The Systemic Harms of Psychiatry


My research into psychiatry began in late 2016 after being admitted to a mental ‘health’ facility. There was nothing healthy about that experience! I realized how big pharma and the prescribers are literally make a killing out of pathologizing every normal God-given emotion.

The unsuspecting patient will enter their doctor’s office for the assistance with their low mood and/or the feelings of being overwhelmed by life. The doctor will, in many cases without investigating the sleeping habits, diets, exercise, and vitamin deficiencies, promptly prescribe an antidepressant. Some doctors might be kind enough to tell their patients that they can expect some presumably mild side-effects but, in many instances, will go on to insist their patients to push through for the first 6 to 8 weeks for their body to become accustomed to the drugs. However, in most cases they will fail to mention any of the Black Box Warnings and totally neglect to tell the patient about the tapering process.

A bottle of spilled pills on black background.

The newly-medicated patient will begin their slippery slope of one medication leading to another one and another one to ‘manage’ the side-effects of their previous prescriptions. Before the patient can wipe their eyes, they will be stuck in the terrible vicious cycle of polypharmacy. By this time, the victim of psychiatry will have been lied to countless times by their prescriber, that their side-effects are the symptoms of their mental disorder.

Prescribers will have gaslit their patients so badly that the trusting patient’s own intellect and voice of reason will have been put to death by the lies of money-hungry psychiatrists and doctors who often receive under-handed dividends from each prescription. The idea that the medication could possibly be the reason for their new intense suffering—worse than the reason they approached the doctor in the first place, will systematically be silenced and denied by their doctors and the engineered societal narrative. This scenario is not that of one specific individual, but rather the business model of the industry of immense prescribed harm, also known as Psychiatry.

Many millions of people globally are prescribed brain-frying psychoactive drugs under the guise of having some kind of mental disorder, which by the way, has never been proven. There are no lab tests or definitive brain scans that prove the existence of bipolar or any other psycho-babble label. The diagnosis of an apparent ‘mental disorder’ is a mere checklist of behavioural attributes presented in the doctor-patient consultation. The criteria for a Bipolar diagnosis comprise of a list of normal human emotions to abnormal circumstances. Every single person on earth, besides a psychopath, will exhibit mood swings, trouble sleeping, and inability to concentrate after the death of a loved one or some kind of traumatic experience, this is normal and does not constitute a mental disorder.

A vitamin B deficiency presents as a depressive mood, trouble sleeping, headaches, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, difficulty concentrating and mental impairment. A magnesium deficiency presents very similar symptoms. Yet, if a person describes these same symptoms to a psychiatrist, they are almost 100% guaranteed to be diagnosed with some made-up mental disorder which makes it legal to be prescribed poisonous pills. A simple vitamin B injection or magnesium supplement costs next to nothing, whereas an overcomplicated reason for the individual’s suffering generates a lucrative opportunity for big pharma to lawfully poison the unsuspecting patient ad infinitum.

The terrible dizziness, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, diarrhea, body pains, and all the other horrible side-effects a person experiences during the commencing stages of being placed on psychotropic medications are our body’s way of telling us that we are being poisoned! These non-stop side-effects alone have the capacity to drive a level-headed person to destruction. Sadly, in many instances, the patient will take their own life to end their drug-induced suffering.

But instead of listening to our bodies and following what our gut is telling us, we’ve been conditioned to suppress our own instincts and, rather, trust those making a literal killing. There is no logical way that a 15-minute conversation with a stranger could realistically diagnose the correct reason why a person is feeling a certain way, yet this happens all the time in the psychiatrist’s office and no one seems to bat an eye.

What of the links between psychotropic medications and violent crimes?

The many people who’ve been shamed and jailed for killing their families right after they received a new prescription of psychiatric medication are proof that the system is flawed and is adamant on failing as many people as possible. Last year, Lindsay Clancy, a 32-year-old Duxbury nurse, was arrested after she allegedly strangled her three young children and attempted to take her own life. Just months prior, in September 2022, Lindsay sought the guidance of her psychiatrist when she was anxious about returning to work. Between October and January of 2023, this young lady was placed on an incomprehensible 13 psychotropic medications—a very similar laundry list of drugs to mine.

Clancy is not the first case of filicide linked to psychotropic medications. The well-known case of Dena Schlosser, who amputated her child’s arm which led to her child’s death, had gone cold turkey off her many psychiatric medications. Andrea Yates, another infamous case, drowned her five children two days after being prescribed two new psychiatric drugs. Susan Smith, Jeanette Michelle Hawes, and Carol Coronado all murdered their own children after having their psychotropic medication dosages changed! These cases are just the tip of the iceberg.

If we look back on the history of psychiatry, we are swamped with examples of calamitous injuries initiated at the hands of doctors and psychiatrists. Lobotomy is psychosurgery (brain surgery) first performed back in the 1930s. This is the barbaric procedure whereby a doctor would drill holes into the victim’s skull and manually severe the nerves between the frontal lobe and other regions of the brain, known as prefrontal lobotomy. The other torturesome procedure was transorbital lobotomy, where the surgeon would perform the same cruel technique, except they would access the brain through the eyeball using a long, sharp needle.

As human beings, we tend to believe that the terrible atrocities will never happen to us or those we love. We trust that our doctors are knowledgeable enough to make informed decisions about the medications they prescribe. Neither of which could be further from the truth. Most people in the prescribed harm community only realized the grave dangers of their medications after they were irreparably harmed by those very same drugs that their doctors, who took an oath to first do no harm, prescribed to them.

Many people, especially psychiatrists in today’s world, will tell you that psychiatry has come a long way since lobotomies. But have we? Sure, the brutality is not so visibly obvious, which in a way is a greater cruelty to the patient. The mind, body, and overall sense of self is greatly and often irreparably harmed just as much by psychotropic medications as it was by shoving probes into trusting patients’ brains. The only difference is that the process of harm is (mostly) slower via chemical lobotomy than it is by psychosurgery.

These drugs maim and disable the brains of trusting patients. Some people feel like their antidepressants have helped them in some way, but that could be because the drugs interfere with our neurotransmitters, numbing us to our emotions. Many studies have shown that antidepressants have little to no benefit in comparison to a placebo. In stark contrast to being some kind of antidote as the name suggests, the antidepressants’ black box warning of increased suicide risk is a glaring caution of having the totally opposite consequences.

The sheer number of articles, videos, and content created by the loved ones of those who’ve committed suicide due to the change in dosage or commencement of new psychiatric medications is frightening, yet squashed by the pharma-funded media. Just look at the Prozac trials from 1991 for example. The loved ones of those who had violently attacked their families and themselves explained the decline of their family members just after the commencement of their Prozac prescriptions. Yet, 32 years later, we are still seeing Prozac being handed out to people like Smarties, and still with no forewarning of the possible dire consequences!

The vicious cycle of consumerism, excessive screen time, and disproportionate social media-induced comparisons have assigned people into a rat race of working as much as possible to afford things we don’t really need, while insomnia, anxiety, and depression plague the once-healthy individual—ultimately leading to soaring profits for big pharma via psychiatry, at the expense of the innocent patient.

We are now in an era of chemical lobotomy! Micro-doses of poisons administered through psychiatric medications are prescribed at an alarming rate to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who expresses their emotions! The psychotropic medications do far greater harm than good, especially in the long run. Many PPI (Patient Package Inserts) or PIL (Patient Information Leaflets) explain that the drugs should only be prescribed for a short-term use, yet doctors and psychiatrists alike are insistent that their patients remain on these drugs ad infinitum. From my experience, the possible reasons for this are two-fold: firstly, doctors do not know how to safely taper their patients, and, secondly, they have admitted to receiving financial gain for these prescriptions.

Globally, we are in a crisis situation with these psychotropic drug prescriptions. These drugs cause massive harm, both to those who take them and the loved ones watching their family member lose their mental sharpness and health over the years that they consume these poisons. Yet, somehow those of us who have been harmed and not gone on a killing spree are considered the lucky ones.

The real healing benefits of natural compounds, herbs, spices, and everything else that cannot be patented by the pharmaceutical industry has been systematically disgraced to make way for lucrative toxic substances. The system is not broken, it was designed this way. Big pharma profits off sickness, all off the backs of trusting patients.


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


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  1. More than half of the 81,100 murdered in 2021 were women and little girls. 45,000 of them. Most will have been murdered by a male assailant, although this is not always the case. Each number in that bland statistic of 45,000 marks a beloved daughter, sister, mother, cousin, friend, essential part of a family or community.

    I am not comfortable with the idea that their murderers can now say it was the medication that done it. For one thing such statistics occurred long long long before medications came on the scene barely a hundred years ago. For another thing a vast proportion of those crimes happened in other countries with scant little access to any medication at all. Less availability to medication in other countries contains a notion that there is statistical improvement in mental health. So why the murders? And added to this it is also a statistic that males in affluent countries are less likely to go to any doctor or take any medication.

    I am schizophrenic. I do not have normal run of the mill “mood swings” or “sleep inability” or “justified feelings of anxiety from oppression”. I have a voice telling me to…..ah but why tell anyone else? I prefer to tell my psychiatrist. My winter appointment had one psychiatrist “helping me” to come off all medication because I simply asked to. No questions. No pressure. I received huge help and came off successfully.
    I have written limitlessly about how godforsakenly horrible the side effects of antipsychotics are.
    Yet a month ago I had to go see a different psychiatrist and in that appointment I begged to be put back on medication because I knew that without it I would die. I asked to go back on medication but at a very low dose. Again full agreement with my wishes. The dose is almost a micro dose, it is underneath the manufacturers usual recommendation. Last week I saw a different psychiatrist and expressed my apprehension about being back on medication, given I am a bright spark and have read most of Robert Whitakers articles, so I know all about what being on medication does. My schizophrenia is just too crippling to cope with just now. And I know Robert Whitaker never said “no treatment ever” or even “no medication ever”. How can you “treat” something without calling it “something” such as “not normal for the individual experiencing it”? Even the word “misery” is bottom line “a diagnosis”. It does not matter what a person feels they want to call “their illness”, whatever works for them works for them.
    I digress…so I sat telling that psychiatrist about how I am disdainful of antipsychotics and prefer not to be on them. He then started to tell me all about his theory that psychosis is caused by inflammation of the brain which can be cured by overhaulling the diet alone. He mentioned patients who are no longer having symptoms and no longer therefore on medication. I have not begun to speak here about the many psychiatric nurses I know who are also against giving medications unless it is a dire necessity.

    Returning to the points made about various lethal moms, a handful of cases, who were on medication at the time of such tragedies, I want to say I have read of “one” woman who did that sort of thing. News said she had just had a baby and decided to take him for a picnic to a lake and hurl herself and baby in. Post natal psychosis was the verdict. That happened oh maybe seventeen years ago, maybe more. One. One mom whom I never met, since she lived in another place at distance away. Only “one” poor tragedy out of thousands of moms I have known down the years who were on medication, and fathers for that matter, I know more than a few schizophrenic fathers who absolutely cherish their kids. All on medication yet they pose no danger to anyone.
    Look, I do understand the mission, to rid the world of mendacious big corporations and ban all medicatons and unwanted diagnoses, and end injustice, and end oppression, and create a fair world. There is no harm in any ideology or vision. Any individual with an impassioned ideology or vision is not obliged to “love” whom it perceives as opposition. For anyone in a faith or ideology or political camp I would say there is no need to feel obliged to “love more” those who use a pharmacy or “love more” those fed up yawners who want to see their doctor for sleep aid. There is no “obligation” to “love” anyone who does the opposite of whatever someone else prefers to do in their life. Forcing “love” destroys it before it can ever “feel” like “love”.

    There is no pressure to “love”. We do not come to planet Earth with a rule book as newborns that instructs us to “have to love”.

    But going forward what needs to be discerned and hopefully curbed is “demonising”. There is a fine line between the live and let live notion of not “having to love” and “demonising” a whole set or subset of humans who choose “different” choices for themselves. In the world at the moment everyone is losing their grasp of that fine dividing line.

    Some might argue that nazis should be “demonised”, but nazis wrote the book on “demonising”. Nazis invented “demonising”.

    No human should think they “have to” force themselves to “love” anyone else. We do not all have to “love” Christianity or athleticism or psychiatry. Some may choose to loathe these. But “demonising” is a desire to enforce change via violence.

    If someone has been actually brutalized by a psychiatrist then that is different. It is cruelty. And there is a need to cry out against cruelty.

    Myself I am a peacemaker. I have never been cruelly treated by any of the over twenty or so psychiatrists I have had the pleasure to meet.

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    • Diaphanous Weeping, I, too, am very uncomfortable with the idea that antidepressants or other psychotropic drugs can cause murders or dangerous outbursts of violence. If it were true, it would mean that a human being’s emotions and actions can be fully controlled by a chemical substance.

      An antidepressant or another drug may contribute to a murder, but we don’t know enough about the functioning of the human brain to claim that a drug can make someone kill another person.

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    • Diaphanous. I too am schizophrenic, but ran “afoul” of the various nutrient combinations used in orthomolecular psychiatry, which was how I periodically became the most able “psychiatrist” in my home town without having gone to medical school, after treating myself by accident in the course of collecting hallucinogenic mushrooms.

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      • Thank you Bruce C Harris,
        I am heartened to hear you have gone adventuring in your quest to find a better way of solving what ailed you. I believe that schizophrenia is so individual that what works for this person wont work for that person, a bit like how cancer can be treated in myriad ways, some want surgery, some want nutritional healing, some want faith healing, some want no treatment at all, and some prefer not to think about but just soldier on in life. There is no one approach but a balance of many choices of approach. That said, in some situations where there are young kids involved a person who is say a mom who is dangerously out of it in their psychotic trip maybe does need help. Though I agree that a culture of slamming everyone into a hospital just because they hear one voice is tyrannous. Again it is all about balance.
        I am glad your mushrooms bring relief. I have a friend who feels that mushrooms maketh the man. He swears by their efficacy. If I say I need to pay a bill he says have I tried mushrooms. He has been teasing me to take mushrooms for the past decade. I always resist with prudish grace. But this week I was amused about the thought that if I do go on Dr Palmer’s keto diet for reducing psychiatric symptoms I could furnish my protein salad with my friend’s shrooms.

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    • Diaphanous Weeping, I’m glad you had a helpful psychiatrist to guide you in safely tapering off your meds at that time, and equally glad you found a dose that works for you.

      To clarify, in no way do I claim that murderers can use the medication card as a scapegoat, the medication-related homicides in my article was exactly that – medication-induced rage/ murder. The PPI/ PIL (Patient Information Leaflets) disclose these very same effects. Of course, there’s a wide range of predispositions, history, background, and circumstances that contribute to whether or not the individual carries out their preoccupations.

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  2. I’ll add the following: mold exposure, heavy metal exposure, multiple chemical sensitivities, autoimmune disorders, sleep apnea, orthostatic intolerance, liver undermethylation, adrenal fatigue, mouth breathing, concussions, histamine intolerance, hypoglycemia, lyme. All of these conditions cause understandable ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression.’ I use scare quotes because I have many of these and my ability to interpret my body’s signals has increased in granularity and I can now tell acute histamine reaction from a high apnea night, whereas beforehand I’d have labeled them both either anxiety or depression alternatively. It’s a crime people aren’t assessed comprehensively but the entire concept of mental illness collapses when you realize it can be a coherent response to physical ailment, environmental sensitivity, environmental trauma and developmental trauma, thereby rendering it an entirely coherent reaction. Mental illness is actually another word for ‘malingering. Allopathic medicine as a whole isn’t set up to deal with complex cases, with psychiatry being its waste basket and most extreme example.

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    • Women’s hormone cycles can also affect moods, sleeping patterns, appetite, and even the ability to concentrate. Just think of PMS or menopause. But these do not indicate a “psychiatric disorder”. It just means some women’s bodies react more than others to hormone fluctuations. And it’s no secret (at least among women) that birth control pills can cause “depression” or “anxiety”.

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      • And postpartum depression or psychosis are not “diseases” either; they are extreme reactions to extreme hormonal fluctuations from a difficult pregnancy and/or childbirth plus the sudden demands of caring for a newborn.

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  3. Psychiatry is an MBA created pseudo-science. It will evaporate as an industry once we are able to map the brain. The godfather of AI said in an interview that his primary goal in life is to understand the brain. He chose AI instead of psychology as his avenue towards that end because at least in AI they admit what they don’t know.

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    • I don’t think mapping the brain will create an understanding of “mental health.” But I do think that real brain research shows and will continue to show that the idea of “mental illness” is a “brain disease” is, scientifically speaking, complete nonsense.

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      • What you believe is good for you to believe. You do not believe mental illness is a brain disease.
        What I believe is good for me to believe. I do believe that mental illness can be a brain disease. I believe that a thing like poverty or trauma can shrink the brain. A shrunk brain is not an optimal well brain. It is not normal to have a shrunk brain, as Robert Whitaker might agree. Altzheimers shrinks brains. Altzheimers is a disease. My previously linked video speaks of a potential cause of schizophrenia as being damage to the brain caused by infammation. There is no proof that this is the cause. But if it is a cause then it is comparable to other inflammatory diseases where the exact mechanism is poorly understood. It could be diet or the immune system going into overdrive for any other mysterious reason. I am refering here to the disease called Rheumatoid Arthritis. If we can call Arthritis “a disease” and offer treatments and care, despite not being able to discern the exact cause, or really fix it, then I feel I can call my hallucinations, that may or may not come from my inflammed brain, a disease too. That does not mean that I call ordinary emotional states “a disease”.

        I think you fear there is danger that in waltzing a bit with my perspective, that I do have a disease, that this will lead to BAD TREATMENT. I am fully with you that there should never be bad treatment to anyone.
        But for me, I think your perspective leads to NO TREATMENT AT ALL. To offer nebulous treatments that apply to ordinary run of the mill emotional states is not treating me at all. Can we ever reconcile these “differences” between our separate perspectives or do we just “accept the differences” and leave it at that?

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        • To be clear, I am not against systematic interventions to help people who are struggling, as you seem to suggest. I just want to focus on things that actually work FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE CLIENT. There are some people I know who have used the drugs as a means to help themselves, and have suffered minimal adverse effects. I’ve also known others whose lives were destroyed following that path. I used to be a counselor/therapist and I believe helped lots of people find their way to a new path or direction for their lives. My approach helped a lot of folks, but I know it didn’t help everyone I came in contact with. I had a philosophy that allowed me to connect more directly with people about what their concerns and needs were, and I’ve taken people who had all kinds of different labels and been successful when they experienced failure in “the system.” I could share some pretty impressive stories of monumental changes in people who the “Mental health professionals” had decided were intractable.

          Others needed things I couldn’t provide. I tried to help them find some other pathway. I have never had or expressed the viewpoint that there is no such thing as suffering that requires some sort of advanced intervention. I am not sure where you ever got that idea, but I would appreciate it if you drop that as it applies to me. As you are against “bullying” as you so aptly put it, I’d really appreciate you not deciding for me what I believe and drawing conclusions on the basis of those assumptions.

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          • I appreciate your comment. It is refreshing to hear of your many valuable experiences that inform your perspective. Perspectives seldom come out of the blue and it can help people become persuaded of those “different” choices of perspective if they hear more of the background babysteps or incremental experiences that led to that perspective. So thankyou for taking time to share that background.
            I cannot accept your implying that I have been bullying you in my assumptions or my ponderings. All creatures are FREE to think whatever they like. Even if their thinking is logically wrong or mad. It is their own cranium and what thoughts go on inside that private place are entirely theirs to manage. In short I am free to think or feel whatever I like about you. And you are free to think and feel whatever you like about me. You do not “have to” feel “love” or “like” about me. To force anyone to have to feel or think is holding them hostage to an ideology. It is tantamount to mind control and I am sure you would agree on this. We must be free to explore out stray thinking, wildly off the mark thinking, suspicious thinking, paranoid thinking, mad thinking, silly thinking, wrong thinking, right thinking, BECAUSE one thought leads to another and another and another…until a doomy thought eventually arrives at a hopeful thought, or an antisocial thought arrives at a relaxed thought. You cannot “police” someone else’s thoughts without being a “policer of freedom”. A feeling inside a person and even outside a person CANNOT hurt you since a mere feeling is not an ACT of external kinetic behaviour. A feeling is not a body. For external behaviour a body is required. A body that lifts a chair to hurl it over a room. The trigger for ACTION is a DECISION that comes from a split second of thinking that moving the body in a bodily badly behaved way is a fine idea. But that triggering thinking is ALSO NOT EXTERNAL BEHAVIOUR. Thinking and feeling do not have a body that can do damaging things. You may say that some kinds of thinking lead to impulsive outward behaviour. I would say that on a crowded bus there may be thirty people all “thinking” they would very much like to hit and even murder whomever is squashed in next to them and giving them no space. SO DO THEY?
            A billion buses all over the globe are testimony to the fact that “thinking” is not a danger to anyone. If it was then maybe we should lock up mad people all over again for having odd thinking.
            So…you do not “have to” ever “love” me or “think nice thoughts about me”. You are free to despise me and judge me insane or mean or selfish or devious or heretical or disloyal or mishcevious or childish or whatever, whatever, whatever. In short you can think what you want to think about me. I am glad you have that freedom. It is like the child’s feeedom to poke their tongue out at a horrible maiden aunt. Freedom is healing. If you do not like me I suggest you do it more, dislike me all day. The more we accept our feelings the more our feelings heal us and as healed people we are more likely to feel calm and so are less likely to outwardly behave intolerantly.

            When we adnonish a person for having assumptions or beliefs about us we are admonishing their “thinking” AS IF their merely thinking is damning and dangerous outward kinetic behaviour. Bear in mind that nobody HAS TO “love” another person. And nobody HAS TO “know all about” another person before they have even sat down for a coffee with them. Or even EVER “know all about” the person. This means that beliefs and assumptions and explorations and curiosity and wild guesses are just extentions of the freedom to think and so are not ACTUAL kinetic bodily behavioural outward direct ACTS of direct bullying.

            A muslim’s belief about me cannot hurt me. A Jew’s belief about me cannot hurt me. An evangelical Christain’s belief about me cannot hurt me. A mad person’s belief about me cannot hurt me. Which is GREAT because it means we can all tolerate these many fine beliefs in the world. Which offers us all FREEDOM OF CHOICE and nothing heals us more and calms us more than being able to meet our feelings by granting ourselves FREEDOM OF CHOICE. The only choice we cannot really count as a choice is the choice to be abusive or bullying or cruel. Since that choice thwarts the FREEDOM OF CHOICE for another. But the choice to be abusive or bullying or cruel are ACTS of INTENTIONAL ACTUAL OUTWARD BODILY BAD BEHAVIOUR. Thinking and believing and feeling HAVE NO BODY and can harm nobody.

            If I think inaccurate beliefs about you it may be for many reasons. I may be mad. I may have schizophrenia. I be deranged from brain infammation or trauma or paranoia. I may just have sloppy thinking. Childish maiden aunt thinking. Tired thinking. Mystified thinking. I may have only past experience to fall back on. Assumptions happen in the first split seconds of a phone call. Studies show that through the human ear in a phone call already after the word “Hello” we are assuming the age of the caller, language of the caller, friendliness of the caller, gender of the caller, politics of the caller, religion of the caller…ANd WE CANNOT HELP MAkING such fast beliefs and assumptions…because our caveman brain needs to know fast as f**k who is a sabre tooth tiger person and who is okay to trust.

            What can influence or sway thinking is when someone else drip feeds their wacky ideology into us. An ideology that insists we should “think” only in ideological way. This taking the brain hostage and denying it FREEDOM to blunder around and come to its own intuitive conclusions, as children are FREE to do, imposes restrictions on what we are allowed to think or believe or choose. This instructive “tidy up your room” ORDERING is a restriction that extolls a burden on the delightful playful messiness of what goes on in the brain. Ideological nitpicking likes to tell brains what exactly they are supposed to know or think or believe or assume. An unreflective person who is already imbalanced and impulsively prone to unleashing outward ACTS of bullying MAY use the EXCUSE of ANY IDEOLOGY, even gentle Buddhism, or Catholic nunnery, to legitimate what they decide to unleash as behavioural action outwardly. But DECISION is key here. A billion buses make their packed crowded murderously hot journeys without incident. The people therein, each clutching a multitude of “different” choices of ideology manage to travel through life IN PEACE.

            An ideology is just a bigger version of inwardly thinking or having private beliefs or assumptions and so it is not OUTWARDLY or DIRECTLY bullying ANYONE.

            What can be feared is that the world really is full of imbalanced actual bullies as it is. They become bullies because at some point they are held hostage and told they are not FREE to just BE and think and feel any way they choose to. This dominance over their freedom of choice closes off the way freedom of choice to be “different” feels nurturing. So those embrionic bullies become unnurtured and unwell and violent. This then makes them already prone to be bullying footsoldiers of any REGIME, snapping at anyone else who seems like an outsider, a mad person, a schizophrenic who merely thinks or believes or feels what they want to.

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    This is in almost comical addition to my previous comment, awaiting moderation…

    There is a woman and a doctor on this video linked above.
    She says she is schizophrenic. Maybe we should not listen to her. And maybe because he is a psychiatrist we should not listen to him?

    Maybe don’t listen. Maybe there is nothing wrong with her. Who knows, maybe he intends to lace chemical compounds into homemade
    lettuce recipe suggestions.

    Still…I found this video enthralling.

    Ps. I suppose I regard “demonizing” in the world in general as coming from the nitpicking, categorizing “thinking” side of the brain or “left side of the brain”. See Dr Ian MacGilchrist’s interview with Unherd Channel on youtube.

    Its great to view this video at the top, of the woman and the doctor, with the more intuitive “right brain”.

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    • Diaphanous Weeping, the problem is people tend to believe the psychiatric diagnoses they receive. A person diagnosed with “schizophrenia” is highly likely to think that s/he indeed has an illness called schizophrenia.

      I see that you have had very positive experiences with psychiatrists. In my own case, I was diagnosed with “schizophrenia” after only one episode of “voices” and delusions. I am not using antipsychotics and I have not had another episode for more than 10 years, but every psychiatrist I have met claims that I have schizophrenia. And every psychiatrist I have met claims that I should be using an antipsychotic until the end of my life, that my refusal to use it is a sign of my illness.

      My experience proves that people can be diagnosed with “schizophrenia” only because they experience “voices” and delusions for some time, e.g. as a response to trauma, and that at least some psychiatrists refuse to see (or admit) that a person diagnosed with “schizophrenia” is not really mentally ill.

      If someone is labelled as a “schizophrenic”, this does not prove that the person has a serious and incurable mental illness called schizophrenia. Many people embrace their psychiatric diagnoses, but this does not prove that the diagnoses correspond to real diseases.

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      • Joanna, I love your insightful come back.
        I want to say I celebrate that you are free of the scandalous imposition of a diagnosis that is not true in your case. You have to be the ultimate authority on you.
        I am the ultimate authority on me when I say I feel I do have schizophenia. I am ALL FOR EVERYONE being FREE to change their mind about ANYTHING…even a diagnosis or non diagnosis or a belief that someone else says is true of you. I have NEVER EVER said to ANYONE in MIA that I do not believe them in what they feel is true for them. I have NEVER EVER thought “gosh, that commenter is really unaware that they do have psychosis or schizophrenia or bipolar or borderline personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder yada yada yada yahhhh. I have NO INTEREST in what other people call themselves or do in their lives or how they look after themselves or do not look after themselves. I am interested in the human species and how we make a right royal mess of our balance. But balance is ABOUT you being an authority on you.

        There are ambiguities where it comes to some individuals being so out of it that they prefer to think that every devotee in a cult wants to be dispatched to heaven. Such a cult demi-god may get devotees and their children to immediately drink from a soup cauldron laced with cyanide, religiously stirred with an extreemly rational cold metal utensil of analysis.

        What you seem like to me, Joanna, and I accept I may be wrong, is someone whom I refer to as wonderfully “baby caring”. This to me means someone who champions freedom of choice for each individual.

        I wish to also be “baby caring” for anyone who does feel they genuinely are suffering from something either they themselves or a trusted doctor can offer a diagnosis of. All diagnoses change through time. On a personal level a person evolves out of what once made sense. On a general level diagnoses are reviewed with new influxes of scientific or holistic understandings. I do accept that ordinary depression and anxiety and grief and quirks of personality should not be diagnosed with pathological diagnoses. Such natural “feelings” and odd experiences are not diseases or even illnesses.

        As for inflammation, I suppose it is not always that easy to see on scans, such as in the inflammation we suspect is behind the brain fog in long covid. A person CAN have years of chronic encephalitis from viruses like herpes that do not show up on scans.
        I am enjoying regarding my schizophrenia as possibly due to brain inflammation. Someone else may enjoy thinking their schizophrenia is from capitalism or faulty weaning or bad schooling or nasty strangers or not worshipping a demi-god cultic leader in sandals enough.

        Said with gentle warm wit…


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  5. I don’t think this comment will be approved, but I’m curious what solutions the authors of the pieces on this site would offer as alternatives to treat what the head-shrinkers call psychiatric illnesses. For example, in my own life I experience hallucinations, both visual and auditory. I also have a compulsion to take razor blades to my skin, mainly my upper arms. It’s one of the only things that make me feel better. I think we can agree these are more drastic symptoms than the range of “God given emotions”, low mood, or being overwhelmed by life. Aside from asserting that psychiatry is nonsense, which seems to be the subject of article after article, unless I’m missing something I don’t see any alternate plans of recovery being suggested. How do I get rid of the voices and hallucinations?

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    • I understand you, fellow hallucination sufferer.

      Yes, to the article writer I would ask them to just notice this…

      A religion will tell people that sin /urges/visionary preoccupations are causing their upset. A religion will tell people not to have sin/urges/visionary preoccupations. But mostly a religion will sidestep announcing HOW a person bombarded with sin/urges/visionary preoccupations is actually actually actually actually actually actually supposed to stop these.

      I am sorry but bashing a tambourine or getting on my knees in prayer or having a better attitude or finding the right politics or chanting over singing bowls or sleeping with crystals under my pillow or talking to the best therapist/priest DOES NOT STOP MY HALLUCINATIONS.

      Paul Tillich quote…

      “A shallow Christain idealism cannot stand the darkness”.

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    • Robert hi, there are groups called Hearing Voices. They help people handle their voices and learn to live with them. I have heard key note speakers talk about their experiences.
      I also did a workshop with a Hearing Voices group. They help people live with the voices.

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        This is exactly what living with voices feels like only its not for an afternoon of hiking. It is for every minute of the day and night for DECADES until you beg to be unalive. You have to learn extraordinary super human patience just to get through neverendingly waking up each day to this.

        I am schizophrenic. I have been to Hearing Voices groups for many years. I met loads of wonderfully patient cliff scalers there and we shared private in-jokes and that felt sweet. BUT if psychosis is caused by something like brain inflammation you can do all the talk talk talking you like. It is not going to heal the inflammed brain.
        That is not to dismiss this very helpful suggestion. I feel we need Hearing Voices groups for EVERYONE EVERYWHERE. But this is because sympathy matters to someone perched on a ledge, not because they are inaccuratley perceiving themselves as ill and and are not perched on a ledge and so a quick chitchat will reassure them so much that their inflammed brain will not be so.
        Sympathy is powerful. People often are too tired or depressed to offer it and so they come out with ideas for an instant cure. It can be a form of saying to a ledge teeterer that their attitude got them there.
        Ketogenic diets have been demonstrated to reduce schizophrenia and epilepsy. There are no Hearing Epilepsy groups.

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  6. This article highlights the systemic harms of psychiatry, which have been overlooked for too long. The current psychiatric system often fails to address the underlying social and environmental factors that contribute to mental health issues. Instead, it focuses on diagnosing and treating symptoms with medication, which can have harmful side effects.

    Moreover, the current psychiatric system is often discriminatory towards marginalized communities, with certain groups being over-diagnosed and over-medicated. This can lead to a vicious cycle of stigmatization, discrimination, and inadequate treatment, which ultimately exacerbates mental health issues.

    It’s crucial that we acknowledge these systemic harms and work towards a more holistic approach to mental health. This approach should involve addressing the root causes of mental health issues, such as poverty, trauma, and systemic inequality, as well as providing non-medical interventions like therapy and counseling. We need to prioritize the voices and experiences of those who have been marginalized by the current system and work towards creating a more just and equitable mental health system for all.

    In conclusion, it’s important to recognize the systemic harms of psychiatry and take steps towards a more comprehensive and just approach to mental health. By doing so, we can ensure that all individuals, regardless of their background or diagnosis, receive the support and care they need to thrive.

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  7. This article describes my life for the past 6 years or so. I lament the fact that I’m on four different medications for OCD and bipolar disorder, which has caused so many serious side-effects: obesity, loss of libido, sexual dysfunction, apathy and emotional numbness.

    I tried to slowly taper off the medications but the withdrawal effects were horrible and I couldn’t stand it, so I went back on. No one seems to understand or seems to care. When I complain about my loss of libido or sexual desire, I often hear remarks like: what is more important for you, your health or getting laid? As if having sex is not part of a healthy individual!

    I lament my condition, knowing that I can’t reverse it.

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  8. I think somebody has gone to some very bad Psychiatrists. I have seen many over the years, mostly for anxiety that can keep me hiding in my house. I will say that I have seen a couple that I didn’t agree with or like, who liked to write scrips but most of them were sane and caring doctors that truly wanted to help and weren’t just trying to line their pockets with money.
    I think this article does a huge disservice to those of us that have serious mental health issues that aren’t fixed by herbs or any other non-prescription cure. One of the reason so much mental health problems are left unaddressed is a fear of getting treatment and/or the stigma of doing so. If you have had bad experiences and you feel a certain way, by all means, tell us. But please don’t make it harder for someone who truly needs to get help, that vitamins ot herbs can’t help. There is already a stigma, don’t make it worse because of your bad experiences with a handful of mental health professionals.

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    • This article (and this website, and the dozens of books that have come out detailing the harms done by psychiatry), is not in response to a “handful” of patient experiences. The article is in response to systemic problems with the mental health system and the psychiatric profession.

      Everyone is entitled to inform themselves and then make their own choice about whether to engage with psychiatry (unless of course they are being subjected to forced treatment).

      I’m sure there are bibliographies online that list all of the books that have come out in the last 20 years detailing the rampant problems with current psychiatry and in the mental health system. The overwhelming majority of those books were not written by patients or former patients. They were written by journalists, psychiatrists, and other professionals. The suggestion that the antipsychiatry movement is just complaining from patients who had bad experiences doesn’t stand up to reality.

      Also, the stigma around “mental illness” was created and is perpetuated by the mental health system. You’ll notice that when a psychiatrist or psych nurse writes a comment on MIA about how to this website is “misinformed” or “irresponsible”, that commenter will often come up with the most extreme example — often fictitious/hypothetical — of “a person who must be subjected to forced treatment for the good of society”.

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  9. Ps…my comment that begins “What you believe…” is intended to respond to Steve’s comment. I ought to have said that.

    While here I just want to add that if schizophrenia is caused by inflammation of the brain then this is a bit like a quasi form of encephalitis, or the brain having inflammation from heat stroke, or inflammation from a car wreck. Inflammation may be causing all kinds of wayward delusional thinking and hallucinations BEYOND my control. It is daft to tell someone with the equivalllent of permanent heat stroke to do Open Dialogue to stop their horrible ghastly torturous hallucinatons. It is silly to tell someone whose delusions say they are unwell due to Martians or a brain disease that they are not unwell and that there are no Martians or brain diseases IF their brain is so perpetually inflammed they CANNOT HELP suffering quirky thoughts. It is nonsense to tell someone with an inflammed brain that it will get better if they do a deep dive into trauma or try to believe their parents caused the hallucinations.
    Yes yes yes all of the above healing ideas are great great great for all manner of psychological misery. And yes there has been a tendency to say everything is a disease and yes this must change. But I am not going to be saying my illness is not an illness to me. I do not think Dr Palmer would either. You drink too much alcohol you feel very ill. You become an alcoholic you feel iller yet. The brain feels ill in its mentality…or mentally ill…after ten years not sober. Same with brain inflammation.
    But maybe this idea does not gel with the one that chalks everything up to political oppression.

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    • Diaphanous Weeping, if brain inflammation could cause schizophrenia, it would be possible to observe physical signs of this brain inflammation. Real brain diseases are diagnosed e.g. through CT scans. You mentioned epilepsy in one of your comments – epilepsy is diagnosed through CT scans, brain magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography (EEG).

      I can tell you that when I was hospitalized because of a psychotic episode, I was not examined by any doctor apart from psychiatrists. I did not have any scans. Nothing indicates that I had some form of brain inflammation.

      Antipsychotics are not anti-inflammatory medications. If psychosis were caused by brain inflammation, people with psychosis would be prescribed anti-inflammatory medication.

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      • Dear Joanna, the take up of the idea that psychosis and schizophrenia and bipopar and depression might be due to brain inflammation is gaining respect in the medical world but it is still in its infancy and because it is not tied to Big Pharma profits the pioneers studying it are out of pocket.

        You say you only had one instance of hearing a voice. One hallucination in other words. Joanna I have insufferable hallucinations more frequently than every hour of the day and have had this for decades. I have more than one thousand hallucinations per year. That is like having one thousand acid trip hallucinations per year when you really just want to buy some groceries or chat to a friend or read a book. I am able to do stuff but then a mountaineer who has fallen down an ice crevasse is able to crawl back out and drag himself to base camp. Pain is invisible. The pain of enduring my ongoing schizophrenia pain or brain inflammation pain is invisible. It would be good if people generally began to believe each individual about what they believe is going on or is not going on in their invisible.
        I think what happens in online debate sections is that one group say “If you believe there is such an illness then you are voting for bad treatment”, whereas the other group are saying “If you do not believe that we are ill then you are denying me our freedom of choice to get the treatment we feel we want”.
        There has been two things looked at in antipsychiatry online….
        1. That many current treatments are not fit for purpose. They seem like or indeed really are bad treatments.
        2. That the illnesses are fabrications.

        What this can inadventantly cause is the impression that if you say you are ill you may be given a response that implies that you are nefariously shoring up a paradigm of bad treatment.


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  10. When I moved from Chicago to a small, quiet, country town in Southern Illinois, I titrated myself down and off of 2 anti anxiety and anti depressants, 2 opiates and a muscle relaxer, HBP Rx and a stent Rx. The last two are due to changing my diet. Everything else I stopped taking is due to the fact that: people don’t get killed or car jacked here. There are 0 school shootings. There is no litter, homeless people, dog excrement everywhere, no screaming or violence all night while you try to fall asleep so most of my anxiety and fear due to my old geography and having to work in the belly of the beast as a Public Health Worker responsible to follow 75 clients who are mentally ill themselves every month….so off the horrifying useless Rx I went!

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  11. I am going to enjoy all of my free choices today and so I am going to call absolutely everything a disease because I like that word today. So I am going to call premenstral tension a disease, and boredom a disease, and rain a disease, and cash a disease, and psychaedelic bliss a disease, and spirituality a disease, a God a disease, and capitalism a disease, and the mirage we all live in a disease, and logic a disease, and feelings of sadness a disease, and hope a disease, and nihilism a disease, and all eight billion people on the planet a disease, and my mind a disease, and my brain a disease, and trees a disease, and carpets a disease, and a disease a disease, and fractals a disease, and snot a disease, because NOBODY can force me not to.

    I AM A CHILD OF THE UNIVERSE and as a child, whatever words come out of my mouth are my FREE CHOICE.

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  12. Dear Steve, I made a very long response to your comment to me. I wrote it in one fell swoop and so I forgot to add a break just before the part that begins with the sentence…
    “We must be free to explore our stray thinking…”

    A break I should have done to say that from that sentence onwards I am diving into the academic observation of how the mechanics of thinking and feeling and belief functions in lots of peoples lives. I was using the “you” word in its “people in general” spirit. I was not launching a tirade at you personally. I was using what you aired as a springboard to write in depth of what I have come to understand about such private interior states of being and about interactions in people in general. I was not getting at you. I was excited to take from what you said some raw clay to form a foundation for what I later focussed on.

    You are quite free to call me a bully. I shall not defend myself if your “feelings” tell you that I am that for you. There is not a human being on planet Earth who is balanced. And this means there is not a human being on the planet who is not fighting stress. And this means there is not a human being on the planet who is not at some point in an average day always able to resist being a bit of a bully. Looking after the self matters to survival. If there is a disaster relief truck with sacks of rice to give out rare is the hungry person who will refuse a bowl of rice to meet their survival needs. Our priority is to help other people but this involves being a healthy enough self to have the strength to do so. To help others does mean periodically putting self first. No human being does not do this a few times a day. But to other people that prioritizing of ones own needs looks bullying. And then there are moments when out of frustration or anxiety we become pushy. All of this is part of life. I am not ever going to say I am not capable of bullying. But I do define a difference between this kind of selfish behaviour and ACTUAL bullying of a deliberate bruising order. In that regard I am not a bully.

    Heck just about EVERY comment of my nearly ONE THOUSAND comments in the archive, (type in Diaphanous Weeping to read them all), is ALL about the global phenomenon of bullying.

    One of the appeals of MIA comments section is it gives a loudspeaker to anyone who may be feeling imbalanced and so therefore very stressed. One of the quick fixes for stress is a fight…as in fight or flight ways to burn off irritating adrenalin. Fighting can bring comfort therefore. Enter the birth of bickering. That and the need to be right by having the last word. We are all capable of defusing our hellish stress that way. But bickering can tip into bullying in its need to be right through proving someone wrong. To do this bickering thrives on logic and is scrutinizing of every piece of language rather that relax into accepting the bigger picture or broader context.

    You put up with a lot of toil as part of being our moderator. And yet you publish comments that oppose you own points and perhaps this is never easy. We all individually build a temple shrine in our minds and do not warm to whomever seems to want to desicrate it.

    But we must lose a piece of our temple to host the curious other.

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  13. Mental/emotional crises are PROBLEMS. huge
    i have no clear cut solutions to offer. I have no clear cut causes to propose.
    I just know one very core thing (without a doubt)psychiatry and our traditional mental health system is absolutely NOT the place to Turn to when you are having a mental/emotional crisis.
    You will not just not be helped. You will be harmed. Hopefully not severely. Probably severely. At best, you will recover from that harm.

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  14. It’s also cultural, political, social. Walk around with a burka, or not one, or naked, or not naked; or be a man that wears a skirt, that doesn’t wear a skirt, a woman that wears pants, a kid that shows up in rags to school; lady gag[a] wearing meat hardly passes for it; but it’s around: anything a bit different, unusual, gets the dark eye’s attention. And from there you go, the whole insult to rats [the rat race], and the drugs THEY have to be sacrificed for [the rats, the rabbits, the monkeys, the humans]. Hardly a civilized setup…..

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  15. Well , today, I checked my messages on FB- I had an odd one from Jane Kozte- and guess what? She tried to hack into my FB account Yep, you heard me right. She left a message about Benzos and that “she was not sure why FB removed my comment on her page.” ANNNNDDDD…there was a little link in THIS message that said “click here to view comment” – well, lo and behold I stupidly did click on it. Never again. She set me up to be hacked basically. Shame on her. I realize now she did it out of spite because she did not like the comment I had made on her FBpage a couple days ago. Benzos cause irreversible brain damage. Shame on you, Jane.

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