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Sort of like what the Democrats do with idealistic people.
I do not now and never have had the impression that RW considers such views respectable
Then he should pick them apart and mock them.
I KNOW he understands this. Nonetheless he publicly denies being anti-psychiatry because he is for some reason afraid of being seen as upholding the conclusions to which his work clearly points.
It’s like saying “I’m not anti-psychiatry because I have a gun being pointed at my head by the psychiatric industry.” But there it is.
ANYONE who exposes this system is targeted for destruction if need be, and no one is immune. We are not obligated to be martyrs. But in the end these are not intellectual debates, they are power struggles. Psychiatry is a police force, not a wayward branch of medicine. There is no moral or intellectual reason not to oppose it.
Robert you are avoiding my point. I’m very tired too. The point is that you DO NOT DEFEND anti-psychiatry when it is so “mischaracterized,” you simply declare that you are NOT anti-psychiatry to deflect the attack. Which is a way of invalidating us.
Many natural healers have been disappearing and dying unlikely deaths in recent years, this is well known — especially the ones exposing vaccines.
A guy on PBS refers to them as “food-like substances.”
The primary error in the DSM is that it exists.
And as we know psychiatry and “National Socialism” were closely intertwined even back then.
Yes the true left is very disturbingly dormant at least. In the 70’s the left supported anti-psychiatry in the same breath as they supported Susan Saxe and the FMLN. Now what is called “left” is usually neoliberal identity politics (assuming there’s some other kind).
Thank you again Professor Rachel!
Great analysis JC.
Stephen, Steve, KS and Rosalee, please pay attention to my main point — that RW inappropriately considers such views worthy of respect rather than mockery. RW has historically distanced himself and MIA from supporting AP for fear of such attacks by the establishment, rather than pointing out the bankruptcy of such criticisms and defending AP against bogus charges.
Not that I expect more considering the concern expressed in the title is that of “remaking” psychiatry rather than abolishing it.
I’d like RW to restate his position if he considers the above assessment to be inaccurate. The statement I am responding to was rather ambiguous, intentionally or not.
Yeah, he does that all the time. But he respects that view enough for it to make a difference in how he proceeds and what he says, i.e. he waters down what he knows to be true to avoid being attacked by well-financed psychiatric propagandists. He’s also afraid of being called a Scientologist, when such absurd attacks can easily be turned around against those who use them, and THEY can then be exposed. Again, it’s a strategy which accepts psychiatry as a basically legitimate form of “health care,” vs. a strategy based on it being a police force.
Hard to know whether to phrase this in 2nd or 3rd person btw.
DS what do you consider to be its motivation for all this? What is to be gained by whom?
Slaying the Elephant of Psychiatry?
Those who would criticize its treatments are often dismissed as being “antipsychiatry,” which is to say that their criticisms are driven by ideology and not any reasonable review of science.
This is SO offensive. I guess you just told AP people here how you really feel — that you consider us “unscientific,” while you consider the “serious” study of the efficacy of toxic drugs for metaphorical diseases to be “scientific.” How “scientific” is not knowing what a metaphor is, and that it cannot have physical qualities such as “disease”?
Elephant in the room, meet MIA; MIA, meet the elephant.
The nuclear family is inherently “dysfunctional.” It’s a unit of production basically. A mini-factory.
It depends on who does the defining of what constitutes “medicine” — people with medical degrees or other vested interests, or people who realize that psychiatry is totally bogus. However one leans semantically it’s clear that psychiatry is not a legitimate branch of medicine.
I wouldn’t even waste my breath, Someone.
Psychiatry is NOT a branch of medicine; it is a tool of social control disguised by the trappings of medicine. It depends on who has the power to define “medicine.”
However Lawrence definitely forces the contradiction into the spotlight.
The question is “working” for whom, and towards what end.
Thanks for the links, a close friend and AP organizer from the “old days” just got a Lyme diagnosis & I’ll forward this. Anything else you’d particularly recommend to someone just beginning to grapple with this?
I’ve seen SmithKline’s headquarters, I can’t visualize trying to pull a rug out from under it. But go for it.
there is now a growing societal understanding that our current mental health system, from a public health perspective, has failed.
This is too pessimistic. The system works just fine to keep people’s minds and aspirations in shackles and subservient to exploitation by the rich and powerful, which is after all what it’s designed to do.
But if it couldn’t do all that would would be the point? 🙂
The question should not be whether it’s possible to “remake” psychiatry, but whether it’s desirable, and to this we should reply with a resounding NO.
The arguments around neurotoxins are actually of secondary relevance. The defining characteristic of psychiatry is its promulgation of the idea of “mental illness,” which is a literal impossibility. Hence all psychiatry is based on a false premise. And, were there not money to be made by both practitioners and “opponents” as a result of everyone turning their heads from this basic absurdity, that would be the end of all this. We can prove forever that this or that new drug is as toxic as all the others, but the most outrageous contradiction is that they are given to people who are NOT SICK. Ergo, psychiatry is a fraudulent and criminal enterprise that needs to be eliminated, not “remade.”
The “people in authority” would probably also be paid out of the “mental health”/law enforcement budget, so I think that’s a non-starter.
Well, I notice that she talks about “mental health” without using quotes, which has to be problematic if one considers “mental health” to be the mirror term of “mental illness.”
A “plant” as I use the term here would be someone who uses her or his credentialed status to undermine and expose the institution they are ostensibly promoting, sort of like Szasz teaching Psych 101.
In other words, more psychiatric hate speech/mumbo-jumbo? Are there also “bloodless murderers” who don’t actually kill people but would really like to? They must be real monsters.
Facebook, RU serious??? 🙂
Here’s what to do — just tell Steve the MIA moderator that it’s ok for him to send me your MIA contact email (or I guess any email you send him). That should pretty much do it.
I like the analogy, but just try to get them to go along with that. It would be fun to watch the fight over this though, if you like watching the pompous get offended.
First you need to define what you mean by “psychotherapy,” PD. Good luck with that.
This is sarcasm, yes?
Yes. That “certain amount” is zero milligrams.
The point of antipsychiatry is not, and has never been, to do away with science; it is actually a call for greater scientific integrity, accountability, and honesty.
Certainly not what I would consider the point of anti-psychiatry; that would be simply to eliminate psychiatry. It has little to do with science really, it involves exposing psychiatry as a police force disguised by the trappings of medicine, then organizing to defeat it. Sort of like many people in the U.S. are demanding the elimination of ICE, not demanding that it be more “scientific” in its persecution of immigrants.
What also isn’t mentioned here is the issue of professionalism. Some people want to eliminate psychiatry because they are in competition with it. Scientology comes to mind most immediately, but so do numerous “alternative therapies.”
The biggest complaint of nurses and psychiatrists was the lack of money and staff to avoid coercive measures and high doses of psychiatric pharmaceutics.
Yeah, I’m sure they lose a lot of sleep over what they “have to do.”
Nuremberg comes to mind.
“We”? How about “they”? (Unless you identify with the corporate state.)
Rachel, the “people’s professor.” 🙂
Trump doesn’t drink.
Well, it always helps to have “plants” inside the system. Very hard for them to avoid eventually being sucked in and becoming apologists for the system. Maybe Efrat will succeed where most fail, no reason not to hope for the best in any case. But (her) acceptance of the concept of “mental health” by any definition is disturbing.
@ Stephen — the USSR had reverted to capitalism by then.
There is no USSR today. But the whole “Russia” hoax is exactly that, a way for corrupt Democrats to avoid responsibility for nominating a war criminal in the first place.
Why would WHAT be an improvement?
Psychiatry is the illegitimate branch of medicine based on the premise that there can be “mental” diseases.
HOW do people contact you, Boans???
OK my first short thought — the government and the media are tools of the corporations, as you are well aware. So isn’t it a little inconsistent to “demand” anything from them that we can’t just take? A waste of breath — we need to organize to defeat them, not “watch over” them. As is correctly insinuated in your section on people of color, psychiatry and psychiatric labels constitute a parallel police force, they do not represent a wayward branch of medicine. We need to proceed from that understanding.
Can’t leave without stressing that psychiatric neurotoxins should not simply be “evaluated” on the basis of whether they “work” to suppress consciousness and individuality (they do) but condemned as tools of mind and behavior control. I also think Mindfreedom does us a disservice at this by not formally opposing psychiatry. (A lot to throw in at the end I guess but hopefully we can dialogue some more, either here or privately.)
Great to hear from you Lauren.
I have not read this yet, but I want to thank you from the start for including Cuomo. It’s extremely important that this not be misinterpreted as a Democrat/Republican thing; both parties are equally guilty and Democrats voted UNANIMOUSLY to pass the Murphy Bill (we both remember this from when we were trying to get survivors to flood their Congresspeople with protests). Of course it’s going to take more than protesting to abolish psychiatry. I hope to have a personal dialogue with you about this sometime soon. Will respond to your article in more depth when I’ve had time to digest it.
Yeah, it’s a shame, this “mad pride” stuff. Lauren is a good person though, hopefully we’ll get to discuss this sometime.
Meanwhile I still love KS’s comment after the Mad Pride In Mexico article:
I resent the idea that being distressed in response to adversity is something to celebrate. It’s not special, it’s evidence of harm.
Nothing that happened in the USSR is an iota different from what goes on here daily.
No use responding DS, as you still haven’t defined “leftist” in any consistent or meaningful way. Both Bonnie, Richard Lewis and myself would identify as “leftists” of one sort or another, but if you can’t see the divergence in the way we view politics and the world in general it would be hard to engage you on any of this, as we aren’t speaking the same language.
No more paperweights for him!
As for some of the specifics here which should also be examined:
what I mean by ‘mental health’ is a person’s ability to cope within their context — a socially constructed definition, not a biological one.
We shouldn’t “mean” anything by “mental health”; the concept should not be validated at all. It is just as impossible to be “mentally healthy” as it is to be “mentally ill.” The mind is an abstraction and cannot have physical attributes such as texture, color, or illness. This is basic Szasz.
Also, while I would not equate this with being “leftist” (a term Dragonslayer still uses far too casually) I do get a distinct sense of an agenda here that forays beyond the boundaries of anti-psychiatry into the area of neoliberal identity politics, and I think this is what DS means by that.
Gee…I’ll have to ask my superiors if I can reveal this yet. 🙂
Meanwhile, what do you think of my personal belief that, if we continue to regard psychiatry as a rogue branch of medicine in need of improvement (or stricter oversight), rather than as a police agency in disguise (in need of elimination), we will be fighting on their terms and accepting their narrative?
I resent the idea that being distressed in response to adversity is something to celebrate. It’s not special, it’s evidence of harm.
KS kicks ass from an undisclosed location! We’re proud of you even if you aren’t “mad,” KS 🙂
Re-read Sylvain’s post. Actually anti-psychiatry thought is gaining traction, as can be seen by comparing MIA comments from 5 years ago to those today; you’ll see that in a number of ways what was once considered “extreme” has become platitudinous.
Actually the USSR was never communist. It was socialist for a brief time then reverted to capitalism. I think the all-encompassing term you’re looking for here is totalitarianism.
Moved at request of poster.
@Out — This is sure to baffle and outrage Marxists who see “materialism” as the be all and end all, and Marxism makes sense on a material plane. But materialism as we know it follows different rules once it transcends its familiar parameters, like sound waves becoming visible just as a plane breaks the sound barrier. Quantum theory opens up a new realm of possibilities, and to remain relevant revolutionary theorists need to incorporate this into their perspectives.
Thanks for this. “Mad Pride” is a system ruse and a great way to neutralize true anti-psychiatry activism.
Haven’t gone anywhere. MIA isn’t our flagship. Still looking for ways to unify anti-psychiatry survivors around a common platform and an analysis of psychiatry based in material reality and not wishful thinking.
How unusual that a psychiatrist would oppose the idea of antipsychiatry!
But they do “work” — they work to repress and distort our consciousness so they can “adjust” us like round pegs to fit into square holes.
Psychiatry is based on materialism but materialism is only one level of focus. Consciousness can manifest as physical matter when we are limited to physical bodies and only 5 senses with which to perceive reality, but it is not created by matter. Thus, on a physical plane consciousness is mediated by a physical “switchboard,” i.e. the brain. But in my view (how’s that Steve?) the brain is a function of the mind, not vice versa. There are non-physical levels of consciousness as well, which exist independently of bodies and brains. Prove me wrong.
But if you see any openings would you at least let us know?
Though I consider Efrat a comrade I am uncomfortable with the idea of “antipsychiatry” becoming an academic discipline. By making AP a “field of study” rather than a program for action we postpone the active abolition of psychiatry and encourage the development of more shrinks and social workers who label themselves “anti-psychiatry.” Black liberation succeeded (to the extent that it has) not as the result of white academics, but via revolutionary Black proletarian movements such as the Panthers. In fact most of the “radical” white students gave up on revolution after Kent State. Revolution is created by the masses, not intellectuals for the most part (though there is certainly an intellectual component to revolutionary theory). But many “anti-psychiatry” academics are still bonded to concepts of professionalism, which in the end helps reinforce the basic alienation which is the spiritual/emotional essence of capitalism (or whatever your preferred term may be for corporate totalitarianism).
Don’t get me wrong, college students should absolutely be learning about anti-psychiatry, just as they learn about Black history and at least used to learn about feminism. More specifically they need to understand the basic truth that minds cannot have diseases (which is more the responsibility of language departments to explain). Everything that follows from that understanding cannot help but lead to an anti-psychiatry consciousness. The goal should not be to create careers in “anti-psychiatry”; it should be to end psychiatry NOW, not when “progressive” shrinks and MIA adherents decide that it’s “practical.”
“We can do this either voluntarily or involuntarily.”
Anyone who has “consented” to any form of psychiatric intervention as a result of a statement such as this has been forced and is not “voluntary.”
If anyone were accurately informed about the dangers of psychiatric “treatment” and agreed to it anyway, she or he would be exhibiting self-destructive or even masochistic behavior. Even by their own logic how could a “practitioner” enable such behavior by providing such “treatment,” even with the enthusiastic approval of the victim/”patient”?
it will sound the death-knell for psychiatry’s biological hegemon
This promotes the falsehood of "biological psychiatry" vs. some better kind. All psychiatry is biological.
They don’t need an actual theory, they just need something that sounds science-y enough to assure the masses the experts understand what’s going on and have things under control.
You could find far less toxic things to believe in if all it takes is belief.
This is starting to feel like a game show.
So, yes, medication works, just take it away from the psychiatrists.
Sorry but that’s an irresponsible statement. Lobotomy “works” too — but at doing what?
These suggestions are all based on an assumption that the purpose of a state institution is to help people, when there is no such intent, period.
If there were true information provided about drugs and psychiatry in general the only people who would choose “treatment” would be those with masochistic or self-destructive mentalities. No way around that basic contradiction.
@Rachel — that sounds vaguely hostile. I’m simply asking you to clarify what you mean with your abstract philosophical statements.
Frank’s “tongues” comment was prompted my reference to survivor study groups; since you obviously know what I mean by “survivor” (i.e. anti-psychiatry survivor) it’s also unclear why you think his comment has relevance here or reflects your own thoughts. I’m the one who has asking for “specificity.”
The term comes from psyche and -osis. Look them up.
Or revert to being called prisons.
Ah yes, the old “one way” voluntary commitment. (“We hope you will make a ‘wise’ decision.”)
PS If you really feel a need to contact someone here you might ask the moderator to mediate, though I don’t want to encourage people to do this indiscriminately.
I would hope that I still have the capacity to be seen as dangerous by those who might otherwise try to victimize me.
I cant think of a word that describes someone who hates the mentally ill.
Anyone who uses that term is being hateful, or at least ignorant. But you get a pass the first time. 🙂
That’s one characteristic out of thousands. I’d say the essence of psychiatry is to mystify people as to the social/political origins of their misery and lead them to internalize their rage. In a nutshell.
Sorrow, anger and fear are emotions, they are not “categories” in any comparable sense to such neologisms as “mental illness.” Calling someone sad is not hate speech.
I suffer from living in a capitalist sewer. Other than that, just the usual — sadness, rage, poverty, frustration at being born too soon, etc. 🙂
No Bippyone, “psychosis” means a disease of the psyche. Which is of course impossible other than metaphorically.
All this is based on the premise that a state institution such as that in which Stephen works has any interest whatever in what people need rather than what is most effective at controlling them. No matter one’s intentions, taking such a premise seriously is not only naive but outright dangerous. Psychiatry is a tool for counterrevolution, nothing more, and always will be.
See if they’ll promise a bonus if you die.
You need to find a way to get off this shit. The longer you take it the more your body will incorporate it into your biochemistry.
Glad to see you using quotations marks around “psychosis” though.
This is confusing. “Real biology” wouldn’t involve itself with emotion or behavior at all, but maybe that’s not what you mean.
Everyone on SSI/SSDI for psychiatric reasons was tagged for gun restrictions under Obama.
I don’t get your logic. You seem to be rooting for the system to collapse on our heads. NOTHING can be solved short of revolution and EVERYTHING else is some sort of “band-aid.” So in that case why advocate interim steps of any sort? All I know is that, with the way Buddy the Cat “playfully” scratches & bites, my place would be a bloody mess without band aids to at least contain the bleeding and prevent infection.
Thank you KS, hope you’re well. Basically we have two groups of liars competing for “legitimacy.”
The idea that psychiatry will be or could be gradually abolished via incremental in-house steps is truly bizarre. And if that’s not the goal then what’s the point?
This is all a diversion from what needs to be done. I think MIA has a lot of nerve trying to peddle such ideological snake oil, considering that its goal is to “improve” psychiatry and not do away with it. “Radical psychiatry” is an oxymoron.
we just might begin to change the direction of the huge ocean liner by laying some good groundwork and foundations for eventually holding them all accountable
First among these is developing an analysis of what psychiatry really is and what its purpose is. It is necessary to start from the understanding that psychiatry is not a branch of medicine but a social control/police agency.
Further, PD’s constant attacks on intangible and undefinable abstractions such as “therapy” and “recovery” diverts people from the attainment of such an analysis.
Like physical illness, mental illness ravages its victims and their loved ones
No William. Please don’t parrot this falsehood. “Mental illness” is a hoax, and psychiatry is a police agency, not a field of medicine. This is the first thing you need to incorporate into your analysis of your situation. You absolutely should have taken this to court, and even now you could use a good lawyer — except that very few lawyers are capable of demonstrating in court that psychiatry is a ruse; as with most things they just try to get the “best deal.”
No one should use Facebook, and especially no one should entice others into doing so.
Anyone want to claim psychiatry isn’t a branch of the prison system?
I actually prefer the term “madness.”
You’re missing the whole point Rachel. There is no “madness” any more than there is “mental illness.” We are not talking about what label to use, but about the entire notion that any mental or emotional state can be categorized and/or labeled. This is why it’s important to have survivor-only study groups, otherwise we just end up with more of the same but with different labels.
What is it??? What? psychiatrists use it as if it conveys something
There is no “it.” As Dragon Slayer has pointed out (one of his better insights) asking what “mental illness,” “psychosis” etc. “really’ are is like asking what the Easter Bunny “really” is.
P.S. It’s not a matter of whether something is “offensive”; that’s just ego stuff. What’s important is whether or not it is correct. (If you want to get into why shrinks use the term that’s a separate discussion.)