“We Are All Mad!” A Call for the Development of an International Network Among MAD Affiliates

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I am very thankful to the administrators of Mad in America for inviting Mad in Italy to write a blog regarding the possible development of a supportive network among all the “MAD” affiliates around the globe.

Such a project seems to be particularly crucial during the current pandemic in which the public health systems of the entire planet are engaged in a warfare against Covid-19, while at the same time continue to be the targets of privatizing efforts which are also dismantling the welfare system.

As I was reflecting on this gloomy picture, I came across recent news regarding a pharmaceutical giant trying to gain substantial control over the Italian medical education system.

The recent agreement among SIMG (Italian Society of General Medicine), FIMMG (Italian Federation of General Medicine Physicians) and Sanofi S.A., a French multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Paris, essentially delegates the professional education of physicians in training to the French multinational.

Without any doubts, this shift, already in motion worldwide, will radically change the degree of objectivity and independence of professional medical development and can be seen as another major step towards the privatization of the Italian medical system, in a critical moment when we would need more public health resources.

Serendipitously, I came across different articles focusing on the so-called “diseases of despair,” characterized by abuse of substances, high rates of overdoses, and physical problems, whose root causes can be identified in the gloomy socioeconomic outlook.

These conditions are particularly serious for middle-aged and older individuals. However, the current pandemic has unveiled huge class inequalities, and the currently unfavorable economic indicators anticipate that the “diseases of despair” will expand progressively across age groups in almost all the countries around the world.

One of the possible and most perilous consequences, based on current trends, is that this widespread emotional distress could be dealt with by the injudicious use of psychopharmacology and the utilization of mandatory treatment practices (e.g. assisted outpatient treatment).

Indeed, there is mounting anecdotal evidence that these practices are utilized more frequently during the current public health crisis, in the context of nearly total neglect of the psychosocial determinants of emotional distress and despair.

The Mad in Italy team, like all the “MAD” affiliates, has recurrently focused on these themes.

Laura Guerra, pharmacologist by training, has extensively addressed the issues related to the imprudent utilization of psychiatric medications; Dan Monticelli, expert with “lived experience” in the field of cannabis, has attempted to show the science behind the utilization of cannabis for chronic pain and emotional distress; in my role as a psychiatrist, with experience in public health and addiction, I have tried to establish an ongoing dialogue regarding the diffusion of the concept and practices of recovery and the development of a reliable peer specialists network in Italy.

Moreover, from the very beginning, we have tried to engage the Italian audience by actively participating in the most popular online behavioral health groups. We have organized conferences, presented on different behavioral health priorities, participated in online interviews, translated specialized literature in Italian and published books on mental health subjects. In this process we have become aware of our strengths and, at the same time, the need for improvement.

We agree that one of our major strength is our location in different geographical areas: Laura Guerra in Bolzano (Italy), Dan Monticelli in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA), and myself in Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA). Living in different realities provides us with a broader view than if we all resided in Italy. Our conversations and interactions often focus on specific aspects of the local and national behavioral health systems and provide us with insights on what to publish and how to analyze news and data. In this vein, we feel that additional perspectives from other experts around the globe would help us in contributing more effectively to behavioral health debates and initiatives in Italy. We believe that this support can be created by strengthening the network among the affiliates and friends of Mad in America.

It makes real sense that, in times of globalized medicine and psychiatry, the best way to build an alternative consensus and agenda is the development of an active international network fostering common initiatives and projects and providing needed support and feedback for local initiatives.

I can easily imagine all the “MAD” affiliates working together in an atmosphere of reciprocal support regarding specific initiatives or projects. This collaboration could include the development of “alternative” research projects to the conventional randomized trials with a focus on recovery models, withdrawal from psychotropics, and social and cultural determinants of health. In this framework, we will encourage the participation of consumers from around the world.

Of course, the establishment of such a network will require periodic online meetings in which we share our experiences as affiliates, express our needs, provide mutual professional and personal support, and develop an agenda for the creation of a “MAD International” network.

I hope that this invitation will be met with serious consideration, and hopefully enthusiasm, by all “MAD” affiliates. Hoping to hear your thoughts on the subject, I thank you all for your attention and support. Ciao everybody! Marcello

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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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83 COMMENTS

  1. I agree, there is a need for a network of people who can comprehend the reality that all distress is not caused by “genetic” “chemical imbalances in people’s brains,” that can be “cured” with psychiatric drugs. But I doubt a psychiatrist should be in charge of such a group. Since it was your industry, and your educators – big Pharma – who propagated such lies to the masses.

    Personally, I think if the psychiatrists ever deserve to regain any credibility, or trust, they first must confess and repent for their crimes against humanity, which they’ve yet to do, despite having malpractice insurance. And for goodness sakes, psychiatrists and other doctors are still murdering 8 million people every year with your “invalid” DSM disorders, and neurotoxic psychiatric drugs.

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

    But the psychiatric industry, and their many “mental health” minion, have yet to flush your “bullshit” DSM “bible.” Despite it being declared “invalid” by the head of NIMH in 2013.

    https://www.wired.com/2010/12/ff_dsmv/

    The fact that psychiatry and psychology, and your many “mental health” minions’ primary actual societal function is covering up child abuse, and this is by DSM design, despite the fact that covering up child abuse is illegal. But since “mental health” workers can’t bill to help child abuse survivors, they’ve been misdiagnosing them, and neurotoxic poisoning them, for almost a century.

    https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/23/18820633.php?fbclid=IwAR2-cgZPcEvbz7yFqMuUwneIuaqGleGiOzackY4N2sPeVXolwmEga5iKxdo
    https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/heal-for-life/

    And likely largely for the religions, from what has been confessed to me. Behavior which is illegal, and grotesquely un-Christian. But this is the reality of what you’ve been doing, according to even legitimately disgusted insiders within my now completely psychologically and psychiatrically corrupted, and “irrelevant to reality,” childhood Christian religion, which has turned itself into a systemic child abuse covering up religion.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=xI01AlxH1uAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

    The psychiatric industry has also yet to confess that the ADHD drugs and antidepressants can create the “bipolar” symptoms, and that we have a completely iatrogenic “childhood bipolar epidemic,” not to mention the iatrogenic adult bipolar epidemic. Since, of course, anyone with a brain in their head, should know drugs are inatimate objects that have no clue what the age of the person taking them is.

    https://www.alternet.org/2010/04/are_prozac_and_other_psychiatric_drugs_causing_the_astonishing_rise_of_mental_illness_in_america/

    And instead the psychiatrists took this DSM-IV disclaimer out of the DSM5, rather than adding the ADHD drugs to this disclaimer.

    “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.”

    Much to the glee of those “mental health” workers who are systemically profiteering off of covering up child abuse for the religions.

    And the DSM still does not include the reality that both the antidepressants and antipsychotics can create psychosis and hallucinations, via anticholinergic toxidrome.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxidrome

    As well as the fact that the antipsychotics do also create the negative symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroleptic-induced_deficit_syndrome

    So until the psychiatric industry confesses to its systemic crimes against humanity, and makes proper amends to those they’ve systemically harmed, while also raping our society for their malpractice insurance. I don’t see any reason that any psychiatrist should ever be trusted to be in charge of any human rights based movement ever.

    Repentance and proper compensation is needed, if any psychiatrist, or “mental health” worker, ever deserves trust again.

    And we aren’t all mad, it is you DSM deluded “mental health” workers who are “mad.” Some of us are legitimately angry at the injustice, and lack of repentance, by the scientific fraud based, mass murdering, systemic child abuse covering up “mental health” industry.

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  2. [Moderation].

    In her articles, Laura Guerra spoke out clearly against drug use (not only against drug “abuse”): she translated a book by P. Breggin and severely warned her readers against drugs.

    On the contrary, according to the biography of Dan Monticelli, Dan Monticelli and Marcello Maviglia have together written a book entitled: “New Paths to Recovery: Behavioral, Physical and Spiritual Potentials for Cannabis”.

    Since Marcello Maviglia is a psychiatrist, I would like to ask him the question: [moderation]? Or put another way: does he prescribe psychotropic drugs?

    Since Marcello Maviglia is asking for feedback on his project, here is mine.

    I believe [moderation] and drug promoters should be removed from the “Mad” network.

    [moderation]

    [Published after autor and moderation’s agreement.]

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    • Well…calling cannabis a “narcotic” is a bit too “reefer madness” for my taste. But to promote it in a psychiatric context as a “treatment for mental illness” is unacceptable.

      Most of your analysis (not just here but in general) resonates with me strongly however.

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      • Something I see as a potential problem for prescription cannabis is psychiatry’s long track record of blaming everything it does on the consumers’ alleged brain disorder. AKA the consumer him/herself.

        A lot of young people labeled “schizophrenic” for life simply got locked up during a bad trip. As a sort of ironic and excessive punishment (called treatment) they’re forced to take massive quantities of mind altering drugs to make them miserable till they die prematurely.

        I only took what Dr. M gave me. A “therapeutic” dose of the SSRI Anafranil. Yet my three weeks of sleeplessness and hallucinations were all blamed on me. Dr. M swore up and down that “They never have that effect on anyone!”

        Is this merely a clever attempt to create more “schizophrenia diagnoses” by encouraging use of a drug that can cause vivid hallucinations?

        For those of you who like MJ, my argument is with psychiatrists prescribing it and interpreting all the temporary effects as symptoms of a life long brain disorder–which requires crippling drugs and a life in segregation to maintain.

        Drugs that cause real disabilities and segregation from mainstream society are psychiatry’s gifts. 🙁

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          • Marcello, I would caution you on using such generalizations. Cannabis has many flavors. Some (today) have extremely high THC content, the reality of cannabis is not the same as it was 30 years ago. There is plenty of evidence that adolescents and young adults are negatively (in terms of memory, concentration, motivation, etc.) impacted by regular cannabis use. However, if we were to compare daily cannabis use (at the end of a day) to neuroleptics like olanzapine or aripriprazole (with an elimination half life of about 75 hours), the latter are far more damaging.

            I’m not sure what you mean by a “long term brain disorder”, though. It must be psychiatric terminology, which is always suspect.

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        • I still see a “reefer madness” mentality at work here. Some whiskey is 100 proof, beer is like 15 proof. It’s all alcohol, and the user determines his/her own preference. I might feel compelled to add something about young people but it would be a bit disingenuous and hypocritical considering I started smoking at 16 and most would see me as still going strong. (Though I do have my days.) Like garlic, marijuana can be a legitimate medicine, but that’s not all it is. What it is absolutely NOT is a “medicine” for fake diseases, i.e. “mental illness.”

          Still I’d hate to see this thread get diverted into a “pot” discussion, there are more immediate issues relating to psychiatry vs. anti-psychiatry which need to be addressed.

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    • thanks for the inquiry . As a psychiatrist, of course I prescribed and prescribe psychotropics drugs. Many individual come to me already on psychotropics. But I consider a essential part of my role was to communicate the limitations of the utilization of psychiatric medications, assisting people with alternatives and helping them to get off medications, while involving peer specialists to help me in the process. In regards to cannabis, I found that lot of individuals in treatment are getting cannabis cards and are trying to get off opioids and psychotropics utilizing cannabinoids and cannabis. I am not imposing cannabis or cannabinoids on anybody, but I respect their choice, while providing some assistance. I simply listen and work with those individuals who make that choice. PS: In the book I ask cogent questions about the use of cannabis. I do not promote it as treatment for psychiatric illness, but I highlight the need for more unbiased research on the topic.

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      • Maybe someday I will write a blog about the necessary prohibition of psychotropic drugs, except anesthesia and rigorously controlled, reasonable duration weaning (because a weaning which lasts more than 2 years is a fake weaning).

        Prohibition is necessary not only for medical reasons, but also for political reasons.

        The prohibition of psychotropic drugs and psychiatry in general, whether exercised by a psychiatrist or anyone else, will allow us to separate allies and enemies on this point, and allow us to crush members of the psychiatric industry/institution.

        This is why I say that prohibition is necessary on several levels.

        Do you know this quote from John Ehrlichman?

        “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

        — Dan Baum, Legalize It All: How to win the war on drugs, Harper’s Magazine (April 2016)

        If one day we take the power, we will use the same kind of methods, but in an open way, to crush psychiatrists (and not Blacks or anti-war activists). The little cannabis users, we don’t care.

        We want prohibition, for get hold of the psychiatrists. Prohibition (among other measures) will allow us to bring down an entire sector of the old state repressive apparatus and develop our own repressive apparatus. Only, our repressive apparatus will be directed against a whole other section of the society.

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      • Anomie, I thank you for the question. As general rule, it is pivotal that people are always offered alternatives to meds. There are other modalities that people could and should consider. The recovery field offers a variety of possibilities. I like to emphasize that Peer Specialists are essential, in my view, in identifying appropriate alternatives. However, If the individual decides to take medications, it necessary to emphasize that there are not sufficient data for their utilization in the long run and that it is extremely important to build a strong self driven-recovery oriented support system.In this vein, the possibility of judicious withdrawal from medications should be explored with everybody who is and has been on medication. All this is also consistent with freedom of choice and should not be neglected.
        But in reality, what I am saying should not sound odd because is backed up by data( often published by MIA and the MAD affiliates) ,which indicate that the long term use of medications is not helpful and that the building of a strong psychosocial support system is highly therapeutic. In this frame, I was just reflecting on your nickname” Anomie”( breakdown of social bonds,social isolation) which I think is a clever way to summarize the genesis of emotional distress and hopefully to find a solution. Ciao for now.

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      • Reply to Berzerk:

        Thanks for your comment.
        It is true that cannabis comes in many shapes and forms. Its injudicious use, especially when it is adulterated with other substances ,which is often the case, can indeed cause problems.
        I was referring to the judicious and therapeutic use of marijuana in my earlier comment.
        in reality, there is no proof that cannabis used in moderation causes brain damage.

        The majority of the official studies ,which for the most part have been conducted with the intent of showing that cannabis is noxious, have serious methodological problems. Therefore there is a real need for more independent and unbiased studies.

        However, there is plenty of reliable literature and individual narratives showing the benefits from appropriate use of cannabis for PTSD, ANXIETY CHRONIC PAIN and other conditions. There is indeed some evidence that there could be short term effects on cognitive functions especially if the use is inappropriate, but no long-term chronic problems have been clearly demonstrate with judicious and moderate use.
        Of course, I would never suggest its use in people who have experienced episodes of psychosis or other conditions in which its use could be potentially damaging( this si a very complex area), even though the data on this aspect are not totally clear.

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        • No, you are correct, there is actually evidence that cannabis is neuroprotective in low doses due, in part, to it’s antioxidant effects.

          But, would you agree that a therapeutic dose of an antipsychotic, like olanzapine or risperidone, does indeed cause brain damage (in addition to the myriad other side effects) and is (potentially) far more harmful than a few joints per day?

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  3. No we are NOT “all mad.” This is hate speech directed at ourselves. Being slapped with a psychiatric label should not be countered by slapping ourselves with an equally offensive one.

    However there IS some good news:

    I am happy to announce that, FINALLY, a sizeable group of ANTI-PSYCHIATRY survivors, including a number of longtime MIA commenters, have organized ourselves into the beginnings of a viable anti-psychiatry organization. We have spent over a year developing a set of guiding principles and will soon be expanding our membership beyond the core group. We also are working on developing a network of allies and some initial AP projects. I and others will be speaking on this more & more over the coming days and will let you know how to contact us for more info. So be excited!

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    • PS We are also happy to work with all AP survivors and groups of survivors who uphold the basic principle that PSYCHIATRY CANNOT BE REFORMED AND MUST BE ABOLISHED, in accordance with principles adopted at the 1982 International Conference On Human Rights and Psychiatric Oppression in Toronto. We extend solidarity to all those who have shed the oppressive labels of “madness” and “mental illness,” and who will do so in the future.

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    • “Being slapped with a psychiatric label should not be countered by slapping ourselves with an equally offensive one.”

      No offense directed at anyone who identifies as a ‘sub’ or accepts the label of masochist. You can go right on slappin. lol

      Seriously though, I don’t have a lot to say about this ‘network’ of people who would say “we will encourage the participation of consumers from around the world.” I get the feeling it may be the case that these ‘consumers’ may need to be grateful they are being ‘encouraged’ to ‘participate’. I know i’m not looking for pats on the head, and a “well done” for getting through the ‘scrapbooking course’.

      When are we going to stop emptying the cutlery drawer and claim that putting the forks where the spoons used to be is change? I say we treat the whole kitchen as a gut job, and today is Demo Day.

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      • Do you do stand-up Boans? Maybe the movement could put you on tour someday.

        “we will encourage the participation of consumers from around the world”

        Wait, is this some sort of detox program (“Consumers Anonymous”)? Maybe I misunderstood.

        For the record, “consumers” is short for “consumers of mental health services.”

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        • Only Tour I wish to go on oldhead is the PGA tour lol.

          My belief that I lived with for nearly 50 years that people are esentially good has been delliberately ‘fuking destroyed’ by mental health services. And my community stands aside while they ‘fuking destroy’ anyone they select via their negligence, fraud and slander.

          These people make a rod for their own backs by having one predetermined outcome that can only be achieved with that negligence, fraud and slander. They are right, and you are wrong. And if they need to torture or maim you, threaten your family and friends to achieve that outcome then thats why God gave police guns.

          I guess in some ways my truth needs to be denied for the sake of a larger movement. Associating with victims of crimes when what your trying to achive is reform in mental health services is counter productive. That would be an admission that not only does there need to be reform, but actual accountablility, and there is no way any of the people I have had dealngs with would even consider that. Not when you do whatever you want, and then conceal your wrongdoing with fraud and slander, and claim the persons response to your vicious assults has something wrong with them. They do once they’re finished with them. ‘We’ (reformists) only want to step in once they have fuking destroyed you and help. Me, I want to stop the damage before it occurs. Thus the paths diverge.

          I think there’s probably more to be had from discussing how to reform the National Socialist movement. Maybe we could introduce them to Kosher foods as a way of opening up cultural exchange? People do like food. Lets have a sausage sizzle with the ‘consumers’ (hope you remember the article lol).

          I know that as far as ‘advocates’ go, there is a need for it to be more than just making the claim that your an advocate. Turning your back when the going gets tough makes you a hypocrite, coward and a sychophant, not an advocate. And I know how hard it can be to stand up, in fact, i’m ready for a sit down after ten years of trying to have my human rights observed by sychophants and cowards.

          Show me the scars (and I know there are some here who have those scars). Dr Headbanger PhD M.A. BBC ABC and CNN isn’t a list of scars, but a line of privileges paid for not earned.

          And yeah, i’ve just about had enough of it all tbh. Talk talk talk while the smoke from the ovens billows. And the SS sits discussing the new art work in the lunch room.

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  4. Hi Marcello,

    Sometimes when responding to an article I feel intimidated to say the “right” things.
    I feel pressured to respond in some “positive” tone.
    This is one of those articles. And I don’t know why, but it almost feels as if it’s a form of “soft psychiatry”
    involved, yet I could be completely wrong.

    I am not saying that there are not some good people within psychiatry, although I have a hell of a time with using the word “good” and “psychiatry” within one sentence. (Neither here no there.)

    I think so many people who have been hurt, to expect them to go to the same system, even if “reformed” is nothing more than a continuation in new clothes. A new kind of smile? A new paradigm that uses words like “not pathologizing” “EVERY” “DISORDER”? Or, “over prescribing”?
    And “stigma”?
    That is what psychiatry is doing of late, even finally letting go of the “serotonin” lol, as if THAT was ever the problem.
    It’s a game for them.

    Perhaps this is one way to go. Perhaps there are several. Using the word “MAD”, to me, is a bit like using the word “SLAVE”.
    I find it derogatory and feel no empowerment from such words. And I doubt the public views it as anything but “crazy”.
    I have myself used such words, but I’m not a shrink, nor a public persona.

    As I said, I hate to be “negative”, or pick out only negatives, yet I have found if I try to go with the positives within a narrative, it bites me in the azz.

    I am still not sure what you will be doing. It sounds as if research and meetings will be on the agenda. Are you reaching out and educating the public beyond the websites of MIA? The schools?
    How does your knowledge get out to the vulnerable people? Many who might not have internet?

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    • “I think so many people who have been hurt, to expect them to go to the same system, even if “reformed” is nothing more than a continuation in new clothes.”

      I think looking at the current situation in the US, and looking back at Spike Lee’s classis movie Do The Right Thing I consider reform nothing more than a change in the choke holds we find ourselves being subjected to. That’s all ‘reform’ can offer.

      And I get what your saying Sam, none of us want to rock the boat. It’s just easier to be a passive witness and live in hope that the oppressor will take his foot (or knee) off the other guys neck. And those who stage manage these situations (and they are stage managed) know the pressure to go for the ‘reform’ option. In some ways its all they leave us with. The streets will be swept, the windows repaired, the stores stock refilled….. and we will be outraged next time, and the next, and the next …..Take a look at Lee’s film. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

      As far as posychiatry goes I am living proof that it isn’t needed to silence people who have been subjected to vile abuse. My State authorities have other means available, they simply ignore the laws, and do whatever they want. The need to kill me in the Emergency Dept was so unnecessary in a State where laws matter for nothing. Simply refuse to accept any documented proof of the crimes and gaslight the victim to suicide, simple. This should spell the absolute end of psychiatry, after all it is only a method of silencing victims of abuse, and those triuth speakers who our elite want silenced.

      Consider the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. 40 yeasr of children being abused and not one person bothered to report that abuse to police. Not one. Or is there more to it than that? Were they actually taking the reports? What actions were they taking when a credible person went into a police station and complained?

      I think one of the most powerful comments I have seen here at MiA was about “rights without remedies”. This is the ‘old lie’. The law is a beautiful thing, though when it is being administered by people who abuse their positions of trust it can be the most vile thing too. Look at how the National Socialists used it to enable the murder of a lot of people. It was actually fairly simple changes to the law. Good news about that is that it shouldn’t be too difficult to make changes the other way?

      I find myself pondering how we would put integrity into our system, and it is with tests. Failure of those tests seems to be reason to promote and encourage people these days. Get them into positions where they can be exploited. And corruption reigns supreme, for a while at least.

      I get the feeling you are sick of the reform agenda. If so, there is an alternative available that is not promoting the use of violence as a means to achieve ends. Though I think sometimes it is necessary to be confrontational to ensure voices are heard. I don’t wish to stand alongside someone who wishes to include me in anything that they feel they need to because it validates to them they are ‘good people’. Good people don’t turn their backs on people who are being deliberately harmed because ‘medicine’.

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      • “I get the feeling you are sick of the reform agenda. If so, there is an alternative available that is not promoting the use of violence as a means to achieve ends. Though I think sometimes it is necessary to be confrontational to ensure voices are heard.”

        Well Boans, it could never be called “reform”.
        Basically everything is wrong with it.
        The only thing understandable about it is that we are by nature curious what someone is doing, what they look like, or what kind of person it is.
        Then we have the reality of distress, sadness.
        But there is absolutely no reason to call it an illness, anymore than someone walking weird because they are missing a foot.
        The guy needs a new foot or a cane/support. No chemical can grow him a new foot.

        YEAH, I know, no more analogy lol.
        I can be confrontational, and I know often people are silenced by referring to their “anger”. The last physician I saw said “I can’t help you if you’re going to be angry”.
        er, I never yelled.
        It never crossed her mind that I was “grumpy”, OR perhaps I’m just a natural curmudgeon.

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      • “I think so many people who have been hurt, to expect them to go to the same system, even if ‘reformed’ is nothing more than a continuation in new clothes.”

        Yes, I gave a Lutheran pastor Bob Whitaker’s book, because I was worried about all the children being hurt in the “psychiatric system.” He didn’t bother to discuss it with me, despite the fact that many members of his church knew I was a very bright lady, and he should have known my family had given over a million to that church and made millions for his religion’s pension fund.

        Instead, that pastor sicked a psychologist onto me, with an “art manager” contract, which was actually a thievery and take total control of your life, work, and money contract … “nothing more than a continuation” of the same old crimes “in new clothes.” Of course, I know how to read contracts, so didn’t sign it.

        But I don’t think that reform is possible, since the psychologists’ and psychiatrists’ guilds have already destroyed the mainstream religions, and they have been mass murdering American children for decades, with their lies, neurotoxic drugs, and other “bullshit.” And they’re too stupid to repent, and know, for what their malpractice insurance is intended. Albeit, so are the ELCA Lutheran pastors and bishops today.

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    • Hi Sam , thanks for the legitimate criticism and the tone which allow me to engage in a constructive dialogue.
      Firstly, I wanted to make a disclaimer about the use of ” MAD” in the title. It is referred to the MAD sites and affiliates. In fact, the goal of the article is to try and unify the efforts of all MAD affiliates to collaborate towards the goals which I describe in the article.
      But first, we need to develop an agenda hinging around some of the themes I am proposing . but not limited to them. The format could be similar focus groups and he participation of people with lived experience essential. But this will have to be decide in the course of our meetings.
      Also, this effort will not see me being in charge, but being based on the principles of recovery and social justice, will emphasize the role of individuals with lived experience, peer specialists, and people with solid knowledge in recovery. Personally, I am not advocating for the medical model to be the leading force in this effort. I was fortunate in my professional development to be mentored by people with lived experience and peer specialists for more than 15 years. This process , still in progress, has made me aware that as a Doctor I had lot to learn that listening to the people in recovery, to their issues and, at times to their anger, was part of my job if I wanted to be part of the solution. Also,I became painfully aware of the limits of the medical model. Of course I still fail…. that is I why I need the ongoing mentorship of people with lived experience.
      Your questions regarding what I am doing to get the people involved is pivotal. Currently, in my work in the States.I try as much as I can to support the ‘building” of recovery networks under the leadership of local recovery experts, mainly Peer Specialists. Also, I am trying to apply strategies to provide individuals with alternatives to psychiatric medications. This includes the possibility of withdrawing from them with the support recovery oriented approaches( peer specialists). I am also involved with the Center For Native American Health in Albuquerque NM. This has provided me with lot of insights regarding the meaning of community as a powerful asset towards recovery and regarding the importance of culture and social determinants of health.
      In terms of my efforts with MAD In Italy, I have tried
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      • Psychiatrists have NO BUSINESS trying to organize survivors. This is an offensive and oppressive concept. This article reinforces this arrogant professionalism and encourages survivors to see themselves as needing “expert” approval of our efforts to rid the Earth of the scourge of psychiatry.

        Like I mentioned before, there is finally some legitimate survivor controlled anti-psychiatry organizing taking place. Anti-psychiatry survivors who want more information should just ask, as most of us read MIA. Our final principle is:

        We assert — and plan to exercise — our right as an oppressed class to self-determination.

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        • OH, I came to revisit this page as I’m always uncovering and analyzing.
          This sentence jumped out for me, I mulled it through my insight radar and it formed itself into a sensical comment.
          Now we know philosophically we can keep mulling over the same ground and come up with counter arguments to everything….however, as of now, I don’t want to, because I have to stop at some point, or else I get nothing done and arrive nowhere.
          I am quite satisfied with your sentence lol. Although, I might add that an EX-psychiatrist could of course organize stuff or help support survivors, since he would not be torn in half, twisting in all directions.
          I’m trying not to be an idealist here, but no matter how we slice it, we simply can’t be for “some” psychiatry, because the underlying mess that holds it all up, was all wrong. HOW is it possible to keep going on such a wrong concept? How is it possible to genuinely help people? Unless you become some underground shrink who operates quietly and “ministers” to those who need a hand. But to continue to be buddies with the system and think that it resembles survivors, EVEN if seen through “peers”, is just not believable. I understand that shrinks “learn” through peers, but that alone should suggest something. Those peers should not be needed to wake up to the false paradigm. Once awake, one can be of service still, to many. I’m sure there are satisfied clients that Marcello has.
          However, it leads me to realize that this sentence by you OH is of utmost meaning as far as survivors go, or those who continue to experience psychiatry anywhere and everywhere.
          I cannot possibly go to a shrink to affiliate with him AGAINST an abusive and dehumanizing system. I have tried. To speak rationally to them and real doctors. It’s a no go. They consider it communication if I agree with whatever is presented.
          Which then, we are at a crossroads. In life, there are indeed crossroads, we cannot nicely co-operate when it comes to thinking extremes such as psychiatry. It is after all, an extremist regime.
          With that, I won’t say that the blogger is 🙂

          “Psychiatrists have NO BUSINESS trying to organize survivors. This is an offensive and oppressive concept.”

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      • Thanks Marcello, for your response.

        “I can easily imagine all the “MAD” affiliates working together in an atmosphere of reciprocal support regarding specific initiatives or projects. This collaboration could include the development of “alternative” research projects to the conventional randomized trials with a focus on recovery models, withdrawal from psychotropics, and social and cultural determinants of health. In this framework, we will encourage the participation of consumers from around the world.

        I am pleased to hear that you are trying to do better and most likely are doing better, than mainstream psychiatry.
        As far as “recovery” goes, it is one of those words that bother me, since it is the flip side of being “ill”.
        There are definitely people who need support, someone needs to support them. But often, we need to teach community how to support them.
        I think it’s the worst thing for a person to be seen as “ill”.

        I am so very pleased that MIA exists as it does. I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, but the founder did such a great service to so many, such a compassionate selfless move, that I would hate to see things happening that changes MIA in any manner.

        Just today I was reminded how very glad I was to find Robert and his crew.
        So for me, it is about keeping MIA focused on it’s origin.
        We don’t always have to adapt and change, so many good things get diluted that way.

        I still think the title is not a good choice. At least it is a turn off for myself. And I’m not skeptical of psychiatry, I’m just done having any hope for it.
        I honestly don’t believe in being able to reform it, because of their needed belief that people are “ill”.
        I am of the mind that what I cannot explain, does not need “miracles” or “illness”. Phenomena perhaps, in the sense that we are curious, perplexed.

        I wish you luck in your endeavours. As long as they are genuinely good intentions for your clients, not just to get them off meds, but get them out of psychiatry and encourage empowerment, as in belief in themselves that they are not ill, that is commendable.
        As far as organizing between and with other MIA affiliates, I would trust the administrators to know which direction they want to go.
        I am lucky that MIA has a great team here.

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  5. One question Marcello.

    Btw, I liked Anomie’s direct question and this one is in the same category.

    I realize that you might not feel able to answer this, perhaps, due to your ties to the psychiatric associations.
    I know they can make life miserable for anyone concerned about the bad practice.
    Also, my questions might be considered delving into “personal business”…..But I am curious if you use the DSM to give clients labels?
    Or do you just privately share with your clients your thoughts about their distress or “problems in living”

    I realize of course that these questions might seem confrontational, but I do like to be informed as to what kind of beliefs are leading endeavors for “change”. There are core beliefs we all adhere to, which of course can change over time, but those core beliefs are what connects people and promotes a cohesive plan of movement.

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    • Thanks Sam, your questions are well taken and I do not take them as confrontational, but legitimate. Please, allow me to clarify some aspects of my thinking, which I feel essential. Today, unfortunately, the biological model dominates. In reality there is no proof of any concrete brain abnormalities for any of the psychiatric diagnosis. Therefore, to talk about mental illness is not accurate. We should be talking about emotional distress and challenges or difficulties (I am borrowing language used by individuals with “lived experience”) instead of symptoms and diagnosis.
      In regards to the use of diagnosis, both in the private and public system it is virtually impossible to omit their utilization. However, it is imperative to engage the individual, often with the assistance of a peer specialist, in a dialogue about the fact that emotional distress is not forever, that there many possible solution to the current problems, that instead of diagnosis and symptoms we should focus on addressing difficulties, and attaining goals. It is in this context that I am using the word “Recovery”.
      By Recovery I do not mean medical recovery but existential recovery, often defined by the peers, like( paraphrasing) “a self-directed process, not focused on symptoms and diagnoses but on overcoming obstacles and difficulties with the goal of realizing individual aspirations, goals and dreams and attaining a good quality of life”

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      • “In reality there is no proof of any concrete brain abnormalities for any of the psychiatric diagnosis. Therefore, to talk about mental illness is not accurate. We should be talking about emotional distress and challenges or difficulties (I am borrowing language used by individuals with “lived experience”) instead of symptoms and diagnosis.”

        “In regards to the use of diagnosis, both in the private and public system it is virtually impossible to omit their utilization.”

        If it is not “accurate to talk about “mental illness”, I see no reason to use diagnosis, even though the Bio model dominates.

        We can see all around us what a “diagnosis” does, on real human rights issues and how those are gone for the “diagnosed”.
        The “diagnosed” find this out accidently and innocently. It also harms people in their self image, which can actually conform itself to the diagnosis.

        It is my belief that any psychiatrist would be able to not “diagnose” and could essentially “honestly” explain to people the “side effects” or effects of not just the drugs, but also the “diagnosis”.

        It would still my heart and mind to know that at the helm of any MIA affiliates, sit people who are not part of handing out “diagnosis”.
        I completely understand how unsurmountable this task seems.
        I think so far, we do understand how unhelpful “diagnosis” has become, even though some clients find it helpful, albeit in the temporary perhaps.
        It is mostly helpful for the “authority” and ends up being used as such.

        We have to stop blaming big pharma for a psychiatrists choice in prescribing. We have to stop blaming big pharma for handing out labels. Where language became authority. Labels are not diagnosis.

        Saying all that, I know I’m being an armchair dissident, we all know I don’t hold the answer to the guy that comes to you for the distress.
        But we really don’t need false answers in place of the reality of not knowing.
        No matter how we go around and around.

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        • Hi Sam, in reality the influence of big pharma cannot be discounted. Ideology is created by power and money. Since the times of the Flexner report medicine has been controlled by corporate interests. The book Rockefeller Medicine Men: Medicine and Capitalism in America , by E. Richard Brown, illustrates this issue vey eloquently. Gramsci used to refer to the same process as hegemony to explain the role of powerful entities in the control of the production and reproduction of knowledge. In the brief article I clearly stated the recent attempts by the corporate giant Sanofi to control the process of medical education in Italy, like it is happening in the rest of the world. I agree that In this context psychiatrists have the responsibility to raise their voice nd fight. It does not happen with the necessary emphasis since the so called biological psychiatry is the dominant thinking in the field. Therefore , it would be naïve to underestimate the power of Big Pharma in all field of medicine and not just psychiatry.
          I believe that action requires concrete planning on what is doable. I am ready to listen to your alternative views to the current system including those which contemplate the total disappearance of psychiatry. Thanks.

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          • I don’t mean to be disrespectful in asking this, I’m interested: What do you see as non-biological psychiatry? If there is no physiological disease state, what purpose does a medical doctor have in this area?

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          • Marcello,
            Big pharm does not create the ideology. That was and always has been part of society.
            We all suffer from it and through it.
            Psychiatry would exist without big pharm and actually there was no pharm involved in lobotomies.
            Dear Walter was a psychiatrist and worked with a “neurosurgeon”.
            I would love to see you being that dissident psychiatrist. How does one become against psychiatry and remain a psychiatrist?
            Although that might be an idealistic view, but I, like most of psychiatry have my own idealism.
            I understand there are a lot of psychiatrists out there that are finding the pills and the biomedical problematic.
            But are not willing to let go of the “diagnostic” problem, yet realize how much damage THAT actually creates.

            There are some that disagree with the many “disorders” that the DSM makers created, yet are okay with part of the DSM.
            Pharma is only trying to cash in on the “illnesses” created.
            There are a lot of drugs created for the medical profession, yet not every GP doctor prescribes each drug that comes along.

            It is fascinating then, that “medical doctors” like GP’s are quite willing to adopt a psychiatric role in prescription. And if they prescribe, it stands to reason that they also diagnose,
            No?
            So in fact, we don’t need psychiatry, since any doctor is able to “diagnose” and hence prescribe.
            Of course it’s not “official” unless a psychiatrist is referred to, yet carries the same weight.
            The ideology, the DSM was not created by Pharm. Pharm is cashing in on the existing ideology.

            I really respect Anomie for her response, which rings true for me.

            Also I love Steve’s question.

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  6. Dr. Marcello, Having been harmed by psychiatry I am very grateful to Robert Whitaker and MIA as finding the MIA website was very validating and therapeutic. I strongly support MIA, their work and overall message and am glad more countries joined the ‘Mad’ family/affiliates because it helps spread the message.

    It’s clear the tenets of the medical model of psychiatry are doing grave harm, certainly far more harm than good, and I hope that message gets stronger. Psychiatry should no longer be a ‘medical’ model but rather a ‘social’ model that acknowledges many varied psychosocial determinants are behind people’s suffering and/or distress. The problems/issues are most often social and environmental and not within the person, and as such there should not be the need for stigmatizing and defamatory labels or administering of toxic psych drugs.

    I appreciate any psychiatrist who is open minded and wanting to see change, and appreciate that you apparently are of that mind. As the saying goes there is strength in numbers so an international network sounds good to me. Thanks and best wishes in your endeavours.

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    • If you take your quite sound logic to its ultimate conclusion you should eventually come to the realization that there is no reason for psychiatry to exist at all. There is nothing provided by psychiatry which could be considered even ostensibly helpful that cannot be provided by other means, sans the fraudulent trappings of medicine and science. If psychiatry had no power to exert its will on the unwilling the opinions of psychiatrists would be irrelevant, and that’s what we should focus on achieving.

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      • Oldhead,
        “There is nothing provided by psychiatry which could be considered even ostensibly helpful that cannot be provided by other means, sans the fraudulent trappings of medicine and science’.

        Yes, I totally agree.
        Psychiatry has nothing to offer but defamatory labels, toxic drugs and ECT, and should be dismantled. But people do wind up in distress and there needs to be something else in place to help. If only psychiatrists who are aware the protocols of psychiatry are harmful would lobby governments, M.P.’s, mental health organizations, community services, etc, to set up a new type of system similar to Soteria House that would provide compassion, understanding and various supports that would be a win-win. If something else was in place I think psychiatry would quickly become obsolete and easily abolished.

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        • I don’t think psychiatry would lobby to weaken their power, besides, governments are psychiatry IMO. At least in Canada.
          How can they appeal to each other to fix what they created?

          As it stands now, it seems psychiatry likes to adopt whatever various supports available.
          Have you noticed the cry from psychiatry about “stigma”? Have you seen them adopt “mindfulness”? And “yoga”, and the great one “peers”.
          It is actually the peers that might be helpful, but they don’t get the money.

          And the latest is, “open dialogue”.
          OOH, that looks promising, let’s take it over and “improve” on it. We will Open dialogue with them plus a bonus, Our wonderful antipsychotics.
          Under the guise of improving “mental health”.
          Because they know their system sucks bigtime.

          First off, they take over what is offered. Second, it makes them look as if they are not all bad and try different ,modalities.
          Like ketamine, and whatever comes along, they all gotta get their greasy paws on it.

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          • It gave me a bit of hope to see June 4, 2020 our Health Minister introduced Bill 17, which proposes amendments to the Mental Health Act to strength patients rights and ensure those right are respected. It’s a small step but better than the status quo.

            “To safeguard patients’ rights, proposed amendments include requiring hospitals to provide free and timely access to medical records and information about legal counsel and the mental health patient advocate. Facilities would also be required to review forms more promptly, so patients are fully informed about why they are detained. Patients staying in a hospital for more than 30 days would be provided with a treatment plan, including criteria for release, so they know what to expect.”

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        • Rosalee — Some friendly analysis because it is key:

          The initially reasonable-sounding proposition that something is needed to “replace” psychiatry before we abolish it is based on acceptance of the view that psychiatry performs a service, albeit poorly. This is, frankly, erroneous.

          Here are two more of our scientific, evidence-based anti-psychiatry principles 🙂 :

          — Psychiatry is not a legitimate field of medicine.

          — Psychiatry is a tool of social control which enforces conformity to the prevailing social order.

          People will continue to suffer under this system with or without psychiatry; this is a separate though intertwined reality. But no one would have asked what the “alternative” to the Holocaust would have been.

          (This is the “short version.” But I encourage you to examine the two above principles.)

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          • Thanks Oldhead, I am always open to friendly analysis. 🙂
            I agree with the two AP principles you noted above and realize people in distress end up worse off when subjected to psychiatry than if they have no where else to go.

            It just seems to me the odds of getting psychiatry abolished would be increased if the masses/general public are onboard and most people don’t know how psychiatry operates and trust them – until they are harmed or someone close to them is. For many the thought of a loved one, friend etc being in distress, suicidal etc and not having anywhere to turn or to take them is a huge concern. When my younger brother became distressed/depressed over his marriage breakup and kids moving away we unfortunately turned to psychiatry for ‘help’ because we were brainwashed – and there was no where else to turn. He ended up drugged, went downhill, could no longer work or function, and just died one day – with no explanation at all from psychiatry. Had he not been subjected to psychiatry I’m quite sure he would still be alive today. But I also know he still needed ‘help’ of some kind to get back on track.
            I realize wanting the hierarchy of psychiatry to reform is akin to asking the mafia to reform, so I agree it should be abolished but the question for me is ‘how’ to get that accomplished.

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          • It just seems to me the odds of getting psychiatry abolished would be increased if the masses/general public are onboard and most people don’t know how psychiatry operates and trust them – until they are harmed or someone close to them is.

            Which is why it is important to educate people about psychiatry and disillusion them about “improving” it. This starts with educating ourselves.

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        • Rosalle,
          Those “rights” are just PR.
          There should not have to be “proposals” and “human rights” presented and fought for within “health”.

          How insane is that?
          People think it’s the norm to have to beg and grovel our medical establishment for crumbs.
          I want zero to do with crumbs.

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        • @Rosalee D
          “Yes, I totally agree.
          Psychiatry has nothing to offer but defamatory labels, toxic drugs and ECT, and should be dismantled.”
          “But people do wind up in distress and there needs to be something else in place to help.”
          “to set up a new type of system similar to Soteria House that would provide compassion, understanding and various supports that would be a win-win.”

          I’ve thought about this a lot too. I keep the neurotoxins in my purse at all times, since as a TI, there have been break-ins in my house. I am concerned that my handlers, and/or the perps, will steal the drugs to force me back into psychiatry. They have tried it before.

          Break-ins are standard for *all* TIs, along with poisoning your food & water supply. Again, standard. I’m not applying for the Gold Medal in the suffering olympics for the TI community.

          I don’t use the pills. But I also do not want to have to go to any doctor to *get anything.* So, I keep my prescription holistic bio-identical hormones with me at all times too. Even getting a simple blood test could be a disaster for a TI.

          Anti-psychiatry is a David & Goliath fight. Like everything else, we have to figure out how to do all of it, with no help, with the constant distractions of endless debate & useless research (there is AI software on THIS SITE in order to do that, distract us, YES),

          and we’re also going to have to figure out how to help people who are going through whatever-we-used-to-call-“psychoses.”

          We have to do it all, and we can’t rely on Shriekology. Since whatever-we-used-to-call-“psychoses is really just an overloading of the nervous system in this extreme psyops zoo we all live in.

          I DO KNOW, that SLEEP gives the nervous system a break. It’s certain that other things can work besides the tranquilizers, neurotoxins. Especially if the person feels safe enough to sleep before they go for two or three days trying to outrun the eugenicists in our midst…

          This is a problem. One I have thought about for a long time. I know we can’t depend on the Deep State. I don’t really know what we can do….

          Although there are some *survivors* who are working to help people get their rights back & don’t have time to debate the legalist implications of Anti-Psychiatry, (or at least not yet), so maybe that’s the way to go? Something like
          Soteria, underground. …

          That’s probably what’s being discussed, & we are up against AI “selectors” at the same time. The Deep State’s goal to kill us off before we can effectively organize. It’s that bad.

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          • @Rosalee D

            Again, sorry for handing this out like halloween candy.

            “Trick or Treat!” But here is the Seth Farber essay at the bottom of this post, for those who haven’t seen it yet, or read it….yet.

            MIA has the right to use any software it wants. But as survivors, we need to be aware of what we are up against while we try to organize off-site.

            They have the right to use it. And we have the right to get our own site. I’m sure the reformists will be glad to see us go (!)

            Hardy har har har….

            But I hope MIA finds a way to hang on, since it is training ground for the next Seth Farber, the next Peter Breggin, the next Thomas Szasz (RIP), the next Bonnie Barstow (RIP), & the next Loren Mosher (RIP)…

            …but survivors don’t have time to debate, get advanced degrees, counter useless research…we have to set up underground Soteria-like escape hatches….

            ….still MIA is a great training ground for dissident professionals of all stripes….I hope it manages to hang on, but it will be tough….

            Here is the Seth Farber essay AGAIN. Professionals can argue with THE GREAT Seth Farber…Seth, where are you? WE NEED YOU!

            https://everydayconcerned.net/2016/12/12/seth-farber-ph-d-the-psychiatric-metanarrative-targeted-individuals-and-the-deep-state-a-response-to-the-new-york-times/

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        • Anomie, Thanks for your reply. What I was trying to say was more in keeping with how Dr. Breggin is still a psychiatrist but is helping anti psychiatry/survivors by speaking out against psychiatry, even stating that going to a psychiatrist is one of the most dangerous things you can do. I was thinking if we had more dissident psychiatrists willing to speak out as Dr. Breggin does it can help anti psychiatry. I may be wrong but I thought Dr. Breggin still sees a few people/patients but does not slap DSM labels on people or prescribe psych drugs.

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    • Hi Rosalee D,
      Thanks for your thoughts. It is essential that mental health professionals listen to individual stories. Your comment about” having been harmed by psychiatry” it is certainly something I cannot neglect in my response. Your points about the harm created by the medical model and the need for a social model “that acknowledges many varied psychosocial determinants” are crucial to the understanding of emotional distress as part of the individual existential experience which can be managed and overcome.
      The role of the mental health professional is to listen, learn from individuals in emotional distress and from those with “lived experience”. Moreover, medical school and residencies curricula should include mentorship modules where persons with “lived experience” provide their feedback to medical students and residents.

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      • Anomie, I wish we could have more time and space for this conversation. I believe that a sound strategy is needed to change things. Also, I agree about the distress experienced by Drs and I already expressed my criticism about corporate medicine both in the article and some of the posts. The limitations of the medical model have been challenged by a substantial number of professionals in the field of medicine and mental health. I spent years working on these issues with my mentors in the public health field( these were professional from different social, racial and educational backgrounds). Also, not all the Drs are the same: we come from different experiences, racial and social backgrounds, social classes and family histories. In fact, some of us are struggling with emotional distress and /or have loved ones struggling with it.

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    • Reply to Steve McCrea

      Hi Steve, I do not think it is a disrespectful question. It is a challenging one, which would require a live conversation.
      In addressing the first part of your question” What do you see as non-biological psychiatry?”, this is my response:
      Instead of psychiatry or behavioral health I do focus on “physical and psychological wellbeing” (as suggested in the recovery literature), which includes the social determinants of health (embracing also psychosocial trauma, and Historical Trauma of the Indigenous people), so essential to the understanding of emotional and physical distress. Moreover, focusing on “physical and psychological wellbeing” highlights the ability of individuals to attain a good quality of life no matter what the alleged diagnoses may be and departs from the concept of psychiatric diagnoses as chronic disorders.
      In terms of the role that doctors play within this frame, I can identify at least three aspects:
      Coordination and integration of care within his /her own practice among the social, physical and psychological aspects of health. Psychiatrists should function more as primary care physicians and focus on those comorbidities which are common to individuals in a state of prolonged emotional distress.
      In this frame, the Dr.’s role includes the discrimination between physically induced emotional states (i.e. thyroid disorders, brain lesions, and traumatic injuries), substance abuse, and emotional distress due to psychosocial factors.

      Since psychiatric medications will unfortunately continue to play a major role in clinical practice, the responsibility of a medical doctor in this area can be twofold: providing alternatives to psychiatric medication whenever is possible, and helping individuals who want to withdraw from psychiatric medications with proper recovery –based approaches , which would include the support of peer specialists.

      Much more can and should be said, but this could be best accomplished thru a different format than posting. But, please, let’s continue the dialogue if you feel is worthwhile.

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      • This response reads like Patriarchy 101 and reaffirms my decision to stay as far away from the medical system (principally, doctors) as possible in order to best maintain my physical health and emotional wellbeing.

        Most of us get off meds without a doctor’s oversight for exactly these reasons.

        Psychiatric drugs are not medications. They do not treat any known conditions or disease state. They are sedatives. They make oppression easier to “cope” with. But they don’t help anyone to fight back and change systems of oppression.

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      • @Marcello Maviglia

        “COMORBIDITIES”

        Sigh….

        (and yes, I know it is the jargon….)

        I am the consummate diplomat, so firstly 1) I appreciate you addressing some of the Anti Psychiatry commenters on this page, 2) I appreciate that your co-administrator translated Peter Breggin’s book (I KNOW how much work that is), & Peter Breggin *single-handedly* put a stop to the *first wave* of lobotomies, which you & everyone else on this site already knows and 3) I appreciate that you look for non-neurotoxin approaches *first,*

        although I might add that thyroid disorders, as well as blood sugar imbalance & gut bacterial balance CANNOT be distinguished between “Pscyco-social” factors.

        The problem is that those who went to medical school DO NOT respect the life experience & accumulated knowledge of those with lived experience.

        Btw, my husband was a Rhodes scholarship finalist & says I am harder to figure out than Yale Graduate school. I do have a B.A., but I am also an alma-mater of the street, Seattle, Portland, & San Francisco (on the street in 1986 when the Green River killer was doing his utmost to reduce the female population of the first two cities)….

        so….

        I am hoping you will become a dissident psychiatrist in the tradition of Seth Farber…but, UNTIL THEN, you cannot hope to address societal injustice without DISTINGUISHING your SUBCONSCIOUS DRIVE for the preservation of your job & social standing.

        Steve came to this conclusion & left the MHS for this reason…

        (sorry, Steve, in trying to speak for you here–I know you left for a lot of reasons, but being able to disconnect the SUBCONSCIOUS need for your bread-&-butter survival lets you moderate on this site with the much needed emotional & intellectual beveling…)

        All four of my handlers have collectively given me the following diagnoses: psychopath, malignant narcissist, autism, bi-polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder, & schizoaffective disorder.

        I am *not* talking about you now…I am talking about the rogue criminal element *within* governments, including yours, that want to give me a diagnosis IN ORDER TO ESCAPE GOING TO JAIL….

        They have carved up my life, body, & brain as a long-distance betting game in which the winner takes all. Gets to stay out of prison, keep their job & gets rewarded. And they have been doing this to me my entire life.

        THEY CANNOT SEPARATE THEIR SUBCONSCIOUS DRIVE TO KEEP THEIR JOBS, AND THEY HAVE NO WISH TO BEGIN NOW!!!!

        Again, I am *not* talking about you.

        But these evil men & women have been directly & indirectly responsible for the deaths of thousands and thousands of innocent lives, in the US and abroad…

        AND I WILL NOT REST UNTIL THEY ARE IN JAIL….

        MK Ultra & Targeted Individual activism IS connected to Anti-Psychiatry activism because the players within the RECOVERY/REFORM are being co-opted…those with the most integrity are unaware of this…and those who DO NOT have integrity are going along willingly to save their own skins. Pathetic & sad.

        I do believe you are among the former….I believe you are very well-intentioned…and it is going to take a lot for you to catch up with what is REALLY going on behind the scenes…

        And since I am handing this essay out like Halloween candy, & in the spirit of co-morbidity…. I will post the link to the Seth Farber essay AGAIN…

        since it seems to be forever-Halloween around here

        https://everydayconcerned.net/2016/12/12/seth-farber-ph-d-the-psychiatric-metanarrative-targeted-individuals-and-the-deep-state-a-response-to-the-new-york-times/

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        • As a clarification, I said:

          “All four of my handlers have collectively given me the following diagnoses: psychopath, malignant narcissist, autism, bi-polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder, & schizoaffective disorder.

          They have carved up my life, body, & brain as a long-distance betting game in which the winner takes all. Gets to stay out of prison, keep their job & gets rewarded. And they have been doing this to me my entire life.”

          Meaning my four handlers have debated amongst themselves which diagnosis I have. They are trying to negotiate with me to STAY IN THE COUNTRY & get therapy for whichever pet diagnosis each one has. The winner takes all & most importantly: DOESN’T GO TO JAIL.

          I am not taking the offer.

          The disclosures about technological trafficking are set to be released WHEN I LEAVE THE COUNTRY.

          When I am not being poisoned, gang-stalked, hit with DEW’s (they think so little of my intellect, yet they are trying to form a brain tumor with the neuro-weapons), harassed, insulted, shocked, (all my friends, but one, and my biological family have turned against me using the “mental illness” smear), (my neighbors do psyops on me, have listening devices pointed at my house, follow me in the neighborhood, have trained their dogs to attack me), and when I am not being run off the road……

          maybe I will get back to packing….

          I took time off to warn fellow survivors…I believe it was time well-spent.

          On the next post, I will post my hard evidence on here. The listening devices pointed DIRECTLY AT THE WINDOWS OF MY HOUSE, and other abuses.

          Until then:

          Here is the beautiful & brilliant Rai Jo to explain Technological Trafficking, or the Targeted Individual Program:

          https://www.youtube.com/user/targetedworld

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        • Thanks Snowy 🙂 Nice post.
          I wonder what malignant means in psych. No actually I don’t want to know, it’s too embarrassing to talk about in case monkeys are listening lol.
          It is incredible to get one label, so the rest mean nothing either. You can pick one or write them on a paper and burn the paper.

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  7. I am Laura Guerra and I’m co-administrator of Mad in Italy with Marcello Maviglia, the author of this article.
    My position about psychiatric drugs and psychiatry is clear as I have translated Peter Breggin’s book Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal…
    But I think that it’s quite difficult to avoid psychiatric drugs at all if you do not have the possibility to afford good therapy or other psychosocial treatment.
    What I mean is that sometimes psychiatric drugs can be useful to control acute distress and then they should be withdrawn slowly and gradually under medical supervision.
    Then other interventions would be undertaken to improve and get over the psychological distress.
    For this reason psychiatric interventions are often needed.
    In my opinion Psychiatry and psychiatrists should give support to psychological intervention.
    Regarding the title of the article “We are all MAD, … ” it was meant to stimulate the partecipation of international affiliates of MAD in America to a mutual supportive network. Thank you

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    • “it’s quite difficult to avoid psychiatric drugs at all if you do not have the possibility to afford good therapy or other psychosocial treatment.”

      Why not call out the “providers” instead for price gouging someone in crisis? I don’t understand. My first reaction to this comment was shame that I was the failure. Not working hard enough. Medication does take my mind off things, the same way binging does, the same way street drugs might, the same way a $200 hour with a therapist does, or a buying spree, but in the end I am just further away from “curing” my poverty induced distress.

      There are too many well meaning professionals who just don’t GET IT. I have these same blindspots when I try to help others too. Maybe we can help each other to see better.

      “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

      I can feel the oppression in the writing and the responses or in the silence after a comment that forces a person with privilege to turn and look at it. The oppression is in my complaints that get forwarded into oblivion. Or the fight needed to get physical illness taken seriously after diagnosis. And how I can’t get a loan to buy a home. It’s everywhere. MIA (and others) are the only places I can at least name it honestly. (I am grateful for MIA) But I am growing more frustrated that even here I am just a patient. A statistic. A commodity. I want to shake people awake, maybe I need to wake up too. From my vantage point the beautiful thing you pat yourself on the back for is better than psychiatry, but better than electrocuting and jailing innocent disadvantaged is not hard to be. I’m not saying this to be mean. I’m saying it to be kind, like telling someone their skirt is tucked into their pantyhose. Even in the best of spaces, the abused are not being heard as equals. We’ve decided who is sick and who is helper. Who pays and who is payed. There are too many painful similarities between therapy for hire and psychiatry even here.

      It doesn’t have to be this way. Isn’t this what therapy is for? Helping gain insight? Pushing us to jump edges that we avoid? Fixing what isn’t working? And knowing we aren’t alone? Let those of us who’ve been there HELP you instead. Why is it an attack to say you need help too, maybe more than the patients who pay you?

      “For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

      Email me. I have much to gain in more “professionals” knowing a little better what the vulnerable and sensitive legally abused face inside psychiatry, and the landmines of opportunists awaiting us in society as we try to escape.

      What do you have to lose? Paid Peer Support has its own conflict of interest. Professionals with lived experience have good reason to self-censor too. You need to talk to those of us, so sensitive to oppression, we refuse to belong. Here’s a quarter. I care.

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  8. “I think that it’s quite difficult to avoid psychiatric drugs at all if you do not have the possibility to afford good therapy or other psychosocial treatment.
    What I mean is that sometimes psychiatric drugs can be useful to control acute distress and then they should be withdrawn slowly and gradually under medical supervision.
    Then other interventions would be undertaken to improve and get over the psychological distress.”

    Sorry Laura, you lost me.
    If people need drugs because other systems are not affordable or in place, then which “other interventions” would be available after the drugs IF they were not there to begin with.

    I am NOT disagreeing with you that people run into difficulties. Psychiatry leads to many more, and way after they are done with you.
    And as far as I know, none of those people did ONE SINGLE THING WRONG.

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    • What I meant in my previous comment is that in some situations psychiatric drugs can be useful to control acute symptoms, obviously in the short run.
      Breggin for example says that he sometimes uses benzos when a person cannot sleep. Peter Gotzsche says the same speaking about the risks of using antipsychotics (https://youtu.be/jtqmaFpryQs).
      On the other hand some people say that psychiatric drugs have saved their lives.
      I feel that it is essential to give correct information about the risks of using psychiatric drugs, expecially in the long run.
      Psychiatrists and other doctors should explaing correctly the real property and side effects of medications.
      Also, they should explain that psychiatric drugs don’t fix any biochemical imbalance, because no biochemical imbalance has been proven as the cause of mental distress.
      They should also explain that in the long run they produce more harm than benefits.
      As part of their job, psychiatrists should specialize in assisting people with the process of psychiatric drugs whithdrowal.
      This way an individual can decide consciously what is best for her-him.
      Finally, nobody should be forced to take psychiatric drugs.

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      • Iguerra,
        I am paying attention to the order in which you wrote of the things a psychiatrist “should do”
        I am not sure if they are in the order of importance. And if I was a psychiatrist, I would most likely make “meaning” of which you named first and which last, and thereby, surmise what is in your mind, in your innermost being and what it means.

        I could then, give you my honest opinion of what I think the problem is.
        But sigh, I have no licence to attack your innermost being, and being the intelligent person I am, I will ignore the fact you mentioned the forced part last, but the judicial use of meds first.
        I will surmise that the list is a very minute part of you. And that the list and beliefs change over time.

        Anyway, of course people need drugs sometimes to sleep, pain etc. Or even huge upsets that might be too difficult to handle.
        Of course you might be in so much physical pain that a benzo is the only way to go.
        But we are not calling it “mental illness”

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      • I note that I have indeed misinterpreted your words and that you are indeed in favor of the use of psychiatric drugs.

        You simply object to the “abuse” of psychotropic substances and the coercive use of these drugs.

        That’s why we have nothing in common, and I totally reject Marcello Maviglia’s call to work together.

        On the contrary, in my comment, which has been the subject of major cuts in order to be published, I called to exclude from Mad in America those favorable to psychiatric drugs, that is to say, not to allow them to publish here.

        [Moderation.]

        By way of analysis, I believe there are two irreconcilable categories of readers and editors here on Mad in America.

        First we have the “carers”, the intellectuals, the journalists, who studied at the university and who share a common “habitus” between themselves and with the psychiatrists, that is to say, to simplify, the same social class. These are supporters of “critical” psychiatry, they want to reform psychiatry to save it, make it better and develop it according to their views. They do not hesitate to ask for more budgets for psychiatry and to promote illegal drugs, which they are often very fond of.

        And then we have the real victims of psychiatry, those who were broken by the machine, those who experienced REAL mournings and REAL mutilations. Those who lost their freedoms, those who saw their loved ones wiped out by treatment that made them weak and helpless – or DEAD. Those who saw the criminality of psychiatrists, through their agreement with the family to camouflage rapes and incest, for the production of false certificates to lock up, for the systematic violation of professional secrecy and private life and all other human rights.

        For these, no compromise, no agreement is possible and psychiatry must be exterminated to the root, so that not even a fossil remains for centuries to come.

        This is why you will understand that the reformists, with their legal and illegal drugs, their intentions of better “caring” us, their complacency with their colleagues, their pacifism, their moderation and their common work with psychiatrists, all these people are for us like a splinter in the foot.

        I hope that my message will not be censored, and that it will not be subject to any cut, having expressed in the clearest way possible the position of a certain number of people who read, comment or publish here.

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