Today, Thursday, September 6, sees the culmination of many months of ‘behind the scenes’ effort with the launch of Mad in the UK. MITUK is one of a growing number of MIA affiliated sites, including Mad in America Hispano-Hablante, Mad in Asia, Mad in Brasil and Mad in Finland.
Acting in concert with MIA, Mad in the UK will carry UK-specific content and provide a voice for UK professionals, service users/survivors, peer activists, carers, researchers, teachers, trainers, lawyers, journalists, volunteers and others who are working for change in the field of what is usually referred to as ‘mental health’.
MITUK believes that the current diagnostically-based paradigm of care has comprehensively failed, as indicated by lack of evidence for its core tenets, rising numbers of those diagnosed ‘mentally ill’, and increasing concern about the failure of much ‘treatment’ to help people recover. MITUK, along with many others, believes that the future lies in non-medical alternatives which explicitly acknowledge the causal role of social and relational conflicts, abuses, adversities and injustices. We campaign for a change in the professional and public discourse about emotional distress and unusual experiences; for support, both within and beyond services, which meets people’s real needs; and for social policy which addresses the causes of distress at its roots. MITUK will offer a hub for critical discussion, campaigning and action. In addition, MITUK will provide links to the many other resources, projects and organisations which are also developing positive ways forward.
The MITUK Collective
MITUK is published by a collective, with James Moore as technical link to MIA. The collective is at present composed of 10 people with varying and overlapping backgrounds and interests. 7 of us have survivor experience and 5 of us have MH professional backgrounds (and some have both). However, we hope that our discussions will move beyond a number of unhelpful binaries that rarely reflect complex reality, such as survivor vs professional, taking vs not taking psychiatric drugs, working within vs working outside services, psychologists vs psychiatrists, and so on. The membership is likely to vary according to time, energy, and other commitments.
Our basic position on biomedical model and diagnostically-based practice is clear, and will guide our content and blogs. The great majority of information sources support the existing paradigm and it is common for people to have entire psychiatric careers, as both service users and staff, without being offered critiques or alternatives. If informed choice is to mean anything, this needs to change. Since we hope to facilitate constructive discussion in all areas, we will occasionally publish more mainstream perspectives for debate. We are aware that these are very emotive issues and the resulting discussions can be upsetting for all parties. We will strive to promote respectful debate, free from discrimination, abuse or personal attack by moderating blog comments and other discussion spaces proactively. (See our commenting guidelines.) We will also promote the creative arts including theatre, poetry, cartoons and artwork.
Long experience has taught many of us that the mere act of questioning current orthodoxies, offering alternatives or disagreeing with senior figures can result in backlash. We anticipate that this site will be subject to the same reactions — indeed, some of them were apparent even before the launch. We believe that everyone has a right to their own opinion on these controversial issues. We believe equally strongly that very few people are given enough information for a full assessment of the arguments. Furthermore, we deplore the worrying tendency to imply, or sometimes openly say, that views challenging the status quo should not be expressed at all. This silencing can take various forms, from distorting the arguments or relentless trolling or attributing them to personal/professional ambition and malice, to alleging that these views are intrinsically damaging, shaming, attacking or abusive. This can result in some curious paradoxes. For example, if you spend too long on social media you could end up with the impression that people across the country are being stripped of their diagnoses regardless of their preferences and need for access to services. The truth is that virtually no one is offered an alternative to diagnostic practice, and anyone who protests at the imposition of these categories is at risk of punishment for their ‘lack of insight.’ Meanwhile, the damage often caused by routine psychiatric practice continues and even escalates. The much-quoted figure of ‘1 and 4’ experiencing ‘mental illness’ is heading towards 4 in 4, and in a similar trend, prescriptions are soaring with no decrease in the ‘epidemics’ of various forms of distress. Something is badly wrong.
In this topsy-turvy turmoil, as one paradigm collapses and new ones emerge, MITUK is committed to telling the truth as we see it, regardless of controversy. We are at a historic moment in the history of psychiatry, with a unique opportunity to help shape a better future. We welcome your interest, comments and contributions.
If you are interested in writing a blog for Mad in the UK, read our submission guidelines here.
You can read our Mission Statement here.
“The collective is at present composed of 10 people with varying and overlapping backgrounds and interests. 7 of us have survivor experience and 5 of us have MH professional backgrounds (and some have both).”
Why the lack of transparency from the off?
I mean to ask, Why is only one of the ten people involved in the Mad in the UK collective willing to have their identity out in the open?
One of the abiding aspects of Mad in America I respect is that the identity of everyone involved in its running is proudly shared. Way to go.
At a guess it’ll be the Power Threat Meaning Model cabal. I wonder why they are being so shy about it? At least 65% of people that suffer psychosis don’t have an underlying trauma. So, why push a model that is only relevant to 35% of the mad? Seems a bit of a power imbalance in itself.
Of course, understanding how these things tend to pan out, none of these questions are likely to be answered.
It’s a shame because the main strength of Mad In America is its plurality of voices and viewpoints.
Headline: Mad in the UK “collective” Snubs Mad People
“Headline: Mad in the UK “collective” Snubs Mad People”
Congratulations to all involved and welcome indeed to MITUK.
TRM 123. Retired Consultant Physician.
I look forward to seeing how this progresses
I belong to the MAD tribe, above all others.
Most humans are Mad without knowing it. Secure in the post-hypnotic-trance state that feels like word recognition is a true recognition of reality.
Looking into a mirror with insane belief that the word Eyes, is true recognition of their Eyes.
Which, l suspect, is why a survivor asked Robert the question “what do you see when you look in a mirror?”
Word Recognition is not the Recognition of Reality. And the experience of metempsychosis is about waking up to the truth that language is not human nature.
But our early life adaptation to the survival skill of literacy & numeracy, as memory. Makes us feel like we are our Mind?
“They seeing, see not and in no wise perceive” The Prophet.
“However, we hope that our discussions will move beyond a number of unhelpful binaries that “rarely reflect complex reality, such as survivor vs professional, taking vs not taking psychiatric drugs, working within vs working outside services, psychologists vs psychiatrists, and so on.”
I actually think you’ve got helpful binaries here that do in fact reflect a complex reality, and I wouldn’t like to see them brushed over, censored and ignored. I would not be happy if the entire world were conceived of as just one big psychiatric institution. I’m hoping to run across other people here at MIA and MITUK who aren’t mental health personnel or “service users”. If such people still exist anymore, I think we’d have a lot in common.
Hope you don’t mind me being lazy and piling on a little instead of just doing my own response.
unhelpful binaries that “rarely reflect complex reality, such as survivor vs professional”
So already survivors are being expected to act as though the major power differentiation in the world for many — the clear line between them and their professional monitors — is merely an “unhelpful binary,” which should be disregarded and ignored. Whose ends might this serve? Perhaps we also could eliminate racial oppression by similarly disregarding the “unhelpful binaries” of Black & white, and women can achieve liberation by ignoring the “unhelpful binaries” of male and female.
I’m anxious to see the responses from Auntie Psychiatry, Streetphotobeing and other anti-psychiatry survivors in the UK. (That would still include Canada, right?)
It would appear from here that, for better or worse, MITUK will continue in the grand tradition of MIA by a) demonstrating in its articles that psychiatry is fundamentally flawed in its conception, inherently destructive, corrupt by definition, and not subject to “reform”; and b) frantically backing away from any suggestion that psychiatry should be eliminated asap in favor of an endless process of “rethinking.”
We need an organized anti-psychiatry. (Mad In America) MIA seems to be expanding into a (Mad International) MI. I don’t know whether you’d consider that “critical psychiatry” or what? Consider, there is a Critical Psychiatry Network, mainly in the UK. Bio-psychiatry has the WPA, the APA, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Not much of an organized anti-psychiatry yet, just CAPA in Canada that I know about. Auntie Psychiatry, Streetphotobeing, et al., how about an Antipsychiatry UK? OldHead, Dragon Slayer, Uprising, Boans, and others, why not an Antipsychiatry USA? Even an Antipsychiatry Houston, or an Antipsychiatry NYC? Why let the Church of Scientology have all the fun? The monster we are facing is tremendous and very organized, and its got us where it wants us so long as we are divided and disorganized. If we need to fight fire with fire, start striking those matches. A single spark can start a prairie fire, as Comrade Chairman Mao Tse-tung once wrote.
Many, maybe most of these people identify as abolitionist, not just opposed to court-imposed “treatment.” I think Emily Cutler is working on a project which may focus on the “civil rights” approach you seem to prefer, as opposed to an abolitionist one. Though Emily may be more invested in “reform” than you would have the stomach for.
I’m for the abolition of non-consensual coercive psychiatry, or psychiatric slavery. The very thing Thomas Szasz spent much of his career fighting. I’m not opposed to consensual non-coercive psychiatry. Why would I be? What can psychiatry do to me if I can say “no” to it? I think it naive to assume that if psychiatry were abolished, but if forced treatment were not abolished, you wouldn’t have some other pseudo-science take over from what was once called psychiatry (alienism, mad doctoring, etc.). I’m for the abolition of psychiatric oppression. Psychiatric freedom however is a matter of personal choice. I will let others pursue this matter of non-consensually coercing psychiatrists to do whatever. Personally, I want no part of curtailing psychiatric freedoms if that’s what you’re all about. I’m not for reform. I would outlaw forced treatment. Reform is all about either more or less force. Get rid of force, and you’ve gotten rid of that.
I don’t blame everything on psychiatry, and say, eliminate it, and everything is going to be hunky dory. I think that formula is simplistic, and I don’t think it will, ultimately, work. I see all these related and subordinate fields and people working with psychiatry to make it what it is. They don’t do so ‘involuntarily’. If psychiatry goes, and you’ve done nothing about them, they are going to step in, and “fill that vacuum” so to speak. They are as much to blame as it is to blame. To pretend that if you just got rid of that discipline everything is going to come up roses is to wear blinders.
Of course, we could always have an antipsychiatry that tells everybody how to think, and says if you don’t think this way you aren’t antipsychiatry. The question is how narrow do you want to make our focus. How many potential allies do you want to alienate. I’m content to call myself antipsychiatry regardless of where you should go with the matter. There is little love lost there between me and that faith as far as I”m concerned.
Do we all wear blinders, Frank? Is word recognition, the recognition of Reality?
Are you your mind, or does it simply seem that way through the repetitious process of habit formation?
Can you write a few word’s about how your thoughts are Energized? Shifting your attention process to the unseen environment within your body?
It’s difficult l know, and post modernists suggest, we all trapped in the third person dichotomy of our mind’s. The outside looking in view of our own reality. Cursed by the impulse to take experience for granted & suffering from a diabolical Self-ignorance.
“Knowledge is the only good, ignorance the only evil.” -Socrates
I was referring to the attitude that would blame everything wrong in “mental health” “care” on psychiatry, and expect the solution to be the elimination of psychiatry, as unreal and formulaic. Psychiatry is not the source of all humanities problems, nor can it’s elimination be considered a solution to those problems. Simply put, the root of all evil is not psychiatry.
It’s one thing to demand an end to psychiatric oppression. It’s quite another thing to demand an end to psychiatry. What I’m saying, essentially, is that psychiatry is not ALL oppression, and to treat it as such is to ignore any psychiatry that is not oppressive.
I’m not selling psychiatry. I have no interest in lounging on the psychiatrist’s couch. I don’t however think I should be preventing anybody who wants to seek psychiatric counseling from doing so. I am more interested in defending people who don’t want psychiatric services from having those services imposed upon them entirely against their will and wishes.
I keep hearing about a desire on the part of some people for coming up with a set of principles delineating what they think antipsychiatry should be. I further imagine them trying to expel people from the ranks of what they would call the movement because they would not be regarded as reflecting, in their opinion, the “true” antipsychiatry faith. Thomas Szasz critiqued psychiatry as a religion, and as an ideology. I’m saying here that the same dangers exist for antipsychiatry. I wouldn’t want to see it become some sort of counter religious sect to the religion of psychiatry. Nor would I find it particularly helpful if it were fashioned into an ideology for the perusal of ideologues.
I get the feeling that the revolution will not be televised, it will not go better with Coke,
Spike Milligan once siad he wanted the words “See, I told you I was ill” put on his headstone. I think that when psychiatry comes to an end with the destruction of the planet, their headstone might read “See, we told them they were ill”.
Maybe we need to see this war in much longer terms, generations perhaps. MIA being a reference for those who are yet to come.
I really like Richards comments about recognising the divisive nature of internal ‘politics’. The need to defend oneself from an external threat tends to out these matters on the backburner. Still, how many times have great leaders thought they had it all under control only to speak the words “I didn’t see that coming”?
Hi Frank Blankenship,
Please allow me to instill a few remarks about what you wrote:
“Psychiatry is not the source of all humanities problems, nor can it’s elimination be considered a solution to those problems. Simply put, the root of all evil is not psychiatry.”
The root of all evil, violence, danger, and suffering, as René Girard would have had put it, is ourselves.
Institutional psychiatry is the reflection of our (insane) social order. Such institution is supported by us, the people.
Standing as the highest moral authority in our societies, it defines what is good behavior and what is not. It is a secular priesthood, having just replaced the religious one. Also, there is no subject more political than psychiatry, since it applies pure, State-sanctioned, power, without the need for any sound intellectual justification. Nor is any subject more ideological, because psychiatry provides the terms and conceptual framework under which human nature and social destiny are defined nowadays. In the end, psychiatry is not merely a medical speciality, but an ideology and culture. The psychiatric discourse/propaganda pervades our culture and lifestyle.
If psychiatry is quintessential fascism, then antipsychiatry, in its positive, even glorious appraisal of madness, represents the revolutionary drive. In plain word, far-right vs. ultra-left.
You sound Szaszian in style, yet don’t seem to acknowledge what the king of (anti)psychiatry has professed about the history of the subject at hand: its being a continuation of the Inquisition, its similarity to chattel slavery, its playing a central role in the kind of political movement that was deemed by historians as the realization of the absolute evil.
For survivors who felt in their most intimate existence what it was like to be psychiatrized, not even to mention those survivors who went through minimal reading, it doesn’t take long to side with Peter Breggin on his conclusion that “psychiatry epitomizes what’s evil.”
Abolishing psychiatry involves way more than abolishing a particular medical discipline. It involves rethinking the whole rule of law of modern States. Beyond the efforts at debunking diagnoses and drug treatments (a waste of time for seasoned militants such as us), the most necessary and fundamental role of the antipsychiatry movement is, in my present view, to question the very postulates on which our mental and social structures are grounded.
When we consider psychiatry historically as a medical police or a secular Inquisition, it becomes clear that psychiatry can never be reformed into a consensual, non-coercive therapeutic service, as you fancied above. As long as the belief in the myth of mental illness goes unchallenged, our societies are going to put up with the kind of obscurantism that prevailed when witchcraft was accepted as a true and legitimate fact during medieval times.
Of course, in the middle ages there was no psychiatry. I’m saying that psychiatry has a lot of help from it’s friends. Ignore those friends at your own peril. Although some few friends of those friends would be enemies of psychiatry, many, many more of them would be friends of psychiatry. What’s more, should they turn on psychiatry, they are not likely to become friends of psychiatric survivors, now or ever.
I don’t think the problem is psychiatry per se. Having experienced, endured, and survived it, I think the problem is forced treatment. Psychiatry doesn’t actually equate with forced treatment. I don’t give a fig about psychiatry, however, if you were to abolish psychiatry, without abolishing forced treatment, the problem remains the same.
This also leads to the question of whether we would, and I imagine we would, have to use force to abolish psychiatry as a discipline and profession. This brings up even more ethical issues, for example, would we actually be supporting the civil liberties of people who have been assaulted and abused by psychiatry by depriving psychiatrists of their civil liberties? You can see the contradiction and dilemma involved here, can’t you? At that, I leave it with you.
Thomas Szasz, to whom you refer, was a lifelong opponent of forced psychiatry. So am I. I don’t think treatment should be forced on anyone. That’s punishment, it isn’t treatment, and it certainly has nothing to do with medicine. I am, like him, anti-forced-psychiatry. As for freely given and received psychiatry, why would I be against that? I am against psychiatric assault, and it doesn’t seem to me that that kind of thing would qualify as assault.
Psychiatry has a lot of friends, basically anyone who leaves it unchecked or draws on it to scapegoat those who question the social order. Psychiatry’s congenital friendship is with the family, the root source of alienation. Psychiatry is merely a reproduction of the familial body, by objectifying definitively, under the name of “mental illness”, the effort of the youth to become wholly free and responsible human beings.
Our main disagreement is in the statement “Psychiatry doesn’t actually equate with forced treatment.” In 2014, you commented on the article “It’s the Coercion, Stupid?” by David Cohen. Coercion is the cornerstone of psychiatry. A commenter replied to you, saying that psychiatric force is the linchpin of the profession. After four years shouting at the wall of psychiatry, have you found evidence of the contrary?
I’m surprised to hear you worry about depriving psychiatrists of their civil liberties. The capacity of jailing and prescribing is not a civil rights matter. Shrinks could recycle into general practitioners and keep handing over major tranquilizers or phonecalling the police to put unstable psychotic persons into arrest. You can see the difference here, can’t you?
So, you seek to reform psychiatry—that is, remove coercive practices from it, but leave the rest of the pseudoscience undisturbed by public scrutiny. Well, as Phil “The Behaviorator” Hickey argued on this site, psychiatry cannot be reformed, only abolished. A true reform would imply to debunk the myth of mental illness, and one cannot recognize the self-contradictory nature of this concept without bringing about the suicide of the profession.
Not only would psychiatric witch-hunting expertises in court need to be forbidden, departments of psychiatry in universities would have to be shut down too. And to make sure that Lucifer’s offsprings never come back under this medical form again, we have to stop calling “therapy” any compulsory measures of help: forced help is not help but torture. To accept this simple fact is to destroy the therapeutic State, currently supported by “friends” of psychiatry all around us who fancy the idea of imposing a therapy on their fellows to “benevolently” cure them from their bad thoughts and behaviors.
We are talking mostly about psychiatry here because it is the hot spot of the mental health movement. Well, psychotherapy in general can be just as abusive (Jeffrey Masson’s “Against Therapy”). Any psychotherapy comes with the risk of a “therapeutic double-bind”. Psychotherapy also is futile for a number of reasons. In the end, it is part of a right-wing agenda. Only the family therapy, and the counselling/coaching types, could be acceptable in my understanding of our kind of political struggle.
I agree that psychiatric oppression goes beyond forced “treatment”; it’s the entire narrative that must be deconstructed, exposed, and eliminated from public discourse. The idea of “consensual” psychiatry remains an idea yet to be realized, in my view.
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine how the inquisition could do business in witchcraft without subjecting people to ordeals as per divine prescription. Likewise, it’s hard to think of a psychiatry dealing with alleged “mental diseases” without resorting to authoritarian biomedical treatments as per naturalistic and humanistic obligation.
Please check the spelling of my pseudonym. You may diagnose me with typo-sensitive disorder 😉
Let me clear up some confusion if that’s what we’ve got here. Were I to say all suits are black, that premise would be in error so long as there are also green, blue, and gray suits. Coercion may be the cornerstone of psychiatry, however, all psychiatry is not coercive. One parallel here is with sexual assault. So long as all sex is not (as with rape) assaultive, I see no reason to outlaw sex. Sexual assault is, the way coercive psychiatry should be, illegal.
I worry about psychiatrists depriving people of their civil liberties. Would I have other people deprive them, or anybody else for that matter, of their civil liberties? No. I would want to halt the practice of depriving people of their liberty under medical pretenses, or any other pretenses, instead. I can understand folks wanting to revenge themselves on psychiatry and psychiatrists, it’s just…there’s no end to that kind of thing, is there? Overkill begets overkill the way revolutions beget counter revolutions.
I DON’T seek to reform psychiatry. I DO seek to abolish forced psychiatry. Reform in mental health care is always a matter of more force or less force. I’m not for more force or less force, I’m for the abolition of forced mental health treatment. Abolish forced mental health treatment, literally, and that only leaves non-forced mental health treatment. I don’t want mental health treatment, period, but I’m not out to deprive anybody of that if that’s what they want out of life. They can do as they please. It’s called freedom.
I’m not peddling talk therapy, counseling, or whatever you want to call it either. Nor am I peddling any other priest, guru, or authority dimwit of any sort or another. I’m not even selling teachers. I don’t have suitcase full of books to sell. Ever go to a bookstore? You could, as a rule, get lost in the self-help section. Ditto, psychology, social work, psychiatry, etc. I don’t need any of that bunk, however, some people think they do. I think there’s an expression that goes along with that, basically, “Name your poison.”
Alright, you are an abolitionist of an inherently coercive psychiatry. You shall admit, even if a woefully criminal institution happens to do some good things (with brain toxins and super-placebo effects), the best course of action for the greater good of mankind is to shut down the whole institution, leaving nothing behind. Those few people who might complain about the abolition of this historically “glorious” profession could still go on their own to physicians for chemical lobotomies or to the police station to get locked up arbitrarily. Sounds all good to me, on the standpoint of freedom of choice.
Still, your program isn’t clear. You sound right-wing, Libertarian, by your appeal to “freedom” alone, “live and let live” mindset. My program is resolutely leftist, involving the suppression of the biomedical Gestapo (far right) and its replacement with a psychosocial-democracy (center left). Philosophically, it requires the annihilation of (anti)psychiatry.
But my question is, how do you seek to abolish coercive psychiatry if not by spreading the message about its totally corrupt intellectual foundations? Unless you think the quintessence of fascism is not totally hostile to reason, facts, and common sense.
Thanks for following up.
I have no affection for institutional psychiatry, and so I guess you could say we are in agreement so far as the first paragraph of your response goes.
Second paragraph, I’m left libertarian, not right. You might have me confused with the Libertarian Party. Wrong party. I find the sentence that reads, “Philosophically, it requires the annihilation of (anti)psychiatry”, very unclear as in annihilate what precisely?
Third paragraph, coercive psychiatry is the law. Talk isn’t going to change that, but, of course, it could be seen as working in that direction. It’s not a matter of bad philosophy, it is a matter of bad law. The law needs to be changed. I’d say we’ve got two routes to the same goal. 1. What’s not likely to happen anytime soon, repeal of mental health law, or 2. passage and enforcement of the Optimal Protocol of the UN CRPD, the constraint of local law through international law.
I think blaming everything on psychiatry, and expecting the solution to be the demise of psychiatry is a pipe dream. Psychiatry isn’t the problem. Human rights violations, oppression, force are the problem. It doesn’t matter whether that force comes from a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker, a family member, a loony bin goon, a bureaucrat of one kind or another, etc. Psychiatry isn’t the whole problem when you’ve got a whole psy-complex devoted, in the main, to keeping certain good people down. You take out the big shot, and you’ve just created an opening for somebody else to fill, and fill it they will.
@ Frank Blankenship,
If you are in agreement with my first paragraph, then you are decided on the fact that psychiatry, and not only forced psychiatry, has to disappear.
Leftist libertarianism is actually anarchism. That’s where I am too: anarcho-syndicalism.
I knew that my sentence about the annihilation of (anti)psychiatry would be unclear to many. I believe that a crucial element in the study of madness and the psychiatric phenomenon is philosophy of language. I wanted to avoid elaborating on this subject, and focus instead on clarifying our ideological affiliations.
Bad law is a matter of bad juridical philosophy. Are you familiar with the problem between positive law and natural law (or what’s legal and what’s moral)? If law needs to be changed, its philosophical assumptions need, too. That is why I pointed out earlier that the abolition of psychiatry (and not only coercive psychiatry) goes side by side with a rethinking of the rule of law; something like a Copernician revolution.
I’m disappointed to see how quick you are to disregard the agreed reasons why we are right to blame everything on the absolute evil incarnate. Evil is the problem. And I was expecting you to spread the message about the workings of evil, of which psychiatry is arguably the most luminous (cf. Lucifer) reflection.
At this point, you may want to tell me some more about how you effectively do political education under the banner of antipsychiatry. What are your main points to rip the whole fabric of psychiatry apart? In my book, the myth of mental illness is a good start.
There is a big gulf between the public mental health system and private practice. Privatization is another matter, related to the public system. When I say institutional psychiatry, I mean the big and small institutions with their locked doors and human rights violations, etc. Generally, the less mental health *cough cough* system the better. Envisioning no psychiatry system is easy to do, in theory. In practice, not my problem, I’m not in that system.
Thumbs up, social, not individual, anarchy!
I think part of this problem, language you say, stems from Lacan, Chomsky, and others in the post-structuralist academics racket, being linguists, and situating their discipline at the top of the hierarchy. It doesn’t mean I don’t give a lot of thought to words and their usage. Just like it’s predecessors, post-structuralism is doomed to be superseded in time.
Don’t buy your bit about jurisprudence. If the idea is for the former tyrant to be superseded by another tyrant we all lose. I don’t think, in other words, you throw off the yoke of oppression just to become an oppressor yourself, not if you can help it anyway. Mental health law represents a loophole in rule of law, so much for rethinking rule of law. Close that loophole, and doing what the mental health establishment does to mental patients as a rule would be as illegal for that establishment as it is for anybody else.
Absolute? Evil incarnate? Excuse me. Didn’t I inform you that I was an atheist. Psychiatry is not evil incarnate. There is no evil incarnate, only evil brought into the world through evil acts, and those are relative. Sure, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Anything you don’t understand about “good intentions”? I’m not saying people aren’t entitled to their opinions. Are you?
Mental illness is a myth, and that’s a good place to start, but mental health is a myth, too. The mental health movement is a big part of the problem. Cower from the mental health movement, and you don’t accomplish much, talk abolition of psychiatry all you want. The mental health movement is not in actuality a mental health movement at all, it is actually a mental health treatment movement. The precondition for mental health treatment is, of course, “mental illness”, the cardinal belief of this evangelical creed.
“Evil”, “Lucifer”, etc., are symbols. Those are much harder to define than mere concepts. As it turns out, symbolic language is the privileged means of expression for the mad. Even normal language is filled with symbolic references to the real world. I don’t know why you are entertaining much mystery about this manner of speech. Psychiatrists cannot understand the schizophrenic langage, so they diagnose it as pathological. I consider myself a practical atheist and intellectual agnostic, though I have no problem relating to Jungian theory and shamanistic experiences. Besides, I support Buddhism as a science of the spirit, pantheism as a universal naturalistic religion, and my avatar used to be a feathery one. Last but not least, I think of myself as a philosopher of the Ideal (i.e. Platonist idealism, in theory of knowledge).
Seems like you are unaware of the classic dichotomy between positive law and natural law. Maybe that’s why my bit of jurisprudence does not resonate with your soul – another symbol popping up 🙂
Up to now, I find your pro-abolition program rather unfocused and bordering on relativism, not quite nihilistic. Besides the myth of mental illness, what is your position regarding the purpose and validity of psychiatric diagnoses?
Psychiatry, unlike slavery, is not a matter of ownership of man by man. Psychiatry is more than simply the institutions that detain people for observation and/or torture/treatment. Psychiatry is also about counseling and the confessional. I can’t really say get rid of babies because they waste bath water. I get the idea that that is what you’re about.
Let me help you. I’ve come up with this slogan. Abolish fortune telling! Fortune telling is the root of all evil. Fortune telling is what’s wrong with the world today. I’m sure you will agree with me. Fortune telling must be abolished. Let’s get rid of it. Oh, why have they not abolished fortune telling yet. When there are no more fortune tellers everything will be fine.
I find your pro-abolition program rather unfocused and bordering on relativism
Can I call you D for short?
Anyway, you’re missing a key point re: Frank, who, as he has repeatedly stated, is opposed to the abolition of psychiatry. (However that may be defined.) Maybe you could address that.
I thought Frank conceded that psychiatry, not just coercive psychiatry, had to be abolished as part of a meaningful plan to end forced treatment.
I’m double-checking the relevant statement:
“I have no affection for institutional psychiatry, and so I guess you could say we are in agreement so far as the first paragraph of your response goes.”
There is room for interpretation. This sounds like a subtle admission that he’s in agreement with the key point conveyed by the “first paragraph” (to shut down the whole institution for the greater good of mankind). However, it could be just an agreement about my antipathy toward institutional psychiatry. I guess we need a more precise confirmation from Frank before engaging in subsequent topics.
* * *
No, copy and paste my name. I’ve heard of no study proving that within the context of an internet discussion about antipsychiatry, you would develop obsessive copy-pasting disorder with 14-character-long pseudonyms of French origin. Anyway, it’s sad how the system did not retain the acute accent on the first letter “e”, considering that this accent has grammatical utility in English (résumé, sautéed…).
I am for the abolition of coercive non-consensual psychiatry, or forced treatment, OldHead. I was trying to make that clear however hard you must try not to comprehend it. I think this formula you’ve got, blame everything on psychiatry, get rid of the profession, and things will be hunky dory, absolute nonsense. As I keep explaining, get rid of psychiatry, WITHOUT getting rid of forced treatment (they are not synonyms), and you will basically be back at square one. I don’t hold this view of yours that psychiatrists are the bad guys, and psychologists, and anybody else associated with the mental health religion, are the good guys.
I’m not conceding on issues which involve taking people’s freedoms away from them. Coercion is the issue, not psychiatry.
If institutional psychiatry means the psychiatry that grew out of locking people up in prisons called hospitals, and not allowing them to come and go as they please. Hell, yeah. Get rid of them.
We’ve got a little problem when it comes to your version of abolition. Were we to abolish chattel slavery, no problem. We know what that is, and it has been done. Were we to abolish psychiatric slavery as well. Sure, get rid of the state hospital plantation system. Were one to say we must get rid of psychiatric freedom. Well, that’s going to be somebody else. I support the witch doctor’s right to practice his trade, and the rights of the “afflicted” to be treated by witch doctors.
I’m not really part of this dialogue Frank, I was simply clarifying your position for Desinquisiteur, who assumed you were in favor of abolishing psychiatry. You are in fact primarily interested in “abolishing” what you define as “forced” psychiatry, not ending what you call “consensual non-coercive psychiatry.” Right?
Just a point of information.
You didn’t clarify my position by suggesting that I was for reform. I’m not. You reform the mental health system by making it more or less oppressive. One group wants to employ more force, and that’s characterized as reform, another group wants to employ less force, and that’s also characterized as reform. I don’t support either of these two positions, I’m for getting rid of force altogether. When it comes to forced treatment, I’m not for reform, I’m for abolition.
No no no no…Frank, I am repeating the exact words you employ all the time and, I believe, enunciating your perspective precisely. And I did not say anything about “reform.” What about what I posted does NOT represent your consistent position on this?
If you are not apart of this dialogue, don’t make a comment, otherwise you are apart of this dialogue.
I did say something about reform.
I’m for abolition of forced treatment. Okay. You keep talking about abolition of psychiatry. I can’t but think we are on different pages regarding this matter. You continually say all psychiatry is the same, there is no better or worse psychiatry. I don’t say that. I say psychiatry that is not forced on a person is a 100 % better than psychiatry that is forced on a person. Just think, if no psychiatry were forced on anybody anywhere, wouldn’t that be an improvement. I’m not out to deprive anybody of psychiatry who wants it. I just don’t want it forced on anybody who doesn’t want it. The demand there certainly isn’t coming from the folks who have to endure the supply. I’d get rid of that supply of unwanted therapy for those who don’t want it.
I think it’s pretty clear at this point that you and Oldhead have different views on this matter. I personally see getting rid of coercion as the #1 goal, but I don’t think we’ve really succeeded until we get rid of psychiatry’s power to define “mental illnesses” by their whackadoodle DSM manual. This manual helps decide who does and doesn’t get “treatment” and what kind of “treatment” is paid for, which has a huge influence on what is available to the general public. Many people would seek other options if they knew that they had them. So yeah, legal coercion has to go, first and foremost, but I will not be happy until other less obvious manifestations of force are also addressed and eliminated.
I personally don’t think the DSM means much when you can do what you can’t do now, that is, walk away from therapy. People spent years in psychiatric hospitals for not admitting to having a “mental illness”, a DSM label. Give them the freedom to walk away from what amounts to a psychiatric prison, and the label is shredded wastepaper basket meat.
I don’t know that this is true. The influence that psychiatry has over the narrative of what is and isn’t normal has a huge impact on how schools are run, for instance. If there is no DSM, there is no “ADHD” and no justification for putting kids on Ritalin. Most parents do “voluntarily” put their kids on stimulants, but it’s not really voluntary when they are lied to about the “causes” and the “consequences of untreated ‘ADHD'” and the “mildness” of Ritalin, and even how supposedly kids with ‘ADHD’ react differently to stimulants than “normal” kids (which has long since been disproven). For sure, let’s get rid of overt force, but I think we also need to get rid of the redefinition of social problems as medical ones, because most of psychiatry is ostensibly “voluntary” based on misleading the patient or their representative.
My view is that psychiatrists only represent the top dogs in the mental health system. Get rid of your alpha dogs, and some beta dog, from a related field, will step forward and assume the alpha dog role. Most subsidiary fields in the public mental health system fall quite easily under the spell of psychiatry, what with its drug, drug, drug mantra. What do they say about the DSM? Oh, yeah, it’s only there for insurance company purposes. Treatment is very costly, and when the money for private treatment runs out, you have to go somewhere. Psychiatry. as far as the public system goes, isn’t voluntary at all. “Voluntary” status is merely a plea bargain for people seeking less severe (mal)treatment. Should the patient not accept the plea deal, then the mental health authorities, together with the court system, reserve the wrong to force treat said patient. This is why I would abolish forced treatment, but I don’t equate that force with psychiatry. Private practice, of course, operates on different principles.
The alternatives or recovery or peer support or consumer or user (mental patients’) movement is too compromised to oppose forced treatment. One end of the antipsychiatry (ex-patients’, mental patients’ liberation) movement would abolish psychiatry without abolishing forced treatment. Okay, I call that losing focus. In the first instance you’ve got corruption, in the second, the wrong target. Go ahead. Talk your crap as if anybodies going to listen. I believe in abolishing psychiatric oppression. I don’t believe in abolishing psychiatry, not unless it is oppressive anyway. I’m just a disbeliever all the way round. If we don’t focus on ending force, force remains. Everybody goes off to fight their completely irrelevant battles. I think force is the problem. I don’t think any iatry or ology or even ism is the problem here. I remain adamant in opposing undue force.
One end of the antipsychiatry (ex-patients’, mental patients’ liberation) movement would abolish psychiatry without abolishing forced treatment.
This is a rather bizarre statement. If there were no psychiatry how could there be forced “treatment”?
It’s a sensible statement.
Forced treatment is a power given to psychiatric systems by the government. Abolishing psychiatric systems will not address the issue of force. In such a scenario the government would opt to give an equivalent power to some other system.
I would expect currently non-force and anti-force professional bodies would be clamoring to fill the gap should the opportunity arise.
The only meaningful struggle is to fight for the furtherance of human rights for the mentally disabled. And even then, there would have to be exceptions, some compromise, for a government to even consider it.
Ever been committed to a psychiatric institution through a court hearing? If so, you should be able to figure this out. Forced treatment is the law. Psychiatry is not the law. You can’t get that kind of thing without legislation. Okay. You can perhaps legislate away psychiatry, but if you do, and you haven’t legislated away forced treatment, you still have prisoners of the system, whatever you wish to call it and them.
How is this so easy to not get? I’m simply playing off what you stated yourself. If there is no psychiatry (your premise), “treatment” could not be forced on anyone because there would be no one to give it. Are you against forced psychiatry or force in general? It’s pretty unclear. Because the latter is a whole different ball game.
I don’t know who you’re playing off of, OldHead, but that person is not me. My premise is NOT that if there were no psychiatry treatment could not be forced on anyone because there would be no one to do so. THAT IS YOUR PREMISE! There is a whole psy-complex to insure forced treatment. MY PREMISE IS that if you abolish psychiatry without first abolishing forced treatment you’re back at square one. Psychiatry is just a word. If you haven’t gotten rid of those who administer the mental hospital system, they will still be administering it, whatever you, or anybody else, chose to call them or it. Psychiatry is not an issue with me, force is the issue. I call myself antipsychiatry because psychiatry, in the main, is all for that force. Also, because as far as I’m concerned, I don’t want anything to do with psychiatry and psychiatrists, their labels, their drugs, or their BS sessions. I can, as far as all three go, do it myself. Furthermore, what I want is the freedom to refuse treatment, especially where that treatment is injurious. When I say I don’t want a psychiatrist, I mean it, baby! I’m not attracted to psychiatry really, we’re on reverse magnetism. I guess you could call me “cured”.
So what you’re saying is that society still needs someone to control the outliers and if psychiatry didn’t do it, some other institution will be created or will step in to fill the vacuum. Is that correct?
So how do you see us proceeding in reorganizing our society so that such a function isn’t perceived as necessary any longer?
I can tell you a good thing, too. I used to warn nihilistic victims of psychiatry to not throw the medical and psychological babies out with the soiled psychiatric bathwater. Hopefully, until now, you don’t sound anti-medicine, anti-psychology, anti-science, anti-this, anti-that. Nevertheless, you are charging down the hill of this thread with blank shots aimed at multiple targets except at the professional liars whose privileges – and not “civil rights” – you worry about.
Medecine and psychology, that psychiatry appears to by rooted in, are not pseudosciences, essentially speaking. Only psychiatry is a pseudoscience. My own research led to the conclusion that psychiatry is the paramount pseudoscience, combining the worst of scientism and religious fanatism. Basically, the illusionary power of psychiatry as a pseudoscience is due to its apparent grounding on solid knowledge from other, scientific, areas. If psychiatric oppression is the problem, it must be combatted with real science, good holistic medicine, and non-coercive psychotherapy (the counselling subset).
The implication of the above paragraph is that, if you seek to abolish coercion in psychiatry, you must ruthlessly debunk the very things you think would be left over when coercion is gone. You won’t fight psychiatric coercion through direct force. The more you fight directly these demons in persons we call psychiatrists, the more the enemy incarnate grows inside you.
Let’s go back to an earlier point that I thought was agreed upon: coercion is the cornerstone of psychiatry. A cornerstone is a stone at the corner of a building that tells basic infos such as architect’s name and year of construction. So, when you go to psychiatry, it’s written “coercive treatment upon admission” on the stone near the entrance door. In other words, coercion is psychiatry’s trademark, its raison d’être (reason to be), the be-all and end-all of its business for centuries. Other medical, psychological and social professions can do all that psychiatry currently does. But why is psychiatry still surviving as pure power in spite of the complete dissolution of its theoretical foundations? Obviously not because knowledge supports power. Quite the contrary. Psychiatry is the tool of States to deal with sociomoral problems that cannot be dealt with otherwise by the rule of law.
Even if, hypothetically enough, you could strip psychiatry of its legal power to treat by force, it leaves the question of how the legal system is going to deal with sociomoral problems. I have a plan, but I’m still trying to reach a consensus about how nice or evil we should regard psychiatry in light of its history past and present.
I think there is something to be said for anti-science and such in the sense that we often disregard the ways in which power and privilege are asserted through the sciences. Perhaps, rather than anti I should be saying counter science, but it is the same thing. If you haven’t seen the other side of things, you’ve hardly seen anything, and as such your truth would have to be likewise limited. There is another side to science, and in some cases, we are yet to go there. So, perhaps, we need to be talking about future science as well, or because science might never get there, this other potential science, that in relation to the sciences we’ve got today, could be called anti-science.
I don’t think psychology is any more valid than psychiatry, and given recent scandals in certain social psychology departments of major universities around the states, the news reports would tend to bear me out. Medicine also has many problems with the mortality rates of people supposedly being served, that is, like psychiatry, sometimes, all too often, medicine kills. I guess that means there must be a place for anti-medicine as well.
Psychiatry is certainly not the only pseudo-science, not when you have numerology, astrology, alchemy, and other occult sciences, and all sorts of theories that go all sorts of places, many of them as hare-brained as anything you can imagine. I have to say that there has got to be a place for anti-science and anti-theory given such a situation. Boredom alone justifies it.
Psychiatry being scarcely two hundred years old has not had a long history. The word was only coined in 1808. Which came first, the psychiatrist or the madhouse? The madhouse, of course. This being the case, I can’t really attribute forced treatment to psychiatry. Although, perhaps, it happened the other way around, forced treatment gave rise to psychiatry. People have always been a little queasy about their mad folk, and shuffling them off from public view and participation has it’s own history. Moral: psychiatrists are not the only people who are intolerant in the world, in fact, psychiatrists couldn’t do anything without that intolerance.
We disagree on this score I guess. You blame psychiatry. I blame intolerance.
I have to say, though, that “science” that is coopted for the purposes of making money or projecting power over people is no longer science. Science, by definition, is dedicated to discovering the truth of a situation, no matter how anyone feels about it and no matter who does or doesn’t profit from it. So what you’re talking about is not anti-science to me, it’s anti-corruption.
Unfortunately, there is no way I can tell if you acknowledge the simple logic about the pseudoscientificity of psychiatry comparatively to other domains conventionally recognized as scientific. Not to start a seminar on science, but I retain four definitions of science, three levels of scientificity, and up to five approaches in theory of knowledge. Epistemology is not of immediate concern. My deep concern now, and you were just caught on tape, is that you think psychology is no more valid than psychiatry. I will limit myself to the fact that schools of thought in psychology are more scientific (biological, behavioral, cognitive) or more speculative (psychoanalytic, humanistic).
Did you ever come across the quote by French physician and philosopher George Canguilhem about medicine being an “art at the crossroad of many sciences”? When we talk of computer science, we talk of physics, chemistry, electronics, and laboratory experiments, but also computer production engineering and programming. The same applies to what we call “medical science”: the term includes both fundamental research and technical application. This distinction allows to pinpoint the reason why psychiatry is still surviving as pure power in spite of the thorough disqualification of its intellectual foundations: it’s because of the technical, practical, applied aspect. I thence refer to psychiatry as a “coercive pseudology”, inspired by Szasz in Psychiatry: The Science of Lies: the knowledge is pseudoscientific whereas the practice is coercive. And psychiatry persists basically because of the latter. Remember why I said it was a waste of time, for advanced critiques of psychiatry, to debate medical and scientific stuff like diagnoses and drug trials?
Now, anti-medicine… You know what the mentally ill doctor Lieberman said about antipsychiatry? There is an antipsychiatry movement, but we have never heard of an anticardiology movement, antiorthopedic movement, etc. No news reports about them, no scandals in departments of major universities around the world. Your explanation for this fact probably won’t be on target enough, so here is mine: if psychiatry was scientific, there would be no need for a critical branch of it. There is no critical biology, no critical physic, not even critical psychology. This points to the fact that psychiatry is a pseudoscience that requires a scientific, truthfull counterpart to keep itself moving until (anti)psychiatry is annihilated.
You are wasting your time again arguing that there are pseudosciences other than psychiatry. This one is just the pseudoscience of pseudosciences, a claim you won’t be prone to refute skillfully.
About the history of psychiatry, as far as there have been healers and spiritual problems, there always were “psychiatrists”. The Salem witch trials are a turning point in America – three hundred years ago. The psychiatric expertise was invented by Wier still before. The General Hospital in Europe is also a key event, not to mention the asylums in the Arabic world in the early middle ages. My personal stance is to focus on the institutionalization of psychiatry following the secularization of the Western world.
I guess I would be warranted now to blame your tolerance of the evil inquisitors who only distinguish themselves from the good old ones by their pseudomedical authority. It’s hard to trust a comrade who cares about professional privileges of the outright criminals pretty much to the same degree as natural rights of survivors. It might help to catalogue your presence here if people can see how eager you are to defend psychiatry against true abolition. Tell me a few good things about psychiatry.
I have commented previously on the difference between hard sciences and soft sciences. The hard sciences could be characterized as true science whereas the soft sciences are much closer to pseudo-science.
“Hard science and soft science are colloquial terms used to compare scientific fields on the basis of perceived methodological rigor, exactitude, and objectivity. Roughly speaking natural sciences (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics) are considered “hard”, whereas the social sciences (e.g. economics, psychology, sociology) are usually described as “soft”.”
Psychiatry exists on the cusp between these two types of science, or, rather, my view is that it is a soft science pretending to be a hard science.
The difference between psychiatry and those other disciplines you mentioned, biology, physic, and psychology, is that they don’t take human captives, as a rule. This taking of human captives makes psychiatry closer to police science than any hard science you might look at. We know why the police take prisoners, it’s in order to punish them. Psychiatry, on the other hand, uses this very flimsy medical excuse to punish its captives. Obviously the practice has to something to do with punishing it’s defectives into effectiveness. (Or does it?)
You really make your subject confusing when you can’t determine whether is it psychiatry or antipsychiatry that you would abolish. I don’t have that problem. I’m anti-forced-mental-health-treatment.
Rational Wiki (Wikipedia, too) gives a long list of topics considered pseudo-science. Psychiatry is hardly alone, as you would indicate, in the practice. Given such lists, it is really hard to call psychiatry, as you do, the pseudo-science of pseudo-sciences. Such is a claim that I think you would be equally hard pressed to prove.
My view is that snake oil salesmanship has had a long history. It’s rather like that inquisition you were going on about. I’d say the study of it would have to be rather specialized. It also connects to the institutionalization you are talking about. Why imprisonment? Is imprisonment going to spook unreason into abeyance, or is madness the thing the rest of the world would hope to scourge? Medicine, in this instance, is only the lamest of excuses.
As long as forced treatment is the law, your blame is misdirected. It is tolerated because one has no choice, according to law, except to tolerate it. I’m saying this is because it is the law that is bad, and that it is the law that needs changing. These “outright criminals” have the law courts behind them, and so calling them “outright criminals” is a pretty big leap. The problem with psychiatry is that it exists in this quasi-medical quasi-legal nether zone, meaning that it is not entirely medical, nor is it entirely legal, not without a loophole in this law or that.
I don’t think Psychiatry is either a hard or a soft science. It’s more like a religious practice.
Removed for moderation.
My apologies for getting your pseudonym wrong. I will try to not let it happen again.
(Anti)psychiatry is a very confusing term. If you’re for abolishing that, I don’t imagine anybody knows what you are talking about.
Next paragraph. Apparently by (anti)psychiatry you mean psychiatry, or am I mistaken?
OldHead thinks the solution to the mental health system is the extinction of psychiatry. I disagree. This is rather like debating the possibility of an afterlife. Until extinction is at hand, we really can’t know for sure, can we? I hear psychiatry is a house of cards always on the verge of collapsing, but I’m not therefore holding my breath. I understand that some people want to revenge themselves on psychiatry. Understanding that feeling doesn’t mean that I think they are any less capable of exhibiting the same sort of bad judgment that issued from those they would be judging. If this is a matter of not respecting peoples’ freedoms, then you can’t expect your freedoms to be respected in turn. I would prefer to see those freedoms respected instead.
Psychiatry and psychology are apples & oranges and cannot be compared, other than by pointing out that one is a field of study, the other a money-making enterprise based on a predetermined belief system.
Astrology and so forth has it’s own claims to make about being scientific. I don’t think there are many psychiatrists who would accept that their field is a religion. I agree with you though about psychiatry as a religion. I also think it’s science is as soft as mush.
It runs away screaming from real science of any sort.
I don’t see any sacred cows out there. Do you see any sacred cows? Psychology and psychiatry are related etymologically. The linguistic base of both fields is in psyche or soul. I’d have to say that both fields are money-making enterprises based on predetermined belief systems. I’d don’t know of many psychologists that are working for charity, for peanuts, for alms. Now whether you are studying the soul, broadly speaking, or diseases of the soul, it’s pretty much the same thing. I see psychologists trying to comprehend the enigma of the “abnormal” psyche as if all human behavior were rational. Wait? Isn’t that the kind of thing these “soul healers” are trying to do, too. I should say, perhaps people are too preoccupied with studying the wrong ‘fruits’ anyway.
You do know that in some places in the USA psychologists have been granted prescription privileges. You do know, too, that this is a practice that is likely to expand with time. You realize also that this scramble for prescription privileges has to do with a struggle for power between the two fields. I don’t see how that makes one so different from the other whatsoever.
“Psychologists” who practice something they call “psychology” are arguably the same as psychiatrists practicing psychiatry; also arguably abusing the term a bit, as the suffix “ology” refers to study, not practice. Does an astronomer “practice” astronomy or a zoologist “practice” zoology?
Psychiatrists would be “practicing medicine”. Psychologists, like members of allied fields (i.e. other mental health professionals) would be, in many instances, “practicing social engineering”. Ever read B.F. Skinner? The utopia run and managed by scientists he describes in Walden II is absolutely dystopic.
Psychiatrists study what are seen as diseases. Psychologists study people and their motivations, but they get hung up themselves on people who behave in ways they think people shouldn’t behave. Basically, both fields end up being pretty similar in that you find both sorts of professionals working in the same sorts of facility.
My views would be removed because I equate MH professionals within psychatric state systems: those who coerce and force psychiatric drugs, to rapists of human health and normality. And online places which seek to bring both together as harmful to us. This was clearly expressed on here when a powerful psychiatrist trolled the comments on Matt Stevenson’s memorial and caused much resentment and harm. People are still upset about that.
It bothers me that there doesn’t seem to be any lasting discussion of Matt’s death at MIA, especially in light of his prodigious contributions to MIA. In particular I believe that there is a reticence to discuss Matt’s inability to free himself on an internal level from the psychiatric ideology he tore apart so well on an intellectual one, and its role in his actions.
What? Matt is gone?
Guess you’ve been away quite a while huh?
I don’t know that going over the circumstances of a person’s suicide is likely to get us anywhere, OldHead. You mention what you see as his “inability to free himself on an internal level from the psychiatric ideology”. Problem, are each and every one of us supposed to suffer a guilt trip thereby? It’s too late for Matt. Matt wasn’t that unusual all told. He was another casualty of the system, or himself, your pick. Now suicide is the topic of an “MIA report”. Stir up the brew, and watch the numbers ascend. What do you get out of people talking about the rising suicide rate? A few more successful sales of a few more successful suicides together with an expanding suicide prevention network of, unwitting, suicide sales people.
Again, no idea where you’re coming from or going to with this. If there is a rising suicide rate I think it’s pretty understandable, as the desperation created by late stage (hopefully) capitalism increases exponentially every second.
In Matt’s case I have sensed a reticence among those who may know the article and author that seem to have triggered Matt’s action to reveal them. I think whatever was in that article should be examined and, if necessary, exposed.
Nothing in the letter that was left for us oldhead? Have you asked those who know?
Personally I don’t think there is an answer, so from my perspective if I knew I’d hand it on but ….
Boans, what I was referring to was an article Matt read shortly before his death by some shrink who predicted a depressing likelihood of “recurrence” for “BPD,” a label Matt had always professed to have conquered and exposed as fraudulent. He had mentioned this to some people, but it seemed to me that no one chose to be forthcoming about who the author was and where it was published. You might check Matt’s In Memoriam blog to which SPB referred.
Yup, with you oldhead. After seeing your comment I went and read the article and comments. I think one by Mr Whitaker states that his mother had a letter for all at MiA and to contact via Facebook or some such. There was another by a guy from ISPS or something who spoke about said article, maybe contact him directly and ask what it was?
I’ll look again.
Dunno that its not a Bowling for Colombine thing though. Why was it Marilyn Manson and not the bowling if ya see what I mean.
Gary Sidley comment. Spoke to him about the article a couple of weeks before.
And Chuck Ruby ISEPP.
Articles don’t kill.
The suicide rate has been made an issue here, but that’s almost beside the point. The suicide rate is gauged by a number per 100,000 people so, by way of contrast, even “schizophrenia”, so-called, steady at 1 percent, or 1 per 100 of the population, is much more popular.
I thought Matt pretty lucky to be given the opportunity to interview folks with his MIA blog.
“Triggered”, by an article, come on. That’s psych-talk you’re using there, OldHead. I’d have thought you’d have been beyond slipping on the “mental patient” gloves.
I’m not going to watch what I read because nothing I read (barring another unabomber) is going to blow up in my face. I didn’t recognize how fragile Matt must have been, with his BP label, until after he was gone. That’s just the kind of thing, without any overt signals from him, you can’t predict.
Well, now we know, and should stay cognizant that the gift of articulation doesn’t make anyone less freaked out. I also think that he may have buckled under the strain of self-expectation to be a hero or role model, and when he went back on drugs may have experienced a feeling of defeat and even shame. Unnecessarily of course.
I’ve been thinking about Matt a lot recently – it’s a year since his death.
“It would appear from here that, for better or worse, MITUK will continue in the grand tradition of MIA by a) demonstrating in its articles that psychiatry is fundamentally flawed in its conception, inherently destructive, corrupt by definition, and not subject to “reform”; and b) frantically backing away from any suggestion that psychiatry should be eliminated asap in favor of an endless process of “rethinking.”
In this piece by Will Self, what he is really doing is promoting the acceptance of “supported accommodation” I’ve experienced this and it is what – I believe – Sir Wessely will be promoting in his review of the UK MH law.
Supported accommodation has been around for a long time in the UK. Having been abducted twice in a state of akathisia (the doctors disagree… it’s all in my mind, they have to don’t they.. it can’t be their fault) on three GP prescribed psychiatrics drugs and forced – no section – into ‘supported’ accommodation. I was just ripped off those drugs including diazepam and zopiclone. (again went into akathisia) It is in fact the same as a MH hospital in all but name with no locked doors. People are subject to forced/coercive drugging – you go to a small room. a large well build man, sometimes two, gives you the dose and you have to take it in the room infront of him.
I saw people who had been there for decades, institutionalised and grossly disfigured by being over-weight, obsessively smoking outside, even in a major rain storm… the outside area covered in cigarette butts. At the time thought all this was a result of mental illness, I know now it is a result of the drugs, far far more than what ever had caused their problems, and their ‘care’ was just shortening their zombiefied, terribly sad, harrowing life. All of this is/was normalised and accepted as a decent, right thing to do, as if there was no other way.
As far as I could tell, the only good thing about what I went through was that they did not allow alcohol. Personally I almost died in this ‘supported housing’ because I was ripped off the drugs and attacked, even when I went to A&E in horrendous pain, having been let out for Christmas, I was not believed – being a MH patient it was all in my head – when I collapsed they took it seriously, I had a scan they found the problem and had an emergency operation which saved my life. But the psychiatric drugging went on for two years – I was now free of ‘supported accomodation’ – but not my abusive family..are we ever – until one psychiatrist put me on massive doses of ‘antipsychotics’ and I some how found the will to rid myself of these drugs after watching Peter Breggin’s videos on YouTube.
Do you see how MiA and MITUK are being used ? So far I’m only seeing those with insight through experience who get it.
btw I tried to contact Will Self about akathisia a few years ago, making my background clear, was ignored and later found other akathisia sufferers had tried and been ignored as well.
Do you see how MiA and MITUK are being used ? So far I’m only seeing those with insight through experience who get it.
This is an important issue. I’m not ready to accuse MIA of being “in collusion” with psychiatry, as I think it does serve some valuable purposes. But right now it seems to be stuck in “re-inventing the wheel” mode. I think that given what has been repeatedly demonstrated on MIA it is disingenuous to perpetuate the idea that there is something to “rethink” vis. a vis. psychiatry, other than how to defeat it. Much of this is due to the mistaken idea that psychiatry serves a valuable purpose and must be “replaced” with something.
I just saw the “brainsplain” ad at the bottom of the MIA homepage. Now I see more clearly what SPB is talking about
omg, I ad not scrolled down that far.
Haven’t watched the video, so I can’t comment on its content… will reserve judgement until I can stomach watching it, but with the very first screenshot saying “Lancet Psychiatry” it really puts me off. We’ll go from there.
Check the one about mental illness (as opposed to psych drugs) and school shootings.
where? gimme a link?
And we contribute ‘freely’ to it by being triggered, they gain an income from it, we do not.
@streetphotobeing: “In this piece by Will Self, what he is really doing is promoting the acceptance of “supported accommodation” I’ve experienced this and it is what – I believe – Sir Wessely will be promoting in his review of the UK MH law.”
I fear you are right. Wessely will be looking to leave his legacy, and what better opportunity than to stamp his mark on the Mental Health Act? He’s already pushing the “importance of supported housing in reducing MHA detentions” via Twitter. https://twitter.com/WesselyS/status/1030504458936115201
To innocent ears this sounds humane and benevolent, but your vivid description says it all – the one thing you can guarantee is that coercive drugging will be involved. It makes my blood run cold. I sincerely hope we’re both wrong about this, but let’s wait and see…
Removed for moderation.
No-one ever mentions this guy, either. He went manic and was lured to China to cut a disc and launch his pop career. Someone noted his ebullience and trust, and slipped some heroin into his suitcase. Despite numerous pleas for clemency, the Chinese government put him in front of a firing squad.
RIP Akmal Shaikh
Just to add, our PM at the time expressed his horror that Akmal did not even get a psychiatric evaluation of his mental state prior to his execution.
Another triumph for antipsychiatry?
Care to explain your logic regarding that last sentence?
Would a psychiatric evaluation have changed the outcome?
No denying that such a breach of trust is vile. I recently saw a documentary called Chika about Chika Honda a Japanese tourist who came to Australia, had her bags packed for her, and did 10 years before being sent home. A competent translator might have assisted her, ie being able to provide a defense to the courts but ….
I hope they caught the people who planted the drugs on Akmal. Perhaps they can do their own deliveries next time.
Maybe it would’ve, maybe it wouldn’t’ve. Who knows?
Point is though that, unlike Chika Honda, Akmal Shaikh was manic. Impulsive. Erratic and ebullient. He was high and, therefore, vulnerable. He was especially vulnerable because he had not been officially diagnosed, despite what Repreive were asserting at the time. Alike Chika Honda, he required a competent translator. Although not to interpret his words, but to interpret his mental state.
I want to live in a world in which people like Chika Honda and Akmal Shaikh have full human rights in all situations. If you speak a different language you have the right to a competent language interpreter. If you have a mental condition such as untreated bipolar, you have the right to a mental *interpretation* by a competent psychiatrist.
If you deny that people like Akmal Shaikh have a right to assessment by a competent psychiatrist, then that equates to denying that people like Chika Honda have the right to a competent interpreter.
And in both cases, because this is the Planet Earth and not Planet Vulcan, having one’s rights asserted and protected does not guarantee an outcome, but it does set a standard humanity is best aspriring to, without exception.
It’s interesting too that Chika Honda has attracted the rallying cries for justice and even had a film made about her. And rightly so, and I stand with those who call for her pardon.
But people like Akmal Shaikh are rapidly forgotten. You will hardly ever hear mention of their names. Their stories slip into oblivion very rapidly.
Your comment assumes that there is such a thing as a correct interpretation of someone’s “manic” behavior, and that a “competent psychiatrist” is capable of such a translation. Surely you are well aware that the psychiatrists “interpretation” is almost always based on the DSM, which translates every behavior into a problem in the person who is acting a certain way, based on a highly culturally biased view of what is “acceptable” or “disordered.” And the DSM itself admits that it makes no attempt to determine cause or group “disorders” by cause. So the psychiatric translation of “manic” behavior would be only that “the person is manic” or “the person has Bipolar Disorder because they’re acting in ways described as ‘Bipolar’ in the DSM.” It hardly seems remotely similar to an accurate translation of meaning from one language to another. Now, it’s possible the psychiatrist may have a drug to offer that could possibly mute the person’s manic behavior (at least temporarily) at some potential risk to the taker, but that hardly qualifies as translating his behavior into any kind of meaningful frame, IMHO.
Thanks for the theoretical considerations, Steve. But I fail to see how any of what you have written above would have stood any chance whatsoever helping poor Akmal Shaikh or anyone like him in a similar pickle.
RE : https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/11/nhs-care-regulator-says-sexual-incidents-commonplace-in-mental-health-units
They neglect to mention that the benzodiazepines so beloved of psychiatry to ‘calm’ or stop people going into alcohol withdrawal, do exactly the same as alcohol including sexual disinhibition. Most people are terrified and very upset in a psych hospital and then zombiefied to the point they can do next to nothing. The power imbalance means sexual incidents of staff is not likely, harassment maybe but once a person is forcibly decked their pants pulled down and jabed and then drugged into oblivion that is the end of that. The staff stay as far away from the patients as they can and they are mostly ignored as much as possible.
MITUK’s belief that the “current diagnostically-based paradigm of care has comprehensively failed” is absolutely Biblically and scientifically correct and is increasingly supported by the best secular evidence-based research including the twelve best-in-class expert witness references [including the absolutely great work of Robert Whitaker (who should receive a Pulitzer Prize for his work) and Dr. Peter Gøtzche and Dr. Peter Breggin (who should share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work)] included in my 5/2/18 letter to the editor of the British Medical Journal and my 8/16/18 Medicaid.gov public comment available for free at the following two URL addresses:
Sincerely and In Biblical Love for All People Everywhere,
Thomas Steven Roth, MBA, MD
Christian Minister for Biblical Medical Ethics,
Religious and Scientific Refugee from the Clinical Practice of Psychiatric Standards of Care
P.O. Box 24211
Louisville, KY 40224
September 12, 2018
“When we explain that we are a psychiatry-led service that practices evidence-based medicine, those issues usually melt away,” he explained.”
I would like to think someone like Sammi Timimi would challenge that. I doubt they will open comments, even if they did, when ever I post the links below they have been removed.
For those of you who are new, watch this :
For those of you who think the UK is not influenced by the DSM please understand that Risperidone is still the number one antipsychotic drug used in the UK and used for insomnia. This is how Risperidone came onto the market:
Desinquisiteur wrote: “There is no critical biology, no critical physic, not even critical psychology.”
Except there is a critical psychology.
“Critical psychology is a perspective on psychology that draws extensively on critical theory. Critical psychology challenges mainstream psychology and attempts to apply psychological understandings in more progressive ways, often looking towards social change as a means of preventing and treating psychopathology.
One of critical psychology’s main criticisms of conventional psychology is that it fails to consider or deliberately ignores the way power differences between social classes and groups can affect the mental and physical well-being of individuals or groups of people. It does this, in part, because it tends to explain behavior at the level of the individual.”
The man who developed the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques for use at black sites and Guantanamo Bay was… a psychologist, James Mitchell.
I wrote: “Headline: Mad in the UK “collective” Snubs Mad People”
Auntie Psychiatry wrote: “Evidence?”
Everyone snubs someone. That’s the name of the social game. Who have you been snubbing lately? I’ve been snubbing so much I have a sore snub.
But on a less serious note, it was a joke. Most of the time I’m the only one who gets my jokes. I know they are funny because (1) no-one hardly ever lets me know I’ve made them laugh (2) they make me laugh. This is a currently undocumented form of narcissism, so far as I can tell.
What I like most about my jokes is how funny they are. Just now I read back and I didn’t cringe or suchlike. I was immediately chuckling to myself. If only someone else could make me laugh the way I make myself laugh. It would be bliss.