Mental Health Survival Kit, Chapter 5 (Part 6): Patient Stories and Conclusion


Editor’s Note: Over the past several months, Mad in America has published a serialized version of Peter Gøtzsche’s book, Mental Health Survival Kit and Withdrawal from Psychiatric Drugs. In this final piece, he summarizes a few stories of psychiatry’s failures from both patients and young psychiatrists, and he provides concluding remarks about psychiatry. All chapters are archived here.

Patient stories

Here are some stories young psychiatrists and patients have sent to me.

An 18-year-old student was still grieving after his father hanged himself five years earlier. After he was put on sertraline, he tried to hang himself and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. The admitting psychiatrist increased the dose of sertraline. When a young psychiatrist noted that depression pills increase the risk of suicide, the consultant replied that they were aware of this but had to treat depression, and if the young man committed suicide without being on a depression pill, they would be questioned why he was not treated.

A middle-aged man with pneumonia symptoms and a low mood was put on penicillin, sertraline, and a sedative by his family physician. When the patient started sweating profusely and developed psychosis with mania, he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital with a fever. The admitting consultant opined he had polymorphic schizophrenia, stopped sertraline, and started olanzapine and another sedative. When discharged, the diagnosis was dissociative trance disorder.

When a young psychiatrist asked if the psychosis could have been caused by sertraline, he was told: “I’ve never seen anybody with antidepressant-induced psychosis.” This lack of logic kills patients. If people who come home from Africa with a fever are not examined for malaria because the admitting physician has never seen anyone with malaria, some will die.

I was in that situation as a young man after an expedition in Kenya.25 Although I was very ill, with typical malaria symptoms, two attending doctors who visited me in my apartment on different days didn’t find it necessary to examine my blood for malaria. I lived alone and was lucky that I survived without getting the treatment I needed.

Hundreds of people have sent me the most extraordinary stories from their life. Some have thanked me for saving their life or their spouse’s, son’s, or daughter’s life, e.g.: “It was your book (Deadly psychiatry and organized denial) that gave us the courage to withdraw our son from antipsychotics, four years ago, less than five months after he started.” I later met with this father who is now very active in the withdrawal community in Israel.

Another patient who thanked me for having saved her life wrote that if she had not read my books and learned that there is something called withdrawal, she would have thought she had become insane. After ten years on duloxetine, she went through a three-year withdrawal that was very difficult.

A patient wrote: “I have used depression pills for five years because of social anxiety. They made my life a mess. Things are now way worse at every level of my life. The pills have changed my personality into being angry and disrespectful. I am more “brave,” but it is not me. I would never have started on them if I had known what would happen; I have also lost many friends. Thank you for your book; I am very happy that someone says how things are. The world is so insane. I have lost my trust in psychiatry, drug companies and doctors. I just wanted you to know that people are becoming more aware of this madness. In our SSRI withdrawing group, the number of members increases all the time.”

A family doctor used depression pills as a diagnostic test: If they worked, you had depression, and if not, you did not have depression. Another family doctor responded to a question about how to stop a depression pill: “You can just stop!”

A patient was told by her psychiatrist that depression pills were like putting a plaster cast on a broken leg. She tried to withdraw twice in vain and was told she had a chemical imbalance and needed the drug for the rest of her life, and her psychiatrist even increased the dose. A substitute for her family doctor saved her. He said that the pills were devilry and made her sick, and he helped her withdraw. She now wants to help others because she works as a job consultant with unemployed people, many of whom get hooked on the pills because of stress and anxiety.

A father was denied custody of his children because he refused to take psychiatric drugs. Numerous other people have written to me about how badly they were treated by psychiatry, sometimes with derogatory comments in the patient’s file about their personality, when they tried to avoid having their children treated with neuroleptics.

One patient wrote to me that a test showed she had an IQ of 70 while she was doped.

Another wrote that her psychiatrist had told her she had an incurable genetic disease and needed neuroleptics for the rest of her life. When she had withdrawn the drugs, her psychiatrist told her she would have a new psychotic episode again. When she had complained that she could no longer concentrate, slept a lot, and believed the drugs affected her memory so it was hard to study, the reply was the problem wasn’t the drugs but that she lost neurons due to psychosis and that her brain wasn’t the same anymore. So, she needed to take antipsychotics indefinitely to protect her brain from losing more neurons; otherwise she would become demented.

When the patient said she did not want to take the drugs for the rest of her life, the psychiatrist replied that she would then not see her anymore because she only worked with patients who wanted to be treated.

She wrote: “Ziprasidone withdrawal was hell. I was vomiting and couldn’t sleep for several nights until my body adjusted. I told my father I had stopped, and he wanted to force me to go back on medication and threatened to send me to a mental hospital if I didn’t follow the doctor’s instructions. He asked me: Do you want to be tied up in a madhouse? So, I lied to him saying that I went back on the medications. Anyway, I am fine now, the people I live with agree and support my decision and the new therapist accepts it too. Thanks for reading a bit of my story.”

Another patient wrote: “The psychoanalyst said I had to trust the doctor and the doctor said I had to be on medicines for the rest of my life, but I discontinued all medicines for about 8 weeks and I couldn’t feel better. I am no longer a zombie, I am back to listening to music, laughing, singing in the shower, feeling life and having sexual pleasure. I am back to being myself. I told the doctor that medicines were giving me anorgasmia and she asked with these words: ‘Which do you prefer, not having orgasms or going mad?’

“That was when I realised something was wrong, as I do not wish to live chemically castrated as if I am going through a lifetime with a lobotomy.” This patient had been sexually abused as a child.

A patient wrote that he took fluoxetine for ten years, which changed his personality, and he lost almost all his friends. He went through a horrible withdrawal without help where he couldn’t even get out of bed. His doctor told him that psychiatric drugs were vital for him, like insulin for a patient with diabetes, and he started on a drug again, but tolerated it badly. Then, his psychiatrist said that his side effects were likely caused by his depression, and he wanted him to try another drug. This patient had attended one of my lectures in Stockholm and therefore knew I had a list of people who could help him withdraw, which is why he wrote to me.

Here is my last patient story, told by himself and his mother, which summarises tragically what is wrong with psychiatry.

David Stofkooper, a young Dutchman, ended his life in January 2020, only 23 years old. He had a flourishing social life, was a lively, very intelligent student, with a lot of friends, enjoyed socialising and loved listening to music. Since he was 17, he could ruminate a lot, with repetitive thoughts; not constantly, and he still had a fun life. But he made a fatal mistake. He consulted a psychiatrist and was put on sertraline in October 2017. Within two weeks, he became suicidal. The psychiatrist increased the dose, and it got worse. He became zombified, with no libido and no emotions; his whole personality had disappeared.

His mother called his psychiatrist and said this definitely didn’t work, but she was fobbed off, being told she couldn’t call due to her son’s privacy. Her intervention was badly needed, however, as David didn’t notice what was going on anymore; he had lost himself totally. He told his psychiatrist that he was very suicidal, but the psychiatrist said he needed to wait longer, so he believed in that.

After five months, he got a new psychiatrist who told him to quit sertraline since it obviously didn’t work, cold turkey, in just two weeks. At first, he got a one-day long mania and called his mother, telling her he hadn’t felt so awesome before. After that, he got into horrible withdrawal where he couldn’t sleep.

This went on for months and didn’t get better, and the emptiness took over more and more. In the first few months of withdrawal, he told his psychiatrist how he felt, but she didn’t believe him. She told him it was not due to the drug, as it was out of his system. She said it was probably his obsessive, compulsive disorder that created all the problems.

David wrote in a suicide note that, “You present them with a problem that is created by the treatment you got from them, and as a reaction, get blamed yourself.”

His life had stopped. He couldn’t get pleasure out of anything. Even easy entertainment like gaming, something he had always enjoyed, gave him nothing. Everything was grey. Although he didn’t feel anything from meeting girls anymore, his zero libido and erection problems weren’t even the worst part: “The total erasing of any pleasure in life, as if I have been stripped of all my dopamine, is life debilitating.”

He realised he was doomed to be in this state forever and saw no other option than suicide. He was very rational about this decision. It was a kind of self-euthanasia, which his parents, both doctors, understood.

The blunting of his emotions was fatal. He didn’t feel emotionally connected to people, wasn’t able to feel joy in anything, not even music. His whole personality had been wiped out, and he felt he was already dead and not human anymore, an empty shell. The last year of his life he often said that he desperately wanted to live, but not as a kind of lobotomized zombie. David had never had any sleeping problems before he took sertraline, but the drug caused severe insomnia, which lasted till the day he killed himself.

David wanted his story to be told, as a warning to others. Both he and his mother had read my book,38 but unfortunately, nothing could be done. If he had read it before he was put on sertraline, he might have refused to take the drug that killed him.

I have heard similar suicide stories, also from Denmark, where not only the sex life continued being destroyed, but where the patients also experienced severe anhedonia, flatness of emotions, memory problems, and cognitive dysfunction, which some of them described as a chemical lobotomy. Patients who have come off neuroleptics have also sometimes complained of persistent sexual dysfunction, which might be related to the fact that they were unable to have any sex life while they were on the drugs, or that they were on depression pills simultaneously. There is still a lot we don’t know about persistent harms after withdrawal.

If people who are not psychiatrists—for example, doctors who don’t use psychiatric drugs, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, and people with no formal education but who care about other people—took over the whole psychiatric enterprise tomorrow, it would mean tremendous progress.

No hope for psychiatry

There is no hope for psychiatry, which has degenerated so much, for so long, and is so harmful that it must be stopped. It is much better for us not to have psychiatry at all than to have the one we have, or anything remotely similar.

We need to act collectively. This is our only chance. If one worker strikes because of inhumane working conditions, the boss doesn’t care but just fires the worker. If everybody walks out, all of sudden he has to negotiate.

Everybody needs to “walk out” of psychiatry. This is why I have written this book. Human beings can accept almost anything, if they get used to it, no matter how horrible, unfair and unethical it is, and few will protest against a sick system because it could be uncomfortable or even dangerous for them. This is why we have had slavery as an officially accepted norm for thousands of years. This is also how the Nazis came to power in Germany and kept it; people were too afraid to protest, as the Nazis murdered their enemies early on. Only two months after president Paul von Hindenburg made Adolf Hitler chancellor of Germany, on 30 January 1933, Hitler opened the first concentration camp in Dachau, outside München.

Can you name any influential politician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or patient advocate who has run a great personal risk by criticising psychiatry? Perhaps you can name one or two. I can mention quite a few but that’s because I am part of the resistance movement, like my grandfather was during the Nazi occupation of Denmark.25 My grandfather survived despite being taken by the Gestapo and sentenced to a concentration camp. He saved many Jews; I want to save as many psychiatric patients as I can.

History means a lot to me. If the psychiatrists had not forgotten their history, then perhaps we would have had a better psychiatry today, but they repeat the same mistakes they have repeated for over 150 years. When Margrethe Nielsen drew me into psychiatric research in 2007, it was with this proposal:

“Is history repeating itself?” She compared benzodiazepines with SSRIs and showed that indeed it does (see Chapter 4). I have the following suggestions:

  1. Disband psychiatry as a medical specialty. In an evidence-based healthcare system, we should not use interventions that do more harm than good, but that’s just what psychiatry does. In the transition period, let psychologists who are against using psychiatric drugs be heads of psychiatric departments and give them the ultimate responsibility for the patients.
  2. Psychiatrists should be re-educated so that they can function as psychologists. Those who are not willing to do this should find themselves another job or retire early.
  3. The focus should be on getting patients off psychiatric drugs, as they are harmful in the long run, and as the vast majority of patients are on long-term therapy. Courses on drug withdrawal should be mandatory for everyone working with mental health patients, and all patients must be told why they would likely get a better life without drugs.
  4. Establish a 24-hour national helpline and associated website to provide advice and support for those adversely affected by prescribed drug dependency and withdrawal.
  5. Provide tapering strips and other aids to help patients withdraw from their drugs at no cost for the patients.
  6. Apologize. It means a lot for victims of abuse to get an apology. Governments must require of psychiatric associations that they apologize unconditionally to the general public about the immense harm they have inflicted on mental health patients by lying systematically to them, e.g. about the chemical imbalance and by telling them that psychiatric drugs can protect against suicide or brain damage. If organisations are unwilling to do this, governments must do it for them and dissolve the organisations because they are harmful to society.
  7. Stop using words such as psychiatry, psychiatrist, psychiatric disorder, psychiatric treatments, and psychiatric drugs, as they are stigmatising and as patients and the general public associate them with bad outcomes.40,43 Change the narrative and use terms such as mental health instead.
  8. Leave mental health issues to psychologists and other caring professions, as what the patients need more than anything else is psychotherapy, empathy, caring, and other psychosocial interventions.
  9. Discard psychiatric diagnosis systems like DSM-5 and ICD-11 entirely and focus on the patients’ most important issues. Psychiatric diagnoses are so unspecific and unscientific that virtually the whole population could get at least one, and they don’t fit with the issues patients have, but often lead to additional diagnoses and more harm for psychiatric “career” patients.
  10. Make forced treatment unlawful. All treatment of mental health issues must be voluntary. Forced treatment does vastly more harm than good,38,44,45 and is discriminatory.
  11. Make psychiatric drugs available only for use under strictly controlled circumstances:
    a) while patients are tapering off them; or
    b) in rare cases where it is impossible to taper off them because they have caused permanent brain damage, e.g. tardive dyskinesia; or
    c) available for alcoholic delirium and used as sedatives for operations and other invasive procedures, e.g. colonoscopy, which can be extremely painful.
  12. Make it unlawful to use drugs that are registered for non-psychiatric uses, e.g. antiepileptics, for mental health issues, as this is harmful.
  13. No one working with mental health patients should be allowed to have financial conflicts of interest with any manufacturer of psychoactive drugs or other treatments, e.g. equipment for electroshock.
  14. All rules about the need for a psychiatric diagnosis in order to get social benefits, or economic support to schools, must be removed, as they create an incentive for gluing psychiatric diagnoses to people instead of helping them, which would involve other interventions than drugs.15

Everyone: Do what you can to change psychiatry’s misleading narrative. Speak about depression pills, major tranquillizers, speed on prescription, etc.


To read the footnotes for this chapter and others, click here.


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


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  1. “If the psychiatrists had not forgotten their history, then perhaps we would have had a better psychiatry today, but they repeat the same mistakes they have repeated for over 150 years.” Only now their mistakes are on a much larger and more deadly scale. Psychiatry is murdering “8 million” people EVERY year, according to the former head of NIMH.

    The depression pills and prescription speed can create the “bipolar” symptoms. Both the depression pills and major tranquilizers (antipsychotics / neuroleptics) can create psychosis and hallucinations, two of the positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via anticholinergic toxidrome poisoning. And the major tranquilizers can also create the negative symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome.

    Great suggestions, Peter. And I agree, apologies are needed from all the psy-“professions” to all of humanity for their incessant lies, their defamation of character of their clients with their “invalid” disorders, and their mass murder of their clients – the vast majority of whom are innocent child abuse survivors, not “dangerous” criminals. Thank you so much for speaking the truth, Peter.

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  2. Thanks Peter.
    You are saving lives.
    Not just one physical life, but lives where the whole family and friends are told lies and everyone suffers. Psychiatry leaves such misery behind, and then they close their doors.

    Life is hugely complicated and since the dawn of time we have those who take over. There will always be people who make others lives miserable or more than it was.

    I know there are many who read these stories, accounts, and shrug, or worse, just won’t believe it.

    But many do understand or are curious enough to find out, or recognize it when they witness psych at work….and more do every day.

    It is hugely important work you have done and continue to do.

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  3. You wrote “Everybody needs to “walk out” of psychiatry.”
    I ask the SMI patients entertaining the thought, to not forget where the money comes from to pay the rent and food bills. BEFORE you walk out.
    You do not want to be homeless.

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      • I got around that by relocating. I tell everyone–including my HUD apartment manager–that I get SSI for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and an eye condition. Both real and iatrogenic in origin.
        Feeling well enough to look for work so I won’t have to worry about a reevaluation by the System. I will move back to my parents’ homestead in the near future too.
        I wish David–described in the article–had waited another year. It took me two years after tapering off sertraline before I could feel good things again.
        In my late forties I experience more carnal desire than I did twenty-five years ago. Everything has been restored emotionally. Maybe cognitively. Though I struggle to organize and don’t know if biology or frontal lobe damage is to blame. But my amygdala is up and running again.
        I love music now. And I’ve become an excellent singer at church now that I have heart to put into it. And I know how to maneuver social situations too.

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  4. The Author of this article has some very good ideas about “ending psychiatry.” However, I disagree with him on the use of “mental health” as a term in place of all the other derogatory terms. The idea of “mental health” also presents itself as the other side of the coin, “mental illness.” Both terms are easily misused and misunderstand especially by mainstream media. Please see references in regards to many athletes in the spotlight recently. We need delete this “mental” stuff from our vocabulary because these words are useless and do nothing good to help people. The author mentions psychologists, social workers, etc. However, manu of them, especially, in the United States have been “surrogates” for the psychiatrists. They probably would not even know how to do their job without psychiatric interferance. Back in the day, I knew some graduates in many different liberal arts majors who went on to obtain degrees in “counseling and guidance.” I think we should promote more students into these types of fields because they are more practical. Many times people end up in the psychiatrist’s office, after a preliminary interview with a social worker type in a clinic somewhere all because they really need help in determing a career, a life purpose, etc. And, sometimes, it’s just basic financial or other type practical issues they need help with. In the old days, many would go to their local pastor, priest, or minister. However, in many churchs, especially the more traditional ones, these good people now refer their clients to psychiatry and even take up for the psychiatrists, etc. In the USA, especially, this will need a total restructuring and we may just have to end not only psychiatry, but psychology and related disciplines. Perhaps, at least in the colleges, we need to spend more time in the liberal and fine arts and less time in the false sciences of psychology, sociology and possibly anthropology. We also need to spend more time in our community colleges teaching not just technology, but even old time crafts and skills. One other thing, in the USA, at least it might not be profitable to depend on the traditional doctors to help in this. Sadly, traditional doctors, now seem to spend a lot of time being more like psychiatrists than the specialties, etc. they were trained in… Thank you.

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    • “The author mentions psychologists, social workers, etc. However, many of them, especially, in the United States have been “surrogates” for the psychiatrists.”

      So true. In the US, psychologists are medically untrained people, who often misdiagnose the common adverse effects of the psych drugs with the “invalid” DSM disorders, then force people to be further psych drugged.

      “In the old days, many would go to their local pastor, priest, or minister. However, in many churches, especially the more traditional ones, these good people now refer their clients to psychiatry and even take up for the psychiatrists, etc.”

      Absolutely, that’s what happened to me. I had a question about a Spiritual dream, and rather than a pastor just stating that a dream about being ‘moved by the Holy Spirit,’ merely means one is moved by the Holy Spirit.

      Instead, I was sent to a supposed “holistic Christian talk therapist” psychologist who fraudulently wrote in her medical records that that dream was a “Holy Spirit voice.”

      Which pastors of a different religion did agree was blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, the one and only unforgivable sin in the Holy Bible. And, according to that psychologist’s medical records, she got all her misinformation about me, from her pastor and his pedophile buddies. Which I’m quite certain was illegal.

      An ethical pastor of a different religion did confess this type of medical/religious child abuse covering up crime – which is happening on a massive societal scale – is known as “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.”

      And I will say the ladies in my childhood church came right out and confessed that their pastors were “partnered with” the “mental health” workers.

      “One other thing, in the USA, at least it might not be profitable to depend on the traditional doctors to help in this. Sadly, traditional doctors, now seem to spend a lot of time being more like psychiatrists than the specialties, etc. they were trained in.”

      Very true, the traditional doctors are the ones handing out the antidepressants under the disingenuous guise of “safe … meds,” to cover up their incompetent husband’s easily recognized malpractice.

      And I couldn’t even convince a pediatrician into ending the mass drugging of children with my “one in a million” psychopharmacological research. That pediatrician was shaking, because she knew what I was saying was the truth, but then she told me, “it’s too profitable to stop psychiatrically drugging the kids.”

      These faustian “partnerships” / “conspiracies” between the “psy professionals,” mainstream doctors, and the religious leaders in the US do make this one gigantic mess. And their corruption and crimes against humanity are just staggering in scope.

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  5. These accounts demonstrate total ineptitude on the part of the aforementioned “treating” shrinks. It’s guys like those in my home town who leave me the town’s leading “psychiatrist” on occasion, even though I’ve never been to medical school and obviously can’t legally get “psych” drugs unless I wanted to grow rauwolfia at home. I can certainly diagnose better than these “men of medicine” (I do have an HOD test, after all, which they’d believe to be total nonsense).

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  6. Dr. Gotzsche, thank you so much for your blogs and all you do to expose the grave harm psychiatry perpetuates on the unsuspecting. Psychiatry remains so defensive and displays so much animus towards anyone (professionals, harmed patients etc) who dare to speak of and expose the harm. It’s about ego, power and retaining financial wealth and status, while ethics, humanity and genuinely trying to ‘help’ anyone are severely lacking. Thanks again!

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  7. Dr. Gotzche, thank you for this article.
    I loved your book Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Health Care.
    Do you think that book played a role in Big Pharma’s concentrated efforts to get you banned–along with Kelly Brogan and others–from Big Tech platforms?

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  8. I have appreciated all of your articles and contributions to MIA and hope to continue to appreciate your work in forums such as MIA and others. At times, I do politely disagree with you, but your voice is so needed for the health and welfare of all, especially those who have been so damaged by psychiatry and even other medical specialties, as sadly, it seems the evils of psychiatry have begun to seep into other medical specialties and other health arenas. I know there are some who may not quite like what you say. Still, your voice is so needed, because more and more each day, we psychiatry as the great evil it is and how it has permeated society so much that even our existence on this planet might be in jeopardy. Please keep speaking up. We do not need the devil to win this round. This one is for God and goodness to win. Thank you.

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  9. The vignettes highlight how psychiatry is lacking in common sense. Especially the one where the psychiatrist feels obligated to increase the Zoloft even after the suicide attempt. If a psychiatrist were to acknowledge side effects, long term effects and withdrawal effects of the drugs, they would hardly ever, if at all, prescribe them. To live as a psychiatrist one must constantly ignore the damage that they do. They act like they don’t notice, but it is to big to miss. It is truly a case of the Emperor’s new clothes.

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  10. Thank You Dr Gøtzsche,

    These days we are often greeted, in the media, with injustices from Non 1st World Countries. But the unbelievable injustice and cruelty from present day Psychiatry is completely swept under the carpet.

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    Psychiatrists and Doctors would NOT be able to prescribe psychiatric drugs if they were to acknowledge the Homicidal and Suicidal Reactions caused by them.

    This is why Doctors pretend not to fully know about the Risks.

    In this day and age in medicine any other explanation would be ridiculous.

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  12. Most Psychiatrists and Doctors by NOW, will have prescribed Psychiatric Drugs that have killed Patients.

    These patients would still be alive today (and probably quite well) had they NOT been prescribed Psychiatric Drugs by their Psychiatrist or Doctor.

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  13. That was a great read! Thank you Peter Gotzsche and thank you to Mad in America for putting the book online. I am a psychiatric survivor and I owe my sanity (and maybe my life) to people who are speaking the truth about those drugs.

    The 14 suggestions are amazing but I fear I won’t see that in my lifetime. There is so much power and corruption in the psychiatric profession and so much money in the pockets of big pharma that we would need a massive movement from the “little people” to change the situation. Most people are not ready to hear the truth. I see more and more people on antidepressants around me and when I try to explain to them the danger of those drugs, most of the time, they think that this movement is similar to the antivax movement and that doctors like Gotzsche, Breggin and Moncrieff are quacks. They prefer to listen to the nice doctor on TV who tells them that they need their pills. It’s depressing.

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    • Well obviously according to psychiatry, to not agree with them is a sign of mental illness. I think the majority of shrinks are actually that ignorant, and to be that ignorant is so dangerous. They have no ability to think beyond what is fed to them, and it remains a cult which most of actual medicine has found to be very convenient.

      It’s downright scary how ignorant we are until we experience.

      A shrink knows he has complete control over you and your life, simply by saying that magic word, “mental illness” or “disorder”.

      Sad that such a bunch of yahoos will take jobs to make themselves feel better, at the cost of kicking the down and out. Just a bunch of losers.

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      • With me, they described me as having “severe and pervasive mental illness.” Therefore, I, especially do not like the word, “severe” especially. The word, “pervasive” is not used as often. However, the word, “severe” is used a lot about weather events. I think this contributes to my fear of storms. I also think that this fear is also related to after-effects of the psych drugs and therapies, etc. But, having survived, several tropical storms, hurricanes, a tornado, and even several strong snowstorms doesn’t help, either. I do think if I had not been so drugged and subjected to so much therapy, I would have withstood all those a little better and not now be quite so fearful, but still remain alert, if necessary. Thank you.

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  14. I have just found this article and the comments. Thank you to Peter Gotzsche and to Mad in America for putting all this online. It is all so helpful and informative. I was shocked to my heartstrings when my daughter was diagnosed with an “enduring mental health problem” and prescribed Sertraline, followed two weeks later by Respiridone. That was at the beginning of the story of her psychiatric journey which has lasted nearly 19 years. Strange, the language used by psychiatry – it has indeed been an “enduring problem”, brought about by the drugs and the treatment involved, rather than something within her. Recently, the clinical staff at the local Crisis Team told my daughter that she had a lot of “insight” – meaning I presume that they thought she had made good progress in her mental health journey. However, her insight has come about because she has realised how the mental health services have caused her a huge amount of pain and abuse over the years and she has fought very hard against becoming a long-term patient – a trap many people can fall into if they are not very careful. All she wants now is to withdraw completely from the prescribed drug (aripiprazole) and get on with living her life outside of the psychiatric system. What a waste of time, energy and peoples’ lives – spent on a destructive system – I do sincerely hope this can be completely and utterly transformed and save many, many people from enduring such suffering.

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