Schizophrenia: The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry

In 1976 Dr. Thomas Szasz, the co-founder of CCHR, published an article in The British Journal of Psychiatry called “Schizophrenia: The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry,” in which Szasz argues that there is no such disease as schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia — the most common and most disabling of the so-called mental illnesses — has become the poster disease for psychiatry, the psychiatric symbol of why we need psychiatrists.

However, Szasz recognized that there are no clinical tests for such a “disease,” and that labeling the symptoms was rather psychiatry’s attempt to control deviant behavior rather than to cure disease.

Szasz stated that “schizophrenia is defined so vaguely that, in actuality, it is a term often applied to almost any kind of behavior of which the speaker disapproves.”

Psychiatrists today remain committed to labeling “schizophrenia” a mental disease despite, after a century of research, the complete absence of objective proof that it exists as a physical brain abnormality.

The unfortunate aspect of this is that psychiatry clings tenaciously to antipsychotics as the treatment for “schizophrenia,” despite their proven risks and studies which show that when patients stop taking these drugs, they improve.

Psychiatry is Enamored of Symbols

This deserves a more complete examination of the subject of “symbols.” We name, or label, objects and ideas, which in itself is not a bad thing, as long as we realize that the symbol is not the thing itself.

A symbol is something which has mass, meaning and mobility. An example is a body. We label a body with a name which we then use to mean the person; the body moves, carrying its mass and meaning around for others to see and experience.

On top of that, we label it “schizophrenic”, so we have a symbol of a symbol. Now we don’t have to directly confront the painful symptoms; we just label it “a schizophrenic.” We no longer have to cure it, since now we “know” what it is.

Psychiatry insists that one have a label, which is one way to trap and keep a person located. Using and being slaves to symbols is basically a substitute for just knowing. We no longer have to really know what it is, because we “know” it is “a schizophrenic.” So psychiatry has operated on this basis for over a hundred years, never really finding out what schizophrenia is so it can be cured. People just have to live with it, and take psychiatric drugs which are highly profitable and which suppress the symptoms but do not actually fix it.

Psychiatry Uses Other Symbols As Well

The psychiatric or psychological analysis of symbols in dreams has been a fruitless red herring for many centuries. It can certainly be interesting and fun to imagine all the ways dreams could be interpreted; but really, it doesn’t actually lead to cures. Dreams are mostly puns on words and situations.  Thiamine (vitamin B1) has been used successfully at doses of 250 mg/day to treat patients having nightmares. B1 at roughly $20 per bottle beats any anti-anxiety or anti-psychotic drug currently being prescribed for bad dreams, since one of the possible side effects of these drugs is (wait for it…) nightmares!

Now think of the Rorschach Ink Blot Test, originally developed in 1921 by Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach as a tool for the diagnosis and labeling of schizophrenia. Over the years several different scoring systems were used, including pure subjective judgment; one present day scoring system wasn’t developed until the 1960s, and another scoring system was published in 2011. There are naturally many critics of these systems, including some court cases calling the results bogus.

Given the fraudulent nature of psychiatric “diagnosis” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), we are calling the Rorschach symbol test a total hoax.

And Speaking of the DSM and the ICD

Of course, the names of so-called mental disorders in the DSM and ICD are the ultimate in misleading symbols. They appear to designate actual mental states, but upon close inspection they are empty of scientific meaning.

With these tomes, psychiatry has taken countless aspects of normal human behavior and reclassified them as a “mental illness” simply by adding the term “disorder” onto them. As the diagnoses completely lack scientific criteria, anyone can be labeled mentally ill, and subjected to dangerous and life threatening “treatments” based solely on opinion.

Though the DSM weighs less than five pounds, its influence pervades all aspects of modern American society: our governments, our courts, our military, our media and our schools.

Using it, psychiatrists can enforce psychiatric drugging, seize your children and even take away your most precious personal freedoms. It is the engine that drives a $330 billion psychiatric industry.

Missouri law explicitly names the DSM as the official reference for mental illnesses. Contact your State Senator and Representative and ask them to remove all references to the DSM from State Law. We should not support symbolism that hits you over the head; a symbol should not be a cymbal.

Are You Schizophrenic?

“Mental health advocates are lobbying Congress to help them get schizophrenia classified as a brain disease like Parkinson’s or Alzheimers, instead of as a mental illness, a move that could reduce stigma and lead to more dollars for a cure.” This according to a January, 2019 article on Politico.com.

More and more health officials, scientists and doctors are recognizing that so-called “mental illnesses” such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are poorly understood and are really physical, medical issues — not some nebulous mental thing for which harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs are prescribed.

There are no clinical tests for these “mental” diagnoses. But there are clinical tests for whatever turns out to be the real medical issue. So why are psychiatrists handing out so many harmful drugs without performing blood or other well-known clinical tests? Could it be because it is profitable, and insurance will pay for them?

Today, psychiatry clings tenaciously to antipsychotics as the treatment for “schizophrenia,” despite their proven risks and studies which show that when patients stop taking these drugs, they improve.

Linda Stalters, executive director of the schizophrenia alliance, said, “We are still treating people like they did in the medieval times.”

The late Professor Thomas Szasz stated that “schizophrenia is defined so vaguely that, in actuality, it is a term often applied to almost any kind of behavior of which the speaker disapproves.”

These are normal people with medical, disciplinary, educational, or spiritual problems that can and must be resolved without recourse to drugs. Deceiving and drugging is not the practice of medicine. It is criminal.

Any medical doctor who takes the time to conduct a thorough physical examination of someone exhibiting signs of what a psychiatrist calls schizophrenia can find undiagnosed, untreated physical conditions. Any person labeled with so-called schizophrenia needs to receive a thorough physical examination by a competent medical—not psychiatric—doctor to first determine what underlying physical condition is causing the manifestation.

Any person falsely diagnosed as mentally disordered which results in treatment that harms them should file a complaint with CCHR, the police, and professional licensing bodies and have this investigated. They should seek legal advice about filing a civil suit against any offending psychiatrist and his or her hospital, associations and teaching institutions seeking compensation. In Missouri, file a complaint with the Board of Registration for the Healing Arts.

No one denies that people can have difficult problems in their lives, that at times they can be mentally unstable, subject to unreasonable depression, anxiety or panic. Mental health care is therefore both valid and necessary. However, the emphasis must be on workable mental healing methods that improve and strengthen individuals and thereby society by restoring people to personal strength, ability, competence, confidence, stability, responsibility and spiritual well–being. Psychiatric drugs and psychiatric treatments are not workable.

For more information, click here to download and read the full CCHR report “Schizophrenia—Psychiatry’s For Profit ‘Disease’“.

Vraylar to the Vrescue

We are now seeing TV ads for Vraylar (generic cariprazine) for “manic or mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder.” An atypical antipsychotic, it alters levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Vraylar was first approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia in 2015. It can be compared to the antipsychotic risperidone, which is now available as a generic and thus not as expensive as the newer drug Vraylar. They say cariprazine is “less risky” than risperidone, but we think it was approved because it is more expensive.

Hungarian drugmaker Gedeon Richter, the developer of the drug, licensed it to the Dublin pharmaceutical company Allergan and receives royalties on its sales. It cost about $400 million to develop, and its projected income at the time was $300 million per year. Allergan’s Vraylar revenue for 2017 was $287.8 million. A month’s supply for one person costs approximately $1,050 (depending on dosage.)

The exact way Vraylar is supposed to work is totally unknown. It is another example of the debunked medical model of psychiatry which fraudulently supposes that messing with the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain can help. The prevailing psychiatric theory is that mental disorders result from a chemical imbalance in the brain; however, there is no biological or other evidence to prove this.

Basically, psychiatrists gave it in clinical trials to a bunch of people with mental disturbances and performed extensive statistical analyses to “prove” that symptoms of mental distress were less severe while taking the drug than while taking a placebo; while at the same time recording, but discounting, all the adverse reactions.

The most common side effects during clinical tests were uncontrolled movements of the face and body (tardive dyskinesia), muscle stiffness, indigestion, vomiting, sleepiness, and restlessness (akathisia). Other possible side effects are stroke, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, falls, seizures, agitation, anxiety — basically most of the adverse reactions we’ve come to associate with similar psychotropic drugs. This particular formulation stays in the body for weeks even after you stop taking it, so that side effects may occur long after you start or stop taking it.

During clinical trials, 12% of the patients who received Vraylar for a diagnosis of bipolar I discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction. They say that the drug is not habit-forming, but it has withdrawal symptoms. The trials did not run long enough to actually test for physical addiction, although withdrawal symptoms were reported in newborns whose mothers were exposed to it during the third trimester of pregnancy. Also, the drug carries a black box warning that elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis are at an increased risk of death, just like any other atypical antipsychotic.

“Bipolar I disorder” used to be called “manic-depressive”. All it means is that a person roller-coasters — sometimes being up and other times being down. Bipolar disorder is characterized by unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function. Its symptoms are severe mood swings from one extreme of overly high or irritable (mania) to sad and hopeless (depression), then back again. In the 1800s, bipolar was known as manic depression, a term invented by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin. In 1953, another German psychiatrist, Karl Kleist coined the term “bipolar.” There is no objective clinical medical test for the condition.

Psychiatric treatment for schizophrenia and bipolar is complicated by high rates of relapse, indicating that the treatments do not really work. The failures to adequately treat bipolar apparently caused the psychiatric industry to split up the diagnosis into bipolar I and bipolar II, where bipolar II means that the individual has not experienced a full manic episode, just an elevated state of irritable mood that is less severe than a full manic episode. It’s splitting a hair that is completely irrelevant to anything except which drug to prescribe.

An estrogen imbalance, hypoglycemia (abnormal decrease in blood sugar), allergies, caffeine sensitivity, thyroid problems, vitamin B deficiencies, stress, and excessive copper in the body can all cause the symptoms fraudulently labeled as  “bipolar disorder.”

“Schizophrenia,” “bipolar,” and all other psychiatric labels have only one purpose: to make psychiatry millions in insurance reimbursement, government funds and profits from drug sales. If you are told that a psychiatric condition is due to a brain-biochemical imbalance, ask to see the test results.

The global bipolar drug market is growing, possibly due to increasing stress in life. For information about how stress can cause someone to roller-coaster, see our blog here. Click here for more information about bipolar, and here for more information about schizophrenia.

Are You Schizophrenic?

The May, 2017 Scientific American magazine has a lengthy article on schizophrenia, bemoaning the lack of scientific progress trying to find out what it is and how to treat it. The article says, “Gene studies were supposed to reveal the disorder’s roots. That didn’t happen.”

Most people consider that psychiatry’s main function is to treat patients with severe, even life–threatening mental conditions. The most pronounced is that condition first called dementia praecox by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin in the late 1800’s, and labeled “schizophrenia” by Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler in 1908.

Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America, says the patients that Kraepelin diagnosed with dementia praecox were actually suffering from a virus, encephalitis lethargica (brain inflammation causing lethargy) which was unknown to doctors at the time.

Psychiatry never revisited Kraepelin’s material to see that schizophrenia was simply an undiagnosed and untreated physical problem. “Schizophrenia was a concept too vital to the profession’s claim of medical legitimacy. The physical symptoms of the disease were quietly dropped. What remained, as the foremost distinguishing features, were the mental symptoms: hallucinations, delusions, and bizarre thoughts,” says Whitaker. Psychiatrists remain committed to calling “schizophrenia” a mental disease despite, after a century of research, the complete absence of objective proof that it exists as a physical brain abnormality.

Today, psychiatry clings tenaciously to antipsychotics as the treatment for “schizophrenia,” despite their proven risks and studies which show that when patients stop taking these drugs, they improve.

Professor Thomas Szasz stated that “schizophrenia is defined so vaguely that, in actuality, it is a term often applied to almost any kind of behavior of which the speaker disapproves.” Lily Tomlin once said, “Why is it that when we talk to God we’re said to be praying, but when God talks to us we’re schizophrenic?”

The DSM-5 lists nine entries for various forms of this so-called disorder:
— “Schizophrenia”
— “Schizophreniform disorder”
— “Other specified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder”
— “Unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder”
— “Schizoaffective disorder”
— “Schizoaffective disorder, Bipolar type”
— “Schizoaffective disorder, Depressive type”
— “Schizoid personality disorder”
— “Schizotypal personality disorder”

There is abundant evidence that real physical illness, with real pathology, can seriously affect an individual’s mental state and behavior. Psychiatry completely ignores this weight of scientific evidence, preferring to assign all blame to supposed “chemical imbalances in the brain” or genetic factors that have never been proven to exist, and limits all practice to brutal treatments that have done nothing but permanently damage the brain and the individual.

Since psychiatrists do not really know what schizophrenia is, and cannot predict nor cure the symptoms associated with these diagnoses, they instead have pushed to “pre-treat” people with antipsychotic drugs who might exhibit such symptoms sometime in the future; meanwhile spending untold millions of dollars and years of effort searching for genetic targets to create new drugs — instead of conducting valid clinical tests for known medical issues and treating those. If we include well-known medical issues, infections, hormonal issues, nutritional issues, fevers, environmental pains, and drug reactions, there must be over a hundred ways to go crazy and be diagnosed as schizophrenic — all of these treatable by standard medical protocols.

Click here for more information on schizophrenia and to download booklets on various medical causes for these symptoms.