Mental Disorder Has Roots in Trauma and Inequality, Not Biology


Prescription drugs require verification that they are helpful, not harmful. Considerable data show this is not true for psychiatric drugs. Moreover, in stark contrast to the discoveries by medical researchers of biological causation for many physical illnesses, psychiatric researchers have failed to find physiological or genetic causation for the most diagnosed mental disorders—the anxiety disorders and depression—negating the rationale for the prescription of these drugs. This failure has occurred despite (a) the expenditure by the NIMH of tens of billions of research dollars over this same more than century-long time span in a fruitless search for physical causation of these mental disorders and (b) patients spending tens of billions of dollars annually on these prescriptions.

Illustration: Lonely and sad stands a suffering man in a crowd of people walking by

The science of health care, whether applied to a physical illness or a mental disorder, requires demonstrating a scientific basis for (a) the diagnosis, (b) the explanation of the problem, and (c) the treatment. The data related to these pillars of health care science as they pertain to mental health care are clear cut. There is an absence of medical science behind psychiatric care: Psychiatry’s diagnostic manual (the DSM) has failed to be found valid or reliable; psychiatry’s explanation for mental disorder, the chemical imbalance theory, has failed scientific testing; antidepressant drugs are no more effective than placebo and, unlike placebos, long-term use of these drugs, which is the psychiatric standard of care, is seriously harmful to many.

False psychiatric claims about drug effectiveness and the NIMH’s insistent, but unsupported medical stance conceal the absence of scientific justification for psychiatry’s medicalized care. And this is true for the very studies psychiatry cites to support their practices. Researchers and psychiatric journals misrepresent to doctors the results of outcome studies as confirming psychiatric drugs to be effective when the data, analyzed correctly, show they are no more helpful than placebos, indicating their value to be psychological, not biological. The public is being sold an illusory, commercially lucrative narrative about mental health care. And the media are not reporting the truth even when it is very well documented. Medicalized mental health care has been shown to be of corrupted origin, based on rhetoric not science, and the data show that psychiatric drugs exacerbate more than they alleviate mental disorder.

But we do know better. Considerable scientific evidence points to mental disorder having social/psychological, not biological, causation: the cause being exposure to negative environmental conditions, rather than disease. Trauma—and dysfunctional responses to trauma—are the scientifically substantiated causes of mental disorder. Just as it would be a great mistake to treat a medical problem psychologically, it is a great mistake to treat a psychological problem medically.

Even when physical damage is detected, it is found to originate in that person having been exposed to negative life conditions, not to a disease process. Poverty is a form of trauma. It has been studied as a cause of mental disorder and these studies show how non-medical interventions foster healing, verifying the choice of a psychological, not a biological, intervention even when there are biological markers.

For example, a study published in Nature Neuroscience found that children in low-income families had a 6% smaller brain surface area than children in high-income families. The researchers found that growing up in a stressful environment (poor and unstable homes) led to chromosome damage (a DNA change) that did not occur in children growing up in more advantaged homes. Fortunately, brain size and cognitive ability grow if conditions improve. Environments can be harmful, and they can be enhancing. The authors state, “The brain is incredibly plastic, incredibly able to be molded by experience, especially in childhood. These changes are not immutable.”

Another study, The Great Smoky Mountains Study of Youth, tracked the rate of mental disorder and the personalities of low-income Native Americans in North Carolina over more than a 20-year period. After a casino was built on their reservation, each tribal citizen received an annual payment of $4000. The authors report: “Not only did the extra income appear to lower the instance of behavioral and emotional disorders among the children, but, perhaps even more important, it also boosted two key personality traits that tend to go hand in hand with long-term positive life outcomes. The first is conscientiousness. People who lack it tend to lie, break rules and have trouble paying attention. The second is agreeableness, which leads to a comfort around people and aptness for teamwork. And both are strongly correlated with various forms of later life success and happiness…There are very powerful correlations between conscientiousness and agreeableness and the ability to hold a job, to maintain a steady relationship. The two allow for people to succeed socially and professionally.”

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry corroborated the finding that those children who experience socioeconomic deprivation in childhood show higher rates of psychosis. And again, when these negative conditions are reversed, the incidence of these disorders is drastically reduced; the children become like children who never experienced such negative experiences.

Amplifying the point, a study conducted in Mexico that was published in The Lancet reported that when the income of poor families is supplemented, within 18 months, children’s cognitive skills and language skills significantly improved.

Finally, a study of the consequences of stress on adults in the workplace, published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, found that income disparity—a more subtle person/environment variable than poverty—is associated with increased diagnoses of mental disorder. Women who made less money than their male counterparts were four times more likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and two and a half times more likely to be diagnosed as depressed. When their incomes at least equaled that of men they had significantly reduced diagnoses of anxiety and the same rate of diagnosed depression as men.

As would be expected from these results, studies of treatment effectiveness show psychological treatment to be superior to medical treatment of mental disorder. Outcome studies of relapse following treatment seemingly having ended successfully, show psychotherapy to be superior to drugs in the treatment of depression, the #1 psychiatric diagnosis. Great Britain’s National Institute for Health Care Excellence (NICE) reviewed 124 treatment outcome studies for depression, finding that psychological treatments are superior to drugs, and they become more effective with time. Moreover, NICE’s reviewers found that antidepressants become less effective with time, the negative effect being stronger the longer antidepressants are taken.

Yet despite the compelling evidence that favors a social/psychological, not a biological/medical approach to understanding and treating mental disorder, the prescription of psychiatric drugs remains psychiatry’s treatment of choice. Mental disorder continues to be viewed by psychiatry, the drug companies, other medical practitioners, the media, and the public as being of biological origin. And in full conformity with this scientifically unsupported belief, the NIMH invests relatively few of its research dollars on studies to expand our knowledge of the psychological causation of mental disorder, instead spending heavily on biological research, which continues to produce very little of value. There is no mystery as to why NIMH’s medical bias is failing to advance mental health care.

A double standard exists in health care with respect to adherence to science, definitively dividing the care of physical illness from that of mental disorder. While far from perfect, the record makes clear that medical authorities in their pursuit of the science related to the care of physical illnesses (a) respect and (b) hold themselves accountable to well-established scientific standards. They have enjoyed enormous success as a result, greatly benefiting countless patients. But the record also shows that neither standard is being applied to psychiatric mental health care, with disastrous effects. This is a tragedy, and it should be obvious, but it is not.

The consequences of this failure are well hidden because psychiatry and Big Pharma, who are demonstrably more intent on pursuit of their financial interests than on patient care, are in total control of the narrative. The terrible truth is that conflict of interest, not science, is driving mental health care and millions of people are unwittingly suffering the consequences as victims of this travesty. The bottom line is that mental health care is fundamentally misguided, exacerbating mental disorder more than alleviating it, and neither the authorities, the media, nor the public are holding accountable those who are responsible.


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. While I agree with the author’s criticism of the fallacious, often harmful premises of biologically-oriented psychiatry, from a strictly linguistic point of view I object to his medicalized categorization of states of emotional distress as “mental disorders” that are in need of “treatment.” It is absurd to describe thoughts, emotions, or patterns of behavior in terms of health and sickness except in a purely metaphorical sense. Dr. Thomas Szasz aptly pointed this out decades ago but the intellectual sloppiness and inertia in this field continue to hold sway.
    Nor do I share Dr. Leventhal’s enthusiasm for the supposed benefits of psychological therapy. If the overwhelming majority of clinical psychologists, licensed social workers, and so-called mental health professionals still rely on the scientifically invalid, totally arbitrary DSM categories concocted by a panel of “experts” who more often than not have a morally suspect relationship with pharmaceutical and ECT companies, why should they be credited with superior knowledge and given the authority to pass judgment on the mental fitness of their clients? I see absolutely no justification for this.

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      • Have you suffered from having major depression or any other debilitating illness that impacts functioning ? I do wonder if those who are in staunch opposition to medication have ever suffered any such conditions . Sure other supports are needed in conjunction but I can tell you that medication can saves lives .

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        • Your comments reflect not having read the many testimonies of people here who were diagnosed with “major depression” or “bipolar disorder” or even “schizophrenia” and were treated with drugs for years or decades with really poor outcomes, including a significant number who did far better after they came off the drugs and did other things.

          There are most definitely big medication success stories. There are also disaster stories. Same drugs, same “diagnoses,” very different outcomes. If you really want to understand a site like this, that has to be your starting point. You can’t decide people are ignorant simply because they had different experiences than you. Maybe you should stop and read some of the stories before you assume that no one here has suffered any “mental illnesses” just because they had very different outcomes than you expected to hear?

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          • I agree wholeheartedly. I think Leventhal is assessing this problem through a very narrow lens, and essentially throwing the baby out with the bathwater. No one “cure” fits all, and nature versus nurture is a vitally important factor in assessing treatment plans for those who suffer.

            Having made significant contributions in the arena of helping people identify and understand the etiology and nature of Borderline Personality Disorder (often misdiagnosed as Bipolar Disorder) and helping those who suffer from it (and many who’ve experienced the anguish of having loved a partner with BPD) gain strides with surmounting those (nurture) challenges, temporary medical intervention as an ADJUNCT to solid, emotional growth-oriented intervention can be extremely useful.

            Analogous to this, if someone is in severe chronic physical pain, are they capable of learning or giving their attention to anything else?? Emotional pain has the same distinctly overwhelming effect on us humans. If we cannot raise the floor of a patient’s depression, can they ‘hold,’ integrate and make use of the therapeutic assistance they are receiving?? Hell no. Balancing brain chemistry is often a necessary evil. Let’s not completely discount it.

            The problem millions face isn’t with psychopharmacology in my view, it’s with myriad under-skilled, personality disordered clinicians. Most ‘psychotherapeutic professionals’ are ONLY equipped to lead their clients/patients to insights, but never help them develop emotionally, raise their self-worth and truly heal.

            My mother was schizophrenic. She was diagnosed when I was 7 years old, two years after my parents divorced. She was in and out of mental institutions during most of my childhood. She had numerous bouts of electro-convulsive (shock) therapy and was administered antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs, to help her “function” during times she wasn’t hospitalized.

            If I had known as a young woman what I know NOW about those drugs, I’d have urged her to take them in the evening, as they made her feel listless and groggy. NOBODY feels good, when they can’t get thru their day without wanting to sleep.

            My mom’s struggle combined with years of clinical experience spawned an article I wrote years ago called, ARE YOUR ANTIDEPRESSANTS WORKING FOR YOU, OR AGAINST YOU? I believe it has influenced many doctors in context of being more conservative with respect to initially dosing their patients~ and reassessing, once their level of drug tolerance and efficacy is carefully ascertained. I have for many years believed that in the world of psycho-pharmacology, LESS is more.

            I had my own breakdown at 20, mostly due to fallout from an acutely unstable childhood. I was fortunate enough to land in the home office of a wonderful psychiatrist, who balanced my brain chemistry with anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medication, and knew how to ask the right, probing questions that helped me recover.

            I was with my doctor for 10.5 months before being released from treatment. I credit him with having saved my life, as I’d come to him suicidally depressed. This is an extraordinarily short period of time, given how very broken I was at that juncture.

            I learned a great deal thru that experience, which forged me into the emotionally healthy, contented, self-actualized woman I am today, who is able to identify with and relate to the acute suffering in millions of others who keep searching endlessly for the ‘magic bullet’ they think will bring them happiness~ INCLUDING altering their gender.

            I feel sorry for young folks who will never be as fortunate as I was in finding the kind of responsible, expert help I received that launched me into my journey toward genuine healing and inner peace.

            In my view, 80% of the world’s population has Borderline Personality Disorder traits. It is directly due to a newborn’s inability to form a safe, secure and loving attachment bond (outside the womb) with an emotionally impaired mother. I dedicated my first book, DO YOU LOVE TO BE NEEDED, OR NEED TO BE LOVED? (the quintessential book on Codependency, and flip-side of BPD) in part to my psychiatrist, Dr. Elliot Luby who’s always insisted I’d have become who I am today, even without his help.

            While I can appreciate the kudos, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, it’s not true. Sometimes, we need a launching pad to help propel us into the lion’s share of our wellness journey~ and with unrelenting, tenacious dedication to growing, remaining well and evolving, we can eventually manage to soar.

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        • Studies show that at least half of patients with major depressive disorder, a conservative estimate, do not benefit from antidepressants. I have been on Venlafaxine for almost 30 years with no results. And, one can never “get off” these drugs because the withdrawals are too severe. And even the horrific withdrawal symptoms are virtually unknown to medical doctors or pharmacists. When I was trying to taper off venlafaxine under medical supervision, and having terrible symptoms, a pharmacist told me “you shouldn’t be having those symptoms.” The ignorance and the gaslighting of the medical and pharmaceutical professions is reprehensible.

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          • You CAN taper off venlefaxine, but you need to do it slowly, much more slowly than the recommended textbook taper, and in the lower doses often split open the capsules and take them in applesauce or pudding so you can really taper the doses. I know, I’m on venlefaxine. I know how awful and intense the withdrawals are from when I miss a dose. But it can be done.

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        • Many, many of the most vocal opponents of psychiatry, psychiatric abuse, psychiatric coercion, psychiatric malpractice, psychiatric denial of iatrogenic harm, psychiatric drugging and psychiatric labelling were once psychiatric patients. Survivors of psychiatric abuse are routinely silenced, written off as crazy, non compliant, untreatable, personality disordered malingerers. We are attacked every time we speak out.

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        • That comment sounds fallacious in a different way: I have never experienced a mugging and I am definitively against it.

          I have never given birth to a child, and I am not against it.

          Being in favor or against something, does not necessarily require lived experience, most of the time requires knowledge and arguments that show that knowledge, and definitively lived experience is usefull in that regard: knowledge.

          It also sounds fallacious in the sense it looks like an appeal to emotion and arguing from ignorance: someone felt so bad and after medication felt better. It would be cruel to deny that to anyone, sort of argument.

          Well, ignorance comes from the lack of causalty in improvement. Appeal to emotion depends on that arguing from ignorance to jump, without causality to the claim that it is bad, it feels bad, it looks bad to deny such non-causal improvement to anyone, nonetheless.

          A very big claim without logic to stand upon. Respectfully. And against harms by psychiatric medication, as SM has already argued.

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        • I agree. Even with many years of therapy, effective, healing therapy at that, sometimes the damage done to the brain/nervous system require medication to function as it should. I am also a living example of that. No placebo here- difference is night and day and I don’t need some so called ‘expert’ making such broad claims and putting every case in the same basket- oh your mental disorder (that has caused physical changes in the brain) does not necessitate medication. It all goes back to the whole victim shaming to me- like we need to somehow will our physically damaged brains to heal themselves. Wouldn’t ask or require that of a diabetic/amputee. And yet here we are. Some people just love to hear themselves speak.

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          • May I ask you to define exactly how the brain/nervous system should function as you think it should? Who ought to set the boundaries for the normal functioning of the mind–pharmaceutical companies? Western-trained mental health professionals? Shamans? Anthropologists?
            If you think that the hundreds of disorders arbitrarily created out of whole cloth by the DSN are symptoms of “physically damaged brains,” kindly cite the medical studies that conclusively substantiate your assertion.

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          • Speaking of diabetes and mental disorders is a false analogy: there are biological tests to diagnose and knowledge of what causes diabetes damage: high levels of glucose in the blood, at least.

            There is none of that in the mental disorder arena, psychiatry or clinical psychology.

            As for “require medication to function as it should”, prove it!, prove a given individual has function brainly as it should, not mentally. That’s an equivocation: although the mind depends on the brain, any change of mind does not reflect a “should” of the brain, let alone a “should” in the brain of this person.

            If they could measure brain “dysfunction” in any and all patients, they would meassure that, they would not use psychitatric interviews that DO NOT meassure brain function.

            Prove you are not a placebo case…

            And for each and all alive examples, there are probably more dead examples of how pernicious psychiatry is for a lot of people.

            And not needing an expert somehow means you are better than experts in their own fields: that’s a fallacy of authority…

            And, if privacy, will and confidentiality permits, how did someone meassured your brain damage?. With an MRI?, could you tell us what the objective, biological evidence of your brain damage is?.

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    • The “report comment” feature here is much too UNSPECIFIED unjust dangerous & reckless because I had just MISTAKENLY wished to “report comment” of the immediate above comment as VERY EXCELLENT!!!!! – NOT as a wrongful or offensive comment!!!! So now I feel there SHOULD be a “thumbs up or down” feature to avoid my kind of mistakes!!!! Also there should be required a “reason for reporting” space!!!! I’m 77 with recent devastating stroke & 32yrs devastating TBI-CNS-brain-spine injury-damage…. And so Thank You Very Kindly!!!! Also this is an AMAZING COMMENDABLE EXCELLENT WEBSITE with excellent easy convenient user-features & permissions!!!! Just EXCELLENT!!!!!

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      • I agree, a thumbs up or down would be helpful! It’s nice to be able to comment and time to edit as well! It’s about time for a forum like this now after a decade of these meds caused my 38-year old son’s severe weight gain, worse MI and Atrial Fibrillation that stopped his heart bringing him sudden death! Medical “experts” deny his increased phobias, OCD, panic & arrhythmia were exacerbated & caused by the meds, despite all the side effect documentations!

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        • I disagree, that sort of procedure leads to a ranking of opinions, which is contrary to the spirit of every opinion is valuable.

          And it leads to bad incentives to be very thumbs up for some people, and very thumbs down for internet trolls. That’s something harming teenagers on social media: no one thumbed me up, or I got a lot of thumbs down.

          Or worse: no one did either.

          So to me, it would be a terrible idea, very harmfull for such relatively open opinion place at MIA, and the community commenting and reading comments.

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    • I agree that a reaction to the results of trauma and the economic inequities, while distressing, painful, and potentially continually life “interfering” are normal reactions. Those suffering the above consequences of abuse and ARE “traumatized” because of their reactions to specific reminders of their trauma. This trauma reaction happens on a physiological level which impacts emotions and thinking.

      We cannot ask a population or person to sacrifice their wellness because of our previous ignorance of the human system. And if we understand how pharma and medicine previously and ignorantly sought to erase what our brains and bodies could not, we can certainly understand and learn how to rehabilitate those with trauma- as we do with other serious physical injuries.

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      • So, how does one pass from “normal reactions”, to being ‘“traumatized” because of their reactions to specific reminders of their trauma.’?.

        At what point the normal becomes at least abnormal?. How does that work causaly? not merely correlationaly or explanatorily?.

        In medicine a normal reaction to heat or cold is not traumatic in the medical sense of the word, despite there is cell damage and “injury”chemicals on that exposure. But frost bites and burns definitively are traumatic.

        Is there a model of psychological, uuugh, trauma, that explains that at least as good as medicine does explain burns and frost bites?. Or is that another analogy like insulin for diabetes for mental disorders?.

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      • I agree. As a Social Worker myself for many years, I have seen mental health care deteriorate over the years. The field is erroneously controlled by the insurance companies. As providers, we are forced to provide a diagnosis after just 1 session using the current DSM 5 which is vastly flaud as were previous editions. The DSM manuals pathologize persons symptoms, and do not take into account the impact of deprivation, trauma, environmetal causes ,etc. This allows psychiatry, insurance companies, and big Pharma to rake in massive profits while failing to genuinely help people. Also many mental health providers are fed up with the control of the insurance companies and now refuse to take insurance and expect clients to self pay. That works fine for people who can afford to pay, but leaves many many people unable to access care .. this should not be the norm. Psychiatry used to predominantly offer psychotherapy and not so much on madication. Unfortunately, psychiatry has sold out to insurance companies. Many no longer provide therapy and are simply only providing what is termed as medication ‘management’ The field of providing genuine, non medication emphasized mental health care is disappearing. Many folks are unable to get help that is focused are the client’s needs, rather, than feeding the coffers of insurance companies. I am proud and privileged to be a Social Worker, I honor my clients life narratives and their courage to heal and putting their trust in me. I offer low sliding scales to folks who dont have insurance. A wise mentor once told me the cure for mental health concerns is in the relationship with the therapist, not medication management. The insurance companies and psychiatry have failed to know this. I do want to acknowledge the contributions of those who buck this flawed system. Myself and many providers are in the trenches helping as best we can within a flawed system.

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        • Does mental health improve over the years?.

          I’ve read somewhere, sometime, some older folks can actually feel better than when younger, at least sexually, they enjoy it more at greater ages…

          So saying something gets worse with time, is incomplete if it can be better for some others. And maybe misleading.

          Some MIA posters and commenters report an improvement in well-feeeling, not well-being necessarily, years after abandoning carefully their med treatments…

          So time, and treatment are not causally related, except for harm, that does seem to increase with psychiatric medication, and with their longer and higher use.

          As many articles have shown here at MIA.

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      • Yes. As I am grateful for the drugs that help me live with an autoimmune disorder with less pain.(Disease) Or who gave me pain meds when I shattered my leg (trauma).

        This author reminds me of Thomas Szaz.

        I think there is a fallacy in thinking there is no common treatment between disease trauma.

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        • That sounds like a fallacy of equivocation: confusing medical treatment with psychiatric treatment.

          Psychiatry is not real medicine, it has no pathology, no physiopathology, no biochemistry, no genetics and therefore no clinical science and no pharmacotherapy.

          Medicine progressed on the footing, the bases of anatomy, physiology, histology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, etc. And none of that has been usefull to psychiatry in more than 200yrs.

          When it was, as in the general paralysis of the insane or Alzheimers disease, those diseases became part of neurology and infectology, they stopped being psychiatry.

          Psychiatry strictly speaking deals in peddling treatments for the unknown, like astrology, divination, chiromancy and the like. It is pseudoscientific.

          And Thomas Szaszas was spot on on that: psychiatry is pseudoscientifc. Just because the horoscope feels, even looks accurate does not make it so.

          That ‘s at least a confirmation bias. Causality requires proof, and psychiatry has none of that. Specially when it comes to interventions, not mere correlations.

          That’s basic statistical science, and psychiatry is even against that when it comes to causality in psychiatric interventions. It is not only pseudoscientific, it’s againts at least statistical science.

          Read it, I invite you, what is the difference between correlation and causality when it comes to interventions?. Then read what is the causality of psychiatric medications: the insulin for diabetes, the serotonine imbalance, the dopamine psychosis speculation,the lithium for bipolarity (that’s the most egregious example of lack of causality).

          All of that, all those called models even, uggh, “theories”, not even hypotheses, collapsed under the weight of bad science.

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          • Have you seen the work of William Walsh, depression biotypes? You can find his papers on google, mensah medical follows his clinical protocols, a lifetime of research and consistently better clinical outcomes than meds or therapy alone. There is data, it’s just ignored by the cartels.

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          • It’s true that there are no real developments in psychiatry for the last several centuries. It is behind medicine by several centuries despite the “hype”. Psychiatry is all trial and error but those errors can be really damaging.
            Therefore mental “illness” has greatly increased as the population off the world has increased. And there is little hope in sight because the people who have the power to change this situation have no intention of doing so because they would have to admit that their power is based on erroneous beliefs about mental “illness”.

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        • On another thread:

          The almost 90,000 deaths by opioids overdoses each year in the US were CAUSED by innapropiate, harmfull opiod prescriptions by their physicians.

          So, some meds causing well-feeling needs to be balanced against harm by meds.

          That’s what MIA has shown for psychiatry: psychiatric meds cause more harm than benefit. And the benefit for many psychiatric drugs is not even meassurable, according to published research, in a medical or psychiatric office.

          The improvement in scales for meassuring depression, for instance, or for abnormal movement disorders caused by neuroleptics, as another example, are just too small to be meassured by practitioners.

          Measuring that statistically significant improvement, that is not clinical visible, requires way more than 1 patient in a practitioners office.

          And that way of thinking of medications utility was abandoned for control clinical trials precisely because several practitioners, even patients, claiming that they got better with a particular chemical, not a “medication”, was not only false, but harmfull, as with thalidomide and many others: amphetamines and cocaine for “depression”, barbiturates for “anxiety”, and etcetera…

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      • I’m with you, Helen. Saved my life. I avoided taking anxiety meds for decades and relied on therapy, exercise, journaling, yoga, all trauma informed care, and things did get better. But it is simply a fact that once I decided to add an anxiety med into the mix I could finally appreciate how completely my anxiety had impacted every aspect of my life. The meds took the edge off and I could finally FEEL the difference. All the work I’d done before the meds finally paid off. Anyway, the meds do some good. I’m grateful. And I am glad you posted to that effect.

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        • Your comment, respectfully reminds me of the commercials of the Marlboro man and the poster gal of Prozac.

          Without denying something made you feel better, both refered individuals at some point in their lives, their careers, promoted tobacco and fluoxetine, to latter have great regrets not only of using them, but for promoting them.

          There are several MIA narratives, some by psychaitrists nonetheless, of harms by mere antidepressants.

          A recent retelling is Dr Peter Gordon’s in:

          So, as an analogy, even people in harmfull cults do recruit people and promote the cult as a positive thing.

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        • I agree Ren, it’s hard to understand why others would feel so strongly against a person deciding for themselves how to improve the quality of their life.

          I have C-PTSD from sever child sexual abuse, OCD as well, and other disorders.

          I have worked extremely hard in therapy and have also improved tremendously.

          And yet, my brain continued to loop and loop.

          I finally gave in to medication and my quality of life improved.

          What merit is there to stay away from medication if the harm of medications is less than the harm of not being assisted with a medication.

          I’m not some weak person who cannot ‘do the work’ to overcome my brain damage through effort. No, I dimply have to give my brain the support it needs through medication, (which is not evil), because the damage is too great to fix without it at this time.

          And that is with multiple rounds of emdr therapy which is the gold standard treatment for ptsd. With a very capable therapist.

          My quality of life is light years better now.

          Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with assisting your brain with medication. You have to decide what’s best for your and I’m happy your choice is leading you to have a better quality of life. Take care.

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          • I’m not against people deciding for themselves how to improve their quality of life. What I object to is people not being adequately informed about the very real possibility of being iatrogenic harmed and/or experiencing significant withdrawal effects from the psychiatric drugs their doctors prescribe.

            I also believe these types of drugs are way overprescribed.

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          • “I agree Ren, it’s hard to understand why others would feel so strongly against a person deciding for themselves how to improve the quality of their life”

            If you think people should be able to decide for themselves how to improve the quality of their life then you think people should be able to reject DSM diagnoses, reject psych drugs, reject ECT, reject forced treatment. Do you?

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          • “What merit is there to stay away from medication if the harm of medications is less than the harm of not being assisted with a medication[?].” for you, that does not mean for EVERYONE else.

            Trying to claim it will be the same for everyone else is actually the opposite of what MIA has shown.

            Respectifully and appreciative of your stated background.

            “Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with assisting your brain with medication.”, that sounds to me an irresponsible claim: you are not qualified to tell ANYONE they won’t be “wrong” with ANY medication and/or it will assist their brain in that SO general way.

            Are you an MD, a RN or a physician assitant in an approved facility consulting as a professional to ANYONE to claim to ANYONE that WILL be the case?.

            Are you a recognized, qualified expert to claim thus so brazzenly?. You have a PhD in medication “not wrongness” and or brain utility?.

            Freedom of opinion comes with responsability with EXPRESSING that opinion, mind you.

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      • I was a psychiatric nurse for 35 years, and I am bipolar. Many, many of the people I saw had horrific histories of trauma, and I agree 100% that this needs to be addressed with people. However, when working with schizophrenic people, psychology isn’t useful at all. You can’t do talk therapy with a delusional person – you CAN, but it isn’t going to help. In my experience it only exacerbates the problem.
        When this same population has been properly treated with medication, case management, and groups, they DO become amenable to talk therapy. They can think now.
        Me personally? Thank god for these meds I’m taking. I went through a years long, sometimes suicidal depression. My doctors with help from a therapist changed my life.
        Tried talk therapy for years – it didn’t work until I finally agreed to take medication.
        Before that? I couldn’t think, I was just wasting time.
        Until we look at the needs of a WHOLE person, we can’t help him using half measures.

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        • “Many, many of the people I saw had horrific histories of trauma, and I agree 100% that this needs to be addressed with people.”, that sounds falacious because I am sure you have not seen many people who were not your psychiatric patients who also have horrific stories of “trauma”. Or how many have you seen like that?. How many horrifically traumatized indivuals have you met who are not psychiatrically diseased?.

          I bet a lot of MIAsers could, if allowed and safe, raise their hands, me included, and say: “me!, Me!,and me too!”.

          “However, when working with schizophrenic people, psychology isn’t useful at all.” strongly disagree, there are several articles here at MIA about the benefit of peer respites and Soteria houses. And some psy-talk apparently beneficial, the latest I think the IFS thingy…

          “schzophrenic people”, I don’t need to remind you is a derogatory term that no health care worker, even a former one should use. That speaks volumes of the care provided by the proferer of such terminology. Just the spite it reflects is off putting.

          Now, if your experience is better than the published articles about the value of what you questioned, without diminshing your expertise, please publish it in a peer reviewed article and get it incorporated into the DSM. Then perhaps send a notice to MIA to be reviewed.

          Because what MIA reviewed claims exactly the opposite you are claiming, exactly the opposite.

          Actually, antidepressants make people less amenable, they derive less benefit from psychotherapy. I know your claim is about serious mental illness, but that specific claim falls pray to prejudice: it the nurse or the therapist believes psychotherapy won’t be beneficial until the patient takes his or her meds, psychotherapy won’t be useful. Just because the therapist and support personel believe that.

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      • I am gratefull that many people are not prescribed, and even are resistant to be prescribed psychiatric medications. That probably will save more lives than an exponential amount of claims of live saving psychiatric treatments.

        My comment is probably even a scientific fact.

        Just the increase in prescriptions over decades that parallels the increased “mentally disordered” number of individuals, and the awefull increase in “mentally disordered” on “mental” disability ones, strongly argues for MY claim. And the paralleled increase in claimants of benefits of such “practices” does not negate, even argue against that evidence, against that reality.

        Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if its not their own strictly speaking, but not their own facts. And none should feel confident to use one or the other to argue for harm against another. Specially “for their own benefit”, even if it’s only implied, only to be infered, like a commercial: “I benefited from Cymbalta!”.

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    • If a person has emotional distress & behavior disorders caused by depression & anxiety, isn’t that an illness or disorder? The psychologists & social workers my adopted son saw tried to help him get off the drugs by talking to his arrogant psychiatrists to say the meds were making him worse. They stuck to the bipolar diagnosis (from a 20 minute assessment) that one psychiatrist labeled him with (and another with ADHD). Only Mayo Clinic deferred from this, explaining (as we suspected) that his depression & anxiety mimicked the lows & highs of bipolar. But even the psych doc who sent him there said he disagrees with Mayo. As I said many times, his behaviors were understandable given the circumstances at the time. The other odd behaviors were not i

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      • I got timed out replying to Joel Stern. I believe “emotional distress” that causes unhealthy behavior patterns does qualify as a disorder or illness that needs treatment, the sooner the better. Psychologists & social workers treating my adopted son, often approached his psychiatrists to report that his prescribed meds are not working, and that he wants to be weaned off the meds. My son was afraid to say this to the doctors faces. All doctors denied the request, even saying they would refuse treatment if he doesn’t follow their directions and take his meds as prescribed. My son had to stay the course because there were no other psychiatrists in the area, accepting new patients on Medicaid.

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        • Behavior cannot be properly described as sick or healthy unless it stems from a verifiable pathological condition. Otherwise, it is solely a medicalized metaphor for approved or disapproved conduct in a particular sociocultural context at a given moment in time.
          Prior to 1973, for example, homosexuality was universally regarded as blatant pathology requiring some form of treatment (often electroshock). Then, by majority vote, the APA removed it from its catalog of disorders. What, may I ask, was the scientifically valid basis for this decision? And what were the criteria for incorporating prolonged mourning as a disorder in the DSM-5, when it is patently obvious to any student of anthropology that the duration and rites of mourning are determined by a specific cultural milieu?
          Psychiatry, as Dr. Thomas Szasz rightly pointed out, is a means of social control of individuals whose behavior or thinking is inconvenient to those around them. This has nothing to do with genuine science or medicine, which ought to be based on universally applicable methods of experimentation and verification.

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          • Replying to comments on Szasz on psychiatry etc:
            Before there were psych drugs, there was (and still is) alcohol, as well as various street drugs and so forth. People have been “self-medicating” “mental disorders” for all of recorded history. It’s cute to dismiss psychiatry as social control, but the fact is that most people suffering emotionally/who are “mentally ill” will self-medicate in some way if they are not given a pill option (which many are eager to take).
            Soteria is possibly wonderful (I personally have no clue) but it is hardly feasible for the millions and millions of people who probably really do need a respite from life. So the rest of us, the unprivileged if you will, are left with drink, drugs, or pills. It really is usually that choice to be made.

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          • To Judy December 11, 2023 at 8:43 am

            And saddly, probably the long term results might be better for some, not all, with the usuals: coffee, nicotine, put a thing here, etc., than with psychiatric medications. So much non-progress for psychiatry to claim…

            People in the past used to go under the influence to work.

            Even the ancient greeks when working in agriculture carried a portion of wine to their fields, every day, I think including sundays. Mo to Su…

            Many ancient greek philosophers during regular symposia drank wine diluted with water and many lived to great ages, as per the standards of those ages.

            Granted, they didn’t suffer the subway and it’s muggins, but some like Socrates went to war, not with a drone, but with sword and shield.

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        • What if part of life is unhealthy?.

          Philosophically, perhaps even scientifically, life causes death.

          Philosophically, is life an illness because it causes death?.

          Life is for death a sine qua non, without life there is no death. That is in logical terms, causality. If Life then Death, if A then B. Ironically, that statement, that logical claim, lacks scientific causality. 🙂

          It’s an empirical observation that can be infered from simple logic. We don’t know why all life must perish at some point. Science has not reach that knowledge yet. As it has not achieved usefull enough knowledge about mental disorders.

          Mere correlations about what could be a mental disorder, and what could cause it. No strong, even acceptable claim of what benefits a sufferer, at best. Psychiatry is full of hatred, bigotry, ignorance, prejudice and ill-will towards patients and their relatives.

          I think I am cognizant you probably are looking for more concrete help, even sympathy for your son’s predicament, and therefore yours.

          Sorry all I can provide you is skepticism about psychiatry and it’s claims.

          And just to be safe, psychiatric medications cannot/should not be withdrawn suddenly…

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        • I meant a few of his psychiatrists (different areas and clinic & hospital) said they would refuse him as a patient if he doesn’t follow their treatment plan by taking the meds they prescribed (even though he wanted to wean off them entirely.)

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      • The key word is “caused”.

        “If a person has emotional distress & behavior disorders CAUSED by depression & anxiety, isn’t that an illness or disorder? ”

        There is no causality in psychiatry. There can’t be in the scientific sense given there are no beyond doubt facts, falsifiable, empirical, generalizable, predicting, that constitute what is called a Scientific Theory.

        Psychiatry has no scientific theories to make claims, scientific claims about mental disorders, let alone about the benefit of their interventions.

        Psychiatry has not even hypotheses, those are deduced or infered from the theory, the scientific theory. Scientific hypothesis are not hunches, guesses or speculations.

        They are formal, logical deductions that make predictions about observations in the real world, not in the mind of anyone*, FROM the scientific theory and the observations of the natural phenomena that scientists try to explain, predict or control.

        Psychiatry only has observable behaviours, that as per the DSM itself cannot be distingushed from normal behaviours, even if and when taking into account their severity.

        See, if you like and find usefull my comments in:

        To be empirical in the modern, 20th century sense, you need Scientific Theories to design, conduct and interpret experiments. Why?, because otherwise an experiment would test the empirical model (not a theory, a theory is beyond doubt), the experimental hypothesis and the experimental methodology (that has to be tested and infered from the theory too!, before doing experiments to test hypotheses that is).

        Testing three things at the same time, when in Science only the hypothesis is to be tested in a given experiment, in real science that’s difficult enough!.

        And that’s why physics, mathematics (although not empirical), chemistry and the theory of evolution have not changed much, significantly? in over 100yrs. Because they are based on facts and experimental methodology, beyond doubt. Way unlike psychiatry and clinical psychology that have hundreds of beliefs about how the subjective world of the mind works. Like religion and philosophy. Without demeriting those, just they are not scientific.

        *The mind of humans belong to the realm of the subjective, not the objective, that is, the human mind, at the present development of science is not a part of the scientific reality. There is no mind microscope, no mind weighting scale, etc. As the same APA claims objective things are. No objectivity to mind, no science. Two people trained to agree, as psychiatrists are, are behaving intersubjectively, not objectively. Even the mind as a computer is a black box, a Chinese Room at best speculation. And a Chinese Room thought experiment has no explanatory power, and no causality. And the inner workings of a black box cannot be deduced from trillions of experiments done on it, mathematical fact.

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    • Actually it’s a whole body individual approach.
      This article is garbage. In some cases meds are needed And psychotherapy. I am a positive example. I trust my Drs and my intensive precise therapy like DBT or CBT.
      Just sitting with a therapist talking doesn’t help either. It must be structured with goals.
      Again, this article is biased against psych meds and completely garbage.
      I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t so. Talk to your health care professionals. Also, meds aren’t forever and aren’t miracles but an approach to whole health. Mind, Spirit, body.

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      • Do you have any scientific, or mere empirical evidence, published, for the implied promotion of the need and benefit of medication with psychotherapy for someone else besides you?.

        I could not unnotice you did not say “In my case I needed meds and psychotherapy”. The phrasing of your comment sounds like advertising and MIA does not accept that, as far as I understand the terms of service and rules of commenting. “Free of adds” kind of thing. It’s in the landing page.

        “Just sitting with a therapist talking doesn’t help either.” , is not phrased as “Just sitting with MY therapist talking did not help ME either”, sounds promotional/advertising to me too.

        “I trust my Drs and my intensive precise therapy like DBT or CBT.”, I don’t find that objectionable. “I do not trust your therapists or Drs”, has equal weight and equal presented evidence as your phrasing.

        “I don’t find precise the claim that ANY psychotherapy has ANY precision at all”, is equally valid and has the same presented evidence for it.

        If you were an expert at evaluating therapists, your claim might be authoritiative. Are you an authority in evaluating the effectivenes of therapists and Drs?. Otherwise it might sound deceitfull, even if ostensible, out of context, comes out as a personal opinion based from personal experience.

        But in the aggregate, to me, sounds a little deceitfull, and perhaps ill-willed, since your second paragraph starts with : “This article is garbage.”.

        “Again, this article is biased against psych meds and completely garbage.” to me this article sounds not like complete garbage, it sounds a counterpoint from an EXPERT. Are you an expert in garbage articles?. or an expert in psych meds?.

        I am not picking on you or your comments, I am questioning the phrasing that sounds offensive and promotional of something you will not be responsible if it goes wrong for other people if they accept what you appear to be recommending. It sounds to me at least reckless, again if out context, each sentence seems like a personal opinion…

        I am sure you will not be responsible for the crimes commited by a person under the spell of SSRI induced akathisia, or the suicidality induced by SSRIs. I feel the need to point out that clearly enough, since going to just “talk” to a psychiatrist for many people never provided the opportunity to be aware of those facts, those risks and those harms, even if at some point were plastered all over the news.

        “Talk to your health care professionals.”, now that sounds like a safe statement, but if you read the lives and narratives of many MIAsers would you recommend anyone, as your comment seems to do, to talk to a psychiatrist?.

        I am gratefull you are still here no matter what. I completely agree with that.

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    • You can argue this point about “disorder” until you are blue in the face. It will not change the fact that bad things happen to some people that they wish would go away.

      If you think there is no way to help such persons, that’s your right to have that opinion.

      But I beg to differ.

      That doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be better to “handle” a lot of people with “mental distress” by just leaving them alone. But not all of them WANT to be left alone. They wish whatever is tormenting them would leave them alone!

      There ARE workable therapies. Most psychologists and psychiatrists know nothing about them and would try to discredit them if they did. The whole field has become sick due to its own ineptness. That doesn’t mean that the basic purpose and intention of the subject is invalid.

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      • Would you mind listing the “workable” therapies you have in mind, as well as the verifiable data and findings for their efficacy?
        Unlike you, I do believe that the basic goals and intentions of the mental health industry ARE invalid, since the very concepts of mental illness and normality underlying its treatments (e.g. Primal Therapy, ECT, administration of brain-disabling neurotoxins, NLT, bioenergetics, transcranial magnetic stimulation, etc. etc.) are based on hypotheses that have yet to prove their universal validity and applicability. In the absence of any universally recognized criteria and standards, the worth of any supposed therapy can only be a matter of sheer haphazard speculation.

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    • Nature or Nurture is the age old question about mental health challenges, isn’t it? I personally have experienced a mental health challenge that displaced me from the work force when I was 45 yrs old (22 years ago), during the peak and prime of my career, which then set me upon a journey towards recovery. Additionally, it was also a search as to why I broke down and couldn’t physically function. More importantly, to answer for myself if it was nature or nurture. Long story short, I find out that I had several relatives (Aunts and cousins, etc) that dealt with the same malady for decades of which, due to the mid 50`s and early 60`s shame mentality, was kept secret from multiple family lines. Here is my conclusion : after 20 years being in a peer led support group, reading books about my mental health challenge, researching the “hidden secret” about my mentally ill relatives, consulting others dealing with it, seeking psychiatric help and counseling, taking medication, dietary changes, soul searching the spiritual aspects of my condition, etc…basically an eclectic approach to recovery (“Leave no stone unturned”), its biological. The ignorance and stigma of so many people towards mental illness is why people aren’t getting better or don’t seek help. Those who have healthy brains have no problem looking at a “retatrded” person and conclude, obviously, that such a person is profoundly handicapped mentally….but can’t conclude that a person with mental illness, who appears physically fine, has an organ in their body (which happens to be their brain) that doesn’t function properly. Yet that same person sees no problem with accepting the validity of any other diseases (diabetes, cancer, etc), that just happen to be a different organ, that also affect human health. And I won’t go into the religious stigma, although I am a devout Christian and that was a separate journey for answers, but I want people to understand that mental health challenges are a medical issue and should be addressed as such. Read “Twins and What They Tell Us About Who We Are” by Lawrence Wright. In it is the story about two females, identical twins, separated at birth. One went to an economically challenged family and the other to a wealthy family. Both were later diagnosed with Schizophrenia. The former in her teens and the latter in her late twenties. I leave everyone with this when the Master was asked about the blind man…”Master, who sinned, this man or his parents….?” He responded, “Neither…He was born blind…”

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    • I would like to know the authors opinion of the breakthrough pharmaceutical/therapy approach to trauma, and overcoming it, that involves ketamine and/or psylicybem(sp?) Mushrooms to overcome it? The results of THOSE pharmaceutical therapies speak for themselves…

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      • Could you please cite the specific sources corroborating your sweeping assertion that the results of ketamine and psychedelic mushroom therapies “speak for themselves?” Do these alleged panaceas have any harmful side effects over the long term? Have there been any large-scale studies been conducted to assess their efficacy as compared with other treatments?

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    • I agree with your views about psychologists. As long as psychology is described as a science then the outmoded and useless terms of psychiatry/ psychology will continue. Psychological states exist but they cannot be correlated to physical/chemical causes even though they might produce physical/chemical events. Psychology and psychotherapy are not scientific nor should they be. They are far more than that. They involve human understanding which is an art.

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    • You misunderstand the work that mental health professionals like myself do. I do “psychological therapy” and trust me, generational trauma is a thing, and that is to some extreme grounded i biology. I also have no relationship to pharmaceutical companies whatsoever. I do no prescribe.

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  2. The irony present within this article, is that the author addresses a problem which is very real, while also ignoring the reality that therapy is prohibitively expensive for a large portion of the population most at risk for the issues addressed. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), is the “gold standard” for treating depression, but is limited in it’s efficacy for treating other likely occuring co-morbidities. From my personal experience with trauma, and childhood trauma, co-morbide diagnosis are often present. Here I offer a resource for people who may not have the financial resources to go to therapy, but still want help. ACT (acceptance commitment therapy, and pronounced act, not aye, cee, tee), has been shown to treat depression, anxiety, panic disorder, substance abuse, substance addiction, behavior addiction, and (OCD) obsessive compulsive disorders, and phobias. I have also found it helpful with PTSD symptoms. ACT skills can be learned independent of a therapist. Two resources which are incredibly useful are books by Stephen C. Hayes, the creator of ACT therapy. The first book, “A Liberated Mind,” provides an essential overview, of how and why the ACT therapy works, while also teaching the tools, and providing case studies, and helpful narrative explaining how this therapeutic modality increases psychological flexibility. This book is available in printed form, and also as an audiobook on audible, or may be accessed through Libby or Overdrive, both apps which pair with your local libraries online resources. The second resource is a work book, “Get out of your mind, and into your life,” which walks you through the ACT process much like you would experience it, if you actually worked with a therapist. Both resources may be purchased online for a fraction of the cost which a single therapy session would typically run. Having had mixed experiences in therapy, these resources have been personally life saving.

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    • From a layperson non economist, the fact that psychotherapy is not available for the masses speaks of its uslessness and lack of return on investment. It’s not worth paying for…

      If psychotherapy were beneficial for half the population imputed suffering daily disability in their lives because of mental disorders, the other half of the population would be providing it. Simple economic incentives.

      Fast food, automoviles, radio, cinema, television are available for the masses because they are beneficial or people were willing to pay for it. They were made cheap enough precisely because the masses find them beneficial enough to pay for them long enough for its prices, it’s costs, reach the bare minimum of profit for corporations.

      So much so that investing in other industries, oil, banking, manufacture, clothing, etc., provides the same profit as in any field, on average. That’s called an efficient at equilibrium market. Psychotherapy is way off efficiency and equilibrium, it’s a niche economic activity as contract killing or drug trafficking… barely legal in many economies.

      No sane industry would provide a barrier to access to the mass market when there is profit to be made.

      Psychotherapy is expensive not because it is rarely available. It is rarely available because it is useless, there are no incentives to bring it to the masses as fast food, tobacco, alcohol and the like. And all of those are harmfull!. That speaks volumes about the “uselessness” of psychotherapy when viewed through the lens of it’s scarcity for the masses. Looks like a status symbol, a luxury, with no benefit, no joy for the masses if peddled to them. Like the value of diamonds in the desert when extremely thirsty.

      It is expensive because it is also artificially made expensive to protect the share in the market of those who teach psychotherapy. Any entepreneur that could provide it cheaper would have done so as social media cheapened advertising for a lot of bussinesses.

      And even psychotherapists, before the pandemic, were not making a return on their career/education investments!. If demand were that strong, psychotherapists would be driving Lamborghinis, would be hiring other more junior therapists to do their biding, not toiling and barely making a living by trying to “help” people, or make them “feel better”.

      There are attempts to provide virtual therapy, but that has caused, apparently more harm, than classical, “in the office” psychotherapy, so that might be not only more useless, but more harmfull. Any entrepeneur attempting it risks loosing more money than invested and probably jail time.

      To sum up: the market for psychotherapy would look very different if it had any value worth paying for the masses. Tobacco, alcohol, firearms and illegal drugs are huge markets, are way too cheap, their taxes compared to other merchandises are huge!, precisely to restrict it’s availability, and are damn right harmfull.

      How come psychotherapy if usefull is not?. Just because it cannot be automated?. “Let’s get cereal”. It is/has not been automated because it is useless, no corporation probably will benefit even from trying that: they will blow, proably, at the unicon stage.

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  3. Hi Allan

    As a clinical psychologist you are certainly aware that (psychological) trauma is a psychiatric concept and denotes possible effects of violence and neglect onto the human soul (psyche).

    Therefore it is nonsensical to base trauma at the root of bad health. What you rather want to say, I suppose, is that violence and oppression are a cause of people experiencing psychic distress.

    What possibly comes as a relief: Everyone outside of psychiatry, the normal people, atcually know about that fact because they observe that link themselves everyday. It’s mainly the medical doctors and their ancillary disciplines like clinical psychology who have trained themselves out of that intuition somehow.

    The reason why I object that you translate political problems into the clinical language of conventional medicine and call it trauma is because it rather serves to disguise political power imbalances and abuse in our societies at large than to bring it to our awareness.

    What’s at the root of many health problems are political problems of violence and injustice. What would be really a step forward in the discourse of clinical psychology and psychiatry in my view is when you stopped to do trauma politics within the psychiatric diagnostic manual and instead repoliticize yourself as clinicians and citizens.

    What you are probably not aware of is that trauma psychotherapy doesn’t work. As a person who has survived years and years of violence, neglect and oppression by my family and psychiatric-traumapsychotherapeutic abuse and quackery for almost four decades and has done so with yoga, Bhuddhist mindfulness teachings, peer support and wellness-recovery-action-planning (Copeland Center) I can tell you that trauma approaches to psychiatry are even more ineffective and harmful as many of the psychotherapeutic strategies that were developed before the trauma turn of the psy-disciplines.

    See also Bessel van der Kolk’s 40 years overview on the research on trauma psychotherapy in The Body Keeps the Score, 2014, showing that it is in sum useless.

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    • “The reason why I object that you translate political problems into the clinical language of conventional medicine and call it trauma is because it rather serves to disguise politics power imbalances and abuse in our societies at large rather than bring it to our awareness.”

      YES!!! Translating emotional problems into medical language is EXACTLY how psychiatry and “clinical psychology” keep getting away with blaming and charging people money for being negatively affected by political/social/relational problems, the biggest one being the so-called “mental health” system.

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    • I think if insurances would provide more coverage for therapy, and patients got a combination of CBT, Somatic and ACT, on a regular basis for as long as needed (like med treatment) therapy would be more successful.

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      • Actually, Bessel van der Kolk in his 40 years overview on the research into the effectiveness of psychotherapy for “trauma” – I hate the term – that I cited above shows that it is very conducive to wellness and recovery to see a mediocre yoga teacher 3-4 times a week and on the other hand that it leads to nothing but chronicfication of one’s mental and emotional suffering when one receives the support of a whole team of well-trained, experienced, and well-intentioned psychotherapists of whatever denomination.

        Also I can recommend to read David J. Morris’ The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He comes to just the same conclusions. But as someone who has experienced acts of war as a journalist in Iraq and then slowly developed the symptoms of PTSD that then were only worsened in trauma oriented psychotherapy he understands and explains best what’s the real link between experiencing violent events and later on gradually develop chronic challenges to one’s emotional well-being. Because if you have that understanding you also realise why the support of the professionals from the mental health field is not helpful.

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        • Trauma, if you look at the ordinary definition of the word, is very expressive as used in the term post traumatic stress disorder. As someone who has had complex PTSD for 45 years, I can attest that is one thing the medical and psychological community have down pat. I am unsure as to why you dislike the term “trauma” or what your general objection is to those of us with complex PTSD availing ourselves of therapy. Regular therapy and an active spiritual and sacrament life have saved me.

          I have found therapy very useful for navigating everyday life with PTSD. My spiritual life, including a life of prayer, has helped me even more.

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    • Several thoughts
      Most of this is absolutely spot on but I point out several things:

      1. People with mental illnesses die an average of 20 years sooner than other members of the larger population from all causes, statistics don’t lie if applied correctly ( as stated later can be manipulated to say anything).

      2. Little exploration of the effects of food on mental health is given— I draw attention to emulsifiers, stomach blood barrier, blood brain barrier, biome, this ends up being lost in the noise. We need to better insure food supply sources are not fake. We need to insure that food is tested randomly and often and better controlled, we need to insure content of food is listed publicly with electronic detailed content labels ( supplied by QR code on every package ) so that information is not hiding true content of foods. We need to work toward a much healthier food system that accounts for wellness, longevity, and health in all areas, not optimized for profit and cost to manufacture, or to cause social strains on society.

      3. Studies of effects of food can be made by looking at social changes, human interaction by looking at fasting periods of different groups, hospitalizations, instances of violence, effects of exercise, and many other things.

      4. Very large double blind controlled studies from many nations can be done, regarding this type of thing—keeping all data public as it progresses.

      5 Trama in youth does have a large affect but is not the always the whole story

      6. Medicines are terrible

      7. System is corrupt and financially incentivized.

      8. They are many that intend well in the medical system

      9. There are many overworked, underpaid, understaffing issues

      10. Many bad actors, and manipulative mis-information passing staff in the hospital system, and these people are trained to men manipulative and those untrained in those area s are easily manipulated by knowledge of their personal grudges and nievity or other forms of manipulation.

      11. Much miss information to the point like everything else information is lost in the noise

      12. When one gets many medical opinions it amounts to that of the same opinion since they are all trained the same way in same places by same hospitals and same teachers, and same pharmaceutical companies, which are NOT incentivized to produce solutions but instead long term repeated income streams and there is no separation between studies and the payer of the studies and data is not captured in an unmanipulatable way.

      13. Data can be faked easily and, data is hard to come by, hard to interpret by untrained eyes, and also not publicly available in its unaltered states, and redundantly checked by many parties and studies are no where near long enough and well under funded— should be a nation priority.

      14. Opposite of what I said before, statistics can be manipulated to say anything

      15. There are many nation state actors that benefit from the failure of the system, increasing mental illness increases costs on society leading to undo burdens on society.

      16. There is incentives by external actors to increase these ( are not is) costs. There is an incentive by internal actors to “decrease the load mental health group has on society” , so early death is a well, shit happens sort of attitude.

      17. narratives to keep up the distraction of social chaos in counties plays a big part, why let other party gain , when you can do nothing and use mentally ill and violence as as a political pawn.

      I could go on for hours.

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      • DBT is not trauma therapy! It’s radical behaviorism that considers everything the patient does to protect themselves as “ineffective”. Linehan denied the impact of trauma for decades and only recently, begrudgingly, allowed a trauma component to be added to DBT treatment. When I was in DBT 10 years ago, I wasn’t allowed to even speak about the past!!! Linehan is no hero. Many have more trauma after DBT. See the Facebook group “Stop DBT” if you have any doubt.

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      • DBT also pushed drugs. They used diary cards where patients had to put a number on their “urge to skip medication” every day. If the urge was high or if the patient actually engaged in this “problem behavior” and skipped “meds”, regardless of the reason that would become the therapists’ main target of attack as it was considered “treatment interfering behavior” which DBT therapists consider very serious. Treatment interfering behavior was second only to suicide on their list of “problem behaviors”.

        DBT is a trauma inducing nightmare for many patients.

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      • I think that you mistake DBT for a trauma therapeutic approach because the majority of people working in the mental health field believe that emotionally-instable personality is the “trauma personality”.

        As a matter of fact this hypothesis has been researched for decades and could never be substantiated.

        Marsha Linehans teacher of radical acceptance was Willigis Jäger a Christian monk and Zen priest. In my view her approach works – when tought by someone who has radical acceptance themselves – because its roots are in the teachings of the Bhuddists and the Christian spiritual tradition.

        This is just what has worked for me as well on my recovery path, and is exactly what is confirmed as helpful and effective in the two research overviews that I mention above.

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      • Clarie, I think Bessel van der Kolk’s work is a blunder. He’s spent his whole life doing this kind of trauma politics within the psychiatric diagnostic manual that I am highly critical of. This was my critisism against Allan’s blog here in the first place. I criticize it because it has had the horrible effect that now everyone who has experienced violence, abuse and neglect is looked at as a someone who has lost their sanity and has to be brought back to it by a medical professional. What puts everyone of us in great danger to just experience more abuse and oppression within psychotherapy and the psy-system at large.

        On the other hand, unlike many other medical doctors, Bessel van der Kolk is a researcher who is able to acknowledge the results of his and his colleagues’ studies into the effectiveness of the approach of trauma psychotherapy. Therefore, in his summary of the research in his book – it is a short chapter of maybe three pages – towards the end of “The Body…” he states that in over 40 years of research it couldn’t be substantiated that people do benefit from “trauma psychotherapy”. And, he also says there that there is not a lot but very good evidence that those who are doing best after having experienced violence and oppression are those who stay out of “help” of the clinical field and are doing a self-led journey to recovery and wellness and have put at its foundation a regular yoga practice.

        The reason, I suppose, that he believes in that kind of speculative claims like those that you mention, is that during his whole professional life he has experienced that he and his colleagues couldn’t do anything to help people who had developed chronic forms of suffering after having experienced violence and abuse. This is the reason why he concludes that nothing can be done. When he would be able to selflessly come to the right conclusions based on the evidence he summarises in his book he’d suggest that he and his colleagues stopped their quackery and sent their clients to a yoga programme.

        That’s the reason why I also recommend David J. Morris’ THe Evil Hours. Because as a survivor of acts of war and trauma psychotherapeutic quackery, and after having studied the body of research on the subject himself, he is able to recommend in the end of his book that people who have experienced violence go and find a yoga programme, and from there add on top whatever they find useful, and stay out of the offerings of psychotherapy and the medical field.

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          • Thanks for your replys to my comments, Birdsong. You are around here often. I am happy you agree, not many people can agree with my views.

            However, in your last comment you write that yoga is better “treatment” than psychotherapy. The thing is, it is the idea that people who have experienced violence and oppression need treatment, that makes poeple developing chronical suffering on the psychic plane in the first place!

            In my view and it is my personal experience 100% – it is the idea that people who have experienced violence and oppression need treatment (because their sick) what makes them sick.

            And actually, when you approach yoga, meditation, and the like from a perspective of being in the need of a treatment – what I of course have done for many years, so brainwashed I was – you undermine the benefits to your happiness and well-being that these practices unfold when you just practice with all your heart and no attachment to a certain outcome.

            The good thing is, even with such a distorted motivation, the practices are very beneficial. And as soon as you are doing a little bit better you realise that nothing has ever been wrong with you and in need of a treatment and you can let go of that self-devaluing idea of yourself.

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    • More than half “normal” people experience child abuse and neglect. Worldwide statistics prove that.

      When it comes to abuse and “trauma”, particularly in childhood, more than half the population suffers or suffered it.

      On statistical terms, trauma is NORMAL. As an explanation, a fake one, for mental “suffering”, is a damn good one precisely, because like the horoscope, anyone can pick one that suits the narrative peddled by an exploiter.

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  4. “Trauma—and dysfunctional responses to trauma—are the scientifically substantiated causes of mental disorder.”

    There are a few issues with this statement. Not sure you want to call survival, self-protective and other responses/adaptations to meet needs under the circumstances they arise and often with limited resources at one’s disposal, dysfunctional. They may not serve the purpose they once served in the long run, but they were functional at some point. I’d rather we just call these responses and who is the judge of whether these are dysfunctional anyway. Also, no one is mentally disordered because of trauma, but distressed and traumatised.

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    • The problem I see with trauma as explanatory, let alone causal, is its low positive predictive value.

      Knowing someone suffered trauma, even in childhood does not predict anything about an individual. Anything. It might correlate with aggregates, groups of people, but it can’t prove anything about this or that person.

      As far as I know no study nor methodology can use any meassure of past psychological trauma, to predict any future outcome in individuals, and therefore it cannot claim any benefit for any intervention based on that uselessness.

      But I might be mistaken…

      Best case scenario the causality of psychological trauma is conditional, in philosophical terms contingent, and therefore not really causal. As classical logic would demand, for every trauma there should be a disorder, every time. Severity, age, critical stage of development, monoparental, it’s the same basic problem: trauma of this severity, at this age, in this critical stage of development, etc.

      Probabilistic causality in medicine requires an objective meassure, an X-ray, an angiography, an MRI, a blood test to claim causality in a particular individual, and therefore claim confidently it has THIS disease. The mere recognition of symptoms, even signs in medicine only changes the apriori, before examination, proability this individual may or may not have a bunch of diseases, not just one, it changes the odds, so to speak, but it definitively does not provide a diagnosis, at least not in real modern medicine.

      Making a diagnosis in modern real medicine requires proving causality, going beyond correlations established in populations, and based merely on symptoms and signs, for every patient, every time, for each and ALL diagnoses. Every time…

      Precisely because probabilistic causality only increases the likelihood of a disease being present, it has not been proved as causing one in THIS individual. Like a blood cloth clogging a coronary artery causing a heart attack, it is a proven cause in populations, but not in this individual.

      Similar for tobacco, alcohol, obesity and not enough physical activity. They increase the risk, they cause diseases in populations, but that has to been proven beyond practical doubt for each and every patient suspect of having one caused by those risk factors. They are even called that: risk factors, while a blood clot is called a cause: it causes everytime a heart attack, close to it, sometimes they vanish, rarely, in under 5minutes, there are even pictures of that!.

      That is lacking in clinical psychology and psychiatry. And any claim of causality in those activities is a false one, a misleading or deceitfull one, even if it comes only from ignorance of the basic principles of causality and disease. Experts should know better the bases of their professional activity before even seeing a patient…

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  5. “The bottom line is that mental health care is fundamentally misguided, exacerbating mental disorders more than alleviating it, and neither the authorities, the media, nor the public are holding accountable those who are responsible.”

    What else can you expect when Big Pharma funds the media and politicians?

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    • Idk about big pharma funding media reporters. If we can get more journalists to report more often on this subject, maybe people will start waking up to the the notion of pressuring & threatening their elected officials to change laws to get money out of the picture by ending lobbying and all campaign donations & advertising. The media will have to do its job reporting, as balanced as possible, on each individual candidate. No more advertising!

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    • Agree . I’ve spent most of my life being victim of having “game” run on me, not realizing what it was for decades. There is no medicine effective other than sedatives for daily coping, however, the brain knows this continual abuse is not done to everyone & registers it as “child if a lesser god” causing depression. It is a mental maze intended for crowd control & human observation for purposes that create revenue in many ways, including the field of psychiatry.

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    • Yes, but it’s helpful when people like this man reveals it eloquently and also simple to understand. The points made by the author is actually not common knowledge to most people and that’s why it’s great to have articles this one.

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    • While your article and thoughts have merit and are accurate for SOME people, you are wrongly politicizing and using an absolutist approach and ideology to illness and challenges that plague people of ALL financial backgrounds and upbringings. Surely you aren’t saying that only those in poverty or backgrounds are the sole sufferers of mental health issues? Surely you don’t place your patients into black and white categories and absolute suffering based on their backgrounds? Surely you know there are plenty of people who had perfectly “fine” upbringings compared to some, who suffer substantially, and the flip side, those born into some heinous situations that seem to thrive. While I agree that you are painting a picture of SOME etiology of SOME people, there is no way any therapist worth their salt truly believes that they are the ONLY causes, it is very multi factorial, with trauma, stressors, and yes biology all coming into play.

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        • Agree! The author makes a bold statement to start with (“Psychiatric illness is not medically based!”) And then proceeds to provide evidence that illustrates only part of the picture. As a practitioner, he should be well aware of the findings that the best outcomes are achieved by a combination of medication and therapy. Therapy alone will not effectively treat some mental illnesses, just as medication alone will not effectively treat them, either. While it is true that trauma can trigger the symptoms of mental illness, the causes are a combination of genetic, social, situational, and medical factors. Will collectively raising people out of poverty decrease the overall incidence of maladaptive mental symptoms? Yes! By all means! But the solution is not as simple as just applying therapy in such cases where distress has occurred. And to suggest that there is no science backing the development and application of pharmaceutical interventions is laughable. Such science does exist, and mention of it is notably lacking in this article.

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          • “As a practitioner, he should be well aware of the findings that the best outcomes are achieved by a combination of medication and therapy.”

            Can you cite studies that show this to be true? I understand that this is accepted as true in the mental health industry, but other things that were long been accepted as true in this industry, like the chemical imbalance theory, have now been proven false.

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          • Please prove that any given person, this particular person, will improve MORE with both medication AND psychotherapy.

            Actually, several MIA articles show the opposite: medication makes the benefit of psychotherapy less than psychotherapy alone.

            Opposite to the articles that omited to calculate accurately how much SSRIs increased suicidality in minors.

            How could anyone believe a repeat of THAT claim, that in minors SSRIs and psycotherapy were greater than SSRIs or psychotherapy alone, when several articles with the same clinical trial “data”, reported, upon reanalysis increased suicidality as years went by, by SSRIs ALONE.

            I would not believe a recooking of that big whooper, it is a tainted claimed in part because it came, at least in part, from a series of “fraudulent” research reports.

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        • But it sounds at least borderline irrational to claim there are many causes for something. Where does it stop?, at anything can cause something?.

          A butterfly can cause depression?.

          Being reductionist should come, does come in real science, as in beyond doubt facts that are explanatory, empirical, objective, predictable, logical, formal, etc., with the BENEFIT that they do predict something in the real world that is not trivial nor inconsequential.

          Not ONLY in the mind of believers, even if a bunch of them, as in psychiatry, clinical psychology and psychobable about childhood trauma.

          Not denying it has an impact, just that it’s causality is doubtfull. That is. it is not beyond doubt to explain ANY symptom, let alone disability or, knock on wood, demise, even if it correlates with them.

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        • The chemical imbalance theory was simplistic, not to mention wrong. You can’t get much more simplistic than “mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain”. They didn’t say, “but only sometimes.”. They said, “we know what mental illness is, we know who has it, and we know how to treat it…with these drugs that big pharma has so generously provided.”. That was the APA narrative for the last 40 years. You can’t get more simplistic than that.

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      • That sounds like the Roswell approach to lack of evidence:

        Just bring more crash sites, i.e. more risk factors claimed as causes.

        If that does not work, bring more alien bodies, more diseases, like split the PTSD into classical PTSD and complex PTSD. Subclassify cPTSD sometimes even in contradictory ways. There’s a MIA at somewhere article, I think from the Netherlands that pulled that one off some months ago.

        If that does not work, bring more witnesses to all of that: more experts who claim, by testimonial alone, insiders in conspiratorial speak, no videos, no photographs, no meassuremnts of the soul/mind changes by the “multifactorial” disease process. Just don’t call it disease process, don’t do the APA mistake! in the DSM (pathological process is the term used in the DSM, synonimous with disease process).

        Call it a dynamic process*, it really, when it comes to mind and or soul means absolutely nothing: there is no picture, no video, no meassurement of such dynamic process. In fact, there is no proof that the mind or the soul move at all!, or that any part of them?, move at all.

        My mind might be cracky/creaky because it is old, but I am sure there is no sound recording of its ill fitting parts bumping into each other some of the time. The collision of my desires and interests, rights and obligations is unmeassurable, and therefore outside science and reason based on empirical logic.

        Strictly speaking, ethymologically cannot be called even dynamical!. Is there a meassurement of soul or mind displacement, change of position, velocity, acceleration, or the like?. I don’t think so, that sounds seudoscientific rhetoric.

        As there is none, no dynamic process evidence, for the propulsion mechanism of an alien spacecrafts. Zero mechanics to that dynamics…

        If that sounds obtuse, at least because of hyperbole and analogy show me the body, as an skeptic worth his or her salt asks when presented with suspicious claims, or as the case, without any scientific evidence claim. And pseudoscientific in the word use alone!.

        Or worse: against epistemic, logical and scientific evidence.

        *Process: “A proceeding or moving forward; progressive movement; gradual advance; continuous proceeding. ” dynamic process is conceptually cacophonic, at least in one meaning of process. A moving moving forward.

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        • I thank you for your continued commentary in this thread.

          An element that I find most disturbing is the increasing forced dependence that those referred to the medical industrial complex and psychology/psychiatry are fed. The individual is led through the maze of often contrived victimhood and grievance narratives that offer them continuing need for “expert” intervention at various axes- be it the ill fated and brain disabling biological med approach, expanding diagnostic categories and definitions of continually expanding spectrum “disorders” expansive trauma categories etc. or need for a total overhaul of the society which has *oppressed them.
          The field ignores its long history of failures and direct harms by finding the imagined harms far away from itself or doing some sort of performative mea culpa related to the *next current thing* narrative/mythmaking/magical trend (which has little or no purchase in reality, so no possible evidence can be observed or collected). What the evidence does support is more intractable behavioral health problems result from these broken fields and professionals.

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          • “The individual is led through the maze of often contrived victimhood and grievance narratives…”

            Many people who wind up in MH treatment are treated more like perpetrators than victims. People labeled with schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder repeatedly get messages that they need to be in the system because they are actually, or potentially, dangerous. They’re told that dropping out of treatment and/or “stopping meds” confirms that they are, in fact, the label that they’ve been given and that society needs to be protected from them. Then, of course, there is forced treatment, which is where the message is loudest: “You are a problem to society. You are a danger.”. The message is very far from “you are a victim.”

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          • Well, I think part of that problem is that because science and scientific research have been so succesfull, then somehow, they believe imitating them, like a mime without speaking real science, and outside of scientific fields, as humanities or, hehehe, marketing are, should provide at least some benefit.

            That is not necessarily the case, science and scientific research, to me, have been succesfull, in part because real scientistst, not empiricist researchers, have learned to avoid at least logical and epistemic mistakes.

            And they work in fields that are actually science prone, are real scientific fields, unlike divinity or philosophy. Or, uuugh, the mind!.

            Real scientists know why relativity, quantum mechanics, newtonian mechanics, electromagnetic theory and even thermodynamics describe the real world around us. Even if it is incomprehensible but predicting as quantum mechanics is.

            Unlike some humanities, psychology and psychiatry researchers, that to me, showed quite convinvingly, not by preponderance of evidence, but beyond doubt, that they either have not learned why real science was succesfull, or that they don’y really care why, or worse: they don’t understand why.

            They keep repeating the same mistakes, over and over and over that ancient greek philosophers, medieval theologians, bohemians and pre-20th protoscientists made in their times. Without much apparent benefit of parroting those failure cases in predicting the real world we live in.

            And without much difference either by, again, parroting the sucesses and its causes and reasons for early 20th century real science. Sad… Hulk sad…

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      • Yes, thank you for being one of the sole voices here seeing the major flaws in this argument. There are major accusations being thrown here and buzzwords like “Big Pharma” to get people riled up. There is value in critiquing psychiatry (it’s very flawed), but to make sweeping statements like treatment hurts more than it helps, or that mental illness is entirely based on trauma does a disservice to those actually affected by mental illness. I know from my own experiences with mental illness that it is not entirely trauma based.

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        • The “sweeping” statement that psychiatry does more harm than good was made by Robert Whitaker, a founder of the place you are posting your comment.

          Also by Peter Gotzche here at MIA, and I think some of his books, and many other people who actually studied critically the issue.

          So if it is somewhat “sweeping”, assuming without conceeding, does not mean it is a FALSE claim.

          You can, I invite you, to verify if THAT claim is FALSE or TRUE by consulting their sources, their material to make that claim.


          Trivialy, it is a sweeping claim all humans are mortal, that does not make it false.

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  6. The same sorts of manipulation and misrepresentation occurs in the studies of psychotherapy. This is one brief summary but read William M Epstein’s 3 key books in which he dismantles the best of the evidence base of psychological therapy: the illusion of psychotherapy, psychotherapy as religion and psychotherapy and the social clinic in the united states soothing fictions.

    Our suffering is mostly rooted in a range of cultural disorders in turn disordering our living systems – political and economic power shapes/disorders everything else – we have disordered values, work places, disordered schools, and loads of unnecessarily suffering people.

    Yes we are told the brain is ‘incredibly plastic’ if only it has the environment in which to grow and develop to its full potential.

    Psychotherapy for the most part if about trying and largely failing to adjust the individual to these cultural disorders – it largely decontextualises or at best reduces the cultural disorders to a mere trigger and the issues are really your faulty thinking, behaviour, attitudes and beliefs and it is you that must change to simply get on with it.

    Is it supported and promoted because it internalises distress and is therefore useful in maintaining the status quo?

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    • “Is it supported and promoted because it internalizes distress and is therefore useful in maintaining the status quo?”

      The answer is definitely YES.

      The sickest development of modern society is a profit-driven “mental healthcare system” based on pathologizing uncomfortable feelings from understandably painful events in order to enhance the status, inflate the egos and fatten the pockets of its so-called “practitioners”.

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    • You make great points, Topher.

      I think it’s too late for psychology to try to distance itself from the medical model that they embraced for the last four decades. Psychologists/therapists used the DSM (and still do unless a person can pay completely out of pocket), bought into the stigma of DSM dx like borderline personality (and actually fueled the stigma as much as any psychiatrist), and pushed psych drugs. They have consistently been part of the problem.

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  7. Excellent article, Dr. Leventhal.
    My father was a victim of drug
    company SKF amphetamine
    psychosis. I still haven’t recovered from the emotional
    trauma of his abuse. I’m 87.
    It’s amazing I’m not dead. His
    doctors even added steroids
    to give him “added pep”.
    Keep up the good work.
    Wan sui (May you live 10,000

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  8. I experienced a very Traumatic situation over a number of years in my mid 50s and slowly recovering through a multitude of tools and supports including anti depressants which I expect to be off in a couple of years. A friend has Bi Polar and he is on the 3 general drugs given – mood, psychotic, anti depressant. Like many with Bi Polar, he went off his medication whilst Psychotic and ended up smashing his car and being restrained in a Psych Ward. 3 months of trials of drugs and Psychiatric treatment and he’s out and living a good stable life. He will forever need drugs. Blanket statements that DMS is bollocks are irresponsible I feel. From a REAL Mental Health patient.

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    • In regard to the supposedly “irresponsible” blanket claims that the DSM is “bollocks,” Dr. Alan Frances, who helped compile the DSM, admitted himself that it is a fabricated compendium devoid of scientific validity. Do you have any evidence to the contrary?
      It bears repeating that the ever-proliferating categories of purported mental disorders are NOT discovered through meticulous, lengthy verifiable experimentation, but rather are arbitrarily voted into existence (or occasionally out of existence, as in the case of homosexuality in 1973) by a panel of self-styled experts whose integrity is questionable, to say the least, because of their ties with pharmaceutical companies and ECT device manufacturers. Do you consider their judgment totally objective and trustworthy?
      Lastly, if you choose to identify yourself as a “REAL mental patient,” you have every right to do so. I myself prefer to believe the many eloquent, credible testimonies of people on this website who have been deceived and harmed by the charlatans of the venal, fraudulent industry that poses as a legitimate branch of medicine.

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      • And thereby ignoring the millions, tens of millions of testimonies of those helped by it? Have you ever heard of confirmation bias? You are being victimized, or rather are willingly letting this site victimize you with confirmation bias. This article is actual nonsense.

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          • Good question, Birdsong.

            These are phrases that get thrown around a lot: confirmation bias, misinformed, susceptible to propaganda are a few.

            It’s a logical impossibility that someone who has experienced psychiatric treatment themselves is suffering from any of these things. We who have been psychiatrized have the most knowledge about the experience of being psychiatrized.

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        • To Rob:
          You claim that I gloss over the millions, if not tens of millions of people who have supposedly been helped by psychiatric treatments. May I ask you to cite the reputable, scientifically corroborated sources for your claim of such massive benefits? Can you further give the ratio of those who were cured to those who have been severely harmed by neurotoxins, lobotomies, ECT, and similar barbaric procedures over the past seven or eight decades? And what about the countless number of those unfortunates whose emotional lives were shattered by stigmatizing psychiatric labels? Their bodies may not have been physically injured, but their spirits were often broken (I am thinking here of the gay and transgender community, in which there is an inordinate number of suicides). Unless you can substantiate your sweeping assertion, it has no more validity than a drug company brochure or the self-serving propaganda of the APA.

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          • Does that imply that tendency is either wrong, right, harmfull, beneficial, illuminating or obscuring, or not at all?.

            The tendency to look for something, interpreting something, consistent, heck, even inconsistent with a belief, is necessarily bad or good?.


            And were does that leave inexistent beliefs in that paragraph?, I guess as in not known, not acknowledged or not “owned”, whatever that means.

            If I don’t consciously think about my beliefs they stop existing?, like a car’s movement, that becomes inexistent when it runs out of gasoline?. Like an imaginary friend?. Like Nietszche’s dead god?.


            Obnoxious aren’t I?, hihihi…

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    • My coments on the bollockness of the DSM are not irresponsible, aware I might be jumping into something I am not called for.

      But I did comented on the irrationality that was written in the first pages of the DSM by top experts in the field in:

      It is missing the first conclusions and premises of my analysis, and I am not reposting those. But I think I make a responsible, accurate, logical enough analysis to claim the DSM is irrational, according to the top experts who wrote just 2, two, paragraphs contextualizing the nonsense to be followed in the specific diagnostic categories.

      And if top experts prove what follows in the DSM is irrational, the diagnoses and treatments of ALL psychiatric practice are by definition either nonsensical, irrational or madness. Because those 2, two, paragraphs, are general statements about psychiatry, not merely the DSM.

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    • “He will forever need drugs.”

      I would feel hopeless and wounded if someone said that about me. I don’t think anyone should assume so much authority over another person’s life or experience to make a claim like that. Not an expert, not a family member, not a friend.

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  9. 3 sentences in and the author is already wrong. I had severe symptoms of ADHD far sooner than I could have ever had the chance to be treated “inequality” or what have you. By age 2, and I was raised upper middle class. My life was a disaster until I was put on the medication for it. She’s just flat out wrong.

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    • Thanks for sharing, Sherman! Many upper middle class kids are increasingly diagnosed with ADHD, depression, anxiety and more. They are facing increasing amounts of competition and increasing amount of expectations for achievements and success — all this may be viewed as forms of trauma.

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  10. Another thing that needs to be addressed is our doctors who are prescribing these medications via zoom call. One call, that’s all, and you now have a disorder and are getting hooked on a medication instead of getting the therapy you need. Big pharma needs to go take a short walk off a big cliff. They are running the show and we’re all complacent.

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  11. We can spend time debating terminology but it is quite clear that the human organism responds to challenges by activation of an adrenergia cascade.
    Direct downstream effects include raising heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, and release of corticosteroids.
    Verbal,physical,sexual abuse,physical and emotional neglect, effects of divorce, domestic
    and other violence exposures, separation of families,incarceration, substance use in the home, or watching a loved one suffer from a mental or medical malady have linear, dose-response links to physical illnesses like heart disease,cancers,lower respiratory illness,accidents, hypertension and stroke/ renal disease, depression and suicide.
    Poverty, racism, sexism are examples of continuous marginalization.
    Homelessness, loneliness are social determinants of health that have been widely and well studied.
    The building of resilience in the organism is possible if reliable support is available to individuals.
    As we navigate a world at war, in times of economic chaos, ethnic violence, political division, and rigid religiosity we are pitifully short of support and empathy.
    I have spent an entire professional life as a physician serving marginalized people from the Amazon to the Arctic, from urban to rural and from Apache to Appalachia.
    I have been trained in combat and emergency medicine, family medicine,obstetrics, and addiction medicine.
    If humans could spend time building community instead of more clever weapons life on this planet could be sustained and rewarding in safety, dignity, and justice.
    In a poor southern delta town
    I gave an antidepressant to a combat exposed Marine who was drinking and drugging himself to death.
    He had described the care to his brother.
    When I saw the patient’s brother later in town the brother thanked me effusively for looking after his
    beloved sibling.
    Then he told me that he hoped I would remember that “Prozac don’t build character.”

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    • I too was in the Marines (1967 to 1968, including Hue). In 1986 I was told by two “eminent” psychiatrists that I wouldn’t live to 40 if I didn’t agree to putting myself in their “care”. I finished university, have worked as a psychologist (please don’t hold that against me) since 1997 in outback Australia with female (and some male) survivors/victims of DV and other crimes, very abused children and other highly vulnerable people. This without taking psychiatric drugs.

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  12. Thank you for this article. That’s interesting that I always thought it that way as it’s written in the article. I was always sceptical about drugs being prescribed for mental issues and in general how they are approached. I just naturally by using critical thinking and logic was sceptical about treating mental issues as something caused physiologically even though many would disagree. As well, I avoided to take any antidepressants even if some doctors friendly suggested those for me with explanation of “great” benefits of them. I was criticizing how psychiatry deals with mental issues for years for the reason that they ignore external factors in which a traumatized human-being was existing. And now I am so happy to see those conclusions from a person in this field. Unfortunately, I don’t have any authority to speak up about my findings. That’s why we need more experts like you Allan.

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  13. Nonetheless to everyone’s comment – how do we fix this! In France when a child is born the govt provides every woman an assistant at home for the baby and her to help in transition. This time point is pivotal in helping new parents cultivate love and empathy. Organize their selves! Our country invests in WAR and ensures generations of PTSD victims are readily available to lead- enraged, psychotic and incapable of being true leaders. Just read a first rate madness by Nassir Ghaemi. We have leadership in this country in for 30 plus years ensuring their stock options, insider trading and monthly wages are all accounted for. The only way to change this is to ensure new mothers are properly cared for with parenting classes readily available. Even in nature animals eat and abuse their young.

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  14. I’m very happy that life has led me down a path of actually helping people. Helping people actually uncover and properly handle underlying issues and learn how to deal with the consequences like triggers or even just bad habits. Technically these are coping mechanisms. So you handle it properly and the coping mechanisms just fall away, clearly identified in case you need them again.

    Currently I primarily use EFT tapping, clean language, logo synthesis, matrix reimprinting. I’m not licensed, I’m just a life coach, but 30 years of this has proven to work.

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    • Thank you for sharing your experience with human beings who suffer from multiple causes of trauma.
      Personally, and as a nurse, I have seen the effects of continuous adrenal cascad and its devastation on the body and brain. At this time of war and Planned Depopulation I am observing it’s effect on the Senior population. They are anxious and depressed for their children and grandchildren. They feel guilt for not having done more to help prevent this government power.
      They are extremely anxious about their own health care options and their near poverty Social Security income. I will not go into the dangers in our water, ocean, air, chem trails, food supply, fuel, plastics, side effects of medications they do need to survive. All horrifying aspects of the Depopulation Agenda. Pharmaceuticals are needed as well as good Talk Therapy, as every one of us wants to be Heard.

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  15. Thank you for communicating this clearly, Dr Allan.

    Though the myopic will still force a medicalized model on Therapy, I think what the author sheds light on is that if we applied actual science to the overall problem of trauma we would find empirical authority that taking measures like providing a universal income or operative social safety net that wasn’t a sticky web of entanglements, and that having clean food and healthy childhoods with security to place our minds and hearts on activity and education, would as a matter of math and science more effectively alleviate the epidemic of anxiety and depression that grew over decades of wrongheaded medical-model care to be endemic in our society.

    Psychiatry as practiced in our times at least is a pressure release valve for public policy, economic, cultural, spiritual failings. It’s not a sice ce of disease and treatments or wellness.

    All the world is a nail if you seek the perspective of a hammer.

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  16. Well, this article is refreshing! The clear manifestation of “disorder” began at age 17, and thankfully I had enough wherewithal to understand that mental problems were correlated with poor environmental conditions, and I knew that if I was in a funk, I needed to change the sum of stimuli in my environment. I needed to change this rigid to fluid “box” my brain was put in. At age 42, after several diagnoses from anxiety, depression, bipolar, OCD, PTSD, ETC ETC ETC–I managed to overcome obstacles through writing and art, meaningful friendships, sexual therapy, individual and group therapy, learning new skills to solve problems, and learning to find a language to define and overcome trauma… all the while leaving Big Pharma’s pill bottles on the shelf, now long expired…. It’s not easy whatsoever, but the journey of survival has its moments of rewards….

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  17. This article makes me deeply angry. This is the opposite of my whole life. I have Panic disorder and GAD and have my whole life. I grew up in a high middle income family where money troubles were not really a thing. I lived in a safe neighborhood no threat of drugs, shootings or rape. And nothing like that has happened to me. My family was sweet and kind to me. My siblings were my best friends. I got straight A’s and graduated with honors.
    And yet according to my therapists, I have one of the most severe cases of anxiety they’ve ever seen! And I have switched therapists a few times because they can’t help me. I essentially flunked out of therapy, with no trauma it’s hard to work through it. And yes not even CBT helped.
    They even sent me to a specialist who’s only job is to diagnose trauma, because one of the therapists thought I had repressed it completely. Nope, his diagnosis was no trauma…”her family life was really as idyllic as she claims.”

    My life since then has actually not gotten that much worse. I live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood, I live with my husband of twenty years who I am still completely in love with. We have four children that are wonderful. We are still middle income although that doesn’t mean as much as it once did.
    I have no trauma. But I have very severe anxiety.
    It is interesting because my sister has OCD, we didn’t know until she grew up, my daughter also has OCD. Neither of them should, by your article ‘s assertion. My children have Panic disorder. Strange they shouldn’t. Also no trauma. (My kids who are nearly grown up agree, no trauma for them either).
    I will agree, no med has worked for me. I have flunked out of them as well. But some have worked for my children. Not as well as I would like.
    My sister and daughter have also flunked out of therapy. It is not the golden ticket to happiness if you have nothing to work on trauma wise.

    Also the final take away from the article… If you’re rich you’ll be fine. Thanks! I’ll tell you where to send me extra money. I’d love to be rich.

    I want to take this whole article and throw it in the trash. And if the author of it wants to see panic disorder with no trauma, I’m right here.

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    • You make excellent and valid points. The whole problem with this article is that it lumps all mental disorders together. Some disorders are most likely results of social circumstance/life events and so are reactions. Others are more clearly disease-based and better treated in the medical model with medications.

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      • Some of those commenting on this article keep repeating ad nauseum the oxymoron of “mental disorder.” Thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, being non-corporeal, cannot be sick or except in a vague metaphorical sense. It is likewise absurd to speak in literal terms of “therapy,” whether it may be pharmaceutical, electrical, or psychological, in regard to states of mind that have no verifiable (through careful experimentation) physical origin. So what, precisely, are the supposed disorders that are more “clearly disease-based?” Apart from demonstrable neurological conditions such as dementia that have behavioral sequelae, I’m not aware of even a single DSM-listed disorder that stems from brain pathology. So-called psychiatric medications, as Dr. Peter Breggin, Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, Dr. Thomas Szasz, and journalist Robert Whitaker have been pointing out for many years, are potent neurotoxins that do not treat an underlying physical abnormality but disturb normal brain functioning. The same is especially true of brain-disabling electroshock. If you wish to challenge their conclusions, kindly present your own evidence instead of mindlessly parroting the self-serving, deceptive, and harmful propaganda of drug companies and ECT device manufacturers.

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    • Why didn’t CBT help? CBT isn’t about addressing trauma. It’s about changing behaviors — which, according to CBT practictioners, includes emotions.

      I’m angry too but for different reasons. I’m angry because I do have trauma — I had a horrible childhood where I never felt safe — and instead of that ever being acknowledged by “professionals”, I was coerced into decades of polypharmacy and ECT that destroyed my life. I was told I had “borderline personality disorder”, abused and tossed away. Ostracized by society. I still can’t go to the doctor, at 57. It’s not safe. I haven’t seen, spoken to another human being in a week. I’m mostly bedridden.

      I get why I’m angry.

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    • I sympathize with your point of view. Your experience is to me undeniable personal evidence, even if anecdotal, that causes, reasons and explanations are not there to explain mental disorders.

      From any corner and every side, from every point of view on the nature, the reality of mental disorders, even if the suffering imputed to them is real, there is no sufficient, clear and convicing evidence to explain what people suffer when not brain diseased, like in neurological diseases.

      Thanks for sharing.

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  18. You are spot on. I suffered extreme and repeated trauma from the time I was an infant from all manner of family members – grandfather, father, mother, older siblings, as well as some family friends.

    This continued into adulthood because of my choices of partners and spilled over to my children. I sought pharmacological treatment that I desperately wanted to work, and would even convince myself that it was working at times, but the results were really not there.

    I have had regular talk therapy to discuss my abuses, CBT and DBT and I have to say that being understood and listened to is vital for healing. However, not all who provide those services are equally qualified or understand the challenges their patients are dealing with.

    For example, I was in a group DBT session about six years ago when the therapist told a story that triggered a reaction to my earliest memory of abuse – I was only months old and yet I have memories of it. I had never spoken about it or tried to describe it to anyone. Putting words to an experience or abuse event is critical to begin the healing.

    Here was the story: a firefighter responding to an alarm pulled up near the burning building and stepped out of the truck onto an infant who had been wrapped in a blanket and thrown out of the window to save it. When he stepped on the baby he killed it.

    My memory was of being thrown off my mothers bed onto the floor and stomped on. My chest must have been partially crushed because I couldn’t breathe properly and I felt like I was going to die. I was left somewhere (on the floor or in a crib I do not know) but I survived the night and would go on to suffer other horrific abuses at the hands of – everyone who was close to me.

    My reaction to that story was immediate (shock, shaking, difficulty breathing and moving my arms, disorientation, weakness, confusion) and my fellow patients rallied around me reassuring me and comforting me while the therapist sat there stone-faced and said nothing. The other ladies recommended the book “The Body Keeps The Score” by Bessel Van Der Kolk MD.

    Eventually I read the book which was given me by a friend to whom I had mentioned it. It was the best and worst experience I have had from a therapeutic perspective.

    The author’s decades of clinical experience led to the same or very similar conclusions as the author of this piece.

    It was fascinating and it rang true to me not only based on my own experiences but those of others that I have come to know through the years – I am 62.

    The downside is that I could personally relate to aspects of many of the case studies. I had, at times, extreme reactions to what I was reading because it was stirring up all of my past traumas. I forced myself to keep reading and it was ugly.

    I feel bad for anyone who had to deal with me during that period as everything came pouring out of my mouth.

    For decades I was completely silent about my experiences. Slowly (starting at age 26) some came out in therapy. Then the experience with the therapist leading the DBT group, and reading the book I mention ripped the lid off with such ferocity it was astonishing.

    I have not explored the treatments that the author of the book recommends but I have experienced how beneficial it is to have people around you that care enough to listen empathetically and validate you.

    Conversely, I have witnessed the damaging effects of those who try to silence victims for a variety of reasons, failing to empathize or even sympathize but instead invalidate, deny or engage in gaslighting in an attempt to discredit or even further destroy the victim.

    People want to feel better and heal from their traumas. The pharmaceutical industry has made billions of dollars off of their suffering but has not produced lasting results. I think that should be made clear. The science is not there.

    The only positive experience I have had with medication was when I was experiencing extreme PTSD from my earliest remembered trauma (the one mentioned above) and I didn’t think I was going to make it. I was mostly curled up in a ball in a chair. My arms had limited functionality and I was in such emotional pain I didn’t think I was going to survive – would have considered ending it.

    I was working with a very nice and extremely competent psychiatrist who had a hard time understanding what I was saying but enough so to prescribe me a antiseizure medication with an off-label use for anxiety/PTSD. Although it actually worked at that time (saved my life), its efficacy was not predictable in my case.

    Thanks to this author for writing such an honest and clear article

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    • Well, I am not for blaming anyone without reason, sometimes even where there are many, but if abuse increases the likelihood of mental suffering, not inexistent mental disorders, and most abuse in childhood happens at home. And most abuse at home is done by the adult most likely to be at home, then how are mothers absent of responsability when put the risks like that?.

      I am not bashing, I am trying to understand how the trauma happens, and who could reasonably be called responsible for it.

      Aware that the schizophrenogenic mother rhetoric was harmfull and ill-equipped as an explanation for schizophrenia.

      But surely, mothers and fathers bear some responsability if abuse causes or increases the likelihood of suffering in adult children exposed to such violence.

      I am not making a moral or legal claim, just following the logic of the trauma/suffering paradigm.

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      • Yeah, they blamed my brother’s “schizophrenia” on my mother, calling her an icebox etc. Do you think that helped her be a better mother? (Hint: it didn’t. She lost what was left of her mind.)

        Of course caretakers bear some responsibility. But that’s not what Jennifer said.

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  19. As a therapist myself, I agree with the premise that we are over medicated, however, the true tragedy of over medication is illegal drug use. The theory of poverty trauma is also problematic considering the incredible poverty experienced by people 100 years ago compared to now and peoples ability to cope with it. I think that the psychological community has all but given up on the development of emotional resilience and self reliance. Everything is everybody else’s fault and personal accountability no longer exists. The poorest people in America have so much more food, technology, social support, and medical care than our ancestors, or even people in other countries, but we are sicker, fatter, less educated, and more mentally unstable. People risk their lives to come to America, while we kill ourselves in open air drug markets. I used to work in treatment and witnessed first hand the impact of drug use on society. Take the drugs away and watch resilience and intelligence return to society. The problem is so overwhelming that it may become what destroys our civilization. The only way to survive this zombie apocalypse is going to be sobriety. The drugs available now are killing more people than COVID and often on the first try.

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    • Well, most deaths nowadays by overdoses are caused by fentanyl. Drug addiction by fentanyl was caused by medical prescriptions sold by licensed physicians across the US. Certainly concentrated in a few neighborhoods, but surely, ALL prescribed by licensed physicians and supplied by licensed clinical pharmacists. Produced, designed and marketed by a single company: Purdue Pharma.

      So, that was not illegal in the majority of cases. It caused harm, is/was probably a civil offense, certainly was not prosecuted as a criminal one, as far as I understand. Divorce is a civil procedure, certainly not illegal, child custody is a civil procedure, and most definitively not always illegal. Allimony is due and payed, as is child support, and that is not a crime nor illegal. Pet custody and pet monetary support also are adjudicated in civil courts, and that certainly are not a crimes nor illegal.

      So whether what licensed physicians, licensed pharmacists and Purdue Pharma did is/was illegal is not that clear to me.

      Except for a few extraordinarily prolific prescribers. Even the FBI was reluctant, apparently, to bring charges agains more than 2 physicians, as far as I understood. And I guess no pharmacist was ever? charged.

      Now, what caused the fentanyl deaths was precisely the forcefull road into “sobriety” when the law, the man, actually did something to curtail the epidemic of opioid prescription abuse and consumption.

      Are you proposing more of that?, after the almost 100,000 deaths per year in the US alone on illegal, now, fentanyl alone overdoses?. That sounds to me irresponsible given past precedent and experience.

      Forced sobriety during prohibition increased methanol poisoning and alcohol deaths. Ironically…

      Hospitals were full of people with delirium tremens in those days, a disease that can be deadly, still today, for many.

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  20. Our earliest memories become the foundation for all our future thoughts and impressions.
    The basis for our beliefs.
    The lens we view the world through.
    All of our future experiences are built upon and effected as we grow and go through life.
    Our internal dialogue reinforces what we have experienced in the past which compounds how we respond to future situations.
    In my opinion it is based more on early childhood development than anything else which is why pharmaceuticals are useless and actually detrimental.
    Humans are resilient and resourceful but overcoming early abuse and neglect requires a near miracle.
    As the twig is bent, grows the tree.

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    • Read Jeffrey Masson’s book “Against Therapy: The Myth of Emotional Healing.” There is no such thing as a good therapist regardless of the depth of your pockets. Thoughts, emotions, and behavior cannot be treated, healed, or cured except metaphorically. Is that elementary truth so hard to grasp?

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      • Apparently the creed for psychotherapy is stronger than evidence.

        I am starting to suspect that psychotherapists came of of the woods to push their agenda after the success at MIA against psychiatry.

        They in my imagination smelled the fluids that call their racket next into the woodchopper, kind of thing.

        Hahaha, I live in a fantasy world.



        Like a guacamole without the tacos or the tostadas!. They spring back a lot!. Talk about resilient belief!.

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    • Those who are struggling against bad situations shouldn’t be further handicapped by a psychiatrist stating that they are mentally ill and need medicating. A person who is struggling against a bad situation may be able to find their way through it and overcome it, but having a bad situation and then psychiatric harm on top of it makes “pulling oneself up by their bootstraps” much more difficult, if not impossible.

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    • If life is inherently unfair for everyone and can never be made fair for anyone, life should not be worth living for anyone. Sometimes I think it’s a shame anybody’s life is worth living. I’m relatively happy right now, but I have had double depression (dysthymia + major depression) since childhood. What keeps me alive is the hope that by my fiction writing, I can make more likely the expectation that life will someday be fair for all. Silly (and grandiose), of course, but that is my ambition.

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      • Life being not fair, does not mean than continuing living is not better than the alternative.

        Fairness does not equate worthlessness. Fairness is, somehow, treating equals equally, and differents differently.

        Not worth it, means it’s value is less than what is or will be payed for it, as I see it.

        And both I think are relative terms, not absolutes, and therefore unlikely to be usefull for absolute claims, I think.


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  21. It’s actually both. And yes, I do intend to prove it, though properly rather than in these comments.
    However, everything you’ve said is absolutely 100% crucial to this.

    I have a degenerative genetic mutation that presents in a heterogeneous manner, so I randomly experience a plethora of mental/psychological dysfunction along with neurological and other physiological issues.
    Literally almost everything you can imagine.
    Just randomly comes and goes.
    Researchers even use it in labs to induce a huge portion of the disorders they study.
    It’s the same mutation everyone else develops epigenetically as they age, except mine’s permanent.

    Would you like to take a wild guess what triggers it and makes it worse?

    So why, knowing this mutation greatly induces one’s susceptibility to ALL of these disorders, do they ignore this mutation and instead focus on all the different bits and pieces separately?

    Having read the studies you mentioned as well as thousands upon thousands of others, I’d like to posit that the science IS there; it’s simply being overlooked for multiple reasons.
    1) There is very little cross-discipline action or even cross-discipline knowledge amongst the scientific community.
    2) Thus, when searching previous research, they utilize keywords solely connected to their field and/or project, which ignores a lot of the cross-discipline research that actually connects.
    3) These arent just “mental” or neurological issues, it is an issue with the ability to affect one’s entire system that presents in different locations effecting different organs depending on the type and extent of the stress and trauma they have endured.
    4) Sadly there seems to be a massive number of people who have great memories and thus can do the assigned work but they lack actual understanding and thus are unable to connect the dots in the data.
    5) Because everything is treated separately, as you mentioned a certain industry seems to go by their own narrow-minded narcissism than any actual science.
    6) Which causes funding to get diverted to all the wrong places.
    7) They’re too busy adhering to social norms to step outside the box.
    Etc etc etc..

    Hell, it was a researcher in South America working on something completely different that “accidentally” discovered the formation of the Tau tangles.

    However, “no cure no treatment” isnt an answer that allows me to sleep comfortably, and I will not just stand by and go quietly into that dark night.
    I’m a natural mathematician with a high capacity to learn and understand most anything.
    There is a mad scientist inside me and I am certainly MAD in America.
    I came across your site a year or two ago and you inspired me to keep going, seeing I wasn’t alone in my assessments.
    I spend my days reading thru study after study after study.
    I experiment with absolutely everything our bodies need, one by one and in various combinations.

    I can tell you with absolute certainty, and am in the process of collating all the information & studies to submit a formal paper, that this is absolutely a chemical imbalance brought on by mitochondrial malfunction brought on by a simple deficiency when a cell cannot keep up with the stress & trauma it endures on our behalf.

    Symptoms are dependent on a great many things, creating a massive spectrum across those afflicted.
    -The amount of dysfunction in each cell and the amount of dysfunctional cells in a particular area or organ.
    -The amount of cells in that organ, period.
    -The amount of mitochondria in each cell.
    -The amount of ROS in each mitochondria.
    -The type of stress/trauma, to what extent, how many times, how often..
    -An individual’s genetics..
    -The amount of antioxidants they consume, and how often.
    -The amount and type of proteins consumed.
    -Their overall diet and lifestyle, in connection to their genetics.
    -Blood flow to the brain
    Etc etc etc..

    We also have corrective pathways, however there are highly popular substances such as caffeine that block those corrective pathways.

    What that all boils down to is the need for individualized treatment.
    Despite beginning with a deficiency that leads to a metabolic error, that error creates a cascade of destructive deficiencies, making the road back to good health a unique path for everyone.

    But that’s not how the medical and pharmaceutical world operates, is it?
    They would rather waste decade after decade, billions & BILLIONS of dollars, in search of a magic pill that will bring a massive return on their investment.

    The solution commands people get involved with their own health.
    Truly, know thyselves.
    Which requires better education in basic biology instead of creating a mass disconnect between an individual and the knowledge necessary to function properly and/or dumbing down an entire population by acting as if they lack the capacity to understand or that the material is too complicated.
    It also commands us to acknowledge that the society we have created is quite literally destroying us from the inside out.
    And yes, it very much suggests that psychologists and psychiatrists should have a medical degree.
    Had enough of them studied and understood the neuroscience & biology involved, it would have been evident that an individual’s mental health is a direct reflection of their physical & neurological function/dysfunction rather than just something psychological they need to work through in order to fix themselves.

    However, working through things can and often is extremely beneficial because it trains our brains to approach things from not only a different perspective but literally a different neuropathway, which gives the afflicted pathway time to heal.
    It also helps us approach the trauma in a calmer manner, aiding once more in physical recovery.
    The combination prevents us from retraumatizing ourselves as much, allowing for even further recovery opposed to more damage.
    So while it may not be the overall solution, it does have the potential to be beneficial for certain folks in the meantime.

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    • Do tau tangles affect mitochondria?. Is tau protein expressed inside mitochondria?.

      Reactive oxygen species research has not provided any causal explanation, let alone a treatment for anything, it was a fashionable nonsense to publish papers from the beggining. Even protecting organs from reperfusion proved quenching ROS useless to prevent damage.

      Nutrition as treament for something other than real and very rare genetic diseases, even for those, has not really panned out, as far as I know.

      And explanations that invoke a lot of things: numbers called “amounts” of cells in an organ, “amount” of dysfunction in each? cell, four variables of trauma, four variables of stress, ALL? of an individuals genetics, I asume including non-coding regions of the genome,etc., sounds so pseudoscientific.

      Respectfully and appreciative of effort and good intent.

      And I have trouble understanding how all of that contributes to your feelings of being sick?, disordered?, suffering?, even expressing my doubts is difficult for me, stated as such.

      Again, respectfully and appreciative you are trying to accomplish something positive.

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  22. First the idea that medicine doesn’t help mental illnesses like depression or anxiety is totally foolish and dangerous. As a person who has used them and know others who have used them can tell you they do work. Arrogant researchers or those with hidden agendas produce these garbage articles. Now other mental health workers read things like this and believe it and refuse to prescribe medications that work well and ease suffering. The whole premise that drugs can only be used if biological causes are know is stupid. I think these “researchers” are so out of touch with reality that they never actually talk to patients, they just draw the conclusion they want out of manipulated data. Stop. Talk to patients.

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    • “First the idea that medicine doesn’t help mental illnesses like depression or anxiety is totally foolish and dangerous.” I don’t think so, it is a claim based on published research, lived experience, common sense, logic, journalistic investigations into the corruption of the medical publishing bussiness, legal cases, research for books publishing, leaks of pharma documents and the like, insider information, etc., etc.

      Unlike your statement, the opposite claim actually has LOTS of published evidence, is not a mere statement in a comment.

      “As a person who has used them and know others who have used them can tell you they do work.”, no, at best, you can say that you think, that you believe they worked for you and or they worked for the people YOU know used them. You have no evidence that happened as you believe: you have only your testimony of something you are not an expert in, and apparently haven’t read enough about.

      Unlike many average readers, posters and commenters at MIA. No offense intended, just explaining why those claims are not valid, they carry no weight. At least as phrased, in my analysis, not my opinion of them. I am taking apart your claims to prove that they don’t even have hot air in them, respectfully so…

      You cannot claim they work for anyone else, phrased like that. That could confidently be called propaganda or advertising, the last against the rules here at MIA, as far as I understand.

      “Arrogant researchers”, prove the writer of the MIA post in question is arrogant, or the existence of arrogant researchers is relevant to your comment.

      “Now other mental health workers read things like this and believe it and refuse to prescribe medications that work well and ease suffering.”, prove that one: the prescription of psychiatric medications has not moved an inch by the rhetoric of trauma and inequality.

      It did by the journalistic reports of increased suicidality in children prescribed antidepressants. By the risperdal long series of articles and the Zyprexa papers. I have seen no evidence that what is claimed in this MIA piece has changed practitioners ill informed prescribing habits. Prove it.

      “The whole premise that drugs can only be used if biological causes are know is stupid.”, how so?, prove that premise is stupid.

      Be mindfull premises usually are not stupid, conclusions probably are, some of the time, reductio ad absurdum. But usually it comes from the argument, premises are usually either true or false in the real world of premises, arguments and conclusions. Stupidity, in logic, if applies at all, probably applies to arguments and/or conclusions, not premises, when understood or done wrongly…

      ” Talk to patients.” and don’t do or understand logic?. Don’t read evidence?. Just claim anything disagreable is stupid unless it comes from another patient?. Hahahaha. 🙂

      Well, at least your unstated premises look funny to me. 🙂

      That was fun even if a little propagandistic and against evidence.

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  23. Im guessing this page is a safe space for anyi-pharma confirmation bias.
    Of course twin studies demonstrate that most serious psychiatric disorders have a prominent genetic substrate – OCD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Type 1 – all have much higher rates in identical twins than non-identical siblings and this isn’t an equivocal statement – it’s been solidly demonstrated for decades.
    If psychiatry and psychopharmacology have failed then how successful have psychological interventions in improving the active psychosis of positive symptoms in schizophrenia? Stabilising mood in Bipolar Disorder? The answer is they haven’t.

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    • “Stabilizing” in a psychiatric context simply means disturbance of normal brain functioning, whether through the administration of cell-destroying electroshock or addictive neurotoxins. Read Dr. Peter Breggin’s “Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry” and “Toxic Psychiatry.” Also Robert Whitaker’s “Anatomy of an Epidemic.”

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    • Of course twin studies haven not proven anything psychiatric in decades.

      There is a few months back interview at MIA about a book review by a prominent writer that shows genetic research has not proven anything in psychiatry. It can be found fairly quickly if one cares to look for it at MIA. The author’s arguments go to the grain of why twin research is flawed not only when it comes to mental disorders.

      His arguments actually date from at least the 70s and were then applied to genetic research on the IQ. I was in the 90s familiar with those since being a high-school student. And they still show twin research is severely flawed, particularly in psychiatry. I am suprised researchers and promoters of such research are not familiar, even experts in those decades old… arguments…

      Then there is the admission by the former director of the NIMH that he did very cool research in genetics, nonetheless, that benefited no patient. At great expense, his words. And that is more accurate, in principle, than twin studies.

      Then there are I think several MIA pieces that show that at beast, around 100 genes can explain 3% of the “risk” of having schizophrenia.

      Three percent of the cases, formulated differently, are explained by very expensive and very large mutation studies in lots of people, not merely 200 twins which is I think the largest twin/schizophrenia research pubished, and I think that is decades old, but I might be mistaken on the details. Three percent, not fifty percent, let alone a hundred percent.

      And that does not retell the decades old fake findings of now we have a gene for bipolarity or schizophrenia. Every few years some research group comes with one of those multiple press quoted “findings”, only to be deflated by subsequent irreproducibility. As most psychiatric research, for centuries always has.

      Always for everything has in psychiatry gone the way of the dodo, that’s why they do consensuses and mere opinions: research has not been at all on psychiatry’s side. Period…

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  24. Neurodiversity includes metabolic issues that can be inherited and effect the entire body, including the brain. Why would we deny this reality for the brain when it is so fundamentally useful to the other medical specialties such as cardiology and opthalmology , etc? Neurodiversity of all organs of the body includes the altered signalling of certain variants of L type-Voltage Gated Calcium Channels (LVGCC) which have their corresponding gene variants. The science literature describes the altered signalling of these LVGCC as causing cellular injury in the context of inflammation, which can result in a destructive “cascade” of cell death known as apoptosis. Ask the neuroimmunologist-endocrinologist-whomever how that inflammatory state triggers fluctuations in cortisol which in some people perturbs the HPA axis and causes mania. (From google: “A major component of the homeostatic response is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, an intricate, yet robust, neuroendocrine mechanism that mediates the effects of stressors by regulating numerous physiological processes, such as metabolism, immune responses, and the autonomic nervous system (ANS).”)
    I am not the only one to observe an infection, that causes inflammation, to trigger a mania, and I have seen the resolution of an infection to imminently precede the resolution of mania. Most people don’t develop mania from a common infection. We are talking about a minority of people who DON”T want to be gaslighted about their own neurodiversity. These people would benefit from treatment of their inflammatory conditions and nutritious food, in a supportive peaceful, environment where a good sleep pattern can be re-established. ( I suspect that for many patients, it is these holistic factors that actually stabilize them more than the antipsychotics.) Neurodiversity is a reality at the microscopic level of genetics for the entire human body.
    Etiology includes the environment, the biology, and the socio-emotional factors. Of course, we need to address both the systemic problems and the very personal social-emotional and communication problems in families, schools, etc., but that doesn’t negate the reality of endogenous risk factors for sensitivity. These sensitive people are at risk from the toxicity of modern life.
    Additionally, people are displaced from the environments to which their ancient ancestors( re: genetics) adapted for survival, due to historical migrations or conflicts or human rights abuses. These environmental displacements may result in metabolic stress related to different food sources, circadian rhythms, climate changes, allergies , etc. Furthermore, nutritionist Dr. Julia Rucklidge explains that people have lost the ancient survival information re: nutrition. Today there is not only pervasive ignorance re: nutrition, but food scarcity, processed foods with unnatural additives, and nutritional depletion of agricultural soils-especially of magnesium, all of which may exacerbate particular metabolic risk factors for mental illness. Finally, in modern times, a decrease in physical activity that helps to regulate the metabolism is a serious problem for the body-mind connection. Obesity increases inflammation which is known to produce a depressive state, and increase risk for other symptoms of mental illness.
    Obvious examples of metabolic-gene related risks for mental illness would be the tragic outcomes for a significant number of indigenous peoples when they are displaced from their traditional, purposeful, and physically active lifestyle and must adopt modern life in a state of poverty, eating non-traditional-processed foods that cause them generally more than others to develop obesity, diabetes, depression, alcoholism, violence. To be clear, there are genes which indicate risks for alcoholism, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders.
    The summary denial of biology does not fit the facts.

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  25. I find the phrase “dysfunctional responses to trauma” troubling; what then, is a functional response to trauma? A response is a response. People react and cope in different ways and it’s all functional to a degree. I also am disappointed that the 3 concrete examples given on changing behavior are all basically providing financial support to those experiencing poverty. Of course money helped those families which were suffering financially! I am not disagreeing that people should be given money to help their circumstances; it would solve numerous problems. It doesn’t disprove that drugs are helpful and life-saving to many people, nor does it replace therapy. In the instance comparing wealth disparity between men and women performing the same job, the author suggests that removing the pay gap is a “psychological treatment” that proves effective. Proper compensation for one’s work would solve many societal issues, only because it would remove financial burdens that add to people’s stress and anxiety, perhaps so they can seek therapy and/or medicine. This article was annoyingly polarizing and arrogant, especially given the many factors that influence our mental health on a day to day basis.

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    • Strictly speaking no, in physiology, and specially in pathophisiology there are abnormal reactions and paradoxical harmfull reactions.

      Fainting upon standing, although not rare, is not normal, and it can be harmfull. It is not a normal reaction, and it is not always pathological, it speaks of no disease most of the time, even if one can brake something like that.

      But I think your point is valid: clinical psychology has no way to claim what is a normal reaction to psychological trauma, since the normality of anything in clinical psychology has not been established.

      To me, it would be like saying someone is hypertensive or has diabetes without knowing what the normal blood pressure is, the normal glucose level is, and worse: no way to meassure either.

      There is no traumatometer in clinical psychology…

      In physical trauma you can meassure the separation between two pieces of skin, or the separation between two pieces of a previously single bone. One can meassure how off site a joint actually is, how big in mililiters a blood collection, a clot, inside the skull really is. None of that is posible for psychological trauma. One can try to approximate two pieces of skin to see if they can be suture as they normally fitted before the trauma. I dare anyone to try to approximate the at least two fragments of my lacerated soul… and measure that to see if I need a soul graft.

      It is subjective, opinion and appreciative, and therefore not only not evidence based, but unscientific. PhD’s or not…

      That’s the problem with analogies: they lack explanatory power, and when properly followed, faithfully argued, they lead to preposterous conclusions: like soul fragments, soul surgery, mind hematomas, and the like.

      Traumatized mind or soul, sounds to me as pernicious as insulin for diabetes…

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  26. “Stabilizing” in a psychiatric context simply means disturbance of normal brain functioning, whether through the administration of cell-destroying electroshock or addictive neurotoxins. Read Dr. Peter Breggin’s “Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry” and “Toxic Psychiatry.” Also Robert Whitaker’s “Anatomy of an Epidemic.”

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  27. Very dangerous for a bipolar patient to hear this and think they don’t need meds. Bipolar is a biological, neurological condition with a genetic basis. A few can go without meds but some will cycle even in ideal life conditions.

    Agree that most of the cases of depression, anxiety, etc among the population are generally situational and should be addressed by improving the conditions and quality of life such as fair pay, etc.

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    • That was the old rhetoric when bipolarity was 1 in 10 depressed persons, and depressed persons where 1 in a 1,000 people. Not now that at least 30% are labeled depressed, and at least 5% bipolar…

      Nowadays most people labeled bipolar actually probably have toxicity, properly defined, by SSRIs. So not real bipolar, but bipolar like by medications prescribed by their physicians. The Mr. Aftab quoted figure of less than 1% of SSRI users expressing bipolar like behaviour is way less than proposed by Peter Gotzche, and Peter Breggin and other authors who claim around 10-15% of users of SSRIs express at least hypomania. That under the spell of psychiatry, as it stands now, will be labeled as bipolar disoder.

      There is no genetic, biochemical or neurological evidence bipolar is a disease. Show me the evidence of the brain structures that cause it. Show me the genes that cause it, not the correlation or twin studies. Show me actual meassures of biochemicals that cause, not merely correlated with bipolar behaviours.

      If those things had evidence as claims, the mechanism of lithium, claimed by Mr Aftab as the only effective treatment in ALL psychiztry would have been elucidated. To this day the kerfuffle of lithium being beneficial for bipolar lacks a mechanism, almost 70yrs after it was first used.

      Simple logic and common sense would suggest that if there was proof bipolar is genetic, biochemical and neurological, the causes of it would explain the pandered efectiveness of lithium, in such a big way by such a tall figure in psychiatry!.

      That is not the case, then there is no evidence bipolar is biological either.

      But, dropping lithium and many psychiatric drugs suddenly is dangerous, I agree with that.

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      • There are some ideas for partial genetic causes for bipolar disorder currently, such as mutations in CACNA1C, TRANK1, and ANK3. See “The Emerging Neurobiology of Bipolar Disorder” by Harrison, Geddes, and Tunbridge (2018). GSK3B (aka glycogen synthase kinase 3β) is another one, see “The involvement of GSK3β in bipolar disorder: Integrating evidence from multiple types of genetic studies” by Luykx et al. (2010) – it’s paywalled, but you could go to a “SCIENCE HUB” to see it.

        Also, lithium inhibits glycogen synthase kinase 3β, so that could be lithium’s mechanism of action.

        There are also neuroimaging studies pointing to circuits involved in bipolar disorder – see citations 2-4 and 87-90 in the first paper I mentioned.

        Lastly, keep in mind that this is a fairly new field. The Human Genome Project was only completed in 2003. Even then, the cost of getting it sequenced was $10000+ until 2011 and $1000+ until 2019. Computational biologists are trying to untangle the most complex “black boxes” on Earth. Human bodies are networks of hundreds of thousands of unique molecules (which each have all sorts of causes and effects on other molecules) and a 6.4-gigabit genome that can have all sorts of mutations, and evolution slapped us together over billions of years without documentation or a debugger.

        It’s only been realistically feasible to collect large amounts of data on that network for a bit over a decade. If you’re trying to solve a problem of this scale, you need as much data as possible. It’s like the joke about a drunk looking for his keys under a lamp because it’s easier – looking for completely new ideas is hard when the cost of sequencing genomes was far more than a grant would pay. (Luckily, programs like All of Us and similar programs in other countries have changed/are changing that.)

        I was going to end by comparing computational biology’s current position (20 years after the HGP) with that of computer hardware in 1965 (20 years after the ENIAC). But I’d say the former is at a disadvantage – it’d be easier to implement a computer than reverse-engineer a massive alien computer (which is closer to comp. bio.). But still, using that imperfect comparison, I’d say that comp. bio. is doing very well – the field has made a lot of progress on various fronts in the short time that it’s had a decent set of tools.

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  28. It’s bad medicine to indiscriminately prescribe powerful psychoactive substances for “diagnoses” that are merely based on rudimentary checklists and pie-in-the-sky theories especially while ignoring or discounting possible environmental and relational factors.

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  29. I’m in the meds have saved my life camp ⛺️. However as with anything that is profitable in a capitalist society. The Drug companies pushing dr’s to prescribe certain rx is a problem. As has been from day one in the medical fields. The all black or white approach to this article is a bit on the arrogant side. The author ✍️ sites the countless studies to the contrary for all the negative studies against.
    Business as usual

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  30. The only thing I see that the author misses, and most people miss, is the universal human power of thought. Universally, we feel thought, not circumstances. As a mother who lost a son to suicide and considered suicide myself, I can honestly say; all mental disorders are proceeded by a period of negative, stressful thinking. For which, the ‘cure’ is in having insights, epiphanies, or aha moments (choose your word) about the nature of human experience and life suddenly looks differently. When that happens, behaviors change, attitudes and outlooks on life change. In other words, mental disorders shift when perspective changes. This is why, to my mind, therapy can be helpful, because it can be a catalyst for insight. But…only if the therapist or coach understands how the human experience really works (from the inside-out), can point their patient/client in this direction, and can see that every person is already mentally whole and healthy, but for the thinking they have that obscures this truth from them.

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    • Not denying your insight and experience.

      But at least, I think, Carol’s daugther narrative and some other published info speaks of impulsivity as a dominant element of suicide in people consuming psychotropics. The out of the blue kind of act.

      Even forced hospitalization increases suicide risk by at least 60 fold, that never even halfs, if I am remembering correctly for decades…

      So there is to my mind an element of inner struggle to suicidal behaviour, but for some the treatments and the impulsivity caused by them, in some adding the akathisia induced by medication or its withdrawal is a dominant element.

      And that inner reflection preceeding suicide is probably absent in children induced to suicidal behavior when prescribed antidepressants. Rare as it might be.

      Sorry for your loss and what is connected to that.

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  31. My mom started on Blood pressure, Valium [hypertension] in her 30’s. She was molested at 9 to 14 & remained on anxiety meds w/Diabetes til (death) she had so many pills. A smoker 50 years. Undiagnosed Trauma no talk therapy! Her husband. The VA sent psychiatric meds after [Retirement] his mental breakdown & he Sat in front of that TV comatosed. After he passed. We found a hefty trash bag full of pills, he stopped taking. He died young from Leukemia. ALL preventable. I Hope these experts can get “New Bills” passed to protect people. Medicine is a business. I believe in short-term intervention for injury or some random disease. If we study natural and homeopathic treatment. Less likely to go from 1 disease to the next. I believe the Chinese people, diet, & herbal remedies are best!! I’ve been taking herbs 28 years. Excellent results. Exercise is preventing illness & serious injury. Portion control. Green tea. O Sugar. No red meat. Research the oldest in the world. Bicentennial people live in Loma Linda CA. Vegetarians. I quit coffee for my teeth ☕. 11/19/23. Teccino Herbal [dark chocolate] organic adaptogens with no caffeine. Taste like nuttie coffee ☕. H2O at H20 is the way to go.

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  32. This article should be propped up as a perfect example of propaganda. Take one seed of truth and extrapolate that truth to 30 false statements, that are blatantly untrue in order to get across your biased point of view and make others believe as you do. 90% of the facts of this article are just completely untrue. Just outright lies. But the 10% of truth is verifiable, so makes you think the rest might be true as well. It isn’t.

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    • Probably it is a field issue. I guess most articles that deal with mental issues have that kind of 90% BS vs 10% potentially verifiable information.

      Top psychology papers are only 50% reproducible, meaning in scientific terms they make false claims.

      Like reading critical research in other pseudosciences. Lots of squabbles, lots of name calling, no evidence smoking gun, that kind of thing.

      There is a recent linked article from MIA I think from Mr. Aftab that put some vague context to the fights over the DSM evolution, that to me sounded a lot to the mythical byzantine discussions. And probably for the same reasons: dogma, belief and lack of evidence. Which to me in psychiatry and clinical psychology is closer to superstition than faith, as in medieval times…

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  33. I’m not sure that sweeping rejection of psychiatric medications or extolling all forms of talk therapy is warranted or supported by research at all. What I value is information about the advantages, disadvantages, risks, benefits, and costs of any so-called treatment. I value informed choice about what to try and what to avoid based on my own values. I value the right to describe and define my lived experience in my own words, and to pursue whatever course of action I choose without shame from antipsychiatry, psychiatry, clinical psychology, or any other “ology”. Information is power. Let’s examine information more carefully and let people decide for themselves what choices to make.

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    • I agree in principle. But apparently psychiatric medications in the aggregate of consumers cause more harm than good, precisely because, as argued in this MIA piece I think their beneficial effects are so small, that most of the time a practitioner can’t notice them in his or her patients.

      And as I think argued, the harms to a single consumer who turned akathisic or accomplished suicide negates the aggregate benefit to large groups of small benefiting individuals.

      The years lost to a young adult lost to suicide caused by SSRIs is worth more than the mere claim of life saving benefits by very vociferous proponents of effectiveness. That is not an opinion, it is backed by evidence. It costs, or used to cost $50,000 per every year of a persons life. 50-60 yers of life lost, on that conservative estimate, in money terms is worth between $2,500,000 to $3,000,000. Just on the life lost, as if in the vacuum.

      I doubt that SSRIs can provide that kind of benefit in money terms to enough people to come out even, on par with its use, even under informed consent. The increased risk of suicidality by SSRIs is at least 4-fold. The baseline rate of suicide in the US is at around 15 per 100,000 people. That means taking SSRIs there are around 60 per 100,000 accomplished suicides, across all age groups. Not in the more risky category as young adults are.

      That means one suicide induced by SSRIs ocurs in around 1,667 people users of them, and that is a low estimate. That means the use of SSRIs should provide at least a benefit to the rest of consumers of around $1,650 to come even at just the life lost, for every year SSRIs are used, every year, a life lost is lost forever. Usually on the first year, or the year of first switch, etc.

      Not taking into account the indirect costs to society, the costs of treatment, the income of practitioners, insurers, the govnmnt, and the suffering of relatives, I bet it does not include the trivial: the funerary costs…

      Just the life lost as if in the vacuum. And the more awefull fact that no one wants to pay with one’s life for the benefit of another when it comes to medical treatment, or what passes as medical treatment. That is or was forbidden at least in mexican law.

      And not taking into account the other harms, side effects, like sexual dysfunction caused by those medications.

      I doubt SSRIs provide even a benefit beyond explicit expenses, the actual money doled out to buy the pills. And I can be confident that is probably not the case because drug companies do not pay for lives lost to suicide by SSRIs, they do not pay for the sexual dysfunction caused by their medications. They benefit from selling more drugs to treat those!.

      They have incentives to cause unacknowledged side effects to sell more of their wares: like in bipolarity induced by SSRIs or antipsychotics for treatment depression and what more have you not.

      Their profit and prices does not consider disability caused by psychiatric treatments either, they benefit from medicare and medicaid and state health insurance when people are institutionalized after being disabled from psychiatric treatments.

      And their pricing is fixed to charge as much as the benefit provided by their medications, at least outside psychiatry*. So, there is no room to put those costs of lives lost in the price of SSRIs. No room for disability costs, no room for side effects. Only more profit from selling more wares to pretend to treat those too, as if they were not caused by their medications.

      The medication wegovy for diabetes and off label to loose weight has a price that is almost the benefit in added years to life of using it, when put in dollar amounts. As per the recent articles about it and my calculations, informal ones, and that tends, as I think this article argues, to be less and less as time goes by and better or more current research puts the drugs’ value in a more correct perspective.

      Pharma does that kind of pricing all the time: it is the best way to extract as much profit from a drug. Price it just under the benefit for users, the actual value for users.*

      So, although in principle informed choices might diminish the harms, in reality probably never will do enough to make the use of mere SSRI beneficial at the population level.

      And trying to inform patients when they are desperate and only know of the propaganda of antidepressants in the comercials, in the best of hands might be not that effective for informed consent purposes.

      And as for examining evidence of the balance between harms and benefits from psychiatric treatments, if I were to follow what practitioners write in their articles and blogs, or follow their prescription patterns, I could not conclude they can examine evidence accurately, let alone explaining it, presenting it to patients in the best way possible to minimize harms.

      Some scarce psychiatrists have expressed regret at starting and not being so far able to discontinue their meds, and they definitively should have known better than a GP, a physician’s assitant or a nurse. That does not sounds propicious to me for informed consent even when provided by psychiatrists.

      *Those pricing examples and inferences are not unique to pharma. The value in dollar amounts of higher education in the US is exactly zero when weighting the costs of such education, versus the income over a lifetime of having a Bs degree. Including those students who never graduated, but owe money on credit to pay for such education, from which they will not benefit. As per a recent NYTimes piece and it’s references. That’s called an efficient market: the cost and the benefit, the money payed when buying something, are almost equal when the market works efficiently. For african americans difference between the cost and value of higher education has been zero since the 70s!, when it includes those that did not graduated. But, people with Bs degrees do tend to live longer, around 7yrs, than people with only a high-school diploma.

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      • How can we expect the pharma-dominated system to be transparent about the limitations and dangers of its medications? We don’t have authentic informed choice. . Dr. Edward Bullmore of “The Inflamed Mind” says that the psych system is operating 20 years behind the science and that amounts to malpractice.

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      • How can we expect the pharma-dominated system to be transparent about the limitations and dangers of its medications? We don’t have authentic informed choice. . Dr. Edward Bullmore, of GSK and author of “The Inflamed Mind”, says that the psych system is operating 20 years behind the science and that amounts to malpractice.

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  34. Ok, so I “jumped the rail” and started out “off topic” by focusing on mania instead of depression and anxiety in my effort to give a dramatic example of inflammation’s effect on the HPA. However, my major focus is the genetically-increased risk of harm from inflammation, inflammation being a factor in depression and much more. Below, here is a link to a research article that I find helpful. Trigger Warning: There may be something for everyone to argue about. Please scroll down.
    ” Frontiers in Immunology PMC6658985
    Front Immunol. 2019; 10: 1696.
    Published online 2019 Jul 19. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01696
    PMCID: PMC6658985
    PMID: 31379879
    The Role of Inflammation in Depression and Fatigue
    Chieh-Hsin Lee1 and Fabrizio Giuliani1,2,*
    Depression and fatigue are conditions responsible for heavy global societal burden, especially in patients already suffering from chronic diseases. These symptoms have been identified by those affected as some of the most disabling symptoms which affect the quality of life and productivity of the individual. While many factors play a role in the development of depression and fatigue, both have been associated with increased inflammatory activation of the immune system affecting both the periphery and the central nervous system (CNS). This is further supported by the well-described association between diseases that involve immune activation and these symptoms in autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and immune system activation in response to infections, like sepsis. Treatments for depression also support this immunopsychiatric link. Antidepressants have been shown to decrease inflammation, while higher levels of baseline inflammation predict lower treatment efficacy for most treatments. Those patients with higher initial immune activation may on the other hand be more responsive to treatments targeting immune pathways, which have been found to be effective in treating depression and fatigue in some cases. These results show strong support for the hypothesis that depression and fatigue are associated with an increased activation of the immune system which may serve as a valid target for treatment. Further studies should focus on the pathways involved in these symptoms and the development of treatments that target those pathways will help us to better understand these conditions and devise more targeted treatments.”

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  35. I think this is particularly important for children who have no idea of their own health status when they feel depressed. Parents may misinterpret changes in behavior. A functional-holistic doctor could screen the child for nutritional imbalances and chronic infections-the child being a carrier sometimes of strep, or yeast infections, serious acne infections, allergies, etc and completely avoid the risky exposure to anti-depressants. Parasitic infection also needs to be ruled out. Scroll down to Abstract:
    Biol Mood Anxiety Disord. 2014; 4: 10.
    Published online 2014 Oct 21. doi: 10.1186/2045-5380-4-10
    PMCID: PMC4215336
    PMID: 25364500
    Reconceptualizing major depressive disorder as an infectious disease
    Turhan Canlicorresponding author1,2,3,4

    In this article, I argue for a reconceptualization of major depressive disorder (major depression) as an infectious disease. I suggest that major depression may result from a parasitic, bacterial, or viral infection and present examples that illustrate possible pathways by which these microorganisms could contribute to the etiology of major depression. I also argue that the reconceptualization of the human body as an ecosystem for these microorganisms and the human genome as a host for non-human exogenous sequences may greatly amplify the opportunity to discover genetic links to the illness. Deliberately speculative, this article is intended to stimulate novel research approaches and expand the circle of researchers taking aim at this vexing illness.
    Keywords: Genomics, Virus, Bacterial, Parasite, Depression”

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    • It’s interesting to me that regardless of agenda, at least in this abstract it can be seen that researchers are observing a link between depression and inflammation caused by medical conditions. The greater context at large is the counter -interest to contain costs and reduce needless screenings for organic causes which may result in a parent becoming labeled as a denier of psychiatric diagnosis and/or as a Munchausen case grasping for an exotic diagnosis. Still remaining is a justified cynicism re: pharma’s neglect of the best interests of patients. The author of this article is upfront with his/her agenda, but what does he know and care about the suffering of research subjects? The researcher writes, “Deliberately speculative, this article is intended to stimulate novel research approaches and expand the circle of researchers taking aim at this vexing illness.” What is the researcher-author’s real-life experience and knowledge of the patients’ moment-by-moment best interests during their hope for relief as mental patients who are obstructed from alternatives to pharma treatments?

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  36. Until we have testing that shows physical proof of brain abnormalities, doctors are forced into trial and error to see how someone responds to drug treatment. But there is the flip side, where Psychologists use CBT with no medication. They think talk therapy alone will turn things around. A real life example is a loved one who was convinced he didn’t need any drugs for his anxiety, mood and sleep issues. Good habits were supposed to keep him from flipping out and functioning at his day job with minimal sleep. A year went by. CBT was helpful, yet he still had outbursts and poor performance attributed to lack of sleep. Losing sleep for a year was harmful to his health. An inexpensive and non-addictive sleeping aid helped more than Melatonin or CBT alone ever did. It helped him adopt good sleep hygeine habits. His brain functioned better at work and outbursts were less frequent. The fear of prescribing drugs was hurting him. An inexpensive sleep aid turned things around and really didn’t enrich Big Pharma. Fear of precribing is the polar opposite of over medicating. The all or nothing approach can harm patients who really need care. The risks of taking prescriptions should not impede the rewards of better functioning. A balanced approach takes more work than simply not prescribing anything, but that is what patients deserve.

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    • Doctors are not forced into trial and error, they are supposed to use nowadays evidence based medicine. Using judgement, clinical judgement sounds almost opposite to trial and error.

      There is also the first do no harm principle, trial and error sounds not only ineffective but harmfull, at a minimum by denying the opportunity, the right of the patient to search for something else, or pay no money for trials and errors.

      Then there is the not often recognized fact in jurisprudence that no decision by authorities can be irrational. It is against the law for an authority to have no reason to do anything. Or to do something against logic and reason. Cognizant some authorities use no judgement at all, at least in the US, by law.

      Practitioners might not look as authorities in the legal sense of the term, but at least in some mexican jurisprudence, they are: they form part of the National Health System, and they have obligations they can’t abstain from doing by at least the mandates of the General Health Law, that defines everyone in the health system, and what their obligations are.

      And that simple set of facts, legal facts, according to recent mexican Supreme Court jurisprudence, for some effects make anyone part of the National Health System, an authority. And therefore bound to be rational on any act as an authority, whose authority actually derives from said law, and the binding effects on their freedom to act otherwise. They are coerced into authorityship and they require recognizition as authorities even for their own benefit.

      I am guessing the mexican case is not unique, and irrationality is even forbidden in medical practice outside mexican borders.

      But I admit I am no lawyer, and giving no legal opinion nor analysis.

      And what if there is no net positive balance in psychiatric or clinical psychology treatments?.What if for the aggregate there are more harms than benefits?.

      Claiming balance is needed, asumes without proof balance exists . At least Peter Gotzche, Thomas Szaszas and me have/had evidence and arguments that such balance is patently negative when it comes to psychaitry. Not that I am at their stature.

      Funny because your example apparently does not claim specific benefits or harms by medication nor psychotherapy, which is the main topic of the thread of comments and the MIA piece. Your apparent claims seem to be about ineffectiveness, that is an evidence based metric, not an opinion based one.

      Like pointing to something not relevant for that, a sleeping aid could be a pillow, a blanket or a positive pressure device for those with sleep apnea.

      Even a lullabie is a sleeping aid. Kiddy blankets can be addictive by the way.

      And it seems the “fear” was expressed by the sufferer despite being adviced, by I asume qualified practitioners, whom apparently could not provide informed consent after, I guess, lots of trials and errors?. Was that not negligent? or merely just blame the patient?.

      The all or nothing approach won’t harm more people when the interventions are actually more harmfull than beneficial. The risks of taking prescriptons SHOULD impede better functioning for some, when in the aggreate cause more suffering than benefit. That’s why medications are approved based on controlled trials not on laypersons’ opinion polls…

      Patients deserve not a balanced approach, they above all deserve safety. That’s the main reason the FDA was created, not to provide a balanced approach.

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    • I didn’t read your whole post, but there does exist physical proof of what is going on with the brain.

      It totally exists, but is being ignored. Tan Le invented the first wearable EEG machine. It measures the electrical activity in the brain, which is akin to medical doctors using X-rays and other tests. One model is called the Epoc X, which can be purchased by anyone for $800.

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  37. Now, after reading almost all comments in this thread, trying to comment on many, claiming no link whatsoever to MIA and admitedly invading their camp I feel obligated to put this idea forward to the readership.

    In my limited knowledge, poor experience and lack of tact it is decidedly wrong to recommend a medication, even a treatment without having evidence and lacking credentials to do so.

    Particularly when said recomendation is harmfull, can be harmfull or carries risk. That could be a liability for MIA and the person’s recommending them. And a to be materialized harm to those actually suffering it.

    I know many comments at MIA merely suggest something might be beneficial, but some go beyond what strictly is allowed from ONLY personal experience, lack of evidence and worse: lack of credentials.

    Even suggesting such is the case: there might be benefit does not look to me safe enough to be used so prodigaly as at least in this thread of comments. At least because that simulates what actual practitioners actually do: the treatment might have a benefit for you. They legaly can’t even claim that it will. That bad that situation is in real medical practice.

    Suggesting thus seems at least like an impersonation, and in some places even that impersonation might be illegal when one does not have the credentials to be a “suggester”.

    And if not illegal it definitively sounds or looks immoral precisely because one is lacking credentials to pass as someone qualified to even suggest a medication can be useful for someone else. And lacking specifics to do so even if one were qualified.

    I appreciate freedom of speech and the benefit of sharing positive experiences, but with them comes the responsability to not be reckless with them. And the recognition that might not be the case for someone else. And one sometimes is not qualified to even suggest it might. And even when one is, one might be legally bared from doing it without the formal legal requirements specific for the case.

    Even the mere implied suggestion something risky or harmfull can be beneficial, sometimes, to me, can be reckless, and therefore to be discouraged in public forums.

    Particularly with medications that can cause at a minimum what is called idiosyncratic reactions not predictable for ANYONE. As many first severe allergic reactions are. Those were, at least, the most frequent cause for malpractice lawsuits, and are, for the most part unpredictable.

    That dangerous and great source of legal liability medications can be. And by implication recomending, even suggesting one will bring more benefit than harm, specially when such claims appears to be extensive for anyone, have an inherent dangerousness to them.

    Not even doctors can do that precisely because of idiosyncratic reactions, that’s why informed consent was supposed to be adopted for ALL medications.

    There are laws in many countries against promotion, advertising and mere “recomendations” for medical, pharmacological treatments or not.

    Even vitamins, food suplements and nutraceuticals can’t be advertised in some places as maybe beneficial for something: there is no evidence they are or could be.

    Except in specific recognized medical deficiencies or diseases. And those suggestions that it might be beneficial, need to be approved and are monitored by the health authorities or the trade ones.

    As far as I understand MIA does not do advertising. And it should not allow comments that could be interpreted by the readership as such. But that is for MIA to clarify, not me.

    There is more, nutraceuticals which are not approved to claim any benefit to treat anything, stem cell therapies, probably, for neurological disease which are proven harmfull. But those are in other comment threads, and again it is for MIA to clarify and if proper to curtail, not for me to do so.

    As a final thought for the layperson: harms are actually determined and judged differently than benefits. Saying something is harmfull is different than saying something might bring more benefit than harm. There are many examples of that.

    I am no lawyer, but saying psychiatric treatments might be harmfull does not require, as far as I understand credentials, reading and understanding the evidence is more than enough. Even lived experience might have a public benefit kind of defense if something went wrong with that.

    Saying something might bring more benefit than harm does require such credentials, at least because it requires qualified judgement. Maybe some lawyer cared to chip in?.

    Absent a pro’s opinion, I thinly suggest adopting the journalistic approach: X claims in said source that this might benefit this group of individuals. Put the reference and that seems safer than at least many comments in this thread.

    Because when one claims one’s expertise or experience for sugesting or recomending something on one’s mere experience as posibly more beneficial, one is doing something that journalists know better not to do!. Why would that be?.

    And that’s part of what doctors, credentialed ones actually do: “In my experience my patients actually do good on this new medication”. That also looks like impersonation to me when a non credentialed individual does that.

    Respectfully and appreciative of all the effort poured in this thread of comments…

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  38. Yes, Birdsong: in fact, one of Thomas Szasz’s books was titled “Psychiatry: the Science of Lies.” But I wouldn’t dignify the mental health industry by calling it a science at all. Rather, it should be more properly described as a gigantic pseudo-medical cargo cult, i.e. a racket that coins pretentious Latin or Greek-sounding words such as dysphoria, dysthymia, schizophrenia, neurosis, psychosis, etc. to confer upon itself an aura of scientific legitimacy and authority.

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  39. John Briere, Ph.D. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California wrote,

    “If we could somehow end child abuse and neglect, the eight hundred pages of the DSM would be shrunk to a pamphlet in two generations.”

    I wonder why leading figures in psychology and psychiatry haven’t proposed an entirely new kind of parenting education that reaches everyone, everywhere. It seems like such an obvious way forward.

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  40. yeah, i don’t think this author (and by extension, this site) is telling a reliable story. yes, psychiatry is very flawed, but to claim it’s not rooted in science is straight bull. it follows the scientific method. it is still extremely young (especially compared western medicine as a field). if this is your first venture into learning about psychiatry, i can understand why you’d take this at face value.

    as someone else said, this article is “far too simplistic” and (i would argue) actively harmful by encouraging others not to seek help (as that’s what the people commenting seem to have gotten from this). what i see in this article is a lot of bias and selective statistics.

    maybe i’m totally wrong, but i think the article is giving its intended effect. be critical of Big Pharma, but be critical of its critics, too. this person’s book on the failure of psychiatry in treating depression (which is linked in their author bio at the bottom of the article) costs $60. Big Pharma has money to gain from selling you drugs, this author has money to gain from convincing you psychiatry is bunk.

    there is research supporting both sides. just like medication doesn’t work by itself, reading this article without doing any independent research won’t serve you.

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    • Please explain how any one DSM “diagnosis” is derived from scientific observation and research. Specifically, please describe how exactly one can distinguish who “has” the “disorder” from who does not ‘have it.’

      This is not to say that people don’t like or benefit from biological interventions. But that’s nothing new – folks have taken substances to alter their mental/spiritual reality since the beginning of human history. That’s very, very different from claiming that something as vague and amorphous and subjective as “major depressive disorder” or “adjustment disorder” or “ADHD” is derived from the scientific method. In fact, the DSM admits they are not in its introduction, in no uncertain terms. You ought to read it some time.

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  41. When I got started on this journey, I thought it would be enough to point out that a “mental disorder” could not be physical, because the mind is not a part of the body.

    But it turns out, everyone thinks the mind is the brain. Even a lot of anti-drug people think this. This is totally false, yet you have almost all been led to believe it.

    If you are manifesting something that people would call a “mental disorder” and it is in fact being caused by something physical, like poison, malnutrition, neural damage… then DON’T call it a “mental disorder.” And if it IS a mental disorder, then DON’T treat it with drugs!

    These basics seem clear enough to me. Some day perhaps this will be obvious to more people.

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    • Failed research. Even T. Insel, former head of the NIMH, admitted to spending $20 billion on research into “the biology of mental illness” over several decades, and came up with nothing.

      Unless you can cite research proving there are “biological components in severe mental illness”, I’ll just say that your claim is absurd.

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  42. Trauma is not an illness, sickness or disorder, it is experience.

    I grew up being hurt so I know how being traumatised feels.

    I drank to feel better and this created many problems for me.

    I got sober. Thank you AA.

    I am still working on living a life worth living, one day at a time, but this has taken almost a lifetime.

    I was not born an alcoholic, trauma did that.

    I have found helping others helps me to feel included in our pain. This feels like a safe and privileged space to meet. We learn together, just by being together, finding solutions, or not. Having unconditional positive regard is very important to me, as is validation. I genuinely want to help. I know I have the skills to be useful. I found my place in the world through my own formal education as an adult, and lived-experience.

    There should be no surprise medication has been the quick fix golden goose in the MH sector, misery and distress are manufactured for profit. Under the current regime there are no solutions to suffering in England, it’s getting worse. We are a divided nation. Those with power have ensured Brexit, austerity and neoliberalism have taken a very big toll on us, as have wars down the generations. Political elites just want economic growth, rather than humanistic warmth, safety and shelter. Capitalism is destroying our planet, but austerity is more than just poverty of money to humans, it is about not being loved, trauma from difficult birth circumstances, exclusion at school for children with SEND, and exclusion in the workplace. The health care system which is supposed to help destroys those of us who object to treatments and language which oppress human rights. On a macro level it’s all about profit and privatisation. Interpersonally, targets and outcome measures, compliance and values must forfeit humanistic care because this is mandated by central government for transforming the care system into privatisation.

    The social determinants of mental health are being conflated by integrated care systems moving towards the individualisation of responsibility for physical health and employability. This is not about going upstream for prevention, it is about the blame and a bullying culture, protecting privilege. People are being shamed in mainstream media for being disabled or mentally ill. It’s always about “hard working families.”

    Trauma made me different, yes, but it did not shrink my brain. It provided a heightened sense of awareness for people’s needs. I have learnt to think outside to box because the box is not inclusive, nor a pleasant place to be.

    Medication has clearly failed to ameliorate society’s ills, that’s what I know as a survivor and from working in the system. Capitalism is where causation lies. But it cannot be the cause and solution, masquerading as the latter proxied by big pharmaceuticals. The game is surely up?

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  43. In our interestingly polyphonic society, where linguistic subtleties often take precedence over embodiment, there is a prevailing tendency to view disability as a problem rather than recognizing it as a consequence of insufficient resources and societal acceptance. The role of psychiatry, unfortunately, is not solely focused on alleviating depression or anxiety; instead, it tends to prescribe medication as a means of numbing individuals. Its primary objective appears to establish behavioral norms, with non-compliance leading to enduring confinement and labeling.

    This underscores a broader pattern wherein disabilities are frequently internalized as individual shortcomings, obscuring the reality that external forces often prevent individuals from leading equitable lives. I feel breaching here but it is crucial to recalibrate our understanding and address systemic factors to foster a more inclusive and just society. Wait until online commenting is pathologized which I do not think is that far off!

    Dr. Szasz was right (a visionary!) and probably turning in his grave now!

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  44. We might, or should, be tempted to respond ‘Duh’ to this article for stating the obvious, namely that conditions of so-called human society amounting to systemic abuse, institutionalized violence, injure and kill people. But just like those raised in captivity of households of domestic abuse, we’re gaslit from earliest age, as with what we learn in schooling, to dissociate from our own experience and follow what authorities teach us as knowledge, much to the detriment of critical common sense and thinking for oneself.

    We exist in one big household of social abuse serving ruling powers (some might call these psychopathic) at horrifying cost of destruction and death to the vast majority of people on the planet. Poverty inherent to any economy run as rackets and pyramid schemes for powers that (shouldn’t) be to get richer by exploiting laboring masses, turning many into ‘useless eaters’ to be disposed of, is more murderous by design as well as effect than any (other) genocide and crime against humanity. Yet it is like the (polluted) air we breathe, virtually invisible from being taken for granted.

    Religion, that original ruling ideology to drug subjects into compliance with those who would be gods over others, traditionally educated people into some version of the poor always being with us in this vale of tears and that we’d have to wait for some pie in the sky after this life to be free of toil and trouble. But in our presumably enlightened secular age, such superstition has been supplemented if not replaced by Science.

    And so it is that modern medical mythology spins tales of invisible germs in us as a dogma of nature and fact, contrary to actual scientific method and proof, refocusing our attention from environmental poisons of industrial capital’s rule. A fraudulent and harmful biological model of health prevails not only in psychiatry but every branch of the medical industrial complex controlled by the Pharmafia, above all the Rockefeller family which monopolized medical practices in the early 20th century to the exclusion of natural healing traditions more attuned to terrain theory’s environmental awareness.

    Accordingly, what’s actually improved public health among us, if only slightly and all too temporarily, has been when class conditions of inequality are reduced and more egalitarian relations among us provide relief and healing from the otherwise continual trauma of treadmills and terror at roots of our existence we’ve forgotten, replaced by knowledge that the many’s dispossession of resources to survive and flourish for private accumulation by the few is the way things are, taken for granted as surely as the poor always being with us.

    Accordingly, the professional priesthoods of medicine claim credit instead, and cash in as well, by selling us snake oils as ‘treatments’ or ‘cures’ chemically concocted in corporate-and-state laboratories behind veils of private property over our ‘care’, our lives. We’re breathing, drinking, eating cancer every day in thoroughly toxified environments, but thank our humanitarian benefactors who invest in the tireless research rackets for a cure to cancer, no doubt contributing to the eugenicist research which takes private property possession of our and all genomes of life.

    One might, or should, be tempted to say if you’re not paranoid, you’re not paying attention. But just like Whitaker’s exposure of fraud and harm, and eugenics, in Mad in America, the same solid evidence of organized corruption and criminality extends across the range of psychosomatic conditions claimed by capital controlled ministries of health. (A classic exposure is Ivan Illich’s Medical Nemesis. Contemporary criticism may be found with Gary Null, including data and argument to demonstrate iatrogenesis as the leading conventional cause of death.)

    Our attention should in particular be directed to claims of virology and vaccination following the convid fraud. Both share a long history of supposedly settled consensus science central to modern myths of medical rather than social interventions alleviating disease and death, problems manufactured at large magically transferred to solutions by the same private interests largely responsible for the problems in the first place (what a racket!).

    Much like real climate science correlation between CO2 and global warming invalidating CO2 as cause by consistently following warming periods in the geological record, vaccination campaigns routinely tail outbreaks of ‘disease’ in their decline, correlated instead to social ecology which relieves and reverses the toxic waste and stress of our captivity to ruling class control over the conditions of our lives. Classic tales like the Salk vaccine’s cure of polio, when it actually caused further damage, covering up such environmental causes like DDT, need to be reversed. And this is just one in a long line of poisons administered to general populations, from Spanish flu frauds to convid, by those who abuse and gaslight us as much as any mentalist practicing the pseudoscience of psychiatry for promotion of mind control.

    Generally, cure is worse than disease in the bizzness as usual of medicine. And we might be tempted to think, when we unlearn the knowledge in which we’ve been instructed and indoctrinated, that social revolution is the real way forward if we are ever to recover from the nightmares of civilization.

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  45. May be you pretend come back to psychoanalysis Freudiano, pseudoscience fill with conjectures and impossible of determine is somebody was cured.
    The knowledge about the human brain is in a prehistory, because it is very complex and, very difficult to understand for the inherent principle of auto reference.
    The reason why is practically unknown the effect of medicaments on depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc. etc. does not implicate that medicine working well reducing the symptomatology of to many mental health conditions.
    In science, if you can not predice only one fact, according to your theory, you are wrong or there is a deep lack of compression about the origins of mental disorders. Also, you don’t considere the fact of generations of a same family are proclive to suffer mental disorder conditions by hereditary principle.
    Some external circumstances maybe working as trigger of mental problems; but you need to have some previously condition in order to be affected. And, that condition has biological base.
    Freud started investigating the biological root of mental illness; but then, without to do an intensive research, he goes to a more confortable way: conjectures.
    I think, instead to come back to old theories that never were predictive and not resolve any problem, we need to put big focus in understand how the brain works, why are produced some alterations in perception, etc.
    If the statistics show some pattern, laike as trauma produce mental illness as you based your asseveration, some time the cause of that result, is for another trigger, as an example, you can said the children in low resource families are sensible to some mental condition for traumatics lived events, but may be a poor diet in aliments produce modifications biologics.

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  46. Many of the pro psychiatry, pro psych drug commenters here seem to get bent out of shape if they see anything that challenges their world view. They have the whole Internet! They have all of mainstream media! They have all the most powerful systems on their side.

    So why is it that they can’t handle an article — which is really just a group of sentences — that proposes a different approach? They act as if someone threatened to take their “meds” away. No one is talking about taking your “meds” away.

    Nothing at all is going to change as a result of this article. Not one thing. Tomorrow, thousands of people will be diagnosed with mental illnesses during 15 minute appointments and will be prescribed “medication”. Thousands of people will receive forced treatment during which their trauma will be completely ignored. Don’t worry — everything is going to be the same, indefinitely. The health care system, the media and the government are all on your side. No need to stress.

    You might want to ask yourselves why *ideas* that are different from your ideas are such an enormous challenge to you.

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    • Exactly, Katel. Simply put, far too many people are profiting in one way or another (financially, or by holding a position with special prestige and authority) from this corrupt, fraudulent system posing as healthcare for any meaningful change to occur on a large scale. All the more reason for us to respect and support courageous reformers like Robert Whitaker, Peter Gotzche, Phil Hickey, and Bruce E. Levine who soldier on despite the odds against them.

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    • The only concern is to talk about conjectures, without proof. I’m not related to health system, I am not a doctor in medicine.
      That I little know about, of course may be wrong, was visit from around 7 years old, psychologist, psychoanalysis, etc. without any result, untill my 40.
      Every period, six month, one year, 4 years and so, such as the problem started, was ending without any reason related to treatment; some time literally instantaneous.
      Was in ’97 when I visited a Psychiatry Dr.
      From around that time, I could live without that nightmare’s time.
      Childhood trauma? No. My sintomas started before I was to kindergarten, then, be at 4 or 5 years old.
      Again, I believe the human brain is totally unknown, perhaps a little bit.
      Any people can said whatever wish, but you don’t can minimize the comments from another people with the ironic comments that the internet is the source of information, or some response because the people feel uncomfortable when there is not match with their thinking. Some times may be, but it sound as an absolut true.

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  47. Shari Schreiber,

    Have you ever wondered why borderline personality disorder is “often misdiagnosed as” bipolar disorder, as you state in your comment? Why does this happen often?

    Could it be that their is no scientific proof that either of these diagnoses is real? That there are no objective tests to diagnose or misdiagnose either one?

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  48. I so do agree with the things he said about psych drugs for years I was on that poison and no matter what I was on I couldn’t get any better I only got worse each time I was on them all I thought about was death and I also agree mental illness I know is definitely caused by trauma and you will not believe the kind of child abuse I suffered constant belittling and being called foul names day in and day out and at times abusive boyfriends who would beat me with belts and bruise me up and I was regularly exposed to drugs and drunken parties and even sex abuse at times and constantly being bullied and beaten on at school and also living in a no mercy world and all the bs with the behavioral health system and if you want to know the definition of how I feel about the so called behavioral health system it ain’t nothing but witchcraft undercover to I don’t care who disagrees with me and oh yeah everyone else I know who’s labeled mentally ill has also suffered from gigantic traumas in their lives and I never saw a happy healthy stable person on psych drugs in my life and now at age 41 im healthy and have more stability and know how to keep myself out of toxic situations I have a nice clean home and always able to keep up with my basic needs i lift weights everyday and when im depressed or having symptoms i go directly to my Savior and within minutes I feel well enough and ok is good enough for me I do need to be happy go lucky and I will never accept any lies again

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  49. As a 9 year old I witnessed my OSS-trained father waterboard my infant brother to stop his crying; base housing had cardboard-thin walls and my father was anxious neighbors would report him for the noise. I date my little brother’s depression and later schizophrenia from that initial trauma, followed over years by family violence + no treatment of any kind. At 70 he does require antipsychotics to not harm himself + others. For myself, it was the last day I felt joy. In my 20s I obtained both pharmacological and talk treatment, but my depression did not lift until at 40 exiting the religion that demanded parents have more children than they can afford physically or emotionally.

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