Who Are They to Say I Wasn’t Buddha?


I am sitting in a chair in a meeting room in a psychiatric hospital. I have been here before, many times, and yet, every time I expect something different. I always hope for a better treatment, some compassion, some sort of a dialogue. The hospital in itself isn’t bad. The food at least is absolutely fantastic. They feed you five times a day, and even have theme nights: Indian on Tuesday, Chinese buffet on Saturday, coffee and tea come unlimited. Biscuits and sandwiches in the evening. One would forget about being stuck in a psychiatric hospital, if not for the fact that I am here totally against my will. I made a mistake. I called emergency services when I felt that I was in psychosis and after spending twenty-four hours in the emergency department, finally got a visit from a psychiatrist and two other assessors.

“Here, please, sign that you agree to being sectioned. Section number three,” the psychiatrist told me with a smile on her face, as if we were discussing some beauty treatment, not a document deriving me of my human rights. I would sign anything by that point. I knew by that time that I had made a huge mistake by trying to get ‘official’ help and should have instead increased my antipsychotic medication and sorted myself out at home, but after spending a day in the emergency department, you agree to anything, just to get out of there.

And so, I sit in the meeting room in the psychiatric hospital. I am a dream patient. Complacent, calm, always smiling to the staff and understanding that they have a tough job. I smile despite the fact that I have been detained for more than a month, that I am ready to go home, that actually I have a life outside the hospital. But no, they continue ‘treating’ me as if something is wrong with me. Nothing is wrong with me, I just hold some bizarre thoughts. The first time I ended up in a psychiatric hospital, I thought I was Buddha — you know, just a ‘normal’ feeling when you experience enlightenment. I felt happy and divine. I thought that I had finally arrived. Only I didn’t realise that the destination would be psychiatry which crashed my happy feelings one by one, attaching to them a feeling of shame. They don’t want to admit that psychosis can indeed be a spiritual awakening that only a few can dream of. They define it as ‘illness’ and say that what you experience in your psychosis isn’t real. How do they know?

The psychiatrist comes into the room. She is a pleasant Greek lady, a consultant in the hospital. I genuinely like her. She worked at a university as a researcher before deciding to go into the field. I would become friends with her, if not for the fact that she is a psychiatrist who absolutely doesn’t get me.

“So, Katerina, how are you doing today?” she asks in a pleasant voice, while a nurse types the entire conversation. Not a good practice, in my opinion, as I often wonder what becomes of the patient’s treatises later on. Do they write a book? Send it to the Vatican? Keep it for future generations to demonstrate all kinds of manifestations of weirdness?

“I am fine,” I answer, knowing what the next question will be. I know that I shouldn’t tell the psychiatrist what I really think, but I have nothing to lose. They are trying a new medication, aripiprazole, and so, according to my calculations, I am stuck in the hospital for another three weeks at least. I can’t leave as I signed my own punishment, I am sectioned.

“Last time you said you thought you were Anne Frank, do you still think so?”

I chuckle because I knew it was coming. I also debate about whether to answer that I dropped ‘the belief’ while being on my new medication or convince her that medication doesn’t help when the belief is real. I also believe I could be Buddha in another past life, and so what?

“As I said before, I do believe I was Anne Frank in a past life, yes.”

The psychiatrist writes something down in her notebook before asking another question.

“And what are we supposed to do with this belief? I mean, how are we supposed to react when someone comes in here and says that she was Anne Frank?”

“I don’t know, maybe ask the Dutch government for all the money they owe me?” I volunteer. “From the visits to the Anne Frank museum?”

I expect her to laugh, but instead the psychiatrist looks very serious.

“I think we should increase your dose of medication. We started on ten milligrams but I would like to increase it to twenty.” She looks at my face to see my reaction.

“The belief that I was Anne Frank in my past life has nothing to do with the dose,” I tell her, feeling frustrated. I realise by now that I made another big mistake: I engaged in conversation with the doctor. I should have stayed quiet. I should have ‘officially’ dropped my belief. “I have this belief all the time, regardless of medication. It is just who I am!”

They decide to increase my medication. I develop terrible side effects. I spend another month in the hospital. I miss out on my family and the life I have outside of the hospital. I lose my teaching hours at my job because I was away for so long. When I finally emerge from the hospital I am totally broken.

I don’t believe in psychiatry anymore, or that a ‘safe stay’ in the hospital can help. I don’t believe in medication anymore either. I realise that something is very wrong with how they treat people who come for help.

I still believe I was Anne Frank in my past life, and nothing is wrong with such a belief. I am no longer Buddha, though, because they crashed my spiritual awakening when it was happening. But I go on. I deserve to be happy. I have a family to think of, I want to contribute to society on some level. I want to live. They won’t crash me. Or so I hope.

Editor’s note: This author has chosen to publish under a pseudonym due to concerns about stigma affecting employment.


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


      • If you go straight forward with those idots calling themselves “psychiatrists” you will only get one result, and that is increasement of your suffering through side effects. But I know nothing can help you unless you come to Islam and pray to Allah. Since it says in the Sunnah “war is deceit” and there is a war going on between spiritual awakening, and the witch inquisitors today named “psychiatrists”. A belief in reincarnation is nothing sick – as it says in the Quran that those whom deny it, will burn in eternal hell. So this person you met will surely meet her horrible end. Can she prove that there is someone else who actually is an reincarnation of Buddha?

        Now, I do not believe that you are a reincarnation of Buddha, since we in Buddhism, whom is a philosofy myself also follow, believe that enlightment means that you get out of the death rebirth cycle of suffering – and so your belief is anti buddhism.

        I also wrote something similar as you in 2009, in a imaginary conversation with psychiatrists, that I had all the time previously, and you have to have them, since you can not tell them the truth you have to have an anticipitated conversation with them so that your real self can express itself. This is best done in writing, and I have written a whole book on the subject in Swedish that you can find here: http://marcusbeijarmellinnl.blogspot.com/2018/07/

        I see our experiences are similar, one always expects that everything has been solved in the spiritual awakening, and then it turns out, they claim that you have delusions (just because your inner experience does not match in time sequence with the “reality”) that is a reason for keeping your confined and on antipsychotics, that makes you have horrible sideeffects.

        If you want to learn more you are welcome to contact me.

        • I have to re-read my comments to see whether I mentioned anywhere that i believe i was Buddha in my past life. In my article I say I thought I was Buddha. I felt like one and told the doctor so. Yes, i do think that it was a process of spiritual awakening, however, i find it extremely wrong when someone tries to take advantage of it and turn it into an official religion of some sort. I am good where I am in terms of my faith.
          Again, my question is: if not the psychiatry, then what are the alternatives? What are the practical proposals to help people who ask for help? How to help a person in psychosis (whether we agree or not with the term). Leave the person to their own devices? What if they actually want help? If they do need a safe house? How to help these people?

          • You are assuming that they want to help in the manner you are describing. Many can’t even imagine such a means of helping, and think they are “helping” by stopping “bad” emotions. And others are just helping themselves to a bigger payday.

          • Religion is like a big house you can live in. Fine with me, if you do not believe in Prophet Muhammad, but, that you find it “extremely wrong” even mentioning some facts about Islam is simply flat out stupid. I am speaking from my own experience, that Islam stabilizes your inner self, to the degree, that you do not need to go through the Christ sickness, where you crucify yourself on the presupposed idea that your suffering is means to change the whole world. In Islam this is exchanged by the maxim of Yihadd, and struggle in the way of Allah. There is still a sacrifice of yourself, but up to a degree where you are allowed to defend yourself. But since you do not want good advice, I leave you here and then.

  1. Ekaterina, it’s difficult to put in such a few words here, but YES, Buddhism DOES teach that you “were Buddha in a previous reincarnation”. Something like that, anyway. And there is NO drug, or “medication” which can make that specific thought go away, or lessen. That’s not how either thoughts or drugs work. Buddhism, and Buddhist thought and ideas, and especially the words of the Dalai Lama, have been VERY helpful to me.
    But too many of us have learned the hard way, that we must be very careful about what we say, how we say it, and who we say it to, when we are dealing with psychiatry. Psychiatry is a pseudoscience, a drugs racket, and a mechanism of social control. It’s 21st Century Phrenology, with potent neuro-toxins. I know you know all this.
    I’m glad to have read some of your story, and glad you wrote it. I’m sorry for what they did to you. I have seen other writings from you here on MiA, haven’t I? We ALL have what might be called “crazy ideas”, and yours don’t seem very “crazy”, to me. Me? I believe that I am 1 7/1,000,000,000th of humanity on Earth! And remember, without “ART”, “EARTH” is just “EH”! SEE!? You smiled at that! You feel better, don’t you?

  2. “How do they know?” I agree, they don’t know. The psychiatrists just declare everything in the spiritual realm, and actually everything in one’s real life, to be “a credible fictional story.” The psychiatrists are nuts.

    I didn’t have any odd beliefs prior to going to a psychiatrist, just brain zaps and a couple of odd dreams from being improperly weaned from a “safe smoking cessation med” (antidepressant). I had a struggle with God “psychosis” just when the first antipsychotic was supposed “to kick in,” though.

    But the psychiatrists are ignorant of the reality that their antipsychotics create psychosis, via anticholinergic toxidrome poisoning. So they just give you more and different drugs.

    I didn’t realize I was being drugged for belief in God initially because I was lied to, and since that’s illegal. But once my entire real life was declared “fictional,” I had to leave the crazy psychiatrist. And going off the drugs leads a person on to a drug withdrawal induced manic psychosis.

    That psychosis was about how we’re all one in the Spirit, one in the Lord, lots of people have had this type of oneness with God and everything spiritual experiences. It then led to a born again experience where I became “of the bride” of God. And I’m like you, I have no problem with my spiritual journey, being “of the bride” is what Christians are supposed to try to achieve. But I’m sure psychiatrists would have a huge problem with it if I told them.

    I love to paint, and I love Chagall’s work. He seemingly painted my life and dreams, although he was a Jew who survived the Jewish holocaust and I’m a Christian who’s now survived today’s American psychiatric holocaust, so we lived somewhat similar lives. Chagall painted a love story within the collective unconscious / dream world, and that’s what my dreams are about also.

    I’m thinking I might do a diptych to piss the psychiatrists off, inspired by one of Chagall’s crucifixion paintings. I’ll do a Jesus painting, and then also do one of the crucified “bride.” But instead of painting the “bride” as crucified on a cross, I’ll depict her as crucified on a DSM “bible.”

    We’ve all been “crucified” by psychiatry, and they don’t know anything. They just make believe they do.

    • I’m sure psychiatrists would have a huge problem with it if I told them.

      And where do they get off asking about spirituality anyway? What’s between you and your God is nobody else’s business! Answer that type of question with a question of your own: Do you let anybody butt in between you and *your* God? Or are your spiritual beliefs nobody’s business but your own?

      The level of entitlement to even ask such questions!!

    • if Budda or Jesus were back, would they not have magical powers?
      Psychiatry IS a religion. Worship and consume the magical medication that will make you magically “good” instead of “bad” . What kind of sinner are you? schizophrenic and/or bipolar ? There is a medicine for every type of sinner
      If things are going badly they increase the drugs instead of reducing them. Maybe the drugs are making the patient worse? so reduce them? You want people to be smarter to see the error of their ways? Then you drug and inhibit their ability to think?

      “I expect her to laugh, but instead the psychiatrist looks very serious.” never expect a shrink to laugh, they are trying to be heroes. saving people from themselves. drugging the present moment for fear of the future. the future never arrives, prophesy fulfilled.

      • It is also a religion in the sense that it is not based on any kind of rational fact-finding process. You believe because you believe, it is not required that the things you have faith in make any kind of logical sense or fit with the evidence of the physical world, or even the spiritual world for that matter. You can collect data that support your beliefs and neglect or minimize data that doesn’t. Of course, not all religious people behave in this way, many are very rational, but a religion doesn’t REQUIRE that your faith fits the facts. Psychiatry definitely acts this way – when the data doesn’t fit the desired hypothesis, “we need more data.” When someone presents a more workable explanation, “You’re antipsychiatry” or “you’re a Scientologist.” There is no possibility of engaging in rational discussion when someone is taking that kind of a position. No matter how much actual science contradicts it, psychiatry must maintain its central belief system at all costs. That’s a religion, not a scientific discipline.

          • I wouldn’t say that faith requires you to believe things that are CONTRARY to facts, just that no facts are required to sustain your belief. I think there are people who have faith to a point, but if consensus reality conflicts with faith, are willing to change their view. There are lots of Christians, for example, who don’t believe that God created the world 5000 years ago by blowing on a bunch of dust, because scientific evidence contradicts that version of reality. But they may still believe in God or Jesus without any need for evidence.

            I’d have to agree, though, that the religion of psychiatry goes more along the “religious literalist” line of faith – even contradictory evidence doesn’t shake their faith in the DSM/Broken Brain mythology.

          • The very definition of faith is the belief in something that cannot be seen.

            Don’t know if that’s actually the definition. “Belief” is an intellectual process. “Faith” to me is beyond belief; it implies an intuitive understanding. William Blake once said something to the effect of truth being something that is understood and not believed, but I may be a little off on that, I’ll try to look it up.

        • Steve, yes, I agree. It has become some sort of ‘religion’ in itself, and it uses a very powerful discourse, which is hard to fight as a whole. Therefore, the fight at a global level does need to come from those who do believe in God, and then fight at an individual level for those who actually encountered the parallel reality, and had the privilege to meet both god and the devil.
          As to being called ‘a Scientologist’, it only triggers a natural interest on my part. What Scientologists are doing exactly? And why it seems that most people are terrified of them? More I read about them, more I become curious about them, in all honesty.

          • I just listened to the videos on the website of official site of Scientology, and what they are saying seems to be actually the key? What all people have the right to their own religions and choice? Accepting people from all walks of life? Saying that discovering oneself is a journey and everyone has their own journey? I don’t see anything wrong with it, just the opposite.

          • I’ve said this before many times – being called a “scientologist” or an “antipsychiatrist” or an “antiscientist” is a tactic of distraction, and should be labeled as such. Such tactics are used by people who don’t have actual data to counter your arguments. I believe the proper reply is to ask why they are distracting from the question at hand. If you defend yourself in any way, you have allowed the topic to be changed to whether or not the label fits you, rather than whether or not psychiatry is a legitimate medical field, which is what we need to be talking about. That’s my humble opinion, and others can disagree if they wish, but decades as an advocate have taught me that the “ad hominem” attack generally means you have your opponent on the ropes, and you should continue your attack rather than let yourself be pulled off topic.

          • With all respect Steve this is pretty offensive. I and many others PROUDLY consider ourselves anti-psychiatrists, so many of us that we even have factions, all of whom would be angry at the notion that the term we embrace would be considered an “ad hominem.” The only people who would consider it such are those beholden to psychiatric ideology. The same people who talk about “pill-shamers.”

            If you are anti-psychiatry you are an anti-psychiatrist. If you are a Scientologist this is a description, not an insult. How other people react to the obvious is their responsibility.

          • Perhaps a poor choice of examples. I apologize for any offense. I had no intent to compare Scientology to antipsychiatry or either to antiscience – these are simply the “accusations” commonly used by pro-psych forces to try and get off the topic of whether there is any truth to psychiatry’s claims.

            My point is that any attempt to distract from the discussion should be confronted and labeled as such. I would submit that even if one got into a long discussion of why one is an antipsychiatrist and made a great argument, that person would still be off on a tangent and their antagonist would win a round. My point to that person would be that PSYCHIATRY IS BASED ON LIES AND THE DATA PROVES THAT, and you choosing to try and discredit me by labeling me in any way is simply a tactical distraction from the point at hand, whether it’s true or false, or positive or negative in my own view.

            Perhaps the better analogy is if I said I see large corporate contributions are dangerous to our society, and the person said, “You only believe that because you’re a socialist.” I don’t need to “defend myself” against an “accusation” of being a socialist, nor do I have to explain that I am a socialist and explain what it means or why it’s not a bad thing. My reply would be more along the line of, “No, I believe that because it happens to be true” and present my evidence. A more snide response might be, “No, I’m a socialist because what I said is true and it needs to be changed.” Or I might ask them, “So are you saying that buying votes by making “contributions” to politicians in exchange for access and favors is a good thing?” But I’d bring it back to the point, whether the accusation was good, bad or indifferent in my view. It’s a distraction tactic and I think it plays into their hands to fall into that discussion at all.

            Does that make it any clearer? Or at least less offensive?

            Your candor is appreciated, as always.

            —- Steve

          • I would also add that whatever you or I or anyone else thinks of the term “antipsychiatry,” it is USED by psychiatric proponents as a means of discrediting someone. I don’t think they care what YOU think about the term, they use it in a way to try and convince other people that you’re irrational. That’s the problem I’m talking about here.

          • Perhaps the better analogy is if I said I see large corporate contributions are dangerous to our society, and the person said, “You only believe that because you’re a socialist.”

            Actually a socialist in my view would not see “corporate contributions” as overly relevant, at least if you’re talking about elections, as elections are also red herrings.

            But what would be wrong nonetheless about holding an opinion due to one’s socialism? So my response to that supposed “accusation” would be along the lines of “Duh…”

            the term “antipsychiatry”…is USED by psychiatric proponents as a means of discrediting someone. I don’t think they care what YOU think about the term, they use it in a way to try and convince other people that you’re irrational. That’s the problem.

            It’s not a problem at all, unless you’re unsure of something yourself. People talk shit and we expose it as shit, and expose them as either confused or deceptive, which helps enlighten and inspire others and encourage them to resist a little more boldly.

            If people are confused about anti-psychiatry there are plenty of people here to clarify. Enough anyway. So bring it on! 🙂

          • I still think you are missing the point. It’s not whether antipsychiatry is good or bad or holding opinions “because of one’s socialism” is acceptable or unacceptable. They are changing the topic! Why allow the other person to take control of the communication by making it about antipsychiatry or socialism or Scientology or Catholicism or whatever else? Why not point out that they are trying to distract from the point you just made by bringing up a philosophical discussion of some external explanation of “why” rather than the very obvious factual reasons you have just brought to light? Are the long-term outcomes for ADHD any better or worse based on my philosophical or religious orientation? Are we talking about science or philosophy? I prefer to keep the topic on scientific facts, because when we do that, the forces of psychiatry lose every time. Which is why they want to talk about something else, ANYTHING else besides the actual facts! And I don’t allow them to do that, and point out their deceptive intent into the bargain.

            They have also tried to change the topic into admiring me for all of my great advocacy work and how wonderful it is that I’m willing to stand up for foster kids, etc, etc. I do the same thing: “Thanks for your kind words. Now let’s get back to talking about why this kid is having hand tremors. They are listed as side effects for two of the drugs she’s taking – what are you planning to do about this?”

            I hope that makes my point clear. It has nothing to do with antipsychiatry or socialism. It has to do with calling out the evasive tactics used to distract from talking about the real subject.

          • Steve,
            interesting, I also got the impression that the topic gets ‘turned around’ to try to highlight the arguments that the person wasn’t even making in the first place and I feel some ‘subtle’ partonising, trying to discredit the person, but in such words that it doesn’t look like a tactic.

  3. Hi Ekaterina,

    Love this title!!
    As to you having been Anne Frank, and that psychiatrist’s question as to what should be done about that belief:

    There are literally millions of people around the world who believe in reincarnation. Does she propose they all correct their religious beliefs to match hers? And why must anything be done about your belief in reincarnation, in having been Anne Frank? Where's the harm in that belief?

  4. Hi Ekaterina, I loved your post. I had to check where you live, as I thought you were a patient in the US. Wow, so some British psychiatrists are the same as in the US: very, very close minded.

    Scientifically, we share 99.99% of our DNA with each other. It’s very possible that you were Ann Frank in another life and especially possible that you were/are the Buddha. Buddhism teaches that we can obtain enlightenment, even At One Ment, through careful, diligent daily ritual and practice. These rituals change our neurons, making us deeply aware of the incredible humanity which exists in each and every one of us. And also, through this awareness, that we can overcome suffering and turn it into something which helps others.

    Medication stops this process. I remember my younger brother in rehab (just 16) and how drugged up he was; the same with my father when he developed paranoid schizophrenia and had ECT and medication. He was able to return to work though.

    So, throughout my visions, voices, prophetic dreams and being born again (2003), I avoided the medical profession, like a plague. I allowed it all to unfold and incubate within me and then, slowly, slowly released it into becoming the compassionate woman I yearned to be (healing childhood trauma.) Open Dialogue therapy here in the UK was fantastic and very instrumental in helping me gain this peace when my childhood trauma repeated itself again with my own family. (Thank you Dr. Razzaque and Cathy Thorley!)

    In 2017, I was one of four people talking about my experience of the therapy (and the only one not admitted to hospital, despite my ‘psychosis.’) I talked about the soul, that we each have one, and that working in mental health, people need to recognise that they are doing SACRED work, helping the soul emerge. Many nodded, but after I left the stage, a psychotherapist introduced himself and told me that I must have had a spiritual emergency. I replied: “You may consider me mentally ill, but I’m actually spiritually well.” He turned around and walked away. I had a similar insult from another guy – poor, deluded individuals…..

    This psychiatrist’s treatment of you is not about you: it IS about the very, very deep fear that many in the mental health profession have: that the visions and dreams and voices we hear do really exist, as we all know they do. They are utterly terrified of having a “spiritual emergency”, because who might THEY become when they are ‘awake’? They will be like us: utterly beautiful and vulnerable and totally ourselves…… <3

  5. Oh wow, this is so funny and sad. That was about my attitude, too. I could predict their actions because I had been there so many times. I agree that one’s thoughts are private and are no one’s business! I can think anything I want! I can walk past a store and think of breaking in a stealing everything inside. Have I committed a crime? No! I honestly don’t care whom another person believes they are reincarnated from! That’s private business and should stay private. In fact, locking a person up for any belief regarding reincarnation is treading on incarceration based on religious beliefs. You did not do any deed to cause this. I’m glad you’re out. Stay out. Don’t go back to them and don’t tell them your thoughts anymore. They don’t help. They hurt.

  6. Thank you all so much for the comments!
    Yes, the overall picture is very sad, and it is extremely sad that when one actually asks for help, one ends up being mistreated and derived of human rights. As someone mentioned, they also put you on medication which is almost impossible to stop, as it can effectively induce psychosis. Very slow tempering is probably the key, i am almost there myself. It is also sad that there is no way to experience any spiritual awakening nowadays, and Jesus or Buddhas of today would indeed be inside a psychiatric hospital. I heard of open dialogue, which seems much better than the mainstream approach, I also think that something like Soteria is a way forward for those who are in need of a safe and welcoming place.

    • Hi Ekaterina, there are a group of us who’ve just formed an “Open Dialogue Champions” group. We will be lobbying and campaigning for change in the system. Two of the members are leading people in Soteria Bradford and Soteria Brighton, which is wonderful. Safe places are vital…… <3

      • Hello Annette,
        I would be interested to learn more and take part. That’s a thing, one does need a safe place! If i am in psychosis, I do want to process it in a quiet way, not to remain in community and be terrified. But there is no way I am going back into the hospital after last time. They destroyed me in my first psychosis when treating something wonderful with massive amount of absolutely awful medication, after that it became a battle to get off it.

    • Hi Igor,
      ah, i managed to have some kind of life only because I never took the psychiatrists seriously. And functioning on 300 ml a day on seroquel is impossible, it is a fact. I was taking it all as a laugh (a survival strategy, I guess) until very recently when I decided to start research in mental health and finally took stock of what the psychiatry is doing. My last ‘crisis’ was an eye-opener, they effectively make invalids out of people. Also, because I always knew that what I experienced in my psychosis was real, the diagnosis never mattered, especially that they debated about it for like years, by first ‘trying’ schizophrenia and then discarding it because I appeared too high-functioning for such a damaging diagnosis (their words). How can one take them seriously after that?

  7. I don’t believe in reincarnation whatsoever. I don’t think you were the Buddha or Anne Frank, ever. And I find those kinds of beliefs to be symptoms of belief systems which can be problematic for SOME people in SOME cases.

    But detaining you and giving you these medications was completely unnecessary for what is at worst an incorrect belief, and at best a correct belief. I don’t know what other symptoms you showed but medications and detainment should not ever be used on someone unless their symptoms are harmful to themselves (and they consent) or if they are truly harmful to others (perhaps if you had thought your neighbor to be Hitler and attempted to kill him).

    • Ohwhattisthatlight, i would honestly rather argue with a psychiatrist than someone like you. What you wrote is extremely disrespectful and damaging. It showed in one go what is wrong with the system and demonstrated stigma that is much more harmful to survivors than the psychiatry.
      I don’t know where you got this idea but people in psychosis don’t want to harm other people, less alone kill anyone. It is indeed very damaging that some murderers claim the insanity. It should be abolished as a practice.
      You don’t know whether I was Buddha or Anne Frank. If I believe so, it is my belief. It doesn’t damage anyone. I went for help myself because I was in the outer reality which is beautiful but I was scared and needed a safe place. The safe place turned to be more damaging than safe. I honesty don’t know what you are doing on this site, but the psychiatrists showed me much more respect than someone like you.

      • Whoa! Ekaterina, your reply was entirely uncalled for!

        Ohwhatisthatlight just expressed your absolute right to believe such things and you said he stigmatized you because he said he doesn’t share your belief but supports your right to believe it. I feel exactly the same way. As an atheist, I don’t believe in anything supernatural. I don’t believe you were Anne Frank or Buddha, then now or ever.

        I completely support your right to believe in such things without being psychiatrized and medicated but no one has to share your beliefs and not sharing them is not the same as stigmatizing you.

        • my reply was to the following: “And I find those kinds of beliefs to be symptoms of belief systems which can be problematic for SOME people in SOME cases.” and to assumption that people in psychosis can be harmful to anyone. This has nothing to do with psychosis, but a person himself, which creates the main stigma for people diagnosed with ‘mental illness’.

    • Hi ohwhatisthatlight,

      I don’t think you were the Buddha or Anne Frank, ever.

      This is the kind of blunt statement that I think falls short of the mad-proud spirit of our movement.

      I doubt you know something valuable about Buddhism, and that you read the Diary of Anne Frank in high school. One is wondering what’s your own belief system that you wished Ekaterina and others would be wise to follow.

      I’m taking seriously that Ekaterina would prefer to argue with an evil secular inquisitor rather than with someone like you whose ideology is unclear. As we say, the enemy is within. According to you, what are the philosophical pillars of antipsychiatry?

          • Sceptics often point out people who claim to have lived previous lives invariably claim to be well-known dead people, such as Anne Frank. There is a clear case to be made for overidentification. And there is clearly little concern for the problems of verification. A deliberate cynical fraud would surely involve claiming to be someone dead that is not well-known, whose life is not well-documented. But seemingly, non-famous people only very rarely reincarnate. Whereas famous dead people reincarnate frequently, sometimes multiple times at different places on the Earth, re-occupying living bodies simultaneously. For instance, Jesus reincarnates several thousand times a year, every year, the world over. Which is troubling, given that Jesus is clearly having problems getting the reincarnation right, which suggests some glitch or bug in the spawning system.

            I have tried to find a website that collates the reincarnated dead people, attempts to keep a count. It would be interesting to see how many Anne Franks there are currently, as well as an accurate number of Jesuses. John Lennon often reincarnates too. So does Mozart, Beethoven and — less mentioned — Adolf Hitler. I would like to be able to check in somewhere and keep an eye on the numbers. Not sure why I would find that reassuring, but I would.

            Language-wise, there is little difference between saying “I am Jesus reborn” compared to say “I am *like* Jesus reborn”. This is why I think that frontal lobe injury is probably a key factor in such phenomena, as the frontal lobes play a part in the regulation of self-image.

          • redux wrote “It would be interesting to see how many Anne Franks there are currently, as well as an accurate number of Jesuses.”

            The difference is obvious, as Anne Frank is a mortal without magical powers, and Jesus can raise the dead and do other miracles.

            I met a guy who believes he is Jesus, but I did not ask him to show me any of his magical powers. Would he have become angry if asked?

            A person who believes they are Anne Frank should be less dangerous than someone who believes they are Jesus.

    • Ohwhatisthatlight

      And who are you to decide what a correct belief is? Just because Ekaterina doesn’t believe the same way that you do does not make her beliefs any less meaningful and important. Who died and made you the great judge of belief systems. In one fell swoop you just did away with the belief systems of Hinduism and Buddhism. Who are you to decide such things?

      • Stephen, Ohwhatisthatlight didn’t say anything about correct beliefs. It’s hard to read these replies taken so very out of context. No one ever has to share a belief you have. Not sharing a belief does not mean the person thinks your belief is stupid or crazy. Doesn’t mean they don’t think you should have the right to have such a belief. Where is all this demand for conformity in thinking coming from suddenly? People can disagree on things without shaming.

        Am I supposed to tell my Christian friend that I believe in god so she doesn’t feel I am shaming her for her belief? Well then what happens to my belief that there are no deities? Is my belief less real or valid?

        • I agree that people can agree or disagree without shaming. The main disbelief actually came from Christian people when I was saying I was ‘Jesus’ and seeing parallel reality. I already know that psychiatrists don’t believe in such things. But Christians should actually sit me down and say that: 1. You are discovering Jesus and this is what is happening, you are discovering faith, or 2. You feel close to Jesus and Jesus is in everyone, instead of agreeing that it is a mental illness. A Christian nurse told me while administering medication that ‘You aren’t Jesus, and never were.” Personally, i do find it problematic that those who say they follow any faith, are unable to actually experience faith in real life, and spiritual awakening.
          Not believing in anything is a choice which should be respected, but doesn’t help in understanding psychosis.

          • @ Ekaterina

            Well, the DSM indicates that religious beliefs must be ruled out of the definition of delusional thinking. In practice, however, psychiatrists, for ideological and economic purposes, will make an idiosyncratic use of the criteria, and are likely to diagnose such beliefs as pathological, all the more because psychs are ignorant of social science and humanities which include sociology, history, and anthropology. Furthermore, beliefs that are too uncommon within a given culture can still meet the criteria. Anyway, such criteria are always left to the therapist’s “clinical judgment”, or personal interpretation.

          • Just to jump into this again, it seems to me that ultimately psychiatry — and any “psychotherapy” — does take a religious position when it makes any sort of definitive statement about death, which it generally does by default if at all. But consider the interaction one might go through with a lifelong shrink or therapist who is about to die about what death means, its significance, its reality, the fate of consciousness, etc. — can anyone even pretend that these are scientific or medical issues, and not spiritual/philosophical ones?

        • Well said. Sharing differing beliefs is not the same as shaming someone for their particular belief. This same kind of thinking is behind the concept of “pill shaming,” where pointing out legitimate critiques of the facts surrounding psychiatric drug use is conflated with telling people who use them that they are wrong. If we can’t talk about differing beliefs and observations, we can’t have an honest conversation. The key is respecting the right of others to their own beliefs and observations, rather than insisting that yours must be “correct” for everyone.

      • See my post at bottom as to how many people can, in the afterlife, be influenced by great souls such as Jesus Christ, Buddha, Joan of Arc, and Anne Frank.

        Regardless of the factuality of the belief – here’s the thing. It’s valuable. If my resonance with Joan of Arc leads me to learn something about how to function in my present incarnation – then – whether she is a Guardian Spirit, an archetype, a past life, an Ancestor – or just a symbol for my personal healing – the belief about it doesn’t matter.

        What matters is that it is valuable information which informs the present from the realm of the Collective.

    • Ohwhatisthatlight,

      Okay, so you have a belief (that reincarnation isn’t a thing). So what? It is exactly and only that: a belief. Everybody has their beliefs. Yours isn’t special, correct, or right. Everybody has an anal sphincter, and I’ll bet you have one too. I’m reminded of the one about the guy who walked into a bar with an opinion and an anal sphincter (both of which tend to stink when they’re in-your-face). Anyway, the bartender takes his order, and serves him his drink. Because “he’s just like everybody else.”

      • Commenting as moderator here:

        You are right, everyone has a right to their beliefs. Stating one’s beliefs in general is not a cause for being moderated. Telling someone else their beliefs are wrong may very well be cause for being moderated. Sometimes, we have to just allow people to state their beliefs and let them have those beliefs, even if they seem misguided or contradictory. Naturally, it’s always acceptable to ask why, and to share one’s own beliefs that conflict, but I don’t think we want to be in the business of moderating people’s belief systems, unless they intrude upon the rights of others to operate successfully (such as racism, sexism, etc.)

        Just want to be clear about that distinction.

        — Steve

      • Telling someone else their beliefs are wrong may very well be cause for being moderated.

        I hope you will want to walk this back or rephrase it. Just about every discussion here involves people telling one another that their beliefs are wrong, and explaining why they believe so. If someone touts the medical model or supports drugging someone will (hopefully) be telling them this is wrong (or incorrect). Likewise if someone believes that 2+2=7. Otherwise conversation is meaningless.

        Were you perhaps thinking specifically about religious beliefs?

  8. Not fitting into the extremely narrowed psychiatric framework, any disagreement with the imposed stereotypes immediately leads to a merciless diagnosis. How many famous personalities are Andrei Bely, Vladimir Vysotsky, Igor Gubin, Alexander Bashlachev … was subjected to psychiatric pressure. What can say about the rest!

  9. Someone left a disrespectful comment about there being no such thing as reincarnation. To that, I say the following:

    I am a Jew. As a Jew, I choose to tolerate other people’s belief that Jesus was the Messiah. To me, the concept of Messiah does not compute, and when I hear “Jesus” I cringe inside. When I hear Christmas music I also cringe, but am I going to swear out loud at the Muzak when I head out to Walmart in a bit? No! Why? Because it’s not polite.

    As a Jew I am also agnostic. It is my right to have this belief, which for the most part I do not share with others. As a Jew, I choose to tolerate people’s belief in God. I also choose to tolerate people’s belief that there is no God, that is, Atheism. I choose not to choose.

    As a Jew I also feel obligated to tolerate beliefs I do not hold myself but I know are a deeply held part of nonwestern cultures, such as reincarnation. I think it is hugely disrespectful and narrow-minded to say that reincarnation doesn’t exist, is a delusion, or is impossible. What if I said the Christmas story was a mass delusion and anyone who believes it should be incarcerated? Maybe the entirety of Vatican City should be locked up and drugged.

    Is life even real? Please poke me. I must be dreaming. This dog is so cute, she couldn’t be real.

  10. Christ! Ekaterina is doing more time for Madness than most folks do for a f*ck*ng DWI!!! Adherents of #FAKESCIENCE are “threatened” by ALL identities which are self-made or self-selected. It was easy for the quacks to pounce on Ekaterina’s bond with Anne Frank. Most people know who she was, and would, obviously, prefer to detach from her wretched existence. But, really, Ekaterina’s quacks have, essentially, forbade her from preserving any life or sense of self. She could describe her identity in a manner that sounds “normal”, or openly aspire to “normal” adult goals, and she would STILL get quacked by those abusive psychiatrists. When psychiatry saw that I wouldn’t quit school, wouldn’t quit work, and wouldn’t really “accept” my so-called “illness”, it went f*ck*ng nuclear on me, just as Ekaterina’s quacks did to her. So, she’s absolutely right. There is no room for psychiatry in any *real* life. And, psychiatry will not spare you any shred of personal integrity. To keep anything of yours, anything at all, you have to bail on the #FAKESCIENCE forever.

  11. To avoid this game with psychiatrists, don’t play the game with psychiatrists. If you kick the ball to them, and then complain when they kick it back…

    I am Martina Navratilova and I am Joan of Arc and I am Demis Roussos. It’s okay so long as I don’t make those claims to a psychiatrist.

    It’s a bit like walking up to a heavily armed Police Officer in London and telling them you are Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and then complaining that what happened next was an overreaction.

    Surely you wouldn’t say these things to a psychiatrist unless you wanted a reaction? And then… what reaction are you expecting?

    • Perhaps then, they should not present themselves as “helpers”. Or “doctors”.
      What behaviour does a child have to give to prove their “normalcy”? Millions of kids are given drugs.
      Or are we believing that every behaviour that does not fall into a certain construct is a TBI or “MI”?

  12. Ekaterina

    According to the teaching of the Buddha you have always been a Buddha. No one can ever take that away from you. Buddha said that a sleeping buddha lives within each person, waiting to awaken through enlightenment. This is why people who practice Buddhism keep statues of Buddha, not to worship since Buddha is not God, but to remind us when we look at the statues that we too contain a buddha. And if the Dalai Lama can be the fourteenth incarnation of the historical Buddha than why can’t you be too? Or maybe I’m getting mixed up a bit. The Dalai Lama may be the incarnation of the Buddha of Compassion, Aveloketishvara. But you get my point. I hope that you don’t let your enlightenment be stymied by the likes of the ignorant psychiatrist that dealt with you.

  13. Hi guys,
    thank you so much for the support! I shouldn’t have reacted to that disrespectful comment. I am not in the hospital to ‘argue’ my case! Well, yes, Buddhism teaches that everyone can become Buddha, that was my first stage, before I became ‘Jesus’, which led to the most traumatic hospital experience. Again, just a belief which doesn’t sit well with the psychiatrists, who don’t understand that I am just in the middle of spiritual transformation.
    I am not sure I am right or am doing a right thing, but how many of you know Sinead O’Connor, an Irish singer? There is a witch hunt on her today on Twitter and from the press due to a couple of embarrassing tweets. I had a look at her tweets when read that she had some ‘mental’ health issues in the past (including an overdose and a time in the hospital), and it might be totally a wrong guess but i think she is in the middle of ‘psychosis’ and needs understanding and some help rather than ridiculing her with all kinds of nasty comments all over the net today. Could someone else have a look? Her Twitter is https://twitter.com/magdadavitt77?lang=en
    I might be absolutely and totally wrong but as a person who had ‘psychosis’ I recognise some signs and wish that someone would be there for me, asking how I was doing rather than deleting me from friends or laughing when I said i was ‘Jesus’ on Facebook.

    • Actually, all the mystical traditions of all the world religions, including Christianity, teach that we are all divine because we all have the One, Transcendent, and Eternal Consciousness. All sentient beings are divine. But to say this out loud in public usually sets off some repercussions. There is a theory that psychosis in early adulthood is an awakening realization of this but most people find it difficult to compute and so they fracture. Who knows? I believe that each person should be allowed to believe what they want about their spirituality, no matter what. Thanks for writing.

    • Yeah, you’re not helping Sinead by diagnosing her though. I’ve always liked her, though she seems to disappear from the public eye for long periods, not that I’m paying attention. She did a rap on the Irish potato famine that was educational, pointing out that the only reason the Irish were living on potatoes anyway is that the British took all the good stuff.

      • She was bullied on Twitter and she is a psychiatry survivor herself, I was very worried about her as a fellow human being. Bipolar disorder is a label, I agree, a label of the experience of being human.
        Anyway, she seems to be managing, with her Muslim friends helping her, so i don’t want to discuss it anymore here. When I wrote about her first time, i was hoping that some other people would support her on twitter from her bullies

  14. When I was abused in a hospital I lost a lot of my friends. They claimed it was ‘impossible” that such a thing could have happened. They claimed I was “delusional.” My therapist claimed the unit I was on did not exist. Even now, people outside of MIA claim it couldn’t possibly have occurred. However, it did occur. This kind of thing is not “the exception.” I was not psychotic. These were just people doing their job, apparently. These were nurses scared to speak out against the ones that had abused, scared of losing their jobs, nurses that knew I was right but afraid that if they sided with me they’d get fired. They were right. They would have! Still, when I said abuse, I meant abuse. I stand by my words. I know I am telling the truth. It’s hard to forgive when you were deprived of water. It’s hard to forgive when they defended their actions that nearly killed me, and then, to keep me quiet, tried to get me committed in a state hospital to ensure I didn’t pursue the case legally. Seven years have passed and I am still called psychotic to this day. I hate it.

    • Hello Julie,
      once you come into the grips of psychiatry, you encounter abuse. I believe you. My first experience was in the Netherlands, which was a reason as to why I left the country. It was where that the doctor insisted on speaking Dutch to me, while I wasn’t speaking it yet, saying that ‘we are in the Netherlands’ and his English and French were perfect, where I was given medication while I was just extremely happy, and where I was told ‘I was mad’ when I said I was Buddha. Once, when I sung in the corridor a song by Robbie Williams, I was put into isolation room for a night. My only ‘salvation’ was a Jewish psychiatrist who clearly didn’t believe in psychiatry and asked not to give me any medication when I came myself for help in search of a ‘safe’ place, but he was ignored because as they said in the hospital: ‘we don’t have space for something like that (to treat someone without any medication)’. He was a reason as to why I thought that the psychiatry could be transformed from within for a while, but of course, it has just adopted a ‘pseudo-humanist’ approach since then, positioning it in ‘mental health’ debate, while at the same time, things have become so much worse. Now, everything gets a diagnosis.
      There is nothing apart from Mad in America website to help those who try to look for alternative explanations and views. Nothing. While there is an urgent need to actively help those who suffered in a more active way, such as self-education.

      • Ekaterina Netchitailova wrote: “There is nothing apart from Mad in America website to help those who try to look for alternative explanations and views. Nothing. While there is an urgent need to actively help those who suffered in a more active way, such as self-education.”

        There are lots and lots of places on the internet that greet people with open arms who have experiences of past lives, or alternate famous personalities, or mystical experiences. Also, pretty much any religion is open to people having these experiences.

        Likewise the internet is replete with psychiatric survivors who are heavily invested in exploring away from the mainstream.

        You might make a start at


        • Hi, many thanks for the links!
          I will have a look.
          I was thinking more of how to help people in real lives, especially that some people have no access to the Internet. There is a lot of criticism of psychiatry but what would be the alternatives? What would be the alternatives for people who ask for help? Soteria? How to help people to recover, how to help them to combat with stigma? How to educate them in practical ways? How to reach all those who are heavily drugged, sit at home hiding, with no desire to live? There should be a more coordinated network of survivors, because even if some of them do exist, I don’t understand how they help people in real life. Everything is isolated, in other towns, somewhere in an abstract place on the internet, while real people in real life, continue to struggle.

          • Youre welcome, Ekaterina.

            Like anything it depends, depends, depends. Some people would rather be left alone. I can often count myself in that number. It took a while to come to terms with that. I went through a period of thinking I had to recover. That it was possible to recover. And then, in exploring these areas, I discovered that time and time again, the pressures I was putting on myself were pushing me in the opposite direction. I kept getting worse.

            And I object to my achievements and adaptations, as humble as they are, being referred to as recovery. It’s not recovery to stay alive or not get arrested or have a bath. It’s not recovery to look in a mirror, or write online. You don’t get to recover from what some describe as severe and enduring mental illness. Or schizphrenia. Or whatever. Frontal lobe damage. Traumatic brain injury. Yes, plasticity, and so on. But for gawd’s sake it’s compensatory. All that evolution wasn;t for nothing and yes if you knock out one section of the noggin, another part of the brain can compensate. But it will never, NEVER!, function as well as that original brainflesh.

            I accept that some people want to be in recovery-oriented and so-called compassionate scenarios, and that they go in with high expectations, and come out sometimes as evangelists. This is fine, fine for them, but for people like me, people that do not buy into the New Age stuff, the evangelists for these kinds of things are a bit of a pain in the arse.

            The people you allude to, many of them, find comfort in their solitude, find peace in their minimal lives. They do not want to be compelled to be amongst others, in a designated place, herded, shepherded, prescribed an identity, compelled to think that an institution, of no matter what kind, is their natural habitat, and the best place for them, when things are tough. They want to be left alone, for the most part. For all the recovery-bashing zealots to back right off and populate whatever moon takes their fancy.

            Some people want to be in hospital wards. They get a lot out of it. They hit it off with staff and the experience is positive for them. Other people want to be in alternative institutions like Soteria, and it works for them, to be indulged by others in a less medical way, although Soteria Houses do not dispense entirely with medication, and of course, they have obligations, and legal requirements, and standards of behaviour and etiquette, institutional rules and modes of being, and are not unknown to ring the police to take over, when they have reached the limits of their limitless compassion.

            It depends, depends, depends. Always it depends.

            Some people such as myself would much rather, at times, be afforded a personal budget, and a full-time personal assistant, and the green-light to pop off somewhere quiet and solitudinal, near the sea, away from the agony of roads, and the filth of fumes and the sickness of bright lights and the horror of microwave technologies. There is the possibility of this, the carrot has been dangling for many for years, and a few have succeeded in establishing a social contract, a personal budget, and assistance to do with that what they will, psychosocially, for the better of their health and will to live and go on with what is, essentially, a very limited and painful life, by nature of the struggles they contend with.

            What I should have been given was a picture-in-picture rectangle in the corner of every single screen that ever got goggled at. I be there, constantly making comments, reacting, correcting grammar and spelling, pointing out logical inconsistences, plot irregularities, and unforgiveable instances of narcissistic character development, and underlining acts and utterances of class betrayal, and bigotry, and self-sodomising pretentiousness, of which there is so much these days, I can hardly come up for air, am deluged by it. For instance I said to a stranger yesterday, do you believe in god, and he goes no, and so I ask, well, have you ever believed in god, and he goes no, and I asks, well, there’s a thing and so have you ever indulged the idea that there might be a god, and he goes no, and so I ask, well, then youll struggle with my question, and I knew he had no interest in my question, but I asked it anyway, as I had a compulsion to finish, and so I asks him, do you think that god would request that someone killed themselves, and finally he awakens from his smartphone, and he goes, I DO NOT want to go there with that kind of thing, I dont want to think about it, and I asks, do you mind but do you self-identify as depressed, and he goes, FUCK YOU YES I AM DEPRESSED, and he looks like he’s going to punch me in the face and I smile at him and I goes, well, according to the bible, god loves you and he won’t ask you to kill yourself and in fact if ever a voice or thought appears in your noggin and suggests you should kill yourself, know this for sure, it isnt god doing it

            What I would like to see is less paternalism. Less assumptions being made without actually talking to people and getting a real angle on the true diversity of the mad community, for want of a better collective noun. So much of what is provided or established or proposed stems from the desires and hopes of too small a number of consulted persons, and this, I find, to be a very disagreeble pattern, a perhaps even insulting approach, demeaning, fakey… fakey in the sense of not actually all that concerned with the plight of others, and what they want, and what they think might help them, or even just what they know isn’t helpful to them, but an assumption that because a small handful of celebrity activists push an agenda, that is the totality of the agenda. I find that whole business sordid, and dispiriting.

            I accept that madinamerica is doing its bit to give a voice to people, but it’s like, say at a football match, on the terraces, you can only ever hear the voices closest to you, and even then only the ones that are bellowing the loudest,the rest, the vast majority, just merge into an overwhelm of voices indeterminate. the stories can never be exhausted. personally I consider that to be a wonderful thing. and I thank you sincerely for sharing your own. for a while it’ll ring in my ears. Best of luck and health.

          • @ Ekaterina

            From the outset, the problem with psychiatry is political (power + ideology), not medical (science + care/help/therapy).

            I don’t know how familiar you are with the work of Thomas Szasz (The Myth of Mental Illness, The Manufacture of Madness, namely), but if you are going to “help” yourself and others, you need to do political education, promote class-consciousness; that is, be a leftist, and know what it means to be one. By “political”, I don’t mean the mainstream stuff, but the science and philosophy. In a nutshell, the political body of human destiny is about the management of social conflicts, power relationships. Nothing is more important than the power you have in your own life, and the power that others can exert on you.

            Now, coercion is the cornerstone of psychiatry. Beyond the myth of mental illness, invalid diagnoses, super-placebo lobotomizing drugs, clinical trials biased to death, etc., it all comes down to behavioral control. The medical infrastructures and the benevolent outlook are really just political devices to make you behave in a sociomorally acceptable way. What we are dealing with is the quintessence of fascism, as centuries of pseudoscientific claims and barbaric treatments will have proven it. Antipsychiatry, on the other hand, given its positive understanding of madness, represents the revolutionary drive. In the final analysis, there is nothing more political of a subject than psychiatry, and nothing as extremely leftist as antipsychiatry.

            As Oldhead down there would argue, seek no “alternatives” to psychiatry. There is no alternative to slavery, only abolition. That being said, institutional psychiatry does not exist in a void. It is a reflection of the existing social order. To bring about an “alternate” world in which coercive psychiatry would no longer exist, we have to scrap the political discourse, narrative, ideology that supports it. It involves nothing other than a revolution in mental and social structures.

            I have come to realize that the psychiatric survivors movement is the most difficult to put together. Still, we have a whole range of strategies to advance our common agenda of fighting, resisting, surviving, ending psychiatric oppression. You can do it all alone as an anarchist, or work in advocacy groups if you can withstand the collectivist nature of groups. Ultimately, the key point in this brief answer of mine is to not overlook the political, legal, moral nature of the problem at hand.

          • There is a lot of criticism of psychiatry but what would be the alternatives? What would be the alternatives for people who ask for help?

            Hi, deinquisiteur pretty much said it all here. I just want to pick a little more at this concept of “alternatives.”

            The only real alternative to something evil is for it to cease existing — slavery or concentration camps for example. So when you talk of “alternatives” to something you imply that it is basically necessary but there are better or optional ways of doing it. This does not fit the bill with psychiatry, because it has no positive function to begin with, unless you accept the lies and pseudoscience, and the idea that the solution is to “go” somewhere for “professional” answers to problems attributable to and inherent in the very structure of capitalist society. Or the idea that there are individual solutions divorced from that context.

            The only legitimate purpose for a “network of survivors” would be to fight to abolish psychiatry (most immediately the forced kind) and support each other along the way — not as “co-counselors” or “peers,” but as comrades in struggle.

  15. Here are some impressive opinions about psychiatry written by one familiar:
    … Now, for example, a penchant for writing poetry official psychiatric science considers a symptom of severe mental illness. (By psycho was Pushkin, by a complete psycho.) Also psychiatrists diagnosed Sherlock Holmes. Paranoia, they say, and all because of cocaine. Moreover, psychiatrists were given to read the pages of Hegel’s Phenomenology of the Spirit. The result was wonderful. Read of Hegel and as usual do not understand anything psychiatrists took advantage by conventional for difficult cases magic wand. — in general use diagnosis of “schizophrenia”. which they shove everywhere where something is incomprehensible. So soon there will be no poets, no philosophers, no literary heroes, not just clean people. Of all their will distribute in sanatoriums. Of all whose spiritual world does not fit into the horizons of grave worms in white coats…
    … Сейчас, например, склонность к писанию стихов официальная психиатрическая наука считает симптомом тяжелейшего психического заболевания. (Психом был Пушкин, мать его. Полнейшим психом.) А ещё психиатры поставили диагноз Шерлоку Холмсу. Паранойя, говорят, и всё из-за кокаина. А ещё психиатрам дали почитать страницы гегелевской «Феноменологии духа». Результат получился (уф-ф-ф, Аллакайым!!!) следующий: сподобившись почитать Гегеля, умудрившись его не узнать и ни хрена, как обычно, не поняв, психиатры воспользовались обычной для трудных случаев палочкой-выручалочкой — общеупотребительным диагнозом «шизофрения», который они вообще-то суют везде, где что-нибудь непонятно. Так что скоро не останется у человечества ни поэтов, ни философов, ни литературных героев, ни просто чистоплотных людей. Всех рассуют по «санаториям». Всех, чей духовный мир не вмещается в горизонты могильных червей в белых халатах…

    • Well Jesus was referred to somewhere as a paranoid schizophrenic so Shakespeare probably still escaped the labelling because of their subconscious understanding that nothing will be left for ‘entertainment’ while they build their next generation of slaves. Lametamor, напиши мне на мой блог! http://porcupineswisdom.blogspot.co.uk там есть форма для контакта! Я тут если честно, охренела в серьёзных дискуссиях (не на этом сайте, mad in America это англо-язычное спасение) а в том что пишут в академии и политике), а ведь в вопросе псиахтатрии без чувства юмора не выедешь. Булгакову диагноз поставили?

  16. Ekaterina Netchitailova wrote: “Well Jesus was referred to somewhere as a paranoid schizophrenic…”

    Yes, I see that get repeated often and it’s a real chin-rubber of a statement.

    What you won’t see is people making the effort to think deeper into it.

    The post-Pauline Jesus is a mythical construct. The pre-Pauline Jesus is a human being and nothing more.

    The post-Pauline Jesus would, on paper, meet the criteria for schizophrenia. Except, a mythical person cannot meet psychiatric criteria, except as a kind of indulgent parlour game.

    The pre-Pauline Jesus was a revolutionary in some ways, but did not depart from any of the prevalent teachings of the time, in the East at least. He was very much a human being and does not meet the criteria for schizophrenia.

    Gautama Siddharta (who I do not believe was or is the Buddha, as such a being is a mythical construct) would, at turns, have met the modern criteria for schizophrenia, but not in the context of his own culture, by the by.

    I consider there to be very many people like myself who have suffered significant damage to the frontal lobes (and the parietal lobes) and later to the amygdala, who share many of the classic symptoms of schizophrenia/manic psychosis, and who will often end up with that label, as we live in a world that is uneasy about not categorising things, even when there is an obvious functional problem in a person’s brain.

  17. markusbmcake,
    I have great respect for Islam! What i meant is that when one is going through some spiritual awakening, no one should try to influence someone into ‘official’ religion unless the person has already faith and can be helped by a spiritual worker. I think that all religions provide some kind of answer, but it is all lost now within the official system of diagnoses.

    • Okay – maybe I misunderstood you. To provide you answer with another thing: as I myself was percecuted and sought after by “psychiatry” there was a man approaching me 2009, that invited me to Islam. I told him that I will come when I am free from the “psychiatry” and start studying it. And so it happened. I was against all laws and broke them, but, was time and time again convinced about the authencity of Islam. As for now, I have stopped resisting the commandments, and tries to follow as best I can. As D.T. Suzuki writes about the Zen masters that their words always are well founded in their own experiences and has to be refered back to this very experience to make it meaningful in regards to your question.

      You ask: what is the alternative for “psychiatry”. Answer: give them morphine who tend to be psychotic and they will not be psychotic anymore. There is good treatment worked out in Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs, whom went through the apomorphine treatment that zeros your nervoussystem and makes you free from the addiction. He wrote : I have never seen a psychotic junkie.

      By this, the ill effects will be minimized, and calm will be restored to the communities. LEGALIZE MORPHINE.

      But this, actually goes against the Sunnah, which says that every intoxicant is forbidden. But I think, compared with the alternative which is slow lobotomy, this alternative is better.

      A “cure” that psychiatrist Margaretha Hellsten in Sweden worked out, was giving psychotic persons large doses of B12, we are speaking about 100 mg per day or something like it. B12 is the food of the nervous system, and when your nervous system is damaged, this is necessary.

      Also, you should buy an orgone ackumulator, that Wilhelm Reich treated his patients in. It costs a considerable amount of money, about 2400 Euro, if you want an effective one, but, it will heal your skin that has become broken because of the antipsychotic substances, and will get you back on track. Wilhelm Reich describes it in his books Character Analysis, The function of the orgasm, and The cancer biopathy.

      You can write me if you want more information where to buy an orgone accumulator.

      • Yes, i will contact you via your blog. I can’t possibly afford that thing you mentioned, but vitamin B12 – i’ve heard indeed that it is useful.
        I’ve seen psychotic junkies and drugs can induce psychosis, it is a very dangerous territory.
        There is a lot of criticism of psychiatry, but no alternatives in terms of an organised system, it seems. Why? Because no one wants to take the responsibility of dealing with a psychotic person without some ‘legal’ terms in place, or risking to end up in prison. So, which leads me again to conclusion that the change has to come from within somehow, more humanistic approach, no diagnoses or patronising. As a person who had psychosis, i can certify that you can’t just leave the person to their devices, a safe house is needed, or there is a risk to life of this person. What i think is needed are spiritual workers within the system, who understand psychosis.
        Psychosis is actually the main hurdle in the whole game. Because no one figured out yet how to deal with it, and it gives justification for other ‘illnesses’ and ‘diagnoses’. As long as they have ‘psychosis’ in their category (and it is the considered as the most serious mental illness officially), one can’t win any fight with psychiatry. Figure out ‘psychosis’, and then there is a chance for change. But since it is in the spiritual domain, it can be understood only by very few.

        • @ Ekaterina

          It seems like you replied at the wrong place to my comment about the definition of delusional thinking and religious beliefs.

          Anyway, I learned that you have a personal interest in “psychosis”, and that you tend to distinguish it from the antipsychiatry fighting.

          I have no problem with the word itself. Psychosis is a state of mind. The definition might be controversial, but it is employed by “rational antipsychiatrist” Richard Bentall in Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature.

          Now, in philosophical antipsychiatry, I would not oppose the question of psychosis and the question of psychiatric oppression. Rather, I am personally interested in “madness”, a general concept used in philosophy to study a class of phenomena that challenge rationality and common sense. There is a narrow approach to it (madness in individual behaviors) and a broad approach (collective madness). Psychiatry tends to trivialize madness (it’s an illness like another, we will understand it better eventually…) while antipsychiatry tends to glorify it.

          One does not have to be “psychotic” to be mad. That’s why I prefer the latter notion because it is more fundamental. Indeed, one of the philosophical pillars of antipsychiatry is the equivalence of normality with insanity. Most people might not be “psychotic” most of the time by any standard, but it does not mean they are “sane” spirits.

          • yes, i agree, I am also interested in how ‘madness’ is viewed in line with writings of Foucault, and how it is recycled now into ‘mental health’ discourse, which makes it very very hard to challenge from academic point of view.
            Psychosis as an experience is my own interest, but nothing prevents me from pursuing both interests, I guess.

          • I have no problem with the word itself. Psychosis is a state of mind.

            No, can’t go there. Anything ending with “osis” implies a disease state. This is simply a term to describe an infinite collection of personal idiosyncrasies, expressions of pain, etc. which cannot be adequately articulated, and which do not constitute a legitimate “class” of anything. It is used as a way of feigning an understanding of a vast spectrum of thought and behavior which does not conform to accepted standards. (As evidenced by the inability or unwillingness of anyone to define “psychosis.”) It should not be used. (I’m not fond of “madness” either.)

          • @ Oldhead,

            We argued about this before. I thought it was done. Well, let’s see if you, Ekaterina (our psychosis expert) or anyone else can help sort this out…

            → Psychosis is a mental state, not a disease. Depression is a mental state, a condition, a symptom, not a disease. Hallucinations are a mental phenomenon, an experience, a neurological condition. Anxiety is a state of mind, a feeling, not necessarily the effect of a brain disease. Mood disorders are just that: disordered moods. On the other hand, major/clinical/characterized depression is construed as a disease. (In “Major depressive disorder,” “major” does not assume any degree of severity; it could be mild, moderate, or severe. However, “major depressive episode” will be interpreted as a psychiatric disease.) “Schizophrenia” is the diagnostic term for chronic psychotic behavior. I would be glad to use the term “schizophrenia” in the sense of the existential/phenomenologist psychs like Eugène Minkowski but, of course, I refrain from using this kind of term in many casual contexts because it is loaded with psychiatric stigma. The above psychological phenomena are neurological conditions, but not only so. Toxic psychosis is a medical condition. Hallucinations are also subject to medical care when they are effectively neurological (caused by trauma or drug abuse, for instance). Those kinds of hallucinations are being branded “pseudo-hallucinations” to distinguish them from true, psychiatric, hallucinations, which bear sociomoral judgments (when people complain about one’s atypical brain functioning). Now, “disease/illness/disorder/condition” are semantic clones that psychiatrists may use interchangeably anytime they see fit. Nonetheless, these terms must have quite distinct meanings. By the way, “mental illness” is a dangerous metaphor only because it is associated with biomedicine. A bipolar season, a moody landscape, an impulsive volcano, an obsessive storm, an antisocial sea, a climate going mad, are beautiful metaphors too, but not dangerous ones, because nobody would think about calling medical doctors to go fix the weather with pills.

            “Psychosis” implies a disease state (-osis) and shall be assessed by a medical doctor, a general practitionner, an emergency physician, and not a psychiatrist. In a psychosocial-democracy (in replacement of the biomedical Gestapo), of course there will be holistic doctors in the team. But the psychologist will be in charge of the team and manage every cases of human distress, not the biologically oriented doctor. This plan, inspired by Peter Kinderman’s A Prescription for Psychiatry, might not be the most revolutionary, but it is enough so to cause much disquiet and commotion within the establishment.

          • NONE of these terms have any legitimacy and they should never be used. Fuck “teams.” We are not dealing with medicine or science here. The only “prescription for psychiatry” I would adhere to is for it to declare itself illegitimate, go out of business, and offer reparations to its generations of victims. Though obviously it is not about to do that so the burden falls upon us, which is nothing new. We have nothing to lose but our chains.

            I like poetry too btw. It’s when metaphors are not recognized as such that the deception starts to creep in.

          • @ Oldhead

            If none of “these terms” have legitimacy, that’s a lot of vocabulary to overhaul. To think about the French-speaker that I am, and the Russian lady who just published this article… 😉

            Not fond of the word “madness”? Why would you be mad at it? I guess, in English, “madness” has more the sense of anger, lost of temper, violence-prone. In French, “folie” has more the sense of weird, funny, ridiculous, what-the-hell-is-going-on-here, and might be more aptly translated as “craziness”. The French word is extremely customary, hence may bear less pejorative meaning than the English equivalent. Just from the French Canadian public radio, look at how some of the shows are named:

            – Plus on est de fous, plus on lit!
            (The more of mad we are, the more we read!)
            – C’est fou
            (It’s crazy)

            The same public channel also has a popular variety TV show that involves a jester (fou du roi).

            You point out the fact that “psychosis” has no consensual definition. Well, it means an altered state of mind, a disconnection from “reality”. Consensual reality. Buddhism, qua science of mind, comes in handy to get a direct, clear appraisal of the ultimate nature of reality. What is your preferred vocabulary, if you have one?

            You find despicable the idea that a psychosocial team would incrementally put the biomedical Gestapo out of business. Well, if those psychologists were trained to be careful about the metaphor of mental illness, to recognize psychiatrists as failed poets and scientists, would you reconsider your position?

          • If none of “these terms” have legitimacy, that’s a lot of vocabulary to overhaul.

            Tell me about it! 🙂 Though once the fraudulent principles behind them are exposed they should pretty much disappear in one fell swoop.

            As for “madness,” it’s fine as poetry but not much else; certainly not an “alternative” term for “mental illness.” Looking for such misses the point, which is to deconstruct the entire context even beyond Szasz — maybe even find that unlikely-sounding Szasz-Marx synthesis and an understanding of psychiatry in the context of alienation and repression. Or something like that.

            Yes, “psychosis” falsely implies a disease state, but why should we respect that? You seem to imply that psychiatry can be “put out of business” by competing with it on its own terms, which involves the illusion that human misery can be addressed as a series of individual problems to be addressed individually, rather than a collective malaise to be addressed politically, based on the exponentially accelerating reduction of humanity to our literal worth in dollars and cents.

            Tactically, I think psychiatry should be attacked from all angles, but we should be sure that it’s really an attack and not an adjustment.

          • @ Oldhead,

            [This comment was marked as spam and is reposted here in two parts]

            Psychosis, depression, anxiety, hallucination… Let’s take one of these terms.

            1. Hallucination (medical, psychological): sensory experience not caused by external source.

            2. Hallucination (psychiatric): sensory experiences not caused by external source and not recognized as real.

            “If someone hears a voice, for instance, and knows that the voice is not “real”, this is not technically a true hallucination, according to standard accounts in psychopathology texts. This experience, when the person has insight into a hallucination, is sometimes referred to as pseudo-hallucination. Although these terms are somewhat arbitrary, the general concept holds that there is a cognitive component to a hallucination. One experiences something sensory and believes it to be real, when it is not real. This leads to the conclusion that delusions, the psychotic symptom expressed in thought, are necessary for hallucinations and that therefore all psychosis at bottom rests on the presence of delusion.”*

            “Hallucination” is a legitimate concept. However, the psychiatric definition adds a moral, belief component. When someone believes their experiences are “real”, or true, or meaningful, then a psychiatrist may pose a philosophical, moral, arbitrary judgment on those experiences. The psychiatrist can declare the person as lacking in insight (anosognosia). Here again, “anosognosia” is a legitimate, medical, neurological concept, altough psychiatry hi-jacked the term for sociomoral purposes, notably by E. Fuller Torrey.

            Although you recently referred to psychology as being the evil twin of psychiatry, you also consider it benignly as a field of research. I consider the concept of “source monitoring**” like a valuable substitute for “insight”.

            * Nassir Ghaemi, The Concepts of Psychiatry, The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2007, p. 204-205.
            ** Richard Bentall, Madness Explained, Penguin Books, 2004 p. 365.

          • I would submit that that the judgment involved in determining whether or not something is “not caused by an external source” and/or is “not recognized to be real” means they are ultimately not objective criteria. For purposes of philosophical or lay discussions, I think these are workable definitions, but for any kind of scientific work, they are hopelessly vague and unfalsifiable.

          • @ Oldhead

            Attacking psychiatry from all sides while making sure that our tactics contribute toward abolition, not reform: that’s what Bonnie Burstow is encouraging in Psychiatry Disrupted: Theorizing Resistance and Crafting the (R)evolution.

            Again, if you don’t have a problem with metaphors as long as they are recognized as such (in line with French social scientist Isabelle Kalinowski who translated the works of Weber and revised the notion of “axiological neutrality” by proposing that scientists should not seek and pretend to be absolutely neutral, but rather ought to disclose honestly their personal values), then what is preventing you from supporting the implementation of a psychosocial service outlined in Kinderman’s manifesto, provided that social workers are made aware of the metaphorical, self-contradictory nature of “mental illness”?

          • “Hallucination” is a legitimate concept.

            However one defines “hallucination” (which philosophically gets into what is considered “real”) it is not a medical issue unless caused by brain damage, at which point it is outside the realm that psychiatry claims as its own.

            On “psychology” — you are correct, I’ve said seemingly contradictory things. The suffix “-ology” generally connotes “study of,” and I see nothing that should be exempted from study. The “psychology” I referred to as psychiatry’s evil twin is what is often called “clinical” psycholgy, i.e. psychiatry light. (Has anyone ever heard of “clinical astronomy” or “clinical trigonometry”?)

          • @ Oldhead

            Hallucination is a medical issue since it can be caused by brain damage – by your own admission.

            It is therefore a legitimate concept.

            Here I took the time to differentiate in a simple fashion the difference between medical and psychiatric. From there, you keep arguing that hallucination is outside the realm of psychiatry, even though my differentiation intended to do just that.

            And that’s three times I’m going to ask you why you won’t support a psychosocial service that can recognize the value-laden aspect of existing psychiatric terms, and would help wearing down psychiatry by transfering power into the hands of people who abide to a radically different understanding of individual distress and social malaise.

            This argument is close to a technical knock out, sir.

          • Hallucination is a medical issue since it can be caused by brain damage – by your own admission. It is therefore a legitimate concept.

            Whether it’s a legitimate concept is irrelevant; if it’s induced by brain damage it is irrelevant to psychiatry, it’s then in the domain of neurology.

          • a psychosocial service that can recognize the value-laden aspect of existing psychiatric terms, and would help wearing down psychiatry by transfering power into the hands of people who abide to a radically different understanding of individual distress and social malaise.

            You seem to think that people are beholden to psychiatry because of some sort of intellectual debate about ideas. However like all aspects of capitalist culture it is backed up and enforced by corporate guns, and is in fact itself a weapon in service of capitalism. Psychiatry should have no power; “transferring” such power to people with “better ideas” (which you seem to advocate) would not confer legitimacy upon those forces, and would most likely create an additional obstacle to defeat.

            Socialist revolution IS the ultimate “social service.” Everything else is at best prelude.

          • @Oldhead,
            socialist revolution and exposing the harm of psychiatry are two totally different things. I grew up under the socialism (one of the best experiences of my life in terms of enjoying my life, while learning values, having fun at school, learning how to socialize, how to think, knowing that everyone should have the right and chance to succeed in life, caring after other people, knowing that whatever happened to you, you would still have a place in the society, be protected, have food on your table, be able to send your child to school and university). But psychiatry was still there, because the society, as whole, doesn’t understand ‘mental distress’ and why it is happening and what to do with it.

          • The harm of psychiatry has long been exposed. What needs to be understood is exactly how it functions to oppress people and how this supports the neo-imperialist beast. And how there is no answer but socialism, to start.

            Unless you once lived in China or Cuba what you call socialism is probably different than what I’m talking about. Not that it exists in either of those places anymore either, though Cuba is probably a little closer. But psychiatry will be used to prop up any oppressive system, faux-left or right. It was “still there” because class divisions had not really been erased despite the “socialism” tag.

          • @ Oldhead

            1. Whether it’s a legitimate concept is irrelevant;
            2. NONE of these terms have any legitimacy and they should never be used.

            So, legitimacy of a given psychiatric concept is irrelevant, but you emphatically specified earlier that none of the mentioned psychiatric concepts have legitimacy and should never be used.

            Thanks to you, we are not taught whether or not to grant legitimacy (acceptability, validity, workability) to psychiatric notions and their more strictly medical equivalents in any given context. While readers cannot rely on you for dealing with those dangerous terms and concepts, I know how to make legitimate use of them at a frequency you may not be prepared to handle.

            * * *

            Following the philosopher Sam Harris, ideas and beliefs that people cultivate have consequences for their personal conduct and political choices. I believe so, notwithstanding the fact that ideas are historically and materialistically conditioned. Now, how am I supposed to give value to your antipsychiatry ideas and your kind of socialist ideology when you say that such things take second place to “corporate guns”? I have my own philosophical system of antipsychiatry, and consider myself to be a socialist, but what’s the point in arguing with someone who is basically propounding that the tenets of the secular Inquisition – really the sociomoral autority in our Western culture – are not of prime importance to challenge? You were the one to say that “the entire narrative […] must be deconstructed, exposed, and eliminated from public discourse”. Well, such narrative includes that of the therapeutic State and that of the bourgeois rule of law. Furthermore, you are the one holding the idea that psychiatry has to be attacked from all sides, albeit not at an institutional/political level. It sounds as if you are overlooking the practical steps toward your so-called socialist revolution. As far as I could go to explain my strategy, I spoke of an incremental, attritional model of abolition, as outlined by Dr. Burstow in Psychiatry Disrupted.

            I’m turning off notifications. I shall leave you beating/boxing around the bush, and might contact Robert Whitaker about something I’m not allowed to evoke here.

  18. Oh I totally agree that the main change needs to come from within the social order, in terms of how we view things in general! Psychiatry is an institution within a very regulated system, it is not a medical system, it is an ideology, which says it is a ‘medical’ system. And it is an ideology very actively promoted by governments arguing the discourse of ‘mental illness as a physical illness’. It created a cacophony which is difficult to fight. It is not an illness and it isn’t a physical illness. It is an experience (I am talking about psychosis). In other words, the fight against psychiatry doesn’t address the main problem, and those who actually address it (arguing that mental illness is a myth) come from psychiatrists themselves. And while they were very prominent in the seventies, there aren’t that many today, because the control now is at the government level, and those who are in the profession, have to feed their families, or risk being ousted and public disgrace.
    As to survivors, i don’t see any organised effort, apart from forums where one can ‘talk’. I see only a couple of people who even talk from their first names, others are smashed under stigma, and other concerns that ‘talking openly’ about all this can involve.
    Psychosis is a term adopted which is a term utilized indeed by a medical profession, but i see it as a positive experience and thus, don’t see a problem of using the term for the time when one wants to change the perception. Offering another term is an enterprise in its own making. But in the majority of case, it is an experience when one get a glimpse of ‘other reality’, which is indeed there, but not believed because of lost of belief in the society as a whole. Religious institutions could probably play an important role in changing the perception once they accept that those who do approach this parallel reality, can indeed certify, that there is something there, and there is God.
    But there are different types of psychosis, and not all of them are about ‘spiritual awakening’, some of them are triggered by drugs, and do require an urgent help, but I also believe that with all other types of psychosis, one can’t leave the person unattended, whether the help comes from a shaman, priest or someone else, this is indeed a question. Ending up in the hospital is not the end in the world, it’s what happens in the hospital (when one gets a label of shame because it is immediately delegated into ‘physical illness’ and treated by drugs or coercive treatment) this is the problem.
    Again, the ‘fight’ of survivors is happening at the level of some anonymous speakers, who are the survivors who openly talk about their experience? One can count them by fingers, and some of them indeed do important work, such as changing perception within academia, or having an initiative about drug withdrawal. Others sit at homes, hiding, afraid to speak out. While others, through the use of medicated drugs, are now indeed incapable to work, and rely on benefits which do require an official diagnosis (what to do with these people?). Getting off anti-psychotic drugs can trigger drug-withdrawal psychosis, how to help these people? Etc, etc

    • @ Ekaterina

      Well, what do you think the “main problem” is? We might not agree on what is the evil we are supposed to be fighting together.

      Your narrative about God and religions is not the most progressive or “enlightened” out there. It appeared to me that the effective development of capitalism signifies the end of the great monotheistic religions. All the bustle we see about religions today is the bustle around a cadaver. Fundamentalist militants are animated by a death drive. To me, the political battle of our times is between theocracy and democracy. Well, you sound like you’re envisioning a return to the rule of God, to the good old catholic Inquisition in place of the secular, psychiatric one. I follow another route.

      You are not helping much “these people” by not challenging what I consider as the root cause of alienation and oppression: the family, the parental ownership over children. Institutional psychiatry is merely a reproduction of the familial body, by objectifying permanently, under the name of “mental illness”, the efforts of the youth to become truly free and responsible human beings. David Cooper, the “Marx” of (anti)psychiatry, wrote The Death of the Family. Ronald Laing, the “pope”, co-authored Sanity, Madness, and the Family. You may want to clarify your stance regarding the role of the family in creating madness.

      • Well, while commenting I came to distinguishing between fight against the oppression of the psychiatry, and a fight in understanding ‘psychosis’.
        Most official religions have indeed become an oppressive apparatus in themselves, so sociologically, the fight does need to be at the level of institutions, power discourse, human rights and individual agency, and it is sociologists and philosophers who can make a difference in the discourse.
        But from a personal point of view, I am interested in psychosis. I saw god and met the devil, and no one, no one can ever convince me that it never happened. In this respect, psychiatry, even if it says it accepts ‘religious’ beliefs, actively denies them, because it gives a definition to ‘delusions’, which are in their majority, expressions of seeing something else out there.
        To be clearer: the anti-psychiatry fight is one thing, understanding psychosis is another thing, and it has to be taken out of ‘psychiatry’ for those who are oppressed within the machine.
        As how to help others, well, i am trying to do it, but the outlets of doing it in a practical way, are non-existent (where I live) if one needs to earn some money to feed one’s child and survive at the same time. As I argued in another comment, most people are actually hiding behind pseudonyms, because stigma is smashing, and so i am not sure where exactly the ‘fight’ (apart from this site, of course) is taking place and how help other in more practical ways.

        • @ Oldhead

          And Basaglia remained director of the asylum, I know. They all rejected the label “anti-psychiatrist” for obvious reasons. Yet, they were the most radical intellectual dissenters. Only Cooper accepted the label. Szasz is the one who exposed the British pioneers of antipsychiatry as representing another “school” of psychiatry, as you say. To this account, Szasz was the only real abolitionist, but you once agreed with me that his libertarian approach wasn’t the solution.

          That’s why I like to refer to them all as “(anti)psychiatrists”…

          • Actually Cooper embraced the term. But except for Szasz they were more interested in being “radical intellectuals” than aobolishing psychiatry. Ironically, of the whole batch Szasz was the most anti-psychiatry — ironic because he rejected the term himself. I think this was because of a) his wanting to dissociate from leftsts such as Cooper; and b) his opposition to government controls.

          • You embrace the term, too. Thomas Szasz didn’t embrace the term. So, are we to assume that you are a better antipsychiatry activist, or antipsychiatrist, than David G. Cooper?

            I dunno. I embrace the term, too. I just wouldn’t assume that I am a better antipsychiatrist than you or David Cooper.

            Thomas Szasz wanted to disassociate himself from R. D. Laing and leftist fellow travelers on the continent. Fine and dandy, but he was still a psychiatrist, and as such, by his own accounting, a fraud.

          • Sigh. I’ll repeat (or “clarify”):

            Yes I embrace the term and Szasz didn’t. My point was that functionally speaking, words aside, Szasz was more clearly anti-psychiatry than Cooper. I see nothing that Cooper did to actually fight psychiatry beyond preemptively appropriating the term. Maybe you can educate me. I remain of the view that Cooper’s “antipsychiatry” was not anti-psychiatry in practice. As for Szasz’s contradictions, I am neither defending nor judging them; he is what he is, or was.

        • Laing and Cooper, OldHead, were not joined at the hip. R. D. Laing and D. G. Cooper were two separate entities who actually split over the issue of anti-psychiatry. R. D. Laing would not refer to himself as anti-psychiatry. He called the anti-psychiatry movement “a movement on paper”. David Cooper, in the end, claimed not to be a psychiatrist, and he said he was promoting non-psychiatry. A chapter in his last book, The Language of Madness (1978), is titled “The Invention of Non-Psychiatry”. Laing, at no time that I know of, stated clearly and definitively that he was against forced treatment. With David Cooper, on the other hand, the situation is a little less clear, and as he died in 1986, I wouldn’t expect it to become any clearer with the passage of time, however, I would not be filing him under psychiatry.

          Psychiatry is defined as the branch of medicine dealing with the study, treatment, and prevention of “mental illness”. If, as Thomas Szasz claimed, “mental illness” is nothing more than a figure of speech, then all psychiatrists are quacks, by definition, and anti-psychiatry, in so far as it is seen to practice any form of psychiatry (psychoanalysis included) would be guilty of an even greater fraud.

          This leaves us with the problem of the etymological definition of psychiatry as “soul healing”. Obviously, somebody’s science has spilled over into their religion, or vice versa. Being an atheist, I don’t buy the “soul healer” line. Knowing that psychiatry is pseudo-science, I don’t buy the science angle of it either.

          If psychiatry is defined in any other fashion than it has been, you have the problem of reconciling that with the meaning of the word itself. Were it conceived of as counseling troubled people, for instance, why the medical degree together with the medical pretenses that go along with that piece of paper?

          Antipsychiatry being opposition to psychiatry, I don’t see that any such contradiction exists there. Psychiatrists go inside the psychiatry office space, antipsychiatrists stay outside of the psychiatry office space (and brackets). Abolish forced “mental health” treatment, and, the key word here being “force”, they won’t be able to force their pseudo-scientific religious views and practices on you or anybody else. They certainly won’t be able to force such views and practices upon any person against that person’s expressed will and wishes.

          • I’m happy to spark your muse but I don’t see how anything here is a response to what I said, except to confirm that neither Laing nor Cooper were truly anti-psychiatry.

          • R. D. Laing rejected antipsychiatry. Psychiatry (psychoanalysis) was his bread basket. He wasn’t into the antipsychiatry thing at all . David Cooper, if he didn’t coin the term, revived it.

            You are saying that David Cooper’s brand of antipsychiatry is false, and OldHead’s brand of antipsychiatry is true. You are also saying that the Thomas Szasz brand of psychiatry is closer to your brand of antipsychiatry than David Cooper’s brand of antipsychiatry. I’m just not sure that follows.

          • You are saying that David Cooper’s brand of antipsychiatry is false, and OldHead’s brand of antipsychiatry is true.

            Nope. I’m saying that when Cooper used the term “antipsychiatry” he was not talking about abolishing psychiatry but pushing his own brand of psychiatry. So when I use the term I’m not discussing the same subject, it’s not even a matter of disagreeing about something.

          • I don’t see any point in arguing where David Cooper WAS coming from. I just think our movement might have been a lot more accommodating to psychiatry without him and people like him. Part of the reason behind these arguments stems from the animosity Thomas Szasz had towards R. D. Laing. Couple that with his antipathy for left-wing socialism, and you’ve got Antipsychiatry: Quackery Squared in a nutshell. I just see the likes of Jeffrey Lieberman, Ronald Pies, E. Fuller Torrey, Allen Frances and the larger portion of the APA establishment as being much more problematic than that of a renegade like Ronald Laing ever was. Alright, so now Szasz, with the publication of that book, has increased the ammunition for the opponents of the critics of psychiatry. Fine, fire away.

            I see only one way of abolishing psychiatry and that’s by outlawing it. Were psychiatry like the institution of slavery, it would be much simplified. Slavery is wrong, do away with it. The problem here is that some people freely seek psychiatry, and don’t have it imposed upon them from the outside. As long as that is the case, I can’t see abolishing it. I would abolish forced mental health treatment, forced psychiatry. I would do so by outlawing it. (If mental health law were repealed, it would be outlawed.) To my way of thinking, forced psychiatry deprives people of liberty, and I wouldn’t want to deprive people of liberty. It is enough to abolish forced treatment, and with it, psychiatric oppression. I can’t see the virtue of any drive to abolish the profession borne of the revenge motive, that is, what occurs when some people who have been deprived of their liberty wish therefore to deprive others of their liberty. I just don’t get the idea that you would know when to stop once you had started down the path of depriving people of their rights. Once we start in that direction of forcing people, I imagine it could come back around to having force applied to you again.

          • A related question here: do psychiatrists have the right to represent themselves as experts and to make recommendations of destructive “treatments” just so they can make money? Truth in advertising has been a concept since at least the 1800s. I’m not sure I think it’s depriving psychiatry of its “liberty” if we require honesty in all representations about their supposed “knowledge” about people and the apparent effects of the drugs they are peddling. Where do you stand on that point?

          • Psychiatric expertise as seers (i.e. people in the know about whether this person or that will do harm to themselves or others or not in the future) is no better than that of the ordinary citizen. This is the problem with bringing psychiatrists into the courtroom. It is the courts that are colluding with psychiatry in granting the profession this privileged status. It is, frankly, not about rights, the acquired rights of psychiatrists negating the unacknowledged rights of their victims. It is about power saying, in a sense, tread lightly lest you stir up a hurricane (initiate proceedings that lead inevitably to tragedy.)

            The problem, you see, does not begin and end with psychiatry, and getting rid of psychiatry won’t get rid of the problem. Why? You’ve got the courts, you’ve got the families, you’ve got related professions in the mental health camp, you’ve got hired goons and grunts, and all of these people, and psychiatry, are working together, and closely together at that, to keep other people down and out. Blame everything on psychiatry, and if you ever did succeed in getting rid of it, something else just as creepily oppressive is going to rush in to fill the recently vacated power vacuum.

            It should be obvious to anyone who looks deeply into the matter that something more sinister than the provision of adequate medical care for physically “sick” people is taking place here in the mental health realm. It is folly (unwise) to use state legislatures and the legal structure to try and outlaw folly, but that is what has happened. What do we get out of this vain effort to put folly permanently to rest by banishing it from existence on the street, in the shop, in the hallway, and in the office? Basically…the mental health system. Wisdom is not something that can be forced on people. Wisdom has more to do with knowing when not to intervene than it does with interfering with the natural course of spontaneous events.

          • @Frank,
            well, you just summarized the biggest problem, and indeed, it has all moved into ‘mental health’ domain, with extremely disturbing marketing campaign happening in parallel (it is ok to be ill, it is just a physical illness). Therefore, any anti-psychiatry initiatives look like you are talking against ‘health’ in general, like you are attacking all health professionals at the same time. This is definitely happening in the UK. The psychiatry has become a system within a system.

          • The chief difference between my position and that of OldHead is that I’m not so much antipsychiatry as I am anti-mental-health-system. Psychiatry in itself is not the problem, psychiatry is only a problem because psychiatrists have been granted so much power over other people’s lives. Get rid of that power, and psychiatrists are just like everybody else.

            The mental health movement is behind much of the expansion of the mental health system today. It is not really a mental health movement at all, instead it’s a mental health treatment movement. It is, basically, a medicalization movement, and medicalization involves calling matters that are not medical medical, and offering medical “treatment” to people who are not “sick” in the slightest, although, some of them might be said to be errant or lost. The system itself just represents another cul de sac, and thus, insult added to injury.

          • I’d say that the mental health system is the real enemy, and what friends and allies we’ve got are outside of, and beyond, the constraints and confines of that system.

            Less mental health treatment means more mental health. The real problem is that mental health treatment endangers physical health, and if you want to stay physically healthy, which in turn facilitates what we call “mental health”, you will get away from the entire mental health treatment paradigm.

          • The problem here is that some people freely seek psychiatry, and don’t have it imposed upon them from the outside.

            This is where education comes in. Perhaps such people should be forced to sign a waiver indicating they understand they are engaging in a discredited and potentially lethal endeavor (like the warnings on cigarettes)? Anyway, abolition does not necessitate force of law, but it would be a start.

          • You realize we don’t have an antiastrology movement, instead we have something called astronomy. In other words, one should take a little time, and not rashly jump into the matter, when it comes to choosing a witch doctor.

          • I’m not so much antipsychiatry as I am anti-mental-health-system

            OK at least you’re getting more specific; but exactly where or how do you make this distinction? (Being as the “mental health” system is essentially the extension of psychiatry into a gulag, and there is no element of it not controlled by psychiatrists and/or psychiatric ideology.)

          • The “mental health” system is based at this point on the spurious claims of the DSM 5 to be able to identify “disorders” of the “mind” which can be “treated” by some medical modality, in which I include any form of reimbursable “therapy” of any sort. Until the DSM is completely deconstructed and the truth about the non-medical nature of most “mental illnesses” defined therein widely publicized, and the entire edifice removed from any semblance of “medical treatment,” we’re still screwed. So being anti-mental-health-system definitely involves a large degree of being antipsychiatry, as psychiatry is the progenitor and main profiteer from the DSM and its multifarious cultural offspring.

          • Government bureaucrats, business people on a short fuse, family members, law enforcement, the drug industry, psychologists, social workers, nurses, ward staff of all sorts, grunts and groans, psychiatry could do very little without all those subordinates in some, but not all cases, who work and collude with it. I mentioned the court system previously, if it weren’t for the import politicians and judges have granted psychiatrists they wouldn’t have nearly the power that they have today. There is an entire psy-complex that extends well beyond the profession of psychiatry itself which you ignore at your own peril.

            As for ideology, if you mean bio-psychiatry, not all psychiatrists subscribe to it, and it is something that could be subject to change given undeniable evidence and public pressure. I don’t hold this view of yours that all psychiatry is the same, especially not when that dissimilarity means putting some innocent people in harms way, or defending them from such.

          • @oldhead, no one seeks freely psychiatry

            I know that — please explain it to Frank.

            There are exceptions, depending on what you mean by “freely” — is it really a “free” choice if the entire social milieu is permeated with psychiatric propaganda?

            First time I saw a shrink I actually demanded my mother take me — I thought he would scold her for bringing me up in an emotionally/sexually repressed environment. The joke was sure on me! 🙂

          • I’m not so much antipsychiatry as I am anti-mental-health-system

            Try this again — I maybe should have said that this is like saying you aren’t so much anti-Rome as your are anti-Roman Empire.

          • Propaganda doesn’t make a person a prisoner. I’m saying that there are people who go to the shrink’s office, or get into treatment programs, not because they were involuntarily, or even plea bargain “voluntarily”, committed to a facility. Sometimes they get into things just to see what’s going on. You’ve mentioned John Lennon before. John Lennon and Yoko Ono did the primal therapy thing with Arthur Janov. Good thing, bad thing, I can’t say, but the album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, his first post-Beatles solo venture, came out of it.

            I can’t say I had it as good as you did. I was driven by family members to the hospital, and admitted. Only after I got out did I see the shrink in another capacity, and I can’t say that was entirely pleasant either. After a few trips to and from the loony bin, I was in outpatient treatment, and I regularly, quarterly or yearly or something like that, did the 20 questions thing with a shrink. “Do you hear voices?” “You know that kind of thing that got you into trouble. You’re not going to do it again, are you?” And so on.

            I don’t see that psychiatry and the mental health system equate. Get rid of psychiatry, and you will still have the mental health system. Get rid of the mental health system, and you may still have psychiatrists, but the worst of what they do will be over. This solution to social problems that they’ve got going, grabbing, what is it? 20 % + of the population. Well, it isn’t really working. In some instances you’ve got people making a living on “bad outcomes”. Who needs that!?

          • I mentioned my first time, which indirectly led to the second time, which was less voluntary — that was the full nine yards with screaming sirens, ambulances, jail cells, court commitment and Mellaril. The admitting shrink asked me if I heard voices too — “I hear yours” I said, and I was on my way; the rest is history.

    • To the question why we don’t use our actual names: the answer is physical safety. When you’ve had your conciousness, organs, and brain violated by the toxic and poisonous drugs, and you’ve been snatched from your bed by police officers, grabbed by the arm and forcibly locked up with no phone access, you learn to hide for self protection. Psychiatry does not like people getting free or even thinking about it, you will be hunted like prey and recaptured, no matter how violently. I felt the need to suddenly move and get a new phone number plus delete all social media for them not to find me again after I got a letter from my ex-shrink saying she “missed me at our sessions and has been trying to reach me” and “hopes I continue to get treatment (shudder)”. No thanks. I prefer my safety.

      • @survivingthesystem
        why not using the actual names wasn’t a question, it was stating the fact. Do you think I am not aware of what it brings as a problem on a daily basis? Since I published my first article on Mad in America, I am facing constant stigma, discrimination and patronizing. I get calls and messages from relatives and friends advising me to stop being so open about it, to stop writing about it, etc. I even asked once to remove my article from the site, which they did (https://www.madinamerica.com/2015/04/being-mad-is-liberating/), to ask to put it back a couple of years later.
        But hey, if no one talks openly, no one will ever know the truth and fight for the rights of the oppressed openly. How many academics are talking about their ‘mental health’? Maybe ten in total, and only if they are already in well-established positions (I am not). Others keep silent. They are moving it all to the next stage now, where mental illness is marketed as a physical illness, where it is marketed that it is ok to seek help, but where it is not okay to be ‘mentally ill’. They are silencing everyone with their new campaign of marketing actively the mental illness as any other physical illness.
        Yes, i have lots of friends in the system who are even still in the hospitals, on injections, actively reassured that something is wrong with them.
        It is the most brutal act on humanity.

        • I genuinely apologize as I now realize my blunt phrasing is easily read as a personally directed accusation or an angry tone. I was meaning to resonate and agree with you about the safety risk of speaking with those who insist on psychiatry’s legitimacy. Also, I was responding in general to the unawareness that most people have about the barrier psych abuse victims face, of not being able to speak about it except in anonymity. Whereas the psychiatrists can advertise their full legal name plus title left and right and get only positive results. Thanks for your articles, and your bravery.

  19. the problem is that the society as a whole doesn’t accept any forms of madness and psychiatry acts as an institution which took on the task of regulator of all forms of ‘weirdness’ and will continue doing so, especially with its umbrella term of ‘medical regulator’, while being in reality a regulator of ‘behavior’ and ‘societal malaise’.
    In practical terms, i think that as a fight from survivors it has to come from individual groups with their individual experiences. People with autism almost won the fight because they distanced themselves from being perceived as people with ‘mental illness’, even if autism is still defined by the association of psychiatry. So, people who experienced psychosis, should also unite and change the perception of psychosis and how they are perceived in the society.

    • No no no. “Peer workers” operate almost without exception (Stephen G. being one, and I think he’ll bear me out) to keep people hooked into the “mental health” system and encourage compliance. Whatever usefulness they may have based on their experience is largely negated by their operating as part of the system which oppresses us, hence perpetuating it. Plus they are being paid by the same system we are trying to eliminate; hardly a promising combination. (Again, this is a systemic statement, not a personal one.)

      • there are too many people in the system who are ‘disabled’ by the system and therefore, while the system exists it does need peer-workers.
        To give some insight into the discussion On Szasz, Cooper and Laing, they all provided contribution into anti-psychiatry. There are plenty of psychiatrists who, also are at a loss themselves as what exactly they are doing (and I know a few). But proclaiming oneself as an anti-psychiatrist is, in practical terms, a loss of a job and professional reputation, with one recent example (from just criticizing some (!) practices within a profession, written on this site quite recently and all over the news.

  20. I love this article, Ekaterina, for many reasons. In fact, I believe you illustrate perfectly the oppression which psychiatry practices, especially oppression of personal thoughts and beliefs while completely invalidating, negating, and unequivocally dismissing what one feels and experiences on their own terms. So add oppression of a person’s emotions and spirit, too. How is this anything good?

    Past lives, parallel realities, and embracing one’s God-self (Buddha-self, Christ-consciousness, inner being, etc.) is reality for a lot of people on the planet, and it’s completely reasonable, and I’d say even desirable. For me and sooo many others I know, this is the case at least.

    I’d love for everyone to know their higher self and be able to embody that wisdom and live their truth outright, rather than all of this pretense in order to “fit in” and “be acceptable” and “approved of.” I think the world would improve a great deal if we were to all know how to embrace our spiritual selves as well as our physical selves, because I think we would not live so much by our judgments and fears, but more so by what makes us feel satisifed and personally fulfilled, and not at the expense of others. That’s my personal opinion and perspective.

    So much to learn, experience, and explore above and beyond the extreme limitations of “psychiatric thinking.” And by this I mean teeny tiny little boxes which amount to chronic suffering and cutting one’s self off from their own soul if one tries to fit in. This struck me specifically when you tell how the psychiatrist looked serious rather than laughed when you were joking with her. Embracing our soul path and growth is a lot more fun, interesting, creative, and freeing than is facing such a closed mind and heart.

    Thank you so much for writing this! I think it’s a powerful message and very clear. We do have a choice in what we believe, and what I believe is that our personal beliefs affect how our reality unfolds from day to day. Let’s not allow our choices and faith to be bullied out of being by this blatant oppression. I believe we have this power right now, to live our authentic truth, especially given all the oppressed voices speaking up and out these days.

    • I also wanted to express that whatever spiritual awareness a person can own for themselves, one thing I learned along the way of my healing and personal growth is that what is really challenging is being human, regardless of anything. I believe it is set up this way, by nature, so that we can know our power of self.

      I believe “psychosis” (which I would say some people call a such–i.e., they project–when a person embodies a personal reality which well outside the norm and, somehow, threatening to it) is what occurs during transitional states, where we are growing, changing, and transforming, as per the nature of life and being human. We’re not static beings, and change is inherently challenging and uncomfortable, but it becomes more so toward suffering when change tries to happen in a society where it is so stubbornly resisted due to personal competing self-interests.

      Transitional states of being are natural and change is happening all the time; but judgment, shame, fear, and worry are human traits which are malleable. When we work internally, we shift what is external to us, goes hand in hand. Permission to be is a powerful healing tool and perspective.

  21. @ Desinquisiteur
    I can’t answer directly under the thread as it finished for comments.
    To answer your question, to advance any changes within the secular field, it is a way that academically can sort this out indeed for the time being (the psychological but also sociological approach), in terms of helping real people in real life and while operating within the official ‘mental health’ ideology.

    • I don’t know what this is in response to. Scientology is hardly a religion though, so I wouldn’t put in in the same category as the others (unless you also accept the Universal Life Church as a religion). However they are in competition with psychiatry for the same demographics, hence their expert deconstruction of psychiatric mythology. Still I don’t consider those who simply want their slice of the “crazy” pie to be truly anti-psychiatry.

      (Btw when a thread has no more “reply” buttons, just reply to the last one available and your response will be the next post.)

      • Oldhead,
        but about which demographics are you talking about? There are real people in real life who either ask for help (so, your answer, is to turn them away?), or people who are long enough in the system and are ‘disabled’ by it. I don’t understand what is your stance in terms of offering real solutions for real life, apart from just arguing against the psychiatry?
        As to Scientology, they just released an interesting documentary which frankly speaking, says the truth about the whole ‘bogus’ psychiatry thing, so I am interested in them more and more while i am researching them and looking at what they are doing in practical terms. https://www.scientology.tv/documentaries/diagnostic-and-statistical-manual.html

        • Solution for real life: Abolish psychiatry, abolish capitalism. The solution (the start of one anyway) is revolution. Providing false solutions because people ask for “help” is not helping.

          Also, the fact that you would seriously attempt to draw us into a discussion about the pros & cons of Scientology shows that you have many more connections to make. Which is fine. But for many here this is going over old territory.

          • well, revolution is at the level of social order, where the psychiatry is just one institution of many.
            As to Scientology, not trying to ‘drag’ into discussion (someone mentioned them in comments, and I became curious), and they seem to do in fact real work, and ignoring it is a negation of those who actually fight with the assumptions of psychiatry.

          • We do not ignore it, but we know about it and reject it. (Though some give it too much power by getting hysterical about it.)

            Psychiatry is one institution of many, but one of the most virulent; it is a key institution of repression, whereby people are coached to blame their reaction to an inhuman system as the problem, rather than the system itself.

          • I think that there are different groups and different survivors. Groups probably do include academics but also health-professionals, activists, journalists, etc. As to survivors, i think one needs to be very careful and make them welcome on this site, instead of trying to partonize them. Many people have been smashed for years by psychiatry, are addicted to medication which they are prescribed, are surviving within the official paradigm of ‘mental health’, and until there is an organised group which can receive the survivors in real life to help them, one has to be careful as how to address them and try to make them feel as if they aren’t in any group. Taking a clear academic stance, or becoming an activist is a different thing.

          • an example of a survivor where I am (the UK), a girl diagnosed with schizophrenia, years on medication. She is anti-psychiatry, she can’t stand it. She stops her medication, because she knows how harmful it is, and she can’t work on it or lead any active life while on anti-psychotics. Anti-psychotic medication, however, alters something in the brain, making it addictive to it, to an extent that when one tries to stop it, it leads to medication-withdrawal psychosis. She ends up in the hospital, she is sectioned under mental health act, she knows it is wrong, but there is no other place to go, there is nothing available as an alternative. So, in the hospital, she is put back on medication, there is no choice, unless you want to stay in the hospital forever. And her journey starts all over again. But she is anti-psychiatry, she is a survivor, like many others. There are thousands of such people, and they don’t know what to do, where to turn, how to get out of the carousel unless there is a clear, real-life alternative.

          • I think that is very well said. We don’t need an “alternative to psychiatry,” we need some alternative to being involved in the “mental health system” altogether, where folks can get the help and support they need without having their lives controlled or invalidated by so-called “professionals” who have the power to destroy their lives with impunity.

          • We are all familiar with the horror stories, as they are our own. But trying to solve unsolvable problems generated by capitalism without dealing with capitalism, or by treating it as an abstraction, is just another dead end, and trying to solve them at an individual level is not activism, but social work, and futile as well.

            Abolishing psychiatry is like abolishing the death penalty, torture, slavery, etc. We don’t need “alternatives” to any of these sorts of things, and addressing the personal pain of their individual victims can not be used as a guilt trip or excuse to avoid the main goal, which is to end the source of that victimization. But an effective guilt trip it is, and continues to psychically neutralize many of us who should be identifying not as “peers” but as freedom fighters and comrades.

          • I can’t see abolishing psychiatry without abolishing forced treatment. Psychiatry sees itself as a medical specialty, a branch of “medical science”, even if it actually is a police science, or pseudo-police science, pretending to be a medical science. Abolish psychiatry without abolishing force, and you’ve only changed management, or, you know, bosses. This represents a problem when the “alternatives” “peer” “recovery” dizability whatchmacallit so-called movement is way too compromised to fight for human rights and against force any more. They are, to speak bluntly, working with the enemy. If we are to be freedom fighters, then we need to be working for freedom, and not waste our time chasing another version of ‘pie in the sky’.

          • Wow, so Scientology is dropping the CCHR front? Wonder what that signifies.

            No argument that Scientology does some great documentaries, but there’s no information they have that we can’t put out on our own.

          • well, if you watch the documentary you will realize that they aren’t just doing documentaries but do very active work in helping people in real life to survive the psychiatry. Doing documentaries exposing a truth is also a massive humanitarian work.

          • OK for all her other valuable insights, someone with more info than I needs to fill Ekterina in about Scientology; she’s really drinking the Kool-Aid here. But it’s starting to come across like this is my personal grudge or something.

            So where are the folks who usually chime in with these “Scientology” discussions?

          • OK, oldhead, I’ll bite:

            Scientology does indeed produce some good documentaries.

            It is for the purpose of getting you into one of their programs like the Purif (Purification Rundown) where they try to sweat the drugs out of you like toxins. Or the Narcanon cover group. CCHR used to be a cover group – which is why folks here expressed surprise that this doco was in the name of Scientology instead of CCHR.

            There are some valuable concepts in Scientology, but you will be a lot poorer to learn them. It is a scam designed to make L. Ron Hubbard a God and very very rich, copying techniques borrowed from various (including occult) sources. It can cost $100k to a $million $ to go through all their programs “up the bridge,” and however “clear” or free you may believe yourself to be, there is always another level to pay for.

            The reason it is a religion is so that Hubbard would owe no tax (though the IRS was beginning to wonder…). He started it out as Dianetics, but realised that if it was a “psychological process” it would be taxable – so he made it a religion.

            When one is caught in the cult, his/her free labour goes to the organisation. Your time, your money, your family are no longer your own. You are separated from “non-believers” (one of the definitions of a cult) and encourage to only affiliate with believers. There is Thought Crime in Scientology. You will be minding your words (and looking them up in the dictionary) with great care and precision, lest you be considered an SP (or Suppressive Person).

            I encourage you to read Jenna Miscavage’s autobiography. There are other excellent books, such as “Going Clear” – which was also made into a film (much against Scientology’s protests).

            It is a tyranny of its own, with survivors much like the psych movement.

            If I were given a choice to be trapped in Psychiatry, or trapped in Scientology, it would be a rough choice. I think I would prefer the cult, because of the community support available there (which you would lose as soon as the wool falls off your eyes and you had to leave, but at least you would know what that support would be like).

            But it is dangerous, too. Take care, do not engage with any of their “free personality tests” or “information evenings.” It will seem so innocent at first. Like psychiatry…

          • ah, i am not biting into anything, Oldhead!
            Scientology- i know nothing about it, indeed, but they seem to attack the core of the matter: DSM and the diagnosis system.
            There is no real coordinated system elsewhere, it is all non- coordinated ‘talk’ at this moment. And people in real life have nowhere to go, apart from the system of ‘mental health’. Psychiatry and mental health are the same thing, they just rebranded themselves and penetrated all spheres of life. Attacking psychiatry therefore, looks like attacking all doctors, which try to help and heal people. There is misunderstanding of the mind, and therefore, it is delegated into the field of ‘illness’, and the ‘attack’ should be at the level of ‘DSM and diagnoses’, while doing research on the mind and theorising that ‘cases of distress’ are a natural reaction to major events in life, stress, and current capitalistic system which makes some people poorer and unable to enjoy what should be enjoyed by each individual.

          • Which makes a wonderful marketing opportunity for Scientology. (though oddly, their numbers are down, while psychiatry’s are way way up)

            Jung used to say that Satan was Jesus’ brother – that you couldn’t have one without the other.

            I would say the same is true of Scientology and Psychiatry. Different approaches to control.

  22. This may not be the correct forum for this discussion of belief – but let me share with you the belief I hold about reincarnation – because it is fun.

    Imagine the Source as a Well of Souls. For visualisation purposes – I imagine it as a barrel. When we die, our light merges in with the other souls in the Well, all the Spirit becomes one great light. Sometimes, there are individual souls – like Cleopatra, Jesus, Buddha, and yes, Anne Frank – who, when they return to the Well of Souls, make a “big splash” and light up the entire Well as they re-enter.

    With the laws of physics, each contact that is made continues to be influenced by that contact. The constitution of a Soul as it leaves the Well will be slightly different to the last time it experienced incarnation. And many many many souls have been influenced by The Buddha (for example). That light filled the entire barrel as it re-entered the Well of Souls – so many many many “souls” will be influenced by that light.

    So you could have been Buddha – and so could I – because we each “touched” the Spirit of Buddha in the Well of Souls.

    Tasty, eh?

    • The “laws” of physics seem to be pretty fluid once you get past the material plane. Newtonian physics only seem to apply within certain parameters, and much of what we consider obvious apparently does not apply at other levels of focus. Such is the stuff of quantum physics, which I don’t pretend to understand, though it makes me think a reconsideration of or at least a slight adjustment to the concept of “dialectical materialism” may be in order.

      Your particular “mythology” seems as viable as probably infinite personal variations of the same sort of transcendent consciousness.

      • When I started grad school, we were a cohort of 55 MSW students. Our very first assignment was to write a paper on the subject: Systems Theory of Biology, Quantum Physics, and How They Relate to Social Work. At first, this seemed way too broad. I had a panic attack when I first sat down at the keyboard to begin putting thoughts to “paper,” in fact, and I was not the only one (5 dropped out of the program that first week). But when I persevered and did a little light (haha) reading on the subject, I quickly surmised that every single person seeking a degree in social work, psychology, any of the ‘helper’ professions really needs to write a paper on this. Looking into the intersection between systems theory and quantum physics provides a deep understanding of interconnectedness, of the force of our own expectations, how focusing attention on any thing always changes that thing. So much more. And it completely blows psychiatric dogma out of the water!

  23. I’m starting a new thread with this quote from Frank as it’s a new tangent:

    This represents a problem when the “alternatives” “peer” “recovery” dizability whatchmacallit so-called movement is way too compromised to fight for human rights and against force any more.

    There is a continuing dynamic which has existed with “mental patient liberation”/anti-psychiatry organizing since its inception. It goes like this:

    Someone or a group of people start organizing against psychiatric assault, which starts to attract attention. Then people start to appear claiming they “sympathize” but that we can’t just be out there opposing psychiatry without having “alternatives,” and stressing all the horrific stories about individuals who “need something immediately” to get them from one day to the next.

    Since most “mental patients” have chronic guilt complexes bred into them, some of the would-be activists then start buckling and wanting to start “support” projects for the huddled masses of psychiatric victims, since they’ve accepted the guilt trip that they can’t justly oppose psychiatry without having “alternatives.” Next the anti-psychiatry activism starts to take a back seat to a zillion “personal support” emergencies among the growing network of hangers-on and, rather than politics and support having complementary roles, they end up being pitted against one another. Ultimately the project is disbanded and people go away with personal conclusions like “it’s hopeless” or “politics is bullshit.” People decide that it’s a personal failing because they have no viable “alternatives” — i.e. that a few people haven’t created a functioning paradigm that will address the misery of the millions of people which is created and perpetuated by the system we live under. But all this could have been predicted.

    So, like the Democrat-Republican pendulum, this sort of thing can go on forever, at least until we realize that, while both may be arguably useful at present, the functions of political education and activism and those of so called “support” are entirely different in their focus and operation. One is collectively focused and involves more “traditional” organizing — polemicizing, education, political pressure, demonstrations, whatever. The other is more akin to social work and oriented towards supporting individuals experiencing trauma, etc. While those involved in either of these would likely have an affinity for the work the others are doing, they are necessarily two separate projects. One is not dependent on the other, nor should either be considered contingent upon the other. And in the terms that most people here relate to, “establishing alternatives” to psychiatry is not a prerequisite for fighting to abolish it, however one defines that.

    • Oldhead,
      there are millions of people trapped in the system who, yes, do need urgent alternatives to survive. These are people who are on anti-psychotic drugs for years and need extremely careful planning as how to come off them, or live on them (if they choose so or are unable to stop them) and still conduct a meaningful and happy life.
      They do come on this site to find alternatives, and since the thread is under my article, I do want to keep it practical for those who have experienced the same story as me.
      Some people are trapped in the system of diagnoses, it is a fact. One has to be almost inhuman to come out of it, because of the ‘mental health’ system. People are asked to seek help, and then they seek it, they get a diagnosis and are put on medication, without knowing how damaging and addictive it is. Some don’t seek help, they end up their by accident, because of ‘psychosis’, which is a real thing to which I tried to provide an alternative explanation. One can recover from psychosis and live a productive and happy life, and THIS is exactly what no one in the system wants to hear. No one wants to hear that psychosis can be beautiful, magical and divine, and some people experience enlightenment or spiritual revelation.

      • The devil is in the details, in this case the term “alternatives,” so we need to be aware of the subtext. Detoxing from psychiatric assault does not constitute an “alternative to psychiatry,” it is a way of correcting the damage done by psychiatry.

        Anyway, this is not the thrust of my above statement, nor is it necessary for everyone to “get it,” it’s for those with whom it will resonate.

        • ok, if you put emphasis on the term ‘alternative’. Yes, we do need alternatives. There are cases of real ‘mental’ distress and where people do need help. Cases of depression, psychosis, etc, are all real things, and people do want and need help. But it is how we look at it, and how we help these people, instead of damaging them and making out of them invalids.
          Exposing the psychiatry shouldn’t be negation of medicine and advances in biology, psychology, etc. It should be pointing to the damage that ‘labelling’ such as a diagnosis brings (and that they call it now ‘physical sickness’), it should be about fighting against the legislation which derives mental health patients of their rights, it should be about providing safe houses for people who need them, including giving them medication, just not the medication which damages the brain, brings side-effects and disability. It is advancing research that one can recover from psychosis, depression, etc (and that by calling some people as suffering from ‘chronic illness’ derives these people from the possibility to recover). It is about exposing their assumptions that it is a disease and disease of the brain, when in reality it is all a subjective opinion of one psychiatrist who bases it all on ‘observation’. It is about exposing the lies abut how they construct their diagnoses.
          It is also about helping those who are trapped in the inhuman system which currently exists. And it shouldn’t be about negation of people who come into ‘mental health’ in order to actually help people. It is about reforming mental health, as it stands now.

          • “Mental health” is the problem (and there are no “mental health patients”). You don’t “reform” something that is inherently destructive, you scrap it.

            Anyway, you’re just not going to get most of what I’m saying, so don’t worry about it. Maybe in a few months or years some epiphanies might start to present themselves. Be well.

          • oldhead,
            on the question of your alternatives, your answer was ‘socialism’.
            This is not an answer to a society based on institutions, whether socialism or capitalism, you should research ‘functionalism’ and how current governments base organisational structure on it, and where psychiatry plays a role as an institution regulating social control, presenting itself under ‘medical establishment’. Health is a different domain all together, as well as medicine. What you propose is not socialism, but chaos and denial of all terminology, which is a denial of the current discourse and language, and not helpful if you want to make a real change, so that people actually listen when they are familiar with a language they can recognize, otherwise, there is a risk of ‘blah-blah-blah’ without leading to any concrete results, such as radical change for the better, liberation of mad (crazy, different, bipolar, schizophrenic, patients, survivors, psychotic, visionaries, prophets – they all prefer their own terms, and you need to be aware of it) people, and recognition of difference in humanity.
            To make it easier: socialism is an ideology, psychiatry is an institution based on discourse (which became an ideology) within a system of other institutions, and where ‘mental health’ is currently a discourse, and while it is in the stage of discourse one can still make changes before it becomes an ideology based on control, coercion and further suppression of agency.

          • No, you don’t get it and probably shouldn’t try, whatever road you are on, if you are sincere, will eventually lead you to a place where we can at least speak the same language; right now it’s apples & oranges.

            I did not say the “alternative” to psychiatry is socialism, only that socialism is one step along the way to liberation. My point all along has been that the idea of “alternatives” is irrelevant to a discussion about fighting psychiatry. The main point of the above post is that fighting psychiatry and providing a network or program of “support” for troubled individuals are two separate tasks practically speaking and, whatever their relative value, should not be treated as the same.

            As for your last paragraph, even if your faith in “mental health” were realistic, it’s way too late for “change.” I see nothing to support any of your assertions here regarding “discourse.” At any rate, psychiatry has always been an ideology supporting whatever status quo is in effect.

    • If psychiatric assault, just like other forms of physical assault, were illegal, then you wouldn’t need an alternative to it since standard practice would no longer be a matter of assault. The problem with “alternatives” is that they’ve let human rights violations and deprivation of liberty in through the side door. Get rid of forced treatment, and you won’t need “alternatives” to forced treatment. Duh. We don’t need “alternatives” to forced treatment, we need to put a stop to forced treatment.

  24. Oldhead, but I agree with all your comments! The word ‘alternative’ arises in the discussion of what to do with people who are in the system for years, and in highlighting that psychiatry is a deep situated institution of control with massive power, in all levels of our society! To really fight it one needs to come with precise ‘alternative’ or ‘counterforce’ so that patients, survivors, and others don’t end up in the system of another control. And this is a current trend where they are encouraged to be ‘talk’ peers used as affective labour with a label of being sick. They are actively patronised by the system to accept that something is wrong with them. In the UK for instance if one says he or she is anti-psychiatry one is accused of being anti-science or anti-health or anti-medicine. Psychiatry became invisible within a system of health itself.

    • In the UK for instance if one says he or she is anti-psychiatry one is accused of being anti-science or anti-health or anti-medicine.

      Or they might call you a Scientologist. Be assured this is a tactic used everywhere, not just the UK. It should be disregarded, or used to turn the debate to one’s advantage by, for example, using it to demonstrate that psychiatry is neither science, medicine OR health. We must control the narrative, hence the language. And when they say “anti” is negative ask them if they consider “anti-war” negative. All of the above constitutes them changing the subject, or resorting to ad hominems, which is the sign of a shaky position. Be sure to point that out.

      • Yes, i think i should highlight I talk from where I am (the UK), where psychiatry is deeply embedded in the system of general health, and where the system of health itself is presented by an organisation which does amazing things for people. But where ‘psychiatric’ prescriptions are now provided by general doctors. Therefore, the only tool left is to fight the DSM and European system of diagnoses (derived from DSM but rebranded), and highlight what they are hiding in the system of general health.

      • Interesting advice.

        The more I study the tactics and the mind-set of the agent provocateur, the more I find it difficult to distinguish the hard-line antipsychiatrist.

        In any activist group, the agent provocatuer will be the one who is most active, is the one that is most radical, is the one that is most consistent, the most pervasive, the most “there”, and is the one that by vurtue of their omnipresence, becomes the one most trusted, and the one that ends up being the one that all narratives must flow through.

        I’m not saying you are an agent provocateur, oldhead, but you share a remarkable number of characteristics.

      • We get the same arguments in the USA. Fact: psychiatry is killing people. Fiction: psychiatry is saving lives. The numbers don’t lie. As I see it, psychiatry is very destructive to human existence, and this makes antipsychiatry a very positive thing. As for the science, what science!? There is no reliable test that has been able to prove the existence of any “mental disorder” whatsoever, and the search for the “mad gene” is coming up relatively empty. They’ve got their bullshit manual, but it’s a bullshit manual, and it’s come under fire from all directions. You get a rosy picture from these psychiatrists about the science of the brain, and the discoveries that they are going to be making any day now, but they are still stumped by the same questions they were asking 100 200 years ago. Psychiatry is deeply embedded in the system of general health here in the USA, too, but that incorporation is a scandal, much to the detriment of medicine, that we keep exposing over and over again. On the one hand you’ve got real medicine, and on the other, you’ve got unreal medicine, medicine for people who aren’t “sick”, but wish perhaps they were.

        • I have to come back here to the phenomenon of ‘psychosis’. It is a real thing, I was there 7 times. It can be a wonderful thing if handled properly and it does need safe handling, just not what is currently on offer. It is not an illness but a healing reaction of the mind/soul/body and should never lead to diagnosis etc. But it does need input from real medicine for strong sleeping aid, and negation of medicine is NOT what I will ever do when it is based on evidence and has real benefits for humanity. I do believe in science.

  25. oldhead wrote: “No, you don’t get it and probably shouldn’t try, whatever road you are on, if you are sincere, will eventually lead you to a place where we can at least speak the same language; right now it’s apples & oranges.

    I did not say the “alternative” to psychiatry is socialism, only that socialism is one step along the way to liberation. My point all along has been that the idea of “alternatives” is irrelevant to a discussion about fighting psychiatry. The main point of the above post is that fighting psychiatry and providing a network or program of “support” for troubled individuals are two separate tasks practically speaking and, whatever their relative value, should not be treated as the same.

    As for your last paragraph, even if your faith in “mental health” were realistic, it’s way too late for “change.” I see nothing to support any of your assertions here regarding “discourse.” At any rate, psychiatry has always been an ideology supporting whatever status quo is in effect.”

    It’s worth keeping in mind that oldhead and others have lived under 50 years of political repression/suppression of socialism, and so understandably are prone to romanticise socialism and, perhaps due to generations of educational biasing, have very little understanding either of the history of socialism or, as it is so closely tied to, the history of europe.

    So it is inevitable that a certain level of defensive aggressiveness will show through when talking to people who have lived experience of socialism, and indeed, as in the case of Ekaterina Netchitailova, state communism. There is no reason to believe that socialism is one step or any step towards the abolition of psychiatry. In fact, quite the reverse, the bolsheviks embrace psychiatry rather zealously, for the reasons their rivals do the same.

    • There has never been a communist country, and rarely has there been a socialist one, especially for any significant period of time. So we’re talking apples & oranges here. (Btw there are no Bolsheviks left and I highly doubt they embraced psychiatry when there were.)

  26. Which brings us back to Frank Blankenship and his assertion that the only struggle worthy of blood sweat n tears is the human rights struggle.

    My interpretation of the antipsychiatrist, no apologies for the grotesque generalisation, is that they are more committed to an eternal debate and an eternal dance macabre with psychiatry, then they are with actual progress. In other words, they just wanna play the good cop bad cop routine, endlessly, sucking all the juice out of and undermining all efforts to find and establish better ways.

    They are the ultimate disruptive force to progress and the key factor as to why progress is so difficult to make, even on the level of discourse.

    For instance, rejecting outright the notion of “alternative” is helping who the most? Psychiatry or those who seek new ways of integrating mad folk into the social fabric?

  27. Communism, yes, where i was growing up, psychiatry was thriving to a terrifying extent, together with suppression of any religious awakening. It was a badly managed apparatus, made of greedy people in need of control. How they brought it up via their revolution is a terrifying exploration of mind. Personally, I can’t claim anymore my aristocratic roots, my grand-parent was in Siberia in a political prison, and free thought was suppressed. But, as a child, I experienced good manifestations of socialism as an idea, such as free education, enjoying the school and friends, having food on the table, having access to free medical care. I also witnessed what it meant ‘bringing capitalism’ to Russia, and how it effectively destroyed humanity in some people.
    As to psychosis, I recorded a video today about it. Psychosis is a real thing, and it is beautiful thing. I love it and am actively learning how to live in that state while still being able to be part of the society. The link to the video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9QX-Z2_eS4

    • Ekaterina – I appreciate your bravery, but I question your insistence upon calling altered consciousness = “psychosis.”

      Altered consciousness has been a human state of growth and learning for as long as there have been humans. Experience in non-ordinary reality gives depth to a person, and integrating this experience in ordinary reality infuses passion and meaning to life as a human.

      Some would say “walking with a foot in each World” = the world of Spirit, and the world of consensuality.

      I watched your video – but “psychosis is amazing” – when psychosis is brought on by life crises, difficulty reconciling the Inner and Outer Realities – it is not “amazing.” A Great Teacher, yes – but often (if you read many of the stories here) quite painful, too.

      Please lose the diagnostic language – and if, as you say in your video, you are trained in Shamanic methods of alternate states of consciousness – then please call them what they are, not what psychiatrists have named them.

      • JanCarol
        yes, all experience is different, totally agree.
        I’ve been in the system for 16 years now (not in the system per se, but around it, since I did have to learn indeed how to continue living well and enjoy my life while having experienced ‘psychosis’). Shamanism – we don’t know what it is (and you don’t train in shamanic methods), because there are no shamans around, apart from the fake ones who ask for lots of money. One doesn’t teach shamanism unless one is a real shaman, one becomes a shaman. And the only way to become a shaman is to experience ‘psychosis’ and learn how to control it, and then progress to the stage of helping other people. Shamanism – it is knowing how to live in the magic of the altered state of consciousness.
        I did meet enough of ‘patients’ from lots of hospitals to start talking about the experiences in such a way that it will appeal to some, but not to everyone, as is the case with everything. I will continue making videos from now on about all this, as an academic, as a person who had many psychoses, as a person who manages to lead a happy and fulfilled life in between and actively learning how not to deny myself this altered state of consciousness, because this is simply who I am. Doctors make it painful, not the patients themselves. What is painful is what happens before the psychosis, you are right about this. The reason they call it ‘psychosis’ is precisely because as you highlight it can be a traumatic experience for the person.
        To start making real changes, we do need real actions and people who are brave enough to start speaking out in public, and bring message of hope to others. It is a process. The terminology is so strongly embedded that by using their terminology to turn it upside down and make something positive out of it is the only way. I did think about it for very long time (terminology). But this is my opinion, others might disagree.
        But you are right that it is an altered state of consciousness, and it is amazing in itself because it is magical. Hospitals make it painful, doctors make it painful. Psychosis is usually a reaction of the person to something very bad in his or her life, it is actually a healing process, which needs to be navigated etc.
        but hey, no one understands psychosis (and i read enough of academic literature by now and met enough ‘doctors’), and someone has to start explaining what it is from the point of view of the ‘patient’.
        My first aim is to explain to people who have been in psychosis that what they ‘hear’ and ‘see’ as visions and voices, are real things, situated in the parallel world. And this is there the most damage is done, when they tell you that it isn’t real. They deny you your self-identity, they deny you who you are.

        • Ekaterina – there are shamanic techniques, and there are teachers and experienced persons to help teach without $$$$ outlay. What is shamanism? It is deep communication with these very things, and the methods for grounding them in reality and serving your community.

          The first technique that comes to mind is developing the ability to choose when you are in an altered state or not. Most people who experience altered states are concerned about the intrusion of these states – finding yourself in an altered state of consciousness while driving in traffic is very intrusive.

          The clearest method for developing this ability is to – every day – devote a time where you say – for 10 minutes, allow all of the altered state information to come through. Then, when the 10 minutes is over – it is over, and you spend the rest of your day – as a discipline – **not** in that altered state. After about 6 months of practising this, you will be able to choose when you can go in and out of these states.

          The next method is gratitude for what you experience while you are there – whether it is faeries, or Jesus or Buddha, or your Ancestors, or Nature, or just the Inner State – be thankful, give thanks, express gratitude to whatever those experiences are.

          There are many methods for cultivating support for yourself, often defined by your Ancestors – but there are post-tribal techniques as well.

          If you cannot learn from a teacher, you can – from your altered states – contact your Ancestors and receive guidance as to how best to develop your talent. As your talent develops – the purpose of this talent is to help others – you will better see how you can utilise it for more than your own pleasure – to use it to help others, which you are already driven to do.

          I humbly submit my small website (though there are many other teachers Greater than I): https://shamanexplorations.com If I am not a good fit for you, there are others I can refer you to. The truth of Shamanism is that you are your OWN Shaman, someone like myself can only point, suggest, help navigate your own experiences.

          Jungian analysis tends to work on these premises, too, that what lies underneath your conscious mind is valuable information. “Psychosis” gives greater access to this subconscious and Collective information – but for many people it is too frightening to access.

    • Ekaterina Netchitailova

      “and am actively learning how to live in that state while still being able to be part of the society.”

      Interesting video…what did you learn so far that will help someone stay out of the MH system.

      Are you in a psych hospital now or outpatient or free of it, if you do not mind me asking ?

      • streetphotobeing,
        it depends on what exactly you want to achieve while being out of the system. There are people who managed it and there are people who managed to get off anti-psychotics drugs and be well, but it requires strict routine, no alcohol, and no coffee, and it is hard to preserve then that beautiful state of ‘altered conciousness’.
        I was for years without medication but it was in the framework of mind that I should avoid then psychoses. I did end up in psychosis, i was put on medication, and still managed to have psychosis while being on low dose of seroquel- my biggest mistake was that I contacted the hospital myself, and this was my own big learning lesson. I can stay on seroquel of 50 ml, because it helps me to sleep, while still enjoying ‘altered state of mind’. Getting off anti-psychotic totally is in the future, but i want to do it while still being able to enjoy my wine, coffee, etc (which I do now). I want it all: happy life with small pleasures and being able to enjoy my ‘altered state of consiousness’. I am actively learning how i can do it all without seroquel at 50 ml, and once I am ready (once I have a more stable situation from what I am in now – being a single mum with not enough teaching hours, in a foreign country), i will do it. I might have to wait until my son grows up, since he is my biggest and most important priority.
        seroquel is not good, but on 50 ml it is manageable. And so, to get out of the hospital, i do accept medication (otherwise, they won’t let you out), but am always asking for seroquel (I tried them all), and then stop it or reduce it by myself.
        This helped me to stay ‘functioning’ for 15 years now, with also years in between when I wasn’t on any medication. But taking into account my current stress in life, i personally have to be very careful for the sake of my son’s future.

          • Thank you so much for the links! Yes I am actively learning how to come off AP in a safe way, I was without them for years but my approach was avoiding psychosis and only recently I learned that psychosis is a positive experience for me and part of who I am, therefore I need to learn how to have the state of altered consciousness without loosing it totally and still enjoy my life. So I am looking at how it can be done! If they developed a medication which just provided deep profound sleep and relaxed you, I would try it

          • OK, so ignore everyone who is trying to explain to you about the pitfalls of embracing “psychosis.” If it were up to me using such terms without quotes on MIA would be moderated as hate speech. And if “it” is so “positive” why are you looking for drugs or chemicals to “treat” “it” with?

            “AP” stands for anti-psychiatry btw.

  28. @Ekaterina: “So, Ekaterina, how are you doing today?” she asks in a pleasant voice, while a nurse types the entire conversation.

    Don’t fall for it! You can bet that a weirdly twisted version of the conversation will stay forever in your notes to be used in evidence against you at any point in the future. That ‘pleasant voice’ is your cue to be on your guard and choose your words with care.

    Here is “Escape from the Psych-ward”, a fun board-game version of the real deal. Hint: The Only Winning Move Is Not To Play.

    • Oldhead, I am not looking at drugs to treat it but am positive that a new drug can be developed which can make psychosis as a daily experience to be enjoyed not to be feared. I use the term psychosis because I look at it in a positive way and want to change perception of what it is exactly. Yes it is an altered state of consciousness which is a normal human experience that some people are blessed to enjoy! Calling it a hate speech is yet another act of diversion from what I am trying to say

      • That’s crazy. I know what you’re trying to say. But “mental illness” is NEVER a “positive” concept, and “psychosis” is such a disease concept no matter how you try to spin it. Maybe you should spend more time appreciating what you consider your “altered state of consciousness” and less time labeling it.

        “Altered” consciousness is not always expanded consciousness btw. Right now the only chemicals which approximate what you seem to be getting at are psychedelics, which can’t be taken every day as tolerance (not addiction) develops almost immediately. But they are not “treatments” for “conditions.”

        • Oldhead, I am not looking at a substance to get into that state! I am already there, naturally! I am looking at ways how to control it and have it at the same time. Psychosis is called a disease but it is not a disease. From the literature of how they describe it, it is clear they don’t understand it, and since the term is so embedded I want first to transform it into a positive thing and then start proposing new terminology.

          • I’m sorry Ekaterina, but I watched your video – and it did not present you well. You sounded like crazy person saying “Psychosis is good, psychosis is fun!”

            There are many many people who do not find the intrusions of alternate views as pleasant (even without the drug psychosis). There are many people who suffer under the pain of trauma and their intrusive realities are punishing, torturous. The trauma is so intense, and the Voices and HyperReality is so pressing that it is literally punishing.

            Use clarity and describe – what you are calling “psychosis?”

            “Today the faeries told me not to take the train, and a man jumped onto the tracks.” “When I was Buddha, I knew that humanity had hope and purpose.” These are connections, communications with deeper realities – but they are NOT PSYCHOSIS. (regardless of what doctors have told you)

            I’m all for reclaiming words like fag and witch, even Mad – but when the power of the corporate, government, and society at large are behind a word like “psychosis” then the tide is too great to turn. You are punishing yourself with use of words like this. And – it will be harder to reach the audience you want to reach – while you are saying “Psychosis is pleasurable” I know hundreds of people who are saying “I cannot, the pressure in my head is too painful.”

            I got labelled “bipolar” in the 90’s. When I was “manic” it was dramatic and energising – but it was not creative, it was horrible. It was indeed “spiritual emergence” but it took me 20 years to process the information that came through. But it was painful, not pleasurable. Saying “psychosis is great” diminishes my own experience, which was that “psychosis is intense, it is valuable – but it is also hard work.”

            You will heal better when you let go of the “psychosis” word and all of the baggage attached to it.

          • Hi,
            thank you for the comments,
            I have to rethink, since more people agree that ‘psychosis’ is too embedded as a very negative experience.
            My particular aim is to help to understand what exactly happens in that state, such as ‘voices’ and ‘hallucinations’ (visions), and that they are real, not a sign of disease. That in fact even in its most frightening manifestation (psychosis), if the person is believed for what he says or hears, instead of ‘debunking’ it as total nonsense, then the person can work on what is happening in that parallel reality, and be helped better in the recovery journey.
            But i have to think indeed how to communicate what I want to say in a better way.

          • Hey Ekaterina – you might enjoy listening and reading at http://www.shadesofawakening.com where they discuss awakening, emergency, emergence, crisis – and have a number of different terms to discuss these things.

            You are awakening from the psychiatric experience, and you have recognised that these events are not an illness. This is a HUGE step!

          • Hi JanCarol,
            thank you for the links, i will also look at your website.
            Yes, i am at that stage when i finally realised that it isn’t an illness, and that all my visions were real. Yes, i did have the chance of having ‘beautiful’, ‘amazing’ ‘psychoses, and am reclaiming my own personal power that it was beautiful and that magic is real.
            But I need to be careful in terms of how I address all this, since ‘psychosis’ can be a very traumatic experience. It is an experience, it isn’t an illness.

  29. Lavendersage, I do understand what you are saying! The term psychosis is also used in movies books and tv. I aim at explaining first of all that psychosis isn’t an illness, the symptoms they treat are behaviour related and that’s why Schizophrenia and bipolar get diagnosed and receive a label. My mission is to help people diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar by revoking that it’s an illness and by looking at ways how they can exit the system of labels, diagnosis and heavy medication which harms them as individuals by treating a normal human experience. My aim is to find a way as to how ‘psychotic’ people can enjoy who they are but not end up back on the streets or asylums. Schizophrenia and bipolar are diagnoses for people who are highly gifted, spiritual and fun. I want to start helping these people by removing the label that they are mentally ill once and for all. But it will be a long slow process and I might not achieve what I want, but I come from sincerely

    • Ekaterina,
      Your aims are laudable, but I find your logic flawed. One doesn’t refute an idea by using the terms that reinforce that very idea. Every time you use the words ‘psychotic’ or ‘psychosis’ (or any of the other bogus ‘mental illness’ terms, for that matter), you are propping up the very system you are aiming to knock down. Using their terms is like paying dues into their legitimacy coffers.

      • yes, i see what you mean. I will from now on say why i use the term. My aim is to actually help people, and people who do experience psychosis can’t be helped until there is a firm alternative in place. It does include re-educating the psychiatrists who come into the system because of a genuine desire to ‘treat’ something. It will stay in the domain of health for a very foreseeable future. In one of my comments I argued that as long as they have ‘psychosis’ in their dsm, the will claim legitimacy, since people in ‘psychosis’ do experience real distress and do need a safe house when they are in that state, they are extremely vulnerable. Psychosis is a real thing, it is simply not an illness.
        Having studied psychosis for 15 years as a person experiencing it, i see it as a way to help concrete people in concrete situations, such as people who end up in the system because they are brought there due to what they call ‘psychosis’.
        For the rest, it needs to be addressed as precise, separate aims: highlight that they have now such a disorder as ‘antisocial personality disorder’ which makes fighting any stigma impossible, highlight what other disorders they have (labeling different personalities and normal childhood behaviour), etc. But they created the whole thing, starting from ‘psychosis’, and my personal interest is in helping people who always end up in the system (health, medicine, asylum, on the streets, psychiatric hospital), even if the whole psychiatry will be abolished. In psychosis, one does loose touch with reality, and therefore the person needs urgent help, just not the help what it is provided now. Not when it is looked upon as an illness, instead of a healing process of the person, or some emerging spiritual search. In my videos my particular aim is to help people who had concrete experience of psychosis but also address those who are ‘treating’ it. I am not refuting doctors who want to genuinely help, they just don’t understand the phenomenon, but neither does the society, and ‘psychotics’ will be the ones who will always suffer until there is a very good, holistic alternative, where they would emerge from ‘safe houses’ as happy, strong, fulfilled people knowing that they are simply special and unique.

          • that’s fine! Yes, i will continue using the term for what i want to do, i don’t see any other way if i want to reach people who experienced the phenomenon and know what I am talking about. This is how it is called, and adopting a different terminology which isn’t recognized will be talking into the void. Here, on this site, we know of different terminology which is still building up. Those in the hospitals with diagnoses are familiar with a different, very embedded in the daily life term. I want to address these people, by explaining that when they are told they experienced ‘psychosis’, it isn’t an illness, that nothing is wrong with them, and that it can be healed, transformed and even enjoyed. And I will change the term in due time. I might be wrong as how I decided to talk about it, by using ‘their’ terminology, but for now I trust my intuition. First of all, I am interested to help those who are stuck in the system and think that something is wrong with them after they had what they call ‘psychosis’ by explaining what it is really ‘psychosis’. A healing process from trauma, which can also be magical.

          • Give up Lavender, I already tried my best. Your insights are needed elsewhere. 🙂

            For the record, “psychosis” is rooted in psyche (mind/soul) and -osis (disease or abnormality).

          • Ekaterina, what about the word “hallucinations?” “Visions” would be better, but to meet your need for a word that those in the medicalized system recognize, a “hallucination” is an event, not an “illness” or “disorder.” I think the issue with “psychosis” is that it invalidates the very premise you are setting – namely, that the event is not an indication of “illness” but is a step in a process that could be embraced rather than denied and pushed away. Am I reading that correctly?

          • Steve,
            yes, I try to argue that the whole process is not a disease but a reaction to something very traumatic in one’s life, and that it is actually a strong ‘healing’ process of the person, and that telling the person that his ‘visions’, ‘thoughts’ and ‘voices’ are not real, stops the healing process and turns it into something shameful, bad and into illness.

          • So why not use the terms “visions,” “thoughts,” and “voices?” I have found that being as specific as possible about describing the actual experiences of the person in layperson language is the best antidote to the psychiatric song and dance routine.

          • Yes, I agree! That’s what the person experiences in altered state of consciousness! Having visions which can be accompanied by hearing voices, and they are real, they aren’t ‘hallucinations’. My particular aim (on my blog) is to deconstruct first their medical language. They ‘shame’ these experiences by calling them a ‘disease’ by attaching a specific label such as ‘psychosis’ or ‘schizophrenia’

          • They ‘shame’ these experiences by calling them a ‘disease’ by attaching a specific label such as ‘psychosis’ or ‘schizophrenia’

            Yes, which is exactly what I, Lavender, Jan Carol and others have been trying to help you understand — that you reinforce that shaming by using the terms yourself. Steve might be on to something here with his encouragement to be specific — although one can only be specific about his/her own experiences, and should not generalize or categorize them.

          • Oldhead,
            one can generalize, because all these experiences (as different as they are), are called ‘an illness’ by ‘professionals’ who don’t understand them. Therefore, my usage of the terms ‘psychosis’ was motivated by deconctructing the assumption that it is a ‘desease’. It isn’t an illness, and it isn’t disease. The opposite is true, it is a healing journey.

  30. @Ekaterina: “Yes it is an altered state of consciousness which is a normal human experience that some people are blessed to enjoy!”

    That’s it exactly! Thank you.

    “I learned that psychosis is a positive experience for me and part of who I am, therefore I need to learn how to have the state of altered consciousness without loosing it totally and still enjoy my life.”

    Yes. That’s the elusive “sweet spot”. If you do manage to attain this state, the danger is being swept along too far and being unable to let go… then you are in big trouble.

    “I am positive that a new drug can be developed which can make psychosis as a daily experience to be enjoyed not to be feared.”

    No, no, this is wishful thinking! There will never be any such drug. Streetphotobeing is right – the best way to achieve stability and still enjoy this “normal human experience” is to work towards a psych-drug free lifestyle and learn about what you need for healthy brain functioning and natural quality sleep. This means making sacrifices – alcohol and caffeine are psych-drugs too.

    I watched your video – it’s terrific! Really looking forward to the next one.

    • yes, i was there (not on anti-psychotic drugs) and I was doing very well. This was when I learned another language and moved two more countries. But it was in fear of what would happen if another psychosis arrives. Until i finally realised (after my last hospital) that you know what? I love the state of psychosis, especially when you can enjoy it while still being able to be a full member of the society. I can’t achieve this stage if not on anti-psychotics (I can’t go into psychosis then at all). I could do without coffee and alcohol (I don’t consume them too much, a cup of coffee in the morning, a glass of red at night), even if I did have it all while also not being on anti-psychotic. Now, I am actively learning how to enjoy my ‘psychosis’, still live well, and be fully here, in this society, for my son. I don’t know if a drug could be developed which would just heal the sleep and relax you, maybe it could, once they start looking at the right thing, and not at what they are looking now. I do take paracetamol for my headaches and so i actually do believe in medicine. I don’t believe in the institution of psychiatry, but i do believe in humanity and that some people do want to develop a drug which helps but doesn’t harm, that there are doctors who come in order to help, and that some people are interested in other people doing well.
      Thank you for liking my video lol:)

    • Auntie you’re confusing me, what is “positive” here? “Psychosis???” You probably know my take, check out what Lavender and Jan Carol have to say, interested in your response.

      I’m also hard pressed to understand why someone who has so much peace of mind needs a drug to sleep.

      • People are seeing you as an agent provocateur, you feel you have been ‘validated’ by Dr Moncrieff on ‘it’, you seem to think you can dictate what a person means by ‘AP’ and what language people should use to describe their experience. Are you sure you are not – infact – a psychiatrist Oldhead, sent to inveigle us? You’re a psychiatrist arn’t you!

      • Oldhead – Ekaterina puts it very well in her video (btw, the link to this is not working at the moment….?) but I agree with you about the word “psychosis” and I try very hard not to use it. However, I can’t think of a suitable one-word (or even one sentence) alternative because it is such a complex, profound and capricious thing to define. So I do sometimes use the word “psychosis” in quotes as a lazy shortcut. Not good, I know.

        • I put the video back on public mode for the time being. JanCarol said I look like an idiot in it, and I agree:) I need to make more videos to deconstruct the ‘vision’ of ‘psychosis’. Yes, I am going straight for their definition of it, such as ‘loss of touch with reality, accompanied by hallucinations and hearing voices’. ”Hallucinations’ are visions and they are real, and voices are real as well. And it isn’t loss of touch with reality, but an altered state of consciousness. And it isn’t an illness. They tell you it’s an illness, which makes you ill. Once the person claims back the power of his visions and his gift of hearing voices, one reclaims the power of self-identity, and starts a journey of self-healing. At this moment, they make people ill. I probably explain it better in my post on my blog: http://porcupineswisdom.blogspot.com/2018/11/the-journey-to-recovery-from-severe.html

          • Ekaterina – No, you don’t look like an idiot! Far from it – this is the best thing I’ve seen and heard for ages! Please believe me. I am going to spend some time reading your blog, and I will be in touch. Thank you so much!

          • I agree with Auntie – “idiot” is not a word I would use.

            And perhaps my first description of your video wasn’t very accurate, either.

            One of the things which I learned in undiagnosing myself was how to appear calm, rational, even when I was excitable or agitated. It is vital to “present well” around professionals (I still have to use doctors, and they ***still*** want to address my mood, even though it’s none of their business). Unfortunately, the people who are diagnosed look through similar lenses as the professionals – because they’ve been taught and conditioned that way.

            When I looked at your video, I could see the diagnostics flying, as you were so enthusiastic, and your repeated use of the word “psychosis” caused problems for me. My “psychosis” was not pleasurable at all – so my reflection of your video was that it was “off the wall” or not very credible – TO ME. As Auntie pointed out – it has appeal.

            Please do not think “idiot” about yourself. Ever.

          • JanCarol,
            no, i know you didn’t call me ‘an idiot’ lol, but i do appear quite ‘off’ in the video:) I will make more!
            Yes, one has to be very very careful as how to present oneself and talk with others, while undiagnosing oneself and navigating the system. Totally agree! I wrote a post about it today(in terms of navigating the system, but how to ‘appear’ then to the public, yes, very important, i will address it in my next post. ‘How to play normal’ to the rest of the world, something like that. My post of today is, if any interest, on: https://porcupineswisdom.blogspot.com/2018/11/second-step-in-your-journey-towards.html

        • However, I can’t think of a suitable one-word (or even one sentence) alternative because it is such a complex, profound and capricious thing to define.

          Your mistake is in believing there is a “thing” to define, not the words you use. I must be doing something wrong if so few people get this by now.

          • @Oldhead: “Your mistake is in believing there is a “thing” to define, not the words you use. I must be doing something wrong if so few people get this by now.”

            You’ll have to help us out Oldhead…. what don’t we “get”? What are we actually talking about?

          • Maybe Lavender can take over for a while, I’m completely frustrated, as I’ve been trying to drive this essential point home for years. What we are actually talking about is decontextualized experience and behavior, as I believe Bonnie B would put it. There is no “it” to mislabel, rather people’s projected beliefs that they are all experiencing a consistently definable “thing.” All experience is unique.

  31. This “altered consciousness” is not always pleasant. Sometimes quite the opposite, it causes unbearable suffering. Actually “altered consciousness” is a purely psychiatric term. In fact, it all depends on what is happening in reality. When we are loved, appreciate, solidarity with us – this causes a pleasant perception. When we are humiliated, flouts – and the response of our consciousness is appropriate. We suffer when cause us suffering. Psychiatrists have their own “special” look. In all situations, they tend to notice only the part convenient to them. If someone behaves pretentiously, aggressively, obsessively, psychiatrists immediately explain this behavior with a state of mind. But at the same time, they fundamentally overlook reasons that can cause such states. Although the reasons may be absolutely obvious! And any person and even psychiatrists themselves would be both aggressive and intrusive if they had such reasons. But they do not want to notice (in any case with respect to others, not themselves). In general, psychiatrists are very ignorant, not thoughtful, cynical category of humanoids. Вообще психиатры очень невежественная, не задумчивая, циничная категория человекоподобных. And they are extremely despotic and overbearing. This is the catastrophe of our era.

    • Psychiatry is an ideology actively penetrating the society through their discourse of ‘mental illness’. They do actively destroy ‘different’ individuals by proclaiming them as sick. The only way to claim back humanity is to challenge them by proposing a firm, holistic alternative. I am happily mad and I am on seroquel, by researching my Own medication and my own dose. And I can still own my visions, voices, life and intelligence. I exited the narrative of mental illness by believing in my own journey. Psychiatry doesn’t own drug companies, and there is medication which helps to navigate the journey until one is ready to drop it. Psychosis is a real thing, but it is Not an illness. I try to tell how you can exit the mental health system on my blog http://porcupineswisdom.blogspot.co.uk I know that ‘psychosis’ can appear as an offensive term, but I use it because I researched it. They Don’t know what it is (the psychiatry). Le psychose est une jounee, la follie n’est pas une maladie, c’est un etat de difference. Я с психиатрией лично давно закончила и тихо над ними ржала, пока не дошло, что я одна так легко выживаю со своей ‘болезнью’ и что другие люди конкретно помирают. Выжила со смехом, но многое изучила и пора действовать, чтобы искоренить это зло

    • There is some good research showing that the CONTENT of voices heard by people is dramatically affected by the attitude of the culture they are in. If the person lives in a culture that accepts or even values voice-hearing, the voices are more positive and encouraging. If the person lives in a culture that fears voice-hearing, the voices tend to be more destructive and hostile. How that is explainable by a disease model is beyond me! Though psychiatry has long since given up on actually evaluating data – it’s more of a religious practice at this point, so contrary data can safely be ignored.

  32. Psychiatrists are criminals, executioners. They kill people and call it healing. Those who fall under the psychiatric Moloch, ignored of psychiatrists can not. It is necessary to legally destroy the psychiatric trap. Without this, any criticism of psychiatry (excuse me) sounds hypocritical.

  33. I reject psychiatry outright. That is why I use antipsychotics. That is also why I accepted the invitation to the ghetto. They leave the door open but I wish to make it absolutely clear that I choose to remain here on my own terms. I have no fear of the world outside the ghetto. I mean, that is actually where I belong. I don’t understand why you can’t see that or why my decision to remain here and bellow and make a name for myself is essential. After all, my experience is universal. My demands are universal. My needs are universal.

    Fuck the open door! I will remain here and you will listen to me. I am beyond important. I am essential. If I wasn’t fundamental why do you think they would bring me here, and why do you think I would choose to remain here, despite the open door and the world outside?

      • outsmarting the psychiatry means taking ‘medicine’ under our control!

        It’s not medicine and it’s not under your control, ever. This is distorted and dangerous thinking.

        Where I come from what you call “outsmarting” is referred to as “rolling over.”

          • Which “conclusions”? — you mean R.R.? Sorry, but ad hominems and accusations are a sign of weakness in your argumentation (though I urge Steve not to moderate this). If your logic were sound it could not be “sabotaged.”

            Anyway, wrong, I have been “diagnosed” as “psychotic” more than once.

            However you clearly intend to stubbornly cling to your narrative no matter what, so I have little or nothing more to say. Maybe we can check back with each other in a few years and see how things have evolved. And I’ll let you have the last post.

      • I read you blog post and I like your style and I like your vibe. I don’t have a problem with you using seroquel in order that you can maintain a functional life, especially as you are a working mother.

        I was diagnosed with schizphrenia a long time ago, in my late 20s. I struggle mostly with a generalized anxiety, insomnia, mood, concentration, disinhibiton, and persecutory thoughts. I have had visions and heard voices but they are, for me, quite rare events. I do not use antipsychotics.

        It has been a slow awakening. I have come to understand and accept, for once and for all, that a concussive traumatic brain injury at the age of 4-5 years old is what led to my lifelong difficulties. It has been quite a revelation to finally be acknowledged by my GP and mental health services. It has finally been acknowledged that the TBI has had a terrible impact on my life, and had I been born in recent years, then my childhood would have involved neuropsychologists and special educational and familial support to help me. It is too late now. I am approaching 50 years old. So I use my energies to keep fit and grow good food and when I can explore areas of natural beauty.

        I’ll soon be called in to meet up with a neuropsychologist. There is a charity called Headway and they have meeting groups. I’ve read around the subject a lot and I guess I’ll find people with whom I have a lot in common. Just as I did when finding mental health drop-ins and being on PICUs and wotnot. Lots of people with diagnosis of schizophrenia and bipolar have many of the same symptoms of TBI and vice versa. In fact many of them like me should be given a primary diagnosis of TBI. For me, it’s like I’m getting my genuine identity. Although I would prefer to have both schziophrenia and TBI labels.

        We are very different in that I cope without psychiatric drugs through rejecting magical thinking and you propose that magical thiking is what is going to transform your life.

        I do not doubt your abilities and I hope you have more success in life than I have. Mine has been a series of outrageous disasters, one after the other. I’d not be writing this if I didn’t have a sense of humour.

        I wish you well Ekaterina and hope we can meet face to face some day. We would make one another laugh, and have lots of interesting topics to talk about, I am sure.

          • I was speaking to oldhead, remarking to him about his interaction with you, and he knew to whom I was referring when I said, “I don’t think she’s gonna get it.”
            Just because you are the author of the blog post does not mean that every comment must be directed to you; we talk to each other here, too, not just to the authors.

          • LavenderSage,
            1. yes, of course, people, have a right to talk to each other. I am extremely glad that my article provoked so many discussions and possibility to exchange opinions.
            2. My exchange with Oldhead is interesting, but I don’t allow myself to be partonised, when I see it clearly. Including from you.
            3. To come back to ‘I don’t think she’s gonna get it’, yes, I would like to know myself as what exactly I can’t get. I am a researcher and an academic, and am always interested to learn, exchange opinions and understand the logic behind each argument, including when it seems I don’t understand something. I also admit when I am wrong if I see absence of logic in my own opinion.
            4. To make clearer my point: psychiatry in all its manifestations is ‘witchcraft’, since it isn’t based in science or medicine. Mental distress is real, mental illness is a myth. Psychiatrists make people ill. Medication is different from concoctions created by the psychiatrists. Biology and medicine are real sciences. Diagnoses damage people and are based in fiction of an evil mind. So, yes, i am curious what I don’t get.

        • It does seem that on your blog post: https://porcupineswisdom.blogspot.com/2018/11/exiting-psychiatry-by-engaging-alchemy.html?m=1

          – that you are advocating for use of psych drugs. That you are actually telling someone (the reader) that *you* (the reader? yourself?) need Seroquel.

          Perhaps you choose to use quetiapine to function in a working world. But I question the word “need,” and definitely would not advocate anyone else to choose that path without knowing more. The long term cost of “antipsychotics” (called “Neuroleptics” on this website because they are anti-brain) may be more dear than you know. (finding your sleep again may be one of them)

          (I tried to comment on your blog, but my security suite doesn’t like the log in)

          And honestly, to call psychiatry witchcraft is to insult the witch. Diabolical, evil, mind control, behaviour control, social control – totalitarianism disguised as “helping profession.” The witches I know tend to like sex, trees, herb tea, rocks and walks in the forest or on the beach.

          I’ll take it one step further and state (opinion alert) that “biology” and “medicine” are inherently corrupted by the corporate model of research and reporting of that research. The entire profession is suspicious to me – the diagnostic tools (MRI’s, blood tests, bone scans, etc.) are useful, but the “treatments” fall under suspicion of corporate pharmaceutical and medical devices being pushed.

          If you are interested in alchemy, try Carl Jung, who says,

          “Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life…If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature…Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim. Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.” ― C.G. Jung, The Red Book

          Consider: http://www.carl-jung.net/alchemy.html

          For the old timers here – she is on the cusp of undiagnosing, and on the verge of discovering the Inner Life that was squelched so thoroughly by psychiatry. Can we cut her some slack (I hope you don’t mind my use of 3rd person here)? I think that’s what Oldhead meant when he said, “get back to me in a year or so…” but I would hesitate to claim to truly know “what Oldhead meant…”

          • JanCarol,
            I agree with everything you say.
            ‘Witchcraft’ as ‘bad witchcraft’, probably not a right word, maybe to call it ‘mass hypnosis’ is a right word. I apologise if the word’ witchcraft’ caused offense and I need to re-frame it, you are right.
            I don’t recommend anti-psychotics! Anti-psychotics are created by the psychiatry! I recommend a ‘potion’ and only for those who struggle to claim their voices and visions in peace!
            I do consider myself a witch too, but good witch, white witch.
            I am developing the blog so it is in the stage of ‘unveiling’ and is for now, addressed to those, who sit at home under a huge amount of ‘anti-psychotics’ and struggle to exit the system.
            I un-diagnosed myself long time ago (on the matter of ‘diagnoses’ and the absence of logic in it, will be in my next post) and embraced my ‘madness’ too. My choice for my ‘potion’, created by myself, is to be ‘grounded’ in my daily life, where I am a single mum, have to work, look after my son, and still enjoy my ‘madness’, etc.
            I obviously plan to stop my ‘potion’ at some point, when I have firm stability and when I can’t risk to get back in the system for the sake of my son. I have to be grounded, well-thought, and lucid. But with my ‘potion’ I also enjoy meeting with angels, talking with fairies, etc, etc.
            Something very bad happened to me last year, when under massive stress (provoked by terrible car accident), I felt i was in ‘psychosis’ and went to the hospital in search of a safe place, and where I was detained under Mental Health Act, and where the ‘doctor’ was experimenting with three types of drugs for two months on me (while seroquel had worked just fine for me, previously), and where I was ‘recovered’ a week upon my arrival to the hospital, but they wouldn’t release me, with shouting nurses, terrible noise and constant partonising. During two months of the ‘nightmare’ my mum had to look after my son who wanted his mum and needed me. It was such a nightmare that it opened my eyes finally at the evil of the psychiatry. Before, I was living outside the psychiatry.

    • Oldhead,
      you have a right to your opinion, and i mostly agree with you. Psychiatry is not a dialogue, including ‘critical’ psychiatry, as it is still based in the narrative of ‘mental illness’. There is no such thing as ‘mental illness’, but mental distress is real, and many people struggle after they enter the system, and especially when they are reassured that they are ‘ill’, which damages them as individuals. Therefore, an alternative needs to be in place, which would abolish the narrative of ‘mental illness’, the main concept which gives psychiatry its legitimacy.

  34. Hi Ekaterina, You said you had Chinese tea for a gastritis condtion and after that you didn’t sleep for eleven days and that is where it all started is that correct ? Do you know the name of this herb and were you under a lot of stress at this time….you know we had the financial crisis 10 years ago..was it around that time. Also were you taking any other prescription drugs even things like paracetamol or anything else for headache/migraine ?

  35. Thomas Sas
    The physician’s job, inter alia, is to help: cure disease with the consent of the patient. The judge’s job, inter alia, is to harm: punish lawbreaking without the consent of the defendant… Wardens who carry out sentences imposed by judges harm their prisoners, regardless of the outcome of the intervention. Psychiatrists who carry out sentences imposed by judges also harm their patients, regardless of the outcome of the intervention… The difference is that jailers do not claim to be their prisoners’ benefactors, whereas psychiatrists insist that they are the benefactors of their involuntary patients… Most persons experience their coerced psychiatric treatment as punishment. That is why psychiatrists insist that the persons subjected to psychiatric coercion are psychiatric patients, not psychiatric victims; that psychiatric coercion is treatment, not punishment; and that individuals who oppose their “benevolence” are wicked enemies of caring for the sick, not defenders of liberty and justice. He who controls the vocabulary controls social reality. The erosion of our liberties is not a mystery. Overwhelmingly, it is the result of the alliance between medicine and the state, intensifying people’s dependency on pharmacratic authority and psychiatric controls, fostering and fostered by a hyperinflationary definition of disease and treatment. When the government controls religion, not only religious liberty but all liberty becomes a chimera. When the government controls health, not only medical liberty but all liberty becomes a chimera

  36. Psychiatry in Russia

    Posts victims: .. And now imagine. You go into an institution to visit someone. Suppose you were allowed to go on an exceptional basis. A crowd of boys, six to ten years, surrounding you on all sides. Everyone wants your attention, everyone wants to speak – adult came. And one happily reports: “And here we give a pill.” What?
    – Chlorpromazine, phenazepam, haloperidol, and this … sonapaks parkopan.
    (Names clatter as rhyme)
    – Why give?
    – When we behave badly.
    – It’s like you’re driving yourself bad?
    – Well, fight, smoke, swear obscenities, educators rude someone …
    Boy about seven years. If it round the clock to keep under lock and key – he will try to get out at any cost.
    Will he answer back, be rude, fight not as we would like an adult? Just need to put yourself in his place.
    And everything becomes clear to ugliness. The actual scene in quite a decent psychiatric hospital for children. I mean that when it comes to the orphaned children, they are likely out of this circle is not freed. The gas chambers were merciful. The Nazis killed at least once, not tortured …

  37. …But the most terrible thing was chlorpromazine. The terrible effect can not be described. In what satanic laboratories was prepared this drug!? It was destroying the thinnest, most intimate strings of essence. Its action caused a complete rejection reaction. Every cell, every nerve were screaming with outrage. As long as overwhelming effect of chlorpromazine was manifesting, this reaction was completely suppressed. But as soon as this action is being weakened, the whole being is being filled with rage. But they were continuing to do chlorpromazine else and else.
    There was one nurse, very greedy and cynical. She was often substituting others and was on duty multiple shifts in a row. And in order that the duty roster would pass quietly she was doing chlorpromazine to all. She was getting this with different ways. At the beginning with help on duty doctors. There were a lot of young doctors. Basically women. With them she was in familiarly relationships. She was calling a doctor by phone, a doctor was coming and appointing chlorpromazine, even not seeing for whom she appoints. Then they ceased trouble oneself to arrive. They were assigning by a phone. Then and this turned out to be unnecessary. The nurse herself was doing chlorpromazine, and the appoint was being done after, backdating. Then others followed her example .
    And no salvation from this destruction remained…

    • I don’t know what to say Lametamor,
      I heard terrible things about the psychiatry in Russia. And terrible things about what they do to people in hospitals, and how the society as a whole looks at it.
      But then again, my friend from the Netherlands writes to me from a psychiatric hospital there, where he is ‘treated’ by forced injections, telling me that he wants to end his life, that there is no hope left, that he is finished.
      I could have ended up like that too, if i resisted them in the hospital. I almost did last time, until self-preservation instinct told me to ‘remain’ quiet while sectioned, since one has no rights if sectioned.
      I recovered, and I recovered from their diagnoses. I won’t go back to any psychiatric hospital ever again.