Morgan Shields is one of the few health policy researchers who focuses on quality of care and issues of coercion within inpatient psychiatry. Her research exposes how current healthcare settings are influenced by power imbalances, profit structures, and organizational priorities that are fundamentally misaligned with the human needs of individual patients.

Dr. Shields completed her Ph.D. in Social Policy at Brandeis University and is currently an Assistant Professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, where she also directs her own research group. She has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles in outlets such as Health Affairs, Psychiatric Services, and the JAMA Network.

She has also completed several policy reports for entities such as the U.S. Health and Human Services Office, and has served as a legal expert in cases related to psychiatric patient discrimination. In doing so, her research has effected change at the state and federal levels, prompting internal investigations and structural reforms within agencies such as the Veterans Health Administration and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

In this interview, Dr. Shields discusses her current work, which aims to identify strategies for implementing patient-centered and equitable treatment within existing mental health care structures—toward a wholesale re-imagining of inpatient psychiatry.

The transcript below has been edited for length and clarity. Listen to the audio of the interview here.

Julia Lejeune: You are one of the few health policy researchers out there who’s chosen to dedicate your career to studying inpatient psychiatry and the quality of care in that setting. I’m curious to hear a bit more about your journey to get there, your background, what has gotten you into this work, and what’s kept you committed to it.

Morgan Shields: Now, I’m at a point where I have a faculty position, and I was very open about my who I am in my job applications, which was very risky, and it worked out wonderfully. I mean, it just was so great. Now I kind of feel very empowered and free to be a bit more relaxed about explaining why I truly am interested in what I research.

I’ve always been interested in mental health care and inpatient psychiatric care for multiple reasons. I grew up with a father who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and he really did struggle. He was homeless for most of my childhood. We would see him, and he would sometimes be sleeping at different people’s homes or on couches or in his car. We had a close relationship with him, he was in our lives.

The hospital was always this place that my mom would fixate on when my father would be experiencing a manic episode or psychosis, she would say if we could just get him to the hospital. She would dream up strategies of trying to trick him or like get him, just get him into the hospital because if he could just get him into the hospital, then he could sleep and maybe he could get better, but at least he’d be safe in the meantime, and there’d be some reprieve.

I grew up thinking the hospital is this place of safety—it’s where someone could get treatment. The fact that my father did not go to the hospital voluntarily was his fault, and so I was very frustrated with him. He was the cause of why his life was stressful and why my life was stressful.

I have other family members who have what you might consider to be a serious mental illness and have been hospitalized over a dozen times

But then I had my own experience, my first experience in a psych facility when I was 16. Without sharing too much, too many details, or anything too heavy, the sequence of events was this: there was a hugely traumatic event that happened in my life. My mother’s boyfriend took me someplace and raped me, it was a big deal. Then the police were involved, and it was very stressful. Shortly after that, I just couldn’t cope with the stress, so I was hospitalized. While there, the frontline staff, who were comprised mostly of men, made fun of my breasts being too small, and I went through strip searches.

There was a nine-year-old boy who was crying, and frontline staff said, “You need to just man up and stop crying. If you would just behave yourself, you would not be hospitalized.” I got upset and told the staff, “Stop yelling at this boy.” Then I got restrained.

It was scary, it was a lot of strong men holding me against the wall, being sedated. Then, as punishment, they took away my clothes, and I had to sit in the hallway in a gown and write an apology letter.

That was my first experience in a psych facility myself, and it was extremely humiliating, dehumanizing, and was the opposite of what I thought was going to happen. I really thought that this was going to be a place where people would be nice to me. They would realize that I was suffering, and they would give me treatment. I was very excited about getting some treatment and some positive attention, but it didn’t happen.

I had another experience when I was 20. At that time, I was taking classes at a community college in Florida, and my father was in a manic episode himself. I was also working, and there was a lot of stress. I was put on an ADHD medication, Vyvanse. I went manic, and that was a horrible experience, the mania itself.

I voluntarily went to the hospital so that I could sleep. I was restrained immediately for asking a question in front of my mom. I thought they were trying to kill me at the time. When they injected me with the chemical restraint, I asked them, “What did you give me?” They didn’t answer me, and I thought for sure it was a lethal injection, so I thought I was dying when I was going to sleep.

Then anyways, there were a couple of hospitalizations with that. It was extremely traumatizing and abusive.

I was not a great student, but what ended up happening is I moved to Ohio and went to Kent State University. Due to the kindness of an instructor there, I was invited to work in a lab, in a psych lab, and I fell in love with the research process.

I learned in interacting with the world that I could not talk about my experiences because if I did, then people would no longer think that I’m smart and capable. They would discount me, and I was afraid that they would send me back to a psych hospital. Then I kind of started talking about it with my colleagues, and grad students, and they seemed to not be aware of these realities in the hospital.

You really have to experience it in your own flesh and blood to really appreciate what it feels like to be so dehumanized. I then went to the literature, and I saw that there was almost nothing in the United States being done on this. I had all kinds of questions like, why did I go to this place that seemed to be for people that no one cared about? Why was everyone there not white, basically? I was the only white person. Clearly, there was a clustering of certain patients and facilities that were worse than others, but why was that?

I became very jazzed about this, very passionate, and upset, and straight from undergrad, I went into a public health master’s program at Harvard and went in with a proposal to interview patients and frontline staff to really understand what’s their experience like, what’s happening, how does it vary, how common was my experience.

From there, I’ve been very hyper-focused. I got a Ph.D. in social policy, continued researching this, and did a postdoc in implementation science and academic community partnerships at Penn, and now I’m faculty at WashU and the Brown School of social work, public health, and social policy.

Throughout this process, I just get more and more energized because I realized that there isn’t much going on. When I speak with patients, and I hear their stories, it just really ignites me, it upsets me.

It’s not so much my own experiences that fuel me anymore, really—it’s folks that I speak with and that I interview in my research and the stories that I hear, and also my knowledge of how messed up our accountability and data infrastructures are. The more I learn, the more outraged I get.


Lejeune: Thank you so much, Dr. Shields, for just sharing, and your willingness to be candid and open about what you’ve been through and what drives you. I appreciate you speaking about that experience of being silenced or feeling like you can’t share the truth of who you are. What do you see as the structures in place that are justifying the lack of data available on inpatient psychiatric facilities?

Shields: This is a population—and it’s weird to talk about the population as a population when I identify as being part of the population and my family—but it is a population in general that people are afraid of.

They have discomfort towards mental illness in general. I hate to use the word stigma, but it really is the othering of people who experience psychological distress or find themselves inside of psych facilities, so much so that people don’t even understand who is being hospitalized in psych facilities.

I get frustrated when I hear researchers who have certain questions having to do with “serious mental illness,” and they conflate inpatient psych patients with people with “serious mental illness.” I say to them, what exactly do you mean by the term serious mental illness, and why do you think these are one in the same? This is a catchment tank for all kinds of stuff. It’s basically the system in our society not knowing what else to do with someone.

I’ve spoken with people who have been hospitalized because they’re trying to get away from an abusive spouse, people who’ve consumed substances and had a psychotic experience as a result of substance use, ending up in these facilities. And then there’s all the social determinants, homelessness, etc.

I think that fundamentally it’s the othering of this population, a discomfort, and because of that, people are kind of afraid to touch it. Also, researchers feel like they’re not qualified to touch it like it’s this special, special population. I know so many of my colleagues do research on so many aspects of the healthcare system that they have no lived experience with, like nursing homes, and they feel totally qualified to do it and to ask all these questions. But when it comes to inpatient psych, they’ll say, “oh, that’s not my expertise.” Really? But you could ask the same questions you’re asking when it comes to nursing homes. Why do you think you’re an expert on nursing homes when you have never been in a nursing home? I think that the root cause is the othering of the population.

The only reason that the system is going to care about psychiatric patients or accountability of psych facilities and improving our data infrastructure, at the end of the day, is if they are faced with pressure. A system is not just going to change just because it’s altruistic or everyone thinks it’s the right thing to do. It takes resources, for one. It takes political will, and it takes pressure.

Now, I believe that the advocacy coalitions and organizations that otherwise would be putting pressure on this issue don’t want to touch it. There is this tension where we think that if we advocate for improving psych facilities, then we’re essentially advocating for more resources towards the psych facilities when actually we should be putting those resources towards the community and alternatives for hospitalization.

There isn’t necessarily a clean fix to this, but without some sort of explicit organized pressure, nothing is going to change.


Lejeune: So some of that work of reimagining alternatives is great but only focusing on that leaves a black box, and it’s hard to show what’s happening in there.

Shields: I’m happy you said that term black box. There are multiple stakeholders that are invested in keeping it a black box, so it’s not just provider organizations, its policymakers, regulators

For example, there’s a state I’m aware of that they had these psych facilities, and they happen to all be for profits that were doing—they were conducting fraud, right? They had unlicensed, unsupervised staff; patients were dying in their care. They were not following the rules to maintain their license, so, therefore, they should have, in theory, lost their license; that’s the consequence. If that’s not the consequence, then it’s fake, right? There’s no point in having rules, and if the facilities know that, then why should they invest in adhering to those rules?

They were afraid to take the license away because they needed the beds. They were afraid politically of having too much ED boarding (when someone is in the emergency department for a long time). The hospitals are pretty powerful lobbyists, and you want to keep people happy, and you don’t want there to be a news article about ED boarding of psych patients.

But again, it just kind of exemplifies that they are responsive to pressures. It’s just how do you make them be responsive to patient-centered pressures because they don’t want the journalism coverage of the ED boarding, but they also did not like the journalism coverage of patients dying. Eventually, a psych facility or two ended up closing, but it took a lot of spotlights.


Lejeune: What would that pressure look like? What do you imagine those pressures being at different points in the system? Who is currently benefiting from the structure as it stands?

Shields: Some of the fundamental issues I see with psychiatric care, in general, are deeply structural within the mental health care system, but also outside of it.

I think that the medical model, unfortunately, might be inappropriately used for mental health, but we have invested a lot of energy and resources, and there are powerful entities that really benefit from us anchoring mental health treatment within the medical model. All of our structures are surrounded by the medical model, insurance coverage, literally everything.

I think that the issues we see are a derivative consequence of our dependence on the medical model.

I don’t necessarily think that any single psychiatrist or necessarily an association of psychiatrists like that some patients get hurt in psych facilities. I think that there is, in my opinion, a knee-jerk defensiveness to any sort of critique, and I think that comes from a fear of losing their authority. I think that that is exacerbated by the realities that within medicine, psychiatry is seen as kind of it’s a stigmatized profession, so they kind of have insecurity there.

I think that the defense of their profession and their footing and their stake really gets in the way of progress, and is kind of what is sustaining our status quo, and preventing us from doing anything truly radical and truly alternative to our current models of “treatment.”

I find nurses and social workers to be way more sympathetic and understanding because, actually, what makes these environments better for them is better for patients.

Then there are other profiteering companies that also subsequently benefit from psychiatry maintaining power in the mental health space. I think there are other stakeholders that benefit from not having to be bothered with the really, really hard, heavy work of reimagining true transformation. I think it’s hard, and that’s for anything, not just mental health, any sort of huge change like policing, for example.

What change is needed? I’m optimistic, but I’m also pragmatic. I think the root issues here are power imbalance. For me, any sort of intervention that I try to dream up, I try to anchor it towards how it is addressing power imbalances between patients and the other actors.

One tool that I have been really anchored around has been measurement reporting and incentivizing a patient experience. It seems like a good first step since all of the rest of health care is doing that—so why aren’t we doing that for psychiatric patients? It smells like discrimination to me that we’re not systematically measuring patient experience at the national level, and incentivizing performance on those measures.

But the reality is, is that those measures could be gamed. But anything that truly puts more power into the hands of patients, either at the individual level or as collectively as an advocacy coalition, I think is the way to go.

I support testing out alternatives, and I would love to research that in future iterations of my work. But I am also worried about how it is going to be co-opted and how it’s this tension between accountability and true patient-centeredness. It’s tough because you need there to be accountability, but it ends up turning everything into a formula, and everything becomes standardized and measured against the medical model at the end of the day, which isn’t really what we want. Then it kind of repeats itself. I support understanding what alternatives are best and for whom, but I’m cautious about their implementation in our existing structures.


Lejeune:  Given this messiness that you’re laying out and how complicated it is to fit into these systems or make changes within these systems, I’m curious how you define patient-centered outcomes for inpatient psychiatry.

Shields: For me, I’m just focused mostly on what I think is the first step, which is patient experience measurement. You can think of patient experience as an outcome, but it’s really like a process. You can categorize it as an outcome, but it’s really the patient is evaluating the process of care.

The reason why I view that as a first-order priority is because we don’t want care to cause harm, and we want patients to be treated with respect, and that is important.

When it comes to other outcomes, the classic outcomes that are currently being measured are readmission and follow-up. Did you have contact with a healthcare provider within seven or 30 days of discharge? Were you readmitted? Those are not necessarily patient-centered outcomes. Those are very much payer-centered outcomes. We measure those because they’re easy to measure, because you can look at readmission and you can look at the utilization of outpatient providers in claims data, and it’s something.

The feasible measures end up being readmission and follow-up. But those are so crude, and they’re not necessarily the outcomes that are most important to patients. Then the problem with them also is that when you speak with health care providers and the hospitals, their argument is how can we be responsible for their follow-up or their readmission? We’re just a stopgap. They come here, you don’t pay us enough to actually provide them any treatment. This is their argument. They’re only here for a few days. We can’t possibly give them any sort of treatment. We’re just trying to stabilize them. There are all these other social issues that they’re dealing with when we discharge them. We can’t control outpatient capacity, we can’t control housing. It’s not fair that you’re making us responsible for that. That’s this tension.

I would say instead of measuring those utilization outcomes, we could just ask patients directly, “did you feel that your care benefited you?” That would be an intermediary outcome that we can assign responsibility to the hospital, but doesn’t creep too much into the realm of community care and all of the other factors that influence those outcomes that are outside the control of the hospital. So that’s my first step in patient experience measurement. Then just ask the patient, how did this impact your trust, your willingness to engage in care, what was the impact on you?

If the hospital wants to game those measures, maybe one way they could try is actually to be nice to the patients. The payers are saying we actually do care about what the patients think, so you can’t just discount them. I do think that that could help reorient priorities.

I had dinner with a social worker years ago, and they were explaining how they respond to these quality measures. She said, ”Well, what we do is we’re discharging the patient, and then we schedule an outpatient appointment, so then it shows that they have this follow-up.” But to the patients, the patient doesn’t view it as a follow-up because it’s part of their discharge process. It’s not like they came back three days later, and so that’s how they’re able to control their performance on their follow-up measure.


Lejeune: Since you’ve started shining a light on the harms and injustice done within these facilities, what kind of responses have you gotten from institutions at the state or federal level?

Shields: I have found that frontline staff at psych facilities are, in general, enthusiastic even about my research so long as I make it very clear that I’m not blaming them and that I think they also are victims of a very toxic system.

We’re talking about systems issues. It’s not that one individual is evil at all. I have found the frontline staff to be, in general, not as defensive as psychiatry, as a group. I get mostly psychiatrists who review my papers, and they can be very defensive.

They’ll say that’s not my experience in the hospital I work in, which, okay, well, we’re talking about research, research methods 101. It’s frustrating.

I’d say the biggest pushback I received was when I was a Ph.D. student. I filed public records requests in the state of Massachusetts for my dissertation. That made some people feel a little bit uncomfortable. They were curious about what my motives were and what I was going to do with these data. I was quoted $500,000, for data on restraint and seclusion. I don’t have that money. They were just trying to shut me down.

I wrote a letter to the secretary for Health and Human Services in Massachusetts. I documented two years of trying to get the information. I was giving all this feedback, and I was upset at how much it cost—these data should be publicly reported, they should be on the internet. I’m a Ph.D. student who can spend all my time doing this and gathering this information. What about patients and their families? They can’t.

At some point, it reached the commissioner of mental health. I ended up having a meeting with the commissioner of mental health. My first meeting with her was lovely-ish. In my second meeting with her, I was getting her feedback on my dissertation, and I had some questions. I wanted to know if my numbers looked correct in her opinion. I was just trying to do my due diligence, and I didn’t want her to be blindsided.

I met with her, and I left that meeting crying. I’m embarrassed, I should have been tougher, but she just was upset that I did my research. I don’t know what else to say. I went into the meeting enthusiastically, and I did leave the meeting crying. I will say the Department of Mental Health ended up implementing a revised Critical Incident Monitoring system, and they did that after I published some work, but It wasn’t until a journalist covered it and asked them for a quote that then all of a sudden they implemented this new Critical Incident Monitoring system, and they hired a full-time staff person whom I met. But I was frustrated because I really wanted to work in partnership with them.

I love the idea of collaborating with them, but I found that they were less excited about collaborating. It seemed to me that they were most responsive to journalistic coverage of issues, and that’s the way to get anything done.


Lejeune: It sounds like the state took your work and did something tangible to rethink their system but boxed you out of that process. Have there been instances where you’ve been able to be more involved or seen changes within other facilities, or been able to partner with organizations in your work?

Shields: I did my postdoc in Philadelphia at the Penn Center for Mental Health. We submitted this big center application to the NIH, and, if we get it, I’ll be the PI of a project that is focused on trying to understand how to get psych facilities to implement evidence-based discharge planning using financial incentives and patient experience measures. We’re seeing this as a tool to reorient providers towards being more patient-centered.

Penn has an amazing relationship with the city of Philadelphia and the Medicaid payer, and they do projects together. They also have some good relationships with psychiatric facilities. There, I have been able to partner with the Medicaid payer who we will work with to develop financial incentives, and they’re very enthusiastic about figuring out how to do this. They’re also very interested in figuring out how to implement trauma-informed care within their inpatient and residential facilities. They are currently a partner on this grant. If we were to get the money, we would partner with them and partner with the psych facilities in Philadelphia.

I lived there for two years and have been in that space for a bit, and that was totally different experience for me. I felt like I could have so much impact working in partnership with the payer, with the state, and with the psych facilities as opposed to just being an agitator in some ways.


Lejeune: What tensions emerge with you holding these more radical perspectives when collaborating with others who are coming at this from different angles?

Shields: There’s always tension. I think with this topic, inpatient psych, it’s actually hard to have a conversation about it because it seems like people get triggered by certain words, and then they automatically put you in a certain camp. Because I care about how patients are treated, I sometimes think people try to put me in the camp of “you must be anti-psychiatry.” I struggle with that because it shuts down conversation. But it is true that I think that the field of psychiatry has caused a lot of harm.

I struggle with people being able to hold multiple truths and engage in a nuanced conversation that is anchored in really caring about the people being impacted by this care, and figuring out how we can best meet their needs. But I think we all can agree that we don’t have enough data.

There’s not enough research and our current system is not patient-centered, and patients do need more power.

There are always individual differences, so when I talk about the evidence, I’m talking in general. Some people in some families do struggle to access the care they need, and they do perceive their biggest barrier being the fact that they can’t force their loved one into treatment, and that can be valid, but also it can be a more nuanced issue beyond that being true for them, and that’s I just wanted to clarify that.


Lejeune: I also have seen in your work a call to action to include individuals with lived experience as partners in this process as well, either as researchers or in the policy-making process. You’re in a unique position being someone who’s playing that dual role of a researcher and carrying your own experiences. I’m curious if you could speak more about what meaningful inclusion looks like.

Shields: Obviously, there are many things that need to happen. The first one is schools that are training academics who are going to end up researching the mental health care system in some capacity, either at the clinical level or the system’s level policy especially, need to value lived experience as a dimension of diversity and inclusion, because unfortunately, it has been viewed and felt as a liability as opposed to an asset.

It really is an asset because the truth is that we all have biases as researchers. There’s no such thing as objective research. We’re all coming to the table with bias, and it’s really a question of how we can make that bias more equitable.

I would argue that the way we should be viewing bias is by trying to put more weight and more value on the types of biases that are more marginalized or underrepresented because there’s an inherent power imbalance. One way to address that is to put more weight on those who have less power. That’s what we need to do in the academy. Disability and lived experience just are really not prioritized in diversity and inclusion efforts, and they should be.

I’ve met some people who have lived experience and have leadership roles, so they exist. It’s hard to find allies because everyone’s trying to hide it. Then, it’s a structural issue, so we need funders like the NIH to really value this community partnership in a meaningful way where they put money on the table. But at the end of the day, these grants are reviewed by our peers and other academic researchers. It really takes people buying into this as something that’s important because if the reviewers don’t think that that’s important, they’re not going to be critical of how meaningful the partnership is between the researcher and the community partners.

It is important that we partner with community members, both individuals, and organizations, because we are only one person, so we don’t have the diversity of experiences that we should be tapping into. We have our own privileges that biased our own experiences. Also, just having a Ph.D. makes someone incredibly privileged. Sitting in a different spot, no matter how your experiences were prior to getting a Ph.D.

But academic research is such that we do depend on grant money, and the grants run out, and it’s hard to maintain continuous relationships with community partners because we can’t always pay them for their expertise or for partnering with us. Then if we don’t pay them, we’re exploiting them.

There’s a lot that should be addressed to change the incentives of researchers so that we could support them in being able to do this work. We have to talk about this and try to change the minds of our colleagues so that when they’re at the table, they’re on our side, and they can be convinced and maybe even speak up on these issues because that’s what’s going to take.


Lejeune: Are there any examples of ways that you’ve collaborated with partners or individuals with lived experience in your own work?

Shields: Yes, so doing the research where I’m actually interviewing and collecting information from people with lived experience and asking them what exactly do you think needs to change and then letting those data inform what I prioritize studying moving forward. The problem that I have faced as someone who’s early in my career is I haven’t had money to be able to pay for an advisory board, which has been my dream.

I would love to have two different types of advisory boards that I collaborate with on a continuous basis. I don’t necessarily go to them with a project idea always, but we co-develop project ideas. I’d like to have one more national with lived experience and maybe some representatives from advocacy organizations. Then one that’s St. Louis based, because I would love to do research that has a positive impact on the folks in St. Louis.

I’m trying to listen and kind of just get a sense of the landscape and not dive right in, but just kind of understand who has existing relationships. Setting up meetings with folks who do this type of work at the school, and then eventually, I’m going to start having meetings with people in the community.

Then I mentioned the project in Philadelphia. We do have an advisory board for that. We don’t even know exactly the intervention that we’re going to be testing. We’re going to co-develop the intervention in collaboration with our advisory board of stakeholders, and we’ll be engaged in a process of implementation mapping where we take all the information we gather from interviews with providers, and then we sift through it and then we use that information to figure out, okay, what do we prioritize and how do we go about doing it? That’s done in partnership with community members.

I try to hire RAs with lived experience, and I partner with students at different universities who have lived experience. I try to do my best to support the workforce if someone reaches out to me and wants to collaborate on a project, I try to be generous. But I’m also trying to figure out how to juggle lots of things currently and manage everything and not be a terrible mentor.


Lejeune: I’m curious if there are any ways the people listening to this podcast could connect with you or get involved or share their story if they feel moved to do so.

Shields: Absolutely, I would love that. I get really energized when I am connected with people with lived experience. I love it. Sometimes it is hard to hear some of the stories, I will admit, but I am very open. People can reach out to me. I do have a lab that I’ve started, and I have hired a couple of people, so I do think my capacity will be increasing in the near future. I would ask people to have some grace if I take a while to get back because that might happen. I am definitely very open to people reaching out, collaborating, or just getting in touch.


Lejeune: What do you hope for in the future of these systems, or what do you see as your long-term vision for how things might look differently?

Shields: Being pragmatic. I would love it if, in my lifetime, I could at least see people caring about these issues and trying to address them. Recognition that there is an issue of people being dehumanized in our systems, and just a reckoning of the violence that’s been inflicted on people.

I am afraid right now, there’s not an awareness of the issue, the true issues, and that we’re still debating reality. Is reality, reality? Should we even treat psychiatric patients as people? That’s the debate that I’ve been hearing, and that’s unfortunate. I would love for us to get to the point where we agree these are humans, we are humans, and the way we’ve been operating our mental health care treatment system has been absolutely unacceptable, and we have to figure out how to do a better job and have humility in that process because a lot of people have been participating in it. That’s the nature of life in these systems, we all are implicated, so that’s my future hope.


Lejeune: Is there anything else you are hoping to add today?

Shields: I do want to just reiterate that the current mainstream argument that we need more psychiatric beds, that’s the loudest argument right now, I have a lot of issues with it.

But it’s important that people really be clear-eyed and not forget that we do operate in a market-based system. If you want a provider organization to be incentivized to add more beds or open new psychiatric facilities, ask yourself what you think some of the unintended consequences might be.

For some reason, we view psychiatric care as if it’s a bunch of benevolent people. We seem to be able to be critical as a society of health care in general and then also other consumer goods like shoes and clothing and exploitation of the labor force and all that. But for some reason, with mental health care, it seems like if you even bring up this critique, it’s almost as though people get offended or it’s too much to process.

I would just ask people to have some appreciation for it being a complex issue and potentially that there are issues of profiteering and exploitation of patients.



Editor’s note: As we were finalizing this interview, Morgan shared with us that she had lost a close friend to suicide. She has set up an online memorial and fellowship fundraising page for anyone wishing to know more or to contribute.



MIA Reports are supported, in part, by a grant from The Thomas Jobe Fund.


  1. “It smells like discrimination to me that we’re not systematically measuring patient experience at the national level, and incentivizing performance on those measures.”

    Yeah, good idea, and good luck. Won’t happen at all or soon enough to help me. But keep up your singular fight, you don’t need to me to add.

    What about immediate euthanasia for the excrement of this hell like me? The society puts down dogs and horses. What an unbelievably cruel society this is.

    Kiwi Farms international troll farm on top of criminal psychiatry, on top of state of Michigan sanctioned retaliation, on top of an impossible fight for one woman, on top of one of kind story including a second set up in jail when I would not shut up about the looney bin (spelled like Warner Brothers cartoons because the warden and the system are Daffy Duck).

    On top of being fired from another phone customer service job for one bad call again because the pressure is way too much for too long.

    I have taken a long walk walk toward inevitable homelessness (unless I find a way to become suicidal) because of criminal psychiatry but the important thing for change is to take care of the feelings of the psychiatrists who have been lying and greedy.

    I don’t appreciate being the human fodder shit out the back and discarded in this heady development toward a better psychiatry. Not your fault, but I don’t appreciate it.

    I do appreciate this space in which to share my dying words. Its been a slow death for almost ten years with no mercy in sight.

    Kiwi Farms is too much on top of all this and no one will help.

    Lock a woman up for her views? Then let the trolls have at her?

    It would be kinder to shoot her in the skull and the vagina.

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  2. This is an awesome podcast. Julia asked excellent questions. Thank you, Morgan, for sharing. Welcome to St Louis, Morgan. I am excited that you are here. I call myself a survivor of the St Louis mental health care system. Fortunately I was able to finally escape this coercive system when my psychiatrist lost her license and suddenly I was no longer a danger to myself or society?!?! When my doctor lost her license I was abandoned. I was not advised on my medication or referred elsewhere. Unfortunately I didn’t know you couldn’t cold turkey mega doses of poly pharmacy (12 drugs in all) and I nearly died. I have a scar from a tracheostomy, scar from heart surgery, and much more from cold turkeying My meds when St Louis mental health care system left me with no doctor. My doctor had used coercion to force me take 1200mg of Seroquel alone. It nearly killed me. I did reluctantly go back on Seroquel to save my life and have been tapering for numerous years now. I am down to 1ml so I am close. I spent nearly twenty years in the cruel coercive St Louis mental health care system. I was treated worse than a criminal. I don’t think I will ever get over the trauma and that’s OK. It means I am a normal person who is also a survivor. If I can help you in the future let me know. I also attend Mind Freedom International meetings when I can. I would like to start an affiliate in Missouri. Thank you for this hopeful interview. Thank you Julian for your well researched and thought provoking questions. You both did a fantastic job.

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  3. The “mental health industry” is “basically the system in our society not knowing what else to do with someone.”

    Maybe the “mental health” workers should learn to “live, and let live.” Rather than systemically trying to impose themselves upon innocent others, for profit.

    Maybe “someone” is A-Okay? And as “someone” – who now goes by the pseudonym “Someone Else” – I know I never want any “mental health worker” to ever bother me again.

    Your “BS,” scientifically “invalid,” DSM “bible” belief system, and systemic malpractice, destroyed my marriage. And has as your goal, the destruction of all my family relations, and stealing all my family’s money.

    I now have a legal document that proves a systemic child rape covering up psychologist’s desire to steal all my money, and all the profits from my work.


    “This Agreement made as of the 16th day of November, 2018 by and between” [redacted] “professionally known as _______________________ an individual (“Artist”) and Dr. Marshall Thomas (“d/b/a Colossal Concepts Management” or “Manager”), a professional services organization, a division of 7 Arts Foundation, is made for the personal management services of Client by Manager based on the following terms.

    “1. TERM. Manager is hereby engaged as Client’s exclusive personal manager and advisor. The agreement shall continue for three years (2018-2021) year (hereinafter the “initial term”) from the date thereof, and shall be renewed for two years (2022-2023) year periods (hereinafter “renewal period(s)”) automatically unless either party shall give written notice of termination to the other not later than one hundred-twenty days (120) days prior to the expiration of the initial term or the then current renewal period, as applicable, subject to the terms and conditions hereof.

    “2. SERVICES.

    “(a) Manager agrees during the term thereof, to advise, counsel and assist Client in connection with all matters relating to Client’s career in all branches of the entertainment industry, including, without limitation, the following:

    “(i) in the selection of literary, artistic and career material;

    “(ii) with respect to matters pertaining to publicity, promotion, public relations and advertising;

    “(iii) with respect to the adoption of proper formats for the presentation of Client’s artistic talents and in determination of the proper style, mood, setting, business and characterization in keeping with Client’s talents;

    “(iv) in the selection of artistic talent to assist, accompany or embellish Client’s artistic presentation, with regard to general practices in the arts and entertainment industries;

    “(v) with respect to such matters as manager may have knowledge concerning compensation and privileges extended for similar artistic values;

    “(vi) with respect to agreements, documents and contracts for Client’s services, talents, and /or artistic, literary and / or musical materials, or otherwise;

    “(vii) with respect to the selection, supervision and coordination of those persons, firms and corporations that may counsel, advise, procure employment, or otherwise render services to or on behalf of Artist, such as accountants, attorneys, business managers, publicists and talent agents; and

    “(b) Manager shall be required only to render reasonable services, which are called for by this Agreement as and when reasonably requested by Client. Manager shall not be required to travel or meet with Client at any particular place or places except in Manager’s sole discretion and following arrangements for cost and expenses of such travel.

    “3. AUTHORITY OF MANAGER. Manager is hereby appointed Client’s exclusive, true and lawful attorney-in-fact, to do any or all of the following, for or on behalf of Client, during term of this Agreement:

    “(a) approve and authorize any and all publicity, public relations and advertising, subject to Client’s previous approval of the general scope of one or more promotional campaigns;

    “(b) approve and authorize the use of Client’s name, photograph, likeness, voice, sound effects, caricatures, and literary, artistic and musical materials for the purpose of advertising any and all arts and entertainment products and services;

    “(c) execute in Client’s name, all contracts for Client, subject to Client’s previous consent to the material terms thereof; and

    “(d) without in any way limiting the foregoing, generally execute and perform any other act, deed, matter or thing whatsoever, that ought to be done on behalf of the Client by a personal manager.

    “(e) may determine that Client has failed to pay timely and satisfactory fees and/or reimbursements to Manager, and, therefore, Manager may refuse or may delay management services on Client’s behalf as a consequence, until such time as Client is deemed to have reimbursed Manager in full.


    “(a) Since the nature and extent of the success or failure of Client’s career cannot be predetermined, it is the desire of the parties hereto that Manager’s compensation shall be determined in such a manner as will permit Manager to accept the risk of failure as well as the benefit of Client’s success. Therefore, as compensation for Manager’s services, Client shall pay Manager, throughout the full term hereof, as when received by Client, the following percentages of Client’s gross earnings (hereinfafter referred to as the “Commission”):

    “(i) Seven percent (7.0%) of Client’s gross earnings received in connection with Client providing their services as an entertainer or author within any aspect of the arts and entertainment industry during the term hereof;

    “(ii) Six percent (6.0%) of the Client’s gross earnings from live appearances and all other sources of arts revenue earned covered in this agreement;

    “(iii) Seven percent (7.0%) of the Client’s gross earnings derived from any and all of Client’s activities in connection with publishing, or the licensing or assignment of any works rendered by Client alone or in collaboration with others (it being understood that no commissions shall be taken with respect to any compositions that are the subject of any separate art or educational publishing agreement between Client and Manager).

    “(b) The term “gross earnings” as used herein shall mean and include any and all gross monies or other consideration which Client may receive, acquire, become entitled to, or which may be payable to Client, or on Client’s behalf, directly or indirectly (without any exclusion or deduction) as a result of Client’s activities in the arts and entertainment industry, whether as a performer, actor, host, spokeswoman writer, singer, musician, composer, publisher, ancillary product developer or artist.

    “(c) Manager shall be entitled to receive his full commission as provided herein in perpetuity on Client’s gross earnings derived from any agreements entered into during the term of this agreement, notwithstanding the prior termination of this agreement for any reason. Client also agrees to pay Manager the commission following the term hereof upon and with respect to all of Client’s gross earnings received after the expiration of the term hereof but derived from any and all employments, engagements, contracts, agreements and activities, negotiated, entered into, commenced or performed during the term hereof relating to any of the foregoing, and upon any and all extensions, renewals and substations thereof and therefore, and upon any resumptions of such employments, engagements, contracts, agreements and activities which may have been discontinued during the term hereof and resumed within one (1) year thereafter;

    “(d) Manager is hereby authorized to receive, on Client’s behalf, all “gross monies and other considerations” and to deposit all such funds into a separate trust account in a bank or savings and loan association. Manager shall have the right to withdraw from such account all expenses and commissions to which Manager is entitled hereunder and shall remit the balance to Client or as Client shall direct. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Client may, at any time, require all “gross monies or other considerations” to be paid to a third party, provided that such party shall irrevocably be directed in writing to pay Manager all expenses and commissions due hereunder.

    “(e) The term “gross monies or other considerations” as used herein shall include, without limitation, salaries, earnings, fees, royalties, gifts, bonuses, share of profit, ancillary sales consideration and other participations, shares of stock, partnership interests, percentages music related income, earned or received directly or indirectly by Client or Client’s heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, or by any other person, firm or corporation on Client’s behalf. Should Client be required to make any payment for such interest, Manager will pay Manager’s percentage share of such payment, unless Manager elects not to acquire Manager’s percentage of thereof.

    “(f) Manager shall receive a monthly fee in the amount, not to exceed ninety-five dollars (USD) ($95.00 (USD)) U.S. dollars to cover public relations and management operating expenses on behalf of Artist. The monthly fee shall be payable to Marshall A. Thomas no later than the 17th of every month this agreement is in force.

    :5. LOANS AND ADVANCES. Manager may make loans or advances to Client or for Client’s account and incur some approved expenses on Client’s behalf for the furtherance of Client’s career in amounts to be determined solely by Manager in Manager’s best, good faith business judgment. Client hereby authorizes Manager to recoup and retain the amount of any such loans, advances and / or expenses, including, without limitation, transportation and living expenses while traveling, promotion and publicity expenses, and all other reasonable and necessary expenses, from any sums Manager may receive on behalf of Client, including, without limitation, long-distance calls and texts, travel expenses, messenger services and postage and delivery costs. Manager shall provide Client with monthly statements of all expenses incurred hereunder and Manager shall be reimbursed by Client within thirty days (30) days of receipt by Client of any such statement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any loans, advances or payment of expenses by Manager hereunder may not be recoupable by Manager in full hereunder until Client has earned a minimum of four-thousand five hundred dollars (USD) ($4,500.00 (USD)) in revenue in the arts and entertainment industry.

    “6. NON-EXCLUSIVITY. Manager’s services hereunder are not exclusive. Manager shall at all times be free to perform the same or similar services for others, as well as to engage in any and all other business activities.

    “7. CLIENT’S CAREER. Client agrees at all times to pursue Client’s career in a manner consistent with Client’s values, goals, philosophy and disposition and to do all things necessary and desirable to promote such career and earnings therefrom. Client shall at all times utilize proper theatrical and other employment agencies to obtain engagements and employment for Client. Client shall consult with Manager regarding all offers of employment inquires concerning Client’s services. Client shall not, without Manager’s prior written approval, engage any other person, firm or corporation to render any services of the kind required of Manager hereunder or which Manager is permitted to perform hereunder.

    “8. ADVERTISING. During the term hereof, Manager shall have the exclusive right to advertise and publicize Manager as Client’s personal manager and personal representative with respect to all aspects of the arts and entertainment industry.

    “9. AGENT. Client understands that Manager is not licensed as a “talent agency” and that this agreement shall remain in full force and effect subject to any applicable regulations established by the Labor Commissioner of Ohio, and Client agrees to modify this agreement to the extent necessary to comply with any such laws.

    “10. ENTIRE AGREEMENT. This constitutes the entire agreement between Client and Manager relating to the subject matter hereof. This agreement shall be subject to and construed in accordance with the laws of the state or commonwealth of Ohio applicable to agreements entered into and fully performed therein. A waiver by either party hereto or a breach of any provision herein shall not be deemed a waiver of any subsequent breach, nor a permanent modification of such provision. Each party acknowledges that no statement, promise or inducement has been made to such party, except as expressly provided for herein. This agreement may not be changed or modified, or any covenant or provision hereof waived, except by an agreement in writing, signed by the party against whom enforcement of the change, modification or waiver is sought. As used in this agreement, the word “Client” shall include any firm or corporation owned (partially or wholly) or controlled (directly or indirectly) by Client and Client agrees to cause any such firm or corporation to enter into an agreement with Manager of the same terms and conditions contained herein.

    “11. LEGALITY. Nothing contained in this agreement shall be construed to require the commission of any act contrary to law. Whenever there is any conflict between any provision of this agreement and any material law, contrary to which the parties have no legal right to contract, the latter shall prevail, but in such event the provisions of this agreement affected shall be curtailed and restricted only to the extent necessary to bring them within such legal requirements, and only during the time such conflict exists.

    “12. CONFLICTING INTERESTS. From time to time during the term of this agreement, acting alone or in association with others, Manager may enter into a business development arrangement to package an arts and entertainment program in which the Client is employed as a Client, or Manager may act as the entrepreneur, partner or promoter of any entertainment program in which Client is employed by Manager or Manager may employ Client in connection with the production of phonograph records, or as a songwriter, composer or arranger. Such activity on Manager’s part shall not be deemed to be a breach of this agreement or of Manager’s obligations and duties to Client. However, Manager shall not be entitled to the commission in connection with any gross earnings derived by Client from any employment or agreement whereunder Client is employed by Manager, or by the firm, person or corporation represented by Manager as the package agent of the entertainment program in which Client is so employed; and Manager shall not be entitled to the commission in connection with any gross earnings derived by Client from the sale, license or grant of any literary rights to Manager or any person, firm or corporation owned or controlled by Manager. Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to excuse Client from the payment of the commission upon gross earnings derived by Client from Client’s employment or sale, license or grant of rights in connection with any entertainment program, phonograph record, or other matter, merely because Manager is also employed in connections therewith as a producer, director, conductor or in some other management or supervisory capacity, but not as Client’s employer, grantee or licensee.

    “13. SCOPE. This agreement shall not be construed to create a partnership between the parties. Each party is acting hereunder as an independent contractor. Manager may appoint or engage any other persons, firms or corporations, throughout the world, in Manager’s discretion, to perform any of the services which Manager has agreed to perform hereunder except that Manager may delegate all of his duties only with Client’s written consent. Manager’s services hereunder are not exclusive to Client and Manager shall at all times be free to perform the same or similar services for others as well as to engage in any and all other business activities. Manager shall only be required to render reasonable services that are provided for herein as and when reasonably requested by Client. Manager shall not be deemed to be in breach of this agreement unless and until Client shall first have given Manager written notice describing the exact service that Client requires on Manager’s party and then only if Manager is in fact required to render such services hereunder, and if Manager shall thereafter have failed for a period of one hundred twenty (120) consecutive days to commence the rendition of the particular service required.

    “14. ASSIGNMENT. Manager shall have the right to assign this agreement to any and all of Manager’s rights hereunder, or delegate any and all of Manager’s duties to any individual, firm or corporation with the written approval of Client, and this agreement shall inure to the benefit of Manager’s successors and assigns, provided that Manager shall always be primarily responsible for rendering of managerial services, and may not delegate all of his duties without Client’s written consent. This agreement is personal to Client, and Client shall not assign this agreement or any portion, and any such purported assignment shall be void.

    “15. NOTICE. All notices to be given to any of the parties hereto shall be addressed to the respective party at the applicable address as follows:

    “If to Client: Ms. Sharon Else Ware
    ______________________ text/phone
    ______________________ email
    ______________________ LinkedIn
    If to Manager: Dr. Marshall Thomas
    10 Marshall Avenue
    Akron, OH 33404
    [email protected] email

    “All notices shall be in writing and shall be served by electronic mail, mail or telegraph, all charges prepaid. The date of mailing or of deposit in a telegraphy office, which ever shall be first, shall be deemed the date such notice is effective.

    “16. CLIENT’S WARRANTIES. Client is over the age of eighteen, free to enter into this agreement, and has not heretofore made and will not hereafter enter into or accept any engagement, commitment or agreement with any person, firm or corporation which will, can or may interfere with the full and faithful performance by Client of the covenants, terms and conditions of this agreement to performed by Client or interfere with Manager’s full enjoyment of Manager’s right sand privileges hereunder. Client warrants that Client has, as of the date hereof, no commitment, engagement or agreement requiring Client to render services or preventing Client from rendering services (including, but not limited to, restrictions on specific musical compositions) or respecting the disposition of any rights which Client has or may hereafter acquire in any musical composition or creation, and acknowledges that Client’s talents and abilities are exceptional, extraordinary and unique, the loss of which cannot be compensated for by money.

    “17. ARBITRATION. In the event of any dispute under or relating to the terms of this agreement or any breach thereof, it is agreed that the same shall be submitted to arbitration by the American Arbitration Association in Akron, OH in accordance with the rules promulgated by said association and judgment uon any award rendered be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. Any arbitration shall be held in ” [redacted.] “In the event of arbitration arising from or out of this agreement or the relationship of the parties created hereby, the trier thereof may award to any party any reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs incurred in connection therewith. Any litigation by Manager or Client arising from or out of this agreement shall be brought in [redacted].”

    “IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have signed this agreement as of the date hereinabove set forth.


    _________________________ _________________________
    _________________________ ________________________.
    Pka: “_________________________” __________________

    Featured music/recordings:
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    Note the unsigned nature of this appalling thievery contract.

    Learn to “live and let live,” systemic child rape covering up psychologists – because you can’t bill to help child abuse survivors, or their legitimately concerned mothers – “mental health workers.”

    Let’s hope and pray for the fair judgement of all, by God. The systemic, child rape covering up “mental health” lunatics, merely have “delusions of grandeur” they should control the masses in our country.

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    • ‘For some reason, we view psychiatric care as if it’s a bunch of benevolent people.” But it is NOT! Despite the fact, they all promised to “first and foremost, do no harm.”

      “I would just ask people to have some appreciation for it being a complex issue and potentially that there are issues of profiteering and exploitation of patients.”

      Most definitely, profiteering off of defaming people with the so called, scientific fraud based, DSM disorders is what “mental health professionals” are all about. It’s all fraud … and lies.

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      • It is not just psychiatry or psychiatrists but it is all the other creatures that support this criminal enterprise like Nurses, NP’s, staff, non-profits, psychologists etc. This is a $60 billion dollar job program and revenue stream.

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  4. Firstly, great interview to you both!

    Dr Shields, do you have any advice for those of us without degrees to effect change? I read that your docket is often full, but I would love to bring my own input, research, and lived experiences to this movement in whatever way I can.

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  5. Although we have expended a lot of time, effort, and money, and there are significant groups that stand to gain significantly from our anchoring mental health treatment within the medical model, I believe that the medical model may, regrettably, be inappropriately used for mental health .

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  6. “This is a population—and it’s weird to talk about the population as a population when I identify as being part of the population and my family—but it is a population in general that people are afraid of.” ……

    “For some reason, we view psychiatric care as if it’s a bunch of benevolent people. We seem to be able to be critical as a society of health care in general and then also other consumer goods like shoes and clothing and exploitation of the labor force and all that. But for some reason, with mental health care, it seems like if you even bring up this critique, it’s almost as though people get offended or it’s too much to process.”

    “Who knows why we were taught to fear witches, and not the people who burned them alive”

    “I was restrained immediately for asking a question in front of my mom. I thought they were trying to kill me at the time. When they injected me with the chemical restraint, I asked them, “What did you give me?” They didn’t answer me, and I thought for sure it was a lethal injection, so I thought I was dying when I was going to sleep.”

    The fact that you survived is not proof that they weren’t, though I understand from personal experience how you might have come to that conclusion. In my instance I was fortunate enough to have someone who “didn’t have the stomach for it” rudely interrupt proceedings. And what better way to hide your misconduct that to make the resistance’ justification for the little ‘accident’ which is about to occur?

    And imagine being able to make the truth a paranoid delusion? Simply remove the documents showing the ‘spiking’ with date rape drugs and what was a crime becomes a symptom of a mental illness? All works well as long as you can control the legal narrative via “editing”, though problems arise when it isn’t known “who else has the documents” (and is thus aware of the facts rather than the fraud)

    It’s also a wonderful (elegant?) means of gaining access to information which might be withheld by individuals. Create the false belief that you are about to provide them treatment under the Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation, and then put the questions you (or Police) would like answered to them.

    Having nothing to ‘confess’ in such situations (ie where Police do a mock execution on you) is possibly the most psychologically damaging. Though in my instance it was more about coercing me into silence, and causing further “acute stress reactions” to enable me to be slandered with the mental health labels they had forged and uttered with.

    I sit and ponder the difference between the State gathering information from criminals (‘confidential informants’) and actually using them to create situations where human rights can be abused (arbitrary detentions and torture), and the active commission of offences for the benefit of the State (for example the unlawful release of confidential medical records from a Private Clinic in breach of the Federal Privacy Act being concealed by the State Police, and the victims being ‘fuking destroyed’ to ensure that the offending can continue? Or the ‘unintended negative outcomes’ in the E.D.? “It might be best I don’t know about that” says Senior Constable. If you don’t look, it never happened.)

    Is there a difference? Or do the ends justify the means? For example the Law Centre forging a letter from the Chief Psychiatrist once they had checked if their ‘client’ still had the documents proving the human rights abuses/crimes? Backstabbing Judas’s that they are…….. care to read the letters? Pretend to be Good Samarians and steal the shoes of the victims once others have kicked them half to death. You can’t really blame them, someone has to pay for the Audi 4 wheel drives.

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  7. Dr. Shields,

    Thank you for taking on such a massive task. There needs to be as much attention as possible given to the grim realities of coercive psychiatry.

    I was very sorry to read of your own personal struggles, but, as others have said, it is unfortunately the only way to have a true perspective on what it’s really like to be an ‘in-patient’.

    It’s very reassuring to know that you seem well-acquainted with what you’re dealing with, i.e. psychiatry and psychiatrists, and it’s rigid, closed-minded, and territorial attitudes and practices. That’s why it’s imperative that you have no illusions as to how to navigate between psychiatrists and the hospital system and culture.

    But my hopes for the success of your endeavors are guarded, as I have serious doubts as to just how much real progress is possible, psychiatry being as entrenched, intractable, and resistant to change as it is. But it’s brave people like you who make real change a possibility.

    Thank you for your courage and commitment to such a neglected area of the healthcare system. I hope your efforts are the beginning of wonderful things to come.

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  8. It is admirable that Dr. Shields speaks so openly about her painful personal experiences. Unfortunately she minimizes the harms done to patients in mental hospitals and – astonishingly – portrays psychiatrists and nurses as “victims of a very toxic system”.

    Dr. Shields says: “I don’t necessarily think that any single psychiatrist or necessarily an association of psychiatrists like that some patients get hurt in psych facilities.” Not only some patients get hurt – many patients get hurt, especially the involuntarily committed ones. Interestingly, Dr. Shields does not mention the problem of forcible drugging and the harmful effects of psychiatric drugs.

    What makes her think that there are no psychiatrists who like hurting people or who simply don’t see their patients as equal human beings? Even if most psychiatrists were genuinely well-intentioned, most of them cause harm to their patients. Dr. Shields mentions people who have died while being overmedicated – the psychiatrists in these hospitals were clearly either very callous, or very incompetent. In any case their decisions led to people’s deaths.

    The idea that “frontline staff” are victims and should not be blamed is frankly ludicrous. If everyone is a victim, we erase the existing imbalance of power and the personal responsibility of people who harm and oppress others. Psychiatrists and nurses have a great power over their patients, including the power to label people as incurably mentally ill. They are not oppressed – they are oppressing patients (even if they are doing it with a kind smile). They are responsible for the harm they cause.

    Dr. Shields claims that she has met “amazing” psychiatrists: if these psychiatrists support forcible drugging and life-long neuroleptic treatment, they oppress their patients and therefore cannot be “amazing”.

    Dr. Shields also portrays psychiatrists as a “stigmatized” profession. If both psychiatrists and their patients are described as “stigmatized”, this word becomes completely meaningless. Psychiatrists are not despised and feared, they do not live in poverty, they are not ostracized and isolated. They willingly agree to be psychiatrists and are paid for their work. They are not ashamed of their job and do not feel forced to hide it from others.

    In his seminal book “Stigma” Erving Goffman defines stigma as an attribute which is “deeply discrediting”, which reduces a person in our mind “from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one”. Psychiatrists are powerful professionals who have their own societies and academic journals and are widely seen as experts. Their views on mental health continue to be embraced by mainstream society. How can one compare them to the “mentally ill” and especially the “schizophrenics”?

    I am very disappointed by this interview. I strongly suspect that if Dr. Shields had been herself diagnosed with a “serious mental illness”, she would have a much more critical approach towards the psychiatric system and towards the “frontline staff”. I also feel that most academics see the psychiatric system in a much too positive light because they usually find it much easier to relate to psychiatrists (successful professionals with a similar social status) than to marginalized people and because they tend to embrace the mainstream views on mental health and on psychiatric treatment.

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    • Hi Joanna,

      You’re doing well, yes some people are evil, yes this article is weak.
      But the rabbit hole goes much deeper than psychiatry.
      And some of your ideas are outright wrong. (though not in the above comment)

      Who runs psychiatry ? Big pharma. Who runs big pharma (and everything else)?

      Research history. Use an unconventional search engine (e.g. Yandex). Some things will be hard to accept.
      Everything we are taught is a lie.

      I wish you well fren

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  9. Dr. Shields asks: “Should we even treat psychiatric patients as people? That’s the debate that I’ve been hearing, and that’s unfortunate. I would love for us to get to the point where we agree these are humans…”

    This is simply unbelievable – she actually claims that even the very humanity of psychiatric patients is a debatable issue. That there is no general consensus that psychiatric patients are humans and deserve to be treated like other human beings. Could one imagine someone talking in this way about any other group, e.g. Black people? I am surprised that other people have not commented on it.

    As someone who has been diagnosed with “schizophrenia” AFTER getting a PhD and who now lives in poverty I also find it very ironic that Dr. Shields believes that “just having a PhD makes someone incredibly privileged”. A PhD is not enough to protect a person from unemployment, poverty and social isolation.

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        • Yes, I agree. But you have to start somewhere. And at least she’s honest about what she’s hearing. And I don’t sense she shares this attitude. At least I hope she doesn’t. And while it sickened me to read that her colleagues think this way, it didn’t surprised me.

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          • Interesting piece of footage coming out of a Juvenile detention Centre here.

            The ex Judge who ran the Children’s court has stated that there is a “perverse irony” about the footage. Had the parents of the child treated him in this manner, he would have been removed and placed into care, and they would be charged with assault occasioning bodily harm. But the response is to put him into ‘care’ to be repeatedly brutalised by ‘prison officers’ restraining him for attempting to kill himself because of the way he is having his human rights abused.

            There is truly something wrong when children are being treated in this manner. And I’m sad to say that the footage is on the ‘soft’ end of some of the treatment I have heard about from ‘reliable sources’. But, you can’t listen to them, they’re mental patients right Minister?

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          • And I’m glad she has the guts to try it in what’s already a hostile environment.

            And who else is putting themselves in a position to actively take on coercive psychiatry? What she’s attempting is long overdue.

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          • Birdsong, is she really taking on coercive psychiatry? Is she actually saying anything which might shock or anger psychiatrists? In my opinion she is doing her best to reassure them – according to her they have good intentions and are “stigmatized”.

            Dr. Shields seems to be really afraid of being labelled as “anti-psychiatrist” and of getting into conflict with other people, including psychiatrists. Of course it can be related to her being a young academic and to her being a woman – women are still expected to be “nice” and non-confrontational. But it is impossible to take on oppressive systems if one is determined to be “nice” and to avoid upsetting people who oppress others…

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        • Steve and Birdsong, I really hope that the situation is not as bad as she is implying. Of course I agree with both you that Dr. Shields does not share this attitude. But when Birdsong says: “you have to start somewhere”, aren’t we forgetting about the earlier academic research critical of psychiatry?

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          • Joanna says “…is Dr. Shields really taking on coercive psychiatry?”
            I don’t know. But I certainly hope so.

            “Is she actually saying anything which might shock or anger psychiatrists?”
            I don’t know. But I do know that approaching people with guns a-blazing is an easy way to get terminated.

            “But it is impossible to take on oppressive systems if one is determined to be “nice” and to avoid upsetting people who oppress others…”
            I don’t know that Dr. Shields is determined to be “nice”. But I do I think she’s determined to tread carefully in a environment which could easily backfire if she’s not careful about upsetting others. But that doesn’t mean not upsetting others. It means picking your battles. And she just got her foot in the door, which is no small feat. And everyone everywhere has to pick their battles to get anything done, or else risk being shown the door.

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          • Joanna says, “Dr. Shields seems to be really afraid of being labeled as “anti-psychiatrist”, and of getting into conflict with other people, including psychiatrists.”

            She has every right and reason to be afraid, if she is, as having such fears is not unreasonable, because being labeled as such would have prevented her from being hired in the first place and could result in her losing her position, preventing her from helping anyone.

            Confronting conflict and controversy in a field as impenetrable as psychiatry takes an enormous amount of tact and skillful maneuvering. And I’m afraid if she does take on a full-frontal attack too soon, she’ll be decidedly outgunned —

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          • Birdsong, you say “She has every right and reason to be afraid” and “if she does take on a full-frontal attack too soon, she’ll be decidedly outgunned”.

            I don’t think that we can assume without any evidence that Dr. Shields is radically opposed to the psychiatric system. In the interview she implies that psychiatrists have good intentions and she claims that she has met some “amazing” ones. She talks in positive terms about people who want to force their family members into “treatment”. She claims that the frontline staff are victims etc.

            The fact that an academic chooses to do research on psychiatric patients does not necessarily mean that this academic disagrees with the mainstream views on “mental health”, psychiatric drugs etc.

            As I said earlier, there are academics who are very critical of psychiatry. I disagree with your opinion that if Dr. Shields were more critical of psychiatry, she would lose her position – I don’t know any cases of professors fired for criticizing psychiatry. And if she is indeed afraid of losing her position, this means that she is going to protect her academic status at the expense of truth…

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          • Birdsong, one can tread carefully without portraying psychiatrists as a stigmatized group with good intentions and without calling any psychiatrists “amazing”.

            You say that Dr. Shields “just got her foot in the door, which is no small feat”, but she is a professor on a tenure track, not an adjunct or a PhD student. She is not someone in a precarious position, someone who might lose her job if she says or writes something “too radical”.

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        • “I am wondering if she means only professionals or actually the society in general…”

          Are you referring to me, Joanna? And which would you prefer?
          The professionals or society in general?

          At the present moment I have all I can handle responding to your comments, many of which sound as though you’re trying to diminish most of what I say.

          Disagreement is fine. Disparagement is not. And offending people you’ve been tasked to work with does not build bridges.

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          • Hi, Birdsong,

            I interpreted Joanna’s comment, “…am wondering if she means only professionals or actually the society in general” as a reference to Dr. Shields’ quote (“she” = Dr. Shields).

            For what it’s worth, I think the points that you and Joanna are debating are vital, and I can see both sides. While I may believe that Dr. Shields doesn’t go far enough in taking psychiatry to task, it does matter, as you said, that someone with lived experience is working in the system and doing what’s possible to advocate for patients to the extent that the system will allow it.

            Joanna, I’m not sure…its possible that Dr. Shields was referring to society in general. It’s not clear to me from the quote.
            (Dr. Shields said, “I am afraid right now, there’s not an awareness of the issue, the true issues, and that we’re still debating reality. Is reality, reality? Should we even treat psychiatric patients as people? That’s the debate that I’ve been hearing, and that’s unfortunate. I would love for us to get to the point where we agree these are humans, we are humans, and the way we’ve been operating our mental health care treatment system has been absolutely unacceptable,…”)

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          • KateL, yes, I think that Dr. Shields was referring to society in general, though I agree with you that it is not clear from the quote.

            I agree with you that is a good thing that someone with lived experience is working in the system. Unfortunately people with lived experience are very often able to work in the system only if they do not challenge it in a significant way and agree with its basic tenets. And as I pointed out in an earlier comment, I think that Dr. Shields would be much more critical of psychiatry if she had been herself diagnosed with a “serious mental illness”…

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          • Kate,
            I’m so sorry about what’s happened to you. What you’ve described is criminal.
            Have you tried integrated medicine? Or maybe acupuncture? I’ve heard good things about integrated medicine somewhere on MIA, but I can’t remember where. I’ve found acupuncture very helpful.

            Family damage can be even more painful. But try and remember that it’s NOT your fault. And I hope someday your son realizes what a worthwhile person you are.

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  10. A correction: it seems that Dr. Shields does not include psychiatrists among the “frontline staff” when she says: “I have found that frontline staff at psych facilities are, in general, enthusiastic even about my research so long as I make it very clear that I’m not blaming them and that I think they also are victims of a very toxic system.”

    However, even nurses and other workers at psychiatric facilities should not be portrayed as “victims of a very toxic system”. They have power over patients and can be very abusive, as Dr. Shields has found out herself. I completely disagree with her when she says: “It’s not that one individual is evil at all.” Individuals can be evil. There are evil individuals among the frontline staff at psychiatric facilities.

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    • Joanna,
      I read your all your comments regarding Dr. Shields, and I agree with all of them. That being said, I still consider her light years ahead of most the professionals in the field. And people enduring the grim realities of forced treatment need all the help they can get.
      But if she reads your comments, I hope she takes them VERY seriously.

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      • Birdsong, great to hear that you agree with me and I, too, hope that Dr. Shields is going to read our comments!

        I fully agree with you – we need all the help we can get. At the same time, I find it worrying that in spite of being quite mild in her critique of the psychiatric system she is so careful to avoid the “anti-psychiatry” label. As long as academics are blocked by the fear of being labelled as “anti-psychiatrists”, they will be unable to develop a radical approach.

        The risk of getting “wined and dined” by psychiatrists is unfortunately very real. Of course I am also aware that in today’s academia it is dangerous to question the mainstream views, especially if one is a young academic.

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          • Birdsong, you say that the psych world is not ready for a radical approach, but I don’t think that researchers should adapt their approach to the expectations of the psych world. Why should psychiatrists be placated and reassured?

            I guess that most researchers either personally embrace the mainstream views on “mental health”, or are convinced that questioning these views would be too risky for their careers.

            Of course another big problem is that many researchers apply for grants in order to finance their research – Dr. Shields mentions a NIH grant – and institutions which award grants are not interested in research which challenges the prevailing dogmas.

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    • I guess the same was true of slavery, that is, that the slave owners did not have a particular interest in harming their property, but simply extracting the maximum labour from them possible. In that regard, they used methods they believed worked best. What sort of parasite deliberately harms it’s host?

      “There are evil individuals among the frontline staff at psychiatric facilities.”

      This I know to be true. The viciousness of the attack on me and my family for attempting to complain about human rights abuses and criminal misconduct by public officers was a sight to behold. The confidence in the voice of the Operations manager when she stated she would “fuking destroy’ me and my family when I pointed out she had a mandatory duty to report the offending of her colleagues…… apparently not. She has a license beyond that given to James Bond to ‘deal’ with problems relating to reputational damage. Police providing material support in ensuring that the victims are returned to ‘mental health services’ rather than take the proof of their offending.

      The release of my confidential medical records in “edited” form (forge and utter, compound or conceal evidence of a criminal offence, attempt to pervert the course of justice, fail to report suspected misconduct….) done to deliberately push me to suicide…. though plausibly deniable….. and the refusal of the ‘authorities’ to examine the facts based on the benefit they are receiving from the offending of those very staff.

      I suppose allowing me the right to speak to my family (or a competent lawyer) would cause problems with the documented evidence available, being they were witnesses to this offending, and have been threatened to support the fraudulent legal narrative preferred by the State. Imagine the fact that the Law Centre has been working closely with the State to cover up human rights abuses (torture)? Finding out what evidence/proof their ‘clients’ have and then throwing them under a bus once Police have retrieved the documents? Forging and uttering with letters purporting to be from the Chief Psychiatrist. And do you think anyone would check because …….”they wouldn’t do that”….. glad someone did, thought all they have done is maintain the lies.

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      • Boans, I am very sorry to hear about your experiences.

        I think that one of the differences between slavery and the psychiatric system is that in many cases psychiatrists and other “mental health” staff do not have any reason to care about the physical state of patients.

        Even if a patient dies (like the overmedicated patients mentioned by Dr. Shields), there are plenty of others. And even if a patient becomes severely physically disabled as a consequence of his “treatment”, he is highly unlikely to stop being a psychiatric patient.

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        • Hi Joanna

          “I think that one of the differences between slavery and the psychiatric system is that in many cases psychiatrists and other “mental health” staff do not have any reason to care about the physical state of patients.”

          Agreed. In fact, there are circumstances where it is in the interest of ‘mental health services’ to actually make people sick. There is both the financial benefit of getting the snout into the trough of medicare money (or other insurances if available), AND the ability to justify other treatments as a result of the ‘negative reactions’ to the use of the ‘chemical kosh’ (usually administered in my State as a ‘courtesy’). If you watch the movie “The Young Poisoners handbook” you will see how Graham Young used this method to poison and kill his step mother….. ‘she just needs more of the ‘medicine’ doctor?’

          So for example in my instance, my complaints about being arbitrarily detained and tortured (the complaint form thrown in the bin by the Senior Medical Officer conducting the abuses) then informs the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist that I was “breathing threats of litigation” on entry to the facility, and authorises the use of a list of chemicals which I was informed would have made me “very sick”.

          The documents show (though I was never asked about my ‘medications’….. mainly due to the doctor not wanting to be known to be aware that I didn’t take benzodiazepines, and he was concealing the ‘spiking’ with a fraudulent prescription), that I was to be forcefully given;

          Lorazepam 6mg (orally)
          Quetiapine 400mg (orally)
          Olanzapine 20mg (injected)

          This if I showed signs of agitation. Now let me say that given my wife was allowed to stand whilst I was interrogated and deliberately ‘bait’ me, knowing she had arranged for me to be ‘spiked’ with date rape drugs and then jumped in my bed by police to find the knife she had planted….. I was a little ‘agitated’ (that was the aim. I was warned the night before when she returned from the ‘planning session’ with the Private Clinic psychologist [with a Masters degree no less] I’m surprised they didn’t give her a tazer to use on me, though their assumption that I was a wife beater was just that…. a false assumption which they preferred.

          I assume it was much easier to not consider the people being loaded into the ‘showers’ as humans too. The same defense mechanism really. Though the police would have had to have been brain damaged to not figure out they were being used for criminal purposes (their role only to provide thug services and cause an ‘acute stress reaction’. Code where I live for ‘this one will need to be tortured to have them talk’)…… and I feel sure that they will receive the ‘treatment’ they deserve, and mental health services can assist in that regard. Enjoy your pension? lol, I think not, your going to need to be ‘assessed’ by a psychiatrist before exiting, and well, the same method used on me for wealth extraction would work on ex police too. Savings for the State, and wealth for psychiatrists……. major. Complaints? Not after the electricity there isn’t. And who’s going to believe a mental patient? Not the Minister “You can’t listen to them, they’re mental patients”).

          I have never taken any of these drugs, and have no real ‘history’ with ANY of the psychiatric drugs (I may have had a prescription written for an anti depressant but does that prove that I have consumed it? Certainly the condition that I take them to obtain my release from the locked ward that day resulted in my agreement, and then throwing them out as soon as I got out)

          I don’t have a good knowledge of these drugs but what would an ‘expert’ think of the result of forcefully administering such a cocktail to a ‘cleanskin’? Was this going to make me ‘better’? Because I don’t know that combining that cocktail with the drugs they KNEW had already been administered covertly was a recipe for good mental health. And keep in mind this was due to me making a decision that my wife didn’t agree with, nothing at all to do with my capacity to make my own decisions. I would have been more concerned about her alcohol and drug (licit and illicit) consumption, and then running from the kitchen to the bedroom and attempting to plunge a carving knife into my heart as I lay on the couch.

          In fact, I can see why those in the know about these drugs call it a ‘snow job’. Still, the Senior Medical Officer who was conspiring with the Private Clinic psychologist was not to know that my refusal to hand over my wallet to the psychologist may have had a role in her releasing the slander from my medical records to him. He arranging to have me arbitraily detained and tortured thinking I was someones ‘patient’….. and my wife and the psychologist ensuring he didn’t call for the confidential information to the Private Clinic (hence the reason my wife returned home to ‘spike’ me and plant the knife for police to find). As my wife so eloquently put it “you just need to know what to tell them” (to have someone’s life fuking destroyed, and take everything they ever worked for… along with my daughter and grandchildren who are not even related to her by blood….. just a knee jerk reaction of the State. Destroy families as a ‘courtesy’, while the community stands and watches, afraid for their own safety from such a vicious bunch of filth)

          So yes, the slave would need to have a certain level of needs met. The ‘mental patient’ would simply be leeching the coffers by wasting money on such things as healthy food, or a bed which allowed for a decent nights sleep. I stand by the use of an ‘equation’ in this regard…… a large supply of ‘patients’ would mean the ability to ‘burn them out’ much quicker, though left with what the police could snatch from the streets (or as in my case, from my bed) might result in people not worth a lot in regards insurances or labour power. Though they do get them for free, whereas slaves actually cost the owner a capital outlay.

          hmmmmmmm where going to need a Euthanasia Act. The RICO type laws might result in action being taken if it doesn’t appear to be lawful (see the Josef Hartinger problem for Himmler). No problems when the State is enabling after the fact due process, and legal narrative “editing” while human rights lawyers look the other way. Unintended negative outcomes will reduce the likelihood of reputational damage to the State (though what about those who don’t have the stomach for it? Whistleblowers?)

          It pleases me no end to know that these people who did this are receiving the support of other criminals within the State system. That may seem strange and sure a lot more people are going to be harmed but….. eventually a good person will come along and take a look, not simply turn away. That’s the person ‘we’ are waiting for (not some Judas befriender who ‘lures with bait [yes I will help you], and then strikes with chaos [ensures the cover up which failed is corrected to destroy the victims, for a fee of course]’). And just like the priests that got away with raping 300 plus kids, the enablers will be identified too. Just pray it isn’t their families that become targets of the hospital FOI officer releasing their medical records to slander and push to suicide while we wait.

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          • Boans, it is so sad to read about your experiences with the psychiatric system. I totally agree with you – the psychiatric system can get its “prisoners” for free. And the sicker psychiatric patients are, the better it is for the system.

            Psychiatrists would love to keep me on neuroleptics for life only because I had one psychotic episode more than 10 years ago. They refuse to see that I am not mentally ill, that I don’t need any “medication”. In their opinion I have an incurable illness, though I am a happy and peaceful person.

            I refuse to listen to psychiatrists, but many people take them very seriously. My case proves so well that most psychiatrists are doing something very evil, even if they have good intentions…

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          • Hi again Joanna,

            what really concerns me most is how brief my experiences with the psychiatric system were, and the amount of damage they could inflict deliberately, in such a short period of time.

            I was so pleased to read Dr Moncrieffs article “Psychiatric Diagnosis as a political device”. It explained to me what the psychiatrist at the Private Clinic had done to assist my compensation lawyers to resolve the issue with my employer (the State). Had I actualised my potential as a whistleblower I have little doubt I would not be even capable of writing this comment….. but I didn’t. An agreement was reached and I was ready to move on with the compensation I received for the damage that had been done…… and as I walked out the door from the Clinic which had done the report for my lawyer…… smack over the back of the head with the release of my ‘diagnosis’ as a political device.

            The ‘diagnosis’ used in the first instance to do good (resolve conflict), and then weaponsied by the clinic psychologist to extract the compensation from my wallet once Shanghaied by her husband Putting electricity to my head against my will (I had already told her what I thought of the “barbaric practice” when she suggested I use my new found wealth on ‘treatments’). I have no doubt my political beliefs upset her when I explained I could do the same damage with a ball peen hammer, it just looks a little more brutal.

            Not the psychiatrist, but a psychologist (with a Masters degree) has released the ‘diagnosis’ to the hospital which she and my wife have arranged to arbitrarily detain and torture me (with the promise of the release of the confidential information once they had done so….. making it not a crime under the Federal Privacy Act….. well, the conspiring to conceal the unlawful release was still a crime and …… you get the picture I’m sure).

            I did try and pay someone to write up my story for publication (i’m obviously not capable of achieving that anymore, simply being left to relive my trauma in the feeble attempts), though they simply took the documentation and instead of standing by their agreement, contacted the authorities and pointed out the problem they had because the police had failed to retrieve the documents showing the arbitrary detention, torture, concealment of the ‘spiking’ with date rape drugs with a fraudulent prescription, and unlawful release of my confidential medical records form a Private Clinic (called a “dog act” and the people doing it “scumbags” by a Federal Member of Parliament. Though not in my State, they are provided ‘assistance’ to conceal their offending, and taken on a ‘resources’ to pervert the course of justice. My personal belief is that those whose records were compromised should have been informed….. not the preferred option of those who interrupted the resolution these people had planned for me in the E.D.). Not a lot of use threatening someone in my position, they had already taken everything from me, including my family. But, the threats were issued anyway.

            I have tried to speak to ‘mental health professionals’ regarding these matters, though their resolution is to send me down the path of brain damage to silence me. All roads lead to Rome it seems when the truth doesn’t suit the State. A good ‘test’ of sorts, will they do their duty to the State, or support someone with a legitimate complaint about human rights abuses?

            So in my instance, it wasn’t the psychiatrist who was doing something ‘evil’, but the parasite he was unknowingly carrying in his Private Clinic. That most certainly changed after the events at the E.D. My wife explained how there had been a few ‘problems’ at the Clinic……It would be ludicrous to assert that the psychiatrist wasn’t made aware of the ‘problems’.

            The major problem as I see it is not the police providing assistance to people who came within an inch of murdering me in the E.D. (and being rudely interrupted by someone who “doesn’t have the stomach for it”), or the hospital and the Law Centre conspiring to pervert the course of justice with their “ediitng” of legal narrative and forging and uttering with a letter from the Chief Psychiatrist, but the fact that they kept these criminals in place and exploited that situation for nearly two years……. and then Boans walked into a Police station with the documents with a whole bunch of people watching.

            The attempt to have me ‘referred’ for “hallucinating” by police to mental heath based on the ‘flag’ on my file? A crime, witnessed by a Social Worker and a Psychologist. Both became afraid and later, despite documented proof, claimed “It never happened”. Because police are using ‘mental health services’ to silence any victims of certain criminals? They have a ‘preferred criminals’ list? Or were the benefits being gained by from these criminals worth having me ‘snowed’?

            At that point they had to ‘turn’, and start pretending that they were doing there duty, rather than protecting their ‘resource’ that they were committing serious Federal offences to maintain………. not that it matters when it can all be “edited” before being presented to the Feds (who will no doubt support the State as opposed to their victims. No assistance is forthcoming, not even to allow me to have my property to leave this ‘place’).

            And the person who was going to ‘help’ me write this all up? Now prefers that “it never happened” and to keep his name out of it all. Of course the agreement to return the documents? No chance, they can be used to assassinate character and obtain benefits from the State for doing so. (particularly the “edited” ones weaponised and used to slander…… so the State understands the significance of the release of peoples medical records with this Medibank ‘hack’, because they actively engage in using peoples medical records to ‘fuking destroy’ their victims….demonstrable fact).

            Sure I get it, allowing organised criminals to kill a few innocent people to ensure they don’t find out that the authorities are on to them is a good tactic. I’m just pissed that it was me they were going to allow to be killed. The British did the same when they cracked the Enigma Code , allowed thousands of soldiers to die to ensure the Germans didn’t find out they had cracked it.

            I guess i’d say please don’t feel sad for me, that’s the last thing I actually want. Consider that at some point these people are going to receive a ‘visitor’, and they will be confronted with their wrongdoing. It may be tomorrow, it may be in 30 years, but I can guarantee it will happen I am reminded of Paul Lazzaros words in Slaughterhouse Five.

            I feel glad that I have managed to hold back my anger over these matters, it would have been a mistake to have acted hastily. Sun Tzu writes “an angry man can later become happy, a resentful man can become pleased, but a kingdom once destroyed can never be restored nor the dead brought back to life”. The attempt by the people who gaslighted me to insanity deliberately (wife, prof. friend, hospital administrators and Law Centre) and then attempted to point that anger at a specific individual to have him killed FAILED. Though I understand how such opportunism by people who think they are god may appear to be justified. Better they do their own dirty work, and exploit the trust of the individual to do them harm. Not too difficult when you know a good radiographer.

            Anyway, glad you refuse to listen to psychiatrists. Strangely I was never actually given access to the ‘diagnosis’ which was being handed around behind my back. This was part of the means used by the psychiatrist to protect me from myself (the political device). That information was meant to ‘die’ in the clinic (once resolution was reached), though a clever psychologist and her Shock Doc husband it would seem had found ways of stealing those diagnoses, and using them to knife ‘clients’ and steal their wallets……..and the State provided them with an awful lot of material support in that regard. Even tipping them off about me still having the documents so they could flee the State overnight.

            I appreciate your comments Joanna. It’s been people like you who have brought me to the truth. Despite the bad taste it leaves in my mouth that the Nation I offered to die to protect would treat me like this, I’m glad to be where I’m at. Okay, so the State is arbitrarily detaining and torturing citizens…. surely they know what’s best for us? And if they have to kill a few people to maintain their ‘relationships’ with their ‘confidential informants’, and maintain their ‘good reputation’, isn’t such a sacrifice a noble thing for the despised mental patient to take to their grave with them? It’s not like were digging big pits to bulldoze them into…….. yet. Though we have had to pass Euthanaisa Laws to ensure that the buck stops way before the Premier. The ‘joint enterprise’ (RICO laws in the US I believe) nature of the offending could be disastrous if anyone ever called these people to account (see Josef Hartinger and the problems he cause for Himmler).

            Isn’t plausible deniability combined with the right to “edit” legal narratives a beautiful thing?

            I guess we would have to cut Morgan Shields some slack in that regard. Knowing how far these people will go to maintain their ‘reputations’, treading softly might be her only choice? People who can call police and have you detained and tortured for no reason? They simply tell Police your an “Outpatient” and they then ‘ take you into custody’ with a request for a bit of roughing up?


            And sure I get it, many refuse to examine the documents I have because they prefer that isn’t the truth about where they live….. not unlike the Germans. “They wouldn’t do that?”

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      • Joanna says, “I don’t think that researchers should adapt their approach to the expectations of the psych world. Why should psychiatrists be placated and be reassured?”
        This isn’t what I’m saying. But I am saying you have to meet people where they’re at. And diplomacy doesn’t mean placating. But if you think this is what Dr. Shields is doing, you may be right.

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        • Birdsong, but why do we actually have to meet psychiatrists where they’re at? Please compare it to research on police violence – are researchers trying to talk and write in a “nice” way about police officers?

          I am not saying that Dr. Shields should attack psychiatrists, but in my opinion she portrays them in a much too positive light.

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    • I am a psychiatric nurse. I am currently out of work because I would not stand for the abuses I witnessed at 2 different nursing jobs in the Boston, MA area. When I spoke up for safety (as I’m obligated to do by my license) I was forced to resign.

      I am in an enviable position of having savings so I don’t have to allow the abuse and can be jobless for many months. I’m not sure if I can or will go back to nursing. I certainly won’t go back to the “frontlines”. Most frontline staff are not so lucky. They are forced to do the bidding of corrupt management or they risk losing their jobs.

      Please have some empathy for us too. We are VERY MUCH victims of the toxic system. I have my own mental health history: I was on medical leave for a psychiatric crisis for 8 months while living in Washington State when I worked for a really good hospital. I’ve taken lithium and attended an IOP – I refused inpatient and knew how to play the game.

      Many of us are trying to fight the system but it is a very, very difficult battle. Morgan is doing amazing work. She has to walk a very, very fine line which takes a great deal of grace and courage.

      When those of us who both work in the system and are victims of the system get attacked from both sides, it’s tempting to give up the fight. Please realize that we are on YOUR SIDE and accusing us of colluding with the “enemy” is counter-productive.

      We need many more practitioners with Morgan’s courage to stand up to the abusers.

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  11. Joanna,
    I get what you mean, but I still think Dr. Shields deserves a lot of respect. Life isn’t perfect and neither is she. But I think she’s doing a remarkable job with the cards she’s been dealt, and I don’t believe in waiting for the second coming of Christ.

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    • Birdsong, she certainly deserves respect, especially for being so open about her own experiences, but I think that academics can and should be much more critical towards psychiatry and the psychiatric system. I know that it is risky, I know that it demands courage, but it is not impossible. John Read, Suman Fernando or Joanna Moncrieff are some of the best known radical critics of psychiatry inside the academia.

      As long as researchers focus on the (genuinely or supposedly) good intentions of psychiatrists and nurses or of people who want to force their “loved ones” into “treatment”, they will never understand the nature of the system…

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      • Joanna,
        I understand and absolutely agree with what you say about researchers focusing on the good intentions (?) and people not understanding the nature of the system. But I don’t know of any other way to make progress. In fact, I don’t expect the researchers or any other psych professionals to make meaningful changes for the very reasons you’ve stated, as I think radical change can only happen from the outside because outsiders don’t have a vested interest in the system. But in the meantime, I hope Dr. Shield’s initiatives can help ease some of the burdens of those trapped in the system. And things are so dire right now that if Dr. Shields can accomplish fifty percent of her objectives, things will have come a long way. And I hope she can help make some wonderful things start to happen.

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        • Birdsong, researchers can do something very important – as an example, they can publish research which shows e.g. the negative impact of neuroleptics or of the ECT on the brain, research on the links between traumatic experiences and “voices” etc.

          Unfortunately Dr. Shields speaks in very vague and general terms throughout the whole interview. The only clear idea she mentions is “patient experience measurement” and she calls it “the first step”. I have nothing against this idea, though I think that the words “patient experience measurement” are obfuscating the reality of mental health hospitals and implying that psychiatric patients are just as free as other patients.

          You say that if she “can accomplish fifty percent of her objectives, things will have come a long way.” But what are actually her objectives apart from the idea of “patient experience measurement”? She spends much more time talking about the practicalities of her research than about her goals and ideas.

          I think that there is no reason to assume that we should be happy only because an academic has decided to do research on the experiences of patients in mental hospitals. Such research can be conducted from various perspectives, including from perspectives which obfuscate the nature of the system and reinforce biopsychiatry instead of challenging it.

          As an example, another MIA article mentions a study whose authors make it clear that they believe that people who have experienced a psychotic episode should be on neuroleptics .

          The fact that Dr. Shields has “lived experience” unfortunately does not necessarily mean that she is (or is going to be) ready to question the dogmas of biopsychiatry. I am wondering what she actually thinks about psychiatric diagnoses, about psychiatric drugs, about forcible drugging or about ECT. Unfortunately she talks at length and in great detail about things which are not really important.

          And I feel that unfortunately some of us still have too much respect for academics and put too much hope in their research… Most academics don’t challenge “the powers that be”, only some academics are independent and courageous thinkers.

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          • I have no respect for psychiatric academics or their research.
            But at least Dr. Shields is looking at the situation.

            And what else do you suggest when, “Most academics don’t challenge the powers that be’ and “only some academics are independent thinkers”?

            It’s possible that Dr. Shields may not be in line with your concerns. But interviews have time constraints.

            I’m not overly optimistic at all. I think there’s every chance she’s not onboard with the things you mentioned. But I believe in giving people a chance, which is more than the psych industry does.

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          • Joanna says, “I think there is no reason to assume that we should be happy only because an academic has decided to do research on the experiences of patients in mental hospitals. Such research can be conducted from various perspectives, including perspectives which obfuscate the nature of the system and reinforce biopsychiatry instead of challenging it.”

            Joanna, you are absolutely correct. However, it wasn’t my intention that “we should be happy” about anything. All I meant to say is that I’m guardedly optimistic. And while Dr. Shields’ speaking in general terms wasn’t what I wanted to hear, a public interview may not be the wisest place for her to express her goals more specifically at this time.

            And regarding the “patient experience measurement”. Yes, it might very well be just another Band-Aid on an open wound. But only time will tell.

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          • Joanna,

            I agree it’s imperative to publish research if it shows the negative impacts of neuroleptics, or of ECT on the brain, and on the links between traumatic experience and hearing voices, etc., and I think it’s outrageous if it hasn’t been published already. But I’m addressing the issue being addressed in this article, which by its title is, “Breaking Academia’s Silence on Inpatient Psychiatry…” And I don’t need any researcher to tell me about the adverse effects of any psychiatric drug or any psychiatric procedure, because I’ve experienced some of the WORST effects myself which were life-altering and lasted FOR YEARS, and is the reason I have no respect for any them. But even before my own experience, I didn’t need “research” to convince me of anything, because I have ALWAYS believed the best “research” is the testimony from anecdotal evidence —

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          • Joanna says, “I am wondering what she actually thinks about psychiatric diagnoses, about psychiatric drugs, or forcible drugging or ECT. Unfortunately she talks at length and in great detail about things that are not really

            I also wonder what she thinks of these things, but I don’t think it at all unimportant to want to give psychiatric in-patients a voice. In fact, I happen to think it’s the most important thing.

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          • Birdsong, I have mentioned research on the negative impact of neuroleptics or on the links between traumatic experiences and “voices” as some examples of genuinely helpful academic research. In fact, it is not true that until now academia has been ignoring the experiences of psychiatric patients. Some academics have been doing crucially important research.

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          • Birdsong, let me emphasize that I have not been criticizing your approach in any of my comments.

            You say: “a public interview may not be the wisest place for her to express her goals more specifically at this time.” You may be right, but I was really expecting much more from this interview.

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          • Birdsong, you say “interviews have time constraints.” But this interview was long, they were talking for an hour! And I am not criticizing her merely for not addressing some issues, I am very disappointed by the things she has been saying and her general tone. Maybe she is more radical than the interview suggests, but I am not going to assume that she is.

            I, too, believe in giving people a chance and this is why I patiently listened to the whole interview, though I did not find it interesting.

            You ask: “And what else do you suggest when, “Most academics don’t challenge the powers that be’ and “only some academics are independent thinkers”?”

            I think that people can learn to think outside the box and to look critically at the mainstream views – to realize that these mainstream views can be questioned. I think, too, that people who do research on psychiatric patients should listen to the voices of psychiatric survivors who are very critical of the system.

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      • Joanna,
        Yes! The academics should be much more critical of psychiatry and the psychiatric system. But from what I’ve been able to surmise, thinking critically about anything , much less psychiatry, isn’t exactly the most shining quality of academia these days. And maybe it never was. My impression is that things in that arena are very inflexible, as people who’ve gotten to any level of authority have egos and reputations to protect, and are therefore easily threatened by new ideas.

        That being said, it was very reassuring to read the critically important points you’ve made. And you do this in a remarkably clear and cogent way. And my impressions are that most people working in the psych-field aren’t capable of sensing the nuances you’ve so deftly mentioned.

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        • Birdsong, thank you so much for your kind words! I agree with you on academics and other professionals. As you said, many (if not most) of them seem to feel threatened by critical comments.

          I agree with you that academia has a problem with critical thinking. At the same time I think that the situation was better in the past, it seems that there were more radical academics ready to challenge mainstream views.

          I feel that unfortunately academia has now become so competitive that many academics are very afraid of doing anything risky for their careers. I also have the feeling that academia rewards academics who are not rebellious, who “toe the line” even if they claim that they are on the side of marginalized people…

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    • I too am a mental health practitioner (psych nurse) with my own psych history who has been harmed by the system as both a practitioner and a patient.

      I have so much respect for Dr. Shield’s courage. She is in a very, very difficult position. She has to walk a fine line.

      I lost my job for speaking up. She can’t risk pushing too many of the wrong buttons.

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  12. Hello Dr. Shields, I greatly respect your courage of being so honest, and for the amount of work you have done to heal. I am retired now, but was trained at an exceptional County Mental Health Hospital in Des Moines. It was humanistic and we were able to provide care at the highest level. Later, I worked in the County Hospital in Phoenix and had a very different experience. Many psych hospitals while not abusive, provide little real therapy. Patients are left to “heal” by being away from their stressors, and of course are medicated. I would like to give a self-help EMDR program to all inpatients so they could use these non-productive hours and do some significant healing. As a patient advocate, you will be more able to see the value in this if you would accept the program as a gift. If you write to me, I would be pleased to send you the free link. Take care, [email protected]

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  13. Academia has not even bothered to study voluntary or involuntary psychiatric detention, which the United Nations calls “torture”–does the article mention this? I don’t think so–because it is torture to be victim of other humans making money off nothing but their bias, your inflicted pain in the duplicitous name of “care” and your forever more annihilated human and civil rights (to say nothing of the financial and social devastation).

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    • Gina, there are researchers who have studied psychiatric detention, including the sociologist Erving Goffman with his seminal book “Asylums” and much more recently Jonathan Metzl with his book “The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease”. Surprisingly, Dr. Shields does not mention involuntary psychiatric detention in this interview.

      She even speaks in a positive terms about people who “can’t force their loved one into treatment” (“Some people in some families do struggle to access the care they need, and they do perceive their biggest barrier being the fact that they can’t force their loved one into treatment, and that can be valid…”).

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  14. Joanna, your comments are apt.

    Anyone who profits from the psych field needs to integrate the reality of the psychiatrized into every tenant of their work.

    Further, if these psych professionals are working on our behalf, they need to sufficiently respond to the grave concerns you have so graciously illuminated.

    Julia Lejeune or Dr Morgan Shields, will you answer Joanna’s comments?

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      • I don’t personally expect any reply from Dr. Shields. However, I feel that you should not imply that we are somehow pestering her and that we should “give her a break”.

        We have the right to express our opinion. It does not mean that we are pestering her. Let me add that Dr. Shields claims on her Twitter @MorganCShields that she has been “overwhelmed by the positive response” to this interview. This makes me guess that she has not read the comments here, or that she finds them irrelevant, or that she wants to pretend that everyone is enthusiastic about this interview.

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          Many authors don’t read the comments, or choose not to engage in the commenting community. It can take more than a bit of courage to dip into the comments section! And it is by no means a requirement that authors respond to comments, and can’t be assumed to mean anything other than that they choose not to engage.

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          • Replying as me, this time: I don’t think we know whether or not she’s read the comments. I hope she has and that it informs her further work. I am glad she is challenging some of the psychiatric shibboleths with her work, but I also hear a someone apologetic tone in her critique, which I find inappropriate when critiquing those with great power vis a vis their “patients.” The fact that her colleagues are even having a discussion as to whether or not “patients” ought to be treated as human beings suggests that there is a lot worse going on here than a few people being misguided or not quite understanding the experience of their “patient” cohort. It seems there is a built-in dehumanization process going on which can’t be explained by individuals being “misguided” nor altered by a bit of “sensitivity training.” This is ingrained, systematic behavior that is encouraged and enforced by those in charge of the system, and needs to be recognized as being intentional and enforced, such that any (such as her) who challenge the dominant narrative will be punished. Given her own experiences and sensitivities, I’m betting the author will gradually come to that conclusion (as I did), but in the meanwhile, I see no reason not to point out this inconsistency, as long as we do it as respectfully as we can. I value her work and have hope for her in the future, but I do see a need for a more blunt assessment as to why her colleagues are not receptive to her observations.

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          • That many authors choose not to engage in the comments tells me a lot. It tells me that they are only interested in talking to each other, not survivors (unless maybe those survivors also happen to have professional credentials?). Anyone who has even the slightest familiarity with this website is aware that 1) there is always a comments section open to anyone who is civil and 2) people who have had bad experiences with psychiatry/the mental health system, some of whom choose to call themselves psychiatric survivors, are very active in the comment section at MIA.
            This clarifies a lot for me. It seems that professionals are using this website to communicate with each other and for many professionals, the existence of the comment section is just a necessary evil.
            I understand that reading and replying to comments is a time investment — and scary (they dare not) — but most of the articles and interviews are about changing the system, about how the system is harmful to many, if not most, about the system’s long-standing dehumanization of those its stated purpose is to help, civil and human rights violations, I could go on. We all know what they’ve done.
            So it tells me everything that people who profess to want to change the system don’t want to talk to those who were badly harmed by it and who are also interested in engaging with those who say they want to make changes.

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          • Those are all assumptions on your part, which could be true or not be true. It does reflect where folks choose to spend their time, but I have no idea why someone chooses not to respond to comments. I am sure there are lots of reasons, and for some, your assumptions are probably true. But I’m not really in a position to know that. That’s my take on it, anyway.

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          • Steve, I am glad that you have mentioned the apologetic tone of her critique. I am not sure if there are really psychiatrists who are wondering if psychiatric patients should be treated like human beings. I often read articles from psychiatric websites and I don’t have this impression.

            I personally suspect that Dr. Shields said it without realizing that her words would sound shocking to many people.

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          • They probably wouldn’t phrase it quite that way, but I have certainly known psychiatrists, mainstream and considered competent, who had exactly this attitude. They express seeing the mind as some sort of mechanical device, and that they are simply tinkering with the parts like a mechanic with a car, to get it “running smoothly.” There seems from some to be no recognition that there is a person in there taking in information and making decisions and having emotional reactions to what’s happening to them, including what the psychiatrists themselves are doing. They seem to view people as bodies, and to discount any sense of agency that an individual may have. It’s not hard for me to see them discussing whether or not treating the “patient” as a human being is a good idea.

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          • KateL, I agree with you that many people are not interested in talking to survivors, especially to survivors who disagree with them. I am not jumping to any assumptions, but I, too, find it strange that some authors choose not to engage with the comments on the MIA website.

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          • Steve, maybe this is what Dr. Shields meant, but I have doubts about it. I personally suspect that she meant negative attitudes towards psychiatric patients – the fear, discomfort and “othering” she mentions in the earlier part of the interview. By the way, I am wondering what makes her say “I hate to use the word stigma”…

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          • Well, I don’t know if this is true for her, but I associate the term “stigma” with sleazy psychiatric propaganda efforts to make it OK for everyone to be on psych drugs. So I don’t like to use it, either. Maybe that’s her take on it, too. I think we should not say “stigma,” I think we should say “discrimination,” and NO, that does not apply to the poor psychiatrists! They are the “discriminators!”

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          • “They [psychiatrists] express seeing the mind as some sort of mechanical device, and that they are simply tinkering with the parts like a mechanic with a car, to get it “running smoothly.””

            “Moral maxims are surprisingly useful when we can invent little else to justify our actions” Pushkin.

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          • Steve, I understand why you have this association, but I would say that the psychiatric propaganda has unfortunately hijacked this word. “Stigma” and “stigmatization” are very useful terms, much better than “othering”. Some people are not merely “othered”, but perceived as tainted and reduced to the attribute which “taints” them, e.g. to their diagnosis of “mental illness”.

            Erving Goffman (I know that I have mentioned him more than once in this discussion…) coined the sociological concept of stigma and as an academic interested in public health and psychiatric patients Dr. Shields should be familiar with this concept.

            Discrimination is something different in nature from stigmatization, though stigmatization always leads to discrimination. Someone or some institution/organization can discriminate e.g. against women, against people over 60 or against single people, but only some groups are seen as “tainted”.

            One of the crucial things about stigma is that people often desperately try to hide (if possible) attributes/experiences which lead to stigma. The fact that few people are ready to disclose their diagnosis of a “serious mental illness” or the fact that they have been to a mental hospital proves that the “mentally ill” are still a deeply stigmatized group, even one of the most stigmatized ones.

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          • All true. The problem is, the psychiatric profession, far from fighting “stigma,” has demonstrably increased it, and the psych diagnoses are actually BUILT on pre-existing social stigma and discrimination. And when we start talking about PSYCHIATRISTS being somehow “stigmatized,” we’re really leaving the original meanings far behind!

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          • I think the sub title to Goffmans book tells a lot of the story

            “Stigma; Notes on the management of spoiled identity”. And believe me, when these vicious dogs at mental health smear you with the stink they wield as a weapon, you are going to need to do more than ‘manage’ your spoiled identity.

            Keeping me trapped in this place and denying me the right to legal representation to retrieve my belongings and leave? A means of ensuring the truth isn’t seen by others, and ensuring the threat to fuking destroy me and my family for daring to complain about public sector misconduct. I guess the “editing” must have got a bit much over the E.D. matters huh?

            Of course these ‘bad apples’ need to be concealed from public view because …. well because they were provided with ‘assistance’ from other corrupt public officers who could see the benefit in such ‘resources’….. until the documents proving what I am saying turned up in a Police station…. at which point it was every man/woman for themselves.

            But it does seem to me that the people who are smearing the shit on others, must by definition become stigmatised? I mean, eventually they traced the Cholera back to the Broad Street water supply right?

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    • anotherone says, “Anyone who profits from the psych field needs to integrate the reality of the psychiatized into every tenant of their work…and sufficiently respond to the grave concerns…”

      I hope Dr. Shields is able and willing to to this.

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    • Anotherone, unfortunately many people do not acknowledge critical comments, unless they come from someone well-known. The voices of psychiatric survivors are very often ignored if they criticize something an academic or a “professional” has said. We are usually not taken seriously.

      I know that people can be genuinely too busy to reply to online comments or find them too upsetting, but people should not ignore criticism and pretend that everyone is enthusiastic.

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  15. OMG please read the exchange before being rude to me specifically:

    1) I don’t want anyone to answer me. I specified Joanna’s points

    2) This is Mad in America. They’re posting here and we are all here, to facilitate discussion. Yes, I am trying to facilitate discussion. No breaks should be needed for a benign comment, designed to…facilitate discussion…

    3) It’s not impossible to do another interview or to continue on with current work, while keeping in mind Joanna’s points. Nor is it impossible to address them here.

    4) Paid researchers who are paid to research *our experiences* , are discussing their work to us, so it’s ok for us to reply with an alternative to applause and praise. Why else are we all here if not to rethink the current paradigm?

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    • Reply to myself,

      This response was written last night in a slightly salty tone meant to explain my meaning to another commenter.

      I do agree with both Joanna and Birdsong. This work is nuanced, requiring a nuanced response. I have found that the surest way to end reform is binary praise. An ‘A for effort’ should not be expected, especially given that the power dynamic already invites practitioners to demand and enforce our praise.

      I can acknowledge that the work done so far was difficult. I think that acknowledgement must invite more effort, more fire for change. To applaud for a worthy effort is not to resign the imperative to continue.

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    • Anotherone, you are making an excellent point. Professors like Dr. Shields are paid for their work and reap other benefits. In a way it is paradoxical that they often do not feel ready to engage with critical voices coming from the very group they are doing research on.

      I know that one needs courage to acknowledge critical comments, but this is a kind of courage academics should cultivate.

      I also fully agree with you that no one should expect an ‘A for effort’. I do hope that Dr. Shields is going to read at least some of these comments.

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  16. Julia Lejeune describes Morgan Shields as “one of the few mental health policy researchers who focuses on quality of care and issues of coercion within inpatient psychiatry. Her research exposes how current healthcare settings are influenced by power imbalances, profit structures and organizational priorities that are fundamentally misaligned with the human needs of patients.”

    Dr. Shields herself says, “I do not want to just reiterate that the current mainstream argument that we need more psychiatric beds, that’s the loudest argument right now, I have a lot of issues with it.

    But it’s most important that people really be clear-eyed and not forget that we do operate in a market-based system. If you want a provider organization to be incentivized to add more beds or open new psychiatric facilities, ask yourself what you think some of the unintended consequences might be.

    For some reason, we view psychiatric care as if it’s a bunch of benevolent people. We seem to be able to be critical as a society of health care in general and then also other consumer goods like shoes and clothing and exploitation of the labor force and all that. But for some reason, with mental health care, it seems like if you even bring up this critique, it’s almost as though people get offended or it’s too much to process.

    I would just ask people to have some appreciation for it being a complex issue and potentially that there are issues of profiteering and exploitation of patients.”

    It sounds like Dr. Shields has the right ideas and framework to make positive changes.
    And I commend her or anyone else who has the guts to take on the eight-hundred-pound gorilla that is inpatient-coercive psychiatry —

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    • Birdsong, you say “it sounds like Dr. Shields has the right ideas and framework to make positive changes” and that she has the guts to take on “inpatient-coercive psychiatry”.

      I disagree with you. The description of her research at the beginning of the interview has little in common with the contents of the interview. As I said earlier, the only clear idea I see in the interview is the idea of “patient experience measurement”. As to “power imbalances”, she is basically portraying “frontline staff” as “victims” and psychiatrists as a “stigmatized group”.

      Dr. Shields does not question the idea of involuntary treatment and forcible drugging in this interview. As I said earlier, she talks in very general and vague terms. She does not say anything radical, unless we assume that her hope that “we” are going to agree that psychiatric patients are humans is radical…

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    • Thank you Birdsong! I’m very frustrated by the criticism (bordering on abuse) of Dr. Shields. This is counter-productive to the cause and will not reply to the person/people engaging in this behavior because I feel so betrayed by them.

      They are misdirecting their anger at the wrong people and risk alienating us in the process. How is that helpful?

      I appreciate your willingness to engage with them. I can not. It feels like the same type of abuse I get from my former employers in the corrupt system. NOT OKAY!

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      • Tara,
        Thank you for standing up for what you believe in. You were very brave to have spoken out. But I’m sorry it cost you your job.

        I think there’s a lot of good people like you who don’t have the resources to safely speak up. And I also think there’s good people who’ve been led to believe their protocols are the right thing. And then there’s the group who clearly enjoy being sadistic, whether they know it or not.

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  17. What is needed:

    The US federal government should track voluntary and involuntary “civil” detentions, like they do criminal detentions. That fact that this is not done by anybody, government or academia, says a lot bad about both, but no one here is surprised by that.

    We don’t know if the numbers still show that women are detained more than men without the data. I read a mostly picture book about old asylums, with a foreword by Oliver Sacks, and the limited figures shared showed more women then men in earlier centuries. One picture showed the tallies on a display board hung at one of the old “grand” institutions, reiterating that women outnumbered men. The story of Elizabeth Packard of the 1800s reminds us that it was legal for a man to say his wife needed locking up and she would then be locked up, but a woman never had the right to say, for example, my husband is beating me, lock him up! He must be nuts!

    What is the situation now? When I was illegally and involuntarily detained, due to retaliatory suicide swatting from my EEOC documented psychologically abusive higher education employer, there were more women than men. What are the figures overall? We don’t know because this sexist society and corrupt still sexist psychiatry does not care.

    And yes, patients, should be listened to about the effects and real world outcomes, which are freaking horrendous and why we are ignored.

    I wish the imposed criminal and ah so cruel pain would just end me and I could exit this unrelenting hell. I wish I could buy the S in suicide like I was accused without evidence or evaluation.

    Psychiatry does not want hear about the hell it reeks and the realization adds to the hell.

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  18. Dr. Shields says “I am afraid right now, there’s not an awareness of the issue, the true issues, and that we’re still debating reality. Is reality, reality? Should we even treat psychiatric patients as people? That’s the debate that I’ve been hearing, and that’s unfortunate. I would love for us to to get to the point where we agree these are humans, and the way we’ve been operating our mental health care treatment system has been absolutely unacceptable.”

    I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how seemingly intelligent, educated people could even think, much less ask, the question, “are psychiatric patients people?”, and I realized that context might have something to do with it. Meaning medically trained people are trained to look for physical ailments, and therefore often overlook the person in front of them. For instance, it’s not a big deal if an oncologist doesn’t focus primarily on the individual; the issue at hand is cancer. So, if I think the doctor is an insensitive jerk, it doesn’t matter as much if s/he isn’t the most sensitive. But emotionally intimate and psychologically challenging problems are different.

    And as offensive as it is, I think the question of whether or not “psychiatric patients are people” is the most important one raised in this article. (Of course, it’s not a revelation to those who’ve been harmed by the system. And the fact that this question is even being raised seems, at first glance, to be beyond outrageous.) But the point I’m trying to make is this: all of the harms perpetrated by psychiatrists in the name of “mental health” are caused because they DON’T see mental patients as people, they only see pathology, or “disease”, like an oncologist sees cancer. But this doesn’t excuse psychiatrists for not seeing patients as people. And the situation is even more troubling in psychiatry because in psychiatry the issues are related to emotional states and perceptions of reality, the very things which make us human.

    There was a time not so long ago when people’s emotional reactions were seen and “treated” as what they really are: situational, transitory, as natural responses to distressing circumstances or events, and not as chronic or “episodic” biological illnesses. But as soon as the DSM lll was published and Prozac came to market, everything changed, and for reasons that are not so obvious to most people, including psychiatrists.

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    • I agree completely. Except that I also believe oncologists and other doctors of actual medical conditions damage their patients’ care by treating them as objects rather than people. It is well established that assertive, empowered patients actually live longer and have fewer ongoing issues than those who simply passively accept whatever “care” is doled out for them. So even oncologists ought to be engaging with their patients as human beings, for their own health and the success of their interventions.

      If PHYSICAL health outcomes are significantly affected, how much MORE would mental/emotional outcomes be impacted by how the “patient” is treated? This is one more reason why the idea of providing “medical treatment” to those with mental/emotional/spiritual issues is so destructive – the transfer of the “patient as object” attitude so common (yet still ineffective) in medical care is transferred to an area where it does a tremendous amount of damage, being essentially the exact OPPOSITE of what is required for actual improvements in “mental health,” though that term itself reinforces the idea of illness that is not appropriate to the situation 99% of the time. It boggles the mind that anyone who actually has the vaguest comprehension of what people are suffering from and what they need would have to have a discussion, let alone an argument, about whether treating their patients “like a human being” was a good idea!!!!

      It is bizarre that the world of physical healthcare is making more effort to alter this attitude while our “mental health professionals” seem to be arguing to continue it!

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      • Steve,
        I agree with you 100%. It never made any sense to me to have people go to a medical doctor for matters of the heart and soul, and I’ve always thought that doing so is not merely inappropriate, it’s incredibly inhumane. And I agree that other types of doctors cause a lot of damage treating people as objects, and I’ve always felt this way. So I am in no way excusing callous behavior from anyone.

        I am not unaware of, nor do I disagree with what you say about the systemic nature of these critically important issues, which are put in place and maintained by those in power. Not at all. I have sensed this for many years and am troubled by how insidiously corrosive and damaging it is.

        I also find it VERY bizarre that while the world of physical health is making an effort to alter this attitude, our “mental health professionals” are arguing to continue it. I have for a long time been very upset about this state of affairs.

        And the fact that Dr. Shields has sympathy towards psychiatrists and staff for feeling stigmatized is very troubling. I saw it as a huge red flag. And unless she holds alternative ideas to mainstream psychiatry, her efforts are hollow.

        That being said, I think establishing a reasonably cooperative relationship is the way to proceed, but that’s not to be confused with brown-nosing, which is why knowing and understanding the nuances of how to deal with people is so crucial in situations where people are on opposite sides of the fence. And there is a way to diplomatically offer radical ideas without unduly alienating people. But whether or not Dr. Shields holds radical ideas and is willing and able to implement them remains to be seen.

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      • Steve,
        I agree 100 % with your statement, “It boggles the mind that anyone who has the vaguest comprehension of what people are suffering from and what they need would have to have a discussion, let alone an argument, about whether treating their patients “like a human being” is a good idea!!!!”

        Exactly. But this way of thinking happens because psychiatrists, like other doctors, are trained to think this way, as these are the prevailing theories (propaganda) currently taught in medical schools. But this is not right. And it’s the reason people needing help for issues of the spirit shouldn’t be seeing a psychiatrist. And it’s a matter that should no longer be ignored.

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        • I think Dr. Shields and her colleagues need to read something I found when looking up people vs human:
          “Difference between person and human” at –

          “The term person refers to a being that consists of life and a soul, and has the capability of conscious thought, i.e. is a sentient being. A human, on the other hand, is described as part of the Homo sapiens sapiens…the main difference between the two terms is that ‘human’ is the scientific term and person is a philosophical one used to describe a human being…a human is a biological categorization of a being…However, the term ‘person’ is much more complex…”

          To me, these definitions help clarify why no one should look to mainstream psychiatry for help with emotional, psychological, or spiritual concerns. And although people in extreme states can benefit from brief use of psychotropic drugs, it ought not to be looked at as a life sentence.

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      • “So even oncologists ought to be engaging with their patients as human beings, for their own health and the success of their interventions.”

        Well, not too much ‘engagement’. Interesting that this guy, an actual doctor gives someone 1/4 the amount of benzos I was ‘administered’ and he goes to prison? A clinic psychologist with a Masters degree can have it administered at those rates to someone she KNOWS doesn’t take such drugs and …… a doctor writes a prescription for them 12 hours after they were unlawfully administered to commit other offences?

        Australians value a rule of law? Yeah right.

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      • Steve says, “…I do see a need for a more blunt assessment as to why her (Dr. Shields) colleagues are not receptive to her observations.”

        And, “This (the medical culture) is ingrained, systematic behavior that is encouraged and enforced by those in charge of the system, and needs to be recognized as being intentional and enforced, such that any (such as her) who challenge the dominant narrative will be punished….but…I see no reason not to point out this inconsistency, as long as we do it as respectfully as we can.”

        Thank you for making these points.

        Tenured or not, anyone confronting psychiatry has to walk a fine line, meaning one might be wise to think of the phrase, “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick, You Will Go Far”,, and “can a tenured faculty member be fired?”

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          • Birdsong, but have you heard about a case of a professor terminated for criticizing the mainstream views on psychiatry? I agree with you that academic freedom has limits, but I have not noticed any attempts to “cancel” academics who question biopsychiatry or the idea of forcible drugging.

            And as you pointed out in another comment, we simply don’t know to what extent Dr. Shields is critical of psychiatry. There are many people who believe that they support the human rights of psychiatric patients, but who do not see involuntary psychiatric treatment and forcible drugging as a violation of human rights.

            It is striking that Dr. Shields says that the approach of people frustrated by the fact that “they can’t force their loved one into treatment” “can be valid”. She seems not to realize that people can try to force their partners or family members into treatment not because they care about them, but because they want to control them, punish them or even get rid of them.

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          • David Healy is certainly one example of a person who lost prestige and position for questioning the status quo paradigm. He was denied a position he had already been hired for in Canada because of his views. I’m sure there are lots more. How tenure comes into play is something I don’t really know enough about to comment on.

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          • And universities can terminate tenured faculty members by FALSELY claiming they’re incompetent (for voicing unpopular opinions).

            There’s people that are paid to find a way to bend the rules. They’re called lawyers. And I have nothing against ethical lawyers. So while a university administration may not have strong legal grounds to terminate a tenured professor, they have the financial resources to keep things in legal limbo for as long as it takes to get someone to resign, meaning legally fighting the situation could bankrupt the tenured professor.

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          • “She seems not to realize that people can try to force their partners or family members into treatment not because they care about them, but because they want to control them, punish them or even get rid of them.”

            There have been laws passed recently in Australia to make “coercive control” unlawful. I mean, I was absolutely flabbergasted that my wife could ring police when her boyfriend was in town and have me forcefully removed from my home for something which the police would make up on the spot (“intoxicated” when I haven’t touched alcohol in more than 20 years?). But of course by this time I had been smeared with the stink of mental health services, and it would have been difficult for them to back of kicking me to death just because they had been informed of my wifes assaults on me (the attempt to knife me in the chest whilst lying on the couch, the drugging without knowledge). Best they just become part of the abuse, as they would be well aware of what happens to people smeared by mental health….. it’s a service they use regularly to dispose of inconvenient truths.

            “The new law will make it an offence to carry out repeated abusive behaviours to a current or former intimate partner with the intent to coerce or control, and will carry a sentence of up to seven years in jail.”

            So the ‘i’m going to knife you for disagreeing with me’ and when that fails, ‘i’m going to drug you without your knowledge and have police beat you senseless, and force you to talk to a psychiatrist until you agree with me’ might result in people going to prison…….. rather than the forging and uttering with documents to manipulate the legal narrative as is being done at present…… along with the ‘unintended negative outcomes’ while police look the other way.

            I can see a great business opportunity given the mess that mental health services can make of someone’s life. And the State will actually ensure that the victims are denied access to legal representation because of the conspiring to pervert the course of justice (mandatory prison) etc by public officers. They HAVE to protect the predators, lest they shoot themselves in the foot, even going so far as to threaten my wife and ‘reward’ her with everything I ever worked for in exchange for her ‘assistance’ with their offending.

            So it will be interesting to see how these new laws work. Because the procuring of police (and mental health) as personal thugs to control intimate partners seems to be ‘standard operating procedure’ at present.

            It might be worth looking back at Prof. Bonnie Burstows experience with regards speaking out.

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          • Can’t edit the above so……

            I would add that it was spoken about by my wife in a matter of fact way that when she and the clinic psychologist were planning my abuse that they gave careful consideration to the fact that Police might shoot me because of (a) my reaction to being ‘spiked’ with the date rape drugs was unknown [not drugs I had ever taken before] and (b) that the need to plant a weapon on me to make me seem dangerous, whilst creating the ‘risk’ they required [ie combine the lie of “mental patient” with “in possession of a weapon”] they decided that it was worth the risk to my life to have me speak to someone about my decision which had upset my wife.

            I personally would have thought that maybe someone approaching my front door, knocking on it and asking to speak to me might have been the ‘standard’ method, though my right to refuse to speak to a ‘mental health professional’ did get in the way of that….. so subjecting me to torture and arbitrary detention was the only real option. And the hospital a little embarrassed when they found out I wasn’t actually anyone’s ‘patient’ and that their conspiring to commit these offences (though knowing they could “edit” reality and have me snuffed for complaining) had been exposed via their own documents………. still, you have to accept that they were arbitrarily detaining and torturing in good faith, because they said so. And were they aware of their own offending? (mens rea?). You don’t arrange to kill someone because you made a mistake.

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        • And it is disturbing that Dr. Shields seems to have an apologetic tone when criticizing her colleagues, since they’re the ones who need to be held to account, and ESPECIALLY since they have more power than their patients. Professionals have the advantage, and patients are “low man on the totem pole”, and that’s why I think the power imbalance is so destructive. It’s totally unfair and makes me wonder whose side Dr. Shields is really on —

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        • All of the injustices of psychiatry start with the fact that the psychiatrists have the upper hand, both in the “therapeutic” relationship and in society at large, a dehumanization put in place by those with the most power and for reasons that benefit those with the most power. It’s where all the trouble starts and what’s most wrong with psychiatry.

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        • Steve, thank you for mentioning David Healy’s case. However, the “punishments” did not prevent him from speaking the truth. By the way, I have recently come across his very interesting article on “pharmacological abuse”

          I would add that academics who want to defend truth and justice should be ready to take risks. If people are determined to avoid saying or doing something which might displease some powerful lobby or someone who might harm their career, they are not able to defend truth and justice.

          If a person is determined to be “nice” to powerful people and to avoid saying anything which might “offend” or “trigger” them, s/he will never find the courage to question the status quo.

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          • True enough! And the punishment for not adhering to the status quo can be quite severe, too, so anyone better be prepared for a battle if they want to go that direction! And I think that’s the problem – many people in the system SEE what we’re seeing, but very very few have the courage to act on that knowledge.

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      • Steve says, “It seems there is a built-in dehumanization process going on which can’t be explained by individuals being “misguided” nor altered by a bit of sensitivity training.”

        This is what concerns me most about Dr. Shields. And I’m uneasy as to just how deep Dr. Shields is willing to go, which has to be much more than having patients fill out a questionnaire. Otherwise, her efforts aren’t much more than window-dressing.

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    • Birdsong, I continue to find this question very strange. As I said in one of my earlier comments, can one imagine someone asking such a question about any other group?

      Yes, doctors may overlook the person in front of them, but she is asking “Should we even treat psychiatric patients as people?”, not “Should we even treat patients as people?” This difference is very important.

      I agree with you that psychiatrists often focus on the “illness” and not on the person, but the question “Should we even treat psychiatric patients as people?” seems to be implying that the right of psychiatric patients to be treated like human beings is somehow a debatable and controversial issue, as if we were talking e.g. about murderers or paedophiles…

      Let’s not forget about something Dr. Shields says a little later: “I would love for us to get to the point where we agree these are humans…” – she means psychiatric patients.

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      • “Should we even treat psychiatric patients as people?”

        Hi Joanna, I see that as being a very valid question in my State. Consider that the abuse of a “mental patient” in my State carries a penalty HALF of what the abuse of an animal carries.

        And as an animal you are likely to have charges brought against the abuser, and there have been many successful convictions in our courts.

        Mental patients however….. there was mention of a woman who, as a result of her complaining, had access to her prosthetic legs denied, and was left in her own faeces for more than 24 hours……, or …….and yet there has NEVER been a successful prosecution of ANYONE under those laws ‘protecting’ “mental patients”

        So at present I’d say that “mental patients” are not people, they have no rights, and can easily be denied access to the protection of the law. Which can be seen very easily when they approach police and ask that they take a complaint about offences which have been committed against them. Police will ‘play along’ knowing that they will simply gaslight the victims, and that nothing will be done about the bit of fun they have with them. Many a sexual assault been turned away by police because of the attitude coming from the top….. our Minister for Mental Health stating about the allegation of large numbers of sexual assaults in hospitals “You can’t listen to them, they’re mental patients”.

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        • In fact, consider that in my instance, they made me into an “Outpatient” of a hospital as a result of a telephone call from someone.

          Imagine having the power to remove someones ‘rights’ before you even lay eyes on them? And treat them as less than an animal?

          And these are the same people complaining about ‘human rights abuses’ by Morality Police in Iran?

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          • Where’s the “edit” function Steve?

            In fact, my rights were removed by the hospital before they even got a call from my wife. Consider that a prescription was written for the drugs that I had been ‘spiked’ with the night before she even called them……. so by backdating the prescription for the offence (which was part of enabling acts of torture) they have managed to reach back in time and remove my right to not be poisoned (assaulted) without my consent (which after all they have absolutely no respect for anyway. Anyone says no, pin them down and do it anyway is the motto in Latin on the Charter of Healthcare Rights lol)

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        • Boans, if Dr. Shields had asked: “Are psychiatric patients treated as people?”, I would have no problem with her question. But she has implied that the right of psychiatric patients to be treated like human beings is something “healthy” people can debate… I find it utterly ridiculous.

          It is unfortunately true that many people have far more compassion and kindness for dogs or cats than for the “mentally ill” and generally for other human beings. It is one of the paradoxes of our world.

          When I was locked on a psychiatric ward, police simply hang up on me when I called them from the public phone on the ward (my mobile phone had been stolen by some other patients). I was having delusions (e.g. on one day I became convinced that I was going to be gang-raped and murdered), but I could see that police did not even want to talk to patients from a mental hospital.

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          • Hi again Joanna,

            Yes I can see the issue with the ‘attitude’ towards ‘mental patients’. I am reminded of the article about psychiatric hate speech and a form of apartheid, but……. I guess it’s for Dr Shields to sort out her ‘issues’ in the end. She obviously isn’t listening to any of us.

            You write;

            “When I was locked on a psychiatric ward, police simply hang up on me when I called them from the public phone on the ward (my mobile phone had been stolen by some other patients). I was having delusions (e.g. on one day I became convinced that I was going to be gang-raped and murdered), but I could see that police did not even want to talk to patients from a mental hospital.”

            You know I have been homeless now for 11 years, haven’t seen my daughter or grandchildren, and my working life was basically destroyed once my medical records were released (the Operations Manager ensuring that my ‘licences’ were suspended as part of her vicious assault on my life)……. and oh how I wish ot were the case that Police were simply turning away a ‘mental patient’.

            I knew that it would be difficult for me to be heard so I enlisted the ‘help’ of a psychologist and a social worker. If you can imagine that the Police had a little fun with me until they realised the significance of the documents they had refused to accept while the hospital ‘resolved’ their little problem of lying to police and forging documents to conceal their abuses of me……… Such assistance to criminals is no doubt appreciated, though a problem should a person be capable of actually proving it. And it scares the crap out of lawyers…… the criminals sitting comfortable in the thought that the proof had been retrieved, and the forging and uttering with a letter from the Chief Psychiatrist and ‘flagging’ me for what is called ‘stitching’ by police where I live.

            So I have a lawyer telling me I have the proof, and then police refuse to accept the documents (not even wanting to put their fingers on hem because their prints would be proof of examination) and the ‘incident’ is closed due to “insufficient evidence”. Now I can prove these offences with the documents alone, not a word from my mouth required…. but if police will neglect their duty despite having the documented proof of such serious offences??? That constituting serious misconduct?

            The bigger issue becomes ‘what if they did examine those offences, what else would they find?’.

            I have laid awake at nights at times wishing that what I witnessed was a ‘delusion’, but i’m sad to say that it wasn’t. I get it that the Police don’t want it to be true, and have the ability to steal my laptop and find out who else has seen the ‘proof’ and ensure that they don’t provide me with any assistance because they actually hate that truth….. and it might mean they would then need to examine what ‘proof’ I have of the matters I am alleging occurred in the E.D. You know my delusion (mainly due to no one wishing to examine the evidence) about the way the problem of me complaining about being snatched form my bed, arbitrarily detained and tortured was going to be ‘resolved’ while the police refused to take the documents from me showing the motive for the attempted ‘resolution’.

            Where the police in on it? Their reaction when I turned up with the documents suggest the answer is in the affirmative. You know, someone interrupted proceedings that night, and well, it was difficult for my wife to maintain the multiple narratives she was expected to, AND arrange for a new man to move in once I had been disposed of.

            Point being that despite me wanting it all to be a delusion, it wasn’t. I would seek treatment if I thought it was, but before that occurs perhaps someone would care to take a look at the ‘dead mans handle’ I have been holding on to for some time now? i know things among it that were delusional, but the attempt to snuff me wasn’t one of them….. but what a great way to make someone seem insane. Because the knee jerk reaction is “They wouldn’t do that”…. and once they figure out they would do that well….. they run away.

            One of the truths that makes me so sure of it not being a delusion is that I KNOW others are aware of the truth…… though they have been subjected to threats and intimidation to remain silent.

            I find myself wondering about the panic in the Police when their ‘resource’ Lawyer X/Nicola Gobbo was exposed. And then consider the ‘clients’ of the Private Clinic and some of the legal action which their confidential medical records related to?

            I don’t need to explain the effect of such breaches in my round about “verbose” and “querulous” way (who would have thought they have drugs for those illnesses?). A High Court Judge said it best when he wrote;

            [Gobbos] actions in purporting to act as counsel for the Convicted Persons while covertly informing against them were fundamental and appalling breaches of [Gobbos] obligations as counsel to her clients and of [Gobbos] duties to the court. Likewise, Victoria Police were guilty of reprehensible conduct in knowingly encouraging [Gobbo] to do as she did and were involved in sanctioning atrocious breaches of the sworn duty of every police officer to discharge all duties imposed on them faithfully and according to law without favour or affection, malice or ill-will. As a result, the prosecution of each Convicted Person was corrupted in a manner which debased fundamental premises of the criminal justice system.”

            And let me say the uses that the Clinic Psychologist was put to AFTER their little ‘resolution’ was so rudely interrupted by my wife’s Prof. friend in the E.D. would result in a very similar response from a person of integrity.

            Me? I’m not so much a person of integrity, and understand the reasoning behind the ‘little bit of dirty’ they got up to. In fact, these werre basic street hustles being used by a psychologist, her psychiatrist husband, and hospital administrators against a ‘mental patient’………. my how they must have wondered how I kept slipping through the net lmao.

            And it had to end when they really weren’t sure “who else has got the documents” and had to run around stealing my shit (laptop, have the psychologist and socila worker bring them up to speed about who else I had been speaking to……. oh Dear, not the Spanish Inquisition lol) to find out if anyone else had figured out what they had been up to….. that is, perverting the course of justice and unlawfully accessing confidential medical records form a Private Clinic (the system differences may not be immediately apparent).

            Oh how I wish it were all a delusion but the people who ‘informally’ thanked me were a delusion. Obviously they can’t help me because their duty is to the State, not unlike Senior Police who come across filth taking money from drug dealers, they don’t report that to the newspapers.

            The inability to access the protection of the law (via Police) once you are made into an “Outpatient” by a Community Nurse before he even leaves the hospital to torture a confession out of you is a problem. Police I believe tend to rely on the information provided to them from the ‘medical staff’ at such facilities.

            But what if, for example, the perpetrator is actually the person in that ‘medical’ role? For example the Senior Medical Officer who wrote the fraudulent prescription to conceal the ‘spiking’ of me with date rape drugs was also an ex psychiatrist (misconduct?) and an ex Catholic priest?

            Is he likely to confirm any allegations of rape by his colleagues to police? Or would he be more likely to ‘treat’ the truth speaker with brain damage, and slander them with labels? History seems to show that there were ‘silencing mechanisms’ which allowed these predators to operate with impunity, sometimes racking up more than 300 victims…….. and that didn’t happen without someone knowing and being ‘verbose’ and ‘querulous’.

            Quid pro quo…. what did he have to offer in exchange for a result of “insufficient evidence”? Well, he certainly showed how to arbitrarily detain and torture using police resources, and then conceal it with fraudulent documents. that’s gotta be worth something?

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          • Boans, I am so sorry to hear about your being homeless and your painful experiences. I can only say that unfortunately abuse and injustice can go unpunished.

            I once had a “friend” who was ruthlessly exploiting my naivety and low self-esteem (damaged by my psychiatric diagnosis and other negative experiences) for several years. By the way, he knew about my diagnosis and I guess that this was one of the reasons why he decided to exploit me; he often accused me of being “paranoid”…

            I finally found the strength to end my “friendship” with him. He has never seemed to show any remorse, he has never apologized for anything. I would now be in a much better financial situation if I had not been exploited by him.

            For years I kept hoping that he would be punished in some way for the things he had done, but it did not happen. On the contrary, he got married (his third marriage) and seems to be happily married, he has not lost his self-confidence, he looks young for his age, he has many friends etc.

            One day I realized that I simply have to accept the fact that life can be very unfair and that this man would probably never even realize that he did something really evil. Yes, evil often goes unpunished and many people actually refuse to admit to themselves that they have done something evil to another person!

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          • Oh I wouldn’t say that people have gone unpunished. That’s a long way from the truth. Sometimes the fear of who else is aware of your ‘evil’ acts can be punishment enough…….in others it might be best they don’t see the blow coming.

            The good news for me is that whilst the delivery of some of these individuals has not yet occurred, I have a promise that it will happen in my lifetime.

            Habakkuks complaint ……….
            How long, Lord, must I call for help,
            but you do not listen?
            Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
            but you do not save?
            Why do you make me look at injustice?
            Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
            Destruction and violence are before me;
            there is strife, and conflict abounds.
            Therefore the law is paralyzed,
            and justice never prevails.
            The wicked hem in the righteous,
            so that justice is perverted

            And the Lords answer.

            Look at the nations and watch—
            and be utterly amazed.
            For I am going to do something in your days
            that you would not believe,
            even if you were told.

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  19. A video, “ The Healing Power of Mindfulness” – Jon Kabat-Zin. There’s some funny but profound moments (1:44:40 – 1:49:00) when psychiatric resident in the audience tells Dr. Kabat-Zin about how her attending psychiatrists and faculty aren’t open to anything like meditation. And Dr. Kabat-Zin’s response is pointedly funny, and the audience applauds and cracks up!

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    • Mindfulness and meditation are great, and long as they’re freely chosen and done for the right reasons. But the problem with these things nowadays is that people are unconsciously (or consciously) using them as way to distract others from what’s really bothering them.

      And here’s their favorite song:

      One agenda, two agenda, three agenda, FOUR!
      Five agenda, six agenda, seven agenda, MORE!

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      • I have a real problem with the “Mindfulness Movement”. It has become like a cult with little concern for the people who are really struggling. They’re all about “enlightenment” and “self-improvement”. It’s only for the privileged. In most cases it does nothing to alleviate suffering because it encourages “bypassing” of the traumas that caused the suffering in the first place.

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  20. Article: The rate at which Americans are held against their will and forced to undergo mental health evaluations and even state-ordered confinement — lasting anywhere from a few days to years — has risen sharply over the past decade, according to a new study by researchers at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

    The analysis, published online today in the journal Psychiatric Services, shows that in the nearly half of U.S. states for which data was available, involuntary psychiatric detentions outpaced population growth by a rate 3 to 1 on average in recent years.

    The study is the most comprehensive compilation of data on involuntary detentions to date, the researchers say, an undertaking made more challenging by the lack of a national data set on the topic and longstanding inconsistencies in reporting across states and jurisdictions.

    “This is the most controversial intervention in mental health — you’re deprived of liberty, can be traumatized and then stigmatized — yet no one could tell how often it happens in the United States,” said David Cohen, a professor of social welfare at the Luskin School, who led the research. “We saw the lack of data as a social justice issue, as an accountability issue.”

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  21. What’s most wrong with mainstream psychiatry is mainstream psychiatry, a biased system of ego, lies, conjecture and GREED –

    Biased = prejudice of professionals in favor of themselves and against their patients

    Ego = mainstream psychiatrists’ generally inflated opinion of themselves and their abilities

    Lies = their garbage “diagnoses” and harmful prescriptions

    Conjecture = their unproven belief in “chronic” conditions

    GREED = their unconscious motivation for doing what they do

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      Mainstream psychiatry is a biased system of ego, lies, conjecture and greed:

      EGO: most psychiatrists have generally inflated opinions of themselves and psychiatry

      BIAS: most psychiatrists favor their own ideas over their “patients’” ideas

      LIES: most psychiatrists promote psychiatry’s garbage “diagnoses” and harmful “medications”

      CONJECTURE: most psychiatrists believe that “psychiatric disorders” are chronic

      GREED: most psychiatrists are motivated by money

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  22. Steve,

    In reply to your observation,

    “There seems from some to be no recognition that there is a person in there taking in information and making decisions and having emotional reactions to what’s happening to them,”

    I would say, yes, except possibly in the cases where they diagnose personality disorders. In those cases, psychiatrists seem to discard the view that the patient is a malfunctioning machine in favor of the view that they are a person, but a defective one. The personality disorder-diagnosed patients may have frightened the psychiatrist who thought he or she was dealing with a machine, but the patient insisted on being seen as human, whether that was expressed verbally or through some other behavior–some overt emotional reaction to what was happening to them, around them? This is all conjecture of course.

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    • KateL, unfortunately you seem to suggest in this way that patients who are not diagnosed with personality disorders do not insist on being seen as human and somehow “allow” the psychiatrist to treat them like malfunctioning machines. This is not true.

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      • Joanna,
        I just re-read my comment and am confused by your interpretation.
        I don’t think I suggested that at all. I certainly don’t believe that patients without personality disorder diagnoses “allow” psychiatrists to treat them a certain way.

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        • My oldest brother, Michael, who I was very close to, and is now deceased, had a schizophrenia diagnosis. My adult son recently informed me that the therapist he’s been seeing “has not settled on a diagnosis but hasn’t ruled out schizophrenia.”

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        • KateL, you said in your earlier comment “The personality disorder-diagnosed patients may have frightened the psychiatrist who thought he or she was dealing with a machine, but the patient insisted on being seen as human…”

          I am sure that you did not intend to suggest anything negative about people with other diagnoses. I just think that it is difficult to say why some people get diagnosed with personality disorders and others don’t. There are also clearly differences between countries, e.g. it seems that in my country people diagnosed with schizophrenia usually do not get any other psychiatric diagnoses.

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      • Joanna,

        In the US, at least in the southeast, its widely acknowledged that patients who advocate for themselves get a supplemental PD diagnosis. Commonly used as a code for “difficult patient” in the way that KateL described.

        If someone has good insurance or if their family is financially involved in their treatment, the diagnosis get piled on regardless of reality. I’ve gotten a dozen diagnoses so far, many are intended to call me annoying rather than address any real problem.

        Most people who’ve been labeled “severely mentally ill” in my region have an added diagnosis of BPD (if femme) or an NPD (if cis, straight male)

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        • This ‘supplemental’ diagnoses is going to make the ‘hack’ of 9 million peoples confidential medical records from Medibank interesting.

          There are people who would be blissfully unaware of the slander that has been attached to their records as a means to bleed money from their insurances. Though I think some of them are about to find out….. having access to their records may mean they can be ‘spiked’ with date rape drugs, any court proceedings they may be involved in flushed down the toilet, …….. let me count the ways lol

          And people called me mad when I said I had a plan to make negligence, fraud and slander into a medical specialty?

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        • Anotherone, thank you for your explanation. Yes, it may be a US thing… In my country psychiatrists seem to believe that if someone is diagnosed with schizophrenia, there is no need for any other diagnosis.

          My brother has been told by psychiatrists that he does not have a mental illness, but only an unspecified personality disorder – the psychiatrists seemed to think that a patient can have either a mental illness, or a personality disorder, but not both at the same time…

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          • Joanna,

            glad you opened this dialogue. Some of this difference in diagnosing is explained by the unique healthcare system in the US.

            1) Privatized companies run medical charts. These charts tend to disallow updates to diagnoses so a diagnosis that is inputed cannot be corrected

            2) Any professional with access can write a diagnosis in your medical chart. Sometimes, a misguided or sadistic punk med student will dig through old records. (A med student humor account publicly bragged about this. It’s considered a pasttime to mock mentally ill people’s charts). For me, they hit their goldmine because Im a troubled teen industry survivor. Those tti records are read by any medical professional because my family decided to share them with the the state to get me onto a conservatorship.

            3) Sometimes doctors will feel like they need to write a mental illness diagnosis and they will. this happens when someone is taking antipsychotics. I have been told this is a necessary procedure. “doctors have the right to know!” But its just bullying. I think medical training encourages some inhumane behavior.

            4) A few of my diagnoses are mispelled and don’t actually exist in any DSM. I’m not allowed to get those removed, despite extensive effort. Any doctor can see them when I need medical attention. So, a routine medical appointment can begin with an aggressive confrontation from a doctor like “YOU HAVE PSYCHOXIC ANOREXIC MANIA?!??” which can spiral into extreme danger for me. I have to avoid all doctors or find a way to escape the medical records. It’s tricky but not impossible.

            5) Conservatorships and disability- if you’ve been put into a conservatorship or disability, diagnosing prioritizes quantity. So this is the track that most “severely mentally ill” are put onto, where if that decision is made on your behalf, they need to have multiples of the most disabling diagnoses in your chart to prove needs.

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      • Joanna,
        You mentioned being in a relationship with someone who took advantage of you. I’m very sorry this happened to you.
        It sounds to me like you experienced some serious narcissistic abuse, which can be devastating in many ways.
        You might try watching some videos on narcissistic abuse. I’ve found many to be remarkably helpful.
        Take care,

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          • And anotherone is right when saying, “I think medical training encourages some inhumane behavior”, and mentions a “misguided or sadistic med student…”. There’s always plenty of those to go around.

            I think medical school takes narcissistically-inclined people and turns some into semi-sadists, or maybe even full-blown sadists, depending on how brutal the training or how kind they were to begin with. But either way, this can be especially hard for women, who still have a tendency to be viewed as “hysterical” by the medical community, even though they’re no longer supposed to use that word.

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          • I’ve tried to be careful about ‘diagnosing’ the filthy dogs who did what they did to me. Fact is, I don’t need the slanderous labels created by these frauds to recognise people who are nothing more than ‘backstabbers’, hypocrites’ and ‘frauds’.

            Saying someone has ‘narcissistic personality disorder’ or ‘borderline personality disorder’ would make ME into the thing I hate the most…….. them.

            Though I understand how easy it is to fall into their trap.

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          • I think it’s a bit like trying to be a wine connoisseur with a glass of vinegar.

            They are low lifes, and trying to make it sound medical merely complicates the issue. Though if you were trying to extract money for calling them names, I would understand.

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          • It would be very easy for me to think about the Head of the E.D. who is making life and death decisions on a daily basis as being a psychopath…… but it’s just his job to make those decisions. And sometimes he/she is going to get it wrong. I mean the look of enjoyment in is eyes when he was about to have me restrained and injected with his ‘cocktail’ harvested from another patient’ said a lot…… “I’m the Boss around here”…….. though it seemed not, given his rapid change of physical posture when he was commanded to attend a meeting with Prof. and ‘friend’

            And there is a point where you become desensitised to it all and ….. well, a mate offers you a carton of beer to let one ‘slip through’ for convenience. In a moment of weakness, you take the offer. Who you know, and who you owe…. as it was put to me.

            There are of course people who ‘oversee’ such processes…… and in my instance one of them claims he didn’t have the stomach for it. A perfectly good man before they started in on me, though I do believe that letting them ‘do the deed’ before interrupting was the better option with hindsight. The viciousness of the State sanctioned torture making it more economically viable to provide ‘medical assistance’ in the regulation of heartbeat to someone unlikely to recover from the deliberate ‘fuking destruction’ of their life, career, home, family ….. because of a need for a preferred truth….

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          • Joanna and Birdsong,

            glad you appreciated! The psych system in my region is so overtly absurd that the absurdity in itself can be identity-sparing. I’d imagine that if I had just gotten one stigmatizing diagnosis by a competent or organized authority, would be harder. Specifically, their overuse of bpd and schizophrenia diagnoses are so easily traced to classism, racism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia that the authorities have deprived themselves of credibility.

            Sending my support and solidarity to you against that exploiting abuser. Stigmatizing, socially punitive diagnostic constructs set up their diagnosed to be exploited, abused, and hurt. You are not alone. You are in good company here. I am so sorry that happened. Forgive my impropriety here, but eff him.

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    • Hi Kate. You said: “In my experience, the borderline personality diagnosis carries a special stigma (example, many treatment providers will refuse to treat any patient with a BPD diagnosis). I was just trying to figure out why that is. As I said, it was just conjecture on my part.”

      For the record, your observation is not just conjecture. See here:

      The diagnosis is inherently stigmatizing.

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    • Correction: “I think medical schools turn narcissistically-inclined people into sadists, depending on the brutality of the training, and how MEAN (not “kind”) they were to begin with.”

      Some people think medicine attracts people with psychopathic traits.

      I didn’t need anyone to tell me that.

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      • Yea agreed,

        although I dislike using the personality disorder terms so I just call the behavior. I get the explanation, but in practice the victims of these types are much more likely to be diagnosed with PDs than the abusers themselves so I refuse to bolster the concept of PD

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        • The entire concept of “personality disorder” is a disgrace. The entire DSM is a disgrace. And I’m surprised, but at this same time, not surprised that using such a fraudulent resource is permitted in this “scientific” day and age. But I’m hoping that someday in the not-to-distant future that somehow it’ll be seen for what it is, which is a tool of discrimination, and be discredited and totally thrown out.

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        • anotherone,
          I’m pretty sure I completely agree with you here, although I’m not completely clear on what you said.

          My take is this: I absolutely agree that people who complain about abusive people can be seen as the ones with a problem and be ‘diagnosed’, which is horrible. But this isn’t anything new. A woman’s husband used to be able to call his wife ‘hysterical’ and have her committed, but now all you have to do is call someone ‘personality disordered’. And doctors don’t question the term because it’s been sanctioned by the medical community.

          I don’t like using descriptive terms either, (narcissistic, psychopathic, sociopathic, manic, depressed, psychotic, etc.), although states, or conditions, do exist and can be profoundly “disabling”. The issue I have is psychiatry claiming they’re derive biologically-based. And while I don’t think anyone can deny that biology plays a role, (neurotransmitters, brain “circuits”, etc,) these hypotheses don’t prove the presence of any discrete biological illness.

          And doctors’ claiming people have a “mental illness” or “disorder” distracts everyone from addressing what’s really going on in their lives. And of course, if the solution is believed to be in some pharmaceutical, it becomes a a great moneymaker. A very sick paradigm.

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          • anotherone,
            I don’t like using words like “narcissist” or “psychopath”, etc. And I think a lot of people who habitually use the terms are stupid, lazy, sometimes even mean. The terms are too closely associated with psychiatry. But the behaviors are real, unfortunately. And things like psychosis, mania, or paranoia are also real. But like you, I try to call the behavior instead.

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          • And I’m well aware that psychiatry doesn’t believe “personality disorders” are a ‘disease’. But I object to their calling any behavior or set of personality traits a “disorder”. People have characteristic ways of thinking and behaving, but so what? Terms like “personality disorder” are uniquely damaging to people individually and to society at large. But they give mainstream psychiatrists and their devoted allies one heck of an ego boost. And it’s no secret that psychiatry’s allied professionals suck up to the psychiatrists, BIG TIME —

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          • That despite the fact that the debate between the Situationalists (Mischel) and Personologists (Allport) seemed to demonstrate quite clearly that it is the ‘situation’ which determines behaviours, and NOT some set of personality traits.

            But I guess despite the evidence, I still listen to my “stars’ on the radio as I drive to the store each morning.

            Why did I just imagine a radio show where you are instructed what drugs to take based on your star sign? “Capricorn, ….money matters become and important part of your day. Listen to a firend who has some good advice. Take two anti psychotics in the morning, and a benzo after lunch. Sagittarius……”

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        • Psychiatric diagnoses, and “personality disorders” in particular, need to be outlawed because they’re used to discriminate against people.

          And Freud’s inventing and publicizing unflattering diagnostic terms makes him the father of psychiatric discrimination. And modern psychiatry takes psychiatric discrimination to a whole new level with its DSM.

          I never could figure out why people worshipped the guy (Freud). So what if he had a “dream theory”? If he’d ever bothered to open a Bible he’d have seen that its characters frequently had prophetic dreams. And so did some of Shakespeare’s characters. Dreams play an integral part in a lot fictional literature and are meant to represent a real and meaningful phenomenon. So Freud doesn’t deserve much credit, even if he did put a “medical” spin on things. But people keep defending the son of a bitch, when all he amounted to was a misogynistic old fool.

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          • Psychiatric diagnoses should be made illegal because they can be used to unlawfully discriminate against people. They are a blatant misuse of language and medicine and are the most powerful discriminatory tools in modern society.

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          • It’s a long documentary Birdsong, but if you have time it’s well worth the effort. It might explain how Eddie Bernays took up some of his uncle Sigmunds ideas and used them, and why Josef Goebbels wanted to hire him.


            You can’t diagnose and drug groups of people….. yet?

            Think of ‘mental health’ as marketing, and not medicine? Eg cigarette smoking as ‘political’ (torches of freedom) and not a cancer causing habit?

            Play on peoples deep, irrational fears. Teenagers and suicide…. what good parent wouldn’t want to have their child ‘monitored’?

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          • And as for Freud’s “dreams theory” – what I meant to say was his ideas about the ‘unconscious’. But here again, Freud is given way too much credit, as I would bet dollars to donut’s there’s been plenty of people either before or since that have come up their own ideas of an unconscious, and who furthermore haven’t misused it, which is more than can be said for the ever-philandering, smug-assed Freud. And another thing I’m sure of: good ol’ siggy boy was undoubtedly unaware of his own rampant but ‘unconscious’ misogyny —

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          • Thanks you, Boans, for the fascinating documentary link about Freud’s nephew Bernay.

            You say, “Think of mental health as marketing”. I totally agree. But Freud definitely got the ball rolling.

            And what a pair: two bastards from the same family, both with a hankering for psychologically manipulating people and both in ways that profoundly altered the twentieth century and beyond. You can’t make this stuff up.

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      • Correction:
        Being labeled with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is the new term for an old label, ‘hysterical’, meaning that women who actually have the audacity to speak up for themselves are often seen as unacceptable by medical doctors, be they male or female.

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        • Funny, (well sort of) but the Clinic Psychologist who provided the ‘advice’ to my wife to return home and ‘spike’ me with date rape drugs and then unlawfully released my medical records started saying my wife had Borderline Personality Disorder once it became clear her ‘conduct’ may come into question.

          So not only was she slandering ME by unlawfully releasing those confidential medical records, but she was then making diagnosis of someone who she had sat with for less than an hour, and conspired to commit criminal offences with when it became clear my wife might talk to police if they actually took the proof of the offences from me.

          I suppose proactively discrediting my wife was a form of ‘insurance’? Just in case she decided to not continue conspiring in the abuse of me?

          It must be quite a world she lives in, where anyone who disagrees with you view of the world is mentally ill and should be brain damaged by her husband because he is a psychiatrist.

          In fact, I still laugh about the claim that I was not being ‘morally relative’ about the way I was ‘treated’. Moral relativism being the hiding place of abusers.

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          • Oh, of course I am not taking into account the large amount of phone calls shared between my wife and the Clinic Psychologist which I was, at the time, unaware of. I thought I had a right to tell both the ‘therapist’ and my wife that I did not want them to speak to one another….. and of course by this time they were conspiring to conceal their criminal conduct….. so lying and deceiving about their regular contact and sharing of information from the hospital (who became aware of the unlawful release of my records, and other matters) AND the legal representation I had arranged, was necessary.

            The hospital requesting proof that I was ‘someones’ patient (lest the kidnapping be exposed) from my wife and the clinic psychologist mentioned on the documents, and they being unable to provide that proof unless they either (a) had me sign away my rights and obtain a ‘referral’ to the psychologist, or (b) forge some documents which would be willingly accepted by the FOI Officer who was also desperately seeking ways to extract herself from the criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of justice she found herself engaged in.

            One of the cleverest ‘tricks’ or ‘cons’ I’ve seen performed by the FOI Officer. Always beware when you receive three letters on the same day, and only one requires a signature. What are the consequences if you remove the other two, and leave only the one with the signature? It this instance it created the appearance that I had never asked for the documents demonstrating the crimes, and therefore the concealment of those offences by the FOI Officer never happened…….. she was ‘out’ of the crimes she had committed by denying me my lawful right to my medical records, and thus concealing the crimes for my ‘wife’ who she KNEW was not my ‘guardian’ (though it was helpful for her to unlawfully appoint her as such until she and the psychologist could remove my human rights). Not unlike the Senior Medical Officer making me into an “Outpatient” of the hospital to unlawfully procure police for his kidnapping and torture session.

            And keep in mind I was employed by the State to oversee some large contracts, and have seen pretty much all of the ‘hustles’ that can be used to get around the clauses.

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        • Birdsong,

          you are so correct. My prior response was to you also. (they’ve taken out the editing function and Im a messy writer)

          But with regards to any cluster B diagnosis, even NPD, I prefer to call out the behaviors of exploitation, sadism and violence without naming a diagnostic concept. I don’t think the DSM or psychiatry earns any validity. Plus, the victims of organized abusers are more likely to be diagnosed than the abusers themselves.

          All the cluster B diagnoses obscure and mystify the psych system’s power to enable widescale shunning and shaming of scared, hurt people.

          You make a great point when you touched on the male/ female dichotomy. I did write “femme” for that reason! Even when straight, cis men are diagnosed with BPD, there seems to be some element of misogyny.

          Their diagnosers profer some condemnation of “BE A MAN!”. It seems like the BPD concept is creeping into all variations of the system, like a putrid smog further poluting this already diseased moral police.

          After all, they can’t even decide if we’re human!

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          • anotherone,

            I agree 100%. And I’m totally onboard with not using any diagnostic concept because the DSM is totally invalid. And while I believe that narcissistic abuse is real and predictable, I don’t think of narcissism as a diagnostic concept. There’s just some very abusive people out there. And the term “diagnostic concept” is so so ridiculous. It’s just another example of how mainstream psychiatrists misuse words to talk themselves and the public into believing their diagnostic bullshit.

            And yes, “All the cluster B diagnoses obscure and mystify the psych system’s power to enable wide-scale shunning and shaming of scared, hurt people.” This is the WORST thing about psychiatry! It’s discriminatory and subversive which makes it a crime. But the real ‘craziness’ is that the “mental health community” questions if certain people are human. It’s totally disgusting.

            And the ‘B’ in “Cluster B” stands for BULLSHIT —

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        • anotherone,

          Thank you! I just looked up DARVO and thank goodness there’s an acronym for abusive behavior. It’s an acronym I actually like!

          I think DARVO (deny, attack, reverse victim and offender) describes EXACTLY what happens when people are faced with mainstream psychiatrists and other mental health professionals because psychiatric diagnoses are cover ups for psychological abuse. And the ‘symptoms’ aren’t evidence of ‘illness’, they’re evidence of ABUSE. But the world’s been bamboozled by mainstream psychiatry’s use of medical-sounding words. And if the medical profession had any integrity, they wouldn’t allow psychiatry to use use ‘diagnoses’. Better yet, if they had any real balls, they’d kick psychiatry out of medicine!

          And I’m convinced that someday, the tide will turn, and mainstream psychiatrists and their colleagues will be seen for what they are, which are “enablers.”

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          • “Symptoms” of a “psychiatric diagnoses” often mask psychological abuse. And saying people have an ‘illness,’ covers up the abuse, which makes psychiatric labels abusive.

            But sometimes not feeling well just indicates overwork, or overwhelm of some sort.

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          • And anotherone is right: any medical professional that has access can write a diagnosis in someone’s medical chart and can write any diagnosis they want. And some do it maliciously. But psychiatric diagnosing on its own is a malicious act.

            But the fact remains: the medical profession has always had more than its share of simon pure assholes —

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  23. Hi all, I have followed all the comments, the justifiable anger and frustration at the system. I am disappointed that there are no reactions to my not-for-profit alternative treatment to mainstream mental health treatment. (Self-help EMDR therapy at: This is a pro-active attempt to provide out of the mainstream humanistic experience that people report works better than seeing a therapist. Is there any interest?

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        • Hi Boans,
          Thank you for referencing my article contribution in madinamerica. It explains the origin of how this self-help EMDR program was developed. For those on here who want to change the Whole system, this program has the potential to make seismic shifts in mental health delivery. It is impossible to get the attention of research institutions. Note I wrote to Dr. Shields (and many many others) and never get a reply. My only hope is to generate interest in regular people, and when
          it gets known I can find some organization I can donate it to. I am 73 and want to bequeath it so it can continue to help people long after I am gone. It has been sold in 26 countries and never had a single negative review. Some people say it is the only thing that has ever helped them. Not a cure, but most certainly helpful. Thanks for responding, David B.

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          • No problem David,

            Steve’s a pretty clever fella, and I hope he takes a look at your program. A tick from him is worth ten from a mug like me.

            Personally I’m trying to get away from anything that even remotely smells of ‘mental health’, given I have lost everything as a result of simply being ‘touched’ by a leper called a ‘therapist’. The knowledge gained by these professionals can be used so easily to inflict deliberate harm, and for that reason I have described the process as being like having dinner with a rapist. Everything is fine as long as they are getting the smiles and approval, but try saying no and you will see the real person behind the mask.

            So traumatized I am, and have been worked over by some vicious abusers working within the State hospital system to ensure I am never to be heard because they hate the truth, and conceal it with falsehoods.

            Confucius says “A man (or woman) who makes a mistake and does not correct it, makes a further mistake” I added the (or woman) for him, as he isn’t around to correct his mistake these days.

            I wish I had something to bequeath. I can’t even give the few belongings I has gathered since my “fuking destruction” by the State (the threat was quite open once they realised I had a legitimate complaint to be made) away to friends, as I no longer have any of those either….. they tend to side with the Jackboots. Still, in many ways, I don’t think there’s going to be much left the way things are going. “as yea sow, so shall yea reap” and all that. My community voted in a poll to allow police to allow vicious dogs to attack the faces of children (after it was reported being done). I walked the golf course the next day wondering what had become of the place I once lived. I’m glad the place I’m going has got to be better than this….. though a little on the warm side i’m told.

            Anyway, good luck with your program.

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        • Hi again boans,
          This is in reply to your last comment. There was not a “reply” box on it so I am replying to your earlier comment. I am touched by your story and injustice. If you are willing to try something new, I would like to give you the gift of the program. I have given it away hundreds of times so please do not feel awkward. If you write to my address: [email protected], I will reply with a link for a free download. I only request that you write to tell me how you experience it. Take care, David B.

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          • One question David.

            In my religion there is a debate regarding music. I have heard it said that “music is the Devils Quran” by some. Others are not so ‘strict’ in their interpretation of the Book (and Hadiths), going so far as to create what is called taqwacore music……


            Personally i’m an ‘undecided’ on this matter, though would say that leaving myself psychologically vulnerable after being tortured does not at this time seem like a good idea. My ‘resolution’ lies with those who did wrong, making an admission and as far as possible making amends (which I am told is not what the State will do, and what I have personally witnessed…….. they simply ‘fuking destroy’ anyone that is an inconvenient truth, ………. their ‘agreements’ ratified with the United Nations mean nothing. “They will take their oaths as a cover” (63;2)

            Have you come across this issue in the many countries you have distributed your program?

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          • I have tried trusting on a number of occasions, only to have that trust brezached.

            An example is the ‘therapist’ who spent more than a year going over my trauma, and getting me to a place where I could go to Police with the proof I have and make a complaint. When I approached police, they rang mental health services to have my ‘referred’ for “hallucinating”. They were put in contact with this psychologist who clarified that claiming you had been ‘spiked’ with date rape drugs without your knowledge MAY be a hallucination, but that having the documented proof of it being done made it a crime…….Ball in their court. No Police referral, and they then tried to arrest me for having my medical records…… and being denied legal representation I said I would represent myself in court and to charge me with??????

            Police had of course provided the hospital with ‘assistance’ to retrieve these documents before sending out the fraudulent (“edited”) set to the Law Centre, or so they thought….. problem. They just tried to have a victim of a crime subjected to mental health treatments for reporting public sector misconduct……..

            So it took them a while to come up wit a plan….. in the meantime I had a bit of a laugh with the psychologist about the stupidity of police trying to refer me for ‘treatment’ for speaking the truth, and having the proof…….

            It was a couple of weeks later as matters progressed, and I spent an hour and a half speaking to a Member of Parliament and showing him the two sets of documents (the real set showing the crimes, and the “edited” legal narrative provided to the Law Centre) that the psychologist seemed to get what I would describe as ‘fidgetty’.

            I raised the issue of the call he received from police attempting to refer me for “hallucinating” and he bold faced LIED to me. “It never happened” was his claim….. how gaslighting is that? Denying a known fact? Not just that though, he then started questioning me seeking answers the police might want to know, without having to take any evidence from me…….”who else has got the documents?”

            So I explained to him that there were a number of Members of Parliament, the Mental Health Commissioner, The Corruption watchdog, a number of lawyers, the Chief Psychiatrist, a cleaner at the hospital, and some guy begging for money at the street corner ….. in other words, a whole bunch of people.

            He became really frightened and siad he was afraid for the safety of his family…….. and basically made up some shit about me (slander the ‘mental patient’ easy huh?) and tried to have me referred to a Police ‘friendly’ (though good news was we had already discussed an ‘exit strategy’ should this situation ever occur….. he thought it was my paranoid delusions, until the police started threatening his family lol. They he did what he was told, exploit trust and obtain answers to these questions for police…… they were busy concealing the misconduct while the authorities watched)

            This breach of trust has caused me significant problems, though it wasn’t an isolated incident. I could describe two other ‘mental health professionals’ who have basically exploited my trust in regard these matters, breaching agreements because they are being threatened.. and sure I get what it’s like to be subjected to a mock execution to ‘coerce’ you to act in a certain manner.

            I prefer the truth rather than the “edited” version of reality presented by the State to conceal post hoc their human rights abuses, and to protect their criminal resources. And sure, i’m outnumbered, and the people who boast about caring about human rights and torture are described in my Book as al munafiqqun (the hypocrites).

            I get the feeling I will go to my grave not ever trusting again. My only hope was that my government may provide me with assistance given I have the documented proof that I was arbitrarily detained and tortured…. it seems they prefer the documents the State is forging and uttering with to conceal their human rights abuses.

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          • Care to see a letter from the Chief Psychiatrist where he utters with a KNOWN fraudulent document in the false belief that the documents showing that this was the case had been retrieved by Police?

            Think that’s bad? wait until you realise that this letter was forged by the Principle of the Law Centre once they had checked with me to find out if I still had the documents that so concerned Police. imagine your own lawyer conspiring with corrupt public officers to ensure you were ‘fuking destroyed’ rather than allowed to make a complain about being subjected to human rights abuses?

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    • Hi David,

      Just checked out your website and I love this. You’ve got a positive reaction from me. I’m usually very critical so its no small fete. Thank you for opening access to this treatment.

      In general, I have found the biggest obstacle to trauma treatment are untrustworthy practitioners. this eliminates the threat, no added unsafety of a potentially bad therapist. Could be quite useful for people like me whose trauma responses began in the troubled teen industry. I’m going to look into this more and may recommend. I appreciate your work and your efforts to share it here, David Busch. thanks

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      • Hi anotherone,
        You are exactly right. I did not expect Se-REM to be more effective than an in office EMDR therapy session, but reports tell me that it works better. There is no self-consciousness and one person wrote to me to say she could “ugly cry” with no one there to judge her. Also, you can do it as many times as you want in any week. Once you have it, I encourage you to share it for free with others. I also give free consultations to all who use it. Take care, David B.

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        • The importance of self-determination in any kind of “therapeutic” intervention cannot be overstated. I can see how the “home version” might have some real advantages in that the variable of whether the therapist feels safe to talk to is removed, as are the therapist’s own emotional reactions which so often interfere with that sense of safety.

          I’d be interested to know if there is any data on the experiences of people who did this in the office, particularly as to whether certain therapists worked or didn’t work for people.

          But anything that gives people more ability to chart their own course seems very much worth exploring. Not to mention the price!

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          • Hi Steve, Thank you for commenting. In a regular in office therapy session a person might emote for 10 minutes and then becomes self-conscious. Many people have reported to me that they have cried through the whole hour program. Se-REM is perfect for EMDR research because there is no variability. It is the same program each time. When it has been done (by mistake) without headphones, and no Bi-lateral stimulation, there is very little result. When done again properly the results are as one therapist wrote to me “astonishingly therapeutic”. I would love for some University to do the research. There are many extremely positive reviews and I will just pick one. “Alyssa B.
            I’ve done this self administered emdr and have had only good results thus far. The first time I did it I cried, feelings I didn’t know I had came to the surface and I had actually done a lot of processing with the first session in several areas. The next day I felt a bit jittery and a little down as I was still processing but the day after I felt this weight lift off of me. I tried revisiting one of the traumas in a second session and I didn’t have any strong emotional reactions to it. I look forward to using this program for the rest of my little and big T’s. I wanted to throw it out there that this has already been life changing for me and I am hopeful that it will help me process all of my traumas. I have done emdr with a therapist in clinic before and I prefer to do this at home. I feel at home I’m allowed to ugly cry, I don’t have to hide and I can allow all my feelings to surface in a safe environment. I do encourage people to have coping skills when starting to process in case you get too overwhelmed but the music itself is calming and there’s a relaxation exercise as well. I have tried years of therapy, have had therapists say they don’t know what to do with me, medications, endless doctors appointments and so many self help techniques and books and while they all held a place of helping me, this is the one thing that’s made a lasting difference so far. I can’t describe the hopelessness and desperation for relief I felt before being introduced to this. I hope you guys are able to give it a try, my world was getting smaller and smaller with agoraphobia (can’t leave my house alone) too and social anxiety, some of my family are saying how well I’m doing and just months ago they were telling me how I needed to dump my therapist and find better help lol… I know everyone has that one thing that will help, this is it for me and maybe could be for you too.”

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  24. anotherone says, “In general, I have found the biggest obstacle to trauma treatment are untrustworthy practitioners.”

    Trauma is the elephant in the room. And it’s the unrecognized reason why most people end up in a psychiatric hospital, and NOT some arbitrary psychiatric diagnosis, the receiving of which often causes more trauma. And what does this mean? That mainstream psychiatry creates and perpetuates trauma, especially when experienced in a coercive setting.

    Mainstream psychiatry doesn’t treat trauma, it CREATES trauma, and PERPETUATES trauma, with its diagnoses and drugs, a simple but horrible fact that escapes most people, especially mainstream psychiatrists.

    And stigma is the other elephant in the room. Mainstream psychiatry creates stigma with its labels. And if psychiatrists feel stigmatized for practicing psychiatry, then maybe that’s a good thing, because maybe it means they’re getting a taste of their own medicine, meaning maybe the public is letting them know they’re becoming better informed about psychiatry’s diagnostic and pharmaceutical shenanigans and showing their disgust.

    I looked up the definition for stigma and it means a mark of disgrace.

    Is it a disgrace to suffer emotional pain?
    NO. So the patients’ stigma IS NOT deserved.
    Is it a disgrace to attach damaging labels on people?
    YES. So the psychiatrists’ stigma IS deserved.

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  25. Hi boans, and all others,
    I am sorry to hear that your religion disapproves of music. Music therapy is one of the 6 elements of Se-REM. It uses Classical music. I find that the mind wanders during Classical music, and that is what helps a person deal with their memories. The music was carefully chosen for its therapeutic effect. It begins with relaxation, and Claude Debussy, transitions to Bach for introspective visualizations, goes to Vaughn Williams for inspiration and ends with Vivaldi for energizing self-empowerment. Since bones is not able to partake of the offer, I am extending this to all the participants on this thread. In the next 24 hours, if you email me at: [email protected], I will reply with the link to the free download. Just please write me back after you have done it twice to let me know about your experience. You can keep it and use it for the rest of your life. Take care all, David B.

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  26. There is some irony that it is Fear that keeps many people from trying Se-REM, and the program is great at reducing all Fear and instilling confidence. There are a few hours left that if you email me I will reply with the link to a Free download, [email protected] If you do not have the courage right now to try it, you can get the Free download and wait until you have the courage. Here is one person’s response who wrote to me.

    David Busch I purchased this in May and have been to scared to try it. I decided to try it the other day and I was pleasantly surprised. It was beautiful and you did a fantastic job! I’ve only done it once, but I plan to do it again! Thank you for doing something like this!”

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  27. “Should we even treat psychiatric patients as people?” That is why I read only James Hillman. The professionnals are handicapped. Medical empiricism, false or whatever, is not an answer for psychological needs. This is psychopathy of post enlightement era of biological machines and their eligion of science – those poor post humans without soul, thinks that they can choose who is human or who is not. Maybe you should look into a mirrior first.

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