I just can’t take seriously anyone who presumes that the middle ground is always the voice of reason and the path to truth and justice. Thus, for quite some time, I’ve thought it not worth my time to react to psychotherapist Gary Greenberg, psychiatrist Allen Frances, and others who try to convince me of their intellectual superiority by virtue of their being above the fray—specifically, above the battle between the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and its allies vs. those of us who conclude that psychiatry (with its consistent record of false proclamations and lies) is an illegitimate and dangerous authority not to be compromised with.
Obviously, the middle ground can be the correct location for arbitrating some disputes between human beings, but it should be equally obvious that the middle ground is not always the place where truth and justice reside. In the 1850s, was the middle ground between pro-slavery and abolitionist opponents the sacred ground?
With regard to the APA and establishment psychiatry, I doubt that future historians will conclude that truth and justice reside on the middle ground between psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman, former president of the APA, and journalist Robert Whitaker, who Lieberman has diagnosed as a “menace to society.”
In my 2015 CounterPunch piece, “Who’s the Real ‘Menace to Society’? Journalist or Leading Psychiatrist?” I noted that Whitaker exposed how Lieberman (along with other prominent psychiatrists), in the 1980s and 1990s, had conducted studies in which patients diagnosed with schizophrenia were given a psychostimulant drug with the experiment expectation that this drug would be “psychotogenic” (induce symptoms of psychosis), and this deterioration in fact did occur. I pointed out that the Nuremberg Code of research ethics, established after the horrific human experiments by doctors in Nazi Germany, states that medical experiments on human subjects “should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.”
Yet, the APA made Lieberman their president in 2013, which should tell any journalist what’s most important to understand about the APA.
In the past, I have simply ignored the above-the-fray/middle-grounders, but I now see my ignoring them as a mistake. I now see that they, in their own way, can be as dangerous as APA presidents. I have to thank Gary Greenberg’s recent book review in the Atlantic for my reconsideration. Greenberg’s above-the-fray/middle-ground criteria of truth and justice has awakened me from my slumber. It’s difficult to remain napping when a guy pulls down his pants and takes a giant dump on, by association, my friends and myself.
In Greenberg’s review of historian Anne Harrington’s book Mind Fixers: Psychiatry’s Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness, he tells us that Harrington, a fellow above-the-fray/middle-ground author, is committed to restraint. Greenberg tells us, “By presenting a just-the-facts narrative of the attempt to find biological sources of mental suffering, particularly in the brain, she hopes to get the ‘fraught’ enterprise of psychiatry back on the path to progress.” Greenberg quotes Harrington: “Heroic origin stories and polemical counterstories may give us momentary emotional satisfaction” but, for her, this “tunnel vision, mutual recrimination, and stalemate” is not useful. Greenberg then spells out his wholehearted agreement:
“Harrington is right to sigh over what has too often proved to be a yelling match between equally deaf opponents—members of an ambitious profession convinced that psychiatry is making strides toward understanding mental illness, and critics who believe it is at best a misguided attempt to help suffering people and at worst a pseudoscience enabling social control at the expense of human dignity. Indeed, since the sides first squared off, more than half a century ago, they seem to have learned little from each other.”
First, I can only hope that Greenberg is not mocking the idea that psychiatry is a “pseudoscience enabling social control at the expense of human dignity,” a view shared by Erich Fromm, Thomas Szasz, Michel Foucault, R.D. Laing, and Erving Goffman—not exactly a bunch of hysterics. Second, this “match” is not simply an intellectual dispute but a human rights fight; and when the APA listed homosexuality as a mental illness, “yelling” at the APA was actually one effective tactic used by gay activists to abolish this DSM insult to their sexual orientation.
I learned about elitist notions of “reasonableness” and intellectual superiority from school critic Jonathan Kozol, who exposed the negative consequences of elitist schooling. Kozol had attended a prestigious prep school and Harvard, where he gained a healthy contempt for the socialization at these institutions, which he describes in The Night is Dark and I am Far From Home (1975):
“They learn to round off honest judgments, based upon conviction, to consensus-viewpoints, based solely on convenience, and to call the final product ‘reason.’ Above all, they learn how to tone down, cushion and absorb each serious form of realistic confrontation. . . ‘Isn’t that a bit too strong. . . Aren’t we overstating?’ Always the notion that in every case ‘a greater truth’ resides some place in the middle.”
Obviously, the middle ground is not always where truth and justice reside. U.S. history does not tell us that the truth and justice resided between Henry Kissinger and Seymour Hersh or between Joseph McCarthy and Edward R. Murrow, and I doubt that future historians will conclude that truth and justice resided between Jeffrey Lieberman and Robert Whitaker.
Greenberg’s put-downs of the sort of psychiatry criticism that appear in Mad in America are odd because, in addition to having a book trashing the DSM, in the past he has espoused many of the same positions as do MIA authors.
Greenberg gives us a clue as to why he might have become the kind of above-the-fray/middle-grounder who the mainstream media likes to publish when he revealed in an interview with the Sun, “My involvement with the Unabomber was in part an attempt to make a name for myself by writing about someone famous.” At least Greenberg is honest about his commitment to self-promotion, which apparently also includes dumping on everyone who is not named Gary Greenberg.
While there is something strangely interesting about Greenberg’s self-promotion strategy, middle-grounder psychiatrist Allen Frances’s approach is quite boring, as he simply stays in step with what’s most fashionable.
Frances is the former chair of the DSM-4 task force, but with the political winds blowing against the DSM-5, the politically astute Frances, in 2012, was criticizing DSM-5 before its publication. I confess to finding the sight of Frances condemning the DSM-5 quite humorous. It is as if the guy who wrote Leviticus realized that his “abominating” and “sinning” had gotten out of hand.
Frances, predictably, takes the middle ground when it comes to diagnosis and medication. His position is that the problem is simply one of over-diagnosis and over-medication, which he sees as caused by Big Pharma, not the APA. For Frances, many MIA writers are taking extreme positions and thus irrational ones. These “extreme” positions include the ideas that the entire psychiatric diagnostic process is a bad idea; and that given psychiatry’s history of ignorance, denial, and lies about theories of mental illness, drug ineffectiveness, and drug adverse effects, psychiatry as an institution has long ago lost credibility as an authority.
In the past, I have restrained myself with regard to above-the-fray/middle-grounders. In 2013, I even gave Greenberg and Frances and their DSM-trashing books some ink in Salon, listing them along with Paula Caplan’s and Herb Kutchins and Stuart Kirk’s DSM-trashing books. I was, I’m sorry to say, too polite. I neglected to note that Caplan’s and Kutchins and Kirk’s 1990s DSM-trashing books took some career courage, while Greenberg’s and Frances’s books did not. By the time Greenberg’s and Frances’s books were published, the APA’s over-reaching imperialism in creating DSM-5 illnesses had become an embarrassment even for many mainstream shrinks.
Okay, so Greenberg took a dump on my team, and I took a dump on Greenberg and his fellow above-the-fray/middle-grounders. Turning to more important matters, let’s consider the damage created by above-the-fray/middle-grounders, starting with one of the most famous ones, the New York Times.
Malcolm X biographer Manning Marable pointed out, “Malcolm X today has iconic status, in the pantheon of multicultural American heroes. But at the time of his death he was widely reviled and dismissed as an irresponsible demagogue.” Marable quotes the New York Times one day after Malcolm X’s assassination in 1965: “An extraordinary and twisted man, turning many true gifts to evil purpose. . . . Malcolm X had the ingredients for leadership, but his ruthless and fanatical belief in violence . . . set him apart from the responsible leaders of the civil rights movement and the overwhelming majority of Negroes.”
I suppose that for the NYT in 1965, the “reasonable” middle ground was somewhere between Martin Luther King and the KKK, and it was “reasonable” to term Malcolm X’s belief in the validity of African American anger and in self-defense as “violence.” That kind of NYT “reasonableness” can so frustrate nonviolent oppressed people that they consider violence.
Speaking of NYT obituaries, Robert Whitaker may have the misfortune to read a sentence that will one day show up in his NYT obit. Specifically, in her recent story in the New Yorker, above-the-fray/middle-grounder Rachel Aviv inserts the following parenthetic description of his book Anatomy of an Epidemic: “The book has been praised for presenting a hypothesis of potential importance, and criticized for overstating evidence and adopting a crusading tone.” In Aviv’s story on “The Challenge of Going off Psychiatric Drugs,” featuring Laura Delano, the only reason for this otherwise gratuitous crack appears to be an attempt at appeasing the psychiatry establishment—since Aviv could not ignore the positive value that this book and Whitaker had on Laura.
Many of us in the MIA world who are Laura’s friends are very happy to see her receive mainstream media recognition and are pleased to see another mention of the problem of psychiatric drug withdrawal. However, the reality is that, similar to the DSM, psychiatric drug withdrawal is no longer a taboo topic—in no small part because of the hard-fought struggles of many in the MIA orbit who pushed this story out there in spite of psychiatry’s denials.
What’s most troubling is that Aviv omitted the entirety of Laura’s story, which includes not simply Laura being harmed by psychiatric drugs and the denial of the hell of drug withdrawal. Aviv omitted the vital truth that Laura was harmed by psychiatry’s pathologizing and dehumanizing, and how this resulted in Laura becoming an activist helping others so oppressed to liberate themselves from psychiatry. This major part of Laura’s story is made clear in Laura’s talks and writings, including in her pieces published here on Mad in America (as you might expect, this “extremist” MIA website, despite its importance to Laura’s story, goes unmentioned in Aviv’s lengthy article).
When above-the-fray/middle-roaders jump on bandwagons and criticize only those aspects of psychiatry that have become fashionable to criticize but don’t challenge the legitimacy of psychiatry as an authority, they hurt more than they help. They provide the false impression that psychiatry is self-correcting and progressing.
In general, above-the-fray/middle-grounders refuse to ask this important question: How much does an institution have to get wrong for that institution to lose its authority? Because above-the-fray/middle-grounders avoid that question, because they never challenge the very legitimacy of an institution to exist as an authority, these above-the-fray/middle-grounders are never a threat to institutions, even those that have long proven to be far more harmful than helpful. For their generosity to mainstream institutions, above-the-fray/middle-grounders are provided with mainstream rewards, while the rest of us are stuck with the fallout.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.
The Middle Grounder looks at the evidence presented on the damage done by psychiatry.
“Yes. Those medications seem to not help people. They shorten lives and destroy bodily organs. But why adopt such a crusading, militant tone? Why this irrational movement of zealots out to destroy psychiatry?
“Just because your life has been destroyed is no reason to get all radical and try to stop those who harmed you from hurting others.”
What is wrong with those people? Their “moderation” comes across as cowardly and cold blooded.
Excellent article Bruce. Glad to see you slowly approaching the conclusion that psychiatry must be abolished; nothing built on fraudulent principles can be “reformed.” Psychiatry is not a branch of medicine, it is a tool of law enforcement and social repression.
On a related topic, many of us are concerned that Laura is being used here, and disturbed that she seems to be distancing herself from the anti-psychiatry movement. Laura had a big influence on my getting re-involved in this stuff, and I consider her a friend, though we’ve never met. Her speech outside the APA convention in 2014 was probably the best anti-psychiatry speech I’ve ever heard. So I can only conclude that by pulling her punches she is responding to some sort of pressure. Hopefully the AP movement, which is slowly but steadily growing, will have her back should she decide to once again take a straight-up AP stand. I also hope that we are all mature enough to not allow the promise of “mainstream” publicity to lure us away from our basic anti-psychiatry principles; they need us more than we need them. It should be kept in mind as well that withdrawing from the added insult of neurotoxins only gets us back to square one; we still live in a global capitalist hellhole, and people will continue to freak out en masse till that changes. (Would love to hear Laura comment on this should MIA choose to give her a forum.)
The idea of “middle ground” is a timeworn ploy, especially when both “ends” are destructive. But I also think we waste our time by arguing with these people, we just need to move forward methodically in our quest to eliminate psychiatry from the planet.
Hey, I was at the 2014 Philly APA protest! I wonder if we met without realizing it?
On that topic… is anyone here going to be in San Francisco next month?
Red Squirrel, I had tickets but they’ve decided to do an online protest instead. Thankfully, I was able to cash in my tickets and got refunded. Please help out by participating! We are asking for 3-minute videos. If you have more to say, make separate 3-minute videos. I feel like I could make ten! I will make as many as I have time for.
Who in the world is going to care about an “online protest” except those involved in it?
Julie, I know you’re just the messenger here and this is not directed at you. But the real problem is that there is no movement with a unified line, agenda or set of demands, and until there is these APA protests will be seen as little more than a spattering of individuals with disjointed beliefs and no clear analysis — whether it takes place live or online.
Too bad. It would be nice to meet people. Thanks for letting me know Julie.
The Philly protest was in 2012. 2014 was in NYC, I wasn’t there but this is the speech by Laura I’m talking about:
Oh, sorry. I got excited for a minute there. Laura was at that one, too. Only time I met her in person.
I agree, “Excellent article Bruce. Glad to see you slowly approaching the conclusion that psychiatry must be abolished; nothing built on fraudulent principles can be ‘reformed.’ Psychiatry is not a branch of medicine, it is a tool of law enforcement and social repression.”
This is true, as is it true, that the primary actual function of both our psychological and psychiatric industries, historically and today, is covering up child abuse and rape. Despite the reality that legitimate distress caused by a crime is not a “brain disease,” as our “mental health” workers believe, since they can’t bill insurance companies for helping child abuse survivors.
Perhaps our “law enforcement” officers should start arresting the child molesters, and our psychiatrists and psychologists should get out of the business of covering up child abuse and rape on a massive societal scale? Especially since all of this empowerment of the pedophiles and child sex traffickers, by the “mental health” workers, is destroying western civilization?
Our society would be a better place without the scientific fraud based, primarily child rape covering up, “mental health” industries.
I was struck by how The American Experience film on Walter Freeman, The Lobotomist, and the book by the same name, authored by Jack El-Hai, were so soft on the man. I often wonder about all the casualties and all the devastation that took place at his hands, and I’d like to see a book that told the story of the most debilitated victims of his surgery in detail. I have a book on Quackery, and Walter Freeman has a prominent place in it, and that is a place to which I believe he belongs. Your apologists for psychiatry, your middle-of-the-roaders, explain why anybody would try to turn the life of this or that monster into the subject of a straight forward biography. Yin/yang. How easily they blend in with the design of the wallpaper. People could shrug. Insulin shock therapy today might be considered quackery. ECT should be considered quackery! How is a grand mal seizure going to “help” anyone get “better”, and at what? I actually think, although they haven’t gotten around to it yet, some author might include much psych-drug use today as a further example of quackery in action. I hear SSRI antidepressants as a rule work no better enhanced placebos. Of course, there is the issue of what they are working on. No illness, no relief, but still, one might be consoled by all the withdrawal effects. Instead of getting scared, I would encourage people to speak out, and to tell the truth. Quackery is quackery, and what we are often getting in some areas of what purports to be “medicine” is quackery.
Another gem from Bruce. Not unlike Sera’s last post, this tackles a trans-psychiatric issue, the middle ground phenomena an indiscriminate historical wrecking ball-as Bruce illustrates with the Malcolm X and Dr King reference. Maybe the middle ground is as much a “political bunker” mitigating institutional failings and contradictions than any actual position or philosophy. Run to the middle ground and claim your PR-political high ground, if for no other reason than to silence historical contradictions, and control those pesky complexities to the right and left. Do it long enough and the middle ground sinks, and with it, far too many of its bewildered subjects. Bravo to Bruce for seamlessly working-in the nap, pants-down-dump reference too!
this tackles a trans-psychiatric issue
??? Do you mean that the “middle ground” ploy goes beyond just psychiatry? Or something else?
Well…the way you said it would have sounded a lot better for sure! But yea…the middle ground does go well beyond psychiatry (an tackled by the likes of Zizek and many others), which is why I referred to it as a “political bunker”. I was blurbing here so I was just trying to make a point with a dash of metaphor for illustration.
Just to be excessively semantically focused, I think “trans-psychiatric” might actually imply something more like “spanning the spectrum of psychiatric thought & practice.” Anyway, who cares, it’s late.
Excellent point! I can get a little lazy and unfocused here in the library (with my hour limit ticking away) blurbing without thinking things out, or editing. Thankfully it was only semantics here and nothing more egregious.
Actually I relate to your style, it has its poetic elements as well.
I like the article and agree with a lot of the logic. I have to confess I am sometimes accused by activists here (oldhead!) of being a bit contaminated by middle groundism, so I’ve asked myself why this is and I can think of quite a few reasons:
1. In order to retain the audience whose opinion you want to influence, you need to be reasonable and hold open the possibility that their point of view has some validity, even as you believe it will be dismantled.
2. Its actually easier to prove a middle grounder incorrect. Frances gets stuck on the idea that meds work for some not for others, which researchers from both sides of the argument can disprove. I think some smart bio Psychiatrists see this danger and dig in, because once on middle ground their position is weaker.
3. My personal feeling is that Psychiatry will not collapse but will bend. I am hopeful that in the next 10 years it might move 50% towards an acceptable evidence based position and this is a better result than entrenchment. So middle grounding can be, I’m sad to say, a tactic towards trying to reduce the damage in the here and now rather than pushing the abolition case.
4. I also have to entertain the idea that the flat Earthers might be right about one or two things until I’m sure. There are lives in the balance.
Where you cannot middle ground is on the basic evidence, which is drugs appear to work very slightly in trials, but this plainly so slightly that they are probably simply damage creating.
My problem with middle grounding is that you can forget that you are in the end trying to seek the truth, not a political compromise. So I accept that when I’m putting a case to those in the profession I am mincing words. But I have someone listening.
I feel a right old machiavelli now!
Thanks for this great blog Dr. Levine, and God bless Robert Whitaker! Robert’s incredible work, along with his MIA site was so pivotal in Laura’s story and her activism and he was owed MUCH more recognition then simply mentioning his book Anatomy of an Epidemic. I agree Rachel Aviv’s publication in the New Yorker should have exposed the additional suffering and harm that comes from being so oppressed and dehumanized by bogus ‘DSM’ labels and loss of autonomy, etc. Getting this riveting story published in mainstream media brings more awareness to those with no clue what goes on in psychiatry and who still advise people in difficult circumstances to “get help”, and hopefully it moves more middle grounders to take a stronger stance.
Agreed, Rosalee. I’m so thankful for this site.
Yes Kate, I’ve told my family doc, and a number of other professionals that for anyone harmed or driven mad by psychiatry this website provides a ‘lifeline back to sanity’. I can relate to what you say about making complaints of blatant violations of ethics only to realize the injustice is totally systemic. The gov’t bureaucracies etc, are all cozy and connected and co-operate with each other to silence the victim. I’m on about round 12 now and I’m not done yet.
Thank you, everyone for your comments.
Re oldhead’s your observation: “Glad to see you slowly approaching the conclusion that psychiatry must be abolished.”
Actually, I’ve been concluding that for quite some time. For example, at the NARPA conference in 2012, I gave a talk “Psychiatry: Reform or Abolitionism?” in which I came down on the side of ABOLITION (on my web site, at the top of my video clips second page, at: http://brucelevine.net/category/media/page/2/ )
Also, I would be careful about any conclusions about Laura herself from what is presented about her in the New Yorker piece. When any of us become “public figures,” mainstream publications routinely distort, often via omissions, what we are saying. My guess is that Aviv and/or her New Yorker editors omitted elements of Laura’s story because they didn’t want to “offend” their perceived readership, many of whom are psychiatry apologists. From my experience, it is even possible that the Anatomy’ crack and the omissions are not Aviv’s doing but the doings of her New Yorker editor – I can’t say for sure how this crap happened!
Bruce, your comments about Laura are the same as I’ve been saying and I appreciate you pointing this out publicly. The criticisms against the article have sounded at times to be personal attacks against Laura as if she had written it or had editorial control over its direction. That said, the parts of the article about Laura were fascinating and heartbreaking and I thought it did a particularly good job of humanizing her where a lot of people might have trouble connecting with someone they see as being so privileged and whose specific troubles they might otherwise not identify with.
I still wish Laura would take a more bold and clear antipsychiatry stance, but I only hold her to her own words and not what’s written in an article about her.
Yes, very true re editing. Laura had no control over the editing and a person’s story can become somewhat distorted by leaving out certain elements. I only found the MIA site less than a year ago I hadn’t seen Laura’s blogs and didn’t know her story before reading this piece in the New Yorker, but my take away was Robert Whitaker’s work/book was the turning point in Laura getting her life back.
Or perhaps they did not want to offend their advertising sponsors.
Must have missed that one Bruce, glad to stand corrected on your abolitionist position.
I want to make clear that I don’t hold Laura or anyone responsible for their portrayal by the corporate media, which is why I expressed concern about her maybe being pressured into stepping around this whole “anti-psychiatry” business in order to attract “mainstream” attention. I think psychiatry may be trying to cut its losses and to back away from neurotoxins to some minimal extent without the whole ship sinking; one time-tested tactic would be to try to latch on to a respected survivor activist and promote a watered down version of what he or she has always stood for, in tacit exchange for “moderating” any anti-psychiatry rumblings among the natives. So this is primarily a word of caution at this point. The system has employed this treacherous tactic with depressing success, it’s how we were defeated in the early 80’s.
Bruce is the last person I need to tell about the media, which so many people bang their heads against the wall trying to “explain” things to, not realizing that the corporate media is not going to expose corporate corruption (or the basic fraudulence of psychiatry), no matter what. Their job is to confuse, not to clarify. I’m not being rhetorical, I’m being very pragmatic. Once we become big enough to matter they will start paying attention — so that they can distort the issues before too many people catch on. They need us more than we need them. And the fact that imperialist media megaliths such as the New York Times and the New Yorker come poking around should not even remotely be mistaken for “support.”
Good point Oldhead.
But Bruce, are you someone who thinks it okay to steer Survivors into Psychotherapy, Lifecoaching, and Recovery, and to subject them to ‘Mental Health’ Questionaries?
Pacific Dawn, I would gladly fill out a questionnaire about abuses in psychotherapy. If you’re talking about the screenings in doctor offices, I just laugh my way through and they don’t even bother with me.
Yes, I am talking about the screenings, the idea that if you are not “happy”, then you might not have “mental health”. And I am also raising the issue of the appropriateness of MIA publishing articles based on such surveys.
perhaps you should define your terms. Many on this website think that anything less than being ‘anti-psychiatry’ is being a sellout and being a ‘middle grounder’ and yet you hold up Bob Whittaker as someone who isn’t a sellout and yet on the rare times he visits this website, he has professed to be ‘critical psychiatry.’
As this culture continues to fracture and both sides become more and more extreme, I sit firmly in the middle. But to me that doesn’t mean I take a ‘middle point’ on all the issues. No, what that means is I give a fair and thorough hearing to each side and then I eclectically pick and choose where I believe each side has gotten issues correct. I firmly stand against the biomedical model of mental health, and yet, after 11 years of helping my wife heal from extreme dissociation, I understand how the dissociation structurally alters the brain…yet not permanently, and not because of genetics, but because neural plasticity teaches us that if we don’t use it, we lose it. And yet, that same principle gives us hope, as I purposefully help my wife bring back to health those atrophied neural pathways.
This isn’t the only place I part pathways with the anti-psychiatry crowd, and yet for you to call ‘the middle grounders’ “dangerous”, to me is a sad statement on our fracturing culture. I’m guessing you don’t consider Bob a middle grounder, but I know his critical psychiatry position grates on many commenters on this website. Maybe he’s not dangerous to you, but this kind of talk is NOT helpful. It just further divides us.
Eleven years ago I had no clue about any issues concerning mental health; now I’ve had to become an expert on dissociation to help my wife heal from things even ISSTD hasn’t figured out yet. I prefer not to have litmus tests because we are all on a journey, and yes this is life and death in some respects, and yet not everyone gets it as quickly as others. My own wife still believes all the biomedical mental health garbage, and I just tell her, “you are lucky that I don’t.”
Wishing you well,
could you fix my original statement? It’s really bothering me where I typed, “Many on this website think that anything less than being ‘anti-critical’ is being a sellout”. I meant to say “anything less than being “anti-psychiatry” is being a sellout…”
Posting as moderator: I will try to find it and fix it. Thanks for letting me know.
I think it is enough to point out that antipsychiatry and critical psychiatry are not the same thing. Critical psychiatry, in fact, arose in reaction to people calling themselves antipsychiatry. Antipsychiatry does not push psychiatry on people in any way, shape, or form. Right now, people get into these arguments about what’s what. While there are places where I think the two factions can work together, there are also places where I feel they will not be able to do so, and that stands to reason as their perspectives and their aims are not identical.
^^^^^ Agreed. But I also think it wrong to ever promote any kind of Psychotherapy, Life Coaching, or Recovery.
It has to be only political consciousness raising.
Pacific Dawn, we need more of that kind of statement. I am tired of being told my abusive therapist was “the exception.” She wasn’t. Giving a diagnosis is a human rights abuse, period.
Telling survivors that their affairs are not Legal and Political, but rather they belong in the Mental Health, Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Recovery, and Salvation realm, is extreme abuse.
Any forum which does this is abusing survivors. It all amounts to Second Rape.
Julie, would you like to be involved in a nationwide campaign to put Psychiatrists and Psychotherapists out of business?
People can debate back and forth with therapists and therapy patients forever. But once we start scoring some results, everything changes.
You talk about dissociation “structurally altering the brain” – I think its all more or less psychological (and/or spiritual) and the brain effects are not worth talking about in biomedical terms, as they can be “altered” again through psychological/social interaction.
You might be referring to the same thing – but what gets me is when biomedical experts think that psychological problems can be cured through brain tranquillisation.
in some ways the brain is just like a muscle that atrophies with disuse but can be strengthened with use. Think if a person who has been bedridden for 4 decades suddenly finds a new medical procedure that allows the person to regain control of his/her limbs. Well 40 years of disuse can’t simply be undone overnight. It would take years of pointed exercise and physical therapy to regain full use of those limbs.
That’s kind of similar to what happens with people who have experienced extreme dissociation. Those areas of the brain/mind can’t just naturally reconnect and be fully utilized by the rest of the brain/mind. And when the ‘experts’ add their ‘medications’ it only makes things worse and zombifies the person at best and wreaks havoc at worst and actually hinders the person from accessing and strengthening those affected areas. And so we’ve found it just takes hard, repetitious work that engages all affected areas of the brain/mind as they are incorporated into the whole of the person.
We’ve found it can be done, and done with minimal secondary trauma when drugs aren’t introduced into the mix. But it’s just a slow, tedious, day-by-day process. No miracles cures, and definitely no magic pills!
There is a basic disconnect between the factual conclusions of RW’s research and his continued support of “critical” psychiatry as opposed to abolition. This isn’t news, many people realize it, but RW’s not going to change, and we’re not going to leave MIA just because of that.
Well put. And criticism of the site doesn’t mean we wish it didn’t exist.
“we’re not going to leave MIA”… Or construct an antipsychiatry website!?
Basically, you should refer to the content of Robert Whitaker’s comment below. If you’ve got another message, you don’t blame someone else for their message. You create your own vehicle for relaying that message. I never had this expectation that Robert Whitaker’s opinion of the matter had to agree with that of OldHead and KindredSpirit. Who thinks that way? You do the work, you frame the position your website is going to take.
“I never had this expectation that Robert Whitaker’s opinion of the matter had to agree with that of OldHead and KindredSpirit. Who thinks that way?“
One, I’m somewhat amused to be name dropped with Oldhead as if we are a monolith in lock step with each other. Oldhead and I disagree on plenty of things but we don’t have those conversations publicly so as to allow others opportunities to pit us against each other. That’s just a common sense activist survival skill, Frank. Two, who ever suggested Robert Whitaker had to agree with me and Oldhead? Three, what exactly are we supposed to be agreeing on here? (Please go back to point one so you recall that Oldhead and I actually disagree on things.)
This is an amusing diversion from the topic though. Asking survivors “what have you done lately?” (The answer is ‘a lot’ and it’s still none of your business) in an attempt to silence criticism is a tactic the oppressors use to divide and conquer, Frank. You become a tool of the oppressors when you engage in such talk.
I will not stop criticizing positions I see as wrong. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate Bob or his efforts.
I don’t think there are wrong positions so much as there are differing positions.
“If two men agree on everything one of them is unnecessary.”
^^^^^ I agree with Old Head. RW’s books are phenomenal. Total indictment of psychmeds. Zero endorsement of ideas like Mental Health, Psychotherapy, Recovery , LIfe Coaching. Nothing said.
This forum, total disconnect, it draws people who do support Psychiatry, Mental Health, Pyscotherapy, Recovery, and Life Coaching.
All of these are just more ways of abusing Survivors, telling them that their is a problem and a solution, all right inside of their own head.
I agree. Much of therapy blames the patient for circumstances, and worst of all, causes people to be self-absorbed, and causes addiction to therapy.
Absolutely, and its even worse!
The Feminism of the 1970s showed us the prevalence of Incest.
But in the 1980’s, this was converted from a Political and Legal issue, into a Mental Health, Co-Dependency, Psychiatric, Psychotherapy, 12 step Recovery, Motivational, and Salvation issue.
I also want to emphasize that my rare post referring to Bob W followed by a rare post by the man himself is entirely synchronistic (not to mention sort of spooky) — but I absolutely didn’t realize this in advance! 🙂
To Sam: You write that there are “rare times” I visit this website, but just for the record, I run madinamerica.com. My first book was titled Mad in America, and after I published Anatomy of an Epidemic, I and others turned what had been my personal website, madinamerica.com, into this webzine, and I have led this effort ever since (for better or worse, whatever you think.) Just an FYI.
Bob, I meant no offense! I just don’t see you in the comments section much. That’s all I meant. I do understand you are involved behind the scenes.
I apologize for that poorly worded statement. I hesitated to even bring you up and say something incorrect, but since Bruce did, I did, and then I blew it anyways…Sorry
Bob, I think what Sam meant is that your biggest critics are sometimes also among your biggest fans. Praise may not always be as forthcoming as criticism but I think we obviously all appreciate that the platform exists. If we didn’t have different perspectives, there would be nothing to debate and I think we all learn from each other here despite our differences.
Robert Whitaker’s books Mad in America, Anatomy of an Epidemic, and Psychiatry Under the Influence are among the best in the anti-psychiatry canon. Critical psychiatry is not a sustainable response to the atrocities that are perpetrated under the aegis of psychiatry, but it is in some ways a step in the right direction. Just as slavery could not be abolished immediately at the founding, it will take much prudence to abolish psychiatry. Hopefully it won’t take the kind of conflict that was necessary to end slavery.
What do you mean more specifically by “prudence” in this case DS?
“Critical psychiatry” is not a real thing or organized force, it just refers to the gamut of disjointed critical and competitive viewpoints which in some way oppose some aspect of psychiatry.
Just asking because your comment seems to support an “incremental” approach, which is always a compromise with the truth (which you usually capitalize). Just wondering if this is a change or just an ambiguous wording.
No. Abolition is still necessary. I’m not conceding anything to psychiatry or even critical psychiatry. This is just a comment on the reality that anti-psychiatry must confront.
Slavery was not abolished in a day. Even though almost all of the Founders opposed slavery, they also understood that something more than emancipation was necessary. A foundation for freedom was necessary. Anti-psychiatry can help to re-establish that foundation by exposing the truth about psychiatry.
Prudence simply means the application of true and correct principles to particular circumstances. Courage, moderation, wisdom, justice, and prudence are among the ancient virtues that will be required. For those who embrace the truth about God and faith in Christ, the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity will also be necessary.
As vehemently and as ardently as I oppose the evils of psychiatry, I advocate for a MLK, jr.-type of approach more than a Malcolm-X kind of approach. I advocate for a Lincoln-type approach, or even a Frederick Douglass-type approach more than a William Lloyd Garrison-type of approach. In each case the former is more effective in the long run, and the latter is detrimental to the cause of civil rights or of the abolition of slavery.
Even though almost all of the Founders opposed slavery, they also understood that something more than emancipation was necessary. A foundation for freedom was necessary.
And you don’t see the white supremacist nature of such an argument? Also I highly doubt the founders opposed slavery — so did Benjamin Rush, except that he also had a slave.
I advocate for a MLK, jr.-type of approach more than a Malcolm-X kind of approach.
What does that mean in your view, saying “please sir” instead of demanding your rights? I wonder if you understand either MLK OR Malcolm very well. MLK opposed capitalism, for example, and Malcolm at the end of his life preached unity.
I think I see your point DS.
If we can ban involuntary psych “treatments” and ban false advertising along with educating the public, psychiatry may be destroyed since we’ll cut it off at the knees.
Right now many grateful “consumers” will attack our movement along with the entire medical profession (all doctors) every branch of government and nearly everyone else.
As I’ve said before, coupling abolition with psychiatry just creates an empty meaningless slogan. You have to, in other words, be more specific than that. Sure, we could legislate psychiatry away. We could legislate psychiatry away in the same fashion in which we could legislate freedom away. I would be more specific. Abolish forced institutional psychiatry. I’m good with that. Abolish psychiatric slavery. I’m all for doing so. Abolish psychiatry period. Well, you can’t do that without also abolishing freedom of thought and action, and I prefer more democratic methods of proceeding.
Slaying, it changes when we stop playing Live and Let Live. It changes when we figure out and implement methods of putting some Psychiatrists, Psychotherapists, Life Coaches, and gov’t run Recovery Programs out of business.
Not really that hard at all. I have made some progress in these areas myself.
And more people are suing Psychotherapists, “Transference Abuse”.
But we need a forum safe for Survivors, where they will never have to argue as to why they reject Psychotherapy, Recovery, Salvation Seeking, and the concept of Mental Health. Because all of those things, all they are is Second Rape.
Oldhead, accusations of white supremacy do not arguments make.
If you don’t think that the Founders almost unanimously opposed slavery, I would suggest that you do some reading. Of course I’m not a big fan of Benjamin Rush, for obvious reasons, but that doesn’t erase the importance of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, for example.
And as far as your interpretations of MLK, Jr. and Malcolm X, I would also suggest that you do some more reading.
In any case, the important thing is that we agree that psychiatry must be abolished. The question of how to accomplish that is certainly open to debate.
And Rachel777, I agree with you mostly, except for the notion that there is such a thing as “involuntary psychiatry” which supposedly would contrast with some sort of a “voluntary” psychiatry. “Voluntary” psychiatry is a chimera, just like Marxist utopianism is a chimera.
You could agree on abolishing astrology, too, while you’re at it. All I can say is…”Good luck with that.”
There are people who swear, “I don’t care how they work. All I know is my ‘meds’ have saved my soul. Life is not worth living without Drug X.”
The majority of psych “consumers” love their drugs and labels. Especially those with “soft” labels like depression.
Try to ban psychiatry entirely all at once and you’ll fight a bunch of those people. Banning it at all is hard enough.
Voluntary? How do you define it? Psychiatry in some cases is completely voluntary. In other cases, what passes for voluntary is something entirely other than voluntary. Voluntary psychiatry is not a chimera. The question is when is that line crossed between entirely voluntary and forced. Voluntary treatment, as a form of plea bargain, is not voluntary at all. Voluntary is not a status, it’s a human right. Of course, you don’t have such a phenomenon outside of prisons posing as hospitals. End the hospital prison equation, and they can’t force psychiatry on anyone. That’s where I’m at, legalizing the freedom to say “no” to psychiatric tortures.
Slaying, it really is going to come down to something like an Anti-Colonial Movement.
Mental Health/Psychiatry/Psychotherapy are so tied in to Capitalism and the Middle-Class Family, and compliance with normative social expectations.
Frank and Rachel, you are both right. And how could you ban astrology, like trying to outlaw belief in things like luck, or fate, trying to tell people that they can’t dance around and call out to Jesus, hoping that he will make it rain on them.
And yes, people look at these drugs as their saviors, just as some people look at street drugs and alcohol the same way.
So what to do?
Outlaw the prescribing of PsychMeds, outlaw the Practice of Psychiatry by outlawing its licensing. And most Psychiatry is not voluntary.
Stop the licensing of Psychotherapy, and enforce with them and the LifeCoaches, mandatory reporting of suspected cases of child abuse, as currently written. That will put most of it out of business.
A few consenting adults will still go for it, but who cares. It has no more coercive authority.
As for the Psych drugs, maybe treat them as decriminalized street drugs?
And never ever go along with anything like a Mental Health Questionnaire. Expose those who use these, and never publish their works. Black Ball them.
I agree PacificDawn.
Get rid of the licensing of psychotherapists. But above all quit enabling child abuse by means of “mental health!”
The key to ending Slavery in America was when people stopped debating, and started acting. There had to be consequences for holding slaves, not just talk of some day phasing it out.
It came down to Nat Turner and John Brown.
^^^^^ And the example was coming from Haiti.
Most middle class child abuse does involve doctors of one sort or another. Mandatory reporting was supposed to stop that. But as I learned from the Psychotherapists who advertise on this forum, their business model revolves around exonerating parents.
And the real bite of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy would vanish without gov’t licenses.
Relegated to witch doctor status, they are fairly harmless.
How about we set up a Survivor safe forum so we can strategize and act?
Thank you Rachel777!
Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy, Lifecoaching, and lots of other stuff too, all they do is teach people to live in denial and not to rock the boat. The client gets convinced that the pain comes from only the original incident, not from the fact that our entire society, including the psychotherapist, support the abusers. So they don’t understand that they feel pain because they are still being unfairly marginalized, and they will remain so until they accept denial as the remedy.
People accept this kind of abuse, and so they become incapable of revolution. They see their problems as simply their own problems, being of their own making.
A child felt that they had to submit to the authority of their parents, so they got psychically maimed.
So an adult feels that they are at fault for not complying with societal expectations, and so they submit to the interpretations and judgements of their psychotherapist. So they get further harmed, in what some have called second rape.
Republishing of a great book:
Shows how in the 1970’s feminists made us aware of familial child sexual abuse, and they made this a political issue, and they taught people to see it that way. But then by the 1980’s this was getting converted into some sort of a problem inherent in the survivor. So we had 12 step recovery, psychotherapy, psychiatric medications, and of course evangelical Christianity.
Here, Susan Faludi, author of “Backlash, the undeclared war against American women”, saying pretty much the same things:
Anything which might be dealt with in the office of a psychotherapist, should be dealt with in some other arena. Usually it will be political, legal, or revolutionary.
Welcome PacificDawn! I love, love, LOVE everything you said in this comment, with one tiny (but important) exception: please consider calling them psychiatric drugs instead of psychiatric “medications” since they are actually serving social control issues not medical ones. As to EVERYTHING else you said, I concur with a hearty “fuck yeah!”
Yes, of course Psychiatric Drugs. Really to me, they are just the same as Street Drugs, and they often serve as gateway drugs. Even drugs is not strong enough of a term. Really it should be intoxicants, or intoxicating poisons.
But lets not just type of our keyboards. Lets politically organize and take legal and political actions.
No more Psychotherapy, Recovery, Getting Saved, nothing like that.
Mind Destroying Lethal Junk!
But the thing is, Psychotherapy, Recovery, and Getting Saved are also horrible things to do to your self.
Political and Legal organizing and Action!
What’s up LS? Did that work?
Welcome to Pacific Dawn too, whomever you may be. 🙂
We reach political consciousness when we enter into the political fight, but never in the therapist’s office.
“Just because your life has been destroyed…”. Exactly, Rachel. After I filed my formal complaint with the Yale Patient Relations Department, which detailed several instances of what I consider abuse that happened at the Yale Psych Ward and the Yale IOP, I got a voicemail from a woman who said she was director of Ambulatory Psych something something Services at Yale and she was so so sorry about what had happened. She asked me to call her so that we could discuss it. When I called her, there was no “sorry” but there was a lot of patronizing unsolicited advice from her. “You should write a book! It would be a bestseller!” When I explained to her that these treatment experiences had resulted in me being very marginalized and isolated, she simply said, “You should buy a Life Alert and wear it around your neck.” Okay, problem solved, I guess. It was like everything I’d written about in the complaint…all things that were very painful when they happened and still very painful to write about years later….was at some level almost amusing to her.
Well of course Yale didn’t help with your complaints. Didn’t you see the sign on the wall upon admission? It said “the beatings will continue until morale improves.” That’s how psych treatment works. If you don’t like the abuse, the treatments aren’t “working” yet.
I’m curious about the concept of reparations, particularly in instances of clear ethical violations such as the studies done on people with schizophrenia that Bruce mentions in his post. It’s really just a sort of question of intellectual curiosity on my part…not planning on seeking reparations for myself, I’ve wasted enough time :/ …but is reparations a thing that ever gets discussed? Has it ever happened?
Yes, reparations! And for that we need lawyers, not therapists or recoveryists.
All of these issues are legal and political. And this is how they should be handled.
I know, Kindred Spirit, the whole thing was very silly on my part. It should have dawned on me how futile any complaint process would be on the day that I called the IOP phone number to ask where, as a former patient, I could direct a complaint. The security guard, who was doing double-duty I guess by answering the phone, laughed out loud at my question.
When someone is being marginalized, they will feel it. This is an evolutionary response, as marginalization means that your life is being threatened.
So when this happens, you will feel distress. So enter the Psychotherapist. Their job is to try to sell you on their denial system. They want to make you believe that the reason you feel distress is that you are not practicing denial. You are not punching pillows and venting histrionically. You are not practicing healing or forgiveness. And you are not listening to the wise council of your therapist.
If your therapist did not have these denial systems, then they would have to face their own pain. And they do not want to do that. They are committed to the premise that fitting into society is the only thing which is important.
And your therapist wants you to believe that the pains you have experienced are isolated anomalies, and that you should be able to heal from them, and then fit into society. But what they say is completely untrue. The things you have experienced are merely the hidden dark side of our society, things which shows how fake it all is. And you find this out when you attempt to obtain redress. You keep getting shunted back to therapy and healing.
But there is nothing which needs to be healed. It is not a personal, moral, or medical problem. Rather, you need to politically organize and fight back. You need to restore your social and civil standing, so that you are no longer marginalized. The way you do this is by fighting back and by scoring some victories. Alone, no, very hard. We all need to find comrades.
Even if the original perpetrators are beyond the grave, you still have these secondary violators, like therapists, psychiatrists, life coaches, and evangelical churches. All of these people are committed violators. They prey on those who are already marginalized, because that way they will not be told off.
So rather than hiding behind our keyboards, lets find some areas where we can agree, so that we can deploy a Political Unit, and an Active Unit. These are after all, political and legal matters, not self improvement or medical matters.
We must organize, and we have to do this someplace where we can talk freely.
Otherwise, its just more Recovery, and all that is, is just survivors abusing each other.
Great book, just republished, shows how the awareness of childhood incest which came out of the feminist movement of the 1970’s, got transformed from a political and legal project, into a Recovery and Therapy project in the 1980’s.
We need to organize and start fighting back. We need to score tangible victories, not just find ways to numb out.
Why are there no consequences for these doctors who are putting children on mind destroying drugs? Why can parents send their child to a psychotherapist, without the matter being reported to authorities as suspected child abuse?
Why do local authorities get away with treating poverty and homelessness as mental health issues?
Why do fundamentalist churches get to encourage child abuse by teaching that children need to be broken?
And why do adult survivors of all such things do nothing, except to keep on seeing their therapist and keep on taking their medications?
Why when someone gets thrown into the mental health system, are their not rapid response teams which come into action?
Why don’t we recognize that most all of these problems come down to economics and child abuse, and then the survivors who should know, doing absolutely nothing?
Why don’t adult survivors organize to protect the children of today, before they too get made into survivors?
Why do we allow psychotherapists and life coaches to post on this forum? And why those who do research involving psychiatric lethal junk chemicals on human subjects?
We must organize, and we have to do this someplace where we can talk freely.
Do you consider yourself a psychiatric abolitionist? If so there’s no need to shout into a vacuum, make yourself known!
Yes of course I am a 100% committed Psychiatric Abolitionist.
But this forum gives prime space to Psychotherapists, to those who administer so called “mental health” questionnaires to survivors, to those who advocate continuing to ingest lethal psychiatric toxins while waiting for Recovery to kick in, and to those who see Recovery as the replacement for Psychiatry.
So while I understand that we cannot make a law against consenting adults talking to each other, we must stop our government from being able to license such con artists. They hire themselves out as child abusers, believing that they can mediate between the child and the parents, when they have zero authority over the parents, but in fact have a business model which depends upon exonerating them. And they promote the idea that feeling better, being free from pain and anger, and passively complying with societal expectations are the objective. Again, they have their right to speak their views, but we must act to stop our government from licensing them. Psychotherapists, whether they believe in ‘mental illness’ or not, they still get into situations where they have a great deal of power over people. Even when they don’t believe in ‘mental illness’, they still believe that the best response to injustice is to tune out, just learn to deploy denial. They would not be a therapist, they would not have completed even one psychotherapy class, if they did not believe in this.
And then Recovery, that is just survivors who have figured out that they can build for themselves a socially legitimated identity just by abusing other survivors.
Again, we cannot outlaw it. But we have prisons which deploy Recovery programs, and we have County Health Dept’s who meet with Recovery movement types in day long sessions, and then proclaim their allegiance to the concept of Recovery and its applications.
We cannot tell people what to think and say, but we can get these gov’t types who do this their pink slips.
And while we cannot outlaw talk between consenting adults, we can enforce mandatory reporting as it is written, applying to all those who regularly work with children. Otherwise these sorts become accomplices to the middle-class family, and they go about the job of breaking children while convincing them to exonerate the parents, and with no authority protecting the child.
I say we need to look to the anti-colonial movement, and learn how to get out from under the control of those who support the middle-class family and its psychic abuses. Where I live, local gov’t is composed entirely of such people, and they use their authority mostly to support racially based voter disenfranchisement to control who can live where, and to keep pushing up real estate prices, so that their entire jurisdiction is just an economic harvesting zone. And they always use their authority to try and turn poverty and dissent into ‘mental health’ issues.
So we need to look to the anti-colonial movement, people like Frantz Fanon:
( really good )
And we need to set up a much safer forum, so that people can say what they really feel, and so that we can come out from behind our keyboards and start taking political and legal actions.
Hi PacificDawn. Your perspective is so refreshing and so welcome. 🙂
Nobody is going to talk psychiatry extinct. Maybe, working under the theory that there is strength in numbers, a little organizing would help? (I think so.)
Outlaw the licensing. And make a public stand of 100% refusal.
No more gov’t licensing for Psychaitry or Psychotherapy. No more lawful prescribing of the drugs.
The drugs are just like street drugs, either criminalized or de-criminalized.
Publicly reject the notion that there is such a thing as “mental health”, and that it means being free from distress or conflict, or that any kind of drug could ever create it.
And make a full denunciation of anyone who uses Mental Health Questionaires.
Talk about an uphill struggle?…
All psychiatrists go through medical school. Stripping them of their licenses to practice, once they’ve achieved that career goal, is a little more complex than wishful thinking. Should psychiatry not be offered in medical school, but there’s that uphill struggle again. Also, a difference of opinion with somebody, probably many bodies, if you’re claiming psychiatry is not medicine.
There is going to be lawful prescribing of drugs so long as the drugs prescribed aren’t prohibited by law. There may be a big section of books in any library or bookstore categorized as “self-help” books, but “self-harm” is really, really big these days. What with all the self-help guides being written, I think somebody should write a self-harm guide. My point? If you were to outlaw the Darwin Awards, you still wouldn’t be outlawing candidates for winning them.
People can study what they want in school, but it is our government which is giving them their licenses, and from this is where they get their most destructive sorts of authority. So this we must stop!
A Psychiatric State is a Police State!
Frank, if people recognized that they were fraudsters, then police could just put the handcuffs on them license or not. No matter what people study in school, that does not give them the right to con, harm, or abuse people. Josef Mengele graduated from medical school.
If you just put all shock docs out of business by saying that, I must have missed something. As I said before, self-harm is big, big, big, and I’d like to write a self-harm guide sometime. You know, to compete with the self-help section at the bookstores. When your self-harm has help from professionals, it is no longer self-harm, it is “therapy”. I think everybody has a right to learn from their mistakes, however, first comes folly, then comes wisdom. Let me add, outlawing folly must be almost as big a mistake as mandating wisdom.
I agree with this: Self Harm is big and it is prevalent –not just in psychiatry.
It is big in dermatology too. My son has acne and is taking Acutane; it is not safe in my opinion. But his friends convinced him it was safe; and he has taken it for more than two years.
I think pill shaming is part of it. Many adolescents and young adults don’t think they can have pimples anymore. So if it takes self harming Acutane, which can really mess up the digestive system, they will still take it.
There are alternatives to dangerous drugs; and there are more effective alternatives in my opinion. I think sleep, diet, and exercise can help a lot.
Good to see that some people are beginning to think a little more seriously about the abolition of psychiatry.
Well yes of course, but also about rejecting Psychotherapy. Why do we allow our government to license these people? I mean sure, most of it is just talk. But it gives parents away of abusing their children with no consequence.
Psychotherapy prevents survivors from being able to effectively organize, because everyone has been led to believe that the only problems are the ones we all carry around in our own heads.
Why do we put up with Psychotherapists and those who use mental health questionnaires on survivors being on this forum?
Commenting as moderator:
We do not moderate for content here. People are free to express whatever views they want to express. The editorial staff also selects a wide range of articles, many of which are not written for MIA but are gleaned from various places on the web. The only moderation that occurs is for potentially offensive or hostile language that would make the comments section an unsafe place for people to express their views. You are, of course, welcome to respectfully express your opinion on the value or lack of value of such questionnaires or articles regarding them.
With all due respect, I don’t think that this is quite accurate.
Why? The question still remains: By what standard do we measure what is offensive or hostile or makes an unsafe place for people to express their views? As long as that question remains ambiguous, the standard remains arbitrary. By such an arbitrary standard, it will be easy to censure viewpoints with which a moderator or some other participant may disagree.
Good point Dragon Slayer.
Yes, very good point Dragon Slayer. This forum continues to be a protected safe refuge, if not for those who dispense lethal psychiatric toxins, for those who dispense mind subjugating manipulations know as psychotherapy, life coaching, and recovery.
And the litmus test for this is what they see as the objective. Is it Punishment for Perpetrators and Reparations for Survivors, or is to simply to subjugate and silence Survivors?
Reparations for survivors:
And the author understands the significance of this, because she has written on French Resistance. She is not a Therapist. Writing the forward to:
As a teenager, in the 1930’s, Michel Foucault was sent to some kind of a Psychoanalysist. Mostly it was to ‘cure’ him of his budding homosexuality. And the only way which this could be done would be to break Michel. But Michel figured out early on what the game was, and he found ways to defend himself.
Well, in the US today, some states have outlawed this kind of therapy, when it would be done on a child. But it still goes on. And clergy still does it, and clergy are subject to mandatory reporting.
How about making people understand that you can’t hire child abusers, and that our gov’t cannot be allowed to license them. How about then saying that ANY BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION THERAPIES DONE ON CHILD must have court supervision. It as after all only the court which could have any authority over the parents.
And then we see the case of Elliot Rodger, 2014 rampage shooter at the University of California Santa Barbara. Far as I can see, he was really just trying to win the approval of his father. When things did not work for him, he listened to a Right Wing Misogynist movement, and went to an extreme violent vengeance narrative.
How does one make sense of out it, what clues can we find? Well for one thing, his parents were sending him to a therapist. They were sending Elliot, but the parents were not also in therapy, just Elliot. And there was zero court supervision. The private practice therapist uses a business model which depends upon exonerating the parents, and on placating them, making their problem go away. When in fact, that fact that the child is in his office should automatically kick in mandatory reporting. And this applies whether or not the effected party has any kind of a license.
And then we see that the Step Mother had kicked him out of the home, and was trying to cut him completely out of the family. There should have been legal intervention. And then the Father Peter told Barbara Walters that Elliot was “the family enigma”. and Peter’s attitude of contempt comes through loud and clear. There should have already been intervention.
And yes, we need a new forum so we don’t have to coddle Gov’t Licensed Child Abusers For Hire, like the one Elliot Rodger’s parents were sending him to see.
I’m Okay You’re Okay, are not going to put such people out of business. We need to look to anti-colonial and self-determination struggles which have played out around the globe.
Posting as moderator:
There is certainly a VERY large difference between arbitrary and ambiguous. Arbitrary would suggest a complete lack of any kind of standard except a person’s whim, whereas ambiguous would suggest that the standard is not black and white, which is certainly the case in any moderating scenario.
It would certainly be possible to censor people based on the content or position their comment takes, but I think a look at the wide variety of comments and views that are allowed to stand that at least in general nothing of a censorship nature is occurring. Of course, when there are subjective standards, individual bias comes into play, and if there is any preferential treatment of which I am unaware, it would be coming from this kind of place rather than an intent to suppress or promote different views. That said, I can say with absolute certainty that I leave most posts up, including ones with which I personally disagree or some of which are critical of MIA or Robert Whitaker or a particular article or author, and the only intent I have is to make sure that people are “playing nice.” There ARE standards, and they are published standards, and decisions regarding moderation must be held to those standards. That’s what moderation is about. It is not based on any intent to sponsor or suppress any particular viewpoint as long as it is expressed within those rules, which everyone can read and which everyone implicitly agrees to by choosing to post.
Really it is the appropriateness of publishing article which are based on Mental Health Questionnaires. Wrong to ever subject a Survivor, or anyone else, to such.
“Psychotherapy” is not psychiatry, and, while the term itself is unacceptable, is not always based upon an acceptance of the basic deception of “mental illness,” which is what distinguishes psychiatry per se from various types of counseling which do not require a medical degree. “Psychotherapy” can mean just about anything, and does not automatically imply a belief in the myth of mental illness.
Of course the entire process of support and human interaction being commodified remains, but that’s another level of struggle. We need to focus on the most immediate atrocities, as we can’t change the entire context before undergoing a long historical process. These are currently being carried out in the name of psychiatry.
Szazs himself practiced counseling on “consenting adults.”
Of course the problem with counselors assigned by your “mental illness” center is they are paid to keep you drugged and in the system. Keeping people miserable and helpless is their bread and butter.
I think we should get rid of the “community mental health” system, you know, that thing that was legislated in on the wake of John F. Kennedy’s term through something called the Community Mental Health Act. Doing so though, I think, is a little more problematic than any mere sloganeering.
^^^^^ I agree fully!
This is what should be scaring the shit out of people:
As Rick says of he and Kay’s 27yo son Matthew, “He had the best psychiatrists, the best psychotherapists, and the best prayer warriors in the world”.
So after Matthew shot himself in the head, instead of being tried for Murder One, Rick and Kay started their Hope for Mental Health Ministry. And it works with UC Irvine, with its new 8 story Integrative Psychiatry building. So its Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Recovery, Born Again Christianity, and tax payer money all fused into one.
So you believe Rick Warren pulled the trigger to stage Matt’s murder? Why???
Btw, his cognitive dissonance is astounding. “My son despaired of life on these ‘safe and effective meds.’ Since they did NOT help him I want to force them on everyone since I’m sure they’ll save their lives.”
But idiocy and first degree murder are very different. Rick Warren is now dabbling in Quantum Mysticism. A movement physicists laugh at.
You mean abolish them (gasp!)?
Yes, the cognitive dissonance of Rick and Kay Warren is astounding.
No, they did not pull the trigger, but only because they did not need to. In my opinion, they drove Matthew to his death by making him believe that he had an innate moral defect, and there for nothing to live for. They did this via the Psychotherapists, Psychologists, and Prayer Warriors of which they speak. Their interview videos about this are something to behold.
No Community Mental Illness Center within over 50 miles of where I live. I think that’s great.
Rachel, yes to your comment (paraphrasing) about grateful consumers and branches of government. I agree completely and yet if I said that aloud to just about anyone right now, it would be attributed to my paranoia or some other symptom of my so called illness.
Yes, anything we say is subject to being seen as mental illness, the need for therapy, the need for recovery, or the need for Jesus. And it will be like this until we start to organize and protect ourselves and each other.
Psychotherapy is still based on the premise that the therapist somehow knows more than the client, that the therapist should have some authority in reporting, and that the client is somehow living in error ( read Sin, or Original Sin ), and so that they need to confess to their therapist.
Szazs practiced counseling on consenting adults. Okay, and we also have Fortune Tellers, Channelers, and Clairvoyants. The amount of harm which they can do is only moderate. And there is an overwhelming benefit in allowing free speech.
It only becomes a problem when the gov’t is issuing licenses, or when it being done upon children.
Need to look to the anti-colonial movement
Vietnam and Algeria
about Against Therapy
Where I am, they build below market housing for the poor and the homeless, but these compunds have many of the features of internment camps, they do not meet building codes, and they have Psychotherapy and Psychiatric staff on site.
If we have people promoting Therapy, Life Coaching, Recovery, or Salvation Seeking, then that means that survivors are being abused. It amounts to second rape.
So we need a safer forum, one where we can speak freely, and one where we can plan legal and political actions.
Georges Delerue: Platoon – Finale
If someone is promoting Therapy, Life Coaching, Recovery, or Salvation Seeking, it denigrates the narratives of survivors. It amounts to saying, your story has no validity. You are just someone who is too stubborn to just stuff it.
And so if we keep our replies within the civil and non-threatinging envelope, then that says that what these people are doing is okay with us.
There have to be consequences for the original abuses, and there have to be consequences for these secondary abuses, not just words, but authority being exercised from behind government licenses and in government administrative posts.
Here at MIA, we don’t even have PM’s. We can’t even exchange email addresses.
So our entire existences are at the discretion of moderators. Often these moderators have a vested interest in Therapy and Recovery, and sometimes in Psychiatry too. And besides just the money, it is their own denial systems.
We need to set up a safer forum, so that we can organize and then act. A very large portion of our population is completely delegitimated, in an out of clinics and therapists offices, effectively unemployable, if not in mental hospitals, prisons, or living under bridges. And as long as no one offers any counter narrative of interpretation, then it will just be continued scorn, contempt, and pity.
Revolution in the Revolution
I wouldn’t let someone talk Therapy, Recovery, or Getting Saved at me in real life. And I would let the offending party know that there will be consequences if he or she continues.
“If we have people promoting Therapy, Life Coaching, Recovery, or Salvation Seeking, then that means that survivors are being abused. It amounts to second rape.”
I don’t expect PacificDawn to listen, but for others, I want to state that, imo, this is so over the top, I wish it were addressed. I’m not even sure where I would begin to address all the generalizations, slander, black and white fallacies, and so forth. I’m guessing(?) this comes from her own traumatic experiences, and for those I am truly sorry, but it doesn’t help to throw around accusations at huge swaths of people who have found these things to truly help. Though I don’t consider myself an evangelical Christian anymore, the caricatures that routinely are hurled from the Left toward Evangelicals are simplistic and insulting. Sure there are abuses, just like there are in any and every large enough group that one looks at, but there are also a lot of people who sacrificially give of themselves to try to help others the best they can. My own life and how I try to help my wife is still governed by many of those principles that were hammered into me from my Christian upbringing, and I get tired of others flippantly making accusations and the majority on the Left approving whole heartedly. Honestly, this website ought to do better, imo.
And as for the wide swath of other accusations and caricatures she is lobbing at Life Coaches, therapy, recovery, and whatelse, I’m glad my wife decided she DID want to address the trauma and pain in her life. Her decision has taken both of us on a wonderful healing journey of discovery and growth and healing for both of us. It’s been hard as hell in many ways, and yet I’m so glad we made that decision 11 years ago. I’m glad I’m NOT the same man that I was when we first started, nor is she. Hopefully we are both much better versions of ourselves.
If you’re going to live in a glass house, please don’t complain about other people’s generalizations.
Democrats are NOT the LEFT! The majority of both the democrats I know and the left-wing people I know do indeed practice some form of religious belief.
As an actual left-wing (Green Party) atheist, I see people like you equating a message condemning religious harm with a left wing political viewpoint, and I wonder: do you understand that religion and politics are separate subjects?
PacificDawn is condemning religious harm, especially when it’s practiced in medicine and payed for by insurance. I do think that she is right on the money when she says these industries, including religion and “salvation seeking” denigrates the narratives of survivors.
It would help if you’d address the issues specifically rather than crying for help to have her censored. Denying that religion harms many and suggesting that we have no right to voice those harms puts you on the side of the abusers.
Religion is an opiate. People might have private spiritual practices, but religion is for control, for politics, and for taking in money.
The worst sorts of religion are the evangelical, being pitched at the disposed, telling them to see their marginalization as a sign of their own moral failings.
As they say at Guild Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco, “Poverty is caused by social marginalization.”
Se instead of reading the bible at people or preaching repentance, salvation, and recovery, they let people give narratives of how they were able to fight back and restore their social legitimacy.
The kings of things they are most often talking about are race, sexual orientation, and familial sexual abuse.
But we need a different kind of forum is we are to stop debating endlessly and become Women and Men of Action.
Life coaching is NOT therapy.
Life coaches can make over $200 an hour. They don’t work for Mental Illness Centers and generally look down their noses at everyone in that system. No way folks like us could afford them.
They have a rule not to work with the “mentally ill” either and will usually refuse services to anyone with a label–I hear.
Of course there are a wide range of coaches. Career coaches can be helpful if you want to think over employment options. Finance coaches can help figure a way to get out of debt. One coach I actually hired was a “blogging coach” just starting out. It was nothing like psycho therapy.
If you don’t like a coach you can say, “Forget you!” and fire him/her. Not so easy with “therapists” at community centers. I fired my last one and everyone responded with gas lighting. “You must have imagined she said that since she’s ‘normal’ and you’re nuts.” A lot of pressure and nags.
But I put off getting a new one till I carried out my escape plan. Then I ran.
Rachel, there is a wide variation in what constitutes a “life coach”. Almost anyone can hang out their shingle as a life coach. I have never ran into one that wouldn’t take former mental patients. In fact, in my experience, they’re happy to poach from the psychotherapists because many (if not most) don’t believe in the mental illness paradigm. (Which doesn’t mean they won’t blame you for your problems.)
Life coaches are probably the least offensive of the lot when comparing the techniques of therapists, coaches and clergy. Personally, I would have preferred a life coach than a therapist because they actually try to help you get your life on track instead of trying to convince you how ill and broken you are.
Church is second best. Clergy play up god as the primary savior but they may also have resources or know of resources for help.
The new trend in therapy is to refuse patients who aren’t also in psychiatric care. Therapists are the worst because they are licensed by the state and paid for by medical insurance, or by taxpayers for community mental health centers.
Ugh, really? Refusing patients who aren’t in psychiatric care? That’s appalling!
Though I guess it could help you screen out the psychiatric “true believers!”
Steve, when you are diagnosed with an SMI like bipolar or schizophrenia, it’s common for treating therapists to expect med compliance – not necessarily expect all of their patients to be on meds. Sorry, I worded that poorly.
But it’s still significant because the biomedical genetic theories of mental illness heritability reinforce generational diagnoses and medicating of people with certain diagnoses. In many cases, it’s generational poverty and/or systemic racism (traumas) that keeps families locked into dysfunction and causes the severe distress labeled as these SMIs. But it’s quite common for people with those diagnoses to be expected to be med compliant by virtually the entire medical profession and the mental health professionals and workers such as the nurses, psychotherapists and social workers. Mistaking the physiological effects on the body of the SDOH for severe mental illnesses and requiring those patients to be stable on meds before being willing to talk to them reinforces generational oppression rather than curing illness and protecting the vulnerable.
I totally get this. A ton of foster youth I worked with were diagnosed with “bipolar” or “emerging schizophrenia” based 90% on the fact that a parent had such a “diagnosis.” Despite the fact that not one of the “diagnoses” has ever been connected to any genetic anomaly, it’s assumed that “he got it from his mom.”
The expectation of “medication compliance” from “therapists” is also not surprising to me. Sometimes it seemed they spent more time on that than on actually trying to help the kid sort out how to deal with all the bizarre dynamics of being in an abusive family and then being in foster care. I mean, if you can’t get why a foster kid might be feeling depressed or anxious or angry, what the heck are you doing trying to provide “therapy” to them?
Life Coaches are more like Motivationalists. But this still amounts to the idea that they know more than the client, and that the client needs to be motivated externally, and that their experience of alienation should be converted into a self-improvement project, rather than a revolutionary struggle for emancipation.
Completely agreed. 🙂
Kindred Spirit, what you describe regarding expected/coerced psych drug compliance is my lived experience. When my diagnosis was switched from major depression to borderline personality, the pressure became much stronger, even though “there is no drug for borderline”. Then I was expected to comply with poly pharmacy (an antidepressant, an anti-psychotic, and a mood stabilizer) and of course I was on my own dealing with the “side effects” (aka the effects) of all those drugs. When I gained weight on the meds, the internist would be there pushing the Mediterranean diet but there was no acknowledgment that the drugs had anything to do with it.
Life Coaches would be hard to act against legally. But I still thing we should find some of the most extreme, and subject to getting their clients to enter into a law suit, we should shut the worst of them down.
No no, this is just another way of falling for the idea that counseling or people who do counseling can be categorized. It all depends on the individual. I knew a psychoanalyst who called herself a “life coach”; just like “psychotherapy” it doesn’t refer to anything consistent. There are even such people who understand capitalism and the need for revolution, not that they’re at all typical. So I don’t see why counseling needs to be “fought”; just don’t go.
You also need to be more specific about what you mean by “revolutionary struggle,” it means different things to different people.
I attended life coaching school. In that class we were told we should refuse to take on anyone we perceive as “mentally ill” and refer them to a psychiatrist. We were also told that if a person is diagnosed we have to make sure they “take their meds.” However, when I came out in class as a survivor, many approached me and said, in private, that they felt the DSM was hogwash, but they didn’t want to say anything. Our teacher even spoke of chemical imbalances! EEEKs!
Interestingly, it was the classmate who drugs her kid who bullied me after class was all over. She was so unreasonable…I have to laugh…If the kid had her for mom, well…….
“Revolutionary Struggle” means that you accept that this is a political control and legitimacy issue, not a medial or self improvement issue.
So you are claiming that the society is unjust, and then that the solution must be obtained by political and legal struggle.
Frantz Fannon and the anti-colonial movement are good places to start. Algeria, Vietnam, all places to learn from, as well as our own fight to end slavery. Right now I am trying to learn about the Irish Republican Army.
I want survivors to roar like lions, not to continue to be bleating like sheep.
Yeah well this is still just rhetoric until you explain how any of this applies to the current situation in a helpful way. No matter what name you use. 🙂
Well oldhead, I think the place to start is strategic lawsuits. Most people will accept that as a proper way to redress a grievance. And then, the abused clients, usually people who have been abused and humiliated their entire lives, this gives them a chance to recovery something and be vindicated.
The reason I am portraying this as a Revolutionary Struggle for Self-Determination, and drawing upon sources like Frantz Fanon and the Anti-Colonial Struggle, is that this is primarily about power and who is legitimate and who is not. This need the Middle-Class Family has to scapegoat and to employ doctors to this ends, gets right to the interpersonal rules of capitalism, to what it needs to have enforced, it is to remain in power.
I doubt you would have found Fanon or any other revolutionary basing their strategy on lawsuits. On the other hand it might keep you out of trouble. 🙂
Oldhead, I think I hear a dig in that.
Most people are not ready for extra legal actions, not while they seem to still have access to the courts and to the ballot boxes.
Lawsuits are a good place to start. But I still see it as a Revolutionary Struggle because it involves so many other things which are at the core of our society, and no one knows where exactly it will all go.
It is said that the Anti-Slavery Abolitionist movement did have to go extra legal. And this is in large part in response to the Fugitive Slave Act ( 1850 ), and to efforts to use violence, sacking of Lawrence, to force Kansas to become a slave state.
We have had local people running for office on a ticket based upon involuntary psychiatric medications.
If we are able to put a dent in Psychotherapy, let people see it for the fraud and abuse that it is, we might find the other side ratcheting things up.
Gandhi was able to stay with non-violence all the way up to India’s Independence. But it could have gone other ways.
In the last year of his life MLK was departing from his unconditional commitment to non-violence as a way of life.
Actually, PacificDawn, what constitutes a “life coach” varies widely. There is no certification requirement. Many people set up businesses as life coaches with no formal training at all, and that is legal so long as you don’t lie about your credentials.
It IS true that many life coaches won’t take on patients they perceive to be mentally ill. In fact, we were told to refuse services unless the person saw a psychiatrist concurrently. I found out that to see a life coach I would have to lie (by omission) my past diagnosis, which means I cannot discuss 35 years of my life, and omit any diagnoses I had been given. Many will also refuse unless you see a therapist. And some will even insist that you see a Western doc if you have any chronic disease at all. But life coaches vary and not all of them follow this.
Also, I should say that in theory, life coaches don’t push their ideas on their clients. This is very clear in the training. I’m sure many break this rule. You’re supposed to let the client figure out stuff herself, use her own morals, logic, intuition, etc, to form conclusions.
Life coaches do not have to follow any laws, except they are mandatory reporters. I’m not sure if this is true in all states. Mandatory reporting laws vary from state to state.
I recently called a life coach in another state and city (just to ask for info, not for life coaching) and found him to be an abusive bully. I wonder if he saw my scathing Yelp review?
I agree. Much of therapy blames the patient for circumstances, and worst of all, causes people to be self-absorbed, and causes addiction to therapy.
So right here on this forum today I see a blog titled “The Science and Pseudoscience of Women’s Mental Health: Conversation with Kelly Brogan”
So they are still acting like their is such a thing as Mental Health. And they are acting like the proper way of looking at issues of disenfranchisement and alienation, is a self-improvement project/ medical issue, as the primary problem resides between the client’s ears.
They have no interest in a revolutionary struggle for emancipation, just Recovery, Therapy, and Self-Improvement.
So lets organize. I am a 100% committed Psychiatric Abolitionist Guerrilla.
We can’t change everything, but we can find some targets of opportunity. I would suggest going after people who have been sued before, where the complaint and evidence shows that their is a problem. I suggest a breadth of targets.
1. Psychiatrist in gov’t employment, puts the poor on drugs.
2. Psychotherapist who serves middle class parents by breaking their kids, does not report to CPS.
3. Life Coach, an extremist, who takes people’s money and dispenses bullshit, makes survivors wrong for trying to fight back.
4. Recovery program, connected with gov’t, amounts to tax payer money promoting religion, might be in prisons..
Find these targets, then take them down, then brag about it.
Take them down via law suits, web site, sidewalk protests, and by getting clients to submit affidavits and maybe join in on law suits. As much of this connects to gov’t, go after appointed administrators and politicians.
Then we will be Women and Men of Action, instead of just people looking for pity.
Who is this “they”? If you’re going to talk conspiratorially you need to define the conspiracy. And who is this “we” you say are “looking for pity”?
The “we” are the survivors. Really it is anyone marginalized in our legal and political environment. We are the survivors of the mental health and disabilities system, and of the middle-class family, and of our economic system, and of more.
The “they” is those who try to keep these abuses going, mostly through denial.
It seems that initial targets of abolitionists should include the definition of “antipsychiatry” that instead defines “critical psychiatry”; Wikipedia for instance hardly mentions abolition in its definition. It seems difficult to “grow” a “movement” to abolish psychiatry as long as “antipsychiatry” does not mention abolition.
I don’t have a problem with the use of the word abolition in relation to an institution like slavery. I think you have to be more specific in the case of psychiatry. All sorts of people are going to have completely different ideas as to what psychiatry is. If psychiatrists are “soul doctors”, they’ve got freedom of religion on their side. If they are physicians, they’ve got the medical field. I am all for the abolition of forced treatment, forced psychiatry, however, how can I be opposed to forced psychiatry without being in favor of non-forced psychiatry. As long as the mental health coppers can’t nab me and treat me against my will and wishes I’m fine. If anybody wants to see a shrink, or any other sort of fortune teller what-so-ever, that, of course, is up to them. If we’re going after institutional practice, sure, if we’re going after every doctor in private practice, I don’t really see it.
For the difference between critical psychiatry and antipsychiatry, I would refer people to David Ingleby’s 1980 book, CRITICAL PSYCHIATRY: The Politics of Mental Health, and realize that critical psychiatry has updated it’s views to suit the times.
From the Introduction, pg. 19.
‘Psychiatry’ because unlike David Cooper’s ‘non-psychiatrists’, the contributors to this volume all feel that mental illnesses – whatever their correct interpretation and political significance may be – do exist. and furthermore call for specialized understanding and help.
Replace the words “mental illnesses” with “emotional distresses” or “psychological traumas”, and there you go. Updated.
‘Critical’ because we think that psychiatry should take time off from examining its patients in order to take a good look at itself, with the benefit of the insights which recent sociology and philosophy can offer.
You get ‘critical’ enough and you never go back. You retire, and, er, as it were, become an antipsychiatrist, or an antipsychiatry movement activist instead.
In reference to “abolishing” psychiatry, I want to delegitimize psychiatry as a medical science. Psychiatry advocates a harmful philosophy of “mind”; it should not be considered a medical, biological science since it does not address the physical world. I have no problem with psychiatry continuing as a philosophy or religion; I have a problem with psychiatry passing as a medical (biological) science.
I would expose psychiatry as the pseudo-science it is, too, however, delegitimizing psychiatry is not the same thing as abolishing it. I would have much less of a problem with psychiatry posing as medicine if its hospitals were actually hospitals (same base as the word hospitality) instead of literal prisons (places of detention). If such were the case, people wouldn’t be held against their will and wishes. The problem with psychiatry is, even if a person is familiar with facts about drugs, etc., that person can be drugged to death and debility regardless. Get rid of the locked doors, and special passes, the law that transforms hospitals into prisons, so different from other units in a hospital, and you’ve gotten rid of the problem. The problem is not psychiatry per se, the problem is the power this particular “mental health” specialty has been granted over and beyond other people. They have no more knowledge than the average Joe when it comes to behavior. It is this power the profession has been granted by courts of law that is the problem, a power that should be curtailed, and not the fact that the profession exists at all. When they have no more power than the ordinary citizen, ordinary citizens can walk away from them without fear of becoming their captives for eternity. Forced treatment, forced psychiatry, should be abolished. You abolish forced treatment by repealing mental health law.
The legitimacy of psychiatric coercion is based on the legitimacy of psychiatry as a medical science addressing “broken brains” that cause personal and public harm. Based on the prevailing psychiatric narrative, psychiatric coercion is humane treatment since individuals have lost their ability to make sound judgments about their own behavior. The harm of psychiatric coercion will continue as long as psychiatry is an accredited medical science; only through delegitimizing psychiatry will its coercion become obvious human rights violations.
As RW points out in Anatomy of an Epidemic we already have brain doctors–neurologists. We already have folks who help with philosophy called psychologists.
Psychiatrists attempt to treat “disordered” souls with mind altering drugs. Even as far back as Shakespeare and Hawthorne people realized this was something doctors could not do.
Part of how I convinced my religious parents it was okay to go off the drugs a psychiatrist prescribed was reading Dr. Pies’ piece about how dumb people were to think psychiatrists actually believe in chemical imbalances. He also harps about the philosophy of materialism and the a priori assumption of monalism. (Must be the brain because minds/souls don’t exist.)
My dad is a retired clergyman and theologian. When he read the article he actually snorted.
Mom has opted out of going on more drugs for her depression. I’d like to think this canary has been of some use to the coal miners. 🙂
Psychiatric coercion isn’t legitimate. Before we had anything that might be referred to as a “medical model” you had the police model. You STILL have the police model. Society wants to get errant members off the streets, and it has psychiatry to help it get them off the streets. The illusion that this effort has anything to do with health is just that, illusion.
Hi Steve. It’s been suggested for some time that we redo the Wikipedia crap, which I believe was planted by the opposition on behalf of the bogus “consumer movement.”
Also check your email.
Maybe anti-psychiatry had not previously meant abolition. Laing and Cooper don’t talk about abolition. Sounds like Anti-Psychiatrists were to conduct Anti-Sessions and collect Anti-Fees.
But that is more like Critical Psychiatry or Psychotherapy.
We the survivors need to protect ourselves and each other, and the vulnerable of today, starting with children and the poor.
So we must never endorse anything except legal and political struggle, never any kind of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy, Motivationalism, Self-Improvement, Life Coaching, Recovery, or Religion.
Laing and Cooper split over Cooper’s invention of antipsychiatry.
The most highly critical look at psychiatry is a total rejection of psychiatry, in other words, antipsychiatry.
As for suffering fools, yeah, someone is always going to have to do something.
Did I just use the word “always”? Probably shouldn’t have done that. Ditto, you and the use of that word, “never”.
Thank you, Bruce, for this article. I also saw the New Yorker article on Laura and felt that something was missing. I also felt that the article was rambling and way, way too long. There was too much repetition and the article itself lacked a cohesive central theme. Still, it was great seeing Laura’s story in the major news media.
I am wondering about your terminology regarding “middle grounders.” I am wondering if this constitutes a bit of classification and possibly, stereotyping this perceived classification. It’s like some who classify “liberals” or “conservatives” somehow as groups where all think alike. You can’t actually say that in all accuracy about us “fanatics” who understand the truth about psychiatry, and yet, we get lumped together by the media. We’re “mental illness deniers” or just plain lack insight. The truth is, though, we are not all alike. Our stories differ greatly, as do our opinions.
An example of editorial middle-grounding can easily be seen in Psychology Today. Eric Maisel, who writes about children here for MIA, tells me he has to tone it down when writing for Psychology Today. Or…he is toned down by the editors there. If you meet him in person you get a different story entirely.
As a writer, I sometimes call this kind of behavior prostitution, that is, sacrificing ones beliefs just to get published. However, I, too, am guilty of writing prostitution. Sometimes you will do anything to have your voice heard. Why? We have to decide. We have a need to say something, and sometimes, bowing down just a little bit is not that terrible a price to pay.
I have to decide how much to bow down. While I would love to teach creative writing at a local college, I stopped my application when I saw the college’s horrible policies against gays. I then took pen to paper and wrote, right in the application, that I refused to continue due to their discriminatory policies. I am not sure if they read my half-finished application, but I got to say what I wanted to say.
Middle-Grounders means Collaborators
Eric Maisel gives parenting advice. This is just like pedagogy, it serves the needs of the parents, not the child. It is Child Exploitation.
Would we accept a middle-ground position on the intolerance of rape?
Is it right for a forum to allow the promotion of psychotherapy or recovery, even presented as a middle-ground position?
My response to this comment…. “Rachel Aviv inserts the following parenthetic description of his book Anatomy of an Epidemic: “The book has been praised for presenting a hypothesis of potential importance, and criticized for overstating evidence and adopting a crusading tone.” … thank you Bruce Levine for calling her out. Aviv undermined her own credibility with this single comment. She would have done more justice to the service of what she was attempting to do by speaking with more unhappy “consumers” and soon realized what a courageous hero Whitaker has been to those whose encounters with psychiatry have done equal if not more damage. Attempting to discredit Whitaker did more to damage her own credibility than his. Lest us not forget he is not just a courageous journalist (Whitaker) but recognized as award winning and even within the Pulitzer Prize category (who has largely spear-headed along with the many other courageous professionals and writers such as also Levine) bringing to light these vitally important issues. So sorry for Aviv, she discredited the man whose own argument then went on in many ways to be her own version of a regurgitation of Whitaker’s most important points- Making Aviv guilty of bad journalistic form, give proper credit where due, don’t discredit the one you then go on to not just imitate but attempt to emulate and take the credit for… her argument would not even exist without Whitaker at the level that it now does. She did a huge disservice to this community, the important work of all involved and even Delano in that one sentence. Thank you Bruce Levine for once again calling out the truly important issues at hand and keeping our eyes on the prize. As to some on this forum, I agree it’s time for us to gather and begin speaking to each other, get the conversation really going. Please come visit my website, let’s dialogue! I owe the second half of my life to Whitaker’s truth and it’s important we back it. Inspired to give voice to the consumer, I invite you to my website…https://nomorelabels.us/
Is there a “medication” for cowardice? Cowardice is to fear what depression is to sadness.
But cowardice benefits psychiatry since they can use it to force “insight” admissions and threaten the “non compliant.” So I doubt we’ll see any anti cowardice pills soon.
Cowardice also motivates reporters to stick to “middle ground” position and not offend the all powerful Experts though they know innocent lives are being destroyed.
Rachel777, we need to see this as a Revolutionary Struggle for Self-Determination.
We need to not only threaten non-compliance, but to offer zero compliance at all, only fierce opposition.
I want survivors to roar like lions, not to continue to be bleating like sheep.
Middle-Ground(ers). . . reminds me of working on Political Campaigns in the 90’s. The unspoken rule for running for partisan political office, the 40-40-20 rule, was always pervasive and prevalent. The rule essentially means, 40% of voters vote one way, 40% vote the other . . . the battle is for the 20% of issue/independent oriented votes, the middle-grounders.
I only wish the 40-40-20 rule applied to the “anti-psychiatry” issue. The unfortunate reality is this issue is the 95-5 Rule. . . 95% take the status quo lock stock and barrel, while the other 5% fight to enlighten. There is negligible middle-ground. This can be directly linked back to Dr. Levine’s Authoritarian Paradigm and the Authority given up to Psychiatrists because they are Doctors as well as the deep integration into the Legal System.
ds_ghoste, we won’t put a dent in the mental health system that way. There have to be penalties, like lawsuits, sidewalk protests, and criminal penalties.
95% take the status quo lock stock and barrel, while the other 5% fight to enlighten.
I’d like to offer some defense of “middle ground” kind of thinking! Though I agree very much, it’s a terrible idea to look for the middle ground say between MLK and the KKK. That’s because MLK himself was a middle ground kind of person. The true “middle ground” might better be seen between white supremacy and a (hypothetical) black supremacy. Curiously, when current white supremacists talk about “white genocide” they speak their fears about how if white supremacy no longer prevails, that white people then will be oppressed. We need to articulate how there is a possible middle ground, where skin color doesn’t make people better or worse, it’s still hard for many people to believe that is possible.
We live in an increasingly polarized world, that is tearing itself apart and neglecting the future. I think the way forward is to get better at identifying and moving toward something like what I am calling the “true middle ground” or point of balance. That’s what we need for mental health, ecological health, political health etc.
I think the changing demographic, the browning of America, is also changing its politics, and for the better, so I would tend to disagree. The problem is corporate imperialism makes no color distinction either. We’ve got a president that got into power through aligning himself with white supremacists. Put a point on the scoreboard for the reaction. This doesn’t mean that if you opted for the other corporate owned politicians, the democrats, that’s a big hit for “health” of any kind. Should we not do anything about corporate money in politics, corruption is going to drag us all down. Another way to put it is, it need not be a choice between two evils, and opting for the lesser evil of two, if there is a third course of action available, but in this case I don’t think that third course would be conceived of as a “middle way”.
Of course there are other options. Both Gary Johnson and Jill Stein would have been better presidents than either of the two faux choices Americans were led to believe were the only real choices, and which were both to the right of anything that might have once upon a time been declared the center.
The problem with middle ground thinking is assuming it actually is the middle ground. But the middle is a constantly shifting and nebulous entity because the right and left aren’t fixed and agreed upon points.
Take a look at corporate news media to see the “right” trashing the “left” and vice versa. It doesn’t take long to see it’s a shit flinging exercise and that both “sides” intentionally mischaracterize the opposition.
Sorry, have to disagree. Johnson and Stein were also false choices, through no fault of yours. The catch is in allowing oneself to be misled into believing that ANY effective structural changes can be made under capitalism. Keep in mind this is a military dictatorship. Once someone becomes president they become a figurehead, as the system does not allow changes detrimental to the interests of capitalism and the ruling clique. This is how they play us. Again, as the old saying goes, “Don’t vote, it only encourages them.”
Excuse me, is waiting for the revolution a “false choice” or no choice?
There’s also the slogan “Nobody’s perfect” that was a slogan of the Nobody for President campaign.
I couldn’t argue with the slogan “Don’t vote, it only encourages them.” Don’t vote, and I guarantee you somebody else will. The “haves” have been banking on a lack of vote from the “have nots” since time immemorial.
I voted. I voted for Jill. I would do it again. One thing is for sure, not voting is just another vote for global warming.
White supremecists do a lot of what Freud called projecting.
I think projecting may be behind some of the over-the-top articles posted by elite shrinks on the APA Journal about the “vast underground anti-psychiatry conspiracy.” If they weren’t shrinks–and therefore the epitome of cool reason and sanity–you might call this paranoia. 😀
Rachel, I think you and Kindredspirit make good points about how projecting, or mischaracterizing the opposition, plays a big role in our polarized society. For one thing, if our opposition is some irrational extreme, then that’s the only reason they don’t like us, it couldn’t be anything wrong with us! Paranoia in this sense can make us feel better about ourselves (and I agree that psychiatrists often do that.)
One reason I prefer the critical psychiatry stance to the anti psychiatry one, is that it’s harder for psychiatrists to demonize. “I’m not against anything a psychiatrist might do or so, I’m only against the harmful things they might do or say.” This “middle ground” stance brings focus to what’s important, which is what is or isn’t harmful.
Look at it this way, Ron.
I have nothing against psychiatrists as men or women. It’s the role they play that terrifies me.
I’m angry that I was lied to and about for 25 years. I now suffer from myalgic encephalomyelitis thanks to this deceptive quackery.
I love myself unconditionally, but hate the bad stuff I do because of this healthy self love. I guess I can say the same about psychiatrists.
But however kindly they are or benign their intentions the science is flawed. And people need to know.
Except it’s not “flawed” science, it’s not science period, it’s ideology combined with superstition.
“I’m not against anything a psychiatrist might do or so, I’m only against the harmful things they might do or say.”
Hopefully the bankruptcy of such a position is apparent to most.
Accepting that psychiatry is legitimate in any sense is a big time cave. You don’t make your analysis based on how someone will react to it but on its correctness.
Ron what I hear you saying is that you choose a critical psychiatry stance because it appears more reasonable; less vulnerable to attack. This is logically questionable but it’s also not particularly effective as an activist tactic. You start from the “extreme” in order to bring your “opponent” closer to your position. If your opponent can only claim your position is “extreme”, he reveals how flimsy the ground he stands on actually is.
The antipsychiatry “side” has ample evidence, in part thanks to RW himself, that the purpose of psychiatry is control over the population. We currently have a population that chooses pills and labels to soothe any and all discomforts. We have a government controlled by business interests and a passive population that would rather medicate away any hint of distress rather than fight for their rights in the street.
1984 was not an instruction manual. We have to attack the apathy of the population and remind humanity of their collective need to act. We’re rapidly approaching a point where psychiatry will be irrelevant because the planet is literally going to become uninhabitable and that is in large part due to the lifestyles of the white affluent class. So we can argue over semantics or we can do something to make a difference but it’s largely past time for this to be an intellectual excercise. Without decisive action on multiple fronts, we will simply medicate ourselves into oblivion as the world burns around us.
I understand the need for decisive action! But I really contest the notion that “being more extreme” is always helpful in getting there. I think instead it very often backfires.
For example, let’s say I know someone, “X,” who often does very dangerous things. If I tell others “I am against everything X does!” it is certainly more emphatic than just being against the dangerous things X does, but it is also more likely to come across as me just having a grudge against X. It backfires, makes me look bad instead. I’m much better off just focusing on being against the dangerous stuff X does.
If a psychiatrist pets puppies or feeds kitties good for him.
But those are him acting as a human being. Not a “doctor.”
Psychiatry as a branch of science is not about healing but destruction of the brain and other body parts. And defamation of character without due process.
I’m not against everything X does. Just everything Dr. X does to his “patients” with drugs, labels, shocks and any other brain damaging surgeries. Quite likely Dr. X acts out of ignorance rather than cruelty. But the damage is real.
Hi Ron, I don’t think you really understood what I meant. I used “extreme” in quote because the word is oft used to imply that the opposition’s position actually is extreme, which may only be the opinion or accusation of the party that doesn’t wish to negotiate.
I don’t view antipsychiatry as extreme because antipsychiatry does not deny that there are medical causes of distress. What it does is say that the field of psychiatry is based on a judgmental book of behaviors that have been fairly well shown to be responses to social traumas and environmental toxins and that none of the diagnoses really represents distinct illnesses so much as arbitrarily voted upon groupings and labels.
The collections of behaviors therefore are not scientifically legitimate and have been used tautaulogically in an effort to spend lots of time and money on a very lucrative wild good chase for causes of the so-called mental illnesses. So that doesn’t mean that there aren’t medical causes of behaviors and perceptions. But psychiatry and it’s book of diagnonsense is invalid. Let the neurologists take on the demonstrably brain based disorders as they already do with the dementias. Let the GI docs and nutritionists take on the gastrointestinal dysbioses and nutritional deficiencies. Let the infectious diseases doctors deal with the infectious causes of mental disturbances, etc.
But psychiatry has no foundation left, and the first floor is already flooded with its lies and deceptions to an unsuspecting people. Eventually it will collapse simply due to the rate of knowledge gain of actual causes of mental distress, which are largely environmental toxins and social traumas.
Being antipsychiatry need not be anti-medicine or anti-science because Psychiatry is focused on behaviors and their supposed genetic causes and chemical cures, which isn’t sustainable when the known social and environmental causes become more and more clear. You cannot vote something into scientific legitimacy the way the book of diagnonsense has been devised.
Anti-psychiatry is not extreme, it is basic common sense. Claiming that abstractions such as the mind can have diseases is extreme nonsense.
Abduction, imprisonment, lobotomy, electricity induced seizures, poisoning by toxic chemicals, slander, lifelong persecution, rigged low status, kangaroo hearings, prejudicial mistreatment, compulsory false confession, etc., and the cessation of all of the above. I wouldn’t say that antipsychiatry is extreme, although psychiatry certainly is extreme.
While I think it is true that a lot of psychiatrists base their practice on the idea of “real mental illnesses” as described in the DSM, I don’t think they all do. Some see the causes of mental and emotional suffering as often much more complex, usually involving social causes, etc. They don’t want to try to solve everything with drugs, but they do seek to offer a drug, or medical, intervention that might in some cases be helpful for at least a limited period of time. Do I have to be against their work, just so I can say I am truly anti-psychiatry? Or can I say that maybe there would be a small role for a medical specialty helping out in mental health, even after all the lies and corruption gets scraped away?
I know the latter is heresy to many of you, but I would propose that the reason psychiatrists love to paint all their critics as “antipsychiatry” is that being antipsychiatry is actually a much weaker position than being focused on what is wrong or corrupt within psychiatry. They love to face the weaker argument, because it does come across as extremist, and it’s kind of sad to see so many on MIA rush to paint this weaker position as being the stronger one.
Anyway, I’m afraid if I keep responding to comments I may just repeat myself, so I don’t think I’ll respond more unless I think of something really new to say…..
I thought psychiatrists like to paint their critics as “science denying, flat earther Scientologists.” Lol.
Have actually read some articles using this over-the-top language. And they accuse “moderate” nice guys of it too. Like you Ron.
Might as well defend ourselves with a strong offense. Unlike many with jobs in the system, those opposing psychiatry have nothing to lose.
They have destroyed our reputations, careers, and everything for the crime of asking for help. Now we make our living as digital nomads in the shadows. Why beg for mercy from those who think they own our souls? Give us FREEDOM instead!
To our psychiatric overlords: Even a cornered rat will fight back. Even if you kill it you may not walk away with your nose intact!
I don’t know, Ron. The idea of “real mental illnesses” seems to go along with the idea of “real mental illness treatment”. You know, the business of psychiatry, those doctors who “specialize” in the “treatment” of “mental illnesses”, “real” or imagined.
I got out of the “mental illness treatment” racket entirely, and no complaints here. I’m content so long as nobody can force their “treatment”, perhaps more accurately referred to as trickment, on me.
More to the point, I think a strong argument can be made against psychiatry, in particular in regards to the increased medicalization of everyday life, and the “chronic” label that goes along with it. (Wow! What exceptional salesmanship! Here’s your medical equivalent of the Brooklyn Bridge.) Now where were we? Oh yeah! Doctors who treat imaginary diseases are quacks. If the DSM is not a book of discrete and “real” disease entities, what it is? Of course, a manual of quackery, but that manual doesn’t make doctors who don’t go by the manual any less quacks than those who do.
I understand the need for silence. Were you at the riverside with a line thrown into the water, this fish is not biting. You sell “mental health treatment”, and without a clientele, you’ve got no meat on your table, and a desperate need for a career change.
Or can I say that maybe there would be a small role for a medical specialty helping out in mental health, even after all the lies and corruption gets scraped away?
The concept of “mental health”/”mental illness” is the primary lie/fraud.
You seem to be determined to find a justification for psychiatry no matter what.
The concept of “mental health”/”mental illness” is the primary lie/fraud.
I can’t speak for Ron, but at least for me, I don’t agree with this assertion.
I might word it slightly different because ‘mental illness’ has been corrupted by the biomedical model of mental health with which I 100% disagree, but I do think there is such a thing as mental health/mental dysfunction that is often trauma based. Moreover, I think there is a biological component because the brain/mind is biologically based, even if we don’t understand how.
The most obvious biological component of mental health/dysfunction that I am aware of, because of our personal experience, is trauma-based dissociation which ends up re-mapping the neural pathways of the brain. And undoing that dissociation has caused my wife massive, debilitating headaches. I don’t understand it, but for every step forward as we tear down the dissociation, the headaches are so excruciating she can barely function.
Moreover, we’ve spent the last decade retraining her mind to access those previously dissociated areas of her brain where the neural pathways had atrophied. And as she has gained access to those areas previously walled off to her, she has begun to display new personality traits and mental abilities she never had during the first 20 years of our marriage.
I don’t understand the biological component of my wife’s mental trauma or healing on a technical level, but I mostly definitely understand it and have had to develop strategies to overcome it and work with it on a practical level.
If you don’t get this by now there’s no point in wasting more words. I can’t imagine anything more basic.
Remember the “Angel of death” Dr. Farid Fata?
I’m not against everything he did. Just lying to patients about having leukemia to sell them unnecessary cancer treatments and make them bald, toothless, and homebound. (If they survived.)
Tut tut. Pretty extreme of me.
Btw, psychiatrists who do not tout the bio-model exist, but they’re an anomaly. I do not know a single one in person. Most write for this site.
Where I live even GPs don’t criticize the bio model. That would be “extreme.” So they watch us get horribly sick from the drugs and die young. Yay for the “middle ground” heroes.
I think I’ll write a book about reasonable folks who went with the flow and never offended (the powerful.) How about Portraits in Moderation? Courage is SO extreme and radical. 😀
“Portraits In Moderation” — good one Rachel! You’re “in the zone” today!
Sam Ruck, someone maybe showing signs of trauma, but this does not mean that there is such a thing as ~Mental Illness~.
Actually Rachel they see the future better than most and realize their days are numbered. So they’re not really “paranoid,” this is a legitimate fear.
They know enough science to realize how bogus the “medicine” they foist on others is. It makes sense to be afraid when Truth itself is the enemy.
Ron…I’m not assuming my MLK-Dr. King reference has anything to do with your comment here! But it is a good segue to revise my rather frivolous commentary above-of which oldhead got me thinking about my comments here (my philosophy being, to date, giving the arrational a place at the table; now requiring closer attention to my language!). But with regard to my comments days earlier, what I should have said was that the middle ground can be progressive or regressive; the bigger issue, to my mind, the manner in which real attributions come out the the middle ground, regardless of the political acrobatics. Progressive and or regressive attributions aren’t ambiguous. But with regard to the middle ground and psychiatry: There is no middle ground! In order to claim legitimate middle ground-or fake it, there has to be substantive legitimacy from which to proceed (historically, epistemologically.etc., etc.) If psychiatry proceeds from this ground, or it’s willing adherents-fair weather or otherwise, then smelling salts might be warranted.
Ron Unger, do you think it right to tell survivors that their affairs are not legal and political, but that they are stuff for Psychotherapy and Recovery?
Don’t you see that it is wrong to every say anything like that to ANYONE?
I am not sure the “middle ground” you’re talking about is what was meant in the article. Your sounds more like a Hegelian “synthesis,” or like the Buddhist concept of the “middle way,” selecting neither of the two opposites. I think what the article is talking about is something more along the lines of, “Well, ECT does do some brain damage to some people, but let’s not forget that other people say they really like it!” Or, “Let’s not be too extreme in how we talk about psychiatric drugs, because some people who take them might have their feelings hurt.” It’s a call for not speaking the whole truth because it’s uncomfortable. Very different than collaborating to find a solution that works for a wider range of people involved in a conflict.
Steve…I’m not sure your reply is to my post yesterday, but the shoe does fit nonetheless. Thank you for pointing out my critical oversight regarding the middle grounds relationship between opposites and contradictions, selective middle ground, relative middle ground, etc., etc.
Sounds like you got it. Thanks!
That’s because MLK himself was a middle ground kind of person. The true “middle ground” might better be seen between white supremacy and a (hypothetical) black supremacy.
MLK was a revolutionary. He was killed for pointing out the interconnectedness of racism, capitalism and colonialism. There had never been the remotest possibility of black supremacy or even equality in the U.S. So at best this is incorrect, at worst racist in itself for posing such a false dichotomy.
Maybe they assume MLK was “middle ground” because he encouraged pacifism. The two are NOT the same. Tyrants have a long history of regarding pacifists as enemies of the state. And not without reason. 🙂
Right. MLK practiced what I would call militant pacifism.
There was a guy named John Judge (he died a few years ago) who was a hard-core movement ally when the movement was still happening. He taught men about sexism, white people about racism and everyone about imperialism & colonialism. He also had a nonviolent philosophy, which included being prepared to strongly hug or even sit on someone who was on the verge of violence till they chilled out. He would sometimes jokingly say to someone was starting to get too aggressive for comfort “Don’t make me get nonviolent with you.” 🙂
John Judge was a good guy!
Taking a stand against the Viet Nam war in the mid 1960s, not to mention marching the streets to end racism and getting locked up over and over again, and having poor people march en masse to Washington DC to protest, certainly doesn’t seem very “middle ground” to me.
MLK’s critics accused him of being a trouble maker due to his “radical extremism.”
So middle-ground and radical are in the eye of the beholder.
“Radical” is always the accusation of the person benefiting from the status quo against anyone who wants to change it.
It’s rather astounding the level of apathy that the US is displaying about our current 17 year long war which we know our leaders lied to get us into.
Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers that illuminated that the leaders of the time had lied about the reasons to get into Vietnam. A current democratic presidential candidate from Alaska named Mike Gravel entered the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record so that they couldn’t be suppressed again.
Where are the people fighting for Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and standing up for whistleblowers and against endless (extremely profitable) wars? When we take to the streets, were labeled as extremists. The mainstream media falls in line with the government and security agencies and paints us as misguided at best, dangerous at worst.
AMERICA, WHERE ARE YOU? Put down your bottles of Xanax and Prozac, feel the fear and the despair and get off your asses, we need boots on the ground fighting for our freedoms.
This passivity, this attitude that “my distress is evidence of my mental illness” is exactly what the people in charge at the top want: a compliant populace! DON’T COMPLY!!! Refuse! Act up! Act out! Be loud! Be heard!
And if you don’t, when you have no rights left, you’ll only have yourselves to blame, not your captors.
And if this is extremism, then I will proudly wear the label. I will walk in the shadow of the legacies of those activists who came before me. Sometimes you have to be brave.
Drop the disorder. Fight for your damn rights!!!
In the last year of his life, MLK finally abandoned the commitment to non-violence as a way of life.
Speaking about white supremacy, what happens to people who are unlucky enough to be born into these
types of families.
I am speaking about my mother’s sisters’ families who married into the Breckinridge family and the Tyler family, who should be in your American history books. These families history of white supremacy can impact the grandchildren and the relatives of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The politics of these white supremacists remains toxic for generations.
I have reason to believe that my cousins, aunts, and uncles from these extended relatives have been scape goating me, in part to get out their own personal frustrations about being related to failed politicians with racist, un-American policies.
I think that in the long run, the country will move in the right direction; but right now there are scapegoats who are being persecuted with vigor, and in my opinion, out of a family history of hatred. The statue of Breckinridge was recently taken down from the former slave auction sight in Lexington.
What do white supremacist do in the face of extinction? They scapegoat whoever is nearby, picking on the those who have already been singled out as deviants.
Do I feel badly, making this desperate attempt to explain why I feel so persecuted? Yes, of course I do.
Would l like restorative justice, including a way to talk openly about this painful family history? Yes, of course I would. This is something that never happened and I think it is necessary for my family and for the larger society.
Families with a lot of hidden shame have issues that need to be opened up. Instead, we were never talked about any of the hidden shame that was just below the surface.
This is a quote from Abraham Lincoln in the book, Breckinridge: Statesman, Soldier, Symbol by William C. Davis, page 514:
“Well, I was fond of John, and I was sorry to see him take the course that he did. Yes I was fond of John, and I regret that he sided with the South. It was a mistake.”
Both men knew each other and both men were born in Kentucky. Breckinridge was vice president for Buchanan, before the South succeeded from the Union. He then became a confederate general in the civil war.
Breckinridge’s full name is John Cabell Breckinridge. I have a cousin Cabell Breckinridge who lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.
I wish I could have a serious conversation with my cousin Cabell but he has been facetious with me since 1981; and will not speak with me seriously about anything. Cabell is a lawyer.
There is no doubt in my mind that my cousins, including the Breckinridge family and the Tyler family are quite aware that my home is being invaded every night and that I am being tortured every night.
Again, I feel that I am a scapegoat, and that they certainly feel guilt about their white supremacist relatives from the nineteenth century.
johnchristine, nothing is ever going to change until we can get these matters into the legal realm, and out of the offices of therapists, life coaches, and 12 step groups.
Anything to stop the nightly home invasion and torture. I have been advocating for restorative justice; and to me, that is the only way forward. I say that because I am speaking about historical trauma, childhood trauma,
family scapegoating, family cover-up of negligence, and so on.
JohnChristine, Psychiatry and Psycotherapy will put you into a place where you don’t even know what is true and what is not. This changes when we completely reject Psychiatry and Psychotherapy and instead start to fight back in the legal and political arena.
I do completely reject psychiatry and psychotherapy. The only reason I post here is that I got a bogus
DSM label (which I reject as purely political); and I realize that people, including my relatives, use psychiatry to scape goat their family members. I know I am not the first person to experience this.
My Breckinridge and Tyler cousins were more than happy to scapegoat me, and in the process punish me for the sins of their ancestors (endorsing the spread of slavery and white supremacy).
My cousin Cabell traveled from Denver to Cincinnati, supposedly to “visit” my school. I have recently figured out that he was here to meet my classmates to conspire against me. That was in the fall of 1981. After that visit, all of my old friends became frenemies. They were politicized and I became a scapegoat.
All of this happened only weeks after stupid behavior in the summer, in which I failed to apologize.
Although it took me decades to realize that I have been conspired against by my friends and family, I did finally do so and I did apologize to the people I thought I offended.
However, when these apologies led to nothing, I began to realize how political the situation had become.
Finally, I heard the phrase “faux outrage” which I think explains a lot. It has to do with moral outrage; but it also assumes something that is not true–that my behavior in 1981 was anti-Semitic. It wasn’t. However,
it has taken me decades to even realize that that is what I have been accused of. Likewise, it has taken me decades to begin to realize that my great grandfather Charles J. Livingood was probably Jewish by heritage.
What I am saying is that the people I believe are persecuting me the most (the Breckinridges and the Tylers) are not, in my opinion, standing on any sort of moral high ground. No one has confronted me directly about this matter; but dozens of people have mocked me mercilessly. White supremacy was political policy for the Breckinridge and Tyler clan; and you don’t have to look too hard to notice that white supremacists used psychiatry to justify white supremacy.
I have only recently become aware that there are entire industries that are built on the faux outrage ideas.
These include labeling juvenile behavior to be anti-Semitic when it was not.
It also has to do with never giving that juvenile a day in court to defend himself. It means never charging him with a nuisance crime ; and never giving him restorative justice.
This has been a very long and bad adventure since 1981. Again, people need to understand that I was run over and brain-injured in the driveway in 1966. I was also gas-lighted about that accident by my mom, who had been negligent when her friend, Mrs. Moore ran me over. My mom even made me write in my fifth grade autobiography that the accident had been my own fault. That was false. She had been negligent,
as she admitted reluctantly many years later.
I think those are crucial pieces of information that should partially explain why it took me decades to apologize for the nuisance crime. I was a juvenile with low self-esteem and the fact that my mom lied to me about my injuries had a lot to do with that.
I remember asking her when I was about ten or eleven why I throw a ball with my right arm; but I write with my left. She told me with a very nervous grin that I was “ambidextrous”. That was plainly false; since I could not throw with my left arm or write with my right arm.
The truth of the matter is that I had been brain-injured in the 1966 accident; and Treon McGuire Christine, my mom, had been negligent.
I am still calling for restorative justice; and I still want to try to reach some sort of closure with everyone who is/ was angry with me. I do not feel like I deserve that anger, however, as I have explained.
One of Thomas Szasz’s best books was The Manufacture of Madness. I think there should be another book called The Manufacture of Faux Outrage: How Families Scapegoat Their Children to Hide Their Negligence.
Sorry for bothering you, really, but don’t approve this. I just want to click my name to get to my message history and screengrab it. When I click my name up at the top left of the screen, it leads to a page where I have 631 comments but nothing i click is linked to it. Again, sorry. This is one of two reasons why my messages are held for approval.
Posting as moderator: JeffreyC, if you email me at [email protected], I’d be happy to look into this issue.
I think people need to realize that faux outrage is a political strategy and entire industries like psychiatry are used to enforce a political agenda.
John Christine, MIA has no PM cabability. So lets communicate further here:
We want to find situations in which we can take action.
Now this deals with certain types of therapy abuses, for example sexual, but there are also others.
The type which gets closest to the core of what psychotherapy actually is, is transference abuse.
I mean, what is psychotherapy really?
1. Get the client to disclose all sorts of personal stuff, their most essential personal stuff, and do this by pretending to be a comrade. And as I see it, eliciting this disclosure is the core violation.
2. Pretend to show empathy for what the client is saying. But this empathy is fake. Really the therapist does not side with the client, the therapist sides with the abusers, and with our larger society. The therapist has pity for the client. As the therapist sees it, what the client has suffered may not be ideal, but it is common, and so in the therapists eyes, the issue is to get the client to stuff their outrage, and to just accept that that is the way the world is. And usually they will be quick to make excuses for the parents. Really what the therapist is trying to achieve is the same things the parents tried to do, make the child submit. I mean maybe the parents were reading an out of date edition of the pedagogy manual. Maybe the therapist has written a new edition.
3. So at some point the client sees that they’ve been led on and betrayed. This is what Freud called ‘transference’. It is the core of all therapy. If the therapist was really on your side, they’d have flattened knuckles, and bullet and knife scars. Or at a minimum, they’d have a law degree, not a therapy degree. But no, they are not on your side, or they would not be a therapist.
4. So then the therapist will try, as the parents tried and failed, to get the client to swallow their dignity and pride, and just accept the fact that they have to conform, like everyone else.
Therapist abuse is illegal. Fraud is illegal. Willfully harming someone is at least tortious.
This is why I am convinced that judgments could be obtained against most all therapists, if only their is a client or two who is willing and able to do a good job of reconstructing what was said in the sessions. The reason that this does not happen today is that the sessions are private, there are no recordings, and usually no detailed records, and it all deals with extremely personal matters.
So if people are willing to disclose, and disclose in detail, then I am convinced that judgments can be had. And then following up with sidewalk picketing, reaching out to other clients, pressuring the other building tenants and the landlord and insurance carriers, I believe that most psychotherapists could be put out of business. And people will come to see that issuing gov’t licenses to these people is wrong.
And this is important, because what does this all depend on? The willingness of clients to come forward, instead of just accepting what happened and suffering in silence. And what will have the greatest effect on getting them to come forward? When they see that coming forward means that they stand a good chance of vindication.
The clients, probably they are people who have been abused and humiliated their entire lives. And this is why therapists can smell them at 400 yards. So if they accuse their therapist, and over very sensitive personal matters, will they be vindicated, or will they just be humiliated again?
I believe that if one could get to the clients, then most therapists could be put out of action. But I still would say that since this does entail a good deal of aggression, that it would be best to find a therapist who has been sued before, and where the complaint shows clearly that they have this coming. Then later on there will be more clients coming forward to out therapists.
Psychotherapy continues because the content of the sessions is kept private, and because due to the nature of the subject matter, the client is already discredited.
John Christine, MIA has no PM capability. So lets communicate further here:
The scapegoating of children is what it is all about. See, Capitalism and the Middle-Class Family all depend on the religious doctrine of Original Sin. This is how children and adults are kept inline. And some are destined to be scapegoated early on. Psychotherapy, Psychiatry, the Recovery Movement, and Evangelical Religion are critical components of this.
Consider this, if slaves want to obtain their freedom, would they tolerate having slave masters in their forums?
Georges Delerue, Music for the film Dien Bien Phu
Hey, guys, just a few quick thoughts. Since I’m a headshrinker myself, I’m trying to stay mostly out of the way, I just speed-read this entire thread, and a couple of things jumped out at me.
I. Child Abuse
Quick question for PacificDawn: How many times have you filed a child abuse report or called the police? If the answer is more than once or twice, mad respect to you.
How many times have you had an abusive parent who you KNOW owns a handgun into your office and explained why you made the call that caused the police to drag them out of the house at 4:00 AM, and had nothing but your wits to protect yourself– and sometimes your client, if security at the school is not optimal?
That’s not ideology, it’s direct action. Any other form of revolution is too lame and tame for my taste.
II. Refusing Clients Unless They are in Psychiatry
Agree w/ Steve, totally gross– haven’t run into this yet, hope I never will.
The enforced-compliance issue– e.g., some crackpot policy that I can’t treat people unless they are taking drugs– fortunately doesn’t come up that much in private practice. But I am actually about two millimeters away from calling my liability insurance carrier and investigating the idea of refusing patients who ARE taking certain combinations of medications– e.g., no more than one SSRI, no high-dose SSRIs, no more than one mood stabilizer, no more than one benzodiazepene.
But of course, that’s yet another crap, pie-in-the-sky that doesn’t work in the real world. It’s a serious ethical dilemma, because polypharmacy patients often make no or only very slow progress, and I don’t take money from people who I cannot help. On the other hand, polypharmacy patients often would benefit from education about the risks of side effects, and how to advocate for themselves with the doctors, insurance company, etc. so it doesn’t seem right to refuse treatment. My current system is simply praying that these clients do not get referred to me, and it’s not working out real well, so any constructive ideas are welcome.
II. Freedom of Religious Expression
Sam, that was an awesome post. I respect individuals who do not allow themselves to be intimidated. Glad your wife is doing better, and yeah, I bet it’s gotta be weird that you both have totally different ideas about psychiatric medication!
III. Life Coaches
Rachel, great explanation. What really chaps my ass is when one of these blowhards tries to monetize an AA meeting– shows up supposedly to share about their sobriety, but on the back end, they’re handing out their number and trolling for clients.
Catalyzt, I do not support the practices of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, or Psychotherapy, so I will try to answer your questions, but that does not mean that I see any legitimacy in your doings.
So I am not a therapist, and I do not have a consulting office. But I have reported every credible case of suspected child abuse to the authorities. But most centrally I was highly involved in the case of a molesting father who was entirely supported by his Pentecostal Church. I helped to get him convicted and to get him a long sentence.
I have also observed that those Therapists and Social workers in public employment do report to CPS. They report more stuff than CPS can do anything about. Though the bar may still be set too high, things are as they are.
Whereas, those in private practice tend not to do this. This seems to be a central component of the private practice business model. And this comes across when some of these people advertise on this forum.
If I encountered abusive parents who carry guns, I would act decisively, and under the right circumstances I would exercise the power of citizen’s arrest. And I do commend you for your tough stance about these sorts of things.
Things will change for the supposedly afflicted, when they see that they are needed on the barricades.
We should be closing down selected Psychiatrists and Psychotherapists, with the objective of closing all of it down.
Hard to outlaw Psychotherapy, but we can prevent the licenses from being issued.
This type of threaded board, I consider to be inferior to the most common type. The more common type makes it easier to find new posts.
We don’t want people looking for relief in Psychaitric Drugs, or in Street Drugs, or in Confessing to a Therapist, or a Life Coach, or the Recovery Movement, or in Getting Saved, or even from a Philosophical Counselor.
We want them to be on the barricades, fighting shoulder to shoulder with comrades. It is there that people learn the most about themselves, and they learn that the injustices they have experienced are far more endemic than they ever could have imagined.
We want 10 point programs and actions, not confessing in contained situations.
I would also point out the Boston case of one Justinal Pelletier. I was on a board supposedly devoted to the exposure and prevention of Medical Child Abuse / MSBP.
But the people who ran it were all being influenced by the political right. So when the Pelletier matter surfaced, they all decided that Boston Children’s Hospital staff were the ones in the wrong. They said this even though the hospital never did anything which was not ordered by the Dependency Court Judge. They accused this doctor Alice Newton. There people were nuts.
I say it was wrong that someone gave Justina psychiatric drugs. Those drugs should not exist, any more than doctors who would give them out.
But probably, separating Justina from her parents saved her life.
The lawsuit her parents have filed is proceeding slowly, very slowly. On track no for a jury trial at the start of 2020.
I will not try to predict the outcome, but I can assure you that most of the troubles were caused by Justina’s parents. Glad she is doing well today, but without intervention she might not be so.
I say that there should not be therapy or other behavioral treatments on minors without court supervision. Just the fact that the child had been brought to the therapist’s office, that should alone be seen as meeting the threshold of mandatory reporting.
Also, replying to Catalyzt, having raised the issue of child abuse:
Could there be a new trial for the Menendez Brothers?
Menendez Brothers say why they killed their parents:
So the new evidence is in a book, it is a 1988 letter, one year before the killings.
Juror’s had said, “No father would do that to his sons.”
But now this letter would seem to substantiate it. And now with the MeToo movement, we know so much more. These boys went into prison about 1990. If they could have gotten it down to manslaughter, they would be out by now.
If the Menendez Brothers could get their conviction overturned, that would really be something. As it is today, survivors get sent to Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Recovery, and to Get Saved. They are not taken seriously. Maybe this can change?
So as I see it, the issue is to delicense the con artistry know as psychotherapy right now.
Of course we want the psychiatric poisons off of the market. And we want to make sure that Electro Shock, Insulin Shock, and Lobotomy are abolished for ever.
But beyond that we want to delicense the doing of “therapy”.
So a clinical psychiatrist, psychotherapist, clinical social worker, I believe that they will have a license. We want to prohibit our government from ever issuing any such licenses.
I know that in the US psychoanalysis was not that popular. So replaced by this Ego Counseling, I guess influenced highly by Erik Erickson. So I suppose that such a person is a Psychologist or Psychotherapist. We want to eliminate those licenses.
And then of what Psychoanalysis there is, there are as I know many schools. Suppose we just talk now about Freud, Reich, Jung, and Lacan. Do these people have government issued licenses?
If yes eliminate them. If not, then they are just certified by their respective institutes?
If so, meaning that the certification is entirely private, then I see there as being less cause to try and do anything about it, even though I know that I will not agree with what they do.
We need to stop acting like psychotherapy and psychiatry are somehow just okay.
And we need to come up with some slate of objectives and actions which we can agree on.