History of Psychiatry & Psychiatric Survivors

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Internet Resources

A more humane psychiatry, if it is even possible in today's cultural climate, must recognize the powerful potential of the uses and abuses of power if it is not to become a tool of social control and normalization.
David Kaiser
This exhibition tells the fascinating 750-year-old story of Bethlem Royal Hospital, popularly known as 'Bedlam'. Bethlem is the world's oldest institution caring for people with mental disorders. It has been a part of London since 1247 and many people, rich and poor, have played a part in its history.
Museum of London
On early developments and key alterations in philosophical thinking (that) highlight certain subsequent events that contributed to the evolution of psychology and psychiatry. It also offers an outline of the abusive history of these practices...
Robert Meinsma
The plan promises to integrate mentally ill patients fully into the community by providing services in the community, rather than institutions. While some praise the plan's goals, others say it protects profits of drug companies at expense of the public.
Jeanne Lenzer, British Medical Journal
The attempt to make psychiatric diagnosis more reliable, combined with a return to a biomedical model of mental illness, has been called the "neo-Kraepelinian" approach. It regards psychiatry as a scientific, medical speciality that clearly demarcates mentally ill patients, who require treatment, from normal people.
D.B. Double
Paradigmatic exercise of psychiatric coercion is imposition of an ostensibly diagnostic or therapeutic intervention on subjects against their will, legitimized by the state as protection of subjects from madness and protection of the public from the mad.
Thomas Szasz
In Caseness a "mental health professional" negatively values those symptoms believed to be caused by a physical pathology. In the subsequent labelling of the "patient" a transfer of ownership of the person's body to the "medical system" occurs.
Michael Susko
With the growing primacy of human agency in virtually all spheres of life, the field of psychology should be articulating a broad vision of human beings not a reductive fragmentary one.
Albert Bandura
While one can make accurate general statements about specific areas of the brain, the circuitry involved in brain function is significantly more complex than one area of the brain performing one function.
Thomas Kramer
In several recent publications in French, the position is taken that autistic disorder in children is the result of a massive defense mechanism on the part of the autistic child, and caused by a sense of rejection by the mother.
Martin Maldonado-Duran, Linda Helmig
In 1867 Maudsley, the noted British psychiatrist, included in his textbook, Physiology and Pathology of Mind, a 34-page chapter on "Insanity of Early Life." In it he not only tried to correlate symptoms with developmental status but also suggested an elaborate seven-point classification, which went as follows: 1. Monomania; 2. Choreic mania; 3. Cataleptoid insanity; 4. Epileptoid insanity; 5. Mania; 6. Melancholia; 7. Affective insanity. Anyone superciliously critical either of the terminology based on the then circulating coinage or of the cohesion of the grouping may be reminded that the differentiation of the childhood psychoses has to this day not gone far beyond a degree of controversial floundering. (Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 1971, 1(1):14-19)
Leo Kanner
If such activities as habitat destruction and species extinction are bad (and I think they are), then they are bad in themselves. They are great aesthetic and moral wrongs, not pathology.
Neil Scheurich
In this essay, I will conceive of the mental disorders as conditions rather than as, for example, behaviours, afflictions, or problems. The question can then be formulated as follows: What conditions (if any) should be categorized as mental disorders?
Bengt Brulde
There are two central points about the juxtaposition of psyche with pathology. The first is a distinction between the normal and the abnormal or pathological. The second is an analogy between psychic processes and somatic ones.
Robert M. Young
This is a cross between a conversation and an interview, originally done for the Autreat 2004 program book. Both interviewer and interviewee have been institutionalized, and the interviewee has also worked in an institution. Some of the content will probably be disturbing to anyone who's experienced this kind of thing.
Amanda Baggs, D.M. Kahrs (editor), L. Tisoncik
Socially deviant behavior was medicalized, and medical explanations replaced theological ones. Good behavior was now considered healthy; bad behavior was regarded as unhealthy.
Toby J. Arquette
Italianitis referred to Italians who seemed to have a tendency to develop symptoms of secondary gain after World War I stress, feeling that this wealthy country should provide for them.
H. Steven Moffic
A psychiatrist could, if he were so inclined, diagnose as mentally ill someone with whose worldview he disagreed--which is essentially what it means to say that a person is 'suffering from delusions.'
Thomas Szasz, Jacob Sullum
Both labelling and beliefs about the disorder's causes and prognosis, as well as the perception that those suffering from it are unpredictable and dangerous, had an impact on the public's desire for social distance. The latter proved to be more important.
Matthias C Angermeyer et al
Deinstitutionalization of young people with intellectual disability means that they are now cared for by families and served by community-based professionals. Normalization, which has been the guiding philosophy for this re-integration, has challenged child psychiatry to accept its responsibility for the mental health of this special needs group. It is argued that this group, with its special mental health needs, has had an influence on the conceptual framework of child psychiatry, particularly our understanding of development. This article examines the influence of the psychiatry of intellectual disability on child psychiatry and the influence of child psychiatry on the understanding of the mental health needs of those with intellectual disability. In particular, the management of young people with intellectual disability has required child psychiatry to expand its understanding of a biopsychosocial approach. Some of the resulting changes and challenges are presented to illustrate the benefits for both child psychiatry and the psychiatry of intellectual disability. The interaction of different conceptual biases has led to a new and broader conceptual spectrum of developmental neuropsychiatry. Developmental neuropsychiatry recognizes the need to integrate social science and preventative strategies at one end of the spectrum, with the genetics, molecular biology of human behaviour and targeted pharmacology at the other, and consider the developmental and interactive nature of such models. This article argues that this emerging, dynamic and broader conceptual framework of developmental neuropsychiatry enhances our understanding of the child mental health of all children. The article looks at some of the implications for assessment, diagnosis and treatment. As mental health needs become a greater public health priority, the advances in basic sciences will reinvigorate this medical specialty and training programmes will need to reflect these.
David Dossetor
What if the values and norms of a given society are irrational? Can mental health consist of being well-adjusted to the irrational?
Lawrence Stevens
Let us all pause and remember that not all ideas for psychological treatments are good ideas. " My lobotomy: Howard Dully's journey" is the name of a broadcast available in recorded form on the National Public Radio website. It's chilling. It's sobering. It's worth listening to.
Autism Diva
Welcome to the pathologizing of childhood. Those formerly labeled 'late bloomers' are now 'developmentally delayed,' boys who once had 'ants in their pants' are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.
Antonia Black
A pervasive pattern of condescension, degradation of others, and controlling behavior beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts... Staff Personality Disorder is sometimes seen in the prodromal stages of developing full-fledged Psychiatry Disorder.
Amanda Baggs, Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical
A. Delusional thought patterns, consisting of at least two of the following: (1) Patronization (2) Responsibility (3) Thought Decryption (4) Stereotyping (5) Pseudoscientific. B. Symptoms have clinically caused significant impairment in at least one major area of functioning for at least one other person...
Jared Blackburn, Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical
...the child had been referred in 1947 to the children's ward of New York's Bellevue Hospital "because of distressing anxiety that frequently reached a state of panic. . . . The child was mute and autistic." The morning after admission he received the first of a series of 20 electroshocks and was discharged one month later.
Leonard Roy Frank
Biopsychiatric research is critically reviewed and reconceptualized as showing that while mental disorders are expressed physiologically, this does not determine causality.
Jason Seidel
Diagnosis is a political tool. It has been used to medicate angry and powerless women and to take away our children. It has been used to hospitalize political activists and other radicals.
Arlene Istar Lev
A blog committed to the creation, realization, exercizing and fulfillment of social justice, human rights, self-determination and freedom in mental health
Morgan W. Brown
This analysis points out that although many mental disorders are diseases because they almost certainly involve breakdowns in the basic bio-psychological architecture of the human mind (e.g., schizophrenia and autistic disorder), many mental disorders are not diseases in the traditional medical sense (e.g., at a minimum, Wakefield?s long list of false positives) because they do not involve such dysfunctions.
Gregg R. Henriques
Mental illness is often viewed as an individual disease rather than as a category of oppression. In the United States and many other Western countries, it is usually explained and interpreted by medical and psychiatric 'experts.'
Maia Duerr
In the wake of WWII, leading psychiatrists testified before the United States Congress that the country needed more psychiatrists so that the world could be delivered from delinquency and unhappiness.
Gary Null
The principal elements of the legal-religious mentality are autistic certainty, animistic labeling, and concrete thinking. Concrete thinking supports two stigmatizing beliefs about mental illness: that it is a manifestation of evil spirits, and that it is a myth.
Donald E. Watson
I argue in this essay that the phenomena we classify as "mental illness" result largely from the refusal of socially authorized "experts" to recognize - and thus to constitute - the Other (the developing person, the social deviant) as a subject. I suggest that Institutional Mental Health refuses to do this not merely because it seeks to aggrandize its own power but also because it fears to acknowledge that we are all participants in a process of historical development.
Seth Farber
The issue of major concern is how does a society recruit otherwise decent and compassionate people for destructive purposes? By employing self-absolving practices, moral people can be led to behave destructively without self-condemnation.
Albert Bandura
People Working Together for Social Justice and Human Rights in Mental Health
The passing of Rosemary Kennedy reminds us not only of another stain on the Kennedy legacy, but also of some rather barbaric psychiatric practices that had been acceptable methods of treatment as recently as 1967. That was the year in which Walter Freedman, inventor of the ice-pick method of removing the frontal lobe, executed his last "psychosurgery." Prior to Freedman's last operation, the psychiatric profession had carried out nearly 50,000 lobotomies. Freedman, himself, performed over 3000 lobotomies in his career including that of Rosemary Kennedy in 1941.
Max Borders
Use of the DSM reflects 'a growing tendency in our society to medicalize problems that are not medical, to find pathology where there is only pathos, and to pretend to understand phenomena by merely giving them a label and a code number.'
Dorothy Rowe
My approach in this paper will be to explore the crucial concepts of function, proper function, and malfunction. In the pages that follow I shall attempt to analyze these concepts, in order to explore the various ways that mental disorder is comprehended and to sharpen our understanding of how values figure in various concepts of mental illness.
Robert L. Woolfolk
The new popularity of Illich among the medical elite in the new millennium indicates its evasion of the real issues of medicalisation in favour of a despairing return to the manifestos of the past.
Michael Fitzpatrick
Politically-motivated disease theories were only abandoned or toned down when their victims collectively challenged the validity of the arguments, and fought the arrogant medical authorities that had invented these conveniently self-serving theories.
Presented at the 12th annual United States Air Force Behavioral Sciences Symposium, Brooks Air Force Base, San Antonio, Tex., January 22, 1965
Joseph Dubey
Campaigns for human rights of people diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities. MindFreedom is where mutual support meets human rights activism.
A three-year study compared discharged mental patients with others in their communities. For those without an alcohol or other drug problem, no difference in violence was found,
Phyllis Vine
It is critical that the rights and well-being of these human subjects be protected. Unarguably, there will be times when this imperative requires rejecting research proposals that carry unreasonable risks of harm or restricting the range of potential subjects who will be allowed to participate, but one way of protecting people's rights and interests is to help them make decisions for themselves.
Paul S. Appelbaum
DSM represents a major way of organising psychiatric knowledge. research efforts, and treatment approaches. At the same time, DSM is a prominent bid by psychiatrists for professional legitimacy and influence.
Stuart A. Kirk, Herb Kutchins
NARPA exists to expose abuse, to shed light on coercive and dangerous practices, and to promote real alternatives to a mental health system that even professionals find disgraceful.
Many of the key pathologies in Western developed diagnostic systems have arisen from conceptual constructs influenced by Western philosophical ideas. These so-called pathologies may be absent, nonsensical or have entirely different meanings in cultures where different philosophical traditions have been influential.
Sami Timimi
The initial impetus for systematic classification came from outside the mental health profession, but later revisions reflected intraprofessional struggles and experiences.
Eric D. Jackson
Continuous severe stress can't only lead to what is called a "depression", it can also lead to hallucinations, and as a consequence odd behavior. In that case, a person suffering from this escalated form of stress would be called "psychotic", in fact a quasi-diagnose. It can also lead to autism.
We want a healthy mental environment, not a toxic culture; we want access to the relevant information that drugtakers need to know; and we want to foster madpride, not the maltreatment of those considered mad.
The catastrophe of widespread and expanding medically-produced disease has failed to alarm psychiatry into taking stock of the determinants of the catastrophe - indeed the existence and magnitude of the tragedy is barely recognised within psychiatry.
David H. Jacobs
It is assumed that policymakers and psychiatrists know what treatments are best for the 'mentally ill,' who are unable to make decisions on their own. Political rhetoric presents the policy as beneficial for a group who can't otherwise care for themselves
Joya Misra, Oryx Cohen
Evolutionary theory makes a distinction between proximate and ultimate causation for a given biological phenomenon.
Riadh Abed
Even in the difficult area of childhood autism, a simple reinforcement paradigm can be used to teach the mute patient to speak; with speech, comes relationship, and with relationship, comes emotion. Autism thus is dissolved.
J. Allan Hobson
It is important to recognize that even a gene with a weak effect may provide a pathway toward new, targeted therapies for schizophrenia or autism, even if the actual targets are downstream from the original gene of interest.
Thomas R. Insri, Francis Collins
Network of inter-related Medical, Pharmacy, Psychiatry, Dental, Veterinary journals, owned and administered by Priory Lodge Education - ISSN journals since 1994,
Kenneth Gergen, Swarthmore College
By the time I was in college and took the first test that labeled me as 'deviant', I knew that I was different -- and I knew that was a good thing. Even so, it was a difficult struggle for me to come to terms with being different.
Sunni Maravillosa
Many cases of psychologisation in clinical practice occur because doctors jump to conclusions without checking that their psychological explanations are correct.
Ellen Goudsmit
Examines the ways in which the professions of psychotherapy and clinical psychology have adopted the powerful discourses of eugenics and medicine. In so doing they have acted in ways which oppress rather than liberate those who require their services.
Craig Newnes
We are a psychotherapy information and referral service which specializes in psychotherapy without the use of psychotropic drugs and/or shock treatment.
When you label behavior as 'sick', you in effect invalidate it. That is to say, you deprive it of the legitimacy it requires to be respected for the integrity of it's meaning.
Stephan Chorover
Treatment patients receive... often compounds the damage they've suffered, rather than reversing it. This is especially so when the diagnosis of schizophrenia is rendered in ignorance of the deeper levels of the patient's experience and social surround.
Daniel Burston
Being too lively is ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder); clumsiness is dyspraxia; failing any of the three Rs is dyslexia; odd mannerisms or a poor social mechanism suggests an autistic spectrum disorder.
Charles Essex
The field of psychiatry is rooted in German experimental psychology, racist eugenics theories, and anti-human materialistic opinions parading as scientific facts.
Gene Zimmer
I have no doubt that $cientology is a dangerous cult that only fights psychiatry because they view psychiatry as competition. But having to choose, as the article depicts things, between $cientology and NAMI? That's like choosing whether to be executed by slow freezing or slow cooking.
Ballastexistenz
it is not art, but law and forensics that ultimately will impel the genetic technologies to be employed in behalf of attempts to identify who is 'authentically' in one category or another.
Troy Duster
This paper discusses characteristics of previous movements and examines their similarity to and difference from the present consumer and psychiatric survivor movement. It appears that the new participants have shaped the rhetoric of reform but it remains to be seen if they can affect the reality.
Barbara Everett
To allow biopsychiatrists to declare who is and isn't crazy - on the basis of mere opinion, cultural bias, or a show of hands at psychiatric conventions is... to mistake social control for medicine and the lie of 'shadow projection' for truth.
Maureen Roberts
In the final analysis, a problem is only a problem because someone says it is. Who? On what basis? For what reason? A good theory of psychiatric problems must distinguish the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors addressed by psychiatry from the psychiatric view of them.
John Mirowsky
What constitutes a disorder? Do mental disorders reflect failures of biological systems to perform naturally selected functions or are they defined by somewhat arbitrary distinctions derived from social values?
Theodore Beauchaine
There is just a chance that if in the future you and your spatting spouse go to a marital therapist, your relationship may be diagnosed as a "relational disorder," a proposed new form of mental illness.
Karen S. Peterson, USA Today

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