Saturday, March 24, 2018

Comments by NewPC

Showing 22 of 22 comments.

  • Dear Michael,

    What a thoughtful, insightful essay. You may be chronologically 70, however despite your youth, you write from a sage and energetic essence and ageless vitality. Thank you so much for engaging this topic especially at a time in our world history when the scientific zeitgeist insists upon conducting research into how we might be able to use more than 10 percent of our brain rather than 10 percent of our heart, the true epi-centre of our energetic essence and vitality. It is wonderful to read your essay here, highlighting your heart based values of empathy, compassion and love.

    Everyday I read critical research and political news events that I feel are important to keep up with, but that render me bewildered at times. To echo what you have already stated, politics and other economic events sabotage our way of living naturally and cohesively, whether that is through the freedom to choose things such as the quality of food we eat or the safety and necessity of the medicine we sometimes physically require. This low humming fear and anxiety I feel (also growing yearly) is set within the modern nation state of chaos you so very accurately identified. I loved this passage especially,

    “Where do parents, siblings, relatives, teachers and caregivers find the easily accessible aquifers of love and serenity to renew themselves in the socially arid 24 hours we all travel through that make up a typical day?”

    I feel your work amplifies the virtues of empathy, compassion and love, and is itself an “aquifer of love”. It reminds me that these virtues can be an antidote for the elusive emotional wounds of omission about which you write; but perhaps one must first become aware of their elusive emotional wounds of omission. The way you describe how you hold the space for others who suffer painfully as they open to you, may be how they first become aware of such omissions. I imagine this is when they begin healing and this is what empathy, compassion and love is. In my opinion, this short essay is an opus on real healing.

    Your statement,
    “In my view, all of our intra-psychic, personal and familial experiences and
    relationships occur in the often extremely toxic and stressful emotional crucible that our
    dysfunctional culture provides for all of us regardless of social class”

    …could well serve as a basis of teaching newly minted therapists how to understand the complex nature of such cultural effects (many have not begun to understand the effects of such cultural exposure due to their limited training; or how the elusive emotional wounds of omission play a role in the integration of such cultural effects). Such lack of awareness may be a sign that the therapist may not be able to confront, understand, or even see their elusive emotional wounds of omission, much less those of the person sitting across from them. As you say, such hidden pain is the residual of our most fundamental needs for love, empathy and compassion not having been met. I wonder, is this the wounded healer’s unconscious need to heal?

    You succinctly describe from your rich experience in this area, “All of our intra-psychic, personal and familial experiences and relationships occur in the often extremely toxic and stressful emotional crucible that our dysfunctional culture provides for all of us regardless of social class”.

    It is quite challenging to understand and separate how such chaotic cultural effects are experienced in a relationship with early attachment figures, including the “emotional need’s deficits” that parents unknowingly pass down from generations before, and how this may ultimately manifest into emotional overwhelm. This has stirred me to think about other dysfunctional cultures such as the Catholic Church, which in my view, historically directly contributed to today’s modern nation state of chaos as we see such inequality between men and women, which often begins in the family home through the rules of the Church; paradoxically a far cry from the true teachings of Christ.

    I was born into and raised by an immigrant mother from a country where the Catholic Church was very much in control of her society. I have also had the good fortune of studying Catholicism from an academic, historical perspective which opened my eyes as to how the Church affected how my family operated and existed. I really had no idea how embedded the Catholic doctrine was in my otherwise liberal family system until I studied the message and values my parents unconsciously followed and blindly handed down to us.

    There I discovered much of what you refer to as the elusive emotional wounds of omission, similar to what I had read from historically critical views of the Catholic Church, and how this negatively affects many families, likewise causing states of chaos. There is a silent unspoken unnatural rule of a reticent order to all things in the Catholic family such as about marriage, divorce, social presence in the community, and a value assigned to children by gender, including according to their rank in the family. All of this is on a subconscious level. If any of these rules are accidentally broken, denial and shame often become the only means of coping with the broken rule. Moreover the Church, lead by men only, inform the congregation of issues related to all family matters without any women having been consulted which then translates to the father of the family being ‘head of the household’, someone who is usually absent due to work commitments. Rarely would the mother have an important say on major decisions despite her normally greater role and presence. Additionally, the sons are often glorified while the daughters are often kept in the background, meant to keep the house, etc. The indoctrination of the Church’s patriarchal austerity unconsciously happens in many families where any questioning of power and control is determined by the family’s level of commitment to their faith. The greater the commitment to their faith, the less likely any questions would be asked or answered. A scenario for example is, if a girl questions any of the unequal treatment she receives, she is likely to be hushed and dismissed. However, if she possesses a wilful intellect that questions things further, she likely gets branded as a radical child for questioning the order of things. Thus, the dye is cast and the daughter is seen as troubled, unable to fit in with a completely unnatural society, and cannot accept such oppression in exchange for salvation. Your reference to Laing is most applicable here. The son, meanwhile, becomes upheld as what may be described as somewhat of a messiah, depending on the parent’s devotion to the church. He becomes enabled with divine rights that only the boys of such doctrine are afforded such as not participating in domestic house keeping, no curfew, full access to joining sports, higher education, and in some families, the sons receive the entire inheritance while the daughters receive nothing. The inequality of values created and silently enforced by the Catholic
    Church really is quite profound, and contributes to emotional states that are incongruent with living healthily, yet are conducive to modern states of chaos.

    I see this dogma as a major influence not just on social culture in some countries; but on the expression of psychosis for those who have been subconsciously affected adversely by the Church. Its important to note that some families are not affected adversely by Church rules; however many are. For example, a manifestation of psychosis that I have personally witnessed was the delusional belief by the male person who was suffering emotional overwhelm of having to save the world from WWIII; or the delusional belief that they were the second coming of Christ. As I tried to understand the metaphorical structures I saw the delusion had a very important function of protecting this person from even further turmoil. When I saw this possibility, it allowed me to become more empathic in my response to him. The delusion seemed to function as an important natural resource for alleviating what had become the intolerable. I saw how these psychotic social and cultural expressions (of metaphorical structures) represented not only the effects of violence, poverty, racism, and community fragmentation, but also how they represented the huge deficits created by the lack of empathy, compassion and love from the family and closer social circle upon which he relied. Questions surfaced for me as a result of having witnessed such powerful delusions, such as, “Who in the family represented WWIII to the person that experienced the psychosis” and, “Who/what was the family member/threat that needed saving, so much so that the person who suffered the psychosis became the second coming of Christ in order to save them?”

    I feel there is a real need for understanding more social and cultural elusive emotional wounds of omission, their origins, and an even stronger calling to employ 100% of our heart to embrace empathy, compassion, and love as a natural source of lasting healing.

    Thank you Michael for an excellent essay, it’s been a privilege to read and discuss!

  • Paula, thank you for writing a succinctly pointed message about the importance of making CRPD national law.

    I appreciate how you introduced a philosophical question on authority (“Who in this world ought to have the right to make decisions about their lives”) and then showed how the egregious abuse of such power cyclically and iteratively lead to the creation of dangerous myths by which the offender could pillage a handsome means to live while squashing another’s human rights all in the name of “mental health” treatment.

    I would like to reflect on your good article, if I may, on some important aspects about your activism that I feel shouldn’t go unnoticed. You clearly demonstrate through your APA/OCR complaints activism why we need CRPD legislation not only to contain and end such abuses, but to absolutely assure human rights protections. The fact that you produced an entire dossier about the devastating harm caused by the myths of “mental illness” and wrote it into a complaint against the APA (The DSM 9) thus highlighting the hugely invalid and unscientific nature of the DSM 4 process is an incredibly courageous stand that you took against a powerful organization. You showed how the APA was engaged in a process that you knew was inherently unethical and harmful.

    But far more than that, you placed value and importance on the human emotional impact throughout the complaint process, and highlighted the devastation and serious harm that came from the DSM. By doing all of this, you also gave the complainants a voice to be heard, an opportunity to tell their story which may have been therapeutic and healing for some if one applies the values of narrative therapy. This required much foresight that only a truly committed empathic human rights activist could do.

    As you showed, the lack of CRPD legislation helps to ensure organizations like the APA can continue to run amuck, hide behind non profit status while pocketing millions at the expense of the people they harm, dismiss very serious complaints, and I would like to add that they also enjoy practically unfettered relationships with drug companies that even congress members find questionable at least.

    Moreover, we are in the midst of laws threatening to be passed such as DARK Act, TPP, and others that will unethically give many organizations a carte blanche free pass to get away with more harmful atrocities such as devastating the environment, causing more physical illness, causing further poverty, further economic decline, etc. But most of all, to achieve this through a “divide and conquer” them/us mentality. All of these issues combined affect us all whether we want to see it or not, and one would be forgiven for not wanting to take all of this on board. It really can be overwhelming, and terrifying as you said. Still, I believe we can’t afford NOT to be united as one common people, to pressure legislators to pass a “RUD free CRPD”, especially given how you, Paula, have highlighted the serious reasons why we need to do so.

    So ultimately this reply is a show of appreciation for your courageous leadership, determination, and inspiration in your human rights activism. Hopefully others will see the value of your work as I have, and see the possibilities you have inspired for change.

    And much gratitude also to Tina Minkowitz for her tireless and ongoing efforts in bringing about awareness on the importance of CRPD.

    PS: Just to add, I have read where some psychotherapists are rejecting HIPPA so they don’t have to “diagnose” or disclose information about the people they try to help. This helps them remain true to the original ethos of true therapy, which is to protect the rights and privacy of the person rather than cause iatrogenic harm to them. Kinda cool, that! Makes me hopeful that more therapists are silently working in ways that protect rather than pillage the rights of the people they help.

  • I am basically pointing out that in my view causation in this case is unable to be established using these reductionist methodological approaches, which are normally associated with quantitative research belonging to the hard sciences of biology and chemistry. My statement “correlation killed innocent people” refers to an aspect of the philosophical argument between qualitative and quantitative research camps. As I mentioned, it is not possible to establish causation in these cases using this approach. We have only correlation. And lost lives.

    I feel strongly that the correlation here between psych drugs and suicidal and homicidal behaviour is too statistically powerful to be dismissed, simply because “p>005”, for example. That is how I said correlation killed people. It is a conceptual reference. A conceptual conundrum highlighting the fact that statistics don’t help us in this tragic case.

    In my view it’s time to stop looking at human behaviour through these statistical lenses that belong to other domains and start approaching each case based on qualitative human observation. I feel that reductionist statistics have no really useful value in this tragic case.

    I do not like quantitative statistics used in the study of human behaviour because human behaviour (soft science) is not amenable to such rigid hard science methodology.

    I hope that makes sense.

  • YES! Ted!! thank you so much for saying what I believe is the bottom line here.

    If ant-psychiatry=
    *pro-human rights,
    then call us all anti-psychiatry!!!

    Psychiatry as it stands is completely anathema to truth, science, human rights and justice!

    It is seriously upsetting to see this previous editor of the DSM start to try to blend in with activists, etc. by denouncing the current DSM and suddenly warn everyone about psychiatry. As if he wasn’t behind many years of deadly treatments. He now shrugs his shoulders about his past and instead distracts us and points everyone to the new DSMV. How many people died or were irreversibly harmed because of his unscientific and invalid work. Lest we forget.
    Enough said.

  • Another great article, Michael!

    So nice to see how you have incorporated the very important and timeless works of Garfinkel and Goffman. I learned about these original thinkers when I did my dissertation and uncovered many reasons why (I feel) they are owed a debt of gratitude in our collective fight for human rights in so called “mental health”.

    I also really appreciate how you seemingly have turned the tables on psychiatry here, as you have shown that what applies to us applies to them. In my view, as you compassionately assist those who have been “diagnosed” by psychiatry, this insightful article also laterally reveals the status degradation that psychiatry truly deserves.

    Didn’t the wonderful Robin Williams refuse to be “diagnosed” as well, so he could live his life the way he wanted and use his life’s archetypal energy to make us laugh and cry?

    Thank you as ever, Michael, for your very meaningful contributions.

    Best wishes

  • Maria,

    Thank you for such a comprehensive and rationale look into how psychiatry practices bullying. I think you are right on target, and hopefully your good thoughts will sprout further, and lead to change in a practical sense.

    However, I would just like to add a reflection that is personal to me, in relation to your point that “Arguably, psychiatry is nothing more than officially sanctioned bullying and abuse”. Admittedly, my point is outside the scope of the objective of your fine article; however I feel it is a point to make.

    I see the bullying and abuse by psychiatry as criminal behaviour because they know well that serious harm and death is a very real outcome of their “policy”. They have access to well documented evidence which demonstrate how many of their practices are actually acts of reckless criminal negligence that have caused irreversible serious harm and death.

    I hope my point highlights why a challenge to their bullying and abuse is even more urgent, so as to hopefully prevent further acts of reckless criminal negligence.

    Thank you for raising this very important discussion.

    Best wishes

  • Hi Mary

    Thank you for your wonderful courage, and always standing up and speaking out for what is truly wrong with psychiatry. Your voice has strengthened so many other voices, and has helped countless others believe in their own healing. I am a big fan of yours and know that your story of healing and triumph is truly awe inspiring. You have so much love and support for all those around you in Cork, as well as internationally. Keep up the great work!

    Many blessings! xx

  • Hi Michael

    Thank you for yet another thought provoking article. I have not read any of the many replies here, so please excuse me if this has already been stated.

    When I read what Joanna Moncrieff said, and even though I am in no disagreement with her, I couldn’t help but think of a loved one who died at the hands of psychiatric abuse. Iatrogenic induced, of course. Reading from a critical perspective which carefully outlined the scientific manner in which these “anti-psychotics” work, claim to work, and how they do not work, as an explanation as to how my loved one died, was lost on me. For me, it is not the qualified professional’s carefully constructed and accurate statement that tells me what I know was the truth a long time ago. It was my lived experience, my apriori “knowing”, that these drugs did exactly what the article suggests. My loved one was labelled and drugged, and only when he started taking these deadly toxins, did he cycle in and out of psychosis. Never before did he ever have any of those problems or any of the subsequent physiological complications that came with these deadly drugs. I never needed any scientific explanation about how psychiatric drugs caused this harm. I knew it was the drugs because I knew intuitively that his behavior was “not him”.

    I truly respect and understand why these needlepoint dissections of science are hugely important; in my humble view, I believe they are best applied to the political argument. And very necessarily for that point of view. Politically and practically the scientific truth can become the scaffold for the human rights abuses and criminal negligence rampant within psychiatry.

    I just wanted to communicate that peripheral reflection with you, to say that “yes” I agree with your very good work (as always!) But not because of the tightly argued science. I agree with your article from having witnessing a loved one suffer and die from these drugs. My innate ability to reference the holistic being, the meta-physical, the love we shared, which was never amenable to science, was how I intuitively knew that these drugs caused not just the psychotic cycles, but the eventual sudden death.

  • Philip, I always know when you have written an article/blog, etc., to expect a clear and consistent argument. And you did it again here. Thank you so much for pointing out what needs to be said. We *need* to have this discussion! In my opinion, you accurately pointed out how things are far worse than most of us realize, when you wrote, “politicians are being lobbied for legislative and financial support”….in my view psychiatry is entirely political, never medical. Never. I believe much more criticism and pressure needs to be paid to this political front.

  • This is a topic very close to my heart, and would like to thank you for the article/interview.

    Just a few peripheral points to add to the mix, if I may. I feel it is right to present a “dissident’s truth” whenever possible. I hope you will not mind my indulgence.

    1) Psychiatry from DSMIII till today has caused the deaths of too many countless innocent lives, and rarely has any justice been served for these victims or their families.

    2) AF= Paradigm-creator-editor-stakeholder-slayer. Nothing stopped AF from editing and supporting a DSM IV and then IV-tr despite having known (or should have known) that the authors of DSM III acknowledged that very few of the diagnoses had been “validated”. At the helm of DSM IV and IV-tr, it was business as usual and enormous profits to be had in the promotion of an unscientific and invalid bible for mental illness. One only needs to read this article from Gary Greenberg, author of “The Book of Woe” to see that AF knew exactly what the stinking truth about all “mental illness” was all along:

    I want to know the truth here. Why is AF discrediting DSM V, challenging its validity now, when his editions promoted years of the same invalid and unscientific junk that lead to the deaths of innocent people and harm to many more?

    3) In my view, when the “challenging of the validity of the DSM V is more of a paradigm changer” than the “scientific reports that detail how the medications may be causing long-term harm”, suggests to me that the challenges to psychiatry’s tenure is more important to them than the long term harm they caused. I’d like to propose one step further than “may be causing long term harm” as RW suggests. These drugs (in keeping to a dissident’s truth here, these are drugs, not medications) are causally linked to a wide array of long term harm as Paula J. Caplan has demonstrated in her book “They Say You’re Crazy: How the worlds most powerful psychiatrists decide who’s normal”. Here’s a link to what I think are some pretty well constructed reviews on her book:

    4) In my view, any kind of re-medicalizing protocols will still cause more death and further harm. Its the “medicalizing” of emotions that is killing and harming! To “use the drugs in a very selective, cautious manner” seems to assure psychiatry the seat of judgment which has been a problem from the start. Unless “selective” includes the freedom of choice by the patient.

    5) Finally, I believe the only way people will be able to live productive and meaningful lives after having suffered serious emotional breakdown is if they are surrounded by love, support, non-judgment. Let’s face it, love, support, and non-judgment is free. I don’t see psychiatrists turning in the keys to the yacht just yet. At best they are reshuffling the chairs on the deck.

  • Maria,

    Thank you for a very insightful article. I agree. In fact, I would go deeper. There are many angles from which to cover what I am thinking in response to your article. But I will say this. I am alarmed that my profession (psychology) is seemingly drifting towards the hard sciences for an explanation of human behaviour. Each year, if conferences are any indication, there seems to be a new found love for neuroscience. At least, this has been my observation.

    Why this drift towards neuroscience as an explanation for human behaviour? I believe it is precisely so psychology can play catch up with psychiatry in terms of pseudo-power; to make a bid on the massive revenue allocated by drug companies, which are largely funding research and mental illness education etc these days. As we know, revenue from drug makers will find its way into whatever pockets that can produce any reason for making drugs. [All we have to do is look at what Biederman did for child bi-polar. See]

    According to psychologist Martin Seligman (2002) psychology had three missions before World War II. These were i) curing mental illness; ii) ensuring people’s lives were productive and meaningful; and iii) recognizing and nurturing their natural abilities. However, psychiatry rather than psychology has emerged as the dominant authority in the mental health field, especially since the introduction of thorazine in the 1950’s, investing its focus on psychology’s first mission, curing mental illness; at the cost of the second and third missions.

    Thankfully concerned clinical psychologists are still out there, as Helen demonstrated in her response to you. I was encouraged that she challenged your article, not because you were wrong in anything you wrote; but because it indicated that psychology’s rejection of the biomedical model is doing well. I felt there IS hope for psychology to remain true to its ethos and original mission with comments such as hers.

    It is NOW as important as ever to protect and to serve these second and third missions, and as ethical. Psychology has absolutely NO scientific or valid reason to drift towards neuroscience (or to have ever rested in the biomedical explanation for human behaviour for that matter).

    I try to believe most psychologists still believe in the value of the original three missions of psychology before WWII. But I am more likely to believe that absolute power corrupts absolutely. In this context, drug companies are like an insidious illness, invading every possible opening they can find. They are making their way to psychology, and nursing, and soon probably sports. Why not. This is why I believe it is seriously urgent that psychologists work ethically by foregoing the temptation of corruption and remain true to that original mission, and to join millions of consumers who have already walked away from psychiatry and have returned to the holistic, existential meaning and exploration of life.

    In the face of increasing psychiatric drug deaths by suicide, homicide, cardiac arrest, etc., which leave families irrevocably in ruin, this perspective does not seem much on the surface, but I think it is. More and more people are “thinking globally, acting locally” to change the multi-faceted paradigm of chemical, neurological junk science approaches to so called mental health. For example, I am encouraged at the number of Open Dialogue type approaches that seem to be taking root now, and I hope that it continues to flourish. A good thing always does.

    It is also through dedicated unstoppable prolific writers such as you and many others, that change is taking place….albeit very slowly. And tragically too slowly for too many good lives, such as your young innocent son. However, it is still change that is taking place. So good on you Maria, for raising the ethical questions that need to be raised. Good on you for being a part of the solution towards ending the deadly problem of adverse drug reactions.

  • A very important topic that has many people arguing about the “efficacy” of psychiatric drugs!

    Was just writing about this last evening. Here is what I have written,

    “For some people, taking psychiatric drugs on a short term basis provides a suspension from emotional distress, while ideally talk therapy or other intervention is started. This suspension from having to cope does not mean the cause of the problem is resolved. It just gives them a break from thinking.

    But there is more to it than that. In 1932 Tolman wrote about expectancy theory in his book “Purposive Behaviour in Animals and Man”, which highlights that we are more than just cognitive responses to stimuli. Evolving this theory into mental health currency today, Professor Irving Kirsch has conducted research into the placebo effect and hypnosis. He has found that anti-depressants are no more effective than sugar pills, also known as the placebo effect. He believes the operational process behind the placebo effect is response expectancy. In his research Kirsch shows that people will derive benefit from what they expect out of such treatment. What Kirsch suggests is how powerful the placebo effect truly is, and just how powerful the mind truly is.

    But there is more still, and this is very important. The environment is crucial to healing. Bruce Lipton showed in 1967 that the environment shapes genetics and behaviour with his stem cell experiments. So we know for sure the environment is crucial to shaping behaviour that leads to healing.

    In this context of environment, the treatment of the practitioner is very important. Practitioners who are compassionate and empathetic naturally want their “patients” to feel well. Through this caring attitude, the patient is in a better position to receive better care than from a practitioner who is cold and detached. Moreover, if the person has a good support network in his or her environment, through family, friends, community, and so forth, then re-stabilizing and recovery is more likely. But as research in Open Dialogues has shown, recovery is possible without the use of long term drugs.

  • Hi Robert

    Thank you for such a thorough analysis, as always. I felt your call for change was right on the money, and very respectful.

    Unfortunately for my family, we have been completely betrayed not just by a psychiatrist, but by the entire system all the way up to federal level because nobody really wants to upset the status quo, in my research experience anyway. The sheer number of people who have died as a result of this harmful pathologizing and drugging of human distress is criminal. And more or less, astonishingly, they have completely gotten away with it. Such injustice is more than betrayal.

    Its very possible that you alone have created the first real oversight that psychiatry has ever had, through your impeccable and inspirational work. For that, and on behalf of all the people that your work *might* still be able to save, I thank you.

  • Hi Daniel,

    I love your work as a film maker, and will continue to look for your future documentaries as I feel they are of immense importance to the community.

    I am currently in training to become a humanistic and integrative psychotherapist. As I read your experience I became worried about what I might be in for; but then as I read on I began to question the training you received, and your experience with a supervisor that clearly was not a good fit for a man of your seemingly deeper sensitivities and obvious aptitude (which I feel comes out in your films as well as your sharing here)

    As part of my course reading, I recently read a passage that I think may have relevance here….Margaret Rioch stated “If students do not know that they are potentially murderers, crooks and cowards, they cannot deal therapeutically with these potentialities in their clients” (Rioch, et al 1976). When I first read that passage I thought for days about its relevance, implications, etc for my future work. It also reminded me of Philip Zimbardo’s “Lucifer Effect”, because he showed how all humans possess such natural tendencies.

    I can’t help but wonder in your practice as a therapist if this natural aspect of human nature may have affected your individual personality enough to make you want to leave it all behind and search for other reflections of self? I believe whatever career/vocational path we choose is a reflection of ourselves, and wonder if this was an aspect that you did not wish to be reminded of through the reflection of your clients’ potentialities anymore. I am not even sure how that fits in with your experience, if at all. However, upon reading of your experience, these thoughts surfaced.

    I salute your courage and integrity to question how your work has affected you, when so many therapists who undoubtedly experience the same, just continue taking clients anyway. I am happy that you are feeling healthier because nothing is worth trading in your health. It sounds to me as though your deeper sensitivity to other people’s suffering meant you (like many other psychotherapists apparently) became more susceptible to health problems. To me, this questioning said a lot about your deep moral honesty which is very refreshing. I think you have continued to do therapy in your film making, where you do not have to absorb the intense pain at such a great cost to your health.

    I feel fortunate and grateful that in my training these topics such as the questions you posed {i.e.burn out} is prevalent. As I continue to train and take on clients this year, I will be reminded of and continue to learn from your experience. And for that I thank you for sharing.

    Best wishes,

  • I do not understand why a challenge to bureaucracy is organized around drawing new support for the other evil monster, the ICD. Why cant the challenge to bureaucracy support the BOYCOTT of the DSM entirely, to urge practitioners to refuse purchasing this book of fraud, and to refuse using its diagnostic coding at all? Change has to happen in drastic terms, I am afraid, but not in a way that invites the APA and insurance companies to easily adapt to a new billing procedure based on the ICD. I am afraid this is just rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. Why replace one stinking rotten bad apple with another stinking rotten bad apple?

    I applaud the effort, and the intent. But I wish this effort were as revolutionary as the work of Paula Caplan. I have read about what she is doing, and remain totally amazed at her bravery and courage. She is actually “taking it to them” (the APA), showing up at their offices, (the APA), relentlessly challenging them about their lack of scientific evidence and invalid procedures, and constantly finding ways to publicly out the devastating harm that they have committed for decades (and have gotten away with).

    Admittedly, I do not know a lot about the bureaucracy involved in billing procedures; but as I keep coming back to this proposed bureaucratic challenge of swapping DSM codes for ICD codes, I keep wondering, “why dance with the devil?”

  • Hi Bruce,

    Excellent article, as always. I would like to add to Richard’s comment, that the leftover core of activists and leaders of this generation who have managed to escape psychiatric drugging (and therefore not necessarily silenced) will be lost to arrest and thrown into the many acres of new prisons that are purpose built for that reason.

  • Jonathan, thank you for such a “refreshing” look at our innate connection to Mother Nature. I completely share your views, and have seen first hand Wilson’s Biophilia Hypothesis, in how working with animals can transform one’s experience of learned helplessness, worthlessness, hopelessness into a sense of confidence, and inspire great change. Something about the deep instinctual connection to nature that promotes understanding and healing for so many. IMHO your work is an excellent contribution to therapeutic and preventive alternatives, as well as an adjunct to bio-medical model psychiatry (that are really not alternatives; rather, life’s energy permitted to breathe!).

    Its a disgrace that something as natural as fresh air has to be fought for, but thankfully you have played such a positive role in making change for those who suffer in your state.

    I completely support your position, and will share your good article with many friends and networks.

    Please keep writing about this!

    Best wishes


  • I am glad and relieved to read a reply that hints at the real issue, in my opinion. I think the real problem is the DSM. If this manual had not been written, psychiatry would not be able to bill insurance, etc but more importantly, emotional distress would be far less medicalized, and diagnosis would be much harder (rightfully so) to apply. With a non-DSM approach to emotional distress (aka mental health) nearly all of the harm caused by psychiatry will be reduced dramatically. Everything starts with the DSM, and removing this piece of garbage would level the playing field once and for all.