Ready, Fire, Aim: Mainstream Psychiatry Reacts to the UN Special Rapporteur

Niall McLaren
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Over the years, the UN Human Rights Council has been a target for criticism, but like a lot of UN bodies, its most important work is often unseen by the general public. One of its many roles is to investigate different aspects of human rights, which it does by means of Special Rapporteurs. This is a standing agency, headed by a uniquely qualified individual and supported by investigative and analytic staff from around the world. Rapporteurs exist for fields such as the rights of children, rights of women, torture, slavery, poverty, extra-judicial killings, health, etc, with mental health occupying a prominent place. The role is deliberately independent of governments; moreover, while they are responsible to the UN, Special Rapporteurs are not employed by that body.

Two recent reports by the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health1 2 placed long-overdue emphasis on the failings of mainstream institutional psychiatry. As dry as these types of documents may be, anybody with an interest in institutional responses to mental disorder should read them to understand supranational trends in enlightened thinking. For example, in his second report, the Special Rapporteur notes:

91. Mental health services suffer from an excessive focus on outdated approaches through which the majority of resources are allocated to individual treatment for diagnosed mental health conditions, including psychotropic medications and institutional care. This global imbalance continues to reinforce an equity, evidence and implementation gap.

92. Global trends indicate a proliferation of policies and practices in which universal human rights principles are actively undermined or human rights are applied in a selective way…

This is not exactly news to many readers; what may be surprising is that the current Special Rapporteur for mental health is a psychiatrist. Prof. Dainius Pūras, a distinguished Lithuanian child and adolescent psychiatrist and epidemiologist who has held the post since 2014, is singularly qualified to conduct this type of enquiry. His reports represent the distillation of investigations by national and international teams around the world, and his conclusions cannot be gainsaid. Nonetheless, he has attracted a hostile response from mainstream psychiatrists who, without checking his CV, have identified him as part of a “global anti-psychiatry movement.”

In a commissioned commentary, two psychiatrists, Dharmawardene and Menkes, assailed the Special Rapporteur’s “anti-psychiatry bias,” in particular, his challenge to what they called the “biomedical model of psychiatry.”3 They warned against the creeping demedicalisation of psychiatry as akin to “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” Patients, they claimed, are not so much concerned with “ideological baggage” as with what works, and “many psychiatric presentations are effectively and quickly treated with purely biological treatments.”
I responded to their article, pointing out some facts about the role of the Special Rapporteur, that there is no articulated “biomedical model of psychiatry,” and that there is no such thing as a worldwide antipsychiatry movement (or conspiracy).4 Their commentary reads as a crude ad hominem attack on the Rapporteur himself in order to divert attention from his well-founded conclusions about mainstream psychiatry.

My defence of Prof. Pūras did not go down well. In an intemperate response,5 Dharmawardene and Menkes attacked me for being “biased … extremist … (holding) anti-psychiatry views … dangerous” and a pawn of psychiatry’s bogey-man, Scientology. Above all, they were outraged that anybody could suggest their “biomedical model of mental disorder” doesn’t exist. They have been invited to provide evidence of this model (the same one that, 42 years ago, George Engel said was no good), under risk of allegations of scientific fraud.6

Similarly, a recent article in Lancet Psychiatry echoed these sentiments.7 Ian Hickie, one of the most influential psychiatrists in Australia, denigrated the reports as “ill-conceived,” “historically inaccurate” and unbalanced, full of “anti-medical and anti-clinical rhetoric. … The Special Rapporteur is particularly vehement in his attack on psychotropic medications.” Hickie continues:

“From the 1960s these new therapeutic approaches (drugs) facilitated the end of the asylum era and, hence, the development of more progressive and community-based health and social policies.”

What is this “ill-conceived,” “historically inaccurate” and unbalanced rhetoric? Let’s look at what the Special Rapporteur says, rather than at what somebody says he says. From his report:

4. … Narrow conceptions of determinants, together with an overreliance on biomedical explanations of emotional distress and mental health conditions, deflect political attention away from rights-based policies and actions that promote health.

5. The explanation of mental health inequities extends well beyond the biological and individual to the social, economic and political…

In case anybody missed the point, he invites comment:

10. … (The Special Rapporteur) challenges stakeholders to reflect on how biomedical dominance has led to overmedicalization in the health sector, particularly in mental health, diverting resources away from a rights-based approach to the promotion of mental health…

All of that strikes me as well-conceived, accurate and balanced. What is unbalanced is the response of mainstream psychiatry to the Rapporteur’s invitation to reconsider some directions in mental health policy. Hickie, for example, distorts the historical record in his claim that drugs led to the closure of asylums in the 1960s and their replacement with community-based programs. In fact, the gigantic mental hospitals built in the Victorian era were being closed from early in the 1950s, before psychotropic drugs were invented. In the main, they have not been replaced, unless you count living in prisons or on the streets as “community-based resources.”

Moreover, he attacks the report on the basis that the Special Rapporteur has assembled “so-called straw men” (which is the wrong use of that expression but we can guess what he means), one of which is the notion of power asymmetries in mental health practice. However, he doesn’t come back to this point; it is left dangling, with the clear implication that the Special Rapporteur has got it wrong. In fact, he hasn’t. Hickie has. From the Special Rapporteur’s report:

33. Meaningful participation has been undermined by entrenched power asymmetries within traditional mental health settings (see A/HRC/35/21). Trust, the bedrock of therapeutic relationships, has been corroded, particularly where coercive and paternalistic practices are prioritized.

A person detained in a mental hospital in the state of Queensland has far fewer rights than a prisoner in this state — essentially, none. Ninety-seven percent of people appearing before Mental Health Review Tribunals in Queensland have no legal representation yet they can be detained by a quasi-judicial procedure using unsworn and hearsay evidence, then locked in isolation, wrestled to the ground and injected, for as long as the psychiatrist likes. This can and does mean forever (see here) with very limited rights of appeal. If that doesn’t represent an asymmetry of power, it isn’t clear what would.

On the other hand, Menckes and Dharmawardene were simply frothing at the mouth in their fact-free attack on the Special Rapporteur’s carefully-considered report. But why? When challenged to reconsider “overmedicalisation,” why do mainstream psychiatrists react as though they have been delivered an existential threat? Perhaps the answer is that they really do see it as an existential threat, because it is. Based on his unrivalled access to national data, the Special Rapporteur makes a number of suggestions:

34. … persons in vulnerable situations should in particular be included in all mental health-related decision-making. This approach requires accepting that the biomedical model in mental health care does not work for everyone, and that its overuse has left countless people behind.

Straight away, we have a major threat to mainstream psychiatry, which presumes that it alone has all the answers we need for questions of mental health. If the biomedical model doesn’t work for somebody, then obviously he needs more of it. This, of course, was the argument used to justify bleeding: if the patient didn’t get better, bleed him again. If he died, he was obviously too far gone to begin with so it wasn’t the fault of the treatment.

35. Innovation in the promotion of mental health must be defined and created at the local level…

That is, removing power from distant committees of psychiatrists running their feudal fiefs — a mortal threat.

49. Current mental health policies have been affected to a large extent by the asymmetry of power and biases because of the dominance of the biomedical model and biomedical interventions. This model has led not only to the overuse of coercion in case of psychosocial, intellectual and cognitive disabilities, but also to the medicalization of normal reactions to life’s many pressures, including moderate forms of social anxiety, sadness, shyness, truancy and antisocial behaviour…

Clearly a threat to the rising generation of academic psychiatrists, who must make their mark by finding a new disease, preferably one that can use a recently-developed drug needing a market.

50. Any effective engagement with violence as a determinant of mental health therefore needs to address the role of mental health services in perpetuating violent and paternalistic practices, which have reinforced the myth that individuals with certain diagnoses are at high risk of perpetuating violence and posing a threat to the public. There is no scientific evidence to support this myth, which is instrumentalized by discriminatory mental health laws that deprive people of liberty and their autonomy.

No comment required, but this is a dire threat to psychiatrists who make their living from diagnosing people as dangerous. The real point is that psychiatry has managed to convince governments around the world that compulsory treatment for a mental disorder must always override the individual’s right to freedom and independence. I have never seen anything that would amount to an argument for this view; like a cancer, it has quietly infiltrated the political process.

51. Regrettably, many parts of mental health-care systems, such as residential institutions and psychiatric hospitals, too often themselves breed cultures of violence, stigmatization and helplessness…

62. Overmedicalization is especially harmful to children, and global trends to medicalize complex psychosocial and public health issues in childhood should be addressed with a stronger political will.

85. The Special Rapporteur welcomes the debate on addressing depression as a risk factor for suicidal behaviour, but is concerned by the remaining global tendency to medicalize depression and suicidal behaviour, and by the further promotion of the disproven theory of “chemical imbalances”.

This is not rocket science. It is not “anti-medical and anti-clinical rhetoric,” not “biased … extremist … anti-psychiatry … dangerous” nor a tool of Scientology. Nobody could take exception to the moderate, realistic tone of the Special Rapporteur’s reports, except those who feel their privileged positions threatened. That is, mainstream psychiatrists who benefit from the power asymmetries. It is easy for somebody sitting on a mountain of power and privilege to tell those at the bottom of the pile that these things don’t count. If, however, Hickie and his friends disagree, I can easily set up a little experiment to ram home to them that, in mental health practice, power asymmetry is a brutal and omnipresent reality, if not the very essence of institutional psychiatry.

Mainstream psychiatrists have built their profitable empires on asymmetries of power, and will fight to the end to preserve them. Essentially, Hickie and his ilk have said to the Special Rapporteur: “If you don’t give total support for our project of domination and control, we will attack you.” Why? Because they fear any comment which threatens their power and privilege, which are based on a false premise, the notion of a “biomedical model of mental disorder.” This is, of course, the very antithesis of the scientific method, but as these critics show, mainstream psychiatrists know nothing about that, and care even less.

The so-called “key opinion leaders” in modern psychiatry, of whom Hickie is an exemplar, are not “clinical neuroscientists,” as they sometimes claim. Instead, they are supremely capable manipulators of the political process, all of it designed to aggrandise and enrich themselves. Be assured, they spend more time on the phone to their politician friends and wealthy benefactors than they do considering the nature of mental disorder or human rights. Why? Because that is what people at the top of asymmetrical power hierarchies do.

Show 7 footnotes

  1. UN Human Rights Council (2017). Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. https://www.refworld.org/docid/593947e14.html
  2. UN Human Rights Council (2019). Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. (2019) UNHRC Document A/HRC/41/34. https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G19/105/97/PDF/G1910597.pdf?OpenElement
  3. Dharmawardene, V, Menkes, DB (2019). Responding to the UN Special Rapporteur’s anti-psychiatry bias. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 53: 282–283. https://doi.org/10.1177/0004867418818359 (epub 10.12.18)
  4. McLaren, N (2019). Criticizing psychiatry is not ‘antipsychiatry’. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 53: 602–603.
  5. Menckes, D, Dharmawardene, V (2019). Anti-psychiatry in 2019, and why it matters. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 53: 921-922.
  6. McLaren, N (2019). Criticising psychiatry is still not “anti-psychiatry.” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. Published online, November 13, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/0004867419887797
  7. Hickie, I (2019). Building the social, economic, legal, and health-care foundations for “Contributing Lives and Thriving Communities”. The Lancet Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(19)30378-5

41 COMMENTS

  1. Niall,
    Thank you for the excellent blog.
    I am sure there are others like you and I wish they had the courage to come out.
    I keep mentioning that we need the UN, and I am happy to see the Rappoteur has courage and common sense.
    To lose human rights due to distress and no crime committed, is unbelievable…. and to defend itself, psychiatry jumps to most severe cases which are few.
    It is so typical of them to become defensive, I suppose because they really do fear a complete death to their profession.
    They could so easily save some scraps of it, maintain some dignity.

    There is obviously nothing I can say that is not related to what we already all know, so keep up the great work.

    I wish things were a bit better in Australia. And I hope the UN does more than talk, and hope that there would be some action resulting from the assessments.

    I honestly see no way to reform psychiatry. I would love to believe in it as a specialty, I really would.

  2. I wonder if those overseas would realise the direction being taken by our Prime Minister on the UN Dr McLaren?

    “The Prime Minister said he did not want to see global organisations like the UN getting overly involved in the governance of independent nations.”

    From this article

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-04/scott-morrison-takes-jab-at-united-nations-during-lowy-lecture/11572804

    Keep your noses out of our human rights abuses.

    I find myself wondering about your offer of an “experiment”.

    “It is easy for somebody sitting on a mountain of power and privilege to tell those at the bottom of the pile that these things don’t count. If, however, Hickie and his friends disagree, I can easily set up a little experiment to ram home to them that, in mental health practice, power asymmetry is a brutal and omnipresent reality, if not the very essence of institutional psychiatry.”

    After being spiked with benzos and having a knife and some cannabis planted on me to bring me under the control of police, who then handed me over to mental health services to be ‘verballed’ and in effect remove my human and civil rights and allow me to be tortured, I wouldn’t mind being involved in some such experiment. Because given the fact that I now know how to effect arbitrary detentions and torture, and have letters from our Chief Psychiatrist and Minister saying nothing to see here, I think I could easily demonstrate how Australia is violating human rights and torturing citizens. And once “lawful sanction” applies, what would constitute torture is now considered to be ‘medical care’. And police will provide some extreme assistance to ensure that the “patient” has no avenue of resolution via criminal negligence and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

    How easy is it when a Community Nurse can use the methods of a nite Club rapist to spike a citizen with stupefying/intoxicating drugs and plant the evidence on them to obtain a police referral? And then with the power to read minds and travel through time and space to make ‘valid observations’ to document on the statutory declaration required to detain and force drug a person? And further, a Chief Psychiatrist who doesn’t even understand a burden of proof (suspect on reasonable grounds). I’d love you to read his letter of response to the Mental Health Law Centre, it’s an absolute farce that was designed to do psychological damage to someone he knew had been tortured and kidnapped.

    I assume you know the method of ‘spiking’ with benzodiazpines and then causing an ‘acute stress reaction’ by having police threaten to shoot the target you intend to torture into a confession. And then disappearing the documented evidence of the ‘spiking’ and slandering the victim as a paranoid delusional should they complain about being drugged without their knowledge. Its certainly working an absolute treat where I live. Police get to interrogate people who have been drugged without their knowledge after using ‘coercive methods’ on them (eg mock execution) and then mental health services mop up the mess by ‘treating’ the victim and calling it ‘medicine’. I can do an introduction to the Operations Manager who is “fuking destroying” anyone who complains about this conduct if you like? She might enjoy being part of the experiment too.

    Anyway, good article and I hope you keep us informed of any reponse from these critics of the Special Rapportuer.

    • Just to clarify.

      The Community Nurse commits the offences of conspiring to stupefy to commit an indictable offence, namely kidnapping. Police provide themselves with the discretionary power to overlook his criminal conduct and in return he provides the authority to spike someone with stupefying intoxicating drugs, though in both instances neither has the power to do this. Police are required to report such matters to their superiours and the Community Nurse doesn’t have the ability to prescribe benzos even with knowledge, never mind authorise the spiking of people he has never even met.

      And of course when we examine the Convention against the use of torture it is the “acquiescence” of public officers who are trained in what does and does not constitute torture that is the problem here, with no “emergency provisions” and “no superiour authority”. Still, they threatened my family and what ya gunna do? They threatened lawyers and a psychologist who actually listened to me too. Even asked him to use his position of trust to find out “who else has the documents” proving what i’m saying. These documents created problems when compared to the fraudulent set provided to the Mental Health Law Centre. Should have seen the Member of Parliaments face when he realised what had been done with the “edited” documents. Of course he did tell me he had to work with police (even if they are engaged in corrupt conduct I suppose) And then that business in the Emergency Dept?

      Lucky the Chief Psychiatrist doesn’t understand law or he might be expected to understand what “refoulment” of torture victims means. I still wonder how he can do his duty under the Act of “protecting the community, consumers and carers” and “provide expert legal advice to the Minister” when he doesn’t even know what the protections that are afforded these people in the Act are. I did ask the Minister but she claims that he is allowed to misrepresent the law in order to allow arbitrary detentions, its a power imbalance kinda thing. Shut up or we will ‘do’ your family stuff. That seems a little strange to me. How about you?

  3. Thank you for this piece and for speaking out. I wish the Special Rapporteur had not said “overmedicalization” which of course implies there is a need for psychiatric drugs to treat some “medical issues”. Aside from their use to prevent people from going into withdrawal, for tapering purposes, or to reinstate to stop an ongoing withdrawal syndrome (which only works some of the time) I’m really not seeing of what value they are otherwise. I would like to hope that is what he meant but I suspect it was not. The vast majority of psychiatric drugs never should have made it to market to start with and they only got there because of corruption or pseudo-scientific thinking. If they can’t even prove to start with that most of the “mental illnesses” are due to disease processes, that right off the top means the research is suspect. But arguing for a right to have these drugs around for reasons outside of what I just wrote above seems to me like arguing in favor of lax research and regulatory standards.

    • The Special Rapporteur spoke of “over-medicalization” in the context of labeling and drugging children. I’m not sure there is another way to tackle the subject effectively. At least he was recognizing such treatment for what it is, a form of excess. All medicalization is over-medicalization, when it comes to psychiatric drugs, in the sense that you are treating figurative “illnesses” as if they were physiological illnesses. The labeling and drugging of children on a large scale is a rather recent phenomenon, but look at where it leads. Children grow up, and into such learned conditions as adult ADHD *cough, cough*, or adult bipolar affective disorder. Cease labeling and drugging children, and you’ve got less so-called “mental illness” across the board. That’s another form of learning for you. One might call it learned healthiness, or even self-reliance.

  4. The UN already stated that Australias Mental Health Laws ARE a violation of human rights and that the treatments MAY constitute torture back in 2010. Or respective State governments have enacted new Mental Health Laws which enable even more vile human rights abuses and in the process have invalidated that statement by the UN.

    Fairly easily demonstrated, we now have mental health professionals appointed to police stations. Why you might ask.

    From the last Annual Report of the Council of Official Visitors.

    Ongoing Issues
    29. Police interviews with Involuntary Patients and concerns about Natural Justice (see P.26)
    This issue is ongoing.

    Now when you return to p. 26 to see what is written, there is nothing. The new Mental Health Act has married law enforcement and mental health services and provided carte blanche for the arbitrary detention, torture, maiming and killing of citizens as long as you call the target “patient”. And our authorities are fully aware of this fact. Of course they are well versed in cover ups and making false claims in defense of such acts as “they wouldn’t do that” or “we don’t know where the criminal code is” and therefore there is no need to look etc.

    I hear complaints about the system in the US and ponder what might be if we ever had a system where something that resembled a health care system existed. Dealing with these folk and they simply smirk at you knowing that with a telephone call they can have you murdered in an Emergency Dept., though the preferred method is to move in on your family. There is no pretending even anymore. Why would they? They have achieved a level of power that has our politicians living in fear. Ask Troy Buswell who fled the State rather than fall into the clutches of our mental health system.

  5. Niall, those last two paragraphs, beautifully synopsized! Or as pointed out in the real Bible, “For the love of money is the root of all evil ….” Although the love of power is absolutely problematic, too.

    As one of my former economics professors pointed out in this book. The lack of a variable for power, in all the microeconomic formulas, is what largely explains why our current economic policies are failing.

    https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=6835

    But I did learn the hard way, that many of our “mental health” workers don’t believe in God. Since I have proof in my medical records that they believed that a dream about being “moved by the Holy Spirit” is some kind of non-existent “Holy Spirit voice,” according to those “mental health” workers.

    But, that would be “mental health” workers, who hypocritically claimed to be Lutherans, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and/or Hindi. “Mental health” workers who were, in reality, all child abuse and easily recognized iatrogenesis covering up psychiatric and psychological profiteers, according to their medical records. Motives matter.

    But how shocking, as it turns out, covering up child abuse and rape has been the number one actual societal function of our paternalistic “mental health professionals,” likely for all religions and governments, for over a century.

    https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/23/18820633.php?fbclid=IwAR2-cgZPcEvbz7yFqMuUwneIuaqGleGiOzackY4N2sPeVXolwmEga5iKxdo

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/heal-for-life/

    I’m quite certain the psychiatrists and psychologists not only want to maintain unchecked power, due to their greed. But also because the “mental health” industries’ primary actual societal function, which is covering up child abuse and rape, is illegal. And those crimes are systemic crimes, by DSM design.

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

    “Nobody could take exception to the moderate, realistic tone of the Special Rapporteur’s reports, except those who feel their privileged positions threatened.” As well as because of their fear of their systemic, primarily child abuse covering up crimes, being exposed.

    But since the psychiatrists are killing 8 million people a year, supposedly based upon their scientific fraud based DSM “disorders.” But, in really, because their “treatments” are neurotoxins, since their “disorders” are scientifically “invalid.” The psychiatrists really do need to have their systemic crimes against humanity exposed, and ended.

    https://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/directors/thomas-insel/blog/2015/mortality-and-mental-disorders.shtml
    https://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/directors/thomas-insel/blog/2013/transforming-diagnosis.shtml

    And most certainly the psychiatrists, historically, have never confessed or repented for to their prior holocausts, like in Bolshevik led Russia and Nazi led Germany. And, most certainly, the US psychiatrists today, are also refusing to repent, and change their evil ways.

    The psychiatrist’s power does need to be taken away by others. Because the psychiatrists have not in history, and are refusing today, to give up their undeserved power voluntarily. Their systemic sins and crimes against humanity are far too great for them to ever give up their power voluntarily.

  6. **Mental health services suffer from an excessive focus on outdated approaches…
    Antipsychotics in literal translation from Latin are medicines against the soul, this name by itself surely restrain rebellious moods in the ancient world
    On the other hand neuroleptics are aimed at physical diseases accompanied by psychosis, because they act on a neural level

  7. Nothing makes the moral bankruptcy of the psychiatric industry clearer than the violence with which they protest and demean any effort to have a rational, fact-based discussion of their methods and philosophy. If they really knew what they were talking about, why would they have to discredit the critics instead of answering them with their “science?”

    • My argument precisely, why send fraudulent documents to the Mental Health Law Centre and arrange to have me overdosed if they were allowed to drug me without my knowledge and snatch me from my bed.

      It demonstrates that they not only knew they did wrong but that they are prepared to continue doing wrong to anyone who questions their methods.

    • The question remains: What to do about these guys?
      They obviously fill some sort of socioeconomic need or they couldn’t find work. Currently, psychiatry rates as one of the most highly-paid “professions” in the U.S.; probably similarly elsewhere.
      It seems to me we will have to doggedly work to knock out from under them all the props they currently use to make themselves seem so valuable.
      – We should push hard on the fact that non-psychiatric interventions are more effective at reducing or eliminating anti-social behaviors.
      – We should de-mystify the mind as much as possible, so that it is widely understood and techniques based on that understanding are in wide use.
      – We should push the benefits of honesty and decency in society, in all their forms. Because obviously, psychiatry has powerful supporters who don’t believe in honesty and decency. If they didn’t they would either be out of work, or they would adapt to an honest way of making a living.
      – We should continue to push for a total respect for human rights in all sectors of society, and educate people in general about what their rights are.
      – We should work to break the societal dependence on drugs as quick fixes for personal problems. We have these drugs because they help in emergencies. We need to show the public that they don’t need to be on a medication to be healthy and happy.

      I wanted to list these out, because I think it is clear that some of these are not easy to accomplish. Fault-finding and exposees are all well and good. But in the long run, we need solutions that work that can totally replace what’s going on currently in the field of “mental health” all across this planet.

  8. Throwing the baby out with the bath water is a reference to the times when everyone took a bath in the same tub, and the baby last, so by that time the bath was so clouded that they might not know there was anything as intelligent as a baby wondering why they no longer cared to sustain its life.

    Further more, remembering the kind of out of control behavior, many call crazy, but I wouldn’t insult those diagnosed with such a dilemma to use such terminology at all:

    Someone that doesn’t speak the language is put in an asylum, this I can vouch for.

    Someone who protests is put in an asylum, and the people there tell him that they know he’s not “crazy,” but don’t tell the police that brought him there that they can’t accept such discrepancies and lies.

    I’ve had it that a social worker confronted with the task of being simply honest, as if I’m too receptive to that and being honest isn’t productive, makes out that when she’s at a loss to convince anyone that I’m a danger to anything (which I wasn’t the whole time, at all) that I was supposed to have command dialogue going on to have heard the thoughts she was thinking that she didn’t express verbally, as if they were said verbally, and then further more might have made up afterwards, as if there’s some legal juxtaposition of time would she have to find reason for what didn’t happen in order to make out that she was protecting something that wasn’t helped at all by her indoctrinated brainwashing others were supposed to be infected with or there was some danger that didn’t appear to be there when it wasn’t. And this person still stalks me…. And I by now was supposed to feel free to make up the same lies about anyone that was honest rather than making out a danger was there when it wasn’t honestly at all.

    THAT kind of behavior is throwing the baby out with the bathwater by trying to get others to not even see there’s something vital inside of the cloud they’ve made of what was meant to be fulfilling to stuff one does to feel clean.

    In the same vein, someone actually able to dream and able to express the scenarios related to life, if they actually non violently make such relationship (say like Joseph Jacob’s son exposing his father’s manipulations of inheritence when nature honored honesty rather than device) that there’s a danger there, because it might expose the lies of those thinking truth isn’t truth but a loss to them. Or someone that’s simply walking down the street wearing a different fashion than one, would they actually simply mind their own business and walk past one rather than going a different direction because of a prejudice one might have, that one is free to make up lies about them.

    And what is supposed to be there instead of water to involve such lies?

    The anosognosia of psychiatric drugs that make a person believe that lies are reality because it works for THOSE people to believe there’s a danger there isn’t without honestly checking, and try to make others believe it and that they are helping when they aren’t, and yet…..

    miracles happen

    sorry….

    they do despite all of those lies to the contrary.

  9. On 31.1.2017 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights publicized a report on “Mental health and human rights”, Document A/HRC/34/32.
    Thus, the most important institution for human rights has clearly taken position on the issue and elegantly circumvented the difficulties that a false “right to health” logically brings with it. We have copied the most important passages, commenting on them as follows.

    The OHCHR begins with the “right to health”. It would constitute the framework for their further statements. We would immediately like to point out that it is nonsense or a scam with words, because the statements cannot be taken literally. Health is described in accordance with the constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Explaining this condition as a right to entitlement means:

    Every disease, and as a consequence thereof, even death – even if it is caused by an accident – is not only pain and suffering, it is conceived as a violation of a right. Thus a claim is formulated which can never be fulfilled, a fundamentally unfulfillable right. In the promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God, it shall be fulfilled, but neither the Messiah has come yet, nor is there a living being who is actually immortal. To proclaim a right to health is the conscious narrative of a fairy tale, a fiction. To take this seriously and to stand by it against better knowledge is therefore an ideologically justified scam.

    A dangerous scam because the consequences of this false promise are then:
    a) becoming ill is a breach of law, so health tends to become a duty.
    b) the state, as guarantor of rights, is granted a position of power with comprehensive enforcement possibilities against the disturbers of the health claim – in the Nazi public health dictatorship this was taken to the extreme. The incurably or chronically ill immediately risk being deprived of their dignity as humans since they contradict the fantasy of a right to health.
    c) this fraudulent demand is exacerbated by the fact that health is even defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Thus, every ailment, every slight upset is understood to be non-health, so a disease with a right to elimination. Thus, the basis for the doctors as masters of society, if not the world, is laid – and is executed in the exercise of power in psychiatry. Allen Frances and the other critics of DSM 5 are wrong; of course in such a definition of the WHO, for example, every mourning is a violation of the right to a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, as was the case with the mourned dead person anyway.

    So we can sum up: The right to health is the last of the great utopias of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that have turned out to be a dystopia, a phantasm, better a fiction, a secular realization of God’s realm on earth, in the here and now, or at least in the near future. It is a false promise, an ideology to establish domination and oppression, in particular a standardisation by the medical professionals who serve the promise of salvation in a secular religion.
    Instead, we call for a right to illness (it will be demagogic to misinterpret it as a duty to illness).

    How did the OHCHR avoid the danger of this ideologically based scam?:

    By trying to read into the right to health what it actually means, thus simply reinterpreting what it says:
    “It is an inclusive right encompassing both timely and appropriate health care and the underlying determinants of health…
    ..The core obligations applicable to the right to health include ensuring the right of access to health facilities, goods and services on a non-discriminatory basis, especially for vulnerable or marginalized groups; ensuring access to adequate food and nutrition; ensuring access to basic shelter, housing and sanitation; providing access to essential drugs; ensuring an equitable distribution of all health facilities, goods and services; and adopting and implementing a national public health strategy and plan of action which address the health concerns of the whole population..”
    The right to health is therefore a right to a state of the art medical assistance. That is something completely different.

    But only with the following statement is the right to health not only deprived of its poisonous content, but also it points to the black spot which is like a complete taboo, quote:
    The right to health contains freedoms (such as the freedom to control one’s health and body and the right to be free from interference, torture and non-consensual medical treatment) and entitlements (such as the right to a health system that provides equality of opportunity for people to enjoy the highest attainable level of health).7 While, in recognition of resource constraints, the right to health is subject to progressive realization, the freedom element in the right to health is subject to neither progressive realization nor resource availability.8
    Freedom is almost non-existent when you land up in a hospital. With the help of psychiatric consultation one can practically always be judged by psychiatric diagnonsense. On the demand of a doctor the court may then implement a guardian.

    With these two interpretive tricks by the OHCHR, neither the dogma of a right to health must be abandoned, nor a disastrous hierarchisation of human rights has to be accepted. Instead, the medical-psychiatric hegemony must be broken to be able to judge the state of mind of other people in order to justify coercion and violence. Eventually it means: Insane? Your own choice!

    This is reflected in the report of the OHCHR, part of which please see below.

    Meanwhile, also the three UN Special Rapporteurs

    on torture etc., Mr. Juan Mendez,
    on the right to health, Mr. Dainius Pūras,
    and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar,

    have basically repeated what the OHCHR said. States must now be forced to finally respect human rights in this particularly sensitive area and not just give them lip-service
    ——
    A citation from the IAAPA statement: https://www.iaapa.de/reply_to_OHCHR_report.htm

  10. When a woman is diagnosed as having an MI, and the woman’s son in law hates her, he can in fact appeal to courts to not allow the woman to see her grandkids.
    Always the one with a diagnosis is treated like a criminal and in vain they try and defend themselves.

    If you go to an ER, or any med care, your complaints are seen as over reactions. Always they doubt and invalidate those with a label.

    Try to achieve any court related justice with a label. People will always use it against you.

    How these labels evolved to be seen as worse than being criminals is absolutely a UN matter.

    How psychiatry is not screaming at the top of their lungs that this abuse has to stop, is beyond me. They pretend to, by using the word stigma.
    The easiest way to get rid of stigma is to not allow labels. These ridiculous labels are not even accurate, even if the person has troubles.
    These labels are seen as the WHOLE person, and describe the WHOLE brain, when in fact, any behaviour or disfunction could only be a small part and could be seen any way one chooses.
    It is not uncommon for two shrinks to see a person in completely opposing views, which demonstrates that they are skewed views. And is also a reason that phone calls are made between med professionals, so they can “agree” on a diagnosis.
    This bogus shit happens within ALL medical areas and especially “specialists”.

    We don’t need more science since it will not cause change in attitudes. It will not change the abuse. They are exactly looking for science to VALIDATE their abuse, so people can’t see the abuse.
    People get blinded by their obsessions, and do not notice all the damage in the path of obsession.
    People love to gossip also.
    It amazes me that psychiatry attracts basically one type of personality. If it attracted different types, we would not be in the mess we are.

    These DSM labels are not needed. We might as well have a tattoo system that allows victims to live in society, yet not be valued as to having validity as human, and thus not having human rights. There is NO way that psychiatry can defend this humanitarian abuse. They also cannot deny it. They cannot rationalize it by saying that “stigma is not our fault”. If ANYONE could finally get rid of stigma, it is psychiatry.
    Their unwillingness to do so speaks volumes.
    And it is no surprise to me that they get like rabid dogs in defense of the bones they gnaw on.

    It is simply way to embarrassing for them to back down.
    When discrimination becomes sanctioned by mainstream, it does not make it right. It clearly then shows that what we thought of as MI, is much bigger. Of course we all know this and most hours in the DSM room are spent trying to design the DSM in a manner that does not include what a shrink does.
    The way most shrinks think is hardwired.

  11. One hates to compare psychiatry to other atrocities, and I am not, but one thing has to be realized that oppression comes in many forms, and most are tolerated by society, as long as it is not affecting them. Of course the accused deny it’s harms, why would they admit to something that is so much part of oppression.

    Primo Levi wrote, after “liberation” of holocaust survivors, he wrote what he observed and recognized in the soldiers that came upon the camp….
    “They did not greet us, nor did they smile; they seemed oppressed not only by compassion but by a confused restraint, which sealed their lips and bound their eyes to the funereal scene. It was that shame we knew so well, the shame that drowned us after the selections, and every time we had to watch, or submit to, some outrage: the shame the Germans did not know, that the just man experiences at another man’s crime; the feeling of guilt that such a crime should exist, that it should have been introduced irrevocably into the world of things that exist, and that his will for good should have proved too weak or null, and should not have availed in defence.[284]”

    What Primo observed, recognized deep within, felt it, and how he expressed it with pen, is so amazing.
    It is a perfect description of such deeply complicated feelings and reactions, things many perpetrators are so unaware of.
    Yet I know so well what Primo speaks of.
    And that feeling psychiatry suffers from, but is detached from. There is this huge gap between shrink and client and I know if that gap was closed, it could be better.
    In war, in human oppression, the perpetrators always believe they are most sane, most rational. The public that watches, believe that their leaders are or must be doing what is right.
    Primo’s words can be applied to many systems, much human interactions, from families to institutions of social control.
    It is one reason why we sometimes feel a shame when we give someone less privileged a piece of bread.
    To defend that shame, we need to jump a lot of hoops or we are literally born without ability to feel shame.

  12. New research from Harvard Medical School finds little support for marijuana use as a cause of schizophrenia.
    So why should anyone take antipsychotics after acute cannabis psychosis?
    Not to mention injections of neuroleptic oils, which should be used as a premedication.

  13. Congratulations Niall! — Once they accuse you of being in league with Scientology you know you’ve gotten under their skin. and with a few deft polemical strokes you can show them to be fools. So go for it!

    there is no articulated “biomedical model of psychiatry,” and that there is no such thing as a worldwide antipsychiatry movement (or conspiracy).

    So true as to the former, and rarely pointed out; as to the latter — we’re working on it, believe me! (Inquire within.)

  14. First these two psychiatrists attack the Special Rapporteur’s reports, ignoring he is a psychiatrist and epidemiologist and qualified to conduct this enquiry. Then they attack your defence of the Special Rapporteur as: “biased … extremist … (holding) anti-psychiatry views … dangerous” and a pawn of psychiatry’s bogey-man, Scientology.”

    Well, as usual these self-serving psychiatrists show their true colors and motives. They know with every passing day more people are waking up to the invalidity of psych labels and the coercive, destructive harm inflicted by psychiatry. More people both inside and outside of psychiatry are speaking out and more people who were harmed are coming forward with their stories. So psychiatry keeps digging their heels in trying desperately to protect their power, privilege and egos.

    Thank you Dr. McLaren for this blog, for your voice and integrity, and for speaking out in defense of the Special Rapporteur.

    • More people both inside and outside of psychiatry are speaking out and more people who were harmed are coming forward with their stories.

      But we need to counter all these rich celebrities exhorting their unwitting fans to get “help” — which at least for the less well-off will not mean deep insightful talks with a therapist but a sentence of drugs and more drugs.

      • Yes, I agree it’s really too bad when someone with a large platform praises psych drugs. I take it you saw the Lady Gaga & Oprah interview. It was difficult to watch. I feel for her because she’s dealing with past trauma and chronic pain and likely not made aware of the harm that awaits her from the cocktail of toxic psych “medicines” she said she is taking. (tried to get a message to her via twitter and tell her to read Anatomy of an Epidemic)

        • It’s really very selfish for these people to try to self-justify what they’re doing by foisting it on unsuspecting fans.

          How can you really trust an artist whose perceptions are muddled (not expanded) by neurotoxins? How can they preach about life in their art when they are artificially “held together”?

  15. “92. Global trends indicate a proliferation of policies and practices in which universal human rights principles are actively undermined or human rights are applied in a selective way…”

    The undermining of human rights principles where I live is complete. I have received a letter from a Police Superintedent that states that if police receive a call from a metal health service they will attend any property and take the person who has been fingered in for treatment. No reason required, no nothing, a Community Nurse who has arranged for their target to be spiked with benzodiazenpines doesn’t even need to plant evidence on their target for police to find. Someone you have never met wants you delivered to a hospital and thus it is done. Not even a doctor, a Commnity Nurse mind you. No powers to diagnose, no ability to prescribe intoxicating/stupefying drugs. Just I want them taken to the hospital because. And the legal fraternity is happy with this it can only be assumed, because not a peep despite them being fully aware of this being done.

    Arbitrary detentions and the use of known torture methods all lawful according to this police superintendent. And not a soul prepared to dispute this, despite their being laws designed to protect the public from such conduct by authorities. What happened folk? They have guns and we don’t? A vote for either party is support for these abuses?

    Seriously? I mean I get it that I was thrown under the bus, but its the rights of every citizen in this State that is being ignored by those in authority (Chief Psychiatrist and Police Superintendent who deny the existence of the law?). They are not just gaslighting me in an attempt to silence me anymore, they are saying that no one has any human or civil right to fall asleep without being labelled mentally ill and requiring treatment. And as euthanasia is now considered treatment?

    Never mind, don’t look and you won’t see. I’m not asking that my rights be observed anymore, it’s your rights they have removed. And unless they are informed of their duty it would appear they are quite prepared to neglect it, and allow all to be kidnapped and tortured with no means of remedy.

    And don’t let your assumptions get in the way of the facts. I’ve heard all the “they wouldn’t do that” excuses, and “you must have done something for them to snatch you from your bed”. I disagreed with someone over a threat that was made to harm me by some meth users with a history of home invasion, nothing more. If thats a mental illness then there’s more than an issue. So for this I am to be locked in a cage and injected with enough chemicals to incapacitate an elephant for a week? That’s got to be good news for meth users and anyone who wishes to have an enemy harmed by folk acting in a manner consistent with altruistic evil.

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