Thursday, July 18, 2019

Comments by Ekaterina Netchitailova, PhD

Showing 100 of 163 comments. Show all.

  • Hello May-May,
    I meant by ‘speaking the truth’ in its general meaning. I actually would advise against speaking ‘the truth’ while dealing with the psychiatrists, who are seeing things only through bio-medical lenses. If anything, it can be detrimental.
    I meant, leaving the life truthfully. Recognising that you have your unique path, which can be different from other people’s paths, but also beautiful and unique. Trusting in the path ahead of you, not feeling down because of someone else trying to make you feel that way.
    And well, you are among very few who talks about your experience openly, which is a very, very brave act. You are already speaking the truth.

  • Hello May-May,
    very interesting story and life experience, I have been thinking about it since yesterday when I saw it.
    There is a concept, very unique to Russian culture, of ‘holy fool’, it was a ‘foolishness’ for Christ, with origins and justification found in the Bible. These ‘fools’ would walk around and talk the truth, acting often weirdly. Many of them were later recognised as saints.
    It is very sad that today, these experiences are indeed called as ‘psychosis’, relegated firmly into the domain of ‘mental illness’. I totally understand why you use this term, it is the current discourse, which is hard to avoid, and gives it a ‘meaning’, even if some people are offended by the term.
    I think that without the intervention of the ‘doctors’ you would eventually find yourself in your ‘psychosis’ and connect even more with God, but it isn’t possible in the current age, and thus, you can only do what you are already doing.
    i have a very, very similar experience.
    Good luck to you and thank you for sharing your story. Read about the ‘holy fool’ in Russian Christianity, it might help you to understand more.

  • no, I don’t worry not to be understood, my points I try to make them clear in my articles, though my view on ‘madness’, ‘parallel reality’, etc, does change with time.
    I don’t want to offend anyone in the comments, as I realised it is a very sensitive topic for many, and using such terms as ‘psychosis, ‘bipolar’, etc, causes distress for some.
    Comments is where discussion takes place, and where ‘feelings’ etc, emerge, and my main purpose with writing is to share my inner world, uplift feelings, provoke an interesting discussion.
    Writing for me is to create something positive, it is a sharing also a piece of myself, and exchanging energy with others.
    In the most positive way.
    I try, at least.

  • yes, ‘drugs’ or whatever they prescribe. I tread each word carefully within the comments, but still get it wrong:)

    Mhh, i would prefer to avoid the discussion of ‘psychotic’ symptoms, it is land-mine, for which I don’t have enough of energy at this moment, as I know I will say something wrong, lol.
    There is no real understanding of what is ‘psychosis’ to start with.
    They don’t know what it is.
    The person ‘presents’ some ‘symptoms’. They are defined as something that the ‘observer’ can’t see. Therefore, it is delegated to domain of ‘loss of touch with reality’.
    My position comes and remains: there is a parallel reality. It is there, it is real. It is magic, it isn’t ‘hallucinations’ or ‘hearing rubbish’. It is a parallel universe.
    Some people get more frightened of it than others, or have a worse ‘trip’, but it is a unique experience, and changes will come once here, in the west, we acknowledge that.
    Like they do in other cultures, such as with shamanic experiences.

  • Just to specify my point:
    I use the terms ‘psychosis’ and ‘bipolar’ so that people can understand. Otherwise, I absolutely, don’t agree with these terms as definitions of anything!
    I once came to a group of ‘bipolar’ support, full of ‘bipolar’ people, to realise that I had absolutely different and unique experience from any of other people in the group. And ironically, they also had totally, unique, unrelated experiences!
    Actually, a classic ‘bipolar’ person rarely has ‘psychotic’ symptoms. They have a surge of creativity, which is labelled as ‘period of mania’. Please, forgive me for using the terms, ‘bipolar’ etc, I have no other vocabulary to describe my visit to ‘bipolar’ group, as it was defined as such.
    I had vivid, often very beautiful ‘psychoses’ (journeys into parallel world), but as the psychiatrist told me once: they are obliged to give a diagnosis if you come into the attention of psychiatry more than once.
    As to ‘schizophrenia’, yes, i strongly believe that medication is to blame for deterioration in the general health, stigma and also self-labelling, as well, as misunderstanding of the society of different experiences.

  • Yes, i am in sociology/philosophy field.
    I just want to make my position clear.
    From an ‘academic’ point of view, one needs to use some kind of terms, otherwise, there is no debate at all, no point of and for discussion.
    ‘Mad studies’ is the only field in academia which is conducted by ‘survivors’, ‘service-users’, or those who prefer to keep their diagnoses for one reason or another. As I see, it is the only field which can make an interesting contribution in the ‘scientific’ debate.
    From personal perspective, I think that everyone has different experience, view and approach. We are all completely different, with totally unique, unrelated experiences. I can understand all of your arguments, but as someone who writes about it, I need to speak from some kind of position, and it is ‘mad studies’.
    Otherwise, I write about my ‘psychoses’ (and I intend to keep the term for the time being, as I am not writing about or inventing a new terminology), and it will be mostly a comedy. It is on and it will be in English, even if I have some posts in Russian in the beginning.
    In academia without any ‘theory’ or ‘terms’ one can’t go anywhere.
    As to psychiatry, it is an institution, which has an over-increasing power, and ‘critical’ psychiatry is one domain which can change things for the ‘sufferers’ in the foreseeable future, in practical terms, for the better. I don’t see any coordinated effort anywhere else, apart from ‘debates’. Mad in America is really a site which actually brought coordinated debate into the public, and it is marvelous to see.
    Psychology is of course, a valid academic field, with many interesting and useful contributions. Personally, I am fascinated by the subject.

  • yes, the story of St Frances of Assisi is an interesting one.
    I will include it in some other writings.
    Psychiatry creates lots of things, and especially the narrative of ‘chronic’ mental illness, which can convince a person that he or she is ill.
    It is bad.
    As to ‘schizophrenia’, I read recently an article in Russian, and their view (the psychiatrists there) is that this ‘illness’ always leads to loss of brain functioning.
    I felt really bad after reading it.
    There are indeed two recent published articles which argue that it is the use of ‘neuroleptics’ (anti-psychotics) which lead to long-term damage.

  • I don’t know what to say Lametamor,
    I heard terrible things about the psychiatry in Russia. And terrible things about what they do to people in hospitals, and how the society as a whole looks at it.
    But then again, my friend from the Netherlands writes to me from a psychiatric hospital there, where he is ‘treated’ by forced injections, telling me that he wants to end his life, that there is no hope left, that he is finished.
    I could have ended up like that too, if i resisted them in the hospital. I almost did last time, until self-preservation instinct told me to ‘remain’ quiet while sectioned, since one has no rights if sectioned.
    I recovered, and I recovered from their diagnoses. I won’t go back to any psychiatric hospital ever again.

  • Hello Streetphotobeing,
    I don’t remember the name of the tea, but it did treat my gastritis,
    yes, I developed insomnia, and I was hopelessly in love and couldn’t process the disaster of September 11 for two years, it was a huge psychological trauma for me, especially with everything which followed (Iraq especially). Childhood trauma as well.
    But despite all this, my visions were real:)
    I made a video about it today:
    and more on my blog lately

  • JanCarol,
    I agree with everything you say.
    ‘Witchcraft’ as ‘bad witchcraft’, probably not a right word, maybe to call it ‘mass hypnosis’ is a right word. I apologise if the word’ witchcraft’ caused offense and I need to re-frame it, you are right.
    I don’t recommend anti-psychotics! Anti-psychotics are created by the psychiatry! I recommend a ‘potion’ and only for those who struggle to claim their voices and visions in peace!
    I do consider myself a witch too, but good witch, white witch.
    I am developing the blog so it is in the stage of ‘unveiling’ and is for now, addressed to those, who sit at home under a huge amount of ‘anti-psychotics’ and struggle to exit the system.
    I un-diagnosed myself long time ago (on the matter of ‘diagnoses’ and the absence of logic in it, will be in my next post) and embraced my ‘madness’ too. My choice for my ‘potion’, created by myself, is to be ‘grounded’ in my daily life, where I am a single mum, have to work, look after my son, and still enjoy my ‘madness’, etc.
    I obviously plan to stop my ‘potion’ at some point, when I have firm stability and when I can’t risk to get back in the system for the sake of my son. I have to be grounded, well-thought, and lucid. But with my ‘potion’ I also enjoy meeting with angels, talking with fairies, etc, etc.
    Something very bad happened to me last year, when under massive stress (provoked by terrible car accident), I felt i was in ‘psychosis’ and went to the hospital in search of a safe place, and where I was detained under Mental Health Act, and where the ‘doctor’ was experimenting with three types of drugs for two months on me (while seroquel had worked just fine for me, previously), and where I was ‘recovered’ a week upon my arrival to the hospital, but they wouldn’t release me, with shouting nurses, terrible noise and constant partonising. During two months of the ‘nightmare’ my mum had to look after my son who wanted his mum and needed me. It was such a nightmare that it opened my eyes finally at the evil of the psychiatry. Before, I was living outside the psychiatry.

  • LavenderSage,
    1. yes, of course, people, have a right to talk to each other. I am extremely glad that my article provoked so many discussions and possibility to exchange opinions.
    2. My exchange with Oldhead is interesting, but I don’t allow myself to be partonised, when I see it clearly. Including from you.
    3. To come back to ‘I don’t think she’s gonna get it’, yes, I would like to know myself as what exactly I can’t get. I am a researcher and an academic, and am always interested to learn, exchange opinions and understand the logic behind each argument, including when it seems I don’t understand something. I also admit when I am wrong if I see absence of logic in my own opinion.
    4. To make clearer my point: psychiatry in all its manifestations is ‘witchcraft’, since it isn’t based in science or medicine. Mental distress is real, mental illness is a myth. Psychiatrists make people ill. Medication is different from concoctions created by the psychiatrists. Biology and medicine are real sciences. Diagnoses damage people and are based in fiction of an evil mind. So, yes, i am curious what I don’t get.

  • Oldhead,
    you have a right to your opinion, and i mostly agree with you. Psychiatry is not a dialogue, including ‘critical’ psychiatry, as it is still based in the narrative of ‘mental illness’. There is no such thing as ‘mental illness’, but mental distress is real, and many people struggle after they enter the system, and especially when they are reassured that they are ‘ill’, which damages them as individuals. Therefore, an alternative needs to be in place, which would abolish the narrative of ‘mental illness’, the main concept which gives psychiatry its legitimacy.

  • psychiatry is not a trap, it is witchcraft, and it is ‘holocaust’. You need first to remove the curse from those who are under their ‘spell’. It is those people who can then fight the psychiatry. Others can help once they understand what is really happening, and they can understand when they hear ‘the stories’ about ‘the curse’ from liberated people. I do try to address all this on my blog, as well as on my video channel
    I only started, and it is not a promotional activity. It is an urgent need to stop the ‘human’ experiment of the psychiatry before it becomes too late. It is not a science, it is not medicine, it is an evil mind behind all this.

  • Psychiatry is an ideology actively penetrating the society through their discourse of ‘mental illness’. They do actively destroy ‘different’ individuals by proclaiming them as sick. The only way to claim back humanity is to challenge them by proposing a firm, holistic alternative. I am happily mad and I am on seroquel, by researching my Own medication and my own dose. And I can still own my visions, voices, life and intelligence. I exited the narrative of mental illness by believing in my own journey. Psychiatry doesn’t own drug companies, and there is medication which helps to navigate the journey until one is ready to drop it. Psychosis is a real thing, but it is Not an illness. I try to tell how you can exit the mental health system on my blog I know that ‘psychosis’ can appear as an offensive term, but I use it because I researched it. They Don’t know what it is (the psychiatry). Le psychose est une jounee, la follie n’est pas une maladie, c’est un etat de difference. Я с психиатрией лично давно закончила и тихо над ними ржала, пока не дошло, что я одна так легко выживаю со своей ‘болезнью’ и что другие люди конкретно помирают. Выжила со смехом, но многое изучила и пора действовать, чтобы искоренить это зло

  • JanCarol,
    no, i know you didn’t call me ‘an idiot’ lol, but i do appear quite ‘off’ in the video:) I will make more!
    Yes, one has to be very very careful as how to present oneself and talk with others, while undiagnosing oneself and navigating the system. Totally agree! I wrote a post about it today(in terms of navigating the system, but how to ‘appear’ then to the public, yes, very important, i will address it in my next post. ‘How to play normal’ to the rest of the world, something like that. My post of today is, if any interest, on:

  • I put the video back on public mode for the time being. JanCarol said I look like an idiot in it, and I agree:) I need to make more videos to deconstruct the ‘vision’ of ‘psychosis’. Yes, I am going straight for their definition of it, such as ‘loss of touch with reality, accompanied by hallucinations and hearing voices’. ”Hallucinations’ are visions and they are real, and voices are real as well. And it isn’t loss of touch with reality, but an altered state of consciousness. And it isn’t an illness. They tell you it’s an illness, which makes you ill. Once the person claims back the power of his visions and his gift of hearing voices, one reclaims the power of self-identity, and starts a journey of self-healing. At this moment, they make people ill. I probably explain it better in my post on my blog:

  • Oldhead,
    one can generalize, because all these experiences (as different as they are), are called ‘an illness’ by ‘professionals’ who don’t understand them. Therefore, my usage of the terms ‘psychosis’ was motivated by deconctructing the assumption that it is a ‘desease’. It isn’t an illness, and it isn’t disease. The opposite is true, it is a healing journey.

  • Yes, I agree! That’s what the person experiences in altered state of consciousness! Having visions which can be accompanied by hearing voices, and they are real, they aren’t ‘hallucinations’. My particular aim (on my blog) is to deconstruct first their medical language. They ‘shame’ these experiences by calling them a ‘disease’ by attaching a specific label such as ‘psychosis’ or ‘schizophrenia’

  • Hi JanCarol,
    thank you for the links, i will also look at your website.
    Yes, i am at that stage when i finally realised that it isn’t an illness, and that all my visions were real. Yes, i did have the chance of having ‘beautiful’, ‘amazing’ ‘psychoses, and am reclaiming my own personal power that it was beautiful and that magic is real.
    But I need to be careful in terms of how I address all this, since ‘psychosis’ can be a very traumatic experience. It is an experience, it isn’t an illness.

  • Hi,
    thank you for the comments,
    I have to rethink, since more people agree that ‘psychosis’ is too embedded as a very negative experience.
    My particular aim is to help to understand what exactly happens in that state, such as ‘voices’ and ‘hallucinations’ (visions), and that they are real, not a sign of disease. That in fact even in its most frightening manifestation (psychosis), if the person is believed for what he says or hears, instead of ‘debunking’ it as total nonsense, then the person can work on what is happening in that parallel reality, and be helped better in the recovery journey.
    But i have to think indeed how to communicate what I want to say in a better way.

  • that’s fine! Yes, i will continue using the term for what i want to do, i don’t see any other way if i want to reach people who experienced the phenomenon and know what I am talking about. This is how it is called, and adopting a different terminology which isn’t recognized will be talking into the void. Here, on this site, we know of different terminology which is still building up. Those in the hospitals with diagnoses are familiar with a different, very embedded in the daily life term. I want to address these people, by explaining that when they are told they experienced ‘psychosis’, it isn’t an illness, that nothing is wrong with them, and that it can be healed, transformed and even enjoyed. And I will change the term in due time. I might be wrong as how I decided to talk about it, by using ‘their’ terminology, but for now I trust my intuition. First of all, I am interested to help those who are stuck in the system and think that something is wrong with them after they had what they call ‘psychosis’ by explaining what it is really ‘psychosis’. A healing process from trauma, which can also be magical.

  • yes, i was there (not on anti-psychotic drugs) and I was doing very well. This was when I learned another language and moved two more countries. But it was in fear of what would happen if another psychosis arrives. Until i finally realised (after my last hospital) that you know what? I love the state of psychosis, especially when you can enjoy it while still being able to be a full member of the society. I can’t achieve this stage if not on anti-psychotics (I can’t go into psychosis then at all). I could do without coffee and alcohol (I don’t consume them too much, a cup of coffee in the morning, a glass of red at night), even if I did have it all while also not being on anti-psychotic. Now, I am actively learning how to enjoy my ‘psychosis’, still live well, and be fully here, in this society, for my son. I don’t know if a drug could be developed which would just heal the sleep and relax you, maybe it could, once they start looking at the right thing, and not at what they are looking now. I do take paracetamol for my headaches and so i actually do believe in medicine. I don’t believe in the institution of psychiatry, but i do believe in humanity and that some people do want to develop a drug which helps but doesn’t harm, that there are doctors who come in order to help, and that some people are interested in other people doing well.
    Thank you for liking my video lol:)

  • yes, i see what you mean. I will from now on say why i use the term. My aim is to actually help people, and people who do experience psychosis can’t be helped until there is a firm alternative in place. It does include re-educating the psychiatrists who come into the system because of a genuine desire to ‘treat’ something. It will stay in the domain of health for a very foreseeable future. In one of my comments I argued that as long as they have ‘psychosis’ in their dsm, the will claim legitimacy, since people in ‘psychosis’ do experience real distress and do need a safe house when they are in that state, they are extremely vulnerable. Psychosis is a real thing, it is simply not an illness.
    Having studied psychosis for 15 years as a person experiencing it, i see it as a way to help concrete people in concrete situations, such as people who end up in the system because they are brought there due to what they call ‘psychosis’.
    For the rest, it needs to be addressed as precise, separate aims: highlight that they have now such a disorder as ‘antisocial personality disorder’ which makes fighting any stigma impossible, highlight what other disorders they have (labeling different personalities and normal childhood behaviour), etc. But they created the whole thing, starting from ‘psychosis’, and my personal interest is in helping people who always end up in the system (health, medicine, asylum, on the streets, psychiatric hospital), even if the whole psychiatry will be abolished. In psychosis, one does loose touch with reality, and therefore the person needs urgent help, just not the help what it is provided now. Not when it is looked upon as an illness, instead of a healing process of the person, or some emerging spiritual search. In my videos my particular aim is to help people who had concrete experience of psychosis but also address those who are ‘treating’ it. I am not refuting doctors who want to genuinely help, they just don’t understand the phenomenon, but neither does the society, and ‘psychotics’ will be the ones who will always suffer until there is a very good, holistic alternative, where they would emerge from ‘safe houses’ as happy, strong, fulfilled people knowing that they are simply special and unique.

  • Lavendersage, I do understand what you are saying! The term psychosis is also used in movies books and tv. I aim at explaining first of all that psychosis isn’t an illness, the symptoms they treat are behaviour related and that’s why Schizophrenia and bipolar get diagnosed and receive a label. My mission is to help people diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar by revoking that it’s an illness and by looking at ways how they can exit the system of labels, diagnosis and heavy medication which harms them as individuals by treating a normal human experience. My aim is to find a way as to how ‘psychotic’ people can enjoy who they are but not end up back on the streets or asylums. Schizophrenia and bipolar are diagnoses for people who are highly gifted, spiritual and fun. I want to start helping these people by removing the label that they are mentally ill once and for all. But it will be a long slow process and I might not achieve what I want, but I come from sincerely

  • Oldhead, I am not looking at a substance to get into that state! I am already there, naturally! I am looking at ways how to control it and have it at the same time. Psychosis is called a disease but it is not a disease. From the literature of how they describe it, it is clear they don’t understand it, and since the term is so embedded I want first to transform it into a positive thing and then start proposing new terminology.

  • Oldhead, I am not looking at drugs to treat it but am positive that a new drug can be developed which can make psychosis as a daily experience to be enjoyed not to be feared. I use the term psychosis because I look at it in a positive way and want to change perception of what it is exactly. Yes it is an altered state of consciousness which is a normal human experience that some people are blessed to enjoy! Calling it a hate speech is yet another act of diversion from what I am trying to say

  • Thank you so much for the links! Yes I am actively learning how to come off AP in a safe way, I was without them for years but my approach was avoiding psychosis and only recently I learned that psychosis is a positive experience for me and part of who I am, therefore I need to learn how to have the state of altered consciousness without loosing it totally and still enjoy my life. So I am looking at how it can be done! If they developed a medication which just provided deep profound sleep and relaxed you, I would try it

  • streetphotobeing,
    it depends on what exactly you want to achieve while being out of the system. There are people who managed it and there are people who managed to get off anti-psychotics drugs and be well, but it requires strict routine, no alcohol, and no coffee, and it is hard to preserve then that beautiful state of ‘altered conciousness’.
    I was for years without medication but it was in the framework of mind that I should avoid then psychoses. I did end up in psychosis, i was put on medication, and still managed to have psychosis while being on low dose of seroquel- my biggest mistake was that I contacted the hospital myself, and this was my own big learning lesson. I can stay on seroquel of 50 ml, because it helps me to sleep, while still enjoying ‘altered state of mind’. Getting off anti-psychotic totally is in the future, but i want to do it while still being able to enjoy my wine, coffee, etc (which I do now). I want it all: happy life with small pleasures and being able to enjoy my ‘altered state of consiousness’. I am actively learning how i can do it all without seroquel at 50 ml, and once I am ready (once I have a more stable situation from what I am in now – being a single mum with not enough teaching hours, in a foreign country), i will do it. I might have to wait until my son grows up, since he is my biggest and most important priority.
    seroquel is not good, but on 50 ml it is manageable. And so, to get out of the hospital, i do accept medication (otherwise, they won’t let you out), but am always asking for seroquel (I tried them all), and then stop it or reduce it by myself.
    This helped me to stay ‘functioning’ for 15 years now, with also years in between when I wasn’t on any medication. But taking into account my current stress in life, i personally have to be very careful for the sake of my son’s future.

  • JanCarol
    yes, all experience is different, totally agree.
    I’ve been in the system for 16 years now (not in the system per se, but around it, since I did have to learn indeed how to continue living well and enjoy my life while having experienced ‘psychosis’). Shamanism – we don’t know what it is (and you don’t train in shamanic methods), because there are no shamans around, apart from the fake ones who ask for lots of money. One doesn’t teach shamanism unless one is a real shaman, one becomes a shaman. And the only way to become a shaman is to experience ‘psychosis’ and learn how to control it, and then progress to the stage of helping other people. Shamanism – it is knowing how to live in the magic of the altered state of consciousness.
    I did meet enough of ‘patients’ from lots of hospitals to start talking about the experiences in such a way that it will appeal to some, but not to everyone, as is the case with everything. I will continue making videos from now on about all this, as an academic, as a person who had many psychoses, as a person who manages to lead a happy and fulfilled life in between and actively learning how not to deny myself this altered state of consciousness, because this is simply who I am. Doctors make it painful, not the patients themselves. What is painful is what happens before the psychosis, you are right about this. The reason they call it ‘psychosis’ is precisely because as you highlight it can be a traumatic experience for the person.
    To start making real changes, we do need real actions and people who are brave enough to start speaking out in public, and bring message of hope to others. It is a process. The terminology is so strongly embedded that by using their terminology to turn it upside down and make something positive out of it is the only way. I did think about it for very long time (terminology). But this is my opinion, others might disagree.
    But you are right that it is an altered state of consciousness, and it is amazing in itself because it is magical. Hospitals make it painful, doctors make it painful. Psychosis is usually a reaction of the person to something very bad in his or her life, it is actually a healing process, which needs to be navigated etc.
    but hey, no one understands psychosis (and i read enough of academic literature by now and met enough ‘doctors’), and someone has to start explaining what it is from the point of view of the ‘patient’.
    My first aim is to explain to people who have been in psychosis that what they ‘hear’ and ‘see’ as visions and voices, are real things, situated in the parallel world. And this is there the most damage is done, when they tell you that it isn’t real. They deny you your self-identity, they deny you who you are.

  • yes, anti-psychotics damp your emotions as well as who you are as a person.
    When you come off them, you can experience terrifying withdrawal symptoms (especially if you were on them for years). You need to make sure you sleep (really, really make sure of that, including asking for melotonin), take vitamins (B especially), and take warm baths to calm yourself down. Breathing exercise also helps.
    Follow the link to Chaya blog and download her free book, it really helps to know that some people really care and been there as well:

  • Communism, yes, where i was growing up, psychiatry was thriving to a terrifying extent, together with suppression of any religious awakening. It was a badly managed apparatus, made of greedy people in need of control. How they brought it up via their revolution is a terrifying exploration of mind. Personally, I can’t claim anymore my aristocratic roots, my grand-parent was in Siberia in a political prison, and free thought was suppressed. But, as a child, I experienced good manifestations of socialism as an idea, such as free education, enjoying the school and friends, having food on the table, having access to free medical care. I also witnessed what it meant ‘bringing capitalism’ to Russia, and how it effectively destroyed humanity in some people.
    As to psychosis, I recorded a video today about it. Psychosis is a real thing, and it is beautiful thing. I love it and am actively learning how to live in that state while still being able to be part of the society. The link to the video is here:

  • I have to come back here to the phenomenon of ‘psychosis’. It is a real thing, I was there 7 times. It can be a wonderful thing if handled properly and it does need safe handling, just not what is currently on offer. It is not an illness but a healing reaction of the mind/soul/body and should never lead to diagnosis etc. But it does need input from real medicine for strong sleeping aid, and negation of medicine is NOT what I will ever do when it is based on evidence and has real benefits for humanity. I do believe in science.

  • Yes, i think i should highlight I talk from where I am (the UK), where psychiatry is deeply embedded in the system of general health, and where the system of health itself is presented by an organisation which does amazing things for people. But where ‘psychiatric’ prescriptions are now provided by general doctors. Therefore, the only tool left is to fight the DSM and European system of diagnoses (derived from DSM but rebranded), and highlight what they are hiding in the system of general health.

  • Oldhead, but I agree with all your comments! The word ‘alternative’ arises in the discussion of what to do with people who are in the system for years, and in highlighting that psychiatry is a deep situated institution of control with massive power, in all levels of our society! To really fight it one needs to come with precise ‘alternative’ or ‘counterforce’ so that patients, survivors, and others don’t end up in the system of another control. And this is a current trend where they are encouraged to be ‘talk’ peers used as affective labour with a label of being sick. They are actively patronised by the system to accept that something is wrong with them. In the UK for instance if one says he or she is anti-psychiatry one is accused of being anti-science or anti-health or anti-medicine. Psychiatry became invisible within a system of health itself.

  • oldhead,
    on the question of your alternatives, your answer was ‘socialism’.
    This is not an answer to a society based on institutions, whether socialism or capitalism, you should research ‘functionalism’ and how current governments base organisational structure on it, and where psychiatry plays a role as an institution regulating social control, presenting itself under ‘medical establishment’. Health is a different domain all together, as well as medicine. What you propose is not socialism, but chaos and denial of all terminology, which is a denial of the current discourse and language, and not helpful if you want to make a real change, so that people actually listen when they are familiar with a language they can recognize, otherwise, there is a risk of ‘blah-blah-blah’ without leading to any concrete results, such as radical change for the better, liberation of mad (crazy, different, bipolar, schizophrenic, patients, survivors, psychotic, visionaries, prophets – they all prefer their own terms, and you need to be aware of it) people, and recognition of difference in humanity.
    To make it easier: socialism is an ideology, psychiatry is an institution based on discourse (which became an ideology) within a system of other institutions, and where ‘mental health’ is currently a discourse, and while it is in the stage of discourse one can still make changes before it becomes an ideology based on control, coercion and further suppression of agency.

  • ok, if you put emphasis on the term ‘alternative’. Yes, we do need alternatives. There are cases of real ‘mental’ distress and where people do need help. Cases of depression, psychosis, etc, are all real things, and people do want and need help. But it is how we look at it, and how we help these people, instead of damaging them and making out of them invalids.
    Exposing the psychiatry shouldn’t be negation of medicine and advances in biology, psychology, etc. It should be pointing to the damage that ‘labelling’ such as a diagnosis brings (and that they call it now ‘physical sickness’), it should be about fighting against the legislation which derives mental health patients of their rights, it should be about providing safe houses for people who need them, including giving them medication, just not the medication which damages the brain, brings side-effects and disability. It is advancing research that one can recover from psychosis, depression, etc (and that by calling some people as suffering from ‘chronic illness’ derives these people from the possibility to recover). It is about exposing their assumptions that it is a disease and disease of the brain, when in reality it is all a subjective opinion of one psychiatrist who bases it all on ‘observation’. It is about exposing the lies abut how they construct their diagnoses.
    It is also about helping those who are trapped in the inhuman system which currently exists. And it shouldn’t be about negation of people who come into ‘mental health’ in order to actually help people. It is about reforming mental health, as it stands now.

  • Oldhead,
    there are millions of people trapped in the system who, yes, do need urgent alternatives to survive. These are people who are on anti-psychotic drugs for years and need extremely careful planning as how to come off them, or live on them (if they choose so or are unable to stop them) and still conduct a meaningful and happy life.
    They do come on this site to find alternatives, and since the thread is under my article, I do want to keep it practical for those who have experienced the same story as me.
    Some people are trapped in the system of diagnoses, it is a fact. One has to be almost inhuman to come out of it, because of the ‘mental health’ system. People are asked to seek help, and then they seek it, they get a diagnosis and are put on medication, without knowing how damaging and addictive it is. Some don’t seek help, they end up their by accident, because of ‘psychosis’, which is a real thing to which I tried to provide an alternative explanation. One can recover from psychosis and live a productive and happy life, and THIS is exactly what no one in the system wants to hear. No one wants to hear that psychosis can be beautiful, magical and divine, and some people experience enlightenment or spiritual revelation.

  • @the_cat, thank you so much for your advice and the link. They put me on seroquel years ago (without saying, of course, how damaging but also addictive it is), I know my organism is now addicted to it, as sleep just goes if i stop it. I am on minimal dose as a result (and I read that seroquel is prescribed as a sleeping aid), but before I go off it completely I need to find a really good natural alternative which works. I think that people who are on seroquel experience the same problem.

  • Hi Chaya,
    what a great idea to teach practical skills to those who have been there and can help others! It is very very hard to come off the psychiatric drugs, and some of them are so addictive that it becomes almost impossible, especially if you depend on them to sleep. Do you have any advice for very strong natural remedy for sleep?
    I enrolled into your course, when does it start? I am glad that you launched this!

  • @survivingthesystem
    why not using the actual names wasn’t a question, it was stating the fact. Do you think I am not aware of what it brings as a problem on a daily basis? Since I published my first article on Mad in America, I am facing constant stigma, discrimination and patronizing. I get calls and messages from relatives and friends advising me to stop being so open about it, to stop writing about it, etc. I even asked once to remove my article from the site, which they did (, to ask to put it back a couple of years later.
    But hey, if no one talks openly, no one will ever know the truth and fight for the rights of the oppressed openly. How many academics are talking about their ‘mental health’? Maybe ten in total, and only if they are already in well-established positions (I am not). Others keep silent. They are moving it all to the next stage now, where mental illness is marketed as a physical illness, where it is marketed that it is ok to seek help, but where it is not okay to be ‘mentally ill’. They are silencing everyone with their new campaign of marketing actively the mental illness as any other physical illness.
    Yes, i have lots of friends in the system who are even still in the hospitals, on injections, actively reassured that something is wrong with them.
    It is the most brutal act on humanity.

  • @Oldhead,
    socialist revolution and exposing the harm of psychiatry are two totally different things. I grew up under the socialism (one of the best experiences of my life in terms of enjoying my life, while learning values, having fun at school, learning how to socialize, how to think, knowing that everyone should have the right and chance to succeed in life, caring after other people, knowing that whatever happened to you, you would still have a place in the society, be protected, have food on your table, be able to send your child to school and university). But psychiatry was still there, because the society, as whole, doesn’t understand ‘mental distress’ and why it is happening and what to do with it.

  • ah, i am not biting into anything, Oldhead!
    Scientology- i know nothing about it, indeed, but they seem to attack the core of the matter: DSM and the diagnosis system.
    There is no real coordinated system elsewhere, it is all non- coordinated ‘talk’ at this moment. And people in real life have nowhere to go, apart from the system of ‘mental health’. Psychiatry and mental health are the same thing, they just rebranded themselves and penetrated all spheres of life. Attacking psychiatry therefore, looks like attacking all doctors, which try to help and heal people. There is misunderstanding of the mind, and therefore, it is delegated into the field of ‘illness’, and the ‘attack’ should be at the level of ‘DSM and diagnoses’, while doing research on the mind and theorising that ‘cases of distress’ are a natural reaction to major events in life, stress, and current capitalistic system which makes some people poorer and unable to enjoy what should be enjoyed by each individual.

  • @Frank,
    well, you just summarized the biggest problem, and indeed, it has all moved into ‘mental health’ domain, with extremely disturbing marketing campaign happening in parallel (it is ok to be ill, it is just a physical illness). Therefore, any anti-psychiatry initiatives look like you are talking against ‘health’ in general, like you are attacking all health professionals at the same time. This is definitely happening in the UK. The psychiatry has become a system within a system.

  • an example of a survivor where I am (the UK), a girl diagnosed with schizophrenia, years on medication. She is anti-psychiatry, she can’t stand it. She stops her medication, because she knows how harmful it is, and she can’t work on it or lead any active life while on anti-psychotics. Anti-psychotic medication, however, alters something in the brain, making it addictive to it, to an extent that when one tries to stop it, it leads to medication-withdrawal psychosis. She ends up in the hospital, she is sectioned under mental health act, she knows it is wrong, but there is no other place to go, there is nothing available as an alternative. So, in the hospital, she is put back on medication, there is no choice, unless you want to stay in the hospital forever. And her journey starts all over again. But she is anti-psychiatry, she is a survivor, like many others. There are thousands of such people, and they don’t know what to do, where to turn, how to get out of the carousel unless there is a clear, real-life alternative.

  • I think that there are different groups and different survivors. Groups probably do include academics but also health-professionals, activists, journalists, etc. As to survivors, i think one needs to be very careful and make them welcome on this site, instead of trying to partonize them. Many people have been smashed for years by psychiatry, are addicted to medication which they are prescribed, are surviving within the official paradigm of ‘mental health’, and until there is an organised group which can receive the survivors in real life to help them, one has to be careful as how to address them and try to make them feel as if they aren’t in any group. Taking a clear academic stance, or becoming an activist is a different thing.

  • She was bullied on Twitter and she is a psychiatry survivor herself, I was very worried about her as a fellow human being. Bipolar disorder is a label, I agree, a label of the experience of being human.
    Anyway, she seems to be managing, with her Muslim friends helping her, so i don’t want to discuss it anymore here. When I wrote about her first time, i was hoping that some other people would support her on twitter from her bullies

  • there are too many people in the system who are ‘disabled’ by the system and therefore, while the system exists it does need peer-workers.
    To give some insight into the discussion On Szasz, Cooper and Laing, they all provided contribution into anti-psychiatry. There are plenty of psychiatrists who, also are at a loss themselves as what exactly they are doing (and I know a few). But proclaiming oneself as an anti-psychiatrist is, in practical terms, a loss of a job and professional reputation, with one recent example (from just criticizing some (!) practices within a profession, written on this site quite recently and all over the news.

  • Oldhead,
    but about which demographics are you talking about? There are real people in real life who either ask for help (so, your answer, is to turn them away?), or people who are long enough in the system and are ‘disabled’ by it. I don’t understand what is your stance in terms of offering real solutions for real life, apart from just arguing against the psychiatry?
    As to Scientology, they just released an interesting documentary which frankly speaking, says the truth about the whole ‘bogus’ psychiatry thing, so I am interested in them more and more while i am researching them and looking at what they are doing in practical terms.

  • @ Desinquisiteur
    I can’t answer directly under the thread as it finished for comments.
    To answer your question, to advance any changes within the secular field, it is a way that academically can sort this out indeed for the time being (the psychological but also sociological approach), in terms of helping real people in real life and while operating within the official ‘mental health’ ideology.

  • Well, while commenting I came to distinguishing between fight against the oppression of the psychiatry, and a fight in understanding ‘psychosis’.
    Most official religions have indeed become an oppressive apparatus in themselves, so sociologically, the fight does need to be at the level of institutions, power discourse, human rights and individual agency, and it is sociologists and philosophers who can make a difference in the discourse.
    But from a personal point of view, I am interested in psychosis. I saw god and met the devil, and no one, no one can ever convince me that it never happened. In this respect, psychiatry, even if it says it accepts ‘religious’ beliefs, actively denies them, because it gives a definition to ‘delusions’, which are in their majority, expressions of seeing something else out there.
    To be clearer: the anti-psychiatry fight is one thing, understanding psychosis is another thing, and it has to be taken out of ‘psychiatry’ for those who are oppressed within the machine.
    As how to help others, well, i am trying to do it, but the outlets of doing it in a practical way, are non-existent (where I live) if one needs to earn some money to feed one’s child and survive at the same time. As I argued in another comment, most people are actually hiding behind pseudonyms, because stigma is smashing, and so i am not sure where exactly the ‘fight’ (apart from this site, of course) is taking place and how help other in more practical ways.

  • I agree that people can agree or disagree without shaming. The main disbelief actually came from Christian people when I was saying I was ‘Jesus’ and seeing parallel reality. I already know that psychiatrists don’t believe in such things. But Christians should actually sit me down and say that: 1. You are discovering Jesus and this is what is happening, you are discovering faith, or 2. You feel close to Jesus and Jesus is in everyone, instead of agreeing that it is a mental illness. A Christian nurse told me while administering medication that ‘You aren’t Jesus, and never were.” Personally, i do find it problematic that those who say they follow any faith, are unable to actually experience faith in real life, and spiritual awakening.
    Not believing in anything is a choice which should be respected, but doesn’t help in understanding psychosis.

  • Steve, yes, I agree. It has become some sort of ‘religion’ in itself, and it uses a very powerful discourse, which is hard to fight as a whole. Therefore, the fight at a global level does need to come from those who do believe in God, and then fight at an individual level for those who actually encountered the parallel reality, and had the privilege to meet both god and the devil.
    As to being called ‘a Scientologist’, it only triggers a natural interest on my part. What Scientologists are doing exactly? And why it seems that most people are terrified of them? More I read about them, more I become curious about them, in all honesty.

  • the problem is that the society as a whole doesn’t accept any forms of madness and psychiatry acts as an institution which took on the task of regulator of all forms of ‘weirdness’ and will continue doing so, especially with its umbrella term of ‘medical regulator’, while being in reality a regulator of ‘behavior’ and ‘societal malaise’.
    In practical terms, i think that as a fight from survivors it has to come from individual groups with their individual experiences. People with autism almost won the fight because they distanced themselves from being perceived as people with ‘mental illness’, even if autism is still defined by the association of psychiatry. So, people who experienced psychosis, should also unite and change the perception of psychosis and how they are perceived in the society.

  • Oh I totally agree that the main change needs to come from within the social order, in terms of how we view things in general! Psychiatry is an institution within a very regulated system, it is not a medical system, it is an ideology, which says it is a ‘medical’ system. And it is an ideology very actively promoted by governments arguing the discourse of ‘mental illness as a physical illness’. It created a cacophony which is difficult to fight. It is not an illness and it isn’t a physical illness. It is an experience (I am talking about psychosis). In other words, the fight against psychiatry doesn’t address the main problem, and those who actually address it (arguing that mental illness is a myth) come from psychiatrists themselves. And while they were very prominent in the seventies, there aren’t that many today, because the control now is at the government level, and those who are in the profession, have to feed their families, or risk being ousted and public disgrace.
    As to survivors, i don’t see any organised effort, apart from forums where one can ‘talk’. I see only a couple of people who even talk from their first names, others are smashed under stigma, and other concerns that ‘talking openly’ about all this can involve.
    Psychosis is a term adopted which is a term utilized indeed by a medical profession, but i see it as a positive experience and thus, don’t see a problem of using the term for the time when one wants to change the perception. Offering another term is an enterprise in its own making. But in the majority of case, it is an experience when one get a glimpse of ‘other reality’, which is indeed there, but not believed because of lost of belief in the society as a whole. Religious institutions could probably play an important role in changing the perception once they accept that those who do approach this parallel reality, can indeed certify, that there is something there, and there is God.
    But there are different types of psychosis, and not all of them are about ‘spiritual awakening’, some of them are triggered by drugs, and do require an urgent help, but I also believe that with all other types of psychosis, one can’t leave the person unattended, whether the help comes from a shaman, priest or someone else, this is indeed a question. Ending up in the hospital is not the end in the world, it’s what happens in the hospital (when one gets a label of shame because it is immediately delegated into ‘physical illness’ and treated by drugs or coercive treatment) this is the problem.
    Again, the ‘fight’ of survivors is happening at the level of some anonymous speakers, who are the survivors who openly talk about their experience? One can count them by fingers, and some of them indeed do important work, such as changing perception within academia, or having an initiative about drug withdrawal. Others sit at homes, hiding, afraid to speak out. While others, through the use of medicated drugs, are now indeed incapable to work, and rely on benefits which do require an official diagnosis (what to do with these people?). Getting off anti-psychotic drugs can trigger drug-withdrawal psychosis, how to help these people? Etc, etc

  • Yes, i will contact you via your blog. I can’t possibly afford that thing you mentioned, but vitamin B12 – i’ve heard indeed that it is useful.
    I’ve seen psychotic junkies and drugs can induce psychosis, it is a very dangerous territory.
    There is a lot of criticism of psychiatry, but no alternatives in terms of an organised system, it seems. Why? Because no one wants to take the responsibility of dealing with a psychotic person without some ‘legal’ terms in place, or risking to end up in prison. So, which leads me again to conclusion that the change has to come from within somehow, more humanistic approach, no diagnoses or patronising. As a person who had psychosis, i can certify that you can’t just leave the person to their devices, a safe house is needed, or there is a risk to life of this person. What i think is needed are spiritual workers within the system, who understand psychosis.
    Psychosis is actually the main hurdle in the whole game. Because no one figured out yet how to deal with it, and it gives justification for other ‘illnesses’ and ‘diagnoses’. As long as they have ‘psychosis’ in their category (and it is the considered as the most serious mental illness officially), one can’t win any fight with psychiatry. Figure out ‘psychosis’, and then there is a chance for change. But since it is in the spiritual domain, it can be understood only by very few.

  • markusbmcake,
    I have great respect for Islam! What i meant is that when one is going through some spiritual awakening, no one should try to influence someone into ‘official’ religion unless the person has already faith and can be helped by a spiritual worker. I think that all religions provide some kind of answer, but it is all lost now within the official system of diagnoses.

  • I have to re-read my comments to see whether I mentioned anywhere that i believe i was Buddha in my past life. In my article I say I thought I was Buddha. I felt like one and told the doctor so. Yes, i do think that it was a process of spiritual awakening, however, i find it extremely wrong when someone tries to take advantage of it and turn it into an official religion of some sort. I am good where I am in terms of my faith.
    Again, my question is: if not the psychiatry, then what are the alternatives? What are the practical proposals to help people who ask for help? How to help a person in psychosis (whether we agree or not with the term). Leave the person to their own devices? What if they actually want help? If they do need a safe house? How to help these people?

  • Hi, many thanks for the links!
    I will have a look.
    I was thinking more of how to help people in real lives, especially that some people have no access to the Internet. There is a lot of criticism of psychiatry but what would be the alternatives? What would be the alternatives for people who ask for help? Soteria? How to help people to recover, how to help them to combat with stigma? How to educate them in practical ways? How to reach all those who are heavily drugged, sit at home hiding, with no desire to live? There should be a more coordinated network of survivors, because even if some of them do exist, I don’t understand how they help people in real life. Everything is isolated, in other towns, somewhere in an abstract place on the internet, while real people in real life, continue to struggle.