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Psychiatry: An Agency of Torture and Death

August 7, 2012 by admin in Featured, Mental Health, Psychiatry with 9 Comments

A recent study takes on the psychiatric profession. It has become little more than an agency of death and torture, its victims people who have been trapped by arbitrary diagnoses into lives shortened by the torture of their drugs.

Psychiatric Damage, by Amy Smith

Painting by Amy Smith. Thank you for letting Gaia Health use this stunning piece of work.

The harm induced by psychiatric drugs is well, mind boggling. As the marvelous painting by Amy Smith shows, they can put you into a state of limbo while inducing harm that can only be called torture—as evidenced by their use for precisely that purpose in communistic Russia.

Phil Barker and Poppy Buchanan-Barker have taken a hard look at the application of psychiatric drugs in First, do no harm: Confronting the myths of psychiatric drugs, published in the medical journal, Nursing Ethics. They focus on those who are in the front lines of forced drugging, the nurses. Few punches are pulled in this well documented take-down of modern psychiatry.

The paper makes four primary points, as summarized in the abstract. To clarify, the abstract is included, word for word, but itemized in a numerical list:

  1. The enduring psychiatric myth is that particular personal, interpersonal and social problems in living are manifestations of ‘mental illness’ or ‘mental disease’, which can only be addressed by ‘treatment’ with psychiatric drugs.
  2. Psychiatric drugs are used only to control ‘patient’ behaviour and do not ‘treat’ any specific pathology in the sense understood by physical medicine.
  3. Evidence that people, diagnosed with ‘serious’ forms of ‘mental illness’ can ‘recover’, without psychiatric drugs, has been marginalized by drug-focused research, much of this funded by the pharmaceutical industry.
  4. The pervasive myth of psychiatric drugs dominates much of contemporary ‘mental health’ policy and practice and raises discrete ethical issues for nurses who claim to be focused on promoting or enabling the ‘mental health’ of the people in their care.

Well examine these issues one by one.

1. The enduring psychiatric myth is that particular personal, interpersonal and social problems in living are manifestations of ‘mental illness’ or ‘mental disease’, which can only be addressed by ‘treatment’ with psychiatric drugs.

Notice that the authors do not pull back from the fact that the entire concept upon which modern psychiatry is based is nothing more than a myth. In support of this claim, they state:

The critique of psychiatric power and authority is well-established and awareness continues to grow, even among psychiatrists, that the phenomena commonly diagnosed as psychiatric disorders are personal, social or moral problems in living, rather than illnesses or indeed any kind of health problem. despite more than a century of searching, the biological or biochemical basis of mental illness remains elusive.

In other words, none of the so-called diseases that psychiatry claims to treat even exists!

Psychiatric diagnoses are little more than constructs that create the reason for psychiatrys existence.

The authors then point out that many so-called psychiatric disorders are no longer considered such. Homosexuality and sexual deviations are no longer in the bible of psychiatric diagnosis, the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Though not discussed by the authors, the DSM is itself a fraudulent document, starting with the titles use of the term statistical. There are no statistics in the manual and little, if any, reference to them. It was simply stuck into the title to give the impression of being scientific and legitimate. It is, of course, neither—but its used to justify both psychiatrists payment and the forcible drugging, not to mention incarceration, of people labeled with DSM diagnoses.

The DSM is even set up so that refusing to accept the treatment a psychiatrist wishes to impose results in yet another diagnosis: treatment resistance. So, if a psychiatrist has diagnosed you as abnormal in some way and you refuse to be treated, you are slapped with yet another diagnosis, which allows them to subject you to further treatment, often against your will.

Lets just take the first DSM diagnosis by alphabet. Thats Academic Problem. Yes, that really is a psychiatric diagnosis! So, the psychiatrist decides that you have an Academic Problem and need to take a certain drug for it. You go ahead and try it, but find that it causes a host of terrible effects, so you decide to stop taking it and stop seeing the psychiatrist. You could then be labeled as treatment resistant, which is used to further condemn you to more drugs. If you continue to refuse treatment, you might find yourself arrested and tossed into a psychiatric hospital, stripped of all rights and forcibly medicated. You could also be forcibly medicated without even being placed in such an institution.

This example may sound extreme, but the reality is that the drugs can literally push people into psychotic states all by themselves. So, bad drug reactions are often used by psychiatrists to rediagnose people with more extreme conditions and force them into treatment. The person labeled as a psychiatric patient loses all rights to self-determination.

2. Psychiatric drugs are used only to control ‘patient’ behaviour and do not ‘treat’ any specific pathology in the sense understood by physical medicine.

An open secret among people pathologized as psychiatric patients is that the drugs serve no purpose beyond controlling them. They treat nothing. In fact, as the authors point out, the purpose of the drugs seems not so much to cure or even quell symptoms deemed psychotic, but instead to produce the adverse effects!

Adverse effects of psychiatric drugs are devastating and often permanent, even destroying a persons ability to function in society by causing deforming physical tics. Effects cited by the authors include, pseudo-Parkinsonism (involuntary movements of the tongue, mouth or limbs, shuffling or drooling); seizures, sexual dysfuntions; obesity; diabetes; cardiac arrhythmia (potentially fatal); and cognitive decline associated with measureable shrinkage of the brain mass.

Who would choose to take such drugs knowing that these risks are not only possible, but that they are likely?

The first drug intentionally given for its psychoactive effects was chlorpromazine. It was found to place experimental patients into a twilight state. Early on, it was noted to cause a veritable medicine lobotomy. One volunteer psychiatrist took it and described a feeling of detachment with perceptions muted, experienced as if through a filter. Chlorpormazine was labeled a neuroleptic, which literally refers to substances that seize the nerves, for these effects.

Chlorpromazines pacifying effects were used on people defined as having schizophrenia. As the authors point out, it was a means of subduing the person, not a method for treating a discrete pathological process. They further state:

The primary effects of the neuroleptics developed over the past 60 years, including so-called new generation drugs, is to disable, aggressively, particular brain functions. The suggestion that such disabling effects are secondary—or side effects—involves a highly cosmetic manipulation of the facts.

The authors further document how the drugs trap people into a lifetime of psychiatric drugging:

If people stop taking psychotropic drugs suddenly they risk developing a psychotic rebound effect by exaggerating the ongoing chemical chaos, and appear to become even more disturbed.

When it comes to so-called psychiatric drugs, the truth is that they are not given for the stated reasons. They do not treat any mental problems—unless having the ability to feel is a mental illness. They act only to subdue people who have the misfortune to fall into the trap of a psychiatric diagnosis.

Read Part 2 here.


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  • anon

    Wow, this story REEKS of SCIENTOLOGY.

    • HeidiStevenson

      Wow! This comment reeks of blind obeisance to the cult of pharmaceutical psychiatry.

  • Barbara

    Honestly, nothing in this article even comes close to my own experience as a psychiatric patient. I was diagnosed six years ago, when I was chronically unemployed, depressed, on and off psychotic, and more. Thanks to six years of compassionate mental health care, including medication, my life is so much better, and I am happy, if imperfect. Many of the early meds do the things you describe, basically turning people into zombies. But, despite the claims of your story, the meds do in fact target my symptoms (psychosis, depression, irritability), not subdue me. In fact, it was severe bouts of depression that left me catatonic at my worst, and the meds that relieved that. Im not saying there arent bad stories out there, but I think a little balance is in order.

    • HeidiStevenson

      Have you ever heard the term spellbinding? Thats how Dr. Peter Breggin describes the action of these drugs and hes referring to all of them, especially the new ones. Hes referring to the fact that people who are on the drugs often are unaware of how theyre affected, only becoming aware after they stop taking them. He describes their often incredible anger once they realize whats happened.

      Theres no balance in the way these drugs are pushed on people including in the lack of information about their dangers. This article is a drop in the bucket trying to alleviate that lack of balance. Are people warned of the risks? Are they warned about the fact that life is shortened an average of 25 years? Were you warned of malignant serotonin syndrome? Of tardive dyskinesia? Of akathisia? Or any of the many other terrible adverse effects? Were you warned that, over time, your odds of suffering from some of these effects approaches 100%? Its the lack of that information and the fact that thousands of people are forced on these drugs against their will, and that children are now put on them, thus destroying lives before they start that this article was written to counter.

      Were you even offered alternatives to drugs? Did you know that the recovery rate before these drugs was very high and still is when drugs are removed from the picture but now its near zero once the drugs are started? 

      If you werent given all this information, then you did not have an opportunity to make an informed choice.

      • ReallyGoodMedicine

         Well said!  Its good to see the facts about psychotropic medication and the lack of information given to patients out where the public can see it.

    • Mark Cooper

      Im really glad to hear your experience of psychiatric services has been good Barbara.

      I used to be a nurse & know there are some sincere people working to help others, but there are also some people who are not respectful or even empathic & there are many patients who do not want to take psychiatric drugs & I hope you would respect there choice not to be forcefully medicated.

      I think removing coercion from psychiatry would increase the kind of compassionate treatment you received.

  • frank arles

    I was permanently scarred by the toture that is antipsychotic drug induced akathisia. I am just one of millions who suffer permanent psychiatric iatrogenic ptsd. Some years suffering from that trauma even though off the antipsychotics that almost wore me out to death as a month as an inpatient, a psychiatrist felt sorry for me. He put me on xanax, a benzodiazepine. It was the first time in 5 years since i was psychiatrically tortured that i could feel pleasure and relax. Big problem is that benzos are the hardest psychoactive good stuff:(i.e. addictive)drug to detox from. Heroin addicts have told me they thought it easier to kick smack than their benzos(e.g. ativan, xanax, clonazepam, valium, et al). And even the American Psychiatric Association admits that neuroleptics shorten lifespan of can cause sudden death(e.g.neurleptic malignant syndrom, agranulocytosis, et al). In a free society, choice should be your right. If you think your neuroleptic or benzo or antidepressant helps you, it is your right to take. By the same token, you should not be forced to take psychiatric drugs, even if schizophrenic(there is no proveable cause and effect fact that psychosis leads to threat to self or others). Conclusion: drug based psychiatry either tortures, shortens your life span, addicts you or CAUSES you to commit suicide.

    • frank arles

      frank arles
      aka dahszil, male, usa

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