ill as a result of their sexual preferences but ….. anyway, this laying of a trap is fairly easy really, throw your hands in the air and ….lol. makes me laugh.
        Special guest appearance by Dr Lecter.

  8. Following the shrink’s advice, and taking powerful debilitating drugs multiple times a day over an indefinite period of time can cause your health to deteriorate dramatically. Figurative (mental) disability, in such a case, will eventually be replaced by literal (physical) disability. The doctors have a business to run, and the more suckers they can pull in, the better for them. They certainly have the facility to destroy anyone who doesn’t wise up to them.

  9. Mainstream SOCIETY is ableist. Always has been, maybe always will be.
    Psychiatry wouldn’t have succeeded without falling on fertile ground.

    Many people can’t afford a truly healthy regimen including herbs, vitamins etc. It takes, apart from money, a lot of research, and the information is not always clear and is sometimes contradictory. Also, it really has to go together with a healthy diet, which is also expensive. Pills (at least where I live, not in the USA) are incredibly cheap by comparison.
    And yes, the side effects can be dreadful. The alternative for many people is… what? Not herbs, but alcohol (also toxic), or heroin? A struggling inner-city mom of five is not going to seek out a herbal pharmacy to find something to keep her going and give her the energy and enough emotional dulling (yes, desired many times) to get up the next day and go to work to feed her kids. It’s so idyllic to imagine a society where people can take herbs and heal. But it’s so far from most of our realities.

    • Just to add detail: A choice between an antipsychotic or a combination of herbs and vitamins to deal with various issues comes down, in a real-life example, to a toss-up between $5 or over $100 a month. I don’t know what the situation is like in the US. This is a real example from a country where there is socialized medicine.

      • My partner insisted I added this:

        Most herbs are very easy to grow at home, from seed, which are incredibly cheap. A window-sill. A backyard. You only need a little bit of space. Fresh herbs are also superior to shop-bought, for obvious reasons. Additionally, highly nutritious meals can be cooked from scratch for mere pennies.

        https://cookingonabootstrap.com/

        Here are many meals for less than 50p each. (although you have to factor in the cost of cooking fuel and wotnot).

        Her straightforward hypothesis is that people are child-like and lazy when it comes to preparing and cooking meals. I had to cough over the fact that she was including me in that observation.

        Additionally, there is foraging for edibles. This can be done in both urban and non-urban settings. It is quite amazing how many highly nutritious plants can be foraged for free within a short distance of one’s home. You just have to learn what to look for.

        People usually say: but I have no TIME!

        Translated that means: I have an addiction to the TV and/or computer, and they are sucking the life out of my days, leaving me with no option but to get fat eating crap.

        • I know… but that’s just herbs. With vitamins and minerals it’s a different story there are no cheap shortcuts. Large doses of B vitamins are very helpful in maintaining equilibrium, for instance. Calcium and magnesium very good for sleep, combinations of amino acids also for calming (as well as herbs such as valerian and passiflora). I do think that herbs work too gently for some people and the effects aren’t felt.

          • just to add… someone here recommended magnesium for my partners sleep apnea and leg twitching causing her severe sleep disorder.

            she tells me she’s tried that. a few moons ago I talked to a swedish ex-gp with restless legs syndrome. I remember the poor man telling me there were no available treatments left that he hadn’t tried. so he faced a future of sleeplessness, a horrible suffering. although he had a wicked sense of humour,

            for equilibrium, having a good laugh works wonders.

  10. “Gaslighting, or manipulating people into questioning their own sanity, applies here as people are often ridiculed, put down, ostracized or abandoned for trying alternative treatments. This is usually after psychiatric drugs made them too sick to engage with life.”

    Thank you, Chaya, I’d never seen it put so directly like this and it totally reflects my experience.

    I was on the psych drugs for 20 years, functioning ok in life yet of course dependent on them and on psychotherapy with chronic side effects, which came and went and for which more drugs would be added, as is the way. Eventually my system broke down completely from the toxic build-up and compromised all my major organs, including my brain, of course.

    Then I did my big shift and went from the drugs and “mental health” anything to herbs, grounding, natural healing, energy work, etc., the whole paradigm shift. After getting off the drugs I was able to do theater, a new skill I had no idea I had in me, then built my practice, then made a couple of films, and then moved to the woods, started a band, live peaceably now and in good health, doing good work in the world with partners, all thanks to God and some wonderfully supportive people in my life who witnessed my healing journey. I went from night to day within a few years and am thriving now, entirely due to this blatant shift I made away from psych drugs and “therapy” after years and years of these.

    And you would not believe the way my healing, work, path, and truth have been invalidated as I very visibly healed and transformed my life. Or maybe you would, I guess, it seems you know what I’m talking about, from what you write here. Not only gaslighting, and very cruel and sabotaging, but I also feel it is delusional, about as far away from truth as one can get because it completely lacks reason and foundation, as well as heart–a rabbit hole of negative projections. Par for the course, which is why I condemn the field.

    The fact that I healed as I did and manifested a new life with tools other than what “mental health, inc.” had to offer–which for me was both medically and socially very profoundly toxic and from which I had to heal, specifically–challenged the beliefs of those around me, and apparently, it is too much truth for some to handle. That’s how I’m seeing it at this point. It is vampiristic, as well as relentless resistance to change. Thank you for calling it out.

    • Just one thing I wanted to add here that occurred to me as I was thinking about this a bit, and I felt this thought ground and relax me about this issue–

      We do go through initiation as we grow along our healer path, and facing an onslaught of aggressive invalidation is the best way I can think of to truly face our shadow and be strong and clear in our sense of self; not take it on, but instead, it further illuminates our path. Our inner voice and knowingness are way more powerful than outside opinion and judgments, and I believe the universe mirrors that back to us unmistakably.

      As an activist and truth-speaker (and when I say this, I don’t mean THE truth, who knows about that? I mean MY truth, I am transparent with this more than most, it’s how I walk my talk), I’ve had this happen repeatedly, where I am challenged by harsh judgment, yet something really good and expansive happens in my life and I end up getting what I want in the most unusual ways, because I am in my truth with integrity, regardless of anything. Doesn’t matter what others think and project onto me, this is between me and my higher self. This is how I know the correct path to follow for myself, which voice to trust.

      Who can trust outside voices in an ocean of illusion, deceit, and resistance, through all of those filters, projections, and programs? This is smoke and mirrors corruption, all avoidance of truth. I know that I certainly carried these programs at one time, it is how I grew up, this was the belief system in my family and culture, and it dictated the relationship and group dynamics in my family–which is how I got into that mess to begin with. But my experience with “the system” woke me up and I had to deprogram, pure and simple. That was the big healing, where I became totally and completely free.

      Social brainwashing is similar to cult thinking, mob mentality, etc. It’s hard to break those old thought and belief habits, all based on seeking approval and a sense of belonging (not to mention fear of consequences for breaking away from this). But that is true change and transformation to individuate from this and stand one’s ground in the midst of resistance. That was the best option I had along my path, and thankfully it paid off. I didn’t know what to expect when I was in the middle of all that and following this path of new information and perspective. I just had to trust with each step forward, gaining clarity as I went along. Radical change was inevitable, it had to be, for the sake of living the life I wanted to live.

      That’s why we’re here, at least to me this is what activism is about, and especially so in this particular arena–to challenge those programs of social invalidation and bust them up inside and out, taking back our power and calling out their shit. That’s great healing! Lots of far-reaching rippling change occurs in that scenario, like dominoes in many directions.

  11. personally, i do find that fairly high (some would say “massive”) doses of vitamins do more for more than any number of herbals ever did. Maybe I had long standing deficiencies?

    If they feel so inclined, the “professionals” of Mental Health, Inc. can get you the “medicine you need,” at little or no cost for you. Its…well…crazy. Herbs, vitamins, etc.? Hell no. They don’t even like seeing me meandering in wearing quality shoes, why on earth would they want me all hopped up on antioxidants?

  12. Rachel777 wrote: “Frankly RR, I find your remark insulting and i bet others do as well.

    “He wouldn’t have called you an ugly, worthless moron if it didn’t apply to you.”

    Getting “loved ones” labeled BPD is popular with some truly evil people. The wife MAKES her husband beat her before MAKING her shrink “diagnose” her as irredeemably “toxic.”

    There are videos on Youtube popular with misogynists about EVIL women with Borderline Personality Disorder who should all kill themselves. Doesn’t sound like the wives are as evil as the normal husbands does it?”

    You get the full range on Youtube, no mistake.

    There are two youtubers diagnosed with borderline I really rate. One is in the UK and goes by the name Recovery Mum. Here’s a sample of her content:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLJAWPQazXg

    And the other I have a lot of time for, for her honesty, which can at times be very difficult, yet worthwhile, is based in Canada, and goes by the name The Borderline Life.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAGZw0P1glM

    I highly recommend both to anyone with Borderline who is seeking recovery-focused thinking and contemplation, honesty, insights, and maybe even some community.

    • Commenting as moderator here.

      RR, I think that sometimes your dark humor is a little difficult to translate. I think I’m understanding your comment that Rachel took exception to as a sardonic illustration of how damaging that the labeling process can be, as well as how “entitled” the labeler appears to feel in using the label. Hence, you DON’T think the label would apply in reality? But I can see how that would not be obvious to all readers. Is my interpretation correct?

      • Some people do get clingy and manipulative–often from abuse and loneliness. They certainly need to change their behaviors. But the labels are cruel and hopeless.

        If someone labeled BPD stops acting this way does she really deserve to wear it emblazoned on her shirt like Hester Pryn? She may be the victim of abuse rather than the abuser. Does she deserve to be shunned for life?

        I was clingy because all my life I had been told no one could love me since I was fat, ugly, and later crazy.

        If someone slips and break their leg break the other one. And never let the bones get set. Serves ’em right for being clumsy!

        • What I am saying is that this is the world we live in. Survivors of abuse are diagnosed and labeled. And that process, while fraught, has its uses (as a convenient shorthand) and abuses (its used as a pejorative put-down to create distance, or to condemn).

          I’m not being sarcastic about the youtubers I posted. I have learnt a lot from them and I admire their willingness to be honest about themselves, as well as their determination to overcome. Both of them have no problem at all with the label. Both of them have found some liberation with the label, and both have been fortunate to have the wherewithal to be able to develop self-awareness, and also be able to access the resources they need to grow and learn. I admire that they share their self-development with others and encourage others to believe that they can take back control of their lives, even though, honestly, they admit that the pain can nonetheless be overwhelming at turns, and that they will slip from time to time.

          Because people *can* overcome these patterns. Overcome, in the sense of, learn to be more self-aware. For a long time I was dismissive of mindfulness practices. I freely admit I was being overly cynical. Having looked much more deeply into the application of mindfulness in therapies for people diagnosed with personality disorder, I have come to appreciate its power and why it must be a central component.

          But here’s what happens in a nutshell, the world over. And this has been happening for a long, long time. People get labeled with personality disorder and it is primarily used as a perjorative term. In that sense, it is like a hate crime. I can remember when that insight first dawned on me, and I shared it on the internet, and a number of people sent me messages and thanked me for popping a bubble. I’m not meaning to suggest I was the originator of that insight. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t. I’m just menaing to make it clear that I had not encountered it elsewhere, and when I shared it a number of people felt validated by it.

          Moving on… what happens is people are victims of various forms of abuse and neglect in their formative years, and they enter adulthood ill-equipped. And their lives are fraught with pain, and they bring tremendous pain and chaos into the lives of other people too. And they seek help. And the world over that help is dominated by psychiatry. So, they get some kind of acknowledgement, some kind of validation. And that is through mental health systems. Which are either medical or pseudomedical, whichever analysis floats your boat. Either way, what happens next is by and large neglect. Systems are set up in such a way that the troubled and troubling individual, for the most part, cannot access the appropriate resources that would enable them to overcome their problems, or to put it in my preferred way, become the master of their own ship Which in the case of personality disorder, is long-term (intense) therapy. Now reams and reams have been written about this. And psychiatrists are, for the most part (in my view), just as frustrated as everyone else about the fact that resources are being denied. What comes to be called borderline personality disorder is a very serious condition. The rates of suicide and serious self-harm and interpersonal conflict are alarming. And again, whether you wish to frame that as a medical problem or a non-medical problem, the fact remains that these people need and deserve substantial help, and that help, while available (through various therapies, including DBT and MBT and schema and so on) is withheld. And as far as I’m concerned, that is a secondary abuse. The abuse of neglect.

          I agree in principle with the Drop the Disorder campaign. In which they make a strong case for abuse victims not to labeled. What I have also found is that a lot of victims of abuse, particularly the abuse of neglect, don’t consider themselves to be victims of abuse. But whenever I’ve been able to dig deeper with them, palpable, undeniable histories of childhood abuse/neglect is discovered.

          But is that the whole story? Some think not. I’ll quickly sketch out my understanding of why that is so. Whether you agree with me or not is another thing. But at least bear with me…

          I believe that we are not born as a tabula rasa. Babies have personalities. They are not all the same. Maybe personality is not the right word. Tendencies is better. We are all born with tendencies, which are very similar to personalities.

          Why do some people suffer appalling abuse and neglect and not end up with living highly chaotic and emotionally and behaviorally stormy lives, and others don’t?

          I believe, in very simple terms, that those tendencies we are all born with, and which are then affected by our environments, our experiences, includes being born with more or less emotional sensitivity. Some people are simply born way more emotionally sensitive than others. And so what happens next, everything that happens next, during their formative years, is going to be very impactful.

          When highly sensitive individuals are abused/neglected, it is deeply painful for them, in a very lasting way, and impactful in ways that others generally cannot get their heads around. And that determines the development of their personality. I don’t mean to imply that abuse/neglect impacts some and not others. I mean that people who are born with greater sensitivities than others, are going to be impacted even more deeply, are going to suffer even more pain and disarray.

          Sensitivity is not a disorder. In many ways it can be an asset. No, more than that, it should be celebrated as an asset. But the world we live in, by and large, does not celebrate emotionally sensitive children. In fact, in many ways, it seeks to undermine and punish them.

          I agree that it is important to ask: What happened to you? And trauma-informed approaches are vital. But what I keep encountering is a distortion of that approach, which is: “I am a victim. There is nothing wrong with me. I do not need to change. Other people should adapt to me. It is the world which is disordered. Not me.” And I don’t think that is really what the whole call for change is getting at.

          In a nutshell, I think that we need nouns. We need convenient short-hand. The term “personality disorder” offends some people, but the majority are relieved to finally get some recognition. The appalling consequence of being labeled, for most people most of the time, is that perversely the medical label acts more often than not to prevent them from accessing medical help (and in medical help I’m including various intensive psychotherapeutic relationships/approaches that have been shown to help). That to me is the major problem. Not that the label is wrong, or unsuited. But how it functions to basically deny someone help, and bring about medical/societal neglect. I have this idea that if the process of being labeled opened up the doors to substantive help then many people would feel less aggrieved. Because it would mean that to be labeled would signify doors to appropriate, intensive long-term help and support would swing open. And that, surely, would mean the process would be considered a positive one?

          That’s the sum of where I’m coming from.

          • (excuse me, I’m off on one…)

            Just to add, and I have her permission to share these things. My missus is diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder aka Borderline. She’s had a very positive impact on my life. She’s brought order, routine, and caused me to engage in a lot of self-reflection. She’s also brought, at turns, huge amounts of stress and chaos and worry and fear and conflict. More than I ever thought possible. Now, I chose this. And I choose to continue with this. I cam either perish or grow stronger. I choose to grow stronger. I choose to become more self-aware, less reactive, more in tune with my own emotions and feelings. Like I say, it could easily go the other way. I could be destroyed. I could be a victim. I could find it all overwhelming and bail out. Sometimes I imagine myself doing that.

            Standard knee-jerk response to the call – no, the righteous demand — that people like my belle should be given long-term substantive help is this: it costs too much money.

            That’s a lie.

            Truth is that all the ambulances, the A&E visits, the police involvement are big drains on resources. Far bigger than simply allocating appropriate resources. Now I’ve come to appreciate why we’re fortunate to live in the area we do. The police here are brilliant. They’ve applied their resources on many occasions to locate her and help her keep safe. There have been times when they have stayed with her, many times, until they are satisfied that she is safe. One time two officers remained with her for about 12 hours. 12 hours they stayed with her in the hosiptal until some other medical agency assured them she was now safe. That’s four officers taken off the beat for 12 hours (2 came to the end of their shift and 2 took over). They’ve allocated multiple officers and resources to locate her when she’s been suicidal. And when they’ve found her they’ve been kindly, firm yet kind. As some may appreciate, she can be quite fruity with her language when in crisis. But even still, not once have the police acted in a way that anyone could condemn. They’ve been outstanding.

            And over and over again the conversation happens. The police ask, quite rightly, where is the help? Why must our resources be used to manage crisis care? Where are the crisis teams, the clinical management teams? And they are right, aren’t they. In our topsy-turvey world, the paymasters are blinkered. If they can show a saving here, they ignore the additional, and probably much higher cost, elsewhere. It’s supposed to be joined up. There have been multiple initiatives to join things up. But it remains the case that those best equipped to help people in crisis, are the least resourced to do so.

            Of course, the police are the best resourced to locate someone in crisis and ensure their safety. But then they should be able to seamlessly hand someone over.

            But there are virtually no crisis resources. They are no pre-crisis services whatsoever. None. They’ve all gone. Now some of you antipsychiatrists would see that as a triumph. It is not a triumph. It’s a travesty.

            I iwsh I had the wherewithal to do something about this. I’ve known for a long time what needs to be done. I know who the major players are. The people with the power and the influence to do something. The way I see it, she and others like her, are experiencing systemic medical neglect. It’s gone on for so long now that it’s what people wind up expecting. And so the suicides go up. The tragedies become more frequent. The police and general medicine play a bigger and bigger role. And the paymasters boast about saving money. And as I say, that’s a crooked lie.

            Another example: a few days ago a motorway that runs through nearby here ground to a halt. It remained that way heading north for nearly 3 hours. This was at peak time. Why? A person in crisis was hanging over the bridge, threatening to jump. Now these days, such is the contempt that’s been steadily increasing in this society, people get out of their cars and goad them to “just do it” so they can carry on about their way. That’s the world we’re living in. But why are they there? Why have they chosen to hang over a motorway bridge and threaten to leap? Because there is no-where else to turn. Because pre-crisis and crisis responses have been almost entirely removed from our society. Desperate people are driven to take desperate measures. And the public, by and large, condemns them, despises them, for wasting everyones’ time and using up resources. What the general public don’t often understand is that the crisis resources have been depleted. That that person threatening to jump, and that’s disrupting all their lives, is likely the victim of systemic medical neglect.

            And it concerns me that some antipsychiatrists would consider their inability to access help, as a wonderful development.

            But how do the medical services get away with it? And I think we’re back to the contempt in society for victims of childhood abuse and neglect. There is even perhaps an unconscious societal death-wish underlying all this. In the UK, this contempt for disordered people, disabled people in general, is more apparent now than it ever was, with the systemic (and, probably by measure of our own laws, criminal) persecution and punishment of people with disabilities and problems of self, and our culture being unable to become much-concerned with it, content for people to perish, and so be gone, some of them taking their troubling stories and the disturbing psychological impacts of their experineces with them to the grave.

          • Thanks people, you’ve assited in explaining some things to me that I still struggle to understand.
            I’m feeling a little more confident in having crossed paths with one of these people. My disagreement with my wife was an illness that required me to be tortured and given drugs I didnt need for an illness I didnt have. The medical fraternity failing to recognise the issue was not with me, but with the person controlling the narrative (just drug him and plant what they need, and I get what I want).
            My issue is still this though. I can look at what was done and how my wife even tried to exploit the chaos and have me do the nasty to her family abuser but I do not have the power or knowledge to apply the label. In as much as I could look under the hood of your car and take a guess, but I’m not a mechanic, and following my advice might cause further issues.
            Minus me being told that my wife was a ‘borderline’ ( and looking back she did try to tell me but…. much too late) what have I got?
            Her knowledge of the system after being through it meant she knew that “you just need to know what to tell them”, and they then subjected me to torture and kidnap.

            Bit like she once told me her compulsions to steal or shoplift was kleptomania. Nice way of saying thief lol

            Anyway, thanks for the info.

          • The other thing I would note is that just because someone with borderline gets you to do something that is wrong, does not absolve you from any responsibility. They are not to be used as scapegoats.
            If the corrupt practice of verballing were not rampant among public officers, then the gentle coercive methods (threats of pack rape, mock executions) would not be required to overcome the right to silence. Add to this the ability to spike people before interrogation and you end up with what we have here. State sanctioned torture, dressed up as health care.
            Having the public commit the offense and then an acquiescence of public officers to act on that offense.
            So the devil gets in your ear and then leaves you in the lurch? Not his fault, its yours. Thats his job.

        • Very common for those with that label. And then, you get to be called fat, ugly AND clingy, plus crazy. I never got how anyone could think that adding a new negative label to someone’s list could help them do better. The research supports us, but hey, who reads research? It’s more fun to just feel superior.

          • My last two comments, while reasonable, weren’t what I really wanted to say. I was typing on eggshells.

            If you are concerned about damage to people, then the untreated personality disordered individual’s damage to others is by and large considerably greater than the damage of them being diagnosed with a label that points to their toxic problems.

            In fact, fighting against the diagnosis is one huge red herring in many ways.

            People are entitled to use a diagnosis towards someone that is, by all accounts, potentially very damaging. I think that ordinary people deserve to be both informed and, if possible, pre-warned. We are talking about people, especially at the severe end of the scale, who can seriously and lastingly damage an others’ emotional and physical wellbeing in ways you could just not anticipate or prepare for if you didn’t have a deep handle on what you were getting yourself involved in.

            As Rachel777 referred to, albeit complainingly, there are now victim-groups online just for people damaged by personality disordered individuals. I don’t believe that this is because these victim-groups all have dark senses of humour that some people struggle to understand. There are therapists that specialise in helping people recover from their personality disordered exes. Again, I don’t think these therapists are having a laugh at others’ expense.

            Again, down here on terra firma people are getting seriously fucked up and fucked over by untreated personality-disordered individuals, and the afteraffects are commonly indistinguishable from PTSD.

            Borderlines, in particular, are amongst the most challenging — and potentially life-threatening — individuals you will ever draw close to in your life, if you dare to become involved with them in anything other than a structured, time-limited, and escape-hatch-provided setting. They can very easily drive the uninitiated temporarily insane. Most therapists advise untreated borderlines to abstain from relationships. In fact, that is stellar advice.

            Yes, many of them were victims as children. No-one can change that, unfortnately. What can potentially be changed is the toxic and “crazy-making” patterns of interaction. A person with a personality disorder, now that they are an adult, with moral responsibilities, can be helped to grow into a reflective, conscionable, and functioing individual. That process can take many, many years.

            There is a great deal of variance betwen individuals that attract the diagnosis of borderline. But those 9 core symptoms are bang on. I think that psychiatry has this diagnosis right. I also think they have narcissitic personality disorder nailed. And antisocial personality disorder seems pretty airtight too. I don’t have enough knowledge or experience of the others to make comment.

            I would not recommend anyone getting into a close relationship with an untreated personality disordered person. You may come back at me and accuse me of this, that and the other. But I’m talking about real world, intimate involvement, in which you will be laying your soul bare. Not typing in text boxes. Or attending 2-hour workshops. Or conducting a 30 minute appointment. I’m talking about normal, unstructured, non-professionalised, non-economised, human relationships.

            It is a public health issue. For the individual with the untreated personality disorder and the people in their lives and who have contact with them. It is a serious public health issue that absolutely must be allocated the necessary resources. And yet it isn’t, and individuals and society are impacted terribly by this neglect.

          • I very much appreciate the clarification. I guess my issue with what you’re saying is that you’re talking about “personality disorders” as if they were somehow “diagnosable” and “treatable.” For certain, people can behave in ways that are harmful to others, and we can group such people into groups and put labels on them. And there could even be some value in that – after all, my book, “Jerk Radar,” groups a bunch of people with similar behaviors into the category of “Jerks.”

            The problems I see are A) the people in the groups defined by psychiatry as “personality disorders” don’t actually have any specific thing wrong with them, and are actually quite divergent in both behaviors and needs (as you at least partly acknowledge above), and B) as a natural consequence of the above, there is no “treatment” that can be said to consistently improve any of the categorized “disorders.” In essence, saying someone has a “personality disorder” is not much different than saying “He’s a jerk.” It’s a social label that shows our disapproval of their behavior, but it does nothing to help the person or even identify what is wrong or IF anything is wrong with them at all, let alone what to do about it.

            So should people be protected from other people who are harmful? Yes, absolutely. Is it a health issue? IMHO, I’d say it is not, because engaging in socially unacceptable behavior is not a health problem. It’s a problem of ethics and respect.

            In your last comment, you talk about the “untreated personality disorder” – what is the “treatment” that you recommend?

            Finally, you refer to “borderlines” as if they are a group of people who have a shared identity. There are many people on this site who have been given that label, and if I were one of them, I think I’d find it offensive to be referred to with that as my primary identity. People are not “borderlines” and to use such a term seems condescending at best and I think comes across as highly disrespectful. I think the behavior labeled as “borderline” can be confusing and frustrating, but again, I can’t condone heaping people together with such a pejorative label and referring to them as if they are “all the same.” Especially as the Mental Health system has an unfortunate habit of labeling uncooperative people as “borderlines” and using it as an insulting term meaning that these people are unworthy of attention or support and can safely be looked down on or dismissed entirely as “manipulative” and/or “untreatable” or be herded into “special programs” which become the only source of “treatment” they are eligible for, whether such programs work for them or not.

            I’m all for providing help to people who want it, and I’m all for protecting the vulnerable from the dangers of self-centered behavior, but I think we’re better off focusing on the behavior itself rather than the labels/diagnoses. If for no other reason that such labeling incorrectly suggests to the partner of a “narcissistic person,” for instance, that there might be some “treatment” for their abusive behavior, rather than realizing s/he needs to protect him/herself from further damage. Avoiding these labels also prevents us from joining in with the psychiatric industry in demonizing those who object to or don’t do well with their standard brand of “treatment.”

          • I take issue with what you write, that the only problems with, for instance, borderline or narcissistic behavior, are that they are socially unacceptable.
            Is gaslighting merely socially unacceptable, and are there cultures where it is fine to engage in such behavior? And even if there were, would that make it okay?

            (You also write that PDs are not a health issue, but rather issues of ethics and respect, which contradicts what you write, that PDs are a social acceptability issue.)

            I think that judging another person’s lack of ethics and respect for others is far more damning than calling them “a narcissist” because the latter term at least invites the question of “how did they end up that way?” and often the answer is that they themselves were victims of trauma. However, condemning someone’s ethics and lack of respect is to judge their choices – and indeed, their essence – as wrong, period.

            However, it’s really just semantics once you get into the business of deciding what’s wrong with someone else – and by the way, we do it all the time, with everyone we meet, whether we verbalize it to ourselves or others or not.

            If you take a look at a family with a narcissist as one of the parents, you’ll see how ridiculous it is to claim that there’s nothing really wrong with that person. People do react to life in patterns even if there isn’t 100% conformity to “the rules” and knowing what you’re dealing with is maybe about 80% of the “solution.”

            I’ll take my own family of origin for an example. My father is so typically narcissistic, and also typically, it took me over 40 years to see it. (And meanwhile, I blamed myself for not knowing how to “make things work.”) My mother had all kinds of psychological symptoms from not dealing with issues but rather ignoring them and pretending everything was fine, and she died young. My siblings have their various issues, and I have mine. Knowing where many of my issues originate made so much difference to the way I see and treat myself.

            Whether I then go on to condemn my father for “being an evil narcissist” or research a bit more and see him as in turn the product of his upbringing etc. is my choice. But I don’t see what you gain by instead calling him, “a self-centered, selfish, bigoted, unethical, gaslighting liar who uses everyone around him to boost his self-esteem.”

            If you were treating his spouse, what would you tell her? That there’s nothing really wrong with him, but that she has to learn, for instance, to see gaslighting for what it is, rather than think she can’t trust her feelings and memories?
            You don’t want to call PDs a health issue, but really, what difference does it make? You don’t like psychiatrists being called to deal with them, but then, who should instead? Who’s going to validate that suffering spouse and give her the confidence she needs to deal with the abuse?

            Do you also disagree with Ronald Laing’s descriptions of “schizophrenogenic” families? Ironically for you, taking away that kind of label opened the door for a biological “explanation” for “schizophrenia.” Ignoring the very real harm that PD people in their extremes inflict on others basically throws their victims to the wolves. Maybe you just have to accept that there’s no way of making everyone happy and no truly right answer?

          • Gosh, I kind of find myself wishing that hadn’t posted those comments! These are complex issues, and I hope that people can understand that people will have different views on this kind of issue and it’s OK.

            I don’t know what to say except to reiterate my position: people make judgments about other people’s personalities and behavior all the time. This is normal human behavior. And societies judge what is acceptable and not acceptable behavior. This is normal human behavior, and occurs in every functioning society that has ever existed.

            The problem, in my view, comes in medicalizing someone’s distress or (socially defined) poor behavior or both as if there were some way we could categorize all people who act a certain way as automatically “diseased” or “disordered,” and therefore “treatable” in a certain way.

            In a sense, you could say it is semantics, but I’d submit that words do, in fact, have great power. “Borderline” is a label that has been used to denigrate people and not offer them help or limit them to certain kinds of help. Believe me when I say that I’ve seen this many, many times and I find it awful. I’d much prefer if someone says, “This person has a hard time trusting people and sometimes uses indirect ways to get his/her needs met.” It’s more honest and also allows for more chance of change, because the behavior is identified as the problem rather than the person. And again, I’ve helped many, many people with this label with this kind of approach. I’ve never found the label to me helpful or necessary.

            As for the “Narcissistic” label, I have certainly used it as a social shorthand, but it is almost entirely pejorative in intent and meaning. It’s an insult, not much different from calling someone a jackass. To suggest that being self-centered is a medical problem while at the same time condemning the behavior, and let’s be honest, the person, seems more than a bit inconsistent. And again, all such people are not alike – some have simply learned to be that way and are open to education and change, while others seem completely fixed in their need to act in self-centered and hurtful ways. I’d rather focus on the behavior and work at changing it if they are able than to lump all of “them” together into a group.

            These are my personal opinions, and I understand that others may disagree with them. But in the end, I find it more important to try and understand each other rather than distancing ourselves from each other with labeling. I totally understand and agree that sometimes, the best or even only thing one can do to be safe is to put distance between oneself and a destructive person. But whether or not someone falls into that category is determined by each individual and what they are willing to put up with, rather than medicalizing such judgments into “diagnoses” which, in my view, which again others are welcome to disagree with, tend more to isolate and condemn rather than to help.

          • Vanilla, the person called a “narcissist” is not, in my view, suffering from a disease. They often seem to gladly assume this role to control and hurt others. And they almost NEVER are diagnosed either RR. Their “mentally ill” kids are instead.

            Because Mrs. Brown is a gas lighter. Usually she goes to NAMI and dramatizes about how her “mentally ill” kid emotionally abuses her. Boo hoo. Mrs. Brown doesn’t need a diagnosis but to acknowledge how evil her actions have been and the harm she does others. She never goes to a shrink though. Not on her own behalf. Nothing wrong with her after all. Everyone around her is sick and crazy.

            And the shrink never diagnoses her either. Because he knows nothing about human beings or relationships but sees them as robots and chemistry experiments to control. Mrs. Brown is his kindred spirit so she must be the epitome of sanity.

            I couldn’t make it through the entire comment by RR. It seemed to be accusing “Borderlines” of being horrible human beings who need to be avoided. I found it pretty traumatizing.

            It seems that some people are completely oblivious to what some of us have gone through. And labeling abuse victims “incurably evil” so everyone can ostracize them doesn’t help! One of MIA’s writers killed himself because he never got over being labelled BPD.

            Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can kill the spirit!

          • Oh, so “Mrs. Narcissist” has to acknowledge how “evil” she is, but calling someone borderline is not okay?
            They “gladly assume” the role? Personally, I don’t think that people with severe disorders (and we ALL have disorders; the question is how severe) actually enjoy tormenting others, and I find your judgement of them very disturbing given your previous posts pleading for understanding and compassion.

            Additionally, I guess you never came across a shrink or therapist who saw clients as human beings and tried to help them, but I have done, plenty of times. Demonizing psychiatrists is unlikely to help anyone.

          • Vanilla your father was an abuser. Nuff said. I hope you got away from him.

            It feels like I’m being throw human beings on a garbage heap by these “sanists.” Cause it seems THEY think THEY’RE “normal” and “mentally healthy.” If throwing people away and telling them they’re toxic and need to commit suicide is “sane” I hate their sanity.

            I have a BPD label but I’d never do that to another person, “toxic” though I may be. 😛

            Ostracism and solitary confinement work wonders on reforming people.

          • This is going to be my last comment here.
            I didn’t get away from my father, but knowing that the person I have to deal with is “a narcissist” makes it more possible to have some kind of relationship without causing myself too much trauma.

            People who lack self awareness and go through life blaming others for their problems (whether “borderline” or “narcissist” or whatever else) – yes, they’re probably best avoided, for sure in long-term committed relationships unless the other person has a ton of support and really understands what they are getting into.
            However, people who “are borderline” or otherwise, and who have awareness of their issues and try their best not to hurt others are in a different category.

            At the end of the day, it’s probably going to be a matter of perspective and so if you’re happy telling me that I should be far away from my “abuser” father (yes, I agree that he’s abusive) then you have to understand that other people from their perspective will think that “borderlines” etc. are best avoided.

          • I absolutely respect your right to make your own mind up about your own relationship with your father, and if thinking of him as a “narcissist” helps you maintain that connection, why would anyone criticize you for using it? I’m not talking about colloquial usage such as what you’re describing, but about the way these labels are used by professionals to judge and condemn people and to limit their options with the full power of the medical community behind them. I’m sorry if my comments came across in any other way.

          • Boans wanders into the room, picks up the can from the floor, and reads the label. “Worms:50 varieties”. He places it quietly back on the floor, scratches his head and thinks ‘how can I agree with both of them’?’ And wanders back out.

          • Well, it’s a toss-up between being considered clingy and manipulative and responsible for one’s behavior, VS being considered mentally ill and not responsible.
            What the truth is, is another matter, but all the people getting upset about the labels are concerned about what other people think, not about what the truth is.
            So, yes, one can easily make a very good case for lack of responsibility (due to mental imbalance, trauma, etc.) being progress from “He’s just a jerk who uses other people and couldn’t care less.”
            What’s a good alternative?
            “Poor thing, he’s a victim of trauma.” And yet, most people just don’t buy that when it comes to the damage often wreaked by people who are undeniably victims of trauma. I mean, plenty of people are victims of trauma yet don’t become manipulative and clingy.
            So until someone comes up with something viable and better, maybe “disordered” is better than “nasty”?

          • I’ll reserve the right to go case by case on that last point. While I don’t condemn a person as nasty, some do engage in some pretty nasty behavior!

            But I do appreciate your point.

  13. Chaya, I very much identified with your post and agree with your observations. I find it illogical that psychiatrists make such light of holistic health success stories when their failure stories are so extreme and common. Even their success stories are dubious in my eyes. They are not as energetically vibrant and physically attractive as many in the psychiatric survivor community. Many just do not appear normal. Something I have noticed of people that seem to tolerate the drugs well is that they appear to drink a ton of water that may effectively wash the drugs out of their system.

  14. @ Steve McCrea

    Thanks for eliminating my previous comments. However, a point I made in one of them is that the struggle for people with Borderline in particular to access therapy is a form of medical neglectfulness. So they are given a medical label and then that label perversely bars them from accessing appropriate medical help ie intensive and long-term psychotherapy.

    What therapies work for borderline personality disorder? I’m aware of three, which are structured, long-term and intensive. DBT, MBT and schema therapy, two of which make 24/7 crisis phone support available to the suffering person. As the two youtube women engaged in overcoming their difficulties I linked to underlined, you have to ultimately be engaged in wanting to get better. A therapist is really only a guide and someone to lean on.

    If you don’t think there is anything wrong with people with a peronality disorder, whether that be borderline, narcissistic or antisocial, then you are effectively denying their suffering and their pain, and the horrendous pain and turmoil they can bring into the lives of others.

    Calling these people self-centred is maybe an accurate generalism at turns, but is probably more dehumanising than validating their problems with a diagnosis.

    Yes, we are better off focusing on the behavior itself. I’m not sure how you would go about doing that if you also think there is nothing wrong with these people. The whole point of therapy is to address behaviour, and the underlying thinking processes, and helping someone’s social and moral compass develop in a way that brings more harmony rather than strife and endless conflict to their relationships.

    • Do you not believe a person can decide to alter their behavior without having something medically “wrong” with him/her?

      I am certainly not denying the need to help people with their challenges in life. I’m saying that calling someone “borderline” doesn’t really mean much, because people who qualify for that label are all over the map in terms of what, if anything, is “wrong” with them and what actually might be helpful. I say this as a person who has helped many, many people with this diagnosis and has been particularly successful at helping such folks. And often, they needed plenty of help. I’m objecting to the idea that needing help = having a disease, and that we can judge someone’s “diagnosis” based on their behavior.

      • People have become unhealthily obsessed with the utility of nouns!

        Late Saturday night my old dog suffered a stroke. That’s the name the vet gave it early this morning. If you dig deeper, and are of a maddeningly pedantic bent, strictly speaking it wasn’t a stroke. It was a cerebrovascular accident arising from vestibular disease. Bit of a mouthful, uh… and what does that even mean to a non-veterinarian?

        So my poor old buddy suffered a stroke and when I say that, you know immediately what I am talking about, in very general terms. The word facilitates an instant understanding. Of sorts.

        Now not every stroke in a dog (or cerebrovascular accident arising from vestibular disease) manifests in exactly the same way, but there are some common factors and the prognosis varies too, depending on the underlying causes, the fitness of the dog prior to the event and so on and so forth etc.

        Steve, I’m not much invested in what-ifs when it comes to these real-life issues. It’s way too serious when you’re invested some way in life-threatening conditions such as borderline, there really isn’t time to take-five and expend time imagining how differemt things could be if there was a sociocultural revolution which supplanted psychiatry and replaced all its diagnostic nouns with pregnant pauses and knowing looks.

        In much the same way the vet chose a convenient shorthand. Was she wrong to do that? Would it have been better, if, when I asked her what was wrong with my dog, she squeezed my hand, and said, “Don’t ask me what is wrong with your dog. Ask me what happened to your dog?”

        When really I knew already what had happened to my dog. It was bloody clear what had happened to my dog. What I wanted to know was what was now in this moment and henceforth wrong with my dog and what could I do to help my dog get back on his feet? What could I do to increase the probablity that the crazy little bugger didn’t snuff it?

        I don’t mean to make light of these issues.

        What if I got entangled in a debate with the vet that dragged on for 20 years or more? Me endlessly insisting that there was no such thing as stroke, that it was too generalised, that it didn’t matter, that it was a completely unnecessary term and so on. And encouraged others to invest their energies into that? When those same energies could be more sensibly invested in self-learning and overcoming and personal betterment…

        What if every time I encountered a vet I took them to one side and insisted there was no such thing as a dog stroke. That stroke was a completely meaningless and pointless and deceptive term to apply to dogs? What if I pointed out that so few studies had been conducted on dogs that no-one had a freakin’ clue what a stroke actually was in a dog? And so on?

        I wouldn’t be wrong, but would I be wise?

        Would would be the point? I do all that and take a moment to check the hound and he’s dead and done for…

        The majority of people I encounter online and in real-life don’t have a hang-up about psychiatric nouns. Reading here you get a very different impression. It’s not representative of the bigger picture in that sense. But no-one is stopping people setting up their own countercultural subgroups in which they can choose their own preferred nouns, or none at all. They can do whatever they like.

        Besides, in Europe, in the UK, borderline is on the way out. It’s a dying noun. In it’s place we have emotionally unstable personality disorder. EUPD. A kind of dark unintended homage to brexit.

        To conclude, I respect your position. I don’t agree with it. But I can live with it. I hope the people that reject psychiatry find their peace and their personal meaning and reach a place of livable equanimity for themselves and the people around them. But I would also ask that these same people pull their hands away from their faces at times and come to terms with the fact that many people *are* helped by psychiatry. I know it’s hard, I’ve been there, I know…

        There are proven therapies like Linehan’s DBT and Fonagy and Bateman’s MBT and so on that have great potential in helping people, especially at the more severe end of sufferimg. I want to see a world where people get a medical diagnosis such as borderline and that then opens doors to substantive medical help. I believe that stands a greater chance of coming to fruition in the world we live in. You will disagree and so will others and I have no problem with that. I’m not interested in scoring intellectual points or proving I have the biggest balls in the text box (well, not all the time…)

        That’s me done.

        • It’s not that simple.
          Psychiatrists can inflict unalterable, and legally unchallengeable labels which tell the world that a person is inherently untrustworthy, manipulative, dishonest and abusive. This description follows the patient wherever their medical records go. In my country, that is everywhere via a national health number. It is a conviction without trial. These labels cause serious harm to those designated,

          I know there are people who are all the above, and most never enter the psychiatric system. There would be at least as many people working in psychiatry who fit this description, as patients, and they are in the position of being able to punitively label patients in this way

          • Gasp! Out, how can you DEMONIZE those poor oppressed psychiatrists? They’re the only group in Western Civilization who knows what it is to be persecuted or discriminated against. 😛

            Sob!

            As lowly “survivors” we can never appreciate the stigma and oppression they face all the time. Stigma affects them and no one else.

            They live in voluntary poverty like members of a religious order to show love to others. They never take vacations either.

            *Sarcasm. Like you couldn’t tell.*

  15. Rasselas, thanks for that account , really, it makes incredibly interesting reading, and I guess you are saying to that the antis here should reflect on what they wish for.

    I would add my admiration for the police, by the way, who react so calmly and non-judgementally, and in doing so gain instant respect which further helps the crisis. If only MH teams had some of that poise and experience.

    Some people here have had good experiences with psychiatry. Others markedly different. We had polar opposites in psychiatrists: one did nothing, the other heavily medicated. I felt deceived, threatened and coerced. I’m not fully anti, but psychiatry is running out of time to discover genuine respect and honesty. I don’t agree with labels because they are permanent and disempowing. I think you should get therapy and DBT if you currently display a need. We were told , sorry, youve not got the right label and it means I can treat your thoughts, mood, anxieties, fears and phobias with chemicals that 100% work. I just cannot do anything but condemn that psychiatric approach .

    I think a big problem is the power the psychiatrist has: both patients and MH workers are scared of what he/she will “do” next that will not be “informed consent”. I think if you simply take away forced medication (except in extreme emergencies) that would change the way the system works. We were never forced, but the threat affects everything.

    • Thanks for the kindly words.

      There are so many problems with our mental health systems, it can be quite dispiriting thinking about it.

      In the UK the best chance many people have is to assert their NHS right to choose under the patient’s charter. That involves getting a GP on board and playing abacus with the keepers of the purse-strings, the Clinical Commissioning Group. And then having the staying power of Joseph K…

      Forced treatment is wrong in many cases, I agree. But there are times when certain individuals would never see the light of day unless it was implemented.

      Power imbalances in psychiatric health systems can be very frightening, I agree. Although, in many ways, that is their intended function. A lot of the processes are deliberately intended to bring about behavioral and attitudinal change through classic behavioral techniques. I have yet to meet a psychiatric survivor who has not tempered down their self as a consequence of being tortured or abused, or treated if you prefer. So, unfortunately, these brutal techniques do their work. I suppose those that don’t change, end up dead. Like McMurphy.

      • Dead like McMurphy, or Muslims like Bilal (as).

        The problem with torture in order to obtain confessions arises when the tortured has nothing to confess. I think about the man being beaten before the battle of Uhud, when the Prophet Muhammad (saw) said that it was not effective to beat a man for telling the truth (I don’t know) and then stop when he tells you what you want to hear. There are other ways of interrogating people that can reveal what you want to know that do much less harm.

        • Child beating can make kids tone down “bad behaviors.” This worked for the Victorians Dickens depicted so scathingly. Oliver Twist was a “good little boy” because Mr. Bumble beat him so much.

          Torturing criminals might help them “be good.” Remember the premise to A Clockwork Orange? And most psych victims aren’t even criminals.

          Not all changes from torture are good ones. My great aunt quit acting as flagrantly weird. But she was a broken woman who hid in a backroom at grandpa’s till she died. Often I saw a look of terror in her eyes. Grandpa hated psychiatry and warned me off my drugs. If he can see me now he is smiling. 🙂

          I will forgive the men who ruined my life. But they did ruin it. Denying the damage they have done would make forgiveness impossible. How can you forgive someone who never hurt you?

          Solzhenietzin and Viktor Frankl grew as a result of the atrocities they faced. But they were atrocities.

          The establishment meant it for evil; God meant it for good.

          • I try and balance the hurt people have inflicted on me with the hurt I’ve inflicted on others. I have no way of knowing what sorrows linger in peoples’ hearts. But I do know the sorrows that linger in mine.

          • Your great aunt quit acting as flagrantly weird…
            I bet her kids were relieved.

            Do you think her “freedom” to act weird was more important than the right of her kids (if she had any) to not be picked on by their peers for having a weird mother? More important than the stigma that attached to her whole family?

            Yes, there shouldn’t be any stigma. Right. But in the real world…
            Taking responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions is what most people would call a sane behavior, but of course “sane” is a dirty word on MIA…

          • She never had kids. Her life was over at 17.

            She was a sweet woman. Her occasional looks of agony would melt a heart of stone.

            Funny how Grandpa loved her. Many others did. You never met her, Vanilla, but you sound like you assume she deserved to be tortured.

            Treating a harmless madwoman worse than a convicted felon. Real compassion!

            She never hurt anyone the way the shrinks hurt her. But since they took responsibility for controlling others’ actions that makes them Super Sane! No diagnosis=perfectly sane (saintly.)

          • Never ceases to amaze me either RR.
            I sometimes see the test for the torturer as one of a belief that they ARE God. All that power over another. Like Oppenheimers comment about “I am become God”. And yet the hole in the ground awaits them as much as it does me. They just have more stuff here as a magnet to not wish leaving for another place where the disease in their hearts will be ‘treated’ lol.
            And all their stuff? Know what they say, where there’s a will, there’s relatives.

        • One thing when someone anonymous proposes it on a website, another when your government submits a Bill in Parliament suggesting forced sterilisation as treatment for mental illness.
          Psychosurgery and ECTs for 12 year olds, who can give consent?
          Wish list not granted, you’ll have to find loopholes.

          • I’m kinda happy being an annoying rabbit lol. I could never live up to the standards and expectations of those is the psych world in order to be considered human. But imagine their surprise when they catch their own reflection at some point.
            I think about one particular abuser in our system who locks people up for not having their dishes done when he pays a surprise visit. Knock, knock, morality police check.

    • There are people here I will never respond to again because of their insults. I’m all for answering questions but I draw the line at personal attacks when I try to be nice.

      Other psychiatric apologists have been annoying but never acted this horribly. (Except GMYK.) If they harass me by posting insults under my comments two can play the moderator game.

  16. Posting as moderator here:

    I have allowed more to pass than I ought to in the discussion of personality disorder diagnoses, because I thought it was an important discussion. However, it has more recently deteriorated into a more personalized and hurtful place. I am calling a halt to that right now. I think we’ve established that there are people who view personality disorder labels as having positive applications and others who believe they are generally used harmfully. We’re not going to resolve this issue by further discussion – people are allowed to disagree with each other on this point, and neither side is going to “win.”

    I would ask that the comments return to the topic of “ableism” in psychiatric practice and get away from making any generalizations about people who happen to be labeled with a particular diagnosis. It is find to share one’s own personal experiences, but it’s not OK in this space to talk about “borderlines” or any other diagnostic category in derogatory ways.

  17. I would ask that the comments return to the topic of “ableism” in psychiatric practice and get away from making any generalizations about people who happen to be labeled with a particular diagnosis.

    Yes, to make such generalizations is to accept the validity of psychiatric “diagnoses.”

    On the question of ableism and “mainstream” psychiatry, while I commend Chaya for starting this discussion, to me when one talks about “mainstream” psychiatry doing this or that it implies that there is a “non-mainstream” psychiatry that is better. This is also my issue with those who refer to “biological” psychiatry. Psychiatry is psychiatry — it believes in “mental illness” and “treatment” for unwanted thought, feeling and behavior. This is the essential and unresolvable contradiction.