Psychiatrists’ Say The Darnedest Things – 6/17/13

If I were going to include a periodic quote from the media on my blog, and I might eventually do so, the following might be a good place to start.

As part of a HuffPost Book Club discussion on the book that took place last year, Matthew Erlich, MD, a psychiatrist-researcher at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in the Division of Mental Health Services, told us that Caulfield would probably have been committed to a secure unit as a manic depressive at the time of the book.

This snippet was snipped from, Holden Caulfield Diagnosis: Psychiatrist Discusses Salinger’s Classic Character (VIDEO), Huff Post Books.

The main protagonist of the Catcher in the Rye, a great coming of age and prep-school novel, that many of us experienced first hand while growing up, has been reduced to a species of nervous disorder. Thank heaven Holden saw no reason to check himself into a psychiatric facility, huh? On the other hand, this scenario suggests alternate plot lines. What if J. D. Salinger had come up with a different twist? Holden could have been snatched up by the psychiatric authorities, and the mental patients’ liberation movement–it’s all anti-psychiatry to true believers–might have welcomed another fictional hero into their midst beyond the misbegotten, doomed, and mischievous Randle Patrick McMurphy from Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

Did I say, “might have“? Without rereading the novel, here’s what the wikipedia Catcher in the Rye page says.

Holden makes the decision that he will head out west and live as a deaf-mute. When he mentions these plans to his little sister Monday morning, she wants to go with him. Holden declines her offer, which upsets Phoebe, so Holden decides not to leave after all. He tries to cheer her up by taking her to the Central Park Zoo, and as he watches her ride the zoo’s carousel, he is filled with happiness and joy at the sight of Phoebe riding in the rain. At the conclusion of the novel, Holden decides not to mention much about the present day, finding it inconsequential. He alludes to “getting sick” and living in a mental hospital, and mentions that he’ll be attending another school in September; he relates that he has been asked whether he will apply himself properly to his studies this time around and wonders whether such a question has any meaning before the fact. Holden says that he doesn’t want to tell anything more, because surprisingly he has found himself missing two of his former classmates, Stradlater and Ackley, and even Maurice, the pimp who punched him. He warns the reader that telling others about their own experiences will lead them to miss the people who shared them.

Emboldened emphasis added.

Did you get that? Holden Caulfield was a mental patient. The mental hospital experience was his experience. Perhaps he’s still with our movement at this present moment. If it’s not too ‘schizoid’ a thing to say, I think I saw him in 2012 at the protest outside the APA convention in Philly I attended.

Future Psychiatry

Make way for the DSM-6 1/2 & 3/4. Some Oxford University mad shrink, a certain Kathleen Taylor, she calls herself a neurologist, thinks that religious fundamentalism and cult group membership could become a disease in the future.

Don’t look now, but religious fundamentalists and those whose ideological beliefs border on the extreme and may be potentially harmful to society could soon be called crazy—in a medical sense.

Remind me to stay way clear of the border of extreme.

Taylor also warned against taking “fundamentalism” to mean radical Islamism.

The story/review, Is religious fundamentalism a mental illness?, is to be found at GMA News Online, ‘the go-to site for Philipinos’.

I’m encouraged by all this potential broadening of commitment criteria in a way.  Just imagine, in the future maybe we could lock up members of the Church of Biological Psychiatry. As is, they do an inordinate amount of injury while everybody just looks the other way.

Kathleen Taylor has written a book, “The Brain Supremacy”, on the dangers of brain technology, but, oh, I don’t know…

“What we perceive from our perspective as our legitimate self-defensive reaction to the psychosis of the enemy, is from the perspective of the same enemy our equally malignant psychotic self-obsession,” it [Digital Journal] added.

Here it comes, here it comes…World War III!

This just goes to show now that, beyond intoxicating substances, behaviors have been found to be addictive, the bag is open, and anything can crawl in. Should psychiatry be your career choice, I hope we can find a cure before it’s too late, and the bombs start falling all around us.

Ending Discrimination By Ending Forced Mental Health Mistreatment

A view point peddled in the “mental health” literature current today states that often people who are thought to need mental health treatment are reluctant to seek mental health treatment because of some “stigma” or other attached to that treatment. This view neglects to consider that many people, regardless of need, who don’t want any mental health treatment whatsoever are being treated by force and entirely against their will and wishes. In fact, before voluntary treatment became as acceptable and popular as it is today, most people who received mental health treatment received that mental health treatment against their will and wishes.

Now any reasonable adult should realize why receiving unwanted medical treatment would be a problem for anybody receiving that unwanted medical treatment. What’s more, any reasonable adult should realize why a person receiving unwanted treatment should be outraged at receiving a bill for that unsought and unwelcome treatment. When the treatment received was also restrictive, harmful, and fundamentally unhelpful, all the more so. There is certainly more than “stigma”, whatever that word could be eluding to, involved in this process of imposing treatment on people who have no desire to be treated whatsoever.

Much of the mental health treatment regime confronting the unwilling participant is directed at convincing the prisoner that he or she is “sick” and, therefore, in need of confinement, and whatever excuse for “treatment” comes with that confinement. The prisoner who doesn’t admit to being “sick” is seen as “sicker” than the prisoner who confesses a “sickness”. Such a prisoner would be considered by staff then further from discharge than the prisoner who confessed to having an “illness”.  Given intimidation, the prisoner learns to do what the warders expect of him or her, or the prisoner doesn’t leave his or her prison called a hospital.

I think we have to think long and hard before depriving people of those rights said to belong to them by virtue of their species. The bill of rights to the US constitution, contains legal protections based on natural rights, and the derivation of human rights from those rights thought natural. Deprivation of the rights protected by the bill of rights is the hall mark of a lower class of citizenship than that of the average citizen. It is, in fact, the license for a more bestial type of arrangement. This bestial relationship is not a relationship of equals. It is the relationship of a group of people who have been granted more rights to a group of people who have been granted fewer rights.

Time in a psychiatric institute, following recent violence blamed on people with troubled lives, more and more, is likely to get a person on a criminal background check list.  This listing means two things. The person on this list is outlawed from purchasing a firearm legally, and the person’s name will come up as a potential suspect any time a violent crime is committed in his or her area. This list, in itself, is prejudicial and completely uncalled for. People who have done time in psychiatric institutes are, by and large, innocent, not only of violent crime, but of any crime. Criminalizing people in mental institutions is not likely to lessen the violent crime rate one iota. If anything, it might actually raise that violent crime rate substantially.

The way to eliminate so many negative associations connected with mental health treatment is to abolish forced mental health treatment. Force in mental health is the thing that permits the rationalization of all sorts of negative responses to people because of the psychiatric labels that they have received. The only way to abolish forced mental health treatment is to repeal mental health laws. When all mental health treatment is voluntary mental health treatment, prejudicial and discriminatory practices will be reduced correspondingly. Forced treatment is the biggest discriminatory and prejudicial obstacle to compassionate and caring understanding of these, no, not mental patients, but human beings that we presently have. It’s time we owned up to the challenge. End forced mental health treatment, and we also restore to them many of the civil rights that we just took away from them.

Obviously a long and hard civil rights struggle is ahead for people who have experienced the mental health system. This struggle is a struggle to be treated as an equal among equals. No self-serving leadership elite can win that struggle for everybody impacted by oppression within the mental health system. Self-serving leadership elites are exclusive clubs like, to give a parallel example, officers’ clubs. In this sense the mental health system itself must do it’s own part, at least as far as a good part of it is concerned, to self-destruct. If it is to do this, it will need the help of newly emergent leaders rising out of the rank and file at the grassroots level. We know what happens where elites develop. The next thing you know you have an establishment, and an establishment that is most intent on tending it’s own.  What amounts to a “mental illness” system actually needs a self-destructive element within it if we are ever to arrive at the goal of maximizing mental health for all.

Developing a motto

Don’t go to the psychiatrist! Those five words are on their way to becoming my motto. Psychiatrists no longer do psychoanalysis. No, analysis is now counseling, and in the domain of psychologists and social workers. Psychiatrists work for insurance payments, and to get paid, they dole out psychiatric labels. Once a psychiatric label has been attached to the patient, they’re ready to get down to business, the real task of the psychiatrist, that of pill pusher. Psychiatrists these days are pitchmen and puppets of the pharmaceutical industry. Even most psychiatrists giving lip service to the mostly defunct practice of talk therapy have been transformed into de facto drug lords.

Now that talk therapy has taken a nose-dive and crash landed, pills are the panacea of psychiatry. Unfortunately, we’re talking about pills that mostly mean ‘bad medicine’ any way you cut it. You’ve got doctors, indirectly or directly, in the employ of unscrupulous profiteers who will stop at nothing to get and keep their product on the market. Chemical compounds are the new gold and, as such, research and development has spawned a new gold rush. You’ve also got them selling drugs that are essentially unhealthy as if they were the world’s answer to “ill” health. The result of all this unscrupulous wheeling and dealing is a population of people maintained on psycho-active brain-impairing substances whose “sickness” is actually their dependence on this ill-health-ware system.

Systemic and chemical dependence, in my book, is not well-fare. A government maintaining a population of state subsidized artificially manufactured “invalids” or, better, “in-valids”, is not my idea of a government managing a healthy economy. The news from the treatment front has not been good. People going through treatment for the most severe diagnostic labels are getting, of all things, worse. They are getting worse because of, rather than in spite of, the pills they are maintained on. The business is booming then of destroying the patient. This business wouldn’t be booming if you didn’t have a ready supply of suckers to succeed your growing casualty list. A list that is all too readily passed over and pitched into the waste basket.

There is no ‘three strikes you’re out’ law when it comes to pill pushing psychiatrists. These guys and gals have been getting away with murder since the development of this not such a wonder drug and that. Of course, should a psychiatrist blatantly step over certain bounds of reasonable self-restraint and discretion in prescribing practices, he or she can have his or her license to practice medicine taken away from him or her by the courts. As the medicine they practice is not really medicine at all but toxic drug pushing, this penalty can come none too soon when it can come at all. Were we to prosecute intransigent psychiatrists for the damage that they did cause, psychiatrists would be much more reluctant to poison people through chemistry.

I will admit that there are exceptions to the drug peddling psychiatrist rule. I will also admit that those exceptions are few and far between. This scarcity of health minded psychiatrists makes the profession as a whole more of a liability than an asset to the human race. If there is any important work to be performed in the mental health profession today, it can be done by people without a degree in psychiatry. Unfortunately, most of those other mental health workers tend to be underlings to psychiatrists. This makes the entire profession of mental health treatment subject to corruption of the worst sort across the board. The health of the patient has become the last concern of a mental health profession hung up on procedural matters.

There is little to no so called “mental illness” in the animal kingdom. What “mental illness” you do have in the animal kingdom is usually a matter of developing the laboratory specimens with which to devise new treatments for human beings. As with animals, there was much less “mental illness” in antiquity than there is today. The more primitive your culture gets, the less inclined it is to label its deviant members “mentally ill”. I’m for this more basic bare bones approach to the problem. When life is a matter of hunting and gathering, personal problems don’t prevent people from doing their part. I think the cave man or woman who figured he or she was born with the chemistry he or she needed had it right all along.  I personally feel that the damage perpetrated by the field of psychiatry is so devastating that it is a profession we should oppose at every turn.

Standing On The Other Side Of Numbers

Although by no means anonymous, I’m not an institution. My fan base could use a major overhaul, not to mention, expansion. Insight for me begins and ends with the Rodney Dangerfield mantra, “I don’t get no respect.”  Academic  stuffed shirts have a particular squint reserved for, more or less, metamorphosing me into their version of leaky pipe steam. Nonplussed, despite the odds, or is it the evidence? I continue to believe that I’m not such a bad sort after all.

I know…it’s that little empty piece of paper hung from a wall. It’s those streams of eager students sent to step and fetch. It’s this ass-licking corporate-bought reporter’s news blurb or that. It’s more garbage to help fill a landfill. I’m the person who would be buried for his or her dazzlingly good mention. I’m not saying that goes without saying, but it goes with saying. I’m not a member of their good old boy, now including girl, network clique. I’m the person they’d have vanish into the invisibility of  the rank and file. A bit of the stench they are celebrating being at a far remove from.

They don’t call me for an interview, or even a blurb. I’m persona non-gratis across the board. In some fashion, gratefully so. Why? Because I’m not the problem in any way shape or form. I’m not bought and sold. I’m not making the matter any worse than it was a few seconds ago. I’m not even pretending to make the matter better while actually making the matter worse. I’m not a lackey with strings attached to my wooden limbs. I’m the big secret they don’t want out of the bag. I’m the person who is not contributing to the general all out mess. I’m not more window dressing.

I don’t even claim to represent the majority of my minority. I’m not one who can be accused of upholding that tyranny either. I’m not a member of the new flat earth party. I haven’t been sucked up by a convenient conspiracy theory. If I were a completely isolated. Say a universe of one. It wouldn’t deflect nor defeat me one bit. I’m used to being, not wrong, but ignored and scoffed at, and while ignorance may be bliss, it is not particularly enlightening. Let me just add that I’ve adapted to adversity. You won’t find me putting on airs. I’m too apprehensive in expectation of the next attack for that kind of thing. I know my place is not celebrating on top of Fort Knox.

Highway robbery is for people with more avaricious inclinations than my own. I’m good with that. I’d rather be good in fact. I know how to survive while being good unlike a few of my more gullible comrades. It is my goodness that survives. I am not going to be destroyed by the so called human condition (bestiality, man’s inhumanity to man, nature against nurture, whatever you want to call it) without a fight, and thus far that fight has kept me going. What can I say? Comfort is for wusses, not me! I, like the energizer rabbit, like a Timex, will keep right on ticking. Punishment, or better, persecution, while perhaps not my prime element, is an element I’ve had plenty of experience with, and it hasn’t undone me. I’m still pursuing that ear.

The issue really is a matter of public record, lying public record. I’m not at pains to elude a statistical entry really. That statistical entry is not me. My injuries have been kept minimal. I’m not a casualty. This is not so true of everybody. There are people who have become painful statistics. People who have learned. People who think, who see, and who feel like statistics. I, on the other hand, am content to resist that type of learning. I’m more interested in developing survival skills. These survival skills involve mastering the statistic rather than being mastered by it. The statistic doesn’t define me. It doesn’t doom me. I keep it at an appreciable distance. I know that, like some people, it is not constant.

No More Back Stepping

“Mental illness” is a illusion, a joke, an excuse, a flat out lie. Something may be going on, but whatever that something is, it is not ‘illness’.

We’ve got a whole industry supporting the illusion that defective genes cause people to lead difficult lives that can be fixed only through the wonders of modern psychopharmacology. Complete and utter balderdash!

Was Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President John F. Kennedy, mad? The lone gunman theory has evolved into the lone nutcase theory, and this, in turn, has started a trend in multiple murders. As murder has become some unfortunate peoples’ ticket into the national spotlight, you can expect this trend to continue.

I just read where Patrick Kennedy is pitching mental health insurance parity in Colorado. If “mental illness” is an illusion, what does that make mental health? I will give you a hint. Look to the attraction in tent number two.

This insurance parity thing has something to do with equating meta-physical illness with physical illness. Doing so allows all sorts of people to claim permanent disability payments on the basis of meta-physical (non-organic) criteria.

The government shells out, well, not so good money to subsidize this population of newly but artificially disabled people. Dead beat is not so dead beat if you can claim you’re loony toons. Hand in hand immaturity and irresponsibility have a great future before them.

You’ve got a profession that is poisoning people and calling it medicine. You’ve got a profession that is keeping people down, and saying it is “helping” them. You’ve got a profession that, rather than restoring people to purposeful activity, renders a portion of the population perpetual burdens to the rest of society.

I’ve had it with the entire profession. I will truck no more with psychiatry. I’m not the person to set up a Vichy style government in cahoots with these mad doctors. I don’t want to make matters worse. I’m sick of the corruption that pervades the mental health industry from one end to the other.

I think we should work to get people out of the mental health system. I think it is all the more imperative that we get people out of the mental health system because it is actually a “mental illness” system. Furthermore, it is a “mental illness” system on the verge of becoming a physical illness system.

Oh, didn’t I say “mental illness” was an illusion? Let me rephrase the comment that I just made then. I think we should work to get people out of the mental health system because it is actually a social and physical harm system. I think we should clean up this mess we’ve created by getting good people out of bad situations.

Complete irrationality may be the new trend on all levels of society, nonetheless, it is a trend I am hoping to buck. Communication, outside of military service, should never be a one way street. Somehow the typical argument that is winning the day has much more to do with expediency than it has to do with reality.

When people meet one to one, face to face, there is much that they can accomplish by working together. I don’t think we are accomplishing very much by savaging the human rights of an excluded segment of society. My intention is to work in the opposite direction and for the opposite result.

Living Without Psychiatry

Anyone who has read the typical mental health industry propaganda has read stories about people said to be ‘living with mental illness’. “Mental illness” is the imaginary bug that we just can’t seem to exterminate. Were there a real bug involved, maybe it would have earned it’s innoculation many years ago.

The first problem is linguistic. There is absolutely no way around the mind body duality we are confronted with here. The physical universe is real, the mental universe, not so much. We’ve just stumbled into the terrain of meta-physics, philosophical speculation. If you’re meta-physically ill, you’re literally not ill.

Psychiatry has managed to circumvent this dilemma with a convenient sleight by suggesting that “mental illness” actually is physical illness. Despite this suggestion, the rift remains impassable. More simply put, the message is not the messenger. It gets nowhere undelivered. You don’t arrive at consciousness by dissecting a brain.

So you can convince a person that he or she is “sick”. You can put a person on pills that will negatively affect his or her performance and health. You can tell him or her he or she will never be done with this imaginary illness he or she has, and that he or she will need to take those pills until the day he or she dies. What of it? Some people shovel shit for a living.

When living without “mental illness” is not presented as an option, you are going to get people saying they have a “mental illness”. In fact, there is little wonder you get people saying they have a “mental illness” when an entire medical profession encourages them to do so. Resisting the temptation to confess to an illness, there, as Hamlet might put it, is the rub.

I’ve read that ‘schizophrenics’ are illogical. I don’t see how this isn’t a shortcoming that a little bit of extra education couldn’t remedy. Logic itself is merely a method for arriving at the facts. An absence of logical deduction, and you’ve got someone who is at a remove from reality anyway. Why not provide them with the tools to help them determine what reality is, and what it is not?

We don’t call situations “sick”, we call them bad or good. When bad circumstances are a matter of drawing the short end of the stick, what can be done? Well, for one, there are two things I would suggest. Number one is to stop gambling, and number two is to change the situation. Bad circumstances need not repeat themselves ad nauseam.

Alright, I’ve tried to explain that what you are likely to get from a psychiatric examination is not a clean bill of good health, but rather a certificate of insanity. People who are not in need, the theory runs, don’t pay visits to the psychiatrist office. This is something to consider when making such visits a part of your regular regimen. If you’re ever going to get “well”, you have to stop doing so. You’re his or her bread and bacon. His or her addiction so to speak.

Not having a “mental illness” can be difficult for some people, all the same, I would encourage some of them to give it a whirl. There’s no reason in being stuck to a delimiting script like a fly to flypaper. If finding a ‘cure’ can be just as elusive as determining the ‘disease’, well, there you go. Perhaps it is just as simple as coming up with an opposing opinion, and learning to be politic (i.e. shrewd).

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