Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Comments by Frank Blankenship

Showing 100 of 3594 comments. Show all.

  • Hospital is perhaps an even less appropriate word to use for psychiatric detention centers than asylums. These people, our prisoners, are, goes conventional wisdom, guilty, in the absence of any crime, of misbehaving, so if we treat them as “sick” eventually we will get them to “behave”. Such is the hope of the mental health (sic) enforcement community anyway.

  • I would not call psychiatric institutions of today asylums. Such was an illusion created way back when, but it never had much to do with reality. People are, as a rule, just as in the case of other prisons, safer outside of their walls. The use of the term asylum is a result of the paternalism behind the effort to expand such institutions, “our imprisonment, torture, etc., of you is for your own good”, a paternalism that is still with us. Institutional confinement, the “asylum” system, would have had a much harder time expanding if it were not couched in the terminology of, as it is today, “care”. The kind of “care” that gives one pause to express such sentiments as “with friends like these who needs enemies”.

  • Yeah, I don’t know about saying Schizophrenia, Depression, and Bipolar are real while ADHD and BPD are, say, imaginary, or not so real. I think the lot of them are pretty much garbage.

    One could say this or that person has more major problems than this or that other person, but then how seriously do we need to “treat” such problems? The more deeply the person is involved in “treatment”, the deeper he or she tends to sink into the trash.

  • I’ve been off psychiatric drugs for the past twenty years

    I wasn’t really on them before that because I wasn’t going to take them “voluntarily”.

    I haven’t taken any psychiatric drug since the last time I was discharged from the “hospital”.

    It can be done. One just needs to register the fact that these chemicals aren’t good for you, and that they are more likely to harm you than to “heal” you, and that they can, in fact, even kill you.

    “Mental health” may be a scam, but dope is still dope, and dope isn’t good for your health.

  • FACT teams in this country (the USA) have been mainly about insuring that “patients” were compliant with treatment plans (i.e. drugged to the gills or institutionalized). I feel sorry for so-called peers that would support that kind of thing however I know that Open Dialogue operates along different lines, and any “alternative” to the current FACT team approach, some kind of policing function, has got to be an improvement. A FACT team that I could work with rather than against in the interests of saving the “patient’s” health from certain detriment, and his or her freedom from certain deprivation? Yeah, that I’d like to see.

  • I think you have a point, Steve. Namely, medicalization, the selling of “mental disorders” and their “treatments” has escalated, as has, what goes along with it, the numbers of “patients”. I figure corporatocracy has a lot to do with it. On the one hand, women can get work in the field, on the other, they’d be working in the wrong field (i.e. the labeling, drugging, and oppression of “mental patients”). Liberation!? Let’s get back to that. Yeah!

    Congratulations on the book, Lucas. This looks like one I could be reading. In recent years there has been a reaction against the movements of the recent past. I’m all for counter cultural revolution. No regrets. It’s high time we rehabilitated the times that made yours truly.

  • No length of imprisonment is going to make people well who weren’t sick in the first place.

    Neither will any amount of federal subsidy provide the basic necessity of, plain and simple, the avenue to financial independence, purposeful labor, a job.

    Nor will any amount of drugging (intoxicating pollutants) produce sobriety (sanity).

    That’s the big three when it comes to what’s been done that shouldn’t have been done. The obverse of the big three shouldn’ts would be the big three shoulds. Something along the lines of liberty, industry, and health–physical health.

  • I find the people who write this kind of thing, that is, rationalizing, if limply, the asylum system, very disturbing. I think such people ought to be confined to an asylum until such a time as they recover from such delusional beliefs, or die, whichever comes first.

    “We found no evidence that people were admitted for “social deviance” such as having illegitimate children, political activity, or petty crime.”

    We found no such evidence of people being admitted for social deviance except in so far as they were “raving,” “incoherent,” “delusional”; singing, shouting or praying inappropriately, or being, given another leap to judgment (and no due process to boot) unable to care for themselves allegedly.

    Social is not, to my way of thinking, a form of disability.

    The successful selling of “mental illness” and it’s “treatment” in the 1990s, over the 1890s, has led to a population explosion of people deemed to be so “afflicted”. This population boom, in combo with the closing of the old places of incarceration, has led to the opening of many mini-institutions, as well as more subtle methods of social coercion, indoctrination, management and control of deviant populations. Who needs a full time staff when you’ve got ankle bracelets and neuroleptic drugs?

    Okay, so maybe we’re not there yet, but given time, robotics is sure to take up the slack. Ready, aim, tazer!

    I disagree, obviously. We’ve in the past seen at least two great increases in the mental patient population. The first came with the development of the huge asylums you speak of, and the second came with the advent of social welfare and psychiatric drugs. If you want sanity, you’re going to have to put things in reverse, and then fast forward to before there were any “great” asylums. Lesson learned, we still don’t need them.

  • As I see it, same thing in the USA, peer support *cough, cough* being seen as the gateway into a job in mental health work, often involving attaining a degree in psychology, the vast majority of these careerists are not, and I must emphasis this point, all that critical of their profession. If they were, their career aims would be different. Career aims that criticism puts at risk, and threatens, on top of which there is that old “peer” pressure to be as obsequious as possible.

  • With psychiatric patient/consumers either clients of or workers in the system, sometimes both, where are the jobs that would give them a life anywhere else? How do we cure people, in other words, of the provision and the procurement of psychiatric bondage in one form or another? This artificial “neediness” and “learned helplessness” that has become so prevalent and burdensome.

    I remember when we were a liberation movement. *sigh*

  • There might be a place for philosophy in psychoanalysis, however, my view is that psychoanalysis represents religion (AKA folly), the old nemesis of philosophy, given its search for truth and wisdom. Will philosophy help you “heal souls”? I dunno. Kinda have to consult a priest on that one.

  • I think we’ve got what one might call a communication problem here. I’m not in any “reform psychiatry movement”. I have no desire to work in, nor for, the mental health police, their thugs, nor their chemical enforcers. I don’t see how anybody can get into that system without becoming tainted, and in negative ways, by it.

    I don’t know if plain English will work, but let me try, please. Mental health is not consuming mental health treatment. Working for the system keeps the nonsense going. It is corrupting by its very nature. You don’t sell mental health treatment without, at the same time, selling mental ill health.

    Perhaps you’ve read or seen a performance of the play No Exit? Mental health, so-called, or perhaps wisdom should be the preferable word, is about taking the exit.

  • Great article. I hope it went over well at Counter Punch. I find myself in complete agreement with the essence and tone of this one. “Sublime madness” it is, was, and will continue to be. I’m very happy to see Harriet Tubman and Emma Goldman enter your pantheon of exemplary people deserving of our praise. That they were, and may many follow in their glorious example. Given the ongoing political dynasty and it’s crises, I think the forces for change could use a few raw recruits. and maybe such an position could help win us a few much needed friends and allies.

  • The closest I found when searching for definitions, if kirist is an anagram on Kristi, Kristi is the female name for a believer in Christ. I see, in this word, the old Achilles heel of psychiatry rearing its head again. I don’t imagine the interest here is in that of seeking truth. This is not about philosophy which might compliment science, but rather it’s about religion that remains at a remove from, and at odds with, science

  • The Edward Shorter quotes leave me speechless. I guess you’d call him an anti-antipsychiatry psychiatrist. His approach to psychiatry is not that critical to his profession, and he is certainly not the person you’d want introducing the public to the work of Bonnie Burstow.

    Thank you for this post. If it’s not the necessary corrective to the New York Times piece, it’s moving in that direction. The Times, obviously, should have been talking with some of Bonnie’s friends.

  • I really can’t blame psychiatry for literally everything, nor can I ignore all the accomplices in crime psychiatry has managed to develop in associated and allied professions. If It were the mental ill health fabrication system that needed to die, I would agree with you. The problem is that some people seem to conflate psychiatry with forced treatment and the two are not synonymous. In other words, get rid of the one, and you still haven’t gotten rid of the other. I think we should get rid of forced psychiatric treatment. I don’t think doing so will relieve the world of fools of any type. Prohibition of psychiatry? I’m really not a prohibition type person. I don’t see how you can get rid of the profession without resorting to some of the same heavy handed tactics used to enforce it’s will. I had rather see more people freed (i.e. liberated), in other words, than enslaved, and I question whether you would be doing so by changing places, in so far as brute force is concerned, with your en slaver (i.e. oppressor).

  • I’ve heard the expression “social disability” used before, and I think it curious, despite stinking of welfare fraud. However, when it’s a matter of survival, if you can’t play the guitar with your teeth maybe you can call your socially manufactured unemployment “disability”. If the government had not basically destroyed the labor movement in this country, you could have united with other people in your position, and sued for another one, position, that is. Hmm. Revive the labor movement, and you still can.

    Given Bernie’s stand against force, if Bernie makes the ticket, I’m voting for him. If not, I will vote Green again. No Regrets.

  • Never liked the term I’ve heard bandied about so much recently (i.e. self-advocacy). Self-advocacy is common sense, but beyond developing that, I’ve not been advocating for myself so much. I don’t take psychiatric drugs. I know they cause harm, and not to myself alone. I see self-advocacy, in this sense, as a misleading and deceptive term. You can take psychiatric drugs if you want to, but presume I’m one to encourage their use, and you presume wrong. Beyond so-called self-advocacy there is solidarity with my struggling brothers and sisters who have experienced and endured oppression from the psychiatric system. That solidarity is not such a selfish matter as one might suppose.

  • I was once a candidate, actually taking, human services training. I would describe the experience as a kind of comedy of errors in the making. A classical farce, in other words. How did I get into this biz? I didn’t, but if I had, how did I get into it? How else are you going to earn a paycheck after psychiatric labeling? I was reprimanded for talking about the dangers of using psychiatric drugs with the bus driver, another “product” of the system. The person in charge gave me a dressing down about how I needed to change my attitude, or the job, guaranteed by the program, wouldn’t be mine on completion. There were even special accommodations made for some of the people with Tardive Dyskinesia. Before there was no backing out, that is, before it could mean a possible academic mark for or against me, I backed out. I was telling the lady in charge, sure, I got it, and I was going to, you know, buckle under and do what was expected of me. The best I could have expected out of the program was a gig as a mental health copper on an ACT team making sure resistant “patients” were “compliant” in their drug taking regimen. Happily, I’m not at all suited for that sort of thing.

  • Psychiatrists already get off on labeling clients “incompetent/dysfunctional”. Between themselves, with this in house form of labeling professionals, if anyone of them wants to object, it becomes a gentleman’s (and woman’s) disagreement about terms and approaches. Unfortunately, I don’t think you’re going to see any “conceptually incompetent” psychiatrists locked up (or locked out) anytime soon. If you did, that would be a game changer.

  • Why don’t we have a more “nuanced” history of work shops, poor houses, hard labor and concentration camps? Actually, I think we did ourselves good by getting rid of them. The Victorian monstrosity of the Kirkbride asylum is not really right where it should be, being a ruin and a relic of history. No, these Victorian monstrosities should have never been built in the first place. They represent places where people were swept under the rug so-to-speak, a number on concrete bump or slab, everybody’s shame.

    This is coming up, I imagine, because people like Trump want a return to the old asylums, that is, more people, innocent people, unjustly incarcerated.

    Perhaps we need a more nuanced view of Walter Freeman and ice-pick lobotomies. We could try to bring back those, too. Perhaps clozaril, or you name it, isn’t as effective as we’d like it to be.

    Me, I don’t need a good knock on the head. Do you?

  • “But to rethink the clinical encounter is not to rethink the entirety of mental health practice” unless, of course, you happen to be antipsychiatry or mad movement. I don’t think there is anything these people might do to prevent close encounters of the awkward kind. I don’t think it is this admission on a shrink or twos part that is entirely a bad thing either. They could also, that is, envision a world that excluded us, and/or our input, entirely.

  • Laing took a more rightward (and drunken) turn, post sixties, and Szasz, he was never truly antipsychiatry either, not, anyway, if you don’t equate psychiatry with forced treatment. Szasz was also *cough* what they call an ‘anticommunist’ (i.e. pro-capitalist. How do you say? Oh, yeah. One who often sided with the bosses and robber barons.

    I don’t know about reducing one to the other, but I do know that comparative studies, such as those conducted by Thomas Szasz, have their place, and if one compares, relatively speaking, the one with other, that is psychiatric slavery with chattel slavery, it could be said to be a form of the same. Of course, the degrees of difference, in one from the other, are still quite large, but all in all, the similarities connect them.

  • I don’t think they, the antipsychiatry and the Mad Pride movements, have to be mutually exclusive, OldHead. I don’t see those different animals you see. On the one hand, we celebrate our differences, and on the other hand, we oppose locking people up, and (mis)treating them, on account of those differences.

  • Psychiatric power, the title of one of Michel Foucault’s lectures, is the real culprit here.

    I don’t think one should be so simplistic as to cast psychiatry in the role of the devil’s doctrine. Psychiatry could have done nothing without a whole lot of help from legislators, communities, families and allied professionals.

    R.D. Laing supported deinstitutionalization. Thomas Szasz supported the idea of “adult orphanages”, albeit devoid of force and compulsion. These are too very different positions.

    Antipsychiatry: Quackery Squared, in my opinion, is not a book I would laud highly. It puts, as one might note, Szasz squarely in the psychiatry camp. Castigating Laing and leftists professionals, all lumped in the same boat, it allows the enemies of change plenty of fodder, and fodder that could even be turned against Szasz on occasion.

    If the antipsychiatry mantle has passed from psychiatrists, playing the role of antishrink, to psychiatric survivors and other professionals, I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. That point ascertained, it certainly doesn’t displace psychiatry from its lofty position at the head of the quackery department.

  • The Special Rapporteur spoke of “over-medicalization” in the context of labeling and drugging children. I’m not sure there is another way to tackle the subject effectively. At least he was recognizing such treatment for what it is, a form of excess. All medicalization is over-medicalization, when it comes to psychiatric drugs, in the sense that you are treating figurative “illnesses” as if they were physiological illnesses. The labeling and drugging of children on a large scale is a rather recent phenomenon, but look at where it leads. Children grow up, and into such learned conditions as adult ADHD *cough, cough*, or adult bipolar affective disorder. Cease labeling and drugging children, and you’ve got less so-called “mental illness” across the board. That’s another form of learning for you. One might call it learned healthiness, or even self-reliance.

  • Wow. They’re cognizant of our existence. Do you really need a better reason for more, much more, mad activism? Ditto, antipsychiatry? All I can say is, it sure beats wasting away in a total (i.e. totalitarian) institution. We need to do more. We need to do away with all such institutions.

  • I’d rather keep my “civil rights” (and human rights) intact over any “mental condition” supposedly cancelling them out, or superseding them, Dr. Pinsky, all “anosognosia” or “illness denial” aside. Thank you anyway.

    Great article. Keep up the good work.

    We need to rebuild our movement, and the way we to do that is by fighting institutionalization, not by caving into it. Thank you for doing your part.

  • The institutions ARE addicted to pharmaceutical use. The many times that I was held in psychiatric institutions against my will, I was never given a choice when it came to taking psycho-active drugs. Had I been given a choice, I would not have taken them at all. The neuroleptics anyway. I didn’t like what they did to me. If it’s bad in the psychiatric hospital, it’s got to be much worse in prison, or that place where the two systems come together, forensic psychiatry. I like the liberation oriented slant of your interview, and hope something positive might come out of your efforts to do something about the matter. Thank you for what you do.

  • I have a little problem with this idea that the receipt of “mental health” trickment should serve as a gateway to a career in the provision of “mental health” trickment. What was madness again? Wasn’t it something like not learning from experience, and repeating your folly ad nauseum?

  • A great article about a great scholar and a great activist. We’ve lost so many in our movement over the recent years, and this is a loss that it is certainly going to be difficult to recover from. I sincerely hope you’ve got the people in Canada to take up where Bonnie left off, to continue her work, and to strengthen and support her legacy.

    As for the struggle in the USA, maybe we could take a few lessons from Bonnie on behalf of the struggle here. I hope so. Our struggle certainly needs more people with her kind of determination and resolve.

    Thank you, Bonnie, for everything you’ve done. I wish you were still around so that I could say so in person.

  • The abuse excuse saved James Holmes life. All the experts in court claimed he had a “mental illness”, and the jury couldn’t bring itself to execute (sanction state homicide of) such a “damaged” individual. What do we get out of this crime and trial? Certainly, not justice. I feel the Holmes case itself must have been the main inspiration behind the movie Joker. As one might expect, if one were rational, not being too fond of the “insanity defense”, I’m not very fond of the abuse excuse (i.e. trauma informed care) as it is applied outside of the criminal justice system either.

    If I expressed anything in a offensive manner here, then, childhood trauma didn’t make me do so.

  • I agree and disagree in some regards. You’ve got more “mental patients” than ever before (medicalization), in part, because of this expanding “service industry”, that is, in some cases, an expanding bureaucracy employing present or ex-patients. I’m not particularly fond of “mental health” world myself. One solution is to fund it, and another is to defund it. Socialism, the psychiatric institution, well, I have a few problems with the very suggestion. By expanding the human services industry we aren’t exactly getting people out of chronic pseudo-medical model care. I’m not, in this instance, going to be tipping my hat to, and winking at, a certain amount of cynicism and oppression entertained by the paternalistic mob and the newly minted wards of the state of their creation.

  • I’d call the problem here ‘the long reach of those “mental patient” gloves’. The looney bin is, quite literally, where they stash trash people.

    Thanks for trying to do something constructive about the situation. Xmas, on the wards, can sure be a bummer.

  • Or are we supposed to overcome our “sanity” in order to gain pride in our newfound madness? War, environmental degradation, and putting profit over people all along have been equated with “sanity” while our present head of state is about as big “a danger to self and others” as you are likely to run across in several lifetimes.

    Regarding “flawed”, I don’t know about “deeply”, but you find “perfection”, and you’ve just performed an instant lobotomy on yourself.

  • Organizations are what make organizing worthwhile. Organizations that can effect change. The factionalism remains, even with organizations. As is, organization has benefited the more moderate and compromising apologists for the system. Given the great failure of these compromises, as illustrated in the recent passage of the Murphy bill into law of one sort or another, I see hope for the more radical, and less compromising, factions, your milk toast moderate having become his or her own worst enemy.

  • “Schizophrenia” isn’t a disease, it’s an insult. You don’t know how many times I’ve talked to people about “mental illness”, so-called, and have gotten this thing about the hopelessly deteriorated and deteriorating “schizophrenic”. Most people seem to “know” one. This person or that deemed beyond “recovery”. Far be it for me to explain that I once had a “schizophrenic” diagnosis lodged against me. I don’t think confessing would help me one iota. Also, I’d have to admit, I don’t have anything to confess. I would never be one to apply such an insult to myself.

  • Stop labeling and drugging foster children. Okay, if you’ve done that, now stop labeling and drugging children and adolescents. Labeled and drugged children all too often grow into labeled and drugged adults. Note: ADHD, for example, has morphed from a mostly childhood and adolescent affliction into what is now termed adult ADHD. Is there no end to this nonsense? Stop the psychiatrization (throwing away) process early, and what do you know? They have a future again.

    Good suggestions at the end, too. There is no homeless problem in this country although there is an affordable housing problem. Make housing affordable and automatically you do something about all the poor people living in tents on the sidewalk. Children, of course, too.

  • “Mental health treatment” = brainwashing, indoctrination, terror, abduction, imprisonment, assault, torture…

    There is a great deal of paternalism involved in this desire to detain the deemed dangerous while much of the deeming requires a leap to judgment or prejudgment on the part of the deemer. Donald J. Trump claims we need to start locking up dangerous people. At the same time, there are mental health professionals who claim that Donald J. Trump is one of the dangerous ones, and that he himself needs to be locked up, or, at least, “treated”. I’m not sure those mental health professionals quite realize that, were they able to do so, this “treatment” would make them a danger to Donald J. Trump, and, of course, certain other human populations.

    I don’t think the desire of the community to preserve itself is behind involuntary commitment. I think the real basis for involuntary mistreatment lies in the desire to lay blame on a scapegoat for problems that the community has created for itself, scapegoating made easy by the designating label “mentally ill”. The community is a community that, quite literally, is the community of a species that is not threatened with extinction in the slightest. On the other hand, it is because of this community that certain other species are on the brink of extinction think of it what you will.

  • Okay. I’m not bitching about any drug free hospital going up then. That’s a very rare phenomenon actually. I’m more concerned about protecting people from some of the harm that comes of psychiatric drug use. I never had an option when it came to drugging in the hospitals (sic) to which I was imprisoned. I think it is a very positive thing that this one private facility is going to be doing something different.

  • I have a few issues with the title of this piece. Rather than Is Australia’s Psychiatric System Redeemable, like a sales coupon, or a lottery ticket, or a government bond, how about Is Australia’s Psychiatric System Salvageable, like a scuttled vessel, a scrap of antiquity that we’ve grown too sentimental about to thoroughly trash, or, say, a relic from the Third Reich.

  • Drug therapy versus talk therapy, basically, that’s a big difference in my book. Boring Neo-Freudian or Jungian revisionist talk shrinks aren’t Neo-Kraepelinian drug pushing bio-shrinks. Thing is, they discovered, just the other week, you don’t need a medical degree to administer talk. I guess the idea is…the more cooks the better the stew. A popular saying, of course, folk wisdom, has it the other way around. Most of these talk shrinks dish out a few drugs and most of these bio-shrinks offer you 15 minutes of fame during rounds. It’s the exceptions that are helpful, but the problem is, there are just too darned few of them to make much of a difference. Peer pressure, but not from those peers, I think, is one of the reasons that this is the case.

  • I spent time in a day facility where the man in charge, a psychologist, used to go sailing in the Virgin Isles on his vacations. You think any of the screw ups in his charge got to go sailing in the Caribbean, too? Heck no. Most of them had been robbed blind by the mental health system. Specifically, by people like him. Believe me, I wasn’t shedding any tears when eventually he lost his job.

    I generally don’t go in for such places anymore. I don’t see the benefit in setting people like him up at my own expense. I’ve got better things to be doing. Almost anything you can imagine has got to be a better thing, in the sense of goodness, than what he was doing. I think the unfairness of the world was in a way his expense account, and I’m happy not to be there to foot the bill.

    Am I crying foul as far as his case is concerned? Yeah, I think that’s exactly the way I’d put it.

  • Way beyond force? Like if you choose to be deprived of your liberty? Or if you boarded ship in chains and bound for some colony somewhere? Deception, in my view, complements force because if people were open and honest about it, if it was all open and above board, they wouldn’t be resorting to force in the first place.

    Another matter is that this isn’t completely about “disease”, it’s about morality or something else. People are being punished for some transgression or other, for disobedience, for rule breaking, but not, and this is important, law breaking. Quasi-medical, quasi-legal, in this instance, sort of detours both. All the more reason, in the authorities view, for lies and non-transparency.

  • I don’t know about cannonizing Thomas S. Szasz, nor demonizing R.D. Laing and Michel Foucault, however, labeling all three iconoclasts is rather like demonizing the lot of them. (Rather them than the lot of us conformist pro-shrinkery shrinks perhaps, huh?)

    I don’t think the critical arguments against standard practice have grown any stronger since the exit of the three above mentioned “iconoclasts”. If anything, the matter has degenerated, in the boring department, to the extent that it could put almost anybody to sleep. Maybe they can use them to cool the tempers of people labeled as “suffering” from bi-polar disorder, a disorder that grows more popular with every sales pitch.

    If you’re going to demonize all three, please, I beg you. Let me join the ranks of the condemned.

  • As long as psychiatry is forced on unwilling victims, I have no use for it. When psychiatry is entirely voluntary, I will cease having an issue with it. The biggest “fix”, if ever a “fix” was needed, would be the “fix” that would end forced treatment, and. in the process, restore full citizenship rights to people abused by the psychiatric system in their respective countries. As long as you don’t get rid of forced treatment, mental health treatment is nothing more than an excuse to abuse certain people. Yep, that’s right. Criminals and mental patients are not the only people who routinely use the abuse excuse.

  • “Mental health treatment” is the problem, not the solution. Go imprison, insult, defame, torture somebody else. You want a “cure”? Stop imprisoning, defaming, and torturing people. Once you’ve imprisoned, defamed, and tortured them, then you start talking “recovery”. I’m saying the “recovery” is “recovery” from abduction, imprisonment, defamation, and torture, not “disease”. The “disease” is a fiction, and a convenient way for a person to get rid of people that that person disapproves of, or finds annoying.

  • In realistic terms, OldHead, part of the problem entails treatments that arose out of viewing so-called “mental disorders” as physical conditions requiring physical remedies (shock, drugs). The problem is that the physical remedies invariably involve doing physical harm to the patient/client. Any hospital that doesn’t use drugs, in my opinion, is an improvement for the simple reason that less drug use is going to mean a less physically damaged population. I would think that less or no drug use is, under almost all circumstances, going to mean less iatrogenic disability and, that it is, therefore, something to be desired. As is, everywhere you go, on every hospital ward, it’s always the same drug, drug, drug approach, practice, and mentality. Oh, yeah, everywhere you go besides this private place going up in Norway. Okay. Iatrogenic harm is a separate, but related, issue beside that of physical segregation and imprisonment. Two wrongs certainly don’t make a right, however, a right is definitely to be considered an improvement over any additional wrong. If you were working for many rights, one right is, I imagine, a good place to start.

  • Mental health treatment now being the gateway to mental health work (found jobs?), we’ve got an even more slippery story here. Out of those 50 and 75 %ers respectively, X % of millennials, X % gen zers, used the mental health excuse to swing a career in mental health treatment provision. That’s the kind of research that you might be delving into more deeply. Are there better things they could be doing? You betcha!

    When it comes to mental health treatment and work, I will bet you’ve had drop outs and second timers in both as well. The plot thickens….like fly paper.

  • You have the right to take your own life. Alright. Suicide issue, dealt with, settled, out of the way. Now when you try to prevent a person from committing suicide you are violating that person’s human rights.

    I think the problem started long before there was a medical specialty called psychiatry. In other words, the root of all evil is not psychiatry, nor did evil doing begin with psychiatrists. I think the problem first began with locking people up and forcing treatment on them for being disobedient or unruly, and second, when an expanding profitable enterprise grew out of this imprisoning and torturing of such dissidents (i.e. the violation of their human rights). There was a point in time at which the profit motive, coupled with job stability and careerism, made such an exploitative racket take off. How do you derail a run away freight train? How do you end it? Well, certainly not by making more and more investments in it.

  • “Anxiety” is a natural survival mechanism, not a “mental disease”. Any wall of abstract “suffering” you are facing can completely collapse when you understand that basic fact. Should your “suffering” be caused by toxic chemicals though you will have to withdraw from such chemical abuse to cease “suffering” so much. Drugs, in this instance, are the problem, not the solution. The solution is to trust your instincts and your senses, to be wary of the false promises of pill pushers, and to stay safe by staying healthy.

  • Basically if you get 25 % of the world, if I’m not being too conservative (today’s estimates have risen to 50 % and beyond), to buy your crap, you have job security. I find that there is a limit though to the amount of crap I personally can take. Necessity, it would seem, is a lot less necessary than it should be.

    I’d like to see a campaign directed against mental health treatment addiction. If we could wipe mental health treatment addiction off the map, we might be getting somewhere.

  • Julie was a fighter, and she will be missed greatly.

    We need more people with the strength to reject psychiatric interventions altogether, and in that sense, Julie was one of us.

    In the long list of casualties of treatment, here’s another. People need to know about lithium. I would say it’s a much more dangerous drug than people give it credit for being, and here’s another example of the consequences of putting people on it.

    Julie was, she claimed, gathering material for another anthology. Others should take up the challenge. I can’t help but wonder, if MIA were to publish such a volume, who would be censored, exiled and de-voiced, further victims of a conspiracy of silence (and silencing). We need more collections of the narratives of psychiatric survivors in solidarity against the graveyard making system. Hopefully, the example of Julie, and people like her, might draw more people into the movement for change.

    Anonymous was never so anonymous as he or she who bore a name.

  • I think Rachel777 has got a point here, OldHead. Lewis Carroll was a master of nonsense, a type of sense, not absurdity. His modus operandi was not satire, a severe criticism of what is going on, but rather, if you will, a form of resignation, at least, acceptance of the way things proceed. Nonsense, for the Victorians, of which Carroll was one, was a fact of life, not an exception to it.

  • I like 1 and 2. 3 has created a BIG problem, and it’s growing BIGGER all the time. Now “treatment” is the gateway drug into a career in “mental health” work. Yuck!! “Trauma informed care”, for instance, the abuse excuse carried over from the criminal justice system into the mental health treatment system, and vice versa. “My childhood made me do it.” 4 complements 3, double yuck. Some of us have better ways to make use of our time. (Rather, study the system with the goal and intent of critiquing and destroying the system.) 5 is not an option. Don’t be a victim. Switch gears to instinctual mode. Be a survivor. 6 scrap surveys. How many of youse out there are complete idiots? Don’t we get enough dishonesty from the mental health coppers and the corporate backed politicians? 7 deny the system, it’s going to get tied up in the courts by somebody no matter what you do in particular. 8 move, and further more act, but act in ways to destroy the behavioral intervention system and to save people from it. 9 develop your logical thinking skills, excessive reactive emotionality and stratospheric vacations get people permanent careers in the adult baby sitting business. either as adult babies or as adult baby overlords. There’s nothing out of the ordinary about folly. Wise up!

  • “…we are not monsters, we are mentally ill…”

    Don’t you think psychiatrized is a lot like demonized? The shrink establishment and the cop establishment are totally in cahoots when it comes to slandering people with the “monster” and the “sick” labels. Especially when merged.

    Crazy is not as bad a term as “mentally ill”. Crazy we all are to one degree or another. Silly, anyway. People, on the other hand, are very “serious” about “mental illness”. “Mentally ill” is an expression demanding converts.

    “We believe in your bipolarity.” Etc.

    Nobody is frivolously “mentally ill” except for people who are not “truly” “mentally ill” which says a lot for frivolity.

  • It’s Frank Blankenship, not -stein, and things could be pretty bad in Canada, but they’re pretty bad throughout the USA as well. Ditto, the world. The old idea about getting people out of the country and into Canada if you’re from the states, or into the USA if you’re from Canada, when you free them from an institution. still apply, as far as I know. We’re talking about outpatient situations here though where the situation is, frankly, not quite so severe. In the USA, lacking a federal mandate, a person is generally out of hot water once transported to another state. If simply moving a person from one province to another doesn’t work, moving them to another country should. I’m not talking strictly legal means. Underground is underground, and there the public record goes blank.

  • Great blog post, Francesca. It is my view that we need a more effective underground network of support, a railroad so-to-speak, to help people escape from forced treatment of all sorts, and even, very much so, the threat of such forced treatment that comes with Assertive Community Treatment teams, another one of those lying acronyms like Assisted Outpatient Treatment for forced drugging. I’ve had first hand experience with ACT teams, and what people need, by and large, is protection from them and the people behind them. Transport a person threatened with forced treatment to another part of the country where that threat doesn’t exist, and where they have the resources and the means to subsist and thrive, and “mental illness”, *cough, cough*, the “mental health treatment” system, death and destruction by another name, have lost that round while independent living and human rights have won the day.

  • Anarchism is a word with a definition. The definition of anarchism is, by the way, NOT disbelief in rules.

    In a Google search, the definition that comes up first, top of the page, is that from the Oxford Dictionary.

    Anarchism is, then, according to Oxford Dictionary…

    belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis without recourse to force or compulsion.

    Given that psychiatric institutions are very much into the use of force and compulsion, it would seem that the existence of such institutions, as they are presently constituted, must be incompatible with Anarchism in theory and practice.

  • Parachute NYC did have difficulty sustaining itself after the grant ran out, and it is now kaput. The story is the same with practically all of the better programs. The original Soteria Project was defunded because it ran counter to the direction charted by the NIMH. I’m pretty cynical about the matter because I know that even new programs manage to expand the “mental health” treatment system, and in that manner contribute to whatever “epidemic” in personal problems we may be experiencing. The demands for additional patient/ex-patient “mental health” workers and paraprofessionals could not be sustained without an inexhaustible reservoir of potential patients to keep the “experts” in business. I can’t wait until archeologists puzzle over the historical role of psychiatrists, unfortunately, I think I’m going to be a rather longer wait than I would like. Nonetheless, I’m already there.

  • We are certainly not arguing “medicine”. People are not imprisoned and tortured for medical reasons. The reasoning is more social, say, we can’t have a coo coo bird like that running around loose. It makes the rest of “us” look bad, therefore, coo coo bird facilities. People are entitled to rights, of course, but the people designation doesn’t include coo coo birds and ex-felons. We’ve sort of trashed the constitution in their particular cases in that regard.