Mental Health Awareness Month Mayhem

The “mental illness” industry propaganda machine is running full throttle this month, especially in my neck of the swamp. All sorts of events have been planned, here in Gainesville Florida,   for May, Mental Health Awareness Month, a 60 something designation originated by  Mental Health America, at one point almost the lone voice for the mental health movement, a movement to get government to foot the bill for “mental illness”.

A local movie theater is showing Call Me Crazy, one of Hollywood’s most recent excursions into the area of “mental illness” propagandizing. There is also going to be a panel discussion, and a Mental Health Fair (sic), Apparently, given “campaigns against stigma”, there is no way in hell that “mental illness” can be allowed to keep a low profile. This is about selling nonsense, folks, and as it is being done all over the country, it is about selling nonsense big time.

Did I say big? “Mental illness” is big business. This is how it works. You’ve got a tin cup pitch being offered in unison for more funds to pay for it. It is psychiatric labeling, drugs, “mental health” workers and facilities. Education is particularly important. Education is corporate propaganda, in other words, advertising. The more educating you do, the more “mental illness” you get. The more “mental illness” you get, the better your chances of swindling the public into giving you more money.

Prevention is a joke at this point. Prevention is usually a matter of labeling and drugging children. Not getting ‘em early on is seen as “causative” because it is thought that delayed diagnosis increases severity. Problem. The kid who is not got is not “ill”. The severity of the label starts with the label itself. Not that long ago, in fact, childhood wasn’t a bona fide “mental illness”. Actual people, baby sitters and parents, tended the fledgling flock of humanity,. Now, more and more often, the child rearing task is being relegated to stimulants, sedatives, and happy pills, and I can’t say that they’ve been doing a terrific job of it.

We’ve got a “mental illness” epidemic raging throughout much of the world today, and no wonder. If gun violence erupts, “mental illness” did it. If people are poor and without permanent shelter, they must be “mentally ill”. “Mental illness” is our answer to social issues. It’s not a matter of flawed groups, it is a matter of flawed individuals. All we need to do is segregate, label, drug, and treat the offending parties responsible for any disagreement in groups, and voila, everything is hunky dory again.

Not so fast. The perfect son or daughter, who received the perfect grade, got the perfect job, and now runs the perfect major corporation are becoming more of a liability than our “diseased” failures ever were. Life on the planet earth is now threatened by our idea of wellness and success. Maybe we need to take a harder look at the potential in our throwaway populations of people. Perhaps there is something we missed, Perhaps they are not so totally tainted and ruined by “brain disease” after all.

You will never find a “mental illness” under a microscope lens. This is because “mental illness” is not a legitimate medical condition. There is nothing to find when what passes for symptoms are merely a checklist of aberrant behaviors. Although some psychiatrists would resolve the Cartesian mind body duality by declaring mind brain, I challenge anybody to find an identifiable thought or feeling in a synaptic cleft or a neural circuit. It will always elude them. Mental and physical are simply not synonymous.

The dilemma confronting us today is that  standard psychiatric practice invariably involves  physically damaging the patient.  The propaganda is not propaganda favoring “mental health”. What is that?  The propaganda is actually propaganda favoring physical injury. The way out of the psych-ward should not be through another department in the hospital, or the mortuary, but this is increasingly becoming the case. The only ‘other way’ involves seriously butting heads with the mental health establishment as “stigma” has been redefined to mean any disagreement with the propaganda.

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Ronald Pies In Psychiatryland

One of the biggest clown doctors going at the present moment has got to be Ronald Pies. It would be remiss of me to claim that in his latest post, Nuances, Narratives, and the ‘Chemical Imbalance’ Debate in Psychiatry, he has outdone himself. If there was anyone destined for a pie in the face that anyone has got to be Ronald Pies. I would be honored, in fact, to bestow upon Dr. Pies the moniker Ronald “Pie In The Face” Pies for all posterity. Ronald Pies is a marvel of nonsensical shrink think. In his latest escapade into the theory and practice of shrinkery, Pies, by some disingenuous twist of convoluted illogic, would blame “the chemical imbalance theory” on that bug-a-boo and will-o-the-wisp of modern psychiatry, antipsychiatry. Go figure.

Now, if you were to give credence to a recent online polemic posing as investigative journalism, you would probably choose the first or second statement. In the narrative of the antipsychiatry movement, a monolithic entity called “Psychiatry” has deliberately misled the public as to the causes of mental illness, by failing to debunk the chemical imbalance hypothesis. Indeed, this narrative insists that, by promoting this little white lie, psychiatry betrayed the public trust and made it seem as if psychiatrists had magic bullets for psychiatric disorders. (Lurking in the back-story, of course, is Big Pharma, said to be in cahoots with Psychiatry so as to sell more drugs).

Those first two statements Pies alludes to here would be those that indicate either “mental illnesses” were caused by “chemical imbalances” in the brain, or merely that more “serious mental illnesses” were caused by “chemical imbalances” in the brain. What we don’t get out of this story is precisely who was responsible for promoting and spreading this “chemical imbalance theory” that these people in some antipsychiatry movement would be exposing. Where is psychiatry here? Defending itself from those who would be exposing a discredited theory. Certainly it is not defending itself from the ones who would be promulgating that theory. Curious indeed.

Among his more bizarre notions is the notion that this “chemical imbalance” theory has more to do with some catecholamine hypothesis from many years back than it does with the development, marketing and advertising of those trendy psychiatric drugs still surging strong on the market of today.

To the extent the “chemical imbalance” notion took hold in our popular culture, it was due mainly to distorted or oversimplified versions of the catecholamine hypothesis. These were often depicted in drug company ads; pop psychology magazines; and, in recent years, on misinformed Websites and blogs. In short, the “chemical imbalance theory” was never a real theory, nor was it widely propounded by responsible practitioners in the field of psychiatry.

Does Dr. Pies mean that psychiatrists don’t use, or shouldn’t use, those drugs that would be advertised as purporting to correct some kind of postulated and theoretical “chemical imbalance”?  I think not. This leads to another question. To what extent has psychiatry, or the majority of its practitioners, colluded with pharmaceutical companies in producing an atmosphere that now has commercial interests in the media peddling pills, not just to medical professionals, but to the entire buying public perceived and re-envisioned as consumers who will purchase anything at the provocation of the most mesmerizing sound bite?

Psychiatry’s critics also conveniently omit reference to what was arguably the most prevalent paradigm in academic psychiatry, during the 1980s and beyond: the biopsychosocial model (BPSM) of Dr. George Engel. The BPSM has been subjected to much criticism, and some would argue that few psychiatrists nowadays use the BPSM in a systematic, evidence-based manner. And in recent years, several prominent psychiatrists have warned that “…pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, the major treatment modalities in psychiatry, have become fragmented from one another, creating an artificial separation of the psychosocial and biological domains in psychiatry.”

In the latex gloved mitts of Dr. Pies, our babble here has degenerated into very nuanced babble indeed. If you will notice, despite the nip at bio babble unrefined, bio still has top billing in the theoretical credits. I don’t think this is entirely because of the order of words in the alphabet, or accidental. The mad doctor has shown himself sufficiently proficient in blurring the lines between disciplines to earn himself a rank of major distinction in the therapeutic circus. If criticism equals antipsychiatry, well, there you go. The message is coming in loud and clear. Don’t criticize psychiatry or you must be promoting the discredited “chemical imbalance theory”, too. Clown psychiatry rules!

The Coming Plague

I have a friend who spends much of his time traveling in Asia. He is a psychiatric survivor, and he says he prefers Asia to the USA precisely because people are not going on and on about “mental health”, “mental health treatment”, and “mental disorders” all the time there.

In the USA, on the other hand, it is thought right and proper to air “mental health” laundry. It is thought by some, not yours truly, that bringing “mental illness” out of the shadows so-to-speak is a way of attacking the “stigma” associated with psychiatric labels.  The problem with this way of thinking is that it doesn’t acknowledge that the “stigma” comes with the label, in fact, you could say they are identical.

I’m sick of hearing about “mental health” myself. I’m sick of hearing about “mental health treatment”, and I’m sick of hearing about “mental disorders”. In some quarters of the nation this medico-literary emphasis is truly obsessive, and what comes of obsessing? Well, often it is excess.

There is a demand for “mental illness” because without  “mental illness” “mental health” wouldn’t have a market. Perhaps, for the sake of clarity, I need to rephrase the last sentence. A rich supply of “mental illness” fuels the market for “mental health treatment” which in turn creates a further demand for “mental illness”, a demand all too easily met.

The “mental illness” rates have been soaring for years. The World Health Organization tells us “mental illness” is set to distance physical illness as the number one cause of disability in the world. This means the number one reason for “disability payments” by the government, supplied by labor of  tax payers, in the future is going to be “mental illness”.

Right away we’ve got a problem. For all the efforts psychiatry has made to claim psychiatric problems somatic, this supposition remains devoid of solid proof.  Psychiatry has been notoriously unsuccessful, not as a business, but as a branch of medical science. The proof is in the pudding, and in this instance, the pudding is more and more rather than less and less “mental illness”.

In those instances where it is claimed a person has a “mental illness”, recovery, or a cure, if you will, is seen as out of the question. Of course, this is a relative statement. So called minor “mental disorders” lending themselves to effective treatment much more readily than major “mental disorders”. It work’s the other way, too. It is not unheard of for minor “disorders” to develop into major “disorders”, and then, well, we’ve once again hit the snag of poor prognoses.

I would say that this obsession is not a very healthy one. Were we to talk less about “mental health”, I feel certain that we as a nation would be less beset with what are sometimes referred to as “mental health issues”.  Were we to diagnose less of it, well, there you go. Already a cure is at hand. Problems demand solutions. When “mental health issues” are communication and situational problems, no amount of “medical treatment” nonsense is going to solve them.

The Adult Baby Sitting AKA Mental Health Treatment Business

Adult baby sitting is big business. It is a business that goes by the name of mental health treatment. For adult baby sitting to thrive there are  three requirements: 1. that some adults are assumed to be incapable of making decisions for themselves, 2. that this pseudo-child status is legislated into law, and 3. that other people are paid for assuming the role of responsible adult.

Oh, by the way, adult baby sitting is thriving. The adult baby sitting business is booming big time. The numbers of adult babies are growing very fast, as is, correspondingly, the numbers of adult baby sitters. Adult baby sitting is assured a great future. Looking at Number 2. above, for this pseudo-child status to be legislated into law, law that is actually in opposition to law,  you need another explanation for immaturity. Voila! Now we’ve got medicine, medical science, calling irresponsibility and deviance “disease”.

Medical expertise, where maturity is concerned, has been given  quasi-judicial powers. In fact, it is an alliance of medicine and law that allows for the practice of adult baby sitting on a wide scale basis. The letter of the law can be circumvented, when it comes to incarcerating a person in the adult baby pen, because a determination has been made by medical experts, upheld by judges, that adult behavioral immaturity is a matter of physical disease, and we have a law for containing people with said disease.

This confinement represents a quarantine without true contagion. There is a contagion, truly, but this contagion is a matter of 1. selling adult baby sitting, 2. job security, and 3.. manufacturing adult babies. What is really at work here is supply side economics. First you’ve got the demand for adult babies sitters to handle the supply of adult babies. This in turn generates a demand for more adult babies to fill the growing supply of adult baby sitters. They are out there, we just can’t let them slip through the cracks so to speak, can we?

This business is actually about, and always was about, prejudice, intolerance, and segregation. The old mental asylum represents a sort of nigger town for the mad. I know you’ve heard the slogan, “separate but equal”, well, separate by its nature usually means unequal, and if anything our treatment of the dementedly deviant segment of the population has been very inferior to that of our treatment of the non-deviant majority. The new community mental health system would change this equation ever so slightly by introducing the mental hospital/prison without walls.

Children are under pressure to grow up. Weaning a child from dependency on mama and daddy is what child-rearing is all about. If the child is slow (i.e. immature for its age), now we’ve got the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder tag to lay on the child. ADHD allows for more intensive child rearing. We’ve got baby baby sitting for those babies that are more stubborn in their babyishness than other babies. If only it was as simple as saying, “babies will be babies”. Well, actually, it is that simple.

The issue at hand concerns the adult babies who have not been caught, or, 75 % of the population. Arriving at 75 % involves, more or less, coupling the psychosis tags with the neurosis tags, that is, deviance as necessity with deviance as luxury. If we are honest with ourselves, we have to credit the psychiatric field, the drug industry, and the insurance business with a great deal of deception. This deception involves pushing bias as if it were proven fact. We don’t have illnesses here. We have adults treated like children. Change the expectation, and you change everything. Were we to treat adults like adults again, I think you’d begin to see a big improvement.

Television Broadcaster ‘Off His Meds’?

NBC newscaster Brian Williams has been making irrational claims about Cleveland multiple kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro. Brian Williams suggested Ariel Castro had a “mental illness”. Could it be that Brian Williams has a “mental illness”? This has got to be “delusional” thinking on his part. Do you think maybe it runs in his family?

The story, as run in the Orlando Sentinel, bears the heading, Brian Williams’ mental illness remark draws fire.

So when she [Candy Crawford, director of the Central Florida Mental Health Association] tuned in her favorite national news anchor Thursday — NBC’s Brian Williams — she was horrified. Opening his newscast with the sentencing hearing of Ariel Castro, who held three Cleveland women captive for a decade, Williams called the kidnapper and rapist “arguably the face of mental illness, a man described as a monster.”

“Mental illness” and monster equals a man possessed. Does this describe you, Brian Williams? We just have no way of calculating how many people have been gunned down by the news, and it is news these days, hardly impartial, that is paid for by big multinational corporations with many hooks in what news is considered newsworthy. This is something for a person to think about the next time he or she takes an advertising break from the evening news broadcast to visit the frig.

As Ms Crawford puts it.

“When people hear these types of comments over and over, especially from someone so influential, it can sway their beliefs,” she says.

NBC did apologize, but executives and staff are probably still wincing over the public reaction.

For its part, NBC issued a quick reply. “Brian immediately realized his poor choice of words, and he updated the broadcast to omit that phrase for later feeds,” said spokeswoman Erika Masonhall. “We sincerely apologize for the unintended offense caused by these remarks.”

Maybe it’s time people pay more attention to how many news shows are sponsored by drug companies. The USA and New Zealand are the only countries on earth that allow direct to consumer advertising for pharmaceutical products. If it’s not “restless leg syndrome”, it’s “erectile dysfunction”, or any number of other ailments, many of them highly questionable in nature. Then there are the happiness pills that are known to be ineffective, and to give more side effects than they give happiness. As it is doctors who do the prescribing, the advertising should be going to doctors. Outlaw direct to consumer advertising, and you will also clean up many slips of the tongues made by newscasters who are presently, consciously or not, complicit in the legal drug trade.

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.

Just Wait Until “Adult ADHD” Rates Catch Up

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) rates are going up. Hardly a shocking finding. If you invent a disease, disease rates are likely to go up rather than down without an effective way to expose you, and with you, it. As reported in Psychiatric Annals, Rate of ADHD diagnosis increased in past decade, researchers looking at trends among 842,830 schoolchildren aged 5 to 11 found the following.

According to the researchers, rates of ADHD diagnosis were 2.5% in 2001 vs. 3.1% in 2010, a relative increase of 24%. During the same period, the rate of ADHD diagnosis increased among whites (4.7% to 5.6%; RR=1.3; 95% CI, 1.2-1.4), blacks (2.6% to 4.1%; RR=1.7; 95% CI, 1.5-1.9) and Hispanics (1.7% to 2.5%; RR=1.6; 95% CI, 1.5-1.7). Rates of diagnosis among Asian/Pacific Islander and other racial groups remained unchanged.

We’re more hyperactive then in 2010 than we were in 2001, that is to say, that boys will be boys, and not only will boys be boys, but girls will be girls. Confused? You’re not alone. Or to be more on target, children will be children.

The rate increase among blacks was largely due to a growing number of girls with an ADHD diagnosis (RR=1.9; 95% CI, 1.5-2.3). Boys were more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ADHD, but study results indicated that the sex gap may be closing among blacks. The researchers also observed a much higher rate of ADHD diagnosis among children living in high-income ($70,000 per year or more) households (P<.001).

Just imagine, sex equality in pathology. Things must be improving for folks of color out there, wouldn’t you say? Or, maybe not. The good news is the arrival of the spoiled brat syndrome so you folks out there in the ghetto don’t have to feel like you’re alone in your misery. Or, maybe not. Mommy and daddy uptown can buy success for junior, can’t they? …Oh, well…Them’s the breaks.

“Although the reasons for increasing ADHD rates are not well understood, contributing factors may include heightened ADHD awareness among parents and physicians, increased use of screening and other preventive services, and variability in surveillance methods among institutions,” the researchers wrote.

Okay dokey. If awareness induces contagion, no wonder they say ‘ignorance is bliss’. Screening for figurative disease is going to increase the incidence of figurative disease. Undoubtedly. Calling screening and miseducation preventive is the real kicker though. Rates go up, and you’re preventing. Oh, yeah? Uh huh. Alluding to surveillance is more to the point. This isn’t about letting children be children, this is about training the next generation of corporate bureaucrats, and maybe, just maybe, we’ve got better things to be doing in the first place.

One factor  not listed, although the authors did mention not having any published ties to pharmaceutical companies, is the influence of drug markets on this increase. I can’t imagine it doesn’t have anything to do with stimulant, and the miscalled ‘performance enhancing’, drug sales, does it? Check out stock exchange figures sometime. I reckon, if anything, ADHD treatment drug makers aren’t suffering. The wall street party goes on and on, even if from here on out at a tightly guarded secret location.