Thursday, July 29, 2021

Comments by Caroline Colwill

Showing 163 of 163 comments.

  • Thanks so much for that, Kindred! Maybe since I was considered unable to have gainful employment even while on high doses of all kinds of drugs, the fact that I am now on low doses (with the help of my psychiatrist) wouldn’t be held against me.

    I have so little physical energy now, because of taking high doses of antipsychotics, that I really don’t qualify for the average job. Maybe Social Security reviewers would call that the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, or depression. I don’t think I’ll work myself up about convincing them that I believe it was actually caused by the psychiatric drugs.

    The whole US requirement to take psychiatric drugs is truly barbaric. It would be great if the truth about these toxic drugs was commonly known, so that no one would be required to ever take them for any reason.

  • evan,

    Thank you for your insights. I haven’t yet had a full medical review, just the paper form. I am still waiting to hear whether or not they are going to do a full medical review.


    Thank you for your encouragement. I do hope to be completely off of antipsychotics prior to getting a job. I just hope that I am one of the lucky ones who continues to improve, rather than developing super-sensitivity psychosis. That would be a disaster!

  • Hi Joanna,

    Thank you for sharing your insights. I have actually been working on coming off of antipsychotics very gradually for a while now, because they are so toxic, as you mentioned. I am almost totally off of them.
    It is for that reason that I have felt my mind and creativity coming back, and feel able to get a career degree. I do worry with the rules and regulations of SSI Disability that they would cut me off for not taking any psychiatric drugs. However, I am hoping to actually get a decent job in a couple of years, and I am planning on continuing my tapering until I am totally off of all psychiatric drugs.

    I wouldn’t expect any marriage to be perfect, but I feel it should be right for both people. Even my friends with good marriages have to work at it. And I am okay being single, if that’s how things work out for me. When I was younger, I felt a lot more social pressure to get married, but I don’t really care so much anymore.

  • Great points, sam! My sister actually needed sloped sidewalks, etc., to go to school, etc., because she used a wheelchair or leg braces and crutches. I guess for the sake of ease of conversation, you can call someone with physical differences disabled. But growing up as a child, I never thought of my sister as disabled, especially the way some people do. You are right that a lot has been done to accommodate people with physical differences, but people who end up mixed up with psychiatry are given drugs and labels. And how exactly does that help anyone? You are so right that it is all about the money. Nobody makes money from a sloped sidewalk, other than maybe construction workers, and not much at that.

  • I did read it again, as you suggested. While there are some interesting ideas in this piece, he seems to label the “mentally ill” as “people with mental disabilities.” I guess I take issue with that. Mental differences aren’t fundamentally disabilities. This is a designation that is in line with mainstream psychiatric/psychological thinking. Psychiatric drugs can certainly make people disabled. The way that mental patients are treated can make people disabled. I guess I even take issue with the term “disabled” on some level. Disability only really exists to the extent that certain people are considered a burden, and unable to be profitable, “productive” members of society. I guess that goes along somewhat with what he says about neoliberalism.

    But what about someone like Elyn Saks, who considers herself a schizophrenic and takes psychiatric drugs, but is working as a professor at USC. Is she “mentally ill” or a “person with mental disabilities”? She has a job, but I think her simple designation as a “mentally ill” person puts her in the “other” category.

  • Hi Jeffrey,

    Thank you for sharing your article. It is criminal that children are put on psychiatric drugs. It’s bad enough that adults are tricked and forced into it, but exploiting children like that is even worse. I am so sorry for all that you have been through.

    I can’t imagine having to go through a disability review once a year, much less having to actually deal with people for it. I am on SSI Disability, and I only get reviewed once every three years, because I was diagnosed with “schizophrenia,” and the fact that I still see a psychiatrist who is helping me off the drugs. One of the things that actually inhibited me from coming off the psychiatric drugs was the thought of losing my survival money before being ready and able to get a decent job. I just had a mail review and filled out my reason for seeing my doctor as “antipsychotic.” I have actually called social security a few times with no info about whether or not I have been approved.

    The punishment that people who are on disability have to go through for the tiniest bit of survival money is inhuman. Personally, I am in favor of a universal basic income, so that people wouldn’t have to go through Hell just to get survival money.

    I am fortunate in that my parents let me live with them, and we get along pretty well now, but they won’t live forever, and I also would like more money than to just survive. When I was your age, I went to college for a time with government college grants for poor people, just for the sake of getting some education. I never envisioned myself actually getting a job, because of all of the brainwashing of mental health professionals. I have sometimes applied for jobs, dreaming that I would actually have enough energy to go to an office for 40 hours a week after ten years on antipsychotics, but with no success. If I had the energy, I guess I could work as a bagger at a grocery store, but that doesn’t actually pay enough to support yourself. My current plan is to go back to community college and get a career degree in web development. It will allow me to work from home with flexible hours. But it has taken me a long time to get to this point.

    My sister Anne, who was two-and-a-half years older than me had spina bifida and was paralyzed from the waist down. She used ostomy bags too. But she was still my absolute favorite person in the whole wide world. Other than that, as far as online dating goes, I have tried that too without success. I don’t feel like that is always the best way to meet people. One of my cousins suggested to me that I might end up meeting someone in a grocery store. Personally, if I end up single for my whole life, I would prefer that over being in a marriage that wasn’t meant to be.

  • Hi Jeffrey,

    I would be delighted to be your email friend, as long as you don’t mind being friends with an older person who has experienced SSRI induced florid psychosis. MIA has my email, so maybe they can give it to you.

    What is CDR? Maybe it’s some sort of a government “benefits” thing? I have had a lot of difficulty with government benefits as well, though I am not familiar with CDR.

    I am hoping and praying for your miracle.



  • I quite agree with your sentiments about religion. There are certainly plenty of people who do believe in a cruel and punishing God. I have wondered about that myself sometimes. Although I do believe in a loving God who doesn’t expect people to be “perfect” or religious or anything, there is still this problem of the suffering that exists on this earth. If God is so loving, then why? Sometimes I think that so much suffering is man-made and doesn’t have to exist if we were all just more loving. On the other hand, there is the fact of things like the loss of loved ones, natural disasters, etc. I really wrestle with these problems personally, and don’t have any great answers. In my ideal vision of God, though, in the times when I do believe in God, I feel that he does love everyone, even though I have no good answers about how a loving God could allow so much suffering.

    That is so funny about that joke. I have actually been trying to work on an essay about the god-complex of psychiatrists. If God is indeed a cruel and punishing God, then who could better represent him, but psychiatrists?

  • In some ways, categorizing and comparing people for any reason is going to create winners and losers and haves and have nots, even if it’s some elusive, unwritten rules and regulations about how best to treat people. Jesus even admonished his followers not to call anyone “teacher” or “father,” because, “You have One Teacher… and One Father who is in Heaven.” Some honorifics are so common that perhaps people don’t think much about them.

    In some ways, I really don’t care if I have to call my current psychiatrist “Dr. Last Name,” as long as he continues helping me off of psychiatric drugs, and doesn’t make me go to the “hospital.” Maybe that’s being submissive. I guess I would rather be submissive for a time, rather than end up in a “hospital,” institution, “community housing,” homeless shelter. Negotiating social interactions can be so complicated.

    There is this saying, I am not sure if it originated in Catholicism or not, but I heard it at Church one time, that we are called to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. I kind of like that general rule of thumb. On the other hand, someone who appears to be too comfortable may actually be afflicted in some horrible way.

  • Great article! It would be something of a miracle if a psychiatrist actually believed a patient about withdrawal effects. I have felt that gradually (more gradually than what my psychiatrist wanted) reducing antipsychotics has been very helpful for me. But a 25 percent reduction of the maximum dose of ssri antidepressants months ago, after having taken them for 18 years, still leaves me with some pretty bad insomnia. When I told my psychiatrist about that withdrawal effect, he attributed it to things going on in my life. When I told the therapist about it just recently, I also told her that he didn’t agree. I called it a “difference of opinion.” I figured if I told her that I felt really strongly that I was right and he was wrong, she might have told him something really bad about me, and I could have ended up taking more drugs or being “hospitalized.”

  • Are you just bragging?


    Caroline Colwill GED, AA

    Some of this research into what’s mentally wrong with lesser humans by middle-class people reminds me somewhat of those people who flew over the savages in helicopters in Brave New World to stare at them and talk about how inhuman they were compared to themselves. Why couldn’t the savages just get it together and live like normal people? But in Brave New World, it was the normal people who took their Soma.

    Do poor and marginalized people ever actually do anything right?

  • I read a story about a “hyperactive” boy. He was always tapping his hands and a pencil on his desk. He was severely reprimanded by a teacher for this. He did everything in his power to not tap his hands, including sitting on them, but he couldn’t help it.

    One day, another teacher approached him about it. He was afraid he would get in trouble again. Instead, this teacher asked him if he had ever considered playing the drums. He went on to learn how to play drums and ended up playing drums in a rock band.

    This idea that all children (or adults) should be nearly or totally identical in behavior is ludicrous. Even if doctors don’t stoop to the level of putting children on drugs, saying that any childhood behavior that deviates from some arbitrary norm is a problem fails to see the unique value in every child, and may prevent someone from becoming a rock star drummer.

  • This was a really interesting article. He makes a lot of good points. I don’t see a problem with work in itself, but the economic drivers, both in policy making and on the individual level.

    When countries’ only or primary goal is to grow their economies, it is inevitable that you will end up with incredibly wasteful and/or destructive projects and work. They psycho-pharmaceutical industry is a good example. Despite whatever destruction it wreaks in people’s lives, its ability to boost the GDP probably makes it politically untouchable. What politicians want to touch highly profitable, but wasteful and/or destructive industries, and perhaps make the US economy number two in the world or number ten?

    Because so many people have to work jobs they hate under terrible working conditions, they may never be able to develop their God-given gifts and talents, not only in the realm of paid work, but in terms of becoming who they were truly meant to be and having life and having it to the full. How many great innovators and artists will never be able to make their mark on the world, because they’re stuck doing dishes at McDonald’s in order to merely survive? How many loving and nurturing people never get married and have children, because they cannot afford it? If it weren’t for immigrants, the US population would be declining.

    The author is right that there is huge moral judgment against people who don’t work for money. A person’s place in society so much depends, not only on whether or not someone is employed, but on how much he earns. This moral judgment further turns into second-class citizens the many who contribute billions of dollars worth of unpaid work that keeps families, communities, and countries afloat, i.e. women’s work. Maybe this need to prove oneself as valuable through paid work is one reason why people who don’t really need two incomes still choose to farm out child rearing to strangers.

    I think most people would like to contribute something that they find meaningful to society, but I don’t feel that it always has to come through paid work. Doing something, rather than nothing probably works for most people who are able. But I agree with the author that the current ways of doing things are unsustainable and bad for the environment.

    Personally, I’d love to have a decent paying, basically enjoyable job that helps, rather than hurts people, and that is what I am working towards. To what end, I don’t know. Maybe if my early years hadn’t been so screwed up, I would have been better able to duke it out in the US socioeconomic systems to attain to a better life to begin with. The US economy can hardly be said to be person-centered.

  • Totally agree with you on this, sam. It makes me think of the biblical story of Jesus being tempted by the devil in the desert. Jesus, at one point, said to the devil, “It is written: You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” I feel this is applicable to people generally, inasmuch as I believe there is a spark of God in everyone (though in some it seems so deeply buried as to be imperceptible). How many people are “put to the test” and “fail”? With something like the Holocaust, it is totally understandable to me that some people just gave up. It’s great that some were able to endure and even thrive thereafter. But people shouldn’t be “put to the test” to begin with.

  • Why not help, rather than hurt and exploit people who experience distress? You can’t really make the argument that the fact that Black people are more likely to be locked up in psychiatric “hospitals” and be labeled schizophrenic than White people is an expression of racism without recognizing that such incarceration and labeling is a form of punishment and dehumanization. If mental “hospitals” and psychiatric labels and drugs were actually healing, everyone would want to be locked up.

    It doesn’t really matter whether it’s the police or mental health professionals forcing and deceiving people into the life of a mental patient. The fact is that standard “medical” practice in the industry is highly destructive, rather than healing. There seems to be a tacit admission of that in this essay.

  • I see you were first given the label of autism when you were eight. Maybe since you were given the label at such a young age, you strongly identify with it and have been finding ways to make peace with it all of these years, as if it somehow defines something essential about who you are. Even when someone is labeled as an adult, he or she might still end up trying to make peace with it and meaning out of it, but I would imagine that the pressure is that much more when it is done to you as a child. It’s sort of like how some adults who were always successful academically may still consider themselves nerds, despite having a lot more going for themselves as adults, because that is how they were labeled as children.

    I notice that you differentiate between autism and mental illness. That is understandable. A label of autism sometimes engenders compassion, understanding, and a certain sensitivity to a person as simply having “special needs.” I think most people would appreciate more compassion, understanding, and attention to their special needs, not just people who identify as autistic. Whereas, a label of mental illness can sometimes be really damning. A label like schizophrenia tends to elicit fear and hostility towards the person so labeled. But even a relatively benign label like autism can create discrimination and social exclusion of anyone so labeled. That’s one of the problems with any of those labels. They inevitably boil down to othering some people, usually as inferior in some way.

  • Thank you for this informative article. It’s a good thing that there is no genetic predisposition to “mental illness.” Otherwise, plenty of children with that predisposition would undoubtedly be aborted.

    It would be worthwhile to know, but I’m sure it will never be investigated, everything about these diagnosing psychiatrists. A person’s diagnosis doesn’t just depend on his or her “symptoms,” but the predispositions and beliefs of the psychiatrists. I heard of a psychiatrist who diagnosed literally every patient with bipolar, and I guess, drugged them accordingly. Psychiatrists can’t even agree with each other about a person’s diagnosis. The only thing they’re sure of is that all of their patients are mentally ill and need drugs.

  • Thank you for this informative article. I had always wondered what the “autism” diagnosis meant, as it seemed to encompass all sorts of things. It does! I guess everyone, but the examiner is autistic.

    I am glad you chose not to go down the route of diagnosing and drugging people, especially children. Maybe it’s easier to be like that in the UK. In the US, I think even well-meaning people who go into the mental health industry end up with their hands tied. Psychiatrists can only bill insurance companies for 15 minute “med checks,” and both therapists and psychiatrists have to label people in order to get paid. If only there were a way to financially reward mental health professionals for good behavior, and punish them for bad behavior. Instead, it seems the opposite is true.

    I guess the American Psychiatric Association doesn’t want to lose its huge profit, power, and credibility as a legitimate medical specialty. Maybe they’re just afraid of ending up homeless and/or on welfare like so many psychiatric patients.

  • Thank you for this important and informative article. I have never called a suicide hotline, but I have a friend who has. She said, “It was a joke.”

    Personally, I find Confession to be a better alternative to confessing things to mental health professionals now that I know better. There are sometimes priests who abuse their power and use your vulnerability to emotionally abuse you, but there are good ones too.

    More importantly, priests are bound by the seal of confession. They aren’t allowed to tell anyone anything you say, or even tell anyone that you went to confession. If they do, they will be excommunicated. Priests are very well provided for, but an older priest would probably have an impossible time establishing a new career. This helps with the power imbalance of spilling your guts to a stranger. If only it were so easy to get mental health professionals fired. I’ll bet they would shape up if they knew that ruining people would cost them everything.

  • I think this observation could be generalized to say that anyone who has been underprivileged and exposed to a great deal of trauma is more likely to experience cognitive decline. The elderly are generally considered useless in the US, and so are more likely to experience cognitive decline. I have read about countries where the elderly are revered and live long lives without falling apart as they age.

  • Exactly. At the mental “hospital” where I was committed, some people were forced to go to “day treatment” for “addiction.” But undoubtedly, they were all being forced to take psychiatric drugs too. So, they wanted people to not take some drugs, but insist that those same people take other drugs. That wasn’t an act of concern, but a marketing decision.

  • I’m glad that you were able to find a therapist who actually helped you. That’s the mental health industry acting as advertised–helping, rather than hurting people.

    My experiences with the industry have been so bad that I generally don’t feel too optimistic that it can ever actually help people. It needs a whole new re-envisioning.

  • Who says smoking and drinking are problems? Mental health professionals who force people to take toxic and deadly psychiatric drugs? Jesus drank and was heavily criticized for it by perfect people. He drank so much that he turned water into wine at the Wedding at Cana. John the Baptist didn’t drink and was heavily criticized for it by the same perfect people. There’s just no pleasing some people.

  • I think the best that a good therapist can hope to be is a good, fake, paid friend. The boundaries that they have drawn up as regards to ethics seem arbitrary. The very essence of the mental health profession is a boundaries violation. Mental health professionals feel they have a right to your innermost self, so they can analyze and “fix” you, because you are broken and they are healthy. In my experience, they use whatever they know about you, not to help you, but as ammo against you, so they can feel superior about themselves.

    Conflicts of interest are the norm in the mental health industry. Mental health professionals are out of work if people are not “mentally ill.” Should psychiatrists and therapists help people and become unemployed? They are absolutely incentivized to keep people “sick” and in need of “mental health services.”

    In any case, maybe you can defend your online presence as political activism on the behalf of the vulnerable–people who have been destroyed by the mental health industry.

    A social worker may be able to help someone get government benefits, write a resume, or assist people in other practical ways. The only benefit that I got out of the mental health profession was my measly SSI Disability benefits. This qualified me for college grants. No mental health professional ever suggested that I might want to consider going to college, despite trying to dictate every aspect of my life and being. They knew that I was fundamentally inferior to them. They certainly didn’t help me navigate anything to do with applying for grants and scholarships.

    I hope as a social worker you are able to help, rather than hurt people. If you are any good at what you do, you will hopefully be able to help people discover what it is that they want to do with their lives, how they wish to live, and how they desire to identify themselves. You may find labels of mental illness beneficial, but that doesn’t mean that everyone does.

  • I’m sorry, sam. I miscommunicated. What I was trying to say is that when people willingly accept these labels of “mental illness,” as I once did, it is usually for one reason or another. I don’t feel anyone has an obligation to open up to anyone. But if the specifics of her story had been made known, it might be easier to say, “Oh, that’s why she accepted this label. She was trying to express this aspect of herself and couldn’t find any better way to express it.”

    Accepting a label of mental illness can sometimes seem empowering until you know all of the BS that goes along with it. It can seem akin to accepting a label of “assertive woman,” which is another label that is frowned upon by society. No label can adequately express the totality of a person. But I don’t exactly blame people who accept labels of “mental illness” if it for some reason feels useful to them at some point in their lives.

  • I know. I guess I was just poorly expressing the idea that behind every “mental illness” is an actual person with actual humanity and reasons for their distress. I no longer believe in the concept of “mental illness,” but I feel that people can still be attracted to the concept for various reasons. It’s sometimes a way of saying to the world, “I’m not literally perfect. Can that be okay??” Uncomfortable emotions, difficult life situations, etc. don’t sit well with a lot of people. So, this label of mental illness can sometimes be used by the “mentally ill” to assert their own right to their own humanity, full and flawed as humanity is. People who have never suffered much of anything don’t usually want to be bothered with people who have. The mental health industry wouldn’t have become so prevalent and powerful if there weren’t also aspects of it that appeal to some of the people who have been given these labels.

  • I’d like to know more about her story before I believe she’s “mentally ill.” Maybe she’s experienced hardship and reward and so has “mood swings.” Maybe she just has emotions and that hasn’t been considered acceptable in her social circles. And psychiatric drugs can definitely make people “mentally ill.”

    I can appreciate why she might want to take on a label of mental illness, as I fell for it myself. Maybe she’s made mistakes in her life and has been heavily socially punished for them. Maybe her life didn’t turn out in a way that was pleasing to her. Maybe she needs a good excuse as to why she isn’t and hasn’t been literally perfect in every moment of her life. Trying to appeal to people for mercy on the basis of being mentally ill may seem like a winning strategy, but it’s dis-empowering and reduces people’s humanity to a label that does nothing to heal people from genuine distress. It also, ultimately, puts all of the blame for whatever society-wide problems that catapulted someone into “mental illness” on the “mentally ill” person, while absolving everyone else. It’s like labeling rape victims and veterans with PTSD. I would like to know what is the mentally health response to rape or war? Should people fight for more psychiatric “care,” or against rape and war? Rapists have parental rights in 31 states, but people sometimes lose custody of their children for being “mentally ill.” I guess you wouldn’t want to deprive a good father of his rights to his child.

  • Despite the potentially promising results, I still don’t like the general premise of this research–the idea that some people are “mentally ill” with depression and in need of professional “help.” If drugs are the answer, why not research alcohol and cigarettes? Those drugs make plenty of people feel better, and they don’t need to accept a label of mental illness to use them, or accept whatever abusive treatment psychiatrists come up with for their patients.

    I once asked one of my psychiatrists, “Are people supposed to be happy all the time?” She went on to “explain” to me how profoundly mentally ill I was with “depression,” because I had cried when I talked about and remembered my dead sister. And, yes, I did need more drugs. I feel it’s okay, and should be okay, for people to have a full range of emotions, including “depression.” It may be easier to be around people who are always sparkling, happy, and optimistic. On the other hand, those kinds of people can be annoying, insensitive, and lack empathy.

  • This seems like a story of a young teen girl who has been exploited by psychiatry and hated and excluded for experiencing some normal human emotions. The stigma and exclusion that she experienced is so much a product of the mental health industry with its rigid imaginary lines between normal and mentally ill. She has been punished for her honesty and for trusting people who were not trustworthy.

    While I am glad she has been able to connect with other people who have experienced similar things to what she has, she is being exploited yet again by the mental health industry in having to tell her story through their lens of mental illness.

    I would hope that her campaign would teach people to be less judgmental and more inclusive of people who aren’t just like they are. But I am concerned that it may turn out to be just another ad for the mental health industry. Giving children psychiatric drugs is just a crime.

  • I can appreciate the fact that politicians don’t actually care about the “mentally ill.” Their opinions won’t change until there is public pressure, and public pressure won’t happen until popular opinion changes. It would be great if the information on MIA became common knowledge.

    Despite that, I still see value in voting. I try to vote for politicians who will enact public policies that don’t give people “mental illness” to begin with. Things like not making felons of homeless people who shoplift socks and food. Policies so that people don’t end up homeless to begin with. Better consumer protections. Policies and leadership that encourage collaboration for the common good, rather than division and individualistic competition to the death.

    I feel that if people’s lives were better, they wouldn’t seek out or be forced into mental health “treatment” to begin with. Prisons and nursing homes are some of the most popular mental health “treatment” centers. If our country generally wasn’t so predatory and exploitative, there would be fewer opportunities for “mental health” professionals to exploit and prey on people. My “successful,” healthy friends and family haven’t been ensnared by the mental health industry. It’s an industry that preys on people with any kind of “weakness.” So, I guess I would like a country where more people were “successful” if they wanted to be, and one that isn’t so able-ist. I understand that politicians won’t fix everything, but I still feel that it makes a difference.

  • Thank you for this important and informative article, Miranda.

    Obviously, plenty of plenty of people who couldn’t pass a psychiatrist’s evaluation (which tends to pathologize everyone) vote (and some are elected), so these discriminatory laws make no sense.

    I guess I lucked out in living in a state where having been forcibly “hospitalized” and drugged against my will didn’t permanently deprive me of the right to vote.

    Also good to know where the two presidential candidates stand on issues that may be important to people who have experienced the mental health industry. I have already voted, but this enlightening information doesn’t surprise me.

  • With this experience of being under constant suspicion by professional fault finders and never being able to redeem yourself as normal, you can offer real peer support to people who have been sucked into the mental health industry as patients. I’ve never had a mental health professional treat me as an equal. This is a huge part of lived experience for many of us. I hope that, in a spirit of understanding, you will help to undo the damage that has been done to many of your peers by the very industry that is supposed to help people.

  • Thank you for your supportive comments and for sharing your own story, Annette. I am so glad that things have worked out well for you, and that you are able and willing to share with others. You are so right about scapegoating. The religious experts and the crowd scapegoated Jesus for all of the world’s problems. So, I guess at least scapegoats are in good company! I wish you well on your journey.

  • Thank you so much for your kind words, Alex, and for sharing some of your own journey. You are quite right about the stigma and marginalization of poverty. I don’t even discuss these things with my neighbors except for a friend of mine who has been on food stamps. But as you indicate, as we become more authentic, it becomes less of an issue. And thank you for your blessings!

  • Thank you, sam. What an insightful comment! I totally agree with you about being afraid of people who are fearful, because we ourselves are afraid. It’s as if waitressing, credit card debt, and eating at a soup kitchen are contagious. So, everybody wants to put up boundaries and say, “That’s your problem, not mine. That would never happen to me, because I do everything right.” Obviously, we can all try to do the best we can with our lives, but bad things do happen to good people sometimes.

  • Thank you, boans.

    For all of the torture and injustice that you have suffered, I hope that God will bring some good out of it–for you and others too, especially other innocent people who should never experience such things.

    “In as much as I don’t believe God wants anyone to commit suicide” I quite agree. It not only saddens God, but people too. One of my first cousins committed suicide. It was deeply upsetting for all of us, but completely devastating for my aunt. I think she is probably still deep in the grieving process, even though it happened many years ago.

    “I also don’t think He wants us to be silly enough to put our lives into the hands of abusers. And when they refuse to deal with the abusers within their ranks, the best thing to do is avoid them.” I totally agree with that. If somehow someone can improve his or her situation, good. Nobody deserves to be horribly abused. I certainly hope for the best for you.

  • How can I get these? I would love to be able to micro-taper from my remaining psychiatric drugs.

    From what I have read, antidepressants are almost, and maybe totally, useless, except for the placebo effect. Maybe since doctors, pharmacists, and drug companies are willing to lie to people in giving them the impression that these drugs are basically safe and may be effective, why not just lie and prescribe a sugar pill, but tell the patient that it is an antidepressant. They would be effective for many people without all of the terrible dangers.

  • “I’m not sure where you are getting this idea that counselors can’t bill to help child abuse survivors. They definitely can, whether they call the resulting problems “PTSD” or some other diagnostic category.” Why must a trauma survivor be given some nasty name, rather than perpetrators?

    “And while some counselors cover up abuse (and some are even abusers), many others are very active in increasing awareness of the dangers of child abuse and of the needs of survivors.” Your odds are better in Vegas.

  • Thank you, Kate. Yes, borderline personality is another one–what can it be called other than damning? What exactly does it mean other than that the “mental health” practitioner doesn’t like you. I am not that familiar with it as I am with the “diagnosis” of “schizophrenia,” but it is my understanding that it is just like saying that you have a bunch of character flaws. I guess the “mental health” practitioners have none.

  • Thanks for the links, oldhead! That’s a lot of information to sort through. He does seem to believe in masks and social distancing. I guess what Cuomo did in New York is different that what my state has experienced. Here, at first everything was shut down. As things began improving, restrictions were lifted, depending on the county, though things still aren’t quite back to normal. It’s an incredibly difficult and tricky situation to deal with.

  • Hi bowen,

    Thank you for your comment. That is a great point about politicians identifying as mentally ill in order to avoid punishment. I have actually thought about how Jesse Jackson Jr., when he was caught spending tons of his campaign money to renovate his house, and was threatened with jail time, went to the Mayo Clinic and was diagnosed with “bipolar.” I am not aware of other politicians going this route, but I remember that one making the news.

  • Hi sam,

    Thank you for your invaluable words in both comments. I guess I use “mentally ill,” because that is the label that certain people give other people in order to justify all kinds of inhumanity. It’s sort of like calling a woman an “adulteress” in order to justify stoning her to death. Such words are obviously abusive and do not accurately portray the truth about a person. I would like to somehow find better language to describe the things that go on.

    Using the word “dehumanized” applies to such a broad spectrum of people–far beyond people who have had contact with the mental health industry. And the “mentally ill” is so common in American language–far beyond just “mental health” professionals. People use it to label someone they feel is “odd” or “dangerous.” Even people who have been labeled mentally ill use those words to diagnose and describe other people. I once did. I guess sometimes I use those horrible words specifically in order to defeat them. But your words do give me pause to reconsider my language.

  • Hi J,

    Thank you for your comment. I may indeed have gone too easy on Jason Harrison’s mother. I guess I gave her the benefit of the doubt, because of the total ignorance and trust in “experts” that some of my own family and friends have had, and I have had as well. It took me so much independent research and reflection before I would even question the “experts.” I had a naive trust in doctors and “helpers.” I even felt that the police had helped me in getting me the “treatment” that I “needed.”

    “Mental health” professionals and others advise people that if someone is experiencing a “mental health” crisis, you should call 911 to get them “help” that they need. So, she may have just had a naive trust in “experts” and authority figures. I guess there is no way to know for sure.

  • Nijinsky,

    First of all, I simply do not believe in the death penalty or forced or deceptive psychiatric treatment. Also, like many Catholics, I do not see the LGBT community as “sinners.”

    I agree with the general ideal of turning the other cheek, but like boans indicated, this can lead to further abuse. Sometimes an abuser needs to be stopped, before the abused can be healed.

    What about the Nuremberg trials after the Holocaust? Should they never have happened? Was it no big deal that millions of people were killed? The Catholic Church has actually been criticized for transporting some known Nazi killers to South America, so that they wouldn’t suffer any punishment for what they had done. So, in a sense the Church was turning the other cheek on the behalf of the victims of the Holocaust and their families. Was this the correct thing to do?

    I also agree that the root causes of common crimes should be made known and dealt with. But is using political and legal power to force people to give up their “rights” to be greedy, not share, and not treat others with respect and dignity that much different than using political and legal power to force or control anyone into doing anything? Should we have no government and simply hope for the best?

    There are so many problems with our legal, political and socioeconomic systems. But I feel these problems should be addressed rather than to merely decide that there should be no rule of law. You even seem to indicate that you want some kind of rule of law in that people should share. I quite agree that people should share. In America, some people do share with charities. Some people argue that there should be no government intervention in people’s financial hardships, because it infringes on their rights to do what they want with their money, and that if they feel so inclined to share, that should be their own personal decision. I personally feel that without government rules and regulations and interventions, we will not be able to resolve the great inequalities that exist in this country.

  • Nijinsky,

    I agree that that wasn’t the point of the parable. But I still do not see anything wrong with someone experiencing some sort of consequence for their serious violation of another person. For example, I do thing it is fair if a rapist or murderer is punished in some way, and yes, in order to control them. If someone’s behavior becomes highly destructive, and greatly harms someone else, it is appropriate to try to stop them, in my opinion. The same applies, in my opinion to abusive, exploitative psychiatrists and war criminals. We should all be kind and loving with one another. The problems within psychiatry and the current legal system, wherein it is merely the powerless, rather than people who are doing terrible harm who are punished is a whole different issue altogether. Perhaps we just see things differently on these issues.

  • registeredforthissite,

    I don’t have any problem with anyone being “self-sufficient,” though I feel such a notion is a lie. People simply are interconnected. Even Jeff Bezos depends on being able to manipulate people with money in order to be “self-sufficient.” If no one was willing to work for him, he wouldn’t have a company.

    One of the real problems that I see with America’s radical individualism, rather than a desire to cooperate, is that the stakes are so high. People literally die of treatable diseases simply because they are one of those who hasn’t become “self-sufficient.” People go hungry in the US, because people are unwilling to be considerate of others.

    I am certainly not against individuals fully becoming and living fully becoming and living out their true unique lives. But as we can see with psychiatry some people are prepared to exploit, oppress and violate the human rights of others in order to satisfy their own self-serving wants and needs. This isn’t just true of people in the mental health industry. There is a lot of exploitation and abuse of power that goes on. So, this is the kind of extreme individualism and “self-sufficiency” that I am against.

  • One of the main differences between alcohol, cigarettes, street drugs, and psychiatric drugs as I see it, is the the former are viewed as recreational and their potential dangers are acknowledged by mainstream society. Politicians want to stop opioid, alcohol, and cigarette addiction. Whereas, psychiatric drugs are culturally enshrined as legitimate medicine. True advocates for victims of psychiatry are publicly discredited, if they find a big enough audience. This isn’t surprising given that psychiatry specializes in discrediting and marginalizing people.

    When I was a teenager, I was resolute in deciding that I never wanted to try illegal drugs, because it was my understanding that they could make you crazy. This despite peer pressure. If people knew the truth about psychiatric drugs, I feel that most people would never voluntarily choose to take them.

  • “Imagine driving past someone on the way to church and you come across a road accident, and a person asking if you would help them by taking them to the hospital some miles down the road. You think about it and say, “Sorry, but I’m on my way to Church which God wants me to do, but when I get there I will say a prayer for you” lol”

    There is actually a parable about that very kind of situation in the New Testament. It’s called the parable of the Good Samaritan. There was a man on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho who was beaten, robbed, and left for dead on the side of the road. A priest/rabbi saw him and walk by on the other side of the road. So too a Levite. Both were considered good religious people. But then a Samaritan, who was a part of what was viewed as an inferior religion, saw the man, had compassion on him, poured oil on his wounds, took him to an inn, and paid the innkeeper to look after him. He promised to pay the innkeeper any additional amount, should the man need more care.

    So, the lesson from this parable that Christians are supposed to take away is that it is more valuable to be merciful, rather than “religious.” Not that there is anything wrong with religion, but that other things can sometimes be more important.

  • That is a good analogy, boans, about what they did to you being like a doctor doing something that would cause a heart attack, and then “curing” him. It’s also sort of like arsonists who are also firefighters. They have some kind of a bizarre hero complex. Maybe psychiatrists have this complex as well.

    Although I totally agree that you were especially brutalized by psychiatry, people who “consent” to psychiatric drugs have usually been totally, thoroughly deceived into taking them. That was the case with me. If my psychiatrist had told me that there was a 1 in 1,000 or 10,000 chance that antidepressants can make you totally lose your mind, I definitely never would have started taking them. If she had even told me that antidepressants can make you more depressed, give you anxiety, and perhaps become suicidal, I wouldn’t have taken them in that case either. Why would you take a drug that is supposed to fix a chemical imbalance in your brain that is causing your depression that could very possibly worsen your mental health condition?

    ‘“I see this, ultimately, as a call not to seek the destruction of anyone, but to fight evil.” I’d agree, though there are times when it needs to be contained and not given a free pass every time it is stopped in it’s tracks with truth.’ I agree that intervention is sometimes needed to stop human rights violations and abuse.

  • I don’t know what the rules are in the US about heart surgery. When I fainted a number of years ago, which was probably caused by psychiatric drugs, the hospital and doctors ran a bunch of tests, bu found no reason for it. They never even suspected the psychiatric drugs. They did find some kind of abnormality inside my abdomen, but probably because of the psychiatric drugs that I was taking, they wrote, “could be psychological.”

    “I found myself wondering about any biblical references to such a story, and of course it is the oldest one in the Book. Get him to eat this Missy. At least I am now aware of who it is I am dealing with.” The devil roams the world looking for souls to devour. I see this, ultimately, as a call not to seek the destruction of anyone, but to fight evil. Maybe criminal doctors and State actors belong in jail, and victims should be compensated. Maybe the whole medical field needs a reexamination. I think, but am not sure, that doctors in the US are sworn to “First, do no harm.” As easily as they pass out drugs, they are certainly not living according to that rule. Some doctors do actually do good, though.

    As far as breaking up families, it isn’t just the State here. It has been my experience and observation that this is a common goal among mental health practitioners. I always thought it was because of the American “ideals” of individualism and self-sufficiency as proof of good mental health. But doesn’t this just lead to loneliness? If they actually knew what they were doing, and wanted to help people, wouldn’t they help people to cultivate better relationships?


  • Parading people around who have been “saved” from addiction thanks to “God” still happens today. A woman I met at the mental hospital had this very thing done to her. One of her family members threatened to kick her out unless she went through a one year Christian rehab program to become free of addiction. She wasn’t even allowed to smoke cigarettes. They made her give testimony in church groups full of “good” people to explain how this group and her faith had saved her, and how much better her life was now. After she got out, she went back to her drugs and cigarettes. They probably made her take psychiatric drugs in the “hospital” too, but wouldn’t let her do heroin.

  • That’s an excellent point, sam. It really isn’t true medicine, in the sense that there isn’t any disease and psychiatrists don’t actually help people. I guess when I used the term “medical,” I meant it in the broadest sense in that you need a doctor’s prescription, even just to withdraw from these drugs the best way you know how. It’s “medical” also in the sense that it can cause great iatrogenic harm to people.

  • Hi Someone Else,

    I had a friend a long time ago who was prescribed wellbutrin as a smoking cessation intervention. It certainly didn’t make him quit smoking. He probably thought it was a nicotine replacement or something. Fortunately, he got off, but said that it still affected his head for some time.

    I’m glad that your bad doctors were kicked out of practice, and your criminal psychiatrist was convicted.

    I have a pretty good support system with a few close family and friends who are totally on my side.

    Thanks for the tip about keeping a few low dose antipsychotics on hand, just in case. And thank you for your encouragement!

  • This was absolutely, positively the best clinic that I could find in my insurance network. My previous clinic totally refused to help me off the drugs, despite my giving them a list of all of my adverse effects, and begging them to help me. One of the psychiatrists at the previous clinic referred to the drugs as, “The medications that are keeping you stable.” When I got the web address for providers and called all around, this was the only one, when I asked, “Do you help people off psychiatric medication?”

    They said, “We should be able to help you with that.” I thought they would let me have more of a say in the decision process.

    When I first met him, the psychiatrist asked if I had any questions for him. I asked, “Have you ever helped anyone off psychiatric medication?”

    He said, “Many people,” then added, “Usually more active than you.” The antipsychotics had basically turned me into a zombie. I am more active now, but nowhere near pre-antipsychotic levels.

  • Thank you so much for your very thoughtful reflections and advice. Yes, it is quite interesting how mental health professionals have made themselves the ultimate arbiters of truth and reality–to the point that they can call other people detached from reality.

    Thank you for thinking that I am too grounded to become “psychotic” from withdrawal. I hope you are right. However, I am aware that people who have never been considered mentally ill can become psychotic from drugs like LSD, etc. Psychiatric drugs are powerful too, so that is why I am so nervous.

    As far as pill cutters go, the pills are simply too small for me to accurately cut in halves and quarters. This is why I am hoping that my psychiatrist will actually help me off the drugs. Otherwise, I would definitely do it myself regardless of what any psychiatrist said.

  • Hi Someone Else,

    Thanks for the tip about how they like to feel that they have cured someone. I will try to use that in my dealings with them.

    Certainly, none of my psychiatric or other mental health “care” providers ever warned me about any possible withdrawal effects of any drug. Neither did they warn me about any of the horrific possible adverse effects of starting or taking these drugs.

    My first psychiatrist, who started me on SSRI antidepressants, warned me about the possibility of a little diarrhea in the beginning when I asked her about potential side effects. Since I had been convinced that I had a biochemical imbalance in my brain that caused my “depression,” I felt that was a risk worth taking.

    I learned about adverse effects of psychiatric drugs and possible withdrawal effects through the work of people like Dr. Peter Breggin and Robert Whitaker. Mental health professionals had kept me totally in the dark about all things. It wasn’t until I started doing my own independent research, along with much reflection on my experiences, that I really started to question things.

    Thank you for the encouragement about getting off drugs. Stories like yours do indeed give me hope.

  • Hi sam,

    Thank you so much for your comment, and insight. You are right in pointing out that psychiatrists will go after anyone they can. I guess I was trying to say that politicians and people who haven’t been ruined by the mental health industry blame all of society’s problems on “mental illness.” Even some people who think of themselves as mentally ill have been trained to believe that the mental health industry has all the answers. It is a huge scam.

  • Hi Someone Else,

    Thank you for your support for my gradual escape plan, and your advice. I am aware of the possibility of withdrawal psychosis. A few years ago, I was on 6 mg risperidone and some dose of Abilify. I no longer take Abilify, and am now down to taking 1 mg. risperidone. My thinking, creativity, imagination, and writing have improved. Although I am nervous about the final steps, I am hopeful too.

    As I see it, I can either try to come of psychiatric drugs and maybe things will improve for me, or stay on them for life, and pretty much be definitely doomed. Once I realized that was my choice, I knew I wanted to try to come off them.

  • Hi boans,

    Thank you so much for your comment.

    The main reason why I stay with them at all is because, from all of the research that I have done, I know that stopping the drugs abruptly after taking them at high doses long-term can potentially cause disastrous withdrawal effects, including withdrawal psychosis. What if I stopped abruptly, experienced withdrawal psychosis, and stole a loaf of bread and yelled at someone? I might end up institutionalized for life as irredeemably “mentally ill.”

    It’s sort of like leaving a spouse who beats you three times a week, but is the sole breadwinner. Do you leave immediately, live on the street and lose custody of your children? Maybe you come up with an escape plan. In the US, there are groups that (very minimally) help women and children escape abusive husbands.

    Because torture and other human rights abuses against the “mentally ill” are viewed as legitimate treatments by mainstream society, there is no one to help you escape the system. You have to improvise. You have to work with abusive people.

    It is my honor to pray for you, and I have. I have prayed for justice for you.

    You are right that I have a little more freedom to publicly complain in the US. There is also a teeny bit of bravery. But I know that as powerful as the mental health industry is in the US, they have weaknesses too. Psychiatrists are afraid of malpractice lawsuits that could ruin them financially. They also have psychological weaknesses. They are bullies, and bullies are just cowards. Take away their profit, power, and prestige, and they will change their behavior. To some extent, they are paper tigers. If you can manage to escape them, all they can do is call you names.

    If by some miracle, my writing about the mental health industry became popular enough that the industry attacked me, I would consider that a badge of honor. I want them to stop ruining and killing people with their “treatments.”

    I feel that even though you cannot come out publicly, you do a great service in educating people about your experiences in the mental “health” industry in Australia.

    You take care too.

  • Thank you for sharing your story. If you feel that Jesus is madly in love with you, the Pope would agree. He recently said something along the lines of, “Jesus is madly in love with us.” Personally, I want to believe that Jesus is madly in love with me, but usually find myself thinking, If God really loved me, He wouldn’t have let X,Y, and Z happen to me. I guess I am making myself God’s judge, which you probably shouldn’t do!

    There is this saying in Catholicism that “God meets us where we’re at.” Maybe everybody’s understanding or disbelief in God is uniquely tailored to each individual. Anyway, having a romantic relationship with Jesus is a much nicer vision than so much of the hostility that exists in the world.

  • I definitely agree that “postpartum” does not exist, and I think my cousin would agree. Obviously without really knowing the entirety of a situation, a person can only do so much to offer suggestions that may or may not help. But my cousin definitely is a very kind person, and always open to new learning. My cousin doesn’t think of me as “mentally ill,” despite the fact that I was at one time “psychotic.”

    My primary care physician, on the other hand, wrote down as one of my medical diagnoses, “Psychosis.” I had previously thought that we had had a good relationship. This made me not really want to go back to him so much, unless I really had to.

    I do not know how much the average doctor has really bought into all that psychiatry teaches. Their livelihoods do not depend on it, like psychiatrists do. But like you said, there can be enormous peer pressure. Also, there is the fact that much of the public in general is so ignorant of psychiatry altogether, and that includes doctors. This is one of the reasons why I feel an effective PR campaign could be so beneficial. This is why books like those written by people like Robert Whitaker and this website are so important, because it does help to get the word out.

  • Hi boans,

    I am so sorry about the situation in Australia. I had always presumed that Australia had a free press. America has a free press, but at the same time, mainstream publications want to publish whatever is sensational to bring readers/viewers in and/or whatever will please their corporate sponsors. Sometimes journalists are punished/persecuted for what they write. So, there are some problems in America too regarding a truly free press. In a way, the desire to draw in readers/viewers kind of makes sense. If no one reads/watches your publication, what is the point of publishing? But I do feel that a good PR campaign could potentially have a positive effect, at least in the US.

  • Thank you, sam. Bringing what is commonly known on MIA to the mainstream may take a lot of time, and be extremely difficult. I have read at least one horror story about people’s adverse reactions to psychiatric drugs in mainstream publications, but they basically forgive psychiatry. I read one in The Guardian about a woman who became psychotic and homicidal after taking an antidepressant, but started with a disclaimer that went something like this, “Millions of people are helped by antidepressants.”

    I have a cousin who is an ObGYN. She doesn’t prescribe medications, but helps deliver babies. She has some awareness of the corrupting influence of the drug industry on how medicine is practiced. When it comes to the profound corruptions in the mental health industry, she isn’t fully aware of all of it, but she has a really open mind. She has “treated” a few women with “Postpartum Depression” in part by telling them to take at least one hour out of every day for themselves. She once told me that she wished she could prescribe people an M&M to make them feel better. She explained that you might get a little chocolate, I guess as a side effect. I feel that she is unusual in her awareness of corrupting influences in medicine and open-mindedness as someone in the medical profession in the US.

    I feel if people really knew the truth about the mental health industry that is so commonly known here, public opinion would turn against all that has been done to innocent people in the name of good mental health.

  • I totally agree with you, boans, that the State and psychiatry have no such right. I guess what I was trying to say is that because the State and psychiatry are so powerful, and they have done such a good job of demonizing their “mentally ill” patients, they spin any effort to defend yourself as an act of predatory violence by the less than human “mentally ill.” Whereas, when they commit genuinely horrific acts, they face no consequences whatsoever. On top of that, they spin stories that a psychiatry naive public buys into, as they are the experts, and the patients have been dehumanized. This is one of the reasons why they’re able to get away with all they do. The “mentally ill” really need an effective PR campaign that sets the record straight in the eyes of the public.

    I actually just wrote an article on this theme, but its publication date hasn’t been scheduled yet. I hope that if you read it, you will find something useful in it.

    PS Moderator, I am subscribed to this post, but haven’t been receiving the emails for the comments.

  • Hi boans,

    I do not feel that killing people is a legitimate power, though as you indicate, it is a kind of power. There may be very rare cases where killing someone is the only possible way to defend your own life or the life of the innocent, but usually, less lethal means can be used. How many times has “self-defense” or defense of the innocent been unjustly used by people with a little bit more social, legal, or political power against someone with less power? I feel that any claim to human rights generally, depends on a fundamental recognition of the sanctity of everyone’s life. Otherwise, you’re just left with arguments in favor of some people having human rights, while people with less power having few to no human rights. These are the very tactics that psychiatric abusers and torturers use to justify what they do, because they have no fundamental respect for people’s lives. They only understand power and money.

    If you actually had killed your abusive psychiatrist, the consequences would have been much more far reaching than you going to jail. The headlines wouldn’t have been, “Boans Defended Himself Against an Unjust Person,” but, “Schizophrenic Violently Murders Kind Psychiatrist Who was Helping Him.” I have no idea what mental illness labels they actually gave you, but murder is usually blamed on “schizophrenia.” Acts like that, when they’re blamed on “mental illness” usually further enshrine the public’s and politician’s views about the “mentally ill.” Mental illness is commonly used by politicians on both sides as the root cause of violence. This allows them to shirk their duties to take meaningful action that would genuinely benefit everyone.

    As far as appealing to politicians to take action for justice on the behalf of us who are truly marginalized, I think that’s a wasted effort. I once reached out to my state politicians to change the laws regarding the statute of limitations for civil suits for people who had been harmed by psychiatry–like when antidepressant use makes you psychotic, or when you’re physically and sexually assaulted in the “hospital” where you’re committed. One of them never got back to me. The other sent me some BS about how she would fight for the rights of the mentally ill.

    As you have stated elsewhere, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Politicians won’t do anything for us until popular opinions about the “mentally ill,” what psychiatry actually does to people, what psychiatric drugs actually do to people, etc. changes. There’s a lot of material to cover. I do believe change is possible. I hope I can play some small role in getting people to reconsider what they believe is true about mental health care. I want to expose the lies and heinous injustices. I want to appeal to people’s better nature in making a case for the fundamental dignity and human rights of the “mentally ill.” I feel if popular opinion changes, political change will follow. Politicians care a lot about getting re-elected. Money plays an huge role in politics in the US. At the same time, if voters feel strongly about an issue, politicians have to appeal to voters too.

  • Hi Psychologist,

    Thank you for your common opinion. There was a really good article here recently about the reliability of suicide risk assessment.

    If you want to know whether psychiatric drugs reduce or increase crime, don’t search Google, read Dr. Peter Breggin’s Medication Madness. Pharmaceutical companies have even paid out multi-million dollar judgments resulting from psychiatric drug induced homicide and suicide. They don’t care about the loss of lives and the lives destroyed. They consider it the cost of doing business, as it is only a tiny fraction of what they make in profit.

    As Steve has pointed out, psychiatric drugs do not prevent suicide, but may sometimes cause it. Would you risk it?

    I don’t know why you’re pushing a pro-drug agenda, but your assertion that psychiatric drugs make bad people good, and suicidal people hopeful simply isn’t true. The value of psychiatric drugs to the user depends on the individual, the actual effects of the drugs, as well as the circumstances surrounding the drug use. Psychiatric drugs are really no better than cocaine or heroin in that some people like them, but they also carry great risks. But the average “depressed” person would never think to solicit illegal drugs from a street dealer. Some people do feel they benefit from heroin or cocaine, but hopefully, as a society, we recognize that people deserve better than to seek relief from their pain through drugs, and risk everything for the sake of a drug. People deserve better than psychiatric drugs too.

    When there is genuine love and concern, which sometimes includes practical help, people’s emotional states can vastly improve.

  • “The psychiatrist has all the power.”

    I’m not saying that psychiatric survivors cannot eventually become activists or writers–to warn and educate the public, connect with others, and put pressure on the industry to either radically change or disappear, as I hope to do, but in the immediate sense of the doctor/patient relationship. The psychiatrist has all the power either by legal force or total breach of trust. If you fight back against them directly in even the slightest way, they hold the power of institutionalization and forced drugging over you.

  • “Very importantly, I wanted these engagements to happen in a relatively non-threatening, productive manner. I think there’s this tendency toward an unhelpful dynamic that develops where criticisms tend to be aggressively presented, and then the other side reacts in a state of being totally defensive.

    That doesn’t help lead to meaningful engagement. It is fine if you want to refute something or if you want to dismiss something, but it’s not conducive to learning. It was really important to me that these interviews happen in a non-confrontational manner so that the readers would think about these issues without being threatened.”

    I appreciate that you, as a psychiatrist do not want to attack your peers, but as for other critics and victims of psychiatry, this is an unreasonable demand. Psychiatrists can literally torture people, but victims and critics must be nice? What else is this other than a huge power imbalance? It’s as if a rapist has the right to demand that his victim be nice, in order to better engage with him, and hope to change his mind about whether or not to rape people.

    If you can recognize that aggressive attacks can make people defensive, and fail to engage people in learning, why can’t psychiatry recognize that attacking people, known as the mentally ill, might result in bad responses?

    Now, excuse me while I go write some highly critical attacks and condemnations of the behaviors that the mental health industry in the US have engaged in with me, as well as others, including torture.

  • These kinds of articles are so important. So many people who believe in psychiatry and the US mental health industry as a whole say that they believe the “science.” These kinds of arguments and proofs against the bogus science that has been used to justify the medical model of “mental illness” can hopefully convince some to reexamine their fixed ideas about science and psychiatry.

  • A lot of things have slowly changed over time. For one thing, while on SSI Disability and because of my age, I was able to attend college for a time for the first time in my life on a full Pell Grant and State Grant. It was downright healing for me. I learned new things, had positive interactions with professors, and mostly, it did so much to build my confidence, which had been so terribly destroyed, first by life, and then by my interactions with the mental health industry.

    Also, greatly reducing the psychiatric drugs has done a lot to heal my mind. I feel better able to handle things.

    For many years now, I have been working on my writing. Getting published here made me feel so much better, as though there might be someone out there in the world who might be interested in what I have to say. My Mom thinks that pursuing a writing career is a fairy tale, but I at least want to give it a good shot before I give up.

    My faith has also helped me. I am sort of a bad Catholic, especially in that, even before the coronavirus, I didn’t go to Sunday Mass too frequently. But I have found certain things, like going to confession with good priests, to be healing, most especially after all of the damning condemnations and brainwashing that I had received from the mental health industry. I have also had experience with some bad religious people, but reflection, and especially discussing certain terrible experiences with a good priest, have done a lot to give me perspective.

    There are other things that I can’t really think of right now–little things that over time have given me more perspective, as well as different, new life goals and hopes and dreams. Some of the hopes and dreams that I had had when I was younger, I had decided were not really right for me, even if they had “worked.” My newer goals–things like doing the little good that I can, while also pursuing big goals and hopes and dreams, have made me feel a little more in control of certain aspects of my life. I well realize that there are so many things outside of our control, but whatever good I feel able to do, I want to do.

  • Hi JeffreyC,

    The world would be a much poorer place without you. I just went back and read through a bunch of your comments. You bring so much to just this website, and I am sure you bring even more to those around you in real life.

    I can definitely appreciate where you are coming from, though, as someone on Disability, I share with you a bleak financial future if I cannot somehow figure out how to earn a decent living, ideally doing work that I find meaningful and enjoy.

    I totally agree with you in some of your earlier comments about how a fair economic system would do so much to alleviate so many people’s problems. I also appreciate your thirst for justice for psych survivors.

    I am older than you are. When I was thirty-one and saw no hope, a priest told me in confession that there was a ray of hope. I still didn’t see any. After going through psychiatric drug and psychiatric incarceration Hell, and now as I am finally starting to come off psychiatric drugs, over a decade since he said that to me, I am finally beginning to feel a ray of hope. I don’t know that it will work out, but I haven’t felt hopeful for a very long time before now.

  • Thank you so much for your comment, Rachel777. I hope to be where you are someday in terms of being totally off all medication. Just by greatly reducing antipsychotics, I am also beginning to get better. Like you, I find defying mainstream psychiatric opinion to be incredibly scary. Once diagnosed, the theory goes, you need your medication for life, or else you will be a raving lunatic. That kind of threat can certainly create long-term submission for far too many of us, even while the drugs are actually destroying us. I have also done my homework, including reading Robert Whitaker’s work, as well as becoming familiar with psychiatric survivor stories where people actually did improve. Although it is a big risk, the alternative of being a zombie for life, ending up in some sort of shelter, and definitely never getting any better, helped me make my decision. I am beginning to feel hopeful again.

  • Thanks so much, Rosalee D! Yeah, I guess this experience with the coronavirus really demonstrates that the labels of mental illness and psychiatric drugs aren’t meant for any dominant majority, but only a marginalized minority of people. If “mental illness” is common and normal, then it somehow ceases to be mental illness. It is only when people deviate from accepted, common socioeconomic norms in thoughts or behavior that we are labeled mentally ill.

    One of my friends once commended me for being original in my thinking. While if someone is a successful business person, creative person, researcher, or some other sort of successful person, this kind of attribute may be commended by society, but if you are a starving artist, you are probably “mentally ill.” I hope to cover this kind of difference in perception by the “mental health” industry and society at large either in an article or in my book. I never know how an essay will turn out.

  • I do not have a simple answer for you as to what to do when a person is a threat to themselves, but I ask you to consider this: Physician assisted suicide is legal in some states. Is suicide acceptable in those situations? Why? The motivations that drive people to want to commit suicide in either the young and healthy, or old and terminally ill probably have a lot in common. A desire to escape unbearable pain of some kind. A desire to exercise self-determination and have some control over a bad situation. Hopelessness. So, what’s the difference? One is socially and legally acceptable, while another isn’t.

    One of my therapists once tried to explain to me how I shouldn’t commit suicide, because I was relatively young and healthy, but it was okay if the elderly did. As my parents are elderly, I took great offense to this. They mean the world to me, much more than he ever did. If quality of life is a legitimate reason to commit suicide, there are a lot of suicidal people who have a legitimately bad quality of life.

    As a person of faith, I ultimately believe that every life is infinitely precious, but we live in a society that considers a lot of people disposable. A lot of people who end up in the mental health system have been disposed of by society. Maybe you could try helping people in acute distress by learning how to just be a friend to them. How would you help them if it was your child or a dear friend?

    As for people who commit unprovoked acts of violence that is a criminal matter. The mental health industry commits unprovoked acts of violence against patients. When patients fight back, it is they who are considered deviant. Maybe the mental health industry needs de-escalation training too.

    I’m a big believer in the possibility of redemption, even for criminals. If you, as a guide and life coach, don’t believe that someone can change for the better, how are you going to help him or her become a better person? The typical person who ends up in the mental health industry doesn’t need his or her faults and failings pointed out, but rather, for you to see the beauty and goodness that already resides within them, so that he or she can begin to see it within themselves.

    The ways of actually helping people are often time consuming, messy, and require something of you. Americans tend to favor efficiency and superficial effectiveness over genuine help. Take your time, be a friend, don’t try to “fix” people. Be more of a servant to equals, rather than an expert condescending to inferiors.

  • Great points, Sam! I especially liked your observation, “When you practice something that takes advantage of people being disadvantaged, eventually it won’t hold up, although it can be pretty powerful for a long time.” I like to think that exploitative systems will eventually crash and burn, and that we will work towards a world that exists for everyone’s true well-being.

  • That sounds fine. Community, love, friendship–these are important things, and the kind of things that everyone should be able to find in a church. The fact that some people can only find these things in group therapy under the umbrella of mental illness, speaks to larger cultural and social problems within our country, like that some people become so marginalized that they’re only offered community through the mental health industry. It would be nice if even neighbors were more loving and friendlier. I guess we could all stand to be more loving and friendlier.

    My parish only offers community for successful married people with children, or young single people. I am a leper there. I’m kind of glad that I am officially under no obligation to go there now since I only went once in a while before, anyway.

    I once had the misfortune of going to Church on a Mother’s Day when they were passing out books. I said to the woman, “Oh, I’m not a mother.”

    She said, “No, it’s for all women.” So, I went home and read it. It was for married women with children with instructions on how you should put God first, your husband second, and your children third.

  • I have tried to convince some of my friends who take psychiatric drugs about their possible dangers without any luck. I have a friend who even started her son on “ADHD” drugs, which turned out to be a gateway drug and diagnosis which led to further drugs and diagnosis, much like my own story. In all this, it’s good to remember that even drug addicts still have a human spirit that can overcome a lot of harm.

    One of the things that I hope to address in the book I am working on is the widespread, mainstream deception in the Western world by the mental health industry–how it works and counter arguments. I bought into it myself for so long and deeply, so I have a pretty good understanding of these things. So many people have so much invested in being mentally ill, calling other people mentally ill, and being mental health providers that it can be nearly impossible to break through those ideologies. Popular opinion needs to change.

    Maybe you could think of it as trying to convince someone to quit smoking. However, the dangers of smoking are widely known, and quitting abruptly doesn’t cause potentially disastrous withdrawal effect. Educate, inform, encourage, but support the friend for their innate value, regardless of their choices.

    To sum up, I’m sorry, I really don’t have any helpful advice for you regarding how to warn your friends of the dangers of psychiatric drugs. I haven’t had any success in doing it. Maybe you could give them a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic and hope for the best. Good luck!

  • Obviously, a business decision. If we can convince enough people that they are sick, in need of lifelong psychiatric drugs, therapy, mental hospitalization, institutionalization, group homes, the lives of the sane, normal mental health professionals can only get better and better by comparison.

  • Thank you so much for this article. It would be interesting to know who and by what measure people are labeled with schizophrenia and other “serious mental illnesses.” So often, a diagnosis of mental illness is made because of someone’s perceived social ineptitude, which is so often bound up with a lower socioeconomic status. I have read articles that state that there is a much higher incidence of “mental illness” among the poor. Greater poverty=greater mortality. So, there may be factors other than “mental illness” that account for the increase in all-cause mortality among the “seriously mentally ill,” even if they never took medication. But as you point out, it is highly unlikely to find anyone with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who has never been exposed to antipsychotics.

  • I congratulate you on being able to function so well despite having difficult experiences and being labeled and treated by psychiatry. I didn’t fare as well after my experiences with the mental health industry.

    I explain somewhat some of my own experiences of being labeled with mental illness in a piece that I have submitted to this website. At first, I was labeled with “depression.” Like you, I took some comfort in the label, because it seemed to validate some of my deep pain. Also, like you, I didn’t really want anyone to know that I was “mentally ill,” because, what would they think of me then? This is the inner stigma and turmoil that psychiatry puts in those they label and “treat.”

    I would suggest that if you are labeling your clients “mentally ill,” you are doing them a disservice. You are separating them from the rest of humanity as somehow bad or inferior.

    You are not bad or inferior either, as long as you are doing your best to be a good person.

    Personally, I no longer believe in psychiatric labels. I find them dehumanizing and meaningless. And who gave psychiatrists, or anyone this authority to label other people because their inner worlds (which no one but God can know for sure) aren’t quite like everyone else’s? It isn’t based in science.

    If we hope to transcend psychiatric labels and stigma, perhaps we need to abolish psychiatric labels and the concept of mental illness, as those things do separate some people from the rest of humanity. Saying that someone experiences depression, or anxiety, or hallucinations is just an experience, perhaps one that falls within the full spectrum of human experiences. And let us never forget that psychiatric drugs themselves can cause some of the most distressing emotional experiences.

    We’re all at different places in our life journeys, and I appreciate that we may just have to agree to disagree on some issues.

  • That may be true of most psychiatrists, but what about activist psychiatrists like Dr. Peter Breggin and Joanna Moncrieff who use their platforms to presents alternative views about mental health and psychiatric treatments? Their credentials and standing in the psychiatric community give them a public voice that otherwise would be drowned out. A publication like the NY Times won’t give voice to minority opinions to anyone, unless it is someone of “importance.” “Mental illness” has been used as a political weapon before, but it has always been against dissidents, never mainstream, powerful political figures. The FBI had diagnosed Malcolm X with “pre-psychotic paranoid schizophrenia.” Why not allow for some psychiatrists who do not believe in the DSM to weigh in on powerful political figures.

  • Great points! The President of the United States should probably be the most scrutinized person on the face of the earth. Everyone should be entitled to their opinions, including psychiatrists. And I am definitely in favor of getting alternative views about mental health into the mainstream media.

  • All that most psychiatrists care about is their profit, power, and prestige. This is a big part of the problem. I recently read an op-ed in the NY Times where a psychiatrist did make an armchair diagnosis of a mass murderer as having schizophrenia. So, far from there being any ethical motivation behind not making armchair diagnoses about public figures, they most certainly do, when it suits their interests. Psychiatry has always been about the more powerful damning the less powerful.

  • Thank you for sharing your story. I had not known about TMS before this. I fear that like you, me, and so many others, we only find out about the potentially devastating consequences of psychiatric treatments once our lives have been severely damaged or ruined by them. I am so glad that you are able to offer support to other survivors of TMS. I hope that helps you to find meaning in what you have experienced, and I hope that in coming forward, you will help to effect change.

  • Awesome article! I have sometimes been criticized for my “negative thinking,” and I guess that’s how I wound up in the mental health system. Pope Francis has recently been talking about the “selfish indifference” that so many have–that “as long as life is good for me, life is good.” I think he’s totally right. Although the Pope is sometimes “positive,” he also isn’t afraid to fight back against the many horrible things that exist in the world. He doesn’t pretend that all is well with the world, when it clearly isn’t.

  • Exactly! This is how “advocacy” groups like the drug-funded NAMI sprang up. Parents who had been blamed for their imperfect children clung to psychiatry’s biochemical imbalance theories of “mental illness” and the drug treatments along with them. Humanity is so much more complex than all of that. No parents are literally perfect, but people can encounter so many difficulties throughout life that have nothing to do with bad parents or a fundamentally defective child.

  • Hi Magdalene,

    Some of this article and your comments offer some valuable insights, but some of it seems like victim blaming. Blaming the “me too” movement on bad parenting, rather than predatory men. Blaming victims of socioeconomic and political injustice, of which the mental health industry is so often a part, on bad parents, rather than the people who perpetrate these injustices. Why not, instead, at least acknowledge the very real pain and hardship caused by these injustices, and to the extent possible work to help people and bring an end to such injustices? Was the Holocaust or slavery caused by bad parents?

  • Good news for the very poor in the US! I just found out that I had gotten some bad information, or someone changed the rules. In any case, people on SSI Disability, and the homeless CAN get the $1,200 stimulus check. Here’s the link: Unfortunately, it is likely that many of the homeless and very poor will not have the resources to file for and receive the payments, but for the some of us, it is indeed a great blessing.

  • Let’s hope that will eventually be the case. I read a story about a pharmacist who was filling many prescriptions for opiods (spelling?), who became fed up, and eventually refused to fill anymore, because he or she knew that they were simply killing people. He or she either quit, or was fired because of it. That kind of willingness to make personal sacrifices for the sake of people’s genuine well being can have a real impact.

  • Hi J,

    Thank you for your comment. I quite agree that little things are important to everyone. I guess I am hoping to bring meaning out of my experiences and research. It’s like a story I once read about a formerly homeless woman who ended up getting a low-wage job in food service at a sports stadium. She would take the perfectly good leftovers and distribute them to the homeless. She never forgot her experiences and tried to bring good out of what she learned.

  • Hi Someone Else,

    Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes I think that creative, sensitive people, especially those of us who have experienced trauma, are more likely to get sucked into the mental health industry, as we can recognize that not all is well with the world, or even ourselves.

    I am so happy to hear that you have been able to work creatively during this pandemic. Excellent Q and A about Freud and the terrible emotional violence that has been done to survivors of abuse by those who were supposed to help them. I hadn’t really known how widespread the cover-up was.

    I am aware of the potential dangers of withdrawing form psychiatric drugs, but the alternative–taking them for life–is probably worse. I always worry a great deal about withdrawal psychosis every time I go down in dose. So far, so good. I hope I will be able to successfully come off of all drugs.

    God bless you too, and thank you for the work you are doing.

  • LaDonna,

    I am so glad that you appreciate and relate to my article. I am also happy to hear that you are building a life. Your story gives me hope, that I too may one day be able to build a life, especially once through with all of these medications.

    I had also suffered many difficulties, including sexual trauma, that probably helped me lean into the direction of the mental health industry. They present themselves as healers, and that was what I was expecting and hoping for. I hope that more psychiatric survivor stories can come out to warn people about the dangers of entering into the system.

  • Hi boans,

    I definitely agree with you about the “religion” of psychiatry, more like a cult. As it is not rooted in legitimate science, what else can it be called? If it weren’t for the use of force, intimidation, and political power, where would mainstream psychiatry be today? So many have been deceived and forced into psychiatry with sometimes disastrous results. I like to think that God can bring good even out of bad. If Jesus were alive in America today, he probably wouldn’t be crucified, but locked up and drugged for having delusions of grandeur and persecution.

  • I have been social distancing and washing my hands, as recommended, and I have begun wearing a mask, as recently recommended, in case I have it, so that I do not give it to anyone. I think you are wise to be weary of the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry as a whole. With my cocktail of psychiatric medications, I developed very high cholesterol, so my doctor put me on Lipitor, a statin. For two years, I became too afraid to drive at night. My Dad kept wanting me to get off of statins, but I wouldn’t, because I thought I wasn’t having any side effects. I finally googled it, and found out that Lipitor can impair night vision, so I quit taking it immediately. I have driven at night a few times since then, but am still very nervous about it.

    I am so sorry about all of you iatrogenic harm from psychiatric drugs. I too have many health problems that I did not have before. One of the problems that most bothers me is my lack of energy. I am hoping that once I am completely off of medication, that my energy can return.

  • Hi boans,

    I have read and enjoyed many of your comments on this website. You are quite right about how the church deals with the “mentally ill.” Churches are lacking in so many areas, and personally, I do not feel that everyone needs to believe in any kind of a God. So many people have been harmed by churches too, and “Christians.” I feel very strongly that people who feel the need to force their faith on others have some kind of a serious problem. Why isn’t it enough to believe what you believe without needing others to do the same? It can be even worse within churches where there is such strong pressure to conformity. Conformity to what, exactly? Does everyone need to be alike? Isn’t it our uniqueness and our diversity that is humanity’s strength?

    And I am so sorry for all that you have been through with the “mental health” industry.

  • Thank you so much for your kind and empathetic words. Your story is wonderful, but I am so very sorry for all that you have endured. I would most definitely like the opportunity to truly educate Christians about what a huge scam psychiatry is. Too many fall for it. I have read many Christian articles about “How should the church minister to the mentally ill?” As if we are somehow a subset of humanity. I am hoping with my book to articulate a more human approach to all people, an approach that I see as being more in line with Jesus.