Sunday, August 25, 2019

Comments by Frank Blankenship

Showing 100 of 3393 comments. Show all.

  • Psychiatry, the mental health treatment system, is a diversion from addressing and resolving long standing social issues. Medicine deals with physical problems. By treating social problems as physical problems the mental health treatment system perpetuates itself, and such social problems as exist. Theory has it that things are the way they are because of slouchers, degenerates, and suchlike genetically defective people desperately in need of treatment facilities, and voila! Society has it’s two basic archetypes, with all shades between, popular successes and rejects.

  • Well, unfortunately, the authorities seem to be doing two things simultaneously now, talking about control of weapons (1), and because of this perceived need for scapegoats, depriving people in the mental health system of their second amendment rights as ‘citizens’ (2). I would prefer a peace loving society, but this need for scapegoats, victims of hate speech and smear campaigns is part of the equation, too, and a part with a long history.

    I’m not saying, as some might, that the second amendment insures our right to armed insurrection. When you take away people’s rights to weapons, if possible, as in put them on this FBI list, you remove them from the threat of armed insurrection as well. I just think any massacre on main street, so-to-speak, all daydreams of armed insurrection aside, becomes basically something we as a society have to do something about.

  • The problem is, OldHead, when you don’t go after guns who do you go after? The FBI has a list of people who have undergone psychiatric institutionalization whose second amendment rights they would deny. “Mental health” profiling is the NRA’s, and the system’s, answer to gun control. I wouldn’t call that, by any means, an even playing field. Remove military style weapons from circulation, and you don’t need, as is the present case of people with psychiatric histories, a scapegoat for gun violence.

  • Yes, but people are never able to wreak as much damage with knives as they can with automatic weapons. These rightists in a car in Charlottesville only managed to take out one women while this gunman in El Paso with a hatred of Latinos kills 22 people in a Wallmart. You can’t do that with a knife. Somebody is going to stop you. Automatic weapons are very effective killing machines. Knives, not so much.

  • Richard, I think ultimately it is going to come down to some kind of gun control, that is, outlawing the sale of automatic weapons and assault rifles because the availability of such weapons is making mass murder a trendy crime of opportunity and convenience. The NRA serves gun collectors, and people who seek guns that are almost only appropriate for military actions. the kind of weapons nobody needs on the street. You want safe streets, you are not going to get them so long as certain weapons are in circulation. Get them out of circulation, and then people, people desperate for a body count, and rows of corpses in body bags, aren’t targeting department stores and malls, places where masses of people congregate.

  • I was impatient before I was a patient/prisoner, and I’m still impatient, impatient for change. When you say We’ve Been Too Patient, well, I’m not there. I was so impatient I bucked the patient part. So much for the “mental health” bubble with it’s incremental *cough, cough* change.

    What is “peer work” except a weird word for more and more medicalization. Cut to the “cure” (i.e. reality) , and we’re ‘over it’. I am anyway.

  • Well, your logic does seem faulty, as far as I’m concerned, when it comes to quelling the violence that threatens so many innocent people. “Corporate totalitarianism on steroids”, my view, didn’t kill 22 people in El Paso for starters. “Corporate totalitarianism” is behind these violent episodes? I don’t think so.

  • Truth is, given escalating and threatening violence, people feel compelled to protect themselves and their families. To do nothing is to put both, regardless of whether high powered guns or nut cases be blamed, at risk.

    People want less violence, as a general rule, not more. Not even attempting a solution means the violence continues to increase. I suggest that this very practical concern underlies some folks reasoning on the subject.

    Requiring the overthrow of capitalism for the achievement of a modicum of peace, I’d call that a ‘pipe dream’ if ever there was one. Suddenly, the opium of the intelligentsia (political ideology) has replaced the opium of the masses (religious doctrine) as our primary motivation.

  • “Client’s antipsychiatry?” I suggest a little duplicity involved so long as your “client” is still buying “therapy”, and “therapy” from a person afflicted with “professional” therapist disorder who is selling it. Boycott therapy, and you also boycott hypocrisy.

  • Your solution, OldHead, is a bevy of lawyers? Interesting.

    A few years back a patient gunned down a psychiatrist in a northern Virginia parking lot, but, generally, the violence we’re talking about is not a matter of “mental illness”, and not directed at “mental health personnel”. Of course, on the wards the situation is a little different.

    Were the MH authorities to catch the person who was slaughtering hispanics in a Texas Wallmart before he took action, don’t you know they would have loved to have done so. As we’ve continually pointed out, they’re not any better at that sort of thing (predicting the future) than your average Joe.

  • Guns didn’t exist forever (and you’re simplifying a much more complex argument). Were we dealing with hunting weapons, no problem, you can keep them. Nobody is going to clean a mall of customers with a shotgun. We’re talking about military-style weapons, killing machines, and weapons that when crime is equivalent to opportunity can wreak a lot of destruction. Bows, arrows, Bowie knives, slingshots, they haven’t created the problem we’ve got with automatic weapons and recent massacres.

    I’m not saying the use of certain drugs might not be a contributing factor in the escalating crimes of hate we’re seeing. I am saying that to see them as the predominate factor, or the only factor, is to blindside yourself.

    Violence is a far cry from peace, love, and happiness, and most of us had rather see more peace, love, and happiness than WallMart, etc., massacres, but if we don’t do something about the real cause of these acts of violence, by which I mean the availability of weapons of, relatively speaking, mass destruction, of course, they are only going to escalate.

  • People control, and here we’re talking about loony control, is the alternative. Hunt for witches, or deal with the prevalence of weapons that cause a great deal of destruction of human lives. Excuse me, OldHead. I just want to see fewer horrific incidents of carnage involving the use of weapons that probably shouldn’t be on the public market anyway. Do nothing about the problem, and, of course, the problem is not going away.

  • Hate speech is a myth? What neo-NAZI organization are you working for Slaying the Dragon?

    Of course, hate speech is not a myth. People hate jews, blacks, queers, nutters, etc., and they say so. Hate speech isn’t quite at the level of hate crime, but one could easily say it is getting there.

  • I think most people understand that the whole “mental health” field is something of a “witch hunt”, however such an awareness is not going to prevent people from hunting for witches. I think, OldHead, gun control makes a lot more sense than what we’ve got, mental patient control. Hate speech and scapegoating? It’s the guns, dummy! Get rid of those. If some kind of gun control isn’t enacted, the present debacle is only going to become more severe. Mass violence is the issue, not “mental health”.

  • Donald Trump is employing the same rhetoric employed by the NRA. It’s not guns, it’s crazies. ” That means there are 46 million adults that are said to be “mentally ill” in the United States.” 46 million adults. You don”t think somebody is over stepping their bounds a little do you? They sure are. Great article, and I agree wholeheartedly.
    Donald Trump and E. Fuller Torrey are scapegoating and employing hate speech against people in the “mental health” system.

  • The DEA seldom arrests doctors before the mortality rate becomes drastic, that is to say, better more arrests than fewer. I wouldn’t use “pain management” as a cover, in that regard, it has got its shortcoming

    Neuroleptics were a folly to begin with, but if the authorities can peddle them as “pain relief”, they probably will This is why education is so important in countering disinformation. Just because some people are fools, that’s even more reason for the rest of us not to compliantly follow.

  • I disagree, Pacific Dawn. Etymologically speaking the term mad predates medical model terminology which is why NAMI sorts get so out of shape over calling people mad rather than “mentally ill”.

    Lightheartedness, too, can underline the difference between serious and frivolous “mental illness”. Frivolous “mental illness” is not so likely to be deadly, nor intractable, although the other sort, or at least treatment for it, can be a real killer. Of course, the term itself is a misnomer, but it still designates something that gets under somebodies craw.

    Neurodiversity is just more neurobabble, and should be covered under civil liberties. All nonsense aside, you should have a right to be who you chose to be. Cognitive freedom, if that’s the way it is put it, sure. How you choose to be includes how you are.

  • Two doctors in JAMA write that “methadone maintenance”, the standard treatment for heroin addiction, should be the future treatment for people on physician prescribed opioids. Really!? Talk about an iatrogenic mess. First you’ve got doctors pushing the kind of drugs that garnered street pushers heavy sentences. Next, you’ve got the same answer applied for the patients put on opioids that you had for junkies hooked on heroin. Is there no law in this country? Drugs are not medicines, and one drug is not the answer to another drug. Somebody should be busting these guys! Any solution, such as “tapering strips”, and a more total solution at that, would be an improvement.

  • Why am I not a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, mental health system worker, mental patient (mental health consumer/user *cough cough*), welfare state bureaucrat, or drug company salesperson, etc? They’re all, from the doctor who thinks he’s saving the world to the lowly goon on the wards, gangsters in cahoots. You don’t get them out of business by complaining about them. Junkies of all sorts do that. You get them out of business by ceasing to put money in their pockets, by ceasing to pay for their services. You’ve got 20 % + of the population drugged and labeled, and a sizeable amount of the rest of the population doing the drug, label, and servicing. Alright that covers maybe 25 to 30% of the entire population. You want to convince them to do something else? You might try leading by example. Take me, for instance, I’m already doing something else.

  • Psychiatry doesn’t enforce laws. Psychiatry aids law enforcement in enforcing laws that are already on the books. In some places the opinion of two psychiatrists is required to civilly commit a person, but this requirement is a matter of law, not medical procedure. I have a problem with how the issues are being framed here. Civil commitment is the real problem. I think all the rest of the legal squabbles in the “mental health” field revolve around this locking up of innocent people. You have a “right to treatment” but no right to decline or refuse treatment. It seems to me that most of the would-be protective laws derive from the fact of locking people up in the first place. Stop locking people up, and the necessity for having such protections disintegrates. Since when were your captives ever guaranteed “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”? Uh, oh, yeah. I guess since about 1776 or thereabouts. I wonder whatever could have gone so horribly wrong.

  • OldHead, we have mental health law on top of criminal law so that the mental health authorities can do things to people with diagnostic labels that they’d get arrested for doing to people without diagnostic labels (i.e. abduction, false imprisonment, assault, drugging, etc.) Without mental health law they wouldn’t be able to do so. Not legally anyway. Many laws, including mental health law, work in opposition to the protections provided by the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution. I’m calling, in this instance, such unconstitutional law, illegal law, because technically, it is illegal. If mental patients, on the other hand, are second or third class, say, non-citizens, or non-human beings, no problem, huh? Like chattel slaves, or caged critters, the law doesn’t cover them, and it wasn’t meant to do so.

  • The point I would be making here, OldHead, is that psychiatry is as much a branch of pseudo-law-enforcement as it is pseudo-medicine, and I don’t think our position is improved by pitching the pseudo-law end of it. “Actually”, its neither, but if you want to look at psychiatry as a branch of law enforcement, its law enforcement, if you want to look at it as a branch of medicine, its medicine. Of course, there should be quotation marks around both “law enforcement” and “medicine”. Deadly medicine or illegal law, your pick.

  • Mental health law represents a loophole in rule of law, a way around the law, for dealing with people bearing psychiatric labels, their special scapegoats. You can only close the loophole by getting rid of mental health law. Mental health law allows the mental health authorities to treat their captives, “patients”, the way it would be illegal to treat anybody else. Illegal, that is, if it weren’t for mental health law.

    Better humor a hypochondriac by providing phony treatment for phony illness than imprison a person who has a committed no crime, a person who is innocent in every sense of the word, and claim that your imprisonment, and the torture that goes along with it, seeking a confession of “mental illness”, is some kind of medical treatment.

  • There is no mention among the above steps of the need to develop an underground railroad to aid people in escaping forced drugging. We are down to 3 states without forced outpatient drugging laws. A present danger is that IOC, if all states succumb to its seductions, might be legislatively mandated across the nation. This makes it essential that some people possess the necessary bravery and fortitude to defy the authorities, and risk imprisonment by sheltering people threatened with state drugging. As it was for people escaping slavery in the 19th century, so it is for people escaping forced drugging in the 21st century.

  • Good point about the name changing, OH. “Mental distress” (have PTSD, are “chemically imbalanced”, etc.) is nearly as bad as “mentally ill”, only the use of the expression can’t really decide whether we are dealing with a confusion or a pathology. As such it serves as just another lame excuse for intervention. The idea is that there is something fundamentally wrong with some people when there could be something fundamentally right about those same people. Criminals enter the house of corrections for breaking the law. Do we really need a parallel “house of corrections” for people who are deemed “wrong” although they have nonetheless “broken no laws”? That’s what we’ve got with the mental hospital system.

  • I think a point is really being missed in your arrangement of steps to follow. People are NOT placed on IOT because of a worry about the “chronicity” of any “sickness”. People ARE placed on IOT because of a perceived threat of violence to the general public, that is, this worry is over the little matter of guilt and innocence rather than sickness and wellness. People are drugged not due to their supposed sickness but because of events like Columbine, Virginia Tech, etc. This being the case, the best argument is the argument provided by the facts, statistics. In drugging this population of people, you are drugging a population that is more likely to have violence done to it than to do violence. That is not a good argument for drugging people as a violence prevention measure. Next question, if you restored any of these drugged people to “normality”, er, “health”, are they going to be more, or less, prone to commit acts of violence against other people afterwards? The facts simply don’t support drugging people as a violence prevention measure as that is going to mean you are going to drug many people who are not violent in any way, shape, or form just to keep a minuscule fraction of that population in line.

  • Mental health advocacy groups (MHA, NAMI), the criminal justice system, pharmaceutical companies, biomedical psychiatry, allied professions, the state welfare bureaucracy, the mass media, and the pharmaceutical industry…it’s not like any one of them is not guilty of pushing “mental” and civil order through the use, or abuse rather, of harmful chemical substances, namely neurotoxins. Ronald Pies has made it his task to defend his profession from allegations of doing that of which it is most certainly guilty but all them must share some part of the blame. The line between disinformation and information is crossed pretty regularly when profit is to be made by doing so.

  • Ronald Pies is putting himself forward as a defender of psychiatry from what he would see as false accusations. I guess you could sort of conceive of him as a defense attorney for a psychiatry profession on trial and perhaps in crisis. One potential false claim is that psychiatry has promoted the “chemical imbalance theory”. Oh, excuse me! The “chemical imbalance hypothesis”. The second has to do with the profession of psychiatry “intentionally and deliberately” lying about the matter of promoting the “chemical imbalance” whatever. Okay. The promoters of the “chemical imbalance” whatever, except for a brief aside about pharmaceutical companies, remain in this article unmentioned. So Ronald Pies says, on the one hand, psychiatry has not been behind, nor promoting, any “chemical imbalance theory”, and, on the other, that “antipsychiatry bloggers” are, in part, responsible for these false allegations being made against psychiatry. The question then becomes, who, if not psychiatry, has been promoting this notion of a “chemical imbalance”. We’ve got the defense attorney speaking, and here he is trying, of course, to raise a “reasonable doubt” when it comes to the culpability of his client, his profession. Question is, if psychiatry is not one of the guilty parties, who are the guilty parties? My view is that these “antipsychiatry bloggers” Pies mentions are certainly not guilty of promoting any “chemical imbalance theory”. Who then has been guilty of promoting such a position? It doesn’t really pass my smell test. We know that these psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry are often, for profit, position, or status, in cahoots. It isn’t psychiatry alone, nor the pharmaceutical industry alone, that has been behind this promotion, but they are there. I don’t think it is the best defense one could raise. I guess that means somebody must be perjuring themselves, and, therefore, one of these myths is not as much of a myth as the other. I know Pies would like to blame both of these “myths” on antipsychiatry, if that is the usual suspect, but I’d also have to say that that is something of a laugh. If psychiatry really were on trial, he’s going to need a much better argument than that to win his case. Antipsychiatry invented the “chemical imbalance theory”, and then laid it on psychiatry, claiming that psychiatrists had endorsed this notion when they had not done so. Clearly somebody is lying. Do you really think they are going to be able to bust antipsychiatry over this one? Antipsychiatry is guilty of diagnosing and treating “chemical imbalances”? Since when? Somebody is lying, sure. Somebody is guilty, sure. I don’t, however, think that the guilty party is antipsychiatry, nor do I think that psychiatry has been exonerated of having committed any wrong doing.

  • Neuro-babble is the term I use for the trendiness of neuro-speak in academia about practically everything these days, and I think the term ‘cognitive freedom’ actually grows out of this neuro-babble, that is to say, it has grown out of a deterministic biological reductivism manifested by mainstream psychiatry. Get rid of the bias, and you won’t have people complaining about bad brains so much anymore. Isn’t that the issue really? The claim that some people shouldn’t have a voice on account of the thoughts generated by their bad brains.

  • Psych drugs are pollutants, and they work against the healing processes of nature. I object to the term “mental health”, but I agree that the way to health is through going Green because toxic environments kill. Generate a health conscious public, and their “mental health” will take care of itself. Of course, this move requires a shift in thinking away from the gluttony of capitalism, and the negatives of a plutocratic oligarchy. Do something about global warming, and a lot of traditional businesses may suffer, but health is going to improve overall.

  • Not unless they are part of human experiments, experiments that show that neuroleptics eat their brains.

    Doctors love patients who sell their products. I got a terrible case of akathisia on the Thorazine I received the first time I was “hospitalized”. That was enough. The effects were not such as would encourage artistry, but I’m glad you found some way to produce regardless. I’ve been on Zyprexa, too, and I know the effects can be more bearable, but this in itself I find deceptively dangerous. I would think Abilify is more of the same, that is, potentially bad for your overall physical (i.e. real) health in one way or another. I just have a problem seeing people who should be relatively healthy moving about on walkers or in wheelchairs. I just feel, all told, you have to watch out for the reefs.

  • Yay, Lauren Tenney! You’ve produced a great and informative article that should serve people well in their struggles against coercive treatment practices in the state of New York. I imagine most other states to be in the same boat so-to-speak, Kendra’s Law serving as the model for forced treatment in the USA, and so this kind thing might serve as a model elsewhere for fighting force and deprivation of civil liberties across the continent. Thank you for uncovering the facts, and exposing the system as oppressive, biased, and wrong.

  • Let me make an understatement. Many more statements such as the one made by the commissioner are long overdue. I hope this means that popular support for coercive maltreatments based on lop-sided power arrangements, and other acceptable forms of violence, torture, and thievery, is rapidly fading.

  • A multitude of classical farces if you ask me.

    It is my view that the “sickest” people around, and thus the most in need of “services”, are those doing the “treatments”. The problem is the business end of “mental health treatment”, and the solution (or cure) is not engaging in it.

    I have to congratulate the author on her escape from one trap, however, we could do the same thing on a more massive scale simply by restaging the circumstances differently of a percentage of the lives of the population. The wrong people, all too often, seem to be in power (I wonder how that happened?), and, at the same time, the wrong people seem to be relieved of power (Ditto!).

  • Any education that doesn’t take a careful look at the potential harm of these drugs is miseducation based on misinformation. One of my great fears, in treatment, way up there with non-consensual ECT, was the possibility of being put on a long acting injectable. I’ve seen what I would consider bad outcomes that resulted from the use of long acting drugs. My feeling is that doctors really don’t need long acting medications, and that they shouldn’t be used at all.

    Logically, withdrawal effects are going to be much more severe from long acting injectables than from your standard dose pill. This is something that doctors need to consider, and it is something that your “Guide” doesn’t even acknowledge, withdrawal being conflated with a bad outcome.

    The newer drugs are more deadly than the older drugs. We know this. That is the big point in the argument between the use of the newer drugs and the older ones. That Haldol is the drug used in testing their efficiency is not a great argument for the use of Haldol in any dose.

  • I believe, given the above facts, in retrogressing into progress. The old ‘trade in lunacy’ has been updated to such an extent that it is difficult for people to get their bearings. Ignore the business end of “the helping” cough, cough “professions” at your own risk. Generally, it is the professional who is “helped” most by this business, and the client who is “stiffed”, or, to put it another way, robbed blind. There is this attitude, we can’t really go after this profession critically because it would mean throwing so many people out of work. Okay. Actually, we’d all be better off with them in another profession, maybe even a profession that made sense.

  • It’s difficult not to comply with forced treatment. Attempting to do so can sometimes lead to harsher treatment than one would have received had one simply went along for the short term.

    I’m afraid that if one took an attitude of total non-compliance towards state imposed forced treatment the result, in most cases, would be an early grave.

    I myself advocate non-compliance with treatment plans, but outside of the institution. Inside you play the game until discharge. Not playing the game will keep you from being released, and increase the level of adversity faced. There are exceptions to this rule though, such as having a good legal team behind you, and a test case to win in the courts.

    As for pledges to non-violence…Gee, wouldn’t it be great if we could get them from the staff and workers in state institutions? Regarding their doing so. I’m not holding my breath.

  • Very good point. Most of the research is done to get drugs approved for market, unless it is research into “mental illness”, usually based on the premise of something biologically amiss. You know, the excuse to drug. What if the drugs are damaging, and the premise is fallacious? Isn’t that where we’re at? Actually we know the drugs are damaging, and the premise is only part of the story. There is a moral element to the “mental illness”/”mental health” equation. People are drugged, in large measure, not because they’re exhibiting “signs” of “sickness” (i.e. symptoms), but because they are thought to be misbehaving. (Or, as Dr. Thomas Szasz used to put it, because somebody else finds their behavior annoying.)

  • How so? I think it makes perfect sense grammatically. If a person credits something with an existence for which there is no evidence, they are crediting it with that existence. If a person disavows something, they are saying that something has no credible existence anyway. If it has no credible existence, no need for a disclaimer.

    One problem with psychiatric labels is that such labels have served as an excuse to treat people with drugs and electrical shocks, drugs and electrical shocks that have resulted in much iatrogenic (physician caused) damage, up to and including death. The surgeon general has a warning printed on every cigarette package about the dangers of smoking. Wouldn’t it be wiser, in the case of psychiatric labels, to offer such a warning about the unhealthy treatments that all too often commence with just such labels. This, in effect, is what a disclaimer would be doing, affirming the dubious nature of the labeling that has served as a springboard for so much physical injury.

  • I heard a person refer to neuroleptics as psychotic drugs once, and I think that was entirely appropriate as the drugs seem to impede a person’s capacity to fully “recover” from their, let’s say, out of this world experiences. Why does anybody call them “antipsychotic drugs” then? Obviously, the better to sell you toxic substances with, my dear. Psychiatric drugs are an oil field, a gold mine, or a winning lottery ticket, that is, moolah, much moolah, in the bank.

  • Lost Cause mythology, when it came to the reasons why the Old South didn’t win the war between the states, had something to do with the same excuse, that is, lack of resources. I feel that if one is going to start anywhere, usually that anywhere is with oneself. Letting others do it all, isn’t that usually an outcome of pathos? Expecting everything from another is magical thinking while expecting everything to come from oneself is simple realism. I’m not saying there isn’t a world out there, I’m only saying that it is necessary to separate the necessities from the luxuries when dealing with it. Your resource salespeople would, economically speaking, consider themselves more necessary than they actually are as a rule.

  • I feel as if there should be an MIA disclaimer at the head of any article crediting psychiatric diagnosis with any valid basis in science. It’s just not there.

    Bogus diseases make for bogus treatments, but treatments with real consequences. Treatments that would pretend to be helpful but that are actually harmful. We’ve got other words for these bogus diseases and their equally bogus treatments: fiction and fraud.

    Competition among the various label and drug sellers is how the “mental health” system expands, even when the label and drug seller claims to be “critical”. Telling the truth, in this instance, would require some kind of disclaimer, these views are not held by board members of MIA, etc.

    I’ve got a book on quackery that includes a few psychiatric treatments starting with bloodletting, blistering, emetics, laxatives, purges of all sorts, spinning chairs, and including later developments such as psycho-surgery and insulin shock therapy. Look closer, and I think you’d have admit drug therapy, talk therapy, and ECT, or just about anything pertaining to the field of “mental health” today.

  • When “we” are a ‘business’, sometimes the answer is to ‘get out of the business’ so to speak. When your “we” are an expanding category of so-called “sick” people, even abused and oppressed people, maybe some doctor would be better off in another field of study rather than that of “us”. Perhaps, and that statement is also true when applied to many of “us” as well.

  • I see competing approaches at work here, the only problem is that the more the “highly critical” approach competes with the conventional approach, the more entrenched the conventional approach actually becomes. You’ve just got two schools of thought competing for business, and business, the business of labeling and drugging people, is the problem. The farther away you get from them, the more the two schools of thought resemble each other. I don’t think sob stories really explain anything as sob stories are less a matter of selling stories, and more a matter of horrors that we’d want to see diminished. You don’t, I want to emphasize, diminish such horror stories by making a business, and therefore careers, out of them. You diminish such horror stories by attacking any such business, and the horrors that come with it, itself. This means acknowledging that a shrinking “mental health” system, “trauma informed” or otherwise, would be progress over a perpetually expanding system. I’d challenge the system, in a sense, to…Oh, how do you say? Oh, yeah. “Wither away”.

  • First, I’m really leery about providing more money for the government to get into our nation’s schools through “mental health” programs. Second, I don’t see how doing so is not going to lead to more labeling and drugging of school children. “Trauma” may provide an excuse for more labeling and drugging, but getting people out of the “trauma informed” system then becomes a little more problematic and difficult. A bigger system means an expanded system, both on the part of “the traumatized” “patient/consumers”, and the “treating” staff. My sense is that this bill, if passed, is likely to lead to more rather than less medicalization of school children, and that is something that I could not, in all honesty, support. Generally, I just see this as another liberal policy maneuver to fix matters by spend, spend, spending, and I think those spending efforts, rather than correcting anything, are likely to result in more and more of the same. This is especially true when this is a matter of putting the “mental health” system in our nation’s schools, just as it would be if they were doing the same at places of business.

  • The thing about Thomas Paine, and the thing that separated him from so many of his contemporaries, that was so admirable was his, comparatively speaking, incorruptibility. He went to prison for his beliefs, and he almost lost his head for opposing the french terror. I have to agree with you that he would probably have found himself in disagreement with psychiatry as it has developed today, basically, because that would-be science itself is so prone to succumb to the temptations of corruption. The lie plays out very well within psychiatry whereas the truth tends to fare much more poorly. I don’t see Paine as one who would excuse a great deal of falsehood, and in psychiatry, the excuse is very big indeed. I always admired Thomas Paine as one of our founding fathers. I find it amusing that Alexander Hamilton, big in the creation of the American banking system, has become a hit musical, and a box office success. Hamilton, of course, is one of my least favorite among the founding fathers. I don’t see anyone, fortunately, trying to transform the life of Thomas Paine into shim shim she-ree, or, basically, dinner theater, an aid to the digestive tract.

  • Step right up! We’ve got a pill for whatever dis-eases you. We can thank our lucky stars the vice squad hasn’t caught up with us yet. Snake oil…”You must mean fish oil.”…has gone big time. Step right up! Got a problem with the neighbors? Try some of this, and you will be saying, “What neighbors?” Step right up, or our goons over there, the ones in the whites suits (They must be good guys, huh?), will mug you, and give you a dose by hypodermic needle. Nobody is exempted. If he or she isn’t on anything, we’ve got a drug for him or her, too. Step right up! The elixir of the Gods is just gleaming for another contented customer. Step right up!

  • Just look at what happens to this case with the threat of expert testimony from Dr. Peter Breggin. There, in a nutshell, you have the problem with so many court proceedings when there is nobody to come to the defense of the accused. Were somebody to step in, the case might collapse, as did the case described above. We need more people taking sides, and in particular, taking the side of the “patient” threatened with unwanted, forced, and harmful treatments. One exception can make a world of difference. Thank you, Dr. Breggin, for all you have done, and are doing, to save people from harmful treatment practices.

    As for the electricity applied to school children, I can only imagine it will make their school performance suffer, and that certainly wouldn’t be a positive outcome. Of course, if their school work does suffer, they will be failing obediently, and that, I imagine, is the real reasoning behind this damaging procedure. We need to stop, once again, and let children be children, even if they are extraordinarily bright and inquisitive children.

  • Systemic violence, systemic state sanctioned violence, I’m glad to see the issue brought into the light of day. Racist and classist the system is, but it is cloaked in the language of biology, a language that becomes racist and classist when applied to certain socio-economic groupings of human beings. Obviously, in some situations, your “helpers” are not actually being so “helpful” at all, or, rather, they are, like buzzards, “helping” themselves instead.

  • Where would “mental illness” be without all the people who profit from it? I think that’s a primary concern. We’re dealing, not with a business, but with multiple businesses, all in cahoots. “Health” is almost a peripheral issue. What the matter is all about is keeping all these people who “serve” the people perceived as “needy” or “suffering” in bread and butter. Prevention efforts are corrupted by all the people who profit from “ill” health. Given the sort of treatments people receive, extended artificial disability leads directly to permanent physical disability, and permanent disability keeps some of these people going. I don’t see the money doing a lot of good unless it is directed towards getting people out of the system (i.e. what they used to call “mentally healthy”). There is absolutely no way to decrease “patient” numbers without downsizing, and that means getting rid of a lot of the people towards the upper end of the pyramid, that is, getting rid of some of the people who profit the most from this sort of thing.

  • Not all libertarians are Republicans. Over and over and over again.

    “Traditionally, libertarianism was a term for a form of left-wing politics. Such left-libertarian ideologies seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production, or else to restrict their purview or effects, in favor of common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property as a barrier to freedom and liberty.”

    Szasz saw himself as a classical liberal, a term that has been associated with libertarian in the USA, in some quarters, since the mid 1950s, but libertarian itself goes back much further, and includes much more.

  • Are there any true religions? I don’t think there are any true religions, making them all false. Are there any true Gods? Let’s see…Nope, only the ones bearing an official stamp of approval, that is, the ones supporting the authority of the state, therapeutic *cough, cough*, or otherwise *cough, cough*.

  • I’d like to see a tribute to Thomas Szasz because I think if anyone deserves it, he does. I know that, posthumously, “tough love” must mean something else. I think Szasz can easily withstand the criticism. When, after all, was Szasz not the target of “criticism” from those who were merely following the herd? I think there is still this herd-like mentality among those who try to tarnish his image. To oppose the person who dedicated much of his life to opposing involuntary hospitalization is like an endorsement of involuntary hospitalization. As a person who has been deprived of his civil liberties, at one time or another, by the “mental health” system, count me in the Thomas Szasz camp, please. I can brook no equivocation in the matter. Szasz did what so many others merely pretended to do. He supported us in our desire for liberty, and in protection of our rights to that liberty. I don’t see how this Szasz bashing, on any scale, can amount to anything but more excuses for abuses.

  • I don’t see a problem in libertarianism except where it embraces laissez faire economic policies. There is left wing libertarianism, too, and that is libertarianism that isn’t capitalistic. The opposite of libertarianism I imagine would have to be called something like slavertarianism, and I don’t think, under any circumstances, slavertarian is likely to be any sort of improvement over libertarian.

  • Laing and Foucault, especially Laing, got posthumously skewered in Antipsychiatry: Quackery Squared, by Szasz, and here, with Thomas Szasz: an appraisal of his legacy, or reappraisal actually, something similar is going on. All these acquaintances and associates of Szasz, from envy or who knows what messed up motive, are coming out of the woodwork to take their parting shots at him, and posthumously, as if they could kill him twice. Despite the title of the article, “tough love”, a-knocking at Szasz for not just being another forgettable face on a book-jacket. and wishing to see him doing, say, time for his misdeeds, the Szasz I remember is the indefatigable opponent of forced hospitalization, and for that, I would say that a tribute, perhaps a permanent monument or a memorial, is more the order of the day instead. Szasz, as a general rule, was so much better than his detractors, and, funny thing, he still is.

  • Gratefully, I don’t care how much I may be harming myself by not agreeing with E. Fuller Torrey about anything. I mean…come on. We know there are all these would-be progressive “mental health” professionals out there who would take away the freedoms they protect with one hand with the other hand. Professionals who oppose forced treatment on one side of their mouth, only to embrace it on the other. Thomas Szasz took a much stronger position on force, and even if it meant working with some people who some people find distasteful, or some people are prejudiced against, I’d have to agree with Szasz on this one. Doing nothing, in other words, is merely a way of ‘aiding and abetting’ the enemy, and here, by enemy, I mean the enemy of freedom.

  • And/or protest human rights abuses and freedoms denied, boycott mental health services, shut down big state facilities, build the underground railroad, etc. Plus, celebrate diversity. You don’t have to start another “alternative” when you’ve eliminated the need for them.

  • What is spin?!

    It is heartbreaking to me that 600,000 of our most severely ill patients are either in jail or homeless and that we have done so little to advocate for the community mental health centers and affordable housing that would have freed them from confinement and ended the shameless neglect.

    Uh, I’ve got it. *Waving hand*

    Seeing “mental illness” as the primary cause of homelessness and jail-time?

    Personally, I don’t think psychiatry “among the noblest of professions”, and I wish we were better organized to bring that particular form of criminal activities to an end.

  • Groomed for success versus mussed for failure? This train ain’t goin’ nowhere! Adverse Childhood Experiences ACEs leading to Adverse Adulthood Experiences AAEs? I tend to see both developments as a dimension of farce, that is, change the play, and you will get a different result. Stage a tragedy, in the life-game, and the results are going to be tragic. What is that statement attributed, falsely, I believe, to Albert Einstein? Oh, yeah. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If adverse experiences are leading to more adverse experiences, maybe something is missing. Maybe something like pleasant experiences.

  • You could end a great deal of “the need for future services” by putting a stop to forced treatment. This reduction that Open Dialogue approaches might bring can only be relative so long as much “treatment” is non-voluntary anyway, non-voluntary being unwanted. There’s an easy way to reduce “the need for future services” when those services are involuntary, abolish, that is, outlaw, involuntary hospitalization. By involuntary hospitalization I mean hospitalization that can only be hospitalization in a figurative sense seeing as it is literal imprisonment.

  • Szasz has used the treatment Clancy Segal received at the hands of Laing & Co. as part of his argument. Clancy Segal, however, had seemed to reconcile with Laing, at least, in Laing’s case, posthumously. All three are deceased now. Laing, as you might know, successfully fought publication of Segal’s Zone of the Interior (1976) in the UK for a time. Zone of the Interior I think well worth the read in that it gives a pretty accurate, I would imagine, insider account of what was going on at Villa 21 and Kingsley Hall. There’s a final meeting between Laing and Segal at one point, after the incident that Szasz recounts, before they go their separate ways. Had Laing been a more conventional shrink, he might have had Segal “sectioned” in today’s parlance, but, no, he let him walk away, relatively anyway, unscathed.

  • Generally, Thomas Szasz campaigned for the abolition of forced psychiatry, and not, being a psychiatrist himself, the abolition of psychiatry. Coercive treatment is anathema to the whole concept of liberty. Right now you have rule of law and the mental health loophole. The mental health loophole constitutes a threat to the freedom of law abiding citizens. Close the loophole, and we’re back to rule of law.

  • You gamble, and maybe you lose some, however, I would imagine this kind of thing might ensure compliance to court ordered drug taking rituals if the “mental health court” authorities ever got wind of it. The price though is intimidating, but you know technology, maybe they can bring it down in time. All they have to do is keep going back to the drawing board and, sooner or later, eureka, it looks like we’ve struck Zyprexa again.

  • Those 3 points of divergence might give some indication about how far or how close your Critical Shrink is to your conventionally Bio-Medical Shrink. The only one I feel strongly about is bullet number two. Should the Mental Health Act be abolished? This point of divergence, I would have to answer in the affirmative.

    I think this leads to a similar question for people in the Antipsychiatry Movement. What points of divergence might they entertain? Some say that psychiatry should be abolished. Others are more intent on ending human rights violations and focus on ending force–the thing that was excused by enacting the Mental Health Act. I don’t think we have any dispute about “mental illness” being a myth, and de-licensing trained medical doctors does not in itself end involuntary harmful violence being inflicted on innocent people in the name of “mental health”.

  • If cessation of distress through early death be accounted a benefit.

    I think the only reason neuro-toxins, and specifically neuroleptics, get prescribed for non-psychotic conditions is the profit motive. If they can market their drug for something else they make more money. It’s the same thing that puts opioids back on the licit drug market. You’d think after ‘opium dens’ that they’d have learned a thing or two. Okay. Not so when you can make a buck or two, multiplied by the billions, and thus enter the same game the mob is so adept at exploiting, drug pushing

  • I don’t think the words are the same. Mad people are irrational. Mentally ill people are sick or unwell. The evolution of an idea went like this: first there was mad, and people thought they had to do something about them, and that something included segregating them from society at large (i.e. locking them up). Thinking that the mad would receive less harsh treatment if they were thought of as “sick”, they came up with this idea of “mental illness”. The word has now sort of gone full circle whereby physical treatments, the result of seeing “illness” as the culprit, has resulted in treatments that are maiming and killing people on a large scale. Also, these treatments have less than spectacular outcomes as a rule. Homo sapiens, the word for our species, in Latin means “wise man”. Unfortunately, I don’t think wisdom really characterizes the species. Humans, in case you haven’t noticed, are very gullible. They possess intelligence, maybe, they are knowledgeable, perhaps, but one thing they are not, as a rule of thumb, is wise.

  • “Schizophrenia” these days is practically, or literally, if you prefer, “bad outcome” by definition. I wouldn’t suppose you could effectively “cure” a “bad outcome* without believing in a “good outcome”. The necessity of “bad outcomes”, to my way of thinking, is like the necessity of “wagon trains”, that is, they are only necessary to psychiatrists and other “mental health” workers. “Bad outcomes” are not so necessary for the rest of us.

    Thomas Szasz had very strong and negative feelings about R. D. Laing and his methods. I myself have more negative feelings about the methods of the likes of E. Fuller Torrey, Jeffrey Lieberman, Joseph Biederman, Thomas Insell, and Allen Frances. I think, in contrast, as a founding member of the Philadelphia Project, and as a mentor of Loren Mosher with his Soteria Project, Laing had a few salvageable qualities. When it comes to involuntary institutionalization, I’d much preferred to have dwelt in an unstructured residence of the sort Laing was offering instead.

    I do though think things have been getting worse over the years, with even the more maverick professionals coming to resemble their bio-psychiatric would-be adversaries. Psychiatry itself is practically medicalization by definition. De-medicalization requires cognizance of the fact. Cognizance, and then action to decrease the numbers of people detained under false premises by “mental health” authorities, as well as the numbers of people they’ve, through brainwashing, converted to the “mental illness” religion.

    I know “mental patients” now in training to be “licensed social workers”. I would consider myself a failure were I employed as a “social worker”, or as any other sort of “mental health” worker. I guess you could say there are limits to my sense of pathos. Treatment is a business, completely at home with that other big player on the block and in the market, big pHarma. Alternative therapists and critical psychiatrists are part of the same business, with the same result. Patient numbers grow. It’s much easier to hire ex-patient professionals when you’ve got so many “patients” you don’t know what to do. I suggest that it would be easier to decrease the patient load if these professionals, and ex-patients, were doing something else altogether.

  • Boycott mental health services, en mass, and if successful, you’ve checked off objectives one through four. Like vegetable products, I think the way to go was illustrated by Cesar Chavez and his farm-workers, a general boycott. Strike, too, if mental health workers are amenable. Were mental health services much less popular than they are now there would be way fewer buyers. Disaffected, damaged and angry ex-patients are the way their pool of buyers is going to shrink. Sappy customers just support business as usual.

  • E. Fuller Torrey wrote a book on his abolitionist ancestor, Charles Torrey, and I’d say that in doing so, given the parallels, there was a double standard at work. I can’t see how one couldn’t see how chattel slavery relates to psychiatric slavery, nor how a person might not be against one without being against the other.

    E. Fuller Torrey also blames psychiatric casualties on psychiatric survivors, but like I said nobody was ever killed by a “mental illness”. Usually, it’s heart disease, organ failure, suicide (personal decision/one’s own hands), or any number of other ill health conditions that follow from complications due to compliance with harmful psychiatric treatment programs and practices.

  • This idea that force is necessary is pushing me into a corner. If the helping profession and the harming profession are really so much in cahoots, I pretty much have to come out on the side of freedom by opting for the scratching of the mental health profession entirely. Thomas Szasz opposed coercive mental health treatment throughout much of his career. It is very unfortunate that most professionals alive today don’t have the stomach to do the same. I think a stronger position imperative if one doesn’t want to aid and abet the enemies of freedom.

  • I’ve heard NAMIish people talk about “mental illness” survivors. Lol. Rotfl. I’m not a “mental illness” survivor. No, “mental illness” never harmed anybody. I’m a psychiatric treatment survivor.

    I’ve gotten to the point where, arguing against consuming human services, I have to be a little “sanist” with regard to myself, and make a case for my own “sanity”. I don’t have a problem with madness. A confession of madness however, as well as getting a person released from treatment, can get a person locked up in treatment. I can do without the torture, thank you.

    Mad pride beats mad humility. Sane pride is for normal people, and they’re about as boring as you can get. Everybody is crazy, only some of us have been caught. Recovery is slipping back into disguise and the character that goes with it. Mad, you say, perish the thought.

  • “Throughout history”!? The ‘big bang’ of this “othering” you are conceiving takes place in the 19th century with Kraepelin and Blueler. Or not. Madness receives it’s offical “disease” status there, does it not? Madness, pre-disease, and the “disease” title, delineate, with this “othering”, a most extreme form of alienation–alienation being “othering” by definition.

    “It follows that the project of de-othering schizophrenia might not be one of documenting and accepting the ineffability of psychotic experiences, but rather a project of truly understanding—and then dismantling—the very scenes of social exclusion that produce and reproduce them.”

    We need to dismantle “the very scenes of social exclusion that produce and reproduce them”? The “mental health” system, in other words?

    Sure. I could go along with that.

    I suspect though there is a little bit of ‘speaking with a forked tongue’ going on here. This alienation didn’t actually start with Kraepelin and Blueler, it began much earlier when we started locking up people wholesale for, rather than law breaking, madness.

    The solution? Easy. Stop locking innocent people up!

  • Give us more truth about electroshock! We need to stop this barbaric practice! The “safe and effective” lie is transparent, while the facts, such as you get from this article, speak for themselves. Electroshock is no way to “treat” a human being, and doctors who use it should be prosecuted under the law for harming those they have been entrusted to heal and protect.

  • Big government has been corrupted by money, corporate money. Congress has been referred to as a millionaires club due to the number of millionaires making up its ranks. Tax breaks for the wealthy, a vanishing middle class…Where do you think we’re headed? Liberty for the few, means slavery for the many.

    People are talking about campaigning for a 15 $ minimum wage now. Once it was much less than 15 $.

    “Timothy scraped a little hill level in the bottom of tile ditch. The sun made his white bristle beard shine. “They’s a lot a fellas wanta know what reds is.” He laughed. “One of our boys foun’ out.” He patted the piled earth gently with his shovel. “Fella named Hines-got ’bout thirty thousan’ acres, peaches and grapes-got a cannery an’ a winery. Well, he’s all a time talkin’ about ‘them goddamn reds.’ ‘God- damn reds is drivin’ the country to ruin,’ he says, an” ‘We got to drive these here red bastards out.’ Well, they were a young fella jus’ come out west here, an’ he’s listenin’ one day. He kinda scratched his head an’ he says, ‘Mr. Hines, I ain’t been here long. What is these goddamn reds?’ Well, sir, Hines says, ‘A red is any son-of-a-bitch that wants thirty cents an hour when we’re payin’ twenty-five!’ Well, this young fella he thinks about her, an’ he scratches his head, an’ he says, ‘Well, Jesus, Mr. Hines. I ain’t a son-of-a-bitch, but if that’s what a red is-why, I want thirty cents an hour. Ever’body does. Hell, Mr. Hines, we’re all reds.'” Timothy drove his shovel along the ditch bottom, and the solid earth shone where the shovel cut it.”

    ~John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath

    Not even 30 cents is worth what it used to be worth.

    One way the issue gets confused is by diverting people into the “mental health” system. The government is taking care of people. Sure, it is. The tax payers are putting them up. Can’t go wrong there, can you? Think again. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and none are any the wiser thereby.

  • In the good ‘ole USA where everything revolves around the Yankee dollar, we’ve got the 60 billion $ man. This, and people working 3 jobs, and still not being able to make ends meet. I don’t know what you mean by the “free” world, apparently it isn’t quite “free”, in fact, it’s very costly. If the 60 billion $ man is worth 60 billion $, where does that leave everybody else? In the hole he dug? I think there’s got to be, if not a better way, at least a more equitable one.

  • Making a service industry out of the treatment of disease, physical or imaginary, is not the same as seeking the cessation of the symptoms of “disease”. More and more “diseased” people, of course, keeps the service providers, the healers that can’t heal, in business, just as fewer and fewer “diseased” people would threaten their livelihood. I would suggest that all these convoluted methods of rationalizing your profession are unnecessary when it comes to dispensing with that profession.

  • You’re absolutely wrong about communism and anarchism being diametrically opposed. Nor is anarchism all about vandalism.

    There are two traditions of anarchy, actually, individual anarchism (capitalist, and bad) and social anarchism (socialist, and good).

    Mutualism, collectivist anarchism (revolutionary socialism), anarcho-communism, and anarcho-syndicalism…all are communistic variants of anarchism.

    The Haymarket Riots, that event which gave us May Day, were more anarchist inspired than Marxist. It wasn’t until Vladimir Lenin’s first successful Marxist revolution in Russia gave us the USSR (now defunct), that the labor movement came to be associated with Marxism.

    Now that that “wall” between east and west has come down, and the Russians have ruined their revolution, to the point of counter-revolution, with bureaucratic stupidity, and Stalinoid mass murder and oppression, perhaps anarchism has a much better chance of resurfacing. The luster of Marxist revolution–what with that great blunder–has certainly worn off.

    It’s not like Marx himself didn’t do a lot to alienate and stymie followers of Bakunin, and if his prestige has suffered in recent years, well, as they say, ‘what goes around comes around’.

  • I don’t work under any such assumption. If it weren’t for forced treatment, what we are referring to as the “mental health” system would not have arisen. What is assumed is that there is something “wrong” with a certain percentage of the population, and that this percentage of the population needs to be “fixed”. Again, I make no such assumption. We’re going to be “suffering fools”, despite all, regardless.

  • Realistically? I hold my tongue.

    I agree on a need for action. The MIA forum though I hear is history.

    Theoretically people don’t survive the “mental health treatment” bubble. People that call themselves survivors, according to some of the so-called experts, perhaps have had “personality disorders”, but were never truly “mentally ill” in the first place.

    Fundamentally, if you do want to survive, it’s best not to ground yourself in “mental illness” mythology.