Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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November 07, 2007

Healing Psychiatry

Ever since the days of Freud, psychiatry has been hostage to the needs of society, rather than serving those of individual patients. Supposedly a healing art, it has instead developed into a tool of social control, removing the points of view that don't fit the paradigm. The bearers of uncomfortable views are labeled "crazy" - they are often incarcerated in institutions, shocked into oblivion or drugged until they forget.


Psyched Out - How Psychiatry Sells Mental Illness and Pushes Pills that Kill.

The dragnet of psychiatric diagnosis is the ever-growing Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a handbook of behaviors that are considered deviant and in need of treatment. The conditions listed are in the realm of ideas. Delusions and hallucinations are merely a refusal to see reality like the majority sees it. There is no physical marker, nothing that could be healed by chemical or surgical intervention. Yet, psychiatric screening for those differing views is being extended to all schools in America, through a controversial program that is geared to increase the prescribing base for costly and most damaging mind altering drugs.

We tend to justify subjecting people to inhumane treatment by separating ourselves from those we think are sick. An "us" versus "them" mentality makes it easy to sustain the illusion that treatments and circumstances we wouldn't tolerate for a moment are quite ok as long it's one of "them" that is subjected to them. More often than not, physical conditions that are at the basis of pain and apparent "mental" symptoms remain undiagnosed and unresolved.

While there are plenty of views critical of psychiatry, hardly anyone asks what we could do to better the situation of individuals who find themselves at odds with society or who behave strangely. Pat Risser is a survivor of psychiatric treatment and past president of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy . In 2005, Risser received the prestigious Clifford Beers Award of the National Mental Health Association.

Here is what he would change ...

- - -

Mental Health 101

by Pat Risser


Today a friend asked a very good question. She asked, "How would you have it be different?"

First, I would treat people more on an "injury" model than an "illness" model. In other words, instead of either pronouncing "What's wrong with you?" or even asking, "What's wrong with you?" I would ask, "What happened to you?" It is less judgmental and leaves less of a psychic scar. People get a message that perhaps they can heal and recover whereas an illness model too often leaves the
impression that it's forever.

Next, I would abolish psychiatry. If I suspect I have something wrong with the organ that is my brain, I'd go see a neurologist. GP's and others can prescribe equally well and I think they have a more medical take on things. And if I required counseling (something most psychiatrists don't do any more) I could see family, friends, clergy, or even a psychologist.

The folks I use to help others would be rated according to their "people" skills and not based solely on academic success. I've known far too many M.D.'s and Ph.D.'s who ought to stick to research and never have any contact with a human being because they as so lacking in people skills. On the other hand, I have known high school drop-out's who are very healing and have a skill that can't be taught. I've observed native American healers and others where the skill isn't based on academia and they have at least as high a success rate as the most educated healers I've known. I'm not talking about medical healing but healing for the wounded soul or psyche. I think peer support is vital.

I'd provide a range of alternatives for people in distress. I'd offer everything from health food and nutrition to meditation to exercise to art to respite care and more. I'd provide care that is trauma informed and designed to help people tell their story and find healing from trauma. Psych drugs might be available but their use would be time limited and generally only for crisis times until folks can learn alternatives that have less risk. People would learn to be mentally healthy and not mentally ill.

I'd make sure that doctors behave as doctors and don't abrogate their responsibility to heal. I'd make sure they weren't under the influence of the drug peddlers and I'd make sure they were able to diagnose properly. See my web page at Be sure to scroll all the way down.

I'd incorporate laughter and humor into everything. I'd build upon spirituality. I'd offer comfort and caring. As much as possible, I'd abolish all forms of force and coercion. I'd get rid of seclusion and restraints and involuntary "treatment." I'd find the most creative and talented people on the planet to find ways to help people without causing harm. I'd make sure that everyone who came in my front door knew where the exit door was located. In other words, everyone who came for help would know when they'd received that help and when it was time to move on. No one would get stuck in my system. My system would be designed to help people get well until there were no more people who needed to get well. My systems goal would be to provide everyone with the skills necessary to no longer need my system. My system would be designed to put itself out of business if possible.

Basically, the existing system is Pepsi and I'm Coca-Cola. I want to put them out of business completely but, I don't want to blow them up. I'm not at war with them but I would like to produce and sell a product that is so much better that people would voluntarily stop drinking Pepsi and buy my Coca-Cola and then they'd learn to make their own drinks and no longer need me.

Pat Risser

Read more:

Identifying and Overcoming Mentalism (PDF, 35 pages) by Coni Kalinowski, M.D. and Pat Risser. InforMed Health Publishing & Training.

Mentalism is a term coined by author and activist Judi Chamberlain to describe discrimination against people who have received psychiatric treatment. Like other "isms," such as racism and sexism, mentalism is characterized by complex social inequities of power that result in the pervasive mistreatment of people who have been labeled "mentally ill." Some of this mistreatment is blatant, such as being stripped and locked in a cold room or being beaten during physical restraint. However, like all discrimination, mentalism is even more commonly expressed in the multiple, small insults and indignities that the labeled person suffers every day.

Homeopathy for Psychological Problems (PDF) - by Louise Zeus
Psychiatry is not the only field to deal with problems of the psyche. One of the alternatives is homeopathy, with its similar-cures-similar remedies. A substance that could provoke the symptoms of distress is diluted several times, turning the extract into a potent antidote...

ECT - "Penicillin of Psychiatry" - Review of Shorter and Healy
The history of psychiatry is a story of megalomania. A confounding problem for psychiatry is the profession's failure to examine its therapeutics from patients' perspectives or to put psychiatry's therapeutics to a valid scientific test to determine whether the benefit outweighs the risks from patients' perspective.

Also relevant to this article is another one on the same site, of Professor Peter Sterling discussing the side effects of ECS or electroconvulsive shock.


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Wednesday November 7 2007
updated on Sunday November 21 2010

URL of this article:


Related Articles

Psychiatric Drugs - Engineering Children
New Scientist just days ago came out with an article Prescribing of hyperactivity drugs is out of control that discusses the mind boggling figures of child drugging at the hands of psychiatrists in the U.S.A. ADHD is the diagnosis that accounts for close to 4 million prescriptions of mind-altering drugs such as methylphenidate, marketed as Ritalin, to "treat" the "condition". Vera Hassner Sharav of the Alliance for Human Research Protection... [read more]
April 04, 2006 - Sepp Hasslberger

Bush To Impose Psychiatric Drug Regime
Plans to screen whole US population for mental illness According to a recent article in the British Medical Journal, US president George Bush is to announce a major "mental health" initiative in this coming month of July. The proposal will extend screening and psychiatric medication to kids and grown-ups all over the US, following a pilot scheme of recommended medication practice developed in Texas and already exported to several other... [read more]
June 23, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

TeenScreen: One Family's Story
When 15-year-old Chelsea Rhoades left for school early one day last December, her family expected it to be just another normal, uneventful day at one of Indiana's premier public high schools. But school officials had slightly different plans... Read the whole article on the site See also this more recent article in the Minnesota Daily: Any combination of answers resulted in recommendations to see a doctor. By Brian Hokanson... [read more]
August 26, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

FDA Covers Up Report - Mosholder: 'Antidepressants Double Suicides in Children'
According to a recent article published in the British Medical Journal, a scientific report by one of its researchers, Dr. Andrew Mosholder, showing that antidepressant drugs double the suicide rate in children taking them, was suppressed by the FDA. Instead of owning up to its mistake and issuing generalized warnings, the agency has launched a criminal investigation to find out which employees leaked Dr. Mosholder's report. Apart from the FDA's... [read more]
August 12, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Nutrients Cure 'Mental Illness' - Orthomolecular Psychiatry
Orthomolecular medical researchers say the future of psychiatry is in nutrition because nutrition has such a long, safe and effective history of correcting many mental problems. Starting us out on a path of discovery and healing, the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service ( recommends a simple but abundant daily nutrition program that has been effective in making many of the symptoms of what is today called "mental illness" disappear without trace.... [read more]
November 07, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger




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