Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Comments by Olga Runciman, Cand Psych BSc

Showing 141 of 145 comments. Show all.

  • 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!


  • Thanks for sharing your reflections, Sandy 🙂
    Thank you, Donna and Jonah for all that information and links regarding ECT! I have just this second downloaded 2 books regarding the DSM and ECT. I have been so occupied with drugs their dangers, deaths etc that I have kind of left ECT on the sidelines because it is another huge area of human rights abuse and I due to lack of hours in the day thought I will leave that to other super competent activists, but you have gotten me going 😉

  • Unfortunately no, the causes of death were not listed but they wrote
    “The treatment of some of the patients in supported psychiatric housing facilities is very complicated, and lack of treatment response, use of psychiatric poly-pharmacy, and sudden unexpected deaths are common problems.”
    Which says a lot right there. At a later date I saw that professor Nordentoft was surprised that suicide played such a small role but I have been unable to find the article where she said that right now so I won’t say more on that. However this study with these shocking numbers is based on a very large sample
    I had heard a rumor of some research showing high death rates and found the article which had had a quiet existence. The focus of the article was not so much about mortality but hidden in there were the numbers. As part of our campaign exposing the dangers of psychiatric drugs and that people are dying the numbers were ‘outed’
    I am sure if other countries start to investigate deaths shocking numbers will be found too. In fact doing a campaign just focusing on that is very, very powerful. When we started we were seen as extremely provoking and condemned but when we ended it with among other things a concert we had so many bands wanting to play for free for us! Our campaign which lasted 2 years has had a big effect, we chose to focus on the general public rather than trying to change psychiatry and when we ended the media (coincidently) took over focusing on over medication, wrong medication deaths etc. So right now psychiatry is struggling. Just this month the family organization “Better Psychiatry” did a survey that showed that nearly 50% were worried that their loved one was in danger of dying due to their psychiatric drug treatment.

  • I felt a need to comment so have posted the following which may or may not see the light of day

    As chair of the Danish Hearing Voices Network, I presume I am probably one of them placed under the banner of anti-psychiatry by Jeffrey A. Lieberman. Personally, I prefer to define myself, and the Hearing Voices Network, as post-psychiatry.

    Lieberman appears to find that being against psychiatry is no different to being against cardiology, orthopaedics or gynaecology I beg to differ. A fundamental difference between these medical specialities and psychiatry is that there is solid physical evidence such as heart disease, broken bones and pregnancy to support them. Psychiatry has no such evidence but it is only now that this lack of evidence is seeing the light of day on a large scale, a fact that psychiatry including Lieberman himself is being forced to acknowledge. Another profound difference is that psychiatry has been given the socially condoned authority to force people into treatment despite having no evidence that what they are treating actually exists. This equates to human rights abuse something The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan E Méndez (2013) agrees with, stating

    “It is important that States review the anti-torture framework in relation to persons with disabilities in line with the CRPD. States should impose an absolute ban on all forced and non-consensual medical interventions against persons with disabilities, including the non-consensual administration of psychosurgery, electroshock and mind-altering drugs, for both long- and short- term application”.

    Lieberman refers quite rightly to psychiatry’s chequered history however, he fails to mention the even darker history, that of psychiatry’s role in the eugenics era with forced sterilizations and in Germany actually killing those defined as a burden to society. Today psychiatry uses psychotropic drugs and I suspect that just like we look back now to the times when people were put in straitjackets and exposed to insulin shock therapy and lobotomy with horror, we too will be looking back on this period of time, the chemical era, with shame. For Lieberman fails to acknowledge the lived evidence that the people whom I represent, myself included, epitomize. The fact is those who are labelled schizophrenic and placed on powerful antipsychotics can expect to live on average 25 years shorter than those in the normal population. Tragically, those labeled schizophrenic are not alone in these statistics. A recent article published by a prominent Danish Professor of psychiatry showed, that for every one young woman in the age group 18 to 30 who died in the normal population 14.4 young women of the same age were dying in Danish psychiatric group homes while the number in treatment psychiatry was 13.9. Nowhere else do we see a medical specialty that actually shortens people’s lives such as we see in psychiatry.

    Knowledge is power, however the knowledge that psychiatry has based its medical model upon is being exposed as fraudulent and is I believe being clearly expressed here when the President-elect feels compelled to resort to name-calling rather than simply producing the evidence for the ‘scientific evidence’ upon which they base their profession and ultimately damage so many people.

  • I feel all over proud to be a Voice Hearer and a part of this movement! We the Danish Hearing Voices Network will be having our annual general meeting tomorrow and having just read your blog I am tossing my planned speech to one were we align ourselves with you, our UK HV family and will start the Danish Debate on DSM-5 and Psychiatric Diagnoses.

    Which shoulder do you want to be on Jacqui 🙂 left or right?

  • We have a system which is fundamentally flawed it indoctrinates all who enter into it and does a pretty good job at polluting the minds of those who only have peripheral contact with the psychiatric system. What is interesting though is the entryway, reminding me of times past when we had doors for ‘whites only’ and … you get my picture. The staff door is magnificent offering power and prestige, job opportunities and a monthly wage package and big pharma perks. The patient doorway however, is a different story altogether. Stepping through that doorway stripes you of your power stigmatizes and defiles you by labeling you from – and I just have to use Jim Gottstein’s words from his Occupy APA 2013 speech – “the Book of Insults” that allows for legalized human rights abuse to be perpetrated against your body and mind.

    Yet I too go back into the system discussing/debating/ teaching that there are other ways to help those who suffer than the psychiatric bio/genetic medical model way and your blog got me wondering why am I doing that. It’s not such a stupid question to ask myself because I personally do not think that psychiatry as a system has any interest whatsoever in giving up it’s way of being – ever, psychiatry as a system will have to be forced to change. Yet there I am talking about worlds rich in meaning, context and understanding, not about brain defects and genetics. I talk about the appalling consequences that the medical model (drugs force ECT brain damage) does to people, I talk about human rights and is it all in vain? Yes to a large extent it is, because one of the major reasons context and meaning is so threatening to psychiatry is that the justification for the medical model’s existence is based on the importance of social context and life experiences as not being meaningful and intelligible.

    So why am I bothering?

    I think of those who manage to break free of psychiatry like I did when I heard for the first time about recovery and how that day was the day my world changed from grey to color. I think to myself when my PowerPoint is rolling showing there is another truth, that out there among those listening is perhaps someone who will leave that day and it will be the start of their emancipation. I also believe that there are staff who are, despite entering through the grand doorway of power and prestige and the temptations that brings with it, prepared to acknowledge that the system is morally and ethically flawed. I like to think perhaps one of those staff members will leave my talk and I might meet them one day as a true ally.

    One can hope that those you spoke to Sean feel shamed. Sadly one of the other effects of entering through the staff doorway is carte blanche to not feel that meeting people they have previously labelled with suspicion and disrespect is reprehensible, on the contrary they can always say it is not us that are paranoid… and the tragedy is they would get away with it.

  • I couldn’t agree more you out the nail on the head and interesting you bring up the issue of stockholm syndrom a whole different kettle of fish. It equates to the colonization of the patients for example it always makes me very sad when people say they say I was really happy that I was force medicated, restrained etc and that they don’t agree that this should stop. It makes me very angry when I see psychiatry using these people to promote continued human rights abuses. Anyway thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂
    Ps before anyone rolls out would I just let someone die the answer is no I will do what I can to save someone just like most other people

  • Hi Karen! My blog refers to orthodox psychiatry which is the dominating everyday type of psychiatry that most people meet. A psychiatry where context and life stories are rendered as, not just secondary, but also insignificant as compared to the biogenetic explanation. This has had and continues to have dreadful consequences as we well know.

    No movement is without its allies and thank goodness for that, but like many other civil rights movements, the fight for emancipation, for rights, for taking back the power that was stolen, that fight has gone on a long time, also before we came into being as the Hearing Voices movement. Marius Romme has played a significant role in the hearing voices movement no denying that but it was his patient Patsy Hage a voice hearer who got him on track, lets not also forget that. But Marius being a psychiatrist in a position of power and an accepted citizen had access to changing the world in a completely different way than any ‘schizophrenic’ had and thankfully he chose to do exactly that and could help bridge two worlds.

    There are many who support us and I for one am grateful to each and everyone who does that. I am also well aware that many staff are just as institutionalized and lost in the system as are the patients, all wanting new skills, and a way forward. Yet the HV movement is also for many a civil rights movement and I think it is important to differentiate between people and a system. For me the main thrust is a discussion about a system that is fundamentally oppressive in nature which through laws creates an us them culture simply by condoning abuse and human rights breaches in the form of forced treatment and incarceration. This is extremely problematic for all. There are many economic forces keeping such a system in place which is why I believe that change has to come through the removal of these oppressive laws and an opening up to genuine choice, first then will we begin to see real change. Sadly we are a long way off from that which is why I look to systems that have already made that choice and moved outside of orthodox psychiatry.

    However there is a role for all of us and though I choose to work on the far left pictorially speaking that means I am too “extreme” for those to the right of center, but those who place themselves in the center can create bridges between say someone like me and those right of center. Of course that does create tensions and frustrations but that again is another interface for change.

    Power is never given up freely, orthodox psychiatry will fight to keep the status quo which is to their advantage, and reflecting back on psychiatric history it is I believe wise to discuss the very real dangers of potential colonization. For we are spreading out and introducing meaning, context and understanding and that is very challenging for a reductionistic biogenetic model of human distress.

    You introduce the subject of medication here which is a whole other ball game, but suffice to say I agree with you in that in my everyday working with people I meet them where their belief system is to be found regardless of whether they view their problem as spiritual or biological. But politically I work for human rights, for access to knowledge about the dangers of psychiatric medication so people can make informed choices and with regards to recovery I firmly believe that, that is individual, personal and not for me or psychiatry to decide.

    I personally don’t just want allies who will work with our methods to help patients in the psychiatric system, I also want allies to work alongside us politically to break down the oppressive laws that separate us from our human rights. Fortunately more and more are joining us also there. So personally I am optimistic with regards to Intervoice and it’s future at least for now

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Karen and the great story on voice profiling.

  • Hi Ron I agree with your points Richard Bentall has for example done some great work regarding CBT and psychosis. What I am referring to is the trend, the fact that CBT supports in general orthodox psychiatry. There are also some great psychiatrists who think outside the box as well as great workers changing people’s lives. But as a system psychiatry is extremely problematic and there are big forces to keep psychiatry ‘in power’ an issue that lies entrenched within psychiatry. Thanks for your thoughts and the link

  • Thanks Mary
    I love that C.S. Lewis quote for it is the quote which highlights so clearly that hidden abusive danger. For if you can convince yourself or others that what you do is for the good of the other person whether they like it or not it absolves you of feeling guilt and if what you do is condoned by society towards a group it is often the first step on the slippery slope of dehumanization.

  • Thanks Theinarticulatepoet for the link to Dr. Robin Murray’s talk ‘What Drives People Mad’ held at the and Mental Health Research Institute to as you quite rightly point out his people about 6 months prior to his talk at Intervoice. I was present at Intervoice so heard that talk ‘live’ however decided to listen to it again and to the one you linked to.
    It is clear we got a filtered version of the same talk held at the Neuroscience Research Institute where all talk of Schizophrenia as a genetic illness affecting dopamine in the brain was filtered out though not completely as it is difficult to hide ones spots completely. In the non-filtered version Dr. Murray starts his talk on the symptoms of schizophrenia using a patient case story and he introduces the person as a having schizophrenia. This of course is in glaring contrast to his comment at intervoice where he states he has not used that term for the last 10 years or so.
    However I don’t really want to comment so much on his talk I think it has been very well discussed here and I particularly liked your comment Marian March 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm which echoes many of my thoughts. What I think is more interesting is why he and his colleague the CBT psychologist Alison Brabban was there in the first place? For me the Hearing Voices Network’s purpose is a place of sanctuary and the right NOT to be defined within a narrow reductionistic biological paradigm. A paradigm where I and others can be labeled, negated and marginalized and worst of all be subjected to human rights abuses by a state sanctioned system which Dr. Robin Murry as the middle of the road affable psychiatrist represents?
    I had email correspondence after returning from the Intervoice conference but feel it is still relevant.
    Intervoice started out not so long ago as a big family meeting which rapidly grew but we have always had a sense of community, a sense of belonging and pride. This year was the first time I felt a change and the change is the professionals. (NOT those who are our true allies of course) We are now so big and powerful as an organization, we are generating an interest within traditional psychiatry. They are now interested in our way of working and helping each other, why do we think like we do? Who are we? What is it we do? But they come with an agenda wrapped up in pretty paper. You must conform to our way and then you will be truly accepted, we are not that far apart we will allow you to come in with us if you follow our rules etc. This was particularly evident not just with Dr. Murray, but also his colleague the CBT psychologist. She reduced what we do to help each other to – what we did was clearly not that far from the CBT they do every day. She did though, acknowledge emotions didn’t play too much role in CBT but could and should be more incorporated and I believe she said she would work at doing that.
    For most of us emotions is the key and our way of working absolutely involves emotions as trauma and abuse is present in most voice hearers lives. However it was her ‘we must conform’ to research praxis if we wish to prove that our methods work, that was galling, it was her talking about the vulnerability and stress model and genetics that was offensive, it was her assumption that we should cross over to her way of seeing rather than she joining our way of seeing and the whole aspect that we want to be an accepted part of psychiatry that worries me. For there she (and dr. Robin) was sitting in a room FULL of evidence that what we do works and works far, far better than psychiatry and CBT can ever dream of. Yet it was as if that evidence right before their very eyes was not visible, our voices not heard, our qualitative evidence irrelevant! For us to be seen, to be heard we must conform and prove to the likes of psychiatry that what we do works however it would be subject to the approval of psychiatric professionalism.
    Does any of this sound familiar?
    Why am I saying this… I guess because oppression and colonization is a very real threat and it is only recently our voices, which have always been there, are actually beginning to be heard. Our history is a history of silence and suffering and therefore when that is threatened we naturally react so strongly. For there was a big (planned) discussion with Alison afterwards, but not with Dr. Robin. Btw this is not a critique of them as people, it is what they represent. For they really do, as do most people working in conventional psychiatry, believe they are helping and that is perhaps the biggest human tragedy of all, for all.
    So back to my original question what was the purpose for inviting them?

  • Personally I would never dream of accusing Marie of being a product of abuse based on this 2½ minute video clip. Neither would I dream of doing that with Jani, if all I had access to was a 2½ minute video clip. However in Jani’s case there is a vast amount of information out there primarily because her father has seen fit to exploit his daughter certainly for money but also for self-promotion. I have followed Jani over the years. I have seen how her father Michael initially appeared to have been internet naive writing as he did candidly about how he beat his wife, how they both beat Jani, about Jani being witness to his, as he himself describes, violent rages and beating his wife Jani’s mother in front of Jani. He has been investigated for the sexual abuse of Jani, but not convicted. He had to re-edit his book btw, which is the basis of this blog by Jacqui, on the grounds the book was not enough about Jani and too much about him.

    His need for fame and attention through the exploitation of his daughter is palpable and it is stunning to me that such an obvious case of self-confessed child abuse has been ignored by authorities set in place to protect children. Sadly those of us who have experienced the devastating consequences a label of schizophrenia brings, know that legalized human rights abuses by the psychiatric system in the name of treatment is condoned. However here it also appears that abuse perpetrated by the family is also condoned because and I quote

    “It is awful that they have hit Jani, and they would be the first to admit that […] I am certain this is not the case of a normal child who has been abused. This child has a horrible illness that has destroyed her and her parents”

    This was in answer to a reader who questioned why the LA Times who wrote an article on Jani ignored the issue of self-confessed abuse. Their answer clearly highlights the assumption that it is ok for Jani to be abused because they(!) her parents are having a tough time with her. Tragically for Jani being labeled schizophrenic means she has no-one to protect her, a common theme for those labeled ‘schizophrenic’ except in her case she is just a little girl…

  • I wrote about Jani as an exams project and did a lot of research as her father has used her to promote his blog and later the book based on his blog – and to beg for money. It is one of the most tragic public exploitations of a child I have ever been a witness to. He has been investigated for sexual abuse of jani but never convicted. He has himself written about the violence he and Janis’s mother exposed Jani to before he found out that that was not a smart thing to do on the net. He becomes infuriated if he is criticized on his blog and no form of critique is tolerated so no dialog is ever entered into unless it is basically praising especially him. There are clips when Jani is just weeks old and he is talking about her hallucinating! I concluded after reading, watching video clips and listening to their radio program that we have here a case of what could go under the heading of Munchausen by proxy syndrome. The interview with Oprah btw shows clearly (my opinion) that Oprah is out of her depth and that she believes Jani is ill and addresses her as such.

    However what is also dreadful is we have a psychiatric system prepared to drug Jani to the gills and ignore the family life which in Jani’s case is plastered all over the internet, though now-a-days it is carefully planned and orchestrated. There are clips where it is so obvious Jani is trying to please mom and dad (and the camera) by waving a plastic knife around so that the staff can say she needs to be admitted as violent(!)

    Thanks Jacqui for bringing the plight of this poor child to our attention again, and who knows maybe one day she will read and hear that another truth also exists…

  • Hi Lucy great to see you have become a fellow blogger here! 🙂

    As I was also commenting on facebook a friend of mine whose ‘step-son’ is in the sectioned ward is in belts for the 8th(!) yes 8th day, he has been force medicated and is to be subjected to forced electroshock. He has been given a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. Not only has he been removed from any kind of context but even his reaction to this dreadful treatment is viewed as a sign of illness and indicative of paranoia. As you write so eloquently these horrors are sealed off behind pseudo-medical labels and abusive treatment is allowed to be performed behind closed doors.

    Few people would argue that what they do and think in their everyday pursuits has no meaning yet psychiatry has managed to persuade the public and governments that madness is meaningless. I would venture to say that it is the profits in ensuring madness remains meaningless combined with fact that allowing for meaning is also psychiatry’s Achilles heel which is perhaps why there is a meaning in keeping things meaningless!

    Cheers Olga

  • Wow! Worthy of Kierkegaard or Kafka that is indeed a compliment! Thank you.
    And yes for people, who experience terrible things, life becomes fragmented and the only way to join the fragments is through the help and understanding others. Psychiatry for some extraordinary reason seems to be particularly afraid of engaging in trauma often thinking that if it is talked about it will re-traumatize the person, or at least that is the excuse often used. I posit that the wall of silence combined with being defined as mad is the true continuation of the abuse. Thank you for your thoughtful words.

  • I am so sorry to hear about your granddaughter. Many people are faced with a situation similar to yours, and when there really is no help at hand to change the situation at least for now I think just being a stable person in that childs life is something that will never be forgotten. I remember people who, though they could not save me, they, by being there, have been of great comfort and as an adult their actions have helped me dare to reach out to other people because I had experienced that not everyone is a bad.

  • Hi Chrys, the voices of abused, our voices, are not really welcome they challenge the biogenetic paradigm of psychiatry, they challenge the role and resposibility of society and challenge the role of family. By refusing to acknowledge that abuse not only occurs but has profound effects in adulthood psychiatry also promotes stigma and discrimination. For when context is removed fear moves in because madness becomes meaningless. Thanks for your comment.

  • Being clear and concise is one way of communicating and even then the message can be misinterpreted but it is not the only form of communication. I think poetry, or art, or music is an amazing form of communication, it can reach out and touch people in ways that conventional journalism can’t . This is especially so when atrocities happen which have no language or words to express it. Or love. Think how many ways love has been and is being expressed. So I have to say I disagree when you say that poetry is not a form of communication, it is. However not everyone will find it meaningful.

  • Hi Jeffrey, Poetry, art can sometimes be in your face, clear other times more obscure, hidden and all you are left with are the personal pictures it conjures up be it a word or the emotion of a color. I really appreciate that you have put so much effort into trying to understand my text!
    Briefly, I write (when I am writing like that) in a form called poetic spoken word, sometimes, when I perform my text is accompanied by music. Here I am describing 4 different scenarios of sexual abuse, and the effects of dissociation, and the world of hearing voices. I don’t know if that helps make things a bit clearer? Btw I also write straight talk posts such as
    I am sorry to hear (from your post below) that you have been put through years of forced drugging that is psychiatric abuse at it’s worst.

  • Hi John, yes isn’t it amazing how often that occurs! And no wonder people are unable to join the “two worlds”, the world which is seen as a sign of their madness, their psychosis and that of the ‘real’ world, the agreed upon reality of the masses which here in psychiatry means nothing ever bad happens to children.
    If knitting btw doesn’t distract those pesky ‘symptoms’ then there is always more drugs…

  • Hi Corinna, thanks for the link to KeeKee’s powerful piece describing her journey back to herself. Art, poetry, writing are all fantastic tools to heal the soul. I use photography and seek out beauty, very healing too! Writing with humor like you did in your post also connects one to life because despite horrible things happening beauty, laughter, love they also exist along with the darker sides of life.

  • Hi Sandra as a fellow blogger on MiA I have at times been skeptical about some of the professionals writing here. For though they have not been the true incarnate believers of the biogenetic psychiatry and probably consider themselves radical compared to fellow peers it is your journey, represented in your blogs, which has been the most interesting to follow.
    For me, MiA’s purpose is to participate in the global move for not just changing psychiatry but radically changing psychiatry dismantling the power of pharmaceutical and corporate greed which allows for blatant human rights abuses on a select group of people. This can only occur if the people who are subjected to the will of psychiatry cease to be just a label or a number in a randomized control trial and become humanized beings again.
    Your willingness to explore other avenues and especially open dialog where it becomes very difficult not to see the person behind the distress, appears to have profoundly touched you and this evolution in your outlook is visible on these pages.
    For me that makes this whole site worthwhile. I have always operated on the principle if I can reach just one person in the audience whom I can inspire to start their journey even if it’s years down the line then my talking was not in vain. For me you are that visible sign here on MiA. Of course I don’t know if it is MiA that has played a part in your journey or if you can place it to one person or event or a concatenation of it all, but I do know that your journey, to use my boss’s words of ‘professional recovery’, will be supported here!
    The whole recovery movement arose through the power of people’s narratives that they can and do recover. Often they come into psychiatry with horrific life stories only to be re-abused and yet still they rise up out of the dust and tell their stories. It is these stories of meaning and hope that humanize those labeled people and challenge psychiatry. That is why, though we live in an era where quantitative research is the only valued research, it is the qualitative which is the most powerful.
    The Dr. Lieberman’s of this world can only succeed if dehumanization combined with corporate greed is allowed to occur. Quantitative research with its randomized trials etc, etc, opens the door to that possibility. Our stories, your story, the qualitative research can shut those doors be they those who recover as victims of psychiatry or professionals who recover from the indoctrination of the medical model.
    Thank you for being one more person who inspires hope in me that trying to reach people working in psychiatry is never in vain.

  • Hi Anonymous

    I am so in agreement with you. The chemical invasion of the body is, for those subjected to this form of involuntary treatment, rape of the soul. Shackles and restraints are external humiliations but the chemical assault within the body is insidious, invisible and once inside the body it’s there to stay. One can only wait for the natural bodily processes to, with time, neutralize and remove the chemical substance from the body. This form of assault is far more acceptable for the outside world simply because after it is administered it is no longer a visible eyesore. shackles and restraints are visible and generate emotions also it lasts longer. Forced drugging takes the time it takes to administrate it after that what happens in the subjected person’s body continues invisibly and is therefore not a visible provocation to the outside world. The drugged person is quieted made more acceptable for the outside world and so the cycle continues.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  • Hi Ted
    First let me say great article! Just as there is a history of psychiatric abuse so there is the history of the survivors who fight the oppression, very interesting. I liked your comments on the recovery movement which is now being assimilated pretty successfully by the psychiatric system. However i still think it has made an impact certainly for the hearing voices movement in that psychiatry’s most prized ‘illness’ schizophrenia has been turned on its head when it became apparent that people got better! Medically this was in theory not possible schizophrenia being ‘genetic’ with ‘proven’ brain defects. Psychiatry is still reeling from that exposure and is the angle of attack we are taking here in Denmark. We are simply going for psychiatry’s Achilles heel, their science.
    The discussion on Scientology, which is worse them or psychiatry, is in my book, a moot point. Psychiatry has the law on their side, somebody further up mentioned a woman who died in the hands of Scientology in 1995 but few people are aware of the huge number dying in the hands of psychiatry daily. We have in Denmark very successfully put death as a psychiatric reality out into public awareness when we traveled throughout Denmark demonstrating 2 years ago and did a follow up demonstration this year. For example it is documented that one person every second day is dying in the hands of psychiatry here and that’s the official number, can you imagine the real numbers!
    So yes Ted it is time to do something about it and the time is now!
    Regards Olga

  • It is tragic that these tribunals are in reality a parody. I can only assume the major reason for them is for the sake of appearances and deluding the public. Unfortunately being on the receiving end of them and realising that not even the law is on one’s side can be soul destroying. I am so sorry your son had to go through that.

  • So many countries are rising up against abuse in psychiatry. Gaining legal power to do so has only occurred in recent times thanks to you and those who fought along side you! Great to see you here on MIA 🙂

  • John Read among others has show that so many who hear voices and are labeled schizophrenic have been abused, especially sexual abuse. This not only affects the mind but also the body and I agree with you it is not just the mind that has the memories, the body has them too.
    The road to healing however, is as unique as the individual herself and therefore to create only one allowable explanation, the ‘biologically defective person’ explanation and a system built around such a paradigm, is a human tragedy. Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Thank you!
    Forced treatment is an abuse, wrapping it up in words expressing kindness adds to the abuse, but it also serves the purpose of easing the conscience of those who perpetrate these acts as it legitimizes, one is after all doing it for the others ‘best’. Add to that a society which condones such acts, in fact many countries create special laws only for the ‘mad’ and suddenly you have legalized abuse. Well perhaps suddenly is a bit of misnomer…