We’re All North Korean Now

April, 30, 2012 | 7 Comments


  1. Dr Healy,

    Don’t give up on America just yet. Those of us who are naturalized Americans know that for all its great things, this country has its faults too. One of them, is the “mob mindset” that drives everything (like we all buy iPhones now). This is why you might encounter resistance from the psychiatric crowd in the US (nobody wants to oppose the mob). However, one of the virtues of the system is that eventually truth comes out and injustice is dealt with. The same mobs that defend the status quo in psychiatry will eventually turn against their former gods in a very virulent way, and that will be the end of pharmacopsychiatry as we know it.

  2. For instance, the following Op-Ed was published over the weekend by the Washington Post,


    I was amongst the top 5 in the opinion section during the weekend.

    This follows this piece about the lack efficacy of antidepressants by CBS 60 Minutes,


    60 minutes is America’s top investigative journalism program. It forced the APA to issue a response, although a pathetic one http://www.psychiatry.org/File%20Library/Advocacy%20and%20Newsroom/Press%20Releases/2012%20Releases/12-07–60-Minutes-on-Depression–Irresponsible.pdf

    So the word is getting out, albeit slowly.

  3. With respect to violence on psychotropics, I find a strange gap in the literature on the paradoxical effects of lorazepam on, in particular, teenage males. Since the drug acts on the nervous system in much the same fashion as alcohol, does it not make sense that there is a significant risk of one of alcohol’s effects- violence- in males who are still hormonally developing? The Saturday night pub crowd would bear this out.

  4. The Private Trial and/or Catch 22
    Never in my life had I been so happy.
    Eight weeks of an ssri and I am in a mental hospital ignored and shamed.
    Four days after leaving the mental hospital, I am nearly dead.
    I am persecuted by the mindless people who ignored my cries of, ‘this drug is killing me’!
    Did this drug save me from myself.
    I had never been so happy.
    So, the mental assassination took place. An ‘impulse’ was the only word the hospital came up with.

    Clever, clever, well-educated, trained professional psychiatrists came up with the expression ‘it was an impulse.’

    Perhaps on the patient information leaflet it would be advisable for them to put ‘unpredictable aggression and violence’ may occur. But, of course, it would be followed by, see your doctor.

    Unless I am listened to as Exhibit A, an ssri suicide, them I am mentally castrated.
    The one-to-one private trial took place. I was found guilty as charged.

    A lifetime of shame is my daily agenda.

    Or is it?

    When I complained to the Hospital and the Surgery, the psychiatrist went to NHS Highland and the gp went to the Doctor and Dental Union of Scotland and lo, that was that.

    Or was it?

    Did I have a union to go to?

    It is me you are fighting for, babe. Bob Dylan.

  5. There are a lot of reasons why explaining these issues to American progressives will be a long, tough slog. The most important is that the struggle for access to medical care, period, in this country is very real, and the consequences devastating. Fifty million of us with no health insurance whatsoever. A quarter of the population in places like Texas. The rest of us living in fear of losing our “benefits” the moment we lose our jobs. And it’s getting worse as what few public safety nets we have are shredded.

    As a result, most folks see the greedy for-profit insurance companies as the main enemy, and the greedy for-profit health care providers (be they drug companies, hospitals or surgeons) get a free pass. Whenever you caution us that some form of medical care is unnecessary and perhaps bad for us, we tend to look around for the banker, the boss or the insurance tycoon who has no doubt paid you to say that. What can I say? We’ve been burned before.

    The same kind of problem is posed by the criminalization and mass incarceration of the seriously mentally ill in this country. Groups like the ACLU are so occupied with explaining why people should not be executed, or thrown into maximum security prisons, for actions committed while floridly psychotic, that they come to think of diagnoses and medications as inherently humane measures (compared to lethal injections and long-term solitary confinement). As for feminists, we’re forced to “fight for healthcare” like everyone else, right down to Pap smears and basic birth control. You’d think we would identify more with earlier feminists who questioned a medical system bent on drugging “uppity women” into submission. But I guess the fact that modern antidepressants aren’t heavily sedating makes that harder to see.

    When I was young, it seemed like all liberal or left-leaning folk assumed that environmental explanations for mental disorders were by definition “progressive”, and biological explanations were by definition “reactionary.” That was a flawed assumption, to be sure. But now it seems to be just the opposite … biological solutions are assumed to be progressive and “scientific”, everything else gets identified with blaming the victims, and joining forces with those who want to lock’em all up (or put’em out on the street).
    But there’s always hope … a year ago, did anyone think we’d be occupying Wall Street? I think the American people are ahead of their medical profession on this … we just need a few more doctors with the gumption to speak out.

Leave a Reply