Thursday, August 16, 2018

Comments by Frank Blankenship

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  • As if Freudian psychoanalic cynicism were any less pseudo-science than neo-Kraepelinian biologically-based cynicism. Freud opened the floodgates with his neurosis labels, and now 20 % + of the population is said to have a “mental illness”. That’s expansion of the “mental health” system big time, baby, and if anything, it makes his methods more pseudo-scientific than theirs.

  • In my view all psychiatric treatment is not psychiatric slavery. I think forced treatment (i.e. psychiatric slavery) should very definitely be abolished. People who want to have mythological diseases however are going to seek relief regardless. I would end forced treatment. I wouldn’t however become as bad as the enforcers at autocratically interfering with the civil liberties of other people regardless of whether those other people are “mental health” gurus or their followers and disciples. Get rid of psychiatric oppression, sure, that’s unquestionably a bad thing, however, not all psychiatry is oppressive. Simple fact, not all psychiatry is psychiatric assault, that is, forced. Forcing people not to receive what they wish to receive, well, I’m not the person to prevent them from freely, of their own volition, entering into any sort of transaction whatsoever. It’s the autocratic elements of treatment, psychiatric, psychological, or however you want to describe it, that cause the problems, and need to be abolished. As for the non-autocratic elements, as they don’t effect the rest of us–we can say “no” to them and have our wishes respected–we don’t need to prevent people, in those instances, from doing as they would choose to do.

  • I think it makes sense to be looking for some media coverage, however, I wouldn’t be looking for any saviors in the media (nor in the mental health field for that matter). As an action campaign it makes sense if one doesn’t expect too much from it. The story is an old one full of scandal and coverup. You’d think the press would be licking that up. The media (witness ‘direct to consumer advertising’ on television) has it’s own corruption issues. It’s another version of, well, we report the “truth” as we see it so long as it doesn’t conflict with the interests of our sponsors, you know, those people who put bread and bacon on our tables.

  • Fools break rules, outlaws break laws. “Mental health” law is that loophole in the rule of law that allows for the locking up of rule breakers who have not necessarily broken any law. Close the loophole, and rule of law once again applies, more or less, universally. Don’t close the loophole, and technically, you have a law that breaks the law. This law is the exception to rule of law, a law that allows for the locking up of certain people under medical pretenses who are innocent of crime. Punishing bad behavior is one thing, “healing” it another. This exception to the rule of law, as an example of intolerance, is rank folly as well. Calling psychiatry sadomasochism is an insult to sadomasochists. Freud and other high priests of the “mental health” cult strove to make sadomasochism a “sickness”. Curiously, the labeling of fools, as an example of intolerance in action, makes fools of those doing the labeling (or, rather, what it doesn’t make them is wise).

  • Group three!? Taking a good long look at your proposed ‘pecking order’, I’m insulted already. If this is fighting fire with fire, it seems that the same people are somehow coming out on the losing end of the equation (i.e charred to a cinder). No wonder our voice has become more and more enfeebled with the passage of time. Madness (if madness be resisting the borg) and eating humble pie, in my book, don’t always go together.

  • If MIA won’t let us blog, at least they will allow us to comment, and then the comments become more and more depreciated (under appreciated). Yeah, I get it. MIA is about compliant mental patients and offbeat mental health professionals–the caste you cater to. (It is, in other words, a part of the world conquering “mental health” movement.) All the same, sometimes I wish MIA would get it.

    I believe it was Dragon Slayer who spoke of the comments section as being what appealed most to some people about MIA. Keep going. I’m sure some way can be found to change that.

    https://medium.com/@notesfromunderground/caste-system-of-india-a-hoax-b0dffb333696

  • Adult ADHD is now a category. Of course, when a child with ADHD grows into an adult with ADHD, expectations can only be so high.

    The problem I have here is these associated disorders. You bring up antisocial personality disorder and conduct disorder, and one could have mentioned oppositional defiance disorder. What bunk!

    Better functioning apparently grows out of one’s capacity to kiss ass.

    Oh, why do I not cease to have doubts about this, and all the bogus disorders that go along to support it? Success is a 5 digit (at least) salary. I would say you’re little program here favors those people afflicted with kiss-ass-citis. Nobody is asking how we can improve the outcomes of people with kiss-ass-citis, and many of those outcomes are, in my opinion, pretty bleak.

  • Again, involuntary commitment came before, and long before, the introduction of neuroleptic drugs. I’m not arguing that the drugs are good for your health, I’m just saying that prohibiting them is more complicated and problematic than that. Get rid of the drugs, and as long as the law is such as it is, you will continue to have involuntary treatment.

    Those rights you mention are what are taken away through the application of “mental health” law. The other side of the coin belongs to those people, perfectly healthy physically, who want to have something wrong with them. What is that old adage? Oh, yeah. Be careful what you wish for…

    “Benefits” are, in this instance, an unfortunate term. Subsidizing childish adults doesn’t leave you with adult adults. It is not a drug that takes away people’s rights, it is the law. Change the law (get rid of bad law), and rights are restored…fully restored.

  • Perhaps MIA should give equal time to ‘dislikes’.

    Hmm. Maybe not.

    I don’t think it any better to suggest what people should think (or read) than it is to suggest what they shouldn’t think (or read). That comes with being adults. Of course, if people are easily manipulable, that’s not a good argument for having such a popularity contest filter either.

  • Perhaps we disagree, I don’t know, but I think the most important stance to take is that of opposition to any and all forced treatment, that is, I think it is more important to be pro-freedom than it is to be anti-drug of any sort.

    Medicare 200 years from now occupies about 0 % of my thoughts.

  • I’m afraid the “mental health” authorities were locking people up before they were drugging people up. I was forced drugged in a so-called hospital in which I was imprisoned. Which came first? The so-called hospitalization.

    Neuroleptics weren’t used on psych-wards until the 1950s. Does that mean people weren’t being confined to “mental hospitals” until 1950 something? Certainly not. In some instances some people, innocent people, had been forced to serve a life sentence.

    Murder is a crime, and it should be treated as such. Although the drugs may have something to do with violent behavior, bad decisions have something to do with it, too. I don’t think we need be convicting anybody (or anything) of murder without a trial by jury.

    Throw out the insanity defense, sure, I’m all for that. It paints the situation of all people confined to mental institutions (past, present, and future) with the same brush. It’s a little more difficult to throw out the pills though because some people think they are “medicine”, or “life savers”, or something along those lines, even if the evidence says otherwise.

    Repeal “mental health” law, take away forced psychiatry, and then psychiatry would be unable to drug anybody against his or her express wishes. “Mental health” law gives psychiatrists the power to lock people up and drug them. Take that power away, and *poof*, you’ve just solved the problem.

  • We must get rid of involuntary commitment. The drugs are damaging and deadly, sure, but you’ve got duped people taking them voluntarily, too. Some people aren’t duped, and those that aren’t duped should have the freedom not to take brain numbing life destroying chemicals. Fools will be fools, but still that’s not a good reason for banishing wisdom (i.e. the right not to take brain damaging life destroying drugs). We respect peoples’ freedoms by not depriving people of that freedom, even if doing so supports the freedom to be foolhardy and to do stupid things.

  • Very interesting article.

    My point, standard efforts to prevent suicide often end up backfiring, and increasing the very thing they are trying to quell. Why? I think medicalization is as good a word as any for describing the problem. Once you’ve got a business going, the aim of the business could conflict with its business interests, and we know what’s going to win out there. Suicide prevention organizations, for instance, aren’t founded with the idea of being put out of business eventually.

    There is no epidemic in suicide, and there has never been one, however, the situation could dramatically change given the problematic nature of psychiatric drugs. The suicide rate is rising. Should it surpass the 1932 high of 22 per 100,000 I’d say we’d be in some real hot water. Access to guns and unemployment, coupled with drug treatment, yeah, the way we’re going, it could happen.

  • We have no need for alternatives if by alternatives you mean alternatives to forced treatment. We need to get rid of forced (mal)treatment altogether instead. Get rid of forced treatment, and what you are calling alternative now would be standard practice. Any alternative to such standard practice however would mean restraints, confinement, court ordered drugging, etc., and we don’t need those sorts of alternatives at all.

    It is my position that in some cases the individual neither wants nor requires what is euphemistically referred to as “help”, and in those cases, the individual’s wishes need to be respected.

    Some people just can’t be as “patient” as all of that. There is a point after all, let it be said, at which even patience becomes a vice.

  • I would abolish forced “mental health” treatment. Unforced “mental health” treatment is no more a concern of mine than is tarot card, palm, or skull bump reading (phrenology), and I wouldn’t force those on people either. Non-consensual coercive fortune telling? Since when? Nope, I don’t think so. Same thing with forced “mental health” (mal)treatment. Sex, etc. It may be okay to man handle criminals, but please, wait until a law has been broken before you do so. Mental health law is a loophole in criminal law that needs to be closed. Repeal mental health law, and the only people forcing unwanted “mental health” treatment on other people would be criminals, and criminals subject to prosecution.

  • The use, one might say overuse, of Benzos was a crisis (and scandal) years ago, and it remains such to this day. Much of the the present opioid crisis has involved people mixing opioids with other drugs, and among the most lethal of mixes are opioids and benzos. We’ve got the same problem with pain killers (the category including opioids) and benzos. Once illicit drugs may now be attained legally with a prescription. Direct to consumer advertising is a big part of the problem. When doctors should be using psychoactive chemicals much more conservatively, the drug companies are making their pitch to patients to pressure the doctor into giving them this or that pill. Until the advertisements are addressed to medical MDs instead of patients (i.e. consumers/customers), you are going to have this issue. Doctors need to be trained not to reach for the prescription pad as a first resort, and the consumer should be getting his or her advice from a trained MD rather than from a drug company salesperson or an internet or television advertisement. Regulations are not likely to do the trick until someone starts realizing that what we have is not an opioid or a pain killer problem, but what we have is a prescription drug problem, and so regulating opioids or pain killers alone is not going to take care of the matter.. I am then saying at the end of this comment what I was saying at the beginning of it. Benzos are not the next crisis when, just like the handing out of speed like candy to inattentive school children, the use of benzos represents an ongoing and continuing crisis in itself, and is a part of this overall prescription drug problem that is so pervasive in society today.

  • A contagion of “mental illness” during the 19th century was created, or at least spurred on, by that wave of reform known as ‘moral management’. This reform increased the numbers of people residing in lunatic asylums 10 fold. The population of inmates in various countries at this time, between the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 20th, went from thousands, or perhaps closer to hundreds, to tens of thousands.

    Robert Whitaker and others have demonstrated how the introduction of psychiatric drugs, coupled with state welfare reforms, have created another epidemic on top of that epidemic starting with the latter half of the 20th century.

    Many so-called “needs” exist because of clever marketing ploys. Sell an answer to distress and watch rates and levels of distress skyrocket. I’d like to see the rates of what is termed chronic “mental illness” decline, but this is not what is happening. If you could alter the system in a way that allowed people to graduate from it then that would be something. I just see too many repeat offenders in the system, and too few graduates from it. I’d like to see people (technically you could call it recovering or finding a cure) leaving that system for good instead.

    As long as the numbers keep going up I have to shake my head. It is the business end of treating “mental illness” that has made the “mental illness” rate soar without relent. The question is how do you get those numbers to go down. There is, of course, when your industry is a waste of human life industry, more industry in doing something else entirely.

  • I don’t know what you mean by a “strict abolitionist position”. I’m for the abolition of non-consensual coercive psychiatry. Non-consensual coercive sex has been outlawed in the main. Ditto, that other non-consensual coercive matter, slavery, ownership of one man by another. I think we need to do the same thing with “mental health” treatment.

    The moderate position has always been expand the “mental health” system. The moderate would make a lifelong career of “patient” or “peer specialist”. I think, on the other hand, that people are more “mentally healthy”, or shall we say stable, who don’t make a career out of receiving or providing treatment. I had rather see fewer people labeled, drugged, and managed in the system than more.

    If need be, take money and resources away from the people with a more moderate view, and they will begin to see the light as well. These 60-70 year extensions on childhood are blatantly insulting, debilitating, and just become encumbrances in the end.

  • Yeah, but it would still be a matter of playing favorites. If the likes went towards an abolitionist stance, that’s something I would like to see, but I don’t expect it to happen. Many of them might, but if they did, it would still be a matter of playing favorites. The brown nosing popularity contest filter, in this instance, is sure to have it’s victims. What you wouldn’t be doing is encouraging people to make up their own minds apart from,,,What do they call it? Oh, yeah. “Peer” pressure.

    Sure, regarding your agreement, and listening. Thing is, psychiatry, the system, and the drug industry, have grown and become more intractable over the last few years. Used to be, a lot more people were public in their condemnation of the therapeutic state. No more. Criticism is taken as “stigmatizing”, and politically incorrect, or “triggering”. I just think people are going to have to become more aggressive towards this sort of thing if they want to put a dent in it. Either that, or find a way to turn their back on the whole illusionist sham business.

    Once you get rid of coercion, you will have free choice. We don’t have free choice with coercion. I’m not so crazy about an individualized and empowered approach as you put it. The presumption is that something is wrong, but that is presumption. It could be that the interventionists won’t leave a body alone. So long as coercion is the rule in some quarters so much for free choice. Get rid of coercion, and people will have the right to say “no”, as well as the right to say “yes”. Choices they don’t necessarily have at the moment.

  • In a nutshell, I don’t think the system needs to be revised or re-envisioned so much as I think the system needs to be completely destroyed. We don’t need alternatives to incarceration and abuse under medical presences so much as we need an end to incarceration and abuse under medical pretenses. Psychiatric drugs only extend the methods of incarceration and control via chemical means, “house arrest” still being arrest. Tolerance of human difference is at the other end of the spectrum (i.e. liberation from bondage). As for our most vulnerable citizens, usually I think when somebody uses that expression they mean our most gullible citizens instead. Voila, vive la resistance!

  • I don’t like the idea of “likes” and filtering for “highest rated” either. I guess someone, in playing favorites here, seems set on silencing any and all “inconvenient truth”.

    Also, I don’t entirely agree with the mission of MIA as I think the current paradigm of care is something that needs dethinking more than it needs rethinking. “Mental health” is a myth but, for many people, “consumers/users/patients” and “mental health” workers, it all too often represents a fanatical obsession. My view is that the entire system started with the locking up of innocent people and, as such, descends from coercive maltreatment. Rethinking is merely a matter of more medicalization pretending to be something other than medicalization whereas dethinking places us immediately in the vicinity of demedicalization. Demedicalization is more healthy to boot, as you can witness all the people who have been physically injured (and worse) through the use of what purports to be medicine, but what is, in fact, actually a very discriminatory and oppressive system of social control.

  • Bravo! Language is neutral, but in the wrong hands it can be used for devious purposes. Antipsychiatry may have started out as a pejorative term coined by a psychiatrist to target non-believers with. but there is absolutely no reason for it to remain such. I say good for those non-believers who realized that psychiatry was bogus science, and shoved it back into the face of its practitioners. There are other employments which are, by far, more rewarding than that of mental patient. Additionally, there are many. many practices that are more honest than that of “mental health” professional (updated witch doctor). Perhaps, in time, more people will learn to boycott the con-artists and hoaxers by using the door to the street.

  • I was about to say the same thing. Stimulant drugs have adverse effects on cognitive functioning in students labeled “ADHD”, too. The effect could be referred to as “sickening”. Should healthy people take drugs for an extended period of time, the chances are their health will desert them. Convincing healthy people that they are “sick”, and then drugging them sick (i.e. chemically altered), is one way to get your sickness, especially if it is not really health you are after, but rather an unlimited clientele.

  • Very interesting review. Of course, I disagree regarding “trauma” but, for the rest of it, I find it mostly on target.

    Scapegoating is definitely the issue, and a sense of humor a good defense, or offense when offense is needed..

    Dispensing with the “trauma” equation, and going for “stress” or “adversity” (a social matter) as the problem is a way of de-medicalizing it and, as such, could represent a definite improvement.

  • Wait a minute…44-plus million? Prove it, and beyond a shadow of a doubt if you could. (Which, of course, you can’t.) Nobody committed any act of violence until he or she has been proven guilty of doing so in a court of law. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of “mental illness”. All it takes to “have” one of those is an “expert” opinion. Want to end forced treatment? I believe that if, rather than a hearing before a magistrate, a trial by jury were required to commit a person to the state hospital, forced treatment would soon be history.

  • In the duh department, shrinks don’t diagnose “mental health”. In fact, they don’t know anything about it, it not being their area of expertise. If you don’t have one diagnosis, and you’re under their care, you must have another. This is one of those reasons so many people feel relieved to receive, for example, a bipolar diagnosis. All diagnosis of “mental disorder” is misdiagnosis. How can it be otherwise? Those little micro-organisms that are breaking down your “health” are all ‘in your head’. Same place the doctor keeps his defective brains, barring “medication” induced damage, of course.

    My response, go along with the gag. If you resist, you’re likely to get more time. Keep your mouth shut until you get safely beyond the auspices of the psychiatric authorities, and back in the world of humankind. They’re all deluded but, of course, they aren’t everything. The truth is out there. It just doesn’t even wiggle the “mental health” treatment bubble. You’re not the first to do time on the planet “mental”. Don’t sweat it. The planet earth is still about, and if you are vigilant, it is possible that you, too, will make it back.

  • If there were actually a “critical psychiatry” movement, it would be playing a small part in the “mental health” movement, a movement that is based entirely upon the myth of “mental illness”, through it’s obverse, the myth of “mental health”. We could more fittingly call it a medicalization movement because it is all about treating with medicine anything that doesn’t belong, properly speaking, in the medical sphere. The “mental health” movement is about expanding the “mental health” system, or what has been referred to as the psycho-pharmaceutical industrial complex. It is not really a “mental health” movement at all, it is a “mental health” treatment movement. I’d say that that is the movement we really need to seriously resist and oppose. Give human beings the right, the legal right, to refuse “mental health” treatment, and you’ve nipped that more than little, that big bad movement, the “mental health” movement, in the bud.

  • A matter of civil liberties, or a civil libertarian position? Restricting civil liberties can come around to bite you in the ass. What isn’t a “civil libertarian position”? Oh, I know. A brutal totalitarian position. Problem. What brutal totalitarian would ever stop with, say, “abolishing psychiatry”, if that’s the right way to put it?

    If the syllogism you’re working with here goes: “all psychiatry is forced psychiatry, Dr. A. practices psychiatry, therefore, Dr. A. forces psychiatry on people.” I disagree with your initial premise, namely, “all psychiatry is forced psychiatry”…

    I’m not one to say psychiatry should be abolished, nor would I say astrology should be abolished, nor would I say pataphysics (the study of non reproducible results) should be abolished, nor would I say secret societies should be abolished. However, I might say psychiatric slavery should be abolished, or institutional psychiatry should be abolished, or psychiatric oppression should be abolished, or involuntary psychiatry should be abolished.

    I do think forced mental health treatment should be outlawed the same way involuntary sex has been outlawed. Mental health law is actually a loophole in the rule of law. Close that loophole, and there would be no coercive non-consensual medical treatment BY LAW. Abduction, false imprisonment, slavery, poisoning, etc., would again be the crimes they are everywhere else, and for anyone else.

    I don’t think making antipsychiatry the kind of religious sect, cult, or what have you that psychiatry is is an improvement. Nor would I be for antipsychiatry as a clique or an exclusive club. My antipsychiatry is anti-forced-psychiatry, and I have no problem with that. Psychiatry that isn’t forced then isn’t a problem, just as poisoning oneself is not the problem that poisoning another person is, nor should it be. Fools will be fools, and rank folly of the sort we’ve got is to have one variety of fool label the other variety of fool “sick”. If fools want to apply labels to themselves, that’s another thing altogether.

  • Generally, the question asked was, in my opinion, answered by the war between the states, which is to say, that I think you are obfuscating. This is another reason why, in opposition to an expanded critical psychiatry movement, or any kind of psychiatric system expansion, we need a strong and determined antipsychiatry movement. Polyphony in the arts, in music and literature, is one thing, polyphony in political action (divide and conquer/bread and circuses) is base rhetoric and hypocrisy.

    “The critical psychiatry movement may not accomplish any of the goals I initially came to the movement with. Involuntary commitment and forced treatment may never be abolished. The public may never fully understand the adverse effects of psychiatric drugs and electroshock. Distress may continue to be pathologized and labeled “mental illness” for the rest of humanity.”

    Certainly, if one is not serious about ones aims, one is not serious about accomplishing them, and, certainly, if those goals are not what one really wishes to accomplish, perhaps one is more of a ‘states’ rights’ person than a ‘unionist’. Did we really just get rid of one form of slavery merely to accommodate another? Darn! Where is our John Brown when we need him? Rather than being stalled and deflected, as in this instance, the matter (abolition) needs to be brought to a head.

  • These anti-stigma campaigns promote paternalism, something that is demeaning in, and of, itself. They are based on the negative prognosis so common among psychiatric professionals. We are back in the era of the incurable lunatic, only nobody calls him or her incurable, nor lunatic. The issue is prejudice and discrimination, not against anybody with a friend called “mental illness”, but prejudice and discrimination against people who have known incarceration/mistreatment (i.e. abuse) at the hands of psychiatric establishment. Today you’ve practically got trendy “diseases” because the idea is not to “get over it”, the idea is to provide the marginalized with a position, marginalized at that. Liberation is outside of the system altogether, but to get their you have to deal with the fact of unfair mistreatment. Anti-stigma campaigns, rather than being a way of getting there (outside the system/on an equal footing), are a way of not getting there.

  • Remember the Xanax generation? That’s a lot of corruption! People keep bringing out the truth that got covered up only to find it covered up again. Drug company profits trumps concern about physical health, and “mental health” fuels the drug industry. We’ve been saying for ages that a paradigm change is needed, even before the paradigm change that got us into this mess in the first place. You’d think it would have registered with the opioid crisis, but no. It’s not a benzo problem so much as it is a prescription drug problem. When the approach becomes facing up to one’s life challenges rather than taking an extended intoxication vacation from them, then we will be getting somewhere, and doctors can get back into the business of saving lives rather than taking them.

  • Wm. Burroughs did say that, didn’t he?’

    Well, we all make mistakes.

    Burroughs linked all sorts of social problems to one sort of addiction or another, which is to say, that, in my opinion, there is a lot of truth in Naked Lunch.

    I mentioned that I was not an Empath on another comment to another blog post. I guess I neglected to add that I am a Vulcan.

  • Words don’t mean things, but I get your drift. Words certainly can mean things.

    No one could ever prove that metaphors are concrete because metaphors aren’t concrete. Metaphors are figures of speech, that’s all.

    Regardless you will still get an argument from the psychiatric establishment. I think it’s a shrug. If you are saying that “mental illness” doesn’t really exist, not literally, I agree.

  • Wasn’t that, that “mental illness” is NOT a metaphor and in fact is a useful term, Sigmund Freud’s contention as well?

    For Thomas Szasz, a view shared by myself, “mental illness” is a figure of speech rather than a fact of nature until proven otherwise, proof that hasn’t been forthcoming, the bogus and biased easily refutable research song and dance aside. Where is the evidence? As far as I can tell, beyond playing with a trick deck, this verbal game or that, there isn’t any.

  • I don’t know about the use of the word “vicariously” here, in fact, I would think it should come as no surprise to anybody that police shootings are going to impact the health of black Americans across the board anyway. In some cases, terminally. I understand that police beatings can have a negative impact upon the health of black people being beaten as well, and that this negative impact may extend to those who merely read about it, or observe it taking place.

  • Mark Ruffalo was seeing the influence of Freud on The Ethics of Psychoanalysis (1965). He doesn’t seem so averse to Freudian methods himself. I would question the extent of that influence, if indeed, there was such an influence. Szasz’s critique of Freud goes back to The Myth of Mental Illness (1961). If you’re going to write a book titled Schizophrenia: The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry (1976), as Szasz did, it’s probably not because you think the “minor mental illnesses” are any less mythic, and therefore, more real, than the “major” ones. This doesn’t render the position of Freud vis a vis that of Szasz irrelevant at all, quite the reverse.

    Google gives us a definition for “neurosis”, Freud’s specialty, as a “relatively mild form” of “mental illness” (remember that thing that Szasz in his most signature piece called myth) “not caused by organic disease”. I’d say we’re at a far remove here from Virchow’s “lesions in bodily organs”, that is, if you can get past the double use of the word disease, “mental illness” PLUS “organic disease”. Szasz was adamant about the first, it wasn’t organic disease, and with regard to the second, it can’t be the first (i.e. counterfeit disease, and thus, a metaphor, or figure of speech, NOT literal.)

    If we were arguing against Ronald Pies the question of relevance might come up, however, Mark Ruffalo was using Pies, just as he used Freud, against Szasz, and, to my way of thinking, that places both on the point rather than beside it. The question of to what extent does Ronald Pies employ Freudian techniques of analysis, talk therapy, and to what extent he falls back on the old biological standard of drug therapy, is another one altogether, but still relevant, as both “treatment” modalities tend to validate the notion of “mental illness” and its diagnosis/invention.

  • In other words, regardless of Freud’s specializing in what he termed “neurosis” (“minor mental disorder”) [the bug boom Dragon Slayer spoke of at some point previously] rather than “psychosis” (“major mental disorder”), is non-disease any more disease if you use talk to treat it than if you use drugs to treat it, and vice versa?

  • Is that an, “I’m defending Freudian psychoanalysis”, or an, “I’m confused about the relevance of Freudian psychoanalysis to this discussion”? We’ve talked about how Thomas Szasz had no difficulty whatsoever finding fault with Freudian theory while Mark Ruffalo is using Sigmund Freud to take a shot at Thomas Szasz. What I want to know is why it would be any more to the point to excuse Sigmund Freud than it would be to pillory Ronald Pies?

  • The skeptic movement, as has been pointed out, although weak when it comes to tackling bio-psychiatry, has no problem critiquing Freud. He wasn’t very, to say the least, scientific. Freud is not the Freud he once was. Not only has the citadel been assailed, but we’re peering through a gaping breech in the wall at the ruins.

  • This is spooky. The drug company is explaining that this thing can’t be used as a GPS tracking device, but nonetheless show me where this technology is not going to be directed at insuring drug adherence/compliance (i.e. they don’t care where you go, so long as you are taking your drug when you go there.) I certainly couldn’t imagine mental health courts not getting wind of this thing, and utilizing it in enforcing court orders.

  • If it weren’t for morality it wouldn’t matter what one said, one thing being as good as another. Thomas Szasz argues in favor of observation of the law (don’t punish the innocent, nor exonerate the guilty) and for liberty, the liberty that goes along with governance of self (moral agency). It’s not simply that “mental illness” is a figure of speech, it’s that to use a figure of speech in the fashion that it is being used, as if it were not a figure of speech, is to be dishonest, and dishonesty represents a corruption of morals. There’s something corrupt about claiming to be protecting all of the people by disenfranchising some of the people on medical pretexts. We don’t oppose slavery, for instance, because it’s a bad choice of words; we oppose slavery because it’s a bad way to treat people, our fellow men and women. The same principle applied to chattel slavery applies to psychiatric slavery. It’s not a good idea to use treatment as an excuse to take freedom away from a free people. For if you do, where does it end? De ja vu. With the absolute corruption of a tyrannical ruler. With the adult child as head of state. With wholesale slaughter and oppression.

  • The diagnosis of gaming disorder is way up there with the diagnosis of Rock and Roll disorder.

    The DSM has let in behavioral addictions. I don’t need to tell you how absurd that is, do I, but now, with sex addiction, the likes of Harvey Weinstein have something to consider as a legal defense. That’s what he was trying to say, wasn’t it, with his, “I have a sickness.”

    Hoarding disorder, too. “If what you hoarded were gold nuggets, or fine art say, we’d have no problem with it, but all this unnecessary junk.” In the eye of the beholder, of course. Memories….

    What next? “Freedom of choice disorder?”

  • “The term neurosis was coined by the Scottish doctor William Cullen in 1769 to refer to “disorders of sense and motion” caused by a “general affection of the nervous system.” Cullen used the term to describe various nervous disorders and symptoms that could not be explained physiologically. Physical features, however, were almost inevitably present, and physical diagnostic tests, such as exaggerated knee-jerks, loss of the gag reflex and dermatographia, were used into the 20th century. The meaning of the term was redefined by Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud over the early and middle 20th century. It has continued to be used in psychology and philosophy.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurosis

    Actually, I once was diagnosed with “possible” “schizotypal personality disorder”, meaning I was such an oddball I was in danger of being further diagnosed “schizophrenic”, and that happened a couple of times, too.

    We, the people edit Wikipedia, OldHead. Citing sources is a requirement, but that’s that. Want the sources. They should be there at the bottom of any Wikipedia article..

  • “In light of his self-analysis”, we have his famous Oedipal Complex. Decades upon decades later countered by Deleuze and Gatteri in their book Anti-Oedipus. Volume one of the two volume Schizophrenia and Capitalism.

    There are so-called “false memories”, too. The kind of thing you get sometimes when you interrogate kids about inappropriate touching.

    Freud went from viewing the matter in terms of molestation to making a big deal out of what he called child sexuality. I don’t think pressure from the medical community had a lot to do with that. There’s also been a lot of talk about resistance to those ideas he developed, and now, after the DSM-III, Sir Sigmund could be said to have been toppled from his pedestal entirely.

  • Szasz said a lot of nonsense in Antipsychiatry: Quackery Squared. Cooper coined, or recoined, the word antipsychiatry (ca. 1967), and R.D. Laing rejected it. This lead to a split between the two of them. If antipsychiatry has evolved it’s been despite R.D. Laing and David Cooper, Cooper having died in 1986 (the year following the great USA government psychiatric survivor movement buy out/sell out), while Laing followed him into posterity with his own demise 3 years later in 1989.

    Szasz, Laing, and Cooper were psychiatrists, and it doesn’t take much to see the glaring contradiction in that situation. On the positive side, none of them can be held responsible for the furious pace of medicalization taking place in the world today, each in his own fashion, being opposed to such a development.

    I seriously doubt Szasz, rationalizing the peddling of shock, drugs, and volunteer psychiatric institutions to stupid people in the name of free market capitalism, would have been for a complete halt in business as usual, however, he did do all he could to expose it’s medical pretenses as utterly bogus. Perhaps, if psychiatry admitted it wasn’t medicine, he would have been a lot more okay with it. Still, a medical degree is, and was, required in order to pursue psychiatry, and I don’t really think that makes it any better than if that requirement were a tin badge.

  • No, people had been knocked unconscious long before Sigmund Freud arrived on the scene to disenlighten the planet. The word, of course, was not Freud’s, but he put it to good use in an original context and fashion.

    “On the basis of his early clinical work, Freud had postulated that unconscious memories of sexual molestation in early childhood were a necessary precondition for the psychoneuroses (hysteria and obsessional neurosis), a formulation now known as Freud’s seduction theory. In the light of his self-analysis, Freud abandoned the theory that every neurosis can be traced back to the effects of infantile sexual abuse, now arguing that infantile sexual scenarios still had a causative function, but it did not matter whether they were real or imagined and that in either case they became pathogenic only when acting as repressed memories.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigmund_Freud

    “Oh, no. There he goes again. Using that thoroughly disreputable and totally unreliable resource as a reference.” (Of course, you could do some research of your own, and check up on the material, if you had any doubt.)

  • The key word up above is “natural science”, and I’m not embarrassed to use any book by Thomas Szasz as a reference.

    “Such candor was not Freud’s dish. In 1901, in The Psychpathology of Everyday Life, Freud frames his claim that psychoanalysis is a science as follows: “If the distinction between conscious and unconscious motivation is taken into account, our feeling of conviction informs us that conscious motivation does not extend to all our motor decisions….What is thus left by the one side receives its motivation from the other side, from the unconscious, and in this way determination in the psychical life is still carried out without any gap.” For the rest of his life, Freud worked and reworked this famous claim.”

    Psychiatry: The Science of Lies, Thomas Szasz, p. 49. (2008)

    For a rationalist, like me, Freud’s words are hard to swallow.

  • In Freud, it is a biological or material concept. Perhaps it would have been better if I had used the term neurosis rather than unconscious, but he claimed, at times, a physical base for that as well. Freud said a number of contradictory things.

    “Freud was not interested in scientific proof. He was interested in psychological proof, which is no proof at all. At the same time, though he lacked both the knowledge and temperament for doing real science, he persistently claimed that psychoanalysis is a branch of natural science. Freud was a man of the Enlightenment. Instead of believing in God, he believed in Charcot. The age of medicalization had dawned. Validating fake illness as real illness, psychopathology as neuropathology, Charcot opened the flood gates. Freud proceeded to inundate the world with fake diseases, perverting the epistemology of disease and corrupting the ethics of medicine."

    Psychiatry: The Science of Lies, Thomas Szasz, p. 22 (2008)

    Michel Foucault talking about where Jurisprudence and Psychiatry converge, brings up the matter of instinct in one of his series of published lectures, Abnormal (given 1974-1975, published in English, 1999). He was talking about how psychiatrist experts in court would now make the criminal resemble his crime with such as a personality disorder, or another psychopathology serving as motivation. It’s all about “perverted”, or “twisted”, one might say, “instinct”. I would have to say that, in a sense, what Freud meant by the unconscious was something similar to this instinct.

  • Huh? As I understand it there are two primary treatments for “mental illness”, 1. drug therapy, and 2. talk therapy. This being the case, how does psychoanalysis/psychotherapy elude the sphere of psychiatry? The specific discipline, science (cough, cough), set up for the study, prevention, detection, treatment, and cure of said “mental illness”. Sure, some psychotherapists (consider the irony) have psychology and social work degrees, no doubt, but my understanding is that some of psychoanalyists still have psychiatry degrees as well. All of them seem to like the idea that the people they are analyzing or therapeutizing are some how “sick”. If you ask me, that’s relevance.

  • It’s commendable that you don’t support forced treatment, however another part of the problem is medicalization, the idea, it’s certainly no fact, that 20 % of the population, in the USA before the rest of the world, is “sick” and in need of drugs (and/or psychotherapy). Szasz showed a lot of foresight with The Myth of Mental Illness. Today anxiety isn’t just an evolutionary aid to survival, or an instinctual hold-over. No, anxiety is a disease. Ditto, distraction, disobedience, obsession, shyness, grief, anger, and you name it. (There is also the related matter of the use of psychiatry in the judicial system, but that would take me too far afield.) As far as I could see, your Psychology Today post does little more than rationalize this runaway medicalization.

    I had a similar reaction to Dragon Slayer’s on reading The Ethics of Psychoanalysis. I think Szasz much better at critiquing the system than at delineating his own, and rather conventional at that, brand of practice. Thomas Szasz has also been none too friendly to the likes of R. D. Laing, David Cooper, and Loren Mosher when it came to their more communal approach and experiments. Producing a label of his own, which might apply to the Kibbutz or Monastery as well, ‘collectivism’.

    He also came to say, and with reason, that his brand of psychoanalysis could no longer be practiced. He was sued for not following standard practice and drugging a patient after that patient committed suicide. He also had views on confidentiality that would clash, not with HIPAA, what a laugh, but with the courts demand that the psychiatric profession inform on, in their view, potentially dangerous individuals. If the government has files on nearly everybody, you know they had help from psychiatry.

  • My response would be we don’t need a concept of “mental illness”.

    Followed by something Mark Ruffalo wrote, “If this were the case (an entity only becomes disease once its pathophysiology becomes demonstrable), quite of few diseases readily accepted as such would be declassified as disease.”

    If so-called “mental illness” labels are merely a form of scapegoating in action, and I think they are, what we need is more respect for freedom, and tolerance of human diversity and difference instead.

  • Admirer’s of Thomas Szasz have to be placed on the defensive by some of your statements.

    1. Sigmund Freud tried to justify his practice as medical practice, that is, having a biological base. His biological base being found in what he called the unconscious. Thomas Szasz felt compelled to expose this sort of fraud. He, Szasz, practiced psychoanalysis, not psychotherapy.

    2. Thomas Szasz authored a book entitled Schizophrenia: The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry. Szasz’s asides aside. Apparently, you worship at the altar of this sacred cow, too.

    3. Not only is schizophrenia not terminal, there is a great deal of question as to whether it exists at all. While “congestive heart failure” is going to exist regardless of whether there are cardiologists, or not, the simple fact of the matter is many examples of “congestive heart failure” would not have occurred without the psychiatrist and his prescription pad.

    4. Metaphoricity has to do with the figurative, not the literal. If something could be said to have a figurative existence, it is at a remove from the facts. It has no more power than the power we invest in it, and this creates the sort of shell spell that nobody need get caught up for an overlong length of time however dazzling a charm might be made out of such illogic. I don’t find it difficult not to be swayed by this form of verbal pixie dust.

    5. Szasz did have a few flaws, for instance, his rationalizing of lobotomy, shock, and institutionalization (but only in non-coercive institutions–“adult orphan asylums”) in accordance with his own version of market based capitalism. It’s a good thing, in my book, that he was too much of a moralist to believe in, or to peddle, imprisonment of the innocent, mutilating brains, or dope dope himself. He didn’t always, in other words, practice what he preached, nor preach what he practiced. Being a psychiatrist himself, I imagine, he didn’t have a problem distancing himself from any official antipsychiatry movement (the movement R.D. Laing called a movement only on paper). Unfortunately, much of his disdain for antipsychiatry is directed at activities on the continent, that is, over there in Europe, and, it seems, had more to do with his anti-communist bias than anything else.

    6. Of course, when you declare “mental illness” a myth, you also expose the science dedicated to it’s prevention, study, treatment, and cure as a hoax, and so I guess antipsychiatry could be said to have reentered the house through the side door.

  • I’ve got to wonder why people would get into this game of defending the indefensible by trashing a critic of it. Flattering foes are one thing, but I have to wonder about their motives, when doing so is the way of the blatantly corrupt orthodoxy anyway. I was calling Szasz a moralist. Okay. He didn’t confine, he didn’t shock, and he didn’t drug. Not very many “mental health” professionals can make the same claim at all. That means he certainly wasn’t a member of the blatantly corrupt orthodoxy, and, of course, he’s got to be a primary and readily available target for that orthodoxy whenever they need one. I see any siding with them, as in this case, as a particularly low blow. Now is there anybody who wants to praise Thomas Szasz by actually praising him? I figure, as these comments show, Psychology Today could find a number of takers among them if it was looking for them.

  • I was referring to Mark Ruffalo’s Psychology Today piece (above) in which Thomas Szasz is featured, and Ronald Pies argument is used to counter the position put forward by Szasz.

    I’m not arguing against isms, that’s you. I’m also not saying the two terms are synonymous.

    Szasz was a very good at ye olde debate. If you’ve ever read the Jeffrey Schaler collection Szasz Under Fire, Szasz takes on all sorts in the psychiatric profession, and, a veritable Kung Fu, he kicks ass. Szasz also tackles Ronald Pies in the Schaler book, and I don’t think Pies arguments have improved. He puts himself up as a defender of his profession, even when his arguments (Remember no psychiatrist in the know would promote the chemical imbalance theory?) are weak.

  • To paraphrase you, “If there is no moralism, there can be no morality.” And vice versa, or it is? Virtue versa?

    I’m not sure psychiatry is always as deliberate as you make it out to be. I mean you’ve got Pies arguing that Szasz makes too much out of words, and Szasz countering people like Pies with a similar argument of his own.

  • I’m disagreeing with myself now. Cut the first three words in the comment above, OldHead, and to some extent anyway, we could be said to be in agreement. He was out to deconstruct a linguistic construct certainly, but he was also out to do more than just clean up the Bard’s English. I see him as a moralist. You see him as a stickler for words. Perhaps we are both right.

  • I don’t think Thomas Szasz was out to deconstruct a linguistic construct, if that’s the way you see psychiatry. I think, rather, he was going after evasions of responsibility, the responsibility that comes with freedom, and the deceit, including self-deception, that permitted those evasions. This is why I call him a moralist. If “mental illness” is a myth, a dead religion, he asks, why are we still doing homage to it? Making constant reference to this myth is not the first bad habit that people have had a difficult time breaking.

  • But that’s just it, Thomas Szasz was not concerned with linguistic matters, or language, so much as he was with morality. It was always a matter of being true to his, or, the word. He took on the psychiatry of doctors and patients alike for the evasions that were, and are, being excused by them. Evasions of the responsibility that goes along with the exercise of free choice. I think this could be missed if we simply looked at Thomas Szasz as someone who disagreed at the level of language with mainstream psychiatry. It wasn’t just a surface matter, a matter of words alone, morality was what underlay this quarrel he had with the profession he practiced. That said, sure, he was against coercive practices, and I’m glad to hear that you don’t care for them either.

  • Nonchalantly, of course….

    Can burnouts help with mindfulness? Yes, a great deal so. Given enough burnout, we will have this mindfulness thing under wraps, er, that is, under lock and key.

    No mindfulness mind you. It is not to be tolerated.

  • Respectfully, I think, in agreement with Thomas Szasz, that the language we use is important, and if I were to use a euphemism on a regular basis, someone is going to have to come along straighten out the confusion. In other words, the problem is not that his argument rested far too heavily on language, the problem is that the terminology of psychiatry has in the past, and continues to, diverge too far from the fact as evidenced by our senses. I don’t think his argument came to rest far too heavily on language as received from the dictionary, however, I think the same can’t be said of psychiatry as a rule. This is to say, I have a great deal of doubt about the recent advances you and others have discerned in research results. Results that boil down to something along the lines of, pretty regularly. are we looking at a “mental illness”, or the effects of sedation?

  • It would be an oversimplification to say that libertarian socialism is a synonym for anarchism as there are also anarcho-capitalists who operate under the libertarian banner.

    You are thinking of libertarianism in the USA. It’s certainly not that way for the rest of the world.

    Most libertarians, specifically left-libertarians, seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production in favor of common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property as a barrier to freedom and liberty.”

    Emphasis added.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Libertarianism

  • Szasz 101 should be a course. Take a look at this organization he helped found, the American Association for the Abolition of Involuntary Mental Hospitalization. Thomas Szasz, Erving Goffman, and George Anderson, that’s how bleak it can get. You have few, if any, defenders of the civil liberties of people threatened by forced psychiatric treatment, outside of those who have been so abused, than you do with the likes of Thomas Szasz himself. His peers were few and far between.

  • You must be exceptional then. The problem I have had within the “mental health” system is to get anybody to really register the extent of the damage. They can’t do so. Real health concerns, in the “mental health” field, are the kind of things that get people fired. The public “mental health” system has one method of operation, and that is to drug the patient. Concerns about the drugs effect on health have to be coming from the private sector because everybody in the public “mental health” system is so implicated in this thing. How do you fight, in other words, a multi-billion dollar industry, that has the implicit blessing of the government. The only way I can imagine doing so is by putting some distance between oneself and what the government is doing. If you work for that system, by and large, you can only be guilty, and very guilty at that, of complicity.

  • I wouldn’t generalize.

    Although all libertarians place a high value on liberty, not all libertarians embrace laissez-faire economic policies. As a left-libertarian, I don’t worship at the altar of free market capitalism.

    I’m not a member of the Libertarian Party, and I don’t think Thomas Szasz was either, despite his embrace of capitalism, and his criticisms of communal living.

    It is important to separate libertarianism from the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party is not such a great thing. In so far as it promotes civil liberties, it is a good thing. In so far as it promotes an unregulated capitalist market, it is a bad thing.

    “”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.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism

    I think you are being naive if you think in your quest for social equality you can neglect personal freedom. You know what happens with most totalitarian systems, don’t you? Given enough time either they crumble out of an inflexible resistance to adaptation when such is the will of the people, or they give into demands for less restrictions, and more freedom.

  • I do genealogy, and on more than one occasion, I’ve discovered people who in the 19th century died in the state hospital/lunatic asylum. I would tend to think this occurrence less pervasive today than it was then when a person was more likely to spend the major part of their life in a lunatic asylum. If Thomas Szasz had anything to do with why there are fewer people dying in what purport to be mental hospitals, and what are in actuality psychiatric prisons, that is a good thing.

    Mark Ruffalo should pay closer attention to some of the arguments Thomas Szasz made. Ronald Pies arguments are pretty transparently wrong.

    “”If mental illness is indeed a metaphor—and Pies does not think it is—the person said to be mentally ill may still be ill in the literal sense.”

    Sure, but whatever illness that person would have would not be a “mental illness” seeing as “mental illness” is a metaphor, and thus, a figure of speech. Metaphoricity, Pies term, is falsity regardless of whether the equation is made or avoided. A metaphor is not, nor ever will be, a fact.

    His excuse for disputing that brain disease and “mentally illness” are mutually exclusive terms are a few doctors who are working at the hinterlands of either, such as psychiatrists who deal with geriatric cases, or, horror of horrors, pediatric psychiatrists, and doing so doesn’t make brain disease “mental illness”, nor such doctors as specialize in it essential medical personnel.

  • I certainly disagree about libertarianism. The problem with people who argue against libertarianism, and then argue for the liberation of psychiatric prisoners is that the two are intimately connected. Szasz was arguing for other peoples’ (mental patients’) liberty. Libertarian merely means placing a high value on liberty. Regarding those who would free psychiatric prisoners and aren’t libertarian, next question, since you don’t highly value liberty, who would you imprison? And further, since you don’t have a high regard for liberty, why should psychiatric prisoners be freed?

    I completely agree about the conclusion of the article. I would challenge any professional to prove his logic flawed and his epistemology lacking. The clinical reality is a certain pernicious form of unreality, the reality, so to speak, of a zoo. People are being imprisoned due to imputed, and unproven, danger to society. The medical grounds for this detainment is tenuous at best. This takes us back to the libertarian angle, realizing that that clinical reality is somebody’s rationale for depriving people of their liberty. Realistically, we’re so far removed from due process of law, at that point, it isn’t funny.

  • It is not, to my way of thinking, this pretense of medicine that one should be debating. When the drugs cause medical conditions, diseases themselves, in the form of Tardive Dyskinesia and metabolic syndrome, and these medical conditions are more debilitating than any condition the drug might have been designed to counter. Where are you? With psychiatry we’re not talking about terminal conditions as no “psychiatric disorder” ever directly killed anybody. This is not true of the drugs that have been developed to manage “mental disorders”. People maintained on these drugs are dying 15 to 25 years earlier than the rest of the population. This mortality rate has increased with the development of atypical neuroleptics as efforts to temper, or contain, Tardive Dyskinesia, and lower some of the more annoying effects of the drugs, have increased the incidence of a metabolic syndrome that has proven deadly. It’s not like we have a little technical glitch which will be resolved through more research and development. There is absolutely no guarantee that any future research and development will decrease or increase this mortality rate. Research and development, in the past, has only increased it. If these professionals are trying to say that “death” is the most effective “cure” for “schizophrenia” going, okay, but I myself kind of doubt that that is the best argument to be making. “Kill the disease and spare the patient”. Alright, I can see that, but the “disease” remains a hypothesis while the patient is flesh and blood.

  • I don’t doubt it, and I’m sure that much more epigenetic research is on the horizon.

    I just wanted to point out that much of this ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) testing is about trying to explain why you’ve got AAE (Adverse Adult Experience). That AAE might start as ACE, well, why wouldn’t it? If people are going to explain their present misfortunes by reference to their former misfortunes, what isn’t changing is their fortunes.

  • Science is not truth, science is a method for arriving at the truth. Science exists, not to prove, but to disprove. Scientists should be open minded when it comes to research, and it’s here that psychiatric research errs. Although they may wear lab-coats and peer through microscopes, bias, together with cherry picked study results, aren’t very conducive to scientific inquiry. You’re missing here studies to test hypotheses that the orthodoxy doesn’t approve. In other words, rather than scientific inquiry, what we’ve got are people with trick decks of cards and loaded dice.

    Philosophy is more speculative. Broader. Able to ask questions that are, as yet, beyond the scope of anything ascertainable by the scientific method. Ethics are a part of it, too. Philosophy, that is. Something you don’t get when scientific research is at the mercy of the highest bidder, and where theories that don’t have financial backing, are not investigated and explored.

  • By organizing, educating, setting our own agenda/s, and “by swaying the opinion of influential commentators”, or, at least, developing some of our own. Anything that DOESN’T represent ceasing to “kick back”! ‘Playing ‘possom’ is okay when it deceives your opponent, not so okay when there is no deception involved.

    Antipsychiatry suffered some tremendous losses from which it still hasn’t completely recovered, 1. when the first wave of the movement (theoreticians) died off in the 1980s and 1990s, and 2. when a significant portion of the psychiatric survivor movement sold out with the rise of the then government funded “alternatives” movement in 1985, creating what has been dubbed the “consumer/survivor/ex-patient” movement. We must, in a sense, (remake ourselves) refashion our movement following these developments, and by doing so, adapt to changing times. It’s not like psycho-pharmaceutical industrial complex, and it’s accomplices (the “mental illness” industry), are going to cease opposing antipsychiatry (due respect for civil liberties).

  • If he had been in a different world, yeah, sure.

    The syphilis theory, in Vincent’s case, I would seriously doubt, although it certainly killed many of his age. Shumann was given as the proto-typical example for “manic-depressive psychosis” in my psychology school textbook. I’ve also seen it suggested that Shumann had syphilis, and I kind of think that more of a valid possibility.

    Syphilis, as you must know, before it was determined to be venereal in origin, and therefore, organic, was thought a very common “mental illness” affecting a sizeable percentage of those confined to asylums during the 19th century.

  • Young adult is almost an oxymoron. Adult child is an oxymoron. Give them time, and they might amount to something yet.

    My view….It’s not a good idea to give psychiatric labels to young and impressionable people. Once they grow old and set in their ways, that’s a different matter altogether. Labeled youths tend to grow into labeled adults. Refrain from labeling them, and who knows how many people you might have just saved from a life in the “mental health” system. Of course, non-treatment doesn’t pay the bills, but you will get over it.

  • Wow. You’ve mastered that difficulty. Can I press my, “That was easy!”, button now. You fit the cookie cutter mold. Successfully “bipolar”. How about a diploma and a kooky hat? Better yet, a bottle of pills, and a treatment plan. Let’s see. We’ve got mood stabilizers, neuroleptics, and lithium. Any of those to your liking? As a graduation gift, Kay Redfield Jamison. I mean one of her books. If you start slipping into “normality”, there’s always “Bipolar Disorder For Dummies”. I think I was given a diagnostic label, too. Since then I’ve done a lot of unlearning, and benefited greatly from it, too. Beyond pathology? I don’t see how you could’ve mastered that. What is “bipolar disorder”? According to Google, “a mental disorder marked by alternating periods of elation and depression.” Good luck with your “bipolar” future. Rather than “slipping into” the DSM, I see more potential in “slipping” out of it, er, the intellectual version of escaping the asylum. The population of “bipolar folk” has grown significantly in the last few decades after Harvard shrink Joseph Biederman cleverly redesignated some instances of ADHD childhood “bipolar disorder” to the extent of even distancing that old stardard, “schizophrenia”. The signs are everywhere. Big bilboards in fact. How about a gold star, honey? You’ve earned it.

  • I’m against “consuming” “mental health” BS. As I’ve been trying to explain, Is there another way to put it? I did not direct any sort of ad hominem attack against any person in particular. Doing so would have been a personal attack as you put it. I would prefer to see the numbers of people receiving services for imaginary “diseases” diminishing rather than increasing. Of course, you must be well aware by now that the customary treatment for some of these imaginary diseases are known to cause real injury to the human anatomy. Oh, well, life goes on. Death and dying, too.

    You’ve got a lot of people here in the treatment business. Where would they be without it? You’re also visited by people in the career “consumer” business. Where would these numbers be without it? Certainly not higher than they are at present. Something to think about for sure.

    I think the real fight has to be directed against the “mental health” movement. It is not a “mental health” movement at all, it is a “mental health” treatment movement, and the first precondition for treatment is a “mental illness” label. Sell labels and sell treatments, and where do the numbers go. They go up.

    Two states, as well as having psychologists and psychiatrists installed in their school systems, observing and monitoring behavior, are making “mental health” a required subject. What do you think this will do for the numbers? Well, let me tell you, it is not going to send them down.

  • Thanks.

    I’m not trying to be difficult. I had a number of comments to this blog moderated, and I was trying to excuse it for awhile, but then it happened again, and I thought for no real reason. Perhaps if I squint at the guidelines long enough I can find it.

    Always love your comments, Rachel.

    Steve, if my comment above gets “moderated”. Remember what I wrote.