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Some thoughts on psychiatry

A

Apotheosis

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http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/some-thoughts-on-psychiatry/

My purpose in writing this is to educate people on psychiatric oppression: what it is, how it works, and how it came to be. I want to reveal the harm done by the practice of biopsychiatry, and to show that psychiatry suppresses and punishes experiences which are completely natural and, in fact, necessary to achieve spiritual maturity. Experiences of temporary “madness” and unproductivity, while violating society’s demand for continuous productivity, are essential if individuals are to grow and mature. Psychiatry enforces society’s demand to keep working and be happy, no matter what. I suggest a clear alternative, a view of human nature and personal transformation that offers real hope to individuals in need. My intention is to provide a model which resonates with the truth of human transformation and has reverence for our spiritual nature. I also take a deep dive into the question of why “good people” (mental health professionals) can do so much harm while being so convinced they are doing good. My hope is that readers will find information to help themselves and their families, that psychiatric survivors will be helped to understand their experiences and find guidance for the process of renewal, and that professionals will be stimulated to think in new ways about their work and about the system in which they play so vital a role.Now excerpts from the book:

Psychiatry is coercive. This must be acknowledged in order to have any hope of seeing clearly what’s going on. In every one of our 50 states, psychiatrists use involuntary commitment and threat of commitment. State laws protect and guarantee this practice, under the guise and rationale of “public safety” and “concern for troubled individuals.”…

…It may not be obvious to you that coercive psychiatry is necessarily a bad thing. What may be even less obvious, yet fundamental to understand, is that where there is coercive psychiatry and involuntary treatment there is no such thing as truly voluntary psychiatry and treatment. The threat is always there. Countless individuals end up in psychiatric treatment labeled as “voluntary,” coerced by overt and/or covert threat of forced treatment. All of us on some level and to some degree have to struggle with fear and confusion stemming from the way this process has filtered into the ubiquitous language of our everyday lives: “you’re losing your mind,” “you’re nuts” (loony, crazy, wacko, sick, etc.), “they’re gonna lock you up,” “the men in the white coats are going to come and get you.” Psychiatry is, at its root, coercive and absolutely could not function as it does without being so…

…The mindset of psychiatry is guided by a very specific set of assumptions which flow from the pseudomedical model of biopsychiatry. It has all the trappings of language that we associate with the scientific practice of medicine. In fact, the theory and practice of biopsychiatry, though modeled after the practice of medicine, is really about social control. The basic assumptions of biopsychiatry are as follows:

1) Adjustment to society is good.
2) Failure to adjust is the result of “mental illness.”
3) “Mental illness” is a medical disease.
4) “Mental illness” is the result of biological and/or genetic defects.
5) “Mental illness” is chronic, progressive, basically incurable.
6) “Mental illness” can (and must) be controlled primarily by drugs; secondarily, for really serious “mental illness,” by electroshock.
7) People with “mental illness” are irrational, often unable to make responsible decisions for themselves; therefore, coercion is necessary and justified….

…Whether you agree with it or not, this is crucial because psychiatry serves the dominant culture of mainstream society. Our education system is a principal agent of social control or conformity. We give psychiatry, by economic reward and legal power, a mandate to function on behalf of the social order where education fails to do the job, and where police action is either unwarranted or undesired. Religion often serves a similar function in our society; however, as science has usurped theology, so has involuntary psychiatry replaced involuntary religion (Inquisition) as primary agent to enforce social norms (see Chapter 3). No matter how one attributes the cause or etiology, the bottom line is that people react to Cindy not because she is ill (compare a reaction to cancer, for example), but because she challenges their external and internal social order. When this challenge is insufficient to justify criminal proceedings, or when aggrieved parties feel too much guilt in pressing criminal charges, psychiatry is readily available. In a free society, involvement in psychiatry and/or religion would be voluntary…

…According to biopsychiatry, failure to adjust says nothing about social issues, community issues, physical or emotional issues. The assumption is very simple. Problems are due to “mental illness,” and all are absolved of responsibility to think any further. The next assumption provides the rationale….

….This is based on the premise that there is this condition we call “mental illness,” and that it is a disease much like cancer or diabetes or some other physical, biologically-based medical condition. This is understandable because the concept of mental illness was created by medical doctors who are steeped in the burgeoning applications of the scientific method to the practice of medicine. They created the concept of mental illness as a metaphor for physical illness. Now psychiatry says that “mental illness” is physical illness; it is not.
 
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