“For e’en tho’ vanquished, he could argue still;”
From The Deserted Village (1770)
by Oliver Goldsmith
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
On June 23, 2020, Awais Aftab, MD, psychiatrist, published an interview with Ronald Pies, MD, also a psychiatrist, in Psychiatric Times. The interview was titled The Battle for the Soul of Psychiatry: Ronald W. Pies, MD. I critiqued Dr. Pies’ responses here.
In the light of a more recent publication by Dr. Pies, I would like to recall some comments concerning the notorious chemical imbalance deception that the learned doctor made in the earlier interview.
Dr. Aftab had stated:
“At worst, it seems like at least some of us were participants. Ken Kendler writes in a 2019 JAMA Psychiatry commentary, ‘I would commonly see patients who would say some version of “my psychiatrist said I have a chemical imbalance in my brain.”‘10 I have had a very similar experience myself. Either way, surely as a profession, we could have done a better job of educating our patients and the public?”
To which Dr. Pies responds:
“Yes, I agree that we—all of us—could have done a better job of counteracting the so-called ‘chemical imbalance’ trope, which, as your comments imply, was more a creature of ‘Mad Men’ than of men and women who study madness! I wish I had tackled the issue earlier than my 2011 article.11
And, yes—we often hear anecdotes concerning patients who tell their current clinician some version of, ‘My psychiatrist said I have a chemical imbalance . . .’ But where is the evidence that this is what patients were actually told? Who has contacted the patient’s psychiatrist, or reviewed his/her case notes, to see if that was really what the patient was told? To my knowledge, there has never been a study examining the ‘other side of the story’—and, to be clear: patients are not infallible recorders of what their doctors tell them.”
In other words, Dr. Pies is stating categorically that “patients” can’t be trusted unless their assertions are confirmed by their psychiatrists.
But since the psychiatrists know that the chemical imbalance theory/guess/conjecture is a falsehood, how likely is it that they would provide such a confirmation?
I went into all this material fairly thoroughly in my earlier post, so there’s no need to rehash it here.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
So let’s move on to Dr. Pies’ more recent gem of psychiatric defensiveness. It’s called Is Depression a Disease?, published in Psychiatric Times on November 9 2020. The post is essentially an unfounded attack on the British Psychological Society’s report: Understanding Depression: Why adults experience depression and what can help, October 2020.
Here’s Dr. Pies’ third paragraph:
“This article represents my assessment of the BPS report (verdict 1) followed by selected comments by a freelance journalist (verdict 2). The blogger, Lucy Dimbylow, has permitted me to quote her rejoinder to the BPS report. Her remarks have particular import and gravitas, owing to Dimbylow’s history of ‘recurrent episodes of paralyzing depression.'”
There is a slight ambiguity in the above quote in that “the blogger” and the “freelance journalist” are one and the same person: Lucy Dimbylow.
VERDICT 1: DR. PIES
Dr. Pies’ “verdict” on the BPS report is predictable. Here are two quotes:
“In effect, it [the BPS report] gives appropriate attention to psychosocial and cultural factors in depression, but mostly neglects and largely devalues the biological factors that underlie severe depressive illness. As for somatic treatments, including antidepressants, the report’s tone and posture might be characterized as disgruntled acquiescence.”
“The report immediately sets off alarm bells with its central argument ‘that depression is best thought of as an experience, or a set of experiences, rather than as a disease.’ Later, the BPS editors double down: ‘The most important message of this report is that depression is not a disease but a human experience: a complex, understandable set of psychological responses to the events and circumstances of our lives.'”
Dr. Pies criticizes the BPS report on a number of fronts, but it is clear that his primary issue is whether or not “clinically significant depression” is a disease.
“And more important: why does the BPS refuse to acknowledge that clinically significant depression—while quite obviously an experience—also represents a state of disorder, illness, or disease?”
The answer to which, of course, is: because it isn’t! But I’ve been explaining this to Dr. Pies for years now, and he still hasn’t got it. As the learned doctor states so eloquently later in the piece:
“‘There are none so blind as those who will not see.'”
which, incidentally, strikes me as the perfect epitaph for psychiatry when it finally slides into the morass of self-inflicted irrelevancy.
Dr. Pies ends his “verdict” with this:
“Personal narratives are vital. To the BPS report’s credit, it does contain a number of balloon quotes from individuals who have actually suffered from clinical depression, and some such accounts help convey depression’s ‘disorderness.’ An individual shared:
‘When I have low mood, it can last as long as between a couple of weeks to 2 years, with 6 months average. I feel desperate, “Emotional Death.” I am frightened of the future, I fear life and welcome death. I have attempted suicide several times since I have no hope and fear the future, since I don’t think I will ever get better.‘
Personal accounts of this nature help rescue the BPS report—just barely—from anodyne inconsequence, and lead us to Dimbylow’s moving narrative.”
VERDICT 2: LUCY DIMBYLOW
Dr. Pies opens this section of his post with:
“In her blog, Dimbylow10 expresses the profoundly disruptive and incapacitating nature of severe, recurrent depressive illness, including the risk of serious self-injury and suicide.”
Then he provides the following quotes from Lucy Dimbylow’s blog. (Dr. Pies, for no clear reason, puts all these quotes in italics even though they are in plain case in Ms. Dimbylow’s post.)
“‘My life, almost since I can remember, has been plagued by recurrent episodes of paralyzing depression. I’ve tried to end my life more times than I can remember, and my body is covered in scars. I’ve been in ambulances, in intensive care, and sectioned in a psych hospital. I’ve been a missing person with the local police force searching for me.'”
“‘But according to the British Psychological Society (BPS), I’m not ill: I have what they describe in their new report, Understanding Depression, as “a common human experience.'”
‘”Common human experiences” have no relation whatsoever to the severe, enduring clinical depression that leaves me bleeding on the bathroom floor or semi-conscious in the back of an ambulance.'”
“‘According to the BPS, though, clinical depression isn’t even an illness.'”
“”[Then] how do they explain the fact that medication (usually) keeps me stable, or that trying to come off my anti-psychotic led to the best part of 2 months in a psych unit? How do they explain the way my mood can crash from totally fine to abject, suicidal despair with no external trigger?'”
‘”It’s gaslighting on an extreme level, and what makes it desperately sad is that it comes from an authority that should be firmly on the side of those of us who live with mental health conditions like major clinical depression.“‘
‘”Right now, I’m glad that I’m in a strong mental state, and not standing on that bridge waiting to jump. Because had I read the report while in a severe depressive crisis, it would have pushed me—literally—over the edge.“‘
But he omits any reference to Ms. Dimbylow’s staunch adherence to the chemical imbalance theory, to which he took such exception in his earlier interview with Dr. Aftab.
Here’s what Ms. Dimbylow wrote on this matter:
“True, there are no tests for the biochemical imbalances that can tip me from stable to clinging to a bridge within the space of a few days, no brain scan that shows broken areas in my head. But to say my illness – the illness of millions – doesn’t exist because it can’t be evidenced? I can’t accept that.” [Lucy’s Depression Diary, “Not an illness? A response to the British Psychological Society report, ‘Understanding Depression,’ October 2020”]
There are numerous responses that could be made to Ms. Dimbylow’s statements and questions. But that is not my purpose here.
THE PROFOUND DISCREPANCY
Rather, my purpose is to highlight the profound discrepancy in Dr. Pies’ attitude of disbelief towards the earlier “patients” who said that their psychiatrist told them they had chemical imbalances, vs. his attitude of total acceptance of Ms. Dimbylow’s accounts of her “illness”, including her commitment to “biochemical imbalances”.
It is clear from context that Dr. Pies has no direct knowledge of the former “patients” or of Ms. Dimbylow. It is also clear that he was irritated by the statements of the earlier “patients”, but in perfect accord with those of Ms. Dimbylow.
Now what do we call this practice of routinely affording more credibility to people with whom one agrees, even when they admit that the evidence is lacking, and less credibility to those with whom one disagrees?
We call it PREJUDICE. (preconceived judgment or opinion)
And what do we call individuals who practice this kind of prejudice?
We call them DOGMATISTS. (people given to the expression of opinions very strongly or positively, as if they were facts)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
And so, the eminent Dr. Pies, in his zeal to defend the indefensible, drives another nail into psychiatry’s coffin. May he long continue to write. He is one of the greatest allies of the anti-psychiatry cause.
There is another slightly darker issue here. It is my understanding that the APA has a long-standing prohibition against providing or confirming psychiatric “diagnoses” in people that one hasn’t personally examined. Nevertheless, this, I suggest, is what Dr. Pies has done in this case. In his third paragraph which I quoted earlier, he states:
“Her [Ms. Dimbylow’s] remarks have particular import and gravitas, owing to Dimbylow’s history of ‘recurrent episodes of paralyzing depression.'”
“In her blog, Dimbylow10 expresses the profoundly disruptive and incapacitating nature of severe, recurrent depressive illness, including the risk of serious self-injury and suicide.”
It seems fairly evident to me, from these quotes and from the context, that Dr. Pies is indeed confirming the “diagnosis” of recurrent depressive “illness”, without having conducted an evaluation of Ms. Dimbylow.
The fact that Dr. Pies obtained Ms. Dimbylow’s permission to publish the quotations in question is irrelevant.
The matter is the more noteworthy in that Dr. Pies himself has gone on record as challenging this kind of long-distance diagnosing on the part of other physicians. Here are some quotes from a letter that he wrote to the New England Journal of Medicine in August 1998 [Cybermedicine, p 638-639]:
“Readers of the Journal should be aware that, in Massachusetts and perhaps other states, some physicians are providing diagnostic and treatment services over the Internet, without having seen or examined patients.” [Emphasis added]
“In medically underserved areas, telemedicine — in which the physician can at least see the patient electronically — shows promise, though many questions regarding the quality of care with telemedicine have been raised. But cybermedicine over the Internet is another matter, and it represents a trend all physicians should view with concern.”
Does Dr. Pies have any knowledge of Ms. Dimbylow’s problems other than from information he gleaned from her website and from their exchange of online comments? Has he confirmed, from her psychiatrist, even one “symptom” of her “recurrent depressive illness”?
Is anybody from the APA hierarchy paying attention, or are ethical issues expendable as long as one is bashing those whom one views as ideological opponents?
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It’s just a matter of time for most “patients” to realize that the present story that psychiatry tells them could not be further from the truth. And the story keeps changing.
So we wait until DR lies wants nothing to do with the Mrs. Smith’s of this world, because they changed their minds about the “model”.
And so in the above link we see that indeed the reference to “chemical imbalance” was used, but DR Lies never corrected that. But it does not matter anyway. If it’s not “chemical”, then what is it? Where is it? Does it exist outside? Are there “causes”? So no “chemicals”, is it “neurological”? Are chemicals involved?
What do these magic pills do?
I wonder what Dr Lies thinks of the removal of one label due to the woman’s insistence? I guess if you have enough doctors, eventually you could just pick and choose labels?
What the hell is DR Lies doing following people online? Asking if he can use their name and quotes?
I can see that she is done with therapy. It’s a matter of time til she’s done with psychiatry.
Perhaps DR Lies could inform her properly that yes there is suffering, but no one has found answers.
If the pills are working, I’m sure DR Lies has the answers as to why and how, and when they quit working, I’m sure he has the answers there too.
I’m thinking he’ll be somewhere else in case she needs more validation.
Yes, the learned doctor is skilled at fashioning his “doctrines to the varying hour”.
Removed for moderation.
Dr. Lies! Bwahahaha.
That’s good, Sam.
Psychiatry is really more of a lie than a science.
Dr. Hickey’s arguments are irrefutable – but is not arguing with Dr. Pies akin to arguing about race with somebody profiting from the Atlantic slave trade? One out of a thousand of slave-traders may be convinced and would stop what he is doing, but the rest 999 would not be interested in logical and evidence-based arguments. It looks like by now, with all the overwhelming scientific evidence, all the mental health professional, who act in good faith and care about their patients, are convinced that the current biological-pharmaceutical approach is a disaster. Those, who continue to defend it, cannot be convinced, because it’s about their own interests and profits, not about logic and evidence.
They have seen way too much harm and no science so not for a second do I believe that they actually believe in a medical model.
There is each individual psychiatrist protecting one thing. His honor and supposed sanity. After all, it sucks to be called a doctor after spending years and years getting that degree and then a harsh reality comes. I’m dealing with sad and angry people, all for the government. How does it feel when participating in lies and harm, but you don’t really save lives or do anything heroic like standing up for the people that come to see you?
Some are able to etch out their own way of doing things, but those are few.,
Arguments are made not for the person they are being done with but for the people watching/reading.
Another analogy that is similar to your slave trade one is the court room. Psychiatry is the defendant and the average psychiatrist who prescribes these drugs is charged with lying and making money by killing more people than any serial killer.
This is a very good point, but I wonder whether the Psychiatric Times is really part of the court of the public opinion? Who are its intended audience? Extending my analogy, is not this like presenting your rational arguments about race to an antebellum Southern newspaper?
Yes! I think most of the readers are probably psychiatrists.
Do you think that’s why Dr. Pies so freely admits to the “chemical imbalance metaphor” in many articles?
He and his fellow quacks can laugh up their sleeves at everyone else’s gullibility, but also vent their indignation that the public think they’re stupid enough to believe their own BS. And they won’t be called out for it this way.
Did you ever try making these points in the mainstream media? I don’t understand why we never hear the voices of conscientious and scientifically rigorous mental health professionals like you, or why psychiatrists, such as David Healy, are not known to the educated general public.
Why do people like you keep arguing with people like Dr. Pies and don’t bring the argument to the court of the public opinion? Consequently, psychiatry is the only field exempt from the public debate of the kind that is routine for all other areas of life.
For example, women with PhD reacted to the recent WSJ publication disparaging the “Dr.” title of the future first lady by publishing this letter that is now collecting signatures (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSci2ETjX5tj7TgFrzXsGbW900lKQbJ0tuRB3thWSToLotNoNA/formResponse). Scientists who did not agree with the Covid lockdown published the “Great Barrington Declaration” (https://gbdeclaration.org/) that was discussed in all major media outlets. The examples are countless.
I would like to draft a letter on behalf of psychiatric survivors and their families to be sent to the media, but so far I could not find people interested in getting out of their “safe spaces” – forums such as this one, Facebook groups, etc., which are read only by the like-minded audience.
Of course, I cannot draft a letter on behalf of mental health professionals and scientists critical of the prevailing psychiatric practices – I am not one of them (I mean, I am critical, but I am not a professional, my field is medieval history). But, again, I don’t understand how come I regularly read about controversies in all areas of medicine, except psychiatry; about systemic discrimination of all kinds of groups except those diagnosed with mental illness; about violations of human rights committed by all kinds of institutions, except the mental health system. How come I did not have any idea about psychiatry until my daughter got hospitalized? I am just trying to figure out what’s going on.
“how come I regularly read about controversies in all areas of medicine, except psychiatry; about systemic discrimination of all kinds of groups except those diagnosed with mental illness; about violations of human rights committed by all kinds of institutions, except the mental health system.”
Yes that is what I have always been appalled by too. All types of discrimination/violation of rights etc gets covered by mainstream media but psychiatric abuses/discrimination/violations are a BIG DIRTY SECRET that they try keep hidden at all costs. If you want to connect to discuss a media letter I am open to that in the new year (but I am in Canada so not sure if that is of help?)
Late to this conversation, but in response to Yulia, who brings up the Great Barrington Declaration: you may be interested in this article from the very mainstream (albeit conservative) The Spectator:
I’m afraid you have to come to terms with the fact that the media as a whole is under the thumb of either economic or political interests. And both those interests are not keen on a truthful discussion of psychiatry.
This may be hard for an academic to accept, but if you want to speak uncomfortable truths to power you’ll soon find you are no longer welcome in the respectable circles of academia or mainstream media. There are of course exceptions like Irving Kirsch, but not many – and not enough.
Dr. Pies is, in my view, one of the 999. But his concepts need to be exposed and countered. He is an avid promoter of the notion that a problem can be considered an illness even though no biological pathology is involved. This is the fundamental rot in psychiatry that has empowered them to pontificate and take action in virtually every facet of human existence.
Maybe. In any event, I think they’ve grossly underestimated the resilience, persistence, and determination of the anti-psychiatry movement.
Well, what if I declare myself an expert on everything in the world? Would this empower me to pontificate and take action in virtually every current problem? I would argue that what empowers psychiatrists is a nexus of powerful economic and political interests.
I mentioned my daughter in the previous comment. She was prescribed a cocktail of drugs that were ruining her physical and mental health. She stopped them before she suffered a permanent damage and is now healthy and thriving.
When I realized that the drugs were harmful and that there was no real evidence that they did any good, a difficult task was to convince her to stop them. As a good young Democrat (age 19 at the time), she believes in science and expertise. She kept saying things like, “I will listen to professionals, not to what you found on the Internet. Whitaker is a journalist, he does not have a medical degree. ” When I showed to her publications in medical journals, she said, “Anti-vaxxers also cite some publications.”
What convinced her was the publication by the legal scholar Eugene McCarthy, which I found when I googled “antipsychotics side effects” (https://repository.law.umich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1078&context=mbelr; see also his paper https://lawreview.syr.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/H-McCarthy-Syracuse-Law-Review-Final-Draft.pdf). This paper played a crucial role for my decision to get her off the drugs as well. When one sees the legal-economic system that produces the current psychiatric prescriptions practice, everything becomes crystal clear. But to see it, one needs to read specialized, peer-reviewed publications
Good question. I really don’t know. Perhaps I should try writing something for a mainstream outlet and see how it goes.
Yes, Dr. Hickey, 1000 times yes!
MIA is doing an fantastic job and is educating more people each day but it would get a big boost if one of your articles got into a mainstream outlet!
Thank you, Dr. Hickey! This really made my day. In terms of “seeing how it goes,” I can tell you that it will not go well. They will probably refuse to publish it, and if they do, there will be an outcry from psychiatrists on pharma payroll. However, if many people try to get through, it may have a result, and somebody needs to start this effort. If you do it, consider yourself this heroic soldier who rises up first to lead the attack against the enemy line. One possibility to consider is New York Times op-ed to be submitted here: (https://help.nytimes.com/hc/en-us/articles/115014809107-How-to-submit-an-Op-Ed-essay). If you do not hear from them in three business days, you are free to send it elsewhere; the Atlantic may be a good option.
Oh, and if you do submit something and it is accepted, let this forum know so that we can send readers’ comments to counteract the attacks that will surely be numerous and vicious.
HuffPost is international, don’t know how hard it is to get published there but might be possible.
Something is needed to counter this latest story because it reads like a Big Pharma plug. This young girl has been taking the psych drug Prozac for only 6 months. As often is the case, the drug may work ‘at first’ but she is totally unware of the rabbit hole she’ll fall into if she keeps taking it and then realizes it no longer works, is bringing about adverse effects but she cannot get off it without major W/D:
If you are labeled with a mental illness and against psychiatry you are too stupid and lack insight and can be ignored.
If you don’t have a mental illness label and are against psychiatry you don’t understand it and can be ignored.
If you are a former psychiatrist who is against psychiatry you are a money whore because selling science non-fiction books is easier money than selling patented addicting drugs that are forced on people. Therefore you can be ignored as well.
All those things look like examples of cognitive dissonance and inconsistent thinking but they aren’t. The psychiatric premise is that only loyal members of the cult can be listened to. The other excuses for why no one else should be listened to is marketing.
I like how you put it. This is so true, but my concern is, how can we then spread this truth? It seems that everyone here (me included) speaks from a bitter personal experience. How do we reach out to the people without such an experience and convince them?
I am most certainly not speaking from “bitter”
I speak from a place that I knew long ago, and was
always not from personal experience but rather from what
I saw all around me. I especially realized how psych influences
every other social area and that is just among one reason
why it is obviously the furthest from any kind of medical service.
This is about “anger” and Activism for me. WE should all be very angry
when we see the harm.
People should NEVER feel bad or guilty for thinking that their anger might be bitter.
Perhaps the word “bitter” is best used to describe shrinks.
I do not like to see you think of yourself as “bitter”. I understand the “feeling”, because obviously we would like to really prefer not to have realized what psychiatry is. Yes so please don’t feel as if you are bitter. I think of it more as shocking realization and following disappointment, followed by anger.
I have absolutely no intention of “forgiving” and no intention of saying “they did not know better”.
Parents and kids are the only ones that get to say that they consciously did not know. But then we do not get 8 years of schooling in becoming a child or parent.
The way I reach out is by raising the issues out of the blue or wherever I can. I most often refer them to online blogs or information. It is not a bad idea to print up millions of flyers and distribute them either on windshields, parking lots, Or take at least two days out of our “globally clean” attitudes and litter from a helicopter or open car windows, so those information sheets blow far and wide.
If this was done on a grand scale….information that is not a turn off, but makes sense, is about drugging kids, elderly, and anyone in between, about what science is and isn’t, the difference between suffering and illness, the words like “function” what it means, about the WHO, about our schools and on and on.
It would indeed make some people look. You have to remember that the PAPER TRAIL is the best vehicle because people “google” only what is about themselves. So Robert Whitaker wrote a book. That is the best medium.
Sami Timimi wrote articles on here. Forward them to your neighbourhood schools.
Sorry for the confusion with “bitter” – I now realized that I was mentally translating from my native Russian, and it was a poor rendering of a Russian phrase that simply means “negative” or “bad experience.” So, I only meant that people who did not encounter psychiatric system personally do not have any idea what’s going on. I surely did not, before I had a first-hand experience.
Yes, Whitaker wrote a great book, and he also co-authored an equally great book Psychiatry under the Influence (https://www.amazon.com/Psychiatry-Under-Influence-Institutional-Prescriptions/dp/113750692X). This is a great way to bring about change, but I cannot agree that this is the best way. The best way would be to submit op-eds based on the books in the leading mainstream media, as authors often do, and to get these books reviewed in the New Your Times Review of Books, New Yorker, Atlantic, etc. This is not to blame Whitaker in any way, of course – I sincerely admire him. To continue, even such op-eds and reviews would be only a beginning.
I think that I will rather submit a blog post to continue this discussion. I hope, you will forgive me for disagreeing with your point about flyers and referring people to websites. I think, there are much more efficient forms of activism, and I am now talking as a historian, that is, somebody who studies social change for a living.
Again, I hope to express it all more coherently in a future post.
I understand. Also I think the word “bitter” is often seen as a negative, and we could write volumes on and about words and meanings.
Looking forward to your future blog.
“When I realized that the drugs were harmful and that there was no real evidence that they did any good, a difficult task was to convince her to stop them. As a good young Democrat (age 19 at the time), she believes in science and expertise. She kept saying things like, “I will listen to professionals, not to what you found on the Internet. Whitaker is a journalist, he does not have a medical degree. ” When I showed to her publications in medical journals, she said, “Anti-vaxxers also cite some publications.”
I have two mature kids and this is exactly what I (uneducated) addressed with them. My question to them was “How do you know something is scientific?” I addressed that many people see fancy words and drawings as scientific. That “studies” and “research” are seen as “scientific”, EVEN if they deal with false presumptions.
How anything to do with health would never ever count against them, in the way psychiatry does. How psychiatry used drugs against the “illnesses” even though no science exists. How psychiatry denies the harms. Since I do not have grandkids yet, I harassed my kids about “ADHD” drugs, in case that subject should ever come up for them. I talked to them about not running to a shrink under ANY circumstance. The outcomes no matter how mild, are simply not worth it. Kids no longer learn about real science. They have been misled by junk science which weaseled itself into that honorable field of curiosity and solid research based on HONESTY.
And I never ever denied that very weird experiences exist. That suffering truly exists. And that I have no issue with “science” being very curious about the brain/mind, but that it is the most dangerous field and area to use concepts as an objective view. To use theory to develop drugs. And that what we are being fed now to the detriment of millions, is nothing more so far than calling people failures or sinners, that we are suggesting that people minds/brains are damaged and broken because they do not fit into the mold made by psychiatry.
And forever more, psychiatry is THE biggest reason that we are not actually making headway into bettering the “in the world” temporary experiences. We need to stop calling experiences illness. We need to stop inventing reasons and diagnosis. Even therapists need to stop doing this.
I still think a paper trail to the public even if it takes “flyers”, is just ONE of many attempts. It is not one attempt alone that works. And I think one of the problems is that people cannot seem to get together on this. Many are just concerned about “forced” psychiatry. As Sami Timimi says, the core is rotten.
The very ideas, the very diagnosis are just all wrong. After the wrongs are exposed, there is not much left. Then we have to look around, not at the subject, but at structures. And at the possibility that perhaps diversity includes a shitty body, a hideous face that not many are attracted to, a personality that evolves, that suffers and changes. Anxieties and depressions, neurotic fears that need supports, to strengthen. Areas where people can have little successes based upon what bits of strengths they possess.
Never ever should people have to suffer under Bogus and Sham “diagnonsense” and “treatments” that really follow them into death.
They never ever get “better” under psychiatry. If you never see them again, that label is there as “evidence” that you still have this “disease” or “disorder”.
Sam, what you describe in the second paragraph is a fallacy. Guilt by association.
Similar to linking RW to the Church of Scientology. Though he has no connections nor endorse it in any of his writings.
I agree with Sam Plover, I am not “bitter” either. Was Jesus “bitter” when He turned the tables on the money traders in the temple over? No! That was righteous anger. No, none of us are Jesus, but, we stand in a long line of those who fight evil, etc. No, this is not “bitterness.” This is righteous anger. Our goal, albeit a seeming uphill battle, is to right these grievous wrongs and in time, perhaps, it’s the Good Lord’s Timing, these wrongs will be righted, these evils will defeated. We are just the front lines, the trumpets announcing our entry, the first battles of victory; because many of us; despite it all, have fought back and won. We are still alive and talking to tell our stories. Thank you.
I just want to add a comment to my above comment. Please forgive me for speaking basically from Christian Tradition. I believe other religious and philosophical traditions have similar battles with good and evil that could also be understood in view of our “fight” to bring these horrific injustices to light. However, because of my background, I relate more easily to Christian Traditions. Thank you.
And we are winning.
You’re doing it. Keep it up.
Nice! Only loyal members of the cult understand.
That you could make numerous off the cuff remarks about depression demonstrates that someone’s thinking about a disease, rather than a syndrome with numerous possible origins. Dr. Pies shows no evidence of realizing this, when he makes these sight-unseen diagnoses after saying they’re not possible.
“‘There are none so blind as those who will not see.’
“which, incidentally, strikes me as the perfect epitaph for psychiatry when it finally slides into the morass of self-inflicted irrelevancy.”
I agree. And I remember thinking that all my staggeringly delusional “mental health” workers should have thought to take the log out of their own eye, prior to trying to take the splinter out of mine. Isn’t a shame that those who took the Hippocratic Oath, have turned themselves into the biggest hypocrites of all?
Thank you as always, Dr. Hickey. All psychologists should be distancing themselves from the psychiatrists, since the psychiatric industry deluded the psychologists, with their “invalid” DSM “bible” “bullshit.” It’s a shame so few American psychologists are doing such. Thank you for speaking the hard truth so succinctly.
Tragically, many psychologists are becoming more psychiatric than the psychiatrists themselves.
Generally speaking, I was thinking that disease theory was chemical imbalance theory, but here Dr. Pies seems to be suggesting that there is another disease theory besides the chemical imbalance one. If psych drugs don’t “correct chemical imbalances”, what is it that they do correct, because bad life styles are a matter of ethics, not medicine, and of evasion. Bad decisions are bad decisions, and no amount of “treatment” is likely to magically transform them into good decisions. Suspecting a lack of control at the level of biology, with no chemical imbalance behind it, eh? Okay, what is behind this lack of control if not a “chemical imbalance”? Bad genes? And are they not another expression for “chemical imbalance”? I tend to see conscious decisions there, even if the conscious decision is a matter of wearing blinders.
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” (Sir Walter Scott, 1808)
Thank you Dr. Hickey, as always you deliver a spot-on analysis to expose the hypocrisy.
Dr. Pies: “to be clear: patients are not infallible recorders of what their doctors tell them.”
Dr. Hickey: “In other words, Dr. Pies is stating categorically that “patients” can’t be trusted unless their assertions are confirmed by their psychiatrists”.
Yes, a perfect example of the enormous hubris and egomania so entrenched in psychiatry, when ironically it’s most often the psychiatrist who cannot be trusted. I was gob-smacked when I finally got ahold of my records and saw any information I shared with the young psychiatrist was twisted into something entirely different to cast very negative aspersions and completely redefine my reality. I was bald from chemo so she writes “patient appeared with a scarf wrapped around her head” to imply it was strange behavior, with no mention of course I was bald from chemo or the “scarf” was in fact a hat sold to patients at the cancer hospital.
No doubt, psychiatrists did write the book on “PREJUDICE”. And they most certainly are “DOGMATISTS”, as well as the biggest HYPOCRITES around.
I always look forward to your blogs Dr. Hickey, a much needed voice of reason and wisdom speaking truth to power! Please keep writing!
And are DOCTORS any less fallible recorders of what they tell their patients?
Sounds like a bunch of self-serving blather to me.
Yes. Most of their output is drivel.
Yes, very good point Steve. Which gets me thinking not only should there be an informed consent form for people to sign to agree they have been fully informed of all the minor and major risks of taking psych drugs and are okay with it – but there also needs to be a consent form for people to sign that they agree to an “assessment”. When I saw a psychiatrist I was told it was simply to “get help with sleep meds” and had no clue an ‘assessment’ was done on me. A psychiatrist needs to be honest and upfront and inform a person “I am going to very briefly listen to your problems but will have to determine the problems are all ‘within you’ and then decide which disempowering DSM label I will put on you. This label will remain on your records for life and will be a barrier for you to be treated with any humanity or given any credibility in the future by all other health professionals.”
Great point. The “diagnosis” is almost as bad as the “treatments”, because in general, they can’t give you the “treatments” unless they’ve first given you a “diagnosis”.
Thanks. I’ll certainly try.
Rosalee, please feel free to email me at [email protected] so that we can join our efforts and plan something together (and hopefully recruit more people). I am also working on a blog that I hope to submit to this website in a couple of days, where I try to outline my proposals.
Yulia, sounds good, I will email you soon. I look forward to seeing your blog.
One of the “interesting” points her is that Dr. Pies, like many in this so-called profession do not want to diagnose from afar; i.e. internet, television, books, magazine articles, etc. UNLESS, the so-called diagnosis fits their biased narrative. This is not confined to psychiatry, etc.; but since this website deals with the evils of psychiatry, etc., well, it is another abomination that only proves that psychiatry, etc. is not a profession, at all, but a group of well-heeled and disgusting snake oil salesmen. I would consider the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz, who finally confesses to Dorothy that he’s a Humbug; but, you’ll never ever receive that sort of truth-telling confession from types like these. Thank you.
Yes; the notion that virtually every problem of thinking, feeling and behaving is an illness is attractive to them because, as you point out, it fits their biased narrative.
Well, I believe there could be professional snake-oil salesmen, you know, only psychiatric drugs, the prime “treatment” provided by psychiatry, is worse than snake-oil. Psychiatric drugs, especially those for the most so-called severe of conditions, are harmful, and someone would qualify the matter by calling them potentially harmful, a relative statement, there are some substances you shouldn’t be taking over a long period of time on a regular basis. There must be a knack to drumming up business by making certain gullible people progressively sicker and sicker, and if they literally aren’t sick to begin with, well, they end up that way. I suppose someone should be slapping someone in the face with a bladder bag, but who do you slap? The tricksters or the tricked? Perhaps both. That’s the way I see it. Certainly there are better ways to be spending one’s time than in a fruitless pursuit of run-away trains. Some wrecks might be prevented, sure, but some are going to happen regardless. Wising up though is bound to beat dumbing down, especially when the present “mental ill health” industry is dumb to the core. It is…How do you say? Oh, yeah! Stupid.
Psychiatry uses the very effective pharma machine to market their “illnesses”, and pharma uses psychiatry to create an impression of legitimacy and to clinch the sales at the point of contact. It’s a match made in Heaven – or perhaps somewhere else?
Seriously awesome work Dr. Hickey. I have read many of your articles and as someone whom was nearly killed by psychiatry I’m very much for your becoming Dr. Pies’ shadow conscience.
“‘My psychiatrist said I have a chemical imbalance . . .’ But where is the evidence that this is what patients were actually told?”
Pretty sure I saw that movie before. Wasn’t it called Gaslight?
Yes. Same movie. Different cast.
“, I don’t understand how come I regularly read about controversies in all areas of medicine, except psychiatry; about systemic discrimination of all kinds of groups except those diagnosed with mental illness; about violations of human rights committed by all kinds of institutions, except the mental health system. How come I did not have any idea about psychiatry until my daughter got hospitalized? I am just trying to figure out what’s going on.”
You don’t hear or read about them because those practices of violations IS psychiatry itself. It was allowed and blessed BY our governments to be allowed to invent discriminatory, harmful practices and labels. No evidence needed, except “distress” and EVERYONE is uncomfortable with tears and feelings. If they are seen as illness and disfunction, if holding down a job means function, then many people are fucked under the system that our governing bodies allowed to creep in under the guise of medicine.
Well, sure. But there is a lot of criticism of the system in general and of what the government is doing in all areas of life, a lot of loud voices of dissent – it’s only the critics of psychiatry who stay in their closed Facebook groups or on forums where they preach to the quire. Say, private prisons are an abomination, they are part of the system, they are supported by American government – all you say about psychiatry applied to the private prison industry as well. And I read a lot of negative things about private prisons, signed petitions against the private prison industry that I received by email etc. Why should the situation with the psychiatric system be different?
As he acted ex officio during my coercive hospitalization in 2016, I don’t consider this to be a breach of his privacy.
When pressed on what a depression is supposed to be, psychiatrist Kay-Wilko Schierhorn told me it was an imbalance of seretonin in the brain.
So yes, psychiatrists do that.
They certainly do. But, of course, as the eminent Dr. Pies points out, we have to check this with the psychiatrist! Good luck with that.
Well, at least that particular one was smart enough to not document his own misconduct. In fact he wrote a total of zero pages of documentation. Or it has been withheld from me.
Anyone here would be interested in creating and/or signing a collective letter to the media that would include the points that you have made in this, and other, discussions on this platform? If yes, can we form a group here? Or, if you feel comfortable, just email me at [email protected]. I know that it’s unusual to publish one’s private email on a public website, but I do feel that I can have complete trust in the people visiting this particular platform
And perhaps signing petitions such as this, started by friends of mine, can also help.
Anyone, from anywhere, is welcome to sign
I signed, and I will share it with my Canadian friends. I don’t expect it to succeed, though, if you allow me to be frank with you. I think, the approach should be more strategical, not attacking the psychiatric coercion directly.
My blog post is accepted and hopefully will appear here soon, and I hope to follow up with another post discussing what I see as strategies more likely to succeed (and to bring an end to psychiatric coercion eventually)
There are many strategies and one of the most important ones is just not to give up. I don’t believe in just one strategy or attempt.
And thank you for the signature.
Looking forward to your blog
Actually and unfortunately, what we so lovingly call “mainstream media” hides a lot. We all just need to get in line. Maybe they will hear us, maybe they won’t. I am sorry to say this; but, I say they probably won’t. And the main reason is that our “grievances” are not only against the “mental illness complex” but also against Big Pharma. Big Pharma is Big Advertising to “Mainstream Media”. Of course, Psychiatry and Big Pharma are intertwined almost as one. Perhaps, in time, we may get our voices heard on “Mainstream Media.” Maybe someone could research alternative sources of Media. In the meantime, we have this wonderful site. But, I am not giving up hope completely. The dust in the dust storm will clear and the sun will shine. At the time, I think our voices will be safely heard. Thank you.
Oh yes, it is surely more pleasant and more comforting to talk to like-minded people in the safe space of the wonderful website than trying to reach out to the society at large. I don’t blame anyone for preferring psychological comfort and safety, but, sorry, I see no reason to think that “the sun will shine” and “our voices will be safely heard.” This is not how society works.
Rosalee, I think Huff Post might be an advertising hub.
I was going to post this earlier, to illustrate the chemical chatter that exists still and just changes a few words. It always is involving young people, who of course won’t be accepted by HUff after they run into problems from the chemicals 10-20 years later. Or ones they had all along from the drugs but did not recognize.
Here Gail Saltz spouts the lack of serotonin, yet there is no test to have made sure that this was happening. And even IF there were a test given, it does not mean anything. “serotonin” could be among thousands of culprits, or just an after effect of other things happening, or it might not be related at all. The story that HUFF repeats, and that the Gail Saltz’s repeat, is the same one.
And the “patients” when they run into problem or gain insight into this fabricated shit? They finally run to “AD” withdrawal forums online. And the overworked, not paid, volunteers try to help them in real ways.
” according to Dr. Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine, and author of The Power of Different.”
“Withdrawal is a craving for a drug, plus physical symptoms,” she told me. “What happens when you stop an antidepressant is known as a discontinuation syndrome, due to the sudden loss of serotonin and/or norepinephrine that had been boosted in the brain by the medication.”
Sam, yes it’s kind of like that other blog and geez Dr. Gail Saltz obviously never experienced w/d herself to be able to state what it is like.
I wonder if the Canadian HuffingtonPost is more open minded as they have published many blogs from Canadian patient safety advocate Kathleen Finlay such as this:
Rosalee, I don’t even trust the prodrug articles and I can tell you why. They sound WAY too much like ads. They sound as if they are defending drugs, and why would that be? The “clients” themselves would have no reason to, since the prevailing message is that Psychiatry is “medicine” and “science”.
They sound pretty coached.
There are few magazines that want or accept true controversy, in that equal attention is paid to issues at hand. We are dam lucky to have a Zine such as MIA.
The conversations held behind closed doors of magazine offices get pretty heated. There are a LOT of reporters that want to dig deeper, go farther, bring issues into a more illuminated space.
In Canada in particular, our medical system which psych pretends to be part of, is literally wed with government. In fact there is no difference and I’ve said it before, basically the government is UNDER the law of medicine.
But that has been talked about and I guarantee nothing will change unless something happens to force and powers.
Yes let’s see if Canada Huff allows a series of anti-psych articles. A running blog perhaps.
I’m thinking to be fair, they could have an ad for psych drugs right next to the blog 🙂
“The conversations held behind closed doors of magazine offices get pretty heated. There are a LOT of reporters that want to dig deeper, go farther, bring issues into a more illuminated space.”
Oh wow! This is really illuminating. Do you have an experience with media and know such reporters? If yes, it would be really interesting to hear more. I had no idea.
No clue who they are. I should have said “I’m sure there are a Lot…” But it’s unlikely that a true journalist would not like to have much more freedom. They don’t control the magazine. It is not popular to go against the grain and becomes an “opinion” piece.
There is a lot at stake for them. All they could ever do is perhaps post someone’s story, but there are millions and so all they ever remain is “personal”.
What is one of the biggest lies going on right now? That kids “have” something. And they get drugged for this. Involuntarily, just because the FDA thought it was okay to pass these drugs to kids as if they are farmed chattle. And that we are. It has become okay to do this, ethically. Take a survey from your own friends, family and neighbourhoods, take a mike to the streets and ask strangers. It’s most likely something they never even thought about, nor delved into.
Sorry to get you excited. I doubt the public much cares about the plight of most anyway. They really don’t.