Thursday, May 26, 2022

Comments by registeredforthissite

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  • I empathise with the author. Here, all of us know the problems with psychiatric categorisations and the losses they cause in life.

    But keeping aside the article, I will just say in general:

    Psychiatry or no psychiatry, having a diagnosis or none at all; if your state of mind is not good, refrain from driving a vehicle of any sort, and do this by yourself. If there is one accident which not only harms you but other people, and that person is found to have a psychiatric categorisation applied to him previously, it would destroy the whole group of people with psychiatric categorisations.

  • @rebel: Nothing that I said contradicts anything you said. Of course, there are drugs that cause hallucinations. This happens with psych. drugs sometimes. But we are not talking about drug induced hallucinations.

    Also, you can absolutely fake itching. You can do it right now by scratching your hand for no reason and lying to the person beside you that your body is itching a lot.

    What you can’t fake is the feeling of being itchy, which is the distinction I made in my earlier post. That is something that lies within your own self. You can’t will your body into thinking “make me feel itchy now” and “fake it” that way.

    P.S. There are psych. drugs that also cause the urge to itch.

  • I disagree with Bradford. Even the feeling of itching may not be provable by outward, objective, physical manifestation (like a pimple). A person could be faking the feeling of itching by scratching his hand. But that doesn’t tell you whether he’s experiencing the feeling or not.

    A person who is hallucinating could be doing a myriad of things. Speaking to a non-existent figure (though people with no hallucinations also do this when they recollect traumatic conversations with people in the past), he could be followings the commands of voices which tell him to drink poison (though a person could actually fake it, which is rare). All sorts of things.

    A person can call this schizophrenia or simply state, if they are cognizant of it, that they see and hear things that aren’t there. But dismissing the reality of it in all cases is simply harsh, untrue and invalidates the real pain of what people go through.

  • Article after article on this website. Still the same old commenters. People retiring and people dying. And still. Nothing changes. Nothing. I’ll consider this place a success when none of the old commenters post a comment again. Or maybe post like 4-5 comments a year. Because then, you know that individuals are engaged in life and are doing something worthwhile and actually living. What existence is this otherwise. Marginalised and in pain.

  • That is why, if you notice my original comment, I used the word “kindness” in quotes. Unfortunately, I think writing on this place is making little difference in the real world. I doubt even 1% of mental health workers read this place. Most disgusting practices which are taking place under the guise of mental health treatment continue to happen. The least they could do is at least be honest about it. It doesn’t take much for them to say: “yes, our psychiatric categorisations can damage your life”, “yes, our drugs can make you worse than you were or be as bad as your original issues”, “yes, our profession is often used by people with less than good intentions to gaslight people”, “yes, it is wrong of us to say that a lot of the issues that our chosen profession deals with are not like cancer or diabetes which have nothing to do with your character, conduct or sanity”, “yes, there are simpler and better solutions where we could do things which are more tangible: like provide financial assistance etc. to people than simply turn them into psychiatric patients”.

    Even that’s not happening. A large chunk of patients are no better either. They treat them like gods at their own peril, not even realising what’s happening to them. Their problems make them weak, and their need to rely on the mental health system makes them doubly weak. The latter applies (or has applied) to us as well.

    We are failures too. We have criticised the mental health system but we haven’t been able to find a solution for people who suffer from problems (without which no one will believe us). A psychiatrist with a prescription pad or a psychologist, no matter how wrong he is in his approach, has, on an average, more power and value than us. It is my dream in life, first to get better myself, and then to at least help just one person escape this mess. To provide someone the real world help I did not have, and the knowledge I gained too late. Whether I will ever be able to accomplish this is a different matter. But I don’t want this desire to take me down the rabbit hole of becoming a psychologist or a token peer worker in some mental health institution like so many before me.

  • Also, just to mention: I am so grateful for this website and the whole team on here. It must have been even more horrendous than it is today, for people trapped in the mental health system and gaslighting families/people before such places. No place to tell your truth or truth in general, like it is.

  • Think of how many already hurt people psychiatrists and psychologists have (even inadvertently) re-hurt and marginalised from society by psychiatrically labelling them, only for those people to be gaslighted into oblivion and anonymity. Into a corner with no escape. It’s truly disgusting. They are perverse. I don’t care how much they smile on social media or YouTube, or how nice they are to their families, or even if they are ‘kind’ to vulnerable people in vulnerable situations, if this is what the end result of their actions is.

  • This ‘diagnosed with a disorder’ stuff in psychiatry is nonsensical. It’s not like someone presents with a fever and an altered sense of smell and on nasal swab and bloodwork investigation, you find out they have coronavirus (which is an external infectious disease causing a problem). All they do is re-word behaviour with circular labels, and then give those labels agency, as explanations to problems. It’s a dangerous slight of hand trick. And just look at those ‘disorders’ and how they’re used. Social media provides good insight into the political and legal nature of these.

    One look at the following discussions is enough to make you gag with revulsion:

    In the interests of not getting my reputation destroyed, please note that I have NEVER been labelled with this psychiatric ‘diagnosis’/label/categorisation. This post is merely to explain what psychiatric categorisations, irrespective of what they are, are like:

    Readers are welcome to visit some of these threads:

    1.) What is the most effective way to deal with a slander campaign from a Borderline Personality Disorder ex?

    2.) Have you ever been widely slandered by a person with Borderline Personality Disorder? How did you handle it?

    3.) Is is best to cut someone who has BPD out of your life?

    4.) Why are people with BPD so hated?

    In the 4th link, Nav Ng who says he’s been abused by a ‘BPD woman’ writes pretty clearly:

    “BPD people:

    For God’s sake don’t start any relationships without warning potential partners of your condition. Kindly don’t inflict your misery on the rest of us.

    And don’t ever bring a child into this world, it is worse enough already with the rest of us suffering from your lot being let loose in society. Consider sterilising yourself, if you have any empathy left.”

    Now, each of these people write about their experiences with certain abusive and difficult people. But note that none of them simply say that: that they have had abusive people in their life. They shoehorn the term ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’, a defamatory and tautological psychiatric categorisation into the picture. And individuals in mental health have the audacity to say that these categorisations are ‘just like diabetes and cancer’. They are absolute bastards for saying so. Forgive my language, but calling them bastards is very mild compared to what they do. They deserve it.

    People should always get justice from unwarrantedly abusive people. But not on the basis of psychiatric categorisations. Rather it should be based on actions and mitigating circumstances.

    This is clearly a function that psychiatry provides. To do away with unwanted individuals, not simply in terms of their actions or behaviour, but rather on the basis of the psychiatric categorisations applied to them. It always provides a useful function to label the opposite party with some kind of a ‘disorder’ for this purpose. In those same links I provided, you’ll find people put under the BPD categorisation argue with people trying to disprove their position about people with BPD. None of these guys realise they’ve been massively duped by people more powerful than them when they sought out help in vulnerable situations. They’re in the ‘it’s all science’ phase of their lives.

    For all the abusive individuals placed under these categories, think of how many people whose lives have been ruined by abusive individuals got placed in these categories.

    It is perfectly legitimate for people to ask to be not labelled with ANYTHING in the DSM. It’s a legitimate defensive response. Unfortunately, I do not think you can get legal justice from people who have MDs in Psychiatry when they do that.

    Members of the public and mental health workers have gotten used to mockery, condescension and gaslighting in terms of ‘it’s common for these people to deny their illness’ types of statements.

    I have also had severely abusive people in my life. But I hate these categorisations and what mental health workers do to people MORE than I could ever hate what these abusive people have done. I want justice too. But on the basis of behaviour and actions alone, and not psychiatric categorisations.

    I do not care what a person has done. He/she might have stomped on the heads of ten 6-month old babies, crushing their skulls and making their brain ooze out like toothpaste. A person might have set an entire village on fire. A person could have gaslighted a victim into madness. In such cases, their victims should get justice based on the behaviour of these perpetrators. NOT on the basis of supposed ‘diagnoses’ of this nature.

    Note: MIA team, please provide a text-editor on this website. This way of writing is very cumbersome. I have to manually type the syntax for hyperlinking, for making words bold, italic etc.

  • I don’t think there’s harm in them conducting this sort of research IF it does not entail, at the end of the day, mental health workers telling patients that their individual brains have X or Y dysfunction without any sort of proof of it in the brains of those specific individuals. Also, this should not take away from the practical fact that this is currently of no practical relevance to anyone who steps into a department of psychiatry for any sort of suffering. Nor should this stop the considerations of the devastating long-term impact of psychiatric categorisations.

  • @Marie:

    I don’t agree with many of the responses here. I completely understand why the sort of problems you mentioned are conceptualised as illnesses and how (depending on the case), urgent, problematic and long-lasting a person’s suffering can be. But, as I mentioned in another comment, I also see how psychiatric language and psychiatric categorisations set up the illness concept to invalidate people, assassinate their characters and personalities, gaslight them etc. You can’t do this with bronchitis or kidney stones because they don’t pertain to character, conduct, feelings, mood and sanity. Hence, people’s opposition to the illness characterisation.

  • Cancer, diabetes, COVID, influenza, kidney stones, dental caries, appendicitis, bronchitis etc. have nothing to do with a person’s character, conduct, feelings, and sanity.

    Human suffering is real and can require urgent help, these psychiatric characterisations in terms of disease and illness are often, in practice, used to justify malicious attacks on a person’s character and incessant gaslighting. There’s absolutely no justice when that happens. None whatsoever.

    I have seen people, be it mental health workers, patients themselves (who are probably totally reliant on mental health workers and have no other choice but to spout their party line even if they don’t realise it) and even members of general society talk about “There is nothing derogatory about psychiatric diagnoses. It’s like saying you have the flu”.

    Once again, the flu has nothing to do with a person’s character, conduct, or sanity.

    And you can’t retaliate back. The very garbage you are labelled with is their weapon against you. Condescension and gaslighting are all that comes in the form of retorts like “poor child, no one likes being labelled and accepting they have a problem” or “how many people with *insert x disorder* will be here in defensiveness and denial?”. Or it’s the usual “Scientology guys back at it again.”

    People really need to know what they’re getting into socially, legally and medically when they’re seeking help from the mental health profession because most psychiatrists and psychologists really want to protect their image at all costs and won’t take anyone who opposes them seriously unless it comes to a stage where they have no choice but to. In that case, either a suffering person is left to fend for themselves, or is psychiatrised even more or their character is assassinated. And then we have to retaliate in a similar fashion and this war rages on.

  • Guys, sorry to veer away from this discussion, but does anyone have any idea what is going on with people who call themselves “Targeted Individuals”? I talked to a woman online a few months back. She seemed delusional to me. She told me the military was spying on her, that there were energy weapons directed towards her, that people in stores were playing stasi tactics on her etc. She even accused me of those tactics.

    Another person I know talked to such an individual online (whether it’s the same individual, I don’t know). Someone wrote a forum post regarding the same on MIA. I never knew there were large groups of people claiming this stuff till this other person talked to a supposed “Targeted Individual” and I looked up the term online.

    There’s a Wikipedia article on this phenomenon called Electronic Harassment.

    Here’s a woman posting such stuff on her Youtube channel.

    Here’s another article. The comments section is full of individuals claiming similar stuff.

    There’s also a documentary on VICE’s YouTube channel regarding the same.

    This is so weird. What is this? Some mass delusion?

  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). A fancy word for things which involve activities like making notes in a book, recognising cognitive biases (plenty of material you can read on the internet about them), relaxation exercises and stuff like that. Now, these things can be useful for people. A person can apply them in his/her life. Writing a journal can be good for anyone. But the term “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy” and the word “therapy” attached to it makes it look like it’s some sophisticated procedure when it’s nothing of the sort.

    People suffer and they want to do something about it. They end up in these sessions which often don’t solve anything tangible at all.

    As the author mentions, if the person is being abused or has other tangible problems, what the hell would this crap do?

    If a person is suicidal because of financial problems, he/she needs money. If one comes from an abusive household or workplace, one needs justice or resources to get out of that place.

    Ending up in these sessions just ends up being more gaslighting.

    If someone comes from an abusive family, gets labelled and then ends up in “CBT”, that very abusive person might called them a “mad person who needs (or is currently undergoing) ‘treatment’ “. I’ve seen it happen before, and it’s sickening.

    I sometimes wonder if this CBT stuff (when it comes from “therapists”) actually helps people or it actually helps the “therapists” in making an income or furthering their careers.

  • The word “nerve” doesn’t appear in the article anywhere. And you missed the point of the article. She’s trying to convey the fact that people actually have tangible problems to deal with and listening and talking inside a room and doing worksheets etc., is not going to solve them, and often ends up localising the problems in the brains of the sufferer which basically causes more suffering.

  • I shouldn’t say “are devastating”, but rather they “can be devastating” depending on the individual and his/her circumstances.

    Suffering is real. Depression, anxiety, panic, inattention etc. and the whole gamut of problems in thinking, living and feeling human beings have are real. I think everyone, even here, acknowledges that.

  • I don’t think people who study psychiatry per se are evil individuals with horns on their heads. You have asked “Don’t you think psychiatrists save lives and restore hope?”. Depends on the person.

    Good intentions don’t mean good outcomes. Good intentions don’t always stay good intentions once there is conflict. Good intentions don’t mean what one does is not hurtful.

    People here have written incessantly about how behavioural labelling, coercion directly or indirectly as a result of psychiatry has destroyed their lives, brought them enormous gaslighting, social, legal and medical problems. If you don’t understand that, you miss the point of this site.

    You are here, like many before you, citing papers with information about genetics, proteins, neurotransmitters etc. Practically speaking, for the everyday individual, there are very few things that come from psychiatry. Some form of suffering leads to a person or his/her family wanting help. Mental health workers are the de facto people individuals are guided towards by someone or the other. Help comes in the form of listening and talking, behavioural labelling and drugs. If the person is unlucky, he experiences coercion. And that’s all. The power imbalance is huge. The opposite side can label you, make observation after observation about you in files which you may have little access to, can force drugs onto you even if it is hurting you, can make pronouncements on your life rather than on something like a bone, or an infection in your blood, and those pronouncements are believed “because they are ‘medical doctors'”, even if they are nonsensical and the person making those pronouncements has not walked in your shoes a day in his/her life.

    There is a difference between providing help as wanted and providing help that you want to provide.

    If stimulants, SSRIs, mood-stabilisers or whatever drugs have helped people and they like being on them, they should take them. But if they are damaging them, they have a right to speak about it too.

    If I accept that yes, there are psychiatrists who are decent people with good intentions to help others, would you also accept that the methods of help employed by people who have become psychiatrists have caused great harm to others? What would you need for that? Journal papers? I can understand the desire for evidence of that form, but not everything in life will have a study associated with it.

  • This is a common theme everywhere. I live in a different continent, and I’ve experienced the same thing. Gaslighting tactics by abusive family members. Once you have a psych. history, you always end up there. People who become psychiatrists do not and cannot truly comprehend this. The only way they could is if they experienced it themselves. And if they did experience it, their mental state would have gone so awry that they could never have become doctors in the first place. It’s a Catch-22 situation. The only people who can truly help you are those who understand it. But the ones in purportedly helping roles are the ones who can’t understand it, else they could not have gotten their positions in the first place.

  • There’s a lot of research on this stuff. Paper after paper is published. But hardly anyone ever prevents any of this “trauma” when it’s actually happening.

    Psychiatric departments often end up just re-abusing abuse victims by labelling them and effectively turning them into lab rats for research and study. In the whole process, the guys doing psychiatry slowly improve their own social status and research careers while the victims turn into an underclass of society. It’s disgusting.

  • Just a few moments ago, I talked online to a woman who was delusional. She told me the military was spying on her, that there were energy weapons directed towards her, that she has special abilities, that she was chosen by God and that people in stores were playing stasi tactics on her.

    When I told her that she’s not alright (and I didn’t say “get help”), she said “Ah, here come the stasi tactics” and that just like her mother I was accusing her of being mentally ill. She told me she knew who I was.

    I obviously wasn’t around her and I didn’t know what was happening to her. Whether she was having a manic episode brought on by antidepressants or something non-drug induced was going on or whatever else.

    And you know what? I STILL would not send this woman to any person who is a psychiatrist (except under very specific conditions that no person in a professional role will accept) or let her be labelled as a schizophrenic, schizoaffective, bipolar, or whatever else. That’s the last thing this woman needs. A transient phase of suffering being turned into a lifetime of degradation.

    In this moment of distress, if she comes to some realisation about her current state of mind, she will take herself to a shrink because she’s desperate and doesn’t know what else to do. If not, her family or the people who are around her will take her. Then the standard procedure follows: Label her with a few life-destroying labels and give her one or two drugs from the standard arsenal of drugs in psychiatry. And whether the drugs work or not, she’s trapped after that.

    While it may provide temporary relief, it could be the worst mistake of her life in the long run.

    These are the situations that worry me. The situations of extreme distress that drive people into the psychiatric system, because they don’t know what else to do.

  • The above might seem off topic, but it’s related. You brought up the point of meds, but individuals can get so frustrated or screwed over by the psych system for a plethora of reasons, they end up hating everything associated with it, prescription drugs included. Now, if you could walk into a store and purchase pills like you purchase detergent (and I know the pitfalls of that {drug abuse, lack of knowledge etc.}), no shrinks or psych system involved, it would be a lot different. People would try them out like they try booze or smokes. Take whatever they want and not take what they don’t. Just saying.

  • They are also doing other nasty things in psychiatry like labelling people with disorders for drug induced effects of psychiatric drugs. It is common for people with attention problems to be prescribed stimulants and for people with anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts etc. to be prescribed SSRIs. It’s bad enough that they have those problems. But when these drugs make some of these people manic and psychotic and do ridiculous things which they would not do otherwise, they are swiftly labelled “bipolar”. It amounts to a neat way to remove responsibility from the drug or prescriber and ascribe it as a problem of the patient even when nothing like that ever happened prior to psychiatric drug use.

    Tuberculosis drugs can cause psychosis in some people. Do they label people as “schizophrenics” due to that?

    Next, things like “personality disorders” which enter into the moral territory of people’s behaviour with others around them, they often amount to state sanctioned defamation. I’ve had severe family problems and I’ve been confrontational with both them and shrinks because they were a danger to my well-being and reputation. I could have been labelled with one of those things if I weren’t careful enough and if you saw only that side of me, and there’s nothing to say I might not be in the future. Also, the way I behave with those groups of people is very different to how I behave with my friends or with strangers. I might be personable in the latter case.

    Can a person sue a psychiatrist under any legal grounds for such labels? I’m not sure. I don’t care much about politics (and this could apply to any politician or human being), but, as an example, why were so many people so eager to label ex-US President Trump with a personality disorder because they didn’t like his policies or behaviour? Criticise the man, his behaviour and his policies all you want, but why medicalise it and wrap it around in the garb of some circular reasoning based disorder? Go to YouTube comment sections under videos of personality disorders, and you’ll find people label their moms, dads, children, spouses, ex-partners and every Tom, Dick and Harry they don’t like with such labels. Why not state a man’s behaviour for what it is and hate that behaviour and that individual person rather than do that? There’s a difference between ordinary labels and words which we use in colloquial language (which we all do) and the medicalised ones which appear as “diagnoses” in health files, and soon dwindle into the narrative of bad genes and bad brains.

  • I agree with you that a severe low mood, anxiety etc. which cripple a person are very real. And when a person is in the throes of extreme suffering, he’d be desperate for help. Denying the reality of suffering is not good. But helping people the way the mental health profession does is horrible.

    In a period of acute suffering, a person would be so desperate to end the pain, that the only thing on his mind would be to do just that, i.e. to end it. Many of these people are also teenagers with not much power in their hands. They can’t plan 10 years ahead or what the impact of whatever mental health treatment they get would be years down the line, socially, legally, medically or in any other way. Among many other things, being told by mental health workers that it is okay to be labelled with stigmatising and derogatory labels, and there are millions of such people, so it’s fine, is just wrong. I have never yet met a shrink who admits the dangers of his profession, except some renegade ones here.

    See my post below for more details.

  • I’m okay with meds as long as I don’t have to get labelled with labels to get them or have observation after observation about all sorts of aspects of my life written in files I have no access to, which can be read left, right and centre by healthcare providers and in which a person who is a psychiatrist can write rubbish about me with basically impunity; the choice is my own, and I have appropriate information about what I’m taking. Long shot, I know.

    But it doesn’t work that way in practice. The power imbalance is massive. Every label you get labelled with has life-changing negative social and legal repercussions. Coercion is a thing. Now, I don’t think coercion is bad in and of itself in the sense that you might be pestered by your employer to come to work on time. But it’s much scarier and more dangerous in psychiatry. Very easy for others including family members to get their way through people who are psychiatrists. Gaslighting is also a thing.

    And it isn’t just the psychiatrists. Even many of the people in roles of patients are so indoctrinated with the whole thing, so deep into the system, that they’re basically like people drowning in a lake, and they don’t take your hand because they want to get out of the whole debacle, but basically they reach out only to drown you in the pond along with them. They see mental health professionals as beyond what they really are, almost like quasi-gods.

    I’ve also seen that it’s become a trend for former patients to become some part of the system themselves, either as peer workers, psychologists or whatever else. How many people become infectious diseases doctors because they had a bad case of dengue? Not many. In a small number of cases they die, but usually they get better and go home. Years down the line, they may not even remember the names or faces of the doctors who treated them. There’s a beginning and an end, unlike in psychiatry where revolving door patients are common.

  • I like you. I wish you were around in my country. You seem like a person who can understand the merits and demerits of your chosen field and can help me and people like me get out of some of the crap that we are stuck with when it comes to psychiatry, because I (and others) don’t dare to go to anyone in my country (others in theirs). I’ve never met anyone here who shares these views. Unfortunately, you do not live in my country, which sucks for me.

    On the whole, you simply come across as an honest individual, which is something that is far more valuable in this world than any credentials.

  • Naturally brain injuries would change the way one behaves or even remove all behaviour at all and put one in a coma. They can even paralyse a person physically (like in a stroke) or even end life itself.

    But if we’re going down the path where we say that all unwanted or distressing thoughts/behaviours=injured brains, then the brain of anyone who is a problem to themselves or someone else or feels distress is an “injured brain”. The brains of people who are defiant of authority are injured, those who are addicted to video games are injured and the list goes on.

    If you become sad due to a traumatic occurrence or become agitated because you get bullied, I don’t think you’d call that sadness a result of a brain injury.

    If we went down that path, every time a person gets mugged on the street, he should not go to a police station but to a neurologist because his perception of the mugging is in his brain. If he’s hungry because he cannot afford food, he should not go to a queue where food is being offered for the homeless, but to a neurologist because the feeling of hunger is perceived by the brain. Hell, you could drug someone into a stupor and make them forget all their miseries.

    This is how you pathologise problems, how it turns into brain-blaming and gene-blaming with devastating consequences.

  • I would never invalidate anyone’s suffering or problems and I full well know that they are very real and can be severe, disabling and create situations of urgency, no matter what label(s) they have. But I will always speak out against psychiatric labelling. People like to compare psych. labels to asthma, diabetes, heart disease etc. and I can understand why. But those things have nothing to do with a person’s thoughts, character or conduct. All psychiatric labels do, and they sometimes have a devastating impact on people. Of course, people can label themselves whatever they want. But I would never give it credence. Failing to have a career can make you depressed and agitated (which falls under the purview of psychiatry), but it won’t cause cancer or asthma. These are some important differences.

  • There are some positives in my life which are allowing me to sustain myself without falling prey to the mental health system. Without it, I would have a fate worse than death. They would surely have turned me into a confrontational disheveled beggar at the mercy and charity of doctors. I don’t know how I’ve even made it this far in life.

    When I read people’s experiences of this nature, a part of me feels like it’s happening to me, and I feel sick inside. Like the author of this article, I have faced bullying, insults and have also been severely stigmatised, insulted and gaslighted because of psych labels. I have had nasty lies and manipulations spread about me by a socially and financially powerful “parent”/father. From a decent person (which I still am fundamentally), I have turned into a person who has breakdowns when such things happen and end up in screaming and shouting matches with my mother about why she didn’t leave him for so many years and put both our lives in danger. Not something I like at all, but like flesh to flame, it is almost impossible to not react to the pain. I avoid doctors even for ordinary medical problems. Of course, all this makes me look mad and lacking in civility. Some people would not like being around someone like me and might probably think I should be drugged and made to keep shut. But actually, that would make me even worse. What would make be better is justice and safety. But easier to do the former than the latter.

  • If what’s written is true, I am absolutely appalled by the way in which you have been treated, but it’s not unexpected at all. Please know, you have the support of many of us, even if we cannot physically be around you. The fact that you have boldly faced these people and entered as a professional into the very system that traumatised you is such an incredible feat and you must have to put on a fake smile and hide your pain just to get through the day everyday.

    I have always said “personality disorders” are state sanctioned defamation irrespective of the behaviour of the labelled or whatever precursors that lead to that behaviour, which can be stated as is. Other people vehemently stand by it because they profit off of it in some way, either because they set up clinics or are “personality disorder experts” or because they are people looking to understand the behaviour of someone they do not like or someone who finds use in using such labels to keep someone under check/control. Hopefully, in the future, it will be seen in the same light as “drapetomania”.

    This is one of the EXACT reasons I avoid the mental health system like the plague. I know the risk of further labelling given I’ve already been labelled in the past (not with a personality disorder, though who knows if they’ll even label me with that in the future).

  • I’m a big Harry Potter fan and I do think it can be helpful to people. But I don’t understand why they treat these things like experiments, those kids the subjects (a.k.a lab rats) and publish papers regarding this sort of stuff? Can’t they just be ordinary human beings and tell their peers, “You know, children love Harry Potter and they were very engaged and felt better when used Harry Potter, Ron Weasley etc. as examples to teach them to cope with life”.

    Imagine setting up a place where a queue of poor people line up for food and then you publish a paper with scientistic jargon on it like those homeless people are an experiment.

    “A total of 200 homeless individuals aged 40-60 were granted societal permission to participate in the intervention group, and an additional 230 made up the wait-list to stand in the queue for food. Participants in both conditions completed measures pre-and post-intervention to assess suicidality (treated in this study as a composite measure of self-reported suicidal ideation and attempts), self-reported emotion dysregulation, interpersonal chaos, confusion about self, impulsivity, and self-reported depression and anxiety symptoms. T-tests were conducted to compare changes across various queues of homeless people and between conditions.”

    This is what is the difference between helping a human being like another human being and being a “professional”. Journals have their place, but not like this.

    It is appalling that this is what “science” has come to. It is also worse that there are so many members in society these days (“intellectuals”) who have become programmed to understand only this sort of language in place of any natural human understanding.

  • Also, Dr. Gotszche,

    MIA team, please make sure the author of the article reads this comment.

    I am the son of a surgeon too. My mother’s husband has been an associate professor and a Head of Department of Urology in several institutes in India. While he was an abusive bastard, I used to enjoy going to hospitals and watching surgeries. I watched dozens of them even before the age of 10. I was even taught to use a manual sphygmomanometer by the attendant anaesthesiologist as a kid. I have seen proper medicine up close and it is a fascinating and essential subject.

    I have had multiple root canals, an implant, an appendectomy, bronchitis and various other problems. Never have I once been confrontational with a doctor. In fact, I am kind to them, and if they are young doctors, I try to be polite and gentle with them, so that even they feel comfortable and don’t make mistakes.
    The only doctors I start screaming at are my mother’s husband and shrinks.

    I do NOT enjoy insulting anyone. If I’m doing so, it is out of utter anger after many years of absolute rubbish.
    You were a former Director of the Nordic Cochrane Collaboration. You know the the psychiatrists in the South Asian Cochrane collaboration and the dunces in that CMC Psychiatry Department. And not just that. All of them. NIMHANS, PGI-Chandigarh, JIPMER, AIIMS, KMC, how many ever psychiatry departments you can get your hands on in India and various other places.

    Instead of merely writing blog posts here, use your authority as a renowned doctor and beat some sense (at least intellectually) into these fools. Drill it into their heads, that their psychiatric labelling is damaging people, and stigmatising them for life. Drill it into their heads that their labels are used as weapons by friends, family, even themselves sometimes to gaslight people. Drill it into their heads to not convince suffering people who come to them for help because they don’t know what else to do and have very little power, to not whisper sweet-nothings into their ears and act like everything is fine. Just like they force some things onto others, they have to be forced into dialogue and be confronted about what they are doing.

    Many of these individuals in Indian Departments of Psychiatry neither tell the individuals what consequences the drugs have or don’t have. When they prescribe SSRIs, they do not tell them that they would likely cause sexual dysfunction and tremors, and in some cases mania and delusions. They say nothing about the withdrawal effects of any drug. Hell, I am not even fundamentally AGAINST the use of drugs if they are helpful to some (but voluntarily, and the control should ideally be in the hands of those who use them), but people should have information.

    Worst of all they pretend like things are fine and dandy with their profession (and I’m not talking simply about the drugs). When these things cause us social problems and legal problems, they run away like cowards. Please don’t be a coward like them. Also, they say nothing about the damaging impact of psychiatric labelling which can occur 5 years or 10 years down the line.Don’t just look to publish books. Do something with your power.

    If things here proceed the way they are, things will become just like western psychiatry. They don’t even NEED to use DSM labelling here because many people pay cash. They still do it. Do you think if a new individual who goes to them says “Sir/Ma’am please don’t label me, I do not want to be labelled”, any of these individuals will listen? Very few would. A lot of them would put on a pompous demeanour and ask “why?”. Even if the opposite party gives valid reasons, they will rubbish his fears as, protect themselves and talk about how many patients there are living happy lives with their methods.

    The internet is FULL of people who weaponise psychiatric labelling. You can see them on Reddit, on chatrooms, and on many forums. Every year more people are taking up MD courses in psychiatry and giving rave reviews to each other. If their methods are not changed and the public does not have sufficient information about what their “help” is or even how terrible some of the patient population (and their family members) can turn out (totally indoctrinated), more people will sink into the depths of horse manure the size of Mt. Everest.

    You must also educate ordinary doctors, cardiologists, neurologists, internists/general medicine doctors, anesthesiologists, gastroenterologists and everything in between about these problems. And also, not to screw with already terrified patients who have labels showing up on charts and who isolate themselves in fear and don’t even seek medical help for ordinary problems.

  • Dr. Gotzsche and all other people in roles of mental health professionals on this website,

    First of all, I respect the work that you have done in bringing information to people. It is appreciable, but it is in many ways still of not much use to individuals who end up in this place. For years and years, suffering people from various countries have written on this website. People afraid of psychiatrists, and even ordinary medical doctors because of their psychiatrically labelled status. People afraid of their families and of society. I have not seen any practical action to help anyone who posts in the comment sections here (or anyone at all?). Simply, publishing papers, blog posts and writing books solves nothing.

    Where is the real life help? I myself have begged for it in my life and my life has gone to the dogs and it is affecting my state of mind and my work. I have to make a career for myself, put food on the table for myself and the people I care about. The same applies for everyone. Where is the legitimate real life help? Where are the real life changes? And not that which is given, but that which is actually needed.

  • “The term “psychiatric survivor” says it all in just two words. In no other medical specialty do the patients call themselves survivors in the sense that they survived despite being exposed to that specialty. They fought their way out of a system that is rarely helpful, and which many survivors have described as psychiatric imprisonment, or a facility where there is a door in, but not a door out.

    In other medical specialties, the patients are grateful that they survived because of the treatments their doctors applied to them. We have never heard of a cardiology survivor or an infectious disease survivor. If you have survived a heart attack, you are not tempted to do the opposite of what your doctor recommends. In psychiatry, you might die if you do what your doctor tells you to do”

    Every dentist that did a root canal on me did a fantastic job. I was happy to look better and chew my food better. The surgeons who removed my appendix did a good job. It removed my abdominal pain.

    I can’t say the same thing of psychiatry or even when ordinary doctors get involved with psychiatric ideology. For one good thing, there are a slew of negative complications.

    Human error is possible in any discipline. Even as a chef you could add extra salt in a dish which may irritate a client. But that’s different from an entire field being problematic.

    Proponents of psychiatry will always say “oh, you didn’t find the right doctor” when it’s actually a merry-go-round and when every resident shrink, assistant professor shrink and head of department shrink has committed their screw-ups, a “savior shrink” will suddenly show up up who is probably a screw-up shrink for someone else. It’s utter rubbish.

    Everyday new students are taking up MDs in Psychiatry. They make YouTube videos and Vlogs about their profession, and why new students should consider it. Some will defend their profession vehemently because in reality, they have little choice but to.

    If any potential medical student is considering psychiatry, please forget about it and do an MD in general/internal medicine instead (if you don’t want to specialise in something particular) and do the psychological suffering stuff on the side, as a human being, and not a doctor.

    Make all psychological/psychiatric research and drug effects public. Sci-Hub has already done a good job providing access to research papers. Let’s slowly come to a stage (which will take a lot of effort on the part of the public too) when there is no need of shrinks anymore and people don’t consider going into the profession at all. That’s how the whole goddamn house of labelling people with insulting labels, controlling them, having no choice in what chemicals are being put into your body, families and people misusing the whole thing, would burn down.

    The money part is a problem. Psychiatry employs doctors, psychologists, nurses, and all sorts of other individuals who make money off of the thing. It’s impossible to simply shut down the thing instantaneously also given the fact that suffering people don’t even know what else to do and they are reliant on it.

    I don’t really care for the term “psychiatric survivor”. However, I do know the taglines of “how can someone be the survivor of a ‘medical procedure’ “, or “why not anti-cardiology” (which is put forward sometimes, even by well intentioned people) which is rubbish.

    As commoners, we have little access to medical knowledge, drug stores, imaging instruments etc. In essence we become servants of those with MDs, particularly those in psychiatry. Learning medicine as a commoner is never enouraged and a warning is always put “you are not a doctor” (which is understandable). Well, what when doctors become a danger to your life and dignity?

    Of course, something else will have to pop up to help people in need. Perhaps those affected negatively by psychiatry can do something about it. But even for that, we unfortunately need the help of ordinary MDs. But when they don’t help us, and people are afraid of going to them even for ordinary problems, and in many cases they themselves don’t have any knowledge of all the rubbish in psychiatry, what can people like us do?

  • I would like to see pharmaceutical drugs eventually removed from the exclusive control of people with medical degrees. More and more information is available to the public. By keeping drugs in their control, they are forcing people to pay a terrible price. They are forcing derogatory psychiatric labels on people, so insurance will cover them; they are forcing repeated visits to people with degrees in psychiatry who have become a danger to people’s lives and dignity. Whether you want to take them, or leave them, you cannot do it without psychiatry. In both cases, they screw you. Yes, I know of the potential dangers of this. But there are dangers of NOT having this advantage as well. Some solution has to be reached. Not the way it is now.

    It reminds me of the movie Dallas Buyers Club, where Ron Woodroof (who had HIV) had to smuggle in pharma-grade drugs to treat himself (and others), because the medical system and the US FDA kept drugs under their control, and made his life, and the lives of other people with HIV miserable.

    We have also seen what “healthcare” becomes for people psychiatrically labelled. Even by ordinary non-psychiatric medical professionals. They cannot be trusted anymore.

    Unfortunately stating any of the stuff we do on this website makes MDs feel victimised themselves, forced to be on the defensive. I remember one doctor getting irritated with us and labeling us as “personality disordered individuals railing against abusive doctors”. Some of them seem unable to stop psychiatrically labeling individuals.

    Personally, I wish I owned my own hospital/clinic with all the equipment I need for most medical problems and it is only our own people, who have some degree of functionality left and can do the necessary work for people like us, who worked in the place.

  • Funnily enough, I am one of those people who “talks to nothing in the air, engages in arguments, and shouts”. I’m not doing that because I’m hallucinating. I do that because, in my mind, I’m arguing with my horrendously abusive father, and whatever I’m thinking, I verbalise it out, as if the guy is right in front of me. It makes me look odd and crazy to people, but they don’t and can’t understand what’s going on inside me. I was never like that. I’ve become that way. And psychiatry didn’t make it any better. By labeling ME, they simply gave the man even more tools to gaslight and harass me, and call me mad.

    I’m blessed to have a home. Without that, I’d be a homeless “mentally ill” person as well.

  • This comment is interesting. It actually shows how much members of the public blindly trust in the “science of psychiatry” and need “good and ethical psychiatrists”, i.e. people with MD degrees in psychiatry to “warn the public”. You wouldn’t have needed shrinks to predict things of this nature.

    I take no sides in the US political debate, but just from a psychiatry standpoint, what if it was someone like Bernie Sanders (or whichever candidate you like) in Trump’s place and the “good and ethical shrinks” were warning you about his ideology or policies which may be abhorrent to some, and the APA were defending him?

    You’d then say the APA are ethical and the others are rotten. The fact is, your political interests are your own (and that applies to everyone else), and you AND other people can make up your own mind.

    This comment is very reminiscent of an article I read on Psychology Today, where the author was insistent that Trump be removed on the grounds of the tautological label of “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. That’s nonsense. This is what happens when you start subsuming unwanted behaviours in medical-sounding jargon.

  • They also label people with life-ruining, gaslighting-begetting psychiatric labels (sometimes affecting not just an individual, but even others biologically related to the labelled). It’s not just the drugs and shocks.

    There is no justice for people who have endured horrendous gaslighting or defamation due to psychiatric labelling, from family members or others.

    Cigarettes come with warnings: “Tobacco can kill. Tobacco causes cancer”.

    The DSM is even more dangerous than cigarettes. A smoker can quit. A suffering man can’t prevent labelling in the office of a shrink and once labelled, he can’t get rid of it.

    The DSM should come with a warning as well :”The application of these labels can destroy a person’s reputation, credibility, lead to gaslighting, unwarranted coercion and abuse”.

    How someone can be ethical and responsible, whilst continuing to psychiatrically label people without admitting to the devastating damage these labels cause is paradoxical.

    In claiming to save a man’s mental health, you might be doing precisely that which will contribute to degrading it down the line.

  • Guys, this is an article about friendship. I could use some of that from the people here on a more personal level, because this is one of the few places where I’m understood and I may need some help and support down the line. If it’s okay with you, and you want to engage with me, please ask a moderator to share my e-mail ID with you, or just post a reply here and I’ll ask the mod myself.


  • I understand and if it truly helped him, that’s good. But there seem to be a lot of negative complaints about the harms of this and they should be investigated seriously. Many of the people who seem to have been damaged by these treatments are in no position to fend for themselves. They cannot speak the sophisticated language of doctors, can’t keep quoting X and Y study and they only have their experiences to share. They can be easily degraded and dismissed because they’re the ones labelled with psych labels (no matter what their original suffering was).

  • Check out the mentioned paper on Sci-Hub (“Conceptual understanding and applicability of shared decision-making in psychiatric care–An integrative review”). Type the name of the paper into it. However, under every page it states “This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved”. I’m completely out of the jurisdiction of North America and Europe. But, if I posted sections of the paper here, maybe MIA would have a problem.

    I’m very sorry to the authors. This would have been an arduous task for the authors, no doubt. They would have exerted a lot of physical and mental effort in publishing this and seeking out references from prior journal publications and authors. I’m not attacking the authors of this paper specifically. There must be a lot of papers like this.

    I will simply say this: Publications of this sort or even any of this sort of research are of NO USE to almost ANY of us who post here on MIA. Zero. Zilch. Nada. They simply bolster the psychiatric system, giving it the appearance of science and that’s it.

  • This is nothing personal against the author. I mean no ill will towards her and I wish her the best.

    However, these articles are so typical of psychiatry and psychology. A lot of fancy scientistic verbiage thrown in there.

    “SDM: Shared decision-making refers to a process through which patients are given enough information concerning their treatment to help dictate and decide its course. However, despite SDM’s known benefits, such as increased autonomy, empowerment, and trust between practitioner and patient, the barriers to application in psychiatry appear insurmountable.”

    As opposed to what? Not telling them what the help they’re receiving actually is? I thought this was common sense, not some exquisite area of research.

    I’m not singling out this specific article, because there are so many more of them like this on MIA and others. All of it gives the impression of “science”.

    The problem is that journal publications have largely been kept out of the public eye. The kind of “research” that institutes do, particularly in fields like psychiatry and psychology, which affect the public the most, are actually kept in the hands of a few select individuals which basically allows them to lord over us and in some cases simply look down on us because we aren’t as learned as them. But the fact of the matter is that for many of us, resources have been kept out of our hands in a free and equal manner (and not as some patient with a begging bowl stretched towards someone in the role of a shrink or doctor).

    If people here have never heard of Sci-Hub, then you have now. Please use it. I don’t know whether it’s legal to use it in your jurisdictions but it will give us a lot more transparency and we can know what’s actually going on, what “research” they are doing and if that has any value at all. If the link doesn’t work, just google it.


    In the search box, you can type the name (it has to be exact) of any journal paper you want to access. For example, if you want to access the paper “Age Effects on Antidepressant-Induced Manic Conversion” (I think this is a paper Robert Whitaker included in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic), just type the name of the paper (without the quotes) in the search box and it will unlock the entire paper.

    We need these resources. We are being fooled if we do not have access to the very information that is used to govern our lives. It is our lives that are becoming statistics in these papers. It is our lives, our behaviours, our families, our parents, our children, our brothers and sisters who are in these papers. Not the lives of the psychiatrists, psychologists, residents in these professions or nurses (even thought there are papers published pertaining to them, it’s in a very different context).

  • Sorry, but that image of the man in a white coat, with a stethoscope, a pen and an observation pad, given that it pertains to psychiatry is a putrid image.

    If the man in the image wants to help a human being, he should remove his white coat, put down his pen and paper, get out of his institute completely, not engage in labelling for insurance, instead maybe use his own time to make friends with the person he wants to help, use his money or the money of the person who wants to be helped and then help him.

    MDs should stand against the practice of psychiatric labelling for insurance and welfare payments. Communities must exist in every country where drugs are legalised without prescriptions for people who voluntarily want to take them (which lets them stay out of psychiatry).

  • A lot of us know exactly what terms like psychosis, mental illness, or schizophrenia imply (there I put it out of quotes). Yes, we know people can be delusional or hear voices. But it is psychiatrists who label people as schizophrenics when that happens. We know people can be depressed or euphoric (sometimes due to psychiatry’s own drugs), but it is psychiatrists who label them as major depressives or bipolars. We know people may have intrusive thoughts or not be able to concentrate in class. But it is psychiatrists who label them as OCD or ADHD individuals. We know people can be stern and volatile. But it is psychiatrists who label them as borderline. We know people have may have several problems, but it is psychiatrists who end up labelling them with a gamut of labels that destroys them fairly often. We know all these things can be associated with extreme distress to the point that a person can’t function and doesn’t know what else to do (which is where people end up in psychiatry). There are reasons for everyone’s behaviour and so be it.

    And it is not that we were misdiagnosed from a diagnosis that doesn’t exist (of course it does, it’s applied daily to people when they end up at the doorstep of shrinks) or properly diagnosed. It’s that being psychiatrically labelled has caused damage to a lot of us. They are simply descriptions of behaviour and the behaviour can be stated as is, without resorting to circular, stigmatising, truth-removing, and easily abusable psychiatric labels to people sentencing them to a life of fear, discrimination, unwarrantedly nasty behaviour from others, undeserved stigma and also biologising their life (because once labelled, the narrative of bad genes and bad brains starts).

    MadinAmerica is one of the few places on the internet which prevents individuals who do those nasty things to us from doing those things. Because there are innumerable places on the internet which attract people who WANT to do those things and can’t resist the temptation to. Sometimes they end up here too and gladly, they are swiftly stopped.

  • “There likely is a small number — a very small number — of people that use one drug to counter the effects of the other drug and that stopping one drug would result in a dependence on two drugs being resolved.”

    Not a small number at all. That’s what polypharmacy is all about. SSRIs cause mania? Add a “mood-stabiliser”. SSRIs cause sexual dysfunction? Add bupripion. Some drug causes tremors? Add an anti-tremor drug. That’s one of the ways in which people end up on drug combos. It is common in psychiatry.

  • True, I know of the forum you’re talking about (the one with an anti-psych section), though most of it is still typical psychiatry. I also know of another other psychiatric forum where people on psych-drugs congregate, neatly writing down their “diagnoses” in their signatures, and they have various sub-sections based on various labels. They are online mental hospitals.

    I remember a sad thread from a guy on the anti-psych forum who tried to go onto some Richard Dawkins forum and criticised psychiatry, only to get drowned out and be “reminded”, “psychiatry is a science…blah..blah”.

    The worst part is going against psychiatry, particularly if they have already labelled you, simply leads to name-calling, label throwing and gaslighting. You get treated like a misbehaving toddler who is to be put in check. Those labels are their weapons against you.

    No psychiatrist will ever tell a potential client “Listen, I know you’re suffering, but if you take my help, I will label you with labels which could sentence you to a lifetime of gaslighting and unwarranted stigma”. Nope. I’ve seen some simply shamelessly defend their methods and roll their eyes at critics. In some cases they ask “Why go to psychiatry if you don’t like it?”. But unfortunately, by the time a person has started experiencing problems, there’s no way out.

  • There are religiously based institutions in my country (and others) which do all kinds of work. For example, Christian missionary schools which provide education at low costs to students, Christian missionary hospitals that provide health services to people at low costs, Hindu organisations that do social work etc.

    There are also Christian missionary hospitals for Psychiatry.

    Scientology is a religion. Christianity is a religion. Social work from the former is frowned upon, but from the latter is praised (or at least people have a neutral perception). This is a double standard.

    Unfortunately, the Scientology association with antipsychiatry has been so badly contorted and twisted by psychiatrists and psychiatric supporters, that even taking their help in the form of resources, though a person does not believe in their religion whatsoever, simply makes psychiatry stronger.

    Unfortunately at this point, any association with such a group has become dangerous, only inciting defamation. But members of the public have to know about this double standard. They should be able to differentiate between actually believing in Scientology and simply using their resources without any belief in their religion (like Szasz).

    Right now, any piece that is critical of psychiatry in mainstream publications simply garners comments like “This sounds like an article from Scientology” or “Scientologists are back at it again”, even if the authors of the articles (or whomever it is about) have no belief in Scientology whatsoever.

    If organisations of other religions can provide funding for social work, so should Scientology be able to, no matter how ridiculous aspects of the religion itself are (which applies to other religions as well).

  • Before I write anything, I’d like for people to watch this scene from a TV show called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It’s a small 1m 41s clip (In case, if anyone comes back to this article in the future and the video gets taken down on YouTube, it’s from Episode 2 of Season 2).

    Some background to this scene. Uncle Phil (the tall, heavily built, bald man) is one of the main characters of the show. He is a lawyer. Uncle Phil’s daughter Ashley gets bullied at school by the daughter of a psychiatrist. But the psychiatrist’s daughter lies to her parents that it’s Ashley doing the bullying and she falsely acts innocent.

    So, Uncle Phil and his wife Vivian, and the psychiatrist and his wife, confront each other to talk about their kids.

    Even though the show is a generally a comedy, this scene actually throws some very good light on what the reality of psychiatric labels are. Unfortunately, in real life, you mostly cannot do to psychiatric labellers what Uncle Phil did there at the end, no matter how much grief they cause you.

    I have fortunately never been labelled with the junk labels I’m about to mention. Yes, I have to state that explicitly, because that’s how badly damaging they can be to a human being and I’m terrified of them. But I’ve clearly noticed how they are used by people. I have seen it on forums, chatrooms etc. Basically as tools to gaslight or to get something out of labelling someone else that way.

    How could a person being labelled with things like “borderline personality disorder” or “narcissistic personality disorder” be served by those labels?

    Also, when does, for example, “borderline personality disorder” end? Does it end like how pain during urinating ends when a kidney stone is surgically removed? Or does it end like how a fever or cough ends after the pathogen has been obliterated?

    In reality, it’s always there. It’s talked of as a “long-term illness” with “no cure” and that “genes are thought to play a role”. Always ready to be used by someone to keep someone else in check. If not a psychiatrist, then by a family member who knows about the label, or a co-worker or even your goddamned spouse.

    It’s horrible that in many countries psychiatric labelling is what insurance companies and welfare systems demand in return for financial rewards or help.

    The only way you could escape that is by using cash payments, which for people who are already suffering in some way, is mostly a no-go.

  • Thank you for this article. Also, it’s good to know you’re happy. A lot of the people here want to be happy but find themselves in circumstances where that is almost impossible. That you work with so many people with problems and help solve them is fantastic and kudos to you for that.

    I think a lot of points you’ve made are fairly typical of a narrative that many people with whatever label (or “diagnosis” to you) has been applied to them. Also, it’s actually similar to the narrative of websites where pro-psychiatry individuals in the role of patients congregate (sometimes they are pro-psychiatry because they have no choice but to be, even if they don’t realise it, because so much of their lives are directly or indirectly in the control of mental health professionals).

    But this narrative simply does not work. It simply leads to (metaphorically) outstretched arms with a begging bowl and (literally) revolving door syndrome in hospitals which last for years. And I’m not saying this to belittle you or anyone else, but because I’ve already been in that role. No more.

    I understand that formal medicalised behavioural labels can be useful to some individuals to have a shared sense of identity, but I think in some ways it’s also damaging.

    In a later section of your article, you stated, “He decides you have Borderline Personality Disorder, with depressive features.”

    And what of the people who were first labeled that way (BPD with depressive features) when nothing associated with autism came into the picture at all? They might have a viewpoint similar to yours stating “I have so-and-so problem and instead my doctor labelled me as a schizophrenic”.

    In my opinion, this sort of a notion is not helpful, but rather destructive. First of all, I feel ALL formal behavioural labelling is damaging in one way or another.

    It very often leads to suspicion or gaslighting of some form of the other when someone gets to know about what labels one has been labeled with. Such behaviour on the part of others leads to even more aberrant (maybe confrontational) behaviour on the part of the labelled individual ending up turning those labels into self-fulfilling prophecies.

    Communities and groups are best made primarily in the common interests of upward social mobility, economic, financial and social security. But those based on medicalised behavioural labels? While it may have some positives in terms of being understood, it also simply reinforces those diagnoses and how you’re “supposed to be” if you’re labelled a certain way.

    You’d want to get OUT of those roles because even if your intentions behind it are good, it leads you down a path of going further and further down the social ladder and losing control over your own life. Always in a hospital, arguing with a mental health worker about “diagnoses” (which one is appropriate and which one is not), collecting new diagnoses, arguing about why they have written this or that about you, writing letters to them, explaining to people in the public that X or Y stereotype in not true, dissecting this journal paper and that journal paper, being called a scientologist, an anti-vaccine crank, told you’re in denial of your illness, personality disordered, and then ending up in a group with those same problems, and in some cases it ends in suicide. Down, down and down you go.

    To date, when I watch podcasts and interviews of general members of the public on YouTube or wherever, everytime someone says “People with X or Y disorder behave in so-and-so way” (sometimes in a pretty negative manner), it sends a tinge of fear through my body. And pro-psychiatry sites and groups attract some of the worst sort of people of that type. Absolute experts at gaslighting and will keep labelling you till you cave into it.

    You stated that some of your peers shared useful skills like noise cancelling headphones and weighted blankets. Those achievements are enough. In my humble opinion, there’s no need to bring the blanket label of “autism” into it.

    The whole notion of a “broad spectrum” to me is problematic. An individual’s life is not a spectrum. An individual’s life is his own with discrete truths associated with it.

    You’ve stated, “When I identify myself as an autistic woman who is whole and happy, I get a lot of people telling me that I can’t possibly be autistic. I don’t fit their stereotyped idea of what that means. I get it everywhere I come out with my diagnosis. I get if from professionals who are paid to know better, and I get it from friends and co-workers. Even new acquaintances love to judge if someone’s autism diagnosis is legitimate.”

    I don’t think this is a bad thing, rather it’s a compliment. People might have the view of a child who has severe problems picking up social cues, and behaving in very unwarrantedly destructive ways to people around and they’re implying that you aren’t doing that. Perhaps it’s good to take that in a positive light rather than reinforcing the autism label on yourself/others and stating that you’re on the “spectrum”. Those stereotypes come precisely because of the labelling in the first place, so going down the path of justifying the label is futile and will only cause more pain.

    The part that is problematic is then labeling you with another label.

    Most of the people in roles of doctors and psychiatrists would never want to be labelled as “schizophrenics” or “autists” or “borderline personalities”. They full well know the implications of that. But even the genuinely well-intentioned ones would put on a smiling and kind face towards those they DO label and give a warm explanation about how it’s normal and there are so many people like you.

    Being labelled at a very young age ends up defining a lot of things in your life. Your view of yourself, the people around you, the way people treat you. And then you have the headache of navigating through all that just as you have expressed in your article.

    While it’s good to be kind to people with shortcomings of any sort, it’s even better to negate those shortcomings. It’s precisely the kind of things which make us more capable and more in control of our lives without relying on the mercy and charity of others or by letting others define who we are that this entire paradigm removes from people by means of derogatory and stigmatising labels, recording behaviour in files kept under lock-and-key (which you have no control over) like they’re lab rats and ultimately leading them down the path of incapability or keeping them in those roles. There is a lot of artificially maintained disability when it comes to psychiatry and psychology. A person’s original incapabilities are different than those which come as a result of the “help” they receive.

    Also, calling people “peers” does not make them peers. Just see what kind of roles “peers” and “activists” with token jobs end up in and how they get treated.

    To me, the best way I’ve found is to stay as far away from behavioural labelling, the behavioural professions, and sorry to say, but even patient populations and families that simply drag you deeper and deeper into the pit of this hell-hole.

    If it suits you, by all means have debates about “over-diagnosis” or “under-diagnosis” (both depend on whether you agree such labels are useful or destructive in the first place), fMRIs this and MRIs that, studies this and that.

    I’d rather focus on making money, enjoying life with people who actually care about me, achieving better things and putting an end to all this in my life.

  • Dr. Hickey,

    Have any of you or like minded colleagues ever thought of starting something like a Journal of Antipsychiatry? Something that does proper research of the kind that psychiatry might never do in the interest of self-preservation? It would be blasted on release but you just have to roll with the punches.

    What research exists on issues like gaslighting or socio-legal problems that psychiatry creates or the incidence of revolving door syndrome in psychiatry and the like?

  • At any rate Dr. Hickey,

    Suffering is a very real thing. Anyone who thinks otherwise has never experienced crippling depression, intrusive thoughts, panic attacks and the like. The problem is what they do or anyone does about them.

    I remember a person here who wrote about his ghastly experiences with hearing voices and how an anti-psychotic gave him relief. He was of the opinion that nothing is wrong with the DSM. There are plenty of people like that.

    There are also plenty of families frustrated with the behaviour of other family members who also see their solutions in psychiatry (even if that’s in some cases deceptive gaslighting for their own ends, while in other cases families really have good intentions).

    Antipsychiatry will not be taken seriously in the public eye with taglines like “mental illness is a myth” (even if it is true) until and unless people of the antipsychiatry variety are actually able to fix real world problems and find solutions to the issues that people have. They do have solutions sometimes. But it’s miniscule compared to the power of psychiatry.

    One must keep in mind that shrinks still have something to offer to someone (sometimes positive as in the aforementioned example), even if it’s problematic (sometimes horribly). You have to be realistic about this.

    If a man is suffering severely and a psychiatrist with the power of the pen and the prescription pad ends up fixing his issue, why will he bother about antipsychiatry? He’ll think everyone here are fools.

    Also, in a moment of acute pain, the only thing one thinks about is how to end their misery, no matter what form it takes. You are, for the most part, literally incapable of planning 10 or 20 years ahead.

    When people end up suffering due to psychiatry, they end up here, but it’s a still a niche minority.

    Also, I’ve noticed for the last many years, it’s the same old commenters (including myself) who post here. Lots of comments. But very few commenters. Hardly a drop in a massive ocean.

    Compare this to psychiatry sites which have memberships in the thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands.

    You’re drowned out.

  • This is actually a tagline I’ve seen among pro-psychiatry folk: “If antipsychiatry, why not-anticardiology!”

    Even Jeffrey Lieberman wrote an article along the lines of “If there’s antipsychiatry, why not anti-orthopaedics”.

    The answer to that is simple. They aren’t even close to being the same thing.

  • True. It’s very much a toxic culture that I admit even I was very keen on in my youth. People have a reverence for their conception of “science”, i.e. journal papers, imaging, stats, fanciful language instead of an actual desire to know the truth.

    It’s a common mentality you see, not just in academia, but all over the internet and it’s still going strong. Only when things happen to people in their own life, do those experiences bring them down to earth and out of scientistic mental masturbation. It isn’t something that can be adequately conveyed via language. It has to be felt. In your bones.

  • That being said, I hope you’re able to provide true help to people to get out of psychiatry, and out of the patient role. Whatever you problems were, they are the individuals who labeled you with that god-forsaken “schizophrenia” label. That is as great or greater a burden to take than your original suffering. I see this as inexcusable but I know most don’t.

    Help people live ordinary lives. Not psychiatrised ones. Else, this discrimination you talk of in this article will forever dominate them. Those “behind your back” gossip-mongers will do the same to others.

  • A person cannot be a “peer” in a mental health system. Peers are common people in everyday life. It’s ludicrous to think that people who shrinks have labelled themselves are now to be “peers” to other people they have or will soon label, especially under the guidance of those very people. I’ve noticed this tendency over and over again. Many people who were former patients just end up becoming a part of the system themselves to have some leverage in their freedom. But they are never truly free.

    One has to leave the system completely. If one wants to help, it has to be as a free agent. Else, “peers” are simply adding more parts to the mouse trap they are trapped in themselves. The cheese is never yours.

    This is not being a peer. It is being a Kapo.

  • Pretty much. It’s control creeping under the guise of help. Also, don’t underestimate the capability of algorithms (and the people/groups behind them) to discern things. That would be dangerous.

    And a pill with a tracker in it? :

    The article includes gems like:

    Being able to track ingestion of medications prescribed for mental illness may be useful for some patients,” said Mitchell Mathis, M.D., director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The FDA supports the development and use of new technology in prescription drugs and is committed to working with companies to understand how technology might benefit patients and prescribers.

    Useful to whom? To the person you have labelled? To the man who has labelled him? To the family members?

    “Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder. About 1 percent of Americans have this illness. Typically, symptoms are first seen in adults younger than 30 years of age. Symptoms of those with schizophrenia include hearing voices, believing other people are reading their minds or controlling their thoughts, and being suspicious or withdrawn. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is another brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. The symptoms of bipolar disorder include alternating periods of depression and high or irritable mood, increased activity and restlessness, racing thoughts, talking fast, impulsive behavior and a decreased need for sleep.”

    Notice how there’s no mention of psychiatric drugs themselves causing mania and psychosis and subsequent diagnoses of “bipolar disorder” in people.

    Also you have to wonder what the words “brain disorder” associated with those psychiatric terms would tend to imply in the minds of people.

    Ridiculous! How is this even allowed to happen?

    Who knows what kind of data is collected off of MadInAmerica posts and articles (and other similar sites and groups)? Every post and article put out there is just more data for someone else.

  • @sam,

    Oh no. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating your opposition, especially when they’re far more powerful than you. Their counter-arguments come in the form of paper citations, fMRI this and MRI that, basically calling us unscientific dweebs, and at the deep end, gaslighting us, labeling us even more, calling us scientologists, anti-vaccine denialists etc.

    Please go to heavily pro-psychiatry sites and win an “argument battle” there. That’s kind of what you will face in real life too with some people.

  • It is not necessarily out of “financial greed”. There are many institutes in my country where psychiatrists make little money compared to what they could have if they went into private practice.

    But stature is definitely a thing. Stature doesn’t have to be financial. It could be respectability as well. That’s something that’s important for any human being in life. But in the context of psychiatry, it’s different because of what they aim to do but actually end up doing in practice.

    Unfortunately that stature also means an unwillingness to come down to the level of the people you want to help and provide help as a person compared to as a professional.

    Again, even “coming down to the level of people” carries risks that few are brave enough to take. Your own profession could ostracise you. Families of patients could ostracise you. You could be blamed for being “unprofessional”, ruin your career, or worse end up serving time in jail.

    It really is a very difficult issue.

    But most important of all is honesty. A lot of psychiatrists refuse to admit these facts. They simply brush aside the harmful consequences of anything they do (even if unintentional), by saying that they are random criticisms of unsatisfied customers, or that people are blaming them purely out of bitterness due to their infirmity.

    Even worse, some basically talk down to you like you’re a moron for criticising them, and cite X or Y study or fMRI this and MRI that, a lot of which is pointless to the end user.

    Trust between two people comes if you are honest. Admit the bad things about psychiatry. Admit that lives have been ruined due to behavioural labelling and drugs. Admit that gaslighting takes place. Admit, that sometimes, people (not necessarily psychiatrists, but families) use psychiatry to keep people under control or to ruin their reputation. Admit the trap like nature of psychiatry which creates revolving door patients (as the gentleman who has written this article has admitted). Admit that you are not helping people as people but as professionals and that that’s not a good thing to do sometimes.

    Don’t hide them. Don’t lie about them. Tell the truth.

    Though I do wish psychiatry eventually goes defunct. People have more access to information than ever before. I wish not only psychiatry, but a lot of diagnostics can be done by ordinary people for themselves, by themselves and they could prescribe themselves drugs. Surgery is different (but even there we could make advances).

    It would truly be a great day when terms like “don’t self-diagnose”, “you’re not a medical doctor”, “don’t give medical advice if you aren’t a licensed professional” become a thing of the past.

    It is tragic that something as fundamental to us as our own body, our own vessel of existence, and also our reputation and sanity is beholden to the mercy and charity of random individuals.

    It’s a pipe dream now, but one has to work to make it a reality.

  • “you mention Matt Stevenson, but don’t seem to realize that what killed him was his inability to purge the remnants of shrink-think from his mind. And typically he would interpret my pointing that out as me being critical of him (it’s all in the MIA archives). He would constantly be citing “experts” to “prove” what he already knew. And that inability to break free internally is what ultimately killed him. ”

    Thanks for writing this. It is horrific, but the best we can do is to learn from the mistakes of the fallen.

  • @Oldhead,

    What kind of practical success have you had in the real world with your viewpoint? How have you affected any change in the real world? For example, have you ever taken part in any demonstrations? Have you ever been able to successfully remove anyone from a psychiatric institute who did not want to be there?

    Most people scoff at views that are contrary to psychiatry. I know there are people here who have done practical things. Have you?

  • I wish the best to you Aquaheal. Have you contacted some of the doctors who post on this site? I don’t see why mental health professionals write articles here if they can’t help some of the people who end up in this place because their suffering has been compounded with even more suffering from the mental health system.

    Be careful with the pills. It’s okay to take them if they’re making you function better, but if it’s making things worse, see someone else. No point in adding more problems to already existing ones.

    Next. UNLABEL yourself and see your problems for what they are rather than the junk psychiatry labels you with. It’s bad enough that the mental health system does that, but it’s worse if you lead your own life, your own thoughts and motives through the prism of that labeling junk.

    Be careful of psych. patients as well. Many of them are hopelessly dependent on the system and will drown you in their own labelling and psychiatrised mentality. Don’t make groups and friendships based on “Hey, you’re bipolar?! Me too!”. That’s ridiculous and it will bog you down further. But rather make them on the basis of common shared interests that give you upward social mobility and security in life.

  • Yes, but unfortunately many people are already in the scorpion infested rotting tree stump. They go there, or their families make them go there because they are suffering and don’t know what else to do. The noose, the poison or the knife?

    Only when they get stung badly do they realise what they have gotten themselves into. The question is how to get these people out? It’s a very intricate trap which is extraordinarily hard to escape.

  • You should visit the Psychiatry sub-reddit. “Antivaxxer”, “Scientologist”, “frustrated because of mental illness”, “they’re personality disordered”. It’s full of the language of psychiatric institutions and there are a lot of mental health workers and patients/caretakers supportive of them there.

    Literally, it was a scary place to visit and made me feel really bogged down for quite some time reading the stuff there.

  • The only way one can get “bipolar disorder” is by stepping into the office of a shrink. What I mean by that is, whatever your problem may be, that’s the only way that life-ruining label can be applied to you. Else you’re just a person with problems.

    Frankly, I’m terrified of doctors and hospitals, especially shrinks. I just don’t trust them anymore. It’s even worse that despite having a psychology degree, it hardly helped you. What hope do lay people have?

  • Interesting. A lot of the criticism of “antipsychiatry/critical psychiatry” actually comes from well-intentioned individuals who think that people of the antipsychiatry variety are against the notion that people suffer and that people who are suffering sometimes are utterly desperate for help. To some of them, this seems to stand for “people not getting the help they need”.

    Also, I will say the article does have positive points as at least some consideration has been given to our voice rather than being a completely vicious attack dismissing, denying, labeling and gaslighting us. Some of the other pro-psychiatry sites are horrendous.

    I will be the first person to say that suffering like depression, anxiety, panic and even stranger varieties of problems are real.

    The article states: “But for Martha, that position is a painful one. What is the “meaning” behind why her daughter’s life has deteriorated the way it has? Martha is part of a Facebook support group for parents where she sees post after post of people desperate for help for their kids, for whom contextual support wasn’t enough. “I don’t know that anyone could say they’re happy or there’s meaning in the way my schizophrenic child is able to live their life,” Martha said”.

    If what’s written is true I wish her child weren’t labeled a “schizophrenic” to begin with. That’s adding an additional layer of suffering to an already suffering individual. I wish them the best and also hope they have a permanent home that they own, and some cash in their pocket to keep afloat.

    The article also states: “When Hurford wrote about her decision to treat a psychotic patient who believed he was a prophet, she got flak from both Mad in America supporters and more biological psychiatrists. “I engaged with both of them,” she said. “And I won neither battle.”

    Again, I hope the man who thought he was a prophet is doing better now, but the dilemma expressed by Dr. Hurford exists on this side of the aisle as well.

    The moment you’re on those drugs, it’s a trap. If it doesn’t work and does horrible things to you, you’re screwed. If it DOES work, you’re still screwed because when you accept the drugs you’re also forced to accept life-ruining behavioural labels, behavioural observations made by others on your character and conduct, electronically stored records, revolving door syndrome (partly because you’re forced back into that world for prescriptions) and you’re pretty much on a chemical leash tied to the psychiatric system which is held by mental health workers and family members (who, god forbid, have less than good intentions). This ends up getting tied to your ordinary medical problems too.

    If you lose, you lose. But if you win, you still lose.

    At the end of the day, problems when solved properly get people out of hospitals and don’t keep coming back over and over again to bite them in some form or the other. However, protracted and traumatic half-baked solutions do do that.

    As an aside, there are lots of people for whom it’s all about the studies (partly influenced by science popularisers and the skeptics movement) and also fMRIs this and MRIs that (which is really more of a convincing tactic than anything that’s practically useful from the end user standpoint).

    The sad part is, the actual experiences of the individuals (which can be brutal, traumatic and life-altering) are just dismissed as “anecdotes” by many. Hardly any of those dismissive individuals ever bother to find out the truth of those actual experiences of individuals till they or their loved ones experience it themselves in some form or the other.

    There is no shortage of individuals (and I’m not talking just about mental health workers) in society who use behavioural labels to gaslight individuals. And it’s just as bad to see individuals who label themselves. Ask many of those who have experienced suffering, and they’ll say “I have OCD, ADHD, BPD etc. etc.” rather than speak about what’s ACTUALLY bothering them. Psychiatry just bolsters this type of thinking which is damaging.

    The issues surrounding psychiatry exist beyond just medication damage.

    I’ll say this. If people have found help in psychiatry and have had only positive experiences, good for them. They are entitled to their opinion. But don’t simply say that people are on the other camp are just rubbish to be dismissed away at your whims.