Sadness, anxiety, and anger are no longer viewed as normal reactions to things going on in one’s life, but as spontaneous brain diseases (‘depression’, ‘generalized anxiety’, and ‘bipolar disorder’). Impulsivity and inattention are no longer seen as normal traits of not-yet-raised kids, but as a biological illness (‘ADHD’) as well. But why stop here? Why not extend biological psychiatry’s realm to include all unpleasant experiences? It could be easily done: The same ‘evidence’ used to ‘prove’ the above claims could also be used, for example, to ‘prove’ a claim as absurd as: “We now know that poverty is a treatable brain disease.” Here’s how:
1. Suffering: Poverty certainly involves distress, which the DSM says is a crucial aspect of ‘mental illness’.
2. High overall morbidity/mortality: This is typical of poverty, further evidencing it being a debilitating condition that’s difficult to recover from.
3. Specific symptoms that affect normal functioning: Like any ‘mental illness’, poverty’s diagnosis is based on subjective symptoms (food/housing insecurity, persistent hunger and coldness, and overall desperation) which interfere in day-to-day activities (poor grooming/hygiene/nutrition, under-employment, and repetitive abnormal behaviors like picking through garbage, begging, and searching for shelter).
4. Abnormal biochemistry: Hunger has been shown to involve dopamine activity.1 This major discovery suggests that the constant hunger reported in poverty is caused by a dopamine-regulation problem, rather than an actual need for food as was previously thought. And the malnutrition found in poverty has been shown to correlate with abnormal levels of proteins or other chemicals.2 This huge breakthrough further points to poverty being due to a chemical imbalance rather than truly inadequate food, money, or housing. This imbalance likely impairs brain functioning, thereby causing disordered thinking such as irrational over-concern about food and money. It’s analogous to how ‘depression’ is said to be a biochemical brain disease that produces unwarranted negative feelings and thoughts.
5. Genetic predisposition: It’s well-known that poverty runs in families — if one child has it, his/her siblings will also have it nearly 100% of the time. It even runs in families if kids aren’t raised by their parents: Foster kids,whose biological parents often had poverty,often develop poverty as adults themselves.3 This implies that the experiencing of poverty symptoms is a result of a genetically-determined brain hardwiring defect, rather than real environmental issues. Claims of starvation or homelessness are ‘just their poverty talking.’
6. Response to medication: I just completed a study on people who have poverty: After administering one 1000 mg dose of Seroquel, within an hour nearly all subjects amazingly ceased complaining of hunger or coldness! Additionally, the problematic poverty-linked behaviors that they had been exhibiting (i.e. begging) instantly abated. (But just as for other brain diseases, poverty’s negative symptoms, such as reduced grooming, hygiene, and nutrition, were mysteriously less responsive to treatment.) Since poverty’s signs and symptoms were mostly cured by chemicals, it must therefore be an illness caused by disordered bio-chemistry. Read my study, entitled “High Doses of Strong Tranquilizers Surprisingly Relieve Poverty Symptoms in Hours,” in the American Journal of Pseudoscientifc SCAMs (Silencing the Complaints of Americans Medically).
7. Abnormal brain scans: High rates of brain atrophy or other structural anomalies are seen in MRIs of older people with poverty4 — this ‘smoking gun’ confirms that poverty is a chronic, progressive brain disease
The ‘logic’ I used here is the exact same that modern psychiatry uses to support its claim that annoying behaviors and unwanted emotions are serious but treatable diseases. It’s thus just as valid. So why try to rectify some hypothesized underlying lack of cash/housing/food in poverty sufferers? That theory has been debunked. Science has proven that it’s biochemical; they merely need proper medicine for their illness, just as diabetics need insulin for theirs.
Everyone experiences hunger and worries about money/housing at times. But if your hunger/worries are so severe and persistent that they lead to abnormal, dysfunctional behaviors, then you have clinical poverty. Don’t struggle needlessly with untreated poverty. Like any illness, you can’t just snap out of it on your own. You need help, and it’s now here — ask your doctor about exciting new treatments for poverty today!
Do you now agree that biological psychiatry is a ridiculous farce that’s really about shutting people up, by dismissing (invalidating) their complaints as mere ‘symptoms’ to be drugged away? If not, consider this:
What if doctors who treat real medical issues also adopted psychiatry’s ‘logic’, and thus also stopped seeking underlying reasons? Imagine, for example, that you go to the ER complaining of crushing chest pain typical of a heart attack, and the doctor says: “Due to new research in which we found that pain meds reduce such chest pain, we’ve deduced that this pain therefore isn’t due to a heart attack as was previously believed; it’s due to dysregulation of your body’s natural painkillers.” The last words you’d hear before dying would be: “Just let us correct your chemical imbalance with these opiates, and everything will be fine.”
- “Hunger and Satiety Gauge Reward Sensitivity” Cassidy, R and Tong, Q, Frontiers in Endocrinology, May 18, 2017. ↩
- “Evaluation of Blood Biomarkers Associated with Risk of Malnutrition in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” Zhang, Z, et al, Nutrients, Aug 3, 2017,9,829,1-20. ↩
- “Improving Family Foster Care: Findings of the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study” Pecora, P, et al, Casey Family Program and Harvard Medical School, April 5, 2005. ↩
- “Malnutrition and Risk of Structural Brain Changes Seen in Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Older Adults” de van der Schueren, MA, et al, J Am Geriatric Soc, 2016 Dec,64(12)2457-63. ↩
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.
“Do you now agree that biological psychiatry is a ridiculous farce that’s really about shutting people up, by dismissing (invalidating) their complaints as mere ‘symptoms’ to be drugged away?”
No. As you well know, Lawrence, so-called “biological psychiatry” is just a euphemistic term that is used to cover up the whole nasty history of psychiatry itself. Psychiatry must be abolished. It is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that wreaks havoc and destroys the lives of many innocent people, including children, the elderly, and the homeless.
I applaud your efforts to expose some of the obviously fraudulent aspects of psychiatry, But I invite you and your readers to consider why the whole rotten system must be abolished not simply reformed or criticized.
Lol, Lawrence. I know a lot of people who are legitimately angry about what’s been going on in this country, in recent decades, and they don’t even know this self righteous anger is “bipolar.” Maybe the psychiatrists should be honest, and change the name of manic depressive disorder again, this time to “legitimate anger or distress disorder?”
I know from reading my medical records that the “mental health” workers believe legitimate distress caused by 9/11/2001, right after that event, is bipolar. When I picked up those medical records, my former psychologist confessed she believed that “all distress is caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain.” Lunatic! Hand over the records. She did hand them over, but with lots of black Sharpie marks over the names of the child rape covering up criminals with whom she had been “conspiring.” I’m quite certain “doctoring medical records is illegal.”
“Do you now agree that biological psychiatry is a ridiculous farce that’s really about shutting people up, by dismissing (invalidating) their complaints as mere ‘symptoms’ to be drugged away?” I do. But I also agree with Slaying, “It is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that wreaks havoc and destroys the lives of many innocent people, including children, the elderly, and the homeless … the whole rotten system must be abolished ….”
And all the DSM believers, not just the psychiatrists, are guilty of the “mental health” system’s, systemic, scientific fraud DSM based, crimes against the innocent.
DS correctly points out that there is no “biological psychiatry” as distinct from any other psychiatry.
Dr K, I apologize for giving you such a hard time previously. This was fantastic! Made me literally laugh out loud. You knocked it out of the ballpark. We need more satirical pieces like this to really drive home the utter lunacy of treating environmental problems as illnesses.
Maybe someone can do a piece on how domestic violence victims are similarly genetically defective. After all, if your parents were perpetrators or victims of domestic violence, your chances of being a victim or perpetrator are also greatly increased. Clearly it’s a hardwired biological defect.
But as far as victims of violence and other situations where the cause is known to be environmental, psychiatry has already successfully duped the public into also viewing these as results of biological defects: It did so by arguing that since different people exposed to similar traumas are not equally affected by it, then being affected by it must be the result of an inherent genetic/biochemical weakness/vulnerability, rather than an understandable reaction to the trauma itself. So no stone has been unturned in the mental health field. Everyone is told to accept their chemical disease, and to be good patients who shut up, stop complaining, and take their pills.
As if there is a “right” way to respond to a traumatic event or a traumatic life!
The “right” way would, logically, be the one that provides the best solution at the lowest cost. Though each person is unique, there may be a common solution for many – benzodiazepines prescribed for anxiety caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, for example.
There are no “chemical imbalances” in the brain. This myth has been debunked for decades.
Benzodiazepines ruin lives.
What is with the steady stream of industry propaganda today?
OK, in order to honestly prescribe benzodiazepines for anxiety caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, would you not have to be able to establish a) what a proper “chemical balance” is, and b) how to measure deviations from that normal expectation? Would you not also be required to show that anxiety is CAUSED by such an “imbalance” rather than the “imbalance” being a natural occurrence when someone feels anxious? And if neither of these criteria are met, how could anyone be considered to be practicing medicine when they prescribe a drug based only on behavior and emotion rather than any actual measurement of normalcy/deviation?
I know that you’ve been told by many sources that “chemical imbalances” are real and that drugs “treat” them. But were you aware that mainstream psychiatrists like Ronald Pies, a great champion of the current model of “treatment,” have said that the chemical imbalance theory is false, that it is, to quote Pies, “an urban myth” that no respectable psychiatrist takes seriously? That the idea of a “chemical imbalance” was actually debunked as far back as the 1980s?
You have been lied to, XxXxXx. I’m sorry to have to say it, but it’s true. There is no evidence of a chemical imbalance even being measurable, let alone “treatable”. Benzos make people relax and not worry about things. It is the same effect on anyone. It’s a crude effect that certainly does nothing to “balance” anything, but actually pushes the brain very far past its equilibrium. This can feel good at times, but it also causes dependence and addiction. Long term use actually does damage to the brain, including damaging cognitive functioning. All of this is commonly known from psychiatry’s own mainstream researchers.
The idea of “treating” chemical imbalances is 90% drug company propaganda, supported by mainstream psychiatry from day one. There is zero scientific truth to it. Even Ronald Pies says so.
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Posted for Oldhead:
Be assured that Kindred “caught on” long before you even thought of this article.
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I won’t say ALL shrinks conspire with abusive partners and parents to gas light those they abuse. Often, though, shrinks don’t ask any questions about current living situations. Just ask how you feel. They can “diagnose” you in less than 15 minutes and never talk to you for more than 10 minutes afterwards. Gives them just enough time to write more prescriptions.
If you don’t feel great or annoy others by “odd” behaviors–even if they lie about it–the shrink assumes it must be a brain problem. Since they automatically assume all emotional pain or quirkiness is proof of a brain disease.
Got a broken leg? Here’s a sledge hammer. It will fix it. A sledge hammer is their only tool, so by golly they’ve got to use it. How else can they bill your insurance? 😀
Unwittingly though it usually is, they enable abusers. The snappy dressers with proper grooming who smile nicely, have firm handshakes, and know how to charm the socks off everybody. A great looking front is proof of sound “mental health” as far as psychiatrists are concerned. 0 insight into how human beings think or feel or what motivates their fellow human beings.
Where I live local government works with NGO’s and Churches, trying very hard to turn poverty and homelessness into a mental health issue.
But it is not just that, it is also that they work to turn it into a Recovery and Salvation issue, and to send people to Psychotherapy.
They try to house the homeless, but it is always with on-site mental health services. And politicians say that people have to accept that “help” or leave town.
Most of the poor are kept on psych drugs, and also sent to Psychotherapy.
With Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Recovery, and Salvation, we have spawned an enormous underclass.
“Where I live local government works with NGO’s and Churches, trying very hard to turn poverty and homelessness into a mental health issue … With Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Recovery, and Salvation, we have spawned an enormous underclass.”
I think it’s all over the country. And, thank you, it’s important to point out the churches, long ago, were bought out by the “mental health” industry. The DSM “bible” is even being taught in the seminaries today. But this means your churches are no more trustworthy today, than the scientific fraud based psychiatrists and psychologists.
Don’t forget victims of bullying.
Bullies are healthy, well adjusted members in this society so they don’t need “mental treatments.” Just “diagnose” those they bully as “schizophrenic” and “bipolar” in order to drug and lock them away.
A great analogy Dr. Kelmenson to demonstrate the utter farce of psychiatric labels. The sheer stupidity of it would be hilarious if wasn’t so perverse and damaging to so many.
It’s a great piece.
I would disagree with another Comment that psychiatry itself is the problem. I would say there are, as with all systems, examples of abuse – the MK Ultra being the most notorious, as well as many court cases involving so called “repressed memories”.
But psychiatry HAS helped people. Adopting a new perspective, often with the use of drugs, can be necessary for those with organic dysfunction. Or severe cases of emotional disturbance where psychology is ineffective. As for the drugs themselves, the general public self-medicates all the time for largely the same reasons.
Looks like you’re new here.
Oppression is “the” problem. Psychiatry is its tool. Always. It cannot be “abused”; its very existence constitutes an abuse.
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So how would anyone know if someone has an “organic problem” with their brain? Can you name any one of the DSM “Diagnoses” that can be detected objectively as an organic problem?
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Steve McCrea is a smart fellow; you could learn a great deal by clicking on his name and reviewing some of his previous comments to other blogs. Steve said that there is no organic criteria for any DSM diagnoses and you disagreed with a link to the National Institute of Health that provides no organic criteria for any DSM diagnoses. The DSM criteria that you referenced are all descriptions of behavior patterns; there are no biological criteria for any DSM diagnoses.
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Maybe the “organic” brain problems the non-gmo, pesticide free versions… I foresee the addition of “Unrepentant Hippie” to the next DSM!
“All natural, hormone free, cruelty free, no GMO, gluten free, dairy free mental illnesses! Only at Whole Foods!”
Actually getting drunk at a bar every night and sharing your pain with fellow barflies is at least as successful in coping with life as going to a mental illness center.
Look at things like gainful employment and ability to hold relationships together at people who go to those centers. As someone who would never have taken mind altering drugs willingly I’m angry at being lied too. Many of us here are.
Over and over I was told, “Your only hope for a productive life–a job and good relationships is to accept you’re hopelessly evil (SMI means this) and take your meds.”
Getting along better with my family since my conscience and empathy are awake once more. And rejecting my label helped alter behaviors associated with that. My parents are amazed. Dad is angry too and sad I was swindled out of years of life and am forced to live in extreme poverty since the drugs and label prevented gainful employment.
I find solace in music, poetry, the beautiful scenery, friendships (now that I can get along with others), and my faith.
Sadly my system is really messed up after 25 years on drugs. Heart problems and 2 autoimmune diseases started before I came off. Benign side effects of my “treatments” I guess. Lol.
Rachel, the eloquence with which you share the harm you’ve experienced is exceptional. I hope you will eventually write about your psychiatric career, and the events precipitating it, on a wider scale than just here in the peanut gallery of MIA. Your ability to describe the harms without transmitting the underlying current of rage some of us struggle with, is unique.
I will. Finding a way to earn a livelihood comes first since publicly sharing my story will likely cause me to lose SSI.
Having my label would be nice–if possible–since it would restore my legal rights. Once you are “diagnosed” something like “schizophrenic” or “bipolar” you’re no longer a citizen and can have your rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness stripped from you at ANY time based on the word of some guy in a lab coat who doesn’t know you from Adam.
I knew better than to ask my shrink for my freedom, nice as she was as a person.
*having my label REMOVED
I fear that spending too much time on MIA may be affecting Rachel’s anti-psychiatry consciousness; it’s hard to swim in a sea of reformism with almost no other input without being affected. She needs to re-sharpen her perspectives and arguments by spending more time interacting with those who realize that the question is not WHY but HOW to make psychiatry history. (Maybe you can help with that KS.)
Don’t mind if you’re listening Rachel. 🙂 Planning to write you soon.
I’m not offended Oldhead. 🙂
Rachel, I hear you. I’m hoping to encourage you to write because it’s a talent you possess. It needn’t be here at MIA, it needn’t be your psych story specifically. But it’s a talent that you can harness even though your physical issues make finding and working a traditional job difficult. I believe there is a market calling for your experience – your experience as the preacher’s daughter, your fall from Grace, the years lost – feeling alienated and separated from the flock, eventual, if albeit slow and scary, redemption. It needn’t be autobiographical or even published under your name. But you have a talent for writing and a perspective of both harm and recovery in a unique setting. Maybe I am seeing something that you’re not ready for, but I can imagine having your book on my shelf. I hope that you will give it some thought and consider what I’m suggesting. The fact that your faith remains strong even through all of your struggles is remarkable, and I think you have the linguistic ability and psychic fortitude to pull such a feat off.
Thank you doctor for insight, if a somewhat glib presentataion. Psychiatry has always been in the shadow-subordinate- of ‘real’ medical science, and now, possibly, they see new opportunity to make justification on issues not accurately medical, like hunger, as well as poverty, and homelessness for that matter. Overreaching, no doubt, crying for greater legitimacy. These issues are social ones, more to the point.
Psychiatry has driven a lot of people into poverty, while getting richer from doing so. The underlying and rather torturous message from clinician to client is often “I have and you lack.”
Diagnosis: energy vampirism, which is the underlying cause of classism, which is the root of marginalization and social injustice, which inevitably leads to rage, powerlessness, depression, depsondence, hopelessness, violence, and/or suicide. It’s really simple math.
Very funny Dr. Kelmenson. I enjoyed this.
Most of the public seems to offer no resistance to ~mental health~ or ~psychotherapy~. The see the people who are being subjected to these, as deserving it.
Justice is out of the question, just Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Recovery, and Salvation. These all reinforce the Self-Reliance Ethic.
Your satire is funny because it is articulate and painfully true. However, I thought that I understood the blog completely until Slayer questioned how the blog specified “biological” psychiatry; thereafter, I was confused about the distinction. As an accredited medical science (albeit an illegitimate medical science), all psychiatry is “biological” psychiatry. However, most people who use the term intend to make some distinction from “mainstream” psychiatry; what was your intent?
Good question. So I’ll now clarify what I mean by “biological psychiatry”: I’m referring to the movement, not just by psychiatry but by our entire healthcare industry, media/entertainment industries, educational system, and government, to promote the idea that any/all unpleasant feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are “medically-treatable brain diseases” caused by “chemical imbalances” or “genetically-hardwired brain defects”. This movement, which began in the 1980s with the DSM-III’s acceptance, has been so “successful”, that nearly a fourth of Americans have been duped into voluntarily getting onto assembly lines to acquire harmful sedatives, placebos, and addictive pills for themselves or their kids. And as I said in my “Psychiatry’s Greatest Harm: Its Lies Have Poisoned Our Entire Culture” blog, nearly everyone now seems to have accepted the medical model’s lies/propaganda even if they don’t take its pills, since it’s malignantly/deeply infested our entire society. It’s like a religion that all Americans are indoctrinated into starting at birth.
Of course I’m also against psychiatry’s forcefully removing thousands of people without a trial, locking/chaining them up, and inhumanely subjecting them to atrocities like lobotomy, shock ‘treatments’, forced injections, etc. as it’s been doing for hundreds of years. But my focus is on its ongoing modern rise in scope and power, which not only has led to huge epidemics here of overdosing, suicides, and mass shootings, but has also weakened America so much that it could lead to our ultimate downfall. We’re thus all threatened by this largely new/distinct phenomenon, which needs to be called something. Maybe “biological psychiatry” isn’t the best term to use, and I’m sorry if it wrongly suggests that I support reform rather than abolition of psychiatry. But it’s a succinct term which somewhat describes this specific phenomenon, and which people generally understand what is being conveyed.
Pharmacological psychiatry is a better term. Your actual biology’s ignored (your own biochemicals can’t be patented, fortunately, as you could then be sued for patent infringement if they were), in favor of putting you on the pharma rep’s latest wonder drug (you’ll wonder why you’re on it).
Dr. Kelmenson, if that is your assessment, then what do/did you do as a practicing Psychiatrist since all those problems are deemed by you to essentially be “normal” behavior? ANY “treatment” you would have given would then be a farce, unethical, potentially harmful, or at best a placebo.
I actually agree with you that these behaviors are not necessarily rooted in a physical defect of the brain in many cases, but are more based in the needs of the human animal in conflict with our construct that is modern society, and as society moves to a more and more inhumane model – or not even human at all – our disassociation with its core tenets shatters into often violent reactions of either self-harm or an attack on the larger civilization in general. If this is reinforced by a peer group, or religion, it can be national or international in scale like Oklahoma City or 9/11.
But there are also very influential environmental agents, the prevalent chemicals and poisons ingested in our bodies from the air, water, food we eat and other invisible dangers such as radiation. These do cause physical, biological alteration of our brain function over time and generations and the treatment – other than prevention or a realignment back to the natural order – would seem to be more chemicals to counter the effects, like baking soda in a fridge of rotting meat. Not a cure, but a mask. Iodine after Chernobyl.
People open up to me about the problems, stresses, disappointments, and interpersonal conflicts going on in their lives, and as you said – about their difficulties adapting to the inhumaneness of our modern society, and I mostly listen and try to empathize/understand what they’re dealing with, in a confidential environment.
Lawrence, you are describing PSYCHIATRY. PERIOD. There is NO “biological psychiatry” as distinct from some other kind. Psychiatry is psychiatry. It has ALWAYS been “biological.” You are repeating a meme designed to foster the impression that one can choose between “types” of psychiatry like candy in a candy store. ALL psychiatry is based in disempowering people via their internalizing a belief that they are inherently diseased.
Please DROP this term, you are doing a disservice by validating this “biological psychiatry” myth. No matter how you justify it to yourself you are creating an opening for people to say we need to go back to the “original” psychiatry, when THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE!!!
Dr. Kelmenson, thank you for stating the problem clearly. I agree there is an overmedication epidemic, its become part of the heart and soul of our culture to take pills, pills for anything, everything. As someone diagnosed with an SMI, its a nearly impossible feat to refrain from taking antipsychotic drugs- drugs that have become far too pervasive. The argument I find personally troubling is a person diagnosed with an SMI seemingly must take drugs for the safety of others. This is ludicrous, whether the diagnosed person actually needs the drugs or not, society expects- and demands- the person be medicated, that is, for society’s sense of safety more than the safety of the suffering individual, even when there are proven alternative ways to modify that individual’s emotional stress or psychosis without drug use or sole drug use.
Precisely. Demonizing the “SMI” is great PR for psychiatry in keeping its “customer base”, but it backfires since it helps them keep their “life long consumer” stable but make us hard to replace when our painful, stunted lives are tragically cut short.
Psychiatry is NOT about helping those they label to lead productive, high quality lives. It’s about crippling those they view as threats somehow. The “help” offered is on par with how JFK’s embarrassing sister was “helped” by a doctor damaging her brain till she couldn’t walk or talk again. 🙁
I support your use of the term “biological psychiatry” as you clarified its use here. It is is very important to recognize and define what has taken place over the last 4 decades with the incredible growth of the Medical Model and the powerful rise (at its head) of an evolving institution of psychiatry “on steroids.”
Our grandmother’s and grandfather’s psychiatry was always oppressive from its inception, and defining how psychiatry has morphed into “biological psychiatry” does NOT have to mean we are somehow giving the earlier incarnations of psychiatry some sort of “pass.”
This is a bankrupt position and I don’t see how you can possibly consider it useful. It justifies the pursuit of a “better” psychiatry and spreads confusion. There is no “better” psychiatry nor were there any “good old days” of psychiatry. Whatever permutation of psychiatry exists in any given day must be opposed based on the inherently fraudulent premises upon which it is and has always been based, not the particular variations of psychiatric theory or practice which may characterize a particular era; these are mere details. (Aside from the fact that psychiatry has been drugging people since the ships of fools, which was just as biological as Abilify.)
Capitalism evolved into Imperialism (spreading its oppressive tentacles over the entire planet, searching for new markets and cheaper labor).
Recognizing this historical development of capitalism into Imperialism is both useful and informative, and in NO WAY does it somehow mean that we are denying, and/or minimizing the oppressive nature of capitalism as a system of human exploitation.
Psychiatry did not “evolve” into using drugs and physical abuse as “treatment,” this is how it was from the beginning. Only the specific chemicals have changed. And again, the primary destructiveness of psychiatry lies not in specific physical abuses but the underlying internalization of people’s legitimate rage against themselves rather than directing it against the system holding them down. This is the one constant.
I believe the concept of MI is useful to segregate from society those who we see as possessing traits we dislike or fear in ourselves. Diagnosing and “treating” supposed MI exists as the great segregator. It works well! We are taken out of the workforce, forced to live in separate housing, booted out of colleges and even from families, incarcerated, or killed. Supposedly, hiding us makes society more comfortable for the non-MI, or those who assume they are.
As example, a group I was in a long time ago kicked me out and then, patted themselves on the back for getting rid of the “bad apple.”
Oldhead, yes abuse in the form of “asylums” has been around since the 18th century.
But thanks to it’s associations with the AMA psychiatry has been able to deceive many more people since the 1980’s. Far greater numbers suffer under it.
And, before psychiatry “proved” that “mental illness” was a life sentence and poor life choices young people made meant they should be written off as hopeless has not improved things. If you read Shakespeare or Mary Shelley you’ll see that the “mad” got better all the time.
It may not be more cruel, but it is far more dangerous. A kitten may be as angry as a tiger but it can’t inflict the damage a tiger can.
Psychiatry, the mental health treatment system, is a diversion from addressing and resolving long standing social issues. Medicine deals with physical problems. By treating social problems as physical problems the mental health treatment system perpetuates itself, and such social problems as exist. Theory has it that things are the way they are because of slouchers, degenerates, and suchlike genetically defective people desperately in need of treatment facilities, and voila! Society has it’s two basic archetypes, with all shades between, popular successes and rejects.
Hi Lawrence, This is another one of your very funny pieces, that should be published ‘everywhere’.
There was lots and lots of talk about loneliness a few years ago. It was supposed to be the worst thing that could happen and supposed to come about comparatively recently. And then a drug came on the market to counter it..
How do you like that..!
Thank you. Yes – In order to fit in to our culture, we must deny that there’s ever anything troubling us and say that everything is perfect in our lives no matter what’s going on…If we do admit to getting upset, we must say it’s due to “struggling with depression or bipolar disorder”, and just shut up and take our “chemical imbalance-correcting happy pills”.
In 1984, the Thought Police force Happy Pills on everyone; in 2019, the Thought Police only force Happy Pills on people when they act unhappy. Beware.
In Brave New World the elite stayed in power by use of the carrot. In 1984 it was the stick.
In our world the “soft diagnoses” and “normals” live in Huxley’s future and may enjoy “soma.” But fall out of line, be unlucky, or get sick from the “soma” and you’ll find you’re in 1984 and Big Brother owns you.
The scene where O’Brien “cures” Smith of his “insanity” by shocking him into thinking as told is SO psychiatric.
Like how they force the “non compliants” into the “insight” of the Chemical Imbalance lie they know is not true. It’s not about curing delusions to trick someone into believing a lie nor about restoring cognitive function through 3-6 brain drugs. It’s about power and being someone else’s god.
I can’t stand it when so-called progressive or “enlightened” people claim poverty is an attitude problem. Everyone I know who ended up in poverty was either born into it already or ended up broke due to bad luck. Medical bills can kill your wallet. Another reason is when a person decides to start a business, and then invests a huge amount into that business but it fails. Any time you start a business it’s a huge risk and you really have to have reliable people helping you out. No one can predict the future. I’m almost scared of people who are grandiose enough to think they can.
Contrary to what some claim, you can’t just think of money and then, it’ll appear. Also you can live on very little but there’s a certain amount you need just to get by. While you can indeed live in the wilderness, very true…I considered it a while back…I found out it would be very expensive or impossible without a car. You CAN indeed live on rice and beans but not long term. Anyone lecturing others about eating nothing but rice and beans needs to try it themselves. When I was homeless I was struggling to get drinking water and to find a place to go to the bathroom. Just try it, try holding it all night because the past evening there was no place to go. Try walking 20 miles at night because you don’t have bus money. Yes, you need money.
I also did not know about this study you referred to in footnote #1. I’m going to check that out because it supports my theory that extreme dieting leads to all kinds of distress that gets misdiagnosed as one kind of MI or another. Extreme dieting also leads to distorted body image and long-term eating problems. These studies are ignored by the eating disorders community because they would rather treat ED by force. Force-feeding, incarceration, intimidation, verbal abuse, shaming, guardianship, and more. It’s more profitable to take away the rights of (usually) young women and girls, even removing them from their families, than it is to allow them get better. The ED treatment racket is pulling in more and more money and now they want to take it not only from wealthy families but from taxpayers.
Friend,do you want to wind up homeless or institutionalized, friendless and broke? Do you want to suffer dozens of bizarre health problems, gain over 100 pounds and die before your mid fifties? Do you want to be socially isolated or segregated in a setting reminiscent of Kindergarten no one ever outgrows?
Be sure to call Dr. Bernie S. Gas at 555-555-5555. As a licensed psychiatrist with decades of experience in putting people on various medications and diagnosing them with terms that would be an insult coming from anyone but a real doctor I have just what you need to achieve these goals.
Call Dr. Gas MD at 555-5555. Don’t let stigma scare you away from the life that I deserve.
This is what should really terrify people, Saddleback Church Founders Rick and Kay Warren, already having gotten their Celebrating Recovery Program into our prisons, now:
And with the 8 story Integrative Psychiatry Building at UC Irvine.
Born Again Christianity, Recovery, and Mental Health all fused together!
This definitely sucks. No tax money should be allocated for junk science — a good demand for those who gravitate towards the legislative arena.
The scary thing is, is that although calling it ‘poverty’ does sound satirically ludicrous, I can imagine it being swallowable as ‘poverty-induced conduct and/or affective disorders’. ‘The malnutrition has caused the brain to degenerate, so indicates pharmacological intervention to normalise starved neurochemical processes’. Also, ‘the starvation is damaging the brain more than the drug might, and we are really hoping that the normalising effects of the pharmacotherapy will enable you to enrich yourself, because the vicious cycle created by poverty-induced brain abnormality needs to be broken. … Maybe, after your brain’s been renormalised, you can be re-equipped again to break free from the poverty which caused your brain abnormality in the first place. We’re doing this because we’re on your side (smile sweetly here).’
As for biological blah-blah. I’ve always hated that word because is not society just a (biotic) process of some human and other (?) lifeforms? Isn’t a “social” approach biological, too (in the same way human geography would be the (human) biological aspects of geography)?
I suppose my take on this is that it is aetiology and philosophy of medicine at play here. Bad social experiences denormalise the body. A bad experience can injure the body including affecting the mind. A normal body would have bones broken by a hard fall. No one would suggest that bones re-fusing is an abnormal symptom of ‘osteolysis’ (a word I constructed here from combining forms to mean ‘broken bones’—not sure if attested before, or a neologism) or ‘osteolytic disorder’. In the same way, minds heal. These healing processes might be unusual (because of the great diversity of minds from which our communities thrive from); but not necessarily abnormal ([not] not how they *ought* to be). Unusual mental healing processes are often dubbed abnormal sheerly due to their unusualness.
If, however, the process genuinely is not helping, it might need improving, à la repositioning bones. However, psychiatry as practised will often be just as maladaptive as those processes it seeks to improve (even the genuinely unhelpful ones). Unlike bones, however, minds cannot be crudely readjusted or repositioned by mere hand or instrument manipulation. ’Software’ glitches cannot be fixed by spanner, screwdriver, and hammer; if it is coding which suffices.
So, firstly, is a somatic (and I would say, including mental) effect of a bad environment: • unhelpful (e.g., bones which need surgery); or • part of the normal healing process (e.g., bones fusing back together again)?
The second question is what an even abnormal process is caused by. Is persistent sadness a healthy response caused by persistently dire situation which would spur a person to redress the direness of his/her situation? Do you treat the sadness with drugs or something else, or its root cause? Is the dire situation external or internal (like neurochemical). If the latter, probably in the first place caused/unbalanced *by* drugs (perhaps a psychiatrist’s), thus with external distal causes, I would say.
Finally, I believe psychiatry exists—I just believe it is seldom practised, and those that do are perhaps not accredited as such (e.g., a good validating friend), or by psychiatrists who dissent from status quo ethos. What gets called psychiatry and medicine (of the mind) is usually mired in pseudoscience and false assumptions. However, the principle that mental health exists, I subscribe to. However, vested interests have often corrupted the ways we determine mental health to get us to view healthy mental conditions as ill, usually by exploiting the condition’s unusualness—which it will invariably be, if not sheerly due to the great and wonderful diversity in thinking humanity has. Furthermore, unhelpful (but profitable) adaptations have also been encouraged through profit interests’ advertisement to become usual. We do not view smoking as abnormal, even though it is often unhelpful; because it is usual. Drug dependency is excluded from England’s Mental Health Act. Drug dependency is not thought of in folk parliance as a mental illness, even though it is a mental biochemical process, and often unhelpful. Why not?—it is usual.
Astronomy isn’t called ‘astrology’ because of the folk ideas about the signs of the Zodiac. Otherwise, the word ‘astrology’ fits the meaning ‘astronomy’ fills. The DSM’s ‘astrology-esque’ psychology does not mean humanity cannot practise, study, and further real psychology, even if we have to rename it ‘psychonomy’ or such like in the similar way scientific astrologists used the word ‘astronomy’ to distinguish. We just have to be vigilant against astrology-esque psychologists trying to infiltrate (perhaps [though, definitely not always] unwittingly, with best intention) astronomy-style psychologic endeavour with their ideas.
Unlike many astrologers, psychiatrists force dissenters to comply with their ethos. Astrologers that aren’t emotionally backmailingly agressive just have a different ethos to astronomers’. I hope my psychology here is astronomy-esque, and even and especially if it is not, that I do not force my psychology ethos on anyone (either pro- or anti-DSM). The only thing I object to morally in pro-DSMism (and perhaps, to an extent with anti-DSMism, despite the latter being my stance too), is their staunch steadfast complacent willingness and eagerness even, to impose DSMism onto dissenters. I am okay with people who hold opinions, I disagree with, but don’t force your opinions on me (and perhaps get rich doing so). Practise it with voluntary non-disinformedly influenced participants.
What do we replace astrology-esque psychiatry with? In general, whatever the patient or non-medical-model client and expert practitioner agree to work with. If we force the world to use our own particular unique diverse mental healing technique of which we individually prefer, we are risking being just like the DSMists who typically value coercion. Perhaps there is no just one answer, and even if there is, it doesn’t matter if some do not believe it and practise a wrongheaded answer—coercing their ably considered decision makes us like such DSMists.
Nothing stops me and anyone from earnestly trying to persuade other people from other opinions, and discussing with my or anyone’s important unique perspective; if we do not resort to the mark of unsophistication: coercion of the ably considering. The latter is how many DSMistic practitioners operate—my biggest objection, more than my epistemic criticisms of DSMism.
I think Lawrence Clemenson might have Oppositional Defiance Disorder!
I love this piece, thank you!! I secretly wish you would include more of the confusion between anti-authoritarian leanings/behavior and “ADHD” in your reference to the true nature of kids’ “behavior problem”; another “annoying” behavior that is an obvious sign of “brain disease”!
Local authorities go far out of their way to try and keep the homeless classified as ~mentally ill~ and on ~psychiatric medications~, and they try to build places to house them with on-site ~mental health services~.
Some of this is the legacy of the George W. Bush HUD, which came up with this doctrine, “Housing First”. The idea was that someone might need mental health treatment, and they might need vocational training, but for these to be effective, they best be housed. So there has been federal money for housing the homeless. And in this sense it is a progressive move.
But what is also true is that all of this housing is centered on mental health services, funneling people into accepting a ~mental health identity~.
One of the service providers who does this is this Abode Housing Services.
They have turned the Housing First idea, into away of promoting ~mental health~, and painting the picture that poor people are poor because they have ~mental problems~.
And really, no one even tries to oppose this. The homeless want the housing. Generally a ~mental health~ approach does mean a certain degree of tolerance. And local officials, more than anything, they want the poor and the homeless tethered.
Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Recovery, and Salvation Seeking are inseparable from the creation of a vast underclass, usually of people who are the designated family scapegoats.
Perhaps, but that “vast underclass” keeps Psychiatry, Recovery, and Salvation Seeking afloat while paying the bills for the respective professionals in such fields. Boycott such professions, and your “underclass” is no longer so “vast” nor “under” as it once was.
Social scapegoating though starts in the home for sure.
Yes, we must boycott all such professions, and social scapegoating starts in the home.
Oldhead, the present order depends entirely upon getting those at the margins and those at the very bottom to accept this ~recovery~ ~rehabilitation~ ~salvation seeking~ model instead of justice. People who have nothing and who have lived the hardest of lives are pressed to accept the idea that it is all their fault.
Without this things would quickly change.
We have ballot boxes and the courts, but those at the bottom are pressed to never even consider using them.
The whole thing is based on a deeply rooted socioeconomic agenda. It is to regulate how poor people think.
Oldhead, we have talked about barricades and trenches. Well thinking about this, I see a broad swath of issues.
Robert Whitaker and others are doing a very good job exposing how horrid these drugs are. But most of the public still seems to see them as necessary. And of those who take them, they seem to have the same appeal as street drugs. So it is taking time, and eliminating them will have to happen at a national level.
Of the Recovery Movement and the Salvation industry, I would say that the most we could do is discredit them, and get the government out of them. As it is today, most people seem to believe in them.
Of Psychotherapy, all I would try to do is get it delicensed and discredited. Some restrictions requiring court supervision when it is being done on a minor. Child abuse has to be suspected. But I think the most promising thing is that people are suing psychotherapists for “transference abuse”.
So I see Psychotherapy as a big contact point. Whether one ends up with psych drugs or a psychotherapist seems to depend on who is paying.
Kaiser and the County try to limit access to their psychotherapists ( GREAT ), but what they substitute is drugs. And them some parents will take their child to be drugged.
But Psychotherapy is still something most people believe in.
So I want to start promoting lawsuits against psychotherapists, and then following up to put them out of business. I believe that most psychotherapists could be taken out, if one could just get past them to their clients.
Donald Trump’s war on the homeless:
“Nothing Ends Homelessness Like a Home”: Advocates Slam Trump’s Attack on SF & Homeless People
Trump vs. California: In Blow to Climate, U.S. Revokes State’s Stricter Auto Emissions Standards
As Man Dies in ICE Custody, California Moves to Ban For-Profit Prisons, Including Immigrant Jails
Trump and the Republicans are foisting a Neo-Liberal Supply Side fantasy onto our populace. This has been going on for over 30 years now, and most people believe it. It is totally illogical, Voodoo Economics, or Faith Based Economics.
It really will go to internment camps and biomass conversion technologies if we do not find ways to act and educate the public.
Trump is making war on the homeless and the poor, going after food stamps. And then talking about new programs and internment camps.
Really, anyone who has been harmed, who has to protect themselves, is vulnerable to getting caught by the mental health system. They use the need for benefits, and the fact that someone needs to protect oneself from being further harmed. If they think they have found an easy mark, they can start with polite interrogation.
Anyone who has been harmed, survived abuses, they need to protect themselves from follow on abuses. Privacy is a necessary first line of defense. My friend K. was taking a huge risk and a Kaiser Doctor called and had him hauled off on a Psychiatric Hold.
There is never any such thing as ‘healing’ or ‘recovery’ in the area of systemic abuse. The abuses are still happening.
You have only Victory, or Defeat, or total collapse and collaboration with the enemy via denial systems.
The mental health system is that ultimate vehicle of collaboration.
I doubted before that it could just grab someone. But yes, it is an arm of the state, never more than a 911 call away. So now I understand better how innocent people get caught in it. Or I am starting to.
Need to make training courses and literature and have attorneys ready to help people evade it.
And the poor are always some of the most vulnerable.
Anyone who has had their legitimacy revoked, nullified, stands at risk of further abuses via efforts to break down their privacy.
Being sent to a Psychotherapist is one of the worst.
What it revolves around are types of abuses and delegitimation which our society is in denial about. Once you have survived these, your life depends upon privacy walls. But the tool most likely used to attack you will be the con artistry of psychotherapy.
And gov’t agencies could try to subject you to this.
Psychotherapy is a state operated tool used to break people down.
Removed for moderation.
Removed for moderation.