Monday, August 10, 2020

Comments by mik

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  • Psychologist, I have been off all prescribed psychiatric drugs and without psych or shrink “support” for over 10 years and have been far better off without drugs or a shrink’s “support”. I had not attempted suicide before being put on psychiatric drugs and have not attempted suicide since being off them.

    As far as I am concerned shrinks and their drugs are quite simply EVIL. I do not need to keep in touch with a shrink and neither should I have been locked up and drugged…and certainly not without my fully informed consent….the whole saga was extremely traumatic.

    Please read the article and about the negative effects of anti-psychotics! They are dangerous, mind damaging drugs, and certainly should not be considered as therapeutic medications.

  • I was forced to take Mirtazapine and Olanzapine for severe depression and anxiety for a couple of years from 2004. They left me a total zombie, unable to think, sleep, or coordinate my movements properly, and with an uncontrollable urge to eat sugar and fat.

    Whenever I was able, I stored them in my cheek and spat them out, but if given the dissolving on tongue variety this was not possible.

    As soon as I was released from the treatment order, I gradually weaned off them…withdrawal took months of true hell.

    I cannot even imagine nastier drugs, and can fully understand that they cause permanent brain damage. I still have problems with memory and co-ordination, and occasionally the weird muscle stiffness I had when on them.

    They should be banned.

  • I actually find it really interesting that through recent events in my area in Australia where we have had massive bushfires, followed by Covid-19, I have witnessed people exhibiting (what they might call) signs of severe “mental illness”.

    They have been doing far more in the way of weird behaviour (panic stockpiling of goods, displaying financially, emotionally, and socially appalling behaviours, circulating ridiculous conspiracy theories, talking to imaginary friends, excessive gambling, drinking and drug taking, increased use of anti depressants, psych services etc).

    Some have actually sympathised with me for what they imagine I, as an officially designated “mentally ill” person, MUST be going through. Yet, while concerned and taking reasonable precautions, I have been no where near as flipped out as they have been.

    I remember a time when I was locked up and forcibly drugged for far less extreme behaviour than many now exhibit. Yet, some in my community justify their behaviour as related to the “shocking events” (bushfire and Covid-19) while putting my (justifiable) response to events at the time of my struggles down to the character flaw of “mental illness”.

    But through this period, their characters apparently will remain unblemished. Their “madness” (and need for “medication” and support-both financial and psychological etc) is a justifiable response to circumstance, while mine was, and apparently always will remain an irreparable failure of character, even though I have accessed neither “medication” nor psych support for over 10 years, including through recent events.

    I guess acknowledgement of such facts would create within them cognitive dissonance too great to deal with, and so they need a screen on which to project their own fragility.

    The nice white label of “mental illness” stuck firmly on someone else provides them with just such a screen.

    It is interesting to watch the double standards and mental gymnastics people, and society in general employs in a bid to establish equilibrium, and the vital role in society those of us with the “mental illness” label actually fulfill.

  • Why haven’t the social workers been charged with making false and misleading statements to a court, given the testimony of psychiatrists and other against the actions of the social worker(s)The social worker(s) has also misrepresented the legal situation to the “patient”? Surely the patient has a right to be provided with accurate information.

    Clearly they must be in breach of some law(s) given that proceedings initiated by them have been dropped on a number of occasions against this one patient. This is blatant harassment.

  • I was effectively kidnapped and held against my will in a Canberra (Australia) hospital. After an initial period of around 72 hours they had to let me go as I showed no signs of being a danger to myself or others. Indeed, never in my life had I even had a parking ticket or been in any trouble with the law, or shown any sign of or tendency towards violence.

    As I was getting ready to leave, the head shrink asked me what I thought of the facility.
    Being naive (it was my first ever brush with mental health services…age 50), I said I thought it would have been good to be able to have camomile tea, and thought that as a long term vegetarian who always marked the menu for meat free meals, I was often disappointed to receive a plate full of meat. I was quiet and respectful as I wanted to just get home and feel safe.

    She said, “you seem angry, that means you get to stay longer”. After being put before the kangaroo court that was the “Mental Health Tribunal” the hospital was granted an involuntary treatment order that allowed them to keep me in and drug me with Olanzapine and Mertazapine, Stilnox (Ambien in the US) and whatever else they wanted for another few months. After release they could also force me to take their drugs. The time inside was pure hell…vicious nurses, male patients being sexually threatening towards me, witnessing violence between patients and between patients and staff and being refused access to even paper and pencil. I had had committed no crime and showed no signs of being dangerous, and simply could not believe I could be locked up like that. I was an educated, high achieving executive.

    I got out after a truly terrifying and traumatising 6 weeks. Being effectively kidnapped, stripped of all my human rights and drugged had a profound effect on me. My mother couldn’t accept I had been locked up with “druggies and hopeless nut cases” and was “dangerous to self and others” and disinherited and disowned me. Over 15 years down the track we still have no contact…she is almost 90 and I don’t expect I’ll see her again.

    Totally traumatised and having been advised by my private shrink it’d be fine to just stop taking the meds without tapering, within a month or two of discharge I had made a serious attempt at suicide and ended up inside again…more drugging…but this time I was smarter and pretended to be very compliant, tonguing the meds and spitting them out ASAP when ever I could.

    I have now been psych drug free for a decade and totally shrink free for about 5 years. Slowly, ever so slowly, I am becoming more my usual self…intelligent, interested in life, able to sustain normal friendships, and creative.

    Never again will I discuss my feelings/thoughts with a doctor of any shape or form…the damage they can do on a whim and “for your own good” is absolutely appalling. They must be stripped of the power to detain and torture human beings.

  • Thank you Richard.
    Having had “therapy” from a male psychologist (1988) and a male psychiatrist (2004-2007), both of whom subscribed to Freud’s theories (explained them to me, in fact, as FACT!), I can personally attest to the unspeakable harm and trauma those theories, and the treatment they give rise to, result in.

    The material in this article NEEDS to be very widely distributed, and the letters referenced NEED to be published in psychiatric journals and incorporated into psychiatry and psychology training so Freud’s work cannot do further harm.

    He needs to be remembered as a fraud who actively perpetuated the abuse of women and children.

  • Agree. Zyprexa (olanzapine) is THE most evil drug ever concocted. The akathisia it causes is pure hell and resulted in my attempted suicide. I suspect that even after close on 10 years since my last dose I am still affected.

    If given immunity from prosecution I would happily force it on those doctors who forced it on me. When I complained about it to them and asked if they had ever taken it, their response was universally, “I am not mentally ill, and so it wouldn’t do anything”. I’d like to see them to prove that!

  • I almost laughed when I read the following:
    “I’m really exhausted trying to get you to show a glimmer of compassion that indicates you have empathic understanding about the truth of why I’m suffering emotionally right now. But I must say I believe it’s not because of a failure of empathy on your part. I believe you know exactly why I’m feeling the way I do, but you simply don’t care that I’m suffering, even though you understand why I am. So my blunt question for you is: You don’t really give a damn about my emotional pain right now, do you?”

    The day I walked out of therapy for good, that was pretty close to the discussion I had with my shrink. For the seven years he had sat there, his total failure to respond in any “real” way had in the end left me feeling …almost like …????… Kafka’s cockroach. Totally othered.Totally wrong.

    In retrospect, I was probably too persistent in trying to develop some sort of rapport with him, and I think his lack of responsiveness was ultimately quite damaging.

  • TRM 123
    Agree totally…I am unable to trust any medical practitioner since my “treatment” (read torture) for depression and sleeplessness that resulted in extreme akathisia and my first “psychotic” episode at age 50, which was then compounded by hospitalisation and more forced drugging with the offending substances and the most evil drugs on earth – “antipsychotics”.

    The total corruption of medicine by drug companies and the refusal of doctors to listen to patients re their experiences of these drugs is fundamentally a crime against humanity…mass torture for financial gain…and should be labelled as such.

  • I really do believe that psychiatrists who have prescribed these drugs and dismissed patients’ complaints out of hand (as mine did) should be made to take the bloody drugs for a year or two then have them withdrawn cold turkey.

    After all, they locked many of us up and forced us to take them, refusing to listen to our reports of adverse side effects to the point of having people held down and the drugs forcibly injected.

    It is now getting towards 10 years since I took any of their drugs and even the thought of a sexual relationship is anathema to me, meaning I will likely remain unpartnered the rest of my life (I am in my 60s) Then there’s the trauma directly resulting from being so treated. Yes. I am angry.

    While I do enjoy much life has to offer, intimate relationships, loving and being loved, are now out of my reach as a direct result of psychiatry and psychiatric drugging.

    That they can do that with no repercussions and no forewarning or informed consent amounts to torture.

  • Yes, I am glad my misanthropy is relates mainly to the medical profession…including nurses and anyone who claims that the “mentally ill” are dangerous and/or need to be made to take medication and/or follow the medical model. I just avoid them like the plague.

  • Rachael
    while suffering drug induced psychosis after being involuntarily detained and drugged in a Canberra (Australia) institution, I had almost precisely that vision/dream/hallucination…whatever. The psychiatrists were the “gods” and ONLY what they deemed acceptable was acceptable and was accepted as acceptable by government. These “gods” sat at a high table and handed down “treatments” to those admitted because they didn’t, in some way, conform. Their word was law, and I had broken that law.

    In some ways I am glad I had the vision, as I henceforth (apparently) complied with treatment and was released in 5 weeks, rather than the six month “sentence” initially imposed by the godlike shrinks at a mental health tribunal “hearing” (with another three of “outpatient treatment”), and in the years since have become psychiatry and “medication” free.

    The withdrawals were horrendous, but it’s coming up to 15 years since I was in very much the situation of the kangaroo court the author describes…drugged, denied legal representation…not even allowed a pencil and paper or a phone call or a shower or clean clothes, and never informed of my rights or of the harms of “treatment”. Bastards.

    I moved interstate and still avoid doctors, and will never have any of my medical history transferred, despite now being in my 60s. I know I have a medical condition that is worsening, but going to a doctor isn’t an option any more.

    I have new friends who don’t know my history and live a normal life…but I really do have some very major trauma responses that make life….problematic, to say the least.

    Vancouver sounds like Canberra. I hope human rights win!

  • Yes…informed consent is crucial. I was not informed of any of the risks of psychotherapy, nor of the methods used by my psychiatrist. Those methods put me in hospital twice with my first “psychoses”, and resulted in involuntary commitment and forced treatment with psychoactive drugs (I had no history of “mental illness” or of being hospitalised previously). After we had managed to form an apparently “therapeutic” relationships he asked me for sex (which I declined), and later, he threw me out of his office, hurling diagnoses and abuse, using everything I had told him in confidence against me.

    Then he said I’d be dangerous if my (newer) shrink had access to my records.

    …and the ACT Human Rights Commission to whom I complained, took his word and stripped me of all my rights to have my treating doctor given access to my records.

    Informed consent? Had I known that I stood to lose everything I had achieved at age 50, be drugged, labelled and would be thrown on the scrap heap, I would have run from psychotherapy as if the devil were after me…and it turned out he was, in the form a a psychiatrist.

    Over a decade down the track and I still struggle in ways I never struggles before I enetered psychotherapy. I am isolated and unable to seek medical attention for some physical ailments I have because I am now totally aware of how unaccountable medical practitioners are – they just need to say you are/were a psych patient, and there go your human rights.

    Informed consent MUST include not only treatment options but the human rights you give up when you see a “mental health” practitioner. They can hospitalise you against your will, they can forcibly drug you, and they can abuse you.

    …and their “diagnoses” can never be expunged from your record.

    This all should form part of informed consent.

  • Wonderful piece.

    When he says,
    “Many people with severe anxiety and/or depression are also anti-authoritarians. Often a major pain of their lives that fuels their anxiety and/or depression is fear that their contempt for illegitimate authorities will cause them to be financially and socially marginalized, but they fear that compliance with such illegitimate authorities will cause them existential death.”, he absolutely hits the nail on the head!

  • Then why don’t Australian shrinks and their enablers STOP adding to the trauma these already vulnerable people have experienced? Surely adding further trauma by forcing “treatment” is NOT helpful.

    Having being subjected to a psych ward in an Australian hospital (Canberra) I can say it was incredibly traumatic to be locked up and drugged with neurotoxic substances against my will. It was torture, not medical help. And I found just as destructive was ACT Human Rights Commission’s response (dismissal and shaming) to my complaint about my treatment at the hands of a psychiatrist.

    All I can say is that the practice of psychiatry and all the structures that support its ability to coerce, abuse and further traumatise vulnerable people should be outlawed. NOW.

  • Bradford…Just did a search and found the 30 traits listed somewhre and thought, “but surely everyone would have those traits!”

    I find it hard to believe that others don’t have them, especially the BS detector….when people are lying/being deceptive, it leaves my stomach churning for days and after a few times around them I simply can’t go there again.

    Not “normal” to have these…surely it’s not “normal” not to?

  • Brilliant piece that really describes very well what goes on with me too. I have found any sort of psychiatric intervention (drugs, therapy etc) to be destructive in the extreme as none of them actually help deal with what’s going on by developing skills and approaches to these thoughts and feelings or to the super-sensitivity that underlies them.

    Drugging, labelling, diagnosing, incarcerating etc only helped entrench and deepen the feelings of powerlessness that took me to those potentially destructive and decidedly unpleasant places and did nothing to help understand and address the original causes and resultant thought patterns.

    Learning to manage super-sensitivity requires compassion, skill and persistence, and they are not things that psychiatry can offer.

  • I read somewhere that he was on significant doses of “medications”, so they’re likely the cause of this massacre.

    What got me about the APA statement, though, was that it was basically a promo, and touting for business.

    Call me cynical, but f they’re so concerned, why have they helped the military in the development of torture techniques and why aren’t they very actively campaigning against psychiatric drugging?

  • “Imagine you were kidnapped and assaulted, and never even came close to getting justice for what was done to you. And then you saw someone, a member of the same profession as the people who hurt you and got away with it, and this person told you your anger over it was a psychiatric symptom, fixable with drugs. How would you react?”

    Yup…exactly what happened to me, and yes, if you express anything but gratitude for being kidnapped and drugged, and losing everything you have worked a lifetime to build, then, yes, according to them, you are ANGRY and in need of further imprisonment and drugging.

    Psychiatrists are absolutely unreal, but like others here, I too have used my anger to escape my torturers rather than working on “gratitude lists” for the “help” I have received (whether I wanted it or not) from them. I had never been totally comfortable with anger, but now it is my companion. It lets me know when I have been violated or treated badly. It warns me that I am being taken advantage of or my experience is being discounted. My absolute rage reminds me of the severity of psychiatry’s abusiveness and my own powerlessness to stop it or to gain any recognition of the damage it has done to my life. That anger, that rage, has a cause and it has a purpose.

    And that is not to harm others, it is to provide us with the wherewithal to free ourselves from our oppressors and reclaim our integrity.

  • Agreed, many of us have read this stuff before….but I think it extremely important that the articles on drug efficacy, fraud, debunking the chemical imbalance myth etc continue to appear very regularly so new victims of psychiatric abuse (ie all psychiatric “patients”) have easy and prominent access to such material when they come across this site.

    It was such articles (and, of course Whitaker’s book) a number of years ago that helped me understand the totally fraudulent nature of the “mental health” industry, the lies I had been told, and the reasons the drugs forced on me were having such disastrous consequences.

    Plus, the more new studies published that debunk psychiatry and its drugs on a range of sites, the less psychiatry is able to claim it’s just the Scientology “nutters” that are railing against them.

    Such articles and studies are becoming more mainstream now, and their collective weight, even when they don’t get published in medical journals, cannot be denied.

    They also provide us with access to the latest references to share with any newly questioning friends/acquaintances.

    Wonderful resource indeed!

  • To clarify, Stephen
    What was done to me (in Australia) wasn’t part of the ACE study, as such. However, the things ticked on my “dangerousness” assessment all would have been classed as adverse childhood experiences, with the exception of my having left a psychologically abusive husband.

    I had, during my lifetime, acknowledged and grown/moved on from my not wonderful childhood and my violent rape at age 12, successfully and gently raising my own kids, and building a successful and secure life and career and a respected place in my communities.

    It appalled me that psychiatry should list events from 35-40 years earlier that had ceased to be issues in my life as reasons to deem me potentially “a danger to others” and lock me up and drug me involuntarily.

    I was going through a breakdown at the time, and really struggling and had sought psychiatric support, but had shown no evidence of being a danger to anyone. My breakdown related to work related stress and career burnout, and the situation in that workplace totally burnt out numerous others too.

    What psychiatry actually did was saddle ME with the “dangerousness” that rested firmly with those who had abused me all those years ago…my parents, my rapists, and my former husband. It used these long since past events as reason to lock me up and drug me.

    I had addressed many issues through therapy, meditation, counseling training, helping others, raising my own kids etc, and so thoroughly agree with your assessment that people can develop and change, but the hospital that captured and drugged me used those old experiences as evidence that I might be dangerous.

    My point is that there is potentially massive danger in screening for ACE’s while ever psychiatry holds the power to detain and drug…you absolutely never know when or how anything they know about you will be used, either to justify diagnosing and drugging of kids or further down the track in adulthood.

    Maybe they should just be red flags that are used to help people, but I have no confidence whatsoever that any information provided on such events will be used as anything but a reason to further punish the innocent.

  • Yes…and they are used to justify locking people up involuntarily.

    The reason I was deprived of my liberty and had dangerous drugs forced upon me was assessed that I could be “a danger to others” based on the fact that I had several “ACEs”. NEVER in my life had I exhibited any violence or anti-social or unlawful behaviour (not even a parking ticket), I had successfully raised two children, had a high level exec career, been a volunteer telephone counselor, served on club committees etc. AND I was 50 and female.

    And yet, when I sought “help” after a work related stress breakdown, I answered questions that disclosed that I had experienced not-too-good parenting and a violent rape, instead of being shown respect and caring for having survived and contributed to society, the information was used against me to deemed I was “a danger to others”.

    Locked up and drugged. Treated appallingly. Totally traumatised.

    What was done was far worse than anything that happened to me as a kid. It cost me my career, most of my friends, and my relationship with my mother, who couldn’t handle my being locked up in a psych ward and disowned me.

    This is what assessment for “ACE’s” can be used for. Every box ticked on the violence assessment form (I got copies of my hospital records) was ticked because of childhood ACE’s I had disclosed as part of conversations with a shrink.

    In their minds, we are forever defined (negatively) by our “ACEs”. We can never grow or learn from these experiences, they cannot shape us to be more compassionate and caring people, determined NOT to repeat the cruelties we suffered.

    In the eyes of psychiatry, childhood “ACE’s” define us as being as irredeemably bad and broken, dangerous, and nothing positive we do in a lifetime can wipe that slate clean.

    Screening for “ACE’s” is just another form of psychiatric abuse.

  • Yes…this was a really interesting article potentially offering some very valuable insights. It has taken me over 12 years to better understand the origins and content of my one and only fully blown “psychosis”, and in doing so I have come to understand better how I “work”, how I react, how I relate to situations and people, especially when under stress. That means I am better able to modulate my sensitivities and negotiate life more creatively and effectively.

    The shrinks who drove me into psychosis put me on diabolically evil drugs and told me I’d be in and out of the “revolving door” of psych wards for the rest of my life, taking all hope and agency from me….or at least trying to.

    It’s now over seven years since I used any of their nasty drugs, and around 10 years since I had “anti psychotics”.

    Such studies as this, when combined with what we know about psycho-social factors, trauma and attachment might well ring psychiatric druggings’ death knell….and hopefully it’ll take psychiatry with it.

  • Fabulously powerful article. It really does raise and address most of the glaring shortcomings of psychiatry. Love the 11 points, and I too laughed at the crumbling, nonsensical, now openly snake-oiled facade the “profession” has become.

    Debunking psychiatry is essential because of the danger it is to society, and this article is great at doing that. Psychiatry’s reversion to marketing, and marketing of the type suggested, what’s more, really does hold its scientific and medical shortcomings out for all to see.

    The ones I have met are arrogance personified, coupled with a big slug of abusiveness and dishonesty.

    They are not providing medical services and they know it… the campaign seems to admit as much!

  • Agreed. In the journal I kept in “hospital” as an “involuntary patient”, I referred to my captors as kidnappers, jailers and torturers and I referred to the experience as rape. I was terrified, and even reading this article has brought back the trauma of it all.

    The experience was so traumatic and barbaric that it dumped me into my first ever and only “psychosis” at age 50 and into forced drugging, a very nearly successful suicide within a month or two of my release, and another coerced “hospital stay”.

    That was 2004-05. In 2007 my psychiatrist threw me out of his office screaming at me when all I had done was turn up for a scheduled appointment. Twelve years on and I have been off all of those drugs of torture (that I was told I’d need for the rest of my life) for seven years, have moved cities because I could no longer feel safe in the city where I spent over 50 years, and have built new social networks and friendships.

    I HATE and fear doctors. No more “medical” treatment for me.

  • Having been forced to take the toxic poisons (“antipsychotics” and “antidepressants”) for a period, but coming off all of them over 7 years ago, I now find diet, exercise and gentle friends are the only ways to control the ongoing damage/residual effect of these dangerous drugs.

    I stayed with therapy for 5 years after coming off the drugs believing that there must be some underlying problem, but that only kept me believing there was something quite fundamentally deficient in my character, when the damage was iatrogenic.

    For the past two years I have been totally free of psychiatry AND therapy and am gradually rebuilding the life that psychiatry had been so intent on destroying.

    I have residual trauma and iatrogenic damage…both from psychiatric “help”, (being locked up and forcibly drugged with highly toxic substances and treated like a cockroach IS traumatic), and thinking more psychiatry/therapy could help me was totally wrong headed..sort of a variant on the Stockholm Syndrome, perhaps?

    Being free of the psychiatry and understanding that the drugs and treatments (including traumatic “therapy”) have caused physical changes that mean I will need to be careful with my diet and environment and making new social contacts, friends and interests have probably been the greatest contributors to my ongoing wellbeing.

  • Agreed. Throughout the article I was thinking about what happened to me when I was put on “medication”…I virtually COULDN”T move! AND all I wanted to eat was sugar and fat.

    I had no energy or desire to move at all and my coordination was so compromised that if I walked on uneven ground in the park I fell over. I had been in the national ski team in my younger years and had continued with skiing, back country hiking, fly fishing, bike riding etc throughout my adult life…until I was forced to take “medication”.

    After having been off all “medication” for over 7 years, my coordination is better than it was, but it isn’t as good as it should be…I still have difficulty skiing (I started skiing at age 3 and so it had been virtually second nature to me) and steep, difficult hikes are out of the question.

    My desire to be active has never quite returned but I make sure I go to the gym a few times a week, walk 15,000 steps a day and am deliberately working to improve my co-ordination by walking on rough ground etc. but it is a bit of a battle. The “medication” totally switched off my energy, desire and ability, and flipping the switch back on is really, really hard.

    That “medication” only seemed to get a passing glance in the research astounds me.

  • I agree. Some of the TV coverage and statements made were totally inaccurate and brought back my memories of being locked up, drugged and treated horribly.

    Most of the written articles don’t provide the opportunity to comment and address the misinformation, so added to the upset about misinformation is the powerlessness to do anything about them.

    Now, as soon as I see something coming on TV re the week, I mute it or switch channels. All it is is a promotion of drugging and forced detention of people who have committed no crime.

  • Oh dear…you are in a horrible situation.

    Your experience of being harassed by staff and patients in psych ward mirrors my own and while it would have been unpleasant in any place it was terrifying when combined with my own thoughts and the brutal setting.

    The violent thoughts terrified and repelled me too, but what helped me was to think of them as a reflection of what had been/was being done to me and sit with them. Some of my stuff about good and evil/heaven and hell went back to early childhood stuff that had been retriggered by all the totally overwhelming events.

    I am not sure whether it was the medication, but I became extremely noise sensitive…everything sensitive in fact…it was like an internal volume switch had been shifted to the highest possible setting. Ear plugs helped a little until I could get to a quieter environment…is there any possibility you could ask to be moved as soon as a quieter room becomes available?

    I certainly feel for your predicament and hope you can manage to use your very significant skills and intelligence (yes, they are still there) to negotiate some improvements.

  • Hi Helpstillneeded
    it is a very difficult situation to be in…needing help but being too terrified to seek it. I know it well.

    But it most certainly is not your fault, so please, don’t blame yourself, and it certainly is not cowardice. Being abused and victimised leaves deep scars, but I find my art, my writing, meditation, music, and nature …all, at different times, help me. If praying helps you, then pray, but remember music art and nature have wonderfully healing properties too.

    This site has benefited me enormously over the years as it has helped me understand how truly destructive psychiatry is from its false labels to its evil, soul-destroying “treatments”, be they drugs or “therapy” where the therapist can lock you up and/or drug you if you don’t accept your “diagnosis”, and where its practitioners are immune to legal responsibility because they, as judge, jury and executioner, are effectively untouchable.

    We are of similar ages and I must admit that looking to the future I don’t much that enthuses me. However, I am trying to focus on the things that give me comfort and hope that eventually my trauma reactions will settle down a bit…10 years off “meds” and two years functioning in the community (although I will never return to paid work) psychiatry-free I am not quite as scared as I was.

    The nightmares I used to have of being locked up and drugged have subsided somewhat and I think it has now been a while since I woke myself screaming in terror.

    I hope you find some peace.

  • Yes…I had largely overcome the effects of childhood adversities and had constructed a successful career and life…a couple of lovely and high functioning kids, friends etc. Then at 50 I suffered work stress and was referred to a psychiatrist.

    WOW! His “help” led to hospitalisation and my first ever (and only) psychotic experience, with forced drugging in a locked ward and no hope of returning to my career and former life.

    Then, when I had finally developed a deep and trusting therapeutic relationship with him, I turned up for a session and he threw me out of his office for no apparent reason, while hurling diagnoses and verbal abuse.

    I have been off all the medication for over 10 years and have never had another psychotic episode, but talk about devastated and demonised – 10 years on and I still have incredibly severe issues with trust in all my relationships and am terrified of going to the doctor. Friendship are difficult for me and social life seems like a minefield.

    The destructiveness of psychiatry cannot be overstated. It is, by its very nature, victimisation. It labels and demonises people, places them in the role of “inferior and broken”, and then proceeds with a systematic attack on their rights and self hood.

  • Oh dear…and if dogs become aggressive as a result of SSRIs (as many humans do), after attacking and maiming people, other animals, etc they will be labelled vicious and killed.

    Sad that we would be encouraged to do this to our beloved furry companions.

  • For me, being carted off and locked up when I had done nothing wrong, had threatened no-one, and had not threatened or attempted self harm was THE most traumatic event in my life. I was in a sensitive and stressed state and the act of locking me up in a mental hospital plunged me into my first (and only) psychotic episode at age 50. It took me years to get off their “medication” (ie highly destructive and addictive and totally revolting mind-altering drugs) and to be able to function in society and form friendships etc again.

    Thirteen years down the track and I still have significant issues with trust, particularly of people in positions of respect or trust, because I know how easily I can have all my rights and freedoms removed on their whim.

    In my journals at the time I didn’t write of doctors or people trying to help me, I wrote of my “gaolers” (jailers to the US readers) and “tormentors”. Because they had kidnapped, imprisoned and drugged me, plunging me into such a terrifying altered state, how else would I have seen them?

    …and yet they seemed to think I should be thankful…and had trouble understanding why I would be fearful and uncooperative.

    I still don’t think it was me who was suffering anosognosia!

  • Dr Breggin

    What an absolutely tragic story and massive miscarriage of justice for this young woman. I am just so glad that you are in her corner, and I hope you can help her in a way that can bring some trust and sense back into what must be a totally cruel and non-sensical world to her.

    The mistreatment she has been put through is truly sickening, and that the judge let the inaccuracies and misrepresentations pass unchecked is, in itself, criminal.

    I personally know the confusion and terror medication can induce, and I was 50 when I went through it. How a distressed teenager is supposed to deal with it or be held responsible for her (likely inaccurate) memories and feelings is totally beyond my comprehension.

    The whole situation is so far beyond Kafkaesque it really is incomprehensible.

    Please, keep fighting for her!

  • Agree totally. For me the experience of being kidnapped, locked up and drugged when I had committed no crime was truly traumatic. I was stripped of my rights and my humanity. I was forced to take drugs that made me unable to think or function (olanzapine and Mertazapine), and that made it impossible to sit still and caused visual and audtiroy hallucinations. There was Ambien and/or other sleeping stuff thrown in for good luck too, from memory.

    That was my first experience of “mental illness”..I was 50 with no history of “mental illness” or any untoward behaviour. I was, in fact, a successful senior exec….until this experience.

    Within a couple of months of getting out I did make an extremely serious attempt on my life as I figured that I was destined to live my life drugged to the eyeballs with extreme side effects, virtually under house arrest and having been told I had embarked on the revolving door of psychiatric hsopitalisation, and made unable to contribute to society in any way, I did not want to live.

    Plus, the experience of PSYCH WARD was deeply traumatising. This was in 2004…I have been psych drug and totally “treatment” free (therapy sort of helped) for a number of years and now participate fully in society, although I never returned to my exec position.

    But I would still rather be dead than go to a psych ward again.

  • I have deleted the comment I made as I wonder whether I am just being somewhat dense today and wish to consider further before adding more to the debate. The edit feature will not allow you to enter an empty comment and so I could not delete it completely

  • Disagree.

    Even drug company research has shown that anti-depressants can have dangerous effects on mood. Ditto with extensive meta-analyses of the effects of these drugs.

    When also having therapy, if I started SSRIs I would very promptly become manic, closely followed by extreme suicidality. That ONLY happened if and when I took the drugs. If I stopped the drugs, these effects would lessen and disappear.

    While I absolutely agree with your assessment that the chemical imbalance story leads to hopelessness and further depression, especially when the drugs don’t work, I never particularly believed the drugs would work (that was my doctor’s assessment), but they still had a massive effect on me.

    Study 329(?) and others show that drug companies have covered up the harms these drugs do.

    Breggin and other doctors active on this site have written a plethora of books on the research around these drugs, and I think you might find that the research does actually indicate that there’s slightly more than the placebo effect at work and that these drugs actively disrupt very complex brain and gut chemistry!!

  • yes it also concerns me greatly that the author claims that anti-depressants are just placebos.

    They are active chemicals and can have massive negative effects by disrupting brain chemistry. Plus, they are known to increase the risk of suicide and/or homicide in some users.

    I thoroughly agree that their use and the bio model of psychiatry also actively prevent people seeking help that might actually do some good, but essentially dismissing anti-depressants as chemically neutral I think is quite dangerous.

    I know the effect they had on me – I promptly became manic, then suicidal, then…well…it was just a nightmarish roller-coaster. Coming off them was hell too.

  • Yes, agreed. Do it, but certainly don’t let on to anyone in the “mental health” industry…you’ll just have your drugs/diagnoses increased and/or be locked up for longer.

    I have found that third person does help in both journalling and general situations, but if I let something along those lines slip out when I was in therapy, I’d get that “special” look from the psychiatrist. I have been a psychiatry-and-therapy-free zone for going on two years now , and the third person approach has come in very handy to provide a little distance and create some internal empathy when I have been short of it.

  • Totally agree, Steve.

    A truly excellent comment that anyone who has ever proclaimed a diagnosis should contemplate, whether it be about their “friends”, families, enemies or a public figure. To diagnose is to place yourself above the other and is a power game and a put down.

    It proclaims more about the diagnoser than it does about the diagnosed.

  • Really?

    It looks like neuro-imaging might be both expensive AND useless in the case of “mental illness”. I wonder whether any of the people using imaging actually considered asking their patients why they were feeling the way they were feeling and/or what THEY thought might make them feel better ….but I guess that might be too radical for these “highly skilled medical specialists” given the causes are likely to be hidden in plain sight (food, shelter, jobs, respect, freedom from abuse etc), and that just doesn’t happen to be where they want to look and/or what they want to see!

  • Golly..my story echoes hers so closely it is scary.

    I think this is a very valuable article, and hope that the documentary is screened here in Australia, ‘cos doctors here simply won’t listen if you say their drugs are causing really weird and dangerous stuff. Plus, they made me take Olanzapine and Ambien (Stilnox) as well as antidepressants. Deadly.

    Everyone should be made to read this piece BEFORE they take a single dose.

  • Thank you for sharing your story. I too tried to comply with the psychiatrists, all three of whom did talk therapy (and at times forced drugs and hurled diagnoses), and it was disastrous for me. I too cried rivers after every session, ‘cos I’d got it wrong yet again, and I too took to journaling and exercise. After 12 years of what in retrospect amounts to significant twice weekly emotional abuse (called therapy) by those psychiatrists, 18 months ago I walked away with far more serious difficulties than when that particular journey began.

    Journalling and exercise are now my mainstays too, but there’s no way I’ll go near another professional “helper”. I am still recovering from the overwhelming destructiveness of the “mental health” industry – it may take a very long time before I can trust another human being again…I need to regain trust in and knowledge of myself first as that was what they attacked most viciously. However, I am now beginning to have glimmers of hope that life can be different, better.

    Labelling people, and shaming them into accepting treatments that are inappropriate, uninformed, cruel and demeaning is not helpful, and the sooner our society makes psychiatry responsible for the harms it perpetrates by doing this, the sooner people will be free to pursue the paths that actually heal, rather than harm.

    Thank you again for sharing your story – I am sure it will help many others too.

  • Yes, my experience was that being kidnapped, locked up and drugged against my will when I had done nothing wrong was THE single most traumatic experience of my life. And yes, within three months of discharge I very nearly succeeded in suiciding. Another woman on the ward succeeded within a week of her discharge.

    They totally shattered my trust in justice and human rights, and to this day (over 10 years later) I still am very fearful of seeing a medical doctor for any complaint at all – I have a trauma reaction from the instance I suspect I need to see one that takes a week or two after the visit to fully settle.

    I now see doctors as totally untrustworthy and as operating outside the law and as people who can lock me up and deprive me of my human rights without need for cause and without any real checks and balances.

    Really, I dont understand why “normal”, non-psychiatric doctors don’t work to get psychiatry thrown out of the medical profession as it has no evidence base and brings the rest of the profession into disrepute.

  • Hear hear.
    Encountering random strangers (ie health “carers”) who demand unconditional trust and then say you’re “mentally ill” because you can’t/won’t do it is a really destructive thing. After trying and succeeding in trusting them against my inner voice only to be absolutely betrayed leads me to know that anyone who demands trust is inherently untrustworthy, and is seeking a victim.

    It has been a hard and painful lesson for me to learn but there’s no way I’ll fall for that crap again.

    Those who neither expect nor demand are far more likely to be capable of building a therapeutic relationship, whether it is called that or not.

  • Standra
    you seem to be confusing physically identifiable actual physical illness/diseases with differences in being. A physical disease such as polio can and probably should be prevented and/or cured (by vaccines and other physical means) where possible.

    With differences in ways of being it is a little more nuanced. We know that SSRIs used in pregnancy increase the risk of a child having struggles, and for sure, when such difficulties have a direct physical cause that could be prevented, that would be a desirable to prevent them. That could be done by not allowing pregnant woment to take anti-depresants. After all, “normal” (whatever that may mean) IS easier, for the person with the condition and their family.

    However, when “autism” is just part of the spectrum of normal functioning, as it seems to have become, and is a front for raising money for pharmaceutical companies and lobby groups, something has gone way off track. I have no doubt that I could be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or whatever the current term might be, and I could invest many thousands of dollars in drugs to become more “normal” because I really do struggle at times – neuro-diversity has its drawbacks – but on the other hand, I am unique and I don’t want to be told I NEED drugs to function.

    The pharmaceutical companies exploiting people’s fear of neuro-diversity would prefer we were not unique and that people fear “unique” simply because it offers them the opportunity for making PROFIT…something they are very good at.

    Neuro-diversity is valuable. It is not an “illness” that should be used for profit. Causing brain damage with drugs that purportedly treat an illness that has not been shown to have a physical cause may profit drug companies, but all it does for neuro-diverse people is DAMAGE their brains and make it more difficult for them to function!

  • In psychiatry it’s often more than, “recommends ‘treatments’ that are unnecessary and potentially dangerous, in violation of medical ethics?”

    It should have a separate note for psychiatry that reads,” incarcerates and forces treatments that have been proven to be neither efficacious nor safe and that are frequently known to be dangerous, upon people who cannot be proven to have any illness, in violation of medical ethics, human rights and international agreements”.

  • Yes, I too still suffer the repercussions of being kidnapped, locked up and drugged by psychiatry. It plunged me into my first ever and only “psychosis” at age 50. Now over 60 I still find it almost impossible to trust my fellow human beings and am terrified of the power doctors have to detain and drug.

    In my journals at the time I referred to them as my “gaolers” and “torturers”, and it took me quite a while to get off their drugs…Olanzapine and Mertazapine and then Prozac. What hell they caused me.

    Community treatment orders, especially with depot injections are another horrific means of torturing innocent people who have done nothing that could warrant their sentence under regular mechanisms.

    Psychiatry is there purely to control and torture innocent people, to act as judge, jury and gaoler and to step in where, because of human rights and the letter of the law, the general judicial systems dare not go.

  • I am actually pleased articles such as this are published here as it gives readers and researchers who have learned the ACTUAL facts about early intervention, “anti-psychotics” etc a chance to rebut what would appear to new/undeucated readers to be a plausible, reasoned piece by an expert.

    This sort of pieces appears unchallenged throughout the internet, and quite often opposing views go unpublished. Here, however, there is likely to be reasoned, researched and balanced critique that not only educates the public, but also the writer.

    The danger of NOT publishing such pieces, I believe is that MIA will become merely an echo chamber.

    To me, part of MIA’s great value lies in the fact that many of the commenters provide me with both a structure to critique such pieces myself, and facts that I can use when people in every day environments start spouting such crap about the need for more of the same, more drugs, more psych wards, more labelling, more oppression.

    I strongly disagree with the views expressed in the article, but the more such articles that get published here, the more likely it is that a wider audience will see the medical model dissembled and understand that psychiatry is a total and very dangerous scam.

  • Yes…I think the therapists almost have to be dishonest and that comes through at some level in the relationship and can leave the patient uneasy.

    I do believe that before the therapist was so destructive, I was actually getting quite a bit from it, and it opened paths and interests within me that I hadn’t previously appreciated, so in those ways it was positive, and I have managed to hold onto some gains.

    However, the brutal ending made that extremely difficult and did cause new problems that I still struggle with.

    I have been reflecting too, that when in therapy we are actually looking for things that are “wrong”, and making things that we may have seen as positive in the past into negatives. The handing over of power and trust was a condition of working with that particular therapist, and that, of course, exacerbated the power imbalance.

    I read a piece recently (not sure where) that actually examined whether therapy helped and came to the conclusion it frequently did more harm than good.

  • Kallena….I actually hope she doesn’t risk going there again!

    After extensive therapy that has included appalling behaviour by therapists which was then somehow the fault of MY diagnosed “mental Illness” , I have decided that therapy, and the power imbalance it involves, is just far too open to abuse.

    Actually, therapy IS abuse. Its basic premise is that the therapist is ALWAYS “healthier” than the patient, and that the patient has less insight and less ability to see what’s happening than does the therapist. Hence, it is also intrinsically devaluing.

    I had a psychiatrist unilaterally, totally unexpectedly and brutally end what had seemed to be a productive three-year therapy relationship by throwing me out of his office with a string of abusive and totally inexplicable statements, and throwing back at me the most sensitive things I had told him as evidence of my deficits. He didn’t have to give any explanation of his behaviour because he was the doctor and I was the patient and there were no witnesses.

    Ten years and 14 days later, I still have nightmares and real trust issues that were not there before “therapy”. I had formed a deep and trusting attachment to him and to have it shattered like that was devastating. My next therapist suggested that perhaps the first therapist was “lovesick” and didn’t manage his emotions very well….uhmmmmm…and that was supposed to make it OK? The second therapist didn’t want to say anything though, because therapist #1 was “a more senior psychiatrist”.

    I would encourage anyone to seek genuine, equal, relationships instead. This takes time and effort, and yes, there will be setbacks, but such relationships, particularly if approached mindfully, are fundamentally healthier and less likely to lead to catastrophic injury and/or devaluation.

    CBT is freely available online, there are plenty of apps for meditation – there’s no need to put yourself through the risk of allowing an attachment to develop with a therapist/psychiatrist who is hiding their deficits behind their professional status!

  • …and why is the blatant deception inherent in this study so unsurprising?

    The truth is that psychiatry and pharmaceutical companies will do ANYTHING possible to ensure the continuing flow of human fodder to ensure their money-making machines continue to grow. It doesn’t matter to them that it’s CHILDREN who are being irreparably damaged and hooked into the system for life – they see it as a major achievement.

    And what’s more, it’s children of higher than average intelligence whose parents are being sold the lie that their children are quite fundamentally defective.Tragic.

    Can psychiatry become any more morally and ethically bankrupt?

  • My thought exactly…remission??

    Uhmmmm, what about recovered?

    The use of “remission” for full functioning after 10 years validates false arguments that “mental illness” is there for life and that there can be no permanent recovery. Friends of mine have been told they have gone into remission immediately after cancer treatment and are fully recovered after five years clear of cancer, and yet 10 years clear of “psychosis” is still considered “remission”?

    So, how long does one have to be fully functioning, “medication”-free etc to be considered recovered?

    …Or, perhaps more poignantly, why is a “psychotic” event considered an illness at all, rather than an event that can lead to personal understanding, growth, and development if treated sensitively, compassionately and wisely?

    This and other studies have shown that “antipsychotics” lead to worse outcomes and/or permanent brain damage, and yet psychiatry continues to prescribe these drugs at ever increasing rates.

    When will psychiatry remit and allow it’s victims to recover?

  • “Regarding the idea that those who recover are “lost to follow up”, this is what Slade and Longden were saying in their critique of the Jaaskelainen study that formed the centerpiece for the pessimistic statistics which Johannessen et al quoted in their introduction:

    “Sampling strategy, a.k.a. exposure bias — Jääskeläinen primarily took her sample of “schizophrenics” from studies of people entering hospital settings or in regular contact with services. As Slade states, “many people live with psychosis-like experiences outside of mental health services. Their ability to self-manage without attracting the attention of services indicates a lower level of severity and a higher rate of recovery. This means that people with less severe difficulties are systematically less likely to be present in the samples included in the Jääskeläinen review.”””

    Agreed Matt….and

    I guess the point I was aiming at (granted, not well expressed at all on my part) was that the system actively makes people sicker through its treatments, and this not only adds to the sampling bias, but conceals harm. Slade makes the dangerous assumption that anyone who escapes the system to self-manage in the community had less severe difficulties to begin with. I am saying that anyone in the system is being actively made worse than they need be and that’s why there is such a low apparent recovery rate.

    I would question the assumption that only the less disturbed people escape and self manage. I posit that the people in treatment become SICKER and hence remain in the system as a direct result of that (often forced) treatment, while those who escape treatment fare better. They may have had the same level of “illness” to begin with, but we’d never know because of the sort of assumption Slade makes. It basically dismisses anyone who escapes as not being severely “mentally ill”, and hence minimizes an important consideration – that treatment actively worsens outcomes.

    My “psychosis” was very severe indeed (certainly not minor or “psychosis-like”), and I was told I would face the rest of my life as a regular involuntary patient in psychiatric “hospitals” ….the shrink actually told me I was now on “the revolving door of psychiatric hospitalization” and would remain there for the rest of my life….and proceeded to write scripts for the drugs that were, it turns out, making/keeping me ill.

    Despite my (prescribed and mandated) drug-induced fog I managed to focus enough to do some research and begin a taper. I didn’t tell the shrink as he would have re-instigated forced drugging (he didn’t appreciate patients who were “non-compliant”). It took weeks to read and retain what should have taken hours, and many months to withdraw.

    Had I continued doing as I was told, I’d likely still be on the revolving door of forced treatment and would fall into Slade’s category of more disturbed to begin with. As it is, I now fall into Slade’s less severe category, simply because I escaped.

    I think research by Harrow and Wunderink sort of supports this contention.

  • I can relate to this…while forcibly detained and drugged in “hospital” I made notes on what was happening on the ward.

    When I got copies of my hospital records (by navigating the complex legal processes myself) there were comments by nurses about my writing and how I “had delusions I was a writer”. Writing had actually been my profession for some 20 years before I switched into the senior management role I had when admitted.

    The staff simply couldn’t or didn’t want to comprehend that I was a well educated professional….every positive part of my personal and professional history ceased to be of any relevance as soon as I became “mentally ill”.

    I became purely my (fraudulent) “illness” in their eyes, and that’s how I was supposed to remain for the rest of my life….and they let me know it and forced on me drugs designed to ensure that outcome.

    Keep your aspirations!…and your absolute distrust for anyone who professes to want to help you with your “mental illness”.

  • Excellent piece, Matt…thanks.

    …and, of course, these studies that say 9-21% recovery rate only include those who stay in “treatment”. They actually prove how damaging and destructive “medical treatment” is for so-called “mental illness”. Around 80% of their “patients” will be disabled for life. Makes one wonder why they are allowed to persist.

    Those of us who don’t like those odds (and the forced drugging and extreme abuse that kept us entrapped and terrified) find ways to exit the system completely and disappear back into society as soon as possible. We of course were lost to them and couldn’t be counted.

    I had one very severe “psychosis” (aged 49 FEP) and was forcibly drugged and incarcerated in a hospital back in 2004. It took me ages to get off Olanzapine and Mertazapine…it has now been 7 years since my final neuroleptic drug-taking, and apart from reacting with fear to doctors and any mention of “mental illness”, I function just fine and am continuing to improve (memory, emotional regulation, physical balance, bloods etc). I didn’t function at all while I was in “treatment” for an “illness”, because that abusive and destructive drugging kept me “ill” and in the system.

    I don’t doubt I’d still be in and out of forced “care” had I accepted their model of “mental illness”.

  • Here in Australia people have been charged with offences for refusing recommended life prolonging, but painful and invasive treatment to terminally ill children!

    Heavens above….the doctors can force appallingly distressing treatments on kids to give them an extra few weeks of living hell, and their decision can overrule that of the parents. WTF? That’s torture too.

    As an unwilling recipient of psychiatry’s torture which has left me with some deep emotional scars, I can only but agree that until psychiatry is wiped off the face of the earth and, in fact, ANY other forced medical treatment is totally outlawed, every person is at risk from doctors. They have far too much power.

  • My thoughts exactly…there’s just as much scientific evidence for prescribing them off-label as there is for prescribing them on-label…..NONE.

    Plus, prescribing them at all risks great harm as they CREATE chemical imbalances in the brain (and probably gut also), are addictive, and have horrible side effect profiles.

    The argument isn’t about whether they are prescribed off-label, it’s about whether they should have been approved in the first place, and now we know the extent of the misrepresentations of their efficacy and safety that got them approved, whether that approval should be revoked and they should be removed from the marketplace.

  • What the study appears to highlight is how “mental health treatment” is totally ineffective and simply captures more and more people without providing any effective results whatsoever. A psychiatric diagnosis is a diagnosis for life. The profession refuses to see that recovery is possible and, indeed, it is nigh on impossible once hooked on psychiatry’s drugs and weighted down with the concrete boots of a DSM diagnosis.

    In reality it stigmatises people and gets them hooked on both diagnoses and addictive “medication” (ie legally prescribed drugs). The nature of psychiatry is to consign people to the scrap heap of permanent disability while it’s practitioners and drugs companies rake in enormous profits.

    So why does anyone let it continue? I don’t get it!

  • Absolutely agree.

    As a woman of 50 with no history of violence or psychosis, I was stripped of my human rights, and locked up in a psychiatric “hospital”. The trauma of it dumped me into my first and ONLY “major psychosis”, for which I was forcibly drugged with Olanzapine and Mertazapine. I was held in “hospital” and drugged for six weeks.

    Being so totally stripped of my human rights was the biggest trauma of my life and within four months of being released I had made a very serious suicide attempt.

    Twelve years later I am free of psychiatry and have been off the “drugs I would have to take for the rest of my life” for more than seven years, and have had no further “psychotic” episodes.

    However, I still have nightmares and my responses to stress are extremely difficult for me to deal with. I was unable to return to my former highly successful career.

    The psychiatric violence committed against me and total denial of my human rights (I was treated as a sub-human life form) changed my life…and not for the better.

    I had committed no crime, had no history of violence and psychiatry’s violent and abusive actions against me have traumatised me…no doubt at all.

    Being reduced to a sub-human life form without rights IS traumatic, it IS violence. It CANNOT be otherwise.

    It is NOT health care.

  • Precisely what I am doing/have done, Julie.

    I sold up my house etc and moved interstate, breaking all ties with “mental health” services. No-one here will ever be aware of my past, and, thankfully, as I make new friends and reach into my creative and artistic skills, I find I am being treated with respect and that I have value as a human being.

    This is something that was stripped bare by the “mental health” industry and the human rights commission. To those in it I was sick, flawed, valueless, dangerous – a scapegoat for all their projections.

    Now I am regaining the status of human being, each week I am feeling slightly less down and fractured, and sometimes happiness appears – I thought I might never feel hope or satisfaction or joy again, but it is returning, albeit sporadically, as I tentatively re-establish human connectedness.

    What I say to anyone unfortunate to be captured by the “mental health” industry is RUN AWAY! They are committed to keeping you sick as that protects them from having to face their own human fragility.

  • Yes, these examples abound. Psychiatrists can and do get away with appalling behaviour towards their “patients” .

    They just use the trump card – “mentally ill liar”. If that doesn’t work, they use the joker – “potentially dangerous”. They don’t need proof to use the “potentially dangerous” joker, because the dangerousness is only POTENTIAL, and hence it is impossible to disprove. Additionally, the law sees psychiatrist status as unquestionable evidence of god-like infallibility. You can have a totally clean record (not so much as a parking fine), be a responsible member of society, educated, a mother, and be over 60 and not very big, but if the shrink says you are “potentially dangerous” you can be totally stripped of all human rights. I couldn’t get my records transferred from the shrink who labelled me that way to my new treating shrink, because the old one said that if my new shrink saw my records, I would become dangerous!!! I tried to convince the human rights commission that I really was not able to read my new shrink’s mind, but they wouldn’t believe me.

    The ACT Human Rights Commission sided with the first shrink and called me a liar. Wouldn’t let me know why they were calling me a liar (maybe they truly believed I COULD read my new shrink’s mind), wouldn’t tell me what evidence, if any, the first shrink had presented, as he would not give them his permission. He said my seeing the evidence against me could also make me dangerous, apparently.

    It was traumatic in the extreme, really, knowing that even the body charged with protecting my human rights could be used by a psychiatrist who hadn’t seen me for years to further demean and continue his abuse of me.

    However, there is a bright side – the whole sick and abusive charade gave me the angry impetus I needed to walk away from psychiatry and all “mental health” services forever.

    …and if I come across another struggling human being, what I accord them is respect, and my honest presence IF (and only IF), they want it.

  • Thank you…this is a beautifully told story that reflects my own experience when my “consumer” status has, by either myself or someone else, been revealed.

    The fact is, it leads to massive abuse both in the form of ostracism and in the form of discounting, dismissing, condescension, blaming, gaslighting and contempt. I found that if I raised any issues whatsoever about my own or others’ treatment or concerns, or if I was in any way not totally harmonious and “normal” ALL the time, it was blamed on my being “mentally ill”. Normal moods and feelings are viewed as “symptoms”, as are views that differ from those of others.

    Outing yourself or being outed, even with people you have come to know quite well, inevitably seems to lead to scapegoating, sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant, so I too no longer “fess up” to my former consumer status. Not to doctors, friends, acquaintances. I no longer extend my arms to have them tied into their straight jacket.

    In society’s eyes there can be no recovery from a “mental illness”….not ever….perhaps because the chemical imbalance lie was (and is) so wholeheartedly promoted by psychiatry. It certainly serves to maintain psychiatry’s customer base, as people who are blamed, ostracized, marginalized etc ARE bound to be unhappy and unwell and hence seek “help” which inflicts further harm.

  • markps2
    “just say ” It is between me and my doctor what medicines I take”.”

    Sage advice indeed, and the only way I have found to circumvent people’s overwhelming insistence that I’d be better than well if I’d just persist in finding the right combination of “medication”.

    That I persisted in seeking that combination and ended up very actively suicidal, psychotic and totally unable to function because of those “medications” is totally irrelevant to them (and the doctors).

    I no longer have any engagement with psychiatry and haven’t taken “medication” for 7 years, but for a few years, if anyone asked or commented etc, I also say, “That’s between me and my doctor”.

    Since I have moved to another city and formed new friendship groups no-one asks, and it’s nice not to be judged and pressured.

  • On the other hand, might it encourage greater wariness by both prescribing doctors and the general public when it comes to “medication”?

    Drug approval in the US would become meaningless and prescribers and users alike would have to turn to other countries’ assessment of drugs, effectively making all of the apparently already-dubious FDA processes less influential.

    Would this really matter? Might it be a good thing, in fact, if the FDA, which appears to be run largely by and for the drug companies, were to finally drop the charade of being the protector of public health and safety?

    The requirements for trials are still going to be there in other countries, and I see this as potentially taking away the influence Pharma can use internationally by saying the US FDA has approved this drug, as I doubt many would follow the US down this track.

    It just really makes drug/device approval in the US even more meaningless than it already is.

  • Well said, Julie Greene.

    If people were given full facts and truly knew the damage “mental health care” and psych drugs can do, they’d run very far away very fast!

    It’s a known fact that many psych drugs are known to CAUSE irregular heart beat, heart damage, brain damage and lasting problems, as well as stigma and massive personal and interpersonal problems. To be locked up, tied down and drugged or shocked is appalling, but that is exactly what psychiatrists are allowed, by law, to do, and even if they don’t go to the extremes, their drugs are dangerous and ineffective…research has repeatedly shown this.

    People should not believe it cannot happen to them. I was a well paid professional who at age 50 had her life hijacked by psychiatry. Over a decade later I am still recovering, but at least I have my life. Many others (including Carrie Fisher) don’t.

  • Yes, I experienced that too. Start as a voluntary patient seeking support for some transient emotional distress, get given allegedly safe and effective “medication” and when that “medication” makes you really ill you’re forced to keep taking it while they say they have unmasked underlying “disease” (for which there are no tests) and proceed to increase the “medication” that caused the reaction and add a few more for good measure.

    Because there’s no tests to show that psychiatric “diseases” exist, it is equally impossible to prove you don’t have one! They’ve got you and they won’t let you go.

    I am sure that if the general public was aware of how easily psychiatry can strip them of ALL their human and legal rights, no-one would ever consent to seeing a psychiatrist.

  • Frank, I couldn’t agree more!

    “Now how do we return to “health”/society when “disease”/(“reason” for quarantine) is whatever they want it to be?”

    Herein lies the rub…if you criticize psychiatry, they simply say it is because you “lack insight” into your “disease/illness”, and that, in itself, is a “disease” (anosognosia). Psychiatry does not and cannot provide any evidence at all that its “patients” actually have any disease or illness, and yet it is free to kidnap, imprison and drug people, and then to do it some more if they object.

    And because there are no tests or scans, there is no way to prove you do NOT have one of their “diseases”.

    I have been functioning in society without the “medications” (read psychiatrically prescribed mind altering drugs that pitched me headlong into hell when I had lived for the first 50 years of my life with no “mental illness”) for over 6 years, and yet I am still considered for “medical” purposes a psychiatric patient, so can’t refuse those same drugs that made me so ill.

    It really is very frightening to know that a “doctor” could force drugs on me which I know will plunge me back into absolute hell and there is nothing I can do about it because advance care directives can be ignored when it comes to psychiatry’s “diseases” and drugs.

    Psychiatry has left me very deeply traumatised… it is NEVER OK to imprison and forcibly drug someone, but doing it under the guise of treating a disease that cannot be shown to even exist with mind altering drugs is an absolute betrayal of both our trust in the medical profession and in human rights and justice.

  • Yes, from my personal experience, being on Olanzapine was pure hell, but coming off it was pure hell times three. Not only did I have to contend with the ongoing effects of the drug, but had severe drug withdrawal symptoms thrown in on top for months and months.

    No human being should be forced to take this stuff (I was drugged under a “treatment order”) – it is cruel and inhuman torture.

    Given there are no benefits and massive harms, no new patients should be started. I stop short of saying “ban it outright” because some people simply might not be able to get off the stuff it is so addictive.

  • Thank you…a nice piece.

    I think one of the major reasons go on psych drugs to being with is that their doctors really do push the point – not only do they dismiss any concerns about addiction and withdrawal, they also deny side effects, and they sell the “chemical imbalance” lie.

    We have been raised to trust and respect doctors, but in the case of psych meds, they are the snake oil salesmen of modern times. There is no informed consent with these drugs and no respect for the patient’s well being.

    As you note, coming off them is to say the least, challenging, even with support. That doctors will do almost anything to convince people to “take their meds!” (including the use of incarceration, force and depot injections), makes it really tough for many to actually listen to their inner voice, and even tougher for them to act on it.

    I think anything that can help people make that single minded decision NOT to take the drugs to begin with will always be the best position….but yes, helping people get off them once they go wrong, as they almost certainly will, is indeed a high calling.

  • In my case, being detained, totally stripped of my rights, forced to take drugs that made me feel like hell AND hallucinate AND plunge into psychosis (for the first time in my life), and then told I’d have to keep taking them for the rest of my life and that I could never hope to recover was more than a little traumatic.

    At no stage was I violent or abusive…my response was freeze and/or flight rather than fight.

    They told me that they could come to my home and lock me up again when ever they felt like it, which left me nowhere to feel safe. I own my home and it has always been my safest space. They threatened to invade it as they had invaded my mind and body.

    It was abuse piled on top of abuse with no hope of reprieve, and it was called psychiatric “care”!

    Then, after I got out, my shrink said I could stop taking the meds (Zyprexa and Avanza) if I didn’t like them (no suggestion of a taper and no warning of what would happen if I did stop), and said I had to go back to work even though I was still hallucinating and feeling terrified. And it was the workplace that had caused my breakdown in the first place.

    No prizes for guessing what happened next. Thankfully, I didn’t succeed….obviously….but was put back on the drugs and it took me 4 years to finally get off them. That was 6 years ago and the more I read, the more I realize I still have residual symptoms that weren’t there before.

    Psychiatric “care” is cruel torture and those who practice it need to be locked up and put on the same “medications” (quantities, combinations etc) that they have inflicted on their “patients”, before being released to fend for themselves.

    I suspect we’d have fewer psychiatrists if that occurred as such treatment really does make one feel very suicidal indeed.

  • Our experience of the “medications” is so very similar it’s eerie, despite us living at opposite ends of the earth.

    I have only been off the drugs for around 6 or 7 years, and although I still struggle with symptoms that weren’t there before I was put on them, I am certainly far better than I was while taking them. Hopefully one day I will be asymptomatic.

    The drugs made me unable to function. They took away my career and livelihood. A simple little anti-depressant tablet prescribe by my GP and taken exactly as prescribed. When I reported side effects, I was dismissed and told I must keep taking these magic pills.

    It is a cruel thing to force a human being to take drugs that the human being knows are making them insanely unwell. Psychiatrists, however, do this on a daily basis. I think THEY are cruel and insane.

  • Nomadic
    Doctors are giving them out ‘cos they want to be able to offer something, and they have been convinced by big pharma money and falsified trials that they work. Drug companies also fund universities, studies, doctors’ professional development etc as part of their marketing. They pay eminent doctors BIG money to promote the drugs to their colleagues, and they aggressively put down anyone who questions this megabuck business.

    People accept them because doctors tell them to and in western society we have been conditioned to trust our doctors. People also want relief from difficult feelings and are very vulnerable when tough times come along.

    Greatly simplified answer, I know….but that’s the basis of it.

  • Uhhmmm…please quote the actual research regarding serotonin levels….even the American Psychiatric Association acknowledges that the chemical imbalance theory of depression was only ever a theory with no evidence to support it. A past president of the APA went as far as to say it was an urban myth that no serious psychiatrist had ever believed, but it was a convenient way to get patients to take their drugs.

    There is no way of measuring serotonin levels in the brain of a living person.

    Some “anti-depressants” that are thought to lower serotonin levels work (as well as a placebo), as do some that raise serotonin levels, and both types can be equally effective in the same patient. Other “anti-depressants” that do not target serotonin at all are equally as effective…but again, they are only about as effective as a placebo.

    If you have research that proves the serotonin theory of depression I am sure the scientific world and the drug companies would love to see it – please share!

  • ..and I should add, that they never even thought to conduct thyroid tests on me BEFORE putting me on dangerous drugs. It was only a few years down the track that a doc actually ordered a thyroid function test and discovered a problem.

    Diagnosing a fictitious “mental illness” likely meant a real physical illness that was perhaps the cause of my struggles went untreated.

  • Yep.

    …and I’d add that in their ignorance and pretence of knowledge, both GPs and psychiatrists are doing massive damage as they really have very little to offer “depressed” or otherwise “mentally ill” patients other than stigma, trauma, and an addiction (often by force) to very dangerous drugs.

    They should only be diagnosing and medicating biologically identifiable conditions. As it is, they are imprisoning and forcibly drugging and/or shocking distressed people without any evidence base simply because, as doctors, they have the power to do so.

    It is horrendous. Thank you for speaking out.

  • Doctors often don’t either!

    I told both my primary physician and psychiatrist about side effects I had from of a range of prescribed psych drugs and was told I was imagining them and a note was made that I was medication “non-compliant”. Among the drugs were: Ambien (notorious now, but new on the market at that point), Prozac, Effexor, and Olanzapine. All have well recognised side effect profiles which can be decidedly dangerous, but convincing my doctors that I might suffer a side effect was impossible. General response was to recommend increased dosage!

    It would be interesting to see similar research done on prescribing doctors.

  • It appalls me that I was forcibly “medicated” with these drugs and hence actively prevented from recovering, rather than being given proper support and treatment.

    Not mentioned here either (probably as it isn’t particularly relevant to the main theme of this article) is that these ineffective and dangerous drugs also appear to cause metabolic syndrome (diabetes, heart problems etc), and so shorten patients’ lives significantly and vastly increase both direct and indirect healthcare costs.

    All up, the only winners with these drugs are their manufacturers and the (hospitalization) industry that sees people incarcerated so they can be forced to use them. I suspect the numbers of lives they destroy and damage done would possibly exceed those destroyed by illicit drugs.

  • “In my honest opinion I think ssris are way more dangerous than alcohol”.

    Yes, I agree, as with alcohol we are all aware of its dangers, it is illegal to give it to people under a certain age, women are very strongly discouraged from consuming it in pregnancy, and if a doctor spots dodgy blood tests you are likely to be closely questioned and then, if necessary, given assistance to reduce your consumption.

    With SSRIs, the doctor will tell you they are safe and that any difficulties you might encounter are because of YOU, not the drug. They will dismiss any side effects you report and/or INCREASE the dose and/or throw another drug into the mix to counter the effects of the first.

    They will absolutely INSIST you keep using, sometimes to the point of locking you up in a “hospital” that will force the drugs upon you on the basis that you must be mad because you don’t recognise that the drugs are helping….even if you become violent and/or suicidal while taking them.

    So yes….the drugs ARE far more dangerous than alcohol, and yes, I too know from experience that coming off them is hell and it can take years for your brain to recover from the assault it has suffered. Some brains never do recover.

  • Thank you for sharing your story and getting the message out there on these dangerous, destructive drugs.

    I am still recovering from a similar experience after having been drugged with these substances for a few years – their effects, even after withdrawal can be protracted!

    My sister was placed on the stuff when she was in her late teens and was a mess and in and out of psychiatric hospitals all her adult life. Then, at 63, a doctor decided to withdraw her from all “meds”. Lo and behold, after a horrible withdrawal, she is now sane again, after years of struggle and torment. The whole family keeps shaking their heads at the fact that she can carry on a conversation, can be reasonable, compassionate, and function as an adult human being…intelligent even – who’d have thought it! We had forgotten.

    How many others are locked up and tortured in “psychiatric hospitals” simply because they cannot tolerate these evil drugs ?

    Thank you again for speaking out.

  • Yes, Mark

    It appears that most of the posters supporting drugs on this thread are first time posters.

    I am hoping they will make the best use of this site’s resources to further investigate the thoroughly researched pros and cons of medications.

    Many people are never told honestly about the potential impacts of using psychiatric medications, either because their doctors have, like many others, been unable to penetrate the pharmaceutical companies’ largely false claims around the drugs’ safety and efficacy because the real data has remained hidden until legal action has forced its release.

    Only in very recent years has it become increasingly apparent that the drugs’ true risks have remained dangerously understated and the benefits have been very significantly exaggerated.

    It takes time for such research to filter into medical schools and down to doctors on the front line, especially when research and continuing education for doctors is largely funded by pharmaceutical companies intent on maximising profits.

    Meanwhile, patients are given one drug and when its side effects kick in, another drug is added to deal with those side effects, and then another is needed, so people end up on drug cocktails, some of which are deadly, if not in the short term, then in the longer term.

    …..and they are wrongly told they have a chemical imbalance when this theory has long since been debunked and is now widely accepted by the top psychiatrists in the world, and leaders in the American Psychiatric Association and NIMH have come out and said it was never more than an “urban myth”.

    Hopefully such messages will get through, and the drugs will be seen for what they are: dangerous, mind altering and mind damaging substances that hinder rather than promote recovery.

  • Just not taking the meds is not the answer.

    Stopping them cold can induce severe withdrawal (which can be extremely dangerous) which is often misdiagnosed as a return of the “illness”, and hence proof that the meds work and are necessary.

    There is information on this site and there are numerous other sites that discuss how to withdraw slowly and safely from psychiatric medications, and even with assistance from a prescribing doctor (if you can find one willing to do it), it can be a very difficult and protracted process – believe me, I have been through it!

    Psychiatric medications are no easier to come off than illicit drugs, and sometimes are more problematic, especially when several different classes of drugs are involved, as is often the case.

    It needs be a gradual process and can take a year (or a lot more) to taper safely…generally people expect to be able to self-manage off the drugs in days, weeks or a couple of months, and predictably, they fail….and may well end up in hospital. Occasionally someone MAY manage it, but there are lots who don’t.

    Frequently, psychological support is also needed to address the underlying psycho-social and/or trauma issues that saw the person prescribed meds in the first place.

    If you decide to give it another go at some stage, research thoroughly, get support and be prepared for what may be a very challenging time!

  • I think it is wise to continue to do what works for you, but the dreadful truth is that for the vast bulk of people these drugs are poison.

    In my case, since undertaking a very slow and difficult taper, I have now been off Olanzapine for more than six years and am far better now than I ever was on it. Actually, the only time I was ever psychotic was while I was taking Olanzapine as prescribed by a psychiatrist.

    Several people I know have had similar experiences. The effects of the meds have been devastating for them. Long term studies (Harrow and Wunderink, I think) have also shown poorer long term outcomes for this who are given the drugs – in those cases antipsychotics.

    The American Psychiatric Association’s leaders have come out and debunked the chemical imbalance myth of depression, and drug companies have had to pay billions of dollars as a result of false claims of efficacy and safety in well publicised law suits.

    It is extremely imporrtant that people who try to come off these meds do so very carefully indeed – this site has a wealth of information that can help.

  • Yes, these are excellent points.

    In my experience as a patient, my treating psychiatrists also absolutely refused to hear what I was telling them about my extremely negative experience of their drugs.

    They INSISTED their clinical experience was that the drugs worked, and therefore, my experience was not valid. I have to wonder how many other patients experienced such behaviour by psychiatrists who then go on to claim that their “clinical experience” is that the drugs work.

    If they will only listen to the patients who agree with them, and roundly chastise and/or forcibly drug those who don’t, then their “clinical experience” is worth nothing at all!

  • Steve said: “I’d love it if you could comment further on the “Placebo washout” approach described so clearly in the first study. It appears that they systematically removed anyone who got better when coming off antipsychotics. This always seems like a pretty sleazy maneuver to me. If you have people whose quality of life IMPROVES when they STOP the “treatment,” wouldn’t that be very important data? I’d love to compare the “washout” folks at 52 weeks to the Zyprexa users at 52 weeks. ”

    Yes! This was my thought exactly.

    Their management of and failure to report on the placebo washout group is nothing short of academic malpractice…and there seem to have been so many of them. Throughout the study, they have conveniently excluded anyone who didn’t respond in a way that could be used to promote their drugs, and no real follow-up or explanation has been given. If a study starts with, say, 400 people, all 400 should in some way be accounted for at the end…including deaths, refusals, etc.

    A study should NOT begin after you have excluded a whole bunch of people you recruited and then decided you didn’t like, because their reactions didn’t fit your preferences. It is academic dishonesty.

    …and then for Pies et al to revert to anecdotal “evidence” from their years of “caring” for their patients as being superior to any data from any study…well….

    Another excellent piece. Thank you Robert

  • The title is an oxymoron!
    …and the remainder of the article goes on to highlight why, so thank you once again, Dr Hickey.

    This quote from Dr Frances stood out for me:
    “Most people with mental illness are nice, polite, well mannered, well meaning, decent people. They suffer, but don’t cause suffering.”

    Perhaps, then, this could be added to the next DSM as a new symptom across all “mental illnesses”.

    …. and behaving like a Trump could become the primary definition of “mental health”. After all, the DSM currently doesn’t have a clear definition of “mental health”.

  • Lovely piece. Thank you for sharing you excellent dream and freedom.

    I too have noticed how carefully you have to wean them They get REALLY upset and try to drag you back. Whether it’s ego or dependence or something else, it really is very weird, almost cult-like how they’ll come after you and try to force you to stay.

    Even years down the track each trip to the primary care physician will include a plea to return to your mental illness and its associated “carers”, with offers of drugs and total denial that you are, in fact, doing far better without them and that remnants of grief relate to trauma they inflicted. It is totally beyond their desire and/or ability to comprehend that their and/or their colleagues’ “care” may have been problematic.

    Very glad you have escaped. Live well!

  • “It’s torture, and it is all-too-common. It can heal, but I found it to be more tricky to heal than the effects of the drugs, and I’ve had plenty of experience with both. The post-traumatic stress from bad therapy can be overwhelming, and hard to detect. It’s insidious.”

    Yep…this!

  • The author also says, “With the advent of the DSM, the so-called “bible of psychiatry” and modern psychopharmacology, the pendulum has swung back to a biological view of mental illness, supported by significant success of pharmacologic intervention.”

    The “significant success of pharmacologic intervention” has been shown to be a total misrepresentation of the facts. Children do no better academically, their growth, development and self esteem suffer, and there is increased likelihood of all sorts of difficulties in later life.

    The closing paragraph, particularly, “While medication may have role to play in alleviation of symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity,….” falls back on the belief that these mind altering DRUGS (and that’s what they are) actually help the child….they don’t, they may help the adults who have failed to attend to the child’s needs adequately, but they damage children. They also help doctors perpetuate the belief they have something to offer in this field, and make lots of money for both them and pharmaceutical companies.

    As Liz states above, there are far better sources of information on the mythical “illness” of ADHD.

    Promoting the drugging of children is offensive.

  • I agree. Forgiveness is a crock of sh*t when it comes to serious abuse. To forgive some acts is effectively to condone them, which lessens one’s self and validates the abuser’s actions. There are some things that are not, and never can be, OK. Simple.

    Those things, when they happen, necessitate grieving and deep reflection on the echoes and responses they elicit within us, and when we get to the heart of those, then it is possible to move on in life free from, but forever changed by their effects. Not easy, and very painful.

    Thanks for this article at this time, Dr Breggin.

  • How anyone could believe that locking another human being up and drugging them could be “therapeutic” is absolutely beyond me.

    The day I was locked up I frantically searched for an unlocked door. I, a woman, was placed with high dependency males, who were heavily drugged. One threatened me sexually, another took my food and water. When night time came, as I lay cringing and terrified on my bed, a large male entered my room and announced he was my night nurse. I was the only female in an unsafe, all male hell.

    That night I entered my first (and only) psychotic state. I fell through the pits of hell. I had failed both the gods and the devil and was destined to be the butt of every type of abuse for eternity. I was too scared of what my jailers (ie the psychiatrists running the hospital) would do to cry out or move, so I fell silently, endlessly, and alone. It was revealed to me that the purpose of the hospital was to make me totally powerless so I could never function in society again as a human being, but would be forced to live like a rat, hiding and scavenging.

    Now….what makes anyone think I would co-operate with this aim? What makes anyone think that I would give these tormentors any information that would help them achieve their aims?

    My tiny fragment of remaining sanity was directed to getting myself the hell out of there with as much of my apparently-totally-evil-self in tact as possible. ‘Twas difficult, given the drugs they forced on me, and the abuse and violence of the place, but 6 weeks later they let me go.

    A helpful experience? Therapeutic? Shortly after I very nearly succeeded in suicide.

    Yet such practices continue throughout the world, and from what I see, the good doctors – highly trained psychiatrists – continue to be surprised when people are not totally delighted with their treatment….after all, being terrified into a psychosis and then drugged is all “for your own good”.

  • …and herein lies the rub.

    Yes, these awful drugs are massively over prescribed and no-one is warned of their dangers or their addictiveness, so people simply are not prepared for the difficulties that befall them when stopping.

    Telling people to cease medication abruptly is cruel, irresponsible and potentially dangerous, but if they go to their doc and ask, any difficulty is put down to the return of “mental illness” and not the drug.

    Until the medical profession actually changes its tune and decides to behave ethically, banner drops are likely to weaken the cause if they encourage people to abruptly stop their meds, and their resultant suffering only gives credence to the belief that “anti-psychiatry” is clearly populated by dangerous nutters.

    Primary care physicians must be educated and be in a position to help people transition off these drugs.

  • Circa

    I hope you don’t mind if I chime in here.

    Perhaps raise the issue of gradual withdrawal and see how your doc reacts.

    If (s)he is open to it, pretend to gradually come off. If not, just keep pretending to take them, especially if you are under a treatment order – if they know you’ve come off, you might get hit with depot injections as they HATE people who are “non-compliant” even if they obviously do better off the drugs – it’s a power thing…absolutely nothing to do with health care.

  • It is precisely the same in Canberra, Australia. Two admissions over 10 years ago for me (not to avoid prison or anything, though), and I still suffer severe PTSD as a result of their barbaric drugging and other treatment.

    I now am totally clear of their “medication” for more than five years…be careful, coming off it is tricky and dangerous…but still suffer flashbacks and intense fear because I know that now I have a “history of mental illness” ANY doctor can lock me up at any time for any reason, with no evidence needed and no chance of defence on my behalf.

    Psychiatrists are severely sick and VERY dangerous people.

    I hope that Otto manages to get out reasonably in tact.

  • “Do you see Doctors experimenting to create blonde hair and blue eyes, or people trying to help those who are too sad or too angry to function in society in a civilized manner?

    The problem isn’t the medical community trying to fix societal problems like returning soldiers, homeless, ex convicts, under paid, over worked, people.”

    If they’re “trying to hep”, then they need to look at what they’re doing. “Trying to help” while destroying lives with dangerous drugs which have been proven neither safe nor efficacious, is no more acceptable than destroying lives by any other means.

    Just because they’re “TRYING” doesn’t excuse the damage they’re doing. Their pledge is, “first do no harm” and yet there’s amplye evidence that they ARE doing harm, and that they’re aware they are doing harm, but choosing to persist.

    Whether that is for reasons of financial or reputational gain, or even reasons of ignorance, it remains inexcusable.

    They collect big paychecks, they are in positions of trust, and they are supposed to undertake ongoing training to stay abreast of scientific studies , so they have a responsibility to those they treat.

    Just read the front page of MIA on any given week and you will find studies (academic and peer reviewed) that bring into question the whole basis of psychiatric “illness”, “treatment” and safety.

    Read the blogs by highly respected specialists and survivors, and read the comments below those blogs, and you will find there are very significant reasons to question the status quo.

    A system that “tries” by enforcing its misguided “treatments” and causing harm is no more excusable than the Nazis’ eugenics programs….it’s possibly worse because it is cloaked in trust and academic respectability – at least the Nazis were honest in their aims.

  • Yes, I was, and it was tough, and yet I came through it and gave birth to raised two very well adjusted, highly educated (adult) children who are making excellent contributions to society. What’s more they are ethical, caring and empathetic human beings with whom I like associating.

    I was making a very solid contribution too…. until psychiatry got hold of me.

    Now…with something like 50% of people experiencing some sort of “mental illness” (and hence in your view potentially requiring sterilisation or extermination), that’s getting towards genocide on a scale the world has never before seen.

    However, the only people capable of carrying out such actions would have to be diagnosed as “psychopaths” or whatever the current DSM label is, and hence, being “mentally ill” also would need to be gotten rid of, so eventually, there’d be no-one left!!!

  • “They also found that those who recovered without formal treatment reported a substantially higher quality of life than those who received treatment, though their scores were still lower than healthy controls.”

    Confirms my experience…being medically “treated” for depression plunged me into a nightmarish saga of drugs (ie prescribed “medication”), involuntary hsopitalisations, maltreatment by psychiatrists, PTSD and permanent inability to work as a result. And then there was/still is the protracted withdrawal from their drugs and an abiding fear of doctors and authority. All this after having been a highly productive member of society until I was diagnosed with and treated for a “mental illness” at 50. I was simply overworked and stressed out and needed a break and a bit of R &R, not a diagnosis, drugging and stigmatisation.

    “First, do no harm”……? The “mental health” industry as it is now is PURELY about doing harm. This may or may not be malicious, but rather than seek out ever more victims for its mill through screening programs, it needs to STOP and REFLECT on the damage it is doing to the mostly innocent, healthy, functional people it snares in its net!

    Life can be tough, and people can be unhappy, fearful, grieving, tired, stressed etc and this study shows that people get through it better without “help” from professionals as these reactions are normal human responses to our environments.

  • That amount of money to make people physically ill, while at the same time as not addressing their emotional issues is sickening.

    There is no proof for either the safety or efficacy of “anti-depressants”. They have merely exacerbated social and economic problems by pretending to address a “chemical imbalance” that makes people unhappy by drugging unhappy people into states of numbness. People are unhappy when they have bad experiences, and drugs, be they alcohol, prescription, or street drugs never have and never will address social and/or interpersonal distress.

    With 5.5million pounds a week the government could do a hell of a lot to start to address social issues, but hey….that wouldn’t benefit psychiatrists or big pharmaceutical companies, and they are the real “clients” here. The human beings who are drugged and who suffer as a result are just fodder for the machine, just as young men were “cannon fodder” in wars of old. Only now, it is largely women and the philosophically “disobedient” who are the targets of magic bullets.

  • Hocus Pocus Diagnosis

    Precisely!

    Psychiatrists aren’t called “shrinks” for nothing.

    They shrink the world view to fit their very narrow definition of what it means to be human by diagnosing anything THEY (collectively) decide is not “desirable” even if it is within the gamut of being fully human. All they have to do is vote it into the DSM.

    …and once the behaviour/belief/not “normal” cluster of traits is in the DSM it can be medicated, by force, and the person to whom the diagnosis has been stuck can do absolutely nothing about it.

    They can be locked up, shackled, injected, have severe and life threatening seizures induced via ECT administered by “doctors”, and denied every human right imaginable just because psychiatrists want to increase their own power, position and earnings.

    None of the treatments have been shown to be either efficacious or safe.

    None of the “diseases” have been shown to exist.

    Being female and “misbehaving” or complaining of not being totally fulfilled (ie not being happy with limited opportunities, abuse, or subservience or not being horny on demand regardless of partner’s behaviour) almost guarantees being questioned on your sexuality and diagnosed and heavily medicated.

    Psychiatry is purely about social control and enforcing their view of what is “normal” pretty much on the basis of what can earn them and/or big pharma money and what delivers maximum power and control into their hands.

    The control is applied to race, gender, behaviour, thoughts, actions…or anything else they see fit, or unfit.

  • Interesting perspective.

    I was raped by three young men when I was 12…almost 50 years ago….and recently let it slip in conversation to a friend who has known me for for nearly 30 years.

    She was shocked and has since treated me with kid gloves, even though the event has just become an integral part of the human experiences I have had…I mean, it was 50 years ago, and I have since been through a lifetime of living and of love, and she used to respect that.

    …but now, it seems, I am irredeemably and shockingly damaged in her eyes, and must but “mentally ill”.

    I have found it thoroughly stigmatizing and shall be far more careful in the future as my shrink had a similar reaction….”all rape victims….”, and it’s a re-rape.

    BUT, that is essentially what shrinkology does, it is how it makes its name and its money…by convincing society that a traumatic event (or two) leave you permanently damaged and in need of ongoing “treatment” no matter how you have progressed in life.

    According to them, there IS NO healing. no learning posible and so they should have the right to keep raping you with diagnoses, drugs, needles, etc…whatever they want, and then they claim YOU are dangerous!

    Rape culture, for sure.

  • Just keep saying you’re taking them (and fill your prescriptions) and be apparently nice and compliant, gradually taper, and once you’ve been off them for a year or two very pleasantly and quietly tell the doc and/or simply don’t fill the scripts any more.

    Flying under the radar is a very valid way of keeping yourself safe.

    If they “offer” injections, just explain that you like to feel that you are taking responsibility and making an active contribution to your care and that this makes you feel so much better, so you’d like to continue doing it (smiling and making eye contact the whole while).

    Their drugs are a lie, their “diagnoses” are a lie, but they are powerful, so become….in their nasty words…”avoidant”.

  • …and is a basic character trait of every psychiatrist I have ever met.

    Even in their endeavors to “help” they cast the patient as “other”, less, somehow inferior and even feared. They are, of course, jumping at their own (Jungian) shadows…or projecting…or whatever name they like to use on “patients” when they express disagreement, negative opinion, or doubt about the psychiatrist’s behaviours, pronouncements, or motives.

  • The final sentence says:
    “Perhaps the most that psychiatrists can manage is to realise that while they might not wield scalpels, handle sources of radiation, or have access to cytotoxic drugs, they employ language and concepts that are potentially hazardous in their misuse.”

    I point out that they just as potentially hazardous in their “use” as their misuse…perhaps more so.

    It is psychiatrists who have given rise to the “diagnoses” which have no basis in fact but instead are descriptors of clusters of usually quite normal reactions to varying situations, and now they are expressing concern that normal people are adopting them in everyday non-medical use and this could be hazardous.

    Well, Mr/Ms psychiatrist, that is because they are non-medical terms. They are not based in science. There is very little diagnostic consistency or reliability between psychiatrists seeing the same “patient”, so the non-medical people using these terms have as much chance (perhaps more if they are self-diagnosing or diagnosing a person they know well) of getting the fake “diagnosis” right as a psychiatrist who lobs it onto a “patient” after a 15 minute consultation.

    It can be hoped that these “diagnoses” become so commonly used (read abused) that they become even more meaningless than they currently are, and that people giggle at the thought of “real” doctors actually charging people for the application of such tags.

    Why pay when one can get such a “diagnosis” free from a friend or via a quick quiz on some social media site with just as much chance of accuracy and less chance stigma and serious professional fallout and/or of being prescribed dangerous, destructive and highly addictive drugs ?

    On social media you might even be able to link to a site where you can buy the t-shirt!

    Just saying….

  • Oh dear…such dangerous drugs, so freely used, so much actual evidence needing to be seen to inform psychiatrists of the direct treatment issues, and yet the Royal College refuses to allow its members to even have any opportunity to know about it.

    What can one say? These guys are happy for their members to go on killing people and causing brain damage and PREVENTING their patients’ recoveries…what happened to do no harm? Bet there’ll be a session or two on implementing ADHD drug treatment for babies, though.

    This must be astoundingly frustrating for doctors like yourself who want to see evidence-based treatment.

  • Agreed.
    Before psychiatry brutalized me I was a six-figure-salaried-executive. Psychiatry kidnapped me, locked me up, drugged me and left me so totally traumatized I have been unable to return to the workforce since. Now, 12 years down the track I have been fully off meds for around six years and cope well, but still have incredibly debilitating reactions to any stress whatsoever.

    That they are drugging LITTLE CHILDREN and stuffing up their entire lives is unforgivable…that they are doing it to so many is, as you say, a crime of ENRON scale…bigger, even.

    Keep up the good work exposing these crimes, Philip.

  • All psychiatrists need to say is that you (or the patient) is POTENTIALLY dangerous and you have lost every human and legal right and protection available. They don’t have to prove it and you can’t disprove it (how do you disprove “potentially dangerous”). Kafkaesque.

    Doesn’t matter that they are lying, or drunk, or drugged, or abusers. There are NO protections for anyone who becomes, voluntarily or otherwise, a psychiatric patient.

    …remember folks, you take ANY of their meds at any stage in your life, and you can be labelled “mentally ill” and potentially have all of your rights removed.

  • It is really appalling that psychiatrists, whose diagnoses are voted in or out of their “manual” and have NO scientific basis whatsoever, can overrule real doctors who treat real illnesses with real physical causes.

    That they can force their “treatments’ onto unwilling victims who absolutely know that those treatments may kill them is torture…mental and physical.

    That we also know that those “treatments” will worsen the condition she has and prevent her from receiving the effective treatments she needs, and that they actually CAUSE the symptoms the psychiatrists are alleging they treat, means these psychiatrists really are cruel, psychopathic monsters in the same league as Hannibal Lecter.

    Be aware, people…this IS what psychiatry can do for you too, if you happen to inadvertently stumble into its domain while vulnerable.

  • Givemeyourking,
    1). please provide evidence in the form of peer reviewed academic studies that support your claim that “mental illness” causes crime;
    2) Please note that, as stated in point (1) of the original article and again above, that correlation does not equal causation, so even IF you can find a study that correlates “mental illness” and crime, it will not prove causation!

    In fact, there is research (academic and reviewed) that shows the “mentally ill” are more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators….and that even excludes the incidence of people being kidnapped and forcibly detained, drugged and/or shocked.

  • JackDaniels wrote: “Whose (sic) going to pay for you to get treated for your mental illness when you become a danger to society?”

    Note he says: “WHEN you become a danger…” This assumes as fact that any/all “mental illness” will result in a person becoming “a danger to society”. This is not the case and, indeed, it is a proven fact (through validated academic research) that people with “mental illness” are more likely to be victims of violence than they are to be perpetrators.

    Why, JackDaniels, do you insist on pedaling blatant misinformation designed to see further discrimination and forced treatment of innocent people? What do you gain?

    Why, MIA, do YOU allow these offensive and abusive posts to continue? Were JD putting up scientifically validated facts re the effectiveness of treatment, and medication, and the actual danger “mentally ill” people present, I could understand it, but the fact that he is able to post his hate speech to justify locking up and torturing people is absolutely beyond me.

    “….or just not being a nuisance to society when you are off your medications and causing a scene in public.” So “causing a scene” is reason, according to JD, to be locked up and forcibly medicated? WOW. Beggars belief.

  • JackDaniels said: “Your inability to control your aggression is why you are a mental patient, you only give society a good excuse to put you away when you can’t control your anger and be civilized.”

    This sort of insulting and gas-lighting is just what happens when patients question or confront psychiatry about its systematic and systemic abuse of vulnerable people. JackDaniels, YOU are not being civilised!

    Your suggestions and comments are not being made with the love or respect you claim to support, but rather from a position of seeing someone as a “mental patient” in need of a good lesson in compliance…and if it takes forced drugging or whatever else, then it is justified because someone disagrees with YOU…you, as a non-“mental patient” have the power to be judge, jury and person who tames (by force if you so wish) a “mental patient”.

    Status. That is how psychiatry works. It labels, insults and tortures people who challenge it…the techniques are clear in your posts on this forum.

  • “3. The drugs make them feel better, so they have the same kind of appeal that alcohol and street drugs do.”

    For the most part, no they don’t. Many doctors dismiss their patients’ complaints about meds and say they should just give it a bit longer..ie 6-8 weeks, by which time it can be VERY difficult to get off them. Or they switch them to another drug which also means that the patient will be on drugs longer and have a horrible time coming off, and is then convinced by the Dr that this proves they really need the drug as their underlying illness is returning.

    I know too that there is coercion. The Drs said if I didn’t take the drugs voluntarily I would be put on a treatment order and forced to take them, and/or held down and injected.

    When I eventually got a Dr to agree to my coming off them (Zyprexa and Avanza…eeeekkk), he told me to just stop…no tapering, nothing, from this incredibly dangerous combo. I followed his instructions and stopped abruptly once and very nearly died. Next time I didn’t follow his suggestion and tapered very gradually indeed. It was prolonged and absolsutely horrible but I persisted.

    It has now been more than five years since I have taken any meds and I am pretty much back to normal, except I have a lot of anxiety and depression if put under any stress whatsoever.

    Pretty much can’t see any doctor now and have also lost any trust in both the medical and legal professions as far as human and health rights go.

    If EVER you see a psychiatrist you must be aware that the second you walk into their office is the second you surrender ALL your human and legal rights.

    I actually think this is where the fight against mass psychiatry can be won…by making people aware of what they stand to lose (ie all human and legal rights) BEFORE they seek psychiatric “help”.

  • Anne,
    thank you too for putting the reality of mental “health” and human rights here in Australia out there for all to see.

    Psych patients here have NO rights and no-one at all looking after their interests and wellbeing, let alone their survival.

    Garth’s situation should be a very clear warning to ANYONE seeking psychological services in Australia. The instance you walk into a doctor’s office saying you are unhappy or experiencing distressing symptoms is the same instance in which you surrender every one of your human, medical and legal rights.

    Yes, Jock is a psychiatrist and an absolute champion, and so are one or two others who write for this site, but they are voices in the wilderness and unless you can actually be sure to see them (or someone they directly recommend) be aware that you are entering a reality that would make both Kafka and Orwell turn in their graves and that rivals Alice’s adventures in Wonderland for pure insanity. Yet, here in Australia, psychiatrists have managed to created just that! And other doctors, governments, lawyers, and human rights commissions have been absolutely complicit.

  • Hi Frank

    you say, “It is horrible to hear how oppressive the system was towards this one poor individual it didn’t understand. ” I know you probably didn’t intend to imply this was an isolated case, but unfortunately, this is how the system operates for ALL patients – not just against this ONE individual.

    While it did a particularly spectacular job on Garth, as noted by Jock, Australian psychiatry is absolutely abhorrent. Jock and one or two others are truly notable exceptions.

    The laws do vary a little between the states and territories, but I was actually told by the Human Rights Commission that psychiatrists wrote sections of the laws pertaining to this sort of thing in my state. There is no recourse for patients and usually, there is NO escape. In my state, even the Human Rights Act denies some of the most basic rights of people who are labelled as “dangerous” by a psychiatrist. Convicted criminal in jails, however, have mandated rights.

    That Jock and/or Garth’s family were able to get Garth out, maintain his freedom and begin his recovery is an absolute tribute to their love and respect for him and their ingenuity.

  • “That would be incredible, and might indicate how much psychological damage is being done to people by our wars.”

    Yes, wars are horrible….

    …. however, the figures don’t separate out the damage that is almost certainly being done by the prescribing practices of the “mental health professionals” charged with looking after military personnel from the damage of trauma inherent in such situations.

    If drugging is the first line of treatment there’s probably a lot of iatrogenic injury occurring on top of the immense distress inherent in war.

  • Indeed…where psychiatry is concerned it is simultaneously kafkaesque, Orwellian and Alice in Wonderland-ish .

    It seems to me that a major challenge is the respect and reliance society seems to have developed for psychiatry and psychiatrists to explain what seems inexplicable ie “madness” or various forms of non-criminal but very disturbing behaviour that are both distressing to experience and to watch.

    When we would REALLY like there to be an answer, we seek what appears to be a credible story and solution, and psychiatrists managed to be the only people offering any explanation other than demonic possession. AND they aligned themselves with big pharma to present a “cure”…. so they got the power….and they got plenty of it…only they can lock up a person who has committed no crime for an indefinite period and force unproven and highly dangerous “treatments” onto them.

    They get to testify as “expert witnesses” in court – their knowledge of human nature and the brain is unchallenged…and yet no true knowledge has ever been shown to exist. Their power is based on misinformation, myth, and fear, but as yet they have managed to maintain the illusion.

    Any real inquiry into this illusion would threaten THEIR existence, so an expectation or hope that they would participate in their own destruction is somewhat optimistic….to say the least.

    They CANNOT argue against the overwhelming evidence that their treatments cause harm, and so they simply do not not engage – they belittle and dismiss, they obfuscate, they mislead. To do otherwise would be to succumb to the ultimate existential threat.

    All they are using now is their accumulated positional power to halt the boulder that’s coming their way…eventually, though, they will be but tenpins as Sisyphus’ boulder crests the mountain and takes its journey down the other side.

    Hang in there, Robert.

  • …..oh, there are just SO MANY ways this evil drug will kill you, with more coming to light as time progresses.

    I don’t doubt that as patients circumvent their shrinks and actually get this drug’s real effects recorded, many more will surface.

    It made my life a living hell too. How forcing someone to take such a dangerous, evil and destructive drug can help them regain their emotional and mental stability is totally beyond me….and blaming the patient for not getting better while on it….well….?????

  • Ron,
    I think that what you are assuming is that psychiatric “medications” have their advertised effects with some consistency. Given the numerous instances where drug companies have misrepresented and/or hidden the facts about what their drugs ACTUALLY do and how efficacious they are, I believe that assumption is a little bold.

    It seems to be being consistently shown that the “side effects” of some medications are actually far more common than the advertised effects and therefore some, say….antidepressants…., could more accurately be marketed as drugs to decrease sexual performance/enjoyment/drive.

    However, there may be instances where the drugs are effective.

    What irks me most, though, is that psychiatrists have the power to INVOLUNTARILY detain people and FORCE these drugs on people and then up the dose when they don’t work until the patient is non-functional and having severe physical health issues known to be caused by the drugs (eg…zyprexa and metabolic disease, diabetes etc) or other emotional/behavioural problems on top of the original complaint (atypical anti-psychotics and homicide, suicide, OCD, mania, eating disorders etc).

    Take away the involuntary imprisonment and forced drugging, and perhaps there’d be room for reform, but while ever that’s in place it is impossible to achieve meaningful reform.

    It is totally paradoxical to expect that people can be threatened, drugged and tortured into regaining their emotional health!

  • “That’s true. I consider it psychiatry-by-proxy and it wouldn’t have happened if psychiatry hadn’t used its pseudo-medical theories to give these drugs a false veneer of legitimacy as “medicines”

    Yep…my primary care doc can quote DSM diagnoses to me, and once suggested I try a certain drug being trialed by one of her psychiatrist colleagues. I accepted the pack and went and researched it and was able to present the facts…it had been refused approval in the US as it caused liver failure and hadn’t be shown efficacious, and there had been reported deaths in Europe. I handed back the unopened box of pills along with the printouts of the research. Next visit I was informed that no longer were any patients at the practice taking those meds.

    Shrinkology in its current form needs to be totally and absolutely discredited as it has become so pervasive in medical practice, in law, and in broader society.

    Any gentler approach would take generations, and pharmaceutical companies would find ways to corrupt medicine and medical science – it is too lucrative a field for them to leave fallow.

    I think people LIKE to believe in easy solutions to life’s unanswerables and so will always be vulnerable to the quick fix these guys seem to offer.

    Psychiatry is far more dangerous than snake oil of the past, because it is backed by money, influence and power.

    It needs to be totally obliterated, and a completely separate field set up to deal with the misery and addiction it has foisted on innocents all over the world.

  • Have any of the doctors or psychologists or Garth’s family considered lodging a formal complaint with AHPRA, the Victorian Medical Board, or what ever the organisation charged with professional misconduct is in Victoria?

    Garth’s treatment is so far removed from any clinical guidelines anywhere in the world that it at least might be worth a try.

  • JFrye
    In Australia psychiatric patients have no rights and no protections whatsoever.

    The piece is no more an opinion piece than your anecdotal claim regarding your use of ECT on your “clinically depressed” patients.

    Garth has had all those shocks. The psychiatrists simply have no intention at all of stopping. That is fact.

    It would certainly appear they want to murder him.

    You are a psychiatrist….perhaps you could rally some of your colleagues in the US to take an international stand against such barbaric treatment and lodge a complaint with the Victorian Mental Health [sic] Tribunal and the Australian and NZ Psychiatric Association.

    Perhaps if doctors and the victim’s family here would lodge complaints with AHPRA about the professional misconduct of these doctors, something might happen!! They are acting so far outside what is considered reasonable practice anywhere in the world, perhaps AHPRA might suspend them.

  • “Definitely some of the most important research to be publicized by MIA this year.”

    I’d actually disagree – I’d say it is potentially some of the most important research to be publicized by MIA this DECADE.

    That the FDA has knowingly approved such dangerous substances and/or actively and knowingly concealed the truth about them once they found out…and there is physical evidence…. is momentous.

    It has already been shown that the drugs are, for the most part, ineffective, but now they are being shown to cause murder.

    People were KNOWN to have committed murder as a result of taking the drugs and no-one was warned – and in the US they were likely advertised direct to the public. Cripey.

  • Australia is pretty much a “decent psyhiatist”-free zone. Jock stands alone among the medical fraternity.

    We’re a human rights-free zone too.

    The moment a psychiatrist declares a person “dangerous”, no matter how ridiculous the claim, or even whether the psychiatrist has actually examined the patient (read “victim”), that’s it. No more legal or human rights for the term of your natural life. Done deal.

  • ..and it never was before the drugs.

    I am currently doing a series of challenges on meat.

    However, I am wondering whether the drugs screw with the dopamine, serotonin etc in the gut (microbiome) as much as they do with those chemicals in the brain…and seeing most of those chemicals ARE in the gut in greater concentration than in the brain, it would stand to reason that if the gut microbiome is knocked around, how our bodies process foods etc could also change.

  • I agree with your assessment that they are absolutely terrified that Daniels will improve, even “recover” from their decades of abuse and that will cause their house of cards to disintegrate.

    My stomach churned and a tear escaped while reading this – that the State has such power to indefinitely detain and torture a citizen on the say so of psychiatrists whose “treatment” has shown no signs of having worked to date, when he has committed no crime, and when there is alternative treatment available is beyond words.

    Have you tried the TV stations? 7.30 Report? 4Corners? There really needs to be a serious an public investigation into Daniel’s ongoing torture.

  • …and if they suspect the drugs might be a problem and tell their doc, they’ll either be dismissed and/or labelled as non-compliant and/or have their dose increased!

    Oh yes… and there’s the “underlying condition unmasked” line that shrinks are so fond of.

    Given the attitude of doctors when told about side effects, I am very surprised the FDA even got this many reports.

    Alcohol is relatively benign compared to this sh*t! At least not EVERYONE gets addicted to it.

  • When are they going to admit that they have NO IDEA whatsoever about what these drugs’ random effects are likely to be?

    We have “anti-depressasnts” that cause suicide, homicide, birth defects and addiction, and many things besides.

    We have “anti-psychotics” that cause psychosis, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, movement disorders, shortened life and many things besides.

    We know that the effects are largely extremely unpleasant and debilitating and that those on them have a reduced chance of living any sort of decent life.

    And yet people can be forced by law to ingest them (or have them injected).

    When will they be banned?

  • Most people seem to be commenting on possible drugs involved and opining on psychiatric treatment generally.

    Certainly more facts are needed and will come to light in the trial before a judgement on the doctor’s behavior is handed down. I wonder how much information will be allowed into the public domain…are trials in the US always open to public/media scrutiny?

  • thank you Gary
    I am now totally psychiatry and psychology free, not just biological..all modalities.

    I have come to believe the “mental health” industry as a whole is destructive – both psychiatrists and psychologists really do believe in the illness model, and even if they don’t, they still have to assign diagnoses to get paid.

    Diagnoses made by both are based on the DSM (or its European counterpart), and quite fundamentally label and keep you captive for life one way or another.

    Until the diagnostic labelling systems go, seeing a person capable of giving such a sticky label is, quite simply, extremely dangerous. It is a life sentence when it is possible only one single circumstance needs to change for a person to be symptom-free and fully functional. Yet even when this circumstance changes, psychiatry will never reverse the diagnosis.

    I have found that reading a lot, both literature and some of the psychiatric, self help and philosophical classics, provides a path into the essential humanness that has been a part of our evolution as a species.

    There’s very little indeed I see in black and white, but psychiatry…well…that is totally dehumanising….BLACKER than BLACK!

  • Yes, as a patient, I heard all of these.

    The one that my psychiatrist seemed to like most was :

    ‘Is this illness or behaviour?’…if I didn’t behave as he would prefer/like/dictate he would threaten me with a “borderline” diagnosis and say how good he was to work with me because most doctors wouldn’t take borderline cases and I certainly didn’t want that on my records. Whether he put it there or not I’ll never know, because when my next doctor wanted to see my records, the original shrink said I’d become dangerous if MY DOCTOR was to see my records.

    Another one I heard after release from my first hospital admission was that I was now on the revolving door of medications and hospital admissions for the rest on my life, but I guess that’s related to No. 1…enduring condition.

    Well, I did have another hospital admission after I attempted suicide following the first (apparently a common response to being locked up and drugged), but that was over a decade ago, and while I still have severe reactions to any stress at all…good or bad, and trauma from all I experienced, I have been clear of meds for over 5 years and will never go anywhere near the “mental health” industry again.

    It is an industry of insults, drugging, total hopelessness, death and destruction…and it nearly claimed me as another of its victims.

  • Olanzapine is just plain EVIL. It gives no pleasure at all and is amazingly addictive – being addicted to a drug of total dis-pleasure was hell…but coming off it was worse.

    …and becoming addicted to it because of 6 weeks forced “treatment” as an involuntary patient in a closed psychiatric ward when I had never been “psychotic” until being locked up….

    …what can/does one say?

  • She’s probably on a drug cocktail (prescribed, of course) that’s literally driving her insane. Has anyone in her “treatment team” or family actually read the warning labels on the boxes the pills come in???? They cause this stuff.

    Poor kid…she’s probably read the labels and knows how useless the doctors are and hates her parents for what they’re putting her through. She’s powerless and she’s being tortured.

  • That Mayo Clinic site makes very scary reading indeed.

    I think it interesting that the report’s author says, “I certainly wouldn’t advise my grandparents or even my parents to take these medications unless they have to,”….

    The problem is that doctors and nursing homes/aged care facilities and psychiatric hospitals say that people “have to” all the time….and they can force the issue too if people refuse and/or implement ECT…and then follow it up with depot injections.

    It is just torture, plain and simple, that any human being should be given this stuff when there is full knowledge of both its short and longer term effects!

  • But which few will be violent, and how many people will they kill?
    Will it be your child, your mother, perhaps even you?

    Will they get suspended sentences because they were on prescribed “medication” to treat “mental illnesses” that have never been shown to have a biological cause, or really, even to have been shown to exist as medical conditions?

    “The black box warning covers the small population of people who have adverse reactions to anti depressants, and the best way to deal with them is to involuntarily commit them into mental hospitals and monitor their reactions.”

    Does the black box warning specifically mention “impulse/desire to MURDER other human beings” as a possible side effect? While you say it “covers the small population who have adverse reactions…” how does it protect/”cover” those people who will be murdered or maimed?

  • JackDaniels wrote: “One solution would be to admit people into mental hospitals to evaluate their reactions to the anti-depressants in a safe environment.”

    Jack, I would totally agree with this suggestion.

    Great way to get the message out there that these drugs are not safe and you’d have to be willing to admit to being certifiably mad to take them!

    The prospect of three to six weeks locked up would cause both doctors and consumers to rethink options and would possibly save money in the long term in terms of ongoing costs of disability and other problems the drugs cause.

  • “everything in life has risk even anti-depressants. Most people understand from the news there is a risk of violence with anti-depressants, but they support it because its better to have these people productive and working instead of drawing entitlements or welfare, alcoholics, or illegal drug addicts who also present a danger to society and with greater risk at that. ”

    JackDaniels
    If you read current literature and studies such as those by Robert Whittaker and a number of both MIA and non-MIA authors, you’ll find that many people become completely disabled after being prescribed “anti-depressants”.

    People are not living productive lives and working on these drugs, they are falling into unemployment and disability payment-dependence.

    Rates of permanent disability have risen in concert with the prescription of psych meds. It has been shown that kids put on ADHD drugs are more likely to go on to illicit drug use and that the prescribed meds will not provide any long term benefit academically, yet college and uni students use them to binge study and cram because they believe the psych-hype.

    Ethics and medicine have generally become separated, perhaps even mutually exclusive, as so much of the funding for research and teaching comes from pharmaceutical companies, which also pays large sums to the professors to pass on the drug “wisdom”.

    As far as the issues of illicit drug users being a greater threat to society than people on anti-depressants….please read the articles on the German-Wings pilot and on many ofthe mass murderers of late…psych meds have been involved in many, if not most of these horrific events.

    I think “most people” have absolutely NO IDEA that these drugs can trigger such out of character violence. It isn’t a risk that our society has ever done an assessment of.

    Is the risk that someone who takes an anti-depressant will be put into such a state that they go and shoot 10, or 15 0r 20 kids really a risk we are willing to take? And yet it happens…repeatedly.

    I too ask why is it that you so defend these drugs?

  • Yes, Breggin’s work was/is brilliant…but this involves lawyers defending potentially highly emotional and public cases involving murder. In some ways it actually builds on and validates his work.

    However, that these ineffective drugs can lead to people behaving in such out of character and totally unpredictable ways really is big news when it hits the courts and the media. It lifts it out of inter-psychiatry differences of opinion and launches it into the courts.

    Plus, police and courts as well as lawyers and the media may now look for psych med use as being causal, rather than immediately blaming “mental illness” for such acts. That they are legally prescribed “medications” approved by the FDA and used by millions of people at a time when murders are on the increase may well provoke great interest in why psychiatrists and primary care doctors are handing these out so freely.

    It could get very interesting indeed from a legal perspective…retrials of convicted murderers in some cases and/or re-considerations of sentences perhaps?

  • Hallelujah!

    …but while this is a beginning, I suspect just relying on such testing might be a move in the wrong direction, as it doesn’t take into account the underlying failure to prove that “anti-depressants” in fact have little if any benefit over a placebo and have a wide range of effects aside from not helping alleviate “depression”, including akathisia and its related violence.

    The assumption might be to conclude that as long as you’re not genetically “in the group”, the drugs will work, which, of course, is a false assumption.

    Additionally, to alleviate the risk, we would need to test EVERY person BEFORE they are put on the drugs because start up and dose change etc are the key danger periods…hmmm…that would be great as people would have to have genetic testing and incur serious expense before they could be handed these nasty little pills, and hence, they’d be informed of the risk and might look more closely at whether to take them.

    An acknowledgement of their very real dangers might just bring about a wake up call about how dangerous these drugs really are.

    It’d be good if a new warning were placed on the box reading,

    “These drugs may cause some people to commit murder”.

  • Jack,
    No, a neurologist can’t measure these chemical in the brain of a live person. They can measure the levels in the blood, but these have been shown to differ markedly from the levels in the brain itself.

    The Random Control Trials that pharma has used to “prove” the safety and effectiveness of their drugs have repeatedly been shown to be very dodgy indeed…data falsification, hidden data, people mis-catagorized as far as adverse events go, suicides hidden, ghost writers used…and a whole other world of dishonesty.

    BILLIONS of dollars in fines for drug companies have resulted, but this is small bikkies for such a massive industry, and the message has not yet made it through to many front line primary care doctors.

    Many psychiatrists know this, but are happy to hold onto the lie of chemical imbalance to get their patients to take the meds and get funding for research and medical schools. They rely almost totally on the (very real) placebo effect of medications as a surrogate for their efficacy. This has been scientifically proven.

    Many supposedly patient-centered groups like NIMH etc are largely funded by pharma and are no more than marketing channels for pharma.

    I know people who swear by their meds, and I will not argue with them or try and convince them to come off them, as coming off them, especially quickly and without adequate support, can be absolutely disastrous.

    They ARE addictive, which is why people who don’t get horrid side effects stay on them and defend them for years.

    I know this, as it took a while for my side effects to become so severe that I simply had no real choice but to come off them. Many people do – in some countries services have been set up to help people withdraw safely.

    Yes, we agree that it is a horrible situation and that issues of power and money are at the bottom of this whole scam, but we have some disagreements on the facts surrounding the science underlying the widespread use of these drugs.

    I too wish you well on your journey.

  • I’m a little confused by your statement, Jack, so I’ll try a few different ways of addressing the issues you raise.

    My experience is that if you go to a doctor complaining of being tired, lacking in energy, or sick and in need of time off work, then they say maybe you’re not coping, and prescribe an “anti-depressant”. They do it to many millions of people each year.

    However, it is worthwhile noting that neither the safety nor efficacy of “anti-depressants” has ever been proven, used with or without talk therapy, and that the side effects of “anti-depressants” are many and dangerous (read the warnings!!). These are dangerous drugs that are handed out because doctors get paid to do so. At BEST they are about as good as sugar pills…but they do have many undesirable “side-effects” which are actually their primary effects as they don’t work on “depression” and hence are not actually “anti-depressants”

    It seems the most effective treatments to improve mood are exercise and mindfulness meditation along with trauma counselling if appropriate. But when exercise is supplemented by “anti-depressants”, exercise is LESS effective than when done without them.

    Many people are labelled as “depressed” for psycho-social reasons…their most basic needs for food and shelter aren’t able to be fulfilled in a safe way, or there’s family breakdown, death, job loss…you know…life’s little and not-so-little hiccups?

    You seem to believe “depression” might actually exist as an illness. “Depression” isn’t an illness with physical causes. No blood tests, no scans, no genetic tests can show it exists. The “disease” is purely its symptoms, and the symptoms ARE the “disease”. How a chemical solution is supposed to fix something that essentially isn’t physical is hard to comprehend.

    “Depression” caused by “chemical imbalance” has never been shown to exist. No chemical imbalances have ever been shown to exist. We don’t know what chemical levels in the brain are “normal and/or healthy”, and we can’t measure chemical levels in a live brain, so it is impossible to say that ANY chemical imbalance exists. We can measure chemicals in a dead brain, but killing a person so we can measure their brain chemical levels is not going to be particularly useful, really, especially as we don’t know what we’re measuring it for and dead people are not going to be responsive to treatment.

    So I guess the answer as to why Michael was prescribed these drugs can only be that the doctor could, so (s)he did. Drug company marketing, perhaps? Med school propaganda? TV ads? Yes…and…(s)he could.

    So I am with you on banning these drugs, but not with you in saying they should only be used in conjunction with therapy…they should NEVER be used. Simple.

  • Jack
    “That is true but anti depressants have become the replacement to unhappy people who would normally use alcohol or some illegal substance and commit crimes. ”

    I disagree here.

    Alcohol and drugs seems to heighten a lot of feelings….the “high”, the excitement, the colours, the buzz, while psychiatric drugs kill them off completely. I know many people (myself included) who were using neither drugs nor alcohol when doctors got us hooked on psychiatric drugs.

    It is in the killing off of feelings that true, catastrophic danger lies, as without feelings we cannot be human. Ethics, morals, relating with others, making good judgements, are all based on the ability to feel and be connected to emotion. Psychiatric “medications” can wipe that out completely.

    I know when I was on “anti-depressants” and/or “anti-psychotics” I felt for the first time in my life I would have been capable of truly doing harm to others. I have been off them for almost 6 years and in that time I have never had such worries.

    I agree that psychiatry is a form of social control though, as well as a licence for large corporations (pharmaceutical companies, hospitals etc) and doctors (particularly psychiatrists) to make massive amounts of money and wield almost unlimited power over people’s lives – usually without their informed consent and often totally against their will.

    Michael, the story you tell so eloquently here is a testament to the nastiness of these drugs – that you experienced what you did, and came through it and are now able to share your experience in the hope it will help others is testament to your strength, decency and health.

    Thank you.

  • “The old psychoanalytic theories and labels –are– sometimes used…in a campaign of labeling, shaming, and condemnation. This same shrink now tells people (its a small town, lol) that I’m “schizophrenic.” Again: labels used as weapons, to shame, demean, and invalidate a “trouble maker.”

    Yes…I was told I was “repressed, regressed and resistant – the dreaded three R’s” , and had the threat of being diagnosed with “Borderline Personality Disorder” held over me. Golly. Was told I had “bitten the breast” and had a wide range of insults, accusations, and diagnoses hurled at me on the appointment at which he threw me out of his office after four years’ therapy. I had done nothing: merely turned up for our usual appointment to be greeted by tirades of abuse.

    Eight years down the track I still have no idea what happened, and really, suffer ongoing trauma. For a while I tried to re-engage him to work out what happened, but with no success. He is untouchable because he is a DOCTOR of medicine and he knows it, so no need to reflect or to explain.

    Appalling what psychiatrists can get away with BECAUSE they are DOCTORS!

  • Thank you deeply for this article, Tina, and for your work on the CRPD.

    While I am a hetero woman, I totally concur with you regarding the role of male dominance and determination in psychiatry. However, I would suggest that the problems you raise are not confined to lesbians.

    “Some of it has to do with the meaning of sex in patriarchy. Not only are women supposed to eroticize being subordinated, we are supposed to like it. We are supposed to put on a shit-eating grin and pretend that we are in control. Lesbians do not relate to male bodies or to heterosexual images or romantic tropes, but we are surrounded by them and contaminated by them. It is hard to escape into a lesbian free-zone where our bodies are just ours, not overlain by male images or by men’s images of women. Or by the idea of sex that is handed down to us as acceptance of rape.”

    It is men who have determined what is “normal and/or acceptable” behaviour in women, and if we don’t love and submit to everything they say, no matter how alienating and demeaning, then we are “ill”.

    The power imbalance also inherent in the (usually male) psychiatrists-female patient dynamic further exacerbates the unhealthiness of the whole situation. Generations of male dominance and perspectives on femality (I do not wish to use the word “femininity” here) throughout society, coupled with a patriarchy that still seems to hold an underlying belief that females enjoy being dominated (and even raped), means that having a “therapeutic” relationship with a male psychiatrist is pretty well destined to be damaging, be you lesbian or hetero.

    The prospect of the use of involuntary treatment by a female psychiatrist holds many of the same dangers.

    I was forcibly detained and drugged, and yes, it was rape, and yes, I still suffer the trauma. Fortunately I too have been able to stay free, but for a number of years tried to “work through it” with psychiatrists.

    The power, the sexualisation of the relationship (by them actually demanding I “fall in love”) while the whole time knowing they could lock me up and drug me if I didn’t comply or reacted negatively to their requests was just plain sick. It was rape, rape and more rape. A total abuse of power and their situation….and my humanity.

    The whole system was based on coercion and power imbalance and being subjugated in matters that affect us so very deeply at a time of great vulnerability is bound to be catastrophic for any human being.

    For me, the work you are doing re CRPD is some of the most important work that is happening at the moment and, again, I thank you.

  • Yes, and by virtue of their title of DOCTOR, they are able to hide behind the law and declare people incompetent and/or dangerous, thus relieving them of ALL of their human and legal rights!

    Dr Berezin, while I appreciate your stance on these issues and found your book quite interesting, despite your explanation above, I still do wonder why you cling to the illusion that being a doctor is either necessary or desirable in the practice of psychotherapy.

    Were you actively fighting to also end the legal un-touchability and forced treatment regimens along with its disease mongering, then your stance might be more logically consistent.

    However, that psychiatrists have the power to incarcerate and drug their patients surely precludes the development of a truly trusting and honest relationship.

    And if a deeply trusting relationship does develop and then the psychiatrist commits and drugs a patient against their will, then the betrayal is MASSIVELY DESTRUCTIVE.

    I know, it happened to me, and 11 years down the track it still reverberates as by far the most traumatic event in my life. The betrayal by someone in whom I had developed a deeply trusting and intimate relationship – the force, the stripping of human rights and reduction to a sub-human life form deserving only of contempt, incarceration and drugging – was very nearly lethal for me.

    I am over 60 now, and last year, that same psychiatrist was able to deny my treating doctor access to my medical records from the time so we could better understand what had occurred and work through it. He said I’d become dangerous if my treating psychiatrist read my records – neither my psychiatrist nor I were allowed to see what “evidence” he had proffered, because that also could make me dangerous. My treating psychiatrist (who had been practicing for over 20 years) did not lodge a complaint because my original psychiatrist was “more senior”.

    How such power structures and abuses could contribute to a person’s development, recovery, or well being is totally beyond me. Needless to say, I no longer have a therapist/psychiatrist as I find the power imbalance and potential for abuse simply too great and am aware that there are absolutely no protections for patients. Karen Horney’s books seem a far cheaper and safer alternative.

    I would really appreciate it if in a future article you could address issues surrounding the inherent and very real power imbalance and the use of or potential for use of coercion and issues of betrayal and abuse in the therapeutic relationship against the backdrop of the legal powers and protections enjoyed by psychiatrists.

    There must be some interesting plays being enacted there!

  • Bean
    I am not sure whether any studies have been done, but I will not EVER tell any medical person if I am struggling. You see, I did, and I was locked up and drugged involuntarily. Was treated appallingly, lost all my rights, lost all trust in society and medical “care”.

    Not long after I was let out hospital, I decided I really couldn’t live without any human rights as that effectively meant that society saw me as less than human (I was still treated as such), so made a very serious attempt at suicide.

    I totally thought the world would be a far better place if I wasn’t in it and that my children would be better off too. I saw it as an act of love for a world that didn’t need such sub-human beings as me.

    That’s where psychiatric “treatment” took me.

    Fourteen years down the track and I am drug (psychiatric…but I don’t use others either) free and managing to live a decent life, although I lost my career, and much besides. I still cry when I think about what they reduced me to.

    Psychiatry is not part of that life and never will be again.

  • It is simple, really.

    ANTI-PSYCHOTICS CAUSE DEATH!

    They cause it in all people….they cause diabetes and a host of other illnesses, they shorten life expectancy and they make people truly ill. Plus, they don’t work for the indications for which they are approved.

    Plus, they make people already struggling truly miserable.
    Aged-care facilities use them so they can reduce staffing levels and increase profits. No other reason.

    They are torture drugs and should be seen as such. That they are given to vulnerable human beings is criminal.

    That the law can be abused to force people to use them or force them to be injected with them against their will is unconscionable.

    Study after study shows their danger.

    When will these substances be totally banned ?

  • So good that your mum stepped in and protected you.

    Thanks for coming in on this issue when so many seem to be staying away from it.

    ECT is barbaric – while in hospital and forcibly “medicated” [read drugged with psycho-active substances that had horrible effects on me] I was terrified that they’d force me into ECT if I didn’t get better quick.

    I saw the others who’d had this torture, they were passive, had no memory and were totally zombified. So sad that this could be done to human beings. I complied with the drugs despite the side effects and eventually escaped. I wonder whether I would have been able to had ECT been forced on me.

    Seeing the apparent resurgence of ECT in the US is alarming and I am hoping it is not because of the example Australia has set – we do seem to be a world leader in forced ECT.

    The victims I have seen here have been women until the recent case of GD (?) in Melbourne who at last count had been tortured with ECT against his and his father’s wishes more than 60 times and had been declared to be dangerous!! Psychiatry!!! Horrendous.

    How do we stop these shocking events?

    (…and it is so great to hear your mum stood by you. Hugs to you both)

  • Thanks for sharing your experience and the route you have taken to rebuilding a life….and the obstacles that have been placed in your way.

    I discovered that failing at suicide leads to a different kind of “death” – the death of your rights and humanity in the eyes of the medical “profession”. The very people who are charged with helping you understand and reclaim your position and life and resume being a productive member of society, do indeed attack viciously with their drugs, diagnoses, insults and questioning of competence in EVERY area of your life.

    They’ll take your livelihood, and break your family relationships and charge you massive fees for doing this.

    AND they adopt the stance that the situation is permanent and irreversible, an attitude mitigates massively against moving onto a new phase of life or reclaiming the old one if that is what you wish. And if you speak out, they’ll label you dangerous.

    Your defiance of this process and ability to transform your life and move into a new career are testimony to your resilience and to your fundamental strength and health as an individual.
    Your diagnosis – Personality disorder, UNSPECIFIED – is clearly just another way of them saying, “we haven’t been able to break this woman and we resent and fear her because of it”.

    Psychiatry is indeed and Alice in Wonderland world…with some Orwell and Kafka thrown in for good measure. Truly crazy.

    Well done on your escape from it.

  • So true.

    “I think it is so simple as the joke: what is the difference between a psychiatrist and God. That is that God knows he is not a psychiatrist, but the psychiatrist……”

    Unfortunately, the law also thinks psychiatrists are God. They are untouchable.

  • Dear Dorrit,

    what a heartbreaking story to have to tell – the torture and eventual murder of your precious daughter, with the criminals being absolutely immune to prosecution.

    Heartbreaking. Keep up your good work of spreading the truth about psychiatric (mal) treatment.

    In time, hopefully people will realise that they’d be absolutely stark raving mad to even entertain the idea of seeing a psychiatrist! They are doctors of death and misery.

  • I was a kid in the 50’s & 60’s…and they were such fun and hair-raisingly dangerous times.

    Thanks for the links with some memories.

    A lot of kids simply don’t get a chance to take risks and learn from their mistakes any more.

    I feel really sorry for the grandkids of some of my friends who as TEENAGERS are still not allowed to walk or ride home from school unsupervised….and this is in a very safe area.

    No nicking off to have adventures with friends, no testing (and at times overstepping) the limits, and no learning from mistakes that parents didn’t hear about until 20-30 years later (hopefully).

    When kids now do get a bit of freedom (mid-teens) they have NO IDEA of safe risk-taking or of listening to their own conscience, fear, or commonsense simply because they haven’t had the opportunity to develop those things.

    I think kids genuinely ARE more vulnerable and stressed this century as they have not developed the skills that would allow them to be more competent because they have been hobbled from birth right throughout childhood…and then they’re expected to know stuff and make judgements and are well aware that they have no idea whatsoever of what to do.

    Must be very frightening…how could it not be?

  • Yep. A psychiatrist who hadn’t seen me for eight years was able to declare that I would become dangerous if he handed my medical records TO MY CURRENTLY TREATING PSYCHIATRIST.

    I had current doctors, including my psychiatrist saying I would not be dangerous, and I am a 61-year-old female with NO history of dangerousness to others…not so much as a parking infringement or speeding fine…and yet a psychiatrist who hadn’t seen me for eight years was able to pull the “dangerous” stunt.

    Neither I nor my doctors were allowed to see the “evidence” the psychiatrist had produced for the same reason he had refused to transfer the records – ie it could make me dangerous. And that was under the ACT Human Rights Act.

    How can something my treating doctor(s) see make ME dangerous?

    Who is crazy here?

    …and yet, the ACT Human Rights Commission simply doesn’t have a problem with this…because a psychiatrist said I would be dangerous if my doctor saw my records, it MUST be so. They did point out that any doctor, not just a psychiatrist, could declare a patient dangerous and there was no recourse for the patient.

    Given this happened, and given I have seen a psychiatrist, and hence have a “history” of being declared dangerous, I no longer receive medical care, ‘cos any doctor could now use this to cover their butt.

    Yes, there should be fully informed consent at first visit to a psychiatrist as treatment can be truly “life changing” (in the worse ways possible).

  • I just heard a news item here in Oz that there is now a push in Germany to decrease medical confidentiality protections for people with “mental illnesses”. Unsure whether this push is limited just to pilots or certain other subsets, or would apply to all “mentally ill” people.

    No mention at all about the drugs he was prescribed or the conduct of his psychiatrist, just the need for the public to be protected from the “mentally ill”.

    What about protecting the public from PSYCHIATRISTS and their appallingly dangerous, mind altering DRUGS?

    On the upside, if nothing else, people might think twice, three times or more about seeking medical (mis) “treatment” for their emotional and/or psycho-social difficulties, which would be a good thing.

    On the downside, many people who have already been “diagnosed” could be stripped of their privacy, and face losing everything because they are potentially “dangerous”.

    …while the drugs and psychiatrists go unchallenged.

  • We are witnessing the Victorian Government publicly torturing and attempting to murder one of its citizens.

    And there is nothing anyone will do because it is under the supervision of a psychiatrist who has declared said person “dangerous”.

    No trial, no evidence, the patient in fact strapped to his bed to prevent him appearing at hearings to hear the “evidence” against him and/or defend himself.

    Guilty of nothing, he is the “chosen one” of a normal, everyday, practicing psychiatrist.

    We watch as the psychiatrist pulls the proverbial wings off the fly and claims it is “medical” treatment rather than torture.

    Tragic that human beings fall so far when they are blinded by their own power and rendered deaf to the pleadings and screams of their victims by the volume of their own false rhetoric.

  • More realistic would be to say she was locked up when she had committed no offence, then tortured and murdered by means of electrical shocks to her brain, by a psychiatrist who had defied the clearly specified legal requirements regarding her “treatment”.

    It’s torture and it’s murder and it is illegal.

    ….but it is done by a PSYCHIATRIST.

    So no charges will be laid.

    Truly shocking.

  • “No one in Australia questions anything at all. I have fought to get Robert Whitakers books in my local library and a few other local libraries, but the mental health advocacy groups, only advocate for more treatment, not questioning any of it. Most of the time they work on the basis of helping people to understand how ill they are and why they need this treatment. ”

    Yep.

    There is no discourse here, other than the psychiatric line. No books, and when a science reporter for the ABC (Australia’s public broadcaster) did a program on the efficacy and effectiveness of anti-depressants it was canned before it went to air and she was roundly condemned for putting people’s lives at risk.

    Lawyers won’t even consider defending someone’s rights against psychiatrists as psychiatrists will actually boast that they wrote the legislation and they know its intent.

    No challenge is tolerated.

    It really is appalling.

  • Oh…and I certainly don’t think psychiatrists should be allowed anywhere near any patient who seeks their right to die as it will just provide another demographic upon which they can inflict their bogus treatments and torture.

    Their wish to be involved is purely about position and power and increasing their customer base. It has NOTHING to do with the wellbeing or needs of those people.

  • Disagree.

    If a person is chronically in severe emotional pain and has tried all avenues to find a way out for a number of years, then I would support their decision.

    It is clear that “mental illness” cannot be addressed with the “medications” currently available as it isn’t an illness at all, and so consequently, adequate palliative care is not available, as it may be for terminal physical conditions.

    If a person is capable of making decisions about their life and has undergone counselling and proved that this is a considered and genuinely held position, and not a reaction to some temporary circumstance that will pass or pressure from “loved ones”, then I believe it might be a valid one.

    “Slippery slope” arguments are trotted out too often with little, if any, real evidence to support them whenever the right-to-die debate re-emerges.

    I can’t help feeling it is a circular argument that supports psychiatry….ie if you choose to die you must be mentally ill…go see a psychiatrist and get some “medication”, even though those medications etc have been proven neither safe nor efficacious.

    To die can be a choice and need not be because of “mental Illness” and need not lead towards the equally mythical “slippery slope”.

  • Perhaps it is that this is a story about what happens in Australia, under Australian law and hence people either feel they don’t know enough about the Australian law etc to comment, or perhaps feel that it isn’t as relevant to them as (mainly) US citizens.

    …or perhaps there is still some bias against people who are detained involuntarily after a shrink has deemed them “dangerous”.

    I know the latter declaration in Australia means that people think you deserve whatever comes your way, even if you have no prior history of “dangerousness” and the doctor’s claim is made purely as a means of discrediting the patient so they can achieve their own aims, what ever they may be.

    Is it perhaps that most people who come to our attention re ECT have been so declared by psychiatrists as this is an effective way of discrediting the victim and silencing potential dissent?

    After all, who wants “dangerous” people loose on the streets?

  • Wish

    keep reading this site and the research references you’ll find here and you’ll realise that bipolar is no more “real” than other psychiatric diagnoses, and that people do get better and live more productive and satisfying lives with little or no “medication”.

    …and yes, this even applies “schizophrenia”.

    It requires commitment and effort and support and therapy, and these are not the first line treatments preferred by a society and doctors intent on quick fix pills and committed to enriching the coffers of pharmaceutical corporations.

  • This is heartbreaking.

    That the opinion/desire of one psychiatrist can so totally override a person’s and their family’s wishes and every evidence base in the whole world is proof of the extent to which Australian law sees psychiatrists as GODs.

    All they have to do is pronounce whatever they want, and no matter what this may be, even if it is effectively murder, they get it. No questions asked, and no challenge permitted.

    John,
    you could get a ruling in an international court of justice, and an Australian psychiatrist would not be bound by it – they are totally untouchable.

    To any Australian out there,
    eeing a psychiatrist in Australia = signing away ALL your human and legal rights. DO NOT do it!
    If you think your psychiatrist wouldn’t do that to YOU (because they seem nice or say they wouldn’t), think again – they can and they would. GD was once you. And like GD, you have NO protections and NO recourse whatsoever.

    Believe it.

    My only real questions are:
    1) How on earth do we get this information out to anyone who may consider seeing a psychiatrist?

    2) Is there anything else (other than copy the open letter as suggested above) that can assure that the “doctors” concerned are unsuccessful in their attempts to murder GD?

  • “To be fair to the individuals involved, I have started to wonder by now whether these failures to apply even the most basic standards of natural justice are so systemic and long-standing in the Victoria’s government agencies, that the individuals might never have seen these standards in operation and therefore simply would not know how unethical their conduct was. Alternatively, they know exactly how unethical it is and have an accurate assessment of the probability of anybody in authority caring.”

    Yep.

    From IMHO the MHT in Canberra is the same. I have called it a “kangaroo court” before now, although I didn’t experience the same degree of torture as poor GD.

    Words fail me also, but I am not surprised, as psychiatrists here in Australia ARE God. Totally untouchable through tribunals and medical boards regardless of what they may do. In fact, totally supported by tribunals and medical boards to do whatever they like to their patients,once they have declared them “dangerous”. In Canberra, even the Human Rights Commission and its legislation, the ACT Human Rights Act, supports them.

    There need be NO proof of dangerousness, and the victim may have evidence to support their case, but it will not be admitted, and they will not be allowed to see the evidence against them….standard procedure, it would seem.

    Keep up the fight.

  • Psychiatry is the only medical specialty that routinely imprisons, drugs and tortures people it doesn’t like, which appears to be the bulk of its “patients” who are left accused of being dangerous and stripped of their human rights without access to real legal process.

    Additionally, its “illnesses” are voted in and out of existence, the drugs and other “first line medical interventions” it uses have limited, if any, efficacy, and its research methods and practices have long been shown to be utterly reprehensible and corrupted, which means the possibility of finding humane approaches that actually work is minimized.

    Many of these “treatments” actually harm people in distress and create long term untreatable health problems that lead to a lifespan between 20 and 25 years less than non-psychiatric patients.

    These facts are glossed over/covered up by mainstream academic psychiatry, while students have their minds filled with pharma-funded garbage.

    The few psychiatrists who see through the ruse and speak up against widespread abuses (thank you MIA contributors) have had to re-educate themselves, after having already paid massively for their medical training. And on top of that, they face criticism and abuse from their fellow psychiatrists and drug companies.

    So…what’s not to like? Why wouldn’t ethical practitioners from other specialisations try to dissuade bright and promising students from entering such a field?

    ….and the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, can’t understand this?

    Lack of insight is an understatement.

  • Thanks for this update of your attempts to get sense out of the person/office responsible for psychiatry in Victoria.

    Q: “What chance would a service user, or family member, or a whistle-blowing nurse, have of getting a genuine response from this Office, I wonder?”

    A: none whatsoever.

    Q: what evidence base is needed to inflict dangerous and/or unwanted “treatments” on patients with or without their consent?
    A: None whatsoever. Claiming that a patient is “dangerous” is sufficient justification to restrain, drug, and torture them in whatever manner a psychiatrist may dream up. Fundamentally, if you see a psychiatrist, you are fair game for this treatment.

    And this is how Australian psychiatrists expect it to be. I was actually told by a member of the ACT’s Human Rights Commission (which is charged with ensuring patient rights in the Australian Capital Territory) that a certain section of one law designed to protect patients had been drafted as it had been because psychiatrists wanted it that way. It guarantees psychiatrists’ rights, not patients’ rights and contradicts human rights legislation, and Australia’s compliance with international human rights treaties….but psychiatrists rein supreme and patients have fewer rights than convicted criminals. The ACT is VERY proud of its human rights compliant prison, though…shame is that “mental health” patients don’t get the same consideration.

    Looks like it’s the same down your way.

    PS I was glad to read that the patient whose case has been at the centre of this issues has received a temporary reprieve from ECT, but it looks like they’re really trying to mess him up with drug cocktails now so they can claim he REALLY does need ECT.

    My golly…if you are a reader who is contemplating seeing a psychiatrist in Oz or is already seeing one and is still able to do so….run away!!!!!!!!!

  • mm13

    absolutely agree with your assessment as it is reflected in its totality in my experiences.

    The best thing to do in Australia is STAY AWAY from psychiatrists as their power is absolute and they really can do anything they feel like doing and you, as a patient, especially once labelled “dangerous” (and they don’t have to have proof and can refuse to allow any evidence to the contrary to be admitted to a hearing), lose every human right and, in fact, have fewer rights than had you committed murder.

    “Sadly Australian psychiatry is characterised by over medication, polypharmacy and ilegal detention.if you complain you will be labelled, libelled and villified. As John Read notes the regulatory bodies will merely support those you are complaining about.”

    Believe mm13, John Read, Boans and me….it REALLY IS THAT BAD!

  • Me too.

    I have enjoyed Fry for some years now and have read his books which are…interesting indeed…., as he is obviously a highly intelligent human being.

    However, in recent times I have turned off his shows when they have raised “mental illness” as he has been so very badly informed.

    Hopefully he’ll read the letter above, follow up the references, do some of his own research, and then go public clearly refuting the position he has adopted to date.

    He could be a powerful ally.

  • John
    thank you for bringing this case to a wider audience – mental “health” treatment in Australia is truly barbaric, and the Mental Health Tribunals are nothing more than kangaroo courts.

    The State and Territory commissions and and medical boards that are responsible for overseeing doctors will do NOTHING about psychiatrists, and psychiatrists are given very wide and total immunity under the law the instant they claim a patient is dangerous, which it seems they may be doing in this case to justify their barbarism.

    I have proposed that in the ACT any person seeing a psychiatrist (and their carers where appropriate) must sign and informed consent form that clearly outlines the extent of the powers (legal and medical) psychiatrists have BEFORE divulging any information at all to them or receiving any treatment. I have also suggested that informed consent should also be applied to each and every treatment before it is administered.

    I fully support your petition and will now sign it.

  • Thanks for the piece, Sarah, and for your response here.

    Unfortunately, while Australia is a signatory to various Human Rights treaties (inc the CRPD), it actually does not adhere to them and has been repeatedly disgraced internationally for its behaviour and disregard for human rights.

    Our latest serious offenses are around our appalling treatment of refugees (we pay our poor island neighbours to lock them up and abuse them indefinitely for trying to come here), but we’re also renowned for our shocking record regarding our indigenous people, and our failure to stand up for our citizens who find themselves in difficulty overseas.

    We don’t actually have a charter of human rights, either, and being declared a “danger to others” by a psychiatrist seems to result in the immediate and total revocation of human rights and access to justice, to the point where you’re not even allowed to know what the psychiatrist has said about you to justify their claim that you’re dangerous, because knowing that could make you dangerous! It really is Alice in Wonderland-ish, Kafkaesque, and Orwellian all at the same time. Quite an astounding rabbit hole really.

    Must be a novel in there somewhere…..

  • Yes, my rights would have been better had I been an animal and the RSPCA been the body charged with protecting me. Being a psychiatric patient was literally my road into hell.

    Australia’s regulation of the whole of the medical “profession” is abysmal. Complaints are handled by fellow doctors, and in recent cases, even when there have been multiple successful legal suits (malpractice) against a single doctor, the regulating agency has refused to act to remove a doctor from the doctor pool….and these are physical injuries/deaths which are far more easily proven than psychiatric injuries.

    Here in Oz, doctors are God, and challenging a doctor is akin to heresy and thou WILL be punished for such an act.

    Psychiatrists? Well, they rank somewhere above gods and have conned the law into believing they have absolute power to know a person’s innermost workings, even when they haven’t seen them for almost a decade, and the patient has no history that is consistent with what the psychiatrist is saying.

    Boans, I have absolutely no doubt about your experiences and sympathise with the way you have been railroaded into and captured within the mental “health” system. I hope you are able to escape and rebuild your life.

  • Thank you Sarah for a truly excellent piece.

    This is an argument I put to Canberra’s Human Rights Commission in my complaint about a doctor’s treatment of me, but they simply don’t “get it”. What hope has society when even a Human Rights Commission has no idea of human rights for people who have been under the “care” of a psychiatrist?

    @ BPD: “Vulnerable psychotic, depressed, and otherwise distressed people are extraordinarily sensitive to the emotional messages conveyed by forced treatment, which tell them they are not equal, not worthy of respect, not able to choose, and are essentially unwanted non-human objects needing to be managed and silenced. ”

    Yes, this was my experience exactly. On my forced admission to psych ward, I was not psychotic and never had been, but within 24 hours my treatment there triggered my first and only psychotic episode – I fell into the pits of hell, and just kept on falling right on through, having failed both the gods and the devil. I was to live my life out as a bag lady, the butt of abuse from everyone in society, reduced to the status of some sub-human, sub-animal life form, with no hope of reprieve….ever. More than a decade later, I still suffer trauma from this experience.

    Everything conveyed to me in this psychiatric “hospital” reinforced my worthlessness, from my treatment at the hands of the ward staff and nurses, to the kangaroo court of the “mental health” tribunal, to my forced drugging with Olanzapine and Mertazapine (apparently an extremely bad combo for first time psychosis in someone who had suicidal tendencies – I later very nearly succeeded while on this combo).

    Yet psychiatrists are able, with complete impunity, to declare people a danger to self and/or others when they have no better than a toss of a coin chance of getting their accusations right, and every part of the system favours the psychiatrist.

    In recently trying to get my records from my private shrink at the time of my hospital admission, he declared that if my currently treating psychiatrist were to have them, I would become a danger to others. How does that work…my treating doctor reads the records, and that makes ME dangerous? Beyond belief.

    Yet, the Human Right Commission agreed with the doctor, and so my treating shrink of eight years, who said I was certainly not a risk, never got access to my previous records and our work to address the trauma was thwarted. I have since walked away from any form of treatment as it is clear that psychiatric “care” simply too big a risk, as it so totally removes access to the most basic human rights.

    I have never committed a crime, never been violent, nor been found guilty of anything, and yet I have had my right to appropriate medical treatment denied because a psychiatrist was able to declare me “dangerous” when he had not seen me for over eight years and have that opinion overrule the opinion of my currently treating doctors and numerous others who were willing to testify on my behalf. Problem is, there’s no trip to court and so no chance of refuting the say-so of a psychiatrist.

    Psychiatric “care” reduced me to a sub-human life form with no rights or value, and then when I eventually got to the stage where I may have been able to address this trauma in depth, the Human Rights Commission accepted without serious challenge that I would be dangerous if MY psychiatrist were to have access to my historical records.

    Human Rights and psychiatry are mutually exclusive concepts.

  • ….and ANOTHER disastrous downstream effect of SSRIs!

    We have birth defects, autism, addiction, extended withdrawal syndrome, increased suicide, violence and everything else on the warning sheets, and they are no better at relieving the manufactured illness called “depression” than a placebo.

    AND YET THEY ARE STILL ON THE MARKET!!!

    The power of the pharmaceutical companies to harm entire populations is unbridled, and fully supported (and even enforced) by the governments we elect to act on our behalf.

    Very bad joke indeed.

    We can be sure the study will be shot down ‘cos it wasn’t a gold standard RCT run by a pharmaceutical company.

    Every one of us should be printing and taking the abstracts of such studies into our primary care doctors as a matter of course. They simply don’t get to see this stuff otherwise.

  • Thanks, Vivek, for both the original excellent article and the clarification re the correct use of the HamD and PHQ – 9, the latter of which, on reading, isn’t quite as silly, but still has immense potential for abuse.

    Both doctors (primary care, not psychiatrists) who used the HamD with me here in Australia described and used it as an initial screening tool, and so there might be some confusion around the correct use of the various tools, as numerous articles (incl academic studies conducted in places other than Oz) I have read have also referred to it in that way.

    That said, the main point is not which tool should be used for mass screening, but whether mass screening is in any way wise or warranted.

    It is wonderful to hear an emphatic “NO” from all camps for a whole range of reasons, as these reasons will form the basis of resistance to such a retrograde move.

    Thanks again for yet another excellent piece!

  • Someone Else

    yep…I think that’s how it works.

    Say you’re OK and it means you’re sick ‘cos you lack insight.
    Say you’re sick, and it means you’re OK ‘cos you got insight.

    Say you’re sick but attribute it to the fact that your mother died, you lost your job, lost your house, caught the flu because you were sleeping rough winter and have to shovel snow 12 hours a day to feed yourself and your kids and that might be indicative that you some lack of insight into your condition.

    CUTE…not.

    But maybe I have misunderstood…..

    Quite interesting, really.

  • I agree, but the problem is…you have to convince people the screening and treatment is dangerous rubbish before they’ll use the cheat sheet…and “screening” is often done in conjunction with a visit to a doctor or counsellor or other practitioner for an entirely unrelated issue and so may be totally unexpected….an ambush, in fact.

    Need to get articles, interviews etc challenging this initiative into mainstream press, and it also needs to be presented as a potential threat to people’s rights to freedoms, privacy, self determination, etc rather than a a medical initiative.

    It’s so good that Breggin is still doing his excellent work – we also need a chorus of mainstream doctors, politicians, human rights activists who can see the implications.

    Some pieces on the nature of the questions (I assume here there’ll be a standardised questionnaire) highlighting their total lack of anything that could link them to evidence-based medicine could also help, as well as serve as somewhat of a cheat sheet.

    From my experience here in Australia, though, primary care doctors already administer the HamD almost as a matter of course. Next time my doc administers it, I am going to have a bit of fun asking about the questions and pointing out their logical absurdities and inconsistencies!

  • While I totally agree with your belief that mass screening is a bad idea, and that depression isn’t an illness, your reference to the reliability of the Hamilton Scale concerns me.

    Question 17 Hamilton Inventory is perhaps one of my favourites (although I confess to having several)

    17. INSIGHT
    0=Acknowledges being depressed and ill
    1=Acknowledges illness but attributes cause to bad food, climate, over
    work, virus, need for rest, etc.
    2=Denies being ill at all.

    Gotta love HamD…doesn’t include any tests to ascertain whether the patient has an actual physical illness and if you think you might have a physical illness or are under too much pressure and/or disagree with the tester about being depressed, then you get extra points!

    Read the questions in this scale….how someone can be judged to be “ill” with “depression” and requiring medical treatment (usually psychoactive drugs) by a 12 minute run through these questions is totally beyond belief!

    Whether the stats say it is consistent/reliable is really quite irrelevant when the questions are so subjective and/or general and could be a result of so many factors other than “depression”, which is an “illness” that has never been proven to exist in any physical sense what so ever.

    Anyone can reverse engineer a list of questions to provide the desired result. Reading the questions from a critical perspective is really quite amusing and reveals far more about the basis of psychiatry than it does about the “patient”.

  • I too paint (and exhibit and sell) and find that while I am painting I have a great feeling of connection to both myself and the work. It isn’t quite as intense with my photography, but as I am developing a better photographic technique (advanced DSLR) I am finding I am taking a greater interest in really looking at this world, and seeing great beauty in all sorts of unexpected things.

    This is deeply healing, as is sharing in the hope that others will see the value too. Before arthritis cut in, I also gained great delight from fully immersing myself practicing my classical guitar (for my ears only!).

    Then I see governments cut funding to the arts, saying they are a luxury communities can ill afford and that they don’t actually contribute to economic growth, and artists should get real jobs etc etc etc, and I realise these people have lost their way…BIG TIME.

    The arts have been central to community and human development since the first marks made on cave walls and to believe that people can exist without joining together in their expression is just ….ludicrous. This is where writing came from, and why religions are so firmly based in music and art – creating, singing, and being in beautiful environments, expressing oursleves, lifts the human spirit and binds communities….even I, as an avowed atheist, can see how this coming together in recognition of creativity, beauty and life is an essential part of what it is to be human.

    The arts do this in ways that other fields do not.

  • I tend to think that while psychiatry and its meds are crazy-making, the basis of the problem lies also in an economic system that is focused on profits and productivity at the exclusion of all else…it is crazy-making.

    Companies (and their shareholders) demand ever increasing profits and dividends, and to get these are willing to shed workers and place ever greater pressures on those who remain to deliver more and more with less and less. Unskilled/low skilled jobs are disappearing…robots are more efficient and cost less and don’t involve messy human interactions. Governments are following the “corporate ” model in efficiency drives, reducing staffing and expecting more with less. The rich get richer and everyone else can go to hell on a prescription for psych meds.

    Workplaces are now very brutally competitive and it is survival of the fittest in the extreme…and not everyone can be the fittest.

    I think it really is a socio-economic-political issue and to look at it as just a “mental health” issue in isolation is to ignore the serious causative factors and place more blame on the people who are unable to do a lot about it.

    I can understand that your patients are upset with you….the government response will be to blame these people and label them “malingerers” (and not support them in getting off highly addictive and destructive meds prescribed by DOCTORS), tighten eligibilty for benefits, and demonise and throw these “mentally ill malingerers” into more desperate circumstances without actually doing anything to address the underlying issues.

    Pharmaceutical companies will not be forced to contribute to cleaning up their mess in any significant way – that would decrease profits and profits are all that matters….and the drugs ARE approved for use by governments, after all, and so they must be safe and effective (psychiatrists say they are) and so it must be the fault of the “mentally ill”…as defined by (highly paid) psychiatrists.

    ….and around and around we go.

  • Oh…and I was 50 when all this happened and so had a 30-year history as a fully fledged and high functioning adult and mother of two before the shrinks got hold of me and ended my career and dismantled my family.

    Probably why I appreciate MIA so much – it gave me the knowledge I needed to dig my way out.

    Thanks, Robert Whitaker.

    Can’t say the same to shrinks, Mr Frances. You guys are EVIL!

  • Uh Huh…it happens every day in Australia too and believe me, I know from first hand experience. Brutal, cruel, traumatising and unnecessary.

    More than 10 years down the track I still wake sometimes with nightmares about my treatment in the Hospital’s Psychiatric Ward. My stomach churns if I want to go near there to visit a friend in a general/surgical ward of the hospital (ie not even near psych), and once after being injured I had to leave the ER because I was simply too afraid of what the hospital might have in store for me.

    It’s now more than five years since I last took any meds at all and really, the trauma inflicted on me by psychiatrists is all that remains of my “mental illness”, other than having lost my job and being disinherited by my parents who couldn’t handle having such a fundamentally defective child….even though up till that time I had been a very highly functioning and productive member of society.

    ….and so, why wouldn’t there be friction between “patients” and psychiatrists given this sort of scenario when psychiatrists claim they only “unmask” such defects with their meds rather than cause them?

    Allen Francis and his psychiatrist buddies just don’t get it.

  • Tend to disagree that it means there was an initial slackness in or wrong diagnosis, given that depression is no single “illness” that can be diagnosed accurately or confirmed by testing – can’t misdiagnose an “illness” that doesn’t actually exist.

    Despite more than 50 years trying to prove depression is a single “illness” and massive advances in research, brain imaging, genetics etc, there is still NO test that can show whether someone has, or is likely to develop, the totally disparate cluster of feelings/behaviours lumped under the diagnosis of depression. Can’t accurately diagnose something that doesn’t exist or that is a reasonable response to the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” (ie life circumstances)!

    Plus, if, once “diagnosed” and medicated you become suicidal and make the mistake of telling the doc, you’re likely to have antipsychotics added and the “diagnosis” altered because there must have been an underlying “illness” that the antidepressants “unmasked”, exemplifying the shifting sands of psychiatric diagnoses that rapidly turn to the quicksands of psychiatric “treatment”.

    Antidepressants make people suicidal…many people….because they are psychoactive drugs that interfere with brain function, in just the same way other (illegal and legal) psychoactive substances do. It has nothing to do with diagnosis!

    It is interesting that most pharmaceutical companies have wound back their research around trying to find a chemical “cure” for depression (because they have realised it doesn’t exist) and are just doing “me too” drugs that extend patents and maximise profits.

  • The title of this article should read “Psychiatry IS Crime”!

    I wonder ….. when psychiatry’s crimes are exposed and the court cases come thick and fast, will psychiatrists try and use the insanity defence?

  • “What upset me about this particular study is how even when something is found that counters the biological psychiatry narrative, the authors cover it up and reinterpret it in distorted self-serving ways. ”

    Oh yes…that happens with monotonous regularity. All one has to do is look at the basis on which psychiatric drugs were (and still are being) approved …and the study Robert refers to in his “Timberrrr” piece.

    All purport to be positive, but when read in full and analysed a different story emerges. I guess the researchers know there’ll be no more money for them unless they at least try and “polish the turds” that are psychiatry and psychiatric drugs.

    Thankfully, people like Robert and many of the other authors here on MIA, as well as people like 1boringoldman are onto the lark and are happy to point out that really, no matter how much you polish a turd, it remains just what it is – a turd – and the polisher ends up covered in “it”.

    Agree with the Dead Man’s Alley metaphor – it is cruel and sad that so many are sucked into it. Evil, even. I hold psychiatry in contempt, really.

    There are some decent people among its members, as evidenced by MIA authors and 1Boringoldman, but generally I believe contempt, disgust, abhorrence and disdain are pretty healthy reactions to the actions and attitudes of psychiatry.

  • BPD

    While I don’t disagree with much of what you say, I believe that every study such as this that throws doubt onto psychiatry’s methods and exposes it lies and hence is a step along the way to the approach you espouse.

    Such studies and their reporting also potentially will provide the basis for the overturning of forced drugging in that they make it clear that anti-depressants actually do the opposite of what they’re alleged by pharma and psychiatrists to do and even add to suffering people’s misery by triggering chemical reactions in the brain that lead to anxiety and quite possibly learned helplessness.

    While we in survivor-land know from bitter (and very frightening) experience that this is the case, and that psychiatry and pharma would like to continue to hide the facts, it will be far harder for them to claim ignorance if study after study puts ever more evidenced-based data onto the table that contradicts their stance either explicitly or implicitly.

    While I agree that their stance is indefensible, they have marketed it such that it has become the widely accepted paradigm and it now falls to organisations such as MIA and CEPUK to expose it for the baseless rubbish it is – this situation is crap, but it is a fact of life.

    We are in the perverse position of being forced to repeatedly disprove by scientific means a theory which never had any scientific basis to begin with using studies designed to prove and/or based on the assumed veracity of that original theory! But then, that’s psychiatry. Truly Alice in Wonderland stuff.

    It is a reasonable expectation that doctors remain abreast of developments and research in their field, and they and pharma will have far fewer places to hide with the wide distribution of studies which contradict their paradigm when the broader community finally “gets it” and goes after them big time.

    This study may well be yet another “nail in the coffin” of biological psychiatry, along with the one to which Robert Whitaker recently referred in his “Timberrr” piece.

  • Thanks for this piece, Richard, and I hope you eventually see some results for your efforts.

    I think Philip’s comment above hit the nail on the head:
    “The anti-psychiatry movement is in its earliest stages, and psychiatry will continue to ignore and dismiss our concerns as long as they can. The profession is characterized by a general disregard for issues of conceptual and ethical integrity.”

    In my 12 years as a psychiatric “patient” I did not meet one psychiatrist with any shred of conceptual or ethical integrity, let alone any respect or care for their “patients”. When it came down to it, they all relied on the power they could (ab)use by virtue of their professional standing.

    Any suggestion that ethics (personal or professional), basic “do no harm” principles, or applying evidence-based practice might be a better way to go was met with suggestions that perhaps it was my “mental illness” speaking and more treatment was needed to correct this. It would appear I have a surplus of ethics and integrity that it is psychiatry’s job to correct – they seek to recreate their patients in their own image, and if drugging and forced treatment is necessary, then so be it.

    Again Richard, thank you for speaking out about these abuses, and all the best for your future.

  • Sera
    I agree with your assessment of Margie’s post.

    Having thoughts/hearing voices is not equivalent to taking action and should not be treated as such. That a person working in the mental health field appears to have no appreciation of the difference is really quite scary.

    Too often people are locked up and drugged after being honest and courageous enough to disclose and trying to work through what’s happening for them with a mental health “professional” who does not understand this and acts from a position of fear, prejudice, and ignorance.

    I no longer read Margie’s posts as they upset me, but this was a one-liner that slipped under the radar.

  • Not having a set “litmus test”, I am finding this discussion about Dr Healey’s character, intentions, place in the greater scheme of MIA interesting.

    I have at times been among his critics. At times I find some of his metaphors and analogies totally unfathomable. However, to discount his extensive and valuable work on meds on the basis of his work in another field (ECT, which I abhor), seems somewhat counterproductive.

    He is doing valuable research on meds, he is speaking out and educating both doctors and lay people on meds. Perhaps he offers an alternative that many of us find offensive, but that does not lessen or nullify his contribution to discussions on psychopharmacology or the value of his contribution.

    I find it helpful to approach them as separate issues which really have nothing to do with his intrinsic value as a person or as a contributor to this site. However, I do reserve the right to disagree at times, just as I disagree with many of the MIA Authors on various issues. I do not reserve the right to psycho analyse or judge.

    At times I have spoken out, more often I have reflected on their position and realised that what they say and/or how they have said it might just have helped someone reach an understanding which is quite different from what the writer had intended! Like OOPS!…you just convinced a few more people of the opposite of what you intended, or the discussion following the article highlights flaws in arguments and different approaches and interpretations.

    A variety of opinions and approaches is what keeps this site interesting, and if we get rid of authors simply because we choose to sit in judgement and/or they don’t echo our personal belief systems, or present things we strongly disagree with, then soon it will be no more than an echo chamber for the most vociferous contributors and will have a narrow and limiting dominant paradigm. Its value will have been eroded.

    This article is about an app. It highlights that all may not be as it seems…buyer beware…an alert to share.

    Dear David, Thanks. If someone asks me about it or recommends it, I’ll be in a better position to respond thoughtfully. Having the word out there on the tricks that might be behind some of the apps and “helpful tools” becoming available is a worthwhile contribution, in my mind, even though I do strongly disagree with your stance on ECT.

  • “Telling women that they shouldn’t have access to this data is rather like telling them that they shouldn’t have control of their own bodies, that men or the state are going to decide for them. This might be the case in the Caliphate, but in London?”

    This is the case throughout medicine and particularly in psychiatry, I hate to say. As a 60+ female I have experienced a lifetime of such an attitude from adolescence through pregnancy and childbirth, menopause and any health/mental health issue I have experienced along the way.

    Men DO believe they have the right to control our bodies (and our minds).

    Thank you for your stance regarding objectivity needing to include all perspectives to actually be objective, and for your work to date on the dangers of psych meds.

    But with psych meds…no matter how long and loud many of us (both male and female) have screamed about the horrendous effects of these drugs, doctors simply will not listen. If we attempt suicide after being put on them, it is never the drug’s side effects but always our underlying “illness unmasked”. If we have our first ever psychotic break after being put on anti-psychotics or Z-meds, we were clearly psychotic all along, despite holding down exec level jobs, having fulfilling professional and family lives and being totally symptom-free. Our dirty secret, our lifelong defect, has been unmasked and we will never be allowed to forget it.

    We can do a challenge, just as one would do with allergic reactions and again and again show that it is the drugs, but because it is anecdotal and not an RCT (and we are mad people) it is discounted, and we can be forced to stay on meds and stay horrendously ill FOR THE TERM OF OUR NATURAL LIFE.

    …and if we are women of child bearing age, our children will be sentenced while still in utero. Men (almost overwhelmingly in positions of power) do have that power in Western society and they are very determined to hold onto it. It is a caliphate in disguise.

    Thanks for calling it out.

  • If nothing else, studies like this that get published in mainstream medical journals might help alert doctors to a fact that patients have been telling them for a long time…ANTIDEPRESSANTS DO NOT WORK! Please stop telling us they correct a chemical imbalance (yes, many doctors STILL say that) when they don’t.

    Chip, chip, chip and keep chipping away at the false and misleading statements drug companies and their paid lapdogs have been putting into the public domain for far too long.

    I certainly hope light therapy proves effective, but even if it doesn’t, studies like this might help reduce the prescription of dangerous and ineffective drugs.

  • All we can hope is that, as the corruptions with psych drug studies for approval and now with meta-analyses become more widely publicized, they will become impossible to sweep under the table any longer.

    Such articles in widely-read publications, while not news to those of us who are aware of the psych drug/psychiatry corruptions, will gradually help wear away psychiatry’s veneer of respectability in the wider community…it IS happening.

    Five or six years ago such a piece may not have been written, let alone accepted for publication. There is progress.

  • Agreed – correlation is not causation

    BUT….each time I went on SSRIs I became really very angry indeed…totally out of character. It was terrifying. Then each time I came off them I ceased to have those feelings, and even through similarly tough times (both before and after SSRIs but not on them) I have not experienced the awful quality of the emotions I had with SSRIs

    Lots of others have reported this, so it is not that uncommon.

    The number of mass shootings where SSRIs are implicated is astounding (virtually all the non-terrorist ones), so while we all agree that correlation is not causation, there is definitely something very scary going on there, and the drug companies won’t own it and do the research, so correlation might just be the best we get.

    Having the drugs and the guns out there is a very dangerous mix indeed, and the American people aren’t about to let their guns be controlled, so controlling or eliminating the drugs might be the only option if the slaughter is to cease.

  • The good doctor can be incredibly abstruse and some of his articles have been way beyond my ken.

    This one I think I mostly get – it’s basically about the shift of power to the corporate sector and the co-opting of science to support the agenda of corporations and to increase their own status to the detriment of the patients, who have been relegated to mere consumers of and markets for products which do not do what they are claimed to do. Seismic shift in focus and outcome.

    …or something like that.

    I doubt I’ll read any more of his articles in the future….too abstruse.

  • Seriously? Caring rulers? I hadn’t had such a good laugh in ages – Porter Novelli must have realised how appalling psychiatry is and is deliberately positioning it for ridicule. They have called psychiatry for what it is, surely?

    Having worked in PR (quiet a long time ago, admittedly), I cannot believe that any PR company worth its salt would have not seen what it was potentially doing. Snakes in brains and “caring rulers” harks back to the fantasy fiction genre of literature….Stephen Donaldson/Tolkien -type stuff.

    That APA didn’t spot it, just shows that shrinks have totally lost touch with reality.

    Let the humor and satire commence. LOL.

  • Amazing….pregnant women are advised to avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and a whole host of potentially damaging foods most of us eat daily, and virtually every drug imaginable from asprin to antibiotics. We know babies born to drug-addicted mothers suffer terribly from withdrawals and a whole range of complications. We have had the thalidomide experience. We know the placenta can’t differentiate between legally prescribed and illegally obtained drugs.

    …And yet, rather than the psychiatric drugging community (companies and doctors) being made to prove the safety of its psychoactive drugs on the unborn, it is left to researchers after the damage is done to prove that the drugs ARE harmful to this cohort.

    Will the relevant authorities listen? Will doctors inform women of childbearing age of the dangers BEFORE prescribing the drugs?

    Nope, all the mums will hear is the old lie….”generally safe and well-tolerated” and that damage can’t have been caused by these meds, and that problems must be because of genes, or biochemical imbalance or something else they did/have.

    Criminal.

  • It was with massive anger and disgust I read the article.

    Over 10 years ago I was sent to one of these places. I asked to be allowed to go home and/or to see my private psychiatrist. Instead I was kidnapped and taken to a locked ward. I was house with severely disturbed and heavily medicated males, who sexually threatened me ( I am female), I was forced to share a urine soaked bathroom with them. I was not given appropriate food (I was vegetarian), I was threatened with forced medication via injection. There was not another female in the ward, either patient or staff.

    I fell through the pits of hell that night after they introduced me to the night nurse – a very large and aggressive-looking male. My very first (and only) psychosis, my first experience of forced meds, the end of my trust in the human race. Never had I in my 50-odd years of life experienced such degradation, such terror, such madness, such pure, unadulterated bastardry. I had (and still have) no history of violence or of being a danger to anyone, although I may one day choose to end my own life.

    Don’t try and explain why you do it, or try to excuse yourselves because you feel a little bad about doing it. It is TORTURE, plain and simple. A show of power and massive abuse of privilege and position.

    There is never an excuse for it.

    If I do end up taking my life, it will be because I simply no longer am able to develop trusting relationships and live quite fundamentally isolated from other human beings as a result of that experience. I cannot accept any medical care and dare not share my internal struggles or seek assistance with them for fear of being locked up again.

    Inflicting such terror, such total mental and emotional rape and degradation is inexcusable under any circumstances.

    Please don’t try and justify your behaviour.

  • Hi ang

    I too am in Australia and I too had to manage my own withdrawal with no help from doctors. This website was an invaluable resource, but at the time (5 years ago) there was much less information around than there is now.

    The doctors here, however, don’t seem to know, or even want to know about it, and like elsewhere there are strong pushes towards early diagnoses and treatment for “mental illness”…almost exclusively drug “treatment”.

    I am still not entirely out of the woods – I came off far to quickly, it would seem – but I am just so glad that resources are improving all the time.

    Over time we can only hope that work like CEP, MIA and a range of individuals are doing will work its way into the mainstream, and people will no longer be able to ignore the damage being done by these horrible drugs.

    …and thanks, Redmond, for an excellent piece.

  • “According to a Johns Hopkins health alert, 30 to 70 percent of people on an antidepressant will experience sexual problems as a side effect. ”

    That’s a FAR higher percentage than those who experience relief from their depression…so the drugs should actually be marketed as drugs to lower sex drive, rather than to fix depression. It is a primary effect, not a side effect.

    I wonder how FDA would fare if it were to openly approve a drug for the destruction of people’s sex lives (and downstream their marriages and families), rather than do it by stealth as is currently the case.

    And I wonder what the marketing campaign might look like.

  • “I always tell people to avoid psychiatry altogether. I can’t in good conscience look at people running the risk of being tortured and murdered.”

    Me too.

    Recommending anyone see a psychiatrist is just too dangerous, as people are not warned that they could lose all their human and legal rights simply by entering treatment.

    Every psychiatrist’s office should be forced to prominently display warnings and also to have patients sign informed consent documents acknowledging that they understand the basis of this medical specialty is NOT based in any science whatsoever, and that they are aware of the broader legal and social risks of handing power over their lives and wellbeing to a psychiatrist. This should be repeated every time a new prescription is written, but with the actual clinical trial results explained to the patient.

    That said, this is another interesting and useful article that highlights the influence commercial interests have over “research” and the broader medical profession’s recommendations.

    Too many doctors are now marketeers and “spin doctors” rather than practitioners of health care.

  • Timothy,

    thank you for this piece, it helped me place a few things in a useful context regarding both my own journey and that of friends who suffered massive emotional loss and the resultant turmoil that engendered.

    A gentler, more open and compassionate way of thinking is, I believe, inherently more healing than the current dominant paradigms which tend to be rather brutal and punitive – about “power over” and winning, rather than embracing and understanding.

    The age old battle being played out yet again and in another context perhaps…

  • Fiachra

    It is a truly unsettling feeling, isn’t it? I was absolutely amazed by the disconnect, but totally unable to do anything about it. Watching oneself and knowing that you’re out of control but being unable to stop is really very disturbing indeed.

    Those meds are EVIL….and so are the people who prescribe them, especially when you have told them about the weirdness and they FORCE you to keep taking the sh#t!

  • Orbit

    uhmmmm……
    “First of all, we don’t know that individuals with explosive rage and mood regulation issues do NOT have altered brain structure, which either causes or is a RESULT of trauma or other environmental influences.”

    …so you recommend they be diagnosed and treated just in case – and the treatment of choice is usually a dangerous drug of some sort that will almost certainly alter their brain structure (ie cause brain damage)?

    How is this helpful, other than it lets everyone except the patient off the hook and provides income for doctors and pharmaceutical companies….and by the time the patient’s brain gets scanned at some future time in a “study” to find the cause of IED and justify its existence, yes, they WILL show signs of brain damage.

    We’ve been there before.

    Some people may be difficult, or upset, or upsetting but perhaps our society’s approach to parenting, nurture, justice, trauma etc is a better place to start than inventing a “disease” because someone has a justifiable and, indeed, at times adaptive, response to adverse events.

  • No, they don’t have diagnoses because before going on the drugs, they’re fine.

    Given a few months on antipsychotics, though, and they qualify for a bunch of “psychiatric diagnoses” as well as a few physical ones – keeps the doctors and the drug companies in business!

    That’s why psychiatrists have to keep coming up with new diagnoses – firstly to keep doctors and drug companies in business and secondly to make sure they classify side effects as official illnesses so no-one realises that it’s all iatrogenic.

  • I too had quite silly visions of people exploding all over the place, only to gather up their bits and go on to do it again somewhere else….the intermittently exploding human! And apparently more and more people are developing this troubling ability.

    How anyone can take psychiatry seriously is beyond me.

    It is, however, terrifying that these “doctors” have gained so much power that even though they invent such patently ridiculous “diseases”, their influence continues to increase unabated.

  • Totally agree – this statement assumes that psychiatrists don’t have such characterological flaws, and that all “defect” sits firmly with the patient. The only supporting evidence for that is that the patient is the one who has acknowledged they are uncomfortable.

    The psychiatrist treating them could be way “sicker” but not have the desire or courage to admit it. Or they might realise that it would be a career-ending move and that it is far more profitable to label others .

    …but, of course, you would have to be bloody mad to see a psychiatrist!

  • …so how can forced incarceration and drugging be good for a patient? There is certainly no positive therapeutic alliance there.

    Ditto for forced “outpatient care” with depot drugging and the like. It is purely torture and is actively designed to harm a person, and yet psychiatry has managed to get it mandated into law!

    …..and further, how can be going to see a psychiatrist who uses “diagnoses” which amount to little more than abusive labels possibly be good for a person – even if there appears to be a “positive alliance” it operates purely in the service of making the the patient complicit in their own destruction.

    I freely acknowledge that some therapies/therapists can be helpful if there truly is freedom and respect in the process, but as soon as psychiatry, diagnoses, and drugging come into it, it can only harm the patient.

  • Yes, I too had two suicide attempts while on Zyprexa and Avanza. Also felt quite homicidal, which I found extremely distressing as I have never been a violent person and was appalled by the feelings I was having – shrink put it down to repressed anger finally unmasked.

    Being told, as a middle aged mother, former emergency helpline volunteer, and respected community member with a six figure salary and no history of violence, that I had underlying and pervasive character flaws that meant I was at heart a homicidal maniac was distressing, to say the least.

    …and surprise, surprise, once off the meds (no help from shrinks with that) the urges ceased…five years down the track I am still recovering from trauma and long term side effects of those ghastly meds and psychiatry.

  • I answered the survey along the lines that I don’t think medical doctors are the appropriate people to help those in emotional distress as emotional distress is not a medical condition.

    Also mentioned that the drugs doctors prescribe for emotional distress are likely to lead to addiction and/or very real physical illnesses and have not proven to be effective.

    I found the questions open ended enough to allow for such responses, and believe that if enough people contribute to any such surveys giving similar experiences/opinions, there is a possibility that eventually people will have to take notice.

    It is only one little thing, but little things can mount up and create change, especially if the essentially the same message is coming from a range of directions….just chip away and eventually the edifice will crumble.

  • Inequality…the divide between rich and poor….the myth that everyone can (read should) be able to make it good and the only reason they haven’t is that they didn’t try hard enough, think positive enough….the lie that every person is created equal…the politics of fear….guns….psychiatrists prescribing drugs to fix problems that drugs simply can’t fix.

  • “I have resolved this problem by the simple expedient – and this is not Einsteinian stuff – of avoiding fast-moving, congested traffic! ”

    Thanks for another excellent piece, but watch out Phil…they’ll diagnose you with avoidant personality disorder.

    The more I see and read, the more dangerous I think psychiatry is to the very survival of our species and the angrier I become about the hell that was forced upon me by the corrupt institution that is psychiatry.

    For anyone here who hasn’t read it already, “Psychiatry Under the Influence” (Whitaker [MIA founder] and Cosgrove) is an excellent read and gives further insight into the ongoing crimes against humanity that psychiatry is perpetrating and how it is getting away with it.

  • While on Zyprex and SSRIs I noticed a significant deterioration in my balance and coordination and had several falls. I have always been fit, athletic, and well balanced and coordinated. Now after a few years off them and some hard work at the gym and a concentrated effort, my balance etc is gradually improving again…thank goodness. Maybe I will ski again.

    The impact of these rotten drugs on coordination and balance needs urgent attention as they are often forced on elderly people more likely to suffer falls and fractures. I guess it is one way psychiatry can “refer” patients (read victims) to surgeons etc.

    Of course, it’s more likely they’ll could the principle that, “if they are able to move, they may fall over, so to prevent them falling over we need to immobilise them completely with higher doses….it’s for their own good, don’t you know – medically indicated!!!”

    When will these drugs be banned?

  • Must admit, I thought it was put in purely to make us all laugh. I am having difficulty understanding how anyone could possibly take the piece seriously or criticise its inclusion given the content and wording of Rob’s summary.

    I actually wondered whether the original study by these Swedish “scientists” was the Swedish equivalent of an April Fool’s Day joke.

  • Thanks for this article – I will order the book, as I have noted a significant improvement since I started looking at pro and pre-biotics and shifting to a diet rich in fish, greens and wholly unprocessed foods. After a few weeks on the changed regime, I found it interesting that within hours of eating a large helping of fructose/corn syrup-rich candy I was in significant pain (arthritis) and felt very emotionally “rough” indeed. I’ll not do that again in a hurry.

    While I am still sorting out the long term aftermath of cruel psychiatric treatment and resultant trauma, I have found that it is far easier to understand and digest material that surfaces regarding what happened when my body isn’t attacking itself and making me feel like crap because of the food I have eaten!

    My whole system, inside and out, feels “cooler” – I really don’t know how else to describe it – and I am excited to hear that so much valuable research in being done into this field.

    Very glad that you will share you work on this site.

  • So glad it’s not just me!

    I had to read it three times and Google UK PLC to “get it”.

    It seems to me that it is pointing out how corporations are using their power to corrupt governments and reduce the general citizenry to serf status, fodder for their experiments and mere objects to provide profits, with virtually no rights.

    That we are, in fact, being used as implements of our own destruction, and if/when someone dares to question the “science” behind the actions of the corporations, they are pilloried by the scientific establishment, which has long since been hijacked by corporate interests.

    I may have missed the mark….but the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement (the equivalent of the TTIP?) terrifies many thinking Australians as it potentially gives corporations the ability to sue our government (and send it broke) if it places its citizens’ well being above corporate profits.

    …and we’re being told that to even contemplate that corporations/drug companies might place profits above people’s wellbeing is simply wrong-headed.

    It is, indeed, Alice in Wonderland stuff!

  • Daniel

    thanks for this piece. I have been considering my position in therapy for a while now, and this blog and the responses are helping clarify where I want to be.

    I am fully with you regarding forgiveness, but perhaps not for the reasons others may have expressed for disagreeing with you. To me forgiveness is merely a sanctioned reversal of the power imbalance that formed the basis for the original abuse…as the “forgiver” you become the holder of the power over the person who wronged you. I tend to think that placing ones self in a position of power or superiority over another, even if only in one’s own mind, and even if for perceived “good” is somewhat dehumanizing to both one’s self and others.

    An apology when heartfully given and received has enormous healing potential, but forgiveness per se as it is often practiced is a sham, and anyone who advocates for it as necessary and/or sufficient for “healing” is operating out of power-based thinking and that is not helpful.

    I have some issues with your views on parenting and therapy – I suspect the ONLY way to esolve some issues is through parenting and re-parenting.

    But then again, I think I have some even greater issues with the therapy relationship as it is currently defined and practiced…it is simply too power-based and too open to abuse, with little or no recourse for the “inferior” partner….it is simply not a healthy place to go!

  • Chaya
    I think you are very wise indeed, not trusting therapy. Essentially it places one at an enormous power disadvantage that, as an adult, is quite unnatural to volunarily commit to. Therapy is a relationship that is open to the most horrendous abuses imaginable, and really should only be entered into if there is a very real and pressing need.

    In many ways it is no less dangerous than medication – a fact I think too few people acknowledge.

    Don’t regret not being able to make yourself go there – just keep on being respectful and aware of where you are at….and thankful that you are in a position to make such a wise choice!

  • Thanks Paul, for the review, and Bonnie for writing the book!

    I have just ordered two copies, one for me and one to share.

    Here in Australia the “mental health” system has just come under some really heavy fire in an official report around waste of money and damaging the people it is supposed to help , so there might be significant interest in such a book. I am hoping the publisher has distributed review copies to major national newspapers here (The Age, The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald).

    That Bob Whitaker’s book will come out very soon is wonderful too – again, I hope it gets sent to and reviewed in the national newspapers.

  • Joel (Therapyfirst)

    You want to retain your power to lock me up and drug me and yet you complain that I am being unreasonable if I object by coming on sites like this to advocate for my human rights and dignity using just my pen? You and your colleagues can inflict the very worst of torture and yet if I object to your having that power, I am sliming you?

    I can’t see why any honest sincere appropriate doctor would ever want such power over another human being.

    If you’re decent, then why won’t you relinquish the power?

    Uhhmmm…..why don’t you get it? Lack insight do you?

    Forced drugging and involuntarry treatment is no more about medical care than rape is about a loving sexually intimate relationship.

    While you reserve your right to rape me, I reserve my right to treat you like slime. Decent people do not reserve their right to rape others, either sexually or chemically.

  • WOW…this has generated some response!

    Dr Berezin
    I happened to be reading the section of your book last night that relates significantly to the basic types and am delighted to see you address it directly to ADHD on this site.

    I have absolutely no doubt that as a child I would have been diagnosed with very severe ADHD. I am just SO glad that diagnosis wasn’t around then because I hate to think what would have happened to me had it been.

    While my parents undoubtedly loved me and did the best they could, they couldn’t even begin to entertain the idea that they and the family environment might have something to do with my behaviour. I struggled through childhood with the help of the odd kind teacher or counsellor and the occasional parent of friends who saw through my antics, supported me and showed appreciation for the sort of lively, inquisitive, thoughtful, sensitive, and thoroughly challenging child I was. Being a girl, this sort of behaviour was even LESS acceptable than it was for a boy.

    It was lonely, but I gradually learned how to manage my self and by mid-teens was both a high level sportsperson and excelling academically.

    In my adult years, marriage, parenting, career etc have come and gone as have the inevitable crises associated with them. These crises have given me cause to examine my self, my ideas and beliefs, my childhood, family etc, both in and out of therapy.

    The only time I have crashed through into full blown “mental illness” has been as a result of prescribed and correctly taken psychiatric medications.

    Perhaps because of my particular “self” and physiology I am more sensitive to drugs than are others, but had they been forced on me as a child I hate to think what might have happened.

    As a successful and high functioning adult who had never used any sort of psychoactive drug (other than the odd glass of wine), the correctly taken “psychiatric medication” sent me crashing right through the pits of hell. However, by the time that happened at age 50, I had developed enough resilience (or just plain guts or intrinsic selfhood) to navigate my way out the other side. I doubt I could have done that in the fog and fire the drugs had brought down on me. I needed full access to the particular qualities of my intrinsic self to survive.

    All children are given certain intrinsic qualities to help them live their lives with integrity and to develop into who they may be. They may be difficult, they may be messy and inconvenient but basically, those qualities are what THAT PARTICULAR CHILD NEEDS to survive and thrive.

    I know that as a now-aging adult I still need lots of physical activity, lots of intellectual challenge and diversity, a degree of people contact that I can modulate and control, access to artistic and creative pursuits etc to stay balanced. I suspect I always will. That is the annoying person who is me. I still struggle at times, and I manage those struggles because I haven’t had the intrinsic qualities I need to do that drugged out of me.

    I personally don’t believe in god(s), but I think those who do would call them “God-given” qualities. They are the child’s God-given birthright and to steal them away with drugs is just plain cruel and unethical (is “evil” the word?).

    No need to feel attacked by being told that your parenting isn’t perfect. And there is no need to attack the bringer of such earth shattering news. No matter what you say, the parenting you received wasn’t perfect and the parenting you give won’t be either .

    Recognize that inconvenient and painful truth and take the time and make the effort to learn how to love your child(ren) a little differently.

  • Pure anger was my reaction to this appalling suggestion.

    It’s patronising, insulting and somehow looking for ways to make shrinks feel better about having horribly abused people.

    The suggestions have NOTHING to do with patient experience or validation and EVERYTHING to do with absolving psychiatrists and justifying psychiatric torture….and that they’re using patients as a tool in their own destruction and then trying to make them feel good about it, is just plain evil.

    How about…given that you feel a little bad that people don’t like and/or are destroyed by forced incarceration and drugging….you just STOP DOING IT!!!

    Talk to the patient BEFORE not after the event.

  • I felt physically ill reading that – it should strike terror into every human being.
    The potential for abuse and harm is almost infinite, and while many of us here on MIA have managed to escape forced drugging and regain reasonable health, future patients will have no such hope.

    If it happens in my lifetime, I can see that setting foot in a medical practice could cease to be an option for me, because the introduction of such treatment options will indicate the total collapse of medical ethics.

    And in saying this, I am not just referring to psychiatry, I am referring to medicine in general, as the concept of providing humane care, listening, sharing responsibility will have been replaced by the notion that all that counts is medication. It is a dehumanising, demeaning and shameful approach (not to mention potentially fatal in the event of equipment or human failure), even to those who do require regular meds to stay alive.

  • Keep up the good work – it is lovely to see a “human” psychiatrist grounded in reality!

    I have enjoyed your contributions to MIA and appreciate your understanding approach to psychosis and trauma.

    The circumstances around my one and only psychotic event were very definitely trauma and stress related. Had they been addressed as such rather than treated as some lifelong psychiatric “illness” with involuntary hospitalisation and drugging, the past 10 years would have been vastly different for me.

    I am sure you will make a massive contribution to your patients with this approach and hope you can influence your colleagues too.

  • yep….my personal experience exactly!

    And knowing that I had unwittingly become an addict by following doctors’ orders and was experiencing drug withdrawal which those same doctors denied, helped me become both more compassionate towards myself (and others) AND more determined to get off the drugs.

    I tend to believe we need not to use language gently here – the drugs are clearly addictive, and people need to be warned of ALL the dangers before they start taking them.

  • Michael said,
    “For me anarchy has always been equated with personal freedom and personal sovereignty and responsibility. Lieberman misuses the term to label critics of psychiatry as self-serving foes of science and orthodox psychiatry. ”

    Yes, and thanks for saying this.

    Psychiatry falsely imprisons and drugs people, and so why would anti-psychiatry NOT be a natural, healthy response?

    That Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman says we anti-psychiatry people are bad, evil anarchists for having such a natural and healthy response to abuse, demonstrates quite clearly that he is coming from a stance that values sickness over health – what he refuses to acknowledge is that a rebellious response to abuse is HEALTHY.

    In so doing he basically asserts that health should be wiped out, so psychiatry and sickness can prevail. This is the upside-down, crazy-making “reasoning” one so oft encounters when dealing with psychiatry.

    I agree when the various commentators above say Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman is a friend of the anti-psychiatry movement (if we could be called such)… as long as he continues to behave in the way he does.

    Roll on anarchy!

  • Excederin,
    you have responded to other threads with similar claims to those you make above and many well-informed people have refuted them with hard evidence and links to current research, yet you persist with your claims at every opportunity and continue to campaign for drugging children who have this fictitious disease.

    I can only suggest that you and anyone else reading and/or wondering about your claims peruse this site and acquaint themselves with the evidence regarding the (lack of ) efficacy and safety of ADHD drugs…ie it has repeatedly been shown that they don’t work and are dangerous!

    Given that you are so passionately concerned about kids being drugged with Aspirin, can I suggest you start a separate campaign/site /petition to the FDA to address your concerns regarding that “dangerous, lethal drug aspirin”, rather than vociferously advocating FOR the drugging of kids with amphetamines?

  • Timothy
    I too was forcibly locked up and drugged and have since gone through the horrors of both antipsychotic and antidepressant withdrawal.

    Knowing that there was no scientific basis for the use of those drugs and that pharmaceutical companies have actively covered up the harms they cause, makes me wonder why anyone would wish to decentre action from psychiatric drugs and psychiatry.

    Search this site and you will find all the scientific evidence you could wish for that the drugs are dangerous and do not work. There are plenty of books other than Robert Whitaker’s too that expose their dangers…Pharmageddon, Bad Pharma, The Emporer’s New Drugs, Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime to mention just a few that pop into my head.

    There are also plenty of books about the spurious “science” underpinning psychiatric diagnoses and the DSM “diseases that the drugs “treat”, some written by leading psychiatrists concerned with the mounting abuses of psychiatry.

    Adopting a softly softly approach so as not to upset or alienate psychiatrists, drug companies and those in their thrall would be to effectively give up any credibility or sense of urgency that rightfully belongs with such a serious struggle.

    Yes, there are a multitude of social issues that have led to this situation, but keeping a clear focus on the primary enabler of abuse – psychiatric drugs and their pushers – is essential for change to occur.

    Decentering would be akin to knowing that the patient on the operating table needs urgent heart surgery but deciding instead to operate on say….the kidneys, liver and lungs because his family finds the thought of heart surgery too confronting.

  • No, we don’t stop seeking the science, but until we have it, we don’t drug millions of kids with highly addictive substances that have been shown not to work!

    At present there is no science to support the diagnosis or the drugging.

    ….and perhaps accepting that kids develop at massively differing rates and are subject to environmental factors might just help too.

  • Maria,
    thanks for this truly astounding and frightening article – it totally explodes any myths around ethics and pharma….and about the most basic of human rights in the US.

    Never again will I buy a J & J product, and am horrified that I used their products on my first child for a little while before switching to natural products after allergies started to appear.

  • The only direct quote from Dr Berezin I can find like that says,
    “There are times in the treatment when a patient is horrensdously terrified. I don’t impose meds on anybody. Sometimes it helps to get back intactness. I give the control to my patient. The real work has nothing to do with meds. It is the psychotherapy.”

    Which you have paraphrased to indicate something that is qualitatively different.

    Dr Berezin’s article (first five paragraphs) makes it abundantly clear that he does not believe that drugs fix any chemical imbalance or induce a cure of any kind – that is your belief and you have stated it repeatedly, both in this thread and in others.

    Re-read the original article, which was focussed on a particular approach to psychotherapy. It might come in handy if your drugs turn on you, as they have turned on so many of us who are regulars and/or contributors here.

    That YOU believe the drugs help YOU does not make their usefulness a universal truth.

  • Will,

    thank you for this beautiful piece – its truth and sensitivity moved me deeply, speaking directly to my personal experience of the fears and realities of my psychosis.

    I think we do well to contemplate the relationship between love and control in families who seek forced treatment for their troubled children, not only at the point where psychosis manifests, but also throughout the developmental process of childhood that leads up to it.

    As you so rightly point out, there is a context that needs to be engaged with, realtionships that need to be reworked and/or healed, and a deep understanding and respect…genuine connection….that needs to be established.

    Forced treatment actively mitigates against any of this occurring, and your calls for and efforts to establish humane approaches that seek connection rather than further alienation resonate deeply.

    Thank you again for your work in this sphere.

  • Blakeacake, If you do a search of this site for anti psychotics, I think you’ll find a great deal of information regarding their documented harms and significant overuse.

    You seem happy to celebrate that, occasionally, someone is temporarily assisted by these drugs, while conveniently ignoring the masses of information regarding the harms done to hundreds of thousands of people, and the many, many millions of dollars drug companies have been made to pay out through lawsuits because of their misleading claims of efficacy, and dangerous strategies regarding off-label marketing.

    I happily admit to not knowing the exact figures, but how many people have to die from diabetes, heart disease, other metabolic disorders, premature deaths and a multitude of well-documented side-effects from these drugs for you to stop celebrating the odd case where you badger a doctor into confessing that they may occasionally be of assistance? Your celebratory stance seems to be more around your own “winning” than around the fact that a single person has been “helped” while many thousands more may well have been harmed.

    That single person who may be temporarily assisted could still be helped were the drugs’ prescription limited to very specific emergency situations such as that to which you allude, but the hundreds of thousands of others who are unnecessarily given them would not be harmed or killed were they tightly controlled.

    As for hard evidence that “Antipsychotics return intactness to a deeply terrified schizophrenic”. A cure? My golly…not even the pharmaceutical companies would dare to make such an outlandish and unrealistic claim!

  • Thank you Dr Berezin for this piece.
    I wish there were more psychiatrists who could accept that we are human beings, formed through not only our inherent and inherited characteristics, but also through our experiences, our loves, our traumas and our environments.

    Perhaps then, more would look to helping to heal our injuries, rather than striving to correct some mythical chemical imbalance, without which we would all meet some imagined, heterogenic, and psychiatrically-determined-but-forever-undefined and unattainable vision of “mental health”…or actually freedom from the multitude of “mental illnesses” defined in the DSM.

    I do feel concerrn, however, that you seem attached to some quite specific and potentially limiting paradigms which could lead you to have particular expectations regarding the progress and desired outcome of the therapeutic process. In this way, your approach could potenetially be construed as subtly (or not so subtly) coercive, and as creating people who please your definition of “well”.

    I suspect that one of psychiatry’s BIG issues is precisely that it seeks a “unified field theory of human consciousness”, but that human beings and their many consciousnesses are immesurably diverse and complex , so any unified theory is bound to be significantly insufficient.

    That said, I am enjoying your writings and your valuable contributions to MIA – it is great to see a field leader and senior academic come down on the side of humanity, rather than drugging and related pseudo-science so heavily pushed by mainstream psychiatry.

  • Agreed.
    The very nature of involuntary treatment precludes the possibility of a relationship, therapeutic or otherwise, as relationship, for me, infers some degree of mutuality.

    It’s like asking a rape victim how their rapist might make the experience of being raped better for them…the only answer is, “DON’T DO IT!”

    All you can expect from involuntary patients is apparent compliance, apparent politeness, apparent submission. … maybe. But a healthy and or therapeutic relationship is no more possible than a healthy loving relationship between the rapist and their victim.

    To suggest otherwise is totally disingenuous or severely deluded.

  • Blakeacake
    Nothing I have been able to find in the way of verified long-term studies which would be needed to show such relationships or even comments from the APA or drug compainies suggest that what you are saying here has been validated.

    If you have access to such material, could you please post links and/or refute the material quoted with scientific evidence.

    Your anecdotal evidence and/or a new theory of “chemically induced modification of the brain” (which I note is generally called brain damage) that makes people happy through the long-term use of antidepressants, would tend to fly in the face of the results of the material to which Dr Brogan refers above.

    The bullying, coercion, condescension and forced and/or long-term drugging frequently inflicted on “mentally ill” patients with a “chemical imbalance” by the medical profession has generally not worked for people accessing this site, many of whom tend to adopt a more humanistic and evidence-based approach.

    Just because you say anti-depressants work, doesn’t make it true, Blakeacake, no matter how many patients you have “treated” or how attached you are to the idea that anti-depressants generate “plasticity in the neuronal pathwways which leads to mood improvement”.

    Share the actual evidence, please.

  • Yes, I’d like to see the concept revived as my very significant overwork (>80 hrs/wk in a very high stress job) and stress were treated as depression and the medication made me even less able to function and sleep, leading to a full blown breakdown. Had it been recognised for what it was (I had no history of “mental illness”) I may have recovered with a bit of R & R. As it was, I ended up psychiatrized, diagnosed, locked up, forcibly medicated with anti-psychotics and antidepresants, and traumatised beyond belief.
    What should have been a single abhorrent but fully comprehensible event after 30 years of working and contributing to society at a high level became a chronic and deeply stigmatising “unmasked” condition that ended my career and apparently my value to society.

    All I can say is, “BRING BACK THE BREAKDOWN” as a single event that isn’t a sign of some underlying defect of character and/or chemistry, so people are allowed to do what they need to do to recover and re-enter a fully productive, drug-free, stigma-free, psychiatry-free life.

  • Sleves
    ….and the fact that you have NEVER seen a return to premorbid functioning could well be due to you and your friends having pumped you victims full of massive doses of highly toxic psychoactive chemicals, causing BRAIN DAMAGE.

    It tends to happen to most people when they use psychoactive substances for any period of time. Just because what you use only you (doctors) can prescribe doesn’t alter the fact that they are psychoactive drugs, even though you might prefer to label “psychotropic medications” to legitimatize them.

  • Robert
    I too would question why, given your stated beliefs regarding the origins of human struggle and the usefulness of medications, you see the need for people such as yourself to remain inside the tent of medical-practitioner-psychiatry.

    It seems the only benefit that tent provides are that of medication prescription rights and (currently legal) coercion into “care”, neither of which show the “respect for our patients’ autonomy” to which you refer.

    While I appreciate that staying in the tent may give you, in your later years of practice, an opportunity to help educate doctors and reform some practices in the short term, perhaps the kindest thing you could do for patients would be NOT to try and reform the profession.

    Arguing instead for the shutting down of psychiatry as a medical specialisation would seem to be more in line with your stated beliefs that human struggles relate not to biological disturbances or medical conditions but to “deprivation and abuse in our emotional environments during the formation of our personalities.”

    Perhaps your wish to save psychiatry relates to insurance benefits/support for its practitioners and patients? Or to the prestige, respect and power associated with being a “real” doctor (which creates a fundamental imbalance in the therapeutic relationship)?

    You express significant certainty in your beliefs regarding the origins of your patients’ struggles, as you have done in some of your other posts, and yet these are no more universally proven scientific/medical “truths” which would pass tests required for evidence-based medicine than are the drug-based approaches.

    Perhaps (and just perhaps) if practiced with compassion, respect for the individual and to the highest ethical standards, your approaches could be of benefit. On the other hand, the legal protections and powers enjoyed by the medical profession are antithetical in their nature to transparency, questioning and challenge that might ensure patients are protected from damaging and/or unethical behaviour and/or treatments, be these drug or psychotherapy. They are also antithetical to the meeting of people as equals which is ultimately the healing experience you seek to provide.

    Leave the tent…fight instead for the the winding back of psychiatric and/or medical power in a realm in which it can only inflict further damage.

  • They made me actively suicidal, psychotic etc, then getting off them was horrendous. After two years without meds, I suspect I still have some longer term issues that certainly were NOT there before my encounter with SSRIs & anti-psychotics.

    So….they made things not just worse, but appallingly so, inducing illness, costing both the health system and me very dearly indeed.

    I’d be happy to see them banned for ALL new patients as I don’t believe doctors (or others) are capable of managing the toxic effects of these mind-destroying substances. However, I understand that many people are addicted for life and so would still need scripts to be written, and believe such scripts should be very strictly controlled indeed.

  • Psychiatrists’ apparent focus on image and spin seems reasonably consistent with their approach to “diagnosis” and “treatment” in that it brooks no real reflection on either their own or their patients’ minds and/or actions, but instead places blame on others and actively seeks ways to avoid any true issues.

    They clearly lack the insight necessary for meaningful change!

    Here’s hoping the world in 2015, with its improved information-sharing and communications, doesn’t fall for a repeat of the spin that allowed the “profession” to survive and thrive in the second half of the twentieth century.

  • Reverend,
    the church has a strong history of condemning difference…and in most instances still does with things such as homosexuality, and the ordination of women.

    It also has a brutal history as far as exorcisms and “treatment” of a wide range of what may now be called psychiatric illnesses, blaming people’s evil or flawed nature or their sins for their difficulties. For many, the church is not much safer than psychiatry, for others it has proved even more dangerous and/or has delivered them into the hands of psychiatric “treatment” after traumatic experiences.

    Here in Australia we are having a Royal Commission into institutional child abuse, and the churches are among the leaders in denying justice to those harmed and protecting perpetrating priests, going so far as to ship them to distant parishes or even overseas to hide their actions.

    I believe this site should remain blissfully free of and from religion, as, while you believe religion has a place in healing, it is not an evidence-based solution and has the potential to cause divisions in what is generally a harmonious and supportive site.

    Anothervoice notes above that Scientology and the Unitarian Church are pretty much the only churches taking a stand against psychiatry. If all churches did the same, then maybe there would be a place for them on here…but in my mind even then it should only for their stance against psytchiatry, not to promulgate their doctrines or seek souls.

  • Agree, Steve.
    I had tears reading this piece. That the elderly should be tortured to allow for- profit nursing facilities to maximise gains by minimising staff and care is cruel, inhuman and immoral.

    It is no real surprise that psychiatrists are complicit in devising, assessing, advocating for and inflicting such abuse, but the extent of the psychopathology necessary to do so is absolutely astounding.

    The degree to which they influence the writing of laws is quite frightening given that they have no scientific basis for their treatments, and a hugely vested interest in their implementation.

    Thanks once again, Philip, for this insightful, albeit exceedingly upsetting piece of analysis.

  • Matt
    Thank you for sharing your story – so much of it rang true for me too.

    I still find it devestating that after going through psychiatry’s torture and drugging and then managing to get myself off meds – a new and totally separate kind of hell – without support or acknowledgement even that the drugs ARE addictive, that you come out the other side and face more stigma and rejection simply because of what you have been through.

    Soldiers, prisoners of war, of kidnapping, of sexual assault and other forms of violence are welcomed back into society, supported, comforted. If/when we dare to tell our stories in “normal” society, it almost alaways leads to further rejection and isolation if for no other reason than people believe it was self-inflicted because we didn’t take our drugs, as per doctors’ instructions.

    I struggle with trusting and associating with people because of my experiences with attempted “re-entry” into society, and I suspect that burn up on re-entry is not uncommon.

    As you so wisely note: we don’t owe anyone an explanation

    ….and I’ll hold your image of the little pink piggies fondly as I walk into 2015.

    Thanks again, Matt.

  • Thanks for your reply, Vivek..

    As far as addressing the whole of medicine is concerned, I suspect that is a little disingenuous – nothing would happen for a very long time as it in general, does a lot of good and addresses a lot of physical distress and illness. Trying to tackly psychiatry via more general medicine would result in almost certain defeat because of this, no matter what the approach. There are certainly aspects of medicine that require reform, but the whole lot does not need abolishing.

    While you mention a few genuine medical conditions with which psychiatry deals, you do not address the hundreds of made up non-medical (ie voted into existence) illnesses in the DSM and ICD (?) that form by far the greatest percentage of the work psychiatrists undertake and that psychiatric drugs are claimed to treat. Your own piece on homosexuality looked at one, and, by inference, at others.
    That surgeons wanting to operate against a patient’s will have sought your help to allow them to operate, they still had to come to you, a psychiatrist, to seek your power to overturn their patient’s human rights – they were not able, no matter how much they wanted to, to operate without using psychiatric force. That is precisely my point….psychiatry is the only specialty with that degree of power.
    As far as forced drugging goes….I don’t dispute that it happens, bit when it does, unless the doc is a psychiatrist, then they risk some pretty severe sanctions in my part of the world (Australia) if they can’t show good reason.
    Much psychiatry may occur outside the boundds of coercion….indeed, I have worked for a number of years with a psychiatrist to try and recover from the trauma of being detained and drugged and in that time have come off those bloody awful drugs and worked out some of the content of my (forced and medication-induced) psychosis. However, there are things I simply cannot/will not work on with him solely because I know that he has the power to lock me up. The mere existence of that power is an impediment to our work and as a psychiatrist there is no option for him to relinquish it, even should he want to. Perhaps psychiatrists should be allowed to “opt out” of that power. THAT would give patients a solid indication of the approach and, if you like, “character” of the person with whom a patient was placing his/her innermost being.
    The power imbalance inherent in the patient/psychiatrist relationshp necessarily precludes the meeting of equals that would help facilitate a meaningful and healing relationship. It precludes trust. It precludes mutual respect.
    Given no biological or genetic causes have yet been found for the very large majority of the DSM diagnoses, I believe it is spurious to argue for continued power abuse and drugging, and also for the continuation of the power currently vested in psychiatry. And lets face it, would this power, psychiatry would quite probably die a natural and very timely death.

  • While I find Dr Datta’s response interesting, well research and well written, I also find it very troubling indeed, as he seems to excuse psychiatry’s behaviour on the grounds that all of medicine is based on poor science, is corrupt and other arms of medicine also use coercion.

    Well….some of this might be true to some degree, but my life has been saved on more than a few occasions because of antibiotics, vaccines, surgery and other science-based medical interventions. In none of those cases was kidnapping, incarceration and forced drugging deemed necessary.

    My physician and I recently had a discussion on statins, and I was quite free to refuse…she didn’t lock me up and force them on me, neither did she when I refused HRT or any other medciations we have discussed over many years. My surgeries were done after fully informed consent. I hardly think a surgeon would consider it appropriate to open up a patient and remove “bits” purely becasue they offended him/her. And they wouldn’t get away with it on the grounds that the patient was a danger to self and/or others. Fingers can pull the trigger on a gun, but they don’t remove fingers of gun owners or even convicted murderers on the basis that they are dangerous. Penises can rape…teeth can bite….feet can kick, yet surgeons don’t remove or disable them.

    It is enough for a psychiatrist to claim “danger”, there need be no history, no proof, no action that even begins to look like violence for them to be able to detain and inflict irreversible brain damage.

    While I understand that sometimes forced drugging and restraint sometimes takes place, particularly in emergency situations where the patient has actually displayed violence, the patients are unlikely to be maintained long-term on those drugs, or to be forcibly detained for long periods without access to justice. Yes, it may happen, but not ROUTINELY and they are not subjected to the TORTURE that is psychoactive drugging known to cause brain damage and a whole range of pyhsiological disturbances.
    Much doctor-work does have a basis in biology/psysiology. This is clearly NOT the case with psychiatry.
    I sicerely hope one of the other wonderful MIA authors will fully address your post and show all of its weaknesses up for the obsfucations they are!

  • Yes, that was where I drew my conclusion from too.

    “Depression is not a biochemical disorder. It is actually a manifestation of personality when too much anger gets directed at the self and crosses the line into a symptom.”

    I find it difficult to accept that someone makes such fundamental generalizations about how and why EVERY person who is “depressed” is “depressed” because of a manifestation of their personality. Being told how you feel and that you are angry and need to deal with it, is quite unhelpful.

    and a little further down:

    “These are mind altering psychoactive drugs that numb and harden us. Once a person is unconflicted about being selfish and not caring, his so-called depression may seem to diminish.”

    I found the totality of the piece difficult/impossible to accept because of what I consider the offensiveness of the underlying stated assumptions which do not, I would venture to say, have any more of an evidence base than anything else in psychiatry.

    Should there be a clear evidence base for the claims I would be happy to review my opinion.

  • Yes, he has.

    My understanding is that the analysis not only debunks the statistical underpinning of the studies questioned as lies and manipulations, it also addresses the fact that even were the methods valid, all the drugs could achieve is a clinically insignificant change in a depression rating.

    AND they have been shown to increase suicides and (they carry black box warning to this effect).

    So….in reality, these drugs are better at causing suicides than they are at fixing depression.

    …AND the people who conducted the research know it and so won’t come out and debate the issues Dr Gotzsche raises.

  • Kerstin
    thank you for sharing your horrific story. It graphically illustates the atrocities committed by psychiatry and the total contempt in which it holds its patients.

    That one “class” of patients can be treated in this way by just one particular class of the medical profession and it not be seen as criminal assault reflects on the undue influence psychiatrists have on both medical and human rights legislation. “Danger to self and/or others” is pychiatry’s “get out of jail free” card. They don’t have to prove it, and once declared, there is no way for a patient to disprove it before the torture begins

    Your brutalisation and recovery is an inspiration. thank you for sharing your story.

  • Hi Laura
    I thank you for posting this warning as it allowed me to take a few hours to prepare myself for what was for me a difficult read.

    The trauma of being kidnapped , locked up and drugged by psychiatry is still very much with me even after 10 years, and having the opportunity to take time to prepare before reading was much appreciated.

  • Hi Philip,
    firstly I’d like to thank you for all your incredibly informative reports – thank you!

    What is postulated in this article is thoroughly abhorrent: it merely re-brands all psychiatry’s past lies and adds the new dimension/name/veneer of neuropsychiatry!!!!

    That is an extremely interesting evolution of the DSM definition of somatizing disorders. It would appear that psychiatry is not just intent on increasing its own power but wants to be able to legitimately take over the rest of medicine as well.

    I note that the tone of the pieces you quote also much of the responsibility back onto the patient, even more blatantly than the old “chemical imbalance” positions did.

    WOW, I am almost speechless when he says,
    “…do the symptoms serve to avoid a constellation of stressors with ensuing functional impairment, by allowing the patient to retreat into ‘the sick role’? Moreover, might the symptoms be the body’s reaction to overwhelming stress?”

    “Many patients may not be able to articulate the complex environmental stressors that produce feelings of shame or inadequacy. They may cling to the identity of the medically ill patient as a ‘safer’ refuge from life’s adversities. Therefore, the psychiatrist should present the diagnostic hypothesis of SSD tentatively and supportively, noting that it is not mutually exclusive of coexisting physical illness.”
    …and basically, then drug them.

    Obviously the paradigm shift being promoted needs to be countered before it takes wider hold, as I see it as something psychiatry will very enthusiastically embrace.

  • After being given a sample of this “exciting new drug” a while ago by my primary care doc I did a little reading.
    At that point it’s approval application had been withdrawn from the US FDA as it seems neither it’s efficacy nor safety were able to be demonstrated well enough for it to progress to final US trials. Not sure of its current status there, but believe you can get it in Canada.

    The European agency approved it a number of years ago but had since issued warnings about its liver toxicity (6 known deaths at that point). TGA here also has some warnings out regarding potentially fatal liver toxicity. Both stressed the need for very regular testing of liver function.

    Another nasty little pill that just might kill you – guess that guarantees you won’t suffer withdrawal!

  • JeffreyC
    I think I’d be absolutely mortified if one in four of my countrymen/women were locked up!

    I’d be marching in the streets and demanding answers from my politicians as to why so many potentially productive and valuable souls should be languishing behinds bars rather than making their unique contribution to society…..and why my taxes were being wasted keeping them there.

    Stats like that indicate very significant social issues and, in fact, a very real lack of due process and natural justice for a great percentage of the population.

    The home of the brave and land of the free seems not quite so free….

  • I think that downplaying APA’s role in the current situation would be disastrous. Frances is effectively making psychiatry out to be the victim in all this, when the drug companies couldn’t have achieved the market penetration they have without the APA’s very active support. This support was consciously given with the aim of increasing psychiatry’s credibility and power as a MEDICAL specialty with all the credibility and prestige that entails. It didn’t just happen, it was a strategy that psychiatry adopted in full consciousness and in full co-operation with drug companies.

    Psychiatrists collectively and individually have have made millions of dollars and inflicted lives of drug-filled misery, or worse, through its co-operation with pharma. That behaviour continues unabated as evidenced by the burgeoning number of people sucked into the ever-increasing range of diagnoses in the DSM that have been created solely to feed profits directly back into the pockets of both psychiatrists and the drug companies.

    Until and unless psychiatry comes clean and very loudly and publicly dissociates itself from pharma and stops protecting, endorsing and prescribing drugs that have been shown to be dangerous and ineffective, forming an alliance with it would be an act of treason against all humanity.

    Were organizational psychiatry honestly to step up to the plate and redress the harms it has perpetuated, help people get off the drugs, and refuse to support dangerous/sham treatments, then an alliance just might be productive. I see many wonderful doctors among the MIA authors and can only imagine that they are horrified by the behaviour of their colleagues and so am aware that a germ of this idea is already alive in individual doctors.

    However, the first and most important step in addressing a systemic problem is often acknowledging its extent and existence, rather than minimizing and avoiding the reality to save face.

    My reading of the above is that Frances is not yet willing (or able, perhaps) to even begin to see psychiatry’s (and/or perhaps his own) role in the problem.

  • yep. It seeems this study reflects my personal experience that believing you’re flawed because of your chemistry is depressing as it not just blames the patient, but also exonerates any other very real factors in a person’s life.

    …and the hostility “biological” doctors express should you decide not to take the medications they prescribe and/or report negative side effects, is directly proportional to their belief that your are chemically deficient and could be healthy and blissfully happy if only you’d get with their drugging program to fix that darned imbalance!

    Truly brutal.

  • Yes, I have come across that too. They seem to think that a diagnosis means that that diagnosis is the sole defining feature of the human being to whom it is attached! Suddenly, skills, interests and talents of a lifetime, intelligence, education, professional and social achievements, familial relationships are all forgotten.

    If mentioned or demonstrated in any way they provoke vigorous head patting and massive condescension, not to mention those ghastly lectures on “therapeutic value”, which are made worse when it is apparent that the doctor is totally ignorant of the topic about which (s)he is being so condescending .

  • I too found the only activity I could and/or would engage with in my nightmarish-involunary-forcibly-drugged hospital stay was painting. Unfortunately it was only offered twice in my time there. Cheap paints, cheaper paper and so the works have long since disintegrated, but at the time it provided both a refuge and a release in that hellish place.

    That said, I had always liked painting and it is now my primary activity .

    Opportunity and perhaps gentle encouragement, some artful and heartful intervention rather than the brutality and betrayal of forced drugging in barren and frightening psychiatric wards….and given that many people with “mental illness” score high on both artistic and sensitivity traits, it’s not surprising, really, it could help, is it?

    My only worry is that psychiatrists would come up with spurious analyses of works to argue a patient was still clearly “disturbed” and hence should be locked up longer and/or undergo further “medical intervention” .

  • I see it as an excellent and very important thing. While I acknowledge that it is not the entire solution, it is an important step in getting the information out independently of drug companies and their advocates.

    Also, as a recognised and registered course with validated research it leaves psychiatrists with fewer places to hide when patients are injured. It adds weight to arguments that psychiatrists ought to know and can find out about the impact their treatments are having from an independent and accredited source and, therefore, they should know and can be held responsible for not knowing.

    While older, established psychiatrists might have too much to lose to acknowledge the error of their ways, I suspect that trainee doctors who have not yet been fully corrupted by the prevailing paradigms could use it as a resource and hopefully start generational change….perhaps by seeing the dangers and opting into another specialization while they are still young enough to do so!!

    Ideally, I’d like the community to see the underlying prejudice and criminality on which psychiatry is based ASAP. However, realistically, I think it will be a slower process in which education both on drugs and their harms and on the social, political and economic paradigms underpinning psychiatry will play a pivotal role.

    Congratulations on getting this program underway!

  • Yep, the human rights abuses being perpetrated by psychiatrists here in Australia are horrendous. I hope you get your freedom and that you keep speaking out against the processes, the shrinks and the drugs.

    Most of the books exposing the harms of the drugs are not imported to Australia….one has to stumble across them somewhere on the internet and import them. No matter what information a patient shows to GPs and shrinks, they reject it outright no matter its authorship or source, and fully support the efficacy and safety of psych meds while blaming the patient for not co-operating and getting well.

    I actually felt like I was undergoing Kafka’s Metamorphosis while I was in the psych ward.

    Persist…and persist. My thoughts are with you.

  • I was 50 with no history of psychosis…yes I had experienced “depression” during some difficult times (ie a reasonable reaction to a bad situation), but the psych meds changed all that. Ambien…didn’t know whether I was awake or asleep, extremely paranoid, slightly psychotic and was told it was all just my imagination and labelled non-compliant, because the doctor KNEW the drug had NO side effects and was the safest sleep med ever made.

    Mirtazapine and olanzapine (forced in a locked ward) – psychosis, suicidality, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, massive weight gain because of uncontrollable food cravings, eating disorder etc etc etc….truly awful.
    Prozac – constant suicidal thoughts, alternating between emotionally numb, supersensitivity, disappearing into pits of blackness, anger, insomnia, parasthesia, loss of balance etc etc etc.

    Effexor and a few others vomiting, dizziness, passing out.

    Funny how those things have all significantly improved now I have been medication-free for a couple of years. I had just thought and been told that these were illnesses that had been there all along and that had been “unmasked” by the drugs. There were a lot more side effects that I didn’t dare mention because I didn’t want anyone to know how extremely “mentally ill” I was.

    I still need to be very careful with my environment and the people and situations I am exposed to, but it is mostly manageable. With the psych meds it wasn’t, and I have no doubt that had I stayed on them or been given long acting forms by injection, I’d be dead by now.

  • Worse than creepy – decidedly dangerous!!!

    It could actively prevent people being honest about how they’re feeling or from reaching out, however tenuously, in times of need in case someone who knows them overreacts and calls in the crisis team. It could also bring things crashing down around the ears of people who are in absolutely no need of help, but merely using some idiom that the app deems suspect or doesn’t recognise as a joke. This truly is offensive.

    Ethical nightmare or just plain nightmare?

    These are very bad samaritans indeed.

  • On further reflection:
    I hope I have not come across totally against all people-who-are-psychiatrists as I do think that part of the struggle is to help psychiatry-as-a-profession and society as a whole to dismantle the belief systems that have been constructed around “the insane”.

    Doctors and yes, even psychiatrists, are generally trusted and respected in our society and those who come out against the status quo have a powerful influence. I find very helpful the fact sheets etc at CEPUK and other resources written by similarly outspoken psychiatrists – people who might dismiss non-medical sources will actually read and be influenced by those writings, including primary care physicians and potential “mental health” patients.

    There are also many “mental health” authors (inc some psychiatrists) on this site who have been instrumental in my being able to challenge the paradigms that were forced upon me – they too are progressing their thinking and approach towards the issues through the dialogue occurring here and are/may become a powerful influence for change within both their profession and society…KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders, in drug company parlance).

    Psychiatry will not be wiped out overnight, and these intelligent, fine and courageous people are playing a vital role in changing thinking in the profession and society at a time when it most certainly is needed.

  • I agree that we should NOT adopt weasel words to express our agenda, which is, at its core, anti-psychiatry.

    Psychiatry’s history is embedded in coercion, confinement, isolation and inhuman and inhumane treatment, and NOT in evidence-based medicine. No other sphere of medicine holds the right to imprison and drug, shock or perform brain-damaging surgery against a patient’s will and without any evidence base.

    No other people in any profession are so totally powerful and operate so totally outside any human rights constraints with such total impunity. Were psychiatrists a “real” part of medicine, they would see how offensive and corrupting such power is, and cede it. Instead, they fight for extra resources, extra protections, extra funds, building alliances with drug companies and politicians and subverting any attempts people might make at self help and/or peer support, labeling, stigmatizing, drugging, doing whatever is necessary to further increase their own power (see Allen Frances’ recent posts on getting hold of prison funding).

    Anti-psychiatry is about being clearly and strongly against such behaviour.

    Anti-psychiatry is pro-human rights and dignity for people who are just being…..well….. human… and needing additional support and caring through difficult experiences. No need to be ashamed of or hide such an agenda in the way that psychiatry hides its agenda.

  • Thanks BeyondLabeling

    the information in that link is astounding indeed!!

    Steve
    “I found this quote from Frances quite illuminating:

    “…conflict between professionally run mental-health programs and those based on recovery.”

    So he is admitting that “professionally-run mental health programs” are not based on recovery, and in the same sentence, he is asserting that programs based on recovery aren’t run professionally.”

    That stuck me as an astounding admission by Frances too – psychiatrists aren’t concerned with recovery, and their programs don’t aim for it…only the ones that aren’t run professionally do that. Bitt they do want more money so they can drug people at will…no trial, no jury, no redress.

    In the light of this statement and the information in the link above, it is really quite clear that psychiatry may, in fact, have vested interests in ensuring that recovery does NOT occur and drugging is actively encouraged.

    This tends to suggest that the anti-psychiatry movement must retain its clear separation from and opposition to psychiatry and not be sucked in my smooth words to unite against a common foe in order to win more funding for locking people up on psychiatric grounds or forcing ineffective and dangerous drugs onto them in the community, rather than having them in prison.

    As some said above…people have more rights in the criminal justice system than they have in the mental “health” system. Transferring funds and people from prisons to mental health places even more money and power in the hands of psychiatry, while simultaneously removing ever more rights from the oppressed. If this occurred it would also actively undermine any impetus at all that there may be for reform to a highly dysfunctional criminal justice system.

    I think we would do well to remember that just because Mr Frances is seeking to create a common enemy and hence deflect anti-psychiatry’s criticism from psychiatry, it doesn’t mean he is an ally in the fight for humane and effective options for people experiencing this terminal condition called “life”.

    Reform to the justice system (inc mental health laws) and socio-economic imbalances are much more natural allies to help end this modern slavery than is the most oppressive master of them all…psychiatry.

  • Chrisreed
    yes, psychiatrists are an absolute law unto themselves here – no-one dares question their opinion, and if they do they are comprehensively labelled and/or dismissed as being on the lunatic fringe.

    Earlier this month we had “Mental Health Week” and it was so full of propaganda about drugs and ECT that it probably set patients’ rights back 100 years and increased any stigma it was supposed to address….there was nothing at all on possible side effects, on the efficacy of treatments or on the influence of big pharma.

    There was even a “reality” show on for three nights where cameras were allowed into the locked ward of one of our biggest hospitals….again it was forced meds, forced meds, more forced meds, and grateful happy patients who were obviously regulars. They even had a satisfied ECT patient who was so clearly brain damaged it was scary.

    Boan is certainly not exaggerating when he outlines the sort of thing he is coming up against!

  • Agreed, Steve

    they make it so simple – if you don’t like the results, change the parameters so you get the results you desire.

    I’m sure they could get positive therapeutic results for a whole range of DSM diseases with heroin, cocaine, marijuana, ice and ecstasy in RCTs if they selected their cohort, limited trial duration and managed dosages. And they possibly wouldn’t have the problem of high drop out rates to contend with either.

    Not science, but then…….neither is psychiatry.

  • Thanks Richard for an excellent argument.

    I know for me being involuntarily detained and forcibly drugged totally devastated and terrified me and caused my first psychosis at age 50. Ten years down the track the trauma still affects me very deeply indeed.

    Apologists who say that this is acceptable under ANY circumstances at all…EVER… are most truly arguing for the status quo and need to be called out on that, because as you say Richard, that is the biggest loophole and it actively mitigates against any change occurring in the system.

    Only when involuntary admission and “treatment” is totally outlawed, and people who do it are jailed for kidnap (or similar), will there be the incentive for the development of helpful responses to people experiencing extreme distress.

    Agree with Boans too about smoking table conversations … but would add that those conversations only occurred when people were capable of thinking or expressing anything through their drug-induced stupor and/or were not in such a state of trauma at having being detained and drugged that they could actually speak…I was so shattered by the experience I couldn’t speak ….there are no words when the unspeakable occurs.

    So yes, thanks for speaking up, Richard.

  • …and the other thing that gets me is that while psychiatrists have over 300 ways in the DSM to prove the patient is insane and/or in need of treatment, they do not include a definition that would allow patients to prove themselves sane – that of sanity or mental health, other than it’s pretty much you have none of the illnesses listed in DSM 5.

    Going through and proving you have none of the 300 listed illnesses is impossible, as the “illnesses” are made up on the whim of psychiatrists without a scientific evidence base and hence there is no independent scientific test capable of disproving whether you have the “illness” or not.

    Given the above, I consider it absolutely amazing that 6% of appeals are successful….psychiatrists will probably argue that this shows that the DSM needs further expansion. 😉

  • How disgusting is that?

    The shrinks are told by a duly constituted court of appeal to release a person, and then they immediately defy the order and incarcerate the person and forcibly “treat” them regardless.

    What it shows, quite simply and clearly, is that Australian Mental Health Tribunals are a rubber stamp for psychiatrists who wish to railroad any person into treatment. AND if the “duly constituted court” decision fails to rubber stamp psychiatrists’ wishes, the psychiatrists throw a little tanty and simply ignore it, knowing no-one will touch them. It is pure theatre, a farce.

    This should not be an appeal or a seeking for clarification of the law, it should be a criminal case of kidnap and torture with contempt of court thrown in for good measure and mandatory jail time and de-registration for the individual doctor committing the offence and sanctions for the institution in which the offence is allowed to occur.

    Appalling indeed….but oh so illustrative of psychiatry’s methods, attitudes and power.

  • An accompanying editorial discusses some of the limitations of the study, but adds that it was compelling and “provides new directions for exploration.” The director of the Division of Environmental Health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research, is then quoted commenting on the study: “Until about five years ago, virtually all research on autism assumed that the disease was entirely genetic in origin, and that environmental exposures did not play a role. Rising rates of autism and failure to find genetic causes despite a multitude of very large genetic studies has led to a major shift in focus in the field… These chemicals are a solid lead that needs to be followed.”

    Hmmmm….I think he also needs to be alerted to the studies listed above on anti-depressants so ALL environmental factors are taken into account, including SSRI use during pregnancy.

    I wonder whether the researchers controlled/screened for that.

  • Agreed. Doctors can be VERY nasty indeed when told a drug or treatment has adverse effects. Many of us here have been locked up and drugged because they refuse to believe it could be the drugs, not us.

    It’s no big surprise that they’ll turn on their friends and colleagues too rather than see their “gold standard” challenged….a great shame, but no surprise.

    In worshipping the drugs and the ‘gold standard” they are worshipping at the wrong altars – the most important one is patient well-being.

    The medical profession is racing headlong towards what could only be termed moral bankruptcy, and psychiatry has set a standard to which the rest currently can only aspire.

  • Hi Singing Mom
    I too am glad the meds helped your daughter and I hope she continues to do well.
    However, my experience is different. After nearly 50 years with NO mental health problems I was put on these meds for understandable stress (called “depression”). They nearly killed me…twice, by making suicide seem like a truly noble option. They resulted in me being locked up and forcibly medicated in a psychiatric ward, which resulted in my first ever psychosis – a highly traumatic experience, believe me.

    There are many studies that bring the efficacy and safety of the meds into question, and much evidence that casts doubt on both their efficacy and their safety.

    In the interests of your daughter’s longer term well being, it might be wise for you both to read the info now she has improved and make a fully informed decision re the ongoing use of psych meds, especially given their dangers to unborn babies, should your daughter conceive.

  • Bring on more and bigger studies on this intervention, and then have the derived material taught in every school in the country, hopefully inoculating kids against the lies and deceptions of drug companies and the psychiatric industry’s lies. Telling kids that they are stuck in their worst nightmare and will remain so forever because they are inherently defective is simply evil.

    How confronting this research must be for the biochemical and genetic theorists as well as the various psychoanalytic mobs!

    Oh….and potentially terrifying for the pharmaceutical companies.

    Excellent indeed.

  • CannotSay
    I agree wholeheartedly with your beliefs on involuntary commitment and forced drugging. It is almost 10 years since I experienced that trauma, and it still haunts me too. Sheer terror became a part of my lived experience.

    I no longer feel safe in our society with the knowledge that without provocation or cause and on the say- so of one person, an individual can be carted off, locked up and drugged. NO crime committed, NO trial, NO evidence, and NO proof that the “cure” is safe or effective – in fact a lot of evidence to the contrary.

    When faced with such torture, suicide does become the seemingly most rational option….AND the drugs increase suicidal thoughts and behaviours.

    Why don’t psychiatrists who do this get it? Why aren’t THEY tried and sent to jail as they have clearly been serial perpetrators of hideous crimes resulting in death and permanent disability?

  • Hi Vegwellian
    Just as you are uncomfortable which what you read here, many of us with lived, personal experience are VERY uncomfortable indeed with psych meds and forced treatment.

    I am of advancing years, a mother who has raised children, cared for others’ children in crisis, worked on a crisis hotline which encouraged psych callers to continue with their meds and who has always abhorred violence, and with no history of psychiatric issues or violence.

    However, after having a stress breakdown and being placed on psych meds, for the first time in my life I experienced almost uncontrollable murderous rage. Fortunately, and possibly because of my age, life experience and gender, I didn’t act on those rages. However, I can see that psych meds could push many people completely beyond their normal behaviours, just as some street drugs can, to commit the sorts of crimes you list above. It is then the person’s “mental Illness” that gets the blame and not the psych drugs, and people call for more drugging, and more such crimes are committed.

    I was involuntarily treated, and the psychiatrists would not listen to my feedback on the effects the drugs were having. Plus, the act of being involuntarily confined and drugged is a basic assault on the individual, and as such, also causes anger…I doubt that any healthy “normal” person would react with anything BUT anger/rage to being locked up and drugged, especially with meds specifically designed to act directly on brain functioning – it is TORTURE, and the Unite Nations recognises it as such.

    I have been off psych meds for a while now, and have not experienced any more of that most hideous rage. It disturbs me to know I have the capacity to feel like that, even if it was only created through drugging.

    I am sure your research will lead you to the evidence of many highly qualified doctors and scientists who have shown that “mental illness” is not a biological condition, but rather an invention of drug companies with a profit motive.

    Most people here do not reject psych care but seek a model that helps people grow, learn and thrive, rather than a model that leads to the atrocious outcomes you list.

    The current model of involuntary commitment and forced drugging simply can’t do that as it is first and foremost a violent assault on human beings. It is NOT based on evidence of efficacy or safety of the drugs, although they may have short term uses in some circumstances.

    If you read MIA over an extended period, you’ll see a whole range of views and opinions about how things can change for the better – some include meds, some don’t, some include involuntary treatment, many don’t. If there were one “perfect” solution, there’d be no need for such sites or for any further developments in care. This site exists because, as you note by your examples, current treatments are not working.

  • Sincerest thanks yet again, Dr Moncrieff!
    The chemical imbalance and genetic theories cruelly and inhumanely lead people into the hopelessness and helplessness of being labelled DEFECTIVE at the most fundamental level by mainstream biological psychiatry.

    Your articles and the myth-busting fact sheets on CEPUK have been enormously helpful for me in combating the deeply personal effects of the misinformation that was forced down my throat, along with psychoactive drugs, by that psychiatry. I had never experienced the pure torture of falling through the pits of hell (my one and only psychosis in a life of almost 60 years) or the devastating consequences of being forced to accept that I was, according to them, fundamentally defective and required drugging because of an underlying flaw.

    The misinformation out there now on genetics has even greater potential for absolutely horrifying consequences for any person who might not fit with some mainstream view of “normality” or who might fall into biological psychiatry’s clutches.

    It is taking me a long time to reconstruct some semblance of being an acceptable human and to be able to walk again among other humans without the great fear and shame visited on me by my experiences with biological psychiatry. I still have quite a way to go – the trauma and the shattering of a psyche are not easy to heal.

    Your accurate and scientific dismantling of the the weapons used against me is proving to be extremely helpful in that process.

    Again….thanks

  • Thank you for saying this Pat. Your story really resonates with me as I struggle to locate and re-assemble the bits of myself that psychiatry set asunder.

    To me, this is about regaining/reclaiming my personal integrity. I haven’t seen a definition of recovery that does justice to that difficult and enormously frightening task.

    However, I suspect that being able to debunk the myths of psychiatry and throw out any belief that there can be a beneficial “therapeutic alliance” to reach some undefined place/state called “recovery” might be a very big part of it!

  • “Independent”? They declared their hand in their very public and vicious attack of the Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry.

    Now…just confess a few problems of the past, hold up a couple of examples of overprescribing doctors and say, “Look, we had the inquiry, and found the current system works really well, with the exception of a few minor problems, which we have fixed” and proceed with business as usual, forever referring back to the “independent inquiry” to justify continued abuse and malpractice.

    The technique of using biased studies and concealing/ignoring/discounting adverse reports works for the drug companies, so why not use it to justify psychiatry itself?

    I agree with the above comments…..run.

  • Thanks for your excellent piece, Alesandra, and congratulations on getting off psychiatric medications.

    I too lost 10 years of my life (as well as my previously well-paid professional career) to psychiatry and the meds. However, I like many others on this site didn’t take the step to drugs willingly, but was forcibly detained and medicated, so I too would challenge your statement:
    “So while it’s easy to blame psychiatry, physicians and the drug companies, as consumers we dictate what stays on the market. The more we refuse psychoactive medications, the less they will be produced. As consumers we have the ultimate power and we have forgotten that our health is also our responsibility.”

    I really don’t think we do or we have. While ever psychiatry has the power to breach basic human rights and detain and forcibly medicate people, many thousands will be unwilling victims. Additionally, despite the psych meds having been shown by the drug companies’ own data sets to be neither safe nor efficacious, (and in fact frequently deadly), FDA and other countries’ approval mechanisms have not removed them from sale, but rather, continue to support and defend their use, and doctors push them, so many people become unwitting victims.

    Increasing numbers of children, especially those in foster care, have no voice in their treatment and more and more that’s the case for people in aged care facilities too. Doctors write the scripts.

    Additionally, most doctors either do not support withdrawal as they hold to the chemical imbalance myth, or believe that the meds are non-addicting, and hence have no idea of how to taper people. And they still hand them out like candy…free samples, starter packs, the whole story that you must give them weeks or months to take effect, increase dosage or change meds if not getting an effect, by which time you’re totally screwed. Unless you’re pretty savvy and willing (and able) to defy your doctor’s authority, that’s how you’re likely to stay.

    Drug-company-funded “consumer action/support groups” are frequently the first point of call for vulnerable and distressed people and they too point them in the direction of these “safe” drugs that treat chemical imbalance. Then there’s direct to consumer marketing….

    It takes a bold and capable person to defy all these authorities, and not everyone can do it, so while I agree that consumers need to take responsibility for their health, I think doctors, big pharma and our approval authorities have made that a close to impossible task for many.

    Getting the message out there, as high profile people such as you are doing is one of the essential starting points, but direct pressure also needs to be applied through the courts and by researchers, writers and critics, and especially by doctors refusing to tolerate the corruption currently occurring among their peers in practice, in research and in training.

    …and yes, there also need to be grassroots programs in schools and communities, but when all is said an done, evidence-based medicine is something that needs to become standard practice, no matter how much the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries try to subvert it in the interests of profits.

    It is wonderful to see doctors and authors and others contributing to this site and exposing the myths and corruptions perpetuated by psychiatry and pharma, but I really do hesitate to blame the patient for not taking more responsibility for their health, when in many instances they are denied their basic human right to do so.

    Yes, people can be encouraged to say no and seek alternatives, but basically I believe doctors and psychiatrists ARE largely responsible for the current mess. They abuse their position of trust in writing the scripts and handing out the samples, they take drug company money and support drug company activities, and they, in far too many instances, hijack people’s lives through involuntary incarceration and forced treatment with medications known to be dangerous in the extreme.

    Please continue your excellent work in fighting for change…but please don’t jump on that traditional psychiatry bandwagon of blaming the victim.

  • Thank you Dr Moncrieff
    It is wonderful to have such rational and “real” discussions put by a psychiatrist to counter decades of mumbo-jumbo and blatant lies.

    I find this sort of information very useful indeed in my discussions with my doctors. Hopefully if enough patients can re-educate their doctors (primary care and psychiatrists), change will be speeded from the inside as more and more doctors realise how untenable it is for them to perpetuate an abusive and damaging regime of drugging patients purely to raise drug company profits, or to support their colleagues who do so.
    I hope this information is also included on CEPUK in that wonderful format that can be printed off and shared – such a useful source of information in a great format!

  • Yes, thank you for presenting this excellent piece to your congregation and also for sharing it here. I believe that the more decent people who understand the horrors the psychocracy perpetrates, the more likely they are to keep their loved ones well AWAY from such torture.

    Being a psychiatric survivor, I honestly believe the worst decision I ever made in my life was to seek medical help for my understandable human distress. The more people who are alerted to the very real dangers psychocrats represent, the healthier and more just society will be.

  • Here in Australia, the only use Wellbutrin (bupropion) is approved for under our benefit scheme is addiction (ie Zyban for smoking cessation and you have to go through a pretty big rigmarole to get it)…no wonder big pharma has difficulties, they simply can’t remember which countries they’ve sold which lies.
    When I told a doc here that it was used as an antidepressant overseas, I was told quite firmly I was wrong because it most certainly was not an antidepressant, it was used purely for treating smoking addiction.
    …….but yes, that really is a stupidly small fine for the crimes committed, and as usual, it’s all about deceptive marketing and nothing about the true issue – lack of scientific efficacy of the drugs and incalculable devastation they cause individuals and society as a whole.

    It’s when the companies start having to pay massive compensation or fines in the billions for concealing data on the negative effects of their products, that perhaps the broader community will catch on and stop falling for the bald lies of what seems to amount to government approved and medically- sanctioned organised crime.

  • Thanks for your humour, Daniel. I have found humour at various stages has helped me greatly in helping me see how spurious these “diseases” are.
    My diagnoses, which changed with the mood of my then psychiatrist, and were at times used as threats and insults, left me feeling quite fundamentally flawed…devastated, in fact…and between them and the meds, induced such a parlous state that I was very nearly a successful suicide. I am sure he was sorry – I saw tears in his eyes – however, I suspect he really had no true understanding of human vulnerability or how to be present and allow people just to be and to heal.
    My current psychiatrist has never diagnosed me (well…not that he’s told me), and has suggested we hold off on meds until “next week”, on the few occasions I have just felt it was all too much and asked for a “magic pill”. I am very thankful for that.
    I’d be even more thankful were he more like you, Daniel, with a playful and healthily irreverent sense of humor! It’d be affirming to share some humanity with him, and humour is a wonderful way to do that.

  • Thank you for your story!

    I also got my records and while they were challenging to read, with support, time and understanding they led me to see that they were a much better reflection of the people who wrote them than they were of me.

    If others go down the road and get their records, I too would recommend that a “trusted other” be there while you read them.

    Must consider what I can do with mine!

  • Feeling very down and defeated at the time because of what was happening in my life, I talked to a psychiatrist about it, and he absolutely insisted I was really angry. Now…I was sad, confused, fearful, and grieving as a result of what was happening in my life, but to be honest I simply didn’t have the energy or self at that point to be angry. Even when I am solidly well, anger isn’t high on my emotional responses list…at times I’d like it to be higher.
    Anyway…I got weeks of him telling me how angry I was, and I did eventually quietly and politely inform him that I was getting a bit annoyed at being told I was angry when I wasn’t. “See, you are angry!”, said my insightful, highly trained and highly paid psychiatrist, and promptly gave me a “borderline features” diagnosis on that single criterion and (non) event which he had actively pushed me towards for weeks.
    An illuminating insight, indeed…..but only in retrospect.

  • …and when it’s autism or behavioural, the psychiatrists and drug companies have created for themselves a brand new tiny bundle of diagnoses who will be theirs for life.

    I too thought of thalidomide, but this new epidemic is far more subtle. Missing and deformed limbs can neither be denied nor “treated” with drugs – they are there for all to see and demand attention and explanation.
    Plus, while I am happy to stand corrected as I have no knowledge of autism and other developmental disorders, I think they tend to show up…well….developmentally and are not necessarily apparent at birth and so may not be seen as a birth defect as such and hence, again, do not demand immediate attention, or cause the outrage that thalidomide caused.
    This is just so much more subtle, insidious and potentially dangerous (not in any way to downplay the horrific effects of thalidomide on its victims) as it could take far longer to prove causation, and then, if history is any indicator, to get drug companies and psychiatry to accept any adverse findings and disseminate the information to patients and the public.

    They tend to be truth non-compliant….the rest of us would just become, or already are, drug non-compliant – I know which I’d prefer to be.

  • This is even more worrying given the apparent correlation between SSRI use in pregnancy and autism.
    https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/04/exposure-ssris-pregnancy-triples-risk-autism-diagnosis/

    Meanwhile are pregnant women being informed that SSRIs may result their babies having autism at such screening? Are these babies of women on SSRIs effectively being born with a drug addiction and having to suffer SSRI withdrawal in their first months of life?

    What about breast feeding mums who are put on them for post-natal depression?

    Where are the studies proving that these drugs are safe for the unborn or breastfed infant?

    It seems drug companies and their advocates can attack studies such as those above by saying correlation does not prove causation, but surely it is up to them to prove safety and efficacy before a drug is used, rather than for studies to prove harm in a world where a random control study to prove harm would be impossible to conduct for ethical reasons.

    For me it also begs the question whether the increasing number of people are refusing to immunise their babies because of worries that immunisation may cause autism, should perhaps be asking whether the increasing incidence in autism is linked to increased anti-depressant use, and not the vaccines they currently blame.