Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Comments by registeredforthissite

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  • I like the idea of this Critical Psychiatry Textbook. Unfortunately, at least where I live (India, but I assume it’s true for most other places), psychiatrists will just hand-wave all this away to the detriment of the suffering people who unfortunately end up in their offices due to a lack of choice. They’ll dismiss it as “internet nonsense”, “no credibility” even if it comes from a highly credentialed person. It’s an incredibly rare professional who will heed the advice given here.

    It’s a miserable situation for the suffering. But it’s the truth. This will largely be stuck to the niche diaspora on Mad in America who largely already know these issues. I hope it’s not the case, but frustratingly, it’s true.

  • Good to know what these neuroscience departments are up to and the sort of experiments they do, but again, none of this means anything for the average day-to-day individual except a psychologist who reads this will cite it to a patient in “treatment” affected by poverty and childhood maltreatment and keep him in “therapy” rather than give him a lump of money to get him out of that poverty or get him justice from maltreatment.

  • @Daisy Valley:

    I did not know about your daughter (my apologies) and I didn’t mean what I wrote as some insult to you personally. It’s this “we will discuss only peer reviewed papers” mentality in the context of psychiatry that is irritating to me. I would usually not question this request in purely medical branches that deal strictly with the problems of the body. But psychiatry is a different matter. You can’t have a peer-reviewed study for everything when it comes to people’s behaviour.

    When someone writes an article with a statement like “I was laughed at and mocked by my classmates when they found out I have a BPD diagnosis”, the reader would obviously and justifiably be hesitant to let a mental health worker label them that way (especially when he/she sees numerous such accounts from completely unrelated people). But I have seen psychiatrists and patients alike dismiss and scoff at this stuff as “random criticism on the internet”. You can’t have a peer-reviewed study for everything when it comes to people’s behaviour and their experiences with other people.

  • Daisy Valley writes: “I recall that my deceased daughter’s attending physician said that if we wanted to bring in a document to discuss with her, she would only discuss peer reviewed papers with us in treatment team meetings.

    Urgh. This reminds me so much of psychiatric institutions. I understand why that mentality exists. But I also know why that makes me want to stay away from the world of psychiatry, doctors and some of its slave mentality patients included.

    Not everything in life will have a study associated with it. If the only thing in life that convinces you of anything is a study, then life would be impossible. You should ask for a study every time someone says to you on the street “the florist’s shop can be found there, in that corner”. How do you know that? Will you open Google Maps and check it out? How do you know Google Maps is correct in that instance? Will you ask 10 random people that same question before going to the florist’s shop? Will you submit it to an agency that fact checks the addresses people on the street give? How do you know the agency in that case is giving you the right information? You could do that endlessly till you never go to the florist at all, or till the florist and/or you are dead.

    No. Most people in life rely on the common courtesy of people that they will usually tell you the right address. They could tell you the wrong address (and in that case, further investigation may be necessary), but they usually don’t.

  • Altostrata,

    There will ALWAYS be those “you are not a doctor” comments even after clearly mentioning “I am not a doctor. Please consult with a knowledgeable medical practitioner”. The people who end up on your site are there of their own volition because the experts (a dozen of them sometimes) have failed to do what needs to be done. What you do and have done for so many people is incredible. Your website has a wealth of information and it has helped a lot of people. Knowledge/science does NOT belong to an institution. It is for all human beings to improve their lives. It is a great thing that “ordinary human beings” can do this. Screw the “formally educated experts only” mentality. I completely understand why that mentality exists due to the risks involved and the pitfalls of regular people doing medical-related stuff. In general, I wouldn’t ask someone without formal surgical training to do, for instance, a root canal on me. However, people wouldn’t need SurvivingAntidepressants and patient-led sites if the experts did their jobs right. Who the hell wants to learn to do root canals? But if the failure rate of dentists became so high that a HUGE number of botched mouths were coming out even after people going to 15 different dentists in real life, expect at least a few members of general society to take things into their hands. In such a situation, if a common man without a degree in dentistry somehow learnt to do root canals better than the average dentist and had a track record of success, I would go to him without hesitation, degrees and people’s protests be damned.

    Granted, as common people we have serious gaps in our knowledge that medical men/women don’t. But we have to bridge those gaps by collaborating. Mistakes will be made (as are made by experts), but one has to start somewhere.

    Formal credentials are a late stage human development. In the old days, it was the needs of people that led inquisitive minds to gather information to help themselves and others in need. What degree did the first guy who found that brushing with neem can be beneficial for your teeth have? Probably nothing. It was with these needs in mind that society slowly evolved into setting up institutes and systematising that knowledge. If anything, the “experts” should learn from the information on places like Surviving Antidepressants and the patients who are willing to take risks to help each other out. And if something goes awry with one of those patients, the consequences are based on their own choices. It’s not like psychiatrists are not screwing up things and botching others’ lives.

    I know we are dealing with people’s bodies here and the risks involved are high. But we have to start somewhere. Also, it’s not like you’re doing reconstructive surgery on someone’s face which is a very different thing (but the root canals example still applies). Medicine has to eventually become as democratised as possible (like so many other fields have) so that people are more in control of their own life rather than relying on the mercy and charity of others especially when there is a huge power imbalance.

  • This is a very important topic and one of the biggest cards that is pulled out by both mental health workers and their patient/caretaker supporters to silence anyone who goes against their teachings. Most of us do not know how to read imaging, are not well-versed in statistics and are beholden to the mercy and charity of people who have those skills for truthful information.

    Over a decade ago, I was going through a phase of suffering where I was incapacitated by intrusive thoughts, a low mood and anxiety. Yes, my suffering was real (as is that of most other people). Yes, I sought help out of helplessness from psychiatrists because I didn’t know what else to do. Even if it was a terrible option, it was the only option available to me.

    Though I wanted help, I was skeptical about their field and their explanations to problems. I grew up in a medical/surgical household and the common lines which were uttered on phone calls were “What does the CT scan show? What are the results of the biopsy? What do the blood test results say? What is his creatinine level?” etc. There was no such thing here.

    A resident psychiatrist (I still remember his name), who was clearly offended at me questioning Psychiatry, told me rather pompously and adamantly “do you believe in MRIs and fMRIs? Let us read some literature first.” I thought maybe I was ignorant and I should go along. Psychiatrists also start giving you examples like hypertension and diabetes as analogies to the issues for which people end up in psychiatrists’ offices. “There is no blood tests to detect hypertension, it is just observation”. These are poor examples which have nothing to do with a person’s character, conduct, personality or sanity. They tell people that “there is nothing derogatory about psychiatric labelling, it is like saying you have diabetes”.

    Whatever treatments followed later had absolutely NOTHING to do with medical imaging. People bring up imaging to silence patients who ask too many questions or go against the teachings of psychiatrists. Even then, what they will show is journal publications and pictures in textbooks. NOTHING from the brain of the person they’re actually purportedly helping. If I have COVID-19, I see the results of my PCR test. If I have cancer, I see the results of the biopsy of my tissue. Not the results of someone else’s PCR test or biopsy in a journal publication or textbook.

    Psychiatrists and their patient supporters (and families) keep throwing around the excuse of “they are working on it”, which is rubbish that keeps people in the anticipation that someone breakthrough will come and that meanwhile they are getting the “best possible treatment known to ‘science’”. This anticipation is another thing that makes people go along with whatever psychiatrists say. This anticipation is similar to the religious anticipation people are fed about going to heaven if they don’t commit sin. In the mean time, patients are supposed to “take their meds and regularly attend ‘therapy’” which isn’t something that necessarily benefits the person sitting opposite to the mental health worker, but disproportionately helps the mental health worker himself in getting training, employment and research credentials (purely private practice psychiatrists/psychologists with small clinics are a different matter I think).

  • I know.

    A lot of these people will never change. As long as we put out information, not so because we’re “preventing suffering people from seeking help” like they write (which is some reverse gaslighting), but because suffering people should get what actually is help for themselves and know what they’re getting into, and not the con the mental health industry puts out, at least some positive change will come out of it. Maybe one person with medical power will read about it somehow, somewhere and truly save and help one person. Maybe, that is some achievement, even if we get zero credit for it.

    As far as people like you and me, we just have to absorb many of the losses we have faced in our lives.

  • @Subvet416:

    Can your comment be accurately summarised as follows? :

    You did well retorting to that jobjob guy.

    A drug can be anything. Even a near-death experience.

    The latest deception of psychiatry’s supporters is to attempt to equate anti-psychiatry with anti-semitism. The retort to this is to reeducate the uninformed who might believe this lie to the work of Abram Hoffer, Peter Breggin, Thomas Stephen Szasz, and so many others down to and including our own Bruce Levine.

  • Dr. Ramesh,

    I’m from the same country. You have suffered in your way and I have suffered in mine. I do everything possible to keep anything pertaining to psychiatry out of my life as much as possible.

    I do not fully understand what you mean when you say “I am of the strong opinion that multi axial system of diagnoses and means to resolve the 9 stressors mentioned in DSM 4 TR be given its due importance in our mental health bill”.

    By all means give importance to improving people psychological, social and physical well-being. However, I am not a fan of forcefully categorising people with medical-behavioural categorisations given in the DSM regardless of the problems they have (depression, anxiety, panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, hallucinations, delusions, word-salad speech, repetitive behaviours or whatever it is). Things like Axis this, Cluster that, X/Y Disorder are not a necessity. They are merely a convenience for healthcare professionals. You don’t have to do that. A person can state their suffering for what it is just like you have: depression and anxiety. You can resolve whatever stressors you or others want without any psychiatric “diagnoses” at all.

    If a person suffering from chronic depression comes to you, what difference does it make if you prescribe him something based on telling him he has “Major Depressive Disorder” or putting him in some Axis or Cluster versus simply telling him “I understand you have suffered from depression for a long time. If you want, this drug may help you, but so-and-so are the side effects it has”. You don’t need to categorise people with anything (in terms of putting it in their medical files and telling it to their families) except that documentation may require it so where you work. If you work in a commercial hospital, you may have to do it. If you have a private practice, you don’t have to do it at all. If there is no neurological problem that can be detected in medical imaging/biopsy or the suffering is not because of a thyroid disorder or an infection or the like, then all you are doing is prescribing people drugs based on behaviour. You can state the behaviour for what it is. It is actually more honest.

    Things in India are now becoming more and more like in western countries. Medical insurance is becoming increasingly popular which will eventually raise the cost of medical procedures if paid for by cash. Electronic Health Records are being rolled out. The advantages of both those things not existing to the same degree as they do in the west allows me to stay out of psychiatry and also get non-psychiatry related medical treatment for cheap. The last thing someone in my position needs is everything psychiatry related appearing in my files to all doctors everywhere, and unaffordable medical care if paid for through cash.

    I don’t know what specialisation you are in. I’m not a doctor, but my father is a surgeon. He is a skilled surgeon, but just a horrible psychopathic man who has (apart from several other horrendous things) conveniently used psychiatric categorisations as a gaslighting tactic against me for years and it has caused and continues to cause me inexplicable misery. It has changed the complete trajectory of my life socially and academically (it’s basically destroyed them both). I am sure he is not the only such doctor (or lawyer or husband or father). People in your own profession don’t look at others the same once they find out what psychiatric “diagnoses” people have been given.

    We’re all human beings and we all have problems in living, thinking and feeling from time to time. There are ways to deal with them which do not involve compounding already existing problems by psychiatrically categorising people and advertising it for others to see (which inevitably happens no matter how much doctor-patient confidentiality exists). If a patient is fine with such labelling, that’s his choice. I, and others like me, are not.

  • Honestly. Their own lack of insight and hypocrisy is astonishing. The slightest crease on their shirt and it’s “ruining the reputations of hard-working people bringing ‘healing’ to the suffering”, but what the opposite parties are going through is irrelevant. When you tell them it’s anything but ‘healing’, then you’re the one who’s bad. Well, if your “reputations are ruined”, perhaps you understand an inkling of what people on this side of the aisle go through. Really good DARVO stuff: deny, accuse, reverse victim and offender.

    Just because some guy was suddenly out of a phase of severe depression/ lack of focus/hearing torturous voices, due to a drug you prescribed, or a “compassionate mental health worker” spoke a few nice words to a person who’s in distress due to dealing with some a-hole in their life and they’re both suddenly on here claiming how great mental health treatments are and we’re all fools, doesn’t mean that’s all there is.

    Do these things mean anything to you or is it simply book reviews and journal citations?:

    i.) The Outing of a Consumer

    ii.) On Being Forced Out in the Clinical Psychology Field

    iii.) Bipolar by Definition?

    Or how about some of the wonderful Quora threads your own camp writes? Or the Polish journalist who was incessantly attacked by your psychiatry-loving camp?

    Why should we acknowledge you when you blatantly refuse to acknowledge anything that people here are saying?

  • This reminds me of a comment left about Robert Whitaker by a user “job job” on this article:

    “You are an integral part of a movement that uses a wide brush to condemn and to incite hatred for all of psychiatry wholesale, and all psychiatrists, maliciously, unfairly, with repeated venomous attacks, destroying the reputations of millions of good, conscientious, dedicated and caring professionals, who work very hard to bring healing to the suffering. Disparaging comments about groups of people are banned on your website, you say.”

    Take a good look in the mirror job job and the other psychiatry folk who feel “unfairly attacked”.

    You know, the weird thing is, people in clinical psychiatry/psychology do just enough good to ameliorate some degree of suffering for some people, some of the time to turn them into psychiatry-warriors who have to denigrate those who have been screwed over by the same profession (even with their “best practices”). They don’t even see that they themselves are being screwed over sometimes nor do they stop to think about the horrible aspects of the profession. I both pity and fear them.

  • Also, I don’t see any of you running to the defense of patients, the very people you’re supposed to protect, when they get gaslighted by people based on the very “diagnoses” you give them. Get out of MadInAmerica and see how much filth people write about anyone who’s psychiatrically categorised with anything and how badly they get attacked. If anything, you’re the majority and it’s the population that ends up here that’s far more under duress. Places like MIA are the only few places the “othered” have to speak online.

  • What are we talking about? This article or Sylvain’s comment? The article mentions “talk to your child’s doctor” and Sylvain’s comment doesn’t mention anything about randomly stopping drugs.

    If it’s the article, there are articles giving medical information online for all sorts of things ranging from breast implants to root canals.

    Apart from that, online support groups are formed precisely because people in real life have failed them. A person can’t spend all their life searching for one doctor after another and in the context of psychiatry one may not want to go to doctors at all anymore for several reasons. Anyone who uses the internet should use the information on it cautiously.

  • @job job:

    Bit rich to say that Whitaker destroys reputations when it is your fold that has an entire medical book replete with things like “Personality Disorders”. Someone, in some psychiatric setting, is getting categorised with one as we speak. Wonder how people will treat him once they find out about it.

  • Nikhto:

    It’s surprising you have to say “damaged by incompetent professionals and treatments” when the way psychiatric systems are designed to help people, are for many, damaging by default even with their “best practices”. Actually, those professionals are “competent professionals” for following what their system and psychiatric curriculum tells them to follow. Nothing incompetent about them.

  • A much more apt descriptor would be simply stating what you did or experienced instead of calling it “mental illness”. For example, “I went haywire and heard voices asking me to poison myself. I did just that and nearly died. I was out of my mind and not my usual self at the time. I would never ordinarily do something like that. It caused me a lot of pain and embarrassment and I need to make sure that doesn’t happen again”.

  • The problem is not that “there is no such thing as a mind without a brain”. There probably isn’t (there isn’t a mind without your liver either. You remove your liver, you die and have no mind [likely]). The simple correlation between thoughts and brain states is not some amazing discovery but is constantly bandied about to give legitimacy to psychiatry. “Do you believe in MRIs, fMRIs?” when it is practically worthless, nor are any “diagnoses” based on them.

    The “mind is correlated with the brain” logic justifies anything. “Personality Disorders”, “Oppositional Defiant Disorder” and what not. One thing psychiatrists will never invent is Ethics Deficit Disorder and put themselves and their own brethren through some brain scan studies.

    Ethics Deficit Disorder:

    1.) Seeks positions of power and authority in the field of psychology, psychiatry and police forces.

    2.) Sees no ethical implications of behavioural labelling.

    3.) Enjoys and feels comfortable in the power role.

    4.) Is indifferent to the consequences of said practices.

    5.) Dismisses patients’ complaints of his profession’s actions on their lives.

    If 4 out of 5 symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, a diagnosis of Ethics Deficit Disorder (EDD) can be established. A diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder must first be ruled out before a diagnosis of EDD can be made.

    Olanzapine is a first line treatment in the management of EDD. In case of treatment resistant Ethics Deficit Disorder, ECT can be considered. Prognosis of EDD without treatment is poor and follows a waxing and waning course.

    Ethics Deficit Disorder is no more or less real than Borderline Personality Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Internet Gaming Disorder.

    I also don’t insinuate that human suffering is not real. You’ve written in another post, “Is it fair to say that everyone thinks that “mental illness” doesn’t exist or, if it does, that it’s caused by “historical forces”?”. People suffer, in some combination, from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, hallucinations, delusions, manic episodes, drug related issues, family related issues, financial issues etc. Can’t deny that.

    Here is a brain. How much can you infer from this about the “mind” of the person this brain belongs to?

  • [email protected]:

    What when in some cases (it’s not right to accuse innocent families in all cases), they have become that way due to their families or other people and now those people are using psychiatry to gaslight the victim and keep him/her subjugated? Or even good families (with as good as their intentions can be) who are doing things to someone to make their behaviour aberrant?

    Again, not right to accuse innocent people in cases where it isn’t their fault. But what about the cases I have put forward?

  • [email protected]:

    “Last week we had a patient who was 60 years old and running through a laundromat pulling people’s wet clothes out of the washing machines and throwing them around the room and assaulting anyone who tried to stop her.”

    What was her reason for doing that? I’m not asking for her “diagnosis”, nor am I looking for “she was psychotic” as a response. But why did she engage in that (or what were her reasons even if you think those reasons are gibberish)? What were the precursors to her ending up in that state? Certainly, at the moment of her doing that, innocent people must be protected from her. But without knowing why she ended up in such a miserable situation, it’s hard to answer the questions you have put forward.

    Also, this.

  • First of all, congratulations on an incredible life.

    Second, I have observed this in myself too (so do many others, of course). Dim lighting makes me feel dull and low, whereas bright lighting makes me feel active and vibrant.

    There is also the opposite: SSRIs actually get me high, i.e. they elevate my mood, make me feel brighter and have a stimulating effect. Psychiatrists simply term this “antidepressant induced mania” and stamp you as “bipolar” due to it, but to me, it has been nothing except a drug induced high which goes away when the drug is removed.

    Anyway, when my mood is elevated due to SSRIs (or when a person’s mood is elevated in general), the perception of the same amount of light also becomes brighter compared to when my mood is low.

    Light is an interesting factor in mood changes.

  • Then why is such a genetic test not routinely used to make a diagnosis of the condition? I know that the problems associated with inattention are real. But why can you not take a blood sample and make a diagnosis? If you take a random person without the doctor or tester knowing their condition, can you take their blood and make a diagnosis?

    If you’re going to tell me the old canard of “they’re working on it”, come back and talk after their work is complete and it’s become a routine in a reasonable number of hospitals (say 20%?) with psychiatry departments in the world.

    Try and see if Ethics Deficit Disorder can be diagnosed the same way. I mean these behaviours also have brain states associated with them and the people doing these things also all have blood and guts.

    Ethics Deficit Disorder:

    1.) Seeks positions of power and authority in the field of psychology, psychiatry and police forces.

    2.) Sees no ethical implications of behavioural labelling.

    3.) Enjoys and feels comfortable in the power role.

    4.) Is indifferent to the consequences of said practices.

    5.) Dismisses patients’ complaints of his profession’s actions on their lives.

    What about Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Internet Gaming Disorder?

    Internet Gaming Disorder:

    1.) Overwhelming preoccupation with online-activities to an extent, that leads to impairment or distress

    2.) Inability to limit time spent on the Internet

    3.) Loss of other interests

    4.) The need to spend increasing time on the Internet

    5.) Unsuccessful attempt to quit Internet-use

    6.) Use of the Internet to improve or escape aversive conditions, for example stress, Unfavorable duties, dysphoric mood

    7.) Withdrawal symptoms when the Internet is no longer available.

    I mean, if I buy video games today and become an addict…of course, I’d need a genetic test to confirm I suffer from such a condition.

  • If psychological therapy results in a worsened mental state, then obviously it is responsible for the worsened mental state based on what you’ve already said.

    What do you need to know that psychiatry has harmed someone? A study? When you read a study on the internet, you are not the one who has done it. You have not collected the data or done the analysis. How can you be certain that what’s contained in it is true? Do you personally know the life histories of those people? And how do you know the life histories of all the people who have not been in such studies? Went and talked to them personally? Did detective work? Seen their lives up close?

  • Thomas,

    You went through a prolonged phase of suffering, took a drug/drugs and it helped you. No problem with that. You’ve also brought up neuroimaging citing X and Y study.

    Here is an MRI. My own. Feel free to take it to a neurologist, a psychiatrist or anyone who knows how to read medical imaging. Can they or you identify the problems that I have been through? Don’t go through my posting history. If you do, don’t tell it to the person reading the image. Download the image. Ask them “what issues does this person have?” without telling them anything.

  • So, today I went to a Neurologist and checked out if my brain actually shows any sign of abnormalities on an MRI. Well, the neurologist looked at my scan and could find nothing.

    The radiologist’s observations are thus:

    i.) Brain stem and cerebellum are normal.

    ii.) Cerebrum is normal. No focal lesions noted.

    iii.) Ventricular system is normal.

    iv.) Basal cisterns, sylvian fissures and cerebral sulci are normal.

    v.) Visualised cranial nerves appear normal.

    vi.) Internal auditory canals and their contents are normal.

    vii.) Visualised dural venous sinuses and deep cerebral veins are normal.

    viii.) Sella and pituitary gland appear normal. No obvious lesions noted.

    ix.) Orbits and their contents are normal.

    Impression: Normal Study

    What’s the next thing I need to do? Get an ultrasound of my brain? Will try that one day too. God, people love selling this imaging shit so much. I wish that I had this MRI in my hand when a psychiatrist first told me “do you believe in MRIs and fMRIs?”. People STILL all over forums, comment sections and chatrooms tell others about brain imaging to shut them up. Poor souls have never seen any imaging of their brain so they have nothing to counter with.

    But of course, it doesn’t end there. Once you have this in your hands, they have to go back to: “It’s all neurotransmitter based, you can’t see it in brain scans”. Then STFU about the brain scans.

  • @Walter:

    People always bring out the MRIs and fMRIs claim even though it’s actually pointless in real life. Have you gone to a neurologist, taken an MRI (or anything else like an EEG), and then given it to another neurologist (or heck, even a psychiatrist) who does NOT know what your problem is, but he can still look at the image and tell you your “diagnosis”? Most people who talk of MRIs/fMRIs have never done that. Almost NO ONE who gets into a psychiatrist’s office ever has any kind of imaging done on them. Maybe just those who get put in research studies. But they certainly sell that line so much! MRIs and fMRIs and EEGs!

    It’s just a selling point to shut people up for a variety of reasons:

    i.) people trying to tell others “Look my suffering is real! They have proof from MRIs!” (despite never having seen an MRI of their own brain).

    ii.) people trying to tell others they can’t accept their problems: “Look, MRIs show that people like you have X and Y abnormalities. Shut up, sit down and take your pills” (once again, despite never having seen an MRI of the brain of the person they’re talking down to).

    iii.) Mental health workers trying to desperately legitimise what they’re doing when confronted by skeptical suffering individuals: “Do you believe in MRIs and fMRIs? See this textbook”? The guy will be much more likely to go along with their plan of help when they spout this.

    iv.) Gaslighting: “Well, bad brains and bad genes. They say it can be seen in MRIs”. What more can you say?

    Did you sit down with a doctor and cross out all medical/neurological problems that could be causing your problems before it being placed in the “idiopathic” bin of psychiatry?

    BTW, I agree that depression and mania are very real, can be very serious and disabling, and the pathways to them both are many. I don’t deny or invalidate the suffering of people.

    What you perhaps also don’t understand is how much cruelty and dehumanising of people, how much gaslighting and scapegoating goes on under the guise of “bipolar”, “schizophrenia”, “borderline” etc. either. Your desire to “validate” your “bipolar” and your talk of “brain abnormalities, there is so much we don’t know” (this is actually pretty typical talk of people fairly new into psychiatry) could lead you down a very dark place in life.

    I don’t know what caused your depression or your mania, because there are a whole host of reasons that could happen. Smoking marijuana can cause mania resulting in a “bipolar” categorisation applied on the person. Antidepressants prescribed for anxiety can cause mania resulting in a “bipolar” categorisation. A person could have a “spontaneous” episode of mania resulting in a “bipolar” categorisation being given to them. For a certain individual, an “antidepressant” not working for depression, but a “mood stabiliser” working to alleviate his depression could lead to a person being categorised as “bipolar”. All different circumstances. I’m pretty sure all their brains and life experiences are different.

    Whatever works for you. At the most, if you are placed in the bin of psychiatry, you will get 3 things in life: listening and talking, pills and psychiatric categorisations (don’t expect it to stop at “bipolar” because you could get 5 or 6 more down the line). If it works for you, great. If you are unlucky, you will face coercion and gaslighting and basically your life will get screwed.

    I hope it works out well for you.

  • @Madineamericonaute:

    Let me be honest with you. If ADs are working for you, continue taking them at your own discretion. You mentioned that you were performing much better when you were on them (which is a good reason to take them) but are worried about the long term effects (which is a good reason to arm yourself with more information). No one should talk you out of taking them or into taking them without you being the first judge of it. It is you who is putting them into your body and it is your life that will be affected by it.

    On the internet, you’ll find people who have experienced permanent Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction. While sexual dysfunction on SSRIs is common, sexual dysfunction becoming permanent is uncommon (though it happens to some people). But if you consecutively read 10 experiences of people who have experienced PSSD (permanent sexual dysfunction), you will panic, even if that might not apply to you.

    If you find some articles or research papers whose results are alarming, talk about it with your prescriber. If your prescriber does not have much knowledge or simply does not want to acknowledge any harms despite evidence to the contrary, find another one.

    Try out Surviving Antidepressants. I have never used it, but you might find much more knowledgeable people there.

    But ultimately, you are the judge of it. Don’t make hasty decisions.

  • Dr. Yost, I do not know how to say this without sounding rude. I do not want to single you out because a large portion of your colleagues are the same. Your website reminds me of some of the discharge summaries I’ve seen in the past from psych. wards and psychiatrist talk. Full of dissecting the DSM, classifications of this and that, unipolar, pediatric bipolar, dysthymia, mixed states, better to classify this way, lessen this criteria, increase that criteria, blah blah.

    Do you even understand the practical problems that people at the ground level have? How people are affected by psychiatric labelling (gaslighting, invalidation, coercion, control), how such labelling is weaponised, how psychiatric drugs often simply replace one problem with another, how becoming psychotic due to the side effects of a psychiatric drug are again relabelled with more serious psychiatric categorisations, the fact that people have spent resources, time and money (even hiring attorneys) and even shifted towns to escape all things psychiatry, the fact that many people don’t even seek medical treatment for physical problems because of what being stamped with psychiatric categorisations brings into their life (and the fact that they are not congruent with their truth), the fact that people have ended up in poverty, isolation, homeless or dead from “treatment”, the fact that people are spending years in “treatment” and are no better for it and are coming out as damaged as ever. This whole website is a testament to these things.

    Honestly, I think so many of you guys live in a bubble of your own and have no idea of the realities of the common man (if you do, you haven’t expressed any of it on your website). Your debates and discussions seem to largely serve your psychiatrist-class whereas the whole point of your existence is supposedly to serve people.

    I’ve seen your website. But perhaps you would understand a bit better if you read some articles like these from people with a wealth of life-experiences (and not simply psychiatric jibberish jargon):

    i.) The Outing of a Consumer. ii.) Bipolar by Definition? iii.) On Being Forced Out in the Clinical Psychology Field.

  • I would also add that if you’re feeling differently at different times, it helps to write a journal. Just to remember how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking at different times so you remember things and don’t get carried away by feeling particularly bad at a given moment. It will help you to keep track of your life.

  • @Memento:

    It’s maddening to be in that situation. You need some community. Maybe you can find some on this site (or on chatrooms online). Write to some people with power. If you’re completely stuck in the system, you might need the help of someone in it to get out of it. There is a contact page here on MIA that has people who MIGHT be able to help you in some way. Can you apply for disability in your country? If you already are on it, learn something (plenty of online courses) that can provide you some sort of employment or just to take your mind off things. Even something small. Exercise. Diet. Small things in life to take your mind off things. Try to get away from that family so you have some sanity left. Stay away from places online that will make you feel even worse. There are LOTS of nasty pro-psychiatry guys online (people like your family, patients, mental health workers etc.) that will make you feel like trash. People with these problems, sometimes NEED to isolate themselves due to their situation. Nothing wrong in that.

    You’re 55. Much older than me. You’ve made it this far. Just a little longer. I don’t know what else I (as a random guy on the internet) can offer.

  • japplegate63:

    It’s great that antidepressants worked for you. Whatever helps in a positive way. But people’s paths through the psychiatric system are very different. Depression is something all human beings can understand. It isn’t nearly as stigmatised, nor as weaponisable as other types of suffering and their associated categorisations. What if you were categorised with a “personality disorder”? What if it was “schizophrenia”? Oppositional Defiant Disorder? Conduct Disorder? Intermittent Explosive Disorder? What if it was many of them at the same time as “comorbidities”? Your experiences would have been quite different.

    “Demonise all of psychiatry” is a pretty meaningless phrase people use over and over again. Your appreciation for psychiatry is pretty typical. A drug brought you out of a prolonged phase of suffering where nothing else worked for years, hence you don’t want to “demonise all of psychiatry”. I’m assuming your help was also voluntary (something that makes a huge difference). The same can be said for other commenters here who get agitated seeing a site like MIA because a neuroleptic stopped their torturous hallucinations or because a stimulant suddenly made them be able to concentrate. Heck, you could never have entered psychiatry, gone to a country doctor in a small down, popped that SSRI, not known there is any such thing as psychiatry and still come out with the same positive result.

    Calling Psychiatry a “medical institution”, I feel, is a bit of a misnomer and a dangerous one at that (it’s only part medicine). They use the “it’s medical” excuse to give doctors power over things that have nothing conventionally to do with medicine. Control people’s opinions, moral judgements, cultural values etc. Heck, if you’re doing that, just don’t use the “it’s medical” excuse. We all have opinions on how we and also others should conduct themselves. We don’t throw it under the guise of medicine.

    Medicine, in general, deals with the body. Not character, conduct, personality (except in the sense that chronic pain or a brain injury may change a person’s personality from a lively individual to a sullen one), family squabbles etc. No one looks at a root canal or a kidney stone through the prism of sanism. Your heart does not have a personality flaw, and your liver does not have unlawful conduct.

    You can appreciate and understand your path of healing whilst keeping in mind others’ paths of destruction in the same bin of psychiatry. They exist side-by-side.

  • KateL:

    I come across horrible comments online when it comes to people who speak out against aspects of Psychiatry and their supporters (and you know what they are). In this specific case, shmooface is fearful that opinions like that of “lifeasanomad” and “ayla” will take away what he/she finds helpful.

    This is not a comment calling someone a Scientologist or “you can’t accept your diagnosis” or gaslighting you (and I don’t know if it has gotten to that point even later in the comment thread). As far as nasty internet comments go, it is just a difference of opinion. He/she is just saying that “healthy living” didn’t work for him but SSRIs did. He/she also accepted that an alternate lifestyle helped ayla and that, that’s fine with him and he’s expressing (a bit angrily) that it does not work for him.

    But yes, there indeed are other comments and commenters who go to the extent of pure condescension and mockery. I feel that this comment (in isolation) isn’t one of them. It isn’t like some of those horrible Quora threads. I haven’t seen the rest of the thread. But yes, I understand your fear too.

    If anything, the issue I have is, these “I was helped by X drug” comments are taken to the point of completely invalidating us talking about the harms of psychiatric categorisations, drugs and treatment.

    You must remember, a subset of these same individuals who have strongly held opinions of how great psychiatry is, once they face problems, will sing a different tune and end up on places like Mad In America.

  • “You can’t accept your diagnosis” is a great one. As if accepting one’s suffering and accepting their categorisations is the same thing. Just pure gaslighting and mockery combined to invalidate anything a person has to say (easy to do especially now that they have a “diagnosis”).

    On the same site, Quora (and I can’t find the thread now to link it), a registered nurse wrote something along the lines of, “The problem with mental patients is that they can’t accept their diagnosis. Instead of working to get another diagnosis, they complain about the diagnosis they got”.

    Maybe she was frustrated by some patient, but even then. They think people are some hamsters on a hamster wheel for them. “Work to get another diagnosis”. Yeah right. The problem with such mental registered nurses is that they don’t bother to think how horrible their diagnoses make the lives of other people, sometimes not even leaving them in a position to work at all. Just keep working and accrue more “diagnoses”. That’ll do you a lot of good. ADHD today, Bipolar Disorder tomorrow, Panic Disorder day after, and a Personality Disorder to top it off. Write them all down in a permanent medical record and then have the patient run around like a headless chicken trying to explain his actual situation every time he/she needs medical treatment even for non-psychiatric issues (like those doctors have that much time). Bring the patient to a point where he just ends up shelling up in isolation, away from the world, from his family, from seeking ordinary medical help for problems and then blame him/her for all that.

    The worst part is, just like this situation, they inadvertently end up pitting one suffering person (person A) who might have some form of depression/anxiety and a milder, less stigmatising categorisation and who benefitted from a conversation with a psychiatrist or a psychiatric drug, against another person (person B) who has a more stigmatising categorisation like a “personality disorder” or maybe 5 categorisations.

    Person A will just tell person B, “How dare you speak against Psychiatry, you Scientology whackjob?!” as if you’re invalidating all his pain.

    I remember there was a Psychologist here on MIA (once again, very old article, don’t remember which) who ended up getting categorised with (I think) “Bipolar Disorder” by his colleagues and it started causing him problems. When I called him out on the topic of psychiatric categorisations, he was petrified and said something along the lines of him not having a hand in how people got treated due to his diagnoses.

    Until it happens to these people themselves, they just don’t understand someone else’ pain. By then, it’s too late for them both.

  • To add even more information, the Scientology and Antipsychiatry connection comes heavily due to the efforts of Thomas Szasz, a psychiatrist who was a prominent critic of his field and who published several books regarding psychiatry. He collaborated with the Chruch of Scientology and together they started CCHR. Szasz was never a Scientologist himself, clearly stating:

    “Well I got affiliated with an organisation long after I was established as a critic of psychiatry, called Citizens Commission for Human Rights (CCHR), because they were then the only organisation and they still are the only organisation who had money and had some access to lawyers and were active in trying to free mental patients who were incarcerated in mental hospitals with whom there was nothing wrong, who had committed no crimes, who wanted to get out of the hospital. And that to me was a very worthwhile cause; it’s still a very worthwhile cause. I no more believe in their religion or their beliefs than I believe in the beliefs of any other religion. I am an atheist, I don’t believe in Christianity, in Judaism, in Islam, in Buddhism and I don’t believe in Scientology. I have nothing to do with Scientology.”.

    I hope that makes things even clearer.

  • That is not my logic at all. Critics of Psychiatry are always accused of being Scientologists or being related to it. When Psychiatry departments are supported by Christian Missionaries or their funds, no one bats an eyelash. Both Scientology and Christianity are religions. Critics being supported by one religion (Scientology) is not fine, but psychiatry being supported by another religion (Christianity) is fine. That is a double standard. That was my point.

    When I said “they are both religions”, I was talking about Scientology and Christianity, not Scientology and Psychiatry.

    Thanks for the heads up anyway because that probably clarifies what I was trying to express even better.

  • See, that’s the thing. I would usually never even say “people with borderline personality disorder”, just like I would never say computers with “dysfunctional computer RAM disorder”, or homes with “broken pipes disorder” (though I can understand that pipes can break and that RAM can malfunction). This verbiage is problematic. Simply relabelling of a set behaviours (that doesn’t mean the behaviours are meaningless), but then giving those labels agency.

    This is not a small distinction of semantics (though it may seem very nitpicky). It is a major distinction with significant consequences. Though these terms are not explanations of any behaviour (and it’s circular reasoning to use them as such), they are practically used everyday as such (in courts of law, in family life, in professional mental health settings etc.). It may be a convenient shorthand for many but it also becomes a convenient way of gaslighting.

    “She lies due to her borderline personality disorder”, “he’s delusional because he’s schizophrenic”, “he’s depressed because he’s bipolar”, rather than simply “she lies” or “he’s delusional” or “he’s depressed”.

    And sure, people need to be better protected. How do you aim to do that? How do you aim to protect a single person variously categorised with Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (there are [or at least were] forums online with people writing all their “diagnoses” neatly in their signatures).

    I am pretty well aware that there are a lot of people who support psychiatry and that they don’t tour here for obvious reasons.

    The moment at which a person would be most grateful to psychiatry would probably be when a conversation with a psychiatrist or a prescription drug alleviates some severe suffering that has gone on for a prolonged period (several years in many cases) and also he sought help voluntarily. But as has already been pointed out, how does he/she feel after 10 years? Has anything changed?

    I have been on Quora and I have posted Quora threads here before. Some of what is written there horrifies me (pretty sure some of what’s written here horrifies psychiatrists and their supporters as well, but I’m not complaining because of how much nastiness is going on in real life when it comes to psychiatry). I have been on drug reviews for various medications. I am not against people voluntarily using drugs or ECT or TMS as long as it’s in a safe manner and isn’t an unwarranted nuisance to others around.

    I understand that people suffer from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, delusions, hallucinations, inattention, mania, family abuse, sexual abuse and there are truly people with intolerable personalities, and in desperate moments people want solutions to their problems and they turn to (or are forcibly turned to or forcibly turn others to) psychiatry, out of a lack of options (many don’t even know what they are getting themselves into until it’s too late). But the issues at hand are a lot more complicated than that.

  • Yes, I think there are a lot of possible reasons for support of psychiatry or lack thereof. Even in your other comments you’ve mentioned “what about people who say were helped by psychiatry?”. It all depends on path the psychiatric system has put the person in.

    Case 1: Guy has general stresses about life. Some degree of social anxiety and work pressure. He’s feeling a little blue.

    Psychiatrist categorises him with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and prescribes some Zoloft. In his case, he takes it, has minimal side effects and feels better. He will praise psychiatry and think MIA and everyone on it are a bunch of fools and anti-vax scientology cranks.

    Case 2: Woman comes from an abusive family. This makes her volatile and not easy to be around. She gets categorised with “Borderline Personality Disorder”. A categorisation that simply becomes a weapon to gaslight and control her. She becomes traumatised and ends up behaving in a way that simply reinforces that categorisation in a vicious cycle.

    This person obviously would not appreciate Psychiatry one bit.

    There are a lot of factors that go into this. Family situation, what categorisations have been put on the person (not all “psychiatric diagnoses” are seen the same. Some are less stigmatising, some are more), what effects the drugs have had, how long they have gone through psychiatry, what social or legal consequences they have had to face as a result of “treatment”, whether they have faced unwanted or unwarranted coercion, whether they have endured gaslighting, what effect it has had on their employment, healthcare and day-to-day functionality.

    While some of us can acknowledge the positive impact that some of what psychiatrists do can have on people, I am yet to meet a single psychiatrist in real life who will admit to the damages caused by any facets of their profession. I have just experienced hand-waving, “there’s criticism of every field, look at other areas of healthcare” (healthcare in general does not deal with character, conduct, sanity, personality etc. No one can say “she lies because she has a kidney stone”. They can say “she lies because of her borderline personality disorder” [there are ample examples of how psychiatric categorisations are weaponised on social media]), “MRIs/fMRIs show this and that” (when it is practically useless in everyday life).

    I think some of the “helped by psychiatry” crowd does not know how nasty psychiatry can get. Once they DO get to know, that same “helped by psychiatry” population group will turn into the “big bad antipsychiatry, the same as anti-vaxx” crowd and there will be a fresh new batch that can be the “let’s focus on those we can help” crowd. Because suffering people will always exist.

    There are some renegade mental health workers who will talk about this stuff on places like MIA, but they’re a miniscule minority.

  • i.) “An emergency doctor once told me about a patient who came in with a broken jaw, and how they immediately restrained him because he had a history of psychosis. She told me about how the patient asked to not be restrained but they had to restrain him, because even though he did not report any current symptoms of psychosis he was possibly still dangerous. I asked her to explain how he was dangerous and she said, ‘Well, because he can snap; that’s what schizophrenics do.’

    ii.) Individuals such as myself, who are assigned a borderline personality disorder diagnosis, often experience their entire identity being reduced to that label, and everything around them revolves around that label, effectively symptomizing every aspect of their being. Clinicians, including myself, are often instructed to ‘withhold warmth,’ be tough, be cold, direct, and dry; ‘Don’t let them get to you, they will test you and your boundaries.’ “

    Laura Aybar, I remember you from your first article “On Being Forced Out in the Clinical Psychology Field”. I remember how some of your colleagues treated you once they found out about the categorisation of “Borderline Personality Disorder” applied to you.

    These two other examples of the emergency doctor and how they teach you to behave in clinical psychology courses is telling. That emergency doctor may have had whatever experiences she may have had, but from the standpoint of the patient who already experienced psychosis and may be afraid of doctors because of how they will treat him once they find out his diagnosis, having his worst fears play out in reality is even more painful and it’s the exact kind of thing that makes patients confrontational towards doctors. That guy might never again seek medical help even if he’s about to have a heart attack. Even if he does, he might treat them with suspicion and irritation and the loop goes on.

    The other thing that patients will test their limits….well, why? Why does anyone want to push your buttons and test your boundaries? Is it ALWAYS unwarranted? When people tell you your categorisations are damaging, that they do not want to be labelled at all, and you shamelessly do it anyway and then speak BS that it’s alright and it’s no different than saying someone had the flu, how do you expect people to not “push your boundaries”? You’re damaging their lives and then gaslighting them into believing you aren’t. Pushing your boundaries is very little in terms of retaliation. “They will test your boundaries” is just sometimes another way to phrase “Look, I’ve done something wrong and it may have caused you even more pain than you’re already in, and I know that in my heart. But don’t you dare actually open your mouth and say out loud what I know inside! Stay in your limits you mental patient. We did what we had to for your own good.”.

    People like you inside clinical psychiatry and psychology are invaluable because it just shows all of us how nasty these fields really are. Behind all the “research” and “speeches” is just the sort of junk you’ve written about.

    Individuals unfortunately end up in these professions during horrible, vulnerable moments and then face a lifetime of degradation. This degradation will obviously never be accepted as degradation by the guys doing the degrading (they could be therapists, family members or others).

  • Yes, “problems in living” can become utterly devastating. And a human being sometimes needs the help of another human being to get out of problems.

    But look at what psychiatry/psychology and the mental health system are. A person goes to them (sometimes pressurised by others to go to them) in a moment of abject suffering, not knowing what to do. The person is desperate and all he wants is his pain to go away.

    Whatever his problems may be (whether he is depressed, anxious, panicky, hallucinating, delusional, ruminating, has family problems or social problems), in a 45 minute session, his identity is permanently changed to a schizophrenic, a schizoaffective, a bipolar, a borderline, an ADD/ADHD individual etc. Medical records are made in his name which he has bare minimum control over. Family members are informed of “his condition”.

    He knows nothing about what this will bring in the future. Social problems, legal problems, medical problems..nothing. He is just told that everything will be alright with a kind smile (till everything is not alright and those smiles turn to grimaces and the kindness turns into contempt). He does not even know the meaning of the word “gaslighting” till it happens to him and he searches for answers on the internet, because no one in real life understands anything. When he tells people he does not want to be psychiatrically categorised with such terms, he is met with condescension about how “many mental patients can’t accept their problems” as if acknowledging problems and being psychiatrically categorised are the same thing.

    He is prescribed drugs which are a trap. If they are forced onto him, he is screwed, because he has no say in the matter, even if those drugs have simply removed one problem to replace it with another. If he is taking them voluntarily, the only way he can procure them is through the medical system, which means he will have to accept psychiatric categorisations, whether for insurance or other purposes, but he is always beholden to the psychiatric system and they always have power over him. He is reliant on the mercy and charity of mental health workers and family members who can turn on him in an instant when they want to. God forbid the man come from a family with less than good intentions and psychiatry will be weaponised against him.

    When the man wants out, a smug POS person asks him, “Well, why do you go to psychiatry if you don’t like it?” when the guy hardly had any other options to begin with and now has no way out. When he tells a psychiatrist that his “help” is ruining his life, he is admonished and blamed for “not taking responsibility for his life” as if he brought everything on himself.

    Slowly, the guy shells up. He is afraid of the world, afraid of his family, afraid of going to hospitals even for ordinary medical problems, he starts having panic attacks. He dare not tell a shrink or a shrink’s accomplices about this because he doesn’t know whether they will disease-monger about it being a part of his illness and make more observations on him and apply more categorisations on him. Basically, the guy is royally screwed.

    This is not help. It’s a crock of horse manure and unfortunately many people (including those who end up as patients and their families) are too blind to see it. They are good psychiatric pets, and others are kapos for men and women who become psychiatrists/psychologists. They talk about “studies”, “brain research” and “science will find the answers” (by which time they’ll get rigor mortis). Unfortunately, many just die being that way. Other times, patients become psychologists and psychiatric nurses themselves to “change the system”, whereas if the system worked the “consumer” would have actually ended up being something like a pulmonologist or a nurse anaesthetist instead.

    Honest human beings as individuals can help other human beings. A psychiatrist/psychologist and a patient will likely always just be a pet-owner and a pet-dog. It is not help at all. The relationship is not the same as a dentist and a dental patient.

  • What is wrong about being motivated by animosity towards Psychiatry? How does that make you wrong by default? That animosity is a healthy and natural feeling to get motivated by.

    It’s like saying you’re motivated by animosity to score the highest marks in class to shut the teacher who kept belittling you. As if that animosity somehow nullifies that achievement.

  • “Treatment”, “mind/brain”. Well, these words are often used without actually talking about what they actually entail. What are the actual problems and what are the actual activities you are engaged in, in trying to solve them?

    1.) Situation 1: Person comes from a situation with no external problems but is delusional about the fact that he is being controlled by aliens who have implanted a chip in him. He’s injuring himself by trying to dig it out with a knife. What you might do is seclude him and give him a neuroleptic. He might resist this. But say it works and he gets better. What cost does this come at? At permanently getting stamped as a “schizophrenic” and being tied by a leash to psychiatry for medication and ‘counselling’ for a great many years? How many more categorisations will follow?

    2.) Situation 2: A child who is categorised with a mood disorder comes from an abusive family. Family claims she is lashing out because she is mentally ill whilst at the same time, behind the scenes, the family is involved in gaslighting her to the point of near insanity, which is what is making her behave this way towards them. This lands the child in a psych. ward. Would she not be justified in resisting “treatment” which might simply involve more psych categorisations, seclusion and drugs, but no justice at all (thereby simply, even if inadvertently, reabusing her, while the perpetrators are free)?

    3.) Situation 3: A woman is categorised with 5 categorisations, say Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, ADHD, Panic Disorder and Schizophrenia. In shame, she does not even go to hospitals anymore for ordinary somatic medical problems because of how doctors might view her when they see those terms on her file. She becomes reclusive from everyone for fear of being outed. What will your “treatment” be? Will you tell her there’s nothing to be ashamed of, that those terms are just like saying someone has HIV or the flu and that there are millions of people like her in the world?

  • “This article also focuses on a few patients with psychotic disorders without considering the impact of their disorder on family members or society. The perspective in this article leads to bias.” —New York Times Commenter, New York

    So many comments on “we need to listen to the family members”.

    I wonder if people ever consider the impact of families and society on people who end up as patients. Sure, some families are good and they suffer along with their suffering family member. Certainly you must keep yourself safe from a person unwarrantedly harming you.

    Other families have ill-intentions, and they use psychiatry to gaslight, to harass, to blackmail and to subjugate other family members for unwarranted reasons. These people deserve retaliatory harm. How does a person get justice from that? It’s almost impossible.

    The nexus formed between them and psychiatrists is utterly devastating to escape to a person who is already suffering and has lost most degrees of freedom in his/her life.

  • The author of this article is a doctor which is a great achievement.

    But I have to wonder. Won’t being “outed” with such issues as a doctor make other patients or fellow professionals cautious about being under her care?

    Personally, I would always root for a doctor who has been through stuff like this. Successful people from the psych. labelled group are a positive thing for all of us.

  • Nice exchange. Firstly, I whole heartedly agree that people suffer, and they do so egregiously sometimes. People become depressed, manic, anxious, panicky, have distressing intrusive thoughts, believe things which aren’t true, see and hear things which aren’t there etc. and in the throes of suffering they want help. Other times, someone forces them into it. I simply disagree on how they handle it, what they tell to people who come to them, and that individuals have very little idea of what they’re getting themselves into, medically, socially and legally.

    1.) There is talk of mania. But what about antidepressant induced mania? That SSRIs cause manic episodes in people with no prior history of them, and they are subsequently relabelled “bipolar”, a term which can have serious connotations socially and legally?

    2.) What is Mr. Phelps’ opinion on “Personality Disorders”? The recently famous Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard case made use of the notion of these nonsensical disorders as well, where one psychologist “diagnosed” Heard with “Borderline and Histrionic Personality Disorders” whereas the case could simply have proceeded based on the actions and behaviours of them both, and mitigating factors involved (which can include mental health in terms of the actual state of mind of the person, i.e. depressed, anxious etc.) without these junk diagnoses having any place in them. You can easily say “she is lying”, “she has shown a consistent pattern of lying” etc. That’s enough. They then brought in another psychologist to rebut the psychologist who “diagnosed” Heard.

    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.

    i.) For example, if a person is moody or volatile, or has strong opinions or whatever it is, it can be stated as is without being re-wrapped in those circular labels which are then used as if they have agency. A dangerous slight of hand trick which permanently damages a human being, casting aspersions on the very essence of their being for life. Easy-to-use to gaslight and invalidate a person. You could simply state, “He has shows a consistent low mood” along with supplanting evidence, “she has shown a consistent pattern of lying”- with supplanting evidence. The accused can present his/her reasons for their behaviour. Why are mental health workers able to use these terms in court as explanations?

    ii.) Why are psychiatric students still spouting “there is nothing derogatory about psychiatric labels, it’s just like cancer or diabetes”, when cancer and diabetes have nothing to do with a person’s character, conduct, sanity or reputation and all psychiatric categorisations cast light on those things?

    A simple search on social media shows how these terms are used:

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

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

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


    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.”

    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’.

    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 others trying to disprove their position about those “with BPD”.

    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. 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.

    It is perfectly legitimate for people to ask to be not labelled with ANYTHING in the DSM. It’s a legitimate defensive response.

  • 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.