Professor Yvonne McEwan of Fife University was quoted recently in the Daily Telegraph as stating “What makes and creates mental illness is the very system designed to help it. The legal profession and medicine have colluded in the whole fabrication of people undergoing trauma.
“By medicalising what is a non-medical condition and introducing a therapy subject matter that is vastly under-researched, over-used and vastly abused, medicine is propping up a lot of dwindling careers.
“The very people they are trying to help are being labelled by them, stigmatised with problems and at the end of that they have problems with job promotion, getting mortgages and custody of children.”
In a 1993 court case where a psychiatrist gave evidence to support the “divorce” of a young girl from her parents, Judge Jeffrey V. Boles rendered his opinion on the validity of psychiatry: “Any truly scientific claim about the causes of disease will [not be based] ... on off-the-cuff impressions developed in the course of clinical treatment.... This is an essential fact the courts must keep in mind so that the litigation process is not co-opted by emerging psychiatric theories not grounded in appropriate validation and based on subjective belief or unsupported speculation.” [emphasis added]
The truth is the diagnoses, pronouncements and treatments of psychiatry and psychology have no scientific validity which can be relied upon to improve or even understand man’s behaviour. On the contrary, history shows their unrivalled “success” at worsening any individual or group situation they coercively impose themselves on.
These pretenders to the throne of wisdom have insinuated themselves into almost every troubled strata of society. They are “expert” witnesses in our courts; they advise our educators and counsel our youth in the schools; and they administer programmes for those with drug addictions. They dispense advice on marriage and sex over the radio and in popular magazines, and pontificate with great authority on television about the major issues of the day.
Television alone has given psychiatry and psychology tremendous legitimacy. Television media “grovels at the altar of psychiatry,” Szasz says. “From entertainment to news, television is enthralled, awe-struck and dazzled by the mysteries of virtually anything that smacks of psychiatry or psychology.” Statistics and statements are poured out on major talk shows, news and current affairs programmes by these “experts,” who “... present as scientific ‘fact’ what might well be only a scientific fiction.”
The other vital illusion that psychiatrists and psychologists have crafted is that “mental illness” is no different from a heart condition, gangrene of the leg or the common cold. But as Szasz and others point out, “If we are to consider mental disease to be like physical disease, we ought to have biochemical or pathological evidence.” And if an illness is to be scientifically meaningful, it must somehow be capable of being approached, measured or tested in a scientific fashion, as through a blood test or an electroencephalograph. “If it cannot be so measured — as is the case [with] ... ‘mental illness’ — then the phrase ‘mental illness’ is at best a metaphor and at worst a myth, and that therefore ‘treating’ these ‘illnesses’ is an equally amorphous and unscientific enterprise.”
This is not to state that real physical illness cannot impact on a person’s mind and behaviour. Brain tumours, mercury poisoning, poor nutrition, fatigue, pain and a host of other physical disorders can result in aberrant thinking. Considerable medical documentation verifies this. Correct medical diagnosis must therefore be the very first procedure for any person exhibiting unusual behaviour.
Studies show the frequency with which physical illnesses are misdiagnosed as “mental illness” — 83 percent of people referred for psychiatric treatment had undiagnosed physical illnesses; 42 percent of those diagnosed with “psychoses” were later found to be suffering from a medical illness and 29 percent of psychiatric patients studied were actually afflicted with an endocrine disease.
Another study found that 76 percent of patients with certain types of cancer exhibited supposed psychiatric symptoms as a first indicator of the physical illness, and a study of 658 outpatients researchers found a 91 percent incidence of medically caused psychiatric symptoms.
What Does Psychiatry Really Do?
What then do psychiatrists and psychologists actually do, as opposed to the image they propagate? This is something many have difficulty coming to terms with, even when it is brought to their attention.
After decades of “research” and billions in government appropriations, psychiatry, for example, continues to camouflage its favourite old “standards” with the latest impressive-sounding jargon or the latest fad. The fact is that psychiatric treatment remains limited to a paucity of barbaric methodologies which fall into one of three categories — drugs, electroshock treatment (ECT) and psychosurgery.
All have the potential to painfully and forcefully overwhelm a person and to inflict upon them false ideas and values in an attempt to control them. The American Handbook of Psychiatry supports this. Daniel Blain and others describe how “Psychiatric hospitals, like prisons, are ‘total institutions,’ and share with the Chinese thought-reform centres a marked degree of milieu control and the basic assumption that the inmate is in the hospital because there is something wrong with his thinking and that the change, in the direction desired by his attendants, is necessary.”
Electroshock Eradicates Memory
ECT involves little more than pushing a button to apply between 180 and 460 volts of electrical force to the brain, either from temple to temple (bilateral) or from the front to the back of one side of the head (unilateral). The resultant current creates a severe convulsion or seizure of long duration, called a “grand mal” convulsion which is identical to an epileptic fit.
Most people are given a total of six to twelve shocks, one a day, three times a week, although some people have been known to have been subjected to it more than 200 times in an effort to “cure” their behaviour. All of this adds up to an industry that generates millions of pounds per year for its practitioners. That is the real reason psychiatrists refuse to stop using electroshock despite evidence that it causes serious harm.
Electroshock leaves irreversible brain damage, as documented in many studies. Anaesthesiologist Michael Chavin, who assisted in the administration of several thousand shock treatments before publicly denouncing the practice, stated: “There is a shock wave through the brain, causing the brain to discharge energy in a very chaotic type of state. This increases metabolism to a very high level which deprives the brain of oxygen and can actually destroy brain cells.” It is this mechanism, he says, that brings about memory loss and learning disability, as well as the spatial and time disorientation which always follows electroshock treatments.
In spite of psychiatry’s denials, easily debunked by simple investigation and interview, the loss of intellectual abilities due to brain damage and memory loss are often devastating to the person. Common sense alone suggests that coercive and painful “treatment” will only further disturb someone already overwhelmed by the problems of life and living.
ECT’s use on the frail elderly shortens their life and has been equated with euthanasia. Women and geriatric patients are psychiatry’s key target markets for shock treatment, with people 65 years of age and over comprising almost 50 percent of the total treatments given. In Texas, one of the few U.S. states which keeps track of shock statistics, 65-year-olds receive 360 percent more shock treatment than 64-year-olds. The difference? At age 65, Medicare (U.S. government medical insurance) coverage takes effect. The practice of electroshock exists in spite of its incredible brutality because, as with most psychiatric treatments, it is profitable.
That some states in America have now banned shock treatment for children predicts the ultimate fate of ECT — it will eventually be banned and relegated to the history books along with leeching and the torture rack.
Concrete foundation for totalitarian control
It has only been in the last decade that mental health laws have granted protection against arbitrary incarceration because of religious beliefs and practices. Without such protections, psychiatrists are free to incarcerate or drug anyone in the community for their religious beliefs. Because of their ubiquity and extensive powers, involuntary commitment laws lay a truly concrete foundation for totalitarian control.
Psychiatry’s electroshock, brain-mutilating psychosurgery, and damaging drugs destroy minds and make people “docile and quiet” — manageable — in the name of “treatment.” They are used to produce a kind of conformity to some hygienic mental standard — a standard set by psychiatrists. None of their treatments address the source or cause of problems; and none ever cure.
The common denominator of all these treatments is the incapacitation of the individual to some degree. Regardless of the “reason,” the inevitable outcome is a diminished ability to handle life and greater dependency.
In spite of a history studded with failure, psychiatrists and psychologists fraudulently enjoy the financial fruits of their own monopoly. By masquerading as sciences with the skill of an illusionist, both psychiatry and psychology have duped governments, courts, media and many of the public.
In addition, studies have shown that psychiatrists have the highest suicide rate and the highest incidence of drug abuse when compared with other physicians. Considering that according to one study, two-thirds of psychiatrists are themselves “seriously mentally ill,” you could be forgiven for any reluctance felt towards giving up the reins of spiritual and mental care to these individuals.
The ongoing controversy in the Church of England concerning claims of abuse by clergy wives is only the latest sign that something is gnawing at the soul of the Church. Below all the theological and social “explanations,” the influence of psychiatric and psychological ideology is the real serpent.