Sunday, June 16, 2019

Comments by Slaying_the_Dragon_of_Psychiatry

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  • “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. https://www.amazon.com/Szasz-Under-Fire-Psychiatric-Abolitionist/dp/0812695682

    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.” https://www.amazon.com/Psychiatry-Science-Lies-Thomas-Szasz/dp/0815609108

    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., https://www.madinamerica.com/2019/04/in-defense-of-anti-psychiatry/ or https://www.madinamerica.com/2015/11/my-response-to-dr-pies/ )

    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.” https://www.amazon.com/Schizophrenia-Sacred-Psychiatry-Thomas-Szasz/dp/0815602243

    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.

  • “but as Aristotle points out, these ‘goods’ are the product of society, at least to some extent, not something that is inherent in us.”

    Citation please. Are you suggesting that Aristotle thought that the good, the true, and the beautiful were merely conventional? Perhaps I have misunderstood.

    “but we should not forget that our sense of ourselves as indivisuals, with some power to influence events ourselves, is associated with the shaking up of centuries of unchallenged social heirarchy.”

    Please elaborate.

    “But I don’t think we can resolve modern existential problems simply by returning to ancient philosophy or medieval Christianity”

    I didn’t mean to suggest that we can resolve modern existential problems simply by returning to ancient philosophy or to medieval Christianity, but I was suggesting that unless we have at least some grasp of both of those things, we will make very little progress in fully understanding modern existential problems in the first place.

    “On the question of mental illness/disorder, I think it is too simplictic to just blame psychiatry. I recognise that psychiatry does create many of the problems it is supposedly there to address, but there is a historical record of something that was widely recognised as ‘madness’ (lunacy, insanity etc) long before psychiatry came into existence, which caused problems for many different sorts of communities.”

    Your point is well taken, but there is something different about the modern manufacture of madness for which psychiatry is directly responsible. Although he is too libertarian for my taste, Szasz writes eloquently on this point. Oldhead has it right. It is a far cry from the “village idiot,” or ritual ostracism, or even a few so-called “lunatics,” to the mass production of “mental illness,” the mass persecution of the “mentally ill,” and the medicalization of everyday life. Szasz often referred to the problem as the “therapeutic state.” The therapeutic state is unique to our time, and psychiatry has played a major role in the growth of this therapeutic state.

    “I am not making a plea for psychiatry, but I am trying to work out how we, as a society, can respond to these problems without pretending they are medical conditions, with all the worrying implications that go along with that view.”

    The first and most obvious step is to understand what the “problem,” or really, the lack of a problem, is. By positing that there are “problems” (a euphemism for “mental illness”) to which society can respond, you are making a plea for psychiatry. Psychiatry, the so-called “mental health” industry, and the pharmaceutical industry, thrive by promoting and propagating the myth of “mental illness.”

    I do not wish to imply that all psychiatrists are inherently evil. Most are probably good, but egregiously misinformed people. One may recall that a certain man with an ugly mustache was very eager to take care of what he regarded as “the Jewish problem.” Many good people were drawn in by his propaganda.

    Listen to T.S. Eliot:

    “Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm; but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.”

    Then listen to Henry Grady Weaver:

    “Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own. The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional do-gooders, who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.”

    Finally (and this is the most perceptive comment), listen to C.S. Lewis:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    This is a PERFECT description of psychiatry.

  • In answer to your question, the way to address the problem of Big Pharma and Big Government corruption is not to adopt utopian Marxist, communist, or socialist fantasies. Did we learn nothing from the 20th century?

    How has evil been defeated in the past? If we are intent on resisting and defeating evil, should we look to Lenin, Stalin, or Brezhnev as examples? Should we look to Mao, Chiang Kai-shek, Ho Chi Minh, or Pol Pot? Should we look to Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong-Il, Hideki Tojo, or Saddam Hussein? I think not.

    The history of the triumph of liberty cannot be traced to these communist dictators, spawn of Karl Marx. No. The history of the triumph of liberty can be traced through those who opposed such men and the evil that they wielded, men like Churchill. The history of the triumph of liberty can also be traced through men like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers. They were not perfect men, and they would have been the first to admit as much. But they loved liberty, and they opposed evil.

    If we are to resist and defeat evil, we need to consider carefully the sources of our inspiration. So to answer your question, how do we reduce the vast influence of Big Pharma? In the same way that evil has always been resisted and defeated. A wise man once put it this way: “overcome evil with good.”

  • Not quite. The irony of course is that the Founders of the United States were instrumental in forming a system of government that has helped to produce the greatest breadth and depth of political and individual liberty for its citizens that the world has ever known, whereas Marxist ideologies produced misery and death on a scale that makes even these increasing suicide rates look like a picnic in the park.

    This is not to suggest that suicide isn’t a problem, or that there aren’t evil people who turn a profit from the suffering of others. It is simply to point out that much of the misery that is described in this article is the direct result, not of capitalism, but of the progressive ideologies inherited from Marxist predecessors. Psychiatry is also a direct cause of much of this misery.

    In fact, psychiatry CAUSES the very suicides that it purports to prevent. Psychotropic drugging and psychiatric torture CAUSE many otherwise healthy and robust (and also vulnerable) people to do things that they would never otherwise do. In this sense, there has not been an increase in the suicide rate, but an increase in the murder rate. “Suicide” is sometimes a euphemism for psychiatrically-induced death. Once psychiatry has been abolished, this “suicide” rate (really murder rate), will decline or disappear.

    Mr. Whitaker has written at length, in “Anatomy of an Epidemic” and “Psychiatry Under the Influence” about how the increase in fake psychiatric “diagnoses” and psychotropic drugging has created the very epidemic that psychiatry purports to remedy. Capitalism is not the problem. Psychiatry is the problem.

    Thank goodness for a system of government and a capitalist economic system that allows for the hard work of people such as Robert Whitaker to help create a forum in which to expose the chicanery of psychiatry.

  • Exactly Frank. No amount of rationalization can turn evil into good or wrong into right. Even if you piled up every philosopher and brilliant rhetorician in the history of the world on the side of psychiatry, psychiatry would still remain a pseudo-scientific system of slavery.

    Abraham Lincoln’s wisdom applies here: “How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” Saying that psychiatry is medicine doesn’t make it so. Saying that there is such a thing as “mental illness” or “mental disorder” doesn’t make it so.

  • I could enjoy these discussions regarding communism and Marxism as a form of entertainment if the historical record of the unlearned lessons of the 20th century weren’t so crystal clear. I suppose that it is only in a free country that was founded on principles that are diametrically opposed to communism and Marxism that such utopian fantasies can be so freely entertained. Besides the millions of innocent victims of communism, those who survive and labor under the real constraints imposed by communism don’t have time to entertain such utopian fantasies.

  • Joanna, I appreciate your attempts to grapple with the difficult philosophical problems that have led up to our post-modern confusion regarding what a human being is, what the mind is, and particularly whether or not there is any such thing as a “mental illness” or a “mental disorder.”

    Of course you, Hacker, and Wittgenstein are correct to debunk neuroscientific, or more accurately, neuroscientistic reductionism. You are also correct that if we are going to discuss human nature, or the nature of life, a good place to start is with Aristotle. It would be interesting to contrast Wittgenstein’s or Hacker’s conception of the connection between language and the kinds of beings we are with that of Aristotle, but as the internet sensation Sweet Brown wisely put it: “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waEC-8GFTP4

    You and Hacker are correct that psychology and neuroscience lead us astray. But Hacker’s attempt to describe human beings or the nature of life is also reductionist, albeit not to the same extent as the reductionism of psychology and neuroscience. In Aristotle’s teleology, human beings aren’t just unique in their physical or intellectual capabilities. You only allude to the deeper truth that was understood by the ancients, namely, that human purposes are connected to goods that are pursued because of three main motivations: the pleasant, the useful, and the noble.

    As you point out, many modern and post-modern philosophers rejected the wisdom of Aristotle, the ancients, and teleology. Beginning primarily with Machiavelli, they also rejected Christianity. This led to much of the confusion that was inherited and exacerbated by thinkers such as Hobbes, Descartes, Bacon, Locke, and others.

    Although Hacker posits a conception of mind that might resemble Aristotle’s “psuche” in some ways, the comparison breaks down as soon as he loses track of the ancient motivations grounded in the pleasant, the useful, and the noble, or the longing for a better world as articulated throughout the medieval Christian era. Hope and regret, for example, are not just complex emotions, and one’s sense of right and wrong cannot be severed from these ancient or Christian sources without falling prey to the same modern influences that produced the scientism and reductionism inherent in neuroscience, psychology, and especially psychiatry.

    But all of this philosophizing serves as your preface to the question of the nature of health and disease, ostensibly to support the conclusion that “health can be understood as a state of the body that enables the organism to undertake the activities typical of its kind,” and disease “is a state that interferes with this.” You also use this preface to bolster your conclusion that “our mental attributes are more central to our identity than our physical or corporeal properties.” But these things only beg the questions that Aristotle and Christianity answered more completely than any subsequent thinkers, namely, what is a human being, and what is human identity?

    The attempt to associate identity merely with personality is far from the definitions of a human being that were set forth by Aristotle or by Christianity, and hence much closer to the definitions set forth by Descartes and Locke. Furthermore, the attempt to connect enigmatic notions of a “mental disorder” with personality breaks down on many levels when we consider that fictitious “diseases” such as “schizophrenia” or “depression” have nothing to do with beliefs, actions, or sense of self, and everything to do with labels that are imposed from the outside by the very scientistic reductionists that you criticize.

    Not only is it madness to suppose that so-called “mental disorders” constitute disease, it is madness to suppose that there is any such thing as a “mental disorder” that corresponds with an underlying biological, psychological or personal phenomenon. Of course medically disguised social engineering is abhorrent, but so too is philosophically disguised social engineering. Psychiatry’s obsession isn’t just to view “mental disorder” as disease. Psychiatry’s obsession is to view everyone other than oneself as the problem. Instead of relentlessly seeking to change other people, whether through pseudo-medical or behavioral interventions, wouldn’t it be more pleasant, useful, and noble to engage our human faculties in the exercise of improving ourselves?

    I suppose it is only human nature to attempt to create or define a “mental disorder” where no such thing exists, instead of working toward those ends that the ancients and the medieval Christians saw more clearly than we do.

  • That’s right oldhead. In some ways psychiatry is worse than chattel slavery because at least most honest people understood and recognized that chattel slavery was wrong. Unfortunately there are many good and honest people who wrongly suppose that psychiatry is a genuine medical profession that helps people. This is one reason why psychiatry is so pernicious. It is a worse kind of tyranny because the tyrants exercise their tyranny with the approval of their conscience.

  • Opinions are a dime a dozen. It’s truth that we’re after. The attempt to reform or rehabilitate psychiatry is tantamount to the attempt to reform chattel slavery in the South or to rehabilitate Nazi prison camps. I’m content to leave it in the Lord’s hands because truth and justice will prevail in the end, and psychiatry will be exposed for what it is, namely, a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as a medical profession.

  • Yes. There must be fair trials. Then there is the problem of prison space. Where would we keep all of these guys? Where would we find the space? Maybe there would be a use for the vacated psychiatric edifices after all.

  • Good point OH. Psychiatrists don’t diagnose. They impose labels. A diagnosis implies that there is some real illness or disease to identify. That’s not what psychiatrists do. So called “mental illnesses” are not discovered. They are invented. The entire DSM V and every other edition of the DSM is a work of fiction. It is a very dangerous and harmful fiction, but still fiction.

  • Impressive! Keep beating that drum because it also reminds us just how resilient the human spirit and mind can be, even after enduring psychiatric torture. It gives hope to those who are now emerging from the psychiatric haze and the chemical fog.

  • No need to imagine. It’s happening right now. Many of those who comment on MIA are psychiatric survivors, escaped slaves. Why should they not discuss reparations? Why wait?

    This is a topic that needs to be addressed more thoroughly and in more detail. Psychiatry causes irreparable harm to untold millions of innocent people, and yet next to nothing is being done to rectify the problem or to assist psychiatric survivors. If a person is lucky enough to escape the foul clutches of psychiatry, he or she still has an uphill battle to fight because there is no legal or social support for victims of psychiatry.

    By all means, abolish psychiatry. But where is the legal and social support for psychiatric survivors. If Stella Liebeck can sue McDonald’s for almost $3 million when she spills coffee on her lap, why can’t a psychiatric survivor obtain any compensation whatsoever when his or her entire life is destroyed?

  • “Most readers of this blog would probably agree that the paradigm of care that grows out of the medical model is the biggest challenge to confront.”

    Nope. That’s not even close.

    One of the biggest problems to confront is the proliferation of articles like this one that advocate for critical or reform psychiatry. Critical or reform psychiatry perpetuates and reinforces too many of the false notions of psychiatry. Critical or reform psychiatry, like psychiatry, is a major part of the problem. There is no sense in talking about solutions to problems that a person hasn’t even begun to understand.

    The so-called “paradigm of care that grows out of the medical model” is not even remotely the problem. In fact, it is an obfuscation of the problem. The problem is psychiatry itself.

  • Oldhead gets credit for doing his homework, and guinea pigs figure prominently in the story.

    An A+ paper on the topic would have included a description of the work of John Frederick Joseph Cade. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cade)

    “Since he had no sophisticated analytical equipment these experiments mostly consisted of injecting urine from mentally ill patients into the abdomen of guinea pigs.”

    Say what? Yes. You read that correctly.

    To quote wikipedia again:

    “Cade found that in the guinea pigs injected with lithium carbonate solution, as a control solution, the guinea pigs were more restful. His use of careful controls in his experiments revealed that the lithium ion had a calming effect by itself, but even this finding may have been caused by the toxic effects of an excessive dose of Lithium.”

    LOL! This guy was nuts. Completely wacko. No wonder the entire psychiatric industry still relies on his lithium “experiments” and subjugates human “guinea pigs.”

  • There’s nothing fast and loose about the reality that I described.

    Reconstruction and Jim Crow are further evidence that the abolition of slavery and emancipation were not simple matters of letting people go.

    To return to the topic at hand, namely psychiatry, we might imagine that psychiatry is abolished, but as long as people continue to believe in the myth of “mental illness” or to hunt for cures to “chemical imbalances” in the brain, there will always be something that sweeps in to fill the vacuum that psychiatry leaves behind.

  • That’s right. There is nothing to name.

    There is no “mental illness.” The name and the myth, however, are pervasive enough that most people behave AS IF there were some entity that “mental illness” describes. Myths are powerful, and human beings are imaginative creatures. That is why I have set out to slay the dragon of psychiatry.

    But you’re right. There is no such thing as “mental illness,” and the myth of “mental illness” does not describe or point to any underlying reality. Hence my frequent comments regarding the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc.

  • Even though it is impossible to adequately compensate for the destruction of so many lives and the unfathomable harm that has been caused to so many innocent people, reparations is a serious question to consider.

    Think of it. The average income of a psychiatrist is approximately $200,000 per year. Then think of Big Pharma profits. Think of the APA, and their accumulated wealth. Think of the profits from sales of the DSM-V. Add to that all of the money that is wasted on “mental health” and other such nonsense. There is an astronomical amount of money that is poured into the deliberate harm of the innocent through psychiatry.

    As part of the abolition of psychiatry, that money needs to be redirected toward the victims of psychiatry. If a psychiatrist makes $200,000 per year harming innocent people, it seems that the bare minimum compensation for a single psychiatric survivor ought at least to exceed that amount.

    Then, what to do with all of the wasted space of psychiatric wards, pharmaceutical companies, departments of psychiatry in universities, and so forth. Bull-doze them and erect useful edifices?

  • I agree with you oldhead, but there are a couple things to consider regarding slavery and concentration camps. Obviously, no one in their right mind would dream of replacing slavery or concentration camps with reformed or critical slavery or concentration camps. However, the abolition of American slavery required more than an emancipation proclamation.

    In many ways it would have been cruel to emancipate slaves and set them loose in a society where they would be immediately killed or pressed into worse forms of slavery. Some provisions had to be made. Those who survived the concentration camps also needed somewhere to go. This doesn’t mean that slavery wasn’t wrong, or that the Nazi’s weren’t evil. It just means that the process of the abolition of psychiatry might take much longer and cost more than one might initially anticipate.

    Thus, no alternative for psychiatry is needed, but the ever augmenting numbers of psychiatric survivors will struggle to reintegrate into society. There is also the question of how justice is to be administered to the perpetrators.

  • True. There is no such thing as “mental illness.” The typical response to this assertion is to wonder about all of the people who suffer or who manifest symptoms of some sort of a problem. Again, the answer is simple, whatever problems a person may have, they do not constitute some mythical “mental illness.” Every one of the fictitious “diseases” is a figment of the psychiatric imagination and a fabrication of the psycho-pharmaceutical industrial complex. “Mental illness,” therefore, is a pernicious myth that has been adopted by psychiatry and Big Pharma in order to “manufacturing madness,” as Thomas Szasz put it. Even though there is no such thing as “mental illness,” pervasive ignorance about this fact causes many people to behave as if it were something real. Children wait upon the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus for their treats. Meanwhile, those who have been deceived by psychiatry wait upon the magical solutions to their non-existent chemical imbalances and mythical “mental illness.”

  • Does anyone here know the history of lithium “treatment”? Testimonials of the terrible effects of lithium are great, but if people actually read books, they could discover how absurd it was to “treat” human beings with lithium in the first place. Psychiatry goes to great lengths to obfuscate or suppress its own sordid history. Think about it for a minute. How on earth did anyone think that lithium was something that a human being should ingest? Now, go research the story. If you can still tell me with a straight face that lithium “treatment” was a good idea, then I have a bridge to sell you.

  • I need to second this motion by oldhead because it is critical for people to understand. Why don’t people pause to ask themselves “What is mental illness?” Those who pursue this line of questioning might be led to Szasz who posed and answered this question better than anyone to date. It used to be a question of real interest, as Szasz points out, among philosophers, politicians, and laymen alike. Now, as Szasz also points out, the myth of “mental illness” has become a lying fact. The myth is so pervasive and held so dearly that few dare to pose the question “What is mental illness?”

    Let me pose the question, and answer it. What is “mental illness”? Mental illness is no more real than the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, or Santa Claus. Fortunately, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus don’t go around labeling, drugging, incarcerating, and murdering innocent people. The Easter Bunny delivers treats or Easter eggs or chocolate, the Tooth Fairy delivers money in exchange for a tooth, and Santa Claus delivers gifts to good girls and boys. Psychiatry, on the other hand, in the guise of medicine and wielding the myth of mental illness, delivers destruction. It deprives innocent people of everything that is dear, their lives, their liberty, and their pursuit of happiness. Unlike benign or beneficial myths, the myth of mental illness wrecks havoc upon innocent men, women, and even children.

    In fact, a good definition of evil is anything that intentionally causes harm to innocent little children. By this or any other measure, psychiatry, along with it’s pernicious myth of “mental illness,” is and always has been evil. Therefore, to resist the evil of psychiatry is only natural for those who possess any scintilla of a conscience or any particle of common sense.

  • I had exactly the same thought oldhead. I even used a similar phrase, “irrefutably true,” before I read your comment about “irrefutable logic.” That’s it. Phil’s irrefutable logic. He just hits the nail so squarely on the head that no other hammers are needed.

  • No kidding. In a way, Dr. Hickey’s articles are so clear, straightforward, and irrefutably true that not many comments are needed. But this article should be one of the most, if not THE most popular article on Mad in America.

  • That ought to be the case. It is true that most are harmed too severely to be able to retaliate. Even those who recover enough to retaliate have no recourse through the legal system to any kind of justice or compensation. In any case, how do you compensate monetarily or legally for destroyed lives or even death?

  • Excellent article. Well done, and thank you Dr. Hickey.

    I hope that by this point it is sufficiently clear that Dr. Hickey is the most articulate and effective author on the Mad in America team. As far as I’m concerned, his articles demonstrate unsurpassed clarity of vision and expression. He has done his homework, and Mad in America would be wise to promote his work more vigorously.

    Dr. Hickey is correct that opposition to psychiatry pre-dates Szasz, even though Szasz was one of the most articulate and effective opponents of psychiatry in his time. More people ought to read the works of Thomas Szasz. More people also ought to read the works of one of the men who inspired Szasz and who also saw through the deceptions of psychiatry, namely Karl Kraus. In fact, Thomas Szasz wrote an excellent book entitled “Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus’s Criticism of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry.” I commend it to your attention.

    https://www.amazon.com/Anti-Freud-Krauss-Criticism-Psychoanalysis-Psychiatry/dp/0815602472

    What Kraus, Szasz, and now Dr. Hickey reveal is that psychiatry has been rotten since its inception. It is, as I have frequently written, a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as a medical profession. Let me echo Dr. Hickey’s powerful concluding statement: “Psychiatry is not something good that needs minor adjustments. Rather, it is something fundamentally flawed and rotten. Based on spurious premises, and devoid of even a semblance of critical self-scrutiny, it is utterly and totally irremediable.” Amen.

    This. Is. The. Truth. About. Psychiatry. The truth will prevail. For those who would like to expand and deepen their understanding of the true history of psychiatry, I also recommend the following resource:

    https://psychiatricsurvivors.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/the-truth-about-psychiatry/

    – Slay the Dragon of Psychiatry

  • Perhaps you haven’t mention Foucault, but it is common knowledge that Foucault is one of the foundational thinkers and representatives of the left. I shouldn’t have to define this for you. Of course you are right that the meaning of the term “left” has changed over time, just as the meaning of many other terms has changed over time, terms such as “liberal,” and especially “equality.”

    You really have a thing for Hannity, a sort of man-crush it seems. I don’t even care for the guy or pay any attention to him. I have no problem whatsoever with anyone who wants to define for themselves what they think “left” or “leftism” means. But that doesn’t change the origin and the history of the term. If you don’t like “radical leftist,” I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t like that label either. Radical Marxist hardly seems any more appealing.

    I prefer to think of my fellow anti-psychiatry colleagues as friends, even though many of them wrongly associate psychiatry with some bogeyman called “capitalism.”

  • Assuming that there is such a thing as world peace. Isn’t this the kind of thing that beauty pageant contestants opine about? LOL. Irrational anti-American self-loathing needs to be kept separate and distinct from what is reasonable, namely, informed opposition to psychiatry.

    The correspondence you mentioned was Marx to Lincoln, and no two characters or their ideas could be more different. Consider where Marxism led. Now consider Lincoln’s role in preserving the union. Polar opposites.

    It’s a good thing that you’re not a proclaimed progressive, although most moderns are unwitting progressives. If you look at the real, practical results of revolutionary socialism, and compare them to the real, practical benefits of capitalism, there is simply no contest. We can argue all day about utopian fantasies, but the facts on the ground are that the former leads inevitably to destruction and chaos, and the later has the potential to lift nations out of poverty. Capitalism is not the enemy. But enough of that. Let’s get back to exposing the truth about psychiatry.

  • Of course, this assumes that there is such a thing as a measurable “bourgeoisie” and a measurable “proletariat” and that the “bourgeoisie” is in power. Think of the people who seized power in the communist revolutions in Russia or in China, for example. Were they the “proletariate”? I don’t think so. A good antidote to a lot of this Marxist indoctrination is to listen to a few Jordan Peterson talks. He doesn’t get everything right, but at least he sees through Marxist mendacity.

  • So no one is allowed to disagree with Rousseau or Marx? LOL. The categories of “left” and “right” emerged directly from the French Revolution, and those of the left, if you will recall, supported the revolution. Pinel sympathized with the French Revolution. The connection to psychiatry is not at all remote from this history, as even one of your own, Foucault, has pointed out.

  • “Its primary contribution to humankind was in terms of ideals.”

    I don’t know if it is possible to come up with a more nonsensical statement. If you were talking about the French Revolution, maybe. In many ways, modern progressivism is the polar opposite of everything that the founders accomplished, and Karl Marx is one of the major culprits.

    I didn’t think that it was possible to come up with a more nonsensical statement than your previous statement, but then I noticed that you believe that the U.S. is the greatest threat to world peace. Amazing.

    You and I had better stick to discussing anti-psychiatry.

  • The abolition of slavery issued from the principles of the founding as restored and revitalized by Lincoln. Rush will be held accountable for his psychiatric atrocities, but he also endorsed the principles that led to the abolition of slavery, and he signed the Declaration of Independence. Many of the founders were slave holders, including Washington and Jefferson. Should we therefore reject the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? No. The abolition of psychiatry will also be brought about by adherence to, and reverence for the same principles that the founders cherished.

  • Hannity doesn’t know any of it. My anti-psychiatry skills are sharpened by the historical perspective that comes with understanding the history of ideas, and how psychiatry fits into that history.

    We can chatter all day long about current events, or even speculate about the last forty years or so. But one of the greatest reasons for the success of psychiatry is the vast and pervasive ignorance of the masses. As terrible as psychiatry is, and it is a modern form of slavery that must be abolished, it still pales in comparison to the totalitarian atrocities of the 20th century.

    That’s not rhetoric, just a simple description of reality.

  • Again, oldhead is closer to the truth here. In fact, if we really want to think clearly about the origins of a “medical model,” we need to think more clearly about the origins of psychiatry, and the origins, not only of modern medicine, but of modernity itself. Psychiatric tyranny is the natural outgrowth of the modernist rejection of classical philosophy and Christianity, beginning with Machiavelli and Hobbes, and continuing through the fathers of scientism, namely Descartes and Bacon.

    A civilization that rejects the principles of the American founding, principles rooted in classical virtue as well as Christianity and Englightenment self-interest, rightly understood, will naturally embrace the despotism of the therapeutic state. When self-government rooted in virtue has been almost universally eschewed, what sweeps in to fill the vacuum? To quote Burke:

    “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites…in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

    The counsels of the wise and good having been ignored or rejected for so long, it is only natural that the flattery of knaves, many of whom wear white coats and promote psychiatry, reigns supreme.

  • Again, oldhead is right. These facts about the fraudulence of psychiatry were understood many decades before Whitaker appeared on the scene. This is not to say that Whitaker’s efforts are not heroic, or that they are not appreciated. It is simply to acknowledge the fact that Szasz recognized and recorded the truth about psychiatry long before Whitaker was even born, and Karl Kraus did the same before Szasz was born. One thing that we, along with Whitaker, can learn from these facts is that the media gave the silent treatment to Kraus and to Szasz. This is why hardly anyone has heard of them or read their books. This is the same reason why Whitaker’s research is so blithely dismissed by the media. The historical record is very clear: the reason why the general public knows next to nothing regarding the truth about psychiatry is simply because the truth about psychiatry has routinely been ignored and dismissed since psychiatry’s inception.

  • Psychiatry and the Bible of Psychiatry, as harmful as they are, have done relatively little harm in comparison to the leftist utopian schemes, issuing from the thought of Rosseau and Marx, that have wreaked havoc upon the earth from the time of the French Revolution to the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. When sober minds consider the destruction and terror that began in 1789 or the massacred millions under the tyranny of Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot, the tyranny of psychiatry looks like a trip to the circus by comparison. In fact, psychiatry’s lineage can be traced back to the French Revolution, to the likes of Philippe Pinel. Psychiatry’s heritage is the heritage of the left.

    But that shouldn’t stop intelligent people on every part of the political spectrum from rallying together to abolish psychiatry.

  • Oldhead, accusations of white supremacy do not arguments make.

    If you don’t think that the Founders almost unanimously opposed slavery, I would suggest that you do some reading. Of course I’m not a big fan of Benjamin Rush, for obvious reasons, but that doesn’t erase the importance of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, for example.

    And as far as your interpretations of MLK, Jr. and Malcolm X, I would also suggest that you do some more reading.

    In any case, the important thing is that we agree that psychiatry must be abolished. The question of how to accomplish that is certainly open to debate.

    And Rachel777, I agree with you mostly, except for the notion that there is such a thing as “involuntary psychiatry” which supposedly would contrast with some sort of a “voluntary” psychiatry. “Voluntary” psychiatry is a chimera, just like Marxist utopianism is a chimera.

  • With all due respect, I don’t think that this is quite accurate.

    Why? The question still remains: By what standard do we measure what is offensive or hostile or makes an unsafe place for people to express their views? As long as that question remains ambiguous, the standard remains arbitrary. By such an arbitrary standard, it will be easy to censure viewpoints with which a moderator or some other participant may disagree.

  • No. Abolition is still necessary. I’m not conceding anything to psychiatry or even critical psychiatry. This is just a comment on the reality that anti-psychiatry must confront.

    Slavery was not abolished in a day. Even though almost all of the Founders opposed slavery, they also understood that something more than emancipation was necessary. A foundation for freedom was necessary. Anti-psychiatry can help to re-establish that foundation by exposing the truth about psychiatry.

    Prudence simply means the application of true and correct principles to particular circumstances. Courage, moderation, wisdom, justice, and prudence are among the ancient virtues that will be required. For those who embrace the truth about God and faith in Christ, the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity will also be necessary.

    As vehemently and as ardently as I oppose the evils of psychiatry, I advocate for a MLK, jr.-type of approach more than a Malcolm-X kind of approach. I advocate for a Lincoln-type approach, or even a Frederick Douglass-type approach more than a William Lloyd Garrison-type of approach. In each case the former is more effective in the long run, and the latter is detrimental to the cause of civil rights or of the abolition of slavery.

  • Robert Whitaker’s books Mad in America, Anatomy of an Epidemic, and Psychiatry Under the Influence are among the best in the anti-psychiatry canon. Critical psychiatry is not a sustainable response to the atrocities that are perpetrated under the aegis of psychiatry, but it is in some ways a step in the right direction. Just as slavery could not be abolished immediately at the founding, it will take much prudence to abolish psychiatry. Hopefully it won’t take the kind of conflict that was necessary to end slavery.

  • I read the title, and then I thought, wait a minute…

    What is really needed is the abolition of psychiatry and all of its nefarious accomplices. So many MIA articles focus too far downstream from the source of the problems. Downstream from psychiatry there are all kinds of bandaids to apply. Go to the source, namely, psychiatry itself and the pernicious myth of “mental illness.” Until the false religious of psychiatry is eliminated and until the pervasive myth of “mental illness” is debunked, individuals will continue to suffer from the noxious products that are distributed under the aegis of these tyrannical systems and ideologies.

    Slay the Dragon of Psychiatry, and there won’t be any more need to manage “antidepressant” (a euphemism for a dangerous psychotropic – brain-altering – chemical) discontinuation.

  • “In SOME people, SOMETIMES, SOME low dose of SOME drug MIGHT actually be helpful, in the short-term.”

    Nope. Here’s the distinction. Many people may be deceived into thinking that drugs help them, it is true. This is what Dr. Breggin calls “medication spellbinding.” Lots of people “like” their drugs, but that doesn’t mean that the drugs are “helping them.” Lots of people like cigarettes, alcohol, cocaine, lsd, heroin, and so forth. Lots of people like a lot of things.

    But you’re right that psychiatry is a pseudo-science and that “mental illness” is a myth.

  • Nonsense. Psychotropic drugs CAUSE the damage that is then misinterpreted as “mental illness.” Psychiatry is a pseudo-scientific system of slavery that masquerades as a medical profession, and psychotropic drugs are not in any way, shape, or form medications. They are dangerous, brain-destroying chemicals. The mendacity of modern medicine combined with pervasive ignorance in the general public leads to studies such as the one mentioned in this article.

  • “What enabled religion to arise? The foundation of nearly all religions is faith in God(s) — fixed illogical belief in things with no basis in reality.”

    Complete and utter nonsense. Dr. K has really outdone himself with this one. The only society in which such a false and misleading definition of faith would gain any traction is in a society like our own, namely, a society in which blind faith in secularism and the religion of secularism creates hostility toward the truth that it attempts to mimic. In fact, blind faith in secularism produces hostility toward reality, a reality to which many of the world’s religions are much more in tune.

    In turn, it is this blind faith in the religion of secularism that enables ideologies, false philosophies, and pseudo-religions such as psychiatry to thrive. Faith is not a fixed illogical belief in things with no basis in reality. On the contrary, faith in God or a higher power is the most reasonable approach to things as they really are.

  • Good article, for the most part.

    But the notion that so-called “anti-depressants” or neuroleptics are sometimes helpful is just not true. Such assertions rest on the erroneous notion that there is such a thing as “mental illness” or “psychosis.” Are the drugs bad? Yes. Does Moncrieff do great work to show why the drugs are bad? Yes. But as long as the prevailing myth of “mental illness” remains unaddressed, people will continue to produce and distribute drugs in the vain hope that some mysterious “chemical imbalances” in the brains of unwitting victims of psychiatry will be fixed.

    Of course Joanna has seen how drugs “help” the “psychotic.” This is always the perception from the outside. Someone who has been labeled as “psychotic” gets drugged into a chemical stupor and stops acting “psychotic.”

    This is how she puts it: “I also believe that neuroleptics, despite their many noxious effects, are sometimes preferable to a severe and intractable psychosis.”

    Nonsense.