Monday, September 20, 2021

Comments by ThereAreFourLights

Showing 204 of 205 comments. Show all.

  • I remember speaking to him long ago after leaving hospital, I thought he was such a legend. Later he was on TVO and I had a friend who had been forcibly treated watch. They were dumbfounded to hear an anti-psych perspective on TV and agreed with every word he said. What a loss this is to the movement.

    Thank you Irit…and sorry you have lost a friend.

    Keep challenging the collective un-conscience that is psychiatry Don, from the realm of the ancestors.

  • As detaining someone against their will on the basis of actual or perceived disability qualifies as arbitrary detention under international law, as even voluntary patients can find the door locks behind them not allowing them to leave, and as psychiatry has not actually proven that most “mental illnesses” really are brain diseases, the answer is (b), prisoner.

    Final answer.

  • “Nature plays a big role: Windows provide views of greenery, landscapes decorate walls”

    A window on freedom is not freedom. And pictures of nature are not nature.

    Even if they were though it’d still be a bad idea…I mean what do they think is going to go on with those pictures when the cleaning crew comes around?

    After all, we all know that nature abhors a vacuum….

  • “I am certainly a critic of the medical model, but it’s better than many of the religious models that preceded it. The AA move to define alcoholism as a disease was an enormous advance over alcoholism as a moral failure or a form of degeneracy.”

    Spoken like someone who never had akathisia before. From what AA users have told me they regularly promote even more dangerous substances like antidepressants to solve alcoholism. I’d far prefer to be told I was a degenerate or drinking was a moral failure than be given a drug that causes akathisia.

    And alcoholism defined as a disease really is yet another machination by pharma to make even more money.

  • We’re not your sacrifice class, to be experimented on and used as guinea pigs, thanks. The fourth phase of clinical trials is called the “post-marketing evaluation phase” whereby they run a mass experiment on the public and sit waiting to reap the adverse reaction reports. oldhead is correct, beware!

    Also noteworthy to add the fact of the matter is that many people hurt by psychiatric drugs are finding that they wind up with sensitivities to medications, and no one has really mapped out what is and isn’t safe for our group to take. The vaccines you can guarantee were not tested on people whom have health issues due to psych treatments. So there is utterly no way for them to predict what will happen to anyone taking them who has past damages from treatment.

  • I understand why people may view disability as reparations but I have never even managed to get it and I know there are others who were denied it too. Where I live and I imagine elsewhere in the world it’s not much to live on, and as cost of living increases and government payouts don’t keep pace it’s only going to get worse. Reparations shouldn’t include having to see social workers and threats of losing the money if you work or for other reasons. It should be structured more like victims of crime money, a lump sum payout. At least that is my opinion. We have the problem too that if someone gets it and they die a few months after getting it that means they only got a tiny amount, which is nothing when a person was a victim of such egregious abuses.

  • “Morris concludes by pushing for a balanced approach to the use of digital technologies in psychiatric settings, one that is aware of the potential benefits and possibilities for such technologies, in addition to being aware of and avoiding misuse and abuse of these technologies.”

    The implication being that the existence of psych wards is perfectly fine, it’s just some few folk mucking about with tech in the wrong ways that is the issue.

    The fact that this guy doesn’t question the existence OF psychiatric facilities to start with is to put it mildly, a huge problem.

  • Absolutely appalling. But, and not to at all minimize what they did to him as it surely is ghastly, it’s an every day occurrence in Canadian “health care” that someone is badly mistreated or gas lighted about their health issues. And this is not limited to “the mentally ill” either this is across the board at this point. I know a number of people whose loved ones died due to health care here, who were left too long to be seen their problems minimized or outright denied. They were not labeled with psych issues. So sadly this sort of mistreatment is no longer surprising to me. I don’t know how many times I’ve been to a hospital over a serious health issue only to be treated like I’ve made it up. One nurse even had to ask me what my issue was as that’s how knowledge she was about the condition I have, then proceeded to treat me like I was exaggerating how bad it was. Apparently she became an expert in the problem in two seconds lol. You really can’t make this stuff up…

    And as if I don’t have better things to do than sit in a crowded waiting room where I could pick up some contagious illness!!!

    Anyway good on this man and his family for pursuing the issue. I hope he understands that he’s far from alone, and there are good people out there who think what they did to him is disgusting!

  • Great article! A subject that badly needs more consideration, so glad to see this here! My new saying lately has been friends don’t tell friends to seek professional help. I’m so so tired of how people can entirely stop being accountable in their relationships by just foisting someone off on a professional. The irony is I know of some therapists where I am who once the person is referred promptly set about destroying their relationship with the person who referred them. Even if the person is not abusive.

    “Advising people to label others as “toxic,” as more and more therapists are “empowering” people to do, is leading people to make very entitled, selfish decisions and do really shitty things to each other in the name of “self-care.” Again, I’m not at all saying that people should put up with abusive behavior. But the label “toxic” is being thrown around without much consideration for the fact that you’re sticking it to a person.”

    The massive irony being many therapists refer to psychiatrists who hand out some of the most toxic pills in existence! If they can’t see that what psychiatry does is literally toxic, then it begs the question do they have any real understanding of what that word actually means?

  • Seriously awesome work Dr. Hickey. I have read many of your articles and as someone whom was nearly killed by psychiatry I’m very much for your becoming Dr. Pies’ shadow conscience.

    “‘My psychiatrist said I have a chemical imbalance . . .’ But where is the evidence that this is what patients were actually told?”

    Pretty sure I saw that movie before. Wasn’t it called Gaslight?

  • I haven’t read the full article but wished to mention in case this isn’t being covered it isn’t “just” “antipsychotics” that cause TD. Some anti-emetics (drugs for nausea and vomiting) can, “antidepressants” can and I think benzos might be able to as well. If you are not being forced to take a drug always always dig deeper into what it does and if the “side” effects include involuntary movements assume they may mean TD.

  • I feel for you KateL people were not supportive of me either when I had akathisia and many many other psych drug induced problems. You are not alone here.
    And if people want to get on your back about visiting the site I’d simply stop telling them you visit here. Really you’re an adult it’s none of their business to be deciding for you what you do.

  • I had akathisia for years, I so wish I could go back and take smarties instead!!! And I agree, when starting an SSRI people can get akathisia then too (not termed tardive akathisia mind you).

    I completely agree with Dr. Shipko that there is no adequate way to warn someone about what akathisia is like, as such I think the time has come to demand the drugs be grandfathered off the market.

    Keep them around ONLY for those who need them to taper; can’t get off them; or to reinstate. Anyone who never had them before should be banned from getting them.

  • Thanks sam. I think that one is a fluoroquinolone (sp?) if so I’ve heard they can do serious long term damage. I believe there’s a whole group of people organized against their use much like we have withdrawal forums for various drug classes, I remember seeing a doc a while back about ABs where people had been harmed.

    Good point too re the negative effects too it always bothers me when they call them “side ” effects.

  • They also have nice big houses that could be put on the market…and the housing market is booming where I live…
    Think of all the people they made homeless and all the good it could do if they had to sell their homes and hand back the money they basically stole from us all.

  • But I didn’t like the way they “cleaned the streets” before…Not into their psychiatric dragnets…

    Thinking on this some more if we had a truly just society my hope would be that we wouldn’t have torturers to start with. I know, it’s naive…one can dream I guess.

  • Probably the majority of people now labeled “bipolar” are thus labeled because they suffered dire effects from SSRI use. As such asking to redeem “bipolar’ now means trying to redeem being poisoned.

    And doing that to someone who was poisoned, trying to get them to like identifying as “bipolar” is not a kindness to them. It is misleading and potentially very dangerous, since they may not look more deeply into just WHY they got the label. At an extreme end, suffering serotonin toxicity can be fatal. Mixing two or more SSRIs together can be fatal, particularly in high doses. It is critical that the victims of adverse reactions from SSRIs learn the true nature of what has happened to them or they may never get off the drugs so they can start to heal the neurological damages.

    And of course trying to get anyone to like the label bipolar is not a kindness either seeing as though that can lead to horrendous human rights abuses.

    “People will go willingly into the gas chambers if only they believe them to be showers”. Forget who said it.

  • The only way that psychiatry can be “redeemed” is by being turned over to the UN and courts so they can go to jail and people can collect their reparation money. (Mind you that’s not what typically happens right now when someone manages to do that, but in a just society, torturers would go to jail. )

  • Great comment sam.

    “Which begs the question, What is wrong with psychiatry and what happened to the practitioners in their early years to become part of an abusive cog in an abusive power driven wheel. ”

    Really good point here too, maybe if they used just a fraction of the money used to research “mental illness” we might have a solution to the problem that is psychiatry by now.

  • ““if the drugs are so safe, exactly why would you need a prescription to get them?”


    Classic example of making crimes medicine is this prescription I have here.”

    Yes well there definitely are more than one reason for those scripts…

    When I was first hurt by SSRIs I wondered if perhaps they were invented for some other reason, perhaps by the military to create” the perfect soldier” thinking that the drugs cause people to not feel anything (well unless you have a severe reaction like I did then you will feel overwhelmingly negative emotions like unadulterated terror.)

    I was pretty surprised when I failed to find any evidence to back up my idea. But of course..that’s classified info.

    “And then 2 years later there was another attempt when they tried to refer me back to people they knew had already tried to kill me. ”

    I’m sorry they have terrorized you like this boans. That has to be one of the worst aspects of the system the ability to continue to persecute people.

  • “Repeated failed attempts to prove something scientifically is the definition of DISPROVING that very thing. If these psychaitric “professionals” were truly scientific, they’d realize their experiment was successful – they have successfully proven that none of these “diagnoses” have a physiological cause or even correlation. Convincingly proven. ”

    Great point Steve!

  • As far as I have learned with regards the law today, believing that you are helping someone isn’t seen as a way to excuse criminal activity. Now in practice I would think it’s a case by case basis situation, just a guess but…I’m told it’s supposed to be the case that criminals can’t actually use “but I meant well” as a defense.

    With regards psychiatry particularly, the fact is in my country at least most of the harm they do is listed in their medical books. This is partly why when I was first injured by pills way back when and got online I got so fed up with the propsychiatry people who would try to gas light survivors and insist psychiatry never did anything wrong to anyone. As I’d bothered to reference the actual books the professionals use and in doing that figured out that most of the harm from pills IS documented. At the time the only harm I couldn’t find was protracted withdrawal syndromes (though Dr. Ashton detailed benzo withdrawal fairly well, however I didn’t find her work in these books.) Yet the vast majority of propsychiatry people basically evidenced they couldn’t even so much as google “side” effects of pills, or even figure out basic stuff like, if the drugs are so safe, exactly why would you need a prescription to get them?

    With forced treatment too, it looks violent so it’s very hard to say that no one realized how awful it was. When you have to get the cops involved that really stops looking like health care!

    And ECT they’ve known for a long time causes brain damage even if people are playing that they don’t know that. It should be obvious anyway–seizures are normally a medical emergency, not a positive medical treatment.

    But the most basic problem here is that the doctors particularly can’t not know that the diagnoses don’t correlate to actual diseases. This is one of the most basic points about psychiatry–they all know how those “mental illness” diagnoses get made up they all would know about the voting process done to coin them. So how can they act like they don’t know they are committing fraud? It’s not like they say to people look we are not sure these are diseases–it would be one thing if they did that, at least that is arguably the truth.

    But to pretend like they are when they’ve had decades to ascertain this “fact” and can’t substantiate it with evidence? And then to chase after a percentage of the population using the labels as scarlet letters in some kind of modern day witch hunt? Then too they outright admit there’s “stigma” attached to having the labels so there again is an open admission of the harm they do. They even have the research suggesting that if people believe “mental illness” really is an incurable brain disease issue they are LESS likely to have sympathy for the sufferer.

  • I agree Richard. Psychiatry has backed every major form of oppression you can name. Psychiatry started the holocaust. They helped slavery along with the use of the diagnosis of “drapetomania”. There was an indigenous genocide in the thirties in the US they are responsible for. They were one of the top institutions responsible for persecuting gay people. They have killed so many people and otherwise ruined many who somehow managed to survive. The negative effects they have had on the world cannot be minimized!

  • “Psychiatrists and others might embrace social psychiatry, which was a major movement in mental medicine after WWII and showed how poverty, inequality and social isolation impaired mental health.”

    And in that time period no one was discussing how the effects of war caused mental distress nor how psychiatry participated in starting the holocaust? It’s just some poverty here a little inequality there that causes distress? While the long shadow of the genocide and war lies over everyone?

    Where pray tell was accountability for psychiatry’s role in starting the holocaust????

  • I agree with oldhead. Radical psychiatry is an oxymoron. This piece honestly seems terribly convenient too. Suddenly psychiatry has gone from mainstream to being radical at a time it seems pretty expedient…

    Is this in the same vein as “we’re all in this together”? As in “don’t march on OUR houses, we’re one with YOU, we were radical the whole time we just had our fingers crossed when we said we were mainstream ” lol

    I am totally failing to see how a group aligned with pharma could ever be construed as radical. You really cannot get any less radical than aligning with corporations. In fact many doctors work for pharma which means essentially there is no meaningful differentiation between psychiatry and pharma. If they are on their payroll they ARE pharma.

    The word radical comes from the latin word radix meaning root. I am not sure how exactly psychiatry proposes it’s going to get at the root causes of society’s issues when psychiatry itself IS one of the root causes. And when they seem grossly incapable of even noticing the problems people really are suffering from…So if they were to address root causes they’d have to take a long hard look in the mirror and then actually change at which point they wouldn’t be practicing psychiatry anymore so…seems to me that there never will be radical psychiatry.

    Well unless we go back to the origin of the word radical..There is a radix which seems relevant to psychiatry….

    Radix pedis diaboli.

    The Devil’s Foot root.

    A botanical invention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featured in the story “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot”.

    A highly toxic substance known to drive the people who partake of it “mad”, leading to some of them being detained against their will.

    Much like psychiatric drugs…perhaps the story inspired their creation?

  • The real consumer here is psychiatry, it eats people alive.

    “These monetary incentives lead patient groups to censor critiques of high drug prices.”

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding something here but if the goal here is just to critique high drug prices, the groups already were fundamentally flawed. Critiquing the high cost of arsenic pretty well misses the point. Not a surprise then that they can be bought out by pharma.

  • Any medical ethicist who does not vehemently oppose and speak out against psychiatry should be fired. Calling doctors, nurses, social workers etc “heros” who are complicit in having people tortured, in having them arbitrarily detained, in lying to them about the nature of their problems, in offering them incredibly dangerous treatments they don’t actually need, is so beyond unethical it’s embarrassing it even has to be spelled out.

    Psychiatry killed my hero, a famous actor and singer. A friend of mine knew him personally. He was forcibly treated on and off over a ten year period, for grief and overwork. When I learned how he died and what had been done to him I almost collapsed. They took this achingly beautiful, sensitive, compassionate, generous, talented man and made him so sick from pills he couldn’t stand up without help; they gave him akathisia; they lied to him about the nature of his problems which eventually led to a hack journalist outing him for having been locked up, smearing his good name permanently and into perpetuity; they gave him drugs that caused him to gain so much weight in water retention at one point they drained fifty pounds FIFTY POUNDS of water off his body in one day in order to continue filming a show he starred in. And when at one point he demanded his release after being detained against his will he was told, like everyone else in such situations, that the mere fact he wanted to be released was a sign that he was “mentally ill” and reason enough to keep holding him in hospital.

    And to this day you can find fans of his saying things like “at least he was seen by psychiatrists or he might have died sooner”. Even when they kill people still the myth remains that doctors are benevolent.

  • “Unlike corporate platforms like Facebook and Twitter, however, data collected on users is kept to a minimum, and it is never sold to other organizations.”

    Honestly, I feel I’d have to be pretty naive to believe that….

    After all what are people going to do about it if it turns out not to be true? Class actions where everyone gets a dollar I hear are popular lol.

    Really this whole venture of basically spying on people as they try to survive a horrendous health issue in order to do seemingly meaningless research about them…do we need this? It sounds to me like more “user culture” as in “I have a right to take from you without your express consent”, and “you exist to be used”.

    (And don’t tell me people properly consent to this stuff please. Keenly aware of how those privacy agreements work where you click on a third party link that has some relevance to your privacy and then have to read fifteen more pages and then another third party link with fifteen pages on their site, ad nauseum, until your entire life becomes reading dry legalese so that you can at some point figure out that privacy doesn’t exist.)

    Also troubling point, because the bar was set super low on what privacy rights you did have on sites like Facebook now some companies could claim to have some kind of “privacy virtue” thing going on whereby all they have to do is be slightly better than Facebook and you know “we care about your privacy”.

  • “Psychiatry has spent the last 100 years asking what’s wrong with people, but might it be more informative to ask what’s happened to them?”

    Psychiatry. That’s what happened to them.


    Might as well introduce the concept here. If people are seriously discussing “defunding”/eliminating the police we need to be consistent and, since the psychiatric system is an institution of law enforcement/social control, demand that psychiatry be defunded as part of this.”

    Great idea oldhead!


  • “Is “better help” better than the “worser help”?”

    lol sam

    “New and improved worser sixty percent better than it was before” lol

    When people get fired from BetterHelp do they say, “Well, sorry we have to let you go..we need better help” ba ha ha

    And yeah who would have thought…An app that will lead to your info being given to third parties…Never heard of that happening before…

    (But maybe they just farm the data out to WorserHelp? )

  • I followed some of the links in this article and came out to some disturbing findings.

    One of them led to a group in Palestine that purports to help torture survivors. One of the services they provide? Psychiatric services.

    Bit of a contradiction?

    “So you didn’t like the waterboarding you got…Might I recommend you try akathisia instead?”

    Then I looked up IDHA. Anyone else follow that link? Here’s a quote about whom comprises their group:

    “WE ARE…

    mental health workers, clinicians, psychiatrists, current and prior users of mental health services, advocates, artists, and survivors of trauma and adversity, who are interested in exploring the link between personal and societal transformation.”

    They talk about narrative justice. And there are professionals in the group? Seriously?

    And “users of mental health services”. NO. The proper term here would be victims of crime. You can’t be a “user” of fraud. Well unless you have an agenda you wish to further via fraud…

    The site is also littered with references to “mental health”. Do we have to go over again what’s wrong with this concept???

    And seriously IDHA writes an open letter to PBS claiming to support “narrative justice” for those in the system…then individual survivors have to ask permission to sign the letter.

    Great sense of irony there IDHA!

  • Aside from the reality that “mental health” is not making sense as a literal thing, like oldhead says, ie your mind can’t be ill or well anymore than it can be blue, green or rainbow colored save in a metaphorical sense since it is an abstraction, the idea of a right to “mental health” as in always feeling “well” doesn’t make sense to me. It’s like saying one has a right to be happy all of the time..and how is that even possible. I mean fine, great if you can manage it, but..well..anyone who thinks we can be happy all of the time clearly has not met my ex lol.

    Besides which, while we have a number of modern day systemic social problems that we should try to address, we have always had certain problems that no one can totally eradicate. We can’t get rid of grief, injuries, natural disasters etc…So how does it make sense that we have a right to be happy all of the time given these. Never mind that one’s mental state is constantly in flux. There is no end state called happiness that never leaves, there’s no utopia that has any solidity to it, it’s a mirage in the distance no one can ever reach. And psychiatry uses that mirage as an excuse to meddle in people’s lives.

  • But boans South Park says Scientologists are bad. Who are you to disagree then? lol

    Seriously I’m convinced most people’s hatred of Scientologists can be traced to South Park and that time Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah’s couch. When people would tell me they were opposed to Scientology I’d ask them what they knew of it and…they usually haven’t got much to say.

    Someone’s doing their thinking for them…

    And as far as psychiatry is concerned, my feeling is that if they want to call us all Scientologists, then psychiatrists have to be accountable for that. Scientologists don’t control what psychiatrists say.

  • Thanks O.O…I saw your post about your t-shirt about surviving a ward too I almost spit my drink on my laptop reading it lol sounds like you are a fair prankster…My kind of person (wish I’d thought of that shirt idea!)

    But what am I saying…No laughing O.O. and no talking about laughing either… 🙂

  • I was just thinking about how they shouldn’t be paid unless they do a good job…

    Then it reminded me of a scene from the show Third Rock from the Sun…

    What should go on is you put money on the table, tell them this is their pay BUT if they do things you don’t like you will take it away…

    Doc: “So I think you might have “bipolar”. ”

    “Patient”: “Well that’s too bad doc…looks like we are going to have to dock your pay two hundred dollars, bear with me while I count these out….and you know what, your office could do with a makeover, think I’ll retract a few more dollars, just because I can…might want to call that resort you had in mind, good time to cancel. Maybe you can get back some of your deposit if you hurry.” ba ha ha

    “It’s the truth the future all tipping will be done this way…”

  • Not saying that I know for sure that alternative health care pros can help a stroke, I don’t know if they can and I sure would not want you to get worse too.

    What kind of a world is this where they torture you and then leave you with no help? It’s just unbearable, is there no justice anywhere???

  • boans I just read that you felt you have had a stroke. Very concerned for you…I understand why you wouldn’t want to see a doctor (I am the same way.)

    I know (ethical) doctors would be best for you to see for a stroke but, given the risk here…are there alternative people who work outside the tax funded system where you are who might be able to help? Our health care systems (which are different based on what province you are in) cover most health care services but there are some kinds of practitioners like acupuncturists who are not covered…and records don’t get sent to them.

    I realize this is probably not helpful information as i would guess were it an option you would have already thought of it by now. Just feel sick at heart reading of your suffering so, I feel so helpless reading that, if there is anything I can do please ask.

  • I know Steve. Just in a bad mood here….Someone I know was made to disappear into the system lately and they used a false accusation of a suicide attempt to get them there. From the details I eventually got it doesn’t even remotely sound like they were suicidal.

    P.S. The snakes I’ve met were quite nice actually. Very shy creatures…far less afraid of them than psychiatrists lol.

  • oldhead you are breaking principle one of dealing with psychiatrists–never talk to them about religion, politics or philosophy. Or physics. Or the news. Or literature, art, alchemy, tarot card reading, ornithology, mycology, anthropology, film, opera, basket weaving, hairdressing, tax preparation, Egyptology, astrology, big band music, mechanics, science fiction and fantasy, reggae, mythology, divination, ritual, football, hockey, baseball, stamp collecting, skateboarding, gaming, calligraphy, history, computer programming, horticulture, feminist theory, ufology, flint knapping, crocheting, photography, animation, tea leaf reading, knitting, quilting, guitar playing, shamanism, classical music, tennis, scuba diving, wake boarding, kite flying, historical re-enactment, herbal medicine, reiki, bottle cap collecting, phrenology, poker, sewing, gardening, calculus, art restoration, equestrian, cross country skiing, archery, travel…. It’s an automatic admission.

  • “– Factoid: Poltergeist activity is oftentimes attributed to prolonged exposure to low level household carbon monoxide (CO) (Grant, 2015). CO exposure can induce hallucinations, inclusive of a physiological sense of doom (heart palpitations, anxiety and flushing). In lieu of recruiting a ghostbuster, exorcist or psychiatrist, just check your CO detector. But back to the story.”

    Dare I ask for the studies to back that one up? I’d love to know how one goes about getting a research grant to study poltergeists lol

    Think I liked Coast to Coast AM’s interpretations better…at least they won’t send you to a doctor who won’t say that you have CO poisoning…

    RIP Art Bell killed by pharma

  • Why ask them when you can simply presume they are? As just happened to someone I know….

    Anyone here remember those old books for kids “Choose Your Own Adventure”?

    Well psychiatry is like one of those only no matter what you answer to “Are you suicidal?” the outcome is the same…

  • “I mean I realise that the State doesn’t want to torture people, but there are times when ……. so they need the loophole of the Mental Health Act. that means they can sign the Convention against the use of Torture (et al) AND can torture people if they can lawfully make them into “patients” before torturing them.”

    boans did they add reservations to Convention Against Torture or CRPD? (Since it deals with torture of people based on actual or perceived disability)?

    In Canada I know they had used a loophole to not follow CRPD, they basically put a reservation saying that they didn’t agree with supported decision making instead were for substitute decision making when CRPD is for supported. Not sure if they changed it yet…but that essentially allowed them to violate the entire CRPD in one go since the doctor can be the one who stands in to make decisions for you…Basically it violates the entire spirit of CRPD as far as I understand it.

    ” Two weeks after they thought I was killed she is telling me her husband wasn’t even at the hospital when they tried to kill me, though I think she jumped the gun because I hadn’t told her when I was talking about. Must have been the shock of speaking to the dead lol. I would have thought she might have said I was insane for making such a claim, but she was ready with an alibi?”

    That is more than a little alarming…

  • So tired of grand unifying theories about the “cause of mental illness”.

    I’ve had spiritual experiences that while forged by bad circumstances I will not be told are traumas. I will not be told the most beautiful and profound experiences of my life are traumas or brain diseases. The brain disease model of “mental illness” is a sham but the idea it can be simply replaced by “everything’s a trauma’ is not okay either. People have been persecuted by psychiatry for having health issues, for dreaming, for being happy, for political reasons, for holding unusual beliefs, being “weird”, for being shy, or as was the case for one guy I knew for simply daring to talk back to them. Or they can persecute someone “just because I can” ie for no reason at all, or to keep money coming in. Everyone’s “problem” is not trauma.

    Maybe we ought to call mental health services “trauma generating services”.

    “Contacting police should be treated as a very last resort, and true trauma-informed care is built on collaboration and trust. ”

    How is this for collaboration?

    Where I live hospitals hide behind privacy laws and will refuse to let people know if someone is being held there or not. So the reality is unless you saw the person being checked in after being assessed in emergency or you are next of kin on the file you may have no idea where they went. (And even if you are next of kin you may not find out.) And they can release the person and you may be led to believe they are still in there.

    And if you try to find out where they are you will wind up in a kafkaesque nightmare dealing with a faceless soulless bureaucracy that answers to no one.

    The word I’m thinking of here is conspiring. “Collaboration’ has far too positive a connotation for what is going on where I live. If you look at the torture centers where I live you will also notice that whereas when people see most other kinds of doctors there is a front desk with a secretary where you can ask questions, when it’s the psych ward, there is no one to talk to. Tell me that’s an accident? It’s done deliberately, it’s an impenetrable wall behind which they can hide what they are doing.

    Also does anyone besides me think that part of the great problem with psychiatry (and therapy for that matter) is the entire idea of farming someone out to a stranger when they are at their most emotionally vulnerable? If the person does have others they can talk to who can help them what is with this entire concept of “but the right thing to do is make or encourage them to see a stranger”? I mean obviously some choose to go, and some have no one to talk to so if they go of their own volition then that’s up to them but really if you won’t just go tell some random guy on the street what your problems are, why are we continually asked to pretend like it’s an endlessly good idea to do that with professionals?

    And also healthy relationships involve reciprocity and accountability. There is no accountability for psychiatrists or psychologists usually. They can do as they see fit and nothing you do will make them be responsible for their actions.

    Psychiatry is never having to say you’re sorry.

  • “Pills may be helpful to modulate extreme distress (suicidality, active psychosis), but they can never heal the underlying psychological injury that caused the intense emotions in the first place. When people stop the pills, the underlying psychological injury causes a relapse. One only has to consider that the relapse rate after taking pills for depression is two to three times higher than with psychotherapy.11 Similar results are found for treating anxiety.”

    Maybe it’s the fact I haven’t slept well in days due to learning through the news a friend died and then had ten other stressors dropped on me all at once and so missed your mention of withdrawal syndromes in this piece , but, no, stopping pills does not necessarily cause a “relapse” . Electrical shock sensations, flu like symptoms, akathisia are not part of “depression” (much as they added in “agitation” to the “depression” diagnostic criteria which was done deliberately years ago to cover over the reality that earlier classes of ADs also caused akathisia, so rather than admit that, they instead retool “depression” to include “agitation”. ) They are part of a withdrawal syndrome which can last for years. They are indicators of nervous system damage.

    “Pills may be helpful to modulate extreme distress (suicidality, active psychosis), but they can never heal the underlying psychological injury that caused the intense emotions in the first place.”

    And, pardon me if this sounds brusque as it’s not my intention but, it’s frustrating we have to keep repeating this–most psychiatric drugs cause akathisia and akathisia is heavily linked to suicidal thoughts and actions. Ask a woman I know, her husband was a well known person who wound up in the system and he took his own life because of it (or rather, pharma took his life). And yes the inquest ruled the drug to blame too. And as it appears most countries except Ireland do not make sure that coroners look for the role of psych drugs in a suicide (beyond noting if someone overdosed) then, the reality is we don’t actually have the numbers in front of us to say what’s causing suicides.

    My strong suspicion is a hefty percentage of the world’s suicides since psych drugs came into being were really caused by the pills causing akathisia or other severe effects while they were on regular doses or suffering a withdrawal syndrome (or many of them at once).

  • Feeling the pain of your post here today boans. Wishing I had a solution.

    Yeah lots of golf courses here, they used to be skating rinks..

    Lovely thing climate change, we had a whole winter not long ago with no snow at all. Never been heard of before here. I remember when it happened I was on a bus in January and I suddenly had a “the sky is falling moment” where I wanted to get up and scream “What’s wrong with all of you people don’t you see what’s going on here?” ( Probably better for my keep-your-social-and-all-other-forms-of-distance-from psychiatry policy that I don’t do stuff like that. )

    I guess though people can literally hide their heads in the sand about it now.

    Guess it’s not too different from where you are then too.

    “Even my own Muslim brothers…… they think that not eating a jellybean during daylight hours during Ramadan will get them into heaven, but turning their backs on their brothers being tortured by the State and murdered for complaining won’t even come into the equation. I wonder if they have even read the same Book as me at times”

    While I’m not in the same situation, I have been through something a bit like this too. Used to have a spiritual teacher and I’d be telling him forced psychiatry is torture, and he didn’t really take it the way i had hoped he might. Of course he’d been a therapist too so I guess that’s probably why. All of his spiritual talk and namastes, etc and what part of it is actually actionable?

  • I had a bit of a problem with authoritarianism too. Or is that my Oppositional Defiance Disorder showing?

    You know I half wish someone had labeled me with that rather than what I got, at least it has a connotation of “you are not a coward” lol. Also not sure if they often use drugs for that? If not, where can I do a label swap….

  • I hear you about pick a prison boans. I would have gladly gone back to school for fifty years rather than put up with the time I spent in hospital.

    My high school was in a redneck area, I think the same thing as a bogan? Though it was one of the better schools so it wasn’t too bad for rednecks, it was more the jocks who were a problem. The city though is a really rough one, known for crime. As bad as my high school was for female students I think the guys had it worse. Sometimes a guy would call out another guy and demand they meet him after school for a fight, and basically if someone did that to you you had no real option to refuse. They’d always end up next door in the church parking lot, fighting. Finally one teacher put a stop to it, started to regularly call the cops.

    And it’s horrible that you were not treated well for having an English accent. In Canada many people love UK accents, so much so a guy I was acquainted with faked one for years on end in order to meet women lol. (Used to really bother his friends, having to help prop up that charade…) Personally I’d have given anything to have something other than the Canadian accent I drew…and if I had an English accent I’d spend all my time talking to myself. Then again I’d be even happier to live in England even though I know what a risky gamble that is given their psych system seems even worse than ours.

  • “And watching that cancer spread throughout my community makes me want to leave, all the ‘organs’ now riddled. ”

    Yeah boans you need to get out of there, with the Euthanasia Act it’s far too scary…

    Come to Canada, where we like to dress in forties clothing so that when the gestapo comes after us in the night we’ll fit right in with the reenactment…and did I mention we have maple syrup here?

    Thought about calling the local psych holding tank when they snatched someone I know and playing Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again”…got to make sure everything is accurate

    Or maybe I’ll call one of my old psychiatrists about my reparations and sing the “antipsych version” of the Jessica Rabbit version of Why Don’t You do Right ( tune here: ):

    You had plenty money 1982
    You let Peter Breggin make a fool of you
    Why don’t you do right
    Like you never did do…

    Get outta here
    And get me my money too

    You sittin’ down wonderin’ what antipsychiatry’s about
    If you ain’t got my money UN’ll put you out…

    But though I can do the piano and the look, my singing voice isn’t great and well, I don’t want to scare the poor creature…maybe I’ll just write it on doctor review sites then instead lol

  • The usual entertainments…”They’ll be blue birds over the white cliffs of Dover, tomorrow just you wait and see, they’ll be love and laughter, and peace ever after, tomorrow when the world is free…” lol I know that’s what I played…

    lol so true what high school did you go to…at first I thought you were going to say they were crying over finally being freed..

    But if they liked their experiences maybe the hypnotist got to them?

  • “When I graduated high school, I felt like the allied troops had freed us from the POW camp!”

    lol I can definitely relate to this sentiment too.

    After high school I was so elated to be out I took all my class notes on a camping trip and burned them in a giant bonfire to celebrate.

  • I was the same way Steve, I hated school. I was badly bullied by almost my entire class for several years and then by some of the students into high school as well. When summer started I was thrilled, and when fall came I was almost always nearly in tears.

  • Yes there are definitely some highlights going on now…

    Where I live they have canceled the fireworks for an upcoming holiday. Now I’m not necessarily totally opposed to fireworks, but having had serious sound sensitivities before thanks to psych drugs and knowing there are others who don’t like them too, plus they bother wildlife and pets, I thought it was about time we had a break.

    Never mind that the ones in my area are extremely boring…Fine if it’s one of the bigger displays those ones can be interesting but seriously, wow, red ball of light, green ball of light, ooh look Jim, another green ball…All people are doing is watching their money explode.

    We are planning a nice night of watching paint dry instead, should be sweet…Have a few local spiders coming over, but no worries we’ll keep our distance…They are recluse spiders, they know the drill.

    The bigger more awesome development is they canceled an extremely creepy development they wanted to put in one of the cities in Canada, where it would be basically turning part of the city into a huge panopticon, wall to wall surveillance. I was so happy I did victory laps around my home…said to a family member better start the car we’re going honking and bring your phone we can film the reaction lol

  • “We don’t know for sure how crazy or dystopian they are planning to get or what the agenda around this “virus” thing may be; one thing for sure is that that soon there will be too many workers and not enough work to go around, so to the ruling class a number of workers will soon become…”useless eaters.” Probably just a coincidence.”

    Well I don’t know if this means anything but they keep running this where I live:

    Pretty sure those squiggly lines are meant to represent the effects of mass psychiatric drugging…but hey maybe I’m just a conspiracy theorist.

  • Great article. I’ve read some of your other work and always love your writing.

    “People, including myself, have been very frustrated by the “busy is the new fine” culture we have, but there’s a reason the labor movement fought for free time”

    This part brought to mind the old saying: ” Workers of the world–relax!”

    Anyone besides me fed up with hearing that “if you haven’t learned a new skill in the time we have in lock down you are undisciplined”?

    Um, I have fifteen skills thanks, what’s wrong with refining those.

    And why can’t I refine my sleeping skills? I mean if I have the time what’s so wrong with that? The thing about productivity is, most of it actually is damaging to our planet. Forcing people to make plastic widgets that will wind up in the oceans just so they can survive is not an overall good thing.

  • @boans thank you for your very touching offer of help. It brought me to tears. To be honest it would be lovely just to speak with you. It’s been such a hard lonely road for so long…And I value your obvious intelligence and humor. You’re not an insignificant insect, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise…though I take your point that up against the powers that be it’s pretty daunting a struggle we are in here. Maybe we can communicate privately if you’d be interested, pass our emails through Steve perhaps, as I don’t want to put down my full story on the board. Steve willing of course. See if we can be of mutual aid to each other, though I’m not sure what I’m good for at this point.

  • @boans I am glad if you feel a little less alone. I have felt alone for more than a decade thanks to what they did to me and others I care about. A man I love was just ruined by psychiatry to the point he could barely remember anything about me the damage to his memory was so severe, and I have had to live for over a decade not even knowing if he’s still alive or not, or back in the system again (very long story as to why.)

    And now we just had word here the other day they are holding someone else I’m close to, who literally was taken off the streets and made to disappear. Can barely find out what happened. I’m just so fed up with this it’s just one nightmare after another.

  • lol Fish and Chip shop, I have an ex like that too, you can throw him in too free of charge…

    “Waiter, where is the pepper? There only seems to be salt in this joint”…lol

    Seriously though boans for all you have been through it’s pretty amazing you have the sense of humor you do. Really impressed here. Let us pray you get some justice (and everyone else too.)

    Also with regards this statement:

    “I guess making admissions that they tortured and kidnapped me would mean that the only difference between torture and kidnap, and referral and treatment would be status. ”

    That’s what I keep telling people. If average people with no medical, or in the case of the psych specific stuff, pseudo-medical training did what psychiatrists do usually they’d wind up in jail for life. Instead when doctors do it not only does that not happen even a fair number of their own victims, some of them who even realize they are victims, tell us we must try to help them keep their jobs. You know, re-decorate the office a little, make sure they don’t hurt anyone going forward.

    While I’m fine with the idea of trying to make sure they don’t hurt anyone going forward the reality as I see it is that criminals belong in jail. And if we had proper justice they’d be charged with fraud, torture, arbitrary detention etc etc, they’d have to abide by international law, and we’d be given just reparations including sizeable amounts of money such that just paying us alone would put them out of business.

    I had akathisia for a long time for that alone I feel I’m owed millions. As is every other person who had it, and other issues, people like yourself, all of the forced treatment crowd, and so on. Of course the likelihood we see that money, especially now with the giant tax drain thanks to this virus, is about nil…It at least won’t be coming from the governments that’s for sure.

  • Running out of room to respond here…

    “It gets me thinking about the ‘cash splash’ by our Government as a result of the twin pandemics (COVID and Fear of COVID). I assume that “we’re all in this together” will extend to “we’re all going to pay back this money the government is splashing around”. I get the feeling that exemptions will be applied, and the now low cost of fuel will increase to never before seen highs.

    Invest in Petroleum and Pharma. I know where the $750 from my government is going, capitalist that I am lol.”

    Lots of money being thrown around where I am too and I wonder at how many really are thinking about how much they will like paying back the corporations bailed out with our tax money…We had a huge wad given to the oil industry here, to “clean up orphaned wells”. Some seemed happy but then I noticed they seemed to think the policy was an attempt to “clean up Orson Welles” lol

  • “Its an old model, Socialise risk and cost, Privatise wealth and profit. ”

    boans this reminds me of something I read a long time ago, forget where:

    “The existence of limited liability laws are an overt admission that were corporations held to account financially for all of the damage they do, they’d rapidly wind up out of business”.

  • boans I really can’t blame you especially about not wanting to see a doctor given what you have shared here. Still stuns me how low they can go….if ethics were a limbo stick they had to vault over to be considered moral they’d be below the floor lol

    And that’s a good point about them assuming anyone going in there is insane. Every person I know in my area knows not to go to the local hospital for any reason, it’s that bad. Well unless you like overpriced t-shirts from the gift shop lol.

    p.s. EMERGENCY breast implants? What the? Sounds like your health care system is a wee bit, or should that be a lot more progressive than the Canadian system. lol

  • I can totally relate to this. I don’t know how many times I’ve been passed off as a hypochondriac or ‘mentally ill” when I had physical health issues. I now never ever ever ever say anything about feeling down, never use the “mental illness” terminology, I try not to be too happy, but even being happy at all that means even if not “manic’ you also just flat out can’t be suffering a physical health issue as if you were you’d never smile ever. But oh did I mention if you go in looking down they may find that really you are exaggerating and a hypochondriac because the sick still should have a sense of humor because nothing bothers the doctor more than being around morose suffering people so you also have to have a smile on your face so that they don’t think you believe you are worse off than that guy they saw five years ago who had fifteen fatal illnesses all at once cause if you do that then clearly you are just insensitive and prone to drama so well…So well just stay home already.

    I have had to solve some of my health issues by researching on google then two years later they will finally get around to letting me see a specialist and he’ll tell me what I already know. I’m at the point now where I will only go if I need to have a broken bone set, or if I have a problem too complicated to sort out on my own.

  • Well written article, thank you for sharing here. I like that you get to the point, and particularly appreciate your writing in this paragraph:

    “A for-profit psychiatric facility cannot structurally be invested in changing the conditions that led to patients ending up on their doorstep. They wouldn’t make money if these things change. In a crisis like this pandemic, their drive to make money by any means necessary appears in its true form: as a fatal and flippant self-serving impulse, content on letting others suffer and die in the name of profit.”

    While I knew all along they were in it for the money it is still shocking to see the depths of the greed laid bare.

  • Thing is we actually are no longer like the “normals”. Until they wind up drugged to the gills or having had electricity run their brains (and I really hope they don’t), the idea they are like us is not true actually. Having a brain that isn’t damaged by drugs or shock or other invasive procedures is not the same thing as having a psych system induced brain injury. And they aren’t carrying a permanent stamp of “crazy” in their medical records either. Albeit some poor people are about to have that happen and will find out in future how beneficial psychiatry really is.

  • Also it needs to be pointed out that the eminent Judith Herman once famously told a well known environmental author and activist that his belief in animism, a belief shared by many indigenous groups on earth, was a sign he was “mentally ill”. He had never reported that he had been considered “mentally ill” by a doctor. Despite an apparent exclusion in the DSM whereby people are supposed to be free to uphold their spiritual beliefs, she told him he was crazy. I believe Herman is supposed to be an expert on the effects of captivity, if so the reality that she could so casually label someone she didn’t know “mentally ill” pretty well undermines the work she is supposedly doing.

  • Amen to that boans I agree we most certainly are not “all in this together” with psychiatrists and other abusers. Psych survivors can be in it with other psych survivors and psych system victims. But personally I’m not “in it together” with all the abusive people I had met in my past like the guy who tried to kill me, the various people who have assaulted me over the years, I’m not in it together with the guy who raped me, I’m not in it together with the psychiatrists who lied to and tortured me, and I most certainly am not in it together with the psychiatrists who tortured a man I love to the point he eventually grew so ill from pills he couldn’t even recognize my voice on the phone, a man who for more than the last decade has been missing in my life.

    And notably, Italy apparently is asking for war damages from China. Read that again everyone and think about what that means. The time for pretending or acting like we are in it together with a totalitarian Chinese government is at an end. In numerous countries now they have rapidly gone down a very steep and slippery slope into 1984. A number of countries have now DEMANDED that people add apps to their phones that will track their every move or wear wristbands that do same. If you refuse the police will be at your door.

  • Sorry about your situation. I’ve been through a lot of trauma too and then psychiatry very nearly killed me, I now say “I’m old before my time”. I still haven’t fully regained my health, either, have some mystery ailment doctors are dragging their feet about identifying. I had a few things help me out though, allowed me to recover from some of the worst aspects of the pill harm, though I’m not sure how far they’d go in helping out others. It sounds over the top but one thing I learned to do was forage for wild plants for food and medicine. Obviously it can be helpful to be out in nature in general to feel better, but wild food has more nutrients than grocery store stuff so if you know what you are doing, can be a huge help to health. Now a very useful skill to have given the current grocery store shortages…Of course there’s a lot that goes into studying this subject, took me about three years to be really proficient at identifying the herbaceous wild plants in my area. Also I did a few other things I feel helped me too.

  • All I could picture was some kind of online map anyone could access that positioned all of us as little blinking moving lights, and that they’d let the online Lord of the Flies types sort everyone out…

    And then meanwhile, they apparently are still allowing international flights into the country. From affected areas. I swear if you watch the news long enough everything they say gets canceled out later by something else they say. We were led to believe they were going to shut down the flights save for shipping concerns. Now suddenly that has disappeared. Or we had one report here a while ago from a doc who said the virus was no big deal and stop panicking, literally the next story on the same news station was the WHO rep screaming “THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!” and telling us how we were all going to die…

  • I see now what you mean about the difficulties in leaving boans. In spite of them, I feel like there has to be a way you could leave, just not seeing what it is right now. Maybe I’m wrong, too naive, too hopeful. And of course you’d know far better than I would what the chances are. At any rate, for what little this is worth, I’m thinking of you, from the other side of the world.

  • The Venice story in circulation is a hoax. The reason you would normally not see the fish in the canals is because the boats would churn up sediment on the bottom making the water murky. It may actually be more dangerous for fish there, now, because the clearer the water the easier it is for seabirds to catch the fish.

    And the dolphin photo was taken somewhere else from what I read.

    Not that reduced water pollution is a bad thing overall though.

  • In Canada we are now under the Emergency Measures Act, which was an act that apparently replaced the older War Measures Act and allows extra powers for the Prime Minister and Cabinet. They have already tried to abuse our rights by decreeing they may try to put everyone under surveillance to ensure they stay home. They came up with a ridiculous suggestion–that they actively trace all people’s movements via their Smartphones. Obviously, if you don’t have one or just leave your phone at home, the entire plot fails rather miserably. I haven’t followed the news on what happened but others I know who did said that the idea was rebuked, and the public from what I saw were largely complaining about them even trying to track us all.

  • I’m not in the UK, does anyone know if it is even possible TO get around being detained under the three doctor rule? Just wanted to point out that though I don’t agree with the UK measures going on now (and am not for forced psychiatry), it occurred to me that it may be that roughly the same number wind up detained under the one doctor rule as the three doctor rule because let’s face it, usually once a person is put in front of these psych panels, you can pretty well assume they are not going to be let go. Three doctors, one doctor, what difference does it make really in a way, these processes work like a one way street the end result always seems to be the person gets held, only exception being if there is a shortage of beds. I would imagine a three doctor panel is like a dystopian American Idol where all the judges always put everyone through to the next round…(Although admittedly American Idol always was dystopian…)

    Really, the underlying violations of rights that is forced psychiatry is still there no matter how many doctors are on these panels. And that’s the core issue.

    And do they even have any extra space TO detain a huge mass of new people?

  • I agree with you. We need a massive deprogramming campaign, like they have for people who have been in a cult. Maybe the (few) therapists who are critical of psychiatry and want to be real allies could create a deprogramming campaign they could run with pro-psychiatry “clients”. Basically make it the opposite of what psychiatry does. Maybe have some deprogramming commercials running in the waiting room.

    And if it’s family therapy, at the beginning of each therapy session family have to swear on the Bible or some other text of personal significance to them that they will not say you have a “mental illness”.

  • boans, I’ve read a bunch of your posts, sorry you have wound up in such a ghastly situation. I was just wondering and maybe it’s none of my business, but, is there any way you can leave where you are (obviously when this whole virus issue has calmed down)? I’m in Canada, it’s no grand utopia here either, but, it sounds leagues better than there. Honestly it seems like some parts of the world are so horrible re psychiatry the only option really may be just to get out (for the time being at least.)

  • Thanks sam. I feel like helping people out is kind of a personal obligation, where feasible. I think people being on the street has become so normalized a lot of people stop registering it as an emergency. I was always willing to help, when I saw people, but it hit me in the last few years that if you found someone say lying on the ground who looked hurt who didn’t appear to be without somewhere to live, and you wouldn’t just leave them, why are so many people just walking by if they are homeless (or appear to be)? I mean it’s understandable if they haven’t the means to help, but I’ve always believed that if someone’s on the streets and they speak to you you should at least answer them, say something kind. I’ve also known some people who were out there too, actually know a guy a little who is right now. Getting worried about him as they’ve now shut the usual places he goes, and I don’t know if I’d be able to track down where he is now.

    And about the large homes…I hear you about how they can feel clinical. I used to live with people who owned a huge home. To be honest after doing that there is only one large house I’d ever really deeply desire to live in and it’s one that has a personal significance to me. The trouble with large homes aside from the wasted space and the cost to heat/cool them, is the amount of work you have to do to run them. The one I used to live in was so big it could take a full day to vacuum basically. So honestly, when I see a lot of them I’m usually thinking mostly about all the time they would take to clean!

  • Yes exactly, where is the integrity????

    There is a group in the UK called Big Brother Watch
    pushing for a total ban there of facial recognition tech, and also trying to address other aspects of surveillance culture. I think we need to work with those people and all people who are critical of psychiatry or anti-psychiatry NEED to get up to speed on surveillance culture if they aren’t already learning about it.

    Good doc to start with, Surveillance Capitalism:

    The overall privacy violations we are suffering are far worse than many people probably even understand.

  • I hated doing stuff like that when I was in hospital. I remember they made me draw up a list of pros and cons over being involved with someone I was dating trying to get me to break up with them. Meanwhile, I’m there because I was having bad reactions to pills and I knew that was the problem. It was almost like you had a drug overdose and instead of being given medical help, they ask you to fill out a Cosmo dating questionnaire before they’ll do anything, only when you’re done, they still do nothing.

  • Really frightening development. I had a naive hope when I read the title what they meant was that they’d be releasing some of the people held against their will. This seriously violates international law.

    I am guessing they intend to do hardcore lock downs of the general population at some point and anyone breaking that will find out what the psych system is really about.

    Very worrying too, they’ll pick up more of the “sane” crowd, stick them in hospitals and give them drugs only for violating quarantine rules, then they’ll be in the system for life.

  • Well quarantine isn’t so bad as long as you are not on a psych ward. And have enough toilet paper. If you haven’t there are reasonable substitutions. Kleenex, paper towels, napkins, pharma ads, CBT workbooks, the DSM…If you are looking for the latter you will want to watch for the label that says “not soft enough to cushion the blow of landing in abject poverty”. If it says that you know you have the right brand!

  • I do a kind of informal volunteer work with people out on the streets in Canada (as well as underemployed people who have homes) and I’m so upset about the fact we can have a state of emergency declared over corona, but none over there being so many people with nowhere to live.

    We have a major ongoing escalating housing crisis all over the world, and it should have been addressed long ago.

  • What I love is when you have some major trauma you want to talk about, and the person you tell acts like just hearing about it is an even bigger trauma than living it. What is that about?

    And pretty well everyone I know except immediate family now recommend professional “help” for even the slightest problem now. I don’t know how anyone is expected to have friendships or an intimate relationship anymore, when any time there’s a problem the person needs to be farmed out to a professional. A lot of therapists I met seemed to enjoy creating interpersonal dramas between people…and then there are psychiatrists who can do far worse!

  • Excellent piece, thank you so much for writing it. I constantly tire of hearing this comparison too and have pointed out to people before that likening “depression” to diabetes especially when the latter can cause blindness and loss of limbs via amputation is not a valid comparison. I’m glad to hear someone else say it too!

    Also regarding this statement:

    “It seems more and more common for people who consider themselves mental health advocates to make some version of the argument that “mental illness is like physical illness” as they are trying to expand services, empathy and compassion.”

    I’d be so thrilled if people just entirely stopped advocating for more mainstream “mental health” treatment since that means more drugs and ECT. Whether people realize this or not, usually mainstream advocacy is basically begging for more of a torture regime. It only really makes sense to do advocacy around more drugs if you live somewhere where you are being denied access to drugs you need to taper safely, or to prevent a withdrawal.

    Also it’s a bit..bizarre to think that asking for more paid “help” is advocating for “more empathy”. Can a person really buy empathy? (“Excuse me, I haven’t much time..can you tell me in what aisle you keep the empathy?” ) It reminds me of that old Simpson’s episode where they have Millhouse’s dad trying to draw dignity….

    Lastly it seems to me that people should really rethink most “we need more mainstream mental health treatment” advocacy because many of them are just acting like unpaid spokespeople for pharma.

    Not that I think anyone should be doing their work for money either, but, well, what’s with volunteering to do free work for a trillion dollar industry?

  • Boans, I’m sure you love a good buy one get one sale like most everyone else does, I mean, Biederman knows my doc loves gift shopping at a good BOGO too… but didn’t anyone ever tell you to stay out of the Comorbidity Department? That limited time offer BOGO “sale” they have going on, well that’s just a ruse…It runs every day of the year…

    And anyway, there’s a sale going on elsewhere right now…You can get a pretty good deal on a nice off-season Seasonal Affective Disorder…I checked it out and they threw in a free ankle bracelet no charge…

  • Hey thanks for your reply Leo, and your sage advice. It’s great to speak to someone who gets it. I’m trying to go with my gut here in more than the way of following my stomach to food.

    Regarding the poem, I’m frequently stumped about poetry too, but T.S. Eliot’s was another story. Sometimes a composition will just jump out at me, I’ll find something that really speaks to me. Oddly, I got this one off a car commercial, very strange venue for poetry…I fear they did a way better job advertising the poem than the vehicle, as I can’t even remotely remember what kind of car it was…But the poem was so fitting to me that I was able to recall enough of it to track it down, even after only hearing it the one time.

    Yes it would be lovely to discuss the merits of herbal teas. I noticed you had a short list of teas that help with anxiety here…all familiar to me except I’ve not tried Gingko Biloba.

    I have also taken pineapple weed (Matricaria matricarioides), mullein (Verbascum thapsus–it has to be brewed in cheesecloth due to the little hairs it contains, not something you really want to drink), and chamomile for anxiety before. There are a few others I know of too but I haven’t tried them before so can’t really vouch for their sedative qualities. Personally I love pineapple weed, love the taste, but it’s so hard to find where it’s not been trampled on. (Anyone else reading this please note if you were hurt by psychiatric drugs or have a withdrawal syndrome going on, it is possible you may not be able to tolerate herbal teas. Some herbs also can’t be mixed with certain pills, or other herbs, and if you have other health issues sometimes they can’t be tolerated either. Always a good idea to research any herb before you try it to make sure it’s suitable for you, speak to a medical professional and if you take pills look into interactions between the two.) I believe there are a few others that treat anemia too. I’m sure they’ll come back to me as soon as I stop writing…

    And yes hopefully we will be able to move past the overthinking to seize the day!

  • Hey I really like this article. You sound like me, only in male format. I’m totally into the overthinking, I have often been the “don’t rock the boat” person, and I love tea. Nice to come across your writing and it’s a bit timely for me..I was just looking to buy a little pin I saw online that had “overthinking” written on it. I can overthink the smallest of things, like labor a whole day over worrying about the consequences of sending an innocuous two sentence email or stand for an hour staring at one item I might want to buy in the grocery store wondering if I really DO need it or not..In fact you can assume I spent many hours deliberating before hitting the send button on this post…

    My favorite poem is even partly about overthinking, T.S. Eliot’s poem The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock. These passages really speak to me:

    “Should I, after tea and cakes and ices
    Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis
    Though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed
    Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter
    I am no prophet, and here’s no great matter
    I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker
    And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker
    And in short, I was afraid”

    “Do I part my hair behind,
    Do I dare to eat a peach?…

    I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
    I do not believe that they will sing to me”

    (Hope I got that right, it’s written from memory…)

    Guess it’s really quite fitting here, though your “moment of crisis” was not taken down by fear!

    p.s. I have helped heal some health issues with herbal teas, the actual teas themselves can heal as well. I spent years of my life learning to forage for and identify wild plants to be taken as food and medicine, in so doing I’ve found a rather lengthy list of remedies for a variety of issues. Stinging nettle is a great friend of mine, for instance, helps my anemia, and anxiety, because it contains magnesium and oftentimes anxiety is driven by a lack thereof, and it totally stopped a symptom I had of a bad reaction to psychiatric drugs too. And about the personification of teas, in some cultures there is a literal belief that plants have their own spirit. Probably the most renowned example now is in the Amazon the famed Ayahuasca which is a combination of certain plants brewed as a kind of tea is seriously spoken of as a real person–in visions people report on the tea they often see the plant as a woman with no head (because she deals with emotions more than the intellect.)

    I wish I could say I had permanently solved the overthinking issue but it still crops up again and again. It’s sort of like dealing with a game of Whack-A-Mole. Now I am trying to push through it, let go more. I keep reminding myself of quotes I have read that help me do this..For instance, I read a quote recently attributed to Florence Nightingale, she apparently once said “I attribute my success to this, I gave or took no excuse.” While the “took no excuse” bit sounds a wee bit..tyrannical to me (no offense to Florence) the “I gave no excuse” is something I’m using in moderation to make myself move past the worst instances of overthinking, so I can finally send those two sentence emails already.

  • Hi Rachel, sorry I took so long to respond to your comment. My memory is terrible thanks to psych drug damage, so I rapidly forgot I even wrote here. Thank you for posting about the Violence Initiative. While I was aware that psychiatry started the holocaust I had never heard about what happened in any great detail so this is a good resource to have on hand. Someone I know well studied history in university, and despite focusing a lot on the WWII era, had not even been taught about the history of psychiatry’s involvement in the holocaust. It’s so shocking how well they’ve managed to cover over what happened.
    I will have to look up Karl Binding too.

    Regarding racism, I think a lot of it is covert but, in the days of slavery it was quite overt, they had a diagnosis they gave anyone who wanted their freedom. Drapetomania I believe it was called, it was believed to be a sort of “mania” that caused people to wander away from slavery. The argument went that people needed to be whipped to cure that “mental illness”. Just awful stuff.

    And as far as I can see euthanasia is still something psychiatry believes in. In my country there have been recent open calls for “assisted suicide” for the “mentally ill”, which if it goes anywhere will be a way for them to cover over the “mistakes” they have made. It’s really very alarming as I’m sure many of the people who might be for it won’t be told that the bulk of their problems may be coming from treatment, and that they may well recover from most of them if given sufficient time.

  • On a related note, there is a group now in the UK trying to address some issues relating to tech and mass surveillance. See Big Brother Watch, here:

    They are pushing for a total ban of facial recognition in the UK hoping this will also impede it being used in some other parts of the world.

    On their site they list that one of the databases the police have of people’s images includes images of innocent people in the UK who are suspected of having “mental health” problems.

  • Another issue that barely gets discussed is sensitivity to medication arising from past harm by psychiatric drugs. People who have had either adverse reactions or really severe withdrawal syndromes can wind up really sensitive to pills including some they may need for physical health issues.
    Some people wind up so sensitive they even report having adverse reactions to small amounts of vitamins.
    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of even one doctor who wanted to believe these sensitivities can occur too.

  • I am in the same camp with oldhead and Frank, I am not part of the movement described in this piece either.

    Psychiatrists are largely guilty of a list of crimes including torture or other ill treatment, arbitrary detention and fraud (on such a massive scale it’s arguable it’s the worst case of fraud ever in the history of humanity, due to sheer numbers impacted.) As such, this means we are really dealing with a group of criminals. What this also means is that survivors and victims of psychiatry really are/were victims of crime.

    When framed like this several conclusions follow…one, that talk of reform becomes an unacceptable demand to even be making of survivors. It is not appropriate to ask survivors of such serious crimes to be constantly centering the perceived needs and rights of perpetrators. We owe most psychiatrists precisely nothing. We most certainly do not owe them an ounce of time or energy to help them keep their jobs or to figure out ways to slightly re-tool those jobs so they can keep working.

    The second understanding that should flow from the realization we are really victims of crime is that the main way of framing activism around the issue of psych system harm then revolves around a movement for legal justice. Not a movement for alternatives. The fact is that as victims of crime we already have the alternative implied–it is implied IN the actual laws that they have broken. Simply not doing the crime to start with was THE alternative and anything else misses the point. Were we in a court, it would not be acceptable for a judge to tell the victims to either generate a list of acceptable alternatives behaviors for the perpetrators or the judge will let the perpetrators go.

  • I was on a ward once and there was a guy there who kept coming on to me, telling me he would come into my room at night, and no matter what I said in protest this guy wouldn’t desist with his idea. Finally I had no choice but to report him to a staff member. Of course they didn’t take it seriously at all, and even refused to lock me into my own room for my own protection. And of course actually just being allowed to go home to avoid him was not on the table even though I’d done nothing wrong.

  • Hey everyone, it would appear that the University of Toronto is still accepting donations to the Dr. Bonnie Burstow Scholarship in Antipsychiatry fund as well as the two other scholarships she established, Burstow’s Scholarship for Research into Violence Against Indigenous Women: In Memory of Helen Betty Osborne and Burstow Scholarship for Research into Antisemitism. If you can spare a bit (or a lot) of cash, why not consider making a donation in memory of her?

  • lol, the black balloon booth…Better watch out Rachel or Dr. Oz will steal your idea…

    Yeah I guess making a job out of asking “how’s that workin’ fer ya? ” didn’t really work out too well for Dr. Phil, at least in terms of aligning himself with pharma…Oh well he’ll be policy advisor when Oprah becomes president, and hopefully the worst that will happen then is she makes us all join her book club…

  • Thank you for this piece and for speaking out. I wish the Special Rapporteur had not said “overmedicalization” which of course implies there is a need for psychiatric drugs to treat some “medical issues”. Aside from their use to prevent people from going into withdrawal, for tapering purposes, or to reinstate to stop an ongoing withdrawal syndrome (which only works some of the time) I’m really not seeing of what value they are otherwise. I would like to hope that is what he meant but I suspect it was not. The vast majority of psychiatric drugs never should have made it to market to start with and they only got there because of corruption or pseudo-scientific thinking. If they can’t even prove to start with that most of the “mental illnesses” are due to disease processes, that right off the top means the research is suspect. But arguing for a right to have these drugs around for reasons outside of what I just wrote above seems to me like arguing in favor of lax research and regulatory standards.

  • So, in essence, what this piece amounts to is an open admission that psychiatry intends to monitor survivor spaces so that they can gather info to be used to find new ways to put people in the system. I find this sentence really worrying : “But to rethink the clinical encounter is not to rethink the entirety of mental health practice.”

  • Hi, I noticed that the book launch that was announced prior to Bonnie’s passing is still posted on this site. Is there a memorial book launch still going to be held in her honor then (or have they just not taken that post down in the events section here?)

  • Melissa this brought a smile to my face. I think you are doing valuable work especially in that you hopefully made the person who would not let you in think a bit more about how ridiculous their policies are. If we had more people like you doing the same thing then it would maybe send a message that people outside the ward are paying attention. I don’t think that can hurt.

  • Nice choice of someone to obsess over. I wish I had read more McLuhan before psych drugs messed me over, used to be a prolific reader back in the day. I read everything from Thoreau, to Dostoyevsky, to Dante, to sic fi, to the backs of shampoo bottles.. But somehow never got to McLuhan really, it is a terrible oversight on my part. I had my tech critiques coming more from other writers. (Sadly Pert Plus bottles did about nothing to teach me critiques about tech culture). Agree very much about walking up asking for the handcuffs too. It is continually shocking to me how many volunteer so much personal info whom are apparently not on drugs or drunk at the time they do it. I mourn the world that knew what boundaries were! Now the very idea of boundaries seems a quaint notion.

    P.S. Appreciated the link a lot, there are some aspects of Facebook I was not aware of..just solidifies my urge to avoid it.

  • I don’t have a Facebook account. This piece leaves out that people like me who deliberately refused Facebook and other social media sites, and also forms of tech, can become basically ostracized for having critical thinking skills and anticipating how the sites or tech will be used badly against people. Since being harmed by psychiatry, I lost most of my friends. I have tried and tried to make new friends, and I am good at meeting people, people I meet will want to keep in touch with me…but the second you say I don’t use Facebook, I don’t text, etc, well then they just disappear like you told them you have a contagious illness. When cell phones started becoming popular I immediately anticipated how they’d be used by workplaces to track employees all the time, and I thought better of getting one. I told several friends they were a bad idea, when they told me to get one, and later those same people came back to me complaining that now their bosses followed them wherever they were and they regretted having bought them.

  • I have been reading here since the site started and though I don’t often comment (partly because oldhead tends to cover most of what I have to express) I wished to say that I appreciated Stephen Gilbert’s participation here and his voice. Without knowing him personally my sense from his comments was that he was an honest, down to earth, ethical person who truly cared what became of people in the system. A rare individual the world badly needed. That he could work at the hospital that had mistreated him to try to help out other people in the system shows a great deal of strength and courage. As a psych survivor myself I know if it were me I’d probably have a heart attack just walking in the front door of the hospital where I stayed, so well and truly I have no idea how he did it. RIP Mr. Gilbert, you sure had guts and you will be tremendously missed.