Nassir Ghaemi posted an article recently in MedScape with the fairly provocative title of Psychiatry Prospects for 2015: Out with the Old, In with the New? If anybody had been paying attention, they might have pointed out that there is not much new under the sun, moon, and stars in psychiatry. The first subheading, for instance, in the Ghaemi article is More Meds. The problem: the new meds are worse than the old meds, but it has been suggested that we can, through further drug research and development, come up with newer and more improved meds. Oh, yeah! Don’t hold your breath.
Psychiatric medications are not medicinal, they are drugs, and they “work”, for starters, by disabling the brain. You are not correcting any abnormality in any person by doping him or her up on these drugs. What you are doing is creating the kind of “chemical imbalance” that comes when the natural systems are not allowed to do their business. The chemical crutch has one thing over the standard metal crutch, it’s less easy to abandon. When illness is a matter of rhetoric, and the addition of unnatural chemicals, recovery is a matter for the rejection of such pseudo-science.
Educating the Misinformed
This brings us to the first subheading of my post, Educating the Misinformed. There is a lot of, what goes along with deception of all kinds, misinformation in the field of psychiatry, and, therefore, there is a great need for educating people by exposing this deception for what it is. There is a great deal of psychiatric literature that is, strictly speaking, fiction of the worst sort. Firstly, there is no such animal as “mental illness”, it is not “real”, and it isn’t a “disease” of the brain. At least, no such animal has been proven by scientific methods to exist in the way that the pneumonia and the tuberculosis bacteria have been proven to exist. Given this total absence of scientific credibility, It doesn’t take much to upset the psychiatry applecart.
Ghaemi even gets it right with the subheading of the second section of his article, “Addicted” to Amphetamines. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may not be a legitimate “disease”, in fact, it may be the childishness of children, but there is speed in all the drugs used to treat it. What do you get out of treating behavioral problems with drugs? Those behavioral problems that come of “substance abuse”, more truthfully called, “addiction”. In other words, we aren’t healing unhealthy people so much as we are making addicts out of healthy ones, and then killing them with addictions. The chemical fix simply isn’t a real fix. We have, through our mental health system, created a monstrous prescription drug crisis. It is this prescription drug crisis that has exasperated what is often referred to as the “mental health crisis”.
His third subheading is Towards More Effective Psychotherapy. I won’t indulge in much commentary on the subject. The biological psychiatrists have done much to quash the cult of psychotherapy in their profession. Now it is psychologists and social workers who have assumed the task of doing most of the analysis. Psychotherapy was always more luxury than necessity, and there were always more direct forms of self-abuse available to anybody who is into that kind of thing. The long learning, as to the absurdity of psychoanalysis and psychiatry itself, has still to get underway in a studious fashion. This business of heaping absurdity on absurdity may bring home the bacon, but it’s bacon for parasites.
The fourth and final subtitle of his article reads Genomic Advances: Sluggish but Significant, and right there, one is allowed another opportunity to wallow in a slough of misinformation. Not only are genomic advances sluggish, but that sluggishness could be an indication of their ultimate insignificance. Much of the impetus behind this wild mad gene chase comes from a biological and deterministic bias in the contemporary view of behavioral disorders. This biological bias is fostered and encouraged by the drug industry that profits from it. Should there reside, anywhere in the human genomic spread, a gene for conscious decision making, the field of psychiatry is still very far from giving this gene any sort of consideration whatsoever.
Organized Anti-psychiatry Activism
There has been much discussion on the Mad In America website, a website that spun out Robert Whitaker’s medical investigative journalism enterprise, about defining and organizing anti-psychiatry. Anti-psychiatry itself has always been more of a vision than a reality, but given a little human ingenuity, this situation is subject to change. The population of people oppressed and abused by psychiatry has done nothing but increase astronomically since the inception of institutional psychiatry in the middle of the seventeenth century. We’ve reached a point that has been called epidemic in many quarters. If we are to fight this “epidemic”, we must fight the fact that it is misconceived as an “epidemic” of “disease” as well. Popular “diseases” that aren’t, in fact, really “diseases”? I will leave further elaboration to the imagination.
Part of this discussion has revolved around the need for an alternative gathering to the government sponsored and financed Alternatives Conferences. This, in itself, would require a type of organization that the psychiatric survivor movement has, being beset at one time or another with factional disputes, seldom been able to maintain. We could be seeing a sort of genesis here, in which case, anti-psychiatry itself would be assuming a more physical presence than it has ever had in the past. Psychiatry itself has been fantastically successful at pushing the behavioral disease idea to pandemic proportions. My hope is that anti-psychiatry in 2015 may begin to develop the kind organization that it needs to effectively oppose and counteract–the antidote of, if you will–the present contagion of human made mass manufactured disability perpetuated by the fraudulent practices of modern day psychiatry.