On other platforms comments that have contrary views or alternative views or conservative views or radical views or avante garde views or strong views may take a while to show up. I do not doubt that it must be very arduous to monitor comments for bad behaviour but largely bad behaviour is obvious. It does not take a rocket scientist to spot it. Most commenters are of good intentions. Most commenters care. In the early Christian Church a heretic was not someone who safely believed in preposterous bellicose fabrications. They are easy to ridicule. That’s why the outlandish are given a seat on a pew. Instead the heritic is someone who almost, almost, almost sounds identical to the congregation but may have one dissenting valid or worthewhile point to voice. It is a toss up as to which bit of the heritic spells danger, whether it is that they reveal an opinion or whether it is that they seem as friendly as everyone else. In this way, it us the “close”, not the distant, who get shunned most. We saw this with established psychiatry. The patients who almost, almost, almost seemed like all the other patients but who echoed one interesting or witty or foolhardy opinion were ostracised more that the infantilized shouters and screamers who were obviously preposterous, safely so. It is the “close” who are deemed heretical. But ironically it has often been the heretical in history who have had a finger on the actual pulse. Cherish the jeerer. The MIA guidelines seem to welcome a plethora of excitingly varied views. This seems to be to “discuss” psychiatry and its paradigm successors. I am glad MIA is not specifcally advertizing itself as antipsychiatry, or critical of psychiatry, or abolitionist per se. It is a vehicle for welcoming open discussion. It is difficult to foster an atmosphere of “open” discussion if there are agendas closing down the openness. We see this with established psychiatry. It is great to find this platform not borrowing from psychiatry’s tendency to gag the opinionated, or mockingly close deaf ears to the discerning voices of people with real lived experience of illness. To do so would be to gag the ill. As if the ill have no right to speak. As if the ill do not exist. As if the ill can make no comment with out it being plunked in a petrie dish to see if it grows the telltale worrying bloom of a revolution. I myself have only one interest when I make my comments. To my way of seeing life it is that… “The ill have a right to be ill”. To disagree with that phrase seems to me to be bullying. It is the same bullying that came out of established psychiatry when it declared that… “The ill have to be badly treated”. I say this… “The ill have a right to be ill and be beautifully treated if they feel that is a choice they themselves want to make and is a treatment, whatever treatment, and it may be the choice of no treatment, that they themselves decide upon”. I have no interest in pushing a personal agenda that is pro psychiatry. I have no interest in pushing a personal agenda that is antipsychiatry. I have no agenda. Often a heretic has no agenda. Their freedom from agendas makes them observant. I defend the right to choose. If someone feels themselves to be ill it is their choice to select any form of treatment, or zero treatment, or holistic treatment, that they want. It is not for anyone else to be telling other people whether their own private sense of illness is real or not real. That is bullying. There are only a few exceptional situations where “looking after” someone who is very ill indeed does need to be considered. Just as you might help a blind person climb out of a river. Or help a very drunk person cross a road. Or prevent an acutely psychotic person from sticking their pet cat in the microwave. Altered states of consciousness IS A THING. It may become a lethal thing if you are sitting on an ice cornice unaware you are gravely ill with lethal hypothermia. There IS such a thing as diminished responsibility through hypothermia or severe concussion or altzheimers or brain tumours or severe mental impairment through congenital disabilities. There is also a need to sometimes care for the sick at heart, the bereft of soul, the grieving, and yes the acutely psychotic, who might think their childen are supernatural acursed babies who should be drowned in a car and driven into the sea. ILL people EXIST. It seems to me that in the hurry to poke holes in established psychiatry, admittedly easy to do, there has been a simplistic tendency to virtually say that psychiatry invented illness so illness does NOT exist, but also that psychistry made millions of people ill with bad treatment, so illness DOES exist, but ONLY the illness that psychiatry caused. There seems to be a new tendency to vet anyone who just wants to say… “I am ill for my own reasons and I need help”. If the ill are not allowed to be ill for their OWN REASONS then I class that as bullying. It is not so terribly different from the bullying that established psychiatry meted out when it said… “You can only be ill for documented reasons of other people’s choosing”. When one extreme paradigm is at loggerheads with another paradigm, as happens all the time, it pushes that other paradigm to become equally narrow and extreme. Why any “side” becomes narrow and extreme is because of a world weary need to rush to victory. Utopia must be seized before anyone else gets there and destroys it. But in that rush there grows intolerance towards voices that are of subtle difference, or nuanced, or balanced, or philosophical complexity. Variability comes over as irritating complexity. Complexity is deemed superfluous baggage, luggage too cumbersome and self indulgent to squeeze in any room for. Complexity is deemed to slow down the caravan trek to victory. Complexity is too costly a consideration in the stampede to utopian communal paradise. But without any consideration of variability or complexity or nuanced voices there is only a slapdash attempt at encouraging BALANCE, and so the paradise being fought over becomes increasingly imbalanced and exclusive and demanding of a simplistic stock narrative. It may even become the extreme it was wanting to remove. Luckily MIA does not want that. MIA welcomes open discussion from a variety of commenters. No matter how outrageous any commenters may seem to others in their complexity of opinion. MIA must continue to welcome BALANCE even at the cost of victory…. SINCE BALANCE IS VICTORY !!! Balance is the one thing established psychiatry could not brave. Instead established psychiatry opted for a simple solution each time. An extreme take on illness. It hurriedly pushed for victory, with an ice cube pick. There is never going to be a simple solution to the thorny problem of what to do with real ill people. If any new paradigm of care starts sounding too irritated by nuance, or confounded by subtle complexity, or burdened by variability, I will know it does not put BALANCE front and centre of its treatment of the ill.