Posts Tagged ‘Szasz’

Is Social Media Turning Us All Into Zombies?

Monday, October 18th, 2021

The debate continues to rage about whether smartphones and their attendant social media are addictive, or even whether they are good or bad for you and your children.

This quote from the November 2021 edition of Reason magazine puts the debate more into perspective:

“In 1936, the government of St. Louis, Missouri, tried to ban car radios because a ‘determined movement’ had become convinced that the radio distracted drivers and caused car accidents. The car radio was widely feared by newspapers, which were competitors and had every incentive to sensationalize the product’s dangers.”

We’re not going to come down on one side or the other, it isn’t our fight; but we can certainly remark on the psychiatric connection.

The psychiatric Connection

Psychiatry assumes any so-called addiction is a medical disease. This is patently false; any such media addiction, real or imagined, is an educational or moral failing. It cannot be usefully addressed with drugs or other harmful psychiatric treatments.

Other forms of addiction currently promoted for treatment by psychiatry and psychology are gaming, substance abuse, gambling, and other impulse control issues such as pyromania, kleptomania and promiscuity. Yes, physical addiction may occur with substance abuse; but there are valid non-psychiatric programs for that.

So what are these various behaviors if they are not mental illnesses? They’re called lapses in education, ethics and morals, and when treated as such there is hope that they can be corrected. Unfortunately, calling them “mental illness” and treating them with psychotropic drugs precludes any possibility of finding out the true root causes and effectively addressing those.

The entirety of psychological and psychiatric addiction programs are founded on the tacit assumptions that mental health “experts” know all about the mind and mental phenomena, know a better way of life, a better value system and how to improve lives beyond the understanding and capability of everyone else in society.

The reality is that these mental health programs are designed to control people towards specific ideological objectives at the expense of the person’s sanity and well-being. Do we really want to institutionalize mandatory psychiatric counseling and screening, which is where all this is heading?

We think the whole thing comes back to what the late Professor Thomas Szasz, co-founder of Citizens Commission on Human Rights, originally had to say about this:
• “The term ‘mental illness’ refers to the undesirable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of persons. Classifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as diseases is a logical and semantic error, like classifying the whale as a fish.”
• “If we recognize that ‘mental illness’ is a metaphor for disapproved thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, we are compelled to recognize as well that the primary function of Psychiatry is to control thought, mood, and behavior.”

These so-called mental disorders are just what psychiatry and psychology have inappropriately labeled as “undesirable behavior.”

The Reason article proposes a reasonable solution: “…can anything be done to combat some of the actual problems with tech addiction? Yes, but the answer isn’t easy or flashy: It’s for parents to exercise greater responsibility, talk to their kids about how much they rely on their phones, and set reasonable limits on screen time.”

What You Can Do

We’d like to encourage our readers to help us fund our efforts to bring sanity to the world of mental health care. The psychs haven’t backed off; they are busy exaggerating any mental health concerns raised by the Covid outbreak, and of course why you should see a psychiatrist and take some harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs.

Click here to send us some love.

‘Insanity’ isn’t an illness. It’s an injury. When more injuries called ‘treatments’ are piled on top of it, it becomes very hard to treat just because the person is now desperately injured. He hurts.

— L. Ron Hubbard, 12/15/1968

WHO Declares “Video Game Addiction” a Mental Health Disorder

Antipsychotic Antics

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Paliperidone, sold under the trade name Invega among others, is an atypical antipsychotic. Paliperidone is the primary active metabolite of the older antipsychotic risperidone, although its specific mechanism of action with respect to any psychiatric diagnosis is unknown. It blocks the action of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which as we’ve previously observed is playing Russian Roulette with the brain.

On September 1, 2021 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a 6-month injection form of the long-acting atypical antipsychotic paliperidone palmitate (Invega Hafyera, manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals) for the treatment of what is fraudulently diagnosed as schizophrenia in adults.

Adverse reactions, or side effects, can include upper respiratory tract infection, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, seizures, high blood sugar, diabetes, decreased blood pressure, fainting, falls, low white blood cell count, headache, tachycardia, somnolence, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, cough, dystonia, akathisia, muscle rigidity, parkinsonism, weight gain, anxiety, indigestion, constipation, and an increased risk of death in elderly people with dementia-related psychosis.

It can be addictive and have acute withdrawal symptoms (euphemistically called “discontinuation syndrome”), including rapid relapse, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, restlessness, increased sweating, trouble sleeping, a feeling of the world spinning, numbness, muscle pains, tardive dyskinesia, and psychosis.

The primary reason for prescribing a drug that has only two doses per year is to handle the situation where a patient stops taking their daily prescribed drugs because of their unpleasant side effects.

Psychiatric Fraud

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

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.

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.

Bear in mind that the drug “treatments” being prescribed are for “disorders” that are not physical illnesses—essentially, they are being prescribed for something that does not exist.

Any medical doctor who takes the time to conduct a thorough physical examination of a child or adult 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 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.

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.

Britney Spears’ Conservatorship Challenge

Monday, August 9th, 2021

[Condensed from Jan Eastgate, President, CCHR International]

The pop icon’s traumatic story of being held captive by a punitive guardianship law, with abusive psychiatric evaluations and forced mood-altering drugs, has prompted legislators to act. But proposed laws, while applaudable, fall short on needed protections.

Conservatorships, which place guardians over the control of a person’s life when deemed incompetent, are often based on a subjective psychiatric evaluation. As such, while it is very easy for someone to be placed under a conservatorship order because of a psychiatric diagnosis, it’s very hard to get out of one. The diagnosis is stigmatizing and is hard to disprove because of its subjectivity. It can also expand over the years, especially where there may be deterioration in the individual from powerful psychotropic drugs prescribed to them.

The late professor of psychiatry and co-founder of Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) Dr. Thomas Szasz, warned against state intervention that allows psychiatry to circumvent individual and constitutional rights. He called it “The Therapeutic State,” where the state gives psychiatry the power to be an institution of social control. “When I use the term therapeutic state, I use it ironically, it’s therapeutic for the people who are doing the locking up, who are doing the therapy, it’s not therapeutic for the victims, for the patients,” Szasz said. “The therapeutic state seeks to remedy personal and social problems defined as diseases; its beneficiaries are often ‘helped’ against their will; it is a totalitarian state, governed by the rule of therapeutic discretion.”

CCHR asks legislators to review the World Health Organization’s recent guideline for protections of people with mental health disabilities. WHO recommends countries “repeal guardianship and other substitute decision-making legislation and replace it with laws that recognize legal capacity and promote supported decision-making, including the use of advance plans [living wills] and best interpretation of will and preference.”

In Britney’s case, the conservatorship was put into place in 2008, while she struggled with her mental health, and gave her father broad control over her life and finances. Britney obtained a court order recently to reinforce her inherent right to obtain the legal counsel of her choice. Her new attorney must petition the court to have the current conservatorship removed.

Britney pleaded that the conservatorship over her affairs has made her feel “demoralized and enslaved.” She has been subjected to numerous psychiatric evaluations and medications, stating: “I want to end the conservatorship without being evaluated,” she said. The system in place is “abusive,” Britney said in court, accusing her conservators of forcing her to take mood-stabilizing drugs and perform against her will.

Britney also told the court that her previous psychiatrist (who died in 2019) was abusive in his treatment of her. She alleged that she was subjected to lengthy psychological evaluations, forced into a $60,000-a-month inpatient facility and told that she wouldn’t be able to see her children if she failed to comply. “To be totally honest with you, when [the doctor] passed away, I got on my knees and thanked God,” she said. She was then forced to see a therapist three days a week. Paparazzi humiliated her by taking photos of her crying after the emotional sessions. She asked the judge last month to be allowed to be part of her own care plan.

NBC News reported that allegations of abusive psychiatrists in conservatorships are not uncommon. Doctors are asked to file capacity declarations with the court which form about 75 percent of how judges base their decisions to keep someone under court-ordered guardianship.

The WHO’s “Guidance on community mental health services: Promoting person-centered and rights-based approaches” released in June 2021, is very clear about abuse in the mental health system: “Many people with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities are denied the right to exercise their legal capacity; that is, the right to make decisions for oneself and to have those decisions respected by others. Based on stigmatizing assumptions about their status – that their decisions are unreasonable or bring negative consequences, or that their decision-making skills are deficient, or that they cannot understand and make decisions for themselves or communicate their will and preferences – it has become acceptable in services in countries throughout the world, for others to step in and make decisions for people with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities. In many countries, this is implemented through schemes like guardianship, supervision and surrogacy, and is legitimized by laws and practices.”

As an organization that has exposed abuses in the mental health industry for more than fifty years, CCHR has definitely come across unscrupulous guardians that have been able to secure the help of psychiatrists to maintain control over an individual, especially their finances. The diagnostic aspect of conservatorship needs closer scrutiny.

State laws need to ensure that someone who is subject to a psychiatric evaluation also has freedom of choice and the right to obtain a second medical—as opposed to a psychiatric—opinion. Contact your state legislators and express your viewpoint about this.

The WHO guidelines are clear about protecting individual rights to choose. It also recommends people sign a Living Will to express their treatment and guardianship preferences should their liberty be threatened by competency issues.

Psychiatry Profiting from Community Tragedy and Racism

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

In 2010 a 16-year-old African-American foster child died after being injected with two psychiatric drugs and restrained in SSM DePaul Health Center, a St. Louis company-owned psychiatric ward, and ruled a homicide. Less than two years earlier, a death at the same hospital in the Bridgeton suburb of St. Louis had led to a state inquiry that uncovered instances of improperly secluding and restraining patients and failing to report deaths to authorities.

Before she died, the foster child was held down and injected with Geodon (ziprasidone, a psychiatric antipsychotic drug) and Ativan (lorazepam, a psychiatric anti-anxiety drug).

It wasn’t until 2017 that a lawsuit was filed against the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services for overdrugging foster children with harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs, for which a settlement was reached in 2019.

Some of the behavioral hospital chains that have come under scrutiny for patient abuse include six facilities operating in Missouri.

And now today the abuse continues, with African-Americans over-represented in restraint-related deaths of children and adults with disabilities, accounting for 22% of the deaths studied while representing only 13% of the total U.S. population. African-Americans are dying from COVID-19 at almost three times the rate of whites.

As a human rights organization, exposing racism and restraint abuse in the mental health system has been a pivotal campaign since the inception in 1969 of Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). This also included exposing psychosurgery experiments on African-American prisoners and a 1994 booklet on psychiatry creating racism. CCHR has successfully worked with the NAACP since 2003, exposing the stigmatizing labeling and drugging of African-American children to obtain three national NAACP resolutions against the forced drugging and also electroshocking of children and teens.

CCHR’s co-founder, Dr. Thomas Szasz, a professor of psychiatry, exposed that while Dr. Benjamin Rush, the “Father of American Psychiatry” asserted he was anti-slavery in the late 1700s and signed the Declaration of Independence, he purchased a child slave that he later freed for compensation. He provided a medical model we still see the impact of today that was used to justify segregation and modern racism. Rush claimed that Blacks suffered from a “medical” disease called “negritude” derived from leprosy. Therefore, he asserted that freed Blacks should be segregated and prevented from inter-racial marriage so as to not spread the disease. Rush believed the “cure” was when their skin turned white.

A seal of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that features Rush, a racist and slave owner, is still used for ceremonial purposes and internal documents. There’s also an annual award the APA gives in his name. How appallingly hypocritical, then, that within days of the recent racial protest marches starting, the APA issued a press statement, saying, it “will not stand for racism against Black Americans,” when history shows otherwise. APA urged anyone suffering from the recent trauma or civil unrest to, “seek psychiatric treatment.”

This comes from a group whose members invented the term “protest psychosis” in the 1960s to describe Blacks participating in the Civil Rights movement. Advertisements placed in psychiatric journals for powerful antipsychotic drugs used angry black men or African tribal symbols to influence the prescriptions of antipsychotics to African-Americans. Today, there is still an over-representation of antipsychotic use among African-Americans and harmful psychotropic drugs are prescribed to African-American children as young as 18 months.

African-American students also receive disproportionate discipline in schools. Representing about 15% of the total enrollment, African-American students accounted for 27% of restraints and 23% of seclusion in schools.

CCHR can access over 50 years of research that documents the horrible betrayal of African-American and other groups by a eugenics-based, racist psychiatric-psychological model that has caused immeasurable harm and suffering.

Click here for more information on how psychiatry creates racism.

Reverend Fred Shaw has worked alongside the NAACP in getting 3 national resolutions passed.

Power to the Patients

Monday, January 27th, 2020
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.

Coercive Psychiatry

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”.

The Man Versus the Therapeutic State

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Read a fine remembrance of Dr. Thomas Szasz, by Senior Editor Jacob Sullum in Reason magazine: “He relentlessly attacked the ‘therapeutic state,’ the unhealthy alliance of medicine and government that blesses all sorts of unjustified limits on liberty. … I will always be grateful for Szasz’s courage and insight, and so should anyone who shares his passion against coercion.”

Dr. Szasz, co-founder of CCHR, passed away in September at the age of 92.

There are others who recognize the dangers, the fraud and abuse, within the psychiatric industry.

Robert Whitaker, in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic, had some interesting things to say. Psychiatrists have known since the beginning of psychopharmacology that their drugs do not cure any disease. In 1955, psychiatrist E. H. Parsons, speaking about chlorpromazine (Thorazine) said, “We have to remember that we are not treating diseases with this drug. We are using a neuropharmacologic agent to produce a specific effect.” And in 1955, Bernard Brodie, an investigator at the National Institute of Mental Health, “planted the intellectual seed that grew into the theory that depression was due to a chemical imbalance in the brain.” In experiments with rabbits he noticed that an herbal drug used in India to quiet psychotic patients lowered brain levels of serotonin and also made them lethargic and apathetic. We’re not saying that psychiatric drugs turn humans into rabbits, but “lethargic and apathetic” may be inferred.

Psychiatry has had to use coercion to survive as an industry because their treatments simply do not cure anything.

In a July 2000 interview with Dr. Szasz, Mr. Sullum said, “I once asked a psychiatrist I knew if he was familiar with Szasz’s work. ‘Oh, he’s crazy!’ he exclaimed, inadvertently illustrating Szasz’s point that such labels are often used to stigmatize people who offend or disturb us.”

Szasz said during the interview, “There are two things that I would have done very differently, and they really have to do with my passion against coercion, especially unnecessary coercion and especially coercion outside of a due-process legal system. The first thing I would have done is to stop all further involuntary psychiatric interventions. This is unthinkable stuff, because this means stopping the fundamental social function of psychiatry, which is partly to relieve society, families, physicians of unwanted people and partly to “prevent suicide.” “Dangerousness to self”: This to me is the keystone in the Roman arch. Until it is knocked out, it’s impossible to destroy the edifice. People should not be protected from themselves by involuntary psychiatric interventions. Psychiatrists should play no more of a role in this than priests do.” Read the full interview to find out the second thing Szasz would have done.

Have you or someone you know experienced the Therapeutic State? Fight back! Show the CCHR documentary DVDs to everyone you know.