Interview

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What is antipsychiatry?

Opposition to the field of psychiatry and, especially, the destruction wrought by that field.

Is antipsychiatry a school of philosophy, psychiatry, or social work?

Emphatically, no.

Antipsychiatry has been defined as a treatment approach, it isn’t that, is it?

Most definitely not. The problem here is that it was a word first both coined and resurrected by psychiatrists. Psychiatry, obviously, doesn’t have a deed on the language. The word was first coined as a term of disparagement for critics of psychiatry, however, criticism of psychiatry need not be conceived of as an insult. If it is psychiatry itself that is harmful and menacing, the danger, then the word becomes complementary.

Why antipsychiatry?

Psychiatry is a major threat to civil liberties of people throughout the world. The methods, by and large, used for treating “mental illness” involve punishing innocent people, and injuring healthy bodies. What’s more, psychiatry is based upon an illusion, that there is such a thing as “mental illness”. No “mental illness” has ever been proven to exist. Instead you’ve just got lists of behaviors, behaviors that somebody doesn’t like, not necessarily ‘the patient’, described as “symptoms”.

What is psychiatry if it isn’t medicine?

It is a social control mechanism that involves getting troubling figures out of the way by pretending healthy bodies are “sick”. It is also deception and manipulation utilized on behalf of maintaining the status quo. In a word, it is legalized and state sanctioned fraud.

People do have “mental illnesses”, you do have to admit that, at least?

I have to admit no such thing.

People have ‘nervous break downs’, they go ‘mad’, they display ‘cyclical behaviors’, how can you say that there is no such thing?

Yes, people get disoriented in all sorts of fashions, however, deceptions, including self-deceptions, and confusion, are not diseases.

What should we do about people who display such behaviors?

Humor them.

Shouldn’t the behaviors be suppressed?

No. Not so long as nobody is injured.

What about ‘danger to self and others’?

This is the ruse used for locking people up. It has nothing to do with reality. If one does harm to another, one has committed a crime, and it is a matter for the criminal justice system. If one has done injury to oneself, it was not harm to another. You own your own injury, and that can be an expensive proposition, but however expensive, the mental health system still manages to be an even more expensive proposition. Dismantle the mental health system, and you are not locking up innocent people, nor are you encouraging people to injure themselves. As is, the system serves as just such encouragement for people to injure themselves.

What about psychiatrists who call themselves antipsychiatry?

Yes, they are entitled to do so. I don’t have a deed on the language either. There are psychiatrists who talk about a post-psychiatry, too, but as far as I can tell psychiatry is bigger than ever before. I could be wrong, but as far as I can tell, calling oneself antipsychiatry doesn’t make psychiatry any bigger than it already is. In that regard, it’s a good thing; if it could actually make psychiatry smaller, then it would be a much better thing. A smaller psychiatry would mean fewer patients. Psychiatry is a business, an industry, and it’s this industrial aspect of it that has sent the rates of what folks call “mental illness” soaring.

Is antipsychiatry a movement?

Well, that’s what we’d like to see alright, movement.

What is the goal of antipsychiatry?

An end to the fraud of psychiatry. Using medical pretexts to strip people of their humanity, and to physically injure them, is the wrong thing to do, and we need to put a stop to it.

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