Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Comments by registeredforthissite

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  • Interesting. A lot of the criticism of “antipsychiatry/critical psychiatry” actually comes from well-intentioned individuals who think that people of the antipsychiatry variety are against the notion that people suffer and that people who are suffering sometimes are utterly desperate for help. To some of them, this seems to stand for “people not getting the help they need”.

    Also, I will say the article does have positive points as at least some consideration has been given to our voice rather than being a completely vicious attack dismissing, denying, labeling and gaslighting us. Some of the other pro-psychiatry sites are horrendous.

    I will be the first person to say that suffering like depression, anxiety, panic and even stranger varieties of problems are real.

    The article states: “But for Martha, that position is a painful one. What is the “meaning” behind why her daughter’s life has deteriorated the way it has? Martha is part of a Facebook support group for parents where she sees post after post of people desperate for help for their kids, for whom contextual support wasn’t enough. “I don’t know that anyone could say they’re happy or there’s meaning in the way my schizophrenic child is able to live their life,” Martha said”.

    If what’s written is true I wish her child weren’t labeled a “schizophrenic” to begin with. That’s adding an additional layer of suffering to an already suffering individual. I wish them the best and also hope they have a permanent home that they own, and some cash in their pocket to keep afloat.

    The article also states: “When Hurford wrote about her decision to treat a psychotic patient who believed he was a prophet, she got flak from both Mad in America supporters and more biological psychiatrists. “I engaged with both of them,” she said. “And I won neither battle.”

    Again, I hope the man who thought he was a prophet is doing better now, but the dilemma expressed by Dr. Hurford exists on this side of the aisle as well.

    The moment you’re on those drugs, it’s a trap. If it doesn’t work and does horrible things to you, you’re screwed. If it DOES work, you’re still screwed because when you accept the drugs you’re also forced to accept life-ruining behavioural labels, behavioural observations made by others on your character and conduct, electronically stored records, revolving door syndrome (partly because you’re forced back into that world for prescriptions) and you’re pretty much on a chemical leash tied to the psychiatric system which is held by mental health workers and family members (who, god forbid, have less than good intentions). This ends up getting tied to your ordinary medical problems too.

    If you lose, you lose. But if you win, you still lose.

    At the end of the day, problems when solved properly get people out of hospitals and don’t keep coming back over and over again to bite them in some form or the other. However, protracted and traumatic half-baked solutions do do that.

    As an aside, there are lots of people for whom it’s all about the studies (partly influenced by science popularisers and the skeptics movement) and also fMRIs this and MRIs that (which is really more of a convincing tactic than anything that’s practically useful from the end user standpoint).

    The sad part is, the actual experiences of the individuals (which can be brutal, traumatic and life-altering) are just dismissed as “anecdotes” by many. Hardly any of those dismissive individuals ever bother to find out the truth of those actual experiences of individuals till they or their loved ones experience it themselves in some form or the other.

    There is no shortage of individuals (and I’m not talking just about mental health workers) in society who use behavioural labels to gaslight individuals. And it’s just as bad to see individuals who label themselves. Ask many of those who have experienced suffering, and they’ll say “I have OCD, ADHD, BPD etc. etc.” rather than speak about what’s ACTUALLY bothering them. Psychiatry just bolsters this type of thinking which is damaging.

    The issues surrounding psychiatry exist beyond just medication damage.

    I’ll say this. If people have found help in psychiatry and have had only positive experiences, good for them. They are entitled to their opinion. But don’t simply say that people are on the other camp are just rubbish to be dismissed away at your whims.

  • Oldhead, no one in general society would believe your “mental illness is a myth” pronouncement, because though we can understand what that means here, it doesn’t stop people from seeing everyday those who are depressed or anxious or suicidal or end up with strange beliefs. How would you approach this problem?

    I don’t see the practical value in your standpoint given the ACTUAL state of things in the world and not merely intellectual idealism.

    MIA doesn’t necessarily use those terms in order to promote psychiatry (even if that inadvertently ends up happening), but given how most people think and how psychiatry is organised, it becomes practically useful sometimes.

  • If a person wants to undergo shocks, that’s up to him. The problem isn’t the ECT in and of itself. It’s getting into the world of psychiatry. It’s these “I have nothing to lose” moments that are dangerous. In such moments, a person would be so intent on reducing their suffering that they become short-sighted and can’t see future consequences.

    I hope you get better Slacker. I hope it works for you, like some people say it did for them, while it destroyed others’ lives.

  • A simple google search of “nigeria depression” turns up a multitude of results regarding depression and suicide in Nigeria. Perhaps the clique the individual came from didn’t have a concept of “depression” or “clinical depression” (as mental health workers call it). But it’s obvious that an extremely low mood would exist in individuals in any country.

    BUT. I’m happy that the individual probably doesn’t recognise it through the prism of the mainstream mental health profession. Maybe he/she will find an alternate route, and that’s great.

  • There are some new educational policies in my country, subsumed under the rubric of “National Educational Policy 2020”. The wikipedia page states:

    “More focus will be given to students’ health, particularly mental health, through the deployment of counsellors and social workers.”

    Does this mean more psychiatry will enter into the lives of children at a very young age (especially in a country that is not yet as psychiatrised as North American and European nations)?

    I know there are always children who endure some form of suffering (particularly teenagers). But I don’t know if they’d realise what they’re getting themselves into (especially at such a young age with very little power) and the future ramifications on their lives.

  • I agree that a lack of attention or concentration could be a hindrance to people. If so, and they want to take drugs for it, so be it. I’d just never label a child as “ADHD”. It doesn’t end there either, once you start adding in “comorbities” and possible side-effects of stimulants in some individuals like mania, it results into more labelling like “bipolar disorder” etc. and more drugs.

    You could describe and state behaviour for what it is and find out causal factors specific to the individual and leave it at that. Hopefully some people can do that for themselves and stay out of the psych. system and its world altogether.

    Edit: I didn’t see the time-stamp on this article nor post. I replied to someone who probably doesn’t even remember that they made this comment.

  • I wholeheartedly agree that activities like gardening, trekking or being close to nature can provide healing and comfort.

    However, I absolutely despise how ordinary things of that nature, which people find out living life naturally, end up having the word “therapy” attached to them. It’s just like listening and talking being sold as “talk therapy”. It’s a disgusting and dangerous trend adding to the psycho-medicalisation of everyday life.

  • One of the things that IS pretty pernicious about the whole shrink system is, they aren’t people who grew up with you, aren’t people who know you much except a small, fairly impersonal listening and talking session that people have with them. They are someone else’s children, parents, friends etc. Not yours. To you, it’s just some guy who did a psychiatry degree, who’s simply fulfilling an occupational position. It’s a very different thing if you have a dental problem or an infection. Doesn’t have much to do with social stuff.

    How much and in what way can such people truly help you? Would you as someone who cares for someone else label them with life-ruining labels, make files on them and turn them into revolving door individuals?

    It’s a very strange situation.

  • ” I always thought it was because of the American “ideals” of individualism and self-sufficiency as proof of good mental health. But doesn’t this just lead to loneliness? If they actually knew what they were doing, and wanted to help people, wouldn’t they help people to cultivate better relationships?”

    This is actually very interesting. I suppose the grass is always greener on the other side. In my country’s culture, joint families are still fairly common. And I’d say, having close-knit relationships with too many people (and those people with each other) also comes at a cost.

    There’s plenty of territorial aggression, some people’s dreams getting passed over for someone else’s upliftment or benefit, fights over property distribution, individual ways of thinking and preferences conflicting with others’, back-bit**ing, eavesdropping, scheming, jealousy and what not.

    It’s a never-ending discussion. Personally, to a large extent, I prefer the self-sufficient route (but NOT because shrinks say it). At least it gives me control and ownership of my life (or perhaps just the feeling of it?). Does it also produce some loneliness? Yes. Is that loneliness superior in nature to the problems of relationships? Depends on the person.

    It’s also very interesting that we as human beings long for affection. Just take the fact that so many people love dogs and find comfort in their love. However, dogs are basic creatures. Other than maybe bite you, they can’t do the things that humans can do to each other. A dog has far less control on his human ( and it’s a very simple type of control) as compared to what a person might have over another person, which makes people feel secure. They can’t harm or hurt you much.

    Having a good relationship with people around you is almost always predicated on that relationship being mutually beneficial in some way (or at least not getting in someone else’s way). Once that condition isn’t satisfied anymore, problems begin to emerge.

    I think individualism and self-sufficiency rather than being proof of good mental health are simply proof of the fact that you are able to mind your own business and not be a nuisance to others around you (even if that’s justified sometimes), which automatically gives you a reputation of “good mental health”.

    But that being said, yes, without human interaction and people you feel secure around, people who really like you and guide you, life becomes exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.

  • Taking help from CCHR is another complication. The more one takes help from them, the more psychiatry and the public have an excuse to use the Scientology card which simply solidifies psychiatry even more. Nasty situation.

    If a person is down in the dirt with no resources and no power, they will take help from wherever they can get, even if it means turning to Scientology funded groups, no matter how nasty or cranky Scientology itself may be.

  • “Nihilistic delusion”, “personality disorder”, “adjustment disorder”. Good god, such nauseating language typical of psychiatric institutions, their workers and patient supporters. It’s like a DSM AI bot.

    Personally, I have no problem with someone ingesting something that’s helping them and causing them no harm (as they see it). It is your method of help that is putrid.


    You are likely not evil. Most certainly you are a decent person and an upstanding citizen.

    Becoming a doctor in general is demanding and carries risks.

    That aside, you write that you’ve just completed your residency in Psychiatry. In your career, you will go onto label possibly 1000s of people as OCD, ODD, ADD, ADHD, BPD, BPAD, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective etc. You will make incessant observations of people’s behaviour in files that they will have hardly any power over. Every label that you put on a human being could destroy them in ways you might only superficially know. And not only them, but anyone who is biologically related to them as the initially labelled will go onto become their family histories.

    Please consider the career you are about to have. Ask yourself, if you will ever be able to ACTUALLY help a person who is suicidal because of financial problems by donating money to him/her in a personal capacity so he could start a business, or rescue a kid from an abusive family, or help someone like a human being the way a decent mother or a father would ordinarily help their child or whether the scope of your help will be limited to labelling, recording observations in files, using people’s personal information to collect statistics so you can publish a paper/make a case study, prescribe drugs that will make people dependent on you even if they don’t want that.

    Both those things are very different. One involves fulfilling an occupational position. The other involves possibly jeopardising your own career to do the right thing.

    A doctor could always switch to doing things like stitching wounds, fixing broken bones, diagnosing and treating infections etc.

  • Something that’s even worse is, when people act out of a natural impulse to defend themselves, they are sometimes labelled as “treatment resistant” and “personality disordered” (the entire concept is legally sanctioned defamation irrespective of a person’s behaviour) not necessarily only by shrinks but even by members of the common populace. Psychiatric terminology is used as a tool to gaslight and invalidate people. It is misused by the common populace, socially, legally and it creeps into one’s life in nasty ways. And you have labels for all kinds of things including being defiant of authority, having strong opinions and what not. You are lucky to not have the experiences of someone on the other side of the table.

    I don’t wish to be harsh but we have to protect ourselves.

  • Why do they want to die or kill? Just the label of “bpad”? Or is there more to it? Did something happen to the person or he wants to off himself for no reason? Did he express “I wish I could kill him” because he was simply out of it or because the opposite person did something terrible to him? Why did you label him as “bpad”? Could you not have helped him without doing that?

    I could never be a shrink simply for the fact that I would not want to do that to someone else irrespective of their suffering. I could see a child rocking back and forth and eating dung off the road and I would STILL keep him/her out of the system and find another way of help. But it’s all put under the rubric of “science” these days and you’re a “crank” or “in denial of illness” or an “anti-vaxxer” or a “scientologist” for having the common sense to not put yourself or someone else in harm’s way.

    I wouldn’t mind offering a human being methods of help that I could think of with whatever knowledge I have or get someone more knowledgeable, but I have enough awareness to know that the shrink SYSTEM is best avoided.

  • “Keep in touch with your psychiatrist”.

    Wonderful. The reason your ilk is best avoided is not because people don’t suffer. People do suffer from depression, anxiety or what have you. But your method of “help” involves labelling people with derogatory labels, making incessant behavioural observations in files transferred from person to person in your systems. Add to that the fact that drugs are controlled substances, it’s a recipe for long term revolving door syndrome. Sorry to single you out, but do you people have any idea what this stuff does to people?

    “Keep in touch with your psychiatrist”. Most people here do not WANT to keep in touch with shrinks or come anywhere near them or many of their patients. People have gone to great lengths to escape psychiatry and obliterate it from their lives. They have fled from places, lived in anonymity and isolation and what not.

    I don’t think you people truly realise the social implications of what you do, even if your aim is to help and there is no ill-will behind it. You know. But only in the sense that a person blind since birth “knows” that there is something called colour, despite the fact that he will never see it.

  • “I can’t even imagine how hard it was to get this site up and going within the context of psychiatry’s overreaching power. Your work has provided life-saving information to countless people. That burden should never be carried by just one person. There’s a lot of work to be done by all of us. ”


  • @ Robert Whitaker:

    Thank you for what you do. I once contacted you during the initial years of this site regarding SSRIs prescribed for depression and anxiety causing mania and resulting in bipolar labels being applied on people. You promptly responded to my queries. I do not know you personally, nor of any of your shortcomings or strengths. All human beings have their share of those. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I truly appreciate the existence of this place.

  • @ Sam,

    Canada sounds horrific. Absolutely horrific. I hope some of you guys can move to the US. Hell, move to Mexico. It’s probably less of a dump than Canada when it comes to psychiatry. It seems like Canada is great for non-psychiatrised people. But once psychiatry is in the picture, it’s almost game over.

    I don’t think I’ll ever visit that country. I don’t know how I’d prevent EMR from ever coming here. Maybe I should someday write an article about how devastating the EMR system is. It’s like suffering is not something to be helped, but to be punished. How did the world go so bat-shit insane?!

    How did the developed world ever become so barbaric? And how do the clean streets and beautiful buildings and scenery even matter?

  • Yes, most likely from people with your mentality. I wish this man is able to escape the mental health system and all other men and women who would like to keep him in the role of a patient.

    The defense against psychiatry needs money, land, homes, hospitals for medical treatment of physical problems where they don’t have electronic medical records, don’t label you and don’t look at those labels, lawyers, a database of all mental health professionals, their names, information, hierarchies, their hospitals and infrastructure, some kind of online scouting programs like XKeyScore of all people on forums, social media etc. who are likely to label and incarcerate people and bring on psych. junk onto people who don’t want it and monitoring of these individuals. We need people from our populations to become skilled in computers, medicine, law, engineering and all other things that are required to keep us safe. Even weapons if necessary for self-defense .

    The ways of working of psychiatrists and their patient/caretaker supporters must be turned back on them. Hopefully one day, there will be organised antipsychiatry which uses the latest methods in statistics and computer science to protect us and works for us rather than for them.

    The moderators of this place are doing a good job. I don’t see too many of the kind of people you find on mental health forums and the type you find on Reddit Psychiatry sub-forum. The last thing we need here is people of that sort.

    However, one thing that’s not good is that there only few people on here. It’s the same small group people who keep posting and most of them lack wealth and true power. This is a scary situation. Our numbers have to grow. More people must join our cause.

    What a wonderful day it would be when we can see the opposition obliterated. Then we’ll just have to contend with the everyday problems of everyday people.

    The worst part of being a group at the bottom is that the majority believers can do whatever they want. However, one mistake from people on the other side and they’ll hound us like greyhounds.

    I have to laugh at psychiatrists and their supporters that feel victimised by our ilk. Yet, the day after their feeling of victimhood, they’ll be happy to go back to their jobs, and label person after person after person as Bipolar, Schizophrenic, Schizoaffective, OCD, ADD, ODD, BPD, NPD, MDD, ADHD and whatever other garbage that’s there in the DSM. They’d turn people’s lives into voluminous files with observation after observation, hand out pathetic discharge summaries, enable people with less-than-good intentions in gaslighting and blackmail.

    In a relatively isolated society, no friend, mother or father would do this to their children if they only knew the consequences. If they did, they are just horrendous people. But such societies would exist only in the most rural of places these days. The cities are done for.

    And these patients as well, who, while I do not dismiss there suffering, I lack sympathy for because happily gobble it up. They then go and make youtube videos and write articles about their “conditions” spreading their problems to all other people who are nothing like them even if they have been labelled the same.

    And then the mental health guys say if you don’t like it, stay away from us. Really, it’s that simple right? Their psychiatric trash is tied to normal medicine. Their assessments are tied to EMR (where it exists). The drug industry and pharmacies are under their control. The police force is under their control. The courts uphold their labels and power.

    I would like to see these people experience all of this and then see whether they feel the same anger of the people that they do this to.

    Yes, people suffer. Terribly sometimes. And they desperately want help. But psychiatry/psychology and the way they have impacted society are not help. I can’t see how any humane person can engage in this trash.

    Look at how our people are ending up the world over. Living in fear. Fear of doctors, fear of society, fear of getting medical help, gaslighted, marginalised and outcast, and then their real experiences dismissed, denied and they’re called “whiners”.

    I can’t see how anyone can have a “moderate” view when they see these things happen.

  • Ah! A Harry Potter fan. I can’t tell you how much those books mean to me. Childish, I know. But some of the happiest memories of my life are associated with Harry Potter. I have read, re-read and then re-read all the books many times over. I’m almost thrice as old as I was when I read the first book. Even John Williams’ soundtrack, particularly “Leaving Hogwarts”, when I listen to it, feels like a huge balloon of happiness and comfort swelling inside.

    Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!

    Sorry, wrong forum to have a casual chat on a serious discussion. Mods, if you want to remove this comment, you can.

  • @Sera Davidow,

    It seems like most of global society (at least what they show of themselves online), and this includes even patients and the caretakers of those patients, is on the side of psychiatry. People here are dismissed or mocked as being Scientologists or anti-vaccine denialists and individual experiences (which are brutally real for the individuals experiencing them) are brushed off under the rug of “anecdotal evidence”.

    Most people use and stand-by the use of the psychiatric language of behavioural labeling, neurocrap and psychiatrists hold a massive amount of authority.

    People ask, “so you antipsychiatry guys don’t believe mental illness exists”, “what do you call it when a woman drowns her baby?”

    There are forums out there where people are required to write the list of all their “diagnoses” and all the drugs they’re on in their signatures, so that they get “support” from other members. These forums have very large populations. There are mental health chatrooms filled with patients completely reliant on mental health workers (and MH verbiage) who have a quasi-god like status in their minds. They find solutions to their problems and their problems with people around them through these quasi-gods and their language. They are akin to Kapos. It’s very pathetic to see, but also more problematic to protect yourself against.

    How do you deal with these with individuals (and they’re a majority) in real life? How should one protect oneself from such people? Is the best form of interaction to have with them, no interaction? This results in a lot of isolation and constantly living in fear (for good reason) because once you’re into psychiatry, it’s very hard to get out of it for many reasons.

    MadInAmerica is a minority place. It’s a safe space for people who want to get OUT of everything to do with psychiatry including its “doctors” and even patients/caretakers. I’m not sure anything like it even exists anywhere else.

  • There was a lawyer who wrote an article on Mad In America on some ECT lawsuit. I don’t know what that was regarding in fine detail, but what I do know is he faced a lot of vitriol on his RedditAMA. Basically people alleging that the only reason he’s doing it is for the money, and that ECT is used as last resort for people who are unable to get better through any means, and that he should provide studies that ECT causes harmful effects etc. I’m being polite when I write it that way. Honestly, they were much worse on him.

  • Yes, obtaining drugs requires an RX for now in many countries. And there are always questions that pertain to drug legalisation like “What if people misuse them, what if they don’t know what they’re doing?”.

    Yes, you either have to gain the knowledge of how to use them yourself or consult someone who knows how. However, the illegalisation of drugs and putting people in prison or back in the ward for such offenses simply ensures that the person is back in system, and has no escape from psychiatry or its adherents including the patient population or caretaker population.

    After supervision of drug use is received, and especially after people have already been on them for several years, there is no way to get these individuals out of your life simply due to drug illegalisation. This means getting labelled, getting incessant observations in psych. records, coercion no matter how subtle etc.

  • The problem is that they’re “prescribed”. The illegality of drugs without prescriptions, and throwing people in prison or back in the ward for such “offenses” (even if such an “offense” is to protect oneself from psychiatry and its adherents) simply ensures a person is back in the system without any escape.

    There are questions associated with that of course: “If we legalise drugs, what if people misuse them? What if they don’t have apt knowledge about how they work? It HAS to be supervised”.

    The problem is once that supervision has been received, the mental health system and its patient population never get out of your life. People are literally forced back into that world even if they want nothing to do with it. Everyone here knows what that means.

  • Same here. I’ve taken plenty of vaccines, never had a problem. It’s important to not intermix some people’s opposition to vaccinations and opposition to psychiatry. They are in no way related.

  • I don’t understand why people insist on calling psychiatry a “pseudoscience”. It’s the first thing that puts a stopper in any kind of a criticism towards it.

    Psychiatry isn’t a pseudoscience. It’s scientific status is a pseudo-problem.

    That whole debate is a completely irrelevant diversion.

    Having a journal paper industry, journal publishing shrinks, books, organised departments and curricula doesn’t mean what it does is not harmful.

    You could make up an entire field full of those things on all manner of subjects, even those which most of us would consider barbaric. So what?

  • It’s a devastating loop. I’m not sure it’s done to prove they’ve recovered per se. I think it’s done because the only way to protect yourself from a devastating system and the people who adhere to it, is to end up becoming a part of it so that you have some say in it and some authority to keep people who use it against you at bay.

    It’s absolutely horrific if you think of it.

  • There is plenty wrong with the DSM and behaviourally labelling individuals. Circular and seriously stigmatising labels for all kinds of things including being defiant of authority, sticking to your guts and what not. They all have serious consequences, socially and legally.

    If you want to be labelled, and that suits you, fine by me, as long as you don’t expect everyone else to do what suits you (and I don’t expect for someone who holds your opinions to suit my preferences either).

    I strive to stay away from both psychiatry, and vast swathes of the patient population who are equally pernicious.

  • “Psychiatrists are doctors” is an oft-repeated statement. We all know they do undergraduate studies in medicine.

    One can study medicine and become a chef after that. Doesn’t mean cooking is what is conventionally considered as medicine (unless you’re willing to seriously expand the scope of those terms).

    The “psychiatrists are doctors” line is how a group of people who side with the shrinks invalidate another group. By using their authority as “doctors” even in matters which aren’t ordinarily in the realm of medicine (like a broken bone, or an infectious disease).

  • I was on Reddit a couple of days back. It was pathetic.

    The stuff that people write there about “our crowd”. “Mentally ill”, “denial of illness”, “frustrated because of illness”, “treatment didn’t work on them”, “they’re personality disordered”, “more treatment”, “scientologists”, “anti-vaxxers”.

    There’s also a psychiatry sub-group there full of the usual psychiatrist/mental health worker/patient talk.

    Then there’s the skeptic movement type. “Show me the study”, “just anecdotal evidence”. Despite the flaws of “anecdotal evidence”, not everything in life will have a journal paper associated with it. An individual can’t be omniscient and omnipresent.
    Some of the perpetrators of things like this tend to be the patient population themselves.

    Frankly, a large chunk of the patient population and their “caretakers” are just as pernicious as mental health workers themselves. And they’re everywhere! On chat rooms, YouTube pages, social media.
    It took me some time to regain my composure after reading that vomit.

    Psychiatry’s behavioural labelling and its concepts of mental illness tend to attract a lot of vicious individuals who are absolutely masters at gaslighting. Individuals use it as a weapon against other individuals who in some way or form pose a problem to them.

    How can you not be equally harsh as a means to defend yourself, especially given the fact that the opposite side has vastly more power than you?

  • I figured that that would be the case in countries with a high degree of systematisation and purely socialised healthcare. What’s good for the group could be disastrous to individuals.

    All this would do in the context of psychiatry would be to put already suffering people at risk of permanent labeling, and observations that they can never get changed. Even if they could, it would be a never ending and draining battle.

    Even if there’s a certain “compassionate” shrink who “understands”, it is relying solely on his mercy and charity which he can chose to rescind when it fits him.

  • I live in a “third world country”. Even if there is poverty and what not, society here is still not yet AS psychiatrised as it seems to be in higher income nations.

    The system of electronic medical records is not yet as prevalent here. I do know of at least 1 individual who was talking positively about why we need such a system. In my mind, I was flabbergasted when I heard that. The last thing I would want in my life is the psych. labels I was labelled with existing permanently every time I went to a hospital for any kind of physical problem.

    I fear the day the EMR system becomes popular here. Most individuals have no idea about what it could do.

    Something they were labelled with in their teenage will exist till they’re dead. And it will just keep getting worse.

    They’ll be trapped, locked, permanently in revolving-door hell, and if they come from an abusive family, it will almost certainly result in prolonged incurable pain, suffering and gaslighting leading to fearful and confrontational behaviour, which will result in even more labelling and the cycle will continue till death. I won’t be surprised in the least if people commit suicide as a result. Constantly on the run. First from their families, then from psychiatry, then from ordinary medical doctors even for standard physical conditions.

    I’ve frankly become very fearful of doctors.

    Is there no way to escape from EMR in your countries?

  • You have a FORTY FOUR year “experience” as in inpatient and outpatient?! Damn, I didn’t read that part. So, it has basically never ended. I wonder how old you are? Good god, I hope this doesn’t end up being my fate. I have no desire for such an “experience” and I have no desire for their “compassion”. I want the whole thing out of my life and that’s very hard to do! However, it is good that MIA exists. At least, the younger generation like myself gets an idea of how long-lasting this can be, and does whatever it can to avoid the kind of life that people who came before us had.

    Please don’t take this as condescension. Take it as someone expressing their horror.

  • Isn’t Edward Shorter the same guy who wrote “Szasz fails to recognise that the discipline today acknowledges a neurological basis for much psychiatric illness. Thus, his fulminations against psychiatry for treating ‘mental illness’ is off-base. ”

    This is basically the same old false accusation of “mind-brain duality” being peddled again.

    I wouldn’t take this guy’s word seriously at all.

  • “They don’t care about what trauma or abuse, or anything at all that happened to someone – instead they are hell bent on punishing someone for having endured trauma or difficult circumstances. They re-victimize and re-traumatize someone who is already suffering.”

    This is true. But I don’t think they do this because they’re evil. I think they’re just clueless. They don’t realise they’re doing harm because in many cases, their intentions are good and they’re doing exactly what they’ve been trained to do.

  • Suffering is a very real thing. Being extremely depressed is real. Anxiety is real. Panic is real. Not being able to concentrate is real. People with horrible personalities who unwarrantedly hurt people who have done no wrong to them, who consistently lie etc. are real. In what way or form can one deny that human suffering (whether it is caused due to internal factors or caused by another human being, or made through your own choices) is not real? Of course it is. And people are desperate for help in these circumstances.

    But in which kind of a bizzaro world is labeling people with circular and seriously stigmatising labels for life, turning their lives into medical files, turning them into revolving door patients, prescribing drugs which are just as bad as what they claim to heal, not doing anything about the actual problems in hand, be it financial or social, any kind of “treatment”?


    And yes, people do commit suicide. Some people commit suicide because they have no money, some people commit suicide out of humiliation, some out of indignity, some because they’re depressed for whatever reason. But again, some people also commit suicide because of the aforementioned kind of “help” given by the shrink business.

  • The biggest reform that is needed all over the world is the complete legalisation of all drugs (and freedom to choose or not choose) which are currently prescription only. There is this myth that if this is done, society will be in chaos. This is not true. There are plenty of places in my country where medical shops don’t usually ask for a prescription (thank god! But it seems the influence of “developed countries”, BS rules and regulations will slowly change this [and it’s already happening]). But most people don’t irresponsibly put drugs in their body that they don’t need. Why should everyone suffer for some irresponsible addicts who will misuse them or people who aren’t sensible enough to do their own research? If such legalisation will be done, there will be a few individuals who die, which the media and proponents of pharmaceutical control will highlight, whilst neglecting others who are held hostage by their system.

    One can always read about the effects of drugs and ask people who have used them regarding their consequences, positive or negative. One can also consult people who are knowledgeable in chemistry, pharmacology, biology etc. (even medical doctors and pharmacists). These options are always there. But one should not have to be forced to rely on behavioural labelling, controlling and people-trapping organisations, hospitals and people in professional roles.

    There are plenty of people who are either taking psychotropic drugs, or who have to continue taking them till the withdrawal process is complete, which can take months, if not years. Forcing these individuals to rely on the mercy, charity, indoctrination and control of people who were fortunate (or unfortunate, whatever it is) enough to land into the roles of medical doctors is atrocious (hell, sometimes these individuals don’t themselves know the full consequences of what they’re doling out!).

    Freedom will give rise to more information in the hands of people as well. It will also teach individuals to seek proper information.

  • It’s obvious that inattention and the like are real. Some of the behaviours subsumed under the “ADHD” label can very well apply to an individual. You will get some very angry dads, moms and individuals alike if you say “ADHD isn’t real” because they will construe it as you dismissing the problems their kids have, supposedly have, or the problems they have with their kids, or the problems individuals have with themselves.

    If a person wants to take a stimulant as a performance enhancer, that’s up to him, and as long as he isn’t harming anyone (except himself), it is none of our business. Of course, if he is directly or indirectly being forced (even in a subtle manner) to take them, then that brings up a different issue.

    But selling stimulants under the guise of “treatment” for “ADHD” is what is fraught with complications.

    There was some mom here a while ago saying “my child’s ADHD is as much a part of her as *insert some other trait*”. I also remember a guy who used to viciously troll Phil Hickey’s site, hurling abuses, quoting paragraphs from citations, and basically being angry at the fact that “antipsychiatry individuals” are going to prevent people from getting the kind of help that he found enormously useful (which was getting the “ADHD” tag and taking stimulants).

    Let’s not even get into “comorbidities” in behavioural professions. Note the, “be careful with stimulants if they have ‘bipolar disorder'” line in the article. The stimulants themselves can cause mania in some individuals with no prior history of such an occurrence and then it will become a “comorbid” condition (“ADHD” + the newly “uncovered” “bipolar disorder”). This is how it starts. The descent into having multiple labels (“comorbities”) and ending up on multiple drugs and becoming a revolving door “patient”. At least, for some individuals.

  • Let me define Ethics Deficit Disorder:

    Ethics Deficit Disorder is characterised by:

    1.) Constantly seeks to label people with DSM labels.
    2.) Sees no ethical implications of behavioural labelling.
    3.) Enjoys and feels comfortable in the power role
    4.) Is indifferent to the consequences of said practices

    There, you now have a new disorder which also has a neurological basis.

    Psychiatry even delves into the realm of people with “character defects” with its “personality disorders”. Things like being a narcissist or having “black and white thinking”.

    They’ve even proposed “Internet Gaming Disorder” for the DSM-5!

    “Symptoms” include:

    1.) Overwhelming preoccupation with online-activities to an extent, that leads to impairment or distress

    2.) Inability to limit time spent on the Internet

    3.) Loss of other interests

    4.) The need to spend increasing time on the Internet

    5.) Unsuccessful attempt to quit Internet-use

    6.) Use of the Internet to improve or escape aversive conditions, for example stress, Unfavorable duties, dysphoric mood

    7.) Withdrawal symptoms when the Internet is no longer available.

    There’s a whole page on it which includes sections like “Introduction, Mechanism of Internet Gaming and Addiction, Onset, Comorbidities, and then treatment (which includes recommendations of drugs)”! It reads like so many of the other journal papers of psychiatry with its talks of “comorbidities” and therapies.

    There’s also a Wikipedia page

    If this is not the medicalisation of everyday life that Szasz warned us about, I don’t know what is.

    Also, this constant nonsense about “Oh, it’s from the 1960s-1970s” is rubbish. So what? Newton’s laws of motion are from the 1600s! So, does that mean they do not have a great deal of validity today? They may not apply to certain situations but are still quite useful in everyday life.

    Besides, Szasz died in 2012, and continued to publish till almost the year of his death. It’s not like he wasn’t aware of people like Shorter (and there are so many “Shorters” out there) and their writings.

  • “Thomas Szasz’s essay misses several key points about the undoubted changes that psychiatry has undergone since he wrote his original screed against the discipline in 1961. Szasz fails to recognise that the discipline today acknowledges a neurological basis for much psychiatric illness. Thus, his fulminations against psychiatry for treating ‘mental illness’ is off-base. Szasz’s original diatribe was heavily against psychoanalysis. Yet today Freud’s doctrines can scarcely be said to play even a marginal role in psychiatry, and it is absurd to keep levelling the same old charges of 50 years ago. One has the feeling of looking at one of the last veterans of the Esperanto movement in confronting Szasz: lunacy at the time, bizarrely outdated today.”
    –Edward Shorter in 2011, he is a professor at U of Toronto, respected historian of medicine and author of a number of books.

    This used to be my mode of thinking as well. “Oh look at the brain scans, neurotransmitters etc.”.

    Rather than quoting Shorter and his ilk, you’d do well to actually read the works of the man yourself and then form an opinion.

    Proponents of psychiatry like to keep citing the same old “neurological basis” crap and they keep falsely ascribing the notion of “mind-brain duality” to Szasz, which wasn’t something he promoted at all.

    There is no behaviour without a brain, and we all know that. So what? What behaviour in life does not have a neurological basis? The fact that you read and quoted Shorter’s screed has a neurological basis in both your brain and Shorter’s brain.

  • Mauro Ranallo is a combat sports commentator. His documentary called “bipolar rock n roller” is coming out soon in which he loudly proclaims “mental illness may be a life sentence for many of us but it should not be a death sentence”. Yet another documentary that aims to “educate people” on “bipolar disorder”. Documentaries of this type should not be titled “bipolar rock n roller” and should instead be titled “My Own Psychological Problems and Suffering by Mauro Ranallo” .

    Some psychiatrist in the documentary proclaims, “‘bipolar disorder’ mainly describes two things: people with depressive and manic episodes”.

    People won’t hear in these documentaries how people end up experiencing manic episodes due to the very drugs they’re given to help with anxiety or depression. These documentaries also serve to drag the problems of people like Mr. Ranallo onto everyone else labelled with those same truth-obfuscating labels.

    While I won’t trivialise this man’s suffering, you can’t help but not notice the theatrics and exaggerated facial expressions. One more self-aggrandizing documentary which is not going to “educate” anyone, but contribute to even more suffering of already suffering people by creating ridiculous stereotypes.

    Mike Tyson and Jean Claude Van Damme were labelled with the same label (whatever “bipolar disorder” was in the context of their life). How many famous people have we not seen labelled with that? Thank god they don’t each make a “documentary” regarding it because the rest of the not-so-famous population would be totally butchered!

    People like Mr. Ranallo have the right to make these documentaries. And we, to talk about their harm.

  • @Mischa:

    You sound like a rugged individual. It also sounds to me that you had a life where, despite the problems you have faced, people around you have treated psychiatry as merely a thing which is to get you back on track. You did not have psychiatry used to paint you as a “madman” or to gaslight you, and actually end up make you behave in a way where you seem disturbed. You did not have traumatic occurrences and human-on-human abuse in your life be inadvertently dismissed as illnesses.

    Thank you for your appreciation of my supposedly “brilliant short-note”. Any appreciation of me makes me chuckle and also feel sick at the same time, because at this very moment, the very person I was born to is trying to get to prove that I am insane.

    I am not a “victim” in the sense that I would not senselessly blame individuals for no reason, simply because I can. But I will not simply say that certain wrong things were not done to me, be it advertently or inadvertently. Certainly, simply sitting and doing nothing about it is not the way, but every now and then, I still have moments of weakness. I too am responsible for my own physical and mental health. But that responsibility also entails dealing with people who are harmful to me, whether it is intentionally or unintentionally. Simply accepting everything that you are dealt out because you want to be a rugged individual is being a fool.

    I accept whatever limitations I may have. I do not have the IQ of Einstein. I suffer from anxiety every now and then. But I do not accept being labelled with behavioural labels or wish to rely on the mercy and charity of “mental health professionals” or anyone else for my own well-being, howsoever I choose to achieve it.

  • Not really. There are many reasons why many people have not heard of Szasz, or have simply dismissed him without reading his work. One is, that he went and collaborated with the Scientologists. He did so because in his own words:

    “Well I got affiliated with an organisation long after I was established as a critic of psychiatry, called Citizens Commission for Human Rights, because they were then the only organisation and they still are the only organisation who had money and had some access to lawyers and were active in trying to free mental patients who were incarcerated in mental hospitals with whom there was nothing wrong, who had committed no crimes, who wanted to get out of the hospital. And that to me was a very worthwhile cause; it’s still a very worthwhile cause. I no more believe in their religion or their beliefs than I believe in the beliefs of any other religion. I am an atheist, I don’t believe in Christianity, in Judaism, in Islam, in Buddhism and I don’t believe in Scientology. I have nothing to do with Scientology.”

    In retrospect, this was a move that was problematic. Once psychiatry got hold of Scientology’s admonition of psychiatry, it has historically been attempted to link criticism of psychiatry (including Szasz) to Scientology. The over-the-top videos he made with CCHR did nothing to help his cause either.

    Unfortunately, most of his work which is in his books gets overshadowed by the theatrics, the videos of CCHR, apart from several other facets of the proponents of psychiatry. I don’t really care for Dr. Kelmenson’s interpretation of his work either. The source material is always there for people to read themselves. Now, enough of Szasz. I do not worship him either, except to realise the contributions of his work.

  • @Mischa:

    Every now and then we do get people here who talk about how they have benefitted from psychiatry and they feel enraged at the writers and commenters here which is fine and understandable. It is great to know that you found a method that worked for you, be it psychiatry or anything else.

    Quite often, I don’t really bother about the content of some of the articles here (and yes, this particular article has a bit of word play in it), but I do like engaging in discussions with the commenters.

    I’d like to bring up some points. Firstly, “bipolar disorder”, “agoraphobia”, “schizophrenia” aren’t family histories. They are behavioural labels. You’re doing a disservice to yourself and your family members by replacing the occurrences of their life and the reasons for those occurrences and robbing away the truths of their life by saying that those behavioural labels are their/your “family histories”. I don’t deny that they/you have suffered nor the reality of their experiences nor of yours.

    Quite often, when people talk about Szasz and talk about the “myth of mental illness”, they don’t even understand what Szasz was trying to say. Szasz was neither against voluntary “psychiatry/psychology” (or “confidential sessions of listening and talking” as he called them) nor of people’s wish to take meds/drugs (he wrote a whole book on “Our Right To Drugs”), so I don’t see what the problem is (at least on that front). Szasz tried to explain that many of the phenomena labelled as “mental illness” are an attempt to confront and to tackle the problem of how to live, and to identify such phenomena as a disease or illness is to hide the very problems in living that people face. He also talked about the metaphorical nature of that term. Thomas Szasz himself was a practicing “psychotherapist” and some of his clients were psychiatrists and psychologists themselves!

    In Szasz’s time, Karl Menninger was a psychiatrist, who held beliefs much like some of the ones today.

    Towards the end of his life, he wrote to Szasz on October 6, 1988 (I am posting his letter is in italics)

    Dear Dr. Szasz:

    I am holding your new book, INSANITY: THE IDEA AND ITS CONSEQUENCES, in my hands. I read part of it yesterday and I have also read reviews of it. I think I know what it says but I did enjoy hearing it said again. I think I understand better what has disturbed you these years and, in fact, -it disturbs me, too, now. We don’t like the situation that prevails whereby a fellow human being is put aside, outcast as it were, ignored, labeled and said to be “sick in his mind.” If he can pay for care and treatment, we will call him a patient and record a “diagnosis” (given to his relatives for a fee). He is listened to and then advised to try to relax, consider his past sins to be forgiven, renounce his visions or voices or fits, quit striking his neighbor’s windows with his cane, or striking his neighbor’s windows with his cane, or otherwise making himself conspicuous by eccentric behavior. He tries.

    For this service we charge, now. Doctors were once satisfied with a gift, or token, or sometimes just an earnest verbal expression of gratitude. Even if the treatment given was not immediately curative, the doctor had done the sagacious and difficult task of having approached the crazy subject and listened to him and given the condition a NAME, and a prognosis. (In fact, the latter was what he was a specialist in; treatment was really secondary.) You and I remember that there didn’t used to be any treatments, just care and prognosis, “fatal,” “nonfatal,” “serious” “commitable,” “nonpsychotic.” Gradually empirical and chemical agents were discovered which seemed to alter something in the organism which was reflected in the customer’s changed behavior. We accumulated a few methods that seemed to relieve the suffering of these customers, our “patients.” We used prolonged baths, cold sheet packs, diathermy, electric shock, and there were all those other treatments of whipping, strapping down, giving cold douches and sprays. King George III of England was slapped and punched by the fists of one of his “nurses” who later bragged that he even knocked his patient, the King, to the floor “as flat as a flounder.” And the King ultimately recovered but those treatments weren’t outlawed. Added to the beatings and chaining and the baths and massages came treatments that were even more ferocious: gouging out parts of the brain, producing convulsions with electric shocks, starving, surgical removal of teeth, tonsils, uteri, etc.

    Next someone discovered some chemicals that had peculiar effects on people who swallowed them. Alcohol was already well known and opium and morphine and heroin and cocaine; but Luminal was introduced and “Seconal” and similar pharmaceutical concoctions given names ending in “al” or “ol” (as in Demerol). These were regarded as therapeutically useful because they did dispel some of the symptoms and they made the patient feel better (briefly). No baths, no brain operations, no chemicals, no electric shocks, no brain stabbing.

    Long ago I noticed that some of our very sick patients surprised us by getting well even without much of our “treatment.” We were very glad, of course, but frequently some of them did something else even more surprising. They kept improving, got “weller than well” as I put it, better behaved and more comfortable or reasonable than they were before they got into that “sick” condition. We didn’t know why. But it seemed to some of us that kind of the “sickness” that we had seen was a kind of conversion experience, like trimming a fruit tree, for example.

    Well, enough of those recollections of early days. You tried to get us to talk together and take another look at our material. I am sorry you and I have gotten apparently so far apart all these years. We might have enjoyed discussing our observations together. You tried; you wanted me to come there, I remember. I demurred. Mea culpa.

    Best wishes.

    Karl Menninger, M.D.

    Contrary to your assertions, if you actually read his work, you would understand that he actually knew a great deal about suffering. Yes, one feels ambivalent regarding some of his works, but that does not remove the great deal he contributed.

    Second, I have known seen several people who suffer a lot due to depression, anxiety and a lot of other problems like being deluded or whatever else it is. And people have various ways of coping with them. It may be physical exercise, social interactions, taking pills or what have you. You don’t even know what it means to denying “the myths of mental illness”. It is not denying people’s problems in living, thinking or feeling, no matter what you have been fed by psychiatrists or reading random nonsense about big bad “antipsychiatry” online.

    How does this remove the dangers of psychiatry? The truth-obfuscating labelling, the disease-mongering or whatever else. For the most part, shrinks aren’t intentionally bad individuals looking to torture people. But their intentions don’t remove the other harmful modalities of their professions.

    What if you had drugs forced onto you which were ruining your body but you still had to take them? What if you had drugs forced onto you for problems that are not even solvable by drugging up people? Or, what if behavioural labels robbed away the truths of your life, were used to gaslight or harass you, used against you in a court of law? What when people are labelled with labels or do crazy things due to adverse reactions to prescription drugs? The odds would be stacked against you because it is you who would be seen through the prism of sanism and not others.

    Just as I or anyone else should not deny your very real suffering and the positive contributions that the behavioural professions made to your life, you cannot deny that of others and the negative consequences the behavioural professions have made on their life either.

    Good day to you.

  • @AuntiePsychiatry:

    I was one of those moronic millennials once!

    People write on twitter #ADHD, #OCD #EndStigma, or go onto Facebook and write stuff like: “Going through bipolar hell today”.

    I used to write such ridiculous shit too. At the end of my teens, I once became so outlandishly manic DUE to the SSRI fluvoxamine (“manic” is just another word for the fact that I was as high as a kite on and due to that particular prescription drug), coupled with an insane amount of indoctrination (some of which was ‘self-inflicted’ but also associated with the internet culture of the behavioural professions, and also the thirst to know more about science, evolution, the brain etc.), that I ended up writing all kinds of self pathologising, psychotic junk online about my life (as I thought of it during that period of my life and in that “out-of-my-mind” moment) in the public realm and publishing it online. It’s actually being used against me now to “prove” that I’m insane by a certain criminal minded person (who himself is a pathological liar, and a manipulator who should be locked up).

    I have to laugh at the absolute ignorance of the practices of these youngsters. They are obfuscating away the truths of their own lives and actually bringing even more stigma and falsities towards themselves. It’s paradoxical.

    Unfortunately, many of these individuals are too young to understand the depths of the behavioural professions and everything they bring with them, whether it is within those professions themselves, societally, and even the impact of the modalities of the professions and the culture they have created on the very minds of the individuals they try to help.

    In my childhood, I was one of those “scientifically minded” nerd like kids. I always had reverence for the “wonder of science”, used to read Hawking and Dawkins etc.

    If you notice, many of the young kids today are taken in by the “science-based movements” which encourage “critical thinking skills” and which also stand against big bad “antipsychiatry”. Whilst there is certainly a role in place for these movements, and there some good that these movements do (in terms of damning religious superstition etc.), they also (perhaps inadvertently) promote this reverence not just for the truth, but also for positive connotations of the word “science” and also towards men and women who play the role of scientists and medical doctors in society. In some ways, the “man of science” has taken up the mantle of God in society.

    The pro-psychiatry camp is quick quote citations of journal papers, brain scans, stats, terminology, similarities with other medical specialities and has also aligned themselves with “skeptics movements” etc.

    These kids won’t realise the damage of these labels, the medicalisation and pathologisation of their own behaviour until it is too late. Not engaging in the “anti-stigma” kind of behaviour is directly correlated with not wanting to be perceived as a crank in “rational society”. What can you do?

    People like us will not have the same kind of credibility as doctors, neuroscientists etc. That being said, I also think people in the antipsychiatry camp argue in a way that it makes them look like cranks as well.

    The only way some people will have certain realisations is after the damage is already done.

    Earlier in the morning, I was going through the YouTube video of Bonnie Burstow’s Antipsychiatry Scholarship.

    The comments section was littered with the same old comments from the antipsychiatry camp about “psychiatry is a pseudoscience”, “big bad Big Pharma”, “no biological tests in psychiatry” etc.

    It was also littered by the pro-psychiatry camp with the same old “Don’t you believe in MRIs, fMRIs?”, “D2 receptors in ‘schizophrenics'”, “what do you call when a ‘schizophrenic’ man has acute psychosis”, “why not have anti-cardiology if you have antipsychiatry?”, “we need to bring in patients who’ve benefitted from psychiatry to counter this nonsense”.

    I know all of the stuff that both pro-psychiatry and anti-psychiatry camps argue about. Seen it around too often.

    In this whole thing, the only people that end up getting screwed over are some of the individuals who have ended up in the behavioural professions. There’s hardly anyone to help them then.

  • I agree with several of your points. I have also read your website and I like your take on things. However, a couple of things to talk about:

    1.) Why don’t people who are licensed as clinical psychologists simply publish all of their interventions in the form of easy to read and understand PDF documents and upload it online? This is horrible for their practice as a business because it takes money out of their pockets, but would be very helpful for a lot of people. This has already been done when it comes to education (mathematics, physics etc.) via mediums like Khan Academy and all the other YouTube (or otherwise) content creators. People have also published free e-books for learning programming for instance.

    2.) In cases where people actually need someone for them to be there, you could take up the real life role in that case.

    3.) The danger of therapy is that it attempts to find the problem within the individual. What if a person is suffering from an abusive individual (even when they are going through it currently)? It is impossible to do anything about it once you have entered the behavioural system and you have ready-made behavioural labels (hell, even the fact that a person is in “therapy”) for the perpetrator to exploit, gaslight you, and use against you in courts, through the police etc.

  • The other thing is, if people want to engage in “psychotherapy”, or “confidential sessions of listening and talking” as Szasz called them, they can do so in the form of one human being communicating with another to find out a solution to some problem, just as individuals do with each other in ordinary society. Not in the roles of:

    1.) A labelling, record-keeping, state backed individual.


    2.) A person in the patient role.

    Such a system (the one that exists right now) only creates 2 more problems in the place of 1 problem it solves.

    Doing the version of “psychotherapy” which is a “confidential session of listening and talking” would imply the following:

    1.) All people licensed to practice as mental health workers must disband from institutions which engage in institutionalisation, labelling and coercive drugging, and move into private practice as individuals.

    2.) To maintain absolute confidentiality, any records must be destroyed on the request of the person in the patient role.

    3.) To avoid unwarranted stigma, the individuals must be willing to go from home to home, and not in a building where all their clients are in one waiting room.

    How many practitioners would be willing to take this risk? Not many. There might not even be a reward for this kind of practice (for the people playing the role of “therapist”) at the end of the day. Would the law in the country of practice allow for such practices? What if the person in the role of therapist ends up in prison or has a lawsuit filed against him/her?

    The other things are:

    1.) It is a well known fact that several individuals who end up in any of the forms of “therapy” are people who already dealing with other abusive individuals in their life. What can people in the role of therapists do about the perpetrators, without which, there is no point of any kind of “therapy” in the first place?

    2.) There are also people who come from very good families, with no obnoxious individuals in their lives, but rather some problem in living, thinking or feeling that is causing them distress. This is the class of individuals who can benefit the most from such a practice.

  • You tell us. Only you can know that. How can a person playing the role of a shrink give you the answers to that question? Many of the horrible things we go through in life are not choices. You’ve already called your unhappiness exactly that. “Unhappiness”. Do you think getting about 5 labels for that occurrence changes or explains what you are experiencing? Perhaps calling it “Panic Disorder”, “Generalised Anxiety Disorder”, “Social Anxiety Disorder” etc. makes you feel like you have more of an explanation? It isn’t. They’re just tautological re-wordings of what you’re going through, a kind of sleight of hand; a magician’s trick.

    All your shrink will do is listening and talking and giving you drugs. So take your “Celexa” and be happy about it. Celexa to you, alcohol to someone else. So what?

    Let us be honest. The ONLY reason you even see a person playing the role of shrink is because you have a paid shoulder to cry on, and a person who is part of a system that has a monopolistic control of pharmaceuticals. In other words, you are on their mercy and charity. That is all. If someone gave you 10 million$ and a life time supply of any drug you wanted, you wouldn’t even be on here.

    Every post you write practically goes like this:

    “we don’t know enough….bio/psych/social is the way to go…..”

    There is no physical body without genes, no behaviour without a brain, and no life without an environment to exist in. This is a trivial fact of existence, even if it is presented in behavioural literature like it is some exquisite finding of “science”.

    What is the practical relevance of it? Is a person playing the role of a shrink going to modify your genes? Is he going to change who you were born to or where you were born? Is he going to give you a million bucks?

    Once again. Listening and talking + labelling + drugs = practical practice in the behavioural professions.

    The person playing the role of shrink will move up the research ladder, get his next honorary doctorate, publish journal papers with his name on it (maybe even make a case study of you), perhaps be a “cool shrink” or a “caring guardian” talking about how people are being over-medicated or even become a writer on MIA, join some collaboration like the “Cochrane Collaboration” talking about “how drug companies are hiding the clinical trial data”, publish a book, give a TED talk; and basically, improve his legacy at the cost of you becoming a moron in between.

    He is the observer. You are the lab-rat. You are no different than the mice who are being tested on in order to find a cure for cancer or whatever else it is (but by no means is this the explicit intention of shrinks. Their intentions are as “good” or “bad” as the people working in the departmental store you buy your groceries from). The only thing is, the mice get nothing out of it, but people sometimes, get SOME things that they want, but also lose something more. The person who REALLY gets something out of it, is the person playing the role of the professional. Not you. Not me.

    littleturtle, just like you, I have come across people in the behavioural professions who were very “nice” to me. Polite, well-behaved etc. It is only after sometime I saw what a fool I was and what it took away from my life. And not because any of the individuals I came across in these professions in my life were “bad” people. It’s the nature of the beast. The game of life. We are all selfish creatures, striving to maximise and realise our potentials.

  • “Psychotherapy” is a ridiculous gimmick and a system of pseudo-help that maintains the notion that they can solve human suffering, even the kind which either has no solutions, or has solutions which depend on actually practically doing something for the individual without trapping him in a system of endless listening and talking in a closed room.

    As far as information about behaviour and practices like mindfulness or whatever other scientistic therapy names they have (“CBT” or what have you), they can simply do their research and put it out in the public domain so that individuals can use the information for themselves.

  • While I agree with the egregious consequences of truth-obfuscating labelling, and the myths of mental illness, there does exist suffering. And sometimes people want to do something about it. Whether it is social interactions, learning skills of various kinds, moving up social classes, making money, VOLUNTARY drug use or otherwise. But I agree that the behavioural professions, a.k.a psychiatry and psychology, are terrible agents to even try to alleviate any kind of suffering. Their role in public life must be severely curtailed. Their monopolistic control of pharmaceuticals, either to force them onto people, or to keep them away from them, or even to give them access based on ridiculous practices, must be curtailed as well.

    Unfortunately, in order to truly help an individual, it takes a lot of sacrifice and even personal risks, on the part of everyday individuals, and even on the part of men and women who are playing the medical role. Risks they would not take out of fear of legal sanctions or even ending up in prison. I don’t believe in reforming the “system”. Every system fails someone. I do believe in the power of an individual to help himself/herself in ways that allow him/her to realise his/her peak potential. It is this ability to help oneself in a manner of their own choosing that the behavioural professions and their allies rob away from individuals.

  • I agree on a certain level. The only “manias” I had in the past were drug (SSRI) induced. And it was nothing more or less than a drug high. It’s literally like taking a very strong stimulant. I suppose it’s similar to what snorting coke would be like (which I’ve never done, BTW).

    I suppose a large number of manic episodes that people experience in our day and age are drug induced. Either due to legal, illegal, or legal-by-prescription drugs. While I know that “spontaneous” i.e. non-drug caused mania exists, I have never yet personally met someone who experiences it.

    I met a man once who would have “spontaneous” manic episodes every now and then, but that’s because he says he had a brain injury when he was a kid. I have no idea about the legitimacy of his words regarding the matter though.

  • The following was a comment by a certain Brennan on your Now Toronto article.

    Brennan comments: “Without SSRIs and other modern mental health medications, which are methodically prescribed to me by my psychiatrist, I would be a complete burden on society. No one (medical professional or layman) has even questioned my need for pharmaceuticals for my physical ailment but, very few understand the importance of my need for my other medication.

    Purposely using atrocious abuses and ignorance of the medical system as meaningful examples from decades ago to justify her current stance is pretty low (and I do mean building a wall low). Just because she shamelessly cites examples of a system that targeted and forced treatment upon on “gays” and “women” is reason enough to kick the soap box from under her. Personally, I do not see how her stance on mental health is the least bit progressive. She is, at best akin to Ann Coulter participating in an open panel discussion on Bill Maher’s show. If she can teach antipsychiartry, why can’t Eugenics be brought back; calipers and all.”

    One of the things some of these people are afraid of is that you’ll take away their pills from them. Funny. Considering that even in the hypothetical scenario where professional psychiatry is gone, drugs could still be bought directly from a drug store (except that the law currently makes it impossible in most countries) for those who wish to use them. It’s very easy to enter into psychiatry to take drugs. It’s a lot harder to be rid of psychiatry so as to not be forced to.

    There was also a lot of the standard psychiatric junk about brain imaging and the false association with Scientology.

    Out of curiosity, Ms. Burstow; what kind of courses are you looking to teach in these antipsychiatry programs?

    Also, congrats.

  • Dr. Neil,

    I’m sure you’re not a bad person who wants people to be on his mercy and charity. But the fact is, you are the gatekeeper to the drug-store. You are also the enforcer of paternalisation, however subtle or well intended.

    You are a labelling, record-keeping, behavioural observation noting, file transferring creator of revolving door “patients”.

    And people like you, irrespective of their good intentions, are still a massive roadblock to the well-being of individuals.

    It isn’t merely the drugs which make people resist your profession. Drugs don’t take themselves. It’s the fact that you exist with all the other facets of your profession.

    You write: “Any patient with depression, say, is free to read up on information and any reasonable psychiatrist or family doctor will respect choice, within limits”.

    Your “limits” and your code of conduct and “professional practices” are dangerous to me.

    “Pharma regulation must include professional prescribers”

    No. That depends on who is making the rules and for whom. If you ask me, the professional role must become more lax. If you want to act as consultants between voluntary individuals, like a business contract, then fine.

    You cite people who are dead due to drugs. On the other hand, there are people who are alive but whose existence is just that; merely existing (or even utter misery), thanks to the mental health profession in between.

  • Have you considered the notion that the hatred of prescription drugs comes, not from simply the unintended negative effects of the drugs themselves, but rather from having individuals who play the role of medical mental health professionals, existing as arbitrators between what is ideally a relationship between the individual and the drug store?

    People in distress may want to try out drugs. When they want to, they might want to consult someone knowledgeable about what the drugs do, and also talk to people who have used them. When they want to taper off, they might want to do that with someone’s help as well. Of course, the best help, if possible, is self help. But the consulting is ideally between a few knowledgeable humans who are looking to help one another. Not between a professional backed by the state and a person in the patient role.

    However, the law mandates that the only way a person can get prescription-only drugs, is by just that. The prescription of a mental health professional. A person who will label, do record-keeping, can infantilise and coerce individuals, force drugs onto them, and with the best of intentions turn them into a revolving door patient etc. Your very institutions and playing the patient role in those places is nauseating.

    Granted that most of you are not evil individuals who are picking random people off the streets and looking to torture them with drugs. I am not trying to push the “mental health professionals are the children of satan” viewpoint. But that does not remove the associated dangers of interacting with people such as yourself.

    Get out of the way and stay out is what I’m trying to say. But that is not possible. People are forced to rely on your unwanted, and frankly intrusive, mercy and charity.

  • Well written knaps. Mr. Moritz, like many people in his profession, seems to be a decent person. However, while it is important to have people with good intentions work with you, those good intentions don’t remove the associated dangers.

    Going through bits of this article reminds me of the dangers of scientistic behavioural jargon, and why getting trapped in a system of well-intentioned human beings who think and operate in these ways, and label people, and the modalities of their own thinking completely removes any normalcy from an individual’s life. While they have their reasons for doing it, the public also has good reasons for wanting to avoid it. This is not just true within the institutions but also among public domains like books, the internet, published literature etc.

    In common society, we talk about love, joy, hope, success, failure, strength, weakness, comfort, adversity etc. We don’t talk about behavioural criteria, cognitive biases, mood congruence and incongruence etc. That very language, whilst being useful in some moments for some people, after a while, becomes toxic, nauseating and prevents people from turning into psychologically healthy adults who are in tandem with ordinary society.

    Mr. Moritz is probably a good human, and I applaud him for posting on here and taking some heat which may make him feel agitated. I do not want to slander him in any way. Many people from the mental health fields feel very victimised by the MIA crowd, as I see posts from them (on various mediums like blogs and comment sections), the contents of which range from absolute anger at the MIA crowd (which includes labelling the commenters here with “personality disorders”) to fear. The kind of stuff presented in the article, while it is obvious Mr. Moritz has exerted a lot of physical and mental work in creating, and it is great that he genuinely wants to help people, is not stuff that is very new to me. I have seen modules of this nature before.

    That being said, I am also terrified of anyone in any country like Mr. Moritz or his colleagues, and they have to live with the fact that there is absolutely nothing they can do, no matter how well-intentioned or noble their cause may be, to make some of us feel comfortable with them, EVER. It isn’t because they are bad or flawed. My experiences are probably nowhere near as bad as some of the posters here, but it has been enough to keep away. It is just the imbalance of power that exists, added with all the other facets of the professions.

    One being the observer, the other being the lab-rat. One being able to label, and the other on the receiving end. One who will form “well-intentioned therapeutic alliances with family members” regarding the “condition of their relative” (which from what I have seen can be a fair bit of “well-intentioned indoctrination”), which is compassionate infantilisation that will impede the person playing the role of patient from ever reaching his fullest potential. Once this happens, the person playing the role of patient can never fully trust his family again either. One who has the backing of the state, the power of the pen, the paper and the syringe, and the other who doesn’t.

    The “I do not like to be spoken to as if the naive lackey of some kind of nazi organization” line made me chuckle. However, visiting the website just shows that this organisation is just like every other well-intentioned organisation of psychiatry out there in every country. There is no initiative to stop labelling individuals. The same truth-obfuscating, scientistic behavioural jargon permeates their modality of help. It is still ripe with “personality disorders” (aka state-sanctioned medicalised defamation irrespective of the behaviour of the labelled). I also expect diagnoses of “bipolar disorder” due to mania caused by prescription drugs like stimulants and antidepressants are also made at his workplace.

    The article mentions that there are people with this thing called “schizophrenia”. I am well aware of the behaviours that are subsumed under the tautological rubric of that label.

    Now, I have met many people labelled with that label. Several of the individuals I met were people who were engineers, business graduates, had Ph.Ds etc. They were smart, rational, funny and on the whole pretty normal. Unless they would have told me about their label, I would never even have known. On, the other hand, there is the other version that most people are familiar with. The person with the dirty matted hair, speaking to things in the air etc.

    More than their problems, I applaud their resiliency in living in society playing the role of a “schizophrenic” with all the stereotypes that come with it. Mr. Moritz mentions that “the disorder is neither demonised or trivialised”. Well. You have demonised these individuals the day you labelled them as “schizophrenics”. Their suffering is enough without mental health professionals butchering them even more by labelling them in such a manner.

    Life is full of contradictions, and we are all hypocrites every now and then. They are not “bad”, and we are not “good”. I suppose if I had the circumstances where I was in a position of medical power and the head of a department of some behavioural field, I would be out there labelling individuals, putting them into categories and doing everything else that these people do. But I am where I am, and they are where they are. Snakes and mongooses. We must be vigilant of the other, and we will fight, because we must, in order to preserve our own well-being.

  • I find concepts like “CBT” for children who are already going through abuse at the hands of another person to be ridiculous. It’s like teaching a child forced into prostitution how to better handle being a child prostitute than to remove him/her from that situation and doing something about the perpetrator.

    Unfortunately for children or youth in such situations, falling into the hands of the mental health professional is just as dangerous, because once the kid is labelled, the perpetrator will use the labels and also the fact that the victim is taking “psychiatric help” as an excuse to gaslight him/her further making the victim’s outwardly behaviour progressively more aberrant and seemingly “sick” which is again used as a point for even more gaslighting.

    This is one area where most of you people fail, and actually become a part of the problem and not a solution. Most mental health professionals are well intentioned and quick to want to help out the person with their whole gamut of psychological therapies or prescription drugs. They just lack insight (much like some of their patients), that they are actually a danger to such clients.

  • Anxiety and obsessional thinking are very real. They can be very distressful as well. But “OCD” is a horribly damaging and truth obfuscating tautology to label individuals with, especially when they are already suffering and trying to understand the nature of their suffering.

    Underneath (sometimes) irrational obsessional thinking (which could superficially be a myriad of things), there is always something like a fear of losing control, or a fear of something bad happening etc., which is the primary schematic beneath such superficial thoughts.

    When those are the fundamental ideas (which even occur in varying degrees in people with no dysfunctional lives), it makes sense to simply say that, in ordinary human language, than to teach people that their “‘OCD’ is causing so-and-so behaviour”, which is the equivalent of HD (Headache Disorder) causing a headache. Yet, this is repeatedly done by mental health professionals (and even their clients), both in real-life and online.

  • Well, as I said, this is a war and some name calling is expected.

    With regards to professionalism, there are both good and bad sides to it. I think qualities like being rude etc. are very human traits to have, and we have all exhibited them in some form or the other, whether it was justified or not.

    When people playing the role of “professionals” behave in a way that is natural, it is actually good if you think of it from the view point of it shattering the mythical aspects of “Mental health workers are experts on people’s minds and lives”. The mythical aspects of that view-point, to me, is far more dangerous than any rudeness I may encounter or shell out. Call me an asshole, I will call you a prick back. Or hell, if I was mistaken, I’ll even apologise.

    Label away the truths of my life under the rubric of medicalised jargon, use it against me, and it’s over.

    When you’re being a professional, you’re being an actor. People can’t be expected to act all day long. There are many places online where people licensed to practice as psychiatrists write about the kind of vitriol they get. At some point, they will want to hit back, which is only human. And go ahead, hit back. No problem. Just leave your medicalised behavioural jargon in the dustbin where it belongs.

  • I have not read the article on which I’m commenting.

    But, I did visit this Dr. Hassman’s blog.

    In it, he calls MIA people “losers” and what not. That’s okay. This is in some sense a battle between groups with different interests, and some name calling is expected. Call a person something, and they will call you something back. ‘Tis life.

    But then, he does something which disgusts me and something which rather shamelessly showcases his profession. He seems to be a master at “personality disorders”. Something, which to me, are the most defamatory of the tools which are in the toolbox of the men and women who are licensed to practice as psychiatrists.

    I do not care what the person has done. Dr. Larry Nassar, an American osteopath, was recently in the news because he molested 200 girls. It was trending on youtube at the time so I watched his trial.

    If a man like Larry Nassar molested 200 girls, then that his what he did, and there are reasons behind it. Relabelling it under the tautological rubric of a “personality disorder” adds no more truth to it.

    In one of his articles, he writes about MIA commenters:
    “Amazing how illustrative the usual primitive and dysfunctional defenses of the personality disordered are well provided: the projections, denials, deflections, minimizations, and frank pathetic rationalizations of child-like mentality are on full display!”

    It is also very illustrative how the minds of (at least some?) medical men and women work.

    If a person is deflecting or whatever else it is, say that. Why then cover it up under the tautological rubric of a “personality disorder”?

    Person: X person is denying, deflecting, projecting etc.

    “Doctor”: Yes, that’s a classic personality disorder.

    Person: But why does he behave that way

    “Dumber” (sounding) Doctor: Well, only personality disordered people do that.

    “Smarter” (sounding) doctor: The etiology of the “condition” varies from person to person. There are biological and environmental risk factors.”

    The reality: The person is behaving in a certain way, and just like I have reasons for my behaviour, he/she has for his, and that’s what it is.

    If I had the power of labelling, I could easily have done this to Hassman. God knows how many people he has labelled with his personality “disorders, clusters, Axis *insert your favourite number here*. All with good therapeutic intentions of course (and I’m not even being sarcastic).

    It is obvious that, at least sometimes, he is using these terms as weapons even though he denies it and writes elsewhere “I have seen therapists use such terms with less than therapeutic intentions”, which is what he is doing even if he denies it. Besides, associating these terms and “therapeutic intentions”, no matter how well intentioned the labeller is, is a folly. The intentions of the labeller or the definitions of such labelling do not matter. You just don’t do it.

    Medicine (I am excluding psychiatry from this) is a complex subject. If a person comes in and says “fever”, it could mean so many things. Every doctor has their own way of working, and on a bad day, even an otherwise excellent doctor can make a mistake. If a doctor (again, I’m excluding psychiatry from this) made an honest mistake, I could understand it, and perhaps I’d even encourage that doctor to better next time (unless he has done something that needs me to get amputated or the like). I cannot show the same leniency towards people who are licensed to practice as psychiatrists.

    People like Hassman frankly terrify me. Knowing that there are people like that out there in the field of psychiatry is all the more reason to stay away from the profession. If I am ever labelled with tripe like “personality disorders”, I will do everything in my power to ruin the medical career of the labeller involved. And if he/she wants to hit back because they believe they are justified in doing it; well fine, then we go to war.

    If a person is behaving in a certain way, say that. Perhaps he will say a few things about you to, and you will have a conversation with each other. If you have state-sanctioned medical power and put a “personality disorder” on the file (irrespective of how the person behaves), the conversation is over.

    In yet another post he writes about MIA people as people who keep writing about “abusive doctors” and that’s “classic Axis 2 stuff”. Most people who practice psychiatry are indeed not abusive and intentionally cruel. But that does not stop them from being dangerous. Hassman is a good example of that. Once again, if a person is behaving in a certain way, say that. By all means say that a person is “deflecting, denying” or whatever else it is. Why relabel it under the rubric of “personality disorders”?

    Further on he goes on to say “characterological problems means Axis 2” and justifies this labelling. No. “Characterological problem” (whatever it may be) is whatever that behaviour is. It does not matter what clinical definitions have been cooked up for these labels. Changing the definitions, or “diagnosing carefully based on clinical definitions and guidelines” does not change the fundamental underlying political nature of these labels.

    The danger is not having a personality type (everyone has a personality type, and our personality changes with our experiences in life). The danger is in allowing a medical man to label it.

    If it is such a trivial fact, and just an “aspect of medicine”, then I would ask all members in departments of psychiatry and psychology to do the following.

    Make personality classifications for each of your colleagues (and they can do it for you). By that, I don’t mean your favourite hobbies or books to read. But put yourselves in Axis’s, clusters etc. and publish the information with your name and photograph on your hospital websites for the public to see.

    There are many psychiatrists who publish on MIA. Sometimes, even we learn a few things from them. There are also people who come in here and write stuff with which we disagree with in varying levels of intensity. I have yet, never seen any mental health worker here, so shamelessly and publicly medicalise and stamp people’s actions. I sincerely hope someone sues the life out of this Hassman person.

    Hassman says antipsychiatry people are rude and they avoid his blog in “fear of exposure”. Or perhaps, maybe they don’t want to engage with him precisely because of his behaviour? And are pro-psychiatry people angels?

    I have seen Phil Hickey’s website be littered with rude and abusive comments, F-bombs and what not. In one of Dr. Hickey’s articles addressed to Hassman, he wrote about some of the comments he got (and still gets) from the pro-psychiatry camp. One of them was about how Phil Hickey should see a psychiatrist (a man of “reason and science” according to the commenter) for his “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. You can clearly see how these individuals have weaponised these terms, and they are shameless at it. The only thing is their denials, dismissals, deflections etc. cannot be medicalised away by people who are powerless to do that.

    I hope a time will come when courts of law and other powers that be start seeing these terms for what they are. Defamation, libel and slander; and start handing out suspensions for mental health workers who do this stuff, especially if a person has explicitly asked to not be labelled.

    That being said, if a person uses these terms against you, you should do what you can to use it back against them.

  • @Rachel777:

    Is your other pseudonym here FeelinDiscouraged?

    I was labelled “bipolar” when I was 16 due to mania caused by sertraline prescribed for anxiety. That label is a lie. Labelling people with defamatory labels and robbing away their truths for drug induced occurrences is something psychiatry commonly does. It isn’t so much the prescription of the sertraline I was worried about. It’s everything else that came with and after it.

    I have been harassed, abused and gaslighted for years because of the labels I have (I’m not talking about psychiatry) which are a lie. I cannot even get justice from said abuser because I’m labelled with DSM garbage.

    It’s not so much that I have not had anxieties or anything. But that’s the thing. You enter, or you are made to enter, into these systems with one problem. When you come out, you have two more.

    I am still living with so much dejection and pain everyday. Not many people can understand this, except some folks on here. Despite having people all around me, and talking to so many people, it’s like living a bit of a lie.

  • @Ms. Moncrieff:

    You have given a few examples: two of them being a man obsessed with religion and a woman whose delusional thinking starts with writing poetry. In the hands of psychiatry, both these individuals will be labelled with some or the other DSM rubbish. Schizophrenia or what have you. Don’t you think the best way to provide any form of help to them would be to not rob away their truths by labelling them with a lie (irrespective of what the clinical definitions of the DSM labels applied to them are; in the future if being a psychiatrist was a social sin defined as Ethics Deficit Disorder, it would have clinical definitions and a barrage of journal papers and brain scans to go along with it too) right at the start and see their problems for what they are?

    The person and his/her family members will see the label and have a false sense of having some sort of an explanation when it isn’t. Family members with bad intentions will misuse the term in a false manner.

    Also, there is no context with regards to why those people got obsessed with religion or poetry. What were the preceding events? What else are they surrounded by? Why the obsession with religion and not with the weather for instance.

    I agree with you that drugs used for a short period of time may have some positive benefit assuming they don’t do other horrible things. But what after that? What about the consequences of the labelling? The consequences of having become a part of the psychiatric system and it becoming a permanent fixture in one’s medical records? The indoctrination of families that comes with it?

    What if the person wants to take prescription-only drugs without psychiatry as a middleman (because there are a lot of things that come with simply getting a prescription)? What when they want to taper off of them?

    See. Ordinarily, a person in a phase of distress will have some issue for which, if they are in the right mind to see it, they will seek some form of assistance. Depending on the problem, it may be going to the police, going to a drug store to buy pills, talking to a friend etc. If they are not thinking rationally, for the time being, there will be an intervening force in the form of some or the other people related to the person.

    How does one eliminate psychiatry as an interfering agent between whatever the person wants as help?

  • No self-respecting person should be part of an institute or take up a position based on inability, but rather because they are capable and more capable than others who are vying for the same position.

    “Accomodate people with ‘mental illness’ ” is just another way to spread falsities about that term and create helplessness even amongst capable people based on myths.

  • Legalise all drugs which are currently prescription-only in select places and remove doctors and psychiatry as middle-men, except only as voluntary consultants (if the person wants to use them at all) to give information in exchange for payment (and not as labellers and behavioural-record maintainers).

    The community can learn for itself how to use these drugs or taper off of them.

    If someone partakes in an “epidemic” type of misuse, it’s on their own heads. There is no need for “well-intentioned policy makers” to butt in.

  • Exactly. The notion that these labels “aid in treatment” is a continuous and consistent myth and a poor excuse to keep labelling individuals and rob away their truth (of course, this is not the intention of the labellers).

    Steve, all behaviours have causal factors. But they vary from individual to individual. The notion that these labels do any such thing as to remotely go into the “cause” in specific individuals who are everyday people getting involved in psychiatry (and not some research subjects) is utterly misleading.

    I think we have all also seen how these labels actually result in medical mistakes rather than any sort of healing.

  • Is this what “Dr” (or whatever she is) Anika Mandla et al have been wasting their time doing? It’s very nice that they spent the time doing this. But they would do a lot better debunking these ridiculous terms like “bipolar disorder”.

    Bloggers described the idea of being “wired differently” and some used terms such as “bipolar brain.”

    Yes, I have seen many people do ridiculous things like this and it is infuriating to see it. People like these researchers would be a lot better of questioning people about the validity of such terms with respect to their lives.

    I have met people with traumatic brain injury who keep experiencing mania every now and then. Then there are other people who experience “spontaneous” manias. Yet again, there are other people whose “bipolar” diagnosis comes solely due to drug induced mania (drugs prescribed by psychiatrists). These are all DIFFERENT circumstances and do not constitute the same thing and SHOULD NOT be labelled the same way (that’s keeping aside the entire argument against labels), which they usually are.

    People who talk about the “bipolar brain” should rather talk about their own goddamn brains and shut up about everyone else (which they are indirectly doing).

  • I will say a simple thing. People have used drugs since time immemorial to feel a certain way. There are drugs we deem illegal (cocaine, heroin etc.), drugs which are legal (alcohol,nicotine, marijuana [in some places]), and drugs which are legal only by prescription (many psychiatric drugs).

    The fundamental purpose of all drugs (whether they are legal, illegal, or legal-by-prescription) is the same. People ingest them to feel a certain way, or they are forced onto people with the hope that they behave in a certain way. This fundamental principle is irrespective of the nature of drugs or their effects.

    SSRIs for instance, in a subset of people who take them, produce one particular effect, a stimulant effect, a feeling of energy and vitality, with other effects like tremors, stomach upsets, sexual dysfunction etc. But, I also know other people, who take the same drugs, and feel no difference or those who actually feel even more depressed.

    Other drugs produced a “stoned” like effect; sleepiness, vivid dreams, hunger etc.

    It is silly to say that any of these drugs “treat” X or Y “disorder” except in the sense that they produce a unique mild altering effect or a “high”. That’s all there is to it.

    This is a crucial point that people who end up on these drugs must know.

  • The things that come up when you google search “ADHD *and whatever else* ” make me vomit.

    It is one thing to say that a person is not attentive to certain things. Hell, even if people want to take methylphenidate if it’s helping them concentrate better, let them do it. Just don’t say “ADHD” is causing those behaviours.

    These statements about “brain differences and genetic findings” that get so much attention in the media are disastrous. Kids from abusive homes will display many of the behavioural features associated with terms like “ADHD” , and then be told that they are genetically defective.

  • Disability creation and denial of disability creation is the dark side of propsychiatry.

    It’s good to know that madincanada’s child got the kind of help that benefited him. Others are not so lucky. “Help” butchers them. And not everyone has hallucinations and delusions. And some people do have those things caused by psychiatric drugs, with no incidence of such behaviours prior to psychiatric drug use.

    But, I guess this is well known anyway.

  • Personally, I think there should be places in every country where all prescription drugs are legal for the residents of that place. No need to ship them outside.

    This will allow people who want to take or try whatever it is they want to whilst completely avoiding psychiatry and it will also the first step towards giving them freedom from psychiatric coercion when they want to stop taking them.

    Bad idea? I don’t think so. Perhaps the question is, “What if people take something that is damaging to them?”. Well, if they harm themselves by not gathering the required information first, the responsibility lies with them. What about harming others? Well, sufficient information must be provided regarding the adverse effects of these drugs so that they can understand how to use them or not use them.

    Since the general public might want to stay out of such a place, that’s fine. Just limit such areas to some places. These places will be places where psychiatry can be completely bypassed and must be kept out of.