In this paper I want to review the investigations from the Citizens Committee for Human Rights in Mental Health. It is this organisation in the United States and other countries that have consistently brought the dangers of psychiatry to the attention of the general public who by and large are the victims of a marriage between pharmaceutical companies and their paid distributors of lethal drugs, psychiatrists. This alliance has been based on the greed for money, profits and kudos all in the name of a science that as one leading authority called – “hokum”
Introduction: A Short History
The history of psychiatry is strewn with the deaths; torture and misadventure that would make any sane person wonder why it has been allowed to continue to practice this black art for so long. Of course the anti-psychiatry movement has been around for almost as long as the profession itself. How did this all begin? You have to go back to the days of the asylums that grew up in the early part of the 1800’s particularly in England and the USA. These places were no more than prisons for the mad, those souls that could not function within the societies norms that dictated how one should act and behave. The head of the asylums was a medical doctor, the first psychiatrist. This man caged the mentally ill in cells, with no heating, little food but rotten scraps and in order to cure them of their madness the inmates were tortured by flogging, burning, immersion in water and many other inhumane acts called treatment. The down fall of the asylums started in England with the York Retreat a Quaker run institute for the mentally ill run on very different lines from the asylums that were government institutions. In the York retreat the inmates were given jobs to perform, were helped by keeping simple rules and rewarded for following them.
They received humane treatment that would lead them to God and sanity. While the York retreat had some success it was still based on control of the mad. Later as the years went by and the 19th century ended the rise of the huge mental hospitals arrived. Psychiatry had new weapons to defeat the mentally ill, this time with brain surgery called lobotomies, hydro-treatment, fire hoses to spray patients with forced jets of water, wet blanket wrapping, where patients would be bound in wet sheets on a bed unable to move for hours, insulin injections, to cause artificial brain seizures and of course electric convulsive therapy – shocking patients with bolts of electricity in order to numb the brain into not remembering why they had problems in the first place. As the 21st century arrived the cost of these hospitals became so burdensome to governments they closed them down and in their stead introduced “care in the community” which ironically did not care at all and most mental health patients became homeless and the new beggars in our streets. It was not until the early 1900’s that finally Freud introduced his “talking cure” a humane way to try and understand the plight of the mentally disturbed and a way of giving them insight and a possible cure. Of course you had to have money for this treatment much as you do today.
Psychoanalysis is for those who can pay the price. As the century blossomed so did Freud’s theory which was to become many types of therapy from behaviourism, cognitive, transactional and many more variegation of his original idea. In fact without Freud there would be no modern psychology as we know it. From about 1960 a new ear for psychiatry emerged. All those barbaric treatments that never worked were about to be replaced, not by another type of institutions but by a chemical straightjacket that came from the pharmaceutical industry. Now drugs were the new form of treatment, suddenly the lowly carer of the insane, and the psychiatrist could become a real doctor and prescribe psychopharmecutical drugs to all. So an era of drug pushing began, where new mental disorders were manufactured in order to sell more drugs. Early in the century Krapelin invented a small book called the DSM (diagnostic statistical manual of mental illness) in this book he gave lists of mental symptoms that if added up in one person lead to a label for their problem, such as depression, anxiety, mania, hysteria, homosexuality, immoral behaviour and much more. As the years went by the profession of psychiatry kept adding to this book and inventing new labels in order to match a drug to manage it.
Today we have the DSM IV version with the next one almost completed as number V. Over the years it has discovered all sorts of new ways to classify human emotions as being mentally ill. Bipolar disorders, ADHD in children, PTSD for soldiers (shell shock of WW1) and many others. While these labels may have some usefulness and have been recognised as genuine problems for a few people, now of course according to psychiatry we are all mentally ill, if not at this moment but in our lifetime. So they divide populations into existing clients of drugs and potential clients of drugs. Today mental health is not a profession, not even a scientific medical branch but simply a marketing arm of the pharmaceutical industry that pays millions of dollars annually to keep the myth of mental illness alive and expanding.
Here I would like to list some facts that speak for themselves.
• 100 million people worldwide are on psychotropic drugs
• In addition to crippling scores of people daily, every month psychiatric drugs kill an estimated 3,000 worldwide.
• 70% of all psychiatrics drugs are prescribed by general physicians.
• 374 mental disorders are listed; almost all with out a single scientific test to prove they actually exist biologically.
• Psychiatric drugs in 1966 were 44 but by today that has risen to over 180.
• The top five drugs gross more money than half the world’s nations.
• Drugs make over a third of a trillion dollars a year.
• 20 million children around the world are prescribed psychiatric drugs (USA 9 million alone). Most under 5 years old for non-scientific problems.
• Every 75 seconds someone is involuntarily committed a mental institution in the US alone.
• Electric shock therapy is still in use even though it causes memory loss and has little long term benefit to the patients. This is straight forward abuse of Human Rights.
All the above were researched by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights and backed worldwide by some of the most eminent psychiatrists and psychologists today.
The long list above is only the tip of the psychiatric abuse saga. It is a profession based on money and more money. Most drugs in the market are only tested for less than eight weeks in clinical trials before being given FDA approval by a panel of psychiatrists paid for by the very drug companies they are supposed to be regulating. Not a single medical drug on the market today is free of side effects which of course are the real effects of taking dangerous drugs for often fictisous mental illnesses. You cannot solve a life issue my masking it with drugs and expecting to feel better. The issue is still there – so you have to take the drugs for a lifetime in order to never think about your real problems. Of course with the side effects of one drug you are prescribed many others all to combat each others effects – so most people with a diagnosis of mental problems end up on a cocktail of drugs for life. It is amazing the amount of money people spend to chemically anesthetise themselves when a tiny proportion of that cost could be spent seeing a counsellor, psychologist and therapist and actually dealing with their issues and never having to take a drug in the fist place.
Psychiatry, disables, kills and creates drug addicts. Simple really when you add up the costs to society. Do they still have a place in modern medicine at all? Well yes, they could concentrate on helping severely disturbed people with understanding, kindness even when they may have to assert some control over that individual for a short time. However for the vast majority of patients taking psychotropic drugs they could stop them tomorrow (or at least phase them out to minimise withdrawal effects) and start going to see a therapist. I would recommend a counsellor skilled in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for depression and anxiety, Transactional Analysis for parenting, communications skills, stress at work and many other day to day issues that require some practical skills insight. For personality problems with anger, emotional turmoil, long term unhappiness and dysfunction then a psychoanalyst would be perhaps your choice. Most psychologists who treat patients in counselling are Eclectic this means they borrow from many styles of theory and practice to use the most appropriate approach based on each clients needs. The list is endless but any therapy that helps you to become stable, responsible for your own actions and gives you the insight into choices is better by far than a life time of drugs and unhappiness.
If you feel the need – go see a therapist today – find out how to get away from dispensed drugs and start to find a purpose in life again.
Citizens Commission on Human Rights – 2009 – Psychiatric Violations of Human Rights
DVD Making a killing – Exposure of Drug Companies links to Psychiatry
DSM-IV Statistical Manual of Mental Illness – Version 4
R. Gross (1996) – Psychology – Theory of Mind and Behaviour – refs to historical notes. Hodder and Stoughton Publications (Words 1622)