Users and Survivors Respond to World Psychiatric Association: “We Will Not be Silenced Any Longer”

In an open letter to the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), users and survivors defend the UN CRPD and call for relinquishment of psychiatric power.

Zenobia Morrill
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When articles in a recent issue in World Psychiatry, the journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), called for ignoring, amending, and reinterpreting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), users and survivors pushed back in an open letter. The WPA editorial claimed that the convention’s opposition to forced treatment might be harmful to vulnerable individuals who are “incapable of protecting themselves.” Through this reasoning, they justify a call to ignore aspects of the CRPD that interfere with a “commonsense approach.” They purport that doing so protects the convention from itself.

Users and survivors reacted in opposition to the dismissive stance. In their letter, they note that the very objective of the CRPD is to protect persons with psychosocial disabilities by giving them a voice in their own treatment decisions. They call for a “relinquishment of power by the psychiatric profession and a re-definition of psychiatry’s role in society.”  

 They state the purpose of the open letter here:

We write this open letter from the perspectives of those who have been denied legal capacity, whose will and preferences have been ignored and their ‘best interests’ defined by experts; we write from the perspectives of those who have been abused by forced psychiatric treatment and are traditionally and purposefully being excluded from spaces such as this journal, where our lives are being debated.”

They go on, “Indeed, the CRPD is precisely there to ensure that what we have to say is not silenced and marginalized any longer.”

Photo Credit: TCI Asia Pacific

The recent World Psychiatry issue did not include any perspectives of users and survivors. This is despite the fact that the featured topics center around users’ capacities, best interests, will, and preferences. “The overall approach of this whole issue therefore not only promotes the maintenance of the status quo but also exemplifies the very practice of excluding and substituting our voices,” they write.

The CRPD represents a landmark movement to privilege social approaches to disabilities. It highlights non-discriminatory practices and the protection of human rights in the face of potential exploitation, coercion, and deprivation of freedoms. Furthermore, it has achieved impressive consensus and ratification by governments across the globe. Overall, it pushes for a new paradigm, and in doing so, the CRPD decenters “psychiatric expertise.”  

Users and survivors outline four overarching responses to the WPA special issue. First, they write that “coercion is not care—even as an exception.” The point engages with the assumption that exceptions ought to be made that allow for involuntary intervention. A major flaw, they argue, is that the premise of this statement assumes that the biomedical framework forwarded in psychiatric care represents “effective” treatment.

Their second point attends to the risk inherent in making such exceptions. Exceptions tend to become the norm, users and survivors argue, citing evidence of various recent reforms that rapidly became common practice. Third, they discuss the excessive use of forced treatment and coercion on marginalized community members. As they unveil statistics demonstrating coercive treatment on racial minorities and those in poverty, they clarify that “the institution of psychiatry is part of other systems of oppression that intersect with each other and work in synergy.”

Last, they write that “the possibility of forced treatment alone makes any interaction with mental health services potentially coercive.” The nature of these questions about how to respond to individuals in distress is complex, the write. They view the CRPD and its focus on a social disability model as one way to promote ethically responsible, good-quality treatment. Inherent in this recalibration, is a shift away from a biomedical paradigm, they write.

Users and survivors conclude by calling out the WPA’s choice to remain entrenched in a traditional, controlling psychiatric paradigm.

“At times of such a significant historical turn, rather than admit its many failures and join efforts to collaboratively develop different and better responses, the WPA has chosen to expand its ‘expertise’ into the field of lawmaking in order to ‘save the CRPD from itself.’”

They call for psychiatrists to break-away and speak up:

“If this is not the case for the whole of this profession, and if there are WPA members who do not agree with this call to amend the CRPD and in the meantime to ignore it, if there are psychiatrists in the world willing to ‘break from the old, controlling paradigm’ and take new departures– then it might be about time for them to speak up.”

 

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Read the full Open Letter here: http://enusp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Open-Letter-to-WPA-1.pdf

17 COMMENTS

  1. What a shame that psychiatrists themselves never questioned their power over people. Unawareness?

    James Hillman was the only psychologist, the rest are anti human and pro materialistic egoic or pro religious. When you must go to the psychiatrist, that’s mean that there’s no place for you among the other people. And that something is wrong, but, with you. With you, not with the fact that theological psyche they believe in, is a false flag.

    Why we must go to the psychiatrist anyway?

    Because theological and spiritual fascists hate human psyche, they do not want to face the psychological reality. So the invented an pseudo medical ersatz to destroy you. Convenient and blind spiritualism destroyed psyche. Because psyche is the truth, and that truth could destroy their power over psyche. Church, theological utopia, economical power and so on. Monotheistic power over polytheism.

    Normal people, they agreed, to destroy you and your pathology, because that pathology means an end for their convenient theological lies. Theological power, convenient life without roots. Apollonians are using theological power in medical disguise over psyche, because it is convenient for them. They do not care about what psyche really is. Materialists and spiritualists are not intrested in your psyche, because they themselves are safe and beyond dangerous things you are talking about.
    So for them psyche is a fiction, because psyche means danger.

    Theological lies about psyche are more convenient than the truth.
    Titans mean more than materialists and spiritualists. It is about the price.
    Normal people, beyond psychological reality, can’t eve imagine what you feel, but still, they want to correct you/condemn you.

    Because theology condemned psyche long time ago.

  2. These WPA guys are only pretending to be medical. Their “medical model” is corrupted with a moral model which has nothing to do with medicine, one of the reason the organization is such a fan of involuntary and destructive “treatments” (antisocial, eh. We’ll just have to beat, drug or zap it out of you if you don’t cooperate).

  3. Thank you to those organizations who spoke out against this call for continued abuse of power by the psychiatrists and doctors.

    As one who survived a medically unneeded forced hospitalization, by a now FBI convicted, criminal doctor. That doctor was having lots and lots of patients medically unnecessarily shipped long distances to himself, ‘snowing’ (drugging until only the whites of the eyes show) people, in the hopes of making his clients unable to breathe, so he could have unneeded tracheotomies performed on people for profit. I was admitted with a non-existent “chronic airway obstruction.” I know forced treatment should be made illegal, because forced treatment is being abused, for profit.

    https://chicagoist.com/2013/04/16/chicago_hospital_owner_doctors_arre.php

    And I’d like to say that this is a very good point, “the possibility of forced treatment alone makes any interaction with mental health services potentially coercive.”

    As the mother of a child abuse survivor, who was proactively attacked by child abuse covering up psychologist and psychiatrists, who profiteered off of covering up the abuse of my child. I was recently looking for a group for parents of child abuse survivors. I could not find any such group, that was not headed up by a “mental health” worker, not even at the rape crisis center.

    But, given the fact that I already know all “mental health” workers can have people forced treated for any reason, including for illegal reasons, like covering up child abuse. And I learned the hard way that the number one actual societal function of both the psychologists and psychiatrists, historically and today, is covering up child abuse.

    https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/23/18820633.php?fbclid=IwAR2-cgZPcEvbz7yFqMuUwneIuaqGleGiOzackY4N2sPeVXolwmEga5iKxdo
    https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/heal-for-life/

    I’m left without a potentially beneficial support group, because I don’t want to risk being medically unnecessarily force treated again. I think our rape crisis centers should be employing survivors, instead of “mental health” workers, who can’t even bill insurance companies for helping child abuse survivors, or their concerned family members. And since these “mental health” workers do have a long history of covering up child abuse.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-child-does-not-have-bipolar-disorder/201402/dsm-5-and-child-neglect-and-abuse-1

    My point being, maintaining the right to force treat people does benefit the psychiatrists and criminal doctors. But it also means that people who might like to join a support group for parents of child abuse survivors are left without support, if we already know that any “mental health” worker can have any person force treated for any reason, and that is most commonly done to cover up child abuse, according to the medical evidence.

    The reality is “power tends to corrupt, and absolutely power corrupts absolutely.” And we already know all the DSM disorders are “invalid” and “unreliable,” and that the primary societal function of our “mental health” workers has been – for over a century – covering up child abuse, ” thus the “mental health” industries are corrupted absolutely already.

    https://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/directors/thomas-insel/blog/2013/transforming-diagnosis.shtml

    So the undeserved power to forcibly hospitalize/imprison people, that’s been given to our “mental health” workers, should be taken away. By the way, since the US was founded upon the concept of the importance of checks and balances on power, the “right” to force treat people, is a staggeringly un-American concept. When was forced treatment made legal?

    • Hey Someone Else, have you ever thought of starting a support group, since you can’t find a good one? I think you’re onto something. If you’re leading it, setting it up, you could set the ground rules, the focus, etc. You might consider whether you’d want to be consciousness-raising, planning activism, and such in addition to facilitating the members’ sharing of their experiences and feelings. Just a thought.

      • Yes, LavenderSage, I am thinking about it. Finding out whether or not there is a need is largely why I researched into the issue, actually. And I will say, the “mental health” workers today deny, as best they can, the fact they are “mental health” workers. The social workers don’t want to admit they are “mental health” workers. Personally, I’d love to start up a Soteria House, or something similar.

        But I found “mainstream” religious support of such doesn’t exist. The mainstream religions bought into the psychiatric/psychological child rape covering up faustian deal long ago, and aren’t letting go. “It’s too profitable.” And, my oh my, the crimes they are willing to attempt, to maintain that system, are staggering.

        But I do work with some other people who may be open, if I am able to educate them about the needs. And they do see there are a lot of needs. I’ve been slowly building their trust, and educating them.

        I’m told there is a lot of funding for the type of art I teach, I run an art program which teaches about how art relates to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (It’s known as STEAM). And I know art is an excellent healing tool.

        Not to mention it’s amazing to watch a bunch of children go from wanting to copy your samples, to learning to utilize the creative sides of their brains, and actually becoming creators themselves.

        I think I want to start something which helps survivors of abuse heal, but consciousness raising is important in order to educate people. So they may become activists who help to bring about a better world.

        As an ethical American bankers’ daughter, who has a business degree, in addition to an art degree, I am able to see the big picture. But utilizing and developing both sides of the brain, is apparently what helps one see the big picture, according to research.

        And it’s also, apparently, what the globalist banksters have been trying to prevent Americans from doing, via their American miseducation system, for about a century. And that includes the miseducated “mental health” workers and the mainstream religious leaders, unfortunately.

        • There is a religious group called CAPA. In America. Christians Against Psychiatric Abuse. Pentecostal. NOT affiliated with Scientology.

          Most churches believe in psychiatry because they can’t believe doctors and pretty TV commercials could lie so flagrantly.

          They also embrace psychiatry because it allows them to ignore the emotional needs of rejects.

          They can look on them and say, “Be warm, be comforted, and take your ‘meds.’ Am I my brother’s keeper? Of course not. We have psychiatrists who serve that role.”

          • Thanks for the info. I’m not a Pentecostal, but am a Holy Spirit believer, which it’s my understanding the Pentecostals’ are. But those within my childhood religion apparently no longer are Holy Spirit believers, according to medical records, they’re Holy Spirit blasphemers.

            “Most churches believe in psychiatry because they can’t believe doctors and pretty TV commercials could lie so flagrantly.” Yes, been there done that, and found that to be a bunch of lies.

            I do agree, those within the religions who haven’t yet been f-cked by psychiatry, and done the research, are seemingly hopelessly blinded.

            But I’ve also found the decent within the religions to be embarrassed, and praying for forgiveness. Since they’re all of a sudden realizing they’re stuck within the belly of the beast. As opposed to embracing “psychiatry because it allows them to ignore the emotional needs of rejects.”

            Although, there are those within the religions who are ignoring and denying reality, because they want to un-Christianly claim some people are “rejects.” Which, of course, is the opposite of Jesus’ theology.

            The bottom line is, I now believe there is good and evil within all religions, and God will judge all fairly. No fear is the key. And all should trust in, and pray and hope for, the fair judgement by God, of all.

  4. Many weak vulnerable individuals are incapable of protecting themselves. Against psychiatrists bent on locking them up, segregating them, and inflicting bodily damage through drugs and “surgery” for the purpose of destroying neuro function.

    The treatments don’t heal or restore balance. All they do is impede cognitive function. Otherwise they would raise IQs instead of lowering them.

    It’s not about helping people live longer. Nor restoring independence or productivity. It’s about rendering “patients” docile and passive to the point of helplessness. That way they can stuff us away in institutions or “mental health” ghettos.
    🙁

  5. Interested in knowing Tina Minkowitz’s evaluation of these developments, as she should be considered the movement expert on CRPD, into which she has much work. There are various factions and it’s hard to sort out, but the most advanced recognize forced psychiatry as torture, while others genuflect before the altar of “evidence based” bs.