Monday, June 17, 2019

Comments by yeah_I_survived

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  • that’s my problem, right there. in some of his writings, Szasz shows such callous disregard for the poor and the marginalized…

    its obvious, he’s a psychiatrist. 🙂

    controlling the poor, the under-employed, the unemployed, and the occasional ne’er do well is one part of psychiatry’s core mission. what concerns me is that now their power and influence have reached into the upper strata of our world, and it strongly intersects with the legal system. entertainers regularly “come out” as whatever flavor Bipolar and encourage the masses to ‘seek help.’ now and then, wealthy people manage to obtain favorable outcomes for legal problems–provided they pursue “treatment,” of course. i dont usually care for entertainment news and such, but my take on it is…

    once they’ve gotten their claws on the 1%-ers, they’ve basically got all of society in their clutches. factor in the successful infiltration of the established church in the US and “TeenScreen” and other projects, and…

    its just overwhelming, ridiculously intimidating. I do not see much in the way of critical analysis coming out of the US, which…makes sense, but again, scares me a bit. 🙁

  • The CCHR is funded by The Church of Scientology. I personally do not have a problem with that arrangement, as long as the CCHR has adequate funding to pursue its mission.

    Szasz’s libertarianism has long been a problem for me, a “bleeding heart liberal” who otherwise agrees with his analysis of psychiatry and all things “mental health,” based upon my own experiences and also on the writing of others (Kate Millet, Foucault, Whitaker, etc.) that have influenced my outlook. I have found it is not only possible, but necessary, to appreciate Szasz’s deconstruction of psychiatry and friends without buying into his elitist libertarianism.

    My perception of the current situation is that the therapeutic state is not only very much still with us, its powers have grown exponentially since The Myth of Mental Illness was first published. From a position of power and privilege, some mental health professionals can now pick and choose from Szasz’s writings that which they accept, that which they reject, that which they will accept with modifications. Because the mental health industry is now so incredibly powerful, so deeply rooted in all aspects of life in modern culture…

    “business as usual” will remain unchanged, and the religion of psychiatry and related field will continue to grow in power and size, growing ever more oppressive and inescapable (“give an inch, they’ll take a mile”).

  • I think Dr.Cohen’s comment about force is best put into context. My take on it is that force simple…is, it exists and is used to maintain social cohesion. I interpreted his statement as simply an observation, a statement of fact. now…

    I think the US is leaning more on mental health, inc. precisely because this society now requires more coercion and straight up force than in years past, largely due to social disintegration. Mass incarceration and the police state are (apparently) not quite enough to maintain the status quo, and so…

    Mental Health, Inc. has now taken over the schools, the churches and other places of worship, the mass media, the courts, the family. Basically…the false religion of ‘mental health’ has now successfully infiltrated all important social institutions.

    Not that I want to (or should) single out the US. Other, more ‘progressive’ nations make heavy use of mental health, inc. as well, a fact Dr.Cohen rightly pointed out in the interview. In fact, many of them are far more adept at using -state funded- psychiatry as a form of medicalized control, masquerading as “treatment,” “help,” etc. The mental health industry, of course, reflects the surrounding culture. One sees this in the efforts to rename and thereby ‘de-stigmatize’ the ‘psychotic disorders’ in some nations, while in the US one sees regular advertisements for long acting injections (depot shots) of various ‘atypical’ neuroleptics for “Schizophrenia.”

    Szasz, of course, is correct in pointing out that abolishing psychiatry would lead to more freedom and far greater clarity of thought+communication (this is a so so paraphrase, btw). Perhaps one day, this shall come to pass.

  • wow…amazing. miraculous, even. I am–speaking as someone who has also been thru “the system,” and was completely destroyed by my own behavior and also by “treatment”– incredibly proud of you and the new life you’ve worked so hard to create for yourself. I hope that doesn’t come across as condescending…its The Internet, so all anyone has to go on is what’s typed out…I just mean that I’ve experienced much of the same, not quite as extreme, but similar themes, and…

    your story, your new life, your efforts…really made my day. I really enjoyed reading this, and your writing style is hi-quality, too.

    I wish you well in your new life, and as you journey on, take on new challenges, make a new way forward, day by day. We probably have different belief systems, but no matter…my prayers are with you. 🙂

  • “Schizophrenia” was once a middle(ish) class white woman’s disease…in the 50s. Then, it became more of an antiauthoritarian, even just misfit “disorder…”

    non-whites, people involved in the counterculture or youth culture, women who didn’t know their place, drop outs…

    and, of course, now…the same profession that once labeled enslaved human beings with ‘drapetomania’ when they tried to flee to freedom, is labeling those who are low status with ‘schizophrenia,’ which is basically a way of turning distressed human beings in psychiatric slaves. and then those who question the labels are burdened with additional labels, more force, more toxic drugs, more confinement…

    “Schizophrenia”=invalidation=psychiatric slavery. The rare exceptions to the rule–Elyn Saks, I think is her name, comes to mind…-prove- the rule.

  • I think a lot of people in the “recovery movement” have been so thoroughly destroyed, it seems a logical solution to play nice with the oppressors, even sing their praises, than to fight back. and…

    it depends on location, too. in 21st century America…ha! good luck! the “progressive” states will ship uppity “mental patients” off to their progressive hospitals. I don’t know what they do their. Maybe…drum circles in between smoke breaks and sips of Thorazine punch? The red states…no. just…no. prison is a distinct possibility.

    keep in mind that a big part of psychiatry’s “treatment plan” for the “patients” is poverty, which renders the psychiatrized effectively silenced. Find a way to deal with the poverty of the psychiatrized, then one can start talking about restoration of civil rights, etc.

  • that’s one thing that -gets to me- , when i see psych “professionals,” especially psychiatrists, defending their industry. as a psychiatrized individual, i know that they have plenty of victims, each and every one of them…and because of “the way the world works,” the victims are effectively silenced, few people (it seems..) would care that much, anyway, if they did somehow get to raise their voices. and…

    i agree with you, that being in a position of authority and control obvioulsy affects how they deal with criticism, even simple questions. as a psychiatrized individual, i only wish the world at large could see the victims, see the fraud and coercion and, at times, even violence that goes on in the world of mental health, inc.

    but…i’ll settle for people simply deciding to do something else with their time and resources, find better ways of dealing with their lives and problems, etc. 🙂

  • thanks for this. I’ve sometimes thought that psychiatry will eventually prove its own worst enemy, and it is helpful to see an expert explaining and articulating that…although I do kind of fear that whatever might replace psychiatry will be worse–more punitive, more draconian–than the current mental health industry. I think this is because I live in a more “conservative” part of the US, and I’ve seen how psychiatry and psychiatric labels work in the culture. My concern is that if the (admittedly, dangerous) Myth of Mental Illness dies, people in these areas will be faced with more pain, not less, especially as the safety net has been further shredded and both family and community bonds continue to disintegrate. And yet…

    I still long for the day psychiatry withers away, somehow. Honestly, enough is enough. 🙂

  • i believe the “professional” jargon/euphemism is “dosage optimization,” as in…ramp it up! I was bored one day, and I read a pubmed article about it, dealing with dosing ‘atypicals’ above the fda approved dosage range. Not surprisingly, it is…according to what I remember of that brief paper…the most brilliant idea, ever.

    When psychiatry is given more leeway, high(er) dosages become common. One reason the so-called “Golden Age of Psychopharmacology” from the 50s to 70s or so came to an end was an increase in regulations on barbiturates, amphetamines, and more regulations to give people/’patients’ some voice in ‘treatment,’ including informed consent laws. and now…

    The Myth of Mental Illness, as Szasz called it, is more firmly entrenched than -ever-. And now…everything is somehow a brain abnormality, that is fully expected to respond to the Miracle Meds.

    The last time psychiatry got this out of control, there was something of a pushback. I don’t know, honestly, if it is possible for an organized pushback, this time around. Perhaps the best we–as disillusioned, well-informed people–can really hope for is that enough people with the correct credentials will speak up, or at least offer some alternatives….

    thereby sparing at least -some- people -some- pain and destruction. 🙁

  • I’d disagree with this. Breggin points out a number of cases that were clearly at least negatively influenced by psych drugs, often heavy, long term drugging. The mainstream media…does.not.report this, usually. When the issue of psych ‘treatment’ comes up, it either becomes: ‘wow, they needed treatment…sad’ or ‘crazy, dangerous mental patient should’ve been locked up a long time ago…why did we shut down the state hospitals, again?’

  • there’s also the use of stigma to control people/”patients,” and the use of drugs to reward or punish the psychiatrized. “Schizophrenia” is more commonly diagnosed in the poor, non-white, lower status. The softer landing of “Bipolar I” is a mixed bag, from what I’ve observed. When thrust upon someone, it is best seen as control, punishment. On the other hand, I’ve seen more affluent people use the Bipolar I label in their social networks (including school, work, family) to further their own ends. and then…

    the drugs. well-behaved, “making progress”=reduction in neuroleptic; discontinue neuroleptic or other toxic drugs (“maybe depakote isn’t the best thing for you, after all”). misbehavin’ (or ‘uppity’) patient: higher dose neuroleptic. introduce neuroelptic. rapid taper of controlled substances. add “personality disorder,” which also helps explain “treatment failure,” and justify referral to other “experts,” etc.

    Psych ‘professionals’ rarely tell the truth. obviously, truth-telling puts their entire industry at risk. 🙁

  • hi. i think you’re correct, of course. Szasz wrote in a different time, a different place. These days…the not guilty by reason of insanity (or whatever each state chooses to call it) verdicts are a dead end, even more so (usually…) than prison or jail time.

    The not guilty by reason of insanity pleas in my area are rare and, generally, ill advised. “guilty, but mentally ill” is also ill advised, because it is essentially 2x, even 3x the punishment, when one looks at the time spent incarcerated and the ‘treatment’ people receive.

    For people who can afford quality legal representation, it seems that using psych labels+history as a sort of mitigating factor is a far, far more desirable route. I kept tabs on one such case, and it seems the now convicted (guilty plea) individual ended up with a less severe felony and the possibility of parole, whereas his initial charge was essentially a death sentence.

    In psychiatry, one gets the “treatment you deserve,” often based on social class and overall status, leverage (or lack thereof). The legal system is notoriously biased towards those who have resources, higher overall status. Where the two intersect, I think the disparities become even more apparent.

  • Mental Health, Inc. takes on a higher level of authoritarianism and punishment in many red states. -some- red states are still gung ho about the state hospitals, for instance. southern culture+Trump culture+psychiatry=Hell on earth.

    to be fair, not all red states are the same, even in the Trump era. Some are shredding the state hospital system down to the bare minimum…that way, rich people in their states don’t have to pay as much $$$ to confine poor people. Prisons do it for far less, anwyay.

  • i really appreciate Orthomolecular, at a number of levels. I doubt it will ever find mainstream acceptance because…

    Psychiatry is about control. Psychiatry is about the creation and control of an ever growing (in the US, at least) under-class. Psychiatry is not medicine. The rest of medicine chooses to tolerate psychiatry for their own reasons, none of which have anything to do with treating, curing, or preventing any bona fide diseases or improving the quality of life for ‘mental patients.’

    the vitamins are awesome, though…I’m pushing my way up to 18 grams vitamin C per day. 🙂

  • “diagnosis is a political decision”
    -I think either Kate Millet or Shulamith Firestone.

    Mental Health, Inc. should be abolished, somehow. even with reforms and such, peoples’ lives end up ruined, often at a high co$t to the person/”patient,” the families involved, and..given how more “treatment”=more problems, often a lifetime on disability, the gov’t coffers end up supporting those destroyed by Mental Health, Inc. (which includes the psychology/counseling branches)…

    and then the destroyed person is labeled both a “mental patient” and a “welfare queen” or “welfare bum.”

  • i think psychosocial solutions have more probability of lasting success in places -other than- the US. I see this research came out of the UK. I’ve noticed that a lot of “critical psychiatry,” psychosocial research, etc. come out of the UK. In the US…

    obviously, psychiatry and psychology reflect the society (as a whole) and also the community. God help you if you’re in a ‘red state’ seeking a real solution; no ‘professional’ will, in all likelihood. Not that the ‘blue states’ are always all that ‘progressive…’

    some of them seem to simply use the state hospital system more frequently, since that is “treatment,” not “punishment,” etc.

    anyway…thanks for the summary of the new research. While I’ve long feared that because of ‘austerity measures,’ the UK might end up like the US…it appears there’s hope “over there,” yet. In the US…

    we have TV ads for Rexulti, usually right before adverstisements for disability lawyers (where I live). Trump is not only still in office, he’s planning a 2020 run. And while the psychosocial treatments are all about talking and communicating and reflecting…

    most ‘treatment’ available for ‘severe mental illness’ in the US is really about shutting people/”patients” up, one way or another. 🙁

  • as punitive and draconian as US culture is…I think its worth noting that 1984 and Brave New World are both set -in England-, some notorious shrinks of yesteryear came out of the UK (Ewan Cameron, Sargeant), and…

    -shudder- I saw on the “news” that Oprah and Prince…Harry, I think, the redheaded one…are teaming up to do a documentary about “mental health.” -eek-

    this is what neoliberal propaganda is, circa 2019…now, we’re all being encouraged to scrutinize our inner-lives for conformity to a “healthy” norm…

    and then seek “expert help” if we don’t measure up. all this, decades after “Schizophrenia” was effectively deconstructed (by psychiatrists, no less!) and in the face of a massive body of evidence that the psych guilds ruin lives and drain the coffers for their fraudulent ‘treatments.’

    im also kinda bummed that there won’t be a Huxleyian Soma-type drug to keep us all in a chemically induced cheerful mood…

    for most of us, its looking more and more like its going to be “antidepressants” and/or neuroleptics…the mind numbing junk…and they have the neuroleptic depot injections, and that abilify pill that digitally tells on you for ‘non-compliance.’

  • “the personal is political.” I agree, wholeheartedly…and I also agree that the mental health industry, by its very nature, narrows the focus to self, perhaps family and social networks, rarely the community.

    as a side note, what bother me now is how they–the psych people–know what they’re doing. they see: middle class (good insurance), upper class (bust out the deepak chopra), working class (all drugs, all the time), etc., and they -are- aware of how socioeconomic factors shape peoples’ lives…

    and they use this knowledge to further their own interests, all while lying about ‘mental illnesses’ and…it seems…most everything, really.

  • “un-scientific” ? OK. silly me…I thought psychiatrists -knew- that their industry was a destructive con. blame it on my borderline misanthropic view of human nature. this…this delusional thinking, deeply entrenched, irrational beliefs that psychiatry has any sort of valid scientific underpinnings and that “standard treatment” is somehow necessary and/or “life saving…”

    that is actually far more frightening than my mental image, which was that of an industry full of mediucre hacks who happened upon psychiatry to feed both their egos+their families (and, quite often, their own drug habits).

    so…who is going to protect “patients” from the deranged “professionals” ?

  • the whole industry is largely destructive bullshit. its not just the psychiatrists, either. honestly…psychiatrists are dangerous and all, but other patients can be, too. especially in a hospital or even some clinic settings. patients who diagnose other patients and encourage others to ‘get help!,’ etc. back to the article at hand…

    a young person from a dysfunctional family is labeled ‘bipolar i-iii,’ whatever. -you- only see the individual’s excitement and relief. what the shrink doesn’t see is an entire messed up system that gets to run a bit more smoothly.
    a stressed out, abused, working class woman is diagnosed w/ “Schizophrenia.” the psych wonders why she’s ok with it, even kind of…happy. what the psychiatrist does not see, ignores if it comes into his or her mind, is the relief it offers. husband bails, there’s ssdi. kids mess up, she’s the Schizophrenic martyr of a mother. if there is an extended family system in place, they might rev up and help her and her family out.

    im also reminded of something i read…maybe it was betty friedan, maybe someone else…about why, oh why, do so many people end up psychiatrized voluntarily…at least, voluntarily at the start of the misadventures? answer: aside from psychiatrists, who else will -listen- (or…pretend to, until the person/patient is destroyed and/or low status enough to be drugged and ignored) ?

    the whole thing is a dirty, rotten, no good, very bad, possibly evil industry.

  • in the 50s and 60s (in particular…) “Schizophrenia” was -the- diagnosis in both the US and the USSR. mild “Schizophrenia,” “hebephrenia,” “residual Schizophrenia,” on and on it went. In the US, the meaninglessness of “Schizophrenia” became so obvious, and the shrinks were arrogant enough to apply it to people who could (and did) escape their clutches, that it was thoroughly deconstructed. Think…Szasz, even E. Fuller Torrey (“what do you think happened with Torrey?” “FUNDING”), Kate Millet, on and on it went. And now…

    there’s 31 flavors “Bipolar” and then there’s “autism.” I’ve seen people use the “autism” diagnosis/label for their own purposes…because they think they will “understand themselves better” (pop psych, plus an alienating culture=lots of this BS exploitation mischaracterized as “self-actualization), but I’ve also seen–thankfully, at a distance–kids labeled and ‘treated…’

    and that, to me, says something not only about the families I’ve observed such labels being used in, but (I think…) society as a whole, in the 21st century US.

    I’ve read on psych forums, “concerned parents” writing in about “autistic” child+teenage off spring, the pills, the hospitalizations, and….yeah. I imagine the exact benefits and drawbacks of the label vary by social location (education levels, income, overall social standing come to mind as top factors), but the overall theme I personally get from many (but not all) of this is…

    abuse. abuse and control and sometimes, I suspect…the same impulse that led everyday citizens to sacrifice their kids to Molech and other deities way back when are at work in parents (and other family caregivers) who give their kids over to psychiatry.

    of course, even the under 18 set can have a purpose in engaing the psych professions. attention, stress, loneliness, perhaps the parents are mean-spirited and the psych labels can offer a buffer against their cruelty…myriad possible reasons/motivations, all leading to psychiatrization and labeling.

  • if family, “experts,” etc. apply the label early enough…and the label is drilled into the ‘autistic’ individuals’ mind, combined with drugs and whatever non-drug ‘treatments’ are out there…

    I would think it would take a lot for them to move forward in life, anyway, so the label might then be…just a role they found themselves thrust into, one they play as best they can.

  • ive sometimes wondered if -in some cases- “autism” is a medically-sanctioned form of child abuse. Even many mainstream people doubt ADD/ADHD, or did when I was in my late teens (been a while…), but “autism” has this air of “bona fide science” about it…

    and yet, it seems to be more DSM bullshit, too. funny, that.

    but, yeah. ADD/ADHD is useful in some families (and foster care, obviously), but it can also be useful for more afluent kids dealing with the pressures of growing up and also excelling at school, extra-curriculars, etc. and…after a certain age, the uppers go from being force fed to the kiddies to being requested, by name…often so they can share them with friends. but autism?

    autism, to me, is sort of like “Schizophrenia” was in, say, the 50s and 60s…its a convenient label for the people in power, not so much the person so labeled, and the younger a person is when labeled…

    the more I wonder…

    and yet, I see families struggling with obviously suffering kids, and the parents don’t like the psychiatrists, either. what’s that about, you think?

  • just jumping back in here…

    a poster above did make an incredibly interesting point…if a psychiatrist realize that his or her profession is damaging to individuals, families, society as a whole (and the economy, btw)…

    why not do something else? because…while I do appreciate the body of work the ‘critical psychiatrists’ have put together, it does seem…

    they’re still in psychiatry, actively ‘diagnosing’ and drugging and/or shocking people. lower doses? hooray! wait a minute…how about no dose and some honesty?

  • hi. thank you for this, Dr.Moncrieff.

    speaking as an increasingly disillusioned “patient,” this is ridiculous. and the level of dogma that is passed off as “fact,” “truth,” etc. within the mental health industry regarding psych drugs is appalling.

    not to make all psychiatrists sound evil, but I do think they use drugs as a punsihment and reward system. Having experienced the “punishment” end– which, in my case involved rapid benzodiazepine tapers and being coerced into taking dangerous psych drugs– far more than any “reward” end, I must say: people/”patients” need quality information -before- the first prescription, the first psychotherapy session, the first melt-in-your mouth Mother’s Little Helper…

    but I doubt it wil ever happen, because psychiatry thrives on force, fraud, and coercion (I think that’s Szasz, btw). And…

    as much as I appreciate -your- honesty, your transparency, etc., you are one of very few psychiatrists who are willing to share what they -really- know about the drugs with people/”patients.” That, of course, raises another important question: if psychiatrists start respecting the people who come to them for help, provide honest and accurate information, and explain the limitations of their field with the people/”patients” they deal with…

    would psychiatry, as a profession, wither and die?

    Thanks again 🙂

  • personally, im all about Orthomolecular. psychotherapy…far less so. the best ‘therapy’ i ever received was a man with 3 masters, working on the phd (at long last, am i right?) telling me: you so much as drive by a clinic or a psyhciatrist’s office, they’ll call you bipolar. and..

    the meds just contain strong emotions. they don’t fix anything. and…

    ideally, therapy should have an end point, and people should get on with life.

    We’re both Christian, though. I think that’s an ‘issue’ that sometimes comes up in ‘treatment…’

    mental health, inc. is pretty much a state sponsored, socially accepted form of social control. its also (yes, I’m stealing from szasz left and right here) a religion, and i think…a rather dangerous, expen$ive one, at that.

    its worth noting that new forms of psychotherapy sound fun and exciting…

    its still conversation. on a good day, psychotherapy is a conversation that engages the client/consumer/patient/PERSON in meaningful, constructive ways. thing is…

    there aren’t many good days, and good days are essentially unheard of if you are: poor, working class, stigmatized, low status, disabled, too old, too intelligent, ask too many questions, question authority, refuse ‘meds,’ terminate ‘treatment,’ have limited insurance, have medicaid, are uninsured, even if one is too ‘middle class’ to benefit from the wisdom of the guru/therapist/whatever.

    i see that there are, in fact, well-intentioned people in mental health, inc. and i remember..

    ‘the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.’

  • try not to focus on that. when i was at my lowest points, i read over people who moved on from psychiatry at its absolute worst…the people who’d been operated ona nd moved on, that kinda thing…

    even before I became a Christian, i was convinced that there’s a spirit and even a mind that exists outside of the body, brain included. ‘where there’s life there’s hope.’

  • let’s see…the US leads the way in “ADD/ADHD” labels, and not just for kids…adults, even older adults get the label and the pills. In many other nations, -when- an upper is used, its some flavor ritalin. in the US, amphetamines dominate the market…in fact, the US is one of few nations to still offer prescription methamphetmaine (Desoxyn). good ole benzedrine has even made a comeback…it is now Evekeo. oh, wait…

    “Bipolar I disorder” has gone from being strictly defined and far less commonly diagnosed than, say, the 31 flavors o Schizophrenia found in the 50s and 60s, to being far more loosely defined (“Bipolar spectrum”) and it is now, fairly recently, “on the upwsing.” Interestingly enough…

    the increasingly “Bipolar I-V” masses can be “effectively treated” with “atypical” neuroleptics, the same drugs used on “Schizophrenic/Schizoaffective” people, “ODD,” “severe depression,” “personality disorder,” and those with “anger managment.” these shiny, new pills are $$$, but fret not…

    the gov’t ends up paying for something like 60-75% of ongoing ‘atypical’ neuroleptic prescriptions. for those whose insurance provider “lacks insight” into the “need for treatment,” NAMI can help! there is probably a ‘patient assistance program,’ too!

    its just…so…ridiculously cruel, the whole damned thing, isn’t it? 🙁

  • i remember reading an antipsychiatry website once…about how patient abc’s ‘depression’ resolved after receiving a large inheritance…

    concur. anti-poverty programs, anti-hunger programs, something…anything…to curb the police state and mass incarceration…affordable housing…

    these are but a few powerful “antidepressants” that could help the 99%+/-…

    or I suppose we could just shut up and take our (un)happy pills.

  • you’re brave! a ‘professional’ i deal with was talking about ‘chemical imbalances,’ and i asked…are they genetic? environmental? does anyone know? she shrugged, faking a look of bewilderment.

    i had -1- counselor who told me the truth: you so much as drive by a shrink’s office, they’ll label/diagnose you with something. its…what they do. and…

    thanks. that’s about all i can say…thanks. you came thru, you’re doing well now, and…thanks 🙂

  • szasz was right wing libertarian, to the core…and he provided such cogent analysis+deconstruction of ‘mental illness’ and all things psyc-related…

    well, even tho i lean towards new deal type ‘progressivism’ (read: contain conflict by building the middle class, upward mobility, gov’t programs, reducing but not eliminating inequality and crazy insane concentration of wealth…), I ‘get’ where Dr.Szasz is ‘coming from,’ in some of his essays, books, etc., and…

    -sigh- one must make room for dissenting, challening voices, especially when the dissenting, challenging voices belong to brilliant people. agree, disagree, shrug it off and go think about something, anything else…whatever…

    one must at least let the ideas, concepts, voices have some space in the inner-dialogue, inner-analysis.

  • MD/DOs in the US make 2x as much as their peers in many nations w/ universal coverage. this is done thru limiting the # of MD/DOs produced by US medical schools, and then restricting the immigrant medical pros to keep compensation crazy high. this is imporant, in my view, because…

    the medical guild has a vested interest in the status quo. the current status quo is xenobiotic ‘treatment.’ no cures, no healing, no breakthroughs…

    survival, maintenance, ‘adjunct medication’ for adverse effects, etc. its a high dollar highway to hell, my friend. 🙁

  • 21st century America’s overlaps with Rome in its downward spiral are…frightening, albeit cliche. for all the right wing talk about excess $pending on the ‘welfare state,’ its really the war machine that’s consuming the tax dollars. for all this talk of a sterilized, ‘politically correct’ culture (which, btw, i thought had been discussed thoroughly and then found boring around ’98 or so), ultra-right wing terrorism is on the upswing, while the gov’t gets in on the act with militarized police and mass incarceration. and…

    the old ‘haves vs have nots’ has given way to something more like ‘have nearly everything vs has a degree of affluence vs ha! you’re broke as a joke, loser.’ couple that with the decimation of the once vibrant (although mostly white, admittedly) middle-middle class and the decline of upward mobility, and…

    holy anomie batman, what the hell do the kids have to look foward to?

  • i do wonder…what gives with the sadism, at all levels of mental health, inc.? it isn’t one or two ‘bad apples,’ and it isn’t even limited to, say, the lobotomy years or the shock- and drug-heavy ‘treatment’ of the 60s state hospitals…

    i think it was Breggin who pointed out: even the most seemingly compassionate, warm, “caring” psychiatrist has victims. their latest victim could be booked on the same day as you, the well-treated person/’patient.’ in fact, it is entirely possible…

    the Dr.Nice Dude (or Dr.Kind Lady) mask will come off for you, too, once: the insurance runs dry, you lose your job, you’re trapped, you’re poor, your brain is scrambled, they get sufficient leverage.

  • thanks for this. it is…unsettling, though not really surprising, to see many ‘liberals’ taking the pills, playing the patient game (as I call it…), pushing ‘mental health’ ideology on others…

    i can think of a few people i am acquainted with (thankfully, no one i am truly close to…) who have fallen for the friendly fascism of private practice psychiatry (for themselves) and are going down a death spiral. no one dares say ‘stop!,’ least of all the ‘experts’ at the private facilities doing shock ‘treatments,’ the outpatient psychiatrists. until i read this, i was somewhat surprised that the PhD psychotherapists weren’t doing…something, anything, to put an end to the madness…

    but your article confirms what i saw in my own misadventures and what ive long suspected about the psych guild, as a whole. the masters level lpc and the phd specialists have their roles to play in drugging and destroying and labeling outliers and the distressed, the alienated…

    and woe unto those who dare question them, any of them. ever. 🙁

  • page not found. LOL. kind of like…

    biological basis for any dsm/icd label not found. real help in improving lives, families, communities, society not found. justification for crazy insane cost of ‘treatment’ not found. compassion not found. honesty not found. transparency not found. proper monitoring not found.

    given the psych industry’s role as a pseudoscientific, religious form of control…this (in the United States, at least) in the context of a crumbling, alienated and alienating, increasingly oppressive society in which even what remains of real, transcendent religions has declined…maybe they just have so much power and influence that they don’t need to find any of the things mentioned above?

  • real religions, not lucrative pseudoscientific cults masquerading as “treatment,” etc., are great for discovering the meaning of life or at least…providing some guidance. philosophy, sociology, connecting with others, creative pursuits…

    these are good ways to move forward in life, at least for me (and people I know). Psychotherapy, counseling, self-help, etc. are worse than useless.

  • student counseling service= weed out the riff raff. its worse when a professor or instructor gets a student to go for ‘help,’ but it seems there’s often someone, somewhere using coercion tactics to psychiatrize vulnerable individuals..it just plays out differently, in different segments of society.

    i remember…comparing prescriptions (i was on benzodiazepine abc…she got ativan…), being brainwashed into the bullshit…

    and then the terrifying Great Reveal. Long story…I survived, I am doing remarkably well, I am healthy…

    and now I find that their bullshit is never ending–this is their meal ticket, after all– but i can play my role, they play their’s…

    the play is ongoing. i manage to somehow contain my boredom and disgust. sometimes, when they talk, i see their lips moving…

    but i dont hear a damn word they’re saying. having said that, i know damn well what they’d do to me, given the opportunity.

    and the beat goes on…

  • i -want- psychiatry and the rest of the lying professions abolished, but right now…

    i do me, and that’s often challenging enough. not that im against collective action–far from it– but the psychiatrized in society are, I’m thinking, kind of like the skilled slaves in the South, before The Civil War…

    some freedoms, less obvious torture…but “Know your place, damnit!” don’t rattle them chains, basically. and that I think is why a 21st century “antipsychiatry movement” might have to rely more on 21st century technologies…

    because no one really gets to march and protest without police brutality and/or criminal charges, at least not in the US…

    and those are people who -are not psychiatrized- . so, as I “do me,” as best I can…I’m thinking maybe a 21st century movement will be done more or less in stealth mode…

    the old models aren’t going to do much, I’m afraid. Uniting with other oppressed groups would be an ideal step–solidarity is an underused word in today’s world–but I find that even the sociologists, the activists, the muckracking writer and journalists…

    speak in DSM/ICD-code. Personally, reading up on stigma and how to manage a stigmatized identity, “play the hand you’re dealt,” basically…has been quite helpful. Each individual’s circumstances, each person’s role(s) are somewhat unique (“the personal is political” applies, always, but also: “Your mileage may vary”), so person-to-person support and networking are probably going to be vital.

    I’m not any sort of expert..this is all off the top of my head, as they say.

  • that’s why I consider my position more one of full on antipsychiatry (just…abolish it, please…) vs “critical psychiatry.” I wouldn’t say that the “critical psychiatry” people aren’t “radical enough,” its that…

    As Szasz pointed out, Mental Health, Inc. is The Science of Lies. He mostly targeted psychiatry, but I think psychoanalysis, counseling, etc. etc. etc. are also massive frauds, staffed by lying liars who lie, for fun and for profit (and control).

    Healy is a trained psychiatrist. If he wanted to, he could give up his lucrative career of “critical psychiatry” and do…something else. Anything else, really. Analyzing and dissecting lies is an exercise in futility for most of those who have been labeled, drugged, shocked, operated on, etc…

    and I am beginning to think that pointing out the “excesses” of psychiatry and “reforming” the industry is the equivalent of a New Deal for Mental Health, Inc…it effectively silences the pissed off people and stabilizes the industry, as a whole.

    Honestly, given the massive cost$ and suffering, damage even to the freedom of (and clarity of) -thought- Mental Health, Inc. (which includes the electroSHOCKtreatments, EST “specialists,” etc.) has inflicted upon society as a whole…

    I do think abolishing the industry is probably the only truly humane, rational solution.

  • i believe people should be free to kill themselves. i say that as a Christian, btw…basically, I hope and pray for more people to find hope and meaning and purpose in life, but I also recognize the individual’s -right- to suicide.

    personally, my problem is that the suicide is handled by the medical establishment, which on the practical end is kind of helpful, because it makes effective means of suicide available…

    but it also gives more power to the medical establishment and the therapeutic state, and it does so while claiming that this is some sort of “progress” or…something.

    I do not have faith in mental illness, but because I am a Christian, I now have a belief system that calls some bad actions, some individuals “wicked” and then on the more extreme end of the spectrum one finds “evil.” I am starting to believe that psychiatry and much of the rest of the Mental health industry is actually quite evil. The psych guilds function as evil forms of social control in a fallen, wicked world, basically. and…

    this Liev Thienpont individual strikes me as quite wicked, possibly evil. she’s an especially adept liar and con artist in an industry devoted to big lies and massive frauds…

    but maybe she’s just, in an odd way, more honest about things? she apparently uses her position, her authority, to facilitate the deaths of misfits, “mental patients,” etc. I find that reprehensible, but is it really that much worse than providing “treatment” that ends in suicide, a premature death in poverty, homelessness, incarceration? This woman is obviously pushing death, but isn’t that true of the entire industry?

  • psychiatrists know what they’re doing. i don’t know how the current psychiatric text books are written, but the older ones–you know, the ones from -before- Google made it important to keep up the appearances of “providing compassion and help to the severely mentally ill”–were pretty ridiculously nihilistic and blunt. The neuroleptics were noted to cause “deactivation,” which included varying degrees of apathy, indifference, sedation, and a -loss of interest- in “symptoms,” but no real “help,” just…a chemical lobotomy, basically. Oh, or…”tranquilizer psychosis,” as some have called it…tremor, apathy, indifference, passivity, etc.

    kinda rambling, but…my point, and I think this is a point raised in the book version of Mad in America, is that -they knew- then and -they know- now that they’re inflicting torment and suffering upon people who are under the impression this is somehow going to help them be “normal” and/or lead a productive, meaningful life, by getting their “illness” under control.

    Truth? Even now, some psychiatrists will ramp up the neuroleptic dose to deliberately inflict a degree of obvious Parkinson’s – type symptoms. That’s an old technique that never had anything to do with helping the person/”patient”; it was and is an example of medical torture and putting patients into a mind-numbing chemical straitjacket, while charging $$$ for said punishment.

    im just…disgusted. then as now, the shock docs know they’re inflicting brain damage on people, they know full well that many will never make a meaningful ‘recovery from treatment’, and they’ll openly laugh about ‘breaking’ low status people/’patients’ (poor, stigmatized, effectively silenced individuals who have survived ‘treatment’), and yet…

    these -same- individuals will lie to insurance companies, medicare/medicaid, lie in court to commit another victim, lie to individuals and families about “treatment for mental illness…”

    and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Iowa, I think, is the 1 state that has -0- “insanity pleas” or what have you, and a lot of it is just because in the few cases where the pleas came up, the lies from both sides (“insane” vs “responsible,” I’m guessing) made a mockery of an already flawed legal system.

    lies. Szasz’s last book is entitled Psychiatry: The Science of Lies. This EST (“ECT” is pure marketing genius, and its also another lie…electroSHOCK is what it really is, thank you Max Fink for your candor) situation is just another example of the mental health industry lying, lying, lying…

    for profit, for control, for status, for…fun? I find this sickening.

  • don’t feel bad about taking disability, Rachel. I personally believe in a fundamental human right to live and -not- be in misery and oppression, probably because I’m a Christian. Psychiatrists make more off the gov’t in one month than several “patients” do annually.

    I do kind of wonder…if Universal Basic Income somehow magically went into effect tomorrow…would “mental illness” take a big hit? I think so…who would really need shrinks, anyway? the upper classes who deman psychotherapy?

  • As much as I appreciate psych professionals who are more willing to admit the limits of current knowledge and are also attempting to make life for the psychiatry-ized more bearable…

    “schizophrenia” is a necessary fiction in psychiatry. I seem to recall Szasz writing an entire book about it, calling it The sacred symbol of psychiatry, something to that effect. My best guess is that the professionals in other nations have renamed their sacred symbol to protect their profession from further scrutiny and deconstruction, while (re)building a pretty facade of scientifically-informed “care” and compassion. Another personal guess, right off the top my head, is that the psych professions in those nations are operating in cultures that are less punitive, more tolerant, not as anomic as, say…

    much of 21st century America.

  • to be a “mental patient” is to be a “weakling” of some degree, in the psych “professionals’ ” eyes, at least. one comes in with problems and leaves with a stigmatized identity, plus bill$.

    my best guess is that psychiatry attracts not only the more authoritarian MDs, but also the mediocre and more potentially dangerous ones, as well. they completed 4 years of undergraduate study, medical school, and now they’re going into a specialty that treats faux “diseases” with real pills, real shocks, now and then real brain operations. factor in the relatively low compensation psychiatrists receive (too much for my tastes, but considerably less than, say, dermatologists) and their incredible power, in society as a whole and within the legal realm, and…

    it is a proven recipe for absolute disaster.

  • Since Reagan, American society has moved towards the right and also towards utter and complete denial of society. I don’t think -all- of us here in America are so brainwashed, and the rise of New Deal Democrats posing as “Socialists” makes one hope that maybe, just maybe, things will tilt left or towards something less reactionary and vicious, but the point remains…

    in a society in which -all- problems are “personal problems,” and even family dynamics are willfully ignored by overapid “professionals,” -of course psychiatry will flourish- . I think it is also worth noting that while your clients/patients/distressed people who end up in your office may suffer from varying degrees of affluenza, 1 in 5 (roughly) Americans deal with –food insecurity– . Add to this…

    upward mobility is dead in America, the middle-middle class has been decimated, the working class has gone from being free spirited, anti-authoritarian, and a consistent source of muckraking and high quality intellectuals (pre-WWII) to being…

    punitive, authoritarian, over-worked, underpaid, and -angry-. False consciousness reigns supreme in The United States, and the psych “professions” are working overtime, doping up all strata of society and filling their heads with pseudoscientific, self-serving jibber jabber…

    much to the delight of…well, just about everyone. Doping up the distressed, the awkward, the under-performing, “uppity women,” and just about anybody else who so much as drives by the office or clinic…

    helps put a big, over-priced Band Aid on a broken society.

    I do think one should also take note of the crazy insane levels of anomie in modern US society. Lack of meaningful social interaction, guidance, community bonds, and family breakdown can all lead to a state of a normless self-focus that leads to despair. “Despair,” of course, is for losers, so many opt instead for “Depression” or perhaps “Bipolar II.”

  • wow. 1 in 3 receive shocks involuntarily? “Informed consent” is a sick joke, anyway, but…1 in 3 have 0 input into this? on the tax payers’ money, no less.

    at least someone is keeping high quality records on this in the UK. That’s a lot better than the situation in the US. With the exception of Texas, I don’t think most states keep tabs on shock victims, even cases that result in death or serious injury.

    I don’t know that I’m that big a fan of psychotherapy, either. When dealing with the private practice sector, my experience has been that the counselors, psychotherapists, etc. work hand-in-hand with psychiatrists, private mental hospitals, etc., to make money and destroy people. In the public/community mental health settings, the talking treatments are often short term and focused on “recovery,” as in: take your pills and shut up. Having said that…

    obviously, people need people. Sometimes a psychotherapist who actually gives a shit can make a tremendous, positive, even life changing difference in a suffering individual’s life. but such ‘professionals’ are rare. they seem to be the exceptions that prove the rule, honestly.

  • by “psychiatry did OK,” I meant that psychiatry was still in busines, even though they tried their hand at the Quaker-inspired “moral treatment” for a season. For a time, being committed to -some- asylums meant a softer, gentler, more human sort of confinement and “treatment. Even then, some former patients wrote books exposing the whole system…

    and it just got worse. 🙁

  • this is surprisingly (or…not so surprisingly, now that I think about it…) common in psychiatry. The cynical manipulation of the vulnerable is a big part of psychiatry’s “mission.” What sets this situation apart from the many, many cases that are never brought out into the open is probably (I’m going to guess…) the status of the women involved.

    Poor, working class, even middle-middle class “mental patients” are routinely exploited and destroyed by psychiatry. My guess is that some of the victims in this case have enough status, resources, and overall clout to at least get media attention. Of course, should these claims be proven, etc., we will all be reassured that this was/is “an isolated incident,” “a bad apple,” etc.

    Psychiatry -is- a human rights abuse, at all levels. Sexual exploitation and rape are just some of the more demeaning and damaging ways in which psychiatric abuse manifests.

  • Stigma…is an excellent book by a wonderful sociologist…Goffman, who helped debunk psychiatry in the 50s and 60s. The Mental Health Industry (Mental Health, Inc.) knows all about stigma, because stigma is one of the primary weapons in their arsenal, right up there with brain damage and the economic terrorism of poverty, which they inflict on people largely thru stigma. Anyway…

    their job, really, is to stigmatize distress, madness, alienation, poverty, having the “wrong” skin color, the “wrong” gender, being…an outlier, a misfit…

    by slapping on pseudoscientific labels. While the brain damage, death, destruction, etc. -are- massive problems, too…

    Psychiatry did OK, back in, say, the 19th century, without resorting to such violence. Society needs psychiatry to keep people in line. The drugs, the shocks, the operations…bring in status and profit, plus there’s obviously a strong sadistic element to psychiatry, too, but…

    society can function a-OK with healthy, intelligent “mental patients…” as long as they/we are thoroughly stigmatized, discredited, and controlled.

    Psychiatric “Stigma Reduction Campaigns” are cynical, Orwellian campaigns to stigmatize, discredit, and destroy more human beings.

  • so sorry. i really am. it appears that just as I entered the world of Mental Health, Inc. thinking they could “help” and that they did “important work…”

    so did you. My personal advice, which only echoes that of several other posters, would be to get out. You’re intelligent, you’re compassionate, you’re well-eduated, and you’re driven. Speaking as a “patient” doing what I can to make a quiet, unnoticed exit from The System, I -do- appreciate your efforts to provide real human kindness to those in need. Having said that…

    at the end of this novel I read way back when…I think it was The Women’s Room…a character says something like “the institutions get you in the end.”

    get out while you still can. 🙂

  • I think there’s something to that, especially when looking at Hoffer and other psychiatrists of that era. Although they were still very much psychiatrists–Hoffer did shock ‘treatments,’ Osmond apparently got involved in using LSD during research on prisoners–they -were- considerably less sadistic, more humane and thoughtful than the typical psychiatrist of their era. From what I’ve read, they were also a whole lot more honest and transparent about the nature of what they termed “mental illness” and also “treatment.” Some material I’ve skimmed over is almost brutally honest in describing the ill effects of multiple hospitalizations on people, for instance. and yet…

    I still take the vitamins, but I don’t think of the vitamins as “treatment for severe mental illness” at this point. Orthomolecular practitioners and fans speak of “side benefits” from the protocols, as opposed to “side effects” (adverse effects) from any Rx available, -especially- the psych drugs. and so…

    honestly, the “side benefits” are what have convinced me to continue loading up on basic vitamins, minerals, etc. The “positive effects on mental state” or what have you are a definite plus, but there’s also: lowered blood pressure, improved sleep and anxiety without sedatives, far less trouble with allergies, and an overall improvement in health status and a reduction in healthcare costs. I do think the sense of agency is important, too, especially for me and people like me who whip up a DIY protocol, largely due to the paucity of reputable practitioners available in many places.

  • speaking of Orthomolecular, I got to thinking the other day…what if, over the long haul (years of “treatment,” which often involves both Rx and the vitamins), a big part of what makes Orthomolecular so effective in bringing about “recovery” is simply reducing psych drug toxicity and improving overall health? That, and…the Orthomolecular doctors were (and are, based on the more modern material I’ve skimmed over) acutely aware of the reality of the “tranquilizer psychosis,” and it seems they do their best to select drugs and dose drugs accordingly.

    I mention this because I kind of wonder if part of what’s going on here is that adminstering a calming, relaxing, soothing, perhaps even pleasant to take (I hope so, anyway) substance might also help reduce psych drug toxicity, too. Kind of how benzodiazepines were (and are, at times) used long term in “Schizophrenic” people, and the combination sometimes helps keep the neuroleptic dose lower and “augments treatment,” basically by calming frayed nerves and probably also by helping with neuroleptic induced dysphoria and akathisia, as well. Older data showed that some people with “Schizophrenia” did a-OK taking sufficient quantities of Valium during the “prodromal phase,” which I’m thinking means they took a reasonably pleasant sedative only when things got rough, and their overall results were good.

    at a practical level, it seems that new “treatments for Schizophrenia” will, in fact, be used to “augment standard treatment,” because the neuroleptic=”antipsychotic”=”life saving, necessary, lifelong treatment” dogma is basically part of The Psychiatric Catechism. it is what it is, I suppose. I’m beginning to think that the best many of us who are now so thoroughly disillusioned and disgusted can do is get out, warn those whom we can, and hope that the the next generation of “patients” at least get less toxic drugs and other “treatments.”

  • I’m finding myself agreeing more and more with Szasz, when it comes to the prescription drug system…eliminate it. If the prescription system was eliminated and -all- drugs were available, then costs would go down, the doctor-patient relationship would probably become more humane and ethical, and various “drug epidemics” would become a thing of the past. and yet…

    NOT GONNA HAPPEN! 🙁

    So, for now, it appears that the “solution” is to further terrorize the poor and working classes by cutting off pain killers and demonizing those who need them to get thru the day, while the “respectable” pain killer users can have their little bit of Lortab, etc., plus hands off Suboxone treatment if needed…

    and the well to do and rich opioid users will mostly continue finding “proper treatment,” perhaps with a small reduction in quantity and/or potency of the drug(s) in question. Nothing wrong with that, btw…I don’t have a problem with the upper classes, I just hate that one needs to be in the top 10-20% in the US (in particular…) to be treated with any basic decency, and not just in the realm of pain management.

    🙂

  • before the media declared the opioid deaths an “epidemic,” psychiatry was leaning towards bringing opioids back into use for “mood disorders.” I’ve read abostracts on suboxone for depression, bipolar, strong pain killers for add on treatment in psychosis…

    and now opioids are demonized, and so are those who need them, many of whom are already low status, suffering, etc. Psychiatry, Inc. is a-OK, though…have y’all seen the ads for Suboxone long acting injection? once a month shot, apparently keeps cravings at bay. The profiteers are profiting, will profit, no matter what “crisis” hits next…

    meanwhile, law enforcement and the medical establishment (as a whole) get more powerful, Mental Health, Inc. gets -even more- power and profit and funding from all over, and freedom and freedom of thought continue to die a slow, agonizing death.

  • thanks, sera davidow. 🙂

    I, too, pretty much argue that it is, in fact, all NAMIs. Here where I live, in my situation, my “non-compliance” did not sit well with the local NAMI people. They seem to function like an extra layer of brain washing and enforcement, in the “asylum without walls.”

    One could ask–as I have asked myself– “well, what’s the harm? people who have been thru the system need support, and so do their loved ones, right?”–to which I would now reply (yes, to myself, even…crazy, huh?) “there are far better ways of spending time and money” and “if a family aims to suport a psychiatrized individual, NAMI is going to prove detrimental, in potentially catastrophic ways.”

    so, once again, thank you. I actually read over one of your previous articles, on the fabulous Big Pharma funding of NAMI and friends. I vaguely recall seeing something similar in Mother Jones, but then…I kind of lost interest in Mother Jones when they featured an article by a lady whose family member was labelled with “schizophrenia” and ended up dying in her 50s, after receiving “high quality care” that included long acting haloperidol injections for a long, long time. Now, that’s a true blue “progressive” for you, isn’t it? ugh.

  • I think social class issues are important, too. The US has always been far more punitive towards the poor (and therefore the disabled) than many other affluent, developed nations. Now, the middle class has been shredded. The psychiatrists are “haves” who essentially work for the “have everythings.” The bulk of the patients, meanwhile, are “have nots,” and are therefore treated with increasing levels of contempt and cruelty.

    Especially in the US, psychiatry -is- a human rights abuse (Szasz).

  • thanks for writing in, Dr.Fisher.

    as an “informed consumer” (read: disillusioned survivor, trying to haggle for humane ‘treatment’), I cannot help but be more than a little bit…disappointed. while other nations are moving towards a more humane, cost effective, meaningful and progressive mode of handling madness and the severely distressed amongst us…

    i get the sense that the US is moving in a more draconian, punitive direction. they’re tightening the screws, basically. 🙁

    i also find it hard to believe that the powers that be are holding the evidence for, say, forced/involuntary treatment via depot shots to the same standards as they seem to be using to scrutinize OD. if it isn’t about cold, hard $$$ and such…

    what gives? is psychiatry a dogmatic pseudoscience? and if it is…wouldn’t bringing in OD and other psychosocial treatments help stabilize the industry, over time? this just does not seem rational.

  • you do make good points. social disintegration to the point of anomie is pretty much…right about where US culture is located, at this point in time. 🙁

    but should funding really be denied for at least –attempting– this sort of treatment? what’s the alternative? more and more $$$ for the standard drugs, then more and more $$$ for disability, and then $$$ for the Rx pills to fix the ills created by ‘standard treatment’ ? more $$$ for involuntary injections?

    I do see that there are some amazing new treatment$ for tardive dy$kine$ia out there now. The patient info packettes are hot off the presses. Is -that- where $$$ should go?

  • I get the sense that if this was a brand new, shiny, ridiculously expen$ive pill coming out of Western Lapland with comparable results, the reactions would be entirely different. Warm, possibly (probably?) glowing, even. A novel compound, out of Western Lapland…we must do what we can to win FDA approval, bring it to the suffering masses here in the US of A, etc. But…

    this is about psychosocial treatments…talking, compassion, empathy, people, connections, human needs and human growth and human suffering, defined and measured as best the researchers could do, with what resources they had available to them. And so…

    DENIED! Better luck next time, hippies.

    I suppose this is to be expected?

  • I know I am late, but I’ll jump in here…

    remember, Szasz and others have pointed out the -religious- nature of psychiatry. Our 21st century witch doctors dole out ineffective, dangerous drugs to the sinners/witches/penitents/slaves because that is their #1 ritual at this point. Facts do not phase faith, especially faith that is bolstered by society as a whole, the current economic structure, and even the legal system.

    Mental Health, Inc. -is- a religion. I think the industry has morphed into a modern death cult, and has proven to be an extremely wasteful, expensive cult, at that. Szasz points out that abolishing psychiatry will lead to greater clarity of thought. I agree, wholeheartedly. Personally, I think the psychiatrists should be retrained in useful forms of real medicine (or retire and fade into obscurity), and the talking “professionals” should be given vocational training, so they can do something practical, useful. Many counselors/low level enforcers do not make enough per year to qualify as truly middle-middle class (in the US…), anyway, so..

    why not train them to be plumbers, HVAC people, skilled factory laborers? They might earn more income and -contribute to society-. Meanwhile…

    the survivors and dependents of Mental Health, Inc. should be compensated and provided with the freedom and resources to “de-program.” 🙂

  • thanks, slaying the dragon. I mean that.

    Now…

    as much as I could easily do without Szasz’s elitist, conervative outlook, I -do- acknowledge his absolute brilliance in debunking psychiatry and the rest of the “helping professions.” and so..

    As a Christian, I find the latest Epidemic of Psychiatry aboslutely horrifying. The Huge Lies that Mental Health, Inc. tells us…from the LPC counselors on up to the MD psychiatrists…are, from my Christian perspective, lies straight from the pits of Hell. When tragedy strikes, counselors are mobilized to help people “process their trauma” or whatever. Not only do they seem to make things worse for the individuals affected, but..

    they–the enforcers of Mental Health, Inc.–are spewing useless, often (usually?) damaging lies that are confusing everyone. They’ve colonized the (post)modern mind. I seem to recall Szasz writing that one very good reason to abolish psychiatry is to improve “clarity of thought” or something to that effect. I must say…I agree, wholeheartedly.

    Its slavery for most “mental patients,” an overpriced waste of time for the more privileged people/”patients.” And Mental Health, Inc. has grown ever more powerful, ever more devious, since the days of Szasz, Laing, etc. My -personal solution- has been to pray for restoration (its been granted, Praise God) and now for a graceful, easy, quiet exit (still working on that…). It isn’t enough to taper off the psych drugs; one must be set free from the lies and bondage that are the core and foundation of
    Mental Health, Inc.

  • this…may be part of what eventually destroys psychiatry as we know it. Something as simple as the demand for solid evidence before the next round of lobbying for more funding…sounds basic, right? It is, of course. Most of us (all of us?) here on MIA also know that a call for real evidence could be a very real, very profound leap towards the end game.

    I read somewhere recently…(more) progressive values/morals have taken hold over the masses gradually. Much of this talk of the US “culture wars” is really coming from a reactionary, dogmatic segment of the 1%. Anyway…what if the same forces that have reduced the powers of organized religion in many modern, more affluent 21st century nations are now at work with the state sponsored death cult that is Mental Health, Inc.?

  • abolishing psychiatry is a worthwhile goal. I don’t think I will see it in my lifetime, and I’m young-ish (“old millennial,” I believe is the term for my cohort).

    I just…I don’t know that an antipsychiatry movement will be what ends psychiatry. Maybe? Maybe not. With the high costs and dismal results of psych “care,” nationalized health care might do more to end at least the worst of Mental Health, Inc.’s practices than any movement rooted in shared ideology, even shared experiences.

    “Critical psychiatry,” to me, seems to be a way to acknowledge some of the major problems, make some changes, create careers for those involved, and…in the process…save psychiatry! Its kind of like The New Deal saving capitalism from itself.

    Psychiatry is a state sponsored religion that reflects+serves the interests of those in power. Psych issues are really social and economic and moral issues, not “medical” issues. Therefore…

    I think what I’m thinking and trying to articulate is that -real change-, possibly including the abolition of psychiatry, will probably not come thru an antipsychiatry movement, but rather thru changes in the social and economic and moral roots of psych power.

  • im beginning to think…

    my opinion is that there is no love in psychiatry, psychology, any of it. never was, never will be. even when there’s real human interest in another human being’s life, that’s -despite- the fundamental, core nature of the industry, not because of it.

    Dr.Breggin says that “emotional disorders” are “disorders of love.” Nothing against Dr.Breggin–I’ve found his work exposing psyc drugs quite helpful–but this sounds as if he’s simply -using the power- of his position, rather than further debunking and deconstructing the guild and denouncing the power and authority given him by society, as a psychiatrist. and so…

    maybe “antipsychiatry,” as a movement, is doomed? what was it szasz’s book was entitled…Quackery, Squared? something like that? I personally don’t want an “enlightened” and/or “progressive” psychiatrist, etc. any more than I want the rest of my days to be spent in the clutches of a “humane slave owner.” which makes me think…

    I’m thankful that…yeah, I survived. Thankful to my family, thankful to God. There were no other “survivors” in my journey, and honestly…

    Christians have done more for me than any psychiatrist, counselor, or other survivors. Christ, my family, and Christians.

    maybe we just need to support each other in our efforts to (re)claim whatever is left of our lives, here on earth? I don’t think there are any psych ‘experts’ who are all that interested in letting the captives go free and losing their status and income.

  • what’s…I don’t know if ‘surprised me’ is what i’m trying to say…more like distrubed me, to the core…is that mental health, inc. has only gotten worse over the years. in the 40s+50s, really into the 60s…lobotomies were performed on people who had no way to fight back and rubbed people the wrong way. women, poor people, minorities, and…children, now and then. there are case studies of very young children being lobotomized, teenagers being lobotomized, etc. child abuse w/ an ice pick. awesome. but…

    If I remember correctly, the available data supports 40,000-50,000 lobotomies in the US during its heyday. The “atypical” neuroleptics are top selling drugs in the US, both in terms of profit and sales volume…so, basically, lots of people are being chemically lobotomized by extremely expen$ive drugs, the bulk of which are paid for with gov’t monies. which raises the question…

    where’s the outrage, now? how can people wring their hands over, say, Howard Dully and not ask some obvious questions of the “treatment” most “patients”/”consumers” receive in the 21st century?

  • neuroleptics are tranquilizers with lobotomy-like effects. over the long haul, expect brain damage. if i recall correctly, the very early data on Thorazine is mentioned in Mad in America (the book), and that’s pretty much what the shrinks wrote…”chemical lobotomy,” potential for brain damage. and yet…

    The various drug companies turned neuroleptics into antipsychotics, and now tons of people have tardive dyskinesia and the other other tardive syndromes, and many, many more have brain damage that hasn’t yet manifested in such obvious and frightening ways.

    The story of the neuroleptics is a somewhat extreme case of what seems to happen with all classes of psych drugs. drug comes out, its pushed heavily…then the patents expire, criticisms emerge…thankfully (note sarcasm), a new drug or class of drugs for the same indications is soon released, and the cycle repeats. barbiturates gave way to benzodiazepines…

    Thorazine and Haldol gave way to the ‘atypicals,’ which are being scrutinized…just as some of round 1, olanzapine and quetiapine, etc., are available in generic, and have been for a while now. I think its worth noting that there’s already a new class of non-neuroleptic drugs, starting with Nuplazid, for people with Parkinsons Disease. Hmmm…

  • i appreciate dr.breggin’s work. having said that…

    when psych ‘pofessionals’ aren’t pushing pills, shock, the occasional operation…

    they’re telling the ‘patients,’ people in general, society as a whole…what to think, what to believe, how to (work, live, parent, organize a messy closet). “The Medicalization of Deviance” gave way to Szasz’s The Medicalization of Everyday Life, which now seems to have led us to…

    The Medicalization of Morality, Thought, and Speech. Now -that- my friends is control. 🙂

  • i had a friend, way back when…we were young, his dad was a psychiatrist. the dad has also had electroshock, been thru a messy divorce, and basically…despite his power and affluence..dealt with “stuff.” so, lately, he’s been on my mind…not because his son was that great a friend (he wasn’t) or because I think psychiatrists are really just wounded teddy bears, underneath all the fascism (they’re not, clearly), but…

    we are all human. we share that much, don’t we? having dealt with shrinks as human beings (long, somewhat dramatic story…), I’ve personally found: I’m not impressed. Their earnings put them into the upper middle or upper class, their credentials allow them to act as high priests and priestesses of this society, but…

    as -human beings-, i’ve found they leave much to be desired. self-important, elitist, unimaginative, draconian, and…and…honestly, once one deconstructs the pseudoscience, the religion masquerading as medicine, etc…they’re just not so great. counselors, psychologists…same thing, honestly.

    I’m reminded of CS Lewis, when he writes about the various evil characters, especially the white witch…pretty, all sorts of fancy trappings, etc…but sorely lacking in originality, morality, empathy…the fundamentals of humanity, I believe.

    I think many psych people choose a wicked profession over any number of other constructive, often even more lucrative, fields not because they’re evil geniuses or “have issues” (LOL), but becaue they’re often vapid, mediocre human beings who feel “called” to work as overseers on late stage capitalism’s plantation. 🙂

  • psychiatry feeds on pathologizing the human needs of outliers and misfits, even ‘normals’ who are just at a vulnerable point in life can be preyed upon by the psych guild. the culture as a whole feeds the process, maintains the process, then destroys the damaged souls who end up on the discard heap.

    this may not be the most popular solution, but…I do think it is worth noting that even Szasz writes about psychiatry as a -false religion-, one that infiltrates and destroys -real religions-. Actual, real, meaningful religions can have extraordinary benefits for individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole. I seem to recall Lasch and others writing about this…the fundamental importance of family, faith, meaningful social bonds, “life with limits,” etc. 🙂

  • what’s odd…odd isn’t the best word, more like…frightening…about US culture, in particular, is how much we seem to -hate- the poor. Some are enlightened enough to be OK with the poor, as long as they “know their place.” Once they step out of line, its party over. add in the criminalization of poverty, resulting in mass incarceration and the creation of a permanent under-class…and also the widespread psychiatry-ization of poverty, and one can see: the US declared war on the poor decades ago, and the ‘experts’ are just now taking the time to assess the damage.

  • at a strictly practical level, im almost tempted to say…if the psych people can get poor(er) people better food and such, OK. let them spin it to boost their position and importance. but then…is it really worth it, in the long run? In the US, ssi for psych stuff has become the “new welfare,” as the old welfare was shredded and regulated to further punish the poor. the “new welfare” is basically the medicalization of poverty, and it costs a lot more (pills, hospitals, MDs, LPCs, etc.) than the old welfare. so…

    thinking from a moral perspective and a long term social planning perspective, the best approach would be to speak the truth…both to power, and in general…and say: late stage capitalism makes people–me included– angry, sad, alienated, and…at times…physically sick. fix it, for the good of the people. and…along the way, take back power and truth from ‘experts,’ especially the psych ‘experts’ who, it seems, want to run the whole damn world, from top (governments, social programs) down to bottom, telling each individual what to think, believe, etc. Truth? at best, the psych profession’s “concern” for the poor and working classes under their control is maybe a 21st century, medicalized sort of noblesse oblige…or possibly they want to emulate the more “enlightened” and “humane” slave holders of bygone eras. either way, this is more junk “data” from a pseudoscientific death cult.

  • i find it…difficult, to on the one hand acknowledge that there are intelligent, potentially kind and truly “helpful” people in the “helping professions…”

    but the guild as a whole is geared towards human destruction and profit optimization. maybe its because ive seen what the “caring” professionals are really like, when the insurance dries up or one asks too many questions…

    im not interested, no no no. people need people. i now have people who care in my life, not agents of the state pretending to be friends for profit and power.

  • sociology has become much more pro-establishment, at least in the US. so has the academic world, as a whole. i think -that- will make it very hard for any sort of critical psychiatry or antipsychiatry to take hold in the US, probably more so than many other developed, affluent nations. coupled with an authoritarian, punitive culture and a 0 tolerance attitude towards anyone who isn’t in, say, the top 5-10%, and…

    yeah. yeah. not to sound too pessimistic, but I honestly think mental health, inc. –in the US– is just going to become more draconian and dogmatic, and society+the legal system are going to lean on the psych establishment more and more, too. kinda scary, actually.

  • as a stigmatized human being “in recovery,” I must say “Thank you!” for this article. I think…not to sound too, too bitter and angry, but…I think the psych establishment leverages stigma to keep people in line. As in…with insurance and “compliance,” one is “suffering from mental illness” or perhaps “seeking treatment for a substance abuse disorder.” Lower status, fewer $$$, non-compliance enter the scene…you’re a “pathetic weakling,” maybe even a “disgusting junkie.” I know this, because as a “trouble maker,” I’ve encountered it, first hand. I think my own experiences with the mental health system (granted, I’m in the US, so its a different, more punitive ball game) have led me to lean more towards a mix of Shulamith Firestone+Szasz or perhaps Kate Millet+Szasz+Jesus in debunking and exposing Mental Health, Inc., rather than shifting my gaze to dreams of a more humane, progressive, genuinely ‘helpful’ mental health industry.

    i do like your sociological references. here in the US, the psych people aren’t OK with sociologists unless they’re reaffirming the psych ideology+dogma. Many of the sociologists, for their part, seem to have real life -faith- in psychiatry and friends to save those damaged by “sick societies.” I find that…sickening, personally.

  • thanks for this, sera. 🙂

    That last book Szasz wrote…about psychiatry as a system of lies…I think I may have to read it, after all. They abuse language like nobody’s business, its beyond Orwell’s worst nightmares.

    I appreciate your focus on the abuse of language that characterizes Mental Health, Inc. “Recovery from mental illness” is a bland, feel good phrase that could mean anything from “docile, drugged, sufficient remaining abilities to work minimum wage” to “survived psych torture and lived to tell the tale…”

    Szasz, of course, is correct…getting rid of the Myth of Mental Illness would, in fact, lead to much greater clarity of thought…and speech+writing, also. 🙂

  • i think right now psychiatry has become so powerful,and it has so thoroughly permeated all strata of society to such an extent that it seems to be one of the few ‘truths’ Americans can agree on: mental health “helps.”

    facts don’t phase religion. I say that as a Christian, btw…I’ve seen thoughtful Christians, and I’ve seen blind faith-style Christians, and I’d say that the widespread faith in psychiatry is far more dangerous and far more frightening than 99.9% of bind faith Christianity.

    I don’t think anyone in Hollywood will come down hard on psychiatry, not after Tom Cruise’s severe punishment for speaking out. Its an Industry Town…they’re here to make $$$, and pissing off the psychiatrists and their lackeys is not good for business, not at this time in history.

    So, don’t expect actors and actresses to take up our cause. Maybe that’s a good thing? A cause that cannot be completely declawed and sold to us by beautiful people, then forgotten (at best) a couple years later? Save the whales? Free Tibet? Remember that South Park episode, from way back when…Getting gay with kids? Even back then, celebrity radical chic was rubbing people the wrong way.

    At least this film is something of a faltering, imperfect step towards…(re)humanizing those who struggle or have struggled, those who are psychiatry-ized, etc. An imperfect film, or no film at all? The lesser of two evils is often the best one can hope for, especially from Hollywood. 🙂

  • long term neuroleptic treatment can cause tardive dementia and tardive psychosis, both of which are incredibly damaging to the individual and, one would think, damaging to the economy and society as a whole, given how many people are prescribed tranquilizers for any number of (often questionable) reasons. the antidepressants overlap with neuroleptics in some respects (they decrease frontal lobe activity), and with sedatives and stimulants in others, depending on drug in question, dosage, additional drugs, etc.

    If “mental health” was about improving the health of individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole, then the “experts” would have found different ways to deal with problems in living a long time ago. If, on the other hand, the medicalization of deviance and the psychiatry-ization of the masses is more about social stability and control, then…

    Congratulations! The system works like a charm! Time to export this bad boy!

  • thanks for this. i don’t think this could have been more timely and encouraging for me, not to mention the many, many others out there who want our selves and lives on our own terms, free from neuroleptics and everything else the psychiatrists have thrown our way.

    ive noticed that my shrinks rarely tapered most drugs. part of it was that i was low status and didn’t “know my place,” but I had good insurance (this equals: controlled substances, 0 informed consent, 0 real monitoring, and insurance fraud). the other issue, i think, is that psychiatrists are so gung ho about selling us the myths that these are good medicines that help heal sickness, etc. etc. etc., that…with all their knowledge, they refuse to treat the drugs as drugs, even though they’re obviously drugs. oh, that and…i suspect many shrinks play with the drugs to punish and torment the person/patient.

    thanks again for this. i think you just made my day, big time. 🙂