Editor’s Note: With this column, Mad in America is launching a media-watch column. Here, MIA editor and contributing writer Miranda Spencer will be reporting on press coverage and pop-cultural depictions of mental health topics.
We don’t usually think that it is the news media’s job to “scold” a presidential candidate for their opinions, and do so while expressing the certainty in their own “knowledge” of a subject. Yet, that is what happened recently in press coverage of longshot presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson.
In their review of the Democratic debates, several progressive pundits and journalists praised Williamson, a best-selling self-help author, for her forceful comments on social problems including racism and poverty. She was described as “really compelling” and “surprisingly eloquent,” and praised for her “meaningful answers.”
However, after Buzzfeed’s AM to DM podcast held a wide-ranging interview with Williamson that included questions about mental health issues, the media’s tune noticeably changed.
Buzzfeed News, MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber, The New York Times and CNN* all published or aired interviews with Williamson that criticized her for stating that the way we look at and treat “depression” today might be problematic. Anderson Cooper, for his part, was openly belligerent toward her, which in turn triggered recaps and/or scathing commentary from Rolling Stone, Vox, The Daily Beast, Yahoo Finance, RealClear Politics, Fox News, and HuffPost.
So what had she said? As Maggie Astor’s interview in The New York Times put it, “In books, interviews and posts on social media, Ms. Williamson has criticized the widespread use of antidepressants; suggest they were to blame for some celebrities’ suicides; characterized treatment guidelines for postpartum depression as a way for pharmaceutical companies to make more money; and called the distinction between ordinary sadness and clinical depression ‘artificial.’”
The news media, in response, called her “dangerously wrong,” an “irresponsible” “menace to public health” whose “fringe ideas” were akin to climate-change denial. Continuing to give her a news media platform, several suggested, would only encourage the spread of flaky or poisonous ideas the way the spotlight on Donald Trump in 2016 helped usher White Supremacism into the Oval Office. Such comments, asserted CNN’s Joe Lockhart a few days later, amount to “throwing away the science.”
A Closer Look
In this column, we are not concerned with assessing the merits of Williamson’s comments about other health issues (such as vaccine safety), or the merits of her candidacy. What we are focused on is the media’s response to her comments on mental health, and how those who interviewed her wrapped themselves in the cloak of science to chastise her.
So let’s check the facts.
Overprescribing of Antidepressants
Since the launch of Prozac in 1988, antidepressant use has quadrupled in the United States, and more than one in 10 Americans now takes antidepressants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a recent report, the health agency told of how the percentage of Americans 12 years and over who are taking antidepressants rose from 7.7% in the 1999-2003 period to 12.7% in 2011-2014.
In a recent blog on Mad in America, attorney Kenneth F. McCallion, citing studies from the Rand Corporation, American Psychological Association and in JAMA, described how much of the explosive growth in the prescribing of antidepressants was due to their being given to patients who don’t meet the established criteria for depression. The 2016 JAMA study found that nearly half of all prescriptions for antidepressants were for other conditions.
This extraordinary rise has stirred debate in the British Medical Journal and other scientific forums on whether the drugs are being grossly overprescribed. Some defend the increase in prescribing, while others argue that the growth reflects the success of drug company marketing more than medical need.
For the purposes of this review, it is immaterial which side is presenting the most compelling argument. Williamson’s comments about the “overprescribing of antidepressants” clearly fall within the bounds of reasonable societal discussion about an important issue.
Overdiagnosis of Depression
Williamson has expressed concern about the “medicalization of normal human despair.” As she told The New York Times:
“People go through personal loss. That’s not a mental illness. People go through a breakup. That’s not a mental illness. . . . Traditionally, people recognized that grief was a part of life. These days people talk like, ‘Your mother died, it’s been a month, aren’t you over it?’ . . . the term [depression] is used so loosely today that people who I have seen experiencing what I consider a normal spectrum of human despair have been termed ‘clinical depression’ as though that is supposed to shut down the subject.”
Williamson is not alone in questioning the medicalization of normal human despair. This is the very concern that prompted Allen Frances, who chaired the task force that created the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, to write a book titled Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis.
Here is how one reviewer summarized Frances’ book:
“Anyone living a full, rich life experiences ups and downs, stresses, disappointments, sorrows, and setbacks. These challenges are a normal part of being human, and they should not be treated as psychiatric disease. However, today millions of people who are really no more than ‘worried well’ are being diagnosed as having a mental disorder and are receiving unnecessary treatment. In Saving Normal, Allen Frances, one of the world’s most influential psychiatrists, warns that mislabeling everyday problems as mental illness has shocking implications for individuals and society: stigmatizing a healthy person as mentally ill leads to unnecessary, harmful medications, the narrowing of horizons, misallocation of medical resources, and draining of the budgets of families and the nation.”
In other words, Williamson’s opinion on this subject of medicalization of normal human despair echoes that of the architect of the DSM-IV.
Nevertheless, the media critics went on the attack. The New York Times reporter asked whether she believes “clinical depression doesn’t exist.” Similarly, Vox said, “She has repeatedly cast doubt on the idea that clinical depression is real.” MSNBC’s Ari Melber inquired, “should people take [it] that you don’t believe in real, clinical depression, and how would you approach what doctors and science says is depression… if you were President?” Though Williamson apologized for a past “glib” comment on the topic, Anderson Cooper insisted, “It does seem like, again, you’re suggesting that clinical depression is a scam.”
The media, in their response, was doing just what Williamson had said it would do: shut down the subject. The irony of this particular criticism is that when Allan Frances published his book, the media treated him with respect, and as something of a brave “truth-teller.”
Is Depression a Disease?
Williamson has stated “there is no blood test” for depression and once quipped that clinical depression is when “someone in a clinic says so.” There is, she has said, “no particular scientific evidence to prove” that depression is due to a chemical imbalance.
She is correct that there is no blood test for depression. Indeed, though she’s admitted to being “glib” about the topic, the diagnosis of depression, as set forth in the DSM, is based on a construct. There is a checklist of symptoms to be assessed, and a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder is to be made when the required number of symptoms are present. There is an arbitrary aspect to it, and in clinics, prescribers may just listen to a person’s story and conclude, “you’re depressed.”
Williamson is also correct in stating that there is no scientific evidence to prove that depression is due to a chemical imbalance. Numerous Mad in America posts have addressed this myth, and such mainstream figures as Ronald Pies, former editor in chief of Psychiatric Times, and Thomas Insel, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, have acknowledged that the hypothesis never panned out.
However, Anderson Cooper—like many in our society—failed to get that message. He asserted that “clinically depressed people are not depressed just because the world is depressing. They have a chemical imbalance.”
As he told Williamson, “I don’t hear you saying, I encourage . . . everybody to talk with a medical provider.” A couple of days later, Chris Cuomo endorsed his approach: “You can’t let it go when somebody is confusing emotion and illness.”
Cooper, Cuomo and others were assuring viewers that depression is a disease and that people suffering from it need medical treatment for it, and thus were depicting Williamson as one who would discourage people from getting it—in essence, chastising her for not repeating the marketing campaigns that have been used to sell antidepressants to doctors and consumers.
Do Antidepressants Work?
Williamson has argued that people often are healed by experiencing and working through their pain rather than by muting its symptoms via prescription drugs, which she’s described as “masking” or “numbing” emotions:
“Normal human despair… traditionally was seen as the purview of spirituality and religion; that which gave people comfort and gave people hope and inspiration in their times of pain. And with the advent of modern psychotherapy, a lot of the baton sort of passed from religion and spirituality to modern psychotherapy . . . And then over the last few years, very, very quickly, the baton was passed again to psychopharmacology.”
Here, Williamson is arguing that there may be non-drug methods that are effective for treating people who are in despair, and that our society should not discard useful approaches from the past. At the same time, she has not argued against prescribing drugs for deeper depression: “If anyone is helped by an antidepressant, I’m happy for that.”
Hers is a perspective shared by many mental health professionals as well as philosophers. There is a long history of cultures relying on religious beliefs for support prior to the Freudian era and the advent of Prozac. She is also correct that non-drug treatments may be effective. The UK’s National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidelines for depression states that antidepressants should not be a first-line treatment for mild depression.
As for antidepressants deadening emotions, studies have found that they blunt empathy and flatten affect in many people. A large survey of nearly 2000 antidepressants users found that 60% reported that the drugs made them feel numb.
However, once again, Cooper and many others were quick to denounce her for this perspective. “Isn’t the fact that depression numbs you and masks you, and telling a seriously depressed person that taking an AD they’re going to be numbed, isn’t that not a good message?” Cooper said. “If you’re on an antidepressant, you’re not numbing your pain, you’re actually trying to feel again, no?”
Vox warned against “the potential damage she can do to real lives by . . . convincing a person with depression that they don’t need to take their meds.”
Rolling Stone put it this way:
“There is established consensus within the scientific community that [antidepressant drugs] pose relatively low risk for most people. Further, there is significant evidence that antidepressants are beneficial to those suffering from Major Depressive Disorder, which affects nearly 7 million adults in the US, according to the NIMH.”
A “2018 meta-analysis,” Rolling Stone wrote, “found that antidepressants were uniformly more effective for treating MDD than placebos.”
Rolling Stone was the one media outlet that cited a study to support its assertion that antidepressants were effective, but, not surprisingly, it misunderstood the study’s findings and the larger context for the debate. In short-term studies funded by pharmaceutical companies, antidepressants have been shown to reduce symptoms slightly more than placebo (by two points on the HAM-D scale for measuring depressive symptoms), although that difference is not understood to be clinically significant. (See the MIA Report “Do Antidepressants Work?” for an in-depth review of this topic.)
The 2018 meta-analysis by Cipriani, which is the study cited by Rolling Stone, just reaffirmed that this was the case. The “effect size” Cipriani and colleagues reported in their analysis of antidepressant trials told of the same bottom-line: The benefit of drug over placebo didn’t rise to a clinically noticeable difference. Moreover, if the Cipriani study is carefully deconstructed, it shows that seven out of eight people treated with an antidepressant receive no benefit from the drug: either they are non-responders, or would have responded to placebo. Yet, this group that doesn’t benefit—88% of all patient— is exposed to the adverse events caused by the drugs.
Studies in real-world patients have found even lower response/remission rates with antidepressants, and there are numerous studies, including this one and more recently this one, that have found that the medications worsen long-term outcomes.
In sum, Williamson was chastised for not “knowing” that antidepressants were beneficial to most people, even though the scientific literature tells of drugs that are of questionable efficacy over the short term, and may expose long-term users to a litany of harms.
Do Antidepressants Protect Against Suicide?
Williamson has drawn attention to a possible link between antidepressant use and suicide, once tweeting a Citizens Commission on Human Rights article with the comment “helpful to some, harmful to others,” which suggested at least some celebrity suicides were due to their use of the drugs. And in her interview with Anderson Cooper, Williamson asked why—if antidepressants were so effective—suicide rates have climbed steadily over the past 20 years.
Cooper’s reply: “But you’re relying on the Church of Scientology for factual background to your argument. When I read people saying ‘well all these drugs caused suicide,’ I mean, that’s just not true.”
Cuomo made a similar statement: “It is one of the biggest diagnoses in the country, depression. And when you mess with people taking medication and you stigmatize it . . . the suicide rate goes up.”
The press also took issue with Williamson’s citing the Food and Drug Administration’s black-box warning on the risk of suicidality in people under 24 who take antidepressants, one of the few times they cited any scientific sources. According to The New York Times, “Its warnings . . . also show no similar risk in people over 24, and that untreated depression is itself a risk factor for suicide.” Cooper said the same, and Rolling Stone also dismissed it: “The FDA issued the black box warning in 2004 for . . . SSRIs, not all antidepressants; in 2007, it revised the warning after receiving backlash from the scientific community.”
However, if Cooper, Cuomo and others writing about Williamson were informed about the scientific literature, they would acknowledge that this suicidal risk with antidepressants remains a controversial subject. Here is a quick review:
- The black box warning on the risk of suicide in youth prescribed SSRIs remains on the label; the FDA has not rescinded it.
- As biologist Patrick Hahn wrote in his MIA blog on antidepressants and the suicide epidemic, a July 2019 meta-analysis of randomized control trial data for fourteen antidepressants published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics reported that these drugs caused a near-tripling of completed suicides compared to placebo.
- Earlier this year, an MIA report told of how suicides in the United States have steadily increased since 2000, and that this steady increase has come during a time of increased prescribing of antidepressants.
Fighting Against Stigma
Williamson has stated that “depression wasn’t stigmatized until it was medicalized.” And the topic of stigma is the one reporters seemed most concerned about, suggesting that she shouldn’t raise questions about depression rates and the relative value of antidepressants in a public forum because it will stigmatize those so diagnosed.
There is, of course, a long history of stigmatizing the “mentally ill.” But the media suggested that her comments would further stigmatize those who are depressed, and that would, in turn, prevent them from getting needed medical treatment.
Cooper demanded, “I’ve never heard you express, though, real concern for the stigma surrounding depression,” later hammering the point: “What I care about is people who are dying, and there’s a stigma for people actually seeking medical help for something that could save their life.”
The Times article noted that despite Williamson’s “claim that ADs are overprescribed,” unnamed “experts say [this] stigmatizes mental illness.”
Vox’s Zack Beauchamp, who has a depression diagnosis, wrote that “this type of rhetoric could serve as depression’s agent, worming into a depressed person’s brain in a way that might cause them to avoid something that could literally save their life. This isn’t just my anecdotal experience but the view of [unnamed] actual mental health professionals.”
All of these reporters were repeating a talking point long promoted by the pharmaceutical industry and the American Psychiatric Association: Depression is a disease, not the person’s fault—the message of ongoing anti-stigma campaigns devoted to telling that message (and selling antidepressants.)
However, research has shown that such anti-stigma campaigns may increase negative attitudes toward people struggling with psychiatric or emotional difficulties. A 2019 article in Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, for example, documented how stigma and discrimination linked to the biomedical model of mental health. Previous studies have shown similar findings, including this one in the American Journal of Psychiatry, which showed that pro-treatment sentiment among the public has not reduced stigma against people diagnosed with mental illnesses.
Like Vox’s reporter, I should share my personal history here. I once suffered debilitating depression and anxiety and duly tried hospitalization and many different drug cocktails, which didn’t help and led to horrific side effects. So I find the idea that people in emotional crisis need to be protected from those who would talk about possible problems with medical interventions paternalistic at best. There are thousands more who’ve shared stories of iatrogenic harm from antidepressants on MIA and elsewhere, and yet the media, in scolding Williamson for her comments, seems to want to erase these experiences from public discussion.
What we see in the comments by Cooper, Cuomo and others is an air of superiority: They are the ones who supposedly know the science and consider it their public duty to castigate Williamson for challenging those “facts.”
What we see from this review, however, is that it is Williamson whose “opinions” on depression are more in line with the science, and it is the “know-it-all” assertions by Cooper and colleagues that are belied by it.
Moreover, in their bottom-line assessments of Williamson’s view on psychiatry, many in the media portrayed Williamson as not just inaccurate on mental health issues, but as a conspiracy theorist influenced by anti-science ideologues. Both Anderson Cooper and Ari Melber asked Williamson who would guide mental and physical healthcare policies in her administration: a cult, or the Surgeon General?
As Joe Lockhart summed it up on CNN’s “New Day”:
“We can’t have a president who goes on gut and is anti-science, and is anti-data. And you know, takes information from… with Trump from white nationalists. With Williamson, from you know, the… the Scientologists. That’s very dangerous. We have to get away from this sort of anti-intellectualism of ‘It’s all about how I feel,’ and you know, this spiritual sense and throwing away the science.”
One wishes that reporters would spend time reviewing the scientific literature—or at least interviewing experts who have—before denouncing a candidate in this way. Unfortunately, the media’s treatment of Marianne Williamson is an example of how press reporting on mental health often reinforces conventional wisdom and, in so doing, misinforms the public.
MIA Reports are supported, in part, by a grant from the Open Society Foundations
This is the normal runing of the “free” press: The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine
Robert Withaker or other Mad In America authors should expect to be the subject of a denigration campaign at some point in the future, if their audience and speech exceeds certain limits, especially on TV show.
Do not expect loyalty among journalists. On the contrary, they will use scientifically proven means to discredit you:
_ ask unexpected, complex and multiple questions that require thought, research and rigor, but require short and immediate answers,
_ appeal to public opinion, common sense, and popular sentiments,
_ rely on non-existent, questionable or misunderstood scientific research that can not be challenged without rigorous verification,
_ use the editing: select the plans to give an impression of hesitation, stupidity or ignorance of the person interviewed, or mount the plans in a wrong order,
_ use advertisements that contradict the speech,
_ distributing speech in an unfair and biased manner,
That pretty much sums it up.
Miranda, this was a very interesting article. But as usual I have to point out something. Anderson Cooper lost his brother to suicide and my best guess is the concept of a biological issue since this was decades ago was brought up and was used as a hold to help deal with the loss. Defense Mechanism. Anna Freud identified a number, I think there are are many human defenses against pain or memories or uncomfortable realities as there are stars in the sky.
I just wouldn’t be so hard just because of this though I understand and at times been if not out loud internally as you.
This is just such a good start- just tone it down because many folks will know his history or others and again I would say most of us have been affected by suicide in some way shape or form including our own history.
In defense some folks will just focus on your non support of him and damn again.
Continue but ah an interview with Cooper or Chris and along the way other voices chiming in our something.
What we need is a light bulb moment.
The powers that be have done their all mightiest not to allow any light in folks and professionals minds right. And the folks do not know what they don’t know.
So keep on but and consider my thoughts and do what you will.
And remember-there are always folks who say and think and feel they were helped and are on them as they speak. My guess this is a big issue. Even if they are aware of problems. Denial is not a River in Egypt.
It is sad that the interviewer lost a brother to suicide, but I’m not sure that justifies his response. If this is a personal issue that is upsetting to him, perhaps another reporter may have done the interview. Or, should he have been chosen to be the interviewer just for this reason, and it is personal, then maybe Ms. Williamson may have responded in a more clinical sense and said something like, “It seems that the death of your brother to suicide must have been devastating for you.” What I see here is the confusion to whether this is a fact finding interview for a political candidate, or a dialogue between a professional and one who would benefit from counseling.
A few years ago, I sent Anderson Cooper a copy of Anatomy and later verified receipt of the book with his staff in NYC. For someone who lost his brother to what appears to be medication-induced suicide, it is particularly disheartening to hear Cooper talk of chemical imbalances and the like.
Its a funny one when we have to justify not taking “antidepressants”.
There are people who defend the religion (that isn’t a religion. HOW DARE YOU SAY IT IS A RELIGION) of the worship of the holy molecules of science that can only do good things to people.
When in fact the molecules, the drugs can hurt people as well as “help” people.
“Cooper … there’s a stigma for people actually seeking medical help for something that could save their life.”
This person can not conceive that the psychiatric drugs ( renamed medications) could END and damage peoples lives.
Magic chemicals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twhvtzd6gXA
Coming off my Effexor ended my desire to commit suicide. I actually care about things again.
And leaving psychiatry has helped reaffirm the faith of my childhood which I could never reconcile with the a priori assumption of materialism bio-psychiatry is built upon.
a priori assumption of materialism bio-psychiatry is built upon.
This sounds suspiciously like Dragonslayer talking. 🙂 If not could you break that statement down?
Also there is no “bio-psychiatry” distinct from psychiatry in general; this is a technique “progressive” shrinks use to imply that some psychiatry (i.e. their brand) is better than other psychiatry. Just like arsenic is better than cyanide.
Probably because it’s one of those things he and I agree on.
By bio psychiatry I mean as distinct from the talking on a sofa kind. Or Freudian psycho analysis.
I don’t agree with psycho analysis either. But bio psychiatry has hoodwinked a lot more people by posing as a legitimate branch of medicine.
Again there is no “bio-psychiatry” as distinct from any other brand. This is a distraction used to divide the movement and to get people thinking in terms of “which” psychiatry is “better.” I think Dragon Slayer would concur with this, and that you might be starting to take some of the reformists on MIA a little too seriously.
Psychoanalysis is not psychiatry and never has been, they are two different things. Psychiatry did not “evolve” from psychoanalysis, but predated it, and has always been “biological.” Psychiatry has never been about “talking on a couch,” though some shrinks may do that too; what separates psychiatry from psychoanalysis is that psychiatry believes people suffer from literal diseases known as “mental illnesses.” And psychiatrists were forcibly drugging people since way before the DSMs. How could one version of a fallacy be “better” than another?
But back to this “a priori assumption of materialism bio-psychiatry is built upon” — can you break that down in plain English? 🙂
“A priori assumption of materialism bio-psychiatry is built upon.”
Basically a denial of free will. You can also see this in the unethical experiments performed by behaviorists like B.F. Skinner.
Behaviorism is psychology I realize. So no, it’s not just psychiatry at fault.
(Interesting side note. One of the characters in The Simpsons–Principal Seymour Skinner–was named after the founder of behaviorism.)
But arsenic IS better than cyanide, – it’s easier to detect at autopsy….(actually, i just made that up.)
Arsenic and cyanide are both safe and effective.
They are highly effective at poisoning my husband and perfectly safe for me when I put them in his coffee.
(Just kidding. I’m single.)
But remember this when psychiatrists talk about how safe and effective their drugs are.
mhmm, it was a good day when psychiatry started with “stigma prevents people from seeking ‘mental health treatment”
It never occurred to them that people read research papers, or had friends commit suicide while on medications.
If a friend commits suicide shortly AFTER seeing a shrink and starting meds, what are people supposed to think?
Best shrinks just keep prescribing anti-psychotics….shhhhhh….because they eventually fry the brain.
Well at least until it becomes illegal to do so.
People will in the future sue for damage done. It can’t remain cozy forever.
Thank you Miranda, for this really valuable article! It shows how much the decades of the psychiatric, NAMI and drug company propaganda about the chemical imbalance lie, and that psych drugs are the cure, have influenced the full media spectrum, and all areas of our lives.
Even Rolling Stone is promoting psychiatric drugs!
I hope you can get your article to Copper, Cuomo and the editors of the other media outlets too.
Surely a person can have an opinion on whether “depression” is not an illness, when there’s no evidence to suggest it is (at least most of the time).
I don’t think any doctor is qualified to claim depression to be an “illness”
A lot of people that try anti depressants find that they make no difference anyway.
But it’s up to the person themselves maybe to decide whether they want to go through with their feelings or whether they think they’re better off with chemical help.
[email protected]#k Anderson Cooper.
The problem is not ADs being “overprescribed” but that they are used at all. Let’s not be mealy-mouthed about this, or about the fact that “clinical depression” is indeed a scam. We need to take Willamson’s comments FURTHER, not be defensive about these typical bogus charges made by the ignorant and pompous.
Also lets drop this whole charade of defending Williamson’s statements based on any so-called “science,” or by quoting psychiatric “experts”; this is simply a way of taking up the enemy’s narrative and lending it credibility. It is not helpful to any of us.
Removed for moderation.
Not gloating, oldhead, but how’s it feel, brother….????….
It’s worth watching the interview. Cooper clearly has something very personal going on here–and is kind of being a jerk–while I’d say that Williamson handles it beautifully.
The media has decided who should win the Democratic nomination (Biden) and who should not capture the public’s interest at this early stage. (Sanders, Williamson, to name two.) The media hasn’t learned a thing since their slavish support of Hilary. Who knows what pharmaceuticals Cooper is on. Why do we listen to these people? Well, I for one, have opted out of watching news shows. British interviewers ask better questions. They generally don’t toe the party line.
My question is how much revenue do Vox and the other rags get per year from ads for psych drugs?
If Cooper is on anything they haven’t made him a kinder, better person. Nor have they made him more conscientious in his research.
Reading Rossa’s comment, I had a perverse thought (for me anyway) that, since presidents don’t really run things anyway, all those who oppose psychiatry, from the most radical to the most apologetic and reformist, could support Williamson as a concerted push against forced psychiatry. Is she thinking about being a 3rd Party candidate? Normally I don’t think this way but in this case it might have a shot of at least bringing some AP (anti-psychiatry) consciousness into the public debate. Problem is too many people might believe the hype that the coming election has apocalyptic significance and is “too important” to “waste” one’s vote on a “single issue,” even though 20% of the population have their brains addled due to ingesting psychiatric neurotoxins. However votes don’t ultimately matter either, so pushing Williamson as a vehicle for consciousness raising might not be a totally outrageous thought. Certainly Bernie, for whom I might vote if I vote (the bigger decision) has a horrific pro-mh position.
To my knowledge, the only person who has launched a campaign in light of the Anderson Cooper gaffe has been Lauren Tenney. Anyone else planning to take action?
People don’t need others to respond to this stuff, write letters editors, call radio shows, pass out leaflets exposing psychiatry, etc. This is what a good organization would be coordinating anyway. Organization is good but not mandatory, at least at this level. Plus we shouldn’t react to every a-hole who has a line of crap to peddle, it’s a fine line knowing when to respond. This is one of those times we should, as Cooper is being used as the front man for the neoliberal pro-psychiatry juggernaut.
Since “depression” isn’t a disease unto itself, but a syndrome that can have one or more of a number of origins, the ineffectuality of antidepressants comes as no surprise. What is surprising are these individuals puffing them as lifesaving drugs, without knowing anything about the syndrome, itself, because there are different causes for depressed moods with correspondingly different treatments (although Anderson Cooper may not believe it) that are likely to work far better than antidepressants could ever hope to.
The mainstream media is obviously owned by the pharmaceutical companies, and it is called “fake news” for a reason. The truth is lots of people, of all ages, are harmed by the antidepressants. As happened to millions, the adverse effects of my antidepressant were misdiagnosed as “bipolar.” And my “mental health” workers weren’t intelligent enough to even read their own “bible.”
“Note: Manic-like episodes that are clearly caused by somatic antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapy) should not count toward a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder.”
That’s not to say, some people are not helped by the antidepressants. But it is a topic about which our country does need to have a truthful discussion. Shame on the media for berating Williamson for speaking truth about the antidepressants. But there’s a reason CNN’s ratings are in the toilet, it’s “fake news.”
“Over the past six years, as soon as Jeff Zucker took over, CNN got every major national story exactly wrong, including…
“Hispanic George Zimmerman: The White Racist Killer
“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot
“Trump Can’t Win
“Brett Kavanaugh: Serial Rapist
“The KKKids from KKKovington High School
“Trump Colluded with Russia”
And their attacks on Marianne Williamson are just more lies. The antidepressants are dangerous, mind altering drugs, that can create the symptoms of the more “serious mental illnesses.”
A side note, I went to try to try to listen to the conversation myself, and found on numerous websites, that they cut the interview off, and the entire conversation is not even able to be seen. For example:
But I will say, she does do a good job of pointing out that issues, such as spiritual ones, were handed off to the (in my case, Holy Spirit blaspheming “Christian”) psychologists, then quickly handed off to the psychopharmacologists.
To them all people are machines. All belief in the supernatural is a symptom of defective machinery.
Self-styled Christians go along with this because they have no compassion for the “SMI” so they just don’t care if we die. And they think they’re normal so it’s not their problem and not worth researching.
“If you did it not for the least of these you did it not for Me.” 🙁
Our Media Watch should not be confused with the politics of Trump’s “fake news” comments.
The problem here, with the media’s interviewing of Williamson, is that this shows how psychiatry, as a guild, together with the pharmaceutical company, told to the press a false story about chemical imbalances and so forth, which by and large the media bought. Our goal here in this particular report was to assess whether the media, in its interviews with Marianne Williamson, displayed a knowledge of the science that exists within the research literature, or whether they had been informed by the false story that has been peddled to the media and to the public.
I hope this distinction is clear.
Someone Else this is attributable to the “pay per click” system of online journalism. Sensational headlines get more clicks. Conservative sites also are guilty of this.
If the drug companies were any good, they would just substitute placebos for the anti-depressants, not tell anybody, get the same results, but not hurt anyone, except fool them a little bit.
And save themselves some money, too!
Thank you for writing this article. I watched it all unfold on the news. How very frustrating!
I recently read about the TADS study and its truly heart-breaking. With so many young people on these medications, I can’t imagine what the future will hold.
Miranda, a great piece to address this issue! You have presented it very well and supplied a great deal of back up evidence and information. I had rather liked Anderson Cooper before but it was a real turn off to see him so combative and forceful on a subject he has not even educated himself on. As Dr. Cornwall suggested, please get this article to Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo and the others who are still living in the dark ages!
One way to fight back against the media is to support campaign to end direct to consumer advertising. I don’t have a figure at hand, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the amount of advertising revenue on mainstream media from big Pharma constitutes 15-20% of the advertising pie. Even the AMA is proposing and end to direct to consumer ads on TV. Australia and the US are the only counties that permit this. Another way to push back is to create and enforce stricter rules regarding board of directors. All the major news outlets save CBS have at least one board member who sits on the board of a major pharmaceutical company. So when it comes time to run a story, or debut a new miracle drug, media board members, whether consciously or not are making decisions that have to do with content and news, that directly impact an area of their lives in which they have a vested interest. This is a conflict of interest plain and simple. We need to strategize some campaigns around this. I think Ralph Nader and Pro Publica and the AMA are possible partners. Anyone?
Great idea MM. Along with banning involuntary treatments.
People get all their “science” off commercials now. Too lazy to read articles from the APA Journal for crying out loud.
Even if they’re not drugged out of their gourds people believe everything on TV or in drug brochures now. Scary how unapologetically stupid everyone is. SMH
Along with banning involuntary treatments.
But weren’t we just talking about how that word “involuntary” gives credence to the idea that psychiatry is ever truly voluntary?
A lot of people prefer to just use the term “forced psychiatry.”
I certainly think the terms “involuntary” and “treatment” don’t belong in the same phrase. If it’s forced, it sure isn’t “treatment.”
“Treatment” as it pertains to psychiatry doesn’t belong in ANY phrase.
Even if physical force isn’t involved, if one signs up for psychiatric “treatment” it cannot be “voluntary” as it would be based on misinformation, i.e. fraud. If it were based on actual information it would be masochism.
If a doctor “forces” a cast on your arm to set a broken bone, that’s treatment.
But they don’t do that, do they?
No they don’t Steve. Psychiatric drugs do not set what is crooked straight. 🙁
Yes. That does sound better.
I thought saw the actual Anderson Cooper interview embedded in this article. What happened? Was I dreaming?
Well done!! Thank you for this.
Let me add that another inappropriate argument is regarding whether AD’s “work” — even when they do “work” they are “working” to distort people’s neural biochemistry in order to “adjust” them to a social system which does not serve their interests or address their needs.
In terms of the lack of validity of the testing brought up here, a recent Ontario, Canada legal case won on the MotherRisk test being proven to cause false positives resulting in children being put into foster care.
There is current , final solution, in the Canadian legal system by an outspoken “mental health” advocate, who ironically, is senior crown counsel at the Serious Fraud Office of the Ministry of the Attorney General to encourage the Law Society of Ontario, Convocation, and all willing justice sector participants, to forge partnerships committed to improving the mental health of the legal profession, including lawyers, students, and paralegals. The LSO is also well suited, through strategic partnerships, to address the mental health of the broader justice community, including, judges, prosecutors, first responders, jurors, self-represented litigants, and vulnerable members of society engaged in the justice system.
The ATSSC provides support services and facilities to 11 federal administrative tribunals through a single, integrated organization, including the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, with a budget of approximately $100 million.
If allowed to be further entrenched into the law without challenge, there will be no way to roll it back.
The lack of validity of the DSM opens the door to conducting:
1. a junk science litigation case asking the court to stop the specious labeling of millions of people.
2. a public debate and transparency about the true nature of the diagnosis and treatments
3. to enforce strict legal informed consent forms to be signed prior to dx and treatment
4. to investigate any financial conflict of interests they may have with the pharmaceutical and “MH” industry that works hand in glove with the legal industry
5. to ascertain if the confidentially he is seeking for lawyers with “MH” problems is different from level of “privacy” that the public ‘enjoys”
7. using the example of ADHD, Breggin argued that the public has the right to know their lawyer will be forgetful, unorganized etc and put their case/future at risk.
8. and potentially question if the fact that 75% of young drs on psych drugs, put the public health & safety at risk.
I like the first two points. But
enforce strict legal informed consent forms to be signed prior to dx and treatment
I think we need to reject the very concept of “informed consent.” Anyone who is adequately informed about psychiatric neurotoxins and ingests them anyway is engaging in self-harm, which supposedly is something psychiatry is dedicated to stopping. Would “informed consent” prior to ingesting cyanide make everything copacetic?
Journalism is supposed to be a profession. However, there is no body that I can find to complain to, when a prominent journalist breaks the supposed code of his profession and provides significant misinformation.
I do not know whether Ms Williamson plans to do anything to protect her brand from unfounded attacks.
Everyone who reads this site agrees on the basics. We know that Anderson Cooper, with his influence, is doing harm by reinforcing damaging myths. I just want to know how I can help stop him.
I am tweeting the hell out of key quotes from this article
Tweeted them to Copper
Will start getting them to Williamson as well
You can search for others who posted and then hit them with rebuttals
Don’t feed his ego, and portray him as naive, misinformed and self-absorbed. Then if he responds defensively pummel him with documentation and facts. Preferably while others are paying attention.
One does need to remember he lost his mother and is part of an othered group.
Doesn’t make it right but if we lead with bitterness then nothing will ever be accomplished. According to John Lewis on Krista Tippet’s On Being series the Civil. Rights moment met and read and gathered and actually practiced being confronted. Their lead was this person was not born this way, this person was exposed and learned.
“Beautiful Mind” how did they get the movie to change the facts? And how do we get professionals to aid instead of play games?
And again, one does not want to be sidelined fighting red herrings.
Ditto to your last sentence!
I would not look to mh pros for the solution any more than John Lewis would have counted on compassion from Southern cops.
In the end Cooper must be responsible; if his apologies for psychiatry drive more people into its clutches their genesis matters not.
It’s only a matter of time before mainstream “wisdom,” which I find to be woefully academically-based, is replaced by actual truth, which to me is founded on actual human experience–unique to everyone, on the whole. There is a wide and seemingly irreconcilable gap between these two perspectives.
Long held beliefs are being repeatedly challenged, and it’s causing an un-civil war, so to speak. At some point, hopefully sooner than later, the smoke will clear and more and more truth will come to light for everyone to see. It’s all being fought out in the media, in plain sight at this point. Everyone has their opinion about it, that’s the world in all its diverse glory.
Truth always comes to light, one way or another, despite the extreme resistance to it by those who are prospering in the current system, based on secrets and lies. So much change happening now, it’s hard to keep up. Thanks for highlighting this extreme split in our society.
I enjoyed the article very much and I am thrilled that this commentary on the media will be a regular feature. I think that many of the media “attack” rather than ask questions open mindedly and should be called out on it.
One needs to go through writings on medicine with the sharp fine toothed comb- along with others – and yes my comment in regards to John Lewis does not forget the waterhosing of children and the four girls burned to death and oh yes the pictures of those who actually marched st Selma.
House of God – old novel- very interesting to read author now. Oh my a psychiatrist who may have had a partial epiphany. If one totally bashed and ignored all- the diamonds in the rough are laid to the wayside and are no help at all. Robert Coles and his experience with Dorothy Day and her house of hospitality and the farm and Peter Maurin who was literally on the edge of the margins and today would have been taken off the street and medicated out of his mind.
There was beside everything else a forceful great forgetting. Look at the RC church and the almost total forgetting of the system of Abbesses and Dorothy despite her ironclad following of the system just not holy enough- she lived with “ those” folks.
And if things ever get better- we all will still have to live with one another. We have several Pharma Reps in our area and their kids and all that. To lead with hate and blame never works because after usually comes if not taken over like with the Jim Crow laws. And even then what happens to those in WWII who worked for evil systems. How to configure justice?
Lots of awakening happening, including for Ms. Williamson–
Thanks for this link Alex. Love her honesty, wouldn’t that make for a great President! We sure could all say the same about psychiatry….. didn’t think they were “so mean” and didn’t think “they lied like this”.
Yes to all of it, Rosalee! MW would be the shot of light and heart-based vision we need, although that would require a shift in consciousness. I’m glad at least she is getting attention, she is learning as she goes. And she’s getting more support than I would have thought she would, she is reaching people because she makes sense, so that’s encouraging. I so admire and respect her courage, given the climate of things around “differences.”
And yes, by now I’m sure my opinion of anything mh is pretty clear. As I say above, we need something new and different…wayyyy different. Like, honesty, integrity, clear and direct communication, flexibility in thinking, awareness, etc., that kind of different.
Interesting how she is depicted as being a menace to public health.
She is not a menace, rather a threat to existing paradigms.
The reason they find her threatening is because the way things are done now
is obviously making things worse, but they are hoping no one will notice.
Once people notice or think about stuff, then all hell breaks loose for the ones that
try to dictate what humanity is supposed to look like.
I suspect becoming a psychiatrist is one way to get a message respected.
Plus one can assist in law suits.
Good for lawyers also.
I have been trying to pushback against a local news story in Cincinnati, in which a homeless man died in November.
In our local media, WCPO/ ABC News, our local reporter Lucy May wrote: “How Did Scott Noel Die? His Sister Wants Answers.” It aired on tv on January 30, 2020 and is available to read on the WCPO website–just type “Scott Noel” into the article search box.
I have problems with the story from the beginning. It focusses too much on this man’s death; and it assumes that his mental health “diagnosis” was valid–not a political condemnation.
I actually protested today in front of the WCPO studio; and I did get to tell Lucy May how I feel about the
story (She did meet me outside on the sidewalk).
I told her that I think Scott Noel must have committed a nuisance crime in order for the “light switch”in his life to be turned off. I tried to tell her that his story appears to be political–not medical.
I tried to tell her that Scott Noel’s alcoholism was probably a normal response to be shut down/shut out by all of his former friends and family. It was probably also a normal response to his “diagnosis” which I am pretty darn sure he rejected (but nobody asked how he felt about it).
The sign I carried today simply said: SCOTT NOEL/ SCAPEGOAT.
I told Lucy May that she needs to read The Myth of Mental Illness by T. Szasz and she should visit the MIA
website; because she acted as if she had never, ever thought to question the validity of “mental illness”.
I tried to tell her that Scott Noel’s problems were probably social/political–not anything medical.
In other words, he had achieved a pariah status, in my opinion; and that is probably common among the
homeless population. Many of them, in my opinion, have become social rejects.
Of course, I think that this is unfair. I told Lucy May that I think she should do a story about restorative justice; because she has done similar stories that tell of social support such as Bloc Ministries in Cincinnati.
She recently did a story about a young woman who got out of jail recently and has been supported by Bloc
Ministries to find housing and work and to stay off drugs.
I asked Lucy May what is the difference between that young lady and Scott Noel (besides the fact that Scott is dead). She could not answer that question; and that is what really bothers me. Because the answer is that there is very little difference between those two people, in my opinion. I don’t mean to slander the young woman who is being helped–I just mean that I think both people made very human mistakes in life
(and I obviously don’t have all of the information, because it is not being reported).
In my opinion, society is very fickle in how it decides who to help and who to punish forever. Scott Noel
was given the unofficial verdict of a life of punishment, in my opinion. That included two “diagnoses” that was really just a slander (part I of the punishment), followed by 30 years of adult day care that had to be horrendously humiliating, especially when you consider the (part II) drugging regime that he probably endured.
Part III was the humiliating death that he suffered, and which Lucy May wrote about. I don’t think this part of the story is as important, although it is terrible and horrific. I think that Part I and II are the worst parts of the story; and that is not talked about much in the WCPO piece.
Finally, I told Lucy May that I think there are similarities between Scott Noel’s tragic story and the (Scared) Straight, Inc. that was very active in the 1980s in Cincinnati. There is an MIA story about Straight that I have already commented about; but it was a substitute punishment organization that parents used as crutch.
It was endorsed by Nancy Reagan; and by many local leaders. However, it was extremely abusive and it was basically an indoctrination cult to punish young people for what was usually very minor drug experimentation and/or conflict with parents.
I told Lucy May that as bad as it was, Straight might at least have given Scott Noel a path back into society.
The other thing about Straight was that it was expensive (like mh care); and it relied on the spellbinding of desperate parents. They wanted to do SOMETHING about their out of control children; and so they put them in Straight, Inc.
My opinion is that many, many parents panicked; and that part of the dynamics was a backlash for the very successful Young Peoples movement to end the war in Vietnam. Also, I think that Straight was filling another backlash to young people who were experimenting with drugs that doctors wanted to monopolize.
Forgive me if I was being overly simplistic about homelessness. I think that the main reasons for homelessness are poverty, lack of affordable housing, and an overly punitive criminal justice system.
I do believe that homeless people also suffer the double whammy humiliation of mh labels on top of the
unbelievable cruelty of society for not providing housing for people who need it.
p.s. I forgot to put quotation marks around “out of control” children. I meant that this is how the parents saw the situation. The young people, obviously, saw the situation differently.
Straight was an over-reaction, a backlash to something that was not a real problem, in my opinion. It was
a change in power dynamics that the adults in charge could not accept. So they became authoritarians (see “anti-authoritarians” article by Bruce Levine in this website).
The media has tremendous power; and yet they do not do the research necessary. In fact, in many cases I think they must know that psychiatry is based on lies. They know that psychiatry protects the status quo–so never mind serious research to get to the truth.
The truth is that the DSM labels are slanders. The truth is that the labels can put a person on a downward spiral for life. The truth is that the powers that be know this; and that they are doing this intentionally.
Also, the truth is that our country is wealthy enough, so that no one should be homeless or hungry.
The truth is that the powers that be know that neuroleptic drugs take years off of a life, and can contribute to a person’s early death at age 51 when Scott Noel died.
The media knows that the DSM labels are slanders. They know it, and they love to slander people. (I cannot believe I am saying this but it is true). Furthermore, Slander is highly profitable. The DSM is a best seller and Big Pharma is making billions and billions of dollars to make “medicine” that causes way more harm than good. All–or at least most, of those profits are based on FALSE diagnoses, because the DSM is not based on real science.
The Scapegoat Scolds the Media and Gets It Right.
Who believes that local t.v. news is real journalism anymore? It is mostly entertainment and propaganda.
The media is arrogant, like Anderson Cooper. The interview with Marrianne Williamson is remarkable because he is relentless in attacking her opinions and questions about psychiatry, which are valid.
My own experience with the WCPO Cincinnati local media was: Here is the Story. This is What Happened. Just accept the MH diagnoses as valid science (even though there have been whispers that it may not be).
But there were big holes in the story about Scott Noel. How can a person who seems just as alive and awake as his surviving sister die so young? I am referring to the photos of his youth in the story and how he was an active participant in sports, music, and art. How can the reporter not seem to be interested in That question?
What happened to Scott Noel in those thirty some years between his diagnosis and his death?
That to me is the question. My guess is that he became a political scapegoat and he was shut out from society.
Lucy May mostly seems interested in the way the police treated the dead body of a dead homeless person. That seems like it should be a part of the story–but not the bulk of the story. Also, she is obsessed with the photos of the dead body, which is pretty disgusting and sensational.
The other big problem with the story, to me, is that Lucy May does not get any other sources to comment on Scott Noel and his struggles, besides his sister. Scott must have had some friends in those thirty years;
and even if he didn’t, I think she should have tried to talk to someone else who knew him in high school.
I think a second opinion about what happened to him changing from active and photogenic to homeless and dead would have been greatly appreciated. Because there is Not a second opinion, the first opinion of the sister seems pretty suspicious. Does she really actually believe in the diagnoses that Scott got? Really?
I am certain that he must have complained bitterly about how his MH label was blocking him from every opportunity that he was seeking, including a home without forced drugging.
I just don’t think that it was in WCPO’s agenda to talk about that–so they didn’t.
If you watch/ read the Jan. 30 WCPO story, it becomes obvious that WCPO is shedding crocodile tears for the scapegoat, Scott Noel.
The story was not written for him. No one was arguing for him when he was alive, but now that he has died his sister wants to rehabilitate his image, supposedly.
Well, it is not convincing, especially because the reporter and the sister seem to have conspired against him by endorsing his mh label.
If the sister and the reporter were serious about rehabilitating Scott Noel’S reputation, then they would have questioned his mh label—and that doesn’t happen in this story, unfortunately.
Also, it would have been interesting to have someone from his high school say something good about him about the times when he was accepted and doing well.
The story about Scott Noel’s “mental illness” is not credible and the sister barely even tries to explain it. The light switch analogy seems to imply the idea that Scott got on the wrong side of the powers that be… Scott did not flip that switch—he deserved restorative justice.
Otherwise, we are left to believe that Because WCPO Says So, Scott Noel Had “Mental Illness”.
It is just not credible from the information that is given (and because there is no such thing).
The reason the story is so fishy is that the whole focus is about the humiliating way in which he died.
That should be a clue that something happened to him and that A Lot of Scott Noel’s story is being left out. What happened? We may never know.
What is so infuriating about this story is that everyone is acting so bewildered as to why Scott died so young, when the answer is His Diagnosis of BiPolar and Schizophrenia—these are labels that no one wants and they can be devastating.
Why didn’t the reporter investigate the labels and the way people with those labels are “treated “.
I think that it is quite possible that the sister and the reporter are withholding information in order to frame the storyline to their point of view.
The fact that no one questioned the “mental illness” narrative seems like a big clue…so if you believe that narrative, then maybe you’ll believe that there was a light switch that that changed Scott Noel completely…
No, I don’t believe it. It was the people around him who changed.
He needed restorative justice.
After i got labeled I hated myself. Everyone treated me like a monster.
The drugs killed all my ability to experience positive emotions and caused daily seizures. Everyone blamed my desire for suicide on my “illness.”
When they say, “You’re not your illness” it’s pretty laughable. In their eyes all “consumers” are walking diseases.
It is clear that the psychiatrists doing the labeling KNOW very well that the labels will do damage to the person…it is extremely evil and damaging to the whole society.
There must be restorative justice. There must be an end to torture.
And of course that perception of the way people view you is all in your head. Clever of them. They are the most hateful.
It is like doctors disliking you after telling you that you have a disease.
They are the most prejudiced and this has been transferred to society.
People have to understand that the labels are political labels— not medical.
So that should help us to not take it personally. What is happening is that we are standing up to fascism.
The Belarus protesters are showing the world their bloody bruises to prove that they are dealing with a dictator/ fascist government.
I have a sore throat almost every day because my torturers are jamming tubes down it every night so that I won’t wake up. They are sexually torturing me every night as well as manipulating my muscles in ways to make me feel lousy.
So my torturers are very careful not to do so in a way that I can easily explain or show people. But the same object of intimidation and humiliation is the goal of police state governments.
Humiliation, intimidation, and silencing people seems to be the goal in my situation. What I am experiencing is so degrading that my inclination is to keep it all to myself, which I have mostly…..but that won’t change anything so I am speaking out.
I should add that the torture has been going on to various degrees since 2012, that this can happen in either political party led government, as it has. So yes it is worrisome to wonder if anything will change under a new administration,
And yet that must occur somehow.
Bringing this back full circle, the media is complicit with whatever psychiatry wants to do. If psychiatry wants to feed people pills like Risperdol that will cause men to grow breasts, then the media will mostly ignore that “side effect.”
If psychiatry wants to torture people in other ways with their drugs, then the media will turn a blind eye until the shrinks tell them it is ok to look again. The media is extremely cooperative in their complicity.
If a citizen wants to know the truth and asks questions to the media about a fishy story, then the media will duck and weave and avoid the truth at all costs. That is exactly what has happened in the Scott Noel death WCPO Cincinnati story that ran on January 30, 2020.
While I am frustrated by the willful ignorance of the WCPO story, I do not really blame the individual reporters.
I know that they are following a playbook that pretends that psychiatry is a real and legitimate branch of medicine. This is a national problem that needs to be confronted.
We all know that the mh narrative needs to change.
That being said, I think that it may take the bravery of individual reporters to get the Truth out. When that begins to happen expect an attempt to silence the brave truth tellers. Expect the brave reporters who question the False narrative to be shunned.
It pays for the media to tell the False Narrative that psychiatry is a real and scientific branch of medicine–it is not. That is the problem.
When we can get that to change, then everything might change. It seems obvious to those of us who realize all of the damage that the psych drugs do–and we know it from personal experience. We also know what a crime against humanity that forced drugging is.
It would be something if talking heads like Anderson Cooper might learn the truth; and I may be naive (or hopeful) enough to think it is possible.
I guess what I am trying to say is that the individuals in the media are under tremendous pressure to tow the line and to keep spewing out the false narratives that the mh diagnoses are valid and that the drugs are helpful.
I suspect that many of them are getting tired of not thinking the issue out for themselves–and that in time, probably soon–some of them will break away from the false narratives. Of course, those free thinkers may become vulnerable to lose their jobs (and that is why they tow the line so long).
Obviously, I have a lot of respect for Robert Whitaker and the writers on MIA who are brave enough to tell the truth; and I am hopeful that the truth will be known, eventually.
The media scolds scapegoats all the time; so pharma and shrinks can take advantage of the situation.
The media/pharma/shrink conspiracy must be known as the fraud that it is. Truth matters.
Marianne Williamson is right about the over drugging of Americans for normal human feelings. She is right and Anderson Cooper would know it– if he would just stop talking for half an hour to think about it.
What did not get discussed is the way that the media accepts the DSM slanders, aka “diagnoses”, and even promotes them with no good reason except greed–it pays to sell pretend diagnoses and pretend “treatments”.
Will anyone talk about “mental health” in the debate tonight? How many more people will be slandered because of their mh labels? I think we should be wishing that Marianne Williamson was still on the stage to tell the truth to the moderators.
The media ignores you when you protest their ill-researched, one-sided stories that reinforce false narratives about “mental illness.”
When will the media get interested in the truth? When will the media report that Scott Noel was a scapegoat
who should not have died at age 51? When will the media seek out a different opinion about what really happened to Scott Noel, including his during his twenties, his thirties, and his forties?
The media embraces “cancel culture”. When CNN and Anderson Cooper declare that Marianne Williamson is being hysterical about the drugging of normal human emotion, she is basically told to shut up and go away.
In other words, the for-profit media cannot stand the truth–and therefore, it must cancel out the truth tellers.
What Marianne Williamson is offering is genuine human empathy.
But the mainstream media simply will not accept that.
Williamson told the truth that there is no blood test or any other test that proves that anyone has depression.
Once people are sold on the idea that depression is a medical ailment, then they are started down a very slippery slope.
Williamson told the truth. Therefore, she must be a witch.
Meanwhile, Oprah is not helping psych survivors when her book club picks a book that reinforces the false my narrative. Unfortunately, she has sided with the monied interests that perpetuate the lies.
It is disappointing but not surprising, since everyone is just pretending.
Just because the corporate media repeats a false narrative over and over does NOT make it true. The labels are scapegoat labels. I wish Oprah was brave enough to question the corporate narrative.
It also seems obvious that Oprah herself does not choose the books. They appear to be chosen by a committee on the basis of pleasing corporate interests—similar to the DSM committees.
In other words, the committees have agendas and they are putting out propaganda that they want the masses to believe.
So Anderson Cooper and Oprah are simply pawns of corporate interests, in my opinion; because they are just repeating the corporate agenda…and attacking anyone who doesn’t believe that the agenda is good for us.
Oprah’s book club has NEVER chosen a Latino writer, and her book club choice of American Dirt was a PR disaster.
The corporate agenda of maximizing profits includes demonizing scapegoats in order to maximize the sale of punishing drugs and for profit prisons. Oprah is either complicit or oblivious to the damage that this has done to people of color in the US.
The media has an opportunity to hold leaders accountable, and yet they squander that opportunity.
The media has an obligation to find the truth; and when that doesn’t happen we are all up a creek.
MIA is rare in telling the truth about dangerous and addictive drugs, but it doesn’t tell the whole story of the scapegoats. It doesn’t tell the truth about home invasion and torture that occurs every night.
The media is too easily persuaded by NAMI and Oprah book choices. They must start questioning the reasons for the false narratives. There have been cover ups of parental negligence; and there have been decades long framing of TBI victims of parental negligence.
It just so happens that TBI victims are not organized enough or wealthy enough to pay for their side of the story to be heard. We are scapegoats, and the people in power are silencing us and preventing us from getting legal help. They know we are telling the truth, and the truth is that our parents screwed up before we ever did.
Truth matters, and the truth is that “mental illness” is a political construct.
Furthermore, the truth is that home invasion and torture are real events that are occurring on a nightly basis at 14 McCormick Trail in Milford, Ohio.
This should not be happening in America—there must be restorative justice.
Yes, the media has a difficult job in finding the truth, but after a while it becomes obvious that corporate media has an agenda and that includes strong ties to Big Pharma and the powers that be.
So then after that agenda distorts the truth, then the story becomes convoluted and
The public doesn’t know what to believe anymore.
Do you believe Anderson Cooper and CNN, corporate dynasty or Marianne Williamson, self help author?
I agree with Marianne Williamson on this issue because she is right and the science supports her position. As you know, I too have dealt with depression. And I’ve been on antidepressants multiple times. Some people do get benefit from them, whether temporarily or long term. But I never noticed any positive effect. And that fact is, according to studies, antidepressants are useless or worse to most people being prescribed them. They are known, in some cases, to actually increase suicidal ideation and attempts. This is an open secret.
The corporate media couldn’t simply state Williamson is correct because big drug is big money and that represents a huge hunk of advertizing money for corporate media. They would never bite the hand that feeds them. We already know much of what helps with depression and other mental illnesses. For most people, many factors by themselves or in combination (plenty of exercise, time spent in nature and sunshine, healthy diet, optimal nutrition, supportive relationsips, quality sleep, low stress, low inequality, etc) will have a thousand times more benefit than drugging people up.
I really like Williamson. She is my all-time favorite presidential candidate. I know she didn’t have a chance in hell because the establishment would never allow her to be elected. But if she had become president, she would’ve shaken things up. Not because she is all that radical and extremist but because she would’ve been a genuine voice of the people. And as a minister, she has great speaking skills. In one interview, the interviewer was being confrontationally antagonistic and Willliamson handled her like a pro. She never gets ruffled and always comes across as confident.
Plus, Williamson is a well known minister and author. I’m biased, of course, in my support. She belongs to Unity Church, which I grew up in. That church, by the way, was doing same sex marriages before I was born. Unity doctrine is more liberal than the average atheist. And she has written many books, inclucing on A Course In Miracles (ACIM). I read my grandmother’s copy of the ACIM in high school and read some of Williamson’s books shortly after high school. Unity and ACIM theology is that God, humans, all of Creation is a manifestation of Divine Love. She has also run various organizations to help AIDS victims and much else.
Could you imagine an extremely liberal and progressive minister as president who preaches love for all of humanity? If anyone could’ve drained the swamp of political corruption and big money interests, it would’ve been Williamson. Sanders would’ve been better than Biden. But Sanders wouldn’t have been a fraction as transformative as she could’ve been.
Marianne Williamson wrote the Politics of Love: A Handbook for A New American Revolution.
She said: “Women are not just here to get power. Women are here to balance the world. A balanced world works differently from an unbalanced world. A balanced world does not stand for injustice. A balanced world does not stand for oppression.”
That is partly why she was not taken seriously. People sensed that she was revolutionary
and they could not take it. In other words, she is a truth teller who recognizes how much truth and justice are being trampled in the U.S.
She was not going to be like Hillary Clinton who is a war hawk. She was not going to get power in order to behave just like the men who gained power.
Marianne Williamson, in other words, was extremely brave and daring to even say what she said. To dare to talk about love on a stage of presidential hopefuls was almost unimaginable; and yet she did it. To talk about love in a revolutionary way was bold and
smart and it revealed the patriarchy and the cluelessness of all of the other candidates.
I do not know if Williamson admired bell hooks writing; but I know bell hooks admired Marianne Williamson. So when bell hooks died recently, there have been numerous accolades to her revolutionary writing about love and relationships with family. hooks wrote that the crises in American families has to do with patriarchy and misunderstandings about
the differences between love and care. She drew parallels between the dysfunctional family and dysfunctional police brutality and dysfunctional foreign policy.
But Williamson took it to another level by using similar knowledge to actually run for president. It was actually an act of braveness, because she knew that the patriarchy would
probably clobber her…and they did.