fraud

May Is Mental Health Fraud Unawareness Month

Officially designated Mental Health Awareness Month way back in 1949, ever since the month of May might unofficially be more aptly referred to as Mental Health Fraud Unawareness Month. May is the month in which people pretend that there is such an animal, despite no evidence to speak of, as “mental illness”, and that mental health treatment, the animal’s obverse, in some fashion would help alleviate this theoretical disease and philosophical abstraction.

When mental health awareness has something to do with the acknowledging of medical conditions where there are no medical conditions, well, you should be able to see what I mean by fraud. Psychiatry has, with it’s DSM, for some time been categorizing misbehavior, that is breaking rules unwritten into law, as illness. Nobody is going to end violent crime by medicalizing it. Simply put, misbehavior is not pre-crime, and crime is not disease. To treat them as such, and to call it awareness, is similar in nature to calling a blindfold reading glasses, and vice versa.

The worst of the mental health frauds to come out Mental Health Fraud Unawareness Month concerns the fact that a large amount of energy is directed during this month towards labeling and treating children for imaginary diseases. The first of the month in fact contains a designated National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, and in some cases, Week. Generally speaking this means that the mental health treatment of children is promoted in a big way. The problem is that before you “provide” a child with mental health treatment, that child requires a “mental illness” label to justify such treatment.

What would be preventative, where mental health authorities are concerned, is rather more causative than anything else. You’ve got one statistic that dramatizes the failure of organized psychiatry more than any other, and that statistic says that fully 1/2 of all lifelong mental cases were diagnosed by the age of 14 years old. Diagnose more children “mentally ill”, and you are going, of necessity, to get more lifelong cases of “mental illness”. Cease and desist at labeling children, and the lifetime “mental illness” rate will shrink correspondingly. The word used to describe children, much more appropriately than “ill”, particularly where there is no actual physical disease, is innocent.

Another matter that is, of course, going to addressed during Mental Health Fraud Unawareness Month are anti-“stigma” campaigns. When you’ve got people incorrigibly malingering in the mental health system, their sense of entitlement gives them much good cause to campaign against “stigma”. You can’t really be maintained at tax-payer expense when there is no reason for doing so, and what is being called “disease” supplies some people with that rational. The issue that is ignored here is that prejudice and discrimination, the matters underlying the concept of “stigma”, actually stem from the law that allows for non-consensual treatment rather than from any real disease that can be pinpointed and isolated. End non-consensual psychiatry, and you’ve just erased the entire rational behind the so-called “stigma”.

Mental Health Fraud Unawareness Month makes it all the more urgent for those of us with some kind of inside knowledge on the subject to educate the general public about mental health fraud and abuse. Although there is, at the present juncture in time, no Mental Health Fraud Awareness Month, the damage done by so called Mental Health Awareness Month would seem to make such a designation all the more urgent and necessary. Lives are being destroyed by that mistreatment which goes by the name of mental health on a daily basis, and until we recognize it for what it is, even more lives are going to be lost. When we start saving lives, rather than throwing them away, you can bet that the “mental illness” rate will start to contract rather than expand as it more typically does. That’s got to tell you something. Mental health fraud is no way to treat a person you care about.

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Anti-psychiatry Prospects for 2015: On the Up and Up

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.

Psychiatric Oppression Versus Human Rights

I had rather die with my “rights on” than live with my “rights off”. I think Nathaniel Hale put it best when he said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Put another way, slavery is not the sort of institution that I feel needs reestablishing.

This is why I am dismayed to find people in the mental health system so brain washed as to be opposed to their own civil liberties and human rights. It is one thing to have another person argue for your subhuman status, it is quite another thing when you are the person arguing for your own subhuman status and maltreatment.

Even given these arguments, you are not going to find me arguing for inequality under the law. I don’t have to put words into your mouth when I can use my own. I am not a person to argue for treating human beings in such a dreadful manner.

The problem is that the opportunist, the careerist, who will do anything to hold onto his or her job, and his or her status, would do anything to keep that job, including joining in chorus with the person who argues for his or her subhuman status. These two birds have much in common, not rocking the boat, and upholding the status quo, as long as it serves their purposes, monetarily or security wise.

Arguing against the human rights of human beings is always going to be a threat to liberty. Should you sway your audience, a certain percentage of them could end up being treated as if they were less than human. The question then becomes, as was the situation before the 1860s, what group of people should embody that percentage.

Although the mental patients, oops, consumer movement may have overtaken the mental patients liberation movement, I still consider myself a part of the latter movement. I don’t think employment as a mental health patient or a mental health worker is the way to go. Out of both of these roles, what do you get? You get an expanding mental health system and an epidemic of “mental illness” labeling.

You can plead for your own abduction, torture, imprisonment, impoverishment, death, ignominy, etc. as much as you please. Don’t expect me to follow suit. The mental health system, based as it is upon fraud and oppression, is ultimately a form of parasitism, and all of us could live much better (and longer I dare say) without it.

I continue to count myself among the few who are completely opposed to the kind of fraud and imposture that the mental health system represents. Provide a use for your throw away people, a use beyond working the loony bins themselves, even the community loon bins, and you have, more or less, solved a big part of the problem. The system is a blood sucker, and it is the kind of a blood sucker about which you could say, when the problem has finally been dealt with, without the slightest remorse, good riddance!

I’m not OK. You’re not OK. We’re OK.

This post has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with that school of psychology known as Transactional Analysis, and, therefore, nobody associated with that school need take offense over the purloined jargon.

If you thought things were schizophrenic before, just wait…A recent Florida news headline, in Florida Today, declares, ‘It’s OK to not be OK’: Panel vows to tackle stigma linked with mental issues. Apparently crazy has received a major make over.

One of every four Space Coast adults reports symptoms of chronic depression. But unlike physical injuries, mental health issues carry a negative stigma — discouraging many from seeking help.

A label of “chronic depression” is the “OK” signal for “not OK” moods and attitudes. “Negative stigma” is the thing that makes “not OK” “OK”. If “not OK” weren’t “OK” then “not OK” people would have to become “OK”.

Alright. Maybe I was over simplifying. “Chronic depression” is “not OK”, but it is “OK” now to be “not OK”. “Negative stigma” would be “OK” if “chronic depression” were “not OK”, but since “chronic depression” is “OK”, “negative stigma” is “not OK”. Get it.

If 1 in 4 Space Coast cadets require “help” or “treatment”, that is, convincing as to the “OK”ness of their “not OK”ness, well, there you have it. We need more effective persuaders.

If “not OK” were not “disease”, and, therefore, unavoidable, blah blah blah.

“We have a tendency as a society to place fault. If you have a broken leg, it’s not your fault,” said Lori Parsons, Family Counseling Center of Brevard chief executive officer.

So broken brains are not the fault of the people with the broken brains. Nor are those people around them responsible for having broken their brains. Broken brains are an accident of God, nature, or pseudo-science. As in broken legs, where the fault resides in the leg bone, the fault resides in the broken brain.

“(But) if you have something wrong with you that’s a mental health issue that you’re struggling with, somehow that’s your fault,” Parsons said.

No, it’s the brains fault. I think we covered that issue fully above. Can’t you read?

If there is no remedy for “mental health issues”, of course, that’s of no concern to the physician.  He does his best, optimistically speaking. Nonetheless, and skirting the technicalities involved, if you think you are “not OK”, and the doctor thinks there’s no fixing your “not OK” thinking, we can only redeem you by declaring “not OK” “OK”.

Why, you may ask, must we make “not OK” “OK”? Why, of course! In order that we can request additional money so that “not OK” may feel more “OK” about him or herself being “not OK”. Is everybody happy, or, at least, “OK” about being “not OK”?

Doctor Thomas Szasz: Antiquated Relic Or Continuing Influence

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Not that long ago, Michael Fontaine, an Associate Professor in Classics at Cornell University, published a post on the Mad In America website, On Religious and Psychiatric Atheism: The Success of Epicurus, the Failure of Thomas Szasz. In this piece he compared the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus with the recently deceased libertarian psychiatrist, Thomas S. Szasz. The piece itself evolved out of a presentation he gave at the American Psychiatric Association convention in New York City. Far be it from me to suggest that any APA meeting would have a grand reception for the ideas of Szasz. The idea of burying him, and with him them, on the other hand, now that might go over pretty well indeed there.

I happen to disagree with what seems to be the major premise of the post Michael Fontaine submitted, and that is that Thomas Szasz was somehow a failure because there is no school of psychiatry operating today that could be said to be Szaszian. As Thomas Szasz himself put it, the type of psychiatry he advanced could not be practiced in the USA today because it would be such an exception to what passes for standard practice that litigation would not permit it. I think Thomas Szasz did have an enormous influence on one group of people, and so big an influence that a Szaszian school could be said to exist today.

Recently, just last year, there was held at Wagner College in New York City a symposium on R.D. Laing. On the internet The Society for Laingian Studies has a website. R. D. Laing, by no means an atheist, when it served him, equated madness with religious experience. R. D. Laing had a large following, and despite losing his license to practice medicine late in life, he continues to have such a following. Laing with Szasz have been associated with the term “anti-psychiatry”, a term both of them came to disavow. “Anti-psychiatry” was coined by a colleague of Laing’s David Cooper. David Cooper’s “anti-psychiatry”, at the time, was essentially meant to be a movement of people supporting approaches to psychiatry that weren’t heavily biologically biased.

During the 1970’s the mental patients liberation movement, a movement that came to be described as the psychiatric survivor movement, and later still the mad, or mad pride, movement was developing. The initial “anti-psychiatrists”, if by “anti-psychiatrists” you mean associates of R. D. Laing, stopped short of supporting the abolition of coercive psychiatric practices. Thomas Szasz, on the other hand, did see forced psychiatry for the social control mechanism that it was, and he sought to see it abolished. It is my contention that, as far as this movement was concerned, at least initially, Szasz had more of an influence than Laing.

There were two missions of this movement in the beginning. One was to provide for people victimized by psychiatry, in a way that the state did not, that is, to create alternatives to forced treatment for people at risk for it, and abused by it. The other was to see the end of coercive mental health treatment, or what in actual fact was state sanctioned abduction, torture, assault, imprisonment, and poisoning. This second aim has not vanished. People are still being oppressed, abused, tortured, and even killed by the psychiatric system in the name of “treating” diseases that can’t, in fact, be proven to exist…not in any physical sense anyway.

What would have called itself “anti-psychiatry” at one time, now describes itself as “critical psychiatry”. “Anti-psychiatry” has grown to take such a bad rap in the mental health professions, and in the corporate media, that any professional using the term could find him or herself at risk of a major career change. Of course, this is not the case with patients and ex-patients, and many of them have gone on to embrace the idea of an anti-psychiatry movement. Psychiatry itself as a profession grew out of the coercive mistreatment of certain individuals by medical specialists, and so, we have no problem implicating the entire profession in the mess it has had a major hand in making.

Over time, and as would be expected, alternatives to conventional psychiatry create their own conventions. Some of these alternatives lose sight of their origins, and begin to resemble the very thing they arose to counter. For this reason, the abolition of coercive psychiatry need not be contingent upon the development of alternatives, even if one supports such as options. The mental health movement, in which alternatives often play a substantial part, is all about mental illness industry expansion. The anti-psychiatry movement, on the other hand, is opposed to this mental illness industry expansion. Mental illness industry expansion means more and more people bearing psychiatric labels and, as such, coercively mistreated

I don’t think the religion of psycho-babble any more palatable than that of rational analysis in the long run. Nor do I think the Laing-Epicurean Szaszian-extinction comparison, and divide, really follows. As I see it Szasz has had a great deal of influence on a lot of people, and that influence is not going to fade into obscurity anytime soon. I would hope that out of this discussion more people discover the works of Dr. Szasz, and that they come to see, as many of us have, the need to abolish coercive mistreatment. As far as it goes, with a great many psychiatric survivors, Szasz still represents a major influence, one might say school of thought, and by no means does his legacy come close to approaching the dismal failure that some of his detractors might be hoping for.