Friday, July 30, 2021

Comments by yeah_I_survived

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  • i found that very high dose supplementation (in my case, modified, DIY Orthomolecular) helped facilitate my path to freedom, with a surprising side benefit of improved overall physical health. others prefer herbs, amino acids, on and on and on…

    just a random suggestion. i enjoy your writing. 🙂

  • jumping in too late to say anything brilliant and/or unique, but…

    Psychiatry is evil. I think because I am a Christian, I feel more comfortable saying that now than I did in years pre-faith. Not that others cannot say it and mean it, not that people in other belief systems cannot call psychiatry evil with the same level of clarity and such, just…

    yeah. for me, church-free Christianity has freed my mind to see the evil in all things mental health-related. pop psychology, self help, personality tests, counseling, “Biblical” counseling, psychotherapy, and of course…

    Psychiatry. ugh. I find it difficult to understand how a sociologist could, somehow, view over 3 decades of rampant, socially- and legally-enforced wholesale destruction as a “failure.” Clearly, if psychiatry has been on a nationwide killing spree for 3 decades, this is not a “failure,” it is — as other posters have rightly pointed out, already — quite the success story. ugh.

    Reagan was called by some a “friendly fascist,” something similar…and they were -not- wrong. My best guess (keep in mind; I’m only 2 cups of coffee in, lol) is that the “trickle down,” no such thing as “society,” up by your boot straps! – mentality did not radically change psychiatry, so much as it took off the softer, more seemingly humane fuzzy edges that had been put in place in decades past, back when the psychiatric guild thought it best to pretend to care about the common good and individuals caught in their clutches. and then…

    yeah, Reagan, apparently. Thatcher, too. Clinton’s Orwellian “welfare reform,” etc. Thing is…

    Psychiatry was already evil. Psychiatry has been evil since day -1- . Psychiatry cannot be “reformed” because it is -evil- . I once thought that the talking people in the mental health industry were not evil, possibly even occasionally good, mostly just useless. No…no, no, no. The whole industry is -evil- , and psychiatry is so unbelievably, nauseatingly -evil- that the latest epidemic of mental health is probably going to end -very badly- , not just for the US, but for the whole, wide world. Starts out with the psych guilds gaining popularity as a band aid for faltering, sometimes failing societies…

    predictably, the psych guilds will then use their power to damage the individuals, families, communities, and whole societies they claim to “help.” ugh. 🙁

  • I think…honestly, my -own personal- approach has been to do my best to build a life as a human being who happens to be burdened by a serious psych label. ever read Stigma, by Goffman? brilliant stuff, really. in all likelihood, my labels and lies, etc. will outlive me. I choose not to engage the “mad” vs “severely mentally ill,” etc. so much as…

    do what I can, with the resources I have at my disposal, despite the labels. Each individual is different, to some extent. In my own situation — and I also think my outlook as a fairly traditional (but not “conservative”) Christian plays a strong role in this — I choose to see the psych labels/lies as more lies from a fallen world that is filled with lying liars, anyway.

    on a day to day basis, I guess I can say…I see the social and legal fiction of “mental illness” at play around me, every day. And yet…

    In large part because of my faith, I do believe in absolute truth. To that end, I do not and cannot “believe” in psychiatry anymore than I can believe in any other false religion. 🙂

  • this ties in nicely with Szasz’s characterization of psychiatry (maybe the talking parts of the mental health guild, too?) as a religion. Not only is psychiatry a religion, in Szasz’s view, it is a “false religion” that both competes with and undermines real religions (I’m thinking those would be the ones that actually contribute to the common good for the masses). and so…

    I do think limiting the scope of the “debunking” to psychiatry and friends’ roles in -capitalist- (especially neoliberal) economies very much…misses the point, as another poster has already explained. The USSR had notorious “psycho-prisons” for dissidents labeled with whatever flavor of “schizophrenia” (I seem to recall reading that “sluggish schizophrenia” was a USSR specialty, but I could be mistaken) and then confined and drugged. China currently uses their psychiatric establishment to further oppress minority groups, when the powers that be feel so inclined. Cuba’s health system has an extensive mental health component, as well.

    Psychiatry is all about slavery and social control. The religious aspects are secondary, but significant, nonetheless. The pills-a-go go approach to “mental health” that is apparently the norm all over the world in the 21st century drives up costs, risks, and results in death from all sorts of causes on a regular basis. My hope is that at the -obvious- damage that “mental health treatment” causes individuals, families, and entire societies will one day lead to the abolition of psychiatry. to paraphrase Szasz, once again: psychiatry cannot be reformed. It must be abolished. 🙂

  • thanks so much for this…a quality mix of direct quotes and some thoughtful analysis. much appreciated.

    and yet…not to play the part of Debbie Downer and/or Bummer Bob, but…I do hope and think that these changes may very well be implemented all over, in places…that are -not- the United States. 🙁

    I don’t know what the “deal” with US psychiatry is, honestly. I’m not one to complain lots about “US culture,” per se, its just…wow. wow. FDA says “please put a warning label on ‘antidepressants’ about a possible suicide risk,” and organized US psychiatry says “you’re killing them! you’re killing the children!”

    that’s just -1- example. maybe its the neoliberalism that’s taken over since the 70s or so…and is now threating to turn fascist? sick societies=sick people, and neoliberalism has definitely sickened US culture, at all strata. Plus…now that the only people who really “matter” are those in the top 20% or so…why even bother pretending to be the least bit compassionate? -nobody cares-

    and yet…”keep hope alive,” etc. 🙂

  • i don’t see how pursuing a career in the mental health industry as a psychiatric survivor could be beneficial. I suppose having a salaried position with job stability is the only real perk I can think of…admittedly, that’s a huge one. Other than that…

    the industry itself is dedicated to enslaving anyone they can. to top it off, the entire industry — from the prominent psychiatrists who write books and offer their lies/”expert opinions” on TV on down to the counselors barely scraping by working in public/community mental health clinics — is based in fraud, deception, control, and violence. and yet…

    one can see the appeal of wanting to change/reform a system, I suppose. Obviously, it does not help that the stigma of psych labels and “treatment” are difficult to escape, and I think the level of difficulty is actually greater, now, than it was in decades past. Neoliberalism, maybe?

    To paraphrase Szasz, once again: the mental health industry cannot be reformed. It must be abolished. 🙂

  • thanks for this and all your other work. seriously. I live in the US, where direc to consumer drug ads have been legal for a while (maybe 20 years, now?), and the (highly profitable) pill for every ill outlook is more or less inescapable. Your work is…not to be cliche or anything, but…truly, a breath of fresh air (and much needed honesty, of course).

    I just wanted to jump in and say that psych drug discontinuation is a tricky business, indeed. What strikes me, having somehow survived it in years past, is the cruelty of psychiatrists. I don’t doubt that family doctors make mistakes, but with the psychiatrists, it is truly cruel, sometimes to the point of true sadism. rapid tapers of high potency benzodiazepines, for instance. My own opinion is that this is not any sort of ignorance on the psychiatrist’s part, it is, rather, yet another example of deliberately inflicted pain and harm by pseudo-doctors.

    as a side note: I have personally found high dose supplementation (inspired by old school Orthomolecular) quite helpful in facilitating psych drug discontinuation. In the older literature, one reads about MDs prescribing (often surprisingly low, given the era) doses of neuroleptics alongside vitamin therapy. The more modern literature I have come across is surprisingly honest in their assessment of neuroleptics (in particular) as damaging and the potential for careful supplementation to save people/’patients’ from an early grave, ongoing disability, etc.

    Thanks, yet again. 🙂

  • the mental health industry is destructive and deadly, on both individual and social levels. to that end, I personally do not care to talk to a “professional,” nor do I care to take their neurotoxins. Having survived “treatment,” by the grace of God, my personal approach is to avoid mental health, inc. and also encourage others to do the same. and then…

    as many other posters have pointed out, suicide is a social problem, not a psychological or psychiatric one. This has been evident since the 19th century, when Durkheim did a (now classic) study on suicide. and yet…

    perhaps -not- surprisingly, mental health, inc. demands more and more funding to “treat” more and more individuals suffering from the fall out of social and economic problems…

    and instead of dealing with the core problems — the woes of neoliberalism, social disintegration, the collapse of many families and communities, on and on and on — the powers that be are all too happy to jump on the “mental health awareness” bandwagon. and why shouldn’t they be?

    providing daily bread, adequate housing, health care, legal rights, and fostering the (re)development of community are all potentially do-able…

    but not under the current neoliberal nightmare, not even under a patched up neoliberal system. some data has indicated that the level of inequality and stratification in the US, in particular, is damaging to people all over the socioeconomic spectrum. how could it not be? perhaps, one day this society — and others, too — will see real, meaningful change towards a society that is more humane, less sick and sickening. in the meantime…

    mental health, inc. is providing a band-aid, I guess. not for the people “in treatment,” but we/they are not the problem, after all. my concern is that the latest epidemic of “mental health” will never be stopped, not even contained; rather, this ‘epidemic’ seems to have the potential to grow and grow, ensnaring more and more people in psych slavery. 🙁

  • thank you for your work. The thing about psychiatry is…

    they know what they’re doing. I’m not arguing for a bunch of evil geniuses, cackling with glee over all their victims’, but…

    they know what they’re doing. the same drugs that a shrink pushed on you (and so many others, so generalized ‘you,’ of course) for ‘depression’ or perhaps ‘anxiety’ the same psychiatrist (or a colleague, blah blah blah) pushed on a working class kid with an attitude for ‘oppositional defiant disorder,’ or perhaps a poor non-white kid in juvenile detention, foster care…for ‘conduct disorder,’ or simply to make them more manageable.’

    the same psychiatrist who smiles and has the warmth and professionalism for a respectable person/patient with good insurance or the means to go to a self-pay/cash-pay doctor has, in all likelihood, deliberately destroyed low(er) status people. drugged them, ignored TD, toxic cocktails, over billing, on and on and on…

    and that’s just the pills. shock ‘treatments…’ how many victims of shock did my previous psych have a hand in destroying? operations? those are supposed to be rare, now…I”m not so sure, honestly.

    on and on and on it goes. Mental Health, Inc. is a dangerous industry filled with dangerous, deceptive individuals. I highly doubt most ‘professionals’ in the industry (the talking ones, the pill pushing ones…doesn’t matter, really…) have any interest in the truth, except in cases where they can bend the truth and make more money, get more power, etc. at a larger level, this leads me back to Szasz (again) who writes that psychiatry cannot be reformed; it must be abolished. some things never change….

  • my best guess (?) is that ‘patients’ who come in with sufficient leverage (education, social class, overall clout…probably helps to be male, heterosexual, and white…) can ‘haggle’ with the shrinks. before I managed to get over it (and get over myself, to be perfectly honest), I was able to haggle. To my credit, I wasn’t haggling for anything amazing or euphoric, just…fewer drugs, lower doses, less toxic pills. ok. that’s where I was, not too long ago, so…I sort of ‘get’ your position, to a certain extent. and yet…

    personally…where I am now…I don’t want to ‘haggle’ or ‘be my own psychiatrist’ any more than I want to cooperate in any other form of oppression, slavery (Szasz), or slow-motion (self) destruction. over it, thanks.

  • to basically steal from Szasz, yet again…

    psych ‘treatment’ changes more based on…dogma, funding, social factors, economic factors, and…did I mention funding?

    I think this includes the doctors who engage in acts of psychiatry, while (thankfully…) contributing to society by specializing in…wait for it, wait for it…-real medicine- .

    i highly doubt educating affluent, well-educated, powerful guild members in an effort to encourage restraint will do…much, of anything, at all. based on the history of uppers by prescription…and quaaludes…and barbiturates…and the neuroleptics…

    expensive, publicized lawsuits, license revocations, perhaps putting Dr.Speedy McSpeedball in prison (and televising it) -might- help…

    with controlled substances — especially with the mental health guild– legislation is crucial. the US love affair (middle class and up, mostly white) with ‘pep pills’ and ‘goof balls’ and…on and on and on…didn’t start to truly fade until ritalin and the amphetamines were put in Schedule II in 1970. even then…

    the decade of coke and downers for those with sufficient means and inclination had -already begun- . I’m guessing that, with the myth of ‘ADD/ADHD’ firmly entrenched, even in the real medical specialties that do, in fact, -know better- , one might expect a drop in prescribed uppers…

    when some new, ‘safe! effective!’ treatments come out, preferably on patent and with a glitzy marketing campaign. then, expect to hear that Speed Kills! (again), till…

    next time. 🙁

  • how wonderful to see more honesty about tapering arguably the -worst- class of psych drugs…

    from way over in the UK, lol. I am thankful that slow, gradual, steady tapering of the neuroleptics/major tranquilizers is -finally- gaining traction, in ‘expert’ circles, as a possible maneuver…

    i live in the us. if thy psych drug doth offend thee…ask about another one! add on, switch, something just as needed, maybe you were misdiagnosed and need a different 3-5 drug cocktail? on and and on and on..

    meanwhile, the ‘recovery model’ has been incredibly ’empowering…’ to all the -wrong- people. i don’t know if it is the nature of the mental health industry, or if its the mix of mental health + US socioeconomic factors, but…

    ‘the asylum without walls’ is here, and it is frightening. 🙁

  • Szasz writes — probably in The myth of mental illness — that psychiatric ‘treatment’ is deliberately inflicted brain damage. drugs, shock, operations, what have you…brain damage is -the core- of ‘somatic treatments’ in psychiatry.

    factor in medicare payouts for elderly ladies, the money to be made by everyone involved in the ‘treatment team,’ and the short-term ‘benefits’ (read: confused, compliant people…perfect, by psych standards…), and it becomes abundantly clear that psychiatry is psychiatry is psychiatry…

    and psychiatry cannot be reformed; it must be abolished (again, Szasz). 🙂

  • I’d be interested to know what kind of support networks the different groups had going, income and social class measures, etc. thing is…

    a “Schizophrenic” with extensive support from a family in the top 20% or above may very well be able to taper off the tranquilizer and find an ‘exit’ from mental health, inc…

    while a person with ‘psychotic depression’ with no outside support and few resources may very well be stuck in the ‘sick role,’ indefinitely. and at a personal level, someone with few resources, no outside support may not be able to drop the tranquilizer as easily (at all?).

  • szasz, of course, is correct; involuntary acts of psychiatry must be outlawed

    as a side note, the for profit confinement centers are notorious for whole new levels of fraud and deception. the cchr has been involved in a number of cases in the US, one of which shuttered a number of for profit ‘facilities.’

    until psychiatry — ‘voluntary’ and involuntary — can be abolished, educating the public is probably the best way to protect more people. educating people on the enormous costs of psychiatry and friends, along with the incredible amounts of suffering caused by the industry, would probably be a good step. 🙂

  • at a practical level, this might be…”progress” ? professional manipulators using a softer form of social control vs the open, honest brutality one often gets from cops?

    either way, curbing unwanted behavior, controlling unwanted people is the goal…maybe this is cheaper, over the long haul? and yet…

    jail, prison, mental ‘hospitals…’ are places of punitive confinement, but their purpose is (fairly) clear, obvious. the ‘expert’ abuse of language is a (potentially) less punitive means to the same end, but then the bars, the locks…are placed -within- the individual. strikes me as dangerous, personally.

  • interesting article. it reminds me of some Szasz, in which he compares psychiatry to both religions (a false religion that infiltrates and undermines real, established religions, if I recall correctly) and to the Inquisition.

    I don’t know that “cult” is the best term…perhaps dangerous form of slavery and social control, masquerading as medicine while using pseudo-spiritual terminology (“healing” — how often do we hear -that one- , in today’s society?) to entrap and destroy…well, these days, it would seem pretty much anyone the industry can grab a hold of, at all. 🙁 but what to call it? false religion is good. cult sort of implies that there’s a charismatic leader at the center of all this, and I don’t see one. And yet…

    psychiatry is more dangerous than any cult I can think of, just off the top of my head. Don’t want to “drink the Kool-Aid” ? too bad. they’ll get a judge to sign an order permitting a nurse to inject you with the Kool Aid. 🙁

  • “informed psychiatric care without stigma” ?

    what else do people want? world peace? an end to poverty? not to be snarky (OK, maybe a bit…), but…not going to happen. ever.

    as sam plover already posted, “informed psychiatric care without stigma,” for -anyone- , is not only a pipe dream, such “care” runs counter to what the mental health industry is really about. stigma is a huge weapon in psychiatry’s arsenal (I’d argue the same goes for counseling, psychotherapy…any sort of ‘mental health treatment,’ really). stigmatizing people for power and profit is a core part of psychiatry’s function in society, -any- society, anywhere. always has been, always will be.

  • I think it is Szasz who writes something to the effect that psychiatry (Szasz being…Szasz…he, of course, means involuntary psychiatry) cannot be reformed. It must be abolished.

    I do not have any sort of “problem” with this psychiatrist, but…I don’t think psychiatry, as a field, can be made into anything genuinely “helpful,” much less meaningful…and definitely, never ever, in any way shape or form, can psychiatry somehow magically re-work itself into becoming a valid branch of medicine.

    At an individual level, I am glad that this particular psychiatrist has chosen what seems to be a less toxic, less dangerous way of doing business. However, at best, that is harm reduction, and this individual psychiatrist’s pursuit of a less abusive, less damaging sort of psychiatry makes her and those like her in the field…

    exceptions who prove the rule. 🙁

  • thank you for the contribution.

    having said that, i do wonder…why bother with psychiatry, as a career? family medicine/general practice, maybe? dermatology? pain management, even? options…lots of them…

    nothing against this retired psychiatrist, btw. i can see being young and thinking that this is somehow a way to improve lives, maybe even help society, especially in the 50s and 60s (you know, back when society was a “thing,” before it became just individuals, all at each others’ throats…).

    i’ve seen how even the same clinic, the same talking person, the same psychiatrist…can put on a song and dance when one has leverage, good insurance, ‘good family…’

    and then when the insurance is out, the family is estranged, no leverage…the mask comes off.

    and then when the mask goes back on…some social theater, just suspend your disbelief…forget what came before…

    at a larger level, the many guises of psychiatry…tea and sympathy for the troubled; compassion for the suffering; confinement for the ‘dangerous and ill,’ etc…

    cover up the 2 core functions: social control and slavery. 🙂

  • ugh. psychiatry is the same, perhaps just sneakier, and there’s more and more of it in today’s epidemic of psychiatry.

    critics of psychiatry are always criticized (at the very least), often punished, because psychiatry is an enforcement arm for society, above all else. the power vested in the hacks and their ideology is immense, and victims and dissidents are silenced and demonized.

  • thank you for this, Dr.Moncrieff. well-written, succinct, and well-researched. 🙂

    as a “consumer” / “client” / “mental patient,” I find there are times when I yearn for a real, honest to goodness asylum. A place of respite, of protection…from a hostile, cut throat society. Is there such a place, now? Was there ever, really and truly?

    The asylum system Dr.Moncrieff describes seems to stem from a genuine sort of noblesse oblige, and I would assume also from a value system of a bygone era, one marked by far more cohesion and stability than the anomic, disintegrating world that neoliberalism has brought us.

    I am thankful that Dr.Moncrieff and her colleagues have taken the time to do thorough research and offer a more nuanced, thoughtful perspective on the asylum than those of their predecessors.

    Could modern society revive the asylum system, most likely in a modified form? Perhaps. Where I live, all the ‘experts’ emphasize ‘recovery’ and ‘the recovery model.’ Truth? I don’t think the US will throw the poor and working classes crumbs at this point, much less a clean, safe, quiet place of retreat from the neoliberal nightmare. Should an asylum system take hold in these United States, it will, in all likelihood simply mirror an increasingly unjust, harsh, inhumane society. No, thank you.

    I appreciate Dr.Moncrieff’s disillusioned reflection upon the rather dismal rates of recovery from Schizophrenia. Is “Schizophrenia” even…real? Honestly, at a personal level, I don’t care. Sometimes, the mind breaks. The mind can break towards what they call ‘mania,’ and then the chances of (re)joining mainstream society are favorable. When the mind breaks in the way that they call “Schizophrenia,” then one’s chances of such a (re)integration are low. Perhaps a humane, livable asylum would prove an ideal situation, both for those in the asylum and for society, as a whole.

  • more quality research out of the UK. 🙂

    what I like (personally) : the ill effects of poverty are being taken more seriously by those in power, those with resources, those with credentials.

    what I don’t like (personally) : its the damn psych establishment, again. poverty is bad because now the ‘experts’ say so, and they’ve run their fancy tests to make it a health issue.

    I’d really like to see poverty presented (again) as a moral issue, and also a social problem. If the end results are more and better anti-poverty programs and maybe, just maybe a thorough analysis of the horrors of neoliberalism, then…perhaps, as a practical matter, getting the psych-brigade involved will prove to be beneficial. having said that…

    what’s wrong with society, now, that people cannot just say poverty is morally repugnant and unacceptable, especially in affluent nations?

  • thank you for this, Leah Harris. Seriously. 🙂

    to me, remembering this former candidate’s mental health plan is important because…it shows what the elites want, really. not just the psych industry, not just the families, but those higher up, those who make big, big decisions for the 99+/- % of us in the USA, day in+day out.

    so, apparently, draconian and ineffective measures– by ‘ineffective’ I mean policies that further damage the quality of life for ‘the least of these’ in these United States– have broad support in DC. E. Fuller Torrey and friends are helping frame the discussion, so common sense and the voices of those actually affected are effectively silenced.

    I hope+pray the psych laws swing towards something more humane, less…oppressive and cruel. But then again, Szasz pointed out (in one of his many, many books on the subject…) that the psych guilds are pseudo-medical specialties that deal in lies, stigma, and–here’s the big one– social control.

    my best -guess- is that this oppression, couched in self-serving jargon and mystification, is not limited to the psychiatrized or the disabled, and unless something is done about out of control inequality, pockets of deep poverty, wage stagnation, the decimation of the middle-middle class and the concentration of inordinate amounts of wealth into ever fewer hands…

    more and more people will find themselves in some sort of under-class, kept under control by increasingly harsh, even violent, methods. again, my best -guess- is that the psych guilds will be there, drugs and lies and labels and all, to ‘help’ the under-classes, no matter the official category (felons, probationers, welfare recipients, drug users, etc.). power is power, after all.

    the current epidemic of psychiatry seems to be the most frightening one, yet. 🙁

  • i beg to differ. ‘antidepressants’ -are- amazingly effective!

    Prescribing real drugs to treat faux disorders is profitable for professionals and drug companies. Society as a whole benefits by pretending that perfectly understandable reactions to unbearable conditions is a “treatable disorder,” and therefore the answer is more emphasis on ‘treatment,’ not figuring out what the hell is going wrong, with everybody (and their mama) on ‘antidepressants.’

    oh, and…the pills shut people up. If that doesn’t work…add more pills. Even if they ditch the pills, they’ve been silenced by psych ‘treatment,’ since the records will -never- be destroyed.

  • psych-guilds…

    manifest functions — ‘treatment of mental illness,’ especially ‘severe mental illness.’ (re)integrating the afflicted/’sick’ person into society, or perhaps providing ‘long term care,’ when appropriate.

    latent functions — control. punishing outliers, misfits, the poor and working classes, non-whites, non-males. creation+control of a (growing) under-class. profit. infiltrating and subverting the major social institutions (education, family, religion, etc.).

    this is mostly lifted from Szasz, of course. I think his last book is Psychiatry: the science of lies, or something to that affect. An industry built upon lies might be expected to flourish–with enough gov’t cash infusions, social support, etc.– in ‘sick’ (anomic, violent, disintegrating) societies. Societies that are not as ‘sick’ probably have less use for such an industry.

  • Psychology and psychiatry are more powerful, and therefore more damaging to more people, than when The Myth of Mental Illness was first published. Some random thoughts from me…

    1) religions are designed to deal with distress, provide guidance, now and then tangible assistance to followers. I suppose in a postmodern, highly secularized era Mental Health, Inc. is the state-sponsored religion all are expected to follow (?), and…

    2) this doesn’t sound so much like a “revolution in mental health” as it does a shift in the methods of control Mental Health, Inc. uses to keep the misfits+outliers+troubled+just about anybody under control. Fewer pills, more talk. so, I’m thinking…

    3) this is probably also something of a power grab, disguised as a “revolution.” Mental Health, Inc. in charge of ‘education provision,’ handling the financial needs of the poor and working classes…

    with the goal, it seems, of taking the current Therapeutic State up several notches.

    Ideally, Mental Health, Inc. should be somehow put out of business. At a practical level, the industry seems to grow ever more powerful, year by year. Perhaps a softer touch is the best that one can realistically expect, at this point, at least for society as a whole.

    ‘within the velvet glove lies the iron fist’ 🙁

  • I honestly sometimes wonder if psychiatry is straight up evil. I seem to recall reading that Dr.Breggin came to the conclusion that it may very well be evil, so its not just me. deal is…

    I’m a Christian, right? Right. I don’t vote GOP or hate people, so a lot of people don’t think I’m a Christian. But…deal is…a part of traditional Christianity (you know, before the shrinks infiltrated) is a belief that there is also an evil one, and he has lots of underlings. I don’t get too into all that, because I’m focused on forgiveness and love, but…

    psychiatry strikes me as evil, or at least…wicked, filled with people who lie, lie, lie all the time…they lie. The whole industry is based on lies and destruction of anyone and anything they come into contact with, and that’s been the case since -day 1- . the affluent could pay for their ne’er do wells to be kept at Bedlam, for instance. Remember “drapetomania,” the “disease” that made slaves desire freedom? It isn’t just the US and it isn’t even just capitalist societies, either…psychiatry in China is wicked and cruel, psychiatry in the USSR was notoriously sinister…

    wicked. wicked, sometimes evil, almost always mediocre, at best…that, I think, describes most of the worker bees in mental health, inc. the industry itself is downright diabolical.

  • to be fair to psychiatry, the medical establishment as a whole is rather authoritarian. i don’t know what goes on in other developed nations, but here in the US, there’s been some research on violence within the medical system–apparently, physical aggression towards people lower on the totem pole is an issue. and…

    for all this talk of care and compassion, profit is the name of the game. just look at the rise of ‘concierge medicine.’

    but with psychiatry–which is not real medicine, although they do make heavy use of real drugs– I have come to think that the answer is abolition, honestly. the costs, the damage to human beings, the damage to the legal system and even education and religion…

    too, too much. I do not think voluntary psychiatry should even be allowed. i do not think the talking guilds that usually work with psychiatry should be allowed to continue, either.

  • i agree with PD. No doubt, Open Dialogue may prove less harmful, to some people, in some respects…

    that’s not saying much. I think of it as applying the ‘harm reduction model’ to Mental Health, Inc. perhaps better in some respects, for some people…

    not a viable long term solution. I also think this is dangerous, because one speaks of a “democratic atmosphere” in Mental Health, Inc., and…

    that is not possible. It’d be like a Jewish Eucharist or an atheist mass. psychiatry -is- a human rights abuse, after all.

    I do (obviously) think the distressed need “help.” “Help” often means…real healthcare, money, freedom, a voice. Real “help” scares the “helping professions…”

    because they’re really just in existence to “help” the powers that be. 🙂

  • as much as I’d love to disagree with this…

    I cannot.

    “Healing” and “recovery” are part of the secular faith that I’m beginning to realize most people believe in, even when their own experiences and those of people close to them run counter to dogma drilled into us from all angles. Even what remains of the old religious institutions have been largely infiltrated by Mental Health, Inc.

    A journey out of and away from Mental Health, Inc. is a lonely experience, indeed.

  • i enjoyed reading this…the author’s perspective should be valued. debated, perhaps, but…valued, nonetheless.

    I’m torn between thinking that many (most? all?) stories of ‘recovery’ are really psych survivor stories, edited and retold by the same Mental Health, Inc. that caused much (sometimes all…) of the troubles in the first place….and then thinking…

    well, people have always gone batshit crazy insane. Some people could come to function in their communities, some got new jobs, such as shaman or witch or…anyway, others were disposed of, left to wander the streets in never ending pain and social rejection. so…

    for now, is reforming Mental Health, inc. perhaps the best step, for most of the mad? if they say ‘hooray! you’re in recovery!,’ is it best to stop and debunk, or is it actually best to…go along with this rather absurd social theater?

    i really don’t know. and if recovery and the recovery segment of Mental Health, inc.=jobs/careers for some and also=more humane experiences in Mental Health, Inc…

    that’s a worthwhile use of time and resources, right?

  • I am thankful for your work in this area. 🙂

    Having said that…oppression and control are the name of the game at community mental health centers all over the nation. where I live…well, funding for hospitalization has been shredded, so the emphasis on outpatient treatment -can- mean the person/patient/consumer/? has more bargaining power, sometimes. other times, it just means…more olanzapine, depakote, trazadone cocktails, with the threat of court orders lingering over many peoples’ heads.

    i guess im just…not convinced that mental health, inc. can be reformed. i think in some places, where the variables are in alignment, it can happen (less rabidly ‘conservative,’ funding for alternatives, legal aid to the people/patients/consumers, a vocal subgroup interested in reform…), but…

    speaking for many of the “Severely mentally ill” in 21st century America…

    on a day to day basis, the best I can do is to just…do me, and pray+plan for a quiet, graceful exit.

  • im so happy she’s running. seriously. no, she won’t win. but as long as she’s in the race…she gets media attention, and what she says piques interest in a good % of people. Now, she’s widely regarded as “crazy,” “stay on your meds, hahaha,” but who knows? 10, 20 years from now…her ideas might be implemented, with a “respectable” candidate behind putting “kooky” ideas into practice. or not. for all I know, the US might be a neo-fascist rogue state 20 years from now, run by psychiatrists, corporations, and the Southern Baptist Convention. Time will tell…

    she is correct, of course. there are some people who swear up and down that ‘antidepressants’ (the term is ridiculous, btw) make life…(more) live-able. but..by and large, the pills are thrown out there to shut people up and to give the ‘cruel compassion’ of ‘treatment’ to more and more (and more…) people. it is worth noting, of course, that the ‘antidepressants’ are the current ‘quick fix,’ I guess kind of like Librium or Valium back in the day, but on a wider scale (and with so many new flavors!), but…

    remember Szasz…Psychiatry is the science of -lies- , and any MD, DO, or nurse practitioner who dishes out psych drugs is trying their hand at psychiatry, and is therefore…lying. “atypical antipsychotics” are also used to shut people up, especially lower status, more vulnerable populations. I’ve seen controlled substances used both to shut people up and to keep people/’patients’ coming back (private practice), and then used as a tool of control (bad behavior: bye bye, xanax…less often: good behavior…hello, Adderall).

    i dont expect Marianne Williamson to destroy psychiatry, or even…try. I’m just delighted that she’s gotten this far, complete with media attention. 🙂

  • Pope John Paul II wrote a good bit about what he termed “The Culture of Death,” and the way this death culture was taking over and destroying much of modern culture. I read some of what he wrote, then I visited the cchr website, where they discuss psychiatry as “the Industry of Death,” or something similar, and…

    I see overlap, obviously. Psychiatrists start patients off on a downward spiral and then see them off to death itself on a regular basis. Sometimes, the death is “natural causes,” but hastened by psych drugging. Other times, the death is suicide, often with prescribed drugs or in part because of altered states induced by Rx treatment. And then…

    the unfortunate ones who end up destitute, broken, severely brain damaged -but still alive- often seem to end up homeless, in jail, or in prison. Maybe more ‘progressive’ states use the state hospital, but where I live, the state hospital has somehow become a place where only extreme cases go, unless there’s a good lawyer involved…and I think my state is fairly typical in that regard.

    we do live in a sick society (I’m speaking of the US here). But…the witch doctors are making us all ever more sick and truly destroyed, for filthy lucre’s sake.

    When does it stop? Will it stop?

    I think one reason I have difficulty imagining myself organizing with other ex-patients/survivors, etc. is because…we’re a silenced bunch, already. Especially for those of us who have survived and overcome severe treatment and all that junk, the powers that be get angry when we use our voices, raise our voices, God forbid yell…

    because the whole point is to shut us up, isn’t it?

  • well written, thorough, and…well done, is what I’m getting at, Dr.Burstow.

    i read, somewhere, that the word “radical” originally dealt with roots (I hope I didn’t pick that up from some of your previous articles, obviously). and…in today’s ‘post-truth,’ (probably deliberately) dumbed down and drugged up world…

    getting to the root of just about any issue, institution, belief system, etc. is…”radical,” indeed.

    thanks for the ‘radical’ examination of eugenics and psychiatry, Dr.Burstow. 🙂

  • i managed to duck and dodge depot injections, thank goodness. i remember going into a nurse’s office, at a clinic…she had the Haloperidol vial, in a box, on her desk…she was chatting me up, she was supposed to do an AIMS test, didn’t happen. seeing the long acting vitamin H vial on her desk kind of…made me realize how cruel psychiatry can be, how harsh and controlling.

    my problem with advocating minimal use of neuroleptics is -not- that it is ‘bad advice.’ the ‘issue’ i have with such advice is that…in psychiatry, there always seem to be ’emergencies,’ ‘unusual situations,’ etc. there was always a reason to do a lobotomy (‘better to operate than to wait!’), always a reason to push the dosage higher (‘dosage optimization,’ is the going term, I believe), always a reason to disregard whatever common sense recommendations are/were in place…

    ‘give an inch, they’ll take a mile.’ Dr.Steingard and psychiatrists like her are rare…and I kind of sense that the younger generations of psychiatrists lack the thoughtfulness, the nuance, the finesse, of some of the older set. of course…the elites in today’s America have thrown noblesse obllige out the window, now its all about Ayn Rand…maybe that’s why psychiatrists now are so much more dogmatic, controlling, and cruel? class warfare, playing out in clinics all over America? maybe that explains this growing interest in depot injections, the hi-tech Abilify that tattles on the ‘non-compliant,’ etc…

    control of the growing under class, the alienated, the unemployed and/or under-productive. something like that, anyway. 🙂

  • a problem with not using the labels is that the lables have power, social meaning, and I thnk not using them, oddly enough, disempowers us (again, for a lot of us). example…

    ‘schizophrenia’ drugs tied to reduced lifespan

    what’s the alternative? the ‘ ‘ allows the critics and survivors to engage the mental health industry using its own vocabulary. the ‘ ‘ is a quick way to start the debunking from the headline, onwards. of course…one could try

    neuroleptics reduce lifespan

    which is true, but even medical articles often use the term ‘antipsychotics’…its a thing, now. and for people just dropping into mia, the 1st title makes the information more accessible.

  • the ” ” around so much gets cumbersome, but…what’s the alternative, really? to be fair to the many contributors to MIA, this place represents ideology and positions running the spectrum from ‘reform mental health, inc.’ to ‘abolish mental health, inc.,’ with (predictably) a whole lot at various points between those two poles. and yet…

    with all due respect to the ‘reform’ camp, callling distress and reactions to oppression, poverty, anomie, etc. ‘depression’ or other sorts of ‘(severe) mental illness’ is not bad or wrong because it ‘rubs me the wrong way,’ or even because it ‘doesn’t fit in’ the new(er) discourse, but rather…

    the dsm/icd classifications are not based on fact. how’s that for ‘reality testing,’ y’all? 🙂

  • 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…