Showing 100 of 175 comments.
Kindred Spirit – brilliant analysis, as always. Thank you.
@JanCarol – this effect is exploited in clinical trials to rig the results in favour of the drug. A classic example is the trial for “Invega Trinza” which is now being heavily promoted by Janssen. Do psychiatrists ever take a close look (or even a cursory look) at the design of these phoney Randomised Controlled Trials? I guess not – they must have to keep their eyes tight shut to avoid seeing the enormous hoax they have been conned into believing. If any of you are reading this, I’d love you to take a look at my cartoon version of the Invega Trinza trial – here is the link…
@Oldhead – I have tracked down the footage of Prof Sir Simon grandstanding to the crowd and plugging the original “pill-shaming” bingo card. He’s very good at this, I have to say – it is a textbook example of a PR stunt designed to manipulate emotion and shut down rational thought. Nice move!
Sandra, you ask: “How could my colleagues do a better job of addressing these problems?”
I have two suggestions. The first is to contemplate the words of Phil Hickey… “Psychiatry is a destructive, disempowering, self-serving, drug-pushing HOAX.”
The second is to share this video of a patient describing her experience of forced depot injections. Not long after this was filmed, she took her own life.
“They diagnosed her, drugged her, ignored and neglected her. They did not appreciate her as an artist or a person as they did not bother to find out or treat her with respect.”
@Oldhead (to Steve McCrea): “you are falling into the trap of taking the “pill-shaming” trope far too seriously […] I’m sure it’s a corporate-generated term, meant to guilt trip people who see their friends being destroyed by pharmacology. It should be mocked, as well as the mentality behind it.”
Yes, this sums up my queasiness about the whole thing. When I researched the “pill shaming” trope for my latest cartoon, I found out that it was first coined by a UK patient in 2013 who put together a Buzzword Bingo card of “pill-shaming” words and phrases. This was very quickly picked up and popularised by none other than Professor Sir Simon Wessely and his gang, and if you look at the Bingo card you’ll see why – it’s a psych/pharma-industry dream. It spread rapidly via Twitter (the favoured propaganda vehicle for Psychiatry Inc), and before you know it everyone is accusing everyone else of “pill-shaming” in that shrill, censorious Twitter way. Then, late last year, the Royal College of Psychiatrists went one step further and roped in BBC News to bring the phrase “pill shaming” to greater public awareness. This really made me shudder because they used a patient to make a “video story” promoting their agenda – see for yourself, I have put the link on my website.
Anyway, try as I might I couldn’t find a humorous angle on “pill-shaming”, and the cartoon evolved into “Shill Shaming.” Here is the link…
Sera: “Do you mean the really small group of people who do seem to actually go after the people taking the pills in pretty relentless ways?”
If that’s how you define “pill shamers”, then yes.
The reason I ask is because of the paragraph beginning: “Now, to be clear, there are some for-reals pill shaming folk out there.”
The description that follows of these “pill shaming folk” sounds to me like people expressing their deep feelings and concerns about neurotoxins, and indeed I have come across plenty of that, but I wouldn’t call them “pill-shamers”. To my mind, a “pill shamer” would be someone who sets out with the deliberate intent of triggering a shame response in their chosen target. I’ve never actually come across this in the real world, which is why I ask.
Sera, can you point me to a genuine example of “pill shaming”? I have asked this question of several people who write about this subject, and they never reply.
You’re probably thinking of Thomas Insel who co-founded “Mindstrong”. Check out the website, it’s seriously creepy. For example, there’s the “smartphone app that can tell you’re depressed before you know it yourself.”
Jyl Ion – The first thing I noticed on MiA today was your artwork “Healing”. There is something about it that resonates with me – I can’t put my finger on it, but I sense a connection and I like the feeling. Then I read your story…
“Free flow had characterized my creative process — an art practice that had come naturally since my childhood was extinguished. Not only were my reproductive capabilities shut down on psychiatric drugs, my ability to create art had been effectively disabled.”
“Extinguish” is a powerful word, and the right word for what Psychiatry can do. I went through it too. But there will always be a spark, a smouldering ember – creativity and life-force can never be fully extinguished.
I would like to contact you privately, but I can’t find an email address. If you want to contact me, please do. My email address is [email protected]
Rachel777: “Rejecting psychiatry’s lies and drugs cured my desire to kill myself.”
Same here. It took full rejection of “gloomy, hopeless labels” and the insidious “illness like any other” conditioning before I could let go of the deep despair and tentatively start to live.
I really miss Matt.
Oldhead: Yes, that’s him… “award winning psychiatrist” Steven Moffic MD. Let’s remind ourselves of the trolling comment he left on Matt Stevenson’s “In Memoriam” page…
“Maybe if he and many here would be more optimistic about psychiatry, he would have recovered more. It is also crucial to know that appearing much better, as Kermit Cole wrote, can be a clue that someone has decided to commit suicide and is relieved by that. This is a tragedy that perhaps could have had a different outcome with a different view of psychiatry.
@LeeColeman In your reply to Oldhead, you say “anti-psychiatry” is a meaningless label, but the vehemence of your tone suggests you feel otherwise. I’d be very interested to know how you define anti-psychiatry – it is powerful word, eliciting strong reactions, I have never known it to be a “meaningless label”. And it has been hijacked by high-profile psychiatrists – they bandy it about as a code-word everyone recognises: Anti-psychiatry = anti-science, flaky, bizarre, deviant. It is used to insult fellow professionals who step out of line… and, in their hands, it is a very effective weapon. I am fighting to reclaim this word, and it’s power.
@Rasselas.Redux: “Since the murder of Jo Cox MP, by a mental health service user, the forensic profiling of mental health patients is now a routine matter and essentially the blanket reason given to justify the intrusive digital intelligence-gathering.”
Thomas Mair is the “mental health service user” convicted of killing Jo Cox. He is now serving life as a Category A prisoner, but is he really the perpetrator? From start to finish, this case stinks to high heaven. Here is a meticulous analysis of the evidence – a documentary by Richard D Hall…
@ConcernedCarer: “Professor David Taylor, lead author of the Maudsley Guidelines, said “much more effective than placebo”. I’m putting that down to a colossal gaff, but still I would steer clear of those guidelines with that level of delusion.”
Not a gaff, or delusion – it’s bare-faced, calculated deception. David Taylor is a pharma-shill, along with his eminent professor chums Allan Young, David Baldwin, David Nutt, Carmine Pariante et al. Time to start ‘Shill Shaming’…?
The authors fail to understand that the “much-discussed antidepressant meta-analysis from Cipriani” was a deliberate campaign of misinformation, orchestrated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and spread by the clinicians themselves.
“Many major publications overstated the results of the study, with headlines such as ‘Antidepressants do work, and many more people should take them”
But this was NOT “media-hype” – science journalists accurately reported the words of the experts. They sourced their copy from the Science Media Centre, the trusted UK charity set up to provide “accurate and evidence-based” information on science to the media. Psychiatry makes full use of the SMC to promote whatever falsehoods they like to the general public – Professor Sir Simon Wessely is on the board of Trustees. A year ago, it was the antidepressant meta-analysis, now they are pushing ECT…
“The evidence for ECT being beneficial is good and withstands scrutiny. The case against seems based on a very odd reading of the evidence base, or a very personal and idiosyncratic point of view.” Prof Allan Young.
Here’s the rest…
Oldhead: “The turmoil the term “anti-psychiatry” creates among the ranks of the “pros” is testimony to its power.”
Yes, and we need all the power we can get! I have sent a message to Will Hall via his website to make him aware of this conversation because I would like his input… but I’m not sure he’s keen to join the fray.
Oh yes! Although I don’t see the “Scientology” slur all that often in the UK. The top-dog psychiatrists here tend to stick to snide remarks and put-downs. For instance, “flat-earth types with odd ideas about health” (Prof Allan Young). The Royal College of Psychiatrists has strong links to the mainstream media, particularly the BBC, which is a powerful platform.
It seems that Will Hall doesn’t want to discuss his article here, but I’m puzzled by something he said and I have a question for him…
WH: “When I write about “our movement” I immediate face our lack of such a clear name. “Mad movement”? “Critical psychiatry?” “Psychiatric survivor movement?”… [We] moved away from “anti-psychiatry” for (in part) good reasons, but what about on a more fundamental level? When we lost a grip on our language we lost a grip on our power.”
Why did “we” move away from using “anti-psychiatry”? What are the “good reasons”? I ask because in 2015, I consciously adopted the word for my cartoon alter ego. At the time I didn’t know it was particularly controversial, I just thought it meant “against Psychiatry”.
Since then, I have come to realise that “anti-psychiatry” has been successfully weaponised by senior players in Psychiatry – it is used as a powerful code-word meaning “anti-science, flaky, bizarre, deviant.” They target fellow professionals, academics and authors, and anyone else with a vested interest in the MH system, who truly fear the dreaded “anti-psychiatry” slur. Maybe this is the “good reason” Will Hall alludes to…? If so, I am now happier than ever that I chose it. I agree with Will that when we lose a grip on our language, we lose a grip on our power… so why hand “our language” on a plate to guild Psychiatry for them to use against us?
@Oldhead “Here we go again with the “madness” stuff. Basically a mystification and romanticization of pain and social ostracizing … “Mad Pride” is an acceptance of and glorification of the oppressive labels put upon us by the system.”
Why the animosity? Mad Pride turned my life around and Ekaterina’s blog resonates loudly with me.
Thank you Ekaterina, I’m looking forward to more.
@Rachel777: “a giant tapeworm enjoying its own tail…” You said it! That’s a very vivid image.
BTW, it’s worth listening to the introductory guy at this conference (link below)…
“I do want to thank Lundbeck Otsuka for sponsoring today’s lunch… ermm, of course they brought to us Brexpiprozole for the treatment of schizophrenia, which is now available, something I’m sure you’re all looking forward to trying soon.”
Yes, indeed. I have Allan Young in my sights for my next cartoon: “Shill Shaming”.
ConcernedCarer: “And what is the point of that eerie joke about ECT? Beats me!”
Professor Young is a powerful man with an international reputation at the top of his profession. His joke is a nod and a wink to the rank and file that if a patient proves particularly difficult, it’s OK to crank up the juice and zap ’em good.
“Terror acts powerfully upon the body, through the medium of the mind, and should be employed in the cure of madness.”
Benjamin Rush 1746-1813
Top UK psychiatrist Professor Allan Young shares a laugh with colleagues about electro-shock…
@ConcernedCarer: “To try and make care better, more evidence based, honest and less damaging?”
But Psychiatry is not evidence-based science, it is simply a hoax. You already know this, you said it yourself on Mad in the UK when you referenced the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. How does the tale end? Not with everyone seeing the light and laughing, but with the naked Emperor saying “The Procession Must Go On!” – which it does…
“And the lords of the bedchamber took greater pains than ever, to appear holding up a train, although, in reality, there was no train to hold.”
Psychiatry is a hoax, psychiatrists have a vested interest in staying loyal to the hoax – they are the lords of the bedchamber taking great pains to hold up the non-existent train.
Streetphotobeing: “Don’t be fooled by the word critical, in this context it really means hypocritical.”
Too true! All psychiatrists are mainstream psychiatrists, and they know well enough not stray too far from the party line, now more than ever in light of how Peter Gotzsche was targeted. Just listen to him…
“If you get some influence, and if some people think that you have too much influence, you are a target all of the year round.”
“Headline: Mad in the UK “collective” Snubs Mad People”
@Oldhead: “Your mistake is in believing there is a “thing” to define, not the words you use. I must be doing something wrong if so few people get this by now.”
You’ll have to help us out Oldhead…. what don’t we “get”? What are we actually talking about?
@streetphotobeing Absolutely true! Thanks for the link – I am keeping tabs on what is being spread in the media by members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – this bit is of particular interest…
Theodosiou said she did not think there was overprescribing of antidepressants. “The debate about the use of antidepressants is good but … it’s really important that people are not frightened of the prospect of medication. What we wouldn’t want is a situation where people thought these medications were inherently dangerous.”
Ekaterina – No, you don’t look like an idiot! Far from it – this is the best thing I’ve seen and heard for ages! Please believe me. I am going to spend some time reading your blog, and I will be in touch. Thank you so much!
Oldhead – Ekaterina puts it very well in her video (btw, the link to this is not working at the moment….?) but I agree with you about the word “psychosis” and I try very hard not to use it. However, I can’t think of a suitable one-word (or even one sentence) alternative because it is such a complex, profound and capricious thing to define. So I do sometimes use the word “psychosis” in quotes as a lazy shortcut. Not good, I know.
@Ekaterina: “Yes it is an altered state of consciousness which is a normal human experience that some people are blessed to enjoy!”
That’s it exactly! Thank you.
“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.”
Yes. That’s the elusive “sweet spot”. If you do manage to attain this state, the danger is being swept along too far and being unable to let go… then you are in big trouble.
“I am positive that a new drug can be developed which can make psychosis as a daily experience to be enjoyed not to be feared.”
No, no, this is wishful thinking! There will never be any such drug. Streetphotobeing is right – the best way to achieve stability and still enjoy this “normal human experience” is to work towards a psych-drug free lifestyle and learn about what you need for healthy brain functioning and natural quality sleep. This means making sacrifices – alcohol and caffeine are psych-drugs too.
I watched your video – it’s terrific! Really looking forward to the next one.
@Ekaterina: “So, Ekaterina, how are you doing today?” she asks in a pleasant voice, while a nurse types the entire conversation.
Don’t fall for it! You can bet that a weirdly twisted version of the conversation will stay forever in your notes to be used in evidence against you at any point in the future. That ‘pleasant voice’ is your cue to be on your guard and choose your words with care.
Here is “Escape from the Psych-ward”, a fun board-game version of the real deal. Hint: The Only Winning Move Is Not To Play.
From the original tale by Hans Christian Andersen… “The Procession Must Go On!” (And so it does.)
“But the Emperor has nothing at all on!” said a little child.
“Listen to the voice of innocence!” exclaimed his father; and what the child had said was whispered from one to another.
“But he has nothing at all on!” at last cried out all the people. The Emperor was vexed, for he knew that the people were right; but he thought the procession must go on now! And the lords of the bedchamber took greater pains than ever, to appear holding up a train, although, in reality, there was no train to hold.
@Oldhead: “Hope you didn’t choke on your scone!”
No, but I did splutter on my morning cup of tea… an event detected and logged at GCHQ, no doubt!
@rasselas.redux Well, thanks for that. Looks like I should’ve been listening more closely to Oldhead…
“…psychiatry IS such a police force, and its purpose IS to keep people suppressed if it first fails at turning them into automatons. So there’s no mystery here; police agencies and the military ALWAYS get full support from the system before any social concerns are tended to.”
@rasselas.redux “Mental health patients in the UK are subjected to special provisions under UK surveillance law. This extends to new powers given to mental health teams nationwide who have new, and very close relationships with the secret services.”
What?? This has totally passed me by. What “new powers” do MH teams have?
Oh, and I just thought of the perfect song for Allen Frances, thanks to the genius of Madness…
Rosalee, Don’t be fooled – Allen Frances is a devious wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is the public face of guild Psychiatry, and has a powerful platform in the mainstream media which he is using to save his “profession” from sinking into the mire. This interview is a classic example. He captures the public mood of outrage at being misled about “antidepressants” whilst neatly deflecting all responsibility for the current situation away from Psychiatry. His tricks are easy to spot once you know them…
1. Allege scarcity of data: “There’s almost no research on the withdrawal syndrome.”
2. Bring in a bigger villain: “The pharmaceutical industry is only marginally less ruthless than the drug cartels, and it’s not in their interest to advertise this, so there’s been very, very little research.”
3. Pass the blame on: “80% of the antidepressants are prescribed by primary care doctors.”
4. Re-assert Psychiatry’s ultimate authority in these matters: “There’s a cruel paradox that we’re over-treating the worried well and we’re terribly neglecting the really ill…”
5. Big-up the drugs as ‘life-saving medication’: “the medications are absolutely essential for people with severe depression.”
In the UK, our top psychiatrists are already following his lead and spinning these very same lines to the press…
“Professor Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said antidepressants are ‘a life-saver’ for many people but ‘not enough research has been done into what happens when you stop taking them’.” (Independent 2 Oct 2018)
Journalists will buy it, and the message will filter down through blogs and social media to the public at large. Psychiatry, as always, will come up smelling of roses.
“I suggest, in all sincerity, that Dr. Frances abandon his attempt to absolve psychiatry from blame in these matters, and that he join the anti-psychiatry movement.”
LOL! Nice one, Phil. You almost had me there…
@ConcernedCarer: “As a matter of interest, the main drug class that affects gaba is (gasp) benzos, is it not?”
Yes. Also alcohol.
“I think Peter Goetsch said that short term crisis use of benzos has been undervalued. What do you think of that?”
I know this was directed at SPB, but I have an opinion on this… In the early 90s I vowed to myself that I would avoid “antipsychotics” at all costs. Since then, in times of crisis, I have managed to persuade GPs to prescribe either Valium, or latterly, Zopiclone. It always “worked” in that it effectively shut down my brain in a way I desperately needed at the time. So, I would agree with Gotzsche… except to say that now that I am taking Magnesium supplements, I’m confident that I will never again have to run the gauntlet of a GP appointment for any more neurotoxins.
SPB: “Ask Aunite, I’ve just spent the last year engaging with her on this precise matter.”
Yes, and it has been quite a revelation.
Oldhead says… “[SPB] still tends to “diagnose” people, and ascribe their feelings to biochemical causes, and seemingly hasn’t grasped the idea that “mental illness” is impossible, instead focusing on “alternate” ways to cure it. I think he should focus on helping people withdraw from neurotoxins instead of contributing to the same myth that psychiatry is based on”
You couldn’t be more wrong – SPB is NOT “contributing to the same myth that psychiatry is based on” – far from it. His knowledge is pivotal to exposing psychiatry as a pseudoscience and helping people withdraw to neurotoxins.
Up until December 2017, I had spent over 20 years frequently pole-axed by migraines. My GP provided me with repeat prescriptions for sumatriptan, a powerful serotonin agonist. I was effectively hooked on the sumatriptan, reaching for it every time a migraine threatened to develop. This drug “saved my life!!”… it was like magic. Before I started taking it, I would spend several days each month completely incapacitated by crippling full-blown migraine – sumatriptan, taken in the early stages, stops it in its tracks by constricting the blood vessels in the brain and damping down the inflammation. But after a couple of years, the frequency of migraines increased and I was relying more and more on the sumatriptan. I didn’t realise this was due to rebound from the drug until SPB pointed it out. I had deliberately avoided researching sumatriptan because I didn’t want to face up to having to stop taking it (spellbinding), I was scared of the return of full-blown migraine. I was kidding myself that migraine drugs were not psych-drugs, and I fell for the medical industry propaganda that “there is no cure for migraines.” But by the end of 2017, I was spending nearly all my life either drugged up and “spaced out” on sumatriptan, or in pain because of migraine. I was also taking daily propranolol (80mg sustained release), and even occasional tramadol – all courtesy of my GP. I later found out that he was following NICE guidelines to the letter. The drugs were only just keeping the migraines at bay, I was on a hellish treadmill.
SPB has guided me to a migraine-free, drug-free life. I took my last dose of sumatriptan on 5th May, and I am successfully tapering off propranolol. The thought of taking tramadol horrifies me, I won’t be doing that again.
SPB has opened my eyes and mind to the importance of understanding basic neurochemistry – in particular the role of intracellular Magnesium – I have most certainly had a deficiency of this all my adult life. Doctors do not have this basic knowledge, and that’s partly what makes them so dangerous – they are intelligent and intensively educated, but susceptible to being manipulated and falling for the ultimate hoax… Psychiatry.
Brilliant idea – he’d be torn to pieces!
Do you think Siobhan Sharpe will be head-hunted to rebrand the GMC? She’s a shoo-in…
ICE Creates Ltd: Make Better Happen.
“We’ve been making better happen for individuals, communities and organisations since 1999. Operating around the UK, our team of over 40 full-time expert practitioners work through our people-shaped approach – Insight, Co-create and Engage – to create positive and sustained behaviour change.”
Uncanny parallels with PR agency “Perfect Curve” from the spoof documentary W1A. Should be laughing, but public money is going to waste here… not funny!
Yes, this documentary is a must. Peter Gotzsche neatly sums it up with this line…
“Your venture into psychiatry has been a disaster”
Here he is… https://youtu.be/T4kVpNmYzBU?t=1152
Steve: I recommend the book “Chasing the Scream” by Johann Hari. It is about exactly this.
streetphotobeing: “btw has anyone seen a bar tender deck a punter and jab a gin and tonic in their arse ?”
lol! I think that’s something for shaun f to contemplate…
This blog post reminds me of a BBC documentary from 2016 following a patient who had severe chronic pain and was taking frightening amounts of opioids and led a severely restricted life. The programme was called “The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs”, the presenter is Dr Chris van Tulleken. I found the youtube clip of this patient’s story – it’s worth watching to the end…
@streetphotobeing: “In this piece by Will Self, what he is really doing is promoting the acceptance of “supported accommodation” I’ve experienced this and it is what – I believe – Sir Wessely will be promoting in his review of the UK MH law.”
I fear you are right. Wessely will be looking to leave his legacy, and what better opportunity than to stamp his mark on the Mental Health Act? He’s already pushing the “importance of supported housing in reducing MHA detentions” via Twitter. https://twitter.com/WesselyS/status/1030504458936115201
To innocent ears this sounds humane and benevolent, but your vivid description says it all – the one thing you can guarantee is that coercive drugging will be involved. It makes my blood run cold. I sincerely hope we’re both wrong about this, but let’s wait and see…
I’ve been thinking about Matt a lot recently – it’s a year since his death.
When I was an undergraduate in Pharmacology in the late 1980s, the word “neuroleptic” was defined in the text book as “nerve seizing”. The alternative term for this class of drugs was “major tranquillizer”. The word “antipsychotic” was not used – it is a recent invention. I wish I’d kept my text books from that time because they illustrate the evolution, but I got rid of them years ago.
Interestingly, when I Google the word “neuroleptic”, the very first listing is Wikipedia, but the word is automatically switched to “antipsychotic”. I would expect Wikipedia to have a standalone page for the word “neuroleptic”, but it doesn’t.
@ConcernedCarer: “Beautiful fake science from Stephen Soumerai (Professor of population medicine, Harvard).”
They will stoop to anything to get that ‘black box’ warning removed.
“Professor Soumerai, the increase in youth suicide you cite is correlated with MORE antidepressants, not less.”
Here are his contact details to put this to him directly…
A dark day…
This week in Stat News – yet more calculated misinformation being circulated by eminent academics… how can they live with themselves?
“FDA’s continuing use of ‘black box’ for antidepressants ignores the harms of this warning”
“suppose that psychiatric treatments in fact do NOTHING but harm? Is there any merit in this profession then at all?”
Well, I think your question answers itself. You also have to factor in the vast amount of public money being pumped in to sustain the hoax – the figures are eye-watering, and they are always begging for more…
Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s director of mental health:
“We’re indisputably spending more on mental health services than ever before. We’ve invested an extra £1.4bn in the past three years, including on early intervention, and there’s a whole range of services which didn’t exist before that we are now delivering across the country.”
Fantastic! I’d love to see it- how about sending a jpg to the artwork page?
How can he be stopped? Any ideas?
Rosalee – thank you so much for your powerful testimony. You learnt the hard way, but by sharing your experience, others might be spared.
Thought you might appreciate this – it is Phil Hickey’s vision for a Psychiatry-free future…
“Imagine if, twenty years from now, dictionary entries for the word “psychiatry” were along the lines:
…1. a medical specialty, now defunct, whose primary tenet was that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving were best conceptualized as illnesses, and best treated with mood-altering drugs and electric shocks to the brain. 2. (informal) an enormous hoax. 3. (informal) a shameful abuse of power and position.”
Thank you so much Martin Plöderl & Michael P. Hengartner – this is superb!
And yet, will it make a scrap of difference? Mainstream Psychiatry’s refusal to accept the years of data on this goes well beyond “evidence-resistance.” To this day, lead psychiatrists use Gibbons et al to justify spreading out-and-out fiction to the media. For instance, in July 2017 Prof Carmine Pariante put out a statement that… “we know very well that every time an alarm reduces the rates of prescription for antidepressants, suicide rates increase, including in adolescent and young adults.”
Prof Pariante is fully supported and endorsed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and he is trusted by journalists because of his expert status and reputable credentials bestowed on him by the Science Media Centre. Last year I pursued a serious official complaint against the SMC about Pariante’s statement. Here’s what happened…
Julie – Too right! All we have to do is turn the tables…
Oldhead: This is the sort of dismissive comment which reveals the contemptuous attitudes towards anti-psychiatry activists many professionals take behind our backs, and when conversing with one another.
Yes, but I don’t think professionals like Brett realise that guild Psychiatry has successfully weaponized the word “anti-psychiatry” to use against them. Vocal senior psychiatrists such as Lieberman, Wessely and Pies have very powerful platforms via blogs, social media and mainstream media to make sure everyone understands that anti-psychiatry = anti-science, flaky, bizarre, deviant. Then they can (and do) target anyone they perceive as a threat with the dreaded “anti-psychiatry” slur, and they have an army of dutiful medics, academics and journalists to assist.
Sami Timimi says “At heart we are dealing with a potential problem of deep-rooted institutional corruption.”
Thank you so much for keeping the shady practices of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the public eye. I look forward to the next instalment…
Me too, but I’m not holding my breath.
I agree that we need to keep this issue alive for them. The email address for ‘the TEDx Team’ is: [email protected]
I have just sent them this reply…
“Thank you for getting back to me. I am re-sending my question because this response does not provide an answer. I have studied the TEDx curatorial guidelines carefully, and I do not see how this talk is in breach of any of them. Please could you point me to the specific guideline this talk has violated?”
Julia – I contacted the ‘TED team’ to ask this question…
“I am concerned about the “flag” TED has posted on the talk by Julia Rucklidge – “The surprisingly dramatic role of nutrition in mental health.” The flag does not give any details about why it falls outside TEDx curatorial guidelines. Please could you point me to the specific guidelines which this talk has violated?”
Eventually I received a reply. They didn’t answer the question, but here’s what they said…
“Thank you for reaching out to us about Julia Rucklidge’s talk. TED’s curation team is currently in conversation with the speaker and the TEDxChristchurch organizer about this flag. Given that the intersection of nutrition and mental health is an emerging field of study, TED has been actively reviewing the claims put forward in this talk. TED is not considering any removal of the video and it will remain available on YouTube. Please monitor the YouTube watch page for any updates:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dqXHHCc5lA
@ Steve McCrea – Does MiA have a formal Complaints Procedure? If so, could you point me to it?
@ConcernedCarer: You are right to be cautious. Auntie Psychiatry is my campaigning alter ego through which I can give full vent to my anti-psychiatry feelings. In front of a member of the Mental Health team I am always meek and acquiescent – it is very dangerous to express any dissent at all, let alone let slip that I am anti-psychiatry. If you feel that you can be critical in the psych’s office, then you are doing a lot better than me, but please have your wits about you – things can turn very quickly if you push things too far.
out says: “How can we change this into something else?”
My conversion to anti-psychiatry happened gradually, but it was Phil Hickey writing here on MiA who finally persuaded me that Psychiatry is a hoax. And how is it possible to change a hoax into something else?
ConcernedCarer says: “There’s an interesting argument developing here about whether you should be tactically anti psychiatry or critical psychiatry.”
The lively debate around the distinction between critical psychiatry and anti-psychiatry has been running here on MiA for several years, but guild Psychiatry does not concern itself with such niceties. Vocal senior psychiatrists such as Lieberman, Wessely and Pies have weaponized the word “anti-psychiatry” via blogs, social media and mainstream media to make sure everyone understands that anti-psychiatry = anti-science, flaky, bizarre, deviant. Then they can (and do) target anyone they perceive as a threat with the dreaded “anti-psychiatry” slur, and they have an army of dutiful medics, academics and journalists to assist. That is why I decided to embrace and reclaim the word anti-psychiatry – it has been a very liberating move!
All I want to say about this article is that the publicity shot depicting an unhappy/sad/miserable child is the best I’ve ever seen.
@Brett Deacon – could you at least strongly encourage them to carefully read the patient information leaflet and take the warnings seriously? No-one ever does, of course, unless they have a problem by which time it’s too late… but there’s a lot of useful information in there which would be better known in advance. For instance, I just looked at the PIL for sumatriptan (a migraine drug I took frequently for several years) and found this: “If you use sumatriptan frequently: Using sumatriptan too often may make your headache worse.”
Well, that happened to me, and I should’ve been on my guard because it was there in black and white from the start.
Julia – you are right to take pride in your TEDx talk – the standing ovation and cheers at the end say it all. Fabulous!
The actions of TED’s ‘curation team’ are shameful, and I believe intended to silence other scientists who feel inspired to do likewise. You put it very well yourself with this…
“It’s very disturbing to me that they have put that flag on because it’s questioning my integrity as a scientist, and that is probably the worst thing that can happen to you in terms of your reputation.”
“I wonder whether or not I have gotten lumped together alongside people who deny climate change, or deny vaccines work… that I’m anti-psychiatry which is not what I am. I’m just saying “hold on, let’s look at other ways, lets see if we can help those people who aren’t being helped by medications.”
And yet that’s all it takes to be tarred with the anti-psychiatry brush. Bear in mind that guild Psychiatry controls the definition of anti-psychiatry. Vocal lead psychiatrists such as Lieberman, Wessely and Pies are skilled at using blogs, social media and mainstream media to make sure that everyone understands that anti-psychiatry = anti-science, flaky, bizarre, deviant. Then they can (and do) target anyone they perceive as a threat with the dreaded “anti-psychiatry” slur, and they have an army of dutiful medics, academics and journalists to assist. That is why I decided to embrace and reclaim the word anti-psychiatry – it has been a very liberating move!
@ConcernedCarer: “If it was me I’d go through the law in your area and any guidelines you can find, fight them at their own game.”
“Fighting them at their own game” is a dangerous strategy, and not something to contemplate unless you have a lot of support. Watch this:
Removed at commenter’s request.
@streetphotobeing: I’m afraid Oldhead isn’t posting at the moment – see this message:
You might have noticed that Oldhead is very silent at the moment – it is because all his posts are being diverted for “pre-emptive moderation.” Because of this, Oldhead is not posting comments at all for the time being. He says he is discussing with MIA the conditions under which he would be comfortable “returning” without compromising the integrity of survivors in future discussions with “professionals.” He asks that people not badger the moderators about this and hopes to be back shortly, and that he appreciates your support.
I would like to contact you by email about something – could you drop me a quick line? My address is: [email protected]
And here’s my website… http://www.auntiepsychiatry.com
More BBC coverage on this today… “Antidepressant prescriptions for children on the rise”
The steepest increase was seen in the youngest patients, those aged 12 and under, where the number of prescriptions rose on average by 24%, from 14,500 to almost 18,000.
Dr Bernadka Dubicka, who chairs the child and adolescent faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “Currently only one in four children and young people are treated for their mental health problems. The fact that prescriptions for antidepressants are rising could reflect a slow but steady move towards treating everyone who is unwell.”
Same old same old from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
This might be interesting, but will they mention akathisia?
File on 4: Counting the Cost: Anti-depressant Use in Children is on BBC Radio 4 at 20:00 BST on 24 July.
The first video is shocking. A posse of “Mental Health professionals” and police officers turn up at this guy’s door in the dead of night with a “warrant to engage in a mental health act assessment”. He lives alone. They demand entry to his home, and he has little choice but to let them in and “engage”. It has to be seen to be believed.
@ConcernedCarer: “Alice in Wonderland medicine!”
No, it’s calculated misinformation, trickery and corruption.
Three cheers! Keep it up.
“The researchers write that future studies on brain differences should take care to include medication use as a potential confounding factor.”
But this has been well established for decades, do these authors really think they are the first point it out? Psychiatry is a hoax, no amount of data and evidence from scientific studies will make a jot of difference.
“They suggest that this could be a contributing factor to why even after several hundred studies of cortical thickness and surface area in schizophrenia, no consensus has yet emerged.”
This brings to mind the infamous Big Tobacco memo of 1969 carrying the words “Doubt is our product.” It applies equally well to guild Psychiatry in 2018.
SPB says: “People – outside of this context – see us as being extreme, we are not, we ask for justice and in the clear view of the terrible harm and history of killing by psychiatry. Psychiatry needs to be abolished and the psychiatrists who have destroyed lives need to go before a court of law.”
Couldn’t put it better myself.
In 1988, I was an undergraduate studying Pharmacology at Cardiff University. I remember a lecture about the strict new rules from the Committee on Safety of Medicines about Benzodiazepine prescription: “Benzodiazepines are indicated for the short-term relief (two to four weeks only) of anxiety that is severe, disabling or subjecting the individual to unacceptable distress…”
At the time there was a lot of awareness amongst the public about the dangers of benzos, through press articles, women’s magazines, daytime TV and so on. People knew them to be powerful drugs with risks of addiction, they understood the reasons for those restrictive guidelines. What happened between then and now? Thirty years on, why do we even need World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day? It’s a question that has been bugging me, but thanks to Bob Whitaker I have the answer – the Xanax story.
“At the heart of the Xanax story is a complete betrayal of the public… It was noted at the time, quietly, that “this is completely corrupt.” The corrupt science around Xanax rebuilt the market.”
The story of Xanax is the story of Psychiatry. Corruption and trickery which is whispered about at the time, but never called out for what it really is. Years down the line when the damage becomes too huge to hide, the trick falls apart and the con-men have long since made a swift getaway. It happens time and again, but until the perpetrators are called to account and face justice, they’ll always be back with the same old con-trick.
Psychiatry is a hoax which needs to be exposed and abolished. What’s the good in fighting to “reform” a hoax?
Oh yeah, I remember those. Seem to remember enjoying them. OK, this could be fun, I’ll e-mail you some time, see if we can kick something off.
“American kids are being indoctrinated with psychiatry’s medicalization of all unpleasant feelings and experiences, via websites, movies, school, government, medical authorities, etc.”
Same here, I fear. Millennials do not seem to question this at all, or even think to question it – I find this really quite disturbing. Generation Z is going the same way. Yes, I’ve had ideas about animating Auntie for YouTube- at first I considered short cartoons, but then I came across the RPG game “Undertale” and started thinking along those lines. Trouble is, I’m a bit mystified by the appeal of Undertale, all I know is that it’s very popular with Gen Z. Here’s how it starts…
Here is my cartoon take on this… http://www.auntiepsychiatry.com/red.aspx?ha=microchipmeds
“For many of us, leaving psych saved our lives. We need to say this loudly also, and those of us who have immensely more stable and happy lives need to make themselves visible.”
I am now in my late 40s, and can truthfully say that I really do have an immensely stable, happy and healthy life. I know damn well this would not be the case had I faithfully followed doctor’s orders and swilled down the daily neurotoxins. But making myself visible is a big ask, especially in my real-life world. I like that I am invisible, normal, a trusted employee – I have never said a word to my colleagues about my stint as a psych-patient or my phoney-baloney “severe mental illness” diagnosis, and I never would because I know they’d see me differently from that moment on. My guess is that there are many other people of my generation who tangled with the system in their 20s, managed to struggle free, and got on with their lives without breathing a word about it. You are right – it would definitely help our cause if these people were more visible – but I absolutely don’t blame them for keeping quiet.
“Furthermore, Slater stated that One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest had started the antipsychiatry movement. Oops! She portrays the antipsychiatry movement as a bunch of evil and disruptive rebels, a bygone movement that barely exists anymore.”
Interesting – this is exactly the line put out by lead psychiatrists via blogs, articles and social media. Looks like they are successfully setting the agenda by swaying the opinion of influential commentators like Lauren. How do we kick back?
@Steve and @Whatuser
There was more to it than simple press releases. This story made such a big splash because they used the Science Media Centre (SMC) to disseminate their message to journalists. What is the SMC? It is a UK registered charity, trusted by journalists as an independent source for science-based stories. Or, in the words of the SMC itself:
“an independent press office helping to ensure that the public have access to the best scientific evidence and expertise through the news media when science hits the headlines”
Last year I made a concerted attempt to challenge the SMC for distributing misleading information about antidepressants to journalists. I got nowhere, but the experience did provide inspiration for this cartoon:
On a good day, I believe that too… but Hell will freeze over before any of them step aside or are called to account. My only hope is that if we keep chipping away at the foundations, the whole rotten facade will eventually come crashing down on all their silly heads. That I’d like to see!
“I see a shift in the face of a barrage of evidence that has already severely damaged the reputations of Pariante & Co. And it won’t stop until key people step aside.”
I see no such shift. And in what way is Prof Pariante’s reputation damaged? He is riding higher than ever, with the full backing of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Science Media Centre who will continue to push him forward as a spokesperson for the “profession”. Most disturbing of all, he is now gaining a foothold on the “critical Psychiatry” scene – that friendly youtube double-act with Joanna Moncrieff did him no harm at all.
And just to remind you, here is a flavour of classic Pariante, in full flow, giving “evidence” to the UK parliament for a Suicide Prevention Inquiry:
“Clear evidence from studies and meta-analyses over the last 20 years confirm that antidepressants decrease the numbers of suicides… of people dying of suicide. It does it within clinical study settings, the ecological studies show that usually an increase in the prescriptions of antidepressants is mirrored by a reduction in the number of suicides.
More worryingly, as has been shown in the past few years, a decrease in the prescription of antidepressants, especially in children and adolescents, is actually mirrored by and increase in the suicide rate. So, both the direct head to head clinical evidence, and the historical epidemiological evidence points to the fact that antidepressants are beneficial in reducing suicides. There’s no doubt about it.”
Where is all this “evidence”? Such a strong statement to Parliament, he better have it at his fingertips, right? Try asking him. Here’s his e-mail address… [email protected]
Pariante is back pedalling and is so confused he thinks he said “final answer” when it was Cipriani, so clearly in the bunker the scripts are getting muddled up
Yes, Professor Pariante got his knickers in a twist about being reported as saying this when, in fact, his own words were accurately reported from the SMC briefing. So he even managed to spread misinformation about himself! I can see why he’s such an asset to the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
“Kate Adlington, suggests that much of the media coverage of The Lancet’s antidepressant network meta-analysis was insufficiently nuanced…”
This makes me so angry! There can be no doubt that all media coverage was very carefully orchestrated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists via the Science Media Centre. Professor Sir Simon Wessely is conveniently on the Board of Trustees of this shady “charity”.
In fact, the journalists in the mainstream media did a pretty good job of accurately reporting what was fed to them by the lead authors of the study and other high-profile, media savvy psychiatrists. They were out in force and all dutifully on message with the line “antidepressants work, and more people would benefit from treatment for depression…”
Here it is again…
1. Lead researcher Dr Andrea Cipriani, from the University of Oxford, told the BBC: “This study is the final answer to a long-standing controversy about whether anti-depressants work for depression… I think this is very good news for patients and clinicians.”
2. Andrea Cipriani in The Metro: “Under-treated depression is a huge problem and we need to be aware of that. We tend to focus on over-treatment but we need to focus on this.”
3. Carmine Pariante was another one on our screens:
“This meta-analysis finally puts to bed the controversy on antidepressants, clearly showing that these drugs do work in lifting mood and helping most people with depression.”
4. “Good news… antidepressants do work and, for most people, the side-effects are worth it.” Allan Young
5. “It puts to bed the idea that antidepressants don’t work – all 21 antidepressants were more effective than placebo at treating depression”. Prof Anthony Cleare
Then there was the “million more” claim:
6. John Geddes, professor of epidemiological psychiatry at Oxford University, who worked on the study, told The Guardian: ‘It is likely that at least one million more people per year should have access to effective treatment for depression, either drugs or psychotherapy.’
This was accurately reported via the Press Association as…
“It has been suggested a million more people per year in the UK should be given access to treatment for depression, through either drugs or talking therapies, with scientists saying the study proves drugs do work.”
7. The Raconteur:
John Geddes: Only one in six people with depression receive effective treatment with GPs “squeamish” to prescribe medication for mental health conditions.
Pariante: We have a wealth of evidence that antidepressants do a good job for some people, and there are a lot of people who could benefit from them and now will.
…and I haven’t even got onto the Burn & Baldwin letter to The Times.
“Such broad-brush headlines and content do not accurately reflect the study’s scope and results, Adlington contends…”
But this was NOT media spin – it was deliberately put out there by Psychiatry’s PR machine.
“those of us who are “out” might sometimes get a little cranky about being trashed for being naive, tautological, etc., on the grounds that our work does not live up to the ideological standards of those still in hiding”
Guess you’re referring to Oldhead here? Tell me if I’ve got that wrong.
The trouble with all this back and forth on MiA is that the written word gives little space for nuance or subtlety or tone of voice. Irit – do you remember the Madness e-community set up by Sylvia Caras in the mid-1990s? That was my first taste of anti-psychiatry activism, and it saved my life!! But it pains me to realise that over 20 years later, we are still covering the same old ground in the same old way. As far as I can tell, there is no anti-psychiatry movement for psychiatric survivors – in fact the word “movement” is a hollow joke. The very phrase “Anti-psychiatry” is defined and controlled by the likes of Lieberman, Pies and Wessely – it has been weaponised and is used very effectively to bludgeon anyone who gets in their way – Bob Whitaker, Lucy Johnstone, David Healy to name just a few.
You say that “no one is listening outside our cozy little circle, so we can complain forever without changing anything,” and I agree. The most frustrating thing for me is seeing so much energy, strength and potential going to waste here. How do we break out of this habit of fighting each other and hollering into the void? I am at a loss.
Irit – I advocate for the abolition of psychiatry, and I made the decision early on to do so via an alter ego. As time goes on, I’m more and more convinced I made the right decision. Just this week, Julie Greene posted about her experience of being removed as a speaker at a conference as a result of someone flagging her (link below).
Online-world campaigning is a risky business for us, it can have extremely serious real-world consequences. Choosing a pseudonym and sticking to it offers a little bit of protection and freedom to risk speaking out. Do you feel strongly that we should all be using our real names? If so, why?
“But specifically, this “mental health/illness/disability” system is the hub of hypocrisy and fraud. From my experience, I honestly do not feel it is redeemable. It is a toxic beast and needs to be put to rest, for everyone’s sake.”
Brilliantly well put! It took me nearly 30 years to reach this very same conclusion, but I got there in the end. Now that I know it, there is no going back – it’s impossible to “unknow” something as profound as this.
Annette – I am very interested in all you’ve said here. Your experience of “psychosis” echoes my own. I wrote about it on MiA – here is the link…
I have read about Open Dialogue and listened to the MiA podcast with Russell Razzaque about it. Pretty sure it’s not available in my locality yet, but I hold onto a scrap of hope that this will spread across the UK. Bet if I mentioned it to my GP, I’d be met with a blank look.
“Is it that we here are the hard core non-compliant that I pointed out?”
Yep. There is truth and power in the Mad Movement slogan “Recovery begins with non-compliance.” When I first heard this, I instinctively understood its significance -the innate urge to reassert autonomy and reclaim that which Psychiatry has stolen. For people who simply do not get this, their future is just as you describe – placid pawns in a game they cannot control.
Here is my cartoon take on “non-compliance” http://www.auntiepsychiatry.com/red.aspx?ha=Rebel
Stephen – I would very much like you to drop me a line by e-mail at: [email protected]
I’ve noticed that too. And here is something interesting from David Healy…
“Since about 2005 in North West Wales new cases of schizophrenia have been drying up. We have had almost no new cases for a decade. What we have lots of instead are drug induced psychoses, severe personality problems and some strange motor disorders we’ve never seen before – but not classic schizophrenia.”
LCJ said: “UK residents can order a hard copy of the shorter Overview document from the British Psychological Society – you do not have to be a BPS member. Email [email protected]”
Thanks for that! I just e-mailed for a copy and am delighted to find out that it is free of charge. Some light summer reading for me…