Americans appear to be increasingly terrified by the possibility of ostracism, including for failing to conform to psychiatry dogma. This prevents critical thinking.
Last year, Ronald Pies, MD and Mark Ruffalo, LCSW published an article titled "The Reality of Mental Illness." In it they claim that "most of what is asserted by antipsychiatry is easily refuted by the scientific evidence." Why then do they not refute it? The reality is that they malign us because they have no rational response to our criticisms.
From Psych Central: "After sharing my eccentric journey to recovery in a new book, I’ve been accused of being anti-psychiatry. I’m not anti-psychiatry. I’m...
How did I get here? What turned me from loyal acolyte into fearsome-clawed rebel, itching to take on the high priests of psychiatry? Well, there is nothing like being given a taste of psychiatry’s vile medicine for igniting the revolutionary furnace and getting it glowing white hot.
We need to spread the word to a much wider group. We need to connect with that silent skeptical majority, and deliver the message: your skepticism is well-founded; psychiatry is a destructive, disempowering, self-serving, drug-pushing hoax; your instincts are correct.
The assertion that the so-called antidepressants are being over-prescribed implies that there is a correct and appropriate level of prescribing and that depression is a chronic illness (just like diabetes). It has been an integral part of psychiatry's message that although depression might have been triggered by an external event, it is essentially an illness residing within the person's neurochemistry. The issue is not whether people should or shouldn't take pills. The issue is psychiatry pushing these dangerous serotonin-disruptive chemicals on people, under the pretense that they have an illness.
Psychiatry would long since have gone the way of phrenology and mesmerism but for the financial support it receives from the pharmaceutical industry. But the truth has a way of trickling out. Here are five recent stories that buck the psychiatry-friendly stance that has characterized the mainstream media for at least the past 50 years.
Dr. Jim van Os presents something unlike any other psychiatrist I have come across: a clear vision, and a pathway, for dismantling the existing mental health system and replacing it with something new that actually works. And he is doing it with all the status and prestige not only of a psychiatry insider, but as one of the world's leading scientists. Along with changes in the definitions of health and psychosis, van Os describes pilot programs now underway in The Netherlands to establish small, human-scale services — inspired by Open Dialogue — that engage the social network of people in distress. And, inspired by the best of the US "peer" movement, by involving people who have themselves recovered from madness in a treatment role.
In spite of constantly increasing opportunities to tell different stories to the canonical story of bio-psychiatry, it can be risky for academics to voice a different perspective than the mainstream model of mental illness. In this conversation, a communication professor and a psychology professor discuss their challenges and personal experiences with going against the grain, such as what it means to be labeled “anti-psychiatry” by colleagues and responding to students upset to learn their medications may not be all they thought they were.
I have been called many things by many people over the last six years of my advocacy, and "Antipsychiatry" is, actually, one of the nicer ones. Yet, as much as I agree for the most part, I still I do not resonate with this term. While I completely identify with Antipsychiatry activists because of the abuse I have experienced and that of all the Survivors I know, I have felt pressured within "the movement" to take stands I don't agree with, and express opinions I do not hold. This makes no sense to me except to the extent that trauma often leads people to behave in the same ways as they themselves were abused.
On May 16, 2015, protests against electroconvulsive therapy or ECT will take place around the world. To support this educational campaign, I am releasing my newest Simple Truths about Psychiatry video which is titled “Shock Treatment is Trauma.” Ted Chabasinski, an attorney, is an organizer of the protest. Ted recently talked about his personal experiences and the upcoming protests on my radio show, “The Dr. Peter Breggin Hour.” We agreed that money and power is not the only motivation of shock doctors. Many are taking out their violent impulses on their helpless victims.
On several occasions I have written about the complexities of antipsychiatry politics, exploring more specifically, how to “do our politics” in a way that moves society squarely in the direction of the abolitionist goal. In this article, I am once again theorizing the “how” of activism—for understanding this territory is critical to maximizing effectiveness. However, this time round, I am approaching it from an angle at once more general and more practical. That is, I am investigating the tools or approaches at our disposal as activists.
Based on my experience both as a therapist and client in the mental health field, I have learned that when therapists or psychiatrists give you the following diagnoses all too often here is what they really mean: