Thursday, May 26, 2022

Comments by Richard D. Lewis

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  • I am glad someone has taken the time to summarize the important parts of Joanna Mongrieff’s recent blog. I will repeat the same comment I wrote at that time.

    “This blog is a very good overview of the history and the role of the “mental health” system in a Neoliberal capitalist world.

    BUT it does lack the necessary urgency needed to understand and respond to the current intensity of world contradictions within these systems that is placing the planet in great peril.

    And we must emphasize that this world is based on (and cannot exist without) the fundamental underlying principle of *exploitation* that is inherent within a class based capitalist society. AND this *exploitation* leads to ALL SORTS of stressors and forms of trauma that push humanity and the human mind to very extreme forms of psychological distress.

    This psychological distress is “medicalized” (and drugged) by psychiatry and Big Pharma in order to serve the larger power structure’s need to control and contain ANY form of disruption and dissent within the larger social order.

    The proliferation of psych drugging of the broader population, and the incarceration of “malcontents” within psychiatric prisons, has now become an absolute NECESSITY within today’s capitalist societies for its future survival. AND the high profit margins and growth of Big Pharma’s psych drug industry has also become an essential feature within the stabilization and growth of today’s capitalist economy.

    In today’s world the future of psychiatry (and their entire Medical Model), and the continuation of a class based capitalist system have an inseparable destiny. They are both totally interdependent, and CANNOT exist, OR continue on the planet without the other.

    All this has VERY important implications when developing strategies for trying to end all forms of psychiatric abuse in the world.

    It is essential when analyzing all the problems within the “mental health” system to make the very DIRECT connections the Medical Model has to the very existence of capitalism and imperialism in the world.

    To NOT do this, is to promote the ILLUSION that somehow we can reform psychiatry and their Medical Model, and we can also make “adjustments” to capitalism whereby it will magically become something it can never ever be – a fair and just society. You CANNOT ask (or expect) Dracula to suck water or some other liquid besides blood; he WILL NOT, and CANNOT exist without blood.

    With bourgeois democracies in the world facing imminent threats, along with the dire existential threat of climate collapse and inter imperialist nuclear world war, it is BEYOND THE TIME, when we must reevaluate alternatives to the class based capitalist systems of social organizations that will NO LONGER work (or exist much longer) on this planet.

    The first socialist experiments on this planet, which only lasted a mere 5-6 decades at best, MUST BE *reimagined* by summing up past shortcomings and mistakes. If we we fail to make these efforts, then the entire planet is doomed to destroy itself.

    Human nature has much greater diversity and potential than “dog eat dog” and “look out for number one.” This is the human nature taught and nurtured within class based capitalist societies.

    Human beings also have the capacity for high levels of cooperation and human compassion for others. Doesn’t the Russian invasion of Ukraine reveal to us both extremes of human nature? It is imperative for us to find the type of environment (and related societal structures) that allow the very best form of human nature to flourish and thrive in the world.

    Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win! Richard”

  • Karin

    Great blog – a truly powerful story of recovery from psychiatry and their oppressive Medical Model. Yes, the language in the “Song of Psychiatry” does severely oppress people, but the language of other songs can point towards struggle and liberation.

    I hope you consider these two songs as representing the important struggle of overcoming psychiatric oppression: (“How Long a Time”) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmpfq0b7tLA and (“Benzo Blue”) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYuhNEn2OKw

    Richard

  • This was a very good interview on a very important social justice topic.

    I have great admiration for the hard work and dedication Sonja Styblo gives to the psychiatric survivor movement.

    And to Tim McCarthy,Gianna D’Ambrozio, Sonja Styblo and others – here is a link to an entire blog I wrote at MIA on the issue of the intersection of benzo dependency and addiction, called “Bridging the Benzo Divide: Iatrogenic Dependency and/or Addiction?” https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/03/bridging-the-benzo-divide-iatrogenic-dependence-andor-addiction/

    Richard

  • This blog is a very good overview of the history and the role of the “mental health” system in a Neoliberal capitalist world.

    BUT it does lack the necessary urgency needed to understand and respond to the current intensity of world contradictions within these systems that is placing the planet in great peril.

    And we must emphasize that this world is based on (and cannot exist without) the fundamental underlying principle of *exploitation* that is inherent within a class based capitalist society. AND this *exploitation* leads to ALL SORTS of stressors and forms of trauma that push humanity and the human mind to very extreme forms of psychological distress.

    This psychological distress is “medicalized” (and drugged) by psychiatry and Big Pharma in order to serve the larger power structure’s need to control and contain ANY form of disruption and dissent within the larger social order.

    The proliferation of psych drugging of the broader population, and the incarceration of “malcontents” within psychiatric prisons, has now become an absolute NECESSITY within today’s capitalist societies for its future survival. AND the high profit margins and growth of Big Pharma’s psych drug industry has also become an essential feature within the stabilization and growth of today’s capitalist economy.

    In today’s world the future of psychiatry (and their entire Medical Model), and the continuation of a class based capitalist system have an inseparable destiny. They are both totally interdependent, and CANNOT exist, OR continue on the planet without the other.

    All this has VERY important implications when developing strategies for trying to end all forms of psychiatric abuse in the world.

    It is essential when analyzing all the problems within the “mental health” system to make the very DIRECT connections the Medical Model has to the very existence of capitalism and imperialism in the world.

    To NOT do this, is to promote the ILLUSION that somehow we can reform psychiatry and their Medical Model, and we can also make “adjustments” to capitalism whereby it will magically become something it can never ever be – a fair and just society. You CANNOT ask (or expect) Dracula to suck water or some other liquid besides blood; he WILL NOT, and CANNOT exist without blood.

    With bourgeois democracies in the world facing imminent threats, along with the dire existential threat of climate collapse and inter imperialist nuclear world war, it is BEYOND THE TIME, when we must reevaluate alternatives to the class based capitalist systems of social organizations that will NO LONGER work (or exist much longer) on this planet.

    The first socialist experiments on this planet, which only lasted a mere 5-6 decades at best, MUST BE *reimagined* by summing up past shortcomings and mistakes. If we we fail to make these efforts, then the entire planet is doomed to destroy itself.

    Human nature has much greater diversity and potential than “dog eat dog” and “look out for number one.” This is the human nature taught and nurtured within class based capitalist societies.

    Human beings also have the capacity for high levels of cooperation and human compassion for others. Doesn’t the Russian invasion of Ukraine reveal to us both extremes of human nature? It is imperative for us to find the type of environment (and related societal structures) that allow the very best form of human nature to flourish and thrive in the world.

    Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win! Richard

  • “Capitalism, hand in hand with democracy, is the only logical way forward as flawed as it is.”

    This statement above by Jack Murphy seems to represent the views of several writers, including Steve McCrea, here in this comment section.

    So much criticism and angst focused on a system of economic and social organization (socialism), that currently exists NOWHERE on the planet.

    In fact, a genuine socialist state has NOT existed on this planet since China in 1977 – ending after ONLY 3 DECADES OF EXISTENCE. BTW, the average lifespan of a Chinese citizen doubled (from 35 to 70 years) during that same period.

    AND the Russian revolution only legitimately lasted for little over 3 decades on this planet – 1918 to the early 1950’s.

    Where the HELL are people’s political priorities of criticism and human angst??? I am totally amazed at such MISDIRECTION of compassionate attention of importance!

    The fact that this planet is on the verge of total climate destruction AND possible inter imperialist nuclear war (by competing capitalist nation states), has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with socialism and communism – AND EVERYTHING to do with the current dominant capitalist form of social organization!!!

    So counting the years of the two socialist revolutions – socialism has only been tried on the planet earth for a mere 60 years of experimental practice.

    Where are people’s priorities? Is it not the Right Wing extremist’s ideology and talking points that wants people to focus on the “communist bogeyman,” and NOT on the realities of the inequalities and injustices that pervade modern capitalist societies.???

    Steve says: “Marxism as practiced has been a disaster…communism in practice was a total failure”

    Is this not an example of an “absolutist,” and rather undialectical historical evaluation of only little over 60 years of socialist practice on the planet? A mere tiny spec of time in the development of various forms of human organization.

    Would this viewpoint not be the equivalent of declaring heart transplants a FAILURE in 1967 because the first heart recipient only ended up living for 18 days?

    Look how far the science and the practice of heart transplants has progressed since the earliest experiments. Fortunately, some doctors and medical ethicists did not give up on these heart experiments despite “trial and errors,” AND much criticism heaped upon them at the time.

    Similar to a human transplanted heart that is surrounded by cellular activity that wants the body to TOTALLY REJECT the new organ, the conditions that existed for the new emerging socialist states in the world (first Russia then China) WERE QUITE SIMILAR IN NATURE.

    This enormous amount of economic, political, and military HOSTILITY that surrounded the experimental socialist states, combined with internal mistakes trying to create something new and innovative on the planet (like heart transplants), had EVERYTHING to do with why these efforts for a brand new form of social organization were unable to succeed.

    Steve says:
    ” Humans need to feel like they are competing in some way, that their individual efforts make a difference. They don’t do very well working for “the good of the collective,”…”

    Here we see the oft repeated argument that “it’s human nature” that is the problem with why socialist type cooperation cannot work in the world.

    Human nature is NOT a fixed entity, but is quite malleable under different environmental conditions. Human empathy, compassion and cooperation is just as prevalent on this planet as is competition, violence towards others, and selfishness.

    What is THE environment of social organization that is most likely to produce (and let flourish) human cooperation and compassion for others?

    Must I remind Steve and others in this comment section, that for many THOUSANDS of years of social organization (in primitive communal tribal societies) HUMAN COOPERATION WAS BOTH A NECESSITY AND THE COMMON PRACTICE OF SOCIAL EXISTENCE FOR SURVIVAL PURPOSES.

    Human groupings that FAILED to practice this form of cooperation would soon go out of existence.

    YES, (many of you are saying), these forms of “cooperation” based societies were practiced mainly out of NECESSITY (a forced choice, if you will), BUT what then took place when excesses were able to be produced within human society and we had the formation of classes. Now (you say) there were power struggles among those who wanted to CONTROL AND OWN the excesses of goods (food, products, livestock etc.)

    Yes, this is all true, and it was a contributing factor to the ultimate development (following feudalism) of early capitalist forms of economic and political structure.

    BUT NONE OF THIS, explains why it is not possible for human beings to combine that same early sense of NECESSITY (for existence) with the FREEDOM OF INTELLECTUAL AND HISTORICAL CHOICE now that we have the knowledge to solve the problems of production and construction of all the necessities of life AND the means to distribute them equitably on ONE PLANET.

    Soon more people on the planet will begin to realize that if WE DON’T begin to combine a NECESSITY of both human NEED AND CHOICE., then the entire planet CANNOT AND WILL NOT survive.

    Many people here are stuck in an intellectual box of simplistic and cliched explanations (after decades of political brainwashing) of why capitalism must be the highest pinnacle of human organization.

    Folks, it’s NOT WORKING! The planet is dying, and it’s time to explore political options and choices OUTSIDE the box of Neo-Liberal corporate capitalism.

    Richard

  • Bradford said:
    “Bruce Levine is either not being intellectually honest here, or perhaps too glib. Psychiatry doesn’t exist as it is today because it’s boring. It exists as it does today, because it makes money selling drugs to people society finds annoying or inconvenient, thereby helping solve, or at least abate, situations and people that society would rather not have to deal with….”

    Bradford and I often disagree on many subjects, but I think he is absolutely right to challenge Bruce Levine on his “boring” analysis of modern psychiatry. In fact, many of Bruce’s past blogs have provided some of the explanation for why many “critical thinkers” don’t intellectually take apart the entire oppressive Medical Model.

    Psychiatry is never “boring” to those suffering from its to multiple forms of labeling, drugging, and incarceration.

    And “critical thinkers,” from liberals to more genuine leftists and other social justice fighters who advocate for the causes of oppressed people in the world, have been overall fooled by a four decade long (highly sophisticated) PR campaign costing over several hundred billions of dollars.

    Many of these same people would still repeat the “chemical imbalance” myth, which continues to inundate all sorts of medical and “mental health” websites and medical texts. The genetic theories of “original sin” (and related DSM diagnoses) regarding various types of extreme forms of psychological distress, are still accepted by many “critical thinkers” who should know better.

    AND these same type of people (often with well meaning compassion) will eagerly support increased funding (as a knee jerk like reaction) for more “mental health” services to address the rapid rise in anxiety and depression in today’s world. They will support these measures WITHOUT doing any serious evaluation of the same status quo Medical Model that causes far more HARM than good.

    The ruling classes and their minions, and all the other fellow travelers of oppressive power mongering, know VERY WELL the value of psychiatry and their entire Medical Model in maintaining social control and class oppression. AND they have spent accordingly (to its value) on their several hundred billion dollar PR campaign, that (so far) must be declared a major success for our enemies.

    Bruce, you have gotten so many things right in your blog (and other writings), but you did miss the mark with that comment.

    It is up to us to continue to search for creative ways to break through the intellectual AND ACTIVIST log jam that seems to paralyze and fool most “critical thinkers” and social justice activists. There is much work to be done.

    Richard

  • “Szasz was a Libertarian, not a Capitalist”

    Szasz’s brand of Right Wing Libertarianism is the total personification of Neo-liberal individualism and defense of the capitalist “free market” system.

    And this represents the ultimate defense of both class privilege and social injustice (or at the very least, ignoring and/or turning away from acknowledging such injustice).

    Richard

  • rebel says:
    “To link anti- psychiatry with the particular groups mentioned is to link the anti-psychiatry movement with marxism, etc. Psychiatry is a tool of control as is marxism, etc. With all due respect, it is only legitimate for anti-psychiatry to be linked with a more libertarian point of view. I do not mean to be blunt.”

    I say: since when are all social justice movements, including those fighting against climate destruction and inter imperialist war – “Marxist?”

    This sounds like a ‘talking point” currently repeated over and over again by Right Wing Republicans and others of that ilk, in order to reject and smear all social justice type movements.

    There are no facts to back up this statement. Yes, there are people who label themselves “Marxist” involved in these movement, but the VAST MAJORITY are of many other different political persuasions, or people who currently remain undefined.

    I only WISH there were as many true “Marxists” out there as you seem to imply.

    “Marxism” is not “a tool of control,” but rather, an ideology that deeply analyzes the history of oppressive class based societies and charts a path for humanity toward a more eqalitarian societal structure (socialism leading to communism), that ultimately leads to a “stateless” and class free world.

    There is NOTHING inherent in Marxist ideology that advocates for “social control” other than controlling and preventing some people in society from exploiting other human beings.

    Marxist ideology AND practice in the world is about 150 years young. Just because its prior experiments were defeated and/or failed (with mistakes being made), DOES NOT negate the essence and value of Marxist ideology as a liberating force in the world.

    Richard

  • Great blog which raises many important questions.

    Yes, Szasz made enormous contributions to dissecting and dismantling the foundational thinking that props up the oppressive institution of psychiatry, and also for his opposition to all forms of forced “treatment.”

    Unfortunately, Szasz also pissed away major opportunities in the 1960’s to advance the overall struggle against psychiatric oppression, by failing to link his incisive exposure of psychiatry to the rising struggle against U.S. imperialist war, the Black Liberation movement, and the rising women’s movement.There are common threads of social control, class oppression, and the insatiable drive for capitalist profit embedded within the underlying causes for these forms of oppression.

    Szasz’s embrace of the standard form of Right Wing Libertarianism created huge blind spots that crippled his ability to carry some of his thinking about psychiatric oppression to a more revolutionary place, both ideologically, and especially for organizing and inspiring political activism as part of the rising wave of activism in 60’s.

    Szasz’s brand of Libertarianism leads to a form of hyper individualism that is running rampant in today’s society, and remains part of the underpinnings of the anti-vax and anti-mask movements that ignore legitimate science and completely pervert what it means to fight for *freedom.*

    The Szasz quote used above encapsulates some of this faulty libertarian thinking:
    “Anybody who wants to go to a psychiatrist is fine. Anyone who wants to take psychiat­ric drugs is fine with me… I am for freedom and responsibility.”

    His last sentence about being for “freedom and responsibility” totally contradicts his laissez-faire view towards people’s “choice” to engage with psychiatry and take their drugs. It’s NOT OK that the institution of psychiatry exists in this society to do all their dirty work, and be allowed to push their drugs on vulnerable people. Where was Szasz’s critique of the massive and corrupt collusion between psychiatry and Big Pharma in their promotion of DSM diagnoses and the enormous proliferation of psych drugging??? I guess Big Pharma should be “free” to make money and drugs however they choose.

    And what would Szasz say about the sweetheart deal (and lack of criminal consequences) that the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma have gotten away with for the negligent deaths of more 500 thousand deaths related to the opiate epidemic?

    Because Szasz had no problem with the capitalist system, he couldn’t see (or perhaps he didn’t care) that psychiatry was becoming more and more of a necessary tool for social control of the most volatile (and potentially revolutionary) sections of U.S. society. The future of both entities (capitalism and psychiatry) are now historically intertwined in a symbiotic relationship of mutual need – one can’t exist without the other, AND their final destinies cannot be separated.

    The other Szasz quote: “The libertarian philosophy of freedom is characterized by two fundamental beliefs: the right to be left alone and the duty to leave others alone.” This represents a prime example of the type of philosophy that embraces the “privilege” and tolerance of “injustice” that Bakunin called out in his criticism of Libertarianism.

    The current movement against all forms of psychiatric oppression MUST be linked to all the other powerful social movements for social justice AND for the survival of the planet against climate destruction and inter imperialist war. Any viable critique of psychiatry (as an oppressive institution) cannot be separated from a very much related critique of all that is wrong with a profit based capitalist system.

    Richard

  • Phil
    Great pair of blogs as usual.

    I had the same confusion and issue as Louisa with one of your uses of the term “mental illnesses.”

    In your comment you said the following:

    “So when we encounter a problem in thinking, feeling, or executive functioning, that has clearly been caused by brain injury, it is important to acknowledge this. During my career (I’m now retired), I worked in a number of nursing homes. Most of the people there were elderly, but there were also young people who had incurred brain damage, either from trauma or from illnesses (infections, etc.), and whose mental processes (thinking, feeling, and behaving) were markedly impaired. It seemed obvious to me that the brain damage was the cause of the impairment in mental processes.”

    Yes. I agree we should acknowledge that various forms of temporary or permanent brain injuries can cause problems in the realm of human feeling, thinking, and/or behavior.

    BUT, I think we should avoid the term “mental illness” to describe this phenomena for two reasons: 1) The term is too loaded and corrupted in meaning because of the many decades of use by psychiatry and their bogus Medical Model. 2) It is not clear that the “illness” part accurately describes what is actually occurring within a person suffering from certain forms of brain damage or impairment.

    “A disruption, disturbance, and/or distortion of mental processes and resulting behavior” might be a far better phrasing which allows us to avoid any of the terrible confusion and oppressive associations with psychiatry’s Medical Model language, and the harmful “treatment” that follows their unscientific “mental illness” labels.

    And I believe that a doctor with a neurologist’s credentials, perhaps assisted by a good therapist, could provide the necessary help for someone whose mental processes have been perturbed by some form of brain damage or injury.

    Richard

  • James, thanks for this great interview on a vitally important subject matter.

    Johann Hari has a brilliant mind, and the ability to penetrate well beneath the surface with very important cultural critiques of the degeneracy of modern capitalist society.

    Throughout this interview there are numerous references made to the role of profit (as an out of control entity) in the marketplace driving the tech companies and their CEOs to promote and develop technology for numerous forms of social control.

    AND we also know that profit and social control are the driving forces behind all forms of psychiatric abuse and oppression. Psychiatry (in collusion with Big Pharma) and their entire medical Model of so-called “treatment,” are just too important to the preservation of the capitalist system to be allowed to fail. Their future destinies are now totally interdependent.

    The “elephant in the room” question never really addressed in this interview (I have not read Hari’s new book, “Stolen Focus”) is as follows:

    Can any of these deeply disturbing problems facing society be solved WITHOUT ending the profit based capitalist system, and moving humanity on to a newly imagined form of socialism?

    We keep reading more and more critiques of the harm done by the role of PROFIT corrupting every aspect of our society, especially the moral choices and decisions made by those people in key positions of power and control.

    Is it really possible to REFORM capitalism and somehow place societal restrictions on all forms of exploitation?

    OR is exploitation (no matter how much you try to restrict it) inherently and forever a part of the genetic DNA of capitalism – something that will eventually and ultimately corrupt human intent, even when some people make enormous efforts to prevent this from happening?

    Can this planet and the human race survive another 100 years of class rule, and a profit based capitalist system?

    Anyone who has read many of my past blogs and comments at MIA, know my answer to these questions is a resounding – HELL NO!

    Richard

  • Lisa

    Thanks for sharing this incredibly powerful story of psychiatric abuse.

    You were such a compassionate ally of Kathleen, and you have so deeply honored her life by sharing her account of the horrors that the so-called Medical Model of “treatment” can cause for it victims.

    Kathleen Fliller’s story should be REQUIRED READING for anyone coming anywhere near another human being in the so-called “mental health” system.

    Richard

  • James

    This was a very educational and thought provoking interview, AND I (as an anti-psychiatry activist) have much respect for Giovanni Fava as a doctor doing such serious and important work helping people recover from iatrogenic damage done by psychiatry and their Medical Model of so-called “treatment.” And Dr. Fava’s book sounds like an important book for many reasons, including its exposure of psychiatry’s current crimes prescribing harmful drugs and “gaslighting” its victims.

    I was really pleased to read the analysis of anti-depressant drug toxicity after a period of time on the drugs, and the cascade of negative consequences that can follow these prescriptions.

    Important questions, concerns and comments about the interview:

    1) The assessment of the role of benzodiazepines in treating anxiety and anti-depressant withdrawal was seriously lacking in some important analysis and overall warnings about dependency issues.

    2) The interview left the impression that (as opposed to other benzos) clonazapem – klonopin was both safe and effective. While I am not totally opposed to ever using benzos in such cases (I know Dr. Shipko also advocates their use) I DO NOT believe it is helpful to leave the impression that clonazapem is without serious risks. We know that there have been millions of people who have suffered from klonopin dependency – just ask Stevie Nicks.

    3) How long does Dr.Fava advocate the use of clonazepam? AND then, how soon, and for how long does he recommend for a period of withdrawal?

    4) Dr. Fava seems to imply that psychiatry could have a prosperous future if it would somehow shift to a more educated psychopharmacology with less use of drugs, combined with psychotherapy.

    5) Under a profit based capitalist system the Medical Model cannot, and WILL NOT, make any fundamental changes in its oppressive “treatment” model. Psychiatry has become far too valuable in maintaining the status quo by reinforcing the belief that human angst and psychological disturbance is genetically based. AND the sedative drugging (and incarceration) of key sections of a potentially rebellious society, helps to stave off future uprisings that could overturn the “powers that be.”

    6) Dissident psychiatrists like Dr. Fava could play a VERY positive role for many decades helping millions of victims get off of toxic psychiatric drugs and exposing their potential dangers.
    AND dissident psychiatrists could also play and important role shaking up and exposing the psychiatric establishment and their collusion with Big Pharma.

    7) But, as a medical specialty (in the long term) psychiatry needs to be abolished. It remains, overall, a very oppressive institution that does far more harm than good. There is no legitimate science to justify its existence as a medical specialty. Some of these doctors will have to shift over to either neurology (a legitimate science of brain functioning) or client centered therapy.

    Richard

  • JanCarol

    I respect your history as a psychiatric survivor and your overall condemnation of the crimes of Big Pharma, especially as it pertains to the promotion of psych drugs and the related harm done to millions of people.

    You said: “It stuns me that anyone who has survived neuroleptics, benzos and “antidespressants” could accept anything Pharma says at face value.”

    Who here in these discussions about the medical benefits of Covid vaccines has accepted the words of Big Pharma “at face value”? I have not, AND do not, accept the words of Big Pharma “at face value.”

    First off, in the entire history of Big Pharma’s development of all types of medically used drugs in the world, what percentage of these drugs have overall been very helpful to humanity, AND what percentage have been harmful?

    Do you deny that SOME of these drug creations have saved lives and are positive ways to manage certain diseases and other serious medical problems facing humanity?

    Yes, it is reasonable and responsible in today’s world to have enormous skepticism about what drugs Big Pharma creates given their underlying drive for profits and unholy track record. BUT, unfortunately, we all must do our OWN research and evaluation to determine what is potentially dangerous, AND what is truly helpful in treating a dangerous virus or other medical problems.

    Back in 1995, I decided to take a highly toxic chemo drug (recommended by oncologists) to treat a particular form of testicular cancer. If I had not taken that drug, I most likely would NOT BE HERE today to write this comment.

    Did some drug company make money off of producing this drug? YES, but there are medical researchers and scientists who actually create things (and do so for the right reasons) that truly benefit humanity. The fact that the pharmaceutical industry makes money off of these drugs is an important, but separate question regarding their value as necessary medicines.

    You said: “The mandates that Richard speaks so highly of – are of a product which is leaky and short acting, at best, and provides temporary benefit which expires after about 6-8 months.”

    I still say, that despite the high profits accruing from Covid vaccines for Big Pharma, the legitimate scientific evidence indicates they are safe and effective. The people who are currently dying from Covid are the unvaccinated. AND there is increasing evidence that those who have recovered from Covid (even mild cases) can have long term negative medical consequences.

    A key consideration in all of these issues about Covid vaccines is the fact that the risk of death and serious disease process effects ALL classes of people. Some of our biggest enemies in the world all have the SAME fundamental desire to stay alive. Big Pharma CEO’s and their families, are ALL taking the Covid vaccines, and for good reason.

    When it comes to evaluating both the harm AND benefits of Western medicine, we must avoid “black and white” or other dismissive approaches to these questions; it could have life or death consequences for some people.

    Yes, it is truly sad that in today’s world we ALL must be “citizen scientists” and independent thinkers, because it is not safe to trust our government and large institutions, like the medical establishment. But for now we must sort out the reality, and the fact, that occasionally they say something that is true, and that should be followed for our survival and best interests as a species.

    Respectfully, Richard

  • yinyang

    For your information, I am also against forced drugging in ALL circumstances, and that includes for any kind of drug, psychiatric or vaccines. And as far as I know there has only been a few examples of forced drugging with the Covid vaccines; this may have happened in some prisons.

    However, I am NOT opposed to vaccine “mandates,” which is completely different This is clearly a situation where someone’s personal rights are superseded by the SOCIAL RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of the broader society. If someone wants to work in a hospital, then they must comply with the mandate and NOT put others they are treating in that environment at risk of being harmed by Covid 19.

    If someone decides NOT to be vaccinated (which should be their right), then they should live isolated from making contact with any significant percentage of other human beings. This is a fair social requirement irrespective of anyone’s political evaluation of the overall political and economic fairness of the larger institutions.

    In other words, I am a huge critic of the U.S. imperialist empire (and seek its replacement with socialism), but I accept vaccine mandates because it is currently in the BEST interests of ALL classes in our society for health and survival.

    If someone chooses to live in a community and other larger gatherings of human beings, then the social rights and responsibilities of the larger group take precedent over individual rights, especially when it involves major issues of health and human survival for a significant section of the population.

    You may be correct that Covid 19 does not threaten the actual survival of our entire species, BUT it clearly threatens the life (and long term health) of a significant section of people who can have certain levels of vulnerability to the disease. The rising figure, which is currently at 700 thousand deaths for this country, is factual proof of this danger.

    As to your statement; “…the “vaccines” obviously don’t work…”, this is simply NOT TRUE by any fair scientific evaluation. I don’t think anyone would define “work” as meaning total prevention of contracting the Covid disease.

    The vaccines clearly, by ANY VALID statistical measure, prevent serious disease, AND most importantly, prevents death from Covid almost 100% of the time. By this measure, Covid vaccines clearly “work.”

    Two thousand people in the U.S. are still dying everyday, and they are almost 100% the unvaccinated members of our society. And this now includes a growing percentage of younger members of society, and not just those over 65 or in poor health.

    Richard

  • This represents a big loss to the psychiatric survivor movement. Chyrs was a tenacious fighter against all forms of psychiatric abuse, and a personality brimming with the very best qualities of humanity – she will be sorely missed.

    My wife and I had the privilege to meet and talk with Chyrs for a few hours in 2013. Our scheduled rendezvous took place at the Redhall Walled Garden on the outskirts of Edinburgh Scotland during a traveling excursion.

    I wrote a blog posting for MIA here: https:(//www.madinamerica.com/2013/09/mad-america-meets-mad-scotland/) that details this wonderful encounter at an outdoor support center for people dealing with extreme forms of psychological distress.

    My condolences to her family and all those who knew her.

    Long Live the Spirit of Chrys Muirhead!

    Richard

  • “Why shouldn’t we see the vaccine rollout as following the same pattern as the one used for psych drugs?”

    There are very simple and important answers to your question.

    Covid 19 is a real “disease” by any genuine scientific analysis at the cellular level of the human body.

    Psychiatric disorders are made up by a committee with a show of hands, and reflect no scientific evidence of an actual “disease” process within the human body.

    Covid 19 vaccines are highly effective (one of most successful vaccines in human history) and mitigate the serious progression of the Covid disease itself, AND almost 100% guarantee the survival of those contracting the disease. AND the vaccines have proven to be extremely safe, with very few side effects of any consequence.

    Psychiatric drugs may provide SHORT TERM reduction of certain uncomfortable feelings for some people, but are highly toxic substances to the human body and brain, and can create severe disturbances in brain (and body) functioning for many years, even after stopping their use. There is NO reliable scientific evidence that they actually work in the ways they are falsely advertised. Overall, the main effects (and side effects) of these drugs cause FAR MORE harm than good in the world.

    While both the Covid 19 vaccines and psychiatric drugs make enormous profits for the pharmaceutical companies, there is an important and fundamental difference between the two.

    Covid 19 represents a serious existential threat to the survival of our species (as opposed to the myth of “mental illness”) that cuts across ALL class divisions in human society. The Big Pharma CEO’s (and their families) need the Covid vaccines for their survival just as much as the poorest sections of people on the bottom rungs of society.

    Richard

  • To Bob and others

    RW says:
    “As for whether the root source of the problem is capitalism, the problem is that there isn’t a regulatory requirement for honest, independent trials….It could still be possible to have a capitalistic system that required independent testing of new drugs, and didn’t reward psychiatrists and other “experts” for shilling for the drugs.”

    Any serious examination of how a class based capitalist system functions in the real world screams that this type of reform (leading to a fundamental change) is virtually impossible.

    Just look at the efforts in this country to eliminate and control “monopolies” in the corporate world. This has never been accomplished, AND never will.

    And then read this article about how the stock market is rigged with endless, and virtually UNSTOPPABLE, forms of “insider trading” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-09-29/is-stock-market-rigged-insider-trading-by-executives-is-pervasive-critics-say?utm_source=pocket-newtab).

    The people that make the rules and control ALL of the essential instruments of power in this society are from the upper classes. As long as classes exist, people will ultimately find the ways to maintain their privilege and financial advantage – this is an ABSOLUTE LAW flowing from the very nature of “capital” itself. That is, always seeking the highest rate of profit through its internal nature of “expand or die.”

    Human beings that function within such a capitalist system, and view their survival within these parameters, merely become instruments of these economic laws related to the existence of “capital” itself.

    Even well meaning people who struggle to behave with a higher set of moral standards, will be pulled in this direction like a “moth to the flame.”

    In other words, there can be NO completely “independent” evaluators found within such a profit based system to uphold the true interests of the masses. Those people who do struggle to actually be “independent” and uphold the true safety interests of the masses, will never be allowed to be placed in these positions of power and evaluation.

    AND if someone (with high standards of legitimate science and fairness) were somehow able to be in such a position of regulatory power, they would NOT last long. They will be isolated and ultimately eliminated. Just look at what happen to Peter Gotzsche from the Cochrane Collaborative. This is standard practice within a capitalist system, and we should not be surprised when this happens.

    This is NOT cynicism or negativity on my part, but I believe an accurate evaluation of the inner workings of the capitalist system in a class based society.

    This does not mean we shouldn’t fight for reform, but it needs to be done as part of a LARGER STRATEGY of seeking to move beyond a class based capitalist system.

    Given the current level of polarization, and the danger in this country of a fascist takeover, to still promote “reform” as a central strategy, is to promote potentially dangerous illusions and waste valuable time in our political activism for change.

    Respectfully, Richard

  • Someone Else

    You said: “Capitalism may work just fine, if our government officials actually did their jobs, instead of being bought out, and doing the opposite.”

    Government officials are almost always from the upper classes who are imbued with the belief in the “survival of the fittest” and “look out for number one” mentality that pervades modern capitalist society.

    Anyone in government who tries to go against the interests of the capitalist class of oligarchs will eventually be isolated and somehow neutralized.

    The profit motive ultimately corrupts every nook and cranny of human society.

    We have been indoctrinated to believe that capitalism and its ideology corresponds with true “human nature.”

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Human nature is very malleable and will flourish with cooperation and invention when societal structures are built on a foundation of equality where classes and the profit motive are systematically eliminated over a period of time.

    In today’s society there are NO CONSEQUENCES (except perhaps a “fine”) for corruption that leads to human casualties. Look no further than the recent settlement “against” Purdue Pharma and the corporate CEOs responsible for half a million deaths with the opiate epidemic. They get to pay a “fine” and keep their billions WITHOUT spending a single day in jail. What a country! and what a justice system!!!!

    Richard

  • Bob, thanks for another uncompromising and well researched exposure of the totally corrupt nature of Big Pharma, and their promotion and sales of dangerous psychiatric drugs.

    How can anyone read this and not be outraged and sickened by the current state of psychiatry and their total collusion with Big Pharma?

    I hope such exposures keep being written and circulated throughout society. I believe this kind of reporting could help create new activists who will fight for much needed change in the future.

    HOWEVER, there are much more important conclusions to draw from these types of political exposures, beyond the fact that scientific research is consciously being corrupted by the role of money payoffs and the related high profit margins of the pharmaceutical industry.

    Here we are talking about corruption that is now practiced OPENLY “in the light of day” (with all the dirty deeds being published in various places online), and people like Robert Whitaker (RW) are ALLOWED to actually publish these devastating political exposures, AND circulate them in the VAST “marketplace of ideas.” NOW WHAT!!!

    ‘Business as usual” just continues and continues, with not even a hint of fundamental change on the horizon. RW’s scientific and political writings, and all the other great exposures written by “Critical Psychiatry” and “anti-psychiatry,” end up getting lost and swallowed up within this increasingly VAST “marketplace of ideas,” and treated as just another set of “alternative facts” among the other more powerful “alternative realities” touting all the benefits of the Medical Model, with all their drugging and DSM labeling.

    AND RW’s “alternative facts” will be published somewhere on page 17 in some newspaper or journal (besides MIA), AND the Medical Model’s “alternative reality” will consistently be presented on page 1 of newspapers and journals, AND with their billions in advertising, Big Pharma continues to plaster the benefits of their drugs and DSM labels EVERY NIGHT on prime time TV – day in and day out. The brainwashing is overwhelming, and it completely dominates and overshadows ANY chance for opposition thinking to have a legitimate opportunity of gaining a foothold in the public’s thinking.

    The capitalist profit system, with its omnipresent ability to buy off and ultimately control almost all scientific research, AND control the key structures within public media and their means to disseminate information to the masses, will tolerate a Robert Whitaker (and his writings), because it knows it has the money and means to ultimately control and dominate the public narrative.

    Some may think I am being cynical in my above analysis, I believe it is a very accurate and sober view of what we are truly up against in our struggle to end all forms of psychiatric abuse in the world.

    The current level of political polarization in this country, and the dangers of an outright fascist takeover, should give serious pause to anyone charting a course for serious institutional and political change in this country.

    Political exposures, like the one above, ARE very important to create conditions for change, but MAINLY as a means for gathering new forces for much bigger battles ahead.

    NOTHING fundamental will be changed with psychiatry and their entire Medical Model unless, and until, we are prepared to move beyond a profit based capitalist system. Psychiatry, with all its drugging and labeling, is very useful (and necessary) for the future of the capitalist system. It keeps the masses anesthetized and focused on personal genetic flaws, instead of critiquing the sick and outmoded system that surrounds them and consumes every fiber of their being.

    Their destiny (both psychiatry and capitalism) has now become completely intertwined and forever inseparable. Any strategy for future political change MUST take this reality into serious consideration, and incorporate that understanding into all forms of strategy and tactics.

    Richard

  • Katel

    You have a very powerful personal story of trauma and harm caused by exposure to psychiatry and their Medical Model. I looked back at all your comment history here at MIA (by clicking on your name, “Katel”). and there is a profoundly important set of comments describing in great detail specific examples of almost every form of so-called “treatment” abuse that you had to endure at the hands of these criminals.

    Katel, your writing is very clear and direct, with an extremely important message regarding the harm related to psychiatry. I would hope you could find a way (at some point) to work with MIA editors to write up your personal story related to psychiatric harm for publication as a blog at this website.

    Both your story, and your ability to dissect and expose (in an ongoing way) the fraud of psychiatry and their Medical Model is a gift to potential victims of psychiatric oppression, and a powerful weapon in creating more favorable conditions (over time)) to ultimately bring down this beast of oppression.

    The area of MA. in which you live does have many potential allies who have endured similar forms of trauma at the hands of psychiatry (I have met many great people from that area) and they are quite articulate and active in fighting this form of oppression. I would hope at some point you could seek out and find a way to link up with these people.

    I have no specific solutions to offer you for your personal journey, but I do believe in neuroplasticity as it relates to slow recovery from past harm done by truamatic psychiatric “treatments.” And I am truly inspired by your humanity and fighting spirit (which shines through in your writings here at MIA) when it comes to taking on the powerful institution of psychiatry.

    All the best – Carry on! Richard

  • AP, yes it is very sad to say that you are quite correct about this.

    People have been under the false notion that after enough exposure of the fraud of psychiatry and their Medical Model, that the “house of cards” will simply fall – NOT going to happen!

    Psychiatry and their Medical Model (with drugging and psychiatric labeling) has evolved into a very important pillar propping up, and helping to maintain this profit based capitalist system.

    Psychiatry and their Medical Model CANNOT, and WILL NOT, fall until we remove and replace this criminal system with a people controlled socialist system.

    The future of psychiatry (and their Medical Model) have a destiny that is now permanently intertwined. So-called “reform” solutions are a tragic dead end and a waist of valuable time and effort, UNLESS they are fought for as part of an overall revolutionary strategy.

    Richard

  • Diane Smith says: “And I know that pharmaceutical companies spin their findings in the most flattering way but I am at a loss as to help people who desperately need more than talk therapy. I have seen people have amazing results with depression meds.”

    Talk therapy may not immediately help people (and bad therapy may actually harm people) because we live in a very traumatic and difficult world.

    And “mind altering drugs” do sometimes provide short term benefits for people suffering deep emotional pain, but this DOES NOT mean it will benefit people in the long term. The evidence shows just the opposite; long term use of psych drugs causes FAR MORE HARM THAN GOOD!

    Richard

  • Diane Smith says: “People should not be prescribed meds right away unless it is strongly indicated but for true clinical depression how does he propose that we help people function on a daily basis?”

    What is “true clinical depression?” This is just a made up term by psychiatry and Big Pharma. It has no provable scientific basis. And it fits well with those people doing therapy who do not have the patience and understanding to work with people struggling to survive in a difficult world.

    And what does “strongly indicated” really mean? Sometimes both the “client” AND the therapist are looking for the quick fix.

    Richard

  • Another great blog exposing some of the deeper elements within neoliberalism and its justification for a class based capitalistic system.

    Combine this exposure of the oppressive roots within Positive Psychology with James Davies’ book “Sedated,” and you now have a powerful pair of ideological weapons exposing the finer points of ruling class control and domination. Psychiatry and their Medical Model fits right into this paradigm of “genetic theories of original sin.”

    And we all must carefully examine many aspects of New Age Spiritualism, which also has a strong current of Positive Psychology meandering through its ideological underpinnings.

    Richard

  • Kindredspirit

    We should all be more than a little nervous about the current state of polarization in this country, which clearly seems headed in the direction of civil war type conditions and potential violent conflict.

    And unfortunately, the balance of political understanding and developed organization is NOT very favorable at this time to those on the “Left” who grasp the necessity for humanity to move well beyond the oppressive nature of a class based capitalist society.

    When I make reference to “revolution” I am clearly referring to both realms you mention, That is, “revolution of thought” and a total breakdown of the social order of things.

    For all those who want a better world, we must certainly be involved in “changing minds” in revolutionary ways and in a revolutionary direction. Helping ourselves and other people become more rational and empathetic about every aspect of institutional forms of human oppression, and seeking newer revolutionary alternative economic and political forms of social organization etc. beyond capitalism.

    As to the “breakdown in the social order of things,” that will not necessarily occur by human design or intention, but instead is the inevitably consequence of the intense class conflict over control of natural resources and necessities of life, fueled by international competition and related conflict of rising imperialist powers.

    And yes, we should be very concerned about exactly who has most of the guns at the present time, especially with the rise of organized Right Wing militias etc. HOWEVER, when there is a total breakdown of the social order, guns will suddenly be available to everyone who wants one.

    This is because this level of social breakdown will create major divisions within the military itself (creating different well armed factions) and within various police forces etc., and of course various parts of the country. And since there are already so many guns in this country, people will just end up confiscating them from WHEREVER they are stored.

    I say none of this lightly, and have some of the same fears you have, and especially for my children and grandchildren who are inheriting such a complex and divided world.

    I recently completed a new song (on the day after the last election) called “Second Coming.” In this song there are two Native American characters living on the streets of Birmingham, Ala. Here is my chorus:

    —————————————————————-

    Shiloh says there’ll be a “Second Coming” / A reckoning all the sinners need not fear

    There’ll be no “come to Jesus moment” / When the “Strange Fruit” sadly reappears

    Yellow Bird can’t say if she’ll pull the trigger / When someone looks her dead in the eye

    Said, she’ll never ever stay silent / When the Klan, again starts to rise / Oh, they’ll be no compromise

    You know these wars are never “civil” / Especially the second time around

    ——————————————————————–
    Richard

  • I agree with those who have heaped a great deal of praise for this author and his penetrating analysis of neoliberalism as a guiding ideology for the current state of modern capitalism.

    James Davies (with his book “Sedated”) has taken concepts about all the enormous harm perpetrated by the medicalization of human distress that some of us have been critiquing for many years, and uncovered and revealed multiple deeper layers of both the institutional and mental chains of control this Medical Model has created in today’s world.

    For anyone hoping to make major, and/or revolutionary, change in the world. this is not only a must read, but also a must be discussed, digested and developed, and then circulated analysis.

    Here is just one of the more insightful parts of this interview:
    “…rather than saying ‘poverty generates multiple forms of human suffering and distress’ the word trigger invokes the powerful cultural symbol of ‘mental illness’ to denote something that poverty supposedly provokes and that the model can supposedly ‘treat’. This move does a couple of things. It ensures that the model remains relevant in the face of the social determinants of distress, protecting or even expanding the model’s jurisdiction over us, but it also allows the model to claim sophisticated ‘bio-psycho-social’ credentials, despite relegating social causes to mere ‘triggers’ and widely privileging biological/drug interventions in the management of what has been triggered – namely – the ‘mental illness’.”

    On the negative side of Davies’ analysis is the fact that after a such a devastating critique of modern capitalism, he still remains stuck in “reform” and “reformist” type solutions for all the economic and political problems that will require serious *revolutionary* solutions.

    Davies says:
    “Firstly, reform has to start with ourselves…until we have more accommodating political arrangements in our economy, reform will be significantly hobbled.”

    Davies appears only willing to hint at the need for larger systemic change leaving his readers to somehow believe that fundamental change is still possible within a class based capitalist system, even though he admits it will be more difficult in a post Covid 19 world.

    Here Davies states the following”
    “On the other hand, it is also true that socio-economic reform looks far less implausible than it did even in early 2020, given the economic effects that Covid will doubtless continue to exert in the coming years (an area I expand on in the book). So, and to finish by paraphrasing something I say in ‘Sedated’: when change arrives, and it will arrive as no economic paradigm has ever existed in perpetuity, alternative ideas in the realm of mental health will only be poised for implementation if we keep putting in the effort right now; if we work to defy the neo-liberal pressures and enticements, and if we develop interventions that put the needs of people and communities above our failing and now fading economic ideology.”

    All this type of analysis does is ultimately perpetuate the illusion that fundamental change is somehow still possible within a capitalist system. This follows earlier comments about so-called “socialist” elements within society that predated the Medical Model takeover that began the 1980’s. This sort of implies that early incarnations of psychiatry and the “mental health” system were somehow devoid of oppressive forms of power and control over its patients and potential victims.

    While forms of societal help in the past that involved principally counseling elements may have provided more support for people experiencing extreme psychological distress, we cannot forget the snake-pit hospitals, Electro-shock, Freudian misogyny and earlier incarnations of psych drugs like Thorazine etc.

    I bring all this up NOT to suggest that we shouldn’t fight for reforms in the current reality, but only that we should do so firmly with the perspective that this work is part of an overall strategy for revolutionary changes leading to a complete socialist transformation of society. Here I am talking about a new form of socialism (learning from past historical mistakes), that has never before been attempted in human history.

    Davies’ overall analysis in “Sedated” only reaffirms my belief that psychiatry and all forms of psychiatric oppression are firmly and FOREVER entrenched within the capitalist system. The Medical Model needs capitalism for its existence, AND capitalism now needs the Medical Model for its future existence. This symbiotic and deadly relationship between these two entities has evolved in a relatively short historical period over the past four decades.

    The power and control (the drugging, incarceration, and mental chains) that the Medical Model (psychiatry and Big Pharma) provides for keeping the potentially rebellious sections of society under manageable control is an ESSENTIAL INSTITUTIONAL NECESSITY for the future of capitalism’s existence. The future of BOTH the capitalist system, and psychiatry and their Medical Model, are now forever inseparably bound. All future efforts to end all forms of psychiatric abuse in the world MUST accept this reality AND strategize accordingly.

    Richard

  • Kerry

    You know I have great respect and support for what you are doing with EMDR. I hope you’re open to being challenged on a few points.

    You said: “Other non-EMDR trainings I have attended taught me “medication can be what allows the work to get done”. (Of course, it’s not right for everyone.)…One of the central tasks of EMDR therapy is keeping anxiety and dissociation “within tolerable limits”, which can be greatly facilitated by medication – and healing will be just as possible and just as robust for that person, if not more efficient.”

    I don’t deny that certain mind altering *drugs* can be useful to people in very SHORT TERM doses to manage and control excessive, or even out of control, feelings, emotions, and/or extreme psychological distress.

    That being said: when we examine the overall role of mind altering psychiatric *drugs* as it effects people with “PTSD diagnoses” and other so-called psychiatric “diagnoses,” we must acknowledge that the principle effect of these drugs is to numb emotions and interfere with (and often damage) necessary and appropriate cognitive functioning. All the things we need and depend on to navigate and better understand the world and our role within it.

    These *drugs* also create dependency and undermine a persons ability to actually develop and strengthen important coping skills to manage life in an extremely stressful world.

    The overall negative effects and role of these drugs in today’s world FAR OUTWEIGH any of the short term benefits that a small minority might obtain from their use.

    And what i have learned from my EMDR work and my readings on the subject is that when people do EMDR while on psychiatric *drugs,* they may have to actually repeat some of the same work when they come off of these mind altering *drugs,* BECAUSE they are now experiencing a FULLER INTENSITY of feelings and emotions related to past trauma events.

    And finally Kerry, notice that I never used the word “medication,” and always used the word *drugs* to describe these mind altering substances that are so prolifically prescribed in today’s world.

    I believe it is extremely important to make a clean break from all Medical Model thinking and use of language in order to promote more humane ways of helping people overcome trauma. There are no scientific medical markers to justify psychiatric diagnoses. There is no evidence of cellular anomalies that justify the word “disease” to describe extreme psychological distress. And thus: there is no scientific justification to use the word “medication” to describe what are in fact, mind altering *drugs.*

    We should NEVER concede psychiatry and their entire medical Model, the use of the word “medication” without a serious and quick challenge. Serious social and political change in the world has always necessitated the struggle over language and terminology. And the use of the word “medication” is one of those words we need to fight over and change NOW if we want genuine change if the world when it comes to overcoming all forms of psychiatric abuse.

    Richard

  • l_e_cox says: “When am I going to hear news of someone using a Locational or similar process and what their experiences were with it?”

    I sincerely hope we do not hear too much about “Locational processes.” because Scientology is a dangerous cult that has harmed many people.

    And I would warn MIA readers that while Scientology is a major critic of psychiatry, they are equally as dangerous, AND they are competing with each other for the same base of very vulnerable potential victims.

    Richard

  • Fifty percent of all opiate (including heroin) overdose deaths involve benzos being part of the cocktail that ends up killing people. In fact, I would argue that benzos are THE MOST DECISIVE killing agent in the cocktail. That is because most opiate addicts know how to use their opiates, INCLUDING FENTYNYL but they often forget exactly how many Xanax or Ativan pills they had earlier in the day.

    Benzos are highly desirable drugs for people addicted to opiates because benzos magnify the effect of the opiates, but sadly this can be deadly because it can totally shut down breathing and the heart.

    Yes, I know that they have to sedate someone who goes on a respirator, but this particular cocktail of drugs probably killed many people before the Covid had a chance to complete its deadly effects.

    Richard

  • Kerry

    This was a great summary of EMDR therapy.

    When I was doing active therapy (including EMDR) with people (until 2015) I found EMDR to be especially helpful for trauma victims. In some cases I saw remarkable positive changes take place in just a few sessions.

    People expend a great deal of energy throughout their life trying to avoid and/or “outrun” their memories of trauma experiences. These efforts are often labelled and falsely *medicalized* as “depression,” “anxiety,” or “Bi-polar” etc….

    EMDR can allow some people to finally “slow down” and look at these past events in a safe place, AND with an adult mind that’s more capable of reprocessing these events in a way that appropriately assigns “responsibility” and allows for more self empathy.

    When bad things happen to children they often “take on the badness as if it were their own.” This fills children with enormous amounts of guilt and shame at an early age that they often carry into adulthood. EMDR can sometimes finally provide the safety and necessary distance from these events to more appropriately access true responsibility and so-called “blame” for events that the trauma victim blamed on themselves.

    We now know that each time someone remembers past events they are actually recreating new memories, because there is a process of reprocessing going on that re-edits these past events with the current *adult* outlook and moral capabilities and standards.

    With EMDR people do not forget the past trauma events, but are often much more able to tolerate and “own” the memories. and especially NO LONGER have to expend so much self defeating energy running from those past memories.

    Understanding this about trauma and the positive qualities of EMDR therapy (when carried out appropriately) helps explain and expose just how harmful psychiatry’s (and their colluding partner, Big Pharma’s) Medical Model (with all their labeling and drugging) is to trauma victims in the world.

    Kerry, your work helping people who have experienced trauma is very difficult, and I salute your compassion and efforts to do this work and educate others who may wish to pursue it in their counseling career or their own personal work in therapy.

    All the best, Richard

  • KS

    Those are very interesting and scary links you provided. Before this I was not aware of any connection between tick borne illnesses and bio warfare labs etc. – it never even entered my mind. Although I did find it strange that widespread existence of ticks in New England (I grew up in southern Me. and now live in southern Ma.) was never a problem when I was growing up, or in my middle years.

    I have had Lyme twice now and was fortunate to have early symptoms and thus was placed on a quick course of antibiotics which (so far) has precluded any further symptoms.

    My wife and i have each (so far this year) removed two ticks that had already begun to bite into our legs. And just this morning I found a dead tick in my bed, which probably fell off one of our dogs who like to cuddle with us in the bed in the mornings. The dogs are given some medicine that eventually kills ticks that stay on their body for a certain length of time.

    Please let us know if you learn anything substantially new on this topic in the future. I am sure the government and military will do everything possible to not allow anything about ticks and bio-labs to become public knowledge.

    Richard

  • Lisa

    This was an extremely powerful story of the horrible odyssey your family has endured related to some of the worst forms of psychiatric abuse. I wish you and your son all the best in future efforts at recovery and also restitution from those responsible for these crimes.

    This story needs to be publicly told and exposed well beyond the scope of Mad in America. I would hope you and/or other contacts you have in the creative world, could write and produce a movie on this entire subject matter. The world is in desperate need of another movie with the creative power of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

    I would hope you would view (and spread on social media) this brand new 11 minute video called “Prescripticide.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIUSCGIfFD8&t=378s

    This powerful video highlights the powerful connection between psychiatric drugs and the rise in suicides and the violence connected to mass shootings. This is information that has been systematically hidden from the public.

    Your story, together with the “Prescripticide” video, would make for a very interesting conversation with documentary film producer Michael Moore.

    Richard

  • KS

    There are some things we need to be cautious about when it comes to these genetic testing and metabolism theories regarding psychiatric drugs. You may have addressed this in other comments, but I will make a few points here for discussion.

    We have to be VERY CAREFUL that Big Pharma and psychiatry do not use this science about genetics and metabolism as a way to actually EXPAND their prescribing of psychiatric drugs. Example being: they do the testing (and makes tons of money on testing) and then prescribe like crazy to all those not testing positive.

    There may be some people who are genetically more sensitive to psychiatric drugs and will have the more extreme “akathisia” side effects etc. BUT that does NOT mean that on some sort of continuum of effects, millions of others will have various lesser levels of “akathisia,” AND a host of other negative effects from psychiatric drugging.

    We have to make sure we expose the totality of harm done by these drugs when discussing or promoting these genetic tests for metabolism issues with psychiatric drugs.

    Richard

  • rebel

    I have great respect for you and your heroic struggle escaping from the clutches of psychiatry and their oppressive Medical Model. And I am very inspired and have deep respect for the fact that you have chosen to be active against the Medical Model by writing here at MIA.

    My challenges to some of your words here are not meant to be disrespectful to you or your religious beliefs. We are all on a journey to uncover the truth in the world and try to use that knowledge to help liberate us from all forms of oppression. This journey requires the struggle over words and belief systems, and this can be very challenging, and even uncomfortable at times.

    My belief system, including my understanding of history, tells me that various forms of superstition, including some of those held within certain religious doctrines, have been very harmful to humanity, and that these superstitions stand as a roadblock to human progress.

    When I see contradictions in certain statements in the comment section, I sometimes choose to point this out. I try to conduct these discussions in a respectful way. I would be dishonest if I hid my beliefs on these questions, and a coward because I somehow feared people’s reactions to my strong views on these questions.

    My view on “spirituality” is very much related to human connectedness. That is, the powerful feelings one experiences when being part of a movement to change the world for the better. In my experiences going back to the 1960’s, I have felt emotional highs (empathy and love) when participating in some political movements, where “the whole felt much greater than its particular parts.”

    Rebel, I hope in the future we can agree and disagree on some things respectfully without taking personal offense to each other’s comments.

    Respectfully, Richard

  • Steve

    Yes, your logic makes sense only if you believe in a “supreme being” that can only be accepted as truly existing based on “faith.” There is no science that validates the existence of a “Creator.” And this concept of a “God” or “Creator” would also have to be “infinite.”

    It makes FAR MORE sense, within the scope of science, to believe that “matter in motion is infinite.”

    Richard

  • Oldhead says:

    “I’m guessing you and other MIA commenters who have gone against the grain on COVID over the past year and have been attacked for doing so are feeling a sense of vindication as more & more “conspiracy theories” are being borne out — with more to come. I know I am.”

    There are real “conspiracies” in the world, and then there are “conspiracy theories,” which has taken on a more specific meaning in contemporary society.

    (from Wikipedia)
    “Conspiracy theories resist falsification and are reinforced by circular reasoning: both evidence against the conspiracy and an absence of evidence for it are re-interpreted as evidence of its truth,[6][9] whereby the conspiracy becomes a matter of faith rather than something that can be proven or disproven.” (from Wikipedia)

    There is ONLY ONE THEORY regarding Covid 19 that for a period of time was INCORRECTLY labeled as a “conspiracy theory,” and that particular theory was related to the actual origin of the virus – that is, a virus directly coming from animals, or an escaped virus from a lab.

    The more evidence that is revealed, indicates that Covid most likely came from a lab. But even this has not yet been definitively proven.

    As far as I know, ALL THE OTHER “conspiracy theories” related to Covid, are still proven to be false, AND are quite harmful to humanity’s efforts to eradicate this devastating disease.

    Richard

  • rebel

    You said above “…allowing each one of us the freedom to be who we are created to be by Our Creator and the “free will” to choose whether or not to follow the path Our Creator has set for us.”

    These words are filled with contradictions. How can there be “free will” if our path to the future has already been “set for us” by “Our Creator”???

    And BTW, who created “Our Creator,” and what does this all say about the scientific theory of evolution?

    Richard

  • rebel

    “There is a difference between what the Declaration actually says and what the Founding Fathers meant to say.”

    “Many of the signatories of the Declaration were slaveholders who considered black men their property and, obviously, not their equal. Native Americans were only referred to in the Declaration as “Indian Savages.” Also, the Founding Fathers’ initial idea of who controlled the rights described in the Declaration was the very small circle of male Anglo, Protestant land owners that they represented.”

    So it is obvious that the Declaration of Independence was NOT a document that sought to eliminate all forms of human exploitation. Any critical examination of U.S. history will clearly see that as America developed into a world dominating imperialist empire, its degree of human exploitation knew no bounds.

    Richard

  • Rebel

    We may agree on some things about psychiatric oppression, but I would say: NO ONE should be learning any lessons (except by negative example) about “freedom” from Thomas Jefferson.

    He owned 600 slaves over his lifetime, AND made most of his income through the buying and selling of human beings. And it would be safe to say that there was some sexual exploitation going on along with his international human trafficking.

    You said: “… applauding “free will” and “freedom” as it is meant to be in America…”

    Where is the “freedom” in a country founded (and expanded for 100 years) on a foundation of slavery and also the brutal exploitation of the working class. So much for the “…freedom guaranteed to us by the Creator no matter our alleged social class…”

    Richard

  • Kevin

    You have absolutely nothing to apologize for. Your astute comments started off a very insightful and necessary critique of Dr. kelmenson’s writings here at MIA. Throughout many of his writings (go back and review his other blogs and the comment sections) there has been a consistent theme of “blame the victim” type thinking. Many writers here are correctly criticizing this counter current to some of his better ideas.

    All of Dr. kelmenson’s writings have failed to address the important fact (and overall context for examining the Medical Model) that we live in a profit/class based economic and political system. This type of system is filled with multiple forms of trauma and inequalities that sets the stage for various forms of “learned helplessness.”

    Libertarian, and other anti-socialist theoretical perspectives, will often posit the concept of “free will” as almost completely abstracted from the material realities facing the “under classes” within modern capitalist societies. How can we really understand and deeply critique the Medical Model without making direct connections to the type of economic and political system that sustains AND directly benefits from psychiatry’s role as an institution of social control?

    Richard

  • Yes, you are both right about this.

    The “mental health” system has now become an essential component of class control by the top one percent of profit seekers.

    The psychiatric labels and drugs target the most potentially rebellious sections of our society. The labels become psychological chains, and the drugs numb anger and other emotions that can be channeled into various forms of resistance.

    Overall, these “genetic theories of original sin” that form the basis of the Medical Model, are used to focus people’s attention on so-called personal human flaws, as opposed to the inherent “sickness” in the capitalist institutions and unequal class structures within our society.

    It is very important in all future organizing efforts to link the struggle against psychiatric oppression with the struggle against a profit based capitalist system.

    Richard

  • Frank

    I don’t think anyone here has said that an anti-psychiatry stance or an anti-psychiatry political position by itself is “dogmatic.”

    Being anti-psychiatry and calling for the elimination of psychiatry as a medical specialty is a legitimate position to take in today’s world. It can be backed up by real scientific analysis, and by an objective assessment of how psychiatry functions as an oppressive institution in society.

    I think the point that Steve and KS are making, is that any legitimate political movement or ideology can be incorrectly understood and carried out by veering into a form of “dogmatism.” That is: rigid or mechanical applications of a set of principles or beliefs that ignores context and nuance related to specific circumstances and people.

    Richard

  • I am glad that people are actively engaged in the process of “rethinking psychiatry.”

    Because some people (hopefully more and more) will end up drawing the same conclusion that I have made over the past decade.

    That is: psychiatry (as a medical specialty) should be abolished. It is based on pseudoscience and causes FAR MORE HARM than good in the world.

    Richard

  • “The data was analyzed to determine whether the monthly suicide rates (which ranged from April 1st to July 31st, 2020) changed after the pandemic began.”

    I agree that ANY conclusions on this question (that is, “no increase in suicides during the pandemic”) is, at best, extremely misleading. This is especially true since it only examined a 4 month period early in the pandemic. And of course, they (the scientific and psychiatric establishment) would NEVER want to analyze the potential causal effects of increased psych drugging on suicides and social violence in society.

    Oldhead says: “The first thing that crossed my mind was not the accuracy of the claim about suicides not being related to the lockdowns (which also increased transmission by forcing people inside to share infected air)….”

    When someone examines the overall psychological effects of the pandemic, they are NOT just looking at the issue of “lockdowns.” There are several other issues related to fear and anxiety about contracting Covid, AND, especially trauma regarding the loss of loved ones to the disease. We are now approaching 600 thousand deaths in the U.S.

    And there is simply NO EVIDENCE that “lockdowns….increased transmission by forcing people inside to share infected air…” What agenda does this unscientific and unsubstantiated statement serve???

    It is very clear when looking at the near disappearance of the flu in this country over this past year, that mask wearing and decreased social contact related to “lockdowns” LOWERED THE TRANSMISSION of any, and ALL, diseases.

    Any FAIR analysis of “Lockdowns” (see my above comment) would conclude that they had both positive and negative aspects in trying to fight against a very REAL and dangerous pandemic threat to humanity.

    Richard

  • Let’s be very clear and candid on the question of “Lockdowns” and Covid 19.

    1) Lockdowns were absolutely necessary AND saved tens of thousands of lives. In fact, if the Trumps administration had not been in COMPLETE DENIAL, AND had clearly and uniformly implemented ‘Lockdowns” in a decisive way (with a clear mask policy), at least two hundred thousand lives would have been saved in the U.S. We could have actually moved AWAY from “Lockdowns” many months sooner IF there had been political leadership based on real science. Where this was carried out in the world more correctly, there was a DRAMATIC decrease in Covid deaths, AND their society only shutdown for a short period.

    2) The ONLY REASON we can now move away from “Lockdowns,” as one method of controlling the Covid 19 pandemic, is because of the huge success of the Covid 19 vaccines. The vaccines have been overwhelmingly safe and effective, AND are THE SOLE REASON why we are now closer to herd immunity. (And yes, I would probably NOT take the J&J vaccine unless it was the only vaccine option available.)

    3) Yes, it was reasonable and rational to have serious distrust of Big Pharma when it comes to drug production and vaccines. BUT this same class of people are also vulnerable to dying from Covid 19 AND had enormous self interest (in addition to making big profits) in developing safe and effective vaccines. AND I believe most of these people actually took the vaccines along with their family members.

    4) I find it very difficult to take seriously those people writing comments about Covid 19 at MIA who were dead wrong on several key life and death issues related to this deadly virus. It was necessary during this pandemic to correctly sum up and apply scientific principles in real time. Some people had more difficulty doing this than others, and so far have not summed up their mistaken analysis.

    5) Some people writing here said Covid would disappear last Fall, Then they spread links to articles that said it would disappear by April of this year. Some of these same people discouraged people from taking the Covid vaccines. Again, the vaccines ARE the sole reason why Covid is in serious decline in the U.S.

    6) Yes, “Lockdowns” and “MasK policies” clearly “divide into two,” and have some negative and harmful aspects, ESPECIALLY when applied incorrectly. Yes, we undermine belief in science and the Covid vaccines when vaccinated people are not allowed to go maskless, and when people are wearing masks outdoors etc.

    7) Yes, “Lockdowns” were applied far too long in school systems, and this has created harm for many young people. There was enough evidence early on that schools could be opened in safer ways due to the differences in how Covid affects young people. There were many school systems in some parts of the country that successfully applied safe methods of staying open.

    8) Covid is not over for many people in the world (India dropped its guard and is paying a huge price in recent death tolls), and those people promoting “Anti-Vaxx” propaganda, and/or, not getting the vaccine, are actually preventing us (the whole world) from achieving human herd immunity. Covid 19 is real and must still be taken seriously. At the same time, we must sum up, criticize, and AVOID all the errors of over reaction and the related unscientifically based excessive control measures being unevenly applied throughout the country.

    Richard

  • “… the potential increases in suicide rates due to the pandemic and economic impacts of the pandemic might be YET TO COME [emphasis added], as the economic recession has been shown to be a contributor to rising suicidality.”

    I expect that with an increase in psychiatric drug use (especially “antidepressants’) as Big Pharma and psychiatry prey on increased levels of fear and personal loss, the rates of suicide will start to rise again. And we know that these drugs numb emotions, including empathy, which is one explanation why the number of mass shooting, once again, seems to be on the rise.

    Richard

  • I would ask the question: Is it really being “harsh” to point out that in the face of multiple forms of trauma and oppression in the world, someone keeps telling you over and over again that “you just don’t eat the right foods?”

    That in the face of being labeled “mentally ill” for life, given mind numbing toxic drugs, sometimes incarcerated in psychiatric prisons, limited in your access to good jobs, housing etc., your told over and over again that “food first” is THE WAY to finding “a vision to a happier, healthier tomorrow.” That “food first” will somehow give you the “resilience” to do WHAT I say? – perhaps maybe tolerate (and even accept!) the intolerable.

    And the same people telling you over and over again “you don’t eat right” (just another thing I’m f#*king up in my life) never attempt to identify (or critically analyze) the true sources of your overall oppression and unhappiness.

    To me this sounds like a very sophisticated form of “gaslighting” where you will be constantly questioning your own sanity when a better diet essentially does NOTHING to fundamentally address the oppressive power and control of psychiatry and a class based profit system that denies almost half of humanity decent food and other necessary essentials of a decent life.

    Once again, nutrition is NOT “the foundation of resilience.” And those who keep telling us this, in the face of very identifiable forms of oppression and means to fight it, are actually leading us AWAY from finding a true path to liberation and a healthier life.

    Oh, and BTW, YES, we should probably eat better than we do along the way.

    Richard

  • Is nutrition really the foundation of resilience? I would shout NO! and then put it way down the list of important factors in maintaining sanity and survival in today’s world.

    The final conclusion of this blog states the following:
    ” We lay out a three-step approach to improving mental health resilience which acknowledges that we are not all the same, that individual differences will influence efficacy of different treatments, and there is a place in the “mental health treatment tool box” for all the evidence-based treatments: these include whole-foods diets, micronutrients, counselling, family therapy, and medication. And we argue that nutrition ought to come first, because it provides the foundation for all the others.”

    In this blog there is not a single criticism of psychiatry and their Disease/Drug Based paradigm of so-called “treatment.” How can we even begin to discuss the importance of nutrition in today’s world without identifying the very oppressive social and political terrain in which we all live (some more than others), AND which has everything to do with who has the ability to have access to good nutrition.

    This blog provides no critical critique of psychiatric labeling, psychiatric drugs, psych hospitals, and poor counseling methods in today’s “mental health” system. No political critique of the pervasive class based oppression that denies the majority of people in the world from even having access to good food, besides being being able to be educated about these type of issues.

    All this blog wants people to do is put “nutrition” (and possibly reading their book “The Better Brain”) at the head of the list of important things to do in order to be “resilient in the face of a very stressful world.”

    Of course good nutrition is important, but it is NOT “the foundation of resilience.” I would suggest that the following things on this list are FAR MORE important than nutrition:

    1) and internalize sense of love and connection to other people currently in your life (or in your past) who support and care for your human needs, and help provide a belief and overall sense of hope for the future.

    2) a cognitive awareness of what forces in society can be trusted to help meet your needs and those of other human beings, AND what forces in society should be avoided and potentially eliminated in society.

    3) an ability (flowing from the above two conditions) to think strategically about possible ways to overcome obstacles and forms of oppression that stand in the way of one’s survival, and of future possibilities to move forward and make progress in life for oneself AND other human beings.

    Think for a moment about those people who survived concentration camps in World War Two (where “nutrition” was non existent), and those people currently incarcerated in prisons and psych hospitals (where good “nutrition” is severely limited) – what can and will help these people the most from not being totally “crushed” by this experience and thereby losing (or never gaining) their resilience?

    Better food is NOT even close to being the most important foundational necessity for what is going to help these people survive this experience with some sense of hope and motivation for moving forward with their lives.

    As is the case with all the other blogs written by these authors, they discuss the value of nutrition in today’s world ABSTRACTED (without any real social or political critique) from the very real forms of oppression facing humanity, especially those people suffering from all forms of psychiatric oppression.

    Richard

  • Kevin

    A very powerful and well written blog full of many insights, and more reasons why psychiatry and their entire Disease/Drug Based paradigm needs to be abolished.

    I am also saddened that you encountered a therapist who would diagnose you with PTSD and then NEVER ONCE address the very trauma experiences that sent you on this horrific odyssey. Having worked as a therapist for 25 years, I encountered many such people in the field. Many were quite fearful and could not tolerate the discomfort of exploring horrible childhood experiences with another person because they never did the necessary work on themselves around these issues to know how to really help someone else.

    Kevin, you did mention that you had several siblings, and that you “escaped the fate of your brothers.” I am curious to know more about their “fate,” and do you have any contact with them? Can they help validate your childhood trauma? I do know that in many such abusive families there are often many types of “splits” where there is actually very strong feelings of resentment, and almost a kind of competition as to who had it worse.

    I wish you the best and surely hope you continue to write and increase your activism exposing all forms of psychiatric oppression.

    Richard

  • Kindredspirit

    It is clearly beyond the time for you to be a published writer at MIA. This particular comment is filled with the kind of wisdom that should be published and read as an official blog at MIA; you will then be able to reach a far broader audience with your powerful words.

    Your humility is filled with so much strength and honesty that it in no way diminishes the content of your words, but only enhances the power and strength of your narrative. Please consider rewriting this particular comment as an official MIA blog, ASAP.

    Carry on! Richard

  • Steve

    Your last comment is a great summation of some of the important themes in this discussion, and also where we must stand in order to support the millions of victims of sexual trauma.

    I worked as a therapist for 25 years and used the trauma therapy method called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which has not been discussed so far in this particular thread. I believe use of this type of therapy has been subject to unfair criticism to discredit recovered memories of past trauma. I witnessed several therapy sessions where “clients” were able to access details of memories of past trauma experiences, and this helped them to “reprocess” these events in a way that reduced related anxiety, shame, and guilt.

    My experience using this client *centered* (you go where the client wants to go) type therapy method, only validates the fact that memory can be “repressed” or “blocked” because it is too painful or uncomfortable for a person to remember at the present time.

    EMDR can help provide a safe environment for someone to begin to recover “repressed” or “blocked” memories. Some people theorize that former victims will sometimes only begin to access past details when they feel more “safe,” and/or strong enough to endure (and “reprocess”) some of the deeply painful memories.

    Richard

  • Steve

    You said: “I would appreciate it if you are a little more careful in your between-the-lines implications in your “questions” in the future.”

    In this situation it was entirely fair for me to question your use of the phrase “this fiasco.”

    These are not yet provable facts; they are STILL only conjecture. I don’t know enough about the nature and purpose of these labs in China, and other parts of the world, to draw a definite conclusion that these experiments should NEVER be done.

    We do know that scientists in the past kept the smallpox virus in laboratories in order to develop an effective vaccine. This was certainly a great advance for humankind. Sometimes certain risks in science need to be taken in order to make important progress. We need MORE information and analysis to draw definite conclusions on these questions.

    Richard

  • OH says: ” Breggin has also implicated Fauci in the creation of COVID 19.”

    Breggin has ONLY detailed some evidence that Faunci was working with other scientists, including some from China, on pandemic PREVENTION experiments.

    There is NO definitive evidence that these experiments somehow released the Covid 19 virus into the general public. NONE WHATSOEVER!

    This is all pure SPECULATION WITH A POLITICAL AGENDA! And that political agenda by Breggin is DEFENDING the Trump/Pence regime’s MIS-handling of the Covid 19 pandemic that led to several hundred thousand PREVENTABLE deaths.

    I cannot say with any certainty that Covid 19 was not some type of lab experiment gone wrong, BUT it is absolutely wrong, on so many levels, to promote SPECULATIVE TYPE THEORIES as if they are TRUE FACTS.

    Richard

  • Rebel

    You raise many important questions and concerns about Covid vaccines. Some of these questions will not be completely answered until several decades have past.

    HOWEVER, we (and the rest of humanity) are faced with a DECISIVE need to draw certain scientific conclusions NOW, based on the BEST available scientific evidence.

    If we DON’T act now on the BEST available evidence. we will not be able to achieve “herd immunity” and stop the deadly spread of Covid 19. And the more we hesitate, we actually give the spread of mutant strains more time to gain a foot hold in society, THUS PROLONGING THE LONG TERM DANGERS OF THIS VIRUS.

    This is no time to be stuck in “relativism;” a view that we cannot really know and ACT ON the “relative truth” of the moment.

    We simply do not have the time to remain perpetually skeptical or “agnostic” on these scientific questions about the Covid 19 vaccines.

    Sometimes we must act decisively on the BEST available information, and then continue to sum up each and every new fact we gather, as things develop. The best current evidence says that the vaccines ARE “safe and effective.”

    This IS one of those decisive moments in history where difficult decisions must be made despite NOT having ALL the related information.

    Richard

  • THANK YOU KS! You speak the truth so clearly and succinctly.

    There is a lot at stake here, including (most importantly) the very lives of psychiatric victims and survivors.

    In my view, we have completely lost Peter Breggin as a serious writer and activist against psychiatric oppression. He has totally gone “off the rails” and abandoned genuine science when it comes to the Covid 19 pandemic, along with his unfortunate embrace of other dangerous Right Wing Trumpian type perspectives. He is now, sadly, more of a liability than an asset to our movement

    We CANNOT allow that same trajectory to occur to other activists within the anti-psychiatry movement. We are on a “long road” in our fight against psychiatric oppression – this road will be filled with many twists and turns over the years. We are currently being tested, IN REAL TIME, as to our ability to assess genuine science and chart a political course of radical activism that can actually succeed in saving humanity.

    Some people are currently “failing,” (so far) in this “real time” test. We must do our best (at the risk of some discomfort) to stand up for the truth, and for what we know will truly advance the righteous cause of the oppressed.

    “Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!”

    Richard

  • OH says:” I doubt that there is anyone seriously calling the virus a “hoax,” so arguing along those lines is what they like to call a “straw man” argument.”

    There are two versions of the “hoax” approach to the Covid 19 pandemic. One is that there is NO Covid 19 virus at all; it was just made up to create fear and hysteria etc.

    The other (more common) version of the “hoax” approach to Covid 19 is that it is NO MORE DANGEROUS than the common flu etc. And that we should seek “herd immunity” through normal activities without ANY drastic measures that might include vaccines and/or shutdowns etc.

    This is the approach that some writers here have taken throughout the many debates within the MIA comment section.

    Some people have actually echoed the essential Trump position that Covid 19 is no more dangerous than the flu AND would just disappear (in spring, fall, winter etc). Some here at MIA have been quoted, that it would “most likely disappear by fall {2020}.”

    Both of these main positions of this version of the “hoax” theory have been proven to be 100% wrong based on statistics and facts, including the horrendous loss of several HUNDRED THOUSAND more deaths since “the fall.”

    Of course everyone should make their own decision on these questions, BUT it is whole other thing to promote unfounded fear of vaccines that may discourage other vulnerable people from taking them, AND continue to dramatically underplay the dangers of Covid 19.

    This is especially true when those espousing this type of “hoax” theory are basing part of their own personal decisions (to avoid the vaccines) on anecdotal evidence and superstition, NOT GENUINE SCIENCE. Such as believing they might have resistance to Covid 19 because they have never had the flu over the past 20 years et, – “cross my fingers.”

    Part of our ability to eventually achieve “herd immunity” in society and diminish the severity of the deadly Covid 19 pandemic, actually INCLUDES a significant proportion of the population taking one of the vaccines.

    We all sometimes say things like “cross my fingers” or “knock on wood” etc. These are common phrases within our culture, BUT they are FAR FROM being scientific. AND they should NOT be the kind of information we use to spread unfounded fear of vaccines OR actually be encouraging others to possibly avoid the Covid 19 vaccine.

    All this is especially true when those people who demand such a high level of science when critiquing and condemning psychiatry and their oppressive Medical Model, seriously LOWER the bar of scientific responsibility when critiquing the Covid 19 pandemic.

    We ALL must seek a HIGH BAR of scientific CONSISTENCY if we want people to follow us on the road to eventually abolishing psychiatry and ending all forms of psychiatric oppression.

    Richard

  • Do you really want to promote fear and doubt about the Covid 19 vaccine that might actually END UP influencing psychiatric survivors to NOT be vaccinated? There is a whole lot at stake in promoting this type of dialogue, with a potential for tragic outcomes for some vulnerable people who are on the fence.

    Again, it is one thing to question the quality of the science around the development of the Covid vaccine, BUT it is a whole other thing to promote unsubstantiated theories that somehow these vaccines are either bad, or not worth the risk of taking. What about the measles, small pox, and polio vaccines?

    Of course Big Pharma and those in power want to maximize profit and yes, keep all their power. BUT they also have a desire and innate drive to STAY ALIVE. Some medicines developed by these institutions and people are actually GOOD and NECESSARY for the survival of our species.

  • “And I will say that since the vaccine was rushed through, without trials, the doctors can’t actually give informed consent. Since they have no information on the safety or efficacy of the vaccine.”

    One can have questions or concerns about the the Covid vaccine, but his is simply a false statement.

    The are several DIFFERENT vaccines that were produced LAST SPRING. The reason why they only RECENTLY began to be administered on a wide basis, is because they went through a period of 9 months (or more) of TRIALS AND TESTING. And YES, they DO have information on safety AND efficacy.

    It is one thing to question the speed and quality of this testing, but please don’t deny its existence.

    Richard

  • Rebel

    I agree that here has long been a “pandemic” of violence, death, and overall oppression for the millions of victims of psychiatry over many decades.

    And I believe this will only continue until we have major systemic type changes in the world. Psychiatry, and their entire paradigm of so-called “treatment,” is just too valuable and necessary to the status quo to be allowed to be abolished, short of a genuine *Revolution* eliminating a profit based type economic and political system.

    And the current pandemic has provided much fertile ground for psychiatry and their Disease/Drug Based Medical Modal, to actually expand their control in the coming period. With increased isolation and levels of anxiety in the world, Big Pharma and psychiatry are lurking like vultures, ready to pounce on a new generation of potential victims. Benzo prescriptions are way up, as just one particular scary example of what dangers lie before us.

    And these new victims will be in addition to all those already lost to Covid in the locked psychiatric facilities where no safety was provided.

    You said: “Much of the suffering is due to the ramifications of these political decisions masquerading as “public health decisions.”

    I hope you are ready to hold accountable the past political leadership (the Trump/Pence regime) in this country who denied the pandemic and virtually took no action to mitigate deaths. Operation “Warp Speed” was just political “capital” that was quickly forgotten as soon as the election was over. This is negligent homicide on a mass scale, leading to several hundred thousand preventable deaths.

    “Public health decisions” have been a mixed bag that have taken place in the ABSENCE of any genuine science or humane compassion emanating from the highest levels of government, and/or guiding a sane approach to this medical catastrophe.

    Respectfully, Richard

  • KS

    As you know, I have deep respect for your past writings on Covid 19. I also agree that it is reasonable to question all the assertions from those in power regarding this pandemic, BUT we must be very careful and responsible how we go about it.

    Covid 19 has taken its deadly toll on many victims of psychiatric oppression, as those past blogs about its rapid spread and lack of protection in many psychiatric facilities (prisons). This will still be the case as we go forward.

    Given the fact that this pandemic will most likely be around (in some form or another) for quite some time in the future, we all will be confronting many ongoing scientific and related political questions in real time. This will be a challenge we cannot avoid.

    Given the level of polarization in today’s society (with a strong pre-civil war type tenor to it), every political movement (including the struggle against psychiatric oppression) will be confronted with difficult questions regarding science and competing narratives in the dissemination of news.

    The proliferation of theories in social media (and elsewhere) that have the word “conspiracy” attached to them, are incredibly disruptive and corrosive to ALL political movements for change.

    We must find a way, RIGHT NOW, to start sorting this out (even at the risk of initially losing some people) or it will come back to haunt us in ways that will seriously hold back and/or destroy righteous political movements. This is why I stressed the dangers of resorting to “pragmatism” in my previous comment.

    There is not much more I can say at this time. I am still concerned and disappointed that others here at MIA don’t share these same concerns at this time.

    KS, thanks for the feedback; I do take your words very seriously.

    Richard

  • As we approach nearly a half million casualties from Covid 19, I am simply amazed at the levels of denial and avoidance of reality related to this pandemic.

    It is NOT hyperbolic to say that with proper attention to genuine KNOWABLE science and appropriate leadership, at least half of these deaths were preventable in the U.S.

    The Covid 19 pandemic is a major scientific and political challenge facing humanity in REAL TIME. This is a test of one’s (individuals and institutions) ability to apply genuine science when there is such enormous stakes at hand for all of humanity.

    Since when do we shrink away from our important moral imperatives because it might somehow create some disagreements within our ranks. Let’s not bow before such a crude form of pragmatism – there is no progress without struggle.

    Richard

  • Oldhead

    You have made some statements about Covid 19, regarding its overall lethality and dangers, that do not match with current credible scientific summations. You are repeating similar type statements that you made in MIA comments last summer, when you predicted that Covid 19 would most likely disappear in the fall.The reality has become quite the opposite, where there is now a massive increase in Covid 19 infections and related deaths. Oldhead, are you able to be self critical about these past statements, and reconsider your depth of understanding regarding the important science related to this pandemic.

    You have also made serious allegations regarding Dr. Fauci and the origins of Covid 19 that have NO verifiable truth to them. Yes, Fauci worked with some Chinese scientists on various types of pandemic PREVENTION efforts, but there is NO credible evidence that this virus is man made, or somehow part of some nefarious form of biological warfare by the Chinese.

    If we hope to be taken serious in our anti-psychiatry activism and writings, we cannot allow ourselves to be accused of irresponsible journalism by repeating unproven theories that quite often have the word “conspiracy” attached to them.This kind of volatile speculation (not based in scientific fact) only serves to undercut a person’s role as an anti-psychiatry activist, or any other type of political activist.

    You said: “… it’s { Covid 19} a virus, with about the same mortality rate as the flu…”
    This is a false statement that dangerously understates the overall risks related to Covid 19 and the necessity for people to practice safe measures. Read the Lancet study linked below for more a more accurate account of Covid 19’s lethality.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(20)30527-0/fulltext

    You said: “The very idea of a “pre-covid” and “post-covid” world is buying into a hyper-Orwellian agenda taking place at a higher level than individual politicians or administrations. Covid should not be the reference point for history.”

    The Covid 19 pandemic is ONLY, AT BEST, HALF WAY THROUGH ITS DAMAGING HISTORICAL COURSE OF SOCIAL AND POLITICAL EFFECTS ON THE PLANET. This pandemic will have even more damaging and extreme polarizing type effects on the underdeveloped world (and under classes in 1st world countries) as it continues its spread across the planet.

    You said: ” “The Fauci” was (and possibly still is) involved in financing joint American-Chinese “frankenstein” projects such as — you guessed it — genetically engineering bat viruses to be transmissible to humans. I kid you not.”

    These are misleading statements (again, not based in verifiable evidence) that not only maligns Fauci’s reputation, but also feeds into a lot of wild type speculation that ends up being anti-science. You have provided no sources for these theories, and project them as accepted fact.

    If you are repeating the far out views of Dr. Peter Breggin (who has unfortunately totally lost his political and scientific compass), then you must also be overlooking his “herd immunity” approach (also Trump’s unspoken approach) for Covid 19, and his rabid promotion of the drug, hydroxycloroquine. Both of these approaches to Covid 19 have proven (on a world scale) to be a disastrous path to follow when dealing with this particular pandemic.

    BTW, I am not without criticisms of Dr. Fauci, who I think overall “enabled” the oppressive leadership of Trump for a much too long of a period. He would have had a much more powerful effect, on promoting science and the truth about Covid, if he had resigned early on, and held his own separate press conferences refuting the criminal approach of the Trump/Pence regime.

    You said: ” Because of the divisive potential I hope to move on to more pressing things, but the above pretty much sums up my attitude on all things covid.”

    Oldhead, it is not a responsible approach (while in the middle of a deadly pandemic) to just toss out a few major pieces of potential disinformation on Covid 19, and then say you want “…move on to more pressing things.”

    These are “life and death” type issues – do you really expect (or want) people to just ignore them and “move on.”

    Covid 19, and ALL the political and scientific debates surrounding the pandemic, is a major “bellwether” for future evaluations of where to place our trust in scientific spokespeople, and other potential political leaders trying to transform the world into a more humane place to live.

    Richard

  • Peter

    This was a great blog that made a very deep scientific connection between the evolution of our species and the unmet needs and distorted practices of modern society.

    HOWEVER, You end this blog with the following recommendations:

    ” First, we must restructure “work.” Challenge and sociality must trump “efficiency.” Second, we must reduce inequality…”
    “Third, we must restructure education. Instead of cramming kids into classrooms to “teach” one curriculum, we must help each child explore natural talents and develop programs to optimize individual growth. Guide education by a conclusion from neuroscience: what we practice, we become.”

    Unfortunately, there is absolutely NO MENTION of the “elephant in the room.” We live in a profit based capitalist/imperialist structured world, where a tiny minority controls the wealth and overall political reigns of society.

    NONE of the necessary changes you propose can actually take place UNLESS AND UNTIL, there are major systemic changes in the social and political structures across the entire planet.

    We are social beings that REQUIRE cooperative and equal social structures to guide and restructure the world (creating conditions for endless challenges and stimulation) on a continuous basis. This CANNOT happen without a transition to a SOCIALIST WORLD on a transitional path to a completely classless society and world. There is simply no other alternative that will save this planet.

    Without these types of worldwide changes and goals, this planet, and its many species, is unfortunately doomed to either climate destruction, and/or an inevitable world war between competing imperialist countries.

    It is so frustrating to read and hear brilliant minds discuss the existential plight of the human condition and then NEVER acknowledge the enormous “elephant in the room.”

    Richard

  • Kindredspirit

    You comment is so true about how the oppressive effect of psychiatry penetrates deep within those who fall victim.

    It makes me think of Matt (who sadly may have taken his own life because of this), and some of the other writers here who have described the allure of going back when times get rough.

    And I agree with OH about the quality of your writing here.

    If we go back to this past summer and fall, your writings on Covid 19 and the importance of legitimate science being followed for very difficult decisions, your courageous stance on these vital questions has proven to be SO TRUE. I hope others who participated in these conversations will review these past dialogues to reassess their own positions on these life and death questions.

    Richard

  • I would say that Phil has a very healthy obsession with the truth, AND a deep determination to eradicate one of the most oppressive institutions on the planet.

    Every one of Philip Hickey’s blogs, exposing the fraudulent nature of psychiatry, simply brings me GREAT JOY whenever I read them.

    Cynicism and negativity serves as a barrier to making significant change in the world. It’s time we all work on seeking out liberating ideology, organization, and decisive political action.

    Richard

  • Phil
    Bravo! For once again, you have used your words and analysis, like a skilled surgical knife, to expose the fraud and harm done by psychiatry.

    You said: “So there are legitimate criticisms of psychiatry. They are “over-diagnosis related to insurance reimbursement”, “over-prescribing” to the exclusion of psychosocial therapies, and “the profit-driven influence of ‘Big Pharma’”.”

    Yes! We cannot underestimate the enormous impact that the profit motive (and the capitalist system it serves) plays when looking at the influence of Big Pharma and its strategic position in the overall U. S. economy.

    Nor can we underestimate how much psychiatry and their entire Disease/Drug based paradigm, serves the function of shifting people’s attention away from all the inherent inequalities and trauma embedded within a class based capitalist system. The “powers that be” want us to believe that all levels of personal and social dysfunction are rooted in biology and so-called genetic based personal flaws.

    Carry on Phil! You are a treasure to all those who seek truth and justice in the world. And I do hope that your medical problems involving past kidney failure have improved, and that somehow you were able to receive a much needed kidney transplant.

    Comradely, Richard

  • It is amazing that this author (who wrote a pretty good analysis of some aspects related to the phenomena of depression) said absolutely NOTHING about the current paradigm of so-called “treatment” that mislabels people with depression, AND promotes the use of toxic drugs on a mass scale.

    This author completely ignores the political and social context for her overall analysis. I am not sure where this huge blind spot originates from, but perhaps it is fear of being condemned by the major institutions (Big Pharma and psychiatry) if she appropriately targeted them for the enormous harm they are causing with DSM labels and the toxic drugging of millions of people.

    Richard

  • Oldhead

    You said: “Is this another reason we’re supposed to hate Trump, for denying people psychiatrists?”

    Are you suggesting there are not another million reasons why we should be truly hating on Trump?

    BTW, need I point out now, that it was Trump and a few other writers here who tragically ignored science and said that the pandemic would disappear in the fall. How’s that working out?

    Richard

  • madmom

    These are very big and profound demands you are making here, AND they are absolutely righteous and scientifically correct.

    But these demands can NEVER be realized under the current profit based capitalist system.

    Psychiatry and the entire Medical Model have spent several hundred billion dollars on PR campaigns brainwashing the public over the past 4 decades. This mind control, combined with Big Pharma profits, runs very deep in its reinforcement of the status quo.

    Psychiatry and all the power it uses as a means of social control in society, is now critically necessary for the preservation of this capitalist system.

    We need major systemic change on a massive scale to end all forms of psychiatric oppression.

    Richard

  • Johanna says:
    “We are too large and complex a society to leave this to the kindness of family or neighbours.”

    Oldhead says:
    “This is a cynical and negative assessment of what people are capable of, and I see the whole idea of “services” as akin to prostitution.”

    I believe we CANNOT simply jump from an oppressive Medical Model in a profit based capitalist system to a system where it’s “just people supporting people.” People would correctly view this as “utopian” type thinking.

    There must be a stage in between where there are people (survivors and non-survivors) who are trained in some type of “service” to help people in serious psychological distress.

    We must view this very similar to (and as a part of) a stage of socialism, where there are still some left over divisions of labor and status differences from the old system, as a TRANSITION to the new goal of a true classless society.

    This transitional period could take many decades. One overall goal of such a society would be to gradually eliminate ALL the various forms of trauma and violence, which is fundamentally rooted in poverty and multiple kinds of class based oppression. All of this trauma and violence is the ultimate source of severe human psychological distress.

    The major difference in THIS new kind of “service” is that people would instead be trained to oppose ALL Medical Model thinking and behavior. AND most importantly, they would know RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING of their “service” that their goal would be to ultimately make their jobs become totally obsolete in society.

    THIS is how we combine both Johanna’s AND Oldhead’s perspective on this vital topic.

    Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!

    Richard

  • Oldhead

    It is a serious matter when we provide links to internet articles and websites. I would hope that you had carefully vetted this source before steering others to possibly immerse themselves into this author’s writings.

    I took over an hour of my time to careful review the internet website (including his Facebook page and other writings) of Jon Rappaport, the author you chose to use in order to promote some of your concerns about government policy on the pandemic.

    What I found was a man who is steeped in bizarre conspiracy theories that are unproven, including a hardcore anti-vaxx analysis, and other far out Right Wing theories of thought control, combined with ultra Libertarian views on individual liberty.

    This man uses all of his conspiracy theories and bizarre forms of fear mongering as a means to SELL his two books called, “Exit From The Matrix” and “Power Outside The Matrix.” These will cost you $250.00. He is also selling his personal advisory capacity. I am highly concerned for anyone that would take this man’s advice on ANY topic of importance.

    I found most of what I read by Jon Rappaport, to be virtually incomprehensible, and clearly out of touch with reality.

    Oldhead, are you also against all vaccines, as this man has described as a dangerous conspiracy?

    Richard