UN Report: Involuntary Psychiatric Interventions “May Well Amount to Torture”

In a new report, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture writes that "Involuntary psychiatric interventions based on 'medical necessity' or 'best interests' may well amount to torture."

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The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has just presented a report on “psychological torture” to the UN Human Rights Council, which can be downloaded as a Word file by clicking here.

This report issues the strongest condemnation to date of involuntary psychiatric interventions based on the supposed “best interests” of a person or on “medical necessity.” Such interventions, the report says, “generally involve highly discriminatory and coercive attempts at controlling or ‘correcting’ the victim’s personality, behaviour or choices and almost always inflict severe pain or suffering. In the view of the Special Rapporteur, therefore, if all other defining elements are given, such practices may well amount to torture” (paragraph 37, see also 84(e)).

In addition, the report views the psychiatric context as one in which psychological torture can take place (paragraph 78). This makes the report as a whole useful for us to consider in advocacy and litigation, both at the national level in any country and with regional and global human rights mechanisms.

For human rights lawyers, the report’s condemnation of involuntary “best interests” psychiatric interventions is significant in four respects1:

  • Asserts such interventions can meet the criteria for torture, not only as part of the broader category “torture or other ill-treatment”;
  • Makes explicit how the criterion of purpose in the definition of torture is met when it relates to discrimination, i.e. that only a discriminatory nexus and not a discriminatory purpose is required (paragraph 36);
  • Makes explicit that such interventions “generally involve highly discriminatory and coercive attempts at controlling or ‘correcting’ the victim’s personality, behavior or choices” and “almost always inflict severe pain or suffering”;
  • Situates psychiatric interventions alongside other similar practices, which relate to contexts that overlap disability and other grounds of discrimination (paragraph 37).

Also worth noting from a legal standpoint is the explicit statement that powerlessness is a constitutive element of torture, and that this is typically the case in “institutionalization, hospitalization or internment” as well as through the deprivation of legal capacity or “incapacitating medications” (paragraph 40).

The report does not address the “danger” criterion for psychiatric interventions, only “best interests” and “medical necessity.” My analysis is, as it has always been, that “danger to self” is encompassed under “best interests” and thus precluded as a justification, while “danger to others” can never be a justification for the infliction of harm that otherwise would amount to torture (otherwise, the entire torture framework would be subject to utilitarian exceptions said to be necessary for public safety). Advocates should be sure to address this dimension and be aware that no exceptional justification exists for “danger” under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD; Guidelines on Article 14, paragraphs 6, 7, 13-15).

The report views involuntary psychiatric interventions as a kind of psychological torture, which seems to me only partially correct. Psychological torture is defined as “all methods, techniques, and circumstances which intend or are designed to purposefully [read: or discriminatorily, see paragraph 36] inflict severe mental pain or suffering without using the conduit or effect of severe physical pain or suffering.”

It is true that overall the system of involuntary psychiatric interventions employs techniques of psychological torture that may predominate in our impression of the system as a whole. But it also uses techniques, such as mechanical restraints and the administration of mind-altering drugs and electroshock, that are applied to the body. The characterization of drugs and electroshock as psychological refers to the action directly on the mind through the conduit of the brain, but the use of these techniques does not fall under any of the analytical categories of psychological torture advanced in this report. It is really a unique kind of torture that sits at the juncture of mind and body and interferes in the mind-body relationship. Drugs and electroshock cause physical harm that often entails pain and suffering (akathisia, lethargy, weight gain, diabetes) as well as objective harm to brain structure and function that the person may or may not be subjectively aware of, and psychological harm and suffering caused by the interference with the body-mind juncture as such. This is an issue advocates should explore further through their own experience and analysis.

One detail that advocates should be aware of regarding the discussion of solitary confinement in the report is the failure to mention that the use of this technique in medical facilities is impermissible under the CRPD as a form of torture or other ill-treatment (Guidelines on Article 14, paragraph 12). The CRPD offers stronger protection in that regard, since the general standard in international law is to prohibit solitary confinement only when it is “prolonged or indefinite.” Advocates should investigate the materials cited in the report to gain a better understanding of the general standard and consider how best to make the argument in particular instances.

The report is especially valuable for its extensive discussion of psychological torture and the concept of “torturous environments,” viewing torture holistically as victims experience it, “not as a series of isolated techniques and circumstances, each of which may or may not amount to torture” (paragraphs 45, 68-70, and 86).

Psychological torture is said to affect the victim’s mind and emotions by “directly targeting basic psychological needs, such as security, self-determination, dignity and identity, environmental orientation, emotional rapport, and communal trust” (paragraph 43). Victim-survivors of psychiatric violence will find a great deal that speaks to our experiences, and the logic of the framework set out by the Rapporteur gives us ample material for an argument that involuntary psychiatry as a whole amounts to a “torturous environment.”

The Rapporteur himself does not make that conclusion, and it is important to stress that his analytic framework is meant to be used on a case-by-case basis. Nonetheless, the framework provides the scaffolding, and a language, to draw out the nature of the full range of objective and subjective harms in the psychiatric setting that separately and together can amount to torture.

Examples of psychological methods of torture named in the report that may speak to our experiences include:

  • The inducing of fear by “direct or indirect threats of inflicting, repeating, or escalating acts of torture” (paragraph 47; “the prolonged experience of fear can be more debilitating and agonizing than the actual materialization of that fear” [paragraph 48]);
  • To deprive victims of control, “demonstrate complete dominance and instill a profound sense of helplessness, hopelessness and total dependency on the torturer,” by “arbitrarily providing, withholding or withdrawing access to information, reading material, personal items, clothing, bedding, fresh air, light, food, water, heating or ventilation,” “imposing absurd, illogical or contradictory rules of behavior, sanctions and rewards,” “imposing impossible choices forcing victims to participate in their own torture” (paragraph 49);
  • Humiliation and breach of privacy and sexual integrity, by “constant audio-visual surveillance,” “exposure of intimate details of the victim’s private and family life,” “forced nudity” (paragraph 51);
  • Targeting need for emotional rapport by solitary confinement, incommunicado detention, tolerance of oppressive and bullying behavior among inmates, “fostering and then betraying emotional rapport and personal trust” (paragraph 60);
  • Violation of need for communal trust through institutional arbitrariness, including arbitrary detention and the persecution of individuals or groups (paragraphs 61 and 63).

Regarding the last item, although the report does not mention discriminatory regimes of detention enacted into domestic law, which are arbitrary under international law, the CRPD unequivocally condemns involuntary psychiatric hospitalization as discriminatory and therefore arbitrary detention (see Guidelines on Article 14). The failure to conform national legislation to human rights obligations leaves victims in the same position as any other institutional arbitrariness. This may be one of the most profound forms of harm, separating victims of psychiatry from the society and the state by depriving us of any effective recourse to defend ourselves.

Each of the items, and others I have omitted, will doubtless be suggestive for readers who are familiar with psychiatric violence. I have not drawn out the arguments that would link the examples of psychological torture to the context of psychiatry, and that may best be done through individual cases and country reports.

I have argued, and continue to maintain, that the right to reparation for psychiatric violence is an important claim to dignify survivors as moral subjects capable of being harmed and of requiring accountability for that harm. Reparation addresses the violation of communal trust directly and emphatically, the state reversing its prior policy that set us outside the possibility of relying on state protection and holding itself accountable to do what is needed to restore that trust.

The current report does not take us to reparation, or to UN condemnation of psychiatry as a torturous environment, but it gets us a step closer to making those arguments effectively. It also gives us a great deal of material to use in individual cases.

Show 1 footnote

  1. These four respects are addressed in paragraphs 36 and 37, which are worth knowing in full:

    36. While the interpretation of purposes such as “interrogation,” “punishment,” “intimidation,” and “coercion” is fairly straight-forward, the way the treaty text addresses “discrimination” requires clarification, because it is the only qualifier which is not crafted in terms of a deliberate “purpose.” In order for discriminatory measures to amount to torture, it is sufficient that they intentionally inflict severe pain or suffering “for reasons related to discrimination of any kind.” It is therefore not required that the relevant conduct have a discriminatory “purpose,” but only a discriminatory “nexus.” As a matter of treaty law, this includes any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of discrimination of any kind, which has either the purpose or the effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of any human right or fundamental freedom in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field (A/63/175, para.48).

    37. It must be stressed that purportedly benevolent purposes cannot, per se, vindicate coercive or discriminatory measures. For example, practices such as involuntary abortion, sterilization, or psychiatric intervention based on “medical necessity” of the “best interests” of the patient (A/HRC/22/53, para.20, 32-35; A/63/175, para.49), or forcible internment for the “re-education” of political or religious dissidents, the “spiritual healing” of mental illnesses (A/HRC/25/60/Add.1, para.72-77), or for “conversion therapy” related to gender identity or sexual orientation (A/74/148, para.48-50), generally involve highly discriminatory and coercive attempts at controlling or “correcting” the victim’s personality, behaviour or choices and almost always inflict severe pain or suffering. In the view of the Special Rapporteur, therefore, if all other defining elements are given, such practices may well amount to torture.

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117 COMMENTS

    • Shooting pains right up the leg nerves after being injected by psy staff. People with lumps as big as golf-balls from reactions to the injections – and that’s the least of it. Neuroleptics just are so horribly painful, and so obviously disfiguring. There’s people who feel sleepy while sitting, then when they go to lie down, their blood goes out of whack and they cannot sleep. All the time like this. And still the forced injections continue. We’ve got to stop governments from attempting to call torture care, it cannot ever be said to be that.

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    • Well, according to studies, if the injection is a placebo and not an active drug, your chance of early death is 50% higher. Amazingly, these studies also find that an injection protects you from early death by as much as 30% when compared to swallowing a pill. Might have something to do with the size of the pills, experts are working on it … it’s quite possible all medication will be administered by needle in the future. The relatively large surface area of the buttocks may also be a protective factor …

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      • I should add that these percentages are most likely higher in favor of antipsychotic injections and antipsychotics in general, because everyone knows that antipsychotics are not generally taken when a person is not actively psychotic. Maintenance treatment is a myth propagated by the antipsychiatry movement.

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        • I have known plenty of people who were on “maintenance antipsychotic treatement,” in fact, almost anyone who had been to an ER for “psychotic symptoms” got on one. Many were forced to take them and had no choice. A lot of foster kids are put on them daily for behavioral problems that have nothing to do with psychosis. Old folks in nursing homes are put on them to manage difficult behavior, again without any “psychotic disorder” diagnosis or even symptoms. It is no myth. It is true that many people (like mathematician John Nash) go off antipsychotics as soon as they are safely away from the authorities. But the standard recommendation I’ve seen for ‘psychosis’ or ‘bipolar disorder’ is “maintenance antipsychotic treatment.” And those who refuse to “comply” are pressured, manipulated, or incarcerated for it. There is no myth involved here.

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    • All the points raised in this thread are good ones (taking the joke into account).

      The question is what do we do with the massive evidence of harm that we have. How can we use it effectively in advocacy?

      I don’t have answers to that – it depends a lot on country context, what is possible.

      What do any of you think? (I know some like Initia are already working with the UN standards and calling psychiatry torture in your advocacy.)

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      • Focus on the children. We need far more news, stories, documentaries, etc, regarding the atrocity of child drugging. Seeing kids develop permanent involuntary movement disorders, become disfigured from dystonia, die, etc, and then the obvious … I just think this could all be over quickly if something like a paid airtime video showing kids suffering this, with narration as to how and why, were shown…
        Stick it in peoples faces and see if humanity really is evil after all.

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      • The only thing I believe will begin to stop the use of force, fraud, and coercion and the willful infliction of bodily and/or psychological pain and suffering by the mental health industry are lawsuits, but attorneys just refer us to the State P&A systems, that protect the State, of course. And being in fact unsafe hampers the ability to articulate why we’re terrified until after we can find some route of escape, for many of us, making the task of finding the outside advocacy necessary to escape quite intentional abuses of totalitarian power and control. I don’t know what to do about this, but suspect we are seen as not having any economic interests to harm, hence no damages that matter.

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        • Hi Reyna. You are right, we need lawsuits.

          We need attorneys who are grounded in US disability rights law, as the best starting point that has a similar outlook to CRPD. I know that Kathy Flaherty in Connecticut (executive director of Connecticut Legal Rights Project, and also a survivor herself) is working on Olmstead issues and also using international human rights when it relates to her advocacy. But there are few. Jim Gottstein of course has been involved in writing his book on the Zyprexa Papers, which is now out.

          In the US we need a strategy of civil rights litigation to build up over time, the way that Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and others did for the African American civil rights movement, women’s rights, lesbian/gay rights. But it has to start from the right perspective, and for me this also means being led by lawyers who are also survivors and part of a survivor movement, who know in their bones where the pitfalls are and what is a con and a dead end.

          I would love to be involved in anything like this to bring my knowledge of CRPD and other countries to what lawyers grounded in US context know and do.

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          • Yes I ditto the lawsuits, not only harm from chemicals and enforcement, but emotional damage. The emotional damage I believe is the greatest.
            One needs therapy after psych, a kind of deprogramming, to lessen the trauma.
            We know millions of people that have their “integrity”, their “credibility” stripped after even one label. This is outright defamation, which comes to light for people when others want to use it to their advantage, such as divorce, medical care, legal matters, child visitations.
            It tears families apart when gramma can’t visit because she is labeled.

            So it is a tremendous amount of deprogramming for judges, lawyers.
            “emotional damage” lawsuits are difficult, especially within the same system that allows and vindicates it.

            We know the DSM is the problem, not any stigma.
            It is not stigma if legally you hold no credibility. Stigma is if your neighbour does not talk to you since the label.

            As far as emotional suffering, I found this 12 year running lawsuit in Canada, which deals with some demeaning practices, yet don’t come close the damage of psychiatry https://www.recorder.ca/news/local-news/christian-college-ruling-was-validating-for-students

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          • I’ve had a hard time figuring out, during stints of relative freedom from my own struggle to escape another round of this protracted abuse, having lost home and job yet again, as a person who id’s as neuro-divergent but not MI, how to approach this in ways that respect all of the differing needs and identities involved, and thank you much for this article and the other work you’re doing with CRPD. That holds much interest if and when I may be able to recover much use of my own labor for purposes other than seeking safety. There is so darn much triage in front of one’s face at a given time, it’s hard to engage with more intentional and long term projects, but that doesn’t cause me to appreciate them any less.

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      • Reading the Mental Health Act, with a group of other people who were like-minded, was eventually the only way I could read it. As for reading my file, I found it really difficult until I shared some of it with people who work towards absolute prohibition of forced treatment and commitment. It’s now not an issue, for me, it’s still hate-speech, but I call it out for what it is. It took over 7 years, after I’d got free from forced psychiatry, to sit down, read it all, and recognise it for what it was – people who have been trained to verbally berate the person they’re exploiting, when they write them up. Everything the victim of psychiatrists does is wrong, until they’re obedient to what the psychiatrists dictate.

        I want for people to be supported to get through that aspect of the torture quicker.

        That part of the torture, the condemning of a person’s defence against those violating them, shuts people down, and sometimes means those who have been violated by psy, choose to shut-down other people who have been likewise violated by psy but want to continue to speak the truth of the violations. I don’t want that to perpetuated, so victims are taking the part of psy, in order to not feel the fear of the past torture they experienced.

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    • It is very affirming to survivors. Much of the report, the bulk of it, is not dealing specifically with our situation, but for me it is the possibility to talk about ‘torturous environments’ as well as the recognition that particularly in relation to forced psychiatric interventions, the suffering and discrimination are such that they ‘may well’ amount to torture, even when it’s said to be in the person’s ‘best interests’/’medical necessity’, that is a great step forward.

      Thanks for your comment.

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  1. Once again, we ignore these developments at our own expense by dismissing them as “legalese,” “bureaucratic,” etc., as international pressure may ultimately be the key to undermining the psychiatric gulag once and for all. And Tina will hopefully be there to say “I told you so.” 🙂

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  2. Tina, I am so grateful for all of your hard work. Your piece on naming it torture, several years ago, was the first I read on MiA. It was the first I had ever read where I felt like someone “got it”. You inspire me to continue to grow and heal and stand up for others. Thank you for continuing to try to educate the world.

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  3. If not for the DSM labels, they would have no basis to enforce.
    When the DSM prevents people from getting basics such as legal rights and medical care,
    we know that we are not dealing with anything “medical”.
    It is all torture. None of it should be “legal”, not on a case by case basis, because no person ever meets
    a psychiatrists demands.
    Not even innocent children. No one considers children being forced? Anyone being put on medication without an ability to know what they are, that is an enforcement.
    This happens to millions of kids every day, their whole lives until old enough to figure out what transpired.

    An absolute insanity. The insanity is within psychiatry.

    It is time for a public debate between clients and psychiatrists.

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    • I agree with you that it is all torture unless it is done with the person’s truly free, and truly informed, consent.

      The standard under the CRPD, which a number of other UN mechanisms have adopted, is that no psychiatric interventions can be done without the free and informed consent of the person concerned. This means that substitute consent by a third party like a guardian is not acceptable. It also means that coercing someone to say they consent, or giving misleading information that leads to an uninformed consent, is also not acceptable.

      My views on informed consent as a human rights of the individual (instead of a means by which medical practitioners can escape liability) are presented here in this program – https://ercvoices.com/events/consent-to-treatment-workshop/; click on the links for slides and videos, and select those that are relevant (morning program, in the videos).

      With regard to children, yes, they are being forced. The CRPD Committee on at least one occasion has called on a country to end forced psychiatric interventions done to children. I would have to look back through my materials to find the details but you can email me through this site if you wish and I’ll try.

      The CRPD standard on children’s right to decide anything for themselves, is that they have ‘evolving capacities,’ and that children with disabilities have a right, on an equal basis as other children, to give their opinion about matters concerning themselves and for their opinion to be given due weight in accordance with the child’s age and maturity. The requirement that it has to be on an equal basis with other children means that they can’t say a child’s opinion is less worthy of respect because they have been given a psychiatric diagnosis of any kind (or any other kind of disability label).

      This means that, in general, children have a right to be heard, but not an absolute right to make the decision themselves. My view is that, since forced psychiatric interventions are acknowledged to affect the physical and mental integrity of a person and amount to at least ill-treatment under the CRPD (General Comment 1 paragraph 42, Guidelines on Article 14 paragraph 12), it can never be done to anyone without that person’s explicit, free, and informed consent. So if the child is not in a position to give such consent, it must not be done to them at all. (The same for people who are in a coma or otherwise not in a position to communicate their will directly.)

      This might be too much information or more technical than you are interested in, but I hope that it can be useful if you use this report or the CRPD in your advocacy.

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      • Thanks Tina,

        I think “children” should not be offered meds until their age of maturity and “science” tells us that a “normal brain” is done growing at around 23 years old.
        Voting and drinking age is 18 and over.
        Kids will almost ALWAYS say yes to taking something that is “good for them”. After all, their authority/parents/ etc are telling them to take it.
        Even if you asked a child, he will say yes.
        Many adults say yes, because they simply have no clue that someone is giving them poisons.
        So it should be called FORCE, if it happens before being able to vote.

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  4. Thank you, Tina, for this excellent article. As we know (and as I like to keep reminding people) besides akathisia, lethargy, weight gain and diabetes, psychiatric “treatments” also directly cause acute agitation; anxiety; blood vessel hemorrhage; cognitive deterioration (including confusion, memory loss and reduced ability to focus, concentrate, or think at all); constipation; damage to the brain, heart, kidney, liver, pancreas, abdomen, and other internal organs; depression; dehydration; distress; dizziness; dyskinesia; dystonia; fatigue; hallucinations; muscle stiffness, pain and spasticity; osteoporosis; paranoia; parkinsonism; seizures; sexual dysfunction; suicidal and homicidal impulses; tremors; and of course decreased life expectancy (common) and sudden death (rare, but not unknown).

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  5. Tina,
    Thanks for all the work you do.
    I believe it is one of the most important issues today, as it has
    affected the world, or should I say infected.

    We should never give up and I really believe that if we make it more public,
    more educational, people will begin to think more about this one huge issue.

    I follow comments on many issues, on news pop ups, online and judging by
    comments from many people on a lot of issues, many people are horrifyingly daft,
    which of course is what keeps the politicians and every authority to keep doing
    what they do.

    We need more from the UN, but I doubt anyone gutsy is going to come along,
    to cause change.
    We simply might have to count on becoming a force, just as slavery was outlawed,
    so I hope that psychiatry will be outlawed as a medical specialty, and as an authority
    over lives.

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    • I think we have had to learn time and time again we are our own most important champions. No one is going to save us from the outside.

      Sometimes, as happened with this report, an intelligent person within the UN, or academia, or a government body, puts the logic together and acknowledges the blatant truth of psychiatric violence. But we created the logic, the ‘path of logic’ (yes there’s a pun in there) as my wife likes to say.

      Slowly, we are turning the wheel of history. Changes in the law are happening faster in the Global South where there is more openness to human rights norms of the UN, more humility in the face of human rights criticism. I don’t know how to move advocacy-wise in the US, but think that the stand taken by Bernie Sanders to oppose any increase in involuntary commitment is at least a start, in the political discourse and even better if he manages to become president. But it’s slow and agonizing.

      We all have to be in this for the long haul, and work in whatever way we personally can – getting one more person out of psychiatry’s clutches, talking sense to politicians who will listen. For people who are active in state-government advocacy, think about upping the ante the next time they want to increase involuntary commitment (whether inpatient or outpatient) and bring in the UN standards including this recent report on torture.

      You can call on me to advise any such initiative, and also to advise lawyers and advocates who want to use UN materials and mechanisms in individual cases. (I can’t take individual cases myself, and may not respond to those requests.)

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      • Tina, do you agree that our greatest need is to educate lawyers not only on how to get the “best deal” for their psychiatrized clients, but to study people like Szasz and learn how to deconstruct ALL “diagnostic” language as fraudulent?

        Looks like the fix is in on Bernie. Anyone who validates this by voting for Biden is a fool, and a sellout really. Time for revolution.

        (PS did you see my email?)

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        • Re lawyers – I think they need to take an abolitionist approach as the starting point, based in the non-discrimination framework we created in the CRPD. There is a ‘deep’ (or ‘substantive’) approach to non-discrimination that is what we applied there, which means deconstructing and dismantling all the justifications for practices that are abusive that target this particular group of people. Finding the language and concepts to express the discriminatory, unequal, scapegoating, bigoted treatment we are experiencing, rather than just applying some yardstick that exists already in the law and that may be prejudiced against us. (Now with CRPD, that is created to address the violations we face, so we have to argue for its strict application including the guidance of the treaty body, in countries where it is binding.)

          Re Bernie, sadly I agree. I don’t know about the general election. Won’t get into that here, about people’s voting choices – but I agree that the Democratic establishment is showing its worthlessness along with the Republicans right now.

          Will respond to your email.

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  6. Psychiatric hospitals are a hell nobody should be taken to against his will.

    People with cognitive problems should be cared AT HOME, as they have fragile psycho-emotional condition which in most cases hospitalization and psychiatric “treatment” only worsens.

    Check out the tragedy of actress Vanessa Marquez. Have not the authorities tried to ‘help’ her by taking to mental hospital, she would be alive today:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVOjJf6gYuw

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    • Yes, I agree with you.

      That is also in accordance with the principle of the right to live independently in the community and receive support in the community. It’s a right guaranteed in Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It should apply at all times to situations of temporary need for support as well as more long-term needs.

      In the US the Disability Integration Act has some provisions that would help us move in this direction, if interested you can read the text at https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/117 – I’d rather not go into detail about it here but you can contact me if interested in this in particular.

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      • Thank you much! I do not live in US but in Romania and I was abused by psychiatrists by clear law infringement (laws of Romania) and I still have to suffer from the diagnoses they put me and which theoretically I can contest legally, but in practice I have no chances, as are other psychiatrists that decide if the diagnoses were right and they help each other. And that is not my supposition but something a psychiatrist told me.

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        • It’s amazing how weak they are to the point of protecting each other. Happens everywhere.
          We get lucky enough to meet the weakest people and we realize it when we get old, exactly what weakness looks like.

          Psychiatry is not man enough to stand up and be counted, very few will ever do that.
          There are no “misdiagnosis” So it remains a gobblygook of words on one’s papers.

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  7. Psychiatric ‘hospitals’ are, from the built architecture to the staff and drugs inherently about abuse/torture to force people to do what they want and normalised torture at that. There are at least two locked doors to the outside, even if you are not sectioned you are subject to being locked-up in a closed culture of abuse/torture.

    The so called ‘carers’ are attack dogs – you are denied the ability to shave, cut your hair, wash your clothes. To do any of this you have to ask permission of the attack dogs, at this point you are usually either ignored or they go for you. The patients are also coerced – you are not allowed to say negative things nor complain about the drugs, if you do complain about the drugs the attack dogs are at you until you shut up – into saying positive things about the ward that week to cover up the normalised abuse to the outside ‘regulators’. That is just a few examples. I do not wish to remind myself of the more vile abuse I witnessed and was subject to last year.

    Drug induced AKATHISIA has got to be amongst the worse form of torture any human can suffer without leaving a trace on the body. Psychiatrists know full what they are doing…. To force a drug such as quetiapine – and therefore many of the harms that come with it – at high dose.. 400mg and upwards every day and multiple times a day, plus polypharmacy of other psych drugs for anxiety/insomnia let alone anything else, needs to be recognised for it really is: physical and psychological abuse/torture.

    And I hope the UN Special Rapporteur starts to use the word Akathisia and explains to the world the truth that this condition, caused by psychiatry and GP’s, is the true cause of most suicide today.

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    • Thank you. I agree that it being normalized is part of the torture; I’d venture to say that normalization of torture also is a method of psychological torture that would fit among those mentioned by the Rapporteur.

      Regarding akathisia – I agree. In fact an earlier Special Rapporteur on Torture, in 1986, listed among the forms of physical torture, ‘the administration of drugs, in detention or psychiatric institutions [names a couple of others] …. neuroleptics, that cause trembling, shivering and contractions, but mainly make the subject apathetic and dull his intelligence’ (UN Doc. No. E/CN.4/1986/15 – you can bring up the document by typing this number into a search engine). I’d say that’s a reference to akathisia and psychic apathy as well as cognitive impairment (blunting of both cognitive and emotional functions), which are the two signature features of neuroleptic drugs, so that earlier Rapporteur also got it right.

      Sometimes we have to put different UN documents together, so long as they are consistent or we can make an argument as to why one should be preferred over another, in order to make the advocacy complete.

      I appreciate your commenting about your experience and also that sometimes it’s necessary to stop. Thank you.

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      • Thank you for that information.

        I think it is going to be very difficult to get any traction on getting anywhere on any of this. When I made a complaint – through the channels they make you take – about the polypharmacy I was subject to which was proven by the ‘Health Trust’s own documents to me listing the drugs. The reply from the Trust was that I had not been subject to polypharmacy and that my records stated this. I then took this to the Ombudsman and got absolutely no where. It takes seconds on seeing both documents to see the untruth. After almost a year I just gave up. You come to the conclusion that the whole lot is corrupt, protecting a now profit based abuse system in the UK. And that is a real sickening part: The people involved in these hell holes are really profiting. From the outside of the hell hole I was in, the carpark is full of really up market top of the range cars: Mercs BMW etc while people are subject to locked up, normalised horror and torture.

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        • I can’t tell where you are but guess from some of what you say that you’re in the UK. The UK, like many other countries that have ratified the CRPD, also ratified the Optional Protocol.

          The OP allows you to make a complaint to the CRPD Committee, and the Committee will judge whether your country has violated your rights under the CRPD. The catch is that you have to have exhausted domestic remedies, or have a valid reason why you couldn’t. This can get very technical so it’s good to ask a lawyer’s advice who knows or can find out about these standards.

          It’s not enforceable and isn’t considered legally binding, but in some countries these decisions are taken very seriously and everywhere it at least puts a black mark against the country as a human rights violator.

          If it’s not the UK, and for others reading this, you can check here to see if your country ratified. https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-15-a&chapter=4&clang=_en What matters is the right-hand column, doesn’t matter which designation if there’s a date there, it means your country is party to the OP and you can use it.

          I know, often when you need justice you need a particular result and there might be other avenues that get it quicker or more reliably. But this is available, if you can and want to navigate your way through the technicalities. (Most often exhaustion of remedies means pursuing a court case. If that isn’t relevant, and you got nowhere in the procedures your country offers, and your CRPD rights were violated, think about bringing it the case – if I’m guessing correctly and your country has ratified the OP.)

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  8. Not sure why my initial comment is still in moderation, so let’s try this again.
    Tina, I am so grateful for all of your hard work. Your piece on naming it torture, several years ago, was the first I read on MiA. It was the first I had ever read where I felt like someone “got it”. You inspire me to continue to grow and heal and stand up for others. Thank you for continuing to try to educate the world.

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    • Thank you. This is the kind of feedback that strengthens me when I am having a hard time.

      When I came into the movement in 1978, soon afterwards I am pretty sure I remember a piece of writing in Madness Network News that talked about forced psychiatry as state repression. That was what ‘clicked’ for me.

      We all keep passing it on.

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  9. Thank you for this information Tina.

    I note “Examples of psychological methods of torture named in the report that may speak to our experiences include”

    This reads like a ‘play book’ for the Operations Manager who stated she would ‘fuking destroy’ me for complaining about being ‘spiked’ and ‘verballed’.

    When I took the set of fraudulent documents that were sent to our Mental Health Law Centre, and the real set to show Member of Parliament I mentioned some of the comments made about Australias mental health laws being a violation of human rights, and that the treatments may constitute torture to him. It was like throwing Holy water at a Vampire lol. They simply continue to call a spade a shovel, and I believe will continue to do so as long as this system of abuse allows them to exercise power over victims. Even legitimate complaints to our Minister are responded with by suggesting the complainant seek help from mental health services. Dog whistle slander (and a veiled threat) I consider this to be, i’m sure he sees it as care and concern. He has been made fully aware that the “patient” status given to me was as a result of fabrication of a record by a fraud, and yet continues to utter with that false record.

    Though I do wonder now he has stated in writing that he has no problem with citizens being spiked with date rape drugs and ‘verballed’ on statutory declarations to enable arbitrary detentions, how he might feel when he is the target of such vile conduct. I know one of his colleagues found it necesasary to flee the State rather than be subjected to an ‘assessment’ by mental health services here.

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    • You say ‘Even legitimate complaints to our Minister are responded with by suggesting the complainant seek help from mental health services. Dog whistle slander (and a veiled threat) I consider this to be, i’m sure he sees it as care and concern.’

      I agree with you. It denies the victim a legitimate response to their complaint, and the seeming medicalization even of the person’s complaining about abuse would also fit into the concept of ‘institutional arbitrariness’ that normalizes torture.

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      • Exactly, I wish I had a way with words to be able to put it in those terms.

        I am reminded of the previous Minister who when asked in Parliament about a survey which suggested that nearly 45% of female patients who had been hospitalised in the previous year claimed to have been sexually assaulted, stated openly in the Parliamentary Hansards that “You can’t listen to them, they’re patients”. It brought a roar from the Upper House I believe, though was not published in our newspapers to my knowledge. I think your comment sums up what was being done by our previous Minister in that statement, their complaining about being assaulted is medicalised and dismissed as invalid. It’s a tactic I need to be more aware of.

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    • Sam plover, finding that others actually found their experiences as traumatic as I had, gave me the nudge to listen to my gut and quit allowing “them” to decide what was best whether or not it actually helped or harmed me. It’s taken some years, patience with myself and those I love, and determination to never allow anyone to ever again gain control over my body or mind. They still try, but I am able to close down their ongoing opinions that my trauma and the feelings or responses that now come from it are a disease to be drugged away, to hell with how they effect my body. Never Again.

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  10. This would be a funny story if it wasn’t so terrible. We complained aggressively about the torture and negligent hospital care of our son and after FOI of the records found this had been documented as “folie de trois” ie madness of 3 .the next time we both visited our GP for routine stuff he tried to refer us to a psychiatrist.. Sad but true ..no matter how hard it is we have vowed never to trust or engage with a single person involved in this rotten corrupt system including the GP who we now just treat as a script writer . The minister in the same state as boans explained that other people’s sons had been four pointed on a trolley for longer than mine at 97hours and thus we should consider ourselves “lucky “..who is the madperson here???brilliant piece Tina thank you

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    • Hi madmother13,

      I read with interest that you have obtained documents via FOI (and assume you know that there are two paths to obtaining those documents? FOI Act and M.H.Act). I know for a fact (and have proved this to a Member of Parliament) that hospital administrators are being allowed to distribute fraudulent documents to lawyers and anyone else that may become involved where a hospital has been negligent (or acted in a criminal manner).

      In my instance even when the hospital figured out that they had been deceived, they engaged with those criminals in an attempt to cover up. I guess this relates to what Tina has mentioned above regarding States that do not wish to have black marks placed against them, they will continue to double down rather than admit their ‘error’ to the point where they will engage with organised criminals to silence any dissent. This includes with the assistance of the Minister who, as was shown in my instance has ensured I was denied access to effective legal representation. I was surprised at how easy that was to achieve, and how willing the community is to turn a blind eye to these abuses.

      “The minister in the same state as boans explained that other people’s sons had been four pointed on a trolley for longer than mine at 97 hours and thus we should consider ourselves “lucky “..who is the madperson here?”

      The person you speak of has recently found himself “appalled” at the manner in which people are being treated in car parks, but note, that is where it ends for him. He is more interested in self promotion and expensive lunches with Roger Federrer than any mental patient. I have often wondered if my wife’s close friendship with his psychologist sister has something to do with the blatant slandering of me and the uttering with forged records to ensure the human rights abuses I have been subjected to are concealed. I would certainly not be turning to him for any resolution, the man is a puppet for the medical fraternity, and cares little about the community other than at election time when he requires their tick in a ballot paper.

      I personally think that some of the Federal members may be interested to know some of what is actually occurring in the State system, mainly because it’s a good measure of how out of control matters are getting because of the negligence in dealing with corruption in the system. Every once on a while they will pluck the eyes out of some of the more predatory animals feeding off the livestock.

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  11. There are psychiatrists speaking out against psychiatry.
    So it puts us at a crossroad of “opinions”.

    How I view someone is opinion.
    I can however get an “education” a phd, and make my opinion stick.

    I cannot view someone as to having cancer, then be
    come a doctor and interview them and conclude they have cancer.

    They are speeding it up to create a roadmap or many, to try and create proof of MI.
    They are predictable which is good.

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  12. I do have this nagging hunch that, as is true of my own case, the use of the very same strategies and tactics of the domestic violence perpetrator by mental health workers who keep using their role as gatekeepers to deny access to medical care referred by my GP, and to falsely claim I am mentally ill, and need counseling instead, (I proactively refuse consent and invoke rights, doesn’t help of course), would be, if well documented, a helpful way to possibly approach the emotional injury aspect, (though for me it is the economic injury that as it causes loss of resources to survive, is the worst).

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    • I agree with that, and think it is going to require sensitivity on the part of the listener, from a gender perspective and a disability perspective at the same time (intersectional).

      It’s often the case that domestic and family abuse, by an intimate partner, parents, siblings, or adult children, can get carried over into psychiatry, using psychiatry to continue that abuse. Psychiatry replicates the abuse both because it is structurally simply the same – it’s a patriarchal, paternalistic system of coercive control, as practiced in a context of mental health legislation that authorizes, and sometimes requires, them to act that way – and because they view our reactions to abuse as ‘symptoms of mental illness’ within their frame of reference. There is a lot that needs to be unpacked, parsed, and dismantled before any mental health service, or any service that uses mental health framing and concepts, can meaningfully support survivors of any kind of abuse.

      (Also since the mh system is currently structured as a coercive control system, i.e. an abuse relationship, we have to address reactions to the mh system itself as reactions to abuse, and provide supports that guarantee safety from that system. It’s logical, but needs a political shift that takes power away from a lot of vested interests.)

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  13. Tina, this is definitely promising. Good to see the CRPD also views the psychological aspect of these practices akin to torture. It is so good to know someone with your knowledge and expertise is on this! Hopefully reparations will be in the future. Thanks for all your ongoing involvement with this arduous process. Please keep going!

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    • This is a document of the Special Rapporteur on Torture. All the work done on the question of forced psychiatry post-CRPD that supports its abolition takes the CRPD as its starting point (from the 2008 report of an earlier Special Rapporteur on Torture, you may remember me commenting on – UN Doc A/63/175 if you want to look it up, and see paragraph 44).

      The CRPD Committee has addressed forced treatment in psychiatry and generally as a violation of legal capacity and physical and mental integrity, amounting to torture or other ill-treatment. I expect they will take into consideration this current report by the SR on Torture and hopefully they will incorporate it into their approach to the abolition of forced psychiatry.

      It is going to be up to us, especially in the context of parallel reports (shadow reports) and other submissions in the country reviews, to suggest to the CRPD Committee how to do this.

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    • Good question. I am not sure if it is distributed to them individually, but it is an official document of the UN and can be brought to their attention as such. It was presented to the Human Rights Council on Feb 28, in a scheduled dialogue with the Torture Rapporteur that happens in every session of the Council. Now it is available in the ‘advance unedited version’ in English, but will be translated into all UN languages and will appear here then: https://undocs.org/en/A/HRC/43/49 (for now, that link gets you a ‘sorry, we could not locate your document’). But the link in my post goes directly to get the AUV in English from the UN website. Hope this helps.

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      • Thanks Tina, yes I did get the report from your link. Interesting reading indeed.

        I did at one point send a copy of the Convention against the Use of Torture to a Member of Parliament and requested that he tear it up for cameras/media on the steps of Parliament given that they have demonstrated that they didn’t really mean it when they signed it.

        My point being that at least the public would not be fooled into the false belief that we have some sort of protection from torture when we don’t.

        A rather powerful statement I read from Jim G. saying “rights without remedies are no rights at all” (or something similar). There really is no avenue to pursue any claim of torture here, and they are refouling anyone who has a legitimate complaint, fact. A clear breach of the Convention (article 12 and 13)

        I also note that they can not deny that I was subjected to torture as a result of Article 10

        Article 10

        “1. Each State Party shall ensure that education and information regarding the prohibition against torture are fully included in the training of law enforcement personnel, civil or military, medical personnel, public officials and other persons who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of any individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment.”

        Denial of the facts would mean a breach of this Article by the State. ie saying it’s not torture when they know it is would accept they have not been trained properly, so they simply ignore my complaint (as stated earlier).

        In fact any examination of what I have been subjected to constitutes so many breaches it make me wonder if anyone even cares about this document in my State. It just seems cheaper to have complainants dropped at a hospital ED for an overdose and be done with it. Reputation in tact. They can always later claim it was organised criminals and no link to the State, and well minus any legal representation and the fact they are distributing fraudulent documents means they can manufacture anything they wish to be the truth. Of course someone had to turn a blind eye while these criminals did the dirty for the State, and well we can’t have the guilty parties being exposed. They have found methods of placing themselves above the law. ‘Contracting out’ their dirty work , threatening witnesses, and ensuring the police can’t find their copy of the Criminal Code seems to be highly effective in ensuring zero accountability.

        I sure am glad God knows (and a few others who bothered to look before turning their backs on me), because it will thus be revealed to a person of understanding at some point in time, and these hypocrites, frauds and negative outcomers will be exposed for exactly what they are.

        Hasn’t this always been the case though with these ‘dark spaces’ created by the law? I can see a form of ‘bracket creep’ occurring in my State which is expanding with the Euthanasia Act they have passed recently. Put that together with the new Mental Health Act which was rewritten as a result of the UN comments about human rights abuses and I see problems. Strangely the rewriting of the MHA actually made the situation regarding human rights worse for citizens, but did allow our politicians to neutralize the statement of the UN and expand the powers of doctors. “There are added protections” we are told, they just don’t provide detail about who is protected by those protections, shock docs who wish to ‘treat’ teenagers.

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  14. I do agree with others here, those of us who’ve been harmed by psychiatry did/do need lawyers, and there are next to no lawyers who take cases against the psychiatrists. I also agree the “mental health” system is an abusive, and an abuse covering up system, 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

    The FBI criminal arrest report of the doctor who forced treated me is the background of a piece of art I did, based upon your No Forced Treatment campaign logo, as can be seen in the art section of MiA. My piece is called “Painted in Red.” If you, or anyone else would like to use it, in your campaign against forced psychiatry, please contact me via text or phone at 312.848.4810. I will eventually be putting this piece of art up on the fineartamerica site, once I get my business set up.

    Thank you, Tina, for all you are doing to help shed light on the staggering in scope, systemic crimes of the psychiatric and psychological industries.

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  15. “Nothing about us without us” is a perfectly legitimate slogan but it seems to have been grossly abused over the years, depending what is meant by “us.” Since there is not yet an organization or viable movement which reflects the goals or agenda of psychiatric survivors (though we’re working on it), this means to me that just about everyone out there who is not a survivor should refrain from talking “about us” completely unless they are invited to do so by “us.”

    Putting it another way, only we can define our allies. If we build a movement they will come.

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    • I agree that we in the US need a viable independent autonomous movement of survivors of psychiatric oppression. A few comments… not intending to nitpick what you’re saying but rather as dialogue about a few points.

      Many people in other countries would look at our discussion here and wonder how you could say there isn’t even ‘a movement’. We in the US have a history and we have a lot of work going on – at this point in time it’s not a ‘separatist’ movement for the most part, and it has been seriously depoliticized through the intervention of mental health funding that (deliberately) channeled more people’s energy into peer support and cooperation with the mh system than activism that challenged its fundamentals.

      Also… I’m not sure who you are including as survivors. Through WNUSP I was representing not only survivors of psychiatric oppression – those who define ourselves as having been victimized by, and survived, an atrocity – but also those who use services and don’t want to be abused while doing so, and people who identify as having experienced madness or mental health problems irrespective of whether psychiatry caught them or whether they used services. I still think of my work as relating to that entire community of reference, though for some purposes – like talking about psychiatric violence, like in this post – it is survivors per se who are ‘us’.

      Laura Prescott once talked about not speaking for anyone she’s not, if a program is about young women she will not go and speak about them but will insist on having a young women invited alongside her. We all have to keep that in mind even as survivors, I have not survived electroshock or restraint, someone else might not have survived neuroleptic drugging.

      Also the term ‘survivor’ can be hard to relate to for people who are now being subjected to abuse and resisting or enduring it. Initially NO in Australia is using the term ‘victims of psychiatrists’ for this purpose which also makes it clear we are talking about abuse and not some kind of ‘graduation’ from psychiatry or even survival of ‘mental illness’ which the term ‘psychiatric survivor’ has sometimes been coopted to mean.

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      • All those who enter are victims, even those who hail psychiatry.
        They hail until they fail.

        “victims of psychiatry” is a most proper term, since even those who never went are victims.
        Your GP can leave subtle and not so subtle suggestions on your files.

        So psychiatry is not a specialty, since anyone can basically suggest and bingo, you become a victim of ….

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      • OK, so…

        Many people in other countries would look at our discussion here and wonder how you could say there isn’t even ‘a movement’.

        Many people in the US would be offended too.

        It depends what you mean by “movement.” A movement must have clearly defined goals, hence when I say “movement” in the context of MIA discussions I mean the anti-psychiatry movement, not any efforts to “improve” psychiatry. If there are related movements they also need to be clearly defined, otherwise (as with people at MIA) you have a bunch of people motivated to improve the lot of the psychiatrized, however their analyses about what needs to be done and who the enemy is (and why) are different, and often contradictory. So it needs to be clarified what people are moving toward to know if we are all indeed in league with one another. I would hold with my assertion that there is currently no “viable movement which reflects the goals or agenda of psychiatric survivors” (my phrasing) or “independent autonomous movement of survivors of psychiatric oppression” (yours). If you know of any such group elsewhere (not talking about CAPA) I’d love to hear of them. However this brings us to the issue of what is a “survivor.”

        Like you I also have some issues with the term “survivor.” As you no doubt recall, in the days of the mental patients liberation movement we used to refer to ourselves as “former and current psychiatric inmates.” I think it would be less awkward to refer to “psychiatric inmates and outmates” (the latter referring to people in CMH, etc.). When I stumbled upon MIA after years of absence from the anti-psychiatry scene I realized that the universal term for the psychiatrized had morphed into “survivor,” a questionable development I was nonetheless not about to tackle or criticize since I had been “gone” for so long. However, not all of us are survivors. Many of us have been killed by psychiatry. So I personally would prefer “inmates” and “outmates.” This has to be a collective decision however.

        Still hoping you’ll check my email, would love to hear your further thoughts on some of this stuff. I don’t consider any of your responses to be nitpicking.

        P.S. If a “survivor” has not yet arrived at an anti-psychiatry position I don’t really consider them as having “survived.”

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        • In terms of the world – I’d say there are a lot of positions being debated about how how to analyze the exact nature of our oppression. We have moved the window substantially to the ‘left’ in the sense of a pro-liberation position, through the CRPD. The discussions among people who identify as ‘users’ or ‘survivors of psychiatry’ or ‘people with psychosocial disabilities’ who relate to human rights and development contexts take abolition of forced psychiatry as part of what we fight for, as a starting point. There is still a counter-movement of ‘peers’ sponsored by the mental health system (that is how they are referring to themselves; I don’t think identifying as ‘peer’ or ‘peer support’ in itself is counter to human rights, and there is a lot of good ‘peer’/mutual support work that I admire and promote), but this human rights premise is strengthening and gaining ground all the time.

          My own analysis keeps evolving. I don’t base my work on opposition to psychiatry per se or psychiatric drugs, because l see too many people, including many who are identified with the survivor movement and are, legitimately, survivors of horrendous psychiatric violence, using psychiatric drugs. Even psychiatric diagnosis, if it’s understood not as an objective practice of medicine but as one way of naming unusual subjective experiences and distress that a lot of people take for granted, many find harmful but some find useful – I want to limit and take the legal and hegemonic power away from, and don’t see a way to end it completely unless something else takes its place as a way to approach experiences that are unknown and confusing and can be frightening.

          In practice (in advocacy) my positions often come down to rejecting psychiatric practices when presented in their particularities, because they are based in top-down, paternalistic, patriarchal, hierarchical relations that are abusive for demanding to be trusted while reserving a right to break your trust with impunity. If I saw a psychiatric practice that entirely disavowed coercive control I might say it’s ok.

          And I’d say there are lots of people in the Absolute Prohibition Campaign and otherwise in the global movement in every region of the world, who take a position that similarly opposes any hegemonic role for psychiatry along with coercive/control ideology and practice.

          You may define the movement of psychiatric survivors differently – but I define ‘survivor of psychiatric violence’ as someone who has been victimized and lived to tell the tale, or victim-survivor to be more inclusive. And so a movement focused on ending psychiatric violence, yes we have one and it is growing stronger all the time.

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          • The point about lung cancer is very well taken. The fact that some people like the effects of cigarettes and don’t suffer much long-term damage doesn’t mean that “stop smoking” campaigns are “shaming” those who continue to smoke.

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          • Replying to the query of our use of the term Victims of Psychiatrists:
            victims of psychiatrists (VOP) is a generic term, and I chose to focus on it, over victims of psychiatry , because I did not want the medicalisation of the term ‘psychiatry’ and I wanted ICC action on the psychiatrists that inflict vile, cruel, lucrative forced human experimentation on a mass scale, then traffic that data extracted, through torture and extortion, all over the globe. I have often shortened the term to victims of psy and used the symbol, as psychiatrists write this shorthand for themselves. I want the psychiatrists, as people, to be targeted for reparations, not just the organisations and government legislating for the psy, but naturally they have to be held responsible for their part in the atrocities too.

            I want psychiatrists to start feeling fear. I want to say: only psy deserve to be subjected to ECT, to neuroleptic…

            We are people, victims are people, so are psychiatrists. Victims of Psychiatry is too nebulous for my purposes, too distancing. I want to be in their face, make it personal for each and every one of those psy that back the scam of the mental health system.

            Psychwatch is more focussed on psychiatrists who can be immediately law-suited, and it is usually on the basis of some kind of lewd assault, or financial fraud, they’re not VOP though.

            VOP are people who have experience forced/ coerced psy first hand, and really know the most, but are being silenced. As a collective in Australia, VOP organises rallies regularly in for the #right2refuse psychiatrists’ products, procedures, programs and their beds. Victims of Psychiatrists will organise a rally at Canberra parliament, on 26th June, in support of Victims of Torture (Tina has a blog on this). And we’ll also have another rally, in Canberra, on Oct 10th, for VOP day. Our symbol is rosemary, as it is good for getting rid of ‘parapsytrists’. We reclaim this day Oct 10th, from oppressors, to mourn those who have been killed by psy, and those who cannot be with us because they are currently being torture by psy and interned. We make wreaths and lay them on the lawns of parliament. There are also monthly rallies organised at Victoria’s Parliament Steps. https://sway.office.com/dDPcylHswqCDsDps

            I also link with a newly formed political party – Abolish Psychiatry. When that appears on the ballot paper in 2022 election, Australians will have no doubt what Abolish Psychiatry intends to do. The party is also needed for people in Australia for who are being persecuted in psy write-ups as ‘antipsychiatry’ as if being ‘antipsychiatry’ is something that is allowed to be medicalised. It is not. Psy are ignoring their own State/ Territory Mental Health Acts, and Royal Commissions that are supposed to investigate the mental health system, are corrupted by the appointment of psy as officials, particularly psy that are known for vile, cruel experiments, and have not had any kind of interrogation at the Royal Commissions on this, despite VOP submissions to these sessions. Instead more propaganda and victim-blaming is rolled out and the violations are then to expand with more funding instead of being curtailed.

            When a person is persecuted by psy for their protest against psy, http://chng.it/4TTxnMcTwn we also link with Mindfreedom, that has a long established idea of a Shield. Validation for VOP is very necessary, and getting out beyond the virtual into the public, for the VOP who are not given platforms to lecture/ speak/ communicate, whose demands for human rights while being tortured behind closed doors is written up as symptoms, as well as any kind of attempt to communicate the obvious laws and ethics being violated. I’m particularly thinking of those VOP who are being asked to play-the-game, and having their health and vitality destroyed by intrusive maltreatments, as well as that ask that they kiss the boot of the psy and comply with the psy’s ownership of their soul, and they don’t want to, they don’t want to be crushed, they want to survive, not be a grovel to the violent psy dictators.

            We cannot have that, in a societies, particularly when they claim to be democratic – that torturing and erasing of a person. Bring on the rallies that get bigger and louder, while keeping everything legal, so to have the support of parliament security etc, as people that don’t ever get out of hand, that read the rule book, and fully comprehend it.

            Thank you for mentioning VOP Tina, and I appreciate the discussion from everyone here.

            VOP want forced mental health maltreatment to be considered in the same way as forced organ harvesting – disgusting, diabolical and must be stopped. Yes, there’s the individual advocacy too, http://chng.it/j9X8xNq7LB . No, our government will not be funding VOP collective any time soon. We’re just going out on a limb at the moment without funding, and we will not be corrupted, because all VOP are vulnerable to being got again, if VOP ever back down, water-down their demands for the vile cruel torturous persecuting psy to stop, and for our government to stop legislating the cruelty, and criminalise forced/ coerced psy, and start to regulate the toxins of the medical industry better…

            re: Tobacco.
            I don’t see any correlation between ‘smoking’ and the persecution and torture of VOP. I am highly sensitive to propylene glycol that is in hospital air-conditioning, Personal Products… and tobacco, and those vape things, as well as psychdrugs. The sensitivity was cause by years of forced psy. If people want to understand why tobacco is mixed with propylene glycol, then they’re talking, because they’re looking at the Hygiene Industry, which of course is Mental Hygiene, and personal products being part of the mental hygiene industry, and tobacco was pushed by this same industry at the point where it was coopted and the plant, tobacco, once a good mosquito repellant, turned into 30% petroleum to ‘keep-it-fresh’ put it in your pipe and smoke it, market the even more toxic metho cigs to the Black Americans… all sorts of nasty chemical cuss. Who is allowed to smoke tobacco without that PG in it? No one. Well, maybe some grower of it.

            re: people who get psychdrugs from GPs & trust GPs who are Confidence Tricksters.
            For people who oops take the wrong drug prescribed by a GP. I’m going to say this, with psychdrugs there is a threat that if you don’t, you will be forced; with other kinds of medical experiments, there isn’t that. So, legislation is the main issue, that’s why VOP need politicians to do something, that’s why Abolish Psychiatry was formed. Politicians were doing nothing, even though asked and asked and asked.

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          • “l see too many people, including many who are identified with the survivor movement and are, legitimately, survivors of horrendous psychiatric violence, using psychiatric drugs.”

            Most likely they still use these psychiatric drugs because it’s too difficult to come off them. It shouldn’t be used as an argument for someone to start on, and then indefinitely stay on, for example, an antipsychotic. And it’s irrelevant whether or not these users of psychiatric drugs were abused in other ways. At least for the person that is being coerced into starting these drugs.

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          • Anyone who is taking the drugs is under forced treatment – because the doctors don’t tell you – they don’t know themselves – the long term consequences of these drugs.

            I’m reminded of this, here: https://www.madinamerica.com/2020/03/iatrogenic-domino-poisoned-polypharmacy/

            Sounds like forced treatment to me. Even if it is based in ignorance and incompetence. There is no excuse. The information is out there. It’s willful, to protect those in power.

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          • To everyone who is addressing the harms caused by psychiatric drugs per se:
            Let’s discuss the differences and commonalities among our experiences.
            For some of us (like me) the drug was never experienced as medicine, as something to try to cope with distress or unusual perceptions. It was purely an act of torture from beginning to end. It was known to be harmful, anticipated with terror as harmful, experienced as a violent sundering, and left me with injuries at all levels.

            In terms of the international standard, I would agree that not only forced/coerced drugging but also the short- and long-term consequences of psych drugs when prescribed without free and informed consent are torture. This is how I understand ‘free and informed consent’ from a person-centered, human rights point of view: Consent has to be free – not coerced, not unduly influenced by incentives/disincentives/threats implicit or explicit, and it has to be informed – given after providing the person all known information about adverse effects, likelihood/unlikelihood of benefits, comparison to placebo, other options, with an opportunity to get their questions answered and make a decision they are comfortable with.

            It is clear also that psychiatric drugs all cause harm, and that they don’t seem to provide much benefit, based on studies. Yet there are a lot of people – I know a number, including the survivor movement as I said – who take the drugs knowing all the harm, but finding something that helps them cope, that peer support, therapy or anything else they’ve managed to find can’t actually do in the same way. That is outside my experience, just as it is outside my experience to consider taking any of those drugs as a way of coping. I would like to find ways for my advocacy to support everyone’s human rights.

            So here are my questions:
            1 – Would it work, policy-wise, to talk about free and informed consent for psychiatric drugs, from a person-centered human rights point of view? (Take what I wrote as one approach, others have written it up in various ways.)
            2 – Should we advocate taking psychiatric drugs off the market?
            3 – Do we need different approaches for different drugs – e.g. taking some off the market as too harmful based on weight of the evidence, while leaving others? (E.g. individual drugs like haloperidol, olanzapine, etc., or classes like neuroleptics, stimulants, SSRIs etc.?)
            4 – How would we want to see the development of such policies and/or regulations take place?

            I believe that in any case psychiatric drugs cannot be viewed as ‘treatment’ based on the construct of ‘mental illness’, ‘symptoms,’ and diagnoses. Joanna Moncrieff’s drug-based prescribing as opposed to illness-based, makes sense to me, as that is how people I know who use the drugs by choice, do so. They have a particular effect the drug does that they want, and they use it for that purpose.

            They are highly risky – withdrawal/physical dependency, tardive dyskinesia, all the endocrine and cardiovascular problems, I can’t keep track as I used to since there are new drugs all the time. But many drugs are risky for your health; people make different choices based on their own self-knowledge of their bodies, their needs, the relative discomforts caused by the drug vs the illness or symptom or kind of suffering that the drug can diminish for them.

            I’m open to different views about the way forward: anti-psychiatry/ abolition of psychiatry has a lot of value. And so does a people’s health movement/ feminist women’s health movement/ women of color health movement that affirms people in their self-knowledge and decision-making about western medicine, other systems of medicine, homemade medicine, healing practices. These two ways of thinking sit uneasily with each other but I’d rather come up with win/win solutions than have them be opponents.

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          • I personally think the human rights approach is the broadest and would have the most general appeal, especially if combined with honest rhetoric regarding oppression of particular subgroups within the general abuse of rights that psychiatry represents. People want to believe in doctors, but they also want to believe they ave rights which can’t be violated willy-nilly. How we can connect the abuse of rights of the psychiatrized with the rights of people who haven’t yet had that experience is a bigger challenge, but one that I think eventually can be overcome.

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          • ps. – after reading Initia’s comment in another thread here, I realized that systemically the issue is exactly what the report on psychological torture is dealing with – people being deceived and manipulated into trusting someone who harms them, if not by deliberate cruelty then by systematic dehumanization. It’s a feature of the system that we can talk about, that is bound up with both the coercive power and social norms of deference to managerial elites.

            There is still a need to address policy regarding psychiatric drugs, so I will leave that comment up and not delete it, but it is somewhat tangential to this post on torture. I think it is justifiable to say as some of you have, that anyone harmed by psychiatric drugs in our current system should have a claim for torture. The details of individual experiences matter when we talk about kinds of harm, and those are unique to each person. But all of us are included in the human rights standard.

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          • @ Anomie:

            If someone is given this as informed consent and still agrees to take these drugs, I’m not sure I would trust their judgement. Sorry if that sounds cold, but I’m just being honest.

            Nothing cold here but your cold hard logic.

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          • “People want to believe in doctors, but they also want to believe they ave rights which can’t be violated willy-nilly. How we can connect the abuse of rights of the psychiatrized with the rights of people who haven’t yet had that experience is a bigger challenge, but one that I think eventually can be overcome.”

            Steve I wonder about this in the sense that the false belief that the community has rights is the real issue. We can’t connect the abuse of rights with the rights of people who haven’t been abused yet because they don’t exist. One of the biggest psychological issues for me was that citizens can have items ‘planted’ on them for police to find and they will go along with the set up to enable torture and kidnapping was a big wake up for me. (obtaining referral from police stooges being enabled to subvert those rights we supposedly have makes them criminals but with no remedy because they investigate their own criminality? Good faith does not stretch to the use of torture by the State) And then to find out they have absolutely no respect for the law and will commit acts of fraud and utter false records and attempt to pervert the course of justice(and be aided by a Cabinet Minister no less) to ensure their assistance they are providing to criminals is not prosecuted …… where am I living?

            Yes people want to believe in doctors but since when were they placed above the law? When police decided to engage in criminal conduct and ensure that no action is possible against them. At precisely that point. And giving the hospital administrators the ability to ‘fuking destroy’ anyone who complains about their criminal conduct is causing deaths. Of this I have no doubt. And thus the organised criminals in our system spread their poison. Once the State IS the criminals the goodbye to your community. Of course they can not at any cost allow the public to become aware of the truth, that would be the connection your speaking about.

            I have made it clear for all to see here in my State that given the letter I have from the Chief Psychiatrist and Minister that we HAVE NO RIGHTS and that they have rewritten the law to enable arbitrary detentions, and the forced drugging of any citizen by allowing people to have their legal status changed post hoc from ‘citizen’ to “patient”. The person charged with protecting the “rights of carers, consumers and the community” (Chief Psychiatrist) doesn’t even know what a burden of proof is, so how could he protect our rights under the Mental Health Act? Anyone with the most basic understanding of the law would recognise the consequences of the State being allowed to do this. Though they tend to look the other way when I put the proof before them, preferring the human rights abuses continue, and leave the public to falsely believe they have rights such as ‘no arbitrary detentions’.

            I would like to be given asylum from my State which is not only torturing citizens but refouling anyone who makes a valid complaint. Though the idea of anyone providing assistance against these human rights abusers seems hopeless as a result of their criminal fraud (don’t believe me, check the documents that were sent to the Law Centre and then the real set that I have). The preferred truth has been manufactured via those documents, and I have been made a “patient” post hoc to make what was torture and kidnapping lawful, FACT.

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  16. Tina, don’t go away anywhere soon.
    Your language, I wish so much I could speak as accurately, as powerful, truthful and honest.
    It has made me feel empowered and strong. I think many here might feel the leadership and validation in your responses, and that is not to say we need validation because where psychiatry is concerned, when we say NO, we finally validate ourselves…yet to have you put it in such calm and powerful ways supports me in many ways on a personal level.
    It makes me feel I have a true advocate.

    One question Tina, are there funds needed to continue down this/your path?

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    • Sam Plover, thanks so much for asking. Currently I am not in need of additional funding for my own work, but we always welcome funds for CHRUSP projects that help us to put on events at the UN and support the representation of CHRUSP at UN meetings by other volunteers and board members. We have a GoFundMe and you can also donate through Network For Good or by choosing CHRUSP in Amazon Smile. I hope that this answer does not violate any policy of Mad in America, and expect moderators will let us know and take appropriate action if it does.

      And no, I am not going away. This is a lifetime commitment and will go on beyond my lifetime. And the work is already much, much bigger than me and I am looking to grow it by advising, mentoring and promoting newer human rights activists all the time.

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  17. I don’t base my work on opposition to psychiatry per se or psychiatric drugs, because l see too many people, including many who are identified with the survivor movement and are, legitimately, survivors of horrendous psychiatric violence, using psychiatric drugs.

    The fact that some victims of other forms of “horrific psychiatric violence” remain victims of psychiatric drugs does not change the fact that anyone with a psychiatric label is a victim of psychiatry, whether or not they understand or acknowledge this. Hence objectively psychiatry should be opposed no matter what, since it fraudulently poses as medicine. (Not saying this must be your personal focus.)

    Sorry this has fallen off the MIA home page. I’ll respond privately to your email.

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    • I agree Oldhead, that even those who “think” the chemicals “saved” their lives, does not change the fact they are victims of the lies.

      It depends at what point in time the victim thinks they are benefitting. Perhaps in another 2-15 years, their story will have changed dramatically.
      The same people who think it was the chemicals ignore the fluctuation of their experiences, and often don’t recognize what and who sets them into stress mode.
      And when they try to come of chemicals, and experience the fallout, simply think and reassure themselves that it was the add-ons that made them “better”.
      A constant cycle…spellbound

      But then, if someone really wants the chemicals, perhaps they should be available, without the lies attached. IF they were available with ALL the truths, the truth that the chemicals are random, no certain targets except disruption and the likelihood of damage.

      But for certain, the bloody DSM has to go. Those people who WANT chemicals don’t have something called “double depression” “bi-polar” “PD’s” “ADHD” “inappropriate laughter” “magical thinking”

      Psychiatry could simply prescribe according to “client does not feel well”, “so she/he is asking to try the chemicals we have”.
      Obviously that does not sound very “medical”. Not “scientific” enough.
      Although I’m not sure how scientific “inappropriate laughter” or “grandiose thinking” and a bunch of other lies about someone, are.

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      • That was in my initial state hospital evaluation — the shrink said that I “laughed inappropriately” at one of his comments.

        Sam, I have noticed your AP consciousness steadily growing. I’m waiting for you to make the leap that the real problem isn’t the DSM, it’s psychiatry en toto. The DSM is just a tactical move on its part.

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        • I realize it is psychiatry.
          I know that the DSM is the tactical attempt, which surprisingly seems to qualify as something “medical”.

          Debunking the DSM for what it was and is? Can getting rid of one not collapse the lot?
          The DSM is their glue, albeit quite phenomenal that anyone in their right mind sees the “medical” or “science” in that garbage, dreamed up paperwork.

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  18. Would it work, policy-wise, to talk about free and informed consent for psychiatric drugs, from a person-centered human rights point of view?

    There can be no such thing; if there were truly “informed” consent the only people consenting to taking neurotoxic drugs would be those with self-destructive motivations.

    Do we need different approaches for different drugs – e.g. taking some off the market as too harmful based on weight of the evidence, while leaving others?

    It’s all poison in the guise of medicine, hence criminal, maybe even a war crime if we acknowledge that this system is at war with all life.

    Some may argue for legalization of all drugs and other toxic substances; however to justify such drugging in the guise of medicine is always fraudulent and criminal. If the state involves itself in licensing of physicians, prescribing psych drugs as medicine should be outlawed as fraud.

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    • ‘There can be no such thing; if there were truly “informed” consent the only people consenting to taking neurotoxic drugs would be those with self-destructive motivations.’

      Attributing self-destructive motivations to a person, and denying them the possibility of doing something they choose based on this attribution, is against their human rights, particularly the right to legal capacity. That is straight out of psychiatry’s playbook, along with other hierarchical ways of thinking such as sexism and colonialism.

      I do think that it’s possible to argue to deny any substance the status of being called medicine. There are a lot of complex aspects to that, and it may well be that all psychiatric substances should be taken out of the category. But there’s a difference between saying that psychic suffering and any kind of consciousness or behavior are not pathology, that diagnosis is name is calling, and saying that there should not be any use of psychoactive substances to feel better. (Herbs are part of that too – valerian, St Johnswort. So how are you differentiating, in ways that can be acted on in law and policy?)

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      • Attributing self-destructive motivations to a person, and denying them the possibility of doing something they choose based on this attribution, is against their human rights, particularly the right to legal capacity.

        No one is denying anyone the right or possibility of doing anything. Even the possibility of self-harm. There may be other motivations for taking a known poison despite knowing that it’s poison, I just can’t think of any; if you can please enlighten me. And whether this is ever truly a “choice” remains questionable.

        But there’s a difference between saying that psychic suffering and any kind of consciousness or behavior are not pathology, that diagnosis is name is calling, and saying that there should not be any use of psychoactive substances to feel better.

        I’m not even remotely desiring to dictate what anyone “should” do, just saying that using a toxic substance to alter one’s consciousness should be recognized for what it is, whether it’s Prozac or Jack Daniels. It should not be euphemized as “medication” or prescribed as such. And while I think e.g. it’s a stretch to equate valerian (which I use) with benzos (with which valerian shares some receptors) my point remains the same, this is not a justification for psychiatry to exist.

        As for “ways that can be acted on in law and policy,” that’s a different question. There are many needs we have as human beings that current legal structures exclude us from addressing. We need to decide where we need to go first, then strategize how to get there. I see CRPD as a wrench in the works of the psychiatric agenda, a very important one. But ultimately solving the problem of psychiatry cannot be done under the aegis of “disability rights” because we are not disabled, and identifying with such a label is part of internalized psychiatric oppression.

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  19. I personally think the human rights approach is the broadest and would have the most general appeal

    Who are we trying to “appeal” to? Liberal mental health workers? Politicians and bureaucrats? What about the “fighting criminal oppression” approach, based on the analysis that the purpose of psychiatry is to enforce conformity to the established social order? Do we have to wait for a majority to “get it” before we assert our human rights? Count me out.

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    • We are appealing to anyone who is uninformed and who needs to become educated. The world isn’t broken up into those who agree with eliminating psychiatry and those who sing its praises. Most people don’t really HAVE opinions, they make their opinions based on rhetoric they hear from those whom they assume know more than they do. There is no reason not to reframe psychiatry as a human rights abuse because it will garner more support than trying to convince everyone that psychiatry is a fraud (which it is), because we need the general public opinion to turn against psychiatry. That seems to me the most effective, practical way to do it. Any mass movement requires a mass of people to participate, by definition. It seems to me that the way to get a mass movement going is to have memes that people can get behind in large numbers. Take “MADD” for instance. They didn’t argue that no one should drink, they argued that people should not DRIVE drunk. And they came up with the meme of the “designated driver,” which resonated with big numbers of people.

      I’m not a master of group dynamics or mass movements, but it seems to me that people can wrap their brains around the idea that people deserve to have their rights respected more easily than they can that their doctors are a bunch of charlatans, even if the latter is observably true.

      Hope that makes some sense.

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      • This assumes that great numbers of people care, which I don’t think is a realistic assumption. I don’t think this is cynical on my part. The second mistake imo is the idea that if the general populace were more conscious of psychiatric oppression they would be motivated to do something about it. Most people act out of self-interest. The idea of “educating the public” is nice, but strategically we need to immediately focus on those who are likely to take action, and for whom we don’t need to dance on eggshells. The others will have to learn from our example, we can’t hold ourselves back and nurse them along till they’re ready to agree with our agenda. Assuming that “we” means people opposed to psychiatry, not those who entertain hopes of “reforming” it.

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      • it seems to me that people can wrap their brains around the idea that people deserve to have their rights respected more easily than they can that their doctors are a bunch of charlatans, even if the latter is observably true.

        You’re getting liberal on me Steve. 🙂

        Are you saying we should put less emphasis on being correct and more on telling people what they’re ready to hear? Isn’t this like news organizations that poll their customers about the kind of news they prefer to read?

        If their “doctors” are clearly charlatans then why express matters in terms of “human rights”? To give people a comfortable euphemism?

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        • One can be right all day long and get nothing done. That’s how I’ve experienced attempts to change the system from within. I have no interest in denying reality or polling anyone on what they want to hear about psychiatry, and frankly, given my history, I find that suggestion a little disrespectful. I absolutely agree that calling psychiatrists “doctors” or psychiatry “medicine” is a fraud and needs to be called out as such. The question is how you get masses of people on board with that idea. Most people don’t think with ideas, they react with emotions. That’s why a story in the paper about a poor kid living on the streets with his parents gets tons of donations, while a request for an increase in the welfare budget is met with disinterest or scorn. People have to be grabbed emotionally. Facts don’t convince most people of anything much. Most people are driven by emotional “reasoning,” which is one reason psychiatry has been as successful as it has – it appeals to people’s desire to feel like someone understands something that they don’t, and to people’s desire to blame someone/something in a way that keeps them from having to make any significant changes. It’s how people in groups tend to act. You have to get them excited or angry or worried about something or they will roll with the status quo. At least that’s my experience. Maybe I’m just too cynical!

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          • One can be right all day long and get nothing done. That’s how I’ve experienced attempts to change the system from within.

            Bingo! What does that tell you about “working from within”?

            The question is how you get masses of people on board with that idea. Most people don’t think with ideas, they react with emotions.

            Which is something that needs to be recognized and taken into consideration, but we shouldn’t pander to emotions.

            People have to be grabbed emotionally.

            Why? Where has it ever been shown that effective activism can be based on emotions and not understanding? Most survivors don’t need an emotional trigger to hate psychiatry; they’ve already had that, and those who do are not really ready to be effective activists. For that you need a viable analysis and an effective strategy. I doubt we’re going to see the masses on our side until shortly before we win. We need to appeal to those who already understand and hate psychiatry and provide a framework for them to put that understanding (and emotion) into action. It’s not a simple process, but we’re working on it.

            As for your example, I think it demonstrates my point that systemic change cannot be driven by emotions. And none of my critical comments are aimed at individuals, but ideas, I thought you of all people would know that by now.

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          • There is a difference between pandering and taking the facts of human behavior into full account when planning a strategy. I would challenge you to show big changes happening against the status quo that were not created with emotional appeals to the masses. Of course, there need to be solid, real, honest ideas that have strong logical backing, because otherwise they don’t WORK. But I can’t think of a major change movement that didn’t employ emotional appeals as a big part of their strategy. I could be wrong, of course, but I’m not seeing examples of “intellectual revolution” being successful. I’m open to hearing examples if you have some. Like I said, it’s not my specialty, just going by what I’ve observed.

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          • Of course, there need to be solid, real, honest ideas that have strong logical backing, because otherwise they don’t WORK.

            Bingo again!

            But I can’t think of a major change movement that didn’t employ emotional appeals as a big part of their strategy.

            Some examples would be useful. Of course appeals to emotion have their place, but they are not a substitute for a sound analysis. Just as demonstrations outside the APA and elsewhere at the appropriate juncture would add an exclamation point when we are unified in our beliefs and demands. But recent APA events have mainly highlighted the lack of such unity.

            I’m mainly talking about survivor organizing btw, I’m unconvinced that other than for a few people such as yourself there is significant interest in defeating psychiatry among non-survivors, as opposed to “improving” it, or that many even know the difference. But the time will come.

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          • I think that is a legitimate distinction. I was talking about moving from a strong core protest to a larger mass movement. I agree we are not really at a point where that can happen yet, and building a strong intellectually/scientifically viable base is essential to any movement succeeding. It’s just that a lot of people aren’t able to process on the level that is needed to understand the viable base and need their memes and leaders in order to get with the program. It will happen one day, but again, we’re not there yet.

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          • Thank you Steve for this comment.

            It is part of the mass hypnosis of – medicine, politics – damn near everything these days. People vote with their emotions, people react and respond with their emotions.

            I was just saying to someone today – that – in order for the hypnosis to be broken, people need to suffer. This is much colder than Anomie’s comment, it’s cruel. But it’s the truth.

            Until someone experiences the harms firsthand, we will not be believed.

            EVEN THEN, they will say, “it was a bad apple,” and not look to the system. It takes even more suffering to break that.

            I wish, Oldhead, that people reacted, responded to facts. But it is obvious that people do not. Therefore it is vital to appeal to emotions, as well.

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      • I tend to agree with Steve here, and human rights – especially using the principle of non-discrimination – is what has proven most powerful in a legal sense, that is the work I do.

        There are aspects of anti-psychiatry politics or abolition of psychiatry politics, that I agree with and see as compatible with a human rights approach. Calling psychiatric institutions and the mental health system as a whole a ‘torturous environment’ as I discussed in this post is a way to point out the abusive character of the system as a whole.

        We need also the strong criticisms of psychiatry from a health/science point of view, that much of this site is concerned with – including the position that it’s fraud and criminal. How to make that actionable in a human rights framework, what are the implications of taking that position for law and policy, is the question.

        And it may, as oldhead suggests above, be a question of focus.

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        • Glad you understand that I’m not insisting you shift your focus to overt abolitionism. I think you’re working exactly where the AP movement (real or imagined) needs you to be right now, and are doing an excellent job.

          Psychiatry can be criticized from a “health perspective” in that it’s often extremely destructive to one’s health, but it should not be criticized in terms of it actually being a branch of medicine that can potentially be “reformed.” If psychiatry were more scientific it would be even more dangerous, since it is an institution of social control. Just like ICE, but way more far-reaching.

          As for science — the only science we need is to recognize that “mental illness” is an absurd and impossible concept from the get-go. It is a reified metaphor and cannot concretely exist under the rules of language. Hence any “research” which accepts “mental illness” as a real thing to be “studied” is inherently unscientific and operating on a false premise, and is terminally flawed on that basis alone.

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          • If they got rid of the words “mental illness” and called it “deviations in brain functioning that impact on consciousness and thought”, could it then be studied scientifically? Or is that area of study already taken up by neurology? They (psychiatry?) did change “dementia praecox” to “schizophrenia” … early onset dementia does exist (probably mostly due to irreversible damage from toxic substances). A strange profession psychiatry, and to call it a medical profession I suppose is only because they monitor blood from time to time and manage side-effects from their drugs.

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          • There is no such thing as “mental illness,” so there is no “it” to study. Deviations in brain functioning would be a neurological issue, but this is a different animal entirely. The same with dementia, which is a physical, organic process.

            Psychiatry is not medicine, plain and simple.

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  20. I agree Steve.
    We simply cannot have a system where doctors have a legal right to DEFAME someone’s character and ALL labels do exactly that.
    It is not something called “stigma”. The word psychiatry invented to try and steer the “public” away from the truth of the matter at hand.
    Truth being that if I tell you I am mentally ill and I have XYZ disorders, I then lose all credibility.
    Real doctors do not operate this way. This is simply maligning someone’s character. Executed by sheer power to do so. Not even objective observation, since everyone can go home with a label.

    The UN could send a few of their folks to a shrink and go for 10 visits and prove it for themselves.
    But they need to send at least 10 people, then another 10.
    I guarantee them that most of them will have their character permanently marked. Then they can get involved in a small court case, insignificant even, or a custody case and see for themselves how that label might prevent, no actually, the bogus label will nullify them as human or upstanding.

    Then they can battle a disease and see what their fancy defamation label gets them in hospital.

    NO PERSON should have to spend the rest of their life as a substandard person.

    Murderers do not get branded this way.
    In fact, if a killer never steps into psych, he walks this earth non defamed unless he tells someone what he did, in which case he only loses respect to those few.

    We do NOT HAVE whatever that idiot in the chair decides. If people don’t realize that the DSM is at the heart of this crap, we will never move away from the chains.

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      • Not sure why it is not happening Steve.
        We all know the outcome, it is so predictable, as psychiatry is.
        I am assured it is the reason that no one in power wants to do it.
        It’s really not even an experiment if one knows the outcome lol, but
        it seems that some need PROOF, yet refuse to be the guys that stepped
        to the plate.
        Of course it is not a proper test if a UN official or politician identify who they are
        ‘and what their test is haha.

        But wait, possibly that in itself would be seen as a disorder. Delusional.

        Put the word out that 10 people are about to come to psychiatry, in disguise, to prove that everyone walks out with labels.
        I bet for the next while, no labels would be given.

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        • “Put the word out that 10 people are about to come to psychiatry, in disguise, to prove that everyone walks out with labels.
          I bet for the next while, no labels would be given.”

          From Wiki
          “Rosenhan used a well-known research and teaching hospital, whose staff had heard of the results of the initial study but claimed that similar errors could not be made at their institution. Rosenhan arranged with them that during a three-month period, one or more pseudopatients would attempt to gain admission and the staff would rate every incoming patient as to the likelihood they were an impostor. Out of 193 patients, 41 were considered to be impostors and a further 42 were considered suspect. In reality, Rosenhan had sent no pseudopatients; all patients suspected as impostors by the hospital staff were ordinary patients. This led to a conclusion that “any diagnostic process that lends itself too readily to massive errors of this sort cannot be a very reliable one”

          Reliability would destroy the uses that psychiatry is being put to. It’s main uses depend on it not being valid or reliable, and then the claim can be legitimately made that they’re not very good at what they do, sorry for the mistakes.

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