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UK group sponsors public Speak Out Against Psychiatry event


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"All the evidence shows that mainstream psychiatry and psychiatric medication is a waste of public money. There are better ways of helping people who are mentally distressed and we need to start using them."


To join the event on July 27th, 2011, see http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=211203888908921


Mainstream psychiatry is failing – but there is another way


Posted by John Hoggett Monday 25 July 2011 11.00 BST guardian.co.uk


I am sick of seeing friends who are seriously mentally distressed neglected and damaged by mainstream psychiatry. I am fed up hearing about people being detained, locked up and forced to take damaging medication before anyone has found out why they are distressed. I am angry about children being forced to take addictive psychoactive drugs by health professionals because no one could be bothered to work out why they are playing up. I met some others who wanted to change things and together we formed an organisation called Speak Out Against Psychiatry.


Speak Out Against Psychiatry is a group of service users, carers and advocates with direct experience of the psychiatric industry. We know that people who are mentally distressed need compassionate understanding and intense social support. We know that there have been many successful units around the world that have helped people resolve their problems with little or no medication. They have been relatively cheap and successful yet they are not being taken up in the UK. Why not?


Take Western Lapland, in Finland. There, the mental health system is based on a method called Open Dialogue: lots of long conversations with family and friends. It has the best outcomes for first episode psychosis in the developed world. About 80% of participants are back at work or training within two years. Very little medication is used. These results should be the envy of the medical professional yet it is mainly ignored. Similarly, the Family Care Foundation in Gothenburg, Sweden, allows seriously disturbed people to live with rural families for a year or more. They get therapy and the family can regularly talk over how things are going. It gets people off medication, a frightening contrast with the standard treatment from the NHS.


Here, psychiatrists' main activity is diagnosis, yet many people do not find this helpful. They find talking about their lives and their symptoms helpful. Yet talking about hearing voices or the unusual ideas expressed by people experiencing psychosis is discouraged by mainstream psychiatry.


Most people who are extremely distressed have experienced immense personal trauma. Two-thirds of people diagnosed with schizophrenia had experienced physical or sexual abuse. Most psychiatrists ignore the evidence and prefer to talk about unproven brain disorders and imbalances in neurotransmitters. So the causes of mental distress are not fed back into wider social policy.


Then there are the drugs. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has no scientific basis and concerns about the drug Ritalin, used to 'treat' it are well documented. There are other ways of helping children who are in conflict with their parents and teachers that do not use potentially addictive medication. Equally, the prescribing of major tranquillisers such as Haloperidol to elderly people in hospital and nursing homes can be dangerous yet is becoming standard practice instead of developing staff skills in dealing with people experiencing dementia. Meanwhile, anti-depressants may be no more effective than a placebo. The serotonin hypothesis of depression is rubbish. It is a marketing ploy by drug companies. Anti-depressants are potentially addictive and sometimes dangerous, yet one in three women take them some time in their lives. On top of this, electroconvulsive therapy is still used yet there has been ample research showing its dangers and it is just about useless.


Speak Out Against Psychiatry is inviting people to come along at 4pm on Wednesday 27 July, outside the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Belgrave Square, London, to tell us about their experiences of the damaging treatment they have received. We want to hear your stories and we want the Royal College to hear them too.


....I repeat, all the evidence shows that mainstream psychiatry and psychiatric medication is a waste of public money. There are better ways of helping people who are mentally distressed and we need to start using them.



This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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Great article.


It made me think of the account by Laura Delano on the Mad In America Blog regarding her experience on psych meds and in being hospitalized.




She talked about this particular patient called M.


"I learned that he was trying to open his own tanning salon, and had never, in his entire life, experienced any struggles with mental illness. About two months earlier, he had discovered that his girlfriend had cheated on him, and he flew into a blind rage. Unable to handle what he’d learned, he got intoxicated and scaled to the top of a large suspension bridge. Once on the top, he sat pondering his life, as police and fire trucks and eventually a helicopter made their way to the scene. He eventually decided that he wanted a cigarette, but had left his pack at the bottom, so he climbed back down and was immediately apprehended. He was brought here soon thereafter, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and medicated. When the medications failed to work in the first part of his stay, his doctors decided to give him electroshock therapy, ECT, to help him with his depressed mood. He had been receiving treatment three times a week since that time. I asked him how long he’d been on the unit for, and how long the average stay was. He told me it seemed to him like most patients stayed about a week or so. He had been on the unit for almost two months. "


The treatment was working so well that M ended up slitting his wrists when he was allowed to use a razor unsupervised.


Sadly, if this guy had received treatment in Finland via the Open Dialogue Method, his life would have had a much better outcome. Now, because he had a momentary lapse in judgment, his life is destroyed thanks to psychiatry.


Of course, the folks defending this treatment would have maintained that this incident uncovered his bipolar disorder which is a bunch of BS in my opinion.



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