|Listening to a radio program about considerations of political power in the Middle East made us wonder more generally about the concept of power. Their main consideration was the accumulation of power in order to control various elements of society. We noticed how this might apply to abuses in the mental health industry. |
Power is one of those English words with multiple definitions. Generally it means “the ability to act or produce an effect”. In other contexts, for example in physics, it has the definition “the time rate of doing work.” In the referenced radio program it meant “relating to political, social, or economic control.” There are other specific definitions in mathematics, religion, business, law, etc.
In a very practical personal sense power means “being able to do what one is doing when one is doing it.” In another practical sense it means “the ability to hold a position in space.” Power represents total abundance where nothing can strike you down. A Zone of Power could be considered the area over which one has responsibility and control.
We ask how all this might relate to patient abuse in the mental health industry.
When we speak of “coercive psychiatry” we mean that psychiatry is used as a means of social control against which one has no recourse and cannot fight back. Prime examples are involuntary commitment and enforced treatment.
As the late Professor Thomas Szasz said, “coercive psychiatrists function as judges and jailers not physicians and healers” with the power of life and death over the most vulnerable people.
“Disguising social control as medical treatment is a deceit which conceals an abuse.” This is a de facto abuse of power, as it seeks to limit and control the individual instead of helping the individual to get better and improve their conditions in life.
Coercive psychiatry is not intended to cure anything. On the contrary, psychiatry is the science of control and entrapment, and having power over distressed and vulnerable individuals. Wherever men have advocated and advanced totalitarianism, they have used psychiatric principles to control society, to put limits on individual freedom, to suppress and punish dissent, and to trap people into worsening conditions. It is actually a mis-use of power, since its intentions are to make less of a person’s self-determinism and give more power to others and the state.
All too often people may mistakenly disparage their own strength or power; do not allow psychiatry to crush you even further.
Click here to read more about psychopolitics — the art of asserting power over the thoughts and loyalties of individuals and the conquest of enemy nations through “mental healing”.