Why Are So Many Americans Seeking Medication for Distress?


Here at MIA, we’ve shown how biological psychiatry is a harmful scam. But there’s a missing piece to the puzzle. Psychiatry understandably used to be a feared, avoided profession (the men in white coats who come and take you away, lock you up, tie you down, and lobotomize, shock, or drug you). But then it began to have voluntary clients. And since 1990, hordes of Americans have been knocking down psychiatry’s doors for its miracle pills, desperately wanting immediate relief from depression/anxiety. Isn’t it this huge rise in demand for medicine for distress that created and fed this giant monster?

If so, then to defeat it, we need to solve these mysteries:

How can anyone trust or submit to psychiatry after seeing its cruel, horrific “treatments” (which are still used today) in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? Why do people believe an idea as unverified and illogical as psychiatry’s chemical imbalance theory — that painful feelings are brain diseases rather than normal reactions to life issues? Why do people rush to try new pills despite all the side effects cited in their ads? Why was the news that antidepressants are placebos ignored? Why are obviously made-up diseases like Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (a synonym for childhood) taken seriously? Why do parents willingly drug their kids… with speed? Why did benzodiazepine use spike despite people knowing they’re addictive? Work injuries have steadily fallen,1 so what’s driving so many Americans to risk taking heroin in pill form (opioids)?

One possible explanation is that new, improved medications were developed. But Ritalin became available for ‘ADHD’ kids in the 1960s, yet didn’t catch on and become the gold standard until the 1990s. Similar stimulants were around since the 1930s and were popular in the ‘50s/60s, but faded when their addictiveness became known.

Vicodin, America’s most dispensed medication of any kind every year 2005-2014, was introduced in 1978, but also didn’t catch on until the 1990s. Other opiate pain medicines were available here since the 1800s, but were never widely sought since they were long known to be addictive/lethal.

Benzodiazepines, namely Valium, were available since the 1960s. Their close cousins, the barbiturates, were around since the ‘30s. Each faded in use in the ‘70s after their addictiveness became known. But in the ‘90s, Valium’s use jumped along with Xanax, which had come out in 1981. Since benzos/barbs act on the same brain receptors as alcohol, they’re actually in a drug class that goes back thousands of years.

Antidepressants as effective as Prozac were introduced in the ‘50s but never became popular. Yes, Prozac is the first serotonin reuptake inhibitor, but this is incidental; it has nothing to do with how it works — it’s a placebo.2 SSRIs do cause side effects via their serotonin action, however, drugs aren’t classified by how they cause side effects but by how they work. So all antidepressants belong in the same placebo class, as do antibiotics or vitamins when used on non-ill clients to appease “unjustified demands for medicine,” as most doctors admit doing.3 Placebos like snake oil also go back to the 1800s, when smooth-talking docs peddled miracle elixirs at traveling medicine shows, and paid actors to pretend to be cured by them. People attended for the free entertainment which was sponsored by the elixir’s maker/seller, just as drug ads sponsor today’s TV/online entertainments. These elixirs, like today’s, often contained alcohol, opium, or stimulants (cocaine) to hook clients.

So there aren’t really any new medicines, just the same old ones repackaged and given new names. They have been marketed more slickly and heavily; this is part of why they’re more sought after. But for marketing to work, there must be demand for a product. The high demand for mind-numbing chemicals since 1990 still must be explained, especially since it’s for illicit as well as licit ones.

Psychiatry’s inventing new diseases out of thin air also isn’t new. The DSM has been at this since 1952; it just took 40 years to catch on. Very similar versions of ADHD, depression, bipolar, anxiety, etc were included in it from its inception. Before the DSM, psychiatry created illnesses like neurasthenia to medicalize distress, but few bought it. And biological psychiatrists have been trying to sell the idea that “mental illnesses” are physical, and caused by chemical imbalances, since the ‘50s.

If it’s not due to newly discovered drugs or diseases, is it due to life here becoming more stressful and traumatic? Maybe it has in some ways, but not overall. People from all over the world are desperate to come to the US for our prosperity, orderliness, safety, and security. Crime, child abuse, and domestic violence have fallen. The draft ended, then the Cold War too. Income taxes were cut and credit loosened, enabling most Americans to buy cars and solid homes with water/heat/electricity.

A perennially strong dollar enables our government to borrow/print/spend lavishly on us without causing inflation. Its generous safety nets, used by a majority of us, include social security, food stamps, unemployment, and Medicare/Medicaid. Federal funds support the rising number of non-workers replaced by automation/outsourcing. Other nations make cheap products for us (washers/dryers, disposable diapers, digital assistants, etc) that make life easy here. Just a few clicks on a computer and it’s at our door. Immigrants clean and maintain many Americans’ properties for them. It’s a short trip to a cheap fast food restaurant, or to a supermarket always stocked with many foods like TV dinners you pop in a microwave. Our modern farms reliably and efficiently produce plenty of food. Never before was there a place where so many had so much. People elsewhere still struggle to survive from childhood on, toiling all day in factories, living in hovels, and fending for themselves with shortages, violence, and chaos.

Could this overall ease itself be the reason? When people struggle all day to stay alive, this is all they can afford to think about. There is no time/luxury to ponder their lives and what is wrong in them — their disappointments and failures, whether they feel fulfilled or regretful, dissatisfied with their relationships or their job, annoyed by their kids, or fearful about getting old and dying someday. They likely don’t have the time/luxury to evaluate their emotional state — to dwell on the fact that they experience painful emotional or physical sensations. More free time also means one can afford to try psych/pain ‘meds’ even if they impair functioning. All this explains Valium’s popularity with 1960s middle class housewives: as they became less busy due to modern conveniences, they found that “the pursuit of happiness is such a bore.”4 Maybe it’s human nature to take things for granted, to never be content, and always struggle with tensions, whether from risks to survival or from dissatisfaction with aspects of one’s life (if survival is secure).

But something else is going on in the last 30 years. Many people seem less tolerant of distress, and are demanding that doctors relieve it for them. Maybe our society (the aid/protection given by our government, our corporations’ life-easing inventions, and our advanced healthcare’s curing of real illness) took such good, quick care of all their needs and wants that they now unrealistically expect it to also take care of all their painful sensations. Maybe they became so used to depending on these authorities’ products and services that they’ve forgotten how to adaptively rely on themselves. Maybe they’ve successively handed over personal responsibility/volition in most life areas to the government, technology/automation, immigrant workers, and workers abroad, and are now handing over the last remaining area, by hiring MDs to manage their thoughts and feelings (and their children’s behavior) for them. By process of elimination, this is the best way to answer the riddles I earlier posed.

I don’t excuse MDs for fabricating diseases to justify being greedy drug dealers. But if the above is true, then aren’t they giving purely voluntary clients exactly what they went there for? A diagnosis of an involuntary illness and medicine for it, allowing them to relinquish responsibility for coping with their troubles, which is now their doctor’s job. They had to know they’d be given a label and a drug to go with it, since that’s what doctors do. I believe that ignoring this crucial puzzle piece is hindering our fight. Psychiatry feeds off people surrendering their free will and abdicating their personal responsibility; it’s time to starve it to death.

Show 4 footnotes

  1. News Release: Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses – 2017, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Nov 8, 2018.
  2. Kirsch, I. The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth, Basic Books, NY 2010.
  3. Kermen, R, et al. “Family Physicians Believe the Placebo Effect is Therapeutic but Often Use Real Drugs as Placebos,” Family Medicine, 2010,42(9)636-42.
  4. Jagger, M, Richards, K. “Mother’s Little Helper” Rolling Stones, Aftermath, 1966.


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  1. How did this even get published? It’s starting to look like Fox News around here again – fairly unbalanced.

    Please check your privilege at the door before you judge America. Most American’s lives do not resemble the caricature you’ve painted. I don’t know anyone with a housekeeper and I’m economically privileged!

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    • I was “economically privileged,” and well insured, when I was medically unnecessarily attacked with “safe … meds,” actual dangerous mind altering psych drugs, by greedy doctors. Who wanted to cover up their malpractice, not to mention medical evidence of the abuse of my young child, for a satanic clergy member.

      I agree, how did this even get published, it reads as insanity to me. And it is insanity, given the reality that attacking innocent humans, to cover up child abuse is now, and historically has always been, the primary actual function of our “omnipotent moral busy body,” way too intrusive, satanic psychiatrists and psychologists.


      And those doctors who attack well insured, innocent humans, to cover up their own incompetence and medical evidence of the abuse of one’s child, can’t ever bill any insurance company for ever helping any child abuse survivor, or their parent, ever.


      I’m very disappointed in you, Lawrence. You used to write pieces that spoke common sense. This is nothing but a blame the patients piece, the “above” is NOT true. The real problem is, and has always apparently been, with the medical system and the psychiatric and psychological systems in general.

      The psychological and psychiatric systems are paternalistic, to the point of being satanic, child rape covering up systems, by design. The systems are the problem, not the clients. “Don’t say I didn’t, say I didn’t, warn you.”

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      • I’d just like to point out one more thing, the “mental health professionals” have infiltrated our schools in search of more potential clients.


        It’s not the people in search of psychiatrists or your neurotoxic drugs, it’s the “mental health professionals” actively looking for potential prey, even in our schools. And when a “mental health” industry is actively working on attacking our children, in their schools, that’s a run amok and appalling “mental health” industry.

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        • Yes Someone Else, “It’s not the people in search of psychiatrists or your neurotoxic drugs, it’s the “mental health professionals” actively looking for potential prey, even in our schools”.

          I hope Dr. Kelmenson reads that blog. I also heard another ‘goal’ is to have every person who receives a cancer diagnosis then be sent for a psychiatric assessment. People are being preyed on left and right and it is terrifying this is happening to school children. I wish this information could get carried on mainstream media.

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          • Someone Else and Rosalee:

            What’s really ominous is that it’s no longer just the “mental health” industry that’s doing the propagandizing. Our schools, media, entertainers, athletes, political groups, volunteer/community organizations, religious groups, leaders, etc. are all carrying the torch, pushing the idea that “mental health treatment” is a great thing and that more of it is desperately needed. It’s like a cancer that spreads/multiplies throughout the whole body, so that the only cells left are cancer cells. Or a zombie apocalypse in which each person infected by a zombie bite passes it on to many more people, until everyone turns zombie. Even here at MIA, many seem to be promoting faith in the idea that something’s “wrong” with you or your child that must be “cured” through their particular variant of “treatment”.


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          • Has anyone seen the Queen Latifah Cigna commercial? It’s titled “Body and Mind.” Talk to your doctor about how you “feel, physically and emotionally”

            Additionally, a new medication commercial about Tardive Dyskinesia . . . The actress even says she’s bipolar and DON’T STOP taking your BP meds. . . even though, the serious side-effect, TD, is present.

            What is left unsaid, TD is a Central Nervous System condition, that’s pharmaceutically induced. So take another pill.

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          • Dr K, I have to agree with everything you just wrote about this belief spreading like a virus throughout our society. And I’m equally out of ideas for how to stop it.

            I used to be part of what was, at least at the time, the largest bipolar group on Facebook. Around the time I started tapering off meds, I asked in the group who else was med free. I was looking for support going off meds and had not yet heard of places like survivingantidepressants.com. Merely asking if there were other med-free patients in the group (and sharing some of the dangers I’d learned about the meds from RWs book) got me banned from the group.

            I believe that you have pointed out all of the players involved but the next step is to break down each group and figure out why that group is promoting this idea. Is it for personal financial gain, like on the part of pharma and psychiatrists? Is it the SJW perspective parroting what they have been told to think about what oppressed people need or deserve? Is it a politician pretending to care about a special interest group to get your vote and using an emotional argument to elicit your concern and elect this dogooder? Is it a parent – abusive or not – struggling to care for a child that is mismatched to the environment it is living in? (I suspect there are fewer hyperactive kids diagnosed in families that get more physical activity than average.) Is it a misguided child protection advocate who wants to see more mental health care in schools because they believe in the myth of “early intervention”? Is it the law enforcement agency who is overburdened with calls relating to domestic disputes and people in extreme states? Is it the teacher who is overwhelmed with 58 third graders and who can’t handle one more student’s distraction from teaching material the kids are going to be tested on and which her job and her school’s funding depend on higher results than the last year? Is it the media who gets a significant amount of revenue from drug company advertising being unwilling to bite the hand that feeds it with accurate coverage? Is it the Wall Street executive averaging 12% per year returns for his clients whose retirement accounts include shares in pharmaceutical manufacturers? How about the revolving door between government regulators and the industries they are charged with regulating. The FDA has had no shortage of complaints about being too cozy with the pharmaceutical and device manufacturing industries. Was it the deregulation of pharmaceutical advertising during the Reagan years that resulted in the American public becoming saturated in advertising about illnesses they didn’t know they had and a suggestion that they ask their doctor for specific medications to treat it? Or is it the websites of an investigative journalist who wrote an expose of the crimes of the pharmapsychiatry conglomerate and insist on continuing to rethink the problem instead of staying the course on behalf of the current and ex patients they once revealed had been so deeply harmed?

            And that’s just what I can think of right off the top of my head. A deep dive into this issue I’m sure would produce many more books on what’s wrong and how it got that way. But it’s hard to really judge how many people are listening or how bad it will have to get in terms of how many people are harmed before there will be significant pushback.

            Most people I know are unhappy – that includes rich and poor, disabled, working class, and professionals. Most are worried, overworked, in some degree of ill health. But we’re still poorly connected to one another because the tools we are largely using to connect like social media are thinly veiled arms of the state and purposely keeping us compliant and pacified.

            I’m rapidly coming to the point of thinking that if you don’t sound like a conspiracy theorist, you don’t truly understand how deep these problems really go.

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          • KS – as usual, you are spot on. Especially in reference to this quote,

            “I’m rapidly coming to the point of thinking that if you don’t sound like a conspiracy theorist, you don’t truly understand how deep these problems really go.”

            I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I do follow historical facts. When called a tin-foiled hat wearer, you know you are on the right track. This is the method of those in power to detract and MARGINALIZE the messenger, the message.

            We can look back at history, more specifically the Fluoridation of the water supply. Yes, it did increase the quality of dental health, but at what long-term costs? Micro-doses of Fluoride, a neuro-toxin, over the span of decades, along with longer life expectancies, introduced Alzheimer’s/Dementia on a scale never before seen. The genetic vulnerability was passed along to the next generations . . . and when in the 80’s, there was a major study going on about this topic, it disappeared. One of the main reasons it disappeared? No data taken relevant to the hypothesis. . . especially over the long-term.

            The MD I often refer to, had collected the data as he had patients that spanned 4 generations within families. He was well aware of the causal link. This predates HIPAA and he collected his data for me at the time to correlate for a college project. This was the era previous to genetic disposition as a contributory factor, but denying that, skewed the data and its results.

            I used this personal project to cover all that I had learned in my 21 credit hours that semester. Defining methodology, using statistics, variability, along with a number of sound methods. Each was able to be applied to my coursework. So much so, that two of my professors submitted for review and publication in very different fields. I was later notified by both of them it was published, but they could not tell me by who or in what publication.

            Jump forward a decade. I ran into one of those professors with his adult children at a Starbucks. He recognized me right away to his children’s amazement. He had started down the road of Alzheimer’s some years before. His long-term memory reminded him of the only undergrad student of his to be published. When I asked him the publication (I was never notified), he responded, the Journal of the Coverup.

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    • I was reading the latest, and poked my head in this blog entry and nearly hurked up a lung. Yes Kindredspirit!! This! And this is proof yet again, that expertise in one area absolutely does not automatically confer expertise in any other area, as evidenced by a shoddy stereotype-filled and self-serving analysis of the last 40 years. I wish I had a dollar for every doc out there who thinks he has a handle on “human nature” based on which subset of patients he chooses to focus on. A single doctor’s anecdotal use of the word “some” or even “many” does not constitute data. Actual numbers or it never happened.

      The myopic view that fuels this RANT could only come from wearing old-privileged-white-guy glasses and steeped in cultural/religious tropes like “suffering is good for the soul” and that the belief that humans are at the core, depraved. Choosing to focus on “some” patients and extrapolate to all humans is both short-sighted and hypocritical. Psychiatry is often slagged on MIA as being notoriously context-averse. We see it here, in spades. You have to be pretty wrapped up in your own little world to not be able to connect a few dots in the 40 years from Reagan to now. Overall ease? Did the good Dr miss the Great Recession? The concentration of wealth that’s been going on? The decrease in actual buying power of salaries since the 70s? The skyrocketing costs of higher education? The breakdown of public education overall? He clearly thinks a significant subset of his patients are trying to game the system while not looking too hard at his own group, which expects – and receives – money-for-nothing with its rent-seeking investment portfolios.

      People aren’t less tolerant of stress “these days”, they’re just more vocal and less willing to suffer quietly like in the “good old days” when women and other minorities knew their place, enabling white men to not have to deal with the really uncomfortable fact of old-white-guy-induced pain for everyone who isn’t an old white guy. I particularly liked how the use of Valium by housewives in the 60s is trivialized to women just being bored and too lazy to find things to do, since being a housewife became so easy once they didn’t have to beat the rugs and kill the chickens anymore. That whole little “analysis” is sadly, what I’ve come to expect as the unselfconscious and unapologetic misogyny that the current regime has made acceptable again in public. And writing nostalgically of a time when life was so physically hardscrabble that people didn’t have time to think past the next food crisis, let alone dare ask for anything from their betters? Really?? Reading this was like reading something straight from another century. Except that we have obviously never gotten past that crap and it just keeps bubbling up from from the collective midden.

      The vibe of everyone is suspect, dishonest, and trying to pull a fast one, obvious disdain for humans overall, and for patients and their “complaints” (a word more often applied to women and one that is just loaded with all sorts of unspoken crap) is not at all unique to psychiatry, and is precisely why I have pretty much replaced every male doctor I can possibly replace with a female one. And I’m talking about all specialties, and having cancer and MS, plus the usual types, that’s a few. I realize women doctors are educated in male-created systems and so fed a diet of male biases too, but on the whole, I feel I have a better chance of avoiding the most egregiously antiquated attitudes by avoiding male docs altogether.

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      • Well I’m glad you found good women docs.
        I encountered a few and was so happy to be around a female until the experience was not paternal and condescending, but nasty and mean, almost like a passive aggressive anger.
        I then researched and a few articles said women docs are now found to be harsher or as harsh as male.
        I just overall dislike it when people in service are pissed of about their jobs and chronic illness and take it out on patients.
        Now I go to me vet.

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  2. The intolerance of emotional pain cuts both ways Dr. K. In the old days people would support grieving widows and provide companionship for the unhappy.

    Now they tell you to see a psychiatrist and take some “meds.” It sounds nicer than “bug off.”

    Something you neglected to mention was the ubiquitous psych drug commercials. Despite what I have told family members they find it hard to believe the pills aren’t helpful (except for quieting folks to stuff in institutions.) Cause the dancing pill commercials are so cute! And Dr. Phil says….

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    • kindredspirit and markps2:

      Here’s my theory of why psychiatry is being accepted/propagandized at every level/aspect of our society: I think that what most enabled man to succeed evolutionarily was his forming societies, and religion has always been the core that holds societies together. I believe that as a species we evolved a propensity toward fantasy (psychosis), so that individuals in a society could have complete irrational faith in their God and their religion’s leaders. This gives them the comfort that comes from believing they’re being taken care of, while at the same time ensuring conformity/submission within the society, and while also creating a highly privileged priest class that benefits from the riches/prestige/respect bestowed upon them. So everybody wins.

      But then Darwin came along and ruined all this. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Freud, the ultimate father-figure who began psychotherapy, became popular soon after Darwin disproved everything people had been told was true by their priests. Then the field which he started malignantly morphed into the religion of today: chemical imbalancism. Ironically, Freud himself derided the religion of his day in saying: ‘People cannot but see that this religion is not tenable, nevertheless try to defend it piece by piece in a series of pitiful rearguard actions”. You would think he was talking about today’s religion.

      I am sorry if this explanation alienated people more than I have already alienated them.


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  3. Hi Lawrence. Why do you use the term “medications”?

    Also it is disappointing to see you glom onto the “biological psychiatry” meme. ALL psychiatry is “biological” if there are drugs involved, and this implies that there is a “better” form of psychiatry that is NON-“biological.”

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  4. “Here at MIA, we’ve shown how biological psychiatry is a harmful scam.”

    Lawrence is on the right track, but this introduction is not quite entirely accurate. First of all, psychiatry itself is, and always has been, as Thomas Szasz so eloquently wrote, the science of lies. As oldhead also points out, the attempt to divide psychiatry into good, non-biological psychiatry and bad, biological psychiatry is an exercise in futility. Second, although Whitaker has done excellent work in exposing the lies inherent in psychiatry, the harmful scam of psychiatry was exposed long before any of us were alive. (see e.g. Karl Kraus)

    “Psychiatry understandably used to be a feared, avoided profession…”

    This is an interesting way to frame the problem, and there is some truth to Lawrence’s thesis. However, psychiatry is still feared and avoided, and it is not, nor ever has been a “profession,” unless by “profession” we mean other fraudulent activities such as organized crime or prostitution.

    “But then it began to have voluntary clients…”

    This is where Lawrence’s argument becomes a bit fuzzier and more misleading. There are certainly many people who choose to label themselves, drug themselves, and even incarcerate themselves. But the vast majority of these people do so on the basis of the fraudulent information that has been so cunningly disseminated by psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry. In other words, even those who “voluntarily” choose to submit themselves to psychiatric torture most often do so without understanding the true nature of psychiatry. Most people would not even chose to touch psychiatry with a ten foot pole if the truth about psychiatry were readily available to them.

    “Isn’t it this huge rise in demand for medicine for distress that created and fed this giant monster?”

    Not quite. This is part of the problem perhaps, but in reality, psychiatry has cleverly created the demand. Psychiatric propaganda is so entrenched in our society that many, if not most people sincerely believe that psychiatry is a branch of medicine that deals with “mental illness.” As long as the myth of mental illness continues to pervade the collective consciousness, there will be “voluntary” psychiatric “patients” (which is simply a euphemism for victims of abuse)

    Of course Lawrence is right about psychiatry’s invention of fake diseases. He is also right about the problem of ease and prosperity that makes people weak and complacent. He is even right that many people foolishly relinquish their liberties. But all of this takes for granted the nature of the therapeutic state. Lawrence is right that soft despotism or tyranny must be resisted as much as more blatant forms of despotism, but there is more to the history of psychiatry than he lets on.

    Is it foolish for people to trust in the authority of “medicine” and “doctors” and especially psychiatrists? Of course. Is psychiatry innocent of promoting and enlarging this foolishness? No.

    “Psychiatry feeds off people surrendering their free will and abdicating their personal responsibility; it’s time to starve it to death.”

    This is a partial truth. Psychiatry robs people of their liberty and responsibility in any way it can. The dragon of psychiatry may sometimes feed off of the sloth and ignorance of the masses, but it has no compunction against flying out in open, fiery fury against any victim that it can clutch in its loathsome claws.

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    • Still hitting those nails squarely I see, DS. Looks like you have more time on your hands recently. Anyway, yeah, people are responsible for their decisions, nonetheless they can’t all be expected to be experts on the history and lies of psychiatry, hence in a position to make informed choices, especially when the “experts” are all pushing them in the same direction.

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      • Not just the experts, but the news media, movies, TV shows, their family, neighbors, friends, and most people they meet in the world. It takes some serious courage to stand up to that kind of mass agreement, no matter how deceptive or ineffective the agreement may be.

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        • Steve – unfortunately, I was one of those defensive degreed idiots. When I finally questioned the authenticity of their conclusions with my and my loved one’s personal experiences with biomedical model, it was too late.

          What I have learned from those at MIA and others, only survivors, a select few professionals and even fewer loved ones, question what they don’t understand and what SOCIETY says is acceptable.

          The reason why this system is going to be hard to crack. . . too many with too much to lose. There are so many $$$/power interests in this field, breaking one part of the SYSTEM does little to break the others. Remember, every state and most countries have forced commitment laws. This laws have developed over centuries. The lawyers won’t let the SYSTEM break as they are fed by it, also.

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    • Dragonslayer:

      The role of psychiatry has always been to stifle free will: It denies its existence in saying people’s minds are controlled by involuntary illnesses. You also deny free will, by saying voluntary clients’ minds are controlled by psychiatry’s propaganda. So you are on the same side as psychiatry, and furthering its cause/power. I’m on the opposite side, since I see free will as determining human behavior: I believe propaganda only succeeds because it condones people doing what they really want to do anyway. I believe that people who turn their free will over to psychiatry knowingly choose to do so because it’s convenient for them in many ways, such as enabling them to evade responsibility. Why else would clients continue to see psychiatrists year after year if the whole scam wasn’t benefiting them somehow? They could have walked away at any time.


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      • You may be right on some level, Lawrence, but it seems to me that such motivations as you discuss are largely unconscious and are fed by general social agreement and expectations. It’s true that we have the free will to challenge or refuse to comply with these expectations, but that often comes with consequences that people aren’t willing to contemplate. I’ve found plenty who are seeing psychiatrists because they literally have no idea that there is any other option. While I’m all for empowering them to realize they have other options, blaming such people for lacking the levels of awareness and responsibility to recognize psychiatry’s shenanigans and manipulations is unproductive and in some cases could be seen as downright hurtful.

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        • Well stated Steve! I agree. It would be good to try strengthen resilience to survive a society that’s become increasingly fast-paced, stressful, isolating and downright dangerous but this message sounds too much like victim blaming.

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      • You also deny free will, by saying voluntary clients’ minds are controlled by psychiatry’s propaganda. So you are on the same side as psychiatry, and furthering its cause/power

        That’s ridiculous Lawrence. People may not be literally controlled by psychiatric propaganda but when desperate people are grabbing at straws and your straw is the closest one, reinforced by the many influences Steve mentioned, it’s obvious what the “choice” will be. As for “giving psychiatry power,” to update Mao’s famous quote, psychiatric power comes from the barrel of a gun.

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      • So Dr. K, if someone fed me a capsule of cianide saying it was a vitamin and I swallowed it would you say I voluntarily chose suicide when I was lied to?

        There is some truth to what you say, but it borders on victim blaming.

        Yes, calling depression and anxiety brain diseases instead of making better ife choices is tempting. BUT…everywhere you go people post or say stuff like “Depression and anxiety are real.” Meaning they are brain diseases. For some reason calling them painful emotions gets people mad. (Aren’t feelings real?)

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      • “I believe that people who turn their free will over to psychiatry knowingly choose to do so because it’s convenient for them in many ways, such as enabling them to evade responsibility. Why else would clients continue to see psychiatrists year after year if the whole scam wasn’t benefiting them somehow? They could have walked away at any time.”

        This is an overgeneralization and unfair to a lot of people, such as myself. When I went to see a psychiatrist while in college, it was voluntary because I had crippling anxiety and could not think clearly, and I went by the cultural programming which was all I knew. To me, that was being self-responsible. I was not trying to evade responsbility, I was trying to BE responsible, so that I could get past the anxiety and be productive again. I had no issue saying that I had problems. I had problems! And I wanted to address them head on.

        I stayed for 20 years because I was told I had a chronic illness/chemical imbalance and needed “meds” for the rest of my life, and I accepted that. I returned to work and then finished school, and it was one thing after another as far as being “symptomatic” goes, and I kept referring to psychiatry because it was still all I knew for this sort of thing. One pill after another after another after another–because, apparently, I could only have chronic anxiety if my brain wasn’t working correctly, no other reason.

        20 years later, I finally defected from psychiatry and mental health, inc., and went in another healing direction having nothing to do with this only after crashing so badly from “meds,” and then, it turned out all of this mental/emotional abuse which I was not recogonizing as such. That took me years to recognize, given the fog which insidious gaslighting and narcissistic abuse puts one in, and it is thick and dense and persistent.

        And it took me years to heal from this massive confusion which psychiatry is, and which they managed to project onto me full on, given that I was programmed as all get out. I was ripe for the picking. My dad was a physician, so that was my world back in the day.

        I had to deprogram from this way of thinking in order to save myself and heal. That is not easy! It’s a process of healing where one specifically takes back their power. And often we have to be humbled first, to wake up. Thanks to psychiatry, I was and I did.

        So in that sense, I am grateful to psychiatry, it did cause me to finally wake up. But there has got to be an easier way! And definitely, more aligned with the human condition, which, in all due respect, I do not feel psychiatry is. How could it be, between DSM and psych drugs? These are exactly denials of–along with violation of–the human condition.

        I could have walked away if I knew then what I know now, but I was led to believe this was the best I could do, and I did believe that.

        As I DID walk away from my last psychiatrist, 20 years later, finally off psych drugs, and angry because he had said some terrible things to me and had betrayed me to my employers, whereas I had thought he would be my ally in getting back to work, he told me that I would only carry my problems elsewhere, that I should not be leaving his practice. Finally, I was able to keep walking, and slam the door behind me. Last.psychiatrist.ever. That was not easy! In the past, I would have let that scare me, due to the programming.

        Social programming is complex and undoing it is multi-layered, not at all an easy healing. Please let’s not assume that people’s free will can always overpower it. These are insidious mind games which psychiatrists can play, for the purpose of control, and which in this case, especially, is an abuse of power, because I believe we should know that a client would inherently be feeling vulnerable. This does test our free will, until we free ourselves from the situation.

        Psychiatry ended for me, personally, 15 years ago. It has taken over a decade, and a lot of conversations in here, to finally get clarity around all of this, psychiatry and its many tangents. Conclusion: This Is Insanity.

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        • Alex, all your comments hold such incredible truth and wisdom!! Thanks for stating it all so clearly.

          “I was not trying to evade responsibility, I was trying to BE responsible…”

          Isn’t that the truth!! But psychiatry is such a web of deceit and coercion and once it gets its claws on you it won’t let go.

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          • And they just will not hear the words, “YOU ARE WRONG.” It just won’t register, it’s the darndest thing.

            I remember while in the system it was actually risky and dangerous to contradict their clinical truth with my own personal truth, it led to backlash for me. It was positively Dickensian, as if I were a child daring to ask for something which I didn’t deserve, like the truth, integrity, healing, to be treated with respect, like an adult human being, etc. What is so fucking hard about that???

            Thanks for the validation, Rosalee, and you know where that truth and wisdom come from, as with many of us on here: from the first hand experience of being on the wrong end of this! It is quite the education through a roller coaster process. It did take a while and a lot of processing and healing to finally get to clarity on all of this. Psychiatry really creates total confusion. It’s my privilege to help bring some light to the situation, from what I learned going through all of this.

            To APA and its esteemed members: Can you all stop doing this to people, PLEASE? Thank you in advance.

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          • “Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff’s marks were naive and gullible”

            Funny you should say that, Rachel, I certainly felt as though I had been duped due to my naive gullability. I was hard on myself for it, thought it made it all my fault.

            I got over it, though, when I realized a few things about this–first, so were my parents, I inherited this from them; second, I get how social programming works now; and third, I get how gaslighting works.

            Waking up to these influences made me feel better because not only do I know that I’m in good company (we’ve all been duped), but mostly because I know it’s remediable, which is what really counts. We learn as we go.

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        • I realize the real problem with Lawrence’s statement: that people “knowingly” turn over their lives to psychiatry. If they did this “knowingly,” it would mean that they knew and understood the likely outcomes, including the potential negative consequences, and that they knew and understood the fictional nature of the idea of “mental illness” diagnoses and related concepts. VERY few people who actually know this would be willing to turn their lives over to those in charge of such a mass deception!

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          • What’s bothering me here is this idea of “turning over our lives” to ANYONE. When I went first sought counseling/therapy/psychiatry, it was to figure out a problem, which was a mystery to me, and indicated largely by severe anxiety which interfered with my ability to function and think clearly. I just wanted to get this fixed, somehow, so that I could go on with my life.

            When I was diagnosed with what we all assumed at that time was something “chronic” and “requiring medication,” that just became one aspect of my life. Never did I intend or expect anyone outside of myself to run my life and make decisions for me. Never, ever could I even conceieve of this. I just wanted to figure out how to clear my head and get grounded. And no, they couldn’t exaclty help me with this, but things stabilized eventually, as they tend to do.

            One of the things which made me run from psychiatry was my last psychiatrist trying to run my life (after I got off the drugs and was still healing and recovering from this, trying to put the pieces back together). Total control freak, acted like he was my “surrogate father,” assumed I was making all these transferences on him, etc. Incredibly invasive, and downright violating. He would get “angry” when I didn’t do what he said! AHHHH! Looking back, it was creepy, like he was totally delusional and self-aggrandized.

            At what point did psychiatry become an adoption and surrogacy agency? Forget “handing over your life.” They should not be trying to run and control anyone else’s life but their own! What is this “handing over your life” business? This is where I am stumped, because it was my experience that they actively stole it, in exchange for simply seeking what i though were “professional healing services.” Lesson learned.

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          • When I sought out a therapist I was lucky in that I got paired with a young man just starting out in the profession. He was open, thoughtful, but never did he ever want me to turn my life over to him. He said that he enjoyed our work together because I was so motivated to look into my own experiences in my life so that I could straighten things out for myself. He said that he never had to do anything since I did all of the work myself.

            The trouble came when I was told by the clinic that I’d have to see a psychiatrist so that I could get a “diagnosis” so that I could continue to do therapy with the young man. I didn’t have a whole lot of money at the time and they wanted more money out of me. The only way to achieve this was to be “diagnosed”. This was the beginning of trials and tribulations and it was at this point that I realized that psychiatrists did not help people. If anything they added to peoples’ misery.

            But I’d been under the impression that psychiatrists sat down and listened to people and helped them work through things. If I’d known it was otherwise I’d never have gone to that first appointment that was made for me with the psychiatrist. The label he stuck me with haunts me to this very day and there’s no way to get rid of it.

            I agree. I don’t think that most people would stick their necks in the noose of psychiatry if they knew the truth. They’ve also believed the lies about the psychiatric drugs because there’s almost no place where they can find the truth. Just go on Google and try to find some real help with all this. You’re referred to drug company websites that gush with the propaganda that most Americans believe. I didn’t truly wake up until I began working with my first supervisor at the “hospital” where I work. She took the Kool-Aid away from me and began piling my desk with articles telling the truth. The articles are there but not many people know how to access them. She’d spent years gathering them from all over the place.

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          • Psychiatrists are almost ALWAYS portrayed in movies and TV as caring therapist types who know how to listen and help people safely explore their conflicts and issues. If someone’s only image of psychiatrists was from the media, it’s easy to see how they might expect that they could be helpful. I don’t think it’s by chance that such portrayals so massively predominate. I think it’s part of the propaganda effort, just like it is to show “patients” who “go off their meds” and do something dangerous. They’re painting a picture, and it is hardly surprising that most people expect that picture to reflect reality.

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          • “But I’d been under the impression that psychiatrists sat down and listened to people and helped them work through things. If I’d known it was otherwise I’d never have gone to that first appointment that was made for me with the psychiatrist.”

            While I made my own appointment (it was my choice to see a psychiatrist), this is largely my sentiment. I was also under the impression that psychiatry and psychotherapy were about helping people to work through issues and understand oneself better, to be able to get back to functioning in life feeling like a whole human being.

            I’ve always seen these issues, which any human being will have at one time or another, as interesting puzzles to solve, which involve how we sit with and interpret our emotions vis-a-vis our thoughts and belief system. To me, that is interesting and compelling, and it is solution-oriented. And, it grows us to explore our issues this way, with good focus and self-compassion.

            I missed that in “mental health, inc.” That just became about the “therapist” working out their own relationship issues with an unsuspecting client, the most manipulative and controlling professional relationships I’ve ever experienced, with very self-aggrandized professionals. HORRIBLE!

            I knew when I first went to psychiatry that there was a possibility of “medication,” but that did not bother me, given the mindset of the diabetes analogy, which I believed at the time, 1982. I didn’t find it at all tragic or insulting to have to take a medication for a DSM diagnosis, and it did not keep me from work, school, and life. I accomodated it, and was open about it. I had a good social life and relationships, and everyone knew about this, asked me questions about it, and were impressed with how I was navigating such a thing while working full time–and in customer service, no less! Doing quite well, despite a few side-effects and adjusting to a new self-identity. it was interesting, not threatening.

            All of the stigma, bigotry, and blatant discrimination came later, and directly from the mh system, field, and all of its social services non-profit tangents. By 2000, times had changed drastically as the issue of “mental illness” became so public. This is not the same attitude as when I first began with all of this, at least not in my reality. It was no big deal, a fact of life I had to deal with, and I was doing just that in all humility and transparency. But later, the prejuice and blatant stigma is what cause the biggest obstacles to my working for income. I had to be creative about that, in the end, but systemic bigotry is the real enemy here, to my mind.

            Mainly, though, I feel that this field is enabling this delusional and self-aggrandazing perception which many of these professionals seem to have, which would never serve a client well. That is a fertile field for those negative projections, when the clincian will not own their shadow. That’s what gets projected onto the client, and it is treacherous and extreme emotional oppression.

            The idea of a psychiatrist or psychotherpist actually thinking that it is his or her job to run their clients’ lives is outrageous to me, and yet, that is what they attempt to do, and sit like a judge in the meantime. No friggin’ way is this sound. Quite the contrary, it is sheer madness.

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      • Fortunately a few of you have already pointed out the absurdity of Lawrence’s reply to my comment, but let me reinforce their main points.

        “The role of psychiatry has always been to stifle free will: It denies its existence in saying people’s minds are controlled by involuntary illnesses.”

        Not quite. Psychiatry is the science of lies. It is evil. It is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as a medical profession. Psychiatry doesn’t just stifle free will. It seeks to eliminate liberty. How? Not simply by the propaganda of the DSM and fictitious “mental illness,” but by actual force and fraud. Innocent victims of psychiatry do not choose psychiatry as it really is. They chose what they imagine it to be, namely, some sort of a “medical” solution to a mysterious “mental illness.” Thus, the average victim of psychiatry enters the system through deception, but also by force.

        “You also deny free will, by saying voluntary clients’ minds are controlled by psychiatry’s propaganda. So you are on the same side as psychiatry, and furthering its cause/power.”

        Complete and utter nonsense. I champion both liberty (properly understood) and responsibility. Were the Jews “clients” of the Nazis? Were chattel slaves “clients” of plantation owners? Are flies “clients” of Venus fly traps? No. There are no “clients” of psychiatry, except euphemistically. Psychiatry begins and ends with deception. Its “medications” are dangerous psychotropic, brain-destroying chemicals, its “doctors” are jailers and torturers, its “mental illnesses” are fictitious diseases.

        “I’m on the opposite side, since I see free will as determining human behavior: I believe propaganda only succeeds because it condones people doing what they really want to do anyway.”

        Clever, but no cigar. People are certainly free to choose. But why does psychiatric propaganda succeed? Because psychiatric propaganda has become a lying fact. The myth of “mental illness” is so deeply entrenched in our society that the average person accepts it as reality. No one wants to be involuntarily incarcerated, drugged into a chemical stupor, and sometimes killed. No one wants to be ostracized, stigmatized, tortured and abused. People want to be healthy, happy, and successful. Most people who “choose” psychiatry sincerely believe that they are taking responsible steps to remedy whatever distress that they may be experiencing. In fact, many victims of psychiatry, if not most, are encouraged to “get help” from “professionals” who can offer them “therapy.”

        “I believe that people who turn their free will over to psychiatry knowingly choose to do so because it’s convenient for them in many ways, such as enabling them to evade responsibility.”

        Not quite. Hardly anyone “knowingly chooses” to relinquish their liberty to psychiatry because hardly anyone knows the truth about psychiatry. The truth about psychiatry even seems to have escaped you.

        “Why else would clients continue to see psychiatrists year after year if the whole scam wasn’t benefiting them somehow?”

        Bogus. This obscures the fact that the vast majority of victims of psychiatry have no idea about that to which they have fallen prey. There are malingerers, from time to time, and Thomas Szasz has written eloquently and profusely on this topic. I would recommend his works to you. But many people “choose” to see psychiatrists year after year, not because it benefits them, but because they labor under the false notion that they are “mentally ill,” that the psychiatrist is a “doctor,” and that psychotropic drugs are “medications.” Besides, who really benefits, the victim who pays, or the perpetrator who collects the payment?

        “They could have walked away at any time.”

        Tell that to the man who is incarcerated in your psychiatric prison at this very moment.

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          • Steve:

            Before the medical model’s acceptance, resourcefully overcoming such challenges/obstacles used to be considered an expectable/rewarding aspect of life – One endured harsh short-term trials and tribulations in order to eventually reach some worthwhile long-term goal.


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          • I agree 100%. We do seem to have lost some of this “grit” over time, for many reasons, and of course, every person is responsible for their own attitude toward the current dire set of circumstances. But the psychiatric profession has led the charge to promote this idea – their concept is that “no one should have to suffer,” even though suffering is a key part of learning how to live, and even though of course they have no real solution for suffering and generally create more and more suffering in the long term. I’m all for helping create cultural change, and it starts by recognizing the economic and power incentives for those telling the tale that we can’t handle adversity. I believe most people still have this in them, but some of us need help bringing it to the surface, usually through moving from fear or hopelessness to righteous indignation. Casting blame on the victims of these evil machinations doesn’t help them get there. Educating them regarding what’s happened and why and that they are not alone is a much better path, IMHO.

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  5. Well, pharmaceutical companies are spending billions trying to convince you that you needed to be medicated for something, that deep, deep down you’re seeking that Big Buzz that will make everything fine- or that you won’t care if nothing’s fine if you do cop that Big Buzz with their drugs.

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  6. Another issue affecting the mental health of Americans is probably their bad gut health, which could be caused by poor diet and overuse of antibiotics. There is a lot of research being done right now on the gut microbiome which seems to indicate that gut health is very closely linked to brain and mental health. There is an article on this subject on this site under “Research News.”

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    • A friend of mine in her 70’s had stomach pain, couldn’t eat and became so weak she couldn’t get out of bed.

      In the hospital a doctor she trusts told her she had a chemical imbalance in her brain and “antidepressants” would fix everything. She’s pretty frail but got out of bed. (Placebo effect? Being fed in the hospital?)

      It’s a safe bet she has gut issues, but her lazy, lying MD chose to put her on psych drugs instead. Creep!

      June believed him because she’s scrupulously honest and would never endanger someone for bucks.

      Why are most MDs monsters nowadays? They know the chemical imbalance is a myth so that makes them filthy liars when they spread it as gospel truth.

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        • Steve:

          Why are you, and many others, only willing to accuse amorphous systems like Big Pharma, NAMI, or the APA of being liars/scammers, and unwilling to accuse individual doctors of this, just because they claim to believe in chemical imbalances? If they were lying about believing in chemical imbalances, would they admit to being liars? And why would they jeopardize their lucrative careers by admitting they know it’s a scam? On the one hand you acknowledge people are unwise to take what doctors say at face value, yet you are doing the same.


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          • I totally agree that there are individual physicians who are corrupt and evil and know absolutely what they’re doing. I don’t think most of them are – I think most are simply entitled and believe they know a lot more than they do. Some are also report being afraid to “disappoint” patients by not prescribing something. But there are definitely evil docs out there – I have met more than a couple.

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        • I agree.

          It’s interesting that doctors in general are seen as being well-educated and aware and up to date. I don’t think that a lot of them keep up with what’s going on. Perhaps this is because they accept too many patients so that they can make lots of money and people end up being herded through their offices like cattle. Many of my doctors and surgeons get put out with me because I ask questions about what they want to do to me and act as if I’m the one in the wrong. Their attitude is that you’re just supposed to comply with their wishes and you’re not supposed to raise a fuss of any kind. They’re not necessarily kind to people who do strive to take care of their own selves.

          Doctors don’t deserve the pedestal that society gives them and they’re not necessarily smart just because they’re doctors.

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        • Steve, I believed in the chemical imbalance because I was taught that in “medication education” groups I was forced to attend in both inpatient and partial outpatient hospitalization programs. I was taught which of my medications were for which diagnoses, and that they “worked” by keeping my neurotransmitters in balance. I was also exposed to ridiculous fearmongering about the dire consequences that would happen if I went off my meds that treat my brain disease. It wasn’t just one doctor urging me to take my meds, it was literally codified into the treatment I was given with classes taught by social workers, all with little pharma branded gifts like brain shaped squeeze balls and pill boxes labeled with the names of brand name psychiatric medications.

          My experience has been that I have had to do all of the leg work to get my physical health needs met. It took me six years to get my CPAP machine for my sleep apnea. Instead of spending three years on ambien, I spent nine. I was first referred to for sleep testing in 2005, and was found to have moderate apnea. I then failed the titration test because they only had one kind of mask in the sleep center available to patients for titration studies. So despite being diagnosed with moderate apnea, with startling drops in oxygen levels during apneic episodes, I was woken in the middle of the night by the sleep center staff, told to go home because they couldn’t help me (I was taking the mask off in my sleep. To this day, I can’t use a full face mask, it feels like something is eating my face!)

          It took a lot of persistence ( two years worth) to get another referral to a different sleep clinic at another hospital, but that sleep study found my apnea was mild and Medicare wouldn’t cover treatment for it.

          Eventually, my psychotherapist, who has sleep apnea himself, sent me to a specific doctor at yet a third hospital’s sleep clinic. I got my sleep study, passed the titration study (they had a plethora of masks to choose from) and I haven’t taken an Ambien, well, in a couple of weeks it will be eight years of compliant nightly use, and eight years off ambien.

          Funny thing, I was still morbidly obese from the drugs when I first started cpap therapy, but after losing all the weight and still having apnea, my doctor admitted that I will always have apnea because I have a child sized throat and mouth as a result of a congenital defect shared by at least one of my sisters that we inherited from my father who also had sleep apnea and used a machine.

          People have this idea that sleep apnea is an issue that only effects overweight people which is why I was not referred for a sleep study until I met the accepted risk factors for apnea which include obesity. I was not obese (not even seriously overweight) before I was subjected to psychiatric medications.

          My point overall though is that at every step of the way, I have had to do the necessary work to get my physical ailments treated properly because doctors are so ready to dismiss patient complaints as psychosomatic and prescribe drugs that are both harmful and inappropriate treatment for the patients actual medical issues. For example, ambien is contraindicated in sleep apnea patients because it suppressed the CNS, which you really really need to be functioning properly if you stop breathing in your sleep!!

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  7. Lawerence or Larry? My reaction is different because I lived in the edges of white suburban privilege. This is the population that fits your writing – other folks a whole and completely different story but INTERSECTIONALITY the threads are there sometimes hidden by life sometimes deliberately hidden with harm to ALL.
    Females- mother’s are targeted by Pharma the ads 60% female patients and oh so suburban. Literature – advertising from big and small medical clinics.
    When I had my non professional intervention in was two white suburban mothers. A friend had earlier said she had started taking so called medicine so the hole in the dike.
    Also females were beginning to see issues – you really can’t have it all and if you do there is a huge price despite what it looks like from the outside. Trauma and pill popping – Valium was called mother’s little helper.
    If you talk to old 12 steppers no drugs but they had so many using them and being given them from docs and rehab centers most just gave up and went on biting their tongue.
    Some locals have a plethora of12 step groups of all kinds and there were others groups for awhile but funding for groups took a big hit and trauma and its subsequent issues and again – the magic of chemistry- Little did we know it was all a con.
    There there is the pain issue and sports and sex abuse. I could go on.
    Meanwhile in the urban areas hard times even more so. Not one job but three. No work time always on call. More guns, more anger, more police doing really harmful stuff.
    And the politicians going on their merry way because well – good health right No on call surprises, job networking, book deals. A cafeteria and gym – Congress – not sure about state capitols.
    This is a mosaic of an octupos so I am thinking in some ways better not get angry at the person carrying ONE PIECE of this multi- dimensional Greek tragedy.
    And I know triggers. I know too well.
    Ah decorum. How your mother if she wasn’t too traumatized by life would want her adult child to act and if you didn’t have one a godmother or any elderly person one could respect.
    And yes too the holder of the mosaic piece needs to have that same since only more so. The acknowledgement that folks have been harmed and the ability to if not actually hold hands to do it verbal soul to soul – we instead of me sitting in the high elevation of slsohbet soup.
    Sorry sometimes I just can’t stay silent.

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  8. The bad stuff that happens to people in the first few years of life doesn’t necessarily show up right away in how they behave or how they feel. They are able to go on as if nothing bad happened to them because that’s what society expects, or what their parents expect. It’s probably a survival trait, to give them time to survive on their own. Later on, as I know from my own experience, all that stuff comes up to be dealt with. It’s almost a complete surprise. My point is that the current increase in people trying to find anything which will help them cope with how they feel may not be entirely due to current circumstances, it may also be from past history.

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    • And we are often trained NOT to look at these experiences honestly, and if we don’t find a way to become aware of the feelings we repressed, we generally end up doing the same things to our own offspring accidentally. Alice Miller writes eloquently about this phenomenon.

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  9. Hi Lawerence, I like your article because it gives food for thought but there are more reasons than you outline. Gut health: the influx of processed food has certainly increased incidents of depression, and pharma’s direct advertising telling us of their wonderful solutions has increased people seeking medication as mentioned in previous comments. But I also want to add that in our modern world we are exposed to advertising all the time and advertisers use sex and fear to sell their products. Also most governments around the world use fear as a means to rule and looking from the outside (as a New Zealander) it would appear that America is the world leader on this. As soon as the cold war was over global warming took its place. To build a wall to keep migrants out installs more fear, fear of those different from oneself.
    Humans have always compared themselves to others but in the past that was limited to the village or town we lived in. Now we can compare ourselves with anyone in the world. Also advertising plays on this too.
    I think Johann Hari’s book Lost connections outlines so well why modern society has an ever increasing rate of depression and anxiety. Here’s the link to his website https://thelostconnections.com/

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      • But I also think that many of the people being exploited by the cancer industry believe that death must be averted at all costs so that they can go on existing indefinitely. There is a great fear of death, it’s probably the biggest fear that most people have. They can’t imagine not existing, even though they know that it’s unrealistic to expect to do so. There was a famous book written about this in the 70’s, the name of which I cannot recall at the moment. Ah…I got it….The Denial of Death. So the cancer industry knows this and plays up to peoples’ fears. And people go along with it. It’s a very complicated thing where both parties play at the game. As a Buddhist I struggle with this very thing at the moment. Just how far do you go to believe what they tell you about what they want to do to you? Where do you draw the line and say no more.

        This is not to deny that the cancer industry is everything that you expressed about it.

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        • Mainly what I’ve been connecting up is how they focus on the tumor as the problem rather than dealing with whatever toxicity is causing the tumor. Not that it’s easy differentiating between the tens of thousands of possibilities, but maybe that’s where the science should be focused, rather than on attacking the immune system to eliminate the tumor, which is likely an immune response meant to protect the organism. It’s just that same “medical” pattern of attacking a symptom rather than the underlying problem.

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          • Yes, Oldhead, in my case my immune system had done its job well and the tiny tumor had been encapsulated and halted for almost a year after I found it. It did not spread to lymph nodes or anywhere else and had not grown or changed at all in almost a year. But then wham, I’m told I need chemo, radiation, the whole nine yards – and it was all for nothing. There was never any threat to my life as my immune system had worked. But now my immune system has been destroyed by the very toxic and totally unnecessary treatments. This happened to others and I hope to get my story out as a warning to others not to be bullied and intimidated by the pressure tactics and fear-mongering.

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  10. I don’t know how religion is doing where you live, but the churches that were full in the 1940’s are now empty. People used to pray to God before the holy molecules of science started working , like molecules of penicillin.

    Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic. Thomas Szasz
    Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/thomas_szasz_106710

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    • The church I attend advocates for psychiatry. Tells us how “science has discovered that mental illnesses are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain.” Have gone on record saying it’s cruel to tell people to trust Jesus when Prozac is needed to save them.

      It should be obvious even to non-religious types that it’s all a sell out. Helps the other members pass the buck and ignore the suffering. “Don’t talk to me. I’m not a licensed professional and might make you crazier.” Having the poor/awkward/unmarried get SMI labels makes a great excuse to give them the cootie treatment too.

      No more annoying people to spoil our country club atmosphere. Not enough green stuff to plunk in the offering plate. 😛

      Churches selling out to psychiatry are basically saying “Souls don’t exist. Or at least the mentally ill don’t have any. Jesus can’t save you if you’re mentally ill. You’re unredeemable or a nuisance (no real difference) so please stay at the county home where you belong and quit bothering us.”

      My dad used to bring a van load of people from a county home where people too brain damaged from shocks/drugs to care for themselves lived. People went to great lengths to stop him from bringing them. Did I mention the church was really pro-psychiatry? Compassion and psychiatry aren’t synonymous. But the latter makes a cheap and easy substitute for the former!

      I believe this passing the buck to psychiatry will kill a lot of churches. Why bother with attending when you can bypass the church and go straight to the MH Center for salvation? Can’t even mourn it since the church was already dead. A corpse with a lot of riger mortis. (Saddle Back.)

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  11. Since Reagan, American society has moved towards the right and also towards utter and complete denial of society. I don’t think -all- of us here in America are so brainwashed, and the rise of New Deal Democrats posing as “Socialists” makes one hope that maybe, just maybe, things will tilt left or towards something less reactionary and vicious, but the point remains…

    in a society in which -all- problems are “personal problems,” and even family dynamics are willfully ignored by overapid “professionals,” -of course psychiatry will flourish- . I think it is also worth noting that while your clients/patients/distressed people who end up in your office may suffer from varying degrees of affluenza, 1 in 5 (roughly) Americans deal with –food insecurity– . Add to this…

    upward mobility is dead in America, the middle-middle class has been decimated, the working class has gone from being free spirited, anti-authoritarian, and a consistent source of muckraking and high quality intellectuals (pre-WWII) to being…

    punitive, authoritarian, over-worked, underpaid, and -angry-. False consciousness reigns supreme in The United States, and the psych “professions” are working overtime, doping up all strata of society and filling their heads with pseudoscientific, self-serving jibber jabber…

    much to the delight of…well, just about everyone. Doping up the distressed, the awkward, the under-performing, “uppity women,” and just about anybody else who so much as drives by the office or clinic…

    helps put a big, over-priced Band Aid on a broken society.

    I do think one should also take note of the crazy insane levels of anomie in modern US society. Lack of meaningful social interaction, guidance, community bonds, and family breakdown can all lead to a state of a normless self-focus that leads to despair. “Despair,” of course, is for losers, so many opt instead for “Depression” or perhaps “Bipolar II.”

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  12. I’ve known people who wouldn’t touch a drop of alcohol, nor take a single toke from a reefer, but if the doctor gives them a drug prescription they gobble up pills like they were candy. We know we’re dealing with the same thing here. Doctors, supposedly people with people’s health in mind, encouraging what will inevitably lead to ill health. The news, too. It’s so full BS it’s not funny. Johnny’s alright so long as he takes his “meds”. Shame to hear about Elvis, Anna Nichol, Prince, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, etc.

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  13. While this blog has some good exposure of psychiatry and the omnipotent growth of the Medical Model, it suffers from the following mistaken themes:

    1) It tends to glorify the myth of the American Dream, by minimizing the amount of trauma and violence that exists in America. And yes, poverty is a form of violence. It is written from the perspective of a privileged white American who fails to grasp the class and racial oppression faced by minorities and poor working class people over the past several hundred years.

    2) It ignores the fact that over the last 4 decades Big Pharma (colluding with psychiatry) engineered, by far, the single largest public relations hoax the world has ever seen. Quite literally, hundreds of billions of dollars has been spent on a very clever and effective PR campaign that continues as we speak – prescriptions for all these mind altering drugs continues to go up every year.

    3) The pharmaceutical industry has become a major cog in the U.S. capitalist economy bringing in some of the highest rates of profit of any known industry. Psychiatric drugs have been a major part of this growth, especially over the last 3 decades.

    4) Psychiatry and the Medical Model has now evolved into a major and necessary form of social control, especially for the more volatile sections of society that could pose a future rebellious risk for the U.S. empire.

    5) SSRI antidepressants are NOT placebos. Yes, they have a placebo effect on some people, but they are also mind numbing drugs that cause many other physical and psychological problems because THEY ACTUALLY PERTURB THE SERTONERGIC SYSTEM IN THE BRAIN AND BODY. This can cause numerous physical and psychological dysfunction and stressors, including major withdrawal syndromes.

    6) Most people DO NOT know that benzodiazepine drugs are addictive. They have been indoctrinated by Big Pharma and psychiatry and then misled by doctors who prescribe them inappropriately.

    7) Dr. Kelmenson continues his theme of “blame the victim” when he makes statements like “Psychiatry feeds off people surrendering their free will and abdicating their personal responsibility…” Again, this statement ignores the overall effects of the world’s largest public relations hoax in human history, and the desperate nature of people who have experienced trauma and other forms of alienation in a commodity relations (and class based) dominated world.


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    • While I agree with your critique, in the main, Richard, I also agree with most of the points Lawrence was making in his piece. Thumbs up on your points 2 thru 6, however, with point 1, given neo-liberal corporate capitalism, the American dream has receded further from the grasp of the average person than ever before in history. I’m not against what is referred to as the American dream. I am against the current process of making it unattainable for the vast majority of citizens. On point 7, I think Lawrence has the right idea. All parties should be held accountable, even those parties that have been victimized. “Chronicity” is often a matter of not abandoning, or attachment to, the “victim” role. If playing the “victim” is one survival strategy, getting over victimization, and getting on with one’s life, is another. “Victims” who don’t take responsibility for their own lives, ultimately collude with their oppressors. Surviving here is a matter of fighting back.

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  14. Simple generic answer to the question you pose . . .TIME. Not enough hours in the day. No way to get it back once it’s gone, there just went 10 more seconds.

    Modern Society has forced us to cope with intended/planned societal selfishness. Those that don’t really take part, find themselves picking up the slack for those that do. Others are just caught in between. . . stress builds and NO TIME TO DECOMPRESS. So they turn to the pharmacy . . . or the liquor cabinet.

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  15. Several authors have developed the concept that a species is adapted to a certain degree of destruction, scarcity and mortality. In periods of excessive abundance, the species enters the phase of self-destruction because it is not adapted to such a level of abundance.

    The most convincing experiment on this subject is the “Death Squared” of John B. Calhoun (1973), in which scientists offer all the necessary comfort to mice, in a small space. The mice multiply to the point of being too numerous to maintain their social structure: the juveniles are no longer raised correctly and the sexual behaviors eventually disappear, to the point of bringing the colony to extinction.

    The authors emphasize that the mouse experience is not directly transposable to humans: there are third world cities in which the human density is much higher than in the cities of the developed countries, and yet the social relations are pretty good. There is no direct link between population density and social breakdown. The central idea of ​​Calhoun is that an excess of resources leads to a destructuration of the relations of the species with its environment and with itself, that is to say an ecological and social imbalance, which can lead to death of the species. For Calhoun, a prolonged excess of resources is just as dangerous as a prolonged shortage.

    Some authors who developed this concept, each in their own way:

    Karl Marx: the development of the productive forces contradicts the relations of production, which leads either to a revolutionary transformation of the whole society, or to the destruction of the classes in struggle. Karl Marx observes that man can change his social structure, and therefore that there are several cycles of accumulation of the surplus. The communist society is supposed to rationalize production and thus to prevent the overproduction that leads to self-destruction and death.

    Thorstein Veblen: concept of sabotage and conspicuous consumption. Overproduction is such that social classes sabotage each other, by strikes and lockouts. Monopolies are formed for the conservation of privileges and the status quo in the most unefficient way: unions, universities, corporations, diplomas, agreements between the state and big business for profit maximization. More and more useless and harmful commodities and services are producted for the conspicuous consumption. The state is itself a vector of waste and monumental destruction.

    Sigmund Freud poses the concept of “death drive”.

    Georges Bataille: the ruling class, which can not prevent the development of the productive forces, spend them in sumptuary constructions (pyramids, catedrals) or destroye them in blood baths (World War II).

    The self-consumption of psychiatric drugs falls into the category of voluntary self-destruction of a relatively privileged population, which no longer has the means to develop its humanity as society is saturated with production and consumption. These people no longer find their place in society: like Calhoun’s mice, all the useful, useless and even harmful social functions are already occupied, so that the only solution left is self-destruction and self-limitation.

    Calhoun, J. B. (1973). Death squared: the explosive growth and demise of a mouse population.


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    • Americans genuinely don’t know how risky going to a doctor or hospital or taking a medication can be. A Johns Hopkins Hospital study showed in 2016 that if medical error were accounted for on death certificates, that it would become the third leading cause of death, and that medical error accounts for a whopping 10% of all deaths in the US.


      Because we are propagandized from birth to obey authority first and think critically second, the vast majority of us do what our doctors tell us to until we learn not to. The following 2014 article from The Atlantic breaks down the problem with modern western medicine, for anyone interested:


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      • Well, I am Russian and live in Russia. Our attitude to psychiatry are generally worse in comparison to usa, but young people are often readily accept “illness like any another” narrative. And behind this narrative is clearly a medical authority. When i tried to persuade someone of the myth of chemical imbalance, they simply told me: “My doctor told me about serotonin, that is evidence-based medicine. You are not a doctor, you are crank like AIDS denialist “.

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      • Actually, it wasn’t “medical errors,” though it has been spun that way by the propaganda machine. It was actually MEDICAL CARE that measured out as the third leading cause of death in the USA. And the most common cause of death by medicine was not an “error,” but side effects of properly prescribed and properly administered “medication.” I think the attempt to spin this as “medical error” is an intentional PR effort to make it seem like “bad doctors” are the problem, rather than bad drugs and bad medical training.

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        • I’m not sure I agree, Steve and I wonder if you have evidence beyond opinion to back this up. I have read a number of articles pushing back against the death due to medical error paper and found all of them based on opinion and lacking objective evidence.

          The first funeral I ever attended was for a dear friend of the family whom I’d known since I was born who was in the hospital with an illness he should have recovered from but due to a nurse’s unfortunate error he was given the wrong drug and died almost immediately.

          Another friend went to the hospital for knee surgery. She was told beforehand not to worry about marking the correct knee and that she shouldn’t write on her skin. Being in the medical field herself, she said screw that, wrote “wrong knee” on one leg and “right knee” on the one that was supposed to be operated on. She learned after the she woke up that she caused quite a ruckus in the O.R. because they were about to operate on the wrong knee and had to go double and triple check before they decided which knee was the correct knee to replace.

          Another acquaintance’s daughter was incorrectly dispensed a chemotherapy drug by a pharmacy when she was supposed to get Ritalin. My husband had tagged along with our friend and caught the mistake when he saw the name of the drug on the bottle and asked “since when has ‘A’ got cancer?”

          I have been given the wrong drug more than once. Pharmacies are run by techs while pharmacists, like other doctors, are bogged down with administrative tasks like payroll, time sheets, and maintaining electronic records.

          I do know what you mean saying that medical care in and of itself can be the issue even when the “appropriate” care is administered according to accepted guidelines. But I think it would be an error to not point out that medical mistakes are a major cause of death and injury. And it seems to me that the more complexity is introduced into the medical arena, the worse off patient outcomes seem to be.

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          • I am NOT trying to minimize medical errors as a cause of death! I’m trying not to allow a reframing of this issue as one of “errors” in medical care when a huge proportion of the deaths come from “standard care.”

            “Estimates dating back nearly two decades put the number at 100,000 or more deaths annually, which includes a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 that projected 106,000 deaths. A more recent analysis estimates 128,000 Americans die each year as a result of taking medications as prescribed – or nearly five times the number of people killed by overdosing on prescription painkillers and heroin.”


            While medical errors in and of themselves are a HUGE problem, looking like something over 200,000 annually, I don’t want to minimize 128,000 deaths as “errors” when the doctors were simply following the standard protocols and dosages. Even a “good doctor” could kill you!

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        • Two of my friends (at least) were killed by psychiatry. Not suicide because of the misery it created. Not malpractice. “Side effects” from standard care.

          Karen was 29 and died from a grand mal seizure caused by a neuroleptic her shrink refused to take her off. Donna was 49; doctors weren’t sure what to put on her death certificate. She was on half a dozen drugs; a bunch of her organs shut down at once.

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          • Rachel777 – these “side-effects” from standard care have a legal definition. . . it’s called “involuntary intoxication.” Take medication(s) as prescribed and suffer the side-effects of those meds. All the psychiatric pharmaceuticals cause this state. Prolonged usage many times permanently alters bodily functions of the liver (body detoxifier) and the Central Nervous System.

            Much the way the FDA does not recognize withdrawal symptoms of psychiatric medications, they also do not readily recognize the side-effects when they pronounce.

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  16. Another thing Dr. K doesn’t mention is the bizarre mindset in America that not being happy ALL THE TIME is shameful if not wicked. As if people need a medical excuse for not grinning like the Joker in Batman 24/7.

    Why is this? It’s very stupid.

    One example is Bella Depaulo’s impassioned argument that singles were every bit as happy as married people. A question we should ask both Dr. Depaulo and the folks conducting the survey she refuted is: who cares?


    Maybe we need to assert our right to unhappiness. 😉

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  17. “Psychiatry feeds off people surrendering their free will and abdicating their personal responsibility”

    I believe it feeds off of people who are anxiously trying to resolve a social dysfunction which they have unwittingly and unkowningly internalized and psychiatry keeps them in that same loop from its own dysfunction, without resolving anything, until it snowballs out of control–one abuse repetition after another–keeping the client dependent for life. That’s the biz. Covert abusers will not allow resolution to happen, to keep people hooked. That is the essence of toxic co-dependence. Psychiatry, itself, is a textbook example of this.

    Had I known at age 21 what I now know about who I am, where I come from, and how that affected me mind/body/spirit, I am absolutely certain that I would have been able to resolve my issues within a relatively short period of time (maybe a year or so, to get it all straight and clear, a natural awakening, and make appropriate changes), instead of going through 20 years of neurotoxins. But who knows themselves that well at that age? Certainly I did not, and I was hoping with help this way, some insight from an objective person.

    The support could have come from anyone savvy enough to see the big picture, which I would have paid someone to do, gladly. I went to on campus counseling, then a therapist, then a psychiatrist. NO ONE COULD. Instead, I was seduced into the world of Dx and Rx, through the glass darkly. No reason for it, turns out in the end, other than to learn what I learned about the field, sadly. I hope we can learn from our mistakes, for the sake of future generations.

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    • To all who disagree with me:

      I’m not denying the crucial role of heavy propaganda and marketing. I’m merely saying that these only succeed because they tell people what they want to hear (that they’re victims of involuntary illnesses, just like people with cancer or diabetes) and allow them to do what they want to do anyway (their diagnosis enables them to hand over all responsibility for dealing with their own troubles to doctors/science).

      I believe this puzzle piece is just as crucial to explaining psychiatry’s success. If openly acknowledged and brought to the public’s attention, it could be the key to bringing down psychiatry, as follows: If ex-clients took responsibility for their part in freely choosing to surrender their will to psychiatry for these reasons, it might strike a chord with others who identify with the understandable temptation to abdicate personal responsibility. Once fully aware of such motivations, they’ll likely realize it’s unwise to give in to them.


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      • I think you may be confusing intent to avoid responsibility with trust. We humans need to develop trust with our clan. These “doctors” are selling trust – “We’ve got you covered, don’t worry, we have the answers!” While it is true that looking for simple answers is part of the problem, I think it’s pretty unrealistic to expect the entire culture to decide not to trust doctors when they are told from birth onward that doctors can be trusted. I think there is a difference between WANTING to give up responsibility and BELIEVING that someone can be trusted when they can’t. It takes a lot of courage to challenge cultural mythology, and I personally think fear plays a much larger role than desire to avoid responsibility. That being said, I do believe that learning to assume maximum responsibility for what we control is critical to our getting out of the current capitalistic trap. But I don’t think framing it as laziness on the part of those who succumb to the propaganda machine really helps move us forward.

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        • Steve:

          Maybe I have a jaded view of human nature due to some of my experiences as a psychiatrist in the past 20 or so years. There are the many parents looking for a doctor’s note with a diagnosis to take to their kids’ school that will lead to their schoolwork being greatly decreased, thereby making life easier for them and their parents. Many people have come to me who didn’t seem particularly distressed, yet were intent on convincing me of their “diagnosis” and reporting a list of “debilitating symptoms” right out of the DSM; then a couple of weeks later I received an application for disability in the mail from their disability lawyer. Each time I hear propaganda like “depression is a chronic disabling illness” I sense the subliminal tempting message being given: “If you accept our medical model of unpleasant emotions, we’ll grant you permanent disability benefits.”

          I’m not saying this applies to most psychiatric clients, just that psychiatry and responsibility relinquishment are strongly intertwined – People can be absolved for all sorts of behaviors, even criminal ones, if they have a psychiatric “diagnosis”. We will never reduce psychiatry’s popularity until we address these issues.


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          • It sounds like we’re talking apples and oranges here.

            I wish you could understand that you are being very insulting. I am feeling it every time I read one of your posts. This, to me, is an example of insidious abuse. Nothing personal, but as an ex-client, I am officially protesting this.

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          • Dr K, I just wish you would see beyond your own myopic view of America. There are genuinely bad actors, as well as parents who recognize that the amount of homework kids are taking home these days is harmful.

            But not all of us ended up psychiatrized because we sought out help for emotional distress or tried to get our kids a better deal in a bad school system. I went to a physician in my community with serious medical issues and was labeled with fibromyalgia, which in 2001, was very much treated as a somatoform disorder. I was destabilized by psychiatric medications. I was in an extremely abusive relationship with an alcoholic man nearly twice my age with little other options. I had a truncated education, having dropped out in 8th grade due to traumatic family issues that were in no way reflective of me as a person, but in reality having attended only short periods of school for the prior three years, I had closer to a fifth grade education when I entered psychiatric care. Google was not around in those days with the answer to life, the universe, and everything literally at your fingertips.

            So it’s very difficult for me, whom like Alex, thought I was being a good compliant patient and DIING THE RIGHT THING while my life disintegrated around me. I was told it was because I had a severe mental illness. I was made mentally ill by psychiatric drugs. I lost my child. I was instructed to go onto disability. I was so severely ill, physically and by extension of the effects of the pile of drugs I was given, “mentally ill”, that I was not even capable of applying for SSDI on my own.

            I did not begin to restore my ability to think critically until I had been off the drugs for over a year. And despite realizing that I was not in fact mentally ill, I was becoming more and more physically ill while being dismissed as “that’s just your fibromyalgia”.

            It took going off of disability (which they won’t actually let me off of but they agreed to suspend my payments) and getting married to my husband in order to get good private insurance (because Medicare saves money by paying doctors a pittance, making them not care about their low income patients) so that I could get a doctor to care enough to look deeper.

            This past November, with serious chest pain (now documented as Lyme carditis) and a swollen large joint (the fifth such instance) I went to a new doctor, armed with my fancy Cadillac insurance plan. You should have seen her fawning over my husband and I, saying that we had such excellent insurance and she really hoped we would decide to continue to see her. But I’ll give her credit, she ran the most comprehensive set of tests that has ever been run on me and she found my Lyme disease – an off-the-charts CDC positive test with severe clinical symptoms. Considering how ill I’d become, it’s truly astounding that the symptoms I’d had for a number of years that were absolutely hallmark symptoms of Lyme were summarily dismissed and ignored until a doctor had a financial incentive to find the true source of my illness.

            So I hope you will understand why, when I’d lived so many years in poverty on a government allowance, while my body continued to deteriorate despite my following doctors orders to the letter, why I would be so upset to see you as a doctor target Americans as just wanting a quick fix via medication or accommodation. Though I do not doubt that a subset of people go to doctors in attempts to fix problems a la carte (for themselves or their children) rather than working toward changing a system that harms other people (and their kids) just as much.

            Some other issues I think you did a bad job on were your declarations of the abundance in America as if we all have equal access to that abundance. It’s true that America is a land of abundance. It’s also true that shelters and food banks and a host of other (largely inadequate) assistance programs exist because many people are left behind in this land of abundance.

            In America, 30-40% of fresh food is either left in the field to rot because of price downturns making it more expensive to pick than to waste (and federally funded crop insurance will pay the farmer regardless), or it is thrown away by grocers who deliberately spoil the food with chemicals rather than donate to food banks. And that’s not to mention the millions of people who live in what’s called “food deserts” like I did living in an inner city for a number of years.

            In America, we have a housing/homelessness problem, while there are way more empty homes than people who need housing.

            We do not distribute goods in a way that meets human need but instead in ways that reward those whom we consider deserving.

            Children are funneled into psychiatric care because teachers have class sizes so large that keeping order becomes priority number 1 instead of educating.

            I have lived at every position along the socioeconomic spectrum, being born into a well off family that lost its economic progress, living hand to mouth for many years, indeed to finding that, pardon my crudeness, fucking my way out of poverty was going to be the only way my needs were actually met.

            I am, in fact, quite bored at home. I would, in fact, love to have some purpose other than being one of “the eaters” as the nazis referred to the disabled, and as much of America still thinks of those who aren’t financially “productive”. I have, in fact, demonstrated a willingness to take my health into my own hands. I take no medications. When I was told my cholesterol was high, I adopted a plant based diet and reversed my numbers. I avoid unhealthy processed foods. I exercise as much as this bag of bones will allow. I maintain a healthy weight, having shed the pounds psychiatric medications put on. I take supplements and keep abreast of health news, all in an effort to maintain what little health I have left that the medical system did not destroy.

            And you know what I’ve gotten for my nonstop efforts to improve my health so that I might be able to contribute in positive ways in the world? An absolute refusal from the social security administration to allow me to go off benefits, and a letter from Medicare stating that i will be penalized financially for not accepting Medicare Part B when I have superior insurance coverage and don’t want Medicare or social security, and in fact found these systems so underfunded that they serve to keep disabled people in poverty and sick rather than acting as the intended social safety nets they purport to be. Yes, in fact, I am being forced by threat of monetary fines for not laying down and accepting my fate as a severely mentally ill patient.

            Oh, and despite the very well known and documented effects of untreated Lyme disease, it is not in the blue book of eligible diseases one can get disability for. I’m literally being punished for demanding proper medical care, which I cannot get using the system that’s currently in place. I had to find a way out of the system. I am very close to simply leaving the country because the way this country practices “help” is the utmost form of harm.

            You have no right to tarnish Americans the way you have simply because you’ve run into some patients who would use their privilege to flout the rules. That’s what I find shameful about your article.

            Many many people like me exist and making generalizations that apply mostly to those leading privileged lives and extrapolating it to all of America, well Dr K, you’re part of the problem when you do so. So again, please check your privilege at the door and realize that blaming your patients, even the ones trying to get a lesser homework load for their overworked children, blames the wrong target. Like Alex, I feel that this article was harmful. I’m not insulted or offended, I’m astounded.

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          • Lawrence writes, ” I’m not saying this applies to MOST psychiatric clients…” So then why do you write with such hyperbole implying this DOES apply to most psychiatric patients? That is the biggest problem I have with your articles, which like others, I find incredibly insulting. You probably should be thinking about your audience and how your blogs come off to the readers at MIA- something tells me the readers here are not looking to avoid responsibility or to cheat the system.

            Also, as someone who has accommodations- I am bothered by your repeated assertions that accommodations mean doing less work. I am expected to do the same work as everyone else, I just have flexibility in terms of being able to work at home and being able to work outside of a 9-5 schedule.

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          • KS, your post is humbling. You so do have a purpose–many, in fact, I would imagine. I hope you can feel this soon, because your finger is totally on the pulse of truth, from what I am reading here, and you do get it. That’s because you have been through it, and you are awake.

            I relate to a lot of this, big time–the awareness of the socioecomonic spectrum from lived experience, the maddening frustration of having followed Dr’s orders to the letter only to find ourselves in deep shit as a result, and abundant self-awareness and self-responsibility. And still, wtf?? Yes, this is quite the matrix.

            Dr. K, I’ve made my plea and have spoken my truth about all of this thoroughly on this blog, and I stand completely behind KS on this, and also what Suriving and Thriving says. You (and others I’m sure) do not seem to be aware of the incredibly hard work it is to be on SSDI and all the inherent extreme crap that comes from this kind of lifestyle, which many of us feel was almost invented by psychiatry–a bit of an exaggeration, perhaps, but the mh and social services systems sure do support and sell it, and indeed perpetuate it with their own brand of bigotry (not to mention, widespread incompetence, I think we all realize this by now). And why not? It is how these systems thrive, at the expense of people like us. (And then WE are called the social bloodsuckers? Biggest projection ever).

            As KS details, it is such a complexity of systemic imbalance, and the symptoms of this are everywhere, and mostly on those who are IN positions of power, really, and certainly, because of them. I believe there is no question about that.

            What you are doing–and I’m sure it is unintentional, but as you see from our very heartfelt comments, it is indeed the case and best you realize this now–is projecting that imbalance onto clients/the public. You know it’s the system, that is the origins of it. Own it! And get it off of us and others. That is off limits, a strict and unwavering boundary–aka, a human right.

            If this is not obvious by now, then there is a reality gap here.

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          • Alex, it may be that my purpose ultimately is to keep singing the canary’s song and hoping the warnings are heard.

            Janis Joplin’s Me and My Bobby McGee, stated that freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. There is nothing anyone can do to me at this point that would be worse than my heartache at how my children have paid for my traumas and medical mismanagement.

            When my older daughter said she doesn’t care that I was so young or what I was dealing with, she was my responsibility and she feels I abandoned her, she is right. When my younger daughter said she was scared to become a mother because she was afraid she might lose her own children the way I lost mine, that cut to the deepest parts of my heart.

            The system can’t hurt me any worse than taking the fruit of my womb. I will keep singing the song of a survivor and warning my people we can survive and change this deeply damaged system. Never forget the power of telling your story even when it makes those listening squirm in their seats!!

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          • KS, I’ll be honest here, your posts often bring me to tears from the truth of them, and this time, it is from feeling your heartbreak and determination. And also now, the synchronicity. I was just telling my partner this morning that the canary is singing (meaning me), and now perhaps we are duetting 🙂 It is not easy being ahead of the times, is it?

            Ok, let’s keep harmonizing, and maybe, hopefully, we’ll make some headway here. It’s a start!

            It would be nice to have a choir of canaries in harmony. That would be a strong, powerful, and resounding voice of truth. I believe it would catapult us into great change, from the ground up. FREEDOM is a good place to start–nothing left to lose.

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          • Yes, Dr Kelmenson has indeed accepted (hook line and sinker, as the expression goes) a very negative and one-sided view of human nature. This is a view that is very consistent with all the apologists and defenders of a class based capitalist system.

            This view states the following: that poor people and other sections of people are on the bottom rungs of society are there because they somehow lack the drive and/or the intelligence to “pull themselves up by the bootstraps” to make it in this “dog eat dog world.”

            I believe it was the African revolutionary Franz Fanon who wrote about African people having a collective sense of low self-esteem and submission to their oppressors.

            BUT BUT BUT, Fanon NEVER EVER blamed the victims for their plight. He was very aware of the long history of the most extreme forms of colonial and imperialistic oppression that can literally crush the human spirit and severely limit a human being’s ability to fight back against their oppressors.

            If I am having a ONE ON ONE conversation with someone (be they a friend and/or a client in a therapy session) and I believe they have somehow incorporated, and/or bought into a victim mentality, of course, I will try to find the ways to challenge (over time) some of their beliefs and patterns of behavior that might be holding them back from making progress in life WHERE IT IS POSSIBLE.


            Dr. Kelmenson if you choose to continue to promote these negative and one-sided views of human nature, why don’t you provide the scientific evidence to back up such a narrow and stigmatizing perspective.


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          • It is one of the underrecognized ill effects of the DSM and the “chemical imbalance” concept – it gives adults permission to not take responsibility for their condition, or more nefariously, to blame their children or others in their care for not “appreciating” their abusive behavior sufficiently. I think the problem is painting with too broad a brush. This is one of the forces at work, but even that force is created and encouraged by the psychiatric profession for power and profit. The fact that other misguided or ill-intended people are willing to buy into the fiction in no wise alleviates the responsibility for the psychiatric “profession” for creating this mess in the first place.

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          • Indeed, Alex, I have appreciated you sharing your story and your support and singing that canary song right alongside me. I don’t know what age demo you’re in, but do you recall the Food Aid benefit held back in the 80s, with the video of the children singing We Are The World? That’s what I envision by telling my story. I hope that others find the courage to tell theirs, whether officially sanctioned by a particular publication or in the peanut gallery. To borrow a quote from the Bernie Sanders campaign: it’s not about me, it’s about us. Not me. Us.

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          • Richard, I have heard this suggestion from you and others before, and I appreciate the vote of confidence that my story is worth sharing.

            To be blunt, I don’t share Mad In America’s vision to “rethink psychiatry”. Many of my stories are written in response to feeling like I need to push back against some narratives that reappear over and over on this website. And while I appreciate very much RW’s books and work to document the history of psychiatry and the fact that the drugs and treatments it uses have shown long term harm with little benefit, my story is much larger than just being another nameless/faceless a victim of a rogue medical practice (psychiatry) that overwhelmingly harms patients. I don’t support reforming this industry in any way. I don’t support alternatives to psychiatry because that assumes that the ways in which we suffer are part of the natural order of things rather than the intended result of systemic factors that reward some while punishing others.

            My story is one of survival in the face of overwhelming odds. This is what complex trauma looks like. This is what a high Ace score looks like. This is what the unintended consequences of political decisions like welfare reform looks like. This is what the harm of interventions looks like, when the helpers unintentionally mistake helping a child with helping a family cover up abuse by targeting that child for endless amounts of “help”. It’s a story of what happens when we treat human beings as if they’re disposable. And it’s a story of dogged determination and a refusal to sit down and shut up.

            But beyond that, what’s happened to me is not just a failing of psychiatry, it’s a failing of the social and moral fabric of this country. And sadly, there are millions of people like me, in psychiatric institutions, in prisons, and under bridges. My story is reflected in every begger on the street that’s given a sandwich instead of money because you know they’re just going to use it for alcohol and drugs. It’s a story of homelessness prevention measures and suicide prevention measures and and domestic violence prevention measures, and many other systematized ways we control people in the name of helping them. So to give one person fifteen minutes of fame, parading misery for public view, while, in my view, making few if any substantive efforts to eliminate the causes of that harm is not something I want to participate in as that seems like the essence of tokenism to me.

            That being said, if any serious journalists reading this want to help me write a book about my experiences and get the message out on a wide scale about how harmful our western notions of “help” are and the kinds of help this survivor would like to see implemented, feel free to contact me.

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          • KS, I’m 57, and sure I remember “We are the world,” written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie–

            “We are the world
            We are the children
            We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
            There’s a choice we’re making
            We’re saving our own lives
            It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me”

            You made me think of this, from my childhood. Same message different decade, fits me I guess (I confess!)–


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      • “their diagnosis enables them to hand over all responsibility for dealing with their own troubles to doctors/science.”

        There is something terribly wrong with this sentence. This was neither my intention–conscious or unconscious–nor did my getting diagnosed and drugged have anything to do with abdicating my responsbility for my issues, well-being, and life. As they were trying to figure out drug(s) and dosage–which felt like being a lab rat being experimented on, with the weirdest side effects ever on and off–I went to work at a neighborhood supermarket where I had been working summers in between college semesters. Since I had dropped out of college due to all of this, I ended up staying at that job full time for years, until I went back to school, where I finished my degree while doing work-study and on grants, etc. I put myself through school while working part time, while on these drugs and going once a week to the public health clinic for therapy and “meds check.”

        (I was at least able to live my life, but I lived with side effects which made things more difficult than need be, but I adapted. Later, the drugs crashed my system, which is why I had to come off of them, and now I am free, clear and I get it. They had been slowly eroding my organs and all physical systems, unbenknownst to me at that time. But I found out all too well after graduate school that these pills were pure poison, and all of this was troubling, like a really bad hoax and scam, tragic in fact).

        All the while I was in school and working, I was also working on my issues in-depth in psychotherapy, paying my rent, getting good grades, trying to deal with my crazy family, etc. Normal stuff which requires a great deal of self-responsibility. In no way did I ever abdicate responsbility for my life! I’d never hand over my life to a mental health clincians, but they sure as hell often thought it was their job to run my life. That was a struggle, and one reason why I found it intolerable, as well as persumptuous and invasive.

        Please try to understand this, Dr. Kelmenson. For many of us, you’ve got this totally wrong in a very significant way. It only adds to stigma/stereotype of “mental illness,” that people who seek psychiatric support and are diagnosed are folks who do not take responsibility for our lives. WRONG! and totally unacceptable.

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        • Alex:

          Please accept my apologies for insulting you; I didn’t mean that the issues I bring up apply to everyone. We’re on the same side – we both want to stop the harm that psychiatry is doing to individuals and to our society. But isn’t it time to try some other way to tackle this problem? Clearly the approaches used in the last 10 years aren’t working, since psychiatry has greatly strengthened during this time. I think they’ve inadvertently helped psychiatry strengthen.


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          • Dr. Kelmenson, I’m not taking this as a personal insult to myself, per se, as much as I am trying to convey that this particular message is what I believe most plays into the hands of psychiatry, it is the essence of a stigma which carries a very negative judgment and false perception of people which I believe is best to not perpetuate, re “a pill in return for lack of self-responsibility and disabiilty payments.” That is a bad fallacy which *my* work in the world is about trying to correct. It is important, as far as changing collective perceptions of all this.

            Personally, my way of ending psychiatry is to flood the planet with new ways of healing, having nothing to do with this. That’s my angle on it, at least, I think we are all tackling this from differnt perspectives, which is fine, this is not a one-dimensional battle, there are so many aspects to it.

            Eventually, it comes down to healthier family and social systems, where people are not ostracized for being themselves, allowing for freedom of spirit and creativity. Were we to get to that point, I think we’d have a new and improved planet.

            But there is tons of healing to do, first, from all that we’ve endured as a humanity from this global and social corruption and deceit that has led to all of this distress simply from imbalanced power relationships and the abuse that comes with that from toxic co-dependence. That is our world today.

            But my personal journey of healing is one of having healed from a plethora of psych drugs and systemic abuse by finding new ways to heal which are not in the slightest related to psychology but more so toward holistic and natural healing, which includes learning new teachings about the way humanity operates, and entirely new paradigm of thinking. THAT is where I found not only healing and relief from all kinds of stress I’d been carrying around, but also a way out of the old paradigm and into a new way of being, where manifestation becomes the by-product of healing. That was a transformative process where I was able to leave all of this behind, and embrace a new life.

            In other words, as I was healing, I was also creating my life on new terms, and on new ground. I discovered this goes hand in hand more intimately than one would think. There is a lot to learn about this, and there is tons of information now about this, thanks to the internet.

            So this is where I am coming from.

            My apologies for using the term “abuse” in my above post, but I was feeling very frustrated by what I was reading and it was registering as a red flag to me, and I felt it important to speak up. I appreciate your acknowledgment here, and indeed, if we are both trying to stop harm and bring healing to the planet, then we are on the same side.

            However, I must ask you to please consider what I am saying, as what you are putting out here does contain a message which I feel mainstream society would be more than happy to grab onto as a way to continue to stigmatize and marginalize people with diagnoses and who receive SSDI, plays right into it, and which serves to sabotage certain people because it is a demeaning and dehumanizing misreprentation of them. Thank you.

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  18. Dr. Kelmenson, I do very much appreciate what you have presented with this blog because it has led to an important truth wanting to reveal itself around what actually is authentic and true vs. what is projection and stigma. If we can get into agreement with this piece of it, then perhaps we can have a go at working toward resolving these individual and social ills which we agree that psychiatry creates and propogates, however that path were to unfold.

    Have our voices made an impact on how you are perceiving this? Or are we just spitting into the wind. I believe this is always a question in these dialogues. The reason I rejected psychiatry and all of the mh industry is exactly because these institutions are tone deaf and out of touch with those whom they are supposed to be “serving.” Can we at least begin to remedy this perception here and now?

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    • Alex:

      I believe I have learned, as I have always tried to here at MIA, from readers’ responses to this article, including their opening up about the complex set of factors involved in each of their unique life stories. I need to be more alert to my tendency to broadly generalize and simplify in a way that is unfair to many. Thank you for sharing about yourself and for interacting with me.


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      • Thank you, Lawrence, I am grateful to know we have made an impact in this way. Obviously there is a lot of passion to accompany our thinking, this is a biggie.

        I’ve often talked on here about the film which I made, Voices That Heal, while doing peer work, and that is one of the main points of the film which I try to illustrate by example, just what you say about “the complex set of factors involved in each of [our] unique stories.” That’s my “stigma-busting” message, to stop these very detrimental (to our well-being) projections. And that of course includes Dx, but also beyond that, all these assumptions about people, on the negative side and basically marginalizing them, which makes people targets for abuse in all ways.

        We all have our stories–each and everyone of us on the planet–and they are all unique and with a complex set of factors. How can we judge? We can only learn, really, and expand our awareness around our own humanity.

        A favorite line of mine from literature is from To Kill A Mockingbird, where Atticus Finch tells his daughter, ” You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” I think we all know this, but we do tend to forget from time to time. We’re all human.

        But I think this would apply to psychiatry pretty aptly, to remember this. Those projections create a really awful feeling for the person being projected onto in this manner, which can be seriously debilitating, can cause rumination and brain fog, for starters, not to mention all kinds of heavy emotions, like terror and rage, from feeling powerless and always vulnerable, especially to injustice. Just seems this is what this field thrives on, and that is some kind of paradox. I’m so glad that we had this conversation, so that we could bring this particular issue to light.

        Thank you very much for your courage and humility, and much respect and gratitude to you.

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    • Great comment Alex, …..”important truth wanting to reveal itself around what actually is authentic and true vs. what is projection and stigma”.
      Exactly! Written like a scholar!
      “Projection and stigma” – that is what Dr. K’s message came off sounding like and had me wondering why Dr. K would post such a blog on MIA that only serves to make people feel more stigmatized.

      I’m glad to see Dr. K is open to discussion and listening to those who have been harmed while they were trying to be responsible and make improvements in their life – but got blindsided instead.

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      • Thanks, Rosalee. Yes, I appreciate LK’s flexibility in thinking here, and I at least feel heard. This was productive, I think! It would be a big step forward if psychiatrists would own their projections, then they’d be able to see people more clearly, for who they are. Not sure the field can withstand that, though, it’s kind of a mind-bender, given how intertwined stigma and psychiatry are.

        I very much appreciate your voice and your support, we seem to be exactly on the same page with this.

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  19. Lawrence,
    as I read this, I thought your message really resonated with me, of course, I already believe it and have put it into practice for the most part. Then as I read the majority of comments, it was a reminder to me of another, valid perspective. Perhaps the best I could suggest is: right message, wrong audience.

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    • Sam, what message specifically are you resonating with here, that puts you in disagreement with the majority in the comment section? I’m so curious about this.

      And I’m not implying the marjority is always “right,” nothing of the kind, I don’t even believe that myself. Good for you for going against the grain, that takes courage and I respect it as your perspective. But still, I am sincerely curious about what message, specifically, you are referring to. Right message, wrong audience has a lot of implications, too, so clarity would be appreciated here. Thanks.

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    • Actually, I’ll just come right out and challenge this, because I do disagree with it, and it’s got a charge to it that I would like to address.

      When you say, “right message, wrong audience,” I actually think that’s part of the issue here which gives a message of divisiveness. Are their two distinct audiences? And each one is comprised of whom?

      From my perspective, the audience is the world and all of humanity. How about a consistent message for all audiences. How would TRUTH ever only translate to a *select* audience? It’s acutally hard to wrap my mind around a right message being delivered to a “wrong audience.” You mean because we are in disagreement? Isn’t this about dialogue and learning from each other? Otherwise it is about divisive truths competing with each other. How will that ever create unity?

      Come to think of it, this can all be applied to the entire mh industrial complex culture. I remember this from grad school, divisive truths competing with each other. Those professors competed constantly and vehemently (“my modality is best; no *my* modality is best, no MY modality is THE ONLY ONE!!!”). No one would concede about ANYTHING! Idk, it’s interesting I think. No harmony there, though, that’s my point. How deep does this go?

      Plus one more thing here:

      Sam, when I read what you wrote, it brought to mind what I said above, and I want to point this out to Lawrence, because it has the potential to be a good example of what I said here:

      “I feel mainstream society would be more than happy to grab onto as a way to continue to stigmatize and marginalize people with diagnoses and who receive SSDI, plays right into it, and which serves to sabotage certain people because it is a demeaning and dehumanizing misreprentation of them.”

      I’m not at all saying that this was your intention, but when you imply that there is a “right audience” for this message, that is EXACTLY who I am talking about, that select audience that I fear and imagine would use this information negatively, when it is not accurate at all. But it’s good ammo for haters, I do know this. This is what I try to catch, so that we don’t feed prejudice in society at large, because that is what statements like this have a strong potential to do, and more than likely that is just what will happen.

      Wrong message to wrong audience can be very damaging to society, history has many examples of this, NAZI Germany comes to mind immediately.

      Still, I’d want to know what you meant, because it might clarify things from your perspective. But this is how your ambiguous yet powerful statement struck me, I have to say. I’m certainly open to rebuttal.

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      • Alex:

        I believe that what makes us human is that we have the ability to create our own truths/realities and voluntarily choose our own life paths. So of course, depending upon each person’s situation, goals, priorities, coping styles, culture, etc., there will be much variation, and little unity, in what people consider the “right” message. I believe that psychiatry evolved as a way to forcefully restrict society’s members’ freedoms, such that they only pursue ways of thinking/living that conform to and uphold the society’s survival. There’s no place for it in a democratic society, and I think all of us here agree with this.

        But unfortunately, most Americans believe there is a need for psychiatry; every year it becomes more popular/powerful and thus causes more harm. How do we fight this together despite our many different viewpoints? MIA’s approach isn’t working. My thought in writing my articles was that we first need to understand why psychiatry became so successful of late in infiltrating our culture (why “mental health” is now on so many people’s minds), before we can figure out how to weaken it. So I wondered, is there something about post-1990 America that’s predisposing us to want to believe in its medical model? I don’t think it can all be attributed to orchestrated-propaganda, since the propaganda is being put out by just about every profession, field, organization, political group, media, etc. – So the question of why all these systems’ individuals (which is most of the individuals in America) are now so into it, remains unanswered.

        Maybe I didn’t go about trying to solve this mystery in the best way. But perhaps we can team up to figure out the answer, and once we do, then we should be able to develop a more effective strategy based on it.


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        • That’s all good, Lawrence, and I definitely agree when you say–

          “that what makes us human is that we have the ability to create our own truths/realities and voluntarily choose our own life paths. So of course, depending upon each person’s situation, goals, priorities, coping styles, culture, etc., there will be much variation, and little unity, in what people consider the “right” message”

          Perhaps unity was misleading and I am intending to say harmonious–at the very least, not so cacophonous that no message at all is heard, other than conflict. It’s fine and natural to have different truths, and indeed that is what makes the world go ’round.

          Still, as human beings, we do have unifying features–like the need for nourishment and oxygen, and we all have the potential for experiencing a range of feelings from suffering to bliss, as well as the more common emotions of fear, anger, sadness, and joy. We also thrive on fairness, justice, and integrity, and that is not what we have going on right now, so we’re all a bit deprived at the moment, in that regard, and have to generate it from within ourselves as examples. We really need these qualities back in our society, particularly in our leadership.

          How we construct our reality would be some combo of culture, environment, natural inclinations and desires, and life experience as we go, I would imagine. That is quite a diverse humanity!

          I find that enough reason to celebrate life, but unfortunately, many on the planet do not enjoy such diversity, and would rather have everyone being kind of the same, acting by the same standard to keep others comfortable, thinking and believing the same, no room for variance or new ways of thinking. Why is that? Fear of differences? Easier to control? That’s a kill joy in life, really brings down the energy from lack of love, compassion, and natural curiosity. I believe it also indicates a lack of creativity, which we sorely need right now.

          Figuring out how to weaken or abolish an entire institution is a gargantuan task, and I admire those who can focus in such a grandiose way. That feels overwhelming to me. Given that I went through grad school, MFT internship, then the system as client, then social worker, then peer–all in a period of 16 years, from 1996-2012–my perspective would be from this experience, and then from separating from it, having all of these discussions to get clarity around the madness this created for me, and now I can move forward to create from what I learned.

          As I walk away, personally, I feel the system is already one person weaker. Indeed, another will come along, and then maybe another and 2 more, it is a runaway train. But I am not supporting it at all, and that satisfies me, for starters.

          The other thing I do is that I am a teacher, counselor, and healer, and I have supported people who otherwise would have gone for the “meds.” They came to me as an alternative, and they didn’t have to go anywhere near the system. I’ve been in practice for over 10 years now, and I’ve helped a lot of people bypass psych drugs and years and years of psychotherapy, with the energy healing and my brand of integral counseling. It is effective, efficient, and to the point. None of this vague stuff. There’s always a way to correct an imbalance, although some may require a bit more time and effort, depending on what has piled on since the original imbalance began (i.e., trauma, or anything really that causes us to go off kilter, so many potential factors).

          I have extensive training (am currently receiving an upgrade with a new training), and am certified as medical intuit and integrative healing practitioner. I did an internship years ago with a long-established and well-known master teacher near where I live where I received certification.

          I’m also a spiritual counselor, having become ordained as a non-denominational minister when I did my energy healing training; it was also a seminary. I’d have never imagined this would be my path, but it is exactly to where I was led. I did not have options at that time. One path and one path alone opened up, and I took it.

          So that’s my way of doing it, other than speaking my truth to help educate and awaken people to truth over illusion, and to who they really are (as opposed to some negative introjection).

          I’d rather support people’s healing, though, and teach new tools and support transformative healing processes. That’s what I find most rewarding and interesting. It’s the new way, and how I got out of psychiatry/mh industry, and how I’ve helped people bypass these and learn new ways of healing (which basically amounts to self-healing). What more can I do? I enjoy my practice very much, call myself a “country healer” 🙂

          I also play in a band which has performed at senior centers in my town. Whatever it takes to bring healing light to the world, I am there! After what I went through, it became more than apparent that the world needs more joy, for one thing. I think music is not only healing and uplifting, it is a connector of people.

          Do you mean team up privately? I’m more than happy and honored to work together. Do you want me to contact you via the MIA author page?

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        • Lawrence

          I believe that your blogs have made some very good exposure of the oppressive Disease/Drug Based/Medical Model.

          While it seems like you are making a major break from the practice and ideology of psychiatry in today’s world, your overall analysis is being held back from having a MUCH MORE powerful impact because you are still holding on to some deeply embedded ideological beliefs that justify and support a class based capitalist system.

          We all have much work to do to escape those indoctrinated ways of thinking that undermine our belief that those people on the bottom rungs of society can some day truly rise up and throw off ALL their chains. This includes those mental chains that inhibit us from all becoming creative agents of change, and believing that we can run society far better than those people who exploit others for their own power and gain.

          Our movement should involve not only rejecting psychiatry’s Disease Model with all their labels and drugs, but also the more modern day caste system that has us actually voting for a new person every four years to legitimize this same insanity over and over again.


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          • Richard, I appreciate your input here and also your reference to what, as you put it, amounts to a caste system. The system we have in place punishes sick people (disabled) by placing their inherent value as humans solely in the basket of whether or not they can be financially productive for those who we have been culturally conditioned to believe are the deserving. And if they can’t, more than likely SSDI will trap them in a cycle of poverty. The fact is that three people in the US hold more wealth the the bottom 63 million households (comprising 180 million Americans). One fifth of housebolds have no (or negative) net worth. Half of households could not afford a $1000 emergency. Most are job insecure – even professionals like my husband who used to enjoy the greatest job security, spent years after a large corporate takeover of his prior company (which he loved) fearing he would lose his job any day. When asked during a company wide town hall meeting if the jobs of the professional staff were secure, the CEO of the company stated coldly “nobody’s jobs are secure”. This is the reality of the world we live in where even people in professional positions that used to enjoy security in their careers are always under threat of being replaced with a much cheaper recent college graduate.

            What we’ve really done is decided that it’s appropriate for three ultra rich people to decide public monetary policy. They get to create and fund massive programs of their choosing in the name of charity while the fruits of Americans labor is secreted away into their private coffers in the name of capitalistic pursuit and “market forces”. This isn’t even close to democratic.

            Thankfully, I think we’re finally reaching a point where the impoverished majority are demanding change. So the issues aren’t just about the poor. Even people in well off households are feeling their net worth slipping year after year as those at the top take an ever larger portion of the profits. No matter what anyone thinks of the poor, you can’t tell your professional class to eat cake as these are the people who did everything right – did well in school, developed a career, made millions for their companies, and being told they can’t have a raise this year being the CEO needs 250 million in base pay plus stock options (deferred pay) and a 50 million bonus.

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        • “MIA’s approach isn’t working.”

          While this website has been of great value to me and others in some respects, I do feel there is something askew here. Mostly, it is because what I have seen dominate here I would translate into what seems to me to be “a movement AGAINST well-being, happiness, and peace.” (I imagine this might offend some, but I’m willing to discuss it further if you disagree).

          Fine if some don’t aspire to that, and I would not argue with others’ beliefs because how can I know another’s reality? as some of us have agreed upon here, and I’m not here on Earth to rob anyone of their suffering, if this is how they identify at the moment. Idk, hard to comment on this, from where I sit, but I’ve seen many comments on here over the years which make me think about this.

          But I do feel that any “movement” which is to have appeal and speak to most people, are movements which emphasize well-being and happiness in life, not one’s which question and debate that. I’m sure most people would see that and go “um, never mind.” I did, at first, when I first started posting here 7 years ago. And I’ve continued to pay attention to this over the years.

          The only reason I kept coming back is because this is my experience, my life, and my work in the world. It has everything to do with psychiatry, neurotoxins, healing, disability, “extreme states” (or whatever one wants to call them, the range of human experience); political, social, financial, and legal issues in the system (I won an EEOC mediation which was a unique part of my path and process in all of this, shaped a lot of it with a new perspective and allowed me to leap forward a bit); truth-speaking by going around all of San Francisco and Bay Area talking truthfully about all of this to a variety of audiences, revealing myself openly and vulnerably for the purpose of bringing change, and then making a film with others who wanted to use their voices as part of their healing path, change in life, change in the system, and on and on. No money or plan or experience with this, I rounded up a few interested people, including a filmmaker friend who volunteered her services for “the cause,” and we just winged it with what we had, and most thankfully things feel into place as though it were meant to happen. Focus, trust, faith, etc., all that good stuff paid off. Changed my life to do this, completely.

          I’ve been up and down this blasted system and just about everyone of its many tangents, inside and out, wearing many hats at one time or another, on a few different rungs of this particular hierarchical ladder, incuding the very bottom rung, like, in the basement. Crawled out of that one, finally, thank goodness, but it is a unique perspective which I will never, ever forget.

          This is my life, I live it. And, I do walk my talk, anyone who knows me well will tell you that my integrity is my standout. Manifesting is much more challenging when we are not sincerely aligned with our truth, I know this from experience.

          If you were to check out my very extensive comment history on here, you will see every aspect of me, the good the bad and the ugly. I am real and I am transparent, no doubt about that. I’ve never hidden from anyone. I’m just me.

          I’ve been healing and growing as I’ve been posting here, which is my normal, to learn, grow, change, adapt, create, expand, transform, etc. I am transparent with my process, as well as with my thoughts, feelings, and agenda.

          All of this, how my life has taken shape, because a psychiatrist diagnosed me and prescribed “meds” for me 37 years ago, and then ALL that followed, experience by experience, up to this moment.

          In the meantime, I’ve had my life experiences, my ups and downs like anyone–along with some unique experiences that most don’t experience, got “lucky” that way I guess.

          I have had a variety of jobs and careers, been rich and poor and in between, and in various sectors of our culture and society, and have finally found my way off the grid to a free and happy life, and I share with others what I can. When no one is around with whom to share, I simply enjoy my life and manifest whatever I manifest for myself until another opportunity to share arises. That is it for me.

          I’m not a man of means, I live frugally, but all my modest needs are met, and then some. It’s always nice to have more, but it is important to at least have enough.

          Due to the ecomonic crises that occur to folks thanks to psychiatry (for me there was a direct correlation, as I’ve read on here is the case with others), I did not have a car for years. I walked and took public transportation, even when I moved out of the city.

          I finally bought a car, after almost 20 years not having one, when it was a staple in the suburban world I grew up in. But I adapted, and in the meantime got tons of exercise which helped me to heal, and which is one reason I am the picture of health today, which I am. THAT is a true blue miracle, and a matter of knowing how to heal at the core and change my life, and trust that most amazing process.

          I’d like to see a world in which everyone has at least “enough,” for starters. Not having enough to live adequately, nourished, and covered is way too stressful, and that does need to be remedied, first, I honor this without a doubt.

          Anyone interested in health, well-being, creativity, and finding some joy and happiness in life, that is my tribe. From that, manifestation happens with greater ease and better results. I do not dismiss practical needs, but I try to separate that from ego needs. That’s an interesting discernment when one is assessing their issues during a healing process, and it definitely simplifies things once a person gets clarity on this.

          But if all you’re looking for is a fight (whether overt or passive-aggressive) and to argue about the definition of “health and well-being” or deny its existence or relevance, or ridicule, scorn, judge, or try to “disprove it” or some such thing, then no way are we a match, and I say with with all reason and neutrality, I believe. It’s logical, and I have no room any longer in my life for this. It is exactly why I had to seek counseling in the first place, and why it took so long to get out of all this, decades later. Last thing I want to do is to live in a world like that any longer. THIS is where I, personally, would like to see change, to this focus.

          I am a straight up, on my sleeve and in my heart, peace-loving guy, who is only looking to help bring folks some hope, relief, and ultimately some peace in their lives, heart and spirit, if that is what they so desire. It is my life mission and soul purpose, I have no doubt. It’s been my life and practice for a while now, and it fits me like a glove. If this is not one’s intention, then we have no reason to be talking, although I will not sit in judgment, as I will not be thinking about that.

          To whom it may concern: I will neither judge nor sabotage your unhappiness if you do not judge or sabotage my desire to be happy and free. Let’s just steer clear of each other, and then we’ll both be better off. Thank you.

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          • Plus, I’m sure there are backroom politics at play here, and more than likely at least a bit of manipulation. This is a non-profit designed to attract all kinds of people, including those who have been harmed by a corrupt and cold system, yet there is no formal neutral and objective grievance procedure here, outside of going to staff. I have asked about this. I have expressed concerns here, and I get familiarly stonewalled.

            The paradigm practiced here is the same one practiced in the system. To my mind, this is the main reason this approach is not working. When it comes to clear communication and fairness, at least, this IS the system–which means lack thereof. This has definitely been my experience, at least.

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        • Dr. Kelmenson – “MIA’s approach isn’t working.” If it was not, I would not be here. What MIA has offered me and many others is a community where we had none. This is one of the main foundations of healing/belonging to a greater community, a greater “common” collective. The stories and information shared allow us to become greater than if we were alone in the struggle for answers.

          As for why Psychiatry and its sham messaging has so infiltrated society, do a ROOT CAUSE Analysis and you’ll begin to understand, it is a multifaceted problem. Additionally, Psychiatry offers “easy” answers to the latest school shooting. . . .

          Remember, there are two equally valid points to take into consideration when doing the analysis, the Objective and the Subjective. When doing the analysis, you will also realize, Psychiatry’s grip began generations ago. As such, the grasp won’t let go easily as there are many with much to lose. And, it will take time for the grip to loosen . . . even generations.

          Steve McCrea- does MIA have a Mission Statement? If it does, I would really like to know what MIA identifies as its primary Mission. As far as I am concerned, the community aspect, with all the experience and sharing, has done much for myself and the therapeutic professionals I have turned onto MIA.

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      • Alex,
        When Lawrence wrote this article it spoke to me as a coach might speak to his football players while giving them a pep talk before a big game. It spoke to that part of me that seeks an easy way out, that wants to find a short cut and reminds me that there is no gain without a willingness to endure some pain.

        I never suffered severe childhood trauma, and I never have had any of my rights taken away as an adult. And I’ve always been fortunate to have been in the middle class of America even if it’s not to the level in which I was raised. And so to me, Lawrence isn’t accusing me of anything: he’s sounding the alarm that we are suffering ‘first world’ issues because we’ve forgotten all the sacrifices that those who came before us made so we could live how we do in the 21st century.

        I really and truly do think I understand why the majority of the comments are the way they have been. I found your and KS’s comments especially powerful and moving, and it reminds me that there are others who have been thru even worse hell, in some ways, than my wife and I have been. I understand as much as I can, why you would see Lawrence’s words to be harmful and maybe even arrogant and definitely victim blaming and continuing harmful stereotypes.

        And so to address your second comment: whose truth is right? Whose life experiences get to dictate how Lawrence’s blog is received’? My son once wrote a paper to argue that there are ‘levels’ of truths, and not ALL truths necessarily apply across all peoples, times and situations. I think that might be applicable in this situation. I think, maybe, Lawrence could have addressed this blog to people who comfortably live in middle and upper class situations and try to wake them up from their desires to live ‘distress free.’ But when he addresses it to a website in which the majority of commenters are survivors of extreme trauma and/or the mental health system, his comments sound accusatory and victim blaming.

        Most of the time I don’t even look at Lawrence’s blogs. They usually don’t speak to me even though I know he’s fairly popular on this website. But this one spoke to me and MY life experiences, and yet I can accept why the majority on here found it otherwise.


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        • Sam, that is an awesome reply, and thank you for spelling out your thoughts and feelings re this blog/comments. I feel I understand you better now, and I see where you are coming from here. I especially appreciated reading this–

          “I really and truly do think I understand why the majority of the comments are the way they have been.”

          From what you go on to say, I totally believe that, and to me that is what counts, that we understand each other, not that we have to agree, or that our perspectives have to be the same. Indeed, we have each had unique life experiences, and are unique individuals with unique circumstances. I am most happy that you understand from where I and others are coming, and why that would be. To me, that signifies that you can live by your truth, while having compassionate understanding for those with other experiences. That’s cool! Your son sounds wise, and I hear your wisdom here, too.

          Ok, so now I get what you meant by right message/wrong audience, and perhaps the words “right” and “wrong” are what misled me here. Perhaps the words “appropriate audience” would be more neutral.

          Still, I am glad this all came to light for discussion as it did. It has expanded my awareness a great deal, and in large part thanks to your sharing here. I appreciate that very much. Cheers!

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      • No, Rachel, neither of us have taken an medications for any distress or anything else. I don’t know…maybe it was the way we were both raised, but I don’t think either of us have ever really considered doing so. At least I haven’t. Can’t really speak for my wife on that issue, though sometimes I do know she wishes she had sleeping meds…

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  20. Just think about the logic of this argument for a moment: US has these problems, but Norway and Japan with a higher standard of living, do not? So many arguments are flawed. For example: After looking at only one source of “ease”, he declares “By process of elimination, this is the best way to answer the riddles I earlier posed.” Process of elimination involves looking at all other possible sources, so his conclusion would be the only possible one. But he doesn’t begin to look at all possible alternatives — only one or two. It has the trappings of logic, but the actual logical processes behind the words are absent. This happens with many of the arguments. I think if he’s going to make a stab at the logical argument route, he could be a little more careful making arguments logical. This logic wouldn’t stand up in a first-year college writing course. The problem is serious because things presented with logical trappings are often taken to be logical. Whether his argument is valid or not, it has not be proven by this article.

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    • Paisleytoes:

      Antidepressant use is now high in the wealthy nations of Europe such as Norway, also. Japan and other Asian countries, in which Confucianism is still pervasive/strong, still emphasize personal responsibility, which likely explains why they aren’t embracing psychiatry’s medical model. As far as criticism of my logic, I accept that I made errors, and welcome your input. I did mention slick/heavy marketing as another factor, but others focus on this already and it by itself isn’t enough to explain things, so I chose to focus on a largely unacknowledged factor. Overlapping with my focus here is my view that psychiatry and its medical model has become a religious belief system for many in the West, which I discuss in another comment above. I would be curious to here your response to that comment.


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      • Personal accountability is why I took the damn drugs Dr. K.

        They assured me I was bipolar and my only hope for gainful employment, successful relationships, and living outside an institution depended on compliance. Furthermore I might murder someone if “untreated.”

        My family assured me I was “better” and they could stand to be around me now. So, the drugs made me miserable and sick, but I took them as an act of self sacrifice for those around me.

        I feel bad about living with my parents and mooching off the tax payers. But my family and the tax paying public wanted me crippled. So it’s their tough luck. By all rights Big Pharma should pay everyone in my situation $1,000,000 for malpractice and false advertising. They won’t though.

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      • Yes, yes, yes — and religion, any religion, is then the opiate of the people. But my religious beliefs are so radical that they are probably more divisive than helpful. My biggest criticism of my own beliefs is that they are elitist if I have somehow overcome a religious bent. And perhaps that, if religion is endemic, I must replace old ones with something else now (if not medicine) that I am still unaware of. So … if “we” have de-throned medicine, what have we replaced it with? So yeah, the religion argument is very convincing, but if not medicine, something else will replace it, and what are the dangers of that? I guess the core problem is “believing”. What do you think?

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        • Confucianism, being a non-God-based belief system, was able to survive Darwin fully-intact in Asia, which thus has not needed to turn to psychiatry to provide its submission/conformity-ensuring religion. Clearly it’s proving to be a better state religion than psychiatry, as evidenced by Asia being on its way up while the West appears on its way down (now that China has recovered from a 100-year period in which opium was the opium for its masses, thanks to the West). So maybe the way to safely avoid the upcoming zombie apocalypse is to move to Asia.

          As far as your belief system being radical/divisive, wasn’t the only role of psychiatry for its first 200 years to remove from society those members whose belief systems didn’t submissively conform to their society’s official one? I don’t think it’s just people being religious that’s the cement needed to form/sustain a society; apparently its people must all share the same religion.

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  21. People do not want to or cannot suffer their pain and lack the means and techniques to release that pain. They cannot cope. They take these pain suppressants sold as so called antidepressants. I am trying to slowly taper off one of these drugs. There is a collective effect when so many choose this option of drugging themselves. This can’t be proven but someone somewhere must take the burden of our denied pain and that may be in the form of violence and war, poverty or famine. People in those countries cannot afford the luxury of our painkillers. There is a solution http://www.caeayaron.com

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  22. In case anyone might be interested…. a couple links on combating anxiety, depression and dementia WITHOUT Drugs.
    One is an e-book and the other a link to sign up for an upcoming free series of videos starting March 11, 2019 using dietary, nutrition and specific natural non-toxic protocols. (The term “disorder” for anxiety or depression has been used in places but if one gets past that there may be helpful information)



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  23. Dr kelmenson,
    I think your question is philosophical.

    I think we are pretty young really, as a nation, many of those nations and countries are young.
    We are a bi-product of pioneering, there was much despair.
    People felt displaced.
    They bore children and left a legacy.
    People used to go to priests but most often they still felt grief.
    Psychiatry cashed in on legacy despair.
    I don’t believe people get rid of this legacy by “free will”. Why else do we have a brain except to learn signals? We learn them from all around ourselves.
    We go to doctors because they exist. Let’s not blame people for making the choice, but EVEN if we lay the blame on the consumer, what excuse does the system have for making poisons and call them drugs? Why did the system start advertising MI?
    They went for help, not harm. Tentatively most often.
    If then, on a first appointment a shrink said, I am going to give you a label that will hurt you everywhere you go, and drugs that poison you (along with some videos that show reactions)….do you think patients would keep going? If he said, I have nothing except a shoulder to cry on, I bet they would go.
    Perhaps if we told some people all the different ways of aiming for a better life, gave them resources and hands on help, and taught them how to try and tolerate distress?
    I think we have to face the fact that there IS distress, and due to various factors, family, societal legacies.
    And psychiatry is quite willing to invade every niche.
    It encourages the idea. In fact, it is first off the clients distress and the feeling something is wrong, but If a guy at a desk says, yes there is something wrong with you, that belief sinks much deeper.
    Akin to clergy telling you that you are a sinner.

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