As a psychiatrist in the 1990s, I witnessed a huge change that seemed to make no sense: People began to eagerly seek out biological psychiatrists. These doctors had been around for centuries, but until then were understandably feared and avoided. What was different now that could explain this?
Yes, psychiatry greatly broadened the definition of mental illness: Common things like feeling depressed/ anxious, little kids being impulsive/hyper, and teens having anger outbursts, were all suddenly proclaimed to be medically treatable diseases.
But people used to resourcefully rely on their own capabilities to solve their problems. Why did so many abandon this approach in favor of medicalizing them? Why were they so willing to believe that all these new, simultaneously-discovered diseases were real?
It wasn’t better long-term outcomes, as Robert Whitaker showed in Anatomy of an Epidemic. Nor was it proof: 50 years of intense research found no evidence of a genetic, chemical, or anatomical basis for any mental illness. Psychiatric clients must sense this, since no physical exam, lab test, or x-ray is done to diagnose them.
And it wasn’t that there was no other, better explanation for these phenomena: We’ve all knowingly become upset over a loss, rejection, disappointment, or stress. And we all know that kids start off wild.
So I searched for a rational explanation for all this madness. I wondered: Could psychiatry’s medical model owe its popularity to wishful thinking? Could it somehow work so well for people (at some deeper level), that they’re willing to overlook its illogic/flaws and to allow themselves to be “brainwashed”?
Here are 11 possible subconscious allures to medicalizing life’s struggles. They’re based on things my clients (or people hoping to become my clients) have repeatedly told me over the years. I quoted some of them below:
1. Psychiatry declared that mental illnesses are genetic brain diseases caused by chemical imbalances. This subliminally offered a way to repress/deny unwanted thoughts of failure, regret, loneliness, or worthlessness. I’ve been told: “Before I realized my kid’s troubles were due to bad genes, I mistakenly blamed my parenting” and “Nothing‘s wrong in my life; I’m just depressed because I have depression. It runs in my family.”
The medical model offered relief to family members too: Identified patients’ feelings could now be viewed as “happening for no reason.” Families thus no longer needed to understand or respond to their complaints.
2. Psychiatry said that you can’t pull yourself out of depression since it’s a disease that requires treatment. This took pressure off people by subtly implying that the burden of addressing your pain now shifts from you to skilled authority figures who will heal you (“I need an MD to manage my depression and anxiety”). In reality, our huge brains enable us to flexibly, infinitely work on and adapt to the issues upsetting us.
3. When psychiatry announced that “highly effective medications” are now available, this seductively suggested that taking pills can quickly/easily resolve your troubles (“I need my brain chemistry fixed ASAP”). One such cure was antidepressants; they were proven to work via the placebo effect, which often fades.
4. Also offered were tempting euphoria-giving drugs that until then were socially disapproved of, like benzos and amphetamines. The subconsciously enticing message this gave was: “You can now use these without risk of societal scorn.”
5. These drugs are physically-addictive. Tolerance to their pleasurable effect develops; withdrawals then set in. But psychiatry said that this won’t happen if you get them from a doctor rather than a dealer (“I never take more than a respected MD prescribed to treat a serious condition”), unless you have an addictive personality. This subliminally implied that you can have your cake and eat it too.
Wouldn’t that be heaven on earth! But we all have the same brain receptors. So if these pills are used daily, we all have the same risk of getting hooked in time no matter where/why we get them or what our personality type is. Many have tried to assure me they’re safe by promising: “That won’t happen to me, since I’m not one of those addictive-types.”
6. People were told that impulsive, inattentive little kids and labile, explosive teenagers are now known to have ADHD or bipolar disorder. For parents who came home exhausted from work, this subconsciously offered this lure: You can now get your kid sedated for a legitimate reason (Both these new diseases are treated with sedating drugs): “My son is so much more manageable when he takes his medicine.”
7. People were also told, without evidence, that ADHD kids are born with defective brain hardwiring which impairs learning. This subliminally offered busy parents an “out”: “It’s been such a struggle trying to teach my son how to control himself. Now I know I’ve been wasting my time. His broken brain just can’t do it.”
Teachers were similarly excused from having to teach these “unteachable” kids. This approach may seem to work great at first. But when it leads to kids never learning to responsibly, maturely cope with feelings or impulses, never learning much in school, and becoming drug addicts: not so great.
8. Another unconsciously alluring message conveyed by the disease model was: Once labeled mentally ill, there will be fewer consequences if your actions disturb others since “Sick people can’t control their symptoms.” With a bipolar or ADHD label, there may be less accountability if you act on impulse or have outbursts. With a depression label, others may be more tolerant if you don’t do what’s expected of you.
But if you don’t control your own behavior, who does? It’s irrational to say your brain does—your brain is you. We may not always be aware of why we do what we do, but that’s logically explainable: Our motives often lay hidden beneath the surface.
9. Psychiatry said the mentally ill suffer from and bravely battle real physical illnesses. The subliminally appealing message this conveyed was: Once diagnosed, you can get the attention, sympathy, and admiration that gravely physically ill people get, without being physically ill.
10. When psychiatry claimed that depression is a chronic, disabling illness, this (unconsciously) enticingly offered a new way to legitimately qualify for disability benefits. But if depressed people had to work in order to not starve, most would do so because they can. Brain-damaged stroke victims wouldn’t because they can’t. ADHD was also declared to be disabling. This lured parents to come to doctors and say “I need a note saying my son has ADHD so he can get accommodations at school.” These greatly ease kids’ work-loads, which in turn eases demands on parents.
11. This lifelong-illness model dangled yet another tantalizing bait: a chance to be under the lifelong care of a trustworthy, parent-like higher power who only wants to help people. Dream on! Doctors are human. Thus, like any of us, a desire for great personal gain can drive them to be deceptive or manipulative (perhaps unconsciously). After all, when psychiatrists lost their therapist niche to social workers, evolving into psychopharmacologists is what saved their necks. And medicine only became a lucrative field after it embraced addictive drug prescribing.
What enables the medical model to work so well for so many? Unlike physical illnesses, mental ones can’t be proven or disproven. The DSM says it mainly comes down to a subjective perception of distress. But if you think about it, aren’t all of our actions, whether mentally ill or healthy, driven by a need to alleviate some type of suffering, tension, or emptiness?
Couldn’t we all thus perceive ourselves to be in constant distress and thus mentally ill? I, personally, have never met a person who I couldn’t diagnose with a mental illness. In fact, I dare say that I can diagnose every human with every mental illness—even psychosis, since we all have fixed beliefs that aren’t based in reality.
In summary: If you look deep inside yourself with an open mind, you’ll likely discover things going on that are hard to acknowledge, like the motives outlined in this blog. If so, then you’ll gain insight into why we believe what we believe and do what we do. You’ll understand why the nonsensical medical model is popular, why people wrongly think they’re helpless, and why parents believe their kids can’t learn. Unconscious wishful thinking can explain it all.
Psychiatrists used to empower clients by guiding them to explore their minds. Clients thereby tapped into their ability to think for themselves, search for the truth, and find solutions. But now psychiatrists do the opposite. The reasons to avoid them are as valid as ever.
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“I dare say that I can diagnose every human with every mental illness—even psychosis, since we all have fixed beliefs that aren’t based in reality.” Yes, and especially since – according to my medical records – my psychologist and psychiatrist believe that all dreams, thoughts, and gut instincts are “psychosis.” Plus, those good old, pathological lying, “holistic Christian talk therapists” believe belief in the Holy Spirit is “psychosis.” And another bizarre belief of my psychologist and psychiatrist, in my opinion, was that they believed – all that worldwide distress caused by 9/11/2001, just after 9/11 – was distress caused by a “chemical imbalance” in my brain alone. Who are the crazy people?
Thank you, as always, Lawrence, for speaking the truth about the insane beliefs of way too many of the DSM “bible” thumping “mental health” workers’.
Actually, this is not only well-written, but tragically, insightfully true and like so many I fell for most of this, too. But, what they didn’t tell you was that it is the drugs that make you really sick, not the fake diseases itself. The other lie is that with all these fake diseases and fake reasons for these fake diseases, we can easily abort and/ or abuse responsibility to fulfill our unique potential or assist others in fulfillment of their unique potential. So, there is a whole population of people, whole generations who need take no responsibility for themselves or for anyone else, like those in their care. So, it makes easy as pie for me not to admit my strengths or weaknesses. I can just take a little pill and like Alice I’m in Wonderland, but this Wonderland is not really wondrous at all but filled with thorns, spiders and snakes, etc. in every corner. Thank you.
All psychiatric studies claiming the people they label have biological defects use people addicted to psychiatric drugs. People labeled with schizophrenia were said to have a brain disease because they had brain damage, when in fact the drugs caused it. Most if not all traits associated with the “mentally ill” are things the drugs cause or increase. Including, recreational drug use, violence, brain damage, unemployment, shorter lifespans, agitation/an inability to sit still, drooling, cognitive impairment, physical gait, obesity, and so on.
These traits caused by the drugs are then used to argue the people must have a biological problem. Technically this is true because the drugs are causing biological problems.
Lawrence you put a lot of thought into this piece which I appreciate a lot.
Glad to see you are not afraid to continue to come back and write for MIA. 🙂
Well… Herr Doctor, no argument with your analysis, but psychiatry couldn’t have accomplished such a thorough brainwashing of the populous without the total buy-in and “sell-out” of just about every last one of our institutions. By the time someone reaches their 10 minute “psychiatric” assessment, they’ve been” primed” for years by AMA medicine from psychiatry all the way down through to the family physician. most every layer and representation throughout our mental health providers, big pharma, education from k-12 teachers and administrations to school boards and onward to universities, then cycling back to medicine, advertising, more advertising, legal systems, Congress-both as commission and omission, news reports where the “psychiatric” narrative is overtly and covertly disseminated, all the while social media and family and friends are more likely than not to be parroting the-as noted in your blog- psychiatric narrative as if possessing “critical personal knowledge”. So I have to wonder…when someone “looks deep into themselves”, do they see all these “hard to acknowledge” actors in their emerging “insights”?
I completely agree Kevin.
We have overlords, always have had and dammit all, they lead us astray.
It is because of ignorance mostly. I mean everyone wants to be seen as “somebody”.
Whether priest, roman soldier, shrink, politician…but we can look back and see that
the leaders are pretty much kookoo.
Bottom line is psychiatry needs to fuck off, and no one better ask me “well what do we do with
the suffering and weird behaviours”
I have no clue but it sure is NOT what psychiatry does.
In Kamloops BC, hundreds of burried indigenous kids from the days of residential schools were found just last week.
So now in Canada, besides Covid, we will hear about this and how awful things “WERE”. It’s never “WERE”, or “WAS”.
People continue to speak of bad stuff as if it happened long ago, but it stopped. NOTHING STOPPED.
People are just like this. We have the powerful who are selfish, ego driven and ignorant and they kind of straddle this place of trying to look like a good guy while doing bad stuff.
Psychiatry gets away with SO many deaths and no one will find graves hundred years later and if they did, it would all depend on what is popular cult-ure ATM, whether it even mattered a tiny bit.
Consider that in the preferable drugged state of the “patient” looking into oneself is essentially impossible unless you want to “wake the dead.” At first, they claimed if you take this drug (probably an SSRI) for about four weeks, you’ll feel better and then we can really talk. That four week time period was what they claimed would be the time it took for the drug to work. Actually, I think, now, that four week time period was just to get the body and brain ready for more drugs at the time they deemed “appropriate.” The real tragedy is like Kevin Smith; there is so much “garbage” out there about these lies and mental illnesses, etc. including celebrity and royal advocates, it is very difficult to get the real truth through. I still believe the time will come when the public will see psychiatry for what it really is: lies upon lies; hoaxes upon hoaxes; a world ruled by humbugs who desire nothing but unbridled and evil power. Absolutely nothing like the sweet, helper role they want to us to see. The question is: who in this defiled Halloween and April Fool’s Day World are really the sick ones? Who? Who? Who? Thank you.
Seeing all those hard to acknowledge messages requires critical thinking, which many resist vociferously.
During the 1990s, before every institution fully embraced the medical model, what I witnessed seemed to me to be a group effort. Doctors, teachers, parents, lawyers, government authorities, and clients all excitedly teamed up to create this belief system, as opposed to the authorities creating it by themselves and then shoving it down people’s throats.
I remember in the very early 1990s when busy parents began eagerly seeking out MDs like me for letters that could greatly ease their kids’ workloads, just by documenting an “ADHD” diagnosis. Also at that time, I remember clients coming to me who confidently exclaimed that all their pain was from a chemical imbalance that I must fix; They said there was no need to talk about any issues bothering them, because there were none.
Do you agree that a “mental illness/brain disease” identity has become popular because it can work well for people in many different ways? I can understand how it’s easier to view oneself as purely brainwashed, rather than to acknowledge that one’s choices may to some degree be unconsciously driven by socially-unacceptable motives.
But this brainwashing narrative sounds similar to the medical model, in that both suggest we humans are helpless when we’re not. I think the only way for our society to truly reject the medical model, is to replace it with an empowering model based on humans having free will and thus responsibility for their choices, as well as limitless abilities to learn ways to flexibly adapt to life’s challenges.
I think it mostly works great for those in positions of power who want to evade responsibility for the results of their use of the power they have. This can be a parent who isn’t willing to figure out how they might better approach their child, or a teacher who would rather blame the student than change their educational approach, or even a whole system like foster care where it’s easier and less uncomfortable to “diagnose” their charges than to figure out what is actually going on and how to help for real.
As in any oppressive system, internalized oppression is a very real problem. There have always been women, for example, who vociferously object to any discussion of altering gender roles, or foster youth who embrace the identity of “mentally ill” because that’s what is expected of them and rewarded, or kids who believe they are “stupid” or “bad” because they can’t make themselves fit into the abnormal expectations of the school system. But such internalization, in my view, is a consequence of the system, not a causal factor. It is true that being “diagnosed” with a “mental illness” can temporarily relieve a “client” from the responsibility of having to take action to move their lives in a positive direction, but it is psychiatry who is responsible for holding out this false hope of a ‘Medical solution’ and creating a Stockholm-syndrome kind of situation where hope of the “right answer” is always right around the corner, with the next “change of meds,” while the poor client gradually deteriorates and begins to blame him/herself for not being a “good enough” mental patient.
I guess we disagree on this: I believe that Americans are always thinking for themselves and pursuing paths of their own volition, even if they’re not aware of their doing so. Even the decision to not think for yourself and to let an oppressive authority do so for you, is actually (ironically) one way of thinking for yourself. And it’s an understandably appealing choice that many people have gladly made for millenia.
Lawrence, I am not arguing that people are not making decisions. But a lot of times they are NOT aware of doing so, while the “mental heath” industry is quite aware and intentional in their deceptive practices, and takes advantage of common cultural beliefs to manipulate those who are not as aware of their ability or need to think independently. I don’t think it is proper to invalidate all responsibility for the clients, as reassuming responsibility is critical to improving one’s emotional state. However, there is a big difference in levels of responsibility. The client has a normal human desire to seek a quick and easy solution, just like almost all human beings on earth. They are responsible for choosing to trust and believe the doctors’ pronouncements and directions, which our society totally supports and even expects of people (I can’t tell you the flak I’ve taken over the decades for questioning doctors’ opinions, and not just from the doctors!) Whereas the clinician knows (or should know) about human nature and the tendency to look for easy solutions, and intentionally tells a tale that they know to be false, taking advantage of the subconscious need to trust them on the part of the client. They are also responsible for observing whether or not their intervention is helpful, for researching the outcomes for these interventions, and for changing the intervention if it doesn’t seem to be working. Failure to do all these things is 100% on the clinician, whatever level of awareness the client may or may not possess.
Psychiatrists as a guild, in particular, are responsible for creating an utterly dishonest narrative for promoting their own financial and guild power interests and using what they know about human nature to create incentives for people to avoid their real problems and rely on the psychiatric profession for a “solution.” They spend billions and billions of dollars on this, invent new “disorders” in cahoots with the pharmaceutical industry, create or alter “practice guidelines” in the direction that increases their power, influence, and income, and intentionally ignore or misinterpret their own industry’s research that says that none of this crap really makes a difference in the long run, and in fact can be quite destructive or even deadly.
So on the one hand, we have the clients, the “marks,” as it were, who are guilty of being human and seeking an easy way out, and we have the gigantic collaborative shell game which is utterly committed to milking the “marks” for all they’re worth by lying to them and making them think such easy solutions are real, in contradiction to data they are quite well aware of. We know who is really running the show here. And that’s not even talking about directly or indirectly “involuntary” clients, which encompasses a lot more people than most of us are aware of.
Blaming the clients for being gullible feels very much like saying that domestic abuse or rape victims should just learn to make better choices and avoid abusers, thus letting the abusers completely off the hook. Yes, it would be very good for them to learn to recognize abusers earlier (I wrote a book on this very subject), but the abusers are the ones making the problem. If there were no assholes out there looking to victimize them, they would not have to look out for them. The assholery is 100% the responsibility of the assholes in the world, and blaming the victims for having normal human emotions and reactions doesn’t help change the situation at all. The real goal should be for those authorities to actually BE trustworthy and tell their clients the real truth, even if the clients don’t want to hear it or believe it.
Great summary Steve. People should strive to take responsibility for decisions but if someone is seeking ‘help’ they are usually vulnerable. The psychiatric industry has proven to be deceitful and self-serving and happy to exploit the vulnerable.
Yes not thinking for themselves can thus be applied to shrinks who attend thought and belief schools. And it also serves them well, without having to look deep down.
When I see your friendly debate, I think, in a way, you are probably both right and both wrong. This debate is also a debate that could be better debated around philosophical and religious bases. However, Steve McCrea does speak to the “patient’s issue.” In our culture, it is almost expected for us to seek help from an expert or authority about whatever our problem is. (This can be good or bad.) It is highly unlikely that we are capable of knowing the answer to every problem that arises in our lives. Additionally, there is the issue that we could be too close to problem to make a rational decision. Depending on the issue, I do not believe that this is always the case. However, we are stuck in a way. In a lifespan, we are confronted with all kinds of problems and many times we do get stuck in a crisis mode. In crisis mode, we are even more vulnerable to faulty advice from an expert or authority. Psychiatry takes advantage of this to absolute nth degree. Perhaps, as what has happened to me, a person might be referred to a psychiatrist over distress and confusion over a career or life purpose decision or even over the death of a loved one. The latter is probably the most vulnerable any of us can ever be. In moments like these and there are a million others that can be included, we are probably at a point where (because we as a culture do value authority so much) that we will yes to almost anything to alleviate our suffering, even if that something might cause damage and disruption in the end. Many times, we are so confused that we don’t even know the right questions to ask. What I am saying is that psychiatry and its many enablers take advantage of people in their most vulnerable moments. In many states, there are laws that during a funeral, one of the family members should stay at home, because when the crooks read the obituary of the person who died, they will come to the house to steal what they can, especially the valuables. In this analogy, psychiatry are the crooks and unfortunately, there are no laws to guard the person from the theft that is to come when you deal with psychiatry. In fact, we think psychiatry is well and good and well-meaning. But, as they say, the devil is in the details. A vulnerable person, no matter how well they can make a decision rarely has a chance in this world of psychiatry. He or she is utterly defenseless. All abilities to think clearly are no longer in gear. Just sit on the opposite side of that big desk. Just sit there. And they start the drugs, probably one or two and then add
and add drugs upon drugs, any defenses dwindle. This is worse than a con game. I have been in these psychiatrist’s offices. Just being there thwarts any thinking. The closest thing to this is on Star Trek when they introduced the Borg. Finally, I was awake enough to see what they had done to me and were doing to me. But, took, over two decades for me to get to this point. Psychiatry and its drugs and therapies kill until you are a zombie. You are no longer human. Yes, you could decide to say no, but, most people the only way to say no is to avoid them altogether. As far as decision making goes, I suggest that anyone who questions the point of view of the patient, to go nd sit in the patient’s chair and you will see how so utterly helpless it is to resist. Thank you.
I believe that Americans are always thinking for themselves and pursuing paths of their own volition, even if they’re not aware of their doing so.
What’s “America” got to do with this — are “Americans” different from others?
The real goal should be for those authorities to actually BE trustworthy
Good response Steve except for this — first they are not “authorities” even if they are authoritarian; better they should fade into the sunset than pretend to change their spots.
If people are thinking for others by choosing not to think for themselves, doesn’t the description lose all meaning? (If it encompasses everything everyone does at any given time, what’s the point?)
Lawrence, you asked:
Do you agree that a “mental illness/brain disease” identity has become popular because it can work well for people in many different ways? I can understand how it’s easier to view oneself as purely brainwashed, rather than to acknowledge that one’s choices may to some degree be unconsciously driven by socially-unacceptable motives.
I most certainly agree that people do “adopt” the mental illness disease identity because there are a myriad of ” personal payoffs”. But I’m not so sure that the more compelling “unconscious” motivations are more the “socially acceptable” payoffs than the “socially unacceptable motives” you noted (?). The dialectical between ones unconscious or subconscious motives to (our external) prominent social markers, save our collective mythic trajectory-especially when morally and ethically and “materially” signified at techno-deliverable saturation levels, is an almost impossible task for anyone to adequately recognize, save even begin to understand, let alone begin tackling.
And this is where Steve’s comment about the doctor/psychiatrist responsibility is critical mass to me. The word here is “epistemological integrity”, and it’s binary corollary “epistemological violence”-from the Kraepelin-medical brain/disease-mental illness model (supported and promulgated by 5 DSM”s, Capitalism, etc. et.al) is where the psychiatrist/patient rubber hit the 3 decade socio-political road where we all now roll .The mental illness/brain disease model was thoroughly sold to all of us for at least 20 years now (?), everywhere almost without exception, including our psychologist and “family therapist” whose job it seems was/is to “close the sell”, as if any personal counter-narrative were lock’em-up proof of our mental illness.
Lastly, I may have used “brainwashing’ poorly and lost sight of how others might have read it. FWIW, I consider myself to have been “brainwashed” for most of my life. a fact anyone who knows me would be shocked or laugh at upon hearing. I consider myself brainwashed not because I’m stupid or a lazy thinker, but precisely because for decades I listened to my “real external” cues at the expense of my inner cues. Waking up is hard work, painful, very painful, lonely, “threatening”, and most unpopular. So…by brainwashing I meant someone who learns their external “authoritative” cues at the expense of their own inner cues, including the hard work of forging a healthy and empowering dynamic dialectical between the two, including substantive “epistemological agency.
Thank you Lawrence for important questions and insights. I hoped my comments were more addition than subtraction.
Kevin, that’s an interesting explanation. I don’t think of my young self as having been brainwashed and my older self as being “woke” in any sense. I rather think of my younger self as having been set adrift with no idea what the rules of survival were, no sense of who to trust or even how to figure out how to meet my own needs.
But 2021, come this November, it’ll be 20 years since I went to my doctor with what could have been understood as a systemic infection and properly treated and was instead labeled as “fibromyalgia” and had a handful of drugs thrown at me. And I simply didn’t have the life experience and maturity needed to question my doctor’s expertise. I had what amounted to somewhere between fifth and eighth grade education, had been a 15 year old mom and twice married (from the age of 16) with no family looking out for my interests. I have not woken up. I have spent the last twenty years raising myself, educating myself and learning to love and care for me as if I were my own child.
Now, with most of my growing pains behind me, even with greatly reduced health, the difference between then and now is a little like the difference between not knowing what you’re searching for and knowing right away what terms to use in the Google search box to find the information you need. Things take minutes instead of hours. I have clarity where there was fog.
I think a lot of times young people who are struggling, especially in this era, are assumed to have a whole lot more agency than they actually have simply because we forget all that we once didn’t know and assume everyone is walking around with not just the same knowledge base but the same ability to gain new knowledge.
I think this remains Dr K’s fatal flaw in his thinking about people turning to medical authorities as if they should know better or are thinking for themselves.
I’ve always loved the quote “Teach the young people how to think, not what to think.” It gets attributed to half a dozen different people in different wording but it remains the same concept. When we teach people how to think, they have a tool they can use to protect themselves throughout their lives. But our culture is extremely focused on teaching kids what to think while often punishing creative original thinkers and crushing their spirits and ultimately their potential.
I am not the scared poorly educated victimized young woman I was twenty years ago sitting in that doctor’s office trusting that the diagnosis and drugs I was being given were appropriate and would make me better. Sometimes I am still angry for my younger self but more often I mourn for all the young girls and boys like her who have lost their way and are fighting to survive in such an unforgiving world as the one we live in now. An adult world they are wholly inadequately prepared for and where they will be mercilessly judged by experts and other authorities instead of understood, educated and empowered.
You make many important points KS. The world is full of young people who’ve been failed by schools, their familial homes, and various adults and professionals. One of the fundamental crisis’s in our communities is the absence of critical pedagogy in all classrooms, starting in 1st grade! This goes to your comment about teaching kids what to think rather than how to think, including your own adult starting line of an 8th grade education. There are countless books on this subject, and not only is it not changing, it’s going in reverse at alarming rates. But I like your analogy of “adrift”, its connotatively open ended without blame, and journey-like redemptive.
Psychiatry is just “voodoo” wrapped in sensationalism disguised as a modern medical healing, helping science. All lies, All lies. The psychiatrist is just another “pill pusher” just like that seedy guy down the street who sits outside the schoolyard waiting for the kids to get out of school. Even those who think they have symptoms should stay away from psychiatry, but, it is difficult for there are so many well-meaning people who do not know the evils of psychiatry. I am sorry that I keep speaking about this in this way. I guess it is my way of being an early warning system. Psychiatry is like the Titanic. Please leave now before you find yourself sinking and drowning in something you did not deserve. I would say that many have experienced trauma in their lives and think they need psychiatry, but, psychiatry only compounds that trauma over and over and over again. Please try to find other ways to assist you in overcoming your pain. Thank you.
“Psychiatry is like the Titanic.” I am so stealing that… A perfect analogy.
After having side affects from Cipro, the prescribing doctor made a mental health crack. The podiatrist said, yes that’s a tendon tear but we don’t have time for an MRI and you don’t want to come back for it. The internist I went to for nerve pain asked if I thought I was in a deep dark hole and couldn’t get out. Who’s psycho or is that a deliberate attempt to gaslight? Shall I add the Ubers that make you run around the block to look for them and don’t show up or drive away? The pizza delivery couldn’t find the next building? He asked me to come out and walk to the next building for my delivery – What? Sounding the alarm requires communication and action because people are being held under a psychological tidal wave.
Isn’t it awesome? The only place one has to worry about the propaganda called “STIGMA” IS in the medical and psych industry.
Good to see you again Lawrence, especially with Breggin “mysteriously” missing…
A few notes:
a) Psychiatry does not “have” a medical model; it is the embodiment of the medical model. If it had a “non-medical model” it would be something other than psychiatry; psychiatry cannot choose from an array of “models.” (In addition it is rarely specified what we are evaluating “models” of.)
b) our huge brains enable us to flexibly, infinitely work on and adapt to the issues upsetting us.
Even though this was an afterthought it sounds like you’re on the verge here of validating the equation of mind and brain, also of brain size and brain function — any thoughts or comments?
c) Psychiatry said the mentally ill suffer from and bravely battle real physical illnesses.
Psychiatry has simultaneously maintained that, although the mind is an intangible abstraction and the brain is material and palpable, the metaphor/figure of speech “mental illness” is nonetheless a “real” disease which can be “treated” with very material drugs.
In the end however this is a far more complicated matter than the advantages of “old school” psychiatry over “modern” psychiatry; they both arise from the same contradictions and attempt to address the individual’s reaction to societal corruption and alienation rather than the systems responsible for same. The goal of psychiatry has always been social control; only the tactics have evolved.
Comments on some of your listed points.
1. An aspect of this is that you get drugs regardless of what you tell about your life. Why tell a psychiatrist why you feel miserable when they will invalidate you and tell you it is because your “brain is ill” and give you a drug either way.
2. Blaming peoples brains also means any social, or environmental factors are less likely to be improved. Why change a social factor when the problem is an “ill brain”.
4-5. Some response when telling people who take these drug or are suffering withdrawal that they are physically addicted is something along the line of “stop insulting me by calling my a drug addict.” I wonder how many people went to a psychiatrists just to get some stimulants or benzos because the drugs cause a high.
6-7. It is interesting how childhood ADHD symptoms are a problem for the adults who then convince themselves and the child that drugging the child to help the adults manage the kid is “health”.
9. This ties in with the other ones. Being labeled as “mentally ill” means people are unlikely to take you seriously, listen or consider what you say. This causes topics about your “mental illness” to be the major way to obtain social support, validation, or to be listened to.
10. I think it would also be important to note that psychiatric drugs cause disability, cognitive and physical impairment, and unemployment. It is not just that it allows people to get disability benefits but psychiatry harms people with disability causing drugs.
11. Psychiatry manipulates people to make them feel powerless, and hopeless. They use this to then get people dependent on psychiatry. They go so far as to get people physically addicted to drugs.
Your statements correlate with my experiences, too. Thank you.
That says it all: >>”Blaming peoples brains also means any social, or environmental factors are less likely to be improved. Why change a social factor when the problem is an “ill brain”.”
Kind of like being in a wheelchair and no one designing curbs that slope, and holding the inability to walk against you.
And if I limp and go to a specialist for my limp, he doesn’t diagnose me with “limp syndrome/disorder” and then explain to me that they name it that because of a “cluster of symptoms”. Neither does he give me a drug if he has absolutely no clue what the limp is caused by.
And it would be really nice if he gave me a choice IF I indeed wanted to get it officially labeled as “limp syndrome”, after he explains that if he does label or tag me, that any medical person or shrink will then hold it against me.
I apologize Lawrence for my rather lopsided and hard-boiled critique of your excellent and important article. I’ve always appreciated your integrity and humanity at the crux of your essays, this essay no exception. Thank you!
You have absolutely nothing to apologize for. Your astute comments started off a very insightful and necessary critique of Dr. kelmenson’s writings here at MIA. Throughout many of his writings (go back and review his other blogs and the comment sections) there has been a consistent theme of “blame the victim” type thinking. Many writers here are correctly criticizing this counter current to some of his better ideas.
All of Dr. kelmenson’s writings have failed to address the important fact (and overall context for examining the Medical Model) that we live in a profit/class based economic and political system. This type of system is filled with multiple forms of trauma and inequalities that sets the stage for various forms of “learned helplessness.”
Libertarian, and other anti-socialist theoretical perspectives, will often posit the concept of “free will” as almost completely abstracted from the material realities facing the “under classes” within modern capitalist societies. How can we really understand and deeply critique the Medical Model without making direct connections to the type of economic and political system that sustains AND directly benefits from psychiatry’s role as an institution of social control?
Richard Lewis, I don’t think anyone should apologize for their belief systems and how it relates to the psychiatry/anti-psychiatry debate as it part of who they are and their life experiences, including psychiatry, etc. experiences. So, I shall not apologize. “Free Will” is really nothing but “Freedom.” As Thomas Jefferson said, freedom comes our Creator. This concept about it “completely abstracted from material realities” does not correlate with the truth. The truth is this “free will”, this “freedom” is guaranteed to us by our Creator no matter our alleged social class or economic class or any sort of class. Yes, psychiatry can be viewed as a means of social control. And, it, partly survives because of greed, but greed is not endemic to any system of economic, social, or political system. Even communist or socialist systems are not devoid of greed. In fact, psychiatry survives in those systems, also. All you need do is look at Russia, especially during the “Cold War” where they used psychiatry to punish their dissidents and they employed it as a weapon against the West, especially America. Please remember even the term, “learned helplessness” is a psychological term. So we return to an inherent problem here; psychiatry, psychology, etc. used to argue against psychiatry, psychology, etc. To win against psychiatry, etc. is not necessarily to change any governmental, economic system, but to void ourselves of all the evils of psychiatry, etc. including its false terminology and applauding “free will” and “freedom” as it is meant to be in America and the world and allowing each one of us the freedom to be who we are created to be by Our Creator and the “free will” to choose whether or not to follow the path Our Creator has set for us. Thank you.
We may agree on some things about psychiatric oppression, but I would say: NO ONE should be learning any lessons (except by negative example) about “freedom” from Thomas Jefferson.
He owned 600 slaves over his lifetime, AND made most of his income through the buying and selling of human beings. And it would be safe to say that there was some sexual exploitation going on along with his international human trafficking.
You said: “… applauding “free will” and “freedom” as it is meant to be in America…”
Where is the “freedom” in a country founded (and expanded for 100 years) on a foundation of slavery and also the brutal exploitation of the working class. So much for the “…freedom guaranteed to us by the Creator no matter our alleged social class…”
Richard Lewis, With all due respect and in understanding your point, does Thomas Jefferson’s history make the “Declaration of Independence” null and void? Thank you.
“There is a difference between what the Declaration actually says and what the Founding Fathers meant to say.”
“Many of the signatories of the Declaration were slaveholders who considered black men their property and, obviously, not their equal. Native Americans were only referred to in the Declaration as “Indian Savages.” Also, the Founding Fathers’ initial idea of who controlled the rights described in the Declaration was the very small circle of male Anglo, Protestant land owners that they represented.”
So it is obvious that the Declaration of Independence was NOT a document that sought to eliminate all forms of human exploitation. Any critical examination of U.S. history will clearly see that as America developed into a world dominating imperialist empire, its degree of human exploitation knew no bounds.
You said above “…allowing each one of us the freedom to be who we are created to be by Our Creator and the “free will” to choose whether or not to follow the path Our Creator has set for us.”
These words are filled with contradictions. How can there be “free will” if our path to the future has already been “set for us” by “Our Creator”???
And BTW, who created “Our Creator,” and what does this all say about the scientific theory of evolution?
I have never understood why the concept of a creator is contradictory to the theory of evolution. If God is supposed to be all-powerful, wouldn’t He (or She) be capable of inventing a way for species to succeed each other?
But we are getting a bit far afield now…
Richard Lewis, You are sadly splitting hairs and even more tragically, you seem to not even want to attempt to understand my way of looking at the world. But, after spending drugged and therapized, etc. by psychiatrists and their illicit buddies, I am used to this kind of rhetoric. And, to me, personally, it is hurtful. Religious beliefs are highly personal and unique to each individual. Each person has a right to their beliefs. Each person has a right to not believe.
As far as contradictions go, including your comments about the Declaration of Independence, learning to live with contradictions is a big component of maturity. Psychiatry, etc. has an humongous desire
to drug and therapize all those delicious contradictions and paradoxes, so they are out of mind and out of sight. This might work in a dictatorship government. It does not nor should not work in the United States. Psychiatry, etc. is just experimenting with us to see if will work. As for me, I stand for freedom, including medical freedom. It is each person’s right to stand for what they see fit. Thank you.
For Steve McCrea. The questions you ask are above “my pay grade” so I agree with you, it is getting far afield. Thank you.
I just want to add – since we are getting into this realm – that I don’t believe in the One Creator idea, either. But under the circumstances, it works better than a lot of other belief systems.
The question of whether or not The Creator gives each of us a “path” goes beyond my scope of interest. As far as I am concerned, we choose our own paths, though some of our choices can be forgotten.
Free will only becomes an issue in situations where exercising it could be a problem, such as life on Earth. Few people realize how much freedom of action we could have compared to how much we seem to have here on Earth. But to characterize any living thing as having no “free will” seems to me a logical impossibility. You have to make choices in life, even if they are limited.
Evolution is about as “scientific” as the Christian idea that each soul only visits Earth once. These ideas are based on sets of data that are too limited in scope. From my point of view, they were good guesses, but they are not correct.
Richard Lewis: I was wondering where that quote came from about the Declaration of Independence’s writers, etc. as you did not mention in your post.
I have said many things, but I must say this:
For years, I spent, as I said drugged and therapized by psychiatry, etc. As, I posted earlier, I almost died. In fact, I was nearly given up to be a vegetable for the rest of my life. I survived. I am not sure why. Perhaps, somewhere inside me is an iron will. But, what I do know, is that I could not survive on my own. The doctors, basically, did very little to nothing to really help me survive. In fact, they did things they should not have done—like endangering my life further by abruptly taking me off almost all the psych drugs I was on, except lithium, and that included a benzo, antipsychotics, and and antidepressants. Perhaps, it did take me a few years to put it all together and figure it out. But, it is clear to me that I only survived because of God and Jesus Christ. There is no other way I could have survived or better yet lived. My survival, to me, means only one thing to me: There is a God and yes, Jesus Christ died and rose again, so that we may live. I do not expect anyone to think or believe like I do, but I have fought too long and too hard for me to be truly me and it seems very clear to me now that the only way I can do is by believing in God, repenting of my sins and accepting Jesus Christ as My Personal Savior; My Forever and Perfect Friend. Like I said, I expect no one to think or believe like I do; but, in tornados and experiences of nearly being a vegetable or dying, there are no non-believers in either God (or Jesus Christ) or freedom (or free will.) Thank you very much.
Yes, your logic makes sense only if you believe in a “supreme being” that can only be accepted as truly existing based on “faith.” There is no science that validates the existence of a “Creator.” And this concept of a “God” or “Creator” would also have to be “infinite.”
It makes FAR MORE sense, within the scope of science, to believe that “matter in motion is infinite.”
I don’t see how science could ever prove or disprove the existence of a Supreme Being. Science is the study of what happens under earthly/celestial rules. The idea of a supreme being transcends the rules of earthly existence by definition. They are simply different realms. Science could totally follow exact rules that are completely knowable and still be the product of some form of creation. At the same time, the world could be filled with one mystery after another and still be the product of physical forces with no creator in sight. So to me, science is not required nor likely capable of proving or disproving the existence of a creator, and it can happily go on being scientific and reliable and helpful and viable without the question of a supreme being even being raised. Science and religion are simply two different realms that have little to do with each other. As long as religion doesn’t invalidate the facts we observe in front of us, it’s all fine by me for people to have and exercise their faith. I only object when one’s faith says that what is observed is wrong because some book or prophet says so. Otherwise, who am I to decide how we all got here?
I have great respect for you and your heroic struggle escaping from the clutches of psychiatry and their oppressive Medical Model. And I am very inspired and have deep respect for the fact that you have chosen to be active against the Medical Model by writing here at MIA.
My challenges to some of your words here are not meant to be disrespectful to you or your religious beliefs. We are all on a journey to uncover the truth in the world and try to use that knowledge to help liberate us from all forms of oppression. This journey requires the struggle over words and belief systems, and this can be very challenging, and even uncomfortable at times.
My belief system, including my understanding of history, tells me that various forms of superstition, including some of those held within certain religious doctrines, have been very harmful to humanity, and that these superstitions stand as a roadblock to human progress.
When I see contradictions in certain statements in the comment section, I sometimes choose to point this out. I try to conduct these discussions in a respectful way. I would be dishonest if I hid my beliefs on these questions, and a coward because I somehow feared people’s reactions to my strong views on these questions.
My view on “spirituality” is very much related to human connectedness. That is, the powerful feelings one experiences when being part of a movement to change the world for the better. In my experiences going back to the 1960’s, I have felt emotional highs (empathy and love) when participating in some political movements, where “the whole felt much greater than its particular parts.”
Rebel, I hope in the future we can agree and disagree on some things respectfully without taking personal offense to each other’s comments.
I forgot to mention that the quote I used on the Declaration of Independence came from the following link: https://www.tribtalk.org/2016/07/04/the-problem-with-the-declaration-of-independence/
“Agree to disagree” and “respectfully” are values increasingly difficult to attain in the world today.
I believe that one reason this is so is because the idea was used by criminals (anti-social personalities) to convince some portion of society that their “viewpoints” should be respected. The only result of this is that criminals have now walked forward into the light and asked us to accept them as our new leaders.
When this happened in the past, it had to be done either secretly or with brute force. Now we are expected to greet these aspiring leaders with “kindness” and “respect.” I am not willing to indulge in either with such beings. The only way to “love” such a being is to call them out, and expose their deception.
Of course, in the context of a forum or other attempt at rational discussion, basic good manners are to be expected. We should realize, however, that these have now been totally laid aside in some arenas. Behind the bad manners of the righteously indignant lie deeper and much more troubling attitudes, beliefs, and actions.
Richard Lewis, I appreciate what you have to say. I do not think you meant to be disrespectful, but, unfortunately I read your comments that way. For me to take a stand and disagree with anyone on anything is a big step for me and much of the time, I do it with trepidation. However, it is very important to me, especially my my psychiatric, etc. experiences that I do that. Perhaps, if I had stood up earlier to those psychiatrists, etc. I would not have experienced what I did experience. But, finally, I did, making a solemn promise to myself, that I would never darken the doors of any psychiatrist or mental illness office again.
I appreciate what you have to say about contradiction, but I am under the impression that life is a contradiction, a paradox. Thus, at times, it as “a better part of valor” to let another’s person’s contradictions be. It is as always a judgement call. And, by the way, who can really really say if progress or human progress of any kind is good. So many times, that which is supposed to be progress sets humankind back so that it is an actual roadblock to human growth and a host of other things. I appreciate that you find participating in “political movements where the whole seems much greater than the parts.” This is very noble, however, in my line of thinking, each part must stand separate, alone, tall, or they will never interlock. Each part is the whole and the whole is the sum or greater than the parts, but the very parts themselves. If there is a weakness in one of the parts, the whole suffers. However, it is up to not only the whole, but the part to strengthen itself, but this can not be done in and of itself. For, how did either the whole or parts come into being. Neither can be created on their own and without the other. Only a Creator can do that. And to make stronger either the whole or the parts, the whole or the parts can only return the Creator. Of Course, the Creator is God and only He can restore that which is broken. It is called Resurrection. I do wish to thank you, because, although we disagree on many things, my disagreements with you cause me to be stronger in my beliefs and thus grow closer to both God and Jesus. And that includes other things I consider true. Thank you and respectfully, Rebel
Richard, I just want to point out that the term ‘Libertarian’ in the US has been fully co-opted by a hard right-wing, extremely authoritarian faction of former Republicans who are entirely unconcerned with the fate of their fellow humans and largely want freedumb for corporations to pillage and destroy at will.
Left Libertarianism, which is where I fall politically, and where my political heros like Chomsky and Cornell West are on the political compass, is not even remotely the same.
I accept your clarification. I should have preceded the word Libertarian” with the word “Right Wing,” in order to more accurately make my point about about my problems with Dr. Kelmenson’s political perspective..
Thank you Richard for your thoughtful reply! I really haven’t read Dr. K that closely over the years as you and others have. I regard any psychiatrist who calls out the pseudo science (the medical model, but also the whole DSM farce,- of which I find to be decidedly more a political tome than a scientific document) is as good as they have to offer. I think its all but impossible for Dr. K to come around to reasonably understanding and empathizing with the forces his profession and its proxy actors (as I noted above) have upon the minds and hearts of people that “seek their counsel” in the first place. The dialectical chasm is just too wide, and the historical fallout too deep.
On free will, there’s a lot of “emerging science” to suggest that we don’t have a free will, but are more saddled with the ontic perception of having one viz the social matrix and our individual consciousness, etc.. I’m not going down this rabbit hole here! But it might be a good discursive segue to make my point. If psychiatry ditched its medical model and used psychotropic drugs sparingly, and never reflexively long term, and if they worked closely with “effective” psychotherapist. of which every psychiatric patient was provided, utilizing, for example, the PTM framework, and several other support systems (I could go on with examples of the mitigation of oppressive economic, social, and political forces, but the point rests’) would the “free will of the psychiatric patient” change, save dramatically? Me thinks so! But we’ll never know of course, at least not until the free will of psychiatry and institutional capitalism reaches the level that its subjects have to exercise day-in and day-out.
I think that stuff about “free will” has very little to do with science at all. It’s essentially a philosophical argument, suggesting that because there is not enough time to “think” before making certain decisions (such as a batter swinging at a ball) that therefore the person can’t have made a decision and must be compelled to be acting the way that s/he is. They pretend that this is “science” by measuring reaction times and the time required for a conscious cognition to be put into effect. The measurement of such times is scientific, but the conclusion is based on the (I believe quite errant) assumption that a conscious thought is required in order to make a decision. This is NOT a scientific, but a philosophical premise. A common fallacy these days is to measure something (like PET or SPECT scans) and then draw conclusions based on unstated philosophical assumptions, which invalidates the conclusions entirely.
Anyone who watched Mike Schmidt (Hall of Fame third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies back in the 1970s and ’80s) foul off one pitch after another after another when he had two strikes on him, waiting until he walked or got a good one to hit (as I did many times when I lived in Philly), has to conclude that the guy was doing it on purpose, no matter whether or not he had time to consciously decide where that ball was coming into the plate!
Sorry if that’s too far down the “rabbit hole” for others. Feel free to ignore!
I agree 100% with the author.
In my experience psychiatrists are not secretly plotting to blight people’s life. They really believe in their model, which makes them so dangerous salesman.
However it takes two to tango.
The entire basis of psychology is, that you can’t change the other person, you can only change yourself.
So the abuser does, what he does, but the only option is to look at the own responsibility and to make changes.
The path to radical freedom is to take radical responsibility.
Thomas Szasz went so far as to question the entire existence of mental illnesses. He claimed that people are just faking it, to get disability allowances. His prime example was hysteria, in for secondary gain.
I disagree with Szasz, but I can understand his exaspiration.
“Psychiatrists as a guild, in particular, are responsible for creating an utterly dishonest narrative for promoting their own financial and guild power interests and using what they know about human nature to create incentives for people to avoid their real problems and rely on the psychiatric profession for a “solution.” They spend billions and billions of dollars on this, invent new “disorders” in cahoots with the pharmaceutical industry, create or alter “practice guidelines” in the direction that increases their power, influence, and income, and intentionally ignore or misinterpret their own industry’s research that says that none of this crap really makes a difference in the long run, and in fact can be quite destructive or even deadly.”
I agree with everything you said in your post Steve. Thank you for that post.
I would have to say that people are NOT looking for an easy way out and even if they “looked real deep”, I doubt that is a motivation.
People run out of options because there are none. Psychiatry and docs are “the option”. this is NOT the fault of those who seek answers.
I get it, I can imagine that being a GP and having people voice their fears and anxieties, problems in life, leaves a GP frustrated.
But never is it the “fault” of the people. Psychiatry AND doctors absolutely without question played a huge part. They wanted the accolades, the being needed and reveered.
They liked that power, and SO, THEY should look deeply and ask themselves, what am I getting out of it? What did I want out of it when I chose or was guided or pushed into this job at an age when I was also misinformed…
No I think the onus is on those highly educated normals. They can see there is a problem, they without any doubt know the damage that drugs and labels do.
So these privileged educated normals should use their power for the good. They should be lobbying and threatening the politicians to change systems.
To invent new schools, new ways of education, help for parents WITHOUT the parents getting “written up” as “bad or mental parents”.
Perhaps if a physician or a shrink had a bunch of “programs” (which should really not be called programs, but alternate ways of life)
Perhaps if they had the script pad and were able to write that “johnny needs to partake of that 3 month long wilderness trip, where education is mixed in” and “johnny needs to play ball with peers” or Johnny needs that alternative school.
Perhaps that abusive parent needs a script NOT for parenting classes or “anger management” but rather for a live in sub parent to model and also give the parent some maternal guidance.
So yes those billions upon billions we use now to plainly hurt people in every way possible is NOT something to blame on the people.
You are the big boys, the educated smart and normal. So why in the world would you not ALL get together to absolutely insist that governments change the way we have done things?
It would work without question. Guaranteed because governments are up a creek without docs.
But no, this would not suit the shrinks.
“You are the big boys, the educated smart and normal. So why in the world would you not ALL get together to absolutely insist that governments change the way we have done things?”
What a lovely response. The whole post, but especially this hard-hitting question.
” The psychiatric industry has proven to be deceitful and self-serving and happy to exploit the vulnerable.”
It is evident in much of medical care that needs make shrinks angry. The needs also piss off much of the medical community.
This is where they came up with “stigma” ads. It’s really their own anger that is the issue.
THey are the only ones that hold needs against people.
Obviously not every kid who becomes a doc was raised in a home where you learn to connect with others.
To all who disagree:
I’m not denying the powerful influence of all of society’s institutions teaming up to promote the medical model. I’m just suggesting that there is another, important missing-piece to the puzzle that’s never brought out into the open and explored at MIA.
To people who say there are sometimes no other options besides psychiatry, I ask: How did people cope with their problems before biological psychiatry offered its “cures”? After a short period of being overwhelmed by emotion, they reached out to friends, family, or local churches/synagogues for support. They strategized plans to recover and regroup. They threw themselves into their jobs, or creative/physical outlets, or some purposeful life goal. Today we still see people choosing to do such things in the movies we watch, so we know that there are other options.
And via movies such as ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, books, and children’s stories, we’ve all been exposed to the dark, tortuous horrors that psychiatry embodies, such as incarceration, ECT, and lobotomy. So when people choose the psychiatry option, they must be repressing their awareness of this, because it doesn’t work for them to face it.
For those who deny and are unwilling to consider that the 11 allures I outlined may unconsciously motivate them and work for them, I ask: Don’t we all seek attention, admiration, the path of least resistance, relief from our burdens, financial security, and to be taken care of? Don’t we all have a selfish/monstrous aspect to our nature which comes out at night when we create our dreams? Try reading “The Interpretation of Dreams” which makes complete logical sense out of our seemingly nonsensical dreams.
And to those who have rejected psychiatry’s medical model but still accept its most basic, alluring tenet about our being “helpless”, I ask: Could it be that once psychiatry has lured you into viewing yourself as helpless, then you’ll thereafter be reluctant to give up this identity even after you have given up its pills?
You are talking about internalized oppression here. No one is denying it exists. I am saying that it is still the full responsibility of the abusive “doctors” in the system to NOT “tell people what they want to hear” but instead to tell people the truth, regardless of what they want to hear. That’s the responsibility their power conveys upon them. We can and should help people NOT view themselves as helpless, by all means, but that does not for one instant relieve psychiatry’s responsibility for pitching that narrative with all they have the power and money to do. Most people would have a much harder time convincing themselves they are hopeless without the unscrupulous support of those in power who know better, but pitch that narrative only so they can make themselves rich at their patient/victims’ expense. And even those who DON’T view themselves as hopeless/powerless are relentlessly beat upon to accept that viewpoint, not only by doctors, but by friends and relatives and TV shows and movies and the evening news, not to mention DTC advertising. We need to stop the onslaught instead of wasting our energy trying to talk the victims of the onslaught into ignoring the enormous social pressure to conform!
Great points Steve. I appreciate much of what Dr. Kelmenson writes on MIA but can’t ignore the exploitation factor of psychiatry and oppression factor when a person doesn’t want to take psych drugs, or the drugs don’t help and produce negative side effects, as psychiatry will always blame the patient for that. They will even mock a patient for experiencing negative effects. After my brother caved in and took the drugs for a temporary situation of grief, he could no longer think straight to keep working as an engineer or to function enough to make decisions to get himself out of the deep hole psychiatry pushed him into.
Yes, I have been mocked over and over for the side effects I would have from these drugs. If I only I would take that drug right—just at that high level the psychiatrist prescribed. In fact, they not only mock you about this, they downright bully you into submission or near submission. They are none too happy when you don’t submit to their desires. They are none too happy when you decide to take control of your brain and body. Why? They want to be in control of you. So, now who really is the one with “psycho-pathology?” Thank you.
How did people do all this before we destroyed the economic system? Before we destroyed the environment? Before we destroyed the social institutions that communities relied upon for eons to sustain themselves?
Dr K, did you know that Lyme Disease did not become an epidemic until after the US government deliberately weaponized it in a lab in the 60s for war against Cuba and accidentally let it escape? And then the medical establishment and federal government (CDC) spent decades demonizing it’s victims as “Lyme loonies”? Did you know that the test for Lyme deliberately excludes the bands that are most known to cause neuro-Lyme symptoms that get misdiagnosed routinely as psychiatric disorders? This has been going on for decades and is only slowly changing because you can’t deny the truth with half a million new cases a year sending a wrecking ball through communities.
Makes Covid seem like child’s play in comparison. It’s only because Covid devastated all at once that it couldn’t be ignored the way Lyme has been.
You get the same response to all of your blogs here because you are so intent on not seeing the systemic and cultural factors that influence people’s lives and treat them all as if they started with the same circumstances and abilities and just chose not to think for themselves. Your continued victim blaming at this point is willful. These factors have been explained to you over and over and yet you are willing to die on this hill for some seemingly inexplicable reason.
Try harder, Dr K. I have seen glimpses of empathy in your writings.
Could you provide some internet links for us to explore more deeply the sordid history of Lyme disease.
Richard, I’m glad you asked. Here are a few.
I could honestly keep going with hundreds of links but I’ll start with this.
Those are very interesting and scary links you provided. Before this I was not aware of any connection between tick borne illnesses and bio warfare labs etc. – it never even entered my mind. Although I did find it strange that widespread existence of ticks in New England (I grew up in southern Me. and now live in southern Ma.) was never a problem when I was growing up, or in my middle years.
I have had Lyme twice now and was fortunate to have early symptoms and thus was placed on a quick course of antibiotics which (so far) has precluded any further symptoms.
My wife and i have each (so far this year) removed two ticks that had already begun to bite into our legs. And just this morning I found a dead tick in my bed, which probably fell off one of our dogs who like to cuddle with us in the bed in the mornings. The dogs are given some medicine that eventually kills ticks that stay on their body for a certain length of time.
Please let us know if you learn anything substantially new on this topic in the future. I am sure the government and military will do everything possible to not allow anything about ticks and bio-labs to become public knowledge.
First, at one-time before my GP at the time got greedy, he did try to spend time to really talk to me about me and what was really upsetting me in regards to my headaches at the time. I think at the time, he was concerned because I would spent the entire appointment talking about other family members and not me. But, that was now a long time ago in a place far away that no longer exists except in my damaged memory.
I think that some who have a medical or psychiatric related education or employment seem to desire to “blame the patient.” They seem to make to want to make the patient “scapegoat” for their actions. They forget they can deny to prescribe a particular drug to a patient. Once during the grips of pneumonia, I asked for a refill for a type of cough syrup that was “opiate” based and the doctor said no, but take this OTC cough syrup instead. I think I was a little “miffed” but he was actually a responsible doctor at the time.
As far as prescribing drugs, especially psychiatric drugs, please remember how much the patient is subjected to through advertisements on TV, the Internet, magazines (the glossiest ads in magazines are not expensive shoes or perfumes, but psychiatric drugs) Psychiatrists and Big Pharma create this “I need this drug” just as much as I feel if I purchased a new bottle of expensive perfume, I would feel so much better.
Armadillo says “It takes to tango.” Yes, if this were an “equal” relationship. In our culture, no matter the age of the patient, the doctor stands in for the parent and is nothing but an authority figure. Even parents have to have great backbone and courage to stand up to the doctor to say no to whatever for the health of their child. In the old days, the joke was that if the patient wanted to change. That could have been. But the joke now is we are not going to change, we are just going to subdue you. Psychiatrists and other MD’s are not medical doctors of any sort any more, if at all (think psychiatrists) they are candy men and women—nothing but pill pushers. And, having been through the system of “hell” if you read the DSM Symptom Description of each alleged mental illness, you will see how closely these list match most of the “side effects” of these drugs. Funny thing, in my experience, I hardly ever received any sort of diagnosis or an alleged definitive diagnosis, which changed depending on what was favored by the psychiatrist or whomever, until after I was “drugged.”
You see, yes, we have emotions and feelings and yes, we do project them in our actions. Yes, there are times we are without a clue or are traumatized or scared or frightened. These are normal responses, some times, they even save our lives. It is only psychiatry, etc. that has decided that our normal responses are abnormal and need ill-fitting, disabling diagnoses and drugs. I was never disabled until they plowed the drugs into me. And now, I live with the brain damage from the drugs. I do not know if psychiatry, etc. is “social control.” I do know that this is a cultic and hostage situation and “psychiatric patient” is the hostage. And, right now, there are very few people who can get free of this cultic and hostage situation, unless somehow they either obtain the strength or like me, they almost die and realize the only way they will live is to get out. Szasz was no dummy. Thank you.
“why people wrongly think they’re helpless, and why parents believe their kids can’t learn.”
To feel helpless is to feel powerless, and this is not only excruciating stress, it is what is most vulnerable making. Of course we can learn, that is a big part of being human and it’s why we’re in this life! The ability to learn is innately and naturally empowering, then we are not helpless.
Were children to be born into a safe, loving, nurturing environment which understood the individual nature of our beings and creative expression, then their natural power would be honored rather than disrupted and denied, and that would be an exciting life unfolding.
Seems to be less and less the case, most unfortunately. I believe that this is the damage which needs to be undone. We’ve grown up with a lot of false beliefs–about ourselves, especially–which are beginning to unravel. That is change in the making, from within.
Yes, we know that are better ways to deal with all these issues. We need to only look back a generation or two or more. But, the seductive allure of the psychiatrists and their buddies, like the snake in the Garden of Eden beckons and we listen. But, like all paths of seduction, the path is dangerous, damaging, and tainted. Deep down inside we know we are not “helpless”. Although we have our strengths and weaknesses, we know we are not helpless, but bullied and criticized for both our strengths and weaknesses, we begin to deride ourselves and believe that we are helpless. And, at that point, we become tempted by the seductive powers of psychiatry. But, we can experience redemption. We need to acknowledge that we were tempted; confess our sins and walk away—“renounce psychiatry and all its evil ways.” For although, there is much out there that seems embedded with the devil, psychiatry may be the most embedded, because it is the most alluring and the most seductive. It tells us that it can make everything better; but, that is a lie! Psychiatry, by its very nature, only makes everything worse. Sometimes, it is so worse, the “patients” die or nearly die. Please consider what you write, when you write in support of psychiatry. I write this not directed at anyone in particular. It is just a thought we all need to consider. Thank you.
I don’t think previous generations actually dealt “better” with issues, they created scapegoats and scapegoating systems, like psychiatry. That’s how we’re in the mess we’re in today. Scapegoaters need to stop scapegoating and scapegoats need to stand up for themselves and take back their power. We can all improve a bit, however we are tipped on that particular scale. In a dysfunctional system, everyone is playing a role, and everyone has the power to stop playing it. That’ll break it up but good.
Whether or not the system is dysfunctional, each one of us will play roles. The question should be in the choice of the roles. Unfortunately, many in our society, do not necessarily get to choose the role they are meant to play. Much of the suffering in our society comes from those who play roles they do not belong to them. Many times, they are for whatever reason are trying to be someone who they are not or can not be. They, thus, are unable to fulfill that role successfully and, in turn, consider themselves failures. At this point, they become nothing but “fodder” for psychiatry, etc. When this occurs, they don’t need psychiatry, they need permission
to fulfill the role they are meant to fulfill; i. e. just being themselves. They don’t need drugs, therapy, treatments, etc. They are not being scapegoated or scapegoating. We do not need to break up role fulfillment. We need to allow people the right and ability to fulfill their unique roles that they were meant to fulfill. It is a fallacy to state that we need to “break that up for good.” We really need to stop lying to ourselves who we are and that is a role unique to each one of us. Thank you.
“they need permission”
To me this reads like a confession.
If psychiatrists, or psychiatry, were more self-aware, this is what they would realize they were doing in order to take advantage of other people.
But if you want to travel down a path of more interest to someone like me, it would be: How did psychiatry get led out of psychotherapy and into drug pushing? What were the forces behind this?
In some sense, the answer to this question is the same reason that so many people embrace “modern” psychiatry even though it doesn’t work. We all ARE mentally ill, to the extent that we are incapable of taking sufficient personal responsibility to straighten ourselves and others out, but prefer to let “experts” push us into the trap of irresponsibility. If we continue to embrace drug-taking and its associated justifications (in the form of “scientific theories”) we will never exit this trap, but continue to spiral down into less and less liveliness and free will. The fun of living will eventually become totally absent.
In another of my MIA articles, “How Psychiatry Evolved into a Religion”, I explain how/why psychiatrists transformed from therapists into drug pushers. I was in training and then was practicing psychiatry as this happened, so I was able to see and understand it. But at the very end of that article, I naively suggested that the American public would eventually turn against biological psychiatry, due to being enlightened by MIA and other truth-tellers.
Instead, psychiatry’s medical model has become more and more entrenched in our culture. So I came to the conclusion that the medical model (or what I prefer to call the ‘helplessness’ model) was able to catch on and strengthen because: The public fell in love with it so much (individuals, parents, teachers, disability lawyers, entertainers, etc.), that it created a huge demand for this product. People have been knocking down psychiatrists’ doors. Without that huge demand, biological psychiatry would have fizzled out, and psychiatry would have faded away.
This helplessness model became wildly popular in other areas too: For example, people used to change their eating and exercise habits in order to address developing health issues like elevated blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight. But now they are told, and gladly believe (because it’s convenient), that these issues are genetic and thus out of their control and thus better dealt with by taking pills right away.
So unfortunately, the helplessness model, by telling people what they want to hear (what they wish was true), is likely here to stay for a long time. It’s the same way that religions were able to succeed and last so long.
Your statements are unfortunately very valid. People are susceptible to being sold “wish fulfillment.” I’m not sure what anyone can do about that. What I think you’re leaving out is that this model primarily serves those who wish to label and dismiss the distress of others and have them take the blame for it. Is it really likely that the average person is going to stop believing in psychiatry, or in the infallibility of doctors in general, when they are blanketed with propaganda through their own doctors, the media, the schools, their churches, their friends, and so on? We can’t expect the mass of individuals to develop this kind of insight – action needs to take place on a MUCH larger scale than hoping that educated individuals somehow acting en mass to alter the economics of selling people drugs that don’t work at a premium price.
I am happy to hear that you have done this work and arrived at the insights you have.
“Helplessness” I suppose is the emotional description for the condition that so many seem so willing to accept as their easier route to death. I wonder if you would agree that the political corollary to this emotional condition would be “slavery?” One could also describe it as “imprisonment.”
People (like myself, I suppose) who are more interested in the political ramifications of the human condition tend to miss or pass over some of the emotional (psychological) subtleties involved in the situation. But anyone who has studied modern politics knows the importance that human psychology plays in subjects like propaganda and voting. So the two fields are most closely linked.
If there were a basic, but hidden, impulse at work on this planet that operated in favor of slavery, that would to some extent explain why so many people succumb to this, and why others strive to resist it with such ferocity.
In your words, “people used to resourcefully rely on their own capabilities to solve their problems.” This is in fact a saner mental condition, as most people who have studied the problem would probably agree. This expresses not only a desire to be free, but an ability to be. If anything changed on this planet, I suppose it would be that the continual pressure against freedom (and for slavery, in political terms) has more and more convinced greater numbers of persons that, even if they desire freedom, they are no longer able to really attain it.
Part of the information that I have been studying explains this situation in a very big-picture way. It is unbelievable, so I won’t bother to try to explain it here, but the bottom line is that an impulse towards slavery has been discovered. At the same time, psychological (or one could say spiritual) methods for removing this impulse have been developed. Thus, I see some hope for the situation. If it were not for this, I would be extremely pessimistic about our future. Those who want to enslave us have superior control technologies. Whether we can act quickly enough to successfully stall and eventually overturn their efforts is still very much up in the air.
Well Lawrence I’m the one who said psych and it’s co-horts are the only thing available and which the public sees as a logical “alternative”.
If we have to look deeply, I would suggest the first to start doing so are those who keep the system alive, and no, it’s not the “consumers” of it.
That is like saying it’s my fault if I am starving and eat something rotten.
How do we explain millions of VERY young kids getting drugged? Is it their fault or the parents? Did they run to the shrink? It is the teacher that starts the ball rolling often.
And if a parent asks a doctor, what is wrong with my 3 year old, WHO is it that sells them the present BS? Is that the parent’s fault? For going for advice?
Going for advice is yes, my choice. Receiving BS is not my choice.
It’s a bit like blaming those who can’t walk well, or physically able, for the state they are in.
No one ever thought of just drugging those complainers. Needs will exist, physically and emotionally. People will seek care, understanding and help.
Drugging and labeling emotional things, THAT IS THE FAULT OF PSYCHIATRY, no one else.
People do not want “quick” fixes, that is what psychiatry wants.
That is what they think of when they hand out poisons, neurotoxins. They washed their hands long ago from the long haul supports and fixes.
They should have been working on those ramps and sloped curves for those who cannot keep up with the mainstream.
Why are children drugged because they can’t sit still for the curriculum? Psych says they are not normal. They have defective genes, brains.
Does psych say that ALL kids are different and we should have schools that teach basics plus put tools in their hands? Tools that interest their defective ADHD brains? Or bugs? Or plants? Paints? music?
And the ironic thing is, drugged kids don’t often go on to becoming a doc or lawyer anyway, so why bother.
People don’t want quick fixes? All the Latin and South American countries whose economies are centered around selling drugs to Americans may disagree with you. And anyone who looks at drug overdose data and sees that it’s mostly an American rather than a worldwide problem may also disagree with you.
Of course psychiatrists have hugely contributed to this, but saying they “should” be the ones to look at themselves and question what they’re doing is pointless wishful thinking. There is no way they’ll give up riding the gravy train they’re on. So I hoped that psychiatry’s consumers may be willing to look at themselves and independently question what they’re doing and why. But that’s not happening either. Such open-minded self-analysis and taking responsibility for one’s lot in life seems to have no place in American culture anymore.
“People don’t want quick fixes? All the Latin and South American countries whose economies are centered around selling drugs to Americans may disagree with you.”
Are you completely blinkered to the role the US CIA has played for decades in providing guns to drug cartels south of the border in exchange for their flooding poor (black and brown) communities with drugs? Are you totally ignorant of the role US sanctions have played in destabilizing Latin American countries’ economies so that those same cartels remain so powerful? Do you not understand why we continue to have wave after wave of immigrant caravans walking thousands of miles on foot in search of a better life in America because our own government purposefully keeps these countries at perpetual internal war with such horrific conditions that it’s safer to risk such a journey for the prospect of working menial jobs below minimum wage here in America than it is to risk their lives staying in their homeland? Are you aware of how all these policies and flooding our streets with drugs have enriched the prison-industrial complex at the expense of Black and brown communities? Are you aware that slavery still exists in the US and that many large private corporations benefit from prison labor from those who have gotten caught up in the drug war?
Do you know that it is all deliberate?
You did your residency at Cornell – an Ivy League school. Why don’t you spend more time picking on people your own size, like your fellow Ivy League trained doctors? Your statements are amounting to ignorant and privileged bullying of matters you probably won’t ever understand because you’ve never had to.
No South American country comes close to “having an economy centered around selling drugs to Americans”; this is pure hysteria/hyperbole.
Perhaps, not the “government economy” but in all nations, there are “underbelly economies.” Some countries seem to have this problem more than others or perhaps, they are unable to successfully hide it. As far as US involvement in any South American country, yes there has been involvement. Unfortunately, we are probably not aware of how much or how little. I, however, if it is “pure hysteria/hyperbole” that there are not, at least, some people who are in various South American governments who are not involved in helping get drugs to Americans. Drugging Americans, in particular is a very lucrative business. However, South American countries are not the only countries that are involved in some way in the drugging of Americans. I rule out no country as having a finger in this pie of pure darkness. This is absolutely not “pure hysteria/hyperbole.” This is the sad truth of how the addictive need for drugs in America has been created and this includes psych drugs, in addition to opiates and a million other drugs, prescribed and not prescribed, legal and illegal. America has had a long love affair with drugs, too long. Thank you.
Yes of course there is an underground industry in South America of sending drugs to North America and Europe but even including estimates of it in GDP it’s nowhere close to being the basis of the economy.
Columbia has the worst press regarding drug trade. It looks like only 3% of their GDP comes from drug production and sales, down from 7% some years back. Hardly the backbone of their economy!
Again I speak and it’s probably nonsense. But, then again arguing over whether drugs are the backbone of any country’s economy is well nonsense. It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality. And the quality is that drug trafficking across national boundaries from many different countries to the United States and from the United States is really what our concern should be—that is, that it happens at all. We need to more than reduce it; we need to eliminate it. And the only way to do that is to make the present-day drug culture in the US and other “developed” nations is not only rampant, but acceptable. Psych drugs, anti-pain drugs, even drugs for other conditions are the fuel. We desire a drug for every little thing. A little pill here, a little pill there… It is so easy to just pop a pill in your mouth for anything. It is so easy to believe this is the answer to our problems. The worst thing I did in my life was to believe a pill (or many pills) was an answer to all my problems. No! I almost died. But, messages like mine don’t get out. Why? It’s not only greed and corruption, but they contribute to this. It is hubris. A lot of folks have invested themselves in these little pills and they don’t want to be proved wrong. I don’t know the answer, but, perhaps, it begins with the one little step; where we contract with ourselves to avoid pills as much as possible; to choose to live pill-free as much as we can; to be an example to a drug crazy world; that living without those little pills is the key to freedom, health, and happiness. Thank you.
Well we can pick and choose our discussions; having a factual economic discussion doesn’t mean we can’t also talk about whether people are too quick to reach for drugs to make themselves feel better (having said that, centuries ago people arguably ingested much greater quantities of alcohol on a daily basis).
Removed for moderation.
Actually, the drug induced bio-medical basis of mental illnesses began about the time of “prozac.” I think that was about 1987-1989 or so. We used to joke that whenever a school bus crashed, it was caused by the driver using “prozac.” (Of course, we had no verification and that is basically an item of privacy.) Yet, before that there were few accidents involving school buses. When I studied psychology in college, they listed some illnesses as “brain-based” and some as not. Very few actual mental illnesses were, at that time, included in the brain-based column. There was confusion and questions about schizophrenia. They did not start drugging kids until the 1990’s when they came up with the myth of the ADHD/ADD child. They have worked to bring this to adults through books and magazine articles, etc. to create another group of consumers—adults. At one time, a woman wanting to become pregnant who was allegedly diagnosed with say bipolar disorder had to choose between the drugs or the pregnancy. Now, many pregnant woman brazenly state ty. hey are taking an anti-depressant or other drug.
Yes, before the super drug age, there was psychotherapy and related therapies used almost exclusivity. I think a combination of their lack of ability to work and the seduction and greed of the drugs and the bio-medical model, in addition to the possibility that psychiatry would no longer be the ugly step-sister of medical specialties fueled all this mess we are living through now.
Is there an answer, a solution to this mess? In the end, it must be some sort of, what some call the abolishment of psychiatry. There have been “anti-psychiatry groups” almost from the beginning of psychiatry. Psychiatry, by its very purpose to enter the minds of others, a sacred, private place is inherently doomed and profane. Basically, psychiatry, is nothing but the action of raping the mind. It’s only goal is to let you give them the key so they can rummage around in your mind and since they have now discovered that this is basically impossible, all they have left is to drug the patient into a stupor. They are drugging their patients because their psychotherapy model has already failed. Our minds are our private, sacred space. Please remember that. Now, all good people need do is to wake up, because this sleep is not beautiful, but damaging, danger and deadly. Thank you.
The “mental illness/brain disease” lobby has expended a great deal of energy in selling it’s product. On top of this factor, and contributing, the drug industry has dramatically increased the number of chemical options available to people beyond that supplied by biology. The misinformation mill, as your article clearly demonstrates, is busily working overtime. People are seldom abandoned to their own devices after incarceration in the system any more, now they are tailed and badgered throughout the rest of their lives by the same system. As I pointed out recently, all you need to do to find out how bad things actually are is to google antipsychiatry sometime, and then just look at all the propsychiatry antiantipsychiatry items that come up. Opposition to torture and false imprisonment must be out there somewhere, and maybe you can find it if you try reading between the lines. Surely it is out there somewhere, and if you can’t find it, then I would highly recommend starting something on your own. After all, who knows what it could grow into. A lobby to supplant the one attached to the “mental illness/brain disease” industry? I don’t know? However much nonsense prevails, some of us keep hoping nonetheless.
As someone who I think brought up “free will” I would agree with Steve McCrea that its debate and discussion belongs not to science, but to philosophy, which includes religion. Strangely enough, when psychology began, which could be the mother of psychiatry, psychology was considered an offshoot of philosophy. Until recently, most psychology departments in universities were in the Liberal Arts College. With the onset of the medical model in psychiatry, psychology, is now in some sort of “soft science” college; depending on the university.
I do think that many do feel the answer to psychiatry issue lies in what we call “liberal politics or philosophy”; the “left-wing” as opposed to “conservative politics or philosophy”; the “right-wing.” But, the problem with politics is that it is like the weather. Depending on where you are, if you wait a little while, that which is left becomes right and that which is right becomes left. The storm we though was to blow in from the west actually comes from the east or vice versa. The problem with politics is that it is man-made and thus error-prone. Thus, it begs our question, how much politics should we interject into any anti-psychiatry fight. Now, I realize that there are many contributors and posters to this site who actually only want to reform psychiatry. Either way, politics is nothing but Steve McCrea’s “rabbit hole.”
It muddles the issue and whether you are in the “anti-psychiatry camp” or the “reform-psychiatry camp”, it does nothing but gets in the way of the achievement of either abolishing or reforming psychiatry.
I would like to say, yes, I believe in both “free will and freedom.” What happened in the past might should stay in the past, unless we have enough courage to learn from it, but not live in it. I guess this include both our personal past and our “collective” past. Not one of us who walks the Earth is unblemished or not done something which is wrong, immoral, sinful, etc. Human beings are both simple and complex. It is very difficult to really judge someone who lived in a prior era, because we do not truly know the pressures and stresses of that era. Of course, that excuses no one. It only means as my father so intelligently taught me that if I point one finger (usually my index finger) three fingers point back to me. All these years later, I think, what a pictorial way to teach me, “judge not lest ye be judged.” Unfortunately, as a mere mortal human being I forget this from time to time. Unfortunately… Thank you.
All of Lawrence’s points are basically accurate, despite the “blame the victim” attitude many understandably sense (or think they sense). Nonetheless we ARE all responsible for self-discipline, which includes not being sucked into exploitative situations and grabbing at easy “solutions” we know at some level are exercises in denial and self-delusion. Even if a professional assures us it’s ok.
I never believed in the biological model. I only suffered severe panic attacks which I did not understand. I thought for sure I was dying and the doctors were missing something. I kept running to emergency rooms. I knew nothing. I suffered – and was not able to care for my four children. My pastor convinced me to see a “Christian” psychiatrist; two people I should have been able to trust: my pastor and a doctor. The “Christian” psychiatrist insisted I had a “chemical imbalance”. I did not believe him. I refused his drugs. He gave me books to read. I finally succumed to his xanax just so I could function enough to care for my children. I had no emotional support in my life whatsoever – and still do not have any. The psychiatrist told me I would need xanax for life. I finally just gave in because I had a household to run, responsibilities, children I loved. Xanax seemed to ease the panic attacks and I was able to function.
Fast forward to now – after moving to a different state – one of the worst for mental health care – they switched me to klonopin in 2013 (the start of my downfall) and have tried over 25 different drugs for the depression caused by the benzos. I was a stupid good patient for most of these 24 years, following orders, until I was introduced to Mad in America through Dr. Caroline Leaf’s husband. Now- my problem- I read and study and am told over and over the blaring truth that I somehow missed. It was not out there back in 1997. There were not options for me back then. I had a controlling husband and chidren to raise. They are now all grown. My youngest still at home because he has suffered “psychosis” and severe abuse in hospitals. One hospital even tried to kill him. I saw him dying an agonizing death. This is so now such a nightmare life! All because I went to a psychiatrist in 1997, who was just as controlling as my mother and my husband – and I raised to trust and listen to authority always. I have been through hell with the system here. Fighting for my son’s very life and freedom – alone! So – here we are: he is finally home and we isolate – we do not feel safe where we live. But he is being prescribed 500mg Clozapine and 150mg Effexor. He wants off. I am tapering too. There is no one I know who has successfully tapered off Clozapine. I fear the authorities taking him from me if anything goes wrong! I have been tapering at a 3% rate using a scale and dry cutting for him. He is currently down to 425mg. His psychiatrist agreed recently to let him go down to 487.5mg. I notice little changes in him – yet he denies any problems and wants to taper faster. I am a mess. I am scared they will take him again.
I cut lexapro in half in 2017, before I knew about tapering. But I kept it at 10mg. The doctor now knows I am at 10mg and just recently tried to put me back up to 20mg. I have been trying to taper klonopin since 2017. My son suffered multiple tragedies – horrible tragedies – including one self-inflicted one. So, I have had to hold many times. Recently, I got down to 2.1mg from 4mg of klonopin. But, I ran out of the 2mg pills they used to prescribe and I had to switch to 1mg pills and figure out the math. Maybe I did something wrong or maybe it was the switch, but the severe anxiety came on strong. I could not think, I felt I had dementia. I could not remember things. My chest was very tight all the time. I am still dealing with many complicated issues for my son so I need to function. I have nightmares every time I sleep for at least the past year. I have to be able to function. How do I do this alone? I went up to 2.5mg. That was not helping. I finally went back to 3mg, which is my current prescription. Now I just want to sleep all the time. No way to live. I have to taper back again.
Since I found Mad in America around 2016 or so, I have been seeking everywhere for help to get free from psychiatry and benzos. Now I need to get both myself and my son free. There is no help. We need to get away and be surrounded by professionals and peers to help us get off these awful awful drugs! Believe me, I have looked everywhere. There is no help. We cannot just do this through forums and such. We need real, live people in our lives. I have so much information, I can not hardly read anymore. I feel we are surrounded by wolves, waiting for either of us to make a wrong move and we will be thrown into psych wards and drugged up. Plenty of these people around – no helpful people. My son, they would kill. Where can we get help? Is there any compassion for people such as us who are stuck here? There seems to be compassion for street users, but none for us. We need a clinic such as the type of clinic Healther Ashton ran – real help. We do not need more people writing more books or giving more lectures on how bad psychiatry and its drugs are. We need real help. Will all the people and professionals who know so much ever get together and try to provide tapering clinics for people such as us? I have found Inner Fire in Vermont as well as a Sortaria House (they will not take my son because he is already on drugs!) – have to be very wealthy to go to Inner Fire, which we are not! Same with Cooper Riis. There are not options out there for people like us who have to use our insurance and cannot pay exhorbitant amounts for help. We just do not have it. It feels so hopeless. When will there be help for us and others like us? Will it come too late? Will it ever come? While I was strongly advocating for my son for years, I saw others. Other who had no one. They are still stuck in the system or dead! When will real help come? I can find thousands of places to get drugs – I could be drugged into oblivion if I really told people how I felt – yet why is there no affordable help for me to get off these drugs and get my son off his very dangerous drugs – and live life. I sometimes am afraid of tapering his clozpaine because a doctor once cold turkey took him off and that was the time he almost died. I saw him dying in the psych ward of a medical hospital. It was not a pretty scene. He was dying an agonizing death. Yet, a nurse and two med techs just sat there as if they were on a coffee break! I kept insisting they get medical intervention for him. I told them he was dying. They told me to leave! I refused. He was finally assessed and taken to CV-ICU where the doctor documented that he was in respiratory failure, rhabdomyolosis with kidney injury, dehydration, and more – stating that they had to work on him some 48 minutes, less procedures, to stop vital organ shut down and to stop further deteriation of patient’s life-threatening condition.After ICU, he was kicked held on the floor and kicked in the head by med techs in the psych ward – kept in restaints and beaten many times. WHY? No one will let me know what really happened in there. He has heart problems now at age 26. We need help. I cannot do this alone. Where is the help in this country of USA?
The situation she describes is very real.
If individuals in a local community can’t figure out how to organize and fund a charity clinic that uses workable drugless methods to help people, then those who can’t afford what their insurance will not cover have no choice.
From other comments, this person sounds like they might be in Florida. I know that CCHR there has a pretty good network of people who help people who have been Baker Acted get out of institutions. But they don’t yet have a network of alternative clinics. And neither does anyone else.
Being in or near poverty puts you in a different world. Many resources that “average” Americans can afford are not available, and charity resources often serve special interests. The usual advice I hear from my side of the fence is, “figure out how to get out of poverty.” Though there is some validity in that advice, it’s more easily said than done.
In fact, help in many subjects is weak and hard to come by. This will only get worse the longer psychiatry and its bedfellows continue to poison our thinking and our own self-confidence.
I suppose we must be low income – I do not understand why. My husband works in chronic pain as an automobile techinician at a dealership for about 14 hours daily, six days a week. We barely see him. He should be retired. I have become unable to work ever since I have had to constantly advocate for my son – seeing him left to die an agonizing death in the middle of a medical hospital and now scared to leave his side because he has only suffered one tragedy after another since entering the mental health system. It always happened because he was vulnerable and taken advantage of with no advocate. So, I now have to be his advocate everywhere he goes to be sure no one lies about him or takes him away.
I have contacted everyone I know and feel I am up against the mafia here. I have spent countless days, weeks, months, years writing and advocating with little response other than “I’m so sorry” Or “get help and let us (professionals) help your son!” Ha! They will help him right to his grave! I used to trust the “professionals” and they almost killed him more than once! No more! I have contacted organizations such as Disability Rights, elected officials, the joint commission and more; about the severe abuse and attempted murder of my son. There is no help. CCHR has been no help either.
And I am now suffering awful withdrawal effects from 24 years on benzos – as I have been attempting to taper on my own for some time now, with many holds due to my son’s situations that were continually occuring for quite a few years. I cannot keep up with a virtual community. I can only try to just be here for my son – barely care for myself.
I do not have the luxury I have read of others, whose family’s take them in and take care of all their responsibilities, provide them healthful food, cleaning, shopping, companionship, support and much more so they can get through the awful withdrawals. I have read about such situations where people have nothing to do other than get through their withdrawals while others care for everything else. How I wish I could do that so I could be a much stronger help for my son! I can find no doctor who will support me, so I have to hide my tapering efforts and the efforts of tapering my son as well. No peer community around me either. There is only punitive treatment here for anyone “labeled”. We might as well have a patch on our clothing… it is that bad.
How is one to “figure out how to get out of poverty” while their mind is completely drugged into needing at least 15 hours sleep or more – not able to think well (my son’s psychiatrist writes as symptoms: cognitive dulling and apathy! Those are not symptoms, they are side effects of the drugs she give him!) – suffering horrible side effects and while going through horrendeous withdrawal? And while being fearful of anyone forcibly hospitalizing you because you are experiencing withdrawals? I heard that others lay in beds safely at home for years, while their apparently well-to-do families cared for them. If they did not have such families, where would they have been? On the streets? Back in the psych wards getting beaten and forcibly drugged out of their minds and/or ECT or even dead?
That is what happens to even just the “working class” – not only poverty-level. We are not in complete poverty. We just can only afford to rent a small home, utilites, food, necessities. My husband cannot even afford insurance for himself! My mother purchases insurance for me, but it seems I still pay a lot for everything. I need therapy for the severe traumas I have suffered and also have witnessed as they tried to kill my son and abused him mercilessly. And they intimidated and harrassed me and him, tried to invalidate anything I had to say, minimize my son’s serious medical condition and abuse and more. I have been ambushed entering his psychiatrist’s office.
Now he is home – but where do we go from here? If we are tapering, and any doctor suspects anything out of the unusual – back to the hospital and torment again. When does it stop? Where is the compassion? Where is the oath to “do no harm”? I am doing my best to never allow this to happen again. We pretty much isolate and trust no one. I no longer feel safe here. I no longer believe that America is the “Land of the Free”. What did our soldiers even die for? This? I think not! And many of them are drugged as soon as they return home. I am so saddened by it all. More than saddened.
Does anyone see my plight? I am not ignorant or living on welfare.We never have lived on welfare – both worked and raised other children. Then this happened and destroyed everything we have built together. I have often worked in the past (sometimes stayed home to raise my children), yet now I am with my grown son 24/7. Both of us need a place where we can receive the support we need to taper without fear of hospitalization. After we are free from these medications and the withdrawals, learn to live without them, then we can get back to living and being productive citizens; enjoying life and doing good in this world. My son has yet to begin adulthood. I cannot even accurately describe this desperate situation. The nightmare that psychiatry brings into the lives of many!
I need rest now. I do not understand why we have no accessable non-drug and non-violent help. All that is accessible or forced on us are drugs and tortourous hospitals filled with death. Why no drug-free options available to us that are covered by insurance? My son has disability insurance. My insurance doesn’t even pay for anything – I might as well not even have it. I cannot afford the natural alternatives.
Do you see our plight? I am barely surviving each day – and trying my best to keep my son away from abuse. CCHR did not help me either. They want me to gather all his records after-the-fact, so they can file complaints to the same organizations that I have already filed with. What good will this do? How will this protect my son from future violation of rights and torture and forced drugging? How am I to be his only advocate when I am undoubtedly suffing severe PTSD and withdrawals? This is more than most people could do and I feel I am doing a poor job myself. I need help! Real flesh and blood help, not virtual help. I only have access to harmful “help”. There is nothing to help us get out of harmful psychiatric practices. God help us.
truth793810: Yes, you are right about alcohol. In the middle ages, the water was not clean; full of bacteria, etc. They knew they couldn’t drink the water, but were unsure why. So, they drank a lot of beer and wine which took the impurities, etc. out. In fact, at Wittenberg Seminary in Germany, when Martin Luther went to school; the students were told they could drink all the beer they wanted; but only take one shower a month. Ugh! I love my hot showers and am allergic to all alcohol, including beer. I wonder could this have affected history in any way. We will never know. But, today, our water is much cleaner, except in some “third world countries” although, beer is legal, we have laws that restrict the amount we are allowed to drink; that is when we drive or pilot an airplane or boat, operate machinery. However, those same laws may also apply to some legal prescribed medicine, like psych drugs and illegal drugs. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that America, especially, has an extremely large and dangerous appetite and they don’t care where it comes from. Thank you.