On Psychiatry

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whirlwind's picture
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Mar 19 2016 08:32
On Psychiatry

The following is a list of the side effects of one of the drugs our inhuman rulers force upon those they accuse of madness. I know this is only one aspect of capital's brutality but is a particularly pernicious one as it holds sway over every one of us. The threat of a diagnosis of schizophrenia is held to each of our heads arbitrarily and if found guilty we face a lifetime imprisonment. Who's barmy?

Hypotension
Orthostatic hypotension
Somnolence/ drowsiness
Weight gain
Erectile dysfunction
Oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea
Anticholinergic effects, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Constipation
- Nasal congestion
- Blurred vision
- Diminished sweating
Extrapyramidal side effects, such as:
- Tremor
- Akathisia
- Muscle rigidity
- Dystonia
- Parkinsonism
Dizziness
Epithelial keratopathy
Eye / vision finding
Retinitis pigmentosa
Photosensitivity
Uncommon side effects (0.1%≤incidence<1%) include
Agitation
Anxiety
Cerebral oedema
Depression
Euphoria
Headache
Ineffective temperature regulation
Restlessness
Weakness
Weight loss
Dyspepsia
Lens opacities (with prolonged use)
Photosensitivity
Pruritus
Diarrhoea
Galactorrhoea
Ejaculatory disorder
QT interval prolongation
Rare (incidence<0.1%) side effects include
Blood dyscrasia (e.g. neutropaenia, agranulocytosis, leukopaenia, etc.)
Seizures
Paralytic ileus
Torsades de Pointes
Heatstroke
Hypothermia
Priapism
Drug-induced Systemic lupus erythematosus
Obstipation
Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
Tardive dyskinesia
Cholestatic jaundice syndrome
Unknown frequency side effects include
Confusion
Decreased gag reflex
Silent pneumonia (likely rare)

patient Insurgency's picture
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Mar 19 2016 12:13

I'm glad someone posted something like this, i suspect a lot of activists, and anarchists dont fully understand or care about this sort of thing. They should, it would be almost hypocritical of someone not to oppose forced imprisonment, torture, explicitly and implicitly state sanctioned abuses and limitations to ones rights as a citizen in so many ways and yet profess and advocate opposition to all hierarchical power structures at the same time.

I myself have been the victim of this and its not even over for me, its a struggle to get out of the system entirely and be "free" as some people call it

I recognize, the work or starve condition imposed on the us by the state is not very nice, and is not full freedom, and i don't fully know what its like to live that way, because i have been either psychotic of in hospital my whole life pretty much, however i imagine wage slavery is better then psychiatric slavery!

Also the incidence of these "side effects" do add up. i have experienced many of these and i have come to the conclusion, through personal experience, what some critics have discovered through analysis of the data, that it is a drug lobotomy.

The drug essentially just damages the brain (and body). As I later learned "anti-psychotics", or "neroleptics" as they were originally called were discovered by anesthetists, who were looking for an aid to their noble efforts (if i remember what i have read correctly), and that, these drugs were of no real medical use, as they simply dulled the patient in manner similar to a lobotomy. it was sent to a psychiatrist who drugged up all their patients and hence the chemical lobotomy was created! Read "Robert Whitaker"'s book "an anatomy of an epidemic" for the proper story.

Essentially the drug was not discovered to as a cure to some kind of fully understood biological problem, it was discovered as a means to subdue people, and make them more easily controllable, and later marketed as a treatment by the firms that produced it.

They simply asserted, once the drug "mechanism of action" was discovered, that the opposite of that drug was the cause of psychosis! They claim, often to this day (some influential psychiatrists say the theory is not any longer believed or practiced, or never was, although i have been told this first hand and many others also) that too much dopamine caused psychosis!

the problem with this is that that would actually show up in certain blood tests. There have been studies on this and it has been shown to be absolutely untrue. There is no lab or clinical blood test to show that this is a biological marker of psychosis.

I have a lot more to say on this issue, including personally experiences that i may one day share with you lot. but i would like to hear more from other anarchists on libcom about this.

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Mar 19 2016 12:25

Another issue is that there are people who have mental illenss diagnosis, who are frieghtened by anti psychiatry because they confide in this world view and feel they have no recognition of their suffering without it.

Mental illness is real, but it is not an illness. To call it an illness is a societal judgment, not science or medicine. And i believe the the diagnosis IS discrimination, and so fighting stigma becomes fighting psychiatry and the beliefs it propagates.

It was a fantastic relief to me to realize that psychiatry is a pseudo science, but at the same time is was so frightened that i would not be able to explain myself without it, and that i might loose social protections, sympathy ect, if i expressed my opinion. Authority is a comfort blanket sometimes, but i feel i'm better off without it, and the various testimonials i have heard from people who have left survived and escaped psychiatry tell me there is light and the end of the tunnel, and that freedom from psychiatry and it abuses is defiantly worth it!

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Mar 19 2016 16:10
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Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice.

George Jackson

This was posted on behalf of the Campaign Against Psychiatric Oppression (CAPO). Any readers who wish to view the manifesto of CAPO may request an electronic copy from the following address: diegorivalgo@gmx.com

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Mar 19 2016 18:59

I've been arrested twice because of psychosis, once taken to the hospital, the other time to jail because I broke something, both times revealed the inadequacy of our infrastructure in dealing with extreme mental states, and a surprising amount of condescension/patronizing/misunderstanding among some social/health workers. Although to be fair when I got hauled off to the hospital one of the cops got on his knees to listen to me tell him about how society didn't really exist and there are only individuals.

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Mar 19 2016 19:42

Sounds like a lovely cop. I was put in the back of a van with a cop that was having hairplugs put in at great expense to himself. I inquired why he had never pushed for promotion after so long on the force. He told me had no ambition to rise in the ranks. I liked that cop too. L'chaim!

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patient Insurgency
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Mar 19 2016 21:33

Perhaps i should of named myself "mental-patient-insurgent" to make things clearer. I will get this right in the end!

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Mar 24 2016 03:54
Bruce Levine wrote:
Many people with severe anxiety and/or depression are also anti-authoritarians. Often a major pain of their lives that fuels their anxiety and/or depression is fear that their contempt for illegitimate authorities will cause them to be financially and socially marginalized; but they fear that compliance with such illegitimate authorities will cause them existential death.

https://www.madinamerica.com/2012/02/why-anti-authoritarians-are-diagnos...

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Mar 24 2016 16:47

There have been quite a few threads here on anti-psychiatry on here before which you may or may not find interesting.
Personally I find it to be an extreme and incorrect reaction. We are not in the situation where young women can be lobotomised for having boyfriends any more except in very rare cases of abuses.
There are definitely mental illnesses and while some of them are triggered and worsened, maybe even caused by society that doesn't mean that we don't treat them.

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Mar 25 2016 01:08

"mental illness" is a metaphor, not referring to literal neurological diseases, but rather, to what society or authorities judge to be wrong thoughts or wrong feeling. people's self-identified goals, in relieving trauma, grief, hallucinations, etc, may often have little or nothing in common with how professionals see fit to change those people. and it is still quite common for mental health professionals - psychiatrists and talk therapists alike - to use diagnoses, coerced drugging, and threats of imprisonment to punish people for being "treatment non-compliant."

in fact, right now, the u.s. congress is considering the murphy bill (H.R. 2646) which would expand forced outpatient treatment in all 50 states: http://realmhchange.org/2016/03/09/109-groups-urge-congress-to-oppose-th...

psychiatry is not "the use of drugs to feel/think better." psychiatry is, rather, a set of power relations and ideologies about human emotion. medications and other aides to relieve stress and survive society are available without these ideologies and power arrangements. hell, i self-medicate not rarely. and i'm not afraid to name how much psychiatric authority props up all other aspects of capitalism, policing affect, etc, and center my politics around defending people from it.

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Mar 26 2016 00:39

Neither state capitalism nor psychiatry has fundamentally changes as a power structure or ideology since its past abuses. It remains an oppressive system of coercion and control.

Although there were waves of de-institutionalization in Europe, this was driven by popular pressure, not by benevolence.

The last lobotomy in the uk was in 1989, and black and Asian people are many times more likely to be diagnosed with its harshest, discriminatory labels.

The penultimate point you made you made, jef, was that "there are definitely mental illness". That there are real phenomena being called illnesses is not in doubt, we (survivors) simply do not like to refer to them as illnesses because there is no underlying pathology; its a social judgment.

[quote ]There are definitely mental illnesses and while some of them are triggered and worsened, maybe even caused by society that doesn't mean that we don't treat them.

This last bit of your sentence is a refutation of the prevailing view of psychiatry not an endorsement of it. Psychiatry does not view mental illnesses as coming from outside of the body, they believe them to be an inherited brain abnormality. Psychology views it in your way, not psychiatry.

Edit: not all surviors/ex service user share that view, although many do.

Fleur
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Mar 26 2016 02:01
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we (survivors) simply do not like to refer to them as illnesses because there is no underlying pathology; its a social judgment.

Try not to speak for others. I have a mental illness, several comorbid ones actually. I know it's an illness, I own that, I manage them and I get really pissed off with people denying that I have mental illness, from whatever perspective.

Quote:
Psychiatry does not view mental illnesses as coming from outside of the body, they believe them to be an inherited brain abnormality.

This is not true. Mental illnesses are recognized by psychiatry as being both genetically inherited and being as the result of experiences and trauma. Some mental illnesses can be identified by imaging, such as MRIs.

Anti-psychiatry swerves a little too close to the pill-shaming, treatment-shaming guff that stigmatizes mental illnesses and deters people from seeking help when they need it. I'm talking from my own personal experience here. I take my meds because I function so much better with them and maybe we could get into one of those navel-gazing conversations where we pontificate about how mental illnesses will be treated in a communist society or how some may not actually manifest at all, but right here and now in the real world I'm fucking grateful for psychiatrists and the medications which make my life livable.

Deal with your mental health issues in whatever way you feel works for you but if you preach the psychiatry is evil line then you're just shitting on people who have found it beneficial. If you go off meds, then don't forget to tell your loved ones what you are doing because there's also a high chance that you are about to put them through hell, also something that I've seen happen.

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Mar 26 2016 05:53

Psychiatry and psychotherapy are from a communist perspective definitely engaged in reproducing peoples mental states so that they can function as capitalist citizens. But if everyone took a communist perspective we'd either be in communism or nihilists, or dead.

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Mar 26 2016 10:17
Fleur wrote:
Anti-psychiatry swerves a little too close to the pill-shaming, treatment-shaming guff that stigmatizes mental illnesses and deters people from seeking help when they need it.

Deal with your mental health issues in whatever way you feel works for you but if you preach the psychiatry is evil line then you're just shitting on people who have found it beneficial.

The Pigeon wrote:
Psychiatry and psychotherapy are from a communist perspective definitely engaged in reproducing peoples mental states so that they can function as capitalist citizens. But if everyone took a communist perspective we'd either be in communism or nihilists, or dead.

So wrong. Capitlaism doesn't want or need mental illness, although certain factions may profit from it. It will however offer enough treatment to keep you functional, ie profitable. This is meaningless as a criticism of psychiatry, though. Capitlaism will offer us as little as it can to keep us functioning and if it underestimates our needs then tough shit for us.

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Mar 26 2016 14:13
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there were waves of de-institutionalization in Europe

Just on this, the significant de-institutionalization that took place in America in the 1980s was a direct result of Reagan's massive cuts to state-funded hospitals of all types. People were literally kicked out of long-term care institutions with nowhere to go. Some ended up on the street, a lot ended up in prison, and some died. Hardly a working-class victory over psychiatry.

More broadly, of course psychiatry and psychology reinforce capitalist norms and reproduce capitalist society in a myriad of ways. All jobs do. As Jef hints at above, it's on us (patients specifically and the working class more broadly by ensuring access to medical care) to assert our needs against the capitalist features of medicine.

For some people that may mean they want alternatives to medicine. But there can be little doubt that for a lot of people, meds are extremely beneficial. I also don't think individual psychiatrists and psychologists - no more than say teachers - get into the field because they want to be agents of social control. Clearly, there's a space at the patient-doctor level to challenge the undeniably oppressive aspects of mental health treatment that do exist.

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Mar 26 2016 15:41

Fleur, i apologize if it sounded like I was speaking for you, we must both recognize the controversy of this issue among patients/survivors/service users/ex-service users, and i will try to speak more sensitively (although I'm not very good at that).

I myself am coming from a perspective of multiple/co morbid diagnosis, and have strong feelings rooted in my own experiences too.

Quote:
This is not true. Mental illnesses are recognized by psychiatry as being both genetically inherited and being as the result of experiences and trauma. Some mental illnesses can be identified by imaging, such as MRIs.

Anti-psychiatry swerves a little too close to the pill-shaming, treatment-shaming guff that stigmatizes mental illnesses and deters people from seeking help when they need it. I'm talking from my own personal experience here. I take my meds because I function so much better with them and maybe we could get into one of those navel-gazing conversations where we pontificate about how mental illnesses will be treated in a communist society or how some may not actually manifest at all, but right here and now in the real world I'm fucking grateful for psychiatrists and the medications which make my life livable.

Deal with your mental health issues in whatever way you feel works for you but if you preach the psychiatry is evil line then you're just shitting on people who have found it beneficial. If you go off meds, then don't forget to tell your loved ones what you are doing because there's also a high chance that you are about to put them through hell, also something that I've seen happen.

No-one is trying to shame you here. I had the same reaction when i was exposed to doubts about my condition, when i was a true believer. What changed my mind was ultimately my hospitalization. Where psychiatry exposed itself to me for what it really is.

I'm also a big fan of science, and a have a strong dislike of anything that is psudo-science. Hearing about criticisms form a pro science perspective helped get the ball rolling too.

Much of what you said in the above paragraph simply is not true. There are no blood tests, brains scans, or any clinical or lab tests that even remotely useful for diagnosing, or predicting mental illness in patient. I would appreciate if you to provide evidence to the contrary.

What i find really painful, as both a libertarian socialist, and an ex patient with anti-psych views, is when people by into this pseudo-liberal propaganda that failing to acknowledge a difference in someone is somehow discriminating against them. That is literally the opposite to how we deal with racism, sexism, homophobia, trans rights, nationalism, and any other issue here. I'm really quite baffled as to why you might so many activists seem to buy into this. It just leaves people like me in a greater sense of distress and helplessness.

Also you might be interested in this, from the British psychological society:

http://www.bps.org.uk/system/files/Public%20files/rep03_understanding_ps...

This puts a lot of things clearer and more sensitively than i could. Furthermore, it is written by a combination, of service users, ex service users and experts in the field of psychology.

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Mar 26 2016 16:04
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Just on this, the significant de-institutionalization that took place in America in the 1980s was a direct result of Reagan's massive cuts to state-funded hospitals of all types. People were literally kicked out of long-term care institutions with nowhere to go. Some ended up on the street, a lot ended up in prison, and some died. Hardly a working-class victory over psychiatry.

Chili, my understanding of the de-institutionalization was that it started with a mass movement supported by trade unions, and patient/survivors, in Italy, and then followed by the united kingdom. I am actually writing this from a supported living environment have just been de-institutionalized myself.

Quote:
But there can be little doubt that for a lot of people, meds are extremely beneficial.

Not according to the evidence.

https://youtu.be/VgS79hz1saI

There is evidence that short term use can be beneficial, but not by acting on some feature of the brain that is "psychotic", but by rather, inducing an altered state of consciousness that makes it easier to manage, like alcohol and anxiety.

please watch as much of this as you can, there is a lot of science in this presentation.

petey
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Mar 26 2016 17:00

Thanks to Fleur and jef for their posts above.

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Mar 26 2016 18:57
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That is literally the opposite to how we deal with racism, sexism, homophobia, trans rights, nationalism, and any other issue here.

Just on this, I don't think anyone - and I certainly hope I don't come across this way - is trying to dismiss your views as someone who's had first-hand experience. If you don't feel institutionalization or medicine was right for you, no one is, I hope, going to challenge that. By the same token, I don't think anyone denies that some really fucked-up, oppressive stuff has occurred in the name of psychiatry.

But, as you admit, certain mental health drugs do have positive benefits - even if there's some debate how to analyze those benefits. Given that, I think people are right to be a little wary of a throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater approach to psychiatry - especially one that doesn't recognize the voices of those who've had a positive experience with psychiatric medicine, as we've seen on this very thread.

Quote:
my understanding of the de-institutionalization was that it started with a mass movement supported by trade unions, and patient/survivors, in Italy, and then followed by the united kingdom.

I'd be interested to hear more about this history. Not that I'm doubting you, but it doesn't seem like a typical issue for trade unions to take on and I'd love to know how the patient/service user activist groups hooked up with the unions.

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Mar 26 2016 19:00
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a supported living environment have just been de-institutionalized myself.

If it's not a personal question, I'm curious how you see the differences between institutionalization and a supported living environment. Do you see either existing in a libertarian approach to mental health?

Fleur
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Mar 26 2016 19:44
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Much of what you said in the above paragraph simply is not true. There are no blood tests, brains scans, or any clinical or lab tests that even remotely useful for diagnosing, or predicting mental illness in patient. I would appreciate if you to provide evidence to the contrary.

That's not what I said. I just said that differences in brains with certain mental illnesses, non-neurotypical structures can be easily discerned in MRI scans. I can't be bothered to do other people's leg work any more but it's not hard to google brain images which show distinct structural and chemical differences. However given that MRIs cost over $2 million dollars each, that they are in very short supply (there are only 2 0f them covering the population of one and a half million people in the city where I live) and the running costs are so high, each scan costing about a $1000, it's not very useful diagnostic tool, when diagnoses can be made by history taking and analysis of symptoms presented, just like a multitude of other illnesses are diagnosed.

People watch way too many medical dramas and imagine that there are a plethora of easily administered tests available for diagnostic purposes, when there really aren't. It's not so easy as Dr House ordering a set of blood tests to diagnose illness. Often blood tests are just part of the diagnostic process and sometimes they rarely on their own of any use diagnostically and need to be part of a package of diagnostic tools. In addition, blood tests usually give clues to what is wrong, not all of them have definite answers. There's no diagnostic tests for Parkinson's, Alzheimers, Motor Neurone Disease. A lot of illnesses need to have diagnoses confirmed by biopsies (muscular dystrophy being one) but no-one is going to be able to biopsy the brain, so looking for definitive test based diagnoses is going to be a dead end.

People hold psychiatry to a much higher standard than other medical specialities. Nobody expects other specialists to cure chronic illnesses and then condemn them when they don't. I've never heard of any anti neurology movement because it can be really hard to manage and treat epilepsy, or be antagonistic to endocrinologists because it's pretty much impossible to have perfect control of diabetes.

All medications have adverse reactions and side effects. Just ask anyone with a chronic pain condition what the long term effects of painkillers are, possible kidney damage being one of them. On the other hand, long term untreated depression or anxiety causes permanent brain damage. It's a shit choice but one you have to weigh up for yourself. It's not surprising that anti-psychotics were first developed for a different purpose, this happens all the time. The human body is a complicated and interconnected thing. We all know about viagra, thalidomide was developed as a sedative and anti-nausea drug ( with tragic results) but is an absolute wonder drug for leprosy and some blood cancers.

And this -

Quote:
No-one is trying to shame you here.

And you then go on to do just that.

Quote:
What i find really painful, as both a libertarian socialist, and an ex patient with anti-psych views, is when people by into this pseudo-liberal propaganda that failing to acknowledge a difference in someone is somehow discriminating against them.

I am monumentally fed up when ever I talk about and advocate for myself as a person with a mental illness, which I do a lot, because some annoying person with the evangelical zeal of a recent convert pops up and tells me that I'm a sucker and a dupe for falling for some kind of con. this is usually followed by some kind of big pharma conspiracy. Don't save me, I don't want to be saved. My life was fucked up and extremely self-harming before I got medical help. I'm not stupid, I know how to manage my own life.

Fleur
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Mar 26 2016 19:52
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my understanding of the de-institutionalization was that it started with a mass movement supported by trade unions, and patient/survivors, in Italy, and then followed by the united kingdom.

I remember the de-institutionalizing process in the UK. It had nothing to do with patient care, it was a massive cost cutting exercise by the Thatcher government called Care in the Community, in which psychiatric facilities were closed down. Some of these hospitals were god awful and needed closing but the net result was that a huge number of patients were dumped into the "community" with little or no support. My sister-in-law was a psychiatric nurse at the time and had to cover a huge list of patients under this program, many of which had no adequate medical follow up, were predated upon by shady landlords and other people, had very few coping skills or support networks. She got so burnt out by her inability to provide care for her patients she quit.

Sleeper
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Mar 26 2016 19:59

What hasn't been mentioned yet is that there are competing models of medical practice that have a real impact on what help and support people get.

There is the medical model, the psychiatric model that views mental health as a physical problem that can be cured by medication/drugs and incarceration in psychiatric institutions of one kind or another.

Then there is the anti-psychiatry model as practised by Szasz and others who view mental illness or madness as a perfectly rational response to the kind of society we live in, a capitalist and hierachical society where we are expected to compete with and kill each other rather than help and live together.

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Mar 26 2016 21:12
jef costello wrote:
So wrong. Capitlaism doesn't want or need mental illness, although certain factions may profit from it. It will however offer enough treatment to keep you functional, ie profitable. This is meaningless as a criticism of psychiatry, though. Capitlaism will offer us as little as it can to keep us functioning and if it underestimates our needs then tough shit for us.

But my friend the psychiatric sector regards alienation as mental illness, which is a sticky thing. We do not consider alienation a psyche disorder, we consider it a social problem.

And I'm not saying all mental illness is alienation, but most become alienated.

elraval2
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Mar 27 2016 02:06
Quote:
I remember the de-institutionalizing process in the UK. It had nothing to do with patient care, it was a massive cost cutting exercise by the Thatcher government called Care in the Community,

very interesting. need to look this up and read more about it. any links to suggest other than a general google search?

best,
el raval

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Mar 27 2016 08:47

While there are clearly elements of mental health diagnosis and treatment that's fucked up I don't get why some people need to view the entire system of care in such a conspiratorial manner. Babies and bath water spring to mind.
Anecdotally a case in point is my daughter, who after months in a eating disorder treatment centre made no progress at all with her extreme anorexia finally agreed to Meds and within a month began eating voluntarily. Without those Meds it is hers and my belief that she would now be dead or at best, permanently hospitalised with tubes coming out of her face.
Inappropriate treatment seems to come from a lack of understand of the problem or a one size fits all prescriptive approach than anything more sinister and I say that as a former inmate at what I would say was a fairly typical psych hospital.

Fleur
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Mar 27 2016 13:38

elraval2

I don't have any specific links, although there must be reports and critiques from that period because iirc the laws were changed in the early 90s(?) because it was obvious the policy was a disaster.

Clearly the old Victorian asylums had to go and there had to be a better way of caring for and treating people with MH problems. Nods were made to the deinstitutionalization movements and theories by people such as Laing but the actual implementation was done with no actual care and almost no community. There was a lack of co-ordination between various agencies and a severe lack of funds. There was the awful situation of adults with learning disabilities, who shouldn't have been institutionalized in the first place but had been put away since childhood, placed out in the "community" and pretty much expected to fend for themselves.

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Mar 27 2016 14:27

“There are no objective tests in psychiatry-no X-ray, laboratory, or exam finding that says definitively that someone does or does not have a mental disorder.” “It’s bull—. I mean, you just can’t define it.” — Allen Frances, Psychiatrist and former DSM-IV Task Force Chairman

“While DSM has been described as a ‘Bible’ for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary…. The weakness real-disease-vs-mental-disorderis its lack of validity. Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever.” — Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health

“There are no objective tests in psychiatry-no X-ray, laboratory, or exam finding that says definitively that someone does or does not have a mental disorder.” “There is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bull—. I mean, you just can’t define it.” — Allen Frances, Psychiatrist and former DSM-IV Task Force Chairman

“no shortage of alleged biochemical explanations for psychiatric conditions…not one has been proven. Quite the contrary. In every instance where such an imbalance was thought to have been found, it was later proven false.” — Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, Harvard Medical School psychiatrist

“DSM IV is the fabrication upon which psychiatry seeks acceptance by medicine in general. Insiders know it is more a political than scientific document. To its credit it says so — although its brief apologia is rarely noted. DSM IV has become a bible and a money making best seller — its major failings notwithstanding. It confines and defines practice, some take it seriously, others more realistically. It is the way to get paid. Diagnostic reliability is easy to attain for research projects. The issue is what do the categories tell us? Do they in fact accurately represent the person with a problem? They don’t, and can’t, because there are no external validating criteria for psychiatric diagnoses.” Psychiatrist Loren Mosher, former Chief of NIMH’s Center for Studies of Schizophrenia, head of Schizophrenia Research, National Institute of Mental health

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/may/12/psychiatrists-under-fire-...

Its true, i concede that i am a bit hazy on history, to say the least. However, the story of Basaglia Law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basaglia_Law) is real. While i cannot give you comprehensive information about it at the present time, i will, when i can afford to, get some books on the subject and give you a summery.

Also, this nonsense about patients being sent out on the streets ect, is not true, at least not in the uk.

All patients in the UK who have been detained under the mental health act more than 28 day receive section 117 aftercare. This means that a patient cannot be discharged onto the streets, and must have assistance in dealing with housing, support, finding employment etc. It was included as part of the mental health act 1983.

And yes it was a conservative government, not that it matters. Politics is never straight forward. the conservatives and labour both competed to build the most houses in the 1950s and 60s and sure you are aware. That has nothing to do with electoral politics or benevolence, what mattered was class power. There was popular opposition to the interment of the mentally ill in the uk, and that is what ultimate lead to its change. Furthermore, it was more cost effective to provide care in the community but it did not happen, not in the 19th century, not pre world war two, and not untill sustained pressure was put on the on psychiatry and the state of a 20 or so year period.

Care in the community was a good idea, however it was most likely under funded.

I don't know the full history. The power and influence of the working class seems to have rapidly declined in the 1980s. It could just be that the government had to something at the time, and then just did a bad job, i don't know. there needs to be a proper analysis of it and nobody on here, to my knowledge, has done that, and i cant do it because i lack the knowledge ect.

To be blunt i'm not sure how to fit any of this into a class struggle narrative. I'm not saying it can't be done, i'm saying i'm not sure how to do it.

But what I am clear about, is both my libertarian socialist world view, and that psychiatry also happens to be a pseudo-science. How to reconcile, that i'm not sure. But i am confident that it somehow can be.

I remember Kropotkin writing something about mental hospitals, but i cannot find it sad

patient Insurgency's picture
patient Insurgency
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Mar 27 2016 14:32

I'm sorry to be all over the place, i do not meant to come across as some arrogant "i know the answers for everything" guy. I just have an issue that i'm affected by and thus have strong feelings about it.

And i will get back to you chilli source about your question about supported living.

Fleur
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Joined: 21-02-12
Mar 27 2016 15:49
Quote:
“There are no objective tests in psychiatry-no X-ray, laboratory, or exam finding that says definitively that someone does or does not have a mental disorder.”

You are not really listening to what I am saying. There aren't many objective tests which can definitively diagnose that someone does or does not have lots of kinds of illnesses. Like I said, no tests for Parkinsons, motor-neuron etc. There's no test for ME either, are you suggesting that doesn't exist too? Ehlers-danlos syndrome is diagnosed by symptom too, although there is a genetic test for one kind of EDS but is rarely used because diagnosis by symptom is already effective diagnosis. Unless you have an disease which produces antibodies, blood tests generally provide clues which confirm or deny diagnoses, too much protein, too much creatine, too many white blood cells etc. They're not particularly useful on their own. Given that most brain chemicals cannot pass the brain-blood barrier an blood test isn't going to happen and you cannot biopsy a brain in the same way you can biopsy muscles or other organs. Just because there aren't the tools to assist in the diagnosis of mental health problems, in the same way that there weren't the tools to assist in the diagnosis of many other medical problems until recently, doesn't mean that it's all a made-up conspiracy to oppress the working class. Until recently there was no useful test for ovarian cancer, which is why it is so often fatal as it is not easily detected until it got to a point before it was difficult to treat. There is now but did ovarian cancer not exist before the test did?
What I am saying is that diagnosis by history and symptom is standard throughout all medicine. Illness still existed before tests were developed and it's hardly surprising that there are few diagnostic tools for the brain because it is so intricate, so easily damaged.

Medicine doesn't provide the answers to everything. Science cannot definitively give answers either to a lot of things, it's just as subjective and subject to differences of opinions. Doesn't mean something should be rejected because there is a far from complete picture.

Quote:
Also, this nonsense about patients being sent out on the streets ect, is not true, at least not in the uk.

Yes it is, you're just probably not old enough to remember it. Obviously people weren't discharged onto the streets but it didn't take long for a lot of vulnerable people to end up there with an absence of care and support. I never said that care in the community isn't a good idea, just that it was very badly implemented.

Honestly, how you decide to manage your mental health is something on my huge pile of stuff which is none of my business. You're a grown up, you can make your own decisions. However, browbreating people with mental health issues who do decide to take medical help, including people who feel that this help has been valuable and beneficial to them is a problem. You are belittling people's experiences and particularly in mental health where people are already subject to stigma, discrimination and abuse. Anyone can cherry pick data and opinion to prove whatever they want and believe in. Don't use that to oppress people who take a medical route to manage their conditions, which is exactly what the anti-meds contingency does. You know we have to put up with this shit all the time, from all sorts of different angles? Formulating a class-struggle anarchist perspective on how we're all weak, stupid and duped because we take our meds, which help us to function in this shitty world isn't any better.

Fleur
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Mar 27 2016 16:03

Incidentally, I'm not suggesting that mental health problems are all caused by pathological diseases of the brain. Personally I think like many other things, like MS and diabetes, people may have genetic predispositions which may or may not become triggered by environmental conditions. Other MH problems are caused by trauma, PTSD being the obvious one. That's just my opinion though, that there are many different causes of mental health problems. My point is though that it really doesn't fucking matter. Whatever works for you is what matters. What does matter is that people with MH problems should be treated with respect and able to have access to the care they need, whether that is medical or not. Med shaming us, which happens so, so often, is not treating us with respect, is denying us our autonomy of choice and is incongruous with anarchist analysis. Do whatever you want but don't tell me what to do with my life because you've got another faith, which is what it feels like whenever people adopt hard-line beliefs and principles about lifestyle choices.