Showing 19 of 19 comments.
Wonderful piece, Michael. Thank you.
Wonderful article. As I see it ultimately the solution is to take the approach that broke the chokehold of the Church over European society: sever its nexus to state power. We must treat corporations and professional organizations the way the founding fathers treated the Church: erect a high wall of separation between them subject to the rule of law.
Sure. As I wrote above “sever its connection to State power.”
By which I mean to the regulatory, credentialing, funding, and coercive apparatus of the State that the State-Science-Corporate-Professional-Media Alliance is built on. All of this justified by concern for public safety, all of them in fact undermining it by enabling the power of special interests. Once the broad mechanism is understood the details can be worked out.
The solution to the terrible oppression of Psychiatry is the same as the solution to the terrible oppression of the Church centuries ago: sever its connection to State power. This also applies to its adjuncts, Big Pharma and the Medical profession generally.
Thank you, Jo Ann. Perhaps the best single, most comprehensive piece I’ve read on the deadly interaction of psychiatry with children.
Psychiatry is voodoo.
It only looks at – or pretends to look at – one factor shaping human behavior: biology. Among other things it overlooks the fact that humans are conscious organisms, that consciousness is an interactive process with the organism’s environment, hence that their interaction – experience – will profoundly influence the organism. A serious oversight for the putative science of the mind.
Actual physical pathologies affecting brain and neurological function such as concussion, meningitis, Parkinson’s disease, neurosyphilis, brain tumor, multiple sclerosis, encephalitis, Down syndrome – which can profoundly effect mental states and behavior – are the province of neurology or other specialties that deal with medicine’s proper realm: observable, measurable, physical injury, disease, and maldevelopment.
Psychiatric disorders do not appear in neurology pathology textbooks for the reason that they have no physical markers, structural or chemical, hence cannot be diagnosed by physical tests.
Beautifully and powerfully put.
So it seems. I’m no saint but I can’t imagine how someone does that and lives the rest of their life.
Still have to finish the article, but Florida lawyer and pro bono advocate of the rights of the psychiatrized, Wayne Ramsay, has compiled a series of essays that make a useful online book providing an excellent introduction to the critique of psychiatry: primarily an anthology of quotes with bibliography sprinkled with cogent insights of his own, often from a legal perspective.
He makes several interesting remarks about Torrey in the essay ‘Why Psychiatry is Evil’:
“It is impossible for me to believe someone who so eloquently and convincingly debunked the concept of mental illness, including schizophrenia, as Dr. Torrey did in ‘The Death of Psychiatry,’ could be sincere now when he promotes these very ideas. In 1990 at the Thomas S. Szasz Tribute Dinner in New York City in a face-to-face conversation with Dr. Szasz, author of ‘The Myth of Mental Illness,’ I asked Dr. Szasz, ‘Whatever happened to Fuller Torrey?!’ Dr. Szasz answered with a single word, ‘Funding’, and suggested I ask another psychiatrist who was with us that night, Dr. Ron Leifer, who gave me the same answer. Dr. Szasz wrote an article about Dr. Torrey’s turnabout titled ‘Psychiatric Fraud and Force: A Critique of E. Fuller Torrey’ in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (Vol. 44, No. 4, Fall 2004, p. 416).”
Florida lawyer and pro bono advocate of the rights of the psychiatrized, Wayne Ramsay, has compiled a series of essays that comprise a useful online book providing an excellent introduction to the critique of psychiatry: primarily an anthology of quotes with bibliography sprinkled with cogent insights of his own, often from a legal perspective.
But in the second last essay ‘Why Psychiatry is Evil’ he mentions a conversation he had with Thomas Szasz about Torrey:
I was one of the lucky ones who attended. In spite of dreadful weather the auditorium was jam-packed with an educated, sophisticated crowd. Bonnie was dynamite.
You’re absolutely unbelievable. Do you think a person just wakes up one day and decides to become a criminal? I’d recommend reading up on the psychology of criminal behavior and the horror that goes into to producing one. May you never find yourself on the wrong side of the law and crying for help to smug, willfully obtuse, self-satisfied, self-righteous bastards. Shame!!
OMFG Otto. My deepest sympathies. What a nightmare.
It’s pretty sad but my advice is to do everything you can to avoid confrontation. Become grey, boring. Nice. Maybe occasionally even praise them. Flattery and bullshit until you can weasel your way out of there. The more you fight them, the more you take a stand while behind their walls in their clutches the more you risk being taken down by them.
Googling “how to get out of a mental hospital” turns up quite a bit.
So very sorry to hear and something I will remember.
Absolutely oldhead. Don’t mean to get officious but I am writing about all this, have an early draft registered with the US Copyright office, hence as long as I can use it as my own I’m cool with your use of it.
“Teaching disorders”and speed!! Love it!! That one’s definitely yours.
Psychiatry has “overlooked” the central fact of human nature and core driver of human behaviour: that they are conscious organisms. Hence their behaviour cannot be understood without reference to what they are conscious of. A rather serious oversight for the putative science of the mind. Akin to a doctor addressing a fracture by vague references to mysterious chemical imbalances and genetic abnormalities while dismissing as irrelevant the patient’s account that they fell from a tree.
The remarkable Italian educator Maria Montessori (1870–1952), who developed the Montessori method of child education wrote, “An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, which has the virtue of inducing concentration rather than fatigue, adds to the child’s energies and mental capacities, and leads him to self-mastery … As soon as children find something that interests them they lose their instability and learn to concentrate.”
Montessori children often have to be accelerated entering the public school system. Visitors to Montessori classrooms are often astonished, even alarmed by their quiet as children assiduously concentrate on the tasks provided by their learning materials – without suasion from teachers. The focus and discipline come from within.
Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick noted how important interest is in learning and gave the example of a boy doing poorly in school but has memorized every score of every game of his favourite baseball team for the past fifty years.
Though only part of the problem-answer in an essay titled ‘A Teachin’ Deficit Disorder’ James J. Campbell, M.D. argues that many cases of ADD and ADHD are the result of deeply flawed reading instructional methods e,g, ‘whole language,’ widespread in America’s public schools today. He provides several case studies in which private tutoring by a different method produced dramatic improvement. I’ve saved the article but it’s not posted stand alone, only encapsulated in this report (he changed the title once and may have done so again):
As Breggin and others note, by locating the problem in the child such diagnoses are convenient and validating for parents, teachers and other authorities as their parenting styles, teaching methods and administrative prowess are not called into question. The problem lies in the child. And it is the child whose psyche must be partially disabled with Ritalin et al or increasingly electroshock to conform to their expectations. Breggin notes that even advocates acknowledge these disorders tend to mysteriously disappear at the onset of summer vacation.
After all Mr. Whitaker who are you to challenge Dr. Mengele?