Showing 100 of 208 comments.
Will MIA be doing a tribute to Matt Stevenson? I was just informed that he died on Thursday(?!)
I totally agree with your observations, Katie W. My experience with hospital birth left me feeling like I’d been sexually assaulted. It was horrible. And I was supposed to feel grateful for the violent and humiliating treatment I received! My home birth experiences were a much healthier, safer, and more humane.
This story, Katinka Newman’s story just came across my Yahoo newsfeed!!
PS: Maybe you ARE a bit like a dog with a bone, but I thank God that you are!
As always, thank you SO MUCH, Mr. Whitaker, for your good work and for caring about this issue. I would like to humbly request that you make the link to your paper a bit more prominent so that readers can easily find it. In case folks missed it in the body of Mr. Whitaker’s blog entry, here again is the link to his 46-page paper entitled “The Case Against Antipsychotics: A Review of Their Long-Term Effects.”
I should clarify, that question was directed at “givemeyourking,” who commented:
“So you think that everyone should get to have children no matter how mentally ill they are? How kind of you. Having children is just the thing for a highly stressed, mentally ill person living in poverty…..”
What’s your position on highly stressed, WEALTHY “mentally ill” people having children?
To givemeyourking, A madman? You mean Hitler? On what basis do you make your claim that he was a “madman?” Did he have a so-called mental “illnes?” How could a “madman” gain so much power and influence? Also, on what basis do you make your claim that “sane people ran the American eugenics program”? Did they all pass some sort of sanity test? Maybe the American eugenics program was actually run by a bunch of “madmen?”
Please explain yourself. Thanks.
Actually, I’m glad we’re having this exchange because it draws attention to a problem about which Pat felt passionately – that being the fact that people who have been subjected to psychiatric treatment for so-called “severe mental illness” can expect to die on average 20 years prematurely from causes such as complications from diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease. As I mentioned, Pat blamed his heart problems on “medications” which he had been prescribed.
Pat was only 63. He may have been a psychiatric survivor, but I believe psychiatry ended up killing him anyway, albeit not without a fight – and a valiant one at that. What a warrior he was.
(I should tell you that normally, anyone who calls Robert Whitaker an idiot, gets a dose of my wrath. But, I’ll give you a free pass. This time. 😉 )
You mean CONGESTIVE heart failure, don’t you? Pat’s heart problems were most certainly not congenital. He blamed psychiatric drugs for damaging his heart.
Here’s somebody from the entertainment industry poking fun at First-Order Psychiatry. Hilarious!
Bravo, Steve. Your list makes so much sense. I especially appreciate that sleep deprivation is Number 1. YES! And how does drugging the new mom and telling her she’s “disordered” help with any of the challenges/problems on your list? It doesn’t help! What new mom needs is lots of empathy and support. And naps.
The only thing I might add to your list is the temptation to feel guilty having a struggle at all with new motherhood – about not measuring up (Maybe #11 covers that). Oh, and having a new baby can put a strain on the relationship with the current child/children.
Did you notice that this Kinderman article is from Nov. 17 of LAST year?
Yes. Or worse, admonished to lower their expectations because they are doomed to a limited life due to their incurable “impairment.”
Yes, of course. Incurable AND genetic. And the afflicted person gets no warning about the iatrogenic dangers of “treatment” I appreciate your edits. Spot on!
I agree. Based on what I’ve experienced, part of conventional “treatment” seems to be getting clients to accept this idea that they have incurable, chronic, genetic illnesses. Nurturing that mindset ensures life-long revenue streams from those clients. Revenue may not be the motivation for promoting the “chronic disease” model of mental “illness,” but it sure is a benefit for providers.
The only people I know who have escaped the chronic mental “illness” trap did so by escaping conventional treatment.
Bob Newhart did a great skit of the “STOP DOING THAT” method of psychiatry. The “YOUR GENETIC MAKEUP MADE YOU DO IT” has great comedy potential too.
What if broken legs were treated like mental health problems? No x-rays would be done, no medical tests, no treatment to repair the damage and help the bone heal properly. The man with a broken leg would be told he has a life-long “bone disorder,” would be given sedatives and pain killers that would help him live with his bone disorder “like insulin helps a diabetic.”
If physiological health problems were treated like mental health problems, there would be a public outcry. And rightly so.
Thanks for the reminder to keep it civil, Emmeline.
A Google search popped up this CBS piece on Tom Harrell.
According to this account, regarding his affliction, “Harrell overcomes it with music. Yet the moment he stops playing his disorder seizes him. . . . But while Harrell appears in full retreat from the world, the music prevents him from losing his place. And when horn returns to mouth, the voices vanish. It’s the only time you don’t see the signs of his illness”
Harrell states that the psych drugs help keep him on an even keel, but that even with the drugs, performing is an act of will. And then his wife, Angela, describes “a toxic reaction to a medication that almost killed him.”
Not exactly what I would call a resounding endorsement of psychiatric treatment.
This article left me with the impression that it’s mostly Harrell’s wife and his music that keep him together. His story brought to mind a brilliant TED talk by violin virtuoso Vijay (Robert) Gupta about Nathaniel Anthony Ayers (a.k.a. “The Soloist”) entitled :
“Music Is Medicine, Music Is Sanity”
Oh, and by the way, nobody has “disabled” your ability to reply to their comments.
By the way, his name is spelled “Thelonious” not “Thelonius.”
You’re welcome, Steve!
I find myself getting fairly incensed over the ridiculous and defamatory practice of psychological autopsy. Ugh.
This notion that when Thelonious Monk was off his psych drugs “he only could play one song over and over in one key and was non functional” is simply too ludicrous to be believable. If Robin Kelley’s research is accurate, then I agree with you that it does seem that the opposite situation is true. Psychiatric drugs had a very detrimental effect on Thelonious Monk.
And I also agree with you that it’s time to get back to the original topic of Rob’s post.
This defamatory claim that Thelonious Monk “off his meds” was able to play only one song in one key warrants a rebuttal. In The Atlantic, Robin D.G. Kelley (his biographer who actually had access to Monk’s medical records), describes Monk as “a man who suffered more from prescription drugs and bad diagnosis than he did from illicit drugs and bipolar disorder. He received very bad medical treatment, bad advice and bad prescriptions for a very long time. The impact that had on his ability to function shocked [Kelley].”
Kellly also writes, “What’s far more important to Monk’s story than his diagnoses or misdiagnoses . . . is pharmacological history. Thelonious was given large doses of thorazine by one set of doctors, and another who was giving him large doses of amphetamine under the guise of ‘vitamins’. You can see how that might have created the conditions for strange behavior.”
About Lithium, Kelley writes that it “acts like a blanket on the brain for many people. When Monk eventually was prescribed it, later in life, it contributed to an unwillingness or a lack of desire to play. . . . he suffered from an increasing number of health problems, some of which had to do with the thorazine he was taking.”
Here’s the link to the Kelley interview:
As usual, we are in agreement, AA. (And please accept my apology for taking so long to respond!)
I don’t think it’s silly at all to celebrate. Yours is a great victory. Your life could have been completely trashed. Like you, both Kimmy and her mom credit Anatomy of an Epidemic for saving her life. Congratulations on reclaiming your life from psychiatric labeling and drugging!
Thanks for your kind words, Margaret. I believe that telling the truth about the damage done by mainstream psychiatry is the only thing that will bring about much-needed change. Telling your story will empower both you and others who have had similar experiences. Laura Delano is the editor for personal stories here at Mad In America. I encourage you to get in touch with her.
Well, Danny S, if “nuanced” is a synonym for “sneaky,” then I guess I would agree with you. What Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles has done here is simply dress up a marketing message in sciencey-sounding language.
I agree with AA. This chemical-imbalance-in-the-brain message is so much recycled crap.
Who needs studies and trials? Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles provides us with “a very simplified explanation” as to “How Ketmine Works” for even “TRD” (Treatment Resistant Depression). “Growing evidence suggests” (where have we heard THAT before?) that ketamine – wait for it – CORRECTS A CHEMICAL IMBALANCE IN THE BRAIN! Ta Daaa! Just like the marketers of Prozac claimed that it corrected a chemical imbalance! Who needs science when you can fall back on marketing spin? Here’s the link to “How Ketamine Works” on the website for Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles:
I agree! And how about Mahler, Handel, Mozart, Scriabin, Beethoven, Schumann, etc. etc.? I imagine there are very few famous composers who WOULDN’T be slapped with a mental “disorder” label and psychiatrized if they were around today.
There is not a shred of evidence which “proves” that the extreme state known as psychosis is caused by an illness of the brain. If you have overwhelming evidence, how about sharing a citation? And of course, there are no medical tests for ANY mental “illness.” That’s because mental “illness” is not a medical issue. The mind cannot have a disease any more than society can have a disease. Concepts like “mental illness” and “social ills” are metaphorical. Of course the psycho pharmaceutical industry would like everyone to BELIEVE that mental “illness” is a medical issue. However, the need for that industry to continue to profit is not a compelling reason to believe their propaganda.
By the way, Mark, I did describe to Dr. Campo some of your experience as a schizophrenia patient. He said you must have been mis-diagnosed. Typical.
Thanks for your kind offer, Nick Forand! There IS something you can help me with! Dr. Michael Corrigan and I are looking for a venue for a one-day seminar here in Columbus. The goal for the seminar, which Dr. Corrigan is presenting at universities across the U.S., is “to dramatically slow down the trend of over diagnosing, labeling and medicating children in the name of mental health.” Speakers will include experts such as Robert Whitaker, Dr. Gretchen LeFever Watson, Dr. Charles Fay, Jim Fay, Dr. Michael Gilbert and others.
Here is a link:
What do you think of having the OSU psychiatry department provide a venue and sponsor this important seminar? I’ll try to contact you via your OSU contact information. Or feel free to contact me at:
I’m also on Twitter and Facebook.
With all due respect, Mark Sullivan, that was way back in the 1970s when you found psychiatrists who actually helped you to reclaim your life. Where would you find that kind of help today? Seems to me that somebody in your situation today would be pressured to accept a diagnosis of life-long severe mental illness and coerced onto a cocktail of drugs that would shorten the lifespan by 15-20 years. Or maybe end up the way the University of Minnesota psychiatry did “Robert”
or Dan Markingson
Nick Forand, thanks for being a proponent of positive change at Ohio State! I hope you will continue to work on the chair of psychiatry until he moves from “strongly considering” a presentation by Mr. Whitaker to taking some real action to make it happen. The fact is that in 2012 when three deans at OSU (Nursing, Public Health, and Social Work) sponsored Robert Whitaker’s appearance on campus, the psychiatry department was invited to participate. John Campo declined.
Regarding the psych ward at Ohio State, Dr. Allen Frances and I wrote about my late son’s experience there:
The place was run by snakes in white coats then. Is there any reason for me to believe things have improved there?
I agree that almost all psychiatrists claim to believe in the so-called biopsychosocial model, but in practice they tend to be bio-bio-bio. For example, when I made the mistake of describing to John Campo (in a social setting, I would never seek “help” from psychiatry) my great despair over my son’s struggle and death, he told me that obviously, I needed to be on an anti-depressant. He then helpfully illustrated his point by explaining to me that if I had diabetes, I would not object to taking insulin. He further explained that the REAL reason I refuse to take anti-depressants is my “misplaced Christian pride.” (For the record, the REAL reason I don’t take psych drugs is I’m not buying the snake-oil sales pitch.)
On the up side, I was encouraged that Sandra Steingard was invited to present to OSU’s psychiatry department. Maybe there is reason to hope that change is possible. But then again, somebody like Jeffrey Lieberman was also invited, the quintessential snake in a white coat.
Why wait for your gravestone? Put “Menace to Society” on your business card!
Yeah, Mark, I think John Campo should invite Mr. Whitaker to address his Department of Psychiatry at OSU, don’t you? Time for the blind to stop leading the blind over there. They need Mr. Whitaker to pull them all from their big ditch of misinformation.
When they go off of them, that’s when drug WITHDRAWAL wreaks havoc and gets misinterpreted as a return of the so-called “illness.”
Zoloft gave me cardiac arrhythmia. When I told my psychiatrist about it, she said, “I’ve never heard THAT one before.” She completely dismissed my complaint. Didn’t take notes, didn’t report it. So I quit taking it and never went back to see her. I wonder how often complaints of adverse effects are treated this way.
So in your experience, only one out of five psychiatrists are capable of behaving like a decent human being, while 80 percent are pretty much incompetent. I wonder how well those percentages translate to the wider population of practicing psychiatrists. Are 80 percent incompetent? I reckon that sounds about right.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
Thank you so much for commenting on my essay. I am a big admirer of yours, and I feel quite honored by your affirming words.
Your reference to sainthood sure made me laugh. I’d nominate Robert Whitaker for any accolades. Talk about providing unfiltered information regarding the truth! Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic gave me and everyone else involved in Kimmy’s journey the confidence to recognize and reject the lies of biopsychiatry and to believe in the human spirit.
Thanks again for your comment!
Yes, the clueless deference to mainstream psychiatry is truly maddening. I plan to send a copy of my essay to the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, so that they will be made aware of the the terrible impact Judge Bender has had on our family. I am still angry about his arrogance and his sneering dismissal of my son’s humanity.
Thanks, B, for your kind words. I had only a small role in saving Kimmy’s life. The hardest work was done by Kimmy herself. I was honored to be able to assist and encourage her.
ebl, I’d rather not bother Mr. Whitaker, but you should be able to find me pretty easily on Facebook if you’d like to get in touch with me.
I agree that way too often, life after psychiatric treatment is some sort of death. Yes, this is what Jake and Kimmy experienced, and I know this has been the experience of your precious Siddharta – ROBBED of his life by the mental illness industry! Readers who are not familiar with Cindi’s journey from compliance to activism, please read about it here. You’ll be glad you did!
Cindi, what you have written here is so much more than a comment. You have given us a powerfully poetic prophecy. Thank you so much. Kahlil Gibran himself could not have expressed it any more eloquently.
Yes, may Our Stories become Songs of the Winds of Change. Those Winds of Change are indeed now upon us. Thank you for sharing your vision.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
– Proverbs 13:12
Thanks for bringing up the subject of hope. Hope is a theme in my TEDx talk from a few years ago.
I also describe numerous examples of American psychiatry done well (lest anyone label me “anti-psychiatry”). I wouldn’t want folks thinking that I’m some sort of rabid, irrational, anti-psychiatrist because hey, I’m not irrational!
Sorry to see the old “like insulin for diabetes” trope (tripe?) is STILL alive and well.
Sapolsky writes, “Depression is as real a biological disorder as juvenile diabetes . . .” I’m just shaking my head. Unbelievable. I wonder what his ties are to the pharmaceutical industry.
Regarding the Germanwings plane crash, the role of psych drugs HAS been mention in this article http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkroll/2015/03/29/faa-procedures-for-pilots-with-depression-taking-ssris/ and this one http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2015/03/nobody-is-stigmatising-depression-its-the-pills-we-need-to-worry-about-.html
The world needs to wake up to the massive iatrogenic damage being done in the name of psychiatric treatment. It nearly killed Kimmy. Keep speaking up!
I know! I agree! They SHOULD be interested in humans. I guess things like empathy and compassion are too “unscientific” for Psychiatric Times’ consideration. They need to maintain the ILLUSION that they’re all about . . . SCIENCE!
Indeed. It seems that as far as the psychiatric establishment is concerned human interest has taken a back seat to professional self interest. On second thought, back seat, schmack seat. Human interest has been kicked to the curb.
Best of luck to you and Bill. You are blessed to have this Mad In America community and the resources and connections it provides. I think it would have made a big difference for Jake. Both Kimmy and her mom credit Robert Whitaker with saving her life.
Thanks for commenting, warmac. And thanks for the Jim Carrey links. I’m definitely a fan!
Good point, Augustus. But I don’t wonder about it anymore. I have no doubt that there’s no money in mental health for pharmaceutical companies. There are, however, billions of dollars to be made managing chronic mental “illnesses.” Pharmaceutical companies put lots of effort into selling the idea that problems with thinking, emotion, and behavior are chronic, incurable “illnesses” that can only be endured by lifelong management with their pharmaceutical products.
Thanks for commenting!
Congratulations on reclaiming your life from the lie of the “broken brain.” Good for you! And thanks for your kind words. Yes, love and compassion have powerful healing properties.
Thanks, madmom. I am familiar with your family’s story from your comments here at Mad In America. I am rooting for your daughter. Do you think a nationwide group of honked off parents (an alternative to the pHARMa-funded NAMI) could change the deplorable mental illness industry that is failing so many? What do you think?
Thanks for commenting, Someone Else, and for your kind words about Jake. Yes, your story and Kimmy’s stories are the classic and all-too-frequent narrative of — to quote a friend of mine — “how initial treatment leads to a life as a mental patient (unless one escapes.)”
I’m so thankful that you and Kimmy escaped that constricted life!
Wow. “For some reason, they did not like my submission . . .” LOL! I think we know the reason. You did not provide them with the deference they crave:
They want to hear your story as long as it’s something along the lines of, “Thank goodness I sought help from psychiatry. They gave me an accurate diagnosis and provided me with a lifelong plan for managing my illness with health-giving medications.” They can’t handle the truth! Thanks, bpdtransformation, for being part of the movement to expose mainstream psychiatry for the quackery that it is.
That means a lot, coming from you, Sandy. Thanks for chiming in!
I can only speak for myself of course, but no, I don’t think it makes sense to talk about the deceased in the present tense. Although I’m sure the suggestion is well-intentioned, referring to the deceased in present tense feelss like denial to me, and that is neither helpful nor kind. The death of the beloved is horrific, especially the death of a son or daughter. It’s a horrible thing to face, but it must be faced. Denial is a natural reaction of course. It was my initial reaction. (“No! Not my son! You must have him confused with someone else.”) What I needed (and still need) in the aftermath of my son’s death was compassion – shared feeling. I needed people who could face this horror with me courageously, but with a shared broken heart.
“Abomination” works even better.
Let me replace “monstrosity” with”blasphemy” as a descriptor of psychiatry.
“I’ve seen patients joyfully bound off their cot [sic] within minutes of completing their ECT.”
PRAISE LIEBERMAN! It’s a MIRACLE!!!
LOL! LOL! I agree with you, Mr. Whitaker, there seems to be an allusion here to the gospel story of Jesus healing the paralytic. (Mark 2:1-12). Intentional? Very likely, I think, as Lieberman’s book, “Shrinks,” isn’t just a self portrait of a profession, it’s a self portrait of psychiatry suffering from a messianic delusion!
Another laugh-out-loud moment was Lieberman’s quote about how the “entire profession [of psychiatry] was utterly transmogrified.” Leiberman appears not to understand the meaning of the word “transmogrified,” which means “to change or alter greatly, and often with grotesque or humorous effect” or “to transform or change completely, especially in a grotesque or strange manner.”
Yes, the trade of psychiatry certainly is grotesque and strange, so much so it would be humorous, except that the killing, stealing, and maiming it commits is no laughing matter.
Thanks, Mr. Whitaker, for the good, hard laughs at the expense of this monstrosity called psychiatry. With the anniversaries of my son’s birth and death coming up in the next few weeks, I could use a laugh or two. Good therapy.
I agree, Steve! Whenever I see this kind of propaganda promoted by acolytes of the Treatment Advocacy Center, I am reminded of that famous quote, attributed to Goebbels:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
I, too, am familiar with the accounts of higher recovery rates in poorer countries. What is really infuriating to me, though, is that we’ve seen recovery rates (from “psychotic disorders”) as high as 80 to 85 percent RIGHT HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, claimed by (dissident) psychiatrists like William Glasser, John Weir Perry and Loren Mosher, who focus not on treating “diseased brains,” but on restoring respect, relatedness, balance, and hope to the troubled person’s life. I talk about my informal research on this topic here:
Also, I would like to take this opportunity to ascertain that I do indeed know how to spell “regurgitated.”
I could use a good copy editor.
I’m quite familiar with this claim that “about a third recover.” It’s one of those factoids, i.e. a piece of propaganda, which is regurgiated over and over by the disciples of E. Fuller Torrey and his forced drugging fan club, the so-called Treatment Advocacy Center.
Also in answer to the question, “what is ADHD, exactly?”, according to this article posted on another thread by MIA moderator Emmeline Mead,
ADHD is a SCAM and a FRAUD.
Thank you for your comment, Sa! It means the world to me to know that I might have helped you experience some hope during a dark time. Courage!
“What is ADHD, exactly?” It is nothing but a pejorative label applied to someone whose classroom behavior others find annoying and/or disruptive. It’s comparable to how the term “internet troll” is applied to someone whose online behavior others find disruptive and annoying.
So. ADHD – a pejorative label and nothing more (as are all the “diagnostic” labels in the DSM, a.k.a. psychiatry’s big book of insults).
Thanks, Grace. Your kindness has really made my day. It was just “luck” that I happened to notice your comment on MIA’s front page in the comment feed. Thanks for the dialogue. I clicked on the link to your blog and look forward to reading more of your thoughts there. In the meantime, I will continue to keep my eyes open to be ready for the return of color and delight. 😉
BTW, I deactivated my Facebook account a couple of months ago. I hope I don’t have an imposter!
It just occurred to me that I should put a link to my TEDx talk here:
Thanks for the prompt, Rossa.
Thank you so much for your comment and for taking the time to offer some encouragement. It’s SO encouraging to learn that your own frustration has become delight and that the dullness can turn to enthusiasm. If this is true and real, then maybe there is hope for me. Although I continue to keep my eyes open, I still feel surrounded by fog. It’s been almost 7 years since Jake’s death, and I’m STILL waiting for the color to return. Maybe I’m just a stubborn sadsack, I don’t know. ha ha Maybe the color will eventually return. In the meantime, the kindness of strangers like you keeps me going. Thanks again for reaching out. God bless you. BTW, you look familiar. Have we met?
Hey there blakeacake,
You are so welcome! In answer to your question, yes, I am familiar with the film “Awakenings.” It was probably the most heart-wrenchingly sad movie I’ve ever seen. What a tragic story. Why do you think the “L-dopa drug restored life” to a group of catatonic patients? None of them were restored to life. Treatment was a tragic failure. Were you unable to attend to the entire movie? As I recall, the effects of the drug were temporary, and ALL the patients returned to a catatonic state. So sad.
Good luck with your ADHD amphetamine addiction. I hope it doesn’t end up destroying you like it has so many others.
Warmac, I am SO sorry to learn of the harm done to your son in the name of ADHD “treatment.” I hope he is doing better now!
My own son is dead, in large part because of the self-serving LIES promoted by American psychiatry. What if we form a nationwide organization for pissed off, whistle-blowing families who have been devasted by the false paradigm of psychiatry? What if a large group of pissed off parents like the Fees and like you and me got ORGANIZED?! Mental “illness” is not the problem – it’s the incompetent, life-detroying bio-psychiatric paradigm and its “treatments.” That is the problem.
PS: I’d like to thank blakeacake for bringing us together here. Perhaps he/she will inadvertently serve as the catalyst to form a major backlash against dangerous psychiatric quackery.
Seriously?! Are you suggesting that drugging an inattentive kid with amphetamines is as harmless as prescribing eyeglasses for the nearsighted? What an inane comparison. When have eyeglasses ever killed someone?
Yeah! GREAT stuff!!!! I agree it needs to be replicated!
WOW!! This is the best news I’ve read in months. Dr. Shannon, how can we get one of your Wholeness Centers in Ohio? Any possibility of a franchise of some sort?
Re: Biederman, he should be chilling in the slammer, IMO.
“Why would you want a loved one kept alive against his or her will?” The author’s father offers an answer. He seems grateful that his own suicide attempt was thwarted.
The term “anosognosia” has been misappropriated from the field of neurology by pro-forced drugging groups like the “Treatment Advocacy Center.” It has no validity as a psychiatric term.
My, oh my, FaceOfChange! I can’t say for certain what has caused, in your words, your “verbalizing as hemorrhage of thought,” but I’m pretty sure your rant is not due to your possessing a “severely disordered brain.” More likely, you are expressing a natural human response to feeling vexed. I believe this natural human mechanism explains much of what gets labeled psychotic “illness.”
Of course, I cannot begin to explain the behavior of the fictional loonies in your make-believe scenarios – people flinging children off of bridges and whatnot! Let’s deal in fact and reality, shall we? Take Leonard Roy Frank for example, who is presently being eulogized here on MIA. As a young man, his “bizarre” behavior got him psychiatrically incarcerated, where his bio-psychiatric brain-blaming “doctors” forced him to endure dozens of electro-shock and insulin coma “treatments” to fix his “severely disordered” brain. How misguided! How barbaric!
Dr. Eleanor Longden is another interesting real-life example. She was so severely tormented by voices that she tried to drill a hole in her head to get the voices out. You can hear the short version of her story here in her brilliant TED talk.
There is, and was, nothing wrong with Dr. Longden’s brain even though she experienced a life-and-death struggle with her mind.
And what about the curious case of Anders Breivik? Can you explain what caused him to shoot to death 69 young people in a summer camp after killing 8 other people with a bomb?
Not even the court-appointed psychiatric so-called “experts” could agree if he was insane or not. Are you more of an expert than the professional “experts?” If you are, please offer an explanation for Anders Breivik’s behavior. Please do.
Bio-psychiatry is a joke, and bio-psychiatric reductionist explanations (a.k.a. brain blaming) for “abnormal” behavior is so last century. Please get with the times. Please do.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience and wisdom here. Much of what you have written resonates with my experience of my son Jake’s death, which while not exactly a suicide, shared some common elements with your family’s story, as it seemed to me as if Jake was caught in a vortex of self-destruction. You described this so well as Chris being “dragged into a deep and enveloping hole that was too dark to see and too powerful to escape.” Well said.
For the past week or so, I have mulled over what you have written. I find great wisdom in your eight lessons. But like Emmeline, I have had to wrestle with your suggestion that suicide and the kind of despair that leads to it are senseless. While some things can be difficult – maybe even impossible – to understand, that does not mean that the difficult-to-understand is senseless. The kind of hopelessness, dread, and shame that can push a person to end his/her life are terribly toxic – a deadly poison to the soul. After my son died, I felt like the only way I could find peace would be to understand the truth of what he had experienced. Maybe that’s misguided, I don’t know. Maybe what our loved ones experienced is a mystery, and I’ll just have to accept the mystery. I sometimes feel that losing Jake has infected me with the same poisonous hopelessness, dread, and shame. Lesson #1 prevents me from getting sucked in too far. But I want to understand the poisoning. And, more important, I want to know – what is the antidote?
What a horrific loss you and your family have endured. You have my heartfelt sympathy.
WOW, Caitlin! Thanks for this contribution to the conversation! Interesting . . .
How ironic that Richard seems to be borrowing on a quote made famous by Jesus, “the truth will set you free,” in his appeal for a mechanistic worldview. Is Richard declaring, as Jesus did, “Everyone on the side of truth listen to me.”?
Such a bold statement begs the question, “What is truth?” (to borrow Pilate’s response to Jesus).
PS: great article, Dr. Berezin! How wonderful to have you contributing here at Mad in America! Your views on madness brought to mind the work of Dr. Bert Karon and his view that “schizophrenia” is akin to a sort of chronic terror syndrome.
I do hope we’ll be hearing more from you!
I DID read your article, Dr. Berezin. My comment was not directed at you. It was directed at the commenter FaceOfChange.
FaceOfChange, I believe that you are the one who’s clinging to discredited theories. As Dr. Phil Hickey has stated, extreme problems with thinking, emotions, and behavior are not “illnesses.” There is absolutely no evidence to support your notion that so-called psychotic “illnesses” are caused by some sort of brain deficit. Such ideas are remnants of last century thinking. I suggest this TEDx talk by psychiatrist Jim van Os to help you start getting your thinking up to date. Dr. van Os explains why psychosis is not an illness.
MIA has INDEED published a Christian theologian, Elahe Hessamfar, who states “we certainly don’t suffer from a lack of medical treatment for [“those whose spirits are broken”] . . . In fact, if anything, we suffer from overmedication, and hurful treatments that may damage a person’s ability to make right and wrong decisions.”
Here’s a link:
Reverend Haynes, I encourage you to submit your own article to Mad In America. I, for one, would love to hear more about your perspective on what role the church might have in healing those with broken spirits (aside from providing free meeting space for NAMI initiatives, of course).
Thanks, Academic, for making some great points about the chemical imbalance hypothesis/theory. I appreciate that calling it a theory or hypothesis gives it too much credit. Better to describe it as the
chemical imbalance STORY
chemical imbalance MYTH.
I also appreciate those who dub it the
chemical imbalance FRAUD
chemical imbalance LIE.
Oh my. Thanks for the link to the blog on “Myths About Psychiatry.” This Stotland character really knows how pile on the hogwash, doesn’t she? E.g., she claims that brain scans can detect depression?! Yeah, right! And people treated for so-called schizophrenia can have “fulfilling lives” thanks to psychiatric drugs that she claims “unclutters their brains.” ha ha ha ha ha ha And – this one’s the most hilarious – prejudice against psychiatry goes back thousands of years!! Oh my goodness. What a load of crap.
That Stotland is a former president of the American Psychiatric Association speaks volumes about how intellectually bankrupt THAT group must be.
Several years ago, Lariam was reported by Time to be among the top ten prescription drugs linked to violence. Looks like all the other drugs on the list are psychiatric drugs. Here’s the link:
The information published in the Time article came from this study:
It’s remarkable how many more psychiatric drugs made PloS One’s list (in addition to the Lariam, a.k.a. mefloquine).
What would motivate a person to take the time to write and publicly post such a smug, mean-spirited comment? Ew.
au contraire, candreae –
The suggestion that neuroleptic drugs (a.k.a. antipsychotics) cause Parkinsonism is quite well founded, see the last paragraph of:
And sadly, according to this article, Parkinsonism generally has “a worse prognosis compared to typical Parkinson’s disease.”
I should add that Dr. Angell is quoting Robert Whitaker.
If you read Nancy’s comment you will see that she herself states that the drugs “may or may not be useful.” If you feel that the drugs have been helpful to you, then good for you! They are not helpful to everyone.
Thanks for bringing up the New England Journal of Medicine. Its former Editor In Chief, Marcia Angell MD, wrote this book:
“The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It”
AND, in Dr. Angell’s article for the prestigious New York Review of Books, she offers the following quote:
“Imagine that a virus suddenly appears in our society that makes people sleep twelve, fourteen hours a day. Those infected with it move about somewhat slowly and seem emotionally disengaged. Many gain huge amounts of weight—twenty, forty, sixty, and even one hundred pounds. Often their blood sugar levels soar, and so do their cholesterol levels. A number of those struck by the mysterious illness—including young children and teenagers—become diabetic in fairly short order…. The federal government gives hundreds of millions of dollars to scientists at the best universities to decipher the inner workings of this virus, and they report that the reason it causes such global dysfunction is that it blocks a multitude of neurotransmitter receptors in the brain—dopaminergic, serotonergic, muscarinic, adrenergic, and histaminergic. All of those neuronal pathways in the brain are compromised. Meanwhile, MRI studies find that over a period of several years, the virus shrinks the cerebral cortex, and this shrinkage is tied to cognitive decline. A terrified public clamors for a cure.
Now such an illness has in fact hit millions of American children and adults. We have just described the effects of Eli Lilly’s best-selling antipsychotic, Zyprexa.”
A wise friend once described Pat Bracken to me as “fantastic, the very ideal of a psychiatrist.” 😉 I agree!
Thank you so much for the great work you are doing, especially in exhorting other psychiatrists to recognize the shortcomings (and I would add, the grave dangers,) of biopsychiatric reductionism. Bravo, sir!
I hope you will continue to promote the message that “the neurobiological project in psychiatry finds its limit in the simple and often repeated fact: MENTAL DISORDERS ARE PROBLEMS OF PERSONS, NOT OF BRAINS.” Not everyone will embrace your message, of course, but some will. Courage!
Thanks again for all you do.
By the way, I LOVED the Picasso analogy. Nicely done!
Brilliantly stated, Kris. Thank you!
Ooooh, nice “debate” tactic,” Vegwellian. When you find yourself trounced, attempt to discredit your opponent(s) by suggesting they are mentally ill. This is also a great illustration of just how “scientific” psychiatric diagnosis is. Simply label any strong emotion, especially anger, as a symptom of mental illness. Poof. No science needed when mental health “experts” can simply react to opposition with defamation and slander, and label a person as “abnormally” agitated, angry, sad, happy, manic, irritated, impaired, oppositional, defiant, etc., etc., etc..
Bravo, Donna! Thank you for calling out Vegwellian’s comments for what they are – non-science propaganda and self-important diatribe.
Ha ha ha. Good one, RonW! 🙂
Thanks for sharing that observation. Your comment brought to mind the old proverb, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” The tricky bit is resisting the urge to stab each other with those sharp points! 🙂
I liked what Rossa had to say too! I’m guessing “Come now” is a haughty way for RonW to say “This is bs”