Brazilian Psychiatric Survivors Struggle for Liberation Impeded by Medical Model

Fernando Freitas: “The Brazilian experience of psychiatric reform is an exemplar of the limits imposed by post-asylum psychiatry.”

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Brazilian psychologist Fernando F.P. De Freitas, in his new article published in the Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling, and Psychotherapy, outlines how purely biomedical understandings of mental illness often undermine the goals of the psychiatric survivor movement in Brazil.

Using German philosopher Axel Honneth’s “theory of recognition,” Freitas argues that the resistance of Brazilian psychiatric survivor movements will never achieve liberation so long as the biomedical model of mental illness maintains hegemonic power. In addition, Freitas highlights that the predominant psychiatric interventions are not addressing high levels of mental distress in the country.

“Brazil is the country with the world’s highest rate of antidepressant consumption,” Freitas writes. And, out of all other countries in Latin America, “Brazil is the most anxious and stressed country…A survey by Functional Health Tech shows that the use of antidepressants in Brazil increased by 23% between 2014 and 2018. Women in their 40s are the ones who use these drugs the most… Among the five controlled drugs in Brazil, benzodiazepines have the highest consumption. In 2018, 56.6 million boxes of tranquilizers and sleeping pills were consumed, the equivalent of 1.4 billion pills.”

Brazil is not alone in its rise in prescribing, psychotropic consumption, and diagnosis. Although the United Nations has argued that these rates may reflect political changes more than medical ones, many service users worldwide, specifically in Brazil, report reliance on psychiatric medication. This reliance may challenge critics who understand that, although psychiatric drugs may not improve long-term outcomes, they are still wanted and understood as helpful by countless service users and stakeholders globally.

In 2001 Brazil passed a mental healthcare law designed to protect the “mentally ill” and “psychosocially disabled.” The new policy required that a psychiatrist’s involuntary commitment of an individual be reported to the public prosecutor’s offices within 72 hours of hospitalization. However, Freitas argues that the law, which was designed to benefit Brazilian service users, has done little to help them—and will continue to be unhelpful so long as the law is founded on the biomedical model of mental illness.

“One study shows that, among people referred to psychiatry without prior medication, 98% do not escape a psychopharmacological prescription. This implies that, regardless of the condition of entry, the referral to psychiatry always provokes the prescription of psychiatric drugs.”

Freitas writes that the high rates of medication and lack of efficacy of Brazil’s mental healthcare laws directly oppose the principles of self-actualization and autonomy. Furthermore, he argues that the hegemony of the biomedical model makes it impossible for the service user to heal and find liberation, especially when considered within the scope of the German philosopher Axel Honneth’s Theory of Recognition.

Honneth, riffing off Hegel’s “mutual recognition,” argues there are three distinct kinds of recognition necessary for liberation, autonomy, and self-actualization.

  1. Love and basic self-confidence – a recognition that guarantees emotional support and recognition in platonic, romantic, and professional partners, including health professional support.
  2. Legal relations and self-respect – a recognition of rights and consensual relationships.

Freitas quotes Honneth:

“…we can only come to understand ourselves as the bearer of rights when we know what various normative obligations we must keep vis-à-vis others: only once we have taken the perspective of the ‘generalized other,’ which teaches us to recognize the other members of the community as the bearers of rights, can we understand ourselves to be legal persons, in the sense that we can be sure that certain of our claims will be met.”
  1. Solidarity and self-esteem – This concerns the recognition between the larger community and the respect of others’ specific traits and abilities.

Freitas sees the biomedical model of psychiatry as impeding each type of recognition: 1. Mental healthcare professionals are unable to recognize their patients as mutuals. 2. The legal system diminishes the rights of psychosocially disabled people, and 3. Those with psychosocial disabilities are unvalued and misunderstood—leaving no space for mutual recognition and thus self-actualization and liberation.

 

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Freitas, F., (2021). “User and psychiatric survivor movements and their struggles for recognition: The case of Brazil” Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling, and Psychotherapy, 21(3) 22-32. (Link)

16 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, this is inspiring.

    Here in the US, a Mental Illness identity is worn like designer label clothes, and prescription drugs have become recreational mood alterants, while California Governor Gavin Newsom and his Secretary of Health and Human Services Mark Ghaly push through legislation to subject the homeless to court ordered drugging and beds in pschiatric internment facilities.

    Joshua

  2. https://youtu.be/EG7I6Bt_NZY

    Is Chinese medicine not a biomedical model?

    Otzi the Iceman, five thousand years ago, was dressed in the designer label tatoos of a “biomedical model”. His tatoos were found to be placed directly over physical problems in his body, rhematoid arthritis, a disease like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, in as much as the precise causes of have yet to be found. The cause may be spiritual or psychosomatic or anatomical or pollutants that cause brain glitches. Soma means body as that is where the war takes place. In the body.
    In a real war it matters to find the cause. But it also matters to CARE about the devastation whether any cause can be found or not, or five thousand years later no cause can be found.

    I recall a time a year ago when I felt intensely suicidal because of my schizophrenia. My schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that is to me nothing like depression or anxiety or trauma. Hallucinations rarely occur in depression, anxiety, trauma. Altered state of consiousness are NOT hallucinations occurring around the clock all day, month, year, decade. People are too often misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. I am sure it is easy to do that being as language is so confusing to fathom when someone is describing their symptoms of depression or anxiety or trauma. The language of suffering does tend to use metaphors of being got at and oppressed. It is easy to then factor that in as being a sense of possession or paranoia. Suddenly a schizophenia diagnosis is made. But this is down to the slippery gelatinous chaos of imperfect human words.

    A person who REALLY feels ill with genuine schizophrenia KNOWS it has nothing to do with environmental shenannigans. An iceman knows their rheumatism is not an idea given to them by a shaman tattooist. Nor is it given to them by tribal politics. The absurd notion that our bodies (biomedical) are under the spell of intellectual propaganda when our bodies feel ill is touted to encourage us all to think that wellness is found in using intellectual weaponry to triumph over intellectual weaponry.

    Heh folks…hallucinations do not stop when you apply intellectual discernment to them. Try it on a year of imbibing LSD daily. The Wizard of Oz clicking of the red spangly shoes does not get you home over that clouding of consciousness. The broken brain cannot think itself better by thinking better brainy thoughts. This is because the thinking part of it is shattered by what is best described as a disease. An epileptic cannot think their seizure unjerky. If thinking were so full of magical properties, as arrogant hubristic humans like to regard their logical minds as made fortressed with with, then iatrogenic harm from a billious swill of bad psychistric medications, inadvertanty dreamed up by hubristic intellectual humans playing chemists, would be cured instantly by but one thought, or by just aligning with a popular vote. Brains are delicate organs and are real and become broken by a million things, often of a biological nature, OTHER than “wrong intellect”.

    If a foot can go ill with rheumatism so can any part of human biology go awry. Including small undetectable microscopic cellular or brain wave dynamics in the brain.

    This has NOTHING to do with love, or upbringing. Are parents now lambasted for “giving” their children rheumatism or epilepsy? It is back to the notion of refrigerator parents regards these and schizophrenia, indeed the list grows to include depression and anxiety and crime as all caused by refrigerator parents, who were presumably loveless and unemotional, or so we are taught by the “intellectual”, who tell us our brain is full of the “wrong intelligence”. And so we must argue with the ancient profession of animal parenthood and pummel all new parents with new intellect.

    Intellect sort of is IS a deep freezer. You cannot tell parents they are fridges who cause illness and then tell those parents they must learn lots of intellectual ideology and intellectual propaganda to get them more cuddly.

    The animals do not do “intellect” in their brains.

    That is why they look so normal.

    Let me return to that time I felt desperately ILL because of my hallucinations. I decided to euthanise myself. I was about to but something stopped me in my tracks. I did not want my next of kin to have to cope with my laundry basket contents. Did I have time to put my laundry through a cycle of suds?

    Why yes!

    And so it came to pass that this schizophrenic woman is still living because her laundry was a disgrace.

    As I hung my damp newly washed clothes on the rack I philosophized about why I had felt ashamed of the fingerprint of my existence whilst not ashamed to put my next of kin through unimaginable grief at my suicide. Was a sweaty armpit so much more shameful than a coffin?

    I then realised that I do not feel ashamed of my body or what it does when it wears clothes. And my next of kin were all a bunch of nature respecting Hippies mostly, when it came to civilized neurotic hygeine. So where did I get this idea that I ought to tidy up before dying?

    I then understood that I did NOT feel shame at all. Rather my motive in doing my washing was one of love. I love my next of kin and my caring about them extended to CONSIDERATION of the impact my untimely demise would have on them.

    What IS consideration? It is vital in a community. A tribe cannot last without social mores. Ettiquete, kindness, tact, politeness, mindful awareness of the other person’s feelings. An individual cannot thrive without this reciprocated.

    Before some commenter or some contingent of “thought police” or anyone else who is NOT “me” calls me a LIAR by my truthfully stating that my schizophrenic suicidality is from my just feeling ill with hallucinations, I want to swear on my bible that my illness was not “caused” by my having a bad school day aeons before, where maybe no consideration was afforded to me, I will say that my schizophrenic suicidality was caused by endless seizures of hallucinations, not a dissappointed school day, nor refrigerator parents, nor a bogus molestation by a doctor or psychiatrist, nor a life of mediocre wages. My schizophrenia is like epilepsy. People sneer and say science has been looking for the schizophrenia mollecule for over eighty years. I say Otzi has been looking for the cause of his rheumatism for five thousand years and yet even his clamber out of slush and hailing a cab to a state of the art magnetic resonance imaging scanner and being under the baking spotlight of an international team of “intellects”, all this did not even spot his lethal arrow flint until a few years ago. No scientist, brushing snowflakes from his tattoos knew why he had passed away. And not until the flint arrow head showed up on on xray were they certain of “cause”. Before this they did not exactly tell everyone that maybe the Iceman had not indeed passed away, given that no cause could be prized, tweezered into the paparazzi dazzle.
    Not finding causes does not prove anything much beyond the fact that bombastic human certainty does better thawed by modicum of animal doubt.

    Back to CONSIDERATION. Animal socializing is a foundation of natural security. One animal CONSIDERS the other animals, often in order to BE CONSIDERED. This feeds into mutual respect needed in communal belonging and a comforting sense of ape tribe love.

    Anything can be used by human bullies to exert “control over”.

    So love, guilt, duty, marriage, obligation, consideration, caring…can ALL be used to oppress any tribe by bullies who infiltrate their wish to control in it. The bullies may win people over into accepting oppression by calling it salvation or healing and selling them “intellectual expertize” against other traditions that used “intellectual expertize”.

    Bullies have begun to mix people up by telling them they must never accept shame. On balance I agree with this. But when a chimpanzee chases mother chimps it is healthy for those mother chimps to shame such antics, or the community will not last long. All communities have vulnerable individuals in them, the newborns, the sick, the crippled, the elders. CONSIDERATION is HEALTHY.

    What bullies are doing is trying to win over support by telling people that if they feel the remotest flicker of embarrassment, at chasing mothers or leaving laundry unwashed for other burdened people to deal with, then this shudder of normal embarrassment in them is TOXIC CONTROL and is evidence that the embarrassment must have come from refrigerator authorites and the imposition of shame. Bullies tell the embarrassed their consideration is an affliction, one deemed a shame that got given to them deliberately. A discomfort in the person so embarrassed that is occurring to everyone, as a mass traumatizing or a shame that is causing depression and anxiety and trauma and rheumatism and epilepsy and schizophrenia. The bullies are saying the shame is embroidered into people by refrigerator parents and neighbours who have shinier cars and school teachers who give wrong grades and psychiatrists, those who are often too busy looking up ways to suicide themselves. The “shame” is chanted about as if it is a devil that must be ousted from the community, the chimpanzee tribe.

    But it is such a close comparison between embarrassment and consideration and love of other that these get easily bunched together and touted as “shame”. People are now told that a shame fed to a community by oppositional cold parents with their cold refrigerator politics. People are told this message by newer ideologies or politics, of various competing orderw, who all now proseytize a scandalous notiin that if you feel any consideration it is quite wrong and it is because you were wringed in infancy, you just dont recall when or how you arrived at your sense of condideration of others. This new memo has it that your normal consideration got given to you as a bullying obligation and that is ALL that consideration, or even love of the other ever are.

    When youth are told that love is shame and that it must be stoned, along with the mothers and newborns and the sick and the crippled and the elders, the whole world decends down into a dark coffin.

  3. IF…..

    anyone has schizophrenia and likes to know for themselves that this is what they have making them feel ill…

    I will be encouraging of this YOUR CHOICE of way you know YOU.

    IF…
    anyone has schizophrenia and prefers to regard it as not schizophrenia but some other ailment or stress or trauma or government plot or even extra terrestial indoctrination…

    I will be encouraging of this YOUR CHOICE of way you know YOU.

    If…
    anyone is NOT schizophrenic but has been inaccurately given a diagnosis of that and so prefers to know themselves as healthy and not suffering from that or even any medical disorder at all…

    I will be encouraging of this YOUR CHOICE of way to know YOU.

    I want…
    EVERYONE

    to CHERISH THE DIFFERENT.

    This includes CHERISHING YOUR OWN CHOICES AND SO YOUR CHERISHING OF YOUR OWN DIFFERENCE.

    There should be no….

    “HAVE TO’s”.

    Most “HAVE TO’s” emanate from bullying.

    ALL “HAVE TO’s” are from the stressed pulse that causes oppression.

    ALL bullies say you HAVE TO see yourself how THEY see you and not how YOU see you.

    IF how YOU see YOU does not result in you putting a bruise on any other person or being abusive or cruel to them then YOUR CHOICE of how YOU see YOU is harmless.

    Let NO bullying “THOUGHT POLICE” argue at YOU that YOUR CHERISHED DIFFERENCE

    “HAS TO”

    CHANGE.

    DO not be a puppet on a string.

    The HOOVER DAM is going to go. When it does it will be a symbol of that a change is underway and this may bring waves of dictators who may make people “HAVE TO”.

    When out numbered by hailstones all the clever animals do not cry at the hail but let it pass over the landscape. And while such political storms are raging and forcing all the animals to chitter their teeth as if agreeing, agreeing, agreeing, all the creatures go within and keep their own counsel. They become private…where they can CHERISH THEIR OWN DIFFERENCE in peace.

    • With respect, DW, I have to note that you said:

      “IF…
      anyone has schizophrenia and prefers to regard it as not schizophrenia but some other ailment or stress or trauma or government plot or even extra terrestial indoctrination…

      I will be encouraging of this YOUR CHOICE of way you know YOU”

      It seems you are saying that others DO HAVE schizophrenia but are REGARDING it as “not schizophrenia.” This seems to violate your own principle – you are telling them that they DO have schizophrenia even when they don’t regard it that way. You want others to allow you to BELIEVE or ASSERT you have a disease called “schizophrenia.” Why do you not respect others rights to BELIEVE or ASSERT they do NOT have schizophrenia? If you respect that right, how can you say that they “have schizophrenia” by your own or the doctor’s definition and are REGARDING it as “not schizophrenia?” It sounds as if you are saying that you know they DO have it but are willing to tolerate them claiming otherwise. Is that how you see it?

      Or does the other person have a right to DEFINE their experience as they please, since there is no objective way to “diagnose” schizophrenia beyond a list of thoughts and behaviors made up by a committee of psychiatrists? If everyone has a right to their own interpretation of reality, why would you or the doctor be in any position to define their condition as “schizophrenia” and then magnanimously grant them the right to “regard it” as something else?

      Perhaps your concern is not that others won’t allow you to define your own condition, but that others choose to define it differently than you do?

      I ask this with the utmost respect. I have had a hard time understanding where you’re coming from, and I sometimes think I do, and yet you sometimes talk as if you think I don’t. Maybe I didn’t really understand you in the first place? Some clarification would be appreciated!

    • DW, I go with the David Smale interpretation. Using my own words here to explain it, if someone is feeling such distress it is a very rational and evolutionarily adaptive response to having their social and civil standing diminished. It is an emotional response to having your survival threatened by being marginalized.

      Now of course all facets of the mental health system do this to people. But it is usually happening far before that in other social settings, like the middle-class family and in the social relations that capitalism sets up.

      Many people come of age in situations where they have no legitimacy at all. And then this further plays out economically. And it also plays out in racism and prejudice about sexual orientation, and it lots of other things which are used to enforce social conformity.

      So they get tracked into the mental health system which only makes it worse with its nonsense theories and treatments, and leading them to believe complete fallacy. The Mental Illness Myth exonerates perpetrators and it camouflages things which are completely unjust about our society.

      Joshua

        • Hallucinations of any type can be caused by stress you are subjected to. And there is nothing automatically wrong with having hallucinations.

          And then if you are being subjected to psych meds, then that could case anything.

          And if you are being subjected to gaslighting in psychotherapy, then that could also be causing you problems.

          “You seem overly keen to regard me as having an agenda to tell other people they are schizophrenic. ”

          Well that is how the mental health myth is propagated, by convincing people that they have ~mental illness~. Once the meme is started, then anyone who is not on happy pills could be suspect for having mental illness.

          You are free to have your own beliefs. But having said that, when you try to propagate the idea of mental illness, I am not going to go along with it. The very existence of the mental health myth serious screws up people’s lives, and it sustains an entirely parasitic industry.

          Joshua

          • POSTING AS MODERATOR: It sounds like you two are not going to see eye to eye on this issue. How about we leave it at that? Just a suggestion. I don’t see either one of you attacking the other, but I don’t see you approaching an understanding, either. Just restating positions, which is OK, I guess, but where is the discussion heading?

  4. Steve,

    I DID WRITE THIS BIT ALSO


    IF…
    anyone is NOT schizophrenic but has been inaccurately given a diagnosis of that and so prefers to know themselves as healthy and not suffering from that or even any medical disorder at all…

    I will be encouraging of this YOUR CHOICE of way to know YOU.

    You seem overly keen to regard me as having an agenda to tell other people they are schizophrenic. I want you to go through all my six hundred and fifteen or so comments and tell me where I have told you or anyone else they are schizophrenic.

    I AM FREE to have MY OWN BELIEFS, just as a Christain is FREE to have their own beliefs. A Muslim is FREE to have their OWN beliefs. A Jew is FREE to have their OWN beliefs. An atheist is FREE to have their OWN beliefs. A two year old who says it is “sprinklin” and not “wraynin” is FREE to have their OWN beliefs thank God. Although maybe not when the new regime arrives. Which all this bickering between “sides” over whose free choice is allowed is set to be the welcome mat…for that regime.

    Steve, I have always said WE ARE ALL FREE to ENJOY our OWN FREE CHOICE of how WE see OUR OWN BODILY EXISTENCE.

    The problem you seem to pick up is that you think you have been living in a tradition that is an Inquisition. Psychiatry.

    The real Spanish Inquisition lasted as long as it did because instead of people saying EVERYONE has the FREEDOM to BELIEVE ANYTHING they like, yes EVEN a belief that Christianity is a fine belief once you return it to its core message of healing, love, and do no harm, the opposition became condemnatory of anyone Catholic or churchy at all. War after war put millions of men women and children in mass graves through one “side” saying it was THE RIGHT BELIEF AND ALL ALTERNATIVE BELIEFS ARE WRONG and the other “side” saying it was THE RIGHT BELIEF AND ALL ALTERNATIVE BELIEFS ARE WRONG.

    Here is an imaginative reverie for all readers and so my use of the word “you” is not meaning any particular reader but is just a generic use…

    Now visualise this fun scenario…
    You got incarnated here to feel what it feels like to be judged all day long because in a previous life you lived on a planet that was mostly serene and harmonious but you were grumpy about being there. So you got sent to planet Earth with eight billion other grumps on it. When born every person is born with mortality as an eventual prospect. Death is frightful to the human as a concept and reality. To protect the soft body the human has to ward of danger of death. This means the human has to stay fearful of challenges. This means the human needs to judge shadows in bushes and shadows in other beliefs. This means the human, due to fear of death, has to stay judgemental. And because death may be in anything, from a peanut allergy to a discovered lump to a maniac in an alley to grinding poverty to a bad medication to their own suicidal impulse “judgementalism” is a “life saver” and it has to be applied everywhere, all day, and to everyone, not just stangers but even to nearest and dearest snoring next to you in bed. Since ANYTHING could be a dangerous harbinger of death then fear of the unknown or perplexing is relentless. Judging does three tasks, it identifies the feared thing or person as an enemy, but judging also aids in the punishing of what is feared, and judging gives a false sense of security that getting rid of the feared thing or stranger or spouse will get rid of mortality once and for all and this will restore the tribe to heavenly bliss and harmony and serenity…

    BUT…

    As you live your life of conquering fear of death thought artfully applying judgements of others who may seem too different, you forget that others are terribly frightened of you and the way you may remind them of their mortality. You forget that your way of making heaven here on Earth, by getting rid of death, is what all eight billion other humans are scared into also doing when they see you in the bushes with a topiary clipper.

    When eight billion people won’t let you say your son is fit and healthy or eight billion people won’t let you be a Catholic or eight billion people won’t let you enjoy talking to angels on a park bench or eight billion people wont let you choose s career as a pilot in the navy….all because they think YOUR FREE CHOICE is death, you start to long for that eternal peace and the real heaven of the afterlife.

    The suicide rate on this planet is increasing. It will skyrocket until each individual realizes there are NO WRONG BELIEFS ir WRONG UNDERSTANDINGS of who you CHOOSE to know you are. THERE ARE NO WRONG FEELINGS or WRONG FREE CHOICES. Having these choices is what brings a person securitu and calm and healing and a healed person is not a coerced or judged stressed out death fearing person. A healed person who enjoys their free choice ceases to be a judge of everyone else’s choice. When you have freedom of choice it is like winning the lottery. You feel so whole and happy that you do want everyone to know the happiness of their choice to turn their garden bush into a giant butterfly.

    Or believe themselves schizophrenic.

    I say to historical priests in the Spanish Inquisition this…

    You only want to control my choice because you fear it may be yet another example of your moment by moment life of worrying about mortality. And so you set up an Inquisition to tell people what freedom of choice they are not allowed.

    But in damning some kinds of freedom you damn the whole of freedom. Freedom is not yours to dictate how it should look. A world that goes along with accepting anything less than COMPLETE FREEDOM FOR ALL EQUALLY is doomed to be the very death all eight billion fear being on this planet is.

    But to let people have their choices means holding the inner fear of mortality, a fear that is necessary to basic survival but not necessary beyond the stuff of bruises. If someone’s free choice is not putting a bruise on you then their choice is not your mortality.

    We are on this fearful, judgemental planet to learn how awful judgementalism is and how beautiful feelings are. Feelings that can be recognized for what they are and harmlessly wept out, without changing anyone, like a feeling of fear is just a feeling.

    Animals do not try to make the world a heaven of no mortality. This is because animals do not overthink.

    Animals do not judge.

    The world of the animal…

    IS HEAVEN.

  5. A glorious community I belong to is full of everyone with ALL diagnoses, from schizophrenic to bipolar to depressed and people who have none of these illness, and when I say illnesses I mean where the person with the illness knows it is an illness that they feel. It is not a proclamation out of thin air.

    On that community sofa there will be a schizophrenic who knows they have that. I accept their view. There will be a schizphrenic who does not believe they have that but feels they have been sold a lemon. I accept their view. There will be a person who has been misdiagnosed and feels they do not have schizophrenia at all. I accept their view. There will be a person who is fed up and wants to think they are severely ill with schizophrenia when they only have a low. I accept their view.

    What you Steve want me do is convince myself that MY BELIEF that schizophrenia is a REAL illness is not the case. This is like trying to convince a Muslim that there is no need to do Ramadan. Who is anyone to be “thought police” to anyone?

    You seem to want me to be cast in the light of “thought police” just because I have MY OWN BELIEFS.

    A Muslim sitting on a sofa will invariably see others through an Islamic lens. An Amazonian shaman will invariably see others through a leaf potion psycheadelic lens or ancestor lens. A poet will invariably see others through a poetic lens. A capitalist will see others through a capitalist lens. A communist will see others through a communist lens. A trans person will see others through a trans lens. A black person will see others through a black experience lens. A femininst will see others through a feminist lens. Seeing others can only be done through lens that are informed by our hotch potch of emotions, experiences, preferences, lessons, upbringing, curiosities, assumptions, chosen beliefs. Do you want all the various people on that sofa to not be Muslim or Black or Feminist or Trans or ill or capitalist or communist?

    • No, that is NOT what I want. I simply want you not to classify people who experience hallucinations/delusions as “schizophrenics who believe they have that” or “schizophrenics who believe they don’t have that.” You are ‘diagosing’ that person against his/her will, even if you accept that they “don’t believe they have that.” Why not call it “people with delusions/hallucinations who call it an illness, and people with delusions/hallucintions who don’t call it an illness?”

      It is more like a Muslim trying to convince ME that I have to do Ramadan, because she’s a Muslim and that’s her lens. I hope we are capable of rising above that.

      But thanks for the clarification. I believe I understand your views much better now, and my prior confusion is quite fully cleared up.

  6. Dear Steve,

    You say this…

    “I simply want you not to classify people…”

    I know it is the start of the phrase but these words matter. “I” have, according to the Declaration of Human Rights, a right to HOLD MY OWN OPINION. This extends to my thoughts and attitudes and choices of learning that I freely like. So “I” have a basic human right to classify A N Y T H I N G in A N Y way that “I” deem fit. I even have the basic human right to HOLD NONSENSE OPINIONS if I want to.

    NOBODY has the right to BE inside my mind and interogate my thoughts or opinions. What is in MY MIND is MINE and this basic human right is non negotiable.

    Given that “I” believe in this basic human right I believe it for you also.

    In MY MIND I have the free choice to believe that schizophrenia is real for me. I also have the free right to believe that everyone on the planet is schizophrenic. I also have the free right to tell them MY OPINIONS. Just as Christain has a free right to tell us both we are born in sin. Or a Buddhist has a free right to tell us we were once snails in a former incarnation. Holding an opinion and sharing that opinion, WHETHER OR NOT you agree with that opinion IS a SACROSANCT HUMAN LIBERTY. The freedom to KNOW whatever YOU like to know is something you want anyone else to deprive you of, or you are encountering a cult who are telling you repeatedly that YOUR held opinions and your sharing of your opinions are not allowed. That is totalitarian.

    I have a basic human right to believe the phenomenon of the illness of schizophrenia IS A REAL thing and that it IS caused by whatever psychiatry says it is caused by. I EVEN have the free choice to believe psychiatry do not the cause and that my eccentric idea of the cause or unproven idea of the cause, of chemical imbalance or genetics or hereditary, as mentioned in the new SCHEMA RESEARCH CONCLUSION is true. If I believe schizophrenia is caused by cheddar cheese and hold that opinon NOBODY should be oppressing my basic human right to believe that either, and NOBODY should be telling me I cannot hold an opinion that thinks everyone has schizophrenia that is caused by cheddar cheese digesting or caused by astrophysics or caused by trauma or caused by chemicals or homones of which there are millions, that hourly become imbalanced then balanced then imbalanced then balanced as the human BIOLOGICAL organism adjusts to all manner of environmental stressors that may have caused hereditary ones. Hereditary conditions DO EXIST and they DO also affect the brain. The brain is not cocooned in its own temple.

    Psychiatry may not yet FULLY understand schizophrenia illness but this means diddly because science STILL does not understand FULLY whether we exist at all. So A N Y opinion held is joyously up to us personally. I am free to hold an opinion that the miraculous conception IS TRUE. It is not up to you to be director of my thoughts or rationalizing or logic or reason or ideas or opinions THAT can hold bizarre views on me AND on other people I see out of a train window.

    We are ALL allowed to SPECULATE, according to the Declaration of Human Rights. If you disagree with this Declaration then take it to Geneva as I have a long severely ill hallucination beseiged day before me because of my CHEMICAL IMBALANCE. It is mind control to tell people they cannot think thoughts about their OWN inner state of being or think such thoughts about whomever they want to. A Christain will think through the slide projector their Christain belief in the Ressurection. A Buddhist will think through the slide projector of their Buddist belief in snail incarnation.

    You say I ought not classify people…

    “…who experience hallucinations/delusions as “schizophrenics who believe they have that”or “schizophrenics who believe they don’t have that.”..”

    I say this…

    Why are you ignoring that I also say that I BELIEVE that people may NOT have schizophrenia at all but may be fit and healthy? Why are you skipping past that OPINION THAT I ALSO HOLD?

    You say this…

    “You are ‘diagosing’ that person against his/her will, even if you accept that they “don’t believe they have that.”

    I say this…

    I AM NOT A PSYCHIATRIST. I do not officially sit with a prescripton jotter diagnosing ANYONE.

    I am a sick person with all day tormenting hallucinations that barely give me a moments peace to think about the opinions I do hold and often will even insist that I HAVE TO think according to how my invisible hallucinated spectre tells me to. I often HAVE TO sit on in a cafe weeping whilst FORCED by my schizophrenia to think that I am schizophenic. I am woken up to HAVE TO. I have NO control over this whatsoever. You are seeming to ask me to NOT think thoughts I am FORCED to think by an illness from genetics that I CANNOT CONTROL. I CANNOT HELP IT STEVE. So now what? Am I to get hauled off to conversion therapy to make my mind think in ways society wants my mind to think? I have had over a decade of psychotherapy. Am I to be put through a gruelling ten more years of it? I DO NOT WANT IT. What now? Make me sit in sessions with some stranger who knows me more than I know me? Is that because I am a nutter who does not know herself and so she needs directed by an expert in clarification of thoughts. I have news….thinking nice thoughts does NOT stop hallucinations. Any more than thinking nice thoughts stops rheumatism flare ups or epilepsy or multiple sclerosis episodes.

    But here is another response I have to this interesting question you pose to me. I just want to say that the word “diagnosis” is elastic these days in that this word can mean “opinion”. If I have a basic human right to MY opinion then I suppose I do have a right to be like a two year old sticking a bandage on a teddybear. I do have a right as an individual to diagnose a maniac with a grenade in a shopping mall. I do have a right to diagnose a daughter who has measles. I do have a right to diagnose a seabird covered in pollution. I do have a right to diagnose Eve as driven mad by Adam framing her. I do have a right to diagnose a puppet on a string who has been turned by false ideology. I do have a right to diagnose a partner as love sick from my not sending a gift. I do have a right to diagnose Mother Earth as having a climate psychosis. I do have the right to these opinions that can be perceived as my “diagnosing” someone or something when I am not, and I do have the right to actually fancy that I am some doctor in the making who can diagnose. I have a basic human right to fantastize being anything, a ship, a tree, a mountain, or anyone, an ambassador of peace, a rock star, an alien, a mushroom, a nurse, a psychiatrist…if I want to. I would again add that many people I have met with schizophrenia have NO CONTROL over who they believe they are and one person with schizophrenia was never happier than when she was dressed in a suit and telling all actual psychiatrists that she was their supervising psychiatrist. Steve, how are you going to get some woman like her, who needed a nurse to prompt her to bath herself, that she must not “diagnose” anyone as schizophrenic because schizophenia has not been proven and she must not be a psychiatrist because all psychistrists no nothing? Where is the tolerance? Where is her basic human right to hold her own opinion. Are we to say she cannot have it because it is a nutty opinion and she is mentally ill and nuts to hold those opinions? Is that not beginning to sound like domineering psychiatry of old?

    You say this…

    Why not call it “people with delusions/hallucinations who call it an illness, and people with delusions/hallucintions who don’t call it an illness?”

    To this I say…

    And why not call it people with religious beliefs or opinions who want to call these beliefs or opinions linked to Christianity specifically or Bhuddism specifically but must now designate it only wishy washy “spirituality”.

    It sounds a bit like when some say why not allow certain people to use words to signify the specific gender and yet tell other people their way of knowing themselves must be made amorphous and hazy and nebulous and ill defined and erased from discouse? This whole “telling” strangers how to know themselves is poison. Let each individual choose their own way of knowing who they are and why they are who they are. And let each individual have any opinion they like on who other people are, and even share that opinion, provided it is welcome.

    WELCOME.

    What you seem agrieved about is what I am agrieved about.

    BULLYING.

    But there are ways of campaigning against bullying that trample the Declaration of Human Rights. It is THIS that I say NO to. And if you love your freedom to hold your own opinion and air it then you will be very keen that get to cheerfully air mine also. It is seldom EVER the specific opinion that is bad. Most opinions are whimsical and transient and neutral. It is ONLY when BULLYING uses opinions as a smoke screen to push and harass and control and intimidate that this becomes under the auspices of BAD BEHAVIOUR.

    A thought or feeling is NOT the same thing as BAD BEHAVIOUR.

    EVery human is entitled to monitor outbreaks of abusive or bullying or cruel bad behaviour of a sort that puts an actual bruise on someone, ie it is not bad behaviour if someone wears a sari or a reindeer hide in sub arctic blizzards. Being “different” is not being badly behaved. Thinking differently is not being badly behaved. Not loving someone if the thrill is gone is not being badly behaved since to force love is bullying. Not thinking the same as the village is not being bad behaved. Laughing in a catherdral if it is not your belief is not being badly behaved.

    You say…

    “It is more like a Muslim trying to convince ME that I have to do Ramadan, because she’s a Muslim and that’s her lens”.

    I say again that all people have a free choice to hold an opinion AND share it. People love to communicate whatever has helped them. We must not control other peoples conversations any more than we want our conversations closed or intimidated.

    Steve WHEN have I EVER told YOU specifically that you have to do my schizophrenia fast, or even believe that YOU have schizophrenia? WHEN?

    If I have not then why am I not allowed to hold my opinion that I have REAL SCHIZOPHRENIA…and tell everyone that this is my honest opinion.

    I AM FREE to regard everyone on Earth as BEAUTIFULLY schizophrenic if I want to. Just as a lesbian is free to regard every woman on Earth on as BEAUTIFULLY lesbian.

    Our opinions are NOT violence.

    Telling people they cannot have specific opinions IS.

    On this much we agree.

    Advice is a blurry area. A person may go to a doctor for advice. They are looking for “an opinion”. They WELCOME an opinion on their breakdown. It is their own opinion that propels them to seek a medical opinion, or a Christain opinion or a Muslim opinon. We must respect that. If the advice is nefarious or bullying then that is BAD BEHAVIOUR. But if the person chooses to partake of nefarious or even crazy advice that is up to their freedom to. After all a drug soaked rave on a beach may seem nefarious advice to some prudes. People need to be free to make disastrous choices based on scurillous dodgy advice. They must be free to laiase with the bogus advice giver if they want to. We can all look on and want to shepherd them to make alternative choices but we cannot do so by inflicting guilt or coecion or harassment without becoming neferious and badly behaved.

    I myself have “different” opinions..
    And I myself have never told you that you HAVE TO adopt them.

     

    • Steve,

      I owe you humble gratitude for publishing my latest. You are magnanimous. I have enjoying sparring with you. You do it like a fine art. You make me feel like I am in a Roman toga debating with your Roman toga philosophizing. By this I do not mean combat. I mean treasuring of the substance of intellectual discource as if it is too valuable to be about winning or losing.

      I feel sure that if we went hiking in the hills we would have a good laugh. I feel sure that if we were in a rowing boat we would have a good laugh. I am sure if we were building a barn we would have a good laugh.

      We have but one difference of opinon. We ought to cherish each others difference.

      Animals love us.

      • I agree. I think in the end we don’t even disagree that much. I just think we are missing each others’ meanings. Though our latest exchange has helped me with that.

        If you’re ever in the Great State of Washington, there’s some great hiking just outside my door!

        • Thank you Steve,
          Nature always wins the human debates. Even by filling the bladder or emptying the stomach and prompting a rest.

          As a parting response…

          You say in a comment to someone this….

          “Maybe so, in most cases. As a wise person once said, “Never attribute to malice that which is easily explained by stupidity”.

          I say to ALL humans this..

          Never end being stupid, that way you will be as blissfully stupid as the ape is supposed to be. All the animals love being stupid. The stupid see no malice. Not even up to the point the farmer delivers the knock out mallet coronation. The stupid live happy because they never think enough to think of malice. The happy make everyone else happy. The happy and stupid are well and being so well they never think there is malice and so they feel no danger and so they never become malicious.

          Fear causes overthink. Overthink sees malice in everything. Seeing malice everywhere causes a need to defensively be malice back.

          The healing of fear is not found in human thinking. It is found in allowing the feeling of fear to only be a thoughtless feverish feeling. Feeling a feeling releases a feeling.

          Fear is the sabre tooth tiger we think is in the environment. But fear is the sabre tooth tiger in our own overthinking frantic chest. The paw prints that fear is analysing rationally and collecting data on are paw prints that we deny actually come from the same cave of ourselves in which we cower and rage.

          Only by letting the tiger of fear be a freely felt feeling padding within will it ever find a harmless way out. If we think it is outside of us and coming to get us then we bar its exit from the cave.

          Overthinking how to tackle the tiger that we think or have been indoctrinated to think is beyond us in the outside environment seems exciting because thinking is a plan of attack or defense.
          But you cannot attack or defend against a feeling.

          Planning is not the release of an emotion.

          Any more than planning to keep barricading a cave in which you sit is ever going to release a huge fear that has become like a sabre tooth tiger.

          All the animals are too stupid to even think of how to barricade, or why they should waste their day bothering to. Their feelings come and go like refreshing breezes in a cave.

          Humans are attackers and defenders because they have forgotten that their feeling a feeling won’t be the death of them.

          Not feeling a feeling traps it within. The discomfort is experienced as a hundred sabre tooth tigers out there in the wilderness or the city or the governments of countries. This discomfort then seeks to build a competing government by ballot or riot to bulldoze the threat emanating from the cave within.

          Suddenly a million march on sabre tooth tigers they think they spotted in the mannerisms of innocent strangers.

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