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Subject: [alt.flame.psychiatry] FAQ: Welcome! Read this First!

This article was archived around: 22 Feb 98 00:12:47 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: psychiatry/alt-flame
All FAQs posted in: misc.activism.progressive, alt.flame.psychiatry
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Archive-Name: psychiatry/alt-flame/faq Posting-Frequency: biweekly Last-modified: 1997/01/31
The alt.flame.psychiatry Frequently-Asked Questions File Generally, those who want to foist Electroshock Treatment on others do so because they make a living out of it and because it is a way of effecting social control. I suggest that more lawsuits be directed at doctors and others who misrepresent themselves to the public in the name of helping people with their "mental illness." One cannot reason with people who believe that coercion is medicine, ECT and mental illness are science. One has to speak to them in a language they understand, i.e., the full force of the law. Assertions that people don't recognize their mental illness and therefore don't recognize their "need" for ECT are fraudulent and those making such assertions should be held legally accountable for assault and battery, not to mention fraud and product liability. -- Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor, Department of Justice, Law and Society jschale@american.edu Everyone must be "somebody." The one thing one cannot be is *unclassified*. The person who is too eclectic in his choices and conduct, and does not fit into any of society's pigeonholes, becomes the object of suspicion and hostility. By refusing to conform to a stereotype, he remains an individual. Much as we may like individualism as an abstract idea, we tend to dislike individuals. This is because we are often baffled by them: we cannot understand their behaviour, and what is even worse, we cannot predict it. Frequently, such an individual is regarded as a threat to others. -- Thomas Szasz, "Ideology and Insanity", 1970 The adjuration to be "normal" seems shockingly repellent to me; I see neither hope nor comfort in sinking to that low level. I think it is ignorance that makes people think of abnormality only with horror and allows them to remain undismayed at the proximity of "normal" to average and mediocre. For surely anyone who achieves anything is, essentially, abnormal. -- Dr. Karl Menninger, "The Human Mind", 1930 "Take advantage of opportunities, but guard yourself against evil. Humility deserves honor and respect, but a low opinion of yourself leads to sin. Do not let others have their way at your expense, and do not bring on your own ruin by giving up your rights." -- Sirach 4:20-22, Good News Version (Apocrypha) OFFICIAL POSTING If your Internet Service Provider (the people who gave you the computer account you used to download this) is not carrying the feed from the newsgroup "alt.flame.psychiatry", then please urge your sysop to do so. In order to convince him or her to carry it, say that this newsgroup has a low bandwidth (an average of 3-4 postings per day compared with groups like "rec.humor" or "alt.sex.binaries.<your fetish here>", which have hundreds of posts daily, on average). Afp will not crash computer systems nor cause huge increases in system loads; and in addition it will not overload the news spool! ;-) And aside from these practical matters, we are also concerned with human rights issues. So, there is absolutely no reason they shouldn't carry it - unless they just haven't *heard* of us! This FAQ is also carried on four different newsgroups. alt.flame.psychiatry alt.answers misc.activism.progressive (occasionally) news.answers Your ISP will carry the last three newsgroups. Other Changes: Question 12. (Thanks to Paul Southworth) Questions 13 and 14 are added; and the questions following are re-numbered. DOWNLOADING This FAQ: This is not an exhaustive list. Pick a site nearest you. All paths end in "psychiatry/alt-flame/faq", except for Gopher sites, which use menus. From Canada: gopher://jupiter.sun.csd.unb.ca:70 From Germany: (There are actually several other places in Europe) via FSP from: ftp.Germany.EU.net, port 2001 ftp://ftp.Germany.EU.net:80/pub/newsarchive/news.answers/ (this FTP site uses compression. You must download a GZIP decompression package to see the text, which should be available at this site) From Hong Kong: ftp://ftp.hk.super.net/mirror/faqs/ From Mexico and Central America: ftp://ftp.mty.itesm.mx/pub/mirrors/usenet/news.answers/ (this FTP site uses compression. You must download an UNCOMPRESS package to see the text, which should be available at this site.) From South Africa: ftp://ftp.is.co.za/usenet/news.answers/ From the United Kingdom: ftp://src.doc.ic.ac.uk/usenet/news-faqs/news.answers/ via FSP from: src.doc.ic.ac.uk, port 21 From the United States: ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by-group/news.answers/ ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by-group/alt.answers/ ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by-hierarchy/news/answers/ ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by-hierarchy/alt/answers/ rtfm.mit.edu is the central repository for most of the official FAQs that appear on the Usenet. In fact, this is the place where you are *guaranteed* the most up-to-date FAQ, since they have to do the auto-posting. ftp://ftp.mirrors.aol.com/pub/rtfm/usenet/news-answers/ From the Web: Old postings to afp can be found at http://dejanews.com, using "alt.flame.psychiatry" as a search string. Other WWW Pages: Check out a site nearest you: Germany: http://www.Germany.EU.net:80/ This actually leads to a search engine where the FAQ must be downloaded via FTP as above. The UK: http://src.doc.ic.ac.uk/usenet/news-faqs/news.answers/ This is the "plain text" version of the FAQ. Unlike the next address, you can't use it to surf the Web without the ol'-fashioned cut-and-paste. http://www.lib.ox.ac.uk/internet/news/faq/archive/psychiatry.alt-flame.faq.html See our afp FAQ on HTML - all links and email addresses mentioned in this FAQ are *LIVE* on this web page, and can be accessed directly by pointing and clicking your mouse. Also, unlike the other web pages, this URL is a complete address, and does not end with "psychiatry/alt-flame/faq". The USA: http://www.smartpages.com/faqs/ Newsgroups: alt.flame.psychiatry alt.answers misc.activism.progressive (occasionally) news.answers ==================================================================== ORIGINAL NEWSGROUP CHARTER: Charter authored by: Jensbender@delphi.com Date: Aug 28, 1996 Charter: "Alt.flame.psychiatry is set up for the purpose of starting critical discussion of the psychiatric profession, by sane and insane participants alike. This is not a support group. Participation by psychiatric professionals is strongly discouraged, as there exist other forums for them." ==================================================================== Welcome to afp! This is a FAQ file for a long-overdue newsgroup called alt.flame.psychiatry (I guess you knew that). If there are any questions I haven't thought of, please write to me at pking@idirect.com The main thrust of this FAQ is to take a philosophical look at the whole science of psychiatry. This must begin by asking ourselves "what is a science?" Can we ask "what is personality" in the same sense that we can ask "why is the sky blue?" 0. Do I have to agree with the opinions in this FAQ to join in the newsgroup discussions? Of course not. 60-70% of the opinions expressed in this FAQ are my own, and I have added the voices of contributors whenever I got the chance, and I am sure that there are many more points of view that are just as legitimate. I am taking the role of a philosopher in this FAQ. Philosophy is not the only approach possible (although it's an easy one for me). There are also more empirical and scientific ways of writing this FAQ, but I have decided for once to spare us all of the war of words and terminologies, and examine the rhetoric itself, and go back to the basic questions that everyone should have a pretty clear idea about, regardless of where you are in life, or regardless of how much you know about psychiatry or medicine. And again, you may have your own reasons for being malcontented with psychiatry or counselling. Perhaps you didn't find your own opinions reflected in this FAQ. There is nothing stopping you from writing a "second opinion FAQ" or a "companion FAQ." On the other hand, there is nothing stopping you from sending your question and answer (or opinion on some issue) to me (pking@idirect.com). If it meets the criteria of "righteous dissent" suitable for this group, and if it is substantially different from what has been mentioned here, I will probably add it. 1. What is meant by "flame"? To insult and heap invective on someone, something, or an idea. But in psychiatric terms, to simply offer valid and balanced criticism of psychiatry is enough to pass as "flaming". Remember, good patients are seen as totally uncritical, while valid, thoughtful critics of psychiatry are seen as hostile. 2. So, why flame psychiatrists? The short answer is because there are several factors that invalidate psychiatry as a scientific enterprise. In fact, rather than having a scientific basis, a solid case can be made for psychiatry having an ideological basis. 3. What's that mean in English? It means: i. That inmates of psychatric wards are there to fulfill medical ideology rather than because they are "sick". The corollary is that mental illness is a myth. ii. Outpatients who visit psychiatric clinics are milder victims of the same ideology, and thus are rarely helped. 4. What about other mental health professionals: psychologists, social workers, nurses, and so on? Therapists other than doctors present more of a mixed bag. The theoretical orientation of social workers or psychologists need not be based on the medical model, or on behaviour modification. And unless the patient is obligated to see the therapist, then there is the element of choice of seeing or not seeing the therapist. Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists use intelligence tests, personality inventories, inkblots, and other nonsense to diagnose a patient. Really, if any of these types of therapists pose a problem to an individual, they are fair game in our newsgroup. 5. As it applies to psychiatry, what is meant by "medical ideology"? Is that a political faction that I don't know about? No, ... no political faction. Let's break that down: i. medical: applies to medicine: fever, appendicitis, broken bones, that kind of stuff. ii. ideology: that great killer of humanness. This one takes a bit more exlpaining. When we espouse an ideology, regardless of what it is, we fill our thoughts with: "wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone did 'X'?" Psychiatry takes on the ideology that what we think of as medicine should apply to the mind. That is, the definition of "illness" should apply to our thoughts, mental processes, intelligence, and behaviour. Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone behaved normally? (ugh...) 6. When we make something an ideology, what are we really doing when we try to put it into practice? CARRYING OUT the ideology in the real world makes it a totality (as in totalitarianism). It is like saying "Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone was in love?" Then, making it a requirement in your institution that everyone MUST be in love (or else). Kind of kills the whole concept, doesn't it? What we are doing when we practice to carry out an ideology is we are breaking spirits, and crushing wills. Communism is an ideology in many parts of the world, and is practiced as a totality: "Share everything you own with your neighbour, or else!" is what we often heard from Stalin, Mao, and others. It killed once and for all the natural, human will to share, which only exposes itself when there are no laws inhibiting the freedom to share or to not share. Totality is the removal of choice, resulting in our being treated, in the words of Stalin, "as obedient as a corpse." 7. Are psychiatrists totalitarian? Whether they want to or not, yes. It is an integral part of their training, and is often referred to as "patient management." 8. Are there examples of totalitarianism in other professions? Well, corporations are very totalitarian. They fulfill the needs of the owners, and all endeavours in a company is in the service of increasing profit. That is quite a totality, and takes precedence over issues of job security, and if no one protests, workers' rights also. Why stop there? Educational institutions are totaitarian in their own agendas. Grade schools release objective-seeming report cards where a child's entire self-esteem is changed by the casual judgements of strangers as to how well-moulded they are to the needs of the school and classroom. Academic institutions also have similar agendas. The military is bent on forming "killing machines" out of mere mortals. This requires strong ideological indoctrination, and is thus a totality. 9. So, you appear to be saying that totalitarianism is everywhere. If everyone does it, then what's the problem? If everybody's guilty of everything then nobody's guilty of anything, right? Wrong. Nice try, though! The problem is, that in the areas mentioned under question 8 there is usually a way out. There are the courts, there are appeals, tribunals, committees, so on. The individual has certain discrete rights that can challenge totalitarian decisions. So, in the end, they are not that totalitarian, except that they serve to atomize the individual. Rights even exist in jails. In psychiatry, there *really is* no way out. When a person is institutionalised involuntarily, there is no avenue for the patient to say that he/she has been wrongfully institutionalised. There is no appeal, the patient has only the rights given to him by the doctor, and the patient may or may not be told of these rights. In the true sense of the word, institutionalisation results in the breaking of human spirits. Even in the courts, the inpatient has few or no legal rights, and won't have them after he leaves the asylum. The patient becomes a non-person. And, psychiatrists have rarely admitted to being wrong about committing a patient. So, oh yeah, there's a big problem. 10. Do you mean to say that psychiatry is invalid as a scientific enterprise? (see question 2) More or less. Psychiatry has been widely accused of lacking a sound theoretical basis to justify its existence as a medical profession. It is a profession where "personality" has no agreed definition, yet they feel conversant in the area of "personality disorder". "The mind" also has no agreed definition, yet the phrase "mental illness" is coined with an air of precision and crisp professionalism that makes it sound that the speaker knows what he is saying. To see the absurdity of this, we must look at another science for which there are well-established definitions and theories. Let's look at chemistry. Look at any high school chemistry text, and the definitions of "the atom" are pretty much the same. "The atom" is precisely defined, so that higher concepts such as "atomic bonding" become discussable between chemists. Even chemists from different countries, provided they both speak the same language, will immediately know what is being spoken about when the word "atom" or the phrase "atomic bonding" is mentioned. Could you imagine the chaos we would be in if mathematicians spoke of "algebra" without having agreed on the definitions for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division? Such is the progress of psychiatry. A psychiatrist can attempt to justify psychiatry's existence by showing us rooms full of unhappy people for which no other branch of medicine can offer relief. To say that this justifies psychiatry is an appeal to emotion, and is not a valid explanation on the level of establishing a sound theory that would justify its existence among the sciences. 11. So, how can I best understand how psychiatry works? Psychiatry is by its existence an apologetic for the failures of society to provide adequate living conditions to its people. Since the lion's share of psychiatric inmates are from the poorer classes, psychiatry has evolved as a means of containing the destructive effects of uncontrolled and unregulated capitalism - that is, widespread poverty and unemployment or under-employment, and the abused and broken homes that result. Psychiatrists are the janitors of capitalism. The way to best understand how psychiatry works is if we try to understand it from the point of view of ideology and totality. In other words, the profession of psychiatry is most easily understood as an enforcer of social norms, and as an adjunct to the police, the government, and society's other major institutions. The patients under their care are most easily characterised as either a defeated race, a slave class, or as concentration camp inmates. They are given only the last refuge of the oppressed: to give in to their captors and to follow all orders without question. At best, they are second-class citizens with few rights. At worst, they are permanent wards of the state with no rights. But in so far as they put away persons stressed out from dire poverty, they can be seen as cleaning up the mess left behind by unfettered capitalism, or at least removing them so that the errors of our (society's) ways can't be seen. 12. Isn't it more politically correct to refer to patients as "clients"? There are varying opinions. In my opinion, "client" sounds a tad Orwellian. "Patient" is a much more accurate and descriptive term for how the doctors regard the patient, both in theory and in practice. This hasn't changed. Calling them "clients" obscures this relationship, making it unclear that psychiatrists will still use the medical model, treat the mind as passive, and refer to the patient's problems as "illnesses" worthy of "treatment", in keeping with medical ideology. The recent trend to call patients "clients" or "mental health consumers" is merely window-dressing P-R which does nothing whatsoever to change the role of either the outpatient or inpatient in relation to the doctor. The only thing these politically-correct terms do is give a false sense of dignity to the patient. Recall that in the Old South, during the days of the slave trade, slaves were also given similar lip service to enhance their dignity. But they were still slaves. Women are often called "the fair sex", and have a "special status" in many cultures. Yet they continue to be widely debased and discriminated against, and exploited by those same cultures. The referral to patients as "clients" arises from the same mentality, and should only be used when buying a car or taking out a loan. As for "mental health consumers": well, ... aren't we all? A lot more can be said about this. Consider the following contributed by Paul Southworth <mailto://pauls@locust.cic.net>: The term "client" implies two falsehoods. First, it implies voluntarism on the part of the recipient. Second, it implies that the recipient of the psychiatric treatment is in some way "helped", or at least that the psychiatric care is carried out with the intent to "help" the recipient. I am aware of no other profession where the "client" cannot voluntarily elect to initiate or terminate the relationship. A legal client, for example, seeks a relationship with a lawyer that can in some way benefit them. Conversely, one would not refer to a prison inmate as a "client" -- they are clearly not voluntarily receiving the "therapy" nor is the treatment designed to "help" them in any way. Calling psychiatric patients "clients" is only useful as a means for obscuring both the nature of the relationship and its effects. Calling them "psychiatric inmates" is certainly more accurate for describing the institutionalized. Specifically with regard to the term "intent" as used above, one could fairly argue that many psychiatrists intend to help their patients. As in many other harmful and misguided professions, the individuals directly perpetrating the harmful activity often have only the best intentions. That does not change the fact that psychiatry as a practice is designed to "help" society, not to "help" its victims. To the extent that the society that the psychiatric victim is expected to "adjust" to is an unjust society, the psychiatrist isn't doing them any favors. The intent of the individuals involved is irrelevant. In reality, it only contributes to the false representation of psychiatric care as beneficial. 13. What is "the medical model" as it applies to the mind? Let's look at an obvious "medical problem" - a broken bone. If a patient presents with a broken bone, there is obviously something wrong. There is a lot of bleeding, bruising, and pain; and if the bone is on an arm or leg, then the patient can no longer use that limb until the break is healed. In comes medical intervention. Painkillers, antibiotics and a splint all help the body in mending the broken bone. The administration of these drugs and splints are referred to collectively as "treatment". The bone, in the scientific sense, is a treatable substance like wood or leather. It is passive, and thus "something must be done to it" to make it function better, assuming that chances are pretty slim that the bone would have set properly without such intervention. This assumption is largely correct, and the theoretical basis underlying the healing of broken bones is pretty sound. So, the assumption underlying psychiatry is that the mind (which has no agreed definition, remember) is passive in exactly the same sense as a bone. It begs the question: what does that make the mind of the psychiatrist, since his mind must be passive as well. Of course, I'm not supposed to ask that. But since I did, I'll answer: If the test for "passivity" is a broken bone, then we observe that the person doing the treating, the doctor, is not passive. So, even though all human minds must be passive to fulfill the medical model, the doctor's mind must not be considered passive in order to fulfill the same medical model. No wonder psychiatric patients go crazy. But it goes without saying that the very medical model that psychiarty rests on is also invalid, making any rational discussion about the validity or invalidity of psychiatry as being a complete waste of time. Says one medical student: 'I am greatly frustrated by the lack of consensus among the "psychiatric community." No other branch of medicine allows its practioners such freedom to subscribe to contradictory schools of theory and practice. Also, as I understand it the psychiatric residency involves a large component of indoctrination with unverifiable dogmas, some already outmoded but still "required learning." ' 14. Well, we know how the media tends to promote psychiatry. How do their own medical colleagues view psychiatrists? (anonymous contributor) Psychiatry is the lowest-paying specialty on average, having recently been bypassed by family practice. Also, many doctors have no respect for psychiatrists at all and will be vocal in telling you so. Even psychiatrists will be vocal in their admission that, of the medical students selecting psychiatry as a career, many if not most are mentally troubled or even mentally ill by the profession's standards. I find this statistic frightening. 15. Are there alternatives to psychiatric incarceration? while community-based residential clinics cost about 25% of the cost inpatient hospitalization, AND that patients seem to do BETTER in such clinics because of the more normal social environment they are exposed to; still, the federal and state monies are available for psychiatric inpatient hospitalization, and not for such community based clinics. Psych inpatients cost about $450 per day. 16. Hey ... Isn't this more an afp manifesto or polemic than a FAQ? "Psychiatric Inmates of the world unite ... ?" Hmmm. Well, I personally disagree that it is either one, although it could be taken that way by someone who has never needed to question the conventional thought surrounding psychiatrists. I think the FAQ fulfills a need for the "un-initiated" to get oriented to the way of thinking of this group. One can say that the FAQ for sci.bio.food-science is a food scintist's interpretation of the world. But it would hardly qualify as being a manifesto or a "substitute ideology" for something. The main thrust of this FAQ is to take a philosophical look at the whole science of psychiatry. This must begin by asking ourselves "what is a science?" Can we ask "what is personality" in the same sense that we can ask "why is the sky blue?" Or are psychiatrists simply asking the wrong questions? OR, as we suspect in this FAQ, are they only asking questions (wittingly or unwittingly) that serve an ideological purpose? In other words, we can observe that asking "what is personality" is a great way to include certain people and exclude other people who do not meet the criteria for the definition by simply distinguishing between "healthy" and "unhealthy" personality types. This is very convenient if our goal is to create a community of outcasts. The same goes for afp. The hope is: 1. afp subscribers will find it as a voice, and 2. non-subscribers or newbies will get a sense of orientation to the group. Only time will tell if these objectives have been satisfied. Contributions from other subscribers will help. 17. Well, it just sounds as though what you are saying is well, ... crazy, because it sounds so different from what you hear from other sources, like TV and newspapers. Indeeed, these views are at great variance with most of what society thinks of psychiatrists. We live in a psychiatric age where we are encouraged to revere our therapists as Gods. Afp's views are so much at variance with psychiatric propaganda, that they appear, more like a crackpot polemic or a manifesto, rather than an attempt at reasoned, level-headed, and enlightened discourse on important matters of human rights. With the possible exception of the "janitors of capitalism" analogy, which some doctors may have trouble with, there is nothing in the afp FAQ that is even *mildly* controversial, even in psychiatric circles. The points brought up are the standard fare in philosophy, medicine, you name it. If you ask a doctor or a social worker if applying the medical model to the mind is problematic, he will say "yes", and he will give you pretty much the same reasons I gave. The same goes for the notions of freedom. There are all kinds of books written on this subject, even by the doctors themselves. Thomas Szasz has written several books on this topic. Szasz was the President of the American Psychoanalytic Association when he wrote "Ideology and Insanity: Essays on the Psychiatric Dehumanization of Man" in 1970. So when I use the term "ideology" in the FAQ, or say that "psychiatry has an ideological basis", that isn't even original. Psychiatrists are aware of these issues, and of the precariousness of their status as a science. If you want documentation to back up anything I said in the FAQ, you never need to go far to look. The only *real* problem it may cause is that reading it will probably make you a poor candidate to succeed in your psychiatric visits. (or a better one, depending on your viewpoint) :-) 18. Is there any recommended reading? (Please send in any further suggestions to pking@idirect.com) These are in no particular order as of this draft. I am including a key passage from each. Szasz, Thomas, 1970. "Ideology and Insanity: Essays on the Psychiatric Dehumanization of Man". Doubleday Anchor. ISBN 0-385-02033-3. Quote from page 121: "In short, I hold--and I submit that the historical evidence bears me out--that people are committed to mental hospitals neither because they are 'dangerous,' nor because they are 'mentally ill,' but because they are society's scapegoats, whose persecution is justified by psychiatric propaganda and rhetoric." Lasch, Christopher, 1976. "The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an age of diminishing expectations." Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-32104-4. Quote from Page 359, in critiquing Gail Sheehy's book "Passages": "Measuring experience against a normative model set up by doctors, people will find themselves as troubled by departures from the norm as they are troubled by the 'predictable crises of adult life' themselves, against which medical norms are intended to provide reassurance. ... It rests on definitions of reality that remain highly suspect, not least because they make it so difficult to get through life without the constant attention of doctors, psychiatrists, and faith healers." Marx, Karl and Fredrick Engels, 1848 (this one published in English, 1983). The Communist Manifesto. International Publishers Co., Inc. ISBN 0-7178-0241-8. Quote from page 44: "Workers of the world, Unite!" Rius, 1976. "Marx For Beginners." Pantheon Books, New York. ISBN 0-394-73716-4. Gives a compelling history of all the other ways we have been oppressed throughout history, as well as clearly explaining the developments that led to the concept of "dialectical materialism," and of course Communism itself. Bentall, Richard P, 1992. "A Proposal to Classify Happiness as a Psychiatric Disorder", from "Journal of Medical Ethics", 1992, n18, pp94-98. The Abstract: "It is proposed that happiness be classified as a psychiatric disorder and be included in future editions of the major diagnostic manuals under the new name: 'Major Affective Disorder, Pleasant Type.' In a review of the relevant literature it is shown that happiness is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities, and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. One possible objection to this proposal remains -- that happiness is not negatively valued. However, this objection is dismissed as scientifically irrelevant." Harris, John, JLT Birley, and KWM Fulford, 1993. "A Proposal to Classify Happiness as a Psychiatric Disorder", from "British Journal of Psychiatry." Harris, Page 540: "Whenever I tease psychiatrists about their lack of a theory for mental illness or their inability to answer charges that mental illness is a myth, they always answer by showing me really distressed, unhappy people who need help which no other branch of medicine is offering. If this is a convincing answer, it is not so on the level of theory, and it is doubtful whether answering scepticism about the scientific validity of psychiatry by showing rooms full of happy, contented people will ever have quite the same force." Birley, Page 540, commenting on Bentall: "[Bentall's] serious ethical purpose is not stated, but I take it to be a concern with the dangers of 'over-classification' and 'over-medicalisation' of human behaviour, particularly by psychiatrists." Fulford, Page 542: "[Bentall's paper] shows that the concept of disease itself is far more subtle than is generally recognised. There is some evidence that this is important practically. If it is, then Bentall may inadvertently achieved more for psychiatry in a few thousand words than other authors have achieved in a whole series of scholoarly tomes." Skinner, Bhurris Frederick, 1976. "Walden Two." Macmillan, New York. ISBN ?. This is the argument from the "other side". It tells a story about a utopian society based on the principles of behaviour modification and behaviour engineering. Meanwhile, the book is a rejection of philosophy - symbolised by a character named Castle, who ends up sputtering incoherent junk by the end of the book. A real-life philosopher can debunk the book in five minutes. Like the medical model, b.mod. assumes that the human mind is passive, and the therapist's mind is not passive. Does that make the therapist a Martian? 19. Are there any web pages on the Internet for flaming psychiatry? See below... If you find other web pages, please forward them to Paul King (pking@idirect.com) for inclusion in a future update of this FAQ. See our afp FAQ on HTML - all links and email addresses mentioned in this FAQ are *LIVE* on this web page http://www.lib.ox.ac.uk/internet/news/faq/archive/psychiatry.alt-flame.faq.html Anti-psychiatry & Schizoprenia <http://193.54.210.193/eusja/schizophrenia.txt> Crazy And Proud BBS <http://distrib.cairn.org/~bbs> "Madness" Home Page <http://www.iComm.ca/madness> Psychiatric Survivors Advocacy/Liberation Movement <http://www.az.com/~bipolar/PSALMS.html> Rob's Pseudoscience, Psychobabble, and Psychology Page <http://academic.uofs.edu/student/rmr7> Support Coalition & Dendron News Home Page <http://www.efn.org/~dendron/> OTHER HOMEPAGES. Some of these have useful info on mental illness, mainly from the point of view of medicine. Most of these web pages have not been checked for content, so your input is important: Disability Rights Activist <http://www.teleport.com/~abarhydt> Internet Mental Health - a Canadian Web Site offering a list of definitions and possible treatments for nearly all categories of mental illnesses. <http://www.mentalhealth.com/> The National Empowerment Center Gopher site in Lawrence, MA, USA <gopher://ftp.std.com/11/nonprofits/empowerment-ctr> The US National Mental Health Consumers Self-Help Clearinghouse <http://www.libertynet.org/~mha/cl_house.html> The Consumer/Survivor Information Resource Centre of Toronto, Ontario, Canada <http://www.io.org/~csinfo> help! (a Consumer's Guide to Mental Health Resources) <http://www.io.org/~madmagic/help/help.html> Community Access <http://www.cairn.org> The Pendulum Pages <http://www.mindspring.com/~hugman/pendulum> Justice-For-All Gopher Server <gopher://gopher.tnet.com/11/Justice-for-all> Homeless Missings Persons Project <http://metro.turnpike.net/D/dmorgan/index.html> Emotional Support on the Internet <http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/ faq/usenet/support/emotional/resources-list/faq.html> Spirituality <http://www.well.com/user/bobby/> The Disability Rights Activist <http://www.teleport.com/~abarhydt/> Ivan Goldberg's Home Page <http://avocado.pc.helsinki.fi/~janne/ikg/> Information on Dissociation <http://www.tezcat.com/~tina/dissoc.html> The PIE Web Server <http://www.pie.org> Mental Health Info Database <http://www.mentalhealth.com> 20. All that being said, what is left for this newsgroup to post? Flames! Righteous flames! It's a damn sight better than therapy! Hell, it IS therapy! ------ o ------ Email your comments and suggestions to pking@idirect.com -- Paul King Copyright ((C)) 1996 by Paul King. If this is to be re-posted to a newsgroup other than afp, or stored at an FTP site, you can do that so long as you 1) post the entire FAQ with this copyright notice, and 2) have the courtesy to inform me of your intentions. This FAQ is intended as educational, and can be used free for private or non-profit purposes. Other uses of this FAQ require my permission. Email pking@idirect.com ------ o ------ E N D O F F A Q ------ o ------ The founder of afp Jensbender@delphi.com has authored the following as the first posting to afp, and has been reproduced here. It is well worth reading. It is completely unedited. Unfortunately, Jensblender could not be reached by email to obtain his permission to post these here. I felt it was too good to leave out, and one ought to keep in mind that this is being posted on a non-profit basis to the Internet community, so though I am going out on a limb, I am hoping Jensblender doesn't mind. (I could not find his real name either, as you can tell) :-). If Jensblender wants me to remove the text below, I will. ------ o ------ Hello. A few days ago I sent out the newgroup message that created this group. I'm going to post some introductory stuff I wrote to get the ball rolling. Introduction, for survivors of psychiatric incarceration. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you've been through this experience, you know what I'm talking about. You were vulnerable. Maybe you were in some trouble, maybe not. Maybe insane, maybe not. But they didn't care about that. They saw your vulnerability and locked you up, probably for two months. How did I know that figure? That's how long insurance will pay for it, and it is the exact length of most private psychiatric imprisonments, almost to the day. Or maybe you were even more unlucky and got committed to a state asylum. I am fortunate to not have endured that particular ordeal and I feel sorry for anyone who has. The first thing they did was to try to trick you into signing a "voluntary" admission. If you didn't want to, they threatened to have you committed. How do I know that? It's standard operating procedure in psych-jails. About 3/4 of patients who signed "voluntaries" say it was voluntary in name only. The next thing they did was prescribe drugs for you. They didn't discuss it with you or really examine you. They just told you what drugs they were "giving" you, and gave you no choice but to take them. Again, standard operating procedure. If you were unlucky, they forced Haloperidol (Haldol) on you, and failed to mention the long-term brain damage caused by the drug. When you arrived at what they called a "hospital", you probably thought they knew what they were doing. If you believed you were insane, you thought that they would cure you. If you knew you were sane, you thought they'd realize their mistake in a timely manner. You believed the drugs they "put you on" (the phrase they use) would at least cause no long-term damage. It quickly became clear that your trust was misplaced. The people running the asylum immediately began to treat you in a dehumanizing manner. They always proceeded from the assumption that your mind was malfunctioning. Any interaction with you, however rude and frustrating it was for you, was deemed "therapeutic". You couldn't tell them anything they didn't want to hear. They would ask you over and over again if you "heard voices". If you answered "no", the answer was not recorded and the next person would ask you the same. On the other hand, "incriminating evidence" was recorded and brought up again and again, even if it was based on a misunderstanding. If you explained the misunderstanding to one staff member, you'd have to start all over again with the next. Whatever seemed "insane", they wrote down and shared among themselves. Whatever seemed "sane", they ignored and forgot. While you were there, you saw patients either restrained or put in solitary confinement. Survivors of psychiatry will recognize one or the other. If you haven't seen restraints, they are heavy leather bands that go arund a victim's wrists and ankles to keep the victim motionless, spread-eagled on a bed. Usually 4-point restraints are used. Sometimes they use 5- or 6-point restraints, which also immobilize the victim's head and abdomen. In some institutions, you may have seen victims of a barbaric procedure called ECT (electro-convulsive therapy). They wandered around mindlessly, their brains barely functional after the heavy jolts of electricity administered by their so-called "caretakers". At least be glad you don't see icepick lobotomy victims anymore! But perhaps the most surprising thing was your fellow patients. When you got there, you didn't know what to expect... gibbering lunatics that insisted on being addressed as "His Excellency, Napoleon", perhaps. And some of the patients did have crazy delusions or emotions wildly out of control. Some had even tried to kill themselves. But a lot of them were just normal people, just troubled. If you had met them outside, you'd have never thought they were "crazy". After a few days or weeks, you realized you could not effectively protest or resist, and you decided just to endure it as best you could and not let them get to you. And you decided to pretend to go along. Or maybe you escaped. After you got out, you thought about what had been done to you. Maybe not right away. Maybe you were too brainwashed and too messed up by what the psych-jail did to you. But eventually you thought about what it meant. You hadn't committed any crime, there was no sentencing, and yet you were treated as badly as any criminal. You had never realized that you were living in a police state before, but the conclusion was inescapable: some people -- including you -- can be locked up on the whim of other people, and the state won't do anything to help you. In fact, the state helps them do it to you. You felt angry and violated, but there was really nothing you could do. You couldn't very well talk to anyone -- they would think you were nuts. You certainly would never talk to a shrink, or ever trust one again. You couldn't sue -- you could try but since everything that goes on in psych-jail is confidential, you had no way to gather evidence. And even if you got to the stage of subpoenaing witnesses, there were only two types of witnesses: Staff members with a vested interest in protecting the scam, and psychiatric patients. And the knowledge that you couldn't fight back made you feel even more powerless and wronged. So you went on with your life. You stayed as far away from shrinks and psych-jails as you possibly could. You put the crime committed against you out of your mind most of the time. From time to time something would remind you of the crime and your fury would rise. You probably fantasized about hurting or killing your former jailers, who had gotten away with it all, but you never did anything overt. Now, somehow you discovered the newsgroup alt.flame.psychiatry and you decided to have a look. And after all this time, here's a place that's on your side. It's just a dinky little alt group in cyberspace, but it's for real. Now what do you do? Right now, politically, we're just at the stage of articulating our greivances and our viewpoint. Here's what you can do: * Sound off about what happened to you. Use an anonymous address if you want to. Don't be shy. The parts of your experience that make you feel most dehumanized are the parts that most need to be told. * Don't let yourself or others be silenced. * Point out where other posters are still using the psych establishment's viewpoint and assumptions. If you suspect they are a "ringer", which means someone who says they endured a psych-jailing but doesn't sound like they really did, say so. This is the place. Nobody can lock you up for posting here. If you use anonymity, they can't even tell it's you. Now is the time and place for the truth. ==== END OF FILE --------------------------------------------------------------------- : Internet Direct. 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