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When psychologists start acting like psychiatrists they should be regarded as such.
I don’t care if he changes. These are not the people I’m interested in uniting with in any but the broadest terms — certainly I’m not going to validate his delusions of his own importance when he thinks he has the right to squelch us; by advocating for this he has clearly aligned himself against us. My goal is to change the balance of power so that the opinions of him and his ilk don’t matter either way. If he reaches a point where he wants to recant his attitude and start fighting the real enemy I’m sure people would be open to that and give him a chance.
Given this guy’s attitude (as well as his statements) I have no idea why you think he in any way shares your goal of bringing down the system. He seems much more interested in being a revered spokesperson for liberal “critical psychiatry” platitudes. And he is appealing to MIA to censor our irritating “survivor criticisms” so he doesn’t have to “waste time” having to read them. Fuck that. For me that’s the only issue here right now.
Excellent commentary Sa.
I wonder and worry deeply why removing the non professional or ‘personal experience’ voice would seem to some professionals to be a solution to this issue.
Isn’t that the good old Amerikan way — if you can’t deal with something kill it?
I didn’t realize he had actually proposed that — I haven’t been reading his posts carefully, especially since the first one or two (I do have a life, believe it or not).
So it looks like Brett has declared war on survivors. Let this be noted. Bring it on.
I have seen this threat to close down discussions used before — such as in response to people discussing psychiatric slavery. Though I normally don’t think we should bother R. Whitaker over comments, I suggest people make their feelings known to him on this, as it threatens the very existence of MIA (which despite its flaws is serving a valuable function).
Do you have a problem with “neurotoxin”? It’s pretty all-encompassing.
Your comment about having to waste time “…arguing with those [survivors] who want to abolish all mental health professions, regard science as worthless, and so on…” is a gross exaggeration of how these views get expressed here. A very tiny minority here at MIA express views that “all mental health” professionals should be abolished.”
What about all the time people who could be engaging in activism waste arguing with this guy’s ignorance and arrogance?
You seem sort of defensive with this guy. Science is worth as much as the goal into which it is directed, it has no value in and of itself. And count me as part of that “tiny minority” that wants to abolish all “mental health professions.” Let Brett prove me wrong if he wants to try.
Don’t want to bicker as you’ve done an extraordinary job here deconstructing these attempted guilt trips and other manipulations. All I’M saying is, these comments deserve to be dismissed.
I note that this “Brett” guy first opted out in response to my following statement:
When the purpose of an institution is to oppress people it must be abolished, no matter what pretense is offered for its existence. We don’t need “alternative” forms of repression.
These are not “personal attacks”; they are basic anti-psychiatry principles.
Many online publications suck too.
But the reverse is also true — people making no attempt to see the good in what a professional is doing, instead bending over backwards to find fault and assume the worst, sometimes missing the point of a blog entirely or reacting to things the writer didn’t even say.”
So you’re talking about “reverse mentalism/sanism”? In power terms you’re drawing an equivalency between the oppressed and the oppressor. There are some white supremacists who are loving fathers, maybe we should take that into account before we criticize them.
If somebody is misinterpreted I’d say that comes with the territory. Happens to me all the time. They’re literate enough to respond.
Sorry I have more important matters if you know what I mean. 🙂
And I am on the high road, so are you & UR. We’ve just come to a fork, and there’s not necessarily a right or wrong direction; if you find this brouhaha meaningful go for it. I have a hard time respecting any argument made by someone who is content to “pull rank” when their argument starts to look threadbare.
I see plenty of places where James, Brett et al. may have been misinterpreted, but that’s sort of irrelevant as, again, for me (and I think others) it’s a matter of attitude.
The question is why? In this sort of confrontation conscious “survivors” have the high ground no matter what (and this is not “identity politics”). It’s an attitude I’m reacting to, not specific “points.” What is there for survivors to gain here even if this guy condescends to agreeing with this or that “point”? Also it IS self-absorbed, I’m sure you noticed.
I just have a harder & harder time watching “survivors” passionately arguing with these devoted “professionals” so insecure about their credibility that they are willing to support outright censorship of those who get under their skin. Does this guy have actual clients?
Yeah MIA could be like Psychiatric Times where you can’t comment without “credentials.”
Stephen, don’t be defensive about your ego if you use it to be more effective at what you do, that’s different from being self-absorbed. Sometimes you’re just right, it’s not arrogant to say so. The art is in knowing the difference.
That’s too pathetic and self-absorbed to waste time responding.
I would like to know if Bob W. knows about this new censorship policy and understands the implications for the future viability of MIA as a vehicle for progressive and vital discussion. And again, can we be be warned before viewing a post that it is a censorship-friendly one?
Right on Uprising.
This will surely mean the death of MIA as we know it. We should be preparing to find a way to replace it. 🙂
Double ditto (to Stephen).
Elaboration — See how much valuable energy people waste pursuing these abstract intellectual chimeras while psychiatric oppression continues with business as usual?
All survivors pick up on attitudes that even well-meaning “professionals” are oblivious to. If the “so-calleds” have such brittle egos that they can’t handle these attitudes being pointed out and criticized they should not be claiming to be on our side. Or writing for MIA.
It’s a case of short-term feelgood attacks but long-term failure to grow one’s support network and advance one’s goals
Keep drinking that Kool-Aid Matt.
But we will now be offering writers the option to turn off comments for their posts if they want to share their work and their experiences without facing the firing squad, so to speak.
“Facing the firing squad” meaning having the courage of one’s convictions? If someone is trying to destroy MIA this will be an excellent start.
I for one will not even click on any article whose author hides behind this “option.” Is there a way we can identify such articles ahead of time?
You’re overreacting to a simple and reasonable question. I don’t see Uprising judging anyone. That’s my reality.
Objectivity is relative in my view, that doesn’t make it less valid within the relevant parameters. So most of this entire discussion for me is sort of angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin in nature. Especially following such an unfocused article.
Brett specifically used the words ‘personal attack’ and you specifically denied his reality, even as you and others have complained about him and ‘the experts’ doing the same thing to their patients….and that is why we NEVER get anywhere. We refuse to apply the Golden Rule and do unto others as we wish they would do to us UNLESS they do so first…and so the vicious circle continues ad nauseum and we drive people like Brett away who may be flawed, in your opinion, but who are honestly trying to make a difference.
No. You know what they say about good intentions, especially when combined with arrogance. Maybe you’re trying to be ironic.
If Brett was not in fact attacked his perception of consensual reality may be skewed, but Uprising in pointing that out is not in a position to “enforce” Brett’s acceptance of such a determination. So he’s not doing the same thing.
For the record, the reason “we” don’t get anywhere is because we spend way too much time arguing with mh professionals and far too little time organizing to stop them.
All this sounds like more crying of “reverse mentalism” on the part of MH pros who aren’t used to having their self-image challenged by their “clients.” If they’re feeling misinterpreted they have the capacity to clarify, so if they instead choose to take their ball and go home I see no reason to chase them down the street apologizing for “offending” them.
Wouldn’t it be useful if psychiatry/psychology and those practicing in said fields actually followed the scientific method?
NO! Then they’d be even more dangerous.
Regardless of whether someone thinks they have been misinterpreted, it’s always pretty pathetic when people who have no previous familiarity with another complain of “personal” attacks.
Psychology is simply a field of inquiry, not a tool of social control masquerading as medicine.
When the purpose of an institution is to oppress people it must be abolished, no matter what pretense is offered for its existence. We don’t need “alternative” forms of repression.
First of all so called ‘anti psychotics’ should be called neuroleptics because the purpose of these drugs is to diminish what we can do uniquely as human beings
Or maybe all psych drugs should be broadly referred to, a la Breggin, as “neuroTOXINS”? (PB has said this is how neurologists would classify them.)
What is the etymology of “neuroleptic” btw?
Never knew about Schroeder’s “catholic” issues — do you have links?
Not sure what’s bugging James exactly about respecting people’s perceptions, but most of this article is a vague jumble of “on one hand this, on the other hand that” generalities with no clear focus or bottom line. You did ferret out the tangible quote which has some concrete implications in the material world, i.e. the part about experiencing disenfranchisement, etc. vs. the “opposite response,” a curious phrasing which implies that a person has a choice about how to experience his/her experience. Schroeder leaves this thought unfinished as well.
I’ve been trying to contact you btw…
My initial reaction exactly.
See how you go from recognizing that you had simply been given a label by a know-nothing physician to eventually IDENTIFYING with that (invalid) label? It’s insidious. As for melatonin, everyone’s different.
You mean introducing electricity directly to the brain STILL causes permanent damage after all these years? Thank god for studies like this, who could have known?
I have an excellent plan for reducing “antipsychotic” assault on nursing home residents — lock up everyone involved. No “just following orders” defense.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
PLEASE don’t repeat that — it is NOT the definition of insanity in ANY dictionary (except maybe the “urban dictionary”).
Yes, there will always be things we don’t understand, and the universe is always in a state of constant change but this SHOULD NOT prevent us from taking decisive action in the real world.
Who said it should prevent anything? Within the parameters relevant to the immediate “here and now,” truths which may be relative in relation to the universe as a whole can still be effectively used to effect specific concrete change or solve concrete problems.
My previous statements about the nature of time and space ARE products of scientific discourse, ask a physicist; I didn’t make them up.
If Sera is still reading — any thoughts on the dispute between Jaffee and Murphy?
The_cat has it correct: you have to go through a case of extreme sleep deprivation to understand that the drugs are not the problem; they are the solution.
OK that’s as far as I go with this. Oppression is the problem. Liberation is the solution. I know what not being able to sleep is like. Neither Cat nor I concur with your conclusions however. But you seem too ensnared by the system right now for logic to have much relevance. Good luck.
Then you need to sharpen your analysis and your ability to articulate it in a way which dispels such confusion. We all do.
It’s hard for me to even conceive of a finite universe. Like, when you come to the end do you hit a wall? What’s the wall made of it and how thick is it — infinitely? Or is there something on the other side? The only thing that would make sense if the universe were finite would be that eventually you would come back to where you started.
But the above is based on measures of space and time which Einstein showed are illusory and relative (and likely subjective). If viewed from the perspective of additional dimensions, notions of distance, and of “beginnings” and “endings” might be seen as superfluous. Some would say “the only time is now, the only place is here” (or nowhere).
I have also heard it posited that matter=energy=consciousness.
I wasn’t making a judgement on the author in my first comment, but about the decision by MIA to publish such a confused and disjointed piece which essentially encourages others to join the orgy of self-destruction.
I wouldn’t worry about it either way. We don’t get report cards here.
Not suggesting answers, just more questions. Though I instinctively recoil at the idea of deliberately inflicting potentially irreversible damage on one’s brain for “spiritual” reasons; it seems like a contradiction if our bodies are manifestations of our spirits.
OK I’ve taken a deep breath. Perhaps the author is facing involuntary circumstances at the moment and has to speak in code, and this is just sort of a cry for help. But it’s tragic to see someone so thoroughly ensconced in the same fraudulent system that has been responsible for so much torture in his life, and only seeing relief in the form of “reforms” while accepting his “diagnosis” as a fact of life.
Experiment with yourself if you want. Don’t play this shit with the rest of this.
Again, why would MIA even print such crap?
Richard, I just read this more carefully — your personal concept of spirituality above is closer to what I was referring to. I also think it can be extended and is less metaphorical than you might believe.
I don’t think I would equate a shamanic “ego death,” as might be facilitated by psychedelics, with the blotting out and distortion of the senses caused by psych drugs; if anything the latter is closer to actual physical death. Although transcendental experiences can be triggered by almost anything, from head injuries to pinball.
Religion and spirituality are not the same. In many cases religion is an effort to control spirituality.
All experience is based on human interaction with the material world; which is the originating source of all ideas and thoughts.
This is an unproven, unprovable a priori assumption as well. It may apply to all human experience in this time/space bound planetary existence, but to say this is the nature of all reality, or all experience, is a belief, not a “proven” fact.
This is an area where Marxist materialism falls short. Dialectical materialism works fine within the sphere of political struggle, which is part of the highly material focus we currently share. But there is ample scientific consensus that the very existence of material substance, along with the perceived limitations of time and space, are essentially illusions, or limitations of our senses.
If you interpret spirituality as a belief in “supernatural beings” you are missing the point, that’s not what I and I presume most others here are talking about. On the other hand what is often worshipped as “science” is predicated on unrecognized or unacknowledged assumptions regarding the nature of reality.
An interesting film which will irritate die-hard materialists as well as partisans of western religion is called “What the Bleep Do We Know?” — it stars Marlee Matlin as well as a slew of mysticists and scientists probing the nature of reality, material and otherwise, and is reviewed here at Rotten Tomatoes:
(It seems that the full film has been posted on You Tube but due to my uncertainty about copyright issues I am not posting that link.) The film raises many questions and posits no conclusive answers, but even that has made it a target of some people’s outrage; it appears that a lot of the scientists may have been hounded into saying they had been “speaking out of context” when filmed. Judge for yourself.
VERY INTERESTING…and yes, confusing at first glance. We should check out the significance of this dispute. Seems like Murphy didn’t think she was brutishly callous enough in her position at SAMHSA, which both have squarely in their crosshairs.
Another noteworthy thing is that Murphy and Jaffee are on opposite sides of this. All these scum come from the same pond however.
Maybe we should just start talking about the “Neos,” as the suffix of liberal/conservative is increasingly meaningless.
as long as they’re getting their $$$$, none of them really care about the peons that elected them.
That’s sort of the definition of a capitalist politician (who, incidentally, are only the front men and errand boys for the actual capitalists).
“Science” cannot prove or disprove spirituality, they are two different realms. One is subjective and experiential, the other objective and abstract. Although if one explores the phenomenon of synchronicity or studies quantum mechanics some hints about the relationship between the two may be gleaned.
how does she explain the tens of thousands of us who are recovered; with no revolving door admissions to “hospitals” or drugging?
Simple — you don’t exist, and your belief in your own recovery is an illusion.
Stephen, do you have an email you don’t mind sharing, or another way to contact you?
I think you seriously err in thinking that the problem is simply misinformation. It is not in the interest of the ruling class, dems or repugs, to support us, and more information to them is simply a nuisance.
Again, your consistent use of the term “nonviolent revolution” clearly implies that revolution is by definition violent, which endangers others who use the term in its correct sense. Revolution means sweeping change, it does not imply anything whatsoever about violence OR nonviolence.
Thanks for the info though, hopefully everyone will call their two senators. Not that a different appointee would make much difference, but it will at least demonstrate that we have a voice.
What are some of these other sites? — maybe people can keep re-posting stuff.
Consensual drugging is an “alternative” to forced drugging, just as is no drugging.
If people think psych drugs are medicine they have been lied to, so I wouldn’t consider such drug use as consensual in any real sense.
I think we’re pretty much in agreement, but I would add again that this talk of “alternatives” implies that psychiatry addresses a need, albeit poorly, and that an “alternative” way of addressing that need would be preferable. But when something fulfills no real need and is essentially and inherently oppressive and destructive, such as forced drugging, there is no need for an “alternative” form of oppression, it just needs to be eliminated period.
I concur that talk of “alternatives” rationalizes forced “treatment,” especially when the “lack of an alternative” is often used as a supposed argument against anti-psychiatry.
I do think we can help ourselves by getting rid of anyone who is taking money from big business as their main source of campaign funding
That eliminates Republicans and Democrats. Good start.
Today we are often seeing critics question the sanity of the President of the United States because of his support of untrue beliefs
I hope David doesn’t tout this as a good thing, no one should be psychiatrically labeled because of their beliefs. Trump and others should be judged on and held responsible for their actions. This includes those who openly advocate psychiatric assault.
the average American in my experience does not like the idea of the government forcing citizens to have involuntary psychiatric drugs, once the value of empowering alternatives are explained
This argument is a trap — the “alternative” to forced drugging with neurotoxins is NO such drugging. Period.
Pretty absurd stuff.
For many people, taking medication became part of their suffering, which eventually led to spiritual growth.
This may be fine for Calvinists and others who equate spirituality with suffering but I think the statement speaks for itself.
Spirituality to me involves an understanding that consciousness exists at deeper levels than physical experience, and is not dependent on such; it doesn’t require belief in an anthropomorphic “god.”
People tend to become more focused on such matters as they approach physical death, maybe this is what psych drugs are giving some a taste of.
Wayne Dyer had his butterfly story where he spoke of brains the size of pinpricks guiding beings basically made of tissue paper through transcontinental flights and back to the same places from which they started.
Steve is right, this is not a right/left thing as both sides are antagonistic to our cause, the fake left even more so.
This appointment provides us with an Allinsky-like “target” on whom to focus our outrage, and we should take advantage of the opportunity.
However let’s not forget that the Obama administration was responsible for the 20th Century Cures Act, and that appointments such as these are largely the result of people on “our side” advocating one “Murphy” bill over the other as a lesser of the two evils. Now we have the worst aspects of both.
Our only rational strategy is to oppose ALL psychiatry based on its inherent oppressiveness, fraudulence and lack of scientific/medical validity, and to recognize as stated in the 1982 Toronto principles that “the psychiatric system cannot be reformed, it must be abolished.”
The overarching problem is of course that ADHD is not a real disease to begin with. People “diagnosed with” ADHD do NOT have something called ADHD. So any study which starts with such an assumption is inherently flawed. Where’s the so-called “evidence base”?
Malcolm spoke of “house negroes.” For the most part “peers” as referred to here are “house mental patients” — given a few extra privileges and pats on the head to keep the “field mental patients” in line.
Two thoughts — one, psychedelics should be kept out of the hands of psychiatrists and the psychiatric system, period. Second, “strict scientific controls” are also anathema to the psychedelic experience, which occurs at a psychic/intuitive level beyond the purview of so-called western logic. The differences between “recreational” and any “other” use of psychedelics are so blurred as to be virtually meaningless.
The case many of you make that they are different from the others is kind of silly.
Nooo, sorry, I’m afraid that you really are not qualified to make these judgements if you haven’t had the experience. I’m sure many others would agree. Further, no one said psychedelics were a “cure” for anything, there’s nothing to cure.
Not sure what we’re supposedly disagreeing about.
All I’m saying is that any “movement” based on giving people emotional support, etc. is separate from one dedicated to ending psychiatry.
What I was alluding to is the frequent insistence that if you attack psychiatry you are obliged to provide an “alternative,” and pointing out that, like Szasz said once about mental institutions, the “alternative” is NO mental institutions, just as the “alternative” to concentration camps is NO concentration camps, period.
The problem with the term “alternative” is that it implies that psychiatry is filling a need, but not doing it well enough, hence the need for different approaches. But psychiatry only claims to fill a need; it’s actual purpose is social control. Like racism, concentration camps, etc., we don’t need “alternatives,” we just need to end it. If on the other hand we’re talking about helping people with problems, that’s a whole different question, unrelated to psychiatry.
Psychiatrists are not the ones to be prescribing anything. However psychedelics are not drugs in the standard sense, they might be considered adjuncts to meditation. The insight gained when all goes well is not dependent on repeat doses. They should not be put in the same category as uppers and downers, which is basically what psychiatry has to offer. Nor should they be considered as “medicines” for “mental illnesses.”
Glad to see people objecting to this sort of article in principle. This person is clearly floundering in his understanding of just about everything important; these are the sort of people responsible for lots of “well-intentioned” brain damage and ruined lives.
Try “neurotoxins” — it sounds more “scientific.”
You pretty much sum up the two functions of psychiatry as a double-edged sword.
Example: they do not want peers to have acess to tools to deal with: cognitive behavior therapy, crisis interventions or emergency psychologic support.
Wouldnt those 3 tols would be useful to both peers and users?
No these would not be useful if presented in the context of “mental health.” It is not a special skill to give one another emotional support. It’s part of being human, at least in a less alienated society.
Wish you had been around for THAT discussion a while back.
As the song goes, “We waste our precious energy and quarrel over crumbs; we could reshape our destiny before the darkness comes”…
The conservative end of the movement wanted nothing more than a job and pay WITHIN the system
Why would you characterize such people as part of “the movement” in any way? — these are the sort of people who destroyed the movement. This is treachery, not a simple difference in philosophy.
I don’t think that they will find people to be certified because of these herculean level requirements.
Sure they will, professional ass-kissers are a dime a dozen.
Are they setting us up to fail before we even begin?
Only if people agree to participate rather than raise hell. Once you apply for their certification you’ve already failed in any real sense, as you’ve agreed to be a shill for the system and work by their rules.
Right — The medicalization was part and parcel of the term psychiatry from the start.
If one uses the term “mental illness” one is embracing the medical model. As ALL medicine is “bio,” to differentiate between “medical” and “biomedical” is incorrect and perpetuates confusion.
Psychiatry was not “taken over” by the medical field. Psychiatry has always defined thought, feeling and behavior as medical issues, and has always required a medical degree.
if we call them psychiatric patients, have we taken the first step toward judging them, assigning them to a category lower than ours, suggesting that they are pathetic compared to you and me
Who are “we”? Who are “them”? This differentiation itself I would say is the first step and more, and is implicitly judgmental.
Maybe #1 should be called something other than “peer support,” maybe just “being human” — let them try to officially certify THAT.
To the extent that those in power are putting efforts into co-opting peer support…
“Peer support” can not be co-opted, as the peer industry itself is already a co-optation of the struggle against psychiatric oppression.
Which in the end perpetuates the existence of that system.
You do know what they say about the road to hell?
You’re quite possibly correct about both bills containing similar language on “peer” certification, as the House version was out to smash SAMHSA projects. The trade-off was maybe better described as between AOT and “early intervention” for toddlers.
Doesn’t the very term peer also connote a “greater-than-peer”?
“Officially certified peers.” Does the absurdly contradictory nature of this term need further elaboration?
It should be understood that the so called “peer movement” or whatever they call it originated in the political operations unit (or whatever they call that) of the NIMH/APA as a tactic for destroying the only real anti-psychiatry movement I have ever had experience with (though I hear claims that there’s one out there somewhere, who knows). What they did was identify the most opportunistic and compliant people around the movement; they then flattered and bribed them with funding for their psychiatry-friendly bogus “alternatives,” and the “peer” stuff was concocted as a big part of that. And it still is, in fact it has metastasized.
I should point out too that when some of us were still dealing with the two Murphy Bills — one of which some groups associated with MIA supported as the “lesser of the two Murphys” — the “good” Murphy bill contained this exact sort of language about peer certification, which at the time some were willing to trade off in exchange for no AOT. So none of this should come as a surprise.
I suggest people who contemplate using Facebook read this — it’s by Richard Stallman, who developed Linux:
Trick question. How long should one beat his wife?
This article makes it clear that it considers “mental illness” to be “real,” despite some seeming disclaimers. It talks of “acute psychosis” (rhymes with “thrombosis”) and “medications” saving lives.
By these standards of judgement shouldn’t whales and elephants be the smartest mammals? (Actually whales may be but that’s a different issue…I think).
a great model for someone like me learning how to critique psychiatric studies of other things such as “schizophrenia.”
Just chiming in with my standard point, i.e. “schizophrenia” is NOT a “thing.”
For example, in cases where someone is about to change their anatomy (which I know is a sub-group of those who identify as transgender), doesn’t the surgeon rely on a medical authority besides the patient to “sign off” with an expert opinion that the person has the “wrong” genitals? If so, what would that person’s “credentials” be?
Actually it was a serious question.
OK now you’re talking about advanced first aid for an injury, physicians are pretty adept at that. But with most stuff, including discs & tears, a good chiropractor — with the emphasis on good — would always be my recommendation and I would defer to his/her judgement first.
I also had one exception who fucked me up, which is how I met the current guy, who got me over that then got me healthier than I’d been to start. He rarely even uses “cracking” type adjustments.
Using Facebook is totally dangerous, especially for people who are vulnerable, and for serious organizing as well. An organization might use it solely for 1-way informational purposes but only if there’s a website too. It is irresponsible to make people give up their personal info to FB just to get info, and equally irresponsible to encourage people in general to use FB, which everyone should understand by now is primarily a tracking and surveillance operation. Surely there are better ways to communicate with “friends.”
And this has nothing to do with “mental health,” give me a break.
Sounds like a chiropractor with limited capacities. A decent one will run circles around his/her allopathic counterparts, especially when it comes to spinal and connective tissue injuries.
Believe it or not I’m wondering what Alex might think about some of these “disease” conversations. 🙂