Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Comments by deeeo42

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  • Liz, Please try to understand that it is not what you (or society) gives that identifies the trauma – it is what the individual themselves takes. My mother was not aware that doing what society expected of her as a mother caused serious harm to her children. The abuse was completely hidden behind the societal norms of the time. That was the infant raising paradigm that the child, from birth was not to be played with for more than 10 minutes a day, that it was to be left alone to cry for hours at a time and only fed every four hours, among other strict restrictions. Mothers who violated these rules were severely castigated and shamed by infant welfare nurses. The outcome of such treatment led to entire generations of emotionally crippled people who have no idea why because it happened before language was available to identify their intense feelings of loss, vulnerability and emotional inadequacy. When such early emotional deprivation was later accompanied by other, more obvious abuse, loss and trauma, serious mental disturbance finds fertile soil. Your own statement is actually another `sweeping, overreaching, dangerous generalization’. Anything with physiological causes actually belongs in general medicine, or alternative medicine/healing, not psychiatry.

  • 8. Invokes conspiracy arguments to explain lack of mainstream acceptance (Galileo syndrome) – “It’s the Scientologists, the Anti-psychiatrists, the Media who are responsible for our lack of respect by the rest of the medical profession and the public.”
    10. Practitioners often lack proper training and present that as a virtue as it makes them more ‘open’ – I agree, the being more `open’ doesn’t cut it, but these are people who postulate all kinds of detailed neurological terminology as involved in behaviour that leaves the real experts, shaking their heads. When I showed the neurologist who confirmed that my cerebral atrophy was very likely due to ECT a psychiatrist’s study published in an in-house magazine, he was totally perplexed. It was `confusing’ he said. When I told him that psychiatrists used cingulotomy (lobotomy with a new name) to control/alter behaviour, he was horrified. “That’s to control epilepsy, and only as a last resort!” he said. They are not highly trained in neurology and they are not trained in psychotherapy and learn little about sociology or normal human behaviour, so the claim of being a broad bio-psycho-social discipline is rubbish. Have a look at the article on this site called `Healing Madness’ to see what is really going on.

  • Pseudoscience:
    1 – Hostile to criticism, rather than embracing criticism as a mechanism of self-correction

    2 – Works backward from desired results through motivated reasoning
    3 – Cherry picks evidence
    4 – Relies on low grade evidence when it supports their belief, but will dismiss rigorous evidence if it is inconvenient.
    5 – Core principles untested or unproven, often based on single case or anecdote
    6 – Utilizes vague, imprecise, or ambiguous terminology, often to mimic technical jargon
    7 – Has the trappings of science, but lacks the true methods of science .
8 – Invokes conspiracy arguments to explain lack of mainstream acceptance (Galileo syndrome)
    9 – Lacks caution and humility by making grandiose claims from flimsy evidence
    10 – Practitioners often lack proper training and present that as a virtue as it makes them more ‘open’
    `Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’
    All of the above as usual – the old saying “Psychiatry is to medicine as astrology is to astronomy” but the astonomers know the difference, psychiatrists still fool themselves. I can imagine the lovely group w*nks they enjoy when they discuss all this – it’s a bit pornographic really. I’ll *** yours, then you can *** mine – luvly! I wouldnt care about all this except for the money. It should be going somewhere where some actual good will come from it. Let them w*nk all they like but not on taxpayer’s money.

  • Shook, Re `Efficacy and safety of ECT in depressive disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
    UK Lancet, 2003.
    Here is a review of the review by another mega review, one that I mentioned above, “The effectiveness of electroconvulsive therapy: A literature review” J Read & R Bengal 2010
    `The UK ECT Review Group (2003) included six studies in their meta-analysis, including three which had
    found a significant difference during treatment. One of the three positive studies was, again, the West (1981)
    study in which ECT was given to some of the SECT group during the treatment period.(therefore invalid). The meta-analysis excluded four…studies…(Brandon et al.,1984; Brill et al., 1959; Fahy et al., 1963; Harris &
    Robin, 1960), three of which had found no benefit for ECT even during the treatment period. They report that
    only one study met their inclusion criteria for follow-up studies and found no significant difference. The study
    (West et al.) (the invalid one) had not, in fact, reported any follow-up data.

    There have been ten studies comparing ECT and SECT for depression . Five found no significant outcome differences. One of these found identical response rates for ECT and SECT and concluded “The results suggest that the ECT pre-treatment procedure has an important therapeutic effect. This casts some doubt on
    current views of the effectiveness of electro-convulsive therapy” (Lambourn & Gill, 1978).
    Of the five studies that did produce some significant findings, two invalidated their work, (see the UK ECT Review Group review above) in terms of any lasting benefits, by giving real ECT to the SECT group after
    the first (Freeman et al., 1978) or third week (West, 1981). What these two studies can reasonably claim is
    that the ECT group improved faster than the SECT group (which also improved) early in the treatment, at least on some measures. In the Freeman et al. study there were no differences on the Beck Depression Inventory…The third was the famous Northwick Park study (Johnstone et al., 1980). A prominent ECT advocate described it as “the most thoroughly designed and extensive trial of ECT’s efficacy ever to be conducted in this country”
    (UK) but conceded that the “modest” difference found was “restricted to patients with delusions” and was “short-lived” (Kendell, 1981). There were no significant differences for two of the three subgroups of depressed patients: ‘agitated’ and ‘retarded’ (Nortwick Park ECT Trial, 1984).
    Furthermore, the positive finding for the ‘deluded’ subgroup was only perceived by psychiatrists. The ratings by nurses and by patients produced no significant differences for any of the three subgroups.’
    The Northwick study was listed much later by an independent research assessment team as being of poor quality and having significant reporting bias.’
    I might add that nowhere do we see any assessment of the placebo effect of REAL ECT itself. Add this to the poor showing and my contention that ECT is merely a brain damaging placebo must be considered.
    Your move I think…
    I don’t expect to change your mind but I do intend to present the science for anyone who might be considering that this useless, destructive procedure has any place in the treatment of anything.

  • Please Shook, hold the insults, it merely shows up your weaknesses. Can you please cite the evidence that ECT is less dangerous than childbirth? Sure it only causes death in 1:200 elderly, 1:400 Texans – an estimated world wide 1:600 – 1000 average, BUT it cause brain injury in 100% of recipients. Amongst my acquaintance, my women friends, I don’t know of ANY who have suffered brain damage as a result of childbirth. Perhaps we differ on what is dangerous in this world.
    I might add that Charles Kellner, ECT proponent extraordinaire, wrote in January, 2015 in the Psychiatric Times, “The amazing structural detail that can now be seen with high magnet-strength MRI has resulted in a re-thinking of the old dictum that ECT (SHOCK) does not cause structural brain changes.” Of course, back in the early 70s when I worked in psychiatry, we knew that. ECT was designed to cause brain damage, which was considered therapy alongside such procedures as lobotomy and insulin coma – Moniz 1938)”…to cure these patients”, it was necessary to “destroy the more or less fixed arrangements of cellular connections that exist in the brain, and particularly those which are related to the frontal lobes” AND IT STILL DOES.

  • Shook, I can describe what is NOT science, that which is epitomised in psychiatric quasi/pseudoscience:
    1 – Hostile to criticism, rather than embracing criticism as a mechanism of self-correction

    2 – Works backward from desired results through motivated reasoning
    3 – Cherry picks evidence
4 – Relies on low grade evidence when it supports their belief, but will dismiss rigorous evidence if it is inconvenient.
    5 – Core principles untested or unproven, often based on single case or anecdote
    6 – Utilizes vague, imprecise, or ambiguous terminology, often to mimic technical jargon
    7 – Has the trappings of science, but lacks the true methods of science
8 – Invokes conspiracy arguments to explain lack of mainstream acceptance (Galileo syndrome)
    ( The hostile Anti-psychiatry movement and Scientologists.
    9 – Lacks caution and humility by making grandiose claims from flimsy evidence
    10 – Practitioners often lack proper training and present that as a virtue as it makes them more ‘open’.
    As they say – “psychiatry is to medicine as astrology is to astronomy.”

  • Absolutely AA – in fact please do. Thanks for your concerns but the stroke was the least of my problems – the stress problems of being forced to have the treatment, the loss of my skills as an artist and writer which destroyed my livliehood, and most of all, the loss of my memories of my children were all far worse. But because I had what is known in legal circles as a `high cognitive reserve’ I came out reasonably okay. That means that I started at a high level of functioning so while my loss of capacity was significant I remain relatively competent. If I had been functioning at an average level, as of course most people are, the deficits from the brain injury may have reduced me to being intellectually and cognitively handicapped. These are the people who are silent, not the Carrie Fishers, or the Kitty Dukakis’s, but the vast numbers of severely handicapped people who are the hidden victims of this scourge. They are sitting in rooms, apathetic, without volition, insight, emotions or hope. No dreams, no future, no past.
    While Carrie and Kitty extoll the virtues of ECT here are a few celebs who weren’t quite so happy about it:
    Ernest Hemingway – blew his brains out after ECT destroyed his memory, his `capital’ – `it was a great treatment but we lost the patient’.
    Judy Garland – “I couldn’t learn anything. I couldn’t retain anything; I was just up there making strange noises. Here I was in the middle of a million-dollar property, with a million-dollar wardrobe, with a million eyes on me, and I was in a complete daze. I knew it, and everyone around me knew it.” The studio soon suspended her from the film.
    Gene Tierney – “Pieces of my life just disappeared…[like] what Eve felt, having been created full grown out of somebody’s rib, born without a history. That is exactly how I felt.
    Sylvia Plath – “she really hated to go…sometimes Aurelia [her mother] had to force her to go…glimpse after a treatment…she was uncharacteristically lifeless…it was almost as if the life had been sucked out of her”. (Mother’s friend.)
    Vivien Leigh – “She was not, now that she had been given the treatment, the same girl I had fallen in love with.” (Lawrence Olivier, husband)
    Antonin Arnaud (poet) – “Anyone who has gone through the electric shock… never again rises out of its darkness and his life has been lowered a notch.”
    Janet Frame (author) – I dreamed waking and sleeping dreams more terrible than any I dreamed before – [if] only I had been able to talk about my terror…
    Emil Post (mathematician) – died of heart attack at 57 following ECT –
    The claim that ECT is better now is rubbish. There have been NO new developments for over 40 years. It is cosmetically easier to watch because the body is paralysed by drugs (introduced 1950s and which has its own extra risks) but the seizure in the brain is still the fiercest seizure known in all of medicine, and the power used today is 4 times greater for 8 times as long. In fact with “modern ECT”, a group of ECT anaesthetists (who make as much as $30,000 a week), found that 1:6 ECT patients suffered a life threatening complication during the treatment. SAFER than childbirth? Don’t be ridiculous!

  • Shook, perhaps you could be more precise in your language. “There is a subset of the Mentally Ill that do very well with the procedure. This means you need to choose who you are going to give it to carefully. It is not a panacea.”
    Please define which subset of the Mentally Ill `do very well’ with ECT. What does `very well’ mean? Which subset are you talking about? Severe depression has many manifestations, are some more deserving than others? What would your criteria be? Can you describe the short and long term outcomes statistically? What are the observable manifestations in those who have done `very well’? How long do these last? You imply side effects, what are these?
    I tend to stick to the science and not get involved in personal diatribe but you are tempting me, Shook.

  • Shook: All of these factors your list may indeed contribute to early death. But it is highly likely that many if not ALL, list the overall consequences of suffering diagnosis and treatment for mental illness in western societies.
    Impaired communication skills and social isolation: Withdrawal and social withdrawal because of being poor and on Welfare, and because of the socially disabling effects of drugs such as Tardive Dyskinesia, drooling, slurred speech, slowed thinking processes, repetitive movement disorders, Akathesia, somnulence etc – ALL effects of the drugs NOT the purported “illness”.
    Paranoia: It is easy to think people are talking about you, avoiding you, laughing at you when they see what you do in the mirror.
    Mood instability: Apart from the physiological brain disabling effects such as cerebral atrophy and disturbance in the neuro-chemical imbalance caused by the neuroleptic drugs, and brain damage from ECT which cause depression and many other disturbances (see psychological effects of Traumatic Brain Injury – TBI, in any neurological resource), it is very easy to become distressed, depressed and want to withdraw when you realise a) how physically debilitated you’ve become. and b) when you’re told over ad infinitum that you have no future but more of the same by those who are supposed to `know’ –
    I suggest you have a look at the raft of information about the organic effects of antipsychotic drugs, which of course are nothing of the kind. They are simply and solely “tranquillisers” and were always called so before the Pharma/Psychiatry Alliance in the mid 1970s PR/marketing campaign. I was a psychiatric professional before that time and watched as progressive sociopsychological programs that did away with drugs were systematically shut down by aggressive, mainly inept and certainly greedy doctors who saw their power being drained by the success of these programs that threatened to do away with them as well.
    Under all these circumstances your list is accurate. Mood instability, social isolation and decreased motivation are a given. Poverty, unemployment, homelessness, illicit drug use, smoking & alcohol consumption have far more to do with the treatment for the diagnosis that has no scientific validity or reliability whatsoever.
    In other words you’ve described the lifestyle of millions of western victims, often forced on them by a venal & corrupt psychiatry that peddles pseudoscientific rubbish as its creed – all of which lead to a stunted, shortened and miserable life. Poor Carrie didn’t stand a chance.
    Now let’s take you up on the ECT issue. Your assumption that because I am against ECT I must therefore be an associate in some way with another anti ECT organisation e.g. Scientology. But this is actually an ad hominem fallacy, and says far more about your critical thinking skills than anything about me. This form of the argument is as follows:
    Source S makes claim C.
    Group G which is currently viewed negatively by the recipient, also makes claim C.
    Therefore, source S is viewed by the recipient of the claim as associated to the group G and inherits how negatively viewed it is.
    An example of this fallacy would be “My opponent for office just received an endorsement from the Puppy Haters Association. Is that the sort of person you would want to vote for?”
    “Shooting the messenger” (an associated reasoning deficiency) may be a time-honored emotional response to unwanted news, but it is not a very effective method of remaining well-informed.”
    ECT is not only not safe it is dangerous. I see that you’ve read David Healy and Ed Shorter’s book that was liberally sprinkled with Max Fink quotes on the History of ECT. Unfortunately you don’t appear to have seen the extremely detailed and well credentialed critiques of that book. A pity you haven’t read the most scientifically applauded, and definitive article by John Read and Richard Bentall in 2010, `The effectiveness of electroconvulsive therapy:A literature review”. There are many, many books, articles and reviews as well as testaments by highly respected psychiatrists who are among the 70% who NEVER prescribe it. A few names for you to catch up on, Colin Ross, Breggin, Burstow, McLaren, Browne, Johnstone, Johnson.
    Now for a few actual figures where they’re not hidden out of sight. Hard to find because accountability is thin on the ground in ECT. A few instances – Texas 1992-1996 – deaths in the over 60 years olds (the highest single user group) 1:200 within 2 weeks; a 1996 survey of matched elderly, deaths within 12 months, with ECT 25% – non ECT 2%. Texas 2014-15 1:400 within 2 weeks. Suicide prevention, apart from the APA’s outright falsehood of saying the 1976 survey by Avery & Winokur showed ECT prevented suicide when the survey clearly stated it did NOT, has no scientific support whatsoever.
    This death rate in new mothers would raise the roof and I don’t think lightening comes even close. If you’re going to quote from the APA handbook, make sure you say so then we’ll all know that what you’re saying are the words of vested interests dedicated to maintaining their highly lucrative and expansionist views.
    As for the Journal of ECT, I might say that after several years of looking, I have yet to read a single scientifically sound article from it. That more reputable publications rarely publish this junk speaks for itself.
    But let’s put the mortality issue behind us as according to the experience of neurologists electrical injury has a strange effect in that it is rarely fatal but has a very high and permanent post injury morbidity rate closely related to other Traumatic Brain Injury. So perhaps the real fear of ECT isn’t that one will die of it but that one will be permanently disabled.
    Oh and I might say that as a woman of 59, in 2002, I suffered a stroke during ECT. It wasn’t recognised at the time because the aphasia and paralysis were such common reactions to ECT that no one did anything. The scar was found later in a brain scan, along with the patches of dead cells and the marked cerebral atrophy that could not be accounted for by anything else. According to the specialist neurologist, that is. And issues found in the detailed neurophysiological tests include executive cognitive function difficulties, lowered intellectual capacity, `working’ memory disfunction and, of course, the admitted complication of years of retrograde memory loss including major job skills, education and my children growing up, were also attributed to ECT. None of these were ever recovered in the 14 years since.
    NO Shook, I don’t need the bandwagon of Scientology, I have more than enough data without ever having to go to their well.
    Please don’t insult our intelligence with the specious garbage published by people like Charles Kellner and his CORE group, or more dishonest PR releases from the APA. Shall we look at logic again?
    1. A Traumatic Brain Injury occurs when an external force applied to the head causes a disruption in normal brain function
    2. ECT is the application of an electrical force (450 volts for 8 seconds) to the head and causes a grand mal seizure and a coma. Serious disruptions to normal brain function.
    3. Therefore ECT causes a Traumatic Brain Injury. (Check neurological outcomes for Repetitive Traumatic Brain Injury)
    For anyone to take your claims seriously they would have to suspend disbelief to a delusional degree and frankly the public don’t buy it when they hear these facts, hence the protracted PR campaign by the APA.
    I will take you on every single point you can bring up on ECT –

  • February 16, 2011 Medscape— The risk for cardiovascular disease in people with psychosis increases after their first exposure to antipsychotic drugs, according to new research published online February 7 in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

    “This change in risk is evident early in the course of treatment, within several weeks of continuous use, but may continue over years,” study investigator Debra L. Foley, PhD, of the University of Melbourne in Australia, told Medscape Medical News.
    Schizophrenia is associated with a reduced life expectancy, and most early deaths are due to cardiovascular disease.
    patients with bipolar disorder have a higher prevalence of cardiac risk factors, such as obesity, glucose dysregulation and dyslipidemia.(fats in the blood)
    many of the medications that treat bipolar disorder may have cardiac side effects or toxicity
    lithium toxicity may be associated with sinoatrial block, AV block, AV dissociation, bradyarrhythmias, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation. T-wave flattening or inversion
    – Several antipsychotics have been documented to cause torsade de pointes and sudden death…
    PLUS – cocaine and some prescribed neuroleptics are very chemically similar – so…
    When was Carrie’s last ECT course? – Cardiac complications may exist for a period of weeks or even moths following ECT.
    Another tragic loss to the scandal of the last 60+ years of modern psychiatry.

  • Well Aurora, I became suicidal as a RESULT of the drugs – was on life support 3 times from extremely well planned suicide attempts, as a result of Prozac, Lithium, Quetiapine, Lexapro and Abilify along with PTSD from ECT. Since stopping all of these I have NO COMPULSION TO HARM MYSELF WHATSOEVER. 15 years of ODs, significant brain damage, a life truncated – BUT, now 2 and a half years drug free, symptom free, I too “enjoy every day that I have and live it to the fullest.” I don’t know how old you are, but I’m now 74 and because of psychiatry I lost 15 years of some of the most productive years of my life – I doubt I can make that up. So good for you if that garbage does it for you, it kills and destroys far too many others.

  • My response to the Slate article: Dr Satel states:
    “Fisher spoke publicly and truthfully about her condition and in doing so, offered many lessons from which we can all learn. First, she promoted the best treatments that psychiatry has to offer.”
    The best psychiatry offers is drugs, shock, and brain surgery PERIOD. Unfortunately Fisher didn’t embrace any of the therapies that may have saved her a lifetime of drugs and ECT brain damage.

    “I have a chemical imbalance that, in its most extreme state, will lead me to a mental hospital…I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that.”
    No one should ever say that anyone should be ashamed of having a `mental illness’ or of being emotionally overwhelmed, But that she was led to believe that she had a non existent `chemical imbalance’ borders on malpractice on the part of her doctors, and she propagated this probably without understanding that it was a lie. This claim was and is purely a marketing slogan perpetrated by the drug companies to sell product. It has NO substance, NO scientific validity and was publicly discredited years ago and the fact that Dr Satel is also publicly supporting today is scientifically irresponsible. “..when her condition was at its most intense, Fisher turned to electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT…
    ECT is still overshadowed by its One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest reputation as a damaging procedure.”
    I am getting very, very tired off seeing this lame excuse for ECT’s bad reputation being trotted out as a PR statement in every proECT propaganda piece. NO! ECT has a bad reputation because in order to believe that 450 volts pulsing through someone’s head for 8 seconds does NOT cause damage, is suspending disbelief to a delusional degree and the public are NOT that stupid!
    Unfortunately Carrie Fisher (and Kitty Dukakis ,30/12/16 New York Times article) have been constantly used as spokespersons by the $5 billion a year ECT industry for many years. There are NO other celebrity spokespersons because nobody else will say anything other than that it causes serious injury. Both Dukakis and Fisher admit serious memory damage from it, and when I recently saw Carrie Fisher as a guest on a well known panel show in the UK I was appalled. It would have been obvious to anyone who has ever worked with neurologically damaged people that Ms Fisher had serious problems. That she continued to be `open’ about ECT indicates several possibilities; a) she had anosognosia (brain damage that prevents the person being aware that they are damaged); b) that she was apathetic and compliant, (a result of brain damage) saying whatever was asked of her; c) that she made these comments when acutely injured by ECT and possibly suffering from post-ictal and concussion euphoria, both acute symptoms of brain injury; d) that she, and/or her entourage were paid to eulogise ECT.
    I’m afraid that for many years, I saw Carrie Fisher as a dupe in the ECT PR machine.
    Dr Satel’s claim that ECT is an effective, let alone the most effective treatment for anything is not supported by any science whatsoever. The claim that it is a substitute for equally useless drugs has no science behind it all.
    There has never been any evidence that show ECT is anything more than a brain injuring placebo that has a short lived positive effect in less than 50% of people, most of whom would have responded equally well to `sham’ ECT (Placebo) and extra caring and attention, with NO injury.
    “To be sure, a chaotic childhood is not a risk factor for bipolar illness. (There is a genetic factor, of course, and other biological vulnerabilities….)”
    Dear me Dr Satel, what planet do you live on? YES, a chaotic childhood IS a risk factor for all kinds of `mental illness’ including bipolar AND the PSYCHOSIS you mention Carrie Fisher suffered from!
    I agree that “Bipolar illness is devastating. The symptoms can be terrifying: paranoid hallucinations, delusions (she had those), a black abyss of demobilizing depression.”
    But to say that the best one can hope for is `treatment, which can be quite effective at managing symptoms’ is a denial of the possibility of hope for recovery that is, very often, with the right help, achievable.
    Sadly, for Carrie Fisher, in the hands of psychiatry, it wasn’t.
    Oh, and by the way, there are very few psychiatrists who are either trained or inclined to step away from the prevailing bio paradigm – after all that’s where the money is.

  • I’m sorry that you feel that way, there are many people who are mental health professionals and/or have degrees who have, a) been published on MIA and b) comment on articles on MIA. Not all are viewed with a friendly eye but my experience has been that all comers, except those who indulge in personal abuse, get a fair hearing.
    I agree that many successful revolutions, or perhaps, reforms, HAVE come from within systems, but this depends on a degree of willingness to contemplate reform on the part of those within the system. IN the case of psychiatry, however, there is no evidence of any kind of willingness to address reform.
    You say that `blowing up the system’ is rarely effective or successful, but in fact historically, it has very frequently been both. Machiavelli records that, `conspiracies conducted by a handful of men acting secretly invariably meet tragic ends, Open revolts involving large numbers of people do not.’ and cites the overthrow of the Duke of Athens. The Irish, French and Russian revolutions, the Suffragette movement, and the rise of unions all blew up the system, and were `successful’ in creating permanent change. Whether you agree that the change was necessarily for the better is a matter of opinion, but many would claim that the old tyrants were worse than the new ones and in some cases, such as the vote for women, and protection for workers, the consequences are at the core of human rights in our society today.
    So we hope it will be for the anti psychiatry movement.

  • For so many of us who put our all into that protest – we held a protest but nobody came – I alienated my family who were ashamed, frightened my friends who `would have come but just happened to be…’ spent far more money than I had, and I actually had some powerful allies, like John Read who managed to get the journalist I previously knew and had written the copy for, to actually write a story and get it onto page 3 of a leading newspaper. Without him, my story was a non starter. And that is the problem. Without a physical presence, without handfuls of brochures at ECT clinics, handed out ALL the time for instance, without the press, without the politicians (I found ONE who asked questions), without money and a central organisation and without direct action, this will be a VERY long haul. Peer organisations are being colonised by the establishment via government money, politicians never even SEE the letters we send, their staffers field them. Every time there is a card played, the establishment’s PR and lobby organisation moves in and trumps it. Nobody is game to step up as whistleblowers, the costs are too high. Each time an outrage is exposed, a couple of the perpetrators are scapegoated and the rest walk away relatively unscathed. I write, I expose and forward as much as I can to social media, to friends and acquaintances, I’m now elderly and I need a life, not to be viewed as an outraged crank whose opinions are put aside BECAUSE I’m an outraged crank. I DO tell people who are considering psychiatry not to do it, I DO try to be as cool and scientific as humanly possible and I succeed in that. I DO my homework, I AM well informed and I preach against the excesses of some of my fellow anti-psychiatrists, to my detriment.
    But I am discouraged. My biggest issue is ECT – Yes `what the FUCK?’ But given all of the above I’m leaning towards direct action – DESTROY the FUCKING machines!
    Revolutions typically succeed in the end by direct action – Marx, Engels etc, etc wrote and wrote, the suffragettes wrote and wrote and peacefully demonstrated, but in the end thousands of angry people threatened the peace of the day and WON it.
    At the moment, we are having a quiet revolution and we are being laughed at, sneered at and set aside by a group of pernicious, venal charlatans with huge financial recourses, the ear of politicians, the faith of the people and no morals – that is the stuff of tyrants. And all our suggestions of alternatives, of changes in society, of making everything nice are useless. A revolution is only possible if people COME.

  • I read a `eulogy’ for Carrie Fisher written by a psychiatrist, Sally Satel. It was more a `eulogy’ for psychiatry. Dr Satel states:
    “Fisher spoke publicly and truthfully about her condition and in doing so, offered many lessons from which we can all learn. First, she promoted the best treatments that psychiatry has to offer.” An indictment that reads differently for the informed than it does to the general public. The `best treatments psychiatry had to offer’, drugs and ECT, destroyed her brain (see any interview of Fisher in the last few years and you will see the neurological aftermath of ECT) and ultimately killed her at 60. I’m reminded of a friend who died following a cardiac arrest at 59, after some 30 years on neuroleptics. NO ONE except me, suggested this was possibly the result of the drugs. The woman was ill from an infection that was opportunistic and recalcitrant, but while otherwise healthy 59 years olds may die from infections (organ shut down etc), a cardiac arrest is suspicious. Until the dots are joined, thousands more will die, with authorities doing nothing because the medical profession generally, not just psychiatrists, refuses to jeopardise its covenant with big pharma – and anyway `mental patients’, who cares? That diagnosis on the record is a licence to ignore and despise.

  • I think we have to consider that not everyone enjoys their psychotic experiences. Some people have an appalling time – terrible anxiety and terror because voices are abusive and threatening, beliefs that their being taken over etc come `out of the blue’. I don’t believe that psychiatry has any answers at all for this, that alternatives do exist but people do need help and support to get through the really bad times.

  • I suggest you check out Ron Pies articles/rebuttals etc on Phil Hickey’s, as well as Robert Whitaker’s blogs. Pies has an absolute talent for involving himself in arguments that lead to him being shot down again and again with logic and good research. He appears to be immune to both. BUT he was the executive editor of Psychiatric Times so has a forum where he preaches to the other illogical, poorly educated, delusional members of his profession with, he believes, impunity.

  • Most emotional overwhelm has no medical basis whatsoever, so why go to a doctor when what you really need is a friend. The friend could be your bestie, or a highly trained psychologist, a peer counsellor, a support group, a neighbour, or a family member(s). It’s irrelevant so long as you can trust the person to care about you, has time to listen and hears you. A rushed GP with 40 hours of psychological training and 10 people in the waiting room, a psychiatrist trying to fit in as many $400.00 appointments as possible in an hour, who also has very limited psychological training (despite what he/she says on his/her CV), ain’t your friend.

  • At last. My life was ruined by an overnight severe suicidal reaction to Prozac, for STRESS, not depression. I was 57. The panicked doctor immediately embarked on a course of 14 ECT treatments (eventually 66 in 20 months), that destroyed my career as a sculptor, novelist and screen writer, and led to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder with 13 years of drugs and debility. 10 years later another SSRI, Lexapro, (`this one’s different’), also led to a devastating depression and suicidal reaction and more ECT. Neither event was reported as an adverse reaction. How many hundreds of thousands have died or suffered dreadfully because of no one admitting this possibility? Even if you don’t die from it, the stress placed on the individual and their families is immense. For instance my relationship with my children has been badly affected as a consequence of my drug induced behaviour, my being labelled as `sick’ and the stigma associated with it.
    Are psychiatrists ignorant, blind, in denial, or merely unwilling to upset the big pharma gravy train in their continued abuse using these drugs? If GPs remain ignorant surely the responsibility falls on both the specialist profession, psychiatry, and the government that has assured the public that all is well in SSRI land, to EDUCATE them. Neither should have the luxury of standing back and saying ,”well, it’s the GPs fault, they’re the ones doing it.” Passing the buck doesn’t cut it. These studies are merely the tip of the huge iceberg that hopefully one day soon will sink psychiatry and its drug assault forever.

  • Australia ratified it and we have one of the highest rates of compulsory hospitalisations in the world. We also already have your Murphy Bill in compulsory `community care’ where one can be indefinitely on `parole’ for years, with forced hospitalisation for not taking `meds’ a looming threat all the time. We have a 30-60% forced ECT rate as well. (the US is 3%?) Our private hospitals have no government supervision and the Tribunal safeguard system is de facto, a total farce. We also recently had a Senate Enquiry into Abuse, Violence and Neglect of the handicapped including `mental illness’, that, to date, has led nowhere. All the while our Human Rights organisations and government pay lip service, spouting motherhood platitudes to `respect, include and empower’ the handicapped, the mentally ill, all those LESSER people. Patronised in discussions, forums etc, brutalised, incarcerated and injured in fact. We are surrounded by toothless tigers, looking beautiful but achieving NOTHING.

  • Re `blame’ – some therapies actually use the action, at least, of `blame’ as an initial tool to clarify `what happened to you’ approach to understanding why you’re at this point, now. In Schema Therapy for instance, one of the first actions is for the person to write a letter to the person they believe caused them serious pain in their childhood. The letter is never sent but the act of writing it exposes the hurt. As you say, the cover up, the lies, the denial of events in early childhood and the confusion that it led to, expresses itself in psychosis as well as other problems. Is this `blame’? I guess, but who among us parents is perfect? My parents did things that made me vulnerable, and I don’t thank them for that, but it wasn’t deliberate, it was a consequence of their own issues past and present; and I’m sure I didn’t do everything right either, though I tried hard.
    I have a problem with people who need to be `blameless’ – maybe this is a `condition’ in its own right. Many of the parents in the drug company subsidised NAMI seem to suffer from this denial problem. Interestingly, psychiatrists have a very high personal psychological pathology rate as do their children, so maybe that’s part of it.
    Another point, was this document ghost written? When you see that Ron Pies, Daniel Carlatt and other high profile establishment psychiatrists have publicly come out denying the `chemical imbalance’ crap, and it has been removed (at least in this form) from the RCP, RANZCP and APA etc websites, it seems odd to me that it appears as blatantly as this. Maybe the fault lies with the editorial process in NIMH, where clerks have copied from some of the pop websites and big pharma ads and no one has bothered to check. I say this because in a case I know, a doctor did not get legal consent for ECT, the patient later found out and after it was reported to the authorities suddenly the consent form appeared. BUT it was `signed’ by the wrong people on the wrong dates – something the doctors involved would have known but the clerical staff did not. It appears that the document was forged.
    This whole document is yet another dishonest guild publication that must be exposed for the fraud it is. Thank you Ron Unger

  • It’s interesting that so many people are bringing up historical and non US slavery as if to say, me too. NO, not me too. As a sometime visitor to the US Im probably going to be slammed for this, but I saw racism against African Americans all the time. I was constantly uncomfortable around the continued put-downs, hostile looks, deliberately ignoring people, and aware that these good WHITE people, who paid their taxes, never committed crimes, `believed’ in universal education and human rights, never saw that they were doing it. They seemed to me to be blind to their exclusion of the `other’ as routine.
    In including historical slavery I feel people are saying, `What are you whining about? It’s not that bad, my people were conscripted, enslaved, chained to a factory machine etc and I and my family and friends have made good, why can’t you? Look what we’ve done for you etc and still you mess up.’ – Really that’s saying all over again – you’re no good because you are a lesser person. In Australia we don’t have a large minority that’s `different’. (We have the aboriginal people but like yours most were killed off and the same issues exist there but in much smaller numbers and our record stinks, too), so I don’t have the same experience of living in a dichotomised society, but I am A WOMAN. We are put down, objectified, excluded, paid less, pushed aside, discriminated against in so many ways whilst still being told we have equal rights, respect and the vote, so when I see people denying, excusing, justifying, being blind to the inherent privilege of being white skinned and/or male, no matter whether you’re in the same mental hospital or jail, I get discouraged. One thing, if black people think it’s going to change anytime soon, think again – women have always been slaves, and despite lip service, still are.

  • Maybe you could use your experience here to spread the word to other non survivors, and parents of non-drugged young children, that there IS oppression and injustice happening to a lot of people. Turning away is what everyone but the philistine did and what most white people still do.

  • Thank you Judy for your courage and I weep for your loss. Recently I met a woman who, within an hour or two of our meeting, told me about her son who was in a similar position to your Dan. For 15 years he’d been at the mercy of the Mental Health System in Australia and she was devastated. From her story I got the impression that his plight was probably totally iatrogenic. Unfortunately I live in a different state and was only there for a few days so couldn’t source any alternatives for them other than to try to get him to the local Hearing Voices organisation. By this time he is so hostile to the authorities and her as an extension of them, (like you she’s been told the `chemical imbalance’ lie), that without active intervention from a third party it will be unlikely that he’ll ever get there. My fear is that his hopelessness and anger will lead to his death.
    I agree with you, The cat, we need a lot of people to see these stories, but my experience with the ECT issue is that despite the legion of voices telling of ruined lives that are obviously not just isolated incidences, psychiatry still claims those thousands really ARE just the `ranting of ex mental patients. And the government agrees with them because THEY are the `authorities’. `Doctor knows best.’
    The best chance for change will come from the public finding out things like the GSK 329 study with its $3 billion fine against GSK, the $11.7million damages payout for suicide, again GSK, the continued success of damages against Eli Lilly etc, and stopping coverups and gagging of outcomes. Education will eventually seep through to the mental health professionals who are so destructive in their ignorance.
    A movement like yours, Judy, and the offer of a drug company free family support organisation, (unlike NAMI) might offer help to people like the woman I met, to understand and ultimately help her much loved son come in from the cold. I would like to set up something like this here but don’t know where to start.

  • So do I ans so does Olga Runciman but she is the only psychologist in Denmark who actually specialises in working with it. How many others, world wide, are there who do? Considering the need surely there could be a place for a course, some formalised training? Runciman is a peer, so her understanding is personal, but she’s also a trained psychologist. I don’t know if that’s necessary but a set of guidelines might be necessary to make sure there isn’t chaos in the therapist as well as the therapee.

  • I agree Alex, and if that lack of connection or misunderstanding begins before language when emotion is perceived but not in any context, then denied, how easy it must be for the infant or tiny child so see the world as chaotic and unsafe, all of which can resurface under enough, or the ‘right’ kind of stress, that others or even the individual, may not recognise as enough to drive one mad. Hence everybody’s confusion and the need for people without imagination such as most psychiatrists to claim hardware causes. Most people like neat solutions so that the uproar that psychosis can cause is very readily made acceptable to families by doing this. ‘He was such a happy baby and we loved him so much, so how could we have caused this’, the cry of truly distressed families, but we have to remember it was what HIS experience was, what HE took from what the environment as a WHOLE as well as what a parent might think they gave and meant, that is the relevant issue. Most parents mean well, none are perfect, all babies are different, most of us muddle through, some fall over and those of us who have remained intact must say, ‘ there but for the grace of God, go I’ and reach out with understanding and respect for our fellow survivor.

  • I am a child raised under an official government funded infant management system that insisted on the mother being detached from the child from birth, the `Truby King’ method.
    My mother was an anxious first time mother, (the youngest by a long way in her family so she never saw babies being raised) and eager to do the right thing. She embraced the `wisdom’ of the time without question. The baby was to sleep in a different room, only picked up for feeding every four hours regardless of its crying, sometimes for hours. It was fed and put back to bed, playing with the infant was restricted to 10 minutes per day. Failure to adhere to this regime was heavily discouraged by the infant welfare nurses, making the mothers feel guilty if they transgressed as they would be “turning their babies into self indulgent, weak people”. This, of course amounted to a failure to attach for both and serious emotional deprivation for thousands of children over a 50 year period. I did not become psychotic because there were not enough other adverse experiences in my childhood to tip the balance. But there were enough to badly effect my ability to make trusting, meaningful relationships for my entire life.
    Without understanding why, (at that time), as a parent I made absolutely sure I was a hands on, touchy, feely Mum. Did I get it right? My kids have their issues, so not all the time. Do I feel guilty? Yes, sometimes. Does it consume me? No.
    Parents often don’t get it right. When their child disintegrates into psychosis/extreme states/emotiona/spiritual crises, whatever you want to call it, there has to be a reckoning, at least inside a parent’s heart. BUT most don’t do the wrong thing on purpose, my mother didn’t, she was trying very hard to do the RIGHT thing. She didn’t know how much harm she did to our relationship, but it was done, and it was hard for her, too.
    Having talked to many people in these crises, the worst thing that can happen is for people to deny their reality. I knew a girl who heard voices telling her to kill her mother because her mother wanted to kill her. In many talks with her worried, very caring mother, it emerged that she had protected her daughter from every adverse event in her life, that she had done so much for her child that it was so hard to see her “like this”, but she would be prepared to care for her for the rest of her life, just the same.
    I doubt I need to interpret this too much. The girl was swamped, controlled by a mother who considered any independence a threat, plied her child with guilt, and the “extreme state” was a desperate plea to be allowed to grow up. It didn’t end well for the girl.
    My point is that we all, as parents come with our own baggage and a psychotic child is just one expression of a chance to fix things, not to deny it. Open Dialogue does this, NAMI and psychiatry don’t. Maybe courage is one of the most important factors in the quest for inner peace?

  • CBT is vastly overrated. But it is the one of the few, if not the only, kind of psychotherapy that most psychiatrists have ever heard of – anything else they consider useless w**king. This may be because they tend to be fairly `straight up and down’ people and CBT has nice ordered things like pages to be filled out, and standardised protocols. Most don’t know how to use it properly and/or when to abandon or alter it to fit the person they’re actually talking to. They aren’t interested in the messy, `people are all different’ approach found in some other methods – like Schema and Formulation. Also, since the major factor is the relationship between the person and the therapist, it’s not easy to establish this in 10 minute bites.

  • Similar experience – admitted for an overdose – suicidal impulse overcome by me but told I would be admitted to the psych ward voluntarily or not – ok, I said. An hour later nurse came and said there were no beds as there’d been a fire, and gave me a taxi voucher. LOL!

  • I refuse to go to any hospital where I have been admitted as a psychiatric patient, even in an emergency. One time I collapsed with an unknown condition and was taken to hospital by my sister who was amazed at how rude and dismissive the staff were. I realised that I had been there before, as a psych patient. I avoid doctors as much as I can now.

  • Actually Hamilton, of the HRSD doesn’t consider his own scale to be much good. Of course he keeps the royalties. I thought there wasn’t much reliable evidence anyway – particularly if we’re talking about actual observable clinical changes such as returning to work, improved family/personal relations etc. And, in the end isn’t everything subjective? If someone says I don’t feel better, it doesn’t matter what the test says, or an observer sees. I’ve seen a person told by staff they they are much better, and the person says but I’m not, but the record shows that they’re much better. How can any of it be reliable if there is so much reporting bias?

  • They know, whether they say it or not, whether they warn or not, PSYCHIATRISTS KNOW! Back in 1973 we virtually stopped giving the major tranquillisers, (because that’s what they are, they DO NOT affect psychosis, they just shut people down), because the senior psychiatrist in the unit I worked in had a horror of giving tardive dyskinesia to anyone. We therefore had to actually TALK to our patients and their families and sort out what the problems were that way. We also never prescribed benzos because they were too addictive. I only recall one person getting valium, for alcohol withdrawal, to prevent the DTs. We never used shackles either, in fact I never even saw any in a storeroom, much less on a bed or patient. What has happened? All these new drugs/treatments and we’re back to ancient times, using drugs and chains (sorry, they’re Velcro now) to tie loonies to the wall/bed. Psychiatry is the only part of medicine to go back to the middle ages or can we expect to see the return of leeches, bleeding, purging and mercury across the rest of medicine. Maybe the drug companies can come up with some scientific names for those procedures, too. Of course we’ve kept Electroshock and lobotomy’s making a comeback, under the radar as cingulotomy & capsulotomy (to the horror of neurologists when they find out). As Peter Breggin says, the days of the brain disabling theories of treatment for mental `illness’ haven’t gone, they’re just not spoken of. If we look at history, the `moral treatments’ of the Quakers 180+ years ago where the `insane’ were offered a clean comfortable place to stay while they got their act together, and produced a 50% discharge rate, the others stayed on, working to run the place, and they kept the DOCTORS out because they knew the DOCTORS would harm their residents. Sadly the gentle Quakers were no match for the aggression and market savvy of those DOCTORS and the `insane’ have been harmed ever since, with no end in sight.

  • Apparently it’s in the ocean as well and having an effect on fish. In the affected areas the fish are more isolated, and more aggressive than those in less affected areas. What are we doing with this stuff? We’ve got increased suicide – homicide – aggression – depression – manic reactions – psychosis – sexual dysfunction – birth defects – heart problems – what more do we need to have these drugs banned?

  • You’re right of course, no one has found a biological markers for any `mental illness’ despite millions of dollars being spent on the search for at least 50 years. This despite the fact that genetic research is now so advanced that even a gene for predicting lung cancer if the person smokes, has been identified. Despite the fact that even where genes are identified as having direct links like Huntington’d disease and Cystic fibrosis, nothing can actually be done. So I query whether finding the `science’ is of any real benefit anyway. Perhaps some of those millions might be better spent in alleviating the poverty and socila deprivation whnce much mental `illness’ arises. As I’ve said I respect your beliefs, and recognise that you’re suffering, but insulting those who disagree does your position no credit. If you find it “insulting and dismissive” when people disagree with you, and extend that to suggest this as “the exact reason so many of us choose to end our lives” you are implying that those who disagree are pushing you and some unnamed others to suicide, I think you go too far. That is a bullying tactic, and as a fellow sufferer, is beneath you.

  • I know someone who had to go to a psychiatrist for a year to get her ridiculous;aous diagnosis removed but it worked. My problem is a) affording it, b) overcoming my stress at being in the same room as one, and c) fear of being unable to restrain myself in the face of their stupidity and venalit,y and getting a fresh diagnosis to go on with.

  • Love it – but sadly some are so stupid that even crying out the you’re seeing big white rabbits and a little girl in a blue dress running around the walls will get you seclusion and an injection.

  • Luke, diagnosis is a curious thing in psychiatry isn’t it? Since the DSM has little, some might say NO validity, as it’s categories are a matter of opinion and consensus, a show of hands by members of a committee, the arrival of a diagnosis may well be a matter of chance. That so many professionals came to the same conclusion over a protracted period in one case may also be chance. Sure there are things that cluster in certain behaviour groups, in bipolar for instance, an increase in `goal directed behaviour’, followed by periods of `low mood’ when the person has little interest in life. However, there can be many ways a professional may try to establish that this is a pathological state. First, there is a desire to find a DIAGNOSIS and this can lead to loaded questions, often with yes/no answers, for instance, `have you ever felt life was not worth living?, Yes or No.’ Many people may have had a thought like that and it was fleeting and inconsequential but honesty impels them to answer `yes’, with no room for qualification. This is then added to a list. I’m sure you are right that you withheld information but as a former psychiatric professional we were trained to look beyond the words, seeking pathology to support one or other diagnosis. One sees the same phenomenon with people visiting clairvoyents. The lay person is no match for the professional.
    But I wasn’t just a fairly skilled interviewer, I too, was diagnosed with bipolar, after a sudden suicidal crash, like you, a week or so after taking Prozac, immediately followed by ECT. I don’t remember much of the interview after 14 ECT treatments, but I suspect the vague euphoria from the Traumatic Brain Injury that was ECT, the `history’ of the suicidal collapse, a couple of suicides in my grandfather’s family and my own behaviour as an artist and writer, all contributed to a diagnosis from a psychiatrist who always diagnosed bipolar. What happens is that every incident in one’s life can be pathologised in psychiatry. For instance, as an artist and writer, I had on occasion worked long into the night pursuing an idea. This was rare but with questions designed to find symptoms of `mania’ it came up as positive. It is in fact a very normal occurrence with creative people and in my case was quite mild. A depressive episode 30 years earlier due to severe workplace bullying was a `sign’ of long term `instability’, though that too, could be seen as a normal response.
    My point is that because psychiatrists have little training in `normal’ behaviour and a lot in abnormal behaviour, they see `illness’ where there is nothing but a person in some emotional difficulty for whatever reason. Today’s psychiatrists and many counsellors, actually believe in the biological/genetic paradigm and their view is biased towards it such that they cannot see anything else. THAT is the problem. I’m not saying you DON’T have bipolar, or that you have to pull yourself together, or that you don’t suffer, just that maybe, if you have a bipolar 2 diagnosis, which was made up by the APA, you might need to be very critical of the criteria and why you have been given it.
    As for child abuse, this does not just include sexual and overt emotional abuse, beatings, bullying, starvation and neglect. There are many subtle sources of stress in childhood. Things like the threat of divorce, moving house a lot, having to start again at different schools, temporary loss of a parent, especially of the mother particularly if she is ill and the child thinks she might die, very early emotional deprivation for any reason, anything in fact that makes a child feel unsafe. Even though parents may love their children, nobody gets everything right, and for some, given enough of these things, the balance can be tipped. I personally believe that almost all `mental illness’ is a) not `illness; b) is caused by childhood and environmental conflicts, and c) should not be treated by medical practitioners AT ALL. If there is a physiological problem that manifests with behavioural problems that IS a physical illness, it should be treated by the appropriate specialty, e.g. thyroid issues see an endocrinologist, temporal lobe epilepsy see a neurologist etc.

  • “They claim the success of the course is that on average 60 -70% of people who participate in the course, take themselves to the doctor after realising they have anxiety or depression. Yet before the course they were working full time, raising a family, socialising with friends, etc., etc., without issues!!” You know why doctors traditionally didn’t want to give people a list of the adverse effects of the medicines they were giving them? Because if they knew about them too many would complain that they HAD them! It’s a variation of the placebo effect. Then there are those who used to be called hypochondriacs, isn’t that a disorder now with a new `scientific’ name. Since the drug companies fund these disease fests, they have probably used some very expensive psychologists to devise a system that encourages people to believe they `have’ something. It disgusts and demoralises me that so many people fall into the trap, then I remember that I did too.

  • Nursing homes are run for profit. Staff cost money. Shareholders want dividends. The government subsidises the drugs, so nice quiet residents = fewer staff = little interaction required = nice profit. Who cares about quality of life – after all Hitler would have gassed them as useless lives. This is the same thing, early deaths from strokes, cardiac events and falls = bigger turnover, there’s plenty more where they came from. Of course a little more money spent on activities staff might mean active, hornery residents might be amused and busy instead of bored and confrontational; an iPod each with the resident’s favourite music recorded on it might cause less agitation and reduce need for drugs OR staff involvement, but HEY, that’s not what the business is all about. It’s about MONEY!

  • I believe there are thousands of such reactions that have never been recognised and/or reported. I was given Prozac for stress in 2000. Within two weeks of taking it I had an overnight acute suicidal reaction that had me confined to locked unit in a private hospital the following morning, and two days later was given the first of 30 ECT treatments in 16 weeks. I was diagnosed as having a bipolar disorder, previously never seen, treated with a heavy drug regime and ended up with a stress disorder from being coerced, bullied and threatened in consenting to a further 36 ECT treatments in 20 months. I WAS 57 YEARS OLD! Ten years later I again was given an SSRI (Lexapro). This time I was mildly depressed but was hospitalised as the doctor was fearful of a manic reaction, so it was recorded in my file that after 2 weeks I had a severe mood slump with suicidal thinking. Again I received ECT. I was now 67 YEARS OLD! Obviously NOT a child, adolescent or young adult. Neither reaction was EVER recorded as an adverse reaction to the DRUGS. How many others have to DIE because the information is not recognised or recognised but suppressed? I’m lucky to have survived suicidal reactions to other drugs too, including Lithium, Quetiapine, and Ability, especially Lithium.
    PS I’ve been drug, bipolar, psychiatry and suicidal thinking free since 2013.

  • Madcat, You’re very wise to keep away from the biopsychiatrist because, if it’s who I think it is, you would almost certainly have been referred to ECT, which could have meant goodbye to your `high level of concentration and dexterity’. Unfortunately this man and his colleagues are virtually unassailable legally or morally and the trail of destroyed lives they have left behind them is long and wide. They have set up a new group called ENSIG (The Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neurostimulation Special Interest Group (ENSIG) [which] is an RANZCP group that promotes the highest standards in clinical practice, training and research pertaining to electroconvulsive therapy and neurostimulation.
) This in spite of the fact that well over 60% of their colleagues NEVER prescribe ECT. They are the butchers of Australia.

  • Oldhead, Check out Ken Robinson’s, (educator and speaker par excellent,) evaluation of the western education system! `If you expect children to sit down for hours doing low grade clerical work, you can hardly be surprised if they get fidgety.’ Our education system is designed by government departments to train children for employment that means their taxes will pay the wages of the government officials that design the education..
    A camel is a horse designed by a (apologies) government department.
    80% of Americans (see Western cultures generally) hate their jobs…Most people endure their lives…industry wants creativity and people quick to adapt to change but the education system produces conformity…society needs outspoken innovators and leaders but we call children with these qualities, `oppositional’, `disruptive’, `brain disordered’ and set out to crush them. I think if we don’t value these attributes we cannot be surprised when those who do supercede us. I also suggest that the world leaders of today, who are the major corporations including big pharma, were nearly all kids like that but without meds or morals.
    We ignore history at our peril, short sighted grasping for money, bad memories and lack of historical perspective, as well as the suppression of outrage, WILL bring us down. I won’t be here to see it, but within 50 years I believe it will all be over and chaos will rule until the next tyrant, promising order, takes over.

  • Is this website acceptable only if you agree? Or is it a forum for discussion? I don’t know if the French are better parents than others, I don’t know whether ADHD is or isn’t CAUSED by poor parenting, trauma in the family or in society in general but I do question a society where partnerships formed to do that parenting are discarded in over 50% of cases, where people run from taking responsibility for their own well-being to grab at spurious pseudoscience marketing, where schoolteachers recommend drugs to keep bored, restless children quiet instead of examining the education process itself. I am concerned that my grandchildren need a parent to go to bed with them so they will sleep, that they dictate their menu at mealtimes, that any correction of bad behaviour constitutes oppression. I worry that little children are offered choices they are not competent to make, leaving them anxious and afraid because they don’t feel safe. And I hear these worries from other grandparents all the time. My children, as I did before them, went to bed and went to sleep, ate what was put in front of them, and had boundaries within which they could make choices but nonetheless the major decisions were made by the grownups to keep the kids safe.
    As for trauma, it doesn’t have to even be seen by others but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there and destructive. As a child, my parents threatened to divorce over the entire period of my late childhood and adolescence. For that entire period I was afraid, I was NOT SAFE. I agonised about how I would choose which parent, would they both hate me, would I stay near my friends etc etc. And my parents weren’t abusive or violent and didn’t actually do it. Most didn’t then, they had a responsibility and they lived with it, worked it through and lived happily enough together for the rest of their long lives. The instant gratification that somehow we are `entitled’ to be `happy’, to face no pain, has led to a society that looks for the easy way and this has led to a pill for everything including childhood.
    I did well in school though was often distracted, restless, talkative and, at times, dreamy. In fact under today’s regime it’s likely I would have been considered to have ADHD and been medicated. I was in fact a `gifted’ kid with a love of sport and activity, in a huge class (normal then) of 50 children and I was bored.
    I believe we, as parents DON’T always get it right, we DO, despite meaning well, sometimes harm our kids, teachers DO too often opt for the easy way, education systems DON’T take enough care of what kids really need, but service the status quo because it’s easy – and we MUST take responsibility for it. Denial won’t do! There is no shame in getting something wrong, there is enormous shame in continuing be wrong when we know, and there is enormous shame in acting like an ostrich and allowing harm to continue, to protect our self esteem over the welfare of the next generation.
    That our society uses drugs instead of discipline for a condition that was manufactured by a group of people who agreed on a market for selling dangerous drugs is to me an indication of the disintegration of that society.

  • You’re absolutely right & Lord Acton’s old saw remains – “All power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, hence tyranny, “which is usually thought of as cruel and oppressive, and it often is, but the original definition of the term was rule by persons who lack legitimacy, whether they be malign or benevolent. Historically, benign tyrannies have tended to be insecure, and to try to maintain their power by becoming increasingly oppressive.”
    From Sorokin and Lunden:
    1.” When the morality and mentality of rulers and the ruled are measured by the same moral and mental yardstick then the rulers’ morality and minds appear to be marked by a much stronger dualism –
    2.The ruling ,groups contain a larger proportion of the extreme mental types of the gifted and the mentally sick than the rank and file of the ruled population
    3. The moral behaviour of ruling groups tends to be more criminal and sub-moral than that of the ruled strata of the same society.
    4. The greater, more absolute, and coercive the power of rulers, political leaders, and big executives of business, labour and other organizations, and the less freely this power is approved by the ruled population, the more corrupt and criminal such ruling groups and executives tend to be.
    5. With a progressive limitation of their power, criminality of rulers and executives tends to decrease qualitatively (by becoming less grave and murderous) and quantitatively (by decreasing the rate of criminal actions)
    There is no doubt that the occupational functions of rulers contain several morally ennobling activities such as: the protection of life, security, freedom and other rights of the citizens;…As a rule, this moral excellence is confined within a limited portion of rulers’ mentality and behaviour, beyond which they may remain immoral, even criminal… activities of rulers deaden their moral sensitivity, and harden their souls and hearts towards the lives and values of human beings…. eliminating possible competitors; suppressing disorders, riots and revolts; punishing the violators of law; sacrificing many an “expendable” human life… activities are sometimes performed for the protection and expansion of selfish interests…organized spying, skilful lies, hypocritical assurances, false promises, threats and bribes, semi-rational persuasions, limited coercion, cloak and dagger actions, cynical machinations, and other morally doubtful procedures.
    power generates in them (and in others, too), a belief that they are the chosen and anointed who are far above the ruled population and its common-herd moral and legal precepts of right and wrong, good and evil…In brief, they see themselves as essentially free from the limitations of unpleasant legal obligations and moral imperatives. Such a freedom amounts to a moral and legal nihilism.”
    BUT – from Dr Mohammad Omar Farooq:
    Whether it is the world’s court of justice or not, history does record rather consistently that tyranny and abusive powers don’t last. It is just as true for individual tyrants as it is for tyrannical regimes.
     Empirically speaking, all the empires of the past that were based on tyranny or the abuse of power, subverting the common bond of humanity, have fallen from their heights – sometimes to their nadir or became extinct.”
    BUT , in avoiding tyranny people must never acquiesce…Failure to take corrective action early will only mean that more severe measures will have to be taken later, perhaps with the loss of life and the disruption of the society in ways from which recovery may take centuries.”
    Have we let psychiatry go too far for too long? Is there so much money and power that it will take `centuries’ to bring it down? The attack on our children is getting more and more evident – is this incidental or…?
    I’m glad I’m old because the thought of the world in 50 years terrifies me. The Brave New World is already happening.

  • I found it very interesting that `Jim’ preferred the enormous risks of this extreme procedure rather than try ECT again. “I didn’t want to go through that again – the memory loss and cognitive issues were too high of a price. I had 26 ECT treatments and the result was significant memory loss; I don’t remember my wedding.”
    This in spite of the insistence of many psychiatrists in the current and ongoing PR campaign that ECT is benign and the `Gold Standard’, optimal treatment for `treatment resistant depression which includes applying to the FDA to grant a reduction of its `danger’ status in 2016. and THIS treatment adversely affects over 100,000 people a year in the US alone, many against their will.
    Another point, as a retired mental health professional I worked with people with very severe depression for many years – I never met ONE who did NOT have some reason in their lives to suffer from it. There is plenty of evidence that the experience of trauma, and abuse of ALL kinds alters brain function so it is currently impossible to claim that the changes where there are any that can be seen in the brains of depressed (or any mental `illness’) are the CAUSES of anything at all. But we certainly know that interference by substance or assault with radiation, knives, electrodes, electrical currents, WILL cause serious and permanent `changes’ to brain structure and therefore FUNCTION. Given the current miniscule understanding of how the brain actually works perhaps we really are better off talking people through their pain, those changes are probably reversible.

  • Whist I don’t want to trivialise your loved one’s experience, I have to point out that the return of her depression a week after the VNS was de-activated and its disappearance shortly after re-activation does not mean that her response was not a placebo response. Placebo involves hope, expectation and belief. People can climb mountains without oxygen if they believe they have it – a medical condition can clear up and stay better even after the person KNOWS their pills are only placebo. (In one case the illness returned only after the sugar pills were used up long after she knew that’s what they were). if a person believes that their condition will return if they don’t have the treatment, in a placebo response, it will, and when the treatment is resumed, it will go away again – that IS a placebo response. But does it really matter, in your spouse’s case, since the device is already present, so long as she has relief. My problem is that for others an invasive potentially very damaging procedure might be avoided if it is known that the major effect is that of placebo.

  • “Participants seemed quite shaken at hearing this patient had actually passed away, because the ‘real life’ doctors had made the same mistakes as they did,” writes van Geene Nonetheless, participants continued to misdiagnose their patients in the experiment.
    What do you have to do? Is it arrogance, that they believe they are immune from making mistakes? That being `doctors’ confers some kind if `infallibility cloak’ and/or that their patients aren’t as important because they don’t know as much about the human body? Is it that they know they will be protected by the courts and their colleagues even in quite extreme cases? Have we endowed the medical profession with `miraculous’ status? I don’t know as much about my car as my mechanic does either, but I don’t accept that he can get away with `killing’ my car. As far as I’m concerned medical doctors (`doctor’ being a courtesy title in this case), are no more or less than a car mechanic, they are our servants, NOT our masters.

  • Dr Opton, those who died after venipuncture not only can’t complain but clearly died from the illness not the treatment, which is why it continued for so long. I’m sure that it was the colic that killed the babies who died after receiving opium as a treatment for it, and how sad it was about all those deadly illnesses that people succumbed to even when treated with mercury.

  • Forgive me Dr Hassman, I’m confused. Are you saying that the safety of citalopram was an issue to the degree that there was a dose limit applied to it, and that the reduction in dose for SAFETY reasons resulted in people becoming more seriously ill, to the point of being hospitalised? And are you implying that this was a bad thing to do? That to reduce a drug dose because it, I assume. caused unreasonable harm, did itself cause harm? My confusion is that if the drug at high levels causes harm, and at lower levels also causes harm, why do we use it at all?

  • THAT’S likely to amend her opinion of psychiatrists, and/or to offer her `therapy’ for the `illness’ that prompted her behavour, isn’t it? If a head-injured football player lashes out as a consequence of his concussion (quite common), is he shackled and confined this way? Does a person with a high fever who curses and throws things at hospital staff cop this? Of course not.
    Here in Melbourne Australia in 2015-16 a man’s father instigated an action against the illegal use of electroshock on his son, and the consequences to the son for the next 9 months were, 4 point shackles to a bed on a daily basis, 100 consecutive ECT treatments (3 per week), sanctioned and ordered by the government tribunal and 2 hospital systems, court removal of the father’s custody, total isolation from all but 2 relatives who were never spoken to by staff. This man had never committed any crime but, when goaded, had yelled at staff. He was, at another time, shackled to a bed for 60 days, emerging subdued but unable to walk. (He was in his 30s at the time.) At another time he was confined to a solitary cell with a tray of cat litter for a toilet. He was eventually kidnapped by his friends and family and removed to a state far away where an ETHICAL psychiatrist took his case. Had this not happened I believe he would be dead.
    What is happening in our `civilised’ society, that such appalling abuse can happen? What sort of people devise and sanction this? Is mental `health’ run by psychopaths? Was Dostoyevsky right? `When a man has unlimited power over the flesh and blood of his fellow men, when a man is in a position to degrade another human being to the limit of degradation, he is unable to resist the temptation to do wrong. Tyranny is a habit. In the end it becomes a disease. The best man in the world becomes so brutalized as to be indistinguishable from a wild beast’.
    That these two eminent self-appointed scientists can see elephant in the room and still say, `I don’t believe it’ confirms my believe that human suffering is the last thing that concerns psychiatry.

  • Dear me, Ron’s done it again. Set himself up for another demolishing.
    “There is no such documented “withdrawal” syndrome associated with discontinuation of antipsychotic medications—even sudden discontinuation–except for generally mild and transient cholinergic rebound symptoms, such as hypersalivation, cramps, or diarrhea.” So much for “many years of experience in treating patients suffering with schizophrenia, our views on antipsychotic medication are shaped not only by our understanding of the scientific literature, but also by our personal care of many hundreds of patients, over several decades.” As I said, they ain’t looking or listening.

  • Dostoyevsky:
    `When a man has unlimited power over the flesh and blood of his fellow men, when a man is in a position to degrade another human being to the limit of degradation, he is unable to resist the temptation to do wrong. Tyranny is a habit. In the end it becomes a disease. The best man in the world becomes so brutalized as to be undistinguishable from a wild beast’

  • Back in June Ron wrote this piece -How Antipsychotic Medication May Save Lives
    June 01, 2016 | Couch in Crisis, Major Depressive Disorder, Psychopharmacology, Schizophrenia
    By Ronald W. Pies, MD
    One way anti-psychiatry groups trivialize psychosis and marginalize psychiatry is by emphasizing the adverse effects of antipsychotic medications while denying or minimizing their benefits.1 To be sure, the well-recognized metabolic, neurological, and cardiovascular risks associated with many antipsychotic medications must be taken very seriously. Moreover, antipsychotics (APs) are often used when they are not needed; eg, for the treatment of anxiety disorders2; for “agitation” in nursing home patients; and for “acting out” in adolescent populations. (I spent many years as a psychopharmacology consultant trying to get doctors to reduce their over-reliance on antipsychotics.) On the other hand, there is convincing evidence that in patients with chronic schizophrenia, APs play a crucial role in maintaining remission, averting relapse, improving quality of life, and—importantly—reducing overall mortality.3-5
    But even many psychiatrists may not realize that APs reduce the risk of suicide in patients with schizophrenia.To back up a bit: an estimated 20% to 40% of those with schizophrenia attempt6—and 5% complete—suicide7—a risk at least 10 times that of the general public. Suicides are concentrated early in the illness course and are associated with a number of risk factors.
    (Here he doesn’t mention being told your future is over, it’s drugs for now and always, with all that implies.)
    The only consistent protective factor for suicide was delivery of and adherence to effective treatment.”8 [italics added].
    (As usual he hedges his bets with claims of magnanimity then immediately finds reasons to qualify that with the REAL message.)
    My response appeared VERY briefly then disappeared leaving the usual gushing praise from his loving disciples. Dissent on David Healy’s blog receives similar treatment. Both seem to love their name in lights.
    Here it is now:
    “You open with a rather defensive comment about anti-psychiatry. This is really a attempt to demonise your critics and is beneath any honest scientist whose aim should be to welcome criticism as a means of doing better.
    Antipsychiatrists? Or observant scientists?
    Medication Madness – Peter Breggin 2008
    Anatomy of an Epidemic – Robert Whitaker 2011
    Pharmageddon – Healy 2012
    Depression Delusion Volume One- The myth of Brain Chemical Imbalance – Terry Lynch 2015
    The Myth of the Chemical Cure – Joanna Moncrieff 2008
    The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Anti-psychotic drugs – Joanna Moncrieff 2013

    The people I’m quoting below, Antipsychiatrists? Possibly, now, after they asked for help from psychiatry, – you’ll never get all the truth from the surveys, the studies, the `literature’ because none of those include the voices of the people most affected.
    If anti psychiatry exists as an `evil conspiracy setting out to down psychiatry’, one must ask why? Is there an anti-oncologist movement? They fail many people and the treatments can be diabolical. Is there an anti dermatologist movement? They also fail to help many. Is there an “anti” any other part of the medical profession? Many practitioners are hauled up for corruption, incompetence, and sometimes criminal behaviour, but there is NO “anti”.
    Of course none of them can force treatment on their patients so that might be a factor, and most have a fairly firm basis in science as a fall back position which, of course, psychiatry doesn’t.

    So let’s look at some of these “anti-psychiatrists”. Perhaps, in hearing their real live voices, you might understand why the dissatification and thereby be able to negotiate some kind of dialogue instead of dismissing dissent, which every authority does at its peril. These things are NEVER one sided.
    Some voices:
    “They were neuroprotective because they protected you from thought, at the minor cost of getting you addicted and giving you dyskinesia.”

    “Any review of the medical literature will be incomplete because it misses those people who stop their meds against advice, and then vow to stay the hell away from psychiatrists for the rest of their born days. Dr Frances paints a scary picture of these poor unfortunates  “shamefully neglected in prison dungeons or living on the street”, but is that really true? My own hunch is that most of them successfully make their way in life, seamlessly blending in with the rest of us.”

    “Six years ago, against medical advice, I weaned myself off of my medications. My ” time in dungeons and on the streets” occurred while I was on medication. Since going off of my medication, I have been able to go back to school, work full time, and become a productive member of society. I am one of those who will never see a psychiatrist again.”

    “I call it a robbery only because anti psychotics, dopamine blockers, neuroleptics what every you want to call them rob the ability to feel any pleasure from things in life. It just blunts it out.”

    “I was given anti-psychotics for anxiety when I was 17 years old. I am now 43 and still can’t get off them. Every time I try I become severely psychotic. Then I end up hospitalized and the doctors force me to get back on them. They see the withdrawal as proof that I need them. I was never psychotic in my life until I had been on them for a few years and tried to stop them. I was never mentally ill until I took them. I was just a troubled teenager who needed someone to talk to. I never should have been prescribed anti psychotics.”

    “Prior to going on medication, I was miserable, but at least I could hold down a job, socialize and sustain housing.  Once I went on drugs, I felt so awful that maintaining a “normal” lifestyle was impossible.  The three times I attempted suicide were when I was under the influence of psychotropics.  Is that psychiatry’s idea of a “better” outcome?”

    27 year old – “I’ve had over 90 different prescriptions go through my young, still-developing brain… the doctors decided my “schizophrenia” was so medication-resistant, that they opted for a tri-weekly injection of the 1st gen major antipsychotic perphenizine. This took only 2 months to give me an Addison’s crisis…I was so ill, my scans and blood tests were off the charts, many 5x the normal levels…my entire endocrine system was shutting down. I had developed Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. My scans showed changes in my pituitary gland…I had to take hormone replacement medication for the rest of my life.”

    “Torture, inquisition, Nazi camps, slavery are consistent themes across decades of service user reviews. If by some miracle (political ties, monopoly power), [an industry with such reviews] managed to persist, everybody – consumers, parents, public interest groups – would be clammering [sic] for consumer protection legislation.”

    Of course…calling questions and criticisms “anti-psychiatry” may be somewhat effective now, but…my best guess is that the stigma attached to “anti-psychiatry” has lessened, and is lessening, which means that the psychiatrists will eventually have to deal with people and groups who question their practices, tools, beliefs, etc.
    Antipsychiatry? Yes. Evil, vindictive and unjustified? I don’t think so.”
    Dr Pies sees the writing on the wall and is well aware that people like Robert Whitaker, Phil Hickey and increasingly the public, have his measure so is trying to play both sides why he loses the plot so often? Or is it that Psychiatry has spent so long using PR to bolster its IMAGE instead of critically examining its BASE, that he just doesn’t know what to do?

  • Psychiatric Times have deleted a couple of my comments too, both involving Pies. Others have also disagreed, very respectfully, and some are permitted to stand, but they are usually academics or one of the very few `dissident’ psychiatrists. One that was deleted involved mentioning the money being made by ECT. This has happened on every site advertising the virtues of ECT – they tolerate dissatisfaction with the procedure but the minute you mention that perhaps there is a major financial benefit and a possible conflict of interest you get shut down. That obviously hits a nerve.
    As I mentioned above Pies is nothing if not inconsistent.

  • In another legal case. Tarasoff vs. Regents of the University of California, the CA Supreme Court held that if a therapist’s client made specific and believable threats to kill a particular person, the therapist had a duty to warn the potential victim. During the litigation, the American Psychiatric Association filed an amicus brief, saying in no uncertain terms that psychiatrists had absolutely no ability to predict dangerousness and should never be held liable for anything like the Tarasoff situation.”) A nice little legal disclaimer.
    Ted Chabasinski put this up in 2013 – I don’t know if it was in an MIA article, it may have been and would be in the archives

  • Another example of Pies’ muddy thinking where he touts, and produces, `scientific evidence’ to support his case then, in almost the same paragraph tells us that it is experience and observation that is the key. He so often tries to play all hands at once but seems incapable of seeing it.
    Re LOBOTOMY “- psychosurgery is back with a new name—neurosurgery for mental disorders—and with renewed confidence in its benefits.” (now Cingulotomy and capsulotomy or even more respectable, “small lesions”)
    Two technologies are now available that produce small lesions in the brain:
    1. Stereotactic microablation (late 1960s)
    2. The gamma knife (no burr holes necessary) irradiates small intracranial targets (brain tissue) with gamma ray photons. Instead of burning or freezing brain particles, gamma radiation deranges molecules in the target cells so that they can no longer survive.
    !!!! This, plus the ongoing and increasing PR campaign to change the image of ECT might be a worrying consequence of discrediting the drugs. They’ve got to have SOME miracles, it seems.

  • This is the path we need to follow but I fear it isn’t available for most people. The cost, the availability, the quality of private therapists is beyond the reach of many, particularly those whose difficulties came about as a result of poverty and disadvantage. The entire system mitigates against those with severe states.

  • Ron Pies doesn’t indulge in clear thinking. Have a look at some of his attacks on Phil Hickey as well, when Phil took him apart for his famous 2012 claim that `the chemical imbalance’ was an `urban myth’ that nobody important had ever really supported. Of course Phil and many others demolished that, but the most telling thing was that he set himself up AGAIN and was demolished again. This is a thought leader of psychiatry?

  • .`..he claimed a superior ability to judge the effects of psychiatric medication because of his work with patients. So apparently anecdotal evidence is important, but only if it doesn’t contradict Dr. Pies. SPOT ON!
    Another problem is that psychiatrists will DIAGNOSE the `schizophrenia’ etc but since they spend no more 10 minutes at a time with most of their patients, it could be said that that SEE them but they don’t actually KNOW them at all. I wonder how many times Dr Pies has sat with a patient over a period of hours per day for several weeks? I have, and they were some of the most wonderful, insightful and courageous, `severely impaired,’ `profound[ly] suffering’, `the ravages of schizophrenia’, people I have ever known. `Critics of psychiatry who have never spent time with patients and families coping with the simply do not grasp the human tragedy of this illness.—in which antipsychotic medication usually plays an important role’ in maintaining a dreadful QOL. I suggest most psychiatrists belong more to those who never spent time with these suffering people partly because they write them of as incurable, chronic uninteresting detritus to be drugged to a standstill and not bother anyone, particuar
    ly them.

  • Sadly Dr Pies, a leader in `thought’ in the profession, appears to have a talent for self delusion and an untidy mind. I read many of his articles in the Psychiatric Times and often comment. In a similar earlier support for Antipsychotics piece, Dr Pies claimed (Feb 2016) `Recently, the blogosphere has been buzzing with controversy regarding the use of maintenance antipsychotic treatment.’ and goes on to say, `I would argue that interpreting these complex studies requires an in-depth understanding of medical research design, psychopharmacology, and the numerous confounds that can affect treatment outcome. Unfortunately, A LACK OF MEDICAL TRAINING has not stopped a few critics from confidently charging that psychiatrists are harming their patients by prescribing long-term AP treatment.’
    My response was, `Surely you’re not suggesting, Dr Pies, that people without medical training do not have an understanding of research design, psychopharmacology and confounds. Research design is a major part and dare I say, proportionately greater percentage of many disciplines other than traditional medicine… there is a large group of highly scientifically trained researchers who might be surprised to be told that their observations are inadequate because they have not qualified as medical doctors. I’m not sure but appears to be a tiny whiff of a suggestion that there is a conspiracy by these inadequate critics to undermine psychiatry?” Of course he ignores that there is araft of work coming from doctors and psychiatrists that expose all the neuroleptics.
    His writing is littered with contradictions, unfounded assertions and poor research and he sets himself up to be knocked off all the time, BUT he is highly influential in that he has The Psychiatric Times as a personal forum and it is very popular among his colleagues, many of whom appear to have similar problems with criticism and clear thinking.
    It is essential that this man and other muddy thinking psychiatric leaders with their shoddy/fraudulent “research” be exposed for the pseudoscience it is, continuously, without respite, by everyone, including `renegade’ journalists. Thank you Robert!

  • Perhaps we could remind the good senators that “The American Psychiatric Association {said] in no uncertain terms that psychiatrists had absolutely no ability to predict dangerousness .
    The Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK has also denied responsibility in predicting dangerousness.
    In 1983, Alex Pokorny conducted a large study of the prediction of suicide of 4,800 individuals who were being admitted for psychiatric services in a United States hospital. He was unable to find any combination of clinical or other factors that could be used in practice, concluding that there were no methods to predict particular suicides “before the fact”…
    It is also difficult to predict who will be at risk of harming others because of the low rate of violence among those with severe mental health problems, compared with other groups. MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment research suggested that a diagnosis of severe mental illness, in particular a diagnosis of schizophrenia, was associated with a lower rate of violence…
    So on what grounds does the Murphy Bill base its claim that Compulsory Treatment in the community is required to keep the public and the `mentally ill’, safe?
    Does the Bill plan to extend compulsory supervision of ALL past patients under what sounds awfully like PAROLE for extended periods or permanently because there MIGHT be an incident? Even a convicted felon has a finite term of supervision and in Australia, e.g. while there is a desire to keep pedophiles locked up/down forever because they MIGHT re-offend, there is a significant Human Rights legal challenge to this and it won’t happen. But our Mental Health system (Australia) which already has a Murphy type Bill in place, can keep ex-patients forever tied to medication and `treatment’, and if people decide to challenge this they are imprisoned, often via the police breaking down the door, or snatching them off the streets, in a mental hospital and the drugs resumed and compliance restored. Consequently a large sub group of our population live in constant fear, is that what they want?

  • So did the new hero, Alan Frances! He preceded Biederman but seems to have very conveniently forgotten his very early endorsement of Risperidone then a new drug. He was paid a lot of money by Johnson & Johnson to develop their market. All this was happening DURING the writing of the DSM IV – conflict of interest? Corruption at the top?
    He also seems to have developed amnesia regarding the expansion of the diagnosis of ADHD whilst leader of the DSM IV team, which saw an incredible rise in the incidence and income relating to it. He re-endorsed it again in 2001 (I think) with the consequences we see now. Of course the use of the stimulants which so often induce psychosis has led to the explosion of bipolar – something that didn’t exist in children before the drugs. Then there’s Nemeroff! It is simply not possible to trust psychiatry, ever.

  • It is interesting that when David Healy talks about ECT he produces the exact same pseudoscience reasoning he deplores in those who support psychotropic drugs. Confirmation bias, True Believer Syndrome and denial as a defense of Cognitive Dissonance. I must point out that when one bad thing thing is worse than another, it just means that there are two bad things, not that the lesser evil is no longer an evil.
    Healy also points out that drug harm is far more common than ECT harm (which he also denies). Does this mean that we should judge damage by numbers? Let’s look at an analogy: sexual abuse in children is less common than physical abuse which is less common than emotional abuse. So sexual abuse goes onto the back burner while we tackle the greater numbers?
    In asking what we owe the warriors like Sue and Leonard, I suggest a practical campaign, in their name, perhaps “The Sue Clark-Wittenberg/Leonard Frank Foundation” dedicated to raising funds to abolish ECT. If a million ECT survivors and/or their families send $1, that is a million dollars. This is the sort of money that’s needed to pay for MRI scans and neuropsychological tests that expose the damage in the living. Also, when an ECT survivor dies, from any cause, at any age, the foundation would support the family in its demands for an autopsy of their brain. The evidence so graphically seen in Hartelius’ cats in 1952 would be proved in 2016 in humans.
    In doing this we could build a body of PROOF of the damage that is so glibly denied by the psychiatric establishment.
    Because ECT damage can now be seen in scans in many cases, psychiatry has mounted a series of studies that show definite `changes’ in the brain following ECT but they are attempting to claim that this is a GOOD thing, that too many connections between the frontal lobes and the rest of the brain is a cause of depression (see Moniz 1938 AND Perrin 2012) – (and `schizophrenia’ & `mania’ & catatonia, too?). They are quick on their feet when $5 billion a year is threatened. This campaign must be exposed before this becomes folklore.
    Since we are not getting past the current PR campaign (I know a press release when I see one) lording the benefits of ECT as the “best treatment available”, the “gold standard of treatment for depression”, by presenting the plethora of science that disagrees, we need another strategy. Maybe straight physical facts, in large indisputable numbers, measurable by existing science is one.

  • Ok you return mainly to the one source, Eliade, but you drop in others, McKenna’s books? Or Michael Harner’s…” all the while suggesting that the other person hasn’t read them or has done it for `entertainment’, and that to disagree with you he/she could be a…then you label, again with references to support your inferences.
    Do you think it possible that you are doing exactly what psychiatry does? Pulling out labels to categorise, putting the person into boxes where it is safe to ascribe to them a set of values, behaviours, and beliefs – in this case ethnocentric, secular humanist, atheist, none meant kindly. This would appear to be designed to give far more weight to your position by denigrating the personality and beliefs of the person who disagrees with you. That his/her opinions are less valuable than yours because he/she picked them up in far less erudite publications than you did, e.g. the National Enquirer, and that he/she is somehow lesser – “probably don’t believe in spiritual traditions anyway”. Why you should assume that someone who doesn’t believe in `spiritual traditions’ should be so, I don’t know.
    I suspect the two of you are coming from different positions. Rasselas seems to be talking about the reality of Shamans as they function in today’s world, you about the scholarly examination of an ancient phenomenon. As such it is possible that neither of you is right or wrong.
    As a person who IS an atheist and not of a spiritual disposition, (my right), it seems to me that so often the `scholarly approach’ to `spirituality’ is often a taking of the high ground in an intellectual justification of a set of beliefs that are, a) not disprovable, and b) exist beyond the on-the-ground experience of the people, and are used to control.
    For instance those who questioned the Christian faith were heretics, devil worshippers, witches, blasphemers, idolaters and, yes, atheists, all labels that distanced dissenters from the `good’. I’m not saying this is what you are doing but it does look a bit like it.
    I find what you’re saying about Shamanism very interesting, but what jars and annoys me is the way you’re doing it. I once had a similar experience with the editor of the Psychiatric Time who wrote a critique of a movie about a man’s psychological journey to `wellness’ which, interestingly, included a shaman connection. The critique said that the film was well made, then set out to attempt to discredit its content by devaluing the man who made it. The response I got avoided any reference to that and suggested that my comments were because I couldn’t have seen the movie. (A lovely straw man argument.)
    Please educate us Seth, but, both of you, keep it cool.

  • I’m afraid this discussion about shamanism and who is right or who is wrong has deteriorated in to a slanging, one-upmanship that is beneath this site. Rasselas. Redux you are abrasive and insulting and you, Seth, are pompous and insulting, and I doubt you are ever humble. Your ability to put down with a plethora of references assures us that you are well read. Surely you don’t have to continually blind us with your exalted intellect to make your case whilst insulting your critic’s sources.
    “I would be humble dealing with an authority, but you know a little of “shamanism” which you probably picked up in The National Enquirer and you present yourself as an authority–thus potentially leading people to avoid reading about an important spiritual tradition. You probably don’t believe in spiritual traditions anywayr.” This is totally unnecessary and I think, beneath you.
    You have fairly successfully alienated me at least.

  • Perhaps they are concerned about the bad publicity of seeing their SSRI `treated’ depressed running amok and murdering people. They have guns after all. And you know the fear all those who exercise power authorities have of finding themselves powerless, especially amongst the very people they abused? What does a policeman, psychiatrist, psych nurse feel when faced with the knowledge they need psychiatric `help’ and know full well what that `help’ looks like, and who they’ll meet? Suicidal?
    I knew a doctor who found herself a psych patient – the admitting nurse leaned across the desk into her face and said, “you’re not a doctor here.”

  • There was a time when I could engage in philosophical, intellectual discussions with ease, but 87 ECT treatments took care of that. My thinking is far more concrete, less subtle and ordered now compared with how I was before 2000. It took 3 years for me to realise that I could no longer follow an argument for more than a few minutes. Writing is better because I can back-track and see what I’ve said but even then…So I apologise if what I say is simplistic. It is yet another black mark against this `treatment’ that dropped a `gifted’ individual to `high average’, and was the result of an overnight suicidal reaction to Prozac (Rx for stress)- also got 13 years of antipsychotics etc for the bipolar I never had, when I never had a psychotic episode on my life. Now drug and psychiatry free x 3 years.

  • Hi Seth,
    We don’t disagree – I was taught everything you were, I just didn’t believe it, ever, any more than you do. I worked with people with “schizophrenia”, to a man with horror stories of their lives, who despite their being drugged to the eyeballs, produced a worthwhile program when nobody believed they could. I watched them flower in the program of theatre and art that I worked in, where they were valued and respected, and I watched 2 of the most talented of them kill themselves when that program stopped. I’ve spent the last 45 years saddened by the fate of the others, many of whom I counted my friends, including one of the most inspiring and courageous young women I have ever met, abandoned to the system to destroy. I will always carry some guilt for that.
    I had then and now NO RESPECT whatsoever for psychiatry – it is a brutal, destructive profession come down from the oppression of the patriarchal church and all the underlying savagery that went with that still exists today.
    How do we change it?
    A saleswoman told me of a woman who walked around the shopping centre. Everyone was afraid of – her stumbling walk, her facial twitches and blank stare and labelled her `mad’, turning, moving away and whispering. The salewoman proudly said she asked her once if she’d like a cup of tea. The woman sat with her and they talked, briefly. She was surprised that the woman seemed quite lucid, `for a sick person.’ I told her that ALL the `mad’ symptoms were almost certainly the results of the drugs the woman was taking. The Parkinson’s walk, expression, the Tardive Dyskinesia, the restlessness, Akathesia. I asked her to judge the woman on her lucid conversation, not her strange looks. She will spread that around the gossip spots. That is how we `get’ psychiatry. Tell people. That is all I can do.

  • Where I worked, Freud was comprehensively defrocked by the few psychiatrists who’d ever read his work by 1970- possibly because few of them had sufficient intellectual skills to actually read it. Many had not read much from any other psychotherapy source either. They dismissed philosophical discussions on just about anything and you didn’t have to be a psychoanalyst to dismiss the patients, everyone did. The drugs were already routine and while there were a few vague gestures made towards “rehabilitation” for “schizophrenia”, it wasn’t taken seriously. The more cynical called these efforts “institutionalisation training”.
    I have to say though, we believed that the drugs would help. We thought we were doing the right thing, at least, at first. But from 1973-1975 when I walked away, I worked in a unit where we realised how nasty they were and reduced or withheld them altogether. We also worked with families, social interventions and PSYCHOTHERAPY (the eclectic kind), but were hamstrung by the administration.
    As for half the mad getting better, I based that on the 19th century moral treatment records, on WHO’s surveys in Nigeria, Colombia and India, Robert Whitaker’s figures taken from records before neuroleptics 1945-55, Harrow’s and Wunderink’s studies and Open Dialogue records. I think Soteria House predicted similar outcomes. And none of the figures on recovery include those who have had a psychotic break and somehow steered clear of psychiatrists AND psychologists, ((who traditionally don’t want to deal with psychosis either, so pass them on to the system), and recovered by themselves. We just don’t know but figures coming out through Hearing Voices suggest quite large numbers of people who live normal productive lives could fit the criteria for “madness”.
    But I don’t think we can blame “madness” on psychiatrists. Something had to go wrong first. That they make it worse and create more of it after the initial events, certainly. I want to go on record that I have absolutely NO TIME for psychiatry, I desperately want to see the entire profession shut down as the amoral, venal, close-minded, pseudoscientific criminal organisation that it is, and would like to see some sort of organised alternative in place.

  • Please don’t apologise for your passion. There’s a lot of esoteric, philosophising around that sounds great and is interesting but it doesn’t go anywhere. Discussing the attributes, defintions etc of anti- psychiatry can be, to me, at least, much the same as the psychiatrists who sit around devising one `study’ after another to prove that they can. A group stroking session.
    I, too, am a bullshit hater. I have come up with one suggestion after another here and in other places, about practical ways of `getting’ psychiatry – every one has been ignored. I’m not even told to forget it, it won’t work, or that it’s a stupid idea – nothing. I wonder if these sites don’t want practical solutions/suggestions because if we actually DID stop psychiatry, the forum wouldn’t be needed any more and then what would people do?

  • Okay Seth. I think you’ve established you know far more about Freudianism than I do. I don’t have a doctorate, I never had years of theoretical discussion before finding myself in front of terribly distressed people, armed with a few books and a whole lot of colleagues telling me you couldn’t talk to “schizos”, just drug “em and hand them over to the social worker. I found you could talk to “schizos” and a lot of what they said made sense.
    But here I was guilty of using a label, “Analysis”, to describe something without really knowing all the details – a common failing in psychiatry I think – so I thank you for pointing that out, as well as clarifying your position, and educating me on Freudianism, What I really meant was intensive, one to one, long term psychotherapy as a possibility pathway for people diagnosed with “schizophrenia”. It would not be an option for everyone, or even suitable for everyone, but maybe for some. (Thanks also for the update on Sullivan – some of that was forgotten knowledge and again I was careless.)
    As for the blaming of parents, as I saw it in the late 60s that was the basis for the rise of bio-psychiatry. All those upset parents saying, “but I loved him/her, so don’t blame me,” got to the doctors who maybe had issues of their own, and it all became, “of course it’s not your fault, it’s the `chemical imbalance and`in the genes”. So it was easy to expand that because the people wanted to hear it.
    Mt experience in talking to the “sick” one and their families, was that very often it WAS the parents, and we seem to be returning to that, at least to some degree. The issue now seems to be how to blame, not whether to blame. We are the product of our childhoods after all so maybe they got that right.
    Indeed, were they worse than the alternative which has condemned “the mad to the eternal hell” of being at the mercy of their genes and brain chemicals, and being forced to take crippling drugs, face early death and a hopelessness so profound that it makes “not being able to form intimate relationships” look like a good outcome? The Freudians may have confirmed the “predestined” nature of “schizophrenia” but didn’t they essentially leave them alone? This at least allowed about half of them to get better. Today’s “treatment” stops them getting better. So now we have a “predestined” condition which is iatrogenically exacerbated by the “treatment”.
    As I’ve said, those who did embark on long term, one on one, intensive psychotherapy may or may not have considered themselves Freudian, but what they actually said and did inside their sessions could be labelled anything – as we agreed, the relationship is the vital element.