Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Defining Anti-Psychiatry

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  • #76910
    Nomadic
    Participant

    Frank, this is getting really tiresome. I feel like we are just going around in circles.

    Psychotherapists are licensed, and this comes down to the government. This is both the problem, and the means of taking it apart.

    But no, we can never end all of it, nor should we try.

    Nomadic

    #76923
    Frank Blankenship
    Participant

    Anything is tiresome to you, Nomadic, that isn’t synonymous with your own opinion.

    Okay, I’m trying to get out of this circular reasoning. That’s why there’s no point in pretending agreement. I’m trying to clarify my own view on the matter to myself. Rape is an issue, consensual sex, not so much. I have to treat psychiatry in the same fashion.

    All sorts of things are licensed, however I don’t see that in itself as bringing down the edifice. Ceasing to license alcoholic beverage distillers didn’t prevent spirits from being distilled.

    People have envisioned the end of psychiatry. I feel I have to be very careful what I say here. I’m not pro-psychiatry (Jeffrey Lieberman’s word) by any means, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. There are some things that it makes no sense to do. The real issue here is freedom. When one loses sight of that fact, if psychiatrists don’t gain, they certainly don’t lose.

    You see psychotherapy as the problem, and I see it as forced treatment. If we’ve identified differences in our respective views we aren’t going around in circles.

    #76929
    Nomadic
    Participant

    No Frank, you don’t seem to understand what I am saying, but even more, you don’t seem to understand what your own positions are. And so you keep making this go in circles.

    I have made it clear that I have no interest in outlawing psychotherapy, and this is because it is a form of free speech.

    But I do want to go after the licensing, and I do what to put some psychotherapists out of business, and without claiming malpractice. The means for doing this is simply exposure.

    I have closed other types of retail businesses down. Not that difficult.

    The problem with psychotherapy is similar to the problem with religion, they put out doctrines which keep people stupid and powerless. But you still can’t outlaw either of them. But it will be easier to tar and feather psychotherapy than it would be religion.

    Forced treatment is a big problem, it is totally unethical and inexcusable. It should be severely punished. I’ve never taken any softer position about it. I don’t see much reason to talk about it though, because that would take away time from sidewalk actions needed to put an end to it.

    But I also look at some other issues, like why we have such things, what are the underlying beliefs which legitimate it and what should be done about this.

    Nomadic

    #76934
    Frank Blankenship
    Participant

    Obviously there is a communication problem here. If I were to close anything down, it would be because of the harm that it was doing.

    Forced treatment is a big problem, it is totally unethical and inexcusable. It should be severely punished. I’ve never taken any softer position about it.

    I agree.

    I don’t see much reason to talk about it though, because that would take away time from sidewalk actions needed to put an end to it.

    Many people are ignorant on the issue. The only way to bring anybody up to speed is through education. If one can’t talk, one can’t educate. Political actions are often about educating the public more than anything else.

    But I also look at some other issues, like why we have such things, what are the underlying beliefs which legitimate it and what should be done about this.

    I see it as the only issue. Fighting something else, is something else. Abolition of slavery, for one thing, would not have occurred any faster had it been accompanied by a demand for socialism. The same principle applies to the abolition of forced psychiatry.

    #76935
    Nomadic
    Participant

    Political action is a very good way to educate people. It will reach people not met by a board like this.

    Discrediting psychotherapy and closing down a few of its practitioners ( without claiming malpractice or any illegality other than fraud ) goes a long way towards changing how people think, and towards gaining credibility for other actions. Its just the basic line crossing, showing that you are not afraid of people, or of lawsuits.

    So long as the idea that someone, “needs therapy” is credible, then we will always have forced psychiatry and drugs being passed out in large volume, and those of us who are the outcasts ( psych system survivors and not ) will remain outcasts.

    People who do not have a legitimated familial socio public identity still remain on the margins, and we will continue to until we take some confrontational and forceful actions and show that the premises underlying psychotherapy are just completely bogus.

    There must be no appeal to pity or accommodation in this.

    Nomadic

    #76961
    Frank Blankenship
    Participant

    Discrediting psychotherapy and closing down a few of its practitioners ( without claiming malpractice or any illegality other than fraud ) goes a long way towards changing how people think, and towards gaining credibility for other actions. Its just the basic line crossing, showing that you are not afraid of people, or of lawsuits.

    I can respond to actual incidences of harm. I don’t know exactly what I would be responding to in this instance.

    So long as the idea that someone, “needs therapy” is credible, then we will always have forced psychiatry and drugs being passed out in large volume, and those of us who are the outcasts ( psych system survivors and not ) will remain outcasts.

    Forced treatment is the law, and it doesn’t change until it is changed. This is not because anybody “needs” therapy. Why would a person “need” therapy who doesn’t have a medical condition, that is, actual physical ill health? What’s more, saying that one “needs” therapy, in this instance, is like saying that this or that person “needs” to be taken off the streets to serve a prison sentence, perhaps for life. If no law has been broken, there is no reason for doing so. The ability of psychiatrists to predict future crime is more than suspect, it is not a talent that they are known to possess. Psychiatrists are much more adept at taking the rights of people who are innocent of crime–past, present, or future–away from them. This is a power I don’t think anyone, let alone psychiatrists, should possess.

    People who do not have a legitimated familial socio public identity still remain on the margins, and we will continue to until we take some confrontational and forceful actions and show that the premises underlying psychotherapy are just completely bogus.

    If you are saying power struggles exist. Yes, they do. As for the rest, whatever. I’m not selling therapy.

    #77013
    oldhead
    Participant

    Abolition of slavery, for one thing, would not have occurred any faster had it been accompanied by a demand for socialism. The same principle applies to the abolition of forced psychiatry.

    Chiming in here with a tangent: Das Kapital was first published in 1867, just as slavery in the US was ending. There were no socialists with a class analysis during the period of slavery, if there were they may possibly have helped end slavery sooner. (Lincoln and Marx were in communication btw.) Psychiatry arose simultaneously with capitalism and, like slavery, has always served its purposes, so a class analysis today will absolutely help people understand the issues in a way more conducive to eliminating psychiatric oppression.

    #77028
    Frank Blankenship
    Participant

    I don’t think linking abolition to socialism would have made emancipation come one moment sooner and, in fact, it would have been more likely to have had the opposite effect. Marx may have been a very shrewd political thinker, but he was anything but naive. I’m sure that anyone who has dealt with the subject of wage-slavery is aware of the parallels. Naivete is not likely to get us any closer to our goals, and by this I mean psychiatric survivors must have as many enemies on the left as they’ve got on the right, ditto, in terms of scarcity, as few friends. Striving to make our movement a left-wing movement, at the present time, is not going to make it any stronger, and might indeed have the opposite effect. I think we have to work with forces across the spectrum politically to end institutional psychiatry. Tying such effort to political revolution can be a way to sabotage those efforts in advance. That said, my political sympathies are with the left, and with the radical left, I just have to interject a little realism into the situation here, especially as it’s a matter of what’s bogging down the present discussion. Are we talking about anti-capitalism or anti-psychiatry? Lumping them both together, in a haphazard manner, can work to the detriment of both.

    #77030
    uprising
    Participant
    #77045
    oldhead
    Participant

    I think we have to work with forces across the spectrum politically to end institutional psychiatry

    Working with people across the spectrum, which I agree with, does not entail adopting their perspectives or beliefs, but focusing on matters of mutual concern.

    Since I have a socialist rather than anarchist analysis (though often this is secondary in practice), and see psychiatry as a tool of class warfare whether what currently passes for the “left” gets it or not, I frame my strategies & tactics that way. But what we need specifically to fight forced treatment is a coalition of leftists, libertarians, libertarian conservatives, liberal professionals, anti-racists and others. But it’s still academic while only 3-4 people feel compelled to post here. I might use Bruce L.’s blog to try to get more people into the conversation, again…

    #77050
    Frank Blankenship
    Participant

    But what we need specifically to fight forced treatment is a coalition of leftists, libertarians, libertarian conservatives, liberal professionals, anti-racists and others.

    I couldn’t have said it better.

    Flashback time! See where millennials stand when they are in power…if you live that long.

    This thread is about defining anti-psychiatry, not anti-capitalism. Sera Davidow has written about how liberals don’t often “get it”. The same is no less true of the left as a whole. Mother Jones Magazine recently wrote a piece blaming violence on the crazies, and referencing E. Fuller Torrey, and his Treatment Advocacy Center. Ralph Nader, despite running for the Green Party, consulted with the TAC. This is reality, not fantasy. There are anti-psychiatrists who work with the left, alright, but all and all the left has not been a friend to anti-psychiatry. When you make it a right left issue you get this problem. Thomas Szasz opposed much of what was then called anti-psychiatry, not because he was pro-psychiatry, but because he was an anti-communist. I think he hurt his own position, in some respects, because of this. Leftists will do the same thing when it comes to the anti-psychiatry of conservatives, libertarians, and Scientologists, dismiss it, and lump it together with even left-wing anti-psychiatry. It interferes with pumping money into health care, including (cough cough) mental health care, and it is not apart of their agenda in any major way, except in so far as the “combating stigma” mythology goes.

    Anarchists often are socialists, they just aren’t Marxists, Marxist-Leninist, or whatever you want to call the ideology of the failed Soviets. Locking people up in mad-houses, asylums, state-hospitals, and now the new mental health ghetto, has always been a form of social control at the service of the establishment with its status quo. There are implicit in this situation power struggles between the wielders of that power and those who are its victims.

    I don’t think numbers make the difference when it comes to academic versus, what, elemental. I do think connection with an academy does, and if you notice, I’m not situated in any ivory tower myself. Mental health professionals, on the other hand, are credentialed by institutions of higher education. The entire educational system is set up to serve corporate imperialism, and among those corporations are drug companies, and the mental health profession. The psycho-pharmaceutical industrial complex is incorporated into the military industrial complex, and it is all designed to serve rapacious capitalist interests. You can still oppose much of this within the context of capitalism, but that is the reality. Countries claiming to be Marxist, or Marxist revisionist, have their own military industrial complexes to contend with, as well as many other shortcomings. Special psychiatric facilities for political dissidents are no improvement.

    #77073
    oldhead
    Participant

    OK point taken that this should maybe be a separate thread, not that I’m about to start it. But I think your last paragraph shows that you do understand it as a “left issue,” it’s just that the left has betrayed its ideals when it comes to psychiatry. Just as the USSR did from Stalin on. But Marx’s analysis of capitalism and class struggle is still there, despite all the bad examples of trying to put alternatives into practice. But a lot of early airplanes crashed & burned too, and that didn’t end the pursuit of flight but eventually led to a better understanding of how to achieve it.

    Using a Marxist analysis to make sense of some of the processes at work doesn’t mean trying to get everyone to be a socialist, in fact in this case I think it would appropriately entail calling for a coalition such as we are describing.

    #77203
    Frank Blankenship
    Participant

    I was amused to read somebody call himself an outpatient psychotherapist in one of the comments to a post at MIA. It struck me, most outpatients are ex-inpatients, aren’t they? I think there are so many ways that the struggles of people oppressed by psychiatry is a left-wing struggle. I just think the answer is outside, not inside, the mental health system, which is to say that the mental health system is to a large extent a bad thing that should be completely canned.

    You see the problem is that people in the mental health system are not even seen as workers anymore. So much for their contribution to, and participation in, any proletarian revolution. Mental health professionals are, in a sense, behind this chronic under employment of mental patients. It is their bread and butter. Mental health disability, in relationship to physical disability, is all abstraction. Theory has it….Now they would hire patients/ex-patients as mental health workers. The same people they can’t assist in getting real jobs. What a joke!

    The mental health system destroys human beings as a rule. This destruction comes of undervaluing, dismissing, and scapegoating people. The system can’t deal with it directly, otherwise there would be no system (i.e. bureaucracy). The system processes people deemed disabled and/or dysfunctional. It is part of this you have problems, I am a helper mentality. There is another aspect to this matter that is even worse. The you have a “sickness”, and I am a “healer” mentality. People who have been so “processed” must know for damned sure that they are not dealing with “knights in shining armor” or “good guys on white horses”.

    A person in a bad situation is described as a f**k up, “mentally sick”, having personal problems, or whatever, but rather than changing the situation the mental health system is all about maintaining it. Everybody has got better things they should and would be doing. Some of us are already on those better things.

    #77368
    Frank Blankenship
    Participant

    The “mental health” system (i.e. the “mental illness” industry) came of the folly of trying to outlaw folly. The pathologizing of folly, in other words, has only managed to produce more of it, and much more of it at that. Obviously, turning the managing of fools into big business was not going to make folly go away. The manufacture of fools for the profit of the managers (confidence people, or “non-fools”), such is what this “mental illness” industry, the “mental health” treatment business, has wound up representing.

    The public perception of the matter has changed drastically over the years. We’ve gone from a war on “mental illness” to a war on the “stigma” attached to “mental illness”. The “insane” are, it would seem, as “incurable” as they ever were, in fact, probably much more so than they once were. The reason is obvious, somebody profits off this notion of in-curability/chronicity, and job security, thereby, is maximized.

    Psychiatry is medical fraud, but it is medical fraud that depends upon convincing people of its legitimacy. The mental health system is a system of brain washing, of indoctrination. First, you have to convince the non-invalid that he or she is actually an invalid in need of convalescing. Not a problem, if you’ve got a milieu convinced of the non-invalid’s invalidation. Second, you have to give invalidation the appearance of a positive for the invalid, and there you go. Now people who are not sick in the slightest can convalesce to their heart’s content without interruption. Third, you have to convince everybody that there are few or no other options available for the invalid besides what’s offered under the shingle outside your office door.

    The problem in mental health “care”, or the maintenance of fools, with the notion of “recovery” is that the “disease” that one would “recover” from is always only a presumption. Doctors diagnose “diseases” that have only a theoretical “physical” basis, and their patients’, relieved to have found the source of their discomfort, lick it up. Before institutional psychiatry got off the ground in a big way, there were much fewer fools. Imprisoning folly launched a folly industry. Since its inception, this folly industry has done nothing but expand.

    Governing can make for much devious deception, particularly when speaking of the power rulers hold over the ruled. In society at large one is not bound by such totalitarian terms, unless a decision has been made, such as in saying this person suffers from an amorphous disease of the sensibilities, or this person has a major kink in his or her responsible decision-making capacity, permitting others to assume guardian/rulership. No doubt deception must be practiced on the part of the ruled as well, however overcoming rulers is a more direct way of pointing towards the real issue. You have those with power lording it over those without power, and the only possible solution is in the gaining of power on the part of those who have been denied it, at the expense of those who deny it.

    #77876
    Frank Blankenship
    Participant

    I have a dream. Sort of like Gesundheit. My dream is of an anti-psychiatry organization. There has for sometime been an anti-psychiatry, only seldom has it been at all organized. I figure a little organization might up its chances for succeeding in the world. I know somebody spoke of organizations as being ‘do nothing’ things. Usually, as they develop agendas, that is, come up with projects and events, and run as independent businesses, I don’t think this to be the case. I mean organizing events on a periodic basis is probably going to be a lot more productive, and continuous, than organizing events on a sporadic basis.

    One problem we have now is that mental patients’ liberation (the psychiatric survivor movement) would be combined with mental health services user/comsumerism (the mental patients’ movement). Those of us who reject psychiatry outright have no use for it. Mental patients’ liberation and mental health consumerism is not even a paradox, it’s a contradiction, and one that doesn’t work. You can be in bondage to the mental health system, or you can be liberated from it, but you cannot be both simultaneously.

    Mental health treatment has become a gateway into mental health work. This is how the mental health system expands, but it is not how you get more “mental health” (i.e. fewer mental patients) in the world. Mental health professionals are being joined by mental health paraprofessionals (former and present patients) in the adult baby sitting business. They are all parasites. Adults, duh, shouldn’t need sitters. Revoke the revocation of constitutional rights that comes of mental health law, and this adult baby sitting business would collapse of its own inanity. Mental patients’ liberation means both liberation from the mental patient role, and rejection of the adult baby sitting business that it implies.

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