Friday, December 2, 2022

Comments by survivingthesystem

Showing 42 of 42 comments.

  • I just wanted to say that reading this makes me feel at peace. I’ve been suffering intense post traumatic stress for a long time after encountering psychiatry and being seriously harmed in its web while also being gaslighted that the harmful events ever even happened, let alone that they matter(ed). I admire and appreciate the courage and ethical determination of Dr Breggin. Simply speaking and hearing the truth is so powerful and healing. Too many people are scared to really come out and say it out of fear of pushback, isolation, and further violence. All valid, but we have to overcome our fears and channel our knowledge into something good. Psychiatry is all about silencing people, it is a form of spiritual warfare.

  • I believe you 100% Psmama, I am so sorry for all the abuse you endured, and I’m glad you escaped and are making a way out. The severe physical and psychological vulnerability of women in this situation cannot be understated. It’s like getting sucked into a death cult, that controls your basic needs as well as your psychological and physical safety and often chooses to harm all 3. It’s actually insane and evil. You were a whole person the entire time, and you deserve support to find peace and freedom from people who see you as that whole and valuable person who can and will heal.

    In the end, I believe loving and respectful social support is what provides what is necessary to begin to eat better again. I too, have seen people die after multiple rounds of rehab, inpatient, etc. Just gruesome abuse as well. Or just cycle in and out of the programs. Psychiatry simply does not understand “eating disorders”. Most people who work in the field never even went through it themselves. They just parrot what they read and drug people out of fear and control. There is only the whole person, not a disease. No ghost in the machine, just a human struggling.

  • Yes! Exactly! You can’t go back to the people that dealt you this stuff after escaping. We only can be thankful we lived and crawl away to hiding and safety licking our wounds. I had a Benadryl and NyQuil habit to drug myself to sleep and I just white knuckled years of withdrawal after that, still dealing with some of the bodily illness it causes and trying to heal the gut and take nutrients in food and capsules. I’m so sorry. I totally endorse quitting and ghosting shrinks, therapists and doctors who don’t believe you or who will just dogpile more labels. They’re wrong and delusional, and I hope there’s a special place in hell for them. Cheers to our freedom.

  • I’m glad that you’re free and thanks for your well wishes! People who have not been through these drugs personally simply do not understand how awful and brain dead they make you feel. And so I validate your hellish experience. I concur that it felt like my thoughts were drowning in mud and I had no emotions or… soul anymore, just like utterly blank. I would lie there catatonic and stare at the wall. Food tasted like cardboard. Just not me anymore. Also, the akathesia can be strictly emotional as well, like intrusive graphic visualizations of suicide and mental urges to engage in compulsive behavior like pacing or self harm. I think these drugs basically possess people like demons. They are satanic, if there is true evil in this world it is these drugs and their dealers. Never had issues like that before the drugs, slowly escaped afterwards, restored mostly after withdrawal back to life.

  • Thanks for bringing up this deeply important and under-addressed topic. And hope my rant-novel is okay. First of all, I’m annoyed by people who haven’t been labeled with this problem and haven’t been through the specific related psychiatric abuse, hijacking the comments section. The issue of saying “society” gives people eating disorders is also minimizing, the eating disorder industry is full of this crazy cult logic like “health at every size” and making the simplistic assumption that advertising and models gives people body image problems. As if women with eating problems are just vain and shallow.

    Like another commenter said; ABUSE/TRAUMA is most often the primary factor. Psychiatry and the ED industry profits from taking the focus off abusive families and onto some nebulous social pressure that supposedly activates a “disease”. Guess who pays the gigantic bills? Parents. So we can’t implicate them can we. So many women with eating problems are actually sexual assault victims and emotional or psychological abuse victims, trapped in a battle with food as a response to that trauma. Another factor is PORN and misogyny, the heterosexual dating world. Women’s day to day relationships matter so much more than a magazine. I am repeating myself but I hate the “media causes eating disorders” bullshit so much. It truly minimizes the interpersonal stress and pressure women deal with.

    What is most scandalous and evil, is that many of us with prior or current food difficulties (restricting, bingeing, purging, etc), started out as going through a rough patch that could have been short term, but by going to a rehab center or an “eating disorder specialist”, became actually worse long term and also got put on a bunch of pills in these centers. There is zero accountability for results in the eating disorder industry. Consider the way psychiatry’s pills actually make a depressed person more depressed and also induce the risk for suicide and sexual dysfunction etc.

    I believe the reason the eating disorder issue is silent is because frankly I have seen the horrors of women getting their minds scrambled by eating disorder professionals and eating disorder rehabs and becoming so afflicted by a worsened eating problem that they die or are otherwise so disabled that they cannot really put effort into much except getting through the day. Jeanene Harlick wrote about this, Laura Delano wrote about this, Julie Greene wrote about this. Julie is dead… why don’t y’all reach out to Jeanene and pay her real money to share her series exposing the eating disorder industry here? She is an amazing person and deserves money for her journalism. Her one MIA article was years and years ago. Did you all pay her for that? I hope so.

    I was also victimized, I was not eating enough and was groomed by an eating disorder therapist into going to a rehab residential program out of state and then also going to her own program close to home afterwards, I was put on zyprexa for social anxiety at the first program which was the beginning of disaster for me, and emotionally abused at the second program by the shrink and this therapist as well as chemically castrated which was totally ignored and treated as a joke (post SSRI sexual dysfunction). I have had severe post traumatic stress ever since (8 years).

    I obtained a copy of some of my records and I have evidence of the center owner woman’s unethical behavior as well as the damage she did to my mind. She’s a superstar hotshot therapist in the ED field and probably a multi millionaire, also psych faculty at the university. She wrote about me, “survivingthesystem’s suicidality is HALF ASSED” and “sexual dysfunction most likely repressed childhood trauma from mother” as well as described me as manipulative and other pseudoscientific abusive DARVO. Labeled me borderline personality after my life was destroyed by these centers, and used me quitting on her as evidence of “borderline splitting”. Fucking insane. Also explains why she sat there watching me sob about my sexual loss and I became a suicidal, bulimic cutter while she remained utterly blank and expressionless, smirking like it was funny. Wrote me up and disciplined me for falling into a zyprexa induced nap in the therapy groups. Said that i wasn’t trying hard enough to recover. When I quit this therapist, her employee the shrink who castrated me, leaned in and said “I think you quit because you’re avoiding hard work”. No, idiot, I’m trying not to die from neglect while I deteriorate. Same person openly accused my boyfriend of being bad at sex as the cause of my sensation problems. Then tried to turn around and call me bipolar. Nope. Just akathesic.

    Zero accountability for severe and worsening ED issues as well as PTSD and PSSD AFTER a million dollars billed of “treatment”. She also tried to chase me down after I quit on her, to lure me back. They don’t want their cash cows leaving. I was just a toy to her, I met 2 others with post traumatic stress due to this woman’s actions and they told me she’s a monster who belongs in jail and I agree based on their stories especially. Guess what her reward is? Fame, wealth, and glory being the owner of a treatment center. People worship her. She’s rolling in $1000 per day, per “patient”. I make a poverty wage due to being disabled and experience daily severe impairment. I qualify for food stamps. Before I went to the programs, I was mostly functional but simply not eating regularly due to stress and prior trauma. I had a boyfriend and a social life. That’s all mostly gone now.

    I am eating nowadays, but it took YEARS to deprogram myself of the brainwashing that these centers and specialists do. The mental trauma they cause truly creates a revolving door of customers for them. They act like “eating disorders” are a demon possession. Suddenly, nothing you do or say is your own, it’s “your eating disorder made you do this or that, your eating disorder is strong today”. The ED specialists groom you into dependency, whispering to you that they are the only ones who can save you, there is no real concept of friends and family being able to help. It’s like a ghost in the machine theory the same way that bogus chemical imbalances are blamed. Totally removes the agency and hope for sure.

    And again; all the weird brainwashing that being obese is okay and healthy and that “no foods are bad”. I was fed the standard American diet in rehab (dairy, carbs, sugar) and it makes anyone sick, we drank full sugar soda as a “fear food challenge”, there was no concept of medically therapeutic nutrition. Everyone was on a big cocktail of pills. Just my two cents and my story.

  • I am so sorry. Just wanted to reply so that you know someone who read your comment cares and agrees that it was wrong what happened. Borderline is the “garbage can diagnosis”, it’s given when they just want to straight up find a blanket way to smear your character and blame you not only for the traumas you endured, but also their shitty “treatments” and the damage they cause. It happened to me as well. Again I’m sorry.

  • I was prescribed antipsychotics first in childhood (elementary school) while being physically, verbally and emotionally abused daily, my mother (who was a sadistic narcissist) was allowed to give me a tab of Risperdal whenever she wanted to, it was a “PRN” prescription. If I cried too much or got angry from being hit and controlled, I got one. It knocked me out (a 70lb girl) and I would just fall asleep.

    The second time was when I confided in the shrink at the time that I felt socially inferior and anxious around other people, that I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I would get some sweating and nervousness around others from a lifetime of being told I wasn’t okay or good enough socially. I got Zyprexa for that. Over time I gained 40lbs on Zyprexa, started sleeping 16+ hours a day, and also developed metabolic and hormonal imbalances. I also just felt… dead inside. The APs definitely lobotomize you. They kill the person that is inside and cause anhedonia and demotivation as well as depression and akathesia (suicide). When I tapered off the drug, I slept so little that I hallucinated and became paranoid. As I detoxed, it became apparent how much this is really a lobotomizing murder/suicide drug. I can’t believe this shit is even legal to give to anyone, for any reason. It is truly, a “shutup [about abuse/social issues] pill” and is not designed for safety.

  • I’m glad this was published, however, consider the added layer that sometimes the most abusive, narcissistic, and/or machavellian people are sometimes the biggest virtue-signallers about justice, progress, virtues, etc. This is called projection, accusing others of what oneself/one’s group is doing. How about you start. Can you call the people you may have hurt or thrown under the bus? Leave a voicemail for person you know and start a conversation about this with them and ask them if they believe you have ever done anything you need to apologize for. Especially the women you know in the movement.

    Private conversations I’ve had with other survivors have definitely revealed emotional, occupational, sexual and even psychiatric abuse (of women in particular) by other psych survivors! It has to be said that it is a feminist issue as well, the emotional labor of women is most exploited in the movement. In my opinion, we are expected to be free moms and therapists to the men of the movement – to absorb men’s anger, dysfunction, and hurt as well as deal with our own – and let’s be real, women are disproportionately the victim of sexual abuse, abuse which is mainly committed by men. Women are specifically victimized by psychiatry as well, don’t forget the hysteria accusation, and the compounding nature of sexism and psych abuse.

    Unfortunately, I cannot think of how to change this, other than saying whistleblowing must be done. The “pack mentality” of abuser fan clubs must be challenged. Even though, it’s in every family, every school, every psych facility, every job. A good deed never goes unpunished, it’s true. But who else will do it? Will, you have to stand up against the bind you’re in, even if it loses you everything. You said yourself, you’re choosing to value the paycheck over the safety of women or other survivors in your current bind. Is a movement or an organization that’s covering that up something you even want to be apart of? It’s part of why I quit the movement, overall actually. If you stay silent, you are no better than who abused you. When we die, none of us are going to be able to take any money with us.

    I have been child abused, bullied at jobs, and injured and almost killed by abusive psych “professionals” and trying to stand up to the abusers got me even more isolated, scapegoated, and bullied worse (retaliation). In fact, like many here, I would say psychiatry literally tried to kill me and kill who I am inside, just to shut me up. I have dealt with poverty and black sheep status as a result of standing up to abusers, off and on for many years. The people abusing me also pitted me against other workers, other family members, other “patients”. Narcissistic triangulation, golden child, flying monkey, and scapegoat dynamics. I have also been a part directly or indirectly in hurting others in my personal life, it’s true. We all have, like you said: the perceived threat to our own survival makes us more likely to do evil. We are all capable of evil and abuse. In order to stop it we have to be willing to lose money, lose status, and lose safety.

  • Thank you for your comment.

    I too, began to really notice the parallels between psychiatric and gender “treatments”. Gender identity is an abstract concept that cannot be concretely measured (just like chemical imbalances can’t be) and is based on the idea that stereotypes (hair length, personality traits, hobbies, clothing style) is somehow innately tied to biological sex (which they’re not). I say; let both males and females dress, behave, have passions in whatever they want. There is a lid for every pot. There is no need to fit a certain box in order to be worthy of love and human rights. NOBODY should be bullied for their appearance or clothing/hobby/job.

    Actually, many psychologists have QUIT their jobs due to ethical concerns about the fact that the NHS seemed to want to railroad children into drugs and surgeries without exploring social factors; seeing that a significant percent of the clientele were gay children and/or children with significant experiences of trauma and gendered bullying.

    Why isn’t telling bullies to step off a treatment? Why are we drugging the bullied child instead? Seems eerily familiar to how victims of abuse are given psychiatric drugs rather than the violence, discouragement and neglect of their family acknowledged.

    Here is a great video critiquing the DSM: Two Genders? Roles, Identities and Dysphoria-What DSM-5 says.

  • Anja, you have stockholm syndrome.

    “Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity. These alliances, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims”

    The abuses and neglect of the system are not unique to you, they are by design. Severe emotional neglect, gaslighting, pushing people to suicide, and denial of pain and abuse are guaranteed to keep happening to you if you keep associating yourself with the system. The idea that SSRIs “unveil inherent bipolar disorder” is pure and steaming bullshit- rather the toxic pills cause the symptoms labeled as such. Your feelings were ignored in favor of labeling you with a disease that no-one has ever shown to exist, and then milking you for cash and subjecting you to a roundup like a caged animal when you dared not worship the ground they walk on after you were smart and emotionally attuned to the fact that they never cared about you, what you were really going through, or what you were really saying. They are braindead, emotionally empty profiteers, you will never get empathy or attention from them. The purpose is to keep you enslaved, not help you. It is not your fault, but only you can take action to escape. If it is left up to them, they will never encourage you to put your own needs and safety first.

  • “Not many people know that indeed there is a choice. There are legitimate ways to work through, understand and digest the debilitating and traumatic challenges that come with simply being human. But one needs to be proactive, humble and willing to break old patterns including unhelpful self images.”

    Please don’t trade psychiatric propaganda for psychological industry propaganda, they’re equally smacking with abusive victim blaming. People are more than willing to be “proactive, humble, and willing to break old patterns”. Psychiatrists are predators who actively take advantage of coming across falsely as if they were a form of “help” in exactly this manner. You are complicit in blaming psych victims for injuries, drugging, explotation, etc. We aren’t victims of the psych industry because we were too “weak” to want to better our lives through action. We are victims of the psych industry because the violent quacks lied to us and said that getting addicted to their poisons, blindly believing their ideology, and getting locked up in their prisons was equivalent to bettering our lives through taking action.

  • The general public is simply not skilled/trained enough in critical thinking to realize that websites/papers like the NYT, and other mainstream outlets (CNN, MSNBC, magazines) are not journalism at all. The propaganda and lies promoting the psych industry in these publications are not a misunderstanding or an accident. NYT and other MSM is carefully crafted and curated to reinforce ONLY the version of reality that the violent profiteers controlling our society want people to believe. So that they can continue their financial gain via suppression of the fact that cruelty and exploitation cause all human suffering, not some mystery disease. When will the public wake up?

  • “One of my delusions was traumatic: I became convinced that the medications were designed to make me so sick I couldn’t get out of bed. Then I wouldn’t be able to go to group, so they could tell my family and insurance company I wasn’t participating, so they could continue to give me poisonous medications, so that I couldn’t get up to go to groups… basically I thought I was in a program designed to keep me locked up for years while they milked my insurance for money.”

    This is not a delusion. This is the truth. Abrianna, you have stockholm syndrome. You are taking the side of your abusers because they have succeeded in indoctrinating you that you are “sick” somehow and that their physical abuse (drugging, force) was “needed” or that if “done right”, it is “good for you”. Let me rewind a bit: you were in a life crisis and had prior trauma. Rather than help you with this, profiteers drugged you. The drugs, because they are so toxic, made your mental state worse. Because the violent and predatory psych industry cannot have the general public catching onto the fact that their drugs almost always lead to worsening, they lock you up and terrorize and drug you more in a rotating door of catch and release so that it looks like some type of “science” is occuring.

    But it is not. They merely want to make the toxicity of their products less obvious by teaching you to blame yourself for the abuse and toxic poisoning they have inflicted. Sadly, it has worked on you. No doubt, other people trapped in these places can also be abusive. But you are defending the people who have abused you the most and trained you to think that abuse is okay. The real abusers are psychiatrists and their prisons to detain cash cows who might be “at risk” for figuring things out and escaping.

  • I believe you and know that you are telling the truth. The way you were injured and decieved, gaslighted, blamed, and ignored is horrible and unacceptable. I was also permanently maimed by SSRIs; and am still dealing with the psychological trauma of the horrible mental state that akathesia puts people in; my best friend from school killed herself while akathesic. You are doing a public service.

  • I genuinely apologize as I now realize my blunt phrasing is easily read as a personally directed accusation or an angry tone. I was meaning to resonate and agree with you about the safety risk of speaking with those who insist on psychiatry’s legitimacy. Also, I was responding in general to the unawareness that most people have about the barrier psych abuse victims face, of not being able to speak about it except in anonymity. Whereas the psychiatrists can advertise their full legal name plus title left and right and get only positive results. Thanks for your articles, and your bravery.

  • To the question why we don’t use our actual names: the answer is physical safety. When you’ve had your conciousness, organs, and brain violated by the toxic and poisonous drugs, and you’ve been snatched from your bed by police officers, grabbed by the arm and forcibly locked up with no phone access, you learn to hide for self protection. Psychiatry does not like people getting free or even thinking about it, you will be hunted like prey and recaptured, no matter how violently. I felt the need to suddenly move and get a new phone number plus delete all social media for them not to find me again after I got a letter from my ex-shrink saying she “missed me at our sessions and has been trying to reach me” and “hopes I continue to get treatment (shudder)”. No thanks. I prefer my safety.

  • This article only confirmed for me that the field of psychology is an enemy, not an ally, to survivors of psychiatry. At multiple points in the article, refugees were classified as “having a disorder”, or “needing treatment”. The psychologists and shrinks cashing in on the government traumatizing people are disgusting. Psychiatrists benefit when people are harmed, it means they get more customers. They have no real reason to oppose the atrocity occuring in society. The last quote was terrifying- important words capitalized by me:

    “…the first principle of the Practice Parameter are to identify possible BARRIERS that can stand in the way of TREATMENT. For example, minorities and refugees alike often wait to access SERVICES, in part because they fear the ‘double discrimination’ of being a minority and a PERSON WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS…Awareness of cultural differences in the expression of distress will help us better understand the needs of our diverse PATIENTS”.

    The smugness is unbearable, starting by assuming that refugees are dumb, ignorant, inferior heathens who don’t know what they feel or need- they all need Western psychiatry of course, if they’d only cooperate!

    Another quote from the “scientific” (lol) article:
    “As child and adolescent psychiatrists, we listen to our PATIENTS, hear their pain, DIAGNOSE their SYMPTOMS, and treat their ILLNESSES. However, many refugees are HESITANT to seek HELP. Instead, they are quick to ATTRIBUTE their mental health issues to temporary lapses, religious tests, or spiritual penance”

    Those “stupid foreigners” with their “heathen religion”! Worship the white man’s pills, don’t be so “backward”!. What a joke. Cultural competence doesn’t mean finding a custom way of steamrolling someone’s religious or cultural beliefs. It means actually respecting the way that person wants to make sense of their life.

    The shrink assumes they have a disease due to reacting the way any human would in their circumstances, then assumes that wow-what a coincidence-the best solution is to PAY THE SHRINK for pills and sessions! Shrinks are racist predators. If the shrink cares so much, why doesn’t she fund a community center for the refugees, lead by them? Not much cash in that, I guess.

  • I wish the psychology students/graduates writing for this website would pay mind to the way that using a lot of jargon and “academic english” perpetuates what they are critiquing, ie, that only high-status and “in the know professionals” can contribute or discuss ideas. It also gives the impression like the “hip upper class liberals” are the only people cool and smart enough to see what’s going on with the system which isn’t true; the way this piece was written is only understandable or appealing to people who are likely already from a middle or upper class background.I also want to advocate for “plain English translation” because many people shuffled into the system are working class and in therapy at a “government clinic” or another crap tier insurance plan that doesn’t allow for any choice or diversity of options/ideas.

  • The inhuman, severe cruelty of the known effects of these drugs only proves that psychiatrists think people are worth nothing, we are just “outcomes”, not lives. They dont care if people kill themselves, as long as they get their money. Consider the violent genital mutilation that many have suffered including me, which also causes people’s partners to leave them and for life to lose its meaning and pleasure: This probably causes more suicides than people know, not to mention the damage that psychiatrists cause with their hopeless “you have a chemical imbalance and only I can save you” liar, enslaver, abuser schtick.

  • Thanks for your efforts to memorialize and honor Dan, who I agree, was targeted by amoral predators for financial and political gain, under quite similar conditions to Nazi era atrocities. I hope someone that he would approve of doing so will make a youtube video of Dan’s story to make it more widely shareable. This man died a horribly terrifying and painful death that was 100% preventable.

  • You made a huge leap of assumptions when coming to a conclusion that the comments section is somehow negative or not going well and that’s why 10% aren’t commenting and a 57% reads/observes but doesn’t comment. MIA increasingly gives carte blanche publishing ability to any shrink or theRapist who comes across the least bit progressive regardless of the highly profitable harm they still cause. The articles stuffed full of psychobabble jargon and the ones basically pushing stockholm syndrome and abuse apologism through gaslighting such as the phrase “psychiatric care” make me angry and I would never put my own personal information or opinions out in the open to be further devoured by these profiteering human rights abusers and their supporters. I read and watch without commenting because I am this close to never reading here again. Even in your own wording James, you say “Regarding our writers, some of you said that you wanted to hear less from professionals, but more personal accounts and others preferred less of these but more from professionals. We take this as a sign that we are holding to our vision as a space for a range of views, experiences and perspectives to come together to enable discussion and debate.”

    Psychiatry being fake science is settled- so MIA’s vision is to throw the victims of this abusive scam under the bus by allowing the perps to publish their drivel as if we didn’t get enough of that while they were abusing us? And then we’re supposed to somehow want to “engage in debate” with them?!?!? That’s like if this was a blog for rape survivors and you allowed “rapists who are thinking about changing” a platform, and the platform encouraged rape victims to “dialogue” with the rapists. Think how violating that is. You really need to question your assumption about why more of us are never commenting. It has nothing to do with “diversity of viewpoints”, which by the way should never be conflated with giving predatory scams, abuse-apologism, and dehumanization further platform. I’ve officially lost hope that Mad in America stands for victims and survivors because you clearly don’t.

  • This is a relief. I have barely visited let alone commented on this site in years. At one time, I was a donor but no more. The reason is that it has become over-run with abuse apologists cloaking themselves in the bullshit terms “reformist” or “critical psychiatry”, and also overrun by SJW & postmodernism ideologues. Psychiatry is a barbaric and deceitful pseudoscience. Its “practitioners” are predators who use lies, self esteem and personality breakdown, coercion, and force to obtain money regardless of any bodily harm, financial loss, or even death of the “recipient” of these drugs and lockups. I need a barf bag for half the stuff on this site due to the level of stockholm syndrome, persistent belief in fake science, or abuse apologism. I just want someone to know that many of us with permanent physical injuries as well as deprivation of rights and severe loss of money have stopped reading and commenting because like I said, this site has sold out from our perspective- it doesn’t stand unwaveringly for victims any more, the people who are suffering most. I couldn’t care less if some shrink or theRapist learned a thing or two and feels “woke” now- reality is, they typically are carrying on as usual, leaving harm in their wake, just with extra self righteousness now. I don’t trust a platform that conflates “diversity of opinion” with “giving a platform to snake oil salesmen/predators/abusers/harm apologists”. I trust that Steve will be able to make that distinction better than others.

  • Is it possible to bankrupt the MH system by refusing to take even the microchipped version, forcing them to come visit you or hospitalize you? Obviously, such a thing would be very traumatic for the person attempting to resist and result in violence towards them, so I don’t mean to be offensive in suggesting it. But I do wonder if trying to run up the highest possible bill with these people, refusing to pay any out of pocket cost, and then declaring civilian bankruptcy is a final remaining way to resist the “MH” system. At the end of the day, they are looking to maximize profit and reduce cost, so I wonder what it would be like if a bunch of people purposefully ran up an extremely huge bill. Perhaps it could get them to lay off. In reality, I think they just try to kill you to get rid of how “much you cost” if it’s a lot.

  • I have to take issue with the research/thinking methodology involved with saying that smartphones themselves are the cause of smartphone ‘addiction’. Correlation does not imply causation, especially not in the simplistic way that the whole “smartphones are bad” crowd says it. I say the following as a young adult+ heavy internet and phone user myself: what if people are always glued to their phones because they’re broke and phones are a gateway into endless free of cost music and information? I do agree that the specifically informational and image based nature of what phones can show people can change their unconscious tho, in ways that people need awareness about. But who is the right authority to warn people? What should the warning be, exactly? This blog post has an undercurrent of authoritarianism in some ways.

    You can bet if I had disposable income, I would have hobbies, go on vacations or visit restaurants without caring about picking up my phone. The truth is the phone is a source of small hits of reward and pleasure, and small vacations from daily stress or from social anxiety that comes from interacting with people face to face when you’ve had a truckload of trauma. When faced with a boring work or school environment, of course people would rather reach for the phone. I don’t know if that makes any salient point about phones. See: rat park (famous experiment where rats with a social, positive, needs meeting environment chose to drink drugged water less.)

    I’m way more concerned with the way that phones are an opiate of the masses for being trapped in bad marriages, being in boring and miserable low paying jobs and schools, and seeing the country go downhill and treat so many of its members poorly. Smartphones are ultimately a symptom of other issues. That being said, I am glad the blogger here wrote about pornography and young kids having phones, because the mainstream liberals never talk about it but *preteens* are watching hardcore pornography, often involving violence and dehumanization these days and the effects are not good.

  • I like your comment and want to add that the majority of us “ex patients” have had our earning capacity permanently lowered as a result of missing prime wage growth years and suffering difficulty functioning as a result of psychiatric injury in “normal” jobs. These psychiatrist people are making an absurd amount of money per year. They should try living on $12k per year two years in a row like I did. Psychiatrists act like if they make less than $150k per year that they will be suffering severe poverty and thus must continue to find new victims, er patients to “treat”. Wtf? Either these people have expensive lifestyles that require an assembly line of new people to label or they are really that out of touch. People who make $150k are extremely out of touch. Try telling psychiatrists to get some roommates and take the bus! Watch them diagnose you with Reasonable Budget Lifestyle Disorder.

  • “They had a choice, they chose to destroy for money and when they were faced with their own abuse they chose to blame the victim. These people lack the strength of character to do the decent thing – admit the harm they have been involved in, move out of their destructive behaviour and get another job”


  • A sweet sight for sore eyes. I love this post. Not sure how the author would call his overall views, so I don’t mean to say his are the same as mine, but I’m personally so over the whole “critical psychiatry” nonsense. For me,anti psychiatry and very clear, explicit exposing is the only rational way to approach things. This piece is a form of justice for what I went through. It calms me as a sufferer of “PTSD” caused by the quacks and their gaslighting lies and someone with firsthand experience of the drugs in question. To hear someone speak what i know to be the truth plainly and without the watering-down effect of using psychiatry’s cult speak is what I am here for. Too many people are sellouts to “compromising” with psychiatry, the “critical” psychiatry crowd who are quick to shut down pieces that are “too anti-psychiatry” (which begs the question, for who are things ever “too” anti? Psychiatrists who might get their precious fee-fees hurt? Because I’m a survivor of abuse,force and chemical maiming and I’ve yet to see something “too anti” for me). Another category of sellout is those who support “choice” which is a joke when we are talking about a field entirely built on aggressively propagandist lies. Keep writing clearly and without moral and intellectual dilution! Pieces like this are why I donated to MIA in the past.

  • :'( wow… this is super upsetting. Speaks to the empathy-starved power hungry types that do gravitate towards the psychiatric “professional field” though. It is not that hard to be human to someone. I can’t understand how this happens. To just watch someone die of something and not do anything to stop it? I feel that it takes actual effort and purposeful cruelty and neglect for people to be harmed this way. I’m picturing the intense suffering the people who died went through before they died. People who work in psychiatry are some of the most soulless people I have ever met to be honest.

  • Can this guy see a naturopath? I know not everyone takes much faith in “functional medicine” but a naturopath really helped me with these same neurological symptoms from SSRI harms. I know Luke was also on benzos and that that is different in the long term harm it can cause. Magnesium, b complex, MTHFR specific folate, probiotics, over the period of a year my brain really felt better but never like it was before SSRIs.

  • “I also wonder how I can know when I am misled in my assumptions.”
    “[I like the drug focused model] because it helps me to consider these drugs not as a specific treatment for a specific disorder but as psychoactive drugs that may have some benefits for some people at some times.”

    I quoted these because I want to respond to them alone, at risk of replying out of context, rather than the overall topic of the article which is a synthesis of different pieces about acknowledging of mistakes, changing perspectives, and moving on. For me the only ethical answer in these scenarios is for the “client” themself to be the one to have FULL access NOT to “informed consent” regarding drugs but to the gamut of materials disproving the chemical imbalance theory and reviewing the horrid past and current behavior of psychiatry as a field. I still get a sense that some psychiatrists feel that there is a “time and a place” for an authority figure (ie a psychiatrist) to “choose when to employ drugs” as a “part of that client’s plan”. I guess I feel like the client should always be the one and only authority figure in the room, which means, what is the role of the psychiatrist? A redundant question, since if the psychiatrist has no authority to suggest actions then they serve as a figure for someone to come to and say what they want, ie the “psychiatrist as a vending machine”.

    Like some other commenters I think there is never a legitimate time or a place for these drugs, that they do more harm than good, that completely “untreated” fill-in-the-blank is preferable to going on the drugs, and consider myself a psychiatry abolitionist. I’m not sure if I even want you to reply to this, and I do not mean this as a personal attack but rather what came up for me reading certain sections of this. These select quotes, which may or may not be out of context, just reminded me of how I feel that even psychiatrists who dedicate their life to learning how to cause the least harm and be the most human are often still open to letting people choose to roll the dice at times and still open to holding secret knowledge in the room above the client even if the psychiatrist is armed with quality literature such as Anatomy of An Epidemic. I mean, how many psychiatrists directly tell their clients about Anatomy of An Epidemic even if they have read it themselves? I feel that the only real way to stop the harm is for psychs to completely stop prescribing and instead to use sessions showing people where they can start their own research into alternatives, or helping them taper off, then letting them go. Not as a personal attack to you Sandy but rather just in general sometimes this type of article makes me feel jealous that I have to be on “this side” of psychiatry, I have been chemically mutilated, made disabled and traumatized and it’s not a question of somewhat abstract ethics or moving a field forward for me. It’s my life. I wish I had my life and my health back.

  • My first reading of this piece lead me to feel encouraged, that you woke up and cannot continue in a morally bankrupt and harmful field and that you have the beginnings of understanding what is going on. Drawing from what foglight wrote, I have to agree that you can make good on your years in this horrible system by staying in it, but becoming vocal against it, trying to turn other docs/shrinks to see the light, being available for helping people taper, teaching them directly about alternatives, and helping them get away from involuntary commitment.

    Unlike you, who likely made a long career earning a generous wage with a stable job, free from risk of physical harm, many of your “patients” have or will become disabled and injured from the racket of psychiatry even if you did not understand that it is a racket at the time and you did your best to limit prescribing. I know I would be homeless and suffering severe neuro injury still without family support.

    I want to see more remorse and atonement for the MANY people that you’ve put on these drugs. It seems you have an honest sense of conscience about the obvious profiteering that keeps increasing, but I feel concerned that a large part of your motivation for leaving is your own discomfort rather than most centrally and foremost deep concern for the “patients” who are harmed and duped by psychiatry, given that you assigned a large number of these people labels and gave them prescriptions. You said you saw 1000+ patients in the last year. How many of those have you called up and told them you made a mistake, assuming you put them on drugs?

    And yes I said drugs and not “medication”, like many other psych victims I refuse to play into the fantasy that what psychiatrists do is medical in any way. I am very grateful for you being here but I really hope your realizations here are just the beginning. You have a lot of power and opportunity to make yourself useful to people by being available to help them get off drugs, learn the truth about psychiatry, learn about alternatives. Please keep speaking out. Tell your colleagues, tell the world.

  • I am sorry you went through that, so incredibly abusive, and I went through similar. I am female, and was basically painted as hysterical, sexual damages caused by drugs not taken seriously because female sexuality unimportant and I’m too emotional and irrational to understand what is happening my own body right?!?!?? Definitely had my health and reality “mansplained” to me so many times. Psychiatry is openly contempt-filled towards females. Female bodies are getting toxic chemicals dumped into them, psych drugs and birth control, all kinds of stuff, at record rates. No respect for sacred femininity.

  • It’s worth noting the similarities between biological psychiatry and transgender ideology: this analysis was written by a friend of mine:

    Biopsych: your symptoms are caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in your brain (nothing to do with your life experience or how you interpret it).
    Trans: your dysphoria is caused by a mismatch between your brain and your body (nothing to do with your life experience or how you interpret it).

    Biopsych: your symptoms can and should be treated with drugs which will make them go away.
    Trans: your dysphoria can and should be treated with cross-sex hormones which will make it go away.

    Biopsych: upon taking your drugs you may (probably will) have a transformative, freeing experience of being able to Function more effectively in a respected social role.
    Trans: upon starting hormone treatment you may (probably will) have a transformative, freeing experience of being able to Function more effectively in a respected gender role.

    Biopsych: anyone who says or suggests that you should not be taking your drugs is blaming you by using a simplistic “mind over matter” view to label you as morally defective and denying the reality of your brain disease.
    Trans: anyone who says or suggests that you should not be undergoing hormone treatment (or otherwise changing your gender performance) is a reactionary bigot with a “mind over matter” view who only sees you as a contemptible sexual deviant and denies the reality of your brain-body mismatch.

    Biopsych: if you think you might have Depression/Anxiety/Bipolar/Schizophrenia/some other Disorder then you probably do and should definitely see a professional who is very likely to give you a diagnosis and a prescription.
    Trans: if you think you might be trans then you probably are and should definitely see a professional who is very likely to confirm you are trans and give you a hormone prescription.

    Biopsych: you will probably need to take your drugs for life in order to manage your symptoms.
    Trans: you will, after genital surgery, definitely need to take your hormones for life in order to maintain your gender performance. (And to prevent osteoporosis, etc.)

    Biopsych: it is more important to fight the stigma against people who use psychiatric drugs than it is to look for psychosocial/trauma/not-directly-biological causes of their symptoms.
    Trans: it is more important to fight the stigma against people who seek medical transition than it is to look for psychosocial/trauma/not-directly-biological causes of their dysphoria.

  • Tabita, I shared your diplomatic article here on Facebook. The dialogue and the centering of personal connection and personal stories is deeply important. As I have noticed myself, throwing facts at people or telling them that they are wrong, even if their wrongness is readily provable, creates lots of friction and often turns off their willingness to listen. In my opinion psychiatry is a secular religion and a cult belief system, so direct challenging of it can actually deepen its hold on people. Once the dialog has been created then the articles and facts can come out! Another problem with psychiatry is that the person being drugged or coerced can perceive it as caring even if is actually hurting them.

    People who are actively experiencing the black box warning can perceive that the antidepressant is the only thing that is stopping them from killing themselves! Wild. I say that because it happened to me! It was only after I had a near death experience and permanent brain damage that I woke up. And when I said I need to get off the pills and stay off, everyone was against me trying to keep me on even though they knew about the harm that the pills did. Others have mentioned before that unless one has personally been on these pills that it can be hard to get how “crazy” they can make someone and how much they can harm.

    And I’ve gotten the same pushback saying that me telling my story is “preventing others from getting the help they need”. BS! Keep speaking up. Thank you for your efforts at dedication to your daughter and children everywhere. Your posts elsewhere on the site show an attempt at humility and self reflection that few parents are willing to do, esp given the conclusion that you unknowingly had some part in something that harmed your child, which was allowing them to be given pills. Too many parents are not willing to examine that something bad is happening to their child because of what it might say about them even if they had nothing to do with it, as psychiatry lies and tricks parents and children alike.

  • I am so glad to hear you stood up for your daughter. Also, she should know that there are many safe, natural herbal and nutritional options for anxiety- the only choices aren’t suffer or take these horrible drugs. I use them myself for fairly intense posttraumatic stress and other fairly severe anxiety, to take the edge off and calm down a bit- look up passionflower(Solaray makes good capsules, the Republic of Tea makes a tea called “get relaxed”, kava (yogi tea brand makes a good tea), skullcap (solaray makes capsules), and tulsi (try the organic india tea). You can find reviews of all these things on I also do some magnesium supplements from a reputable brand and I stopped drinking caffiene years ago, started focusing on getting great sleep as much as possible, as well as reduced sugar and carbs and added more protein and fat in its place. All these things can help. Dealing with anxiety naturally takes some adjustments but it’s been so worth it for me to avoid these horrible pharmaceuticals. Again, thank you for looking out for your daughter.

  • They feel threatened by you! And they should, they are wrong. You always remain civil and engage in dialogue and meticulous research as much as it is needed, and that is why we are all here, to read it because we know you are being ethical. Keep doing your thing. They are reading what you write and like someone else commented them sneering at you is a high compliment to the integrity of your journalism. Psychiatry is a cult and more and more people are reading what you say too. I fear these psychiatrists are too steeped in their ego and even narcissism to ever see the truth about their “profession” but this web site and leaving psychiatry has saved my life and made it worth living again.

  • As other commenters have described, I really enjoy reading Dr. Hickey’s sound logical rebuttal to Frances’ writing. I share in the feeling that the HuffPo article is frightening and that the piece’s main interest is clearly to defend psychiatry and the status quo. The boogeymen “bad psychiatrists” and “bad GPs” do not exist. There is no good psychiatrists vs bad psychiatrists, there is only psychiatrists who believe that the human before them has a brain disease. Psychiatrists are also human, and humans are prone to the confirmation bias – thinking suffering is a “disorder” and that drugs are “good” except when prescribed “badly” will of course lead to a prescription for everyone who walks in the door. Frances’ “moderation” argument is no argument at all, if the system stayed the way it is I guarantee every psychiatrist could read it and come away agreeing with it and assured that they are not the “bad psychiatrist” prescribing antidepressants as a result of seeing the flattening effect of antipsychotics or what have you, but rather for “real” severe depression (happened to me). Humans also have a need for ego protection which is why cognitive dissonance occurs, and thus this article cannot possibly enact any real change. Like Dr. Hickey pointed out, he appears to be arguing for something good but upon any amount of close viewing, there is just very vague allusions to nameless “bad” doctors dispensing drugs like candy while the “good” doctors are helplessly, victims of the system, watching it happen. Despite my extreme harm at the hands of psychiatrists, I believe that the majority of psychiatrists *believe* they are doing something good and that their personal error rate is low or zero. If only they understood how much the DSM has been DESIGNED (by Frances!) to be difficult to use “correctly” to identify “real” mental patients, and to instead sweep up and harm massive amounts of people, for profit! If only each and every psychiatrist could take responsibility for being a part of a system that harms, similar to how members of dominant racial groups, etc must also acknowledge their place in our systematically racist society.

    If I could add to Dr. Hickey’s thoughts with my own, I want to point out how much it hurts that Dr. Frances and psychiatrists always seem to discuss the issue of iatrogenic harm/”over”prescribing/”mis”diagnosing as if it were some far off abstract dilemma existing only in theory, which can be solved by some kind of similarly vague abstraction and closer adherence to the vague theories of “real” psychiatry. Which presents the hurtful attitude that many psychiatrists seem to hold, that our lives as harmed patients are disposable given that other patients will benefit (at least in the short term). As if patients were objects, toys in a toybox to be taken out and played with, all fun and games until someone gets hurt… and when someone is hurt it’s the fault of some abstract reason apparently… in the sense that psychiatry is a belief system, it seems abstract and not specific to any one person but truly it IS personal, real and non-abstract. And what of the value of the lives who are now permanently crippled or traumatized? What I hear emotionally in Frances’ article apart from the logical flaws that Dr. Hickey has pointed out, is that the individual harmed lives have no value, and no credibility in the discussion.

  • 1) To add to this comment, Dr. Brogan’s disclosure and description that she used to be a typical psychiatrist but then changed is so encouraging. hank you to her. I am shocked (in a good way) by it because I feel a great deal of hopelessness that psychiatrists generally are willing to share about the harm they personally have probably caused by prescribing pharmaceuticals. Seems like some psychiatrists are willing to speak out, but not name themselves as part of the problem. This blog nicely breaks that pattern and hopefully encourages others to come forward. I’m wondering what her experience is if or when she tries to directly address colleagues and tell them about this from this perspective (personal journey/personal change of heart). As a psychiatric survivor, I have had very limited to no success in addressing psychiatrists and getting them to see the harm of their mode of operation… I blame power dynamics, cognitive dissonance, finances at stake, and psychiatry’s view that those labeled are truly “sick” and therefore with no credibility … I’m also wondering more about how she felt or what she thought when she realized the great hoax and if she ever reached out to past patients and told them what had happened. Something that’s so inhibitory to truth about society is the fear that many professionals of all kinds have of being sued or losing their ability to support themselves if they disclose that they have harmed and that they have then changed. Such a thing is one of the best ways for the system to stop harming or even stop existing.

    2) “I call this collective set of notions the Western Medical Illusion. It sets up a vicious system that ushers you into lifelong customer status, dependent and disempowered.”

    Amen. People do not realize that in a capitalist society, corporations/industries do not have to tell the truth while trying to sell their products. Not at all. Psychiatry’s depression model is false and harmful, but one can be viewed by everyday others as a conspiracy theorist by simply trying to explain what Dr. Brogan is saying here. Again, the voicelessness of being abused by psychiatry in the patient role often repeats itself in the form of the voicelessness felt by trying to spread psychiatric survivor materials and perspectives.