Irish Psychiatry Says Chemical Imbalance Is a Figure of Speech—So, What Now?

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Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on our affiliate site, Mad in Ireland.

The chemical imbalance theory of depression—what was once considered the gold standard reason for why people take antidepressants—was, apparently, “a figure of speech.”

This gobsmacking admission from The College of Psychiatrists of Ireland appeared on its website in what seems to be relatively new content to reflect the long-known reality: there is not, nor has there ever been, any scientific evidence to support the chemical imbalance theory.

Most people reading the Mad in Ireland website will have known for quite some time that the chemical imbalance theory was debunked. The reason we say “gobsmacking” is because it’s not something that Irish psychiatrists have said publicly before, although a representative for the College did say in a 2015 media article that people didn’t really believe it anyway.

This is simply not the case. Any wonder, when for decades, people have been deluged with information suggesting that depression is caused by a “chemical imbalance” in the brain—specifically, low levels of serotonin.

survey indicates that actually more than 80% of the public blame a “chemical imbalance” in the brain for depression, so clearly it’s not enough to quietly retract something that’s been held up as the cause of depression, by simply saying it was a figure of speech.

The “figure of speech” phrase in itself is interesting. The chemical imbalance theory has in recent times been called things like a careless metaphor rather than the concrete fact it was communicated as for many years—for example, see Harvard Health. There are many other sites including the phrase or something similar, an attempt, perhaps, to rewrite history, now that the theory has been debunked.

According to well-known researcher and psychiatrist Professor Joanna Moncrieff in National Post article:

“In the 1980s, when the first SSRI, Prozac, was launched, ‘the pharmaceutical industry knew it couldn’t market them in the same way (as benzos) because numbing someone’s unhappiness had got a bad rep with the benzodiazepines,’ Moncrieff said. ‘So, it had to convince people that they had an underlying disease and needed to take the drugs for an underlying disease.’”

Moncrieff has been instrumental in bringing to light the issues associated with psychiatric drugs and in stating why it’s so important that people know the truth. She says whether antidepressants work or not depends on how we “understand what they are doing.” And if they are not correcting a serotonin imbalance, or reversing some underlying mechanism of depression, “what are they doing?”

​​When people are taking mind-altering drugs that they believe corrects a chemical imbalance, you’d imagine it would be a priority to tell them if the science changes, or thinking shifts.

Why does this matter? 

This matters because research shows that people who have biological explanations for mental illness tend to be more stigmatising toward themselves and others, and this belief can leave people feeling pessimistic about their chances of recovery.

study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found patients who believe that a chemical imbalance in the brain causes depression to have worse treatment outcomes.

Mad in America covered the results: “The results of the study, which included a sample of 279 persons attending an intensive behavioral health program in the United States, found that the endorsement of the chemical imbalance theory of depression was associated with poorer expectations of treatment and lower perceived credibility. Additionally, the researchers found that a belief in biological causes for depression was predictive of a greater presence of depressive symptoms at the end of treatment.”

It matters because the media and even many people who work in mental health continue to believe in the chemical imbalance theory of depression. This makes it hard for the media to challenge the mainstream narrative around a biomedical approach to mental health and it makes a culture shift within mental health itself harder to achieve.

It’s more clear than even that prescribers need to talk honestly with patients, explaining that it is unclear how antidepressants “work,” even for “depression,” and that using them to disrupt serotonin in the body has multiple effects on all physiological systems, as well as on feelings of overwhelm, hopelessness, and “depression.” These effects can include paradoxical suicidality, sexual dysfunction, blunted emotions, digestive problems, fatigue, weird dreams, and compulsions—among other side effects that affect mood.

What are the drugs doing?

The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on depression treatment are clear: “Antidepressant medications are not needed for mild depression.”

Multiple studies have found that even for severe depression, adding antidepressants to cognitive behavioral therapy does not result in better outcomes—psychotherapy alone is just as good in the short term. And therapy alone beats the drugs when it comes to long-term outcomes.

Prof Moncrieff has written several excellent papers outlining what she calls the drug-centred model of drug action.

She argues that…“Unlike the current disease-centred model, which suggests that psychiatric drugs work by correcting an underlying brain abnormality, the drug-centred model emphasises how psychiatric drugs affect mental states and behaviour by modifying normal brain processes. The alterations produced may impact on the emotional and behavioural problems that constitute the symptoms of mental disorders.” (See Table 1)

In other words, just like any other drug, psychiatric drugs have mind- and behaviour-altering properties.

As it becomes more apparent that the medical model needs to change but that vested interests are very reluctant to be open and honest about how and why it needs to change, professional activism is becoming more commonplace and important.

Published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), 30+ prominent figures called on the UK government to acknowledge the evidence that antidepressants are no better than placebos for most patients and to increase funding of social and psychological interventions while decreasing drug prescriptions.

“Multiple meta-analyses have shown antidepressants to have no clinically meaningful benefit beyond placebo for all patients but those with the most severe depression,” they said.

“Our findings are in line with accumulating evidence that some biogenetic beliefs, like the chemical imbalance belief, are linked with poorer expectations for improvement, especially among those with the most troubling symptoms.”

As reported by Mad in Ireland last year, there is also advice in the UK around tapering, with pharmacists in England being urged to assist people who want to stop antidepressants.

Honest conversation needed

Given all of this, it really is long past time for an honest debate in Ireland around these issues. While in the past there has been backlash for professionals seen not to be toeing certain lines, surely with all of the research and information out there, this concern doesn’t apply anymore?

Some immediate questions arise from the CPI’s admission that the chemical imbalance theory of depression was just “a figure of speech,” namely:

  • Has the concept been removed from training materials and replaced with all of the new science and studies around antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs?
  • Is there a programme of work to inform various sectors such as social workers, pharmacists, and GPs, as a starting point?

GPs in particular should be given up to date information ensuring that informed consent is always the goal. Media should be informed and a public service campaign should be considered. For example, in other areas of health promotion, good information (e.g. FAST in relation to stroke) is important to have in the public domain.

If the chemical imbalance theory is still what a large swathe of the public believe, don’t researchers, mental health practitioners, and people who are responsible for mental health policies have an ethical responsibility to ensure that the public has the most up-to-date and evidence-based facts? This news might be upsetting for people, but it’s morally wrong not to tell them.

Only then can informed consent about medication become a reality rather than an abstract theoretical “figure of speech.”

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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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23 COMMENTS

  1. One of the most abusive aspects is that psychiatrists will constantly also blame service users and the public for “misunderstanding them” about the lack of evidence. Denying any role in implicit and explicit messaging about how, why, and to what extent this so-called “treatment” works. Like so many others abusers who employ violent conversational tactics, at every step they insist other people are the problem, while framing themselves as psychiatrists as victims.

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  2. I still remember the day my shrink laughed at me & told me this, in 1985, “Don’t be ridiculous! You haven’t been here for the last year because you’ve had a bad childhood! You’re here because you have an imbalance in your brain. You’ll have to take these medications for the rest of your life to manage your symptoms but you’ll never live a normal life.” And I never did or have or will BECAUSE OF 20 IATROGENIC ILLNESSES
    I will most likely die 2 DECADES before I would have if not on those “medications” to control my brain imbalances
    But hey! It’s quality not quantity of life that’s what matters right?

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    • I would whole heartedly support that delusions, hallucinations, obsessions, ruminations, heightened emotions & hyper & hypo states of mind ALL have deep meaning from peoples’ lives. They should be treated with respect not sedated with drugs.

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    • Marilyn,

      There are an awful lot of people who have had spiritual journeys / “emergencies,” etc. misdiagnosed as psych symptoms. I, for one, had a dream about being ‘moved by the Holy Spirit’ (and ‘brain zaps’), misdiagnosed as ‘bipolar.’

      Yet both my subsequent anticholinergic toxidrome induced ‘psychosis,’ and my ‘drug withdrawal induced manic psychosis’ were of a Spiritual nature.

      But as a “case manager serving several adults with schizophrenia spectrum disorders,” I do so hope you know that the antidepressants and antipsychotics can both create “hallucinations” and “delusions,” via anticholinergic toxidrome poisoning.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxidrome

      And the antipsychotics / neuroleptics can also create the negative symptoms of ‘schizophrenia,’ via neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroleptic-induced_deficit_syndrome

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    • 100% it’s a Spiritual experience! You don’t just hear voices, you feel and see spirits too. I was delusional for 4 years, it was getting involved in New Age Spirituality that kick started my delusion, at first I thought I was “Channelling” until it went dark! It was a big lesson to me on how Religions start, pretty sure Jesus Christ and his apostles had schizophrenia!! Would be happy to discuss further with you 🙂 I’ve actually written an article for MAD to be published soon. Psychiatry can never help people with schizpohrenia, we are told that our “brains” are causing us to imagine things which is bulls**t. I then shut down and kept everything to myself becuause I thought, “what’s the point”. There needs to be reserach done with those of us who have recovered and are now not ashamed of our prognosis and more than happy to share what really happened to us. It’s more than just an illness, it’s a spiritual experience

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    • I am not expert in the spiritual origins of mental health conditions; however, based on my independent research into the nature of mental illness, I can offer some insights. Hallucinations can be understood as unregulated sensory experiences, while delusions may be characterized as beliefs that are not accepted within the cultural context of the individual and not necessarily wrong in feelings but perhaps confusing in factual. Conversely, if societal stigma surrounding mental health were eliminated, individuals might approach these experiences with curiosity, recognizing and analyzing them to discern their meaning and could have open a new ways of thinking. When the stigma is controlled, this approach often leads people to engage creatively with their experiences, as evidenced by the work of Dali and George Orwell in “1984.” I am not saying they were hallucinating or delusional but the process of their work may infer – their brains were working outside of the culture of the times!
      Their ability to channel their unique perceptions into art and literature, respectively, highlights the potential for creative expression to stem from such experiences. Had Dali and Orwell been persuaded of the literal reality of their creative visions by saying they were scientist for example, society might have dismissed and marginalized them (they opted out in creativity instead). One may say today, perhaps Orwell was psychic! and was talking about future he could not have lived!

      Hallucination and delusion when regulated in the individual, that individual is often quite openminded and quite emphatic.
      The irony, most often, is that we all hallucinate and are delusional often in our interpersonal relationships. We just know intuitively how not to appear weird or erh perceived as delusional by others but some people with trauma, addiction, or medical abuse, or institutions abuse, do not have the safe space or even time to learn this part of themselves, unfortunately.

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    • I was stuck in a f**ked up delusion for 4 years, took antipsychotics for 3 years that did not work. I also had chronic nightmare syndrome for 3.5 years. I did not want to be alive and desperately wanted my old life back. So I went against the doctors advice and started taking recreational drugs again, including ketamine, and came out of my 4 year delusion. It’s been 6 months since I’ve heard voices and my nightmares have also stopped. I feel alive, I want to be alive. Science (which we are treated by) is treating schizophrenia as a brain malfuntion, when it’s a spiritual experience. That’s why people get stuck in their delusions for so long, some never recover because they clearly don’t believe what the doctors are telling us, and believe the bullshit the voices tell them instead!! The system is so f##ked up but nobody wants to know. Thankfully I found this website, it gives me some hope. I would give anything to share my experience with someone who is an influencer in the health industry, so that we can help people and their loved ones affected by psychizophrenia get the correct information!!

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  3. Hi, Marilyn.

    I wish you well with your work. I wish you insight and wit and joy and humor, too.

    Please, at least, watch from Minute 22:36 – 26:26 of this

    of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AMu-G51yTY&t=925s

    If you like Jung, you may also enjoy this, or enjioy it again. I think it has many insights (I mean, besides Take good care of your teeth!)!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed3vPb9bmcw

    Surely, if anything is Spirit/Consciousness, then everything must be?

    If our entire “phenomenological” world, including our thoughts as well as more physical phenomena, is a manifestation of “That by which the ear hears, the eye sees or the mind thinks” (“I go into the Upanishads to ask questions,” said Niels Bohr), then surely it can only be by exploring the unmanifeested that we can gain deepest answers to questions surrounding our existence and our common, shared and individual, unshared realities?

    The way I try to look at it is that we are all spirits or Spirit having all these human experiences, (thank you Pierre Teilhard de Chardin) among them the temporary, incarnated, human illusion that we are not all One, not all immortal and not all invulnerable, but that we are separate and unequal…until we awaken to the truth that the reward is the sharing of our own journey to the realization of the fact that we are indeed all spirits, or Spirit, One, immortal and invulnerable, inseparable and utterly equal – as immortal beings.

    If you have not already, you may find endless insight and enrichment in the reading and re-reading of any of Eckhart Tolle’s writings.

    Among other things, Tolle explains just how pure listening, pure, alert, empathetic, nonjudgmental presence, or what Thich Nhat Hanh calls “deep, compassionate listening.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyUxYflkhzo

    I believe everyone’s hallucinations, visual, auditory or otherwise, are different, and all have their own reality, too…and that careful listening can help reveal their nature, meaning and any messages they may have for the person having them and maybe for you, too.

    If indeed we are all spirits, then I believe that all of human history has been leading up to what we are now witnessing – a global spiritual awakening.

    I believe that earlier flowers to bloom in our field of human consciousness have included countless mystics who were considered mad by their peers, and very often persecuted and even murdered for their unusual beliefs and visions, and for daring to try to share their insights.

    The Cave Allegory of Socrates/Plato offers an explanation of how and why this happens.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_cave

    Socrates, Jesus, Vibia Perpetua and Joan of Arc come to mind.

    (Mind you, I view Jesus as Nazareth as our equal, too, and as a man who utterly burned himself out young, as so many dedicated healers naturally do…)

    Like Padre Pio centuries later, such visionaries have often found themselves misunderstood and persecuted not just by authorities (of church and/or of state) who naturally feared their subversion of civilized society, of the status quo, but by those closest to them, too.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Mark%203%3A21

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Padre_Pio#:~:text=at%20least%20generally%22.-,Investigations%20by%20the%20Vatican,Padre%20Benedetto%2C%20his%20spiritual%20director.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNlXuclHhVc

    It’s ironic that, to whatever extent Jill may have as yet failed to make her own vision, her insights or her dream to share her “stroke of insight” and “connect it to her reality and make her dream come true,” she might have earned herself a diagnosis of “schizophrenia,” by her own definition:

    “I grew up to study the brain because I have a brother who has been diagnosed with a brain disorder, schizophrenia. And as a sister and later, as a scientist, I wanted to understand, why is it that I can take my dreams, I can connect them to my reality, and I can make my dreams come true? What is it about my brother’s brain and his schizophrenia that he cannot connect his dreams to a common and shared reality, so they instead become delusion?”

    from the opening of

    https://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_my_stroke_of_insight/transcript

    I am not suggesting that everyone who experiences or appears to experience what are called “hallucinations” is a visionary any more than I am suggesting that all “hallucinations” are the same, but I am most definitely suggesting that we all have within us the potential to help one another to reveal and to heal ourselves – through “merely” listening.

    I believe that sufficiently deep, compassionate listening has the power to remind us all of our essential indestructibility, of our immortality – and that this and this alone, has the power o rob death of all its terrors and to enable us to unleash some of our infinitely vast potential – just as Caesar realized, and recognized in the teachings of the druids of Britain/Ireland/Gaul:

    Caesar made similar observations:
    “With regard to their actual course of studies, the main object of all education is, in their opinion, to imbue their scholars with a firm belief in the indestructibility of the human soul, which, according to their belief, merely passes at death from one tenement to another; for by such doctrine alone, they say, which robs death of all its terrors, can the highest form of human courage be developed. Subsidiary to the teachings of this main principle, they hold various lectures and discussions on the stars and their movement, on the extent and geographical distribution of the earth, on the different branches of natural philosophy, and on many problems connected with religion.
    — Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico, VI, 14.”

    – from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druid (though I think it was actually from De Bello Gallico, Book VII…)

    Happy listening! Happy healing!

    Tom.

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    • New Age Spirituality is what kicked off my schizophrenia, it’s just like every other religion, a big delusion!! People who “Channell” are schizphrenic, the only difference is they hear “good” voices telling some truth and some lies. My first 6 months of hearing voices I was doing “energetic healings” having profound effects on people. I was supported by 2 other “Channels” whose voices lied to me, telling me to trust everything I hear. Unfortunately, long story short, I ended up with a voice calling itself Satan for 3 f**ked up years, and chronic nightmare syndrome. My Spiritual community did not want to know and ran a mile, probably because they believed I had an entity attached to me, it was my non religious friends that cared for and nurtured me, tried their best to console me during the worst period of my life.

      So please do not preach Religion on here!!

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  4. Dear Cathy,

    Please, please accept my apologies. No offense or offence to anyone intended, but on the contrary: I actually try to worship and adore all humans as divine, and, when I consider us all – and not just us funloving Irish criminals – as the bravest of brave warrior beings to have accepted the extreme vulnerablity which it is to become human, when I think of us all as gimlys

    “CERTAINTY OF DEATH; SMALL CHANCE OF SUCCESS: WAHT ARE WE WAITING FOR?!?!?!”

    I swear I love YOU, Cathy and us ALL unspeakably more than my words can yet express.

    Please, too, allow me to try to clarify, though: I have no religion. (And I believe Jesus of Nazareth, if he lived, had none and suggested none, either, but that we each be our own ***ing guru – by finding the guru, the Zen, the Kingdom of the Skies/the Heavens, (or that Realm of Formless Consciousness) within.

    “Theologians may quarrel, but the mystics of the world speak the same language.” ― Meister Eckhart

    No guru. No church, No temple. If you wanna pray, why not find a quiet place, as Jesus wasa said to ahve done.

    If you want to get creamed, why not venture back into a place of public worship – as Jesus reportedly repeated did.

    I say “Satan” is fear, and that we each must find the ocurage enough to love Fear enough to end it – a loved former enemy immediately becomes a friend and ally.

    However, this lack of any religious belief did not stop me from being accused of “bizarre religious believs [sic]” – according to my 300+ pages of hardwon (by repeated FoI appeals), redacted nursing notes, and locked up and drugged for 82 days in Holy Ireland in 2008-2009.

    On my release, I failed prompltly founded a cult.

    We (my some of them sometimes “schizophrenic” spirit guides and I) called ourselves

    the HAPIBUNI’s (the Have-a-Pee-Immediately-Before-U-Need-It’s), that being our only rule.

    However, as that rule proved quite impossible to respect, adhere to or enforce, we have unamimously moved to change our name and constiitution to

    the AOT’s (ALWAYS Over-tip’s).

    Any and everyone is welcome to join – in spirit, obviously, for we can and will never exist otherwise.

    One may argue with the wisdome of the druifs as reported by Caesar, but I find the simple math overwhelmingly convincing:

    Assuming that endless time and/or timelessness “exist” or be, either side of this big bang/crunch, and of any/all other ones in this or any world/s, then, if we are mortal beings, the odds of us all being here now are approximately one divided by infinitute to the power of 8,00,000,000+.

    If, however, as the druids believed, we are immortal, indestructible beings, then the odds shorten considerably – to precisely 1, or One, or 100%, don’t you think.

    So why not let’s leave all religion and, if you wish, even my/our cult out of it, and proclaim the redemptive power rof the math?

    If we do, however, we may all agree that faithfully over-tipping one another is very hard to argue against?

    I think my fellow exiled Irishman, James Joyce, wherever he is, may be nodding in agreement:

    “Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.” ― James Joyce, Ulysses.

    “While you have a thing it can be taken from you…..but when you give it, you have given it. no robber can take it from you. It is yours then forever when you have given it. It will be yours always. That is to give. ” ― Joyce James.

    “Do you know what Ireland is?’ asked Stephen with cold violence. ‘Ireland is the old sow that eats her farrow.” ― James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

    If you are Irish, too, Cathy, please take no further offence or offense: I believe there are no pure Gaels, Cetls or Irish, but that we can all aspire to be druids, if we wish, or risen christs, or buddhas, or self-realized human beings, or Zen masters and mistresses, or levitating or levity-making saints, or lovers of Satan, as we please – at least in this land I am trying my best to free from a state-religion which sanctiosn the drugging of our children, and of duped adults, too, and, like Ireland, the indefinite detentions and forcible druggings of citizens charged with no crime.

    Beir bua, a Cathy, agus céad míle agat!

    Tomáisín Donnchadh Rua.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG0-cncMpt8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2ff8qXa248

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  5. They have the power – they can say whatever they want. I was told that anti depressants work years ago by raising the serotonin levels in the brain.

    They can change the goal posts if they want. That’s what comes with having power. Some pope invented the doctrine of papal infallibility i.e. if the pope said or wrote something it was incapable of being ‘wrong’ in 1850. The church got away with that logic in Ireland until the 80’s and now Irish psychiatry will get away with the ‘figure of speech’ defense.

    There’s no point in getting upset about it – not in a country whose GDP is being partly financed by the huge number of pharma companies providing employment here. There’s not going to be any critique or blow back in the Irish media no matter what is going on a small distance across the water in the UK where there is dissent against the drug model that is filtering through to the mainstream – even the BBC. It’s not going to happen here. There are no Mary Raftery’s in this country anymore.

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    • Dear Maedhbh,

      Please don’t ever underestimate what one woman or man can achieve, and the impact she may make in one single short human lifetime – even one lived long before the Internet:

      https://www.wildernessireland.com/blog/irish-folklore-queen-maeve/

      http://www.carrowkeel.com/sites/coolrea/knocknarea1.html

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miosg%C3%A1n_Meadhbha

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHcP4MWABGY

      Maedhbh, had the Romans not been so scared of the power of the druids of Scotland and of Ireland (and you know of the Kingdom of Dál Riata or Dál Riada or Dalriada…and that the Romans called the Irish Scoti?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A1l_Riata

      https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dal-riata ), then it is conceivable that the Emperor Constantine and our Western world might have been more greatly influenced by our Irish mythology or folklore than by an ancient Israelite one…and, instead of blaming one another for being “sinful” or “mentally disordered,” or having “personality disorders,” we might understand that every human being is somewhere along her/his journey to and through enlightenment – just like young Fionn – though absolutely no inherent wickedness, fallenness, weakness or fault of their own:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmon_of_Knowledge#:~:text=Fionn%20ate%20the%20salmon%20and,famed%20heroes%20of%20Irish%20myth.

      I believe Ireland was the first country to ban smoking in public places.

      I believe Ireland was bullied into some sort of submission by both Vatican and London but that the old druid spirit, passion and understanding have never been quenched.

      What once was called honor/honour may now be called OCD.

      What once was called passion may now be called obsession or addiction.

      What once was called drive and focus and enthusiasm may now be called hypomania or mania.

      What once was seen as visions may now be called hallucinations and delusions.

      What once were understood to be psychic gifts may now be called psychosis.

      The “sins” of despair and sloth may now be called depression.

      The “sin of gluttony” may now be called an eating disorder.

      “Possession by demons” may now be called anxiety or paranoia; vanity some narcissistic personality disorder; bad luck, “gambling disorder” (thank you, Thomas Szasz), etc., etc., etc.

      Largely thanks to the Net and to organizations like Mad In America etc., such foolishness is now being so exposed to the light that I believe it cannot possibly long persist, all money, academic, guild and political interests notwithstanding.

      Having lived in Ireland for 49 years in this lifetime alone, I believe Ireland breeds a passion in people that may be unique, and may have been nurtured by millennia of adversity inflicted on her people by a harsh climate as much as by outside oppression.

      I believe Ireland has long, long valued wit and wisdom and education as much if not more than any other nation.

      I believe Ireland, since gaining her independence from our neighbors, has turned on her own people like a delinquent teenager but may now be rapidly maturing.

      I believe corruption has been rife in many, many areas of public life in Ireland and that we who have attempted to stand uo to it and to blow whistles have indeed most often found ourselves viciously attacked, maligned, smeared and silenced and sometimes locked up and drugged – “the sow that devours her farrow.”

      I believe all that is rapidly changing and that if Ireland does not become the first country on Earth to refuse to lock up law-abiding citizens accused of “having a mental disorder” it will not be because I have not given my all to that very cause.

      I believe that the truth, when clearly understood and expressed and shared can and will make us all free.

      I believe that, whether or not she previously saved civilization, we may all thank Ireland for leading the way before either the WHo or Amnesty International find the courage to call a spade a spade and cease condoning the human rights abuse that IS coercive psychiatry.

      I believe it utterly unfair, unjust and unethical to burden any doctor with the responsibility of depriving any citizen of their physical freedom, or of their freedom to refuse drugs.

      By giving up hope of change we prolong the status quo; by resisting “evil” we may strengthen and perpetuate it; and that which we do not transmute we may transmit. But by steadfastly shining light on the darkness we can end it.

      Éire abú! Beir bua! Et bon courage!

      Tom.

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      • Hi Tom

        Thanks for your reply – only checked the site now as didn’t get a notification of a reply from the site.

        “What once was called passion may now be called obsession or addiction.

        What once was called drive and focus and enthusiasm may now be called hypomania or mania.

        What once was seen as visions may now be called hallucinations and delusions.

        What once were understood to be psychic gifts may now be called psychosis.

        The “sins” of despair and sloth may now be called depression.

        The “sin of gluttony” may now be called an eating disorder.

        “Possession by demons” may now be called anxiety or paranoia; vanity some narcissistic personality disorder; bad luck, “gambling disorder” (thank you, Thomas Szasz), etc., etc., etc.”

        Good summation about how the descriptions of emotional states has changed as the Western world moved from a religious worldview to an materialistic one. You might find Dr Iain McGilchrist’s book ‘The Master and his Emissary’ of some interest.

        Unfortunately the conditions surrounding the Irish myths and legends have long since passed – pity.

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    • “Some pope invented the doctrine of papal infallibility i.e. if the pope said or wrote something it was incapable of being ‘wrong’ in 1850”

      Der Fuhrer hat immer recht (Führerprinzip )

      Hey I’ve got a letter from our Chief Psychiatrist where he rewrites the laws to remove the legal protections afforded the community by our Parliament, thus allowing criminals to run rampant in our ‘mental health system’ (and by proxy our Police). And do you think there is a lawyer in town prepared to tell him he isn’t allowed to authorise arbitrary detentions, torture and ‘unintended negative outcomes’ in our Emergency Depts? Not a chance when ‘Mental Health’ facilities have been given carte blanche to “fucking destroy” anyone who dares complain about their human rights abuses, and has the resources of Police to achieve that outcome.

      Interesting that Eichmann used the same justification during his trial that our ‘mental health professionals’ are using to justify their arbitrary detentions and acts of torture? “Just doing my job” despite the Convention against the use of Torture denying the ability to use such a defense (“No superior authority”, “No emergency provisions”)

      So the Community Nurse lays it at the feet of the Senior Medical Officer, who lays it at the feet of the Consultant Psychiatrist who relies on the “editing” skills of the Freedom of Information Officer to defraud any legal challenge with documents they prepared earlier (eg the forged prescription, or the ‘verballed’ Forms uttered with by Police)…… works pretty well too

      I suppose the C.P. will simply rewrite that part of the law too should it become an issue?

      The lawyers did get involved when it looked like someone might be held accountable, but for a few bucks (and a ‘you owe me one’) they were quite happy to ‘tip off’ the private clinic to avoid any problems with breaches of the Privacy Act and other bits of ‘nasty’. They pretend to be acting in your interest and then hang you out to dry once you have shown your hand. Hi Professor.

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      • …and we are indeed all equal – right, Boans?

        Or not?

        And using terms like “antidepressant” and “antipsychotic” as well as “mental disorder,” “mental illness,” “mental health,” “personality disorder” cannot but continue to confer some utterly inappropriate legitimacy on drastic, hideous, ghastly and odious misnomers which, I trust, will soon become laughable.

        The key, I believe, is the revelation that, actually, we are indeed all equal, after all, even if the Founding Fathers thoroughly misled themselves and the multitudes into persuading themselves and so many generations since that, even though no one seems to be able to show how the fact is “self-evident,” any more than that the Emperor’s clothers were real or visible, at least until a child pointed it out.

        Because we ARE all equal, Boans, are we not?!

        Prolonged applause, and never-ending thanks.

        Tom.

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