Showing 100 of 643 comments.
Thank you for this science; a confirmation bias is powerful for those seeking fame.
Dr. Puras did great community service through the UN but I do not understand how it could be described as “Bringing Human Rights to ‘Mental Health’ Care.” The UN Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that it is a Human Right for people to have “freedom to make sense of experiences in their own way.” I do not understand human rights in any “mental health” care that accepts “coercive treatments”; Dr. Puras does not seem to address this fundamental human rights violation.
Thank you Robert Whitaker for bringing real science to the discussion of antipsychotics.
I agree; it deserves re-printing!
“Mental health” care harms the community by pathologizing painful social welfare problems – “sadness”; pathologizing sadness (the natural expression of sad experiences) with terms like “moral injury” denies our humanity. Employed “mental health” care workers will harm their desperate, unemployed clients by advocating that their painful sadness (from rightfully fearing that their children will go hungry and live destitute) is instead a pathology caused by a “genetic predisposition.”
Thank you for your critically important community service in advocating for the marginalized and disenfranchised.
Real science reads like “therapy” to me; thank you.
Dr. Rashed’s article that describes identity problems for psychiatry from challenges to its legitimacy is confusing to me. Dr. Rashed advocates that clinicians obscure this crisis by distancing themselves from medical science rather than addressing logical criticisms to psychiatry’s validity.
Thank you for the community service of advocating that emotional suffering is natural rather than pathological; it is a critically important point for improving the quality of life in the community. What is difficult to understand about natural emotional suffering is how painful it can be when distressful experiences become extreme. I would not have believed that emotional pain could be as strong as physical pain until after experiencing trauma in early adulthood; for the following decade, I could no longer feel physical pain because the emotional pain was so strong. Thereafter, I came to believe that a prerequisite for discussing emotional suffering is to state outright that current theory discounts its painfulness.
Kenneth Blatt, MD, I believe that you underestimate the power of psychiatry to dominate the “mental health” care industry based on its purporting the “hard” sciences of biology and physiology – natural science. But while neurology is the medical science that addresses the biology and physiology of the brain, psychiatry is philosophy – an illegitimate medical science advocating the Myth of “mental illness.”
We are not “free of the medical model” when the pain of social, economic and/or spiritual distress causes sleep deprivation and resulting disorientation. The coerced “medical” treatment that results is a harmful violation of human rights as mandated by the UN Commission on Human Rights (1948). Until medical schools stop accrediting psychiatry as a medical science, it will continue iatrogenic harm of historic proportions.
I am a neuroscientist who can explain the theoretical problems with current neuroscience theory in a sidebar if you are interested.
Thank you for this insightful blog addressing the issue of “status”; psychiatry should be defined as “gatekeepers of status.”
Your writing is a valuable community service since it is articulate and insightful; you should be broadly published. Consistently, I believe in the natural science advocacy of our natural motivation to seek well-being (social affirmation and support) and that people generally seek “status” to promote well-being when the community is stingy with its affirmation and support.
What confuses me about your article is the apparent, standard disconnect between distressful experiences and stress. I understood you to describe brutal, distressful experiences as stressors and that the “potential impact of stressors like these on mental well being is shocking.” I am confused by your shock and our cultural belief that distressful experiences are not the sole cause of anxiety and stress. I believe that “mental health” is an oxymoron that effectively pathologizes natural emotional suffering from distressful experiences (social, economic and/or spiritual distress). By defining “mental health” as emotional well-being, psychiatry implies that emotional suffering is a sickness (regardless of predominately distressful experiences). While this is illogical, it is a common perspective on emotional suffering. Thus if you tell someone that you are considering killing yourself, they do not hear the obvious (that you are suffering emotionally); instead, they hear that you have a disease that worries them. They are afraid that your disease will kill you, that you lack insight about your need for professional help, and that they do not want to mistakenly appear to have any valuable expertice into your disease.
I believe that we all seek well-being (affirmation and social support) and that we all feel some degree of stress from cultural values. But I also believe that status anxiety is generally significantly greater for those without status and that there is substantial injustice around that issue.
I agree that the vast majority of people in the “mental health” care industry have good intentions. I also totally agree that the culture should become more civil to meet the needs of the community.
My problem is that I believe that the “mental health” care industry pathologizes social, economic and/or spiritual distress and denies basic human rights for suffering emotionally. As long as the industry believes that anxiety and depression are diseases rather than natural responses to distressing and depressing experiences, they could not possibly “see me.” As long as the industry cannot “see me”, they cannot possibly understand the impact that they are having on me and thus I would consider an apology not relevant.
I believe that if you want to understand someone, you must understand who they are arguing against. I am arguing against psychiatry for advocating the harmful Myth of “mental illness” that pathologizes natural “problems in living” and for their human rights abuses. Are you arguing against the general level of incivility in our culture, or how would you describe the community’s over-riding social problem related to “mental health” care?
I believe that apologizing is a nice thing to do after transgressing; it promotes a more civil society. However, our community is embattled so I agree with Oldhead that the issue lacks critical importance to me. I believe the slogan was: “I don’t care if The Man likes me; I just want his boot off my neck!”
Your ideas are not that radical; many non-clinicians similarly believe that current psychiatric drugs do not solve loniliness nor increase a sense of belonging. Some radicals even go as far as saying that pills will never solve loniliness and that we should instead consider a more civil, inclusive culture to promote a sense of belonging.
“Scientism” is a widespread problem but behavioral genetics takes it to the next level; what it passes off for science is ludicrous starting with the Minnesota Study of Identical Twins Reared Apart.
“EI refers to the ability to interpret, process, and apply understanding of emotion”: emotion that expresses the suffering of abuse from injustice will be pathologized by psychiatry.
Bonnie will be remembered as a courageous advocate for the marginalized who left a great legacy with her groundbreaking scholarship. RIP Bonnie; you led a noble life.
Thank you for this response, Steve
I believe that you misunderstand the blog: “If I’m reading this correctly, this is just another way of saying ontological insecurity is the result of major, entrenched dissociation caused by trauma.” I understand “ontological” to mean that something exists independently… not caused by experiences like trauma; I believe that it supports psychiatry in advocating a “genetic predisposition” for insecurity. The article is advocating that trauma does not cause the insecurity expressed in “mental illness”; it advocates that trauma does not impact human psychology. Instead, the article is advocating that the insecurity expressed in “mental illness” is caused by a genetic predisposition for insecurity that they label “ontological” insecurity. I believe that the article advocates “Pollyanna”; do others agree?
Your blogs are a community service; thank you.
I have been confused about why psychiatry does not include suicide ideation in its DSM as a “mental disorder”; it seems most consistent with their pathologizing of social, economic and/or spiritual distress. I can only imagine psychiatry wanting to avoid criticism of its ineffectiveness… but that seems critical; can anyone provide a better explanation?
Thank you for your community service in leadership of important challenges to abuses by psychiatry.
“I often share my personal experiences to make clear that we are all much alike in both misery and recovery.” Do you believe that children experience similarly distressful experiences? Might being a financially secure, widely admired community leader make your “recovery” from “helplessness” appear more atypical than exemplary?
I really appreciate the emphasis of the post on promoting love and a more kind, caring community to reduce human suffering; thank you again for your community service.
This is a good example of “scientism”: the “science” of investigating a completely abstract, undefinable concept like “vulnerability” to “psychosis” (“ontological insecurity”).
What a radical idea these researchers are proposing; who would have thought that depressing experiences could cause depression?
Well said; the systemic lack of caring in our foster “care” programs is a crime against humanity.
“It is never an answer to remove children from their parents”; I agree with the sentiment of the post except in cases where parents continue to cause significant harm to their children.
Thank you for this wonderful tribute to Del; he bore witness to the cruelty of addressing childhood trauma with critical labels and drugs for the victims.
“We live in a trauma based society, and the Medical Model does everything to steer us away from understanding the connection between psychological pain and the surrounding environment.” Well said.
Thank you for the community service of continuing to campaign against medical ghostwriting; it is astonishingly sad that this fraud continues.
Thank you for your community service and your efforts for informed-consent. I believe that informed-consent should include the truth about psychiatric drugs as “medicines”; they subdue emotions rather than address a biological dysfunction.
The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart is the greatest fraud in history since the twins in the study were not actually reared apart (as documented in the study) and since it is the fulcrum of “scientific” support for the “medical model.”
“It is difficult to understand something when your livelihood depends upon you not understanding it”; I blame medical schools for accrediting the pathologizing of natural human suffering.
Well said. They believe that they will be vindicated for their scientific transgressions when biology finally proves them right about their erroneous medical model. Their mantra: “fake it till ya make it.”
I do not know if I have read as articulate a description of iatrogenic harm!
“When psychiatry decided to become a laboratory science”, it is was still a medical science harming the community by pathologizing natural human suffering.
Thank you for continuing to engage with commenters.
Until I experienced trauma in early adulthood, I could not have imagined how painful “sadness” can feel and how desperate for relief I could feel. After the trauma, my life became a living nightmare and I was becoming disoriented from fatigue; I could not sleep because all dreams were nightmares. I desperately needed drugs to sleep and drugs to kill the pain so I could think “straight”; my situation was desperate and I needed sleep if I hoped to resolve real problems in living.
My experiences taught me that I had not understood sadness in my life before I experienced trauma, that it was far more painful than I imagined, and that psychiatry pathologizes it. Thereafter, I experienced suicidal ideation because it appeared to be the only logical path for relief from my pain. I could not access heavy enough drugs to promote sleep without a psychiatric label and a psychiatric label would have made my “recovery” impossible.
I believe that you misunderstand the importance of the validity of psychiatry and its labels. If psychiatry lacks biological validity in addressing human suffering, its theory is causing iatrogenic harm of historic proportions. Psychiatric drugs may provide short-term relief that clients seek, but convincing a culture that sadness is a disease promotes widespread drug abuse from believers and suicide from non-believers.
I also want to salute another articulate post by someone bringing clarity to the world. I especially appreciate the clarity of this comment: “Meanwhile, the true causes of these human concerns are hiding in plain sight: loss; inadequate training; traumatic history; painful events; etc.”
I also found her comments insightful and am sorry to hear of her passing.
Thank you for articulating your perspective and for permitting comments.
“I propose that critiquing biological psychiatry is a straw man… as it is but one player in the crowded mental health industrial complex.” I believe that you underestimate the supreme power that psychiatry has in the “mental health industrial complex” based on its purported foundation on biology and physiology. Consistently, I consider “biological psychiatry” to be misleadingly redundant: all medical sciences are considered biological sciences by the community whether psychiatry is based on Freudian theory or is without an underlying theory. Psychiatry may be mocked by other medical science specialties but the community considers it a medical science and considers medical science to be the “holy grail” for addressing health problems. Medical schools are ultimately responsible for the calamity that psychiatry causes the community by accrediting a philosophy of “mind” as a medical (biological) science.
“Does this mean mental illnesses don’t exist?… Are you saying that people aren’t suffering?” People are suffering extreme pain from social, economic and/or spiritual distress (natural, painful emotional suffering) but their suffering is natural rather than a disease. Psychiatry advocates Pollyanna and a fairy tale world of kindness and goodness.
Thank you for your articulate comments about the relationship between emotional distress and pain; I believe that you understand more about pain than most physicians.
At this time of reflection, I salute the community service of this website and its evolving mission statement!
Thank you for the community service of articulately describing the “scientism” of psychiatry.
I agree. Since psychiatry pathologizes natural emotions and behaviors, the alternative is to stop pathologizing natural emotions and behaviors. Existing social services are intended to “support” people with social welfare problems but are totally inadequate to meet the crisis of human suffering caused by the economic and political system.
I consider myself a scientist who is alarmed at the absurdity of the scientism of psychiatry and its advocacy that lived experience hardly affects emotions. Thank you for articulately addressing this issue.
This “psychosis” study concludes that positive social relationships are helpful and negative social experiences are unhelpful; this supports the contention that lived experience affects human psychology. This is an astonishing prerequisite for considering whether “psychosis” pathologizes natural emotional suffering (sadness).
Excellent article. Unfortunately, the New York Times is running a simultaneous article today that celebrates DBS as a potential game changer; it does not mention the failure of research trials.
Depressing life circumstances do not induce depression?
I respectfully disagree; I believe that psychiatry gains its cultural acceptance through its false claim of medical science legitimacy- of being “disguised by the trappings of medicine.” Challenging its pseudoscience seems critical for exposing its medical disguise and its police function.
I believe that you are a rare exception if you ended up in “civil commitment” without expressing “distress in response to adversity.”
I agree; they are denying our humanity by “relegating personal histories to ‘triggers’ of an underlying genetic time bomb.”
I respectfully disagree; our community considers science to be our best way of understanding ourselves and our environment. Consistently, psychiatry dominates the “mental health” care industry based on its false claim of being a biological science. Hence, I appreciate Joseph’s challenges to their pseudo genetics- to their garbage “science.”
Well said Rachel 777. It seems therapeutic to understand that depression is a natural reaction to depressing experiences so that depressing experiences can be addressed and countered. Consistently, if depression is understood as the natural reaction to depressing experiences, assistance would take the form of empathy and support rather than drugs and coercion.
Real biology explains depression as the natural expression of depressing experiences; psychiatry increases prognosis pessimism by pathologizing natural emotional suffering.
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In 1984, the Thought Police force Happy Pills on everyone; in 2019, the Thought Police only force Happy Pills on people when they act unhappy. Beware.
Steve McCrea is a smart fellow; you could learn a great deal by clicking on his name and reviewing some of his previous comments to other blogs. Steve said that there is no organic criteria for any DSM diagnoses and you disagreed with a link to the National Institute of Health that provides no organic criteria for any DSM diagnoses. The DSM criteria that you referenced are all descriptions of behavior patterns; there are no biological criteria for any DSM diagnoses.
Your satire is funny because it is articulate and painfully true. However, I thought that I understood the blog completely until Slayer questioned how the blog specified “biological” psychiatry; thereafter, I was confused about the distinction. As an accredited medical science (albeit an illegitimate medical science), all psychiatry is “biological” psychiatry. However, most people who use the term intend to make some distinction from “mainstream” psychiatry; what was your intent?
I was supporting this comment “thread” that I understood to address how our culture uses fear to pit people against each other – uses fear to “divide and conquer.” I did not understand this thread to challenge my contention that psychiatry pathologizes natural emotions and behaviors, and that this serves as a political tool to delegitimize criticism of social and economic injustice.
Whitaker and Kindredspirit, Right On!
Thank you for the community service of speaking the truth about your life. Psychiatry is “trauma denial” in support of existing social structures; it falsely advocates that distressful experiences are an anomaly in an otherwise friendly environment. Psychiatry is trauma denial when advocating that people should “recover” from traumatic experiences without justice and often without cessation of the traumatic experiences. Psychiatry shames the victims of trauma by advocating Pollyanna and a fairy tale world of fairness and goodness; the truth about distressful human experience is antipsychiatry.
Your comment is confusing: my comment supports the main theme of the blog that criticizes blaming the “mentally ill” for mass shootings instead of blaming a societal failure. Criticizing a culture does not address the behavior of an individual within a culture. I believe that our epidemic of mass shootings is caused by an increasingly hateful and violent culture- a societal failure that includes sedating natural emotions and non-conforming behaviors with neurotoxins.
Thank you for this articulate and timely blog. It is unfortunate that the obvious truth is currently so difficult for so many people to see: “This blaming ultimately prevents us from acknowledging the obvious truth: the regular presence of mass murders in our society needs to be seen as a societal failure.”
Well said: “Of course all psychiatric terminology is hate speech.”
Thank you for your community service in articulately advocating against how standard “mental health” care harms society by pathologizing suicide.
Since psychiatry pathologizes suicide consistent with other natural behaviors that it pathologizes, I am confused about why psychiatry does not include suicide ideation as another mythical DSM diagnosis.
Best wishes, Steve
I am troubled by psychiatry harming the community with the myth of “mental illness”- by pathologizing natural emotional suffering and natural, non-conforming behaviors. I am also trouble by the term “neurodiversity” when it advocates that “mental illness” is a passageway to special spiritual enlightenment; this puts a positive spin on a harmful myth. I support “neurodiversity” in some contexts but not as a new myth that supports a few people while obscuring the source of a calamity for a multitude of others.
Thank you for your response; I believe that I am using the term “neurodiverse” in a different context than others. I now understand you and others to use the term “neurodiverse” in a social context about what is “normal” brain functioning (wherein “normal” is understood as common or average). In contrast, I was focusing on a medical context about what is “natural” brain functioning. I agree that there is no “normal” brain functioning but believe that there is “natural” and “unnatural” brain functioning- natural and pathological functioning. I thought that advocates of “neurodiversity” were trying to put a positive spin on “mental disorders” that pathologize natural behaviors through the myth of “mental illness.” It now seems like the term is gaining a wider usage.
Perhaps victims of psychiatry may rally around the concept of “cognitive liberty”; as you say, time will tell. Most people exclude cognition considered “diseased” when considering “cognitive liberty”; my problem with advocating “cognitive liberty” is that it side-steps addressing the Disease Model that is causing the harm.
I believe that I misunderstood your previous comment; do you mind me asking about whether you believe that the terms “mad” and “neurodiversity” are without connotations of pathology?
Advocating cognitive liberty may be more inclusive of all critics of psychiatry but it does not address my fundamental criticism of psychiatry. Thus I support cognitive liberty but cannot rally behind it to challenge the harm caused by the myth of “mental illness”; it is too intellectually abstract to promote political action. I cannot imagine Jews rallying behind cognitive liberty with reformists to challenge the Holocaust or Abolitionists rallying behind cognitive liberty with reformists to challenge slavery. Isn’t advocating cognitive liberty for those suffering from coerced drugging or imprisonment based on a myth insulting to those without physical liberty?
I consider “neurodiverse” to be similar to “mad”; both terms put a positive spin on a harmful myth that pathologizes natural emotional suffering and other natural “problems in living.” I do not criticize oppressed people for naturally seeking a more positive self-image but doesn’t advocating a positive spin on an oppression detract from a political challenge?
Thank you for all of your community service in challenging psychiatry.
However, I am concerned that your posted advocacy of “cognitive liberty” discounts the context of psychiatry functioning as a medical science. The community supports human rights violations (and violations of “cognitive liberty”) as unfortunate parts of “medical treatment” for those with “cognitive impairments” that interfere with “sound” judgment. The community generally considers psychiatry to be an altruistic enterprise (albeit with problems).
In contrast, I consider psychiatry to be an illegitimate medical science advocating that natural emotional suffering and other natural problems in living are instead unnatural- medical problems. Psychiatry denies our humanity by advocating the myth of “mental illness”- that emotional suffering is unnatural regardless of cruel and unjust life circumstances. I consider the foundation of all of psychiatry’s harm to be the Myth advocating Pollyanna and a fairy tale world of goodness and fairness (in support of existing social structures). Doesn’t a reformist perspective of psychiatry imply that it has a legitimate goal that deserves reforming rather than being an illegitimate medical science pathologizing social welfare problems?
Thank you for this post; I am also uncomfortable with the term “neurodiverse” for all of the reasons that you articulately state.
I agree that it seems critically important to have at least one person in your life who can affirm your personal value, but it also seems important to have some additional luck in navigating through life after such horrific childhood experiences.
Interesting point about free will; psychiatry is illogical, socially-constructed science that shifts positions about free will. Psychiatry implies that behavior it deems prosocial is a function of free will and behavior it deems antisocial is a function of genetics (unless the “antisocial” behavior is deemed criminal wherein it is again a function of free will).
Thank you for your community service in addressing harmful pseudoscience.
When a scientific inquiry is described as “political”, most people think of a disagreement between two different perspectives of an issue, but this is not the case with twin studies. The politics of twin studies is the worst in science because it is one-sided. The politics of twin studies is a “confirmation bias” that is so strong that almost anything passes for scientific support (as you well document in your books on behavioral genetics).
I appreciate Robert Whitaker responding to comments.
My preceding comment about MIA not rejecting the “fundamental legitimacy” of psychiatry references psychiatry’s legitimacy as a medical science. My opinion is based on MIA’s mission statement that seeks the goal of “remaking psychiatry.” Seeking to “remake psychiatry” implies that psychiatry’s goals warrant pursuing- that “mental disorders” are medical problems and the legitimate purview of medical science.
Thank you, Dr. Caplan; this excellent post is a valuable community service. I also want to thank Robert Whitaker for his support in its publication as well as his extremely valuable community service.
However, I believe that Dr. Caplan misunderstands MIA and its policies. Whitaker’s comments in this article and the MIA mission statement are extremely critical of psychiatry but do not describe psychiatry and its DSM as lacking fundamental legitimacy. Consistently, Whitaker is quoted as saying that MIA uses common diagnostic terms without intending to support their validity; he does not say that diagnostic terms completely lack validity. The myth of “mental illness” is a classical paradigm with deep roots; we should expect quotation marks around “psychiatric disorders” in the introduction to the MIA mission statement before expecting quotations in their blog postings.
Psychiatry is “trauma denial”; “trauma informed care” is dishonest. A trauma is a distressful experience of a distressful environment; in contrast, psychiatry implies that a trauma is a distressful experience of an otherwise friendly, supportive environment. Psychiatry denies trauma from bullying, discrimination, poverty and sexual assault by advocating that victims “recover” from their legitimate fears while their environments remain dangerous and hostile. Psychiatry similarly denies trauma from child abuse and the sorrow of war by advocating that victims “recover” from their distressful experiences while the community ostensibly ignores its reality.
Your comments are staggeringly articulate!
Psychiatry believes that they are “working with a body” that is not affected by personal experience. Psychiatry denies our humanity when it relegates lived experience to “triggers of an underlying genetic time bomb.”
Psychiatry is a secondary police force that manages “non-productive, non-conforming and disruptive behaviors” with little legal restraint; it is unusual to obtain legal redress from the abuses of psychiatry. The World Health Organization supports psychiatry by defining “mental health” as a function of productivity- emotional well-being from productivity. The predominance of survivors of psychiatry were seen as “ne’er do wells” in order to qualify for psychiatric abuse.
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Yeah_I_Survived, Szasz’s libertarianism has never been a problem for me; it seems like a natural reaction to his experiences of oppression and authoritarianism. Szasz understood the term “therapeutic state” to describe a secondary police force to manage dissent of authoritarianism; he was addressing social control rather than social welfare. The term “therapeutic state” is now more often used to describe a government that believes in social welfare; this is not how Szasz used the term.
Thank you for allowing me to comment. I believe that you and the book about Szasz misunderstand his greatness and legacy: he is the first to articulate that “mental illness” is a “myth.” The authors deny Szasz’s true legacy by denying that this is a medical issue of catastrophic proportion. Psychiatry has power as science- a medical science; Dr. James Knoll ignores this fact when he claims that psychiatry is “a hybrid profession of clinical science and humanities.” Consistently, Dr. Haldipur does Szasz a disservice when he states that “Szasz’s own writings are best read as philosophy rather than as psychiatry.” This misunderstanding of Szasz’s legacy permits the author to review a book from one of the greatest medical doctors in history as if it was a purview of the humanities. Szasz was the first articulate medical doctor to describe psychiatry as addressing a myth; this challenge to psychiatry’s legitimacy as a medical science will be his legacy!
This is really an excellent comment for two reasons: it articulately addresses Psychiatry’s advocacy of Pollyanna and how the community re-abuses those who have experienced childhood trauma. Psychiatry advocates Pollyanna in a fairy tale world of goodness. Psychiatry falsely implies that Adverse Childhood Experiences are an anomaly in a world of fairness and altruism wherein cruelty and social and economic injustice are successfully redressed through established social structures. Psychiatry denies the reality of trauma; it is an experience of a distressful environment rather than a distressful experience in an otherwise friendly environment. Also, I read an article at this website that described how adults who were “diagnosed” with Adverse Childhood Experiences were considered risky candidates for adoption; the cruelty and injustice are staggering.