Why I Resigned from Mental Health America

64
5082

I considered leaving my position as a support group facilitator at Mental Health America when I discovered the organization was receiving funding from drug companies and realized it had become a Pharma Puppet, like NAMI. But I care about the group members and believe peer support services are a vital source of healing for many people, so I made a conscious decision to set aside my concerns and continue facilitating. However, when MHA lobbied for Indiana HEA 1006 (legislation that expands forced treatment and removes constitutional rights from people with real or alleged mental illness), I realized that I could no longer allow myself to be a cog in the oppressive, profit-driven, psych industry wheel. I had to take a stand.

In addition to testifying against HEA 1006 in the Indiana Senate (link to testimony), I resigned from MHA with the following letter.

Creative collage portrait of mini black white gamma astonished girl touch huge arm palm isolated on drawing background.

Dear MHA Leaders,

This is a notice of resignation from my volunteer position at Mental Health America. After 20 years of service (support groups & Compeer program), I can no longer, in good conscience, work for an organization that violates the principles upon which it was founded. Clifford Beers would be outraged and ashamed of what his organization has become.

I advise you to melt the Bell of Hope back down into shackles because your legislative actions promote discrimination, and abuse of people with real or alleged mental health struggles. HEA 1006 has essentially returned Indiana to the Asylum Era in which anyone can be psychiatrically imprisoned and force-drugged on a whim (based on unquestioned/unproven information from a 3rd party) with no due process, no defense, no rights, no voice, no protections, no control over their medical care, their body, or their life—AND no opportunity for justice or redress—even if injured, traumatized, disabled, left in social and financial devastation, or killed in the course of “treatment.” You testified in favor of one of the most egregiously horrific and oppressive pieces of mental health legislation I have ever encountered, then drenched accolades on the legislators who voted it into law.

The medical community, politicians, and MHA constantly bemoan “The stigma of mental illness” and “discrimination against the mentally ill,” yet seem oblivious to the fact that YOU are the primary perpetrators—not society (which you conveniently use as a fall guy). You lobby for legislation that deprives psych-labeled people of constitutional and human rights, then wrap it up in a pretty bow and call it “good.” I consider this worse than blatant discrimination and abuse.

Your views about what people need in a crisis are severely misguided, and you appear to have no ability to critically evaluate the data or design of the studies you use to support your actions (if any are used at all). You pat yourselves on the back for “helping people,” completely unaware that the treatments and practices you promote effectively truncate the life of psych patients by 20+ years. To clarify, this drastically reduced lifespan is NOT caused by “bad genes” or “Chemical Imbalances” (i.e., drug company marketing propaganda/profit scheme). It is due to the direct effects of psychotropic drugs, electric shocks, inpatient “care,” and medical neglect and mistreatment of psychiatrically-labeled human beings. FYI, psych drugs have no proven “neuroprotective properties” and mental illnesses are not “brain-destroying” conditions. Stop spreading such rubbish. The studies that purport this are heavily flawed. However, there is very strong evidence that psych drugs and shocks destroy brains.

Are you concerned that the 988 hotline (which is deceptively advertised as “confidential”) increases suicide rates? People who receive inpatient “care”—especially by force—are subsequently hundreds of times more likely to kill themselves. Are you concerned that inpatient hospitalization replicates the traumas that lead people to need/seek help? Are you concerned that psych drug studies show an increased incidence of suicide, mania, psychosis, violence, agitation, functional and cognitive impairments, and death in the active drug group compared to the placebo group, and (unsurprisingly) worse outcomes? Are you concerned that members of the DSM committee admit there is no science behind the (arbitrary) diagnostic criteria they create, and that most of the members have financial ties to drug companies? Are you concerned that doctors are not trained in evidence-based methods to discontinue medications, and that they use abrupt tapering regimens created by drug companies to trigger severe and acute withdrawal symptoms during trials to make their drugs “appear” effective and to promote the belief that life-long drugging is necessary?

You take blood money from drug companies that blatantly lie and manipulate data to hide death, disability, suicide, severe health risks, and poor/non-existent efficacy, and illegally market their drugs for indications not approved by the FDA, with no regard for the people they harm.

You advocate for the interests of drug companies—not people with mental health issues—funneling them directly into a highly profitable system of abuse & disempowerment. The mental health screenings you use were created by Pharma marketing departments (not scientists or doctors) to increase revenue. The labels applied to suffering people render them “unreliable/unbelievable,” with fewer rights than criminals, and give doctors illegitimate authority over them. And, unlike criminals, their records (psych labels/history) cannot be expunged. It will follow them for the rest of their life, no matter how falsified and inaccurate they are. Terms like “Anosognosia” and “Lack of Insight” are used to discredit a person who disagrees with their doctor, the diagnosis, or the treatment, and render them powerless and defenseless in court proceedings for forced treatment. In what universe is this acceptable…let alone considered “mental health care”?

I bid farewell with this:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

 C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology

Sincerely,
Jill Edwards

 

***

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.

***

Mad in America has made some changes to the commenting process. You no longer need to login or create an account on our site to comment. The only information needed is your name, email and comment text. Comments made with an account prior to this change will remain visible on the site.

Previous articleTheater Can Foster Empathy and Promote a Richer Understanding of Psychosis
Next articleThis Simple Fix Could Help Anxious Kids
Jill Edwards
Jill Edwards is a fierce advocate for human rights in mental health services and justice for the Prescribed Harm/Iatrogenic Injured Community. She has undergrad and graduate education in psychology, social services, and clinical mental health counseling, and 20 years of experience in peer support services. She is currently engaged in legislative work to protect people from harmful psychiatric interventions. Jill’s interests include ECT brain/electrical injury, mental health laws, medical ethics, research integrity, FDA & government accountability, mental health system reform, and medical malpractice litigation.

64 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, good for you, Jill!

    Like you, I’ve also found NAMI to be a patsy for drug companies.

    Since you’re engaged in legislative work to help people with a mental illness, may I suggest another point to consider?

    According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), there is NO federal law that says the American Psychiatric Association must even try to cure patients. The federal government stays completely out of the APA’s choice in what approach to use on their patients. This loophole allows the APA to choose the approach which brings them the most profits, all the while curing no one.

    The leaders of the APA could have chosen to treat all patients with restorative care but these approaches only bring in pennies because nothing about them is patentable. Instead, the APA fights them, claims they don’t work, etc.

    Several psychiatrists diagnosed my son as “incurably” mentally ill with so-called “bipolar with psychosis.” They made him take THREE, daily antipsychotic drugs. So I learned how to use “Orthomolecular” medicine, which simply means restoring one’s BIOchemistry, not their supposed “chemistry.” Over 4 months, I slowly tapered him off the antipsychotics so that he was just taking the “nutraceuticals” which (in his case) lowered his histamine level back down to the normal range.

    I have 3 videos on the orthomolecular approach over on Youtube at Linda Van Zandt’s Mental Health Recovery Channel. I really hope you’ll watch them.

    Our entire country desperately needs people like you working on legislation to bring some sanity to mental health care. I’d be happy to send you the letter from my congressman and the accompanying email from the CRS saying there is no federal law on which approach should be used on patients.

    Keep up the good work, Jill!

    Best regards,
    Linda Santini, M.Ed. (retired teacher)

    Report comment

    • At least in Mexico doctors have a right to not promise results of their care. I imagine forcing some to do will be an even worse impingement on their rights.

      Funny, because patients in Mexico have no right to not be promised results or outcomes, as in threaten or coerced by them.

      We patients might have legal rigths for that, but I’m refering to a somewhat moral charter of patients and providers rights, posted I think by law in most facilities for purposes of certification by health authorities.

      We providers even had to recite them then during the certification process!. You can imagine my difficulty not laughing…

      Report comment

    • Linda,

      I’ll gladly take any resources you want to provide to help with my legislative work!

      I have not heard of the CRS–it could be an interesting angle to work. If there’s no federal law stating the APA must try to cure patients, why are their minions/members trying to forcefully “cure” people? (Perhaps we can argue they shouldn’t). But, the following explains the “why” in gruesome detail. We know its about profits, but it probably runs deeper than you imagined.

      In working to block Indiana HEA 1006 (the bill I referenced in my blog article), I discovered that Indiana does not require legislators to disclose the monies & gifts they receive from lobbyists. Lobbyists, however, are supposed to report their pay-outs, but Indiana has many loopholes they can slip through. And that doesn’t account for what might be happening off the record.

      The Indiana Hospital Association does lobby legislators. I can’t remember their reported contributions this legislative season. But, I know they had a MAJOR financial stake in IN HEA 1006. Part way through the bills journey to becoming law, the Association convinced the legislators to add the requirement that ALL detained patients must be (force) drugged. Non-medication is not an option for any treatment plan for detained patients. This is preposterous! In addition to not incorporating patients’ preferences/goals/needs/values in treatment planning, the drugs are deleterious to health, ineffective or causing worsening of symptoms for many (none of which they admit to). However, it IS recognized that some MH conditions don’t respond to psychotropics, like “Borderline Personality Disorder” (e.i., trauma-survivor). This mandate of drugging all detained patients also doesn’t consider how psychotropics can be deadly when combined with physical health medications (and many people in the US are on a plethora of these). Also, some patients don’t have certain genes that allow their body to metabolize the drugs & they become toxic. So why on earth would the Hospital Association advocate for something that will clearly harm or kill many people?

      The plot thickens…I read an article recently that hospitals make the MAJORITY of their profits from exploiting a government discount drug program called 340B, created to help low-income patients get medications at a reasonable price. Despite doing surgeries that cost thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, hospitals make MOST of their profits from the difference between the discounted medications they purchase from drug companies (through the 340B program), and the amount they charge insurance companies for the drugs!

      Consider how much hospitals will profit from the passage of IN HEA 1006: They already make most of their profit from the drugs (one hospital reported 94% of their profits are derived from the discounted meds program!). The new law extends emergency detainment to two weeks (or more), plus requires ALL patients to be drugged, AND removes the patient’s constitutional right to a court hearing to object to the drugging. Psych drugs, especially antipsychotics, tend to be expensive compared to antibiotics, antiemetics, and analgesics used in the ER, post-surgery, etc. So, hospitals will make a killing off this new law. Speaking of killing, the new law codified legal immunity for doctors & hospitals, barring patients & their families from suing if they are harmed or killed by the drugs (or other interventions)! It absolutely guarantees massive profits & removes risks/liabilty. I image they will pay less for liability insurance now too, since they can’t be sued for harming or killing detained psych patients (aside from gross negligence–which tends to be difficult to prove given how records are easily & frequently falsified & there is a culture/expectation in healthcare to never rat out a colleage for malpractice & misconduct).

      Indiana HEA 1006 is the most profitable & perfect crime, commited against people with fewer legal rights & protections than criminals. It must be stopped.

      https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/4101826-health-care-providers-are-raking-in-profits-by-exploiting-programs-meant-for-the-poor/

      Report comment

      • To add injury to offense: And docs are ok with being mandated a treatment that goes above and beyond the expertise, and obviously “freedom” to practice medicine in an ethical, scientific and of course profitable manner?

        They aren’t marching in a treatment diversity “all color” marches?

        Report comment

      • I’m not trying to be rude, but responsability requires freedom.

        Professional responsability requires freedom to decide professionaly.

        Professional responsability is essential to the practice of medicine.

        The responsible practice of medicine is essential for patient’s well being.

        Therefore no law nor regulation can dictate what a physician should do WHEN it comes to it’s professional domain with a given patient under his or her care. Same for many professionals.

        Physician freedom includes the right, for the physician, and the obligation to the patient to abstain to provide a treatment that is harmfull. Sometimes just innefficient, inneficacious, etc.

        There can be redress and even punishment/reparation on damages, violations to the law, or malpractice NOS.

        But professional freedom is a sine qua non to professional responsability which is a must have to censor, punish, etc., physicians.

        You cannot punish a physician that is unable to be responsible, particularly because of lack of freedom. Even freedom to abstain, that is a quagmire, it is the fuel of psychiatry, peculiarly ECT rhetoric. “Lifesaving” on a “deadly” condition…

        Whole bans/mandates in my ignoramus mind can only be done if there is some sort of government compelling interest. A kind of public order/interest affair that overrides professional freedom and responability globaly, for each and all patients, somehow…

        But maybe you can clarify me or correct me…

        And ironically, forcing a doctor to retain a patient a set fixed number of days, using a set of fixed medications, might violate the physician’s rights…

        Report comment

        • 27/17,

          Why should a physician have rights over another person’s body? Life? Why should they have the right to kill and disable and violate a patient’s human rights?

          Under Indiana’s new law, HEA 1006, people labeled as mentally (or their families) who are harmed or killed in the course of detainment/”treatment” cannot sue doctors or hospitals (except for gross negligence). But, even then, it’s nearly impossible for people with mental illness labels to find attorneys to represent them. And even harder to win a case when doctors can, and do, use the patients diagnosis to discredit their claims & undermine their credibility. Psychiatrists are the least likely of all medical specialists to be SUCCESSFULLY sued.

          Aside from Indiana’s law, psychiatrists have a license to maime & kill. They are protected from liability as long as other psychiatrists are comfortable using/forcing the same dangerous treatments. Standards of Care act as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Psychiatrists have demonstrated since the advent of their “profession” they have no problem with using treatments (often by force) that hasten a patients death, damages their brain, renders them disabled, terrorizes & traumatizes, and qualify as torture per the WHO & UN.

          Their “freedom” must be curtailed. This will only happen when 1) the Government intervenes to take interventions with no proven safety & efficacy (like ECT) off the market. (Unfortunately, the FDA fails in its duty to protect people from harmful, ineffective devices & drugs). 2) Doctors can’t use Standards of Care as a loophole for liability (essentially, as freedom to harm).

          The ultimate professional responsibility & freedom we can afford physicians is not allowing them to use other doctors’ choices & Standards of Care to shield themselves from liability & punishment.

          Report comment

          • I get your argument and where it comes from. I agree with what you are trying to accomplish. I have the same goals. I would ban the whole of psychiatriy and probably a lot of clnical psychology just on the lack of informed consent before the first question asked by a practitioner.

            I think kind of the point I was trying to elaborate or push through is that physician’s rights are essential for patient well-being.

            Physician’s freedom to choose a course of treatment or diagnosis is linked with the obligation to preserve the patient’s body and life. Arguably violated in psychiatric practice, totally agree, you explicitly didn’t say that, but I’m extending the argument.

            Rights and obligations have a corresponding relationship, my right generally involves someone’s obligation to fulfill it, or respect it, not to invade the sphere of my rights. Even it gives obligation to someone to restore my damaged sphere of rights. Think of a gun shot wound.

            And that is why physician’s have rights and some are meant to fulfill the obligation to avoid harm to the patient. To provide comfort and benefit to the patient.

            Freedom is the pillar of all interactions among human beings. It’s essential to moral and legal responsability.

            The practice of psychiatry avoids responsability in part precisely by alleging they have no freedom to do otherwise. No alternative medicine, no psychotherapy, no let it be, nothing but coercion and medication.

            Based on what MIA has show convincingly time after time, to be not only erroneous, but counterproductive, fraudulent, and illegal. And in the aggregate more harmfull than beneficial, IMO.

            A crude example of freedom: forcing physician’s to prescribe only aspirin to treat, not prevent, a heart attack violates both the patient’s rights and the physician’s rights. Precisely because they are linked.

            I reiterate, I agree with you, I want the same as you even if from afar, but I think it is important for me, to clarify that IMO restricting some rights might be counterproductive. And it probably won’t pass muster when appealed in the courts…

            Report comment

      • Thank you for speaking out.
        Spending my adult life in treatment that didn’t actually address the issue leading to depression, other issues, which was and is My Abusive Family of Origin, being groomed to expect and accept abuse from anyone, anywhere.
        I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have learned enough to beat the junk that trapped them in the first place, and I don’t know how I would teach the same to others, but I cheer you on.

        Report comment

  2. Brilliant Jill,

    Thank you so much for taking a stand.

    I feel that this is a reflection of what it is to add integrity back into our culture and communities. If something is wrong things need to change, groupthink should not dominate for the single purpose to ensure the survival of the organization. It just provides a hollow shell comprised of idealistic unrealistic fiddle faddle. This is all too common if not the vast majority of ongoings.

    It takes a lot to make our idea of virtue and justice real, I am glad you have the fortitude to do so. I hope this stands as a testament to others.

    Report comment

  3. Brilliant letter. Thanks for sharing it and for standing up (and refusing to be complicit with oppression).

    I haven’t had contact with MHA but it’s good to know what’s happening and has happened to the organization.

    Report comment

  4. I love that C. S. Lewis quote. What’s sad is I don’t think most “mental health professionals” even know they are the “omnipotent moral busybodies,” about whom C. S. Lewis forewarned us.

    Thank you for sharing your powerful and truthful resignation letter, Jill.

    Report comment

  5. Bravo, Jill Edwards.
    Clifford Beers would be proud of you.
    Thank you for calling it out.
    Thank you so much. It needs to be said over and over.

    Forced and coerced treatment isn’t treatment. Everyone is entitled to informed consent and a choice in their treatment.

    Report comment

  6. I’ve read many good articles here.This is by far, the best blog I’ve read on Mad in America. You are extremely brave. Your letter of resignation is an outstanding summation of all that is horrific about the psych industry. It was bold, passionate and so well said! Bravo!!! I do so hope it gives them pause. I hope they don’t feel threatened by you and really reflect on the truth of your words. You inspire me, Jill. Thank you for standing up for us all. Thank you very much!

    Report comment

  7. Thank you for speaking out against this organization, Jill.

    Mental Health America runs a “supportive housing” facility in Danbury CT where I was definitely treated as someone without rights or dignity. They made my life harder while I was there on a daily basis. Lying (both denying reality and making false promises) and subtly threatening me was a regular habit of the staff.

    My assigned housemate would come into my private space (my tiny room) and take my belongings and the staff refused to do anything about it. Finally, one day I got fed up and called the police on the non emergency line. When my caseworker found out I’d called the police, she said, “All of the staff here are really good friends with the police.”

    The only thing they seemed to care about was that I was medicated. That was the “service” they provided. Holding everyone’s meds and doling them out in the staff office.

    The place was unsanitary but the staff didn’t care since they didn’t live there. After a year I got kicked out for being “too high functioning.”

    I wish all of these “helping agencies” would be exposed, including their ties to pharma and the local police.

    Report comment

    • KateL,

      I’m so sorry you have also endured the indignities & abuses of the mental illness system. It seems few people are unscathed. Those with the most severe emotional struggles & life traumas (or adverse reactions to psych drugs) are the most vulnerable in the system.

      It’s appalling that MHA would treat you and the other patients that way.

      If you are comfortable sharing…did the police show up? And did they intervene or contact a disability rights organization on your behalf, or connect you with one?

      Report comment

      • Thank you, Jill.

        I was typing the longer story when I somehow lost my comment. The police did show up that day but they and the staff treated the theft situation like a joke. They said some things about putting locks on cabinets where I kept my laundry detergent, etc. But that never happened. They said it was impossible – because the cabinets didn’t have handles, they said there was nowhere to put a lock.

        When the caseworker told me that her and the staff were all friends with the police, I took it to mean, “They will never take action that makes staff look bad.”. Nothing was ever done about the stealing and a few weeks later I was kicked out for being “too high functioning”.

        I would warn anyone against having any contact with Mental Health CT, the Danbury Police Department in CT, or Danbury Hospital. I experienced repeated violations of my human rights by all three, which worked in collusion with each other.

        No matter what changes or improvements are made now to stop the crimes of the mental health system, people need to remember that for many it is way too late. There are no services for people whose lives have been destroyed by psychiatry. There is no designation even, “disabled because of psychiatry. “. The only allowed designation is ” mentally ill” ” severely mentally ill”. The whole system is racked against us and has been my entire life.

        The damage is done. I am bedridden and alone. I don’t have much longer on this earth. Any chance I had at a good life was destroyed by psychiatry and the mental health system.

        Report comment

    • CT…is that Mental Health Court or Connecticut Mental Health? My friends, colleagues & I slayed a bill in Connecticut that would have expanded forced ECT. A rare win for psych patients!

      But yes, abuse of bodies & rights is rampant in mental health services. I often don’t use the term mental “health” services/system because it doesn’t promote or produce physical, mental, emotional or spiritual health. Just the opposite. Mental *illness* system is the appropriate term.

      Report comment

  8. In the UK we have a statutory status inquiry into 2000 deaths of MH patients in the Essex area. A former Barrister Baroness Kate Lampard CBE has been appointed Chair.

    I doubt the Chair knows what akathisia really is or the relevance to the investigation.

    It would be good if as many qualified people PhD’s, what ever else, people with lived experience and family inform the Chair of the importance of understanding akathisia to get to the heart of what is happening.

    Look up Essex Mental Health Independent Inquiry where you can email the Chair.

    Thank you

    Report comment

  9. Thanks so much for this statement.

    They way you express your deepest discontent with the violent and oppressive behaviour of people in the mental health field and are able to stay precise and insightful in your critic is very inspiring.

    It shows me that I can learn that too.

    I often still get a little lost in my rage at the harm that people have done to me under the psy-spell and the anger doesn’t allow me to formulate a clear description of the situation and of what has happened to me.

    Also I want to congratulate you that you have found out of this NGO. I imagine that this was not easy but rather painful. I have often realised in comparable situations that I could have listened to my gut feelings a long time before but wasn’t ready to break away from these relationships and stand on my own.

    Anyway, thanks again for this statement. I will come back for inspiration many times when I will be able to write about the violence I have experienced at the hands of psy-professionals and social workers when I am ready to do so.

    Report comment

      • I agree. I also have trouble keeping my rage in check when communicating about these issues and admire Jill’s ability to communicate eloquently about grave injustices.

        It doesn’t help that diagnoses like borderline personality disorder pathologize rage to such a degree. “Therapies” like DBT prioritize expressions of rage over everything except, possibly, suicidal behavior.
        They label these expressions of anger, no matter how valid, as “treatment interfering”, and therapists will put everything else aside to focus on how to put a stop to the patient’s treatment interfering behavior.

        Report comment

    • Lina,

      I have not yet mastered my rage about my personal experiences in the mental illness system nor the mass-scale atrocities occuring throughout the system. It’s a constant battle to keep my anger in a productive mode–motivating & energizing me–instead of crippling & consuming me.

      Each survivor must decide what they will do with their experiences: Tuck it away, try to forget, and move on. Share their experiences with a few trusted people. Seek legal recourse. Use their experiences to advocate for others. (Or all of the above).

      Perhaps you just need some separation from it all (if possible) and time to process & heal before you can share your story. Or, if you haven’t done so already, start journaling your experiences or write practice letters, articles, and manifestos to legislators, doctors, the public, loved oned, or fellow survivors. You can hold onto these & come back to them at a later time when you feel less overwhelmed & decide if you want to pursue that path. Even if you decide you don’t want to “go public” or do advocacy work, just speaking your truth, if only to yourself, is powerful & healing.

      You’ve experienced systemic disempowerment. If, when, & how you share your experiences is your choice. Whatever you do, do what is best for you.

      But remember, anger is not a bad emotion. It can be productive if cultivated. Anger has fueled every important social movement throughout history & often motivates personal & interpersonal growth…IF we don’t let it consume us.

      Report comment

  10. As someone who initially thrilled to work for NAMI because I wanted to educate and advocate for people living with symptoms identified as psychiatric diagnoses and their family members, this blog really hit home.

    I resigned from NAMI when I realized recovery was not the objective, or the priority of the local, state or national organization, and that people living with symptoms of psychiatric diagnoses were categorically treated with discrimination within the organization at every level once they began advocating for psychiatric rehabilitation, informed treatment choices and protection from exploitation and abuse.

    That quote from C.S. Lewis is especially poignant. It speaks to my experience with NAMI.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the world. We need more who are determined to ensure discrimination has no place in policy–especially when cloaked in policies “for the good” which actually strip humans of basic human rights.

    Bravo dear warrior! Keep up the good work!

    Report comment

  11. “The medical community, politicians, and MHA constantly bemoan “The stigma of mental illness” and “discrimination against the mentally ill,” yet seem oblivious to the fact that YOU are the primary perpetrators—not society (which you conveniently use as a fall guy)”

    This doesn’t just apply to America. It applies to every society where psychiatry has a stronghold.

    It’s the same in India. There’s always psychiatrists talking about the “stigma associated with mental health”, not the fact that they are also hugely responsible in creating that stigma with the plethora of DSM dirt they stamp people with. That would put their careers in jeopardy.

    The indoctrinated patients and their families play a part in perpetuating it (all over the world).

    Report comment

    • What they mean by “stigma” is “any comment suggesting people shouldn’t take all the drugs they are prescribed without question.” The industry creates and exacerbates stigma as a marketing tool. The furthest thing from their minds is to “reduce stigma!”

      Report comment

      • It isn’t just the drugs (though that’s a part of it). Psychiatric labelling serves a function for many people.

        For a woman whose husband is abusive and a liar, applying the term “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” to him and seeing him through that lens helps her “understand” why her husband is doing that. For a man whose wife is the same, applying the term “Borderline Personality Disorder” to her does the same.

        They then start seeing others through that prism without understanding that there are others who are good people (unlike their own spouses) who are actually being damaged and robbed away of the truths of their lives by terms like that.

        Similarly, for a person with obsessional thoughts, “OCD” helps him “understand” why he’s going through that. Same with ADHD etc.

        They are deluding themselves and none of those terms is an explanation for anything.

        Just a few days ago, I came across a guy writing online: “Oppositional Defiant Disorder: a disorder that causes people to defy authority!”. I had to correct him and say ODD doesn’t make people defy authority, but rather because people defy authority they get stamped with that term. Big difference. That is how “mad” psychiatry has driven people with its rubbish jargon.

        Some of the articles on all these “conditions” on the internet are just vomit inducing. They’re doing damage on a large scale and they’re oblivious to it. They should put several disclaimers on such articles about what such labels are, that they’re not explanations of anything, that they could potentially be creating stigma, that any stigma they’re perpetrating is unintended and they pre-emptively apologise for it.

        It has become common parlance for people to describe their pain as “I suffer from BAD, BPD, SAD, PTSD and an ED. I have been diagnosed by a professional”. It’s gone to ridiculous proportions. They spread that filth like an infectious disease. It’s one thing to sometimes use them as a short hand to save time but it’s gone way beyond that. I can’t stop people from describing their suffering however they want to. But I can definitely write my own views on it.

        Report comment

        • There is a difference between using a term to describe something (My husband is an ABUSER) and being DIAGNOSED with something (My husband beats me up because he has “Bipolar Disorder”). One is simply a linguistic means of describing people who have certain traits in common, the other implies some kind of deeper “causal” relationship between these people such that some sort of “treatment” will generally be helpful to all of them. Psychiatry blurs these lines badly, and I believe intentionally, such that people are confused between a description (These children all have trouble paying attention in school and get into trouble) and a diagnosis (all children who have trouble paying attention are suffering from a ‘disorder’ called ‘ADHD’ and there is a ‘treatment’ for this condition). Of course, this sells a lot of drugs, but the confusion does a great deal of damage to our society, as it prevents any real attempts to identify the actual causes in individuals, as well as taking perfectly normal behavior (being distracted when bored to death by the school curriculum or process) and making it into a disease state. But when we get as silly as calling something “Oppositional Defiant Disorder” because a person is oppositional and defiant, it should be obvious to any rational person that these “disorders” are absolute irrational nonsense! Might as well say someone picks their nose because they have “Nose Picking Disorder.” It wouldn’t be any less ridiculous.

          Report comment

          • The most frustrating thing is: writing these articles on MIA isn’t having as much of an impact as it should. There’s always a fresh new batch of suicidal, anxious, panicky, hallucinating, delusional, abused individuals that serve as fodder for the mental health profession. It just goes on.

            I wrote several emails to the psychiatry “doctors” I’ve had in the past regarding these things. It mostly falls on deaf ears or if they take the time to respond, it’s only to invalidate and character assassinate. There is no acknowledgement of any harm. They continue business as usual. There need to be tangible life losses for these individuals, felt in their personal lives (the same thing they dish out to us). Nothing else works on them (much less words). I hate going down the path of hurting anyone. But sometimes, there’s no other choice.

            Report comment

          • For my curiosity, because I am struggling to find the appropiate terminology:

            How do you call a partner that is abussive, proxififes other persons, and has commited unindicted felonies/crimes? Clearly just abuser won’t do justice to the description of the behaviours.

            How do you call a mother that is not only self centered, but racist, gravely neglectfull, tried to buy 2 human beings (literally), and comitted some other also unindicted offesnses? Clearly abussive is not fair and prepending “bad” won’t do for that mommy dearest.

            Honestly, it’s just about the terminology.

            Report comment

          • Labeling terms is a very human practice. People come up with words to describe what they observe, and I have no problem with that. It’s the fetishizing of these words into “diagnoses” and “disorders” that upsets me, when the “diagnoses” have no more meaning or validity that saying someone who picks his nose has “excessive digital-nasal insertion disorder.”

            Report comment

        • Defying is loaded in bad associations. Challenging or questioning authority is not only legitimate, sometimes it’s mandatory.

          And in either case, when disobeying legitimate rules or commands, or when excersicing a legitimate or illegitimate questioning even challenge an authority act the conflict resolution requires a third party that is not biased and has a previously established procedure to solve, not deal with, the conflict.

          Sometimes questioning or challenging an authority is necessary to fulfill the order, to comply with the command, even in appealed cases as when there is no way to do what was ordered, or it causes damage to someone not part of the conflict.

          And even defyance is not necessarily a bad thing: I am remembering Rosa Parks, Demetrio Vallejo y Jose Revueltas, at least.

          Sounds not only stigmatizing but social engineering to weed out/down the revolutionaries of tomorrow, that like my examples did not harm a human being by their defyance.

          Report comment

    • Even the “side effects” of medications are stigmatizing: no eye blinking, too much eye blinking, pressured speech, no speech, shuffling walk, parkinsonian gait, muscle rigidity, dropping things, dislalia, dyslexia, difficulty concentrating, abnormal movements, susceptibility, inducibility, indiference, amnesia, confabulation, akathisia, dyskinesia, etc. Even poor salivation or excess salivation…

      Not just the diagnoses, the drugs are stigmatizing when people know what to look for on another, usually because of “personal” experience.

      That provides fuel not only for discrimination but for persecution, and it’s rarely IME explored in a legal clinical setting with informed consent.

      Report comment

    • “The medical community, politicians, and MHA constantly bemoan “The stigma of mental illness” and “discrimination against the mentally ill,” yet seem oblivious to the fact that YOU are the primary perpetrators—not society (which you conveniently use as a fall guy)”

      … and it is the mental health industry and their big Pharma “partners” who are brainwashing and propagandizing the public to believe in their scientifically “invalid” DSM stigmatizations. The “mental health professionals” are capable of defaming a woman to her husband with their DSM “bullshit,” and destroying a marriage.

      https://psychrights.org/2013/130429NIMHTransformingDiagnosis.htm
      https://www.wired.com/2010/12/ff-dsmv/

      But thank God, spewing your DSM lies and propaganda – even via all the mainstream media – can’t necessarily brainwash all that lady’s friends, who actually work with and know her, into believing your stigmatizing DSM lies and propaganda.

      Yet if you think about it, defaming people to their families with “invalid” DSM disorders, to destroy families, shouldn’t actually be considered a “helping profession,” since it is the opposite.

      The scientific fraud based, (in my personal case, Holy Spirit blaspheming), DSM deluded, psychiatric and psychological, et al industries have truly lost their Way, IMHO.

      Report comment

  12. Well written! I’m glad you see pharma and their sheep for who they are now and you’re advocating for many who need it. I contacted NAMI during my severe withdrawals and was treat very cold. They offered zero support and told me if I was suicidal to call 911. I found out years later they are funded by pharma as well as many other organizations, websites, journalists, etc. Over 20+ yrs. not one psych doctor told me I might experience withdrawals switching medications and I didn’t know you could have withdrawals from psych drugs. I’ve endured years of hellish withdrawals.

    Report comment

  13. Another thing is, we are so lucky to have websites like MIA, SurvivingAntidepressants etc. now. I remember in the late 2000s/early 2010s, you had almost nothing like this and the only places around were absolute dirt like crazymeds.com which were basically like an online extension of organisations like NAMI or of mental health wards. They even used to have ads on their website like “dating for the mentally ill” and their goal as stated by their moderator pretty directly was that “the mentally ill stay on their meds”. You could question psychiatry only in the meekest of terms like a pauper and were pressured to be grateful to psychiatrists no matter the level of stupidity in what they say/do.

    It was another level of pathetic. Thank god that online dump does not exist anymore. There are still places like that online though.

    Report comment

    • registeredforthissite,

      In response to your post about psychiatrists not responding to us, not admitting to damage, little progress being made…I hear you 100%.

      I have concluded that psychiatry will not admit to the grave harms they are committing & will never give up their power by choice. It must be dismantled from the outside. African slaves didn’t win their freedom by pleading with their owners to free them. Likewise, psychiatrists will stop enslaving & oppressing patients at their request.

      Speaking your truth to your doctors may be healing, liberating. But, be aware they have a career & an industry to protect. They will never admit guilt & will use any means necessary to protect their interests, including belittling & pathologizing you, making threats, and might even resort to involuntary commitment to silence or punish you for calling them out (I know of many such cases).

      But, like any victim of a crime, psych patients should have the right to tell the perpetrator (doctor) how their actions impacted them.

      “NOBODY IN THE WORLD, NOBODY IN HISTORY, HAS EVER GOTTEN THEIR FREEDOM BY APPEALING TO THE MORAL SENSE OF THE PEOPLE WHO WERE OPPRESSING THEM.” ~ASSATA SHAKUR

      Report comment

  14. Steve McCrea September 9, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    Even the Zen Masters sometimes have to resort to a slap in the face!

    Me:
    Is that from Kung Fu panda? 🙂

    Because I’ve heard hurt the buddha and numb your closed mind to open it to the ethereal and not worry about language, but not that. Not surprising I haven’t heard it though.

    Report comment

  15. I completely agree with you. I have been hurt many times by the “mental health system” in this country. It has done so much damage to me that cannot be undone. These people are not professionals, they are frauds and liars. They harm so many people but they are never held accountable. I have no hope for the future anymore. All I see is darkness

    Report comment

        • I have specialist training and most of my short solo career was as a support physician for diagnosis.

          Basically the problems of medicine to me are compounded and more severe in psychiatry than the rest of medicine. And are way more severe when it comes to human rights, freedom (self determination, thought, speech, privacy, labor, profession, transit, etc).

          I was aware of the withdrawal of medications of low effectivenes compared with old ones because of severe side effects. Better put as complications of treatment, not just side effects.

          Like loosing sight of an eye precisely when using a medication parroted to improve brain blood flow. It caused in a patient close to me the equivalent of a stroke. Prescribed by the cardiologist, not me, but sadly I did not object because lack of info being a new medication.

          But I was not aware until I read anatomy of an epidemic the medication problem was way worse in psychiatry. Just in a more easier to conceal or deny way than in the rest of medicine. E.g., antihypertensives don’t increase blood pressure, medications for diabetes don’t raise blood sugar, but some “sedatives” cause insomnia and “agitation”, some SSRIs cause symptoms of depression like hunger or lack of appetite, insomnia or somnolence. To put it briefly and mildly.

          I was aware of the vagueness and seriously flawed epistemicly psychiatric diagnoses were over 30yrs ago. But I was not aware, until RW’s book that it was way more severe so that rendered psychiatric diagnoses not only useless, but instrumentalized for miss/quoting a KOL: nefarious purposes.

          And I was not aware until I suffered incarceration, covert diagnosis and medication how severe the illegality, at least in my documented case, and harmfull to at least human rights psychiatry really is. To put it mildly. In my case many items of the law were demostrably violated and the responsable authority lied about it. Demostrably so, and that was concealed and covered up by the HR comission in charge of my case.

          I was ignorant, poorly informed, deceived and on the illegal/HR way too hopeful and optimistic, precisely because I lacked knowledge even par reference of such widespread and terrible abuses…

          But thanks to RWs anatomy of an epidemic I could find more information to back up, even extend that dangeroussness pf psychiatry, and for that I will be, as long as I remember, forever grateful.

          And I rarely saw as a GP, briefly but intensive, no more than one case of “psychiatrc” disease. And that person was actually persecuted by a gang of evil doers that even then were widely present in Mexico. Truly “dangerous people”, proably with guns…

          I checked that to safeguard the patient, not just the staff, btw.

          Even if that was before main newspaper reports where bandoleros attacked a hospitals to target a survivor.

          Around some 10yrs ago that was blasted in the front pages of big newspapers with chilling frequency. Not then, it was more a rumor, gossip. Now they target addiction “comunnity” sites.

          Then the DSM-IIIR was in vogue and I did understood the essence of the diagnoses and it’s process, i.e. what to look and ask for, even if I knew the basis of them was sketchy at best. And I never saw someone who met criteria to be diagnosed, or that could not be explained on past experience. Like threats to meeself because previous bad experiences with the health system.

          That usually with care, maturity and understanding was no problem for me. I was more worried, e.g sleepless, by the diseases than the agressions that were not directed at me, but at the system, which I tried to represent as a rural GP.

          That in my informal, intense but brief GP experience, then over 20yrs ago put psychiatric diagnoses at less than 1 in a 1,000 patients I saw, maybe even less so.

          But it’s a nice round number assuming I missed several for the one I described. And I did read and understood the DSM-IIIR even if I was not a psychiatrist. And I used it to look such mythical creatures and never found one convincingly or not explained otherwise, called differential diagnosis.

          So that left in me the impression that psychiatric diseases were rare given the publications of they being “real” and my experience and training. But for the most part that is something I don’t believe, but still clings to me, like Nessie or the Big Foot…

          And preemptively, I can say I was on the top, the top, candidates to psychiatric residenship in my WHOLE country, only to be disencouraged by the abuser apparance, to put it mildly, of my future professors.

          And that exam was crafted in psychiatry and some neurological narrow focus. So that gives weight to my statement that I understood psychiatry best than GPs that were to become psychiatrists, at least that one time, hehe!.

          I was really deceived, naive and ignorant, but I want to see myself as slightly better person just for improving, in large part thanks to MIA.

          Report comment

        • Not only physicians. Previous victims somehow in my intution, hum, learn how to instrumentalize psychiatric care or agression as part of harrasment, mobbing, or other forms of interpersonal violence.

          In mobbing it is well described since the “original” description of mobbing, “Acoso Moral”, in the spanish language since the 90s.

          Instrumentalized like in gaslightning or more recognized proxification, inducing, causing or faking diseases in another person.

          For which there are at least 30 to 60 cases published in adults, probably the tip of the iceberg.

          But it’s well known in child care, particularly by mother physicians, they are the usual suspects. That I read in some not mainstream publication, but maybe there are more articles from prestiguous newspapers/outlets.

          Report comment

          • 27/2017:

            Yes, well, it isn’t surprising. The only time non-psychiatry doctors can understand how miserable psychiatry can get is when they get trapped in it themselves.

            I can’t remember the name of the article on which he posted, but a few years ago there was a psychologist who came in here posting about (if I remember correctly) how his colleagues “diagnosed” him with “bipolar disorder” and the problems it caused him. When I told him he’s probably categorised or supported in categorising possibly 100s of patients in his career with DSM terminology and if he ever thought of what happened to those people and how others might have misused those terms against them, he became panicky and said “I had no control of if and how those terms were misused by people later!”. Basically, he was just doing his job.

            Report comment

  16. This piece is deep written and comes from authentic heart. A great read indeed and sharp razor of realization. I have an opinion view there are many invented mental health diseases that need not appear in “DSMIV” or “DsMXXXIV” for the sake of pushing pharmaceutical businesses over patients health.

    Report comment

  17. I was reading a good article written by “Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD is a psychologist, professor, and Director of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research at Royal Roads University, Canada.”

    It’s an article on the website verywellmind on Cognitive Distortions. It’s a good, useful article, but then it commits the very thing it says is bad:

    “Labeling

    Labeling is a cognitive distortion that involves making a judgment about yourself or someone else as a person, rather than seeing the behavior as something the person did that doesn’t define them as an individual.

    For example, you might label yourself as a failure. You can also label other people as well. You might decide that someone is a jerk because of one interaction and continue to judge them in all future interactions through that lens with no room for redemption.

    You can combat labeling by challenging the accuracy of your assumptions. Look for evidence that counters your negative thoughts. Remind yourself of the difference between opinions and facts.”

    Let me rephrase that:

    “Labeling

    Labeling is a cognitive distortion that involves making a judgment about yourself or someone else as a person, rather than seeing the behavior as something the person did that doesn’t define them as an individual.

    For example, you might label yourself as a Borderline Personality. You can also label other people as well. You might decide that someone is a Narcissistic Personality because of one interaction and continue to judge them in all future interactions through that lens with no room for redemption.

    You can combat labeling by challenging the accuracy of your assumptions. Look for evidence that counters your negative thoughts. Remind yourself of the difference between opinions and facts.”

    Next, later down in the article, she writes:

    Recognize the Effect of Cognitive Distortions

    Cognitive distortions can contribute to poor decisions making, but they can also play a significant role in the onset and maintenance of mental illness and other issues. Such distortions are associated with the following:

    Addiction
    Anxiety, fear, and panic
    Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
    Depression
    Feelings of hopelessness
    Increased risk of suicidal thinking
    Low self-esteem
    Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)
    Poor self-efficacy
    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

    Points 3,8,10 (especially 3,8 i.e. BPD, NPD) defeat the purpose of the otherwise well written article.

    Simply telling your client “Oh no, these labels are just for quick reference, research and insurance purposes, but you are not defined by these labels” does not cut it when you know full-well (even if you try to hide it) what they bring into a person’s life and how others view them. You want to improve people’s mental health by doing exactly that which will deteriorate it, which is ridiculous. Defining them as individuals is what psychiatric categorisations, some more than others, bring into the lives of people.

    Ms. Elizabeth Hartney, please correct the otherwise excellent article so that it does not have BPD, NPD and PTSD anymore. Use plain English. Not that junk. NPD can be replaced with narcissism, PTSD can be replaced with trauma etc.

    P.S. Please note that I have never been categorised with anything like BPD, NPD or PTSD (yet, and hopefully never). It is only for the purposes of explanation that I have used them in the post.

    Report comment

    • Great analysis. If I undestood correctly labeling might not be a cognitive distortion if facts, multiple?, overhelming?, preponderant?, beyond reasonable doubt?, do support cognitivily (!?) a label.

      Extending, the facts have to be behavioural, so the simple narration of the past and even perhaps the present narration of the behaviours won’t pass as fact.

      To not label or not distort the human turned into a pidgeon, whatever said or written is not a fact, beyond it was said or written, no other objectivity to that fact. In order to understand? or observe? things undistorted. That is a thing or a fact?. 🙂

      Perhaps unreal or unrealistic. And for that the observer or understander has to be dextrous in observing behaviour. The human turned pidgeon turned ethologists set free on others in their respective stages on the way to undistorsion. On the way to see real, even if in unrealistic manner.

      Psycohistory. e.g. restrospective forensic psych analysys, in that light without “facts”, undefined in the quote, would turn such field molasses of cognitive distorsions. And I don’t like adding such stuff to my body, let alone my mind.

      Report comment

  18. This makes me glad I use vitamins instead of medications. Shrinks are so shocked that they don’t want to have anything to do with me. Of course it also helps that I’m familiar with psych drugs, so that I know when such shrinks are lying or misrepresenting their practices.

    Report comment

  19. A wonderful read.

    The easiest way to avoid moral injury is to avert one’s eyes from the truth. I imagine your path to giving your resignation was not easy. I applaud your strength in seeing what is, for exactly what it is.

    And I applaud your strength in being willing to name what you have seen and acting according to your conscience. Thankyou for writing this article.

    Report comment

  20. This is the bottom line. The medical model is based on Rockefeller’s influence which is all about PROFIT. In this vile ugly system nature, animals, and humans are machines to be exploited. The rise of the evil drug companies add to its nefarious power. Anyone who hasn’t been living on Uranus this last three insane years must surely by now understand just how evil these criminal drug companies are. They knew–as is proven–that their injections would harm and kill people of the world who have been bribed and forced to take them, and more than one, and yet they DO NOT CARE, because they are de-humanized and only care about profit and the power that brings them. That SAME attitude has been in existence long before this recent plandemic in both general medicine and psychiatry, and we can clearly see they just go on and on and on creating more hell for everyone, and this system MUST be seen for what it is –utterly corrupt– and stopped!!!

    Report comment

LEAVE A REPLY