Monday, June 17, 2019

Comments by Frank Blankenship

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  • 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.”

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

    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.

    https://www.history.com/news/here-are-6-things-albert-einstein-never-said

  • 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.

    https://www.amazon.com/Zone-Interior-Clancy-Sigal/dp/1904590101

  • 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
    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~DRBR/s_tein.html

    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.

  • OK, then I guess we can officially classify you as “anti-communist” for future reference.

    I’m a communist, an anti-capitalist, but of the anarchist variety. I’m not a Marxist ideologue, no.

    “withering away” is what Harriet Beech Stowe expected.

    I’d hardly call the War between the States, otherwise referred to as the American Civil War, as a “withering away”. The Emancipation Proclamation might have come out of the Civil War, but without that war, there would have been no Emancipation Proclamation. There was a time even when Abraham Lincoln was talking about slavery continuing until the 1950s if the Union could have been preserved in the process. The south couldn’t see all new states coming in as non-slave states, and so things came to a head, with war the result.

  • I disagree. If “mental illnesses” were actual “illnesses”, why, why, the coercion? Why the locked doors, and why the closed wards? We don’t force treatment on most patients in the hospital, in fact, many patients, with fatal conditions, have the option of not receiving any treatment. There is nothing however potentially fatal about so-called “mental illness” except perhaps the thoughts and actions of the “afflicted”. The issue has to be ‘public safety’ because it certainly isn’t protection of the folk physically detained in the asylum/hospital/prison. You don’t have to segregate people from the communities in which they work and live for medical treatment as a rule, but that is exactly what is done with so-called “mental health” conditions. My take on the matter is that coercion, incarceration, came first, and then people started talking “medical” because they thought, thereby, the coerced might receive less harsh treatment. The problem is that, following this reform ploy, physical treatment for non-physical distress has shown itself to be much more harmful than the distress itself. Distress that, in and of itself, is only harmful, to a substantial degree, through exaggeration, and you get a heck of a lot of exaggeration in the “mental health” system. Most people suffering from real medical issues are not under threat of coerced treatment, and further coerced treatment, following legal proceedings.

  • “We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files
    We’d like to help you learn to help yourself
    Look around you all you see are sympathetic eyes
    Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home”

    Mrs. Robinson, Paul Simon, Bookends (Album), 1968

    “And here’s to you”
    Etc.
    Ditto.

    My advice to people in the “mental health” system is get out of the “mental health” system. Being beholden, in debt, really, or dependent on other people, is not the best place to be at, and that’s what the system thrives on. It’s all artificial crippledom leaving any benefits as transparent as a three dollar bill.

  • I don’t go along with any of the “withering away” mythology, an aftereffect of Marxist ideology. The idea is that class society will “wither away” under autocratic rule that purports to be for and of the working class has to be the kind of baloney it sounds like. This is much like Marxist scientific materialism which is only a way of stacking the deck in favor of your own philosophy. You can’t say, whoops, sorry about that, but I was wrong. We wrote that classless society was going to win out in the end, and because you read it in a book, it must be like anything you might have seen on TV, that is, “true”. Error is the province of other people’s philosophies, philosophies that don’t have “materialism” on their side, philosophies that lose out.

  • Abolitionist, of course, was a word for people out to end the institution of slavery. Where psychiatry most resembles slavery I think people are quite right to speak of themselves as being abolitionists with their intent to get rid of it. Accounting people 3/4ths of a human being is unacceptable these days. Ditto, this disenfranchised a fraction of a citizen. Second or third class is the way some folks have put it.

    One problem in the past is that some big wig shrinks of the time were also with this independence struggle or that, and so we get the revolutions of the 18th century associated with moral management, the treatment reform and asylum/”prison” building movement of the time. This puts us further behind when it comes to figuring out that if 1. slavery doesn’t mesh with democratic values neither does 2. labeling, drugging, and scapegoating people for their differences in opinion, behavior and demeanor.

    I don’t think it necessary to get rid of capitalism to get rid of psychiatry, however, I also don’t think it necessary to get rid of psychiatry to get rid of capitalism. Getting rid of both? What a beautiful idea. Maybe we could work on that one together.

  • I am for abolition of involuntary treatment, and unapologetically so. As for abolition of psychiatry, why bother? If one can’t be treated against one’s will, where’s the problem? You don’t want it, you walk away from it.

    The other side of the coin is why would I support abolition of voluntary treatment. I don’t support abolition of voluntary treatment any more than I support the abolition of voluntary anything. I think if you’re looking for a strong man, as Josef Stalin is often called, to put things to right, your efforts are likely to backfire.

  • Let me, if you will, Pacific Dawn, clarify a little. I don’t go by the formula: Psychiatry is the root of all evil, eradicate it, and everything will be hunky dory. I have a great deal of skepticism regarding any such formula. I don’t think psychiatry is the root of all evil, and I don’t think if it is eradicated that everything will be hunky dory.

    What I oppose about psychiatry has to do with the two key words you mentioned in your comment, consenting adults. Forced psychiatry takes away our right to consent, and thus transforms us into children or sub-humans devoid of the basic rights as they apply to others of our species. You can’t deprive people of liberty without also depriving them of responsibility. I see forced treatment as a threat to our basic liberties as put forward in the Declaration of Independence, in other words, I see forced treatment as impinging upon our “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, or ownership of property. I would, in other words, give people back their adulthood, and with it their citizenship, by allowing them to say “no” to psychiatry. Get rid of forced treatment, and the only people being injured by psychiatry would be those who have consented to be so injured. Force deprives people of consent by definition. Get rid of involuntary hospitalization, and I have no issue with the profession. When they can’t force treat, and, thereby, injure, the likes of you and me, against our will and wishes, what bother! My problem with the profession–forcing treatment on people who neither desire nor seek treatment–will have been addressed. Treatment as a form of self-injurious behavior is not a really big issue with me. You really can’t force wisdom on people either. It’s not that consensual treatment is uninformed, it’s this matter that if you don’t really have the right to say “no” to treatment, the right not to consent to treatment, it can’t really be said to be consensual in the first place.

  • You’ve got an uphill argument to make, but not with me. Institutions of higher education train psychiatrists, governments evaluate and license them. A lot of people, a heck of a lot of people, think that what psychiatry is doing is just plain right. I’m not one of those people, but convention seems to count for a lot. You think you can convince people to deprive government of the power to license psychiatrists. There’s your uphill argument. It’s not one I’m going to make because my fight is with force, with power, and not with petty regulations and procedures. End forced treatment, and you don’t have to take the license to practice medicine away even from your pretenders. The problem is not that psychiatry exists, the problem is the power that has been granted to psychiatrists over the lives of other people. Take that power away, and they’re just like everybody else…again. The problem is not that there are psychiatric hospitals, the problem is that those hospitals are only figuratively hospitals, and that they are literal prisons. They aren’t hospitable at all. Change that, and you will have done something. Psychiatry is just a word, censor it, and it will reappear as a completely different word.

  • Loved Lou’s song, Kill Your Sons. Another good one is Billy Was A Friend of Mine. It’s about the choices people make, and how sometimes one path doesn’t lead you to the place where you thought it might have led you.

    Lou mentions the effects of Thorazine in the song Kill Your Sons, too. “All of the drugs, that we took, it really was lots of fun But when they shoot you up with thorazine on crystal smoke You choke like a son of a gun.” There’s that difference between psych drugs and recreational drugs again. I had a friend, now deceased, who was there at the counter when this lady he knew, on a neuroleptic, choked on a donut. She ultimately ended up in a coma, and then had the plug pulled on her. Apparently her brain had been deprived of oxygen for too long a time.

    Shock treatment was more utilized as a general purpose treatment (cough, cough) before the development of neuroleptics. I know of a person now who is on court ordered ECT treatments. I think that’s really scary. Apparently things haven’t changed so much after all. Why, in other words, court ordered shock? The “mental health” authorities have to keep this guy alive at all costs? You think? I wonder what is really going on there. One thing I don’t think the courts should be doing is forcing harmful treatments on people, and that, in his case, is exactly what they’re doing.

  • Most readers of this blog would probably agree that the paradigm of care that grows out of the medical model is the biggest challenge to confront.

    Not so here, hospitals, as a rule, don’t take prisoners, not unless those hospitals are “mental hospitals”, or “psychiatric institutions”, do they take prisoners. What am I saying? The “medical model” thing has to be, in large measure, tongue in cheek. The real issue we are dealing with is the “violence card” being played because that is the thing that allows these institutions, to express their own variety of violence, and to take prisoners. “Mental hygiene”, as it used to be put, is associated with “public safety”, and so, you’ve got this matter of getting people ‘off the streets’ who scare other people. I think that could only be medical in a peripheral sense. Why punish sick people? Something underhanded is taking place. Just what is it? I couldn’t say, but the aim is not literal “medical” care, it’s figurative “medical care”.

    Outside of that, I worry about your efforts directed towards systemic change increasing the immensity of the gargantuan creature that is devouring us. The size of the system has grown exponentially with time. What can we do to halt this breakneck expansion of the system? Labeling people “sick” who are not physically sick is called medicalization, and many efforts at reform have only succeeded in furthering the cause of medicalization.

  • Crazy people are “sick” people?

    Actually, now you can evade adulthood indefinitely by opting for the “mental health treatment” trip, however, campaigning for the violation of your citizenship rights and civil liberties has it’s shortcomings.

    No psychiatry is not an alternative to psychiatry until somebody starts shoving psychiatry down your throat. Stop forcing psychiatry on people, and they won’t need an alternative to forced psychiatry.

  • If you’re talking about forced non-consensual maltreatment, providing “alternatives” actually does validate force, Get rid of force, and you wouldn’t need “alternatives” to it. An “alternative”, in fact, when standard practice is not forced, would mean force. We don’t need “alternative” treatments (& look it up, “alternative medicine” is quackery), we need non-consensual forced psychiatry outlawed.

  • Labeled schizo-affective in the state hospital, I was put on Lithium. Possibly twice. Nasty stuff. I was also put on Synthroid for the hypothyroidism I developed due to the Lithium I was taking. Imagine that, double bad. The dosage for mood-disorders is almost at the toxic level, and so it’s not something you really want to do. I’ve known people who have had their kidney’s shutdown on the drug, and one person who had to have a Kidney transplant because of Lithium. Life is precious. Do the math, and you can figure it out for yourself. Lithium has to be one of the reasons the mortality rate for people said to be suffering from serious psych disorder labels is so high. Lithium is a drug I would not recommend people take.

  • But FrankB, isn’t it true that most people who end up in the hands of Psychiatrists or Psychotherapists put themselves there voluntarily.

    No, not so long as admission into a hospital means a locked ward. I don’t think people “volunteer” for forced treatment so much as they are “volunteered”. If you can’t get out of any situation you are in, well, we have a word for that situation, and that word is trap.

    And aren’t more people getting their lethal narcotics from Psychotherapists than Psychiatrists?

    Most people in the system, the public “mental health” system, are getting their neurotoxins from psychiatrists. Following the DSM-III, and the triumph of bio-psychiatry, more psychotherapy is done by psychologists than psychiatrists these days. In some places psychologists are being granted prescribing privileges, but that is still the exception rather than the rule.

    A heck of a lot is against the law. Too much, some folks might say, and so, yes, unfortunately we can outlaw many things, and often many good things get outlawed.

    Our government is not licensing anybody who hasn’t gone through school. I think you should do something about mental health law instead, the law that allows circumvention of the law when it comes to “mental” cases. Do that, and psychiatric assault ceases to be the acceptable treatment or behavior that it presently is.

    Of course, children should not be subjected to labeling and torture, but, once the genie is out of the bottle, putting him back in is always going to be problematic.

    I’m an atheist, and I don’t see the government forcing religion on me or anybody else.

    When the world revolves around the rich 1 % of the population, the other 99 % of the population is underclass. Of course, these underclasses are divided, in some fashion, between those who get paid off by the 1 %, another 20 %, and those who don’t, but you get the picture. With a more equitable distribution of wealth, the 99 % has the power to correct the many wrongs created by this situation.

  • Hit rewind, and go backwards in time. There is a chart in an article on The History of Mental Health Treatment.

    https://www.dualdiagnosis.org/mental-health-and-addiction/history/

    Under Chemical Interventions. It shows the numbers of mental patient in England and Wales over the years in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1850, you had 7,000 patients. In 1930, the number was up to 120,000 patients. In 1954, there were 150,000 patients. Okay, you keep going back in time, and that number is going to be much, much less than even the 7,000 we started with.

  • Did I say I supported Psychotherapy, Recovery, Life Coaching, Motivationalism, etc.? No, I did not. Bankroll brainwashing on your own time, but don’t drag me into the matter.

    Critical psychiatry is critical of psychiatry. Antipsychiatry is opposed to psychiatry. There is no intermediate zone. Either you lock up (and suppress) crazies because you fear them, or they are as crazy as they wanna be because you don’t fear them.

  • Perhaps a more appropriate heading and subject would be The Role of Bias in Diagnosis. Currently psychiatry has a few tricks to keep the diagnosis rate of schizophrenia at a consistant 1 % level. One is the bipolar disorder diagnosis that has taken off, and in a few years time, outdistanced in percentages the schizophrenia diagnosis rate. The other is that mood disorder grab bag between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder. It represents yet another release valve to keep the schizophrenia rate constant. Stars, geniuses, and celebrities get bipolar affective disorder pretty regularly. Schizoaffective disorder is not seen as so likely to result in negative outcomes as pure head-on straightforward schizophrenia, which leaves you schizophrenia as the throw away category of pretty much 1 %, and as Hollywood always knew, when it comes to leading roles in the white entertainment business, members of the circling savage hoard are always more expendable than those in the wagon train, and rescuing army.

  • The critics of psychiatry fall into two basic categories, depending upon their degree of criticism. Those who are merely critical of conventional psychiatry, and those who are even more critical of psychiatry. Those who are, in fact, so critical of psychiatry that they reject psychiatry altogether. The first group are advocates of critical psychiatry while second support antipsychiatry. You don’t need a “broader” term as that makes the ground covered by both pretty broad.

  • Much forced psychiatry is only technically legal anyway, and the technicality that it’s got is called mental health law, that loophole in the law that allows psychiatric assault to occur, which in many regards goes against constitutional law, or law as it applies to those of us who are not deemed sub-human, or an established under-class.

  • I feel like we’re getting a defense of psychotherapy, perhaps in response to another 25 items, only those items are reasons. The 25 reasons I am referring to are the 25 reasons delineated in 25 Reasons Psychiatry Must Be Abolished by Don Weitz.

    http://www.antipsychiatry.org/25reason.htm

    Psychotherapy, in relation to the rest of psychiatry, is somewhat of a diversion. We’ve replaced “mental disorder” with “mental distress”, and the doctor is now counselor, but perhaps the problem is more fundamental to lop-sided relationships, such as the relationship of “client” to “analyst”, or of “worker” to “boss”, or of “inferior” to “superior”, or of “slave” to “master” than all that.

    I have a problem with the idea of being framed by a snapshot. Automatic association, blackmail. Of course, personalities are more fluid than that, but what I’m getting at is that the “mental health” system bubble has all of these shiny associations floating around it’s bulbous interior surface.

    Things have changed. Once it was the abnormal the professionals were trying to make normal. Now it is the normal they would make out to be abnormal. If everybody was content, of course, there goes somebody’s paycheck.

    All it takes is a long sharp needle. One prick from the point of the needle, and POP, the fantasy is over, the bubble has burst, and the unreachable “mental health” goal has been attained, that is, the “mental health” torture is over. The long rehearsal is over. Time to get on with one’s life. One’s real life.

  • Our difference of opinion, OldHead, seems to be over whether the psychiatric survivor movement and the antipsychiatry movement are synonymous. You seem to think that the two movements are synonymous while I believe that the two movement neither are, nor should be, synonymous. In other words, it is my feeling that we’re dealing with two separate movements here, not one.

    Touche’.

  • Can you!?

    You’re basically making up your own history to conform to your personal ideology. Can you at least make an attempt at some form of documentation of your claims (and not from OldHead)?

    You requested that anybody who challenged you must cite sources, however, you seldom, if ever, cite any sources of your own. Don’t accuse me of fabricating history if you can’t prove anything you say isn’t a fabrication.

  • Sure, treat counselors like any other operator of a service business, and protect people from them by law, rather than the other way around, that is, don’t protect counselors from being prosecuted by law for crimes committed against people engaging their services. I am assuming that people here know the difference between a service and a disservice.

    A related matter concerns hospitals that are actually prisons. Locked wards and forced treatment by hospitals should not be tolerated. Hospitals must remain places of healing, and they must not become places of detention. Where they have crossed that line, they must be shut down and abandoned.

  • I’m not a “happy customer” either. I wasn’t even asking for “help”. I was abducted, imprisoned, tortured, poisoned, slandered, robbed, etc., etc., etc., by the state “mental hospital” system. I am, in fact, no longer “a customer”. The whole abducting, torturing, poisoning, slandering, robbing business needs to be done away with.

  • I was juxtaposing talk therapy with drug therapy, Julie. My point being, a. all therapies are not equal, and 2. drug therapy can, while talk therapy can’t, directly kill you.

    Death by one’s own hand I would not consider a direct consequence of, but rather a personal decision.

    I’m not saying that some of what passes for therapy is not actually torture, or some form of intimidation. That kind of thing happens. It shouldn’t, perhaps, but it does, and the people behind it have their own ways of rationalizing it.

    I’m not saying there isn’t a lot of lying and deception taking place in the “mental health” field, and that people aren’t victimized by such deceit. I’m just saying drugs will kill you, and talk won’t kill you. I’m also saying that every person who engages in the therapy trade is not a lying, manipulating, torturing SOB. That’s all.

  • Two issues are present really, the first involving deprivation of liberty, and violation of human rights, and the second, harmful physical treatments, rationalized by would-be medicine, with biology seen as the basis for ‘problems in living’.

    Between talk therapy and drug therapy, they’re both quackery, but drug therapy unlike talk therapy will kill and maim you. I can’t, in other words, completely agree that all treatments are equal, and that there can’t be a better way. There are certainly other reasons for treatment than the ones usually given, combined, in some instances, with much deception, and this ulterior motivation involves something besides actual health, the stated reason for such treatment programs.

  • Quackery pays, sure, but sooner or later your quacks are going to be found out. Anticorruption campaigns will take care of the big $$$$$$$ boys. Get the money out of politics, bust a few corrupt politicians, and your big bad boys will be a lot smaller.

  • One correction to the above is necessary. Moral treatment begins just prior to the 19th century, not the 18th, and continues onto the middle of that century.

    Imprisoning lunatics began in earnest on a larger scale than say 20 max inmates in Bedlam at the end of the 17th century, and near the beginning of the 18th. The scale of this mass imprisonment was just further escalated, once again, and much further, with the introduction of moral management, or more would-be humane treatment, great selling point for lunatic asylum/psychiatric prisons, towards the dawn of 19th century.

  • As far as I’m concerned, Ronald Pies and Mark Ruffalo, together with many in their field, have created their own bogeyman in the antipsychiatry movement. This movement doesn’t compare with the biological psychiatry movement, what with its pharmaceutical drug fiefdoms and the imperialism of western pseudo-medicine that is engulfing much of the planet at this time.

    I have a little problem with this time line of yours beginning in the middle of the 19th century. Before there were psychiatrists, there were, same thing, mad doctors and alienists. Of course, psychiatrists didn’t start calling themselves psychiatrists until about the middle of the 19th century, or perhaps later, the beginning of the 20th.

    From just before the beginning of the 18th century, moral management was the reform movement that existed until about, let’s see, the middle of the 19th century. Moral management, with doctors making a show of removing shackles from patients, patients that were only technically patients, but actual prisoners, was the thing. You don’t need, really, shackles when you’ve got solitary confinement (padded cells, strait jackets, and that kind of thing.)

    Okay. The problem is this asylum that people are not free to leave. That’s a prison. That isn’t an asylum, and it definitely isn’t a hospital. These prisons for the mad, psychiatric, one might say, prisons, began sometime prior to the first major reform movement (i.e moral management). Moral management actually escalated the proliferation of these psychiatric prisons (then termed lunatic asylums).

    I hope I’ve sort of paved the way here for the 20th and 21st centuries. Psychiatric prisons still exist, and they are making incursions into local communities as well with all sorts of mini-prisons being developed. Odd treatments, spinning chairs, blood-letting, physical beatings, ice baths, etc., have given way to equally if not more dangerous and odd treatments, electrically induced grand mal seizures, the thorazine (or even seraquel) haze, etc., but the quackery continues.

  • Communist works pretty well for me. Plus I don’t have the aversion to radical leftism that some people have which I think is a more recent phenomenon that owes a lot to the coinage of a more recent expression, “radical right”, “radical conservatism”, or “radical republicanism” put forward by some political commentators. I suppose if you become radical right enough, you start waving flags with swastikas on them, and we’ve done what might be called a ‘full circle’.

    Part of the problem, and Foucault would have been aware of this one, is that the revolutions of the 18th century, against the monarchy, as you put it, saw mental health reform (i.e. moral management, and the expanding asylum system that went along with it; an asylum system that had upped the patient population by 10s of thousands at the beginning of the 20th century) as a more enlightened way of dealing with the “insane”. Funny how, given this capitalistic adventure in salesmanship, that population hasn’t declined, on the other hand, but gets higher with almost every news broadcast in recent years.

  • I beg to disagree, there were never “two movements”, there were multiple movements. The psychiatric survivor movement was one thing, the antipsychiatry movement another, and although there was much overlap, I’m not going to equate the two. Our psychiatric survivor movement has been beset by factionalism from the beginning, and I figure it is better to acknowledge such differences than to pretend that we’ve always been, and will always be, in agreement.

    I’ve heard Ted say something about the 1985 conference being hijacked. The idea of the conference being hijacked adds an element of disorganization to the proceedings. If that’s the movement’s last organized event, and I’m certainly not saying it was, the movement for all practical purposes comes to an abrupt end there and then. I wasn’t there. I wish I had been. We need more events like those that we have had in the past.

    “Tentative cooperation”? Judi is an award now, and Howie is an institution in NYC. Those two are no longer speaking for themselves. Enough with the name dropping. I think we’ve reached a point, what with Nami Pamification, that what the movement has become must be opposed. Medicalization (i.e. psychiatrizing) is such a big issue, you know 1 in 4, or whatever the ridiculous figure is now, that we’ve got to fight all the peddling of “mental health” BS that is going on now. What was once the psychiatric survivor movement is behind a great deal of this patient proliferation, and it should be quashed. The patient proliferation, that is, should be quashed. Okay, now you can get a job in the “mental health” policing business. Count me out.

  • A great many opportunists apparently.

    I heard Judi speak at a few conferences, Alternatives among them. I’m thinking of Judi and Howie, too. I think she tailored her message to suit her audience, but then, who doesn’t?

    I think it depends on which movement you are speaking of. One movement changed after 1985. Many people involved in it up to that point didn’t change, and either ended up going their separate ways, or being, after a fashion, diplomatic.

    Oh, and it was the so-called CSX movement, “recovery” movement, “peer” “support” movement, mental patients’ bondage movement, or whatever, that sold antipsychiatry down the river, and not vice versa. (Of course, then there are people like you who think the psychiatric survivor movement and the antipsychiatry movement are identical. They aren’t.)

  • The drugs bothered me so much, regardless of dosage, that I stopped taking them outside of the total(itarian) institution of the state hospital. Inside I had no choice, you stand in the queue, and take their poison, or a couple of goons mug you, and give it to you in the rear with a needle and syringe. If I didn’t stop taking them, some doctor would be prescribing them indefinitely, reduced level, or packing the kind of punch to put down an elephant. Actually, I just went through the motions, and pretended to be compliant just to get on with my life. I wasn’t going to take their drugs, but the less people knew about that, the better. Other people took psych-drugs, and that was alright with me. They can live with the TD and metabolic syndrome, I suppose, better than I can.

  • ‘modeled on U.S.-style, managed care”

    It’s a boom industry in the U.S.A. I imagine that more diagnosing, more drugging, and more of about everything concerned with turning people into mental patients is more state of the art in the bad ‘ole U.S.A.

    That they’ve got better things to be doing in Canada. The notion might not occur to them.

  • Really? I thought Trump thought he was president or something.

    The present mental illness contagion, or mental health treatment consumption contagion if you prefer, we are presently experiencing can only grow with an expanding psycho-pharmaceutical industrial complex. Okay. Give people money, of course, and they’ve got bread on their tables. A career “mental patient”, alternatively called a “peer”, to differentiate them from “peer professionals”, whew. How much garbage do you have to swallow before you choke on it? Mental patients’ liberation exists outside of the mental health system entirely.

  • I read the article and felt that the bit on Robert Whitaker was insulting to him, and anything but even handed. One could say it called for a reply. While the story revolved around Laura, I kind of thought it sidestepped the doping issue, and dealt rather excessively with Laura as some kind of a poster-board “mental health” “recovery” case. I don’t know how you can list the number of drugs that Laura was on at one time without getting the idea that that was excessive. I also don’t think Laura was unusual in that regard, and this is the point that the author somehow either missed or suppressed. Plus, it doesn’t take a lot of drugs. It’s the whole bio-psychiatric narrative that pushes pharmaceuticals, and that’s a narrative that the author didn’t seem to question to any great extent. She, if you want to have a laugh, consulted Allen Frances for the piece. Allen Frances was downright comical trying to say, on one hand, that some patients needed drugs, and maybe, on the other, that some patients didn’t need so much altered chemistry. I think he came across pretty much like the two-faced drug pushing shrink, and the embarrassed but guilty architect of the DSM-IV, that he actually is.

  • When the movement decided to work for mental health system expansion by turning mental patients into mental health workers, mini-warders, across the board all of a sudden all these once angry young radicals became boring old farts. A bigger mental patient manufacture (i.e. medicalization) system is by no means a better system. I really hope they get it together. I’d like to see a monkey wrench thrown into the works someday.

  • We have a corporate owned media, and that, in large measure, must go a long way toward presenting only one side of the message, a message amenable to business interests. I really can’t imagine any national television company, with so much pharmaceutical money in sponsorship, airing a program that takes a critical look at pharmaceuticals. Over and over again, it’s drug ads with a litany of negative effects that they expect, and see, the public put to sleep on predominating. Gloss over this somnolent exercise, and attend to the “que sera sera”, they seem to be saying. I would think, this being true of broadcasting companies, maybe there are strings being pulled in other branches of the media as well.

  • Excuse me, is waiting for the revolution a “false choice” or no choice?

    There’s also the slogan “Nobody’s perfect” that was a slogan of the Nobody for President campaign.

    I couldn’t argue with the slogan “Don’t vote, it only encourages them.” Don’t vote, and I guarantee you somebody else will. The “haves” have been banking on a lack of vote from the “have nots” since time immemorial.

    I voted. I voted for Jill. I would do it again. One thing is for sure, not voting is just another vote for global warming.

  • Laing and Cooper split over Cooper’s invention of antipsychiatry.

    The most highly critical look at psychiatry is a total rejection of psychiatry, in other words, antipsychiatry.

    As for suffering fools, yeah, someone is always going to have to do something.

    Did I just use the word “always”? Probably shouldn’t have done that. Ditto, you and the use of that word, “never”.

  • Psychiatric coercion isn’t legitimate. Before we had anything that might be referred to as a “medical model” you had the police model. You STILL have the police model. Society wants to get errant members off the streets, and it has psychiatry to help it get them off the streets. The illusion that this effort has anything to do with health is just that, illusion.

  • If you just put all shock docs out of business by saying that, I must have missed something. As I said before, self-harm is big, big, big, and I’d like to write a self-harm guide sometime. You know, to compete with the self-help section at the bookstores. When your self-harm has help from professionals, it is no longer self-harm, it is “therapy”. I think everybody has a right to learn from their mistakes, however, first comes folly, then comes wisdom. Let me add, outlawing folly must be almost as big a mistake as mandating wisdom.

  • I don’t know, Ron. The idea of “real mental illnesses” seems to go along with the idea of “real mental illness treatment”. You know, the business of psychiatry, those doctors who “specialize” in the “treatment” of “mental illnesses”, “real” or imagined.

    I got out of the “mental illness treatment” racket entirely, and no complaints here. I’m content so long as nobody can force their “treatment”, perhaps more accurately referred to as trickment, on me.

    More to the point, I think a strong argument can be made against psychiatry, in particular in regards to the increased medicalization of everyday life, and the “chronic” label that goes along with it. (Wow! What exceptional salesmanship! Here’s your medical equivalent of the Brooklyn Bridge.) Now where were we? Oh yeah! Doctors who treat imaginary diseases are quacks. If the DSM is not a book of discrete and “real” disease entities, what it is? Of course, a manual of quackery, but that manual doesn’t make doctors who don’t go by the manual any less quacks than those who do.

    I understand the need for silence. Were you at the riverside with a line thrown into the water, this fish is not biting. You sell “mental health treatment”, and without a clientele, you’ve got no meat on your table, and a desperate need for a career change.

  • Abduction, imprisonment, lobotomy, electricity induced seizures, poisoning by toxic chemicals, slander, lifelong persecution, rigged low status, kangaroo hearings, prejudicial mistreatment, compulsory false confession, etc., and the cessation of all of the above. I wouldn’t say that antipsychiatry is extreme, although psychiatry certainly is extreme.

  • The deceptions here are amusing, as well as the results. People are living up or down to expectations. Mostly down. You give people fake MRI scans, those people that receive fake MRI scans that say they are improving, think they are improving, and their dispositions change. Apparently, placebos work better for people suffering from severe depression than previously thought, provided you can deceive them into thinking so.

  • I think the changing demographic, the browning of America, is also changing its politics, and for the better, so I would tend to disagree. The problem is corporate imperialism makes no color distinction either. We’ve got a president that got into power through aligning himself with white supremacists. Put a point on the scoreboard for the reaction. This doesn’t mean that if you opted for the other corporate owned politicians, the democrats, that’s a big hit for “health” of any kind. Should we not do anything about corporate money in politics, corruption is going to drag us all down. Another way to put it is, it need not be a choice between two evils, and opting for the lesser evil of two, if there is a third course of action available, but in this case I don’t think that third course would be conceived of as a “middle way”.

  • I would expose psychiatry as the pseudo-science it is, too, however, delegitimizing psychiatry is not the same thing as abolishing it. I would have much less of a problem with psychiatry posing as medicine if its hospitals were actually hospitals (same base as the word hospitality) instead of literal prisons (places of detention). If such were the case, people wouldn’t be held against their will and wishes. The problem with psychiatry is, even if a person is familiar with facts about drugs, etc., that person can be drugged to death and debility regardless. Get rid of the locked doors, and special passes, the law that transforms hospitals into prisons, so different from other units in a hospital, and you’ve gotten rid of the problem. The problem is not psychiatry per se, the problem is the power this particular “mental health” specialty has been granted over and beyond other people. They have no more knowledge than the average Joe when it comes to behavior. It is this power the profession has been granted by courts of law that is the problem, a power that should be curtailed, and not the fact that the profession exists at all. When they have no more power than the ordinary citizen, ordinary citizens can walk away from them without fear of becoming their captives for eternity. Forced treatment, forced psychiatry, should be abolished. You abolish forced treatment by repealing mental health law.

  • Talk about an uphill struggle?…

    All psychiatrists go through medical school. Stripping them of their licenses to practice, once they’ve achieved that career goal, is a little more complex than wishful thinking. Should psychiatry not be offered in medical school, but there’s that uphill struggle again. Also, a difference of opinion with somebody, probably many bodies, if you’re claiming psychiatry is not medicine.

    There is going to be lawful prescribing of drugs so long as the drugs prescribed aren’t prohibited by law. There may be a big section of books in any library or bookstore categorized as “self-help” books, but “self-harm” is really, really big these days. What with all the self-help guides being written, I think somebody should write a self-harm guide. My point? If you were to outlaw the Darwin Awards, you still wouldn’t be outlawing candidates for winning them.

  • I don’t have a problem with the use of the word abolition in relation to an institution like slavery. I think you have to be more specific in the case of psychiatry. All sorts of people are going to have completely different ideas as to what psychiatry is. If psychiatrists are “soul doctors”, they’ve got freedom of religion on their side. If they are physicians, they’ve got the medical field. I am all for the abolition of forced treatment, forced psychiatry, however, how can I be opposed to forced psychiatry without being in favor of non-forced psychiatry. As long as the mental health coppers can’t nab me and treat me against my will and wishes I’m fine. If anybody wants to see a shrink, or any other sort of fortune teller what-so-ever, that, of course, is up to them. If we’re going after institutional practice, sure, if we’re going after every doctor in private practice, I don’t really see it.

    For the difference between critical psychiatry and antipsychiatry, I would refer people to David Ingleby’s 1980 book, CRITICAL PSYCHIATRY: The Politics of Mental Health, and realize that critical psychiatry has updated it’s views to suit the times.

    From the Introduction, pg. 19.

    ‘Psychiatry’ because unlike David Cooper’s ‘non-psychiatrists’, the contributors to this volume all feel that mental illnesses – whatever their correct interpretation and political significance may be – do exist. and furthermore call for specialized understanding and help.

    Replace the words “mental illnesses” with “emotional distresses” or “psychological traumas”, and there you go. Updated.

    ‘Critical’ because we think that psychiatry should take time off from examining its patients in order to take a good look at itself, with the benefit of the insights which recent sociology and philosophy can offer.

    You get ‘critical’ enough and you never go back. You retire, and, er, as it were, become an antipsychiatrist, or an antipsychiatry movement activist instead.