Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Comments by Frank Blankenship

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  • We’ve got a similar sect in this country, we call them mental patients, or, at least, we used to call them mental patients before they became consumers and users of psychiatric services.

  • Perhaps the subject of his book could use an update, but I’m sure there is still much of relevance within it’s pages. As for talk therapy, I’m not buying, and I’m good with that. The “mental health” business hopefully has had it’s day, and a time is coming when people will cease to be harassed, bullied, beaten, killed, and bored, by the “mental health” gestapo.

    I think it makes more sense for people to have real relationships than “therapeutic” relationships anyway. Life is, for one thing, both more precious and less expensive that way.

  • Like I was saying, I kind of have to fight this “consumer/user” “mental patient” enslavement catch a trendy “disease” thing, but suit yourself.

    What does the Borg say? Oh, yeah. “Resistance is futile! You will be assimilated!”

    Sure, but, nonetheless, at this point, I find a steady resistance pretty easy to maintain.

  • As psychiatric oppression is pretty pervasive, antipsychiatry is being reborn all the time. I would say we have the numbers, at least, internationally. Antipsychiatry continues to be a popular term, one could even say a force, among people who have endured the black joke of psychiatric oppression. To call ourselves a movement, however, is debatable as to be an effective movement you need organization, and that is what antipsychiatry lacks. Much of what used to be the psychiatric survivor movement has been diluted and corrupted through involvement in this “peer movement” business of aiding and abetting psychiatric oppression, that is, the enemy. In this situation, I think antipsychiatry needs to be further refashioned as a movement against the movement that exists. More specifically, the antipsychiatry movement needs to take on the “mental health” (very confusing term) movement. That movement, a very organized movement, is very much a promote psychiatry in all shapes and forms movement. We’re at square one here, that is, very unorganized. (Basically, the point at which the psychiatric survivor movement was before there was a psychiatric survivor movement.} Step two involves connecting with others, banding together, and fashioning our own groups. Not the government’s groups, mind you, our groups.

  • We’ve got, beyond even that in the “mental health” field, a massive iatrogenic damage problem in the medical field, and I believe this report only scratches the surface of the extent of the problem. Not only does the selling and development of medicinal drugs need more regulating, but doctors need to refrain from the over prescription of medicines that in some fashion or other may prove toxic. Increasing sanctions? When drug companies have received some of the stiffest civil penalties in history, and still they make too much to be significantly affected, good luck with that. I don’t feel these reforms go far enough, however, in this case, any reform is going to go further than no reform. Change has long been needed. These drug companies also hire full time lobbyists, and getting anything done, given that kind of defense of their profit margins, may prove very challenging indeed.

  • I don’t advocate for the abolition of psychiatry because, as far as I can see, that would mean little more than a change of terminology. I advocate for the abolition of nonconsensual coercive psychiatry (i.e. repeal of mental health law, passage and enforcement of the CRPD), or, in plain English, the end of forced treatment. Many people used to advocate (or demand) the same. The difference between now and then is that now you’ve got so many ex-patients (loosely speaking) in the “mental health” business, corrupted by the system, and colluding with forced psychiatry, that what was once a strong and principled position against force and human rights violations has become seriously compromised, and essentially, watered down, downplayed, lost, scrapped, in favor of the everyday business of colluding with oppression as usual.

    I can see a definite need for the use of pseudonyms, in some cases, not because I am afraid of being found out, but because I have found myself targeted by forces online that would interfere with my internet access and thereby stymie my freedom of expression and choice. There’s not a lot of privacy on the internet, and some of this invasion of privacy, in the name of collecting demographic info, or so runs the excuse, is not even, to say the very least, good natured.

  • I’d like to think that any education a person attained might count for something, too, and that everything was not decided by the first five years of life. I seriously doubt that everything is determined by the first five years of one’s life. I was five once, and let me tell you, I was glad to turn six. It’s the same thing with negative prognosis’s, and other statistics. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to them if I didn’t want to fulfill some kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, and become one of them. Five is, like, dumb, and six is probably a little smarter.

  • I always thought psychology was one of the easiest subjects on the curricula. Too easy in fact. This makes professionals very much like their clientele in that there is really not a great necessity for the existence of either.

  • Well, once you’ve gotten around to constructing a psychotic experience, I imagine the time has come around to deconstruct it. I mean anybody can indulge in stirring up a word-salad, question is, how do I get somebody to slip a coin in the cash-box for it. I know. Really stir it up, and somebody will put a shelter over my head, and a meal on my plate. Somebody will also be going on and on about how pathetic somebody thinks I am.

  • If a drug isn’t beneficial, what is it? I think harm is very much a part of the equation, otherwise you’re just writing off functional impairment, parkinsons, metabolic syndrome, TD, etc., etc. If 1 in 8 or 1 in 6 benefit, what’s up with the others? I wouldn’t, for example, call non-benefit beneficial. These controlled studies are performed to get drugs approved for use by the FDA. Nobody is conducting controlled studies to get substances disapproved for use by the FDA. The very fact that there is so little benefit should be a scandal, and it isn’t. This, I imagine, is because rather than science, what you’ve got going on here, are rites being performed by the “mental illness” denomination clergy. The doctor is administering drugs, in other words, for the same reasons the priest administers ‘holy water’. He thereby receives validation in his role as priest or doctor for the potential miracle of having gone through the motions, motions that, in other words, must in almost every last case, literally accomplish no more than a placebo.

  • There used to be a great deal of skepticism among the general public about psych-labels however a number of things must have changed the situation, psychoanalysis’s demotion by the APA, bio-psychiatry’s self-promotion and PR, the arrival of NAMI (family defensiveness), as well as an escalation in violence on the part of lone shooters, in combination with the manipulations, for the sake of profiteering, of drug companies. Drug companies that are now about the number one sponsor, thanks to direct to consumer advertising, for anything appearing on US television.

  • Hollywood incorporated is filled with rich people. This is part of the growing divide between the few wealthy and the great many impoverished. If you can contribute to his or her “fame”, I don’t have a problem contributing to his or her “shame”. A monopoly is a monopoly, and the entertainment industry is very much a monopoly, meanwhile, we’ve all got talent, with or without quotations marks.

    I’m not, as one might say on StarTrek, an empath. I don’t have a problem with that, at least, not until I can experience life from the seat of my own private jet. These monopolies create as big an expense with regard to their extreme cost to equality as they do to liberty, and I happen to value both virtues much, that is, equality and liberty.

    There was a song that went, “He’s not heavy, he’s my brother”, but to be honest about it, he might not be my brother, and his weight might be breaking my back. Something to think about anyway.

  • Okay, perhaps I should revise my statement, “Nobody was ever treated posthumously for a “mental illness” diagnostic label”. Not even Lincoln Churchill. I suppose it’s only my perspective here that’s at stake, but I have a much easier time living with bogus labels than I do with the damaging treatments that go along with them. I don’t buy the labels anyway. You know, it’s bad to libel a person, but it’s worse to throw sticks and stones at that person, and thus, snuff out his or her poor existence.

    Sure, perhaps you can come up with an example of posthumous treatment but, overall, I stand by what I say.

    Power imbalances and “chemical imbalances” are two different things. Just saying.

  • Nobody was ever labeled “mentally ill” for committing suicide. People are only labeled “mentally ill” for failing at suicide. You say you made “unsuccessful attempts”, and that makes yours a case in point. Failing at suicide will get you a “mental illness” diagnostic label guaranteed.

    Happiness, contentment? What is that? A three car garage? It’s certainly not a carrot on a stick, or is it? Given one mirage or another words fall short. I just always thought, when push came to shove, suffering is the norm. A three hour work week? How out of the ordinary?

    It’s not like the peon and his donkey have it easy. It’s more like, there are two types of people, peons and donkeys. If you think I’ve got that wrong, you need to lift your blinders, and take a look around you.

  • What suicide crisis? A couple of celebrats off themselves, and then comes the news that the suicide rate is at an all time high. Turn it into a “crisis”, one of those things the (sic) medical business is so good at doing these days, and the suicide rate is almost guaranteed to increase further. Suicide, a new trend? Who’d have thunk it? Alright, we don’t have over population licked yet, but we’re working on it. Every time a celebrat offs him or herself, the number of suicides goes up. All this talk has the effect of raising the suicide rate, and keeping the medical monkeys in practice. We’re doing something about the problem, keeping it, “a problem”. It’s not a problem. If you want out of this life, hey, you’re free to go.

  • Uh, I dunno…I’m Mad about Antipsychiatry! I’m Antipsychiatry and Mad! I don’t have a problem with that kind of convergence in one, or a dozen, or a hundred, or hundreds of thousands of people.

    I suppose someone could object in which case we could say, so and so is not mad about antipsychiatry. So and so is not antipsychiatry and mad. Of course, not everybody is going to concur, and somebody is going to think them mad even if they claim rationality and “sanist” intolerance is on their side.

  • Who wants to be a “mental health” worker? Not me. First they lock you up, and then you get a job with them. What is co-optation? Buying off the oppressed, and turning them into oppressors, don’t you think? The “mental health” system is actually a very little thing, especially when there is a whole wide world out there just waiting to be explored.
    My answer? Rehabilitate this!

  • Don’t you think this “peer specialist” phenomenon, together with the “peer respite” thing, and so forth, that goes along with it, has more to do with the increasing ‘medicalization of everyday life’ taking place in the world today than it actually has to do with “making the system better”? Being a part of the “mental health” system, it’s a big part of the expansion of that system. Looky here, now we’ve got former inmates in the treatment game, for money, and the numbers, as one would expect, keep rising. It’s a business, and once you’ve started a business, you don’t want it petering out. No, that would mean no more “peers” “sickies” “consumer/users” [nor “peer provider”/manufacturers], it would mean more “mentally healthy” self-reliant people, or liberated “consumer/users” instead.

  • No doubt, about the losing jobs, and so, I wouldn’t pin the investigative journalist detail on “peer specialists”. That was an fanciful leap. If you get into the institution with a spy-cam, you don’t want to be an employee of that institution if you can help it. The institution doesn’t want to lose money over somebodies mischief, and it will take the necessary steps to prevent that from happening. They have less power though over people who are not in their employ. Getting the dirt, as long as it still is dirt, I think that it has to be possible.

    I’ve seen where these institutions have been monetarily penalized, to the tune of over a million dollars, over missing hard drives as a violation of HIPAA regulations. Okay. Don’t look at me. I don’t have the data.

  • There’s a lot to be said about self-falsification. A lot of people make their careers out of it. It’s called acting.

    There may be a movement toward defense, toward safety, toward being afraid; but over on the other side, there is the growth choice,” Compton writes, quoting Maslow. “To make the growth choice instead of the fear choice a dozen time a day is to move a dozen times a day toward self-actualization.

    All Alice had to do to grow was eat some cake.

    Self-actualization is either a matter then of climbing this hierarchy, I would imagine, or moving to California, at least, it was, historically. Ditto, self-falsification.

    The ascent strikes me as somewhat peculiar. too, from “need”, “having not”, deficiency, all the way up to having “being”, possession, luxuriating. This leads us to another question, what was Maslow’s relationship to the means of production?

    I feel sure, in fact, that this pyramid must be situated somewhere pretty high up on the tower of Psycho-Babel.

  • If you were to check, it’s institutions that get penalized under HIPAA for security breaches, not individuals so much. That’s why all this hoopla over imaginary ‘shooters’ anyway. Security slipped if one gets in, and then the institution becomes liable. Want to hurt the institution? Film away!

  • No, just a potential plan of action, however there are other instances where using a spy-cam would be effective without the risk that may or may not come from a visit to an institution. Psychiatrists (and other social control freaks) are pretty easy to damn by way of their own words, all you need is for somebody to catch them at their own game.

  • This is “an important study”? I have my doubts. You know how much money must be going into all sorts of ridiculous research everyday of the week, and here we have another one.

    If the problem is social, you’re not going to be getting very far by treating it as personal. I think this mindset theory is kind of weak on the face of it, okay, and so here you’ve done a study that says just that. Now why don’t we do a study to see how effective common sense can be at solving a problem? Uh, I think I’ve got it…because we don’t need a study to prove what we know already.

  • Sure, it must be a big shot in the arm for the “treatment” business, that is, it would encourage “mental illness” industry expansion (i.e. further medicalization). The more “sickies”, the more potential employees, the more advertisements for “sickness”, as well as the function impairing drugs that go along with it, supplying more new recruits as “sickies”, and a greater “need” for more recruits as employees. However, were the “peer specialist” to actually be an ‘investigative reporter’ in ‘disguise’, and should he or she come equipped with a spy-cam, then, maybe then, we could actually get somewhere.

  • Great post, report and newsletter. I hardly think BC is the only place where things are getting, it would seem, worse, but, at least, you are taking some kind of action, and, in other places, perhaps people can manage to find a way to follow suit.

    That “deemed consent” for “non-consent” is obviously a total crock, and I would hope that it can be challenged by legal action someday.

    In the USA we have “conditional releases” which I imagine are much the same as what you refer to as “extended leaves”. The detainee is released under condition that the former detainee take drugs and perhaps get counseling and/or some kind of day “treatment”.

    When I was on the wards, years ago, there was this telephone number of a paralegal posted to the wall. A psychiatrist told me it wasn’t a good idea to call the paralegal, 1. because your case would be lost, and 2. because your sentence, your term of detainment, didn’t officially begin until any legal challenge had been settled. Such would have meant, as you can imagine, a longer term of commitment. Like the court hearings you mention these legal appeals transpired in what amounted to a kangaroo court atmosphere. Forewarned and knowing better, I watched someone give the phone number a buzz, and lose their case. The “doctors” warning, in that case, had been prophetic.

  • I think religions have more to do with first explanations (creation myths) than they do with spiritual control. After the first explanation, it’s a matter of coming up with a second explanation, third, fourth, and arguing with the orthodoxy, that is, scientific inquiry.

    Once you’ve got an explanation, there is sentimentality, resistance to change, and defensiveness over the established vision. Revision, thus, must for the devotee translate into heresy.

  • “Excessive cheerfulness”, mania, elation, yep, I think they got it covered already. Don’t go up that mountain unless you want to fall over the side of a cliff, and wind up swinging from a rafter.

    I don’t think it so bad though, if one considers the risks before starting the trek, prepares, and looks past a few clouds. That and values the life that they and all other corporal beings share.

  • There was no inkling of a Mark Chapman when John Lennon wrote Working Class Hero, the song from which the line you quoted was extracted, and there certainly was some irony embodied in the lyrics. Lennon, rightly or wrongly, felt persecuted in some regards, witness the lyrics to The Ballad of John and Yoko, in which he says, “Christ, the way things are going, they’re going to crucify me,” and this persecution complex found it’s consummation at the hands of Mark Chapman. Sort of one of those self-fulfilling prophesies you wish hadn’t been made. I believe some bible belt fanatics suggested offing John Lennon way back when he said the Beatles had become more popular than Jesus, and he took the public reaction to that comment to heart. People do, after all, get emotional, and take things personally that aren’t personal. I imagine there was a bit of irony in the Jesus statement, too, as they would have made even more money had they Jesus’s long lasting “charisma”, and the comment itself wasn’t exactly the best career promotion and PR.

  • ?. Churches are susceptible to the manipulations and seductions of the “mental health” movement. In some cases, often many, church members, and their relatives, have experienced “hospitalization”, or “treatment” (i.e. hostile psychiatric interventions) first hand.

    Religion and spirituality may not be identical, but that doesn’t mean they are in competition.

    True religion versus false religion? I think that’s rather like when you would oppose true antipsychiatry to false antipsychiatry, and what actually comes of it, in my estimation, is another sect, that is, the psychiatry faith (i.e. worships at the altar of the great God “mental illness”) contested by, and contrasted to, the antipsychiatry faith (i.e. equates psychiatry with “the work of satan”.).

    Given a little healthy skepticism, and a broader (more inclusive) perspective, antipsychiatry need not become another religion transposing the psychiatric religion into heresy, and the false faith.

  • I’m not sure, Julie, but I think a judge could order a person force fed who was being held in an institution, psychiatric or correctional. It’s been done in the past, and as for international laws, other countries have to sign on, or, at least, observe them. Not always the case.

    Outside of the institution, as a sign of support, no problem, however, in a psychiatric prison the authorities are likely to take a hunger strike for suicidality, if a person (or persons) is locked up, and the law on the inside is not what it is on the outside (we’re dealing with what Erving Goffman referred to as a ‘total institution’).

    Organization always help, yes, it would require people, many people working together, otherwise, there would be little point, would there? Not to be discouraging, people still do these things because there is a point that has to be made.

  • I don’t think anybody can afford to think too long about the issues before acting on them. This medicalization on a massive scale has been going on for some time, and the absurd system, with the drug companies that fuel it, just keeps on growing. Get a little distance from it, and you can see how laughable it is. Don’t do anything about it, and it can only grow some more. The perfect plan, haha, who wouldn’t want to see that one, but we all know better than that. It’s not magic that gets things done, it’s blood, sweat, and plain grunt work that eventually gets us where we need to go.

  • I read what you write, OldHead, and I respond to it in kind. I don’t know where this assumption projection jive that you imagine could possibly be coming from. I will continue to do so. I don’t mind being argumentative. After all, some of the things we are speaking about have to be highly debatable.

    Right, about the Lennon statement. It’s kind of after the fact. He certainly didn’t see Chapman coming.

    When it comes to getting media attention and educating the public, it can be so hard to do so, that I see a hunger strike as very useful in that regard. Were anybody to get injured then the hunger strike serves it’s purpose, and the story gets out. I don’t know that there is ever literally no alternative to a hunger strike, or any other kind of political action and statement. One can act, or one can refrain from acting; not having a strike, of one sort or another, is a way of refraining from acting.

  • Panning nutritional advice while promoting shock treatment (brain trauma) once again the ugly drug cartel within the mental health movement rears it’s head. I wouldn’t expect anything more (or less) from academia and the ascendant professional caste it caters to, really. The science is biased, and the researchers are puppets of capital. Soma, SSRI antidepressant, use is above 10 % overall and climbing. Melancholia itself is expected to distance heart disease as the number one “cause” of government disability payments in the world. Apparently folly is as popular as it ever was, sometimes flagged as “mental illness”, and sometimes doing the flagging.

  • As if I hadn’t been reading your comments for sometime now.

    Okay. You want to posit an anti-psychiatry in opposition to mad pride while I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive. You want a consensus. On what, anti-psychiatry opposing mad pride? If so, I have to come to mad pride’s defense in opposing your position and your opinion, and this consensus that you would be working at achieving against use of the word mad, and the use of the word mad in conjunction with the word pride. I’m not opposed to using the word mad. I’m not opposed to using it in conjunction with the word pride, and I’m not opposed to mad pride celebrations of our differences and diversity, and I don’t see those celebrations as opposed to anti-psychiatry.

    Uh, anti-psychiatry, the consensus on universal principles or whatever that OldHead wants to arrive at. That’s something different, isn’t it?

  • It’s okay to agree to disagree, OldHead. You keep calling for consensus, and I’m not going to be a part of your consensus as long as you attack people in the Mad Pride movement. As you are the one seeking consensus, I don’t see that I am making you a straw man anymore than you are making a straw man of me, which in actuality may be the case. Am I setting you up as a leader? I don’t know. You want consensus, and I am not taking the bait.

    I admire Abbie Hoffman and John Lennon, too, OldHead, and I will work with anyone who will work with me. I’m for making connections, too, although possibly with a different and more diverse range of people than those you are talking about. I think differences of opinion can be a good thing, and that they can add to the discussion and our understanding of it. As for following John Lennon into martyrdom, what did you just say about “not wanting to be set up as a leader”. Fine and dandy, to paraphrase H.D. Thoreau, I’m stepping to a different drum beat then.

    You’re one to talk with this stuff about stopping with the “your movement” talk. I have no problem with antipsychiatry. I also have no problem with seeing it in a little broader terms than you do. You keep calling that a movement. Well, is it, or isn’t it? And is it “your” movement? You want to knock me for using the word movement? Okay. I will look for another term then. I’m saying I don’t think your simplistic formula will work, and most people don’t have anything to do with it anyway.

    I’m not formulating responses to what I’m assuming you’re saying, I’m responding to what you’re actually saying. Do I think you will stop doing what? Striving to reach a consensus, that is, getting everybody to agree on something. Sorry, I think there is plenty of room for diversity of opinion.

    I get it, OldHead, you say you generally disapprove of hunger strikes. As in sit down strikes, facing police dogs, and other tactics, I’m not of the same mind. Non-violent civil disobedience, of course, is not violence, but it is one response to violence, and it has been used successfully on occasion in the past. I’m not against non-violent resistance in whatever form it should take.

    If you’re following up by saying you could approve of some kind active resistance in the future. Great. No hunger strikes though. We’ve crossed that one off the list until you indicate otherwise. I guess there are a few other things we might be able to do. Hopefully, you’re not going to cross them of your list of available tactics, too.

    Realistically, OldHead, about the only action that I disapprove of is inaction. I know what a big business, how immense, our opposition has become, and I’m ready to do my part to bring it down. Of course, that’s much easier said than done. When it comes down to it, that’s what I think we need, less talk and more action. Maybe we can get there someday. Anyways, here’s to, no, not hoping, here’s to taking action.

  • Rather than dis-consensus, dissensus is the word I should have used above. It means ‘difference of opinion’. Is there anything wrong with having differences of opinion? You want a consensus, among whom, some little clique you would presume to lead? I prefer to take a broader view of matters, OldHead. I don’t have to be a member of any clique that you would be forming. Thanks anyway.

  • Did I stick RW in the middle of whatever? I don’t think so. You object to those people who are connected with the mad movement, Okay. You object to Mad Studies. Again, okay. You do say you’re with the survivor movement, or is it the inmate movement? Okay. You say you are with the anti-psychiatry movement that you think is, or should be, “survivor”, or it is inmate?, led. Everybody, of course, doesn’t share your feelings. So, what does that have to do with RW? Is he part of your would-be consensus? Or not? As I tried to say, I think it disrespectful to all those hard working and struggling people involved in the Mad Pride movement to dismiss it out of hand. Okay. You apparently feel differently. All I can say is I disagree with you, but I think that’s okay, too. Disagreements happen, and dis-consensus can be a very good thing indeed. If you really want everybody to agree with you, OldHead, you are going about things the wrong way. I’m not sure what to say to you though. I don’t give a frig about everybody agreeing with me. What should we do about this situation, OldHead, and when is ‘nothing’ not your usual answer? You also say ‘hunger strikes’ are not the thing to have, and I hear another one is in the works over shock treatments. You wouldn’t become involved in a hunger strike, or would you? Okay. I would.

  • Medical errors? Really? So a great many crank doctors have lost their licenses in recent years? You think? In the hundreds of thousands range?

    I’d say there must be a lot of cognitive dissidence in the halls of our nations hospitals because I don’t think these doctors are being let go, or prosecuted, in great numbers. Instead, it seems, it’s all a matter of protecting the interests of their guild. This is, in effect, the medical version of law enforcement, and the federal court system, coming to the rescue of their killer cop buddies.

  • The popularity of Eugenics in the first half of the twentieth century is still a relatively untold scandal. It wasn’t until the NAZIs incorporated it into their final solution to the Jewish problem that Eugenics became a dirty word. After all, they borrowed their Eugenic practices from the USA, and extended them all the way from the sterilization practiced there to euthanasia and extermination.

  • “Moran himself leaned strongly in the direction of his patient being “by nature very apprehensive”; close associates of Churchill have disputed the idea that apprehension was a defining feature of Churchill’s temperament, although they readily concede that he was noticeably worried and anxious about some matters, especially in the buildup to important speeches in the House of Commons and elsewhere. Churchill himself all but openly acknowledged in his book Painting as a Pastime that he was prey to the “worry and mental overstrain [experienced] by persons who, over prolonged periods, have to bear exceptional responsibilities and discharge duties upon a very large scale”. The fact that he found a remedy in painting and bricklaying is a strong indicator that the condition as he defined it did not amount to ‘clinical depression’, certainly not as that term was understood during the lifetimes of himself and Lord Moran.”

    As fond as the “mental health” movement is of turning celebrated public figures, after the fact, into examples of “sufferers” who made good, I tend to think had he been caught as such in reality, his career would have been effectively kaput. So much for Churchill’s bogus bipolar.

  • Wouldn’t it be great if this “philosopher” could make the connection, and realize that psychiatry and mental health interventions are not medicine at all. Despite lip service to the ineffectiveness of anti-depressants, and the dubious nature of depression, he doesn’t really go there. The point I am making here is that if much medicine is actually medicalization, and nowhere is this clearer than in the world of so-called “mental health”, calling things that aren’t actually medical medical, of course, doctors should be nihilists regarding this kind of fraud. Medical doctors should not be making people physically “sick” by presuming to “heal” or “cure” them when they aren’t physically ill in the first place. Calling those who don’t medical nihilists doesn’t entirely do it for me. How about medical fraud nihilists instead? Conceptually and ethically, there’s this blurred line that is just too blurred for comfort. Maybe he could also then replace “gentle medicine” with “honest medicine”.

  • Basically my bullshit detector is going off very loudly. Of course, I don’t have that much control over who, if anyone, The New York Times editorial board chats with.

    The problem is that I know institutionalization is increasing in some places, and this article takes a very ‘reformist’ stance employing specialist jargon. that, if anything, is certainly not going to sufficiently decrease institutionalization.

    We can certainly come up with some better slogans than their ‘alternatives’ to “Violence Might Be Prevented If We Had More Asylums. What’s wrong with them…I’m getting there.

    In contrast to the Joker in State’s sentiments, I prefer to think that Violence Might Be Prevented If We Had More Love.

    Back to Alt. Slogans: For example, the first slogan, replace Demand Sensible Commitment Standards with Commitment Isn’t Sensible. There. That was easy.

    Number two, replace Create A Continuum of Care with Smash Paternalism!

    As for the Stand Up For Insurance Parity, that’s nonsense, let’s try something like Jobs Over Drugs And Government Handouts.

  • That’s why, if you can read, it’s a good thing that you can read.

    Analysis: Something stinks in Denmark, Boston, Rio, etc.

    Goals: reduce prejudice. abolish force, and have fun, that is, celebrate difference (er, increased tolerance).

    Position: “reclaim terms such as “mad”, “nutter”, and “psycho” from misuse”.

    Position: “re-educate the general public on such subjects as the causes of mental disabilities, the experiences of those using the mental health system, and the global suicide pandemic.”

    Events: “spawned recurring cultural events in Toronto, London, Paris and other cities around the world. These events often include music, poetry readings, film screenings, and street theatre, such as “bed push” protests, which aim to raise awareness about the poor levels of choice of treatments and the widespread use of force in psychiatric hospitals.”

    Hmmm. Apparently not the “can’t do” people.

    People unconnected with Wikipedia: Pete Shaughnessy, Mark Roberts, Robert Dellar, Simon Barnet, Bath Mad Hatters, etc.

    As for words….”Call it what you like.” Nobody owns the language.

  • I also think it would be profoundly disrespectful of me not to acknowledge this movement, and play my own part in it, but, hey, that’s me. If you think a hole in the wall preferable, go right ahead. Between free speech and politically correct or sanitized speech, I still say free speech is for me.

    Pardon the Wikipedia piece, but some people, conceivably, might need enlightening. This enlightenment comes with the understanding that a world without a little nonsense would be a dull world indeed.

  • I’m more open to Mad Pride than I am to Mad Humility (or humble pie), but that’s me. Mad studies I don’t have a problem with either. “Mentally ill” studies, or mental patient studies, those would give me a problem.

    People are always presuming to speak for the “mentally ill”, and our *cough cough* most vulnerable, and third or fourth class, citizens. I imagine the mad can speak for themselves, if they have any Mad backbone anyway. No need for an official mouth piece.

  • Well, there was a organization formed not that long ago, specifically to tackle the issue of conditions in prisons. Gainesville has it’s own bunch of progressively minded individuals, and, of course, I’m with them. A lot of these events revolve around the Civic Media Center, our local radical library, and a gathering place for like minded politically engaged people, millennials, peace movement veterans, and socialists of all stripes.

  • We’ve had demonstrations here in Florida, against prison slavery, and in solidarity with striking prison inmates, including one in front of Coleman Penitentiary where Leonard Peltier is currently being held. I’ve taken part in a couple of these events, if you were looking for a regular at MIA involved in this sort of thing.

  • I would imagine the Tennant film flawed in some respects. They did this thing of pretending to be people taking LSD. Okay. At one time it wouldn’t have been pretense. You want to see another experimental residence, housing some of the same people as were living at Kingsley Hall? Watch the movie Asylum. I watched the entire movie on YouTube once. I think it’s been taken down, but many clips from it still remain there if you’re interested. The Kingsley Hall experiment never really died. It was rebirthed as the Soteria project, in one instance, by one of Laing’s followers, Loren Mosher.

  • Whatever.

    You have a simplistic formula. Okay. It is not a formula I find useful.

    Psychiatry would be the root cause of nothing if psychiatrists didn’t weigh heavily on the power end of any spectrum between them and their client/prisoner/victim/casualties. ‘Sticks and stones’, and so forth. Psychiatric power is not the result of magic, and we’re not going to magically make it go away, whether it belongs to the psychiatric profession, or a related profession of social controllers. If you see the root cause in the word, even in the philosophy, I don’t. I see it in that power disparity I’ve been going on about.

  • No, I’m talking about the power invested in them by law, by legislation, and legislation you don’t get without some form of “public” support. Yes, money and guns back this legislation up, but we’re not all traveling in private jets brandishing our AK 47s. Many families are absolutely fine with throwing family members to the “mental health” coppers. Their expertise, however bogus, is accepted by law courts. The same law courts that reinforce the invalidation people receive at the hands of their families, school systems, places of work, and society at large.

  • I don’t, OldHead, say with you that the problem is psychiatry, and the solution is it’s abolition. I don’t think the problem is psychiatry, I think the problem is psychiatric power, and the abuse of that power. I think the solution lays in taking that power away. I say abolish forced (mis)treatment (coercion and human rights violations), and I mean it. I don’t say abolish psychiatry because I don’t equate psychiatry with forced (mis)treatment. If I did, my position would be different. I am antipsychiatry regardless. Promoting psychiatry is not something I ever intend to do. I will resist psychiatry until the end. I’m not attracted to “mental health” torture, and for some time now, I have not been receiving any. The difference between you and me is that you think zero psychiatrists would mean no forced torture, and I know better. The problem is not, again, psychiatrists, the problem is the torture. End the torture (and with it the power disparity that excuses and permits it), and a psychiatrist is merely another man or woman, the same as any other. I think if you don’t deal with these matters, even with the abolition of that profession, we will merely have changed the wording, and the tortures will persist as they have for the last few hundred years. I can live with psychiatrists, I just can’t live with the “mental health” tortures.

  • Special? I don’t know. I see us as bringing meaning to a world that otherwise would be without meaning. I don’t think the term ‘mad’ becomes meaningless because somebody has the term ‘sane’ to contrast it with, any more than I think the term ‘sane’ becomes meaningless because somebody has the term ‘mad’ to contrast it with. Or normal, or whatever…

    Honesty, it seems, can get you locked up while deceit can keep you out of trouble. That’s a fact of life. We can either admit it, or keep it under our hats.

    I’m grateful that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life in a nuthouse, and I intend to keep it that way. Once upon a time…”major mental illness” labels often meant a life sentence. Today, well, the likelihood is less, but there are still those with an magnetic attraction, for lack of a better word, to “chronic care”, or the “provision of services”. I’m not one of those.

  • This is your interpretation, OldHead. I certainly see myself as an antipsychiatry activist. As for governmental power, the government isn’t the sole force behind psychiatric power either. There are all those “investors” people in human services keep talking about. A lot for you to bite off, perhaps, but we see things differently. Without that power, the psychiatrist is just another mortal, and at the same level as any other citizen. He wouldn’t be able to lord it about over others with his precious DSM, and his mind numbing pharmaceuticals. Not, anyway, without their collision and consent.

  • My sociology professor said something of the sort when I was in college. I’m not sure of the exact words he might have used, however, I’ve modified it to suit my own purposes, and basically adopted it.

    I think it must be way up there with what Ted Chabasinski suggested for a button, “Antipsychiatry and proud of it!”

    You like slinging the word meaningless around a lot, don’t you? Having endured an institution, I know the night, and if day is all the rest, it certainly is not devoid of meaning.

  • Actually, the mainstream considers ‘mad’ an offensive term that they have replaced with the ”kinder, gentler’, if paternalistic. term, “mentally ill”, because people, in the establishment view, receive better treatment if they’re thought of as “sick” rather than ‘mad’ and ‘out of control’, in theory anyway.

    Mad, like Lunacy, is one of those terms the mainstream thinks should not be applied to those poor most vulnerable souls suffering from chronic brain disease. Suddenly the world discovered that mad men and woman were diseased, and black and white turned into technicolor, “sick” technicolor albeit.

    Of course, in the competition between magazines, Mad Magazine had a big lead, and deservedly so, over Sick Magazine.

  • “The word comes from the Academy in ancient Greece, which derives from the Athenian hero, Akademos. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning. The sacred space, dedicated to the goddess of wisdom, Athena, had formerly been an olive grove, hence the expression “the groves of Academe.””

    I dunno. Let’s see. Plato’s gymnasium or Venus’s pleasure palaces? I’d call that a dilemma if there ever was one.

  • If you see a psychiatrist in private practice, you are equally free not to see that psychiatrist if you don’t want to do so. You just stop doing so. My point, yes, those doors are locked, and we need to get rid of them, however, those doors aren’t locked. and there is no such need.

  • He was right to chastise Laing for not coming out in opposition to nonconsensual coercive psychiatry. He was also right to go after Laing for his hypocrisy, on that, and other issues. He was wrong to imply an ad hominem argument applicable in Laing or anyone’s case. Thomas Szasz also compared R. D. Laing to Maximilien Robespierre, the architect of the french reign of terror, which is absolute hogwash.

  • Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. “What sort of people live about here?”

    “In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw around, “lives a Hatter: and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.”

    “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

    “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

    “How do I know I’m mad?” said Alice.

    “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

    Alice didn’t think that proved it at all: however, she went on: “And how do you know that you’re mad?”

    “To begin with,” said the Cat, “a dog’s not mad. You grant that?”

    “I suppose so,” said Alice.

    “Well, then,” the Cat went on, “you see a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.”

    I call it purring, not growling,” said Alice.

    “Call it what you like,” said the Cat. “Do you play croquet with the Queen to-day?”

    “I should like that very much,” said Alice, “but I haven’t been invited yet.”

    “You’ll see me there,” said the Cat, and vanished.

    ~Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

  • I disagree. You’ve got the Mad Pride movement born in the 1990s converging with the Psychiatric Survivor movement that goes back to the 1970s. I don’t have a problem with that, nor do I see change as a necessarily negative thing. Our movement has always, as here, been beset with factionalism, and so that’s something people have to expect to begin with. I just think you need to see these things within a historical context, and get the take from both sides before leaping to judgment.

  • What? You mean Robin Williams wasn’t everything Leah Harris made him out to be?

    Great and necessary article, Sera. Thank you for posting it.

    Extremely self-indulgent celebrats and rich people make the news a lot, don’t they? Surely, there is a better side to our country than what so often gets the attention of the star struck mass media. Plus, here’s the other side of ‘cop killers’, that is, killer cops, and given the rampant racism in this country, killers that get off scott free as a rule.

    We need to make black lives matter, and then maybe we can help some of those other lives marginalized in this country matter a bit more, too.

  • Don’t completely follow you. I still consider the late Thomas Szasz a psychiatrist. I consider Szasz a great influence and inspiration to antipsychiatry, with or without the absolutely meaningless hyphen. Szasz, as a libertarian, was against non-consensual coercive psychiatry. Here is where we part company. Szasz and I go in one direction, and you go in another.

    I consider the slogan Abolish Psychiatry devoid of meaning because in my view you’re only talking language, not substance. Psychiatry in itself is not the problem. This power disparity between psychiatrists and other people is the problem. I’m for doing something about the power that psychiatrists have to force themselves on other people. Get rid of psychiatry, and some other sort of ologist will rush in to fill the power vacuum left by psychiatry. The problem is not one of philosophy, the problem is one of power and control, whatever word is used, and there have been several in the past…mad doctor, alienist, etc. There are also those related fields, psychology, sociology, etc., that under the right circumstances would be as bad as psychiatry if given the chance. You have to do something about the power certain people have been granted over other people, or, essentially, another professional will come along and take over the role formerly given to psychiatry.

  • I reject the simplistic formula you employ. The formula that runs something like the following. Blame everything on psychiatry. See the solution in a rosy future achieved through getting rid of psychiatry. I don’t think the formula in reality will ever work. I think if you don’t take on those who support and assist psychiatry, you are always going to be missing the mark. Psychiatry could do nothing without those folks who have granted it the power to do what it does. Psychiatry is not to blame for everything. Psychiatry has a lot of assistance from it’s friends and allies.

    You are correct in saying I’m not for the abolition of psychiatry. You would be incorrect if you said I was not for the abolition of institutional psychiatry. I don’t see every psychiatrist who is engaged in private practice as a problem. Further, I say the problem is not psychiatry so much as the power psychiatry has been granted by law. Get rid of that power, and psychiatrists couldn’t legally do what it is illegal for other people to do. I am for the abolition of forced treatment (non-consensual coercive psychiatry). I’m not against any sort of fortune teller, putting up a sign, and telling peoples’ futures. People are going to buy the kind of crap people buy regardless.

  • There was a Laing era in which Szasz was rejected. I’m not going to call that serious nonsense, I’m just going to call it nonsense. It’s like saying we’ve arrived at a Szasz era in which Laing is rejected.

    I think Antipsychiatry; Quackery Squared was really misdirected, that is to say, I think those bio-psychiatrists overlords in charge of the APA are a lot worse than any psychiatrist who, like Laing, Szasz, and a number of others, bucks the trend.

    I don’t happen to share the right wing, or, at least, classically liberal sympathies of a Thomas Szasz. Nor am I averse to what made up the counter culture to which Szasz played little part, and to which he was averse.

    Szasz was setting himself up to bed the devil, and perhaps he did. Imagine one of those most associated in public mind with antipsychiatry writes the book most useful in trashing it. The very people (the psychiatric establishment) Szasz was expelling by the front door he was letting in through the side door. I guess they had a laugh to share. Go figure.

  • You should pay more attention to some of your forum posts sometime. This is from Organizing for Social Change, Calling all serious antipsychiatrists and abolitionists:

    “Greetings one and all. I was wondering if we could gather together everyone who considers himself or herself to be a serious antipsychiatrist and everyone who is also serious about working toward the abolition of psychiatry. Thank you. I’m not sure if this request has already been made, but clearly it is time to develop a website specifically for serious antipsychiatrists and abolitionists. Thank you.”

    “On board, SD. What we need is a group of people that could serve as the basis for an organization (even loose association) and, in the context of gathering this group, we could throw up a website. Count me in anyway.”
    ~Frank Blankenship

  • Hello!? Anybody has the ability to edit that “anti-psychiatry” section, OldHead. Even you.

    As for Richard, sure, he tends to put more emphasis on the effect of adverse circumstances than on the possibility of surmounting them. We could listen and all be waiting for the revolution to take place like the pious on some kind of a religious miracle. He has his polemic arguments to make. I don’t think that need be anything I need to kowtow to. I think we’re better off for our differences.

  • I could pose the question to you, OldHead, but you apparently have an issue with the form in which it is put. Are you the master of your fate, or is fate the master of you? It’s a simple question. No bones about it.

    I never had a problem when it came to disagreeing with Richard. We do so all the time, don’t we? All the same, I hope we can find common ground in some areas.

    I’m not an anti-wikipedian if that’s what you’re implying. I don’t think the standard brand name, or the university, encyclopedia all that much more exacting than the peoples’ encyclopedia. At least, anyone can offer a correction to a Wikipedia entry, unlike the case with your more authoritarian texts, but stick to whatever you can stomach, OldHead, and I will do the same.

    I use WIkipedia as a reference all the time, in fact, and it hasn’t let me down yet.

  • I get the gist. I think you are going outside of the realm of ordinary experience with your example, but, as they say, ‘shit happens’.

    I think it is important, too, for people to realize that they don’t have to become a statistic. If they do, then perhaps they can be skeptical regarding the negative clairvoyant powers of bio-psychiatry from the time of their first exposure to it.

  • Actually, Whatuser, there are people who consider themselves necessitarians or determinists, and who don’t consider us free by nature, or for whatever reason, and there are varying positions taken between those who say we are free, and those that say we are fated.

    I was influenced by Jean-Paul Sartre who famously said that man was condemned to be free. Then I came upon Thomas Szasz holding freedom in esteem, a libertarian view, and I figured two views are not so incredibly far apart. Always one of the left, I don’t have a problem with being called a left-libertarian.

    “Left-libertarianism (or left-wing libertarianism) names several related, but distinct approaches to political and social theory which stress both individual freedom and social equality.

    In its classical usage, left-libertarianism is a synonym for anti-authoritarian varieties of left-wing politics, e.g. libertarian socialism, which includes anarchism and libertarian Marxism among others.”…

  • “Frank it’s claimed that people end up in impossible situations often by accident but agreed deliberately to do so or indeed keeping people their by artificial means is rank!”

    Okay. perhaps it was easier for me than all that. Accidentally on purpose and all. Consciously off mark. You tell me. Obviously we have a language (i.e. communication) problem here. I will leave it at that. However rank.

    That said, freedom of choice means a great deal to me, and it is not the kind of thing I would want to forego.

  • If you’re saying that psychiatry has become all about the buying and selling of “mental disorders” (diagnostic labels), and the drugs go along with them, I thoroughly agree. As in love and marriage, first comes the diagnosis, then comes the “treatment”. I don’t know how many people I’ve come across who had found their “salvation” in the bi-polar label as it seems the kind of label that answers everything. A life without questions, how consoling. I wouldn’t encourage this kind of fraud, but people have really gotten into this “consumer/user” thing, and the sad thing about it is, the only “cure” there, ultimately, for their humanity, is death. Should anybody want to do something about psychiatry, boycott it. Even psychiatrists can’t manage without their means of making a living, that is, preying upon the so-called vulnerable ‘suckers’ in the world at large. Standing on your own two feet, why bother when you’ve got a crutch that provides some sort of a pittance of an income, and solace. With time, what happens? The custom just grows more entrenched.

  • Mad studies is like minority studies, black studies, queer studies, women’s studies, working class history, etc., after 300 years of abusive mis”treatment”, at least, you can point to the fact. If you couldn’t do that, you’d really be at a disadvantage. 300 years of ignorance (psychiatric prisons/the psychiatric plantation system)? Maybe it’s time for a change.

    As for MIA being critical of psychiatry, duh. As for MIA not being opposed to psychiatry, double duh. I have to hand to MIA for giving people with an antipsychiatry perspective a voice on their website, but, let’s say, most of the voices at MIA are not THAT critical. Perhaps antipsychiatry could find it’s own space on the web, what do you think? Expecting MIA to be that space (as I pointed out, it does provide space) is really expecting too much.

    I think the “people with lived experience” expression comes from people who have to contend with people who have pieces of paper offered by institutions of higher education that would then allow those people having them to discount everything said by another party because they didn’t have a piece of paper offered by an institution of higher education. Everybody has “lived experience” but then some people have a piece of paper offered by an institution of higher education. What would the wizard of Oz do? Perhaps offer diplomas in “lived experience”.

  • Like crazy, man, only not crazy enough. As long as people are being locked up for being different, I see a place for Mad Pride. Cherish and celebrate our eccentricities, flamboyance, and quirkiness, perhaps you are too conservative for that, but I’m all for it. Mad. after all, meaning ‘changed’ predates the medical model in that it doesn’t mean “sick” or “ill”. Reason, sure, but reason within limits. Sometimes we just need to let everything go! How about doing so on a float for a change. Me, I’m all game.

  • Would you object to a webinar series on antipsychiatry, OldHead? I wouldn’t mind seeing MIA do both, and as they are doing one, I have no objection to that.

    There are, of course, many “mental health” professionals at MIA. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a place on the web to take them on. Of course, that place is not MIA. Who would expect it to be?

    Oh, I almost forgot….You?

  • One shouldn’t generalize, littleturtle.

    I think it’s good that antipsychiatry is included because there are people in the mad movement, people in the psychiatric survivor movement, who, I won’t say identify themselves as, but feel that antipsychiatry, for them anyway, is a good fit.

    Psychiatry is not for everyone. Those who reject the pseudo-science altogether should be able to say so. Diversity is part of the issue. When disagreeing with the government is a “mental disorder” in Russia, perhaps we need to look a little closer at some of the things they are calling “mental disorders” in this country, too.