Monday, August 10, 2020

Comments by registeredforthissite

Showing 444 of 486 comments. Show all.

  • One of the things that IS pretty pernicious about the whole shrink system is, they aren’t people who grew up with you, aren’t people who know you much except a small, fairly impersonal listening and talking session that people have with them. They are someone else’s children, parents, friends etc. Not yours. To you, it’s just some guy who did a psychiatry degree, who’s simply fulfilling an occupational position. It’s a very different thing if you have a dental problem or an infection. Doesn’t have much to do with social stuff.

    How much and in what way can such people truly help you? Would you as someone who cares for someone else label them with life-ruining labels, make files on them and turn them into revolving door individuals?

    It’s a very strange situation.

  • ” I always thought it was because of the American “ideals” of individualism and self-sufficiency as proof of good mental health. But doesn’t this just lead to loneliness? If they actually knew what they were doing, and wanted to help people, wouldn’t they help people to cultivate better relationships?”

    This is actually very interesting. I suppose the grass is always greener on the other side. In my country’s culture, joint families are still fairly common. And I’d say, having close-knit relationships with too many people (and those people with each other) also comes at a cost.

    There’s plenty of territorial aggression, some people’s dreams getting passed over for someone else’s upliftment or benefit, fights over property distribution, individual ways of thinking and preferences conflicting with others’, back-bit**ing, eavesdropping, scheming, jealousy and what not.

    It’s a never-ending discussion. Personally, to a large extent, I prefer the self-sufficient route (but NOT because shrinks say it). At least it gives me control and ownership of my life (or perhaps just the feeling of it?). Does it also produce some loneliness? Yes. Is that loneliness superior in nature to the problems of relationships? Depends on the person.

    It’s also very interesting that we as human beings long for affection. Just take the fact that so many people love dogs and find comfort in their love. However, dogs are basic creatures. Other than maybe bite you, they can’t do the things that humans can do to each other. A dog has far less control on his human ( and it’s a very simple type of control) as compared to what a person might have over another person, which makes people feel secure. They can’t harm or hurt you much.

    Having a good relationship with people around you is almost always predicated on that relationship being mutually beneficial in some way (or at least not getting in someone else’s way). Once that condition isn’t satisfied anymore, problems begin to emerge.

    I think individualism and self-sufficiency rather than being proof of good mental health are simply proof of the fact that you are able to mind your own business and not be a nuisance to others around you (even if that’s justified sometimes), which automatically gives you a reputation of “good mental health”.

    But that being said, yes, without human interaction and people you feel secure around, people who really like you and guide you, life becomes exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.

  • Taking help from CCHR is another complication. The more one takes help from them, the more psychiatry and the public have an excuse to use the Scientology card which simply solidifies psychiatry even more. Nasty situation.

    If a person is down in the dirt with no resources and no power, they will take help from wherever they can get, even if it means turning to Scientology funded groups, no matter how nasty or cranky Scientology itself may be.

  • “Nihilistic delusion”, “personality disorder”, “adjustment disorder”. Good god, such nauseating language typical of psychiatric institutions, their workers and patient supporters. It’s like a DSM AI bot.

    Personally, I have no problem with someone ingesting something that’s helping them and causing them no harm (as they see it). It is your method of help that is putrid.

  • @MSIDHU

    You are likely not evil. Most certainly you are a decent person and an upstanding citizen.

    Becoming a doctor in general is demanding and carries risks.

    That aside, you write that you’ve just completed your residency in Psychiatry. In your career, you will go onto label possibly 1000s of people as OCD, ODD, ADD, ADHD, BPD, BPAD, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective etc. You will make incessant observations of people’s behaviour in files that they will have hardly any power over. Every label that you put on a human being could destroy them in ways you might only superficially know. And not only them, but anyone who is biologically related to them as the initially labelled will go onto become their family histories.

    Please consider the career you are about to have. Ask yourself, if you will ever be able to ACTUALLY help a person who is suicidal because of financial problems by donating money to him/her in a personal capacity so he could start a business, or rescue a kid from an abusive family, or help someone like a human being the way a decent mother or a father would ordinarily help their child or whether the scope of your help will be limited to labelling, recording observations in files, using people’s personal information to collect statistics so you can publish a paper/make a case study, prescribe drugs that will make people dependent on you even if they don’t want that.

    Both those things are very different. One involves fulfilling an occupational position. The other involves possibly jeopardising your own career to do the right thing.

    A doctor could always switch to doing things like stitching wounds, fixing broken bones, diagnosing and treating infections etc.

  • Something that’s even worse is, when people act out of a natural impulse to defend themselves, they are sometimes labelled as “treatment resistant” and “personality disordered” (the entire concept is legally sanctioned defamation irrespective of a person’s behaviour) not necessarily only by shrinks but even by members of the common populace. Psychiatric terminology is used as a tool to gaslight and invalidate people. It is misused by the common populace, socially, legally and it creeps into one’s life in nasty ways. And you have labels for all kinds of things including being defiant of authority, having strong opinions and what not. You are lucky to not have the experiences of someone on the other side of the table.

    I don’t wish to be harsh but we have to protect ourselves.

  • Why do they want to die or kill? Just the label of “bpad”? Or is there more to it? Did something happen to the person or he wants to off himself for no reason? Did he express “I wish I could kill him” because he was simply out of it or because the opposite person did something terrible to him? Why did you label him as “bpad”? Could you not have helped him without doing that?

    I could never be a shrink simply for the fact that I would not want to do that to someone else irrespective of their suffering. I could see a child rocking back and forth and eating dung off the road and I would STILL keep him/her out of the system and find another way of help. But it’s all put under the rubric of “science” these days and you’re a “crank” or “in denial of illness” or an “anti-vaxxer” or a “scientologist” for having the common sense to not put yourself or someone else in harm’s way.

    I wouldn’t mind offering a human being methods of help that I could think of with whatever knowledge I have or get someone more knowledgeable, but I have enough awareness to know that the shrink SYSTEM is best avoided.

  • “Keep in touch with your psychiatrist”.

    Wonderful. The reason your ilk is best avoided is not because people don’t suffer. People do suffer from depression, anxiety or what have you. But your method of “help” involves labelling people with derogatory labels, making incessant behavioural observations in files transferred from person to person in your systems. Add to that the fact that drugs are controlled substances, it’s a recipe for long term revolving door syndrome. Sorry to single you out, but do you people have any idea what this stuff does to people?

    “Keep in touch with your psychiatrist”. Most people here do not WANT to keep in touch with shrinks or come anywhere near them or many of their patients. People have gone to great lengths to escape psychiatry and obliterate it from their lives. They have fled from places, lived in anonymity and isolation and what not.

    I don’t think you people truly realise the social implications of what you do, even if your aim is to help and there is no ill-will behind it. You know. But only in the sense that a person blind since birth “knows” that there is something called colour, despite the fact that he will never see it.

  • “I can’t even imagine how hard it was to get this site up and going within the context of psychiatry’s overreaching power. Your work has provided life-saving information to countless people. That burden should never be carried by just one person. There’s a lot of work to be done by all of us. ”

    Precisely.

  • @ Robert Whitaker:

    Thank you for what you do. I once contacted you during the initial years of this site regarding SSRIs prescribed for depression and anxiety causing mania and resulting in bipolar labels being applied on people. You promptly responded to my queries. I do not know you personally, nor of any of your shortcomings or strengths. All human beings have their share of those. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I truly appreciate the existence of this place.

  • @ Sam,

    Canada sounds horrific. Absolutely horrific. I hope some of you guys can move to the US. Hell, move to Mexico. It’s probably less of a dump than Canada when it comes to psychiatry. It seems like Canada is great for non-psychiatrised people. But once psychiatry is in the picture, it’s almost game over.

    I don’t think I’ll ever visit that country. I don’t know how I’d prevent EMR from ever coming here. Maybe I should someday write an article about how devastating the EMR system is. It’s like suffering is not something to be helped, but to be punished. How did the world go so bat-shit insane?!

    How did the developed world ever become so barbaric? And how do the clean streets and beautiful buildings and scenery even matter?

  • Yes, most likely from people with your mentality. I wish this man is able to escape the mental health system and all other men and women who would like to keep him in the role of a patient.

    The defense against psychiatry needs money, land, homes, hospitals for medical treatment of physical problems where they don’t have electronic medical records, don’t label you and don’t look at those labels, lawyers, a database of all mental health professionals, their names, information, hierarchies, their hospitals and infrastructure, some kind of online scouting programs like XKeyScore of all people on forums, social media etc. who are likely to label and incarcerate people and bring on psych. junk onto people who don’t want it and monitoring of these individuals. We need people from our populations to become skilled in computers, medicine, law, engineering and all other things that are required to keep us safe. Even weapons if necessary for self-defense .

    The ways of working of psychiatrists and their patient/caretaker supporters must be turned back on them. Hopefully one day, there will be organised antipsychiatry which uses the latest methods in statistics and computer science to protect us and works for us rather than for them.

    The moderators of this place are doing a good job. I don’t see too many of the kind of people you find on mental health forums and the type you find on Reddit Psychiatry sub-forum. The last thing we need here is people of that sort.

    However, one thing that’s not good is that there only few people on here. It’s the same small group people who keep posting and most of them lack wealth and true power. This is a scary situation. Our numbers have to grow. More people must join our cause.

    What a wonderful day it would be when we can see the opposition obliterated. Then we’ll just have to contend with the everyday problems of everyday people.

    The worst part of being a group at the bottom is that the majority believers can do whatever they want. However, one mistake from people on the other side and they’ll hound us like greyhounds.

    I have to laugh at psychiatrists and their supporters that feel victimised by our ilk. Yet, the day after their feeling of victimhood, they’ll be happy to go back to their jobs, and label person after person after person as Bipolar, Schizophrenic, Schizoaffective, OCD, ADD, ODD, BPD, NPD, MDD, ADHD and whatever other garbage that’s there in the DSM. They’d turn people’s lives into voluminous files with observation after observation, hand out pathetic discharge summaries, enable people with less-than-good intentions in gaslighting and blackmail.

    In a relatively isolated society, no friend, mother or father would do this to their children if they only knew the consequences. If they did, they are just horrendous people. But such societies would exist only in the most rural of places these days. The cities are done for.

    And these patients as well, who, while I do not dismiss there suffering, I lack sympathy for because happily gobble it up. They then go and make youtube videos and write articles about their “conditions” spreading their problems to all other people who are nothing like them even if they have been labelled the same.

    And then the mental health guys say if you don’t like it, stay away from us. Really, it’s that simple right? Their psychiatric trash is tied to normal medicine. Their assessments are tied to EMR (where it exists). The drug industry and pharmacies are under their control. The police force is under their control. The courts uphold their labels and power.

    I would like to see these people experience all of this and then see whether they feel the same anger of the people that they do this to.

    Yes, people suffer. Terribly sometimes. And they desperately want help. But psychiatry/psychology and the way they have impacted society are not help. I can’t see how any humane person can engage in this trash.

    Look at how our people are ending up the world over. Living in fear. Fear of doctors, fear of society, fear of getting medical help, gaslighted, marginalised and outcast, and then their real experiences dismissed, denied and they’re called “whiners”.

    I can’t see how anyone can have a “moderate” view when they see these things happen.

  • Ah! A Harry Potter fan. I can’t tell you how much those books mean to me. Childish, I know. But some of the happiest memories of my life are associated with Harry Potter. I have read, re-read and then re-read all the books many times over. I’m almost thrice as old as I was when I read the first book. Even John Williams’ soundtrack, particularly “Leaving Hogwarts”, when I listen to it, feels like a huge balloon of happiness and comfort swelling inside.

    Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!

    Sorry, wrong forum to have a casual chat on a serious discussion. Mods, if you want to remove this comment, you can.

  • @Sera Davidow,

    It seems like most of global society (at least what they show of themselves online), and this includes even patients and the caretakers of those patients, is on the side of psychiatry. People here are dismissed or mocked as being Scientologists or anti-vaccine denialists and individual experiences (which are brutally real for the individuals experiencing them) are brushed off under the rug of “anecdotal evidence”.

    Most people use and stand-by the use of the psychiatric language of behavioural labeling, neurocrap and psychiatrists hold a massive amount of authority.

    People ask, “so you antipsychiatry guys don’t believe mental illness exists”, “what do you call it when a woman drowns her baby?”

    There are forums out there where people are required to write the list of all their “diagnoses” and all the drugs they’re on in their signatures, so that they get “support” from other members. These forums have very large populations. There are mental health chatrooms filled with patients completely reliant on mental health workers (and MH verbiage) who have a quasi-god like status in their minds. They find solutions to their problems and their problems with people around them through these quasi-gods and their language. They are akin to Kapos. It’s very pathetic to see, but also more problematic to protect yourself against.

    How do you deal with these with individuals (and they’re a majority) in real life? How should one protect oneself from such people? Is the best form of interaction to have with them, no interaction? This results in a lot of isolation and constantly living in fear (for good reason) because once you’re into psychiatry, it’s very hard to get out of it for many reasons.

    MadInAmerica is a minority place. It’s a safe space for people who want to get OUT of everything to do with psychiatry including its “doctors” and even patients/caretakers. I’m not sure anything like it even exists anywhere else.

  • There was a lawyer who wrote an article on Mad In America on some ECT lawsuit. I don’t know what that was regarding in fine detail, but what I do know is he faced a lot of vitriol on his RedditAMA. Basically people alleging that the only reason he’s doing it is for the money, and that ECT is used as last resort for people who are unable to get better through any means, and that he should provide studies that ECT causes harmful effects etc. I’m being polite when I write it that way. Honestly, they were much worse on him.

  • Yes, obtaining drugs requires an RX for now in many countries. And there are always questions that pertain to drug legalisation like “What if people misuse them, what if they don’t know what they’re doing?”.

    Yes, you either have to gain the knowledge of how to use them yourself or consult someone who knows how. However, the illegalisation of drugs and putting people in prison or back in the ward for such offenses simply ensures that the person is back in system, and has no escape from psychiatry or its adherents including the patient population or caretaker population.

    After supervision of drug use is received, and especially after people have already been on them for several years, there is no way to get these individuals out of your life simply due to drug illegalisation. This means getting labelled, getting incessant observations in psych. records, coercion no matter how subtle etc.

  • The problem is that they’re “prescribed”. The illegality of drugs without prescriptions, and throwing people in prison or back in the ward for such “offenses” (even if such an “offense” is to protect oneself from psychiatry and its adherents) simply ensures a person is back in the system without any escape.

    There are questions associated with that of course: “If we legalise drugs, what if people misuse them? What if they don’t have apt knowledge about how they work? It HAS to be supervised”.

    The problem is once that supervision has been received, the mental health system and its patient population never get out of your life. People are literally forced back into that world even if they want nothing to do with it. Everyone here knows what that means.

  • Same here. I’ve taken plenty of vaccines, never had a problem. It’s important to not intermix some people’s opposition to vaccinations and opposition to psychiatry. They are in no way related.

  • I don’t understand why people insist on calling psychiatry a “pseudoscience”. It’s the first thing that puts a stopper in any kind of a criticism towards it.

    Psychiatry isn’t a pseudoscience. It’s scientific status is a pseudo-problem.

    That whole debate is a completely irrelevant diversion.

    Having a journal paper industry, journal publishing shrinks, books, organised departments and curricula doesn’t mean what it does is not harmful.

    You could make up an entire field full of those things on all manner of subjects, even those which most of us would consider barbaric. So what?

  • It’s a devastating loop. I’m not sure it’s done to prove they’ve recovered per se. I think it’s done because the only way to protect yourself from a devastating system and the people who adhere to it, is to end up becoming a part of it so that you have some say in it and some authority to keep people who use it against you at bay.

    It’s absolutely horrific if you think of it.

  • There is plenty wrong with the DSM and behaviourally labelling individuals. Circular and seriously stigmatising labels for all kinds of things including being defiant of authority, sticking to your guts and what not. They all have serious consequences, socially and legally.

    If you want to be labelled, and that suits you, fine by me, as long as you don’t expect everyone else to do what suits you (and I don’t expect for someone who holds your opinions to suit my preferences either).

    I strive to stay away from both psychiatry, and vast swathes of the patient population who are equally pernicious.

  • “Psychiatrists are doctors” is an oft-repeated statement. We all know they do undergraduate studies in medicine.

    One can study medicine and become a chef after that. Doesn’t mean cooking is what is conventionally considered as medicine (unless you’re willing to seriously expand the scope of those terms).

    The “psychiatrists are doctors” line is how a group of people who side with the shrinks invalidate another group. By using their authority as “doctors” even in matters which aren’t ordinarily in the realm of medicine (like a broken bone, or an infectious disease).

  • I was on Reddit a couple of days back. It was pathetic.

    The stuff that people write there about “our crowd”. “Mentally ill”, “denial of illness”, “frustrated because of illness”, “treatment didn’t work on them”, “they’re personality disordered”, “more treatment”, “scientologists”, “anti-vaxxers”.

    There’s also a psychiatry sub-group there full of the usual psychiatrist/mental health worker/patient talk.

    Then there’s the skeptic movement type. “Show me the study”, “just anecdotal evidence”. Despite the flaws of “anecdotal evidence”, not everything in life will have a journal paper associated with it. An individual can’t be omniscient and omnipresent.
    Some of the perpetrators of things like this tend to be the patient population themselves.

    Frankly, a large chunk of the patient population and their “caretakers” are just as pernicious as mental health workers themselves. And they’re everywhere! On chat rooms, YouTube pages, social media.
    It took me some time to regain my composure after reading that vomit.

    Psychiatry’s behavioural labelling and its concepts of mental illness tend to attract a lot of vicious individuals who are absolutely masters at gaslighting. Individuals use it as a weapon against other individuals who in some way or form pose a problem to them.

    How can you not be equally harsh as a means to defend yourself, especially given the fact that the opposite side has vastly more power than you?

  • I figured that that would be the case in countries with a high degree of systematisation and purely socialised healthcare. What’s good for the group could be disastrous to individuals.

    All this would do in the context of psychiatry would be to put already suffering people at risk of permanent labeling, and observations that they can never get changed. Even if they could, it would be a never ending and draining battle.

    Even if there’s a certain “compassionate” shrink who “understands”, it is relying solely on his mercy and charity which he can chose to rescind when it fits him.

  • I live in a “third world country”. Even if there is poverty and what not, society here is still not yet AS psychiatrised as it seems to be in higher income nations.

    The system of electronic medical records is not yet as prevalent here. I do know of at least 1 individual who was talking positively about why we need such a system. In my mind, I was flabbergasted when I heard that. The last thing I would want in my life is the psych. labels I was labelled with existing permanently every time I went to a hospital for any kind of physical problem.

    I fear the day the EMR system becomes popular here. Most individuals have no idea about what it could do.

    Something they were labelled with in their teenage will exist till they’re dead. And it will just keep getting worse.

    They’ll be trapped, locked, permanently in revolving-door hell, and if they come from an abusive family, it will almost certainly result in prolonged incurable pain, suffering and gaslighting leading to fearful and confrontational behaviour, which will result in even more labelling and the cycle will continue till death. I won’t be surprised in the least if people commit suicide as a result. Constantly on the run. First from their families, then from psychiatry, then from ordinary medical doctors even for standard physical conditions.

    I’ve frankly become very fearful of doctors.

    Is there no way to escape from EMR in your countries?

  • You have a FORTY FOUR year “experience” as in inpatient and outpatient?! Damn, I didn’t read that part. So, it has basically never ended. I wonder how old you are? Good god, I hope this doesn’t end up being my fate. I have no desire for such an “experience” and I have no desire for their “compassion”. I want the whole thing out of my life and that’s very hard to do! However, it is good that MIA exists. At least, the younger generation like myself gets an idea of how long-lasting this can be, and does whatever it can to avoid the kind of life that people who came before us had.

    Please don’t take this as condescension. Take it as someone expressing their horror.

  • Isn’t Edward Shorter the same guy who wrote “Szasz fails to recognise that the discipline today acknowledges a neurological basis for much psychiatric illness. Thus, his fulminations against psychiatry for treating ‘mental illness’ is off-base. ”

    This is basically the same old false accusation of “mind-brain duality” being peddled again.

    I wouldn’t take this guy’s word seriously at all.

  • “They don’t care about what trauma or abuse, or anything at all that happened to someone – instead they are hell bent on punishing someone for having endured trauma or difficult circumstances. They re-victimize and re-traumatize someone who is already suffering.”

    This is true. But I don’t think they do this because they’re evil. I think they’re just clueless. They don’t realise they’re doing harm because in many cases, their intentions are good and they’re doing exactly what they’ve been trained to do.

  • Suffering is a very real thing. Being extremely depressed is real. Anxiety is real. Panic is real. Not being able to concentrate is real. People with horrible personalities who unwarrantedly hurt people who have done no wrong to them, who consistently lie etc. are real. In what way or form can one deny that human suffering (whether it is caused due to internal factors or caused by another human being, or made through your own choices) is not real? Of course it is. And people are desperate for help in these circumstances.

    But in which kind of a bizzaro world is labeling people with circular and seriously stigmatising labels for life, turning their lives into medical files, turning them into revolving door patients, prescribing drugs which are just as bad as what they claim to heal, not doing anything about the actual problems in hand, be it financial or social, any kind of “treatment”?

    Asinine.

    And yes, people do commit suicide. Some people commit suicide because they have no money, some people commit suicide out of humiliation, some out of indignity, some because they’re depressed for whatever reason. But again, some people also commit suicide because of the aforementioned kind of “help” given by the shrink business.

  • The biggest reform that is needed all over the world is the complete legalisation of all drugs (and freedom to choose or not choose) which are currently prescription only. There is this myth that if this is done, society will be in chaos. This is not true. There are plenty of places in my country where medical shops don’t usually ask for a prescription (thank god! But it seems the influence of “developed countries”, BS rules and regulations will slowly change this [and it’s already happening]). But most people don’t irresponsibly put drugs in their body that they don’t need. Why should everyone suffer for some irresponsible addicts who will misuse them or people who aren’t sensible enough to do their own research? If such legalisation will be done, there will be a few individuals who die, which the media and proponents of pharmaceutical control will highlight, whilst neglecting others who are held hostage by their system.

    One can always read about the effects of drugs and ask people who have used them regarding their consequences, positive or negative. One can also consult people who are knowledgeable in chemistry, pharmacology, biology etc. (even medical doctors and pharmacists). These options are always there. But one should not have to be forced to rely on behavioural labelling, controlling and people-trapping organisations, hospitals and people in professional roles.

    There are plenty of people who are either taking psychotropic drugs, or who have to continue taking them till the withdrawal process is complete, which can take months, if not years. Forcing these individuals to rely on the mercy, charity, indoctrination and control of people who were fortunate (or unfortunate, whatever it is) enough to land into the roles of medical doctors is atrocious (hell, sometimes these individuals don’t themselves know the full consequences of what they’re doling out!).

    Freedom will give rise to more information in the hands of people as well. It will also teach individuals to seek proper information.

  • It’s obvious that inattention and the like are real. Some of the behaviours subsumed under the “ADHD” label can very well apply to an individual. You will get some very angry dads, moms and individuals alike if you say “ADHD isn’t real” because they will construe it as you dismissing the problems their kids have, supposedly have, or the problems they have with their kids, or the problems individuals have with themselves.

    If a person wants to take a stimulant as a performance enhancer, that’s up to him, and as long as he isn’t harming anyone (except himself), it is none of our business. Of course, if he is directly or indirectly being forced (even in a subtle manner) to take them, then that brings up a different issue.

    But selling stimulants under the guise of “treatment” for “ADHD” is what is fraught with complications.

    There was some mom here a while ago saying “my child’s ADHD is as much a part of her as *insert some other trait*”. I also remember a guy who used to viciously troll Phil Hickey’s site, hurling abuses, quoting paragraphs from citations, and basically being angry at the fact that “antipsychiatry individuals” are going to prevent people from getting the kind of help that he found enormously useful (which was getting the “ADHD” tag and taking stimulants).

    Let’s not even get into “comorbidities” in behavioural professions. Note the, “be careful with stimulants if they have ‘bipolar disorder'” line in the article. The stimulants themselves can cause mania in some individuals with no prior history of such an occurrence and then it will become a “comorbid” condition (“ADHD” + the newly “uncovered” “bipolar disorder”). This is how it starts. The descent into having multiple labels (“comorbities”) and ending up on multiple drugs and becoming a revolving door “patient”. At least, for some individuals.

  • Let me define Ethics Deficit Disorder:

    Ethics Deficit Disorder is characterised by:

    1.) Constantly seeks to label people with DSM labels.
    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

    There, you now have a new disorder which also has a neurological basis.

    Psychiatry even delves into the realm of people with “character defects” with its “personality disorders”. Things like being a narcissist or having “black and white thinking”.

    They’ve even proposed “Internet Gaming Disorder” for the DSM-5!

    “Symptoms” include:

    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.

    There’s a whole page on it which includes sections like “Introduction, Mechanism of Internet Gaming and Addiction, Onset, Comorbidities, and then treatment (which includes recommendations of drugs)”! It reads like so many of the other journal papers of psychiatry with its talks of “comorbidities” and therapies.

    There’s also a Wikipedia page

    If this is not the medicalisation of everyday life that Szasz warned us about, I don’t know what is.

    Also, this constant nonsense about “Oh, it’s from the 1960s-1970s” is rubbish. So what? Newton’s laws of motion are from the 1600s! So, does that mean they do not have a great deal of validity today? They may not apply to certain situations but are still quite useful in everyday life.

    Besides, Szasz died in 2012, and continued to publish till almost the year of his death. It’s not like he wasn’t aware of people like Shorter (and there are so many “Shorters” out there) and their writings.

  • “Thomas Szasz’s essay misses several key points about the undoubted changes that psychiatry has undergone since he wrote his original screed against the discipline in 1961. Szasz fails to recognise that the discipline today acknowledges a neurological basis for much psychiatric illness. Thus, his fulminations against psychiatry for treating ‘mental illness’ is off-base. Szasz’s original diatribe was heavily against psychoanalysis. Yet today Freud’s doctrines can scarcely be said to play even a marginal role in psychiatry, and it is absurd to keep levelling the same old charges of 50 years ago. One has the feeling of looking at one of the last veterans of the Esperanto movement in confronting Szasz: lunacy at the time, bizarrely outdated today.”
    –Edward Shorter in 2011, he is a professor at U of Toronto, respected historian of medicine and author of a number of books.

    This used to be my mode of thinking as well. “Oh look at the brain scans, neurotransmitters etc.”.

    Rather than quoting Shorter and his ilk, you’d do well to actually read the works of the man yourself and then form an opinion.

    Proponents of psychiatry like to keep citing the same old “neurological basis” crap and they keep falsely ascribing the notion of “mind-brain duality” to Szasz, which wasn’t something he promoted at all.

    There is no behaviour without a brain, and we all know that. So what? What behaviour in life does not have a neurological basis? The fact that you read and quoted Shorter’s screed has a neurological basis in both your brain and Shorter’s brain.

  • Mauro Ranallo is a combat sports commentator. His documentary called “bipolar rock n roller” is coming out soon in which he loudly proclaims “mental illness may be a life sentence for many of us but it should not be a death sentence”. Yet another documentary that aims to “educate people” on “bipolar disorder”. Documentaries of this type should not be titled “bipolar rock n roller” and should instead be titled “My Own Psychological Problems and Suffering by Mauro Ranallo” .

    Some psychiatrist in the documentary proclaims, “‘bipolar disorder’ mainly describes two things: people with depressive and manic episodes”.

    People won’t hear in these documentaries how people end up experiencing manic episodes due to the very drugs they’re given to help with anxiety or depression. These documentaries also serve to drag the problems of people like Mr. Ranallo onto everyone else labelled with those same truth-obfuscating labels.

    While I won’t trivialise this man’s suffering, you can’t help but not notice the theatrics and exaggerated facial expressions. One more self-aggrandizing documentary which is not going to “educate” anyone, but contribute to even more suffering of already suffering people by creating ridiculous stereotypes.

    Mike Tyson and Jean Claude Van Damme were labelled with the same label (whatever “bipolar disorder” was in the context of their life). How many famous people have we not seen labelled with that? Thank god they don’t each make a “documentary” regarding it because the rest of the not-so-famous population would be totally butchered!

    People like Mr. Ranallo have the right to make these documentaries. And we, to talk about their harm.

  • @Mischa:

    You sound like a rugged individual. It also sounds to me that you had a life where, despite the problems you have faced, people around you have treated psychiatry as merely a thing which is to get you back on track. You did not have psychiatry used to paint you as a “madman” or to gaslight you, and actually end up make you behave in a way where you seem disturbed. You did not have traumatic occurrences and human-on-human abuse in your life be inadvertently dismissed as illnesses.

    Thank you for your appreciation of my supposedly “brilliant short-note”. Any appreciation of me makes me chuckle and also feel sick at the same time, because at this very moment, the very person I was born to is trying to get to prove that I am insane.

    I am not a “victim” in the sense that I would not senselessly blame individuals for no reason, simply because I can. But I will not simply say that certain wrong things were not done to me, be it advertently or inadvertently. Certainly, simply sitting and doing nothing about it is not the way, but every now and then, I still have moments of weakness. I too am responsible for my own physical and mental health. But that responsibility also entails dealing with people who are harmful to me, whether it is intentionally or unintentionally. Simply accepting everything that you are dealt out because you want to be a rugged individual is being a fool.

    I accept whatever limitations I may have. I do not have the IQ of Einstein. I suffer from anxiety every now and then. But I do not accept being labelled with behavioural labels or wish to rely on the mercy and charity of “mental health professionals” or anyone else for my own well-being, howsoever I choose to achieve it.

  • Not really. There are many reasons why many people have not heard of Szasz, or have simply dismissed him without reading his work. One is, that he went and collaborated with the Scientologists. He did so because in his own words:

    “Well I got affiliated with an organisation long after I was established as a critic of psychiatry, called Citizens Commission for Human Rights, 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.”

    In retrospect, this was a move that was problematic. Once psychiatry got hold of Scientology’s admonition of psychiatry, it has historically been attempted to link criticism of psychiatry (including Szasz) to Scientology. The over-the-top videos he made with CCHR did nothing to help his cause either.

    Unfortunately, most of his work which is in his books gets overshadowed by the theatrics, the videos of CCHR, apart from several other facets of the proponents of psychiatry. I don’t really care for Dr. Kelmenson’s interpretation of his work either. The source material is always there for people to read themselves. Now, enough of Szasz. I do not worship him either, except to realise the contributions of his work.

  • @Mischa:

    Every now and then we do get people here who talk about how they have benefitted from psychiatry and they feel enraged at the writers and commenters here which is fine and understandable. It is great to know that you found a method that worked for you, be it psychiatry or anything else.

    Quite often, I don’t really bother about the content of some of the articles here (and yes, this particular article has a bit of word play in it), but I do like engaging in discussions with the commenters.

    I’d like to bring up some points. Firstly, “bipolar disorder”, “agoraphobia”, “schizophrenia” aren’t family histories. They are behavioural labels. You’re doing a disservice to yourself and your family members by replacing the occurrences of their life and the reasons for those occurrences and robbing away the truths of their life by saying that those behavioural labels are their/your “family histories”. I don’t deny that they/you have suffered nor the reality of their experiences nor of yours.

    Quite often, when people talk about Szasz and talk about the “myth of mental illness”, they don’t even understand what Szasz was trying to say. Szasz was neither against voluntary “psychiatry/psychology” (or “confidential sessions of listening and talking” as he called them) nor of people’s wish to take meds/drugs (he wrote a whole book on “Our Right To Drugs”), so I don’t see what the problem is (at least on that front). Szasz tried to explain that many of the phenomena labelled as “mental illness” are an attempt to confront and to tackle the problem of how to live, and to identify such phenomena as a disease or illness is to hide the very problems in living that people face. He also talked about the metaphorical nature of that term. Thomas Szasz himself was a practicing “psychotherapist” and some of his clients were psychiatrists and psychologists themselves!

    In Szasz’s time, Karl Menninger was a psychiatrist, who held beliefs much like some of the ones today.

    Towards the end of his life, he wrote to Szasz on October 6, 1988 (I am posting his letter is in italics)

    Dear Dr. Szasz:

    I am holding your new book, INSANITY: THE IDEA AND ITS CONSEQUENCES, in my hands. I read part of it yesterday and I have also read reviews of it. I think I know what it says but I did enjoy hearing it said again. I think I understand better what has disturbed you these years and, in fact, -it disturbs me, too, now. We don’t like the situation that prevails whereby a fellow human being is put aside, outcast as it were, ignored, labeled and said to be “sick in his mind.” If he can pay for care and treatment, we will call him a patient and record a “diagnosis” (given to his relatives for a fee). He is listened to and then advised to try to relax, consider his past sins to be forgiven, renounce his visions or voices or fits, quit striking his neighbor’s windows with his cane, or striking his neighbor’s windows with his cane, or otherwise making himself conspicuous by eccentric behavior. He tries.

    For this service we charge, now. Doctors were once satisfied with a gift, or token, or sometimes just an earnest verbal expression of gratitude. Even if the treatment given was not immediately curative, the doctor had done the sagacious and difficult task of having approached the crazy subject and listened to him and given the condition a NAME, and a prognosis. (In fact, the latter was what he was a specialist in; treatment was really secondary.) You and I remember that there didn’t used to be any treatments, just care and prognosis, “fatal,” “nonfatal,” “serious” “commitable,” “nonpsychotic.” Gradually empirical and chemical agents were discovered which seemed to alter something in the organism which was reflected in the customer’s changed behavior. We accumulated a few methods that seemed to relieve the suffering of these customers, our “patients.” We used prolonged baths, cold sheet packs, diathermy, electric shock, and there were all those other treatments of whipping, strapping down, giving cold douches and sprays. King George III of England was slapped and punched by the fists of one of his “nurses” who later bragged that he even knocked his patient, the King, to the floor “as flat as a flounder.” And the King ultimately recovered but those treatments weren’t outlawed. Added to the beatings and chaining and the baths and massages came treatments that were even more ferocious: gouging out parts of the brain, producing convulsions with electric shocks, starving, surgical removal of teeth, tonsils, uteri, etc.

    Next someone discovered some chemicals that had peculiar effects on people who swallowed them. Alcohol was already well known and opium and morphine and heroin and cocaine; but Luminal was introduced and “Seconal” and similar pharmaceutical concoctions given names ending in “al” or “ol” (as in Demerol). These were regarded as therapeutically useful because they did dispel some of the symptoms and they made the patient feel better (briefly). No baths, no brain operations, no chemicals, no electric shocks, no brain stabbing.

    Long ago I noticed that some of our very sick patients surprised us by getting well even without much of our “treatment.” We were very glad, of course, but frequently some of them did something else even more surprising. They kept improving, got “weller than well” as I put it, better behaved and more comfortable or reasonable than they were before they got into that “sick” condition. We didn’t know why. But it seemed to some of us that kind of the “sickness” that we had seen was a kind of conversion experience, like trimming a fruit tree, for example.

    Well, enough of those recollections of early days. You tried to get us to talk together and take another look at our material. I am sorry you and I have gotten apparently so far apart all these years. We might have enjoyed discussing our observations together. You tried; you wanted me to come there, I remember. I demurred. Mea culpa.

    Best wishes.

    Sincerely,
    Karl Menninger, M.D.

    Contrary to your assertions, if you actually read his work, you would understand that he actually knew a great deal about suffering. Yes, one feels ambivalent regarding some of his works, but that does not remove the great deal he contributed.

    Second, I have known seen several people who suffer a lot due to depression, anxiety and a lot of other problems like being deluded or whatever else it is. And people have various ways of coping with them. It may be physical exercise, social interactions, taking pills or what have you. You don’t even know what it means to denying “the myths of mental illness”. It is not denying people’s problems in living, thinking or feeling, no matter what you have been fed by psychiatrists or reading random nonsense about big bad “antipsychiatry” online.

    How does this remove the dangers of psychiatry? The truth-obfuscating labelling, the disease-mongering or whatever else. For the most part, shrinks aren’t intentionally bad individuals looking to torture people. But their intentions don’t remove the other harmful modalities of their professions.

    What if you had drugs forced onto you which were ruining your body but you still had to take them? What if you had drugs forced onto you for problems that are not even solvable by drugging up people? Or, what if behavioural labels robbed away the truths of your life, were used to gaslight or harass you, used against you in a court of law? What when people are labelled with labels or do crazy things due to adverse reactions to prescription drugs? The odds would be stacked against you because it is you who would be seen through the prism of sanism and not others.

    Just as I or anyone else should not deny your very real suffering and the positive contributions that the behavioural professions made to your life, you cannot deny that of others and the negative consequences the behavioural professions have made on their life either.

    Good day to you.

  • @AuntiePsychiatry:

    I was one of those moronic millennials once!

    People write on twitter #ADHD, #OCD #EndStigma, or go onto Facebook and write stuff like: “Going through bipolar hell today”.

    I used to write such ridiculous shit too. At the end of my teens, I once became so outlandishly manic DUE to the SSRI fluvoxamine (“manic” is just another word for the fact that I was as high as a kite on and due to that particular prescription drug), coupled with an insane amount of indoctrination (some of which was ‘self-inflicted’ but also associated with the internet culture of the behavioural professions, and also the thirst to know more about science, evolution, the brain etc.), that I ended up writing all kinds of self pathologising, psychotic junk online about my life (as I thought of it during that period of my life and in that “out-of-my-mind” moment) in the public realm and publishing it online. It’s actually being used against me now to “prove” that I’m insane by a certain criminal minded person (who himself is a pathological liar, and a manipulator who should be locked up).

    I have to laugh at the absolute ignorance of the practices of these youngsters. They are obfuscating away the truths of their own lives and actually bringing even more stigma and falsities towards themselves. It’s paradoxical.

    Unfortunately, many of these individuals are too young to understand the depths of the behavioural professions and everything they bring with them, whether it is within those professions themselves, societally, and even the impact of the modalities of the professions and the culture they have created on the very minds of the individuals they try to help.

    In my childhood, I was one of those “scientifically minded” nerd like kids. I always had reverence for the “wonder of science”, used to read Hawking and Dawkins etc.

    If you notice, many of the young kids today are taken in by the “science-based movements” which encourage “critical thinking skills” and which also stand against big bad “antipsychiatry”. Whilst there is certainly a role in place for these movements, and there some good that these movements do (in terms of damning religious superstition etc.), they also (perhaps inadvertently) promote this reverence not just for the truth, but also for positive connotations of the word “science” and also towards men and women who play the role of scientists and medical doctors in society. In some ways, the “man of science” has taken up the mantle of God in society.

    The pro-psychiatry camp is quick quote citations of journal papers, brain scans, stats, terminology, similarities with other medical specialities and has also aligned themselves with “skeptics movements” etc.

    These kids won’t realise the damage of these labels, the medicalisation and pathologisation of their own behaviour until it is too late. Not engaging in the “anti-stigma” kind of behaviour is directly correlated with not wanting to be perceived as a crank in “rational society”. What can you do?

    People like us will not have the same kind of credibility as doctors, neuroscientists etc. That being said, I also think people in the antipsychiatry camp argue in a way that it makes them look like cranks as well.

    The only way some people will have certain realisations is after the damage is already done.

    Earlier in the morning, I was going through the YouTube video of Bonnie Burstow’s Antipsychiatry Scholarship.

    The comments section was littered with the same old comments from the antipsychiatry camp about “psychiatry is a pseudoscience”, “big bad Big Pharma”, “no biological tests in psychiatry” etc.

    It was also littered by the pro-psychiatry camp with the same old “Don’t you believe in MRIs, fMRIs?”, “D2 receptors in ‘schizophrenics'”, “what do you call when a ‘schizophrenic’ man has acute psychosis”, “why not have anti-cardiology if you have antipsychiatry?”, “we need to bring in patients who’ve benefitted from psychiatry to counter this nonsense”.

    I know all of the stuff that both pro-psychiatry and anti-psychiatry camps argue about. Seen it around too often.

    In this whole thing, the only people that end up getting screwed over are some of the individuals who have ended up in the behavioural professions. There’s hardly anyone to help them then.

  • I agree with several of your points. I have also read your website and I like your take on things. However, a couple of things to talk about:

    1.) Why don’t people who are licensed as clinical psychologists simply publish all of their interventions in the form of easy to read and understand PDF documents and upload it online? This is horrible for their practice as a business because it takes money out of their pockets, but would be very helpful for a lot of people. This has already been done when it comes to education (mathematics, physics etc.) via mediums like Khan Academy and all the other YouTube (or otherwise) content creators. People have also published free e-books for learning programming for instance.

    2.) In cases where people actually need someone for them to be there, you could take up the real life role in that case.

    3.) The danger of therapy is that it attempts to find the problem within the individual. What if a person is suffering from an abusive individual (even when they are going through it currently)? It is impossible to do anything about it once you have entered the behavioural system and you have ready-made behavioural labels (hell, even the fact that a person is in “therapy”) for the perpetrator to exploit, gaslight you, and use against you in courts, through the police etc.

  • The other thing is, if people want to engage in “psychotherapy”, or “confidential sessions of listening and talking” as Szasz called them, they can do so in the form of one human being communicating with another to find out a solution to some problem, just as individuals do with each other in ordinary society. Not in the roles of:

    1.) A labelling, record-keeping, state backed individual.

    versus

    2.) A person in the patient role.

    Such a system (the one that exists right now) only creates 2 more problems in the place of 1 problem it solves.

    Doing the version of “psychotherapy” which is a “confidential session of listening and talking” would imply the following:

    1.) All people licensed to practice as mental health workers must disband from institutions which engage in institutionalisation, labelling and coercive drugging, and move into private practice as individuals.

    2.) To maintain absolute confidentiality, any records must be destroyed on the request of the person in the patient role.

    3.) To avoid unwarranted stigma, the individuals must be willing to go from home to home, and not in a building where all their clients are in one waiting room.

    How many practitioners would be willing to take this risk? Not many. There might not even be a reward for this kind of practice (for the people playing the role of “therapist”) at the end of the day. Would the law in the country of practice allow for such practices? What if the person in the role of therapist ends up in prison or has a lawsuit filed against him/her?

    The other things are:

    1.) It is a well known fact that several individuals who end up in any of the forms of “therapy” are people who already dealing with other abusive individuals in their life. What can people in the role of therapists do about the perpetrators, without which, there is no point of any kind of “therapy” in the first place?

    2.) There are also people who come from very good families, with no obnoxious individuals in their lives, but rather some problem in living, thinking or feeling that is causing them distress. This is the class of individuals who can benefit the most from such a practice.

  • You tell us. Only you can know that. How can a person playing the role of a shrink give you the answers to that question? Many of the horrible things we go through in life are not choices. You’ve already called your unhappiness exactly that. “Unhappiness”. Do you think getting about 5 labels for that occurrence changes or explains what you are experiencing? Perhaps calling it “Panic Disorder”, “Generalised Anxiety Disorder”, “Social Anxiety Disorder” etc. makes you feel like you have more of an explanation? It isn’t. They’re just tautological re-wordings of what you’re going through, a kind of sleight of hand; a magician’s trick.

    All your shrink will do is listening and talking and giving you drugs. So take your “Celexa” and be happy about it. Celexa to you, alcohol to someone else. So what?

    Let us be honest. The ONLY reason you even see a person playing the role of shrink is because you have a paid shoulder to cry on, and a person who is part of a system that has a monopolistic control of pharmaceuticals. In other words, you are on their mercy and charity. That is all. If someone gave you 10 million$ and a life time supply of any drug you wanted, you wouldn’t even be on here.

    Every post you write practically goes like this:

    “we don’t know enough….bio/psych/social is the way to go…..”

    There is no physical body without genes, no behaviour without a brain, and no life without an environment to exist in. This is a trivial fact of existence, even if it is presented in behavioural literature like it is some exquisite finding of “science”.

    What is the practical relevance of it? Is a person playing the role of a shrink going to modify your genes? Is he going to change who you were born to or where you were born? Is he going to give you a million bucks?

    Once again. Listening and talking + labelling + drugs = practical practice in the behavioural professions.

    The person playing the role of shrink will move up the research ladder, get his next honorary doctorate, publish journal papers with his name on it (maybe even make a case study of you), perhaps be a “cool shrink” or a “caring guardian” talking about how people are being over-medicated or even become a writer on MIA, join some collaboration like the “Cochrane Collaboration” talking about “how drug companies are hiding the clinical trial data”, publish a book, give a TED talk; and basically, improve his legacy at the cost of you becoming a moron in between.

    He is the observer. You are the lab-rat. You are no different than the mice who are being tested on in order to find a cure for cancer or whatever else it is (but by no means is this the explicit intention of shrinks. Their intentions are as “good” or “bad” as the people working in the departmental store you buy your groceries from). The only thing is, the mice get nothing out of it, but people sometimes, get SOME things that they want, but also lose something more. The person who REALLY gets something out of it, is the person playing the role of the professional. Not you. Not me.

    littleturtle, just like you, I have come across people in the behavioural professions who were very “nice” to me. Polite, well-behaved etc. It is only after sometime I saw what a fool I was and what it took away from my life. And not because any of the individuals I came across in these professions in my life were “bad” people. It’s the nature of the beast. The game of life. We are all selfish creatures, striving to maximise and realise our potentials.

  • “Psychotherapy” is a ridiculous gimmick and a system of pseudo-help that maintains the notion that they can solve human suffering, even the kind which either has no solutions, or has solutions which depend on actually practically doing something for the individual without trapping him in a system of endless listening and talking in a closed room.

    As far as information about behaviour and practices like mindfulness or whatever other scientistic therapy names they have (“CBT” or what have you), they can simply do their research and put it out in the public domain so that individuals can use the information for themselves.

  • While I agree with the egregious consequences of truth-obfuscating labelling, and the myths of mental illness, there does exist suffering. And sometimes people want to do something about it. Whether it is social interactions, learning skills of various kinds, moving up social classes, making money, VOLUNTARY drug use or otherwise. But I agree that the behavioural professions, a.k.a psychiatry and psychology, are terrible agents to even try to alleviate any kind of suffering. Their role in public life must be severely curtailed. Their monopolistic control of pharmaceuticals, either to force them onto people, or to keep them away from them, or even to give them access based on ridiculous practices, must be curtailed as well.

    Unfortunately, in order to truly help an individual, it takes a lot of sacrifice and even personal risks, on the part of everyday individuals, and even on the part of men and women who are playing the medical role. Risks they would not take out of fear of legal sanctions or even ending up in prison. I don’t believe in reforming the “system”. Every system fails someone. I do believe in the power of an individual to help himself/herself in ways that allow him/her to realise his/her peak potential. It is this ability to help oneself in a manner of their own choosing that the behavioural professions and their allies rob away from individuals.

  • I agree on a certain level. The only “manias” I had in the past were drug (SSRI) induced. And it was nothing more or less than a drug high. It’s literally like taking a very strong stimulant. I suppose it’s similar to what snorting coke would be like (which I’ve never done, BTW).

    I suppose a large number of manic episodes that people experience in our day and age are drug induced. Either due to legal, illegal, or legal-by-prescription drugs. While I know that “spontaneous” i.e. non-drug caused mania exists, I have never yet personally met someone who experiences it.

    I met a man once who would have “spontaneous” manic episodes every now and then, but that’s because he says he had a brain injury when he was a kid. I have no idea about the legitimacy of his words regarding the matter though.

  • The following was a comment by a certain Brennan on your Now Toronto article.

    Brennan comments: “Without SSRIs and other modern mental health medications, which are methodically prescribed to me by my psychiatrist, I would be a complete burden on society. No one (medical professional or layman) has even questioned my need for pharmaceuticals for my physical ailment but, very few understand the importance of my need for my other medication.

    Purposely using atrocious abuses and ignorance of the medical system as meaningful examples from decades ago to justify her current stance is pretty low (and I do mean building a wall low). Just because she shamelessly cites examples of a system that targeted and forced treatment upon on “gays” and “women” is reason enough to kick the soap box from under her. Personally, I do not see how her stance on mental health is the least bit progressive. She is, at best akin to Ann Coulter participating in an open panel discussion on Bill Maher’s show. If she can teach antipsychiartry, why can’t Eugenics be brought back; calipers and all.”

    One of the things some of these people are afraid of is that you’ll take away their pills from them. Funny. Considering that even in the hypothetical scenario where professional psychiatry is gone, drugs could still be bought directly from a drug store (except that the law currently makes it impossible in most countries) for those who wish to use them. It’s very easy to enter into psychiatry to take drugs. It’s a lot harder to be rid of psychiatry so as to not be forced to.

    There was also a lot of the standard psychiatric junk about brain imaging and the false association with Scientology.

    Out of curiosity, Ms. Burstow; what kind of courses are you looking to teach in these antipsychiatry programs?

    Also, congrats.

  • Dr. Neil,

    I’m sure you’re not a bad person who wants people to be on his mercy and charity. But the fact is, you are the gatekeeper to the drug-store. You are also the enforcer of paternalisation, however subtle or well intended.

    You are a labelling, record-keeping, behavioural observation noting, file transferring creator of revolving door “patients”.

    And people like you, irrespective of their good intentions, are still a massive roadblock to the well-being of individuals.

    It isn’t merely the drugs which make people resist your profession. Drugs don’t take themselves. It’s the fact that you exist with all the other facets of your profession.

    You write: “Any patient with depression, say, is free to read up on information and any reasonable psychiatrist or family doctor will respect choice, within limits”.

    Your “limits” and your code of conduct and “professional practices” are dangerous to me.

    “Pharma regulation must include professional prescribers”

    No. That depends on who is making the rules and for whom. If you ask me, the professional role must become more lax. If you want to act as consultants between voluntary individuals, like a business contract, then fine.

    You cite people who are dead due to drugs. On the other hand, there are people who are alive but whose existence is just that; merely existing (or even utter misery), thanks to the mental health profession in between.

  • Have you considered the notion that the hatred of prescription drugs comes, not from simply the unintended negative effects of the drugs themselves, but rather from having individuals who play the role of medical mental health professionals, existing as arbitrators between what is ideally a relationship between the individual and the drug store?

    People in distress may want to try out drugs. When they want to, they might want to consult someone knowledgeable about what the drugs do, and also talk to people who have used them. When they want to taper off, they might want to do that with someone’s help as well. Of course, the best help, if possible, is self help. But the consulting is ideally between a few knowledgeable humans who are looking to help one another. Not between a professional backed by the state and a person in the patient role.

    However, the law mandates that the only way a person can get prescription-only drugs, is by just that. The prescription of a mental health professional. A person who will label, do record-keeping, can infantilise and coerce individuals, force drugs onto them, and with the best of intentions turn them into a revolving door patient etc. Your very institutions and playing the patient role in those places is nauseating.

    Granted that most of you are not evil individuals who are picking random people off the streets and looking to torture them with drugs. I am not trying to push the “mental health professionals are the children of satan” viewpoint. But that does not remove the associated dangers of interacting with people such as yourself.

    Get out of the way and stay out is what I’m trying to say. But that is not possible. People are forced to rely on your unwanted, and frankly intrusive, mercy and charity.

  • Well written knaps. Mr. Moritz, like many people in his profession, seems to be a decent person. However, while it is important to have people with good intentions work with you, those good intentions don’t remove the associated dangers.

    Going through bits of this article reminds me of the dangers of scientistic behavioural jargon, and why getting trapped in a system of well-intentioned human beings who think and operate in these ways, and label people, and the modalities of their own thinking completely removes any normalcy from an individual’s life. While they have their reasons for doing it, the public also has good reasons for wanting to avoid it. This is not just true within the institutions but also among public domains like books, the internet, published literature etc.

    In common society, we talk about love, joy, hope, success, failure, strength, weakness, comfort, adversity etc. We don’t talk about behavioural criteria, cognitive biases, mood congruence and incongruence etc. That very language, whilst being useful in some moments for some people, after a while, becomes toxic, nauseating and prevents people from turning into psychologically healthy adults who are in tandem with ordinary society.

    Mr. Moritz is probably a good human, and I applaud him for posting on here and taking some heat which may make him feel agitated. I do not want to slander him in any way. Many people from the mental health fields feel very victimised by the MIA crowd, as I see posts from them (on various mediums like blogs and comment sections), the contents of which range from absolute anger at the MIA crowd (which includes labelling the commenters here with “personality disorders”) to fear. The kind of stuff presented in the article, while it is obvious Mr. Moritz has exerted a lot of physical and mental work in creating, and it is great that he genuinely wants to help people, is not stuff that is very new to me. I have seen modules of this nature before.

    That being said, I am also terrified of anyone in any country like Mr. Moritz or his colleagues, and they have to live with the fact that there is absolutely nothing they can do, no matter how well-intentioned or noble their cause may be, to make some of us feel comfortable with them, EVER. It isn’t because they are bad or flawed. My experiences are probably nowhere near as bad as some of the posters here, but it has been enough to keep away. It is just the imbalance of power that exists, added with all the other facets of the professions.

    One being the observer, the other being the lab-rat. One being able to label, and the other on the receiving end. One who will form “well-intentioned therapeutic alliances with family members” regarding the “condition of their relative” (which from what I have seen can be a fair bit of “well-intentioned indoctrination”), which is compassionate infantilisation that will impede the person playing the role of patient from ever reaching his fullest potential. Once this happens, the person playing the role of patient can never fully trust his family again either. One who has the backing of the state, the power of the pen, the paper and the syringe, and the other who doesn’t.

    The “I do not like to be spoken to as if the naive lackey of some kind of nazi organization” line made me chuckle. However, visiting the website just shows that this organisation is just like every other well-intentioned organisation of psychiatry out there in every country. There is no initiative to stop labelling individuals. The same truth-obfuscating, scientistic behavioural jargon permeates their modality of help. It is still ripe with “personality disorders” (aka state-sanctioned medicalised defamation irrespective of the behaviour of the labelled). I also expect diagnoses of “bipolar disorder” due to mania caused by prescription drugs like stimulants and antidepressants are also made at his workplace.

    The article mentions that there are people with this thing called “schizophrenia”. I am well aware of the behaviours that are subsumed under the tautological rubric of that label.

    Now, I have met many people labelled with that label. Several of the individuals I met were people who were engineers, business graduates, had Ph.Ds etc. They were smart, rational, funny and on the whole pretty normal. Unless they would have told me about their label, I would never even have known. On, the other hand, there is the other version that most people are familiar with. The person with the dirty matted hair, speaking to things in the air etc.

    More than their problems, I applaud their resiliency in living in society playing the role of a “schizophrenic” with all the stereotypes that come with it. Mr. Moritz mentions that “the disorder is neither demonised or trivialised”. Well. You have demonised these individuals the day you labelled them as “schizophrenics”. Their suffering is enough without mental health professionals butchering them even more by labelling them in such a manner.

    Life is full of contradictions, and we are all hypocrites every now and then. They are not “bad”, and we are not “good”. I suppose if I had the circumstances where I was in a position of medical power and the head of a department of some behavioural field, I would be out there labelling individuals, putting them into categories and doing everything else that these people do. But I am where I am, and they are where they are. Snakes and mongooses. We must be vigilant of the other, and we will fight, because we must, in order to preserve our own well-being.

  • I find concepts like “CBT” for children who are already going through abuse at the hands of another person to be ridiculous. It’s like teaching a child forced into prostitution how to better handle being a child prostitute than to remove him/her from that situation and doing something about the perpetrator.

    Unfortunately for children or youth in such situations, falling into the hands of the mental health professional is just as dangerous, because once the kid is labelled, the perpetrator will use the labels and also the fact that the victim is taking “psychiatric help” as an excuse to gaslight him/her further making the victim’s outwardly behaviour progressively more aberrant and seemingly “sick” which is again used as a point for even more gaslighting.

    This is one area where most of you people fail, and actually become a part of the problem and not a solution. Most mental health professionals are well intentioned and quick to want to help out the person with their whole gamut of psychological therapies or prescription drugs. They just lack insight (much like some of their patients), that they are actually a danger to such clients.

  • Anxiety and obsessional thinking are very real. They can be very distressful as well. But “OCD” is a horribly damaging and truth obfuscating tautology to label individuals with, especially when they are already suffering and trying to understand the nature of their suffering.

    Underneath (sometimes) irrational obsessional thinking (which could superficially be a myriad of things), there is always something like a fear of losing control, or a fear of something bad happening etc., which is the primary schematic beneath such superficial thoughts.

    When those are the fundamental ideas (which even occur in varying degrees in people with no dysfunctional lives), it makes sense to simply say that, in ordinary human language, than to teach people that their “‘OCD’ is causing so-and-so behaviour”, which is the equivalent of HD (Headache Disorder) causing a headache. Yet, this is repeatedly done by mental health professionals (and even their clients), both in real-life and online.

  • Well, as I said, this is a war and some name calling is expected.

    With regards to professionalism, there are both good and bad sides to it. I think qualities like being rude etc. are very human traits to have, and we have all exhibited them in some form or the other, whether it was justified or not.

    When people playing the role of “professionals” behave in a way that is natural, it is actually good if you think of it from the view point of it shattering the mythical aspects of “Mental health workers are experts on people’s minds and lives”. The mythical aspects of that view-point, to me, is far more dangerous than any rudeness I may encounter or shell out. Call me an asshole, I will call you a prick back. Or hell, if I was mistaken, I’ll even apologise.

    Label away the truths of my life under the rubric of medicalised jargon, use it against me, and it’s over.

    When you’re being a professional, you’re being an actor. People can’t be expected to act all day long. There are many places online where people licensed to practice as psychiatrists write about the kind of vitriol they get. At some point, they will want to hit back, which is only human. And go ahead, hit back. No problem. Just leave your medicalised behavioural jargon in the dustbin where it belongs.

  • I have not read the article on which I’m commenting.

    But, I did visit this Dr. Hassman’s blog.

    In it, he calls MIA people “losers” and what not. That’s okay. This is in some sense a battle between groups with different interests, and some name calling is expected. Call a person something, and they will call you something back. ‘Tis life.

    But then, he does something which disgusts me and something which rather shamelessly showcases his profession. He seems to be a master at “personality disorders”. Something, which to me, are the most defamatory of the tools which are in the toolbox of the men and women who are licensed to practice as psychiatrists.

    I do not care what the person has done. Dr. Larry Nassar, an American osteopath, was recently in the news because he molested 200 girls. It was trending on youtube at the time so I watched his trial.

    If a man like Larry Nassar molested 200 girls, then that his what he did, and there are reasons behind it. Relabelling it under the tautological rubric of a “personality disorder” adds no more truth to it.

    In one of his articles, he writes about MIA commenters:
    “Amazing how illustrative the usual primitive and dysfunctional defenses of the personality disordered are well provided: the projections, denials, deflections, minimizations, and frank pathetic rationalizations of child-like mentality are on full display!”

    It is also very illustrative how the minds of (at least some?) medical men and women work.

    If a person is deflecting or whatever else it is, say that. Why then cover it up under the tautological rubric of a “personality disorder”?

    Person: X person is denying, deflecting, projecting etc.

    “Doctor”: Yes, that’s a classic personality disorder.

    Person: But why does he behave that way

    “Dumber” (sounding) Doctor: Well, only personality disordered people do that.

    “Smarter” (sounding) doctor: The etiology of the “condition” varies from person to person. There are biological and environmental risk factors.”

    The reality: The person is behaving in a certain way, and just like I have reasons for my behaviour, he/she has for his, and that’s what it is.

    If I had the power of labelling, I could easily have done this to Hassman. God knows how many people he has labelled with his personality “disorders, clusters, Axis *insert your favourite number here*. All with good therapeutic intentions of course (and I’m not even being sarcastic).

    It is obvious that, at least sometimes, he is using these terms as weapons even though he denies it and writes elsewhere “I have seen therapists use such terms with less than therapeutic intentions”, which is what he is doing even if he denies it. Besides, associating these terms and “therapeutic intentions”, no matter how well intentioned the labeller is, is a folly. The intentions of the labeller or the definitions of such labelling do not matter. You just don’t do it.

    Medicine (I am excluding psychiatry from this) is a complex subject. If a person comes in and says “fever”, it could mean so many things. Every doctor has their own way of working, and on a bad day, even an otherwise excellent doctor can make a mistake. If a doctor (again, I’m excluding psychiatry from this) made an honest mistake, I could understand it, and perhaps I’d even encourage that doctor to better next time (unless he has done something that needs me to get amputated or the like). I cannot show the same leniency towards people who are licensed to practice as psychiatrists.

    People like Hassman frankly terrify me. Knowing that there are people like that out there in the field of psychiatry is all the more reason to stay away from the profession. If I am ever labelled with tripe like “personality disorders”, I will do everything in my power to ruin the medical career of the labeller involved. And if he/she wants to hit back because they believe they are justified in doing it; well fine, then we go to war.

    If a person is behaving in a certain way, say that. Perhaps he will say a few things about you to, and you will have a conversation with each other. If you have state-sanctioned medical power and put a “personality disorder” on the file (irrespective of how the person behaves), the conversation is over.

    In yet another post he writes about MIA people as people who keep writing about “abusive doctors” and that’s “classic Axis 2 stuff”. Most people who practice psychiatry are indeed not abusive and intentionally cruel. But that does not stop them from being dangerous. Hassman is a good example of that. Once again, if a person is behaving in a certain way, say that. By all means say that a person is “deflecting, denying” or whatever else it is. Why relabel it under the rubric of “personality disorders”?

    Further on he goes on to say “characterological problems means Axis 2” and justifies this labelling. No. “Characterological problem” (whatever it may be) is whatever that behaviour is. It does not matter what clinical definitions have been cooked up for these labels. Changing the definitions, or “diagnosing carefully based on clinical definitions and guidelines” does not change the fundamental underlying political nature of these labels.

    The danger is not having a personality type (everyone has a personality type, and our personality changes with our experiences in life). The danger is in allowing a medical man to label it.

    If it is such a trivial fact, and just an “aspect of medicine”, then I would ask all members in departments of psychiatry and psychology to do the following.

    Make personality classifications for each of your colleagues (and they can do it for you). By that, I don’t mean your favourite hobbies or books to read. But put yourselves in Axis’s, clusters etc. and publish the information with your name and photograph on your hospital websites for the public to see.

    There are many psychiatrists who publish on MIA. Sometimes, even we learn a few things from them. There are also people who come in here and write stuff with which we disagree with in varying levels of intensity. I have yet, never seen any mental health worker here, so shamelessly and publicly medicalise and stamp people’s actions. I sincerely hope someone sues the life out of this Hassman person.

    Hassman says antipsychiatry people are rude and they avoid his blog in “fear of exposure”. Or perhaps, maybe they don’t want to engage with him precisely because of his behaviour? And are pro-psychiatry people angels?

    I have seen Phil Hickey’s website be littered with rude and abusive comments, F-bombs and what not. In one of Dr. Hickey’s articles addressed to Hassman, he wrote about some of the comments he got (and still gets) from the pro-psychiatry camp. One of them was about how Phil Hickey should see a psychiatrist (a man of “reason and science” according to the commenter) for his “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. You can clearly see how these individuals have weaponised these terms, and they are shameless at it. The only thing is their denials, dismissals, deflections etc. cannot be medicalised away by people who are powerless to do that.

    I hope a time will come when courts of law and other powers that be start seeing these terms for what they are. Defamation, libel and slander; and start handing out suspensions for mental health workers who do this stuff, especially if a person has explicitly asked to not be labelled.

    That being said, if a person uses these terms against you, you should do what you can to use it back against them.

  • @Rachel777:

    Is your other pseudonym here FeelinDiscouraged?

    I was labelled “bipolar” when I was 16 due to mania caused by sertraline prescribed for anxiety. That label is a lie. Labelling people with defamatory labels and robbing away their truths for drug induced occurrences is something psychiatry commonly does. It isn’t so much the prescription of the sertraline I was worried about. It’s everything else that came with and after it.

    I have been harassed, abused and gaslighted for years because of the labels I have (I’m not talking about psychiatry) which are a lie. I cannot even get justice from said abuser because I’m labelled with DSM garbage.

    It’s not so much that I have not had anxieties or anything. But that’s the thing. You enter, or you are made to enter, into these systems with one problem. When you come out, you have two more.

    I am still living with so much dejection and pain everyday. Not many people can understand this, except some folks on here. Despite having people all around me, and talking to so many people, it’s like living a bit of a lie.

  • @Ms. Moncrieff:

    You have given a few examples: two of them being a man obsessed with religion and a woman whose delusional thinking starts with writing poetry. In the hands of psychiatry, both these individuals will be labelled with some or the other DSM rubbish. Schizophrenia or what have you. Don’t you think the best way to provide any form of help to them would be to not rob away their truths by labelling them with a lie (irrespective of what the clinical definitions of the DSM labels applied to them are; in the future if being a psychiatrist was a social sin defined as Ethics Deficit Disorder, it would have clinical definitions and a barrage of journal papers and brain scans to go along with it too) right at the start and see their problems for what they are?

    The person and his/her family members will see the label and have a false sense of having some sort of an explanation when it isn’t. Family members with bad intentions will misuse the term in a false manner.

    Also, there is no context with regards to why those people got obsessed with religion or poetry. What were the preceding events? What else are they surrounded by? Why the obsession with religion and not with the weather for instance.

    I agree with you that drugs used for a short period of time may have some positive benefit assuming they don’t do other horrible things. But what after that? What about the consequences of the labelling? The consequences of having become a part of the psychiatric system and it becoming a permanent fixture in one’s medical records? The indoctrination of families that comes with it?

    What if the person wants to take prescription-only drugs without psychiatry as a middleman (because there are a lot of things that come with simply getting a prescription)? What when they want to taper off of them?

    See. Ordinarily, a person in a phase of distress will have some issue for which, if they are in the right mind to see it, they will seek some form of assistance. Depending on the problem, it may be going to the police, going to a drug store to buy pills, talking to a friend etc. If they are not thinking rationally, for the time being, there will be an intervening force in the form of some or the other people related to the person.

    How does one eliminate psychiatry as an interfering agent between whatever the person wants as help?

  • No self-respecting person should be part of an institute or take up a position based on inability, but rather because they are capable and more capable than others who are vying for the same position.

    “Accomodate people with ‘mental illness’ ” is just another way to spread falsities about that term and create helplessness even amongst capable people based on myths.

  • Legalise all drugs which are currently prescription-only in select places and remove doctors and psychiatry as middle-men, except only as voluntary consultants (if the person wants to use them at all) to give information in exchange for payment (and not as labellers and behavioural-record maintainers).

    The community can learn for itself how to use these drugs or taper off of them.

    If someone partakes in an “epidemic” type of misuse, it’s on their own heads. There is no need for “well-intentioned policy makers” to butt in.

  • Exactly. The notion that these labels “aid in treatment” is a continuous and consistent myth and a poor excuse to keep labelling individuals and rob away their truth (of course, this is not the intention of the labellers).

    Steve, all behaviours have causal factors. But they vary from individual to individual. The notion that these labels do any such thing as to remotely go into the “cause” in specific individuals who are everyday people getting involved in psychiatry (and not some research subjects) is utterly misleading.

    I think we have all also seen how these labels actually result in medical mistakes rather than any sort of healing.

  • Is this what “Dr” (or whatever she is) Anika Mandla et al have been wasting their time doing? It’s very nice that they spent the time doing this. But they would do a lot better debunking these ridiculous terms like “bipolar disorder”.

    Bloggers described the idea of being “wired differently” and some used terms such as “bipolar brain.”

    Yes, I have seen many people do ridiculous things like this and it is infuriating to see it. People like these researchers would be a lot better of questioning people about the validity of such terms with respect to their lives.

    I have met people with traumatic brain injury who keep experiencing mania every now and then. Then there are other people who experience “spontaneous” manias. Yet again, there are other people whose “bipolar” diagnosis comes solely due to drug induced mania (drugs prescribed by psychiatrists). These are all DIFFERENT circumstances and do not constitute the same thing and SHOULD NOT be labelled the same way (that’s keeping aside the entire argument against labels), which they usually are.

    People who talk about the “bipolar brain” should rather talk about their own goddamn brains and shut up about everyone else (which they are indirectly doing).

  • I will say a simple thing. People have used drugs since time immemorial to feel a certain way. There are drugs we deem illegal (cocaine, heroin etc.), drugs which are legal (alcohol,nicotine, marijuana [in some places]), and drugs which are legal only by prescription (many psychiatric drugs).

    The fundamental purpose of all drugs (whether they are legal, illegal, or legal-by-prescription) is the same. People ingest them to feel a certain way, or they are forced onto people with the hope that they behave in a certain way. This fundamental principle is irrespective of the nature of drugs or their effects.

    SSRIs for instance, in a subset of people who take them, produce one particular effect, a stimulant effect, a feeling of energy and vitality, with other effects like tremors, stomach upsets, sexual dysfunction etc. But, I also know other people, who take the same drugs, and feel no difference or those who actually feel even more depressed.

    Other drugs produced a “stoned” like effect; sleepiness, vivid dreams, hunger etc.

    It is silly to say that any of these drugs “treat” X or Y “disorder” except in the sense that they produce a unique mild altering effect or a “high”. That’s all there is to it.

    This is a crucial point that people who end up on these drugs must know.

  • The things that come up when you google search “ADHD *and whatever else* ” make me vomit.

    It is one thing to say that a person is not attentive to certain things. Hell, even if people want to take methylphenidate if it’s helping them concentrate better, let them do it. Just don’t say “ADHD” is causing those behaviours.

    These statements about “brain differences and genetic findings” that get so much attention in the media are disastrous. Kids from abusive homes will display many of the behavioural features associated with terms like “ADHD” , and then be told that they are genetically defective.

  • Disability creation and denial of disability creation is the dark side of propsychiatry.

    It’s good to know that madincanada’s child got the kind of help that benefited him. Others are not so lucky. “Help” butchers them. And not everyone has hallucinations and delusions. And some people do have those things caused by psychiatric drugs, with no incidence of such behaviours prior to psychiatric drug use.

    But, I guess this is well known anyway.

  • Personally, I think there should be places in every country where all prescription drugs are legal for the residents of that place. No need to ship them outside.

    This will allow people who want to take or try whatever it is they want to whilst completely avoiding psychiatry and it will also the first step towards giving them freedom from psychiatric coercion when they want to stop taking them.

    Bad idea? I don’t think so. Perhaps the question is, “What if people take something that is damaging to them?”. Well, if they harm themselves by not gathering the required information first, the responsibility lies with them. What about harming others? Well, sufficient information must be provided regarding the adverse effects of these drugs so that they can understand how to use them or not use them.

    Since the general public might want to stay out of such a place, that’s fine. Just limit such areas to some places. These places will be places where psychiatry can be completely bypassed and must be kept out of.

  • Julie writes: “ED is usually caused by a restrictive diet, that is, CAUSED by controlling your eating habits.

    Let me remove the ED and make it more truthful:

    Extreme overeating is usually caused by a restrictive diet, that is, CAUSED by controlling your eating habits.

    Most people who control their diet don’t engage in extreme over-eating to the point of it becoming physically dangerous even in the short term (as opposed to long term risks of cardiovascular problems etc.) as a result. We would all know at least a few people who have lost weight by regulating their eating. But none of the people I know (which would not be an enormous sample size) who have gone on long term diets ended up overeating to the point of 9000 calories a day.

    In my country, fasting for religious reasons is a common occurrence. People here do it all the time. Again, I’ve never seen anyone end up overeating in an extreme manner due to it. They may overeat for a short duration to ameliorate hunger, but not beyond a point.

    Why it took place in you as an individual would be interesting for you to know. Not in a vague manner with hypotheses or tautological labels, but the proper truth, specific to yourself. Hell, you don’t even need to tell anybody.

    Naturally, problems like this would be prevalent in the wider population. I’ve just never personally met anyone who is a binge eater to the point of it being dangerous on a day-to-day basis.

    Please don’t interpret this as being condescending. There are answers I am searching for with regards to my life as well.

  • What would happen if you tried to control your eating habits? Would it cause you so much anxiety that you would only be able to relieve it if you ate?

    Maybe I’m being crude (and you have also mentioned “Sufferers have reported rude or sarcastic responses to their reports, and many are left feeling shamed or even afraid of bringing it up again.“), but it sounds like a lot of theorizing for the “simple” fact that you would eat way too much, had poor control over it, didn’t like that aspect of yourself, and don’t have a concrete answer as to why it all happened.

    Therapy (especially that directed at eating disorders), can turn into a manipulative game, each trying to outsmart the other. “What did you eat today?” It turns into a cat-and-mouse game that can become fatal. That’s how it was for me toward the end, and I almost died as a result.

    I think this is the case with all therapy. “Therapy” is nonsense. Just a fanciful word for listening and talking inside a closed room. No matter how many scientistic names you give it (CBT or what have you), it is fundamentally just that.

    I was lucky to put an end to all that nonsense. I have had good results by making very simple changes, starting with becoming independent from my prior doctors and therapists, and making my life decisions entirely on my own. I was surprised at how fast I was able to resolve my eating disorder after that. I would suggest doing your own research and empowering yourself to come up with your own solutions.

    Absolutely agree with this. You must break free of the mercy and charity of these people and their poisonous system, which will infantilise you and stultify your potential, all with good intentions.

    Being free of the slavery of therapy helped me take a good rational look at what was best for me.

    Agree.

    I knew I had to regain a sense of passion in my life, passion about something besides losing weight. Where had that gone off to? What had happened to the young and talented music student who first took herself to therapy in 1981 and then never came back?

    Yup. I think a lot of us look back to those times. When the whole world was still in front of you, and your life was not tainted by psychiatry.

  • Yes, I am familiar of such quotes etc. But all this intellectualism is just something for people with a thinking bent of mind to mentally masturbate over.

    While it’s okay for people like Dawkins who are flying around giving speeches and being rockstars in the intellectual world; from being an admirer, I have grown weary of that internet and literary intellectual nonsense.

    The scientific status of psychiatry is a pseudo-problem. It is the first step where psychiatry and anti-psychiatry proponents clash and the argument does not go beyond that, and it just leads to a bunch of quotations of words or journal papers and then some literary jibes.

    Observing the trajectory of a planet is different than creating chemicals in a lab. Performing a surgery is different than writing code to accomplish a specific task. Investigating a murder is different than farming crops.

    These are all different tasks, have different people with different technological and social infrastructures, and different methods of investigation (with some similarities) in order to find out the truth about a specific inquiry. Putting it all under the rubric of “science” and then arguing about whether it is a science or not is a waste of time. Truth is what matters.

    The pertinent questions are regarding what the truth about psychiatry is, the everyday occurrences in the field, what its political, social, medical and legal implications are, how it is misused, and not just “science”.

    Behind psychiatry there is a legal system, a prison system, and social systems of everyday life.

  • I used to read and watch quite a bit of Richard Dawkins several years ago. I am quite familiar with his works, and also with the movement that has sprung partly from his works (Skeptics, Atheists….). It’s all a bit rotten now. Same old stuff. Evolution, atheism, yada yada….It was all very appealing to me in my late teens and early 20s.

    I think you will find the most fervent supporters of psychiatry amongst Richard Dawkins’ followers (from what I’ve heard).

    Several of them see criticism of psychiatry in the same vein as belief in astrology or the tooth fairy or Dawkins’ other favourite hypothetical creature, the “Flying Spaghetti Monster”.

  • I found the part about you not being allowed to go into the hospital because you were from an “antipsychiatry” organisation to be interesting. It’s a self-defense mechanism. Everyone has one.

    What if someone locked up in a “hospital” finds it to be the most abhorrent and traumatising time of their life? If an antipsychiatry person ends up getting them out and helping them, and then that person (whom you just got out) upholds your views, well, then he’s just antipsychiatry now too.

    The power roles thing is something we already know. I liked the part about the person playing the role of psychiatrist in the commitment hearing having a very flat affect and strange speech pattern himself.

    And yes, “antipsychiatry” is almost a diagnosis now. Antipsychiatry, critical psychiatry, pro-psychiatry; these words just mean “crank”, “moderate” and “scientific” respectively (depending on who you ask).

    Your views are seen as too extreme? You have to justify it by saying you’re “critical psychiatry”. It’s all rubbish.

    But hey, it’s all politics at the end of the day. Makes me wonder why I’m even writing this comment. It’s all obvious.

  • Dr. Hickey,

    Any young credentialed people coming up in the “Phil Hickey school of psychology”? Heaven knows you’re old and when you’re gone, there will be no one else to take up your mantle (at least not in the way you do).

    Also, since you have worked in prisons, it would be very interesting to know of your experiences amongst prison inmates and your findings regarding problems in living, thinking and feeling in prison, because I am sure there will be a relatively large population in prisons with all kinds of problems hidden under all kinds of DSM labels. Why don’t you write something regarding that? It would be most illuminating.

  • I think they are simply mind-altering drugs and like every other mind-altering drug they have their properties.

    I suppose most of the anger comes from people having them forced onto them, not being told what the harms of them can be, being mislabelled with disorders for the negative effects of the drugs, ending up with permanent disabilities, or being prescribed them based on the notion that they are “treating X condition”, when what they are more practically doing is changing a person’s thinking in a certain way or suppressing certain behaviours and feelings.

    If they were completely legal (not just by prescription) and voluntary, and were never forced on to people, or actually had full disclosure of what they really do, people may have talked about them a bit differently.

    P.S. I’m not in anyway trying to mitigate the harm that they can cause.

  • What are you saying? Why do you think that I’m in any way implying that the body should be less resilient than it is?

    And yes, that is the example I gave and said that you gave the exact same example, and I mentioned that there are other things the body can’t fix by itself, or things which become worse if treatment is not received.

  • Great. Text about neurotransmitters and receptors.

    Once again, no mention of what foods to eat in what quantities to gain the right amounts of the aformentioned nutrients.

    2 bananas a day? An apple?

    There is also no need to complicate things beyond what a layman needs to know. Nobody cares about NMDA receptors except those who take an interest in reading about them or do work associated with needing that knowledge.

  • That depends on what we are talking about. Some fevers due to common microbial agents, headaches etc., sure.

    But there are other things the body can’t simply fix properly on its own.

    Hell, I’d say make all mind altering prescription drugs legal in some places as well (with full disclosure about their effects on the body and any contraindications), so that those who want to take them can avoid psychiatry as an intermediary altogether.

    Drugs don’t take themselves. If someone finds some kind of relief from a sedative or an SSRI, let them try it (with instructions on how to do it in a safe manner), take it and stop it when they want to. It’s a lot better than giving yourself into a system which could force horrible crap on you, label you, indoctrinate your family, disease-monger and stultify your life. Easier said than done, but it’s possible in some places.

  • Frankly, I hope a day comes in the future when every human being has enough medical knowledge to reduce his/her dependence on other human beings who take up the role of medical doctors in society, so as to not be on the mercy and charity of other people for something as fundamental as our own health.

    Knowledge about our own bodies and how to ameliorate ailments must be as fundamental as learning a language or knowing how to count.

    Basic physiology, anatomy, pharmacology; at least the stuff that’s learnt in basic medical graduation.

    A person may not be able to do everything for himself/herself (like I can’t do a kidney transplant on myself), but one can learn to know signs and symptoms of infectious diseases, endocrinological conditions, heart conditions etc., and with enough knowledge make lifestyle changes or take (what are now prescription only) drugs (whilst also knowing their positive and negative effects, contraindications etc.). One could even read about them, and ask and observe 10 different people (hell, now with networking, maybe 1000s of people) who have similar problems.

    A risky and horrible idea? Maybe. But that depends on who is considering the idea.

  • As an extension to the above, some of the other things are:

    1.) Labelling of effects of psychiatric drugs as new illnesses (antidepressant or stimulant induced mania gets turned into “bipolar disorder”).

    2.) Gaslighting and the social, legal and political misuse of DSM labels to harass people, defame and lie about them.

    3.) The medicalisation of socio-legal problems into “brain disorders” in victims of abuse.

  • People should simply leave topics like climate change, vaccines, homeopathy, astrology, HIV being causative of AIDS etc., out of critical discussions of psychiatry. There is no need for comparisons with any of those things. When talking of psychiatry, talk of psychiatry. I think that’s the best rule to follow.

    It is one of the tactics used by skeptic movement dilettantes and pro-psychiatry activists to correlate people who abhor psychiatry with other groups like “climate change deniers, HIV/AIDS denial etc.”. It is also a tactic that has worked well (even unintentionally) to sell the public a lie which they find out too late. No wonder there are people who consider people who abhor psychiatry to be scientologists or whatever.

    Those talking about psychiatry are talking about psychiatry. No need to obfuscate that by bringing in the rest of the stuff.

    Also, I think, debates regarding “the scientific status of psychiatry” are a pseudo-problem for intellectuals to mentally masturbate over while neglecting truth.

    Observing the trajectory of a planet is different than building a car engine. Performing surgery is different than creating optimal paths for roadways. Creating chemicals in a lab is different than writing code to perform a specific task.

    All these activities have different people, different methods of investigation, different processes etc. involved in order to find the truth about a specific inquiry. Subsuming them all under “Science” and then debating whether something is “Science” or not is a futile exercise.

    This whole “science” charade in psychiatry, with all the advertising of brain scans, its journal publications etc. completely removes the focus from what psychiatry is like in real life, and what its social, legal, physical, medical and political consequences are. What is required for people to know is the truth.

    The truth is that only a few things happen in everyday psychiatry:

    1.) Listening and talking.

    2.) Labelling of individuals, which rob away their life’s truths, and can have egregious social, medical, legal and political consequences, sometimes permanent.

    3.) Prescribing drugs, which can also have egregious consequences.

    4.) Infantilisation and coercion, which ranges from subtle to extreme and so on.

  • Ah man, I didn’t mean it in the way you’re implying. Maybe “choosing” was the wrong word? I have no problem if you ARE homosexual, heterosexual or transgender. Is that better?

    See, this is the thing. I tried wording the thing in order to be as understanding as possible, and it’s still such a touchy subject, which is why it is fearsome to even write anything about it. One wrong word or comment can bring hell on to you.

  • This is the part that really scares me about countries like the US (and whichever other countries have recording systems like that). There is no escape huh?

    It is almost psychopathic, the way the system is constructed. No wonder some people with such labels that have robbed away their life’s truths are afraid to seek medical care for even physical problems.

    I fear that so-called developing nations will adopt this same model under the guise of “progress”.

  • The prescription reinforces the diagnosis. The patient accepts the diagnosis as valid the day she pops the first pill. They are compliant. They believe. They take the drug acknowledging the validity of psychiatry. Few question the validity of the label. They take the little pink pill and they are a patient for life. There are no cures. ”

    There was a time when I had this phase. Complete indoctrination in the language of DSM labelling.

    Frankly, it isn’t even the pills in and of themselves that are dangerous. People can start and stop pills whenever they want to, if it were under their voluntary control. It’s the middle-men, the shrinks, the labellers and defamers, that are dangerous. They rob away the truths of people’s lives by defaming them with DSM garbage, and can force unwanted drugs down people’s throats. And once labelled, anyone biologically related to the labelled individual is at risk.

    And the people who accept these labels as “a part of them” are as dangerous as the labellers too. They truly lack insight into the damage they are doing to themselves, and some of them will even spread around the acceptance of these labels with truly good intentions of helping others.

    It isn’t that the thoughts, features and life experiences associated with these terms aren’t real. Sure, they are. But the truth about an individual is descriptive. The life experiences and even underlying biology of two people labelled with the same set of labels will not be the same.

    It’s ridiculous to justify using them by saying that “syndromal concepts” exist in other fields of medicine. Saying that someone’s leg has “chronic compartment syndrome”, is different than labelling a man a “schizophrenic” or “bipolar”. The social, political, and legal implications of DSM terminology is different than that of other fields of medicine.

  • Whatever the case may be for the merits of nutrients (which I would whole heartedly support), it is absolutely necessary to bash truth-obfuscating and disempowering labels that have ruined so many lives.

    If you “also don’t like it”, then stop talking of “ADHD children”. Put something more truthful like “inattentive children” in the title.

  • It doesn’t matter which country a person is from, be it the US, UK, Israel, India etc. Psychiatry is psychiatry everywhere.

    I am tired and angry with seeing people end up in the victim role, begging people/institutions, be it professionals or courts of law, to basically “be nice” and not harm them. Makes one very vengeful, doesn’t it? There is really no justice too. Will anyone even see you as a rational person once you’re labelled with DSM nonsense? They are practically caricatures of people.

    It doesn’t matter how good the intentions of the staff are (or aren’t). The only way we can protect vulnerable people is by making sure they have safe spaces, and don’t end up in these places in the first place, where they will be labelled and may have horrible drugs forced on them.

    Having the “right to choose” between “hospitals” is akin to choosing between being shat on by a cow or a goat or a hippo. It’s no choice at all.

    I hope you find peace.

  • Don’t forget the number of teenagers that are prescribed SSRIs because they are depressed or anxious (for whatever reasons), some of whom then go on to experience SSRI induced mania which is then re-labelled or re-branded as “bipolar disorder”.

    Once a person is labelled this way, it is not just he/she who is in danger, but anyone biologically related to him/her. Said person will become a “family history of ‘bipolar disorder’ ” to his/her biological relatives.

    The next doctor who sees a relative of the initially labelled person may not even look at the actual history of how the original person came to be labelled that way, but will certainly see the “diagnosis”/label.

    I say this from practical experience.

  • @oldhead: I answered that in the very same paragraph.

    @Frank: “I would even give your crazy woman, this village idiot of yours, the right to a trial before I would see her incarcerated, even if the prison to which she would be confined claims to be a hospital. Locking this woman up without a trial, if we are to allude to the origin of the word, would be to show her an extreme lack of hospitality on our part. It would not be the courteous thing to do. “

    I agree.

  • There’s a lot of talk on this site about abolishing psychiatry. This would imply removal of psychiatry as a medical specialty in all hospitals, a complete shutting down of all psychiatric wards everywhere, a complete abolition on medical licenses dished out relating to psychiatry and psychology.

    Now, let’s imagine a world where this has happened. What do you do when some individuals believe that aliens are communicating with them via radiowaves? Who might make incisions into their bodies to remove a non-existent alien chip? People who are chronically psychotic, who hallucinate and see things which aren’t there and can literally do very little in terms of having a productive life? Now, if these people are non-violent and non-disruptive, there is no need to bother them. If some of them are non-violent but disruptive (like disrupting public spaces), they will be forcibly removed which may again make them violent and compel people to treat them in some form or the other.

    I remember an absolutely psychotic woman who was totally unclean and used to roam around randomly, who would take up space in a small bus stand in the town where I lived in. She had to be removed from there because she was a nuisance for the people who had to board their buses. I once tried approaching this lady, simply out of curiosity, to ask her what her name was, and she ran towards me with a brick to hit me. I ran for my life. In a shrink’s office, this woman would definitely be labelled a “schizophrenic”. But that is not her truth.

    Psychiatry for most of us who are coherent people able to think and write in a relatively logical manner is an absolute curse. This has nothing to do with maintaining voluntary relationships of listening and talking to people, nor with voluntary consumption of drugs. Neither of these things mandate the requirements for psychiatrists in between. Drug companies make drugs. Not psychiatrists. And drugs don’t take themselves. Psychiatrists either prescribe them to people or force them to take them and do not tell the whole truth about these pills. So, mostly, they are dangerous middle-men who label and defame people.

    But, the existence of that small subset of individuals who are on the extreme end of the spectrum will always be a reason to have some sort of organisation/intervention to monitor and take care of them. Let’s say you abolish all of psychiatry. Well, something else will definitely take its place.

    What I would like to see is firstly, an abolition of all forms of psychiatric DSM/ICD labelling. These labels are tautologies and truth-obfuscating. No wonder the public thinks of “schizophrenics and bipolars running amok on the streets”. A removal of these terms would imply that people get closer to thinking in terms of the truth. Some psychotic people may run amok on the streets. Some of them may have become like that due to abuse and others may be like that due to some inherent features. The former are people who may be hurt by psychiatry. The latter are people we can’t do much about. None of these people are “bipolar or schizophrenic”. Each person is who he/she is as an individual and has a truth (both biological and environmental) specific to them. So, in that sense, these labels are nonsense.

    The truth is descriptive. “A person was born here. He had these circumstances growing up. These things happened to him. He did so-and-so things etc.”. Even biologically, the truth specific to an individual has nothing to do with the junk they are labelled with.

    Also, due to a small subset of people, everyone else, who is hardly anything like them, is getting affected. Why butcher the lives of otherwise healthy males and females?

    People here talk of abolition. But they mention absolutely no solutions as to what they would do with some of these individuals on the extreme end of the curve. Unless you find a solution to that, the public would NEVER agree to an abolition of psychiatry.

    You people are really irrational to think that you could ever achieve that.

  • You don’t need labels to consume pills. You are free to consume as much Triavil as you want, if it makes you feel better.

    Maybe what YOU have (which your shrink has labelled as “schizoaffective disorder”) is a bio-genetic brain disease. Don’t drag everyone else into it.

    Also, the author may not have an MD. But that does not matter. A lot of the problems that psychiatry subsumes under its banner have nothing to do with medicine.

    Also, naturally you would have people other than MDs to write about certain issues because MDs just parrot the standard party line.

    The “you are not a medical doctor” line is quite futile on MIA. Many here are tired of being at the pseudo-mercy and pseudo-charity of medical psychiatry doctors who provide no answers, but do engage in dangerous and defamatory labeling and drugging.

    We are all searching for the truth specific to ourselves. Psychiatry gives no answers. Just labels and pills.

    Do you understand what a specific truth is?

    Person has a fever. Why? Because plasmodium falciparum (as an example) was found in his body.

    Person (like you) has suicidal tendencies. Why? Because of “schioaffective disorder”. And I suppose a “diagnosis” of “headache disorder” for headaches is also valid because aspirin makes it better.

    Before you bother telling me that descriptive “diagnoses” exist in other medical fields, know that flaws in other medical fields do not absolve flaws in psychiatry. Also, the social, political and legal implications of psychiatric labelling are very different than non-psychiatric labels.

    You also have no biological proof (not behavioural proof) specific to yourself that what you have is a “bio-genetic brain disease”.

    Perhaps then, it is best to say “I don’t exactly know why but I feel bad and the pills make me feel better and that is why I take them” and leave it at that.

    And as John Hoggett pointed out, if the shrink had given you a different “diagnosis”/label and the same pill, you would have been on here saying that that disorder is a bio-genetic brain disease.

    Trust me (I have been there), you are doing a disservice to yourself with your mentality, and this has nothing to do with whether or not you want to take pills.

  • Does one need a study to make out that the rates of suicide in prison will obviously be higher? If you have a life sentence, you will rot in there forever. Death is naturally a more desirable option.

    If you are not in for a life sentence, you may still not have much of a life outside with a criminal record.

    The only thing they need to stop in prisons is sexual assault. That is all.

  • Lawrence Kemelson writes:

    “The concept of “mental illness” takes away people’s free will to adaptively cope with life’s struggles in ways of their own choosing, and puts it into the hands of medical authorities who claim to know the best way to cope, claim that they’re the only ones who can “heal”, and have been given power by the state to enforce compliance with their “treatments” which usually benefit the state rather than the client. I read Szasz’s “The Myth of Mental Illness” before starting my psychiatric residency training, so I was not disillusioned – I knew this was a big part of my field, and spoke against it during my residency, for which I was nearly thrown out of the program.”

    “It’s not my place to claim that my medical education has given me any answers.”

    This is one of the most positively amazing things I have heard a psychiatrist write. If the majority of people in the “medical profession” of psychiatry thought like this, it would collapse a large part of the work-force.

  • @ Stephen:

    My point is, that a lot of it is nonsense. It’s simply playing to the mind-brain correlation of behaviours.

    It is worthless mental masturbation in everyday life, and it is screwing over people.

  • A person I know, recently had seizures. There’s no history of epilepsy in the person’s family. We were all a bit perturbed as to how it happened.

    After tests, we found out that eggs of a worm formed cysts inside the person’s brain. They call it “neurocystic sarcosis”.

    Imagine the doctors labelled this person with “seizure disorder” and only gave him/her anti-convulsants. He/she would be dead.

    This is what psychiatry is doing. They are defaming and ruining people’s lives.

  • Look at these idiots. This is from Natasha Tracy’s post titled: ”
    Are All Doctors, Psychiatrists and Scientists Lying All the Time?”, where a person “Riley C” writes:
    :

    “Do any of you anti psychiatry [moderated] have a PhD in psychology? I do. Psychiatric disorders have been proven time and time again to be brain disorders! You can tell from a PET scan or a fMRI if a person has schizophenia. Such as large ventricles and frontal cortex atrophy. Similar things are seen in bipolar disorder. You antipsychritry morons should be [moderated].

    Moderator – I understand how frustrated you are with these groups as I feel the same way but we have rules here as to how people treat each other and you can’t say those kinds of things here.”

    These fools are still listing the mind-brain relation, which we all know. Why don’t they talk about the people that they are labelling as “bipolar” due to the effects of their own drugs (mania caused by psychiatric drugs)? And if the scans are so specific, why not use them to separate (in a blind fashion), 50 people who have X disorder vs 50 people who have nothing and prove that those mental states are primarily biological in every single human being with that label and have little to do with the shit that they have faced? They can’t. They accuse us of mind-brain duality, but they use the same paltry “mental activity is correlated with brain activity” argument everywhere, as if that is some new truth.

    I suppose “Riley C” feeling like taking a dump when he is supposed to attend an important meeting is also a “brain disorder” because it is correlated with some brain activity inside his thick skull.

    We know that these people aren’t “evil and always ‘lying’ “. That does not matter. Their intentions and benevolence are a secondary thing.

    Granted that this is from 2011, and a lot can change in 6 years, but I hope this person has understood something by now. If “Ph.Ds” in Psychology are like this, they are a friggin’ danger to people.

  • What psychiatrists, DSM and psychiatric labelling do really well is rob the truth of people’s lives away from them.

    You label people with 2 labels, it will look like they have 2 “illnesses”. You label them with 5 labels, it will look like they have 5 “illnesses”.

    When the consequences of said labelling have to be faced by the person labelled with this junk, the cowardly bastards (the psychiatrists) are nowhere to be found. In fact, sometimes they will blame you, the screwed over person, for the consequences of their own disgusting methods.

    The truth about a person is always descriptive. Causes and effects. Causal factors and effects.

    People tell you junk like “labels guide ‘treatment'”, which is utter bullshit. If anything, they make everything worse, because you are basing your conclusions on false knowledge. It’s like labelling people with “fever disorder” and “headache disorder”. The worst part is, once a person is labelled, they put everyone who is biologically related to them at risk, because they will then become their “family history”. DSM labels are not family histories. An actual history when it comes to a person’s life is descriptive.

    Imagine the number of kids with attention problems or anxiety/depression (for whatever reasons) who have been prescribed Ritalin and SSRIs, who have gone on to experience manic episodes due to those drugs, and now they are labelled with “co-morbid conditions” like ” ‘ADHD’+ ‘Bipolar Disorder’ ” or ” ‘OCD’+ ‘Bipolar Disorder’ “. Disgusting.

    If you are physically assaulted, you can even go to the police. What can you do if psychiatry and psychiatric terminology is being used to harass, defame and gaslight you? You can’t even get justice. This has been happening to me for years, and I have been able to do nothing about it.

    Day by day, I am losing hope. I can understand why someone like Matt Stevenson killed himself (not that I want to die).

    DSM labelling is defamation and libel. That is it.

  • Why do these articles on “manic-depression and the brain blah blah” never talk about antidepressant induced mania? That you guys are labelling people as manic-depressives/bipolars because of the effects of your own drugs?

    More importantly, why do they not tell the truth? Nobody in clinical psychiatry is checking anybody’s brain. Those articles are nothing more than useless mental masturbation.

    What psychiatry definitely is doing is labelling people with defamatory tautological labels, obfuscating an individual’s truth and providing no concrete biological evidence in any specific individual in real life (when I say real life, I mean everyday people, not research and journal papers).

    Also, when I say “biological evidence”, I don’t mean simple brain correlations. We all know that pretty much everything we do will be associated with something in our brains. That is meaningless.

    All pro-biopsychiatry related articles on the internet hide the truth about real life occurrences in psychiatry. All you do is talk to people and give them drugs. Nobody needs psychiatrists to consume drugs. Talking to you guys is dangerous too.

    False biological arguments are used to ruin people’s lives (even if unintentionally). Criminal justice issues are turned into medical problems. Problems in living are biologised. Hell, argumentation with psychiatrists is dangerous. All it does is get you deeper into the brothel of psychiatry.

  • One look at doglegblog’s Pininterest page and her links to bullet points about “mental illness”, “bipolar disorder” etc. show that she might be from the type of crowd that hangs around websites like Healthy Place, Crazy Meds etc.

    These people’s ideas are even more harmful and dangerous than the murderers and maimers she’s talking about. They are promoting and marketing the all too common “myth of mental illness” (the way it is promoted today) and will result in multitudes of people, especially youngsters, devalue themselves, end up being dependent on a system and a community that will never truly allow them to reach their fullest potential in life (all with supposedly benevolent intentions of course).

  • I think streetphotobeing making an assumption about why you drink is not appropriate.

    And yes, ” ‘bipolar disorder’ is a real disease”, just like ” ‘fever disorder’ is a real disease which ’causes’ elevated body temperature” and ” ‘headache disorder’ is a real disease which ’causes’ one’s head to ache.”

    No one is saying what you aren’t experiencing is real. Just don’t expect people to agree with your truth-obfuscating terminology.

    Also, do you realise people are being stamped with the label of “bipolar disorder” for the iatrogenic effects of the very drugs that psychiatrists prescribe (like mania caused by antidepressants or stimulants)?

  • dogleblog writes :“I am perfectly happy to be on my “cocktail” of meds for my bipolar disorder II, BPD, and anxiety”

    This actually tells me hardly anything about what you find problematic in yourself except a few labels.

    “These drugs–whether from a farm or Big Pharma or a mad scientist’s basement–have saved my life. I no longer drink until I black-out, I no longer go home with complete strangers from bars (neither do I drink anymore), and I am making better decisions (although I still struggle to have normal interactions with people–I fear I will always say inappropriate things and hurt people and drive them away. A recent ex-friend said I was too “intense”).”

    In other words, one set of drugs that you don’t give shit about (in terms of how they came into being), makes you feel better than another drug that you don’t give a shit about.

    “As I am 53 years old, I don’t see another way to control my behavior. And yes, I go to therapy (when I can find a good one) and that has helped me see how skewed my view of relationships and how I insist that people conform to my way of thinking. “

    Do you really think you should need people playing the role of mental health workers OR psychiatric labels to consume something that, in simple terms, and in your own view, helps you perform better?

    “Does no one have a similar experience to mine? Perhaps if I had been diagnosed when my symptoms became noticeable (around ages 5 to 10) and had been shown another way to communicate, my life would have met its potential rather than being a series of emergencies and deep depressions and very, very poor decisions (before being medicated).”

    It sounds like you’re someone who finds taking some drugs helpful, but has no idea how deep the negative consequences of psychiatrists, and truth-obfuscating labelling can go.

    Perhaps if I had been diagnosed when my symptoms became noticeable (around ages 5 to 10) and had been shown another way to communicate, my life would have met its potential rather than being a series of emergencies and deep depressions and very, very poor decisions (before being medicated).

    Don’t be too sure of that. You may have ended up not even being where you are right now.

  • I have a sickeningly abusive father too. He has been lying about me (which are either complete lies, or bits of truth with lies added to them [which makes them more convincing]), gaslighting me and using psychiatry, psychiatric labels and arguments of being “genetically defective” against me since I was a kid. There’s some stuff here that goes back to before I was born.

    The fact that he is also a surgeon, and has a whole family of 7 siblings, with 19 children between them and a whole host of other supporters who love and support him due to self-preservation, his surgical skills and wealth and due to the fact that accepting or admitting that the man is abusive might make them accomplices (by support) in his abuse and ruin the reputation of their families, adds to his ability to be abusive.

    So many times, and so often, I have lived (and continue to) in utter terror, and a feeling of total helplessness (and even feeling crazy and acting odd due to the gaslighting) from the abuse, and about not being able to do anything regarding it because I am the one who is labelled and the man has completely escaped psychiatry and can actually use it against me.

    I also have a mother, who despite his abuse continued to live with my father. While generally being loving in terms of maternal instincts, she would use me as a scapegoat in her arguments with her husband, practically begging him to love me, and using his maltreatment towards me as an excuse to make him see, what a shitty husband he is. All it would do is make him even more abusive. She also could not understand what she was doing. I have grown just as angry with her as with him. The fact that she plays victim without understanding that she turned me into a victim just like her is even more rage-inducing.

    My whole childhood (and youth), my house was a war-zone with the worst expletives and abuses flying around every 5 seconds, and my father’s loud, guttural village voice booming through the halls. I get very anxious just listening to it or even the sight of him (like Pavlov’s dog, a conditioned response).

    Add to this that when I was at home, my mental state got so bad that when I was not thinking about my father, I had all these weird obsessional thoughts associated with the fear of losing control of something valuable. For example, if my mother bought me a second hand textbook, I had this completely irrational obsession (which I fully recognised as being irrational) that somehow any success in understanding the text would be credited to the original owner. It would make it really hard to study. The underlying fear here was losing the ability to study and not being independently successful. I had many more quirky obsessions of this nature associated with, as I said, losing the ability to do something of value to me. Perhaps there is a disposition to this (?), but nothing a few simple interventions (which exclude mental health workers of all kinds) cannot fix. But problems in living, and abusive psychopaths, are not solved by modifying brain chemistry with drugs, nor by incessant “therapy” (aka listening and talking). All that stuff does is make one even more miserable and is even dangerous.

    It took me 10 years to understand that the obsessional thoughts I had were all things related to the fear of losing control, because all psychiatrists did was stamp me with a tautological labels, which I thought of as explanatory, instead of descriptive, and viewed my whole life through the prism of those labels. Between around the age of 18-23, I would incessantly read about psychiatry, watch medical lectures on YouTube (on neuroscience, psychiatry, genetics etc.) and I pathologised my own life, disease mongered (apart from psychiatrists doing this), in an attempt to understand myself, and my father. I had this whole phase where like a lot of teenagers I read Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion, The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution etc. ), was influenced by the atheist and skeptic movements (and even mocked antipsychiatry people), watched rubbish like the “Charlie Rose Brain(less) Series” etc.

    I feel so SO stupid when I look back at my stupidity in the past.

    I left home when I was 16, unable to bear that man.

    I was prescribed SSRIs for my mental state, due to which I experienced multiple episodes of antidepressant induced mania which, when they happened, made me, on one instance (on Sertaline) relatively mildly manic [probably due to the dosage and duration of use] (surprisingly to me, my fear of my father was replaced with confidence, the obsessional thoughts disappeared and I felt good) and on another occasion (on fluvoxamine) totally manic and psychotic (again due to the dosage and duration of use), and which resulted in a bipolar diagnosis (due to the effects of the antidepressants, not because I am bipolar in anyway). Some of the things I did during this time, are being held against me, even to this day.

    Add to that fact, that my father is a “pathological” liar, a master manipulator and gaslighter, and he gaslights me to the point that I act and behave oddly, which he again uses as proof of insanity, doubly makes me act odd and look anxious and tensed. He has also started sleeping with 2 of the maids in his house. We have collected as much evidence regarding him as possible and are in legal proceedings, which as usual, are full of complete and utter bullshit and lies (either totally or partly, or very much manipulated and distorted) written by him. The guy is a total whackjob but has escaped psychiatry due to him being high functioning, being a part of the medical profession himself, his wealth , his social status and his contacts.

    Let me give you a few examples of his gaslighting:
    As examples:

    1.)Telling everyone and telling me that I have social phobia due to “mental illness” because according to him “I don’t mix with people”. It’s not that I don’t mix with people. I avoid him and his family to avoid a direct or indirect relationship with a man who is horribly abusive to me.

    To some people, in order to escape any responsibility, he goes and tells that I have social phobia. If those same people have interacted with me, and find out that I’m not socially phobic at all, he goes and changes the story to how my mother had poisoned my brain against him, or how she does not allow him to meet my friends and also how, supposedly, she does not allow me to meet his people. All lies of course. My mom never does any of that, nor do I have social phobia.

    2.) On one occassion as I was passing by the TV that he was watching, he used to watch programs on mental illness in front of me with psychiatrists saying “Oh, these days there is no need to stigmatise these people….” etc. trying to manipulate me into believing I’m insane.

    3.) When I look at him, due to his harassment, gaslighting and abusive nature, I become completely depressed, anxious and agitated, which he again gaslights me by telling people that I’m a disturbed individual

    4.) There was a lot of gaslighting and harassment associated with my education due to which I am still suffering due to, to this day.

    5.) He keeps telling me that I’m genetically defective. I once, in text messaging (of which I have a record), gave him the example of how even physical pain is also a partly genetic process and that people who have CIPA do not experience physical pain even if they are stabbed, slapped etc. because they have different alleles of the genes that code for pain. And I proceeded to ask him, “If someone beats you and tells you that the pain your are feeling is because you have “bad genes”, would that make sense?”

    His response was “Your language sounds utterly pre-schizophrenic and it’s frustrating behaviour being an absolute zero in life”, implying that I was using sophisticated language to sound smart.

    6.) He keeps using DSM label after DSM label, to refer to me, without even knowing what they mean. Because he’s a surgeon, he thinks he knows what he’s talking about, but he understands none of it.

    These are very few examples. I could write like 30 more, but that would be a waste of time.

    There is a greater history to this than just what I’m writing here, but that’s for another time.

    What do I do? My father is a rustic, rural man, albeit with native intelligence. He is incorrigible and can never be changed. He is incapable of understanding even basic things.

    When he is totally cornered, he actually even admits and says “I can go to any extent to protect my interests” (again, recorded on text message), which includes lying about me and my mother in the worst of ways.

    The misery I have been through in the last 10 years (and everyday, even now), and the way I’m dragging on, with wasted days turning into months and into years is apalling to me.

    I once lived with the dignity of a surgeon’s son. I’d grown up around surgeons my whole life, used to force my male sperm donor to take me to surgeries, saw dozens of procedures like appendectomies, TURPs (transutheral resection of the prostate), bladder stone removal, kidney stone removal, hernia etc. (I still remember the man’s Karl Storz (a company) endoscopes). I was (and still am) the nerd that had my own compound microscope at home. I would watch all kinds of slides (meiosis, tape worm eggs etc.) under it. I knew things before most of my classmates and was always in the pursuit of knowledge and had a thirst to learn. I still like crunching numbers, doing mathematics (which I’m hardly able to concentrate on, and in which I’m seriously lagging behind and probably always might, even though I don’t wish that), learning stuff etc.

    Note: As a surgeon’s son, having grown up amongst surgeons, having attended dozens of surgical consults and having watched dozens of surgeries, living with a 24-hour on call surgeon, watching my father and his friends ask (and get people tested) for X-rays, CT- scans, MRIs, taking blood test reports, biopsies etc., I can tell you that psychiatry is NOTHING like ordinary medicine. Once upon a time, going to hospitals and seeing people’s internal organs and procedures done on them was an absolute joy. These days I am afraid of hospitals and afraid of doctors, lest they end up knowing my “history”.

    After my youth, turning into a failure later in life, being mocked for my incompetence and my inability to keep up with my peers, have certainly hurt my ego hard. I would keep searching for the answer of “Why? What’s everyone else got that I don’t?”, and then ending up in psychiatry, labelled, defamed and treated like some problem child, while the people who created a lot of this shit have escaped infuriates me.

    Knowing my potential (I’m no Einstein, but I’m not performing anywhere near what I’m capable of, even as a grounded estimate, not based on desire, fantasy and an over-estimation of myself), infuriates me.

    If someone has HIV, or tuberculosis or hell even something like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you can atleast explain it to people, and people can understand. You can’t explain any of this psychiatry junk, or even what it feels like to become manic due to psychiatric drugs to people. It’s like explaining colour to a congenitally blind person and they’d only want to avoid you. I noticed that the more I told my friends about my pain, the more they avoided me, till I learnt that it’s better to not do that than to do so. The whole thing makes you even more trapped.

    Anyway, that’s a lot of text. My point is, knowing all this psychiatry junk, these personality types, clusters of this and that, has not, and will not ever teach me anything about my parents, nor about me.

    They are who they are and I am who I am, and there is, as individuals, a past, present and future to that. And the truth is always descriptive. Cause and effect. Not a bunch of DSM labels.

    So, I disagree with you on some counts, though, I respect that you are trying to seek understanding and closure in your own way.

  • @Igor:

    What if someone has no psychiatric labels and STILL abuses you?

    See how crazy psychiatry and neurononsense has made you?

    “Cluster B personality”, “neurotypical”, “X and Y traits”…..urgh.

    You had a shitty mother and 2 shitty GFs. And that’s it.

    All the intellectualising and playing around with psychiatric jargon and labelling criteria is not going to change that simple truth of life.

    It won’t bring you back your childhood, nor will it make anyone else’s better.

  • I don’t have much to say about people’s sexual orientation, but the word “mad” is defined as “mentally ill or insane”, which practically no one here in the comment section is.

    So, I would NOT be one to involve or associate myself with a “mad pride” movement of any sort. Nothing to be proud of in being mad whatsoever.

    When I wrote about “using it back against them”, I meant it in a practical manner, like in a court of law, for instance.

  • I don’t care how you behaved or thought. Personality Disorders are the most egregious and defamatory labels that exist in psychiatry.

    It doesn’t matter even if someone is a serial killer. There are ordinary everyday words for such a person. “Criminal, “serial killer” etc.

    People should be encouraged to stand up and take some form of action collectively against psychiatry and more importantly the labelling psychiatrists, if they have been labelled with that junk.

    However, if someone is using such labels against you, you’d be doing a good job using it back against them.

    P.S. What the hell is ” ‘Mad’ Pride”. Why even call yourself “mad”?

  • Great. Yet another SSRI/SNRI induced mania story. The same thing happened to me, once in 2007, and then in between 2010-2011, with around the worst “episode” happening in around August 2011. Sertraline and Fluvoxamine were the culprits in each case, respectively. I did so many crazy things during that time, that the consequences of it are haunting me and negatively (a word that doesn’t really encapsulate the misery) impacting me to this day.

    Unfortunately, psychiatry also defames those of us who are prescribed these drugs and experience mania as a result, as “bipolar”. But one half of the mood that comprises of that label is created by the very drugs prescribed by psychiatrists themselves. They are defaming us, after our lives have already been ruined. Naturally, once you are out of it and realise what you have done, depression follows, not as an illness, but as a consequence.

    Imagine you have tuberculosis, and you are prescribed Isoniazid fo it. Then, imagine that the Izoniazid makes you psychotic, and the prescribing doctor tells you and your family that you have “schizophrenia” which was just “uncovered” by the dug. You would butcher that idiot. But a similar occurrence is happening everyday in psychiatry.

    If a person takes a prescription drug and becomes manic and psychotic, they defame you as “bipolar”, though it is something that would likely have never happened without the drug in the first place.

    Psychiatrists should be sued and their medical license should be cancelled for this practice. If you were smart, hardworking and functional enough to get a medical degree, you can do many other things in life.

  • In “3rd world” countries you could probably do something to escape.

    I suppose in the developed world, the structures have become shackles. Not so much if your life is great to begin with. But in cases like this, when a person has a history of forced treatment (or any history at all), you cannot outrun the law. You could try to defend yourself against the cops and sheriffs etc., but they’ll probably just physically assault you, perhaps even shoot you.

    I fear coming to the “developed” world. Perhaps I am better off in my “3rd world dump where people crap on the streets”.

  • Oh my god! Those notes make me vomit. These places dehumanise you like lab rats. Pathetic. And people call this HELP?

    Don’t know why this article does not have millions of views and thousands of comments.

  • Over intellectualisation and neurononsense are going to kill society. If we gave ourselves up to these neuro-trolls, we’d all have our brains in vats.

    So what if addiction is “correlated with brain changes”? That’s also the case when a neuro-troll is taking a dump. It’s also the case when a neuro-troll chooses not to take a dump and takes one at a later time.

    The incessant insistence of neuro-trolls to remove will and choice by intellectualising it with neuro-nonsense is destructive.

    If you have the power to threaten an alcoholic with water boarding every time he takes a drink, you will find that his “brain disease” disappears rather quickly.

    Miraculous isn’t it?

  • If anything, the gaslighting, the lies and the misuse of labels from the abuser, the disease-mongering and conversion and treatment of trauma as part of a piss poorly defined “illness” have truly made me act in ways which may make other people feel that there’s something wrong with ME, because they don’t understand what’s happened to me, if they see me during moments when I am suffering and acting out from the injustice of it all.

    I want justice. That is my treatment. I cannot even get justice from that man because I am the one with the labels. Most people can’t even understand the complexity of psychiatry. Forget about courts and lawyers.

    I once had a dignified life. What I have been reduced to and the pain I am going through on a daily basis is something very few can understand. And even if they understand it, they can DO nothing to ACTUALLY help me. Not the fake pseudo-help of mental health.

  • @FeelinDiscouraged

    I am fairly certain that JClaude is a perfectly good person, a family man etc. trying to do right by himself and the world.

    P.S. I take a low dose of psychotropic drugs myself, which I would eventually like to taper off from. It’s no different than if I were to drink alcohol every night to calm myself. With what I’m taking right now, I don’t have any side effects which are too bad (though I had horrific side effects for many years on other junk), except that if I accidentally forget to take them for 2 days, the withdrawal kills me and I absolutely HAVE to stay on them. I know if I want to taper off it will take me years.

    However, I would NEVER risk going into psychiatry or psychology again, be it to take or NOT take drugs. I know full well the labelling, coercion and infantilisation that comes from that. I have already had DSM labels and the language of psychiatry used against me since I was a kid (even to this day) due to circumstances that occurred before I was even born. The man who did that is of course, still happily living (with a large supportive family), despite being a pathological liar, a master gaslighter and manipulator. But it ruined my life.

    It isn’t the mere existence of drugs that’s the problem. Psychiatrists don’t make drugs. Drug companies do. Drugs don’t take themselves. It’s the middlemen who are dangerous. The psychiatrists and psychologists. The labellers and defamers. The people who can make things worse by making you consume horrible pills that will make your hands shake like you have parkinson’s, cause mania (which they will again relabel as “bipolar” etc). People who will attempt to drug you in the hope to solve things that are not solved by drugs. ALSO, the people who will try to solve things that are not solved by talking.

  • Actually, they are very much in your power. You partake in the system that labels people. You COULD have done something. Things which would require you to sacrifice your personal reputation and career. Things like standing against your profession and showing them how DSM labels obfuscate the truth about an individual, how they are used to gaslight people etc., and personally standing against labelling people. As you said, you HAD to put labels on people (perhaps for insurance). Why not be the renegade psychologist who stands against doing that? Hell, if not go against an entire profession, did you ever stand up in a court of law and testify “This man/woman is misusing DSM labels against his/her spouse/child etc.”?

    But you chose not to. You remained yet another cog in the system that re-abuses people all the time because everyone in the system is just another “well-intentioned” self-preserving cog.

    Truly helping people requires putting your hand in the shit and cleaning it. Doing things which may end up having a negative impact on your own life. Of course, many of us would shirk away from doing that due to self-preservation. But then what we provide is half-baked pseudo-help which if it helps one problem, creates two more. So, perhaps, we should actually just publicly state the truth as it is, instead of maintaining the false facade of “helping professions”.

    Let’s just not pretend that what you did NOT do (more so than what you did), did not contribute to the ruination of the lives of at least a few, despite what your intentions were. And I’m not singling you out here. This applies to pretty much 99.9% of the mental health profession.

    Psychologists and psychiatrists repeatedly give seminars on ending mental health stigma. I have to laugh at them, because they create half of it themselves by labelling individuals and obfuscating their truth away. Never do I see them give speeches or talk about the EXTREMELY harmful consequences of what they are doing.

    P.S. I do commend you for coming on here and leaving a comment. Most people in your professions (psychiatry OR psychology) conveniently hide because facing the truth puts them in a state of severe denial. Anosognosia perhaps?

  • “Therapy” can be just as bad and even worse than drugs. It keeps people trapped in an endless loop of listening and talking. In abuse situations, especially when the abused is vulnerable and less economically and socially powerful than the abuser, the abused person ends up in therapy, ends up with labels, on drugs etc., while the abuser conveniently escapes scott-free.

    Literally, is criminal justice ever a part of “therapy”? Do these people understand that concept?

    The worst part is. Once you have labels, those abusers can easily use them against you to gaslight you, claim that you are insane etc. So, psychiatry just doubly hurts already hurt people.

  • If the author steps into another mental health facility with this story, they will then “treat” her for trauma. Trauma caused by those idiots in the first place. Yet again, she will be trapped for a few more years in the mental health system. Ad infinitum…

    Oh…if we only knew what these professions are like…

    We would have RUN. RUN the other way. I suppose many just run till they die.

    I still see people going on to YouTube and Twitter and proclaiming their new “diagnoses” publicly (nonsense like OCD, ADHD etc.), with the hashtag #EndStigma.

    I want to tell those idiots that they will never end any stigma unless they do not allow mental health workers to label them with defamatory labels, and more importantly, they don’t use it on themselves. But it’s pointless.

    The media, celebrities, skeptic movements etc. have brainwashed and convinced people of how good psychiatry is (with their superficial, seemingly rational arguments[dilettante stuff of course]), and what cranks all antipsychiatry people are. Most likely the only response you will get is what an ignoramus you are, even by the ignoramuses who so proudly embrace their “diagnoses”.

    They’ll find out…the hard way.

  • “And I stay as far away from psych professionals as possible–even the sincere, well-meaning ones. Those people are truly delusional and dangerous!”

    Yup. The sincere well meaning mental health workers are as dangerous as any. And they are indeed delusional because they will continue to follow their standard protocols thinking it will be helpful despite telling them that it has hurt you and will continue to do so.

  • People here keep talking about mental health workers “lining their pockets”, “money” etc.

    Here, in my country, there are many hospitals, some run by the state, some run by religious organisations (like Christian missionaries) where the doctors don’t get paid anything close to what they could make in private practice or by going to the west. I think many of them are completely aware of the “money” card that will be thrown at them and choose to have no conflicts of interests of that sort.

    But guess what. The same stuff still happens. Psychiatry is still psychiatry.

    They still label people with junk. They still tell families that if their children become manic from psychiatric drugs, that they have “bipolar disorder”. They still result in the psychiatric indoctrination of families. Their methods still cause the social and legal issues and misuse of psychiatry that is consistently prevalent around the world, wherever psychiatry exists. It still results in the unintentional (on the part of psychiatrists) abuse of already abused people.

    The worst part is, hell, they don’t even NEED to label people here. In western countries, people get labelled, because insurance needs it for billing. Most people here pay cash (because it’s nowhere near as expensive as in the west), and yet, they STILL use DSM labels. They are STILL used in courts of law to defame people, to obfuscate truths, to write lies or manipulations, in order to win cases.

    So, I don’t think money, and “them lining their pockets” is the only issue here. You could turn that “money” card on antipsychiatry people as well, claiming they do their work to sell books etc.

  • @F.S.

    I don’t understand. So, are you saying that you should have made better choices (choice implies you’re in control) or that you were not in control of your actions and you should have been transferred to a hospital instead? You seem to be saying two different things in two different posts. Or were you being sarcastic in the first post?

    Also, just curious to know, what makes you manic (“bipolar disorder” is not an answer)? Prescription/street drugs or just spontaneous?

  • Good lord, who gives a shit?

    People are getting screwed out there and intellectuals have fun debating impractical junk which is of no use in everyday life like “the philosophy of mind”, “the scientific status of psychiatry” etc. or writing their next new book.

  • Pro-psychiatry people and some skeptic movement fools keep (falsely) accusing critics of psychiatry as thinking in terms of “mind-body dualism”. They (fraudulently) accuse Szasz of the same. Such nonsense. We all know that there is no mind without a brain. So what? There is no mind without a liver either.

  • The study which Matt read and felt hopeless over is not something which many of us here have not felt. One just has to go to the heavily pro-psychiatry sites and read the junk people write there, with all the jargon, intellectualisation, stats and debates. It is enough to make anyone who has practically (and not by reading journal papers and science blogs) been through what psychiatry (and the social and psychological consequences of it), with the best of intentions behind it, does to someone, go into a depression and create a sense of artificial disability out of fear, even if they are not actually like that.

  • Being called an asshole is not considered a medical diagnosis. It is not going to appear somewhere in a medical or court record unless in the context of “he called him/her an asshole”. It is not going to appear in a news clip on TV where some crackpot does something ludicrous and the newsreader reads “he was a schizophrenic and bipolar too”.

    Also, it was an analogy. I could have easily written, with the same meaning, “there is a similarity among people one designates as assholes”. I could not have used the word “asshole” at all. Instead I could have written “wonderful people” and it would work the same.

    Acceptance of situations one considers unacceptable
    is the bedrock of the struggle to survive.

    Some aspects of what is considered to be treatment may have helped a few. It is the aspects that have hurt them as much or more, or unjust occurrences that result in people landing here.

    You seem to be extremely perturbed by this death. But were you as perturbed about the man’s life? When someone dies it becomes about “he could have been helped etc.” but when one is living things just go on as they are.

  • “I thought the whole point of a personality disorder designation was that it was not a supposed illness “like any other”, but more about behavioural and characterological problems?

    Like all classifications (pretty much all nouns really) the nittygritty is arbitrary, and a little bit slippery, but there are remarkable similarities in problems from person to person that end up with the borderline label — mostly women although I’m given to understand it’s as prevalent in men as it is in women.

    Some people rejoice in the designation, others are reviled by it. But it can’t be hidden, surely? How can the intensities be hidden in the real world? I expect in the world of work for some people that is possible, given that masks are available and rewards and punishments tend to be absolute.

    I think if you can overcome the difficulties there should be no need to be concerned about a label given to previous behaviours and thinking styles. What does it matter to someone recovered?”

    Of course not. Are problems of character medical problems now? Why should it not matter to a person if their truth has been obfuscated away in a defamatory manner by a DSM label? So what if they have “recovered” (whatever that is in a person’s life)? Ever seen how such labels are misused in the social sphere, courts of law, marriages etc? Know how easily they are weaponisable and used to obfuscate the truth away?

    So what if there are similarities in people with that label? There are similarities in people I designate as assholes as well.

  • Are you friggin’ kidding me?!!! SSRIs for dogs?!

    Wow. The world has gone crazy.

    When dogs become manic due to SSRIs, they will say the SSRIs uncovered an “underlying illness” and the dog was bipolar all along.

  • Death is not the end of one’s story. It just means that they ran out of time (voluntarily or involuntarily) to complete it.

    I read the part regarding his notes. It sounds like he died of fear, and a created hopelessness. The same kind of hopelessness that getting involved in psychiatry and living with the indignity of being labelled with garbage that obfuscates one’s truth, creates.

    But ultimately, as a person who was well versed with Szasz, he chose to terminate his life (given the circumstances) and it is not any inherent malady that killed him.

    There are probably many such people who kill themselves of this (but end up becoming examples of deaths due to whatever DSM label): i.e. they kill themselves because of the hopelessness that psychiatry, psychiatric labelling, the social ramifications of it etc. create; but these occurrences are likely recorded as “deaths due to mental illness” or “deaths due to X or Y disorder” when they should be recorded as “death due to fear, disgust and indignation”.

    Suicide weakens the goal and spirit of this place. Victory is a part of life. Not of death.

    P.S. I bet the Fuller Torrey types out there are laughing their asses off right now saying “See…the schizophrenic should have stayed on his treatment”.

    Personally, it doesn’t matter really. I will not wallow in misery and be shocked at this death. It is the fear of preventing deaths of these nature that creates the psychiatric coercive system. A man chose to kill himself like millions before him and millions after him. That is all there is to it.

    When his body could walk and talk, he had a goal. The voluntarily imposed cessation of those functions does not hinder or take away from that goal.

  • You know, frankly, the term “science” is used way too much these days to justify an ideological position of “we are correct and you are not”. I feel, it is an unhelpful term, that only leads to endless mental masturbation and pointless intellectualisation. The “scientific nature of psychiatry” is a pseudo-problem that obscures the truth.

    Building a car engine is different than observing the trajectory of a planet. Studying the structure of a leaf is different than writing a computer program to accomplish a specific task. These are different activities, and consist of different set-ups and different people (and different infrastructure) with different mental states, environments, motivations and objectives working on them. No point obfuscating the truth by putting it all under the banner of “science” and engaging in argumentation of whether it is “science” or not.

    The more pertinent question is, what is the truth about psychiatry? What is the nature of these truths? What are the contexts of these truths?

  • My point in writing that is not to spread vitriol, nor to prevent people from helping those kids. My point is, at least, MadInAmerica should promote the non-use of those words amongst mental health workers who work in association with it. That is how change starts.

    Or was that PDF on “oppositional defiant disorder” made to appeal to the more conventional masses as a matter of expedience and not principle?

  • Edited my original comment after reading the article more thoroughly.

    Okay, so you gave addressed the concept of not labelling children with such a label.

    The next frontier is to convince some of these mental health workers to deal with these kids without labelling them as such and calling something what it is.

    The Ten Tips article about ODD, with the MadInAmerica label still carries statements such as:

    1.) “The number one situation I see is that children diagnosed with ODD feel grossly misunderstood and once they’re better understood their need for defiance goes way down.”

    Isn’t it better to say some children feel grossly misunderstood, while other children are indeed misunderstood?

    2.) “Children with ODD get angry easily ”

    Isn’t it more truthful to say that some children get angry easily and that in some cases this anger may be unjustified and in some cases pretty justified?

  • I have no idea TBH. It is hearsay. I was not told about the details, and it was a passing remark made to me by someone (someone that I am not even in touch with anymore).

    However, even if they (whether it is individuals or collectively) have become violent, I don’t see that as a bad thing, which is what I was trying to get across.

  • Sorry. My intention wasn’t to be rude. The answer to your question was already in what I had written and I thought you missed it.

    Also, the answer to your question is yet again in the text you have quoted.

    This like someone writing “My name is Jack” and you asking “What is your name?” after they have explicitly mentioned it.

  • “By law, I am mandated to report anyone who says that they want to kill themselves. I believe that people have the right to take their own lives. But I would never tell anyone to do so. This is a very personal view that I hold for myself.“

    I hold the same view and behave the same. The responsibility when it comes to suicide lies with the person themselves. However, if someone is committing suicide, leaving behind small kids to fend for themselves etc., then it becomes an issue. But, like you, I would never tell a person to kill themselves for obvious reasons.

    “Unless a person has a gun or knife or has taken bottles full of pills you have all the time in the world to explore what is going on in their lives. It is often in that exploration that people find that perhaps killing themselves is not exactly what they want to do. It is often in the listening to people that they realize that someone is willing to take the time to care and for me, this made all the difference in the world when I tried to kill myself. I also know that, if a person truly does want to end their lives there is really nothing that anyone can do to stop them.“

    What do you do practically to help them except “showing them that someone cares” and listening and talking? Listening and talking won’t do anything practical for them.

    “The “patient” and I are always overruled and I am treated in a condescending manner by the clinicians. It is as if I never said anything at all during the meeting.“

    “There is also another problem with the drugs. In the state where I live people can be mandated by law to take the drugs. You can be taken to court and the judge will mandate that you have no choice and you will take the drugs. What they usually do is get the psychiatrist to arrange it so that you will be given one of the long lasting shots of one of the “antipsychotic” drugs. You are mandated to appear at the community mental health clinic once a month for the shot and if you don’t show up they issue a bench warrant for you to be picked up and taken to court. Then you are brought right on over to the state “hospital” where I work and you will be admitted. It’s disgusting to say the least.”

    Yeah, this is the thing. In cases where you are re-abusing an already abused person with “compassionate coercion”, they will try and strike back.

    Recently, a person told me that people in the antipsychiatry movement best not align themselves with organisations like NARPA because they have become violent. How can you blame them for becoming violent when something unjust has gone on for far too long?

    A day will come when a “patient” will seriously hurt or kill a “doctor” or a judge as vengeance for ruining their lives.

    Of course, they will conveniently blame it on the person’s “mental illness” or “antipsychiatry activism/activists”. The public will also eat these words up. Violent organisations will be labelled as “terrorists”. It’s an uphill battle.

    What indeed can be done about these people Mr. Gilbert? Large demonstrations in front of a hospital to get a person out? Violenc

  • I think antidepressants work for some people and don’t for others, the same way drinking alcohol to relax works for some and works horribly for others.

    But, till when are you people going to point out that depression is correlated with biology? The trivial fact that we are biological creatures and everything we do is related in some way to our bodies, be it laughing, crying, pooping, having sex or whatever else it is, is practically senseless in real life unless you are working to make new drugs or the like.

    And “therapy” is an endless trap of listening and talking, except in a few cases. How many times have we seen “therapists” give money to people who are distressed because they lack funds? How many times have we seen them barge into abusive homes to save children from being abused? When do we ever see them risking their own neck to do anything for anyone, except sitting and talking endlessly in a closed room and keeping people trapped in “therapy” with no tangible solutions to their problems?

    Nope, instead, it is an endless trap of summoning the person to the therapist’s office, making “observations” about “improvement”, sending them back solution-less to their home and waiting to do the same thing another day.

    Great for the therapist’s career. Not so great for the client.

  • “‘mental health literacy’ program being rolled out in Canada (and other countries) that is now part of teacher training at some Canadian universities. Similar “mental health literacy” initiatives can be found around the world”

    You’re right. This is a common occurrence in my country (India) too. The poor souls who will enter into psychiatry have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. They will be enamored by the legitimacy of “medical doctors” to their own peril.

    “Similar “mental health literacy” initiatives can be found around the world. In my hometown, mental health professionals have partnered with high schools to identify signs of “emerging borderline personality disorder” in students. At-risk students are encouraged to receive therapy that asks them to accept this highly stigmatising “personality disorder,” which is presented as a valid “mental illness,” into their long-term identity. “

    Sickening. The entire field functions on truth obfuscating tautological labels. I tried explaining to a psychiatrist that half the stigma comes from their ghastly labels. They seem to be in denial of this fact. They are the ones causing a lot of the stigma and spreading false notions about these things.

    These kids will internalise these labels and it will lead to mental destruction without them even knowing it.

    Not to mention, they even engage in “family education”, successfully indoctrinating the families of the people whom they label.

    People need to have the option to not be labeled, and if still done so, they should be able to file a defamation suit.

    The enterprise of psychiatric “therapy” is to a large degree, a societal cancer on the global level.

    My question to you Mr.Deacon is, apart from writing blog posts, how are you practically fighting your brethren and providing tangible alternatives to clients?

    Have you ever reversed someone’s diagnosis? Fought with a colleague about how it has adversely impacted someone’s life? Of what use is “critical analysis” without these practical actions? Ultimately, as a Ph.D, you have power and you are in a role where you can use that power to truly save someone’s life.

    For example, IIRC, Szasz would engage in court cases to get people out of nut houses. Have any of you done that?

    And this is not a question I pose to you, but to all writers on MIA.

    When you say “At-risk students are encouraged to receive therapy that asks them to accept this highly stigmatising “personality disorder,” which is presented as a valid “mental illness,” into their long-term identity. , have you written a letter to the people creating and executing these programs that what they are doing will harm these kids? How does one explain to these kids or their parents the long term dangers of these programs? What about speeches uploaded to YouTube? All the writers here, can get into a large conference and upload these ideas in speech format online. There is power in numbers.

  • The most frustrating aspect is, if you explain these ideas to people in “mental health” departments, they feel accused, flustered and view you as an oddball. The more resilience you show to them and their stupid notions, the more rebellious the mental health workers also become.

    These ideas etc., they exist only on our little websites that we have made for refuge. To make any practical change, we would need a hell a lot of money and man power.

    While people like Mr. Bill Gates etc. will make billions of dollars of charitable donations to vaccine research, you will find no such donations to this cause. Part of the reason is, psychiatry and it’s associated “skeptic” movements (of which, like a fool, I considered myself to be a part of in my younger days), have done a very good job of portraying people like us as cranks.

    Like many authors, you have brought forward the disease-mongering nature of psychiatry and psychology as it exists today. But is the alternative, “psychotherapy” all that great?

    “Psychotherapy” is just as bad. It teaches people in the worst of situations that the problem and solution lie within the person themselves. When true social justice issues appear at the individual level, neither the psychiatrist nor psychologist are anywhere to be found, except in large scale issues like gay rights. When was the last time you saw a psychotherapist donating money to a man who is suicidal due to economic hardships? When was the last time we ever saw a mental health worker barging into someone’s house to stop abuse of children and getting them justice from the perpetrators? Never. They will offer them useless psychotherapy though, wasting their own time and that of other people. There are a few situations where some guidance may be helpful for a short period of time. Not more than that.

    And perhaps, the rest of us are also to blame, because the professionals who do make these sacrifices, may not even be rewarded for them. In fact, it may end up screwing them. And this is something, we all need to do something about.

    Sam Timimi for instance, does not label kids with ADHD. When you go on his articles on psychology today, you will find parents writing “I hate professionals who write these things, if only they had kids with ‘ADHD’ they would understand”. They miss the whole point. As if to give your children drugs and “therapy”, you need to label them with life long stigmatising, truth obfuscating, tautological labels which potentially could ruin them.

    Psychotherapy, especially for kids, makes them so dependent, and their families so trusting of, the words of the enlightened “psychotherapist”, that the kid will end up in an endless loop of listening and talking, lose his instincts, his self-confidence, his capacity to make independent decisions and face the consequences himself, good or bad. It will become a much longer road for them to reach their full potential in life. Frankly, I prefer the personal, responsible, voluntary and non-forced use of drugs with minimal side effects compared to that. The only thing is, one should not have to go through the mental health system to procure them. Because once you do that, all the garbage, the disease-mongering, the constant noting down of “observations” like a lab rat, the labelling, all come into play. One has to rely on the charity of the benefactor (the psychiatrist/mental health worker), to get them or even to stop them if one does not wish to take them anymore.

    Ultimately, I have learned (the hard way), that a degree is not a mere certification of specific knowledge, but a means to get into a role of power, and a role of trust that people so easily give to the mental health worker, even though he/she may be as ignorant as a sack of potatoes.

    In many cases, it’s so surprising (but not at the same time), that ordinary people, can understand issues of people so easily, that all these highly qualified, disease mongering, so called “scientifically minded” “therapists” fail to comprehend.

    If one wants to make true positive changes to the life on an individual, one has to spend time taking personal risks with no expectation of reward, except perhaps some internal satisfaction. This is simply not possible for the professional. And when a professional offers a half-baked, pseudo-solution to a problem (like those fancy terms “CBT” and crap), he simply runs the risk of making the individual even worse. It is upto people, especially those who have been through this garbage, to offer help to the coming generations, completely independent of the mental health system and any worker that is associated with it. Naturally, this will have risks to be taken into account too.

    “Therapists teach their clients “coping skills” for reducing “symptoms” with the goal of achieving good “mental health.” Within this approach, the paragon of psychological health is a person with no negative internal experiences. Personally, I find it difficult to imagine that such a person could exist. If such a person did exist, I imagine that he or she would be extraordinarily sheltered, naive, and boring.”

    Which is obviously absolute crap as I have already written. Some people have lives so bad, they would be crazy to not be depressed.

    I will say one thing though. To date, I have not met a mental health worker that is “bad”, in the sense that they enjoy the suffering of their clients. Sure there are a few douches, but not generally. I have met some incredibly mentally dull ones (who you can make out, got into med school because of discipline and work ethic and not due as much intellect as others), and some really smart ones. But what I have noticed among many is, they don’t realise the full consequences of what they are doing. I am yet to meet a non-labelling, “antipsychiatry” psychiatrist in my country.

    But that does not matter in the least. The entire mental health community, is in a way, psychotic. Much like some of the people that come to them, they lack insight. Insight into the fact that they are, as a whole, a sickness to society despite their most positive and best intentions. And this psychosis is something that they have spread to the public at large like a contagious infection.

    But this is also a double-edged sword. The rebellious mental health workers who realise all this, probably find it hard to break through the professional barriers imposed on them by their colleagues, the law, and a totally psychiatrically indoctrinated and brain-washed society, who will defend conventional psychiatry to their own peril.

    If a “therapist” does not provide, “evidence-based standard of care”, and turns his client away by saying “your problems cannot be helped in the least by the mental health profession”, and that individual commits suicide, the mental health worker will be sued. He will face professional and public disgrace. This is also a problem.

    Unless, a suicide is caused by prescription drugs, the risks of which were not made aware of by the prescriber, if you kill yourself, the responsibility lies with you (unless the suicide was caused due to someone else’s actions). There are so many kids that commit suicide in my country, because they do not get into their favourite college, don’t get 90% marks in their exams, or are dumped by their lover. Stupid people. Perhaps they are better off removed from the gene pool.

  • “I have been both threatened and assaulted by such individuals on psych wards”

    Yes. This indeed does happen sometimes.

    However, in each case, it is important to know why the person is being violent. In one case, the person truly could be psychotic. In another case, something may have happened to the person to make them behave that way. Both cases are irrespective of the garbage they were labelled with.

  • “The purpose of this study was twofold; first, to examine whether being married at baseline is linked with survival status at 14-years, and second, to identify correlates of marriage status. To do this, the data of 510 individuals identified as having schizophrenia was extracted from a longitudinal study on mental illness and mental health services in a rural county of China. Participants were assessed at baseline, 10-years, and 14-years.

    Along with the key outcome variable of marital status, data on symptoms, level of social disability, functioning and survival were collected. Survival was classified as being alive and living in the community. Other variables gathered included sex, age, educational attainment, first onset of psychosis, duration of illness, suicidal attempt, whether or not the individual was taking psychiatric medication, mental health status (full remission, partial remission, or marked symptoms/deteriorated), family members, family economic status, caregiver status, maltreatment of participants by family members, and criminal behavior.”

    Psychiatric gibberish. Until we meet these 510 people, we have no idea what their lives were/are like.
    Not to mention defaming these individuals with a “diagnosis” of “schizophrenia”.

    “The positive effects of social support and inclusion have been documented extensively”

    Right, because the common fact that having supportive people in life benefits a person is something to be “discovered” and “studied” and “documented”.

    Not to mention that they have successfully added to social isolation by defaming these individuals as “schizophrenics”.

    “The purpose of this study was twofold”

    Only one purpose I think. It adds a feather in the cap of the researcher doing the research work. Another publication in a journal, and more advancement in career.

  • You are not wrong Dr. Kelmenson. If people want “therapy” or their choice of drugs to cope with their problems, be it illicit or prescription (legal), provided that they have all the information required and the doctor has told them all the possible occurrences (and even mentioned the fact that the drug may have some unknown effect in the individual), then the responsibility should, and does lie with the person opting for the treatment. They should then, not sue the doctor handing them the treatment they want, even if it results in death or suicide (since those matters have already been communicated). With freedom, comes responsibility.

    However, in real life, people have absolutely no idea what they are getting themselves into. They have no idea about the effects of the drugs, the social and legal consequences of labelling, that they will even be labelled for the side effects or drugs (like “bipolar” due to antidepressant induced mania) etc. This is what is appalling. In some cases, they are ridiculed into believing the “scientific nature” of psychiatry by people in the profession itself.

  • Ah…but that is the thing Someone Else. I do not discount your experiences or your pain. But when once repeats the same thing over and over again a million times, people only label them as cranks who cannot let go. From there comes the notion that they are “ill” or “nuts” or they “need help” etc. It defames the whole group.

    I know this, because like you, I have endured pain, and injustice, and terror and gaslighting, and in my moments of fury and rage, I say “the same thing over and over again” because there has never been any justice that has crossed my way.

    You have mentioned “Anticholinergic Toxidrome” enough times to last a lifetime. You have also mentioned “fad, fraud DSM, pharma” a hundred times.

    I only wish that you find some peace within yourself, and use your considerable intelligence to move away from that and onto something more constructive.

    BTW, I make no pretenses, because I am quite destroyed as well. It is, in some sense, like the pot calling the kettle black.

    But I hope you understand what I mean.

  • Mr. Henry Bauer,

    Wikipedia describes you as “HH Bauer is the author of several books and articles on fringe science, arguing in favor of the existence of the Loch Ness Monster and against Immanuel Velikovsky, and is an AIDS denialist”.

    Many blogs and websites of people who term themselves as skeptics or science-writers will not give you any space on their websites to write anything as they will dismiss everything you say based on the fact that you deny that HIV causes AIDS. Mad In America will also be defamed for giving you space to write anything. That is expected. Guilt by association tactics will be used to cast this website away. You would be hard pressed to find people here (including myself) who deny that HIV causes AIDS. Hell, even Robert Whitaker has been compared to AIDS denialists in the past for criticising psychiatry. Thomas Szasz is still defamed as a Scientologist, even though he was an atheist.

    However, naturally that does not mean everything you say is false, and perhaps some interesting insights can be gained from a “fringe science writer”. Just wanted to put that out there.

  • I find this business of making kids who come from “high risk backgrounds” be “made better at sustaining attention, delaying gratification, and following rules—to help them think and act more like children and youth from low-risk backgrounds” nauseating.

    It’s ludicrous. In other words, this system will do nothing to destroy the people who put them in those high-risk situations in the first place. It will not get these kids justice. In fact, by labelling them, it will provide the creators of those “high-risk” backgrounds even more impetus to gaslight these kids.

    Not to mention, it will trap these kids in an endless loop of therapy, which will do nothing for those kids, except destroy them further whilst allowing those therapists to happily bolster their therapy and research career.

    And this is what happens in psychiatry all the time. It is effectively, “excusing the guilty and accusing the innocent”.

    How much longer will this happen?

  • So much stress is laid on poverty. Not that it is not an important thing, and I’m not trying to disrespect the struggle of those with lesser means (hell it seems I am moving that way too).

    What about kids who come from middle class, upper middle class, and hell even upper class families in terms of socio-economic status, but grow up in high stress, highly abusive situations created by highly abusive parenting and dysfunctional family dynamics? Crazy psychopathic fathers/mothers, scapegoating spouses etc. The same thing happens to those kids. Constantly living in fight or flight mode.

    At least, people have some charitable understanding towards the poor.

    But, if you come from a modicum of wealth, not only do you get screwed over, but after being screwed over, you get doubly screwed over because you come from “privilege”, and people would easily label you a rich kid and disregard what you have been through.

    And keep in mind, these aren’t “rich kids”. They’re kids of rich parents or families.

  • Though “beating down psychiatrists’ doors” is bit of a literary exaggeration, it’s both. That is, both desperation/lack of options, and some portion find it helpful, and other cases where the dynamics are different. Varies from person to person.

    But mostly, that people do not know what they are getting into, and once into it, do not know how to undo some of the consequences.

    Being well-informed is important. It’s usually worse when the people who go there are young people, who still do not have power in their hands and can easily be overridden.

  • This is a very good reason to stay away from large institutions like John Hopkins or their equivalents anywhere in the world. With their overly biological garbage, and the subsequent fear-mongering, coercion (which can range from subtle to extreme) and all the other psychiatric protocols that come with it, one can never realise their full potential as a human being.

    1.) As mentioned, family dynamics plays a role. Once a single person in the family is labelled with any DSM label, the corresponding protocols of biology based views will filter down environmentally to other members of the family, because those initially labelled members will become a “family history” to them.

    2.) They are labelling people as manic depressives due to mania caused by psychiatric drugs like SSRIs and Ritalin. Once one member X is labelled bipolar this way, another member Y who is one generation down, to whom X may be a second degree relative will also be labelled similarly if they respond similarly to psychiatric drugs. Here, the actual correlation may not be “bipolar”, but just a disposition to experiencing mania due to those specific drugs.

    In cases where X and Y have totally different psychiatrists, the psychiatrist of Y will not even know that X was labelled bipolar due to drug induced mania, but will simply count the label of X as a family history of Y.

    3.) “Bipolar” is a descriptive behavioral label indicating a person has experienced two mood states with no explanation of etiology (unlike single gene disorders). Being a criminal or a doctor is as genetic as anything else in the DSM.

    4.) If a person has a disposition to depression, he may have a counteractive disposition to other things which positively counteract it. Unfortunately, getting labelled would inevitably result in a supression of the positives and an excessive focus on the negatives.

    5.) Once a person is labelled bipolar for any reason, all adverse events in life will simply be “factors in the course of the illness”, and nothing in and of themselves (as prime factors in the life of the person). The person will subsequently experience mistreatment which would end up becoming a self-fulfilling prohecy, thereby adding credence to the initial diagnosis of “illness” , and also subsequent diagnoses to other family members.

    Genetics can’t account for many of these things. Best to stay away from these Johns Hopkins types. All that will happen to people with these guys is that they’d be prevented from ever reaching their full potential. Even if, in some individuals, genetics was a modest causal factor, it would still be imprudent to have to do anything with these people due to point 4.

    If someone is really desperate for pills, they may rather go to someone in private practice.

  • “I think this viewpoint comes from spending too much time around critics and victims of psychiatry – such as on this website. In the real world psychiatry is booming; its willing customers are everywhere. However please keep up the good fight.”– Sally

    Sally makes a very good point, and I think it is very true that many people who post here are in a state of self-assurance by staying in a comfortable environment with agreeing voices. The world is larger than that.

    People here completely fail to ignore that there are large swathes of people, internet forums, blogs etc…all dedicated to their liking of psychiatry. And most people here are not equipped to make any cohesive arguments against those people with their little arsenal of half-baked Szasz quotes, and the same old “there are no tests, scans” arguments.

    One can never abolish psychiatry for how can you abolish something which a fair share of people like and find useful? One can only educate others of the dangers of it, and perhaps in their own lives, seek some remedies for what happened to them. The choice of getting into psychiatry is to be left to the individual.

    Now, where I disagree with is, “psychiatry is booming”. Yes, it is booming in the sense that helpless and desperate people (which are large in number) seeking any source of refuge in times of need go to psychiatry out of a lack of options without knowing what they are getting into. Society also tells them that this is the right way.

    What does need to happen is that people need to have full knowledge of the dangers of stepping foot into psychiatry. For without that knowledge, many of them will simply end up on here again. Not now. Maybe not next year. But 10 years, 15 years down the line….some of those “willing customers” will realise the same follies that countless others realised before them, when they were “willing customers” too…

    Perhaps even some psychiatrists will change after the pressure of these places catches up to them, and then act like these occurrences never happened and were just some “bad experiences” of a few people.

    The numbers in this place too are steadily booming.

  • SF,
    Whatever one’s opinions may be, telling someone “get rid of the shrink, get off the drugs (I don’t think you need them)” is simply a bad idea. That is a choice the person must make for themselves. Do you want yourself, or the creators and maintainers of this website, to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit? What if such advice causes something horrible? It will destroy this place.

  • @mepat:

    Many of the psychiatrists I have come across…they weren’t “evil” like the devil. Just that they simply did not fully understand the consequences of what they were doing and of their profession.

    The problems with psychiatry do not start and end with drugs. There are socio-legal consequences, obfuscating truths using labels, misguided statistics being published, disease-mongering, injustice towards abuse victims etc.

    To take drugs or not is your choice.

    The fact that you found a human being in the position of psychiatrist who has allowed you to see whether tapering off of drugs is good for you or not is great. Many would not afford that privilege to their patients.

    There was a time, not too long ago, that I found a “wonderful” psychiatrist too. But it took me some time to realise, that their niceness does not matter. They are not your friends (trust me, even your own psychiatrist will change colours when the need arises). They are bound by one and only one adage. “Do no harm to oneself or to others”. And they will follow that (even if they do harm in the process) irrespective of whether they are being nice to you or not.

    Also, not for a moment am I going to place myself in a position of moral superiority to the psychiatrist. I know that I, or in fact anyone else on this site, would pretty much do what they do if I were in their position, and if I did not have the experiences I have had. But I (we) am not in their position. And they (the psychiatrists) are not in our position.

    And thus, the snakes and the mongooses will do battle.

    P.S. My reply was to your original comment (about how your Dr. looks like Liz Phair etc.) before you edited it.

  • I don’t weigh in much on the abolition issue. There are more practical things than that.

    However, even if they did abolish it, why would that prevent you from getting whatever drugs you want? If anything, it would prevent it from being forced down your throat.

    The “wonderfulness” of your doctor doesn’t mean much. Their intentions and niceness does not factor into the consequences of what they do (which may have been good for you). While your doctor may have been nice to you, it is not necessary that she has not caused harm to other people by the nature of what she does.

    With regards to the specific advice about going to a store for sex toys, anyone could have given you that advice. That MD in Psych is irrelevant to give that advice.

    Your psychiatrist does not need to be a psychiatrist for you to love her.

    There are many things that people should know about psychiatry before they ever step into it.

  • Well, if you say “mental illness” does not exist, they will say “fine, we will not use the term ‘mental illness’, we will use the term brain disorder”, for which there will again be protests. Then they will say “these antipsychiatry people are incorrigible and senseless. What about the man who believes there’s an alien implant in his skull and he’s trying to pull it out? What do you call that? How do you help him?”.

  • Oldhead,

    I know you are very militant about this and I completely understand your position. Only that it will never work except in loud proclamations on MIA.

    The public will NEVER accept that there is no such thing as mental illness. They will laugh in your face, and show you the “schizophrenic” that thinks that aliens are communicating to him via radio waves.

    Try these arguments on the sites of people like Steven Novella. You will be shot down immediately.

    I know you will respond in a militant manner to me again, and be harsh. But I’m just the messenger.

    P.S. Does anyone know what happened to Ted Chabasinski? He used to write here. Is he alive?

  • Let us see them do this in clinical practice. This brain imaging crap is brought on here all too often. If any psychiatric label is such a discrete entity, let us see them do this imaging in clinical practice for diagnosis and discard checklists of all sorts.

    Also, please explain why long timers in psychiatry end up having up to 10 labels. For example, why one single person has the following labels:”schizophrenia, borderline personality, OCD, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, panic disorder, ADHD”. What does the brain of the “10-label disorder” person look like?

    Since there is no mind without a brain, even “Internet Gaming Disorder” (which is also a real label describing a real problem) will have neural correlates. So what?

    It sounds so smart and scientific, this “neurological imaging research”. It is worthless information in the setting of real life, and a simple conman tactic that obfuscates the truth of real-life clinical psychiatry and is something used by psychiatrists to give credence to their views and authority in real life, even though they will never check a person’s brain for anything.

    It would be just as truthful if they said, “look, you have a brain, which is why you have thoughts, and if you don’t like your thoughts, here’s a drug which may help you”

    P.S. I’m responding to the comment, and have nothing to say about the article.

  • @Momof:

    People of all kinds write here. But I think, one generally accepts that the behaviours associated with all psychiatric labels, be it ADHD or Internet Gaming Disorder, or schizophrenia are very real. And they could be problematic to the person with those behaviours or their care-takers.

    Many of us who post here have been severely negatively impacted by the labels we were labelled with. Some of us were even labelled with disorders for side effects of drugs we were prescribed. We have had labels used to abuse us and gaslight us and to obfuscate our truths. So, keep that in mind.

    One empathises with your situation and I will give you the benefit of doubt and assume that you are indeed a good mother.

    Just one thing. You mention the feeling of it being a “lifeline” when you “found out” that your child “had ADHD”. I felt the same way when I received my first label when I was 16. It was many years down the line that I realised that nothing came to me from it, and not only did it not explain any behaviour, but by rewording and quasi-medicalising my behaviour, it created even more severe problems and made me susceptible to even more labelling.

    Yes, this is my experience and also the experience of some others here. I won’t generalise it.

    But, if indeed your daughter is happy with whatever her treatment is, and life is better, why not? But it remains to be seen what she will feel like, 10 years down the line, 15 years down the line….

  • Please don’t refer to your kid as an ADHDSuperstar. Wouldn’t calling him a superstar be enough? Anyway, that’s up to the kid. Is he okay with being referred to that way? Even if he is, not all are, because such labels obfuscate truths about people.

    Why even bring up the notion of “my ADHD child”. The simple truth is, that this is (supposedly) a kid who has difficulty being focused. And you say drugs help him. While, it would be a lot better to hear from the kid himself, I will assume that what you are saying is true. So the truth of the matter is “my child is a whirlwind, unfocused and drugs help him be focused”. Period. The term ADHD is pointless to describe this simple truth.

    “then that is between the parent, the child and the doctor!”

    Actually, it is not, since it is the kid that is being labelled and taking drugs. It’s solely up to how the kid feels about it. But of course, if the kid is very young, I can understand.

    “No parent of a child with ADHD is trying to control them…NONE”

    Don’t be too sure of that. Psychiatric labels of all kinds have been used by abusive parents to perpetrate further abuses on children, cover up their own mental problems/abusive nature and invalidate their kids’ protests and pleas for help since time immemorial. This place is replete with such cases.

    Take up a few legal cases in psychiatry and you will understand it better.

    You may not be such a parent. But don’t generalise it.

  • You say it is a heterogeneous problem, but at the same time you also say it is discrete and specific. Which is it?

    You’re right, the labels aren’t useless. They have great use in truth obfuscation and making already vulnerable people doubly endangered (which is not, in some eyes, their intended use, but those intentions don’t matter at all).

    Doesn’t matter if the labelling is rapid or done over 20 years. Once done, and once a person has 10 labels, he is left with little standing as a person.

    If only we could put psychiatrists on the other end of
    the same practices.

    “You can’t do a scan in an individual to come up with a specific label because the labels are based on clusters of behaviours. So a syndrome like ADHD is always going to be heterogenous and there will be great variations between individuals.”

    Which is also my point. It is a rewording of behaviour.

    “finding neural correlates is important and helpful as it allows us to tailor interventions down to specific rehab exercises”

    Interesting. Tell me a few rehab exercises which have been based on scans in clinical practice.

  • I’m sure that a significant group of the kids who experienced many adverse childhood events would be classifiable as having ADHD if they were fully assessed.

    And what will then happen? The people who caused those adverse events will use the label to claim that the “adverse events” and the kid’s agitation are due to a brain disorder in the kid. It happens all the time. This site is replete with those cases. And neither psychiatry/psychiatrists, nor the law will be able to truly help those kids from being re-abused (but will, in fact, unintentionally retraumatise the individual).

    “Having” “ADHD”, “having” “bipolar disorder” is just a quasi-medical rewording of things like not being able to focus, being depressed etc.

    It is simpler and more importantly, truer, to avoid truth-obfuscating labels and call things what they are.

    “I remember a paediatrician commenting that an ADHD diagnosis should be the start of investigation- not the end.”

    And how will that help, when the label screws over the kid and makes him susceptible to even more labelling?

    As I have already said (your notions on rehab and little use of medication are another thing), everyday, many of those kids are being prescribed stimulants (which if the kid benefits from, is fine), which in a subset of kids will cause mania, which will be used as “proof” of a “latent bipolar disorder”. The “start” of the investigation will be ADHD, and the end will be “co-morbid ADHD and bipolar disorder”.

  • They have been labelling people with “bipolar disorder” due to SSRI/Ritalin induced mania for quite sometime now, even though such episodes would never likely have occurred without the drugs in the first place.

    The comparisons to diabetes miss out key points.. You cannot be harassed or abused into getting diabetes. However, I could lock you up in a room and torture you to the point that you exhibit all the features of a “paranoid schizophrenic”.

    Also, labelling a person as a diabetic will not influence the diabetes itself. Labelling a person with a DSM label will influence the person’s mental state in various ways, in terms of self-image and how people treat them as well, thereby becoming a causal factor in the behaviours that compile the very label itself (which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy)

    Behavioural labels, in theory, are far more susceptible to creation than non-psychiatric labels, because there is a massive set of behaviours someone may want to pathologise.

    At the level of family, it may be a spouse accusing their significant other of being insane, and at the global level, it may be coming up with treatments for “Internet Gaming Disorder”, all of which will have neural correlates because there is no mind without a brain.

  • “While I maintain that mental illnesses do not exist, I obviously do not imply or mean that the social and psychological occurrences to which this label is attached do not exist.

    Like the personal and social troubles that people had in the Middle Ages, contemporary human problems are real enough. It is the labels we give them that concern me, and, having labelled them, what we do about them.

    The demonological concept of problems in living gave rise to therapy along theological lines. Today,
    a belief in mental illness implies – nay, requires – therapy along medical or psychotherapeutic lines.”
    -Szasz

  • @Feelin:

    Not an uncommon story. I too have endured massive harassment and gaslighting from an abusive father (a surgeon) because of being psychiatrically labelled.

    He harasses me to the point that it disturbs my mental equilibrium and then uses my agitation as proof of “mental illness”.

    The funny thing is, the man himself is a total psychopath, criminally and morally insane, and someone who should be locked up, but he gets away with it because he is a surgeon. You could make out his aberrant behaviours and his psychopathic (and slightly psychotic) nature if you heard some of the recordings I have (which are in a language which you will not understand).

    I have spent the last 10 years running around from place to place to escape him, and am also seeking some legal counsel. I cannot even adequately represent myself in a court of law because of this “psychiatric history”, a lot of which was created by abuse.

    I was also labelled bipolar because SSRIs prescribed for depression and anxiety caused mania (something which would never have happened without the drugs). The label is also something the man conveniently uses against me.

    I have recordings, photographs, so much evidence against him, and it is STILL difficult to get justice. I am hoping something good will come my way soon. Laypeople and even most lawyers cannot understand the depths of psychiatry very well, and such cases require specialised lawyers.

    The person who should have been on the end of “treatment” never received it, but I sure did. And this is happening over and over again, the world over.

  • @The_cat, Fiachra: I do not understand why some people on this website quote the same old crap that the opposition will expect and easily counter?

    I mean if you want to quote Szasz, there is much better stuff to quote instead of that line which people will not understand in the context that it is implied in. Most people who quote Szasz haven’t even read him, it seems. For example:

    “We can influence others in two radically different ways-with the sword or the pen, the stick or the carrot. Coercion is the threat or use of force to compel the other’s submission. If it is legally authorized, we call it “law enforcement”; if it is not, we call it “crime.” Shunning coercion,we can employ verbal, sexual, financial, and other enticements to secure the other’s cooperation. We call these modes of influence by a variety of names, such as advertising, persuasion, psychotherapy, treatment, brainwashing, seduction, payment for services, and so forth.

    We assume that people influence others to improve their own lives.The self-interest of the person who coerces is manifest: He compels the other to do his bidding. The self-interest of the person who eschews coercion is more subtle: Albeit the merchant’s business is to satisfy his customers’ needs, his basic motivation, as Adam Smith acknowledged, is still self-interest.

    Nevertheless, people often claim that they are coercing the other to satisfy his needs. Parents, priests, politicians, and psychiatrists typically assume this paternalistic posture vis-a-vis their beneficiaries. As the term implies, the prototype of avowedly altruistic domination-coercion is the relationship between parent and young child. Acknowledging that parents must sometimes use force to control and protect their children, and that the use of such force is therefore morally justified, does not compel us to believe that parents act this way solely in the best interest of their children. In the first place, they might be satisfying their own needs (as well). Or the interests of parent and child may be so intertwined that the distinction is irrelevant. Indeed, ideally the child’s dependence on his parents, and the parents’ attachment to him, mesh so well that their interests largely coincide. If the child suffers, the parents suffer by proxy. However, if the child misbehaves, he may enjoy his rebellion, whereas the parents are likely to be angered and embarrassed by it. Thus, what appears to be the parents’ altruistic behavior must, in part, be based on self-interest.”

    “Oh, there is no test or scan” blah blah. Yes, that makes a difference. But not in the way people here write.

    If you have a fever, there is no “test” except the fact that you put a thermometer in your mouth and measure your temperature, and then take Tylenol if you are too hot. You will not wait till you find out which infection is causing the fever in every case.

    Similarly, if a man is psychotic or delusional and believes that aliens are communicating with him through radio waves, that behaviour itself (analogous to your body being too hot itself) will make most people want him to take drugs.

    If you want to argue, at least do it more sensibly, because all it does is give this site a shitty rep and make it totally vulnerable with same old “no test” crap.

    “Mental illness” is a truth-obfuscating term. There are plainer and truer words to describe people’s behaviour.

  • Of course, the ADHD label is real and the behaviours that it encompasses like not being attentive etc. are real.

    “I am saying that the ADHD label is a real label describing a discrete problem, that does have distinct features that can be linked to particular areas of the brain.”

    Then why can a psychiatrist not do a brain scan in a specific individual (not statistical studies) in clinical practice to prove this so-called “discrete” problem. After all, if it is so discrete (like a hematoma in the brain), one does not need checklists. Do a scan, end of story.

    There are long timers in psychiatry who end up with 10 labels. For example, one individual will have the labels of “schizophrenia, borderline personality, OCD, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, panic disorder, ADHD” etc.

    These individuals have all these “discrete problems” in one brain?

    Since there is no mind without a brain, even “Internet Gaming Disorder” (which is also a real label describing a real problem) will have neural correlates. So what?

  • Barliman,

    This is a seemingly neatly and rationally written comment.

    But let us cut out the mental masturbation for a moment.

    You have written “My ADHD was diagnosed 9 years ago”

    How does one get an ADHD label? Let us see some criteria from the Vanderbilt’s scale:

    a.)Has difficulty keeping attention on what needs to be done
    b.)Does not listen when spoken to directly
    c.)Has difficulty organising tasks and activities
    d.)Is forgetful in daily activities

    And so on, the list goes on.

    Practically by “my ADHD was found x years ago”, you mean you had difficulty doing some of these tasks and taking drugs called stimulants helps you.

    “I have X behaviours which I find distressing and taking Y drugs helps me” is all it ultimately boils down to in practicality (it is your choice to use drugs in a responsible manner which benefits you and no one should stop you from doing so). There is no need for the “sub-cortical this and that” and yada yada.

    Fine, that’s great. Take what you want to and move on with life. No one here has a problem with it.

    Telling people that they have broken brains and labelling them for a set of behaviours (which will cause other problems further on), and then telling them that they need to be on drugs for the rest of their life for a set of behaviours in that specific individual is massively dangerous. Not to mention, if those drugs cause side effects (for example mania caused by stimulants) they will be re-labelled with another label like “bipolar disorder” (if the drug indeed does cause mania) and the person will then be someone who has “comorbid ADHD and bipolar disorder”. What then? Next will be imaging for co-morbid “conditions”?

    There is too much of “brain brain brain” crap everywhere in psychiatry, which in practice does nothing except imbibe a scientistic view of thinking of everything through the prism of “malfunctioning brain” in people who are so labelled (and also taking away power from their hands with regards to their own lives). And the broken brain messages being pumped into the media make things worse.

    In practice, psychiatry is never going to check anyone’s brain for anything.It is nothing more than truth-obfuscation at its finest of what practical psychiatry is like.

    The end all and be all is finally “I feel like X1 which is hampering my performance and I want to feel like X2. Taking drug Y may help me go from X1 to X2”.

  • Dr. Hickey,

    Completely unrelated to this article, I wish to ask you:

    1.) You are so old now, that your loss will soon be inevitable. This would be a loss for many of us. Do you have youngsters who have been trained in your school of thought?

    2.) What do you think of the increasing support of pro-psychiatry in the “skeptic’s movement” and how the resistance of psychiatric BS is slowly being pushed into the same corner as the belief in tooth fairies?

  • LOL. “FFS” was not the spammer. By FFS, I meant “For f’s sake”. The spammer was a user by the name of SomeoneElse, who consistently writes “DSM, fad, fraud”, “scientifically invalid”, “anticholinergic toxidrome” in every goddamn comment.

  • You will quote the kind of data and stats in this article. People on the pro-psychiatry side (check out some of these “skeptic” “science” blogs) will “debunk” this data, quote their own data and hammer into people’s heads that “psychiatry is a scientific field”, “psychiatrists are medical doctors and experts” (because they underwent medical training prior to psychiatry), “DSM labels are medical diagnoses” (even if a some of the stuff that goes on in those places has nothing to do with medicine or science at all, and even whatever does seem like medicine and science, are things which, the consequences of, one can only realise when it is too late and they are neck deep in it, with a barrage of labels, drugs, and their identities altered forever).

    There are some things you can only learn from practical experience and not even if you read all the published journal papers in psychiatry and know the most advanced stats in the world.

    To me, all this data and these words (“science”, “medicine”) associated with psychiatry have become simple argumentation tactics between the pro and anti psychiatry sides. There are very few people doing actual groundwork, but many endlessly debating “data, data, data” and whether or not “psychiatry is a science”. This “data” game is a never ending game. And who cares about the words in the end? It’s the consequences on the lives of individuals that matters.

    There are plenty of these men with knowledge of stats, but with dilettante knowledge of googling things, going through journal papers and crunching numbers who write blogs, post comments etc.; and then other men (even psychiatrists) who take part in these Cochrane Collaboration dramas, who will improve their own research profiles, but never do a practical thing in their lives to truly help someone.

    Are these people going to rescue kids from abusive homes? Prevent gaslighting of individuals? Fight legal cases on behalf of people who have been screwed over by DSM labels? No. It would put their lives and careers in jeopardy.

    People are much more concerned about what happens to individuals in real life practice in those places, and these things you can only find out from the real life practical experiences of people. Such experiences can be substantiated in a legal sense too, in terms of audio-visual recordings, documentation etc.

  • The biological argument and “family history” argument is also frequently used to abuse people.

    In my life, I, since childhood (and even now) was constantly held to be insane and gaslighted by my horribly abusive biological father (who is also a surgeon, and who also uses his medical credentials to give authority to his arguments), because of this “family history of aunt” (the truth of which he knows nothing about).

    For the longest time, I internalised the biological argument, even being very pro-psychiatry at a point in time, talking about “X&Y brain structures being involved in depression, obsessional thoughts”, “neurotransmitter abnormalities”, yada yada. The Charlie Rose Brain Series, medical lectures on psychiatry…seen a lot of it.

    The biological argument and family history has also been used to invalidate the abuse meted out to me, because it can easily be covered up with “this boy is behaving this way because he has bad genes”. This was done more directly by my father (with ill-intentions), and less directly by psychiatry (with good intentions).

    PS: In my earlier comment, it was kindred’s post I agreed with, not FD’s. It was a reading error on my part. Also in the part where I write “Much like FeelinDiscouraged…”, I actually mean kindred not FD.

  • LaurenAnderson,

    FeelinDiscouraged had sort of used my question as ammo for his/her own statement, which it was not meant to be (however, I agree with FD’s latest post).

    Since you said you have a gene for depression, I asked you outright to name what the gene is.

    You have mentioned the genetic basis of mental illness. Leaving aside the semantics of “‘mental illness’ does not exist” (however I would say that “mental illness” is a horribly truth obfuscating term), I would presume that by mental illness, you are talking of a human being as experiencing one or more of the following: depression, anxiety, delusions, mania etc. These are more straightforward terms than “mental illness”.

    From your later posts, I can presume that you have no particular gene for depression but that you think it has a genetic basis because many people in your family have been depressed at some point.

    I (like 99.9% of people on this planet) have the genes required to feel physical pain. But I do not experience it for no reason. I experience it if I am hurt, if someone hits me, if I stub a toe, put my fingers on a burning hot cup of coffee etc.

    Since human beings are biological creatures, everything we feel or do has some trivial relation to our genes because we would not exist without genes. But that is irrelevant in real life psychiatric practice. No psychiatrist or mental health worker will ever do genetic tests or a brain scan in real life practice, which in anyway will be useful to a patient.

    You will find opposition for the “genetic basis of mental illness” here because that notion is commonly used for disease mongering, coercion, infantilisation etc. despite having no testable proof in a specific individual except “family history”. However, “depression” (or DSM labels like “bipolar disorder” etc) is not a family history. A family history is a family history. That is, the descriptive life of the people in your family and the reasons for why people in your family felt depressed. We do not know the reasons why or what happened to them, except your statement that they were so. If you wish to talk of the biological basis for depression, we may as well speak of the biological basis of laughing, crying, eating, pooping etc. So, it is rather pointless to even go there.

    Also, family histories can be altered by psychiatric drugs themselves. There was never any history in my maternal family of “bipolar disorder” until that diagnosis was iatrogenically created in my aunt, when SSRIs which were prescribed to her for depression, caused mania.

    One is more concerned with the reality of everyday practice than the mental masturbation of hypotheses and the usual nature-nurture argument.

    And much like, FeelinDiscouraged has pointed out, I too relate to the scientistic thinking of my younger days, of constantly thinking of my thoughts and feelings through the prism of biology (something which psychiatric disease-mongering and also the pro-psychiatry sites on the internet foster). That crap just prevents a person from ever reaching their full potential, on the basis of poor evidence in that specific individual.

  • Congrats on your first article on MIA and your much needed community service in India.

    India lacks any critical examination of the judgements of psychiatrists, the effects of psychiatric drugs, the socio-legal and medical implications of DSM labelling (and the disease-mongering, gaslighting and obfuscation of truths which may come with it), and given the widespread ignorance related to matters of psychiatry, and the practically unquestioned authority of the medical (wo)man, this would undoubtedly be at the peril (in the long term, if not the short term) of at least a subset of the millions of people that end up, desperate and helpless, in their offices every year.

  • Okay, I have had to delete my comment due to spam from a member of this site.

    FFS, please do not spam the man’s YouTube channel with ranty stuff calling him names. Keep the comment section clean. All it does is give this site a horrible rep.

    And don’t do the same “scientifically invalid” crap, especially on YouTube where people will simply not be able to understand where you are coming from and will throw you in the same bucket as Flat Earthers.

  • To the author and all the commenters on this article:

    Youtube “educational” videos on psychiatric disorders are becoming more and more common these days. While I use a lot of educational material online to learn various things, these psychiatry related educational videos are a cause for concern because they teach things to laymen (and medical students too) with a heavy biological viewpoint. Many (not all) of these creators and content-watchers are people that have bare minimum practical experience with psychiatry, its drugs and the socio-legal and medical implications of psychiatric labels (at least not on the client side).

    The following are a series of video published by a man named Ben Garside (who I must say has some excellent videos on Mathematics):

    Bipolar Disorder Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXgXZ5bdzbE

    Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4QCbsLbFEI

    Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNF6-rW-POQ

    I left a comment on the 3rd part of the video stating:

    “I really liked your Maths videos on Cardano’s solution (given that it was useful to me as a Maths learner). It was a surprise for me to find videos on this topic here, but I have since learnt that you are actually a medical student. However, I have to say something here.

    These days people are being labelled bipolar due to side effects of psychiatric drugs prescribed for anxiety and depression. For example, people with anxiety or depression are commonly prescribed antidepressants, which are usually SSRIs (but sometimes non-SSRIs like bupropion too). A subset of the people who are placed on an SSRI will subsequently experience a manic episode caused by the drug and be labelled bipolar, despite the fact that such a manic episode never occurred and likely would never have occurred without the drug in the first place (to know more, you can see the paper “Age Effects on Antidepressant Induced Manic Conversion” by Martin A et al, which was the largest such study conducted on this phenomenon) . This is not just limited to SSRIs but also to stimulants like Ritalin. This is an iatrogenically created diagnosis in these cases (when the mania is not spontaneous).

    I think such heavily biologically based videos do a big disservice to the people labelled with DSM labels, who sometimes go through great traumatic things and abuse (not always, but sometimes). This seems to only show a “broken brain” viewpoint (though I admit, I have skimmed through your videos). Also, I will note that, some people who have spent long times in psych wards. can sometimes have up to 10 labels attached to them. For example, a single person will be labelled with the following: Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder etc. Are medical students now going to learn and teach about the biological basis of “multiple disordered people”?

    I would guide you to the website MadInAmerica to see how people have suffered through these things, leaving them only more traumatised than they began with. I have published your videos on the website on the article “Mad Psychologist speaks out”. With the heavy biological focus, comes disease mongering, a pathologising of problems in living, having social and moral decisions cast on people etc. Clinical psychiatry is very very different to what it is portrayed in such explanations. No one in practice is going to do any scans or neurotransmitter-level-checking tests in practice.

    Three things happen in actual real life practice: Talking, labelling and prescribing (sometimes forcefully[compassionate coercion]) drugs. If you’re particularly unlucky, having your autonomy taken away in varying degrees.

    Another thing has been missed out is that DSM labels are re-wordings of behaviour, and are not explanatory. Having a bipolar label only says (and is another way of saying) that a person may have experienced depression and mania, and not why those occurrences took place. For example, a man’s father dies, the stress precipitates a manic episode and he is thus labelled bipolar. In another instance, a person is prescribed an SSRI for anxiety which causes a manic episode and he is again labelled bipolar. These are very different circumstances. But, explanations like this give people the impression that there is something specific called “bipolar disorder” and the things explained in these videos are aberrations found in all people with the label.”

  • The therapy culture is and has always been garbage that prevents people from getting real and tangible solutions to their problems.

    You want to help people? Stop doing degrees in psychology and handing out useless sessions of listening and talking.

    Give money or a job to those who are suicidal due to a lack of employment or money. Get kids out of abusive homes and get them justice etc.

  • “Assessment reveals that nothing positive has ever resulted from any of these different diagnoses and drugs over the years. Unsurprisingly, after more than 15 years, she is still, like so many others, going round and round the system, no better off than she was when she first entered it — in fact much worse off than she was in the first place. No mention is made in her file of the fact that she had an extremely abusive and traumatic childhood, during which time she suffered severe torture, cruelty and neglect on a scale most of us could not even bear to imagine.”

    The scenarios laid out in this article are very relatable. Thank you for writing this.

    There was a time when I gave X and Y benefit of doubt to psychiatry. But the repeated occurrences of similar scenarios the world over is alarming.

    I do not believe in silent protests and education. One needs to have a strong opposition which will cause real world tangible consequences to psychiatrists and mental health workers that engage in the present day human brothel of psychiatry, which is effectively just re-abusing already abused people (which is not their intention of course).

    Now, of course, their intentions may be good. They are just “men/women following orders” and what they have learnt. But that does not matter anymore.

    Kids who enter psychiatry at young ages, must be aware of what the consequences may be later in life. Often, when they express skepticism, they will simply be told “Let us read the literature”, “don’t read that negative stuff against psychiatry online” etc. etc.

    It is a simple fact of life that people who are initially vulnerable become doubly endangered because of their initial vulnerability and are easy targets for exploitative practices.

  • Bonnie Burstow,

    I read an article about your scholarship on Now Toronto.

    The comments on the article were expected and nothing new.

    Psychrx writes: “So you don’t believe in X-rays, MRIs or CAT scans or PET studies? Um ok. All are heavily analyzed and validated over years of study. Read a textbook.”

    W Wood writes: “I’m so sick of hearing that there is no biological basis for psychiatry. There is plentiful evidence of neurotransmitter dysfunction fron Positron Emission Tomography studies as well as genetics and epigenetics, not to mention a plethora of clinical studies. Environment including stigma perpetuated by Burstow and others obviously has an effect. This is where the study of epigenetics seeks to find more answers. As a psychopharmacologist and clinics pharmacist I’m deeply offended by the denigration of my work and others. As a former MEd student in Health Professionals Education I’m appalled at this “scholarship”.”

    I remember in the late 2000s, I was in a psychiatrist’s office, and when I expressed skepticism about psychiatry, I was told the same thing. “So, you don’t believe in MRIs, scans etc? Let us read the literature”.

    This is a standard psychiatry part line. The scans and studies. The fact is, this is practically worthless in real life. In real life, all that happens are 3 things: labelling, prescribing drugs, and if your unlucky enough, having social and moral decisions made on you.

    This “deeply offended” “psychopharmacologist” does not have to bear the brunt of his and his colleagues’ work. Easy for him to sit back and be offended. People whose lives have been screwed over….”offence” is a euphemism for how they feel.

    The scans and studies party line, and also TV shows like the Charlie Rose Brain Series etc., completely remove the focus from what psychiatry and psychiatrists do to people in real life, and what having DSM labels attached to you entails (obfuscating truths with tautological labels, disease-mongering etc.)

    All that stuff is pure mental masturbation, and only good for internet argumentation.

    I have talked to people with 8 labels. They’re now going to show us scans of people with “schizophenia-ADHD-Bipolar Disorder-Schizoaffective disorder-borderline personality disorder-OCD” ? Give me a break.

    A piece from the article: “Since Burstow announced the fund, it was swiftly criticized by a mental health advocate in the Huffington Post, who noted that the Canadian wing of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a non-profit founded by the Church of Scientology, has praised the scholarship.”

    A related comment; James Jamadi comments: “Did I just read a recruitment article for Scientology?”

    The Scientology angle is so goddamn disruptive. The pro-psychiatry crowd have done a good job of associating contempt towards psychiatry with the nonsense of Scientology.

    Brennan comments: “Without SSRIs and other modern mental health medications, which are methodically prescribed to me by my psychiatrist, I would be a complete burden on society. No one (medical professional or layman) has even questioned my need for pharmaceuticals for my physical ailment but, very few understand the importance of my need for my other medication.

    Purposely using atrocious abuses and ignorance of the medical system as meaningful examples from decades ago to justify her current stance is pretty low (and I do mean building a wall low). Just because she shamelessly cites examples of a system that targeted and forced treatment upon on “gays” and “women” is reason enough to kick the soap box from under her. Personally, I do not see how her stance on mental health is the least bit progressive. She is, at best akin to Ann Coulter participating in an open panel discussion on Bill Maher’s show. If she can teach antipsychiartry, why can’t Eugenics be brought back; calipers and all.”

    One of those “psychiatrists saved my lives”, “I need my pills” comments. To this, I just point out in the following comment:

    “You’re happy taking your prescription drugs. Your prescriber is happy prescribing your prescription drugs. Good for you. You don’t have a problem, he doesn’t have a problem, no one else has a problem. So there is no problem.

    But when you get to practical real life cases, things like the following (a passage from a book of hers) happen in the lives of other people in which the mental health profession has caused problems:

    ‘These two case studies illustrate how labels of ‘mental illness’ can be used to silence those who speak out against oppression and pathologization within those professions where such interventions are sorely needed. In one case, violence and bullying was dismissed, ignored, and perpetuated by labeling the victim as ‘mentally ill.’ In doing so, her accusations of bullying and her competency regarding her job became discredited and disbelieved. Her actions and words were constantly interpreted and viewed through the lens of sanism and used as further justification for abuse.’

    These are the things she stands against.”

    Clearly, this man, as of writing this comment, has never been through gaslighting (by making use of psychiatric labels), had psychiatric labels used against him as weapons, been forcefully drugged, fought a legal case with psychiatric labels used against him etc.

    He cites, that there were abuses long ago, and this isn’t justification to take an antipsychiatry stance, but has no idea about the abuses happening even today.

    As far as SSRIs go, what about people who are being labelled bipolar due to mania caused by SSRIs? An atrocious practice to label people with disorders for the side effects of prescription psychotropic drugs.

    Some of these comments aren’t very different from what I would have written myself 6-7 years ago. But from all of this, I have realised, that the only way these people will ever truly learn, is when they go through what many of us have been through, themselves. Till then, it’s all fine and dandy. They will keep thinking they are on the side of “science” because psychiatry appears in journal papers with stats and jargon. Many of them have zero practical experience of the ugly side of this profession, and all the associated garbage that come with it.

    I know that some of the people who are on the side of what they think is “science”, will be here tomorrow, on sites like MIA, on the doorsteps of people like you (Bonnie Burstow), because they will run into similar problems. Till then, they can have their fun comparing those of us here to scientologists, psychics, shamans or whatever else they think we are.

  • I have not read this article, and I am going straight to the comments. I know this article is about some imaging study (a commonplace tactic to sell the “scientificness” of psychiatry).

    People should know a few things when they step into the offices of these psych. people. You will never have any imaging done on you. As an individual, it is practically irrelevant to you.

    3 things happen when you enter into the offices of mental health workers:

    1.) You may be labelled (along with it may come years of disease mongering and internalisation of labels)

    2.) You may be prescribed drugs (along with it may come debilitating effects)

    3.) You may have social and moral judgements cast on you (this may not apply much to “outpatients”, but more so if you stay in one of these places for an extended duration for any purpose), and family members (who may or may not have your best interests in mind) and mental health workers together may end up making decisions for you.

    These are the 3 things people should always be aware of. And these are the only things that will happen to you in there.

    The imaging garbage is nonsense. It is practically irrelevant to the common man (except in the sense that sometimes it may be extremely practically relevant when the psych people use them to justify their methods and tell you “So, you don’t believe in scans and MRIs etc.”, in which case the appropriate response is to say “Do you do any imaging in clinical practice? No, right? Then let us not even go there). Behind psychiatry, there is a legal system, there are social systems of everyday life, there is a prison system, and the medical system. Be aware of these things, and of how psychiatry and its associated labels, laws, drugs etc. may be used against you directly or indirectly, whether by close ones or strangers.

  • Next stop, a place where they will not use any DSM labels. That’s as important as the option of choosing not to have drugs.

    When I see people with 10 different labels, it makes me sick. Young kids and middle aged people with such monstrosities attached to their name. How can you ever help anyone, when what you do ends up having consequences which keep them in the illness role forever.

  • “And since there is nothing we can do about genetics, and there is LOTS we can do about childhood abuse, it appears the conversation has been badly, badly skewed in the direction of biological causation. This site provides the rest of the story. You can call it biased, but it is vital for you and others to understand that the standard viewpoint on “mental health” is badly biased in the other direction. It is an absolutely vital counter-narrative to the constant droning on about how it’s all biological and antidepressants are the only answer.”

    Well said. I know how much harassment, trauma and gaslighting I endured from by sociopathic biological father. The man never entered psychiatry, but I did (and I ended up heavily psychiatrising my own life and viewed everything from the view point of the labels I had). I also ended up getting labeled bipolar due to SSRI induced mania, which I strongly protested, and which angered quite a few psychiatrists, till I eventually shut them up.

    And though the standard argument is “just because environmental factors play a role, doesn’t mean biological factors are not important”, it doesn’t pan out that way in real life practice. These things end up getting medicalised.

    Victimis (though I hate calling myself that) get re-victimised (the labels contribute to even more gaslighting). All done with the best of intentions and with kindness of course.

  • Well, depression can be a response to very traumatic things in life, which can be events, losses or actions perpetrated by a human(s) on another. And of course, since there is no “mind” without a brain, all feelings and thoughts have biological mediators.

    Also, I take a low dose SSRI. That’s personal drug use. But those aren’t my reasons for being here.

    However, simply modifying brain chemistry or “biological mediators” with drugs does not solve problems in living.

    A man beaten up on a day to day basis, may get relief from an opiod or an anaesthetic (which work on the biological mediators). But in the long run, he must stop getting beaten up.

  • “We all have frustrations and feel that we’ve been fucked over from time to time. We don’t all scream and flail and throw things.”

    Everybody’s problems are not of the same intensity.

    If you’ve never screamed or flailed things it’s because you haven’t been pushed far enough. There are things an abusive human being can do to you (and associated things), that can push you way past the edge.

    Psychiatry won’t make the victims of abusive people any better. It’ll enrage them even more and lead them down an even darker path, as it has in so many people’s lives.

    Getting fucked over by a boss, and enduring years of gaslighting and psychopathic abuse from a psychopathic parent, and realising that nothing has happened to the abuser but you ended up in psychiatry….well, they’re two very different circumstances.

    As long as people aren’t screaming at those that have nothing to do with their situation and not spoiling public places, that’s fine. But if they’re screaming and inflicting violence at their abusers and their supporters, I will give them my wholehearted support, and if people stop them, I will give them my whole hearted support to be violent against the obstructors of justice as well. Hell, I might even join them in doing so.

  • “Have any of you people ever suffered thru being raised by a mentally challenged parent? Or a mentally ill, abusive one?”

    I just read this comment here and it’s interesting. I did get raised by a psychopathically abusive parent. But because he is a surgeon, useful to people, supported by his own family and wealthy, he never got into the psychiatric system. But I ended up there, which only gave him more tools to gaslight me as always did even before.

    This happens fairly frequently. The abusive ones escape and their victims end up in psychiatry.

  • Some characteristics which I can think of:

    1.) Lack of excessively dysfunctional relationships and confrontation between spouses, and between spouses and kids.

    2.) Not inflicting unwarranted psychological or physical harm etc. towards children, spouse etc. I’m also assuming there are families where it may be the other way around, with decent parents and destructive children. It’s on a case by case basis.

    Now, if you ask me to go deeper and define “excessively”, “unwarranted” etc., we could be at it for days. But, the general idea is clear.

    Of course, there are other factors. But I’ve listed a few.

    As an other example:

    Escape From an Emotionally and Verbally Abusive Father

    Showing examples of what it isn’t can make it easier to understand what it should be.

  • I think the only people who can have a positive impact on the life of future kids who will end up in such situations is the intervention of those of us who have been through it in the first place.

    We need to help each other. No one, no government or institution is going to do that. This will happen only at the level of individuals. For that, some of us need to be wealthy and powerful enough to fight the good fight.

  • Somewhere a decent parent is reading this and cringing, and thinking “I have never abused my kid, why is it always abuse?”. We aren’t talking about you, decent parent. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

    “We need programmes that educate potential parents, and allow them to learn to manage their possibly distorted and destructive ideas about who they are in relation to their children.”

    I think there are a few categories categories of parents who will go to those programmes.

    a.) Good parents that don’t need those programs, and would be good irrespective of the existence of such programmes.

    b.) Those who will not have the mental maturity to grasp anything from these programmes.

    c.) Psychopaths who will get through those programs with flying colours and still end up hurting their children, and then blame and gaslight the children themselves.

    I used to have these ideas too….”we need programmes” and all that. I fear those programmes will do nothing but waste tax-payer money.

  • Suicide is a big problem in this world. It is something around which the entire psychiatric industry is based. People feel puzzled over why someone would choose to kill themselves. Of course, there are suicide helplines. People aren’t helped. They are stopped from dying. That’s something that benefits social order more than just the person trying to kill themselves.

    Human beings created a role for people, people who are actually just like you and me, and christened them as psychiatrists/psychologists and mental health workers. People assume that these individuals have some sort of a secret ingredient that can fix lives, and the problems people have had since there have been people.

    It’s something that keeps the myths of therapy alive.

    And yes, I can’t generalise this to all cases.

    But when people in the public at large say things like “Oh, you have daddy issues, spousal issues, children issues…then you should consult a mental health worker”, they are simply perpetuating the myth of the “professional who fixes lives”.

    There are specific instances where I think certain information and drugs which aren’t worse than what they’re treating can be beneficial.

    But the myth of the “doctor of society” is just that. A myth. And it’s a myth that has had such terrible consequences.

  • This reliance on psychotherapy, and favouring it to drugs is funny to me. To me, it’s even worse than drugs. I would rather take side effectless drugs independent of the psychiatric system, than either go to them for drugs or therapy.

    Truly helping people requires putting your hand in the shit and cleaning it.

    If a man beats the living crap out of his son, or gaslights him, or isolates him or anything else, how will therapy help the kid.

    If you truly wanted to help the kid, you would get out of your office (if you were a mental health worker) and bring the man to justice.

    But nope, instead the when the kid gets into psychiatry, he will get labels, providing only more fodder for the man to gaslight his kid.

    It happens all the time….

    The world needs a Batman like figure. You may find it funny or facetious to read that statement. But to me, it’s true.

    The law doesn’t always bring justice. Sometimes, it imprisons people who were already screwed over to begin with.

  • To date, I have escaped the horrendous labels of “personality disorders”, and I will make all hell break loose if I’m ever labelled with such tripe. What I would like to know is, and I would like a perspective from various countries, is it possible for a person to sue psychiatrists/psychologists for defamation if such labels are applied to the person by them? What are the chances of winning such a case?

  • The weaponisation of DSM labels is interesting and terrible.

    Since I am not from the US, I couldn’t care less about who won the election. I have no personal opinions on Trump, Sanders or Clinton.

    But people’s mentality not difficult to miss. If the other candidate that people like, let’s say Bernie Sanders, had a DSM label like ADHD and won the election, they’d all be talking about how they are stigmatising the man due to their poor knowledge and ignorance about those conditions. If they were labelled themselves, they would speak the other way as well.

    It’s not like the rest of us have not been on the other end of “people with personality illnesses” the above person has written about in multiple posts. We simply try to have a more truthful view of these things than casting the person aside with labels and illness rhetoric.

  • This guy has been dragging his personal anger towards his “ex” over a number of discussions

    Nothing wrong with personal anger. All of us come here with issues that have affected us personally.

    it has a clearly misogynistic tone.

    IMHO, it did not have a misogynistic tone, and accusing a man of misogyny because he speaks out against a harmful woman is improper.

    Although his posts are illustrative of how psych “diagnoses” are used as weapons.

    Agree.

    These things being said, I strongly disagree with his interpretation and understanding of these issues.

  • Violent kids by no means all come from ‘dysfunctional’/abusive families and shouldn’t be lumped together as such (either literally or figuratively).”

    Agree.

    Violence emerges from: *other reasons*, family violence that develops AS A RESULT of the violent child’s violence

    I disagree with this blanket statement. While violent children (who come from decent families with caring parents) can make family dynamics go awry, trust me when I say children from violent and abusive homes can become extremely distraught and sometimes engage in violent behaviour. Some in relatively milder ways and some in harsher ways.

    I understand what you have written is from your experiences, and I am offering you a different view (which does not invalidate your own, but only adds to the reasons (which are in some cases applicable) you have stated for violent behaviour).

  • You weren’t harmed by someone who “suffers from BPD” (irrespective of whether such a label was given by a licensed professional). You were harmed by someone who “conducted a distortion campaign against me, including false accusations of violence and stalking“. Saying that the lady did these things because she has BPD is like saying your head hurts because you have a headache.

    How does “she made false accusations against me due to her BPD” infuse any more truth than “she made false accusations against me”?

    I see in your comment history that you’ve been writing a lot about “personality disorders”, about your ex and Trump (his personality “illness”).

    I will not disrespect your experiences and pain. But I will refute your explanation of it.

    How often have we not noticed people make statements like “X person behaves this way because he probably has Y personality disorder”. As if that somehow explains why the person behaves that way. People think that using medical disorder terminology somehow fortifies an intrinsic flaw as a result of which the person in question behaves the way he/she does. They don’t understand that it’s because he/she behaves that way that they label him/her as such in the first place, and that such labelling is largely descriptive and not explanatory.

    As far as your ex goes, well, I have also been seriously harmed by an abusive psychopathic biological father who would fit “the criteria” for several “personality disorders”. But I won’t medicalise his personality. I just call the behaviour out on what it is. Not by wrapping it around in quasi-medical rewording.

    And no, this doesn’t invalidate or undermine anyone’s distressing experiences with people labelled with “personality disorders”.

  • The medicalisation of a human being’s personality is not treatment. It is defamation and libel. A mental health professional must be put behind bars for such labelling. 6 months per label.

    As far as people who have dated “borderline personalities”, give me a break. Bad behaviour can be called just that. Bad behaviour. Dump them if you don’t like them. Call them out on their trashy behaviour.

    But don’t medicalise the issue. Using the term “personality disorder” does nothing to explain someone’s behaviour. It doesn’t truly help those hurt by people who fit the criteria for such “personality disorders” and harms even people who were on the other end of abuses in their lives (who will then go on to be labelled with “personality disorders”). It’s a lose-lose situation.

    Everything you can do by labelling people with such tripe, you can do without labelling them by noting down behaviours in a descriptive manner.

  • This is a tricky issue. If a person not in his/her right state of mind were brandishing a knife or doing something outright dangerous to those around him/her, you would want to seclude the person at least for a while.

    While you don’t know with 100% certainty, you can roughly assess the probability of such an occurrence and would rather take the side of caution.

    Put yourself on the other side of such a situation.

  • Dr. Steingard,

    It is not very rare that children or youth (say <26 years of age) who come from dysfunctional families with an abusive parent(s) end up in psychiatric wards, sometimes forcibly. This is because either they start lashing out due to helplessness or may be self-harming due to helplessness.

    What bothers me is, do psychiatrists understand the pain these people may feel when they end up in psych. facilities while the people who've done these things to them escape?

    How can a morally upright psychiatrist exclude himself/herself from true therapy (which is criminal justice proceedings on behalf of the harmed individual) in this situation? The psychiatrist would simply have to refuse to take up such cases or draw attention to the fact that it happens and he/she cannot engage in such practices.

    Also, what about the fact that such youth sometimes get labels which can make things even worse for them (bipolar, borderline etc.)?

  • Lieberman’s thought process is interesting.

    To say that people criticise psychiatry only because they are seriously mentally ill and in denial is something that delegitimises criticism and protects his image.

    He also states that SSRIs do not contribute to violent behaviour. This is an absolute lie which is dangerous. He fails to mention that SSRIs cause mania (which is not some crank theory but an incontrovertible fact) in a subset of the population to which they are prescribed which certainly can make people violent (when they are in that drug induced manic state of mind).

  • This focus on whether psychiatry is an “actual science” seems to have become a sort of pseudo-problem.

    I am far more interested in what people in the field of psychiatry do, and how their actions affect other people’s individual lives.

    I also want to see a book which consists of various individual cases from a legal point of view, and gives us an overarching view of the life of people, one individual at a time, and how psychiatry affected it.

    Once we get into the debate about whether it is a science or not, people in the pro-psychiatry camp will cite studies like this on topics. For example, the particular topic in the publication I listed (on the topic of “Cognitive Bias Modification”) reads as follows:

    “There are a number of efficacious treatments available for anxiety disorders. Pharmacologic treatments, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors/serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, alleviate anxiety symptoms in the majority of patients. However, effect sizes are small-to-medium, and approximately 40% of patients do not achieve remission with pharmacotherapy [10,11]. Psychosocial treatments, particularly cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT), have also demonstrated efficacy. Meta-analyses suggest that CBT alleviates anxiety with medium-to-large effect sizes, depending on the disorder and study characteristics [12,13]. Although effective treatments exist, many patients with anxiety disorders do not access these treatments for a variety of reasons.”

    So, it consists of many bells and whistles. Statistics, collection of data etc.

    How are the people on which the data was collected doing? What were their individual lives like then? What are they like now? These are unknowns which such studies will not tell us.

    The word “science” has become troublesome in the context of psychiatry. It leads us to a dead end and endless debate. I would rather use the terms “truth” and “proper investigation of the truth”, “aspects of the truths”, “contexts of truths” etc. If you have better terms, tell me.

  • @Cohenbrian1

    I will assume your experiences are true and they happened as you say they did. I use the word “assume” because I cannot believe or disbelieve what someone writes here (without evidence), neither do I expect anyone to believe or disbelieve anything I write here myself (without evidence).

    The funny thing is, no one can allege you have malaria or chicken pox. Well they can allege, but they can be easily proven or disproven.

    But when someone alleges aspects of behaviour and moods etc., it’s a different ball game. It may become even harder when the people making the allegations are family members. Of course, a few of the professionals I interacted with knew of such cases of fraudulent allegations. One told me that such things happen sometimes.

    Did the mental health workers you were assigned take into consideration your version of events and your parents’ behaviour/mistreatment towards you?

  • PhoenixRising writes:

    I was mentally ill for 67 years. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2, OCD, PTSD, & Anxiety disorder. Three years ago I got onto an orthomolecular site and have been taking the supplements. As a recovering alcoholic I read Bill W’s article Emotional Sobriety and related to it. I read Wayne Dyer’s book There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem and used his meditation CD I AM. I cut sugar out of my diet using kefir. I have been free of mental illness for three years now. I had 35 years of thereapy including analysis. After a suicide attempt 7 years ago I got a new psychiatrist who saw me for 30 minutes a month untill I stabilized. he was kind and supportive, treated me like a peer rather than a patient and now I don’t see him at all as I’m well. It’s like a whole, new, wonderful world.”

    All those labels and mentally ill for 67 years huh. Looks like they did a good job of keeping you in the disease role (with the best and kindest of intentions of course) and you had to play along.

    And as for that kind and supportive peer-treating psychiatrist, I’ve seen a few like them before. Their kindness is limited to being nice to you. They never ask “Why the hell did you have to do this for 67 goddamn years?”. That’s something that puts them in professional jeopardy.

    I also wonder if they prescribed you SSRIs for “OCD” due to which you experienced mania and were subsequently labelled bipolar. I may be wrong about the last 2 lines though.

  • Dr. Steingard,

    1.) A certain question has always puzzled me. Psychiatrists and mental health workers often talk about the stigma associated with mental illness. However, in my view, part of the stigma is caused by the very labelling itself.

    Let me give you a few examples. I have met people labelled as schizophrenics, who are otherwise, quite smart, articulate, some even have Ph.Ds, others are graduates etc., who at some point in their lives may have had certain problems of thinking, feeling and living. On the other hand, there is the perception of a “schizophrenic” as that homeless, paranoid man that talks to things in the air, is psychotic etc.

    When you give both classes of people the same label, naturally, stigma will follow even the smart, articulate ones, even if undeservedly. Also, it need not be that the paranoid, delusional, homeless man may be that way forever.

    Why don’t some of you actually engage in explaining to people the dangers of labelling, myths etc. during your talks?

    2.) As a legal example, think of a man labelled as a schizophrenic at some point in life, let’s say because he had some sort of a delusion that the CIA was following him everywhere, and there were tracking devices everywhere in his home or that aliens abducted him. This was at a point in life. Now, he has them no more, and realises the irrationality of those past thoughts. But, the label remains. OR he may even still have some thoughts that way.

    However, during a legal dispute with a family member who knows about the label, the family member uses it, reads up all the worst possible behaviours, delusions etc. associated with the label, and alleges that the labelled man has all those. How does the labelled man disprove it? He has to rely on the charity of his psychiatrist, who may or may not act in his best interests, but will first keep his own professional interests in mind.

    These are some things to think about, and more importantly things for some of you to do.

    In fact, I do not specifically see articles on these topics on MIA either. They are usually pretty long biographical articles or vignettes about research findings.

    There are always talks of stats, and studies full of terminology, effect-sizes, confidence intervals etc., but the more practical issues like the points I’ve raised get left out in talks/presentations given to the public which are sometimes uploaded to social media websites like YouTube.

    Why do no psychiatrists give talks on these matters? It would do a lot more for people who bear these burdensome labels, than some study which finds that X-drug is over used in population type Z.

  • Man, when the hell are they going to improve the writing features? It’s become a pain to write, not to mention the paragraph spaces etc., are all going haywire. The way I write gets displayed completely differently and in a bad way.

  • Frank Blankenship writes: “You’re got Assertive Community Treatment teams to make sure treatment/harrassment doesn’t end at discharge. It used to be one had freedom to look forward to, not so any more.”

    This is interesting to know.

    This website talks of ACT as follows:


    ” Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is an Evidence-Based Practice Model designed to provide treatment, rehabilitation and support services to individuals who are diagnosed with a severe mental illness and whose needs have not been well met by more traditional mental health services. The ACT team provides services directly to an individual that are tailored to meet his or her specific needs. ACT teams are multi-disciplinary and include members from the fields of psychiatry, nursing, psychology, social work, substance abuse and vocational rehabilitation. Based on their respective areas of expertise, the team members collaborate to deliver integrated services of the recipients’ choice, assist in making progress towards goals, and adjust services over time to meet recipients’ changing needs and goals. The staff-to-recipient ratio is small (one clinician for every ten recipients), and services are provided 24-hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as they are needed.

    ACT teams deliver comprehensive and flexible treatment, support, and rehabilitation services to individuals in their natural living settings rather than in hospital or clinic settings. This means that interventions and skills teaching are carried out at the locations where individuals live, work, and socialize and where support is needed. ACT teams share responsibility for the people they serve and use assertive engagement to proactively engage individuals in treatment.

    ACT improves recipient outcomes. When comparing recipients before and after receiving ACT services, studies have shown ACT recipients experience greater reductions in psychiatric hospitalization rates, emergency room visits and higher levels of housing stability after receiving ACT services. Research has also shown that ACT is more satisfactory to recipients and their families and is no more expensive than other types of community-based care (Phillips et al., 2001). Evidence of ACT’s effectiveness has led mental health advocacy groups, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), to endorse ACT as a key service with proven positive outcomes.”

    Those of us who have seen enough garbage from psychiatry are familiar with quasi-smart, quasi-medical and quasi-scientific sounding terms, statements, documents and articles (and I use the word “quasi”, because these writings obfuscate the realities of what these ACT experiences actually involve in real life) like:

    1.) “Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is an Evidence-Based Practice Model designed to provide treatment, rehabilitation and support services to individuals who are diagnosed with a severe mental illness and whose needs have not been well met by more traditional mental health services.”

    2.) When comparing recipients before and after receiving ACT services, studies have shown ACT recipients experience greater reductions in psychiatric hospitalization rates, emergency room visits and higher levels of housing stability after receiving ACT services. Research has also shown that ACT is more satisfactory to recipients and their families and is no more expensive than other types of community-based care (Phillips et al., 2001). Evidence of ACT’s effectiveness has led mental health advocacy groups, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), to endorse ACT as a key service with proven positive outcomes.”

    As you are aware (from another thread), I am not from the US, and I have had the privilege of not being through such rubbish.

    But can you tell me in reality what this so called “ACT” actually involves in real life?

    All I read is “evidence-based, research based, positive outcomes, improves X and Y” and all that fancy jazz. But what do they actually do and how do their “subjects” actually feel?

    Honestly, when I read these things, I feel scared to come to these countries.

  • There’s a certain thing I’ve noticed. And I may be wrong, both due to selection and confirmation bias.

    What I’ve noticed is, the experiences of people who underwent the psychiatry phase in their lives prior to the internet age, especially in the 70s,80s etc. tends to be a lot worse.

    Am I wrong?

  • Dr. Steingard, understandably, the nit-picking of every word that you write on this platform (even if your intentions were something else when using certain words) can become draining (I found this to be the case for myself on another topic here). There is a reason why we nit-pick them or re-frame sentences. It’s because we have seen where the thought process of thinking that way goes.

    Hopefully, these tendencies amongst us will not discourage you too much from making positive contributions here.

  • There is a lot of emphasis on studies, and receptors and this and that.

    Which is why, to me, it is the real life experiences of people that matter, and a resolution of cases in a case-by-case, individual-by-individual manner that is important.

    We do not see enough posts here by lawyers and attorneys who have dealt with individual cases involving psychiatry, DSM labels, drug effects etc. Having those cases, and the knowledge of how respite was provided to an individual negatively affected (directly or indirectly) by the psychiatric paradigm, would be very beneficial.

    MIA is a hodge-podge of people variously affected by the mental health field. Every case is different and unique in its own right, with there being some overlap in themes among different cases.

    Edit: I wrote this before I saw Dr.Steingard’s follow-up comment.

  • In my humble opinion, I think people have a problem with drugs for a few of the following reasons:

    a.)The drugs had side effects worse than the condition they were purported to treat.

    b.)They caused irreparable damage to the person who took them.

    c.)They were improperly prescribed to the person, either in terms of being given drugs they did not need, or in dosages which were an overkill.

    d.) They were prescribed drugs for problems in living which had nothing to do with being prescribed drugs, or there was misplaced emphasis on drugs “making the person better”, when the “becoming better” part would not be solved by drug use.

    e.) They were forcibly given drugs.

    f.)They did not have pre-existing information about the dangers of the drugs and were not given proper information about it.

    g.) It didn’t just end at the drugs, but they got involved in the whole psychiatric paradigm which goes beyond simply prescriptions, which caused trouble. This psychiatric paradigm involves being labelled, an addiction to appointments, playing the indignant patient role, being disease mongered on, surrendering power over to the labellers and their organisations, social and legal problems like abusive parents, spouses, children, divorce cases etc. all of which made worse by psychiatry and in some of the cases we find here, forced treatment.

    After all, drugs don’t take themselves, just like knives don’t kill people by themselves.

    Human beings have been ingesting various drugs in the form of nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, ayahuasca etc. for centuries. Today there are drugs which are termed “medications”. The fundamental principle is the same. A human being ingests any drug, whether prescription or illicit, because it makes him feel better in some way. *Of course, this is when it is voluntary, not forced. And not drugs which have terrible side effects, which I as an individual have already faced in the past*

    Now, if the additional psychiatric junk (labelling, power structure, dependence etc.) did not exist, and people had full awareness of the long term dangers of these drugs (and there are long term dangers with street drugs too), their side effects, how to mitigate them etc., I presume some people would buy them over the counter without any psychiatrists at all (just like they do alcohol or anything else), just to ease mental distress like a low mood, or anxiety or whatever else it is, caused by whatever problems, just like some people engage in “substance use”.

    But to me, this is similar to some people choosing to drink alcohol every night to relax.

    So, I would rephrase your comment as “Listen to your patients, and stop prescribing them psychotropics or make some changes when they tell you the points above.”

    Because if some find them beneficial, it is their choice to take them, and her (unfortunate) duty to prescribe them.

  • maradel writes: “In my view, the fact that this site exists is incredibly positive. Through all those painful decades of my life, nothing like this existed.”

    Very true.

    Julie Green writes: “Just live. Don’t even think about it. Get up on that stage and sing like hell.”

    At first I was afraid, I was petrified,
    Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side
    But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong,
    And I grew strong, and I learned how to get along.

    And so you’re back from outer space.
    I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face
    I should have changed that stupid lock
    I should have made you leave your key
    If I had known for just one second you’d be back to bother me

    Go on now, go. Walk out the door
    Just turn around now ’cause you’re not welcome anymore
    Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye?
    Did you think I’d crumble?
    Did you think I’d lay down and die?

    Oh, no, not I!
    I will survive.
    Oh, as long as I know how to love I know I’ll stay alive.
    I’ve got all my life to live.
    I’ve got all my love to give.
    And I’ll survive,
    I will survive, hey, hey.

    Yee-hah!

  • I do not state this to disrespect the author or commenters. I can empathise with her/them as I have had some horrible life-damaging experiences associated both directly and indirectly with the mental health profession, it’s drugs, it’s labels and their misuse, myself.

    I want to know if there are any positive stories out there. These days I have been frequenting this site often, and reading only accounts of lives gone awry makes me hopeless.

    Are there people who went through this psychiatry debacle and came out reasonably clean on the other end? Anyone have good careers and successful and reasonably happy lives?

  • maradel writes: “I am now nearly 63 and retired on disability after trying for over 40 years to have a career as a neuroscientist and veterinarian”

    You tried for 40 years?! Did you achieve anything in those fields? I am not asking this disrespectfully. I am asking this to know if there is any silver lining to this story.

    Did they fire you from jobs simply for having these silly labels?

    Also, to live on disability where you are given a disability amount on the basis of those same labels that screwed you over, is the most cruel turn of events possible.

  • The sickening part of this whole thing is, a lot of the people who fall into these mental health institution traps end up wanting to do careers in the same institutions to “change them”.

    These people, before they ended up in these largely useless institutions, may have wanted to be engineers, doctors, programmers and what not. Instead those desires and dreams, which are the desires of ordinary everyday people, get replaced by hopeless desires to change garbage. If you, who were a subject of the system, end up trying to be reformer of the system, you will always be consumed by the system and what happened to you in there.

    I don’t want to see that anymore. Instead, I want to see people achieve the dreams they had before all this junk took place. I don’t want to see them reform the system. I want to see them get rich as hell and if anything, perhaps take vengeance. All the vengeance that money can buy from outside the system.

    The existence of friends who grew up with you before you went through the whole psychiatry garbage is a very good thing. They (at least some of them) see you for who you are. Not the crap you became or were labelled with later in life.

    If you confront most people in the MH field about what it does to people, all you get is denial, defensiveness and dismissiveness. They simply change the topic or insist that they wouldn’t be doing it if it didn’t help people. Sure it helps some people in specific situations. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t harm people. And psychiatry and everything that comes along with it harms people in very insidious ways. It doesn’t matter that the intentions of some in the MH field are good. Intentions mean nothing. Actions and their consequences actualise intentions.

    Katie writes: “The deep grief I experienced in this system was watching people with talent and heart and intact souls buy the label, build a distorted identity off it, become a professional patient and thereby lose the beautiful contribution they could have made to their world.”

    I did this to myself for many years. I saw me, only through the prism of labels. I forgot what I was like before the whole fiasco.

  • “These two case studies illustrate how labels of ‘mental illness’ can be used to silence those who speak out against oppression and pathologization within those professions where such interventions are sorely needed. In one case, violence and bullying was dismissed, ignored, and perpetuated by labeling the victim as ‘mentally ill.’ In doing so, her accusations of bullying and her competency regarding her job became discredited and disbelieved. Her actions and words were constantly interpreted and viewed through the lens of sanism and used as further justification for abuse.”

    I know this so so well. My biological father did this to me my whole life.

    I should also state that psychiatric labels are deceptive jargon that can be used to obfuscate truths, give power to the labeller’s motives, whether pernicious or well-intended.

    Also, many psychiatrists and doctors simply do not like their authority being challenged. You can get some pretty irritated responses, and a few insults too if you do so. It is also easy for them to justify interventions by using deceptive DSM jargon, and pseudo-medical rhetoric. Websites on “mental health” are full of DSM labels. Again, I cannot stress the importance of how harmful it is.

    I am glad to have read this article, and I’m glad that people are taking note of these things like the author of this book.

    My parents are currently in a court case where my father has used all sorts of DSM labels against me and my mother to cover up and justify his disgusting actions and to perpetuate horrible lies against us. It hinders the process of even getting justice. Unfortunately most lawyers do not know how to handle such cases either.

    And psychiatric labelling and pathologisation…I do not know if it ever ends. The more of these people you go to, the more the labels increase, further adding to the misery of the person.

    It is a vicious cycle in which the condition being treated needs intervention, and the intervention then becomes a causal factor contributing negatively to the condition being treated (due to labelling, their social and legal consequences, effects of drugs etc.), thereby perpetuating the need for even more treatment/intervention, till you end up becoming a revolving door patient.

    I know that I’m making accusations in this post. I do not expect a random reader to believe me. Rest assured, in real life, I have plenty of evidence to back up these “accusations” because they aren’t accusations. They’re truths.

    People who are skeptical of these truths about psychiatry and how it is (mis)used, demand studies. Studies with confidence intervals, effect sizes, and all sorts of stats. But all those dry studies miss out the crucial experiences of real life cases.

    I hate being in the victim role. And it isn’t the desire for sympathy I feel. It is a thirst for vengeance. I do not know how I will do it. But I will. I will not give in to my pain, even though there are moments when I want to. Giving in would mean losing the fight against absolute cockroaches that must squashed.

    “Psychiatry’s core concepts are embedded formally and informally in our legal, social, educational, and workplace institutions in ways that the other medical specialties are not.”

    True. Very true. And this must be fought and challenged.

  • SSRIs cause mania in a subset of the people put on them, and such SSRI induced manic states can cause people to want to engage in violence and substance use.

    Dr. Healy, do you agree with psychiatrists who label people with “bipolar disorder” when SSRIs cause mania, even though such an episode never occurred prior to such use, and might never have occurred without them? What if some of these patients also have a relative who experienced SSRI induced mania?

    P.S. I have a lot of experience with SSRI highs. They DO have a stimulant high in people like me. “High” to me, “hypomania/mania” in your jargon.

  • Unfortunately, “psychological psychotherapy” can still end up causing damage depending on the case at hand, especially in the case of minors or youngsters. This is because the implicit relationship between the “therapist” and “patient” is still that of between a stronger, more authoritative individual and a weaker, more vulnerable individual. One also has to remember the relationships between the caretakers/family members of the youngsters and these therapists (“therapist” could be a “psychiatrist” or a “psychologist”).

    After all, “family education” is thought to be a big thing in these professions, which can actually be quite damaging to the vulnerable individual at hand.

    Drugs have their place. If however, one could obtain drugs VOLUNTARILY, knowing full well the full list of effects they have, without ending up on the charity of the mental health system and its high priests and workers, who will label people with disorders even for side effects of drugs they prescribe, it would be a lot better.

    The system is even worse in countries where people need to be labelled because otherwise insurance won’t cover them.

    It is not necessary that Psychotherapy>Drugs or Drugs>Psychotherapy.

    They both have their place. But in strict limits. In my experience, most “Psychotherapy” is as useless and harmful as most “chemical psychotherapy”.

    “Many mental disorders involve the patient responding inappropriately to traumas and emotional swings.”

    Right, and how is a therapist going to make the “patient” “respond appropriately”, to let’s say, the trauma of a parent that bludgeons their child (these kinds of cases are common in these professions)?

    He can’t. What he may do, is then create a dependence of the child onto a system that can do nothing for the child (but it may provide initial solace in the form of a consoling voice), cannot do anything to actually deal with the creator of that trauma, but can go on to label and prescribe drugs to the child creating further problems. If not drugs, then labelling and an addiction to repeated appointments for pointless sessions of listening and talking.

    True therapy would require the vulnerable individual to have bucket loads of money (to hire lawyers etc). Not psychotherapy, nor psychiatry.

    A few lines from an old friend, Thomas Szasz:

    Everywhere, children, and even many adults, take it for granted not only that there is a god but that he can understand their prayers because he speaks their language. Likewise, children assume that their parents are good, and if their experiences are unbearably inconsistent with that image, they prefer to believe that they themselves are bad rather than that their parents are. The belief that doctors are their patients’ agents-serving their patients’ interests and needs above all others–seems to me to be of a piece with mankind’s basic religious and familial myths. Nor are its roots particularly mysterious: when a person is young, old, or sick, he is handicapped compared with those who are mature and healthy; in the struggle for survival, he will thus inevitably come to depend on his fellows who are relatively unhandicapped.

    Such a relationship of dependency is implicit in all situations where clients and experts interact. Because in the case of illness the client fears for his health and for his life, it is especially dramatic and troublesome in medicine. In general, the more dependent a person is on another, the greater will be his need to aggrandize his helper, and the more he aggrandizes his helper, the more dependent he will be on him. The result is that the weak person easily becomes doubly endangered: first, by his weakness and, second, by his dependence on a protector who may choose to harm him. These are the brutal but basic facts of human relationships of which we must never lose sight in considering the ethical problems of biology, medicine, and the healing professions. As helplessness engenders belief in the goodness of the helper, and as utter helplessness engenders belief in his unlimited goodness, those thrust into the roles of helpers whether as deities or doctors, as priests or politicians have been only too willing to assent to these characterizations of themselves.

    This imagery of total virtue and impartial goodness serves not only to mitigate the helplessness of the weak, but also to obscure the conflicts of loyalty to which the protector is subject. Hence, the perennial appeal of the selfless, disinterested helper professing to be the impartial servant of mankind’s needs and interests.

  • Studies, studies and studies. Studies this and studies that. P-values, effects sizes, confidence intervals etc. etc.

    I, personally, am far more interested in individual cases. How such diagnoses, drugs etc. have helped or harmed the lives of an individual, which is what such fields are about. Helping one individual at a time.

    Which is why, we cannot ignore legal cases and the effects of these systems on particular individuals.

    Let me give you some examples from my country of India. You should just look at the way some of these psych. doctors write.

    In the case of Pankaj Mahajan vs Dimple (30th Septermber 2011)

    Dr. Paramjit Singh of Medical College Amritsar writes: “This disease is Bipolar Affective Disorder. I treated her during this period. She was admitted in Emergency because her disease was in quite serious stage. In this disease, the patient can commit suicide. When she came, she was aggressive and irritable. If the proper treatment is not given to the respondent then her aggressive nature can be prolonged.”

    Bipolar Affective Disorder (primarily a psychiatric label) is mentioned as a disease, with no reasons given as to why she experienced the depression or mania (who knows? It could be trauma that caused depression and iatrogenic reaction as a result of SSRI antidepressants that caused mania) that results in the label of Bipolar Disorder.

    Without such an explanation, the circularity is striking:

    Patient: Why did I experience depression/mania?
    Doctor: Because you have Bipolar Disorder
    Patient: Why do I have bipolar disorder?
    Doctor: Because you experienced depression/mania.

    In other words, it’s like saying a headache caused her head to hurt.

    “Her disease was in a serious stage” makes it sound like she has cancer which has metastasised to different parts of her body. “Suicide is possible in this disease”, however no information is given as to what her reasons for wanting to commit suicide were except a psychiatric label. What her aggressive nature is and her reasons for being aggressive are not mentioned except a psychiatric label which is descriptive.

    Some of the tactics lawyers, doctors or the opposition use are the misuse of psychiatric labels.

    For example “The opposite party suffers from schizophrenia as a result of which she has paranoid thoughts” etc. So, here a label, instead of being used as a description, is instead misleadingly being used imply causation.

    This allows for particularly deceptive tactics. For example, taking a particular label, reading up the worst possible behaviours associated with that label and alleging the opposite party suffers from all those and that it is caused by the label. Since psychiatric labels can be somewhat vague and can refer to various things for which the person has been labelled, it is easy to play around with them and use them against someone to delegitimise what they say and to manipulate and distort facts and/or even lie outright.

    In such cases, having a bipolar diagnosis due to mania caused by SSRIs (like me), and having experienced spontaneous manias makes a difference.

    The patient has to hope and rely on the charity of his/her consulting psychiatrist or head of department to do the right thing. This makes one a beggar.

    And clearly, if you have gone to a number of these fools, you will have more junk and more labels in your files, which will only add to your misery.

    Yet another psychiatrist in the same case writes:

    Dr. Virendra Mohan (PW-3), M.D. Psychiatry writes:

    “She was diagnosed as a Chronic Paranoid Schizophrenic. There is no direct relationship in the stress or strain with the disease. Second time, she was admitted by her father Prem Kumar on 28.09.1999 and was discharged on 05.10.1999.”

    Yet another psychiatric label, this time, it’s schizophrenia. Is she bipolar or schizophrenic? This just confirms my suspicion that the more psychiatrists you go to, the more labels you get and the garbage written down about you in your files increases exponentially. Also, stress and strain has nothing to do with one’s mental state? Ridiculous.

    What would the average lawyer or judge understand of these things? Nothing. They will rely on the words of the “trained professionals” most of whom will not do something against their own interests.

    ***

    Individual cases need to be investigated. What these people do in clinical practice to particular individuals and how it affects those individuals needs to be brought to light.

    What the families of these individuals do needs to be brought to light.

    Yes, understanding and open dialogue is important. But that just ends up being debate, and the practices of people continue.

    I will go back to Szasz on this one:

    “A relationship of dependency is implicit in all situations where clients and experts interact. Because in the case of illness the client fears for his health and for his life, it is especially dramatic and troublesome in medicine. In general, the more dependent a person is on another, the greater will be his need to aggrandize his helper, and the more he aggrandizes his helper, the more dependent he will be on him. The result is that the weak person easily becomes doubly endangered: first, by his weakness and, second, by his dependence on a protector who may choose to harm him. These are the brutal but basic facts of human relationships of which we must never lose sight in considering the ethical problems of biology, medicine, and the healing professions. As helplessness engenders belief in the goodness of the helper, and as utter helplessness engenders belief in his unlimited goodness, those thrust into the roles of helpers whether as deities or doctors, as priests or politicians have been only too willing to assent to these characterizations of themselves.

    This imagery of total virtue and impartial goodness serves not only to mitigate the helplessness of the weak, but also to obscure the conflicts of loyalty to which the protector is subject. Hence, the perennial appeal of the selfless, disinterested helper professing to be the impartial servant of mankind’s needs and interests. “

  • Everyone here, including the psychiatrists, psychologists, commenters etc., keep saying “Trauma, trauma, trauma”. What is this “trauma” we are talking about? Car accidents? Floods? I presume we are talking about harmful actions perpetrated by a human on another human.

    In that case, this turns into an issue of criminal justice. How do we do anything to provide these people justice?

    Psychiatric terminology is easily abusable and prevents the implementation of justice.

    For example, if a person A harasses person B to the point where person B starts behaving strangely and ends up being labelled with X disorder by one psychiatrist and Y disorder by another; then it becomes all the more easier for A to get away with what he has done to B by simply saying “B suffers from X and Y disorders”. You can look up court statements in whichever country you are from, which have the aforementioned themes.

    So, how do lawyers learn to defend B? How can we get B justice? How to prevent psychiatrists from making the lives of people like B even worse than they were to begin with?

    The usual themes here are drugs, labels etc. But we need more legal information and legal cases here too.

  • 1.) A psychiatrist once told me that the rates of mania due to SSRIs in the overall population are very low, and that “if you experience mania on SSRIs, you have bipolar disorder, period”.

    When I asked questions like “How do you know if a person who has an episode of SSRI induced mania would have ever gone on to experience such a thing without SSRIs”, the responses I got were like “you will never get answers to the questions you have” etc.

    I always wondered, if a psychiatric drug causes a skin rash (which may also be low, relative to the overall population placed on a particular drug), is it an underlying skin disorder being unmasked or just a side effect of the drug dependent on the particular individual’s biology?

    2.) The other thing that bothers me are things like “personality disorders”. The medicalisation of another human’s personality is not treatment. It is defamation and libel. I do not care (in the context of labeling an individual, not in condoning the actions) if the individual has murdered someone. In such a case, if any “treatment” has to be done, it can be done so by understanding the motivations of the person and noting down details of the person in a descriptive manner. If courts of law must deal with the individual, they can provide appropriate penalties for the actions of the person.

    Of course, they will say “Yes, we write down everything dimensionally”. But they also label. You can do the former and not do the latter. Don’t do both. Just write it down descriptively.

    Such labelling is also easily abusable. If you, for some reason, end up being confrontational with the psychiatrist and have strong disagreements with him/her, he/she can simply label you with a “personality disorder” and cast you aside. You then have to deal with any repercussions of such labelling.

    3.)Labelling people with disorders for the side effects of psychiatric drugs (like bipolar disorder for mania caused by SSRIs, ritalin etc.) is an absolutely deceptive practice. It removes the focus from the prescriber, the effects of the drug, and its usage by the person and points it towards some sort of flaw in the person taking the drug himself.

    The most honest thing to do would be calling it what it is. Drug induced mania. And also telling the patient that you do not know what the implications of such an occurrence are.

    4.) Psychatric labelling is bad by itself. It causes medical errors by doctors which can be damaging to a patient, and they have social and legal implications because they are poorly understood by most people (“He behaves like this because he has a personality disorder”). When I see people labelled with 6 different labels (Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective, bipolar, borderline personality etc., all for one single individual), I feel disgust towards the labellers. There must be some safeguards for people with such labels. Do they realise what this does to another human being? You can simply write everything descriptively. Courts should not recognise any DSM/ICD psychiatric labels, and instead get descriptive information on the person.

    5.) Kids with abusive parents, people with abusive spouses etc., sometimes get caught up in psychiatry. And once they’re labelled, the abusers then use those labels against them. They can use them to demean them, to get away with their abuse by saying that the person is insane, to escape justice by means of using psychiatric terminology in legal documents etc; whereas, in fact, part of the distress that contributes to some of the problems the label describes is caused by such mistreatment of the individual. One just has to look at the multitudes of legal cases where this happens in various countries.

    Psychiatry has a social responsibility to stop these practices and misuse of psychiatric terminology. Otherwise, its purported purpose of propagating mental health among people is a farce, because their treatment modalities are causing harm to people. Instead all you will hear from them is, how more psychiatrists are required, how more mental health literacy is required etc.

  • @PrettyPurplePill

    “Most sadly, I knew this person as a child and he was extremely traumatized – every abuse you can imagine, he probably experienced it. Watching his life unfold has been like having a front row seat to a case study in how trauma destroys lives.”

    It’s funny how in this world people who are already victimised end up becoming even more victimised. Nothing happens to the people who did those nasty things to them. Those destroyers-of-others-lives (some of whom may have been screwed over themselves) escape prison and nut houses. Their victims ending up in nut houses or jails isn’t a triumph of the justice system nor of the mental health industry. It’s a failure of both.

    When the partner of a powerful psychopathic spouse kills the abusive spouse out of desperation and a lack of help (because no one else really gives a shit), does he/she deserve to be in jail? I don’t think so.

    Naturally I would protect myself if someone who was badly screwed over and subsequently became violent tried to harm me. But, god knows how many people that don’t really deserve to be in prison OR nut houses are languishing in those places. It makes me boil just thinking about it.

  • Jeffrey “Robert Whitaker is a menace to society” Lieberman’s own son (the older one of his two) was close to being labelled with ADHD, which Mr. Lieberman could undo because of his power as a psychiatrist. In Lieberman’s own words (a transcript from an interview):

    “Absolutely. I had an experience with my own son. I have two sons. My older son was going to nursery school, and they said he’s not paying attention and were concerned. ‘You should have him tested.’ We had him tested. The neuropsychologist said, ‘Well there’s some kind of, you know, information processing problems, you should see a pediatric psychiatrist.’ I said, “Well, I am a psychiatrist, but I’ll take him to see a pediatric psychiatrist.’ We took him to see a pediatric psychiatrist, spent twenty minutes with him, and he started, you know, writing a prescription for Ritalin. I said, ‘Why?’ and he said ‘Well, he’s got ADHD.’ I said, ‘I don’t think so.’

    So, long story short, he ended up graduating from University of Pennsylvania, law school at Columbia, he’s in a top law firm. So, yes, it happens, and part of that is social pressure.”

    I personally have no problem with people taking substances voluntarily that they feel helps them. How do you prevent being labelled and everything else that comes with it? The more of these people you go to, the more labels you get.

  • We have to keep the other side in mind too, to take any steps.

    However, it is just as eroding and exhausting for us to be doing this too. Some of them do not understand that they do not have to be evil at all and may have the best of intentions and still end up causing damage.

    It isn’t as simple as being “good” or “evil” or being a “victim” or a “person with a power trip”.

    One of the service providers I had was unable to understand me telling him why the psychiatric ordeal had damaged my life and instead felt accused. Being a professional and having good intentions isn’t necessarily doing the right thing.

  • Dr. Yang’s thoughts are interesting. She writes:

    I started meet­ing peo­ple who read my writ­ing online. The inter­net was a dynamic and excit­ing place.
    I started feel­ing ambiva­lent about writ­ing online. I closed down com­ments because anony­mous peo­ple left state­ments like, “ALL PSYCHIATRISTS SHOULD DIE” and “YOU’RE A PSYCHIATRIST, YOU KILL CHILDREN”. A physi­cian who wrote a blog under a pseu­do­nym was revealed in court. I wor­ried that my writ­ing wasn’t fic­ti­tious enough, that maybe my sto­ries weren’t purely coin­ci­den­tal. My mind gen­er­ated cat­a­stro­phes: Some­one might read a story and think I was talk­ing about them! They would sue me and I would lose my license! Other doc­tors would judge me! I would never recover! Even if I did, one of those com­menters who hate psy­chi­a­trists would then kill me!
    So I shut down that blog. The inter­net was a scary and dan­ger­ous place.

    I feel similarly, even if I want to get a prescription.

    Oh, no! Will the next guy label me with something else? Is a “personality disorder” next, if I stand by my convictions and disagree with the doctor? I was already from an abusive home when I entered psychiatry. If it solved one problem, it created 5 new ones.

    What if I want to move to a foreign country to work or study? Will they label me with more nonsense? Will I ever run into a situation where I will be forced (even if subtly) to take drugs which cause horrible physical effects in the body? If I do not want to be labelled, I have to opt out of insurance. How will I pay medical bills without insurance? Medicine in the west is so expensive, I wouldn’t be able to afford it except the first few times (which would also be a massive dent in my finances).

    Will these doctors even listen to me if I tell my side of the story (furnished with evidence), even if the story displeases them or will they not really care (even if they say they do) because they don’t really have to?

    While Dr.Yang may have had the privilege of feeling fear, I do not have that either, because my doctor will dismiss is as “obsessive thinking due to illness” (as has already happened).

    Will I be labelled with another disorder for the side effect of some other drug as I was labelled bipolar because prescription SSRIs caused mania?
    ***

    We can all go on our “cute little rants” and we all have our versions of the story. Their version is right from their point of view, and ours from ours.

    What we do about it, is the question.

    Good for us, we have MIA, and we need not congregate at Shrink Rap.

    The thing is, I would actually love the service providers that I had coupled with certain members of my family on one side, and me and certain other members of my family on another side in front of an impartial (but knowledgable in psychiatric terminology) jury to sort out the nonsense that has taken place. But nada, zilch. Never gonna happen.

  • We need to see the other side of the perspective as well. Here’s an article on a blog called Shrink Rap, which describes itself as a blog by psychiatrists for psychiatrists. This particular article is titled “Are psychiatrists evil?”

    The entire article goes as follows:

    I want to point you to a psychiatry blog I happened upon not long ago, In White Ink, written by psychiatrist Dr. Maria Yang. There was a post that moved me, and I went to comment, but there was no place to do so.

    Now, Dr. Yang is in the process of moving her blog and she’s put up a post about My Brief History on the Internet. My favorite part of the post is where she marries one of her blog readers!

    Dr. Yang writes:

    I started meet­ing peo­ple who read my writ­ing online. The inter­net was a dynamic and excit­ing place.

    I started feel­ing ambiva­lent about writ­ing online. I closed down com­ments because anony­mous peo­ple left state­ments like, “ALL PSYCHIATRISTS SHOULD DIE” and “YOU’RE A PSYCHIATRIST, YOU KILL CHILDREN”. A physi­cian who wrote a blog under a pseu­do­nym was revealed in court. I wor­ried that my writ­ing wasn’t fic­ti­tious enough, that maybe my sto­ries weren’t purely coin­ci­den­tal. My mind gen­er­ated cat­a­stro­phes: Some­one might read a story and think I was talk­ing about them! They would sue me and I would lose my license! Other doc­tors would judge me! I would never recover! Even if I did, one of those com­menters who hate psy­chi­a­trists would then kill me!

    So I shut down that blog. The inter­net was a scary and dan­ger­ous place.

    At Shrink Rap, we’ve been to all those places, since we started blogging in Spring of 2006. We do have the best of readers, who are bright, articulate, and thoughtful, and we don’t get death threats or personal accusations, but part of this post resonated for me.

    What we do see a lot of in our comment section are stories about people who are, from their point of view only (the psychiatrist’s side is never solicited) who have been mistreated by the mental health system. I like getting the links, because I do like to know that these issues are out there. What I don’t like, is the insistence that the patient is always the victim of the evil psychiatrist, that they played no role and if they behaved in an aggressive way that provoked unwarranted treatment, then it’s obviously because the evil psychiatrist was not listening to their concerns and any reasonable, mentally well, human being would respond in such a fashion.

    If that’s not enough, then commenters go on to talk about how psychiatrists are all about “power trips.” Trust me on this, any day a psychiatrist calls the police for an out-of-control patient, it’s BAD day. There’s no, “Honey, what a great day, I got to call the cops and commit someone.” It’s traumatic, upsetting, and draining for the psychiatrist. And, I’m well aware that it’s traumatic, upsetting, and draining for the patient, and no doctor likes to upset their patients. It’s a much better day when things are congenial and patients like the ways we have of helping them.

    Personally, the psychiatrists I know — who are all just people with the same types of flaws and imperfections that all people have — really care about their patients, respect them as human beings, and are interested in working with them collaboratively. I get insulted when readers insist my career is about power trips and that I’m wrong to say we shouldn’t revel in the stories of patient victimization without knowing the full story. I’m not saying that psychiatrists don’t make mistakes, or that their aren’t bad psychiatrists, and I’m certainly not saying that there are not bad laws out there, but I am saying that our field is not about evil people (they are the exception, not the rule), and power trips. One should reserve judgement when all sides can’t weigh in. A psychiatrist simply can’t tell his side of the story to the media. “I was hospitalized unjustly!” can’t be countered in the media by a psychiatrist saying, “He insisted he was going to kill his family.”

    What I’m lost for is why the “Psychiatrists are Evil” crowd congregate here at Shrink Rap. Do they think that the incessant drumbeat of “psychiatry is evil” in the comment section of a blog changes the world? It doesn’t, it just annoys the bloggers and adds to this odd notion that a therapeutic relationship with one’s doctor is adversarial, when we see it as being collaborative. It’s exhausting and eroding. I believe that if the commenters want to change the world, they should start their own blogs for like-minded readers, and when they believe someone has been victimized by bad laws, they should write the newspapers and legislators in those states and protest the bad laws. The comment section of Shrink Rap does nothing, nada, zilch.

  • These interventions could have been well-intentioned on the part of (individual) service providers, but good intentions harm people all the time.

    Things like this make people want to lash out, which again reinforces it as being part of the vaguely defined illness.

  • It isn’t just studies that need to be shown. But how people can seek help whilst creating legally binding agreements with service providers with criteria like: “No labelling”, “Things considered not helpful, not to be done” etc. which if the service provider breaks, he/she can be liable to legal action.

    We need to see more court cases concerning the labelled, practical examples, than simply studies with labels, confidence intervals, effect sizes and p-values.

  • What I want to know is, how has this platform allowed anyone to resolve their cases? How has it allowed anyone to get justice? When will these changes come?

    Doing that would require a great deal of money.

    I have seen this site be dismissed as a “pseudoscientific antipsychiatry site not worthy of mention or recognition”, “full of vitriol against mental health workers”, “people similar to AIDS deniers” etc. Why people have vitriol towards these mental health workers, or why people turn to what they term antipsychiatry is not something they will ever bother to understand, nor care enough about, even if they do understand.

  • As somebody who has been diagnosed variously with anxiety, psychotic depression, schizophrenia, panic disorder, schizoaffective disorder, major depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder and, finally, bipolar disorder

    This is absolutely abhorrent and disgusting. These labellers should look at their own mental sicknesses for labelling another human being with so much horrendous nonsense. Do these people understand what this does to another human being? Are they really so oblivious?

    It is a sign of great resilience that you have written this article so coherently. If people labelled with so much garbage and denigrated and destroyed with so much psychiatric tripe ever killed themselves out of the sheer indignity of the whole thing, they’d become statistics in “Deaths/suicides due to mental illness” or “Deaths/suicides due to *insert particular psychiatric label*”. And then you will hear speeches, and TED talks about how many poor people die because of *insert DSM label illness*, and how they could have been saved. No one will ever know, that some of these people would have killed themselves because of what the psychiatric system (which they entered to get help not knowing what it would turn out to be) did to them or the kind of position it put them in, and how much of anything meaningful to them in life, it destroyed and took away.

    Writing about someone can be done descriptively without labelling them with nonsense.

    Why do these psychiatry people always talk about how much their services are needed, how much they have to expand, how much more brain science they need to conduct, how people with “so-and-so disorder” have X problem/Y problem, how people with *insert DSM label illness* are at risk of committing suicide…or some of the more “benevolent” ones will do research about how pharmaceutical companies do not show true drug trial data, they join organisations like the Cochrane Collaboration etc. All of this is just stuff that improves their own research profile. Whether it helps people or not is a secondary thing.

    You will never hear them talk about the kind of problems people run into after being labelled with so much garbage or what this does to another human being. Nope, never.

  • “You are responding defensively and emotionally rather than trying to grasp what people are saying.”-oldhead

    Your reply was quite defensive and emotional as well. But, leave that.

    “Nothing offensive or hostile there, huh? Exactly what “kind of people” might that be?”- oldhead

    Sigh. My bad. By “kind of people”, I meant people “with the type of view point of”. I should have worded that differently. But there, I have explained what “kind of people” (perhaps a poor choice of words) I was talking about.

    I am a part of those “kind of people”, and if you go back to my history you can find posts from 2014. I might as well have used the words “those of us who post on MIA”.

    Sandra Steingard, a writer on MIA, in an article titled What We Are Talking About When We Talk About Community Mental Health used the line

    “This essay was written for an audience that I expected was more accepting of the conventional narrative than the MIA crowd”

    I used those words in a similar vein.

  • I have not found a study or article promoting my view point. I have actually delved into one, and critiqued it. Once again, you are unable to read clearly. Every little thing seems to upset you and you seem to become confrontational even over perceived disagreement. I am done with you.

  • “It would be warranted, but isn’t psychiatry malpractice by definition?”-oldhead

    “Wouldn’t a class action malpractice suit against the entire industry be warranted at this point?”-Alex

    One has to realise that the kind of people who post on MIA are a small subset of those who have ever seen a shrink. There are other forums online (dealing with people who go to or have gone to a shrink(s)) which have sizable populations which are appreciative of what shrinks do.

    It is easy to get overwhelmed by the posts here and forget that not everyone may feel the same, may have vastly different experiences and that most don’t care. It’s like being a man who has spent his life in a nomadic tribe in Africa and after that he gets transported to Times Square, New York and it baffles him.

  • “Mental health treatment has become a gateway into work in the disability field. Employers are not hiring people who have been incarcerated in psychiatric facilities except in the field of mental health work.”

    Now, if true, that’s horrible.

  • “That my degrees, which I earned, do not matter.
    That whatever intelligence I possess is not of any use.
    That my intellect needs to be suppressed and silenced via drugs and incarceration.
    That female intellect is a disease.
    That no matter what, they are right and I am wrong.
    That no matter what, whatever I say is a reflection of a diseased state.”

    I was never told getting a degree does not matter. I was encouraged to get an education (yes, I’m talking about what shrinks told me).

    I was never told my intelligence was of no use. I was told to use it well.

    I was never told that my intellect needs to be suppressed by drugs and incarceration. However, some of the garbage drugs I was prescribed by many of these guys did make me feel like a cripple. Now, I (voluntarily) do take a few pills (mainly an antidepressant to help with a low mood, along with 2 more for the side effects of the antidepressant, cumulatively I have no ill effects) which overall, have no distressing side effects.

    I was never told my intellect was a disease.

    I was never told that no matter what I say it is a reflection of a disease state, however, I have been through some rather nasty disease mongering from their side.

    I was not told that they are always right and I am always wrong. However, there is a power structure there with less power on my side and more on the other side which has ended up causing bad outcomes for me and which makes it easier for those with more power to make decisions which harm me.

    So, different experiences.

    That being said, it hasn’t been fairies, nor even “moderately good and moderately bad”. The overall experience of my family and psychiatry has been terrible and very distressful. I wish I had more knowledge when I was younger.

  • PaisleyToes, I understand your position. The way I see things here, I cannot fit in here either. At least, not the comment sections.

    There is as much hostility in the comment sections here as there can be in some very pro-psychiatry “take your meds” kind of camp.

  • You’re right. We need many such attorneys and in many countries. Though this website is called “Mad In America” (after the book of the same name), it might as well be called “Mad on Planet Earth”.

  • You’re right, but how would you win such a case without a competent lawyer who can defend you?

    Second, don’t you think the presence of lawyers who are willing to fight for the right thing and against fraudulent legal cases which are muddled up with deceptive DSM jargon (for example, an abusive spouse accusing the other of being a schizophrenic or an abusive parent whose child ended up in the legal system and is psychiatrically labelled, fraudulently manipulating the DSM labels attached to the child or making false allegations with psychiatric subject matter etc.) would be an asset?

    If the people in these systems don’t speak about it and more importantly don’t work against it, how will you change it? Guns? Knives? They don’t work. You will be shot. Unfortunately, money and authority are the only things that work in the real world.

  • Firstly, IMHO, the columnists are very important. Without the columnists, this website will become a land of posts by those perceived as “disgruntled patient groups”.

    We are free to evaluate and criticize what is held up as evidence. As an example, you can see some of my posts here.

    Also, think of it from a practical point of view, if you want to leave the system, as bad as it sounds, you may need the help of someone in the system.

    Apart from columnists, the website allows people to write of their own experiences.

    People’s voices should not be stifled (and sometimes people can write things here in a lot of distress, as I have, and I also [not-hopefully] may in the future). However, the presence of such columnists can be of mutual benefit to both them and us.

    In fact, what if people embroiled in legal cases with psychiatric subject matter in them need lawyers who understand the nuances of psychiatric terminology? What if people need the kind of doctors on MIA? People like that writing here, engaging here can be mutually useful.

    How can we know the system and protect ourselves without those in the system writing about it?

  • Also, MIA repeatedly upholds the authority of those with PhD’s and MD’s in MH-type fields as “experts” over those who have really lived this thing.

    How does the site uphold these people over the experiences of other people? Any examples?

  • It would also be interesting to know how many of these children with “ADHD comorbid with ODD” were who were prescribed Ritalin(C14H19NO2), ended up experiencing mania and were subsequently labelled as bipolar.

    It would also be interesting to know how many of these children behaved the way they did due to prior life experiences and person-on-person experiences.

  • If we translate the abstract to truer and clearer language, it would go as follows:

    People who are uncooperative, disobedient and hostile frequently are also unable to concentrate on things which they are supposed to be doing, are restless, inattentive, disorganised, procrastinate etc.

    C14H19NO2 and C17H21NO are well established chemicals in dealing with children who are inattentive and unable to concentrate. Some studies in western countries have reported that children who are inattentive and disobedient benefit from using these chemicals. This study aims to find out if Indian children who are inattentive, disobedient etc. benefit from the use of these drugs.

  • Those of us who have been through this junk, are familiar with this sort of language…medical-ish jargon…our files are full of them. These psychiatry guys do their jobs, their systematic reviews, their statistics etc., improve their own research profiles whilst at the same time what they do helps some people, doesn’t do anything for others and harms some people…but no one knows what ends up happening to the people who were a part of these studies, what problems they actually had as opposed to the junk they were labelled with, whether or not those interventions helped them in any way or if they were harmed in the process, what they are doing now with their lives, what they thought of this whole psychiatry phase of their lives…etc.

  • Good going. Now, if you had a provision to take currency in Indian rupees, I would have already donated money periodically (albeit small amounts that I can afford). But seeing as I have to set up a PayPal account to convert it into US dollars, I haven’t been able to make any contributions. I will try to set up a PayPal account.

  • This discussion reminds me a bit of this forum called “crazymeds” forum. You can find it online.

    I remember some thread in which I was told sternly “Go ahead and reinvent the wheel! Our goal is to make sure mentally ill people stay on their meds!”

    People there were very touchy if things contrary to psychiatry were questioned and you asked for a certain level of specificity regarding certain issues.

    It’s the same here in an opposite manner (and that’s understandable, given what people here might’ve experienced in their lives, having experienced [and still experiencing]some of things in my life as well). If you even think that there might be some truth to what a psychiatrist might be saying (not to say that they don’t do things which can be disastrous) and voice it out loud, you will be put in the line of fire.

    However, I understand both points of view and place them in the context in which I feel they are supposed to be placed.

  • Sorry for the double writing.

    The downside of living where I do is, I will never be able to find a doctor like some of the ones here on MIA who would be happy to provide services without labelling and have a lot more knowledge about the flaws of their profession and how it can end up damaging lives and families.

    Most of the doctors will unfortunately be like Priti Arun and the rest of her colleagues.

    Families and people are also quite illiterate about these things, and some will blindly believe these guys because they are…well…”professionals”.

    I have had to struggle with some of these things.

    It is necessary for more people to know these things, especially people who are young.

  • In relation to this article this lady named Priti Arun, MD, and her colleague BS Chavan have also done a study on “Comparative efficacy of methylphenidate and atomoxetine in oppositional defiant disorder comorbid with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder”

    Even if you want to take some drugs for something, it is better to take a disclosure form and have it signed by the doctor which includes criteria like no labelling etc.

    This is difficult for those in the west, because insurance will not cover you without a label. Your systems have become shackles.

    Fortunately for me, since my country is not a “developed” country, the waffle is not so “developed” either, and medicine is far cheaper, and I can do without any insurance.

    I can have my kidneys transplanted here (and done well) for the price of a root canal in the west.

    The abstract reads as follows:

    Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is frequently comorbid with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is associated with substantial functional impairments. Methylphenidate and atomoxetine are well-established drugs for the management of ADHD. Some studies from Western countries have reported these drugs to be effective in the management of ODD comorbid with ADHD. This study aimed to assess if methylphenidate and atomoxetine are efficacious in treating Indian children with ODD comorbid with ADHD.

    The Vanderbilt Assessment Scale (to label someone with ADHD) mentioned in the study looks like this.

    The introduction of the study:

    Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) consists of recurrent uncooperative, disobedient, and hostile behavior which is not accounted for by the developmental stage of the child. It is defined in DSM-IV-TR as an enduring pattern of negativistic, defiant, and disruptive behavior toward authority figures. It must be present for more than 6 months and must not be caused by psychosis or a mood disorder, and the behavior must negatively impact the child’s social, academic, or occupational functioning. It does not include the most aggressive aspects of conduct disorder which is directed toward people, animals and property.[1] Negativistic and defiant behaviors are expressed by persistent stubbornness, resistance to directions, and unwillingness to compromise, give in or negotiate with adults and peers. It may also involve deliberate and persistent testing of limits, usually by ignoring orders, arguing, and failing to accept blame for misbehavior. ODD is among the most common mental health conditions in childhood. The prevalence of ODD in the general population has been reported to be between 2% and 16%. It has been estimated that around 60% of patients with ODD will develop conduct disorder and will have high risk for substance abuse.[2] Children with ODD have substantially impaired relationships with parents, teachers, and peers. These children are not only impaired in comparison with their peers, but they also show greater social impairment than do children with bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety disorders.

    Good god. If I go to one more of these people they will label me with something else. I can forsee ADHD, Borderline Personality Disorder and all kinds of other junk which thankfully, I have managed to not be labelled with, and will certainly do my best to sue the doctor for defamation if I’m labelled with.

    So much waffle wrapped up in sciency sounding jargon.

    It’s be much better if they simply said, “Hey, not able to concentrate? Take this drug, it may help you, but be warned, it may also cause mania, psychosis, tremors etc. If you have such effects, we can give you even more drugs to curb them.”

    It would not be wise to go to any of these guys even for a prescription without having them sign a disclosure form which has pre-set criteria like “no labels” etc. In the west, medical charges have to be covered by insurance, which makes it even harder for people there. At least, I am somewhat happy that I live in a “developing country” as opposed to a “developed” country because thankfully, the waffle is not very “developed” here either (though I fear for the future). I don’t need to sell a kidney and an arm to pay for medical expenses here even without insurance (depending upon the nature of the condition of course). In the west, I’d be forced to be labelled, because otherwise, medicine is so expensive and I wouldn’t be able to pay for it. I could have my kidneys transplanted here (and done well) for what they charge in the west for a root canal.

  • Once again, I did not merely link you to the article. I provided a link to you and specifically asked you to read my comment which has nothing to do with Scientology nor John Breeding, just like Thomas Szasz had nothing to do with Scientology except using their resources. Since it is difficult for you to separate both those things (the article from my comment) I will republish the comment here:

    There are many people who fraudulently call Thomas Szasz a Scientologist. This is an absolute lie. Szasz was an atheist. In an interview aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Szasz clearly states:

    “Well I got affiliated with an organisation long after I was established as a critic of psychiatry, called Citizens Commission for Human Rights, 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.”

    Link to the interview: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/thomas-szasz-speaks-part-2-of-2/3138880#transcript

    If you have been introduced to Thomas Szasz by way of his over-the-top videos created by CCHR, a Scientology backed group, please ignore them, and actually read his published works.

    The mental health workers that I was exposed to belonged to an organisation based on and funded by Christian groups (there and many such hospitals, schools and other institutes like that in my country. Hell, I studied in a Christian school, but that has nothing to do with my beliefs). Should I dismiss them as Christian groups? No. Their financial backing and what they do are two independent things. Similarly with Szasz.

    When you read Szasz’s works (and not CCHR videos, or RationalWiki entires, or rubbish written by random people, psychiatrists and “skeptics” online that ascribe nonsense and falsities like “mind-brain duality” to Szasz), likely you will agree with certain things, and disagree with others, i.e. you may be ambivalent. However, there is good to be absorbed from his works.

    I am publishing a few short passages from his books (like The Theology of Medicine etc.):

    1.) Inexorably, efforts to combat disease or stave off death conflict with the need to maintain dignity. The currently popular phrase death with dignity is therefore quite misleading: it is not just that people want to die with dignity, but rather that they want to live with it. After all, dying is a part of life, not of death. It is precisely because many people live without dignity that they also die without it. Determined and dignified persons, whether soldiers or surgeons, have always wanted to die with their boots on. Military men have traditionally preferred death on the battlefield or even suicide to surrender and loss of face; medical men prefer a sudden death from a myocardial infarct to a lingering demise from generalized carcinomatosis.

    These examples illustrate my contention that there is often an irreconcilable antagonism between preserving and promoting dignity and preserving and promoting health.

    2.) We can influence others in two radically different ways-with the sword or the pen, the stick or the carrot. Coercion is the threat or use of force to compel the other’s submission. If it is legally authorized, we call it “law enforcement”; if it is not, we call it “crime.” Shunning coercion,we can employ verbal, sexual, financial, and other enticements to secure the other’s cooperation. We call these modes of influence by a variety of names, such as advertising, persuasion, psychotherapy, treatment, brainwashing, seduction, payment for services, and so forth.

    We assume that people influence others to improve their own lives.The self-interest of the person who coerces is manifest: He compels the other to do his bidding. The self-interest of the person who eschews coercion is more subtle: Albeit the merchant’s business is to satisfy his customers’ needs, his basic motivation, as Adam Smith acknowledged, is still self-interest.

    Nevertheless, people often claim that they are coercing the other to satisfy his needs. Parents, priests, politicians, and psychiatrists typically assume this paternalistic posture vis-a-vis their beneficiaries. As the term implies, the prototype of avowedly altruistic domination-coercion is the relationship between parent and young child. Acknowledging that parents must sometimes use force to control and protect their children, and that the use of such force is therefore morally justified, does not compel us to believe that parents act this way solely in the best interest of their children. In the first place, they might be satisfying their own needs (as well). Or the interests of parent and child may be so intertwined that the distinction is irrelevant. Indeed, ideally the child’s dependence on his parents, and the parents’ attachment to him, mesh so well that their interests largely coincide. If the child suffers, the parents suffer by proxy. However, if the child misbehaves, he may enjoy his rebellion, whereas the parents are likely to be angered and embarrassed by it. Thus, what appears to be the parents’ altruistic behavior must, in part, be based on self-interest.

    3.) Since the seventeenth century, it has been mainly the scientist, and especially the so-called medical scientist or physician, who has claimed to owe his allegiance, not to his profession or nation or religion, but to all of mankind. But if I am right in insisting that such a claim is always and of necessity a sham- that mankind is so large and heterogeneous a group, consisting of members with inherently contradicting values and interests, that it is meaningless to claim allegiance to it or to its interests- then it behooves us as independent thinkers to ask ourselves, “Whose agent is the expert?”

    4.) John Donaldson and James Davis, the authors of a chapter titled “Evaluating the Suicidal Adolescent,” present the case history of a “17-year-old adolescent male,” whose problem they describe thus: “Current Complaints. Recent suicidal gestures.” This cannot be true: No one calls his own suicide attempts “gestures.” The authors’ final diagnoses of their patient are “Adjustment reaction with depressed mood. 2) Personality disorder 3) Homosexuality.” The book I cite was copyrighted in 1980, seven years after the APA abolished the diagnosis of homosexuality. Nine years after the authors’ treatment ended, the patient committed suicide. I am not faulting the authors for the suicide. I am faulting them for using this case as support for psychiatric coercion as a rational method of suicide prevention.

    Anyone familiar with the mental health industry knows that suicide is now the single most effective tool for promoting, justifying, and selling psychiatry. The threat of suicide, fear of suicide, gesture of committing suicide, attribution of wanting to commit suicide, promise of preventing suicide, claim of having successfully prevented suicide, each of these fears, threats, and promises stokes the furnaces of the madhouse industry, especially of its children’s division.

    5.) Everywhere, children, and even many adults, take it for granted not only that there is a god but that he can understand their prayers because he speaks their language. Likewise, children assume that their parents are good, and if their experiences are unbearably inconsistent with that image, they prefer to believe that they themselves are bad rather than that their parents are. The belief that doctors are their patients’ agents-serving their patients’ interests and needs above all others–seems to me to be of a piece with mankind’s basic religious and familial myths. Nor are its roots particularly mysterious: when a person is young, old, or sick, he is handicapped compared with those who are mature and healthy; in the struggle for survival, he will thus inevitably come to depend on his fellows who are relatively unhandicapped.

    Such a relationship of dependency is implicit in all situations where clients and experts interact. Because in the case of illness the client fears for his health and for his life, it is especially dramatic and troublesome in medicine. In general, the more dependent a person is on another, the greater will be his need to aggrandize his helper, and the more he aggrandizes his helper, the more dependent he will be on him. The result is that the weak person easily becomes doubly endangered: first, by his weakness and, second, by his dependence on a protector who may choose to harm him. These are the brutal but basic facts of human relationships of which we must never lose sight in considering the ethical problems of biology, medicine, and the healing professions. As helplessness engenders belief in the goodness of the helper, and as utter helplessness engenders belief in his unlimited goodness, those thrust into the roles of helpers whether as deities or doctors, as priests or politicians have been only too willing to assent to these characterizations of themselves.

    This imagery of total virtue and impartial goodness serves not only to mitigate the helplessness of the weak, but also to obscure the conflicts of loyalty to which the protector is subject. Hence, the perennial appeal of the selfless, disinterested helper professing to be the impartial servant of mankind’s needs and interests.

    Do these sound like the ravings of a crank? Give me a break.

    If John Breeding is a Scientologist, naturally I have nothing to do with his Scientology positions. I found that article on Szasz and wrote a comment there.

  • “It takes a critical mass of public consensus and I think this website is helping us get to that point.”

    I agree with this statement. However, what I’m trying to say is, if the site and the writings of the members here end up causing negative repercussions on people’s lives, it will lose its ability to reach that critical mass.

    Merely our intentions, which are good, are not enough. Many of these psychiatrists do their jobs with good intentions from their point of view, but look what ends up happening.

  • I am very curious about plenty of things as well and will send an e-mail to this doctor personally. Let me see how she responds or if she chooses not to respond at all.

    It’s a 13 year old article. Maybe, some of her views have changed, but I doubt it. She has written it from her point of view, but others like me have their own points of view as well.

  • See the last comment on this page and the time stamp on it.

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/10/psychologist-reviews-work-influence-thomas-szasz/

    Before you go on your little rant, it is good for you to follow your own advice and verify your facts.

    While I have my own views which some may disagree with me on here, and am afforded the freedom (which I presume you believe in) to air them, there is a reason I am here, just like the rest of you.

  • When I read these accounts, naturally the first thing I feel is empathy. I hope things turn out well for you. Hopefully, a day will come when I will be able to help at least some people in such crises out of them. I am in a bit of a crisis too anyway, but not as bad as the author of this article.

    The second thing I wonder is, is there anyway for you people to get out of this psychiatry cum legal system debacle in your country? When do they stop looking at you and move on to something else?

    Third, do they ever read the accounts of the people they treat here? What do they have to say?

  • The case study ends by saying:

    If the antipsychiatry movement becomes popular in India, many more patients will be discouraged from seeking professional help. Therefore, preventive measures need to be initiated by the professionals who believe in the safety and efficacy of psychiatric treatments. Preventive measures could include ensuring easy availability of scientific literature relating to various mental disorders, documenting positive results of treatment, keeping patients and their families involved in the treatment process, and increasing awareness among mental health professionals. It is necessary for psychiatrists, mental health professionals, and policymakers to question how best to deal with the virtual explosion of information on the Internet, where such unscientific, biased, and unethical information is readily available.

  • The above case study is very interesting and gives us all food for thought. The day is not far off when Mad In America becomes a topic in case studies done by people in the MH profession from various countries, as part of the “antipsychiatry movement”. And naturally, I do not think any of us would want to be a part of influencing someone in such a way that it is damaging to their lives.

  • The case study begins with a passage titled “Antipsychiatry movement or Inhumane movement?” and goes on to say:

    1.) In Europe and America, the antipsychiatry movement has been very active, with articles in magazines, chat shows on television, and information on the Internet. Various antipsychiatry organisations such as Network Against Psychiatric Abuse (NAPA) and the Church of Scientology are very vocal. In the book Schizophrenia – the sacred symbol of psychiatry ,Szasz said that there is no such thing as schizophrenia.

    2.) Another book, Schizophrenia: medical diagnosis or moral verdict by Sarbin and Mancuso concluded that schizophrenia is a myth.

    3.) Payer wrote that hospital admissions are made only for monetary gains and are no use to the patient or family.

    4.) Breggin concluded that antidepressants do not have any specificity, disturb normal brainfunctioning, and are prescribed for the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry.

    5.) This author went on to say that electroconvulsive therapy does not have any role in psychiatric treatment and is given only to intimidate patients. In India, despite firm belief in faith healers and social stigma attached to mental disorders, there has been no active campaign against the treatment of mental disorders. However, with the advent of the Internet, the world has shrunk and information has become readily available. The barriers of distance and cost are no longer important. In addition to these advantages, information technology (IT) has threatened the religious and cultural values of various communities. This report is of a patient with paranoid schizophrenia whose treatment was influenced by propagators of the antipsychiatry movement through misuse of IT.

  • Hey…I want to write about an interesting case study written by Priti Arun, MD, of Govt Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh; and Sudarshan Chavan, titled “Antipsychiatry Movement and Non-compliance with Therapy”. This is from India, where I live. It was published in 2004 in the Hong Kong Journal of Psychiatry.

    The case study, which deals with how the antipsychiatry movement negatively influenced a patient’s life, and goes as follows (I have broken it down into parts):

    1.) The patient was a 35-year-old unmarried man presenting with complaints of suspiciousness and aggressive behaviour towards his family.

    2.) Initially, the patient felt that someone was following him with the intention of harming him. He started believing that people were being introduced to him for some purpose. He also believed that advertisements in magazines and movies were intended to send messages to him, to hurt and frighten him. He went to Moscow in July 1995 for employment, but returned after 1 month as he felt that people in Russia were denying him his rights on the instructions of his family members. He thought that micro-phones were placed in his house and that his thoughts were known to everybody. He also thought that the government of the USA was watching his activities. He became upset and destroyed his green card and passport. His e-mails showed persecutory delusions and formal thought disorders.

    3.)There was no history suggestive of organicity, substance abuse, mood disorder, anxiety disorders, or suicidal ideas.

    4.) Premorbidly, he was affectionate and had many friends, but was sensitive to criticism. He had been a national-level hockey player and had won awards for essay writing.

    5.) After a detailed history was taken and the Mental State Examination performed, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Since then, he had been admitted to the psychiatry ward 3 times because of relapse due to non-compliance with therapy.

    6.) The patient had shown a good response to treatment with risperidone 6 mg during the first 2 admissions.

    7.) Prior to the third admission, the patient received 8 books from the USA that were published by the Church of Scientology. The books contained interviews with psychiatrists, patients, and their relatives. These books also depicted pictures of patients with tardive dyskinesia and described legal action taken against psychiatrists.

    8.) They patient’s e-mails, which were downloaded by his brother,revealed that he was in constant contact with people propagating the antipsychiatry movement. This group called themselves psychiatric survivors.

    9.) They praised the patient for his creative writing skills and reassured him that he did not have a mental illness. To win him over to their side, they acknowledged that he may be having ‘oddities of thought’ and suggested ways to ‘keep his mind from racing’ by spending time with art, poetry, and music.

    10.) This group guided the patient as to how to enter the USA after duping his parents. They also educated him about certain foods that slow down drug absorption. With the help of this group, the patient succeeded in avoiding taking any medications despite the best efforts of the ward team. He was advised by the group to paste labels of injection haloperidol decanoate on water for injection ampoules and received the water instead of the drug therapy until this was suspected by the ward sister.

    11.) To divert his family’s attention, the patient administered haloperidol drops to his father on the advice of the psychiatric survivors.

    12.) In a confrontation about his involvement with the antipsychiatry movement, the patient denied any involvement. E-mail and other correspondence was not shown to him because his parents feared a violent reaction and thought he may leave home forever. The issue was not discussed further with the patient. However, his parents became more vigilant regarding his medication as well as money being given to him. A contract was made whereby his parents agreed to set up a separate business for him provided he did not leave the town and took his medication under supervision.

  • This is a dangerous path to go down. Ascribing things to people that they may not have, and telling them that there may be things in place that negatively influenced their life that they are not aware of (which may happen in a few cases) is not something any of us should do unless we have more information regarding the case at hand.

    We can offer a contradicting opinion about our views and our own experiences and that’s it.

  • I am from India, and there is so much information I would like to know. I am pretty tired of the whole psychiatry thing, and I regret that I did not have enough information before I got into it. I did not even have much power when I was younger (I am still fairly young).

    If anyone can help me out with the following, please give me the required information:

    1.) Where can I find a doctor who will abide by the following rules:

    a.) Will not psychiatrically label me with DSM nonsense (any of the labels present in the DSM like “bipolar disorder” etc.)

    b.) Who does not call the side effects of psychiatric drugs a disorder (for example, calling mania caused by SSRIs “bipolar disorder” [they all seem to do it]).

    c.)I tend to be very confrontational with psychiatrists, especially because they don’t like it when these things are brought up. I am afraid that if I go to anyone they might label me with a “personality disorder” because of these very facts. Labelling people with “personality disorders” is not treatment. The medicalisation of a human being’s personality and labelling them with such nonsense is not treatment. It is not something the labellers would do to their own sons and daughters (and if they did, they would be terrible parents). It is defamation and libel, irrespective of how I behave. I will try my best to sue the doctor if he ever tries to do that to me.

    The doctor must agree to write anything he wants to in a descriptive manner, instead of using labels. It is a lot more honest and lot less deceptive to do that.

    d.) Who will not coerce me into “therapy” (I simply call it listening and talking), not use deceptive quasi-medical DSM jargon, and not disease-monger and who will not try to influence members of my family and me using these tactics.

    e.) Who will not prescribe garbage in the name of “treatment” i.e. drugs, the side effects of which are even worse than the low mood they are being prescribed for.

    f.) Who is okay with once a year visits to simply collect a prescription and leave.

    Note: I am asking this, because I am already on a few drugs that I find useful and have taken 10 years to find. For 10 years, I was prescribed horrible garbage that caused mania, sexual dysfunction, horrible tremors etc. They made me feel like a cripple. I have none of those things anymore, so I’m happy. The reason I got the new drugs is because I came on this site (even contacted one of the doctors here who is a colleague of the guy I went to).

    And the only reason I am even asking this, and even have to go to one of these highly irritating and mostly useless individuals is because I am mandated by law to require a prescription to buy drugs at a medical store.
    ***

    I also have many legal queries because I have already been part of my parents’ divorce case in which my incredibly abusive and psychopathic pathological liar of a male sperm donor (read “biological father”) wrote a lot of horrible lies and manipulations and used a lot of DSM labels against both me and my mother, without knowing anything about them.

    Note: I know I’m making allegations against someone, and these need not be believed, but we have provided enough evidence in court regarding these. I have enough evidence too in the form of audio recordings, photographs, videos etc. Please ignore the above paragraph, and the rest of the post is my main point.

    My queries:

    1.) In case I come into an agreement with a psychiatrist regarding the above requirements, but he still disregards them, for example, labels me with DSM labels, especially “personality disorders”, can I sue him for defamation?

    2.) Information about psychiatric practices from a legal point of view, and how cases have turned out for individuals who are labelled, and how I can safeguard my self.

    Let me give you some examples from my country of deceptive and dangerous practices that lawyers and psychiatrists can pull off.

    In the case of Pankaj Mahajan vs Dimple (30th Septermber 2011)

    Dr. Paramjit Singh of Medical College Amritsar writes: “This disease is Bipolar Affective Disorder. I treated her during this period. She was admitted in Emergency because her disease was in quite serious stage. In this disease, the patient can commit suicide. When she came, she was aggressive and irritable. If the proper treatment is not given to the respondent then her aggressive nature can be prolonged.

    Bipolar Affective Disorder (primarily a psychiatric label) is mentioned as a disease, with no reasons given as to why she experienced the depression or mania (who knows? It could be trauma that caused depression and iatrogenic reaction as a result of SSRI antidepressants that caused mania) that results in the label of Bipolar Disorder.

    Without such an explanation, the circularity is striking:

    Patient: Why did I experience depression/mania?
    Doctor: Because you have Bipolar Disorder
    Patient: Why do I have bipolar disorder?
    Doctor: Because you experienced depression/mania.

    In other words, it’s like saying a headache caused her head to hurt.

    “Her disease was in a serious stage” makes it sound like she has cancer which has metastasised to different parts of her body. “Suicide is possible in this disease”, however no information is given as to what her reasons for wanting to commit suicide were except a psychiatric label. What her aggressive nature is and her reasons for being aggressive are not mentioned except a psychiatric label which is descriptive.

    Some of the tactics lawyers, doctors or the opposition use are the misuse of psychiatric labels.

    For example “The opposite party suffers from schizophrenia as a result of which she has paranoid thoughts” etc. So, here a label, instead of being used as a description, is instead misleadingly being used imply causation.

    This allows for particularly deceptive tactics. For example, taking a particular label, reading up the worst possible behaviours associated with that label and alleging the opposite party suffers from all those and that it is caused by the label. Since psychiatric labels can be somewhat vague and can refer to various things for which the person has been labelled, it is easy to play around with them and use them against someone to delegitimise what they say and to manipulate and distort facts and/or even lie outright.

    In such cases, having a bipolar diagnosis due to mania caused by SSRIs (like me), and having experienced spontaneous manias makes a difference.

    The patient has to hope and rely on the charity of his/her consulting psychiatrist or head of department to do the right thing. This makes one a beggar.

    And clearly, if you have gone to a number of these fools, you will have more junk and more labels in your files, which will only add to your misery.

    Yet another psychiatrist in the same case writes:

    Dr. Virendra Mohan (PW-3), M.D. Psychiatry writes:

    She was diagnosed as a Chronic Paranoid Schizophrenic. There is no direct relationship in the stress or strain with the disease. Second time, she was admitted by her father Prem Kumar on 28.09.1999 and was discharged on 05.10.1999.

    Yet another psychiatric label, this time, it’s schizophrenia. Is she bipolar or schizophrenic? This just confirms my suspicion that the more psychiatrists you go to, the more labels you get and the garbage written down about you in your files increases exponentially. Also, stress and strain has nothing to do with one’s mental state? Ridiculous.

    What would the average lawyer or judge understand of these things? Nothing. They will rely on the words of the “trained professionals” most of whom will not do something against their own interests.

    Since I have already seen how much subjective junk these people can write about you in your files, the kind of long distance diagnosing they do of people, that they label people with disorders for side effects of drugs, how short sighted and ignorant they can be (especially the residents and junior doctors), I tend to be wary of all this.

    Wrong dates, symptoms I don’t have, incorrect medicines, dosages, wrong timelines of occurences etc. are all things I have seen in my files.
    ***

    If any such individuals are present, please provide me the details of where I can find them, and even though, India being a pretty large country, might require me to travel large distances, I have no problem going wherever I need to, to meet one of these individuals.

    I entered into this shit, hoping to get helped. I did not know it would complicate my life so much. At my age, I have ended up fighting two wars. One against my abusive psychopathic father and the other against psychiatric nonsense. I want out of this.

  • This is what happens all the time. You are prescribed an antidepressant for depression and/or anxiety. Antidepressant causes a manic episode, and boom, you are subsequently diagnosed bipolar.

    Psychiatrists, do you even read any of this? Do you understand why we have a problem with this (labelling people with disorders for side effects of mind altering drugs)? Or are your heads so far up your asses that you don’t give a shit? If they are, please tell us, and we’ll pull your heads out.

    If we’re polite, these practices won’t change. If we become harsh, they will unfairly play victim and push back on us.

  • I commend those of you who have lived well without drugs. I know a few people like that.

    Some of the very pro-psychiatry guys would call everyone here extremist anti-drug crowd, but they do not understand why some of the people here use terms like “toxins” and “poisons” when it comes to psychotropic drugs.

    Personally, I take an SSRI called Escitalopram for one purpose only. To deal with a low mood. However, they never work the way they’re supposed to, do they? I have to take 2 more drugs just for the side effects of the SSRI. I have to take Lamotrigine because the SSRI gets me high (hypomania, in psychiatric parlance), and also Mirtazapine because it removes SSRI induced tremor.

    Thankfully, with these three drugs (at the appropriate doses) I have no side effects at all. Naturally, I wish that at some point in my life, I will be able to taper down, at least a few of them, if not all. If I feel uneasy, I can take them again, which I have no problem with because I have no side effects.

    Now, why do people call them “toxins” and “poisons”? For 10 years, I was prescribed such horrific garbage, my hands used to shake like a Parkinson’s patient. I couldn’t hold a glass properly, or draw a straight line due to SSRI induced tremor. They tried multiple drugs to treat the tremors, none of which worked, and one of which was actually a blood pressure medication due to which they would check my blood pressure all the time. Other side effects of SSRIs (back then, because of the pointlessly high doses) included sexual dysfunction (thankfully, I don’t have even a bit of that anymore), and last but not by far the least, the wonderful episodes of SSRI induced mania, which royally screwed my life up.

    The other reasons why they would call them that is because they were forced to take garbage which actually made them worse. Else, they were prescribed these drugs for problems in living that had nothing to do with being prescribed drugs.

    The second thing some people point out is the contradiction of the people here, who on the one hand say that the effects of antidepressants can sometimes be just a placebo effect, on the other hand some like me say that they get me high.

    This isn’t actually a contradiction. SSRIs get a subset of those who take them, high.

    From the case study “Antidepressant induced mania: Is it a Risk factor for antidepressant abuse?

    “During these trials, the patient had experienced hypomanic symptoms with amineptine, fluvoxamine and venlafaxine. These hypomanic symptoms would start within 3-4 days of treatment initiation and could last for about 1-2 weeks (maximum 1 month). In this period the patient describes himself as at his creative best with marked increase in his work productivity, increased libido and a top of the world feel (“I am so confident that I feel I can walk into a cabinet meeting”) with significant reduction in his obsessive symptoms.

    This description is exactly how they make me feel. And the reason SSRIs have any antidepressant effect in me at all, is because they create this artificial high (which I have to contain and nullify by using another drug, namely Lamotrigine). So, an “upper” (SSRI) + a “downer” (Lamotrigine)=normal mood. I know “upper” and “downer” are bad terms for these drugs.

    On the other hand, there are people for whom SSRIs do nothing at all. Just like Mirtazapine (even though it an [non-SSRI] antidepressant) does nothing to change my mood (though it causes sedation and vivid dreams).

    The funny thing is, it is because I came on here that I got these new side effectless drugs! And you know why? One of the doctors who writes on MIA is a colleague of the guy who gave me these new side-effectless prescriptions! He was furious that I contacted this doctor! LOL!

    Now, I am mandated by law to seek these mostly useless individuals even for a prescription, which sucks. The negatives of going to these individuals far exceeds any positives. I’m at a risk of being labelled with even more garbage, if I seek any of them out.

    I protested my bipolar diagnosis strongly, which they didn’t like. I kept telling them that it is deceptive and a nonsensical practice for them to label me with “bipolar disorder” for the side effects of SSRIs (that is the causation of mania due to SSRIs).

    Taking drugs to feel a certain way is something people have done since the dawn of time. It isn’t merely ingesting something you want to that’s a problem. There are a whole host of other things.

  • Yet here I am. I’ve been treated effectively for bipolar disorder for 25 years. I take my meds. I’m happy and active.

    Good to hear. But none of us know what your “bipolar disorder” is, neither do we care to know if you don’t wish to tell us.

    I for one dislike my bipolar diagnosis because it is deceiving.

    I was labelled bipolar purely due to mania caused by SSRI antidepressants. Never had one without psychiatric drugs.

    Calling the side effects of mind altering psychiatric drugs a disorder is a deceptive practice and has social and medical implications which I have already faced, and I had to fight my way through to bring the truth out.

    But I do know there are people out there who experience spontaneous manias. Maybe you are one of those people. I don’t know.

    I see my shrink every 4 months for refills. I don’t do talk therapy. I’ve been married for 33 years.

    That’s the way it should be. Ideally, even a larger period to get a refill.

    Until we moved to the country and I became a full time “farmer”, “handyperson,” etc, I worked consistently for a solid 30 years. For much of that time I was a veterinary technician and a good one.”

    Sounds like a good life.

    If I die “early,” it’ll be because I was doing something I shouldn’t have. I’ve had a couple of major concussions and over a dozen broken bones. I’m an active person and play with 1100lb prey animals. Stuff happens. I’m pretty tough, but no match for a horse.

    Nice to know.

    I’ve never been hospitalized or marginalized. I’ve been married to the same man for 33 years.

    Nice to know.

    Everyone goes through trauma and stress. It’s called life and isn’t necessarily the cause for anything.

    Getting raped is not the same as having an argument with your husband.

    Some things in life can cause severe torment and anguish and are causal factors in experiencing depression. It’s silly to dismiss that.

    I’m not a victim of abuse, and even if someone tried to abuse me, it wouldn’t work.

    Nice to know.

    By your reckoning people like me shouldn’t exist. But here we are.

    Of course you are. Just like many of us.

    Many of us don’t talk about our diagnoses or treatment, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not out there.

    Sure you’re out there. That’s well known.

  • “That’s like saying migraine sufferers have migraines because migraines make the head hurt. ”

    That’s what the author said.

    “Life is full of stressors. My mother grew up during the Great Depression, lost her father at 19, and had bombs dropped on her in London during WWII. Nope, no PTSD. No problems with thunder, fireworks, or gunshots. If I believed your theory, she should have been sitting in a corner drooling”

    This implies all of us are sitting in corners and drooling. Besides, losing your father is normal thing. Bombs being dropped on London was an event that happened to lots of people at the time. That’s like saying that because I sat through a massive storm last year which caused massive financial and human damage, I should be bummed out.

    Expressing the fact that going through horrible stuff and having bad things being done to you by the actions of people (and even by one’s own actions) can cause depression is not some far fetched theory.

  • All this talk of Carrie Fisher, what about Jake Lloyd who played Anakin Skywalker (the guy who goes on to become Darth Vader), who was put in a psychiatric facility labelled with “Schizophrenia”, after he spent 10 months in jail.

    Lloyd voiced displeasure regarding his role and the way his peers in school and college treated him regarding his stint in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. And to be honest, there was quite a backlash from fans over the Star Wars prequels.

    Here’s an interview with him a few years ago on these issues.

    Lloyd’s story did not get much coverage.

    Personally, I think he did just fine as young Anakin.

  • I had a psychopathically abusive father. Caused me a lot of depression. I also had mania caused due to SSRI antidepressants (which subsequently led to a bipolar diagnosis).

    How can a chaotic childhood not be a risk factor for experiencing depression, something that is part of the label of “bipolar disorder” (which just says that a person experienced depression and mania and not why they happened).

    “Saying that bipolar disorder is itself the problem is akin to saying that one’s head hurts because one has a headache, and it is the headache that is causing the head to hurt. This logic, quite literally, gives me a headache.”

    How true!

  • Meh. Drugs vs “Psychotherapy”. They can both be just as useless as the other.

    Multitudes of people commit suicide every year because of financial problems, abusive parents, unfair outcomes, getting screwed over etc.

    What are you going to do? Drugs don’t solve problems in living. Sitting in a room and talking nonsense to a “licensed professional” can be just as useless.

    You want to help a man with financial problems? Give him money.

    You want to help children with abusive parents? Deal with the parents, and so on.

    Don’t bullshit them with your pointless “psychotherapy”, which can be just as pointless and even damaging as improper drugs.

  • Can you believe these douches?

    Nigel Barber on Psychology Today writes about Trump’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Basically a defamatory quasi-medical rewording of the fact that he thinks he is a narcissist. It wouldn’t matter if they did this to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders or Nelson Mandela. It is nonsensical.

    Nigel Barber also writes: “The key question to ask is whether, having come so far despite his psychiatric disorder, Trump, or any other narcissistic personality can communicate well enough to be an effective leader of the free world.”

    Another commenter on the article who calls himself Howard writes:

    “Mr. Trump surely fits the clinical picture of narcissism and perhaps psychopathy and machiavellianism.

    My guess is somehow his narcissism not only inflates his self image but flagrantly distorts his sense of reality, to the point of functional psychosis.

    Perhaps there is comorbidity of bipolar- he is genuinely a threat to himself and others, and the country”

    So…there is something called NPD in him, perhaps even a comorbidity of bipolar (which has caused him to be psychotic)…something that must be unearthed and treated by the psychologist….give me a break.

    My own comment on the article:

    If you think the man is being a narcissist, you can simply say it as it is (that he’s being a narcissist), instead of medicalising the issue and using the term “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” to delegitimise someone, which is just a quasi-medical rewording of the fact that you think he’s narcissistic.

    “Having come so far despite his psychiatric disorder”.

    Give me a break, I’m not even from the US, and I couldn’t care less who wins the election in the USA, but that statement is downright pathetic.

    You want to call someone out on their behaviour? Do that. You want to write about a patient’s behaviour that distresses you or anyone else? Write about it in a descriptive manner, like they would in court statements.

    Those of you who label people with DSM/ICD personality disorders are not doctors nor psychologists (or whatever positions you hold). You are criminals engaging in defamation and libel and should be locked up in jail for it.

    6 months per label should set things straight.

  • P.S.- Not that I’d get a response, but if you ever do read this, I would also advice you to take note if the “family history of BPAD” that you seem to seek in patients is also a result of antidepressant induced mania.

    Hopefully, you do not mistake iatrogenic drug induced occurrences as spontaneous manic episodes and justify it with a “family history”. Not saying you do do this. But simply asking you to be aware.

  • One set of people who are at risk of experiencing psychosis are a subset of those placed on SSRI antidepressants which can cause mania and psychosis in some people. This risk is even more fortified if they have a close biologically related family member who has experienced antidepressant induced mania.

  • There are many people who fraudulently call Thomas Szasz a Scientologist. This is an absolute lie. Szasz was an atheist. In an interview aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Szasz clearly states:

    “Well I got affiliated with an organisation long after I was established as a critic of psychiatry, called Citizens Commission for Human Rights, 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.”

    Link to the interview: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/thomas-szasz-speaks-part-2-of-2/3138880#transcript

    If you have been introduced to Thomas Szasz by way of his over-the-top videos created by CCHR, a Scientology backed group, please ignore them, and actually read his published works.

    The mental health workers that I was exposed to belonged to an organisation based on and funded by Christian groups (there and many such hospitals, schools and other institutes like that in my country. Hell, I studied in a Christian school, but that has nothing to do with my beliefs). Should I dismiss them as Christian groups? No. Their financial backing and what they do are two independent things. Similarly with Szasz.

    When you read Szasz’s works (and not CCHR videos, or RationalWiki entires, or rubbish written by random people, psychiatrists and “skeptics” online that ascribe nonsense and falsities like “mind-brain duality” to Szasz), likely you will agree with certain things, and disagree with others, i.e. you may be ambivalent. However, there is good to be absorbed from his works.

    I am publishing a few short passages from his books (like The Theology of Medicine etc.):

    1.) Inexorably, efforts to combat disease or stave off death conflict with the need to maintain dignity. The currently popular phrase death with dignity is therefore quite misleading: it is not just that people want to die with dignity, but rather that they want to live with it. After all, dying is a part of life, not of death. It is precisely because many people live without dignity that they also die without it. Determined and dignified persons, whether soldiers or surgeons, have always wanted to die with their boots on. Military men have traditionally preferred death on the battlefield or even suicide to surrender and loss of face; medical men prefer a sudden death from a myocardial infarct to a lingering demise from generalized carcinomatosis.

    These examples illustrate my contention that there is often an irreconcilable antagonism between preserving and promoting dignity and preserving and promoting health.

    2.) We can influence others in two radically different ways-with the sword or the pen, the stick or the carrot. Coercion is the threat or use of force to compel the other’s submission. If it is legally authorized, we call it “law enforcement”; if it is not, we call it “crime.” Shunning coercion,we can employ verbal, sexual, financial, and other enticements to secure the other’s cooperation. We call these modes of influence by a variety of names, such as advertising, persuasion, psychotherapy, treatment, brainwashing, seduction, payment for services, and so forth.

    We assume that people influence others to improve their own lives.The self-interest of the person who coerces is manifest: He compels the other to do his bidding. The self-interest of the person who eschews coercion is more subtle: Albeit the merchant’s business is to satisfy his customers’ needs, his basic motivation, as Adam Smith acknowledged, is still self-interest.

    Nevertheless, people often claim that they are coercing the other to satisfy his needs. Parents, priests, politicians, and psychiatrists typically assume this paternalistic posture vis-a-vis their beneficiaries. As the term implies, the prototype of avowedly altruistic domination-coercion is the relationship between parent and young child. Acknowledging that parents must sometimes use force to control and protect their children, and that the use of such force is therefore morally justified, does not compel us to believe that parents act this way solely in the best interest of their children. In the first place, they might be satisfying their own needs (as well). Or the interests of parent and child may be so intertwined that the distinction is irrelevant. Indeed, ideally the child’s dependence on his parents, and the parents’ attachment to him, mesh so well that their interests largely coincide. If the child suffers, the parents suffer by proxy. However, if the child misbehaves, he may enjoy his rebellion, whereas the parents are likely to be angered and embarrassed by it. Thus, what appears to be the parents’ altruistic behavior must, in part, be based on self-interest.

    3.) Since the seventeenth century, it has been mainly the scientist, and especially the so-called medical scientist or physician, who has claimed to owe his allegiance, not to his profession or nation or religion, but to all of mankind. But if I am right in insisting that such a claim is always and of necessity a sham- that mankind is so large and heterogeneous a group, consisting of members with inherently contradicting values and interests, that it is meaningless to claim allegiance to it or to its interests- then it behooves us as independent thinkers to ask ourselves, “Whose agent is the expert?”

    4.) John Donaldson and James Davis, the authors of a chapter titled “Evaluating the Suicidal Adolescent,” present the case history of a “17-year-old adolescent male,” whose problem they describe thus: “Current Complaints. Recent suicidal gestures.” This cannot be true: No one calls his own suicide attempts “gestures.” The authors’ final diagnoses of their patient are “Adjustment reaction with depressed mood. 2) Personality disorder 3) Homosexuality.” The book I cite was copyrighted in 1980, seven years after the APA abolished the diagnosis of homosexuality. Nine years after the authors’ treatment ended, the patient committed suicide. I am not faulting the authors for the suicide. I am faulting them for using this case as support for psychiatric coercion as a rational method of suicide prevention.

    Anyone familiar with the mental health industry knows that suicide is now the single most effective tool for promoting, justifying, and selling psychiatry. The threat of suicide, fear of suicide, gesture of committing suicide, attribution of wanting to commit suicide, promise of preventing suicide, claim of having successfully prevented suicide, each of these fears, threats, and promises stokes the furnaces of the madhouse industry, especially of its children’s division.

    5.) Everywhere, children, and even many adults, take it for granted not only that there is a god but that he can understand their prayers because he speaks their language. Likewise, children assume that their parents are good, and if their experiences are unbearably inconsistent with that image, they prefer to believe that they themselves are bad rather than that their parents are. The belief that doctors are their patients’ agents-serving their patients’ interests and needs above all others–seems to me to be of a piece with mankind’s basic religious and familial myths. Nor are its roots particularly mysterious: when a person is young, old, or sick, he is handicapped compared with those who are mature and healthy; in the struggle for survival, he will thus inevitably come to depend on his fellows who are relatively unhandicapped.

    Such a relationship of dependency is implicit in all situations where clients and experts interact. Because in the case of illness the client fears for his health and for his life, it is especially dramatic and troublesome in medicine. In general, the more dependent a person is on another, the greater will be his need to aggrandize his helper, and the more he aggrandizes his helper, the more dependent he will be on him. The result is that the weak person easily becomes doubly endangered: first, by his weakness and, second, by his dependence on a protector who may choose to harm him. These are the brutal but basic facts of human relationships of which we must never lose sight in considering the ethical problems of biology, medicine, and the healing professions. As helplessness engenders belief in the goodness of the helper, and as utter helplessness engenders belief in his unlimited goodness, those thrust into the roles of helpers whether as deities or doctors, as priests or politicians have been only too willing to assent to these characterizations of themselves.

    This imagery of total virtue and impartial goodness serves not only to mitigate the helplessness of the weak, but also to obscure the conflicts of loyalty to which the protector is subject. Hence, the perennial appeal of the selfless, disinterested helper professing to be the impartial servant of mankind’s needs and interests.

    Do these sound like the ravings of a crank? Give me a break.

  • I’m not too into politics. I’m not even from the US, so I couldn’t care less about these people (and I neither support one candidate over another, because it doesn’t cause even a blip in my personal life).

    However, something that I [i]have[/i] noticed certain psychologists do online is diagnose political personalities like Trump with “personality disorders” (“narcissistic personality disorder” etc.). Keep psychologists aside; how often have we not noticed average people who know nothing of these things make statements like “X person behaves this way because he probably has Y personality disorder”. As if that somehow explains why the person behaves that way. They think that using medical disorder terminology points to some intrinsic biological flaw as a result of which the person in question behaves the way he/she does. They don’t understand that it’s [i]because[/i] he behaves that way that they label him/her that way, and that such labelling is descriptive and not explanatory.

    Honestly, these psychologists who do long distance diagnosing should be sued and put into deep trouble. They should be made an example out of, so that the rest of their comrades look at them and fear engaging in such practices. It’s the only way to set these issues and these people straight. Writing posts, activism etc…it seems to be more useless by the day. You want to call someone out on their behaviour, ideas and policies? Then call them out on their behaviour, ideas and policies. Stop medicalising the issue.

    This reminds me of an incident with “bipolar specialist” Nasser Ghaemi. He wrote a long article on Psychology Today about why it’s not depression but bipolar depression that “killed” Robin Williams. I pointed out (via a comment on the article) that he had never met Robin Williams in person, so why would he long distance diagnose him that way? I wrote that there could have been social factors and problems in living that made him want to kill himself. He modified my comment and took out the part where I wrote that he was long distance diagnosing him, and just kept the “social factors and problems in living” part.

  • Mr. Whitaker. Just know that I (like many others) am very grateful for what you do.

    You were the first person to properly address the queries I had about antidepressant induced mania and people subsequently being diagnosed as bipolar due to mania caused by antidepressants. Hardly any psychiatrists could answer the questions I had properly and some were unwilling to get into it at all. They wondered why it mattered to me so much, but it is amazing to believe that people that society considers as experts on the mind cannot understand that being labelled with a major psychiatric disorder due to side effects of pills (manias which would never have happened if not for them) is something that would concern any sane person. Such labelling is deleterious in other ways too.

    The psychiatrist who prescribed antidepressants which caused my mania left on sabbatical. I had another one who was a fool, who despite me telling him that antidepressants caused my mania, kept pressing me about my family history of bipolar disorder, only for me to find out that this family member of mine was also labelled bipolar due to antidepressant induced mania. I have taken SSRIs thousands of times. I know how they feel like the back of my hand. My original psychiatrist has come back and corrected the error in any case. But it may not have been possible without the help of this site.

    Your website has actually had a positive real life impact on me, in more ways than one.

    It is a very good thing you do here. And far from being a “menace to society”, you have given a voice to people who would otherwise be dismissed as “disgruntled patient groups”.

    Hell, I don’t even live anywhere close to America. Not even the same continent. And it has still been useful.

    Thank you for all you do sir.

  • In a recent article on you Mr. Emil Karlsson has written:

    “Whitaker believes that schizophrenia is caused by antipsychotic medications. However, there have been millions of people with schizophrenia before the discovery of antipsychotics starting in the 1950s, so this effectively disproves the core premise of Whitaker’s anti-psychiatry nonsense.”

    https://debunkingdenialism.com/2016/08/08/anti-psychiatry-and-the-anatomy-of-a-non-epidemic/

    Apparently you believe that antipsychotics cause schizophrenia. This is such an outright lie, that it’s laughable. Shame. I used to read Mr. Karlsson’s blog every now and then. I think I will completely avoid it from now.

  • Not especially. My bad. They cause feelings like that WHEN they cause mania.

    An SSRI along with another pill (colloquially called a mood stabiliser) that cuts out the SSRI high makes you feel normal. It is more a function of the mania (caused by the SSRIs) than merely taking the SSRIs themselves.

    However, I have had such psychiatrists too. How goddamn stupid can some of these people be? The most important things they should be taught in medical school is the adverse effects these medications can have.

    I had a psychiatrist in 2010-2011 who, while being generally nice to me, made a pretty big error. I told him multiple times that the SSRIs were getting me high. All he said was “, No problem, the high will be there. Keep taking them”. I did keep taking them and ultimately had an outright episode of ssri induced mania which drove me out of my mind (made me psychotic), made me spend money I wouldn’t otherwise, and do all sorts of ridiculous stuff. Nothing violent. Just horribly embarrassing. And it’s biting me to this day.

  • The SSRI induced manias I had sometimes made me feel extremely powerful like a revved up car engine and want to fight to release that energy. I never gave into those impulses, but I know it happens.

    I know full well that SSRIs can cause feelings like that, especially when they cause mania.

  • Sorry, I did not mean to offend. Sometimes I have a hard time not being extreme myself as well. I just try to put myself in the shoes of the other person and see where they’re coming from (whether they happen to be critics or supporters). And I also consider the possibility that not all feel the same way as me or some others and that sometimes I can be wrong.

    I know several here have had less than pleasant experiences (to put it very very mildly) and I do not disrespect what they’ve been through and I have stated that I totally understand where they’re coming from, having been in some unpleasant situations myself.

    Best wishes.

  • Dr. Hassman, it is good to know that there are “those like [you] who see illness as multidimensional, or biopsychosocial.” and that your treatment is “truly well intended and benefits the sizeable majority of the populace” and that you are also happy that “those who are or did treat you continued the process and modulated your needs as time progressed, as did your health.”

    Yes, and I am not being sarcastic. Dr. Berezin does make an important point, that psychotropic drugs are mediators which may lower the psychological feeling of distress, but problems in living are not solved by them alone (which is important to remember). However, sometimes modulating these mediating biological factors is a good thing if they achieve positive results where the positives outweigh the negatives (which include harmful/distressing side effects).

    It took me a very long time to find a combination of drugs which have minimal side effects (which I achieved only sometime back, by altering dosages (mainly of the SSRI which is most problematic of the whole lot in terms of side effects, but also is the most efficient in providing relief from a feverishly low mood etc.), possibly eating better etc.). These help alleviate the psychological aspects of extreme pain. However, there is still pain because of life experiences. That is not something drugs can remove.

    But I can understand in many respects where the readers and writers on this site come from and there are some important things they are trying to say.

    It is true there are some extreme people on this side (as there are on the other side) but MIA and Whitaker genuinely have done some good work. And I also know that there are psychiatrists who do good work as well. I have had some bad experiences but I have also had good ones and I’m very grateful to some of the psychiatrists that I’ve had who have genuinely helped me from their side. But it is not a black and white thing, and not as simple as “good” and “bad”. It’s nuanced and complex.

  • Funny. I was watching a video about Star Wars on Youtube. I found out that a French psychiatrist named Eric Bui diagnosed Anakin Skywalker, who later becomes the iconic villain Darth Vader, as having Borderline Personality Disorder because he meets the criteria for the label (such a thing is also written on Wikipedia).

    This is never something I’ve been labelled with (and hopefully never will be), and I’ve only ever spoken to one person who has been labelled as such and who was very traumatised due to a rather abusive familial environment.

    Funnily enough, some people perceive it as “this disorder is a condition, the symptoms of which are..” rather than “we are calling these set of behaviours a condition and there are reasons why the person is behaving in such a manner” which are two very different ways of looking at it.

    To medically label people who are already distressed as having personality disorders which will further add to negative (and likely untrue) perceptions in the eyes of people and their own family members (which will provide fodder for them to misuse these labels) is disgusting.

    Perhaps if more people consider such labelling to be defamation rather than diagnosis and take legal action, such a thing would eventually stop. However, this is unlikely, as a large number of people who end up in psychiatry are powerless to begin with and probably can’t afford expensive lawyers, legal fees and hassles.

    To evaluate a person’s behaviour and thoughts, why not just evaluate them for what they are, instead of stamping medical sounding labels on them? Or simply use more neutral sounding labels such as Category 1, Category 2 etc. rather than Borderline Personality Disorder which might simply end up turning into self fulfilling prophecies because the labelled will internalise them and people on the outside (family or others) will treat them and behave with them based on the label.

    The argument for labelling is that “the benefits of such labelling and corresponding treatment received outweigh the residual stigma and other cons”. This is something for people who have never been through the cons to say.

    There’s also an article about the whole Darth Vader fiasco titled “The Psychology of Darth Vader” : http://www.livescience.com/10679-psychology-darth-vader-revealed.html

    Psychiatrist Eric Bui writes “I believe that psychotherapy would have helped Anakin and might have prevented him from turning to the dark side,” Bui said. “Using the dark side of the Force could be considered as similar to drug use: It feels really good when you use it, it alters your consciousness and you know you shouldn’t do it.”

    One commenter on the article wrote a rather hilarious comment: “You mean to tell me that the fall of the Jedi Order, the destruction of Alderaan and a six-year galactic civil war all could have been avoided if this a**hole had just gotten some therapy?“.

    LOL!!

  • However, I will add, that though there is such a thing as an unfair playing of the victim role, your insinuation(s) is based on very little knowledge of my personal life (which I am not obligated to elucidate). I sometimes log my thoughts here, and I come very infrequently. I could quote several of your posts from your posting history and make similar insinuations about you as well. However, I will leave it at that before this turns into a pointless back and forth game of personal attacks.

    Good day to you, and all the best.

  • Wish it were that simple. Went off the SSRIs for a few weeks and ended up feeling so depressed, I was sleeping all the time, full of thoughts about nasty stuff in life. I missed important events because I was hardly able to get out of bed or concentrate on my work. I’ve had to go back on them.

    Maybe just maybe, a day will come when I can finally stop using them. But that day’s not today (and it doesn’t seem like it will be anytime soon).

    The biggest bummer is being given a major psychiatric label (bipolar disorder) because of SSRI induced mania.

  • The antidepressants and bipolar diagnosis link ought to be studied a lot more. I have a lot of experience with SSRIs (4 different ones). All of them cause a significant elevation in mood when I take them. I’ve experienced mania several times on SSRIs.

    Funnily enough, the antidepressant Mirtazapine (which is NOT an SSRI), doesn’t seem to cause the same sort of rapid mood change in me that the SSRIs do. But my psychiatrist tells me that Mirtazapine causes manias too in some people.

    It takes some time to figure out these pills. The first time I took an SSRI (sertraline), I had a prompt change in mood, and became very happy. I didn’t even realize that it was due to the drug. The same thing happened with Fluvoxamine (the “high” or mania). My friends also used to point out my shaking hands. Even I used to wonder why my hands were shaking. It took me quite some time to realise that these were SSRI induced tremors, and that every time I took them my body would have tremors and when I stopped they would go away.

    I take Mirtazapine these days, and I’m relatively new to it. Again, it takes time to figure out the effects of the drug on my body. I was told that the drug has a sedative effect, but I didn’t feel anything initially, because I was drinking alcohol (to cope with my tensions) along with the Mirtaz. I’ve barely had any alcohol for the last 8 months. Once I took the Mirtaz plain, the sedative effect was prompt and very clear. It indeed does have a strong sedative effect which reduces the longer you take it. I also found that it didn’t have the same rapid SSRI high (which I was desperate for at the time, due to my problems), and initially thought it’s probably not doing anything. But, I think it’s causing some vivid dreams when I take them (nothing nasty), so, it’s clearly doing something. I have to “experiment” with the drug on and off, if I want to find out what it’s doing precisely, but I don’t think I want to do that now. I have 7-8 years of experience with SSRIs, so I know their effects very well. Not so much with Mirtaz (in months).

    I hope I’m not buggered into taking SSRIs by any psychiatrist in the future. Nasty side effects. But certainly effective when in a deep depression or anxious state. But I can only stand them for like a month or 3 months max (along with a mood stabiliser, else mania is a major possibility). I’d rather die than take them for longer than that.

    My current psychiatrist is fine with me taking Mirtaz (which has no bad side effects like tremors) and he proactively says to avoid SSRIs. I’d like to keep it that way as much as possible.

  • I take the antidepressant Mirtazapine. It doesn’t cause any problems to me (i.e. no side effects. It does have a sedative effect, which to me is beneficial). Neither does the mood stabiliser lamotrigine. But SSRIs are a whole different story. Horrible side effects. Sexual dysfunction, horrible tremors (which don’t go away no matter how much propranolol or mysoline or whatever else you add, though Mirtazapine helps to a very slight amount in that regard) etc. Not to mention the SSRI induced manic episodes I had in the past (which are deadly). If they didn’t have those, I wouldn’t mind taking them. They cause me a certain “high” (which Mirtazapine doesn’t) which is beneficial for a short while (and sometimes you want that if you’re mentally distressed for whatever reason). If they were more like Mirtazapine in terms of side effect profile, they’d be awesome.

    My current psychiatrist is okay with me taking lamotrigine and mirtazapine (what when he is gone?). Sometimes, I may take an SSRI (which I wouldn’t have to if I didn’t have a certain shitty person (and family problems) in my life who causes me tension) out of desperation, but I never want to be on them for more than two or 3 months. It’s okay for a short period of time. Other than that, I would rather be dead than be on SSRIs. Life to me is meaningless, with the kind of side effects SSRIs have in me.

  • Diseases or not. Impairment in functioning is a condition for any sort of treatment (or “treatment” if you want to call it that). If some people benefit from taking psychotropics in order to enhance their functioning, I do not see a problem with that.

    Fine. You’ll put them into the paper shredder. Suggest an alternative to help people in distress. Listening and talking will only do so much. Drugs will also only do so much. A combination will also only do so much. That doesn’t mean that it does not benefit some. It also doesn’t mean that a person should rely on the mental health system to solve problems in living, thinking and feeling. In fact, he should rely on them to a certain extent and sort out many other things by learning and adapting to challenges in life by himself as much as possible.

  • I don’t think people’s fight should be about labels per se. Labels are useful for categorisation and research. It is when people misunderstand them, that problems arise. It’s when people internalise them so deeply that they see almost everything in their lives through the prism of their labels and forget they are first and foremost people with challenges and problems (and problems in living) that they cause self harm. When others, due to their ignorance, see the labelled the same way, they make life for the labelled difficult.

    Labels are descriptive and should be seen as such.

    If someone has a better alternative to labels that can be practically implemented, that’d be great. But I don’t see that happening. All I see is people who are angry, and though they may have justifiable reasons for their anger, it won’t do much.

    Also, psychotropic drugs do help some people. And if it’s making them focus better, it’s up to them to take them. What’s required is honesty. Psychiatrists should tell their patients what side effects the drugs may cause, and what their long term consequences may be. Not everyone has bad experiences on them. Some do, some don’t, some see the trade off between side effects and their non-drugged lives, as something they are willing to accept.

    Do labels not have negative consequences? Do they not make some others prejudge people? Sure, there are many instances where they do.

    Do I wish we could do away with labels? Sure. But what practically implementable alternatives are you willing to show us?

    What we can do is talk, write and educate people about the negatives of labels, and how they can make others be judgmental without even knowing what their purpose is. Psychiatrists and psychologists should take part in doing this as well. It is in the interest of their clients and ultimately in the interest of their own profession to clear these things up.

  • There is something called Akiskal’s schema in which bipolar 3 is the label given to people who experience antidepressant induced mania. In Klerman’s bipolar subtypes, bipolar 4 is the label for the same. So AD induced mania is a well recognised phenomenon.

  • SSRIs DO cause manic episodes in a subset of the population that take them. This is well recognised even by psychiatrists. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15289250

    Secondly, even antidepressant induced mania qualifies for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

    The question is, without the antidepressant induced manic switch, would these patients have ever had a manic episode otherwise, and be diagnosed bipolar?

    The one that I linked to was a large scale study, but a case study done by two Indian doctors ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2952169/) is interesting, and the description of the antidepressant “high” (which is really mania/hypomania) is very similar to what I experience if I take SSRIs alone without anti-manic agents. Not all people who take SSRIs experience SSRI induced mania, but some do.

    All the SSRIs I’ve taken get me high. This includes sertraline, fluvoxamine, venlafaxine and escitalopram. I have never had a spontaneous manic switch otherwise.

    Next thing, in the major depressive disorder group you reference, did they preexclude people who have a history of antidepressant induced (or otherwise) mania?

    I don’t know how to study you reference was done, but you could shed some light on it.

    The thing is, if people who experience AD induced mania are given a bipolar label, and those who do not experience AD induced mania are given a major depressive label, then it is obvious that the rates of switch in the major depressive group will be very low, because you are pre-selecting those who did not have a history of AD induced manic switches (who by the virtue of experiencing AD induced mania were put in the bipolar subgroup). I wonder if the study took this into consideration

  • Ted,

    I understood that your comment regarding the arguments wasn’t directed at me.

    Also, the thing is, not everyone feels that they’ve been harmed by psychiatry. Individual bad experiences will be treated as just that. Individual bad experiences.

    It will take a lot more to demonstrate harm. The harm comes in many ways. Iatrogenic drug reactions, stigma due to labelling, improper/incomplete information given by psychiatrists to patients, the power imbalance between psychiatrists/patient’s families and the patients themselves, psychiatrists on TV shows explaining things in terms of biology (X drug, Y drug, this brain imaging, that brain imaging) with hardly any emphasis on the problems in living that people face (Charlie Rose’s Brain series comes to mind), people misusing psychiatric labels and using the insanity card in deceitful ways, stereotypes of people with X or Y label etc. Some of this is direct harm, and some of it is indirect harm. In either case, psychiatrists should be doing more to address these issues.

    But who’s up to doing studies on the social aspects of psychiatry? Who will look at it as an outsider? Is there a good large scale investigation of this phenomenon?

    People on MIA can get extreme and that’s understandable given the things they’ve been through. But they’re marginalised as extremist disgruntled patients. Who’s going to take them seriously? A few psychiatrists on MIA? It’s a start, but it hardly does much really.

  • I wonder if there are also studies on people who’ve been through the psychiatric system. What do they say? Were they helped? Were they harmed? Was it useless? Blog posts won’t do much. Also, simply having studies where a person’s depression score on some rating scale improved after taking so and so drug is hardly going to tell you anything about the patients in that study.

  • Ted,

    Your style of debating isn’t going to do much irrespective of how much pain you’ve been through or how much pain others (and myself) are going through. I know your story. You think I don’t have a story too? That I’ve not been through horrible things?

    We’re “disgruntled patients” as some critics put it. What people need to do is gather evidence to support their claims. Take a video recorder, or an audio recorder next time you go to a psychiatrist. Take the experiences of many people.

    I notice some people who are into psychiatry (as patients) have this sucking up to psychiatrists mentality possibly out of fear.

    The thing is, I take psychotropic drugs, and I have one reasonable psychiatrist. But I am quite vocal about my feelings regarding things. Not everyone would be able to get away by doing that though.

  • There is a lot of criticism of this site, and some of the writing here. For example, by Emil Karlsson: http://debunkingdenialism.com/2014/11/23/scientific-american-publishes-anti-psychiatry-nonsense/

    I see hardly any responses to such criticism. I read both sides of the debate to be more clear, and not get totally carried away.

    If all your work is characterised as pseudoscientific nonsense, the site will lose its purpose and credibility (which I think is already somewhat damaged).

  • One of the things in pharmacology is that different people have different responses to the same drug. So for example, if you have back pain, you may be prescribed tylenol+codeine. For a subset of people who have a certain variant of the CYP2D6 gene (which is involved in metabolising codeine), the body does not turn codeine into its biologically active form as desired. So this prescription does not have much of an effect on them. People who have yet another variant of the same gene get severely affected by the same prescription because more of it is converted into its biologically active form than in the average person. Things like this form the basis for the emerging field of pharmacogenomics.

    However, if a doctor who is prescribing drugs does not warn you about the dangers of the drug, or doesn’t recognise adverse drug reactions (like antidepressant induced mania/psychosis), or covers it up dishonestly, then it is really a cause for concern. The fact that you respond in one manner to a drug and others in another manner, is no excuse for the doctor’s lack of judgement or honesty or the fact that he/she has withheld information, and you should be able to sue him.

  • “The hand cleaning compulsion you mention is caused by people believing that they will contract a dangerous disease if they don’t wash their hands repeatedly”

    This is true. And challenging this belief is what psychiatrists/psychologists do in clinical settings (in addition to prescribing drugs if needed). However, why is it that most people do not have this belief while some develop them and have a hard time with getting rid of them even if given the same not-out-of-the-ordinary environmental factors?

    There have been (to my knowledge) no specific genes found for intelligence or personality either. But that they have no influence on those traits is absurd.

    “So it is necessary to help them question this belief, and to understand this belief in the context of their history and the social environment they grew up in and continue to experience”

    Again, this is true. I’ve seen this being done in clinical settings. But I don’t live in the US, so I don’t know how it works there.

    Ignoring environmental and social causes is a bad thing.

    I agree that psychiatric labels (though helpful for categorisation and research purposes, just like labels in gastroenterology such as irritable bowel syndrome, which is a symptom based descriptive label) can hide the very real problems in living people face.

    But if you’re claiming that there are no genetic influences, as opposed to environmental and social causes not being given enough consideration, then you’re wrong, aren’t you?

    The generally accepted notion of causation is interacting biological, psychological and social factors.

  • Sir,

    Isn’t it more correct to say, that in order to analyse the causes of mental distress we must look at the brain, body AND the social and environmental factors responsible?

    I’m sure there are people who experience states of mental distress and the like with no history of trauma, but also those who exhibit those behaviours (which can be causally associated with or made worse by) environmental factors (such as abuse, trauma etc.)

    How do you explain someone, for instance, having a contamination obsession and hand cleaning compulsion (this is just an example, I don’t and have never had these particular problems) with no history of trauma, or out-of-the ordinary environmental factors?

  • What’s wrong with my avtar?

    I do not have tardive dyskinesia. The tremors are a side effect of the SSRIs which stop when I use the drug. Mirtazapine helps to a certain extent.

    I do not want to wean off the SSRIs at this stage of my life. They help ease the psychological pain associated with problems in living (but they are not an eliminator of problems in living). This may probably be anathema on MIA but I can’t help that. It’s ones choice to be on or not be on prescription drugs. I don’t have the horrible withdrawal effects that many hear report even if I stop using them.

  • I read blogs like that to have a balanced approach towards the subject at hand and not get swayed by extremes on either side.

    However, the guy does spout some bullshit. For example, in his article debunkingdenialism.com/2013/11/16/scientific-reality-versus-anti-psychiatry-once-more-unto-the-breach , he writes in the comments : ” Scientology and the anti-psychiatry movement in the U. S. share close historical roots. L. Ron Hubbard was a staunch opponent of psychiatry and Thomas Szasz, retrospectively deserving the title as the founder of anti-psychiatry (although he never used the term and did not consider himself anti-psychiatry), was a scientologist. ”

    Is he calling Szasz a scientologist? Perhaps it’s a mistake. If not, he’s ignorant about that little detail, or a liar.

    Szasz in an abc interview clearly stated: “Well I got affiliated with an organisation long after I was established as a critic of psychiatry, called Citizens Commission for Human Rights, 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 like that you have outlined the problems in living that Kurt Cobain faced, and the horrible life experiences he had. I have always maintained that problems in living are not solved by modifying brain chemistry with drugs though drugs can help in calming the mental feeling of distress and help you focus (I take SSRIs and a mood stabiliser).

    However, the moment you say, ” Kurt was falsely defined as having the made up brain disease – ADHD and was given Ritalin at a young age.”, you will be subject to criticisms similar to:

    http://debunkingdenialism.com/2012/05/17/swedish-comedian-magnus-betner-promotes-anti-psychiatry-nonsense-about-adhd-on-tv/

  • I wonder if people ever read the criticism of their work?

    Here’s a criticism of some of Dr. Kinderman’s work: http://debunkingdenialism.com/2014/11/23/scientific-american-publishes-anti-psychiatry-nonsense/

    The author also states, “I just discovered that Peter Kinderman is a writer at the anti-psychiatry website Mad In American (sic), after the book by the same name by Robert Whitaker, a household name among critics of anti-psychiatry.”

  • Also, my bipolar diagnosis came as a result of the first anti-depressant induced manic episode I experienced.

    In fact, in Akiskal’s scheme, they have a subtype called “Bipolar 3” if you experience antidepressant induced mania.

  • And the psychological and social occurrences with which we associate the term can also be seen.

    The biggest problem is, people because of their ignorance tend to classify all people with a particular label as similar (as though it were like chicken pox). This is totally wrong.

    For instance I have seen people with the schizophrenia label whose behaviors are quite out of touch with reality, they are quite psychotic and irrational. On the other hand I’ve also seen people with the same label who are rational, have postgraduate and even doctoral degrees. The latter kind may have had temporary lapses in sanity at some point in their lives due to whatever reasons (as a result of which they got the label) but are otherwise quite fine (perhaps treatment may have helped or they have other coping mechanisms or someway in which they achieved remission). This applies to all psychiatric labels.

  • Perhaps we should remove the word “disease” from all of medicine and just use a more neutral term like “condition”. That might help a bit.

    So for instance, we can say “The varicella virus causes a condition where people develop blisters on their skin, have a fever etc.”

    Just a thought.

  • Dr. Hickey,

    It wasn’t an intentional misquote, besides what I wrote was what you meant. You added the word illness. That’s okay.

    One more thing. The psychiatrist I have once asked me “What do you think we do when someone comes in with depression? Sometimes we do nothing! This is because he may have a problem in living rather than a deep depression (in which case drugs are useful). ”

    I have written more about him and my experiences on your article about anti-depressant induced mania with which I have plenty of experience.

    During acute phases or in cases where a person’s depression (or anxiety) is debilitating and comes back over and over again, drugs are useful to sustain functionality. I take pharmaceutical drugs everyday. In general, barring the side effects, they help me function better.

  • Dr. Hickey, you’ve written this hypothetical conversation many times:

    Q)Why does my son feel depressed?

    A)Because he’s a major depressive

    Q)Why is he a major depressive?

    A)Because he feels depressed

    However, psychiatry texts do state that the etiology of mental distress is a complex combination of biological,psychological and social factors.

    If there are psychiatrists peddling wrong info., it would be better if people arm themselves with the right kind of information.

  • I should also note that mania (antidepressant induced or not) is dangerous.

    In 2011 when manic, I bought lots of expensive stuff, made my personal history public, sent a psychotic message to my biological father (which was horrific when I later read it later) in which I talked to him as though he was some misunderstood genius and as if I was doing really well (a causal factor being my desire to have a father who is understanding) etc.

  • With regard to point 1.) That the two episodes of mania subsided with no intervention is not true. In 2007, the intervention was to stop using the sertraline. In 2011, it was administering carbamazepine. Something the doc should have known if he had read his notes properly.

    Also, on a general note, I don’t have the kind of obsessive thoughts I had in my youth. The science reading phase of my life took care of that problem. However I do tend to ruminate if I’m not on SSRIs (less if I’m on them). But these ruminations are associated with real interpersonal problems and things that have happened to me.

  • I experienced my first antidepressant induced manic episode on sertraline in 2007 when I was studying in a boarding school.

    Why was I prescribed sertraline? Because I was depressed and anxious. I came from a horrible family environment with constant conflict between my parents and a very mentally, verbally and emotionally abusive father. My story is similar to that of the girl Diana in this story: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/somatic-psychology/201205/escape-emotionally-and-verbally-abusive-father . The tactics that my biological father uses are similar as well. I left home because I couldn’t take it any longer.

    Due to the torment I faced at home, academic tensions etc., I was depressed and anxious. And when I was not thinking about my father, I had these obsessive thoughts which were irrational (which I knew) but were hard to get rid of. So I used to spend my time scared of my father, I was fearful about my future and this was coupled with obsessive thoughts. I fared poorly academically despite being modestly intelligent. I don’t have a 160 genius level IQ, but I’m reasonably good at understanding things. My performance didn’t reflect my potential. I went to a psychiatrist out of desperation. He counselled me regarding my family problems, gave me ideas that I needed to tackle problems in living, thinking and feeling. This was helpful. This was also the first time I heard the term “obsessive-compulsive disorder”. Me being me, I obviously went online and read up all about it. I was also impressed by the psychiatrist’s knowledge of these things. I was impressed by psychiatry and the information it had. Mind you, the first psychiatrist I had had a fair amount of research experience and was also in a senior position. He’s also a colleague of Peter Gotzche. He had plenty of experience in clinical settings as well. I wall call him psychiatrist A.

    Anyway, when I experienced my first antidepressant induced manic episode, it was wonderful. I felt so light, calm, in control, confident etc. Feelings that I hadn’t experienced for years. When my psychiatrist found out (a family member told him), he asked me to stop using sertraline immediately.
    When I met him, I insisted that this was not due to the drug and gave him a reduced figure when it came to the no. of days I used the drug. I told him it was for 10 days, even though it was probably longer (I don’t remember now, it was long back). He told me that even 10 days was enough to have a manic switch. I told him that this just couldn’t be. That I became better all by myself because of my internal power rather than what the drug had done. I did not want to believe that this was not my own doing but was merely a drug reaction. He was honest about the drug reaction and he’s the best psychiatrist I’ve ever had. He did give me a bipolar diagnosis due to this though. I just shrugged it off.

    Once the mania subsided, I waited for a long time for the feeling to come back. It never did.

    That was until in 2009, I was again prescribed fluvoxamine for obsessive thoughts . By this time, I was into college (after a 2 year stay in boarding schools which were not very environmentally conducive for me) and the drug was not prescribed by my initial psychiatrist but by others in the medical school of the university I was studying in. This time I started to experience the “high” (what you call (hypo)mania in psychiatric jargon) again. At first I shrugged it off as a figment of my imagination. But repeatedly using fluvoxamine, noticing that the high subsided when I stopped using it, came back again when I restarted made me damn sure of the cause and effect relationship between the drug and the mania. I have tried plenty of SSRIs. Sertraline, Fluoxamine, Venlafaxine (an SNRI) and Escitalopram. They all have the same “high”. When I first used sertaline I had tremors. I didn’t know that these were due to the SSRI then. But my experience with fluvoxamine taught me that these tremors were SSRI induced. The tremors really interfere with everyday functioning. They go away when I stop using the drug. I have tried this many times.

    Anyway, the psychiatrist who prescribed fluvoxamine in 2009 left the university and I was put under the care of another psychiatrist who was a medical resident. He had good intentions but not enough knowledge and experience. I told him many times that I was feeling high on fluvoxamine but he said that that’s normal and I should try a lower dosage. He should have warned me about the potential disaster that feeling “high” ((hypo)manic) can lead to. Anyway, in 2010 I had such a severe fluvoxamine induced manic episode that it was goddamn ridiculous. I was out of my mind. I did a lot of crazy things during this time and it felt damn bloody good when I was in it. I spent a lot of money and I wrote a lot of personal details of my life on the internet. A family member noticed this behaviour and took me back to my first psychiatrist who realised I was manic and asked me to stop taking fluvoxamine and asked me to take Carbamazepine. The Carbamazepine pulled me out of mania rather rapidly. In the time to come, I really regretted my behaviour when I was manic and I have since been very careful with SSRIs.

    Another important thing I want to get to. The age between 18-22 was a time when I was really updating my self with a lot of science. Lots of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennet, V.S. Ramachandran, lots of websites on skepticism and rationalism, lot of articles and going through journals, watching YouTube videos on neuroscience, genetics etc. A whole lot of it. It would take way too much time to list out everything I’ve read and watched. I’ve even watched Khan Academy’s videos on behaviour and genetics and biology in general.

    The only downside to this was that because I used to read so much of this, there was a period of time during which I focussed too much on my first label which was “OCD”. I pathologised my own life.

    In 2012, I stayed as an inpatient for 20 days in a hospital because I was depressed (horrible past and constant academic failure). To say that I didn’t have a good time is putting it mildly. I didn’t get along at all with the psychiatrist who was seeing me then. He may be a good doctor otherwise but he was also a resident (or something equivalent). Both of us didn’t get along with each other and I could see his contempt for me (or rather my behaviour) in his behaviour.

    I was horrified by the discharge summary he wrote for me. In it he mentioned things about me like:

    1.)”Patient had one episode of mania without psychosis in 2008 and one with psychosis in 2009. Though the episodes occurred when he was on sertraline (50 mg) and fluvoxamine (300mg) his compliance with the treatment regimen is doubtful and both episodes subsided without any intervention. Patient had a problem accepting a bipolar diagnosis.”

    I felt so angered when I read this that I mentioned it several times when I visited next. I will talk more about this in the text that follows.

    2.)He mentioned that I had tics in the past fulfilling the criteria for Tourette’s syndrome.

    3.)He mentioned that I had hand washing compulsions in the past.

    I’d like to address this one by one, especially my first point.

    Why did I have such a problem with the first point? Well, some back story. When I had sessions with him, I asked him repeatedly why I had been given a bipolar diagnosis despite my manias being SSRI induced. After all I had never had a spontaneous manic episode ever in the past. He could not give me a convincing answer. I asked his higher up regarding the same issue. And she told me something similar to what you mentioned Dr.Hickey. Her words were: “There are two schools of thought. One that the manias are antidepressant induced, another that there is an underlying biological …. (I put dots because I can’t seem to remember those words).

    Now, coming to my compliance. That I was not compliant with my medication is true in a sense. But that there is even the slightest possibility that ANY of my manias were spontaneous or due to another drug OTHER than SSRIs is untrue. I have used SSRIs on and off 100s of times. I know very well how the SSRI high feels and it is unique and distinct from other highs.

    I can understand why the something-equivalent-of-a-resident psychiatrist might have thought this. I mentioned to him some other substances I used to use. And I also told him that sometimes I would stop them out of fear that SSRIs may interact with them and I also mentioned the side effects. But this fear was only initially (don’t think I mentioned this). Later on (not later on than meeting him, I’m talking about a time before meeting him) I realised that if you use SSRIs AND the other substances, the high is even better. Also, all the manias occurred DURING the periods of compliance and the high faded eventually when I stopped using them. I have also used those other substances WITHOUT SSRIs and they do not cause the SSRI kind of ((hypo)manic) high at all (I’ve tested this out many times).

    I told him that even psychiatrist A agrees with me. But he told me that maybe he didn’t have enough information. The truth is. It is this sort-of-resident guy who did not have enough info. He did not prescribe my antidepressants, didn’t see me during my episodes of mania (both of which psychiatrist A did) and our therapy sessions were less than cordial. Not to mention, he was not there to see me when I was taking the antidepressants. I will give him credit for the use of the word “doubtful” rather than being absolutely certain though.

    In his view his views were fortified by the fact that I have someone in my maternal family who has a bipolar diagnosis. Little did he know that this maternal family person with a bipolar diagnosis experienced some trauma in her youth as a result of which she experienced depression. She was prescribed SSRIs which made her manic and then she was given a bipolar diagnosis. The trauma part is second hand info. from family members but the SSRI mania part I asked her one-on-one several times. She told me that she never experienced mania other than due to the use of SSRIs. The psychiatrist that I didn’t get along with (the something-equivalent-of-a resident guy) mentioned on my constant questioning of my bipolar diagnosis that I also have a family history of bipolar disorder. However, I doubt he knew that the maternal family person who experienced manias experienced them due to SSRIs.

    Also, the 2 episodes of mania he talked about were in 2007 and 2011. Not 2008 and 2009.

    Coming to the Tourette’s syndrome part. I may be partly responsible for this. Thing is, I had very mild tics when I was young. They lasted for a very short duration and were in no way distressful nor did they make me dysfunctional. I had seen video talks by doctors that having tics is in someway statistically correlated with developing obsessive compulsive behaviours. However, I am not currently well-versed in statistics (I know the basics like what mean, median, mode, variance, standard deviation etc. are but I have no knowledge about effect sizes, confidence intervals, chi-square tests, the difference between statistical and clinical significance etc.). I thought that this might be my case because I was constantly seeking to explain my own life (in a scientific manner). I have seen some videos of kids with Tourette’s and their tics are very distressful and dysfunctional. They are prolonged and interfere with daily activities. I have never had such tics. Sometimes, I thought I had problems that I didn’t have because I would read up on OCD literature and be like “Yeah, I had that and that and that” even though I may have had one instance of such behaviour and in a completely different context. So after having read up all this stuff, I mentioned whatever tics I did have when young. I think he just played along with my story.

    Coming to the third point, I never had hand washing compulsions in the past. This is something erroneously written. Maybe this is because sometimes they see several patients at once and then write their notes when they’re a bit free. I’m not sure.

    In 2013, after I dropped out of college not having completed my course, I was once again horribly depressed and yet again an inpatient lasting nearly 4 months. This time I had yet another doctor as my psychiatrist. He was good natured and modestly intelligent but I found most of it to be a waste of time. We were quite culturally dissimilar. He was not articulate enough. He had difficulty understanding how to deal with me, how to react to the ideas I was putting forward. I asked him to show me the notes he wrote on me and I found some of it to be simply his subjective opinions which didn’t make much sense to me (although obviously somethings would have been accurately pointed out). I think he lacked experience and worldliness. But I think he would have been good for some types of people. I also noticed that the more I cribbed, the more drugs they gave me hoping to have good outcomes.

    I wanted my first psychiatrist back at all costs because he was the only one who got me right most of the time and understood what I was trying to say.

    Currently I am back to my first psychiatrist who I like and get along with well. I have mentioned to him all the problems I’ve had with psychiatry while he was away on sabbatical and I was not seeing him. He told me that sorting out someone’s mind is not as straightforward as fixing a broken bone. You sometimes make mistakes and then you correct them.

    He has also been kind enough to give me his personal no. which I do not abuse as I know he is a busy person. I have also probed him about why psychiatrists give bipolar diagnoses for SSRI induced manias. He told me that this are is not something that is not understood very well and they do the best with what they have. He mentioned that the manic switch rate on antidepressants in patients who had a first episode of spontaneous mania is much higher than those of people with unipolar depression. He also agrees with Nassir Ghaemi’s view that those who experience antidepressant induced mania almost always have bipolar disorder (though I have many doubts regarding this still). However, he also says that antidepressants are widely overprescribed.

    From August 2015 to early March 2015 I was employed. Psychiatrist A initially asked me to take only Lamotrigine. I found that the drug did not help my mood. Even adding a bit of quetiapine didn’t help me. It helped me sleep but not my mood. I wanted the SSRIs back again but he didn’t prescribe me any. One day when I went near my dad’s house I heard him speaking some horrible rubbish about me. I felt so irritated and my mood worsened because it had brought back memories of the past and a fear of the future. I went to a medical shop and bought SSRIs (even before this I would sometimes use some old leftover stock I had). I told psychiatrist A that I did. He told me that real happiness will come when I sort out my life rather than use SSRIs. When I went to him, he prescribed mirtazapine. Mirtazapine has no antidepressant effect at all in me. It doesn’t give me the “high”. It does have a moderately powerful sedative effect though (which I thought it didn’t have initially because I was drinking alcohol as I was in too much goddamn pain and I thought that the sleepiness was just due to drinking too much). I know I should not buy SSRIs without a prescription but when my mood deteriorates to the point where I have difficulty functioning and working, I see no choice. Also, the “high” is not one swift high where you’re immediately manic on use. It goes along a gradient depending on the dosage and duration of use. So if you’re very depressed and anxious, first you become less depressed and anxious, then euthymic, then hypomanic, then more hypomanic, then manic and so on. The problem is if you take SSRIs (at a certain dosage) continually you tend to eventually become manic. So I’m very careful about my mood on SSRIs these days. I do not want a repeat psychotic manic episode. Taking a mood stabiliser sorts things out of course. My psychiatrist (A) has also mentioned that most people who take antidepressants do not become manic. It is a small subset of the people who are put on SSRIs that experience this effect. I know for a fact that all people who use SSRIs do not become manic. I saw many people during my inpatient stay who used to take SSRIs and didn’t have the mania problem. I also have friends and family members who’ve taken SSRIs and have not gone manic. In fact, one guy during my inpatient stay mentioned to me that sertraline caused no mood change in him at all. I told my psychiatrist (A) out of desperation that I needed SSRIs. He told me to take them and call him if I feel high. I am careful not to get too “high”. Sometimes, I forget to take them for a while. I did this recently and I noticed my mood deteriorate and become more ruminatory in nature. I started taking SSRIs again and I feel better. I have also noticed that using Mirtazapine along with the SSRI helps the tremor to some extent. I’m still trying to find the right combination of drugs to help me out.

    Psychiatrist A also says that there’s no such thing as a SSRI “high”. What I call a “high” he says, is just (hypo)mania. Well, this is just something semantic. To me, it does feel like a high. It’s something that comes with the usage of the drug and eventually stops on not using it.

    The thing is, due to all this psychiatry stuff, my biological father has found an easy way out to get away with his abusive nature. To make things worse, my biological father is a doctor. He uses the insanity card against me (he used to use this tactic against my mother before and still does). Even if I have an underlying predisposition to depression and anxiety, predisposition is not predetermination. The outcome of my life would have been far better had my father not been as abusive as he is and had my parents not had the kind of conflict they had. I can’t actually get into the details of this anyway. In any case, I don’t live in the US. I live in a third world country and my biological father comes from a very orthodox, rural family in my country. He is decent at his profession, makes a fair bit of money and also gets away with things because he has money to throw around and he is very useful to a lot of people because of his skill. He is also not too bad to others and his abusive nature is largely directed towards my mother and me. He is verbally abusive to many though. Unfortunately, even though he has native intelligence he is quite ignorant about many things.

    I’ve also learnt some things from my experiences. Psychiatrist A is right when he tells me that pharmaceutical drugs are not the key to turning my life around. Indeed. Problems in living and interpersonal human problems are not solved by modifying brain chemistry with drugs. Popping pills will not get rid of my biological father, will not get my past back and won’t do a whole host of other things. I like to use the monster analogy. If a monster tramples your city and you’re about to die because of it, popping pills and/or endlessly talking about it to another person (psychiatrist/psychologist) will not get rid of the monster. You have to do something to get rid of the monster. That being said, I have also come to realise that I do need drugs to keep me stable (and probably for quite some time) even though I’ve hated SSRIs for their side-effects (I still don’t like the side effects). I have had interpersonal problems and problems in living. I am just scared that my psychiatric labels may hide them and increase the emphasis on my problems as being largely biological in nature without any emphasis on my interpersonal problems and problems in living. Let me see what happens.

  • It is obvious that problems in living are not solved by modulating brain chemistry with drugs. It is also obvious that they are not solved by sitting in a room and talking and talking (with a psychotherapist).

    Just a simple hypothetical example which is easy to understand. If a giant monster started trampling your city and you were about to die because of it, and you were depressed because of it, do you think gulping antidepressants or talking endlessly to a psychiatrist/psychologist will remove the giant monster and save your life? No. Something would have to be one about the giant monster.

    That being said, there IS a place for drug use. Sometimes they are needed. But it is how, why and to what end they are used that matters.

    Psychotherapy is also useful in some instances. For instance, some people have a fear of dirt or contamination (I personally don’t have this problem, this is just an example). Exposure and response prevention may be useful in a situation like this.

    However, in cases of abuse where one human being causes harm to another, you can’t just keep drugging the abused with pills and keep talking to him/her endlessly and expect problems to vanish. You have to do something about the abuser. This is under the purview of the law and of the police.

  • The thing is, it’s naive to expect that all problems in living can always be solved. Everyone has this expectation. Psychiatrists, the people who go to them, society etc. Sometimes, bad things just happen. It’s just probability and stats. Not saying that you shouldn’t learn from them, but that’s that.

    People think that because some guy went on a shooting spree, someone has to be held accountable. Well, it may not necessarily be the case. The guy might have just been dealt a bad hand in life. People aren’t angels.

    Okay, I think I went a bit off tangent here. Didn’t articulate myself very well (I’m not sure if I can right now). Things like shooting sprees aren’t a mild thing , and yes , in retrospect it is probably a good thing to try and understand what went wrong, and if things could have been done so that the outcome would have been different.

    Then again, does it mean that something else won’t crop up……?

  • I just don’t want people (psychiatrists or otherwise) to do whatever they think is right and then insist that it is help. I will decide what does and what does not constitute help.

    And when something can’t be fixed, be honest about it. More labels and drugs won’t do shit except make me angry and pissed.

    Now, if you can come and help remove some of these people I was talking about, then we’re getting somewhere. If you can alleviate or help me alleviate my problems in living, then we’re getting somewhere. Else, just chuck it.

  • edit: personal “travel” above, should be personal level

    Okay, I’ve tried to be a bit charitable in the above post. Yes, I have horrible memories associated with psychiatry. I have horrible memories associated with many aspects of my life.

    Living in a reality where you go to psychiatrists is a problem in living in itself. Psychiatry can’t solve that. So people should be helped to get out of it, instead of continually engaging in the damn thing.

    Being labelled is sickening as well. Being seen through the lens of your labels sucks as well.

    Also, as I have already mentioned, my main problems are problems in living associated with interpersonal human problems, failure etc.

    Also horrible stuff that happened during one manic episode and some people that I have to deal with.

    Now, a psychiatrist cannot come and remove these people, nor change my past. I can even forgive them for some mistakes. It happens, because as I said, it’s a complex endeavour.

    The thing is, it’s naive to expect that all problems in living can always be solved. Everyone has this expectation. Psychiatrists, the people who go to them, society etc. Sometimes, bad things just happen. It’s just probability and stats. Not saying that you shouldn’t learn from them, but that’s that.

    People think that because some guy went on a shooting spree, someone has to be held accountable. Well, it may not necessarily be the case. The guy might have just been dealt a bad hand in life. People aren’t angels.

    The dynamics of human behaviour and human group behaviour are super complicated. Also, luck plays a huge role.

    Someone might be intelligent and talented, and this person might have two totally different outcomes in two different scenarios.

    If he’s raised in a group that is nurturing and nice to him, he might grow up to be a scientist or a sportsman. If he’s raised by people who are cruel, he might end up becoming a serial killer. That’s just how it works I guess.

    Not everything can be fixed.

  • Smells funny? Why?

    I don’t dismiss all of psychiatry. It’s a tough job being a psychiatrist in the sense that dealing with human behaviour is very complicated. You have to make choices. These same choices work for some people but hurt others.

    Sorting out someone’s mind is much harder than let’s say, fixing a broken bone. The latter is a more straight forward process. When it comes to the former, you might make mistakes because you are dealing with someone’s mind. You have to consider complex environmental factors. Patients can’t always express everything that’s happening to them in words. And a psychiatrist can’t go and live in someone’s family or their environment. He has to make tricky choices. He can’t fight their life’s battles for them.

    To date, I have had sessions with many psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and what not.

    Out of all these people, I like one person. He is a psychiatrist, and he doesn’t pathologise everything, nor does he act like a pill pusher. The other thing is that he is somewhat culturally similar to me, we have similar interests, tastes etc. So I get along with him pretty well and we have conversations that I find helpful.

    The others were all different from me and from each other. Unlike other fields of medicine where they are dealing with your body, if you’re going to a psychiatrist, you have to get along with the person that he/she is. Some of the psychiatrists I had were super irritating. Some were nice but totally useless.

    Besides, the thing I find sickening is that I have had to go to psychiatrists in the first place. I don’t like the labels. Loose, vague descriptors of complex behaviours. It’s like my problems in living have all been pathologised.

    IMHO, a smart psychiatrist should be able to understand some key points:

    1.)Modifying brain chemistry with drugs does not solve or address the causes of a person’s problems in living.

    2.)Labels are just loose and vague descriptors of complex behavioural phenomena which are the result of various causal factors (biological, environmental, social etc.) and when treating someone, no importance should be attached to them. Importance should be given to the person as a whole considering his individual nuances, situations and problems in living.

    3.) The trick is not just knowing when to prescribe drugs, but also knowing when to not prescribe drugs. Sometimes, people need courage not chemicals.

    4.) They should actively participate in preventing the misuse of psychiatric labels. I’m talking about the fact that sometimes other people misuse the fact that a person has psychiatric labels to their own advantage (maybe to hurt the person, maybe for personal gain etc.)

    5.)Identify when drugs can help and when they are of no use in helping someone. Don’t simply prescribe drugs because you feel you have to do something.

    6.)People come to you so they can get some help in solving their problems in living, not so that they get their problems in living exacerbated or replaced by another set of problems in living.

    For example, if you’re giving a person antidepressants to help with unwanted mental states but then the side effects make him/her feel just as agitated even though there is a positive improvement in his (original) target mental state, then you’ve really done nothing. All you’ve done is replaced one set of problems with another. This is futile.

    7.)When you’re unable to deal with a person on a personal travel, keep your ego aside and give the case to someone else.

  • To be fair, I was also prescribed SSRIs in the past because I had some obsessive compulsive thoughts that just went out of hand. When I first heard the term “obsessive compulsive disorder”, I read up on so much of the literature associated with it, and I thought, that this must be my problem and if I sort this out, a lot of stuff will fall back into place. Again, I tried to science out everything. Thought about gene-environment interaction, the statistical association between childhood tics and obsessive compulsive thoughts etc etc.

    Now when I look back, all of this was just rubbish. It’s all very fascinating to read but was of no use whatsoever in my everyday life. It fixed nothing. I analysed myself too much. It just turned out to be useless mental masturbation.

    A term which is commonly associated with obsessive compulsive thoughts (which are thoughts which you know are irrational, or have a very low probability of being true or happening but you think them anyway) is “magical thinking”. I have known so many people who’ve engaged in these kinds of thought processes. But it never got out of hand for them. They don’t have anything to do with psychiatry, have no labels, don’t take drugs, nothing. I know many people who’ve had tics as well but they grew out of it (I had very few when really young, grew out of them very quickly and they were very very mild and didn’t affect my life negatively in anyway unlike some of the kids you see on TV shows who keep bobbing their head or swearing all the time). Again, no psychiatry, no nothing.

    But again, I over-analysed all this. The whole thing makes me feel stupid. Knowing all this jargon, having all this information ended up in me not getting to deal with, and addressing my real problems. It prevented my family members from dealing with their real problems. Our attention ended up getting focused on crap that was….well…irrelevant. It was nothing. In fact, now this psychiatry stuff has become an excuse for some people to cause me even more pain. If I’m depressed or aloof now, it’s because of some psychiatric issue, one of the labels, not because things suck.

    If you see me on a good day, without knowing anything about my past, and if there are no drugs causing visible side effects, and I’m not angry or agitated because something bad/hurtful has happened, or I’m scared about my future, I’d come off as a reasonably presentable person, who’s articulate and is in general okay to be with. I have no strange behaviours, nothing particularly deviant.

    However, I am angry and agitated. I do have shit to deal with. So now, I probably come off as “weird”.

    I will admit that SSRIs were helpful during acute phases of anxiety. But nothing more.

    Again, my problems have always been associated with interpersonal human problems in living. This is not something a psychiatrist can fix or really do much about other than talk. Most psychiatrists were totally useless in this regard, some have even negatively affected my life. All but one. There’s just one guy who does psychiatry the way it’s supposed to be done (in my personal view). As of now, I like talking to him.

    But again, having to deal with people who cause me hurt, pain and anger (I’m not talking about psychiatrists) all the time (and for years)….that’s what has screwed me up. I need some of these people to just go away.

    The labels, the science, the drugs….all these things….they’re nothing anymore.

    They won’t change my past. Won’t get rid of the people I want gone. They won’t bring back all the things in life that I have permanently lost.

  • Okay, some of the stuff that people write on this site makes me cringe, but nevertheless.

    I’m having to deal with a crappy life and some really horrible people, so I’m a bit agitated. I’m just trying to gather my thoughts and compose myself so I end up ranting as less as possible. Forgive me, if I can’t be objective, and sane sounding. I’ve got too much goddamn anger and pain inside for all that. I wish I could be like one of those academically successful people, who get to analyse things and be objective, but I think that being like that it really a privilege that only some people will have because they have the kind of environments and life situations that allow them to be that way.

    Anyway, a couple of years ago, I had an episode of Fluvoxamine induced mania. This was coupled with certain life events which just fuelled the fire. I was psychotic. I was flying. It was an altered state of mind. The stuff I did during that time…..it still negatively impacts me to this day.

    I wrote some ridiculous rubbish online. Just wacko stuff. Not something someone in a balanced state of mind would write. I deleted it when I came back to my senses (partly due to stopping the fluvoxamine, taking carbamezapine and partly due to being called out for it). But by that time the damage was done. It was garbage. It ruined the way I was perceived by people. It ruined my self respect as well. What the hell though.

    I spent all this money to buy new stuff, had these grandiose thoughts….sheesh. I wish, out of all the things in life, I wish I could undo that one phase. But I have to live with it

    Anyway. For a lot of reasons, I’ve written tons of crap on the internet. Most of it will never go away. Can’t help it.

    Mania is a dangerous state of mind. Antidepressant induced, spontaneous, drug induced or howsoever it flowers.

    When you’re in it, you feel really good, really confident, do all sorts of stupid things, but you lose judgment. These things come back to haunt you later in life.

    Also, I have taken 4 different SSRIs, scores of times. I’ve experienced SSRI highs a great number of times. Most people don’t have this effect on antidepressants (that is, getting “high”). However, my manias were not manias while I happened to be on antidepressants. They were due to them. I know what SSRIs make me feel like, like the back of my hand. If you give me different substances without telling me what they are, even if they’re active placebos, I’d still be able to spot the SSRIs out with a great deal of accuracy (MUCH more than you would expect by chance alone).

    The other effects of SSRIs are horrible as well. At least in me, that is. The tremors make me feel like a Parkinson’s patient and people keep asking me why my hands are shaking so much. And no, taking the minimum possible dose or adding other drugs like propranolol or mysoline even in high doses or changing the SSRI, does not help.

    Last month I took SSRIs out of desperation (Escitalopram in particular). I was feeling horrible because of my past, my current life situation, some of these bloody people I have to deal with and I still had to make money and keep my damn job.

    I took the drug for precisely 10 days. 5 mg for 2 days, and 10mg for the next 8 days.

    If, on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 means severe anxiety, 5 means “normal” and 10 means mania with psychosis, I went from something like a 1.8 to a 6 in a span of 10 days. That is, from being really anxious to some degree of hypomania (a feel good state). I stopped them immediately when I knew I was going to tip over into more dangerous states of mind where I might lose judgement.

    Why did I do this? Because I can’t change the people in my life. I can’t change my life situation. But I have to survive. Even with everything, I felt some relief for some time. Even if it’s relief brought on by the ingestion of drugs and it’s not a real life change. I can’t stand the SSRI side effects. Also, I need my problems in living to get sorted out. Modifying brain chemistry with drugs doesn’t do this. Will swallowing pills remove the people who are hurting me everyday? Will it bring back my past? Will it remove my psychiatric labels?

    I have never had a spontaneous manic episode. I doubt I will ever. I still have a bipolar label though, because of the SSRI induced manias.

    They make me sick, the labels. If I’ve been depressed…well it’s because I’ve been through crap (still go through crap), and if I’ve been high…well it’s thanks to what I was given to feel better. It’s that simple.

    In the past, I spent tons of hours, reading up neuroscience, thinking about genes, this and that. Tried to science out my problems in living I guess. But practical everyday reality (as opposed to studying things in a lab) seems to be much more simple and brutal. I have a shit life. Garbage people in it. Horrible things have happened to me. I made some idiotic mistakes that I have to live with.

    I think one psychiatrist once wrote, “Why is it adverse life events don’t cause episodes of depression in some people, but cause them in others?”. Interesting question. Don’t have the mental patience and strength to analyse and write a detailed, impassionate answer, but one thing you have to remember is that the intensity, type and magnitude of the problems in living that people have vary. It isn’t always just about the usual things like poverty, job loss etc. either.

    I have had so many psychiatrists. Some I can’t stand. Some I can stand but who are of no use and just keep repeating the same damn rhetoric, and only one who has been of any use whatsoever. There is also so much subjectivity involved in what they write in your notes. One psychiatrist perceives things quite differently from the other. And that’s because they’re just people who happen to also be psychiatrists.

    I just don’t see where all this is going. I’m doing it because I have no choice. Will sitting in a room, talking crap for hours, getting labelled, ingesting drugs with horrible side effects, and modifying my brain chemistry with drugs solve my problems in living? Will it remove some of the people I just want gone? Change my past? Anything at all?

    It’s a bit scary you know. You can’t change reality, so you have to modify your brain chemistry to change your perception of it.

    Again, all psychiatrists should remember:

    Modifying brain chemistry with drugs, does not address the causes of, nor does it solve a person’s problems in living.

    And I wish you guys could do away with your labels. Not sure if it’s practically viable though.

    So then.

    Back to surviving life and the people in it I guess!

  • Okay, in response to my own comment above, maybe sometimes, it does. But it depends on the person and situation in hand.

    My whole life, I have loved science. I have always been fascinated, intrigued and excited by all the little details.

    I have always thought that science unravels the world, allows us to separate the rational from the irrational, allows us to control for confounders and eliminate/reduce bias etc.

    I’ve spent so much time in the past debating people who have superstitious beliefs, who follow the advice of astrologers, who use homoeopathic pills etc. And now, here I am, posting on a site that would probably be called “antipsychiatry” and “anti-science”. The irony is incredible.

    All of this just feels so strange, and not in a good way.

  • Anything that is “mental”, is by definition biological in nature, as there is no mind without a brain. All our thoughts and behaviours can be correlated with brain activity.

    As you have highlighted Dr. Thomas, when using the term “mental illness”, many people forget about the problems in living with which a person’s “mental illness” is associated, and the focus turns to their brain, than on life situations. Psychiatric labels make this worse.

    How many times have I not heard that someone committed suicide because of their “mental illness”. Sigh.

  • Dr. Gotzche,

    You have written a lot in this article, but please, wherever possible, post links or refer us to the relevant studies. Doing so adds credibility. Without the studies, these articles just fuel those who have had bad experiences with psychiatry, but are dismissed by the large majority as not having been backed up.

  • @Jonah

    I do not wish to experience hypomania again.

    BTW, the hypomania that comes due to SSRIs is a unique and distinct high. Just as alcohol has a unique and distinct high, so do SSRIs.

    It isn’t just a normal happy feeling. It’s quite different. Anyone who’s experienced it would know.

    There are people who talk about SSRIs being like placebos (yes, many people barely experience any difference on antidepressants), but those of us who get high on them, have a very different experience.

  • During SSRI hypomanic highs, I did things which I liked. Only that I was “high” when I did them.

    For example, a painter can paint with more enthusiasm than usual during a hypomanic phase. But that doesn’t mean that every time he paints he’s hypomanic. 🙂

    If someone likes painting (even normally), and he engaged in it during a drug induced hypomanic phase, should he never paint again?

    Someone can paint while drunk. That doesn’t mean that every time he paints, he’s drunk.

  • When Fred Goodwin says, “that patient is likely to have recurrences of bipolar illness even if the offending antidepressant is discontinued.”, what studies does he base it on?

    To get some data on this, we need to have a study on people who first had manic episodes on antidepressants, and then quit it for a long time.

    How many of these people would have gone on to have manic episodes in the long term?

    Based on the experiences of some people I’ve read of and interacted with, it’s not necessary that someone who goes off an antidepressant will have a manic episode again.

  • On the other hand, how can a psychiatrist know in advance, if a person put on a certain drug will become suicidal or murderous?

    Most people don’t. Some people do.

  • @Dr. Steingard

    You, or some other psychiatrist should write an article specifically about this issue of antidepressants creating bipolar diagnoses. Make it as detailed as possible. Talk about spontaneous manias. Talk about drug induced manias. Put everything in there.

    This is not an issue that has been given enough importance. You can only find it in some books like Whitaker’s, where it is placed among a host of other issues.

    Please write an article specifically about this issue.

  • This is the problem Mr. Whitaker.

    What psychiatrists say is that people who were initially given a diagnosis of OCD or unipolar depression, who then went on to have SSRI induced manias were “misdiagnosed” with those conditions, when actually they were bipolar all along.

    For instance, this study by Singh and Rajput says:

    “Bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed. Two surveys, one taken in 1994 and one taken in 2000, reveal little change in the rate of misdiagnosis.

    As per the survey taken by the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association (DMDA), 69 percent of patients with bipolar disorder are misdiagnosed initially and more than one-third remained misdiagnosed for 10 years or more. Similarly, a survey done in Europe on 1000 people with bipolar disorder found a mean time of 5.7 years from the initial misdiagnosis to the correct diagnosis, while another study reported that on average patients remain misdiagnosed for 7.5 years.

    Diagnosis of patients with bipolar illness can be challenging as most of these patients seek treatment only for depressive symptoms, and more often than not, the first episode of mood disturbance is depression rather than mania. Two studies in 1999 and 2000 concluded that almost 40 percent of bipolar disorder patients are initially diagnosed with unipolar depression.

    Here’s the problem. People do have spontaneous manias without antidepressants and other drugs. This is part of the “natural course of the illness” as they say.

    The idea is that those who experience SSRI induced mania would have experienced it anyway as a part of the “natural course of the illness”, which is why they experience it on SSRIs, as they have a vulnerability.

    The challenge lies in showing beyond reasonable doubt that these antidepressant triggered episodes were not something that would have just popped up without anti-depressants triggering them in the first place.

    This is where the whole problem lies.

  • I know what Whitaker says. But psychiatrists have other interpretations of the same data. Which is what I was hoping Dr.Gotzche would shed some light on.

    Having experienced SSRI induced mania myself and having been given a bipolar diagnosis because of it, this matters to me.

  • What studies can you cite to say that bipolar diagnoses have increased 35 fold? And what would you put forward to say that antidepressants have caused this boom?

    Most psychiatrists would talk about changes in criteria and the fact that they have gotten better at diagnosing bipolar disorder and that more people are coming up to them, to justify the increase in bipolar diagnoses.

    In fact, Nassir Ghaemi writes that those who experience antidepressant induced mania almost always have bipolar disorder: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mood-swings/200912/death-dsm

  • What would you say to those people who say that it’s not the antidepressants that caused suicide, but that the person was already suicidal and the antidepressants brought the person out of lethargic depression and gave him/her enough energy to carry out the act?

  • This is the same old, “a danger to herself and others” story (which is it? Is she a danger to herself or others or both?).

    The woman has been in a hospital for 5 weeks. Even if she wishes to die, 5 weeks is more than enough time to ascertain whether her wish to die is due to a brain dysfunction, or if it is a well thought out, logical decision after taking into account various factors is life. If it is the latter, it is none of psychiatry’s or the state’s business to prevent her from killing herself.

    Billing her, of course, makes this worse.

    Such coercive practices effectively make people more suicidal by robbing them of their personhood and autonomy.

  • To people who use the argument, “How about people who are glad that they were prevented from committing suicide?”, I would use the well written argument of Dominic West ( http://asperlosophy.blogspot.in/2014/01/suicide-are-there-sound-valid-reasons.html ):

    “‘But there are people who have been forcefully prevented from committing suicide who have been grateful for people preventing them!’
    Yes, and there are children who have been beaten who will recommend the practice as adults, so it can’t always be bad, can it? There are people who have come to be conscious after years on life support, so we shouldn’t switch anyone off, should we? There are babies that have been born prematurely at an age when abortion would be permitted, so we shouldn’t abort at that precise number of weeks? There are people who say they choose to be straight after being gay, so it’s a choice, right?
    It may be that some people are now thankful for intervention in their own attempted suicide, but there are also many people who are not thankful, and who’s suffering is either prolonged or made worse because of such intervention. And we will never know about the suicides of whom are now grateful that they could take their own life, because they are dead and so cannot tell us. The only suicidal people alive are those who have either been prevented from committing suicide and are grateful, or those who still wish to end their lives and are simply ‘still in the process of receiving treatment’. They will either continue such suicide attempts until they succeed, or eventually be convinced that life is worth living and will be the show-piece of ‘treating’ suicidal tendencies. A bit like pointing to the disproportionately low number of women raped in city centres while wearing burqas, and asserting that burqas are therefore an effective preventative measure against rape and empowers women, while ignoring the countless women forced into wearing burqas, and the oppression of women that the burqa symbolises and promotes.”
    ———————————

    About the palliative care bit, don’t assume what you’re doing is palliative care. Ask the person in question how he feels about it.
    —————–

    I am all for problem solving. But only when the person in question feels that it is helping him solve his problems. If not, the option of suicide should rest in his hands.

  • People fail to take an important point into account. The very aspect of [i]being[/i] a mental patient causes some people suffering. That is, the very aspect of living in a reality where you are or have been a mental patient makes you not want to live in that reality. Because we all know what happens in such a reality to the individual (who’s a mental patient).

    People are so foolish. They think that if someone feels suicidal, they should turn to psychiatry. They don’t understand that all they’re asking this person to do is to “solve” a problem with another problem. This may not be the case for everyone, but it is the case for enough people.

    Sometimes, once you’re screwed by chance, no “help” is good enough, because all the “help” does is prolong an unwanted life, sometimes in ways which are torturous.

    Which is why I say, psychiatry should stay out of the suicide business more often than not.

    I also don’t understand why people look at suicide with disdain. I feel happy for many suicides, because these people have left lives of suffering. I just don’t like that people have to do it in painful ways like hanging, jumping off a building etc.