A Word On International Psychiatric Oppression Day (IPOD)

Yesterday, October the 10th, was International Psychiatric Oppression Day. I didn’t post yesterday because I felt silence more befitting for such a day of mourning. I know the thought police and their associates have a different expression for this day. They call it World Mental Illness Awareness Day or World Mental Health Day. Whatever you call it, that doesn’t prevent it from being an International Psychiatric Oppression Day.

The thought police and their goons conduct annual mental health screenings on this occasion. The purpose of these screenings is to find more people to whom they can attach “mental illness” labels. These screenings, in effect, serve as a recruitment grounds for patients in the mental health system. These patients are referred to as consumers as they consume mental health services (i.e. take pills). They keep the billion dollar drug industry booming, and they are the life and blood of the current epidemic in psychiatric disability that keeps Social Security dishing out those checks.

The thought police claim that there is a “stigma” attached to receiving psychiatric treatment, and that this is why it is so important for them to conduct these screenings. When people deemed in need of treatment are fain to come forward of their own free will, it helps to have detection devices like mental health screening tests to smoke them out. It must be remembered that although people under the law have the freedom to receive psychiatric treatment, they don’t have any freedom to refuse such treatment. Mental health screening tests are just one more way for psychiatrists to find the people to whom labels might be attached. This procedure supplements the pay that walks into their offices voluntarily.

The USA is the epicenter of the current worldwide epidemic in psychiatric disability. Big pharma must sell drugs, but in order to sell these drugs big pharma must also sell “mental illness” labels (i.e. mental health services). The drugs that big pharma sells have been shown to be a contributing factor in the extremely high mortality rates people in psychiatric treatment are known to have. The drug companies must make up for these losses by expanding their markets. One way of expanding these markets is by screening the population as a whole for mental health.

There are 300 + psychiatric labels in the DSM IV, the field guide and bible of psychiatric disabilities. The DSM is growing with every new label a revision committee elects into its “disease” pantheon. Thankfully, most of these labels are relatively trivial, and might escape detection by a mental health screening test. A minority of people are, at this time, being treated for “mental illness” labels. This situation is subject to change. The World Health Organization, for example, predicts that by the year 2020 depression will be the leading cause of disability in the world. Any imaginative soothsayer ought to be able to predict a time in the future when the majority of the people on earth will have psychiatric labels attached to them.

An antonym for oppression is liberation. We have a day to celebrate psychiatric liberation, too, and that day is July 14th. Bastille Day in France is Mad Pride Day around the world. 2 madmen were among the 7 people liberated from the Bastille when it was stormed in 1789. We know people can liberate themselves from their labels, and we celebrate this fact on that day. Sometimes we call this liberation recovery. We call this liberation recovery because much of the thing people are recovering from is oppression. Internalized oppression, and learned helplessness, come of psychiatric labeling and institutionalization. What you don’t hear so much about is the fact that there is a way out of this pathos of iniquity. Ability and facility come of breaking the chains of such oppression and labeling. This facility starts with the dawning awareness that “sickness”, the label, isn’t everything.

3 Responses

  1. Hi! Just wanted to say I discovered your site recently and have enjoyed reading your posts very much. I have a question for you and hope you’ll be able to provide some insights. If one wants to be recovered, as I do, what steps do I need to take in order for recovery to take place? (Apart from not being a “patient” any more, breaking with the health system and its treatments which I’ve already done! I was labelled with “PTSD” and depression.) Many thanks in advance. Best from Åse

    • If you are presently on psychiatric drugs, some people find detoxification to be helpful. One can’t be said to be completely recovered from a psychiatric label unless one no longer takes drugs for it, now can one?

      Mental patient is a role. When a person is no longer actively engaged in playing that role, how can that person be said to be “sick”? There are other roles in life to take on such as that of father, mother, leader, laborer, lover, etc. No “mental illness” has ever been found in the sense that tuberculosis or small pox has been found. When syphilis was found, it ceased to be a “mental illness”. The mental health system can be a difficult thing to break away from. The problem is social. If you are going to assume other roles, it helps if you are in a troupe with other players. As no “mental illness” has ever been found in the sense that these very real diseases have been found, one is only “ill” so long as one thinks one is “ill”. Learning to think of oneself as well may be challenging, but I certainly wouldn’t put it outside of the realm of possibility the way some people are trying so desparately hard to do. It helps if you have a sense of humor. Taking oneself too seriously is a sure sign that one has a “mental illness”. The more serious one takes oneself to be, the more likely that that “mental illness” one has acquired is serious, too. Lightness is health. One must be wary about tackling that weight which could carry one down to the depths of hell.

      • Hi! Thanks for your reply. I’ve been looking around and it seems there are a few peer-run support schemes in the town where I live that I could get in touch with if I ever feel that things start getting difficult. And the drugs was the first thing I got rid off – I went cold turkey and although it was rough I don’t regret it for one second. Thanks again, Åse

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