Saturday, May 21, 2022

Comments by Birdsong

Showing 100 of 162 comments. Show all.

  • Yes, you are right – it is brainwashing, and it can take a long time to learn to think, and it is an evolution. But it seems few people have been taught how to think, and the “mental health” narrative has almost become a mandate.

    (And I should have used the word “authoritarian” instead of “authority”. Psychiatrists act as authoritarians, especially when they pathologize those who disagree with them.)

    And thank you for pointing out the distinction between psychiatry and neurology. Psychiatry has no business being in medicine or anywhere else, and if the so-called “brain disorders” were real, neurology would have absorbed psychiatry long ago.

  • maedhbh quotes, “fair is foul and foul is fair” –

    Now THAT’S a quote for the ages – AND mainstream psychiatry –
    I think these days it’s called “gaslighting” –

    maedhbh also says, “…(Insel) chose power and having a legacy instead. When he’s dead some Ivy League university will probably have his face cast in bronze and plonked outside some medical facility”.

    No doubt – but in the meantime, he might try heading his own School of Public Relations (with a focus on mainstream psychiatry) –

  • maedhbh says, “The world does not have a dystopian future – it already exists in the here and now.”
    This is exactly what Dr. Insel and his mainstream psychiatry has created – a dystopia.

    I see Insel’s book as a desperate attempt to continue controlling the narrative, while deflecting attention away from himself and mainstream psychiatry. The book’s an absurd effort at putting a good face on mainstream psychiatry’s categorical failures.

    But you gotta hand it to the guy – he’s turned out to be quite the pitchman, as he’s using the bully pulpit for all it’s worth.

  • Steve says, “It also stops people from looking for better answers. “If my brain’s not working right, there isn’t much I can do about it, is there? Might as well hope the drugs work, because otherwise I’m screwed.”

    This is exactly the destructive approach I’ve seen growing for years. I see it as a convenient way for detached people – and this includes “mental health professionals” – to deny reality. And it strikes me as especially unhelpful, even cruel, for upset people to be faced with this attitude from “mental health professionals”. And it’s ultimately insulting to have someone suggest that their problems come from their own “inadequacies”.

    And on a wider scale, the excessive prescribing of “psychiatric medications” always looked to me like the “bread and circuses” or “let them eat cake” course of action. And this is why I’ve always viewed the majority of “mental health professionals” as exploitative.

  • People don’t need any more of psychiatry’s “medications”, and Insel’s incessant genomic theorizing is an expensive and embarrassing pipedream.
    People need someplace other than the emergency room to get their bearings when experiencing extreme states.
    I once read of a place headed by a psychiatrist where people could go instead of the emergency room. It was a safe place where people could come and go as they pleased, and get “medications” if they asked for them, and rest in cushioned reclining chairs with blankets and pillows.
    It sounded like a safe, respectful alternative for people.

  • Extreme states do exist, (i.e. psychosis, manias, paranoia, catatonic depression, to name a few), and can happen to anyone for any number of reasons. But even these situations deserve to be looked at with an open frame of mind.

    But Dr. Insel’s fixation on genes and neurons doesn’t begin to address the real reasons why so many of our homeless are “mentally ill”. And why can’t he see that the changing economy has been good to him and not to others? Psychology 101: tough breaks can break anyone’s mind. And street drugs only add to what has become an increasingly complicated problem.

    So I would question Dr. Insel’s and mainstream psychiatry’s grasp on reality before I question anyone else’s –

  • And why do doctors and psychiatrists drug people into a state of apathy?

    Because they’re trained to diagnose and drug. To them that’s “treatment”. It’s as simple as that.

    It would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. But that’s their starting point and they’re not about to go much further.

    The DSM needs to be scrapped and psychiatric drugging severely curtailed – but that’s not likely to happen any time soon. What’s more likely is a widespread public outcry against psychiatric diagnoses and drugs, but that may be a long way off –

  • Any why do they drug people into an apathetic state so that they won’t be so bothered by their unmet needs?

    I don’t know, but maybe the answer is in the question – maybe they don’t want to be bothered by people’s unmet needs. Or maybe they don’t know how to help people learn to meet their unmet needs, or maybe they don’t believe their clients are capable of learning to meet their unmet needs. Sometimes people might need something to help them calm down – especially after going through a major trauma – but to be made a chronic zombie isn’t the way to go. But drugging people has gotten way out of hand and people aren’t made enough aware of the drugs potential dangers, and they’re understandably wanting to trust their clinician. But it’s too bad the therapist’s or doctor’s office has become the first stop on the way to drug dependence –

  • Steve asks, “…why aren’t they working on this with their clients, instead of drugging them into an apathetic state so that they’re less bothered by having their needs go unmet?” –

    I wonder sometimes. I think it’s because psychiatrists and therapists are just like anybody else – they’re off to school and are taught a certain way of thinking and a certain set of answers, which, for the most part, are that people’s psychological problems come from the individual (biology or “character”), not their environment. And in any case, I’ve heard that universities – and medical schools in particular – don’t exactly encourage divergent thinking. And students and residents aren’t in a position to suggest something different; they’ve got to toe the line to get that degree. And doing things differently in private practice could lead to legal troubles as they’re legally obligated to abide by clinical guidelines. And many of them are well-meaning and truly believe in what they’re doing and can only see change as inconvenient and uncertain, and not many people welcome inconvenience and uncertainty. And the status quo is comfortable for them and they’re comfortable in their status, especially after years of strenuous training. And most professionals aren’t looking to change the status quo – they’ve got too much skin in the game. And needless to say, they’re not experiencing their clients problems (for the most part) and most of all aren’t on the receiving end of their “treatments”. And maybe at a certain point they just don’t want to be bothered themselves. And they certainly don’t want to be ostracized for suggesting something different.

    People need to stop believing their problems are solved by filling prescriptions or taking part in someone’s idea of “therapy”. But change can be slow because mindsets like this are institutionally created, enabled and promoted and are therefore deeply entrenched.
    So change in this area has to come from the ground up – which I believe is possible thanks to websites like this –

  • It’s a pretty dismal and narrow-minded commentary on human beings ability to evolve and adapt to seriously think that what many people may need to be “functional” is contained some or another elaborate pharmaceutical concoction. But that’s the miserable story mainstream psychiatry tells and sells everyone who’ll listen, and even those that won’t. Because it’s essentially all it has to offer – a misleading tale of “you’re sick, take this forever and don’t bother me with questions” –

    And what has mainstream psychiatry created? An whole new and ever-expanding subclass of supposedly “sick” people solely and forever dependent on THEIR revolving door services – their captive audience for life – and THAT my friends, is mainstream psychiatry’s America –

  • Mainstream psychiatry doesn’t deal with tragedy – IT IS the tragedy – an American tragedy in the making. And it will continue being so as long as the Insel’s of the world refuse to read the writing on the wall. And what’s the writing on the wall? That regardless of origin, more diagnoses and more drugs lead to more illness and more disability.

    But it’s useless waiting for mainstream psychiatry to change its course because it’s a bureaucracy and bureaucracies don’t change. But sooner or later mainstream psychiatry will have its day of reckoning, because – lo and behold – the medication generation (children from the nineties, aughts and beyond) are now or will be coming of age and WOW – do THEY have their own stories to tell –

  • More on cause and effect –
    There are times when the job itself causes someone’s “mental” distress; indeed, the stress of having to work in a hostile or otherwise toxic environment can take its toll on anyone.
    And the same can be said for any environment, be it marriage, family, school, social groups, and even countries – not too mention experiencing unspeakable trauma. And sometimes these difficulties can’t be consciously acknowledged.
    But Dr. Insel’s and mainstream psychiatry’s stubborn insistence on finding “neuro/bio/genomic” causes for people’s distress and their continued prescribing of powerful and potentially harmful psychotropic “medications” for their distress is nothing less than a medical travesty.

    And what should be done about this medical travesty?
    Mr. Whitaker’s suggestion is right on target – get psychiatry out of medicine!

  • It would seem that for all Dr. Insel’s qualifications and efforts, he – as well as most psychiatrists – have forgotten the simple law of cause and effect.

    To wit – in his book, Dr. Insel states what he sees as the probable cause behind mainstream psychiatry’s failure to produce a lasting and “meaningful” social nirvana: a lack of social supports and the public’s accompanying “lack of engagement”.

    But it seems reasonable to consider that perhaps it’s these lacks (decent housing, a social community, a purpose in life) that are causing these “illnesses” in the first place. And I find it telling that Insel left out that bulwark of social, psychological, and physical support – a decent job. Apparently he hasn’t considered that that might give some people a fighting chance of providing these things for themselves, and in doing so, preserve their sense of dignity. But I guess that’s something he and others with an m.d. have far less occasion to worry about.

    And as for the public’s perceived “lack of engagement” – i.e. drug “treatment” and psychotherapy –
    If Insel and most of his cohorts had been paying proper attention, they might have been able to see that these two “therapies” don’t work well for more than a few people.

    So maybe he and mainstream psychiatry should consider looking at their own “lack of engagement”. After all, spending their days glancing at little more than their text-heavy DSMs and gawking at esoteric genomic sequences would give anyone a bad case of social myopia –

  • Steve says, “The real challenge is why so many people believe this nonsense that is so easily debunked,” –

    I agree – this is a huge challenge. But the why isn’t so hard to figure out. I think the reason is because being a psychiatrist means carrying the mantle of medical doctor, which is something most people are conditioned to regard as all-knowing. The “doctors save lives” trope is hard to counter, and the drugs they prescribe are essentially numbing agents (painkillers), and who doesn’t want these in a desperate moment? And since most of the allied professionals (i.e. psychologists, etc) are trained to defer to an m.d.’s assessments, (further spreading the nonsense), it’s no wonder people keep believing the nonsense. It’s been woven into everyday culture. And since most psychiatrists believe it themselves (because they invented it) they are content doing so and are unlikely to say anything different. They see no reason to; they’re happy sitting high on their mountain of nonsense.
    One bright spot is that I once heard a psychiatrist say (in response to Mr. Whitaker’s book, “Anatomy of an Epidemic”), is that changes will be from the grassroots, not from psychiatry.
    But I didn’t need a psychiatrist to figure that out –

  • The power of suggestion? What is that? And what does that have to do with Dr. Insel’s book?
    All it is is the idea that people will very often live up to – and in mainstream psychiatry’s case – LIVE DOWN to your expectations –
    Could you please be more specific?
    Yes. It’s how people take ideas given to them and turn those ideas into reality, and in this case, mainstream psychiatry’s “reality” –
    Which is???
    “Illness”, “illness”, and MORE “illness” –
    But what does this have to do with Dr. Insel’s book?
    It means he should have spent more time getting to know the people he intends to “treat”, rather than his “research” cronies –

  • Insel’s attempts were undoubtedly a noble effort, but a dismal failure. Wouldn’t you agree?
    Not completely. I agree with the second half of your statement, but not the first –
    How so?
    I don’t consider it a noble effort to throw oneself headlong into expensive research in a field whose foundation rests on nothing more than a poorly conceived book of medicalized insults –

  • The Dr. Insel’s of the world should take note –
    Education, accolades, and endless funds at your disposal do not guarantee finding the answers you want or expect.
    Just look at Dr. Insel’s decades-long effort at grabbing what he thought would be mainstream psychiatry’s brass ring. He came up empty-handed.

    Yet he refuses to give up his vain hopes and delusional dreams of someday discovering a meaningful link between his precious mainstream psychiatry and his incurable infatuation with “neuro-bio-genomic” medicine. He’s foolishly committed to sustaining mainstream psychiatry’s scientific misadventures.

    It’s too bad he can’t see that mainstream psychiatry is neither science nor medicine.
    And what is mainstream psychiatry?
    A deadly serious RIGGED GAME of semantics and drugging –

  • “…a psychiatrist is allowed to manufacture their own version of reality” –
    Isn’t this where the problems start?
    Going to an m.d. for psychological distress is a terrible idea as all they’re trained to do is look for pathology, and psychotherapists do the same.
    Sooner or later, the truth gets out. And when enough people stop going, these “practitioners” will have to look for other ways to pay the rent –

  • Insel’s book inadvertently reveals mainstream psychiatry’s true motivations: fame and wealth –
    Yep – the guy’s got ‘em all off on that decades-long “neuro-biological” toot.
    Someone outta tell the guy the party’s over –
    You can’t- he’s convinced psychiatry’s bound for glory –

  • Insel’s book is a prime example of what can happen when someone gets to spend too much time and too much money in academia, a place where people are exposed to everything but everyday reality.
    And what can happen? Twenty years and twenty billion dollars down the drain.
    And what does genie Insel prescribe? Thirty more years of the same –

  • Thank you Steve for your more detailed definition of scientism, “…the belief that Scientists are the Authorities and that we peons are too stupid to understand their deep wisdom…” –
    This accurately describes the irritatingly pontifical attitude of most psychiatrists.
    I’d call it “Psychiatric Scientism” –

  • “Neuro-bio-psycho-social” psychiatry – whew! I’m outa breath just saying it –
    Yep – the fools can’t make up their minds, that’s for sure. They’re into everything but the kitchen sink –
    Yeah…makes me wonder what it’s like being a psychiatrist these days –
    Oh I can tell you that –
    Yep – it’s like constantly playing and losing a game of “Twister” –

  • You said psychiatrists can’t agree on what they are. What do you mean?
    I mean they now call themselves “neuro-bio-psycho-social psychiatrists –
    Wow! That’s a mouthful –
    You said it -but there’s one thing you can count on –
    What’s that?
    Next week they’ll come up with something else!

  • rebel says, “Actually, other branches of medicine do have similar problems to psychiatry. In fact, all of science does. I think they call it “scientism” –
    rebel is so right.
    And what’s the definition for scientism? “excessive belief in the power of scientific knowledge and techniques” –
    Well, there it is, folks! THAT’S the definition of psychiatry –

  • Joshua says, “Any drugging of children has to be considered involuntary. And this kind of behavior control and practitioner’s own gratification drugging should carry the most extreme criminal penalties” –
    You’re right – it should. But I keep hoping it doesn’t have to come to this. I’m counting on the “parents’ grapevine” to alert each other of what’s going on.
    Has anyone ever considered that vitamin supplements might be causing some of the problems?
    B-vitamins from vitamin supplements make me jittery. And food producers routinely add them to a lot of the foods kids eat. And expectant mothers routinely take prenatal vitamins. I can’t help but wonder what the effects of these might be on their developing baby.
    I apologize for asking such a stupid question, and I in no way mean to minimize anyone’s situation –

  • And one more thing about psychiatry, astrology and astronomy –

    Now, I may be wrong, but it seems to me astrology and astronomy know what they are, and are therefore content to stay in their own lanes. I never had the impression they’re competing with each other.

    But psychiatry is another matter, as no one (including psychiatrists) can agree on what they are, what they do, or why they do it. But there are five things you can count on with psychiatry:

    1. They’re forever changing their minds, and
    2. When one thing doesn’t work, they’re off and running to come up with something else, and
    3. You can count on THAT not working either, and
    4. They’re always off to someplace even MORE wonderful!
    5. All they need is more time, more money (of course), and (wink-wink) the public’s gullibility to make their dreams come true –

  • I found these definitions for astronomy and astrology:
    Astronomy –
    “(from Greek literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics and chemistry in order to explain their origin and evolution. Objects of interest include planets, moons, stars, nebulae, galaxies and comets”.
    Astrology –
    “the study of movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world”.
    I think these both serve an important function.

    But the same cannot be said for psychiatry, as its claims to either biological OR empirical science are flimsy at best, with the former being tainted with greed and the latter with bias –

  • Bradford says, “Astrology is actually MORE valid & scientific than psychiatry can EVER BE”, and,
    “Psychiatry is PURE FRAUD, feeding like a parasite off human suffering & misery…”
    Bradford speaks the truth.

    I have consulted astrologers occasionally in the past, and I’m happy to report that I received more help from them than I ever got from psychiatry or psychotherapy.

    It’s interesting how astrologers follow the planets as they travel along the constellations, and astrology’s role in ancient civilizations is truly fascinating. And it’s uncanny how accurate some astrologers can be. They must have an intuitive gift.

    I searched astronomy and found it’s classified as a natural science, a branch of science that deals with the physical world, e.g. physics, chemistry, geology and biology. Then I searched the science of psychiatry and it said, “a branch of medicine focused on diagnosing and treating mental health disorders”, followed by, “The term literally means “the medical treatment of the soul”. Now THAT stopped me cold – “medical treatment of the soul”? And just HOW does one “medically treat” the soul? And what does that even mean when the definition of “the soul” is nebulous at best? This proves that all psychiatrists are doing is DRUGGING PEOPLE SILLY and calling it “medicine” – all the while inflicting serious physical and psychological harm with their pharmaceutical and “psychotherapeutic” garbage.

    On a more positive note, I think the best part of astrology is that it encourages people to think not only subjectively, but objectively about what’s going on in their lives – without the specter of “illness”.

    And I never once left an astrologer feeling humiliated, demoralized, dehumanized, AND demonetized, which is more than I can say for psychiatrists OR psychologists –

  • “People can experience emotional overload” –
    I agree – emotional overload pretty much explains everything.
    I think it’s too bad people have gotten away from using the term “nervous breakdown”, because it didn’t stigmatize people the way so-called “diagnoses” do these days.

  • This article clearly shows the reason the “therapeutic community” has failed to help people, which is –
    Therapists are lost in their “isms”: hedonism, universalism, atomism, materialism, and objectivism.
    Yet the author seems to think the answers lie in TWO MORE “isms”: humanism and existentialism.
    But haven’t these two already been tried with lackluster results?

    With “help” like this, is it any wonder people keep losing their minds?

    And while I may not know what works, I sure as hell can see the things that don’t, which are:

    1. Relying on “isms” doesn’t work because –
    2. It’s the therapists themselves WHO ARE INSANE –

  • But they HAVE found the freckles gene!
    So what? And just what’s wrong with freckles anyway?
    Nothing – but it seems psychiatrists don’t like seeing them on people –
    All you’re saying is that freckles are the psychiatrists’ problem –
    Yes – but shouldn’t they do something about them?
    Yes – look the other way AND MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS –

  • Dr. Insel must have spent lot of time writing his book in Silicon Valley –
    You mean the “fake-it-till-you-make-it” capitol of the world?
    That’s it –
    Doesn’t he realize someone got caught pulling some shenanigans up there recently?
    Yep – but it just goes to show you – some people just can’t learn –
    Apparently so…

  • My therapist uses humanism and existentialism!

    Yippee. Now let me ask you – who in the heck needs some therapist’s “isms” to help them figure things out? Isn’t the fact you’re human and exist enough for those “professional” people? You know things have gotten pretty bad when people have to go to school to figure THAT out –