There are three steps to modern psychiatry’s successful business formula: 1. Get people to think that they’re stupid even though they’re smart. 2. Train them to actually think stupidly. 3. Directly stupidify them with chemicals.
Step one: Get people to think that they’re too stupid to help themselves, so that they won’t try to.
For over 200,000 years, until the 1980s, humans tapped into their massive brainpower to resourcefully figure out ways to address their troubles. They learned to solve or flexibly adapt to problems they found to be upsetting them. But no longer, thanks to psychiatry’s medicalization of emotions having been imbedded into our culture: Many now instead wrongly think that if they get upset, they’re powerless to intelligently address it, since it’s due to a permanent, debilitating brain defect (“depression,” ”bipolar disorder,” etc.). In other words, they have been duped into believing that they’re stupid and thus unable to manage their own difficulties. So they won’t try to.
Similarly, parents used to help their kids utilize their limitlessly-developing brains to learn skills needed to thrive independently, such as sitting still, controlling impulses, and focusing attention. They knew that such raising enables children to fulfill their potential. But no longer, thanks to psychiatry’s medicalization of childhood: Many parents now instead wrongly think that kids’ genes pre-fate how they turn out as adults. They’ve been fooled into believing that kids who don’t quickly/spontaneously mature have genetically defective brain hardwiring (ADHD), and are thus incapable of ever learning to master their challenges. So less will be taught to or expected of them.
Step two: Train people to actually think stupidly, so that they forget how to think rationally, and are thus easily taken in by scams.
People used to understand cause-and-effect, which is vital for effective reasoning. But no longer, thanks to stupidifying propaganda from psychiatry, government agencies, patient advocacy groups, and drug companies. The National Institutes of Health, for example, by saying “Attention Deficit Disorder makes it difficult for a person to pay attention,”1 is teaching that things can magically cause themselves to occur. Thus, parents now illogically exclaim: “Now I know why my son can’t pay attention; it’s because he has ADD.”
Similarly, the American Psychiatric Association nonsensically says that depression causes one to have depressed mood.2 And we’re constantly told that depression is of chemical origin; one’s brain chemistry supposedly causes it. But this again teaches that things can magically cause themselves to occur, as follows: Every thought, feeling, or behavior is just a series of chemical processes. So, of course, every thought/feeling/behavior must have its own, unique chemical correlate. But this chemical correlate isn’t the cause—It is the feeling/thought/behavior as viewed at the chemical level. They’re one and the same thing. Thus,the chemical imbalance theory makes no sense; it’s stupid thinking.
Those who adopt these irrational ideas may be prone to letting more irrationality infiltrate their thinking. And kids who were raised/educated insufficiently due to their parents/schools adopting these ideas may thus never learn how to think rationally in the first place. Just as children can be easily led to believe anything since they can’t yet think rationally, so too can adults who’ve lost that ability. Hence psychiatry, by training millions to think stupidly, has cultivated an ideal client-base of gullible, helpless people. But their capacity to reason and therefore think for themselves, though dormant, is still intact. So it could potentially return or develop, unless…
Step three: Now that the targets have been softened, move in for the easy kill: Directly stupidify them.
People who perceive themselves (or their kids) to be stupid, helpless disease victims and have forgotten how to think logically, will understandably trust that only doctors can manage their lives. They’ll thus likely seek them out to resolve all their complaints, and blindly follow whatever they say, no matter how ridiculous. For example, they’ll agree to give their kids dangerous, addictive amphetamines for a “serious illness” that was never verified by lab, x-ray, or exam findings, and that sounds like a normal, not-yet-raised kid. They’ll make perfect suckers who willingly/eagerly try psychiatry’s heavily-pushed miracle pills. These are either the same direct chemical stupidifiers that it has always used to sedate away brain activity, or placebos (antidepressants3). Cha-ching!
Biological suppression of independent, intelligent thought wasn’t always psychiatry’s main role: During a brief interim in the mid-1900s, it embraced psychoanalytic theory. This was an attempt to explore logical, cause and effect explanations for why we think/feel/behave as we do. Its goal was thus to encourage thinking—the exact opposite of what psychiatry does now.
Biological psychiatry’s clients used to mainly be involuntary. That’s because before the ‘80s, people were not yet being indirectly stupidifed, and thus were wise enough to steer clear of its fearsome services. But thanks to its new 3-step business formula, over a fifth of Americans have been completely stupidified (accepted all 3 steps4). And most Americans have by now been at least partially stupidified (accepted Steps 1 and 25). Psychiatry has thus expanded from a field that only disables society’s outliers, into a disabler of the masses. In the process, it has probably made Americans more vulnerable than ever to manipulative scams and authorities of any type, while making us more vulnerable as a nation overall.
- “Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): The Basics” National Institutes of Health, 2016, Pub No QF 16-3572. ↩
- “What is Depression” Psychiatry.org, Parekh, R, American Psychiatric Association, Jan 2017. ↩
- Kirsch, I “The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth” Random House, 2009, London ↩
- Medco Health Solutions “America’s State of Mind: New Report Finds Americans Increasingly Turning to Medications to Ease their Mental Woes; Women Lead the Trend” Nov 16, 2011. ↩
- Pescosolido, B “The Public Stigma of Mental Illness; What Do We Think; What Do We Know; What Can We Prove?” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Vol 54, 1, pp. 1-21, March 2013. ↩
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.