Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Comments by MikeT

Showing 20 of 20 comments.

  • Actually, dreams can be psychotic.

    Psychosis just means not being in touch with reality.

    Psychosis in a dream is perfectly normal, a consequence of the brain reorganising memory.

    An interesting point is that everyone is regularly psychotic, as everyone dreams.

    Psychosis as a diagnosis is only when you appear to be awake but have such thoughts.

    Psychiatrists should not be diagnosing people based on their dreams.

  • Hi James,

    There is a strong link between lack of sleep and mania/psychosis. Psychiatrists say that if you’re manic you have a reduced need for sleep but I think it’s the other way around i.e. lack of sleep can cause mania.

    This link has been noted for centuries …

    Immannual Kant said “The lunatic is a wakeful dreamer.”.

    Arthur Schopenhauer said: “A dream is a short-lasting psychosis, and a psychosis is a long-lasting dream.”

    There is a set of 3 interesting video’s on YouTube, called “Pillow Talk” by Dr Russell Foster. Here’s a link to the start of the series, cutting out the first 17 minutes of intro:


    Well worth watching, especially about the link between sleep deprivation and bipolar/schizophrenia.

    Dr Foster is a Professor of Circadian Neuroscience, and he takes certain assumptions from Psychiatry (e.g. that Schizophrenia is a detectable brain disease) but his findings are really interesting.

    I am convinced that mania/psychosis can be avoided if you get enough sleep, at the right time (syncing up your circadian rhythm to daylight), and of the right quality (not induced by sleeping tablets, which interfere with sleep cycles).



  • The surprising thing about a Community Treatment Order (CTO) in the UK is that taking the prescribed medication is not a mandatory requirement.

    The only mandatory condition is that you make yourself available for examination.

    Mental Health workers don’t tell you this, and pretend that the CTO means you must take your medication – whatever the side effects. This can make people desperate – I heard of one woman who committed suicide due to being forced to take monthly injections.

    As long as you make yourself available for examination, which is a good thing, you can be on a CTO but slowly reduce medication yourself. It’s important to make your doctor aware that you intend to do this, and to do it very slowly.

  • Thank you for setting up “The Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry”. Great name!

    When talking to Psychiatrists I’ve found the phrase “but surely, Psychiatry must be evidence based?” to be a very powerful statement when challenging their assertions that simply disregard scientific research.

    Psychiatry cannot continue to be authority-based, but must become evidence-based.

    I’ve just checked out your http://www.cepuk.org website and it already looks like an excellent resource of information.

    Keep up the great work!


  • This is a positive step but the actual NICE guidelines only covers “psychosis” for schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder and delusional disorder. However, it says that psychosis for “affective disorders” (including Bipolar type 1) is different.

    It makes it sound that they can really distinguish one disorder from another, despite having no objective clinical test to classify people.

    Diagnosis is not verifiable, and a subjective classification often depends on the psychiatrist you see.

    Not only do they draw such an invalid distinction, but they are now claiming that treatment should differ.

    Psychiatry is an ass!

  • Hi Jonathan,

    I think you make some very interesting points here, not just for homeless people but anyone on AOTs (or CTOs here in the UK).

    In particular, the ethical issues e.g. why do we treat mental health service users worse than violent criminals, who do not have to be forcibly given a chemical lobotomy when out of prison!

    It’s not just anti-psychotics that can go on a CTO, but lithium and valproate too. For mania, Valproate is the same as placebo for long term prevention of mania:


    There is a logical fallacy that Psychiatrists use despite no evidence of long term benefits (and evidence of harm) of such drugs:

    1) We have to do something;
    2) This (e.g. Valproate) is something;
    3) Therefore, we have to do this

    It’s a bit like the logical fallacy:

    1) All cats have four legs;
    2) My dog has four legs;
    3) Therefore, my dog is a cat

    Surely, if Psychiatry claims to be a legitimate medical profession it must be evidence based!

    There is no evidence of chemical imbalance theories, yet this does not stop them for prescribing harmful drugs in the long term. I’m not anti-drugs, as there is a place in the short term for them (particularly minor tranquilisers).



  • Diagnosis is a double-edge sword, but an “atomic” approach is good …

    Diagnosis can be reassuring – to know that others have been through similar problems. In our “blame game” society, some people take comfort in the medical model that says “it’s a brain disease and not your fault”.

    However, the DSM approach to diagnosis is dangerous as it can turn a temporary problem into a chronic illness!

    The biggest problem are the assumptions that lead on from a diagnosis:

    1) You have these symptoms

    2) It’s called something, e.g. Bipolar.

    3) You may also have these symptoms (increases anxiety & is self fulfilling)

    4) It’s a physical illness – a brain disease (despite no evidence or clinical tests)

    5) It’s a permanent disability and your life will never be the same again.

    6) You need to take a whole bunch of meds to fix the problem.

    7) Let us distract you with different meds until you acquiesce

    8) Trust us, and don’t ask questions!

    Step (1) is valid but everything else is guesswork! The criminal thing is that a story is fabricated despite evidence to the contrary.

    I prefer a “phenomenological” approach to diagnosis:

    1) You have these symptoms

    2) It could be temporary

    3) Clinical tests haven’t revealed a physical problem.

    4) The brain is the most complex thing in the universe, so instead of guessing we’ll ask you some questions:

    a) What are your current life stresses at the moment?

    b) How are you sleeping?

    The only thing I don’t like about the phenomenological approach is the name. I myself have come up with the term “atomic” diagnosis.

    This is an interesting article, which can be used to argue the same point for psychotic disorders.

  • Hi Njinsky,

    I’ve read this post and comments again, and I’ve really been inspired by one of your comments:

    “When a person is truly psychotic, this is actually an opening up of their innocence.”

    This is a great quote, and really captures what psychosis is. When psychotic, you do ask questions that only a child would ask.

    As we grow up, we are conditioned not to ask questions that are deemed to be unacceptable in our western society.

    I also think that psychosis is a dream-like state, and in our dreams we can think laterally and solve problems that are worrying us in real life.



  • I’m amazed that Eli Lily actually published that study on Macaque Monkeys, given that a standard trick for Big Pharma is to just publish trials that give positive results (and bin negative ones). Hence the http://www.alltrials.net website started by Ben Goldacre.

    I think the trial also involved Haliperidol, so maybe they thought it was a positive result (Olanzapine doesn’t damage your brain as quickly as the worse drug we have).



  • I wonder how many Macaque Monkeys were thought to have Schizophrenia in the trials that Eli Lily ran? 😉

    It’s already been shown in primates that brain damage is caused by neuroleptics, regardless of any individual’s illness or lack of.

    We just need to do the same in humans, which is why this proposal is so inspired.

    It’s poetic justice too, because it will get back at Big Pharma mis-selling neuroleptics to people that have never experienced psychosis.

    Isn’t it ironic? 🙂



  • Hi Nijinksy,

    Thanks for clarifying the distinction. I think I might also use mania rather than manic from now on.

    I agree that psychotic is a negative term, and there are many other negative terms used by Psychiatry e.g. take Bipolar Affective Disorder…

    Disorder is very negative. Acronym is BAD, not a wise choice for people that experience mania when their hyperactive brain can connect anything and you can be paranoid.

    I think that terminology is very important to help change people’s thinking, e.g. Richard Dawkins makes a point about referring to children as “christian children” etc when we’d never think of calling someone a “liberal democrat child”.



  • Hi Nijinsky,

    Thanks very much for this.

    You make some very interesting points, but I need to re-read your post as I’ve not understood your distinction between “psychosis” and “psychotic”.

    I have been in psychosis myself on 3 occasions since 2007, during manic episodes, and have been diagnosed as Bipolar type 1. I have been able to come off all meds by keeping a tight control of my sleep.

    I think I pretty much agree with your points, but I think my previous post may be misleading as it was too short.

    I don’t think that neuroleptics heal the brain in any way, quite the reverse in fact. They are major tranquilisers that can sedate someone so that their brain can heal itself.

    Using less powerful sedatives is always preferential, but from my understanding of Joanna Moncrieff’s work and experience there can be times when someone’s gone too far and neuroleptics is a last resort. I’m not saying I endorse that view, as I’ve only had limited experience of other people in psychosis.

    I believe that you are right that some empathetic people are able to work with people and help them come back to reality without any meds, such as Voyce Hendix at Soteria.

    However, at the moment those people are few and far between. If only we could get funding to roll out Soteria, we could train more people to do this.

    I think you’re absolutely right to promote this ideal method of care.



  • Hi Marian,

    I’ve read other articles from Joanna, and her books, and I’m pretty sure that she views neuroleptics as a last resort.

    I’d agree with you that there are better alternatives to neuroleptics if you want to sleep. In Soteria, they would sometimes use Benzos over a few days to get someones sleep/wake circadian rythm back to normal.

    There’s also this video from Joanna that is a good introduction to her “Myth of the Chemical Cure” book, which may shed more light on her views:


    I think that Bob Whitaker has a similar view of neuroleptics as a last resort, in this excellent video:



  • That truly is an inspired idea. A eureka moment! 🙂

    Bipolar type 1 can have psychosis with mania, and if you subscribe to the view that it’s on the same spectrum as Schizophrenia (i.e. Schizotypy) then you’ll have to discount those people.

    However, the idea is sound for Bipolar 2, Depression, Anxiety and anyone else Big Pharma can sell it’s brain rotting meds to.


  • Dear Joanna,

    Thank you so much for this article, and for your books and talks. I’ve signed up for the PCCS event in Birmingham this year, and look forward to seeing your talk there.

    I have a follow up question about brain reduction due to anti-psychotics …

    I was on Olanzapine for 18 months, before developing Tardive Dyskinesia and then slowly coming off the meds. I did some research that led me to your work and others. From these trials, my brain may have reduced by 10%.

    The good news is that by stopping as soon as the Dyskinesia occurred, it was not permanent – disappearing within a few weeks of coming off the drugs.

    My question is, do you know of any work that’s looked into Brain matter reduction/increase after coming off meds?

    My hope is that the brain will repair itself, but I realise that the brain damage could be permanent.