File Me Under Other

I whistle when I hear the term anti-psychiatry bandied about these days. What anti-psychiatry!? I can think of at least 4 candidate groups for anti-psychiatry views that are current, not including none of the above. There is the Church of Scientology which, as well as adopting a stance in opposition to conventional psychiatric practice, includes several extraterrestrials among its membership. There are those remaining psychiatrists associated with the late RD Laing, the Philadelphia Association, and company. An associate of RD Laing, the late David Cooper, resurrected, coined, adopted, or doctored the term into service while RD Laing himself was none too fond of it. Advocates of deinstitutionalization, some associated with the latter group, have occasionally used the term to describe themselves when they haven’t had the term applied to them in a derogatory fashion. Some psychiatric survivors and allies have used the term to describe themselves as well, I’m thinking specifically of a group of Canadians, a few Germans, a Frenchman, and perhaps even a couple of Italians.

I myself was thinking of coming out as an anti-psychiatrist not that long ago. News searches on the search engine Google convinced me that doing so was not such a good idea. The only times anti-psychiatry appears in the English language press these days is to identify a discredited school of thought, or as a term of disparagement. It is not a fashionable term, to say the least, and it does not tend to be used as a term of endearment. I would imagine a few foreign nationalities might be more friendly to the term, but I’m not keen on the idea of wasting the time with BabelFish to find out.

RD Laing was probably the most celebrated psychiatrist in the world in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. This is long before the faddish nature of his visionary demeanor had faded into obscurity, he lost his medical license over a love of Scotch whiskey, and he suffered a fatal heart attack on the tennis court. Thomas Szasz, a critic of the psychiatric establishment himself, launched a few verbal missiles at the grave mounds of this group of doctors once they’d passed into the relative non-obtrusive silence of decay. Not surprisingly, the victims of this savage attack didn’t have much to say in their defense.

I don’t like psychiatry. I think the term anti-psychiatry, like the term anti-Christ in Christianity, gives psychiatry too much credit. I’m all for non-psychiatry. Non-psychiatry has worked wonders in my life. I’ve seen non-psychiatry work wonders in the lives of other people, too. Psychiatry, on the other hand, has been an absolute disaster from the very start. Psychiatry is there to treat diseases that aren’t even diseases, and there is a raging epidemic of these imaginary diseases ravaging the country right now. As long as a person pays a psychiatrist, often through an insurance company, a person can have one of these diseases. Sometimes the chemicals used to treat these imaginary diseases have their own debilitating effects, and psychiatrists have assumed as their chief role the dispensing of these chemical agents of control and disablement. There is an obvious cure to these imaginary diseases that most people just don’t pick up on. Stop paying the insurance companies, stop seeing the psychiatrist, and stop taking the poison he or she prescribes. Duh! There is no recovery, in fact, from what has been referred to as “mental illness” without non-psychiatry. Psychiatry is all about “mental illness”. If you are looking for mental health, well, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. That elsewhere, as you may have guessed, is non-psychiatry.

As many as ¼ of the people on earth may have had the misfortune of visiting a psychiatrist. It only takes one visit to pick up a psychiatric condition. Psychiatrists are very adept at doling out these conditions, just as they are adept at doling out the drugs used to treat them. Drug companies have made trillions of dollars from this cozy relationship they have developed with psychiatry. Most of the people who make the mistake of stumbling into a psychiatrists office will correct this error at some point in their lives. Most, but certainly not all of them. About 5 % of the people in the USA have been saddled with a serious “mental illness” delusion. Serious “mental illnesses” are, well, serious. The obvious antidote to such gravity is levity. 95 % of the people on earth can manage this levity. An fortunate few among the 5 % have picked up on it, too, and drifted back among the 95 %, while an unfortunate few among the 95 % have lost it entirely, and find themselves stuck among the 5 %. The moral of this tale is that ordinary discomfort is human and not pathological. If you want pathological, consult a psychiatrist.