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Education On, And Alternatives To, Psychiatric Drug Abuse

If anything I think the potential harm occurring with psychiatric drug use has been underplayed rather than overplayed. This is to say that I have every reason to believe psychiatric drugs are much more dangerous and damaging than they are credited with being. Desperate people though are often more apt to listen to their desperation than they are to listen to the more cautious voice of reason and health.

Education is key when it comes to changing this situation. First people must be educated about the ills that come of taking neuroleptic and other psychiatric drugs. They need to know the conditions caused by the extended use of psychiatric drugs, and they need to be aware of how it raises the mortality rate dramatically. They must come to see that true recovery is attained through tapering off psychiatric drugs rather than dependently over relying upon them, and that over relying upon such chemicals is worse than risky, in actual fact it is rank folly.

Living in an area where these connections are not being made makes public education that much more important. When the “trade off” for a modicum of emotional stability is a matter of 25 and more lost years of life, that’s not a fair trade in the slightest. Nobody needs to sacrifice a third of their lifetime to “medication maintenance”, and more when you consider the loss in terms of quality of life. What people do need to know is that their chances for making a complete recovery are much better if they are never exposed to psychiatric drugs in the first place. When they do make this connection, the need for alternatives to psychiatric drug treatment becomes apparent.

People who have been enduring the adverse effects of psychiatric drugs for years, under the misguided opinion that they can’t function without them, should become better informed. There should also be support groups to help people who wish to get off psychiatric drugs to do so. People need to know just what the dangers are of remaining on psychiatric drugs as well. The longer a person takes a psychiatric drug, the more likely it becomes that that person will suffer permanent physical damage. Outside chemicals are just not the best way to maintain emotional stability. Nature, the evolved nature one was born with, works much better.

Psychiatric drug dependence and “mental illness” are practically interchangeable terms now. What psychiatric drugs can’t provide is “mental health”. People who don’t use such chemicals are said to be “mentally healthy”, and one can’t be said to be “mentally healthy” so long as one uses a psychiatric drug. People who take psychiatric drugs, in so doing, often put their physical health at risk. There are other and better ways to deal with the stress and pressure that comes of modern living, and the idea is to help people deal with the stress and pressure in ways other than that of masking such with the effects of a thought distorting, brain disabling, psychiatric drug.

If chronicity in “mental illness” is actually the result of psychiatric drug dependence, as some of us maintain, then the way to restore people to capacity is through tapering them off chemicals. Psychiatry, blind to the excess embodied in its own practice, has disastrously failed to recover a large portion of people under its influence to functionality. We can do much about this shortcoming by educating people about psychiatric drugs, and by providing them with safe alternatives to treatments employing harmful psychiatric drugs. It is crucial that we do so before psychiatry, in combinations with rapacious drug companies, wreaks even more havoc on the world than it has done thus far.

Support For Victims of Psychiatric Torture

June 26 around the world is observed as an International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. One form of torture that is not widely recognized is non-consensual mental health treatment. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International have been slow to recognize the brutal cruelty and abuse of forced psychiatry for what many who have endured forced psychiatry know it to be, torture. The United Nations has been a little more receptive on this issue. On March 3rd of this year the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture issued a statement calling for an immediate ban on all forced psychiatric interventions.

How are forced psychiatric interventions torture? Just do a little bit of critical thinking and independent research on the subject, and you will find out how. People are abducted, imprisoned, thrown into solitary confinement, poisoned, physically restrained, chemically restrained, shocked, induced to have seizures, injured, neglected, etc., etc., all in the name of therapy. Without mental health law serving as a contradiction to criminal law these atrocities would not be taking place. This ill treatment constitutes torture. The aim of this torture is to elicit behavior that the state finds acceptable,  to suppress behavior that the state finds unacceptable, and to get the torture victim to admit to having a “mental illness” regardless of whether the victim has an actual illness or not.

Should the victim of psychiatric forced treatment not confess to having a “mental illness”, he or she is then said to be “sicker” than the victim who does confess to having a “mental illness”, and this denial, and/or alleged “co-morbid condition”, is then seen as grounds for further tortures and a lengthier imprisonment. More recent developments in psychiatric torture include what is termed a ‘treatment mall’. This ‘treatment mall’ is actually a reeducation camp and brainwashing center run by the state “hospital” with the aim of churning out a greater number of victims complicit in their own torture and victimization.

We call on people around the world to come together over this issue of forced psychiatry, and to help us put an end to this crime against humanity, once and for all. We would like to see a mental health system in which all patients were voluntary, and in which no patients were held prisoner against their will and wishes. We would like to see mental health facilities that were not psychiatric prisons, but instead were facilities in which clients were free to come and go as they so please and choose. Non-consensual treatments, both inpatient and outpatient, are assaults on the health and the freedom of the species and, therefore, not to be tolerated.

By standing together in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, fellow human beings, victimized by this practice, we can and will bring it to an end. On this day consider what you might be able to do to help your brothers and sisters tortured by forced psychiatry. Although we have been granted the right to receive psychiatric treatment, unlike in any other branch of what purports to be medicine, we have no legal right to refuse such treatment. This right needs to be acknowledged and enacted into law. By joining with us in this struggle, you can help us liberate people from psychiatric slavery–the mistreatments and tortures that have oppressed so many for so long.

There is a better world waiting for us just around the bend. This better world is a world in which people are not oppressed and mistreated by greedy, arrogant and power-crazed traitors to their species. We will not reach this better world unless we make an effort to do so. We have in many nations of the world ended the practice of chattel slavery.  We need to end the practice of psychiatric slavery as well. When we do so, we will be that much closer to the better world for one and all that we have envisioned. Now that we’ve gone there in our heads, we need to take a first few actual steps in that direction. Offering support for victims of  the torture that coercive psychiatric interventions entail, in their effort to end that torture, is one of the ways in which we may thus progress.

More Or Less Biology In Psychiatry–That Is The Question

Much newsprint has been wasted recently on the split between the APA (American Psychiatric Association) and the NIMH over the revision of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)  that is going to be called the DSM-5. In my view, letting the 100,000 manuals bloom is not going to be any better of a solution than letting the 100,000 diagnoses bloom in the long run. If we are going to treat every patient as an individual, for the sake of the individuality of his or her condition (and genetic makeup), that’s going to make for a whole lot of variation in disorder (and/or order) expression.

The New York Times covers the story, regarding the NIMH APA divide, in a story with the heading, Psychiatry’s Guide Is Out Of Touch With Science, Experts Say. Of course, it always depends on which experts you ask. The experts the mass media is still slow to consult, and the New York Times is no exception in this regard, are those experts with lived experience on the receiving end of mental health treatment.

While typically critics of the DSM have tackled the subject from one side of the political psychiatric spectrum, here comes mob boss Thomas Insel, godfather of the NIMH, attacking from the other. In the first instance, you have people who object to the biology in biological psychiatric theory, (Theory, now there’s as important a word as any.) in the second, you have a group that doesn’t think the APA is biologically grounded enough.

The expert, Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said in an interview Monday that his goal was to reshape the direction of psychiatric research to focus on biology, genetics and neuroscience so that scientists can define disorders by their causes, rather than their symptoms.

The DSM focuses on symptoms precisely because we don’t know the causes. Dr. Thomas R. Insel, apparently, thinks otherwise.

Precision seems to be a big part of the problem. In psychiatric diagnosis, theoretical speculations aside, there are no precision tools.

The creators of the D.S.M. in the 1960s and ’70s “were real heroes at the time,” said Dr. Steven E. Hyman, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at the Broad Institute and a former director at the National Institute of Mental Health. “They chose a model in which all psychiatric illnesses were represented as categories discontinuous with ‘normal.’ But this is totally wrong in a way they couldn’t have imagined. So in fact what they produced was an absolute scientific nightmare. Many people who get one diagnosis get five diagnoses, but they don’t have five diseases — they have one underlying condition.”

Or, a possibility not considered here, we’ve got five misdiagnoses floating around for which there was no underlying condition in the first place.

Solution. The NIMH is developing it’s own manual, Research Domain Criteria, or RDoC.

About two years ago, to spur a move in that direction, Dr. Insel started a federal project called Research Domain Criteria, or RDoC, which he highlighted in a blog post last week. Dr. Insel said in the blog that the National Institute of Mental Health would be “reorienting its research away from D.S.M. categories” because “patients with mental disorders deserve better.” His commentary has created ripples throughout the mental health community.

Consider, ripples sent throughout the mental health community, ripple throughout the “mental illness” community (i.e. the mental health ghetto). Now whether “patients with mental disorders” are going to get “better” treatment thereby is a big leap. Too big a leap in fact to make. So sorry, my poor victims of standard psychiatric malpractice!

Whatever you call it, my guess is that this switch still represents a way of billing insurance companies, the most important role for patient consumers a psychiatrist assumes. Of course, given that this paradigm change is all about biological explanations, I expect the treatment the insurance companies will be paying for is a chemical fix. Given this situation, the extent to which pharmaceuticals damage patients is still the great unasked question biological psychiatrists do their best to avoid asking.

Policing Mental Health In The Schools

If you want to erase the “stigma” of “mental illness”, stop labeling people nutzoid. All the discrimination and harm that comes of “mental health” treatment has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is with the diagnostic tag.

The sad part is that now children are being labeled “mentally ill” at incredibly young ages, 2 year olds, 3 year olds, 4 year olds, 6 year olds, 8 and 9 year olds. I’ve got news for you people. Psychiatric drugs are no replacement for good parenting practices.

If folks knew this, perhaps they would be less inclined to label their toddler a problem toddler. All 2 year olds, for instance, are a world of trouble, as are all teenagers, and I’d think more than twice about labeling them, too.

I know it’s not bad parents, it’s ‘bad’ children, but all the same. I remember when we used to think of children as innocent, and when we used to put a great deal of emphasis on child rearing. If I remember correctly, there was much less childhood “mental illness” back then as well.

The problem we’ve got now is a big part of the Obama administration solution to violent school massacres.  Primary and secondary school workers, from principals on down to the janitorial staff, are being turned into mental health police. That’s right, the idea is to bust children for “mental illness”.

Well, the only thing we’re likely to get out of making our educationalists mental health cops is an increase in troubled peoples. When troubles are pathologized, hey, that’s a cinch for compounding them. The big tab for Obama care, as a result, is likely to get much much bigger.

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.

Harmful Psychiatric Drug Use Highest In Southern States

The magazine is Health, and the article screams out, Psychiatric Drugs More Often Prescribed in the South.

Living in a southern state, and knowing what this part of the country is like, this somewhat disturbing finding is not all that surprising to me.

Although people living in the West are the least likely to use antipsychotics, antidepressants and stimulants, the Yale researchers found that the drugs’ use is 40 percent higher in a large section of the South than in other parts of the country. The study authors attributed this discrepancy to variations in local access to health care and marketing efforts within the pharmaceutical industry.

Uh, right. If you were wondering about the source of this statistical data, this is what the study results from a new Yale survey indicate.

The study, which included data on 60 percent of the prescriptions written in the United States in 2008, revealed that patients living in sections of the South were 77 percent more likely to fill a prescription for a stimulant. Southerners also were 46 percent more likely to fill a prescription for an antidepressant and 42 percent more likely to do so for an antipsychotic.

Let me add that it was a little encouraging to think that in other parts of the nation people know better.

…16 % of Cape Cod, Mass. residents on stimulants…national average at 2.6 %…

Meanwhile, about 40 percent of residents of Alexandria, Va., took antidepressants. In contrast, roughly 10 percent of the U.S. population used these drugs. Antipsychotics were most commonly used in Gainesville, Fla., where 4.6 percent of local residents took the drugs, compared with a national average of 0.8 percent.

 Emphasis added.

Whoa! 40 % is 2/5ths, and that is approaching 1/2. What a coup for some drug company mogul, and if you think about it, the market isn’t nearly saturated if you can have that level of use in one single locality. I’m not a drug company mogul though, and I think the 10 % national average outrageously excessive.

Obviously, residing in Gainesville Florida, if it’s a matter of the greatest need I guess I’ve come to the right place. How do I explain this high level of neuroleptic use? Easy, four letters, NAMI, acronym for the National Alliance for Mental Illness. This organization, founded by relatives of people labeled “mentally ill”, the very people most often responsible for sending their kinfolk to the Loony Bin, with its conflicts of interest, and its misinformation campaigns, is deeply entrenched in this state, and in this town. If you ever have the misfortune of visiting the NAMI Florida website you will see that the organization is sponsored, for one thing, by 3 drug companies: Pfizer (the makers of Geodon), Janssen (the makers of Risperdal), and AstraZenica (the makers of Seroquel).  Any questions?

As an advocate of healthy non-compliance to brain-damaging health-destroying drug taking regimens, this is as gloomy a situation as I’ve ever seen. I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me.  I’d better get down to business pronto.

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.

Florida panel protects abusive assisted living facilities

Can you imagine a panel put together to do something about death and abuse in assisted living facilities that winds up doing the diametric opposite of what it was designed to do, and instead puts its energies into protecting assisting living facility operators? This is exactly what happened in Florida. The Tallahassee report on the matter in the Tampa Bay Times bears the much too polite heading, Gov. Rick Scott’s panel goes soft on ALF industry, critics say.

Gov. Rick Scott used tough language in the summer of 2011 when he created a panel to help fix the deadly abuse and neglect in Florida assisted living facilities.

Right, and now for the result.

In a change of tide, Scott’s panel issued its final report this week, calling for diminished transparency and fewer regulations. The panel calls for the state to better enforce existing rules rather than create new ones. And to give homes more money to raise their standards but not punish them through fines and other sanctions when they perform badly.

“Diminished transparency” means a continuing cover up, and “fewer regulations” means more neglect, abuse, and death. Rather than punishing the operators of bad assisted living faculties, in effect, this decision means rewarding them for their failures.

The article goes on to say, “not everyone is cheering”. Duh.

The panel was picked after a series of Miami Herald articles exposed the death and abuse taking place in assisted living facilities across the state. The back story is as follows.

The furor from the Herald series prompted Scott’s panel to offer a variety of solutions in 2011, from stricter educational requirements for ALF caretakers to more government oversight for facilities that cause patient harm. Those emerged shortly after the series was published and served as a foundation for sweeping legislation that lawmakers softened and then defeated in 2012, under pressure from powerful industry lobbyists.

In Florida, at least, it looks like those powerful industry lobbyists have won the day for the time being. This is bad news for people who seek to reform Florida’s broken assisted care system, and it is bad news for residents of assisted living facilities who may be subjected to abuse and neglect with no recourse to redress. The effect of this “final” decision is that people in assisted living faculties are going to be in no better shape than they were before an investigation revealed the extent to which they were abused, neglected, and dying. Certainly there have to be better courses of action to take than that of making a bad situation worse. Unfortunately, this is not the direction the state of Florida has chosen to take. If there is any silver lining to this situation, it is to be found in the fact that if the situation gets bad enough, the federal government will be forced to intervene.

Saying Yes To Health By Saying No To Labels And Drugs

I don’t have a “mental illness”. I see it as a revolutionary act to proclaim myself free of “mental illness”. It is a revolutionary act because psychiatrists had diagnosed me with a number of different “disorders of the mind” in the past. These same psychiatrists readily give negative prognoses’ for certain diagnoses’, among them some of the diagnoses’ they’d given me. I call it a revolutionary act because I have found that it is an act many people find themselves too cowardly to make. I don’t need a doctor to circumscribe terms for living my life, and I don’t need to pretend I need a doctor to do such.

In a mental hospital setting, where one has been involuntarily committed, by a hearing and not by a trial, one is expected to admit to having an “illness”. If one doesn’t admit to being “ill”, a prequisite for discharge, while one at one time would have been said to be using a defense mechanism, and being ‘in denial’ about the severity of his or her “disease”, now one is more likely to hear that one has ‘anosogosia’, a brain defect, that causes one to ‘lack insight’ into the nature of his or her “disease”. Non-admission of “illness” is seen as a further “symptom of illness”, or a further indication of the more serious nature of the impugned “illness”. This is the game, you go along, or you rot in a psychiatric facility.

It must first be remembered that one has been convicted of acting insane not by a jury, but by a judge, a few psychiatrists, and probably a public defender who was only pretending to defend his client. The suspect, in other words, is presumed to be “sick”, and no proof need be offered, for as long and until a mental health professional declares him or her otherwise. The thing is mental health professionals don’t hand out certificates of mental health or sanity. If they are going to verify anything, on paper, it’s usually to the instability that they would find in their captives. Of course, the appearance of “improvement” can open doors.

I am not a high functioning schizophrenic. I am not a high functioning person with bipolar disorder. I am not a high functioning depressive person. High functioning, in combination with “mental illness”, is an oxymoron. People are gauged by the DSM, the shrink’s label bible, according to levels of functionality, and people so labeled are not expected to be able to function at the level of people who bear no labels. I am, therefore, high functioning precisely because I am not schizophrenic, nor bipolar, nor depressed. The high functioning exception to the rule of low functioning is a ruse.

Much research has stirred up much confusion about so called “mental illnesses” and the direct effects of the drugs used to “manage” so called “symptoms“. When it comes to schizophrenia and neuroleptic drugs, a worsening condition is more often the result of the drugs than it is of the disease itself. Neuroleptic drugs reduce brain mass, induce apathy, and ultimately produce cognitive decline in the individuals who take them. Each of these conditions has been attributed to the progress of the disease. You would have to factor psychiatric drugs into the equation before you begin to figure out whether this is so or not, and this is not done in much research today precisely because it is driven by drug company marketing efforts.

I don’t take psychiatric drugs. I don’t need a psychiatrist to prescribe psychiatric drugs to me. I have recovered from any “mental disability” that I may have been said to have suffered from, and I did so without recourse to excessive psychiatric counseling. Usually this counseling involves little more than a script for a chemical agent to be ingested periodically. I don’t take psychiatric drugs because of the ill effects they have on my person, and because I have some knowledge as to how these drugs actually affect the brain and the body. I, in fact, attribute my continuing physical and mental well being to my aversion to taking psychiatric drugs. I think when you connect the “illness” with the drug you can begin to see the virtue in coming off.

We live in a prescription drug culture that has left many casualties in its wake, and you can read the names of some of the more notable cadavers in the dailies. I am proud, for the moment, to count myself among the survivors of psychiatric labeling, psychiatric drugging, and standard psychiatric malpractice. This survival would not have been the case had I passively concurred with some psychiatrist’s low opinion of myself and my chances. We need to change the predominate paradigm in mental health treatment today from one that relies so heavily on chemical sedation to one that deals with the problems of real people before we can advance. One sure sign that a person is mentally healthy is that they don’t rely upon drugs. I encourage others to do as I have done, in the name of saving lives, and to say no to psychiatry and psychiatric drugs.

Iatrogenic Damage As Treatment

Despite attempts to dismiss and discredit his contribution, psychiatrist RD Laing’s position in the pantheon of twentieth century thinkers is relatively secure. I was reading recently where somebody claimed R.D. Laing’s reputation needed rehabilitating. I don’t think this is so. The spirit of R.D. Laing is always there lingering in the background. He can’t go away, establishment or anti-establishment. He is present, cultural icon or counter-cultural guru. The same cannot be said of some of his associates, for example, David Cooper. I’ve seen his Wikipedia page grow less informative over the course of time. David Cooper’s reputation, if anyone had the interest or inclination, could probably use some serious rehabilitating.

Every time I mention so called anti-psychiatry I have misgivings. I feel I am going to be misunderstood. I am not so called pro-psychiatry in the slightest. The problem is biological medical model psychiatry. This school of psychiatry dominates the entire profession. Biological psychiatry is responsible for an epidemic of iatrogenic damage done to people in the mental health system. Biological psychiatry is behind an increased mortality rate among that population. Biological psychiatry is intimately tied to, and in bed with, the pharmaceutical industry. We need a dramatic paradigm shift away from this chemical quick fix approach to social and personal problems to an approach that realizes drugs aren’t solutions, problems aren’t illnesses, and drugs are a part of the problem. We have created a prescription drug culture today that is killing people.

If 95 % of psychiatrists are bad, and I believe that crediting the profession with 5 % good doctors is probably an over estimation, then there is not a whole lot of good to be said about that profession. We would not be in any worst state if the profession of psychiatry were eliminated altogether. People would actually be more likely to improve, given psychiatry’s cozy relationship to the drug industry, without the profession altogether rather than with it. The fact of the matter is that people labeled ‘schizophrenic’ recover, and do a lot better, more frequently where they have never been introduced to the pharmaceutical products used to treat the condition than where they are given drugs. The drugs are impediments to recovery, and worse, they are damaging in themselves. There have, in fact, been instances where the point of no return has been crossed.

This domination of biological psychiatry has meant tragedy on a worldwide scale. This tragedy is the result of confusing intended “help” with actual harm. Real assistance has human features, and it doesn’t come in liquid and capsule forms. Conceive throw away people, and throw away people end up thrown away. One way to throw them away is to contain them in places where they will only receive custodial care. Another way is to make the custodian a chemical substance. So long as so few people are doing anything about it, this tragedy can only continue to grow. Many people think they are actually doing something good when they are harming other people. This harming of people is not a good thing, and it is a point that must be made again and again. Loving people are not hurting people. Right now it is essential to change directions, we need more concern and less harm shown to those whom we so often scapegoat.

R.D. Laing and David Cooper were trail blazers. They were experimenters in a field that permitted very few experiments. These experiments pointed the way to a better approach to the problem than compounding it. Without their experiments, the later more successful experiment of Loren Mosher, the Soteria Project, might never have gotten off the ground. Some of us are hopeful that more encouraging signs are in the wind. I am aghast at all the people, given psychiatric labels, with physical injuries that came of the treatment they received for those labels. No injury of the body is the solution to an injury in the mind. No amount of fantasizing otherwise is going to make thought organic. Poison, on the other hand, will give the wounded thought an injured body, just as a cessation of poison may, but not always, return the body to health. I understand that some people are receiving money for tending the wounds of mind and body. I think a career of healing people vastly preferable to a career of keeping people in ill health. What we need today is more of the former and less of the latter.