Monday, December 17, 2018

Comments by yeah_I_survived

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  • 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. 🙂

  • I’m so happy for you!

    I’ve been doing Orthomolecular for about 8 years now. I actually just got an “Anniversary” email+discount code from my online vitamin place. I’ve been doing it all these years with the psych drug(s) thrown at me, mostly by community mental health clinics. and now…more and more, I see the potential for full tapering, and a full life…outside of the labels, the clinics, the “side effects” (read: these “side effects” are not accidental; the adverse effects are part of treatment), the self-(Everything), the…

    ongoing “treatment” that will never end, was never going to end, because…its no “treatment,” its bondage, and its not just about the toxic drugs, either. 🙁

    i also see now that I’ve been doing the vitamin thing less than perfectly…the goal isn’t to find the right combination of vitamins and minerals to “treat my (insert DSM code here),” but rather to improve my health and just…move on. Plenty of “mental patients” have walked away…why not me, too?

    thanks again. 🙂

  • what bothers me now is how the rest of the medical establishment covers up for the psychiatrists. and the excuses, justifications, etc. from the -real- doctors not only keep coming…they just keep getting more indepth with their lies and excuses, plus a healthy dose of Orwellian double speak. so…

    they know what hospitals do to people. and they not only do nothing, they refer people…to psychiatrists…on a fairly regular basis. is all of medicine sold out to the 1% and their agenda?

    it is worth noting that the medical establishment is surprisingly authoritarian, materialistic, and at times…dogmatic and violent. psychiatry takes it up several notches, on a daily basis.

    i dont know how relevant this is…its just been on my mind. are doctors, in general, doing more harm than good, in Generation Rx?

  • what strikes me as odd about szasz…one can tell by the way he thinks, his outlook…he was very much a psychiatrist. affluent, worldly, cynical, half amateur philosopher, half witch doctor…

    yup. Pretty much a shrink. 🙂

  • hi. it takes a while. i went off all psych drugs after a horrible hospitalization. the “experts” in my area (small town) decided to make an example out of me, teach me a lesson, etc…basically because I was “non-compliant” and they weren’t making $$$ (private docs, etc.).

    and thus began my saga…a mix of coming of age and getting out of psychiatry. I’m -still- growing and -still- transitioning out of psychiatry, but…

    I am healthy. I am intelligent. I have hope and a future. Church helps. prayer helps. I attribute my good health to Jesus, which…oddly enough…puts me at odds with many “christians,” because…you know…psychiatry is good and Jesus doesn’t heal “mental patients,” etc. 🙁

    1 year is a huge step forward, but…it takes time, especially if there were multi-drug cocktails involved.

    🙂

  • hi. I always enjoy Dr.Steingard’s posts.

    I take an “atypical” neuroleptic. Probably sort of like taking a low dose of Haldol, but with less muscle stiffness. I also take a lot of vitamins (Orthomolecular). I’ve taken benzodiazepines in the past, and they only suppressed voices to a point. Same thing with neurontin, sedating antihistamines, even a number of anti-seizure drugs. sedation only goes so far.

    am I a “voluntary” patient? Not exactly. If I don’t take the tranquilizer and I relapse, I could end up hospitalized, which would mean costs and (in all likelihood) a more noxious, densely sedating drug. Do I have “Schizophrenia” ? I doubt there is any such entity as a disease, in the same sense as say…lung cancer or arthritis.

    I’d like to taper off the neuroleptic, eventually. How? I don’t know. My dose is moderate in “atypical”-land, and that beats a high dose or (worse yet) a massive dose of the older stuff, state hospital-style. and yet..

    there is 0 support around here for tapering. everything and everyone reinforces the need for “medication.” I have a remarkably supportive family and yet…they too tell me “take the medicine.” The clinic is worse. All meds, all the time. And then if you’re on too many meds, that’s regarded with suspicion. And if you manage to get a psychiatrist to reduce the neuroleptic…that raises eyebrows, and…

    yeah, OK. Let’s just say…based on my “real life experiences,” I find Dr.Steingard’s approach appealing, far more humane, and…just more acceptable, from a moral standpoint.

    🙂

  • this is well-written and I find it interesting. having said that…

    I think many of us who have survived various forms of mental health would be well served to find meaning thru spirituality, good literature, social causes, genuine relationships…

    not surprisingly, the “professionals” I’ve dealt with tried to tell me what to believe, what books to read, what causes were acceptable for me to care about, and that I wasn’t “good enough” for good friends and such. and so…

    I’m thinking there’s more hope for me and ohters than I had thought, but not in Mental Healht, Inc….no matter how “progressive” or enlightened a “professional” is…or acts, anyway…

    better to exit and move on, I think.

  • I don’t think anyone can change the core of what mental health, inc. is all about. Szasz writes that coercive or involuntary “acts of psychiatry” should be banned outright, declared illegal. I’ll go a couple steps further and argue that -all- “acts of psychiatry,” and “acts of psychotherapy,” too, should be banned. The whole industry is based on lies…not to mention force, fraud, and coercion. This industry cannot be reformed. Personally, I think the best any of us can do is to walk away and warn the others. What else is there to do, really?

  • im thinking its partially rooted in growing inequality, austerity measures, and (of course…) the overall “medicalization of deviance (and everyday life…)” and slaying the dragon is correct, too, of course; there’s a very real “epidemic of psychiatry,” one that seems to grow every passing year.

    what to do? I’m thinking those of us who have survived should find a way to exit, as best we can, and warn those on their way in, or in but not deeply inside “the system.” save pre-patients and those who haven’t been so damaged and slathered in stigma that escape will require a miracle. other than that…

    pray. seriously. I’m a Christian, so I recommend Jesus, but…pray. Please.

  • a growing number of people in America…

    DO NOT MATTER. Its so strange, we’re becoming this sick culture in which most people are essentially invisible, especially in situations like this.

    Female, “mentally ill,”
    probably working class or poor…

    DO NOT MATTER.

    Maybe they’ll do something about it. Kind of helps that they were female and seeking “help” (women are usually rewarded for voluntarily seeking mental health ‘treatment,’ or so it seems), vs non-white and male vs an aggressive, impoverished male ‘mental patient’…

    but still. i kind of doubt much will come of this case, but I could very well (hopefully…) be wrong.

  • this is just sad. I”m not a big fan of the medical establishment, but I’m not gung ho against the whole industry, either. Plus…I hate to see -anyone- pushed so far that they need psychotropics on a regular basis. I agree that reviving interest in Orthomolecular–not that it ever was incredibly popular, but it did get a lot more press say, in the 70s, than it does now–would help a lot of people, “experts” included.

    if the elites and elites-in-training of our society are drugged up, what does that say about everyone else? what hope is there for “the rest of us” if our leaders and experts need their chemical fixes, too?

  • ugh. this is good…in the sense that important people with credentials are asking basic, important questions and MIA is kind enough to share it with us (thanks, btw). However…

    the pills. drop them too fast, go truly crazy–crazy that only happens when psychiatry has been involved. stay on them, get fat and damaged all over–again, in a way that only psychiatry can really do.

    ugh. at least important people are asking the basic, important questions. 🙂

  • I think Szasz wrote about an emerging Pharmacracy (I may have misspelled that, btw), a rule by and for those involved with drugs–prescription drugs, street drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs!. And…here we are…

    2018. I read a shrink’s blog once, he says psychiatry is really society’s “pressure valve” or something…by taking care of outliers and deviants, psychiatry is supposed to help maintain order. but…in the current “epidemic of psychiatry” (yes, Szasz), it appears that the attempts to patch up a hyper-competitive, disintegrating society result in…

    more chaos, more violence, more disintegration and alienation. So, the vast majority of human beings would probably be better off without psychiatry, not just “mental patients” and their families. But with less upward mobility, more inequality, and increasingly cut throat competition for what’s left for the 99%…

    I think perhaps society needs psychiatry more than ever.

  • from what I’ve seen, college counselling centers take “weeding out the riff raff” and/or “dealing with weaklings” to a whole other level.

    my experiences weren’t at an elite school, but…looking back, it was like this: the more working class or middle-middle class riff raff ended up there, one way or another. now and then you’d get a (usually female) person from a more affluent family, but…whatever…they usually got lots of Ativan. and then…

    some of them got more “breathing room” in their classes because of the counseling center. others ended up dropping out because they were doped up, labeled, and denied any sort of meaningful help in life challenges as a college student. so….

    just another example of one of the many faces of Mental Health, Inc. reinforcing the social order. come from an upper class family…sure kiddo, we’ll “help” (especially females…). Middle-middle class or below…yawn…here’s your Seroquel, maybe you should be a factory worker.

    I seem recall reading a bit of Breggin on college counseling. His piece was focused on the misogyny and the brain damage, if I remember correctly. Those are valid points, too…how does a late teens to early 20something go forth and do much of anything if the college psychiatrist has scrambled the neurons, already?

  • -sigh- i do think social class is the big thing here, sadly. eating well boosts mood…unless you’re somehow eating well in oppression, low status, poverty, and social isolation. then…ya know…I would imagine the effects are minimal, at best.

    having said that, i do find Orthomolecular supplements help me, personally. I think the “trick,” if one can call it that, is to boost some vitamin+antioxidant levels well above what even the best diet could possibly provide. I think of it as a less expensive, more readily available, potentially healthful way of achieving some of what the psych drugs are billed as doing. and yet…

    even there, im thinking that once nutrition is good enough and one is cleared of major physical health problems, this “mental illness” business (and it is a business…a lucrative one, at that…) is pretty much as Szasz writes about…its pseudoscience on a good day, more like…a state-sponsored, godless religion that also functions as social control.

  • I think amphetamines are the top choices in the US. Elsewhere, its Ritalin. Ritalin was long regarded as milder than amphetamines, good for some forms of depression, sedation from other prescribed drugs, etc., which I guess is still how doctors who aren’t based in the US view things. So…

    I’m thankful for this study, to a point. On the one hand, its sorta like…”thank you, Captain Obvious, for pointing out that uppers can cause psychosis!,” but on the other hand…

    at least people are asking the questions. I mean…people with credentials, of course. The next step would be to fully investigate why, suddenly, everybody has “ADD/ADHD”. My vote goes for the problems with capitalism, but…

    there’s been some convincing research on beneficial impacts of supplements on “ADHD,” which…to me…still doesn’t -prove- a biological basis. Orthomolecular was getting a lot of press at one point during Szasz’s (long) career, and he compared the vitamin treatment to one USSR method, which was forced fasting. Basically, he pointed out that if the same “disease”–in that case, “Schizophrenia”–can be “treated” by stuffing people full of nutrients and also by depriving people of food for extended periods of time, then it is probably not an actual disease that is being “treated.” Valid point, I think.

  • therapy is a waste. counseling is a dead end. I don’t doubt that there are some high quality people in mental health…but they’re the exceptions to the rule, sadly enough.

    its all about control, usually. labels, stigma, making more money for themselves or the psychiatrists who will galdly drug up their patients to make us/them more “amenable to treatment,” etc.

    people need people, of course. people need guidance, real compassion, real friends. i think we’d all be quite alright without therapists, counselors, etc.

  • personally, i do find that fairly high (some would say “massive”) doses of vitamins do more for more than any number of herbals ever did. Maybe I had long standing deficiencies?

    If they feel so inclined, the “professionals” of Mental Health, Inc. can get you the “medicine you need,” at little or no cost for you. Its…well…crazy. Herbs, vitamins, etc.? Hell no. They don’t even like seeing me meandering in wearing quality shoes, why on earth would they want me all hopped up on antioxidants?

  • the “personality disorders” are the worst. if they label someone with one, especially a “severe personality disorder,” they treat them worse than many of the “Bipolar” or “Schizophrenic” people, and then they say “well, patient xyz has a -personality disorder-, not -mental illness-. there’s only so much we can do…”

    ive come to believe that many of those labeled with “personality disorders” are people who are being punished by their shrinks. a big part of psychiatry is punishment for pissing your shrink off, then rewards for being a “good patient.” there is no winning within Mental Health, Inc…the best “solution” is to try to get out, when and if possible.

  • Psychiatry is a system of social control. It is also a system of destroying people. The drugs, the shock “treatments,” the occasional operation (I hear psychosurgery is making a comeback…), plus…

    even if a person/”patient” is given innocuous placebos, being psychiatry-ized is an effective way in which to silence people. I’ve seen this happen even in non-drug “treatment,” with counselors and psychotherapists.

    I’d also like to point out that Mental Health, Inc. -hates- “weaklings.” I use the ” ” because…I don’t consider any human being a “weakling.” I think+believe -all- people are created in God’s image, and therefore are to be afforded respect and dignity. Psychiatry, on the other hand…

    is cruel enough to the relatively “high functioning” with good insurance. As one looks further down the totem pole, the cruelty and nastiness of Mental Health, Inc. becomes more and more obvious. When one starts out disabled or differently abled–a “weakling,” from the psychiatric standpoint–the situation will be far, far worse (for the person/”patient”). And then…there are the many people who start “treatment” healthy and “normal”(ish), who are then ripped to shreds, destroyed, and cast aside. The shrinks hate “weaklings,” and they also destroy people, thereby creating “weaklings.” I’m fairly certain psychiatry has always been this way, or at least they have been since the brain crippling “treatments” became the “standard of care.”

  • blah. I had -serious- problems from psych “treatment” until fairly recently, so I can definitely relate. The benzodiazepines were a key player in destroying me. severe anxiety, tics, cognitive problems…and the shrinks would only help -if- I played by their rules and -if- I took the “right medicines” (read: high doses of -other- drugs, to mask the damage from the 1st round of treatment). I refused, and I suffered mightily, as do many (Most? all?) “uppity mental patients” and/or “non-compliant patients.” And yet…

    I encountered Christians who were kind and supportive. Conservative? way, way too conservative for me, but they were also questioning psychiatry, with Scripture to back up their criticisms. I ended up “getting saved,” as many on the more conservative, Arminian side of Christendom call it. And…

    I don’t have tics. My anxiety–really, primal, brain damaged fear that did not ever subside–is largely gone. I’m remarkably healthy. Orthomolecular (high dose vitamins) has helped, too, but…I now believe that God still does supernatural “stuff” in this world, largely because of His work in my life.

    But many people remain damaged, even destroyed. Not everyone has family able and willing to support and even protect them. Staying in the economy often means one -must- take the “new medicines,” one must play the “experts'” rules, one must “remain in treatment,” often indefinitely (or…until retirement, I suppose…). Truth be told, if God had not moved so mightily in my body and in my life, my family would have probably discarded me. That’s how rough it is for people destroyed by psychiatry…even the nearest and dearest get tired, get ashamed, get angry, and the person/”patient” ends up…away, out of mainstream society, destroyed and discarded.

  • I don’t know. I don’t think survivors really can reconcile with “treatment providers.” I thought…for a season…that I’d found a good (whatever kind of treatment provider), and then it dawned on me…

    same monster, different face. Its like…Janus, only extra-frightening. There is no real help or hope or even truth in Mental Health, Inc.

    Mental Health, Inc. needs to set the captives free, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Truth? ha! What -is- truth, anyway? The state sponsored religion will -probably- continue shredding individuals, families, whole segments of the population…

    with ever increasing mendacity and ferocity. Some may walk away, some may find miraculous healing…

    They will be the exceptions that prove the rule: psychiatry–much like satan himself–roams society, seeking whom it may devour.

  • i don’t think most people are -permitted- to have the same emotional range as in years, generations past. obey authority at school–or else! suffering is for losers! know your place! who, in this day and age, has time to cry? time to reflect? i mean…i do, which…oddly enough, is one of the “perks” of being a “mental patient” (under very limited circumstances…”play the hand you’re dealt,” basically…).

    its also worth noting that psychiatry has been thoroughly deconstructed, debunked, the works. Mental Health, Inc. is not growing and taking over our schools, our homes, our minds because its “treatments” are effective or even all that tolerable…

    society needs psychiatry, especially in an era in which inequality has grown internationally, the costs of any sort of education that -might- lead to job stability and upward mobility have sky rocketed, and religions have lost their hold over our spirits and souls…which might explain the incredible number of M.Divinity people in secular mental health, inc. and the booming industry that is “Christian counseling.”

    This is…I believe the phrase is “disenchantment of the world,” what happens when modernization saps us of our humanity, one way or another.

  • I can’t even imagine. sounds like they went out of their way to -create- “Schizophrenia” or…whatever…in your case. I’ve never had all that, Praise God.

    I had a cousin, on the other hand…she got uppity, and her shrink (private practice) sent her off to the state hospital. Her parents went thru hell trying to get her out. Thankfully, where I live, they’re not big on the state hospital…usually, its the very far gone people who have been thru way too much “treatment” already and women from “good families,” especially in criminal cases. Most of it has been shut down. Even the criminal cases are often in and out in under 6 months, then “treated in the community.” ahhh, the asylum without walls. what progress.

    sorry about what you were subjected to. Just goes to show how ridiculous psychiatry is…one shrink will call it “personality disorder,” another “Schizoffective.” A shrink in one state has the authority to commit to the state hospital, so the person needs “long term treatment.” A shrink in, say, my state doesn’t want to use tax payer $$$ without justification, so the person needs “treatment in the community.”

  • I am pleasantly surprised that a sociologist is finally applying “the sociological imagination” (and common sense) to the wild world of Mental Health, Inc. The sociology instructors and professor I remember from years past never questioned the concept of mental illness or psychiatry or…anything, really. All I learned back then was that the “severely mentally ill” had a rough run of things, and it’d be nice if we could reduce stigma and spend more $$$ on disability benefits. Actually, now that I think of it, I do remember 1 younger Sociology professor encouraging a female student to seek out “professional help,” telling her that “there are prescription medications that might help you.”

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that serious sociological inquiry into psychiatry and friends has only recently become “cool.” From what little I know about these things, once it becomes “cool,” a select group will jump on it, then when the “cool” factor goes down a couple notches, one might see a trickle down to lower tier schools. Wait a couple decades…and the process will probably repeat…

    meanwhile, those of us who are in, have been in, or are trying to exit Mental Health, Inc. will only find “help” from the MDs, PhDs, etc. when our suffering furthers careers and/or advances a cause.

  • Anonymous sources seem to be targeting her for destruction. given how vicious human beings can be to each other in general…especially in an academic setting, when someone gets media attention, moves up the totem pole…

    it would be…well…considerate of Science to think about how this sort of coverage might ruin this individual’s career. Having said that… as someone who survived Mental Health, Inc. — which is filled with “empaths” who turn out to be vicious bullies and occasionally criminals, too (fraud, for instance) — I obviously suspect that these anonymous tipsters are simply seizing an opportunity to tell the truth, at long last.

  • I think the most viable alternative to psychiatry is religion. I choose Jesus, so I go for Christianity. Even though I believe that Jesus is -the- Ultimate Answer, I recognize that people find meaning, purpose, and community in any number of other faiths. For those who do not believe in God or a Higher Power, I don’t know…maybe strong commitment to social movements, volunteering, etc. could be of help. As Szasz and numerous others have noted, one of psychiatry’s functions is a state-sponsored religion (death cult, if you ask me). Its a fake religion that undermines real religions, and –“paranoid” as this may sound to some– I highly doubt the shrinks’ work in weakening real religions is simply “secularization…” I sense an actual concerted effort to damage the competition.

  • Maybe its because I’m a Christian, but…I think+believe that -ALL- human beings need empathy and compassion. Punishment and shunning are clearly not only counterproductive but, to my Christian mind, immoral.

    My own experience in the realm of “drug abuse” was hellish, and it only got worse once private, for profit hospitals got involved (I see now…that’s to be expected). Vulnerable youngster with good insurance? Hey, let’s destroy him! On the plus side…

    now that I’ve “recovered” (read: miraculously been made whole…happens, now and then), the “treatment” I received is useful in the sense that I’ve seen what Mental Health, Inc. is -really- about…and it isn’t compassion or even “helping people.”

    While I appreciate calls to show compassion, I don’t think one should have to play up previous trauma, abuse, etc. to be given compassion. The tone of the quoted ‘experts’ in this article make it seem as if the junkies need to provide a real -reason- to be shown the least bit of kindness. Again, as a Christian, I believe that even the most wretched human being, -ever- is still a human being, created in God’s image, and therefore deserving of respect and proper care, comapssion, even pity (I’m not only one of those who finds “pity” unacceptable…I think it is a valid human emotion…).

  • I find it interesting that so much new research (which…pretty much validates what people in both the “critical psychiatry” and antipsychiatry camps have been saying, all along) is coming out of the UK. I live in the US, and I think perhaps society (and…the economy…) lean more heavily on the mental health industry here than in the UK, which might explain why a “professional” talked to me about “chemical imbalances” about 1 week ago. My best guess is that its partly the economy and…honestly…something about a damaged, over-extended empire…would drive many of us to some sort of chemical escape. Some go for Vodka, others Vicodin, still others…Valium.

    I do hope research like this makes waves in the US. I think it might, but it will probably be yet another blue state vs red state situation, in terms of what areas actually do something about it.

  • ive come to similar conclusions. the most “progressive” people I’ve known are also sometimes some of the worst human beings, while the “conservative” people turn out being better for and to me, on a 1-on-1 basis.

    one reason I lean more towards seriously wanting Mental Health, Inc. abolished is because…force, fraud, and coercion are the very core of the industry+its dogma. I think abolishing the massive, false, state religion of psychiatry would also benefit the -real- religions out there, and make for more clear thinking in the general population (I stole this form Szasz, btw…not my ideal human being, but an excellent writer and critic of all things mental health).

    Of course…the way society+the economy, the legal system are going…I’m thinking we’re all stuck with Mental Health, Inc. in some form. At this point, they’ve got big name celebrities pushing their agenda and encouraging the masses to “seek treatment,” all that junk.

    anyway…thanks for your post. im trying, personally, to free my mind from all the mental health venom that’s been put there, over the years, and…move forward, at long last.

  • as a Christian, I believe each human life matters to God and that suicide is not a viable option. as someone who has survived the mental health system, I think (know) there must be better ways of dealing with intense distress. That is…of course…if the mental health system was actually about effectively helping those of us with distress and/or madness. my experiences and reading have led me to the conclusion that, sadly, mental health, inc. is not now and never was, never will be, about empathy, compassion, helping the oppressed and distressed. far from it.

    given that the “standard interventions” result in more suicides, I think the practical and humane approach is to acknowledge suicide as a civil right, much like Szasz writes about in his work. As a Christian, I find much of mental health, inc. far too immoral and dishonest to recommend it, much less demand that the suicidal amongst us be “treated” by “professionals” who often do far more harm than good.

  • I think this is yet another example of (in my mind…) the need to de-couple the psych -drugs- from Mental Health, Inc. Benzodiazepines became a big deal because they’re so much safer than the barbiturates and the various non-barbiturate anxiolytics and sedatives floating around in the 50-70s. They’re awesome for occasional use for agitation, “psychosis,” what have you…just to simmer down, basically. Thing is…

    I suspect a former shrink deliberately created a dependence on benzodiazepines in my case, when I was in my late teens. sounds paranoid, I know, but…it lines up with what I’ve learned about psychiatry, even what I’ve read in psych studies. 1st: prescribe benzodiazepine to foster good rapport. Then…rapid taper benzodiazepine, to “punish” the person/”patient” for…I don’t know. Any number of “sins,” non-compliance probably being the big one. Point is…

    even though I -hate- the human costs of drug abuse, I think legalization of all fun drugs is the answer, I really do. If someone is on edge and they need an Ativan, they should be able to buy one without dealing with a nefarious shrink or an over worked family doctor. If someone is in pain and they want a Vicodin, they should be able to get one without a permission slip from a doctor worried about the DEA breathing down his neck.

    Giving people easy access to drugs would reduce Mental Health, Inc.’s power considerably. If they cannot control the drugs we take, they cannot force drugs on us, and they cannot play the name game of calling some drugs “medicines” and other drugs “addictive drugs,” then perhaps they’ll be forced to get real jobs, as their industry withers and dies.

  • i certainly hope not. these drug “crises” are clearly social problems with a number of contributing factors, very few of which get as much coverage as the “crisis” itself.

    its also worth noting that while benzodiazepines are far from ideal, people prone to “psychosis” (I guess…a particularly distressing and socially unacceptable form of misery and/or madness…) often do well with benzodiazpeines. Here and there, from the 60s-80s, there were studies that showed that standard doses of benzodiazepines could calm people down and reduce “symptoms” with far less misery than the neuroleptics. Speaking as a “patient” whose experienced this…I’d say that careful use of benzodiazepines can reduce or sometimes even eliminate the need for a neuroleptic (assuming, of course, one has the option…).

  • I don’t think mania is a valid concept. I did, for a time…I thought the best thing to do, as an individual (“patient”) would be to work with Mental Health, Inc. and their concepts. I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

    Talking about “appreciation for healthy mania” sounds warm and accepting, until one realizes: there’s nothing warm, accepting, or even remotely humane about Mental Health, Inc. I think the very title of this article also reinforces the position of the “expert” as the one who decides what is moral and immoral, OK and forbidden…using terms such as “healthy” and “sick,” of course.

  • sorry about your experience. As a Christian, I thought for a while that my path out of Schizophrenia would mean simply repent and push forward, allow God to put off the old, put on the new. While there is much more forward-focus in my faith than in, say, mainstream mental health, based on memories that have returned to me, years after heavy, involuntary shock ‘treatments,’ I’m beginning to think that God is at least blessing me with enough chunks of my past to string together a good narrative, possibly even enough to make sense of the so-called ‘symptoms’ that remain in my life.

    Based on that–because for me to remember anything is a miracle, I was blasted into oblivion–I’ve come to see the value in seeing the past, if only to see the shadows lingering in the present, so I can see, understand, know how to pray, etc. I also find Orthomolecular quite helpful.

  • they’ll drill that into people/”patients,” too. happened to me. “You are (),” “You do (),” “DO NOT QUESTION MY AUTHORITY!,” etc.

    I think one reason I converted to Christianity and hold Jesus so dear is because Christianity teaches that -every- human being is created in God’s image and -every- life matters, even if the person in question is wretched, ugly, stigmatized, rejected, etc. in this (fallen) world. Of course…

    I am coming to think (note: not believe, not feel…think…) that Mental Health, Inc. is a godless, possibly anti-Christ industry. Oh, and the “Christian” mental health people are (sadly…) sometimes some of the worst offenders. The talking ones…the counselors, psychotherapists…are numerous, often mediocre and just as terrible as the non-believers…

    but its really the Christian psychiatrists who straight up scare me. They somehow combined the aboslute worst organized religion has to offer with psychiatry, and the result is…not of God, possibly evil. OK…probably evil. But..profitable, no doubt.

  • im fairly convinced that mental hospitals create patients. ive only been in 2 hospitals, 1 stint in each. both are ‘well-regarded,’ and both set out to destroy me (no…really). happens. “rinky dink middle class loser” with good insurance = 50s state hospital treatment, in a private, for profit setting.

    now, of course…im regarded as a “mental patient, from a good family,” so different rules apply. 0 hospitalizations, I get to “recover,” etc. My experience of “treatment” is one reason why I’ve dusted off the old Kate Millet and Shulamith Firestone…social class is a huge issue, “the personal is political,” etc.

    Anyway…thanks for sharing your experiences. You write well. I do hope things get better for you. Supplements help some people taper or discontinue psych drugs. I personally recommend Orthomolecular, but some people swear by well-formulated herbals and such.

  • honestly, I don’t think there’s much to add to Szasz, unless one chooses to approach psychiatry from a sociological angle. The sociologists are better at putting psychiatry and the rest of mental health into a broader context, and some of them even provide data to back up their ideas. Oh, and the economic angle. Szasz was capitalist to the core, but I do find Marxist analysis of mental health intriguing. Of course, then one could just go back to Firestone, which overlaps with Kate Millet, etc., so…”nothing new under the sun,” etc.

  • As a Christian, I believe in good and I believe in evil. Truth, moral absolutes, all that jazz. Psychiatry as an -industry- is Evil. Psychiatrists as -individuals- are mostly wicked, though there are some rather evil characters in Mental Health, Inc. Some of their wickedness, I think, is rooted in mediocrity. Affluent family, not good enough for real medicine…psychiatry! This, to me, explains why the -male psychiatrists- , in particular, are so dangerous and vicious…they don’t ‘measure up’ to the men in -real medicine-. The female shrinks…well, whatever. From what little I’ve seen, they tend to marry -real doctors-, anyway.

    Also, as a Christian…I think Jesus saves. Antipsychiatry…may or may not be useful, it depends on the individual, her circumstances, his outlook, etc. Since psychiatry is, in fact, a (false…dangerous…) religion, it stands to reason that (genuine) Christianity would provide a solution. Honestly, I’m old school in that I think Jesus is Truth and I believe that Jesus is -the- way to God, but…

    from a practical standpoint, I think the vast majority of religions out there could be helpful. At the very least, most of them are far less deadly and dangerous than psychiatry.

  • ugh. at best, the tranquilizers suppress paranoia and agitation, to a point. more often…they’re used to shut people up, control people (hence their widespread use in “ODD”). sounds to me like yet another case in which the psych drugs end up creating more problems than they (temporarily…) suppress.

    personally, ive found tapering off the neuroleptics -quite- difficult, even more so than ditching the benzodiazepines. even at low doses, they cause such a profound alteration in brain function that dosage reductions are about all I can handle at this point, rather than full on discontinuation. lame.

  • I think a lot of people need drugs. I don’t mean because they’re “weaklings” or whatever, just…human have always done drugs, and now there’s this ridiculous situation in which a lot of the better drugs are illegal and/or heavily restricted, stigmatized, etc.

    Back when I was involved in substance use, it was more immaturity and curiosity than anything else. I got labeled and destroyed by Mental Health, Inc. “Nothing personal.” I was just some middle class loser with good insurance. Happens.

    My -personal- opinion, as someon who’s seen many parts of Mental Health, Inc. (when I think of Mental Health, Inc., I often think of that Roman deity…Janus…), is that -all- drugs should be legalized. I know…that’s Szasz…but I think all drugs should be legalized and then at least somewhat regulated, plus taxed a bit. I’m not anti-gov’t regulation as Szasz is, but I am anti-misery. Because I’m anti-misery, I find that I’m against “The War on Drugs” and against a lot of what the mental health industry is forcing on people.

    If the prescription system could be largely scrapped, desirable drugs could be obtained w/ low costs…then I think a whole lot of misery–from the drugs, drug culture, and Mental Health, Inc.–could be avoided. Of course..if one could purchase uppers, downers, and pain killers at reasonable costs from a local pharmacy, then I imagine pain management and psychiatry would both cease to exist, because direct access would end the need for an MD/DO middle man. I doubt that will ever happen, but…it certainly would be a rational, humane, and potentially lucrative (for the gov’t coffers…) approach.

  • I can see your point. I didn’t mean to upset or belittle you. I’m stuck on a psych drug right now. turns out…tapering completely just isn’t in the cards at this moment. and…while this may not be the ideal place to write this, i will say: the way society looks at actions, behavior, etc., I do “better” on a certain psych drug than not on it, or (gasp…) drug-free, etc. So…there’s that.

    I just…regret my ‘treatment,’ and i am beginning to think+suspect that there is no definite exit in sight, not for me. Not that its all doom-and-gloom; far from it. I think of it more like an ongoing play, I have a role to play. This role is not who I -really- am, but it is the role assigned to me. “Play the hand you’re dealt,” etc.

  • what is “depression” ? I have no problem with people taking anything that might help their distress, madness, etc., and….

    I don’t have a problem with people talking openly about being miserable, or very sad, or slowed down, or hearing voices…

    its when we/they are forced to speak in DSM-speak that I have a problem. So, basically…

    I’d like to have an open dialogue about what it means to be pushed over the edge, to be on the edge, to be trapped inside one’s pain…

    that’d actually be amazing, now that I think about it. What the shrinks and their celeb poster children for 21st century Mental Hygiene are giving us is…

    not that. not at all. just more distance between the labeled and the “normal,” reinforced with pseudoscientific jargon.

  • I was reading…back in the day, psychiatry was openly based upon “non-injurious torture,” along with strong elements of -fear-. Of course, now its all “Evidence-based,” blah blah blah, but I got to thinking about it, and…

    given how even the high profile police brutality (and straight up murder, manslaughter) cases only rarely result in the “swift, certain, and severe” punishment that follows, say…hurting a cop…could one come to the conclusion that one of 21st century American police forces’ “latent functions” is, in fact, to instill fear in the masses, to keep us all in line?

    Just thinking (well…typing…) out loud.

  • ugh. it just doesn’t get better, does it? Szasz wrote a book that I Have yet to read…before he left this world of toil…about psychiatry as The Science of Lies, or something like that, anyway. Since I know my Szasz, I get it already…

    and he is correct, of course. Lies, 1/2 truths, convenient un-truths…that’s the core of psychiatry and pretty much all of Mental Health, Inc. And..

    this goes 2x, 3x for these “anti-stigma” campaigns. Remember 1984? Yeah, I don’t remember the whole thing, but I do remember something along the lines of….”Slavery is Freedom.” I’m seeing an element of Orwell here, with high dollar celebs and clever marketing…

  • every now and then, as the economy and society change, masculinity (in particular…) comes up for redefinition. actually…now that I think about it…at least in America, masculinity is forever subject to revision, redefinition, retooling, re-branding.

    I don’t doubt that men who are taught to be that -sort- of manly will end up having more problems when the real world hits. I imagine its also something of a social class and education issue. Speaking as a white male, I’ve observed that working class men are raised to be more “tough” and all that. Once one hits the middle-middle class, men get more leeway in all respects, including emotions and such. Get to the “well-to-do” realm, there’s more freedom and -space- from social norms. I’m wondering how much of the suicidality is rooted in larger socio-economic realities. The white, working class men who would have been labor activists or military men or…well, who would also have had upward mobility, so they might not have remained working class, in years past…

    are now stuck in a position with little hope, 0 tolerance schools, 0 tolerance society, disintegrating families, widespread misery and pain, and…anomie, basically. No upward mobility, plenty of potential for poverty, prison, etc., so there’s an element of intense alienation, which lines up with Marx’s writing about late stage capitalism.

    One’s “mode” of masculinity is undoubtedly an issue, yes, but I think that the form of masculinity one is taught is probably a reflection of larger social and economic issues, and those larger issues are probably where one can find more solid, meaningful answers to the high (and rising…) suicide rate.

  • at least they’re talking about poverty in health care…especially in the world of mental health, inc., social class is a -huge- issue. In American culture, of course, social class is not discussed as openly or as frequently as in many other societies, so that (to me…) gives the mental health, inc. people more power, because its an issue but no one talks about it, which leads to more obfuscation and such in the mental health realm.

    when I was -poor-, i had -1- shrink discuss resources, social class, etc. with me, and that was in the context of making sure i wasn’t going to flip out. to be fair…at least that shrink brought it up. its worth noting that particular shrink was trained in Europe, so that might have been part of it. Now, I’m no longer living in poverty, etc., so…social class is once again -off the table- , in terms of talking points w/ the shrinks.

    Szasz sharpens my mind and thinking, but I agree that he wasn’t the best human being. Maybe its because I”m a Christian that I don’t find Szasz worth emulating or idolizing? I do, however, find his analysis of psychiatry helpful, as I try to exit Mental Health, Inc. (if possible…).

    I think the drugs can take the edge off distress and madness, for a season, for some people. I don’t think psychiatrists or psychiatry are necessary, though. A family doctor could provide benzodiazepines, low dose neuroleptics, etc., and they’re usually better about monitoring overall health and dealing with low-income people than the shrinks.

    I get the sense that some shrinks do have a sense of human decency, compassion, etc., which kind of makes me wonder…why didn’t they become real doctors?

  • The neuroleptics, in particular, are more commonly used among minorities and lower social class groups. these groups have difficulty enough staying cool when the weather turns hot (or…warm, when the weather turns cold…). add in heavy tranquilizers and a shredded safety net, and one gets a “heat wave,” which is a social problem framed as some sort of “natural disaster” and/or “extreme weather,” etc.

  • its worth noting that the legal system and the psychiatric system work together, as systems of control and punishment. shrinks “make examples” out of wayward patients, too, and they seem to be able to do so with even less fear of punishment than your average cop.

    maybe the fear, the violence, the sense of powerlessness…is not a dysfunction, but an integral part of how our system “really works” ?

  • I think the police state exists in part because of inequality. If you’ll notice, South Africa and the former USSR nations have high incarceration rates, too. Inequality, social disintegration, deep pockets of intergenerational poverty and oppression…when these factors combine, one gets a police+prison state.

    What scares me about American culture right now is how defeated just about everyone has become. We have -male- celebrities “getting treatment” for whatever, often as part of plea deals. I mean…its bad enough for women, but when the shrinks have even gotten the high status, white men…

    no one is safe from Mental Health, Inc.

    Reducing inequality and expanding (recreating? building?) a safety net would help tremendously. Look at the 50s-70s, maybe even into the 80s. sure, the US had a much more extensive state hospital system, but…

    holy mother of god…look at what Mental Health, Inc. is up to now, in 2018. And its so much more dangerous, insidious, than in years past…

    more people “in treatment,” higher suicide rates, more people on disability. Fewer people in state hospitals…plenty more in prisons, on various forms of Mental Health, Inc.-supervised “Treatment” thru probation parole, conditional discharge, etc…

    I don’t think its going to get better in the US, honestly. The 1%-ers these days make the Gilded Age upper crust look like amateurs.

  • I enjoyed the article. Maybe its because I’m a fairly traditional Christian, but I don’t hold out too much hope for society. Human nature is bad enough; add in deregulated capitalism, destruction of the family and communities, and the rise of the great death cult, Mental Health, Inc., and…

    its a massive recipe for disaster. No where to run, no where to hide. I do believe that Jesus saves, of course, but I’m now thoroughly disappointed by the church. 12-step programs right in the sanctuary, leading the faithful straight to Hell. Awesome.

    So…where to go? What to do? With the whole world headed towards annihilation, no wonder so many people end up killing themselves. No, no; Zoloft/Abili-Quel will -not- “help,” it may very well harm, quite possibly destroy you and maybe even some of those around you, but…

    try, just try telling the Truth in today’s world. I cannot prove to anyone’s satisfaction that God exists or that Jesus saves, but…want proof of Satan’s existence? Look at psychiatry, past and present.

  • social class is a major issue in psychotherapy. in my experience, if one has more resources, there’s an attempt to drag one down…for control and power and profit. the low status, of course, are easily labeled and destroyed. next!

    at a personal level, my “solution” is to make real friends. that’s difficult in modern America, but its happened, for me, and I’m thankful. i find that real friends have real conversations for no payment, no insurance required. they then expect the same of me (reciprocity), and the cycle continues.

  • file this one under “bad idea.” I guess a certain segment of America’s elite thinks locking up more and more of the (growing…and growing…) under-class is the way to go? Obviously, the absolute -last- thing I want (or anyone on MIA, I would imagine) is to give Mental Health, Inc. -more- resources, -more- power, etc. As with all bullies…”give an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

  • hi. I’m so thankful you’re at a point where you can move forward with your life and look to a future outside of Mental Health, Inc. I’m getting there. Getting off the drugs was (surprisingly…) the easy part, possibly because of high dose supplementation. The difficult part that I’m facing now is trying to transition out of labels that have been applied not just “in treatment,” but also in the community. Read: I may end up having to move, also.

    I vaguely remember something Szasz wrote about Woolf…”my madness saved me,” as in she used her “manic depression” to further her own interests, which seems to be fairly common among upper crust “mental patients.”

  • I’m not all that well-versed in Marxist theory, but I do recall reading that, in late stage capitalism, there’s a whole lot of “alienation of the worker” going on. I think MIA had a brief piece on this just a little while ago. We also have (I’m speaking of the 21st century US here) a huge and growing under-class, those with criminal convictions and/or mental health histories. I think the growing underclass, the loss of upward mobility, the never-ending war on whomever, plus the alienation of those fortunate enough to remain in what is left of the middle-middle class is fueling a good bit of these “epidemics of addiction.”

    of course, rich people love drugs, too. and shrinks love treating rich people, which explains why the higher status drug users end up with various labels/diagnoses…usually some flavor “Bipolar,” but not always. The issue with the rich seems to be more of having ample resources, status, power, and the anomie that strikes at the upper and lower ends of the social class system. Of course, American culture as a whole has largely disintegrated, probably because of our version of capitalism, so anomie is part of the American experience, overall.

    I don’t see an end in sight to the “medicalization of deviance” that Szasz and numerous others write about. That’s the other thing…”experts” are taking over -all- aspects of our lives. Mental Health “experts” are an obvious example, but there are other “experts,” too…”experts” on the right way to eat, the right way to exercise, even “experts” on the best ways to organize and decorate one’s home. Honestly, I’m sometimes afraid for US culture, because there is no longer any room more meaningful conversation, reflection, dissent, redemption, or…anything, really. Perhaps part of the “drug epidemics” is also a search for identity, meaning, and escape from a cold, controlling, demanding, impossible world?

  • I think this latest round in America’s on again/off again love affair with Rx uppers is going to (wait for it, wait for it….) crash. Ha!

    Seriously. This time around, the pills are already in Schedule II, so its not as if the docs can plead ignorance. I just don’t know what will replace Adderall and friends…I guess that’s Big Pharma’s job?

  • “antidepressants” not only do not “improve” misery and suffering, they often cause additional misery suffering. Just as a suffering individual who turns to street drugs for escape eventually finds the need to increase their dose, so too do pill pushers/shrinks often need to ramp up the dose of their emotional novocaine pills.

    I suppose knowing that there’s some mainstream criticism of “antidepressants” coming out is somewhat comforting, but…not really. There’s plenty of on-patent “antidepressants,” which means decades more of lies, control, oppression, and…well…psychiatry.

  • I think its probably largely rooted in the woes of late stage capitalism, American-style. Psychiatrists seem to destroy pretty much anyone they can–rich people, poor people, “rinky dink middle class” people–but they have always “had it in” for poor people and working class people, in particular. And…

    these days, we have more and more “have nots” whose problems are “treated” by shrinks working for the 1%-ers. Add in the shrinking range of emotions allowed to most of us, and…one can see how and why psychiatry has become such a powerful, massive industry, almost 60 years after The Myth of Mental Illness.

  • my experience with psychiatrists has been that they knowingly create addiction in their patients. I imagine a lot of it is about income. I also think (honestly…) a lot of psychiatrists use it as a power chip. A misbehaving patient finds her xanax reduced sharply, for instance. And of course…its -psychiatry-, so when things go wrong, its always that patient’s fault, somehow.

    My experience with family doctors has been that they’re cautious about benzodiazepines, a bit too liberal with the stimulants. Of course, now I don’t take or want either one, but…I do find it interesting that amphetamines are Schedule II, but stopping an amphetamine is relatively simple, whereas the benzodiazepines are Schedule IV, but stopping a Mother’s Little Helper can sometimes prove fatal. What’s that about?

  • I honestly think its time to see about abolishing Mental Health, Inc. I am a Szasz fan, but I’m not a Szasz follower. I -get- that Szasz was a-OK with consentual acts of psychiatry, etc., but…c’mon. This industry is draining the coffers, ruining lives, and warping our minds. Enough is enough!

    As for “informed consent” for “psychotherapy…” my concept of what this would involve would look a little something like this: “There is no solid evidence that any ‘mental ilness’ exists. “Psychotherapy” is a very expensive conversation in which the patient pays the psychotherapist to be heard and told what to think, who they are, and what their problems in life really are. The data on the benefits of these expensive conversations is mixed, at best. Some people report fabulous results, others end up labeled, stigmatized, impoverished, and sometimes suicidal. The labels attached to those who pay for these conversations are not scientifically valid, but are permanent, nonetheless. BUYER BEWARE.”

    in all likelihood, Mental Health, Inc. is going to become far -worse- in the US, not better, softer, more humane, etc. And yet…one can dream, right? Right.

  • Now, with the “stigma reduction” campaigns, people are encouraged to identify -with- the labels applied to them, and that is somehow “liberating” or “progressive” or…I don’t know. Its never ending, and I get the sense its bad enough in many other developed, affluent, 21st century nations, but the US is really an outlier in a lot of respects. We have 0 tolerance schools, high rates of incarceration, lots of people “in treatment,” on and on it goes…and I think things are only going to get worse, not better. In “The New Economy,” scraping to get by is often as good as it gets. Even the well-educated have lowered expectations. Inequality has been growing by leaps and bounds since the 80s, and now the 1% is all hopped up on Ayn Rand and they want the rest of us hopped up on Abili-Quel or whatever.

    I guess try to warn those who you can. Thing is…a lot of people will not listen, or they will say “well, you just had a “bad experience,” or…whatever.

  • my take on it is that psychiatry tends to victimize those who are stigmatized, with less power, fewer resources, etc. thing is…in 21st century America, the middle class has been decimated, the working class is heavily controlled, and there’s lots of varying degrees of poverty. so…that alone provides fertile ground for Mental Health, Inc. to work their destructive magic on the populace.

    its worse in any kind of institution. thing there is….lots of people are in jail, prison, juvenile facilities, nursing homes, etc. The more toxic psychiatric drugs are especially popular in those settings, and…with economic and social factors taken into account, plus the aging of the overall population, I think things are going to get a lot worse, at least in the US….not better.

  • Mental Health, Inc. destroys pretty much anyone and everyone they can. Too old, too young, too bright, too slow, too short, too tall, too average, too middle class, too upper clas, too…too…human, basically.

    The talking people in Mental Health, Inc. mostly believe in the same pseudoscientific, state-sponsored religion that psychiatrists lead, basically as high priests. I had -1- talking person who basically told me that the big deal with “talk therapy” is forging a connection with another human being, especially at a time of needs. These days…thankfully, I have connections with real, genuine, caring human beings outside of the mental health kingdom, and that’s a huge part of my “recovery.”

  • as much as I appreciate some groups and professionals doing what they can to shed light on this serious problem, I doubt things will get better, not in the US, at least. With social and economic conditions the way they are, I think life for the 99% in America (well…definitely 80-90%, anyway…) is on course to get worse, not better. That goes 2x, 3x for those in any sort of institution, from juvenile facilities to nursing homes. I’ve even heard horror stories about hospice care.