Monday, September 24, 2018

Comments by oldhead

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  • the public mental health system desperately needs us to speak up and get organized so we can hold it accountable and make it work better.

    This is almost treasonous in my view. This points out that scandalous degree to which the “peer” industry — which was originally conceived as a way of derailing the mental patients’ liberation movement and reinforcing psychiatric hegemony — has become “normalized” in the minds of many. The “peer” industry is also one of the institutions holding the “mental health” system together where it may have collapsed on its own. Now we have ex-psychiatric inmates basically volunteering to put the handcuffs on themselves, and draw in their “peers” in the process. Peer “workers” are not working for us for the most part, but for the system that employs them — their purpose and function being to help keep us in line and “compliant,” and to reinforce psychiatric repression.

    Why, once we recognize the above, would anyone in their right mind want to help the system “work better” rather than working to stop it immediately and altogether?

    I think “peer” workers with integrity and an anti-psychiatry consciousness (such as Stephen Gilbert) would agree with most of this. Maybe he’ll chime in.

  • “It is true that claiming ‘racism’ can sometimes be used to shut down discussion.”

    And that’s precisely the tactic that OH resorts to.

    If you choose to shut down the discussion by leaving it rather than engaging that can hardly be blamed on me or MIA.

    these tactics would almost persuade me to be pro-psychiatry

    Tactics such as expecting people to address criticisms of their argumentation with reasoned responses to the questions being raised? Very devious indeed.

    You seem very angry lately, DS, and your generally coherent (if unique) reasoning seems to be suffering as a result. At least we know you’re ok following your recent “disappearance,” but you have become mysterious indeed.

  • Placebo requires believing something is going to help and functions as a form of self-hypnosis. I know very well that one chiropractor fucked me up (the only one who has ever done so) and another fixed me. I had no particular belief that this would happen until I started not only being able to walk and lie down without pain, but eventually started throwing off colds and other maladies much more quickly.

    Like I mentioned, there are some more sophisticated methods out there than the same repetitive “cracking” of the same joints week after week.

  • Claiming that a statement is “racist” is not analysis or engaging in debate.

    That’s about the most ridiculous statement I’ve heard this week, right up there with Richard’s statement that “conservatives” can never be 100% anti-psychiatry.

    If despite your intellectual brilliance you need this spoon fed, simply calling a statement or action racist without further explanation may be intellectually lame, but “ad hominems” refer to people, not ideas (that’s where the “hominem” part comes from). Describing something as racist along with reasons for considering it to be so would be part of legitimate debate, and attempting to suppress it would in fact constitute the sort of “silencing” you claim to oppose.

  • Very disingenuous DS. “Calling people names” is different from analyzing their statements. Saying a person is “a racist” could be construed as an insult (though a racist would appreciate it). Saying that you believe someone’s statements or actions are racist is engaging in debate. And my position is that engaging in generalizations such as you did above is objectively racist. You’re free to counter that, as opposed for asking for it to be “moderated,” which you have generally opposed in the past.

  • Since I am not female nor feminist, true it is not my fight but the idea that it is only men that are uncomfortable has been debunked by tweets like this

    Thanks for getting that out of the way at the beginning. Since you are not female or feminist, and seem to have no interest in promoting either, my position here is that as a man you have no real business getting involved in or opining on any possible divisions between women or feminists. These are for women to resolve on their own; if and when they need help from men I’m sure they’ll ask.

  • I reject the false notion that chattel slavery and the so-called “racism” of today have anything at all to do with each other. Frederick Douglass is rolling over in his grave, not to mention Martin Luther King, Jr., to witness that now, more than ever, the content of one’s character plays a subordinate role to the color of one’s skin.

    “So-called” racism? This sounds more like blatant racism on your part, and any attempt to abstract current racism from its origins in slavery is absurd. If you were focusing on a specific issue, and making a claim that it was incorrectly being portrayed as an example of racism, sexism or whatever, that’s something that can happen, and it is not inappropriate to challenge what you consider a false characterization. But to refer to “so-called” racism in general terms, with the clear implication that racism is no longer part & parcel of American culture, is at best clueless and at worst racist itself.

    Btw I doubt many who consider themselves “progressive” would agree with your definition. On the other hand I don’t think they would agree on any other, which is why it is not a useful term in a discussion.

  • To continue with my “Democrat-bashing” (which is very enjoyable):

    Did you complete an investigation into the matter? How many Russians have been indicted by Mueller? 12. They did hack the DNC at the very least, which was an attempt to discredit her.

    Clinton doesn’t need any help discrediting herself, her words and actions do that just fine.

    You want to use Mueller to prove something, who is using the most blatantly heavy-handed tactics possible to get people to say what they want? The Mueller affair is a clear example of the silent coup currently underway, which should frighten people immensely, far more than any of the so-called issues involved, i.e. simply the fact that they’re so close to pulling it off. Trump may be a bastard in your view, but he’s not one of “their” bastards, which is why he has to go.

    Again I’m not going to do your research, but whoever hacked those DNC emails and put them on Wikileaks should get a Nobel. And if you read them you will see very clearly how Sanders was subverted by the right wing of the Democratic Party. And they never claimed those emails were fake. (Actually they weren’t professionally “hacked” either, the DNC simply didn’t use some rather basic protection against phishing attempts. The RNC did, which is why such attempts failed with them.)

  • KS, I’ll simply repeat, this is about PHYSICAL health, not “mental health.” I think I’ve made my position pretty clear. Why is the term “mental health” ALWAYS inappropriate? Because it is a fiction, and those who use it — at least without quotes — feed that fiction, which is then used to victimize people.

    Beyond that, since my initial general comments, I distrust this “research” because of the author’s attitude, not to mention the opportunistic aspects brought up by Nancy. Anyone who understands the issues should have no trouble at the very least putting quotes around “mental illness”; if they don’t even have that much respect for survivors and the movement I don’t have much time for them.

    Eat healthy food people, you’ll feel a lot better! (Now where do I get paid?)

    I also think it’s possible to provide honest feedback regarding the use of this kind of terminology without tossing out the baby with the bathwater.

    Which is the baby and which is the bath water in your scenario?

  • How many times can the rule of law be assaulted, and Democrats and journalists be labeled as the “enemy of the people” before it begins to crack and splinter. How many elections are we going to allow the Russians to attempt to influence before we say enough is enough.

    We really need to talk Stephen, maybe on another forum, because I know you’re a reasonable and compassionate person. I’m tired and stressed about other matters at the moment but still need to say, respectfully, that you’re falling for some con jobs here:

    a) The Democratic Party IS an enemy of the people. So is the Republican party. The only differences are in style.

    b) “The Russians” had ZERO affect on the election. But they should be praised for helping expose the corruption within the Democratic Party and the screwing over of Bernie Sanders by the Clinton faction. If you’re worried about democratic elections being compromised you can start with the U.S. orchestrated overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iran in the 50’s — resulting in the Shah — and the overthrow of the democratically elected Allende government in Chile in the 70’s. This Russian stuff is pure bs, and even if it weren’t would pale next to this. Plus, I grew up during the cold war — now its resurrection is being championed by the Democrats? I thought they were the peace party!

  • Jan Carol — Subluxations are simply misalignments, so maybe we’re just semanticizing.

    People would be amazed at how much the AMA has spent to malign chiropractic, which shows how afraid they are of non-drug treatments for anything. I had one chiropractor mess me up, which led me to the one I currently have who not only fixed the problem but gradually led to me drastically improving my health. I quit taking ambien, advil and numerous other drugs for the most part. I have largely abandoned the medical profession except for opthalmologists and dentists, and emergencies, the latter being the one thing standard medicine excels at. But as for all the negativity, don’t believe the hype.

  • We live in such a thoroughly totalitarian state that most people take it for granted. You just like “our” bastards better. Plus Mao is still a hero to peasants in China, where his picture is in almost every hut, just like that of Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. And there is currently a resurgence of Maoism in China.

    As for “progressivism,” like I said before, definition please?

  • [Continued]

    DS asks: ” …is it possible for a person to be 100% antipsychiatry and also a genuine conservative?”

    I would answer emphatically NO!!!

    This is so wrong, and so divisive, that it’s almost embarrassing. I can’t believe Richard would say this, as it lends credence to some of Dragon Slayer’s claims. This strikes me as dogmatism, not Marxism — which does not currently even have an anti-psychiatry analysis, or identify psychiatry as a tool of repression. Not that the analysis would be out of place were it to be incorporated, and would in fact dovetail quite nicely with the notion of alienated labor under capitalism.

    On another note, I don’t remember shaun ever identifying as anti-psychiatry so I don’t know why he feels qualified to be taking positions on such strategic matters. Maybe he would care to explain this contradiction.

  • Once again you fail to define significant terms, in this case “progressive.” Richard does this too btw with terms like “identity politics.” As for “oppression,” I don’t see why fighting it bothers you, unless the idea that oppression could exist in America is too much for you to accept. Because you’re fighting it yourself.

    I’d say what is more subject to debate is what does and does not constitute oppression — for example some people call fighting psychiatric drugging “pill shaming,” which they consider “oppression.” Is that the same as racism? (Speaking of which, you don’t hesitate to glorify Frederick Douglas when attacking “psychiatric slavery,” but it seems that you somehow divorce chattel slavery from many other forms of racism still alive today, which is highly inconsistent.)

  • pathological liar, egomaniac, womanizer, self-centered, demonizing, childish, intellectual infant

    Let’s see — that would be two psychiatric labels and two ageist insults. (And one very ironic term, i.e. “self-centered.”)

    This is in place of any systemic analysis, which plays into the system’s hands just like I said.

  • But the term “fake news” has become the code words for a rising fascist narrative in this country supporting so-called “alternative facts’ and an “alternative reality.”

    All news, at least corporate news, has been “fake” since before we were born. Are we to concede all language to the right? If it’s fake we shouldn’t hesitate to call it fake.

  • So now you are opposed to coalitions? This is an about face. Don’t understand what’s gotten into you DS.

    For the record — and standing back from the fray — you proclaim your own political perspectives constantly, which in a way is what makes your contributions valuable, as it demonstrates that psychiatry affects people throughout the political spectrum. So I don’t know what you consider to be suddenly different. People here have had pretty much the same viewpoints for years.

  • Again Stephen, this is how the system works to distract us from the real issues by focusing on personalities. It doesn’t make any difference that Democrats often seem to support all sorts of noble causes (and allegedly noble causes). As you can see from practice they are LYING and always will; this is how they draw in idealistic people, as I mentioned before, to be either corrupted or disillusioned from political activity altogether. Their agenda is unfettered capitalism, just like the Repugs. I urge you to look past the p.r. imagery — that Democrats are less racist, or support women — to examine what structural changes Democrats intend to effect. The answer is zero. People need to move beyond this endless pendulum of deception.

    PS This is not a democracy, nor does it pretend to be; it is a republic.

  • Communists are still around, Stephen. Plus there’s lots of bs propaganda about Putin, who is no different than any other “elected” dictator, Clintons, Bush & Trump included. If you examine Clinton’s actions in Libya, etc. you will see that she is far more murderous than Trump has been, at least so far. The point is however that to get people bickering back & forth over which figurehead is worse side tracks us from recognizing that imperialism and colonialism are supported by both parties, and that the system itself is what needs to be “voted out.” As the old saying goes, “Don’t vote, it only encourages them.”

    Democrat/Republican is the political version of “good cop — bad cop.”

  • @Dragonslayer

    What is the difference between Marxism and modern liberalism? Are Richard and Bonnie Burstow Marxists or liberals or neither or both? Also, who are the conservatives that post comments here? What is a conservative?

    Richard is a marxist, i.e. uses marxism as a tool to help understand social/economic dynamics. (And contrary to Steve I would not say that marxists are at all rare in the US.) Bonnie is an anarchist. You personally have never defined yourself, but are apparently still confused about the differences between others. It’s all pretty irrelevant in terms of MIA, which for the record reflects a primarily liberal, pro-psychiatry stance. I don’t think MIA is the place to be getting into the minutiae of different political lines, as currently both left and right (however they may be defined) support psychiatry.

  • I really don’t have the patience for this. The only significant difference between Trump and the Democrats (or Republicans) is that so far Trump has killed far fewer people. As long as Democrats think “the Russians” are the reason people hate them they will continue to fail, for good reason, as they remain in denial. And anyone who wastes their energy favoring one “side” over the other is drinking the Kool Aid big time. (Incidentally Putin is a better statesman than any of them; check his NYT editorial on “American exceptionalism.”)

    I thought MIA was going to eliminate these Trump bashing posts. We are watching a slow coup, and anyone who cheers it on because the masterminds employ egalitarian rhetoric is a fool. If they can do it to one “side” they can do it to anyone.

  • Sorry but fake news is fake news, it’s what we’ve been reading all our lives and I’m not changing anything because a different figurehead is in power. In fact I won’t feed into the whole “fear Trump” scenario. The Democratic Party is the biggest enemy of democracy, as it pretends to stand for justice and equality while in practice being firmly behind the death-dealing corporate state. It’s function is to draw in idealistic people and either co-opt them or turn them off to politics completely. If they’re really talking about a Trump Anxiety Disorder and not a fascism/capitalism anxiety disorder this should say a lot to people who aren’t drinking the Kool-Aid.

  • Can’t imagine anyone having back surgery — except maybe after a major accident — with so many excellent chiropractors around, many with advanced techniques.

    Also back to “socialized medicine” — no biggie, but this is just a term used to describe something which is far from actual socialism, in which the people and government are basically the same, not an “us” and “them.” It has briefly existed here & there around the world but no more (with the possible exception of Cuba); it’s again something to aspire to. Governments and politicians to which many ascribe the term “socialist” are really nothing of the sort, and poison people’s understanding of what it really means.

  • In today’s world, for an anti-capitalist political activist person such as yourself, to be actively building ANY human rights struggle attempting to reconcile the LEFT with the RIGHT, is flat out wrong and straight up reformism.


    “Left” and “right” are abstractions. I’m concerned with PEOPLE. No matter what our political philosophies, there are issues that we share and can organize around. Do you consider every struggle to be invalid unless it is couched in the rhetoric of class analysis? Excluding those with less-than-perfect analyses is not a wise method of movement-building to me. People learn as they go along. Further, those here who extol the supposed virtues of capitalism are actually victims of capitalism; should they be further victimized by excluding them from anti-psychiatry as well?

    BTW I wasn’t talking about clashes between survivors and professionals “within the movement,” but in general. There are precious few professionals who could be considered part of the anti-psychiatry movement. (And yes, I would consider you one of the few.)

    Finally, you have been asked by myself and others repeatedly to define what the term “identity politics” means to you; without a response it’s hard to address.

  • Capitalism follows specific laws — such as that the purpose of capital is to generate more capital, at any cost. If murder is required, no problem. Of course exploitation without murder is preferable from a p.r. standpoint; plus it’s hard to further exploit dead people. But corporate profit is always the bottom line.

  • BUT, when it comes to the anti-psychiatry movement, you somehow abandon your revolutionary politics and opt for a watered down, impossible reconciliation of “Left” and “Right.”

    Not a contradiction. There is no “reconciliation” of capitalism and socialism. But this is largely irrelevant to the struggle against psychiatry at the moment, which is not at that level of political maturity. For example, to exclude Dragon Slayer on such a basis would be insane, as he understands the nuances of psychiatric oppression more than most people at MIA. (Though he seems presently to be excluding himself.)

    The primary clash in the AP movement is between anti-psychiatry survivors and “mental health” professionals, regardless of ideology. And currently the so-called “left” is probably more supportive of psychiatry than the “right.” I don’t see why you don’t spend more time addressing this.

    “Mental patients” comprise a sort of “quasi” class within the formal class structure, and there are significant battles to be won which need not wait for a general uprising.

  • Oldhead you are so focused on being against psychiatry that you can’t even recognize when someone is trying to do good by us.

    You know already about the road to hell, I’m sure you do.

    Sorry you don’t get it. I eat so much healthy shit it would make your head spin. That’s not the point. This is PHYSICAL HEALTH we’re talking about, NOT “mental” health, which is impossible, and accepting it as valid leads to all sorts of abuse in the name of “treatment.” So it is imperative to distinguish between the two, even if it leads to fewer professional awards and citations.

  • Dragon Slayer, you seem to be undergoing a personality change; I wonder what has come over you — some new political influence perhaps? At any rate you seem to have abandoned your focus on psychiatry to return to bashing political abstractions such as “marxism.” As Steve suggests, why not deal with the ideas involved — not as you have them written off in your personal “talking points” but as they are presented by real people? Personally I try not to even address labels such as “marxism” without a joint understanding of what is meant by the term.

    Have you seen the recent Psychology Today article by Pies (see link)? Your talents are greatly needed to refute such drivel, should you choose to adhere to the principle of choosing one’s battles. This is addressed to everyone really. What we should all be looking for in the anti-psychiatry movement is common ground which links the concerns of those who identify as both “right” and “left” — terms which have become largely meaningless anyway in our current retreat from literacy.

    (Thanks to Auntie Psychiatry for pointing this out.)

  • And yet according to RW we’re still supposed to be “rethinking” something about psychiatry, as though “we” need even more proof than he has laboriously produced over the years before “we” can conclude that psychiatry should be abolished as a field of “medicine.” What do we need to yet discover that would constitute the proverbial “last straw”?

  • Yes, neurotoxins shut down your ability to experience troubling emotions, hence “voila,” no more pain, right?

    This is the exact opposite of what cannabis (and psychedelics) do, so there is no comparison. Too bad they’ve only recently started acknowledging the medicinal capacities of marijuana, but better late than never.

  • Glad someone is not being drawn into this false argument.

    If people feel bad because their nutrition is poor this is a PHYSICAL condition, not a “mental” one. Improve your nutrition by all means if necessary, but this has nothing to do with “treating mental illness.”

    As it stands, the author and TED are both engaged in a misleading squabble over “how to best treat mental illness.”

  • Actually it looks like I did use the words “no problems.” As for the medicinal herbology, cannabis I’m sure helped my brain weather the storm and hook back into reality. I consciously decided that attempting to end or even seriously curtail using marijuana was not a priority. I ditched the Thorazine within a day or two.

  • There is nothing to discover or prove here. “Mental illness” is an example of “preexisting language” — would you approve of its usage? The deception of psychiatry is perpetuated by such pseudo-medical terminology, which “communicates” nothing but confusion.

    The fact that TED participates in versions of the same deception by referring people to “mental health” experts does not ameliorate the basic illegitimacy of diagnosing anyone with a “mental illness,” psychiatric condition,” or similar “disorder.”

  • “Psychologists” who practice something they call “psychology” are arguably the same as psychiatrists practicing psychiatry; also arguably abusing the term a bit, as the suffix “ology” refers to study, not practice. Does an astronomer “practice” astronomy or a zoologist “practice” zoology?

  • Psychiatry and psychology are apples & oranges and cannot be compared, other than by pointing out that one is a field of study, the other a money-making enterprise based on a predetermined belief system.

  • Problems all blend together, who knows how much was neurotoxin-related and how much just the malaise of a toxic culture. I didn’t say I had “no problems,” I never thought about it too much. A friend told me she tried some Thorazine at the same dose as I was prescribed to see what it’s like and said she felt like she was going to die. You don’t see anyone peddling this shit on the corner. Anyway it’s not hard to tell the difference between Life and poison once you have the opportunity to experience both.

  • Yes to most of this except that, regardless of whether psychiatry is or is not “on steroids” compared to past incarnations, it remains psychiatry at its core, and the solution is not to revert to a supposed “non-biological” psychiatry. Just as capitalism/imperialism may be “on steroids” at the moment — but this doesn’t mean that the solution is to revert to a “kinder gentler” capitalism. The problem is capitalism, regardless of its permutation. Just as psychiatry is the problem, not whether or not it is “biological.” I think this is an unnecessary distinction in most circumstances.

    Btw your post would be more effective if following your description of what capitalism is you had similarly described what socialism is. This will become more important as more & more Democrats start calling themselves “socialists.”

  • DS would likely argue that this is not capitalism but “big government,” an ambiguous term people who lean right use as a catch-all scapegoat for the failures and contradictions of capitalism itself. Supposedly “true” capitalism is almost no government at all — except for the military and its arsenal of destruction, just in case…

  • Medicare and Medicaid aren’t remotely “socialism.” I’ll leave it up to Richard to make the finer analysis, but they are both adaptations of the capitalist economy designed to guard against mass revolt and social collapse.

    Socialism cannot exist in a vacuum; it is not a “program” that can be enacted within the framework of a capitalist economy and government. This is the same sort of distortion that allows the Sean Hannitys of the world to call arch-imperialists and systematic racists such as the Clintons “socialists” and “leftists,” all of which is pure hogwash.

    Good to see the discussion happening, though I can’t imagine why more people aren’t sitting here glued to their computers on a Saturday afternoon. Maybe MIA people have lives after all. 🙂

  • Funny how what some consider “blame” should actually be seen as “credit.” If anti-psychiatry sentiment is responsible for fucking up their shit we should consider it a feather in our caps. Here’s to even more far-reaching “failures” for the AP movement!

  • Looks like we agree on something, if you want to get precise.

    the medical model the contributors attack isn’t medical at all

    Maybe we should start putting quotes around “medical” too. Or calling it the pseudo-medical model.

    Still, the term “model” is problematic for me as well, as it implies that there is a definable “something” to have a model OF.

  • I suppose there is a need for such studies, but if the spin is that these are “sometimes useful” drugs rather than using their correct classification, i.e. neurotoxins, the ever present danger is that since “consumers” participated the conclusions will be viewed as having more credibility than they deserve.

    I do know that after spending 6 weeks locked up on up to 1600 mg. Thorazine (not a typo) daily, I ditched my prescription and went back to pot-smoking almost immediately after being released, with no problems.