This is so sad. I read every comment on this site for several years and learned a lot from what Stephen had to say. Whenever some of the other commenters would make unkind generalizations about peer workers (beyond mere criticisms of the psychiatric peer system itself), it never sat well with me because I would always think of Stephen, and of his decency and commitment. I always found his presence here comforting. Miss you, Stephen. Thank you <3
This is so sad. I read every comment on this site for several years and learned a lot from what Stephen had to say. Whenever some of the other commenters would make unkind generalizations about peer workers (beyond mere criticisms of the psychiatric peer system itself), it never sat well with me because I would always think of Stephen, and of his decency and commitment. I always found his presence here comforting.
Miss you, Stephen. Thank you <3
Whoever fights spammers should see to it that in the process he does not become a spammer. And if you gaze long enough into the spam, the spam will gaze back into you.
You made a good point about the comments to the forum announcement being locked, but now you are undermining your own point by spamming and having a temper tantrum.
What makes you want to change the subject whenever anyone talks about racial discrimination?
It’s not about “political correctness” when a person experiences post-traumatic stress responses.
Psychological trauma is real. Claiming that it isn’t is ableist and ignorant.
Removed for moderation.
Ok I’ll never mention abortion again for fear of what Dragonslayer might say.
You had no idea that your rabidly right-wing pal would jump at the chance to talk about the “evil” of abortion once you brought it up. Ok.
Where’s that upvote feature when I need it?
Tell it, Richard.
The wikipedia definition is so broad that it would classify everything as identity politics.
I don’t find Bonnie’s comment ridiculous at all. In fact, I think it was something that needed to be said and was long overdue.
Marxism can be critiqued as a brand of identity politics itself when it comes to proletariat versus bourgeoisie.
Not really. Marxian class analysis is about relationship to the means of production.
You literally have no idea what you are talking about right now.
LS, Nothing was misplaced. It wasn’t about you. But you are being drawn into arguments that are really about something other than what they appear to be on the surface. Do with that information what you will.
Did someone here actually say that anyone but survivors should be centered in the survivors’ movement (which is not the same as anti-psychiatry activism)? Nope. This “discussion” is all about individual ego clashes and It’s not what it seems on the surface.I’m calling it out because I am tired of reading this manipulative shit every time I look at MiA.
I have seen you in discussions with him over the formation of an antipscychiatry organization when you argued for less rights for people in the organization if they were not psychiatric survivors, and Richard was uneasy with that. That surely is a type of identity politics that goes beyond the prioritizing of the goals of a specific movement–and that is an example of the type of identity politics that not everyone is happy with. I am somewhat at a loss for understanding why you keep pushing Richard for a definition when the disagreements between the two of you have come up often and have been pretty clear.
Finally some reality.
Individualism has been canceled.
I think that the way your statement is worded makes it come off like an anti-LGBT dog-whistle.
the sort of personal self-indulgence that leads so many relatively privileged people to consider their social and sex lives to be of revolutionary significance comparable to that of, oh, global racism and imperialism, for example.
Can you give some examples of what you mean?
Richard didn’t say that non-women can know exactly what it’s like to be a woman; he said that anyone can be a feminist and understand the social conditions that women face.
You can either build alliances with other anti-oppression movements or you can coddle the people celebrating the oppression, but you can’t do both.
Even on purely pragmatic level–and I have other reasons besides pragmatism here–we need allies to get rid of psychiatry. And you don’t get allies unless you care and show in your actions that you care about other oppressions besides that one with which you are most concerned.
This comment is so refreshing to read on MiA. Here’s Bonnie once again with the good take.
It’s pretty much the definition of a personal attack that this person is doing. It’s defamation.
Nope. You’re not the only one, out.
Some people actually do have psychological problems that they need and want help with, Frank.
Omg that made me laugh.
Jumping to conclusions a little bit?
the subjective nuances of their personal and sexual lives
I don’t know what you mean by this. I want to ask you, though, are you unaware that the phrase ‘identity politics’ is often used to dismiss the concerns of minorities in exactly the same way that the phrase ‘political correctness’ is used to do the same?
Richard, if you recall, I was also critical of Sera’s arguments in that discussion from the earlier blog, but i think she is making an important point here about the phrase ‘identity politics.’ I think we needs to recognize that it has many different meanings at this point, and one of them is absolutely a catch-all to dismiss the concerns of minorities in the exact same way that the phrase ‘political correctness’ is so used.
It is for this reason that when I have used the phrase ‘identity politics’ in the past I have tried to include a modifier such as ‘bourgeois’ or ‘neoliberal’ in an attempt to make clear that I am talking about tokenism and political opportunism based on the minority status of individuals rather than dismissing the collective concerns of minority groups.
You have been using the phrase ‘identity politics’ in the same sweeping way that Adolph Reed uses it and I think that should be cause for concern since this usage leads to all sorts of reactionary errors.
I can’t think of anyone better suited to taking over the role of moderator here.
Conspiracy theories about Jews do not deserve a platform anywhere.
Yeah, one of the links was some shit about a “Jewish plot.”
I don’t want to see nazi shit here.
They are simply people who believe that rank and status and group membership is more important than what is true or effective or good for the whole society. Authoritarians believe that they need to follow the directives and ideas of those who are perceived as “above” them in the hierarchy, and in exchange, expect obedience from those below.
This is the opposite of socialism.
Yeah, working class men are taught to sacrifice themselves, whether through overworking their bodies until they fall apart or through dying in war. What they are not taught is that they are doing this so that the owning class can acquire more wealth.
Yay! MiA put the phrase ‘mental illness’ in quotes again, as it should be! Please keep it up. <3
real men fight back crybaby crap won’t help anything.
“Which young men were more likely to think about suicide? Those who believed in a version of manhood associated with being tough”
They are interconnected.
Is it that he doesn’t know, or is it that he doesn’t care?
This recovery from an “illness model” doesn’t exclude fidelity to a “traumatic injury model”
Because they actually know what they are talking about.
I see this as a good thing as it subverts psychiatric hegemony. It even includes an introduction to antipsychiatry by Bonnie Burstow, so i don’t quite understand why anyone has a problem with it from an anti-psychiatry point of view.
LGBTQ propaganda and dogma
This isn’t even a thing.
Where’s uprising when we need him?
For the record, I prefer not to be gendered. Up until now, I’ve had a policy of ignoring pronouns, but now I am asking people to use “they/them” for me. Thanks.
What does that even mean?
Hard nope on that one, Frank.
I just ran into the Zizek quote randomlly…and it seemed relavent to this ‘discussion’.
I think that the point you were trying to make – that neoliberal identity politics (i.e. tokenism and “intersectionality” without a critique of capitalist exploitation of the working class) is a distraction from the economic system that negatively affects most of us – is highly relevant to this discussion. Unfortunately, Zizek seems to buy into the brocialist idea that we can’t critique capitalism and also defend sexual and gender minorities.
Saying that cigarettes and junk food are inherently bad for your health is not the same thing as shaming anyone.
Oh boy… Why not? We’ve already got prostitution, Chomsky, smoking, Zizek…
Emily, I seem to disagree with your viewpoint here, but I want you to know that if I misrepresented your position on anything it was not intentional.
As for smoking, yes – I maintain that smoking’s usefulness as a harm reduction measure for some individuals in specific circumstances does not make cigarettes good for me, you, or anyone. I was a smoker for a long time and I used smoking as a coping method myself, but that doesn’t change the fact that cigarettes are horrible for one’s health.
I think he considers himself an anarcho-syndicalist. He seems to value Marx’s work hardly at all and to constantly talk up Bakunin. Perhaps because of this influence, he’s also a very black-and-white thinker when it comes to the Soviet Union and other experiments at socialism.
Maybe it depends on where you live. I have been in places where it was considered perfectly normal and I have been in other places where it was taken as a sign that the smoker lacked discipline, was unhealthy, was a lowlife, was poor, was uneducated, or any other number of things.
But again, I think the original point of bringing up smoking in this context was to say that most people would not claim that smoking cigarettes is good for you just because some individuals find it useful as a coping method or because they enjoy it.
Most of these differences are valid, but they are beside the point.
There is no similar association that cigarette smokers are somehow inadequate in some part of their lives that is reflected in their smoking.
Really? That wasn’t my experience as a smoker.
Chomsky has some good takes once in a while, but it is ironic to quote him in criticism of someone else’s theory (or lack thereof). Chomsky is an anti-Marxist with a knee-jerk reflex for Cold War era anti-communism.
(like the obligatory naming of different sexual identities, with legal measures taken if one violates them)
This isn’t a thing, and the criticisms of Sanders from some LGBT people and feminists probably had more to do with the fact they are neoliberals than it did with their LGBT or feminist status. And sometimes I think that Zizek is a closet reactionary.
I agree with you about cigarettes, though. Was about to make the same analogy.
Also, no – ECT should be straight up banned, no exceptions.
This is another example of hyper-individualism: Some individuals find sex work empowering, therefore sex work must be empowering to women as a class or to sex workers as a class. This position reeks of middle-class privilege, to be quite honest. “Survival sex work” is a thing, and I would guess that most people who do it would rather not. As the name implies, they do it because they are poor and have no other way to survive.
That said, I think that sex work should be decriminalized because I agree that its criminalization puts sex workers at greater risk. We’ve seen that with the recent bill that was ostensibly designed to combat online sex trafficking, but has had the real world effect of making it harder for sex workers to vet their clients, thus putting them in much greater physical danger.
Prior your last comment, you hadn’t said anything here about conversion therapy except that you thought it should be legal and that people should have the “right” to choose it. I’m sure you can understand why that might have been seen as alarming.
As far as junk food, perhaps I misunderstood, but the message seemed to be that we should not even use the words “healthy” or “unhealthy” to describe junk food because sometimes people use it as a coping mechanism, thus making it beneficial to one’s overall health in your view, despite the fact that junk food is destructive to the human body.
There are plenty of LGBTQ people who choose to go to conversion therapy, and I think that should be legal/they should have the right to make that decision.
I’m surprised to see you write this, Emily. “Conversion therapy” is straight up abusive quackery and that’s why it is increasingly being banned for minors in various locations across the country. It should not be allowed to present itself as a valid “therapy” merely because some individuals may desire it, just like junk food is not nutritious merely because some individuals may desire it. I hope you can see how your consumerist, “freedom of choice” stance is problematic here.
Some people argue that weight gain leads to potentially terminal illnesses or conditions. Numerous academics and researchers have done extensive work refuting these arguments.
Can you provide sources for this, please?
While I strongly agree with what I take to be the main points of the article – that fat shaming is abusive and that appointing oneself the diet police for any other person is a shitty thing to do – I also feel that this article goes too far in the direction of post-modernism and in doing so unwittingly carries water for proponents
More specifically, I think it is a mistake to act as if all food is created equal because it is not. It’s true that the most toxic, most nutrient deficient food can be useful to an individual if nothing else is available or if they are using food as a coping mechanism, but that doesn’t make that food beneficial in terms of nutrition. We can respect an individual’s choices while also respecting the right of all humans to good nutrition.
If every corporate product branded as ‘food’ is beyond criticism because I personally happen to like the taste of it or use it as a coping mechanism, then I cannot also – for example – criticize the Reagan administration for having said that ketchup counts as a vegetable for school lunches. But ketchup is not a vegetable and it’s not a suitable replacement for one.
I feel that this article strays into hyper-individualism and its overall message suffers for it.
No wonder this generation is the most abysmal in history. Can’t even come up with original ideas but have to reanimate the corpses of people who wrote before they were born. Truly sad. No wonder most of them can’t find jobs or homes outside mom’s basement ;).
Riiight. I’m sure it has nothing at all to do with the economy.
And yet you also don’t seem to like the Power Threat Meaning idea either. Your version of anti-psychiatry seems to boil down to “bootstraps until the revolution” for anyone who has been traumatized and needs/wants help. This idea that we are all so different from each other that we cannot possibly notice common patterns of reaction to adversity is surprisingly individualistic for a leftist, no?
Read Mad in America next if you haven’t already. It provides the context for Anatomy.
What is TINA?
“There is no alternative” [to capitalism].
B-but… muh free will. Muh personal responsibility…
I also believe that many people (but not all) who go on benzodiazepines know they are physically addictive (just as many people who drink alcohol heavily know that it’s physically addictive), yet are willing to take the risk anyway. I don’t know the explanation for this
Haha… Yeah – it’s a complete mystery why patients think a medication is safe when a doctor has explicitly told them that it is safe.
I knew they were addictive, but I also knew I wasn’t abusing them, so falsely took comfort in that that was the only way they could cause me issues. I had no idea that taking them exactly as prescribed, daily by my psychiatrist, was actually putting me at THE MOST risk for physical dependence and a subsequent withdrawal syndrome.
You hear iatrogenically-ill benzo patients in the withdrawal support communities all the time saying, “my doctor told me they were addictive but said I would be safe taking them because I didn’t have an addictive personality”
This is exactly what happened to me.
Anyone else initially misread the title as “Drugmaker Group Sex Lobbying Record”?
Thank you for the summary, Philip. I think the PTM Framework is a very positive development.
Comment removed for moderation
What is it about all this that bothers you?
Turns out that some leftists get miffed when someone is shit-talking leftists and trying to downplay distinctions of class and privilege. I’m just waiting for you to say “All Lives Matter” or bring up”affluenza” at this point.
While I’m sure Richard Lewis would wholeheartedly agree with my position in theory, I detect a real emphasis on his part on societal sources of oppression (capitalism, for example) over oppression within the family
Oppression within the family is not separate from oppression in the greater society.
As far as your personal definition of ‘leftist,’ I haven’t seen it because I was somehow unsubscribed to this blog for a while, That’s not your fault, but I don’t have time to comb through all the comments to find what I presume based on your subsequent comments to be an erroneous take.
And no, I don’t have any particular interest in insulting you. I just don’t like what you are trying to do here.
I literally can never get anyone to agree with me that middle and upper-class kids are at risk for anything more than being spoiled. There are many who flat out deny that “rich kids” are eligible for real problems, but there are even more folks who can’t refute what I say but nevertheless are uncomfortable with it. (These people are invariably died-in-the-wool lefties, by the way, and despite their vein-popping rants about oppression and disenfranchisement, I’m convinced that all or most of their outrage is just so much virtue signaling. If it weren’t, they would have something–SOMETHING–to say about the disenfranchisement and vulnerability of kids as a group. Alas, it’s just crickets from them on this topic.)
Or maybe they just don’t want to talk to you because you aggressively make these sweeping and insulting generalizations about people (e.g., “leftists”). You showed up here like you were making some kind of brave stand for abused kids, but the view that children of all backgrounds are vulnerable to abuse is uncontroversial here in the first place.
Regarding Alice Miller, what I never understood is why she didn’t like forgiveness and reconsiliation. I mean, I understood why she fought against it, because the first and most important thing is to recognize abuse and to differentiate clearly between the offender and the victim and refrain from any kind of victim blaming. And the victim needs to be heard and feel his/her anger and rage etc. But from my own experience the only real way to healing as a victim, meaning to find back into one’s strength and to become independent and free again (or for the first time in your life), is to settle the case and reach some sort of acceptance. If not, one is prone to become that what one hated in their offender. Its a vicious cycle.
Victims of abuse should never be expected to forgive. If forgiveness comes about naturally in the process of working through trauma, then that is wonderful, but this idea that victims of abuse who don’t forgive their abusers will end up being abusers themselves is unfounded and damaging to those who have been abused.
Uprising, you are not adding to the conversation or even asking helpful questions.
Sorry, Miss Daisy.
Also, I’m about sick of hearing from you what “leftists” (so far undefined?) need education on. Privileged people generally hate to be told that they are privileged.
Material poverty is usually what people mean when they use the word “poverty.”
Okay, you’re right in that I shouldn’t have said all your premises are flawed. Due to the lack of paragraph breaks, I must have missed the points you just repeated to me. I actually agree with them. What I meant to say earlier is that your take on “leftism” is flawed and your rage against “leftists” is misguided.
I think that you are making a lot of faulty assumptions about Richard’s views and I also think that you don’t understand class analysis.
even as this model inflicts its own trauma on the children of materially comfortable classes by denying that those children are eligible for problems deserving of real sympathy
This is a strawman argument. In fact most (all?) of the premises in your comment are flawed. Any conclusions following from them will be similarly flawed.
edit: Also, please use paragraph breaks.
I’m so sorry that happened to you. 🙁 You have nothing at all to be ashamed about. We are all doing the best we can.
I’m not informed enough to have an opinion on this topic, but as someone who is trying to learn, I would appreciate it if those who agree with the blog would address the actual points that Au Valencia made in their rebuttal. So far, I feel that Au Valencia has made a more compelling argument overall than the blog and its supporters have made.
pushed by the Hearing Voices Network
Last time I checked, the Hearing Voices Network wasn’t mandatory.
Great song, Richard, and good job putting psychiatric oppression into context.
The blog is about corporate pathologization of normal human ways of being that happen to be inconvenient for business. If you don’t see how that belongs on MiA, then I don’t know what to tell you. I also really appreciate that Megan named capitalism as the root problem.
Psychiatry claims to be based on biology.
Psychiatry is bad.
Therefore, biology is bad.
If someone says, “I’ve had bad pills but I’ve also had some that helped,” then my response is, “Good for you!” Psych drugs have wrecked my life, but I don’t personally care what other people ingest as long as they are getting informed consent and they are not promoting the chemical imbalance myth.
Do you see me discrediting anyone who has been damaged by therapy? Nope. I think that the inherent power imbalance in therapy is dangerous, but that doesn’t make therapy completely worthless. I think that the anti-therapy position is misguided and myopic, and I wonder why you would want me to not get therapy when I am telling you that I find it helpful at times.
I’ve experienced “therapy” that was as bad as you’ve described, but I’ve also experienced therapy that was very helpful.
This is definitely one of the most practically useful blogs I’ve ever seen on MiA. Thank you!
Uprising is actually, in this rare occasion, correct.
Cool story, bro.
There is a long history of blogs and comments on MiA that talk about recovery from psych drug damage. I’ve never seen such a message of recovery met with anything but a positive response. The only way that your blog is going against the grain here is in minimizing the dangers of the drugs.
My responses have been to people apparently believing that to suggest all hope is not lost is somehow oppressive.
Who said anything like that?
Exasperation is what I was going for there. I reject your framing of the situation as people being angry about Kelmenson’s suggestion that drug damage isn’t always permanent and that there is reason for hope.
Kelmenson may understate the true destructiveness of psych drugs.
No. He *is* understating the true destructiveness of psych drugs.