Comments by Kld3019

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  • What if a petition were put out to have the TED talk taken down or something to that effect? I would sign it. I know that is not a solution to the multitude of issues with TED being described. Even if the petition didn’t result in the talk being taken down, it could potentially bring more visibility to this issue, while putting pressure on TED to rethink the abuse of their platform.

  • I wanted to bring the oppressive nature of this statement to your attention:

    “Some people are capable of doing the job of social worker some aren’t. I wouldn’t want someone who is mentally ill doing that job for me. I would want someone I could rely on.”

    Sometimes people say hurtful things because they simply don’t know they’re saying something hurtful. We all make mistakes, we are all learning every day. That’s all we can do. I am hoping to shed light on this in a way that extends compassion and understanding to you—not in a way to shame you. When I learned about mentalism its was really empowering for me especially as someone who has been subjected to this form of discrimination. It provided much-needed context around a lot of my life experiences. Hopefully the following will help you the way it helped me:

    Mentalism is a form of discrimination and oppression against a “mental trait” a person is perceived to have. It can include discrimination across many spheres of life such as employment, housing, immigration, etc. It can result in covert discrimination by multiple, small insults and indignities or what are called “microaggressions”.

    There are a lot of misconceptions about those perceived as having “mental health challenges” ie: they are incompetent, unable to do things for themselves, constantly in need of supervision and assistance, unpredictable, likely to be violent or irrational etc.

    I am not here to tell you how to live your life or what to think, but I again do hope that this information is useful to you.

  • I just read this blog again and felt very compelled to say something else, as there was an important detail I missed. There was a person on the email correspondence who said it is “fashionable to criticize ECT but all treatments have their pros and cons.” What is being said there is extremely dangerous. A position against psychiatric violence or oppression of any form for that matter isn’t a fad. Activism and social justice aren’t trends. Framing it that way means it could otherwise be “out”. If this were a conversation about violence against women, and someone implied that the only reason people ever took a stance against domestic violence was because it was “trendy”, and claimed it could actually help women “stay in line”, people would be justifiably outraged.

  • Thank you for your important work, and tireless dedication to integrity.
    This blog is very powerful. I had some thoughts on potential additional dynamics at play in regards to the email exchange. Our moral compass and common sense tells us that ECT should without a shred of doubt be eliminated, so why would “enlightened” mental health professionals, or mental health professionals educated on psychiatric abuse, disagree? If you think about it, that doesn’t really make sense on the surface. I am not a mind reader of course, but one hypothesis I have is that this is in part motivated by cognitive dissonance. Perhaps these mental health professionals have unconscious guilt, shame and subsequent trauma around the injustice, violence, and overall harm they perpetuated before becoming “enlightened”. Maybe they are still participating in some of these abuses. Maybe they were always educated or “enlightened” on the reality of psychiatric abuse but made the choice to participate in it anyway.

    Through the lens of guilt and shame, the truth of their legacy is seen as a threat to their identity, which may be tied to their sense of “status” and “being a good person”. Of course this lens could be further muddied by mentalism, group think, residual indoctrination, plain willful ignorance, and a variety of other factors, so shedding light on this could bring about the dissonance or feeling of “discomfort. This dissonance or “discomfort” is then remedied by attempting to make a straw man out of a legitimate position on ECT, claiming it is “polarizing” or “going overboard”, the way environmentalists are referred to as “hippies” in a derogatory manner, or psychiatric survivors are called mentalist slurs when speaking out against the abuses of the mental health system.

    I imagine on some level, they know their arguments aren’t completely genuine and are more accurately unconscious defense mechanisms and “self justifications”. If any of what I am saying is playing a role in this, I hope that they give themselves the opportunity to see past this lens, work through any of their own traumas, and help bring about true justice for those who have been abused and oppressed by the mental health system.

  • Thank you for your article. I had a few thoughts on what it means to truly have a choice in regards to coming of psychiatric drugs. An important consideration is that a person who is experiencing “depression”, “anxiety”, general “moodiness” or insomnia while taking psychiatric drugs may in part actually be experiencing drug “side effects”, like the effects of any other psychoactive substance. Also, when people are given psychiatric labels, it is extremely powerful. A lot of people’s fears and misconceptions around coming off of psychiatric drugs are largely due to years of highly sophisticated and intense brain washing. The way I see it, people aren’t even able to make a choice to come off of psychiatric drugs in the first place when mitigating factors such as these aren’t being addressed in a direct and honest way. They aren’t being given true informed consent in other words. It sounds like your therapy touches on that a bit, which is great. I will outline a few other factors that should be addressed head on in order for a person to have a more active role in their therapy but before I do, have you or your clients seen this video from Laura Delano?

    Think about what true informed consent would actually look like. Are your clients aware of Robert Whitaker’s books? What if you summarized some of his work in your sessions or a class for example? Are you and your clients familiar with Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Their Families by Peter Breggin or more of his work? Contrary to popular belief, the withdrawal symptoms can be extremely intense, long lasting and are often conflated with the “diagnosis” itself.

    I strongly suggest making alternatives highly accessible and incorporating them into your work. For example, you could offer a menu of alternative services, educational pamphlets, resource guides, and general tips and tricks around psychiatric drug withdrawal. Have you thought about referring clients to this website or the others below:

    There are also alternative, safe and highly effective sleep aids, such as Herbal Medicine’s “Deep Sleep” or Benadryl. There are a variety of alternatives to dealing with intense anxiety and depression in the moment such as deep breathing, simple mindfulness techniques, taking a walk, etc. Self care such as physical activity, meditation, and “sleeping it off”, can be really useful during psychiatric drug withdrawal, just as much as the catharsis of grieving, letting yourself have a bad day, and knowing that it is okay to feel—allowing yourself to feel without labeling and judging it as anything other than part of the spectrum of human emotion and experience. Just being gentle with yourself and giving yourself a break. I imagine most of these holistic approaches are already incorporated into your practice. This video is really great by the way:

    I also want to bring your attention to something you said when a client questioned you about coming off of psychiatric drugs:

    “He’s become dependent on them, believing that he needs them to function in his everyday life. He recently asked me if I thought he could ever stop — I said I didn’t know but certainly we could work on it.”

    Saying “you don’t know” can be really disempowering for a client as it is almost synonymous with “no” in this context. This is because you are in a position of authority in the mental health field and that statement could reinforce their dependence on the drugs and the brain washing they have had around their “diagnosis”. I think more empowering statements might be, “It can be challenging, but it can be done and I fully support you. We can take it one day a time.” I mean this with all due respect, and I know your heart is in the right place. I just thought it was vitally important that you consider that moving forward.

    Anyway what I have written is not at all exhaustive of my thoughts on this, or the resources available. I typed this out as quickly as I don’t have a lot of time at the moment. Hopefully what I said is helpful though and good luck!

  • Thank you Alex and Rosalee! I really admire your courage for speaking out and continuing to chip away at this highly sophisticated, insidious institutional gas lighting—this brain washing on an international scale. Being exposed to such a terrifying and destructive cultural norm on a daily basis makes unweaving the complex web of my own victimization quite challenging and your powerful voices help me cut through that web. I am grateful to you both as well as to the other commenters, bloggers and this platform as a whole.

    The DSM is essentially a book of 1,000 mentalist slurs, purporting pseudoscience, hate speech and overall bigotry as “therapeutic”. It is a way our culture suppresses and dangerously oversimplifies the spectrum of human emotion, behavior, suffering and experience. The abuse I suffered was outside of me, and largely at the hands of psychiatry. I would not be able to effectively process the resulting trauma if I were conned into believing it was a permanent medical issue as opposed to a human being’s natural response to an unjust society and subsequent abuse.

    The fight or flight response tells us there is danger. It is a survival instinct, (and I would argue a form of intuition) not a “brain disease”. Suppressing these responses would be detrimental to the survival of our species. In this context, the danger here is the continued institutional oppression/violence of the mental health system. Part of processing trauma for some, could be channeling the fight or flight responses and intuitions into constructive and concrete actions. When I listen to my instincts and intuitions, whether tied to my traumatic experiences or not, one thing I am told loud and clear is that I want to fight this and other forms of injustice. I am also told to take care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually; work on personal development; educate myself; love others; and continuing processing my trauma—not suppressing it and none of this in a “psychiatrized” way. Everyone has a different path or beliefs, which I respect. This is just a snapshot of mine and what works for me. A work in progress if you will.

    Thank you both again for your powerful voices and helping to amplify my own healthy intuition and instincts.

  • Thank you Alex! I really appreciate that! I get a lot out of your comments. You and the other commenters have unknowingly helped facilitate a level of healing, empowerment and personal growth that I didn’t know was possible.

    As it stands, mainstream Psychiatry is one of the most insidiously psychologically abusive, fraudulent, misguided, violent, oppressive, dehumanizing, and tormenting ways a person can be victimized. The experience is extremely traumatic, and not limited to just the “clients”. Glad to hear you made it out and good luck to you!

  • Many people go into the field of social services with the intention to help individuals and families overcome trauma, oppression, and other adversities. They are compassionate people who want a career and life that facilitates healing and systemic change. Many of these MSW programs are geared heavily towards education around social justice. The shocking reality for a lot of people once they graduate from these programs and start working in the field is the discovery that the mental health system is actually an institution or manifestation of oppression. They learn that it is a textbook example of structural violence. I’ve seen professionals go into denial over this, in part because it is a very real trauma for them to be living in a culture where this is the reality, and that they have in a sense been tricked into contributing to this. A field where social justice concepts and ideas such as “trauma informed care” have been coopted, and mixed with this mentalism–this pseudoscientific propaganda, such as bogus, victim blaming, profit motivated DSM “diagnoses” and the subsequent psychiatric psychoactive drug “treatments”. Professionals in this field have essentially been force-fed the misinformation, thus becoming oppressors themselves—the very thing they unequivically oppose.

    To me, what you are describing in your article are the symptoms of this bigger picture phenomenon.

    I would encourage anyone who works in the system to use it as an opportunity to work as a change agent or just quit because both you and your clients deserve better and it is a shame that your compassion and good intentions have been taken advantage of:

    As a psychiatric survivor, I can tell you first hand that what I experienced was extremely traumatic, violent, and haunts me to this day. I know I am only beginning to scratch the surface, but here is an extremely illuminating article for anyone ready to dive deep and start educating themselves on this painful reality:

  • Thank you for this important and powerful article. This CEO’s actions are unconscionable. This abuse of power is criminal–at the level of attempted mass murder. If you take a leadership position at an institution with the mission to promote informed health care decision-making through scientific research and then work in direct opposition of that very mission by systematically blocking psychiatric drug and healthcare research, which could lead to the saving of countless lives, you are deliberately NOT saving those lives. Is it the figurative definition of irony that the chosen attack on you was character assassination while this person is egregiously failing to uphold the organization’s fundamental purpose, their responsibilities as a CEO (and I would argue as a human being)? That it is you who is instead punished for doing the right thing?

    I am so sorry that you, your colleagues, and the organization you cofounded were subjected to this mismanagement and horrific attack. Thank you so much for your important work and tireless dedication to integrity. I really admire your courage for standing up to this injustice. If you felt that having another petition put out to call on this person to step down, or something to that effect would help, I would support you and sign it.

    Wishing you the best on your continued work with the Institute for Scientific Freedom and all future endeavors.

  • Thank you Rachel! Your comments are always so insightful and I couldn’t have said it better myself. You have contributed to society more than most people do in their lifetime with the sharing of your important thoughts. What you are describing is such an egregious form of gas lighting, victim blaming, oppression and violence. I do not have the words to express how barbaric and evil that is.

    I know I really zoomed in there on the nuances of this situation with academic psychiatry’s politically and economically motivated attempt to attack objective science, but I want to make sure that I am 100% clear that I am not letting the field of Psychology off the hook for the pseudoscience and harm it has perpetuated as well. Thanks again!

  • Academic psychiatry has essentially co-opted the phrase “The war on women”, in a disingenuous politically motivated, fear-mongering attempt to attack the authors and content of this scientific review, and stay relevant while playing the victim, which is absolutely disgusting. If anything, Psychiatry is the war on the human mind. It is preposterous and horrendous that academic psychiatry, a supposedly legitimate field, would allege the authors, or anyone for that matter is somehow “starting a war” for conducting objective scientific research and publishing the findings. (In this case on antidepressant withdrawal.) It is even more baffling that the other strategy employed in this “scientific critique” boils down to mischaracterizing the findings and methods of the study itself.

    How are the responses of “You are pill shaming!” and “Many patients are helped by these pills!” appropriate or effective rebuttals to objective scientific reviews by anyone, ESPECIALLY in the fields of academia? Even if there are some flaws within the study, they are clearly irrelevant and do not invalidate the reality of antidepressant withdrawal, or the study as a whole, as you’ve already stated. I mean frankly, this is common sense. Of course antidepressant withdrawal would last more than two weeks. This is a potent psychotropic pharmaceutical drug. How is this even up for debate? I am stunned.

    If I were to conduct a scientific review on the existence of climate change, and BP’s chosen “scientific critique” was titled “The War on Warm Weather”, which was simply a misconstruing and twisting of climate change science, and the finishing touch was to claim that objective science “shames people who drive cars”, wouldn’t you question the validity of that critique? Also much like climate change, the field of Psychiatry is contributing to a public health crisis of pandemic proportion and it is beyond irresponsible to deny these objective truths to say the least.

  • After reading this I thought about lighting a candle on behalf of anyone who has experienced anything remotely resembling this but realized if non existent incidents involving candles can be used as a vehicle to violate human rights, I can only imagine what the consequences of my thought might be. In my defense however, my thought included watching 17 1/2 candle lighting safety YouTube tutorials and my dad was there to supervise the entire process but at this point I’m just incriminating myself. All satire of the mental health system aside, thank you for writing this. Very beautifully written. If the thought police ask tell them I just lit a candle on behalf of all psychiatric survivors without the supervision of my father.

  • Thank you for your article. I am new to this website and educating myself on the psychiatric survivor movement. I have been learning so much from writings like yours and the comments section as well. I very much wish that alternative options were more accessible to those choosing to seek support and I pray that psychiatric abuse will end. That being said, I hope this is the appropriate place to post this but there is a petition on for funding of Peer respite here: It is on MIA’s website at the bottom in case anyone missed it and felt called to sign it. Again I am new to this site and I hope it’s appropriate to call further attention to this petition but if not I apologize in advance. Thanks again to you for your article and to the commenters. There is so much insight here and I find it very inspirational. <3