Where Do We Go From Here?

At the risk of stating the obvious, the anti-psychiatry movement is rapidly gaining momentum. We are attracting an increasing number of supporters, and our message is being picked up increasingly by the mainstream media.

We have won the intellectual and moral battles hands down. We have demonstrated again and again that psychiatry is intellectually and morally bankrupt. We have shown that

  • psychiatry is a hoax;
  • that its “illnesses” are not illnesses;
  • that its “diagnoses” are nothing more than vague, arbitrarily delineated, disempowering and stigmatizing labels with no explanatory value;
  • that its “treatments” do more harm than good;
  • that its coercive drugging and electric shocks constitute torture;
  • and that its research is fraudulent.

Psychiatry has no valid or rational response to any of these criticisms. Instead, they continue to trot out the same tired and unproven assertions, marginalize their critics, lobby government agencies to defend and fund their business, and promote their own interests using the kind of PR tactics that one commonly associates with the makers of soft drinks and hair shampoo.

Psychiatry is a marketing hoax. They sell their “illnesses” and they sell their “cures”. In general, the way to neutralize a hoax is to expose it to the proper authorities. But with psychiatry this is not effective for three reasons.

1. There is an enormous credibility gap. For most people, it is simply inconceivable that a long-established medical profession could be so destructive, venal, and just plain wrong.

2. Psychiatry provides a “valuable” service to governments by promoting the false message that legitimate and appropriate responses to discriminatory and exploitative policies are symptoms of illness.

3. Psychiatry is the cornerstone of a multi-billion dollar world-wide drug cartel.

THE SILENT SKEPTICAL MAJORITY

Psychiatry’s fundamental concept – that these “sick” people need psychiatric care – has been widely accepted at all levels of society, including politicians and civil servants.

But alongside this widespread acceptance, there are very large numbers of skeptics: people who haven’t bought the lie, or who have reservations and concerns about the numbers of people being “diagnosed” and “medicated”. And most of these people have never heard of the anti-psychiatry movement. They’re puzzled; they’re skeptical; they’re concerned; but they distrust their own judgment.

And this, in my view, is the audience to which we should now direct our efforts. We need to spread the word to a much wider group. We need to connect with that silent skeptical majority, and deliver the message: your skepticism is well-founded; psychiatry is a destructive, disempowering, self-serving, drug-pushing hoax; your instincts are correct.

This is not to say that we should abandon our present directions. We still need to maintain a steady flow of essays and articles criticizing psychiatric concepts and practices. We need to identify and denounce the principal promoters of the hoax, and to expose their venal relationships with pharma as and when appropriate. We need to create and maintain an expectation in the minds of psychiatry’s so-called thought leaders, that their flawed and self-serving attempts to justify and expand their hoax will be picked up, dissected, and exposed by one or more members of the anti-psychiatry movement.

But we also need to strengthen our activities in other directions if we hope to connect with the silent skeptical majority mentioned earlier. Here are some of my thoughts on this matter.

NON-PSYCHIATRIST PROFESSIONALS

I know from my own experience during my career, and from the large number of emails that I receive today, that a great many non-psychiatrist professionals working in mental health centers, group homes, nursing homes, etc., see through the hoax, are dismayed by the damage being done, but are apprehensive about speaking out. This apprehension often stems from a fear of losing employment. But is also often a reflection of uncertainty and misplaced deference to the authority and dogma of “the doctor”.

All the non-psychiatrist professions are represented in this group: social workers, job coaches, case managers, psychologists, counselors, behavioral trainers, nurses, etc… There is, in my view, an enormous need for websites where these individuals could communicate, voice their concerns, share ideas, and provide mutual support and encouragement.

In addition, there is a major need for associations of social workers, counselors, case managers, job coaches, etc., to formally acknowledge the anti-psychiatry movement in their literature and websites, and to schedule regular sessions in their annual conferences and other venues to discuss the lack of validity and the dangers of psychiatry’s medical model.

LAWSUITS

There have been a great many successful lawsuits brought by aggrieved psychiatric victims. But when one considers the scale and range of psychiatric destruction, it is clear that only a tiny proportion of victims ever pursue legal remedies. It is almost axiomatic that pharma will get out of this business when the cost of the lawsuits exceeds the profits. And when pharma goes, psychiatry’s drug cartel will shrivel from lack of funding.

Considering the damage that psychiatry is doing, and psychiatry’s chronic neglect of informed consent requirements, this seems fertile ground for successful litigation. There are, of course, many attorneys working in this field, but it would be nice to see more. It would also be nice to see roadside billboards saying: “Have you been harmed by psychiatry? Call us now” etc.

SURVIVORS

Ultimately, it is the survivors who will turn this thing around. These are individuals who have escaped psychiatry’s web of deception, disempowerment, and destructiveness, and who are now actively exposing the hoax in which they were once ensnared. Survivor groups constitute a powerful source of inspiration for those who are trying to escape psychiatry’s cloying tentacles, and a source of support for those taking their first tentative steps to freedom and self-reliance. It would, I think, be an enormous step forward if there were a psychiatric survivor group in every town here in the US and overseas.

JOURNALISTS AND MAINSTREAM MEDIA

One professional journalist writing in a mainstream outlet can do more for our cause than ten amateurs such as myself writing on our websites. This is not to disparage our amateurish efforts, but simply to acknowledge that there is an art to catching readers’ attention, and presenting data persuasively to a wide audience. I encourage my readers to do two things: firstly, if you come across an article in a newspaper or other outlet that challenges or criticizes psychiatry’s practices, take the time to write to the journalist or the editor, expressing your appreciation; secondly, and conversely, if you come across a piece that promotes psychiatry, consider sending a letter pointing out that there is another side to the story. The mainstream media are beginning to recognize the validity of the anti-psychiatry perspective, and have displayed a willingness to publish our positions and our concerns.

PROTESTS

Even a dozen people carrying placards protesting peacefully outside a psychiatric facility will attract media attention, and will provide an opportunity to talk to the press about psychiatry’s spurious illnesses, and destructive “treatments”. It’s critically important to keep the protests peaceful and to have carefully-drafted written statements ready to give to the press.

CALL A SPADE A SPADE

In criticizing psychiatry, it is important not to endorse their concepts by using their terminology. Here are some common psychiatric terms with what I feel are more accurate descriptors:

mental illness:                problems of thinking, feeling or behaving

mental disorder:             problems of thinking, feeling or behaving

medication:                     mood-altering drugs; neurotoxic drugs

ECT:                                  high voltage electric shocks to the brain

psychiatric diagnosis:     psychiatric label

major depression:          profound sadness

psychiatric treatment:    drug pushing

anti-psychotics:               major tranquilizers or neuroleptics; chemical restraints

MISCELLANEOUS

The civil rights and anti-war protesters of the 60’s made use of slogans, songs, cartoons, etc., to carry and promote their message. I’m sure there are potential song-writers and poets in the anti-psychiatry movement who could do for our field what Bob Dylan and Joan Baez did for the protests of the 60’s.

Cartoons can also be helpful. Check out Auntie Psychiatry for examples of how a good cartoonist can express complex and profound ideas in a single picture.

I would love to see bumper stickers that said: “Psychiatry Kills”, “Depression is not an illness”, etc..

I think it would also be helpful to keep an eye on pending legislation within our respective jurisdictions. If you see a bill that promotes psychiatric concepts or “treatments”, consider writing a letter to your representatives.

We need to generate and maintain pressure on GPs with regards to their endorsement of psychiatry and their prescribing of psychiatric drugs. The appropriate response from a GP to a person complaining of depression is that this is not a medical problem, coupled with the suggestion that the individual discuss the matter with someone who can provide genuine help with the psycho-social-economic issues that led to, and sustain, the feelings of sadness. We need to point out continuously and vigorously that writing a prescription for a so-called antidepressant is nothing more or less than drug-pushing, and is a disgrace to the honor and traditions of genuine medical practice.

FINALLY

My purpose in writing this post is to encourage readers to take steps to promote the anti-psychiatry movement. Psychiatry is a destroyer of life, and it destroys under the guise of benevolence – a veritable wolf in sheep’s clothing. But it can only survive as long as people are kept in ignorance of its true nature, its dismal outcomes, and its trailing wake of death and destruction.

There is absolutely nothing wholesome or good in psychiatry, and as such, it is an eminently worthy target for criticism and exposure. Please, if your circumstances permit, consider taking a step, even a small step, towards exposing and ultimately eradicating this hoax. We need to deliver our message to the silent, skeptical majority.

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

Imagine if, twenty years from now, dictionary entries for the word “psychiatry” were along the lines:

…1. a medical specialty, now defunct, whose primary tenet was that all significant problems of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving were best conceptualized as illnesses, and best treated with mood-altering drugs and electric shocks to the brain. 2. (informal) an enormous hoax. 3. (informal) a shameful abuse of power and position.

  • Cledwyn In Search of Lost Pus

    I have little faith in the mob on this issue. One of the most incriminating items in the dossier of the modern psychiatrist is the violence perpetrated against the suicide.

    Yet very few people speak out against this abomination.

    The reason for this is simply because most people actually or potentially stand to profit from existential slavery. A man’s conscience is not a thing cast in marble, but so far as it is in our power to do so, can be wrought into whatever shape the interests and desires of men, and adaptation to our environment, requires; thus it happens that people’s sentiments of right and wrong are easily diverted from their proper course, and moral confusion reigns necessarily in every age, and in the heart of every man, on which fact largely rests the impossibility of any great reformation in the affairs and relations of men, for those who, in their boundless hubris and folly, try to usurp the prerogatives of nature by repealing whatever are its laws as they pertain to the human heart, and by fashioning men anew, are themselves subject to the aforementioned confusion, and you cannot cure a plague you yourself carry.

    One problem in fostering awareness is that the horrendous suffering caused by psychiatry is often of such a singularity that it puts its victims largely beyond the scope of the sympathies even of feeling people, and not just those coarse, vulgar people who wallow in a vegetal insensibility to any save their own suffering, or men whose sentiments languish for want of that experience of great and prolonged suffering that, in some souls, suffices to breach the barriers of ignorance that the lack of a shared language of experience erects between individuals and peoples, in which latter category philosophical optimists are perhaps found.

  • Cledwyn, what do you mean “the violence perpetrated against the suicide”? Did you mean the suicidal?

  • Jasenn

    As a retired psychologist having worked for 3 decades in psychiatric institutions, I agree and add psychiatry is not only a hoax and fraudulent practice, it is one of the most destructive practices in the medical field, destructive to human functioning, depriving millions from reaching their potential from the “biological” treatments they distribute to innocent people. Psychiatrists, whether they admit it or not, are nothing but a group of educated grifters, conning the public, the courts, and other professions that that they have value in their offerings, when most of their “offerings” are biologically damaging and based on fake science.

  • Estelle

    I feel overwhelmed with guilt
    reading this . In 2012 my turn 19 year old son experienced a what the psychiatrists stated was a psychotic episode . He was detained for 12 week and heavenly medicated and I felt like I lost my son. However after a long slow recovery he went into detox to address his addiction to cannabis and galleries off his psychiatric meds. Up until a few months ago I noticed my sons behaviour was different. two weeks ago I received a phone call from a friend of my son stating was experiencing mental distress and not really knowing what to do , I took him to A&E where it took over 9 hours for a psychiatrist to assess him! two approved mental health practitioners stated my son was a risk to himself and he would need to be sectioned. I must admit , I would not have been able to have managed him at home as he was very angry & obviously in distress.

    He is now in a psychiatric hospital and on a section 2 . They have been giving him medication an anti psychotic and meds to calm him down. I am due to attend a ward round tomorrow and I have no idea how to challenge these psychiatrists in terms of the toxic meds they dish out and why are there not any alternative safe places to go , in order to try and make sense of mental distress. I believe my son is being re traumatised and feelings of deep loss. I have no idea where to get support and advice from in terms of him being put back on toxic medication and no offer of long term therapy. I don’t trust psychiatrists, yet I’m the one who took him to hospital. Any suggestions in terms of sign posting , would be much appreciated.

  • There is a major missing piece in this article: many people are undeniably suffering emotional or cognitive distortions or crises. Maybe psychiatry and psychology won’t help most of them. But their suffering continues. What would you offer those who want help that has validated reliability in helping?

  • Rob

    I agree we need to discuss what does help. Thinking analysis, specifically CBT, is very helpful in uncovering how we cause our own emotional disturbances. As I think you know, it’s roots are 2000 years old, and are a method of identifying how thinking habits and irrational perspectives cause turmoil. But, defeating misery can be quite a challenge, in part because many people are very resistant and terrified of abandoning their unhappiness, such as depression, rage, anxiety, and addiction.

  • I’ve also seen CBT badly and coercively applied, particularly by practitioners who advocate for the mythology in so-called “psychosomatic” medicine. I have exactly zero confidence in its effectiveness with more severe cognitive disorder, in hallucinations or what is sometimes imprecisely called “psychosis”.

  • Cledwyn B’Stard

    I really don’t have much sympathy with nurses, and many other mental health professionals, who complain about certain aspects of the system, yet refuse to pursue a different career path, one in which the proper discharge of their professional duties doesn’t require the dereliction of their moral duties to others.

    To borrow from John Gray, these people have done what most people always do; make their murky accommodations with power.

    Broadly speaking, there are three kinds of people. There are those who operate on the lowermost evolutionary plane, in which are found the most vicious and cruel people, the real nadir of animated nature, coarse, vulgar specimens whose malice is legible in their every lineament, making even the sight of their faces painful. Here we have animated nature reduced to absurdity, a walking caricature of everything loathsome about human beings. He thinks himself the zenith and flower of all creation; the size of his head being inversely proportional to the dimensions of his tiny mind, anything that flies in the face of his expectations, any irregularity in his environment, anyone who isn’t like himself, incites him to bellowing and braying as mindlessly as a hyena, to acts of physical and psychological violence.

    Then there are the ruthless and the ambitious, who by superior force of will rise to the top of every society, pursuing power with the single-minded focus of a predator its prey, subordinating all other considerations to that of their own personal betterment. Life to them is a game, in which there are winners and losers, regulated according to rules formulated by them for their own aggrandizement, and to enhance themselves in their own grandiosely delusional self-estimate

    And then there’s the rest, weak people, who make their murky accommodations with power and tread the path of life like mules, indifferent to the injustice of the world around them until it hinders their progress, concerned about it only inasmuch as it endangers their safe passage.

    The belief that any great progress is possible for such a species is madness. Human society is like a shoe so filled with bacteria. so foul-smelling, nothing can be done with it, but throw it away.

  • Cledwyn In Search of Lost Pus

    That should be a comma in the last paragraph

  • Phil_Hickey

    Jasenn,

    Thanks for this. It’s good to hear from a like-minded psychologist. Most of our colleagues have bought the psychiatric model whole-heartedly, even though their training should be alerting them to the fallacies and the destruction.

  • Phil_Hickey

    Estelle,

    As I don’t know you or your son personally, all I can offer is general advice. I don’t know what kind of options might be available in the UK. It’s generally not too helpful to challenge psychiatry when your loved one is under their “care”. To get out of there, he’s probably going to have to “play the game”, but as soon as he is out, you might encourage him to find a survivors group and start participating. I hope things get better.

  • Cledwyn, who is John Gray?