What is a “stigma”?

A mark or characteristic indicative of a history of a disease or abnormality. [Middle English stigme, brand, from Latin stigma, stigmat-, tattoo indicating slave or criminal status, from Greek, tattoo mark, from stizein, stig-, to prick]

Is there a stigma associated with mental distress? First of all, the psychiatric manifestation known as “mental illness” is not a disease, it’s a symptom. And let’s face it, what a psychiatrist calls “abnormal” is just a label for something they don’t like.

Thomas Szasz proposed in 1960 that we view the phenomena conventionally called “mental diseases” as simply behaviors that disturb others (or oneself.)

So how do you fix disturbing behavior? Do you suppress it with drugs, involuntary commitment, restraints, surgery, or electric shock?

Or do you actually handle it by finding and treating the root cause, whatever that may be?

The campaign to “stop the stigma” of mental illness is a pharmaceutical marketing campaign.

With its seemingly altruistic sounding agenda to eliminate “stigma” the fact is the real “stigmatization” is coming from those behind this campaign — pharma, psychiatry and pharma-funded front groups such as NAMI and CHADD. For example, take NAMI’s campaign to stop the “stigma” and “end discrimination” against the mentally ill — the “Founding Sponsors” were Abbott Labs, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Pfizer, Novartis, SmithKline Beecham and Wyeth-Ayerst Labs.

The real stigmatization is coming from those that benefit from labeling behaviors as diseases to be “cured” or “treated” despite the complete lack of medical/biological evidence to support them.

Psychiatric labels are the stigma.

The forthcoming 2013 revision of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) will increase the number of people in the general population diagnosed with a mental illness — but what they need is help and understanding, not labels and medication.

Fraudulent diagnoses perpetrated by the DSM obscure the role of family, drug abuse, undiagnosed and untreated medical conditions, nutritional deficiencies, stress, illiteracy, and other factors contributing to mental distress. The result is often further stigma, discrimination and social exclusion.

What shall we do about this? How about labeling jars instead of people?

CCHR: Psychiatry Labeling Kids with
Bogus ‘Mental Disorders’

Watch the Video
3992 ratings

The Military’s Billion-Dollar Pill Problem

A recent article in Men’s Journal magazine by Paul John Scott presents a vivid human interest story about the damage that psychiatric drugs are doing in the U.S. Military.

“At a time when soldiers kill themselves in record numbers – 18 veterans per day – the armed forces spend a fortune on a drug known to increase the chance of suicide.”

The article goes on to say —

“American soldiers (active soldiers as well as retired) have never been more medicated than they are now: In 2010, more than 213,000 service members (roughly 20 percent of active-duty military) were taking medications the military considered “high risk” – from epilepsy drugs to psychiatric pills like Seroquel. But what’s more incredible is that Seroquel and other antipsychotics are expensive (as much as $10 a dose) and not proven to be effective in treating the very conditions for which the military and VA most often prescribe them: insomnia and PTSD. But that didn’t prevent their use by the military from increasing tenfold between 2002 and 2009.”


“…80 percent of soldiers with PTSD are given psychotropic drugs, many of which can raise the risk of suicide.”


“While the military is doling out all kinds of psychiatric drugs, none is more troubling than the atypical antipsychotics – blockbuster drugs with names like Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Geodon, and Abilify. According to 2010 Department of Defense records, about 11,000 active-duty troops were on Seroquel. Since 2001, the VA has spent more than $1.5 billion and the Department of Defense more than $88 million on two atypicals alone, Seroquel and Risperdal.”

Please thank the article’s author by leaving him a message here.

Read more about drugging in the military here.

You can have a voice in this waste and abuse. Here are places you can express your outrage:

Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Department of Defense
Office of Inspector General
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1500

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
9999 Joint Staff Pentagon
Washington, DC 20318-9999

Secretary of the Army
101 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-0101

Secretary of the Navy
1000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-1000

Secretary of the Air Force
1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1670

Commandant of the Marine Corps
Headquarters USMC
2 Navy Annex (CMC)
Washington, DC 20380-1775

Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Inspector General Hotline (53E)
P.O. BOX 50410
WASHINGTON, DC 20091-0410

Pill Mill Psychiatrist Disciplined

Effective February 1, 2013, the Medical Board of California placed psychiatrist Nathan Brian Kuemmerle on seven years’ probation, with an actual one year suspension beginning February 17, 2013.

Kuemmerle, who formerly practiced in West Hollywood, was charged with operating a “pill mill” out of his office: writing thousands of narcotics prescriptions for cash, without examining patients.

On May 18, 2011, Nathan Kuemmerle was sentenced in Los Angeles federal court to time served and three years probation, following his January conviction on one charge of distribution of a controlled substance—specifically, 180 tablets of Xanax.

Investigations revealed that Kuemmerle was the number one prescriber of the most powerful dosage of the stimulant drug Adderall in the state of California and the second-highest prescriber of Schedule II controlled substances (the designation used by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration for drugs of greatest danger, addiction and abuse).

Kuemmerle is reported to have written prescriptions for cash, without legitimate medical purposes, to make money to pay for his addiction to methamphetamine.

The Medical Board of California placed conditions on Kuemmerle upon his return to practice: He is prohibited from supervising physician assistants, engaging in the solo act of medicine, and shall not order, prescribe, dispense, administer, furnish, or possess any controlled substances; and, shall not issue an oral or written recommendation or approval to a patient for possession or cultivation of marijuana for personal medical purposes.

YOU CAN HELP spread the word about psychiatric fraud and abuse. Watch the CCHR documentary DVDs and show them to your family, friends, and associates. The fraud is real, the abuse is real, and the truth is real scary – but something can always be done about it. Don’t wait for someone else to do something about it!