Saturday, April 17, 2021

Problems With the Term "Psychiatric Survivor"

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    Maybe this can be a companion thread to “Defining Survivor.” I’ve always been uncomfortable with the term “Psychiatric Survivor” (or just “Survivor”) but could never quite put my finger on it. But now I can, a little better anyway. For one, it has different meanings to different people, so as a political term it’s not very useful. (How can you have a “survivor-led” organization if you can’t agree on who the “survivors” are?)

    At least as important, maybe more, is that people who have not necessarily “survived” psychiatry at all — who for that matter are being locked up and slowly murdered as we speak — have at least as much a right to be active voting members of an anti-psychiatry organization. Many people are drugged into oblivion, see no way out and may even have given up, but they know they hate psychiatry. “Survivors” or not they have every right to be considered part — even the main part — of the anti-psychiatry movement. Thoughts?

    • This topic was modified 5 years ago by oldhead.

    Psychiatric Survivor?

    Well for one thing, to talk about any contact with the psychiatric system, is to give yourself a public stigma.

    And also, with all these sorts of abuses I don’t think someone is really ever a survivor until they have fought back and actually inflicted some damage. If they have done this, they are a Victor. But until they have done this, they are still a Victim.

    Someone who is following Live and Let Live is not just a Victim, they are a collaborator. The main purpose of the family and psychotherapy is to tell you that no one owes you anything, as you must rely on yourself. So if you are doing this, relying on yourself, then they have won. And they will continue to abuse today’s children in the same ways that they abused you, so that those children will finally submit and concede that no one owes them anything and they must rely on themselves.

    We need something like the Bonus Army. What that was properly about was called the Pay Adjustment Act, justice for WWI veterans. It made a huge difference to them when they finally got it. Until they did, they were not survivors, they were Victims.

    If I said that I am a holocaust survivor, that would be different, because the holocaust is universally understood as an injustice. But consider rape, do people go around saying that they are rape survivors? Not usually because we still tend to see the victims as culpable.

    LGBT’s have Stonewall. The Holocaust has the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Alice Miller was interned in the Ghetto and she learned how to get in and out and found comrades on the outside and was able to smuggle in food. She survived the uprising and the crackdown.

    How about Anti-Psychiatric Avenger, or Anti-Psychiatric Guerrilla? How about us finding some actions we can undertake to punch some holes in the psychiatric edifice?

    Mind Freedom at least used to claim to have an underground railroad and safe houses for those facing compulsory medication.

    In Luke it talks about the 10 Lepers Jesus heals and sends back to show themselves to the High Priest. In study groups people take on the role of a leper and talk about the experience and what they did.

    I have done this and I explain that they probably saw me begging out in front of the Temple, but that does not mean that that was all I was doing. That was just cover. I am one of the Zealots tasked with watching the movements of the Sanhedrin members 24/7. But now that my body is made whole, I can do more. I will be starting weapons training immediately. I will become expert in the use of Roman short swords. I don’t need any approval from the High Priest. Jesus told the others that, because he could see that that was what they needed. I will so excel in my training that I might be given the task of dealing with the High Priest personally.

    How about Psychiatric Abolitionist?

    Harriet Tubman liberated close to 300 slaves by making repeated runs into Maryland. She became a conductor on the underground railroad. Then she helped recruit for John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry. She also rescued a man slated for renditioning to a state of slavery from custody in the court house in Troy New York, twice in the same day. Then she planned and executed with Colonel James Montgomery the Combahee River Raid, far behind Confederate lines in South Carolina, and liberated close to 800 slaves.

    Problem is, the psychiatric system is the bully cop for the middle-class family. Just busting someone out of it is not justice, because what this is all about is the self reliance ethic verses owing a debt. So to get justice you have to make the parents and our society pay their debt and accept they have complete responsibility in all such cases.

    In the US, when someone realizes they have been shaped by a dysfunctional family, they go to a psychotherapist, a recovery group, or to get saved.

    In British Columbia you don’t need to do any of this; you just call a lawyer, like Trevor Todd in Vancouver. He will make sure you don’t get disinherited. He will send someone to talk sense into the senile-suicidal testators once. If that does not work, he files under the wills variation act and then follows up with a process server. And it is not necessary to show need.

    I mean, your psychiatric history is your own business. If it were me, I might talk about it after a major victory and inflicting severe losses on the other side, to help people understand why I took such extreme actions.

    Andrew Vachss’s fictional character and alter-ego is part of a criminal underground and he has set up a Family of Choice. They hunt down and execute those who prey on children.

    Vachss himself is a Children’s Defense Attorney. He will never work for the parents, only the child.

    Simon Wiesenthal was a Nazi Hunter.

    Wiesenthal was often asked to explain his motives for becoming a Nazi hunter. According to Clyde Farnsworth in the New York Times Magazine (February 2, 1964), Wiesenthal once spent the Sabbath at the home of a former Mauthausen inmate, now a well-to-do jewelry manufacturer. After dinner his host said, “Simon, if you had gone back to building houses, you’d be a millionaire. Why didn’t you?” “You’re a religious man,” replied Wiesenthal. “You believe in God and life after death. I also believe. When we come to the other world and meet the millions of Jews who died in the camps and they ask us, ‘What have you done?,’ there will be many answers. You will say, ‘I became a jeweler,’ Another will say, ‘I have smuggled coffee and American cigarettes,’ Another will say, ‘I built houses,’ But I will say, ‘I did not forget you’.”

    Wiesenthal was instrumental in getting the Statue of Limitations on War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity lifted, in the mid-1960’s, and lifted retroactively.

    Child Sexual Abuse SOL-Reform

    There is nothing about familial child abuse or psychiatric abuse which is past and over. It still goes on today because we live in a world which demands it. Each of us is still being abused to this very day each time we are told to just get over it and go on and that no one owes us anything. Forcing people to accept such is the reason why such abuses are perpetrated.

    I will be happy if I can someday legitimately earn the title, “Man of Action”.

    How about Anti-Psychiatric Enforcer?

    I think the real key is just enforcing culpability.

    “You are not alone. Seeking justice for survivors of childhood abuse is more than a job — it’s our cause.”

    “Sexual Abuse Attorneys Ready to Tackle The Toughest Cases”

    You can always tell when you are dealing with a highly abusive family because they will have at least one blacksheep. Here is a list of types of things they say about their blacksheep:

    •Drug and alcohol abuse
    •Failed personal and romantic relationships
    •Loss of religious faith, in cases of clergy abuse
    •Disinterest in family relationships
    •Disintegration of a family
    •Poor self-esteem
    •Feelings of deep depression
    •Difficulties with casual social relationships
    •Feelings of isolation and despair
    •Loss of trust in authority figures and institutions who don’t report child molestation
    •Despair in reaction to persecuting attitudes of police
    •Inappropriate sexual behavior
    •Poor work habits
    •Unemployment or underemployment

    Oh, but I borrowed this list from someone who turns it around and argues the other way so that justice can be had:

    I feel that you have to understand the psychiatric system by the role it serves in continuing and intensifying familial child abuse.


    Sarah Connor escapes

    Wait Until Dark, quarter tone music

    Frank Blankenship

    I’ve always been uncomfortable with the term “Psychiatric Survivor” (or just “Survivor”) but could never quite put my finger on it.

    Well, there is a big difference between a cadaver and a survivor regardless of whether that survivor is a rape survivor, violence survivor, or psychiatric survivor. I guess the problem, in this instance, if you want one, would be the term non-survivor.

    But now I can, a little better anyway. For one, it has different meanings to different people, so as a political term it’s not very useful.

    So does this make non-survivor a political term, too. I’ve been very comfortable with term, although I do think there are limits regarding the definition, that is, surviving a psychiatric specifically what? And one could say treatment, oppression, torture, abuse, imprisonment, etc., or one could say simply psychiatry survivor. All the same, it is not particularly more political than any other use of the word survivor (i.e. Katrina survivor, Chernobyl survivor, serial killer survivor, Auschwitz survivor, Bellevue survivor, etc.)

    The more troubling term for me is consumer/user. You’ve got people who want to be mental patients, and they are provided with the means to pursue this career non-terminally unto the grave. A user uses the mental health system, he or she would hope, to his or her advantage. A consumer consumes mental health services, but there is no finality to consumption. Consumption doesn’t have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Embodied in this idea of consumption is the idea of “mental sickness”. One consumes with treatment the notion that one has a “disease”. Consuming mental health services, for me, means bondage to the mental patient role, and this bondage is something that I would see people liberated from.

    Survivor, on the other hand, has it’s linguistic relationship to survival and survivalist, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with surviving. Psychiatric survivor makes it a little more specific, perhaps it should be even more specific, but so far as it goes, it works for me.

    You were speaking of preferring psychiatric inmate at one point, and that’s okay, so long as one is a prisoner, but if one attains release, discharge, that makes one a survivor of psychiatric imprisonment.

    At least as important, maybe more, is that people who have not necessarily “survived” psychiatry at all — who for that matter are being locked up and slowly murdered as we speak — have at least as much a right to be active voting members of an anti-psychiatry organization. Many people are drugged into oblivion, see no way out and may even have given up, but they know they hate psychiatry. “Survivors” or not they have every right to be considered part — even the main part — of the anti-psychiatry movement. Thoughts?

    I have to take a little issue with you on this point. I’m not particularly fond of the “incurable insanity” idea, nor am I particularly fond of the notion of “mental patient”, “inpatient” or “out”. Of course, we’re not exactly talking notions here are we, as mental patient is a role, and “mental illness” is a fiction. I don’t have a problem with allowing people in who have not attained complete liberation from the mental health system (with psychiatrists in the uppermost rungs of that system). I do have a problem with allowing such a wide range of people in that you’ve managed to co-opt yourself, and your movement, in turn, by becoming a part of the system you would wish to destroy. The problem with the recovery idea is that it is not actually recovery from illness so much as it is recovery from abduction, imprisonment, torture, brainwashing, etc. Were one talking about recovery from misfortune, the biggest misfortune is what the mental health system makes of a person, formerly a human being with human rights. Remove oneself from that system, and one begins to take back one’s citizenship as well.

    I personally see the anti-psychiatry movement as entirely compatible with the psychiatric survivor and the mad or mad pride movements. That’s three concentric circles that have their points of contact and intersection. The mad movement acknowledges the abject failure of psychiatry to recover or cure people of their differences, be they disobedience, idiosyncrasies, follies, eccentricities or whatever. The psychiatric survivor movement because it is about surviving a system based entirely upon brute force. The anti-psychiatry movement because it is a matter of favoring tolerance towards difference, and as well as opposing locking people up who haven’t broken any law, except for a psychiatrist’s determination of what constitutes “good health”.


    if one attains release, discharge, that makes one a survivor of psychiatric imprisonment.

    Depends on how you define “survival.” If you come out a shell of your former self that’s hardly surviving, even if you’re physically alive.

    Keep in mind that this movement was started by, almost exclusively, former psychiatric inmates, some of whom were still in and out of institutions at the time. (Btw “inmate” is a valid legal term for all those confined in institutions, not just prisoners.)


    I do have a problem with allowing such a wide range of people in that you’ve managed to co-opt yourself,

    Yeah, but the danger of cooptation lies not with inmates but with those who have paid jobs within the system (or who receive brownie points for being “peers”). I any group I would be in such folks would be admitted on an invitation only basis, which would be voted on. (I can count current non-“survivor” MIA contributors who would qualify on one hand.)

    Frank Blankenship

    Yeah, but the danger of cooptation lies not with inmates but with those who have paid jobs within the system (or who receive brownie points for being “peers”). I any group I would be in such folks would be admitted on an invitation only basis, which would be voted on.

    Some people have been sold a bill of goods. There are people who are fine with the idea of having a “mind sickness”, and spending their lives in “treatment”. Deception and self-deception are what the mental health treatment world is all about.

    I have to make a distinction between organization and movement. You can vote people in or out with an organization. You can’t do that with a movement. The movement is the bigger matter. It is made up of multiple organizations.


    I have to make a distinction between organization and movement. You can vote people in or out with an organization. You can’t do that with a movement. The movement is the bigger matter. It is made up of multiple organizations.

    Yes, an important distinction. “Movement” is a more subjective, ethereal concept encompassing different tendencies or schools of thought heading in the same general direction, rather than a concrete operation. This is the only reason I can currently refer to the “anti-psychiatry movement,” as most of the “movement” is currently at the level of consciousness-raising (and reclaiming); however it IS preliminary movement in a certain direction, which is away from coercive psychiatry and the “medical model.” As for where to draw the line in this case between a “movement” and a scattered collection of individuals with similar ideas, who knows — I think part of it has to do with being connected with one another and sharing an aspiration to put those ideas into effect.

    The latter — putting ideas into action — is where, generally, organizations are needed. This is where precise definitions are more important, especially when they pertain to the decision-making process and the public positions of the group.

    Another distinction to be made is between an organization and a network.


    Of course one is a survivor instead of a cadaver, otherwise they wouldn’t be talking about it. But being a survivor, what was the nature of their contact. Why did they submit to it?

    Even if you or I have never been take to a doctor, anyone who has grown up in a middle-class family could have been at any time loaded into the car and driven to the doctor, who would be then empowered to cure us to make our parents happy.

    Then likewise, if you are a poor or homeless adult, you stand a good chance of ending up in the hands of a doctor.

    Some people have melt downs and get 5150ed. Accepting the diagnosis and the medication is one of the worst decisions they could possibly ever make.

    I know one guy who had a history of anxiety attacks and asked to be admitted to the hospital for observation because his style of attacks mimicked a coronary.

    His thinking was smart. But in the County Hospital they deal with coronaries around the clock, so they could tell that he had not had any. They loaded him into an ambulance and soon he was in an out of town psych ward and with a diagnosis and medication. They had a group therapy meeting every morning, where people would set goals for themselves, like making it to the bathroom in time.

    A month later he checked himself out and tended to his affairs. This was smart. But what was not smart was that he accepted the diagnosis and the meds, and then he came to believe that the meds really were in his best interest, and that he had to live without feeling his feelings. And then accepting this of course meant money.

    Now what was going on in this guy’s life which caused such anxiety? Well he had been for about the 3rd time in his life forced out of a chosen career. It was not just a layoff, the guy was out. And it turned into an early retirement. And so he had to sell the home he had inherited from his deceased parents, while having no income. And he had grown up in a mother dominated neurotic family with a completely ineffectual father and where he was completely objectified.

    Of course this would cause anxiety. And he was right to finally check himself out of the psych hospital and sell the house.

    But he was wrong to accept the diagnosis. But the diagnosis gave him a monthly income, on top of what he would be getting from the savings bonds he had a lawyer put the house money into.

    But also, this guy had spent most of his life working as a Psychiatric Technician in our County Hospital! He used to deal with all the people who got 5150ed, and he felt that he was qualified to diagnose. He believed in the system and in medication.

    He also had a long history of good medical benefits and ready access to their great pharmacy, and so he was accustomed to looking to doctors and medications as the solutions to problems.

    So I could say that he got what he deserved, as it was simply what he had spent decades doing to other people!

    Of course I have no interest in prying into other people’s affairs and I strictly apply a military style of security to my own affairs. But if I may just ask the rhetorical question, for those who see themselves as psychiatric survivors, what is it that got you into the system? How did you end up in the doctors office? Why did you talk with the doctor instead of telling them where to get off, or just walking out of their office?

    1. Long history of mother driving them to doctors of one sort of another?

    2. 5150ed, believe that the doctor is someone they should trust?

    3. Working in the psych industry themselves, believe in it?

    4. Go along with the idea of Recovery because of 12 step or history with religion?

    5. Read about Freud or Jung and curious?

    I’m not intending here to make fun of people, but you must see my point. How did you get into that office and why did you cooperate at all?

    For myself, issue 1 would be a big part of it, as well as issue 4.

    And then again, for any of us who are like myself “survivor of the middle class family”, being thrown into the psychiatric system or to disabilities therapists was always a very real threat, whether actualized of not. It was always a proximal fear, because it would be how our parents dealt with deviance or non-compliance.

    Middle-class parents hire their own doctors. Working-class ( really today it would be under-class ) parents get doctors assigned to them by government agencies. This is the main difference between the two kinds of families. And the reason I know this is from reading the works of the Milan School of Family Systems Therapists.


    Frank Blankenship

    Reasons to respond favorably to the term psychiatric survivor.

    #1. E. Fuller Torrey doesn’t like it. He calls it a PC word. I haven’t heard him object to consumer or mental patient though.

    #2. People (poster board mental patients, and their blood overlords) who have bought the bill of goods (mental health propaganda) don’t like it.

    #3. Use of the term is acknowledgement that mental health treatment is torture that puts one’s life at risk.

    #4. It is a term by which to differentiate the compliant non-survivor from the resistant survivor.

    #5. It sure beats the alternative.

    #6. It is an expression that aptly describes the state of the FORMER psychiatric inmate following liberation.

    #7. A psychiatric survivor (see no. 2) is not a psychiatric patsy.

    #8. The mental health system would like us to believe that it is NOT harming people. Psychiatric survivor is an admission that this harm has taken, and is taking, place.

    #9. Should you have survived psychiatry, you share a history with people psychiatry has not been able to do in yet.

    #10. Now we can call ourselves something, and belong to a community of like-minded people. It’s like being in a motorcycle club, Hell’s Angels, Outlaws, etc., only this group of people wants to stop the torture and killing psychiatry is everywhere perpetuating, oddly enough, in the name of medicine.

    I guess this statement makes me a problem for people who see a problem in the term psychiatric survivor. I don’t have a problem with it, in fact, I see it in a very positive sense. If you should see a lot of deficits in it. Okay. You can tell me what you think is wrong with it, but I’m still going to be using it. It’s kind of like, given the reaction of Torrey and his ilk, the term anti-psychiatry. Now, if we could only do something with the terms psychology, social work, and psychiatry, like eliminate them from the curricula of universities, then we’d be getting somewhere.


    Years ago I saw a girl who had a car with lots of bumper stickers. One said, “I survived Catholic School”.

    I thought that was hilarious.

    I am a survivor of the middle-class family.

    I would never want people in my f2f life to see me as a psychiatric survivor, that would mean that I was unemployable.

    I would never hire anyone who was “In Recovery”, meaning for substance addictions.

    I’ll have to look into this Torrey.

    Joseph Lieberman is a Veteran of the Edmund Pettis Bridge. His wife’s parents are holocaust survivors.

    I would like to be a veteran of anti-psychiatric, anti-behavior modification, anti-middle class family direct actions.

    But I am not, yet.


    Frank Blankenship

    End forced treatment, and you end a lot of the prejudice and discrimination that come with it. These rights protection laws that they’ve put in place where former mental patients are concerned end up not being very effective. Why? Forced mental health treatment requires a series of actions that would be felonies if performed by private citizens. The laws to put people away violate peoples human rights. Now they’d have us buy the illusion that they want to protect the rights of the same citizens whose rights they are violating. If you want to show proper respect for human rights a good place to start is by not taking those rights away in the first place. Then you don’t have to pretend to be restoring them. There’s a double standard involved in treating people like subhumans, and then turning around, and saying, “We must treat these subhumans like humans again.”


    These subjects of the Psychiatric Survivor Label and the Anti-Psychiatry Movement take us into territory that is complex. What exactly is being responded to and what are the objectives?

    I think we all agree that forced treatment is wrong. I mean even a man unjustly convicted and serving a life long prison term is still accorded some dignity; and our Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

    So I would say that forced psychiatric treatment does require more than just non-violent civil disobedience and direct action, it is war. And being a war of self-determination, there is no requirement under international law to take prisoners.

    So I would not support an armed action and killing of guards to break people out of prison, but I continue support legal and judicial reforms to free them. But with forced mental treatment, absolutely yes, use whatever means are most expedient to achieve liberation and prevent further abuse.

    Is a psychological torture center like the Koegel Autism treatment center at the University of California to be treated the same way? I would say yes. But if the people don’t sleep there overnight, then the proper course of action is just to arrest the perpetrators before they enter the facility in the morning and to take it over and close it down.

    Frank, you speak about prejudice and discrimination. I am assuming you mean what Psychiatric Survivors face after their torture and abuse is over, the stigma of having a psychiatric history?

    Okay, but I would also look at this from some different angles.

    You know that there are some who identify themselves as Atomic Veterans. They, mostly African American, were subjected to radiation at test sites, and some people believe to even worse. So they want to be recognized for the injustices they have suffered, and they want to be compensated for the health consequences.

    Okay, but if I say that I am a Psychiatric Survivor, what exactly does this mean?

    A Holocaust Survivor is someone who is lucky to have survived huge injustice.

    For a Psychiatric Survivor, where exactly does the injustice begin? Forced treatment is certainly an injustice. Any forced treatment. I would say that incarceration for crime, even wrongly convicted, is not of the same order of injustice as forced psychiatric treatment. Forced psychiatric treatment is total absurdity as medicine. It is the territory of Josef Mengele. Psychiatric treatment is intended to destroy all dignity. It is rather like what is described in George Orwell’s 1984, and that has always seemed to me like it was imagined as something worse than The Crucifixion.

    But is quasi voluntary psych ward internment, like my friend experienced, such an injustice? When he had had enough, he checked himself out.

    So when does one become a psychiatric survivor? When they looked in the yellow pages to find a therapist, when instead they should have started at the front of the yellow pages, finding someone who can actually do something which would solve their problems, an attorney? Made their appointment? Showed up and listened, and especially disclosed their personal matters to give the doctor the ability to denigrate them? First medication?

    Sorry to say, but isn’t such a person a Psychiatric Mark?

    I have friends who have accepted the diagnosis of Bipolar 2, and they are continually on medication.

    Prejudice and discrimination, like in employment? I avoid even talking to these persons. It is not because I believe that they have “Bad Brains”. I don’t believe any of that. I avoid them because of a long history of problems and just the idiotic and insulting things that they say. The real harm that the white coats do to them is in convincing them that they have something wrong with them, and that they have this disease. The white coats make them afraid to feel their feelings. So they are dissociated. They believe that staying this way is necessary for their well being. They are completely nuts, and it is the white coats who have made them this way.

    And then any medication only compounds all of this, as it screws up their brain in the same way that alcohol and heroin do.

    Often people end up like this because they got 5150ed. They were acting screwy, I guess you would call it a nervous breakdown. Soon they were in police custody and then the county hospital. I don’t see this as a big deal. But then the real harm starts when the white coats give them a diagnosis, and then medication, and convince them that this is in their best interest.

    These people believe the white coats. Maybe the prospect of disability money is part of this. But the most serious thing is that they listen to the doctors and believe!

    Ever seen the 1969 movie, “The Arrangement”. It is such a case, a guy cracks up and tries to do something crazy with moving automobiles and just barely survives. Especially today, he would get a diagnosis and a prescription.

    Would he accept this interpretation?

    The psych diagnosis is in my view very similar to what the Christian Evangelicals use, the promise of an answer to all problems, simply by accepting this view that you have an innate defect.

    For the Evangelicals this is Original Sin, and their extreme interpretation of it. For the psychiatric system, its the Bad Brain and Brain Chemical Imbalance. For the Developmental Disabilities people, its this Neurological Difference. To me these are all the same. The real harm is done when they are able to convince their target that it is true. And of course the worst is when parents are having it done to their children.

    So of course, anyone having gone through this is a kind of a survivor. But I still see serious problems in talking about it in that way.

    And a child who has been thrown into the psychiatric system by their parents is a survivor of Munchausen’s By Proxy, or really just of Capital Child Abuse.

    So I would have prejudice and discriminate against a psychiatric survivor, just as I would against a drinking alcoholic. Drinking alcoholics actually believe that drinking is good for them. I’ve listened to guys who see that their friend has drank himself to the point of a seizure, who still say that the guy would have been better if he had just been able to have another beer.

    And then with the dry drunks, like at AA meetings, they still believe that one should not face their feelings, not say anything which impugns their parents or “blames’ anyone. Rather they just need to keep making lists of moral faults, plus spreading their Good News.

    So a guy who believes that psych meds and avoiding feeling his pain are better for him? I don’t want anything to do with such a person, and I would consider him to be a potential problem in any and all social situations, and an unacceptable risk in a position of any responsibility.

    And then there is another problem with this. Say I am a Jew and in the Warsaw Ghetto March 1943. So young Jews are arming themselves by ambushing German patrols. And then a young Alice Miller has learned how to sneak in and out and find Comrades in Polish Resistance and she is smuggling in food.

    But I am there saying, “I am a Holocaust Survivor”.

    No one has survived the psychiatric system because the psychiatric system is still operating. And then considering that the psychiatric system has never existed in a vacuum, but rather is an expression of Capitalism and is still a very dangerous threat, everybody is always still at risk of it!

    Anyone who stands up and tries to fight back alone will end up either in prison or the psychiatric system, if not dead.

    So you can’t fight back alone, you must have comrades. Going alone means they can paint you as crazy.

    So there could be Anti-Psychiatric Guerillas, or Psychiatric Abolitionists, or Anti-Psychiatric Deprogrammers. But Psychiatric Survivors? I have a problem with that.

    I feel now that I must clarify, being new to this forum and still not really understanding fully where the various participants are coming from, I must state my own views so that I am not misunderstood, as I know that much of this gets into sensitive territory:

    1. I don’t believe that there is any such thing as mental illness.

    2. I don’t believe than anyone benefits from psychotherapy or psychiatric medications, though I know that many insist that they have benefited.

    3. I don’t believe that anyone is cured of mental illness, because they were never sick in the first place, but also because what really was ailing them has not been addressed at all.

    4. I believe that what we call mental illness, or depression, or anxiety, or nervous breakdowns, are simply the perfectly reasonable responses to stress and injustice. The first step towards addressing this is simply to start feeling one’s feelings. Beyond that one needs to find comrades and begin to act in what ways they can to eliminate the stress and injustice. Feeling feelings and finding comrades are the most life affirming things that any of us can do.

    5. I would be very skeptical of anyone who said that they had benefitted from the psychiatric system in the same way I would be skeptical of someone who claims that Alcoholics Anonymous solved their problems. They aren’t feeling their feelings.

    6. Someone who has had past contact with the psychiatric system is still living in a world which throws people voluntarily and involuntarily into the psychiatric system. So they have not actually survived anything, as the mortal threat has not subsided, and actually it continues to increase.

    7. The biggest harm which the psychiatric system does is very similar to the harm religion does, with its doctrine of Original Sin. That is, convincing people that they are wrong to feel anger and wrong to aggressively strike back against injustice, and that such tendencies are evidence that they have some sort of a problem, like projecting anger against their parents onto the rest of our society. And of course I find the greatest explication of this to be in Deleuze and Guattari’s “Anti-Oedipus”, a very much misunderstood and underappreciated work.

    8. While in abstract principle a psychotherapist sitting in his arm chair and listening to you and collecting his fees could be your comrade in making revolution to redress injustices, the probability of this is precisely zero. The client is probably someone who lives close to or on the margins, the therapist is not at all like this. And if the therapist was not committed to inaction, he would not be serving in the role he is in. His job is to turn angry abuse survivors into placated abuse survivors, and to suppress revolution. What he does is very similar to what religion does.

    And then further, in fighting all such injustices, you want to pick battles you can win, but you also want to set the philosophical bar as low as possible. So we should direct our actions against the most egregious abusers. But I also want to delegitmate all psychotherapy and all mood altering or psychologically oriented medication, and cut off all forms of government support for such. And likewise with the idea that people suffer from Neurological Differences and have something like Autism, Asperger’s, or ADHD.


    To Live with Honor and Die with Honor: The Story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

    Seven Decades Ago the U.S. Detained 120,000 Japanese Americans, Could It Happen Again?

    Rep Mark Takano


    How come no one has a problem with the term “rape survivor” ?

    How many people really get informed consent from psychiatry ? 1 in 50 maybe.

    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by The_cat.

    the same way I would be skeptical of someone who claims that Alcoholics Anonymous solved their problems.

    Are you ragging on my favorite CULT ??

    AA solved my problem of not being able to find cool people to socialize with after giving up alcohol, the party scene and bars.

    AA is evolving and getting better I think but some of that stuff that makes people hate AA it is still around depending on the particular group.

    You would be surprised at how much you can change the ‘group conscience’ if you stand your ground , keep sharing what you believe. Keep sharing smart real world advice about not drinking.

    The way to be a leader is to attract followers.

    It is not that difficult to knock the narcissistic personality disordered members off there pedestals in these AA groups along with their control over them.

    The narcissistic personality disordered members of AA: Admire me, admire me , I must have admiration, I have all these years sober and none of you people do AA as well as me !!! I am so great and you are not worthy… and YOU are not doing the program right…

    STFU !!!

    Take back, or just take your AA group:

    Step 1. Look up the symptoms of NPD to know your adversaries how they operate.

    Step 2. Go in be real and don’t take any crap. Again, the way to be a leader is to attract followers and no one really likes or admires the NPDs anyway.

    The NPDs don’t come to my home group with their games anymore.

    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by The_cat.
    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by The_cat.
    Frank Blankenship

    Anybody got a problem with the term ‘psychiatric rape survivor’?

    There is also ‘psychiatric slavery survivor’ but, of course, we have to be careful what we say. Somebody or other might get “triggered”. You can’t call a spade a spade in some quarters.

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