Comments by Olga Runciman, Cand Psych BSc

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  • Dear Carlton
    Wow! thank you for sharing your stunningly powerful story of survival. I am actually feeling pretty speechless reading about what you went through. Your unheard voice – I hear you and you moved me, big time. -thank you

  • Thank you for sharing your beautiful psychosis it resonated with me in so many ways. I particularly resonate with “But to say a person is out of touch with reality is to ignore the validity of the reality that they are in touch with. This is not only disempowering, but also fails to celebrate the journey that the person is on.” wow! spot on and so important.

  • First thank you Amy for this in-depth article I really enjoyed it. And I have a confession, I have to say I am a big fan of the series.

    There are many aspects to the show and there are often many layers. I think what I have loved most, and I too shed a tear or two when I watch them, is the warmth and humanity of what I would see as a human approach to other people’s challenges/problems. I love that. From my perspective it puts into relief the contrast between what they do by just being human versus psychiatry’s help with its coercion, drugs and isolation. Imagine if community help was more like what they do than psychiatry’s biomedical version!

    Concerning the discussion on consent to be honest it has never occurred to me at any time that this series could have been made on a nonconsensual basis. The fab 5 would never accept that. And happy endings and another confession I do like that, which is why I liked the approach the article took in questioning that aspect.

    If you haven’t seen the series, I can recommend it. It’s wonderful to see/feel warmth kindness and humanity especially in these troubling times we live in.
    Thanks again Amy for your article.

  • Thank you Will for this excellent blog. It is chilling to watch from over here the callousness of the White House and some of those who stand to profit. I feel very privileged to live in a country (Denmark) who has gone all out to save people and has willingly put the economy on standby. As you write economies come back dead people don’t. My thoughts are with you all in America as you brace yourselves for the worst to come.

  • “They’re in the violence of restraints and needles forcibly penetrating our skin. And, to top that off, we’re not allowed to actually call that violence because we lack even the power to define the word from our own perspective.”
    That sentence really resonated with me. The fact that we are also deprived a language to describe the the horrors that goes under the inocuos euphemism ‘treatment’
    Thanks for the article

  • Thank you Michael for doing this survey. Yes for me it is not a surprise and the many comments and awful experiences are not new but unfortunately something that goes on every single day in every country where Western psychiatry is found. Our voices have been silenced for years but with the arrival of the internet our voices are becoming increasingly powerful and MiA is a very powerful contributor to that collective voice. I am glad you published the survey here it will reach far more people, the people who matter and that is the general public. The potential new patients who think this is the place I will get help, the new families who turn to psychiatry thinking this is where my loved one will be saved.

    For too long we have spent (wasted) our time trying to change a system that has no interest in changing. I too fell into that trap and genuinely believed that it was due to lack of knowledge and information that caused professionals in psychiatry to harm and hurt in the name of ‘cure’. Indeed when I worked there I was cushioned from the voices of the patients but that was before the internet. Today our voices are becoming louder and louder but that should not just be against the system it should be to help potential new ‘customers’ involuntary as well as voluntary. It has to be directed to opening up other spaces outside of psychiatry. And of course ultimately politically as well which right now in the western world is detrimental to ‘non conformists’.

    So though this survey is not new to me it is for an awful lot of people. Patients and expatients who are thinking they are all alone and are therefore somehow must be responsible for the force and degradation they are experiencing as a patient. Those who are giving up because they don’t know there is a vaste community out there who have tried what they are experiencing. Families and friends who thought they were doing the best thing when they involved psychiatry and who are now devastated at what has happened to their loved one. It is these people and of course those who are the potential new generation of patients who need to know about psychiatric abuse.

    But also potential new staff who think they are going to be helping but end up in a system which is equally powerful in forcing them into a position of being a potential abuser of patients. Here in Denmark where I live, the young student doctors are not wanting to become psychiatrists. Why? Because of our voices and the fact that we continue to point out that psychiatry is a pseudo-science and in more ways akin to a religion than a science.

    So Michael thank you for this important survey and I am looking forward to more!

  • “We caution that the likelihood that antipsychotic medications are associated with thinner cortex in individuals with schizophrenia should by no means be interpreted as a contraindication for their use in treating patients with severe mental illnesses, including schizophrenia. In fact, a recent study found that medication treatment was associated with thinner cortex and better behavioral performance on a cognitive control task (26% higher d′-context score) (24). Most importantly, antipsychotic medications tend to successfully treat severely debilitating psychotic symptoms, reduce relapse risk following a first-episode break (69), and reduce suicide risk (70). As such, they play a critical role in the treatment of psychosis.”

    = Ok we cant run away anymore from the fact our treatments shrink peoples brains and damage them but… we will just carry on giving/ forcing people to consume our lucrative oops remember to say in public helpful drugs because it helps people with this debilitating disease.

    I continue to be astounded that no matter how much evidence is produced year after year that shows just how damaging psychiatric drug treatment is it is just shrugged off and people continue to be duped, forced coerced convinced etc that they are helpful. Any treatment that functions by damaging the brain cannot and never will be helpful. Basta.

  • Thank you for sharing what must be the biggest tragedy of your life. I really hope families of others who have lost loved ones or maybe a family member of one of the, sadly far too many school shooters, reads your blog and recognizes the pattern. The more we can rise up and place the ‘blame’ where it belongs at the door of the producers of the drugs, rather than with the drug intoxicated person, the better. I could have been on the plane with the German wing pilot, I wasn’t and I am grateful for that but he, his family and many others were not so lucky.
    Thank you your voice is so important

  • I suspect it depends on the amount. I have noticed that the less in agreement one is with psychiatry the more likely one is to be heavily drugged. Most people do not require much of clozapine before they are pretty affected by it. Certainly for me had I remained on drugs (and not committed suicide) I would be living in group home unable to function.

  • Psychiatry with its pseudoscience, lies and story of hopelessness along with its human rights abuses in the name of treatment cause people to give up and either become the ‘schizophrenic’ that they force you to be or depart this world. I too nearly left, I am eternally grateful that I didn’t but the statistics speak for themselves. The more contact you have with psychiatry the more likely you are to commit suicide. That is tragic beyond belief and even more reason to carry on the battle that Matt was a part of.

  • Thank you for letting me know. This is just so incredibly sad and makes me at the same time so angry with this thing called psychiatry. Your blog makes complete sense one is cursed and caste out of society while being ‘treated’ for the curse they caste upon one and I could rage on. But a kind and gentle soul has left us and that is at the moment the thing that fills my mind.

  • I just read your blog
    What has happened to Matt? You write in memory of dear Matt
    I am internet friend of Matt’s and we have also spoken on occasion on Skype. Just a few weeks ago he wrote this time with a list of questions which I was in the process of answering but was delayed due to traveling commitments. I have an awful sinking feeling because Of what your words in memory of are saying.

  • The madness of psychiatry itself! Suffering from severe delusions it sifts through what suits it best rejecting anything that can question its sense of righteousness and pseudoscientific beliefs, blithely twisting evidence into lies and money. Working closely with its chemical factories it continues to delude and poison its patients as the only medical specialty that actively does more harm than good breaking the Hippocratic oath every single second around the world.

    When will this dangerous delusional pseudoscientific thing called psychiatry be stopped?

  • Brilliant article which explains the corruption loud and clear while at the same time conveying the story of hope. Find any other way to get help except for psychiatry and your chances of leading a fulfilling life is vastly improved. What continues to amaze me is that story of hope is beaten down as a myth and the actual myth is seen as the truth.
    I spent 10 years as a chronic ‘schizophrenic’ on the highest disability deemed incapable of functioning without help and support of the psychiatric system, and with their ‘treatment’ it was true. When I found my own way out and got off their drugs I was finally able to return as a whole person, functioning and contributing to society. Had I remained I would just be another person living an institutional life poisoned by drugs. The drugs totally and utterly incapacitated me and sadly I am not the only one.
    Listen to the story of hope here and may those 8 psychiatrists one day bow their heads in shame for the destruction and misery they have caused. Shame on them. (And psychiatry in general)

  • “Phrenology (from Greek: phren, “mind”; and logos, “knowledge”) is a defunct field of study, once considered a science, in which the personality traits of a person were determined by “reading” bumps and fissures in the skull. […] However, it has no predictive power and is therefore dismissed as quackery by modern scientific discourse.” (From:
    The modern day version of this quackery has moved from measuring the skull to measuring/scanning the brain and making vast and sweeping conclusions stated as true science. And what a catastrophe! So many people and now our children put on chemicals leading to iatrogenic brain damage on a scale never seen before.
    Naturally I have signed but observing how psychiatry works, this appalling piece of research signed by 82(!!) authors will, from now on, be pulled out of the proverbial hat when some poor unknowing parent comes because their child’s teacher thinks little Johnny shows signs of ADHD.
    If any of the 82 authors read this very valid critic of their joint article, please support retracting the article from the Lancet and know that you are making a difference for our children… and yours.

  • It is 1.30 in the morning just wanted to read a blog before sleeping and read yours! Wow. What can I say you write so spot on what I see happening all around me. I just had to write THANK YOU for writing this enormously important piece.
    Psychiatry has introduced this new ‘career’ called consumers as peer workers which is… as you have just described it for so many. Unfortunately it has not only trapped so many people in poverty, tokenism and continued shame but it has sadly in my opinion been successful in disarming the survivor movement to a large extent. It is a process to extract oneself from psychiatry not just physically but also mentally. Now there is a new psychiatric trap the ‘peer’ trap and that one is just as difficult to escape from as the patient trap.

  • Reflecting back on my comments above regarding my skepticism towards Robin Murray and reading the many comments since then, I became interested in my own skepticism. Is it warranted? Is it just my personal experiences with psychiatry that create a filter across my eyes so that when a prominent professor says he “If I had the chance to have a second career, I would try harder not to follow of the fashion of the herd. The mistakes I have made, at least those into which I have insight, have usually resulted from adhering excessively to the prevailing orthodoxy.” I find myself skeptical? Is it because I want more hard evidence indicating Robin Murray really means it before my skepticism eases is that what I need? Or perhaps as someone who has been been in psychiatry and seen the horrors that exist in there my go to place is skepticism or even locking my heart to all who recant? Perhaps my anger which continues to burn and seethe inside prevents me from opening my door wide when ever somebody who has actively engaged in the system of harm that has damaged so many people I know and millions that I don’t know says I was wrong…

    I do remember that I too used to work in psychiatry as a nurse before becoming a patient of the self same system and it never ever occurred to me that such a huge worldwide industry could be based on pseudoscience oppression and lies. It was unthinkable then that what I was participating in was doing more harm than good and though I often thought there is something wrong here I could never put my finger on it because the lie was so massive that I failed to see it. To be fair to myself then, psychiatry was still able to completely shield its workers from the critic of the anti psychiatry movement so I would have had to actively seek it out. Sadly I never looked because it never occurred to me to look. I like to think that if then was today I would have acted differently but I don’t know.

    One thing is for sure I learned from an early age that words were decoration often sounding wonderful drawing you in filling you with hope and dreams but they only became real when the words were upheld by action. I still today get caught up in the power of words the beauty of an apology the dreaminess of futures planned through words but as yet unknown and find hope peaking through. So reflecting on my skepticism I can see that all is not lost though it can be seen as sounding negative even unwelcoming to someone venturing off the path of established psychiatry. Yet if you listen carefully there is a positiveness for I have not fully lost hope and shut the door completely. I still have hope, hope that words can lead to action that an apology sincerely meant can result in working actively to right the wrongs that have been and continue to be perpetrated within psychiatry. If Robin Murray really means what he says and actions follow he will have my support but he must earn it for words are just pretty decorations if all that follows is nothing.

  • I am glad that someone like Robin Murray is seeing the error of his ways yet I cannot help but also feel a sense of skepticism. Especially when people have dedicated their lives to the biological model and fought every inch of the way to deny the effects of childhood trauma as playing a significant role.

    As recent as 2012 Robin Murray was still denying the overwhelming evidence of the effects of childhood abuse playing a predominant role in becoming ‘schizophrenic’ later in life. However by 2012 John Read et al and many others had published so many articles on the correlations between childhood abuse and ‘schizophrenia’ that that could no longer be denied. So what does Robin Murray do? He blames the child.

    “Therefore, the possibility cannot be ruled out that a child destined to develop schizophrenia may show characteristics in childhood that increase the risk of abuse.” (

    This has I admit has always been particularly offensive to me when psychiatrists and psychiatry blame the victim for what others do to them. So pardon me if I remain skeptical for a while longer with regards to Robin Murray’s turn about.

  • Hi Matt
    Someone said they would translate this into Danish.
    Sadly this happens all over the place. And unfortunately many families are afraid of reporting or otherwise making too strong complaints for fear of provoking even more ‘treatment’ for their loved ones. Many families can talk about how welcome they were in psychiatry in the beginning when they believed the psychiatric story of help and how the door slammed in their face when they stopped believing and started to question.

  • Hi Irishrover777,
    The EASIEST thing in the world is to get psychiatric drugs, ECT or any psychiatric treatment that biological psychiatry offers! It is NEVER EVER a problem getting psychiatric treatment! So to be honest I am rather dumbfounded that you write what you write here! For surely you are aware that it is the other way around? That the greatest problem is the human right to say NO to psychiatry, NO to psychiatric drugs, NO to ECT, No to forced incarceration and restraints NO to shortened life expectancy and iatrogenic brain damage and that having a medical system that can without a blink of an eye perform these human rights abuses by ignoring peoples NO, is whats at stake here!
    So Peter Breggin is a psychiatrist who respects that, who has chosen to look take a stand against psychiatric drugs and offer a non medical approach, he is indeed a rare breed of psychiatrists and we need many more like that. There are 19 to a dozen other psychiatrists who will be writing a prescription so quick they have to take care it does not catch fire.
    BTW many of these videos explain why people want alternatives to medical model and why Peter Breggin has turned his back on conventional psychiatry. We should be opening up spaces for genuine alternatives so that those who want a medical model approach can of course continue to choose that if they so wish, but that those who dont want it can choose something else and that forced psychiatry ceases to exist.

  • WOW! This is stunning as it is appalling! THANK YOU for uncovering this astonishing coverup and the race is surely on now on how to neutralize this bombshell. Dont let them!

    However there is also a race on whose truth gets to be the accepted truth as right now there is a massive push by psychiatry to blame the “mental disease” that the person is “suffering” from as the reason patients become violent and potentially murderous, not the drugs. From my perspective psychiatry has been succeeding quite well in convincing the public that there is a connection, so this massive FDA coverup could put a huge chink in that psychiatric lie!

    We (thats all of us!) must not let this coverup which Andrew uncovered get covered up!!

  • Hi Matthew
    I will as many others also say how inspiring your story is. I love that you had a family who saw the potential in you and not what you could not do. Why are we not doing this with everyone?
    I am outraged that you too were subjected to this narrow, narrow little world where the solution is pills and more of them and in your case you cold have died or been left with permanent brain damage. I appreciate many doctors are trying to help but their tool box has become so impoverished that if all you have left is a hammer then all you are going to see are nails.
    I am so sorry you too had to go through that but how wonderful it was then to see your video and see you well and strong and finding ways to live your life help others and I love your karate story so you too could defend your self.
    An inspiration!

  • I never cease to be amazed at the hypocrisy and lies of academic psychiatry! Truly astounding!
    But I guess having been so successful in selling the biggest and most lucrative lie of all, the chemical imbalance theory, then it stands to reason that in their world it will be a piece of cake to say that they have never said such nonsense. Times have changed though and psychiatry’s delusional drivel is a slow motion bullet aimed straight at their own foot.

  • Hi WFlewis
    I am interested when you say you have seen psychiatric treatment make dramatic effects changing attitudes and behavior almost overnight. What do you mean by that?
    For have you asked how the person receiving treatment is actually feeling and… Do you even get an honest answer? Because when you are locked inside force medicated you tend to say what you think the people ‘treating you’ wants to hear. Psychiatry has a tremendous power it can blithely ignore human rights and completely get away with it. It is the only medical speciality which actually shortens people’s lives on average and even kills patients and not be accountable! It is the only medical speciality that can say it is scientific yet has no locus no idea biologically speaking of what is going on yet insists it does and gets away with being based on pure scientific myths! I have to say I find psychiatry fascinating from a sociological point of view but I do not under estimate it. For underneath its aura of medicalized help lies also a chamber of horrors that stretches far back into history and sadly continues unabated today.

    I too hope that if you choose to go the way of a psychiatrist you become a critical one. There is much literature written by your colleagues who are critical who dare to say the emperor has no clothes on 😉 I hope you find their books interesting and may I suggest my own thesis looking at how people labeled schizophrenic actually experience their drugs. A question that is virtually never asked.;jsessionid=F96650E745A829E7622944364BDEE581?itemId=diskurs%3A69033%3A1&view=EXPORT#contentSkipLinkAnchor

    I wish you luck and really hope to meet you one day as a colleague and not just another typical psychiatrist 🙂

  • A lie is a lie and here this lie proved to be a highly lucrative one by implying these drugs are not only safe but helpful and then quoted worldwide as one of THE most reliable pieces of research.

    I agree with Boring Old Man “Among the bizarre misrepresentations in Clinical Trials of psychiatric drugs during the Age of the Decepticons, this one may take the grand prize,”

    Shameful piece of damaging ‘research’

  • Sadly more and more ‘research’ is showing violence and schizophrenia are ‘linked’. Few actually discuss, like here, the psuedoscience involved with the result very filtered versions are presented perpetuating and adding to the myth that violence and schizophrenia are joined at the hip.
    Funny why nobody thinks diabetes and violence are joined at the hip… 🙂

  • “Moral injury is a tool of oppression as it keeps people from knowing and naming the oppressor without simultaneously feeling implicated themselves. ”
    Oh how I recognize that one, how it traps , placing one in no mans land unable to move. How even today situations that trigger past abuse and opression activate the same mechanisms where decision making becomes insurmountable.

    Reading your words filled me initially with such sadness, and only later did it awaken my never ending indignation which keeps the flames of my survivor mission eternal.
    Thank you for sharing this powerful piece with us

  • Sadly no, it was not meant as sarcasm. And neither did they nor psychiatry listen when it came to people’s “choices”. They focused on reducing restraints and the patients, when it came to “torture choices” want forced drugging to stop and the focus to be there. Instead we now have the opposite occurring reducing restraints and increasing forced medication. So psychiatry continues in its usual modus of pretending to ‘listen’ to its forced customers and then doing the opposite.

  • At the 52nd Maudsley Debate Peter Gøtzsche takes a powerful stand.

    He is the first professor I have heard to state so clearly and so categorically that he will work alongside us to stop forced psychiatric treatment. As oppressed people fighting for our human and civil rights we need people who traditionally belong to the dominant society to join us for their voices can go where ours have been silenced. He states:

    “Now about forced treatment. I am going to work very hard in this world to put a ban on forced admissions to hospitals and forced treatments it kills and enormous amount of patients despite that they are begging not to get it forced upon them and according to the FN handicap convention (CRPD) it should be banned so I am going to work on that.”

    This is in direct contrast to the Danish Psychology Association which is working towards legislation to allow psychologists to be enforcers of psychiatric coercion. This is shameful.

  • I so agree with you especially “The danish psychological association, […] seems to have lost track of the bigger picture along with at least some of its members.” I certainly hope that this desire by the Danish psychological association for prescribing force is something that will be put to the vote so that I for one, can vote a resounding NO!
    Thanks for your thoughts

  • Very true bptransformation. Global warming and the depletion of the earths resources is devasting and its impact global. Psychiatry depletes human resources and the interpersonal, meaningful relationships, emotional connections etc is an antidote. You write “the obstacle is getting people to see that”. But don’t you think people can see that and want to choose that instead of overmedication and disabilities? Thats my impression at least here in Denmark, people want therapeutic possibilities. But there is a fear to go against the massive pressure of psychiatry’s illness paradigm and its way of interpreting human misery. I believe the obstacle is far more politcal and the economics and profit, as you point out, in the medical model is wat keeps that wheel turning. I think if there was real choices we would have a post psychiatric era and psychiatry as we know it would not exist.
    Thanks for your thoughts!

  • I too Tina, wonder how many would take that pledge. Before I discovered that there was an official wish to join the marble corridors of psychiatric power I would have thought many there were more than I do now. In the UK psychologists have officially moved away from the psychiatric illness paradigm but I wonder how many other countries psychologists align themselves so thoroughly with psychiatry as Denmark does? Are there countries where psychologists can prescribe forced treatment?

    Carina you are an activist! And I love that your healing homes is free from diagnoses. It was very clear to me when I had the pleasure to be with you and many of the families, showing ‘Mette’s Voice’, the importance of ordinary people meeting ordinary people who are having difficult times and crisis in their lives.

  • GREAT blog! I agree that if we could come with CRPD compliant legislation wow life would be different for so many people. I think also as you write a move from a medical orientation to a social one is in my opinion alfa omega. All research shows that stigma and discrimination increase when people are give a biological explanation versus a social one. Open Dialogue in Finland shows what can happen when psychiatry chooses to go the route of a social non-medical explanation. So it is possible to have humane help. Yet…

    This is just not happening. Denmark at the moment is doing a lot of trumpeting that they are going to reduce the number of people placed in restraints and shorten the amount of time they are restrained when it happens. We are many who have of course said but this will lead to increased forced medication, and why? Because the thinking needs to change. Guess what? Even though this new prestige project to reduce the number placed in restraints has been around for only a short time it has already lead to increased forced medication.  
    But it would be fabulous if we could have active laws to protect us.

  • I am so PROUD to know this ‘menace to society’ ! I celebrate this ‘menace to society’ and this ‘menace to society” is not alone! We are many who chose to stop listening to psychiatry and listen to the ‘menaces of society’ and guess what? … It is those who stopped listening to psychiatry and listened to these ‘menaces’ who are free from the shackles of psychiatry
    I think the next mad in America tee-shirt should have something with Menace to Society on it 🙂

  • Thank you Bob for answering so eloquently the points Allen Frances makes and as always you are so well versed in the research, so solid, so secure that I completely agree when Allen writes that “his [Bob’s voice] is now one of the most powerful voices in the country, influencing both attitudes and policies.” However that is pretty much all Allen and I agree upon.

    For if psychiatry was such a poor victim, blundering around pulled by the nose by big pharma, would they not have risen up, put on their battle garments and joined us in righting the wrongs of drug induced horrors on poor hapless people? Would psychiatry not have opposed rather than joined big pharma if they were truly interested in scientific validity. Would they not today be out their apologizing for all the harm they have been ‘forced’ to subject their patients to in the name of big pharma?

    No I am sorry I just do not buy the poor victimized APA tihsllub, just as I do not buy into Allen Frances ‘s new role of trying to make out he is critical of psychiatry. After all as Ted Chabasinski writes, Allen lead DSM IV and five is more of the same, just a tad more ridiculous. Yet by advocating a middle ground saying drugs do play a role and it is not ‘us the psychiatrists at fault, we are but ‘sad sacks’ clutching the DSM bible in our hands trying to survive the manipulations and ministrations of big pharma’, he and others like him become dangerous. Dangerous because the apparent ‘new’ voice of reason saying “just like you we have be mislead by big pharma, but now we are aware of that and can medicate properly…” Means they can carry on as usual. This is clearly seen in the ever increasing numbers of people on drugs especially our children who are being groomed for, in many cases, a life time of medication. Thus this middle ground effectively means that the use of drugs will be given a new lease of life despite the fact that it has become known, thanks to Bob, that they are so harmful and that their apparent way of working is based on lies. Lies which have, by the way, been created by psychiatry and mutually supported by themselves and big pharma.

    I for one will not be letting up on biting the Achilles heel of psychiatry and psychiatry’s new Voice of reason will not be fooling me. Power is never given back it must be taken back and we are many who are doing that. However I do feel optimistic when psychiatrists like Allen start singing to a new tune as it indicates the foundations of psychiatry are truly cracking as it becomes utterly clear psychiatry is in a huge crisis. However this puts psychiatrists between a rock and a hard space so there will be much focus on attempting to fill in these scary cracks for as Eugene Epstein asks Allen Frances and all of his psychiatric colleagues: “What is a psychiatrist without his medications and diagnoses and what is it exactly that he/she has to offer people in need and our society?”

    I won’t hold my breath while we wait for an answer

    Allen writes about the number of people in prisons who are so called mentally ill whatever that is supposed to mean. Personally I think that just as we lack a language for this situation as you write Bob I also believe it is much bigger than this and is part of the present day structure of the societies we are building up. This superb TED talk
    looks at the effects of inequality and explains in many ways the other aspect of what happens when poverty and insecurity are part and parcel of wealthy societies were the gab between rich and poor is huge. USA and the UK introduced the world to neoliberalism which supports and sustains inequality and sadly this has spread like a cancer to many other countries. This “each man to his own” has tremendous consequences not just for those who are labeled insane, but for our whole planet as we put wealth and status above all else. Oh and a healthy portion of “you are poor? Your fault.” So naturally if there is a market in imprisoning vast numbers of people and calling them mentally ill it will be exploited. And guess what? It is.

  • Ha! Ha! Great article! My grandmother always said when she invited people to her tea parties that we were to NEVER discuss politics or religion and certainly not together. Well here Bertel you have dared to do both while reflecting on psychiatry! I love it!
    Being me I naturally would ask “granny, why can’t we talk about politics or religion?” And my grandmother would answer because everyone ends up fighting.
    But the fact is psychiatry is political, the personal is political and psychiatry by not having science on its side makes it a belief system. Bravo for pointing that out Bertel

  • I Love, love, LOVE that you made a poster like this! I have been sitting with two pairs of glasses – its difficult to make out here on the computer screen – reading both what is written about you and what you yourself have later written. What a powerful way to show the story of psychiatry, for as I have always said what is written about us in ‘our’ notes says more about those who write them than they ever do of us.
    Jim Gottstein calls the DSM the book of insults, I think we can appropriately call these notes Journal of Insults, courtesy of psychiatry.

  • We are born to search for meaning, to reach out and to communicate with the world that surrounds us and do that our brain and mind are capable of changing and adapting to the environment we find ourselves in, in amazing ways. This does not occur in a vacuum. Our relationships are of such profound importance that our very lives depend on it including whether we grow into those we are meant to be or become stunted struggling to survive. Alice Miller talks about the fact that a child who grows up in a cruel and unloving family will have a different brain than that of a child who grows up in a kind and loving home. That to me is just so obvious yet, to look into the brain, scan it and see what lights up, add chemicals, shock it and cut and slice it up, is psychiatric everyday practice but that will never reveal just where in the brain the life story of a person can be found. Psychiatry has done untold damage by its insistence that the brain is a crude machine with a simple neurochemical wiring that they can ‘fix’.

    So no, we do not need to look inside “the box”, because the box is constantly changing to adapt to peoples unfolding life stories and peoples unfolding lives is something we can and do affect every single day through our relationships. Thank you for your post.

  • Thanks Peter!
    This blog which was originally published in a national Danish newspaper has shaken Danish psychiatry to the core!

    The following two weeks after your article was published psychiatry was in the Danish media on average 45 times a DAY!! This article is THE article that has put Danish psychiatry into a profound crisis and as a psychiatric survivor I am grateful for that. Psychiatry is deeply flawed both on a moral and ethical level with human rights abuses occurring daily, as well as relying for the most on psuedo science.
    Because of you Peter psychiatry is really being debated here and I look forward to each day waking up wondering what the next psychiatric topic of the day will be!
    Fabulous! Thank you so much!
    The winds of change are blowing! 🙂

  • Thank you Carina for your as always powerful words that speak of human wisdom love and togetherness opposing alienation and isolation that is so favored in traditional psychiatric settings. I am so happy that we along with many others share a common goal and that happily for me, our paths often cross, for you are truely an inspiration to me!
    A great peice and your warmth shines throughout it

  • Hi Ted!
    Yes we are certainly having very interesting times in Denmark!! 🙂 Danish psychiatry is in a crisis and the public is being bombarded by the media! The last two weeks there has been an on average, 45 articles, TV or radio programs on psychiatry a day(!!) yes A DAY!!

  • Hi CODUFilm

    Yes there were two deaths which have been acknowledged as drug induced. The first is Adel Saidane who was on antipsychotics, here is a link (in Danish sorry)
    Here is a link to Adel’s brother a medical student and musician And this Hafed’s song dedicated to his brother Adel

    The other young man, Danilo Terrida, was on SSRIs here is a link to another (Danish)

    Hope this is of some help.

  • Hi Copy_cat I understand your outrage that an organization purporting to help families and those who are suffering distress are so corrupted by big pharma and advertise as well as support massive drugging of children. I find it difficult that such an organization is allowed to exist
    As for the diagnosis ODD well that is psychiatry at its worst

  • Hi Tina
    Here in Denmark there is certainly a strong wind blowing up psychiatry’s backside. The last many weeks they have been in the media everyday! So even when there is a lull in the storm the average joe public will be seeing psychiatry differently. Importantly psychiatry is not so feared as now journalists dare to ask questions and many psychiatrists are reduced to mud slinging. Peter Gøtzsche has just reported one of the psychiatrists who wrote an article in a national newspaper saying Gøtzsche was paranoid to the ethics comity.
    Hopefully soon our human rights will be respected and right now the winds need to be stronger for that to happen but the winds oh they sure are a blowing!

  • I am so sorry to hear that, Copy_cat. Sadly unexpected deaths due to sudden heart attack is an all too common occurrence in psychiatry. The most common reason is the heart rhythm becomes disturbed and contrary to a blood clot leaves no traces so it is difficult to prove.

  • Sadly… yes
    Fortunately there are many who do work in psychiatry who are trying to introduce humanity into the field, it is just so difficult as drugs must always be a part of that package 🙁
    I have met psychiatrists in Denmark who say to me I agree with you completely Olga, but they dare not speak out for fear of ruining my career.

  • Professor Poul Videbech has it appears, also been called to task for breaking the law in 2011 for not informing, in fact keeping it a secret that he was paid by big pharma Eli Lilly regarding SSRI’s. This is as the article says a problem especially when he is the one who writes about antidepressants for the Internet portal ‘pro medicin’ used by doctors and the public.

  • Thanks! Super interesting links. I am happy to see that a lot of countries do not have that dreadful extra human rights abuse twist that we have. Namely ‘”you are not a danger to yourself or anyone else but… We think you are mad, in fact we have decided that you are mad so unless you come to the psychiatric hospital voluntarily and take our drugs for your own good, we will come and fetch you and force medicate you” yours sincerely your local psychiatric department’

  • I am sure our paths will cross, Mary! And thank you for all that you do!
    Psychiatry has good reason to be afraid, more and more people are demanding to see proof of their wares and they cannot produce. Isn’t it great we can unite from all over the world in the virtual world and through that regain our voice and our power!

  • Professor Poul Videbech is also the psychiatrist who introduced and promoted screening for depression for the general public including pregnant women. Ie. screening healthy people,

    ‘One million Danes are to be screened for depression” is the title and since Denmark has a population of a little over 5 million this has been an ambitious and lucrative project.

    “‘at the same time general practitioners (GP) should treat depression much more aggressively than they do today’, says the chair of the Minister of Health work group professor Poul Videbech” 

    Since this screening went into action there has been, as one can imagine, a big jump in the number of people filling out prescriptions.

    This is what Professor Peter Gøtzsche author of “Deadly medicines and organised crime: How big pharma has corrupted health care” discusses in this video which is in Danish but has English subtexts.

    See the video here:

  • Hi cannotsay
    We have like many other countries what I call the apartheid laws, special laws for those deemed mad allowing force treatment and detainment which is a violation of human rights. You also have them 🙁 But I am curious because we also have this debate in Denmark that homeless people are untreated ‘mad’ people etc. yet they will not be registered in the statistics saying 94% of all ‘schizophrenics’ in Denmark are on drugs. These are the official registered ‘schizophrenics’ if you like. Do you have similar statistics in the US? I mean can you be known ‘schizophrenic’ in the system and not take drugs? Do you know what I mean?

  • Thanks Ted!
    With such a hateful review he really has set things up it is going to be interesting to follow the next period of time and see what happens. I think it is safe to say that such writing by, after all, a prominent professor of psychiatry is as we say not very becoming…!

  • Wow this is shocking! And dispicable. I have been discussing here in Denmark the tendancys for fear mongering because the way I see it, as the knowledge that lies at the heart of psychiatry crumbles so the need to find alternative ways for still carrying on as usual needs to be developed. What better way than fear mongering? If the general public is led to believe that the ‘mad’ are going to harm them then human rights becomes human rights abuses and it no longer matters that psychiatry has no science behind it, their role becomes a protective one, protecting the public from the ‘mad’ by any means possible.
    Fe Fi Fo fum I smell the whiff of the Eugenics Drum…

  • Hi Ted!
    I agree there are advantages to being in a smaller country as our voices when they are heard are heard throughout the country. We too are being represented more and more in the media I was just the other day in a radio in a one to one debate with a psychiatrist. I have for a long time said I was willing to enter into such a debate but that has not happened before now. The reason it happened Is not because suddenly I am interesting to debate with but the pressure is on. My focus has been pretty much singleminded the drugs and human rights ever since someone I knew dropped dead from her drugs and help start up a new organization called Deaths in Psychiatry (translated)

    Eg. Being a small country we were able to plan a countrywide campaign on the dangers of psychiatric drugs with go-cards in every cafe etc advertising our campaign. In fact if I can I will include a picture of our go-card which created a lot of discussion also I might add within our own ranks as too extreme 😉 I thought it was great. We chose not to try and ‘convert’ psychiatry or make them more ‘aware’ we went for the public. That has hit home and shaken the foundations which we continue to build on. Our campaign was viewed very negatively in the beginning but when we ended we had so many mucisians and bands wanting to play for us for free to support us that we had to apply for more time in the city square, Copenhagen!

    When our campaign finished the newspapers became interested and have been regularly looking at conditions regarding psychiatric patients. Eg. There had long been rumors ie. complaints of overmedication from many of us but now it was of interest and one of the newspapers unraveled an extreme case of not just gross overmedication but also drugging with a non approved drug. This for the first time sent heads rolling and believe it or not a political decision again through us lobbying (us by the way is a mix of survivors, family members and some dedicated professionals) that psychiatrists medicating habits had to be monitored throughout the country. They are the only medical speciality to be put under such observation.

    Importantly this focus on potential death has now opened the door to questioning the legitimacy of diagnosis and asking ‘so where is the evidence for mental illness’ that question, previously only heard among ourselves, is a really difficult one when it begins to be asked generally, and to avoid it psychiatry is for want of a better word trying to appease.

    PsykoVision is translating or rather has translated Bobs book 🙂 and being closely affiliated with the Danish Hearing Voices Network we have been following the progress first hand 🙂 His book will be released at a big confence (interest is so great the venue has been moved to a bigger place) where he will be speaking along with Peter Gøtzsche who has written the book deadly medicine and organized crime along with a psychiatrist who has worked for Open Dialog in Denmark not easy. Gøtsche BTW is Director of The Nordic Cochrane Centre doctor and professor. His book can be bought through amazon

    So yes there are advantages to smaller countries and also- I would love to have you by my side here working in our organizations!

  • Thank you Jay for your tireless pursuit in laying to rest the psychiatric illusion that human experience can neatly be explained by our genetics.
    Sadly I believe your conclusion is right. Much money and tooting of horns announcing- “this time truly and honestly we are so close to discovering the missing heritability link for ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia etc, etc, that we can once again act as if it were fact and treat them accordingly” -will continue.

  • Thank you for that excellent review! I have just this second downloaded it onto my kindle and will read it when I have finished reading Peter Gøtzsches book. He is not mincing his words! 😉
    That those who use or are forced to use psychiatric drugs are and have been silenced, is sadly not new. For my thesis I tried to find research that specifically looked at people labeled ‘schizophrenic’ and their subjective experience of taking psychiatric drugs. I searched 5 databases from 1950 to 2012 and out of the 1000’s of articles looking at drugs and ‘schizophrenia’ I found only 14 articles that were interested in the subjectivity of being on them as a labeled ‘schizophrenic’.
    This is disgraceful!
    Not just regarding the lack of respect for those taking/being forced to take them but also in terms of serious scientific research. This has allowed and continues to allow for human rights breaches to thrive within orthodox psychiatry.
    However I believe it also clearly indicates that the void between those who force it upon their patients or use the art ‘of peddling snake oil through psychiatric quackery’ is huge. Yet it is also incredibly dangerous for psychiatry should the silenced become heard as can be seen unfolding as our voices become louder and louder!
    Btw we, the Danish Hearing Voices Network in conjunction with the organisation for users and survivors of psychiatry LAP, have translated Will Halls harm reduction guide and will be hopefully presenting it before the year is out! This along with Robert Whitakers Anatomy of an Epidemic being released in Danish 7th November and Peter Gøtszches book Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime having just having hit the market here in Denmark is creating waves and rocking the psychiatric boat. The reduction of psychiatric force is now a national priority… though lets see that in action before I say hip hip hurrah

  • Thanks David for sharing the joys of such conferences that slowly but surely change the world!! Let me tell you how inspiring it was to read a favorite moment of yours which
    “…was when Dr. Harding discussed “shared decision making.” Dr. Harding’s view is that decisions should be made by the person seeking help and by them alone. The person seeking help should direct services. There is no sharing with the professionals unless it is to share the decision made by the person! The audience was asked how often they invite strangers to “share” in critical decisions involving their own lives.
    That moment of yours rings so true to my ears especially as the new big thing here in Denmark is ‘shared decision making’. A euphemism to give the impression of equality where little exists!

  • I LOVE your story! Thank you for putting a smile on my face this morning before I go out to work! 🙂
    The sad thing though is that many such stories are happening everyday but we have a system in power that can say “hmmm sorry I don’t believe you and since I am the purveyor of reality including yours I hence forth condem you to the label of schizophrenia and a lifetime of drugs”

    Anyway at least today I am leaving for work with a smile on my face! And am going to find some way to include your story in my teaching thanks!

  • Hi Wyatt!
    I don’t know you (sadly) and I seem to have missed your enormously powerful story before now, but had the opportunity to read it today! Thank you for sharing it touched me in a way that rarely happens and makes me think 😉 always a good thing! Fantastic!!

  • I am sorry that you are experiencing this silencing I know it only too well 🙁

    Psychiatry as a socially condoned institution to deal with those society, families and others find difficult to deal with by saying they are genetically and biologically defective, has successfully managed to silence those they harm by rendering them as unreliable witnesses to their own lives. The money generated through the toxic cooperation between psychiatry and big pharma has meant that ethics and humanity play an insignificant role. Add stigma, discrimination and fear-mongering to the mix and we open the door to accepting human rights abuses. Research in Denmark has shown that for every 1 young woman 18 to 30 years who died in the ‘normal’ population 14.4 were dying in the halfway homes (social psychiatry) and 13.9 in treatment psychiatry (hospitals). It was slightly less for men. These are shocking numbers and an absolute disgrace, yet this is allowed to continue.

    Imagine if this was migraine treatment and doctors were shortening people’s lives on avarage by up to 25 years, and those who did not want the treatment were forced to take it. Unthinkable. But in psychiatry cruel and abusive treatment is accepted and deaths because of the treatment are ignored or covered up. That is why we are a group who have created an organization ‘Død i Psykiatrien’ Death in Psychiatry to address this despicable state of affairs.

  • Hi Ted!
    Thanks for your thoughts! Actually I am a bit of a mix but English is pretty much my native language, I was sent to a boarding school in the UK so had to learn to write the lingo! And Yes these strange coincidences are cosmic, whats her thesis about?

  • Hi Panosworthy! Thank you for your kind words. Yes in the HVN narratives are seen as a very powerful antidote to psychiatry as they tell of another truth that challenges that of the dominant psychiatric truth. Especially as we introduce context, meaning and understanding into the issue of madness. More and more people are stepping out of the darkness into the light and each and everyone of them adds one more voice that challenges the medical model which tries to make and keep madness as meaningless. I don’t know if you have read Living with Voices, 50 stories of recovery?
    Best of luck with your journey, sounds like you are or will be another beacon of hope!

  • I have just now seen your comments madmom and thank you for sharing your thoughts! I am a big fan of the same people you have chosen to have in your circle of friends, Ted, David Oaks and mind freedom it is also that kind of thinking that is I believe the most helpful for both you and your daughter. I wish you both the best of luck?

  • Thanks Ted for sharing! I use you as an example of hope when I meet people who are trapped in psychiatry at a young age today. I say here’s an example of someone who was trapped too but look at him now!! 🙂
    Looking forward to more

  • Well, well, well you are causing quite a stir bob 😉 the psychiatric nation is quaking in their boots. The best kept public secret is getting out and the psychiatric army is preparing for battle anything goes. So you have blood on your hands this anonymous mother says, no all you have done is hold up the mirror and the trail of psychiatric deaths is what is reflected back.

    I feel I want to say you have to watch your back as being the not boy but man saying the emperor has no clothes on and being heard in so many countries is going to make the ’emperor’ very threatened and angry. Yet I know we are many who will look out for your back as we have done for our fellow survivors and victims of psychiatry, for you are changing the face of psychiatry and we are right behind you!