Thursday, July 18, 2019

Comments by Steve Spiegel

Showing 100 of 564 comments. Show all.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Thank you for your painful community service. The thought of attaching electricity machines to children’s foreheads to address emotional suffering or other natural “problem with living” while disrupting needed sleep makes me cry too.

    Anatomy of an Epidemic documents the epidemic of “mental illness” associated with an explosion of psychiatric drug prescriptions but does not focus on childhood statistics. The epidemic of autism for younger children and ADHD for older children is a greater epidemic than the epidemic for the general public. This is an iatrogenic public health crisis of historic proportions that lacks a historical perspective; anyone who grew up in the fifties can inform the community that childhood “mental illness” is a substantially modern invention.

  • Thank you for years of community service in challenging the harm of psychiatry.

    Psychiatry has power in the community because it purports to be scientific; in contrast, the “mind-body problem” is a philosophical problem. This blog is an interesting philosophical commentary on human nature but our community considers science to be our best way to understand ourselves and our environment. The power of psychiatry to harm the community with the myth of “mental illness” rests substantially on a community belief that psychiatry is a legitimate biological (medical) science. Unfortunately, as a medical doctor discussing the “mind-body problem”, you create the implication that psychiatry has some legitimacy as a biological science.

  • “Life events have been relegated to the role of triggers of an underlying genetic time bomb.” I consider this an impactful quote and would like to quote the phrase. Read stated that “I stole that phrase. I have to give credit where credit’s due. That came from the chair of the American Psychiatric Association that year – Steven Sharfstein – who was a very brave psychiatrist and wrote a piece in Psychiatry News.” However, Sharfstein has only one article in Psychiatry News and it does not include the quote.

  • I believe that there is some truth in your anecdotal evidence but do not understand how the rate of autism has increased disproportionate to the rate and dosage of vaccinations. Trauma causes “problems with living” and a shot of toxins can be traumatic; therefore, I believe that doses of MMR should be reduced with more frequent injections. Thank you for your community service in supporting suffering parents.

  • Approaching a 100-fold increase in the rate of “Autism Spectrum Disorder” is a staggering epidemic of diagnoses! We have a substantial increase in childhood “problems with living’ but I do not believe that the problems are caused by screen time (or vaccines). I contend that the increase is substantially due to the increase in pediatric intervention in childhood since 1980, the shift in psychiatry to increased medicalization of all “problems with living”, and the substantial increase in childhood stress. Psychiatry and “childhood development” specialists are harming our children; no one can learn anything with someone watching over their shoulder, second-guessing every move!

  • I oppose the myth of “mental illness” as well as coerced “treatments” and do not believe that coerced treatments can be prevented without challenging the myth. Psychiatry advocates that natural emotional suffering (and other natural “problems with living”) is a medical problem that causes a loss of normal brain function wherein a moral society should intervene to assist. False medical legitimacy promotes the myth of “mental illness” that promotes the standard coercive “treatments” of psychiatry. Get rid of the medical science legitimacy of psychiatry and I have no problem with it operating as a philosophy or theology.

  • I_e_cox,

    I believe that we will need a Truth and Reconciliation commission to figure how to go forward after Psychiatry has been delegitimized as a medical science.

    I definitely believe that our society should provide social services to those who suffer emotionally or struggle with other natural problems with living.

  • Psychiatry pathologizes natural emotional suffering (and other natural problems with living); it advocates a Pollyanna World. Pathologizing sadness with the myth of “mental illness” is a crime against humanity; it causes increased emotional suffering (and other natural “problems with living”). Understanding psychiatry as a tool that delegitimizes natural emotional suffering in support of cultural practices is critical for challenging this harmful narrative.

  • Sam and Rachel, my apologies; I state that “The myth of ‘mental illness’ serves the function of social control for a secular world consistent with ‘demonic possession’ for a theological world.” Thereafter, I erroneously (and misleadingly) substituted “exorcism” for “demonic possession”; exorcism is a “cure” for “demonic possession” similar to burning possessed people.

  • Our community believes in the myth of “mental illness” that advocates a Pollyanna World. Our culture believes that emotional suffering is unnatural regardless of cruel and unjust life experiences- regardless of predominately distressful life circumstances. The myth of a Pollyanna World must be exposed.

    The myth of “mental illness” serves the function of social control for a secular world consistent with “demonic possession” for a theological world. Exorcism is difficult to understand as a means of social control for someone who believes in the myth of “demonic possession.” Exorcism is BOTH a “false” theological belief intended to “help people” AND a tool of social control. Consistently, psychiatry is both a false medical science intended to help people and a tool of social control. The myth of a Pollyanna World must be challenged.

  • I disagree with this post of mine. I defined psychiatry in a way that is both (A) and (B) and thereafter described these two definitions as “perceptions.”

    Perhaps my problem comes with the term “assigned” in definition (B) above. I believe that psychiatry is “assigned” to help people but “serves” a controlling and repressive function like exorcism for “demonic possession.” We live in a community that predominately believes in the myth of “mental illness.”

  • “A key issue to be sorted out is exactly what IS psychiatry? Is it A) A rogue or “failed” branch of medicine meant to help people or B) A parallel police force assigned to control and repress people?” These are two different questions that are confusing because they are posed as one question; the first addresses psychiatry and the second addresses perceptions of psychiatry.

    Psychiatry is an illegitimate medical science that pathologizes painful emotional suffering and other natural “problems with living” with the myth of “mental illness”; this serves community leaders as a tool of social control. Most people believe that psychiatry is meant to help people until it is understood as a harmful, false myth. Even when people understand the myth, it is so ingrained that people often have difficulty considering it as having the purpose of delegitimizing suffering for social control.

  • “Would the anti-psychiatry folks like those who are severely out of it (“mentally ill”) wandering around homeless muttering to themselves?” Psychiatry pathologizes emotional suffering and other natural “problems with living”; it worsens natural problems with living by defining them as diseases. Challenging this erroneous narrative will reduce community problems with living and promote assistance to the most needy in the community.

  • Thank you for your community service in challenging the harm of psychiatry. I agree that “the huge expansion of the mental health enterprise began in 1980, with the APA adopting its disease model, and that is the enterprise that swept Laura into its midst.” However, I disagree with connotations related to psychiatry’s “medical model” as if its previous model was not a “medical model.”

    Prior to 1980, psychiatry advocated a “medical model” based on Freudian theory. Psychiatry is considered a medical profession; their previous model was therefore also a “medical model” albeit less expansive. Psychiatry’s current “medical model” was a response to criticism of its theoretical foundation on Freudian theory. The Freudian model was problematic for psychiatry because it was an indefensible narrative (ids, egos and superegos); it also described the vast majority of “mental disorders” (“neuroses”) as non-medical problems. Psychiatry was rightly criticized for an indefensible narrative and over-reach. Psychiatry was in trouble in 1980; it could stick with Freudian theory and loose domain over “neuroses”, or dump Freud and claim that all “neuroses” were thereafter medical problems (under their purview).

    With the DSM-III, psychiatry abandoned an underlying (Freudian) theory and reasserted itself as a medical profession with its “medical model” as if the abandoned “Freudian model” was not a “medical model.” It is true that after 1980, psychiatry and Big Pharma cast a much wider net that is causing catastrophic harm but psychiatry’s model has always been medical; its survival depends upon it. All medical sciences consider themselves to be biological sciences; only “biological psychiatry” uses redundancy to promote legitimacy. Consistently, all medical sciences consider their models to be “medical models”; only psychiatry uses redundancy to promote legitimacy.

  • The legitimacy of psychiatric coercion is based on the legitimacy of psychiatry as a medical science addressing “broken brains” that cause personal and public harm. Based on the prevailing psychiatric narrative, psychiatric coercion is humane treatment since individuals have lost their ability to make sound judgments about their own behavior. The harm of psychiatric coercion will continue as long as psychiatry is an accredited medical science; only through delegitimizing psychiatry will its coercion become obvious human rights violations.

  • In reference to “abolishing” psychiatry, I want to delegitimize psychiatry as a medical science. Psychiatry advocates a harmful philosophy of “mind”; it should not be considered a medical, biological science since it does not address the physical world. I have no problem with psychiatry continuing as a philosophy or religion; I have a problem with psychiatry passing as a medical (biological) science.

  • Thank you for this post and allowing comments; you make some good points but miss others. I believe that you misunderstand the problems caused by pathologizing natural emotional suffering. Most of your patients (and the community) believe that anxiety and depression are caused by a mythical “mental illness”; affirmation from a diagnosis is therefore often empowering. People have faith in medical treatments including medicines; a diagnosis is a cause for celebration when patients believe that it is the first step in identifying and resolving the cause of anxiety and depression. This is problematic because anxiety is caused by distressful experiences and depression is caused by depressing experiences rather than medical problems.

  • Please allow me to join the chorus of those praising this article as a valuable community service; “the message” is important and you are an articulate spokesperson.

    My criticism of psychiatry focuses on medical schools who legitimize its harmful “medical model” narrative as medical science; a (harmful) philosophy of “mind” is not a biological, medical science. The “medical model” is actually the “disease model” since it has no medical legitimacy.

    Pathologizing natural emotional suffering is a crime against humanity!

  • I disagree with the underlying premise that supports this study; it is a generally accepted foundation for much of Behavioral Neuroscience but should not qualify as real science. Studying animal behavior to glean an understanding of human behavior and human genetic influences is based on two generations of abstractions. First scientists must decide how to model human behavior to study it; modeling human behavior is a difficult abstraction since scientists do not understand human behavior. Thereafter, behavioral scientists often attempt to apply the modeled human behavior to an animal population for research; this is so fraught with wild assumptions that the description of “wild abstraction” is an extreme understatement. Studying human psychology and genetic influences from an animal population is two levels of abstraction from directly studying human psychology and genetic influences; it should not qualify as real science.

  • “Biological” psychiatry replaced Freudian psychiatry but has now become synonymous with “psychiatry that pushes drugs hard” vs. “psychiatry that pushes drugs with more finesse.” As along as psychiatry is an accredited medical (biological) science, “biological psychiatry” is redundant and all psychiatry is biological psychiatry- a “medical science” that pathologizes natural behaviors.

  • “Alarmingly, between 2005 and 2017, the occurrence of a major depressive episode in the last year leapt 52% among adolescents, and 63% among young adults.” This epidemic of “mental illness” represents either an alarming increase in depressing experiences among our adolescents and young adults or an alarming public health crisis. We must immediately consider whether an enemy has released some kind of mysterious pathogen targeting our youth or whether their “major depression” is caused by their “majorly depressing experiences.”

  • The researchers are unable to replicate any support for genetic causation of depression consistent with their inability to replicate any genetic causation for any “mental illness”; the inability to replicate is the story here. Jay Joseph has written books and blogs on this subject; genetic research is bad science based on failure to do “double-bind studies” and control for the confirmation bias (besides failure to replicate). Depressive experiences cause depression; unfortunately, researchers cannot quantify this hypothesis nor falsify it.

  • I am sorry that I was slow to realize that you responded here to my letter.

    I believe that your blog post is exceptionally articulate and that you speak professionally on your YouTube productions; I want to encourage you further. I believe that there is a problem with publishing on YouTube; once a video is published, there is no opportunity to further edit it. I would like to suggest considering a video streaming website like Vimeo where you can publish, edit and republish for increased impact. You have excellent presentation skills; my criticism of psychiatry ( has improved substantially with editing but would nevertheless be much improved if I possessed your on-camera talent.

    I look forward to your MIA interview and hope to discuss psychiatry with you further.

    Best wishes, Steve

  • What is wrong with Szasz’ term “problems with living” and “people experiencing ‘problems with living’?”

    I contend that psychiatry pathologizes expressions of natural emotional suffering. The World Health Organization supports psychiatry by defining “mental health” as “emotional well-being” and thereby implying that natural emotional suffering is pathological. I like the term “problems with living” because it is broad enough to go beyond emotional suffering to include other natural problems with living that the DSM pathologizes as unnatural.

  • I mostly agree with you and admire your approach; it seems valuable for replicating. I believe that all emotional suffering is natural based on personal experience. I specify emotional suffering from “cruel and unjust life circumstances” as a means to challenge psychiatry’s advocacy that emotional suffering is unnatural regardless of life circumstances.

    However, you seem to support my point about distressful life circumstances with this concluding remark: “Sometimes, we do it to ourelves, with our own critical and self-judgmental voices, which would be what we carry inside of us due to early trauma.” It seems like a distressful, “unjust life circumstance” to carry critical self-judgement due to early trauma.

  • Steve just said: “the problem with ‘mental health’ is that it implies that people who are suffering are somehow ‘ill'”; I agree totally. “Mental health” implicitly legitimizes “mental illness” and “mental illness” pathologizes natural emotional suffering (emotional pain) from distressful personal experience- from cruel and unjust life circumstances.

    Steve also said that “mental health” “means not being upset in any way with the status quo.” I agree assuming that “the status quo” references the cruel and unjust life circumstances that cause natural emotional suffering.

    Steve also said: “controlling language is part of controlling the narrative”; I totally agree. I have experienced extreme emotional suffering from cruel and unjust life circumstances that naturally promoted behaviors that the DSM describes as “bipolar disorder.” My emotional pain caused me to react in ways that others might consider “irrational” but this is unfair focus since expressions of physical pain are generally irrational and not judged as pathological. People experiencing physical torture see visions and hear voices but are not judged as “mentally ill.” Personally, I relate to having been an “emotional sufferer”; I consider terms like “crazy” or “nuts” or “bonkers” to falsely imply that my thinking or behavior was less than natural.

  • Thank you for this article; it is a community service. I contend that neuroleptics have a sedative affect that naturally causes a loss of brain volume (nervous tissue volume) through atrophy. Neuroleptics have a sedative effect that reduces nervous tissue usage; reduced nervous tissue usage causes atrophy consistent with how reduced usage causes atrophy of all other body tissues. Increased brain activity from cessation of neuroleptics will increase nervous tissue volume (brain volume) consistent with rebuilding muscle tissue when a cast is removed. It is illogical for scientists to attribute loss of brain volume to a mythical disease when it is readily understandable through basic physiology theory.

  • Psychiatry is a nocebo by advocating the myth of “mental illness”; a nocebo promotes negative health outcomes through negative thinking (consistent with how a placebo promotes positive health outcomes through positive thinking). Testing for “problems with living” that are intended to predict “psychosis” (increased “problems with living” pathologized by psychiatry) creates a “self-fulfilling prophecy” that harms health- real (physical) health.

  • This is an excellent article; thank you Bruce. I would like to add that psychiatrists are often more authoritarian than other “doctors” because they do not know what they are doing, have little success in their “practice”, and resent their patients for not affirming their medical school “expertise.” This is also the reason psychiatrists have a higher rate of suicide than other “medical” professions.

  • I consider your blog post to be articulate and am interested in more of your work but find it difficult to follow. I expected your website to be collections of your criticisms of psychiatry; instead it looks like a “fabulous” collection of home furnishings for sale. You speak well on your 50 YouTube videos but they do not appear to be categorized or integrated so their relative value is hard to determine. Is there a way to contact you for more information about your work?

  • Psychiatry has reified the metaphor “mental illness” into a subject addressed by a “medical science”; the “debate” I envision addresses the illogic of reifying a metaphor. “Mental illness” is one of the few metaphors (together with “mental health”) that is considered literally true; this foolishness needs to be identified.

    I consider the “debate” about whether human suffering is due to a “neurological problem” or “social conditions” to be equally foolish in nature but also equally important. The disconnect between distressful experiences and emotional suffering seems foolish but this denial of our basic humanity is widely accepted and needs challenging.

    Nevertheless, I agree that the most important debate is about “messaging”- how best to expose the truth about psychiatry.

  • I agree that you are in excellent company in the belief that the biggest problem with psychiatry lies with its police power but the source of that power lies with its false scientific (medical) legitimacy. I agree that psychiatry would collapse from the weight of the truth if it lost its police powers but I do not believe that society will restrain psychiatry as long as medical science legitimizes the myth of “mental illness.” If a medical science tells society that “diagnosed people” are a “danger to themselves and others”, coercive “treatments” are a natural result… to protect “patients” from themselves (as well as protecting society). There may be plenty of situations where an MD might be helpful with “diagnosed people” but the legitimacy of psychiatry and its myth of “mental illness” seem like their biggest problem.

  • I find this article to be one of the more compelling and articulate that I have read here at MIA; thank you for your community service. Nevertheless, I have some disagreement with your conclusion.

    “If it were recognized by our people that science is irrelevant to the debate over whether society’s fears should trump individual rights to liberty, then we could begin what will be the long struggle to win such a debate.”
    I do not believe that “the debate” has ever been about whether “society’s fears should trump individual rights to liberty”; the debate is about whether “mental illness” is a real medical problem or a myth. You articulately argue that “mental illness” is a myth but do not advocate for the abolition of the “medical science” that legitimizes the myth. Psychiatry does substantial harm to the community by advocating that natural emotional suffering is a medical problem that inhibits “healthy” thinking and the ability to make “sound” judgments; this legitimizes the coercion. I contend that the issue is about “science”: a harmful narrative about natural emotional suffering that passes for medical “science.”

  • Please allow me to amend my above statement to: “With psychiatry and its myth of ‘mental illness’, the logic goes that life is fair and just (in the community) and therefore emotional suffering must be caused by a malfunctioning ‘mind’- with a medical (biological) problem.” Pathologizing natural emotional suffering is a tool that delegitimizes personal traumas (like child abuse) as well as political and economic injustice and alienation.

  • I disagree with your analogy; I consider psychiatry to be a fear mongering, secular religion that addresses emotional suffering (emotional pain) consistent with the way “demonic possession” is a fear mongering religious belief that addresses emotional suffering. With “demonic possession”, emotional suffering is considered an affront to religion; the logic goes that if people truly believe, then they would not be suffering emotionally. With psychiatry and its myth of “mental illness”, the logic goes that our culture is fair and just and therefore the marginalized and disenfranchised must be malfunctioning “mentally” with a medical (biological) problem.

  • Open Dialogue is more successful than other “treatments” because it addresses “mental illness” like it is a myth (a social problem with living). It is more successful when addressing emotional suffering within a community that has more empathy for emotional sufferers. It is less successful within the US because the larger community is more hostile, and the program is more “technical” (like it is addressing “mental illness” rather than a problem with living) and therefore more expensive.

  • Please consider a different perspective: Your life experiences including your experiences with your “ex” are extremely distressful; your distress causes emotional suffering that is painful. It is natural for people in extreme fatigue and people in extreme pain (both physical and emotional) to have delusions and hallucinations. Unfortunately, you believe the accepted medical model paradigm led by psychiatry that advocates that delusions and hallucinations are symptoms of a pathology. It is hard to understand how psychiatry pathologizes sadness because its “medical model” is a classical paradigm. A classical paradigm is accepted by most people without question; our community generally believes that sadness is unnatural regardless of cruel and unjust life circumstances. The least fortunate 2% of the population have a human right to avoid abuse and a human right to suffer from abusive experiences according to the UN commission on human rights.

    All emotions are natural; they are direct reflections of personal experience. Your fear of your ex is natural regardless of an “objective analysis”; you earned your fear the hard way. It is a crime against humanity to pathologize sadness.

    Your husband comes from a family rife with emotional suffering from distressful circumstances (rather than “mental illness”). He learned empathy for emotional suffering including the suffering of an uncle who took his own life when the natural emotional pain (and hopelessness for relief) became overwhelming. He understands the value of emotional support for symptoms of emotional suffering rather than treat the behaviors as symptoms of “mental illness.” Supportive environments promote emotional well-being; in contrast, pathologizing natural emotional suffering worsens distress.

  • It sounds like “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” “Writing a memoir for years” is a great idea and will help you better understand yourself and the world around you. Your courage in addressing hostile comments will serve you well; you will become wiser in “learning to be less offensive” as you better understand views that “are difficult to explain.” I am looking forward to reading more of your perspective. Please feel free to use me for a sounding board if you like; I can be reached through a free therapy program that I administer at

  • I experienced post-trauma stress; I suffered emotionally for years after the trauma. My response was a “normal” reaction to my unique experiences with the wrongful deaths of over a half million people. Instead of acknowledging my natural reaction to my life circumstances, psychiatry invented PTSD. “Personality disorders” exist like PTSD exists; they are made-up diseases that pathologize natural reactions to trauma.