Comments by Auntie Psychiatry

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  • Hi Susan, Sorry to break this to you, but the tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” does not end with everyone seeing the light and laughing when a child points out the obvious. It ends 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.”

    The emperor has the last laugh when the lords of the bedchamber double-down on the deception by taking great pains to hold up the non-existent train.

    The moral of the story: No matter how many brave souls point out that the Emperor is naked, there is no stopping the procession… and those in power know this only too well.

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  • The Cipriani meta-analysis (Apr 2018) did indeed get “colossal media attention” – that’s because it was a marketing exercise to promote depression pills as “safe and effective”, and it worked a treat. I illustrated how the conspirators pulled this off in my cartoon “Anatomy of a Confidence Trick.”

    The quality of the research didn’t matter a jot, all that mattered was that the public picked up the “safe and effective” message from trusted sources. Same trick being pulled now, on a global scale – works every time.

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  • Marie said… “I’m also perplexed as to why MIA has featured what seems to be an advertisement for the author’s business interests…”

    This slick marketing piece is part of a wider campaign by the psych/pharma industry to drum up consumer demand for psychedelics as they are rolled out for approval. I’ve been watching this development unfold for a while, and I’m sadly not surprised that Mad in America has fallen for publishing Tania DeJong’s brazen commercial for her business as one of their blogs.

    It didn’t take much digging on the “Mind Medicine Australia” website to find this…

    Investors pile in on psychedelic drugs
    psychedelic drugs are making a comeback as a legitimate treatment for patients with mental illness – and investors are taking notice.

    Established by retired investment banker Peter Hunt and his partner, Tania de Jong, a social entrepreneur, it aims to develop regulatory-approved and research-backed psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for mental illness so that it is available through the medical system.

    So, Mad in America removed Phil Hickey’s blog “Is Psychiatry Dangerous?” because it didn’t comply with their standards, and yet their standards allowed this one through. All is lost.

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  • Robert, your analysis of the Harrow study provided inspiration for one of my early cartoons:

    “Recovery begins with non-compliance!”

    This is not my slogan, I borrowed it from the early anti-psychiatry freedom fighters, but it rings truer today than ever.

    David Healy explains why in his latest blog…

    “An old phrase comes to mind – first, they came for a bunch of us with nothing wrong with us and hypnotized us into taking chemicals for risk factors, then they came for our teenagers turning those who don’t kill themselves into eunuchs, male and female, and now – well if you’re sleeping soundly good on you.”

    Non-compliance is a healthy act of human resistance, a forceful way to kick back against the corrupt powers-that-be. Right now, our leaders are pleading with us to comply with their dehumanising and degrading demands to muzzle ourselves in public and deny our innate need for human contact. If, like me, your instincts are telling you this is deeply abusive and inhuman, then refusing to comply is a powerful way to re-assert your autonomy.

    Recovery begins with non-compliance!

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  • @SPB – Excellent post! All of it is spot on, I just want to add something to this point…

    “But very many others will also have significant normal anxiety reactions to this onslaught and will indeed learn what psychiatry is all about.”

    As I said in my previous comment, I believe this Lockdown has been planned for a long time, and is designed to isolate each of us from all normal/healthy contact with other human beings to create a frightened, bewildered population. A tsunami of msm “fear porn” is transmitted into our homes each day, ramping up the panic to fever pitch.

    Here in the UK, I have been watching the whole thing unfold with keen interest. Churches were the first to bow to State authority and lock their doors. In the run up the Easter, the holiest day of the Christian year, this will cause enormous anxiety and agitation for many, and yet there has been very little discussion of this in the media – it’s almost as though it is of no consequence. Human touch has been all but outlawed, so we cannot comfort the bereaved with a hug or a handshake. Relatives and friends are forbidden from visiting the dying in hospital.

    Next to shut their doors by order of the State were pubs, hairdressers and cafes – all sources of normal human interaction, enjoyment and solace. We have been ordered not to visit each other’s houses for any reason, groups of more than 2 people are forbidden from meeting on the streets, and country walkers have been “shamed” by police drone footage for breaking the Lockdown rules. This shuts down escape into nature at a time of year when everything is coming to life, and the weather is suddenly beautiful. Millions of self-employed have been forbidden from meeting customers and earning a living, putting them at severe risk of bankruptcy and forcing them into dependency on the State. And there is no end in sight… the torture of hope vs uncertainty will take a massive toll on everyone in the coming weeks.

    And so, with every single form of human contact and escape cut off, where are people going to turn for help? The one place that is still up and running and open for business – the doctor. Every population in the “free world” has been primed for years by Psychiatry Inc. to do exactly that… and they will. And when they do, the answer, as always, will be an open-ended prescription for a toxic, addictive drug, and another, and another. Then, when that doesn’t work, it will be forced hospital admission, forced drugging and electro-shock.

    Yes, I believe Psychiatry has its fingerprints all over this Global Lockdown, and this will become increasingly apparent over the next few months and years.

    So, of course I’m anti-psychiatry. Aren’t you?

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  • Over the past few months, I have stepped back from the narrow focus of anti-psychiatry to study at the bigger picture. I believe this global crackdown has been in the planning for a very long while, and that Psychiatry Inc. has been a key player. Those on here who have been warning for years that Psychiatry is not about healthcare, but a form of social control, have been right all along. Those who dismissed these warnings as alarmist and paranoid will very soon learn what Psychiatry is all about.

    I also anticipate that MIA and other sites may be taken down soon. The lockdown is not just about keeping people off the streets, it is about the exchange of ideas and information on the Internet. They will justify it by saying they need to stop the spread of misinformation. There will be no warning, and no right to appeal.

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  • @ThereAreFourLights
    In this area, they have requisitioned a National Park Resort a “Recovery Centre”. “The extensive facilities and open spaces will be utilised to help treat those in need and those recovering from the virus.” The government has already put money in, and has started work – “the facility will be available to those in need as soon as possible.”

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  • To UK readers.
    The “Coronavirus Act” passed by parliament contains a little morsel for you to chew on. The Mental Health Act has been modified to allow a person to be sectioned on the recommendation of a solitary registered medical practitioner, removing the safeguard requiring at least 2 independent medical opinions.

    Read more about it (including a pdf link to the Act) here:

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  • @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…

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  • 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.”

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  • @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…

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  • 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.

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  • 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]

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  • 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.


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  • @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.

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  • @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…

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  • @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’…?

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  • 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…

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  • 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.

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  • 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?

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  • @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.

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  • @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.”

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  • @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.

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  • 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.”

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  • @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.”

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  • 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.

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  • @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.

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  • @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.

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  • 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.

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  • @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.”

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  • 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.

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  • @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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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…

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  • @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.

    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…

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  • 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.

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  • @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…

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  • 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”

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  • @ConcernedCarer:

    “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.”

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  • 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.”

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  • 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…

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  • 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.

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  • 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?”

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  • 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:”

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  • @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.

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  • 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!

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  • @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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • “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.

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  • 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.

    Bob says:
    “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?

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  • LK said:
    “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…

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  • “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.

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  • “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?

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  • @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:

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  • @ConcernedCarer
    “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]

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