Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Comments by Lawrence Kelmenson, MD

Showing 326 of 328 comments. Show all.

  • djpurity666:

    I am sorry if I offended you, if I came across as prejudiced against religion. I respect how religion often is extremely helpful to people and society. To each his/her own, as far as I’m concerned. The words “delusion” and “psychosis” unfortunately convey a negative connotation, as a result of psychiatry’s creation of stigmas. I view delusionality, or faith, non-judgmentally, as an adaptive coping tool which we all turn to, just as much as rationality can be an adaptive coping tool. I chose to use the word “delusion” rather than “faith” to show how people labeled “delusional” are no different from people with faith in anything, except their faith is not in their society’s official dogmas. And as far as unity among billions of people spread out across the planet, I don’t see how that would ever have happened without organized religious faith/delusion.

    Lawrence

  • Don:

    There is a huge difference between creative imagination and delusion. When you imagine something, you know it’s not real but are pretending/fantasizing what it would be like if it was, which may enable you to make it actually become a reality through some real life effort. But if you have a delusion, you’re already convinced that it is real. As far as reality, what I’m alluding to is how most people believe in “chemical imbalances” and “defective brain-hardwiring” or “God”, even though no evidence of these were ever found, and how people accept a diagnosis of a “brain disease” without any physical evidence on exam, lab, or x-ray. As far as mental constructs, or concepts, I wouldn’t classify them as realities, but as ideas that only exist in certain people’s imaginations. If you broaden “reality” to include them, then you open the door to endless broadening of reality to the point of it becoming meaningless.

    Lawrence

  • Rossa:

    This doesn’t suggest that Scientology is not a religion; It’s only the mainstream (official), or status quo religion which supports psychiatry and which psychiatry supports, since psychiatry’s longtime role has always been to make sure that people only follow/submit to the official, status quo delusional system. Christianity has been the entrenched official/state delusion of Western society for nearly 2,000 years, and it’s doing whatever it can to still hang in there. New delusional systems like Scientology are threats to these authorities in power since they’re the upstart rebels looking to unseat them – to change the status quo. So of course Western authorities brand them as “crazy”, and vice versa. What’s interesting is how both psychiatry and Scientology invoke pseudoscience to trick followers into accepting their delusions.

    Lawrence

  • Rachel777

    All of society’s authorities benefit from the populace continuing to meekly follow society’s collective will rather than their own, and from the populace remaining docile/calm/civilized. So of course religious authorities, school authorities, government, etc. all love psychiatry. A sedated populace won’t question/complain/rebel.

    Lawrence

  • Confucianism, being a non-God-based belief system, was able to survive Darwin fully-intact in Asia, which thus has not needed to turn to psychiatry to provide its submission/conformity-ensuring religion. Clearly it’s proving to be a better state religion than psychiatry, as evidenced by Asia being on its way up while the West appears on its way down (now that China has recovered from a 100-year period in which opium was the opium for its masses, thanks to the West). So maybe the way to safely avoid the upcoming zombie apocalypse is to move to Asia.

    As far as your belief system being radical/divisive, wasn’t the only role of psychiatry for its first 200 years to remove from society those members whose belief systems didn’t submissively conform to their society’s official one? I don’t think it’s just people being religious that’s the cement needed to form/sustain a society; apparently its people must all share the same religion.

  • Paisleytoes:

    Antidepressant use is now high in the wealthy nations of Europe such as Norway, also. Japan and other Asian countries, in which Confucianism is still pervasive/strong, still emphasize personal responsibility, which likely explains why they aren’t embracing psychiatry’s medical model. As far as criticism of my logic, I accept that I made errors, and welcome your input. I did mention slick/heavy marketing as another factor, but others focus on this already and it by itself isn’t enough to explain things, so I chose to focus on a largely unacknowledged factor. Overlapping with my focus here is my view that psychiatry and its medical model has become a religious belief system for many in the West, which I discuss in another comment above. I would be curious to here your response to that comment.

    Lawrence

  • kindredspirit and markps2:

    Here’s my theory of why psychiatry is being accepted/propagandized at every level/aspect of our society: I think that what most enabled man to succeed evolutionarily was his forming societies, and religion has always been the core that holds societies together. I believe that as a species we evolved a propensity toward fantasy (psychosis), so that individuals in a society could have complete irrational faith in their God and their religion’s leaders. This gives them the comfort that comes from believing they’re being taken care of, while at the same time ensuring conformity/submission within the society, and while also creating a highly privileged priest class that benefits from the riches/prestige/respect bestowed upon them. So everybody wins.

    But then Darwin came along and ruined all this. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Freud, the ultimate father-figure who began psychotherapy, became popular soon after Darwin disproved everything people had been told was true by their priests. Then the field which he started malignantly morphed into the religion of today: chemical imbalancism. Ironically, Freud himself derided the religion of his day in saying: ‘People cannot but see that this religion is not tenable, nevertheless try to defend it piece by piece in a series of pitiful rearguard actions”. You would think he was talking about today’s religion.

    I am sorry if this explanation alienated people more than I have already alienated them.

    Lawrence

  • Someone Else and Rosalee:

    What’s really ominous is that it’s no longer just the “mental health” industry that’s doing the propagandizing. Our schools, media, entertainers, athletes, political groups, volunteer/community organizations, religious groups, leaders, etc. are all carrying the torch, pushing the idea that “mental health treatment” is a great thing and that more of it is desperately needed. It’s like a cancer that spreads/multiplies throughout the whole body, so that the only cells left are cancer cells. Or a zombie apocalypse in which each person infected by a zombie bite passes it on to many more people, until everyone turns zombie. Even here at MIA, many seem to be promoting faith in the idea that something’s “wrong” with you or your child that must be “cured” through their particular variant of “treatment”.

    Lawrence

  • Alex:

    I believe that what makes us human is that we have the ability to create our own truths/realities and voluntarily choose our own life paths. So of course, depending upon each person’s situation, goals, priorities, coping styles, culture, etc., there will be much variation, and little unity, in what people consider the “right” message. I believe that psychiatry evolved as a way to forcefully restrict society’s members’ freedoms, such that they only pursue ways of thinking/living that conform to and uphold the society’s survival. There’s no place for it in a democratic society, and I think all of us here agree with this.

    But unfortunately, most Americans believe there is a need for psychiatry; every year it becomes more popular/powerful and thus causes more harm. How do we fight this together despite our many different viewpoints? MIA’s approach isn’t working. My thought in writing my articles was that we first need to understand why psychiatry became so successful of late in infiltrating our culture (why “mental health” is now on so many people’s minds), before we can figure out how to weaken it. So I wondered, is there something about post-1990 America that’s predisposing us to want to believe in its medical model? I don’t think it can all be attributed to orchestrated-propaganda, since the propaganda is being put out by just about every profession, field, organization, political group, media, etc. – So the question of why all these systems’ individuals (which is most of the individuals in America) are now so into it, remains unanswered.

    Maybe I didn’t go about trying to solve this mystery in the best way. But perhaps we can team up to figure out the answer, and once we do, then we should be able to develop a more effective strategy based on it.

    Lawrence

  • Alex:

    I believe I have learned, as I have always tried to here at MIA, from readers’ responses to this article, including their opening up about the complex set of factors involved in each of their unique life stories. I need to be more alert to my tendency to broadly generalize and simplify in a way that is unfair to many. Thank you for sharing about yourself and for interacting with me.

    Lawrence

  • Alex:

    Please accept my apologies for insulting you; I didn’t mean that the issues I bring up apply to everyone. We’re on the same side – we both want to stop the harm that psychiatry is doing to individuals and to our society. But isn’t it time to try some other way to tackle this problem? Clearly the approaches used in the last 10 years aren’t working, since psychiatry has greatly strengthened during this time. I think they’ve inadvertently helped psychiatry strengthen.

    Lawrence

  • Steve:

    Why are you, and many others, only willing to accuse amorphous systems like Big Pharma, NAMI, or the APA of being liars/scammers, and unwilling to accuse individual doctors of this, just because they claim to believe in chemical imbalances? If they were lying about believing in chemical imbalances, would they admit to being liars? And why would they jeopardize their lucrative careers by admitting they know it’s a scam? On the one hand you acknowledge people are unwise to take what doctors say at face value, yet you are doing the same.

    Lawrence

  • Steve:

    Maybe I have a jaded view of human nature due to some of my experiences as a psychiatrist in the past 20 or so years. There are the many parents looking for a doctor’s note with a diagnosis to take to their kids’ school that will lead to their schoolwork being greatly decreased, thereby making life easier for them and their parents. Many people have come to me who didn’t seem particularly distressed, yet were intent on convincing me of their “diagnosis” and reporting a list of “debilitating symptoms” right out of the DSM; then a couple of weeks later I received an application for disability in the mail from their disability lawyer. Each time I hear propaganda like “depression is a chronic disabling illness” I sense the subliminal tempting message being given: “If you accept our medical model of unpleasant emotions, we’ll grant you permanent disability benefits.”

    I’m not saying this applies to most psychiatric clients, just that psychiatry and responsibility relinquishment are strongly intertwined – People can be absolved for all sorts of behaviors, even criminal ones, if they have a psychiatric “diagnosis”. We will never reduce psychiatry’s popularity until we address these issues.

    Lawrence

  • To all who disagree with me:

    I’m not denying the crucial role of heavy propaganda and marketing. I’m merely saying that these only succeed because they tell people what they want to hear (that they’re victims of involuntary illnesses, just like people with cancer or diabetes) and allow them to do what they want to do anyway (their diagnosis enables them to hand over all responsibility for dealing with their own troubles to doctors/science).

    I believe this puzzle piece is just as crucial to explaining psychiatry’s success. If openly acknowledged and brought to the public’s attention, it could be the key to bringing down psychiatry, as follows: If ex-clients took responsibility for their part in freely choosing to surrender their will to psychiatry for these reasons, it might strike a chord with others who identify with the understandable temptation to abdicate personal responsibility. Once fully aware of such motivations, they’ll likely realize it’s unwise to give in to them.

    Lawrence

  • Dragonslayer:

    The role of psychiatry has always been to stifle free will: It denies its existence in saying people’s minds are controlled by involuntary illnesses. You also deny free will, by saying voluntary clients’ minds are controlled by psychiatry’s propaganda. So you are on the same side as psychiatry, and furthering its cause/power. I’m on the opposite side, since I see free will as determining human behavior: I believe propaganda only succeeds because it condones people doing what they really want to do anyway. I believe that people who turn their free will over to psychiatry knowingly choose to do so because it’s convenient for them in many ways, such as enabling them to evade responsibility. Why else would clients continue to see psychiatrists year after year if the whole scam wasn’t benefiting them somehow? They could have walked away at any time.

    Lawrence

  • If psychiatry ever acknowledges/addresses this, it will predictably use it as an excuse to introduce yet more “medication assisted treatment” – in other words, to put yet more addictive drugs into the system, as doctors are doing now when prescribing the opioid Suboxone to “treat” opioid addiction. Besides, academic psychiatry can never be viewed as a potential source of valid research – everything it’s come out with has and will always be pure lies. Let’s not ask anything of such a field.

  • The_cat:

    I think you’re right about the kids drugged for “ADHD” turning out to be today’s heroin overdosers. In my “Psychiatry’s 12 Step Program for Producing Heroin Addicts” article I cite a lot of data correlating these two events. And I don’t think it’s just their getting drugged; I think it’s also because their parents/schools stop raising them and expecting them to learn/mature, due to being falsely told that their normal childhood immaturity is a “permanent brain disease”. Then these kids grow up and “raise” their kids the same way since it’s all they know as normal.

    Lawrence

  • The_cat:

    I’ll respond. Tens of millions of households (in America only) do have stashes of opioids lying around in case they’re needed for “survival”. That’s how millions of thrill-seeking kids got started on a path that has led to so many of them dying by the age of 24.

    Lawrence

  • despondent:

    Yes, having the world’s reserve currency has enabled the U.S. to spend money recklessly, expanding its debts to astronomical levels without causing inflation, despite losing its manufacturing base. And our main lender is China, which has successfully turned the tables on us (Americans had also peddled opium to China in the 1800s):

    The same Chinese ports that were used to deliver opium to China in the 1800s, are not only now being used to ship us China’s manufactured goods that we depend on so much, but also to ship us Southeast Asian heroin (and recently fentanyl) since the 1960s. So China finally ended its opium epidemic in the 50s/60s through its government’s programs, since which it has thrived economically by taking over manufacturing, and turning the U.S. into a nation helplessly addicted to many of its things. We are the vulnerable ones now.

    And if you go back in history to the 1700s (before China became a nation of opium addicts), the trade balance had been markedly in favor of China at that time, since China had produced much fine porcelain, tea, and silks that were very desirable in England, while England had little to sell to China – until it colonized India and was thus able to grow/sell cheap opium.

    Lawrence

  • Rachel777:

    When so many new “epidemics” of previously rare “illnesses” like FM, CPS, ADHD, Bipolar, Depression, GAD, panic disorder, etc.,etc. are constantly arising at the same time, isn’t it time to stop looking for separate causes for each, and to instead look for one common cultural change that caused them all? Isn’t it time to consider that they’re all a result of the medical industry’s increasingly succeeding at manipulating Americans into becoming its subservient zombies, just like Milner and Olds succeeded in doing to all their rats?

    Lawrence

  • Surviving and Thriving:

    This blog is the opposite of dismissive – It’s an attempt to help people avoid the mistake of looking to doctors to help pain for which there’s no clear underlying treatable condition, since this will likely lead not only to their pain becoming more excruciating/incessant/long-lasting, but also to many complications, including possibly early death.

    Lawrence

  • JanCarol:

    Yes, if there’s a treatable cause of pain, like an abscess or coronary artery blockage or broken bone, doctors can help. But if not, then the “management” they offer often turns out to be chronic addictive drugs and never-ending forays into the latest “miracle” injections, procedures, and surgeries, which all produce their own side effects and complications that must also be addressed. This often takes over the patient’s life, and becomes all that it’s about. And if they can’t work with all this happening, then the doctor is ready to put them out on disability so they can devote the time “needed” for their medical “management”. How convenient all this is for the doctor.

    Lawrence

  • Shaun f:

    Regulation of psychiatry and “pain management” is a sham, because it only confronts practices that go against the norm of the field. Since the norm of these fields is to lie to, abuse, and addict people, regulation actually enforces the continuation of these practices.

    Lawrence

  • Yes, the U.S. is the world leader in obesity, which can exacerbate pain. But our obesity epidemic itself is likely partly a result of our 50-year love affair with quick-fix drugs for our many “newly discovered” diseases, many of which are addictive, most of which make people so comfortably numb that they’re unlikely to move around or do physical activities, and are more likely to sit around and eat instead. When I hurt my back, what fixed it and prevented it from returning was daily walking/jogging/exercising, which was tough at first but became easier over time. American doctors won’t help, since they don’t want your pain to get better in the long-term; they want you to become chronically ill and thus permanently dependent on them. So yes, our chronic pain epidemic isn’t just from our massive opioid dependence, but from our massive dependence on all of modern medicine’s “miracle pills”.

  • Steve:

    Why is there such reluctance to bash doctors? Nearly all psychiatrists, pediatricians, pain management doctors, addiction medicine specialists, etc. are getting rich via permanently addicting clients, which they know is deceitful/harmful. They do it anyway since they know they can get away with it, because all the other doctors are doing it, and because people will view doctors as virtuous/honest caretakers no matter what they do. People seem to need to put doctors up on a pedestal, and to have religious-type faith that they would never do bad things since they’re more altruistic/caring/trustworthy than other humans. But they aren’t; they’re just regular people in the unusual position of being revered like gods who have been granted unlimited authority/privileges. It’s the public’s misplaced faith in them that’s enabling them to take advantage of the public. It’s time to let go of this delusion and face reality.

    Lawrence

  • Auntie Psychiatry:

    Great youtube video. It shows how people can choose to buy into the idea of having a disabling CPS destiny (or any other newly ‘discovered” MTD) that rules their lives, or choose to instead let go of that identity and its drugs, and to regain control over their lives and their destiny. The video shows that to succeed, the support of others is vital, and that much struggling is required that’s worth the effort in the end.

    Lawrence

  • Richard Lewis:

    I will respond now to your question, now that I have taken time to consider it. The medicalization of everyday life for profit is largely unique to post-1980 United States, even though capitalism has been present here, and in the rest of the world, for centuries. What is different about post-1980 U.S. is a unique combination of capitalism and socialism, that has enabled this. Yes, there are and have always been medical profiteers, but what enabled our huge, immensely harmful medical industrial complex to develop was the institution of two social programs, medicare and medicaid, which will pay for whatever is billed, no matter the cost, without any justifiable basis needed. Private insurers generally have to try to follow their lead as they’re able, but they’re not able to even remotely keep up with medicare/medicaid’s ever-rising lavish spending, which costs over a trillion dollars of federal money yearly. It uses up a far higher percentage of our GDP than any other country. It’s our nation’s biggest expense, and is largely responsible for our ballooning debt which is also harming our nation.

    As the medical industry caught on to the sky being the limit on how much can be extracted from these programs (such as by making up “medically treatable diseases” to trick people into getting permanently addicted to speed, opiates, or benzos), the amount of government money spent per medicare beneficiary rose about tenfold, inflation adjusted, from the amount spent during the first decade of its existence. Jackpot! So there’s my answer, Richard. If our health care and our health insurance sectors were both private, or if they were both socialized, I don’t think we’d be witnessing horrible actions such as greedy, drug-dealing doctors zombifying nearly the entire American population. It’s the combination of the two.

    Lawrence

  • knowledgeispower:

    As your moniker implies, we first need to bring these truths to the American public, before the public will hold all of those who participated accountable. Until then, the rampant drug dealing that is the norm for my profession will continue, because of the power that they derive from having successfully duped the public with false knowledge.

    Lawrence

  • Sylvain:

    Amazingly, there is such a law, and it’s been in effect since 1914: The Harrison Narcotics Act, which for a period of time was enforced by the jailing of long-term heroin-prescribing doctors (it was the most prescribed opiate at that time, and this law was passed partially to address a heroin epidemic that they caused). It did make doctors cautious about prescribing opiates long term for many years. But the Harrison Act only makes it illegal if not prescribed for actual medical treatment of real illness. So by making up CPS and other new diseases, doctors were able to circumvent this law, and by declaring addiction to also be an MTD, suboxone can also be legally given to known addicts even though it’s a known opioid, again cleverly circumventing this law.

    Lawrence

  • r r:

    The whole point of my article is that daily opioids is not only the worse of two evils, there is nothing worse than it. That’s why so many people die who follow that path – the agony of their worsening withdrawals, and their loss of any ability to enjoy anything or get any relief except by steadily increasing their pill dosage, leads them there. The advice I give to people who are addicted to opioids, licitly (for “chronic pain”) or illicitly, is to start gradually detoxing as soon as possible, since the longer you wait, the tougher the detox. Then, after the hellish detox is over, you have to patiently endure several months of persistent withdrawals. But eventually they will start to abate, and eventually your body will learn again how to make its own endorphins, and you will finally start to feel better emotionally and physically than you have in years, and you will realize that most (but not all) of your emotional and physical incessant pain was caused by your opioid dependence rather than some newly-invented MTD, and what you are left with is tolerable.

    Lawrence

  • out:

    I didn’t mean to judge the people who become addicted, I meant to judge my profession for making heroin-in-pill-form too easily available, knowingly dispensing it long enough to produce lifelong, at times fatal, addiction, and knowingly telling lies about it being “medically necessary” and safe if taken as prescribed. I believe that “clamping down on pain to prevent chronic pain developing” is an example of one of the lies my field has promulgated to the public to trick them; It’s actually the opposite – most pain is acute and spontaneously subsides as our body adapts to it, but this is prevented by chronic opioid dispensing since it shuts down our own endorphin production, and produces withdrawal pain that worsens over time and requires higher and higher doses to alleviate.

    And of course I’m not against brief opiates after surgery; that was normal medical practice for centuries. It is the post-1990 reckless 30 day supplies, often with refills, that I am saying are never called for, unless someone is terminally ill so it won’t matter if their dose has to be steadily raised whenever tolerance/withdrawals develop, eventually to lethal levels.

    Lawrence

  • I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to attribute the epidemic largely to chronic opioid prescribing, since over 200 million opioid prescriptions have been filled yearly in the U.S. for the past 14 years (a tenfold increase in total opioids from 1990), accounting for 80 to 90% of the entire world’s opioid prescriptions, and we’re the only country with a chronic pain (or overdose) epidemic. Doesn’t it make sense to look for dramatic, rapid changes in a culture to explain dramatic, rapid events within that culture?

  • I also tried to show that these “treatments” may be, to a large degree, responsible for our current chronic pain epidemic, since opioid use/withdrawals make pain much worse and incessant in the long term, and may persist for months or years after someone who was addicted to them stops them.

  • cali:

    I never said that everyone has the exact same amount of physical or emotional pain. I merely said that everyone experiences these, so by transforming them into “medically treatable diseases”, the medical field has made everyone a potential candidate for their addictive “treatments”.

    Lawrence

  • Ben:

    I don’t think there’s as much money to be made in helping children become mature, independent adults, as there is in turning them into permanently helpless, disabled drug addicts who will come for “treatment” monthly for the rest of their lives. So I don’t think it will fly here in the U.S.

    Lawrence

  • Marilyn:

    Great article. I agree with everything you say. But beyond a one-at-a-time strategy, how can we dissuade American parents from increasingly adopting psychiatry’s quick/easy, socially acceptable approach of drugging their kids into submission? Not only does the medical model allow them to evade any responsibility for creating or addressing their child’s issues, it also awards them victim status. They can even thereby evade their entire obligation to raise their kids, while receiving government financial assistance and “accommodations” that enable their kids to slide through school. It’s no wonder we’re losing our overall war.

    Lawrence

  • We should be getting desperate here in the U.S., since pro-medical model propaganda is getting increasingly entrenched in our schools, government, scientific circles, media, and entertainment. Trillions of dollars have been spent on promoting/expanding the psychiatric system, which is drawing in an ever-rising percentage of our population – We’re losing the war, and “Brave New World” is quickly approaching.

    In World War II, we allied with the Soviet Union not because we approved of what was occurring there, but because we had to to defeat the Nazis. After 6 years, MIA has only 11,000 followers; Tom Cruise has hundreds of millions of fans, the overwhelming majority of whom aren’t Scientologists. If his doing a video interview here led to MIA having to fend off accusations of being connected to Scientology, it would be worth the trouble, since mixed publicity is much better than no publicity – It would greatly expand the audience hearing the truth about psychiatry.

    And everyone who reads MIA’s articles or views its mission statement/staff will see no evidence of Scientology (unlike CCHR’s website which cites co-founding by Scientology and Szasz). They’ll only see a diverse range of people from all walks of life and belief systems being welcomed to exercise free speech in true democratic fashion. So I ask – Are you really interested in stopping psychiatry from destroying our whole country, or are you content to just complain and chat about it with each other?

  • Dragon Slayer:

    I think the Tom Cruise idea is brilliant. When he talked about psychiatry being a pseudoscience, the chemical imbalance theory being a scam, and psychiatrists being drug dealers such as giving speed to kids, it sounded right out of MIA. Unlike the Church of Scientology, Tom Cruise has had a huge fan base for many years. Associating with him would bring much attention to his/our cause, and could lead to his anti-psychiatry talk being taken more seriously, since MIA’s many rational/scientific/respectable articles would legitimize it and show that he’s not alone – many others agree with him.

    The media has successfully portrayed him as a buffoon and psychiatrists have labeled him as dangerous/ridiculous, in order to trick the public into not taking his “bizarre rants”, which are merely free/truthful speech, seriously. But I see him as intelligent, free-thinking, non-conformist, funny, spirited, spontaneous, emotional, and creative; these traits are precisely why we enjoy his movies so much. He’s the opposite of the boring zombies who psychiatry portrays as “normal”, and whom psychiatry is increasingly populating our society with. I think it is time to reach out to him. I couldn’t think of a better spokesperson for our cause.

    Lawrence

  • Oldhead:

    We can’t compete with the incredibly massive, well-endowed, ubiquitous pro-psychiatry propaganda campaign on its own turf, as you are suggesting. MIA, despite all of its informative professionals, is not becoming mainstream anytime soon, and it sometimes itself publishes articles that promote psychiatry’s biomedical model. A venue such as youtube, on the other hand, if used successfully, can quickly reach/affect millions of viewers, and many are the very age range (teens) who we should be aiming to if we want to change society. And I don’t care if we have to be tacky in order to succeed.

    Lawrence

  • Paula:

    Thank you for your response, information, and insights. I certainly did not mean to imply that Allen Frances really admitted how crucial his role was in the medicalization of Americans’ everyday lives. He had hoped to play an important role in the DSM-5 task force, so he clearly would have gladly continued to do so if given the opportunity. I am curious to hear from you whether the DSM task force members openly admitted, perhaps during informal get-togethers, that their goal was purely to find more and more ways to dupe the public into improving their fortune/power, or whether it was like I suggested in my article – that this was a trade secret that everyone knew but it was understood that you can never talk about it.

    Lawrence

  • jclaude:

    Firstly, what I said to Rasellas about hallucinations was a response to a question posed in a previous article, and had nothing to do with this one. This article was only about all the newly invented, increasingly spreading “brain diseases” that started with the 1980 DSM, which I referred to in the article. Second, I want to clarify that tardive dyskinesias, a clearly horrible, incapacitating neurological syndrome of involuntary movements caused by “antipsychotic” drugs (chemical lobotomizers), is not what I was discussing in my response to Rasellas. It was tardive akithisias, something which is different and not so clear, as far as what it is and if it’s truly drug-induced.

    As far as my being offensive/dismissive in my response, I see it as completely opposite. I don’t view “mentally ill” people as different from “mentally healthy” people. I see us all as struggling to find ways to deal with the same unpleasant issues/experiences and the same needs, so we can all relate to each other. We’re all in the same boat. And I think all humans cope via “psychosis” – we all avoid reality and have “delusional” beliefs. The only difference is that some ways of habitually adapting are socially accepted and others aren’t. But I don’t judge. I don’t say that some coping styles are “better” than others – To each his own, as far as I am concerned. So trying to understand people in a way that isn’t pathologizing/dehumanizing, but is instead normalizing/humanizing, isn’t doing them a disservice at all. It’s being respectful, accepting, and connecting. I hope that Rasellas saw that this was my goal, even if we disagree somewhat with each other.

    Lawrence

  • Rassellas.redux:

    I’m sorry I didn’t respond to you before. I try to answer all questions, but some slip by me (or was it unconsciously motivated?). I am glad you analyze/question me and think for yourself; I don’t think any authority figures can be trusted. For example, isn’t it possible that those who invented new, unverified, subjective “brain diseases” like “tardive akithisias” are riding the coattails of psychiatry by similarly telling people what they want to hear and condoning regression? Isn’t it possible that they’ve also used pseudoscience to successfully manipulate many, as a way to advance their own popularity? Maybe life was just tough before psych drugs and is still tough after. In any event, a theorist’s personal motivations, and the validity of their theory, are two separate issues.

    As far as how hallucinations help people cope, first of all: Hallucinogens were very popular in the ’60s/’70s, and are still used by many to escape reality and create a better one. We all hallucinate every night, and are often disappointed upon awakening and realizing it was just a wish-fulfilling dream. Don’t we all have fantasies we daydream about? Little kids often converse with imaginary friends and toys that they “bring to life”. Couldn’t adults who have no one to talk with, cope with loneliness by also imagining companions? Since imagined experiences often involve exciting, prominent figures like the FBI, God, etc., this suggests that hallucinations can provide a way to feel important and powerful. When they’re self-denigrating, it could be done to project unacceptable thoughts about oneself onto others who now become responsible for those thoughts. If people hear voices saying to kill someone, they similarly may be projecting their unacceptable urges onto others. You never hear of command auditory hallucinations saying to do community service!

    As far as my “psychiatrising”, I never pushed “diagnoses” or “mental health” on anyone. I always refuted the medical model and suggested that psychiatry’s labels and drugs are scams. The hospital I used to work in was more of a cushy retreat for people to get away from life’s stresses for awhile, until they could get back on their feet after going through a rough time in their life. It had no emergency room or forced commitment, and drugs were used sparingly. Staff was caring and always available to talk to, and there were many recreational/creative activities. I took my clients for long walks for sessions on its beautiful grounds. In my solo practice, I offer a place for clients to cope with feelings/issues by venting to an interested listener who treats them as equals with their own individual stories to tell. We often talk while going for a walk in the trails by my office. I don’t authoritatively tell them how to live life or proclaim myself to be an expert on anything. I may offer to try to interpret a dream now and then if they want. We seem to each enjoy the experience for what it is.

    Lawrence

  • erin321:

    Thank you. I was concerned this post might provoke hostile responses from some MIA commentors. I like to think that it hasn’t because maybe it struck a chord with them. But maybe it’s just that people who disagree with my views stopped reading my posts. After all, I don’t offer any alluring/sellable products like a “better way to cope” or a path to mythical “mental wellness”. I just try to understand reality’s unavoidable struggles and the different ways people adapt to them. My sense is that people understandably often prefer fantasy, especially if society authorizes/approves it.

    Lawrence

  • ablewriter:

    Good points. Please read my “Psychiatry’s 12 Step Program for Producing Heroin Addicts” article (and others) to see that I fully agree with them and previously discussed them. To keep my posts brief, I keep the focus narrow for each one, and thus omit other important factors which I don’t mean to minimize. And I will keep your feedback in mind about a more nuanced approach in future posts. Thanks.

    Lawrence

  • bcharris:

    An amazing “accomplishment” of modern psychiatry is that it’s been able to switch the public’s perception of “mental illness” from something that’s the exact opposite of physical illness – emotions/experiences for which, by definition, there is no organic cause and which thus cannot be “medically treated”, into a type of physical illness which thus is “treatable” by medical means. Would you consider reading some excerpts/reviews of Bernay’s book “Propaganda” to open up your mind to the possibility that you have been “successfully” manipulated?

    Lawrence

  • Physical activity is just one way of coping with life’s unavoidable disappointments. But thanks to the DSM, perceiving oneself as “suffering from depression” or “battling/having depression” is now another way to cope with them. This article is making a value judgment by saying one coping style is “healthier” than the other, and thereby supporting psychiatry’s medicalization of everyday life.

  • ebl:

    I did not mean that medication for hypothyroidism is wrong for you. If lithium permanently damaged your thyroid gland, resulting in your inability to produce enough thyroid hormone, then of course you need it. I was referring to how lately tens of millions of Americans are being quickly put on synthroid based only on an abnormal thyroid hormone level, often without a clear workup and definitive discovery of some underlying source of permanent damage to their thyroid gland as was found for you. I also believe that the threshold for what’s considered hypothyroid was changed in 2002, resulting in more people being considered hypothyroid. But I am not an expert in this area.

    Lawrence

  • Humanbeing:

    I am not putting all of the responsibility on psychiatry’s voluntary customers, just some of it. How are people supposed to resist psychiatric enslavement unless they are encouraged to acknowledge their free will, and to take responsibility for their own choices/lives? Promoting this is how we can defeat psychiatry.

    Lawrence

  • I am a doctor, and I can tell you that doctors do know. They just like quick, easy, guaranteed monthly income. Psychiatry has never been about “treating illness”. It has always been about permanently managing society’s outliers. When it started to not have enough of these “patients”, it ventured into turning normal human experiences into “chronic mental illnesses”, and into dealing addictive drugs, in order to recoup its lost clientele.

    The success of this business formula has been copied by “pain management” doctors, who also knowingly deal addictive drugs that turn transient pain into chronic/worsening pain, in order to create the permanently dependent customers which are their bread and butter. And the “hypothyroidism” you referred to is a similar way to produce eternal clients. Although levothyroxine isn’t physically addictive, if taken for too long, it causes the thyroid gland to “forget” how to make its own thyroid hormone, leaving the person dependent upon outside thyroid hormone. That’s why, when I went to medical school, we were taught not to rush in and treat abnormal thyroid levels unless they were very abnormal at several different visits, and accompanied by clear symptoms. That’s why thyroid hormone went from being a rarely prescribed to the most commonly prescribed drug. Before it became #1, vicoden was the most commonly prescribed drug for about ten years. For much of the ’80s it was xanax, and in the ’70s it was valium.

    I also believe that many people (but not all) who go on benzodiazepines know they are physically addictive (just as many people who drink alcohol heavily know that it’s physically addictive), yet are willing to take the risk anyway. I don’t know the explanation for this, but it has something to do with American culture, since we lead the world in virtually every category of legal and illegal addictive drug use.

  • Steve:

    Are you sure about that? How about all the people who supposedly do want “help” (are always asking for it), but really don’t, as evidenced by their resisting every single attempt to “help” them? Perhaps they’re content with being “helplessly mentally ill” and find that role so adaptive that they’ll never consider giving it up. To each his own. Some like rock, others like classical.

    Lawrence

  • But psychiatrists, while still torturing, chemically lobotomizing, sometimes killing, and incarcerating people involuntarily, have lately lured people into voluntarily going to them, not just via their lies, but also by similarly bringing money (lifelong disability benefits) and candy (euphoria-giving drugs), other rewards like sick/victim role status and excusal from having to work or raise one’s kids (parents can now sedate them and accommodate to them instead, without guilt), and identities which though some despise, others wear proudly like a badge of honor/courage. These “presents” may be key to psychiatry’s “success”, and likely motivate clients to believe all its lies.

  • Steve McCrea:

    The whole point of my article is that “mentally ill” coping tools do “manage” feelings just as “mentally healthy” ones do, so there’s no such thing as “healing”, and thus no reason to expect people to give up their “ill” coping tools in favor of “healthy” ones, especially since “mentally ill” coping styles nowadays confer many valuable sick/victim status rewards. For example, how many times have we seen fading celebrities regain their hero status by coming out with their “mental illness”? People’s coping habits wouldn’t have developed unless they worked for them, and they’d use their free will and adaptive brains to change them if they didn’t work. Assuming it’s “better” to be “mentally healthy” than “ill” would be like assuming certain types of music are “better” for you than others. So you are wasting your efforts trying to “help” people who don’t want your “help”.

    Lawrence

  • Oldhead:

    Of course “mental illness” is pure myth with no basis in reality. But to enable people to actually realize this and thus reject “it”, I talk about “it” in order to logically prove that it’s just a myth and explain why this concept evolved and was perpetuated by society. My main audience for my blogs isn’t the few people who already realize this. It’s people who are new to MIA, and those at MIA who reject psychiatry but still believe “mental illnesses” are real and can be “healed” by alternative methods that use the same business formula (creating eternally helpless/dependent customers) as psychiatry. My intended audience is the new generation which never heard of Szasz, and grew up being indoctrinated about psychiatry’s “great advances” in a culture in which “depression”, “ADHD”, “bipolar”, and other nonsense are firmly imbedded.

    Lawrence

  • It seems to me that people have a need for faith/trust in something greater than themselves which will look out for and take care of them. It makes sense that since science to some degree dethroned religion’s fulfillment of this function for many people, that science would then assume this role. That could explain why it doesn’t take much to dupe millions of people into believing and holding steadfastly to the illogical/ridiculous ideas put forth by psychiatry and big pharma (or any other sciency-sounding scams that ride their coat-tails).

  • Steffen:

    We all have beliefs not based in reality. It is purely subjective to say that some are “psychotic” and thus need “treatment/help”, while others are not. One could say that believing in “mental illnesses” is “delusional”. And how can any studies done about purely arbitrary, abstract concepts that are nothing more than value judgments with no basis in reality, be taken seriously?

    Lawrence

  • Steve:

    i did read “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, along with works by various other philosophers prior to starting psychiatric training. I never understood why we students entering the “happiness business” weren’t advised to study some philosophy before or during our training. Freud himself felt that the capacity for “free human insight” was crucial for a therapist.

    Lawrence

  • Steve:

    I thought a lot about your pointing out that I had no scientific evidence for institutionalization’s occurrence. I realized that not only do I have none, but that no pro- or anti-psychiatry theory, or even any psychological theory, will ever be scientifically provable, since not only is our field not within medicine, it’s by definition outside of the sciences as well. We only deal with arbitrary perceptions and value judgments. They’re mere concepts which we create, markedly vary according to the eye of the beholder, are constantly changing, and are only used in certain cultures. Thus, I can call you “crazy” since you disagree with me, and you can call me “crazy” since I disagree with you. So all hypotheses about such random, non-existent premises will never be testable.

    What we discuss should be within the humanities, since it’s more like philosophy. Trying to scientifically understand and explain abstract ideas like “depression” or “psychosis” makes no sense; you can’t discover the cause of something that only exists as a conceptual perception. This would be as ridiculous as starting with a premise that certain types of music/art are inherently “good” and others are inherently “bad”, and then trying to fudge together some “scientific data” to support your preferences. But perhaps even this is being done?

    Lawrence

  • Steve:

    The drugs in that release are also sedating. That can’t be just coincidence. The odds are astronomically against every single drug associated with cognitive decline coincidentally also happening to be sedating. There must be some connection -what could it possibly be? The odds are astronomically in favor of this being explained by the chronic sedation itself, by virtue of its continually preventing people from using their cognitive abilities, leading to gradual decline of those abilities. Use it or lose it. Thank you for providing more logical proof for me.

    Lawrence

  • Steve:

    You keep saying that the strong correlation of drug use with cognitive decline suggests that drugs damage the brain. But as I’ve said, adults who are on drugs can’t use their cognitive skills since their brains are too sedated to do so, so their cognitive skills will expectably gradually decline from continual disuse. And kids on drugs predictably won’t develop cognitive skills since they’re too sedated to do so. How could a chemically-impaired brain learn or remember anything? So there’s no need to theorize about direct biological causation (brain damage). It’s simple logic. Besides, there’s no evidence that psych drugs directly kill brain tissue.

    This reminds me of biological psychiatry’s claim that since “mental illnesses” run in families, they must be genetically produced. This completely ignores how kids emulate, mimic, and are taught coping styles by their families, so of course they’ll pick up traits that are part of their family culture. How could they learn ways of living other than what they’re exposed to? Again, no need to theorize about biological causation (genetic predetermination). Again, simple logic explains it. Besides, no “mental illness” genes have been discovered. I’m having deja vu all over again. Checkmate (That’s for Dragonslayer).

    Lawrence

  • Oldhead:

    From what I read, it’s thought that in TD the brain’s physiology is dysfunctional as a result of drug exposure, rather than there being actual tissue or anatomical damage. But I admit to not being that knowledgeable about TD; my blog focused on cognitive decline and weight gain. And the last thing I want to do is seem like I am minimizing how chronic sedative use ruins people’s lives. I’m just suggesting that they ruin lives via a different mechanism than is widely thought, one that may be at least somewhat recoverable from with patience and hard work.

    Lawrence

  • Dragonslayer:

    Please read the comment phoenix made at 8:38 AM today to understand my true views, since I think I haven’t made myself clear, and phoenix’s various comments do a much better job of it. And by “side effects”, I refer to effects on other parts of the body than the brain. Of course the shutting down of all thoughts/feelings/initiative/behaviors, or oppression, is the purpose of these drugs.

    Lawrence

  • Steve:

    Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I’ll start with cognitive decline seen with chronic tranquilizer use, and brain damage: Equating the former with the latter is right out of biological psychiatry’s lying playbook – Psychiatry’s owes its “success” to tricking people into thinking that societally-disapproved-of feelings/thoughts/actions (functioning) are the result of defective/damaged brains (anatomy). The truth is that a healthy brain is capable of infinitely diverse types of functioning. So when the cognitive functioning of chronically sedated people declines over time, assuming this means that the sedatives anatomically damaged their brains, is incorrect in the same way. Our brains can acquire cognitive skills from practice, or lose them from disuse, as I lost my ability to speak Spanish from 30 years of disuse. Please look at phoenix’s comments above for better examples.

    Similarly, if someone gets more depressed after years of antidepressant usage, that doesn’t suggest that the antidepressants damaged their brains. It just implies that sadness is a normal human function that’s more likely to occur if people turn to placebos to “cure” their troubles, since their coping tools will thus decline due to years of disuse, and their neglected troubles will likely fester.

    When people wrongly assume that “abnormal” functioning equates with abnormal anatomy, then maybe it’s due to the false medical model having become so ingrained into our culture’s subconscious, that most people now believe/apply it without realizing it. But that doesn’t mean that they’re brain damaged to the point of being unable to think logically – it’s just an example of how all healthy people are capable of irrational thinking/functioning, especially if everyone else is doing it.

    As far as ECT damaging the brain, that’s different – putting high voltage electricity into brains clearly fries them. I think I remember seeing smoke coming from Jack Nicholson’s head while he was getting ECT in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. As far the autism epidemic being caused by antidepressants, that’s just one theory. I ascribe more to Marilyn Wedge’s idea that when babies/young kids don’t interact with their parents (and the outside world in general) since they and their parents are instead constantly engaged with virtual screens, and since they spend too much time in impersonal day care centers, then their learning how to bond/socialize will be stunted. As far as tics in stimulant users, that’s doesn’t suggest brain damage – that’s an expectable result of overstimulation.

    As far as tardive dyskinesias, no – I don’t think it’s from insitutionalization. The older antipsychotics clearly caused many horrible muscular side effects like stiffness, dystonic reactions, and TDs, as well as other awful side effects. As far as I know, there has been no demonstrated brain damage found to account for these side effects. It’s unfortunate that drug companies developed newer antipsychotics without these muscular effects, since parents are more willing to put their kids on them since they don’t seem as bad. Yet they’re just as sedating and thus just as capable of preventing kids from learning anything, and thus just as capable of resulting in adults’ loss of cognitive skills from chronic disuse of them.

    Lawrence

  • Oldhead:

    The distinction between functional and anatomical abnormality is not only huge, psychiatry’s wrongly equating one with the other is how it tricked millions into thinking that unusual thoughts/feelings/behaviors are due to permanent neurological/brain defects. It’s the whole basis of its false medical model. You can’t get any huger than that.

    Lawrence

  • Oldhead:

    The official definition of neurotoxicity is destruction/damage of nervous tissue, rather than effects on nervous system function. If you broaden it to include any chemical that negatively affects nervous function, then the list becomes endless, and of course will include all psychiatric drugs. I use the original, unbroadened definition. I believe that such broadening of definitions has been a major way that psychiatry (and modern anti-psychiatry) have misled many people to believe their situation is hopeless/helpless/permanent. As we all agree here at MIA, psychiatry’s use, or misuse, of certain words has itself influenced people’s thoughts/perceptions greatly, so we should be careful about how we use words that convey certain assumptions.

    Lawrence

  • Steve and Dragonslayer:

    The goal of this blog was to give hope to people. First psychiatry told them that they have permanently defective brain chemistry and hard-wiring, which make them incapable of managing their lives. Then they’re told this was a lie, and that in actuality their brains were fine before the drugging, but now the drugs have permanently damaged their brain chemicals and structure, suggesting once again that they’re incapable of managing their lives. So it’s the same learned hopelessness/helplessness message – that they should give up. Deja vu.

    So I thought – if it was a myth the first time, maybe it’s a myth the second time too. Maybe the brain atrophy that develops isn’t from drugs toxicly/irreversibly killing off brain cells from which there can be no recovery. Maybe it’s the result of chronic disuse, since zombified/institutionalized people are largely blocked from using their brains and bodies for years. And if this is the true explanation, then recovery may be possible by stopping the brain-blocking drugs and exercising/rehabilitating one’s long-dormant brain/skills. So excuse me for going against the grain by trying to be positive.

    Lawrence

  • Dragonslayer:

    i accused no one of apathy or weak will. I never said kids who experience sadness, which is 100% of kids (and adults), need therapy. And I never minimized the horrible short-term effects of neuroleptics, which clearly shut down people’s brains. I took a small dose of one during my training to see what was being given to “patients”, and tried to get the other trainees to also do it (they refused), and was basically unconscious for the next three days.

    But I challenge the idea that the long-term deterioration of neuroleptic-“treated” people is from direct chemical injury/damage to brain cells. Not only is there no evidence for these drugs doing this (as true neurotoxins do), but there’s no need to consider it to explain why their abilities (and brains) deteriorate, since it’s already been proven that disuse atrophy, or “use it or lose it”, is a fact of human physiology. I could speak Spanish well after four years of high school classes, but haven’t used it much since, and now, many years later, I can no longer speak it. Does that mean my brain was damaged by chemicals? No, since other abilities which I continued to use were not lost/forgotten.

    But someone who was basically unconscious due to neuroleptics for 30 years never had a chance to use any of their abilities, so all their abilities will of course become lost over time. Doesn’t that make sense? You’re willing to question so many myths which authorities proclaimed to be facts, so why not consider that the neurotoxic permanent brain damage claim, despite being promoted by most supposedly anti-psychiatry people, may also be a myth? And if it is a myth, then it’s serving the same oppressive function as the myth of mental illness.

    Lawrence

  • Julie:

    With all the money, government support, etc. that psychiatry has behind it, our only chance of defeating it is to pool our resources and work together as a team, rather than attack it separately in fragmented fashion. MIA seems to be the one place where all of us with this goal are contributing. They did publish one of your blogs recently, and although I didn’t agree with it, I agreed with most of your others. Your writing style is fantastic – you have made me laugh so much, and you are willing to analyze your motivations and be honest with yourself and your readers about them. You are also open to different ideas. You clearly have a lot to offer and teach. Please don’t give up on MIA.

    Lawrence

  • Dragonslayer:

    Anybody who says: “Antidepressants induce mania and suicidality in kids”, as opposed to saying: “When kids have false hopes built up by being given fake happy pills and being told: ‘You don’t need to acknowledge/address the real sources of your unhappiness since there are none – it’s just a treatable brain disease!’, then this can lead to their getting themselves initially high, but the higher the high, the lower the crash, and people can get suicidal when crashing from a high whether it’s self-induced by placebo effect or from a genuine upper”, is pro- rather than anti-psychiatry.

    The former statement supports the idea that unpleasant feelings and thoughts are the result of chemical processes, and that antidepressants can produce feelings/thoughts through their direct chemical effects. These are the two false tenets by which psychiatry has derived its power/dominance over society. They are the essence of its disease/medical model. Are there any modern so-called anti-psychiatrists that support the latter theory along with me? I don’t know of any. By supporting the former theory, they’ve joined forces with psychiatry, and you can’t beat something by joining it.

    Lawrence

  • Frank:

    The animal studies confirm that long-term neuroleptic use results in brain mass loss, but not that it’s through direct damage to the brain. These are two different things. Brain mass loss is more easily explainable as disuse atrophy rather than direct killing of brain cells, since these drugs have not been found to directly kill brain cells. Animals in these studies probably lay around and do nothing for years due to heavy sedation; thus most parts of their bodies, including their brains, will of course atrophy from disuse over time. And this is hopeful since our bodies, including our brains, can be strengthened via the opposite – active use.

    Lawrence

  • Julie:

    Very well said, and I really like how you use humor to get your points across. You should turn this into a blog here. You’ve helped me understand how so many ways of living that people in the work world take for granted, are eliminated and replaced by completely different ways of life in the institutionalized world that are incompatible with success in the work world. Even those who weren’t institutionalized but just took a year or two off from work, for example to raise their kids, nowadays find it extremely hard to catch up with how dramatically things changed since they left due to the non-stop technological innovations.

    Lawrence

  • phoenix:

    Very well said. Your comment not only conveyed what I was trying to say much better than I was able to, but also conveyed the thoughts/feelings that go on in the mind of one who was institutionalized that make it so hard to recover from. I wish I had read it before writing my blog. I hope that many others read it, and that maybe you write your own blog about it, since it could help so many people.

    Lawrence

  • deeeo42:

    That’s precisely the point of this blog – Back in the 60s and 70s the anti-psychiatry movement, and Americans in general, sought psychosocial explanations of human experience, one being institutionalization. But no longer. Since Prozac, the biomedical model has become so accepted/ingrained into our culture, that both pro-psychiatry and anti-psychiatry people now try to explain everything through “defective brain chemistry”. Today’s anti-psychiatry movement may thereby be helping more than harming psychiatry’s dominance. We’ll be more likely to steer people away from psychiatry if we instead rediscover true anti-psychiatrists from the 60s like Szasz (The Myth of Mental Illness), Goffman (Asylums), and Laing (The Divided Self), who refuted rather than endorsed psychiatry’s medical model foundation.

    Lawrence

  • Oldhead:

    My blog questioned the assumption that tranquilizing drugs actually directly cause permanent neurological (brain) damage through toxicity. There has been no evidence that these drugs directly kill brain cells, which is the actual definition of neurotoxicity; you won’t see them in a list of neurotoxic chemicals. They may just turn the brain off each time they’re absorbed into the brain, in the same way that turning a light switch off prevents you from using a lamp, but doesn’t damage the lamp, which can later be turned back on and work just as well. But unlike a lamp, when people don’t use their brains for long periods due to institutionalization and chronic sedation, their skills become steadily lost from disuse. This can explain the atrophy often seen in their brain scans. This happens to most body parts not used for long periods – for example, muscles also atrophy from disuse.

    But just as muscles can be re-strengthened by using them again, people can re-learn lost abilities by using their brains again. So the term “neurotoxic” has been stretched to include temporary sedation, which misleads people to assume that sedatives directly cause irreversible brain damage. This needlessly deters them from trying to get their brains back into shape, by wrongly implying it would be futile, and thus does the work of psychiatry for it by keeping people “lobotomized” even after they’ve stopped their sedatives.

    Lawrence

  • Richard:

    There has to be some difference in degree of victimhood between someone who has their freedom forcefully removed by involuntary commitment and forced drugging (or someone who goes to school and gets shot by someone with an AR15) on the one hand, and someone who voluntarily seeks medical “cures” for their life struggles and then voluntarily continues this path despite their life getting worse, on the other hand. And inversely proportionate to the degree of victimhood there must be some degree of responsibility/choice. Psychiatry is all about fooling people into thinking that they have no responsibility or free will, so that they will helplessly submit to it. So by your insisting that people don’t have any of these capabilities when in reality they do have some, you are being pro-psychiatry, and you are encouraging people to not challenge themselves and to not reach their potential. I am being anti-psychiatry by refuting psychiatry’s false premises, and by encouraging people to not give up on themselves. So how about switching over from psychiatry’s side to my side?

    Lawrence

  • Uprising:

    So I shouldn’t search for the truth, and shouldn’t explore alternative explanations that offer people hope of turning their lives around and reaching their potential, out of concern that they’ll feel slapped in the face? I logically argued that deterioration from long-term tranquilizer use isn’t from direct/permanent brain cell damage, which is the socially-accepted idea that maybe you could question along with me. I showed how it’s better explained by a decline in abilities by the brain having been turned off for so many years, that people eventually forget the skills they once possessed due to disuse of them. I then provided evidence for actual brain atrophy being a result of such disuse, just like muscular atrophy resulting from their long-term disuse, rather than being directly from drugs “frying” them. Isn’t this a rational explanation for why only tranquilizers are associated with brain atrophy? Besides, there’s no evidence that psych drugs, despite putting people into stupors, directly kill brain cells as genuine neurotoxic chemicals do.

    Lawrence

  • Oldhead:

    Thank you. Maybe the response was partly due to my being somewhat unempathic/abrasive in this blog, and I’m sorry for that. But as Knowledgeispower pointed out, in other blogs I had already consistently held psychiatry to be largely responsible, and I still do. Thank you also, knowledgeispower. As far as the negative reaction to the idea that people can overcome their circumstances, perhaps this is an example of the typical negative reaction people have to different, non-socially accepted ideas. After all, not just psychiatrists, but even many of today’s “anti-psychiatrists” promote the opposite idea. But I’ve been around long enough to know there was a time when the idea that people were capable of healing was mainstream. And judging from your moniker, you probably also remember that time.

    Lawrence

  • Richard:

    There have always been, and will always be harsh experiences in all societies, partly because man’s nature is often harsh. I have no strong views on how best to prevent this. But at least if people are aware that unpleasant emotions/thoughts aren’t brain diseases but are cues that something’s bothering them that they’re capable of working on, they’ll be more likely to effectively address it. I do have a strong view that medicalization of such experiences, which has lately been promoted by both psychiatry and anti-psychiatry camps, has become so widespread in America that it’s the biggest threat to our society’s survival. I suggest we all focus on this before it weakens America any further.

    Lawrence

  • Jonell:

    Thank you for your feedback, which certainly made me think. I want to clarify four things: When I said “my authority”, I didn’t mean that to be taken literally; I was being sarcastic, hence the italics. I am totally against people trusting any authorities, especially psychiatrists, which was the main point of my article. When you mentioned my referencing “genetically-impaired brains”, did you think I believe this lie? That’s the total opposite of what I believe, as I discussed in prior blogs. And this article was only about voluntary “outpatients”, not involuntarily-committed, forcefully-drugged ones. I can’t begin to imagine how permanently traumatizing/damaging such experiences would be, and am glad that many have discussed them here at MIA. Finally, of course I agree that psychiatry’s lobotomizing drugs are harmful; my focus here was on alternative explanations of why people who take any psych drug long-term, not just the zombifying ones, invariably deteriorate and have such trouble coming off them. I am sorry for offending you.

    Lawrence

  • John, Steve, Richard, Dragon Slayer, etc.:

    Here’s where I’m coming from: I am thinking for myself about why we feel, think, and do what we do, and inviting others to also do so. I am rebelling against psychiatry’s medical model, which is society’s way of suppressing such free/independent thought by blaming everything on “bad brains”. The “anti-psychiatry” movement of the past 25 years is actually pro-psychiatry since it also blames brain chemistry, so of course it’s failing. So I am trying to form a splinter anti-psychiatry group that instead promotes thinking outside the medical-model box, as not only the great thinkers of the 1900s who I referred to did, but many other psychologists, philosophers, and sociologists since Greek times did as well. We can only defeat psychiatry by breaking completely free of its pseudoscience zombiehood which has taken over our culture, and rediscovering our ability to reason logically, as these people did.

    Instead of buoying psychiatry by promoting more helpless medicalization by saying: “Antidepressants can induce suicidality in kids”, let’s promote independent thought (psychiatry’s enemy) by saying: “If instead of listening to and understanding your kids and helping them learn to capably address whatever problems upset them, you build up their false hopes by saying it’s due to a disease that can be treated by miracle pills, you’re setting them up for disaster”. This approach may not be as popular since it’s somewhat unflattering of human nature. But helping people think about and face the truth, rather than just telling them what they want to hear (that they bear no responsibility whatsoever for their troubles or for addressing them), will help them take back freedom/power over their lives. So who wants to join me?

    Lawrence

  • Some anti-psychiatry people inadvertently promote the medical model’s lies about free will, by blaming “treated” people’s violence solely on chemical reactions caused by their pills. That excuses them from any responsibility/choice for it, which scares me, since nearly 20% of Americans are on psych drugs. It could make some people feel it’s okay to give into their violent urges, since they can get away with it by blaming it on their pills.

  • humanbeing:

    The last thing I would ever do is tell people what they should do. “To each his own” is my motto. I think you misinterpreted what I meant, which is that everyone who contributes to this website has already been using their abilities to help others avoid the mental health system, which I consider very worthwhile. The more people who join us in contributing, the more success we will have in this goal, especially if we work together as a team.

    Lawrence

  • All the people such as you who are contributing to this website, are using their adaptive brains and free will to play a valuable role in improving our society, and thus are not as permanently damaged/disabled as they think they are.

  • Philip:

    Great job using logic/reason to refute everything Dr. Pies said. It must be tough for people like him to do public relations for a field that’s purely about deception, illogical thinking, and parasitic harm. At least the fact that psychiatry is doing such public relations shows that we’re starting to get the truth out there, enough for it to need to go on the defensive.

    Lawrence

  • JanCarol:

    Yes, conditioning is integral, and conditioning involves rewards. This brings us back to psychiatry rewarding the relinquishing of free will with victim status (attention, sympathy, and evasion of blame/responsibility), euphoria-giving drugs, and economic security. I believe psychiatry owes much of its “success” in getting people to embrace helplessness to such unconscious conditioning, most of which continues even after clients discontinue “treatment”. I believe this is the real “elephant in the room” which must be acknowledged and addressed if we are to successfully slay the dragon of psychiatry.

    Lawrence

  • I believe it’s largely due to their having become “institutionalized”, in a manner similar to how people who are incarcerated in psychiatric hospitals or jails for long periods, and are thus unable to exercise their free will for long periods, have difficulty adapting to life in independent, free society. This is the formula by which psychiatry produces eternally dependent customers, and partly explains why people continue to have troubles long after stopping their psych drugs.

  • I believe that one reason for psychiatry’s “success” is that many people seem to not want to accept that they have free will, or seem to not want to take responsibility for exercising it. And once people choose to voluntarily relinquish their free will to an authority such as psychiatry (and its medical model), it seems that they’ll be unlikely to ever take it back, even if at some point they reject psychiatry.

  • The DSM’s “mental illness” criteria were intentionally made so subjective, vague, flexible, and common that everybody could fit into most of them, in order to lure/trap everybody into permanently handing over responsibility for their lives to doctors. Once you’ve had that “Aha” moment in which you say: “Now I know why I sometimes get anxious or panicky – it’s because I have an anxiety/panic disorder” or “Now I know why my son doesn’t pay attention – it’s because he has ADHD”, you know you’ve been reeled in. You can’t go back in time, but at least you can join us in warning others not to make this mistake.

  • Sami:

    This is an excellent summary of the many ways in which “ADHD” is pure fraud. I have a metaphor to demonstrate its ridiculousness: Imagine if your car wouldn’t start, and your mechanic diagnosed it to be caused by “CNSD” (Car Not Starting Disorder), which, he confidently explained, makes it hard for cars to start up. Although it sounds pretty impressive, you would probably suspect that he is just covering up that he has no idea why your car won’t start up.

    We have more trust/respect for doctors, so we tend not to question their explanations, and thus are more easily fooled by their official/scientific-sounding labels. Perhaps some parents are easily fooled since they want an excuse to tranquilize rather than raise their kids, due to not having the time, energy, or patience for this. It’s justification for sedation. And it allows parents to evade any blame for their kid’s failing to become mature/responsible, since it wasn’t their fault, but merely “symptoms of brain disease”. Telling people what they want to hear has been very lucrative for psychiatry.

    Lawrence

  • Anxiety, or fear, is a normal mammalian reaction to life’s dangers/challenges. Free will is involved, in that unlike other mammals, humans can choose from among infinitely diverse ways to cope with whatever the danger/challenge is. Giving up on using your own adaptive capabilities, and helplessly/submissively turning that responsibility over to lying, greedy psychiatrists, is just one choice. You’ve seen “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Does trusting such a field make sense?

  • Maybe so; maybe suffering is just an unavoidable part of being human, since to varying degrees, life isn’t easy for anyone. One thing’s clear though – it’s not “biologically-caused”, since if it was, something would have turned up from the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted on biological psychiatric research over the past 50 years. Nothing has, so it’s time to stick a fork in it, and to stop hoping for the next “miracle pill” to be invented that will give us all happiness. That just makes things worse by building up false hopes up which invariably leads to huge letdowns.

  • rasselas.redux:

    Thank you for using your free will to clarify Libet’s and Fried’s conclusions. It’s actually pro-determinists such as Daniel Wegner and Patrick Haggard who claim that their neuroscientific research proves that free will is an illusion – that our brain processes make us do things automatically, so we’re not really that responsible for our behaviors. I try to keep my articles short and to avoid going into tangents so that people won’t get bored and never finish them, so I sometimes omit important details like this. Perhaps I should have instead clarified them in the footnotes. I appreciate your thinking for yourself and doing your own research, rather than just meekly trusting the authority of a psychiatrist, as too many people do nowadays with disastrous consequences.

    Lawrence

  • oldhead:

    Children are not aware/capable enough or legally entitled to use their free will to stand up for their rights, so they’re easy targets for poisoning by their parents/schools. That’s why we at MIA need to educate the public about how ADHD/bipolar labeling and “treatment” is a total scam that destroys kids’ futures and leads to heroin overdosing, mass shootings, etc.

    Lawrence

  • Daniel:

    I agree that unsatisfied subconscious aggressive desires may drive people to zombify themselves, or to use the “disease victim” label as an excuse to act out aggression actively (or as a means to act it out passively) without culpability. And I believe that parents who drug up their kids may be driven by aggression towards them. Amazingly, such physical aggression towards one’s kids is the only form of aggression-towards-others still legally available to everyone, which could partly explain why it has become so popular.

    Lawrence

  • Frank and Dragon Slayer:

    There’s a 1939 Three Stooges Film “Three Sappy People” in which they pretend to be psychiatrists, and end up devising a very successful, non-zombifying “treatment”, which I will now use in my practice. It’s on youtube.

    Lawrence

  • So first psychiatry invented childhood ADHD to lure parents into continually sedating rather than raising their healthy kids, who thus never develop the mature coping skills needed to become self-sufficient adults. Then it invented “late-onset ADHD” to offer legal speed to teens/adults who aren’t already hooked on psychiatry’s drugs. An entire profession of lying, scamming drug dealers has managed to gain prestige and riches by giving us epidemics of heroin overdosing, mass shootings, etc.

  • erin321:

    I agree. And though psychiatry’s drugs make things much worse, I think people have already harmed themselves just by believing psychiatry’s lies about their being helpless disease victims who don’t have free will or adaptive brains, and thus needlessly giving up on trying to themselves master their own life challenges (or trying to guide their kids to learn how to master theirs’). That’s where I differ from Robert Whitaker and Peter Breggin, who I believe under-emphasize the role which this submissive surrender of free will and personal responsibility plays in people’s deterioration.

    Lawrence

  • humanbeing:

    I am very sorry for not being sensitive to the effect my words would have on people such as yourself who were merely following the advice of seemingly trustworthy doctors, unaware of the trap they were falling into. I still have a lot to learn here. And I don’t think employment is the only way to find fulfillment/purpose. I believe people like you who’ve experienced firsthand what psychiatry does to its clients, and who are actively talking about it here at MIA, are the ones who are the most crucial to warning other potential clients away from psychiatry’s grasp. People tell me they often skim through the articles to get to the comments section, which they find more interesting and enlightening. Each time someone learns the truth here, it’s a worthwhile accomplishment. Thank you for speaking your mind to me, and I hope you can accept my apology and will continue to view me as your teammate here at MIA.

    Lawrence

  • uprising and humanbeing:

    Do you think that being caring means tricking people into believing that they’re helpless, incapable invalids when they’re not, and then reinforcing that identity by putting/maintaining them on disability, which can needlessly sentence them to a life of demoralization, social isolation, boredom, and feelings of no purpose/fulfillment and of wasting of their potential? I think that’s oppression, not caring. True caring involves support and encouragement, while allowing people to gradually learn and develop the capabilities needed to successfully adapt to life’s challenges on their own.

    Lawrence

  • Richard:

    I don’t have strong political views. I can see both sides’ points. The way I view things is that all societies must be somewhat oppressive, since that’s what the essence of a society is – people giving up certain freedoms to pursue their own desires at will, in exchange for living in a safe, efficient society. Without some rules, restrictions, and demands you’ll have anarchy. We seem to have achieved an effective society without oppressing people as much as in other nations (with the obvious exception of slavery). That’s why many people have always wanted to leave their lands to come here. I think we’re most oppressed now by the medical model’s lies having become so ingrained into our culture’s psyche, that people now believe they’re much less capable/adaptive/free-willed than they really are. In effect, this causes people to oppress themselves, and then to voluntarily seek psychiatrists who oppress them more. My goal is thus to correct psychiatry’s lies so they’ll realize they do have the power/ability to choose/pursue their own paths.

    Lawrence

  • uprising:

    When you say some people are so disturbed that they can’t do simple work, you’re accepting psychiatry’s claim that they’re unable to control what they do. The truth is that unless we have a real disease like epilepsy, all things we do (except for a small number of reflex actions) must be voluntary/learned behaviors. Why can’t some people just use their limitless free will to choose coping styles that don’t involve conforming/working? If someone’s truly disabled, there’s no free will or choice involved – the person couldn’t work if they wanted to, due to incapacity.

    Lawrence

  • Robert:

    Coincidentally, I did just write a blog about what I believe is the explanation for this, which is about to be published here. If you have the time, I would greatly appreciate feedback from you about it. And thank you for starting/developing this website, which has created an avenue for so many people to collaboratively provide important contributions which will ultimately help undo the widespread lies and harms that my field has inflicted on our society.

    Lawrence

  • Someone who is very upset can choose to do a job such as raking leaves in order to avoid starvation/homelessness, but a quadriplegic can’t choose to do this job, so only the quadriplegic is disabled. What psychiatrists and “pain-management” doctors do is offer legal euphoria-inducing drugs with one hand, and lifelong SSDI (and various other government benefits available to “disabled” people) with the other hand, along with your never having to go to a low-paying job you hate and live in fear of getting laid off from. These doctors do this to tip the scales in favor of your choosing not to work by making this as adaptive as they can make it, since that’s how they create permanently dependent customers with insurance that pays well. It’s like signing a deal with the devil.

  • Steve and uprising:

    In a country in which jobs are increasingly being outsourced and automated, and the few available are typically temporary “gigs” with minimum wage and no benefits, any reliable form of subsistence that includes health care is understandably becoming a more viable option. Ignore the unemployment rate – the true measure of our country’s employment situation is the labor participation rate, which has been steadily/ominously dropping for about 20 years. It is simply the percentage of working-age people who are working.

    Lawrence

  • Robert:

    Thank you for all of your great work, which had a huge impact on me as a practicing psychiatrist, and led to my focus now being to contribute to this website. Having seen my field evolve from within it over the past 30 years, has made me aware of other reasons why psychiatry’s long-term recovery rates declined since drugs became its focus, besides the ones you mentioned.

    For one, I believe its goal isn’t to get clients “better”, but instead to get them to think they’re defective/helpless so that they’ll give up control over their lives, and instead become eternally submissively dependent on psychiatry (in effect, to lobotomize themselves). After all, psychiatry’s only role used to be the forceful negation of certain people’s free will, so maybe psychiatry is still in the free will-negating business, but has merely found ways to lure/trap more and more people into willingly allowing it to negate their free will too, in order to enlarge its client base. Euphoria-inducing but addictive drugs, and lifelong financial security via SSDI, seem to be powerful baits intended to lead people down the chronic “illness” path. What do you think?

    Lawrence

  • Richard:

    Yes, I agree that kids are too young to know the potential harmful consequences of some choices, or to have yet developed the ability to delay gratifying their urges. It’s parents who have the choice of whether or not to effectively raise/educate their kids. And parents can choose to not leave bottles full of addictive pills lying around, to not provide a model of coping via addictive pills, and to not bring their kids to psychiatrists to start them on a path toward drug addiction.

    And I’m not “blaming victims”. I am just suggesting that people can choose to address their needs/struggles themselves, rather than buy into that they can’t because they are helpless disease victims.

    Lawrence

  • Of course I read it. I am not putting down binge eating – to each his own, as far as I am concerned. I just don’t understand how it’s any different from any of the hundreds of “diseases” in the DSM, which were all made up to enrich drug-dealing scam artists. If you were suffering more than benefiting from your behavior, you would have used your free will to stop doing it. This is psychiatry’s greatest harm – it’s ability to get people to think they are incapable.

  • Antipsychiatric ReprisOwl:

    I agree with all that you say. I just meant that lately the vast majority of people who go to psychiatrists have been lured/tricked into voluntarily going, even though psychiatric “treatment” is still just as dehumanizing, disabling, destructive, and free will-negating as it has ever been. So my goal is to tell the public about how everything they hear from psychiatry is a lie, and that entering “treatment” will ruin their lives, so they will stay away from this monster. Of course coerced “treatment” is still occurring, and of course I am against people’s freedom being taken away without a proper trial/conviction by a jury of having committed a criminal act. I hope that a better educated public will also see it that way, after learning what psychiatry is really about. Yes, I read many of Philip Hickey’s articles. They greatly influenced me.

    Lawrence

  • Oldhead:

    I agree it used to be a political tool and still is to some degree, but I think now the overwhelming focus of psychiatry and all its many beneficiaries, is to make gobs of money by suckering people into becoming lifelong dependent customers, by any means possible. They are the same as street drug dealers, except that it’s legal and doctors can sweeten the pot with victim status rewards like SSDI. You wouldn’t say street drug dealing is a political tool, would you?

    Lawrence

  • Oldhead, Dragon Slayer, and Frank:

    I think we have a great team of writers, editors, and commenters here at MIA. Everyone that is contributing here is playing an important role in a website that is strengthening, and seems to be becoming more overtly anti-psychiatry. People read the comments after reading the articles, and can learn just as much or more from them as the article itself. I certainly have. And people have told me that they often appreciate the comments more than the actual articles. But this has to be a team effort to succeed, so we need to keep attracting more members, not lose them. Yes, we all have some disagreements with each other and with the sponsors of this website, but that would happen any place where people are thinking for themselves. What’s important is that this is the one place that just about everybody who wants to at least abolish biological psychiatry, is contributing to. So lets keep working together.

    Lawrence

  • truth:

    One more point about the woman who imagined that she was a queen. Did you ever notice that people never seem to imagine boring scenarios, such as being a clerk at the motor vehicle bureau? This supports the premise that these “delusions” are voluntary ways of adapting to a disappointing experience within society, by creating a better reality.

    Lawrence

  • Yes, I agree that the “mental illness” label is a way to manage our fear of our own mad/sinful nature. But it does much more than “explain” disturbing behaviors – It also enables society to subdue those who outwardly express aspects of our nature that are harmful to society’s survival. Thus, Dr. Moniz received the Nobel Prize for scientifically developing a way to destroy people’s emotions/drives/free will without killing them, thereby enabling troublemakers to be turned into docile zombies (as in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”), whereas the mythical Dr. Frankenstein, despite successfully using science to bring dead people back to life, is branded a “mad” scientist, since it resulted in man’s inner wild/aggressive nature to be unleashed upon, and thus to endanger, society. I don’t think social constructs evolve unless they enhance the survivability or efficiency of the society in some way.

  • truth:

    Drug-induced psychosis used to be considered a type of “organic brain syndrome”, to differentiate it from “functional” or “mental illnesses”. In recent years though, psychiatry has wanted to fool the public into thinking “mental illnesses” are a type of physical illness, so it eliminated the organic brain syndrome category. But it still applies; drug-induced effects are true, organically-caused symptoms, not habitually learned coping styles.

    Lawrence

  • Stephen Gilbert and Fiachra:

    Yes, the acceptance of psychiatric lingo by our society has had a powerful/disastrous effect on our society, though lucrative for psychiatry. Before sadness became a disabling medical disease known as “clinical depression”, people would resourcefully recover from whatever major loss or event caused them to feel sad. But now they often don’t, since that’s the doctor’s job, and the doctor doesn’t really want you to recover. So it’s partly just using words like “depression” instead of “sadness” that leads to people becoming “disabled”.

    Lawrence

  • truth:

    You don’t believe in free will? As I said in my article, nobody is controlling her, so she must be in control of herself. We wrongly assume that no one would ever choose “ill” coping tools, so they must be involuntary events, but with free will, there are infinite choices possible. Getting people to not believe they have free will, and to thus not exercise it, is psychiatry’s goal. That’s what leads people to avoid taking responsibility for their own choices, behaviors and issues, and instead come to psychiatrists to put their lives in their hands, which is why people get “sicker” as a result of “treatment”.

    Lawrence

  • Steve:

    All people “suffer from” painful feelings like anxiety and sadness. As Darwin showed, this made us more fit to survive and procreate. There are infinite ways to cope with them, none of which can permanently get rid of them except complete zombification, such as by frontal lobotomy. What psychiatry has done is to trick people into thinking they are “sick” for having such feelings, and to lure and reward them for developing a “helplessly sick” identity, by offering many valuable “illness victim” rewards. Psychiatry’s business formula has been so successful, that being “mentally ill” can often be very adaptive for people. This explains why many people, despite being quite capable of changing, don’t try to change even though they claim that they want to.

    Lawrence

  • truth:

    As I explained in the article, people have free will to make their own choices about how to deal with life’s struggles. This woman has chosen a path which may not work for you or me, but it must work for her in some way or else she would not be pursuing it. For example, imagining that she is queen of England probably makes her feel very good about herself, very powerful/important, and loved and admired by everyone. Although there are also many drugs/medications/physical illnesses that could cause people to have experiences like this.

    Lawrence

  • Slaying the Dragon:

    I believe the “helpless victim” aspect to our culture is partly the result of psychiatry (and the mental health field overall) increasingly promoting/indoctrinating this identity into our culture, as a way to generate more passive/dependent “patients”, and thus more income. When you spoke of people having the free will to resourcefully rise above oppression (and self-reliantly adapt to other challenges) – that’s how America began and grew strong. But I fear that identity is being replaced by a helpless victim-focused one that’s strengthening psychiatry’s hold over, and weakening, America.

    Lawrence

  • NuUpsilonXi:

    Thank you for your constructive feedback. I am sorry that I came across as condescending. My approach is actually “to each his/her own”. I wanted to point out that the terms “distortion”, “dysregulation”, and “dissociation” all include the “dis” prefix which means “bad”, which conveys that they are mere value judgments. I believe these terms evolved in order to get people to view such ways of living, reacting, or coping as “bad” because they’re bad for society’s efficiency, not necessarily for the individual. They imply that there is only one “right” way to express moods and to perceive the world around us, when in truth there are infinite ways, but only certain ways are conducive to society’s survival. So why couldn’t people learn/develop certain habitual ways of dealing with their feelings and experiencing the world that they found to work for them, even though they don’t work for society? Why assume it is pre-fated by “neurotype”? When we only learn the language of the country that raises us as opposed to the hundreds of other languages we have the capability to learn, was that pre-fated by “neurotype”?

    Lawrence

  • Richard:

    I think we have a chance here at MIA of helping more and more people avoid the inevitable disaster that will ensue if they look to a psychiatrist for any kind of “help”. That, and educating America about my field’s poisonous lies before they damage our society beyond repair, are my only goals. This won’t solve all the issues stressing them, but at least it will keep them from being made a million times worse by psychiatry.

    Lawrence

  • When people have been successfully lured by psychiatry into seeing themselves as victims of “brain disease symptoms”, they give up their free will to actively address/solve their own problems and choose their own paths, and instead passively put their lives at the mercy/control of a field that wants them to be helpless and thus fools them into thinking they have unsolvable problems. Psychiatry then conditions them with rewards (like permanent financial security and victim status) to always stay in that role and to let it become all that they are. That’s what causes healthy, productive, understandable emotions to be turned into fake “crippling diseases” like panic disorder, depression, OCD, bipolar disorder, etc. That’s how people become unable to help themselves, even though we are amazingly adaptive creatures. It all starts with acceptance of the medical model and can only end with rejection of it, which is how Szasz can help people help themselves, if they do want to change.

  • Richard:

    Psychiatry used to play the social-control (efficiency-expert) role, but now sees everyone as a potential permanently-dependent, disabled customer (and starts recruiting/manufacturing them in early childhood), and is thus a parasite to society. That’s pure greed, and not conducive to our society’s survival. In “Brave New World” it was the opposite; people took drugs that kept them working at their jobs, which kept society at maximum productivity.

    Lawrence

  • Oldhead and Dragon Slayer:

    I am glad you brought up the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny and Santa Claus are in fact “something”, just as “mental illness” is, and in fact have much in common: These are all social constructs that evolved as means to support the social contract. With Santa and the Easter Bunny, they provide moral models of how it’s better to give to the common good than to just take care of own’s own needs, and the Santa story promotes “good” behavior, ethics, and morals, since he only rewards nice, not naughty, children. These powerful social constructs are all means of guiding/raising kids to become productive to society as adults, so they can’t be dismissed as absurd “nothings”.

    Lawrence

  • Fiachra:

    Our government leaders receive more lobbyist bribes from drug companies than any other industry. They would never rise in power unless they did business with them. It siphons off lots of taxpayer money – our health care industry is by far our biggest government expenditure. Even our public schools benefit financially from labeling kids with “disabling diseases”, since this results in more money being funneled to them.

    Lawrence

  • Brett:

    Thank you. I appreciated your “House on Fire” article as a great analogy to get many important points across. As far as your saying that I said that conflicts with society fuel people’s “psychological struggles”, I didn’t imply that at all. I said that life is a struggle for everyone due to our perpetual needs/wants, and that certain ways of coping (those that help further society’s survival such as holding jobs) are called “healthy”, and other ways of coping (those that are harmful to society’s survival since they generally don’t involve working) are called “ill”. I then said that during the 1800s, society-promoting coping styles were so unpleasant/unrewarding, that it tipped the scales somewhat in favor of coping styles that were detrimental to society for many people. Thus, psychiatry was called in to “save the day”.

    In the present day, it’s opposite in many ways; psychiatry has been using various tricks to tip the scales in favor of “ill” coping mechanisms – it enables busy, tired, older, unsupported parents to sedate their kids, instead of having to deal with raising them. It offers rewards like euphoria-giving drugs, permanent financial security, sympathy/attention, and evasion of guilt or responsibilities, in attempts to condition people to behave in ways that they would never have dared do in the 1800s, since they would have been dragged off, chained up, and never seen again if they did those things then.

    Lawrence

  • Slaying the Dragon:

    Did you read the whole article? Maybe my title was not the best one, but the goal of my article was this: Since it is a reality that the concept is still wrongly accepted as real, then in order to convince people of its absurdity, we need to help them logically understand that it’s nothing more than a concept that evolved to serve a specific societal purpose/function, which I tried to do in step-by-step fashion in the article. Just yelling out over and over again “They don’t exist!” by itself hasn’t been enough to get people to question their beliefs, since they’re being bombarded with so many illogical lies by so many trusted authority figures. Please read the whole article and then get back to me. Then maybe you can join me in trying to explain what’s really been going on to the public.

    Lawrence

  • Frances:

    Everyone wants to feel happy. We can work ourselves up into a state of positive attitude, excitement, high self-confidence, and decreased inhibitions, in which we don’t need to sleep as much since this temporarily gives us more motivation and energy to accomplish things than usual. Chemicals such as cocaine, amphetamines, steroids, and at times antidepressants can help bring this about through their stimulating effects. Of course such a state cannot last, and eventually we crash. Life is full of ups and downs, especially when you are told you are “bipolar”, you believe it, and you accept everything that happens to be “symptoms” of it. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Lawrence

  • Frank and Oldhead:

    I believe psychiatry evolved as a way to justify/enable the forceful exclusion from society, and imprisonment, of people who were not committing actual crimes, yet were still detrimental to society’s efficiency in that they were not contributing to it by doing their jobs. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that psychiatry and the age of insane asylums arose during the 1800s, an era when many people found factory work conditions maddeningly unbearable. Fear of being forced into an asylum if they didn’t conform likely kept them in line, just as fear of being arrested/jailed keeps people from committing crimes.

    Lawrence

  • Someone else:

    Excellent comments and advice, although it will be hard to find a psychiatrist willing to taper you completely off psych “meds”, just as it would be hard to find street drug dealers willing to help you detox off their drugs. As far as my comment about child psych hospitals, I appreciate the feedback and education. I worked in an old-style one in the 1990s, where the kids were often sad to leave due to having made close friends, experiencing caring staff who gave more listening and understanding than they often had at home, and doing lots of leisure activities outside on the beautiful grounds. Probably there are no more of these facilities, and all that’s left are the ones that just diagnose and sedate into oblivion.

    Lawrence

  • Frank:

    I believe these life-ruining psychiatrists “suffer from” EDHD (Ethical-Deficit Hypersedativity Disorder). As with the Nazis, they seem to think that what they’re doing is okay, or know that they can get away with it if they realize it’s not okay, because almost all the other psychiatrists and many other healthcare providers are also doing it, with the full support of our schools, government, scientists, and most of our society. It’s pure greed.

    Lawrence

  • Steve:

    I agree that schools play a huge part. But it’s hard for parents to resist when all of society’s authorities – government, schools, healthcare providers, scientists, corporations, legal systems, etc. all push fake labels with miracle cures on them. We can’t change things by trying to get any of these authorities to change, since they’re all profiting too much to consider giving up their gravy trains. Our only chance of success is to educate the people who are willingly submitting themselves and their children to these authorities, about how they are making terrible, at times fatal, mistakes. Then they will say “no” to these authorities.

  • Dragon Slayer:

    Okay, I will let you have the last word on Freud. We agree on just about everything else, so it’s time to move on and team up to slay the dragon. But the fact that Szasz went to such extreme efforts to destroy one man – I wonder how Freud would psychoanalyze that? Father issues maybe? (Just kidding.)

    Lawrence

  • Julia:

    Although nutrition is important, I don’t see the logic behind the idea that good nutrition can counteract the effects of an insufficient upbringing. When kids are dropped off at impersonal day care centers starting at 1 month old, and then spend much of their time on screens rather than interacting with and being raised by their family when they are home, how could they be expected to mature out of their innate wildness, overcome the “terrible twos”, and turn out OK? We all start out life with “ADHD”, unable to focus or control our impulses – We must slowly learn these skills, and all the other ones required to function as independent adults, through effective upbringings. You can’t get these skills from a drug or a vitamin. My concern is that belief in “brain diseases” or “vitamin deficiencies” to be the cause of kids not turning out OK, minimizes the crucial role that raising by parents (and schools) plays, and thus encourages them to deny and neglect it even more.

    Lawrence

  • I believe that our society has been fooled into believing that children come genetically pre-programmed to mature spontaneously, and that if this doesn’t happen, then something was wrong with them. But since what “maturity” means varies from culture to culture, and within cultures over time, this belief cannot be true. Kids must instead be born completely helpless and unskilled, and dependent upon proper upbringings by parents/schools in order to learn how to behave according to their particular culture’s complex mores and values. Why else would we have such huge brains? Even much simpler animals such as mollusks are capable of complex learning. So instead of medicalizing (or biologicalizing) normal childhood immaturity, we here at MIA need to correct this myth and re-educate parents about raising kids being an exhausting, time-consuming, often frustrating but ultimately rewarding 24 hour-a-day responsibility, for which there are no quick-fix substitutions. Offering such quick-fix solutions will only encourage parents to continue the neglectful attitude toward child-rearing that has become so prevalent in the U.S., and which is clearly having disastrous consequences.

  • I don’t know, Robert – In light of today’s “amazing scientific breakthroughs” in biopsychiatric research, I have a different take on Scrooge: He “suffered from a chemical imbalance caused by his untreated bipolar disorder”. He exhibited the classic “symptoms”, vacillating from episodes of grumpiness, lack of interest in activities beyond work, social isolation, trouble sleeping, and preoccupation with death, to episodes of euphoria, excitement, racing thoughts, excessive talking/socializing, lavish spending, and impulsive/reckless business decisions. Clearly a cocktail of prozac, seroquel, xanax, lithium, and ambien (with maybe some suboxone added to “treat” his addiction to working and money-counting) was ‘medically indicated for his brain illness’.

  • Frank and DS:

    I believe it is a gray area between choice and coercion: First of all, children who are given “medicine” for their “disease” at age 5 cannot be said to have the capacity/freedom to make an informed choice. In some cases, parents submit in order to not face severe consequences from schools, CPS, or family court for not complying with “treatment”. Then there’s the issue of cultural indoctrination. Children raised during the past 25 years were from birth exposed to only one way of looking at things (the medical model) by their school, health care providers, government, informational websites, media, highest learning/research/science centers, and often their parents. I would compare this to how a child who is only exposed to one language can only learn that language – how could he learn one that he never heard anyone speak? Similarly, how could a child be said to have the choice to learn other ways of understanding things besides the medical model, if never exposed to alternative points of view? (Szasz and MIA are not exactly mainstream yet.) What’s occurring in our society is similar to the complete brainwashing in “Brave New World”. Psychiatry has almost always been about social control; it just has different ways of achieving coercion, some more subtle (and on a much grander scale) than others.

    Lawrence

  • Richard:

    Thank you for your support, and for your excellent summary. I believe that we learned from each other and have found a way to work as a team, which is what we all need to do if we are to have a realistic chance of succeeding at our goals.

    Lawrence

  • TirelessFighter3:

    My full statement was: “Although saying there’s no such thing as mental illness doesn’t magically make things better, I believe that saying people “have” a mental illness often instantly makes things worse…”, and it was said in response to samruck2’s saying: “Saying there’s no ‘mental illness’ doesn’t make things magically better”. So I was explaining why the “mental illness” concept is harmful, and that I am completely against its use. I am a Szasz follower, who as I said previously, was almost kicked out of my psychiatry training program due to expressing agreement with his views. I have always fought against labeling/diagnosing/pathologizing human feelings/reactions as ‘mental illnesses’. I oppose the medical model and believe it’s our society that’s ‘sick’; This has been the focus of all of my articles, in fact.

    Lawrence

  • Samruck2:

    Although saying there’s no such thing as mental illness doesn’t magically make things better, I believe that saying people “have” a mental illness often instantly makes things worse in many ways, such as by implying that they are powerless to actively help themselves if they do want to change anything. It implies a lack of free will and resourceful adaptability, traits which if not used, prevent the individual from making use of their amazing abilities which humans have used to accomplish so many amazing things. It instead makes that person vulnerable, since they are more likely to passively rely on others’ help.

    Lawrence

  • TirelessFighter3

    Actually, Freud says that it is living within the restraints of a repressive society (or being “normal”, in other words) that is the source of our discontent. And though Freud’s ideas were completely distorted by American psychiatry and its affiliated institutions into a way to pathologize more and more people, he had no such goals, and fought against this. He instead hoped to help society become less repressive and more tolerant of different types of self-expression, which he did to some degree. Civilization and its Discontents is the book where he wrote about this.

    Lawrence

  • Sorry, Dragon Slayer, I see that you did read “Interpretation of Dreams”. I know it didn’t prove anything, but you have to admit it was fascinating and gave a very plausible explanation of why we all produce such seemingly nonsensical dreams. You can at least give the guy a little credit for something, can’t you?

  • I recommend you read Freud yourself as I extensively did (along with “The Myth of Mental Illness”) before beginning my psychiatric training, mainly the books I referenced in this article, and then form your own opinions. If you learn about him from Szasz’s or other people’s versions, you are more likely to hear the Americanized, capitalistic, medicalized version which I referred to in the article. The DSM was a product of this distortion of Freud’s goals; he would have strongly opposed it, as therapists in France have, where Freud’s ideas were not distorted, and where the populace accepts their value. I recommend you have an open mind, which is what Freud emphasized to be the most crucial quality for being a good analyst, which is why psychiatrists tend to make poor therapists (except me, of course).

  • You are still mistakenly equating Freud with psychiatry. I see him, as he viewed himself, as essentially a psychologist/sociologist who was scathing in his criticisms of psychiatry. American psychiatrists medicalized his theories/approaches out of greed, drastically distorting them into a means of pathologizing more and more people with “mental illness”, so they could increase their customer base. He was for the opposite; He tried to show how we are all the same in that we all struggle to cope with life’s difficulties, and to undo the harmful segregation/stigmatization of certain people as “ill”. My article was an attempt to clarify this misconception. So anti-Freud is pro-psychiatry. Which are you?

  • Richard:

    The difference, which is a huge one (maybe the greatest of all psychiatry’s harms), is that certain people are not marginalized, stigmatized, rejected, prejudiced against, dehumanized, disregarded, or made to feel inferior/defective, if everybody is seen as coping/struggling with life’s difficulties.

    Lawrence

  • When did I ever suggest salvaging any part of psychiatry? All I suggested is re-educating the public about there sometimes being unconscious issues causing our feelings/behaviors, to counteract psychiatry’s lies about societally-disapproved of feelings/behaviors being caused by genetic/chemical defects. If you really want to slay the dragon of psychiatry, you would consider approaches such as this that could help us accomplish this goal.

  • Oldhead:

    Here is some documentation of Freud’s opposition to psychiatry, as presented by M. Guy Thompson in “The Legacy of R. D. Laing: An Appraisal of his Contemporary Relevance”, pp 31-32, in which Thompson says Freud was the first anti-psychiatrist: “Freud was unhappy with the brutal way that the hysterics of his day, mostly women, were typically treated and even less happy with the prevailing concept of psychopathology. Unlike psychiatrists, Freud did not believe in an us-versus-them mentality…He believed that everyone is neurotic and that this is an essential aspect of our human condition. Freud rejected the concept of psychopathology as it is (was) commonly understood, and replaced it with an existential perspective that emphasized the management of anxiety as an inescapable aspect of living. Freud’s invention of psychoanalysis was a huge step forward in treating people we think of as nuts or crazy as human beings like ourselves. But once it was embraced by psychiatrists, psychoanalysis became yet one more weapon – and in America, a very popular one – in the war on mental illness”.

    Lawrence

  • Steve:

    I appreciate your supportive, team-minded comments, and believe it’s crucial that in addition to constructive debates (from which I have learned much here at MIA), that we also use our comments to help each other clarify and further our points, if we are to succeed in our daunting but important task of educating the public about biological psychiatry’s lies and harms. More and more people are reading articles on MIA, and many of them are likely reading our comments. So if an author presents an idea that is potentially helpful, but in a way that is unclear or offensive to some (as it appears I did in this article), then follow-up comments such as yours here (and which you have provided for many other MIA articles) can potentially aid in the achievement of our goal of bringing more people into our fold, and helping them avoid falling into biological psychiatry’s traps.

    Lawrence

  • Freud was “dismantled” in the 1980s by biological psychiatry’s convincing America that emotional/behavioral problems are actually genetic brain diseases that are “curable” by new “miracle” drugs, and look what this dismantling led to – the harmful drugging up of nearly a quarter of the population, often starting in early childhood, resulting in massive, growing epidemics of drug addiction/overdose, disability, and suicide ever since then, which threaten our entire society’s future. So what’s most crucial is that biological psychiatry (which is all that’s left of psychiatry) is dismantled before it is too late, and that is therefore what I (and MIA) are focused on. That is why I suggested un-dismantling Freud, since these horrors were not occurring when his ideas were accepted by society. I am also against involuntary commitment, but this didn’t begin during Freud’s time – it started many centuries before him.

  • ebl:

    That’s a good point. And I would add that true Freudian therapists are also less likely to push false, stigmatizing, permanent labels onto people that can also harm and sometimes ultimately lead to early death. As far as psychoanalysts only seeing private pay clients, that is true, but most regular psychotherapists, as long as they are not part of a medical model-dominated system in which their role is to get clients to “accept their diagnosis” and comply with “medication to treat it”, probably make some use of Freud’s general ideas about everyone having feelings/issues that they are not fully conscious of, which if brought to the surface and acknowledged in therapy can sometimes have a beneficial “freeing” effect.

    Lawrence

  • The problems we address on this website are those for which a biological source such as stroke, brain infection, tumor, metabolic/hormonal disorder, drug effects, delirium caused by a real medical condition, etc., have already been ruled out if there was concern for a possible biological source, leaving only non-biological explanations such as psychological and societal.

  • TirelessFighter3:

    In the article I did not promote/push psychotherapy, I did not deny that Freud had many flaws, and I did not suggest that we accept most of his theories. I only focused on his overall contribution about there being feelings/issues which we are not completely conscious of but which still motivate us, as being something that is especially true of our society nowadays, due to the medical model having fooled many people into thinking that all unpleasant feelings/behaviors are biological brain diseases, so there’s no point in trying to use their brains to understand or work on their own problems or raise their own children. So I suggested that a possible antidote to this cultural poison would be to educate the public about Freud’s general concept, even though he made many mistakes and wrong turns. I am trying to help our group defeat psychiatry, especially biological psychiatry, and was hoping people would consider that Freud could be of use to us in this effort.

    Lawrence

  • I would add that although it is tempting to medicalize (or biologicalize) our problems, since then we don’t have to face up to our real issues, and we can turn responsibility for addressing our problems over to authorities who promise quick-fix “cures” which seem to help in the short-run, in the long-run this approach inevitably causes things to get worse and worse due to the real issues being neglected, and due to the quick-fixes causing new problems. We all have very capable brains which can accomplish so much, if we choose to put the effort into using them to address our own problems.

  • My opinion is that the most detrimental effect of Szasz’s alliance with the church of scientology to fight psychiatry’s abuses, is that since the general public views the church of scientology as a bizarre, abusive, irrational cult, then the anti-psychiatry movement, by appearing to endorse/associate itself with the CS, became itself (in the public’s eyes) bizarre, irrational, and cult-like. I believe this led to people being more likely to mistakenly assume that psychiatry has credibility and science on its side, and thus hurt our cause in the long run. Often when I explain my views about psychiatry to people, I am met with jokes about whether I am affiliated with the CS.

  • Slaying the Dragon:

    By “our movement”, I refer to our common goal of correcting psychiatry’s lies and eliminating as many of its harms as is possible. Do you accept that we all have wishes that we are not completely conscious of? Freud showed how this is a logical way to explain why we all create dreams in which we play out fantasies that we would never acknowledge having, and why many people do things which they claim (consciously) they can’t control and wish they could stop doing. If you look up Szasz’s Dec 2000 article on psychotherapy.net, you will see that he also sees the value of this explanation and credits Freud. If you read “Interpretation of Dreams”, you will encounter many seemingly nonsensical dream sequences which many of us experience, and which Freud seems to have been able to make some sense of. It’s where his genius comes through the most, and it has nothing to do with “mental illness treatment”, just with exploring the mysterious inner workings of our minds and finding out that there is often more to us than we are aware of.

    Lawrence

  • Richard:

    I did not mean to suggest that there is a need for psychiatry to practice Freudian therapy. I agree with Freud – that psychiatrists are likely to make worse therapists than other people due to the rigidity developed during their medical training, and due to the authoritative, god-like attitude that often develops in doctors’ psyches. I did not even mean to suggest that people should get psychotherapy – to each his own. I merely suggested that we make use of what Freud has to offer to our society, despite his many serious, unforgivable flaws (just as we accept Thomas Jefferson’s democratic ideals even though he had slaves). I believe that the medical model’s widespread acceptance has dangerously put our country into a state of denial and helplessness, which calls for a Freudian-type analysis of our society itself, not its individuals. What is most important is that we succeed in our movement, and this might require allying ourselves with people whom we dislike or have some disagreements with, since they share our overall beliefs and common cause.

    Lawrence

  • Slaying the Dragon:

    I looked forward to your response, and the opportunity to debate with you. First of all, I like how you agree with me that Freud’s ideas are strongly present in our society’s unconscious. And I agree with you that if not for Freud, biological psychiatry probably would not have come to power. But I see that as a result of psychiatrists having initially monopolized Freudian therapy in the U.S., and then choosing to adapt to Freud’s fall from grace and to heavy competition from social workers/psychologists, by colluding with drug companies to invent/promote the biological psychiatry religion. Other contributing factors, such as the ever-expanding DSM, direct-to-consumer drug advertising, and drug company government lobbying, were also specific to the greed focus of the U.S. rather than inevitable outcomes of Freudian theory, and thus also only occurred in the U.S. Freud himself only visited the U.S. once and was apprehensive about what its embrace of his ideas might lead to – he mistrusted American motives, especially its psychiatrists.

    I myself have found Freud’s brilliant theories about unconscious motivations and how they conflict with society’s restrictiveness, and Szasz’s brilliant ideas about the therapeutic state and how psychiatry is a form of social control, to be compatible. I agree with Szasz that Freud shouldn’t have used an “illness” approach, and that Freud’s power got the best of him and led to his demanding to be worshiped somewhat like a god, tainting his legacy. But Szasz also erred in allying with the Church of Scientology. Even Szasz early in his career and late in his life seemed to value Freud’s theories. I do not suggest bringing all of Freud back, just his ideas about emotions being normal, valuable reactions to issues which are sometimes unconscious, rather than diseases that must be suppressed, since this could help our movement greatly. I look forward to your response.

    Lawrence (I prefer to be called by my first name here)

  • Nathan:

    All I really do is give people a chance to talk about whatever is on their mind to a fellow human being, while I listen and understand non-judgmentally. I don’t push any gimmicks, models, theories, belief systems, or “cures” onto them. I don’t claim to have any answers to life’s struggles, because I don’t. I don’t see how you can put that in the same class as authoritarian/condescending biological psychiatrists who knowingly lie to and harm people, building up their false hopes and turning them into permanently dependent zombies for their own financial gain.

    Lawrence

  • Nancy:

    Like I said in a previous comment – “to each his own”. Either way, people are learning their own ways to cope productively with life’s unavoidable struggles, which is the opposite of the medical model’s mis-labeling of emotions as abnormal “brain diseases” that people are helpless to cope with, except by putting their faith in and depending on a drug-dealing doctor.

  • Frank and Nathan:

    I am not pushing psychotherapy; I am the last person who would push anything on anyone. There are millions of ways to cope, of which psychotherapy is just one, and “to each his own” as far as I am concerned. What I am suggesting, is that we re-examine Freud’s ideas since they generally ally with us here at madinamerica, and against biological psychiatry. Since addressing the reasons why we’re upset is the antithesis of psychiatry’s medical model, and since it’s what people used to do before the medical model brainwashed people into thinking they’re only upset due to chemical imbalances, it seems to me that defeating the medical model means bringing back the idea that people can work on their own problems, in ways of their choosing, if they face up to them instead of medicalizing them.

    Lawrence

  • Steve McCrea:

    Yes, Freud made some big mistakes. And yes, he was extremely unfair to women. But overall, he was for everything that modern psychiatry is against – patiently listening to and understanding people as individuals with unique life stories to tell, encouraging them to express all their feelings and the issues that elicited them, and helping them become stronger and capable of resolving their own struggles. I believe these are the principles that all of us here at Madinamerica are trying to promote, and I wrote this article because I believe that if together we focus on this core approach, we will have the best chance of success.

    Lawrence

  • Frank:

    Freud’s focus for the second half of his career, after much rethinking about things, was not on “oedipal complex” type ideas, but on the nature/origin of society, civilization, religion, etc. He changed from psychologist to sociologist/philosopher. Like you and many on this site, he blamed society for people’s “discontents”. His best book was in fact “Civilization and its Discontents”, and his goal in writing it was to change society so as to be less oppressive. Unfortunately the media/movies focused on his earlier, “treatment”-focused writings, so this is not so well-known. And unfortunately, biological psychiatry is now the most oppressive force within our society. But not only did he have nothing to do with that, he fought for most of his career to prevent psychiatry from expanding its power over people.

    Lawrence

  • It has been popular to find flaws with Freud, and certainly there are many within his profuse writings. But the way I see it, using these flaws as reasons to reject his most important contributions, would be like rejecting democracy because Thomas Jefferson had slaves. As far as his followers connecting Freud with psychiatry, that was not his doing – He himself fought against this for years up until his death, and American psychiatrists in fact capitalized on his being ill and having to flee the Nazis, by making psychoanalysis a field only open to psychiatrists in 1938. This never took place in Europe, where people from all walks of life could train to be psychoanalysts. I am suggesting Freud be disconnected from psychiatry here too.

  • I have slowly tapered many people off antidepressants, usually without significant problems. My approach has been to refer them to Irving Kirsch’s studies to prove to them that antidepressants only work via the placebo effect, and to explain how “chemical imbalance-ism” is merely a scam that psychiatry (with the help of the drug industry) devised, in a desperate attempt to avoid the extinction it was facing due to competition from social workers and psychologists for the psychotherapy role, by creating permanently helpless/drug-dependent customers. This is never easy (especially if they grew up in the medical model era), since the medical model is being pushed by so many in authority roles, and since it’s so ingrained in our culture’s psyche. Over time through patient psychotherapy, which is by far the main focus of our sessions and which I believe is the most crucial step needed to enable success, I also help them get in touch with, express, and address whatever real-life issues were making them sad and anxious. It’s never an easy process, but these steps often lead to their losing confidence in psychiatry’s drugs and myths, and increasing confidence in themselves. As a result, they usually become less fearful of “relapse” upon antidepressant discontinuation and become more motivated to give it a try, which often enables them to very gradually come off them without too much trouble, although this is not always the case.

  • Slaying the Dragon:

    Mostly what I do is just patiently listen to and understand what people are going through. I let them express their feelings/issues and don’t criticize, stigmatize, or cut them off. We connect as equals. I offer no priestly, mystical healing words, I promise no false, magical solutions, and I don’t pressure them to change to conform to society. Overall, I would say that I do the exact opposite of what biological psychiatrists do. How could doing the opposite of the most harmful profession in the world be such a bad thing? And Szasz also did it, for 45 years, and said that people that he had “conversations” with found them helpful.

    Lawrence

  • Slaying the Dragon:

    In Thomas Szasz’s Dec 2000 psychotherapy.net interview with Randall Wyatt, he says he was a psychotherapist for 45 years, and believes it helped people. He even alludes to accepting Freud’s theories about unconscious feelings/issues that motivate people’s actions without their knowledge. I applaud this article’s author’s support of psychotherapy. But I can understand how many on this website have negative opinions of it due to having been harmed by it, which is the most likely outcome when it takes place within an authoritative “mental health system” in which the medical model is accepted, therapists persuade clients to accept their “mental illness” and comply with their “meds”, they are made into permanent clients for the system’s financial gain, the therapy is often “CBT” which merely pressures clients to be socially conformist, to shut up and suppress their issues so “progress” can be documented, and clients are often shuttled into psych hospitals against their will. Private practice therapists are less likely to be subject to these pressures, so are more likely to place the clients’ interests first.

    Lawrence

  • Julie:

    I have read some of your witty, insightful blogs and many of your comments. I enjoyed reading them, learned from them, and was greatly influenced by the perspectives you provide from your vantage point. I know that many psychiatrists see themselves as superior, exalted authorities, and like to exert their power over people who are at their mercy, but I try not to be like that. I try to welcome all different points of view, and this has led to my changing my views on some issues since I joined this website. We are all making valuable contributions to an important cause here, and our rising numbers show that we are making progress.

    Lawrence

  • The concept of “mental illness” takes away people’s free will to adaptively cope with life’s struggles in ways of their own choosing, and puts it into the hands of medical authorities who claim to know the best way to cope, claim that they’re the only ones who can “heal”, and have been given power by the state to enforce compliance with their “treatments” which usually benefit the state rather than the client. I read Szasz’s “The Myth of Mental Illness” before starting my psychiatric residency training, so I was not disillusioned – I knew this was a big part of my field, and spoke against it during my residency, for which I was nearly thrown out of the program.
    But I have been able to be a private-practice therapist who doesn’t put himself above his clients, and doesn’t label/sedate/commit/lie to people, or tell them they need to change. As far as I am concerned, “To each his own” – People have philosophized for thousands of years about ways to deal with life’s struggles. It’s not my place to claim that my medical education has given me any answers. I just give them a place to talk, while I listen, understand, and care about what they say. And since I’m not friend or family, they value my confidentiality and impartiality, since friends/family often are biased and tell people what they want to hear even if they don’t think it’s true. And we all tend to block certain things out of our awareness, and can at times benefit from someone else helping us see this. But there are many social workers, psychologists, and other therapists out there who can do this just as well as psychiatrists, and probably better since psychiatrists are no longer trained in therapy, and since it’s hard for them to resist the temptation to play the superior, authoritative, controlling role. So it’s best that we here at Mad in America put an end to psychiatry before it harms our entire society beyond repair. But I have enjoyed my work.

  • Daniel:

    I appreciate your feedback. I can see how the article may have come across as conspiracy-theorizing, and I agree that this would hurt our credibility. In the title I used the word “evolved” to connote that psychiatry’s changing approaches were the result of some approaches turning out to be much more financially “fit to survive” than others, and thus out-proliferating the less “fit” approaches. But in the article itself, I failed to bring out this point, so I can see how it may have seemed that I was implying that all these changes were planned out.
    Over the course of my career I witnessed this evolution myself – Many psychiatrists who thought like me retired earlier than they had planned to (died out like the dinosaurs), due to an unwillingness to adapt by telling lies and pushing drugs. But many others were excited by the chance to make huge amounts of money and be treated like “real” doctors, and they flourished, while also setting examples for incoming psychiatrists who were hoping for similar prestige/riches, to follow.

    Lawrence

  • Debating which psychiatric “diagnosis” is appropriate would be like debating whether Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, The Great Pumpkin, or other human-imagined concepts are valid. Considering such a debate suggests that there may be some psychiatric “diagnoses” that are actually real entities, when they are just arbitrarily conjured-up ways to make sure insurance companies can always be successfully billed, since they were conjured up in a way that intentionally made sure that everyone meets “criteria” for nearly every one of them. So lets not perpetuate the public’s mistaken belief that these are real things when they aren’t by suggesting that some are legitimate in some cases while others aren’t. They are all illegitimate.

  • plebtocracy:

    I did include the Rosenhan experiment, in the second paragraph, and if you click on the citations at the end it is cited there. I agree that it was an important reason for psychiatry’s evolution into the path it took. How amazing that the public has forgotten about it, and about psychiatry’s social-control role as portrayed in “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. I guess people are able to ignore the facts so that they can believe what they want to believe is true, especially when so many other people are doing it.

    Lawrence

  • Philip:

    I enjoyed reading and learned from this article, as I have from many of your articles. I appreciate your thought-provoking, well-researched, pull-no-punches, and at times humorous style. My reading of articles such as yours helped me realize that there was a place where people who thought like me were connecting and trying to do something about the lies and harms of biological psychiatry. This motivated me to get involved by contributing articles myself. I don’t know if you read my latest one “How Psychiatry Evolved into a Religion”, but as I said in it, I believe the public is starting to hear our ideas, and that we are the “tenth plague” that will ultimately free Americans from psychiatry’s malignant rule.

    Lawrence

  • John:

    Maybe the belief in “chemical imbalance-ism” is spreading around the world since classic religions are waning in importance in people’s lives, and people still long to have faith in some higher power. Psychiatry is stepping in to parasitically capitalize on that need, by playing the role of an “all-knowing” clergy through whom the power of miracle-working science flows through.

    Lawrence

  • Frank:

    Thanks. Yes, free will and biological psychiatry are enemies. How so many people voluntarily submit themselves (and their children!) to chemical “treatment” by a field that is well-known for subjugating people through forced commitment, zombifying drugs, ECT, lobotomy, insulin shock, etc., can only be explainable as religious zeal.

    Lawrence

  • Emily:

    Having been around psychiatrists for many years and hearing what they really think, I know that many of them carelessly applied the “borderline” label to anyone who was difficult to deal with in some way that didn’t fit neatly into one of psychiatry’s classic diagnostic labels. It was usually because they were expressing a lot of emotions and wanted the doctor to spend more time interacting with them, which annoyed the doctor, who would thus slap on the label, ignore their needs, and shut them up with antipsychotic medication. It was referred to as a ‘garbage bag’ diagnosis, so you shouldn’t take it too personally/seriously. It’s more a reflection of a field that is always looking for justification for sedation.

    Lawrence

  • Emily:

    I agree that it is generally only in society’s interest, rather than the individual’s, that its members are socially conformist. And if being socially conformist now means being insensitive, emotionally detached and inexpressive, and only superficially connected and dependent on other people, then our society has become itself ‘sick’, and it is in our as well as our society’s best interest that we don’t conform, and encourage others to also resist. It seems to me that despite your struggles (which have clearly made you insightful, caring, resourceful, and capable), your family must have raised you well for you to turn out the way you did. I hope they are proud of what you are doing to help reverse the bad direction our society is heading, and I hope you continue to provide such touching, meaningful, intelligent contributions.

    Lawrence

  • Eric:

    Thank you. I just read the front page article of “Clinical Psychiatry News” Vol. 45(10), which is a free newspaper sent to all U.S. psychiatrists, and it made recommendations scarily reminiscent of what occurred in Nazi Germany as discussed in your ‘Invisible Holocaust’ article. It was entitled “Palliative Care Reimagined – Approach Might Benefit Some Psychiatric Patients”. It urged that a “palliative approach”, such as a more “relaxed use” of addictive/dangerous drugs, be used for “persistent mental illnesses” such as “schizophrenia” or “refractory depression”. The implication of this article was that it would be preferable to “relieve suffering” by giving such people higher and higher doses until they eventually overdose (as is often done for terminal cancer patients), since they have “insufficient quality of life” and are at risk of dying from suicide, anyway. Psychiatry is sinking to lower and lower depths.

    Lawrence

  • Oldhead:

    I don’t think change will ever come from enough MDs joining our movement, since not only are they hugely profiting from ruining people’s lives, they would have no other way of earning a living if they gave it up. I think it is the people who are not enriching themselves via this system that we need to explain the truth to. The brainwashing about the medical model starts in childhood, so I think we need to find a way to get our info to children and the teachers and parents who raise them.

    Lawrence

  • I believe the problem with using tranquilizers for crises, is that a tranquilized person is unable to fully understand, work on, and possibly resolve whatever caused the crisis. They are likely to instead ignore the crisis’s cause, which will thus not only persist but get worse over time. Furthermore, it sets a trend for not developing and relying on one’s own coping abilities/strengths, but instead always turning to chemicals to cope with life’s problems in general. And since tranquilizers are often addictive (like benzodiazepines), then one has to deal with worsening withdrawal symptoms in addition to their real life problems.

  • But it did not become a big business until prozac paved the way for it, with its hugely successful “depression is an illness caused by a chemical imbalance” advertising/marketing/lobbying campaign. Ever since then, “ADHD” criteria were broadened so that all children met criteria for it, and “better living (or dying) through chemistry” has been the American way.

  • Amazingly, neuroleptic use rose to become the top selling drug class of all types in America in 2008 and 2009. This was largely due to “ADHD”-labelled kids no longer being effectively sedated by stimulants upon becoming teenagers, but instead being revved up by them, since this is when stimulants start to have stimulating effects. Of course blaming this on the prescribed stimulants wouldn’t have been good for business, so these teens now needed a different (or second) diagnosis with different drugs that would effectively sedate them. The newly expanded (expressly for this purpose) “bipolar” label came to the rescue with its anti-manic/anti-psychotic drugs to shut up these kids once again. This explains why mass “bipolar”-labeling of teenagers started five years after mass “ADHD”-labeling of little kids started, and why 85% of “bipolar” teens had been previously “treated” for “ADHD”.

  • Frank:

    Good points. And in reality, though “ADHD-treated” kids may initially briefly outperform their unsedated peers who haven’t yet learned how to sit still or pay attention, these peers quickly pass them and leave them in the dust once they do learn these skills (which the sedated kids never learn). That’s why long-term studies around the world show markedly worse academic attainment by “ADHD-treated” kids, as measured by grade level of work and standardized test performance. Parents are fooled into thinking their “ADHD-treated” kids are learning by the high grades they get once they’re “classified”. But these grades weren’t earned, since they’re the result of their “IEP”s which include accommodations like greatly reduced expectations and extra help from staff, which in essence are merely authorized cheating. Similarly, college, students who claim they use stimulants as “performance enhancing chemicals” actually have far lower GPAs (Clegg-Kraynok “Sleep Qualities and Characteristics of College Students who use Psychostimulants” 2011).

    Lawrence

  • Nancy99:

    Yes, psychiatry has managed to convince many well-educated parents and teachers that children are incapable of learning how to change their behavior, even though animals as simple as mollusks can do so! Just as a wild animal that is repeatedly shot with tranquilizer darts never becomes tame, kids that are sedated daily instead of raised, never become civilized/mature/self-sufficient. It is a zombie apocalypse in the making.

    Lawrence

  • YeahIsurvived:

    I guess I did not make it clear, that by coddling, I meant how the mis-labeling of normal, healthy kids as permanently disabled by “defective brain hard-wiring” misleads parents and schools into unnecessarily lowering their demands/expectations of these kids, especially school accommodations which prevent these kids from being challenged to reach their full potential, and condition them to expect things to always be made easy for them. Psychiatry’s lies trick parents into thinking their kids will never develop “executive skills”, so they do many tasks for them, or “hold them by the hand” while they do them, overseeing them closely to rescue them from any mistakes. Such coddling during childhood is not only unnecessary – It harmfully prevents kids from learning the tools needed to self-sufficiently cope with a tough real world upon entering adulthood.

    Lawrence

  • Since “depression” is really just another word for sad feelings, and everybody gets sad at times since everyone experiences losses, disappointments, failures, etc. at times, then I would think that the “depression” rate around the world would be exactly the same everywhere, at 100%. So watch psychiatry steadily broaden the criteria and increase the rate of “depression”, until it reaches its goal of “treating” 100% of all people in the world.

  • Robert:

    Do you think that it is possible that recent epidemics of “ADHD”, “bipolar disorder”, “depression”, etc. may be due partially to the false medical model having become so ingrained in American culture, that: 1). Parents are now less likely to raise their children sufficiently due to being tricked to think that normal childhood immaturity is a “brain illness” that a child is incapable of overcoming, which prevents their children from learning mature coping tools, and 2). Adults are also being tricked into viewing their own normal feelings of sadness in response to normal life events like loss/disappointment/failure, as a “brain illness” that they are powerless to cope with. This would then cause them to not use their resourceful, adaptive capacities to understand and address their own problems, which then worsen over time as a result.

    Lawrence

  • I believe it’s more the acceptance of the biomedical model of “depression” that comes with antidepressant usage, than the antidepressants themselves, that causes people to worsen in the long run. If people have been tricked into forgetting that sadness is a normal response to unavoidable life struggles commonly experienced by everyone, such as disappointment, failure, or loss, then they will be less likely to be driven by their painful feelings to adaptively solve whatever problems upset them. So instead of productively identifying, understanding, and devising plans to tackle/master their challenges, they will be more likely to wrongly see themselves as powerless to help themselves. Wrongly believing their painful feelings to be “symptoms” occurring for no reason, they will likely instead “battle depression or anxiety” itself. This may work in the short-term due to an antidepressant’s placebo effect, but in the long-term their real-life problems will get worse due to being ignored. When the placebo effect fades and they are forced to face up to this, of course they are going to become more depressed than what they were like before they started “treatment”, when their life was still mostly ahead of them. Psychiatrists have set them up for certain failure, making them permanently “ill” in order to produce more permanent customers for their assembly lines.

  • Marilyn:

    Thank you, Marilyn. Hey – How about a sequel to “A Disease Called Childhood” entitled: “A Disease Called Life”. Because it is not just the normal trials and tribulations of child-rearing that psychiatry is tricking people into giving up on, and into replacing with its debilitating, addictive drugs. It is all unavoidable struggles and challenges throughout life, which psychiatry is dissuading people from using their resourceful, adaptive capacities to master, so that they will instead give up, and get on psychiatry’s assembly line to dysfunction, drug addiction, disability, and early death. What do you think?

    Lawrence

  • Many people hooked on prescribed addictive drugs swear that these drugs are the only thing that helps them with their anxiety, pain, concentration/motivation problems, etc., because they don’t realize that these problems became chronic/severe as a result of having become addicted to these drugs which put them in and out of withdrawals on a daily basis. Since the only thing that ameliorates the withdrawals is more of the addictive drugs, this fools them into viewing the very drug that produced their overwhelming problems to be effective “treatments” for their “underlying disorders”. If they try stopping the drug, the withdrawals can last for months after, which again misleads them to mistakenly believe that their “disease” has returned, since they misconstrue withdrawals to be “disease symptoms”. This is the business formula of modern medicine, and many other businesses have also profited immensely from it (disability lawyers, drug companies, drug rehabs, undertakers, etc.).

  • Little turtle:

    Once you accept your so-called “mental illness”, you are giving up on using your resourceful, adaptive capabilities to understand and address your own problems, which might involve making some changes in yourself or your life. You are instead needlessly seeing yourself as permanently defective, and turning responsibility for helping yourself over to people who financially benefit from your staying “ill”, helpless, and dependent on them. Unpleasant feelings are not diseases, but are normal responses to upsetting events/circumstances, which help us by motivating us to make choices that can lead to improving our lives.

    Lawrence

  • It’s amazing how many psychiatrists and pediatricians have resorted to, and have ‘succeeded’, in deceiving and pressuring parents into complying with their kids being given what are supposedly helpful medicines, but are actually harmful, addictive, and often lethal drugs. But these physicians had the support of schools, government agencies, advocacy groups, medical and research institutions, the media, celebrities, the law, and of course the wealthy drug companies. Parents understandably could not imagine that so many trusted authorities (basically every authority) would stoop so low as to take part in such a heinous plan.

  • MadnessCivilizaton:

    Yes, it is not just stimulants. Benzodiazepines and opioids have also been increasingly prescribed directly to teenagers, or indirectly to them via their parents or friends, during the past 27 years. But as far as “ADHD” being a specific cognitive/biological category that only some people fit, I disagree. What differentiates us from animals is that we do not have simple brains that are hard-wired with instincts. We instead start life completely helpless but with amazing abilities to learn infinite ways of coping. But we depend on our upbringing by parents, teachers, and society in general, to gradually master our challenges and develop the skills needed to successfully thrive as adults.

    So we all start out life with “ADHD” – just look at how toddlers are excited about things at first, then get bored and move on to the next new thing, constantly moving, making messes, and bringing chaos and disruption wherever they go. It is true that stimulants have a calming effect on all of this, but if parents take the medication route, then they and teachers don’t need to do as much raising, and the child does not need to learn how to control their own impulses, avoid distractions, or manage their temper on their own. You were able to break away from this and successfully develop the mature coping tools needed for independence, but all long-term studies show that the vast majority of “ADHD-treated” children fare poorly in adult life. The consistent pattern with all long-term psych “meds” is initial “improvement” followed by long term deterioration, often resulting in permanent disability, whereas people who cope with issues without “meds” may have some trouble initially, but then recover well and are much more successful in the long-term.

    Lawrence

  • Madmom:

    Thanks for your concern. If that ever did happen, it would mean that our message is getting out there, and the most important thing is that the public hears the truth. It would also make for another article. But I think that in the future it is the doctors who continue to create addictions that ultimately kill people who will have to worry about losing their licenses and perhaps their freedom. Once before in this country, doctors who did this were prosecuted and jailed for it, in accordance with the Harrison Act of 1914. This put great fear into the medical profession, leading to doctors dramatically reducing their addictive pill prescribing.

    Lawrence

  • Gretchen:
    Thanks for quoting me. I believe that the most effective/realistic way to end the opioid crisis is to address its root cause. It is mostly people who have become hooked on psychiatry’s “better living through chemistry” program who are presenting themselves to legal (MD) and illegal (street) dealers. So if we eradicate biological psychiatry and its lies about genetic/biochemical brain diseases, people will go back to working on their problems and raising their children, so there won’t be so many people who are vulnerable to being lured into becoming opioid addcits. There are many modern epidemics that are all symptoms of biological psychiatry’s (and the medical model’s) infestation of our culture. Clearly it would be most efficient to eradicate the underlying cause, rather than attack each ‘symptom’ piecemeal.
    Lawrence

  • How can we counteract all the misinformation about “ADHD treatment benefits” that parents are constantly being bombarded with by doctors, advocacy groups, teachers, government officials/agencies, commercials/advertisements, celebrities, WebMD and other respected websites, etc.?

  • Yes, it is ironic, but it is more than just ironic – It is psychiatry’s proven-‘successful’ business formula: Just as it took over the raising of children from parents/schools (via ‘ADHD’ and ‘childhood bipolar’ labeling/’treatment’), it also lured people away from facing and working on their own issues (via ‘depression’ and ‘anxiety disorder’ labeling/’treatment’), and lured addicts away from overcoming their habits (via ‘medication-assisted treatment’), each time discouraging/preventing people from themselves resolving their resolvable problems, in order to instead transform them into permanently helpless, dependent invalids/customers.

  • Michael:
    Certainly curses and psychiatric labels are similar, in that both are verbal pronouncements that ruin people’s lives. But at least since 1990, they differ in that in a majority of cases, people voluntarily present themselves (or their children) for psychiatric labeling/”treatment”, due to being lured in by the bait of lies which build up false hopes, and once hooked, they are reeled in and never released. So maybe a fishing analogy also applies.

    And returning to our previous disagreement about your faith in the “good intentions” of psychiatrists, I believe it is this misplaced faith that enables people to be fooled by lying psychiatrists who have learned to profit by taking advantage of it. Every one of these psychiatrists is an integral part of the whole system which only exists because of their voluntary participation in the scam. Maybe the reason they seem to really believe what they say, is that since they lie all day long of every day, lying becomes totally natural and comfortable for them; It’s their identity, so they do it without having to think about it.
    Lawrence

  • Lenora22:
    I think quick fixing of “chemical imbalances” was an instant hit because it came at the right time, when women were often overwhelmed by trying to juggle full-time careers with raising kids, often all by themselves due to divorce. They were too busy to look at their lives and try to find ways to adapt (and maybe there were none), so “happy pills” for themselves and justifiable sedation of their kids came to the rescue.

  • Maradel:
    I am glad that you got back to me. I agree that there is an increasing disconnectedness in the U.S. Families and relationships in general are much less valued or consistent, and children are often raised more by impersonal daycare centers and the internet, than by their families. Women who want to stay home to raise their kids are looked down upon for not focusing on themselves and their career. Even when people are together, they still are on their cellphones, tablets, or laptops, and thus are still not that connected with each other. This is probably part of why people are so vulnerable to the idea of pills as a way to feel better, by bypassing the underlying cause of their pain, and seeking quick short-cuts to feeling better.

  • I agree that hard-wiring is an inaccurate/misleading metaphor for human emotions, thought, and behavior. It implies that attempts at learning to cope and adapt would be fruitless, even though these abilities are the essence of what being human means. This metaphor may apply to very simple animals that are controlled by instincts, but not us. I believe it was devised by my field in order to trick people into thinking they can’t resolve their own problems, and trick parents into believing their children are un-raisable, so that everyone will instead give up, and join psychiatry’s assembly line of sedation as the solution to all of life’s issues. It’s as if psychiatry’s goal for the past 30 years has been to get mankind to undo the amazing capabilities which it took millions of years of evolution to produce.

  • Maradel:
    What do you think the core, underlying problem with our society is which needs addressing? If you think it is that too many people look for quick fixes through “better living through chemistry”, then modern psychiatry is a big reason for that, since it really became popular ever since prozac’s mass marketing in 1988, which began the incessant pounding of the public with: “depression is an illness caused by a chemical imbalance. Ask your doctor about how prozac can help you”. And ever since psychiatry labelled normal childhood immaturity a medically treatable disease around 1990, this resulted in the production of a generation of young adults who never matured beyond instant gratifications, and whose only coping tool is “better living through chemistry”. And you can also blame psychiatry (and other doctors) for dispensing billions of bottles of addictive chemicals to parents, whose children could then find and experiment with them and thus be led into addiction. So psychiatry may be the reason for the big change in America’s core identity.

  • Julie:
    In the 1990s, I became increasingly fed up with the direction my field was going in, so in 2000 I stopped having anything to do with any organized “mental health treatment”, and have been in solo private practice ever since. I do therapy, which is largely listening to, getting to know, and understanding whatever people want to talk about, whatever issues are stressing, frustrating, or saddening them. I do not label/pigeonhole, or try to get them to conform (It is their choice how to live their lives, and what’s so great about being socially conformist, anyway?), or “treat mental illness”, since I have always been in total agreement with Thomas Szasz. My clients decide what to discuss, and they often seem to appreciate having someone who is concerned and willing to hear all the details of their lives, since often they do not get that anywhere else. If they come to me already on “medication”, I explain how these drugs are really the opposite of medications, and that the false medical model is a lie/scam meant to turn them into permanently ill customers. They usually agree to tapering off all their meds, and are glad that they did.
    As time has gone by, I have felt the urge to do something about the increasing harms done not just by my field, but by all the people who have accepted my field’s lies and are poisoning our culture with them. When I read Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic, Irving Kirsch’s The Emperor’s New Drugs, and Marilyn Wedge’s A Disease Called Childhood, I felt both inspired, and encouraged that there were others who saw things how I saw them, and were standing up and telling the truth. When I discovered that RW had started this website and read some of the insightful, thought-provoking articles, it became clear that this was the place where people from all walks of life, who understood what was really going on and thought for themselves, all got together to try to come up with ways to bring the truth to the American public, before too much irreversible harm is done by biological psychiatry and its false medical model. So many people have done their part to contribute so much in their own ways, here. I believe I have found a home, and am ecstatic to be part of the team/cause that all of us are a part of. I honestly believe we are going to change things.
    Lawrence

  • Bradford:
    The problem is that the demise of the psychiatric profession will not be enough. Many internists, pediatricians, and other specialists (and their associated nurse practitioners or physicians assistants) have embraced “psychiatric treatment” as a cash cow in their practices, as a way to get rich by creating permanently ill customers on an assembly-line basis. And we still need pediatricians and internists to treat real medical problems.
    The belief/practice of psychiatry’s false medical model has spread like a cancer into all aspects of our culture. Most social workers and psychologists accept it, and their therapies are now based on it. Schoolteachers use it to make their jobs easier. Young children are taught/indoctrinated in it while in health class in grade school. Local, state, and federal governments all promote it. Universities, medical centers, and research institutions all financially gain by furthering it. Our legal system embraces it (many lucrative law firms specialize in it) , and our media and entertainment industries push it as well. Popular websites like WebMD tell Americans that biological psychiatry has made amazing advances and helps millions, and that its false theories have been conclusively proven. I don’t mean to discourage you. I just mean to recommend that we focus not only on eradicating the psychiatric profession, but also the lies it has successfully ingrained into America’s psyche since 1980.
    Lawrence

  • Lenora22:
    The numbers of people subscribing to and following this website are rising, so more people are starting to find out the truth. I believe it is the parents that we need to focus on reaching, so that they won’t comply with their child’s teacher’s or pediatrician’s recommendations for psychiatric evaluation. When parents allow the “parasite” to be implanted into their kids’ minds at such young ages, it becomes too ingrained to get rid of. By the way, did you know that crystal meth is methamphetamine, which is one of the “medications” used to “treat ADHD”?

  • There was a time when anti-psychiatry was mainstream in the media and movies: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is considered one of the best and most popular movies ever. In 1975 it won all the academy awards. The pendulum is starting to swing back that way, and this website is playing a role in it. We need to tell more and more people about this website.

  • What about the possibility that addictions are on the rise because of cultural changes? For example, American children in general may not be raised as effectively as in the past, since kids are often now raised in homes where both parents work or there is only a single working parent, so there is no one devoting themselves full-time to raising them. If less effectively raised as a result, then they will be less likely to outgrow the immediate impulse gratification approach of the young child, and will be unlikely to develop the mature tools needed to succeed as responsible, independent adults. They will thus will be vulnerable to substance abuse. And kids are now often introduced to addiction early in childhood, either through addictive video games and internet activities, or through parents bringing their un-raised kids to doctors who instruct them to give up on trying to raise them, and to instead get their child’s “illness treated” by daily tranquilizer darts, so that the only coping tool they learn is to numb themselves with addictive drugs. When there is a huge rise in a phenomenon throughout a culture, such as addictions of all types, a huge cultural change is the most likely explanation.

  • deee042:
    I believe that future is already here, that most Americans are zombified in one way or another, right out of Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”. I believe that the reason why young men are doing far worse than young women educationally and vocationally lately, is that so many boys (but few girls) had their childhoods needlessly wasted by ADHD “diagnosis”, “treatment”, and “accommodations”.
    And as far as those CPAP machines for “sleep apnea”, it is a similar process. In the short-term they help since they put more air in your lungs, but in the long-term they probably harm you permanently, since your breathing muscles will eventually atrophy from disuse, since the CPAP machine is doing their work for them.
    Lawrence

  • Robert:
    I, too, am a psychiatrist who has been practicing psychotherapy for over thirty years, which I believe has helped people. But the handful of us that still do this, will all retire soon. And there are now many social workers and psychologists who are excellent therapists (medical schooling is in no way needed), so our society does not need psychiatry to return to that role. Our field adapted to threats to its existence from managed care and competing social workers/psychologists, by abandoning helping people via psychotherapy, to instead embrace harming them, by taking advantage of people’s trust in MDs by luring them in with lies and pushing fake medicines that are often addictive, on them. Psychiatry has painted itself into a corner, in which it thrives by discouraging parents from raising their children, and discouraging people from acknowledging/addressing their own issues. It ruins people’s lives on an assembly-line basis, starting in early childhood, in order to produce permanent customers for itself. It is a monster that as it gets bigger, keeps on finding ways to feed its growing appetite, by enlarging its huge domain so it can trick even more people into becoming its victims. Psychiatry will never turn back; it is not interested in any “salvation”.
    Lawrence

  • Julie:
    This comment is in response to your other comment saying how psychiatrists said you were incapable, but that you did get a job and plan to go off disability. I wanted to congratulate you on that, since disability can often become a trap that many people find hard to escape. I also wanted to add that ironically, getting people onto psychiatric disability has become a big business. Many successful law firms focus solely on psychiatric disability claims. Psychiatrists push it, since people on disability need to see them for regular “treatment” to prove ongoing disability, and to have them periodically fill out reports documenting its persistence. I just got a mailing about a seminar teaching psychiatrists how to earn extra money by being disability specialists.
    Lawrence

  • littleturtle:
    Long ago, psychiatry used to help people get in touch with and work on whatever issues were truly bothering them, until social workers and psychologists out-competed it for that niche. But ever since about 1980, it has instead searched for the most effective ways to trick people into accepting its lies about normal emotions and normal childhood immaturity being “medically treatable diseases”, so that it could survive by malignantly parasitizing society. Since it has become a field that only inflicts suffering, ruins lives, and invents and instills false models, there is no place for such a discipline. The truth is that psychiatry itself needs to be taken down.

  • Becca:
    This website is clearly a great place for people from all walks of life to learn from and connect with each other. As far as advice, I don’t see it as my place to tell people what is the best way to live their lives; that is their choice. I just try to listen, understand, and help people understand themselves better, and to see that my field’s claims of permanent, genetic “brain diseases” are complete lies designed to hold people back from developing their capabilities, and instead turn them into permanently ill patients. It sounds like you have not fallen into this trap – you seem to have goals, drive, and faith in yourself, and have been developing and using your capabilities to learn from and overcome your problems. Adolescents who are at key decision points in their lives may well benefit from involvement with people who went through what they are going through, and successfully turned it around. Good luck to you.
    Lawrence

  • Graffitiwoman:
    You are right that I was being presumptive, and I will try not to do that when commenting in the future. I think I also was not too clear about what I was referring to. I didn’t mean that suboxone is always a bad thing. I agree that for opiate addicts who are unable to quit and want to get clean, it can be a lifesaver. But looking at the huge number of prescriptions being dispensed, it clearly is not only being used for this purpose. And although I am not an addict myself, I have read numerous online posts about how some people have lied about being heroin addicts so they could get suboxone prescribed to them in order to try it out, or how some heroin addicts who can’t get heroin for awhile, use it to tide themselves over until they are able to get heroin again, or get suboxone to sell on the streets to support their heroin habit rather than stop it. Suboxone dispensing is not nearly as controlled/restricted as methadone dispensing is, and full month’s supplies are often given for easy 5 minute visits, which seems to have enabled too much of it to get out there and often end up in the wrong people’s hands. I have read about it being prescribed to 15 year-olds long-term, without first seeing if they might be able to detox and then quit opiates. And I know that some doctors have become suboxone prescribers not to help addicts, but because they can make more money for less work than they were previously. In any event, I am glad suboxone has kept you from potentially overdosing, and apologize for offending you.

  • You give MAT too much credit in saying it is associated with a 50% lower mortality rate. That just means that addicts who stayed on it died less often. But what about all the people who were not yet an opioid addict, but were lured into becoming one by suboxone-dealing doctors, then moved up from this gateway drug to heroin, and then dropped out of “treatment” and died of overdoses? They are not included in statistics of deaths of people who stayed in MAT, even though their deaths were caused by MAT. And what about all the street drug dealers who claim they are heroin addicts in order to get suboxone from suboxone-dealing doctors, so they can sell it on the streets where it has high value? These street drug dealers, if not addicts themselves, won’t overdose, and thus their statistics will misleadingly make MAT seem safe. Yet many of the clients they illegally sell suboxone to, will move up to heroin habits that will kill them, and their deaths, despite being also caused by MAT, will not be included in these studies’ MAT-associated death statistics.
    Clearly there is nothing well-intentioned about MAT. It is nothing more than the medical field’s getting even more into the drug-dealing business than it already was (and finding a way to adapt to it becoming somewhat harder for MDs to deal unlimited opioids for “chronic pain” in recent years). After all, about 13 million suboxone-type prescriptions are dispensed yearly, even though there are only about 2 million opioid addicts, most of whom are not in “treatment”. And the heroin epidemic accelerated ever since suboxone started to be widely dispensed. So suboxone’s rising use is likely actually a major contributor to the national opioid crisis.

  • Kristina:
    Thank you so much for responding by sharing the horrific tragedy/pain inflicted upon your family by my field. Psychiatrists who snuff out the lives of innocent children such as your daughter, who had such a promising future, a kind heart, and so much to offer the world, amazingly not only get away with it, but even manage to pass themselves off as altruistic relievers of suffering. Let’s continue to team up to open up the public’s eyes to the truth, and correct the misconceptions that my field has malignantly instilled into our culture. I agree with Erin that your touching, tireless efforts have already saved the lives of many. But there is clearly a long way to go. And although it is crucial that people from all walks of life must chip in, there are no contributions nearly as valuable as those made by victims such as yourself, who are willing to openly share their pain for the benefit of others. I hope you inspire other parents whose children fell victim to “prescripticide”, as you aptly named it, to follow in your footsteps.
    Sincerely, Lawrence

  • Svava:
    I am an American psychiatrist who practices psychotherapy. Along with people like you, I am participating in this website in the hope of ending the horrible harms being done to millions like you, by biological psychiatry’s lies and drugs, which I don’t think help anybody. In my research, I have discovered that Iceland is the only country that “treats ADHD” with amphetamines, and “treats depression” with “antidepressants”, as often as the United States does. This is probably what caused Iceland and the U.S. to become the top per-capita drug overdosing countries in the world. But while in the U.S., biological psychiatry’s “success” has been driven by the profit motive, from my understanding, Iceland has socialized medicine, so there is less financial incentive to invent fake diseases in order to lure people into looking for “medical cures” for them (which instead ruin their lives and thus produce permanent customers). So if greed is less of a driving factor for doctors to push/practice the biomedical model in Iceland, do you know what is motivating them to commit such harms more often than doctors do in other nations with socialized medicine?
    Lawrence

  • Doctors, hospitals, and healthcare companies make most of their money on procedures, which motivates them to find ways to convince clients/families that they are needed and helpful, and to promote such procedures to the general public as “safe and effective”. There are great financial incentives for mental healthcare to push ECT, since it is the only medical procedure that it does, sometimes earning thousands per “treatment”. And clients usually receive it in the hospital – inpatient care is of course much more lucrative than outpatient. So maybe the people who promote ECT are somehow benefiting financially from the whole thing.
    One other thought I wanted to add – When ECT recipients do report feeling better after getting several ECT “treatments”, could the ECT merely be serving as a punishment for being depressed, which motivates them to desperately find a way to somehow make themselves feel better (or report that they are feeling better), in order to get the horrible punishment to stop? This would be similar to how torture is used to motivate captives to reveal secrets in order to get their torture to stop. Since ECT recipients lose memory for most of what happened during the period they were shocked, they may go through all of this but then permanently forget it.

  • The good news here is that the antidepressant industry has been forced to settle for attempting to trick people into believing that their slight superiority over placebos is genuine, rather than merely due to their side effects “breaking the blind”. The bad news is that antidepressant prescriptions are still rising. Reports like yours are thus still needed to show that the antidepressant industry’s claims of marginal superiority over placebo, just like their initial claims of being miracle pills, are mere examples of fudging studies and misinterpreting/cherry-picking data in order to mislead people into believing its lies. And we need to continue bringing home the reality that these are not harmless, but are life-ruining and at times life-ending fake medications. The whole “depression is a medically treatable disease caused by a chemical imbalance” myth has been too ingrained into our culture to die easily.

  • Human Being:
    I am completely against forced treatment, and always have been. A big reason why I abandoned working in a psychiatric hospital in 2000, and have not been part of any psychiatric system since then, was to not participate in any way in the horrible practices such as involuntary commitments and forced medicating of people that occur in such institutions. I don’t know which comment you refer to, but I must have said something unclearly that came across the wrong way. Or maybe someone else put a comment after mine that was confused with mine. I am a firm supporter of the people on this website who have been harmed by my field.

  • Thank you for this important and informative piece. What is particularly scary, is that biological psychiatry has lately so successfully ingrained the “genetic mental illness” lie into American culture, that if we had another major economic crisis like the Great Depression, then eugenics-based mass sterilizations/murders could conceivably happen here too, especially in light of the recent apparent rise of white supremacy movements.

  • Yes, I am a big believer in free will. But the question is, why are nearly three times as many Americans using their free will to use substances as there were in 1990? What has changed in our culture, and in the way children are being brought up? I believe it is America’s acceptance of the biomedical model. Nearly 90% of the world’s amphetamines are prescribed in the U.S., nearly all to little kids and teenagers. If our kids are not being taught any other coping tools besides quick-fix avoidance of feelings/problems with drugs, little is expected of them and they are never disciplined because of their “disability”, and society says “yes” to their getting high from prescribed addictive drugs as teenagers, then haven’t they been led down a path to drug abuse in adulthood? Can you blame them for being brought up this way?

  • Daniel:
    This comment is a response to your response to my “illify” idea. If “illify” does not sound good, maybe “disabilify”? This both suggests that psychiatry harms/disables people, while making fun of how psychiatric meds do the opposite of what they claim to do. And when you talk about psychiatrists maybe having good intentions when prescribing antidepressants, they are fully aware that the claim of their correcting underlying chemical imbalances is a myth, yet say that they do anyway, in order to sell them. They even say obvious lies such as “you need medicine for your illness just as diabetics need insulin for theirs”.
    Lawrence

  • Richard and Daniel:

    I think you are right that new/different terminology needs to be used to convey what is being done, but I think “iatrogenic illness” won’t work, since most people don’t know what “iatrogenic” means, and it would be better if it was just one word. How about “illification”, since psychiatry makes healthy people ill, or “illifies” them, which is the opposite of healing illness. It is simple and self-evident, and thus needs no explaining. And by coining a new word for it, it connotes that it is something new and different, in that healthy people are intentionally being made ill, whereas most iatrogenic illnesses were accidental/inadvertent complications of real treatment of people who had some real illness. Iatrogenic thus connotes a sense of forgivability since the doctor’s intentions were good, whereas illification holds doctors accountable for their heinous intentions.
    Lawrence

  • Richard:
    I read J. Doe’s blog on benzodiazepines, and here is my take on the addiction/dependency issue: When I was in medical school, the backbone for a drug addiction diagnosis was physiological dependence (tolerance and withdrawal symptoms), since doctors had not yet gotten heavily into addictive drug-dealing. As time went by, drug-seeking behavior became the more important criterion, because as doctors got more into drug-dealing, they needed to differentiate themselves from their illegal competitors who were selling the exact same addictive drugs, and the main difference/advantage of drug-dealing doctors over street dealers was the easy, legal, cheap, endless availability of drugs from doctors – no drug-seeking behavior was needed. In the latest DSM, dependence (tolerance/withdrawals) are not even allowed to be considered criteria for a substance use disorder if the addictive drugs were given by a legal dealer (MD), rather than a street dealer.
    These steps were not done to protect clients from negative attitudes. When has the DSM ever been about helping clients? They were done to give the green light to doctors, but no one else, to lure people into being forced to endure never-ending, agonizing withdrawals – They were done to protect and expand the exclusive territorial rights of doctors to deal drugs, and to discourage/prevent people who became dependent on them from trying to come off them. Since now they can’t be diagnosed with substance use disorders, they won’t be able to get admitted to a substance abuse rehab or detox, anyway.
    The same thing goes for addictive drug inserts which say that such drugs can produce dependency but not addiction, and advise speaking to your healthcare provider to find out the difference between the two – This is also a ploy, by which drug companies trick clients into being more willing to allow themselves to become addicted, by making it seem more socially acceptable. To me, it does not matter whether someone was made drug-dependent by a legal dealer’s “medical supervision”, or by an illegal dealer. Either way, the disastrous end results are the same – It will be very hard to avoid overdosing and to come off them, and if you are able to, you will likely feel the urge to use them at some later point, so the 12-step AA or NA or PA (Pills Anonymous) program may help you avoid this.
    Lawrence

  • Michael:
    Perhaps you are giving more credit to human nature than is deserved. Throughout history, man has committed cruel, horrible acts in mass numbers, as long as there was power and the ability to get away with it without consequences, and especially if there were great rewards. And we are taught in medical school that psychiatry only treats problems that are not physical.
    Lawrence

  • I think it just comes down to self-interest. I get called by recruiters about once a week, who try to entice me with offers of making over three times as much money as I earn now as a private-practice therapist, if I were to take a job as “medication manager”, in which I would see five times as many clients daily as I do now. And psychiatry has painted itself into a corner, in which the only outpatient or inpatient jobs available to psychiatrists are as medication managers, anyway. But it is not just psychiatrists that benefit. Pediatricians who have waiting-rooms full of monthly 5-minute ADHD medication checkups that continue through childhood, are earning much more, as are general practitioners who prescribe antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and amphetamines (and opiates). Nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants are cashing in too. One of the biggest scams that psychiatrists have created, is handing out monthly suboxone prescriptions which enable heroin use by minimizing withdrawals until their next fix, or help them earn extra money for heroin by selling the suboxone on the street (where it creates more addicts), or make it easy for drug-seeking teens and young adults to legally score opioids if they are finding it hard to get them from pain doctors. They earn so much from assembly-lines of 5-minute suboxone clients, that even highly-paid doctors like anesthesiologists are getting in on the gravy train in order to increase their incomes. 12.5 million suboxone-type prescriptions are filled yearly, and healthcare and our government are calling for it to be used much more.

  • Marilyn:
    Thank you for responding. People in psychiatric “treatment” comprise only 16% of our population, yet use over half of all prescribed opiates. So psychiatric “treatment” of depression and psychiatric creation/”treatment” of “ADHD” are the underlying root causes of America’s opioid/heroin crises; Yet nobody beyond this website seems to consider this – In fact, the opposite approach is pushed, that “mental illness” needs to be more aggressively “treated”, starting at earlier ages, in order to curb America’s worsening addictions. How can we bring to the public’s attention that they are being told the opposite of the truth?
    Lawrence

  • We are all born with “ADHD”. A young child’s curiosity, eagerness, and energeticness is merely the starting point, or the fertile soil which can yield a productive garden, if properly cultivated, rather than pathologized and drugged. Millions of years of evolution have given us huge brains capable of learning, during the course of childhood, endless ways to effectively adapt. But in the last 27 years, psychiatry has sabotaged this process for millions of kids, by tricking their parents/schools into thinking this wasn’t possible due to their supposed “brain disease”. This needlessly wastes their lives and their potential.

  • Richard:
    Thanks for clarifying that it was deaths involving rather than solely from benzodiazepines, as I had not picked up on that.
    In any event, this big rise in benzodiazepine-involved overdose deaths, which correlates with a big rise in benzodiazepine prescriptions, is not getting nearly as much press as the huge rise in opioid-involved overdoses. But clearly the problem is that getting on one drug often leads to getting on others, which just makes things worse. And one other reason not to prescribe benzos: Controlled substances (benzos, opiates, amphetamines) raise the risk of car accidents, since they impair driving ability. The percentage of drivers in fatal MVAs who had such prescribed drugs in their blood, has been steadily climbing lately, which is likely part of the reason why fatal MVAs have reversed a downward trend, and have been rising lately. Not only are people driving under the influence of these drugs at risk, but we all are, since we all must share the same roads that people on such drugs drive on. Psychiatry has already done enough damage with all the “indications” for benzos it has already devised. We do not need any more.

  • Clearly biological psychiatry can’t be trusted to fix the problems which biological psychiatry creates. It will instead always respond by turning these into even bigger problems, which again, coincidentally, only biological psychiatry can supposedly fix. This is the business formula by which psychiatry has survived and thrived since 1988. Its role is not to heal illness, but to make healthy people ill, or “illify” them.

  • This is an example of how psychiatry contributes to our overdose epidemic, as I discussed in “Death by Placebo”. Sure, getting people high/wasted on benzos seems to solve all their problems in the very short-term, but it leads to much worse problems in the long-term. And every time a prescription for benzodiazepines is filled, there is a good chance that a child of the prescribee will get their hands on these pills, and will develop their own habit, or maybe it will be their or their friends’ gateway to opiates. And people who have bottles full of benzodiazepines are more at risk for acting on suicidal thoughts, partly because benzodiazepines can disinhibit people who may thus give in to their impulses, and partly because they have an easy means to commit suicide, just by taking all their pills. It’s like carrying a loaded gun.

  • You say there are situations when stimulants can be helpful. But they are almost always given long-term, and long term studies consistently demonstrate worse prognosis in those taking them, in relation to academic performance, ADHD “symptoms”, and development of other problems such as substance abuse (nearly 3 times average rate) and suicide (5 to 10 times average rate). Even the short-term apparent gain, which is merely from their calming (tranquilizing) effect, which gets children to sit in their chairs and be less disruptive, is not something I would ever consider helpful, except maybe to an overwhelmed teacher. And this is why medicated children will always need to use chemicals of some type – they were prevented from learning how to manage their own impulses and feelings, since the drugs did it for them. So there is no legitimate reason to ever prescribe these drugs.

  • Marilyn:
    The drugs sedate away the child’s thoughts, moods, and impulses, and the electronics keep occupied whatever is left. Without sufficient challenging environmental stimulation, what will cultivate their development of the skills, abilities, and effective coping tools needed to succeed as adults? Here again, psychiatry has falsely answered that question, by claiming that maturation (the learning of executive and social skills, and of ways to manage moods/temper) is hard-wired genetically into children’s brains. This tricks parents into thinking that how they raise their kids doesn’t matter, since it won’t affect how they turn out. My clients nowadays mostly worry about whether they will hand down their “mental illness genes’ to their kids, whereas years ago, they worried about whether they would be good enough parents. The medical model has thus likely harmed most children’s upbringings in America.
    Lawrence

  • Marilyn:
    Another, general question raised by your article, is – Who is raising America’s children in the electronics era? Is it video games, the shows they watch, and whatever internet activities they do, rather than their own parents? Or even worse, is childrearing a domain taken over by psychiatry, once parents become convinced that any normal trials and tribulations they encounter are signs of their child’s “brain disease’, and so they turn things over to doctors and their “curative” medications?
    Lawrence

  • littleturtle:
    You are still talking about it like it is an illness rather than an emotional state. Different people get depressed about different things, because everyone’s life is different. But everyone has their own set of problems.
    Lawrence

  • Marilyn:
    I completely agree that increasing time spent on electronic screens by kids is a huge part of the autism epidemic. I would like to add that increasing time addictively spent on screens by their parents, other caretakers, and siblings, which prevents eye contact and social interactions even if the child is available and trying to connect with them, is also part of the problem. I believe this problem starts right after birth; Due to the availability of formula bottle feeding, parents can feed their babies while focusing on activities on their cell phones, ipads, or laptops, which they can do at the same time. These early parent-child intense bonding, eye-contact, and physical-contact interactions, are probably the first steps which are necessary to pave the way for successive social and behavioral developmental stages. If they never really happen, then the whole process will likely be blocked. I, myself, though, am glad that bottle feeding was available when my kids were babies, since it was an amazingly enjoyable experience to be looking into each other’s eyes as I was feeding and holding them. I could sense the bond developing between us as this was occurring. It’s a shame that some parents nowadays don’t get to experience just how enjoyable/rewarding this is, due to all the electronics and the virtual world having become so dominant in our lives, or due to not being able to be with their kids enough since they have to work to support them..

    And thank you for your wonderful book “A Disease Called Childhood”, which had a huge impact on me. Just the name of the book itself conveys so much of the wrong that has been done by my field, and how the medical model is a complete farce.

    Lawrence

  • JanCarol:
    During my training to become a psychiatrist, I did try a neuroleptic – I thought that if we were going to give such drugs, we needed to first try them to see what we would be putting our clients through. I took a single, low dose pill of prolixin, and was totally “out of it” for three days, and had bad akithesias. I was profoundly affected by this, and tried to get the other trainees to also try it, but none of them would after seeing what I went through. I think it should be mandatory for all doctors training to become psychiatrists to try these horrible drugs.
    Lawrence

  • JanCarol:
    In your comment, you said the author asked Richard for proof, the author said statistical data can be steered to prove any point, and the author blamed rising suicide rates on the economy. But all of these statements were made by another commenter, not by me. I, of all people, am totally convinced that our rising suicide rates, as well as many other epidemics, rest squarely on the shoulders of biological psychiatry. And I did read Robert Whitaker’s book, which was a great inspiration to me. I don’t mean to detract from it; I just want to add something to assist in furthering its cause.
    Lawrence

  • Julie:
    Thank you, and I agree with you. Let me add that although I do not in any way condone the harms that most other psychiatrists inflict on people, I have been able to see how money is the root of their “evil”: I receive phone calls about once a week from recruiters trying to entice me with offers to earn over three times as much as what I earn now as a therapist, if I would take a job as “medication manager”, in which I would “treat” about five times as many clients a day as I see now. Clearly it is a problem that so many Americans are so unaware of what a huge mistake they are making, that they willingly present themselves to have their and their children’s lives ruined in such large numbers, that there is still such an increasing/huge demand for psychiatrists (and nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, general practitioners, and pediatricians who also do biological psychiatry). This is why I believe our focus needs to be on debunking the very foundation of all of psychiatry’s scams, which is that all unpleasant experiences and sensations are biologically-caused, and hence are “medically treatable diseases”. If we can somehow let the public know that the foundation of biological psychiatry is a complete lie, then the whole thing should come tumbling down.
    Lawrence

  • There is more that I hope to publish on this site. I am excited to be part of this website and these interesting discussions. Can I ask, how can you tell if an experience is placebo-induced or collapsing-placebo-induced, rather than chemically-induced? Would there be any difference in the quality/nature of the experience? I would think that since these are all psychological experiences that all normal, healthy, un-drugged people are quite capable of experiencing by virtue of being human (rage, suicidal or homicidal thoughts, mood swings, etc.), that you could not tell from their experience whether they were placebo or chemical-induced. Perhaps the reason why they seem chemical, is that they seemed to come out of nowhere, unprecipitated by any external event. But that is the essence of the placebo or collapsing placebo effects – they are unconscious, internal events; Of course they seem to come out of nowhere, since we are unaware of what is going on in our subconscious. I am not asking in reference to non-psychological side effects, such as weight gain, stomach upset, sexual effects, etc. And of course I am only talking about antidepressants, since psychiatry’s other drugs are clearly tranquilizers, which take away people’s ability to have any experiences, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors.

  • Richard:
    I am in total agreement with your point about how doctors take advantage of people’s trust and respect for their authority and credentials, in order to profit from harming them. I have seen with my own eyes how drug companies and “leading” psychiatrists and institutions collaborate to do this. Maybe I was being hypocritical in announcing that I am an MD, thereby implying that I should be taken more seriously because of that, when in reality, nothing I learned in medical school has anything to do with what my field does. I also think I made a mistake by starting off with an article on placebo effects, when I totally agree about the direct short and long-term harms caused by every single other psychiatric “medication” , ECT, etc., which are merely forms of oppression. I enjoyed reading some of your blogs, which were well-thought out and researched. I agree I have a lot to learn from people who contribute to this website. Please see me as a fellow person, rather than as what I do for a living.
    Lawrence

  • No, I was replying to little turtle’s question about how I define “depression”, and to another commenter’s question about whether I prescribed antidepressants to children. I am the last person in the world who would tell someone that they have a problem; that is up to them to decide. And if they think they do, I don’t tell them how to cope with it; therapy is just one of many different ways. These things are their choices. The one writer who influenced me the most was Thomas Szasz, and second is Robert Whitaker. And I totally agree that people need to be educated about the harms that will come to them and their children, if they allow themselves to be lured into psychiatrists’ parasitic traps. That is what I am trying to help happen by writing these articles. I hope more people will find out about this website, where they can find out the truth about psychiatry, since they are not getting it anywhere else. I was hoping I could team up with like-minded people to try to do this together, since psychiatry is still getting away with murder. As it gets bigger and bigger, it just gets hungrier and hungrier for more customers, like the man-eating plant in “Little Shop of Horrors”.

  • It is when you are very sad about how your life is going, or what is missing from your life, such as lack of close, caring relationships, or having nothing that gives you a sense of usefulness or purpose, or having disappointment and regret about how things went, or missing people who you loved that are gone. And I am a therapist; I try to help people who are going through rough times in their lives by encouraging them to express it, while I listen to and understand their issues; I do not suppress their feelings and issues with chemicals.

  • My way of getting the message across is by writing. I had two articles published on this website, on August 1 and 9. I plan to submit another one next week on how psychiatry ruins the lives of normally immature children by declaring they have permanent brain diseases (ADHD and bipolar). This label leads to the stifling of their upbringing by parents and schools, which is replaced by daily “tranquilizer darts” and coddling school accommodations. They resultingly never mature, and never learn skills needed to cope as adults. The only coping tool they do learn is how to numb their minds with chemicals, which makes them vulnerable to drug addiction as teenagers/adults. This is why we have a heroin epidemic in the U.S. I have data to support that this is what happens to many of these kids. I thought if you could make a cartoon of one or both of those images, then I could submit my article, illustrated by your drawing(s), and maybe our working as a team could reach more people than either of us by ourselves would.

  • My blog is only about antidepressants. And although I accept that these chemical processes occur in people who take antidepressants, and that they cause great physical side effects in certain people, and am open to the possibility that they may be part of why people taking them emotionally deteriorate, I believe the more crucial reason for their emotional deterioration relates to the placebo effect fading and their realizing that their real life problems are still there, and have likely worsened over the years due to not having been focused on enough, and maybe it becomes too late to address them at some point, and maybe this has led to their becoming opioid addicts. I cannot prove my theory, but it seems logical to me, and over the course of my career I believe I have observed this phenomenon occurring many times.

  • Actually it’s just the opposite, as far as hypothyroidism. When I did my medical internship in 1986, we were advised not to jump in too quickly to treat a slightly abnormal thyroid lab value with thyroid hormone, due to risk of side effects and long term complications. We only treated it if there were successive abnormal thyroid lab tests accompanied by clear hypothyroid symptoms, so thyroid hormone used to be rarely prescribed. But lately the trend is to jump in with synthroid as soon as there is one abnormal test, even if it is barely so (sometimes even if in the normal range but close to the edge of the range), and even if there are no clear hypothyroid signs or symptoms. This has resulted in synthroid becoming the most prescribed medication in America, passing even opioids and antidepressants. Much of this is due to the idea that it may help with feelings of sadness that the client is reporting. So no stone has been unturned by doctors in their promotion of sad feelings to be the result of physical diseases for which there are quick chemical cures, since this is where all the money is. And when people are put on synthroid, they usually stay on it indefinitely, because their bodies’ own production of natural thyroid hormone slows down or stops, since they are getting all they need from the outside. Here we again have modern medicine’s classic business model.

  • I totally agreed that antidepressants have all these effects and cause plenty of harms. I just explained in my prior post what I think are the underlying mechanisms for them: an extreme placebo effect can cause an extreme high, and then the crash from this extreme placebo effect fading can lead to suicidal depression. What goes up must come down. And yes, SSRIs have actual chemical effects, which cause side effects such as weight gain, GI upset, and sexual side effects.

    But Dr. Kirsch’s research shows these chemical effects are not the underlying mechanism of antidepressants’ mood lifting effects; they are apparently two unrelated phenomena. But he says the fact that people experience the above side effects, gives them more confidence that the medicine is really doing something, and thus makes them more effective placebos. The fact that we live in a country in which schoolteachers, health care professionals, government agencies and officials, advertisements, celebrities, movies, etc. constantly indoctrinate us from birth with the idea that every problem is a medically treatable disease for which there is a scientifically-proven-effective medication to cure it, also enables antidepressants to produce placebo effects, as well as extreme placebo effects, post-placebo crashes, and reverse-placebo effects. The healthcare industrial complex has become so skilled at doing this, that psychiatric medications, despite only being placebos, zombifying tranquilizers, and often-lethal addictive drugs, have continually been among the highest selling products in America (but nowhere else) since prozac. Don’t underestimate the placebo effect.

  • Everyone agrees that many psychiatric drugs zombify people. That used to be their admitted purpose, which is why they were called major or minor tranquilizers. But antidepressants are generally not tranquilizing, so whatever their direct harms may be, are not as obvious. My point is that SSRI’s known serotonergic effects used to be assumed to cause the mood elevation that people taking them report, but Dr. Kirsch showed this is not the case, that the mood elevation is merely a placebo effect. To me, this raises the possibility that the extreme mood elevation (mania) that people taking them sometimes develop, may merely be an extreme placebo effect, rather than an actual serotonergic effect. And it also raises the possibility that the later crashing, or worsening of mood, may merely be the result of the positive placebo effect wearing off, which forces the person to face up to the reality that his/her real life problems are still there, except having maybe worsened in the meantime due to having been ignored, rather than an actual serotonergic effect. It would be like suddenly waking up from a great dream which you thought was reality and expected to last forever (like the antidepressant television commercial suggests), and being surprised to realize it was just a dream, and your reality stinks in comparison. That could be so overwhelmingly disappointing that it could make someone suicidal. Or it could lead the person to try to re-create the initial positive experience by trying another antidepressant, and when the same cycle happens again, then to try another one, etc., etc. And while they are all caught up in this struggle of trying to “treat” their “depressive illness”, they never actually try to do anything about their real life problems, such as maybe having trouble forming close relationships, or trouble making progress toward career goals, or maybe not having any clear goals at all, so these issues never get resolved as they age.
    This is a common-sense explanation of why they ultimately will end up chronically depressed. Now that we know antidepressants don’t really work, we can look back and say the whole thing was predictable. Why would you expect someone who follows such a path to not end up hopeless and demoralized? Why is there a need to bother looking for another explanation, such as drug-induced chemical imbalance, when the whole “depression is due to a chemical imbalance” and “zoloft will correct your chemical imbalance” claims turned out to be scams? If SSRI’s serotonergic effects aren’t the actual cause of the mood improvement, wouldn’t that make it likely that they aren’t the cause of the mood worsening, either?

  • This is a very funny, very creative, and potentially very effective way to help dispel biological psychiatry’s harmful lies. I may have some ideas for future cartoons: One could be a new client asking a psychiatrist how he knows that the client has a lifelong illness – does he have a crystal ball? Meanwhile, the psychiatrist is looking into a crystal ball, and seeing one image of himself with a packed waiting room full of zombified clients, and another image of himself on a private yacht or airplane. Another could be an assembly-line of young children coming in by conveyor belt into a pediatrician or child psychiatrist’s office, and an assembly-line of young adults who are zombified and who still appear/behave like young children (maybe playing a handheld video game console?) coming out by conveyor belt through the other end of the office, which is actually a factory. Maybe we can team up?

  • That was an interesting study, Nancy. I am surprised the NIMH funded it. I agree with your statement about the harm of labels. Saying that someone “has” a mental illness, is really the antithesis of what being human means, since we have a limitless ability to learn infinitely different ways to behave, adapt, and cope. Labels trick people, and those around them, into needlessly throwing in the towel.

  • Richard:

    Sorry for the delay. You have certainly given me food for thought. For now, what I want to focus on, is alerting more and more people to psychiatry’s lies and harms through writing. I have written several articles, which I hope to publish on this website, that are based on my years of experience within the field having given me insight and understanding into how psychiatry became the destructive monster that it now is. I believe this website could be a means to change this, but we need to spread the word about it and bring more people into these discussions, so that it becomes more mainstream. Since people usually go, or send their children, of their own volition to biological psychiatrists, getting the truth to them should help them realize this would be a disastrous mistake which should be avoided. Thank you for your ideas, and lets continue to work together.

    Lawrence

  • Nancy99:
    I am a psychiatrist, and I don’t think that psychiatrists really think that. I think they know the truth (we all learn it in medical school), but have learned that they can make much more money by lying to people and telling them what they want to hear (that they are victims of a brain disease for which there is a miracle pill), than they can make by being honest with people and doing helpful psychotherapy.
    Lawrence

  • I don’t theorize about schizophrenia, since it has been around for centuries, and only comprises a tiny percentage of psychiatric patients. I focus on modern “mental illness” epidemics, which I believe are the result of psychiatry’s medical model tricking and luring people into thinking emotional/behavioral problems are caused by neurological disease. For example, when a young child’s normal innate wildness/immaturity is viewed as a brain disease (ADHD), parents/schools thereafter drastically lower challenges, expectations, demands, and disciplining, and replace these with daily “tranquilizer darts”, coddling accommodations, and helicopter parenting, due to wrongly thinking that the child can’t learn effective coping tools because of his/her “defective brain hard-wiring”. This altered upbringing may seem to help at first (by covering over the problem). But it ultimately prevents rather than promotes the kid’s maturing into a responsible, functional, independent adult. The final product is what is now called “chronic ADHD” or “bipolar disorder”. It wastes the child’s life, and is an example of what happens when biological psychiatry sticks its nose into an area it has no business in, and declares it to be a “medically treatable brain disease” when it is not.

  • Richard:

    Thank you for adding your logical point. As far as trying to abolish biological psychiatry, you and I are working on that now, through what we are doing here on this website. I do think that there were some truth-seeking, helpful psychiatrists who made huge contributions to society before the 1980s, such as Sigmund Freud, Karl Menninger, and Thomas Szasz. I hope there are at least a few psychiatrists still out there who, like me, respect and make use of their teachings.

    Lawrence

  • When you wake up from the numbing, or the placebo effect wears off, your problems (such as failing to reach your goals in life) are still there. This is a particularly big waste of opportunity for young people, who are still flexible/adaptive enough to make changes in their coping styles, and since there is still plenty of time left to turn their lives around. And if the main coping tool they learn while young is chemical suppression of their feelings and issues, they are more likely to be vulnerable to drug abuse. Hence we now have a young adult heroin epidemic, the legacy of modern (biological) psychiatry.

  • In psychiatry, we have always ruled out physical causes before assuming a client’s problem is “mental”, since by definition, psychiatrists have always dealt with non-physical problems. Emotional/behavioral problems are reactions to life events and underlying psychological issues which everyone experiences, such as anxieties about one’s future, insecurities, internal conflict, loss of loved ones, relationship troubles, challenging stages of life that create overwhelming pressures, etc. I try to understand each client’s individual life story – what their particular issues are. I do not try to fit my clients into mental illness diagnoses. These were arbitrarily devised in 1980, by a team of psychiatrists who were saddled with the difficult task of trying to fit the endlessly wide variety of possible emotional/behavioral problems into a finite number of scientific-sounding disorders. At that time, the field of psychiatry was near extinction, due to there being no more state hospital jobs as these all closed down, and due to heavy competition for self-pay psychotherapy clients from skyrocketing numbers of social workers and psychologists who were also doing therapy. Psychiatry was also a subject of much ridicule and criticism in the 1970s, for being non-scientific and at times inhumane. So the 1980 DSM needed to come up with these diagnostic categories, in order to make it seem that psychiatrists practiced real, respectable medicine – that they “treated” serious, legitimate conditions, which insurance companies could be billed for. It worked, so psychiatry was saved. This was not done for the benefit of clients.

  • Aren’t sadness and anxiety normal, unavoidable human emotions, rather than diseases? Doesn’t everyone experience losses, failures, rejections, or disappointments, to varying degree, at times? And life is not stress-free for anyone – don’t we all have things that we worry about? Aren’t we all anxious about death? Only those who cope with sadness or anxiety by going to psychiatrists to get diagnosed/medicated, as opposed to the many other coping tools available, are officially considered to “have” depression or anxiety. But these same feelings are what motivate people to cope in ways other than psychiatric treatment, be they creative outlets, sports, humor, religion, reading, music, entertainment, shopping, internet surfing, etc.

  • I am glad that you brought up the heroin epidemic. I believe that psychiatry’s “creation” of ADHD led to the heroin epidemic. Here is the evidence: Age 7 is the mean age of initial ADHD diagnosis, and ADHD labelling took off in 1990. The first batch of ADHD-labelled kids thus turned 23, which is the mean age of heroin users, in 2006. This is precisely when heroin overdosing took off. Six times as many stimulants were prescribed in 2000 as in 1991, and six times as many people overdosed on heroin in 2015 as in 2006 (15 years later). 19% of white children, but only 10% of black and 4% of hispanic children, are diagnosed with ADHD, while the ratio of white to black to hispanic drug overdoses is a nearly identical 19 to 10 to 6. Furthermore, the overdosing ratio among ethnicities was basically equal before ADHD diagnosing became a “thing” in 1990. Next, the ratio of male to female heroin overdosers was 3 to 1 in 2006, at which time the ratio of male to female ADHD-labelled teens was also 3 to 1. But now the ratio of male to female overdosers and male to female ADHD-labelled teens are both 2.2 to 1. This is no surprise, given the fact that amphetamines are the drugs most abused by teenagers. They have become America’s latest gateway-to-heroin drug, thanks to psychiatry. Finally, the top four nations where ADHD is diagnosed the most, are also the nations with the highest drug overdose rates, in the same order, while the states where ADHD is diagnosed the most are the highest drug overdosing states. These are all per-capita rates.