Ryan Talks to John Breeding About Dealing With Psychiatric Labels

Ryan, a psychiatric surviver from Australian, came to the USA this October past to attend the International Society for Ethical Psychiatry & Psychology (ISEPP) conference in Los Angeles. He had spoken to yours truly before he came to the states about the possibility of paying me a visit. Unfortunately this crossing of paths failed to materialize. It’s another one of those great almosts that we hope to remedy in the future if we get the chance to do so. We were able to Skype for almost 6 hours at one point about the forced drugging of Australian youth. He had a lot of alarming things to say about what is going on in the land down under. He was, while in the USA, able to play a role in the making of 5 videotapes that I know about. He told me I might embed one of his videotapes into my blog, and I am doing so.

Regarding this videotape, I have only one minor criticism to make of it, and this concerns his frequent use of the word “stigma”. I think there are better and more apt, as well as less generally co-opted, expressions that we might use to say essientially the same thing. If you were to replace “stigma” with the word prejudice everytime it comes up in the video, for instance, then I have no problem at all with what is being said. I think he’s talking about the devastating consequences of an actual prejudice that people who have had their lives disrupted by the mental health system must contend with and endure.

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8 Responses

  1. This “stigma” stuff has to be seen for what it is. It’s a false lament uttered by a liar.

    The liar gets away with perjury and flushed with success cannot help but to say, “It must be the will of God that some poor souls cannot be as much in his image as myself.”

    • That’s a terrific definition you give, Rod. I mean the one encapsuled in “a false lament uttered by a liar”, and it’s one I’d apply to the counter “stigma” campaigner.

      Many of these peoples, supposedly opposing stigma, are actually hypocrites intent on concealing their own prejudicial behavior. NAMI, an organization of relatives of people labeled “mentally ill”, people who often have their kinfolk locked up, really plays up the “stigma” card. Mainstream biological psychiatry is now using the concept of stigma to sell people on the idea of having a “mental illness”, and accepting the drug regimen that such an concept revolves around.

  2. I’ll keep working on it. It’s a technique, an item in the toolbox of the bullshit artist. I’ll try to concretize it, give it a name.

    It’s a faux lament. Since it’s a false lament it has been preceded by a lie.

    A simple faux lament serves to enhance the credibility of the lamenter. It presents the lamenter as being sympathetic. It also feeds back to repeat and reinforce the lie. “Rod has a mental illness. It’s very sad”. (that Rod has a mental illness.)

    The more complex use of the simple false lament: “Rod has a mental illness. It’s very sad. Hopefully he can be helped with psychiatric treatment”. Here the lamenter presents themself as being helpful as well as sympathetic, and once again reminds us that Rod is mentally ill.

    And here a compound false lament (#3):
    “Rod has a mental illness. It’s very sad. Hopefully he can be helped with psychiatric treatment. It would be a pity if real or perceived stigma prevented or interfered with effective treatment”.

    I think we’d agree that lament #3 is pretty much what is being peddled by the shrinks and their dopey handmaidens. How many lies, how many efforts to deceive are contained in the lament? One, four, 32, 500?

    I told the last shrink I spoke to, in a voice borrowed from Patrick Stewart, that every bristle he shaved from his face was another lie.

    Anyway I’ll keep working on it. Get a bigger whiteboard and work on the word “stigma”.

    • I don’t think Ryan, the subject in the videotape, fits the mold, Rod, that is, I don’t think he is making what you would characterize as “false lament (#3)”. I also thinks he is making some apt points when it comes to the effects of isolation and labeling. I’ve heard similar things from other sources quite a bit, and I’ve experienced them personally. When people can connect, they can do something about the system. When distance and apathy stand between them it’s so much harder to get anything accomplished, and that circumstance can put a curse on a person’s get up and go. It’s–pardon me, I’m not trying to speak pathology–depressing to feel like you are facing a hostile world.

      I’m concerned about the way isolation and apathy can cause a person to turn his or her back on his or her compatriots because he or she thinks any effort to change things futile. The mental health system is thoroughly broken, and the false hope offered by the rhetoric of condescention definitely isn’t any answer at all. How do you challenge, no, not mental health, but mental health treatment as a growth industry? Mental health treatment is not a growth industry without more and more of what is termed “mental illness”, and that’s how you get an “epidemic”. Mental health treatment is a growth industry solely because the drug manufacturing industry is a growth industry. We’re stuck with the drug, drug, drug mentality and paradigm translated into many lost and damaged people. Individuals cannot fight this thing, but by joining together, people have a chance to come up with something different.

      There is a widening mortality gap for people in mental health treatment. People being treated in the mental health system are dying on average 25 years younger than the rest of the population. If this were occuring to any population of people that society truly cared about, believe you me, the alarm would be palpable. The people in this field are suppressing the dissimination of this information to the general public. Perhaps they are even somehow subconsciously trying to keep the information below the level of rational thought. We know the reason is drugs, but the mental health treatment industry is avoiding this basic fact. I don’t think they will be able to ignore it forever. Sooner or later, even they will have to realise that it’s not only years that are being traded off, it’s also the emotional stability of so called “sanity”.

      • Rod meant doctors, not Ryan, I reckon.

        It goes further than the fact mental health treatment is a growth industry. Psychiatrists are enablers. They get off on being depended upon so they feed their patients’ dysfunction. Sure, there are exceptions but the majority are egotistical and will turn any patient challenge into a sign of a worsening condition. Cue more drugs to keep patients acquiescent. These doctors are no different from street dealers.

        Branding is a good word. A brand is hard, if not impossible, to shift. You feel like everyone sees it and judges you for it even when they don’t, because many do.

        Its double meaning works too because the sort of companies’ re-branding of products is what needs to take place. Define yourselves, people.

  3. Just listen to the first words he says.

    Weird, huh?

  4. “No one here is better than anyone else.”

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