Friday, January 21, 2022

Spreading the message of ‘Anatomy’?

Home Forums Rethinking Psychiatry Spreading the message of ‘Anatomy’?

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    Hey Uechika,

    I would encourage you to make all efforts to leave the destructive system you are currently working within and find some professionals with different points of view to associate with. I bet there are some in your area.

    Peer run resources, private clinicians with an attachment or humanistic point of view, alternatives to the current paradigm that are available locally, those are the folks you need to work with – for your own growth as a healer and the help of the healing profession. If you don’t find any resources, then you might end up a leader – you will not be the only one frustrated with current “wisdom”.


    Faith Rhyne

    “one way to “spread the message” is to tap into the emotions and motivation surrounding a family”
    ~> and to create practice/protocol which offers language and perspective to support an understanding of distress in human experience outside of pathologized, paternalistic paradigms. I just did a small community discussion on Family, Wellness, and Recovery –  in which I made use of  “the right compromise between how radical your message is…” and accessibility, making a conscientious effort to approach the whole thing from a very common sense perspective, and effectively de-radicalizing it by framing the information in a way that was palatable (read: non-threatening) for people operating from a middle-of-the-road or medical model perspective.
    Transformative dialogue and offering alternative perspectives…
    I like the idea of brochures, something that could be left where people might most need the information, state-funded centers, clinics, Wal-Mart, etc.

    One thing that seems increasingly important is to recognize the sources of misleading information and to make an effort to mitigate/clarify misleading language and to confront harmful practice.
    Check out the grounds for the next generation of biopsychiatric misunderstanding:
    From Medscape Medical News > Psychiatry
    Educating Kids About Mental Illness May Reduce Stigma

    Deborah Brauser

    August 30, 2012 — Although children generally have good attitudes toward individuals with mental illness, more education is needed to explain what psychiatric diagnoses entail, to increase acceptance, and to reduce stigma, new research suggests.

    A survey study of almost 200 seventh-grade and eighth-grade students in the United States showed that more than 90% of the participants said that people with a psychiatric disorder deserve respect and that more than 60% would be comfortable meeting such people in a social situation.

    However, 65% of the kids reported being uncertain about the cause of these illnesses, most did not understand symptoms of specific disorders, and almost 30% believed that people with severe diagnoses do not get better — even after treatment.

    “The results suggest that middle school students’ knowledge of mental illness is inconsistent,” write lead author Otto Wahl, PhD, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Hartford in Connecticut, and colleagues.

    “Stigma may persist as a problem…and youths with a mental illness remain likely to experience misunderstanding and exclusion by peers.”

    The investigators note that this is especially problematic because serious mental health problems often emerge at an age when an adolescent is most seeking peer approval.

    “Clearly, better education of youths about mental illness and its varied forms and inculcation of more positive and accepting attitudes are needed,” they write.

    The study was published in a recent issue of Psychiatric Services.

    Misperceptions Rooted in Childhood

    Past studies have shown that many people believe that individuals with a mental illness are dangerous and unpredictable, despite advances in scientific research and extensive efforts to improve public perception, report the investigators.

    “It is unlikely that these negative attitudes and misperceptions emerge full blown in adulthood. Rather, they likely have their roots in childhood,” they write.

    However, relatively little research has assessed kids’ attitudes on these issues.

    For this study, 193 students (53% girls; 45% white, 21% black, 19% Hispanic) were administered self-report questionnaires at US middle schools in South Carolina, New York, Florida, and New Mexico between November 2008 and April 2009.

    The questionnaires were used to measure attitudes, knowledge, and social distance (the degree of willingness to interact with someone in a social situation) with regard to mental illnesses.

    Results from the survey showed that “important gaps were evident, particularly with respect to the symptoms of specific disorders,” write the investigators.

    Only 25% of the participants reported knowing that “overly energetic behavior” is one of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, whereas 72% were uncertain whether or not having multiple personalities is a symptom of schizophrenia, and 47% reported not knowing whether mental illness and mental retardation are the same thing.

    More Education Needed

    In addition, only 37% of the students reported believing that medications could be useful in treating these illnesses, and 52% were uncertain whether people with a psychiatric disorder ever get better. A total of 37% said that students with a mental illness should not be in a regular classroom; 19% reported being uncertain about that.

    More troubling, only 42% of the kids said they would be willing to invite a mentally ill classmate into their home, and only 14% said they would be willing to date someone like that.

    “The results…mirrored a frequent finding by studies that measure social distance — the more intimate the relationship, the less willing is an individual to interact with someone with a mental illness,” write the researchers.

    Still, other findings from the survey were encouraging and included the following:

    72% of participants agreed that the mentally ill are often treated unfairly;
    66% agreed that the media often portrays mental illnesses negatively; and
    Only 10% thought that those with mental illness tend to be violent or dangerous (although 36% were unsure about this statement).

    Also, only 27% said that they would be embarrassed if they had a mental illness themselves.

    Overall, the findings suggest “a strong need for better education of students about specific disorders to enable them to recognize, understand, and respond to their own mental illnesses or those of others,” write the investigators.

    The study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health. Three of the study authors are from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Queens/Nassau in New York City, which reports receiving funds for its annual NAMIWalks campaign “from a wide variety of sources,” including pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Wahl and the other listed study author have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

    Psychiatric Serv. 2012;63:649-654. Abstract

    Laura Delano


    In response to your comment from August 28th, at 2:47PM:

    We have a ‘Resources’ section at Mad in America that provides alternatives.  Here’s a link to it:  If there are resources that you believe should be listed and aren’t, don’t hesitate to contact me or Kermit Cole, and we can add them to the list.  I definitely agree with you that having alternatives and solutions is vital— that’s the very reason I started the ‘Beyond Anatomy’ forum, so that we go beyond discussion around what’s wrong and start to make change happen.

    I very much agree that people have a right to choose how radical or non-radical of an approach to take to all of this.  There are ways to be effective through diplomacy, as well as through firm and uncompromising activism.  What I know for myself, however, is that there are certain core beliefs and values I uncompromisingly hold around what it means to be a human.

    I definitely agree that we should keep an open mind to engaging in dialogue with any and all organizations.  However, the very identity of NAMI, DBSA, and MHA depends on the existence of “mental illness”, so to be honest, I see the point of dialogue with them not so much around collaboration as around potentially helping to awaken people within these organizations to the truth about the nature of intense emotional experiences.  You speak about “reinventing communities from scratch” as though it’s maybe too much to take on, or not necessary…  In my opinion, I don’t see there as being any other way than to build a movement from the ground up; nearly every “mental health” organization in existence is entirely structured around false knowledge (i.e. that there is such a thing as “mental illness” and that those with “mental illness” are different from those without “mental illness”).  Although we can have important conversations with people who are inside of those organizations and try to spread our message to them, I don’t see them as being agents of change.  I am very curious to hear more about your thoughts on this.

    On a final note, I’m so glad you brought up the idea of patience— I definitely think it’s vital for us to all constantly remind ourselves of its importance, as we surely aren’t going to make these profound, deep changes happen overnight.





    It has been sad, coming back to Australia to find how much weight the biological model of Psychiatry has here.

    I doubt anyone in Australia even knows of ‘Anatomy’.

    Here in Sydney, the biggest known organisation for depression is the Black Dog Institute, this is what they have to explain depression:

    Situational/life issues are dismissed in favour of the above rubbish, or genetics.

    I am yet to find one organisation in Sydney that has anything beyond the traditional ‘bio’ approach. This is incredibly disheartening, as it just reminds me that I seem to be entirely on my own with my views.

    Stanley Holmes

    Laura, thanks for your thoughtful reply. We share the same fundamental conviction that any group or school of thought that is focused on permanently dividing or labeling individuals as either mentally healthy or mentally ill (or considering mental diagnoses as valid brain diseases)  is based on false knowledge.

    While acknowledging that NAMI (or other similar mainstream mental health organizations) have embraced a flawed concept of mental illness, that’s not fundamental to their identity, after all, NAMI named Keris Myrick as their president. Their fundamental identity is defined by the constant search of solutions to prevent the tragedies of lives lost to suicide, or lives wasted due to conflicts, an absence of hope, an absence of meaning, an absence of connection leading to self-destructive behavior. If you acknowledge that (hopefully mostly shared)  identity, spreading the evidence that psychiatry (and NAMI current discourse) often create or worsen those tragedies become possible.

    As I see it, there is not a lack of opponents to psychiatry flawed methods, what is striking is their fragmentation, their lack of a common platform, their lack of impact in the general public. I think the task or form for any new movement that would lead to the maximum impact would be to federate the numerous existing groups (while keeping their specific identities and activities) around a common set of principles to maximize their reach, and get out of the current situation where they are too easy to ignore.

    Many associations such as the “association of humanistic psychology” (, or those already mentioned on the MIA resource page have so much overlap with what you are trying to do, that I don’t see little room for something built from ground-up whereas networking all those resources/communities (maybe a respite/good-therapists directory could be a start).


    In any case, this is just my thoughts, whatever direction you end up going, I cannot only encourage you, and hopefully bring  some support.


    Faith Rhyne

    As I see it, there is not a lack of opponents to psychiatry flawed methods, what is striking is their fragmentation, their lack of a common platform, their lack of impact in the general public. I think the task or form for any new movement that would lead to the maximum impact would be to federate the numerous existing groups (while keeping their specific identities and activities) around a common set of principles to maximize their reach, and get out of the current situation where they are too easy to ignore.

    Many associations such as the “association of humanistic psychology” (, or those already mentioned on the MIA resource page have so much overlap with what you are trying to do, that I don’t see little room for something built from ground-up whereas networking all those resources/communities (maybe a respite/good-therapists directory could be a start).

    You’re absolutely correct. As an example of overlap, I know of two network organizations that are working on conscientious provider directories, two organizations that are working on mentorship program plans, multiple sites working with medication awareness, a number of campaigns to raise awareness of the potential for med-free/conscientous med-use recovery…and so much more.

    People are working really hard to build these resources.

    On the one hand, having more autonomous programs, directories, “umbrellas” is good, because what works for/is appealling to some might not work for others. On the other hand, maybe these resources may be developed more thoroughly if done so collaboratively or at least in such a way that there was a neutral common point of networking and resource sharing…?








    I liked what you had to say about being aware of the dangers of addiction treatment – the psychiatric labelling and massive use of psychiatric drugs in these facilities.  We need to get back to the basics with addiction treatment, and away from drugs.  Few people realize that Bill Wilson (AA Co-founder) was a proponent of nutrition… so much so, that he was inducted into the Orthomolecular Hall of Fame for his promotion of the use of vitamin B-3 in sobriety-



    How to spread the message? Well, I dunno. I realised on my own that their drugs and and the stuff they talked was totally crap within three quarters of a year or so. When I went to a local Finnish peer mental health board to talk about my experiences, the peer people – or at least some of them – started to convince me that the doctors were probably right. My life went to hell in half a year of the neuroleptic treatment, and I got back to my feet when I with my own means convinced the new doctors that I don’t need the neuroleptics. After I told my story in these peer-help boards, the people came to me telling that it’s hard to believe that the professionals would have made a mistake – I perhaps had a psychosis when I went to the treatment and they saved me from a serious invalidation.

    I started to argue with them. A while after, someone asked about a link to Whitaker’s 50 year study that he couldn’t find. I found the pdf for him, read the article and noticed that Whitaker had also a new book about this subject. Not expecting that much, I bought the Anatomy book in Kindle. When I read through it, I was seriously impressed with it – I was expecting a lot less.

    Anatomy gave a good base for scientific critique. It gave a lot of ammunition. However, I soon noticed that it’s of no use to argue with them. If I said I believe some of the negative and cognitive symptoms are actually due to drugs, or if I referred to studies which indicate that antipsychotics maybe shrink the brain, I got kind of a taboo reaction from some of them. I didn’t tell anyone to get off the drugs, I just told about these things and my opinions, and the response was – I’m irresponsible by saying these things, criticising the psychiatrists, etc.

    In a way, I understand what these people are going on in their mind. They or their relatives have for years been on these drugs and this treatment, and they really must believe they’re getting the best possible treatment from the best possible professionals. The other way of seeing the situation would shatter their whole worldview, it would mean they’ve been heavily investing to a wrong kind of treatment all these years.

    It’s like, to be a good patient, you need to accept that you have this brain disease, and to be a really good patient, you never forget to take your medicines! If you criticise some of these things, they get a taboo reaction and get upset.

    In a way, I also feel that it’s not good for me to preach them how they should live their life or what they do with their brain. It’s OK for me that they live like they want to. When someone is worried about the side-effects of the drugs, or wants to get rid of them, or is interested in the harmful effects of the drugs, then I may give my opinion. Even then, many of the people jump on me and say that I’m being irresponsible.

    Honestly, in the current situation, I don’t know what many of those people should do. I don’t want to convince them to go out the meds because that would perhaps lead to bigger problems. This is perhaps somewhat similar to what some of the doctors think. Some of those people really don’t have the willpower, understanding, courage, etc, to cope on their own. I don’t want to sound cocky, but that’s how I see it. My own “success” has largely been because I’ve found on my own the techniques that work for me, but many of those techniques probably won’t work for other people. At least I don’t have any one “system” to recommend other people to follow.

    That is, I’m somewhat afraid of telling people to stop using their neuroleptics, etc, because I don’t have a good alternative. When talking to the general mental health peer people, I guess I try to just influence those people who I think have enough of their own resources to figure out the things that work for them, and who already are critical of the current system. I’m sure there are possible treatments for those other patients as well which are much better than the current one, but I don’t have any to provide.



    Hi Laura , I see you mentioned “dual diagnosis”  I was asked to leave a florida rehab for refusing seroquel in the A.M in hopes I would drink at the hotel I was sent to alone, humiliated and then come crawling back for expensive detoxification.  Psychiatry MADE me an “addict/alcoholic” , I understand that.

    As upset as I was I  did not drink in that Hotel, HERE I AM , sober no psych drugs.

    This event along with all the pain psychiatry caused me along the way was the last straw.

    Post acute withdrawal is called a mental Illness then a DSM  “forever label” that is what they are doing and they know it.

    I would like to spread the message of the truth of “dual diagnosis” and I have some $ to throw at it.

    Reputation management It was originally coined as a public relations term, but advancement in computing, the internet and social media made it primarily an issue of google search results.

    My Idea , hire a “Reputation management ” company to expose “Dual diagnosis” with 100s or 1000s free press releases tagged “dual diagnosis” “rehab”  “treatment” and more.



    I’m from Australia, and while there are individuals who know of it, the government is so convinced of certain high profile people that it is beyond belief. We are about to embark on a world first of compulsory mental health screening for all three year olds – parents will be fined if the child is not tested, if this is not compulsory I don’t know what is!! And one can’t forget that while the DSM 5 might have had some brains and rejected psychosis risk snydrome, australia is full steam ahead and putting our instructional DVD’s on how to diagnose it: this should explain it all:

    Martin Whitely is a West Australian MP and while he has much more insight into these conditions, is still convinced that schizophrenia is real, that medications are important for life for these people, etc. But he is at least questioning many other things, which most are not.   He is very open to learning and I share many articles with him, which he is very open to.

    One thing I have done to spread the word is to get my local library to stock copies of both of Whitakers books. This means that people do not have to have the finances to buy the books and can simply read them from a local library. Spreading the location of the books, so more people can read them is one of the best things that can be done.

    There is a growing Hearing Voices Movement in Australia:   There are people within that movement who have stopped taking medications and had massive gains as a result. The channel 10 program “The Project” did a piece on it a while back, but channel 10 management stepped in and would not allow the parts of people who were now off medications to be shown and they also had a top level psychiatrist speak, about the need for a biopsychosocial approach and that treatment MUST go in that order of priority. Medication is absolutely essential for life, and must be the first and most important treatment, second is CBT to help them to understand why they need the medication!! hearing voices she admitted could provide some social support but a person could also get the same supports from supportive family and friends!!!  The way the management of channel 10 intervened in relation to that, really does show just how strong the biological zealats are within Australia.

    Australia also has many other issues. Drug companies are not really able to be fined. The maximum fines are $50,000 per lifetime of the individual drug for false advertising!! Given one drug company in the US just got a fine of in excess of 3 billion it really says it all. NO conference, journal or the like in Australia requires any disclosure of those getting paid by drug companies. We know from research that key people like McGorry, Hickie, etc have published in other countries that they personally are key oponion leaders (paid speakers) for more than 4 drug companies each. But that is not publically known here. I know someone who was quite high up at SANE Australia, again 90%+ of there funding comes from drug companies, but they are exempted from disclosing any of that to the public, due to our laws. Doctors can be paid anything at all from drug companies, it is all legal and never has to be disclosed within Australia for anything at all. The government has refused to change these requirements. The industy is currently considering a voluntary disclosure for organisations, not individuals, as it would remove privacy from them!! Those on the TGA (FDA equivialent) are allowed to have paid relationships with drug companies without disclosure requirements!! And then we are supposed to have a higher level of protection, via the Pharmacueitcal Benefits Scheme board, but again those on the board are allowed to have financial ties to drug companies without disclosure, and unlike the FDA in the US, ALL research and correspondence between the drug companies and the TGA or PBS board are not covered under the FOI legislation, as it is commercial in confidence!! The government claims that individuals are protected as they cannot market directly to us, but they can in other ways. 99.9% of consumer information sheets about these conditions are funded directly by drug companies, they might not say what drug to say, but they make very very clear that medication is the most important treatment. And of course drug companies also fund articles in newspapers, magazines and the like, educating people about the symptoms of depression and encouraging them to see a doctor to get treatment today, which of course will be a prescription!!!


    Quote from Belinda:
    “We are about to embark on a world first of compulsory mental health screening for all three year olds – parents will be fined if the child is not tested, if this is not compulsory I don’t know what is!!”

    This is just unbelievably sad!

    What the drug companies and psychiatry are doing on a global scale, is deceiving and scamming people out of their health, money and lives! It is like watching a criminal organization at work, without much interference from most governments.

    I also believe in the importance of spreading the message of the falsehood of psychiatries’ biomedical paradigm.
    But what I think is more important, is actually taking away the basis on which psychiatry is operating, which is the possibility of legally applying involuntary “treatment” on people as they see fit, in many countries. I think this has to be brought to the courts. This involuntary “treatment” must stop, and it will most likely be in stark contrast to most constitutions of the seemingly democratic countries.
    I live in Germany, and there have been a few very interesting developments over here with regard to these “special laws for the mentally ill”.
    I try to explain in English what has happened here, since it is not my native tongue, please excuse my writing errors:

    In 2011, the German Supreme Court (“Bundesverfassungsgericht”) ruled that forced treatment in forensic hospitals in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany, is against the German constitution.
    The court also ruled that the special mental health law of the state Baden-Württemberg, is against the constitution.
    Because this mental health law basically governed forced treatment for both “mentally ill” prisoners and “mentally ill” citizens, forced treatment for both groups of people is now “illegal” in that state.
    Because all 16 states in Germany basically have the same mental health act, with only different wording, they are now all against the constitution.
    All 16 states will now have to “change” their mental health laws in compliance with a set of rules the Supreme Court has set.
    These rules leave no room for a new mental health law, that would allow for forced treatment.
    Being seen as a danger to oneself and others for example, is not a valid reason for forced treatment according to the Supreme Court.
    Because of the Supreme Court ruling, it was also decided on July, 17. 2012, that adults under guardianship can no longer be treated against their free will (not even against their “natural” will).
    So the current “special laws for the mentally ill” in Germany are “illegal”.
    The states now can come up with new laws. If they come up with new ones, these new laws could not allow for forced treatment.
    Should a state try to make forced treatment legal again in a new law, it would be illegal because of the prior Supreme Court ruling.

    I still have to wrap my head around the fact, that I could theoretically live a life now, without fear of arbitrary punishment from psychiatry.

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