Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Comments by Frank Blankenship

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  • I personally believe there is a lot of evidence to support the theory of evolution. If you have another theory, please, explain the fossil record. You mention the absence of many intermediate forms in those records, however, there are also present many intermediate forms as well. These intermediate forms help to explain how, for instance, dinosaurs and birds, and, people and chimpanzees, are pretty closely connected in evolutionary terms. As for your first dash, the ‘fully developed organ’, I don’t think anybody has ever suggested that evolution occurred overnight. It would require “a great number of random mutations” over a very long period of time with the result that those traits that advanced survival remained, and those that didn’t were eliminated from the gene pool, thus sending it in a direction that favored survival over extinction. I don’t think anybody would say that science lays any claim to any “absolute truth” either. No, it’s religion that does that. Of course, religion is neither scientific nor theoretical.

  • I’ve seen expectant mothers on neuroleptics (and possibly other drugs). People need to know, taking drugs while you are pregnant is something you need to think about, and more than twice. You are not the only person taking the drug when you’ve got a fetus, the fetus is being drugged, too. It’s one thing to talk about ‘trade offs’, say, some sort of long term stability for periodic frenzy, but when you’re with child, the child shouldn’t be dosed. The problem here is though less with the patient than with the doctors, and often the family, of the patient. People can, and should, go without some of these substances when they are able to do so. Anti-depressants are also dangerous to unborn infants, and think how many parents must be treating the issue as if it was of no consequence. Psychiatric drugs are not good prenatal care, and represent one of those things expectant mothers should very seriously consider, for the sake of their child, doing without.

  • As I see it, one’s enemies would like nothing better than to see one’s demise, however, that’s not the issue. Nobody has to euphemistically ‘eat crap’. Spite to mine enemies keeps me going. The problem is paternalism. We’ve got this suicide prevention because the authorities are out to save some people from themselves. Then, the question arises, who is going to save people from the authorities? If one, as I’ve seen happen, permits the locking up of people for their own good, one doesn’t oppose forced treatment. Suicide prevention turns the would be anti-psychiatrist, should he or she be a professional, into a were-psychiatrist. Distinctly to be avoided. Sure, the world may be full of hypocrites, but that still doesn’t make hypocrisy a virtue. I wouldn’t hesitate to imagine that, as a rule of thumb, treatment pushers are as addicted to their careers as treatment junkies are to their’s, and thus, halting the “mental health” disorder epidemic, part and parcel of “mental health” imperialism (i.e. business expansion), is going to require some drastic measures in the form of many pink slips. Withdrawal from “mental health” servicing, in other words, is likely, like withdrawal from the treatment (i.e. drugs), to hurt.

  • A big problem with the whole system is paternalism. You’ve got people being locked up because it is said to be in their best interests, their best interests according to somebody else, to do so. When you can’t tell another person what you’re own interests are, and be taken seriously when you do so, you’ve got a real problem. Paternalism is still a big problem with many otherwise ‘progressive’ “mental health” workers. They say it’s okay to lock people up in order to save them from themselves. I don’t share this view. I think a person should have the right to take his or her life if he or she should so choose.

  • I see this business historically as arising in conjunction with the rise of forced institutional treatment. The position of psychiatry (and psycho-pharmacology) is such that it is, in major part, because of the collusion of psychologists, social workers, and other welfare and “mental health” workers. The “mental health” empire is, was, and has been an expanding empire. (What do they say today? Approaching 20 % of the population.) Actual “mental health” so-called, as it is a “mental health” treatment system, lies outside of the system. I don’t need it, and I want no part of it.

    I consider myself anti-psychiatry. Our psychiatric survivor movement started in a anti-psychiatry direction but later changed course. I think the early focus solely on bashing psychiatry in part a mistake. There would be no forced treatment without all these accomplices to psychiatrists. I don’t see zero psychiatrists ending forced treatment. They aren’t the problem, forced treatment is the problem. I’m against non-consensual coercive treatment. When psychiatrists (and others) have been de-fanged, de-clawed, and basically demoted, and forced treatment (abduction, torture, and imprisonment by another name) has been outlawed, and is no more. What bother?

  • With a lot of “help” from psychologists, social workers, and other members of the “helping” professions. Bureaucrats, politicians, law enforcement officers, peer support specialists, pharmacologists, and other drug salespeople included. If they were less “helpful”, perhaps, at least, in that regard, so much the better for all of us. As far as I’m concerned, the list of non-salvageable professions only starts with the profession of psychiatry.

  • Yes, tomaytoes or tomahtoes, potaytoes or potahtoes, “sick” is still “sick” just the same as thick is still thick. I’ve got better things to do with my life than to be “serviced” by members of the phycho-medical or medico-psychological profession and community. Playing psychologists against psychiatrists, and vice versa, misses the point that they’re both partners in the same business. Its an old trade that has seen better days, and, frankly, that I would like to see scrapped. Making fools pays, no doubt, but it also tends to make fools out of the deceivers. In other words, how better to deceive others than to deceive oneself? Not deceiving? Sorry, wrong ball park.

  • I don’t have any trauma providers right now, bcharris. Don’t need ’em.

    You only get ‘biological’ treatment where the brain is blamed. You know? The biology. If it isn’t biology, no need to blame biology.

    It may not be biology.

    What was Dr. Breggin writing about in his most recent post? Oh, yeah. About psychiatrists mistaking the brain for a tumor.

    I’m just not one to blame the brain for the thoughts that a person has as a means of excusing that person for his or her bad behaviors. When I can change my behavior, the brain didn’t make me do it, and whatever it is about me that might need changing it is within my power to do so.

    People are drugged, put to the knife, and shocked because doctors don’t think it is within those peoples power to change their behavior without drugs, surgery, or shocks. I’m saying that more often than not that behavior doesn’t stem from some kind of physical anomaly of the organ of thought, and as that is the case, it doesn’t need to be treated as such.

  • When most physical forms of treatment (radical brain surgery, electroshock, drugs, etc.), based on the theory that the problem is “biological”, are damaging, and a matter of providing ‘trauma’, and calling it “care”. I wouldn’t be one to call any ‘treatment’ I was offering “biological”.

    “Maladaptive brain mapping”,”new and constructive pathways”? Etc.

    It is, after all, in such neuro-fanatical times as we are currently experiencing, possible to become…Lost In Neuro-Space.

    There is a quote, often mistakenly attributed to Einstein, that goes, “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.” It has been found that one of its first occurrences was in a Narcotics Anonymous pamphlet though dating to the 1980s.

    Moral: It doesn’t take a theoretical physicist to figure out that if you are doing something that isn’t working for you, maybe you should be doing something else.

  • I’ve felt the same way, namely, that much “psychosis” has to do with a less than completely successful transition from adolescence to adulthood. Although current stats state maybe 1/3 of lifelong so called “mental illness” began by age 14. The majority of cases, it seems, start about the age of 18, 19, 20, and 21, or thereabouts, just when one is on the cusp between adolescence and adulthood. I don’t even think you have to do a lot of studies to make the connection. I believe all you’d have to do is get the average age when most people, given a severely affected label, experience their first psychotic break.

  • May I suggest that one great way to transform services is to cease to use them. If “mental health” belongs to that area not encompassed by “mental health services”, just think, fewer “investors”, hopefully to the point of bankruptcy, means that much more “health”. Hooray!

  • I think the title is, the subtitle really, a little long and clunky. Most specifically, I think he could have easily left off the Our Most Vulnerable Citizens tail end. First, it’s a cliche’, especially the vulnerable part. Second, I don’t see any sense in referring to people as citizens who don’t have full citizenship rights. Until we do have full citizenship rights, perhaps it would be better to call us something else. I believe the late ex-Beatle John Lennon advanced a place he called Nutopia once. How about legal aliens?

  • Will Hall says, “What does it mean to be called crazy in a crazy world?” Similarly you’ve got, “Insanity — a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.” The ‘definition’ attributed to R. D. Laing. If Laing never actually defined “schizophrenia” in this fashion, he came close enough to doing so on numerous occasions. If it is an “insane” world, perhaps it is the mad who are in the van garde when it comes to “treating” (i.e. changing behavior) the “insanity” of that world, or, to put it another way, of “treating” ‘sane insanity’ with their own brand of ‘insane sanity’. Anyway, thanks for posting, even if I don’t fully concur about everything therein, I find this post interesting, and worthy of serious note.

  • Alright, we’ve met ‘the disillusioned psychiatrist’. Got any ‘disillusioned psychoanalysts’?

    Bio-shrinks and psycho-dynamic-shrinks go after each other for their biases and their lack of science, and, as far as I’m concerned, both have a point.

  • Uh, it seems somebody just hitched a ride on the neurotrend in order to try and get around the neurobend.

    I think speaking of neuromyth is just another example of neurobabble when myth, just plain myth, will do.

    From whence do these myths arise? Obviously, from blaming the brain and not the moral agent.

    I know they say “cut the blame”, and they mean “cut the blame” of people, however, it is people, and not bodily organs, that are *primarily responsible, or irresponsible as the case may be.

    Note the *primarily. I’ve left them a little ground for that gray area as little ground, by comparison, it must be.

  • As far as I’m concerned, “disease model” and “medical model” are just two ways of saying the same thing. You don’t have “diseases”, you don’t have need of a physician.

    I understand that there is a lot of focus on what could be called a “trauma model”. The “trauma informed care”, in other words, business. I don’t think you’ve gone very far if you were to label everybody in the system PTSD. Injury, and in the case of psychological injury, a dubious injury at that, or “disease”? Both are excuses to call in physicians.

    Were one to stop calling for physicians in the first place, the pathologizing decreases. Were one to give everybody who receives disability the trauma excuse, rather than a separate disease label, that rate of pathologizing doesn’t necessarily decrease one iota. One really has to do something about the bureaucracy itself to change the situation, because that’s what it is, a wheedling money from the government bureaucracy

  • Ain’t no money in “mental health”. The money’s in “mental health treatment”.

    They can’t make it free. Somebodies got to do the work. A society of loafers is non-sustainable. A closet, on the other hand, well, that’s another matter.

    Who pays for it has always been a big issue. When you say free you mean a bigger burden for the tax payers, and that’s a burden that some of them have a problem shouldering. Another issue is should the rich pay for it, or workers and the working poor. Right now, de-regulating the economy (Trumpanomics) still means tax breaks for the wealthy.

  • “Mental health problems”!?

    Psychiatry is “too extreme”. All it’s physical answers to the “problems” it describes as “mental”, but views as “physical”, are damaging. Language is a big issue here. “Mental health problems”, “mental health issues”, etc. Biological psychiatrists certainly aren’t so fain to call what they specialize in “disease” or “illness”.

    You want “extreme”. Non-consensual coercive psychiatry is extreme. Psychiatry abducts people, locks them up in prisons it calls hospitals, and then tortures them until they “confess” to having an “illness” before letting them go. No “confession”, no release (i.e. discharge). Of course, given torture or the threat of torture, people will say anything. Once they’ve got their “confession”– hop, skip, and jump–it’s only a matter of calling “torture” “treatment”, and convincing their captives that it, “torture”, is good for them.

  • If you were fishing for a response, you’re not the only one who has been there.

    “I was informed I had a mental illness that I’d be sick the rest of my life…”

    This is why it is important to, as you might have heard when you were going to grade school, think for yourself. If you were to let a shrink do your thinking for you, you’d be a lost cause. They don’t know, and what they do know comes from drugging the daylights out of people.

    I remember a book from when I was little. It was called, The Little Engine That Could. The little engine that could had this mantra: ‘I think I can, I think I can, I think I can’. This mantra got the little engine that could from one place to another. More specifically, it got him over a steep hill he had to climb.

    The little engine that could was fortunate enough not to be handed over to a shrink. Had the little engine that could been seeing a shrink he might have been singing a different tune.

    There was a reason why the book was not titled The Little Engine That Couldn’t. Maybe you can figure out what that reason was.

  • I agree completely. Shock is very big in Florida. Also, there was a lot of shock in Virginia when I was living there. These bastards should not be allowed to get away with their “safe and effective” baloney. I hope that people are paying attention who can help us get some kind of real action campaign off the ground and going on the matter. On one hand you get the, “They’re still doing that?” line, and on the other this, “It’s a safe and effective treatment” argument. I guess that means part of the population was asleep. They are “still doing that”, and it is neither “safe” nor “effective”. Electricity induced epileptic fits aren’t any more “safe and effective” than any other kind of epileptic fit. We need to stop this kind of thing now.

  • One thing I’ve heard “mental health” workers complain about is paper work. As far as I can make out this “diagnostic report” would just mean additional paper work. I have doubt that it would affect the process that much. We’re dealing with bureaucracy here, after all, and bureaucracy is paper work.

    As “mental illness” diagnosis (nobody diagnoses “mental health”) is baloney, I don’t see much coming of these reports then except as a loss to the file cabinet, or network database. More paperwork. The only real reason for the diagnoses in the first reason is to give the insurance company a tangible to pay for. No diagnosis = no insurance money for “treatment”, and as anybody who has been “treated” against their will, and then charged for that “treatment”, can tell you, “treatment” is expensive (and that’s only the financial end of it.)

    Regarding this guy you know who received the “manic” diagnosis, I’ve seen people get out of “treatment” for BAD, and thus a diagnosis. What helps is more support and advocacy. When there are, no, not “treatment” advocates, but human rights advocates, protecting people from rash decisions on the part of psychiatrists becomes more plausible. When there isn’t such support the likelihood of being thrown to the “treatment” wolves is way up there at approaching the 100 % mark.

    “Mental health” “treatment” is a “consumer” product, and this makes all “consumers” “customers”. People aren’t healed by the use of “consumer” products, this would mean ceasing to “consume”, they “consume” them. Diagnosis is the gateway into “consuming” this “consumer” product, “treatment”. As I mentioned, psychiatrists are trained in diagnosing “mental illness”, not “mental health”. “Mental health” “belongs” to people who don’t “consume” “treatment”. The “consumer” product is not “health”, the “consumer” product is “treatment”. Given this circumstance, it can hardy be a wonder that so few people “recover”.

    This brings us back to the word that you began with, malinger. I would suggest that the term malinger is not so archaic as you would suggest, and that, in fact, the “mental health” “treatment” industry is an industry that produces malingerers. Of course, the industry doesn’t call them malingerers, that would be bad for business, it calls them “consumers” instead.

    As yet, I would have to see more reason for these diagnostic reports that you are proposing than I have been given. If you could show me, for instance, how they could help someone like your friend who received the “manic” diagnosis, there you go. This proposal would comprise another “regulation” surely, but then, what was I saying? Bureaucracy again, it’s all about “regulating”, and the paper work that comes of it. Give additional support to the victim, and you dispense with the need for extra paper work on the part of workers in their eagerness to come up with another example of throw away humanity.

  • Big tobacco was just forced to admit in court-ordered ads that cigarettes are addictive and kill people at a rate of something to the tune of 1,200 bodies a day. It’s obviously not enough that they’ve weathered some of the most costly civil suits and settlements in history. I would hope that there could come a time when big PhARMA was forced to do something similar. We get with each drug ad a numbing series of negative effects that they are hoping potential customer/”consumers” will be able to brush off, but little on the mortality rate, and no admission of guilt. This ‘lack of insight’ on the drug companies part has to change even if legislation is required to make it change.

  • “Normal” people? Sorry, I haven’t met any.

    Whose denying the brain changes? I’m just saying that not all those changes are necessarily for the better.

    Appropriate or not, my view is that much of this evidence regarding neuroplasticity involves people’s recovery from brain damage, and I would add, there’s no “recovery” like prevention.

  • Some people don’t “seek help”, but that doesn’t stop “help” from being forced upon them. So when a person is being “helped” who doesn’t want to be “helped”, whose subjective experience are we talking about?

    “Neuroplasticity” is a little over played in the sense that it may, in many circumstances, be a matter of how the brain deals with damage, and damage would imply that harm has already been done to the brain. Sure, maybe the brain has a way to repair itself, however, preferable is not needing repairs, and then there’s what changes occur in “neuroplasticity” (i.e. the extent to which the brain is not “neuroplastic”.) I would imagine there is some loss involved as well. (There’s little doubt, for instance, that, “neuroplasticity” or no “neuroplasticity”, neuroleptic drugs destroy some brain cells in animals. There is little reason to believe they don’t do the same to humans.)

  • Terrific article, and within it, excellent points, those 1 through 11 you bring up.

    Two hundred years of pioneering and exploring, and these guys are still just on the verge of making those fabulous discoveries they’ve always dreamed about. Two hundred years…Anybody ever consider the possibility that they could be just plain lost?

    This “re-branding” sounds much like the PR facelift that psychiatry conducted, and somewhat successfully, after the 1970s. I don’t see any powerful advertising campaigns developing without money, that is the problem with this, if they have resources. Advertising may more than pay for itself, but the money for it has to come from somewhere.

    In a related matter, NPR reports Dictionary.com has made complicit The Word OF The Year In 2017. I don’t think psychiatry would be anywhere without a lot complicity on the part of other disciplines engaged in the so-called “helping” professions.


  • Do you have a “mental health” blank, and fill in the blank with any word besides “illness”. Here that word is “concern”. I dunno. I just see a bunch of weasels in the hen-house. No hens however.

    Thomas Szasz wrote a book, Schizophrenia: The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry. It is interesting that in this context that sacred symbol would be demystified, however, that leaves one with other, mostly milder, forms of medicalizing, starting with depression, ye ole melancholia.

    AND…they don’t really get rid of it, no, they just do a bit of tap dancing rewording.

    I would suggest that there are many “mental health” whatchamacallits that are not in the brain at all, but are, as you would be feign to say, entirely “in the mind”. As such, “treating” the innocent brain is something that can become highly problematic. The wiley mind will take care of itself.

    I do see a lot of fluff here though. How can we, in other words, increase business, while at the same time making it look like ours is solely a “health concern”? Just think, P. T. Barnum is often rumored to have said, ‘a sucker is born every second’.

  • I’d like to see a little solidarity myself, Julie, and as it seems so hard for anybody to agree on anything, that solidarity is getting harder and harder to come by.

    Don’t want to jeer at your Dog Pride idea, but between this, that, and the other, I can’t lose sight of the Mad Pride idea either. It used to mean something, but I’m ready for the next development if anything is up. It’s nothing that I can’t deal with. That is, if nothing is what’s up.

    It’s hard, in other words, to maintain any sort of Mad Pride perspective while emptying the words of meaning at the same time. I might, again, have to call it a Mad Pride perspective.

    Also, Mad Pride is a historic matter, following Black Pride, Red Pride, and Gay Pride. No pride, that can be a problem.

    Dog pride, sure. I’ve got a dog, and her feelings are important to me. I won’t see anything bad happen to her if I can help it.

  • Great article. I don’t find myself disagreeing with you at any point on this one, although I do have qualms about the direction in which you seem to be heading.

    People react strongly when any suggestion is made that racial difference equals racial inferiority or superiority, however, when dealing with people in the mental health system this visceral heartfelt reaction mysteriously vanishes. One thing is certain, claiming that we’re dealing with a diseased brain does not make it so, and showing that we’re dealing with a diseased brain would place the object of our study in the neurology rather than the psychiatry department.

    Are mental disorders diseased brains? Are mental disorders? I think we’ve got issues in defining the problems that have not been dealt with adequately. If it’s a matter of the “mentally ordered” ones identifying the “mentally disordered” ones, etc., we’re almost back to square one. This would make it a social matter, surely, but at the same time highly prejudicial. Almost as highly prejudicial as claiming that the “mentally disordered”, in relation to the “mentally ordered”, are genetically defective.

  • I like the Mad Pride idea, too.

    Actually, rather than “sick”, Mad etymologically means “changed”. The word itself predates the medical model of “treatment”.

    Mad isn’t the new word, and you’ve got some NAMI sorts who object to it. I like Mad though. I find it infinitely (if you will excuse a little hyperbole) preferable to “sick”.

  • Bravo! I don’t know a better way to put it. If these doctors would remove “bad thoughts” by removing “bad brain cells”, it must be malignancy they’re after. What if, wonder indeed, “bad brain cells” aren’t behind “bad thoughts”? Whoops. Too late to reassess, they’ve got a financial investment, and a business to think of. The investment, abusive treatment and incarceration, the business, damaging healthy brains. Tell them there’s a better way to do things, and keep your fingers crossed, they still don’t get it. Getting it could affect their finances, and hurt their business interests. Besides there’s this knuckle headed demand from people who don’t know any better, and from people who should know better, but don’t. Knowing better, after all, won’t keep bread and bacon on the table the way deception will, and deception that allows the law to look the other way. Deception that people take for, and as, information reception.

  • A big problem is demonstrated by your first paragraph. Once doctors have destroyed people’s physical health through “mental health” treatment, you’ve got this “integrative care” to further blur the issue. I wouldn’t quite equate the selling of toxic substances with the selling of snake oil.

    Significantly the APA, in some of its annual conventions, has been talking the same way, about this “integrative care”. Same problem, you destroy people’s physical health, and then come up with this gobbledygook. We’d be better off not destroying people’s physical health in the first place.

    Thomas Szasz called “mental illness” a myth. If “mental illness” is a myth, a metaphor, a figure of speech, then so is “mental health”. This “bio-psycho-social”, and, by extension, mind body spirit thing is confusing all sorts of issues. If we are going to exonerate the culprits, what better way than to obscure the issues, deepening their deception with ever more excuses.

    It would be wrong for a doctor to encourage cigarette smoking. Okay. “Mental health treatment” is wrong for the same reason. That treatment is mostly a matter of behavioral control through psychiatric drugs. “Integrative care” is not going to end the practice of drugging patients. “Integrative care” is going to encourage it, because then, once they’ve affected physical health in a negative fashion, they can “treat” mind and spirit.

    You want good health? Scratch “integrative care” and all confusion of the issues. Get rid of the “mental health” destroy physical health movement. “First, do no harm!” There’s good health for you.

  • My take on this is that they are conducting this study to try and figure out how they can make people being treating involuntarily feel more comfortable about being treated involuntarily and complain less. The last thing on the “researchers” minds would be ending involuntary treatment. That is not, and can’t be, their aim. If you want to end forced treatment, you don’t conduct a study of this sort in the first place. 1. You don’t engage in the practice, and 2. if you do, you get out of it. Asking prisoners how you can get them to feel better about their imprisonment is not releasing them, and it never will be.

    According to the MIA schedule of events, in the UK Maudsley is slated to have a sold out debate on the Mental Health Act. If abolition doesn’t enter into the discussion, I would consider such a debate a total gip. Any reform versus no reform debate that doesn’t allow abolition into the picture isn’t much of a debate at all. Abolition isn’t reform. It’s the end of the thing that others would have reformed. We don’t need a reform of human rights violations, we need an end to them. Depriving innocent people of their liberty is a human rights violation. So much for reform.

  • “Their responses illuminated the harmful effects of coercion while also suggesting ways in which providers can carry out the process respectfully and humanistically.”

    Well, the biggest way in which “the harmful effects of coercion” could be avoided is not to resort to them at all. There is no ‘respectful, humanistic’ form of coercion. The word polite has to be related to the word politic, and I just don’t think, probably the point of this survey, that anybody should become inured to the facts of force violating people’s human rights.

    Kind “respectful” coercion? Who are these folks trying to kid? Certainly not me. Deceit is still deceit, and asking everyone to lie for the sake of an illusion is going a bit far. It is what it is, and what it is is what they used to call it in more honest times, incarceration.

    When people are physically harmed by forced treatment, by nonconsensual and coercive mistreatment, the questions put forth by your study are nothing but offensive. No, emphatically, no. Forced treatment doesn’t have a good side. Picaresque prisons, not here. No. Thank you. No.

  • Generally, OldHead, I tend to think the conventional view of “mental illness” (cough, cough) is that it involves “unreasonableness”. The depressed person, for instance, is not depressed, in theory anyway, because he or she feels sad, the depressed person is depressed because he or she feels sad without reason. Of course, whether there is a reason or not to the sadness, and any attempted suppression of it, is always a matter of opinion.

    We, the mad, are those presumed “unreasonable” people who have been caught in their “unreasonableness”. They, the “sane”, are “unreasonable” people who have simply not been caught in their “unreasonableness”. They are certainly “unreasonable” when it comes to us, the mad.

    Of course, as you can see, we’re dealing with a false dichotomy here, and so the matter is pretty transparent. The “sane” are not entirely “sane”, nor or the mad entirely mad. Dig a little deeper, and when you get to the bottom of it, you discover that both groups of people are actually the same.

    Frankly, I think showing a little bit of mad backbone preferable to much compliant “mental patient” humility and submission. Anyway, I don’t have any problem with a movement calling itself mad in that regard.

  • I’m all thumbs up when it comes to fighting for your rights, actually our rights. I see personal and career plans among them.

    I’m not so hip to the “recovery model” though for a number of reasons…one it presumes “illness”, two recovery from what. illness, that presumption again, or its treatment. I’m just not so fond of “treatment”, especially when that “treatment” involves one kind of torture, and often damaging torture, or another, and I would prefer to be left to my own devices, thank you, however foolish…

    Agreed about the balance though, everybody is different.

    Yours is a very interesting post though, and I applaud the effort. It’s good to see people who have been through the system be given some kind forum, and a place to give voice to their experience, and their take on it.

  • The old dis-proven view was that the earth was the center of the universe, and that the sun and the other planets revolved around it. Only in the 20th century did we get around to figuring out that we are on a planet circling a star in a galaxy among millions of galaxies containing countless other stars. That’s perspective. When people focus their attention on things beyond the end of their noses, they learn things. That’s perspective, too. You may not live a full and complete life, in your opinion, but one thing is certain, you’re going to die. It’s written into the program from day one. That’s perspective. No need to hurry things along.

    Seriousness can be problem, especially when you are said to have a “serious mental illness”. I would suggest that the problem need not be so “serious” as all that. Gravity, after all, when there is this notion of suicidal ideation and perhaps an anchor attached, can get you drowned where a little levity might help you float.

    I’m only sure that everybody in actuality is somebody else. For instance, I’m the king of clowns, but not even clowns take me seriously. *sigh* If only I were somebody else…

  • I don’t imagine you had a problem taking your “medication”, and so I don’t think the micro-chip in a capsule would even be applicable to your case. The issue is not whether or not people should take “medication” if they would choose to do so. The issue is whether a non-compliant patient, unlike yourself, should have to take a capsule containing a micro-chip that relayed information to the social control authorities who would be forcing, against his or her will, this “medication” on him or her.

  • I would imagine that micro-chips slipped under the skin, and that report drug-taking, are next. This would probably require some sort of surgical procedure. It’s not like people don’t see the possibilities for deception that might arise from these things. After all, these drug and technology developers, these “behavioral” social controllers, are experts at deception themselves.

  • I can’t but see this development as a serious threat to civil liberties. Among the rights that would be protected by the Declaration of Independence, there goes freedom of choice. I suppose pursuit of happiness, and life itself are next.

    I would hope that there is a legal team out there that is beginning to take note of the issue, and how it is going to affect all of us. This kind of thing is unconscionable. The assault on civil liberties may not begin and end with this technology, but it is certainly another example of the corrosive effect that science in the wrong hands can have. I don’t see how, with technological social control reaching such a state, people can still call America the land of the free.

    People may be running from other lands to the USA in order to escape poverty and political oppression, but given drugs like this one, on top of much recent legislation, this situation may not last. Who knows? Before long you could have people trying to flee the USA due to it’s oppressive laws and the take over of it’s government by a rich (in other words, non-representative) elite.

    Apparently, another tool for controlling the lives of its subjects has just dropped into the lap of members of this ruling elite. I just don’t see the situation turning out well for those underling who are to be contained by this toxic substance.

  • Two things should be pointed out here:

    1. Are we dealing with “mental illness” as “brain disease” or “behavioral deviance”? “Brain disease” is a matter of biology. “Deviant behavior”, of conscious choice, barring interpretations based on Neo-Freudian theory and speculation. We have laws for actual “bad behavior”. “Bad behavior” that doesn’t break any laws perhaps we can tolerate. There are more than enough stupid laws on the books already to go around.

    2. Allen Frances, in the context of this post, is defending Donald Trump from the “mental illness” label, given his reputedly “bad” behavior, while applying the same label to the American public. Huh!? One almost has to have a double take on the matter. What, for instance, did the American public do to deserve, or earn, if one prefers, such labeling?

    One could call, as has and is being done, psychological “distress” “mental disease” or “disorder”. The problem involves this two-fold process, labeling “distress”, a very human phenomenon, and pathologizing “bad” behavior. Both would tend to turn non-medical problems over to the medical community. When it comes down it, I imagine it would be “easier” to “heal” (or “treat”) Donald Trump than it would be to “correct” the American public.

  • Fascist creep is right. We need to get the discussion of sanism/mentalism out of the mental health ghetto into the open and into Academia where it belongs. It is part and parcel of bringing that same discussion to the streets. Undoubtedly this witch hunt and concurrent suppression is connected to the corporate hooks in higher education, and those hooks themselves are connected to the corporate corruption of the political process. A lot of people are challenged by this notion of mass producing automatons for the system, and well they should be. Automatons are the pits when it comes to human conversation.

  • Where do you get this Jewish commie conspiracy nonsense from, Someone Else, if not from alt right neo-NAZIs and their ilk? It just doesn’t follow.

    “On the eve of the February Revolution in 1917, of about 23,000 members of the Bolshevik party 364 (about 1.6%) were known to be ethnic Jews.”


    Stalin later, and in the context of the Hitler Stalin pact, comes to purge Jews from the party. Some Jewish conspiracy, huh!?

  • “Ten or twenty years from now” is way too long to contemplate. You will have plenty of time to “sell out” in if that’s your aim, but if not, not. Otherwise, you could come to a mangled conclusion in a car crash tomorrow, and there goes “ten or twenty years from now” anyway.

    People have lost jobs, housing, and anything you might call everything, at this very moment in time. People hit the skids, no doubt about it. Thing is, if you were to hit the skids, to come back. Dumpster diving is not for everyone.

    I’m just saying a bit of perspective helps, even at a low point. I didn’t eulogize Matt Stevenson that much. I was shocked when he killed himself. Same label, same problem. I’m not a person to say don’t get “triggered” because that’s not my language. We are a speck of dust on a speck of dust in the context of everything else. There are billions and billions of stars out there, each with a potential for harboring life, that’s perspective. It’s not like the universe revolves around me or you in particular. It doesn’t. If anybody experienced disappointment in love, believe me, they aren’t the first, nor are they going to be the last. In other words, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”, etc., tomorrow is another day, and there will be light.

  • I see this eugenic–no kids–solution as extreme, to say the least. People should not take it so to heart when they’ve been insulted by psychiatry, and they definitely shouldn’t let it ruin any family life they might have.

    I am concerned about this, more or less, identifying with “BPD”. If “BPD” “symptomatically” is a checklist of items, 5 out of 9, unchecking items on the list lessens the degree of concern. A first requirement for ‘acting’–assuming other identities–is not taking oneself so seriously. In this sense, the “BPD” dramatic persona has a lot to be desired, and you might consider other roles.

    Ten or twenty years down the line is entangled in this affair with a projected ‘significant other’. One could indeed call it a ‘significant other project’. This is certainly not a matter of living in the here and now. I question, in this matter, 1. your sense of self-importance, it seems inflated, and 2. this destiny one might call tied to the “approval of others”. One could say, in line with the “BPD” insult, that you have “attachment issues”, but the problem is not simply that you’re too ‘attached’, the problem is that you’re not ‘detached’, that is, aloof enough. The world in this revised scenario need not end when your relationship is over. You can shrug, and go on.

  • Hardly see this thing as revisionist history. A lot of history, in my view, is about digging up buried history, the lives of slaves for instance, or, for that matter, mental patients. One could even accuse plantations owners and asylum directors of a big cover up. The great man theory sort of evaporates once Alexander, Julius Caesar and companions are well in the dust. Sure, the winners write the histories until the battle is long over, and somebody uncovers documents belonging to the “losers”, and the “losers” start “winning” for a change. It is, as Foucault was fond of pointing out, all about power.

    I think, too, all these ethical “boundaries” to personal relationships between doctors and patients are a more recent phenomenon that did not exist way back when. Of course, power was involved in these relationships, with one side tending to get the brunt of the abuse, and the other side the advantage, receiving, more or less, a free ticket. What do they say? To ‘feel’ is human? I guess the professional facade has become more impregnable since.

  • Funny how, sometime in the middle of the 17th century, asylum went from meaning a place where people could seek political refuge from seizure by government to a place where supposed madmen and women were seized for, or by, the government. The word went from meaning a protection against political repression into meaning an actual instrument of political repression in this sense.

  • If a ‘come on’ is wanted, it’s horse play, if it’s unwanted, it’s harassment. There’s a thin line there. Some women will cry rape, too, and try to entrap men in compromising situations. Also, personal survival issues are at stake. Posterity doesn’t exist for a monastery or a cloister.

    There’s a lot of competition for, you name it, up to and including items on the meat market. Without it, whatever it is, a person is not a success in the eyes of the world. People will do all sorts of things to be accounted a success. Losing, after all, is not the object of the ball game. One could say it is winning, but I rather think it is playing.

    A “kinder, gentler” world, well, that kind of went out with kindergarten, didn’t it?

  • People retire from the FDA into executive positions with pharmaceutical companies. Corporations, among them drug companies, are THE major financiers of politicians running for elective office. Politicians whose primary objective is to line their own pockets. (Who could forget numero uno!?) Where is this headed? Where we’re already at. Oligarchy. The sweet smell of success for a few, the sour smell of failure for the many. Of course, the odor can be cut by concentrating on one’s “rich” fantasy life. A duping, it is.

  • Our “law and order” ethos has created 1. a prison overcrowding problem (mostly having something to do with the so-called “war on drugs” and it’s complementary ‘3 strikes you’re out’ policy, and 2. the quasi-legal quasi-medical (out of control and growing) “mental health” system. If I were you, I’d worry about that zero tolerance thing of yours coming around to bite you in the ass.

    All sorts of words are used to demonize people caught up in the criminal justice system, presumably because they are thought to have crossed some line or other, all the same, I have yet to see a real demon. Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt says the constitution. There’s an Innocence Project out there, too, because even 12 presumably impartial people can make the same mistake sometimes.

  • I dunno…

    And then we’ve got Omnipotent Bully Disorder (even the Anti-Social Personality type thing) or, together with Pedophilia, Sexual Addictions of one sort or another. Harvey’s out to get treatment remember. I figure it’s probably better if we catch criminals rather than make a General Criminality Disorder out of it, and then “offer””treatment”.

    “Sexual harassment” though is making advances towards a person who doesn’t want such advances made towards them by the person making the advancements. Uh, so-called unwanted advances. One could sigh, “Oh, the humanity.” but still, that’s just it. Barring an all around denaturing of humanity, when the dog is away the cat will play, and preferably with a mouse.

  • William Tuke (like Philippe Pinel) was on the Reform Train, not the Abolition Train, not the Freedom Train. The aim of reform is more reform. The aim of abolition is an end to the charade of diagnosing disease where there is no disease in actuality. The Reform Train, unlike the Abolition Train, runs on Intolerance Railroad Company tracks. Let people be themselves, and the stress problem evaporates.

  • The only way the evidence wouldn’t be compelling was if you didn’t take a look at it, if you ignored it, which is exactly what these psychiatrists are doing. Tardive dyskinesia, tardive akathesia, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, death–these are the results of long-term drugging.

    How can they study Duration of Untreated Psychosis without allowing some people to go untreated? The use of psych-drugs is pervasive. I see it everywhere. Resisting the impulse to drug, drug, drug? I don’t see that so much. In fact, deviation from standard practice (drug, drug, drug) can result in civil suits for the doctor doing the deviating.

    Great post! We really need to do something about this epidemic of chemically induced injury masquerading as health care we, if we deal with people in the mental health system, see all around us. It is not health care at all, it is disguised negligence.

  • It’s the mental health movement, Julie. I’ve seen the enemy, and the mental health movement is that enemy. There are these figures that say a certain percentage of the population ‘suffers’ from ‘untreated’, often ‘undiagnosed’, “mental illness”, and, therefore, the problem is ‘access to care’. “Access to care” has become one angle utilized by those ready to play the violence card, and it’s also become a gateway into the mental health/disability field for so-called “peer” careerists. Substance abuse is one thing, system abuse another, only, there are two definitions at work here, there are victims of the system, on the one hand, and there are beneficiaries of the systems, too, and some of those “beneficiaries” might better be described as system abusers (i.e. addicts). Independence from the system has never been high on the agenda of people pushing that system, and it is even less so today, now that evading treatment is seen as an indication of a “stigmatizing” attitude. The system, a supposed hospital system, has ceased to be about getting people out of that system (i.e. “well”). 20 % of the population, more or less, is reputed to have bought the idea of having a “mental illness”. Apparently, to top it all off, it’s a very successful business as well.

  • When I saw the header to the interview linked to above, the header of the interview itself actually, I figured somebody must be beating up racists. Little did I know that you were talking the other end of the equation.

    “Racially motivated discrimination and abuse have tangible, measurable negative effects on health.”

    Apparently racism is bad for the health of races other than the dominant race doing the discriminating.

    Uh, I didn’t think there was much doubt about that in the first place. (In other words, in the no-brainer department, do we really need a study to ascertain that racial discrimination is bad for the people, in health and countless other terms, being racially discriminated against?)

  • Again, no one is denying that biological factors play a role.

    I disagree. Whether we’re dealing with biological factors, psychological factors, or social factors is undetermined as of yet. Eyewitness evidence is notoriously unreliable. Ditto, personal testimony. Biological psychiatry would give statistics for how biological it is, and how less psychological and social it is, but these percentages are, in my opinion, largely arbitrary, and not based on any sort of rigorous scientific investigation. Rather than X = unknown, you’ve got X = genes, ‘bizarre’ thinking, and people pressure. In all actuality, X doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, so biased from the start.

  • “This means it does not receive the scrutiny it deserves, and that it would have if it was acknowledged to be a ‘subjective’ or political activity.”

    This reads like understatement to me.

    You’ve got in the mental health system, on top of a high rate of chemical induced disability and injury, a very high early mortality rate. No “mental disorder” diagnosis is itself “terminal”. What’s killing these people if not treatment?! Ah, yes, I know. (Facetiously): The disease.

    In the USA we’ve got a constitution, a constitution that should protect people from politics disguised as science, however this is not the case. (We’ve also got so-called police and political science.) My view is that psychiatry is neither medical science nor police science, although it is trying to be one or the other, and both, it is quasi-medical and quasi-police (criminal).

    I’m not sure I would agree that the education and policing are not objective matters in some respects. One represents the same rule of law that mental health law (crazy folk witch hunting) makes such a big point about violating, and yet, they aren’t at cross purposes like you would think they should be. One of the class of professionals that are trained in our institutions of high education are scientists. (A great deal of pseudo-scientists, and their bureaucrat allies, too, it would appear.) Without the other, science would be a much more circumscribed field than it is today. Qualified scientists, if we are to have any, must be trained somewhere.

    We are no longer ‘hunter gatherers’, it is true, however, I question whether you need the mental health policing that comes of mental health law, on top of criminal and civil law. I would question whether we actually need to create a situation in which working the system is so complicated and complex, or, at least, so demanding on the learning faculties, if one is not born into wealth, that society must create an entire class of under-achievers, non-succeeders, and semi-casualties to fill a certain role for it, and a largely artificial role at that.

  • The only reason there is a bio-psycho-social model is that psychiatrists themselves have come to admit that so-called “mental illness” is not all biological. They say to hold such a view would be to take an extreme position. The problem is that we are stuck with the question of identifying a locus of concern in the psychological or social body. Psychiatrists are medical doctors, and the sphere that medicine covers is that of anatomy, that is, biology. You can’t say psychological anatomy, or social anatomy, without resorting to a metaphor, a figure of speech. If there is no physiological problem, no source in the anatomy, psychiatrists become redundant, so they can’t go there, as a rule, and thus, bio-psycho-social model. We have the bio-psycho-social model of psychiatry because it supports psychiatrists in their roles as medical doctors, not so much because so called mental disorder itself has been shown to be bio-psycho-social. I don’t think anybody can say that it has.

  • Were we to ask the questions, how much of it is biological, how much of it is psychological, and how much of it is social? We hit a brick wall. In lieu of hard evidence, we can’t say, in the main. In lieu of hard evidence which sugar cube is it that dissolves? Is it the biological, the psychological, or the social? None, either, or all? I’d say, actually, it’s all speculation. So much for that.

  • Thomas Szasz has a very important point to make here, namely, that if you divorce your concept of “illness” and “disease” from the body, from a bodily organ, from materiality itself, you cease to be objective because you are no longer dealing with an object. This would tend to turn any disease or illness you came up with into a subjective matter. If we seek a definition for subjective we get something like this, “based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.” Hardly a good basis for anything that would be considered scientific. Search for objective, and you get something like, “(of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.” Were one looking at the difference between subjectivity and objectivity the distinction becomes even clearer. If objectivity is “the quality of being objective.” Subjectivity is “the quality of being based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions”, and “the quality of existing in someone’s mind rather than the external world.” Right there, as we’ve left the planet earth, one has to wonder about relevance. This would lead us to another word, BTW, imaginary, and the definition there is, “existing only in the imagination”, which to my way of thinking must be somewhere in the vicinity of “someone’s mind rather than the external world.” Psychiatry still has no way of taking any sort of reliable measurement when it comes to ‘illnesses of the mind’, and thus, one has to find the whole endeavor somewhat suspect. If “mental illness” exists in the anatomy, we haven’t found “it” yet, not really. In this endeavor, we’re still pretty much stuck with our own little personal patch of ‘middle earth’.

  • Let me get this straight. If a parent abuses a child, it’s the child that’s “sick”?

    Corporal punishment isn’t what it used to be, but all the same. When the sins of the parents are visited on children, it isn’t the reverse.

    In the middle ages, fools were given shelter and sanctuary in the church because they were felt to be innocent, and, therefore, closer to God. Perhaps we could learn something, in this instance, from the medieval church.

  • True enough. Psychiatrists have been empowered by law, and just as the law has empowered them, the law has dis-empowered their clientele. This is not what the law is supposed to do (i.e. enforce illegal law, or legalize criminal behavior). We’ve got the constitution on our side, however it may be many years before the legal profession sees it that way. Imprisonment, coercion, drugging, electrically induced epileptic fits amazingly viewed as therapeutic, etc. What they do is not good, and it needs to be exposed as such. “Mental health law” is a loophole in the law that needs closing. Close that loophole, and once again people assaulted by the mental health system are human beings rather than sub-humans. Doing so would make them full citizens again rather than second, third, or fourth, etc., class citizens. Mental health institute workers and staff would again be covered by the law, and prosecute-able under it. Through medicalization (deception by people in the medical profession in collusion with law and politics), marginalization and dis-empowerment are what the system is all about, and these are things that stand in sharp contrast to a democratic system of governance.

  • Psychiatry provides a defense from criminal culpability. I would say misbehavior rather than “bad” behavior because such is a leap to judgment, and a matter of degree or extent. Narcissistic personality disorder, for instance, is a label that is often used to further demonize suspects and convicted criminals. This is the same label being used on Donald Trump. Trump is under investigation as is.

    Proper behavior is improper in some quarters, and there is a vast gap between misdemeanor pranksterism, outside of Russia with its hooliganism designation anyway, and felonious acts committed with vicious intent. Stupid laws exist as well, enforced or unenforced, but that is a whole category unto itself.

  • Actually political spendthrifts out to cut social programs have utilized antipsychiatry arguments to serve their own purposes, and then you’ve got shrinks blaming antipsychiatry for this spendthrift position. Witness the current counter revolution–the expanded community mental health containment system (many mini-institutions) and forced outpatient drugging court orders. You can’t really outlaw books though, not so long there are book buyers, and freedom of choice and expression is valued.

  • Has anybody seen the title of Allen Frances new book? It’s called Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump. I haven’t got the words to describe the audacity of a person who would diagnose the American people while sparing their elective pompous ass. Maybe you have some.

    The nation (i.e its people) are “distressed” and “impaired”, but Donald “the Tweet” Trump isn’t. Excuse me, but I must have missed a great deal of the calm and lucidity demonstrated by our current head of state in recent weeks. You see how shaky this matter can become when it all boils down to “expert opinion”, as fallible as some “experts” prove to be.

    Another terrific post, Dr. Hickey. As always, it is engaging to read your analysis and critique. Keep them coming.

  • The argument that bad isn’t really bad, that it’s “ill”, or “mad”, instead, is an argument for determinism, and against free will. It’s also an argument against personal responsibility and accountability. As a libertarian, or one who puts a high value on liberty, I tend to see things, in a human sense, as indeterminate rather than pre-determined as by God, King, nature, genes, the upper classes, convention, or what have you.

    I bring this up because I recently encountered some more neuro-nonsense from another “neuro-scientist” who espoused what amounts to the exact opposite.


    My advice? As they say, is to entertain a good dose of skepticism when it comes to the ideas put forward in much reading matter today. I wouldn’t, in other words, sacrifice my personal freedoms to some theory of overlord superiority, or human frailty. Praise your en-slaver to the skies, if you like. Just don’t expect me to follow suit.

  • As the presumption behind therapy is ill health, I would not see therapy in philosophy. I know there is something of a movement to do so today, and I certainly don’t think a little indulgence in philosophizing bad for one’s health. No, that’s liquor, idleness, and other vices instead. Herbert Marcuse with his little Marx Freud synthesis and revision did see therapy in revolution, and about everything else. Do I think philosophy good for one’s “mental health”? Certainly, in the health department, wisdom trumps folly any day of the week. Of course, as Socrates pointed out, love of wisdom doesn’t necessarily make one wise oneself. Albeit, it doesn’t make one corrupt either.

    Illogic can be bad for you health, and it is easy to test this proposition. If you continually do what would reasonably be expected to make a healthy person ill in an effort to achieve good health, in all likelihood, it will only make you more and more ill. Should you pursue this illogical course to its natural conclusion, the result will be termination of life. Becoming a nominee for the Darwin Award doesn’t take so much thought, but, nonetheless, the result is the same.

  • ADHD couldn’t have been a problem throughout much of the 20th century because during this period most people were not expected to receive a college education. It is only when most people are expected to complete college, and “success” is gauged on whether you’re a member of the professional class making on average 30 to 40 K a year that it (i.e. distraction in class) becomes an issue. Without this accent on higher education, and the “achievement” that comes with it, you wouldn’t have any ADHD.

    Sure, this nonsense was spun by medical model psychiatry, and exasperated by lax parenting skills. I think you have to look at it from a historical perspective, too. How could the ADHD rate go from almost 0 to encompass nearly 10 % of the juvenile population? You’ve got the right idea, but I think one also has to look at the present importance attached to higher education to get a better grasp of the why and how. Were such an importance not attached to higher education, there would be little reason to label kids hyperactive and attention distracted.

    Now we’ve got pre-school. You didn’t have that when I was a toddler. Nursery school and kindergarten were it. This pre-school has to do with the importance of preparing children for school with the expectation that it will help them do better. Again, it’s the expectation that people should have a college degree that fuels the ADHD epidemic. You’ve got something similar behind pre-school. If having a 30/40 K job is “success”, any bump on the road to that goal could be characterized, as is happening here, in typically pathological terms.

  • He just did not want any part in prescribing them.

    I rest my case.

    As you are a social worker, and not a psychiatrist, my apologies. I did get that wrong.

    Szasz also justified shock on the same grounds. What a shot in the arm given ‘direct to consumer advertising’? In other words, his view was that if a person thinks he or she would be helped through the harm he or she received, he or she should be able to get the harm he or she sought. He was against coercive non-consensual treatment. I can’t say that I myself would be so quick to encourage self, or other, harm, but that is that.

  • If anybody is to practice psychiatry, I’d like to see more non-drug docs in the practice. Just as we’ve got shock docs, we’ve got drug docs. Generally it boils down to how little or how much of a drug doc do we have. There aren’t a lot of non-drug docs out there. Were patients given an option, there would be a few fewer patients maintained, at the expense of their overall health, on neuroleptics. Although Szasz, whose book you cite, could be referred to as a non-drug doc, I don’t think the same could be said for you or Dr. Kline. Thomas Szasz does spotlight the morality of the issue, and in that sense, I guess the four of us are in agreement. Harming people through the excessive use of neuroleptics is not the way to go if we can do anything else.

  • If so then shouldn’t it be possible to use the US Constitution in one’s defense. Technically, our country is not supposed to be punishing people for “thought crimes”. I see the mental health system as both quasi-legal and quasi-medical, that is, truly neither.

  • Don’t beat yourself up over the matter, littleturtle. If you did, we’d probably have to call it “mental suffering”. You can throw out the biology there because there is none. However, if we beat you up, that’s a different ball game. Physical abuse, more often than not, especially if intensely rendered, can easily result in physical injury. Ditto: long term drug (“medication”) use, electrically induced grand mal seizures, and radical brain surgery.

  • I certainly wouldn’t be out to excuse the so-called father of psycho-pharmacology. Nathan Kline’s scientism reminds me of the scientism of B. F. Skinner. In one version, you’ve got rewards and punishments behind behaviors, in another, chemistry. While humanity is in no danger of “tranquilizing” itself out of existence, it has come a long way towards “tranquilizing” particular, and unwanted, segments of that humanity out of existence.

    The good news is that the reason I’ve never had ECT, nor a lobotomy, might have something to do with Nathan Kline’s work. Shock treatment in institutions, for diagnoses other than simply depression, was much more common prior to the introduction of neuroleptics. Also, not to downplay the efforts of many many people to end the practice, chemical lobotomy basically did in the perceived necessity for having surgical lobotomies.

    This is where the numbers start to tell a different story. I wouldn’t say the numbers of the casualties (non-survivors) declined after Nathan Kline’s work. All you have to do is read Peter Breggin or Robert Whitaker to get the other side of the picture. Treatment since has gotten more, rather than less, deadly, and this is alarming for another reason. Once society had a tendency to needlessly lock some individuals up for life. When it was doing so, the life expectancy of the person in the institution wasn’t so foreshortened as it is today. I don’t really consider early death an improvement over life imprisonment when it comes down to it. The death rate among people in the mental health treatment is alarming, an international scandal and tragedy, and this death rate is a direct result of the work of the likes of Nathan Kline.

  • If you sell “mental health treatment” for the “mental illness” “depression”, you must also sell the “mental illness” “depression”. Here they come up with a percentage, and this percentage justifies claiming a great need and urgency for more treatment. Then you’ve got the WHO claiming depression the up and coming leading cause of disability worldwide, offsetting heart disease. Seriously, someone needs to say, “Get a grip, guys.”

    Any emotional depression on a large scale, just like economic depression, is a man-made phenomenon. If people are unhappy and discontent in the countries where they live, often there are social and economic reasons for this sadness and discontent. Work your butt off for what’s not having in the first place, and you might begin to get my drift. There is no manual for survival in today’s world, and if there were, it would certainly be in short supply. There are reasonable ways to do things, one of those reasonable ways is not to make profiteering the be all, end all, of existence.

    Now we’ve got this little problem. What happens when the source of your income is other peoples’ “mental disorder” so-called? What happens when your business is profiteering from confusion, misunderstanding, and unhappiness? Job security becomes a matter of projecting a percentage of “un” or “under treated” “illness”. You can’t clean this mess up entirely, not and keep your job at the same time. The “human condition” is worse than it might be, chiefly because it pays to have an atrocious “human condition”. Clean it up, and corporations take a dive. Well being and contentment don’t maximize profits for a few individuals at the expense of the vast majority. On the other hands, maximizing the profits of the few, means much business for those who make a living from the system’s casualties.

  • I don’t know where you’re going with this series. I’ve been very curious to see where it is headed. Some of the things you’ve suggested have already thrown up what amount to, for me, red flags. I find myself wary then as to what that destination might be. I guess I will have to wait until we get there before expressing a more complete opinion.

    I wouldn’t resolve any dualism that might be perceived between mind and body because I don’t think such a resolution called for. Although thinking is what the brain does, thinking is not what a brain is. If thought is anything it is much, much more than a mere firing of neurons within such a brain, and it cannot be thoroughly analyzed, nor understood, reduced to such narrow terms under any conditions.

    “On this view, knowledge is a function of human beings living together within the world. Knowledge is inherently public. Our individual, private experience is just that — it is experience, it is not knowledge. A single isolated individual might impose some order on their experience, but a mind in isolation from the world and other humans could not produce anything that we would think of as knowledge.”

    Not being one to equate reality with consensus reality, I’m certainly not one to equate knowledge with consensus reality. If, for example, everybody on earth except for one individual believed the earth to be flat, I don’t think such “knowledge” would make the earth “flat”. I think there is, actually, knowledge that is derived from personal experience, and knowledge on top of it that might prove essential to one’s survival. Saying anything beyond that would involve way too much speculation.

    I don’t think “our ability to know anything depends on our membership” in “a historical human community”. Nor do I think that people need be expelled from community, and punished (segregated from community and housed in psychiatric prisons) for thinking (&/or behaving) in any fashion that it, as a community, finds alien and threatening when that thinking (& behavior) is not necessarily so. I wouldn’t say, for example, that prehistoric societies were without knowledge because they didn’t keep records. I don’t find knowledge and public record keeping necessarily synonymous.

    My wariness concerns a subject that came up during the course of the previous post in the series when we were talking about ‘rule breaking’ and “lack of competency” rulings. I imagine it is a subject you are going to return to at some point in the series. I feel that there is a lot arbitrariness in many court decisions due to the client not having a caring family and friends to offer the kind of support that is needed. When caring family and friends are not present to defend the client, and the state thinks the client unable to defend him or herself, then the state appoints a guardian, a guardian who doesn’t always, or even often, have the client’s best interests at heart. A cruel, cold world can often be a cruel, cold world, and the road uphill, and back from such a development, if possible, is certainly not going to be the road of least resistance.

  • I feel like the title of this article is somewhat misleading. A corrected title would read: Researchers Probe Connections Between Physical Inactivity and ‘Severe Mental Illness’.

    Another thing these researchers might be looking into are the connections between physical inactivity and psychiatric drug usage. I can guarantee you there is a correlation there as well.

    It also makes you wonder, when they are not making the second connection, whether or not this deficit is due in part to connections the researchers might have with big pharma.

  • Take heed, here we’ve got the Australian variant of what should be an worldwide scandal. I don’t know about anti-medication, but when you get 20-fold increase in the suicide rate, maybe medication is the wrong word to use. How do we reverse this situation? Given industry lies and corruption, professional temerity and cowardice, guild interests, coupled with government collusion, the challenges are enormous. We still, unlike them, find the relevant health concerns of foremost importance. The pressure is on us. If we keep it up, eventually, maybe they will come to realize that the earth is round, not flat. The problem, rather than falling off the edges of the world;, and into the gaping jaws of some dragon or other, has spread from one hemisphere to the other. Perhaps the time for action has arrived.

    Thank you for this important and informative post. I truly hope people are paying attention.

  • Forget about it. What gave us the opioid crisis in the first place was the great forgetting. Remember when speed and opioids were street drugs. No more.

    It wasn’t that long ago either.

    I’m not saying the “war on drugs” was a good thing. I’m just saying that if you’re going to transform medical doctors into street corner drug pushers, you’ve got to expect this sort of thing.

    Take care of the “emergency”, and what do you know? Here comes a drug company pitch for the next once illicit but rehabilitated toxic substance.

    Now that opium dens have been ‘domesticated’, you have to expect this type of thing.

    The problem isn’t illicit drugs, the problem is unscrupulous drug companies, dirty, perhaps stupid, doctors, and the blurred lines between murder and pain relief.

    Throw in ‘drug cocktails’, ‘direct to consumer advertising’, capitalism, and corporate owned political parties, and you start to get a more complete picture of the matter.

    Who killed John Q Drug Addict, excuse me, John Q Pain Clinic Service User? It certainly wasn’t, given so much assistance, personal irresponsibility alone.

    All in the name of profiteering, learning enhancement, and pain relief, etc., forget about it. Here we go again.

  • Actually, it’s a very young field, psychology is. William James, William Wundt, and Pierre Janet–writer in point–are seen as founding fathers. Next question, how much do psychological practices of today differ from those practiced way back when (as opposed to what you’ve got here, how similar they are), and have we gone anywhere in the interim?

    Psychoanalysis, of course, is more closely aligned with psychological practice than more biological models of psychiatry, and this leads to two forms of critique. One aimed at medical model treatment as a form of fraudulent practice and the other aimed at psychoanalytic, psychological methods of medicine (medicalization) as a form of fraudulent practice (more alt medicine).

    Should one not take sides in this debate, I would imagine the possibility of a third path also arises, and pretty distinctly if you were to ask me.

  • Some of us don’t live anywhere near New York City nor Los Angeles. I’ve lived in the southern US all my life, and usually at a remove from that yankee enclave, Atlanta. I linked up with the early movement by going to the mountain (i.e. city) rather than having the mountain (i.e. city) come to me. I figure there are a lot of people who don’t live anywhere near LA. I hope that means there is a potential for expanding any movement we might have against coercive psychiatry into places where there is no such movement, nor consciousness of the need for it, at the present moment in time.

    As for the “angry mental patient”, yes, when they would fault the “patient” for negativity while at the same time ignoring and excusing the negativity of a destructive and destroying system of maltreatment, and social control, mislabeled therapy. If one’s “mental patient”hood (i.e. consumerdumb) doesn’t survive a little righteous and healthy anger, so much the better. Of course, mental health authorities could always construe that anger as symptomatic as well, and thus actually make resolution a near impossibility.

    I’m just saying I’m here, and I’m not endorsing nor excusing that destructive and destroying system I was alluding to above in any way, shape, or form. If anyone has anything that I can do to help rid ourselves of that system, for good, I’m happy, and more than willing to help in any fashion that I can.

  • When “mental illness” is trendy, and to dissuade a person from pursuing a path in “mental illness” is thought of as “stigmatizing” that person, what’d you expect? We no longer have patients, instead we have “consumers”. “Ill mental health” is now a form of “success”, a thing wildly applauded in white society.

    Perhaps it has something to do with that “false consciousness”. yeah_I_survived, was alluding to in the first comment above.

  • I’m not with the catechism idea so much, OldHead. Do we really need another religion, or, if not religion, ideology? One could, after a fashion, become too strait laced, and, perhaps, exclusive, with their principles.

    “A group of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas” Synonyms: party, faction, wing, lobby, camp.
    So a Google search defines movement.

    We are not a homogeneous group. There are factions within factions.

    Since 1909 you’ve had what was once called the mental hygiene but is now called the mental health movement. My feeling is that the mental health movement is an extension of the movement for forced treatment, the Lunatic asylum building boom movement of the 1800s, going back to the rise of private Mad Houses in the 1700s, that preceded it.

    The antipsychiatry movement (1967) grew out of the Kingsley Hall (1965-1970) experiment coupled with the obvious conclusions to be gleaned from The Myth of Mental Illness (1961) by Thomas Szasz. You can also throw in ex-patient dissatisfaction and outrage, Elizabeth Parsons Packard in the USA, and the Alleged Lunatics’ Friend Society in England, going back to the 19th century. What other kind of medical profession presumes to practice fictitious medicine, and not call it fraud, in the world?

    The psychiatric survivor movement that got off the ground in the 1970s was somewhere in the middle between these two movements and at cross purposes, the mental health reform movement, and the mental health system abolition movement. In the beginning, one might have called it an anti-psychiatry movement, later, the bureaucratic “peer” and reformist thing took over. Somebody must’ve thought we were “winning” when we were actually “losing”.

    It is the mental health movement and the antipsychiatry movement, in my view, that are incompatible, and should be in opposition. One is for systemic reform (i.e. “kinder, gentler” oppression), the other is for abolition of a system of abduction, torture, imprisonment, brain washing, and killing, etc., of undesirables. Take your pick.

  • Wowee! Southern California has it’s own organization against forced treatment, with a website, and all of that. Where does that leave the rest of the USA? I wouldn’t want to think that the only way I could fight for the freedom of people oppressed by coercive psychiatry was to move to LA. I think we are going to have to get people on board nationally and internationally in a big way if we are going to end forced treatment (i.e enforce the law). The SCAFT is a start, but a small start. People in Boondocks USA must be pleased as punch.

    “The stereotype of the angry mental patient”? As long as we’re not talking Norman Bates, I think I missed something. As for “angry mental patient”, that becomes an I wish. There’s all this rhetoric from people in the system about not wanting to be negative. I guess that makes the system positive…Not so far as I’m concerned. People in the system are dying at an incredible rate. It would be redundant here to say that somebody should look into it.

    Thank you from me for all the good work you’ve done through the CHRUSP and the CRPD on behalf of people who have faced, and are facing, coercive treatment. If there’s anything I can do, let me know, and I will do what I can. We have to make this thing count, not only at the local level, but at the national and international levels as well.