My Response to a Defender of Psychiatry

On October 13, an interesting article was published on the Huffington Post Blog.  The author is Jessica Gold, MD, a psychiatry resident at Stanford University; the post is titled Inpatient Psychiatry: Not all Needles, Drugs And Locks.

The article is a personal experience/opinion piece, the gist of which is that people who criticize or condemn psychiatry simply don’t understand the complexities and needs of psychiatry’s “patients”, particularly the need for locked wards.

The article is generally unremarkable in that the arguments adduced are well-worn by more senior psychiatrists.  But it is interesting, and indeed tragic, to see a new entrant to the field absorbing psychiatry’s defensive nonsense, and trotting it out uncritically for public consumption.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Dr. Gold begins by describing the kinds of interactions she experiences in social settings when people learn that she is a psychiatrist.


“However, what frustrates me most are the times when after describing my day-to-day as a psychiatry resident, I am met with bewilderment, followed by misplaced sarcasm as I am asked, ‘And why would you want to do that?'”

Dr. Gold then becomes reflective:

“After reminding myself not to get defensive (as I continued to do throughout writing this piece) or just stop the conversation completely, I became intrigued. While doctors may not evoke the same respect and adoration of the days of house visits, no one asks the other doctors (non-psychiatrists) in my family with such strong negative connotation why they chose their respective specialties.

I began to wonder if it’s because the difference between a locked ward and a medical ward can seem confusing and scary to an outsider or a patient. Without knowing the safety rationale, it can feel degrading to have your clothes taken away, along with your cell phone, shoelaces, and sharp objects, only to sleep in a boring room with heavy, non-moveable (or throw-able) furniture. If you lack insight into your illness and do not understand the necessity of hospitalization, it can feel prison-like to be on a locked ward without the ability to leave it. And, without understanding the therapeutic benefit of engaging in connections with others on the unit, it can feel restrictive to have visiting hours and not be able to have a significant other or family member spend the night.”

So Dr. Gold is frustrated by the sarcasm she encounters when social acquaintances discover that she is a psychiatrist, and notes that other medical specialties do not generally attract this kind of response. She wonders if the reason for this differential response might be:

“… because the difference between a locked ward and a medical ward can seem confusing and scary to an outsider or a patient.”

This is a truly delightful piece of self-deceptive spin.  Psychiatry’s so-called patients might well feel scared of locked wards, and understandably so.  But the notion that fears of this sort underlie the general public’s negative perception of psychiatry is arrant nonsense.  The general public’s negative perception of psychiatry, as compared to genuine medical specialties, is grounded in a realistic appraisal of psychiatry’s spurious concepts and destructive “treatments”.  In particular, psychiatry is negatively perceived because:

  1. Psychiatry’s definition of a mental disorder/ illness, as set out in DSM III, IV, and 5, embraces virtually every significant problem of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving. Psychiatry uses this definition to fraudulently medicalize problems that are not medical in nature.
  1. Psychiatry routinely presents these so-called illnesses as the causes of the specific problems, when in fact they are merely labels: abbreviated rewordings of the presenting problems with no explanatory function or value.  These labels, which cause enormous damage to the individuals to whom they are assigned, serve only to legitimize the pushing of drugs, and to enable psychiatrists to bill for the services they provide.  Unlike real diagnoses, they provide no insight into the nature or essence of the presenting problems, but are nevertheless defended tenaciously by psychiatrists and their pharma funders.
  1. Psychiatry has routinely deceived, and continues to deceive, their clients, the public, the media, and government agencies, that these vaguely defined problems are in fact illnesses with known neural pathology. The classic example of this is the chemical imbalance theory of depression – a blatant hoax which was pushed so heavily by psychiatry that it has now become “common knowledge”.  And the most noteworthy aspect of this is that although the hoax has been exposed repeatedly – (most recently by Terry Lynch in his book Depression Delusion), psychiatry has taken no concerted steps to correct this misinformation, and indeed in many quarters is still promoting this fiction as established medical fact.
  1. Psychiatry has blatantly promoted drugs as corrective measures for these illnesses, when in fact it is well-known in pharmacological and psychiatric circles that no psychiatric drug corrects any neural pathology. In fact, the opposite is the case.  All psychiatric drugs exert their effect by distorting or suppressing normal brain functioning.  It is also well known that the adverse effects of these products are often devastating and permanent.
  1. Psychiatry has collaborated and conspired with pharma in the development of a vast body of fraudulent research, all designed to “demonstrate” that psycho-pharmaceutical products are safe and effective. The methods by which this fraud has been perpetrated include:  the routine suppression of negative results; the use of ridiculously short follow-up intervals; over-stating of marginal results; suppression of adverse effects; etc., etc.
  1. A great many psychiatrists have shamelessly accepted large sums of pharma money for very questionable activities. These activities include the widespread presentation of pharma infomercials in the guise of CEUs; the ghost-writing of books and papers which were actually written by pharma employees; targeting of captive and vulnerable audiences in nursing homes, group homes, and foster-care systems for prescription of psychiatric drugs; etc., etc…   Two glaring examples of this kind of venality are:

In this context, it should be noted that Dr. Biederman and Dr. Frances are among the most eminent and prestigious psychiatrists in the US.

In addition, 70% of the DSM-5 task force members had received funding from the pharmaceutical industry.

  1. Psychiatry’s labels are inherently disempowering. To tell a person, who in fact has no biological pathology, that he has an incurable illness, for which he must take psychiatric drugs for life, is an intrinsically disempowering act which robs people of hope, and encourages them to settle for a life of drug-induced dependency and mediocrity.
  1. Psychiatry’s “treatments”, whatever transient feelings of well-being or tranquilization they may induce, are always destructive and damaging in the long-term. Neuroleptic drugs cause tardive dyskinesia.  Extended use of antidepressants produces a state of chronic joylessness.  Benzodiazepines are addictive.  High-voltage electric shocks to the brain erase memories.  Psychiatry’s notion that one can solve people’s problems by tinkering irresponsibly with their brains, betrays a degree of arrogant naivety unequalled in other professional groups.
  1. Psychiatry’s spurious and self-serving medicalization of every significant problem of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving, effectively undermines human resilience, and fosters a culture of powerlessness, uncertainty, and dependence. Powerful, time-honored concepts such as the need for critical self-appraisal, and personal improvement through effort, have been systematically marginalized by psychiatry’s expanding list of “illnesses”, and ever-flowing supply of drugs.  Relabeling as illnesses, problems which previous generations accepted as matters to be addressed and worked on, and harnessing billions of pharma dollars to promote this false message, is morally and professionally repugnant.
  1. Psychiatry’s primary agenda over the past four or five decades has been the expansion of its list of “illnesses”, and the assignment of these illnesses to more and more people. It has now become routine practice to prescribe neuroleptic drugs to elderly nursing home residents who become “unmanageable”, and to young children for temper tantrums!

This is the profession that Dr. Gold chose to enter and now chooses to defend with patronizing platitudes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Back to Dr. Gold’s paper:

“Dear future and past patients: I. COMPLETELY. GET. IT. Nothing about being on a psychiatric ward is typical, even for a medical setting. But I (and every nurse, social worker, psychologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, nursing assistant, and physician I have ever worked with) also really want to help you. That is why I chose a career in medicine, and even more true of the reason why I chose to specialize in psychiatry. I worry the images you have of inpatient psychiatry scare you and prevent you from seeing me as an ally. Even when I tell you that I am here to help, I can see the skepticism in your eyes and hear the fear in your voice. I am trained to observe, after all.

It is not surprising, then, that when I read descriptions or see my job portrayed as forceful or horrific, I want to take the time to correct them. I am not doing this simply because I want to protect my profession, but am actually doing this in defense of and in support of anyone who might need mental health help in the future. Stigmatizing attitudes toward psychiatric illnesses already exist; fear of psychiatry and seeking care do not need to be added to the equation.”

In recent years, the psychiatric survivor movement has grown, both in numbers and in the volume of output.  Survivors are writing about the mistreatment they have received, often for decades, at the hands of psychiatry.  But Dr. Gold dismisses these protests as erroneous and misinformed over-reactions.  Psychiatry’s so-called patients:  “lack insight” into their illnesses; do not understand “the necessity of hospitalization”; do not understand “the therapeutic benefit of engaging in conversations with others on the unit”; don’t realize that the psychiatrists who authorized the forcible injection of akathisia-inducing drugs “really” want to help; etc..

And Dr. Gold is taking the time to correct these misperceptions, not simply because she wants to protect her profession (Heavens, no!), but rather in defense and support of anyone who might need psychiatric help in the future.  How noble!

“Maybe people will always fear psychiatry, mental illness and what they do not know…But maybe those attitudes can be changed and as mental health advocates, we need to do everything we can to assuage those fears. Unfortunately, even well-meaning former patients perpetuate those fears, whether inadvertently or because of the limited lens through which they viewed their own hospitalization.”

To which I might respond:  Even well-meaning psychiatrists perpetuate these fears, whether inadvertently or because of the erroneous and destructive disease-focused lens through which they view their “patients” and their “treatments”.

The rationalizations and self-justifications continue:

“I’ve been screamed at, cursed at, rushed towards, demeaned and have seen patients and nurses get seriously injured.  Even still, I do not make these decisions lightly or lead a conversation with a needle.”

The great irony here is that the neuroleptic drugs that psychiatrists routinely use to control aggressive behavior frequently produce a condition called akathisia, which in turn is a known precipitator of suicide and violence.  Crowner, Douyon, et al, conducted a short study of this matter in 1990.  Here’s a quote from their paper:

“Akathisia is a common side effect of neuroleptic drugs that may present with behavioral disturbances. There have been preliminary reports on the association between violence and akathisia. We report the first observational study of this relationship. Patients studied were from a special unit for violent patients. A closed-circuit television camera was installed in each of the corners in its dayroom. Incidents of assault plus the 5 minutes preceding each assault were recorded on videotape. Participants and bystanders were rated for the motor component of akathisia. For each of nine incidents, we compared the akathisia scores for participants and for bystanders. Both victims and assailants were akathisic before about half of all incidents; bystanders rarely were. The classification of the movements we rated and the implications for further studies are discussed.”

It would be interesting to know how many of the individuals who screamed, cursed at, rushed towards, and demeaned Dr. Gold were experiencing akathisia as a result of neuroleptic or antidepressant drugs that she had prescribed for them.  It is also interesting that no major follow-up of the Crowner, Douyon, et al study has been undertaken by psychiatry.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Given the responses to our career selection in casual conversation, it is probably not shocking that I (and my peers) can sometimes hesitate to say my medical specialty, despite having no shame or regrets about my decision. Knowing now that hiding my profession only further contributes to its stigma, and without a voice or a face, psychiatrists and their patients will always just be a part of a power struggle…, I will never again shy away from it:

I am a psychiatrist-in-training. My job is complicated, weird, unique, fun, fulfilling, and challenging… but that’s what makes it beautiful.”

Well all of this is nice to know, but in my view, psychiatry is neither fun nor fulfilling for those on the receiving end, especially in the long-term..

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The reality is that psychiatry is not something good that needs some minor corrections.  Rather, it is something fundamentally flawed and rotten; a wrong turning in human history, trailing death, disability, and disempowerment in its worldwide wake.  No amount of rationalization or platitudinous exculpations can mitigate this reality.  Psychiatry kills people every day, and adamantly refuses to recognize this reality and take appropriate action.


  • Well-written, Phil. I saw Gold’s article and was equally dismayed. Thanks for speaking the words I would have liked to have for her.

  • form

    So, this quack thinks our society will condemn radical Islamic terrorists, and White Nationalist terrorists, but not psychiatric terrorists? NO WAY! Psychiatric terrorism IS scary, iatrogenic, destructive, and EVIL, and *that’s* the reason why Dr. Gold is looked upon with scorn and suspicion when people find out what she does for a living. There is no power struggle between Mad people and their quacks. Needles are weapons, cages are weapons, and psychiatric indoctrination tactics are weapons. And only the quacks hold those weapons. Their Mad inmates do not. The only psychiatric patients who aren’t being hurt by psychiatry are FORMER psychiatric patients. Dr. Gold, I hate you and it’s my dream to see psychiatry abolished with a Constitutional Amendment, just like slavery was. Your “profession” ABSOLUTELY deserves that righteous, permanent demise.

  • Warren Heggarty

    Thank you Dr Hickey. I work in a non-clinical mental health recovery service that concentrates on peer support. I think a lot of what we do is repairing the damage caused by psychiatry. I have never had difficulty with other people’s delusions, hallucinations, bad nerves or sadness. Everyone experiences these things. What makes my job difficult is that ‘psychiatric patients’ have come to believe that they are worthless, powerless, incurable and incapable: attitudes drummed into them by psychiatry and fortified by stupefying drugs. Keep up the good work.

  • Phil_Hickey


    Thanks for commenting. I’m glad you liked the post.

    Best wishes.

  • Phil_Hickey


    Thanks for coming in. The encouraging aspect of this is that there is still a good measure of skepticism about psychiatry among the general public: a skepticism that we hopefully can encourage.

    Best wishes.

  • Phil_Hickey


    Thanks for writing and for the encouragement.

    Yes, the destructiveness of psychiatry is everywhere. It is good that there are people like yourself who are working to mitigate this damage, and I hope that you also can keep up your good work. I believe that peer support has enormous potential.

    Best wishes.

  • Cledwyn In Search of Lost Pus

    I was going to read the article, but I think I’ll forgo frolicking down that particular avenue of bliss, though, in a cursory inspection of the offending article, my eye alighted on one passage wherein she states that the days of long-term institutionalization and Mrs Ratchet are gone.

    It’s just this kind of belief in the forward march of psychiatric history – as wrongheaded as the belief in the “forward march” of human history itself, that grandiose delusion of a jumped-up ape – that keeps the profession going round in round in circles, like cockroaches circling a table, or children in a flight simulator, in both cases going nowhere, but convinced they are moving forward nevertheless.

    I pity the captive audience of the charade enacted within the four walls of whatever nominal hospital this woman works in, forced to watch these charlatans poncing about the place in borrowed plumage, while their arses grow sore, sore from the countless needles fallen to the lot of their little bot-bots, and from having to watch such an execrable piece of theater.

    She portrays herself as a selfless servant of suffering humanity – the words of Robert Musil, “highmindedness is the mark of all professional ideologies”, seem amply borne out here – yet in her dismissal of the complaints and hostility of her “patients”, attributing it to their supposed lack of insight, it is hard not to draw the conclusion that she is motivated by self-interest, in so obviously interpreting things to her liking.

    “The general public’s negative perception of psychiatry, as compared to genuine medical specialties, is grounded in a realistic appraisal of its spurious and destructive “treatments”.”

    I don’t know about that. I think the hostility is much more to do with the fact that psychiatric theory is subversive of free will and moral responsibility, wherein lies the real gravamen of the charge brought against psychiatry by certain of the critics of its ideas and practices, which far from being the most incriminating item in the historical record of the profession, as some seem to suggest, is actually to its credit, given the total lack of evidence for assuming freedom of the will and thus moral responsibility; but as Montaigne said, “nothing is so firmly believed as that which is least known”.

    Perhaps it varies from state to state.

    I would imagine that in the places with the highest per capita boob rate, for example, it would be incredibly naive to assume that people’s ideas about anything are generally grounded in a realistic appraisal of things!

    Much of the hostility is likely owing to psychiatry’s subversion of libertarian pieties.

    Life is what you make of it, not what it makes of you, supposedly.

    The assumption common among the American public is that if you don’t “make it” in life, you only have yourself to blame. The invidious distinctions nature and society draw between men are of no account. The diverse developmental lines along which proceeds the lives of individuals who have been laid low in the ruthless ego-warfare and struggle for wealth to which a society plays host, diverge principally because of the free choices men make at the critical junctures of their existence.

    Indulging vice under cover virtue, the most vocal proponents of this worldview identify such heartlessness with the cause of justice, but this should occasion no surprise, evil has always flourished best in the shadow of righteousness.

  • Cledwyn’s Suicidal reveries

    I see that there was another article written by the Social Justice Warriors on MIA recently that was the source of much controversy.

    For the most part the writers deliver themselves of their lecture in a manner in keeping with the patronizing attitudes your average reformer adopts; there’s a nasty whiff about the piece of the schoolmarm wagging her finger reprovingly and lording it over the pupils confided to her charge. At other times, the writers, writing in the imperative voice, thunder forth peremptory commands, (ab)using capitalization and repetition to really press the point home.

    Just about any disagreement is chalked down to “white folk defending their privileges”. By placing it in some odious, procrustean category, all dissent is neatly dismissed with a figurative stroke of the pen.

    For people supposedly concerned with social justice, observing them in conflict with others, it is curious to see such people act so conspicuously uninhibited by a sense of justice and fair play.

    The words of Schopenhauer should be borne in mind here. To paraphrase, those who act without justice in small matters, will act thus in matters of greater consequence, which, incidentally, is what makes the petty incivilities of men so revealing of character; they are like drops affording insight into the composition of the whole ocean of shit that is a man’s character.

    This is why we should always observe how people react in situations of conflict, for all the arts of hypocrisy and dissimulation our commerce with the world inculcates, are of no avail there.

    These people are mere jays imitating peacocks, sticking their noses up at their own kind. Like the monkey in Krylov’s fable, what they scorn in others is a reflection of themselves.

    Any who think themselves torchbearers of justice are suspect in my reckoning. Anyone who has sounded the Augean depths of human nature cannot possibly consider himself just, and thus confer on himself some such appellation consistent with this grandiosely delusional self-appraisal.

    We are not just; we are cunning, deceitful, hypocritical, vicious, spiteful, cruel, conceited brutes, and thus whenever men get sanctimonious with each other and puff themselves out with their “principles”, as is their wont, they arrogate to themselves a level of moral authority to which they cannot legitimately lay claim, though it must be conceded that on the stage of life, man is the most versatile actor and protean performer, capable of adapting himself to many different roles, and there is indeed much in a man that weighs in his favor, at least as long as you flatter his native vanity.

    Some interesting and valid points are nevertheless made, no doubt.

  • Cledwyn In Search of Lost Pus

    Continuing, and this is a more general comment, I would emphasize that men are not apt to change their prejudicial habits of thought, feeling and behavior – and that’s what these are, habits, and, I might add, habits that are not freely picked up and that, having put down such strong roots in the mind, and been nourished over many years, require time if they are to be uprooted – when they are urged to do so by moral and emotional blackmailing tactics; by censorship; or by their arraignment, figuratively speaking, before some tribunal sitting in judgment on them from the heights of their own sanctimoniousness; and with good reason are they especially opposed to the latter proceedings, presided over as they always are by a judge not known for his charity (namely, man himself), and who in the act of judging arrogates to himself a degree of moral authority over his victim to which he can never lay claim.

    Nietzsche said that to judge is always unjust. Granting this, at least for the sake of further argument, who can possibly maintain that a world without injustice, or a world without injustice even on an epic scale, is possible, when man emits judgements as naturally and uncontrollably as a man with chronic flatulence emits farts?

    Of all the addictions of men, none is so incurably diseased as our addiction to the gavel, assuming I am permitted the use of such a figure by the language police.

    Free will? Moral responsibility? Different symptoms, same disease.

    Faculties in the service of his addiction, man sees agency everywhere; in his haste to judge, he convinces himself of the justice of his judgements, though his knowledge of another man is as a drop to the ocean.

    In solitary confinement, men go mad because they have no-one to judge, save themselves, which they spend their whole lives trying to avoid by judging others.

    Men are unjust, and necessarily so. A world without injustice on an epic scale is not just impossible, but inconceivable, given what man is.

    Men don’t have a need for justice, as some people maintain, but a need for injustice.

    Returning to the offending article, one of the main objections therein, and in the comments thereunder, is to the comparison between psychiatry and slavery.

    It is difficult to follow the thread of their argument, but the gravamen of the charge seems to be that in making such comparisons, they are hijacking someone else’s experience.

    What I will say is that in a society where men are hemmed in by sumptuary laws regulating the consumption of pharmacological agents, men are indeed slaves, which holds a fortiori of one wherein the freedom to kill oneself is prohibited under pain of psychiatric “hospitalization” and “treatment”.

    If I am guilty of such an enormity, such an appalling crime, I will say in my defense that it is nevertheless not my intention to co-opt anyone else’s experience, but simply to show how the cycle of human history is playing out in the present.

    One of the writers objects to this presumed hijacking of someone else’s experience on the grounds that some black people find this offensive and are hurt by this.

    They are blowing things up out of proportion, though no doubt they would dispose of such an objection by again putting it in some odious, procrustean category.

  • Cledwyn Broadbaps

    One of the writers is also quick to dismiss the criticism leveled at her as “mansplaining”.

    How did she expect people to react to her lecture, to her exercise in finger-wagging, written as if it was addressed to a bunch of children?

    A paraphrastic rendering of the article, condensed into a short sentence, would read, “shame on you, white man!”

    Yet she wonders why people address her in a like tone!

    Only people so obviously lacking in self-awareness could be that sanctimonious, the two being inversely proportional, in my experience.

    At one point, speaking in the imperative voice to all those people guilty of the enormity of comparing psychiatry to slavery – or even worse, suggesting some sort of functional or experiential overlap between the two – to all these criminals, they write, “STOP IT NOW!”.

    Uh, no.

    Who do they think they are? Have they perchance lost sight of the distinction between meum and tuum? What people do with their own tongues and fingers is their own business. You can’t just command other people to say what you want.

    Some of us are like springs; the more forcefully you press us, the harder we spring back. If you want people to alter their thoughts and opinions, ask them respectfully, or hop it. Or is this just mansplaining, or whitesplaining?

    People are urged to desist from making the aforementioned comparison on the grounds that it hurts the feelings of some other people, who happen to be black. If their feelings can’t discriminate between an actual personal attack, and what is at worse an innocent mistake in the interpretation of reality, then that’s their problem, and given their manifest lack of consideration for the feelings of the principal objects of their venom, I certainly won’t be desisting, not wishing to indulge their sense of entitlement, and if only for their own good, for otherwise they run the risk of being borne aloft into the ether, so swollen with a sense of entitlement are they already.

  • Cledwyn of Athens

    “A great many psychiatrists have shamelessly accepted large sums of Pharma money…”

    Believers in progress tell us that men are getting better. Bosh. If anything they are getting worse. Modern man has taken greed to a whole new level.

    Today, a man must live in perpetual fear of the seething mass of confidence men, trading in on our trust, converging on our coffers, brought scum-like to the surface of social life by the desperate and degrading scramble for loot.

    Trust? Faith in humanity? So many tools of the con-man’s trade….

    Some people, recognizing the insane cupidity of modern man, nevertheless blame money itself, scarcely less absurd and unjust as blaming the mouse for the fact that the cat eats it. Man, the greedy bastard, is the problem, not money.

    (Man has the dubious distinction of being the only animal who hoards wealth and possessions well beyond his needs. You don’t see squirrels supererogatorily hoarding acorns while their rodent brethren languish for want of sustenance. Nor do you see them mulcting their own bloody kind.)

    Psychiatry is the arguably the worst of it, the crowning canker in the decay of modern society. Preying parasitically on human misery, they dupe their victims, profit from their misery, and put on a charade to con them all the better.

    They are like the thieves portrayed in Hugo’s “Les Miserables”, who hung around the battlefield, scouring the land for casualties, to pilfer their property. Psychiatrists hang around on a different battlefield, that upon which the struggle for survival, self-esteem and power takes place. They prey on the war wounded, filch their rights and liberties, rob them of their last morsel of self-esteem.

    Shat on by the world, and shat out by psychiatry. This is the fate of many a mental patient.


    To see such a jumped-up, greedy ape putting on such airs and graces in the presence of other, higher animals, borders on the obscene. Man is the most ridiculous animal. He is like a cock that struts bombastically about its own dunghill for awhile, then drops dead, face down in its own shit.

    People aren’t getting better, it’s just that the charade the world puts on, the code of hypocrisy under which the vices and abuses of the world operate, and the masks behind which they surface in social life, have never been so effective; hence the belief in human progress, that symptom of our growing self-estrangement, has perhaps never been so strong.

    “Plague all, that your activity may defeat and quell the source of all erection.”

    Timon of Athens, Shakespeare

  • all too easy

    I felt ill and ready to puke, but, in the nick of time I was reminded of my favorite comedians and popped by for a quick pick me up. Not to worry. My heart is now merrily refreshed as I peruse the folly and gaiety expressed through practically infinite forms of inanity by none other than clodhopperpus the idiot, the self-pitying, self-righteous boob of Narcissism. Same old same old, sweet pea. Get a life, sweet heart. Take a long walk and get some polluted air in them rotting nicotine stained lungs, vont u?

    “I would emphasize that men are not apt to change their prejudicial habits of thought, feeling and behavior – and that’s what these are, habits, and, I might add, habits that are not freely picked up and that, having put down such strong roots in the mind, and been nourished over many years…” THE IDIOT
    Right on target minus the “men” part, honey, for above all else you are a mouse first and foremost.
    I LOVE MYSELF!!! signed, Clodhopper The Pus and Moron III

  • all too easy

    More than anything, we can be certain that each and every confidence man out there has clodhopperpus in his sights. They are endlessly plotting how they might con the old pervert out of his monthly disability checks.
    Got to love this Total Idiot. Got to

  • Christos Browne

    I believe your article does much to damage the attempts to help people with mental health problems. Psychiatry is multi-disciplinary… and medications are just one part of the approach to addressing those needs. I do not claim to have the answers for these problems, but I love someone who does suffer from it. You deviously add to the paranoia and that does not help. Every doctor is well aware of the fact that human sciences are not perfect. Each one of them lives with a healthy level of skepticism. But until there is a better tool I do not support going back to the dark ages. I notice you have not even responded to several of cledwyn’s posts publicly… but you are very busy thanking all the twitter followers who have fodllowed/retweeted you. This forum may not allow you to help this person… but your diatribe may only confuse an already vulnerable individual..

  • Christos Browne

    I also feel you spread a fear of labels. The human mind needs to categorise things to describe it. It is part of the scientific method. In a clinical scenario I reckon it probably makes it easier for the doctor to document things. It would be impossible for a doctor to write down all the stuff cledwyn had written below. A naming system like dsm 5 actually gives hope as it must be reassuring to know that a behaviour pattern is something that has been seen before. And if a technique of treatment works for one pattern maybe it will work for others with a similar pattern. I think you are creating stigma by casting aspersions about how psychiatrists attempt to understand a person’s journey. I also think that you are riding the contrarian bandwagon as it gives you fame, notoriety and maybe money.

  • Phil_Hickey


    Thanks for coming in. I don’t believe that you could find a single sentence in anything I have written on this blog that could honestly be described as devious. If you could point to something of this nature, I will gladly take a look, and, if your contentions are founded, make appropriate amendments as needed.

    Meanwhile, I will continue to denounce psychiatry as the destructive and disempowering hoax that it is.

    Best wishes.

  • Phil_Hickey


    The essential point is that while real doctors deal with real illnesses (e.g., pneumonia), psychiatrists deal with empty labels. Their “diagnoses” embody no genuine insights into any disease process. They are nothing more than loose collections of vaguely described problems. The brain is indeed a pattern-seeking machine – a point I have made frequently. But when we don’t see a real pattern, there is a strong tendency to invent one. Psychiatric “diagnosis” is precisely of this sort: a catalog of invented diagnoses. There is no evidence that the various problems coalesce into the categories listed, and even less evidence that they constitute disease.

    I have discussed all these issues in depth throughout the blog. Feel free to browse around.

    For the record, I receive no money or emoluments of any kind for writing these posts.

  • Christos Browne

    It’s devious because it undermines the efforts I have seen psychiatry/mental health teams make. I remember a cousin of mine with depression, with occasional flare ups of psychosis and delusions who stopped taking her diabetes medications – insulin. She would refuse help and cite things similar to what you write. We didn’t know whether what she has read is true or not. My aunt would fly interstate to help her but things would escalate. Eventually she would be admitted under an involuntary order after every community/GP option had been tried. With lots of psychiatry support including medications and adherance to psych meds and psychology help she got better. For this reason she is able to spend time with our family for christmas. People die without their insulin. She is able to work and spend time with her nieces and nephews. She , like my other relatives with mental health problems read blogs like yours and talk negatively about psychiatry. But I think in their moment of need they forget the danger they were in. She is empowered by being able to access psychiatry help / CATT support quickly. If a label gives her access to a medication then I’m okay with it. And I too am skeptical about the drug companies profiting from vulnerable people , but our government largely covers the cost of medications to allow people the opportunity to get better.
    Thank you for creating a forum to balance out the perceptions out there. But please don’t add to delaying my cousin, and others who share her difficulties, ability to get help.
    You’re clearly a well read person .. I don’t agree that psychiatry is a faith based area of medicine. I’m not a religious person. But if there is a concerted effort toward finding answers to these questions then maybe one day we will. I hope your work adds to the body of research out there, but doesn’t stop people from getting better.

  • Rob

    The message that neurosis isn’t caused by biological defects is empowering and helpful. It can keep people from adopting the lifetime label of being “mentally ill”. There’s significant evidence that depression, rage, and anxiety are not biological malfunctions, but society is constantly hammered with the unsubstantiated hypothesis that neurosis is a medical problem requiring drugs to correct. Even dogs and cats are being “diagnosed” with depression and given antidepressants.

  • Cledwyn Anal Health Awareness

    Crappy new year, everyone.

    May the days show you no mercy,

    And on your bottoms be visited,

    Pummelings and poundings aplenty!

    Of all the stupidities entertained by the mass mind, none is perhaps quite so stupid as the belief embodied in the phrase, “detached from reality”, which, of course, is a part of the phraseology of many of the believers in the mental health faith, or I should say, some of them, for they aren’t all that metacognitively impaired.

    The tacit assumption usually underlying the use that phrase – namely, that the speaker is attached to reality, and thus that such a person exists – is itself born of a divorce from a reality, for surely it must be granted that, even at its most advanced stage of development, the human mind is never an infallible, unerring medium of truth, and that the meager faculties that fall to its lot are perpetually subject to countless errors?

    Take, for example, the faculty of judgement. The underlying assumption when judging another is often that a man can do otherwise than he does, for which no evidence is forthcoming; indeed, all evidence and logic seem to point in the opposite direction.

    Yet even if there exists an area within which men can be said to make free choices, it nevertheless has to be conceded that there are limits within which the prerogative of free will is exercised (so called because there is no doubt that such freedom categorically cannot be predicated of the will any other creature). It also has to be conceded that we cannot unerringly fix the seat of responsibility in its proper place, be it in the environment, in a man’s biology, or in his free will.

    So in judging others, we easily become detached from reality.

    One could on about how defective the judgment of men is, but I have no wish to belabor the point, and, of course, the same could be said about the other faculties.

    Schopenhauer said that the world is our representation. One need not subscribe to his overall metaphysics to see the truth of this. The world as we experience it is refracted through the prism of our senses, our mental apparatus, and the passions, hopes, and dreams that move us, all of which deceive us.

    “What is life? ‘Tis but a madness”

    Pedro Calderon, Life is But A Dream

  • No. 2 fan of all too easy

    Looks like our resident meth head got a holiday pass from her rehab facility. Atta girl, Betty. Who else can you try to abuse while you’re on furlough? Oh, I know . . .

    Get a life, sweetheart. What a pathetic loser.

  • all too easy


    T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows detection of tissue abnormalities, including white matter and gray nuclei cerebral hyperintensities; these are bright patches in brain parenchyma that neither enhance with gadolinium contrast nor cause mass effects. Cerebral hyperintensities are believed to represent locally increased water content caused by increased microvascular permeability.

    Cerebral hyperintensities often appear in the healthy adult population; however, histopathological and recent anatomopathological and angiographic evidence indicates that cerebral hyperintensities should not be considered a normal variant but rather a subclinical manifestation of small-vessel disease (1, 2). In populations at low risk for vascular disease, such as children and young adults, cerebral hyperintensities are most often associated with vasculitides or neuroinflammatory/neurodegenerative cerebral processes of diverse etiology (2). Cerebral hyperintensities are commonly found, for example, in the basal ganglia of children and young adults with Sydenham’s chorea (3), a neuropsychiatric disorder thought to be a sequela of infection with group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus. Individuals with Sydenham’s chorea tend to have enlarged basal ganglia as well, presumably caused by edema from an autoimmune vasculitis (4).

    Behavioral manifestations of Tourette’s syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) closely resemble the hyperkinetic, choreiform movements of Sydenham’s chorea. Moreover, elevated titers of group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus antibodies have been detected in Tourette’s syndrome, OCD, and ADHD, although not in all studies (5). These elevated titers of group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus antibodies have been associated with basal ganglia enlargement in OCD and ADHD (6). In addition, children and adolescents with conduct disorder or ADHD were found to have significantly more cerebral hyperintensities relative to less psychiatrically ill comparison subjects (7).

    Using healthy comparison subjects, we attempted to replicate the finding that ADHD is linked to more cerebral hyperintensities. Moreover, we aimed to expand this finding by assessing whether Tourette’s syndrome and OCD are also associated with an increased frequency of cerebral hyperintensities. In addition, we explored the association of cerebral hyperintensities with the size of the basal ganglia.

    A childhood diagnosis of Tourette’s syndrome, OCD, or ADHD significantly increased the likelihood of detecting cerebral hyperintensities, particularly in the subcortex, supporting the notion that subcortical injury may play a role in the pathophysiology of these conditions.


    Increased Number of Subcortical Hyperintensities on MRI in Children and Adolescents With Tourette’s Syndrome, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Jose A. Amat, M.D., Ph.D., Richard A. Bronen, M.D., Sanjay Saluja, M.D., Noriko Sato, M.D., Hongtu Zhu, Ph.D., Daniel A. Gorman, M.D., Jason Royal, D.M.A., and Bradley S. Peterson, M.D.

  • all too easy

    I see you’re using my material again. Can’t blame you. If I had nothing to offer, I might look to a true genius for inspiration, you stupid, stupid little scrap of puke.
    Love you honey. Keep trying. Your fan base is bound to grow beyond you and your dear mother.

  • all too easy

    Do you ever shut up?
    Too hilarious for words. Bless you fellating the mass phallus

  • No. 2 fan of all too easy

    Is that the best you can do? Better go ask your (sorry excuse for a) mommy for some more Ritalin to snort.

  • Phil_Hickey


    In my experience, and as I’ve said many times, whatever transitory feelings of temporary well being people derive from psychiatry drugs is more than offset by the damage and disempowerment that always come in their wake. On this and other matters, we can agree to differ

    But I can’t see how you can describe my criticisms of psychiatry as devious. I routinely say things like: psychiatry is a hoax; psychiatry is fundamentally flawed and rotten; psychiatrists are not real doctors, but hoaxsters; psychiatric diagnoses are not illnesses; psychiatry is a wrong turning in human history; etc., etc. There is nothing devious here. In fact, I don’t see how I could possibly be more straightforward.

    You’re free, of course, to disagree with me. In fact, I welcome dialogue, and I respond to the extent that time and energy permit. But please don’t accuse me of being devious, unless you can point to something in my writing that warrants such a description.

    Best wishes.

  • Bradford

    Honey-buns, I’m gonna jump in here. My parents took me to a quack shrink in 10th grade, over 40 years ago. I got a bogus DSM diagnosis, and prescription drugs. The next 20 years of my life, which SHOULD have been the BEST 20 years of my life, were wasted by the pseudoscience drug racket of psychiatry. What I now know, beyond ANY doubt, is that the worst of my so-called “symptoms” didn’t start until AFTER I was on the psych drugs, and were in fact CAUSED BY the psych drugs. Psychiatry did FAR MORE HARM than good – nearly literally KILLED me 3 times. I’ve seen several friends DIE early, because of the hoax of psychiatry. The DSM is a catalog of billing codes, and ALL the so-called “diagnoses” in it were INVENTED to serve as means of social control. The DSM plays a “blame-the-victim” GAME. So-called “stigma” is created by psychiatrists THEMSELVES, and perpetuated by them, because it creates the perception that so-called “mental illnesses” are “real”. Yes, they are exactly as real as presents from Santa Claus, but not more real. You mention a “cousin with depression”, in a comment above. I don’t doubt that the pain, confusion, anger, fear, whatever – is REAL. But that doesn’t make “depression” a real thing!
    You’re free to believe what you want, if you’re gonna be that stupid. It’s not your fault. You’ve been LIED to by Big PhRMA, who, no, really doesn’t care about YOU, or your cousin. I’ve read enough of Dr. Hickey’s writing, that I’m quite sure of his position. Trust me, you don’t understand it. You’ve been lied to by psychiatry, which is nothing more than 21st century Phrenology, with neurotoxins. Please understand, I’m not saying nobody should ever take any drugs. Or that human suffering isn’t real. What I’m saying is that the pseudoscience drug racket, and means of social control, known as “psychiatry”, has done, and continues to do, far more harm than good. At best, it prevents a much better, far more helpful and healing system from existing. Your “cousin with depression” isn’t “sick”, so please don’t blame by labeling. the label itself is stigma! Yes, there are a few decent psychs, but that doesn’t make psychs as a whole any good! Have you read Dr. Peter Breggin’s “Toxic Psychiatry”? That’s a good place to start. Sadly, your cousin has been so damaged by psychiatry, as has all of society, that there’s probably no better place. But, it DOES NOT HAVE TO BE that way! If you haven’t, please go to ><

  • Bradford

    The DSM-5 is a catalog of billing codes, nothing more. ALL of the so-called “diagnoses” in it were INVENTED, not “discovered”. So-called “mental illnesses” are exactly as “real” as presents from Santa Claus, but not more real. Yes, there are some few weak-minded, gullible, victims who actually embrace their psychiatric label, and gobble up their psych drug happy pills. They rarely, if ever, amount to much in life, except to serve as drug toilets for the pharmaceutical industry. From your brief description of your clearly dysfunctional family, it looks like there is ample room for a good psychologist to spend years unraveling the Gordian Knots of conflict, abuse, wrong-headed-ness, etc. This so-called “stigma” is in fact created by psychiatry and the mental health system itself. Ultimately, stigma is just another imaginary bogey-man, born of superstition. All those workers who you *THINK* are being so helpful, are really doing it for the $$$$. Yes, indicidually, there are a few who are really decent folks. It’s the system as a whole that is so harmful.
    There actually ARE some folks who prefer to spend their lives in prison, or as slaves. That doesn’t make it right, or good…. There actually ARE some folks who’d rather live on drugs.Sounds like your cousin is one of them. I’m really NOT trying to be nasty here, but I AM trying to be very, brutally HONEST….. I’d rather live with the harsh and hard TRUTH of REALITY, , than the EASY LIES of the pseudoscience of psychiatry….

  • doppelganger

    ADHD as a Fictitious Disease – an interview with Robert Berezin M.D. and featuring our former resident troll “all too easy” in the comment thread, posting as “peter monroe”

  • Phil_Hickey


    Thanks for coming in, and for the links.