A Kirist Response to Psychiatry

Eric Maisel offers a new philosophy of life called kirism, answering questions about purpose, meaning, and how to live.

Eric Maisel, PhD
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In this post, I don’t intend to re-identify the problems that plague the pseudo-medical profession of psychiatry and the illegitimate and ubiquitous mental disorder paradigm that psychiatry has spawned. Those problems have been described in book after book and blog post after blog post. My own books in the area of critical psychiatry include The Future of Mental Health, Rethinking Depression, and Humane Helping, among others. Rather than re-describing those problems, I want to aim us in what I think is a novel and important direction.

Psychiatry demands that we look at certain sorts of human problems and challenges as medical or biological matters that require a chemical solution. If you have one of these problems or challenges—despair, high anxiety, distractibility, demoralization, the experience of hearing voices, a strong individuality, or one or another of countless more—you are likely to run headlong and unprotected into the psychiatric way of looking at things. You will be informed that you have a mental disorder and you will be prescribed chemicals called medication.

You are presented with an unwarranted lifelong label and a likely lifelong regimen of powerful chemicals. If this is a dangerous place to have arrived, and it is, who do we imagine is tasked with protecting you or helping you escape? Not psychiatrists, of course, as they are invested in this illegitimate model. Maybe other mental health professionals, then, who presumably are less invested in the psychiatric model and more likely to doubt the chemical paradigm? Maybe watchdog organizations? Maybe whistleblowers and investigative reporters? Maybe the people in your sphere—your loved ones, your friends, your peers? Who would you say is tasked with protecting you and helping you escape psychiatry’s clutches?

I think you can see the problem. How can a mental health counselor who disagrees with the psychiatric paradigm and who can do a nice job of articulating her disagreements possibly help you if you aren’t by coincidence seeing her? She is over there; you are over here, in the clutches of psychiatry. The same with a watchdog organization: it puts out a great report exposing this or that psychiatric abuse; but are you likely to encounter that report or connect it to your specific situation? The same with the reports of investigative reporters and the revelations of whistleblowers. The same with those closest to you: how can they be expected to “see through” psychiatry when the psychiatric paradigm is supported all around them, within the media, among professionals, and in their own conversations? It is very hard to see who is in a position to be of some real help.

This is our current truth. A given individual is unlikely to get protection from the institutions of society or from her social sphere and will probably end up a statistic: the billionth person “being treated with antidepressants for the mental disorder of depression.” She may agree with this so-called diagnosis and the so-called treatment plan that goes with it or she may have some severe reservations, wondering, for example, how hating her job and hating her mate can possibly be construed as a medical condition. But whether she has bought the paradigm or is dubious, there she is, like so many hundreds of millions of others, confounded by the chemicals she is taking and discouraged from finding real or better solutions.

Who can help her? Well, we in society must try, of course. We must write our blog posts, pester legislators, sue pharmaceutical companies, and all the rest. But I think the real answer is a very old-fashioned and maybe even unpopular and controversial one. It is that the individual himself or herself must help. Individuals themselves (by the billions, one can only hope) must become the frontline defense. We need a new wave of personal responsibility anchored in a philosophy of life that promotes skepticism, awareness, and critical thinking, that takes into account today’s realities, and that promotes a psychologically-minded approach to everyday life.

We need individuals to inoculate themselves against humbug, psychiatric humbug particularly, by virtue of the philosophy of life they adopt, one that supports their right to decide for themselves and that demands that society not harm them. If they haven’t inoculated themselves in this way, they are that less likely to see through society’s ruses, find the wherewithal to dispute society’s authoritarian nature, or feel on solid ground, especially when disturbed and seriously challenged by life and by their own personality.

Can a person, especially a troubled person, expect this much from a mere philosophy of life? Can Buddhism, existentialism, stoicism, or any philosophy or religion provide this much help? Can a person at some life extremity really be expected to turn some tenets and ideas from philosophy into an actual path toward wellness or a shield against psychiatry? We would love the answer to be “yes.” But is the real answer “no?”

Say that you’re a girl who’s cutting herself, a despairing suicidal boy, a highly anxious mother of three who can’t sleep, an easily distracted fellow who is performing poorly at work, or a disturbed and disorganized middle-aged woman who see visions and hears voices. Is it reasonable to suppose that you can provide yourself with much help, whether supported by a philosophy or lost at sea without one? Is it reasonable to suppose that you can help yourself? Is it fair to put the job of helping on your shoulders when you’re at such an extremity?

It doesn’t seem very fair or reasonable. Isn’t that exactly why we let psychiatry get away with so much, exactly because its “chemical persuasion,” even if it is oppressive and even if it isn’t really medication, gets certain kinds of “results,” results like sedation? As a society, we much prefer turning a shouting person or a self-mutilating person into a zombie than let him shout or continue harming himself. We hand the person over to psychiatry, this person who looks so not able to help himself, and we say, “Here, you try.”

It doesn’t seem at all reasonable to expect that a philosophy of life can be delivered like a pill and help a person in extreme distress. But maybe we can indeed expect the following. Maybe we can expect that if that self-cutting girl and that suicidal boy had come upon a philosophy of life that made sense to them, they wouldn’t now be self-mutilating or suicidal. Maybe what they are now experiencing is a problem with life and maybe what might have helped them avoid that problem was a vision of life that helped them experience life differently.

Well, then, which philosophy of life? I think that the philosophy of life I’ve developed for myself (and for anyone else interested), a philosophy that I call kirism, does a good job of answering our first questions, those questions about purpose, meaning, and how to live. As a result, it supports three excellent outcomes. First, it can help a person become mentally healthier and maybe avoid mental health service providers altogether. Second, it can arm a person with principles and practices that make it more likely that he or she will be able to see through the blandishments of psychiatry and other humbugs. Third, it can help a person say no to those blandishments and look in other directions for help with your troubles.

What is kirism about? What follows are twelve of the principles, tenets, and ideas of kirism. These work for me and seem to resonate with other folks as well. Let me describe each idea and explain how it supports the outcomes I mentioned above: becoming mentally healthier, needing psychological services less, and doing a better job of seeing through the humbug of psychiatry.

1. A person might want to try to identify his or her life purposes and decide what’s important to him or her. This sounds obvious enough as a sensible thing to do but, in reality, few people do it. Most people do not do it primarily because they’ve been taught that life has “a purpose” and so they keep hunting unsuccessfully for that singular purpose. I think it’s rather better to see life as comprised of the life purpose choices that a person decides to make.

If a person lives this way, identifying and then living his or her life purposes, that person is rather less likely to countenance his or her own disturbances. There is a real difference between saying, “Yes, I am sad, but I have important things to do” and “Yes, I am depressed, and I need medicine.”

2. It’s then a good idea to live your life purposes. Again, this sounds obvious enough. If you knew what your life purpose were, surely you would want to live them. But even folks who accomplish step 1, identifying their life purposes, often have trouble accomplishing step 2, living their life purposes. This is because tasks, chores, day jobs, errands, and every manner of thing end up coming first. Likewise, juggling multiple life purposes and keeping track of them is difficult and our life purpose obligations are rather harder to deal with than turning on the television.

When I live my life purposes, then I am kept busy by activities that I myself deem important. These might include creating and maintaining loving relationships, being of service, working as an activist in support of a cause I believe in, spending time making use of my talents as a creative person, etc. Study after study has shown that feeling that you are living a purposeful life promotes emotional well-being. Organizing your life around your life purposes might turn out to be an important key to mental health.

3. When I wake up, I try to ask myself, “What are the important things?” Not “What do I have to get done?” or “What’s bothering me?” or “How do I get even?” or “How do I get ahead?” but “What are the important things?” These important things might include having that hard conversation with a child about his drinking, making a political statement, creating a small business, and so on. There are many things a person might say to yourself when he wakes up and all through the day. Having “What are the important things?” be the first among many is a great mental health boost.

4. The contemporary person has lots of reasons for believing that he or she doesn’t matter. Aren’t we just excited matter, after all, excited because the universe could? But it’s possible to reject the idea that just because we may be the product of an indifferent universe, we should act as if we don’t matter. We can still matter by living our life purposes, by acting ethically, and even by going so far as to take responsibility for keeping civilization afloat.

How much “mental illness” is about a person not feeling that he or she matters? Or that he or she is being prevented from mattering by circumstances or by the machinations of society? Or that he or she has lost the ability to matter because of the harm done by parents, siblings, partners, bosses, or clergy? We have no idea about the numbers but we have no doubt that “adverse childhood experiences” (including the one that I study the most, growing up in an authoritarian family) can do serious lifelong harm and can produce the kind of pain and disturbance that ends up leading to one or another so-called “diagnosis.” If a person can turn that around, decide to matter, and live as if he or she matters, isn’t that bound to prove healing?

5. We live in a time when that stalwart phrase from the nineteenth century, “truth, beauty and goodness,” has been torn asunder by the analytical knives of language analysis and deconstructive postmodernism. It is hard to use those words with a straight face any longer. And yet aren’t we obliged to circle back around to absurd innocence and to stand up for personal goodness, even though we know the extent to which badness is rewarded, even though we know that there are no absolute moral principles, and even though we know that our many values compete, making it hard to announce, “This is right”?

Isn’t it possible that significant emotional well-being would flow from ethical action? To put it the other way around, how much emotional pain arises because we get stuck in some morally suspect or bankrupt place, like working for a company whose product does harm, knowing that we are doing too little in support of causes that we believe in, or coming from the place in our personality that is dark and mean? How much of that “depression” might be released by living ethically? We have no statistics on this and maybe could never have any statistic on this, but isn’t it reasonable to suppose that feeling good about yourself because you are living up to your own standards would promote your emotional well-being?

6. Many forces in the family and in society attempt to constrain us and limit us, often via authoritarian tactics like bullying, shaming, hurling insults, invoking arbitrary rules, and employing every manner of violence and meanness. If the face of all this, and despite how these traumas might silence a person and make a person feel small, isn’t it likely wise to strain against these injunctions, harms, and limitations and strive to be the individual each us has the potential to be?

This is not an argument for grandiosity, narcissism, or arrogance. Rather, it is the assertion that living like a sheep can lead to emotional slaughter. Think of how much more likely a person is to avoid falling for the constructs of psychiatry if he or she has trained himself or herself to say “I decide” rather than “They must know best.” It is work but we can train ourselves to look to ourselves as the final arbiter of what is good for us and what makes sense to us.

7. I think it makes sense to actively make meaning rather than to crave or chase meaning. The experience of meaning is just that, a certain sort of experience. We might endeavor to have more such experiences: we might try to coax meaning into existence. But maybe it isn’t so wise, emotionally speaking, to pine for meaning or go hunting for it, as if it were a lost wallet or at the top of some mountain. It might be psychologically best to not crave the experience of meaning and to focus instead on living our life purposes.

Isn’t a person far less likely to contemplate suicide if, instead of crying “Life is meaningless!”, he or she knew to say, “Meaning is just a certain sort of psychological experience—let me try to coax it into existence!” A person who has learned how to coax experiences of meaning into existence while focusing on his or her life purposes is probably the person least in need mental health services.

8. Give life a thumb’s up. Without quite realizing it, many people have given up on life. They’ve made the mental calculation, often just out consciousness awareness, that life has cheated them, that life just isn’t what it ought to be, and that life isn’t worth the candle. Naturally, this conclusion leads to chronic, even lifelong sadness. It makes it next to impossible to stick to things, to believe in your own efforts, or to rally in support of our species and the world. I think it’s really valuable to make the conscious decision to give life a thumb’s up, even if there are abundant reasons to come to a different, harsher, more negative conclusion.

Imagine if, all day long, metaphorically and literally, a person gave life a thumb’s up, even if he weren’t feeling like life deserved it? What if he were smiling, albeit a bit ironically, rather than frowning? What if he made the conscious decision to orient himself toward life as if life were worth the candle? Yes, he would know that this was “just” a decision. But it would be his decision and positive consequences, including increased emotional wellbeing, would almost certainly flow from that decision. How many fewer visits to the offices of psychiatrists would occur if human beings consciously decided that, as long as they were alive, they would stand on the side of life?

9. It is unsettling and unsatisfying to rush through life, doing one thing after another but never getting to those things that matter to you, things with names like “sobriety,” “getting my novel written,” “feeling less sad,” “building my important non-profit,” or “telling the people I love that I love them.” A regular daily practice aimed at tackling the things that matter, whether accomplished first thing or at some other time of the day, can become an important anchor in a sea of chaos.

Pick any disturbance that we might name: anxiety, despair, addiction, loneliness, boredom, alienation, etc. What if a person created and maintained a daily practice aimed precisely at meeting that challenge? Wouldn’t that make her less vulnerable to the mental disorder paradigm and to its regimen of pills? And wouldn’t that amount to the best “treatment” possible, one that makes sense to her, that in some root way directly addresses what ails her, and that includes her best ideas for health and healing? A daily practice may not sound brilliantly imaginative or innovative, but it might prove immensely valuable as part of one’s philosophy and one’s mental health program.

10. I think it’s valuable that we think thoughts that serve us. While we are not only what we think, we are largely what we think. If we are thinking thoughts that reduce our motivation, make us doubt our abilities, increase our anxiety, plummet us into despair, and so on, we become a weaker, less mentally fit, less physically fit, and less courageous version of ourselves.

The most popular brand of psychotherapy worldwide, cognitive-behavioral therapy, is based on the simple idea that what we say to ourselves matters. Why, then, shouldn’t a personal practice that makes use of this true idea not beautifully serve a person’s mental health needs? If practiced well and mastered, wouldn’t such “right thinking” serve as the best “mental disorder” preventative possible?

11. I think that it’s important that we factor in how the realities of work negatively affect mental health. Most people are obliged to spend two-thirds of their waking time doing work to pay the bills. Some small percentage of workers love what they do. Some also small percentage are able to approach their work with equanimity. The vast majority do not like what they are doing and even hate it. For most people, work is the great robber, robbing huge amounts of time and energy.

How much “mental illness” is simply people hating what they do? The number of people reporting that they hate their work has reached percentages like 75% and 80% in recent surveys. Why should a person feel centered, healthy, and happy if he is spending sixty hours a week at taxing, meaningless, maybe morally repugnant work done just to pay the bills? Who’s to say that a more satisfying job wouldn’t lift a person’s spirits more effectively than a chemical with side effects?

12. I think that it’s possible—and valuable—to upgrade our personality. To my mind personality is made up of three component parts, original personality (who we are as we come into the world), formed personality (who we stiffen into), and available personality (our remaining freedom to make changes and be who we want to be). Why not make use of our available personality to come to terms with their original personality and upgrade our formed personality, creating more available personality in the process?

Psychiatry, and psychology generally, pays zero attention to the idea of original personality. It never speaks about it or thinks about it. It never asks a question like, “What if you were born sad?” or “What if your particular innate qualities, like sensitivity, intelligence, and a moral sense, made you more vulnerable to despair?” By considering them, we provide ourselves with a much richer picture of personality than the ones provided by psychology and psychiatry. Isn’t a person much less likely to leap to the colloquial “I am suffering from the mental disorder of depression?” if she is considering her personality from this tripartite point of view?

The above are some of the ideas that might combine into a personal philosophy of life that helps a person live well, on the one hand, and avoid psychiatric services, on the other hand. Of the many ways that we might envision a sensible post-psychiatric world, one way is by picturing individuals taking charge of their own mental health by creating and living a philosophy of life that supports them and makes sense to them. Each such individual would constitute an army of one in the battle against humbug, psychiatric humbug being just one the many humbugs that we are confronted by and obliged to dispute.

I’ve collected these ideas into a philosophy of life I call kirism. Please come and take a look for yourself at www.kirism.com. Making use of a personal philosophy of life that supports your mental health is not a prescriptive idea for a post-psychiatric world. It is a prescriptive idea for right now. A movement in the direction of liberation, mental health, and renewed purpose can occur even while psychiatry remains entrenched. Think about it: if what is ailing a person is life, then wouldn’t a compelling philosophy of life help more than pills?

29 COMMENTS

  1. ERIC! That’s BEAUTIFUL! That’s the BEST explication for anti-psychiatry that I’ve ever seen!
    My only quibble here is that you seem to give short shrift to Buddhist philosophy. You must have read too much Zen. I’ve been reading the Dalai Lama’s works for years, and I have found them increasingly accessible and helpful. I especially like his descriptions of “attachments”, and breaking free of attachments, and leaning how to not make those unhealthy attachments in the first place. Also, his descriptions of the true nature of “KARMA”, that it’s basically “cause-and-effect”, and NOT personal, is also very helpful. What Mahayana Buddddhism gives me is UNDER-STANDING. When I “stand under” understanding, I feel safe, protected, and sure and certain of my life, and my place in it…. Now, can’t wait to check out your site….

  2. Thank you, Dr Maisel. I’ve been contemplating the futility of it all a lot lately and this was definitely what I needed to read. In particular, I like the suggestion of actively making meaning rather than seeking it out as if it’s something one might accidentally trip upon. I also like the suggestion to daily ask oneself what are the important things. When I ask that several things and people instantly come to mind. Thanks for the reminder.

    I have bookmarked this page for future reference and will visit your website.

  3. I find your take on life to be a good thing, however, it is not all that reachable for teenagers or kids, and besides, it is one of those life things that is process, so if presented to someone young, it might only make sense to them in hindsight.
    But it would make for good public distribution, again, I fear that many of the folks that access this information are already headed in that direction. And yes, we fall into patterns, and feed beasts.
    I just have an issue with calling life or response, an MI.
    Like you say Eric, what to do with someone in distress right now?

    I am sick and tired of psych and medicine caused turmoil and deaths, and yes, deaths by meds are huge.

    We really need to focus on the untruths and dangers of shrinks, but I do believe that people need something in it’s place. And that something should not be referred to as mental help.
    I believe what people benefit by mostly is truth. I even believe if psychiatry came out and let everyone in on their pervertedness, we could possibly do much better.
    Problem is, we already have psychology and that is just more of the same.
    We do not need theory about the ‘others’. Yet we are so good at othering.
    I also worry about costs. Sure everyone has to make a living, but some people are just trying to stay alive.
    And often those that found life tough at some points, don’t get to make enough to pay for support, or encouragements.
    I am old enough to look back and say with certainty that dabbling in psychiatry leads quite often to a life not well lived.
    So really, your take on life should be available to the very young who can benefit, presented in a way that can be understood, but ongoing.
    That is the crucial thing, that repetitive messaging, and modeling.
    Life is not like that though and is why some of us are batchit crazy, shrinks take the lead on that.

    Part of me wonders how and when you came up with your own philosophy, what kind of childhood or education, friends, sports and music you had.
    Do we take credit for life ‘choices’?

  4. Thanks Eric,

    I like Articles that offer solutions.

    I’m definitely looking forward to studying your:- http://www.kirism.com/

    “….despair, high anxiety, distractibility, demoralization, the experience of hearing voices, a strong individuality, or one or another of countless more—…”

    I suffered from some but not all of these symptoms as a direct Result of Psychiatry; and it took me a long time to overcome them!

    I did find some philosophies effective in my struggle for peace. For example, I was able to identify my ‘High Anxiety’ as ’emotional reasoning’ – and figure out ways to reduce it.

    ‘….75% of people hate their jobs..’ – this is probably true, (though I have enjoyed most of the jobs I’ve done).

  5. I have accepted that I’m responsible for myself, that no one is going to help me. I’ve accepted that I need to avoid doctors, hospitals and police at all costs. I can survive alone, as I have, no family, unless/until I break another bone or have a stroke. I don’t know what will happen then. My health is terrible. Three and a half decades of psych meds, ECT and a lifetime of trauma have not left me with a functioning body.

    • I once said to a psychiatrist to come walk the Ward with me and I would show him some of his ‘success” Of course he declined my offer and probably went back to polishing his Porsche, his proof that he is a success.

      Alchemy if you ask me, the extraction of gold from human fodder.

    • Katel,
      you have your mind left. Despite the original desperation that left you in the care of those who have lack of mind, you retained yours.
      I don’t believe that psychiatry gets some final judgement lol.
      But I do think they have a generally crap life in the here and now. Not for a minute do I believe
      that what they do is satisfying. It can’t be, not from what I know of the mind and the practice they engage in.
      Their existence is enough for me to know that yes they are getting their own punishment as they so dole it out.
      Basically, one is what one practices. Removing themselves from the grime and dirty work is not enough to enjoy a freer life.
      Psychiatry exists in it’s own chains. Miserable, but true. They conduct themselves according to WHO they are, have become. Think about being raised as a child, to become someone that subscribes to the way they deal with people. If they were more cognizant, it would definitely be hurtful to them and cause much doubt.
      The fact is, they can, some, despite being cognizant, be pulled back into service, if they simply reflect on years spent on school, and losing face, losing family expectations.

      How many happy shrinks have you met? Because I think generally being happy and treating people with disdain that develop into labels and chemical treatments come from a people loving service.
      I believe the happy well adjusted psychiatrist probably refrains from othering, because he is too well versed in the many parts of a person.
      In fact I think the study of why we suffer is going wrong by expectations that we should not suffer.
      Many people could be steered in the right direction if told that they are normal and shown alternatives to thoughts, how thoughts work. It obviously is a process.
      In the meantime, I enjoy “shadenfreude”, because I know that most of psychiatry exists in it’s own chains.
      I think in some way, we want to ‘connect’ with psychiatry, on that human level. It is like a reconciliation, but I honestly can’t see it happening, because of that self protection they learned and was pounded into them at school.
      The fear of manipulation, fear of giving control to others. And the irony is, no one ever has complete control over anyone.

      • Hi, Sam, I understand what you’re saying. I suppose I wouldn’t want to live with the knowledge that I’d destroyed lives of people who were already suffering by placing labels on them, drugging them, incarcerating them. If they even have that knowledge. As you suggested, they do a good job cocooning themselves. When I think of the psychiatrists who hurt me…2 have lost their licenses/jobs since then. Several others, the ones I now see as the “untouchables” are still either highly placed at Yale or enjoying retirement in a wealthy suburb of New Haven. Every so often the local paper runs an article on one of them:. Oh, look, he wrote a book of poetry! Look, he rides his bike to work at the Yale psych hospital! Aren’t they special, these overprivileged gray haired men who ruined my life!? Do any of them really understand the impact of what they did, what they put me through? I doubt it. I was silly enough, a couple of years ago, to think they would apologize if I filed a complaint.

      • Very true, Mary. My family took that line. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked, “are you taking your meds?” If I answered yes, I’d then be instructed to call my psychiatrist and ask for “my meds to be adjusted.”. I couldn’t have problems anymore. If my car had been stolen, if my shower wall had crumbled, if my upstairs neighbors were too loud, I just needed to take my meds.

          • I’ve had people say things like that to me – “did you take your meds?”, “you should be on meds”. “You need professional help.”
            You’d think people could come up with something better. File under, “Insults For the Unimaginative”.

        • I’ve had two hospitalizations for clinical depression. Looking back on the whole experience, one of the things I learned was the ignorance of my older sister and my older son about psychiatric meds. I believe it’s because they haven’t researched like I have. I took the meds ONLY TO PLEASE THEM! I’m well and drug-free now and have gained confidence in my own mind from the whole experience. My sister and my son were wrong about meds, but they were very right in their acts of kindness toward me during the same time frame, which is what helped lift my second bout of depression. Meds did nothing but harm me. Bottom line I’m better armed now to avoid a relapse.

  6. Great blog, and philosophy of life, Eric. Thank you for sharing. I will share a few personal thoughts on your list, and how my largely having a similar philosophy of life, did help me escape some very persistent criminals (literally, one is now FBI convicted) of the “mental health,” medical, and religious industries.

    1.) Absolutely, one should have meaning, or life purposes, for one’s life. When I was attacked by “mental health” workers, my purpose in life was to properly raise my children, and try to protect them, I was a young mom. In part, this also involved being a very active volunteer, in numerous arenas. But I was also a recent graduate from the number one ranked art school in the country, so working on my art portfolio was also one of my life’s purposes at that time.

    2.) I agree, “tasks, chores, day jobs, errands, and every manner of thing end up coming first.” I will say one thing that helped me survive, thrive, and ultimately escape, the “mental health” system was keeping copious calendar notes. But since escaping, I have sometimes neglected to record all my activities, thus also neglected to track my progress, which has also allowed me to forget to assess what’s really important at times. So I should get back to keeping copious calendar notes, and recommend that, or journaling, for others as well. But I guess my activism on MiA, has somewhat replaced my private journals. But I did spend too much time volunteering, and neglected to work on my work, for a number of years.

    “Likewise, juggling multiple life purposes and keeping track of them is difficult and our life purpose obligations are rather harder to deal with than turning on the television.” I largely stopping watching the “boob tube” (TV) in early 2002, and recommend others turn off the TV, and stop listening to the fear mongering “fake news.” The internet is an amazing tool, which allows you to research anything you’re interested in, and I didn’t find it took long, once I finally started researching on the internet, to find some alternative media reporters who have proven to be more credible, honest, and open minded, than the mainstream news. So I now listen to them as I work.

    3.) I agree, forgetting to ask, “What are the important things?” can happen. And these “important things … like creating a small business,” is something a loved one of mine has procrastinated, and financially prevented me from doing. Resulting in another artist/psychologist recently attempting to steal all profits from my work plus more, in the hopes of eventually stealing all my work, all my family’s money, and claiming he desired to take total control of my story, my accountants, and my lawyers,” via a BS art manager contract. I’m hoping this satanic attempted thievery, by deception, will wake my loved one up to the importance of my starting up my small business, although at the moment I’m largely her full time caretaker. But she is doing well, so that shouldn’t last long.

    4.) I absolutely believe we all matter, we should work to live out “our life purposes, by acting ethically, and even by going so far as to take responsibility for keeping civilization afloat.” That’s why everyone here at MiA is very important, we are all sharing our research and experiences of the scientific fraud based psychiatric and psychological industries. Personally, I believe that belief in God, whose real Bible does not claim humans are “irrelevant” – like the DSM “bible,” our society, and the “mental health” workers’ claim – is a comforting belief system. But I must admit, the mainstream religions have been corrupted by the DSM “bible” believers, and their systemic child abuse covering up crimes.

    5.) “And yet aren’t we obliged to circle back around to absurd innocence and to stand up for personal goodness, even though we know the extent to which badness is rewarded….”

    Absurd innocence and standing up for personal goodness is why I was initially attacked by Lutheran psychologists. I had no idea that the pastors, “mental health” and social workers had joined forces and created a multibillion dollar, “dirty little secret of the two original educated professions,” primarily child abuse covering up, “mental health” system.

    https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/23/18820633.php?fbclid=IwAR2-cgZPcEvbz7yFqMuUwneIuaqGleGiOzackY4N2sPeVXolwmEga5iKxdo
    https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/heal-for-life/
    https://community.healthimpactnews.com/topic/4576/america-1-in-child-sex-trafficking-and-pedophilia-cps-and-foster-care-are-the-pipelines

    I’m glad information regarding the reality that child abuse and human trafficking is occurring is finally being addressed by the mainstream media.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzQcs2I6Hao

    Since I believe there is a need to inform the public about our societies’ real problems. And hopefully, at some point, we can bring a return of ethics to the mainstream religions and the, systemic child abuse covering up, medical community.

    6.) “living like a sheep can lead to emotional slaughter.” Yes, and in as much as many people can’t handle the truth,” or don’t want to acknowledge the truth. We can’t fix our societies problems, if we do not acknowledge those problems exist. But information is power, and being well informed did allow me to protect myself from that wolf in sheep’s clothing, idiot Lutheran psychologist who had delusions of grandeur I’d hire him to be my “art manager,” so he could steal all my work and money, because he was terrified of my “too truthful,” anti-child abuse/critical psychiatry and psychology art.

    7.) Again, I agree, those of us who do have meaning and purpose in our lives, in my case that involves ending systemic crimes, particularly the systemic child abuse covering up crimes of our religious, “mental health” and social workers. We are a target of those who don’t want the truth about what’s actually going on in our society recorded in the history books. I guess they want only the Spirit cooking and pedophilia art, that’s all the rage with the powers that shouldn’t be, to fill those art history books?

    http://ibankcoin.com/zeropointnow/2016/11/26/sick-lets-revisit-the-podesta-penchant-for-pedophilic-cannibalistic-and-satanic-art/

    You know you live in a sick society when speaking out against child abuse makes you a target within the mainstream religions, and of the “mental health” workers.

    8.) I agree, it’s amazing how many smiles one will get from others, merely by wearing a smile oneself, even if one is justifiably appalled by the society in which we currently live. Hopefully, the masses are starting to awaken to our society’s systemic problems, so we may bring about a better society.

    9.) A daily practice of “me time,” whatever that may be to a person, which should include self improvement, I do believe is important.

    10.) “I think it’s valuable that we think thoughts that serve us. While we are not only what we think, we are largely what we think.” I’ll go even further, I paint what I hope to bring to fruition, and/or the truth of what’s going on in our society. And, oddly, my work of decades ago is now being called “prophetic.” The movie, The Secret, somewhat touches on the importance of positive thoughts bringing about positive results in life. It can be seen on Netflicks.

    https://www.netflix.com/watch/70063484?trackId=14277281&tctx=0%2C0%2Caaa91f71-d2ce-4a39-8465-06387876f76e-377636920%2C%2C

    Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but I don’t think having a positive attitude can ever hurt.

    11.) I agree, too many jobs force people to do things that are contrary to their own ethics, thus harm the employees’ “mental health.” I’ve had jobs I’ve loved, and excelled at, but also had jobs I’ve had to leave on moral grounds. We should return to a place where corporations are forced to function in the common good, not just for the benefit of their stock holders. That used to be the case in the United States, and it should be made the case worldwide in the future.

    12.) A huge part of upgrading one’s personality is to dismiss, any and all, of the so called DSM “mental illness” diagnoses. They’re merely stigmatizations, thus defamation of character. The DSM disorders function to limit and destroy, rather than help, most people. Just like racism did, and we all know that racism is evil.

    “Psychiatry, and psychology generally, pays zero attention to the idea of original personality. It never speaks about it or thinks about it.” True, once my medical records were handed over, and I’d learned from reading them that my psychiatrist was a staggeringly delusional person, who’d never listened to what I said. But instead had judged me solely based upon lies from child molesters and their “mental health” and religious worker friends. I knew it was time to walk away from that sick, twisted, highly delusional psychiatrist, who very literally declared my entire life to be a “credible fictional story” when I confronted him with his delusional belief system.

    But the child abuse covering up “mental health” and religious leaders are very persistent in their desire to either murder or steal from those of us who speak out against child abuse.

    “Making use of a personal philosophy of life that supports your mental health is not a prescriptive idea for a post-psychiatric world. It is a prescriptive idea for right now.” And as the mother of a child abuse survivor, I have to stand against such crimes, as well as the systemic child abuse denying and covering up crimes of both the psychological and psychiatric industries, my childhood religion, and all their DSM billing minion, 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

    “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

  7. A great piece Dr. Maisel.
    “A movement in the direction of liberation, mental health, and renewed purpose can occur even while psychiatry remains entrenched”.
    Yes, ultimately the harm of psychiatry must continue to be exposed but to survive psychiatry and to thrive we must move towards liberation in our thoughts, actions and with renewed purpose.
    Thank you, there are many words of wisdom in your blog to implement.

  8. I’ve been living much of this philosophy my whole life, really since my earliest memories in childhood, and it’s precisely what got me in so much trouble to begin with — A childhood of drugging, custody battles, forced drugging, adverse reactions to nearly every single drug I was given; escalating diagnosis, culminating in a 4 and a half month long stay at a state mental hospital when I was 13 against both my and my parents demands, narrowly avoiding being shipped off to a group home to live out the rest of my life.

    For some of us at least, I’m sure that help needs to come from others. Solidarity, safety, love and a meaningful social life. Virtually impossible for someone tagged by psychiatry to achieve, and I still live in search of it, hanging on by a thread.

    • I always try to remember that tons of people are not better off than I am.
      I do know that many shrinks suffer too, impossible for them not to. Except possibly
      a few that try hard to be conscious, that have intellect enough to see into their own misconceptions.
      And so, one must ultimately be happy that we don’t preach garbage to masses, garbage that
      tends to tear people down instead of build them up.
      One will ALWAYS recognize something as good, if it builds people up.

  9. I loved your introduction about individuals rejecting the humbug of psychiatry.

    But I am afraid you lost me at #1: Find your purpose.

    While now, that I am in my 6th decade of life, I know my purpose (I always called it “porpoise” while I was looking for it. . . )- it took me 5 decades to get the tiniest glimpse of that.

    Belief, religion, faith give porpoise. But in the throes of distress – that is not accessible. While it may seem easy for someone on sanity’s side to say “I have porpoise,” it is impossible for those in distress. This is a big picture demand which is overwhelming. “Just find your purpose,” is a short, sweet sentence – but an impossible, unforseeable mountain to someone who is suffering.

    Is it possible to break that down into smaller, bite size chunks? Such as: find meaning for today, this hour, this moment? These moments are the things that pull someone through the distress. Big picture philosophy sounds great on paper, but is thin on the ground for practicality.

    All of your Kirist principles are good – but I also find that they are well covered by the Buddhist Eightfold path, including Right Livelihood (adhering to that one changed my health greatly for the better).

    Keeping it Real. – JC

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