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25 reasons why psychiatry is a fraud

category sligo | miscellaneous | opinion/analysis author Dé Domhnaigh Lúnasa 10, 2003 18:37author by sean fleming - Irish Association Against Psychiatryauthor email seanfleming30 at hotmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Psychiatry is a harmful and dangerous practice which is disabling and debilitating the lives of many people through so -called anti-psychotic drugs and E.C.T. There is a need for people in Ireland to waken up to this fundamentally flawed practice and the harm it is causing and work for human rights for people labelled ' mentally ill'

25 GOOD REASONS WHY PSYCHIATRY MUST BE ABOLISHED
1. Because psychiatrists frequently cause harm, permanent disabilities, death - death of the body-mind-spirit.
2. Because psychiatrists frequently violate the Hippocratic Oath which orders all physicians "First Do No Harm."
3. Because psychiatrists patronize and disempower people, especially their patients.
4. Because psychiatry is not a medical science.
5. Because psychiatry is quackery, a pseudo-science which lacks independent diagnostic tests, testable hypotheses, and cures for "schizophrenia" and all other types of alleged "mental illness" or "mental disorder".
6. Because psychiatrists can not accurately and reliably predict dangerousness, violence, or any other type of human behaviour, yet make such claims as "expert witnesses", and with the media promote the "dangerous mental patient" myth/stereotype.
7. Because psychiatrists have caused a worldwide epidemic of brain damage by promoting and prescribing brain-disabling treatments such as the neuroleptics, antidepressants, electroconvulsive brainwashing (electroshock), and psychosurgery (lobotomy).
8. Because psychiatrists manufacture hundreds of "mental disorders" classified in its bible called "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (a modern witch-hunting manual); such "mental disorders" and "symptoms" are in fact negative, class-and-culturally-biased moral judgments for dissident ways of coping with personal problems and alternative ways of perceiving, interpreting or being in the world.
9. Because psychiatrists, blinded by their medical model bias, fraudulently pathologize and label people's serious life or existential crises as "symptoms" of "mental illness" or "mental disorder" such as "schizophrenia","bipolar affective disorder", and "personality disorder".
10. Because psychiatrists compound this fraud by falsely claiming, without scientific proof, that these "mental disorders" are caused by a "biochemical imbalance" in the brain, genetic factors or "genetic predispositions", despite the fact that there are no genetic factors in "mental illness".
11. Because psychiatrists frequently misinform their patients, families and the public by claiming that brain-disabling procedures such as the neurotoxins (e.g.,"antipsychotic medication" and "antidepressasnts"), electroconvulsive brainwashing (electroconvulsive therapy/"ECT"), psychosurgery (lobotomy) and other behaviour modification-mind control procedures are "safe, effective and lifesaving". The exact opposite is tragically true.
12. Because psychiatrists routinely deceive or lie to patients, prisoners, their families, and the public.
13. Because psychiatrists routinely and willfully violate the medical-ethical principle of "informed consent" by misinforming or not informing their patients about the numerous toxic, disabling and frequently permanent effects of the neuroleptics such as memory loss, tardive dyskinesia, tardive psychosis, parkinsonism, dementia (all signs of brain damage), and death.
14. Because psychiatrists routinely threaten, intimidate or coerce many patients - particularly women, children, the elderly, and prisoners - into consenting to health-threatening/brain-damaging "treatment" such as the antidepressants, neuroleptics, electroconvulsive brainwashing, and hi-risk experiments.
15. Because psychiatrists frequently fail to fully inform psychiatric inmates and prisoners about existing safe and humane, non-medical alternatives in the community such as survivor-controlled crisis centres, drop-ins, self-help or advocacy groups, diet, massage, wholistic medicine, affordable supportive housing, and jobs.
16. Because psychiatrists are sexist in frequently stereotyping women in crisis as "hysterical" or "over-emotional", blaming women whenever they voice real complaints and assertively express their feelings and emotions, prescribing massive doses of tranquilizers and antidrepressants to disproportionately large numbers of women, and in sexually assaulting women in their offices and institutions.
17. Because psychiatrists, particularly white male psychiatrists, are homophobic - the American Psychiatric Association (APA) once labelled homosexuality as a "mental illness" or "mental disorder" - and have used forced electroshock on lesbians, trying to coerce them into adopting a heterosexual life style.
18. Because psychiatrists are ageist in prescribing tranquilizers, antidepressants ("medication") and electroconvulsive brainwashing for disproportionately large numbers of elderly people - a form of elder abuse.
19. Because psychiatrists are racist in disproportionately incarcerating and drugging ethnic minorities, aboringal people, other 'people of colour' and labelling them "psychotic" or "schizophrenic".
20. Because psychiatrists routinely violate people's civil rights, human rights and constitutional rights such as imprisoning innocent people without court trial or public hearing ("involuntary commitment"), and subjecting them to cruel and unusual punishments or tortures such as forced drugging, electroconvulsive brainwashing, psychosurgery, solitary confinement, "chemical restraints", and 4-point or 5-point restraints.
21. Because psychiatrists masterminded the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people including disabled children, the elderly and psychiatric patients during The Holocaust in Nazi Germany, and "selected" hundreds of thousands of concentration camp prisoners for death ("T-4 euthanasia" program) - historical facts still missing in psychiatric textbooks and histories.
22. Because psychiatrists have willingly participated in and administered mind-control experiments in the United States and Canada since the early 1950s - its chief targets have been poor patients, women, dissidents and prisoners.
23. Because psychiatry, particularly institutional-biological psychiatry, is based on the 3 Fs: Fear, Fraud,and Force.
24. Because psychiatry is a form of social control or punishment - not treatment.
25. Because psychiatry, particularly institutional-biological psychiatry, is fascist - a direct threat to democracy, human rights and life.

author by Seáinínpublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 01:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They couldn't find a cure for you.

author by Orlapublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 01:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You might be interested in this website http://www.redflagsweekly.com This is a health news site which focuses very much on exposing corruption in medicine and has other interesting information about potentially harmful drugs/practices.

There was a branch of psychiatry in the 1970's in the US, Radical Psychiatry, which was very critical of psychiatry as it was praciced and made some of the same criticisms you mention here. I don't know if this movement fell apart as the political situation changed in the 80's but I think some of them are still around. There is a book 'The Radical Therapist - therapy means change not adjustment' which was produced by the Radical Therapist Collective in the 1970's. For a list of similar writings you can go to this page entitled 'Radical Therapy, Critical Theory, and Antipsychiatry'

http://www.angelfire.com/ny/metapsychology/critical.html

author by Badmanpublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 02:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is this posting from a scientologist? I know they've been campaigning against psychiatrists recently.

author by iosaf - (too soon to judge...could be a good man could be a bad man, but lazy yes lazy I am)publication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 04:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Number one is holistic.
You can't sustain your other arguments if you've started on such a note.
Number Ten is untrue.

but the others are ok.
american bias, you could have won lots of support by drawing a link between modern practise and soviet era research the "brezhnev legacy".

And I think you could focus more on ethics if you want to take this anywhere.

If we electro-zap a brain or fill it with certain elements, chemicals or introduce certain biological material that the brain will work differently. Likewise we have located certain "mind functions" to small areas of neural grey stuff. Take these away and said mind functions go too. And that is the basis of psychiatry. It is a pretty barbaric science, but science it is, and so too is surgery. They demonstrate enough empirically found data to be deemed proper sciences. And I believe that most who practise said professions are scientists. I would sooner call a holistic practioner a quack than a doctor of medicine, and all psychiatrists are qualified doctors of medicine. That much said, I think there are many problems in the profession and more so in the institutions where the profession works, researches and is developing. Psychiatry grows in asylums not in university halls unlike anatomy for example or pathology which are always found closer to the "community" and university. And I think most of the problems are based on the pharmocorporations wish for heightened profits, and indeed at times the arrogance of a profession which sees itself as being an emergent elite within medicine as a whole. Certain developments in the medical/pharmo/security corporation R&D sector do worry me, I take an interest in cognitive liberty issues, and I must admit the idea of isolating and tagging psychopathic "genes" based on the study of criminally condemned (prisoners) in the US worries me greatly.But those worries do not justify an attack on psychiatry.

But then again messing with your brain is also the basis of counterculture drug taking, and lurks around the basis of countless religions and msytical systems. But again there it's the ethical questions that ought worry us.

And as for the Hippocratic Oath, I think you'll find that the original has been discounted now, all that stuff about not touching up one's clients slaves was dropped, and the "do no harm" really is a thorny one. How may we now tell what is harm and not? Anyway the Hippo. as it stands still protects the client /"patient" /punter before "commital". Thereafter you are institutionalised. And that is a bad bad trip.

and really the line to end on there is
TAKE YOUR FUCKING MEDICINE.
or

tune in
turn on
switch off
& drop out


¿will u be doing a website?

author by Jesus Christpublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 11:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I object to the tone of this discussion. My friend Napolean agrees.

We would be pleased to correspond with people interested in this, and can be reached at

JC@yahoo.com

author by sean fleming - irish association against psychiatrypublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 13:06author email seanfleming30 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

thanks Orla , I'll check that out. Iosaf you say that number ten is wrong. I'm sorry but I'd like to see your evidence. The reality is biological psychiatry cannot prove that 'schizophrenia' 'bi-polar disorder' are caused by a bio-chemical imbalance in the brain which is then corrected through psychiatric drugs. The effect of the drugs is to blunt a person's mental and emotional capabilities. A diagnosis of the above rests on the opinion of a psychiatrist . There are no objective scientific tests carried out on the brain of the client before diagnosis to see wheher they suffer from a bio-chemical imbalance. For instance the prevailing view within orthdox psychiatry is that someone with 'schizophrenia' suffers from an excess of dopamine in their brain- yet the diagnosis is made on the basis of a few meetings with a shrink without a single objective scientific assessment taking place.There is no evidence that the drugs work in the way they are alleged to.They make a nice packet for multi-national pharmaceutical companies though. ECT - the passing of an electrical current through a person's brain is still widely practised in Ireland- incredibly psychiatry claims this is therapeutic yet not surprisingly is unable to provide us with the scienific evidence to prove how this redresses the supposed bio-chemical imbalance in the brain. Incidentally I am not a Christian Scientist . The Irish Association Against Psychiatry is a new group made up of individuals who have been affected by ' mental illness'and who are determined to expose and fight the system of oppressive psychiatry.

author by psi-co cacolapublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 13:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mother-fuckin good....!

author by Badmanpublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 14:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Straight question, let's have an answer?

Although there are many problems with psychiatry, you have managed to miss them all and come up with codswallop instead.

author by Anonymouspublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 15:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I both agree and disagree with the above posting. I agree there are many problems with psychiatry, though I’m not too sure that I agree with all of yours.

But, I believe there is certainly a place for psychiatry and that it should not be just done away with.

One of the things that I would say about psychiatry is that it should be inter-twined with psychology.

I think it is ridiculous to have trained psychologists & psychiatrists who BOTH deal with issues such as depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia etc - but only come at it from their own specific angle.

The border line between whether the above illnesses are psychotic or psychiatric is wafer thin, and in fact there is no border all, in that I believe in most instances it is a mixture of the two that is causing the patient the problem.

If, we accept that it is a mixture, then surely the professional should have mixed training in both psychiatry and psychology.

This is already beginning to happen in the States which I am very glad to see. But it needs to happen more and Ireland needs to start adopting this approach.

author by TheIdiotsAreTakingOverpublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 15:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just as a point of interest, Steven Pinker's recent "Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature" is a fascinating book which tackles the knee-jerk reaction many on the left have to the idea that biology and genetics play a large role in determining our character and behaviour. I'm currently half way through, and his arguments are certainly worth considering.

As for the role of psychiatry, it is surely a profession whose objectivity must be questioned, particularly at a time when mental ill-health is at an all-time hight.

Don't know anything about the radical psychiatry movement, but I came across the radical psychology network the other day.

Related Link: http://www.radpsynet.org/
author by Badmanpublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 16:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Psychiatrists have to do the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in psychology as part of their training.

Anonymous' sentence above should have read "psychiatric or psychological" rather than "psychotic" - most definitely a psychiatric illness.

The big difference between the two is that a psychiatrist's job is to take a person who has lost the ability to cope in society and attempt to return them to a stage where they can once again participate in society. Naturally the nature of capitalism means that the quickest, easiest route is almost always chosen, which in most cases means psychiatric drugs. There's not that much else you can do when you have to take care of hundreds of patients whose lives have imploded every day.

To respond to the nonsense above:
1. No more so than any other medical practitioner. Sometimes treatements don't work and cause negative side affects. As with all medicine, treatments are statistically assessed.

2. No they don't. There are some incompetent practitioners like in all fields of medicine, but psychiatrists generally believe that their choices are the best for the patient's health.

3. This is a problem with all 'expert' based professions. It is accentuated in psychiatry by the fact that patients are frequently deluded and thus the natural tendency for the doctor to patronise is easier to justify to oneself.

4. Absolute lie. It is absolutely a medical science, using the same rigorous, peer-reviewed, double-blind tests to establish new treatments. Psychology, on the other hand, is a much softer science and has many more dubious practitioners.

5. Again an absolute lie. There are many independent diagnostic tests, and the hypotheses are very testable. Psychiatry does not claim to cure illnesses like pschizophrenia, it treats it to allow the sufferer to cope with life in our society as quickly as possible.

6. The problem of 'expert' witnesses in court and elsewhere is common to every area where we have experts (many experts may have many different theories). Psychiatrists do not pretend to accurately predict behaviour, they do present diagnoses: patient X, is in my opinion borderline psychotic... and so on. This is a very useful service.

7. Crap. electroconvulsive therapy is very rarely used nowadays and most psychiatrists do not like it at all. There are however one or two conditions where it is used because it works much better than anything else. Lobotomy has not been practiced as a treatment in decades. Have you ever seen a clinically depressed patient? I can absolutely assure you that they are much much happier when treated with chemical anti-depressants. They are used because they significantly increase the quality of life of the patient.

8. Crap. Psychiatrists classify disorders because that's how science works, you try to map out the boundaries of illnesses by correlating overlapping symptoms and so on. The patient only comes to the attention of the psychiatrist when the patient presents with a problem. By presenting the patient is signalling loud and clear that their coping mechanisms have broken down. Psychiatrists do not go around looking for people who are coping satisfactorily in 'dissident' ways so they can cure them. If the patient does not have a problem, the psychiatrist is not involved.

9. Are you raving? Have you ever seen somebody with any of these illnesses. There is no possible way that they can be confused with normal life crises. They are illnesses, which cause the patient a lot of suffering. While it may not be perfect, psychiatry does try to decrease the level of suffering and to give the patient back the ability to cope.

10. Interesting claim. There are no genetic/chemical factors involved in mental illness? Obviously you haven't been reading the same research that I have! The chemical abnormalities associated with these illnesses is measurable, the hereditary nature of many is also clearly measurable. Your not just making this up are you?

11. Ethical psychiatrists will inform their patients of the risks and benefits of any therapy. Nobody every claims that they are entirely safe (no medicine is) or lifesaving - just that they have been proven without doubt to increase the patient's quality of life and coping mechanisms.

12. Some may lie, like in any walk of life, but it is not routine.

13. Again many psychiatric patients are deluded when they present. The benefits of explaining the small risks of memory loss to a patient who thinks that aliens are inside his head and who wants to kill himself as a result, are debatable. Psychiatrists do inform family members and guardians in these cases. As I said above, there are risks with any medical procedure, but psychiatric treatments are only used if the benefits are considered to outweigh the risks.

14. Bullshit.

15. Bullshit. If the psychiatrist doesn't think that the patient has a treatable psychiatric illness, they will routinely refer them to some form of psychiological therapy.

16. Scurilous lies.

17. When society was homophobic, this was reflected in psychiatry. It has nothing to do with psychiatrists (particularly white male ones) being homophobic. The electroshock treatment of lesbians hasn't been practiced since the 1950s and then only in some countries. Today it would universally be considered to be barbaric. Homosexuality is not classified as a mental illness and has nothing to do with modern psychiatry.

18. Our capitalist society discards older people. Therefore they suffer disproportionately from depression and so on, as well as degenerative psychiatric illnesses. Thus they are over-represented in certain treatments.

19. Again bullshit. The fact is that certain ethnic groups in certain societies suffer a disproportionate amount of certain psychiatric illnesses. For example the incidence of schizophrenia is extremely high among young Carribean males in the UK. This is nothing to do with racism from psychiatrists, and is much more likely to be caused by a racist society, engendering high levels of stress and feelings of disempowerment in some groups. The psychiatrist only encounters the patient after the situation has become problematic for the patient, therefore they can hardly be the cause.

20. Again bullshit. There is a problem with overuse of tranquilisers, but the problem is with an underfunded health service rather than power-crazed psychiatrists. Would you prefer to allow dangerously psychotic patients to roam around the wards than to drug them. Obviously extra staff and more facilities would be better but that is in the hands of the politicians, not the psychiatrists.

21. Nazi scientists of all stripes were complicit in the holocaust. To give psychiatrists some special place is pure hogwash.

22. Again the same is true of all scientists. The problem is not with the scientists it is with the state that uses them. History has shown again and again that the state can manipulate scientists into doing their dirty work for them.

23. CRAP. It's based on treatment that improves quality of life and coping skills.

24. Utter nonsense.

25. Ha, ha. You can't really believe all that do you?

As I say, there are some problems with psychiatry, but you haven't seen a single one. The biggest problem is that psychiatry only comes into play after the problem has become so serious that the patient can no longer cope. The psychiatrist can also change the life circumstances of the patient. Many psychiatrists will tell you that, given the patients situation, psychiatric illness is inevitable. They can't do anything about this. A good friend of mine who is a psychiatrist says that in many cases he thinks money would be the best prescription, allowing people the freedom to escape the circumstances that have percipitated their illnesses, circumstances which no human mind could possibly stand up to.

Again, are you a scientologist? I know that this cult is campaigning against psychiatrists since they started treating 'brain-washed' scientologists. If they can get them out of that scam of a cult, more power to them.

author by Anonymouspublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 19:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fuk it Badman, thats some reply!!

Don't have time myself to reply proper now, except to say that I still think there is a huge problem between the professional seperation of psychology & psychiatry.

author by impressedpublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 21:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and apart from seanin of course, we had fairly coherent thought and no name calling. This will have to stop or people raise expectations of the newswire! Come back Ray and all the trots et al who have done their best keep indymedia of interest to just a small clique.

author by iosafpublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 21:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sean you did not specify in your list that point ten referred to skizophrenia. And thus I objected to it as it stands, it is untrue, the association between lowered hormone intake in ageing women and men and depression has allowed for treatments founded in psychiatric practise to become almost over the counter HRT courses.

and Badman has dealt well with the rest.
As I said above I respect the professionals of the Health services but distrust the connection betwen current psychiatric research and the prison services especially in the USA and Japan where Amnesty international are also in agreement that mal-practise is rampant. Unfortuanetly it does seem to go beyond mere "sedation of psychopaths on the ward" alluded to by Badman. But to deal with your points, is important, whether or not you have come here motivated by scientology or not, you have touched upon an issue of capitalist and scientific speculation which effects us all. I alluded to cognitive liberty issues above, and as such this is the are of ethics which would deal with psychiatrty, psychology must properly be treated in a different debate. So I fished out the US Supreme Court ruling upholding the individual's right to refuse psychotropic treatment:
read it at
http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/02pdf/02-5664.pdf

Often on the newswire really interesting stuff comes from bizarre angles, and in a way that stifles productive debate and information which is a pity. I think an important opportunity to discuss these issues rationally has been lost. Or perhaps not, any takers?

....Autonomy begins with Self!

Related Link: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/02pdf/02-5664.pdf
author by the exterminating angelpublication date Luan Lún 11, 2003 23:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A full frontal lobotomy is what ye need to sort ye out .....

author by Irish Americanpublication date Máirt Lún 12, 2003 00:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They want to hook you up to an "e-meter" (a crude skin resistance meter) and "audit" you.

This will cure all that ails you, much better than those kooky psychs.

Just give them your credit card number.

author by Badmanpublication date Máirt Lún 12, 2003 01:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I remember now what my psychiatrist friend was telling me about this and I'm now 99.9% certain that this is a scientologist recruitment scam after the fragile minds of those people who have recently recovered from psychiatric illnesses. Apparently the scientologists also want to be recognised as a drug addiction and psychological treatment centre and were turned down by the royal college of psychiatry. Imagine that, a really clean mind to start the brainwash with - I'd say the cash registers would be working overtime!

The funniest thing about it is that much of the laughable collection of slurs, lies and superstitions that is presented above is presented as a scientific critique.

For example, I love this bit of quasi-science: "There are no objective scientific tests carried out on the brain of the client to see if they suffer from a bio-chemical imbalance."

Sounds good? Well firstly psychiatric illnesses are not defined by the cause (the chemical imbalance), but by the subjective symptoms. So if a patient reports voices in her head, that is an objective test of schizophrenia when observed by a trained practitioner. There are many, many areas of medicine that are similar, where the objective tests are the observed symptoms - for example, every time you have a sore tummy, the doctor asks you about it and its history, she doesn't perform a biopsy to see if you've some type of gastro. The presence of the symptoms is the important thing - that's what you're treating in psychiatry, not trying to cure the imbalance (we don't know how). In general as soon as we do understand the full chemical processes behind psychiatric illness they become part of neurology - hence psychiatry is by definition the study of those psychological ailments that are not fully understood. Psychiatry is the branch of medicine that attempts to treat these ailments by the most efficacious method available.

It's especially amusing when you consider the basics of scientology. According to scientologists, our minds "record data using what are called mental image pictures. Such pictures are actually 3 dimensional, containing colour sound and smell as well as other perceptions...Mental image pictures actually exist of memory. They have mass, they exist in space and they follow some very, very definite forms of behaviour, the most interesting of which is that they appear when somebody thinks of something. If a person thinks of a certain dog, he gets a picture of that dog"

Now I know a thing or two about the neural structures of the brain. I really can't imagine why I wasted so much time examining neural networks, electrical signals, hormonal chemicals and all that hard stuff, when the answer was staring me in the face all along. Our minds are full of teensie-weensie little smelly pictures floating around the place, just ready to jump into place when we think of the right thing. It's much more plausible than that wacky mainstream psychiatry, isn't it?

I'd say that I speak for everybody on indymedia when I say, go away scientologists, we don't like you, we don't want you and we know where you live. We have enough cults already thanks.

author by Orlapublication date Máirt Lún 12, 2003 01:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is an interesting piece on a 'medical expert' who acted as a witness in many cases and is now under investigation. I am after taking a few quotes from the article.


http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/Professor_Sir_Roy_Meadows.htm



Professor Sir Roy Meadow, the now notorious "expert" on Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP) who is best known for his involvement in unexplained cot deaths but who also asserts that children do not have ME, only parents who suffer from MSBP, is at last under (leisurely) investigation by the General Medical Council, which is looking into his conduct. A GMC spokeswoman said "We are aware that there are a number of concerns about him. We are deciding if there is a case to answer". Notwithstanding, the Crown Prosecution Service states that it is still happy to use him as an expert witness for the prosecution in cases of alleged MSBP even though he has been exposed and discredited in the Court of Appeal in the Sally Clark case as someone who fabricates his "evidence"....

...Born in Wigan in 1933 and a self-promoted "expert" on MSBP since he first invented it when he burst to prominence in 1977 with a paper in the Lancet entitled "Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy: The Hinterlands of Child Abuse", Meadow rose through Oxford to the Chair of Paediatrics at St James' University Hospital in Leeds and was knighted in 1998 for his services to child health. ..

... In the family courts, Meadow was often the only expert called to give evidence, and his evidence has been upheld by judges across the land almost without question, raising the grim possibility of serial miscarriages of justice. The more mothers he diagnosed with MSBP, the more his 'expertise' spread: he was invited to give conferences around the world and would regularly comment to the press.

After 25 years, the bubble burst when Meadow told the Sally Clark trial that the odds of there being two unexplained infant deaths in one family were one in 73 million, a figure considered crucial in sending her to jail but a claim hotly disputed by the Royal Statistical Society who wrote to the Lord Chancellor to complain. Nothing was done, and the Crown has continued to use Meadow to convict women in such cases. It was subsequently shown that the true odds were in the region of one in 100.

Earlier this year Lord Howe, the Shadow spokesman for health in the House of Lords, delivered a scathing attack on Meadow, calling MSBP "one of the most pernicious and ill-founded theories to have gained currency in childcare and social services in the past 10 to 15 years. It is a theory without science. There is no body of peer-reviewed research to underpin MSBP. It rests instead on the assertions of its inventor. When challenged to produce his research papers to justify his original findings, the inventor of MSBP stated, if you please, that he had destroyed them".

author by Badmanpublication date Máirt Lún 12, 2003 02:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"chair of paediatrics" - ie children's medicine

Yes, you get bogus theories and quacks in all branches of science. The biggest fault here was with the courts and the social services who were prosecuting these cases.

author by Orlapublication date Máirt Lún 12, 2003 03:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Badman, yes I meant to point out that he was in paediatrics. Interesting stuff all the same, and his ideas have been made use of psychiatrists.

There is an interesing article here on abuse of a child by medics here

http://listserv.nodak.edu/scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind9903a&L=co-cure&F=&S=&P=957

and here

http://www.cfids-cab.org/MESA/peds2.html

though to people who don't know about this illness i am not sure that it will be that clear how abusive their behaviour was.

There is an interesintg article by a psychiatrist entitled 'Somatic medicine abuses psychiatry

— and neglects causal research '
by Per Dalen


http://art-bin.com/art/dalen_en.html


“As a psychiatrist, I have to say that it is distressing how unconcernedly certain colleagues are abusing psychiatry, allowing interests other than those of the patients to take precedence”.

Unfourtunately the article is a bit heavy going, and the best of it is towards the end, especially the discussion on amalgam fillings.

There seems to be a bit of a trend amongst some (probably small, but influential) sections of psychiatry to try to deny the existence of environmental illnesses or make out that the patient is suffering from some sort of psychological problem. Luckily there are other psychologists and psychiatrists who are speaking out about this. Anyway more on that again.

author by sean fleming - irish association against psychiatrypublication date Máirt Lún 12, 2003 13:34author email seanfleming30 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Badman the reality is you would not take these drugs yourself if prescribed them or be prepared to see your loved ones prescribed them.

These are the myths surrounding psychiatry:

1. Psychiatric drugs cure mental illness.
There are no accurate, objective criteria for "diagnosing" someone as mentally ill, hence there are no accurate, objective criteria for considering someone improved or cured. People who are labeled "mentally ill" have complex problems which cannot be solved by pills or shots. On the contrary, psychiatric drugs add to their problems by dulling the mind, causing physical ailments, and creating dependency.
2. Some psychiatric drugs are not just sedatives but actually influence neurotransmission.
All psychiatric drugs, including sedatives, influence neurotransmission. So do illegal street drugs. That's precisely what makes them dangerous and addictive neurotoxic chemicals. It is not safe to tamper with neurotransmission.
3. Depression is caused by too little serotonin./Schizophrenia is caused by too much dopamine. These are corrected by psychiatric drugs.
People who are prescribed psychiatric drugs are not tested for levels of serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters. Such tests don't exist. Neurotransmitter levels in the brain can only be determined on sacrificed laboratory animals. Psychiatric drugs are prescribed on the basis conjecture or as a matter of policy.
4. The government has thoroughly tested all drugs, including psychiatric drugs, knows everything about them, and has proven that they are safe before approving them.
The government itself has no laboratories or scientists to do such research. It bases its knowledge on research results that are provided by the manufacturers of the drugs. The manufacturers also control which results are disclosed to the government. Approval of the drugs is as much a matter of political negotiation as of scientific criteria.
5. If psychiatric drugs were harmful, they would be recalled, like thalidomide was.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. The harmfulness of psychiatric drugs has been known for decades, but unlike the infamous thalidomide, doctors are allowed to, and do, continue prescribing them, even as part of forced treatments. Thalidomide caused public outrage, probably because it so obviously and sensationally harmed infants born to "normal" mothers. The side effects of many psychiatric drugs are equally grotesque, but the general public doesn't know about them because, when seen, they are not associated with psychiatric drugs, or because the worst victims are hidden away. Without public outrage, the government is not motivated to act, particularly considering the financial and political interests at stake.
6. Drug side effects are rare. If you let them worry you, you can never take any medicines.
Referring only to physical side effects, some psychiatric drugs, in particular the neuroleptics, have ADR (adverse drug reaction) rates of 50% during the first year of use. After long term use the rates rise to nearly 100%. Psychiatric drugs are not comparable to medicines prescribed for somatic ills because:
a) most medicines are taken only a short period, whereas psychiatric drugs are continued indefinitely;
b) most medicines do not cross the blood/brain barrier nor affect the central nervous system whereas all psychiatric drugs do;
c) side effects from medicines commonly disappear when the drug is discontinued, whereas many side effects from psychiatric drugs are irreversible.
In fact, some side effects from psychiatric drugs emerge after the drug has been discontinued. The physical side effects of psychiatric drugs can be highly disfiguring and debilitating, not to mention the damage to mental functioning.
7. When a psychiatric drug causes side effects, it can be discontinued or replaced by another.
By the time an ADR appears, the brain may be conditioned to the drug (addiction). Discontinuing the drug abruptly will cause serious, often dangerous physical as well as behavioral reactions, possibly resulting in involuntary committal and forced drugging. At that point the drug will be interchangeable only with a similar drug, which will cause the same side effects.
8. If psychiatric drugs were really all that harmful, doctors wouldn't prescribe them.
Unfortunately, doctors do not always act in their patients' best interests. This is particularly the case in psychiatry, where:
a) no effective medical treatments exist;
b) patients' complaints are often not taken seriously;
c) side effects are commonly mistaken for a presumed mental illness;
d) the interests of a third party, for instance the convenience of employees of an institution, may take precedent to the interests of the patient;
e) doctors themselves are often misinformed because they glean their information about the drugs they prescribe from the manufacturers' marketing campaigns.

author by sean flemingpublication date Máirt Lún 12, 2003 14:03author email seanfleming30 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

As I said in my second posting and let me repeat again I am most definitely not a Christian Scientologist and I do not accept the teachings of Christian Scientology. I have to say though that much of what they say in relation to psychiatry is true. The Irish Association Against Psychiatry has no links with Christian Scientology nor would it.

author by Captain Birdseyepublication date Máirt Lún 12, 2003 14:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.
Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.
Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.
Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
Both Presidents were shot in the head.
Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln.
Both were assassinated by Southerners.
Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.
Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.
John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.
Both assassins were known by their three names.
Both names are composed of fifteen letters.
Lincoln was shot at the theatre named 'Ford'.
Kennedy was shot in a car called 'Lincoln' made by Ford.
Booth ran from the theatre and was caught in a warehouse.
Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theatre.
Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.
And just one more thing:
A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland.
A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.
Now do you believe in coincidence, predestination... or conspiracy?

author by Gaillimhedpublication date Máirt Lún 12, 2003 18:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Psychiatry is just another branch of an entire medical paradigm that is erroneous and at worst, downright fraudulent, namely the the pharmaceutical approach.
The basic mainstay of all modern medicine is the administration of liberal doses of expensive synthetic chemicals. this approach takes precedence in all branches of conventional medicine often to the detriment of common sense, and traditional time tested medical knowledge. Doctors recieve training in technical disease diagnosis and drug dosage, the patient is increasingly becoming abstracted to the background. The pharmaco-chemical industry profits greatly from the modern medical approach but in reality has produced little real alleviation from disease. Modern chemical medicine claims to have eradicated disease from the industrialised world with the advent of the age of antibiotics. It has not. Sanitation, improved nutrition, clean water, greater knowledge of and access to good hygiene are the responsible factors. Antibiotic treatment readily generates drug-resistant disease strains resulting in a very profitable cycle of drug obsolescence. The pharmaceutical approach spends ( ie: approprates from public coffers)tens of billions every year on cancer and AIDS research, and has to date produced nothing much but an exhaustive cocktail of mostly useless but increasingly expensive chemical therapies. In Fact the approach to cancer has not changed much since the most basic poison treatments; poison the body and hope the cancer dies before the patient. And the cancer rate is still going up relentlessly. Same can be said of AIDS/HIV research, we pay the bill at both ends for ever more expensive therapies that just DONT work.
and the side effect issue is astronomical. Many common drugs produce side effects that make the disease seem almost preferable. try a prophylactic anti-malarial course if you dont believe me, and its only partly effective.
Which brings us to psychiatry. I think the criticisms of psychiatry fit in well with what is not specifically the failing of psychiatrists, but of medical science overall. Psychology still attempts to quantify and predict humanity along the lines of determinist mathematical formulae, despite the fact that the quantum revolution in physics has shown there is no such thing as deterministic certainty, moreover if the behaviour of the atom cannot be accurately predicted with the most complex mathematical models how do we expect to do the same with human behaviour.
It is the underlying principle of medical science to treat the human as a large biochemical reaction which when biochemically damaged must be altered with chemicals to restore order. This approach is completely erroneous and iunscientific when taken as the exclusive basis for medicine. Medicine has many less profitable approaches that have become less and less utilised as the profession has become industrialised, formulated, mechanised and made into the multi-billion dollar transnational mega-industry it is today. If anyone doubts that the Healthcare industry has absolutely no interest in health thaen look at their attitude to third world disease. DONT CARE. Managed to appropriate billions in public funds to squander on SARS research (the common cold killed more people daily and was 100 times more infective, SARS was a joke) while they continued to refuse to reinstate production of a particular antimalarial drug because there profit margins would be higher producing depillatory creams for western women.
The Healthcare industry is out of our hands and has only limited interest in the prevention of disease, physical or mental. What it is interested in is the production of lucrative but not very effective drugs. That is the problem as long as medicine whether it be surgery or psychiatry is primarily profit orientated it will not be very effective at safeguarding standards o f health.

author by sean fleming - irish association against psychiatrypublication date Máirt Lún 12, 2003 20:04author email seanfleming30 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Badman makes a number of points I’d like to draw people’s attention to:

1. “The chemical abnormalities associated with these illnesses is measurable.” Explain how it is measurable please . You’ll find if you do your research that they can’t assess or measure these supposed bio-chemical imbalances in the brain which according to you cause schizophrenia, et cetera.

2.. “Well firstly psychiatric illnesses are not defined by the cause (the chemical imbalance), but by the subjective symptoms”

That hardly makes it a medical science , does it? Aren’t you contradicting yourself? Surely we need some objective scientific medical test(s) of the patient before reaching a diagnosis?

3. “The presence of the symptoms is the important thing - that's what you're treating in psychiatry, not trying to cure the imbalance (we don't know how). ”

So psychiatry only addresses the symptoms. You are now admitting that the psychiatric drugs don’t or can’t address the supposed bio-chemical imbalance in the patient's brain, the cause of their biological illness according to you. your argument has now collapsed. Watch out folks,a visit to a psychiatrist could be the greatest mistake you ever made.

4“ The incidence of schizophrenia is extremely high among young Carribean males in the UK. This is nothing to do with racism from psychiatrists, and is much more likely to be caused by a racist society, engendering high levels of stress and feelings of disempowerment in some groups”

People who suffer racism and discrimination do report greater mental distress – stands to common sense doesn’t it? The above doesn’t mean that certain people, Blacks, Irish etc are born with some genetic or biological defect which predisposes them to certain ‘mental illnesses’ .This is what racist scientists would want you to believe.

This analogy below might help people people get an idea why biological psychiatry can’t be considered a medical science.

LIKE TAKING INSULIN FOR DIABETES?
It is often asserted that taking a psychiatric drug is like taking insulin for diabetes. Although psychiatric drugs are taken continuously, as is insulin - it's an absurd analogy. Diabetes is a disease with a known physical cause. No physical cause has been found for any of today's so-called mental illnesses. The mode of action of insulin is known: It is a hormone that instructs or causes cells to uptake dietary glucose (sugar). In contrast, the modes of action of psychiatry's drugs are unknown - although advocates of psychiatric drugs as well as critics theorize they prevent normal brain functioning by blocking neuroreceptors in the brain. If this theory is correct it is another contrast between taking insulin and taking a psychiatric drug: Insulin restores a normal biological function, namely, normal glucose (or sugar) metabolism. Psychiatric drugs interfere with a normal biological function, namely, normal neuroreceptor functioning. Insulin is a hormone that is found naturally in the body. Psychiatry's drugs are not normally found in the body. Insulin gives a diabetic's body a capability it would not have in the absence of insulin, namely, the ability to metabolize dietary sugar normally. Psychiatric drugs have an opposite kind of effect: They take away (mental) capabilities the person would have in the absence of the drug. Insulin affects the body rather than mind. Psychiatric drugs disable the brain and hence the mind, the mind being the essence of the real self.

author by phewpublication date Máirt Lún 12, 2003 21:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Looks like ill be going for psychoanalysis then, of interest regarding scientologists, try tracking down william s burroughs 'naked scientology' a cracker of a read from someone who dabbled.

author by Badmanpublication date Céad Lún 13, 2003 02:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'll respond to the specific gripes you had with my post. Understand that I'm not saying that psychiatry is great or anything like that, especially not that we live in a society where mental health is handled well, but to change something you must understand it.

1. Remove brain, run chemical tests to measure various hormones. You can probably see why this isn't used for diagnosis.

2. It does make it a medical science. Medical in that it deals with human health, science in that it uses scientific method to develop treatments. As I said before, a very very large number of tests in medicine depend on the subjective judgement of the practitioner. The job of a radiologist, for example, is almost entirely subjective. The pathologist and neurologist are also largely employed for their subjective judgement. Many diagnoses in medicine are based upon the judgement of a trained professional. Indeed there is no such thing as an entirely objective test, if there was we could replace all doctors with machines.

3. My argument has far from collapsed, I'm just trying to explain to you how psychiatry works (a thing I know a bit about). As I said above, as soon as a cause of a particular mental illness is established it becomes part of neurology. Parkinsons and similar illnesses used to be part of psychiatry, now they are part of neurology. Thus the causes of anything treated by psychiatrists are necessarily not fully understood. There are measurable imbalances of chemicals in the brain in certain cases, and various theories about the cause of certain illnesses, but nothing definitive.

The psychiatrists job is to make the patient able to cope with society as quickly as possible (driven by the pressures of capitalism btw). Because there is no known cure, the psychiatrist has no choice but to treat the symptoms. Drugs and various therapies are employed as treatments. These are tested and evaluated in the normal medical, scientific way through double blind tests and so on. Although these tests are not perfect since they have to be measured using subjective factors (patient's coping skills, happiness...) they do return an answer to the question: "does this treatment increase the patient's ability to cope?" If they do and the rate of improvement is better than current treatments, they are employed, otherwise they are not. This is the scientific method in practice. There is no argument as to whether psychiatry is a science. It is, end of story.

4. The point is that you can hardly blame the psychiatrists for the fact that lots more people from certain ethnic groups come to them with problems. Sure there might be some ethnic prejudices in their assesments, that I will allow (but I've never seen any statistical or other evidence to suggest this), but the problem must lie outside of psychiatry. Perhaps there is some genetic reason for elevated incidence levels of certain illnesses in certain ethnic groups (as there is with many many illnesses), perhaps it is due to racism in society in general, perhaps it is to do with a sense of fragmented identity and cultural disintegration caused by the difficulties in transplanting a lifestlye across the world, or perhaps it is a mix of them all. I don't know and nor do you. The point is that you can't possibly blame psychiatrists if more people from one ethnic group come to them with problems than from another.

author by sean fleming - irish association against psychiatrypublication date Céad Lún 13, 2003 18:34author email seanfleming30 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Badman’s points can be understood best if the reader imagines this situation. Psychiatrist in meeting with patient explains to ‘patient’ the following:

“ I believe you suffer from a biological brain disease called ‘schizophrenia’ – a bio-chemical imbalance in your brain, too much dopamine, don’t ask me to present the results of any tests we have conducted, there are none you see, just take my word for it – sorry, no brain scans, no testing for any genetic defect unlike Parkinson’s – just take my word for it because one day we’ll be able to prove that schizophrenia is caused by this imbalance in the brain even if we can’t do so now, one day we’ll find the defective gene(s). Just trust me. By the way take these drugs. Actually no, I’m not sure how they work – no, I can’t actually prove that they redress the bio-chemical imbalance in your brain (take note readers should check literature produced by state mental health groups and pharmaceutical companies which strongly infer that they do redress imbalance). . These drugs will treat the symptoms of your disease which I accept I can’t definitively prove exists. Yes I see you are Black/Irish but no, your experience of being a minority in this society, discrimination, racism, isn’t a cause of your problems. Well, it may have something to do with your mental distress, I see a lot like you, but really your problem is your disease which resides in your brain or defective genes, yes I know I can’t back this up with concrete scientific proof the way one can with Parkinson’s or diabetes – just take my word for it. O.K, see you in a few months and sure these drugs might even help you to forget about your experience of racism, discrimination and oppression in this society. Good luck, have a nice day.”

Badman now says that the drugs treat the symptoms of the disease. This is rubbish once again. The psychiatric drugs are mind disabling and debilitating. They are neurotoxic drugs which take away emotional and mental capabilities which the person would still have in the absence of the drugs. It is the drugs which cause the bio-chemical imbalance in the brain as they interfere with neurotransmission. Lethargy, depression, apathy, nightmares, impaired thinking, emotional dullness, fainting, dizziness, blurred vision, eyes stuck upwards, drooling, constipation, skin rash, impotence, epileptic seizures, liver disease, infections, intestinal paralysis, heart problems, painful muscle cramps and spasms, arching of the back, restlessness, parkinson- ism, zombie-like effect. These are all symptoms of psychiatric drugs. This is the real disease , a disease caused by these drugs.

The worst effect of all perhaps of these drugs is tardive dyskinesia. The disease,a neurological disorder, even its mild forms, is often disfiguring, with involuntary movements of the face, mouth or tongue. Frequently, the patients grimace in a manner that makes them look "crazy", undermining their credibility with other people. In more severe cases, patients become disabled by twitches, spasms, and other abnormal movements of any muscle groups, including those of the neck, shoulders, back, arms and legs, and hands and feet. It is beyond dispute that neuroleptic drugs cause these symptoms and to counter these symptoms other drugs are administered to try to counteract them.

I believe that when people report mental distress the medical profession should look to see what personal and societal factors might be involved in this. Badman says I know nothing about psychiatry. I worked in mental health for a number of years and some of my nearest and dearest have been deeply affected by psychiatry. When they went to see a psychiatrist they weren’t hearing voices telling them they were God or the anti- Christ, they weren’t recommended counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy to try to get to the root causes of their complex problems- instead psychiatry judged them to be suffering from a brain disease and administered drugs which only added to their problems. Incredibly, Badman still insists that psychiatry is a science and that sound objective criteria is used in the diagnosis of ‘mental illnesses’. He does not tell us what this objective criteria is but I believe he is referring to the American Psychiatry’s Association 's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which is used in Britain and Ireland and is regarded as the bible of ‘mental illnesses.’ This book has been published a number of times and over the years has been changing its definition and understanding of ‘schizophrenia’ and other ‘mental illnesses.’So much for objective scientific criteria!

The edition published published in 1980, commonly called DSM-III, is candid about the vagueness of the term ‘schizophrenia’. It said: "The limits of the concept of Schizophrenia are unclear" (p. 181). The revision published in 1987, DSM-III-R, contains a similar statement: "It should be noted that no single feature is invariably present or seen only in Schizophrenia" (p. 188). DSM-III-R also says this about a related diagnosis, Schizoaffective Disorder: "The term Schizoaffective Disorder has been used in many different ways since it was first introduced as a subtype of Schizophrenia, and represents one of the most confusing and controversial concepts in psychiatric nosology" (p. 208).

Particularly noteworthy in today's prevailing intellectual climate in which mental illness is considered to have biological or chemical causes is what DSM-III-R, says about such physical causes of this catch-all concept of schizophrenia: It says a diagnosis of schizophrenia "is made only when it cannot be established that an organic factor initiated and maintained the disturbance" (p. 187). Contrast this with a statement by psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., in his book Surviving Schizophrenia: A Family Manual, published in 1988. He says "Schizophrenia is a brain disease, now definitely known to be such" (Harper & Row, p. 5).

Of course, if schizophrenia is a brain disease, then it is organic. However, the official definition of schizophrenia maintained and published by the American Psychiatric Association in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for many years specifically excluded organically caused conditions from the definition of schizophrenia. Not until the publication of DSM-IV in 1994 was the exclusion for biologically caused conditions removed from the definition of schizophrenia.

Badman also makes the mistake of confusing ‘diseases’ of the mind and diseases of the brain. Almost all so-called mental disorders are emotional disorders, that is disorders of thinking and behaviour that cannot be likened to physical disorders, like cancer and pneumonia. Finally I have the courage of my convictions to put my real name to my views – I don’t hide behind some ridiculous pseudonym. I sense also reading between the lines that Badman has either wasted many years working in the mental health industry or has been a victim of psychiatric treatment for many years and may find it hard to accept that his views all along may have been wrong, but why add to the harm that psychiatry has caused? Your arguments badman don’t stand to reason - you’re like a dying man drowning, frantically lashing out trying to clasp on to something that isn’t there to prop up your deeply flawed and erroneous views, falsely accusing me of Christian Scientology and back tracking on earlier points..We in IAAP have no intention of being victims and will fight to defend our dignity as human beings.

author by Seáinínpublication date Déar Lún 14, 2003 00:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Leave it to the experts. Better to trust a body of knowledge and expertise based on observation of loons over a century and more than someone with their own, new ideas.

Anyway, we need crazy people so that we can be sure that we are sane. (That was a joke)

author by sean fleming - Irish Association Against Psychiatrypublication date Déar Lún 14, 2003 00:54author email seanfleming30 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seanin it's a serious subject. The people who should be listened to are the people who are suffering as a result of psychiatry.

Psychiatry has destroyed countless lives throughout its ignoble history and continues to do so today. Many 'patients' are made to believe they must take the drugs; many want alternative help to rebuild their lives.

You, believe me , would not want to take these drugs .Show solidarity with people who suffer as a result of psychiatry and join the struggle to oppose oppressive psychiatry.

author by Badmanpublication date Déar Lún 14, 2003 13:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

First, Sean, let me clear a few things up.

1) I asked you whether you were a SCIENTOLOGIST, (not a christian scientist - a different brand of nonsense) since they are one group that I know of which actively campaigns against psychiatry using various fronts. I now accept that you are probably genuine in your opinions and are motivated by a dislike of psychiatry rather than any sinister motives.

2) The somewhat dismissive tone of my responses was due to the fact that you posted up these 25 points from the anti-psychiatry coalition. The 25 points are a mixture of hogwash and scurilous lies in my opinion, therefore I didn't give your opinions too much respect. Your most recent posts have shown you to be more intelligent and better informed than you at first appeared. Therefore I will try to be less dismissive.

3) My name and identity are not important compared to the content of what I am saying. Also let's not get carried away with calling my pseudonym ridiculous. Badman is touchy about such insults and badman is bad to the bone.

4) I have no personal or sentimental attachment to psychiatry, in fact I am very critical of its practice and would consider a visit to a psychiatrist as a very last resort. However, I think that your critiques are misdirected.

To respond to your last substantive post. From the point of view of the psychiatrist, the consultation would look like this:

"You have presented yourself to me either because you are suffering serious distress or because your personality has changed to such an extent that your family and friends are suffering serious distress.

It is my job to observe you and to try to figure out whether you are suffering from a temporary psychological trauma, entirely brought upon by emotional distress, or whether you are suffering from an illness such as pschizophrenia or bi-polar disorder, which are well documented to be chronic illnesses that afflict certain people at periods throughout their lives.

I will make this judgement based upon observing your symptoms and by comparing these symptoms with past cases. Seeing as medical science does not know exactly what causes these illnesses, although we do definitively know that they exist, we classify these illnesses based upon the symptoms, not the causes. There are a certain set of symptoms which we call schizophrenia, and another set that we call bi-polar disorder. I will attempt to observe your symptoms and to match them to the closest classification.

Based upon this classification I will prescribe a treatment. This treatment will be chosen based upon its proven efficacy in increasing the coping skills of people who have presented themselves in the past with similar sets of symptoms. I don't know why they work, and I don't care. My job is to select the treatment that has been proven to be most effective in previous similar cases"

This is all utterly scientific. That is not where the problem lies. The problem is the question that is being asked of science and this is largely out of the hands of psychiatrists. If I get time, I'll return to that later.

author by sean fleming - Irish Association Against Psychiatrypublication date Déar Lún 14, 2003 14:01author email seanfleming30 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Badman ,just to respond to your latest nonsense. The brain is an organ of the body, and no doubt it can have a disease, but nothing we think of today as mental illness has been traced to a brain disease. There is no valid biological test that tests for the presence of any so-called mental illness. What we think of today as mental illness is psychological, not biological When real brain diseases or other biological problems exit, physicians in real health care specialties such as neurology, internal medicine, endocrinology, and surgery are best equipped to treat them.

Drugs suppress dopamine neurotransmission in the brain, directly impairing the function of the basal ganglia and the emotion-regulating limbic system and frontal lobes and indirectly impairing the reticular activating system as well. The overall impact is a chemical lobotomy . You haven't had one by any chance?Despite the claims made for symptom cure, multiple clinical studies document a non-specific emotional flattening or blunting effect.

But are there better psychosocial alternatives? Controlled studies by Loren Mosher have shown that patients diagnosed with acute schizophrenia improve better without medication in small home-like settings run by non-professional staff who know how to listen and to care (Mosher and Burti, 1989). The patients become more independent, and do so at no greater financial cost, because non-professional salaries are so much lower. As an enormous added benefit, the drug-free patients do not get tardive dyskinesia or tardive dementia, as well as other drug-induced and sometimes life-threatening disorders.

If the neuroleptics are so dangerous and have such limited usefulness, and if psychosocial approaches are relatively effective, why is the profession so devoted to the drugs? The answer lies in maintaining psychiatric power, prestige, and income. What mainly distinguishes psychiatrists from other mental health professionals, and of course from non-professionals, is their ability to prescribe drugs. To compete against other mental health professionals, psychiatry has wed itself to the medical model, including biological and genetic explanations, and physical treatments. It has no choice: anything else would be professional suicide.

The true aim of therapy should be to strengthen and to empower the individual. People, not pills, are the only source of real help.

Also efforts to prove a biological basis for so-called schizophrenia have involved brain-scans of pairs of identical twins when only one is a supposed schizophrenic. They do indeed show the so-called schizophrenic has brain damage his identical twin lacks. The flaw in these studies is the so-called schizophrenic has inevitably been given brain-damaging drugs called neuroleptics as a so-called treatment for his so-called schizophrenia. It is these brain-damaging drugs, not so-called schizophrenia, that have caused the brain damage. Anyone "treated" with these drugs will have such brain damage. Damaging the brains of people eccentric, obnoxious, imaginative, or mentally disabled enough to be called schizophrenic with drugs (erroneously) believed to have antischizophrenic properties is one of the saddest and most indefensible consequences of today's widespread belief in the myth of schizophrenia.

In relation to "double blind '' studies . The are biased.
Studies indicating psychiatric drugs are helpful are of dubious credibility because of professional bias. All or almost all psychiatric drugs are neurotoxic and for this reason cause symptoms and problems such as dry mouth, blurred vision, lightheadedness, dizziness, lethargy, difficulty thinking, menstrual irregularities, urinary retention, heart palpitations, and other consequences of neurological dysfunction. Psychiatrists deceptively call these "side-effects", even though they are the only real effects of today's psychiatric drugs. Placebos (or sugar pills) don't cause these problems. Since these symptoms (or their absence) are obvious to psychiatrists evaluating psychiatric drugs in supposedly double-blind drug trials, the drug trials aren't really double-blind, making it impossible to evaluate psychiatric drugs impartially. This allows professional bias to skew the results.

In The New Harvard Guide to Psychiatry, published in 1988, Seymour S. Kety, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience in Psychiatry, and Steven Matthysse, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychobiology, both of Harvard Medical School, say "an impartial reading of the recent literature does not provide the hoped-for clarification of the catecholamine hypotheses, nor does compelling evidence emerge for other biological differences that may characterize the brains of patients with mental disease" (Harvard University Press, p. 148).

Badman you need to back up what you are saying. If you want to accept unsubstantiated claims about 'mental illness' it really doesn't say much for your level of intelligence. Just because you are a victim of this system don't try to contribute to the ruination of other people. You can continue to waste your sad little life trying to justify something that isn't right if you want to. But some of us are going to make a difference for the better

author by Mike M.publication date Aoine Lún 15, 2003 02:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Comrades and friends, this is a really painful section through which to wade, many of the arguments against psychiatry are pitiful and have been dealt with very well by Badman - fair play.

I feel it's important to revisit the meandering crap about biological/biochemical theories of mental illness. I'm not at all sure that psychiatry claims that e.g. serotonin depletion CAUSES depression or that abnormal dopamine levels CAUSE schizophrenia - though some psychiatrists may well hold this view. In fact this would be reductionist and not scientifically demonstrable. What can be said with a strong degree of confidence is that there is a CORRELATION between neurochemical imbalances and psychiatric illness. This can be shown through assaying post-mortem levels of these neorotransmitters in the brain, also by assessing changes in symptoms/signs of mental illness on administration of psychoactive drugs. These are not 100% proof but only an idiot or one with an ulterior motive can fail to recognise that they provide a strong basis for treatment.

As Badman has pointed out, much of clinical diagnosis (in psychiatry as in all of medicine) is based on subjective assessment of the presenting complaints of the patient. If Sean Fleming wants statistical evidence of the effectiveness of medication, I would refer him to pretty much any psychiatric journal (unless they are in on the conspiracy too). He might also find here that there is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that genetics can play a large role in many mental illnesses e.g. dementia, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia.

There are very important points here for consideration. The first is that mental illness/symptoms/distress etc are caused not by genetics or biological factors alone but also by psychosocial stressors - poverty, destitution, homelessness can all lead to such problems. The use of drugs is not the answer here - why take someone out of the damaging environment, bump up their serotonin levels, and then dump them back in the shit whence they came? In reality, prescribing such drugs is the equivalent of prescribing aspirin for a fracture - it deals with the pain but not the cause. Ultimately it is vital that significant social change occurs in order to provide people with the environment and the tools which will allow them to have a healthy and growthful existence. It is also important to bear in mind that many middle-class types (the bastards!) and secure working class people have a lot of unhappiness and dissatisfaction in their lives that can sometimes result in depression, anxiety and so on, independent of socioeconomic status or genetics. Here, psychological therapies a la counselling can prove enormously beneficial, as they can for those living at the bottom of the capitalist social pyramid if their basic needs can be fulfilled to begin with. Of course this won't happen under capitalism as it would require taking wealth from the exploiters and investing it in improving the lives of the exploited. Remember a psychiatric consultation can take a few minutes, a counselling session takes an hour. Martin, McCreevy and co will make the obvious choice and we can't blame psychiatrists for that. Not to mention the impact a proper mental health service might have on the profits of FF/PD/FG/LP's friends and class allies in the pharmaceutical companies.
Another is that psychiatric problems and the associated suffering are REAL. Sean Fleming seems to feel that those with psychosis and affective disorders are simply nonconformists who are perceived as a threat by society and must be silenced. Absolute bollocks. If you have clinical depression you'll go and seek help because the pain is unbearable, you'll take prozac or lustral or whatever and in most cases will see an improvement in mood. Those with psychoses are often treated after family/friends call in help as they fear for their loved one - in such cases people generally have no insight and are in deep distress. What do you recommend Sean? - that they be left to deal with their own subjective reality? Do you know the suicide rate among those with psychosis? Is this what you see as the empowerment of the mentally ill - the right to take their own lives because the agony of their illness is too much?

Ultimately I think the reality is that there is a case for psychiatry, though I feel its role needs re-evaluation. Meds can help to take the edge off people's pain and allow them to get back on their feet and focus on their problems. This is where counselling, gestalt therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy etc can prove enormously effective in alleviating distress and providing clients with the tools to deal with the problems which have plagued them. I can't recall which contributor said psychiatrists do the equivalent of an undergrad psychology course- that's not exactly true. They do some psychology but nowhere near that much, focussing a lot on behaviourism and cognitive stuff. Junior psychiatrists, at the coal face, will by and large have studied very little psychology. And even if they had the equivalent of a psychology degree they would still not be qualified to offer psychotherapy - that's very specialised work. I think what is really needed is collaboration and teamwork between the two disciplines.

author by JMcKpublication date Luan Lún 18, 2003 10:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"24. Because psychiatry is a form of social control or punishment - not treatment.
25. Because psychiatry, particularly institutional-biological psychiatry, is fascist - a direct threat to democracy, human rights and life."

You left the best until last Sean!

I saw a cartoon of a man in a psychiatrists chair and the psychiatrist is saying, "Despite what you think Mr Kelly...you don't have a omplex, actually you ARE inferior!!!"

It's all about social control , and so much better if the Faustian pact with the drug companies makes fortunes for everyone involved.

Moira Woods, as head of the sexual assault unit at the Rotunda hospital, caused so much pain to many innocent people by helping convict them of child abuse when they were innocent. She split up families, filled foster homes, psychiatrists offices, lawyers offices, judges chambers and all of the aboves pockets and egos on the back of falsified reports against selected poor families who were initially unable to defend themselves against such learned "professionals". She paid no compensation or didn't even apologised, she just snook off back to England.

The Emperor has no clothes!

And the Psychiatrists who declared so many priests "cured" and safe to return to parishes to continue abusing children, What about them? Should they, like Moira Woods, not be made responsible for the pain and suffering they have caused?

It's time these well mannered(in public), well spoken thugs are exposed for the vampiric filth they are. Keep up the writing Sean, there are a lot of stories to tell about modern psychiatry and it's links to the new fascism, exemplified by the Bush administration and American and British psychiatry. It's a good sign the trolls are grumbling at you , it shows you really are shaking the right tree.

author by Mike M.publication date Luan Lún 18, 2003 13:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is getting really good. So the perfidious fascists have found a way of replacing the blackshirted stormtroopers - they have simply replaced them with expensively attired medics? Why have we been so blind as not to have seen? Maybe our failure to spot this is down to their Machiavellian thought control (perhaps through subliminal messages on TV) or maybe they have gained control over us by releasing antipsychotics into the reservoirs. Maybe the colonel in Dr. Strangelove was right all along - Purity of Essence indeed.

Y'know, I can absolutely understand people having issues with psychiatry. Many people are dissatisfied with the treatment they or their families or friends have received. Psychiatry is of course imperfect and the health system in this country is a joke. Pharmacological therapies can undoubtedly have unpleasant adverse effects. But if you want to complain and campaign try and do so on reasonable grounds. You feel more patient autonomy is required - great. More advocacy - excellent. Greater emphasis on psychotherapeutic methods - I'll sign that petition. More work to deal with the environmental circumstances associated with psychiatric problems - sure. But don't try saying that depression and panic attacks and generalised anxiety and psychosis and obsessive-compulsive disorder don't exist! Everybody knows people who have such conditions and we all know how miserable people's lives can be with them - especially before they begin to receive treatment.

And the notion that psychiatry is fascistic is risible - look up the meaning of the word before you use it.

author by Badmanpublication date Luan Lún 18, 2003 14:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was starting to despair there. I entirely agree with you. Sure, campaign against the psychriatric system, but do so from an informed position. Any campaign for improvement of the psycho-therapeutic system must accept the fact that psychiatric illness exists and that drugs can not be ruled out as an effective component of treatment. Otherwise you have to ignore reality, a reality that is obvious to the vast majority of people who have had any contact with sufferers of psychiatric illness.

The major problem with the system is a lack of resources. Each psychiatrist has a large number of patients to manage. Many of these are in seriously traumatised states and doing nothing is not an option as suicide is a serious risk and medical ethics dictate that the physician must do something to ease the suffering. Ideally the psychiatrist would have the option of many different types of therapy, from behavioural psychology, to prescription drugs and even financial intervention to change the life circumstances of the patient and alleviate the causes of the emotional stress that percipitated the crisis. In practice the psychiatrist has far too many patients to be able to carefully select a treatment suitable for each patient, and although some individuals do put an awful ammount of time and energy into managing individual cases, given the time constraints, prescribing drugs is often the best option available, as they are proven to alleviate the suffering in a majority of cases.

author by sean fleming - Irish Association Against Psychiatrypublication date Máirt Lún 19, 2003 19:18author email seanfleming30 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Having been away for a few days I would like to respond to a few points. Firstly Badman you didn’t get back to me on my latest postings. There is a much stronger basis to what I am saying and I can back it up. In relation to the following points Mike M makes:

“What can be said with a strong degree of confidence is that there is a CORRELATION between neurochemical imbalances and psychiatric illness. This can be shown through assaying post-mortem levels of these neorotransmitters in the brain, also by assessing changes in symptoms/signs of mental illness on administration of psychoactive drugs.”

The abnormalities that show up in the post mortem are as a result of years of neuroleptic drugs you fool, which change brain chemistry. The drugs for the umpteenth time have a crude and blunting effect on a person, mentally and emotionall – hence the changes in ‘symptoms/signs of mental illness’


“I would refer him to pretty much any psychiatric journal
there is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that genetics can play a large role in many mental illnesses e.g. dementia, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia.”

The journals are controlled by the pharmaceutical companies and by orthodox psychiatry. They will not accept any challenge to their profession and practice- not a conspiracy theory – a fact!!

Also give me the evidence that genetics can have a large role to play !!

author by Mike M.publication date Máirt Lún 19, 2003 20:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sean, you fool, are you trying to tell me that medications which increase serotonin/dopamine levels are responsible for low serotonin/dopamine levels in post-mortems? Can you explain to me the results of dexamethasone suppression tests in depressed people - taking into account your great knowledge of the issue?

As to the evidence for a genetic basis, you fool , I refer you to twin studies and adoption studies - assuming you are familiar with the existence of such scientific research methods.

And, naturally, all the psychiatric journals are conspiratorial and have no research standards. Here's a novel idea Sean, you fool, why not do some research yourself to produce some empirical evidence to support your theories, rather than relying entirely on unfounded, unsupported drivel?

author by sean fleming - Irish Association Against Psychiatrypublication date Máirt Lún 19, 2003 21:41author email seanfleming30 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was referring to a bio-chemical imbalance. Neither people who are pro or anti – psychiatry know how these drugs work exactly. Biological psychiatry infers that they help to redress an imbalance – though clearly these post mortem results you refer to would call that into doubt. What is beyond dispute though is the fact that these drugs interfere with neurotransmission which is clearly unsafe and bound to disrupt normal bio chemical functioning. Neuroleptic drugs, it is believed, suppress dopamine neurotransmission in the brain, directly impairing the function of the basal ganglia and the emotion-regulating limbic system and frontal lobes and indirectly impairing the reticular activating system as well. The effect is crude and does cause serious harm if drugs are continued for years . TD is one of the worst effects of the drugs. Also the only real tests that have been carried as far as these drugs are concerned and neurotransmitter levels have been on sacrificed laboratory animals.

Also in relation to your efforts to prove a biological basis for ‘mental illness’ and twin studies. These have involved brain-scans of pairs of identical twins when only one is a supposed schizophrenic. They do indeed show the so-called schizophrenic has brain damage his identical twin lacks. The flaw in these studies is the so-called schizophrenic has inevitably been given brain-damaging drugs called neuroleptics as a so-called treatment for his so-called schizophrenia. It is these brain-damaging drugs, not so-called schizophrenia, that have caused the brain damage. Anyone "treated" with these drugs will have such brain damage.

In relation to "double blind '' studies . The are clearly flawed. Surely even you can see this?.
Studies indicating psychiatric drugs are helpful are of dubious credibility because of professional bias. All or almost all psychiatric drugs are neurotoxic and for this reason cause symptoms and problems such as dry mouth, blurred vision, lightheadedness, dizziness, lethargy, difficulty thinking, menstrual irregularities, urinary retention, heart palpitations, and other consequences of neurological dysfunction. Psychiatrists deceptively call these "side-effects", even though they are the only real effects of today's psychiatric drugs. Placebos (or sugar pills) don't cause these problems. Since these symptoms (or their absence) are obvious to psychiatrists evaluating psychiatric drugs in supposedly double-blind drug trials, the drug trials aren't really double-blind, making it impossible to evaluate psychiatric drugs impartially. This allows professional bias to skew the results.

You claim that there is a genetic link to mental illness – what gene or genes are you going to specify. If there is a genetic link to ‘schizophrenia’ could you enlighten us to all to the scientific data ?

author by Orlapublication date Máirt Lún 19, 2003 22:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What Sean Fleming says about the DSM is interesting. There are often pieces on the redflagsweekly site which are a bit disturbing and anti-depressants seem to be really pushed (in North America anyway).

I came across this piece on a study on the effects of anti-depressants which is a bit worrying:

'A recent study conducted by Arif Khan, medical director of the Northwest Clinical Research Center in Bellevue, Wash., and adjunct professor of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, has revealed startling numbers of suicides committed and suicides attempted in the clinical trials for the new SSRI antidepressants — numbers that for years had been hidden from both prescribing physicians and the public.'
http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/mRedical.htm


Here is an interesting story about a drugs inquiry in the UK,

' Drugs inquiry thrown into doubt over members' links with manufacturers'

'The credibility of a government inquiry intended to settle the controversy surrounding widely prescribed anti-depressant drugs was thrown into question yesterday by revelations that most of the members have shareholdings or other links to the manufacturers...'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/medicine/story/0,11381,915766,00.html


As for psychiatry being scientific and objective, I only wish. I think people are getting away with a lot and that there are possibly self-perpetuating myths going around.

There are so many examples of ridiculous or totally erroneous ideas in psychiatry. It used to the thought that the following illnesses were psychiatric: MS, Parkinson's Disease, Graves Disease, Diabetes Mellitus and so on. (There is another rare form of diabetes, Diabetes Insipidus, which I am in the process of getting checked out for. While I was at the doctors he read out loud a piece from a computer data base doctors get to make sure that they have up to date information on diseases. One of the things written about a sub-type of this type if disabetes was that anxious middle aged women were more prone to it!)

These sorts mistakes have very serious consequences. People who have a physical disease but who are not believed and who are diagnosed as having a psychiatric one tend to get treated like dirt, as they are seen as non-cooperative, and questioning the authority of the doctor. In the last few years some people in this situation have been 'diagnosed' with 'Pervasive Refusal Syndrome' ! After hearding of a few of these cases,(although I know of more of these serious cases outside of Ireland than in it) I would be very concerned over the treatment of people with genuine psychiatric problems also.

I thought that this was an interesting piece from a book review, which shows how some people can twist the facts to suit themselves regardless of the evidence (sorry if this is not general enough, just using examples which I know about):

'While raised cortisol levels are a finding in depression, Demitrack discovered that CFS patients express lowered cortisol. Instead of interpreting this finding to mean that CFS patients were unlike depressed patients, Demitrack labors to find an interpretation that would again link CFS to depression: he proposes that there are other depressive states in which lowered cortisol is expressed.

At the same time, the book claims that depression is present in CFS, and that the therapist should assume it, even when the patient denies it and his or her actions do not support it. Indeed, the book goes so far as to say that if the therapist becomes depressed in talking to the patient, the patient is likely depressed. This is a highly subjective way of doing "science" and medicine. It raises this general question: just how vague can a science become without compromising its claim to being science at all?

...the DSM-IV tends to pathologize and clinicize the entire range of human behavior and experience -- everything from clumsiness (315.4) and snobbery (301.7) to snoring (780.59) and coffee drinking (305.90) are mental disorders according to the DSM-IV -- one can easily use the manual to justify a claim that any group had preexisting psychiatric disease. '

http://www.cfids-cab.org/MESA/reviews3.html



I think it is good to have groups highlighting these issues, but I don't quite agree with the title 'Irish Association Against Psychiatry'. I think that you would get more broad based support if it were called something else. I can understand though that people who have been treated badly by the system want nothing at all to do with it, and might think that there is no way anything good could come of it, but I think a lot of people would look at that title and think it was going too far.

author by sean fleming - Irish Association Against Psychiatrypublication date Máirt Lún 19, 2003 22:45author email seanfleming30 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

thanks Orla for your comments. As far as our name is concerned - Irish Association Against Psychiatry- this is simply because we wish to make it clear where we stand. We believe psychiatry is wrong and has caused a great deal of harm, past and present, and will continue to do so unless it is challenged and confronted. There is no biological basis to it and to label people 'mentally ill' is an attack on their human dignity. Psychiatry supports a system which works against the genuine interests of people who suffer mental distress while supporting an industry of so-called mental health workers, psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical companies. The IAAP operates a cell system and is establishing bases in Belfast, Dublin and Sligo at present. We are also working towards recruiting some psychiatric nurses(while protecting their identity) to our work who will inform our members in relation to ECT
in hospitals in order to physically intervene to stop this and bring into the public domain this barbaric practice. This could mean our members paying a high price hence it is important we feel to make it clear to people that we will not compromise with orthodox biological psychiatric practice. We consider it totally wrong requiring total opposition and if necessary illegal actions to defend the rights of vulnerable people.

author by No 6publication date Máirt Lún 19, 2003 23:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sean Orla's post is pretty much a ra you, and putting up points that you agree with.

And the posting times are extremely suspicious after the thread is dead for a while you, and then someone who agrees with you, and says "I'm interesting in your organisation please tell me more" in the most blantant plant manner possible appears to support you.

So either, you have multipile personality disorder and don't admit it.

Or you're creating false posts to support your claims.

author by Mike M.publication date Céad Lún 20, 2003 02:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sean, you don't actually know much about research do you?

To say that there is a genetic basis to a disorder (whether schizophrenia or colon cancer) is not a claim to have identified specific genes. When one says that there is evidence of genetic transmission it means that one has evidence of inheritance, hereditary transmission. Thus, if one can demonstrate (in a large sample)that offspring of those with e.g. schizophrenia who have been adopted by non-schizophrenic parents are more likely to develop schizophrenia than are offspring of non-schizophrenic parents in the same situation, then this is evidence of genetic transmission - perhaps if you familiarised yourself with research methodology then you would understand this. And before you suggest otherwise, any study which is seen as reputable will involve randomisation - meaning that other potentially relevant variables such as social class, ethnicity etc have been allowed for.

Double-blind trials are biased? A double-blind trial means that neither the patient/subject/participant nor the clinician who assesses the level of symptoms knows whether the patient is on the medication under investigation or on a placebo - thus the clinician cannot consciously give ratings which demonstrate drug efficacy and patients cannot succumb to demand characteristics (look it up Sean - I'm confident you don't know what it means despite your confident appraisal of research).

And you reveal to us that psychiatric medication has adverse effects! Well how startling! You know that, I know that, anyone who has ever taken psychiatric medication knows that, most people who have not know that. Is it the use of these medications that lead to diagnosis? Hardly Sean - after all, diagnosis is required before prescription. Do psychiatric medications cause the symptoms of the problem they are intended to treat? No! They reduce the level of these symptoms.

I am not a fan of psychopharmacology - I expect that should be quite clear from previous postings. They are not like antibiotics, they don't cure a disorder - but they may create a breathing space wherein the sufferer may come to deal with problems or where psychotherapy may help. Psychiatric drugs do cause adverse effects but still have a place in the treatment of mental illness. And any attempt by Sean or anyone to suggest that e.g. Prozac does not reduce depressive symptoms for the majority of sufferers is just bollocks.

And Orla, if you are not in fact Sean under a different name I suggest that you read up on some empirical research in psychiatry.

author by Orlapublication date Céad Lún 20, 2003 03:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I thought this organisation looked interesting (I have only just come across it so am not necessarily recommending it, but it looks ok).

http://www.mindfreedom.org/campaigns.shtml

There is a very interesting article here on a Psychiatrist

http://www.mindfreedom.org/mindfreedom/loren_mosher.shtml

It is fairly long. There is really interesting stuff on schizophrenia. I still don't really know what I think about this myself. Here are some extracts:

In an early article entitled "Wonder Drug of 1954?" Time magazine described how patients given Thorazine "sit up and talk sense [when a doctor enters the room], perhaps for the first time in months." U.S. News and World Report suggested that the "wonder drugs" might be a "new cure for mental ills." The New York Times ran at least 14 positive articles about neuroleptics in 1955 and early 1956.

Amidst the rising tide of hyperbole, federal spending on mental health research ballooned from $10.9 million in 1953 to $100.9 million in 1961. Whitaker writes that by 1963, President Kennedy was announcing that the new drugs "made it possible for most of the mentally ill to be successfully and quickly treated in their own communities and returned to a useful place in society." A series of reports that documented a modest decline in mental hospital censuses between 1955 and 1960 - years when the neuroleptics were being introduced - accounted for this belief. Whitaker, however, notes that when the California mental hygiene department looked at first-episode male schizophrenics admitted to California hospitals in 1956 and 1957 and compared the hospitalization lengths of drug-treated patients versus nontreated ones, the drug recipients were found to have stayed in the facilities longer. "In short, the California investigators determined that neuroleptics, rather than speeding people's return to the community, apparently hindered recovery. But it was the [other] research that got all of the public attention."

....There's some debate over whether a massive study of schizophrenic outcomes conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows a similar correlation between lower reliance on neuroleptic medication and recovery. Begun in 1968, this research identified schizophrenics in nine countries (China, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, India, Nigeria, USSR, United Kingdom, and the U.S.) and tracked what happened to them over the next five to ten years. The most striking - some might say astounding - finding was that the patients from the three poorest countries - India, Nigeria, and Colombia - fared far better than their cohorts in the developed countries. Whereas more than three-quarters of the Indians, Nigerians, and Colombians were either recovered or doing fairly well five years after their diagnosis, only 25 percent of the patients in the rich countries enjoyed a similar level of success.
______

and on the subject of the drug industy:

Industry Role in Medical Meeting Decried
Symposiums Sponsored by Pharmaceutical Companies Trouble Some Psychiatrists
By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 26, 2002; Page A10

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A11056-2002May25¬Found=true


PHILADELPHIA -- In the days leading up to the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting here this past week, pharmaceutical companies mailed attendees hundreds of free phone cards, as well as invitations to museums, jazz concerts and fancy dinners.

...The diagnosis and treatment of mental illness have risen sharply in recent years. While studies show that many patients are still untreated, pharmaceutical marketing has raised fears that others are getting prescriptions they do not need.

Concern over psychiatry's ties with industry was widespread enough to be the focus of several panels at this year's convention. Some psychiatrists said the association should simply sever all ties with industry. Harvard Medical School psychiatrist David Osser suggested that companies pool symposium money into a common fund, which could then be used to conduct sessions chosen exclusively by mental health professionals. Andrew Ho, a University of California at Los Angeles psychiatrist, said the extent of industry involvement -- and the dependence of the association on the money -- raised questions about who was controlling the association and the profession.


(To go off-topic a bit, when I went to this page there was a disturbing add for bombs by Lockheed Martin. It has a computer picture of a plane dropping a bomb. the script reads: Moving targets have met their match, Small diameter bomb with PNAV, We never forget who we're working for)
__________


I forgot to thank the person who posted a link to the radical psychology network. It looks interesting

author by Badmanpublication date Céad Lún 20, 2003 04:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sean almost has a point when he says that:

"the DSM-IV tends to pathologize and clinicize the entire range of human behavior and experience -- everything from clumsiness (315.4) and snobbery (301.7) to snoring (780.59) and coffee drinking (305.90) are mental disorders according to the DSM-IV -- one can easily use the manual to justify a claim that any group had preexisting psychiatric disease.'"

Any personality trait can become a disorder if it becomes sufficently exaggerated. Certainly the clinical descriptions of many psychiatric disorders are broad enough to catch a wide range of normal human behaviour. However, these definitions only come into play when the patient presents themselves to a medical practitioner. That is to say, that the patient perceives the behaviour/psychology as a problem. When you get a lot of patients presenting, complaining that their perceived clumsiness is causing them tremendous trauma, you engage in studies, factor out the common symptoms (which may be as simple as 'patient reports excessive clumsiness') and record this as the clinical definition of the observed disorder. That is how science works. The clinical definitions are not intended to differentiate between sick people and well people, but sick people and sick people.

When dealing with psychological disorders, the patient's belief that there is a problem is obviously a pretty big factor. This is what screens out the normal behaviour from the disorders. The vast majority of people who see psychiatrists are referred by GPs and GPs don't go around asking people how how clumsy they are. The patient will only ever get to talk to the psychiatrist if their behaviour is a problem to them. Thus the system is self-regulating, to a certain extent.

However, this does present a problem when the patient is not voluntarily presenting. The self-regulation can break down when the person reporting the problem is not the patient. Examples of such cases are children, prisoners, elderly relatives with property waiting to be inherited, political dissidents under certain regimes and so on. When this is the case, we have to depend on the ethics of the practitioner.

Unfortunately, as your example of the nazis illustrates, power can shape ethics. The growing power of pharmaceutical multi-nationals is a real problem. In the US, where they are most powerful, an enormous number of children are prescribed Ritalin for hyper-activity. The financial push of the drug companies has surely helped a few doctors to stop screening out parents with unrealistic expectations of a kid's energy levels. Psychiatric drugs are widely used as a chemical pacifier in US prisons, a place where state and pharmaceutical power has a nice unity of purpose. The influence of the pharmaceuticals also helps doctors prescribe anti-depressants more readily to voluntary patients. However, the US probably isn't the worst, I wouldn't like to find out what type of psychiatric 'treatment' the Falun Gong undergo when they enter re-education camps in China, to emerge 6 months later, invariably as fully reformed citizens.

So, Sean, you'd be much better off campaigning against the pervasive influence of vested interests in psychiatry, whether pharmaceutical industries or state power. I'd be with you in that campaign. Psychiatry is merely the scientific study of the treatment of human psychological complaints. Nothing more, nothing less. Campaiging against psychiatry is like campaigning against physics; the only possible outcome is mysticism. Its practice certainly falls a considerable way short of this purity, but that is due to the pernicious influences of power, rather than the science itself.

author by sean fleming - Irish Association Against Psychiatrypublication date Céad Lún 20, 2003 13:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In relation to Mike M’s points I am really wondering whether there is any point responding. He seems impervious to reason and his patronising attitude is typical of the proponents of biological psychiatry. They attack and ridicule people like myself because what we are saying is close to the bone and would in effect mean that they would have to bury their pride and admit that they got it wrong. There is no shame in saying you got it wrong . It takes courage and provided you then move on to make things better you can still hold your head high. That’s the mark of a real man or woman.

In relation to so called blind trial studies the point again is the fact that the psychiatrist can recognise who is on psychiatric drugs because of the effects of these drugs. You don’t make a good point in relation to genetics and what you say only gives the flimiest of foundations to biological psychiatry. No neurological, genetic or brain abnormalities in the brains of so called schizophrenics or 'mentally ill' have ever been found so far. Brain abnormalities though are found in the brains of so-called schizophrenics who have been receiving psychiatric drugs for years. Also in relation to the drugs I did not say that there were adverse side effects. I said that the only ‘effects’ of the drugs were the terrible symptoms they cause. Psychiatrists make out that these are side –effects. The only real effect of the drugs is that they blunt a person’s mental and emotional capabilities. That is really what they are designed and used for . Even Badman and biological psychiatrists admit when pressed that these drugs do not ‘redress the bio-chemical imbalance in the brain’ which the patient is believed to suffer from. I mention tardive dyskinesia(TD). Have you ever seen someone suffer this? I can assure you to see someone you care for suffer in this way is distressing to say the least. TD is caused as a result of the drugs. If you wish to support human beings being violated in this way, then in my opinion, you have no humanity as well.

author by Mike M.publication date Céad Lún 20, 2003 13:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sean, it is funny that you should mention the idea of not replying to messages as that is exactly what I intend to do as of now. I have enough to be doing in my life without wasting time on people who develop their opinion first and then go looking for the evidence to prove it, grasping at whatever tenuous stuff they can locate.

I am not a psychiatrist, biological or otherwise. I do not support the medical model. I do not feel that it is in any way proven that abnormal neurotransmitter levels are the cause of mental disorders - I do, however, recognise the correlation may exist between them. You must realise Sean that e.g. the dopamine hypothesis in schozophrenia is just that - a hypothesis - based at least in part on the fact that drugs that help psychosis have an effect on dopamine metabolism. I do not claim that psychiatric medication necessarily works through the mechanisms proposed by biological theories - I do, however, recognise the fact that many of these drugs do work in reducing the distress and symptoms of sufferers.

Sean seems to have a fixation with antipsychotic medication. Sean, let's look at a different type for a moment - the likes of SSRIs. By and large, unlike the antipsychotics, SSRIs have a very small range of adverse effects and these tend to be things like ejaculatory dysfunction which isn't all that obvious when speaking to someone. How can a psychiatrist use the side-effect profile of such a drug to identify who is taking it and who is not? How can a double-blind trial for Prozac, or low-dose benzodiazepines, be biased? And yet research consistently shows these drugs to be of assistance in decreasing levels of depression/anxiety disorders.

Sean asks if I have ever seen someone with tardive dyskinesia. Yes Sean I have - it is a deeply unpleasant and distressing condition, I agree. I ask in return Sean, have you ever seen someone in the grip of a psychotic episode? Do you feel that nothing ought to be done to alleviate the suffering of these people? Do you feel they ought to be left to suffer the anguish of their own subjective hell?

Sean, if you want to campaign for a better, more open and holistic psychological health service, I absolutely support that. If your problem (as it seems) is specifically with antipsychotics, then I suggest that you should either campaign for research into antipsychotic medication that does not have such terrible adverse effects (I'm no expert on psychopharmacology but I think that Clozapine may fit this description - it does, however, require regular blood tests because of a risk of white cell count problems, or else present us with an alternative and effective method of therapy. I notice with some surprise that you never once mention R.D. Laing and the work he did with schizophrenic patients. Perhaps you could find an alternative here? But remember that Laing's work was also psychiatry, just based on a different theory. Laing was a radical and ground-breaking theorist and clinician but I suspect he would have laughed in the face of anyone who said mental illness didn't exist.

Finally, Sean, I will make a brief mention again of evidence for genetic transmission. I have already made it quite clear in my previous posting how this is demonstrated. I can only add that it saddens me to see that you are either incapable of understanding or else simply choose not to.

Over and out.

author by sean fleming - Irish Association Against Psychiatrypublication date Céad Lún 20, 2003 14:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I note with interest that you move the debate into SSRI’s . This is a different category and not relevant to the issue of so-called anti –psychotic drugs which do not help people at all. Someone may need a tranquiliser for a short period of time though , to help them and even others through a particularly serious breakdown- that is a different matter. I would suggest no longer than a few months.

R.D. Laing only used the term ‘mental illness’ as a metaphor and would have little or no time for biological psychiatrists.

In relation to family studies: The research done by Ismail, Cantor-Grace, & McNeil (1998) found that when 'schizophrenic' patients had certain neurological abnormalities, their siblings without clinical signs of schizophrenia had very similar abnormalities. Andreasen (1995) found that a few people without symptoms of 'schizophrenia' have brain abnormalities similar to those of some schizophrenic subjects. According to Lewine (1998), "there is no brain abnormality in schizophrenia that characterizes more than 20-33% of any given sample. The brains of the majority of individuals with schizophrenia are normal as far as researchers can tell at present"

Also no brain disease has ever been cured with psychotherapy or the passage of time. Many therapists have reported observing full recovery from schizophrenia with psychotherapy and other talking therapys.

There is no "universal" recognition that schizophrenia is a brain disease "like all other brain diseases." Medical textbooks and pathology journals do not include schizophrenia as a pathophysiological condition (Schaler, 1998). Medical specialties that deal with neuropathology and neurological diseases such as Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis, have nothing to say about the schizophrenias. None of the following neurology journals published articles on schizophrenia between 1995 and 1998: Neurology (official journal of the American Academy of Neurology), Journal of Neurology (European Neurological Society), Journal of Neurological Sciences (World Federation of Neurology), Journal of Neuroradiology; and Archives of Neurology. One article on the epidemiology of schizophrenia appeared in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry (Cannon & Jones, 1996), but it had nothing to do with brain research. Most articles attempting to support the "brain disease" hypothesis of schizophrenia appear in psychiatry and biopsychology journals.

Even the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (fourth edition) of the American Psychiatric Association (1994), states plainly:

"No laboratory findings have been identified that are diagnostic of schizophrenia" (p. 280). This statement highlights that the "brain disease" hypothesis stands or falls on simple criteria. A true brain disease must be identified and confirmed by laboratory tests. No blood chemistry, neurological, or brain scan test (or any other test) independently evaluated by a neurologist, biochemist, or pathologist who knows nothing about the patient's clinical symptoms is able to reliably discriminate between a person experiencing a first episode of schizophrenia and someone who is not (Andreason, 1997). However, such a test might well identify someone who has been taking neuroleptic medications for many years.

The arguments you are advancing have no foundation Mike. The reality is you and Badman are actually in a subtle way coming around to my point of view. I suggest that if you don’t want to waste your time on Indymedia that you also quit your work in biological psychiatry and do something positive to help other people.

author by Mike M.publication date Céad Lún 20, 2003 15:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sean, I note with some amusement that you misrepresent my position here. I never took up a debate with you on the narrow issue of antipsychotics. This is your preferred area of discussion for reasons which I'm sure are well known to you. You are not calling here for a change in the use of antipsychotic medication - you are calling for an end to psychiatry. I know more about SSRIs than I do about antipsychotics - you clearly know nothing about them as you cannot take up any of the points I have made with re their effectiveness. SSRIs are far more regularly prescribed than are antipsychotics, depression is diagnosed far more reularly than is schizophrenia - why not mention these drugs when you talk about bias in double-blind trials? I'll answer that for you - it's because there are no noteworthy observable side effects of SSRIs which even the most conspiratorial of psychiatrists could use to distinguish betweena pacebo group and a treatment group. If I may say so Sean, I think that if you want to be able to sustain your belief in your own arguments in the face of reason perhaps you ought to amend them slightly? Seeing as how the psychiatric journals and psychiatrists are all part of the conspiracy, why not just say that they take research grant money and pocket it whilst not actually doing any research - they just make up the results? Then you wouldn't have to deal with unpleasant things like facts that demonstrate that you are wrong.

Again, you address me using expressions like "a barain disease just like any other" (or words to that effect) in inverted commas, as though you were quoting me! I never said that Sean, and the tenor of my arguments has not been that this is the case! If you want to debate then do so, but don't attack arguments I have not made! As should be clear to anyone (I've said it often enough, in pretty much every contribution I have made here) that I feel medication has a place in providing some relief from the symptoms which are distressing mentally ill people but that they are not a cure, not the answer. The answer in my view, as I have also made clear, is the use of drugs to help take the edge off the symptoms, thus allowuing the sufferer to work with the aid of counsellor/psychologist etc. the underlying issues which may have precipitated the problem.

Sean suggests i stop my work in biological psychiatry! I am not a psychiatrist, biological or otherwise. I have stated this previously. I consider slavish adherence to neurotransmitter hypotheses to be reductionist and unscientific. I said this in my first posting here. I am not a GP, a psychiatrist, a medic of any nature, a nurse, an occupational therapist, a clinical psychologist, a counsellor, an advocate, a hospital porter. I do not work in a hospital. I do not work for a pharmaceutical company. I am not a biologist/pharmacologist/chemist/pharmacist. I do not own shares in any companies, pharmaceutical or otherwise (except of course those that the state has yet to privatise). I have no vestes interest in this debate other than a loathing of lies, ignorance, misrepresentation and nonsense.

Sean, you feel Badman and myself are coming around to your way of thinking? I can't speak for Badman - I don't know who he is (I doubt you can say the same of Orla). I can assure you, however, that i am a very long distance from your position on this matter and am moving no closer. You have failed to advance a single argument of merit, you have failed to address the issue of twin study/orphan study finding (other than to dismiss them out of hand), you have used the terrible side-effect profile of antipsychotics to suggest that double-blind trial are biased and refused to explain how such trials of SSRIs are biased. You say that "talking cures" a la counselling can be very effective for people with psychosis. I agree, I made essentially the same point in my first posting here - however, you don't tell us how the horrors of their delusions/hallucinations can be moved a little from the foreground of their thinking so as to create enough space for them to focus on what lies beneath without being overwhelmed - I invite Sean to attempt to counselling a floridly psychotic individual who believes that Jesus is talking to them and that you are the devil and every night the Virgin Mary begs him to kill you and save the planet. Such cases exist, counselling won't do any good unless the edge can be taken off these symptoms.

That's that. I said I wouldn't return to this debate, I guess I must make one exception, If someone tries to take advantage of my express intention to give up this slow swim through a sewage pit in order to misrepresent me I will return and point it out. Sean, up until now I viewed you as sadly mistaken, now I feel there is a malice to you which disappoints. Ah well, bitterness and resentment are powerful forces.

author by Badmanpublication date Céad Lún 20, 2003 15:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sean, although I do sometimes change my position through debates, you are flattering yourself terribly to imagine that your 'anti-psychiatry' position could influence any person who is interested in knowledge. The various criticisms of psychiatric practice were introduced to try to demonstrate why your approach is ludicrous and unscientific. I was hoping to persuade you to move your position towards one that had some reason about it, but you obviously made your mind up a long time ago and are only interested in those very few facts that support your case, all the other facts can be ignored.

Whether Orla is another personality, or whether she is an accomplice doesn't really matter. The feigned coincidence of your conspiring on this thread shows you up pretty clearly to be dishonest in your motives. Like Mike (and I too don't have a clue who he is), I am in no way connected with any psychiatric industry in any way (doctor, patient, cleaning lady, anything)and am motivated by a loathing of lies and misrepresentation of science, which I am rather fond of. If you did have a reasonable scientific critique of certain aspects of psychiatry, you would find me easy to convince as I am no fan of psychopharmacology and especially not the pharmaceutical industry. However, I will always be absolutely opposed to positions like yours that rest on a concoction of lies, ignorance, scientific distortions (even the pharmaceutical multi-nationals wouldn't dare use science so shoddily as you do) and fear.

author by sean fleming - Irish Association Against Psychiatrypublication date Céad Lún 20, 2003 17:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

let me make this clear. Both Mike and Badman have not advanced any scientific data to indicate that 'mental illness' may be genetic or caised by a bio-chemical imbalance . No tests, no resarch studies have been quoted or mentioned. Instead mention is made of 'genetic transmission' and various 'corelations'. I on the otherhand have made many references to studies and research which I believe support my argument. In effect if we do not know what causes 'schizophrenia' for instance, if the drugs do not redress the supposed bio-chemical imbalance, if ECT is wrong, if there are is scientific evidence of the existence of 'disease' in the sene that we understand Parkinson's for instance, if as Badman has already admitted pharmaceutical companies are allying themselves to certain political interests, if, as has been pointed out by many people who have received psychiatric drugs, they have caused even more problems, then surely one has a right to say that something is seriously wrong with the practice of psychiatry. Look at its history and the terrible way it has treated people.You should instead give greater credibility to the view that says that personal, societal and environmental factors are the real cause of mental distress and take a more holistic view. The psychiatric drugs do not have the success you allege- many people being prescribed these drugs don't even take them. As regards drugs for depression. There is, I'm sorry to say, no scientific evidence that these drugs work in the way they are alleged to. Tackling the causes of depression is a better approach. I'm sure you are aware of the controversy some of these drugs have attracted over the years.I'm disappointed that both of you have resorted to slander, abuse and ridicule , accusing me of being dishonest and lieing, multiple peronality disorder, adopting another name to back up my arguments. I find this hurtful and saddening as I am only motivated by a genuine concern to help others who have suffered as a result of psychiatry. I thank you both for enabling me to test my views. I have to say though that I am only more convinced of the truth of my views.

author by Orlapublication date Sath Lún 23, 2003 19:03author email nichomhrai at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear all,
No I am not Sean, and I do not know him. Since people are querying my motives I may as well give a bit of information about myself. I haven't done this up to now as I like my privacy, and I don't want to get into personalised arguing. I hope people will respect my decision to say a few private things about myself and will not make abusive comments.

I studied psychology for a year a few years ago. I was originally interested in a career in psychology, but I changed my mind very early on in the course and became more interested in the social sciences (as I felt more could be learnt about and done for humans from an understanding of the society).

I didn't really think much about psychology (as discipline) until I became ill a few years ago with a long-term disease affecting the neuroligical and immune systems. Of course, it was just my luck to get a disease which is a political minefield. Some psychiatrists are trying to argue that it either doesn't exist (not that that stops them from making a packet on it) or that it is a psychological condition. There are economic and political reasons why the psychiatrists (and others) have taken this stance. The most vociferous people in arguing the psychological angle are those connected to industries in whoose interest it is to argue this angle. These are:

1. Insurance Industry. Some people are not covered for psychological illnesses/problems or they have less coverage for them. Therefore it is in the interest of the company to argue that the patient is suffering from something which is psychological in origin. I don't know if anyone saw the film Momento but I thought it was very accurate in its portrayal of the insurance industry. UNUM in the US is particulary notorious for trying to get out of making payments and recently thay have been fined millions for not paying out on valid claims. People trying to get government welfare also experience similar problems.

2. Pesticide/Insecticide companies and others like them. There is an illness sheep farmers were getting (commonly called 'Sheep Dip Flu') which was being denied for years in Britain. The British government had an interest in this as they could get sued as they had made sheep dipping compulsory. The companies producing the product also had a similar interest.

A few years ago (1998) the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Psychiatrists produced a report on long term exposure to organophosphates. The line they took on this was very similar to the line they took on the illness I have, ME. (From what I have read there is a similar list of symptoms). They claimed that the symptoms experienced by farmers were due to maladaptive thinking. They did not accept the concept of chemical sensitivity and proposed phobia treatment for these people - i.e. gradual re-exposure. They ignored animal studies in the report.

In March 2002 it was revealed that the British government had covered up their own study on the health effects of sheep dipping.

An article in the Sunday Telegraph (10 March 2002 see http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/03/10/nbook10.xml&sSheet=/news/2002/03/10/ixhome.html#1) stated:

' A SECRET report which has only now come to light confirms that from 1991 onwards the Government was engaged in a systematic cover-up of the mass-poisoning of thousands of farmers, and often their wives and children, by forcing them to use organo-phosphorus (OP) sheep dips.
The confidential report, on a study carried out by the Health and Safety Executive, gives the lie to countless statements made over the years by ministers denying the dangers of sheep dips.

...The motive for the cover-up was that these highly toxic compounds, designed to eradicate parasites in sheep, were officially licensed by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate as safe to use. The Government and the multi-national firms that made the dips were terrified of claims for millions of pounds in compensation..

..As early as 1987, the HSE was aware that serious health problems were arising from sheep dip, and in May 1991 two senior officials produced an internal report marked "Confidential". They concluded that farmers were not being informed of the dangers of the dips and that these were being made much worse by toxic phenols and solvents added to the products since the 1980s to maximise the effect of OPs.

The report was withering about the inadequacy of manufacturers' safety recommendations, saying that "if, with all the resources available to them, a major chemical company proves unable to select appropriate protective equipment, what hope is there for an end-user"?

The report describes how even the HSE's own observers reported adverse reactions just from watching farmers dipping.'

3. Companies such as Monsanto (who are trying to promote genetically modified food). Lord Sainsbury, who is the Minister for Science in the UK is financially connected to this company and also to the Linsbury Trust which gives out medical grants.

5. The military e.g. in the case of Gulf War Syndrome.

4. The Energy industry.

There was a conference this May in the UK, 'Panic Attack' (http://www.spiked-online.com/panicattack/default.stm)
where it seems that various valid concerns were going to be dismissed. Just to give one example, there was a section in the programme on Global Warming with the comment 'Discussions about global warming tend to be polarized around what is causing it and how we can stop it. But couldn't we learn to live, and potentially flourish, in a hotter climate?' There were alse other pieces on the Gulf War Syndrome (One of the articles they recommended argued against research into GWS), Chemicals and daily life, the Pill more.

One of the organisers of the conference,Tech Central Station, get sponsership from ExxonMobil, AT&T, Microsoft, and General Motors Corporation. Though they said 'the opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of the writers and not necessarily of any corporation or other organization'. This is what they said about their involvement with these companies:

'Tech Central Station is supported by sponsoring corporations that share our faith in technology and its ability to
improve modern life. Smart application of technology - combined with pro free market, science-based public policy - has the ability to help us solve many of the world's problems, and so we are grateful to ExxonMobil, AT&T, Microsoft, and General Motors Corporation for their support. All of these corporations are industry leaders that have made great strides in using technology for our betterment, and we are proud to have them as sponsors. '

One of the speakers is a good example of how well connected some people are. One of the speakers at this conference, Simon Wessley, is very well conected. He has gotten grants from the military for research into Gulf War Syndrome, from the Linsbury Trust (which is run by the Sainsbury family), he was (is?) a reviewer for the British Medical Journal, he has spoken at at least one NATO meeting about Gulf War Syndrome, he also has links to the insurance industry (PRISMA HEALTH), and his wife is some sort of top dog also (I cannot remember her exact position). There is a case against him at the moment in the High Court in Britain for medical negligence. I wouldn't hold my breath mind you.

6. The psychiatric drug industry (e.g.anti-depressant manufacturers).

_______

I had not realised how corrupt medicine was until I got this illness, and now I am so used to hearing shocking things nothing would surprise me anymore. It is not just the Journals, the Universities, the labs, the research grant groups which are the problem. There are even problems with patient groups selling patients down the river, and sometimes forming alliances with companies which they should probably be fighting. (I read two very good pieces on Breast Cancer groups in the US, one by Barbara Einreich, where they were talking about the direction the groups were taking and about where they were getting sponserhip. I heard recently that a new breast cancer group has been set up which is not funded by industry).

And for a blast from the past, tt is not so long ago that the idea that smoking was harmful was resisted by the medical profession amongst others. I got this interesting piece about more recent activities from the website http://www.prwatch.org

http://www.prwatch.org/books/experts.html

Trust Us, We're Experts:
How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future

by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber




Conflict of interest and corruption is rampant in the medical profession, and is not just in psychiatry. There is an interesting piece here http://www.redflagsweekly.com/nasspubhlth.html by Dr. Meyrl Nass on the subject where she says:

'Report after report confirms that I would be foolish not to have serious misgivings regarding the results of clinical trials, trepidation towards newly-licensed drugs, and a lack of trust in the so-called giants of my profession.

Too many of these giants would enforce the practice of "evidence-based medicine" and "clinical guidelines" on the rest of us: but the problem is, who paid for the evidence and the guidelines?

This week's Journal of the American Medical Association reported that a full nine out of ten doctors on committees that develop clinical guidelines had financial ties to the industry whose products they recommend. Six of ten doctors had financial ties to companies whose drugs were considered in the guidelines they wrote. And pharmaceutical companies paid for the development of 25 per cent of the guidelines.'

(there is also some good stuff in this article about the Anthrax Vaccine and on laws brought in which could lead to people being forced to take untested drugs in the event of a bio-terrorism attack).
___________

As I said before, I am not entirely happy with the title of Sean's group, as I do feel it might be throwing the baby out with the bath water, and that it will alientate people who do not know some of the serious problems with psychiatry. I also am keeping an open mind on certain issues, such as the sczophrenia debate, but I think a lot of what Sean is saying rings true.

On the issue of blind and double blind trials there is a problem with this somtimes due to clues that the patient might give or the treament might give. One of these is side effects. An interesting one which I heard of in relation to an anti-viral drug was that there was a strange smell of it so that whoever was administring the drug (and probably the patient) knew that the were getting the anti-viral.

Then there is quesstionnaire based research. One of the problems with this is that questions can be very slanted so that the conclusion the person is looking for can be got from the way questions are phrased, or sometimes they claim a correlation which may not have any significance to the issue at hand.

author by Sean Crudden - IMPERO (The Irish Mental Patient's Educational and Representative Organisation)publication date Luan Lún 25, 2003 23:26author email sean at impero dot iol dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have just read through the comments to Sean Fleming's article and I must say that I have a difficulty with people who hide behind a pseudonym. But I would certainly not disregard what they say.

As a person who has been receiving standard treatment for "serious" mental illness since 1975 I must admit my sympathies lie on the side of Sean, and Orla (who seems to me to be a calm and very well informed commentator). To me, the other two main commentators seem to me to have something unresolved about their personal positions and that makes them easy to dislike. However they are conscious of real difficulties and their contribution should not be disregarded.

Perhaps there is a ready alternative solution to the problem of "mental illness" and as a former teacher who has a fundamental belief in the power of real education I hope there is a developmental or educational way out.

However for many of "us" damaged by current practices it is already too late.

Related Link: http://www.iol.ie/~impero/
author by sean flemingpublication date Céad MFómh 17, 2003 13:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Actually 'meandering crap' and 'sewage pit' were terms I had in mind. Also on another note you refer to 'middle class types' as 'bastards'. Anyway Mike in relation to my calling you a fool I apologise if I hurt your feelings.

Throughout this thread I hope I have drawn attention to the issues. You accuse me of not answering your points . I could easily say the same about you. Personally, I don't think I have the strength to repeat the questions you have failed to answer.

I believe that if the reader goes through this thread they will see that my writings are stronger and more insightful than yours. I think that has been borne out by some of the comments we have received from people directly affected by psychiatry. There is no time for silly outbursts and using Indymedia to vent personal frustrations and conflicts.

As I said before these are very important issues and I think you are wrong to mention Orla in the way you did. I am not Orla and she unlike you has it would seem by her writings done a good deal of research.

author by Mike M.publication date Céad MFómh 17, 2003 17:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sean, I give you five (I think) citations from peer-reviewed journals and you tell me I have not done research. You give internet links. I hate to break it to you Sean but the internet is not renowned as a consistent source of accurate information. There are not any standards, by and large, for publication on the net - all you need is a website. Journala tend to be a little more discriminating.

Is "meandering crap" more offensive to you than just plain "crap"?

I described reading the debate in the last thread as being akin to swimming throug a sewage pit - I make no apologies for that, I consider both to be unpleasant and arduous processes.

You did not hurt my feelings Sean - I am not terribly sensitive to your assaults. You did however anger me with your intense hypocrisy. You "don't want to make this personal" etc, as though I were making it so. Sean, you are the one who called me a fool and compared me to people who laugh at the mentally ill - is that objective fact-based commentary? And where is the objective value in misrepresenting my position as you have done on numerous occasions, most spectacularly at the end of the last thread?

You say that your position is borne out by comments of people who have been in psychiatric treatment. This is nonsense. I have not gone and totted up the pro and anti Sean comments up to now and have no interest in doing so, it is hardly scientific to draw conclusions with re the mediation of psychiatric illness based on a vote on a website. And furthermore, we do not know which contributors have been in psychiatric care and which have not. Not everyone who has been will consider it relevant to their points and I am not prepared to assume that everyone who describes themselves as such actually has been. I have no way of knowing and neither do you.

author by rob bode - nhspublication date Aoine Aib 23, 2004 14:20author email robode at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

RE. 25 reasons why psychiatry should be abolished.

Its not a very balanced case is it.
These points come accross with anger, rendering them at best as emotive arguments rather than the facts they are presented as. No one said it was perfect. Why doesn't the author direct their energies into adaption rather than abolition.

author by Michelle Clarke - Mental Health Survivorpublication date Aoine Aib 23, 2004 21:33author email michelle33 at eircom dot netauthor address D4author phone Report this post to the editors

23rd April 2004



Well done Stephen - per Indymedia 25 reason's why Psychiatry is a fraud !!!!!! An alternative perhaps!

However, please note there is a call for a decrease in funding research on Suicide; yet men number 8 to 1approx. and those who take this route are young and getting younger. My father and his brother (my godfather) committed suicide when I was age 18 and 14 respectively. I am bipolar with brain damage from horse riding accident......my experience is that there is too little involvement with those directly involved as per Carl Jung..........it might improve the health system......you may have ideas! I have no profession but my father was a member of the medical profession.

Not alone this but it is now alleged per the Irish Times today that St. Canices, Kilkenny Psychiatric Hospital is subject to enquiry and missing funds relating to psychiatric patients..................this has a long history (some Minister at Tribunal level is alleged to be a beneficiary of such ex gratia payments from psychiatric patients (from psychiatric hospitals) in the past!!!!

My personal experience with little numeracy and no care assistant to help that this is probable outcome for those that are vulnerable. We seriously need to have proper advocacy for people like me forced through divorce, annulment, reported to revenue etc. From 32 to 45 was hell. I used the checks and balances from the law I studied prior to my accident so I know I am falling but I also have no protection.......I know what I lost - I did some financial research and trading of currencies in my prior life. But the reality and not to be extreme is nothing but witness of my own demise within a society in need of overhaul.

I am not complaining but ask for a fair system for those made vulnerable. Let people engage with some social capital and combat avarice and greed for a change...................


Best wishes



Michelle Clarke (Quote from Carl Jung below Amnesty and Dr. Michael Kelliher deceased who was the first to start research into suicide). It was only decriminaliesed in 1992.

SUICIDE AND THE IRISH - Michael J. Kelleher, Psychiatrist
'Durkheims two great sociological forces were regulation and integration. He theorised that too little regulation led to anomy; too much regulation led to fatalism; too little integration led to egoism; and too much integration led to altruism - effects which in turn were associated with suicide. These forces were believed by him to be in a vibrand flux, determining a relatively constant rate of suicide for each society studied'

'Anxiety is a sense of dread and apprehension about the future. It is associated with a loss of confidence and the loss of assertiveness. .... There may be fear of going out, as well as fear of being alone. Added to this, there is a gnawing fear that the suicide will be imitated ---- by oneself, as sometimes happens; or by children or siblings, as is far more frequently the case........Depression and anxiety are often mixed. Anger and a need to apportion blame are common experiences. Recourse to alcohol or Benzos.'


CARL GUSTAV JUNG

'Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find in admissible.

'Experience, Jung regarded to be placed before Argument' ... 'Experience is before and beyond argument. One of the gravest indictments of intellectualism of his and our age is a strange determination to deny human beings the validity and dignity of their own experience and to subject it to some external, preconceptualised devaluation. Jung held on to the experience of all these patterns in the collective unconscious as vital points of departure'

Carl Jung was born 26th July 1875. He wanted to be an Archaeologist but money was limited. His father was a parson. Jung chose Medicine instead and chose Psychiatry as his specialty albeit it was not objective and thefore did not have scientific status. At the age of 38, he entered a crisis, this was the time of World War 1.

Amnesty 2001 - Mental Illness the Neglected Quarter
'Amnesty is a worldwide voluntary activist movement working with human rights. It is independent of any government, political persuasion or religious creed......Amnesty's vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other International Human Rights Standards'

'One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental health disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. Treatments are available, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional. Stigma discrimination and neglect prevent care and treatment from reaching people with M. Disorder....Where there is neglect, there is little or no understanding. Where there is no understanding = NEGLECT

author by maurice scruggs - nonepublication date Sath Meith 05, 2004 21:20author email xyymale at blackplanet dot comauthor address author phone noneReport this post to the editors

My web pages speaks for themselves. It is obvious that nothing was learned from Nuremberg except how to hide their illegal practices and circumvent the law. I would not say that all psychiatry is bad however the directions or objectives of a well established few in my opinion threatens life as we know it today. Believe me I know as I am a victim. Maurice Scruggs http://wave.prohosting.com/~bunkum http://members.blackplanet.com/xyymale Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. xyymale@blackplanet.com or goodstuff309@yahoo.com Please pass my sites on if you like.

Related Link: http://members.blackplanet.com/xyymale
author by jenniepublication date Déar Feabh 24, 2005 13:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would hardly call electroconvulsive THERAPY "brainwashing." People are NOT being fooled into believing an idea or to follow some cult, to use the term "brainwashing" is promoting a sense of hysteria to a benificial procedure.

author by sotrue - drrichardsuddath.compublication date Déar Iúil 14, 2005 05:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I worked in a Psychiatric hospital and I can attest to the fact that it is a total fraud. The doctors just keep people locked up until their insurance runs out and then magically they say they are fine. Most of the people never needed to be there in the first place and were conned into believing it would help them. But after being put on megadoses of drugs they ended up permanently worse and to much in shock and disgrace to sue the these horrible people called Psychiatrists.

Related Link: http://drrichardsuddath.com
author by jungdoctorpublication date Déar Iúil 14, 2005 06:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Other doctors used a more primitive version than Moniz, punching an ice pick into the brain above the eye socket and blindly manipulating it to sever nerve fibers."

Lobotomy Back in Spotlight After 30 Years

By LINDA A. JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer

The lobotomy, once a widely used method for treating mental illness, epilepsy and even chronic headaches, is generating fresh controversy 30 years after doctors stopped performing the procedure now viewed as barbaric

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050713/ap_on_he_me/lobotomy_debate

http://www.psychosurgery.org
http://www.psychosurgery.org/blog.html

author by sean flemingpublication date Aoine Iúil 15, 2005 15:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I should point out that when I first posted this I inadvertently neglected to mention the fact that the 25 reasons were drawn up by Don Weitz of the Anti-Psychiatry Coalition
http://www.antipsychiatry.org/25reason.htm

Don has also drawn upTEN GOOD REASONS WHY PSYCHIATRY MUST BE ABOLISHED at :

http://www.stopshrinks.org/reading_room/antipsych/tengoodreasonspsyc.html

I myself am working on 10 reasons why coercive psychiatry should be abolished which i hope to print as a protest leaflet or flyer which can be used by critical or 'antipsychiatry' activists in Ireland.

I believe some of the criticisms in relation to understandings of 'mental illness' from within 'antipsychiatry' and as outlined by the Anti-Psychiatry Coalition (www.antipsychiatry.org) may need to be looked at afresh.

Once I have my 10 reasons honed down I'll publish on Indymedia.

author by Tina - nonepublication date Sath MFómh 10, 2005 01:35author email ces201 at mail dot comauthor address Danville Virginiaauthor phone 804-852-2642Report this post to the editors

My personal true experience: Back in the 80's I was pulled over by a cop in Las Vegas because of a burnt out headlight. I was in transition of moving at the time & had everything in my car. The cop confiscated my car & sent me to jail. Because I had no cash & was living on credit cards for bail, I was "released" to the mental health lock up ward. 3 x's a day I was drugged to the point I couldn't think straight. If I voiced an opinion saying they had no legal authority to keep me there or to drug me, they'ld hold me down & shoot me up w/more drugs. After 1 wk a "Dr" saw me & asked me 3 questions: Where do you live?( I said I was in transition).2-Do you have any family?(I said no) 3-Who is God?(I gave my interpretation)then he said "you're not ready to leave" & walked away.The forced drugging continued everyday, but I was finally released 2 wks later. True Story!

author by asmpublication date Déar Aib 27, 2006 10:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I take Adderal (speed, 25 mg/day) for attention deficit disorder. The medication was prescribed by a. . . psychiatrist. Without it, I become distracted to the point that I cannot operate a vehicle safely - my mind shoots off on wild tangents, and I find myself becoming so deeply involved in useless thoughts ("That bastard just cut me off!! That girl said 'no' when I asked her out!!!") that I blank out, find myself miles down the road with no recollection of how I got there, and only a vague impression of the thoughts I've had in the intrim. I forget why I've entered a room because I've had a string of unrelated thoughts in the process of walking there. I interrupt people frequently with off-subject questions. With the speed, these problems go away within a matter of hours. I feel that it has improved the quality of my life considerably. No speed=ADD, speed=no ADD, like a light being flipped on and off. Yes, it would be nice to not have to take it, but I've been this way my entire life up to this point, and NOTHING has made a difference untilI started taking the drug. Who knows? Maybe stringent dietary changes and meditation could have an effect (my heart rate is 60 BPM, and I bicycle 75-150 miles a week, so I don't think I just need more exercise,) but why flog myself, when people without ADD can have their cake and eat it too?

author by Just another human - nonepublication date Luan Iúil 03, 2006 23:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have to laugh at people being so freaked by scientology, and become particularly suspicious when someone posts an "anti-psychiatry" article...For surely both fit the criteria of being cults...(for the record I belong to no religion, organisation or ideology).

I do however have a bigger problem with psychiatry than i do with scientology. Psychiatry blatantly preys on the vulnerable in society and has the power to destroy people with its (what I consider to be) fascist ideology...most people whom end up being psychiatric patients do not choose so ...but people do have a choice when it comes to believing in a cult such as scientology...that is the difference.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression by a psychiatrist, after a 20-minute (tick the boxes) diagnosis at the age of 23.My depression was the result of the breakdown of my family, and my inability to cope with the situation. There was nothing biologically wrong with my brain, although I was low emotionally. I was certainly not mentally ill. I was subsequently prescribed seroxat. I was offered no talk therapy or further assessments for the 3 years I was on this dangerous medication. My GP gave me 3-month prescriptions for seroxat and told me not to come off it, even though i was having severe side effects due to the fact that seroxat was a defective product. This drug almost destroyed my life. The subsequent withdrawals were horrific. I wont go into details about my horrible experiences on this drug. But try to imagine defecating, sweating, feeling dizzy and nauseous for months on end, and you might come close to understanding how highly toxic these psychiatric drugs can be.

People with pro-psychiatric views are either psychiatrists themselves or have no idea what they are talking about. Psychiatry as an ideology is fundamentally flawed. For it bases its diagnoses purely on guesswork. There is no science to psychiatry. It is psychiatrists whom are deluded and not patients. There is no evidence (that is not funded by pharmaceutical companies) to prove the effectiveness of psychiatric drugs for the treatment of mental disorders. Psychiatry is very dangerous, as it not only "stigmatises" the patient with an unproven "mental illness" , but it coerces them into believing and perpetuating their "illness" , while at the same time, it invalidates the individual by deeming them in some way "abnormal". Ask yourself this? Are you normal? And if so, what is your definition of it? Because, with the current state of psychiatry, and its obsession with "diagnostic" definitions, you may not be deemed as such. For one ideology to have the power and control over what society deems as "normal behaviour" is very dangerous and also very profitable.

The over prescription of damaging, defective, dangerous and toxic medications is not only the fault of unscrupulous and greedy pharmaceutical companies, it is the profession of psychiatry which is at fault also. For it is in its collusion with pharmaceutical companies that psychiatry has been falsely elevated to the powerful status, which we see today.

If anyone can prove to me a single case of psychiatry "curing" mental illness, I may be open to debating its possible use and virtues...But until then I will stay firmly against it.

Psychiatry is not about healing, and what vulnerable, lost and confused people need most if some kind of validation...not to be told they are not normal. Psychiatry tries to play god ...No one has the right to do that. Psychiatry and pharmaceutical companies use the most advanced forms of deception and manipulation techniques in order to continue this fraud. So it is not surprising to find that its modern origins began in the defining point of mans inhumanity, which was the holocaust.
Psychiatry doesn't recognise the soul, and that may be one of the reason why it continues to fail as an ideology...But in some ways I am glad that it doesn’t, for it was my strength of soul and spirit which saved me from the clutches of psychiatry...

Don’t believe the propaganda.
The truth about psychiatry is easily found.

Related Link: http://www.prozacbacklash.com/
author by psychiatriphilic - nonepublication date Déar MFómh 21, 2006 20:46author email auwal01 at yahoo dot comauthor address nigeriaauthor phone 08036092822Report this post to the editors

you missed the whole issue.mental illness is and has been recognisable to every human of sound mental health long before the "breakaway" part of medicine call psychiatry.
After all ,can u suggest what we can do to the mentally ill after psychiatry is abolished,that is assuming all irish people will join you in this you unholy crusade.

author by white rosepublication date Aoine MFómh 22, 2006 12:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mental illness as brain illness has not been proven to exist.There is not one objective medical test for one 'mental illness'. Of course severe mental/emotional distress exists and should be taken seriously . The experience and condition can if it is prolonged lead to serious physical illness. Drugging away people's problems doesn't work and telling them that they have a brain chemical imbalance which hasn't been proven to exist but which hugely benefits big Pharma is not the answer. It is not an unholy crusade.People opposing the dominance of the biomedical model in psychiatry are good people involved in a noble cause to bring dignity , health and well being to people, not stigmatisation, drug induced neurological illnesses, drug related diabetes and a host of other illneses brought about by long term use of psychotropic drugs and a psychiatric label.What is it you are afraid of ? I don't think you have any real knowledge of this subject at all.

author by gosh123publication date Déar MFómh 28, 2006 10:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

After years of psychiatric medication,brain scans have shown areas of grey turned to white inside my brain.

author by Injuredpublication date Céad Aib 29, 2009 13:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Mental illness as brain illness has not been proven to exist."

Of course it has in many cases.

Many people with brain injuries display symptoms we normally associate with mental illness.

See:
http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Brain_Injury/forum/21097...brain

.

author by Fredpublication date Máirt Beal 19, 2009 01:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You argue that there is no scientific proof but. Where is yours?
They dont solely pump people full of drugs, but their techniques are the last and only option in serious mental health issues and after probably more than ten years of training im sure they are a lot more qualified to help than you are.They help plenty of suffering people . What is your alternative? I know your entitled to your view but when you have seen or experienced first hand the effects of the illness' psychs deal with, it is not fair for you to comment what may the only hope for someone to live a normal life, whatever that is.

author by Antoniopublication date Máirt Beal 19, 2009 08:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Many moons ago I read a book by New York psychiatrist Tomas Szasz called The Myth of Mental Illness. I also read around the same time The Divided Self by Scottish psychiatrist R.D.Laing. The latter was a considered view about the roots of the schizophrenic experience, which Laing placed firmly in dysfunctional family relationships. Both Laing and Szasz were controversial proponents and polemicists of 'anti-psychiatry' in the 1960s and onwards. I suppose the box office successful film starring Jack Nicholson, One flew over the cuckoo's nest, was part of the psychiatry-skeptical zeitgeist. A humane consideration for the dignity and rights of mental patients propelled skepticism among sections of the public about the closed nature of mental institutions and the unquestioned practices of the profession.

Psychology and psychoanalysis, especially its freudian version, are spinoffs from and adjuncts to the medical practice of psychiatry, and their well tried methods may sometimes be employed by clinical psychiatrists in efforts to use therapeutic treatment to rehabilitate patients. Unfortunately psychology has acquired bad images among the public because of the charlatan practices of stage hypnotists and the cynical advertising exploitation of psychology by the forces of commerce and politics. Huxley's 1932 futurist sci-fi novel Brave New World fueled such public skepticism. The incarceration of some political dissidents in mental asylums in the Soviet Union during the Brezhnev years also helped to smear psychiatry.

There have been liberal practitioners of psychiatry and rigid traditionalists. At least the published works of people like Szasz and Laing and, in Ireland, the reforming concerns of Ivor Brown, have engendered internal debate among the professionals. Civil liberties groups in Ireland and elsewhere have campaigned for checks and balances legislation to safeguard the rights of mental patients, so the 19th century practice of locking unfortunate people away and forgetting them appears to have been discarded.

There are sadly many chronically ill people who need closed intensive surveillance and care, for their own sakes and for the sake of public safety. Criminal lunatics have maimed, raped and murdered innocent people - in the grounds of Sligo general hospital and in a forest in Clare, during the past couple of decades. The incarcerated have rights and the authorities including doctors have responsibilities towards the general public good.

author by Mepublication date Máirt MFómh 15, 2009 04:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You never lived with a real 'mad' person for write that. My boyfriend's mother is dangerous and I swear to you than nothing else than neuroleptics and a locked door can do something. When you're outside of such a situation, it's very easy to write that psychiatry is bad, harmful... But what to do of someone that you can't cure, control, and can harm you? Nothing. So fuck off with your bullshits, it's not because few rockstars and writters seemed to be mad, that all mads have to be free.

author by nutjobpublication date Máirt MFómh 15, 2009 05:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are points for both sides

It is in the interests of big pharma to sell drugs. They like to invent new conditions or break up categories into more categories with a new expensive drug for each. they also like to broaden the range of illnesses for which their drugs can usefully be prescribed. They are often the main source of info for prescribing GP's.
Taking these drugs entails dousing the entire brain in psycho active compounds for a problem which resides in one small part of it. This results in side effects like sexual dysfunction etc.

Talking treatments help but it is a long expensive uncertain procedure. Our government doesn't finance a proper health service. If you need this kind of treatment , tough luck. Take the drugs and fuck off.

On the other side

There are people who are quite mad and out of control. It is very difficult to deal with such people. You know them when you see them. No amount of talk will change them. They can be a risk to themselves and those around them because they are clearly experiencing a very distorted version of reality. There are limited options for dealing with such people and the Irish government don't want to spend the money to properly take care of these people so right now, many of these unfortunates are walking the streets. I've met some.

What to do? I dunno, Less use of for profit drugs, except as a very last resort, more one on one directive counselling type sessions and a system of care for chronic patients instead of ignoring them and throwing them out into the community to save money.

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