Thursday, August 11, 2022

Comments by Louisa

Showing 17 of 17 comments.

  • This system must be abolished. Innocent people’s lives are being ruined for the reason that we think we can “medicate” life problems away. I admire your intelligent narrative and hope your will continue to write. I am working on the seemingly insurmountable conundrums in today’s world, especially in the area of so called “mental health”.
    Thank you.

  • Hello again Sam,
    It cannot be an accident that just a few moments ago I sent a comment on your last piece (under the “Why Do We Lock People Up?” essay) asking if you had ever considered your wife’s experiences to be “spiritual emergence”? I see you’ve given us a lot more information here and it will be enlightening to read your booklet when time permits. So, thanks again!

  • Hi Sam,
    An amazing story of courage and compassion. Your wife was indeed fortunate to have such a caring husband. Of course I have no idea what proceeded your wife’s dilemma but am wondering if you ever looked into the concept of spiritual emergency–that is, could your wife have been going through a state of seeing the world with new perceptions that most people cannot understand. In the case of so-called “schizophrenia” there are alternative ways of seeing it: “[A] natural and temporary self-healing process involving the removal of illusions and false beliefs which originate in the programming of social conditioning and which inhibit the psychological growth necessary for effective adaptability. The apparent ‘craziness’ of so-called schizophrenia is the sign of the person’s passage into a higher level of consciousness.” While I am sure you may not want to “revisit” the painful time your wife was going through it all, I just wondered if you had ever considered the concept I am suggesting.
    All the best to you and your family!

  • Although I happen to agree with you about the profession, the fact that Dr. McLaren is a psychiatrist and is trying to expose the terrible wrongs could benefit us all. Working “within” the system means he has access to what is really happening, rather than trying to fight from without which can be MUCH harder!
    Let’s not forget that R.D. Laing was a psychiatrist as was John Weir Perry and Stanley R Dean. There are others fighting the system now like Peter Breggin.

  • An excellent article. I’d like to take it a step further. Christine, you mention that in solving your particular problem you “dug deep into how [your] psychological problem developed.” I think we should be asking what led us into this toxic system in the first place. It is high time that we look back and “dig deeper” because the current system cannot be repaired unless we understand exactly where the problem lies. Being concerned and even outraged as I see in so much outpouring (both on and off line) is NOT going to change the situation, except perhaps, in negligible ways. I agree with your statement that “it is important to look at the conditions in society and the mental health system that feed these problems.” But it is just as, perhaps more important to look at what caused those conditions–the root of the dilemma, in other words.

  • I have been heartened by Dr. Hickey’s two articles and the excellent research he has provided in an effort to fight the pernicious effects of psychiatric diagnosis and the inherent psychotropic drugs that have and are causing irreparable harm.

    However, I have to take issue with the definition of “illness” as discussed here. Dr. Hickey mentions that “traditionally brain illnesses have been the province of neurologists with one exception: those brain illnesses that impair mental processes (thinking, feeling and behaving) have been seen as the province of psychiatry, while neurology deals with all the rest.” So, aside from the organic brain problems causing “illness”, we have accepted the idea of “mental illness” that causes a number of unwanted symptoms in the area of “thinking, feeling and behaving”. My contention is that none of these should be labelled as “illnesses” since the domain of “illness” is, as Dr. Hickey points out: “a reliably identifiable flaw or deficiency in the structure or function of one or more bodily organs”. Thinking, for example, is defined by the Cambridge English Dictionary as: “the process of using your mind to understand matters, make judgments, and solve problems”. NOW, we come to the essential matter–what is the “mind” and what is the connection between brain and mind? Do the chemical/electrical workings in the brain produce “thought” or for that matter, “consciousness”? Science has tried to tackle this problem without success. I suggest that this is because “consciousness”, “thinking”, “feeling” and “behaving” are areas that can only be dealt with using philosophy, especially in such areas as metaphysics, ontology and epistemology.

    It is absolutely true that psychiatry has been allowed to conjure up all sorts of spurious diagnoses to deal with what are normal quandaries in everyday life. It is also true that people have been deceived by psychiatry which has, in turn, deluded itself. But I think that there IS a counter argument and that I have stated it here.

  • What an amazing ‘success’ story and such a needed narrative! The public needs to understand that a radical change in psychiatric ‘therapy’ is the only way to help those suffering from the traumas that we inflict on each other. I wonder if the scientific/materialistic methods will ever truly be wiped out. These only seek to understand the ‘mind’–not the workings of the ‘heart’ and the depths of the ‘soul’!
    Thank you, Lynne Stewart!

  • Such a revealing indictment of the abuses in a system that has terrorized people for over 200 years. And it is equally appalling that your personal story was so affected by psychiatry “from the other side”–by which I mean, not as a ‘patient’ but as a family member of a psychiatrist!

    Of course, this is not the first time we have encountered people being incarcerated in psychiatric institutions simply because they had done something ‘deemed’ to be illegal by more powerful and ruthless people. In other cases, patients were in some way seen as ‘inconvenient’ by their families and whisked away, often never to be seen again.

    It is very encouraging that brave people like yourself, Kate, are speaking up and writing about experiences that shine the light both on racial inequality and psychiatric persecution.

  • An interesting topical article! I am glad to see that the author is against ‘drugging’ and the current dreadful trend of “biological psychiatry”. And I agree that the answer is an individual one. I am coming from a Jungian perspective: Jung believed that only the single individual could effect change in societies. What the author has stated here about “emotional contagion”, Jung would call a “collective shadow”. We all, according to Jung, have a Shadow–undesirable traits that we prefer to ignore and repress, since we like to be seen as good rather than the complex self that we really are. When our shadow is not faced and acknowledged, we tend to ‘project’ our undesirable characteristics onto others. A whole group or society is also capable of this and we all know of corrupt leaders that have used a group shadow to their advantage: it is the fault of the ‘other nations’, never ours. And so, the answer can only be the difficult challenge of individual change–one person at a time who will eventually spread his/her understanding to others by example. We need to look inward instead of focussing our attention on popular social movements and messages.

  • What an excellent and revealing account, Mary. I am glad you are out of the grips of those who would ‘diagnose’ you, rather than just listen to you. We need a completely new paradigm for the psychiatry. The problem, as I see it, is of philosophical ideologies. We have long forgotten other modes of perception: symbols, metaphor, spirit, mystery, dreams and sacredness–the spheres that are so essential to the human psyche. Today’s ‘scientist’ is an empiricist who sees only the material world and attempts to fit everything into a narrow picture he can understand.

  • Dear Sean– Your story needs to be told and followed up in depth. People don’t realized that psychiatry is only about 150 years old and is actually an ‘experiment’ foisted on an unsuspecting and uncomprehending public who are now taught to believe in the great god “Science”. Psychiatrists will never understand the ‘psychotic’ mind, because they have no experience of that mode of thinking themselves. A great mistake was made during the Enlightenment era when a material philosophy began to replace the spiritual dimension of man. The idea of ‘soul’ became ‘mind’ (created *somehow* by chemicals in the brain–this is never adequately addressed) and psychiatry now treats brain ‘illness’ with terrible drugs.
    I am sure you would be interested in the work of Wouter Kusters a philosopher who himself, was labelled as ‘psychotic’. His book (A Philosophy of Madness:The Experience of Psychotic Thinking) looks at the issues of what it means to be psychotic and what the philosophical ramifications are. I am working on an essay covering the subject.
    All the best to you!

  • I am so glad you are free from the psychiatric system–my late husband worked on the problem of “schizophrenia” and “mental illness” for 40 years. (I am writing an essay.) You might be interested in the work of Dutch philosopher (and former psychiatric patient) Wouter Kusters who is attempting to see “madness” from a non medical view. I am reading his latest book, “A Philosophy of Madness”.