Saturday, January 18, 2020

Comments by Slaying_the_Dragon_of_Psychiatry

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  • Great article. Thank you.

    Not even Huxley could have foreseen the Brave New World that we now inhabit.

    The sad thing is that Thomas Szasz understood the problem more than 50 years ago, and Karl Kraus understood the problem long before him. Psychiatry is, and always has been, a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as a medical profession. Just as Dr. Hatch points out, psychiatry preys upon the most vulnerable in our society, including innocent children, the homeless, the incarcerated, soldiers, and the elderly. Is there any question in anyone’s mind how despicable psychiatry is?

    There are many who have written on the direct connection between psychotropic drugs (these are not in any way “medications”) and acts of violence such as mass shootings. Peter Breggin’s book, Medication Madness is just one of them.

    Mad in America is doing great work to bring to light the truth about psychiatry (, even though Thomas Szasz already did this many, many years ago. If people would read and understand his books, they would soon enlist in the cause of abolition. They would work together to slay the dragon of psychiatry.

  • “Is There a Small Group for Whom Antidepressants Are Effective?”

    The simple answer is no, but define “effective.” Then define “antidepressant.”

    If by effective we mean the increase in suicides, then yes, “antidepressants” are very effective.

    But even the word “antidepressant” is misleading, because it hinges on the chemical imbalance hoax. There is no chemical that corrects a supposed chemical imbalance.

    “Antidepressants” are, in reality, dangerous, brain disabling, chemical compounds. Peter Breggin has repeatedly shown that most supposed “benefits” from so-called “antidepressants” arise from the effect of medication spellbinding.

  • Interesting article.

    The problem, however, is that there is no such thing as “schizophrenia.” Obviously it would be wrong to blame mothers for causing “schizophrenia” even if such a thing were real. But it is not. Simply put, so-called “schizophrenia” is, as Thomas Szasz so eloquently articulated, the sacred symbol of psychiatry.

  • Great tribute Don. Thank you.

    Although I disagree with Bonnie about many things, she was a tireless antipsychiatry warrior and abolitionist, for which, among other things, she is to be commended. I’ve read Psychiatry Interrogated, Psychiatry Disrupted, and Psychiatry and the Business of Madness, all of which are great books, indispensable works in the antipsychiatry canon.

    The Dr. Bonnie Burstow Scholarship in Antipsychiatry is an amazing achievement in and of itself.

    It will take vision and perseverance to continue the work that Bonnie helped to establish. For those of us who understand the need to abolish psychiatry, can you imagine antipsychiatry being taught in universities around the world? Can you imagine a best-selling book that reveals the true history of psychiatry? Can you imagine antipsychiatry articles in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal? Can you imagine a blockbuster film that reveals the truth about psychiatry? These are just some ideas that the Burstow’s legacy inspires.

    Thank you Don. Thank you Bonnie. And thank you to all those who fight to reveal the truth about psychiatry.

  • Great post.

    However, I need to correct the use of the word “diagnosis.” I understand why it might makes sense to use the word “diagnosis” in order to communicate simply, but a diagnosis implies that there is an actual disease to identify. There is no such thing as a psychiatric diagnosis because there is no such thing as “mental illness.” “Mental illness,” as Szasz so thoroughly and eloquently articulated, is a myth, and the so-called “diagnoses” are nothing more than fabrications of the psychiatric imagination.

    Therefore, our new survivor friend was not “diagnosed” with depression, bipolar, or any other fictitious disease. She was labeled, drugged, and put through chemical torture.

    I’m glad to hear that she is on the path of recovery. If she would like to supplement her education about the truth of psychiatry, I recommend the following website:

  • Good question oldhead.

    It’s all bogus. We need to stop pretending that somehow we are all mad in order to express solidarity with those who have been labeled as “mentally ill.”

    Instead of the insane claim that we are all mad, why don’t we just work to abolish psychiatry along with all of the fictitious diseases that it manufactures.

    Every human being, to varying degrees, is born with the capacity to reason, to choose, and to act. Labeling people as “mad,” whether oneself or others, is foolish.

  • “Researchers Fail to Predict Antidepressant Treatment Success”

    More complete and utter nonsense.

    The term “antidepressant” is a euphemism for a dangerous, brain-disabling drug. What on earth could it mean for abuse by toxic chemicals to be successful? Could it be that suicides are now the leading cause of deaths in America second only to accidents? That, my friends, is the success of psychiatry.

  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. I believe that it is natural for those in distress to seek solutions from those who are perceived to be authority figures or persons capable of offering healing. It is human.

    Psychiatry has deceived the entire planet, but now you are one of the few who has been enlightened. It’s kind of like the Matrix. You took the red pill and you discovered the truth. Now you can help in the resistance.

  • A good post in general.

    But the trouble begins long before any “real doctors” give fake diagnoses for non-existent diseases. The trouble is in the myth of “mental illness” itself, a myth that permeates our society and is preached in medical schools. The trouble began long ago when psychiatry, soul-doctoring, came to be perceived as a legitimate branch of medicine.

    This is a good post, but there is one other problem. So-called “antidepressants” and other psychotropic drugs aren’t just benign placebos or generally unhelpful. They are dangerous brain disabling drugs. You hint at this fact, but it needs to be more explicit.

    It is, of course, debatable what it might mean for a person to be a “real doctor.” It’s unfortunate when some people who attend medical school with the intent to help others end up in the trap of psychiatry themselves, since psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as a medical profession. When aspiring doctors are indoctrinated with psychiatric propaganda, they may still earn a medical degree, but they’ve learned next to nothing about healing. In fact, they’ve been taught the opposite.

    So it isn’t just real doctors who peddle the fake diseases. There are plenty of fake doctors and quacks, or in other words, there are plenty of psychiatrists who are peddling these fake diseases. Fortunately there are a few psychiatrists who have been enlightened (Lawrence Kelmenson, Peter Breggin, etc.), but the most enlightened (i.e. Thomas Szasz) understand that psychiatry cannot be reformed or criticized. It must be abolished.

  • I agree oldhead.

    Dr. Breggin has done excellent work with Toxic Psychiatry, Medication Madness, and other books. It is great that he encourages empathy, love, and even faith in God. These things are wonderful. But of course they have nothing to do with psychiatry. Psychiatry is inherently the very opposite of empathy, love, and faith in God. Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as a medical profession. I will never tire of saying it. Psychiatry is the very cause of the problems that it purports to remedy. Psychiatry is torture, abuse, and deception. It is the antithesis of all that is good.

    Of course we are all deeply flawed. Of course we all need enabling power to love and to be loved. But if we truly wish to love those who have been labeled as “mad” or “mentally ill,” we need to start thinking more clearly about what is going on. Thomas Szasz was exactly right. So-called “mental illness” is a myth. It is a destructive myth that spreads through the “chemical imbalance” hoax and the aid of the wretched psycho-pharmaceutical industrial complex.

    Do we truly want to understand madness? Please allow me to elucidate the matter: It is sheer madness to suppose that psychiatry can be improved upon or fixed. It is madness to suppose that anything but the abolition of psychiatry will help the millions of innocent victims of psychiatry. It is madness to pretend that empathy, love, and any amount of so-called “psychotherapy” can supplement the unspeakable harm that is caused by psychotropic drugs, the vicious labels of the DSM, and the litany of abuses for which psychiatry is guilty.

    Enough is enough. Slay the Dragon of Psychiatry.

  • You are AWESOME!

    What a beautiful person, with such a beautiful smile!

    God bless you.

    My only disagreement with you is that psychiatric care is in desperate need of improvements and humanizing. If you frequent this site often it will probably become clear to you that psychiatry is inherently rotten and dehumanizing. It is not something that can be improved. Only its abolition will prevent the kinds of atrocities that you witnessed first hand as you, from your kind heart, sought to help those in need.

    Thank you for your kind deeds and for making this world a better place.

  • Thanks for sharing your experiences Will. I’m glad that you not only survived psychiatry, but that you have been able to grow and to prosper. I appreciate the intelligence and the articulateness of your article. I appreciate your focus on healing and faith as well. Well done.

  • That’s an excellent point Rachel777. Even the best of the critics of psychiatry, people like Breggin, Whitaker, Burstow, etc. don’t quite understand what a survivor understands. The work of these critics of psychiatry is indispensable, but only those who have survived psychiatry from the inside truly understand what is going on. That is why it is so important for survivors like you to stay strong and to articulate the truth about psychiatry.

  • Good post Mr. Whitaker. Thanks.

    One sobering thing to consider is that as awful as this story is, there are probably millions of other stories just like it in process right now. I personally know several friends, acquaintances, and others who have taken their own lives as a direct result of psychiatric abuse, whether they recognized the abuse or not.

    The suffering Zel describes is real, and more awful than anyone who has not endured it can imagine. I honestly don’t know how I, or anyone else survives it, except for the help of God. I do not blame anyone who decides to enter the next phase of existence early, because I know just how terrible the suffering is. It is impossible to describe in words, and it will only be matched by the suffering that those who are responsible for it will have to undergo as a result of their crimes. For this reason, I pray for the perpetrators (i.e. proponents of psychiatry and so-called “mental health”) as well as the victims.

    One thing is certain: mercy cannot rob justice. There will be an awful reckoning. The dragon of psychiatry will be slain, and all those who have perished by his fangs, claws, or fiery breath will be vindicated.

  • “Does this mean mental illnesses don’t exist? Surely this isn’t a tired rehash of iconoclasts from the 60s like Szasz, Laing, Foucault, et al? Are you saying that people aren’t suffering?”

    Here is the rub. This is the main problem with Mr. Tampiyappa’s article.

    He poses the rhetorical question as if it weren’t an important question, but it is the central question. The answer to the question is “Yes. This means that mental illnesses don’t exist.” The truth is always fresh, not a tired rehash. Furthermore, lumping Szasz in with Laing and Foucault misses the mark by a long shot. Szasz wasn’t simply an iconoclast, and he was as different from Laing and Foucault as day differs from night. Szasz understood and articulated the truth about psychiatry. For that crime, he has suffered the fate of most truth-tellers, namely, to be ignored, ridiculed, downplayed, or misinterpreted.

    The truth, as Szasz well knew, is that mental illness is a myth. Nothing could be more necessary than to “rehash” the truths that make psychiatrists uncomfortable, which discomfort leads them to dismiss Szasz as an iconoclast or to group him with people with whom he vehemently disagreed. Szasz wrote an entire book on the foolishness of Laing, and he Szasz occupied the opposite end of the political spectrum of both Laing and Foucault.

    So, let me answer the questions one by one, because they shouldn’t be rhetorical questions:

    “Does this mean mental illnesses don’t exist?” Yes. Exactly. There is no such thing as “mental illness.” So-called “mental illness” is a fabrication of the most nefarious kind, and an illusion of the psychiatric imagination that has caused and continues to cause unspeakable harm to untold numbers of innocent people.

    “Surely this isn’t a tired rehash of iconoclasts from the 60s like Szasz, Laing, Foucault, et al?” Again, there is nothing tired about the truths that Szasz set forth in his voluminous works. The truly nauseating and tiresome ideologies are those propounded by psychiatry itself. Nothing could be more necessary than to reiterate the truths that Szasz articulated so clearly, because truth is always new and fresh, whereas psychiatric propaganda is insidious.

    “Are you saying that people aren’t suffering?” People are suffering, and many of them are suffering as a direct result of the continued existence and expansion of psychiatry. Psychiatry is the very cause of the suffering that it purports to assuage. Yes. People are suffering, and until psychiatry is abolished, people will continue to suffer from the abusive and coercive practices that are inherent in psychiatry.

    Enough is enough. Let me help everyone out of the Matrix. There is no need to disentangle antipsychiatry. There is an urgent need, however, to abolish psychiatry. The time has come to slay the dragon of psychiatry.

  • Psychiatry is the polar opposite of anything ethical. A psychiatrist cannot practice ethically in any circumstance because psychiatry is by its very nature an unethical endeavor. In other words, oldhead is correct. The only way for a psychiatrist to practice ethically is to stop being a psychiatrist, and to start doing work that is ethical.

  • Does no one else see the irony of psychiatric “professionals” trying to undo the damage caused by psychiatry itself?

    Does no one else understand that psychiatry is the primary CAUSE of the damage that is being inflicted upon the innocent people who are labeled as “mentally ill”?

    Abolish psychiatry. If people really cared about healing and helping the afflicted and the so-called “mentally ill” they might start by working to abolish the primary CAUSE of the suffering, namely psychiatry itself.

  • Yes. Of course. Even though Szasz was wrong about God, he correctly understood that psychiatry is a false religion complete with its false priests and false rituals. Szasz understood the threat of the therapeutic state. The therapeutic state is a corrupt form of government that operates as a corrupt form of religion. Unsuspecting victims of psychiatry have fallen prey to the benign tyranny that has replaced God. Psychiatry is a false religion at whose head is the God-state.

  • Lawrence, this is not your best article. In fact, you know better than this.

    The more accurate version of your theory is that psychiatry is a false religion whose power of deception depends upon mimicking true religion.

    Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt. Those who had faith and humility enough to look upon the brass serpent were in fact healed. Those who were proud or lacked the faith to behold the brass serpent could not be healed, but perished instead. Those who perished may have been too sophisticated to exercise faith in God enough to behold the brass serpent. All they had to do is look. Some things are so simple and true that they escape the attention of those who are too proud to believe.

    Christ will return to earth. He also has power to heal all those who believe in Him and exercise faith sufficient to be healed. His healing comes in His own way and His own time, according to what is best for those who put their trust in Him. Just as Moses lifted up the brass serpent, and those who beheld the brass serpent were healed, so too was Christ lifted up upon the cross. All those who discover how to truly behold Christ will find healing in time, whether in this life or the next.

    It is silly and sloppy thinking to make light of religion in the way that you do. The real problem is that psychiatry is a false religion that mimics true religion. That is why people buy into it. If it were as silly as you make it out to be, no one would be fooled. But as you can see with your own two eyes, many people, if not most people in the world have been duped by psychiatry.

    Think of it. Even the word “psychiatry” means the “medical care of the soul.” What could be more nonsensical than “the medical care of the soul”? In the first place, there is nothing in psychiatry that shows any kind of understanding of what a soul might be. Furthermore, if psychiatrists understood what a soul is they would also understand how ridiculous it is to suppose that the soul can be “treated” with drugs. The entire “profession” is a sham.

    But it succeeds because pseudo-science masquerades as science and medicine. It succeeds because the false priests of psychiatry administer their poisonous sacraments to unsuspecting devotees. It succeeds, in short, because it’s founder, the devil, attempts to usurp the place of Christ as the true Healer and the Great Physician.

  • Marci Webber’s daughter is in heaven, the same heaven where untold numbers of innocent victims of psychiatry now dwell. While Szasz made it perfectly clear that the so-called “insanity defense” is itself insane, it is also perfectly clear that this terrible tragedy was caused by psychiatry and psychotropic drugging.

    Webber’s story provides yet more evidence that psychiatry is not something that can be reformed, rethought, or simply criticized. It is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that destroys the lives of many innocent people, including children, the homeless, and the elderly. Isn’t this the very definition of evil? Why put up with it anymore? Slay the dragon of psychiatry.

  • Excellent question, Oldhead.

    I mostly agree with Szasz that, in many ways, psychiatry gradually took the place of false religions. It’s more complex than that, but at least he was on to something.

    In other words, there are a variety of motivations, power and wealth being among them. But these are characteristics that are common to modern and post-modern political philosophies as well, namely, that the purpose of philosophy is no longer to understand the order of the cosmos or to achieve wisdom, but to remake the world and dominate nature through ideology and technology.

    What this means is that there is a connection between what Marx and others were trying to do with philosophy, and what psychiatry has accomplished. Money and power are always motivations for the worst proponents of psychiatry, but it is helpful to keep in mind that many people enter the field of “mental health” under the false belief that they will be helping people.

    Psychiatry is doubly pernicious because it accomplishes its evil purposes while masquerading as a medical profession that aims to help and to heal people.

  • Psychiatry is a branch of medicine in the same way as slavery is a branch of productive labor, in the same way as Nazism is a branch of legitimate government, or in the same way as priestcraft is a branch of religion. In other words, psychiatry is a rotten branch that needs to be extirpated from the tree and cast into the ash heap of history.

  • Psychiatry works wonderfully. It accomplishes exactly what it was designed to do, namely, subjugating, torturing, and annihilating untold numbers of innocent people, including children, the homeless, and the elderly. It accomplishes its goal all too effectively, and it does so while masquerading as a medical profession.

  • Oldhead writes sensibly, and hopefully Whitaker is coming to the realization that Oldhead has been writing sensibly all along. This elephant of psychiatry, to expand the metaphor, doesn’t just need gnats buzzing around its ears. It needs a few rounds from the elephant gun. It needs heavy dose of its own medicine. In any case, what’s the point of remaking a fraudulent, pseudo-scientific system of slavery? Not many people are interested in remaking Nazi prison camps or chattel slave plantations. Why should anyone be interested in remaking psychiatry?

  • Again, oldhead sees clearly. Nonsense such as “mad pride” threatens the real work of antipsychiatry, namely the abolition of psychiatry. What next, idiot pride? Stupidity pride? Foolishness pride? We already have enough of that, and it’s not something to be proud of.

  • Oldhead is great, and he understands the inherent absurdity of psychiatry and so-called “mental illness.” Unfortunately, like Efrat and many others, he conflates antipsychiatry with the radical leftist notions that will ultimately undermine the cause of liberty that he genuinely aspires to promote. Bonnie Burstow and her group of antipsychiatrists also fall into this trap. It is very unfortunate because they are absolutely right about psychiatry. Thomas Szasz must be rolling over in his grave because of the ideological and utopian fantasies that threaten to obscure the cause of abolition for which he so valiantly contended.

  • The word “psychiatry” is one of the most misleading and unnecessary words that has ever been invented. Think of it for a moment. Just pause to think. What is psychiatry? Etymologically, the word psychiatry means the medical treatment of the soul. Yes. Let me repeat that to see if anyone else is paying attention. The medical treatment of the soul.

    Now pause to think of the implications of such a ridiculous word. First of all, a person would have to know what a soul is, and psychiatrists are the most ill equipped of all people to understand such a thing. Second of all, how on earth can medical treatment be applied to the soul? What utter nonsense. Religious believers understand that the healing of the soul is something only God can accomplish, and yet the word “psychiatry” has been invented to signify that somehow a doctor, or at least a person who aspires to be a doctor, can take the place of God and “treat” the soul medically. What complete and utter nonsense.

    Yet, here we are, debating with psychiatrists and hoards of other people who actually believe that such a thing as “psychiatry” is somehow necessary and useful, instead of what it actually is, namely, a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that is bent on destroying the lives of innocent people, including the elderly, the homeless, and helpless little children. Thus the term “antipsychiatry” is the most necessary and useful term because it is synonymous with truth, common sense, and justice.

  • Ekaterina, great article. Thank you. You are exactly right that the problem lies in the term “mental illness.” The problem is psychiatry itself.

    Congratulations on your great accomplishments as well. Which languages do you speak? Which countries have you lived in?

    Also, what do you think of Thomas Szasz’s book “The Myth of Mental Illness”?


  • “Do you now agree that biological psychiatry is a ridiculous farce that’s really about shutting people up, by dismissing (invalidating) their complaints as mere ‘symptoms’ to be drugged away?”

    No. As you well know, Lawrence, so-called “biological psychiatry” is just a euphemistic term that is used to cover up the whole nasty history of psychiatry itself. Psychiatry must be abolished. It is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that wreaks havoc and destroys the lives of many innocent people, including children, the elderly, and the homeless.

    I applaud your efforts to expose some of the obviously fraudulent aspects of psychiatry, But I invite you and your readers to consider why the whole rotten system must be abolished not simply reformed or criticized.

  • Mr. Whitaker, thank you for your courage in addressing this very controversial topic. There is much that is praiseworthy in your assessment of the controversy surrounding so-called “mental illness,” and mass shootings. For example, it is clearly wrong to blame a supposed group of people for the nefarious deeds of one disturbed individual. And Torrey is clearly wrong to attribute the tragedies of violence to people with so-called “serious mental illness.” Thank you for pointing out what ought to be obvious.

    I would also like to commend you on the great work that you have already done on your books, particularly “Psychiatry Under the Influence,” “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” and “Mad in America.” These books are an invaluable resource and ought to be required reading for all first-year medical students, among other people.

    However, there are a few ideas in this blog post that don’t stand up to scrutiny. First of all, the notion of so-called “hate speech” is almost as problematic as the false notion of so-called “mental illness.” The Marxist origins of the notion of “hate speech” have long been recognized, but this is not something that a dictionary will explain. (See, e.g.

    Furthermore, the problem isn’t just that Trump or anyone else might blame an entire group of people, but that to pin the blame on so-called “mental illness” is to pin the blame on something that doesn’t exist in the first place. While it is courageous to defend people who have been labeled as “mentally ill’ against the attacks of those who would blame them for the tragedies of mass shootings, it is more courageous to defend people against the label of so-called “mental illness” itself. Your work has accomplished much by way of demonstrating that which Thomas Szasz understood best of all, namely, that so-called “mental illness” is a myth. There is no way to blame the so-called “mentally ill” for any tragedy because in reality there is no such thing as “mental illness.” Until this basic reality is recognized by the general public, there will continue to be so-called “hate speech” directed toward a mythical group of people who are “mentally ill.”

    Although there are furious debates between Democrats and Republicans on a wide variety of issues, the reality is that the myth of so-called “mental illness” has confused most everyone on both sides of the political fence. The problem has nothing to do with Republicans, Democrats, or gun control. The problem is that the vast majority of people in the United States and elsewhere has been deceived by the myth of so-called “mental illness.” As soon as people begin to understand that “mental illness” is a myth, and that psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as a medical profession, there will be no need to worry about so-called “hate speech.”

    Furthermore, there are several studies of the connection between psychiatry, psychotropic drugs, involuntary incarceration, and acts of violence. Our own Peter Breggin has written eloquently and at length on this topic. (See, e.g. “Medication Madness,” and The truth is that psychiatry CAUSES the very problems that it purports to remedy. It is such a clever system because the myth of mental illness and the continued drugging of the innocent is creating an increasing population of drug-damaged individuals who may be chemically incited to violence. When the violence occurs, everyone is ready to point the finger at the so-called “mentally ill” and call for more psychiatric “treatment,” or more psychiatric interventions. The truth is that the rise in the power of psychiatry corresponds directly with the rise in psychiatrically induced acts of violence.

    The more people are subjected to psychotropic drugging and psychiatric violence, the more we should expect an increase in these terrible and tragic acts of violence. Not everyone who commits these murders has been subjected to psychiatric torture, but many of them have been. The reality, as you well know, is that psychotropic drugs can CAUSE otherwise innocent people to perpetrate terrible acts of violence, and they can surely promote violence in those who are already so inclined. It is a well known military tactic to drug soldiers into a chemical craze in order to numb them and incite them to maniacal violence. Just imagine the millions of innocent children, for example, who have been subjected to this kind of psychiatric torture. When they try to withdraw from the drugs, the result is often even more devastating than going on the drugs in the first place. These things have been thoroughly documented even in your own works.

    The attempt to silence opposition by labeling their utterances as “hate speech” is almost as bad as the attempt to stigmatize and ostracize people by labeling them as “mentally ill.” Until the general public becomes aware of the myth of mental illness and the nefarious nature of psychiatry, these acts of violence will continue to increase and politicians will continue to pin the blame anywhere except where the blame belongs, namely, with psychiatry itself.

  • Good article. Rousseau was one of the earliest purveyors of the false notion of human “perfectibility,” but there is seemingly no end to the litany of utopian schemes that have arisen from modern political philosophy. Following Rousseau, Marx attempted to transform philosophy itself: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” It is natural and necessary to focus on the path of eugenics through Nazi Germany, but if we really hope to learn from history we can’t ignore the role that Marxist ideologies had in the creation of the Russian Gulags. Neither can we ignore the work of the most articulate and courageous psychiatric abolitionist of the 20th century, namely Thomas Szasz. Of course, a single blog post can’t cover every important topic, but it is worth remembering that in addition to the fictitious disease of “schizophrenia,” the myth of “autism” also arose in the context of Nazi Germany and Austria.

  • Great article.

    It is refreshing to read such crystal clear statements of truth in such straightforward and simple language. It should be obvious to every honest and reasonable mind and to every compassionate and loving heart that the “chemical imbalance” hoax has been one of the most destructive tools of the pseudo-scientific system of slavery that is more commonly known as “psychiatry.” The myth of “mental illness” and the attendant “chemical imbalance” hoax have caused the suffering and death of untold numbers of innocent people, including helpless children, the homeless, and the elderly. What makes psychiatry more evil than the most blatant of evils is that it masquerades as a medical profession and purports to heal, care for, or treat its unsuspecting victims.

    Dr. Hickey hits the nail so squarely on the head that even the most unfeeling and retrograde reader cannot help but be moved by the force and lucidity of his logic. Thank you Dr. Hickey. May you be blessed with long life, good health, and joyful increase for your relentless efforts to bring to light the truth about, and to defend the innocent victims of, psychiatry.

  • Grazie, ma non ho una posizione ideologica. Infatti, mi oppongo alle ideologie della psychiatria.

    Il mito della malattia mentale e il libro piu famoso di Szasz, ma purtroppo, i suoi libri piu’ importanti non vengono letti.

    La psychiatria distrugge le vite di innumerevoli persone innocenti, incluso i bambini, gli anziani, ed i senzatetto. Come Szasz spiega, la psychiatria e’ una forma di schiavitu’, paragonabile allo schiavismo che dominava negli stati del Sud negli Stati Uniti. Quindi, la psychiatria non e’ qualcosa che si puo’ cambiare o trasformare. Bisogna abolire la psychiatria proprio come e’ stata abolita lo schiavismo negli Stati Uniti.

    Forse tu puoi aiutare ad abolire questo systema di schiavismo in Italia, come Szasz si e’ sforzato di fare qui negli Stati Uniti.

  • There are lots of books on Amazon. Whether or not people have read or understood them is an entirely different question.

    Too few people have read the works of Thomas Szasz, whether in the United States or elsewhere, and too few of those who have read his works have really understood them.

    The best thing that Mad in Italy could possibly do would be to disseminate the works of Thomas Szasz more widely, and to promote his ideas on liberty and responsibility, and the abolition of psychiatry.

  • Interesting article. Thank you.

    I agree that it is important to rally around common principles, and that the idea of “cognitive liberty” may hold some potential for that purpose. However, there is something even more fundamental than “cognitive liberty,” and that is liberty itself. Unfortunately, in the modern world there is rampant confusion regarding the principle of liberty, some of which confusion we owe to the likes of John Stuart Mill and other modern political philosophers, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx.

    Nevertheless, the concept that you describe as “cognitive liberty” may have more solid origins in the thought of American founders such as Thomas Jefferson: “…I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” The irony is that too many proponents of antipsychiatry, critical psychiatry, etc. also tend to side with the very originators of tyranny, cognitive and otherwise, in political matters. Nowhere is tyranny over the mind of man more prevalent than in the communist regimes who owe their practice to Marxist theory. The Orwellian thought control that was present in Soviet Gulags, for example, ought to inspire antipsychiatrists and any lover of liberty to resist the ideologies that gave rise to such tyranny.

    Although he was much too libertarian for my taste, Thomas Szasz labored incessantly to promote the twin principles of liberty and responsibility. Liberty and responsibility are two sides of the same coin, and Szasz correctly demonstrated that psychiatry is inherently antithetical to both liberty and responsibility. The term “cognitive liberty,” therefore, may unnecessarily obscure the true meaning of liberty in a way that is similar to the obfuscation of justice by other names such as “social justice.”

    To answer your questions:

    Do you believe in the inviolable right of individuals to think what they think? People are free to think and to choose as they will, but no one can control the consequences or the results of thoughts and choices.

    Is cognitive self-determination important to you? Liberty and responsibility are important. “Cognitive self-determination” sounds a bit too much like the psychiatric doublespeak that many of us are trying to resist.

    Do you view the privacy of thought as sacrosanct? People are free to choose what they think, and that freedom to choose is a sacred gift.

    Is cognitive liberty a term, a principle, a bottom-line that you can imagine yourself rallying around? As I hope to have made clear, liberty is something even more basic and fundamental than “cognitive liberty,” and since liberty itself is misunderstood, it is not likely that the principle of “cognitive liberty” will remedy the problems that are posed by psychiatry. Nevertheless, I rally behind the principle of liberty that I believe is being aimed at in this discussion of “cognitive liberty.”

  • Meno male. Quindi, lo sai che Szasz cercava di abolire la psychiatria? Lui sapeva che la psichiatria non poteva essere trasformata o criticata. Come la schiavitù, deve essere abolita. Quale dei libri di Szasz è il tuo preferito? Grazie. A presto.

  • Ciao Marcello. Vorrei sapere se la gente d’Italia conosce le opere di Thomas Szasz. Tu sai se i suoi libri sono stati tradotti dall’Inglese all’Italiano? E i libri di Signor Whitaker? Si leggono i suoi libri in Italia? Grazie.

  • “Psychiatrists are seen as hard-working, caring, understanding healers, but they’re really snake-oil salesmen, drug-dealers, and master-sedaters. What they do should be illegal. Someday everyone will realize that not only do psychiatrists not heal anything, they’re a major contributor to the recent rise in suicides and overdoses.”

    Excellent. This is one of Lawrence’s best articles thus far.

  • I don’t care if you eat broccoli and salmon for dinner and probiotics and every other thing that can constitute a good diet… there’s no such thing as “ADHD”. It is impossible to “cure” a fictitious “disease.” Psychiatry’s purported “remedies” are often the root cause of the problem.

  • Szasz was a human being, but a thorough and charitable reading of his works reveals that he was as merciful as he was just. He spent his entire life working to expose psychiatry for the sham that it is, and to have it abolished. He spent his entire life working to support liberty and responsibility, principles that benefit all of mankind, rich or poor.

  • It’s good to have other witnesses though. There is so much to learn from Szasz and his real legacy, and not just because he was the most effective critic of psychiatry and a psychiatric abolitionist. We can also learn from the way his work was received, and how he was treated. Furthermore, the continuing jealousy of Szasz shows us a bit what the uphill battle will be for present and future psychiatric abolitionists. In this way we can celebrate Szasz’s work and his legacy while also learning to be wiser than he was.

  • Excellent comment. Thank you Bradford. I would recommend that people read Szasz’s works before they read interpretations of his works. Szasz is far superior to his critics. Those who still feel like they need to read Szasz’s critics ought to read “Szasz Under Fire: The Psychiatric Abolitionist Faces His Critics,” because at least this book contains Szasz’s own responses to his critics. Appraisals of Szasz’s legacy are worth much less than Szasz’s actual legacy. In fact, appraisals usually do more to obscure and obfuscate a legacy than to clarify. Naturally, I champion any effort to expose more people to the works of Thomas Szasz, but this blog post invites skepticism for a variety of reasons.

    First of all, many of Szasz’s colleagues had an axe to grind because Szasz exposed their chicanery with such relentless, Socratic precision. Second, psychiatry is not a hybrid profession of clinical science and humanities. That is sheer nonsense, and Szasz knew it. Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as a medical profession. There is nothing scientific about it, unless you wish to call it what it is, and what Szasz so aptly described, namely “The Science of Lies.”

    Third, although it is true that Szasz was an able philosopher, his works are best read how he intended them to be read, and not merely as philosophy rather than psychiatry. Like Karl Kraus before him, Szasz considered himself to be a noble rhetorician, that is, he used language correctly in defense of truth. The truth is that psychiatry is neither medical nor a profession. Szasz exposed psychiatry for the sham that it is, and he exposed its founders for the frauds and the charlatans that they were.

    Szasz’s legacy is so much greater than the six points that he included in his 1998 manifesto. Szasz was a psychiatric abolitionist, not merely a critic of psychiatry. A serious appraisal of Szasz’s legacy would mention this fact clearly from the outset. The list of the authors who composed “Thomas Szasz: an appraisal of his legacy” invites even greater skepticism. As if the mention of Allen Frances weren’t enough to discourage a person from reading the book, add to that the names of Pies and Torrey, and you have a certain recipe for what Szasz would have recognized as base rhetoric or pseudo-science. Dr. Phil Hickey has exposed the mendacity of these and other psychiatric apologists. (See, e.g., or )

    Furthermore, although Szasz’s libertarianism was too extreme for my taste, his commitments were to freedom and responsibility, commitments to counteract the real utopian schemes of the socialist and communist ideologies that inhere in what Szasz called “The Therapeutic State.”

    “The Theology of Medicine,” “The Manufacture of Madness,” and “Coercion as Cure” are indeed great books.
    But Szasz’s wrote many great books, and any list of his great books that fails to mention “Psychiatric Slavery” or “Liberation by Oppression” is incomplete. And as far as Szasz’s connections to Scientology are concerned, Bradford’s comment above hits the mark. The attempt to discredit Szasz by emphasizing his connections to Scientology, especially by citing Torrey as an authority, is yet another reason to be skeptical of this so-called “appraisal.”

    Szasz already gave himself enough tough love. It’s Szasz’s critics and appraisers that need the tough love that Szasz already gave them. The problem is that instead of reading and understanding, his critics continue to obscure and obfuscate Szasz’s works to the detriment of his legacy and to the detriment of others who would benefit from it.

    In other words, begin by reading Szasz, and not his critics or his “appraisers.”

  • Jennifer, thank you. Keep up the fight. You are winning.

    As I’m sure that you are well aware by this point, there is really no such thing as “bipolar disorder,” and psychiatry is a sham. Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as a medical profession. It is simply criminal what psychiatrists have done to you, and what they are doing to millions of innocent people, including children, the homeless, and the elderly.

    I believe that your artistic talents will flourish now more than ever, and that you will be able to help many other people who are suffering as a result of psychiatric abuse. Along the way, if you are looking for some good reading on the topic, I highly recommend the work of Thomas Szasz, Peter Breggin, and Robert Whitaker.

    Keep up the good fight, and all the best. – DS

  • “Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the medical term for a disorder, or malfunction in thinking, in which a person suffers from obsessions, which are often linked to compulsions.”

    Nonsense. There is not one single shred of evidence that there is any such thing as “OCD” or any other fictitious “disease” that is listed in the Bible of psychiatry.

  • Alan, I am very sorry about what psychiatry has done to your son. I feel compassion for you both, but I also want to express the hope that there is life after survival. I sincerely hope that your son can extricate himself from the shackles, and shed the false labels of psychiatry. It may be difficult, but it can be done.

    You mentioned Laing several times. While I sympathize with your perspective, and while I understand why Laing’s influence is important to you, I would recommend that readers of this post consider Thomas Szasz’s critique of Laing, as well as Thomas Szasz’s critique of the concept of so-called “schizophrenia” in his book “Schizophrenia: The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry.”

    The truth is that there is no such thing as “mental illness,” and “schizophrenia” in particular is a terrible hoax. Psychiatry, as I’m sure that you are now aware, is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as a medical profession. Psychiatry, from its inception, is rotten to the core, and it thrives on the suffering of the innocent. The purpose of psychiatry is to cause the very harm that it purports to remedy. All this psychiatry accomplishes under the guise of “treatment” and “care.”

    For these and other reasons many who frequent the Mad in America website advocate for the abolition of psychiatry, and they do so with truth and justice on their side.

  • The problem of authority doesn’t go away merely by wishing. When legitimate authority is dismissed, rejected, or opposed, something else inevitably sweeps in to fill the vacuum. Tocqueville foresaw the tyranny of the majority or the soft despotism that is now rampant. Anarchy is not a viable solution to the problem, and neutrality is an illusion.

  • Of course this ignores the fact that there is no such thing as “first episode psychosis,” and that “treatment” is a euphemism for coercion, force, torture, drugging, involuntary incarceration and other forms of psychiatric abuse. “Early intervention” is a method of subjugating the innocent to psychiatric torture and abuse, in a sort of Minority Report style. Under this tyrannical system, a person is automatically and preemptively declared guilty with no avenues to prove his or her innocence.

    There is also no such thing as an “antipsychotic.” A more appropriate name for these dangerous, brain destroying chemical compounds might be “thanatophoric drugs,” or death inducing drugs.

    A novel concept that members of the psycho-pharmaceutical industrial complex ought to consider is one of the ancient definitions of justice: mind your own business.

  • The irony in all of this, of course, is that Marxism is its own kind of fundamentalist religion, and Marx himself knew it. The further irony is that Marxism, like psychiatry, caused and still causes the kinds of problems that it purports to resolve. No sober person can examine the real fallout from the Marxist fundamentalist religion and still consider that it has any redeeming value.

  • “The second idea is that people may not have to change to be OK and valuable — that people can even be proud of what has been called madness!”

    This dichotomy leaves out the most important idea, namely, that so-called “mental illness” itself is a myth. There is no reason to be proud or ashamed of fictitious “diseases.” The only real madness is psychiatry’s obsession with promoting and promulgating the myth of “mental illness” in order to cover up it’s own illegitimacy.