U.S. Hooked On Anti-Psychotics

Photo:  FtWashGuy (CC)

Photo: FtWashGuy (CC)

James Ridgeway, senior Washington correspondent with Mother Jones Magazine, author of 16 books and contributor to disinformation anthologies, writes for Al Jazeera that Big Pharma has got America hooked on psychotic drugs:

Has America become a nation of psychotics? You would certainly think so, based on the explosion in the use of antipsychotic medications. In 2008, with over $14 billion in sales, antipsychotics became the single top-selling therapeutic class of prescription drugs in the United States, surpassing drugs used to treat high cholesterol and acid reflux.

Once upon a time, antipsychotics were reserved for a relatively small number of patients with hard-core psychiatric diagnoses – primarily schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – to treat such symptoms as delusions, hallucinations, or formal thought disorder. Today, it seems, everyone is taking antipsychotics. Parents are told that their unruly kids are in fact bipolar, and in need of anti-psychotics, while old people with dementia are dosed, in large numbers, with drugs once reserved largely for schizophrenics. Americans with symptoms ranging from chronic depression to anxiety to insomnia are now being prescribed anti-psychotics at rates that seem to indicate a national mass psychosis.

It is anything but a coincidence that the explosion in antipsychotic use coincides with the pharmaceutical industry’s development of a new class of medications known as “atypical antipsychotics.” Beginning with Zyprexa, Risperdal, and Seroquel in the 1990s, followed by Abilify in the early 2000s, these drugs were touted as being more effective than older antipsychotics like Haldol and Thorazine. More importantly, they lacked the most noxious side effects of the older drugs – in particular, the tremors and other motor control problems.

The atypical anti-psychotics were the bright new stars in the pharmaceutical industry’s roster of psychotropic drugs – costly, patented medications that made people feel and behave better without any shaking or drooling. Sales grew steadily, until by 2009 Seroquel and Abilify numbered fifth and sixth in annual drug sales, and prescriptions written for the top three atypical antipsychotics totaled more than 20 million. Suddenly, antipsychotics weren’t just for psychotics any more…

[continues at Al Jazeera]

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  • Curumim

    I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I Knew that americans were adicted to these kind of drugs!!!! And later you guys criticized me for make fun of the TSA bomb implants paranoia stuff!!!!! I knew that there must be a relation to all these paranoia to all these drugs that you like so much to take!!!!

    • KxBk6U

      You’re having a psychotic moment. Here, try these blue pills. If they don’t work, I have other colors.

      • Curumim

        Have one of the Flintstones?

        • KxBk6U

          Two in the mouth 

  • Curumim

    I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I Knew that americans were adicted to these kind of drugs!!!! And later you guys criticized me for make fun of the TSA bomb implants paranoia stuff!!!!! I knew that there must be a relation to all these paranoia to all these drugs that you like so much to take!!!!

  • Wizard troll

    This is what happens when medicine becomes dogma and no longer art. We are fed the tale that we need constant doctors check up to stay healthy (if have to see those know it all white coats all the time I rather die). Go in human come out zombie… what if the supply of these drugs suddenly ran out? Good thing im prepared for zombie apocalypse. Now with fake free health care people are going to be fed even more of these poisons, hopefully one of the side effect will be increased female libido FTW!!! But don’t worry the wheel of fortune turns constantly. 

  • Wizard troll

    This is what happens when medicine becomes dogma and no longer art. We are fed the tale that we need constant doctors check up to stay healthy (if have to see those know it all white coats all the time I rather die). Go in human come out zombie… what if the supply of these drugs suddenly ran out? Good thing im prepared for zombie apocalypse. Now with fake free health care people are going to be fed even more of these poisons, hopefully one of the side effect will be increased female libido FTW!!! But don’t worry the wheel of fortune turns constantly. 

  • KxBk6U

    You’re having a psychotic moment. Here, try these blue pills. If they don’t work, I have other colors.

  • Curumim

    Have one of the Flintstones?

  • Voidthought

    There is a big difference in psychotic drugs and pschedelic drugs.. let’s get it right America.

  • Voidthought

    There is a big difference in psychotic drugs and pschedelic drugs.. let’s get it right America.

  • Mr Willow

    This is a two-staged problem. 

    The first is pointed out in the article: the fact that pharmaceutical industry has pushed the various forms of medication to treat anything and everything from restless-leg syndrome and insomnia, to seizures and dementia. 

    The latter group–people suffering from severe hallucinations and the like–I think benefit, to some small degree anyway, from some of these drugs. I certainly think it to be at least a little bit better than subjecting them to electroshock treatments or placing them in the inhumane and degrading asylums of the 1920’s and prior.

    The former group, however, are only further victims of corporate entities looking to profit on their misery. And largely, I think society as a whole would do better to look upon the rise in depression, anxiety, and general ill-mental health as a sign of the degradation and dehumanisation that has occurred along with the rise of industrialisation. You are not a worker, or a person, you are only a consumer, a cog in a machine that has no meaning or purpose beyond sustaining itself. It devalues people, so the people feel worthless; they have no purpose, while feeling all the while that there should be meaning in the world, in society and its actions, and in life, so they become depressed. It does not require a great deal of intelligence, I don’t think, to reason this out

    The second problem stems from the drive within this oh-so-great system of Capitalism we have adopted to gain profit by any means necessary. The practise of psychology and psychiatry is an admirable profession. However, there was introduced a flaw to this endeavour in the form of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (known as the DSM), which, as the name might suggest, is used to classify mental disorders. This is the crux of the problem not because of what it attempts to do–again, which is admirable, and necessary–but because the majority of the doctors that composed the book were on the pay-roll of the pharmaceutical industry (particularly with the fourth revision). 

    And this is yet another reason what should be a public enterprise–in this case the physical and mental well-being of individuals within society–should be wholly separate from any sort of business interests who care only about monetary gains, not for the people they are supposed to be helping.

    • DeepCough

      You, sir, are full of shit, and I say that because you send nothing but mixed messages. On the one hand, I agree with you that the rise of what people see as “mental illness” is the unfortunate consequence of industrialization, which dehumanizes people and forces them to sacrifice their being for the almighty dollar while denying themselves the right to maintain even basic homeostatic function. HOWEVER, the fact that you would call the studies of psychology and psychiatry “admirable” is just plain fucking ludicrous, especially when the psychiatric establishment, in collusion with the pharmaceutical industry, is unethically pushing their version of medicine (which is conveniently called “medication”) onto people who by and large don’t need it, and forcing it on people forever branded with the designation of mental illness. Little do people know that, not only is psychiatry not a science, but the DSM-IV (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Illness, Volume 4) is equated with the Manual on Psychosurgery by Egaz Moniz. The only reason why Psychiatry prospers in the United States is because Americans have a theological hatred of human biology; and Psychiatry appeals to the sense of guilt that Americans have about not conforming. Psychiatry exists purely to maintain a destabilized society with the illusion of stability by way of legal doping.

      • Mr Willow

        I see no real mixed message, and in fact, I absolutely agree with everything you stated.

        What I meant by admirable, in reference to the psychology and psychiatry professions–which seems to be what threw you for a loop (which is understandable considering the alienation industry it has become)–is that I feel it to be an “admirable” (perhaps the wrong word as well?) endeavour to attempt to understand the world around us, how we relate to other people and experiences, and why we behave the way we do. Perhaps “the idea behind the study of psychology” would have been a better phrasing. Of course, in most case, it takes no strain of the imagination or supreme deduction skills to grasp what troubles people, why they laugh at certain things, why they react strangely in certain situations, especially if said people are self-aware enough to know what they like, know what they hate, know what makes them uncomfortable, or what arouses them (sexually, intellectually, or otherwise). 

        The great failings of the psychological field can be attributed to a tremendous number of factors: shame of the self (specifically the quirky aspects most people have, especially when speaking of matters of sex or spirituality) inherited from a Christian psychology of “you are not worthy, you must all be the same (because all must conform to the law of YHVH) your bodies are dirty, your mind is dirty (both because of sin), and sex is only meant for procreation”, the almost wholesale abandonment of spirituality because of the establishment that arose after its foundation favouring Freud over Jung (God and Spirit is a neural component of the brain that represents a need for paternal protection, rather than being a necessary part of every person because it signifies (or at least symbolises) a connection between all people because we all understand the basic motifs), the presence of pharmaceutical and other business interests, and its financial need to shift what “normal” means to sell some of the most dangerous creations of modern science.

        I don’t really think I was singing the praises of the psychiatric industry, and if it seemed so I really did not intend it. In truth, I would much prefer a return to philosophy, which has largely been lost to the masses and accomplishes most of the things psychology was designed and is meant to do, driven by artists and poets and metaphysicists, 

        After all, the language Freud used did nothing more than put artistic philosophy into academic terminology. And if Jung were more readily accepted I think there would be a possibility (though not a guarantee) that the landscape of the industry would not be so entirely–and insalvageably–corrupted by money, outside interests that care nothing for people’s well-being, and the marketing of the mentality to completely healthy people of “this pill will make everything better”.

        Of course I would not put it past the greedy to make money off someöne’s suffering.

        • MoralDrift

          well said, Jung got the shaft.

        • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

          Couldn’t have put it better meself :-)

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        I’ve seen both sides of this…and I think you’re being more than a little unfair. I’ve seen people with degrees in psychology work tirelessly to counsel people through extremes of grief depression and more…all without pimping drugs as a solution…and I’ve seen worthless hacks who push legal dope onto unruly kids and unsuspecting adults at every opportunity.

        Psychology is a soft and hard science…part rigid facts and part mysticism…it doesn’t easily conform to a nice safe certainty. Some people, like in any field, are horribly abusive unethical scum…others are freaking Bodhisattva’s. This is true of surgeons, chemists, shoemakers, dogwalkers etc…and its true of psych professionals.

        I’ve met untreated schizophrenics…and once you meet them you know that mental illness isn’t a fiction created for profit…its very real…and extremely dangerous. One woman…as example…great cook, loving mother, friendly and kind and spiritual…after treatment…but before…hysterical, paranoid, violent and wildly unpredictable. Her episodes usually themed on her autistic son being the victim of countless thousand of sexual assaults by Nazi/alien hybrids that dwell among us…and could be recognized by their disagreeing with her about anything…at all. Lets just say that if her kid had been sexually assaulted as much as she claimed…he’d have an ass like a clown car.

        I completely agree that convenience drugs being marketed as quick fixes is a disaster…and it needs to be stopped. Certain drugs are mean for worst case scenarios…NOT for every person with a nervous tic or a stress issue…but basic analysis and counseling are powerful tools for positive change…and they exist and survive because they work and work well. Drug rehab facilities get a lot of people who need help developing coping techniques that don’t include pills or EST or anything but just plain communication, introspection and exercises in self confidence.

        So lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

        • DeepCough

          I understand that not everyone can be the hardcore cynic of the internet forum–because then I would put me out of a job–but I stand by what I say, even if it sounded a little unfair, because there is nothing genuinely scientific about Psychology or Psychiatry. See, it doesn’t take any special training or certification or even matriculation to make logical superficial observations, you need only take a cue from what Rousseau said in his book “On the Social Contract,” (“If you want to study society, study men; if you want to study men, study society.”) In order for a study to be considered a true science, it cannot just espouse the scientific method, it has to fucking use it from Point Hypothesis to Point Conclusion, and if the theory cannot demonstrate itself in reality, then the theory itself is just plain faulty. Furthermore, Psychiatry cannot be a science because it allows itself to be influenced by religious or cultural taboos. You oughta know, Vox, how homosexuality was once classified as a “mental illness,” because the concept of same-sex fucking was not in keeping with what paleoconservative Protestants thought was normal. Not only that, but Psychiatry also deemed sexual desire unto itself to be a sort of mental illness, and the answer to that problem was met with genital mutilation for both genders. We know now that, not only is sex, y’know, natural, but homosexuality is a common phenomenon in the Animal Kingdom as well, and any attempt to treat homosexuality–like those Christian re-education camps try to do–is purely a fascist endeavor. And while we’re on the subject of taboo, let’s take a look at the topic of chemical dependency, a.k.a. drug addiction. That American medicine is just recently acknowledging drug addiction as a matter physical health is a sign of just how goddamned retarded American physicians are, and what’s worse, the same old conventional treatments of drug rehab are still being used. I don’t know who Dr. Drew “Pinhead” Pinsky thinks he’s helping on his disgusting tabloid program “Celebrity Rehab,” but that show indicates just how unscientific the American populace is when it comes to the human body. There is absolutely NOTHING about drug addiction that a general physician could not easily address because dependency on certain chemicals is neither a legal or moral problem: it is thoroughly a metabolic problem. Basically, if your body cannot handle the effects of alcohol, cannabis, opium, et al., then you should either avoid these chemicals or calculate what dosage your body is capable of handling without making it physically dependent. The cure for opiate dependency has been around for decades–ever heard of apomorphine? This drug kept William S. Burroughs clean for years because it reset his body’s need for opium back to normal. But American culture insists that drug addiction is a problem of a character that needs to be atoned for by way of psychiatric intervention, and hypocritically enough, insists on putting drug addicts on psychiatric medication

          And there’s also the matter of the origins of Psychiatry. Lotta people don’t really know this, but just about everything that the secular Psychiatry does all came from the Roman Catholic Church. The rituals of Confession, Communion, Exorcism, even Asylum have been used for centuries by Roman Catholicism, and reportedly, Exorcism is making a huge comeback. The problem with this lies in the fact, if you look at it, Psychiatry has all the underpinnings of your average cult: it assumes guilt on your person and that you are automatically at fault for it; it presumes the solution, which usually takes the form of penance and patronage; it tends to use chemical sacraments to give one a superfluous religious experience of good feeling temporarily; when your good feeling lapses, it insists on further ritual to keep one in a cycle of good and bad in perpetuum; it alienates you from friends and family, and even interns you against your will for fighting its authority; and getting out of such a cultic organization can cost you time, money, reputation, even your life. I myself know this empirically, because I’m a child born after the 70′s, and everything I do now is under surveillance and is worthy of prosecution no matter how inane it is, and if I so much as react the wrong way to a situation, no matter the extenuation of the circumstances, I could be put in front of a psychiatrist, because, by law, if I refuse help, I am automatically mentally ill, and therefore will receive help whether I like it or not. And there is also legislation that declares Psychiatry is a medical science by law just so Psychiatrists can collect insurance money (look up “parity laws”).

          In retrospect, I might owe Mr Willow a bit of an apology, because his reasoning, while I admit is rather superb, nevertheless has some holes in it: I think it is very, very foolish and naive to think that Psychology and Psychiatry are actually helping people when they force their labels and conclusions on people who had a bad day or are suffering from painfully severe disease. And I find it even more crass, Vox, to apologize for Psychology by saying it’s “part rigid facts and part mysticism,” because that is just fucking bullshit. There is not a goddamn thing in the field of Psychology a person could not otherwise discern from any other subject (e.g. Anthropology, Theology, Mythology, Sociology, Philosophy, and even Philology). The reason why Psychology will never be a science is because it insists on its mystery and speculation since it cannot deliver hard facts anymore than it can concretely define sanity or this thing called “the mind,” and the same goes for Psychiatry: it has absolutely no hard aetiology, pathophysiology, or even consistent symptomatology for any disease in the DSM, in addition to not having any hard diagnostic test to concretely verify the existence of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADD/ADHD, etc (look up the Rosenhan experiment). At best, mental illness is an indication of physiological instability, neurological stress, or just plain poisoning. The human body is so resilient primarily because it is frail: it must maintain a delicate equilibrium within a given environment, otherwise, it will go haywire. Psychiatrists do not understand this, which would explain why their drugs have so very many nasty side effects, so nasty they result in death, even of people who weren’t on them, strangely enough. But to challenge a Psychiatrist on these matters can garner you the same consequences as challenging Scientologists for their beliefs, and the repercussions are legal to boot.

          By the way, I’m afraid there was no baby in the bathwater: that was a test to demonstrate whether or not you have paranoid delusions of being defenestrated after you have been drowned.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            I disagree on what is or is not a science. Chemistry is a science. Chemistry has been a science for quite awhile. But when it was only a hundred and fifty years into its existence as a science…it was called alchemy and involved a lot of wildly inaccurate assumptions, countless quacks and frauds, a wide learning curve and a great deal of skepticism from people…but from that chaos a genuine science has formed.

            Psychology and psychiatry, with all their faults (which I agree they have), are very recent sciences of the human mind…which is staggeringly complex and cannot be easily pigeonholed and explained. After less than 200 years of serious inquiry, psychology and psychiatry are making gains…just as medical science is slowly but surely racking up information about the way the brain physically operates…with measurable data…not conjecture.

            So are these two fields of study complete and whole and accurate…hell no…but technically by your high standard, any field of endeavor where more is yet being learned also fails to qualify as a science…since if they didn’t already know something…they lose merit for apparently lacking omniscience. What we don’t yet know about physics, astro-physics, medicine and biology is enough to dwarf everything we have learned so far…we can only strive to move forward…and the same is true in the science of understanding the human mind.

            Science, including hard sciences that seem unassailable, have also had dark chapters involving torment of human beings, horrifying motivations…and terrifying eventual uses…ask Oppenheimer or Alfred Nobel. Nazi scientists gathered measurable data through some heinous abuses of human beings…but the science itself was never discarded. Shit man…even MATH gains new ground every year…but we don’t pitch Planck’s Constant because something new in the world of quantum mechanics has been learned. If we found a guy in 1960 and said “In 50 years…memory for computers will be on a chip the size of thumbnail…and it will be measured in terabytes.”…we’d get laughed at…and thats just the difference 50 years made to a new field of science.

            I hope that we learn to lay aside cultural biases…and I advocate for among friends and professional acquaintances…but they happen in every walk of life…even hard “proven” sciences. I hope that we move further and further away from the freaky scary quacks of yesteryear and toward an era of ethical, compassionate care. I hope we lay aside brutality as a curative and “big pharma” poisons as a quick fix…but until we have a culture that values outcomes more than profit or convenience…this may be hard to achieve.

            Humans are fallible, flawed and foolish…but its what we are and what we’ve got to work with. In much of psychology as we know it today…introspection and self examination are considered the major tools for a person to change their own behavior…or at least build coping mechanisms that work better than bottled rage, self hatred and mutilation, suicide, substance abuse and more. And anyone who advocates people looking inside themselves for answers instead of tearing shit up and hurting themselves and others in blind frustration gets at least a nod in my book…and who knows what the next 150 years will bring? I land on the side of hope…even though I seem like a terrible cynic most of the time…because even when I’m horrfied or disappointed by people’s actions…I’ve also seen first hand some of the most amazing acts of gentleness and kindness…and I can’t deny their existence.

          • DeepCough

            Okay, y’know what, I apologize for my initial invective toward you, Mr Willow, because, in spite of a slight difference in point of view, you and I are on the same page, as we agree that industrialization has demonstrated itself to be the root cause of “mental illness” throughout the centuries here in the U.S.

            Now, Vox, apologetics do not become you and constitute an argument not. And to compare Alchemy to Psychology or Psychiatry, quite frankly, is not only retarded in its scope, but is blatantly unfair to Alchemy, as its ideas helped establish important concepts in chemistry that benefit us to this very day (like the variability of chemical composition that can change one substance into another substance) in addition to influence a very important scientist by the name of “Isaac Newton.” Psychology never did really move on from its theosophical underpinnings, it just got dressed up in the guise of scientific terminology and is only able to pass itself off as a science, at least in the United States, primarily because Americans hate science, particularly human biology, and thanks to the usurpation of the law that benefits every other industry as well. Now, it’s one thing for a science to commit a few mistakes, establish patently erroneous absolutes, and even cost a few million lives as its big and popular jocko brother Technology is wont to do, but Psychology and its medical application define human behavior way too superficially without providing any proper causation for its purported “diseases of the mind” that it comes as no real shocker to me that it does not actually work. Now, that’s not to say you can’t find organic causes for mental illness, like mercury poisoning, uraemia, and pesticide ingestion, for instance. Of course, those diseases concern toxicology and human biochemistry, which are fairly concrete sciences because they deal with elements that have a very real measure and quantity (you might know them as “chemicals”). And while we’re on the subject, it should be known that Psychopharmacology is, at best, the science of formulating tranquilizers, because, as far as I know, there is no hard definition for the chemical composition of the human mind, because what those chemicals are actually doing is purposefully damaging your brain to the degree that you are not able to act out and are more susceptible to suggestion.

            And as a I stated beforehand, I know this empirically because I have been institutionalized a number of times in the same mental health system before and after that delightful character “Ismael Ax” a.k.a.Seung Hui Cho made his notorious debut on a college campus that infamous day. To be put in a mental hospital, for any reason, no matter how voluntary, is to be subjected to Orwellian re-education. Everything little thing you say and do is recorded and will be used against you, even if you suffer an adverse reaction from the medication that is forced upon you, your behavior is all your fault. If you are unlucky to be “temporarily detained,” you can expect to be shipped to a mental hospital, in shackles, to face a judge who will categorically commit you unless you have your own Harvard-fuck lawyer by your side. Whatever the case, participation in psychiatric treatment is an automatic Catch-22 if you find yourself institutionalized: if you acquiesce to psychiatric treatment, you are still mentally ill, but earn yourself the possibility of release; if you disagree with the treatment in any way whatsoever, you will stay indefinitely until YOU SAY the treatment is working. This is not an isolated anecdotal experience, either; this was verified by psychiatrist David Rosenhan in the ’70′s: he willingly committed himself and along with 10 or so others in local mental health facilities, claiming they were suffering from simple auditory hallucinations (they claimed they were hearing a constant THUD), they were all categorically declared psychotic, and had to remain institutionalized for up to 2 months or longer until such time the psychiatrist could no longer justify hospitalization. Now, you mean to tell me that Psychology has the objectivity to discern the difference between mental problems and physical problems? I’m not coming at you like some rabid “Selfosophist(1),” I’m asking you as someone who has remained sick with severe organ disease for a fucking decade because of the belief–not the fact–that I was mentally ill. And while this might appeal to you, my experience is far beside the point.

            The point is that the antipsychotic drugs that have flooded the marketplace of American healthcare are as toxic as the financial assets of Wall Street: anyone unsuspecting or unwitting to the effects of these products can expect them to blow up in their face–and they most certainly have–and it’s not the industries that produced them that get to face the consequences, it’s the consumer. These drugs have all the backing of the FDA without any hard purview whatsoever, by and large because they are paid to approve of these drugs, because scientific review has shown that psychiatric medication is more consequential than beneficial since the side effects turn out to be far worse than the purported “mental illness,” and you need only look up the recent lawsuits on antidepressants and birth defects to see that, for starters.

            (1): Look up “Jose Chung’s Doomsday Defense” from the TV series Millennium.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Okay…I see you’re dug in like a tick on this. It looks like no matter how much I agree with you on the abuses that have previously been committed and that they should be done away with…or how much I agree with you that big pharma is pushing poorly tested drugs that are harmful…your experiences have been so unpleasant that you’ve manifested a psychotic hatred of all expressions of psychology or psychiatry.

            You also missed the alchemy point. It isn’t that it compares perfectly…its that a science only a hundred and fifty years into its creation is crude, amateurish and prone to error and fallacy…and given time that can change dramatically. If you can’t concede that…you’re an ideologue with an ax to grind and no amount of logic or compromise will change that.

            Introspection, the building of coping skills that don’t involve violence, and other expressions of psychology do mountains of good for millions of people every single day…and even a ten thousand page hate driven screed cannot change that truth. You are, of course, welcome to your opinion…but you’re still wrong, and that’s okay. Have fun with it if it works for you. 

          • DeepCough

            Hate driven screed? Honestly, Vox, I did not think you were that fuckin’ shallow, but thanks for the bullshit concession anyhow.

        • DeepCough

          I understand that not everyone can be the hardcore cynic of the internet forum–because then I would put me out of a job–but I stand by what I say, even if it sounded a little unfair, because there is nothing genuinely scientific about Psychology or Psychiatry. See, it doesn’t take any special training or certification or even matriculation to make logical superficial observations, you need only take a cue from what Rousseau said in his book “On the Social Contract,” (“If you want to study society, study men; if you want to study men, study society.”) In order for a study to be considered a true science, it cannot just espouse the scientific method, it has to fucking use it from Point Hypothesis to Point Conclusion, and if the theory cannot demonstrate itself in reality, then the theory itself is just plain faulty. Furthermore, Psychiatry cannot be a science because it allows itself to be influenced by religious or cultural taboos. You oughta know, Vox, how homosexuality was once classified as a “mental illness,” because the concept of same-sex fucking was not in keeping with what paleoconservative Protestants thought was normal. Not only that, but Psychiatry also deemed sexual desire unto itself to be a sort of mental illness, and the answer to that problem was met with genital mutilation for both genders. We know now that, not only is sex, y’know, natural, but homosexuality is a common phenomenon in the Animal Kingdom as well, and any attempt to treat homosexuality–like those Christian re-education camps try to do–is purely a fascist endeavor. And while we’re on the subject of taboo, let’s take a look at the topic of chemical dependency, a.k.a. drug addiction. That American medicine is just recently acknowledging drug addiction as a matter physical health is a sign of just how goddamned retarded American physicians are, and what’s worse, the same old conventional treatments of drug rehab are still being used. I don’t know who Dr. Drew “Pinhead” Pinsky thinks he’s helping on his disgusting tabloid program “Celebrity Rehab,” but that show indicates just how unscientific the American populace is when it comes to the human body. There is absolutely NOTHING about drug addiction that a general physician could not easily address because dependency on certain chemicals is neither a legal or moral problem: it is thoroughly a metabolic problem. Basically, if your body cannot handle the effects of alcohol, cannabis, opium, et al., then you should either avoid these chemicals or calculate what dosage your body is capable of handling without making it physically dependent. The cure for opiate dependency has been around for decades–ever heard of apomorphine? This drug kept William S. Burroughs clean for years because it reset his body’s need for opium back to normal. But American culture insists that drug addiction is a problem of a character that needs to be atoned for by way of psychiatric intervention, and hypocritically enough, insists on putting drug addicts on psychiatric medication

          And there’s also the matter of the origins of Psychiatry. Lotta people don’t really know this, but just about everything that the secular Psychiatry does all came from the Roman Catholic Church. The rituals of Confession, Communion, Exorcism, even Asylum have been used for centuries by Roman Catholicism, and reportedly, Exorcism is making a huge comeback. The problem with this lies in the fact, if you look at it, Psychiatry has all the underpinnings of your average cult: it assumes guilt on your person and that you are automatically at fault for it; it presumes the solution, which usually takes the form of penance and patronage; it tends to use chemical sacraments to give one a superfluous religious experience of good feeling temporarily; when your good feeling lapses, it insists on further ritual to keep one in a cycle of good and bad in perpetuum; it alienates you from friends and family, and even interns you against your will for fighting its authority; and getting out of such a cultic organization can cost you time, money, reputation, even your life. I myself know this empirically, because I’m a child born after the 70′s, and everything I do now is under surveillance and is worthy of prosecution no matter how inane it is, and if I so much as react the wrong way to a situation, no matter the extenuation of the circumstances, I could be put in front of a psychiatrist, because, by law, if I refuse help, I am automatically mentally ill, and therefore will receive help whether I like it or not. And there is also legislation that declares Psychiatry is a medical science by law just so Psychiatrists can collect insurance money (look up “parity laws”).

          In retrospect, I might owe Mr Willow a bit of an apology, because his reasoning, while I admit is rather superb, nevertheless has some holes in it: I think it is very, very foolish and naive to think that Psychology and Psychiatry are actually helping people when they force their labels and conclusions on people who had a bad day or are suffering from painfully severe disease. And I find it even more crass, Vox, to apologize for Psychology by saying it’s “part rigid facts and part mysticism,” because that is just fucking bullshit. There is not a goddamn thing in the field of Psychology a person could not otherwise discern from any other subject (e.g. Anthropology, Theology, Mythology, Sociology, Philosophy, and even Philology). The reason why Psychology will never be a science is because it insists on its mystery and speculation since it cannot deliver hard facts anymore than it can concretely define sanity or this thing called “the mind,” and the same goes for Psychiatry: it has absolutely no hard aetiology, pathophysiology, or even consistent symptomatology for any disease in the DSM, in addition to not having any hard diagnostic test to concretely verify the existence of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADD/ADHD, etc (look up the Rosenhan experiment). At best, mental illness is an indication of physiological instability, neurological stress, or just plain poisoning. The human body is so resilient primarily because it is frail: it must maintain a delicate equilibrium within a given environment, otherwise, it will go haywire. Psychiatrists do not understand this, which would explain why their drugs have so very many nasty side effects, so nasty they result in death, even of people who weren’t on them, strangely enough. But to challenge a Psychiatrist on these matters can garner you the same consequences as challenging Scientologists for their beliefs, and the repercussions are legal to boot.

          By the way, I’m afraid there was no baby in the bathwater: that was a test to demonstrate whether or not you have paranoid delusions of being defenestrated after you have been drowned.

  • Mr Willow

    This is a two-staged problem. 

    The first is pointed out in the article: the fact that pharmaceutical industry has pushed the various forms of medication to treat anything and everything from restless-leg syndrome and insomnia, to seizures and dementia. 

    The latter group–people suffering from severe hallucinations and the like–I think benefit, to some small degree anyway, from some of these drugs. I certainly think it to be at least a little bit better than subjecting them to electroshock treatments or placing them in the inhumane and degrading asylums of the 1920’s and prior.

    The former group, however, are only further victims of corporate entities looking to profit on their misery. And largely, I think society as a whole would do better to look upon the rise in depression, anxiety, and general ill-mental health as a sign of the degradation and dehumanisation that has occurred along with the rise of industrialisation. You are not a worker, or a person, you are only a consumer, a cog in a machine that has no meaning or purpose beyond sustaining itself. It devalues people, so the people feel worthless; they have no purpose, while feeling all the while that there should be meaning in the world, in society and its actions, and in life, so they become depressed. It does not require a great deal of intelligence, I don’t think, to reason this out

    The second problem stems from the drive within this oh-so-great system of Capitalism we have adopted to gain profit by any means necessary. The practise of psychology and psychiatry as an admirable profession. However, there was introduced a flaw to this endeavour in the form of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (known as the DSM), which, as the name might suggest, is used to classify mental disorders. This is the crux of the problem not because of what it attempts to do–again, which is admirable, and necessary–but because the majority of the doctors that composed the book were on the pay-roll of the pharmaceutical industry (particularly with the fourth revision). 

    And this is yet another reason what should be a public enterprise–in this case the physical and mental well-being of individuals within society–should be wholly separate from any sort of business interests who care only about monetary gains, not for the people they are supposed to be helping. 

  • Mary Microgram

    They only started giving anti-psychotics to kids after they found out (the hard way) that SSRIs often cause violent or suicidal behavior in people under 25.  I’ve taken drugs from this class, and they make antidepressants look like childsplay.  On Risperdal, I gained 50 lbs. in 3 months, started lactating, couldn’t stop eating sweets and developed hand tremors in the short time I was on the drug.  And that’s mild compared to some of the horror stories out there. 

  • Mary Microgram

    They only started giving anti-psychotics to kids after they found out (the hard way) that SSRIs often cause violent or suicidal behavior in people under 25.  I’ve taken drugs from this class, and they make antidepressants look like childsplay.  On Risperdal, I gained 50 lbs. in 3 months, started lactating, couldn’t stop eating sweets and developed hand tremors in the short time I was on the drug.  And that’s mild compared to some of the horror stories out there. 

  • Mary Microgram

    They only started giving anti-psychotics to kids after they found out (the hard way) that SSRIs often cause violent or suicidal behavior in people under 25.  I’ve taken drugs from this class, and they make antidepressants look like childsplay.  On Risperdal, I gained 50 lbs. in 3 months, started lactating, couldn’t stop eating sweets and developed hand tremors in the short time I was on the drug.  And that’s mild compared to some of the horror stories out there. 

  • SCHMN

    thats crazy

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      You’re crazy!

  • SCHMN

    thats crazy

  • BuzzCoastin

    Gee, I wonder why the freest cuntry in the whirled need antipsychotics? 

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Gee, I wonder why the freest cuntry in the whirled need antipsychotics? 

  • KxBk6U

    Two in the mouth 

  • KxBk6U

    Two in the mouth 

  • DeepCough

    You, sir, are full of shit, and I say that because you send nothing but mixed messages. On the one hand, I agree with you that the rise of what people see as “mental illness” is the unfortunate consequence of industrialization, which dehumanizes people and forces them to sacrifice their being for the almighty dollar while denying themselves the right to maintain even basic homeostatic function. HOWEVER, the fact that you would call the studies of psychology and psychiatry “admirable” is just plain fucking ludicrous, especially when the psychiatric establishment, in collusion with the pharmaceutical industry, is unethically pushing their version of medicine (which is conveniently called “medication”) onto people who by and large don’t need it, and forcing it on people forever branded with the designation of mental illness. Little do people know that, not only is psychiatry not a science, but the DSM-IV (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Illness, Volume 4) is equated with the Manual on Psychosurgery by Egaz Moniz. The only reason why Psychiatry prospers in the United States is because Americans have a theological hatred of human biology; and Psychiatry appeals to the sense of guilt that Americans have about not conforming. Psychiatry exists purely to maintain a destabilized society with the illusion of stability by way of legal doping.

  • Mr Willow

    I see no real mixed message, and in fact, I absolutely agree with everything you stated.

    What I meant by admirable, in reference to the psychology and psychiatry professions–which seems to be what threw you for a loop (which is understandable considering the alienation industry it has become)–is that I feel it to be an “admirable” (perhaps the wrong word as well?) endeavour to attempt to understand the world around us, how we relate to other people and experiences, and why we behave the way we do. Perhaps “the idea behind the study of psychology” would have been a better phrasing. Of course, in most case, it takes no strain of the imagination and deduction skills to grasp what troubles people, why they laugh at certain things, why they react strangely in certain situations, especially if said people are self-aware enough to know what they like, know what they hate, know what makes them uncomfortable, or what arouses (sexually, intellectually, or otherwise) them. 

    The great failings of the psychological field can be attributed to a tremendous number of factors: shame of the self (specifically the quirky aspects most people have, especially when speaking of matters of sex or spirituality) inherited from a Christian psychology of “you are not worthy, you must all be the same (because all must conform to the law of YHVH) your bodies are dirty, your mind is dirty (both because of sin), and sex is only meant for procreation”, the almost wholesale abandonment of spirituality because of the establishment that arose after its foundation favouring Freud over Jung (God and Spirit is a neural component of the brain that represents a need for paternal protection, rather than being a necessary part of every person because it signifies (or at least symbolises) a connection between all people because we all understand the basic motifs), the presence of pharmaceutical and other business interests, and its financial need to shift what “normal” means to sell some of the most dangerous creations of modern science.

    I don’t really think I was singing the praises of the psychiatric industry, and if it seemed so I really did not intend it. In truth, I would much prefer a return to philosophy, which has largely been lost to the masses and accomplishes most of the things psychology was designed and is meant to do, driven by artists and poets and metaphysicists, 

    After all, the language Freud used did nothing more than put artistic philosophy into academic terminology. And if Jung were more readily accepted I think there would be a possibility (though not a guarantee) that the landscape of the industry would not be so entirely–and insalvageably–corrupted by money, outside interests that care nothing for people’s well-being, and the marketing of the mentality to completely healthy people of “this pill will make everything better”.

  • Mr Willow

    I see no real mixed message, and in fact, I absolutely agree with everything you stated.

    What I meant by admirable, in reference to the psychology and psychiatry professions–which seems to be what threw you for a loop (which is understandable considering the alienation industry it has become)–is that I feel it to be an “admirable” (perhaps the wrong word as well?) endeavour to attempt to understand the world around us, how we relate to other people and experiences, and why we behave the way we do. Perhaps “the idea behind the study of psychology” would have been a better phrasing. Of course, in most case, it takes no strain of the imagination and deduction skills to grasp what troubles people, why they laugh at certain things, why they react strangely in certain situations, especially if said people are self-aware enough to know what they like, know what they hate, know what makes them uncomfortable, or what arouses (sexually, intellectually, or otherwise) them. 

    The great failings of the psychological field can be attributed to a tremendous number of factors: shame of the self (specifically the quirky aspects most people have, especially when speaking of matters of sex or spirituality) inherited from a Christian psychology of “you are not worthy, you must all be the same (because all must conform to the law of YHVH) your bodies are dirty, your mind is dirty (both because of sin), and sex is only meant for procreation”, the almost wholesale abandonment of spirituality because of the establishment that arose after its foundation favouring Freud over Jung (God and Spirit is a neural component of the brain that represents a need for paternal protection, rather than being a necessary part of every person because it signifies (or at least symbolises) a connection between all people because we all understand the basic motifs), the presence of pharmaceutical and other business interests, and its financial need to shift what “normal” means to sell some of the most dangerous creations of modern science.

    I don’t really think I was singing the praises of the psychiatric industry, and if it seemed so I really did not intend it. In truth, I would much prefer a return to philosophy, which has largely been lost to the masses and accomplishes most of the things psychology was designed and is meant to do, driven by artists and poets and metaphysicists, 

    After all, the language Freud used did nothing more than put artistic philosophy into academic terminology. And if Jung were more readily accepted I think there would be a possibility (though not a guarantee) that the landscape of the industry would not be so entirely–and insalvageably–corrupted by money, outside interests that care nothing for people’s well-being, and the marketing of the mentality to completely healthy people of “this pill will make everything better”.

  • Mr Willow

    I see no real mixed message, and in fact, I absolutely agree with everything you stated.

    What I meant by admirable, in reference to the psychology and psychiatry professions–which seems to be what threw you for a loop (which is understandable considering the alienation industry it has become)–is that I feel it to be an “admirable” (perhaps the wrong word as well?) endeavour to attempt to understand the world around us, how we relate to other people and experiences, and why we behave the way we do. Perhaps “the idea behind the study of psychology” would have been a better phrasing. Of course, in most case, it takes no strain of the imagination and deduction skills to grasp what troubles people, why they laugh at certain things, why they react strangely in certain situations, especially if said people are self-aware enough to know what they like, know what they hate, know what makes them uncomfortable, or what arouses (sexually, intellectually, or otherwise) them. 

    The great failings of the psychological field can be attributed to a tremendous number of factors: shame of the self (specifically the quirky aspects most people have, especially when speaking of matters of sex or spirituality) inherited from a Christian psychology of “you are not worthy, you must all be the same (because all must conform to the law of YHVH) your bodies are dirty, your mind is dirty (both because of sin), and sex is only meant for procreation”, the almost wholesale abandonment of spirituality because of the establishment that arose after its foundation favouring Freud over Jung (God and Spirit is a neural component of the brain that represents a need for paternal protection, rather than being a necessary part of every person because it signifies (or at least symbolises) a connection between all people because we all understand the basic motifs), the presence of pharmaceutical and other business interests, and its financial need to shift what “normal” means to sell some of the most dangerous creations of modern science.

    I don’t really think I was singing the praises of the psychiatric industry, and if it seemed so I really did not intend it. In truth, I would much prefer a return to philosophy, which has largely been lost to the masses and accomplishes most of the things psychology was designed and is meant to do, driven by artists and poets and metaphysicists, 

    After all, the language Freud used did nothing more than put artistic philosophy into academic terminology. And if Jung were more readily accepted I think there would be a possibility (though not a guarantee) that the landscape of the industry would not be so entirely–and insalvageably–corrupted by money, outside interests that care nothing for people’s well-being, and the marketing of the mentality to completely healthy people of “this pill will make everything better”.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    You’re crazy!

  • mole_face

    Most people aren’t aware of this, but there’s no such thing as a drug that addresses the cause of psychosis. The class of drugs now called “antipsychotics” were originally referred to as the major tranquilizers. They were initially touted as a miraculous chemical alternative to lobotomy. They produce their effects by blocking major neurotransmitters(mainly dopamine), which impairs the frontal lobe’s ability to communicate with the rest of the brain much in the same way that a lobotomy does. 

    People tend to not want to comply with taking heavy tranquilizers for life like zoo animals, so psychiatrists try to float the idea that the reason why these drugs suppress dopamine is because schizophrenia is caused by excess dopamine. But dopamine suppression is just the specific chemical mechanism responsible for the drug’s heavy sedative effects.

    There’s a permanent form of brain damage listed in the official side effects. It’s also likely that the drugs cause shrunken frontal lobes with longterm use. I’m sure it’s just a happy coincidence that the drugs originally devised as chemical lobotomy pills JUST SO HAPPEN to turn out to cause damage to the same area of the brain that’s damaged by lobotomy. 

    Worst drugs ever. These “life saving medications” are the exact same ones being used to forcibly sedate terrorists and unmanageable prison inmates.

    • anonymus

      Speaking from personal experience, they actually do stop the psychosis.  As far as the brain damage aspect goes, I’d have to do some research.  My brain works much better these days.

  • fuzzgun

    Most people aren’t aware of this, but there’s no such thing as a drug that addresses the cause of psychosis. The class of drugs now called “antipsychotics” were originally referred to as the major tranquilizers. They were initially touted as a miraculous chemical alternative to lobotomy. They produce their effects by blocking major neurotransmitters(mainly dopamine), which impairs the frontal lobe’s ability to communicate with the rest of the brain much in the same way that a lobotomy does. 

    People tend to not want to comply with taking heavy tranquilizers for life like zoo animals, so psychiatrists try to float the idea that the reason why these drugs suppress dopamine is because schizophrenia is caused by excess dopamine. But dopamine suppression is just the specific chemical mechanism responsible for the drug’s heavy sedative effects.

    There’s a permanent form of brain damage listed in the official side effects. It’s also likely that the drugs cause shrunken frontal lobes with longterm use. I’m sure it’s just a happy coincidence that the drugs originally devised as chemical lobotomy pills JUST SO HAPPEN to turn out to cause damage to the same area of the brain that’s damaged by lobotomy. 

    Worst drugs ever. These “life saving medications” are the exact same ones being used to forcibly sedate terrorists and unmanageable prison inmates.

  • Anonymous

    well said, Jung got the shaft.

  • mole_face

    I’d recommend that anyone who’s interested in this subject read Robert Whitaker’s excellent book “Mad In America”. It mainly deals with the “antipsychotics”, but it’s also a history of general psychiatry and it’s a real eye opener. 

    These tranquilizers were in use for decades before the psychiatric establishment came up with the “dopamine imbalance” marketing campaign. Prior to that, it was well understood and acknowledged that the drugs worked by heavily impairing the brain.

  • fuzzgun

    I’d recommend that anyone who’s interested in this subject read Robert Whitaker’s excellent book “Mad In America”. It mainly deals with the “antipsychotics”, but it’s also a history of general psychiatry and it’s a real eye opener. 

    These tranquilizers were in use for decades before the psychiatric establishment came up with the “dopamine imbalance” marketing campaign. Prior to that, it was well understood and acknowledged that the drugs worked by heavily impairing the brain.

  • Crawford Tillinghast

    They offered me a choice once between the red pill and the blue pill. I went with the green one instead, and it was AWESOME.

  • Crawford Tillinghast

    They offered me a choice once between the red pill and the blue pill. I went with the green one instead, and it was AWESOME.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748182869 Josh Davis

    I was put on Anti-Psychotics and Anti-Depressants as a kid I was weird akward and drooling. I had a GPA in highschool of about 2.3. When I was around 20 I met a doctor who believed in getting off that stuff. He suggested I try a psychedelic drug but warned the realisations I would have wouldn’t be nice. I realized just how fucked we are. I used cannabis daily for about 2 years. I then topped it off with Psylosibin I have not needed any psychotropic meds in over 2 years since taking psylosibin. To all the norms out there this may sound paradoxial, but Psylosibin saved my life. I’m now at a university with a GPA of 3.2.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=748182869 Josh Davis

    I was put on Anti-Psychotics and Anti-Depressants as a kid I was weird akward and drooling. I had a GPA in highschool of about 2.3. When I was around 20 I met a doctor who believed in getting off that stuff. He suggested I try a psychedelic drug but warned the realisations I would have wouldn’t be nice. I realized just how fucked we are. I used cannabis daily for about 2 years. I then topped it off with Psylosibin I have not needed any psychotropic meds in over 2 years since taking psylosibin. To all the norms out there this may sound paradoxial, but Psylosibin saved my life. I’m now at a university with a GPA of 3.2.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’ve seen both sides of this…and I think you’re being more than a little unfair. I’ve seen people with degrees in psychology work tirelessly to counsel people through extremes of grief depression and more…all without pimping drugs as a solution…and I’ve seen worthless hacks who push legal dope onto unruly kids and unsuspecting adults at every opportunity.

    Psychology is a soft and hard science…part rigid facts and part mysticism…it doesn’t easily conform to a nice safe certainty. Some people, like in any field, are horribly abusive unethical scum…others are freaking Bodhisattva’s. This is true of surgeons, chemists, shoemakers, dogwalkers etc…and its true of psych professionals.

    I’ve met untreated schizophrenics…and once you meet them you know that mental illness isn’t a fiction created for profit…its very real…and extremely dangerous. One woman…as example…great cook, loving mother, friendly and kind and spiritual…after treatment…but before…hysterical, paranoid, violent and wildly unpredictable. Her episodes usually themed on her autistic son being the victim of countless thousand of sexual assaults by Nazi/alien hybrids that dwell among us…and could be recognized by their disagreeing with her about anything…at all. Lets just say that if her kid had been sexually assaulted as much as she claimed…he’d have an ass like a clown car.

    I completely agree that convenience drugs being marketed as quick fixes is a disaster…and it needs to be stopped. Certain drugs are mean for worst case scenarios…NOT for every person with a nervous tic or a stress issue…but basic analysis and counseling are powerful tools for positive change…and they exist and survive because they work and work well. Drug rehab facilities get a lot of people who need help developing coping techniques that don’t include pills or EST or anything but just plain communication, introspection and exercises in self confidence.

    So lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Pharmaceutical overprescription is just one of the trials we face anymore. If people had the collective will to enforce laws against false advertising, prescription for profit, bribing of doctors and more…we’d see a lot less of this…but alas…we are the more capitalist than thou capital of the world…and every market needs to be a poorly regulated one with maximum freedom for profit…even for thieves and liars. Until we break the belief that impeding profit in the interest of human safety is a crime…we will never see this stop.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Pharmaceutical overprescription is just one of the trials we face anymore. If people had the collective will to enforce laws against false advertising, prescription for profit, bribing of doctors and more…we’d see a lot less of this…but alas…we are the more capitalist than thou capital of the world…and every market needs to be a poorly regulated one with maximum freedom for profit…even for thieves and liars. Until we break the belief that impeding profit in the interest of human safety is a crime…we will never see this stop.

  • jasonpaulhayes

    This is a telling article of a larger issue, the issue that the “War on Drugs” has failed. “It’s not a War on Drugs, its a War on Personal Freedom, keep that in mind at all times” Bill Hicks

  • http://twitter.com/jasonpaulhayes jasonpaulhayes

    This is a telling article of a larger issue, the issue that the “War on Drugs” has failed. “It’s not a War on Drugs, its a War on Personal Freedom, keep that in mind at all times” Bill Hicks

  • anonymus

    Speaking from personal experience, they actually do stop the psychosis.  As far as the brain damage aspect goes, I’d have to do some research.  My brain works much better these days.

  • john peter

    Americans are the most fucked up country in the world. you’d think the north koreans got it bad, but americans got it much worse. They are all drugged up.

  • john peter

    Americans are the most fucked up country in the world. you’d think the north koreans got it bad, but americans got it much worse. They are all drugged up.

  • guest

    They really shouldn’t be giving these to more people than necessary.  The side effects are horrible, mostly having to do with weight gain or tremors.  Many others have reduced cognitive abilities.  Personally they saved my life, but they aren’t for everyone. 

  • guest

    They really shouldn’t be giving these to more people than necessary.  The side effects are horrible, mostly having to do with weight gain or tremors.  Many others have reduced cognitive abilities.  Personally they saved my life, but they aren’t for everyone. 

  • DeepCough

    I understand that not everyone can be the hardcore cynic of the internet forum–because then I would put me out of a job–but I stand by what I say, even if it sounded a little unfair, because there is nothing genuinely scientific about Psychology or Psychiatry. See, it doesn’t take any special training or certification or even matriculation to make logical superficial observations, you need only take a cue from what Rousseau said in his book “On the Social Contract,” (“If you want to study society, study men; if you want to study men, study society.”) In order for a study to be considered a true science, it cannot just espouse the scientific method, it has to fucking use it from Point Hypothesis to Point Conclusion, and if the theory cannot demonstrate itself in reality, then the theory itself is just plain faulty. Furthermore, Psychiatry cannot be a science because it allows itself to be influenced by religious or cultural taboos. You oughta know, Vox, how homosexuality was once classified as a “mental illness,” because the concept of same-sex fucking was not in keeping with what paleoconservative Protestants thought was normal. Not only that, but Psychiatry also deemed sexual desire unto itself to be a sort of mental illness, and the answer to that problem was met with genital mutilation for both genders. We know now that, not only is sex, y’know, natural, but homosexuality is a common phenomenon in the Animal Kingdom as well, and any attempt to treat homosexuality–like those Christian re-education camps try to do–is purely a fascist endeavor. And while we’re on the subject of taboo, let’s take a look at the topic of chemical dependency, a.k.a. drug addiction. That American medicine is just recently acknowledging drug addiction as a matter physical health is a sign of just how goddamned retarded American physicians are, and what’s worse, the same old conventional treatments of drug rehab are still being used. I don’t know who Dr. Drew “Pinhead” Pinsky thinks he’s helping on his disgusting tabloid program “Celebrity Rehab,” but that show indicates just how unscientific the American populace is when it comes to the human body. There is absolutely NOTHING about drug addiction that a general physician could not easily address because dependency on certain chemicals is neither a legal or moral problem: it is thoroughly a metabolic problem. Basically, if your body cannot handle the effects of alcohol, cannabis, opium, et al., then you should either avoid these chemicals or calculate what dosage your body is capable of handling without making it physically dependent. The cure for opiate dependency has been around for decades–ever heard of apomorphine? This drug kept William S. Burroughs clean for years because it reset his body’s need for opium back to normal. But American culture insists that drug addiction is a problem of a character that needs to be atoned for by way of psychiatric intervention, and hypocritically enough, insists on putting drug addicts on psychiatric medication

    And there’s also the matter of the origins of Psychiatry. Lotta people don’t really know this, but just about everything that the secular Psychiatry does all came from the Roman Catholic Church. The rituals of Confession, Communion, Exorcism, even Asylum have been used for centuries by Roman Catholicism, and reportedly, Exorcism is making a huge comeback. The problem with this lies in the fact, if you look at it, Psychiatry has all the underpinnings of your average cult: it assumes guilt on your person and that you are automatically at fault for it; it presumes the solution, which usually takes the form of penance and patronage; it tends to use chemical sacraments to give one a superfluous religious experience of good feeling temporarily; when your good feeling lapses, it insists on further ritual to keep one in a cycle of good and bad in perpetuum; it alienates you from friends and family, and even interns you against your will for fighting its authority; and getting out of such a cultic organization can cost you time, money, reputation, even your life. I myself know this empirically, because I’m a child born after the 70′s, and everything I do now is under surveillance and is worthy of prosecution no matter how inane it is, and if I so much as react the wrong way to a situation, no matter the extenuation of the circumstances, I could be put in front of a psychiatrist, because, by law, if I refuse help, I am automatically mentally ill, and therefore will receive help whether I like it or not. And there is also legislation that declares Psychiatry is a medical science by law just so Psychiatrists can collect insurance money (look up “parity laws”).

    In retrospect, I might owe Mr Willow a bit of an apology, because his reasoning, while I admit is rather superb, nevertheless has some holes in it: I think it is very, very foolish and naive to think that Psychology and Psychiatry are actually helping people when they force their labels and conclusions on people who had a bad day or are suffering from painfully severe disease. And I find it even more crass, Vox, to apologize for Psychology by saying it’s “part rigid facts and part mysticism,” because that is just fucking bullshit. There is not a goddamn thing in the field of Psychology a person could not otherwise discern from any other subject (e.g. Anthropology, Theology, Mythology, Sociology, Philosophy, and even Philology). The reason why Psychology will never be a science is because it insists on its mystery and speculation since it cannot deliver hard facts anymore than it can concretely define sanity or this thing called “the mind,” and the same goes for Psychiatry: it has absolutely no hard aetiology, pathophysiology, or even consistent symptomatology for any disease in the DSM, in addition to not having any hard diagnostic test to concretely verify the existence of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADD/ADHD, etc (look up the Rosenhan experiment). At best, mental illness is an indication of physiological instability, neurological stress, or just plain poisoning. The human body is so resilient primarily because it is frail: it must maintain a delicate equilibrium within a given environment, otherwise, it will go haywire. Psychiatrists do not understand this, which would explain why their drugs have so very many nasty side effects, so nasty they result in death, even of people who weren’t on them, strangely enough. But to challenge a Psychiatrist on these matters can garner you the same consequences as challenging Scientologists for their beliefs, and the repercussions are legal to boot.

    By the way, I’m afraid there was no baby in the bathwater: that was a test to demonstrate whether or not you have paranoid delusions of being defenestrated after you have been drowned.

  • Scott

    Psychiatry is a cult. Whenever you tell a psychiatrist that these drugs don’t work they can’t believe it. They say, let me check the literature. The literature that was bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical companies. Is there something wrong with psychiatrists? How do they reconcile being a doctor who is supposed to do no harm and then give these drugs to little children. Psychiatry isn’t only a cult, it is a criminal organization.   

  • Scott

    Psychiatry is a cult. Whenever you tell a psychiatrist that these drugs don’t work they can’t believe it. They say, let me check the literature. The literature that was bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical companies. Is there something wrong with psychiatrists? How do they reconcile being a doctor who is supposed to do no harm and then give these drugs to little children. Psychiatry isn’t only a cult, it is a criminal organization.   

  • Scott

    Psychiatry is a cult. Whenever you tell a psychiatrist that these drugs don’t work they can’t believe it. They say, let me check the literature. The literature that was bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical companies. Is there something wrong with psychiatrists? How do they reconcile being a doctor who is supposed to do no harm and then give these drugs to little children. Psychiatry isn’t only a cult, it is a criminal organization.   

  • Micho_rizo

    Mental Illness is a myth. Any halfwit with a halfway open mind can read Thomas Szasz and recognize that he’s right.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t people with emotional and mental problems. There surely are. But it’s not a “disease”. Behaviors cannot be diseases. And if they are actual diseases of the brain (such as Tourrette’s), they belong in the realm of neurology and the neurologist, not the psychiatrist. The fact that we say someone who has trouble maintaining their anger has a “disease”, but that a person who is good at playing the piano has a “talent” is merely a matter of social convention. After all “getting angry” and “playing the piano” are just behaviors. One is accepted by society, one isn’t. Ultimately, it’s all “conform, conform, conform” and if you can’t take the responsibility to do so yourself, these pills will.

    I think it’s important to note the difference between psychology and psychiatry. Though I don’t believe psychology is a hard science, per se, I do find it admirable. As has been stated, it’s just the observation of human behavior and what influences it, i.e. Pavlov’s dog. Whereas psychiatry is just a matter of knowing which pill affects which behavior, or, which chemical causes someone to do what. Whereas psychology would study ways to help Pavlov’s dog stop salivating at the sound of the bell by changing the dog’s thoughts and/or behaviors, psychiatry would say, “Who gives a shit?” and give the dog a pill. 

  • Micho_rizo

    Mental Illness is a myth. Any halfwit with a halfway open mind can read Thomas Szasz and recognize that he’s right.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t people with emotional and mental problems. There surely are. But it’s not a “disease”. Behaviors cannot be diseases. And if they are actual diseases of the brain (such as Tourrette’s), they belong in the realm of neurology and the neurologist, not the psychiatrist. The fact that we say someone who has trouble maintaining their anger has a “disease”, but that a person who is good at playing the piano has a “talent” is merely a matter of social convention. After all “getting angry” and “playing the piano” are just behaviors. One is accepted by society, one isn’t. Ultimately, it’s all “conform, conform, conform” and if you can’t take the responsibility to do so yourself, these pills will.

    I think it’s important to note the difference between psychology and psychiatry. Though I don’t believe psychology is a hard science, per se, I do find it admirable. As has been stated, it’s just the observation of human behavior and what influences it, i.e. Pavlov’s dog. Whereas psychiatry is just a matter of knowing which pill affects which behavior, or, which chemical causes someone to do what. Whereas psychology would study ways to help Pavlov’s dog stop salivating at the sound of the bell by changing the dog’s thoughts and/or behaviors, psychiatry would say, “Who gives a shit?” and give the dog a pill. 

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I disagree on what is or is not a science. Chemistry is a science. Chemistry has been a science for quite awhile. But when it was only a hundred and fifty years into its existence as a science…it was called alchemy and involved a lot of wildly inaccurate assumptions, countless quacks and frauds, a wide learning curve and a great deal of skepticism from people…but from that chaos a genuine science has formed.

    Psychology and psychiatry, with all their faults (which I agree they have), are very recent sciences of the human mind…which is staggeringly complex and cannot be easily pigeonholed and explained. After less than 200 years of serious inquiry, psychology and psychiatry are making gains…just as medical science is slowly but surely racking up information about the way the brain physically operates…with measurable data…not conjecture.

    So are these two fields of study complete and whole and accurate…hell no…but technically by your high standard, any field of endeavor where more is yet being learned also fails to qualify as a science…since if they didn’t already know something…they lose merit for apparently lacking omniscience. What we don’t yet know about physics, astro-physics, medicine and biology is enough to dwarf everything we have learned so far…we can only strive to move forward…and the same is true in the science of understanding the human mind.

    Science, including hard sciences that seem unassailable, have also had dark chapters involving torment of human beings, horrifying motivations…and terrifying eventual uses…ask Oppenheimer or Alfred Nobel. Nazi scientists gathered measurable data through some heinous abuses of human beings…but the science itself was never discarded. Shit man…even MATH gains new ground every year…but we don’t pitch Planck’s Constant because something new in the world of quantum mechanics has been learned. If we found a guy in 1960 and said “In 50 years…memory for computers will be on a chip the size of thumbnail…and it will be measured in terabytes.”…we’d get laughed at…and thats just the difference 50 years made to a new field of science.

    I hope that we learn to lay aside cultural biases…and I advocate for among friends and professional acquaintances…but they happen in every walk of life…even hard “proven” sciences. I hope that we move further and further away from the freaky scary quacks of yesteryear and toward an era of ethical, compassionate care. I hope we lay aside brutality as a curative and “big pharma” poisons as a quick fix…but until we have a culture that values outcomes more than profit or convenience…this may be hard to achieve.

    Humans are fallible, flawed and foolish…but its what we are and what we’ve got to work with. In much of psychology as we know it today…introspection and self examination are considered the major tools for a person to change their own behavior…or at least build coping mechanisms that work better than bottled rage, self hatred and mutilation, suicide, substance abuse and more. And anyone who advocates people looking inside themselves for answers instead of tearing shit up and hurting themselves and others in blind frustration gets at least a nod in my book…and who knows what the next 150 years will bring? I land on the side of hope…even though I seem like a terrible cynic most of the time…because even when I’m horrfied or disappointed by people’s actions…I’ve also seen first hand some of the most amazing acts of gentleness and kindness…and I can’t deny their existence.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Couldn’t have put it better meself :-)

  • DeepCough

    Okay, y’know what, I apologize for my initial invective toward you, Mr Willow, because, in spite of a slight difference in point of view, you and I are on the same page, as we agree that industrialization has demonstrated itself to be the root cause of “mental illness” throughout the centuries here in the U.S.

    Now, Vox, apologetics do not become you and constitute an argument not. And to compare Alchemy to Psychology or Psychiatry, quite frankly, is not only retarded in its scope, but is blatantly unfair to Alchemy, as its ideas helped establish important concepts in chemistry that benefit us to this very day (like the variability of chemical composition that can change one substance into another substance) in addition to influence a very important scientist by the name of “Isaac Newton.” Psychology never did really move on from its theosophical underpinnings, it just got dressed up in the guise of scientific terminology and is only able to pass itself off as a science, at least in the United States, primarily because Americans hate science, particularly human biology, and thanks to the usurpation of the law that benefits every other industry as well. Now, it’s one thing for a science to commit a few mistakes, establish patently erroneous absolutes, and even cost a few million lives as its big and popular jocko brother Technology is wont to do, but Psychology and its medical application define human behavior way too superficially without providing any proper causation for its purported “diseases of the mind” that it comes as no real shocker to me that it does not actually work. Now, that’s not to say you can’t find organic causes for mental illness, like mercury poisoning, uraemia, and pesticide ingestion, for instance. Of course, those diseases concern toxicology and human biochemistry, which are fairly concrete sciences because they deal with elements that have a very real measure and quantity (you might know them as “chemicals”). And while we’re on the subject, it should be known that Psychopharmacology is, at best, the science of formulating tranquilizers, because, as far as I know, there is no hard definition for the chemical composition of the human mind, because what those chemicals are actually doing is purposefully damaging your brain to the degree that you are not able to act out and are more susceptible to suggestion.

    And as a I stated beforehand, I know this empirically because I have been institutionalized a number of times in the same mental health system before and after that delightful character “Ismael Ax” a.k.a.Seung Hui Cho made his notorious debut on a college campus that infamous day. To be put in a mental hospital, for any reason, no matter how voluntary, is to be subjected to Orwellian re-education. Everything little thing you say and do is recorded and will be used against you, even if you suffer an adverse reaction from the medication that is forced upon you, your behavior is all your fault. If you are unlucky to be “temporarily detained,” you can expect to be shipped to a mental hospital, in shackles, to face a judge who will categorically commit you unless you have your own Harvard-fuck lawyer by your side. Whatever the case, participation in psychiatric treatment is an automatic Catch-22 if you find yourself institutionalized: if you acquiesce to psychiatric treatment, you are still mentally ill, but earn yourself the possibility of release; if you disagree with the treatment in any way whatsoever, you will stay indefinitely until YOU SAY the treatment is working. This is not an isolated anecdotal experience, either; this was verified by psychiatrist David Rosenhan in the ’70′s: he willingly committed himself and along with 10 or so others in local mental health facilities, claiming they were suffering from simple auditory hallucinations (they claimed they were hearing a constant THUD), they were all categorically declared psychotic, and had to remain institutionalized for up to 2 months or longer until such time the psychiatrist could no longer justify hospitalization. Now, you mean to tell me that Psychology has the objectivity to discern the difference between mental problems and physical problems? I’m not coming at you like some rabid “Selfosophist(1),” I’m asking you as someone who has remained sick with severe organ disease for a fucking decade because of the belief–not the fact–that I was mentally ill. And while this might appeal to you, my experience is far beside the point.

    The point is that the antipsychotic drugs that have flooded the marketplace of American healthcare are as toxic as the financial assets of Wall Street: anyone unsuspecting or unwitting to the effects of these products can expect them to blow up in their face–and they most certainly have–and it’s not the industries that produced them that get to face the consequences, it’s the consumer. These drugs have all the backing of the FDA without any hard purview whatsoever, by and large because they are paid to approve of these drugs, because scientific review has shown that psychiatric medication is more consequential than beneficial since the side effects turn out to be far worse than the purported “mental illness,” and you need only look up the recent lawsuits on antidepressants and birth defects to see that, for starters.

    (1): Look up “Jose Chung’s Doomsday Defense” from the TV series Millennium.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Okay…I see you’re dug in like a tick on this. It looks like no matter how much I agree with you on the abuses that have previously been committed and that they should be done away with…or how much I agree with you that big pharma is pushing poorly tested drugs that are harmful…your experiences have been so unpleasant that you’ve manifested a psychotic hatred of all expressions of psychology or psychiatry.

    You also missed the alchemy point. It isn’t that it compares perfectly…its that a science only a hundred and fifty years into its creation is crude, amateurish and prone to error and fallacy…and given time that can change dramatically. If you can’t concede that…you’re an ideologue with an ax to grind and no amount of logic or compromise will change that.

    Introspection, the building of coping skills that don’t involve violence, and other expressions of psychology do mountains of good for millions of people every single day…and even a ten thousand page hate driven screed cannot change that truth. You are, of course, welcome to your opinion…but you’re still wrong, and that’s okay. Have fun with it if it works for you. 

  • DeepCough

    Hate driven screed? Honestly, Vox, I did not think you were that fuckin’ shallow, but thanks for the bullshit concession anyhow.

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