Thursday, August 11, 2022

Comments by TomH

Showing 12 of 12 comments.

  • The Lancet publication’s authors intentionally misrepresent suicide’s associations because the “mental health” status quo has the blessings of the state to model “mental illness” primarily as constitutional or personal failure (biological illness or “maladaptive” behavior) instead of as a consequence of trauma. The latter would call too much attention to the state’s or the community’s contribution to others’ emotional/cognitive conditions. It’s easier, more profitable, and more personally/professionally gratifying to infantilize the suffering who, of course, ensure the continued value of the clinician. Any who vigorously disagree with the status quo can be conveniently censored as purveyors of misinformation.

    Thanks for the review, Dr. Gøtzsche.

  • “In the groups with lower probabilities of suicide risk (1-3), there is little difference between gun owners’ and non-gun owners’ responses to the SITBI-R. However, in the groups with the highest probability of attempting suicide (4-5), gun owners are less likely than non-gun owners to report suicidal ideation.”

    Not terribly surprising. Maybe some who are very serious about ending their lives are more likely to choose guns because they’re statistically among the most lethal methods. Being so serious about ending their lives, they just might not divulge this to others who they feel would stop them by force. If any of these have ever been forcibly held in a psychiatric facility, the experience might have been so deeply traumatizing it discouraged them from ever reaching out to professionals again.

  • “psychiatry is not to me ‘science done badly.’ It is pretend ‘science’.” — Agreed. Regardless what others (professionals, policy makers, or lay) feel about antipsychiatry, there are certain objective criteria of the natural sciences both psychology and psychiatry fail to meet. Still, both disciplines regularly (mis)represent themselves as natural sciences offering reliable answers. So, it’s justifiable for people COERCED to live under the yoke of these psy-disciplines to be angry that their rights and freedoms are circumscribed because of others’ speculations, worldviews, and opinions. I agree with you that other people should feel entitled to buy into psychiatry and psychology if they want, but the rest of us shouldn’t be forced to.

  • @ Daiphanous Weeping — “I would say that even a supposed loner does not get to be a so corrupt in isolation.” From the deluge of social media comments on the recent tragedy and similar ones in the US, it’s obvious that your brave position is often unpopular. But I agree with you that we ought to be thinking about how individuals’ social experiences before they might commit horrendous acts influence their choices. It’s sad and frustrating we can be so lax often on bullying–especially when the popular or powerful do it, for example, but then express outraged when bullying contributes to more pain.

  • @ Steve McCrea — “So I think the two of you may be talking about different subjects.” I agree. I also agree that while it’s offensive, it’s a very different matter when one private citizen imposes her/his perspective on another’s (this can be ignored) from when an official with the backing of the state, the courts, and law enforcement does (this is much harder to ignore). And yes, this is one of the most insidious forms of intellectual bullying. Thanks for your points.

  • Hi, Frank. Would you mind sharing a bit more of your perspectives? For instance, what do you see as some of the alternatives to modern clinical psychology and psychiatry for severe emotional trauma? And what do you think a better way to deal with criminality is than imprisonment (or do you think something ought to be added to or changed about imprisoning people)? Looking forward to anything you care to share.

  • I’m not trying to be dense, really, but I don’t see how your comment applies to mine. I’m not talking about book jackets. I’m talking about the great, lasting harms clinical psychology and psychiatry perpetuate, whatever benefits some find in these disciplines notwithstanding. I’m also not trying to censor anyone’s speech. I’m adding my experience and perspective. If the modern psy-disciplines prove fruitful for others–I’m happy for them. But there’s no excuse to marry these to state powers to coerce and even torture people against their will. Free citizens shouldn’t have to beg to be free of coercion as regards our own private lives and our own bodies.

  • I’m not sure you meant to reply to my comment. I thought I’d recognized that different therapies may work for different people. My first point is that there are many who’re labeled “mentally ill” BECAUSE they suffer grave injustices that are never righted and/or which never stop. Therapy for dealing with ongoing illegality or injustice won’t remove the grave problem which is why some sufferers may seek out suicide instead of lifelong struggle. Other authors here on MIA have already elaborated on this so I don’t think it necessary to do so again.

    My second point is that traditional Western clinical psychology lays a great deal of the responsibility for dealing with emotional problems on victims. Again, this has already been discussed elsewhere in detail. But for many victims of bullying, abuse, bigotry… it’s not helpful to keep learning how to respond to abuse–very often ILLEGAL abuse. What is helpful to us is for the law to do its job and prevent the illegal abuse. That’s sadly not how the law works, though. Modern psychology is far too often complicit in the normalization of abuse and victimization. Readers of MIA have many examples of this in the publications here and elsewhere as well as from our own personal lives.

    While clinical psychology (or any other kind of therapy) may work for SOME people, what sets this practice apart from others (like religious counseling or art/music therapy…) are, among other things, these: 1) clinical psychology wrongly assumes the air of legitimate science when much of it is merely speculation and/or poorly understood personal interaction–how some psychological/emotional stimulus affects an individual or even, for reasons practitioners don’t understand but are quick and even arrogant to assume they do, people statistically; and 2) clinical psychology together with psychiatry have convinced the courts these disciplines and practitioners should be entitled to remove the civil rights of and to use coercion and even deadly force against individuals who haven’t broken any laws. Again, there are many publications that detail all of this.

    Lastly, I stand by my perspective. Clinical psychology and psychiatry do a great deal of harm. But unlike other interventions people voluntarily seek out and are free to disassociate from, clinical psychology and psychiatry have become arms and fists of the state. This, for many of us who have direct experience with these disciplines, makes them repugnant and inexcusable. I’m not arguing that they may not help some people or that different therapies work for different groups but rather that the rest of us shouldn’t be obliged to be their unwilling subjects. So long as these disciplines and practitioners enjoy these state-sanctioned insidious and abusive powers, I will never trust them or their pundits.

    Thanks for the exchange and best regards to you.

  • Hear, hear! There are many, many reasons therapy may not work. If it did work–if SOME therapy were reliable and well-understood–then population rates of depression and suicide should by now be much lower. Even if the claim is that therapy works but the broad environment our culture has created isn’t conducive to maintaining good mental health, then it would behoove us to change our environment. But most of us realize we’re not gong to do that. So here we are.

  • I’m glad to read Mr. Sørensen disavows some of the more harmful aspects of traditional psychiatry and mental health services. Others contributors to MIA have called out society’s structure and institutions as dehumanizing and traumatizing. I can see how these perspectives (the latter and Mr Sørensen’s) can be compatible. However, after many years navigating mental health services, my perspective is that it is often ineffective investing in “cognitive therapies” when the underlying traumas (for example, having your legal rights repeatedly flouted by those who have great authority over you–like law enforcement, the courts, even landlords in a context of nearly universal affordable housing scarcity; or chronic failure to secure (other) basic survival requirements; or lifelong experience of pervasive and impoverishing bigotries…) go unremedied. There are probably those who benefit from learning how to better manage their responses to major challenges. What concerns me, though, is the relationship between grave social injustices and the attendant so-called maladaptive cognitive responses. Even the more liberal psychologists seem to lay the burden of responsibility (what are the right thoughts, how to manage stress…) on the shoulders of those already bowed from chronic stressors. Frankly, many may not want to learn how better to manage suffering. They may want only the alleviation of suffering. Barring that, it’s no wonder that suicide rates year over year generally have continued rising. Sadly, I’ve utterly lost faith in social work and psychology to address the causes of many people’s debilitating emotional/cognitive states.