Tag: antipsychiatry activism
Madness Network News, founded in 1972 by two women inmates of Agnews State Hospital, was an anti-psychiatry journal that served as the focal point for organizing throughout North America, and even overseas.
Stephen Boren, who posted here under the name Stephen Gilbert, passed away November 12 after a battle with cancer. Stephen offered a unique perspective, working as peer support staff at the same hospital where he had once been held as a patient. We will miss his daily presence on MIA.
The focus of Bonnie Burstow’s new book, The Revolt Against Psychiatry, “is not the problems that psychiatry presents but the attempt to counter them.” Burstow asks, “What pressures might we bring to bear to loosen the grip of psychiatry? We habitually seem to be losing the battle; so how do we turn the situation around?”
I have spent much of the past few years compiling and editing Resistance Matters: An Antipsychiatry Activist Speaks Out, which will document the long and rich activist career of Don Weitz, the grandpappy of Canadian antipsychiatry. Before I met Don in 1986, I thought I was the only person in the world who didn’t believe in “schizophrenia” (with which I had been diagnosed), and who realized that psychiatry was completely bogus.
This week on the Mad in America Podcast we launch our series on forced treatment, interviewing antipsychiatry scholar Bonnie Burstow and neurodiversity scholar Nick Walker. Central to both Nick and Bonnie’s work is the concept of cognitive liberty, or freedom and integrity of the mind.
Without judging the motivation of people presenting and speaking at conferences, I’d like to ask the question: can we achieve more with these conferences than generating knowledge and touching people's hearts? Are we preparing the ground for change or are we marking time?
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.
As an activist, you work for a long, long time seeing no signs of change, and perhaps you are tempted to throw your hands up in despair. However, very, very often something utterly profound is shifting beneath the surface.