Thursday, December 8, 2022

Comments by Cpuusage

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  • Are not my eyes reflected in yours?
    And don’t all things press
    On your head and heart,
    And weave, in eternal mystery,
    Visibly: invisibly, around you?
    Fill your heart from it: it is so vast,
    And when you are blessed by the deepest feeling,
    Call it then what you wish,
    Joy! Heart! Love! God!
    I have no name
    For it! Feeling is all:
    Names are sound and smoke,
    Veiling Heaven’s bright glow.

    Goethe’s Faust

  • Well said Bbrenarda

    i personally take an integral/holistic view of my condition/experiences – bio/psycho/social/spiritual – that things are mediated across spirit – soul/psyche – physical body/brain – social/environmental. i don’t see any either/or with it all, but rather that everything is interrelated & interdependent.
    imo Carl Jung spoke a lot of sense on all these matters, as have others.

    Current mainstream psychiatry primarily focuses on the physical – the physical body/brain. Psychological & social elements often seem secondary to that, & the areas of the soul & spirit are usually excluded.

    Obviously it is impossible to argue a case for the spiritual with a materialist, as many now appear to be.
    i’ve spent the past 10 years on-line trying to raise awareness of & explore the spiritual in mental health, to little avail. Am interested in other people thoughts on the matter. Thanks.

  • “The agenda of MIA is found here: But that is not what is under discussion in this particular space, nor does anyone involved in this conversation even have the authority to engage in discussion about what MIA policy is.”

    An open discussion about how to transform the current mental health system – thanks for clarifying.

    “Perhaps we can get back on topic now?”

    Course – it’s about how to raise more awareness of books about critical/antipsychiatric perspectives. What are your thoughts on that?

  • “Incorrect. No one here is telling you how to identify. You could pay others the same courtesy.”

    i asked in a post above for clarification on what the policy/agenda is for this web site – if it is a vehicle for/bias towards pro extreme anti-psychiatry? No one has answered the question.

    i thought this was an open discussion site for people to express a wide range of views/dialogue about psychiatry & the current mental health system?

    By all means hold any position that you like – anti-psychiatry, Scientology, devil worshipper – whatever – that doesn’t bother me – But free & open discussion i think is important.

  • You maybe need to be clear on what Szasz actually said? He appeared opposed to psychiatry & anti-psychiatry –

    “Purveyors of what Szasz called the “therapeutic state” have failed to understand the simplicity of his basic thesis, namely, that psychiatry and antipsychiatry are unjust because they are based on coercion and lies. Advocates of psychiatry and antipsychiatry alike have failed to understand that Szasz was correct to assert that individual liberty and responsibility constitute the core of a just society.”

  • “In as much as psychotic experience and severe emotional distress can be viewed as logical reactions to abnormal or overwhelming experience”

    i disagree that is always the case with psychosis/schizophrenia – you appear to be favouring the ‘social recovery’ model, loved by anti-psychiatry.

    i’d love someone to understand my experiences – have never comes across anyone that does.

  • “I think we are getting involved in semantic confusion… what you could “ill” I would call unwell, severely distressed, chronically confused/terrified/enraged, emotionally immature, etc. Yes, these problems are real… people are not trying to say that mental-emotional suffering does not exist, but rather that the organization of syndromes/illnesses based on patterns of suffering are unreliable and illusory. But, telling people that there are valid scientific “illnesses” based on arbitrary groupings of the observable results of their distress, as psychiatrists, is misleading and false. And brief meetings with psychiatrists who give people medications to dull down their feelings, while leaving their core needs for support and understanding unmet, is inadequate treatment for most deep-seated emotional distress. I’m sure you can agree with me on some of that.”

    i agree up to a point. i’ve deeply researched, read & contemplated all this for the past 3 decades. Psychiatric nosology is a very in depth question. i’m not opposed to a more comprehensive psychiatry – some of my favourite people have been/are psychiatrists.

    i do take an a genuinely integral/holistic approach – that unfortunately incredibly few people really understand.

    All things considered i do think that some of these conditions are illness, in every sense of that word. & yes, of course we can debate best ways of approaching/treating it all & i’d agree that there are far better ways of helping people, but where can it all be accessed? Such help/support simply doesn’t exist for the vast majority of people. & i don’t see anyone really doing very much to change that – other than the endless polemics, which really changes nothing.

    i’ve spoken at depth with a lot of people diagnosed with mental health conditions, & something that has become apparent over the years, is that they do generally fit the symptomatology for the diagnostic criteria – Not in all cases, & i agree that psychiatry isn’t an exact science.

    Do depression, manic depression, schizophrenia & others disorders exist? On balance i think they do. Yes, debate the aetiology, & work on best ways of helping people so afflicted – But to deny it all? It doesn’t make much sense to me any more. Of course there is a wishy washy nature to a lot of mental health areas – But only really because there is imo such a confusion between milder & more severe forms of illness, & a lot of debate about what things are/aren’t. That’s people – we don’t agree on anything.

    i think all the extremes here are wrong – Szasz was as mistaken as Torrey Fuller. But there is truth i’d wager somewhere in-between.

  • “The anti-pschy movement has some really great concepts and theory’s but it fails at real life application.”

    Thank you for speaking sense tablan30. i’ve done everything to fight the system & not be on medication – the upshot is there hasn’t been the understanding & support in the community, & i’ve done everything to seek it out. It’s NOT been a failing, or lack of responsibility on my part.

    The reality is that the medication works, as i expect it does for a lot of people, at keeping me relatively stable & out of severe psychosis.

    “Therefore, any such expansion will meet massive, intense resistance, since many people’s livelihoods depend upon “schizophrenics”, “bipolars”, “borderlines” etc. being lied to about the validity of their “illness””

    The truth is that people are ill – that’s why they’re being treated – some are chronically ill.

  • “Some time ago, Fiachra, who comments here, posted this very helpful link for this particular social injustice demon-head of ours, biopsychiatry. Just a short article by one of her countryman, that happens to speak more or less directly to what you are saying, if I get you right.”

    i do agree that’s what is needed is a genuinely integral/holistic approach – a shift away from bio to psychosocial.

  • Fully agree with the article.

    “The person has to do the work of changing themselves, with the support and guidance of a therapist.

    In these situations, the only way for healing to take place is for the person to open up the trauma and fully experience it so that it can become simply a memory. Then they will no longer be troubled by it.

    I feel the sort of therapeutic interventions that could give these individuals a foothold towards health would be, firstly, the establishment of a personal therapeutic relationship.

    What we urgently require is a new form of asylum, a therapeutic community that provides a warm, loving, human context within which a person can grow, develop a healthy lifestyle, learn to work and manage themselves.”

    Great! Sign me up! Where & how do i access all that exactly? It’s ideal Worlds.

  • i think it’s very debatable as to what ‘anti-psychiatry’ actually means – as per the complexity of the current Wikipedia article. You seem to think that anti-psychiatry means agreeing with Szasz? i disagree that anti-psychiatry means illness denial & wanting to abolish all psychiatry.

    i’ve been labelled as anti-psychiatry for years by a lot of people. My views are generally very critical of a lot of psychiatry & the current system.

    Good luck with posting totally biased agendas on Wikipedia – i don’t really care what you want to do with it all.

  • “Mission Statement

    The site is designed to serve as a resource and a community for those interested in rethinking psychiatric care in the United States and abroad.”

    i though this site was about having an open discussion about mental health/psychiatry – Or is it a platform for staunch anti-psychiatry that must conform to denial of mental illness & the goal of the abolition of psychiatry?

    i’d like some clarification on this?

    & why should a supposedly impartial Wikipedia entry be totally biased to such ends?

    i don’t think critical, anti, & other various aspects of people/groups that would like to see a change to mental health treatment are so black & white/one sided – i’m very critical of the system, but i’m not an illness denier & i don’t want total abolition – & i’m sure i’m far from alone in that?

  • “Non-medical problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving.”

    i can appreciate the perspective & i’d love to see a different system. i’m not against a more comprehensive/humane psychiatry/mental health system.

    i’d agree that non-medical approaches are probably better in a majority of cases – but all cases? It’s very debatable to my mind what interventions/approaches are best for some people? & very debatable as to what is actually going on in some cases.

    Regardless of this debate about anti VS pro psychiatry – mental illness is Myth/Valid – we’re living in this World/society the way it is. i’d love to see the ideals implemented – i just wonder how? This debate is an old one, at least 50 years old in it’s current iteration.

    How is it possible to Abolish psychiatry, the entire current mental health system – in fact the entire pharmacological/psychiatric Industry? We can debate what the alternate could be? But is such a goal/aim of total abolition realistic? i think it would take a civilisation collapse.

  • i put together some lists here –

    ISPS Book range –

    An example of an interesting alternative book list –

    Think Wikipedia also does a better job of charting areas of psychology than the controversy of psychiatry – [main hub article]

  • “Yes, a data base would be good. Maybe MadInAmerica could play a role here.”

    i think it would be a start & a good idea – there are many thousands of books out there. Categories could be divided into –

    ‘pro/anti/critical’ psychiatry.
    Psychology. [many thousands of books in itself]
    Spirituality (inc spiritual emergency/emergence).
    Nutrition (& other health areas)
    Self help/personal development.
    Other alternative areas.

    It may also be an idea to include brief historical categories of development/thinking within each area as well?

    A database of associated web sites within each category would also be useful.

    From my own perspectives – the question of ‘madness’/experiences of altered/non-ordinary states, goes into such broad areas, & touches upon almost every area of the self/reality.

  • “…….given that we as a community and a movement have a vested interest in these books being read, what can we do ?”

    i’m not sure? i’ve tried to raise awareness on certain spiritual/transpersonal perspectives to things over the years – with certain authors & ideas – across multiple platforms & 10’s of thousands of posts/articles on-line.

    i recently lent a load of anti/critical psychiatry books to a friend – whether she reads them is another matter?

    i have a collection currently of over 600 books, mainly on ‘mental health’, psychology, spirituality & alternative subjects – & i lend stuff out regularly. A nice idea would be to have a collective/community library – But how that would work in practise is another question?

    i’ve also tried to correlate resources on certain forums & places on-line – there are some 150 different schools of psychology – & simply thousands upon thousands of books on related subjects – a lot of the difficulty is that i think that people are simply unaware of a lot of the stuff that is out there – a simple database i think is a good idea – that lists subjects/authors/genres etc – in an easy to navigate & search format – so people can easily search some of the areas that are there – i have complied extensive book/reading lists before – covering hundreds of books – also the same with web sites. That could be compiled & added to this forums resource pages?

  • “The question is whether all people having those conditions require medical assistance because of a physiological condition that causes the “symptoms”. The answer is clearly no.”

    After 30 years of contemplating, reading, researching & experiencing it all, i don’t think there are clear answers Steve – partly why it’s all in the mess that’s it’s in.

    Currently in the UK the Government is denying that people are ill & in need of help & slashing the welfare/care system – the anti-psychiatry arguments play directly into their hands – regardless of how well intentioned people are, or noble some of these ideas are. People are being made out to be lazy, work shy, irresponsible, malingering scroungers.

    i’d love to see a transformed society/system, with a primary focus on comprehensive psychological, social & spiritual understanding & support for people – with places like Soteria/Diabasis/Windhorse etc in every community – places of genuine sanctuary & healing for people.

    i don’t agree with the current system – But i do think it is a very in depth & complex question as to how & in what ways people are unwell/ill. i don’t think it’s clear cut. i agree there isn’t a definite/known physiological aetiology – but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t physiological components to these conditions/experiences. i’d also agree that the primary aetiology is psychogenic in a majority of cases (with presumably toxic nuances) – But again that doesn’t mean it’s not illness – not to my understanding anyway.

    Some people i think need hospitalisation, & some people i think are best helped with medication (as part of an ideal comprehensive approach to care). To all intents & purposes i think some people are mentally ill.

  • Thanks Alex – i don’t want to go too off topic. i see this civilisation as very backward & uncivilised, & always have done. Within so many areas nothing will really change until people collectively & genuinely wake up. & i’m not sure that people will? We’re courting a collapse of this civilisation & an end to our species on this planet – whether it takes another 30 or 200 years. Part of me doesn’t really care.

  • Here it is –

    A very interesting scientific discussion by a philosopher & 3 materialists –

    Put that in context.

    The psyche is real & can suffer illness – Jung knew it – he was ahead of his time & he’s ahead of this time.

  • i answered this question initially – The majority of people are now largely illiterate.

    How to get people reading/exploring different areas – especially more fringe areas? i don’t know? i’ve tried to raise awareness of a lot of fringe areas for the past decade on-line – the odd person gets interested – the majority do not.

    i’ve studied a lot of esoteric & occult areas – literal meaning of those words is ‘for the few’ & ‘hidden’ – & i think it’s like that with deeper knowledge.

    We’re living in a very orchestrated/controlled World – with the mass media, political, religious, medical, economic, & other areas of mainstream control. It’s very hard to impossible for most people to see beyond all that. The majority of people are caught up in some kind of mass illusion/delusion – & i don’t know how to wake people up from all that?

  • “No offense intended, but if you think you have understood Szasz, your comments keeps showing that you have not. And what I would recommend is picking him up again and reading more carefully.”

    Believe me i have read & understood him – Hope you can all get over the fact that i do understand him & disagree with him. i have hundreds of far better books & areas to study thanks – rather than wasting more precious time with Szasz.

  • “People aren’t stupid. Once they get it that the mind is not the brain and realize that the notion of “mental” illness is absurd, they can never un-get it.”

    You’re into Dualism i take it? The mind is not the brain? Anyone that has looked into such a question understands this is an incredibly in depth & complex question – one that is also unanswered.

    As i’ve said i take the Integral position.

    If you take the position there is what could be psyche, i don’t think it realistic to say it can’t suffer disturbance/illness – of one form or another. Szasz was wrong, imo.

  • “Please define degree of distress. What does it mean that a person is “functioning”? Are you “functioning” or “non-functioning”? Where did you obtain the authority to classify your fellow human beings in such a way?”

    But the facts are people obviously do vary & do find themselves on a spectrum of distress/functioning.

    How much they are disabled by psychiatry &/or the condition/experiences, is another question.

  • “There is no proof whatever that there are. And you cannot call things illness without proof. They hoped they would find proof for what they called (see Kraepelin) all the “functional illnesses”, but in point of fact they did not, despite a century of trying. When this happens and psychiatrist keeping calling it illness, what is happening is not science but something more like fraud.”

    Largely i agree – i take an integral view on it all – bio/psycho/social/spiritual – i don’t see any either/or. i suppose just because it can’t be classed entirely as a biological illness, doesn’t mean it isn’t an illness, & it doesn’t mean there isn’t a physiology/biology in cases, nor an aspect/aetiology on a biologic level. i don’t agree that it’s brain diseases in the vast majority of cases – i think the primary aetiology is psychogenic. i think there is some evidence for physiological changes with some people.

    This is from the RCP on schizophrenia – i think it’s quite balanced –

    There are certainly differences between the UK & USA.

    i think far more people are moving away from a strict biomedical/brain disease view on all these areas – most people seem to acknowledge there is a combination of factors involved – physiology, environment, psychology, & some acknowledge the transpersonal & spiritual.

  • “What is that diagnosis?”

    There has been a mish mash/long history with it all – But the one that’s stuck for the past 17 years has been paranoid schizophrenia. For the past 2 & a half years i’ve been fully discharged again from all services, & they say i’ve made a remarkable recovery, which in ways i have, but in other ways not so. There seems to be some debate with them as to dual diagnosis & how much prior drug use contributed to things?

    Was sectioned for 4 months on a locked ward when i was age 17 & they said it was a severe drug induced psychosis. Then age 21 after a severe suicide attempt they said it was psychotic depression. Then the resurfacing of an undiagnosed psychotic illness. Was sectioned/hospitalised 4 times, & spent around a year in psychiatric hospital – But have also gone through a lot of psychosis with zero contact with services.

    i was in heavy addiction/alcoholism for 17 years – have been clean/sober 13 years. i can identify a lot with depression, anxiety, social anxiety & complex PTSD – the depression & anxiety is on record, but it’s just officially the schizophrenia diagnosis – i take a low dose of anti-psychotic medication.

    “I’m sorry that people have been cruel and attributed your difficulties to any real or imagined moral failings. This is a disservice to you and to antipsychiatry.

    I sincerely hope that you will find healing and joy.”

    Thank you – that is very kind of you. i get very hopeless about everything at times.

  • “If I understand the problem correctly, you are unwell, and have been for quite some time. You have suffered under the psychiatric system and wish to see it reformed. You are convinced that your suffering has been caused by mental illness, and therefore you are skeptical of antipsychiatry because it advocates for personal responsibility. Is this correct?”

    Partly correct – my definition of mental illness/the diagnosis i have is not entirely in agreement with the biomedical view – But rather a far more comprehensive integral understanding.

    i don’t take issue with personal responsibility – i’ve been living a highly independent life & taken full responsibility for a lot. i do however think that in a genuinely civilisaed society the more vulnerable/unwell/needing support would be properly looked after, & their needs met.

    In relation to having wanted more in the way of genuine understanding & support, people have in general been quite cruel about it all & in my experience the worst people about my views have been anti psychiatry types – as if my difficulties are far more to do with a moral failing/lack of/disorder of character etc.

  • “Again, no one denies that there are many people who are “unwell in different ways and to different degrees.” It’s one thing to say that people are “unwell,” but it’s quite a leap to then claim that such people are “mentally ill.””

    Some people certainly do deny that people are unwell, & often use anti-psychiatry arguments to do so. i don’t think it is a leap.

    “Again, you have fundamentally misunderstood everything about antipsychiatry.”

    Please enlighten me Master 🙂

  • i don’t quite understand the issue with calling/understanding certain experiences/conditions as being mental illness? & i think there is a great danger in simply denying what people are actually experiencing. i’ve lived, some people are very obviously mentally ill.

    Of course debate best ways of helping people – what incidentally was Szasz’s solution – stick em all in prison wasn’t it? Isn’t that what America has done…

  • “I do think you are on dangerous ground when you regard a person’s tendency to show unhappiness as a criterion for diagnosing illness.”

    The Cosmic Joke in that is for the past 10 years i’ve made close to some 30 thousand posts or so, on a load of mainstream mental health forums, arguing anti/critical psychiatry viewpoints, & coming under a lot of flak.

    My opinions have evolved & changed a bit – for the basic fact that people simply are unwell in different ways & to different degrees. & i don’t generally really see the anti-psychiatry lot offering any realistic alternative to the current mess. Just denying there is a problem & wanted to abolish everything is imo just as stupid.

  • “I do think you are on dangerous ground when you regard a person’s tendency to show unhappiness as a criterion for diagnosing illness.”

    i don’t – & where have you read where i’ve done that? The vast majority of diagnosed people imo aren’t mentally ill.

    “Oddly, too, your illustration of someone who is one of the anti psychiatric mad seems to come from a personal disagreement between you and this other person.”

    i’ve observed a lot of contradictions in these areas.

    “I admire any person who puts him or herself up as an anti psychiatrist or even as publicly critical of psychiatry”

    Thanks, i’ve been highly critical of psychiatry, personally & publicly for 30 years.

    “You seem to be coasting along within the system”

    You know my history & circumstances?

    “with vague comments about how the whole realm of psychiatry is difficult to define, justifying the system’s existence because of some “serious mentally ill” contingent (in which you don’t seem to include yourself), a contingent who, on examination, seems to consist of those who disagree with you.”

    On aggregate i think a majority of people take the middle ground, not extreme anti, nor extreme pro psychiatry. i do class myself as having suffered a long term, severe & enduring mental illness.

  • i fully agree with all that bpdtransformation, thanks for the reply.

    “Since you appear to support the idea of “mental illness”, do you think the current system is adequate, or do you think it should be replaced by another paradigm?”

    i’ve answered this already in one of the posts above. i think it should be transformed/replaced – with primarily comprehensive psychosocial approaches based on a genuinely integral/holistic bio/psycho/social/spiritual paradigm. i could expand on it all, but very few people appear to understand what i’m discussing.

    i don’t see that transformation happening, not for hundreds more years, if at all? A lot of the reasons – imo ‘we’re’ collectively uncivilised. Society needs to transform.

  • “help us out here… what is mental illness? What is severe mental illness? How do you distinguish between the two? How do you know when someone is mentally ill or severely mentally ill?”

    From what i’ve seen & experienced over the past 3 decades i think it’s all fairly obvious.

    i elucidated things in one of the above posts – degree of psychological/emotional disturbance primarily. i think that needs to some degree be separated from behavior/presentations. There is a degree of subjectivity to it all, with the patient & Doctor – & language is obviously limited.

    Can you explain how mental illness doesn’t exist? What are people experiencing then? Why does so much of it fit the general diagnostic classifications?

  • “ASSESS people to see if they really are mentally ill; to see if they actually need medicine or not. We let social workers do what social worker are best at. We let psychologists do what they are best at. And we reserved our psychiatry hours for those seriously mentally ill people who really needed it.”

    Sounds very sensible – the vast majority being treated by psychiatry aren’t mentally ill – that’s a massive part of the problem.

  • “That said, I suspect that where you fundamentally disagree with Szasz, most antipsychiatry people would agree Szasz–and that is the core question of whether the very concept of mental illness is tenable–where all antipsychiatry people would be emphatic that it is not, and you if I am reading you correctly have a different stand.”

    If anti-psychiatry means denying that mental illness exists (which i’m not sure anti-psyhciatry does?) then i’m not an anti-psychiatrist. It’s also odd that almost everyone labelled as an anti-psychiatrist, when push comes to shove – denies that they are.

    i agree with Jung & Laing (among many others) & take an integral/holistic view – bio/psycho/social/spiritual – to varying degrees/ways i think people can be ill – That there is a psychopathology. That there are varying degrees of a disturbance of the psyche – that after all the arguments; i think can be considered to be mental illness. To my understanding people are mentally/emotionally ill in various ways. Of course there are imo, better ways of helping people than what is generally currently done.

    i suppose i’d call myself critical psychiatry – i’m not in opposition to a more comprehensive psychiatry (& there are/have been many good psychiatrists, i’ve mentioned 2) – Nor am i opposed to a wise use of medications (although i disagree with the current mass drugging of society). Where i think the emphasis should be is on primary genuinely comprehensive psychosocial approaches to peoples care, & a shift to a far more humane system. i disagree with a primary focus on biology, although i wouldn’t deny there are varying physiological aspects to peoples conditions. In the majority of cases of functional mental health disorder i think the primary aetiology is psychogenic, & should be addressed as such.

    i think all our systems reflect the overall development, advancement, & civility of our collective humanity – & i don’t think ‘we’re’ very civilised – genuine change i think must come through a shift in the collective civility of humanity as a whole.

    imo this is a very complex area – dealing with many things that ‘we’ know little about – the nature of consciousness/the self – & a full understanding of how that relates to our entire physiology/brain/CNS. We simply don’t fully know – no one does.

    But i don’t think all the polemics helps – & it’s not all going to be resolved with polemical arguments. The entire conversation on this site was largely had some 50 years ago – what has changed? i do think things are very nuanced, that there is no black & white – especially within such an in depth subject. It may well be that some of the questions raised by Madness/Psychiatry are simply unanswerable, & may always be.

  • How many people are now well read & genuinely literate? Seems to be a minority.

    i’ve spent years trying to raise awareness on certain subjects – especially critical psychiatry & spirituality – But certain areas are fringe – & there are a lot of them. There is a problem with the mass media, it is part of the system/problem.

    i have to say that there is also a big controversy with anti psychiatry. It simply is a complex question, especially regarding this idea that mental illness doesn’t exist – to the masses/general public of course mental illness is real & exists – & i don’t think they’ll be convinced otherwise.

    There are a lot of confusing & in depth arguments – pro & con psychiatry – it’s taken me decades of careful study & research to come to my own working conclusions – & other people simply won’t spend the time on it all.

    Personally i very strongly fundamentally disagree with Szasz.

  • “Actually the book is very clear that people are in all sorts of emotional turmoil. That is not the same as “having an illness”. Nor is objecting to the medical terminology an issue of denial. It is an issue of the meaning of terms like “disease” and the science or lack of it involved.

    What is important to take here here, almost no one who takes an antipsychiatry in any way denies the very real distress in which people find themselves. to think that they do is to totally misunderstand the nature of the position. And while of course you can object to the position regardless , you can only object to it on the basis of what people are actually saying.”

    Some people deny mental illness – to say it’s all distress/emotional turmoil i think is about as accurate & polemic to say it’s all chemical imbalance – & no more explains the nature of madness/peoples experiences.

    i think there are physiological, psychological, social & spiritual factors involved – in various ways & to various degrees/weightings.

    Anyway – lets see what this book changes? Lets see what MIA changes? i’m pleased that at least some kind of dialogue has been started.

  • Thank you. There is a mystery to life & madness.

    i do need to address & work on certain things.

    i find motivation, overall functioning & maintaining healthier activities very difficult. i’ve been trying to do more walking.

    i feel very much, & always have done, that i need more in the way of appropriate & genuine understanding – to be genuinely listened to, validated & acknowledged. Have been told that is unreasonable & narcissistic by some people.

    i can’t seem to find a deeper understanding with people – i feel conflicted with humanity.

  • Thanks – i’m quite willing to write something if Robert agrees – how do i go about it?

    i think we need a far more comprehensive/integrated view – there is a lot of venomous disagreement & polemics within all these areas, & a lot of it is silly – & as much as i admire critical perspectives of psychiatry & alternatives to the current mass drugging – it’s Not some simple solution/subject.

    Am still waiting for an answer as to how “we” change the current system?

  • “This is a blatantly false dichotomy. The myth of mental illness is so strong now that those who dare to expose the myth for what it is are labeled as “illness deniers” and “extreme libertarians.””

    From 30 years of experience & careful research; i think it’s quite accurate. You deny mental illness exists – what is it then?

    “Why don’t we just start with the simple question: “What is mental illness?” As soon as someone can answer that question, then we can start to think about writing a book on the topic. Until then, we are just building a house of cards on a foundation of sand inspired by a mythological idea.”

    i suppose what causes psychological/emotional distress & loss of functioning? Of course it’s very hard to define what it is – it’s dealing with the psyche, primarily. i have my own ideas in my own case – along integral lines – But it would take a book to try & explain it all, one i want to write – But many would still disagree.

    i really don’t think Szasz was any kind of an authority on these matters (yes i have read/studied him), i disagree with him (as many do), & as i’ve said before – he has been largely very well refuted (imo). Jung & Laing i can truck with more – they incidentally didn’t deny the existence/reality of mental illness.

  • Thank you Alex for the kind & intelligent reply.

    “Some of us claim that ‘mental illness’ is something that is real (even though it may be caused by a crazy society) and that it can actually heal. That would be the best outcome, I believe, and many of us are working to get this all out there.”

    i’d agree with this to a large extent – i think there are far better ways of healing, helping & supporting people, & far better ways humanity could be living on the planet – i’m an idealist in that sense, Not a utopian – But i think there are so many ways that everything can be improved.

    i think some people are ill in various ways to different degrees, for various reasons – that it’s individual & complex. i don’t see how it really helps some people to deny illness? i do take the integral/holistic view – bio/psycho/social/spiritual. i think things can cross a range of those areas.

    It isn’t easy – i’m dependent on medication & benefits – i’m Not well enough to work, & doubt i ever will be – i have made a lot of progress, but it’s a massive achievement for me to ‘just’ continue to maintain sobriety & independent living – i am in need of a certain amount of support from the state – my overall functioning, motivation & capacity to cope has been very effected a lot by what i have been through.

    i don’t know what other approaches would have been like? It’s hypothetical – as things stand i need the medication for what stability i have – stopping it i go into a severe catatonic psychosis/illness – have stopped the current medication 3 times with disastrous results – the last time with a 2 year tapered reduction & doing everything ‘by the book’.

    “i think there’s an element of alternative/anti psychiatry thinking that likes to think you are lacking in moral fibre if you can’t think your way out of distress/mental illness.”

    Thanks again Alex for the kind words & reply.

  • It’s just a generalised opinion – i think each individual needs to be taken on a case by case basis. i think it’s dealing with very complex areas, across bio/psycho/social/spiritual concerns/aspects.

    In no way to negate anyone’s suffering & difficulties – But is everyone suffering some form of severe mental illness? i get the distinct impression they’re Not.

  • “Yet a history of this movement focusing solely on ‘peers’ leaves out the important albeit controversial legacies of people like Thomas Szasz and Dorothea Dix. ”

    There is a lot of controversy – People who acknowledge mental illness is real & who want proper care & treatment of the mentally ill, especially for those more severely effected. i have chatted to many people who decry the closing of the Asylums & past 50 years or so of the direction things have been headed in. Many people i think considered the Asylums a generally good thing & de-institutionalisation as generally bad, mental patients & the general public alike.

    You have those that acknowledge that mental illness/distress is real, & who want genuine social reform & change to far better systems of treatments & care – usually centred around far more holistic & comprehensive psychological & social support approaches.

    Then you have the Szasz’esque camp & the illness deniers – the extreme libertarians.

    Are these position in any way mutually compatible? i’m not sure that they are nor can be? There is a lot of anger, frustration & blame it seems from all sides.

    You point out the complex history of mental health treatment – ‘anti-psychiatry’ is also a very complex subject/area.

    “Communities were, however, beginning to discriminate between idiots and distracted persons as compared to lunatics and the furiously mad, and as separate from other kinds of dependents. Although the former group was unable to work and therefore needed support, they were not perceived as a threat to the larger community. If such persons had family, they would be cared for by their family; if not, they would seek support from an almshouse.

    The latter group was considered dangerous and confined accordingly in almshouses and jails, and later hospitals. When towns had a hospital, insane persons might seek treatment there.”

    Seems to have returned to all that? Instead of hospitals it’s prisons that currently house the severely mentally ill.

    For all it can be criticised for, the severely mentally ill were likely far better off under the old Asylum system than how things are currently, in the US & UK.

    How to actualise a genuinely effective, fair, & humane treatment of the mentally ill? i have yet to hear anyone say how? Let alone how to implement such a solution?

    i have asked how people expect to change the current system? Still No genuine answer.

  • i have made progress – have gone down the alternative healing route & practised sobriety for 13 years – also tried 7 different psychologists – none of it has fully worked to more fully resolve things. i say i’m looking for more genuine understanding, to be deeply listened to, validated & acknowledged – But no one can comprehend what that is? i think it must be part of my illness.

  • Hi Asherah, thank you for the replies.

    i’m all for there being far more in the way of more comprehensive humane help & support for people. The upshot for me after 30 years of all ‘this’ is that i agree with psychiatry – i fit a case of severe schizophrenia.

    Someone replied this, to a similar discussion on another forum –

    “Trauma/abuse can lead to psychosis but not all trauma/abuse victims become psychotic. This suggests that more is needed to tip someone over into psychosis than a traumatic/abusive experience. Also there are those with psychosis who have experienced little or no even mild abuse/trauma.
    While psychosis might be seen as a route to personal growth by some for others it’s a long term,distressing and disabling experience.
    If you are able to see your delusions as a reaction to trauma and/or part of a (spiritually) transformative experience then fine but many don’t fall into that category.”

    i’ve tried everything to address, resolve & work through my difficulties, & i’m still unwell – should i blame the system/lack of appropriate understanding & care? People just don’t understand. Or is it a failing on my part?

    i’ve considered every angle possible as explanation to my difficulties & nothing entirely fits other than it being an illness.

    i wish i could say it was all a natural response to life, trauma & circumstances & that i’ve found genuine understanding & healing, am successfully off medication, & living a full & contented life – but i can’t, that isn’t the case, & it isn’t through lack of trying.

  • i do like the article & thanks for sharing – But this idea that some people aren’t insane is wrong – a small percentage of people are genuinely totally insane. i don’t doubt a lot of people currently under psychiatry in the US are Not experiencing any major genuine/extreme insanity, but that doesn’t mean to say that no one is. Of course the genuinely afflicted need genuine compassion & humane treatment as well.

    i think psychiatry should confine itself more to severe mental illness. i suppose that has always been a ongoing problem? Don’t know what the solutions are?

  • ‘”Madness” is not extreme states’

    For some people of course it is.

    How things ‘began’ i went from ‘normality’ to being turned inside out & oneness with the Universe in an instant – & was thrust in to pure terror – extreme hallucinations, & convinced i’d lost my soul to the Devil & uncovered a Global Conspiracy. i couldn’t imagine being in a more altered/non-ordinary/terrified state. That lead to some me expressing some very distressing behavior., that resulted in hospitalisation & medication to try & bring me out of it all.

    Maybe some more humane alternatives would have been better – But the fact remains i was in a highly altered & very extreme state of altered consciousness, terror/madness/delusion.

    Have realised that a lot of people that come under the mental health system/psychiatry, especially in America – have no idea what it’s like to be in such states.

    To Quote –

    You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody’s crazy.

  • i’ve Not seen or read anything that shows this book is saying anything new or different to reams of other stuff out there? Not to say it isn’t a good book – i’m sure it is.

    I don’t disagree with people – i largely agree with everyone – mass drugging is bad, & there are better alternatives, in most cases. But it always comes back to the same things – namely How do ‘i/we/you’ change the system? i haven’t found/seen/heard a genuine answer to that? & a million books won’t change the facts/realities of it all.

    i’d also contest the illness denial – people are to varying degrees & in various ways unwell. Some people ideally need a lot of help & support. i do agree with critics of the system, but don’t really agree with denial of illness, & i don’t really agree with more extreme Libertarianism.

    i’d love to see a far more humane/better treatment of the ‘mad’ – But i think it is very debatable how ‘we’ get there?