Occupy Psychiatry: Planned Protests Against Perceived Abuses

Thomas Szasz (see yesterday’s post) was a supporter of the types of issues that interest Occupy Psychiatry, a movement that protests perceived abuses à la Occupy Wall Street. One event has already happened in May, in Philadelphia. The next one, scheduled for early October in New York City, has been booked to coincide with a major conference of the American Psychiatric Association.

At the Philly Occupy Psychiatry event, psychologist Adina Lambert, a member of the International Society for Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology (ISEPP), spoke out about such complaints as “ridiculous diagnoses…that have no basis in fact,” the “poisoning” of patients, “the drugging of children,” and the DSM that “is full of lies.” Click here for a video clip.

The Occupy Psychiatry movement, according to PsychRights: Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, believes the following:

The story the American Psychiatric Association and individual psychiatrists (Psychiatry) have been telling their patients and the public is not true.

There are no proven chemical imbalances or other known brain defects that result in what gets diagnosed as mental illnesses.

Most of the drugs given to treat people diagnosed with mental illness are no better than placebo and many cause tremendous physical problems.

The second generation of so-called ‘anti-psychotics’ (neuroleptics) are effective for few and harmful to all. Contrary to drug company hype, they are not more effective than first generation neuroleptics and far more harmful.

Largely as a result, the disability rate of people diagnosed with serious mental illness has increased 6-fold on a per capita basis since the introduction of the supposed miracle drug Thorazine in 1954.

Largely due to the use of these drugs, the life expectancy of people diagnosed with serious mental illness is 25 years less than the general population.

The stimulants used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and the so-called antidepressants have dramatically increased the incidence of people diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and converted it from a good prognosis diagnosis to one that is quite poor.

The ubiquitous use of psychiatric drugs is at least halving the percentage of people who recover after being diagnosed with a serious mental illness; it appears about 80% of the people presenting with an initial psychosis can recover if they are not given and maintained on psychiatric drugs.

The American Psychiatric Association and individual psychiatrists are either fooled or complicit to the extent they do not publicly acknowledge and act on these facts.

(Sources: Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, by Robert Whitaker; and Scientific Research by Topic on PsychRights’ website.)

Robert Whitaker alleges that two particular solutions have been proven to be more effective than psychotropic medications, at least for certain conditions: for psychotic patients, a treatment called Open Dialogue Therapy; for depression, physical exercise.

Also FYI, the list of “Scientific Research” topics on the website of PsychRights, with links to pertinent resources, can be found here.

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