12 Essential Facts About Psychiatry


[A] sum of zeros, even repeated a billion times, remains zero; likewise an accumulation of research and gains in complexity will lead to naught if there is no firm ground beneath it.

– Nassim Nicholas Taleb1

  1. No objective tests

There is no objective biological test such as a blood test or scan for diagnosing mental illness.

British Psychological Society

Instead of objective tests, the Chair of the DSM-IV Task Force, Dr Allen Frances, has admitted that all psychiatric diagnoses are based on “subjective judgments that are inherently fallible and prey to capricious change.”2 Several researchers3 have noted the poor inter-rater reliability of these diagnoses (i.e., the degree of agreement among diagnosticians regarding a specific diagnosis), which renders studies looking for “causes” of “mental illness” inherently confounded.

What’s more,

rather than being developed and validated through a scientific process of pattern identification, informed by appropriate evidence-based theory, psychiatric “disorders” and the criteria used to diagnose them, are voted into existence by committees, informed by theories which lack empirical support.4 (Emphasis added)

  1. The “chemical imbalance” myth

Despite a lack of objective tests, psychiatrists and Big Pharma have, for decades, claimed that people diagnosed “mentally ill” have a “chemical imbalance.” The reality is that “[c]ontemporary neuroscience research has failed to confirm any serotonergic lesion in any mental disorder, and has in fact provided significant counterevidence to the explanation of a simple neurotransmitter deficiency.”5

A report by the British Psychological Society also stated: “high-profile claims for a causal ‘imbalance’ of neurotransmitters such as serotonin remain unproven…there is no consistent pattern relating serotonin (or any of the other monoamines) to the experiences associated with a diagnosis of ‘depression.’”

Speaking more broadly, the authors of the report observed that

in relation to the great majority of psychiatric diagnoses including those experiences and behaviours labelled as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression or depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, personality disorders and eating disorders, there are no consistent associations with any biological pathology or impairment, and no biomarkers have been identified.

  1. Half a century of gene-finding failures

Psychiatrists have also claimed that genetic factors play a substantial role in that which is labelled “mental illness.” For example, in the DSM-5, the American Psychiatric Association asserted that “There is a strong contribution for genetic factors in determining risk for schizophrenia”6 and that there are a number of risk alleles that each contribute a small proportion to the total population variance.

If this is true, why—in the same year that the DSM-5 was published—did its Task Force Chair, Dr David Kupfer, say that after several decades, “We’re still waiting” to discover biological and genetic markers for “mental illness”?

The reality is that “mental illness genes” haven’t been found—or rather they were “found” and then lost due to an inability to replicate the original “gene discoveries.”7 Several experts have acknowledged this, including the Chair of the DSM-IV Task Force, Dr Allen Frances:

Billions of research dollars have failed to produce convincing evidence that any mental disorder is a discrete disease entity with a unitary cause. Dozens of different candidate genes have been “found,” but in follow-up studies each turned out to be fool’s gold.8

The British Psychological Society has also stated: “no major genes of significant effect have been identified for any functional diagnosis.”

Based on decades of failed replications, psychologist Jay Joseph wrote: “all gene discovery claims in psychiatry should be assumed to be false-positive associations between genes and disorders until proven otherwise.”

  1. “Antidepressants” are placebos (with myriad harmful effects)

Bolstered by the “chemical imbalance” myth, the general public has been convinced that drugs called “antidepressants” can alleviate their negative feelings. Indeed, approximately 1 in 8 Americans are consuming “antidepressants.” Despite their popularity, the research suggests that these drugs are about as effective as placebos.

As Harvard Medical School’s Irving Kirsch wrote in 2014:

Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain. Indeed, their supposed effectiveness is the primary evidence for the chemical imbalance theory. But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect. Some antidepressants increase serotonin levels, some decrease it, and some have no effect at all on serotonin. Nevertheless, they all show the same therapeutic benefit. Even the small statistical difference between antidepressants and placebos may be an enhanced placebo effect, due to the fact that most patients and doctors in clinical trials successfully break blind. The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong. (Emphasis added)

In contrast to mere sugar pills, however, “antidepressants” have a plethora of harmful effects, including sexual dysfunction,9,10 brain abnormalities,11 suicide,12,13 violence,14 mortality,15,16,17 and risks during pregnancy.18,19

  1. Prozac should never have been approved

In the United States, corruption pervades the research and approval of drugs. 20,21 The authors of a recent paper entitled “Industry-corrupted psychiatric trials” summarised the problem as follows:

Submissions of deconstructed industry-sponsored clinical trials pass peer review and are rejected by journal editors who override peer review or by attorneys representing the journals’ owners. Moreover, the pharmaceutical and medical device industries manipulate journal editors with threats of libel actions. Finally, when journal editors and their owners such as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Psychiatric Association are confronted with indisputable evidence of industry fraud published in their journals, they refuse retraction. When the probability of having a ghostwritten, fraudulent, industry-sponsored clinical trial accepted for publication in a high-impact medical journal is substantially higher than the probability of having a critical, deconstruction of the same trial accepted there can be no confidence in the medical literature. In this regard, many medical journals, contrary to common opinion, are not reliable sources of medical knowledge.22

One of the most famous psychiatric drugs ever created is Prozac. It has earned Eli Lilly billions of dollars.23 Yet, according to Dr Peter R. Breggin,24 it should never have been approved for sale:

When it came time to approve Prozac, the combined efforts of the drug company and the FDA could not come up with even one good study that unequivocally supported the value of Prozac in comparison to placebo. The FDA then decided to break its own rules. It gave approval to Prozac based on its marginal effectiveness when in combination with addictive tranquilizing drugs that reduced the patients’ Prozac-induced agitation, anxiety, and insomnia. In the end, Prozac was in reality approved as a combination drug—Prozac plus sedative, addictive tranquilizers, such as Valium and Dalmane. But the medical profession and the public were never told. (Emphasis in original)

  1. “Antidepressants” are often prescribed in the absence of a psychiatric diagnosis

Most psychiatric drugs aren’t actually prescribed by psychiatrists. Mark and colleagues25 found that from August 2006 to July 2007, 59 percent of US prescriptions for psychiatric drugs were written by general practitioners, 23 percent by psychiatrists, and 19 percent by other physicians and non-physician providers. In addition, more and more people are being prescribed “antidepressants” without receiving any psychiatric diagnoses. A 2011 study found that “between 1996 and 2007, the proportion of visits at which antidepressants were prescribed but no psychiatric diagnoses were noted increased from 59.5 percent to 72.7 percent.”26

  1. People prefer psychotherapy to drugs

Although 1 in 6 US adults is now consuming psychiatric drugs,27 people generally prefer psychotherapeutic solutions to their problems. A meta-analysis of 34 studies found that “participants were 3 times more likely to express a preference for psychological treatment”28 relative to medication. Despite this, among “antidepressant” users, those undergoing psychotherapy declined from 31.50 percent in 1996 to 19.87 percent in 2005,29 and in 2004-2005 only 1 in 10 psychiatrists were providing psychotherapy to all of their clients.30

  1. Abnormal is the new normal

In 2005, it was estimated that approximately half of Americans would be afflicted by “mental illness” during their lives.31 It now appears that psychiatry has succeeded in medicalising the everyday lives of the majority. Based on data from five longitudinal studies, Schaefer and colleagues reported that the proportion of participants who had received a psychiatric diagnosis ranged from 61.1 percent to 85.3 percent. The authors concluded that “most people will develop a diagnosable mental disorder” at some point in their lives and thus “mental illness” is now “the norm, not the exception.”32 (Emphasis in original.)

  1. Believing “mental illness is an illness like any other” does not reduce stigma

Ignoring decades of research contradicting the belief that emotional distress and “abnormal” behaviour constitutes an illness akin to cancer or diabetes (a belief promoted by the American Psychiatric Association and SANE Australia), attempts have been made (e.g. by the World Psychiatric Association schizophrenia campaign) to “educate” the public regarding the supposed biological basis of “mental illness.”33 These “educational’ campaigns have been based on the assumption that viewing “mental illness as an illness like any other” reduces the stigma associated with “mental illness.” The research suggests that quite the opposite is true.

Pertaining to the “schizophrenia” diagnosis, a review by Read and colleagues stated that belief in biogenetic explanations is positively correlated with “prejudice, fear and desire for distance.”34 More recently, Pescosolido and colleagues compared differences in public causal attributions of “schizophrenia,” “depression,” and alcohol dependence between 1996 and 2006, and found that although endorsement of biogenetic explanations grew, stigma did not decrease. The researchers concluded: “An overreliance on the neurobiological causes of mental illness and substance use disorders is at best ineffective and at worst potentially stigmatizing.”35 A review of 33 studies36 drew similar conclusions, reporting that biological conceptions of “mental illness” do not reduce stigma and can actually exacerbate stigmatising attitudes.

  1. People in developed countries have worse mental health outcomes

Psychiatry is assumed to be a legitimate medical speciality but research has shown that its “treatments” are decreasing, rather than increasing, people’s quality of life:

[L]ong-term outcomes for serious mental disorders are worse in more industrialised than developing countries. The World Health Organisation’s international outcome in schizophrenia studies found that after two years, about two thirds of the patients in less developed countries were doing well compared to only a third of the patients in the developed countries. The researchers concluded that being in a developed country was the strongest predictor of not attaining complete remission.37 (Emphasis added)

When evaluating these data, both Davies38 and Whitaker39 highlighted the fact that 61 percent of patients in the developed countries were on continuous “antipsychotic” drugs, compared to only 16 percent in the developing countries; suggesting that better outcomes were associated with less psychiatric drug-use.

Psychiatry’s disconcerting track record has continued into the present. Dr Thomas Insel, a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, recently admitted that after spending 13 years and $20 billion “I don’t think we moved the needle in reducing suicide, reducing hospitalizations, improving recovery for the tens of millions of people who have mental illness.”

Finally, in his 2015 book, Deadly Psychiatry and Organised Denial, Dr Peter C. Gøtzsche presented data suggesting that psychiatric drugs kill approximately half a million Americans and Europeans over the age of 65, every year.40

  1. Fewer people are pursuing careers in psychiatry

The lack of evidence supporting psychiatric diagnoses and “treatments” has not gone unnoticed by medical students. 41 According to the authors of a 2011 paper, the number of people pursuing careers in psychiatry has “decreased dramatically.”42 Faulkner and colleagues43 reported that from academic year 2000-2001 to 2007-2008, US training programs in psychiatry decreased from 186 to 181, and the number of graduates dropped by almost 14 percent. The Royal College of Psychiatrists sees “recruitment into psychiatry at a crisis point,”44 reporting that in England, psychiatrist vacancies have doubled in four years. Many other European nations have reported that too few medical students are entering the field.45

  1. The UN has called for a “revolution” in mental health care

Addressing psychiatry’s repeated failures, the United Nations General Assembly published a report calling for “little short of a revolution in mental health care,” to overturn the prevailing biomedical paradigm:

A growing research base has produced evidence indicating that the status quo, preoccupied with biomedical interventions, including psychotropic medications and non-consensual measures, is no longer defensible in the context of improving mental health…Coercion in psychiatry perpetuates power imbalances in care relationships, causes mistrust, exacerbates stigma and discrimination and has made many turn away, fearful of seeking help within mainstream mental health services. Considering that the right to health is now understood within the framework of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, immediate action is required to radically reduce medical coercion and facilitate the move towards an end to all forced psychiatric treatment and confinement…For decades now, an evidence base informed by experiential and scientific research has been accumulating in support of psychosocial, recovery-oriented services and support and non-coercive alternatives to existing services. Without promotion of and investment in such services and the stakeholders behind them, they will remain peripheral and will not be able to generate the changes they promise to bring.

These statements mirror the views of many British psychologists46,47,48,49 who, for years, have called for a paradigm shift to put an end to the “disease” model that enables the psychiatric labelling and involuntary confinement of psychologically distressed individuals and those otherwise considered “abnormal.”


With these twelve facts, you are equipped to defend against the misinformation propagated by academic psychiatry, Big Pharma, and the laypeople they target. You are encouraged to use this knowledge to (firmly but respectfully) challenge statements you hear in passing or from loved-ones such as “He is mentally ill,” “I have a chemical imbalance and these drugs help correct it,” or any other commonly accepted falsehoods that the above facts expose. Hopefully this article has shown that by doing so, you could very well be saving someone’s life.

Editor’s Note: To view the complete list of footnotes, click here.

Show 49 footnotes

  1. Taleb, N. N. (2004). Fooled by randomness: the hidden role of chance in life and in the markets (2nd ed.). New York: Random House.
  2. Frances, A. (2014). Saving normal: An insider’s revolt against out-of-control psychiatric diagnosis, DSM-5, big pharma and the medicalization of ordinary life. New York: William Morrow, p. 12.
  3. Kirk, S. A., Gomory, T., & Cohen, D. (2013). Mad science: psychiatric coercion, diagnosis, and drugs. New Brunswick: Transaction.
  4. Davies, J. (2016). How voting and consensus created the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III). Anthropology & Medicine, 1-15. doi:10.1080/13648470.2016.1226684
  5. Lacasse, J. R., & Leo, J. (2005). Serotonin and depression: A disconnect between the advertisements and the scientific literature. PLoS Medicine, 2(12), 1211-1216, p. 1212.
  6. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author, p. 103.
  7. Joseph, J. (2017). Schizophrenia and genetics: The end of an illusion. Retrieved from http://store.bookbaby.com/book/Schizophrenia-and-Genetics
  8. Frances, A. (2014). Saving normal: An insider’s revolt against out-of-control psychiatric diagnosis, DSM-5, big pharma and the medicalization of ordinary life. New York: William Morrow, p. 19.
  9. Montejo, A. L., Llorca, G., Izquierdo, J. A., & Rico-Villademoros, F. (2001). Incidence or sexual dysfunction associated with antidepressant agents: A prospective multicenter study of 1022 outpatients. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
  10. Simonsen, A. L., Danborg, P. B., & Gøtzsche, P. C. (2016). Persistent sexual dysfunction after early exposure to SSRIs: Systematic review of animal studies. International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, 28(1), 1-12.
  11. Breggin, P. R. (2013). Psychiatric drug withdrawal: A guide for prescribers, therapists, patients, and their families. New York: Springer.
  12. Sharma, T., Guski, L. S., Freund, N., & Gøtzsche, P. C. (2016). Suicidality and aggression during antidepressant treatment: systematic review and meta-analyses based on clinical study reports. BMJ, 352, i65. doi:10.1136/bmj.i65
  13. Bielefeldt, A. Ø., Danborg, P. B., & Gøtzsche, P. C. (2016). Precursors to suicidality and violence on antidepressants: systematic review of trials in adult healthy volunteers. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 109(10), 381–392. doi:10.1177/0141076816666805
  14. Moore, T. J., Glenmullen, J., & Furberg, C. D. (2010). Prescription drugs associated with reports of violence towards others. PLoS ONE, 5(12), e15337. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015337
  15. Maslej, M. M., Bolker, B. M., Russell, M. J., Eaton, K., Durisko, Z., Hollon, S. D., . . . Andrews, P. W. (2017). The mortality and myocardial effects of antidepressants are moderated by preexisting cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 86(5), 268–282. doi:10.1159/000477940
  16. Coupland, C., Dhiman, P., Morriss, R., Arthur, A., Barton, G., & Hippisley-Cox, J. (2011). Antidepressant use and risk of adverse outcomes in older people: population based cohort study. BMJ, 343, d4551. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4551
  17. Gøtzsche, P. C. (2015). Deadly psychiatry and organised denial. Copenhagen: People’s Press.
  18. Eke, A., Saccone, G., & Berghella, V. (2016). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use during pregnancy and risk of preterm birth: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 123(12), 1900-1907. doi:10.1111/1471-0528.14144
  19. Breggin, P. R., & Breggin, G. (2008). Exposure to SSRI antidepressants in utero causes birth defects, neonatal withdrawal symptoms, and brain damage. Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 10(1), 5-9.
  20. Breggin, P. R., & Breggin, G. R. (2014). Talking back to Prozac: What doctors aren’t telling you about Prozac and the newer antidepressants. New York: Open Road.
  21. Whitaker, R., & Cosgrove, L. (2015). Psychiatry under the influence: Institutional corruption, social injury, and prescriptions for reform. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  22. Amsterdam, J. D., McHenry, L. B., & Jureidini, J. N. (2017). Industry-corrupted psychiatric trials. Psychiatr. Pol., 51(6), 993–1008. doi:10.12740/PP/80136, p. 97.
  23. Whitaker, R. (2010). Anatomy of an epidemic. New York: Crown.
  24. Breggin, P. R. (2001). The antidepressant fact book: What your doctor won’t tell you about Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, and Luvox. Cambridge, MA: Perseus.
  25. Mark, T. L., Levit, K. R., & Buck, J. A. (2009). Psychotropic drug prescriptions by medical speciality. Psychiatric Services, 60(9), 1167.
  26. Mojtabai, R., & Olfson, M. (2011). Proportion of antidepressants prescribed without a psychiatric diagnosis is growing. Health Affairs, 30(8), 1434-1442. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2010.1024, p. 1434.
  27. Moore, T. J., & Mattison, D. R. (2017). Adult utilization of psychiatric drugs and differences by sex, age, and race. JAMA Internal Medicine, 177(2), 274-275. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7507
  28. McHugh, R. K., Whitton, S. W., Peckham, A. D., Welge, J. A., & Otto, M. W. (2013). Patient preference for psychological vs. pharmacological treatment of psychiatric disorders: a meta-analytic review. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 74(6), 595–602. doi:10.4088/JCP.12r07757, p. 7.
  29. Olfson, M., & Marcus, S. C. (2009). National patterns in antidepressant medication treatment. Archives of General Psychiatry, 66(8), 848-856.
  30. Mojtabai, R., & Olfson, M. (2008). National trends in psychotherapy by office-based psychiatrists. Archives of General Psychiatry, 65(8), 962-970.
  31. Kessler, R. C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R., Merikangas, K. R., & Walters, E. E. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 593-602.
  32. Schaefer, J. D., Caspi, A., Belksy, D. W., Harrington, H., Houts, R., Horwood, L. J., . . . Moffitt, T. E. (2017). Enduring mental health: prevalence and prediction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 126(2), 212-224. doi:10.1037/abn0000232, p. 212.
  33. Read, J., & Dillon, J. (Eds.). (2013). Models of madness: Psychological, social, and biological approaches to psychosis (2nd ed.). Hove: Routledge.
  34. Read, J., Haslam, N., Sayce, L., & Davies, E. (2006). Prejudice and schizophrenia: A review of the ‘mental illness is an illness like any other’ approach. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 114, 303-318, p. 303.
  35. Pescosolido, B. A., Martin, J. K., Long, J. S., Medina, T. R., Phelan, J. C., & Link, B. G. (2010). “A disease like any other”? A decade of change in public reactions to schizophrenia, depression, and alcohol dependence. American Journal of Psychiatry, 167(11), 1321-1330, p. 1327.
  36. Angermeyer, M. C., Holzinger, A., Carta, M. G., & Schomerus, G. (2011). Biogenetic explanations and public acceptance of mental illness: systematic review of population studies. The British Journal of Psychology, 199, 367-372. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.110.085563
  37. Timimi, S. (2014). No more psychiatric labels: Why formal psychiatric diagnostic systems should be abolished. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 14(3), 208-215. doi:10.1016/j.ijchp.2014.03.004, p. 4.
  38. Davies, J. (2013). Cracked: Why psychiatry is doing more harm than good. London: Icon.
  39. Whitaker, R. (2010). Anatomy of an epidemic. New York: Crown.
  40. Gøtzsche, P. C. (2015). Deadly psychiatry and organised denial. Copenhagen: People’s Press.
  41. Lambert, T. W., Turner, G., Fazel, S., & Goldacre, M. J. (2006). Reasons why some UK medical graduates who initially choose psychiatry do not pursue it as a long-term career. Psychological Medicine, 36, 679–684.
  42. Balon, R., Coverdale, J. H., & Roberts, L. W. (2011). Are we heading into a workforce crisis? Academic Psychiatry, 35, 1-3, p. 2.
  43. Faulkner et al., 2011 in Balon et al., 2011.
  44. Katschnig, H. (2010). Are psychiatrists an endangered species? Observations on internal and external challenges to the profession. World Psychiatry, 9, 21-28.
  45. Ryland, H., Baessler, F., Dias, M. C., De Picker, L., Da Costa, M. P., Kanellopoulos, A., . . . Birkle, S. M. (2016). The psychiatry recruitment crisis across Europe: evaluation by the European Federation of psychiatric trainees. European Psychiatry, 33, S343. doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2016.01.766
  46. Kinderman, P., Read, J., Moncrieff, J., & Bentall, R. P. (2013). Drop the language of disorder. Evidence-Based Mental Health, 16, 2-3. doi:10.1136/eb-2012-100987
  47. Timimi, 2014.
  48. Bentall, R. P. (2009). Doctoring the mind: Why psychiatric treatments fail. London: Allen Lane.
  49. Rapley, M., Moncrieff, J., & Dillon, J. (Eds.). (2011). De-medicalizing misery: Psychiatry, psychology and the human condition. London: Palgrave Macmillan.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. “Believing “mental illness is an illness like any other” does not reduce stigma”

    Well it isn’t “stigma” anyway. That was a word invented by psychiatry to make it sound as if they are on their “ill patient’s” side. It is properly called discrimination and is used by top judges, police and medicine. It rarely affects “patients” in their family, friends or associate circles.
    It is discrimination at a legal level, where psychiatry and judges “judge” a person as to their worth.

    “Fewer people are pursuing careers in psychiatry”

    No doubt…… And thus, nothing to be proud of, IF you believe and practice what is presented. And it’s a difficult life to live with having to lie on a daily basis.

    Report comment

      • Yes perfecto. That is essentially how it operates.
        They never realized I guess that it would have that result. And THAT result
        is what exposes that their “diagnosis” are no more than legally allowed to defame.
        Problem is, most people internalize it, which of course is depressing. But to them, it is insight.

        I wish someone could write about the word “stigma”. It is an overused word, like “mental health” and distorts what is actually transpiring….

        Report comment

          • Thank you Boans. How do you find these things.

            I was reading another blog by jim Gottstein from 2012 and one commenter on that blog said this

            “Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD, Neurologist January 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm
            Fred A. Baughman, MD responding to the post of Jim Gottstein of Jan. 15, 2012:
            All of psychiatry’s diagnostic entities are said to be diseases (disease = a demonstrable gross, microscopic or chemical abnormality) or the equivalent, i.e., they are said to be an abnormality of the brain, a chemical imbalance when none such have been proved to exist. There is no question their diagnoses stigmatize. As importantly or more so, each disease label is an excuse to drug, even an excuse for psychiatrists or other physicians to ask a court to order drugging or any kind of psychiatric treatment including ECT and incarceration. What’s more, for so long as a label or labels are appended to the citizen they are subject to drugging and the imposition of any treatment and with those labels and prescriptions they are politically neutered, often with this in mind, sometimes with this in mind.”

            I especially like his words “politically neutered”

            Report comment

          • Goffman had a big influence on my way of thinking about the system of abuse enabled by my government Sam.

            “politically neutered”

            This type of conduct has quite a history in my Book.

            “They say; “O thou to whom the Message is being revealed! Truly thou art mad (or possessed)” ( Al Hijr. 15:6).

            And when I think about what has been done to me to ensure the truth is not known, this makes perfect sense. The people who have taken part in fuking destroying me have benefited from their actions. Whilst i’m sure that there was a lot of hard work involved in the concealment of torture and kidnapping, they did maintain their positions of power and their huge wages for doing filthy work for the State (who I might add ARE responsible for the criminal actions of their public officers. Keep that in mind Mr Floyds family. See the decision in the International Criminal Court re Victoria police).

            Though I do have a promise that the truth will be exposed, because unlike God, the people concealing the truth need to rest, they get older and tired and all of their evil deeds seem to start gaining ground on them. This is something I don’t have to be concerned about. I have asked for forgiveness and it has been granted, not by the State who are delusing themselves with false narratives to conceal their evil deeds (torture, kidnappings, and unintentional negative outcomes).

            I’m sure many an innocent was slaughtered by the Pharoh. And our modern day equivalents are no different. The stick and the snake seemed to sort the frauds out from the real thing. And from what I have witnessed there sure are a lot of frauds in the employ of the State. “verballers” who take their oaths as a cover. But it’s the look in their eyes when they are thrown into the fire that stays with me. “just one more chance, I promise, this time I’ll be good”

            Boans plays Nirvanas Lake of Fire……. Loud 🙂

            Report comment

  2. Hi Jon, Great Article!

    What about number 13.

    13. Psychiatric Drug Treatments cause the Mental Illness that they are supposed to Cure:


    “…To compound neuroleptics’ ‘sledgehammer’ approach, neurons are very adept at growing new receptors to compensate for those that are blocked. Psychotic symptoms then rebound with a vengeance. …”

    this Approach from Eckhart Tolle in dealing with the Pain Body, might sound crazy, but actually works (with practice):


    “…This accumulated pain is a negative energy field that occupies your body and mind. If you look on it as an invisible entity in its own right, you are getting
    and accidents are often created in this way. Some pain-bodies drive their hosts to suicide.

    When you thought you knew a person and then you are suddenly confronted with this alien, nasty creature for the first time, you are in for quite a shock. However, it’s more important to observe it in yourself than in someone else. Watch out for any sign of unhappiness in yourself, in whatever form — it may be the awakening pain-body. This can take the form of irritation, impatience, a somber mood, a desire to hurt, anger, rage, depression, a need to have some drama in your relationship, and so on. Catch it the moment it awakens from its dormant state.

    The pain-body wants to survive, just like every other entity in existence, and it can only survive if it gets you to unconsciously identify with it. It can then rise up, take you over, “become you,” and live through you. It needs to get its “food” through you. It will feed on any experience that resonates with its own kind of energy, anything that creates further pain in whatever form: anger, destructiveness, hatred, grief, emotional drama, violence, and even illness. So the pain-body, when it has taken you over, will create a situation in your life that reflects back its own energy frequency for it to feed on. Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible.

    Once the pain-body has taken you over, you want more pain. You become a victim or a perpetrator. You want to inflict pain, or you want to suffer pain, or both. There isn’t really much difference between the two. You are not conscious of this, of course, and will vehemently claim that you do not want pain. But look closely and you will find that your thinking and behavior are designed to keep the pain going, for yourself and others. If you were truly conscious of it, the pattern would dissolve, for to want more pain is insanity, and nobody is consciously insane.

    The pain-body, which is the dark shadow cast by the ego, is actually afraid of the light of your consciousness. It is afraid of being found out. Its survival depends on your unconscious identification with it, as well as on your unconscious fear of facing the pain that lives in you. But if you don’t face it, if you don’t bring the light of your consciousness into the pain, you will be forced to relive it again and again. The pain-body may seem to you like a dangerous monster that you cannot bear to look at, but I assure you that it is an insubstantial phantom that cannot prevail against the power of your presence.

    Some spiritual teachings state that all pain is ultimately an illusion, and this is true. The question is: Is it true for you? A mere belief doesn’t make it true. Do you want to experience pain for the rest of your life and keep saying that it is an illusion? Does that free you from the pain? What we are concerned with here is how you can realize this truth — that is, make it real in your own experience.

    So the pain-body doesn’t want you to observe it directly and see it for what it is. The moment you observe it, feel its energy field within you, and take your attention into it, the identification is broken. A higher dimension of consciousness has come in. I call it presence. You are now the witness or the watcher of the pain-body. This means that it cannot use you anymore by pretending to be you, and it can no longer replenish itself through you. You have found your own innermost strength. You have accessed the power of Now. …”

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  3. Jon

    What an outstanding article. Seriously you have put together a piece for the ages. Thank you so much. I will spread this article. I have been actively commenting on youtube videos that promote these drugs, and now I will refer them to this page.

    Thank you so much
    Jim Riddell

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  4. This is a very good article. It is on the right track.

    It is impressive that you managed to quote or to cite Kirsch, Whitaker, Breggin, Davies, Gøtzsche, and Moncrieff all in the same article. Well done.

    Perhaps one of the only ways to improve the article would be to help people understand the myth of mental illness itself. As long as the general public continues to believe in the myth of mental illness, psychiatry will continue to exercise its tyrannical dominion in one way or another.

    But one step at a time. Keep it up.

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  5. Wonderfully written synopsis of some of the systemic crimes and fraud of the psychiatric industry. Thank you, Jon.

    “better outcomes were associated with less psychiatric drug-use.” Of course they are since, as Whitaker pointed out in his 2010 book, the ADHD drugs and antidepressants create the “bipolar” symptoms.


    And as I found out in my medical research, the “gold standard schizophrenia treatments,” which are being given to those millions of misdiagnosed “bipolar” clients. The antipsychotics/neuroleptics, are already medically known to create the positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” like psychosis and hallucinations, via anticholinergic toxidrome. And that drug class can also create the negative symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome.


    Thus, the most serious DSM “mental illnesses” are likely primarily iatrogenic illnesses, created with the psychiatric drugs, not real “genetic mental illnesses.”

    Especially given the fact that both anticholinergic toxidrome and NIDS are both missing from the DSM “bible.” And it was quite criminal for the DSM5 editors to take this disclaimer out of the DSM5 bipolar definition.

    “Note: Manic-like episodes that are clearly caused by somatic antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapy) should not count toward a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder.”

    The ADHD drugs should have been added to that disclaimer, the disclaimer should NOT have been taken out of the DSM5.

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  6. With such a list surely the half life of knowledge in psychiatry has been reached and they have become redundant. It must be concerning to be watching the walls of truth moving in on the fraud and slander they have relied on to maintain their positions as ‘real doctors’. Which possibly explains the doubling down and reversion to becoming a mechanism of oppression, where hospital locked wards are places where human rights abuses can be hidden from public view and used to maintain power over those who would prefer the truth to be known.

    “They will take their oaths as a cover”

    “Do not conceal truth with falsehood when you know what it is”

    “Let the people of the Injil judge according to what Allah has revealed therein, those that fail to do so are no better than the kuffar”

    I’m sure there are other items that could be added to your list Jon, though I don’t know how much more time needs to be wasted on a waste of time like psychiatry.


    Note that psychology is also going through some changes in regard the half life of knowledge, the area becoming redundant quickest? Psychopharmacology. This ‘pattern’ would be expected given what you have written above. Talk therapy still holding ground. Though my collection of singing potatoes tell me that this is more about something we have shared for a long time anyway, social contact and community.

    I would pose the question, is knowledge really knowledge in a place where people are making sh*t up?

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  7. Some parts of this article are a bit confusing / misleading. At a certain point you claim that most prescriptions for antidepressants are written without the person ever being diagnosed, then in a later point you share information that most people walking around today will develop a diagnosable mental disorder.

    Where do you stand? Should we be diagnosing more aggressively? Should the GP always refer to a psychiatrist and not prescribe an antidepressant him / her self? Is prescribing legitimate if there is a diagnosis?

    According to your facts about psychiatry, it would seem about 80% of the problem of prescribing antidepressants (a harmful placebo) lie outside psychiatry, with GP’s and other prescribers being the main culprits. If psychiatry disappeared it would most likely have a negligible effect.

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    • It seems also, the point about Prozac has much much more to do with the FDA than psychiatry. I would imagine the problem of industry sponsored trials, ghostwritten papers etc, are not limited to psychiatric drugs.

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      • You are a psychologist, attacking psychiatry in this way, at least to me, seems like an attempt to elevate psychology above it’s main rival. Attacking mainly the biological aspect reflects the fact psychologists don’t have a licence to prescribe pharmaceuticals. You concentrate on antidepressants, which also suggests you (as a psychologist) are targeting a niche sector of the mental health market.

        I’ve met (and been friends with) quite a few people on antidepressants (on them for many years). They don’t want to hear my arguments. They prefer to feel victimized, reinforced by their regular meetings with a psychologist. Mostly, it’s the GP who prescribes the antidepressant and refers the client to a psychologist. Psychiatry never enters the picture.

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        • “Should we be diagnosing more aggressively?” Psychiatric diagnoses are neither valid nor reliable (see Fact 1).

          “If psychiatry disappeared it would most likely have a negligible effect.” This assumes the medical profession would continue believing psychiatry’s theories are valid.

          “I would imagine the problem of industry sponsored trials, ghostwritten papers etc, are not limited to psychiatric drugs.” Indeed, which is why the first sentence of Fact 5 states, “In the United States, corruption pervades the research and approval of drugs.”

          “Psychiatry never enters the picture.” The “treatments” GPs rely upon are undergirded by flawed theories propagated by psychiatry.

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          • “This assumes the medical profession would continue believing psychiatry’s theories are valid.”

            “The “treatments” GPs rely upon are undergirded by flawed theories propagated by psychiatry.”

            Not necessarily, if one takes a drug-centered approach to psychotropic drugs (as opposed to a disease-centered one), which seems to be what Joana Moncrieff and others argue for in support of their continued use.

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          • “In addition, more and more people are being prescribed “antidepressants” without receiving any psychiatric diagnoses.”

            I don’t see why this is a “fact about psychiatry”. It just confirms what I said. Antidepressants and neuroleptics will still be used independent of hypothesis or theories coming out of academic psychiatry. Psychiatrists are not stupid, that is why Ms. Moncrieff is promoting the “drug-centered” approach. Concentrating on the “science” (which you correctly say is flawed) and arguing from that basis, is actually what they want you to do (smoke screens). I think psychiatrists are well aware that the “chemical imbalance” marketing propaganda is mostly a lie. Lying is not the same as believing.

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          • To clarify, an individual’s decision to voluntarily take psychiatric drugs is none of my business. It would be prudent to become aware of their risks before using such drugs but regardless, it’s up to the individual whether or not to take them.

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          • Claiming GP’s have just been mislead by the “flawed theories” of psychiatry is, to me at least, a very naive statement (given that most of the prescriptions for antidepressants are from GP’s). I’m not going to let GP’s off the hook that easily. You could make the same argument for every pharmaceutical drug they (rightly or wrongly) prescribe. Which, to be honest, is their main business.

            GP’s, at least in my country, make a bundle each year on the flu vaccine. I suppose, they are also innocent in that respect. Another highly controversial form of medical intervention. The debate largely fueled by money interests. The GP’s get their annual cut, and don’t have to do anything except to keep their mouth shut.

            If you have a urinary infection, the GP will try at least 2 antibiotics before culturing the urine to see which bacteria is causing the infection. The logic being based on statistical probability. Is that science?

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          • GP’s are educated in fact to know better than to give people drugs that hurt them.
            The only thing that helps me live a life with somewhat tolerable symptoms is prednisone.
            However my GP refused to prescribe them after a while. Each prescribe was like pulling teeth.
            She has no problem prescribing antipsychotics and clonazepam, to help people deal with physical disease. You know, to help the patient tolerate the disease and make it appear that it is mental.

            I wanted a scan on my neck to see what the lump I had complained about 15 years ago, was. I only complained about the lump once in my life, even though I have to be careful it doesn’t act up and press on nerves which then cause discomfort in my ear. It is highly palpable.
            So after 15 years I thought I would like to know and sought out a private scan clinic and all I needed was a referral from her.
            I had to hound her. I explained that if we went with regular referral, it just prolongs things and costs the government money to boot.

            I had to hound her so much and beg, and argue, which of course makes her dislike me.
            Eventually she relented.
            I have a severely torturous artery in my neck, which is common but can cause problems.
            All I wanted to know is why for 15 years this lump was causing discomfort.
            I then asked her why she had prescribed antipsychotics for my other symptoms and she said “I didn’t know how bad the drugs were”
            and followed up with that she was tired of me telling her what to do.

            I now have no doc…had to move provinces late in life, to hopefully get a bit of compassionate dialogue…..
            In the past, I used our med system so little, yet ended up with 2 ER surgeries because each time I am not taken seriously.
            I could see it if I was a constant consumer, but I’ve never been trouble.

            I have been treated like absolute shit, UNLESS, I remain an ass kisser. I don’t want that position anymore.
            So because they showed me exactly what kind of care is in my future….
            I forecasted civil unrest within Covid. People are so sick and tired of being abused within the system of power inequality.

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          • “To clarify, an individual’s decision to voluntarily take psychiatric drugs is none of my business.”

            That would explain why your “12 facts about psychiatry” don’t deal with the biological ramifications of most psychiatric treatment.

            How on earth does someone voluntarily take a neuroleptic, if no-one informs them honestly of what the long-term effects are (I’m talking about only a few years here).

            Your making too many assumptions when you say “voluntarily”. A statement, that in my view, is dangerous.

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        • Berzerk

          I think at this stage the GP s are mostly ‘bought and sold’. They might be aware that anti depressants are “trouble” but they mightn’t consider themselves to be in much of a position to do anything about the situation.

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  8. I like you essay very much except the last paragraph.

    Academic psychiatry and pharma are rightly blamed for the propoganda, but the people you ask us to correct are the victims themselves. I’m very very tired of being corrected. Sometimes the wrong words are the only words you have after abuse. When do we start holding the perpetrators accountable?

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  9. When I was trying to come off meds a CTO was threatened. Criteria for community incarceration and actual arrest for removal to a state asylum was “lack of insight” into my “Mental Illness”. Changing my language and fighting for my own health was enough proof that I would deteriorate if left to my own non-compliant devices. After diagnosis, using the language of your captors is not always optional and may be the only way to save your life in the long run. It is not so simple. And Yes, once free, pointing out language and facts and the way it promotes the status quo, is super important, but it’s not a privilege that everyone shares.

    Otherwise super cool essay.

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  10. Good piece. However:

    “Antidepressants” are often prescribed in the absence of a psychiatric diagnosis

    This implies incorrectly that the existence of a psychiatric “diagnosis” might justify the use of such drugs; however psychiatric “diagnoses” are fraudulent by definition.

    People in developed countries have worse mental health outcomes

    “Mental health” is a bogus concept for one; also the concept of “outcomes” is based on the myth that people’s unhappiness has something to do with a personal “condition” that can be “improved” based on “treatment.” But while it is the individual who may suffer what needs to be addressed is the cause, which is cultural/political.

    Just nitpicking a little. Thanks for writing this.

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    • “To clarify, an individual’s decision to voluntarily take psychiatric drugs is none of my business. It would be prudent to become aware of their risks before taking such drugs, but as long as people take them voluntarily, it’s their choice.”

      I’ll assume you’ve never been voluntary. hahaha.

      So Why do you want to “help”? A psychologist in private practice, what are you hoping to gain?

      What skin do you have in the game?

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      • “none of my business” is an excuse the abused run into too often.

        “It would be prudent to become aware of their risks before taking such drugs” is victim blaming considering the propaganda we are up against.

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        • By “none of my business,” my point is simply that people should be free to decide for themselves how best to handle their own issues, whether that be by taking psychiatric drugs or through some other means.

          I sympathize with all of the misinformation laypeople have to wade through. One of the reasons I wrote the article was to highlight the risks these drugs pose so that people are able to make more informed choices.

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          • “people should be free to decide for themselves how best to handle their own issues, whether that be by taking psychiatric drugs or through some other means.”

            Yes but in order to allow them to be free we need to kidnap and torture them first to be sure they will be responsible with that freedom.

            Consider, my refusal to speak to a psychologist regarding my decision to leave my wife resulted in me being ‘spiked’ with benzos, having items planted on me for police to find and create the appearance of lawfulness for what was a kidnapping, and then being interrogated for 7 hours whilst unknowingly under the influence of someone elses stupefying drugs.

            I don’t know about you Jon, but I really struggle to see the ‘medical care’ involved in that, though my inability to see my world from the perspective of said psychologist might have constituted an ‘illness’ I suppose. No harm done I guess, well, to the psychologist. My life has been deliberately fuking detroyed’ as a result of complaining but ……nobodys business say the police. Don’t look at what they are actually calling mental health services because you might not like what you see.

            Personally when I paid $200 to talk to someone about a workplace incident, I had no idea it meant they could do such things to take control of my life. And this type of conduct has the full support of my government who seem to be of the opinion that it is actually good for the community. Arbitrary detentions, ‘spikings’, kidnappings, interrogations whilst spiked,…… got a cheek to call the place a hospital. Bit like calling Guantanamo Bay a Mosque, or Ariel Castro a Community Nurse.

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    • “4. ‘Antidepressants are not placebo’

      This isn’t a rebuttal. Also, placebos can be said to have ‘therapeutic value’.

      5. ‘idiosyncratic opinion’

      What? According to Dr Peter R. Breggin,……..”

      An argument from authority, followed by an accusation of an argument from authority? Yep, I can confirm that is a psychiatrist tweeting lmao.

      “7. ‘Why don’t we discuss the larger market and systemic forces which have made psychotherapy so hard to access?’”

      Do the maths on the income differential on ECTs, I think you would be shocked (not literally of course. 7 weeks of full time therapy compared to 6 hours plugging people into the wall socket according to my calculations. And they didn’t waste any time once my State government gave the ‘green light’ to ‘treat’ kiddies. Snouts well and truly in the trough as a result. Full front page advertising in the newspaper disguised as ‘reporting’.)

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      • ‘Why don’t we discuss the larger market and systemic forces which have made psychotherapy so hard to access?’

        How’d I miss that?

        “Psychotherapy” is not value-free and does not describe a clearly defined belief system. So it’s harder to denounce across the board than psychiatry per se. But to be minimally credible a “psychotherapist” must separate what they he/she does from the concept of “mental health,” and psychiatry period, and specify what sort of voluntary drug free counseling they intend to offer (and to what end), their political and philosophical perspectives, etc. Even better would be to drop the “therapy” term altogether as ambiguous and confusing.

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    • Good tweets Jon.
      Their arguments are so full of holes, in fact, one big hole.
      They keep going around in these responses, actually contradicting themselves and
      in the end, it’s always stuff like “overprescribing” or “patient not taking as prescribed”
      In fact, there is no point disagreeing with them, because it makes one feel as if arguing
      with a child. The only reason to ever point out their whole flawed system is for discerning folk who are reading,
      to hopefully be able to start analyses of the system they believed in.

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  11. “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.” Fredrick Douglas

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  12. Stigma, from the point of view of a parent might be the horror at being told your son/daughter has something wrong with their brain for which there is no cure and therefor no hope, none, only the fantasy of the possibility of a pill that someday will make that brain all well again and give your child back to you just as they used to be. That look the parent gives their child, the look of pity. That is stigma. It is the look of pity. The look of hopelessness.

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    • Yes, disgraced.
      A psychiatrist has a choice in promoting and sealing the disgrace of a person.
      Psychiatry is the cause, by interpreting the person as having something “wrong” with them
      Psychiatry is completely aware that IF they label someone, that the person will then live a
      life with discrimination.
      Why would any kind person who cares about people’s welfare, subject them to bad treatment?
      The bad treatment is not “mental health”, not within the giver nor receiver of the “treatment”.

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  13. How About Fact No 14

    Psychiatry administers physical treatments that “work” through completely disabling an individual; rather than offering non physical treatments, that are proven to completely recover an individual.

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  14. Knowing the facts, in my experience, does not protect one from the abuses of psychiatry or society. In fact, trying to discuss the facts with your doctor or psychiatrist or mental health worker or family or anyone involved in your life who, at any moment can call the cops or the CATT team, will make your life hell. Knowing the facts is madness making, in my experience, because, where you trusted ‘they’ knew what they were doing, you realised you were had, lied to.
    Knowing the facts, when you are locked into an abusive system you cannot get away from, is the scariest thing on the face of this planet. For most, theres only one way out.

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  15. Very good list in this article, but I wish you had added that psychiatric diagnosis is utterly unscientific, rarely helpful (except for requirements for “services” the person might want and need), and appallingly harmful. https://www.amazon.com/They-Say-Youre-Crazy-Psychiatrists/dp/0201407582/ref=as_li_ss_il?keywords=They+Say+You%27re+Crazy&qid=1554486859&s=gateway&sr=8-1&linkCode=li1&tag=whejohandja0d-20&linkId=9114cba73496ff5f388235a3586c6299&language=en_US

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  16. Utterly unscientific? The diagnosis? The practice as a verb of one mind firing neurons, another mind firing neurons? And a diagnosis? Where is the Prognosis? For in trying to understand that science works to disprove everything, ? ?? then by what method are you coming to your conclusions? In my ignorance, I would not really comprehend the difference in a psychiatrist role as opposed to a psychologist role by the mid 70’s. In the the couple of psych courses i would have in college, we would be studying Skinner and fish and the social psych course would be talking about something I really would not understand until later as in trying to understand deviant behavior and deviance? And what effect and affect does a label, a noun play in our language? A noun as a verb, within a political science context of a therapist office? Role of the tech?

    When one has a mind running away with itself, the story is not too different from the nursery rhyme about a fork, spoon and knife…. Somehow in a trip to UC and staying in the International House I would acquire a book by Nicholas Christakis, Death Foretold, which has a chapter on The Self-fulfilling Prophecy. Hence, by committing to Mad in America, do we stay Mad in America? At America? Or at what point, do we or can we transform ourselves, the us-selves into a better self? Relaxed in America? Healing in America? For if you enter into the space mad, or not, to enter in as discover to learn and grow, then how can one reflect the mind of the other, to understand the uniqueness of self, as identity? singular or in some even more mystical fashion, be fed by the degree of engaged discourse from this page? this site?

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    • This may surprise you OH, but many would not see the sarcasm. A lot of NAMI mommies actually tell themselves that.

      I wonder how many killed themselves because they had been persuaded of that. It nearly drove me to suicide. 🙁

      Unlike brain cancer or epilepsy, “mental illness” means you are hopelessly evil. Like hyper calvinism–only it’s just a minority of genetic throw backs or “criminal types” who are depraved. With no hope of redemption for any of them.

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  17. Thanks for the excellent article, Jon! I find it very helpful to have a list like this to refer to.

    I’d like to fully believe in number 12: “The UN has called for a ‘revolution” in mental health care ‘ .”
    Unfortunately, the UN has many branches that are nefarious, and I would doubt the sincerity of this proclamation. If true, they should first focus on cleaning up their own backyard, in my opinion.

    Take a look at the WHO, heavily funded by Bill gates, and see what kind of revolution they envision around the covid-19 pandemic. Here is the UN’s agenda entitled: “Immunization Agenda 2030: A Global Strategy to Leave No One Behind”
    The level of coercion needed to pull that off world-wide will far excede that of psychiatry. I own my body decide about getting vaccinated.

    The joining of technology and Big Pharma to pursue the New World Order scares me, and is made clearly an aim of the UN, as in their site: United Nations New World Order, unnwo.org

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