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agree! That’s the heart of the matter.
I have direct experience with zombification and it’s no joke or exaggeration.
I use North-Korea as symbol of vulgar use of power in current times. I have no way of judging if that is the case or not, but what people generally say north korea in general is like, the world of psychiatry certainly is like, and I know that for a fact. And yes, holocaust, concentration camps, but as much as it is true, a friend of mine once said, once any conversation mentions the holocaust it’s over, after that logic does not apply, and people are just angry comparing anyone they don’t like with Hitler. But it just so happened that the actual holocaust started out as “psychiatric treatment” done out of nothing but mercy just like today.
Another important thing is that zombification is in effect = steralization. This is its own topic though.
But when people are talking laws aren’t they usually talking laws against or not allowing coercion? What’s the priority? Are there really credible psychiatric reformists who support coercion? I ask out of ignorance, it’s not rhetorical.
If that is the case then I do believe that all collaboration or bridging is largely counter-productive.
Even if that was the case though, that wouldn’t mean that it’s a bad thing for neither. Collaboration can also mean criticizing the same things in different ways. I think this is also a matter of slaying a dragon by building one big dragon or slaying a dragon with many small ones that have only overlapping shared interests. In some ways it might be more effective. But having shared strategies is in all ways beneficial even if the ideologies are apparently not reconcilable. The overlaps are certainly many.
I think the difference between the two is more about what people have seen and experienced. We all see that there is obviously a huge problem with psychiatry and the degree of dissident is in equal propotions to the degree of experience of violence.
Having said that I believe that somebody who says he is a reformist is more likely to make headlines than somebody who says they are anti-psychiatry so in someways the might more easily achieve goals that would in our opinion fall under the anti-psychiatry category.
Also, in my opinion, biomedical model in and of it self is not a problem. It’s just that this isn’t even a biomedical model, as there is no proof that there is such a thing. Recently chronic fatigue syndrome stopped being a mental illness because of compelling evidence that it had to do with the gut fauna or something similar. Once you have a biomedical explanation for a mental illness it ceases to be a MENTAL illness and becomes an illness. My experience of psychosis tells me that it is in large extent physical, even though its clearly started by lived experiences, but even if I know what’s going on, I couldn’t stop it with my thoughts. So in and of itself I have nothing against a biomedical model, really. That’s just not what psychiatry is.
Well that’s just my thought.
The key issue in my opinion is:
and I think it unites both anti-psychiatry and reformists. If Thomas Szasz was right that should cut the Gordian knot because “without coercion, there is no psychiatry”.
If that holds not to be true, then what remains after the end of coercion is reformed psychiatry.
What I am thinking is – this is the priority no.1, because the fallacy of the biomedial model will be replaced by something similar or worse out of interest if which holds less sway if there isn’t the power of coercion.
Even killing people with drugs and keeping them sick is less important, because if there isn’t any coercion, you can always choose and the rest of the problem is just about educating people about not using this “service”.
We need people to understand that mental hospitals are north korea. We have U.N. , E.U. now and all kinds of things challenging psychiatry on the grounds of torture. The only question is, are we dealing with something that is bigger than psychiatry. Is psychiatry and pharmaceutical companies also serving other interests, for interest of governance. Subconscious even. Who else benefits?
Yes, but when I, as somebody who has on occasions been institutionalized raise my voice and talk about what is fundamentally wrong with psychiatry people don’t listen, they just think “gee, that can’t be, that’s so extreme, he’s crazy”.
I don’t think the problem is that society at large wants coercion to happen, on the contrary I think most people think that what happens is so extreme that they think it must be a lie.
When I tell people that Zyprexa has killed more people than the bombings in Hiroshima they walk away. When somebody says, long-term research seems to show that most psychiatric drugs increase “relapse rate” they say, “what, can that be”? But listen. I don’t know why. If you spell the most difficult to accept parts of the truth out people just think it’s so overwhelming that it must be that I am crazy and a conspiracy theorist. And as a matter of fact, that’s what it says in my medical report. I was coerced into treatment on basis of the “fact” that I had conspiracy theories about pharmaceutical companies. Wherever I go I have no voice or credibility wherever I go, no matter how logical it is, no matter how well read I am, no matter the ethical values, by showing any sign of anger and or radically different believe to most ordinary people it undermines everything I say.
So guess what I´m saying is, to be tactical you got to pick your battles at any given time, and take the path of least resistance at any given moment.
Yes, I agree with you for the most part, but for me the other big topic if not the bigger one for me is the question of coercion. If you are coerced to see a councilor that’s very different. My experience with counseling/psychology is not entirely negative nor positive. Currently, if you show any psychotic symptoms they refer you to a psychiatrist to get pills. Alternative health people too sometimes, because nobody wants to touch it with a 10 foot pole, they’re scared of it. There is just this culture of “you have to seek help” that is very dangerous and kills people in the long run. I’m not against anything really except for lies and coercion/violence, which both are abuses of power those people should never have in the first place. If it was just a problem of capitalism+medicine it would be very simple, but it’s also a problem of government, law, police and every single power there is working against the freedom and well being of the mentally ill, probably out of sheer ignorance. But that’s the system today.
Now, that doesn’t change the fact that I have met psychiatrists even, that were very nice, but they had wrong views and were indoctrinated into a cobweb of delusion, that wouldn’t have been harmful if they didn’t have this power and authority not in spite of but because of it.
The way I see it, systems cannot become compassionate. People in any position can be. A good system prevents harm from happening. That’s how I see it. When I say law suits I don’t mean because these people are bad guys, but that way you can get a pressure from a different and higher authority because me as a nutcase against medical authority, I have none.
Yeah, so pharmaphallacy/psuedomedicalisation and coercion are the two big subjects that I find vital to tackle with whatever means that work.
I guess what I´m also trying to put into words is that I largely agree on Gary’s idea of uniting goals, despite having fundamentally different view of some of the things are more or less similar. I wanted to point out that maybe if we turn it around it is not the ideology that is the basis of the problem but how people are being hurt on a day to day basis. If I tell people I saw someone beaten up in the mental hospital, by staff, they are shocked. If I yell at them with my Szasz-ean/Focault rant about the incurably fundamentally evil nature of psychiatry they run away. Also when I do that, maybe I’m starting to become more like a psychiatrist myself. It’s like Robert Whitaker, sometimes I find his criticisms rather “light” but that’s also why people listen to him, which is also why this website is great because it enables discussions like these ones to take place. Regardless of reform or anti-psychiatry debate, most people who write or read this site are in a marginal position with their opinions, in their area, I would assume and this way people can share tactics.
I am very happy that we are having this discussion. I agree with the dragon slayer and the kindred spirit for the most part, but I think it’s two things to talk about ideology on one hand and strategy on the other. In Reykjavík, Iceland there were once 4 communist organizations or parties which all hated each other. That proved, needless to say, to be counterproductive. When I read Philip Hickeys review of Robert Whitaker’s review of the new psychiatry apologetics I had this moment when I realized that at this point it doesn’t matter if it’s reform or anti-psychiatry if the cause is to the large extent the same at this point, which is in my opinion to:
1. Raise awareness of what is and has been happening psychiatry
2. Attack the DSM and the disease model on every level
3. Affect change in legislature (it has to be stated clearly that it means protecting peoples rights to deny any treatment or intervention) (nobody should be a criminal unless they perform a crime, no field of medicine should work on preventing crime)
4. File lawsuits against hospitals, states, psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies
5. (Most debatable) Support alternative forms of treatment, even if only to show that hardly any treatment is better than the current psychiatric treatment
6. If there is any treatment at all, it must be understood by the state that a person cannot be your medical savior and your prison guard at the same time, that’s an absolute contradiction of roles.
So this includes two of the three unifying goals, although the specifics are important because any vagueness in psychiatry legislature leads to vulgar displays of power even in the most minute and minor cases.
So, frugal about psychotropic drugs? That’s the one I’ve never understood. But it comes from the open dialogue I assume. That in some cases drugs are OK. The DSM is bad, so is the disease model as a whole, but somehow a little bit of psychotropics drugs is sometimes necessary. Why?
Anti-psychotics have murdered hundreds and thousands of people around the globe, and none of these people had any disease as far as we know. There is not a single idea of ethics in any religion or philosophy that can justify something like that? Risking peoples lives to save them from . . . what? I can assure you that being on anti-psychotics can be a much more dreadful experience than the psychosis itself. Psychosis isn’t that fucking dangerous. It’s not. It’s OK! and yet people are killed, soon to be millions.
But for some reason, some people just “need it” and then they die, and who did it? Who murdered the person? because that is precisely what it is. Mass murder, holocaust, genetic cleansing (with no gene found)
The middle way in this equation is = getting rid of all psychotropic drugs entirely but allowing a few people to still play doctor with some other types of toys while the rights to deny all forms of medical care are safely guarded.
(and yes I would like alcohol and marijuana to be illegal as well but that’s a different discussion)
well, that’s my opinion anyway.
I would like to add from my own experience, that the power dynamic of the situation keeps you from feeling free enough to be truthful. Like Philip K. Dick said in Valis, the quickest way out of a mental institute is to just say yes and comply with anything and don’t mention the G word (or anything spiritual for that matter). That is my experience. I’ve also tried the opposite and we all know . . .
So even if it is anonymous I believe people would still feel inhibited to say anything. Maybe 6-12 months later once their out they can tell you truth.
I am happy the jury was understanding. I was subject to two human rights infringements last time I was in a mental hospital. They injected me against my will, and I wasn’t allowed to have a lawyer come in or anything, they just sped up the process, lied in my medical report and raped me with a needle in the ass with a chemical that is more lethal than aids infected sperm. 11 people held me down. I didn’t even have the option of trial or anything and there was only one psychiatrist who made all decisions, which according to European Human Rights Regulations is called torture. This was not in the US by the way. But thank you for sharing your story and your bravery, hopefully it will set an example, in court and in so called mental health facilities around the globe. Hasta la Victoria Sempre, Viva la Revolucion!