Friday, August 18, 2017

Comments by Frank Blankenship

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  • Very interesting exchange. I’d say Allen Frances can’t entirely keep his mask on. His drug salesman face is peeking out from behind his physician mask. Same physician mask expressing remorse for his part in the DSM-IV fiasco. Despite all his talk about reducing doses, aggression cannot be attributed, by him anyway, to SSRI anti-depressants, and this, to my way of thinking, greatly reduces the impact of his argument, especially when 10 % of the population at home and abroad are on these drugs. He worries about physicians not providing “needed” drugs. Come, come. With 10 % of the population on them, surely, Dr. Frances, you jest. When all is said and done, I kinda think you’ve got another one here more concerned about the wealth in his wallet than the health of his patients.

  • I have no doubt that much ‘autism’ diagnosis today is as bogus as a three dollar bill, and so, therefore, your categorizing some instances of ‘autism’ as ‘virtual’ is entirely appropriate. I’ve seen it suggested, given the “epidemic” in ‘autism’ that it is said we are currently experiencing, that much on the upper end of the spectrum, that is, what they used to call “Asperger syndrome” and “high functioning” ‘autism’ is, as you say, ‘virtual’. On the downside, I can’t but think that we could lose quite a few future MIT grads with the wide spread use of what you have put forward as a remedy.

  • Forgive me for any misunderstanding. My rant is against the rich. Without their fleecing (re:Proudhon) there wouldn’t be any poor.

    The job situation is another thing again because I think it is mostly manufactured, that is, people don’t have jobs because other people don’t want them to have jobs.

    The “incapacity” thing that psychiatry is so much a part of, that legal argument, I have seen destroy people, but it is not something that I myself have anything to do with, and, in fact, I would do away with it if I could.

    Tolerance for difference, that’s what I support, however, I also think there are a lot of capable people who are inclined to plead “incapable” if it pays the bills. This is something they could manage themselves in the right circumstances, and so the actual issue is this wrong set of circumstances that we are stuck with. You, Human being, went into a few of them.

    What I’m not saying is that anybody need rot if they don’t want to do so, however, if one wants to be a rotter, certainly, in today’s world, one has every opportunity to be one. I think there is a very good reason Marx focused on a worker state rather than a bum state. If someone feels altruistic, they can always volunteer. I have done so. I don’t think any dictatorship of bums, however, is likely to go over very well. We’ve still got Aesop’s fable of the grasshopper and the ant to contend with.

  • I’m not out to spare the rich. Government is corrupt these days because of all the money corporations dish out to get politicians in their pocket. This political corruption, in its turn, does very little to curtail the corruption in the psychiatric system, with its relationship to the pharmaceutical industry, that grows out of it, and goes along with it.

    Is investing in the welfare of the population keeping some people permanently subsidized by the government who are fully capable of pulling their own weight? You’ve got two problems here I believe, one is systemic, paying people not to work doesn’t encourage working. The second is the iatrogenic damage you mentioned. The longer a person is subsidized by the system, the more the likelihood that their physical health will suffer. Getting people out of the system is seldom on anybody’s agenda the way it should be.

  • I think the idea is that “disabilities” are pretty permanent. You lose an arm, a new one is not likely to grow back. Psychiatric “disabilities” however represent man-made artificial “disabilities”, and that’s another thing altogether. Artificial arms are one thing, artificial arms for artificial amputations are something entirely different.

    I’m not saying people aren’t injured by prescription drug use. They certainly are. I am saying that you can exaggerate the extent of that injury, just the same as you can claim injury for, say, “mental injury and anguish” of a very subjective, and, therefore, correctable nature, but doing so only increases the distance one would be at from any such potential correction, and thus makes its occurrence even more dubious.

    As an aside, I know of work programs in the mental health system that had to fold because of conflicts with the SSI disability system. Its a systemic problem, for sure, but this kind of industrial collapse doesn’t support the idea that “disability payments” were intended to be temporary.

  • You can save billions of dollars…on food, clothing, and shelter…by paying people not to work. Really? I just think the logic behind this kind of construct is pretty twisted. What do you get out of it? People who don’t work because they can get by without doing so. Iatrogenic damage is only so pervasive, but pay people to claim to have it, and you will start to find iatrogenic damage everywhere. If it’s not iatrogenic, it’s “mental”. Either way, medicalization is on the march, and gaining, despite all efforts to forestall and contain it.

  • One should have access to work as well as ‘food, shelter, and clothing’. As Bertolt Brecht has been translated as having put it, “Grub first then ethics”. Necessities take precedent over theory. I don’t see it as very reasonable, nor economically feasible, to remove large numbers of people, as has and is being done, from the work force. It is very wasteful, and wasteful doesn’t serve us very well, does it? Of course, this ‘artificial invalid’ business is a money maker for some rapacious corporate imperialists and “mental illness” industry careerists, too, but, all in all, everybody loses from it as a rule.

  • I agree with you about militarism. War mongering is not something I would foster.

    Putting people to work is one thing you can spend money on that would probably be better than spending to keep them out of work. I see the second option as counterproductive, and something that creates a disincentive to working in the first place. I don’t know how valuable your leisure is to anybody else, but I don’t find many people eager to pay for mine.

  • Iatrogenic damage certainly is a reality, but iatrogenic damage is hardly the be all end all of existence. I wouldn’t imagine everybody injured by a psychiatrist has been injured hopelessly so. I don’t encourage iatrogenic damage either, I encourage treatment plan non-compliance. One can, after all, resist the forces that would inflict injury on one.

    I’m afraid I’m more familiar with Emma Goldman saying, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

    I suppose one could waste a lot of time doing nothing but wasting time, but still, sustainability is always going to be an issue.

  • Didn’t say I wasn’t pissed at the upper crust. They are the reason that things are such as they are. Under employment figures are so high because it serves corporations and their interests to keep real jobs down, not because there is a deficit in work to be done. Politicians have been bought by corporate interests.

    There are people here claiming that “mental illness” doesn’t exist, and that psychiatrists are not real doctors. Okay. Doing so, claiming a “mental disability”, and living off it, doesn’t help that argument one iota. Use it, and you’ve just provided the psychiatry you resent so much with a rationale for existing.

  • I was only using the quotation marks because I prefer some people’s society to others, and because I’m referring to the previous statement (i.e. quoting from a previous comment) in which society is supposed to protect us from the loony birds, and the loony birds from themselves. Of course, who’s going to protect loony bird society from society at large is another question altogether. Also, of how the matter of that threat to society at large being a threat to loony bird society must make society at large an additional society of loony birds, just uncaught loony birds (i.e. dangerous to self and others).

    My issue is human rights, regarding which society has hung a sign around every “mental patients” neck saying N/A (not applicable). The question is, not only when and where should you make a law, such as you’ve got with mental health law, curtailing civil liberties, and the personal responsibility that goes along with those freedoms, but if you should do so.

  • I’m not making an argument for the violating some people’s human rights. You, the way I read this, are making such an argument. Treat people like ‘adult children’, and where is the end of it? Nowhere apparently, in your case. We’ve got this line draw, and legally sanctioned, between the responsible human being and the irresponsible ‘adult child’. With freedom comes responsibility, without responsibility, there is no freedom.

    I’ve spent much more time in the hospital when I wasn’t in a floridly “psychotic” state than when I might have been in such a state, and only with my first hospitalization do I feel I was in such a state. I think my expedience there pretty typical. With that hospitalization, too, I was doing everything I could, considering my state of mind, to try to escape. My experience is that most of the people within these institutions don’t, as if anybody did, need to be there.

    I can’t make an argument opposing human rights for human beings, but go ahead, provision sanctuary for your ‘subhumans’ if you think that an absolute necessity. I value my freedom too greatly to call myself a person for whom the bill of rights should not apply…fully. I’m not somebody who wants to lock the front door to those human rights violations that I’m letting into the house through the back door.

  • Well, “having a PURPOSE and a means of support” is miles ahead of not having such when it comes to “mental/emotional state”. The question is, who makes the money, and on what? Bring back competition (and anti-trust laws), and maybe somebody besides the ultra rich would be getting somewhere. Need I remind you that all sorts of people are talking about “the American dream” being dead now. They wouldn’t be talking in such a way if the system worked for them, too. It is my view that there are many people out of work because it serves the big corporations to have a large unemployed labor force. (Just as it serves them, and not their employees, to mechanize.) Do things differently, and the big corporations, having been granted person-hood status, will not be the only “people” to benefit.

  • The WHO has been telling us that depression will soon be overtaking heart disease as the number one cause of disability throughout the world. Just think, all patriotism aside, people are too sad about the situation in their home countries to work for them. Hmm. This is the big cinder-block tied to the ankle to the Health Care Act, that thing the rightists have dubbed “Obama-care”, in the USA as well. If we’re paying for unreal health care, on top of real health care, sustainability has got to become an issue eventually.

  • It, “the concept of mental illness”, complements the concept of “mental health”, but both, given what the author calls pathologization, are bogus. One thing Marx, R.D. Laing and co., and many others have over this version of treatment is an acute awareness of the fact of alienation. What, after all, is “mental illness” besides a sense of profound alienation? Estranged from this, that, and the other, even one’s native tongue can seem foreign and unfamiliar, like stumbling over medical terminology where it doesn’t belong. Yes, a mere rearrangement of the linguistic furniture can have a very enlightening effect indeed; only, if it were me, I’d be making the arrangement a little less opportune for the alienating and deceiving, as well as elitist, oppressor.

  • Impoverishment in the midst of prosperity, deficits alongside surplus, and waste like it was going out of style, this is what we’ve got.

    Rather than supporting people in their unemployment, I would think it would be more economical (i.e. make more sense) to see that they were gainfully employed. Of course, that is not the suggestion that is being made, and in the name of health. Also, wouldn’t it be less wasteful again not to label and drug people so that their health is endangered and employment is problematic in first place.

    When people have a decent income, a purpose in life, of course, housing, food, and transportation are not going to be so problematic either. Having the government provide housing, food, and transportation to people, who have been removed from the employment market, is not really such a cost effective, nor health conscious, measure all things considered.

    I’d say perhaps these researchers need to rethink this matter a little more. Putting marginalized and under utilized people to work, it seems, would be a much more economically feasible, and health conserving tactic. Medicalizing large discarded segments of society, in the fashion in which it is done, can only increase overall health care costs in the long run.

  • These two have a more or less platonic long-distance texting relationship. How unreal is that!? He kills himself, and she gets the blame. Oh, well…For him, it’s too late to say, “Get a life!”

    Great series, very informative. I’m curious about where the third episode is going to take us, but we kind of know that, don’t we? From some kind of adolescent emotional support to suicide encouragement, how do you get there?

    Watch out, people. This girl is being prosecuted for what she said in a long-distance texting relationship where expecting adult responsibility from either party is expecting a little too much. The state is going after her for what she said, not what she did. Pay careful attention, or this thing could come around to bite all of us in the ass.

    Thank you for this series of posts, Dr. Breggin, as it takes us behind the illusory surface of the story that we are getting from the mainstream media, looking for a object of blame, with it’s ties to the pharmaceutical industry, to the reality of a thorny situation in the lives of two troubled young people, and their respective families.

    The media, in its eagerness to flush out a villain, real or imagined, has missed this aspect of the story almost entirely. We’re not just dealing with the juvenile ‘criminal justice’ system, we’re also dealing with the juvenile ‘mental health’ system, and its penchant for seeking a “quick fix” for some very complex social problems.

  • Definite thumbs up from here.

    Psychiatry needs a heck of a lot of more deserters than it’s got. Who knows? Your bad day could last decades….and that certainly would not be the greatest fate in the world, now would it? With a lot of help from psychiatry, of course.

    MLK praised maladjustment to war, poverty, cruelty, etc. Psychiatry would adjust you to such things. Let’s hear it for maladjustment! The killing world of killing psychiatry can gloat over its ‘can of worms’ somewhere else for a change!

    Congratulations over the publication of your comic. I hope it goes some ways towards educating and, thus, redeeming a few people from the abject horror and absolute waste of perpetual and demeaning, not to mention damaging, psychiatric treatment.

  • Sure, a person can be “in recovery”, and financially dependent, as opposed to ‘fully recovered’, for a lifetime. “Get”ting “well and stay”ing “well” becomes very problematic for the person who “consumes” (uses) “mental health services”, especially when true “mental health” must be a matter of rejecting mindless and lingering continual “consumption” of “mental health services”. “Wellness”, in fact, must become a matter of ceasing to “consume” services. I’d say this “consumption” is one bad habit that requires a bit of moral fortitude to be overcome, moral fortitude that corruption within the ranks often makes all the more difficult.

  • Would discovering the mythology of “mental illness” explain its cause? Some people say religion is a need the human species has, but I, dispensing with such superstitious nonsense entirely, tend to be a skeptic about the matter myself. I don’t think there is a lot of reliable and verifiable proof that “mental illness” has anything to do with biology, except in so far as the treatments received for it injure the people being so treated.

  • Regardless of the APA involved, psychoanalytic or psychiatric, and that just because Goldwater sued a magazine, I don’t think there is any way to keep diagnosis out of politics and vice versa.

    “The offering of professional opinions on public figures turns out to be a higher form of character assassination.”

    The offering of professional opinions on private figures could be said to have always been a lower form of character assassination were, rarity of rarities, truth told outright.

    I don’t think much of the Goldwater Rule without an equally valid John (or Jane) Doe Rule, and as psychiatry (drug therapy) has little more validity than psychoanalysis (talk therapy), I don’t have a problem with bringing Donald J. Trump down to the level of fellow human being John Doe (AKA every-man or anonymous).

    It’s a truism to say man is a political animal. Unfortunately, in this day and age, one also might call it a truism to call man a psychiatric animal, given the pervasiveness of medicalization, and what it boils down to, the political usages for that social tool for suppression of the human animal. Let’s not pretend this ultimately harmful labeling applies only to big shots, over-blown names, and celebrities in this rapidly shrinking world of ours’ when your every-man has received more than his share of the same sort of abuse as many of the readers of MIA will readily testify.

  • The headline says it all. Did she text him to death? Text isn’t toxic to those who don’t eat it. I don’t see the justice department trying to prosecute every young lady who says “drop dead” to somebody. Death by his own hand was not, and cannot be, death by her hand.

    I was always wondering, reading that she was on an anti-depressant, whether he was on one, too. He committed suicide after all. Well, you answered that one for us, and we know that SSRIs are implicated not only in suicides, but in murder, and other aggressive acts as well.

    Now his, Conrad’s, aunt is saying, according to the news, she, Michelle, should have gotten the full twenty years. I think this kind of decision sets a dangerous precedent. I’m glad the judge didn’t see it that way. It will be interesting to see how far this case gets on appeal.

  • I’ve read about a man fleeing to Switzerland to have a doctor assist him at suicide over the suffering caused by a “bipolar disorder” diagnosis. As suicide, in that instance, would be DIY, doctor assistance is actually homicide. “Bipolar”, the “mental disorder”, is neither terminal nor ‘unbearably’ painful in any physical sense.

    Paternalism, people claiming to know what is best for a person better than that person him or herself, the rationale for protecting people from their own devices, is a big part of the issue here. I’ve always felt that a person sincerely could make a rational decision that one’s life was not worth living, and that it should, therefore, be ended. In the overall scheme of things, in this event, one death, like one life, is going to be of little consequence.

    You say Adam was in physical pain which would seem to me to make his “mental disorder” diagnosis somewhat questionable. Fortunately, the right to end one’s life is one right the government can’t entirely succeed in taking away from a person, try as hard as it might to do so.

  • “I’d rather not see a psychiatrist. EVER.”

    I like that one.

    Some people have psychiatrist practitioner disorder, but if you point it out to them, they will call you antipsychiatry, and say, perhaps, you are trying to give, or giving, their profession a “stigma”. I say, with Julie above, “F**k ’em!”

  • 1. 90 % isn’t 100 %. If 90 % of treatment is coercive, that means 10 % is non-coercive.
    2. Where is the source of this statistic?

    Coercive treatment is the law (i.e. a product of legislation and legally sanctioned), however, all treatment is not coercive treatment.

  • Good that you’re back and doing well nonetheless. I guess that puts me with Stephen Gilbert instead. The system is not going to admit any wrong doing, but I can do so for it. Let’s penalize the system and, thus, put it out of business.

  • The “amazing healing effects of placebos”? One “amazing healing effect” is not to make you “sick”, an “amazing healing effect”, BTW, missing from most pharmaceuticals as a rule. If one confuses psych-drugs with medicine, problem. If one doesn’t harbor such confusion, no problem. Psych-drugs are tools of social control, and they are not healing substances. If there’s a trade-off, say, physical health for mental stability, that trade-off is, more or less, a subjective matter, especially if not taking psych-drugs leads to the eventuality of greater mental acuity. There hasn’t been a lot of research done on non-drug treatments because there aren’t a lot of non-drug treatments available. Were the research done, however, the “healing effects of placebos” might prove even more “amazing” than they have proven in the past, eye-witness evidence being notoriously unreliable.

  • Thank you for this article, Dr. Peter Breggin. Children and families in the UK are indeed threatened by the beast of psychiatric drugging.

    Thumbs up, John Hoggett. Action is definitely needed, and on a large scale, to expose the fraudulent nature and the deadly consequences of this wholesale drugging.

    The way to treat children is with guidance and love, not drugs. Drugs, neurotoxins, like other forms of pollution, are not good for children and other living organisms.

  • You can reverse the question, and it will make as much sense. Do non-voice hearers have the right to refuse psychiatric drugs? Human beings have rights; mental patients, not so much. Are mental patients human beings? I tell you, it’s still an uphill struggle for those elusive civil rights. They exist on paper, and they are denied on paper, one directive cancelling the other.

  • Obviously. I’ve been reading about a market in the west hurt by lawsuits and the end of patents declining to spend so much time on research and development of new potential wonder drugs. Apparently the market is not so afflicted after all.

    This must be indicative of the westernization of medicine taking place in some developing countries. Their outcomes, that were surpassing those in the west (re: Mad In America, Robert Whitaker, 2002), are taking a nose dive because of the importation of western medicine.

    Here, real information about real adverse effects are likely to affect this expansion of the market, however, of course, the market is expected to expand.

    If the psych-drug market is suffering in the USA and Europe, no problem, the psych-drug industry has the entire developing world, where psych-drugs have not been employed so much, in which to peddle its wares, and successfully, it would seem, much to the detriment of the developing world.

  • When it comes to psychiatric drugs, doctors should really not be resorting to polypharmacy so much. I think there is a tendency to see depression as the root cause for all sorts of psychiatric conditions, and this is unfortunate, as well as a spur to the dishing out of drug cocktails. On site at MIA there is another recent news story about research on people taking both benzodiazepines and SSRI antidepressants. Physicians need to learn, you are no closer to a solution when you compound the problem with an additional problem. Co-morbid conditions, more than anything else, tend to be a pharmaceutical marketing device, and should be discouraged. Even if some over eager expert is out to diagnose multiple conditions, it is better if you are going to drug, to restrict your drugging to one diagnosis rather than create multiple side effect and withdrawal problems for the person being drugged. There is also the issue of outcomes, multiple diagnoses and drug cocktails don’t improve outcomes, as a rule, what you get is quite the reverse. Perhaps it would help, when dealing with psychiatric issues, if every physician stocked their shelves with rose colored glasses. Taking a dim view of matters, in terms of self-fulfilling prophesies, can make matters more bleak than they really should be. “Recovery”, so-called, happens, but not within a social and informational vacuum.

  • Recognizing that we do have a disaster in the USA, and that it is being imported, I would not blame any country for using legislation to stop it at home. Legislation, although unmentioned above, is probably the most effective means to avert this sort of thing. I understand, too, why it wouldn’t be considered, especially with the prestige of experts guiding the course, but I also understand that it might be about time somebody took matters into account. You’ve got all sorts of countries, wary of what’s going on, ultimately succumbing to the clout and the money of the drug companies and bio-psychiatry–a very child unfriendly combination. Adult unfriendly, too. Creeping calamity, in many places around the world, rather than being averted, and despite forewarning, has arrived on their shores. One has to wonder how long mental health professionals working in France might be able to keep the wolf at bay.

  • This is actually quite scary from my perspective. His specialty specialists of the future, I imagine, would prove even more difficult to eradicate than the general specialists of today. Environment is just something you tweak to elicit the behaviors you want, a more involved environment all the time. This complexity ensures job security, but at what costs? I would look more closely at the product which I don’t think entirely fills a need, that is, over and above necessity, it is a luxury that we should be able to dispense with. Were he more critical of marketing practices, when it comes to “mental health”, we might be getting somewhere. Here he is only managing to make that marketing of “mental health” more subtle, and in so doing, more pervasive. The therapist-client relationship, first and foremost, is an economic relationship, and I don’t think there is much question as to who benefits the most from such relationships, and at whose expense.

    We need to de-think “mental illness”. It is all a matter of popping, and escaping from, the clutches of the “mental health” treatment bubble.

  • “An impairment of the normal state of the living animal”, etc. Excuse me, Szasz leaning on Virchow (a lesion in a bodily organ) is much more objective. These bio-psychiatrists, for one thing, are attributing “mental disorder”/”brain disease” “to inherent defects of the organism (as genetic anomalies)” despite the lack of any concrete evidence and given basically shoddy and thoroughly biased research methods. There is plenty of room here, with “normal state” as the “impaired” range, to let in psychiatry and its cronies. I would doubt, in fact, given psychiatry’s present cozy relationship with medicine, that such a nebulous definition wasn’t entirely intentional so as to entertain just such a collusive purpose.

  • Is the life glass half full or half empty? Wait a minute, I think we’ve still got a pulse. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say “half full”.

    Community is a participant sport, and it starts wherever you happen to reside. I think community is something you help make, but in order to do so, you have to first see it as important.

    Marginalized is fancyshmancy for scapegoat. Even marginalized creates opportunities for community. Turn the tables, and we’re getting somewhere.

  • The obverse of treatment addiction is treating addiction. The treatment addict, in other words, is dependent on his or her pusher. In the same fashion, the “demand” for treatment governs treating addiction. It would seem that both addictions are the result of a botched and postponed weaning process that has then been transferred to the mental health system. The mental health system is a system that then gives this botching, for business and money making purposes, a permanent status, regardless of whether it is called “career”, “profession”, “recovery”, or “chronicity”.

  • 1st objection. My, oh, my, but isn’t Heartbeats of Hope a sappy title. Get back to me when you aren’t addressing your book to saps. Look up a slang definition for sap, and you will see what I mean. The acronym ‘sap’ is for ‘sad and pathetic’, and applies to fools.

    I always saw recovery as a matter of recovering from the mental health system and its abusive mistreatment. Recovering from a personal crisis? I don’t think so. Crises are things people resolve rather than “recover” from.

    Now how do we “cure” all these “mental health” professionals from their professional ‘calling’ disorder, that is the question.

  • Very true, Darby. I talk about abolishing force while others talk about ‘abolishing psychiatry’, but I think we’re pretty much trying to say something along similar lines. There is a big difference between modifying the amount of force being used, and using no force at all. Forced treatment, in any other circumstance, and without benefit of mental health law, is literally assault. The mental health system, through forced treatment, infringes on the freedoms of everybody. The issue is not just the harm being done to people through psychoactive drugs, the issue is that some people don’t have a choice as to whether they take these psychoactive drugs or not. It’s one thing to be harmed through one’s own gullibility, it’s quite another thing when one has no choice in the matter. We can spend a lot of time and energy informing people about the dangers of these drugs, but when people have no choice in the matter, what good is that information? Innocent, and knowledgeable, people are going to be harmed, and there is nothing they can do about it. This situation is unconscionable.

  • Problem. The standard definition found in any English dictionary defines “disease” in such broad terms so as to encompass your abstraction. Szasz, of course, didn’t define “disease” in such broad terms. When it comes to competing experts giving testimony in a courtroom situation, who do you think is going to have the ear of the judge? I’d say probably those having the standard dictionary definition because there are more of them. Otherwise, it’s a toss of the coin. Excuse me for playing devil’s advocate, but given a standard dictionary, what the definition therein doesn’t do, and probably because of the promotional and PR efforts of the “mental illness” industry, is equate psychiatric practice with fraud.

  • In a few states, psychologists have been given prescribing privileges. The excuse for this struggle by psychologists to attain prescribing privileges is that there are too few psychiatrists in the states where they reside. I say excuse because this is actually a part of a much broader power struggle between psychology and psychiatry for leverage. I expect psychologists are likely to have even more success in the future when it comes to gaining prescribing privileges. So the problem is not just one of a psychiatrist hanging out a shingle, as now psychologists are using what you call the weapons of psychiatry, a psychologist could do the same.

    Given the way the dictionary defines “health” and “illness” today, and due to the influence of psychiatry and psychology, psychiatry could not be said to be fraud. This is because “illness” and “health” when they are no longer organic, no longer in that sense objective, become abstractions. Semantically, we have to change this situation so that you can, in effective, once again call a spade a spade, or rather an illness an illness that is actually a physical illness, and not, as with the entire mental health field, an abstraction.

    Underneath it all I think the problem is that people know the system is not about medicine and that they know it is about social control. Even if you got psychiatry ousted from the medical community, we’d have a problem. What I’m saying here is that I do think the issue is about coercion, and not medical fraud so much. Some people go to psychiatrists of their own volition, however this cannot be said to be true for anybody who has been committed to a facility via a mental health hearing. Those people who go of their own volition do so because they see a need for doing so, and they are willing to pay for it. Those who go through the commitment process do so completely unwillingly.

  • All psychiatry is not coercive. Unforced psychiatry is not coercive. Subtle forms of force are still force. Coercion is a synonym for force.

    I’ve known from the public mental health system how some of these subtler forms of coercion work, and how people try to compel people into unwanted treatment, but I don’t approve. Coercion is still coercion.

    You’ve got people compelled to attend “clubhouses” and day hospitals through economic coercion in some instances. Everybody sits around basically depressed, and shares their misery, when they certainly have better things they could be doing. I don’t think this is the way to operate anything, however some people keep attending…year after year after year…more for social reasons than anything else.

    Private practice has to be different. I would say that we’re basically talking about the public mental health system, and the problem there arose with the Kennedy administration creating a community mental health system through legislation. Basically, we’re all better off without this community mental health system.

    Not that long ago people were left to their own devices after discharge from the state hospital. No longer. Now you’ve got assertive community treatment teams, group homes, assisted living facilities, and very intrusive treatment, coming out of the pervasive paternalism under which the entire system operates.

    People have human rights, not so “mental patients”. Liberation is still some ways off from this constraining system of social control, and this liberation is the liberation I’m talking about.

  • No, I am saying that forced treatment is the real issue as far as I’m concerned. Talk abolishing psychiatry as much as you choose. If you don’t abolish forced treatment with your psychiatry where does that leave you? I think it more important to focus on the issue of force if we are going to get anywhere. When all treatment is unforced treatment we can talk about abolishing unforced treatment, however, that would be an odd thing to do, wouldn’t it? I don’t see any saviors in psychiatry although some people are looking for them. As for a world without psychiatry, sure, a person can dream, but force is the thing that it is crucial for us to work on abolishing, not psychiatry. Unforced psychiatric treatment is really NOT the issue.

  • I beg your pardon. I feel the same way about your position. I have no guarantee that if psychiatry were abolished as a medical specialty it wouldn’t persist in some other form, and if it were abolished as a branch of medicine, something equally oppressive might take its place. Psychiatry is also a religious sect by definition, if we are speaking in etymological terms, but not even psychiatrists take that part of their practice seriously. Good luck with your “abolition”. If you abolished psychiatry, you’d still have clown psychiatrists to worry about. I hear those ‘creepy clowns’ are everywhere.

  • Here we go again. Usually, when somebody says ‘abolish psychiatry’ they mean something else besides ‘abolish psychiatry’. Get rid of it as a legitimate branch of medicine or whatever. You’ve got Bonnie Burstow saying that to do so would be to, in effect, ‘abolish psychiatry’. Perhaps in theory, in reality we’re not there. I don’t think getting rid of psychiatry as a medical practice would necessarily be the end of psychiatry, and, as I’ve said before, technically you could abolish psychiatry without abolishing forced treatment. I’m for ending forced treatment, and as for unforced treatment, we can worry about that when all treatment is unforced.

  • First things first, get rid of coercion, then you might be better able to do something about psychiatry.

    You can’t call for a boycott of psychiatry. It’s parents of sometimes ‘adult’ children who utilize the field to get their errant kin locked up, when its not uptight neighbors, or brutish law enforcement who do so. Get rid of coercion, and if you call for a boycott, those participating in the boycott will be those actually affected by psychiatric practice.

    Psychiatry in the end is not the problem that coercive treatment is. I’m not objecting to people coming and going as they please, I’m objecting to them coming and going as captives of psychiatric detention orders.

  • I don’t see any unity there. Reformists aren’t opposed to coercion, they are only for more or less of it, depending on their perspective. Abolitionists of coercion are opposed to coercion.

    Should one conceive of an end of coercion through incremental change, well, isn’t that like Lincoln and slavery before Fort Sumner and the Emancipation Proclamation? Abraham Lincoln before the war saw slavery as something that could go on in the south until sometime in the 1950s. The idea of incremental change bringing about an end to coercion is only a rationalization and excuse for present coercion, and should not be tolerated.

    To repeat, reformers are not for abolition as a rule. Ending coercion with finality is not a matter of reform, it is a matter of abolition. As for the abolition of psychiatry, I see that as something that is more problematic than the abolition of coercion. Generally speaking, any ‘abolish psychiatry’ slogan is empty rhetoric. When coercion is the real issue, blaming psychiatry alone becomes a detour and diversion from what really matters that is ultimately harmful to our movement and its aims.

  • “Schizophrenia” is an invention of psychiatry. Laing and Reich were psychiatrists, Maslow was a psychologist. Having successfully betrayed any “schizophrenia” I might have contracted from this psychiatrist or that, sans regret, I need neither psychiatrists nor psychologists. Were I to say ‘the middle path’ was indulging these bastards forever I’d be in a real bind, wouldn’t I? I don’t say that, and I don’t give them my money. I feel that ‘the middle path’ must be a way of entertaining these folks in perpetuity. I prefer a more radical path, I imagine they shouldn’t have any trouble, if they work on it, finding meaningful employ in another field of endeavor should enough other people follow suit. If not, there you go along the path of farce without cessation. As I said, I’m not supporting you in this habit.

  • Basically you’ve got two types of mental health reformers, ‘law and order’ reformers who want more coercive treatment, and ‘human rights, or ‘psychiatry critical’ reformers, who want less coercive treatment. Here it remains a matter of degree. I’m not going to tackle the matter of incremental change, and it’s relation to reform, because I don’t have the time, and I see a need for more radical change than that anyway.

    “Are there really credible psychiatric reformists who support coercion?”

    Most psychiatrists support coercion, and so do many victims of psychiatry BTW.

    I wouldn’t say all ‘collaboration or bridging’ is counter-productive. Some psychiatrists, and others, in fact, have come out in opposition to coercive treatment. I can definitely see uniting with them in order to take down coercive treatment practices.

    Anybody can make headlines if they have the proper bomb building equipment.

    The bio-medical model in and of itself is a problem. It supports coercive treatment, and it is prejudicial in nature. Blood brother, or perhaps offspring, to eugenics, it is the mental health version of white supremacy. Coercive treatment however makes it more, and much more, of a problem than it would be without coercive treatment. Bio-psychiatry has tried to reduce explanations of consciousness to a matter of the firing of neurons, and we know we’re dealing with more than that when we think. Consciousness comprehends a situation when a surge of activity along neural pathways doesn’t comprehend anything.

  • I agree that the key issue is coercion, however, I don’t agree with the notion that it unites antipsychiatrists with reformists. Reformers don’t want to get rid of force. Antipsychiatrists do.

    The problem with the biomedical model is not the biomedical model, it’s coercion.

    “Even killing people with drugs and keeping them sick is less important, because if there isn’t any coercion, you can always choose and the rest of the problem is just about educating people about not using this “service”.”

    Thumbs up. I mean teaching lemmings not to be lemmings is kind of a self-defeating proposition, however, it is always possible, given reliable information, not to be a lemming oneself, figuratively speaking of course. Coercive treatment would, as it is constituted, deny one the right not to be a lemming. (Uh, and I must stress, that’s a human right by the way.)

    I tend to see in mental institutions Auschwitz and Dachau rather than North Korea that, and especially with the current head of state of the USA, is kind of like that Peter Sellers movie if you’ve ever seen it, The Mouse That Roared. (Cuba even more so than North Korea.)

    The status quo and big government certainly benefits from the efforts of psychiatry and big pharma to oppress and control people. Subconscious? What is that? Like advertising that relies on subliminal messaging, or understated propaganda? Yes, they’re out to maintain control of your head. It is not without an underlying reason that neuroleptic actually means ‘seize control’ of the nervous system. Zombification, given large doses of neuroleptic drugs, is a reality in some quarters.

  • Any number of people can play at this game. I’m throwing my two cents into the ring as well.

    1. Ditto.

    2. All psychiatry isn’t “disease model”, there is also trauma theory, or what could be called the “trauma” model, or the injury model. Taking it even further, there is the problem of psychological/social “injury” given the slant professionals have given the matter. This goes well beyond medical, but not beyond medicalization because that’s what it is. Medical model incorporates both “disease model” and trauma theory however getting rid of either is not sufficient to de-fuse psychiatry altogether given psycho/social theories and interpretations.

    3. Legislation is the problem. We need to scrap mental health law as it is the law that allows people to be slandered, abducted, imprisoned, tortured, poisoned, brainwashed, and killed, all in the name of mental health “care” and treatment.

    4. Class action suits are like the casino gambling, and perhaps there are better ways to take on institutions, drug companies, etc. Drug companies have been able to weather some of the largest suits in history because they make so much money. (One would be better employed trying to figure out why that was, and doing something about it.) I wouldn’t encourage people to get into the activist game for mercenary reasons.

    5. Abolish forced treatment, and then any and every form of treatment offered will have to be entirely voluntary and not a matter of force and assault.

    6. The state needs to get out of the mental health treatment business entirely.

  • I’m disgusted with all the people holding out a tin-cup for that slice of “disability” pie, OldHead. The scam has just gone way too far. Many of your “liberationists” found the government met their price, being pretty cheap to begin with, and are now a part of the “mental health” enslavement shebang–the other-dependent movement. I don’t know about this or that omsbudcreep. I don’t go there, but they’ve got job security. Yes, sirree, Bob. You wanna be an official government bureaucrat “savior” phony. *hack, hack* The real world always is, was, and will be…elsewhere, that is, somewhere outside of ‘the eternal’ treatment bubble. Skeptical of the “mental illness” bug cardinal principal as ever, that’s how it goes. I don’t have a problem turning my back on the whole parasitic enterprise.

  • Some psychiatrists are in private practice, OldHead, and not all treatment is forced. I don’t really think people are looking for “alternatives” to unforced treatment. Generally, subjected to force, detention, abuse, harm, etc., that is what they are looking for an “alternative” to if they can find it.

    I can’t really make an effective argument against forced treatment by arguing against unforced treatment at the same time. It’s the same thing with human rights violations. I can’t argue against human rights violations in one instance, by suggesting that there is nothing wrong with them in another. Psychiatry is a word as far as I’m concerned. Forced treatment is the law, albeit bad law.

  • True enough, in a sense, OldHead. I think if you look at documentation from our movement as it began, you can substantiate what I have just said.

    Throughout the 1970s we had a separatist movement when it came to the government. In the mid-1980s this changed. The first Alternatives the conference was, in fact, funded by the NIMH. This funding has been taken over since by SAMHSA, another government agency. I imagine it could be argued that we are talking about two separate movements, however then the question becomes what became of the first of these movements, and where is it today.

    We had two goals, 1. an end of forced treatment, and 2. the creation survivor-run alternatives to conventional treatment (freak out centers, etc.) Ultimately, because this separation from the government jeopardized some people’s potential funding, it was dropped, and #2 came to sabotage #1 (i.e. the demand for human rights, or an end to human rights violations.)

    Among the 9 demands of the Insane Liberation Front, out of Portland, Oregon, published as an Insane Manifesto in The Radical Therapist (1971), numbers 1 and 2 concern an end of institutions and the freeing of all prisoners within those institutions. Number 3 was the establishment of “freak out centers” (although the word “alternative” was not used, it certainly wasn’t the usual fare). You know, the idea that eventually lead to “drop-in centers”.

    Demand #5, curiously enough, and probably to your liking, is a demand for the end of the practice of psychiatry.

  • I was on the board of directors of a Peer Support Center, and an item on the menu at one of these fund raisers was paid for by a pharmaceutical company. They ceased providing the item the next year, but it was not like it would have been refused. I’ve been at “peer” conferences, too, where a snack item was provided by one of the drug companies. When folks with the Insane Liberation Front first proposed the idea of Freak Out Centers I don’t think they had a clue where it would lead, but Drop In Centers have moved ever since in a rightward direction. There has been much written about the pharmaceutical company funding of NAMI. Soteria houses and Open Dialogue don’t use pharmaceuticals so much, and therein lies their virtue, as well as their vulnerability (funding can be problem when big corporations are not laying a meal on your table).

    The patient population has risen in the past few decades. A lot of this epidemic increase (when it isn’t public panic over random violence) is due to the marketing of drugs. Given a multi-billion dollar psychiatric drug industry, this chemical oil field, so-to-speak, it can be very difficult indeed to resist the pull of labeling people and keeping them doped up, much to the detriment of many of its victims.

    “Alternatives” were once seen as “alternatives” to forced treatment. If forced treatment were outlawed the way it is with almost every other social group in the world, you wouldn’t need “alternatives” to force because you wouldn’t have forced treatment to begin with. Funding for “alternatives” has done a number on the demand for an end to forced mental health treatment. People in the less coercive mental health business are, of course, in collusion, in many respects, with people in the more coercive mental health business due to all these social and financial arrangements that throw them together.

  • The parallels are definitely there, Julie. I was at a forum once where this ex-penitentiary inmate was complaining about how he couldn’t even get work as a custodian, and he would have settled for that. All he really wanted was a job. I’d say it’s worse in some states for ex-penitentiary inmates because, given recent “law and order” measures, the right to vote has been taken away from them. One thing is for sure, both groups are suffering from prejudice and discrimination something awful, and both groups have a lot in common in terms of how they have been treated (or, rather, mistreated). When a convict has served his or her term, that should make of him or her an ex-con, and with that status, his or her citizenship rights should be restored. As is, just as with ex-inmates of psychiatric institutions, for those returning from correctional institutions, a fierce civil rights struggle lies ahead of them.

  • Given the choice between “a kinder, gentler” mental health system and no mental health system at all, I’m one of those who would opt for no mental health system at all.

    “Service-user versus professional perspectives”

    Some “services-users” are not “service-users” by choice. I see a broad divide between “consumer/users”, so-called “peers”, and psychiatric survivors or ex-patients. It tends to be drugs that “consumer/users” are “consuming/using”. Psychiatric survivors become psychiatric survivors by recognizing these damaging substances for the damaging substances that they are. Once force is removed from the equation, some “users” would cease “using”, pronto.

    “The reform of mental health legislation”

    Reform is the wrong word to use. Repeal is the right word. Mental health legislation is the thing that facilitates forced treatment of mental patients (i.e. different treatment from citizens [2nd, 3rd class citizen status]). Repeal mental health law, and you’ve eliminated the repression you see a need to reform.

    Decriminalize, demedicalize madness (unreasonableness, folly) and you get rid, at the same time, of this need for “alternatives” to abusive practices. The medicalization of human behavior is an abusive practice.

    My basic problem with “alternatives” is that they have a way of expanding the “mental illness” industry rather than of facilitating some kind of health producing contraction of that system. I’m all for Soteria type houses, and Open Dialogue has a huge success rate because it doesn’t use psych-drugs to excess like other programs. Drop-in centers, peer respite houses, etc., tend to be less of a need here, and one problem with them is that their establishment often breeds a collaborative, and as such, mutually beneficial and sustaining relationship, with the force and abusive maltreatment. Basically, the fund raising demands on “alternatives” end up becoming a corrupting influence, as you’ve got your own conflicts of interest at work here.

  • I would say the following is right on target and, frankly, a need. In the states in which I’ve resided, not only are there few to no drug withdrawal groups or programs, but there is little to no support for anybody wishing to taper off psych-drugs. This situation needs to change on a wide scale if we are to direct “patient” traffic to a route which leads to physical health, and reversing the present excesses, the “mental” stability that stems from it.

    “Every community must then create a drug withdrawal program. Any person who wants to decrease dosage or attempt to live life drug-free can do it safely, under competent medical services along with peer support from those who have successfully accomplished it and/or are going through it themselves.”

    The next part of this “revolution” then gets a little tricky and worrisome.

    “Finally, to oversee this process, each state or community should create a commission to review all of the mapping data and whatever implementation issues emerge.”

    Incorporating “consumers” into the system has become problematic. How do you, then, get them to abandon the same system? A system from which “cure” or “recovery” would mean “suspension” or departure?

    “All members must demonstrate that they have the necessary unbiased knowledge about medications and alternatives.”

    There is no “unbiased knowledge” about “medications and alternatives”, especially if you are promoting the use of one, the other, or both.

    I see system expansion taking place here, the opposite of what you are going to want if you are to get people out of the system, and I think doing so is going to require a little bit more imaginative thinking. Medicalization without medicine might not be so much of an issue, still I think we have a problem with the expanding “patient” population. Is this type of “collaboration” really going to lead to inoculation and shrinkage of that population? I wonder…Or does it just mean a more expansive and efficient bureaucracy for containing troublesome people?

  • I knew somebody once who gave me this the “consumer” is always right line. I, at least, know better.

    What? Did new and improved social services [sic] cease to be social services (i.e. bureaucratic red-tape and BS)?

    I would think that knowledge acquired, through victimization, might be able to spare a few people from further victimization. On the other hand, there is no limit to any folly pursued if pursued indefatigably and diligently enough.

    Sure, uprising, wising up is not always an option, is it?

    Although, he said wistfully, there could always be a time when the “victim” role, like the “patient” role, became a bad fit.

  • I’m not one to think the entitlement by stress excuse would last forever. I hope not anyway. I suppose it might have to do with growing up for some people suffering from delayed adulthood syndrome, however, I’m of the opinion that a real job beats a pretend disability any day of the week. Of course, some people suffering from delayed adulthood syndrome never reach “adulthood” properly speaking.

  • When it comes to tortures inflicted on those people caught up in both systems, the criminal justice and the mental health systems, I’d say this kind of ruling, only scratching the surface, has got to be the tip of the iceberg. Just a year or two ago, in this country, there was this matter of women in the California prison system being sterilized. In an ocean of silence, here we have one small victory, but landmark describes it as far as I’m concerned. I’m sure more atrocities are on their way to being exposed, and let’s hope, as in this case, that people are honest enough to call torture torture, even if those tortures are inflicted by the state on its own citizens.

  • BIg pharma and psychiatry as comrades in arms, FeelinDiscouraged, and you don’t think that’s a capitalist (corporate) matter? When did big pharma and psychiatry become poor working people?

    I said artificial invalids and I meant artificial invalids. You’ve got all these people on this side of “disabled” who are calling themselves “disabled” and nobody is crying “fraud”,er, foul. I’d say there’s gotta be a limit if they’re expecting the rest of the population to support them into perpetuity.

    Somebody mentioned 40 %. Really, driven by the play “sickness” bug? “Sick” by expert opinion? You got any reliable tests for that?

  • “I actually think that the large numbers of people taking these medications now is a huge boon to the antipsychiatry movement.”

    Wish I felt the same way.

    Antipsychiatry of any sort was bigger 40 years ago, before the DSM III. This rise in labeling goes along with the PR successes, despite bad practice, of the APA. If it were a boon for antipsychiatry, it’s more of a boon for the pharmaceutical industry and the mental health treatment system as a whole. The prozac generation, in my view, is hardly less psychiatrist friendly than the generations that preceded them.

    16.67 %? You’d think there would be a saturation point. How long can the psychiatric industry keep people convinced that these drugs are good for them? Stay connected. With a growing ‘artificial invalid’ population, simple economics eventually should be playing a role in any dispute.

  • When it comes to drug deaths because of the many ailments associated with taking these drugs underestimation is the rule. A person has a heart attack, and nobody suggests that this is because this person was taking neuroleptic drugs. developed metabolic syndrome, with attendant heart disease, and is therefore a cadaver. The stats add up, kind of like war casualty figures, and as far as it goes, you’ve got a lump in the rug. When the guilty deny everything, the dirt stays hidden.

  • Psychiatry, given all the lies it embodies, if anyone was paying attention, should have lost all credibility by now.

    Our movement was much stronger, in my opinion, before it sold out to government funding, that is, before it went from being a mental patients’ liberation movement to being a mental patients’ movement.

    You’ve now got this “pe-ah” movement, so-called, that is infested with careerists and other lackey’s for the psycho-pharmaceutical industrial complex.

    This creates a situation. Mainly a rapidly expanding mental health system to deal with a burgeoning “epidemic” of people wanting their piece of the “disability” pie.

    Don’t get “well”, kid, says the careerist. I needs my pay check.

    I’m just saying we need to revive the movement to liberate people from the system rather than becoming embroiled in that system’s devious expansion.

  • ADHD is a bogus disease. This “disease” label is generally applied to students with lax study habits, and that often involves students in the more impoverished school districts. Given such, little wonder black and latino youth are more susceptible. All diagnosis of ADHD is over-diagnosis. “Standard care”, what a laugh! “Standard care” is treatment. Treatment = labeling, drugs, and lowered expectations. Lowered expectations = prejudice. It’s a good thing somebody could be said to be wising up to the situation.

  • “I think it is clear that most anyone reading your article would think you were blaming psychiatry for all of the early deaths, while I think the evidence would indicate they are only responsible for some of them. Do you agree or disagree?”

    The age of death for people in treatment for the most serious of mental disorder labels, early since the introduction of neuroleptics, has gotten younger by 10 years or so since the introduction of atypical neuroleptics in the 1990s.

    I’ve been in the system, and to suggest that there is any answer beyond drug, drug, drug is heresy to the people there running the system. The only people in that system with the right to prescribe, in general, are psychiatrists. The evidence says change your prescribing practices and, not only do you get more recovery than at present, but you also will be saving lives.

    Of course, we could be blaming deinstitutionalization and antipsychiatry (or critics) for the lower recovery rates and rising mortality rates of people in psychiatric treatment. Some psychiatrists do just that, however, as if reinstitutionalization would be a life saver, such is a long shot. More money in the system is not always the answer, and yet such is the illusion that such thinking would foster.

  • Aren’t they responsible for the early death as they are the ones who prescribe the drugs that destroy peoples’ health? Typically, the diversion is to blame “disease”, if not lifestyle, but both of these are in order to take the heat off psychiatrists. Psychiatrists who would appear innocent despite all, while blaming their victims. Meanwhile, you’ve got that mortality rate, and people dying at younger ages as time goes on. These same psychiatrists have been ignoring the evidence of their own destructive practices for ages. I’m not sure what the answer is, but whatever it is, it certainly isn’t exonerating psychiatrists of the crimes that they have perpetuated.

    I don’t think we should only be blaming psychiatrists either. There are social workers, psychologists and all sorts of other people, colluding and collaborating with psychiatrists in keeping the destructive machine operating. There are families and their mental health movement, too, that feed the industry. These so-called experts are feeding a machine that is gobbling up people and spitting out gristle and bone. Medical doctors should show an interest in peoples’ health, and right there, what do we get from psychiatry except cynicism over bad outcomes. Bad outcomes that could only be a matter of people living down to the lowered expectations other people have of them, and especially those who set the tone, the psychiatrists running the show.

  • Psychiatric Times is running a series, conducting interviews, with so-called historians of psychiatry. The latest in this series is called, ECT: History of a Psychiatric Controversy. Historian Greg Eghigian interviews Jonathan Sadowsky. The wonder is how there is so little accurate history in the entire interview/article. The conclusion of this interview/article is more than modest, “downplaying the possibility of adverse effects may actually do it [the ECT industry] more harm than good”. Downplaying is putting it a little mildly. The shock docs now peddle ECT as a “safe and effective” practice. When the adverse, so-called side, effects, not to mention the so-called remedial or “healing” effects (direct results of electrical jolts surging through the brain), of ECT are identical with symptoms of traumatic brain injury, I’d call that a major twisting of the facts.

    In contrast, your MIA post takes much fewer liberties with the facts (i.e. is actually informative). Thank you for authoring this piece. I hope people are paying attention.

  • I have no difficulty referring to myself as antipsychiatry. We used to have a much stronger movement than we do at present, and that weakening can be attributed directly to consumer/users cozy relationship with human services, and the federal funding that keeps it going. Antipsychiatry is a way of flipping off the entire industry. If psychiatry thinks it’s being “stigmatized” by the term, when it isn’t insulting people with it, I have to laugh. You folks really don’t have a clue, do you?

    Bio-psychiatry is pretty much the entire field except for the critical psychiatry people, and most of them are more bio than they need to be. Bio is the basis of the medical degree all psychiatrists possess. No bio, and their power shrinks to insignificance. This is why you hear about bio-psycho-social while people like Allen Frances say it would be extreme to drop the bio. Why? Evidence doesn’t matter. Propping up the flagging status of the psychiatrist is all that does matter, to psychiatrists anyway.

    You could say Thomas Insel was as bad as any if there weren’t psychiatrists who are much worse, and Insel is pretty bad. An absence of discernable bio-markers doesn’t prevent him from supposing we are on the verge of a revolution in our knowledge of the brain that we have been on the verge of for well over a hundred years, and with no substantial forward progress, beyond the proclamations of the experts. From eugenics to nugenics is not as great a leap as people would like to suppose.

    I’m all for a sense of humor, however sad it can be, as without a sense of humor the system can kill a person, and does so with some degree of frequency. “Serious mental illness” is nothing without “seriousness”. I remember a person I know talking about the “seriousness” of her “illness”. I can’t think of a better reason to defy such gravitas with levity. While a little levity might give you a “minor mental disorder”, an enlightened belly laugh can vacate the premises of all “disordered” thoughts whatsoever. “Mental disorder” being the cardinal belief of the “mental health” religion, I would recommend people putting some distance between its evangelicals and themselves, that is, unless they want to credit them with more influence than they deserve.

  • I’ve heard some people refer to themselves as “mental illness” survivors. I’m not one of those. I’m a “mental health” treatment survivor. There’s a difference.

    I loved the tee-shirt though, that’s some way to make a statement, and I get why people react.

    My realization came early that psych-drugs were the problem. I went off those and voila! You don’t know how many times I was a non-mentally ill person, mental illness being bunk, in the state mental hospital system.

    Eventually, I’d worked the system enough times that it couldn’t touch me, I having put myself effectively beyond it. Couldn’t have done that had I been “compliant”. I’ve known a number people done in by a straight year or two in the hospital system, something I was, with some support outside the hospital system, able to avoid.

    I’m glad Albert Hoffer’s method, through Dr. Fox, worked so well for you. I didn’t think of any of my doctors as the savior sort, but I managed to get past them all the same.