Friday, March 24, 2023

Comments by Aerial Ballet

Showing 18 of 18 comments.

  • Well, it seems as if I was off-base in praising him then. Given what I read here, though, he sounded pretty good to me. Then again, if all of these things are true, we might wish to regard the man’s works apart from man. If an immoral person suggested I tell my children that I love them, I may still consider the person immoral while taking that one piece of advice as a good idea. Of course I am looking at things presented by Mx. Ingle as the good ideas, and those practices by Fanon described by Mx. Rousselot as unacceptable to say the least. Thank you, Mx. Rousselot for adding to my education.

  • Well, Someone Else, I think that is part of the point here and why this article is noteworthy. Franz Fanon was about doing things differently. I guess that must be the neutral use of the word “radical” as in “Radical Psychology.” Doing things very differently. A number of psychologists and psychologizers have formally embraced the term “radical,” but I, as one of them am not sure I appreciate the negative connotations attached to it and thus to me. In the minority-corners of modern western psychology, choosing to place themselves in relation to it are the radical ones. Odd since the radical psychologists call themselves “critical psychologists” (interchangably) and I think it is a statement to the sad state of affairs in our world that critical thinkers are called “radical.” Sigh.

    AND at the same time, there are a lot of what Fanon would call colonialist psychologists posing as various types of liberators when they are nothing of the sort. This, as it seems you may be suggesting, Someone Else. In my career as a psychologist, I have been a member of numerous groups of professional peers. Excited everytime at first, I am ultimately disappointed. There is always SOMETHING they are clinging onto in self interest. The DSM, the APA, their paycheck, their privelege, being considered an expert in majority communities which validate and enable them.

    I am sad to say I’d not been familiar with Fanon before. I am glad however that Mx. Ingle introduced him. This was a great article both in substance and form. I am making a copy and saving it Thank you, Mx. Ingle. We need to flat out ditch Western Psychology. We can wrestle for the rights to determine what psychology is going to be, or we can just let the monsters have it. We can call something else – well, something else.

  • Steve, lack of consensus does not make something unscientific – it just make things “unfinished.” Scientists are by definition are trained doubters and skeptics. Although it is becoming more and more difficult to trust scholarly articles in scientific journals, the ideal is “peer review.” A scientist (hopefully) does their best work and in publishing it are nearly universally required to demonstrate insight into the study’s short-comings and suggest where more studies need to be done. THEN, because it is made PUBLIC, other scientist get to PUBLICIZE their own critiques. What is needed is the resumption in a trust of the scientific process – a means by which ANYONE can read the arguements and counter-arguements and assess the qualities of experiments (tests) AND the reasoning used in coming to be for or against an assertion. The problem with medicine is that the results, which to say the least will ALWAYS be less than 100%, are tested on human beings often before they are certain enough and this is due to a combination of both supply AND demand. Although many object to testing on animals for moral reasons, logically, many would agree that the effect of drugs on animals will give us a cautious red light or green light in proceeding with tests on humans. Once a few successes are published with humans, many people want that drug immediately even though reason would say it is not ready for market. Others would say that it is absolutely irresponsible to release to the market drugs which are still to risky. Then there is the matter of costs. Certainly, from the supply side, we have TV commercials pushing drugs for problems people never even heard of before and prices can be artificially inflated. More legitimately, the safer a med is made, the longer the period in testing, the greater the delay of it’s release, and the higher the cost which gets passed on to the buyer. Sigh The solution is not in THIS box.

  • To “registeredforthissite” – I agree and would add that one could go without the MH stigma which goes along with those things as well. Should all drugs be legalized such that a person could make their own decisions about this. I would say yes and the reason I say yes is that it is quite evident there is no system which guarantees the best qualities of a prescriber. This fact makes things worse than neutral. Giving certain people the authority (license) to prescribe when the occurance of fools, sociopaths, money-grubbers and so forth is likely the same as in the general population FALSELY presents them as the go-to people for Rx’s. Get an a Rx from a licensed prescriber. First you must be able to find a REAL & LEGIT way to parse out the good prescribers from the bad. Prescribe for yourself? You must have good reason to believe that YOU are not a fool or undereducated. When the assignment of a certain quality (“safe precriber”) is given arbitrarily, it is contrary to science, good law, and good morals. Therefore, at base, all drugs should be made legal because if a risky decision is to be made, it is better to give that decision making right to the person the action will most directly effect. Regulatory boards/licensing boards? They were designed (supposedly) to assure the public of high quality care, but believe me, they have been bought and sold and brainwashed. I have spent twenty years watching the every move of the Psych Board, the Medical Board, and the Counseling Board in Oregon, and now the work I do has brought me into contact with licensed healthcare professionals in 25 states who’ve been professionally assaulted when those professionals have gone dissident, whistleblower or have had a “better idea.” So, no, there are no transparent overseers or checks and balances to keep “patients” safe.

  • Steve, Caveat emptor is a great idea. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the problem for many seeking help. They don’t know what they want. For many, if they knew what they wanted, they’d be miles ahead. I think this may be one of the reasons to go to the “underground” – to get a fuller idea of the breadth of what is actually available. Too, getting SOME idea of what you do and do not want even if you don’t feel certain entirely, is valuable and usable and not to be dismissed.

  • To pkolpin, about finding “dissident mental health professionals,” I’ll offer some thoughts. 1) such mental health professionals can be hard to find in state-bonafide circles and so a better pursuit might be to find dissident community such as may be found here. 2) In my experience there are dissident MH professionals who sort of “fly beneath the radar” within state-bonafide systems and you may have to go to the “underground” to find them in any quicker systematic way – sort of an “underground word-of-mouth.” In state or county subsidised systems, there are many MH professionals who find the only way they can keep a good conscience is to subvert the system. In much of my time in private practice I advertised “social activism as therapy.” Psych Today for instance, allows professionals to list their various modalities or skill sets. Three spaces are allowed for “write-in” modalities. For ME, social activism as therapy was at the top of my list. Then again, I am a person the authorities tried to kick out out of the profession. Once I started actively interfering in their bed-time with the American Psychological Association, they attacked me and my license was suspended for a year. Long after I served that year, never returning to my practice, an appellate court overturned the licensing boards’s ruling. I could practice WITH MY LICENSE now if I wanted to, but I am a full-time activist against all that BS now and I will never have my brain nor conscience constrained like that again. So, you are correct in your implication. You are not going to find an offices with signs outside reading “Dissident Mental Health.” Even “alternative mental health,” when advertised brazenly will get a professional put on a “watch list.” Then there is the matter of coersion and payment. Do you need anything from the state? Clemency? Food stamps? If MH treatment is a condition of getting it, any treatment off the state list won’t count. Need insurance to pay for your treatment? The insurance companies will require you get bonafide govern-mental. Lucky you are if you have the money to pay for your own treatment. You can chose whoever you want and you record need NEVER leave the professionals office. So – in this, there is classism, racism, genderism – al the things which affect your financial independence or dependence at play here. Anyway, those are some thoughts.

  • Yes. Thank you. Good points. And even under the current system, people are taking steps to change it via venues such as this – MIA. Changing or radically replacing systems is hard. As a psychologist who refuses to work in the govern-mental system anymore (if you keep and practice with a state license, you practice govern-mental health) – I find it hard to set up alternatives. On one hand, authorities are likely to do ANYTHING to circumvent alternatives and on the other, one risks being seen as some freaky fringe kind of charlatan helper. All the while, there is the cultural “comfort” with the status quo which becomes the default because it is “familiar” and marketed as legit.

  • Yeah, that old chemical imbalance thing is really shoddy, oldhead, and you are corrects as well, Steve M. But this has little to do with whether the administration of chemicals may be a good idea. A depressed person may be running a dopamine deficit or they may be depressed because their foster parents were always depressed and they’ve just recently died. If a medication helps alieviate that depression in whatever ways it was being expeirnced, then, there you go. If the right therapist can aleiviate those problematic feelings or behaviors to the individual’s satisfaction, there you go. And whatever is done, if the “treatment” makes things worse, than a different approach should be tried. Maybe the treatment or therapy is entirely outside the realm of psychiatry. If this is the case, can’t a person just get up and walk out of the institution (of psychiatry). It seems a little convoluted to keep going back there for help and then bitching about what you get there. If society will not build us a better alternative, then we must build it for ourselves. I mean who knows better than we what we want? In a way, I have already asked this question here. There were a couple of snappy answers (which I enjoyed), but I was really looking for a a deeper response.

  • There was a “structural” family therapist by the name of Salvador Minuchin. His approach to family therapy was a “systems” approach in which the role of the therapist was to consciously enter a family system and disrupt it so that the problems interferring with a sustainable harmonious whole could find their way OUT of the system to be replaced with something more effective. At a point of impasse, he suggested attempts at buttressing strengths. Failing this, this he suggested the stystem – the structure, must be razed entirely. So – imagine we do that – “Burn psychiatry to the ground” and create great numbers of unemployed psychiatrists. Let’s say these psychiatrists claim to want to “still” help people somehow. Let’s say you are the Career Counselor at the Unemployment office. How would you set these people – these former psychiatrists – on a path of truly being more helpful?

  • Agreed. There was a time, a couple of decades ago now, when there was a bill before the New Mexico legislature that would have required psychiatrists, whenever testifying in court, to wear a pointy hat and to make their gestures with a wand. Unfortunately, it did not pass. True story.

  • Thank you, William T. Your comment seems to counter most the other commentaries here and I appreciate that. In divided matters, it is very easy to pick a side and then engage in group-think in answering any sort of “call to action.” Anchor biases and confimation biases render the results of most challenging pursuits sub-optimal. I’ll assert that most people – especially on empassioned matters are also vulnerable to engaging false dichotomies seeing divergent views as “opposites.” Again, William T – thank you for your contribution to the commentary. Contributions of earnest truths always better the collective end results. Best Regards.

  • Dear Dr. Hickey,

    I appreciate your article and your efforts. I have only done a quick read since it seems my computer is having some “neurological” problems but will be back for a deeper read and comment as soon as my computer responds to treatment.

    It seems as though your point is “accountability,” and here you have chosen to focus on the accountability (or lack thereof) of several parties; psychiatry, psychiatrists, specifiable individual psychiatrists, and Dr. Frances in particular. You may have touched on the accountability (or lack thereof) of some other parties as well. To invent someting called the 4 Cs – coherent, comprehensive, cohesive, and collective, I would suggest that there are no such 4 Cs for “psychiatry.” Therefore, I will suggest that if we are going to indict “psychiatry,” the indictment needs to be of a special kind. Perhaps, there is a special kind of indictment for each of the following; Dr. Francis, other specifiable individual psychiatrists, groups of psychiatrists (institutions, organizations, schools of thought, authoritative & regulatory bodies & these in relation to “stakeholders” such as Big Pharma and Wall Street). There can be no such thing as “psychiatry” without a modifier. Even “psychiatry in the present global zeitgeist” would work. Many would might think that such can go without saying, but I would disagree. Psychiatry is nominally “of the mind” and the human mind is boundless. Even neorologists are likely to agree. Telling us that there are more neurons – synapses – whatever in the brain than there are stars in the galaxy – or something like this, they must admit that they or even humankind is never going to get the final word on the matter of the mind or the brain or the array of thoughts, thought sequences, or mental phenomena which can be produced or concieved in the mind, the brain, or the mind-brain. Should psychiatry even exist as a field? Perhaps, but in a way which is much more humble. In fact, the humility needed in “psychiatry” is greater than in most other academic pursuits – not so much because of the unknowability of the mind but because in this unknowability methods of remedy for “psychiatric ills” are changing every decade and APPLIED brazenly to human beings with and/or without their reasonably and realistically INFORMED consent. Outsideof the complexities of the brain, the human BODY (as is addressed in medicine per se) is a much easier study, but for the mind, it is better we should limit the field of psychiatry to “theoretical psychiatry,” and appliy ourselves as a culture to more antropology, philosophy, nonviolent communications, self-reflection, mind-mastery skills, and social reconsruction. Thank you for your article, Dr. Hickey. I will read it more closely momentarily.

  • Wow! A lot of good posts here. A lot better than some of the tripe I read in Medscape Psychiatry today [just a particularly bad article there along with a bad set of commentary]. STUPIDIFICATION. I LIKE that angle. Whether this “replaces” other similar angles might only be determined by testing it more. It has “punch,” but by NO means an empty punch nor simple semantic wrangling IMHO. Most of the commenters here seem articulate, reasoned, & bright. Error here and error there, but that is the value of reasonably civil discourse as we see here when carried out by non-stupid people. It is self-correcting if such writers will allow it. All in all though, the points being made here are the same old same old and THAT is a problem. One person praised Dr. K. for this editorial but opined that it won’t get far BECAUSE it is so apt – that (implied) truth tends to get suppressed. This very view seems to be in line with Dr. K’s point. The other thing, above others, which stood out to me is the way Dr. K chose to use the word “stupid.” I think the focus on “stupid” may help us break through the shield of dismissal of our same old same old (valid) criticism of psychiatry. The meat of Dr. K’s editorial, however, seems to have gotten a bit confused as “Slaying the Dragon” seemed to suggest, leaving “Slay” to tilt against windmills a bit. Rather than ask Dr. K to write more, nearly any commenter here could take up that task. If his piece is a true indication, Dr. K. is not the best WRITER here. He MAY be brilliantly the BOLDEST though in writing on “stupidification.” I think we should pick up THAT pen and write with it. Yes? No? THANK YOU, Dr.Kelmemson.

  • What my eye casually caught of this article lead me to believe I would have shared many of the author’s opinions. Once I realized it was in reliance on a single other paper which itself seemed presented as a “scientific study” with a sample size of only nine, I lost all interest. There is no reason to berate the present author but I’d respectfully recommend he seek some academic consultation about article presentation. Commit to a certain threshold of citations and as well, make sure the cited studies are “good” ones before “making it look” scientific. In the alternative, if you have something of value to write about, do so – just don’t ride that edge. There are too many forces in the world today which make it difficult for people to understand what science is and isn’t. Don’t be one of them. Good topic though.