Editor’s Note: Over the next several months, Mad in America will publish a serialized version of Sami Timimi’s book, Insane Medicine. In this blog, he introduces the book. Each Monday, a new section of the book will be published, and all chapters will be archived here.
Preface: Why I Wrote This Book and What It’s About
At the end of a discussion after a teaching session, a psychiatric trainee colleague of mine made a bet with me that within 25 years there will be a physical test for schizophrenia. As I had progressed through training, the scales had been falling from my eyes. I was becoming increasingly suspicious of the promises of milk and honey for psychiatric technology being just around the corner.
It was the early 1990s, and “decade of the brain” talk was causing great excitement in our teachers. The fevered academic discourse pointing to this or that region of the brain or this and that neurotransmitter receptor existed in a different world to the psychiatric wards I worked on. Patients, all too often, were objects of fear, loathing, or paternalistic sympathy. Psychiatrists acted as glorified pharmacists usually adding medications and diagnoses to someone’s health records, while nurses struggled to deal with the emotional intensity of these deeply untherapeutic environments by trying to work out which patients had behavioural problems (and were therefore “personality disorders”) in order to lobby for their discharge and which ones were “ill” and therefore merited sympathy and more medication.
To survive as a psychiatrist, several of my senior supervisors warned me, I needed to learn how to cut off my emotions when dealing with patients. To be objective, I had to become un-empathic. I was never able to master that skill.
Those 25 years have come and gone. No test has emerged, not for schizophrenia or any other so-called psychiatric diagnosis. I became a child psychiatrist to escape the oppressive world of faux diagnosis and brain numbing sedatives, only for child psychiatry to get sucked into the pseudoscience scientism and for children to become the latest victims of the cruel, violent, and dehumanising mental health systems we created.
I have written this book as a warning to all who are contemplating engaging in mental health services, have engaged with mental health services, or continue to engage with mental health services, and to those who love and care for them.
Beware: Mental health services may be bad for your mental health.
I hope this book helps you understand why, gives you some background on the science, history, and culture of mental health technologies, and provides a few pointers to keep in mind when trying to make sense of your own journey. This book is also aimed at those who work in mental health services, politicians, the media, and the public at large: Mental health problems and treatments are not what you might think they are.
I hope this book helps you re-imagine this area of practice, and influences, in whatever small way it can, anything you might do to help move theory and practice out of the dark ages it is stuck in.
The book digs through the rotten undergrowth that sits beneath the artificially-scented man-made plastic gardens that we call mental health care—gardens that look and smell so nice on the surface, but release a stench if you poke your head in too far. As the foundations decay and crumble, the reality of the monstrous edifice we produced reveals itself. I hope there are a few gasps and shakes of the head by readers as they are exposed to the horrifying reality that mainstream mental health services have created.
But this book is more than just a critique; it is also points to the green shoots of hope gathering around us. Yes, we need to drastically reform the foundational assumptions that govern the ideologies that pervade our systems, but many now know the truth about what is happening, and transformational approaches have been sprouting up organically in the rich soils of human creativity.
This is not a book that criticises individual psychiatrists, psychologists, or therapists. I have known and worked alongside many who don’t share my opinions. Despite this, and with very few exceptions, I have found those who work in mental health services kind, thoughtful, and genuinely motivated to help people.
I think mental health work attracts people with altruistic tendencies; after all it is neither glamorous nor particularly lucrative (unless you decide to be a skivvy for the pharmaceutical industry). Like most systems, when you become a cog in its wheels it will swallow you up and you will have to adhere to its logic. Standing outside or refusing to turn in the same direction as the other cogs can cause personal suffering, criticism, and even risk your career and livelihood.
Yet, in those behind the scenes moments, the conversations I have with colleagues convince me that what I present in this book is not too far off the majority opinion of most who work in mental health (perhaps with the exception of psychiatrists who may fear they have most to lose by a change that diminishes their power). Most also understand that our mental wellbeing is heavily influenced by the political and economic systems that dictate the logics that structure our material lives. Almost universally (at least where I work in the UK), the politics that mental health workers support are, like mine, left of centre redistribution of wealth policies.
I do not see myself as an anti-psychiatrist, either. Anti-psychiatry is label used against critics as an easy way to silence them and ignore uncomfortable facts.
I understand why psychiatry gets the brunt of the criticism aimed at the mental health industry, given its relative power compared to other professions. Psychiatry has a dark history that embroiled it with some of the worst human rights atrocities, including active collusion with the eugenics movement and then the Nazis, where it was psychiatrists who first built and operated gas chambers to eliminate lives they deemed were not worth living.
We have a duty as psychiatrists not to brush over these inconvenient episodes, but to face them, understand them, and learn from them, so we never repeat those horrors. Whilst it hasn’t sunk to those terrible levels of inhumanity since, psychiatric practice remains complicit in incarcerating people and policing the population, which makes clinical endeavours impossible to disentangle from host political regimes’ approaches to regulation and authority.
However, my personal experience of the psychiatrists I meet is that there are a handful of diehard biologically minded psychiatrists; a larger group who are mostly sympathetic to (at least some of) the views expressed in this book, but who feel too exhausted and overwhelmed to know what they should do about it and how to change anything; and a smallish but growing group of “critical” psychiatrists who, like myself, ask more searching questions of the system and remain hopeful that change is not just desirable, but also possible and inevitable.
I’m not anti-psychiatry; I am anti-bad-psychiatry and believe it’s my responsibility to call it out wherever I see it.
The history of psychiatry is not just a history of abuse and human rights violations. Doctors (psychiatrists are trained as doctors first before specialising in psychiatry) have often led the way in trying to shed light on the lives of the alienated and marginalised. Most of the major schools of psychotherapy were developed with the influence, observations, and thoughtful reflections of doctors.
Whilst in recent decades the commercialised, narrow biomedical model has taken centre stage, the profession also has a long history of collaborating with fields of study as diverse as philosophy, anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies, as well as the natural sciences. Critical thinking has always been a vital and energetic part of accepted theory and practice. Out of all the fields of medicine, psychiatry, perhaps along with public health, has the greatest potential for bringing together the diverse influences that shapes wellbeing in our lives.
For me, a reformed mental health system will have reformed psychiatric practice at its heart, not only because this will improve the care of those with mental distress, but because it will also improve care across health and social care services.
The American philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn understood that science and knowledge is constructed by humans and so vulnerable to being shaped by the emotional attachments those who have the power to tell us the scientific “truth” have to their favourite theories. He noted that the existing theoretical framework (which we often refer to as a “paradigm”) a group of scientists work within sometimes throws up anomalies, results that do not fit with what the framework expects. These are usually ignored or explained away.
However, a point is reached where the accumulation of these anomalies poses difficult questions for the current paradigm. They start to eat away at the viability and explanatory capacity of that framework. This eventually results in a crisis of confidence, and ultimately to revolution, where the until-then-dominant paradigm is discarded because it was unable to support the new findings.
But for a revolution to be successful it must replace, overthrow, or radically reform existing institutions that support and have a vested interest in maintaining the failed paradigm. This implies a period of uncertainty in which there is no clear authority and groups become divided into various camps, some defending the old institutions, others advocating for new ones or significant reforms of the old ones. It is at the point at which such polarisation occurs that either revolution occurs or the opposition is repressed (at least for a while), because there is no common language through which a debate can take place.
This happens because the proponents of different paradigms are unable to understand each other’s points of view, as the shifts of meaning between old and new theoretical frameworks are so profound that the concepts employed by a new paradigm are simply inexpressible in the terms used by a pre-revolutionary one.
Did you follow that line of thinking? Kuhn’s observations of how accepted scientific truth changes led him to draw a comparison with how social change occurs. Science, it seems, is not immune to the social dynamics that afflict any organised group of people. His use of the word “revolution” to describe how one dominant theoretical framework gets replaced by another tells you that such changes do not occur because of what the science is telling you. A more human process is involved with power, hierarchy, and, in today’s world, money, all playing their part. Failed paradigms can stay dominant for long periods before a revolution is eventually successful.
The tension and conflict such a revolution produces is unavoidable. Mental health systems are now shaking with rumblings from its critics. Services and individuals who have rejected the current dominant paradigm are already operating in many places. Sections of service users and survivors of the system have organised and found voice raising objections that cannot be easily dismissed.
These pockets of resistance will at some point create an unmovable critical mass. Change is coming. An earthquake is forming. We should be ready to embrace and help shape it in humane and enlightened directions, putting people’s real-life contexts and relationships (including with services) at the centre of what we do. We can then become excited by how the next generation of critics will see the holes and problems in the new forms of practice we create.
Most of the first half of this book explains why the current dominant paradigm we use in mental health practice is broken, empirically unsustainable, and so wrong that it’s dangerous to our mental health. It explains why scientifically and ethically it’s a failed paradigm. In the middle of the book I examine the role of politics and culture in shaping our ideas about mental health problems and treatments. In the final chapters I share some thoughts on what might be helpful for some people and for parents who are looking for understandings that don’t come from the dominant diagnostic models’ services use.
Chapter one introduces the reader to the landscape of the rest of the book, proposing that far from a picture of enlightened progress, the mental health industry and awareness campaigns have set us on a path toward a deep alienation from our emotional lives and a lack of curiosity about suffering.
Chapter two interrogates the assumptions implicit in how mental health is presented to the public: from mental health awareness campaigns to warnings of mental health pandemics, lack of services, and the importance of early treatment. This chapter excavates the language and ideology hidden in Western mental health promotion, which pretends that mental disorders/illnesses are concrete objects like other medical “things” such as a broken leg or diabetes. I explain why there is, in a technical sense, no such thing as a psychiatric diagnosis.
I contrast some Eastern and Western philosophical positions on the self and childhood, and explore the consequences that flow from the different ways we construct our expectations of ourselves and our children. I also introduce the reader to the empirical literature showing how little progress we have made scientifically or clinically in improving our understanding or treatment of those we label as mentally dysfunctional.
Chapter three is the first of three case example chapters, with each one following a similar structure: The mainstream view, history of the development of the concept, a discussion of the cultural and political drivers of the concept, an examination of the scientific evidence, and a conclusion on what this review tells us about the concept. Chapter three thus explores the assumptions, evidence, and consequences of the concept of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and chapter four does the same with the concept of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
In the third and last of the case example chapters, chapter five moves away from our cultural pre-occupation with children’s behaviour to engage with our cultural attitudes to suffering and the migration of the medicalisation of mood and mental distress into childhood. I examine our changing attitudes in the last century to growing up and the gradual (what I call) “McDonaldisation” of child development, where the challenges and uncertainties connected with growing up can be placed into neat categories of things “wrong” with individual children, which can then be fixed with simple, one size fits all, easy to consume, short-term satisfiers.
I examine the empirical evidence on the use and effectiveness of antidepressants in young people, showing how their use in children and adolescents expanded in tandem with the rise of the narrative that childhood depression is like adult depression, widespread, and amenable to treatment with medication. Having examined the empirical and cultural basis for the twists and turns in the creation of the childhood depression narrative, I conclude that we should resist this McDonaldisation of growing up.
Chapter six looks at neoliberal politics and the spur it gave to creating a “compare and compete” society. It moves the discussion onto the political context out of which mental health ideology developed and is perpetuated. Starting with a description of the origins and basis of neoliberal politics and economy, I explore what sort of concept of human being such a system assumes and promotes.
Neoliberalism sees Darwinian-like competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling. A creeping alienation from each other develops as our instinct to socially connect is reshaped as a vehicle to gain personal advantage. Competition is a key economic driver in neoliberal economies and so becomes a prominent social and cultural value. Many are then subject to the ongoing fear of falling behind and becoming defined (and/or self-defined) as being a member of a class of “losers.” Defining people as “vulnerable” or “ill” allows marketisation and exploitation of the mental pain such a culture produces.
In chapter seven I explain how most psychotherapy used by, and promoted in, services simply packages and then markets Western folk psychology. There is an inherent bias in what we refer to as “psychology” as it is really the psychology of Western societies and largely Western educated society. Mainstream psychology is really a branch of philosophy expounding a particular Western-centric view of the mind.
I examine the evidence for the effectiveness of different models of psychotherapy that use ideas drawn from mainstream psychology. The proliferation of psychotherapy models has not resulted in improving outcomes. I also discuss the turn toward “industrialised” (large numbers funnelled into standardised “care pathways”) forms of psychotherapy and the shockingly poor outcomes they produce.
These banal outcomes are to be expected as the theoretical basis of the dominant models of therapies we use are just extensions of Western “common sense.” I suggest that mental health practitioners are best thought of as philosophical guides who adopt interpretive frameworks (paradigms) that they use to construct a particular narrative for describing the nature of a problem and the process of change.
Chapter eight is drawn mainly out of my decades of clinical experience. I outline some insights that have helped me develop a particular philosophy that I use to guide my practice. The central aspects of this framework are:
- Deconstructing diagnosis,
- Understanding the relevance of psychological injury,
- Working on the therapeutic relationship,
- An awareness of culture and context, and
- How a problem once established perpetuates itself in a process I call “the problem becomes the problem.”
This last insight requires the therapeutic focus to shift away from trying to solve, get rid of, or even change the problem (however this is defined), toward helping the person, and those around them, change their relationship to and/or feeling about the problem. The process of “the problem becomes the problem” potentially explains why both mental health diagnoses and treatments (whether medication or therapy) risk embedding the problem, alienating people from their legitimate emotional experiences, undermining their resilience, and creating long-term patients out of them.
Instead, I try to adopt a paradigm that allows people to experience growth and meaning through their adverse experiences and distress, empowering them to deal with altered and distressing states of mind. I also discuss medication and make suggestions for a model of working with medication that doesn’t lead to the person receiving medication becoming disempowered and alienated from their natural resilience.
In Chapter nine I outline a “toolbox” of ideas for parents worried about, or frustrated by, their child’s behaviour. I describe some concepts and frameworks that can be used in a flexible manner to suit different circumstances. Many of the ideas are drawn from an approach that I have used successfully for many years called the “Relational Awareness Programme” (RAP).
RAP focuses on prioritising improving the relational aspects over the behavioural manifestations of a child a parent is concerned about. It uses a system of analogies to help parents better understand the “emotional flow” that occurs in their relationship with their child. The chapter then guides parents through a series of deceptively simple narratives that can help them structure more useful ways of understanding and intervening in family life when that has become loaded with stress and strife.
The concluding tenth chapter proposes that a paradigm shift for mental health care is inevitable. I include examples from people, projects, and organisations that have created change in how mental health is understood and how services are delivered. The momentum they have created is gathering.
Reason, truth, and ethics are all on the side of critics. We don’t know when enough of a critical mass will be reached. When it does, change can happen rapidly and a revolution will take place. We must be ready for it.
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.
Looking forward to this.
On the Kuhn part. Planck said it shorter (and way more pessimistic):
“A new scientific truth does not tend to assert itself in such a way that its opponents are convinced and declare themselves to be lectured, but rather by the fact that the opponents are gradually dying out and that the growing generation is familiar with the truth from the outset.”
Dying is a bit harsh. Retiring would be enough.
Thank you for speaking out against the current psychiatric paradigm, Sami. You are absolutely correct that the DSM based system is insane, and completely corrupt. And there is no doubt psychiatry’s critics have reason, truth, ethics, and the science on our side.
I will say, however, I’m pretty certain our modern day, ongoing, psychiatric holocaust, is much worse than the Nazi psychiatric holocaust. Since the “mental health” workers, and other doctors, are killing “8 million” people EVERY year, with their “invalid” DSM disorders and their neurotoxins.
Once again, thank you for speaking out about that corrupt system. I’m hoping to see change, but in my local area, a psychologist recently attempted to steal all my work and money, in order to “maintain the status quo,” and cover up the corruption.
Thankfully, I was prepared for that second psychological attack, and could point out the psychologists’ and psychiatrists’, and even that psychologist’s bishops’, systemic child abuse covering up crimes.
A paradigm change is most certainly needed. And we should be arresting the child abusers, instead of neurotoxic poisoning survivors and their legitimately concerned family members. I hope psychology, psychiatry, and my childhood religion will all some day get out of the child abuse profiteering business.
Well, The present approach toward mental illnesses today is that they aren’t, frequently coming from a variety of physical causes. The alleged diagnostic categories are just descriptions of certain mental states that say nothing about how they should be treated. It’s no surprise there are no certain diagnostic tests.
The Heading says it!
Preface sounds like the author has really something to say. It made me curious and I’ll be looking for it.
“Psychiatry has a dark history that embroiled it with some of the worst human rights atrocities, including active collusion with the eugenics movement and then the Nazis, where it was psychiatrists who first built and operated gas chambers to eliminate lives they deemed were not worth living.”
There is something which is very important and needs to be understood and that is the fact that German psychiatry pre, during and after WWII got away with it, blame was placed at the Nazi’s and of course they were monsters. By far, most of the eugenicist psychiatrists were not brought to justice. This happened because USA had planned the same and had funded German eugenicist psychiatrist Ernst Rudin years before the war. Psychiatry never stopped being a eugenics movement it just wised up and learnt to do it in a different way but still within closed cultures of abuse and using ‘mental illness’ as cover to destroy.
There isn’t a ‘good’ psychiatry – what they did as a profession was/is so overwhelmingly horrendous. There maybe people whose actions in not subjecting people to neurotoxic’s save to help people withdrawal who can be said to help.. who have empathy, but these are few and very far between. If you work in the NHS as a psychiatrist you prescribe the drugs. You can’t work within this context and think you can change anything, you can’t, it has to go.
Yep. Psychiatry justifies and rationalizes the damage it does to the public by saying “Their genes make them intrinsically different from you. They don’t have thoughts or feelings like real people.”
As they watch the cognitive deterioration caused by their “safe and effective treatments” they sooth their consciences by saying, “They were only fit for asylums. If I hadn’t dumbed and numbed them out these defectives MIGHT have broken the law or even hurt someone.”
Rachel777 – I want the people who drug abused and ruined my life not only out of a job so they can’t abuse anyone else, I want them before a court with justice served and their assets removed from them to fund payment for the horrendous harm they knowingly caused. What they have done to people is no accident. They know what they are doing and they have to be held to account for the god knows how many thousands, millions world wide. At the moment the whole lot is corrupt. You have to be wealthy and very brave to sue these people. It’s only a movement into more destruction to make any complaint at least in the UK.
They watch the deterioration, death and drug effects and say it’s proof the people addicted to the drugs are genetically and mentally inferior and therefore need the drugs.
When people go through withdrawal they claim withdrawal is proof the peoole need the drugs as well.
It would be like if cocaine and meth addicts said their high death rates meant the cocaine was good for them. That withdrawal meant the drug healed them. Hell psychiatry flat out says this about the children they addict to meth.
Psychiatrists are less moral than meth dealers.
I’m talking about mainstream shrinks respected by the APA establishment. Not outliers or mavericks like Breggin and those who write for MIA.
“Psychiatrists are less moral than meth dealers”
In my State the laws are being changed so that psychiatrists ARE meth dealers lol.
What else do you call a doctor who has prescribed ADHD drugs to 2075 “patients” in a calendar year? Well, apart from wealthy I mean lol.
I think every CP knows that psychiatry cannot be “reformed”. And if they think it can, spell it out. Then work towards it. Within the organization itself.
Not only in practice. Interesting how many shrinks are reading this article 🙂 No one commenting though I see.
Nothing to defend, no stability, no factual arguments. All linguistics tied in with resentment, bias and prejudice.
Something human at least in psychiatry, albeit really a lonely prison.
Honestly a weird shitty choice in occupation. I doubt many kids knew what exactly they entered when they became shrinks. It’s sad. The doubts they have around the second or third year but peers and relatives expect performance so only thing left is to do what the prof recommends. To steel oneself.
The ONLY thing we as humans have within us are “warning feelings”, that something is not right, but we really don’t have the smarts to weed through these subtle messages and often blame ourselves for them.
These subtle messages are subdued in students, and later in the clients. It is absolutely to a T the way that cults work. priming.
You are so correct. Responsibility for the eugenics movement is not so obscure today. It’s more than embarrassing to find those roots in early 1900’s America.
Not going with the crowd always was full of risk. I first heard the phrase, “Go along to get along” from a retired school psychologist.
While we will admire the lone reformer and whistle blower, it’s a fact that movements or large groups of people are the real means of correction. However, when the group is composed of those accused of being mentally deformed, who will take the message seriously? The assumption is that emotionally suffering people are incapable thinkers.
When members of the offending profession actually speak with the harmed population, well this is taken more seriously. Still there is obvious risk in speaking the truth. We really owe those who do.
You are misinformed; survivors are organizing to defeat psychiatry as we write. And we do not depend on “professionals,” or even allow them to be members (though we do have professional allies). You are correct about strength in numbers. And wrong about not being taken seriously, considering 20% of the population has been tricked into dependence on neurotoxins. “We” are more than a few people, no matter how “they” choose to label us. If you’d like to pursue this conversation further away from MIA try contacting [email protected] .
What kind of practical success have you had in the real world with your viewpoint? How have you affected any change in the real world? For example, have you ever taken part in any demonstrations? Have you ever been able to successfully remove anyone from a psychiatric institute who did not want to be there?
Most people scoff at views that are contrary to psychiatry. I know there are people here who have done practical things. Have you?
I consider informing and educating to think, to become conscious to, as “practical”. Being helpful takes all forms and education alone is empowering for many. So yes, I think any commenters on here have most likely “affected change”. Has OH removed anyone from their psych position? Has anyone?
Has Sami or anyone? I can tell you that if you provide people with information, the only reason they would scoff is because they have no counter arguments that sound reasonable, or they sit in power, or the view is convenient, or it really is not interesting or beneficial to them in any way.
Oh no. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating your opposition, especially when they’re far more powerful than you. Their counter-arguments come in the form of paper citations, fMRI this and MRI that, basically calling us unscientific dweebs, and at the deep end, gaslighting us, labeling us even more, calling us scientologists, anti-vaccine denialists etc.
Please go to heavily pro-psychiatry sites and win an “argument battle” there. That’s kind of what you will face in real life too with some people.
Bananas, I get what you are saying, yet I might add that the lack of change you see
is not due to them not taking survivors seriously. Of course they do. But they disregard voices for one reason only. Their power to do so.
They know all too well that the survivors are in FACT, “thinking”.
All facets of exposing are helpful, but ask yourself why “critical psychiatry” ALSO does not take survivors voices to mind? Perhaps it is that hard to let go of power, that they cannot unite with those who were underneath them.
It should be embarrassing to critical psychiatry, to be embarrassed to see themselves align with survivors.
And so, are they really about future clients if they are not for past clients? Do they see outrage as “pathological anger”? I’ve seen that word thrown around here, by those reformists. And it is routinely used by those in power.
Well valid complaints of psyche-victims are not getting attention because these are from “mentally ill” people. The diagnosis eliminates people as people. However, with the expansion of psychiatric services to treat non-psychiatric labeled people may change things. Psychiatry is advertised to ordinary people living in extraordinary times. If these people speak up in the right places, the lucrative pseudo profession just might be required to stop its abuses.
I am working under no illusions. The abusers will not just stop abusing. The status and power and financial reward are not going to be taken from them without a dirty fight. They eliminate criticism by destroying reputations.
Every state has laws that limit psyche activity. These include sexual exploitation and :making false statements in a client’s record. Yet the body responsible for enforcement is silent.
“France said it was recalling its envoy to Turkey for consultations after “unacceptable” comments by Erdogan questioning Macron’s mental health.”
This situation is quite enlightening. Is Mr Erdogan not free to speak about freedom of speech?
When is the book due out?
When is the book due out?
I have Aspergers and a diagnoses of bipolar. I am beginning to believe that my psychotic symptoms and bipolar probably come from a feeling of alienation from society. I would get psychotherapy but the vast majority of therapists seem to try to get people to stay on there medication when all the while I knew in my gut that something wasn’t right about the medication I was taking. I almost bought the lies of the Mental health system but my body never did. Thanks to MIA and other resources I now know that these medications are slowly killing me and probably making my mental health worse. But progress toward weaning my self off medication seems hopeless at times. It is an uphill battle convincing my parents and nurse practitioner that these medications are more harmful than helpful. I try to stay away from money and I don’t like economic trade, It’s part of what is wrong in this world. Some see it as a necessary evil, but it is evil none the less. Being economically unmotivated I am stuck in a system that is destroying my health in many ways in the name of helping me. These medications at times have been real hell and the withdraw symptoms aren’t that glamorous either. People like me need more psychiatrists and mental health professionals to stand up and speak truth to power. Thank you.
“It is an uphill battle convincing my parents and nurse practitioner that these medications are more harmful than helpful.”
Your parents should support you as long as your goals aren’t immoral. Helping someone isn’t about forcing your goals on them. I hope they will find the strength to realise that, even if they have doubts.
I also hope you will find your place in the economy while upholding your morals. Not all commerce is bad. There’s nothing wrong with building tables or houses, growing crops, writing books and many other occupations.
You’ll find your way.
I don’t think my parents are trying to force their goals on me. I think they are trying to help me but they don’t seem to realize how bad the drugs are to my mental health. I am not against most occupations, I just seem to have a problem with what money and economic trade seem to do to the soul.
“You’ll find your way.”
I appreciate that. I often wonder if I will find my way. It can easily get depressing.
I wish the best to you Aquaheal. Have you contacted some of the doctors who post on this site? I don’t see why mental health professionals write articles here if they can’t help some of the people who end up in this place because their suffering has been compounded with even more suffering from the mental health system.
Be careful with the pills. It’s okay to take them if they’re making you function better, but if it’s making things worse, see someone else. No point in adding more problems to already existing ones.
Next. UNLABEL yourself and see your problems for what they are rather than the junk psychiatry labels you with. It’s bad enough that the mental health system does that, but it’s worse if you lead your own life, your own thoughts and motives through the prism of that labeling junk.
Be careful of psych. patients as well. Many of them are hopelessly dependent on the system and will drown you in their own labelling and psychiatrised mentality. Don’t make groups and friendships based on “Hey, you’re bipolar?! Me too!”. That’s ridiculous and it will bog you down further. But rather make them on the basis of common shared interests that give you upward social mobility and security in life.
That is good and specific advice, and the herd always will reinforce the diagnosis. Freedom requires careful and independent thinking and acting.
I had finally realized that addressing my specific legal problem by drugging me had made me fodder for a spurious system. When physical illness followed medication, medication was discounted as possible cause. When I just suggested discontinuing one drug, I could see the alarm in the prescribers’ expressions. Accessing actual scientific data and avoiding the internet blabber was the first step. Then valuing valid logical thinking was next. The crude prescribing had, indeed, damaged my health, but declaring that to the prescribers would have risked my life as a free and thinking person. I would have been medicated to oblivion.
Now I must admit that I did not discontinue in the right order in a fully informed manner, and what I read at help sites is still not usually based on science.
I first abruptly halted Effexor, the maximum dosage “recommended”. I immediately felt better, but I told no one. I was fortunate in this way: my physiology had not yet acclimated to the drug’s effects. I was clearly not physiologically dependent. What I experienced was or were “side effects”. I now know that I simply halted the drug before acquiring dependence. My C/T would not be safe for actually dependent people.
However, my point is that the decisions of why and how belong to the patient and not to those who benefit from “treating” people. So no help will come from that sector. This is DIY project, and a lot of care must go into the plan.
I can remember quietly coming off antidepressants and an antipsychotic supposedly for sleep. Then I was ready to leave with no comment. I did. Being forthcoming likely would have detonated retaliation.
Now suggesting discontinuation as I did these three drugs would be irresponsible. My point is that in my case, leaving without comment was hard because these people were causing severe harm, and I needed to say so. Common sense overcame my anger, and I simply said that I had joined an HMO that would manage my meds. Making waves or breaking a professional’s rice bowl was a clearly dangerous act. I chose not to speak up but to remove myself without rocking any boats. In medicine, turf matters. One doc isn’t going to challenge another’s arena. I counted on that.
I was fortunate in that C/T, for my case was, quick and successful.
However, the HMO, itself, caused severe harm via one remaining medication. This is a story, in itself. I mention this because I learned that success in halting antidepressants and one atypical antipsychotic does not mean safety in discontinuing every psycho-active drug. We must access actual scientific sources and plan carefully. And a physician is not a scientific source. Valid studies are sources. Following unsupported talk from a physician is believing in a person instead of tested facts or committing the ad hominem thing as opposed to ad hoc. What allowed your illness anyway? Was it a verified fact or reliance on a person?
I learned that most of us are capable of deciding the best paths to drug freedom. The physician will look up the drug and say that the drug does not have the effect that you claim. The fact that a problem is not acknowledged is not proof that the problem is not a problem. Just don’t repeat that, okay?
Hi Sami, and thank you.
I will come back and read some more.
“Yes, we need to drastically reform the foundational assumptions”
You state that you are not anti-psychiatry, and that most are caring people.
First off, if they indeed are caring in the majority, it could not possibly ever survive in this shoddy manner.
It should be the ultimate embarrassment for them to utter their occupation because I can guarantee you that the mistreatment and lies to NOT belong just to a handful of drivers within this organization.
I think what you might have been witness to is “frustrated shrinks” which is completely different from caring shrinks.
I can also “diagnose” and within my assessments of the industry I know WHY they will not leave and it’s rather pretty normal reasons, however it is VERY ABNORMAL to be so blind that one allows and partakes in mistreatment, just to protect honor, and then whines about it, “oh yes, how awful we are caught in this doctoring and how imperfect it is that our clients continue to suffer, and I wish I was in a psych practice that was better”
And as you say it is “Foundational”.
Now that tells me what I already know and we also know that if something is rotten from the core, the top layers can never be fixed or made better. Which would be reform.
So that concludes that it must ALL be dismantled. The question then is, are you rebuilding. On what premise? Can’t rebuild on the old foundations, obviously.
So if you want something “better”, it could hardly be called psychiatry. And it would take some brave men to say, this is shit, we need to trash it, before we get trashed.
Because I agree with you, it will be it’s own demise. Because it became an empire and empires and nations topple. They simply do. It takes forever and many die.
I’ll be LONG gone before anything implodes.
Nope, psychiatry with all it’s caring shrinks, and by the way…. that caring is much different if directed at me as opposed to a colleague…psychiatry is inside every system, it is our culture now.
I’ve seen and felt the caring, and it was too much to bear. That caring trickles right down to your Pdoc or an ER physician. Everyone and his dog is a shrink.
It is a nazi culture. Disguising chemicals as medicine, not knowing WHAT it treats.
It is a disgusting practice and yes to recognize it as the rotten system it is, makes people anti-psychiatry.
I understand you do not want to be associated with that word, because of the “good psychiatry” that exists.
I don’t think that is why, you just don’t want to be associated with rebels. Or anything crazy radical.
I think you would be hard pressed to see honest good practice. Yes you hear honest good words from colleagues, that I believe.
If there are good psychiatrists that you know, there is a section on MIA where they can leave their names as providing “good service”.
I’m crazy about your views, I think they are perfect really. I think you are pretty aware of the state we are in. But please do not snuff at a word such as anti-psychiatry. One day you might want to be known as being a cog in that drive. It is simply a drive towards better things.
Me too, I am “anti-bad-psychiatry”. And as such, I will support whatever leads to ultimately getting rid of the rotten foundational core and assumptions. Because we agreed, it is to be found at the core.
Good spiel but a few contradictions need to be pointed out:
You state that you are not anti-psychiatry, and that most are caring people.
Don’t let people sidetrack you with irrelevancies. The argument for abolishing psychiatry is not that shrinks are not “caring people,” but that it is a system of social control disguised as medicine, hence fraudulent at its core.
Me too, I am “anti-bad-psychiatry”
Hopefully you’ll reconsider this. Such a statement implies that there is such a thing as “good” psychiatry. Nothing based on fraudulent principles can be considered “good.”
Obviously if there was good psychiatry, or even 50% good psychiatry, Sami would not be writing such a strong blog.
The word “caring” or “nice” does not mean much. It really is only pertinent between the psychiatrist and his subject. Because that is the subject here. The “care” is being questioned. The care of the consumer to whom a product is being sold.
I think many psychiatrists will find EACH OTHER caring. Actually caring will be reflected in outcomes.
And the bottom line is this. If there are those behind the scenes moments of psychiatrists acknowledging the issues to each other, then why is there no change? They are the ONLY ones in power to do so. It is often helpful to keep a bad practice alive by EXACTLY the self preoccupation of complaining to each other about the practice they engage in.
Because the “heart” might be in the “right” place, but the intention is not. And I bet you $95, that Sami is running into that issue, not just with clients, but with colleagues. Where the desire to change is not followed with steps. Because indeed it is difficult to “change”.
Except those behind the scenes colleagues are using the complaints as a form of therapy. To make them feel that really, their “intent” is “good”. Again and again, over and over, to reaffirm to themselves that they are “good” people.
Of course it’s a form of social control, or the very bad attempt at it. They designed this absolutely assinine system and regret doing so, because it is an embarrassment and the bigger embarrassment is to try and keep justifying it by whatever means possible. So no, I’m not sold on the “caring” bit. It is irrelevant in the business of honesty.
Actually caring will be reflected in outcomes.
Actually this notion of “outcomes” is itself disturbing “shrink talk,” which implies without overtly stating that emotional states are diseases and “disorders” that can be treated like science projects — and treats people as statistics.
Saying psychiatry cannot be reformed is a scientific principle. We are not saying it should not be reformed, but more that this would be a contradiction in terms.
There are indeed “outcomes”. Matt was an outcome of psychiatry. His demise was not his doing. The act of destruction was done by the tentacles of psychiatry, acting as that last push. And no, psychiatry did not do this in an ignorant manner. They definitely have practiced long enough to see their own power but not take responsibility for.
They will not take responsibility because it means the end of what is known as psychiatry.
And there are no good outcomes within psychiatry. Every single customer at some point in their lives realizes this. The only good outcome of the practice is their income.
Matt was shunned, and he wanted to belong and he tried desperately and heroically. The shrink that was involved can claim responsibility.
I was considering the way news items are presented to the public “Police stomp on Mentally Ill Mans Head” etc. Like somehow the fact that it is a mentally ill person changes the situation.
Police Stomp on Patients Head?
Funny how we don’t seem to hear a lot of complaining from German mental patients about their treatment. This could mean a number of things of course.
And speaking about “there’s safety in numbers”. As Jimmy Carr once said “Tell that to the millions of people who didn’t make it out of the camps in Germany”
Szasz made the comparison of a kindly, well meaning shrink handing out drugs for unhappiness in the sincere belief it will help people to an 18th century physician using blood letting on cholera sufferers.
Good intentions can kill in medicine if the premise is unfounded.
Psychiatry needs to go the way of leeches and bloodletting. The ideology is cancer to the medical system regardless of sincere, well intentioned people.
And Rachel, they are no longer “good intentions” when the truth of harm has been known ESPECIALLY to psychiatry.
They rely on the public to think that they are indeed “caring and have good intentions”.
One would have to be stupid to practice psychiatry and NOT know the harm, so IF they continue to practice it, my only assumption is that yes they care. About the boys club, about lining pockets and mostly, their home life honor. A man without a job is not looked up to.
So yes, they bemoan the bad treatment and want to blame a few. That is ridiculous to think it is only a few bad apples.
Okay I read some more and will definitely buy your book. I am leaving it on my coffee table. Perhaps I will buy several so they can be left on others coffee tables.
I doubt I can leave a book accidently inside a psychiatry hospital? 🙂 The patients might find it upsetting 🙂
And the statement “the problem becomes the problem” is wonderful. And “mental health” approaches often increase that problem.
I hope you reconsider all of this. We don’t need shrinks to verify what we already know ourselves. If Dr. Timini is not stronglyAP there is no good that can come from this i.m.o. Is it possible you just feel obligated to say something “nice”?
I don’t make these comments lightly. Are you familiar with the tragic story of Matt Stevenson, former MIA reader/commenter?
Of course I need no verification, but you yourself know that we need the high priests too, to expose the exchange of dollars for being saved. Or at least a lowly monk.
If a peasant says something, it is after all just a miserable unhappy peasant, who had it coming or had a run in with a more meaner overseer.
Sami is definitely not for the EXISTING system, I don’t care how he straddles the fence of belonging.
And he is well aware that it is not just the practice but rather the foundation. I am MUCH more interested in the “intent”, or is it just talk.
Critical psychiatry is it’s own occupation.
Honestly in the end I think it is mainly about peasants rising, that will be the change. But no matter, the “movement” is there. And there are other unrests always going on. Unrest within and without. All leading up to change or toppling.
Psychiatry has been restless for a long time. Not so much heart surgeons.
I am aware of Matt and he was a peasant who was weakened enough. And of course the priests would blame the peasant’s misery on himself. He needed a high priest to be humble enough, yet he found none, and Matt is far from the only one.
Also Oldhead, you should by now know me well enough that
I rarely say things to be “nice” or liked.
I also don’t say things that make me look or sound “caring” about someone, while I participate in harmful actions towards the same.
There are NO “high priests”…and we need NOTHING from psychiatrists that we can’t find on our own. Don’t know why you think that, but it’s disturbing in a frightening kind of way –you mention Matt Stevenson, but don’t seem to realize that what killed him was his inability to purge the remnants of shrink-think from his mind. And typically he would interpret my pointing that out as me being critical of him (it’s all in the MIA archives). He would constantly be citing “experts” to “prove” what he already knew. And that inability to break free internally is what ultimately killed him.
As usual, no one’s saying the author isn’t a nice person. However, realizing after many years that one’s career path has been built on lies and contradictions doesn’t mean one has the answer; it may be more of an indication of generic poor judgement.
Yes in fact we did need something from psychiatry. The admission from them that they were operating in disguise of being specialists and doctors. The honesty to say that their foundation was full of bias and prejudice, and possess nothing except power to execute those biases. To admit that they have seeing great harm and death come from their attempts.
If you think that I think this cult can be reformed, think again. Sami doesn’t think so either, even though he might use that term or present psychiatry as doing “bad things”. He is straddling that fence, where he realizes that it is so rotten and can’t make sense of it, but part of him cannot believe that it really is as rotten as he knows it. I get it. I get how he knows “caring” psychiatrists, WHICH is exactly why he is wedded to the idea that this rotten thing can be reformed, IF ONLY those “caring” psychiatrists were to tweak this or that.
You cannot tweak a cult. He knows this.
I think anyone that allows himself to keep looking into psychiatry cannot ever say that we need psychiatry. They peeled back the layers and see that it is actually the core, yet cannot bring themselves to throw it out. Even the Sami’s out there. So they sit on the fence with wishful thinking, that somehow magically if we just dress up the top again, the core will heal.
And they want it so badly because they see the harm and what failures they and the institutions are. But they really don’t want to face the change, because the “change” is so radical that they could never be called by the same name.
So they live out their lives within their own psychiatric prison, some trying to do their “best”. It almost seems to me that Sami thinks there might be 5 psychiatrists who are to blame for the rotten core. And the rest are the “good guys”.
I know the reformists. They are all around us, wishing for better, writing about rethink. And the most it’s done is perhaps keep some adults over age 50 from returning to the cult. It has led to a tad of deprogramming for a few.
But it has done absolutely zilch for making psychiatry “better”. There is NOTHING that can fix psychiatry. Nothing. And no one knows this better than the reformists. They can’t get themselves to say it. They cannot get themselves to use radical terms such as “abolition”.
I mean, after all, it shuts down “communication” between the ones that are operating from the very rotten foundations. The critics and the non critics are all in it together.
“you mention Matt Stevenson, but don’t seem to realize that what killed him was his inability to purge the remnants of shrink-think from his mind. And typically he would interpret my pointing that out as me being critical of him (it’s all in the MIA archives). He would constantly be citing “experts” to “prove” what he already knew. And that inability to break free internally is what ultimately killed him. ”
Thanks for writing this. It is horrific, but the best we can do is to learn from the mistakes of the fallen.
“Psychiatry has a dark history that embroiled it with some of the worst human rights atrocities, including active collusion with the eugenics movement and then the Nazis, where it was psychiatrists who first built and operated gas chambers to eliminate lives they deemed were not worth living.
We have a duty as psychiatrists not to brush over these inconvenient episodes, but to face them, understand them, and learn from them, so we never repeat those horrors.”
Glossing over the present a bit there Doc? Times were terrible all those years ago, and whilst nowadays things are not perfect…… I don’t think so. The history that is being created currently may not be so ‘pretty’ when we look back and the concealments and cover ups by various States are no longer a matter of political reality.
A duty not to brush over them?
After being ‘spiked’ with benzos, having items planted on me for police to find to obtain a police referral and make an act of torture and kidnapping appear lawful, you might be surprised how some of your colleagues react to a complaint, when the facts and documents support what I am saying.
“Standing outside or refusing to turn in the same direction as the other cogs can cause personal suffering, criticism, and even risk your career and livelihood.”
In fact it can result in unintended negative outcomes when these people who have become desensitized to the value of human life and do have the stomach for these negative outcomes, threaten to “fucking destroy” you for complaining. Sad that it takes someone from another medical specialty to notice the damage that occurs to the heart from a ‘hotshot’, and who doesn’t have the stomach for it.
I have been pondering the Inquisition a lot lately, and I guess you say it much better than I do above. But I just can’t help seeing the fact that when your paid by the piece for witches, it makes good sense to lower the standards of what constitutes a witch. Providing the people of the ‘village’ a list of very loosely defined ‘symptoms’ (warts, long noses, made of wood, etc) and the ability to ‘spike’ suspects and plant items on them to have the witch hunters ‘assess’ them (and hopefully not waste their time NOT finding a witch) should work quite well. I’m sure they will notice they have lost their minds at some point (and we can count the loses at some point in the future and talk about the past for now)? The levels of ‘paranoia’ about mental health in my community plain for all to see. And as a silencing mechanism well, ask the Minister for Health who considers any opinions or facts that do not fit with his preferred reality as being worthy of ‘treatment’, and the “editing” of documents to ensure the truth is not made public. Never mind the negligence of those charged with the duty to protect “consumers, carers and the community”. You claim they are rare, care to look at a couple of letters I have here from those charged with the duty? These are not a few ‘bad apples’, the system is rotten to the core.
The similarity between my ‘experience’ and this short video would be funny if it weren’t so true. And the complaints process isn’t that far off either. Burn the complainant, while the authorities turn a blind eye.
So yeah, lets talk about it openly and honestly until…… well until we don’t like the truth that is told, then we will conceal the truth with falsehoods, and hope that our hypocrisy isn’t noticed until we get out of town.
Refuse to talk to the police? No problem, we have ‘treatments’ for that, and you CAN be injected with drugs (akathisia being considered a ‘side effect’. Consider the use of “chemical restraints” as a pre assessment preparation, not unlike the nose placed on the witch in the video. And what does the psychiatrist now have to ‘assess’ other than someone naked and dribbling on the floor of a cell?) for refusing to answer a question with mental health services, and police simply stand and wait for their questions to be asked by a Community Nurse. And they claim to have respect for your Constitution, while they violate your human rights? Whatever you do though, don’t complain. You would be surprised at how many people will support the use of torture when their families are being ‘fuking destroyed’ despite the claims of a ‘few bad apples’.
“We have a duty as psychiatrists not to brush over these inconvenient episodes, but to face them, understand them, and learn from them, so we never repeat those horrors.”
“Glossing over the present a bit there Doc? ”
I did not miss that. It was again an attempt to pretend it’s not happening, yet complaining about that “imperfection”, that hiccup that can be reformed. One minute call it a foundational mess and the next, it’s “fixing”.
It would seem to radical to say “indeed it is ongoing and happening in greater proportions”.
Yep that all just seems incredibly “radical”. Professionals can’t do that. The “language” is ubermost important.
And indeed, I believe the “talk” will be ongoing by professionals. Who the heck wants to renege power?
One of my favorites concerning diagnostic testing was a commentary about a urine test for B6 zinc dependency. The critic was dismissive because a variety of “diagnostic” categories responded to the same deficiency. The thought that the alleged diagnostic categories might not be reliable, instead, completely eluded him, even though the symptomology was similar among all the “categories”, and the successful treatment was constant.
I was hoping to buy the “book”. Can someone help me with that?
Sami, I am deeply touched by what
I’m sure you have done for people and especially children. I realize it is probably easier to work with kids, for several reasons.
And we wish psychiatrists were not repulsed by adults in a state of need. Indeed neediness is what turns a man off, but he should say so and not pretend to be the helper of need.
Anyway that was just a brain fart. What I am after is the book.
I’m sorry I never knew you, so I am very lucky to know your writings. I wish your network would be willing to work alongside and with survivors.
I’ll take the last part about how to “escape” — the same way you would escape a nest of scorpions you know live in an old rotting tree stump down the block — don’t go there!
Yes, but unfortunately many people are already in the scorpion infested rotting tree stump. They go there, or their families make them go there because they are suffering and don’t know what else to do. The noose, the poison or the knife?
Only when they get stung badly do they realise what they have gotten themselves into. The question is how to get these people out? It’s a very intricate trap which is extraordinarily hard to escape.
This is why psychiatry must be abolished.
I must agree with you, Oldhead.
We can work to correct abuse, and we will fail to correct a profession whose basis is no more valid than mythology. Is the basis of psychiatry based on empirical investigation or scientific method? The fact that the psychiatric mythology is treated with drugs does not certify it as science.
Prescribing drugs for unsubstantiated disease would be malpractice in medical practice. How does psychiatry get away with this?
Anyway, reforming a practice that is based only on its members’ self-serving stance is not going to happen. Rot cannot be reformed; it must be excised.
“I suggest that mental health practitioners are best thought of as philosophical guides who adopt interpretive frameworks (paradigms) that they use to construct a particular narrative for describing the nature of a problem and the process of change.”
Here comes the venerable philosopher dispensing his lofty consideratiosn and uncanny acumen onto the feeble mind of the tormented.
I am sorry but philosophy has had very little practical value for human kind. Its value lies best in the pseudoeliticism of saying things in a convoluted way, which makes it little more than the ramblings of sophists who put on the veneer of wisdom without having been able to efficiently produce it.
I find this kind of self-aggrandizing fantasy dangerous. Helping people is not intellectual aristocracy. Its muddy. Its sad, painful, and bloody.
You have to get your hands dirty, to be able to be with a fellow human being, before even being able to interpret and exert an intellectual power, which lies so dangerously near the appeal of the personal prowess.
I always cringe when I hear Moncrieff talks about philosophy. Human misery is much dirtier than that.
That and the eternal problem of the systems (here paradigms, aka interpretative systems). Systems, particularly intellectual ones, are often ideologies which end up fought for rather than use for. Human nature always make it degenerate into a war of schools and blindness to reality.
You dont need good interpretative systems to be a good interpret. Its the bad one who needs them, and who cherishes them because they add another bullet to the imaginary belt of the intellectual cowboy they purport to be.
I am saying all this because healer is a role that humanity can sadly corrupt in so many ways, which ends up being harmful for the suffering one. And Im very sensitive to it. Intellectual aristocracy and delusion is one of them.
I think helping people is simpler and dirtier than that. I would put humility before intellectual capacity (though the latter is also required).
And yes I know being a good healer and above all a good and lucid human being is very hard. Granted.
If the counter cultural revolution has ended, we are now engaged in, if not actively struggling against, the counter revolution, a moment of political and social stagnation and regression.
“I do not see myself as an anti-psychiatrist, either. Anti-psychiatry is [a] label used against critics as an easy way to silence them and ignore uncomfortable facts.”
I do see myself as an antipsychiatrist. I don’t see antipsychiatry as a label. I see it as an attitude or a position. The “cure” for “mental illness” is the cessation of treatment services, treatment services occurring under the governing auspices of the profession of psychiatry.
“I’m not anti-psychiatry; I am anti-bad-psychiatry and believe it’s my responsibility to call it out wherever I see it.”
I recognize that some approaches work better than others, and that psychiatrists are not, to put it bluntly, the root of all evil or the offspring of the devil. I’m also not going to tell people how to spend their money if they want to spend it on a visit to the psychiatrist. Maybe it is something that will serve this or that individual. I personally have no stake in the “mental ill health” world, and so I have no stake in “buying and selling” therapies.
On aspect 5 of your central philosophical franework: “How a problem once established perpetuates itself in a process I call “the problem becomes the problem.””
This established problem is perpetuated, not because it remains a problem, but because the problem no longer remains the problem. The problem, in other words, has become the product.
Where would all the “people fixers” be without “broken people”? Out of business I would imagine.
You know Sami, and whoever reads here, I often look at the “viewer numbers” on articles. They inform me of the interest and I notice that ones written by “professionals” get surveyed more than the ones harmed. I also notice that survivors are brave to speak up and every single doctor or psychiatrist will notice that the survivors commenting here, could NEVER have that tenacity within your 4 walls. Imagine for a minute me trying to get the dear doctor to see “my side”. You all realize that this would result in demeaning looks, writing absolute crap down on our charts, and whispering to colleagues.
And the doctors must realize that their clients don’t care. The clients know who they are dealing with, and I am not just referring to psychiatry.
Being a control freak amid unknowns is really what it boils down to.
And no, a “conversation” can never be had between survivor and “professional control freaks”. It is impossible. It could ONLY ever happen if the professionals had the complete power, as per usual and that is not a conversation. Even the psychiatrist knows that he better agree with his colleagues, so they are well aware of the boys club.
So all we as survivors can ever do is wait. Bide our time. On a personal side of things, the amazing thing is, we ALL die. Many from ingesting and viewing themselves as broken and damaged, as psychiatry labeled them or from the harm of drugs.
And as I write my comments on MIA, I know they may mean piss to any shrink or doctor. It is how life works though, our hurts or opinions make our oppressors become even harsher. The psyche needs to do this to survive. No time for reflection and if so, quickly banish that, or at least don’t become “radical” enough to actually do something worthwhile.
So yes, we all die, and some systems make a misery or help to further misery in people’s lives. Some live fine until their last breath gets snatched by nature. And the beauty of it is that each one of us gets X amount of time here to create pain, or more pain. It would be awful if we lived on forever to bash kids in the head with hammers.
It is mostly senior men who teach the young psychiatrists about ADHD and how great the drugs are. Senior men should have enough experience, insight and knowledge to understand the implications of their ongoing messages. Yet they are revered, revered as “good and caring” as Sami put it.
But don’t listen to me. I’m most likely playing the victim and trying to manipulate you. Because after all, that is how we all live our lives, our unconscious simply manipulating to get what we want, not what others need.
Dr. Timimi, thanks for this blog. Great title, it is insane what this industry does to people and their lives under the false pretense of “help”. It’s a great travesty. It needs to be dismantled starting with the subjective moral judgements psychiatrists label people with from their big book of made-up “disorders”. Also incomprehensible that psychiatrists do not take into consideration someone’s life circumstances or life stressors that would easily explain expected and even appropriate reactions but instead slap psych labels on people to lay blame on the person instead of the circumstances. Psychiatry puts labels on people and drugs them with toxic drugs that cause harm or death in order to make people tolerate their bad circumstances and call that “help”. My brother lost his life to psychiatric “help” and I was harmed by labels that were put on me while I was in cancer treatment so I appreciate any psychiatrist who is willing to speak out and call out everything that is wrong. I look forward to reading your book.
OH is correct everybody. It took me a while to fully grasp this through my own experience. Newly minted doctors who have had a stint in psych find out the truth very quick and that’s if they haven’t already done a bit of research and found the true eugenicist psychiatry roots of the holocaust – they stay away or get out fast. This person went into child psychiatry to escape the what he would have to continue to subject adults to. You have to ask yourself why did he get involved in the first place – I don’t buy a promise of future answers – and why does his collegue JM still think people would be better off in psych hell hole ‘care’ than in the community given what we all know?
There is now a shift to try and move eveything online and put psychiatrists hopefully out of a job. Don’t let them try to pursuade you there is an alternative – there isn’t. They could get away with this on the Guardian or Dailymail. Just remember your own horrific experiences. I am now permanently disabled every time I type am in pain.
This is what is moving in on them which no doubt will be adapted linked-in with ‘MH’
Don’t let them manipulate you to their position that there is some alternative to what they have already worked within and did not get out of. They have to be held accountable for all the horrific abuse – drug abuse, physical and mental abuse within the closed cultures of abuse they worked within.
A reminder from the public directors documents of of a UK MH trust this year of what is going on:
“two patients have absconded over the fence and subsequently died on the M5 motorway”
“Violence and aggression remain the highest reported category”
“The Committee received a report on the Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) procedure for people receiving Learning Disability services”
“Serious Incidents (SI)
Unexpected deaths continue to account for the majority of SIs reported across the organisation.”
I find it quite interesting that a psychiatrists are finding a niche in critical psychiatry. It’s a job.
Maybe they can resolve the question if diabetes is an illness just like schizophrenia [insert illness here]?
See the cracks appear when they do?
Last year when I was in a vile hell hole, one of the new victims – a bloke who had been beaten up rather badly and was acting strange hence the need for psychiatrists to lock him up, had a visit from his sister – her first time in a locked up psych ward. She was allowed into his cell 30 seconds later she screamed her head off – there were ants crawling all over the cell floor up the legs of his bed and on his feet, next door an elderly bloke had defecated himself and no one had bothered to clean him up all night, she ran out into the ‘kitchen’ to puke up and saw ants in there as well, she ran out screaming her head off to be let out.
Under the kitchen at the Ariel Castro Memorial Hospital 🙂
I’m thinking that this letter which was written in 1998 by Loren Mosher
seems appropriate in this space and context, to give a link to.
I hope Sami has read it. I also hope Sami informs all of his clients what he wrote here.
Dear Mr. Timimi,
Perhaps I missed it, but will you be discussing ANY chemical use as a psychiatrist or as a person in society? Like nutrient deficiencies at the minimum? RDA’s for omega 3’s, magnesium, iodine, & vitamin A are hard to come by. Or any prescribed chemicals/drugs at all? If not, you are really going to the roots of a ‘psychological psychiatry’ of the 19th and early 20th centuries which of course isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but odd to me. May be a great thing, as long as the physicians or other professionals pay attention to deficiencies and other nutritional-related matters rather than you. If citizens can order their own blood tests and interpret that, I’m open to that too. But those are usually radically expensive, if possible at all. Thx