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Psychiatry has always done political "diagnosis". Before WWII, psychiatrists regularly "diagnosed" poor, Eastern European immigrants as "feebleminded" and ordered forced surgical sterilizations for them. Psychiatry was at the forefront of eugenics in those days; the American (or Canadian, or German) "race" had to be kept pure from contamination by "feebleminded" genes.

It is surely pure coincidence that the demographics targeted for sterilization by the doctors were associated with Socialism: pre-war voter suppression. Psychiatry was there, spearheading protection of the elites.

Then there was the century of rabid psychiatric homophobia, which has now learned to hold its tongue in public -- though the American Psychiatric Association appointed a practitioner of conversion therapy on children to head its Gender Identity Disorder committee for DSM-V. Chairman Dr Kenneth Zucker's life work of torturing gender variant children into gender conformity would make him a criminal today in California, which has just passed legislation prohibiting conversion therapy on children aged 18 and under. Yet the APA appointed this criminal to head its committee on gender variant children. This is truly a profession that won't ever give up.

More below the Ritalin fumes.

Psychologists of course do not have the power to order sterilizations, electroconvulsive "therapy", lobotomies, or medications -- those things are the prerogative of MDs. Pychologists would probably have no authority at all in the US if they were not handed that mantle of medical "science", the DSM.

Though sanctioned by American psychiatrists, the DSM is seldom paid much attention by practicing MDs, who are far more concerned with the infinitely more lucrative business of prescribing pills. Outside the US and Canada, the DSM has no authority and another, international system is used -- the ICD. DSM is largely controlled by US Big Pharma and is primarily a way they can prescribe drugs to ever-increasing numbers of people in the US. Psychiatrists in the US are basically a front line sales force for Big Pharma. The people who sit on DSM committees are paid handsome "consulting fees" and taken on expensive vacations by the drug industry.

But that second, political function of psychiatry -- the one that is aimed at protecting elites and pathologizing potential discontents -- is still quite potent; only today the actual US foot soldiers of psych political oppression are more likely to be the cheaper psychologists, armed with copies of the DSM. The MDs are too valuable as pill pushers -- lower paid psychologists can do the political hack work.

Most of the political themes picked up in DSM could have come (and perhaps did come) from ALEC. For example, consider Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder. Basically these are people who grew up with abusive parents who beat the shit out of them if they were openly defiant, and so instead they fought back through sabotage. Such people are common as rain in our society because abusive parents are common as rain.

Do the shrinks see this as a problem with society? Of course not. Shrinks never see a problem with society. Society is good to them, especially if they are the sort who sit on DSM committees and are taken on Big Pharma junkets; society has privileged them and pays them well. The problem is necessarily with those passive-aggressive people, who create a cost for others and gum up this nice society -- even, sometimes, for the privileged (quelle horreur).

Certainly, people who have been abused and become like tortured dogs that bite everyone who comes near them are not much fun to be around. In the same way, psychiatrists used to point to the "paranoia" of homosexuals to pathologize them further, so that they could be punished even more and have still more reasons to be paranoid. Instead of blaming the actual abusers, psychiatry systematically exculpates and enables the abusers while blaming their victims.

This pattern defined the field long before Freud blamed female incest victims for their "hysteria" by projecting his own rape fantasies onto them. The pattern is there because psychiatry and psychology are profoundly patriarchal and authoritarian professions, which attract sadists, dystonic LGBTs, and lots of just dumb, second rate people who love having some power over others. These people create self-esteem by crushing the souls of others; the classic portrait was done by Virginia Woolf in Mrs Dalloway: Dr Bradshaw is the prototypical shrink. Naturally, there is no "diagnostic" catagory for this severe personality disorder, just as there are none for homophobia, racism or sexism. Established forms of oppression are "normal" -- "disorders" are whatever threatens the "normal" and the privilege it confers on the Dr. Bradshaws.

Not all front-line psychiatrists and psychologists are evil; many are just unwitting tools of a system run by people like Kenneth Zucker, Big Pharma, and probably ALEC (or similar forces). Their education doesn't equip them for critical thinking or political analysis. Those people don't rise to head their professions or chair DSM committees. But in their small ways, they usually work to perpetuate our capitalist hell.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is there some point to this? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue, Otteray Scribe, Kysen

    I'm not getting it.

    The White Race can not survive without dairy products - Herbert Hoover (-8.75,-8.36)

    by alain2112 on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 04:59:10 PM PDT

  •  Are you a Scientologist or something? (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    If not, maybe you need to take your meds.

    Demagogue: one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.--H. L. Mencken

    by Ice Blue on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 05:14:05 PM PDT

  •  That is an awfully broad brush (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kysen, FrugalGranny, crose, kurt, alain2112

    this diarist is using.  The fail is strong in this one.

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 05:34:25 PM PDT

    •  Maybe you need to have been on the receiving (0+ / 0-)

      end of Dr. Bradshaw for a lifetime to be able to appreciate Mrs Dalloway fully.

      •  One swallow does not a summer make. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrugalGranny, Kysen

        One doctor does not a profession make.

        Logical fallacy.  Specifically, fallacy of composition.  

        The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

        by Otteray Scribe on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 05:47:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alain2112, mimi

        you need to better explain your reasoning. It is obvious you are trying to say something bigger than your post.  

        •  Probably. Its nothing transsexuals haven't been (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          saying for a couple of decades, but it hasn't been heard. That isn't surprising to me; our voices can't get though cis privilege.

          •  Oh, and of course Virgina Woolf said it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            perfectly in Mrs Dalloway. But the people who need to hear such things don't read Virginia Woolf.

            Feminists have said it; gays used to say it when they were still Franz Kafka's cockroaches in the eyes of the medical establishment.

            In 20 years, when trans kids will transition as a matter of course, and medicine will have forgotten my sort of life as completely as they have forgotten about their enthusiasm for eugenics and forced sterilization -- they will be killing some other group of marginalized people. And no one then will hear their voices or their screams.

  •  Please don't mix psychiatry (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FrugalGranny, Otteray Scribe, Kysen

    and psychology. They are two entirely different professions.

    When you refer to psychologists you must mean clinical psychologists, the ones who do diagnosis and treatment.

    But the field of psychology includes experimental, social, industrial, child, and on and on. Psychologists tend to be more liberal than psychiatrists and are much more oriented toward research.

    I am sorry that you have been thwarted by psychiatrists. The inability of psychologists to prescribe drugs is really to their advantage because it prevents them from getting so tied up with Big Pharma and from adopting the God Syndrome of so many in the medical profession.

    For the first time in human history, we possess both the means for destroying all life on Earth or realizing a paradise on the planet--Michio Kaku.

    by psyched on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 05:54:19 PM PDT

    •  I have had a lifetime of experience of both (0+ / 0-)

      psychiatrists and psychologists, and both groups work very hard to protect privileged elites by pathologizing anyone who might be construed as a political menace to them.

      It is no longer politically acceptable to pathologize homosexuals, but we transsexuals are still fair game... at least for a few more years, until the law makes it crystal clear that the Dr Zuckers (a psychologist, btw) will lose their shirts and go to prison.

      Once that has been made clear, psychiatrists and psychologists will find other groups to oppress. You seem to be setting yourselves up to marginalize Occupy, Black youths, and other malcontents by diagnosing them all with Passive-Aggressive Negative Personality Disorders.

      •  There are good and bad, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrugalGranny, Kysen

        liberal and conservative people in every profession. You, unfortunately, seem to have encountered bad ones.

        For the first time in human history, we possess both the means for destroying all life on Earth or realizing a paradise on the planet--Michio Kaku.

        by psyched on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:37:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Funny, *all* transsexuals (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          seem to have encountered bad ones.

          And a few decades ago, all homosexuals had encountered bad ones.

          And there was a generation of women who all encountered bad ones.

          But the human rights history of those professions isn't emphasized in the curriculum... for some reason.

          It's nice to have the privilege to forget the past. The victims don't get that privilege. Only the abusers get it.

    •  Oh, and you research psychologists (0+ / 0-)

      Kudos for your recent discovery that experiments need to be replicated. At this rate, in another century or so, you might have the beginnings of a science.

      Unless the neurosciences get there first...

  •  There are a number of Kossacks (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FrugalGranny, Kysen, psyched, alain2112

    who comment regularly who are physicians.  I am aware that some of them are psychiatrists.  

    There are also a number of psychologists who are users here as well.  

    I am pretty sure most, if not all, of them will be none too pleased with this rant.  

    Again, the diary is based on the logical fallacy called 'fallacy of composition.'


    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:06:45 PM PDT

    •  Your understanding of logic is laughable (0+ / 0-)

      Again, address yourself to the real Dr. Zucker.

      •  My experience is not unique (0+ / 0-)

        It has an entire history behind it, including the LGBT community for the past century and the history of eugenics.

        Your "logic" merely shows your ignorance of the facts. This is not about one doctor. It is about the entire history of this field over the past century and a half.

      •  I defended you against the "meds" comment (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Otteray Scribe, Kysen, psyched, crose

        I will NOT defend you if you behave like a jerk in your own diary. If you disagree with a statement, then post a rebuttal. There's no need to be insulting.

        •  Thanks, but you can stay off my side (0+ / 0-)

          if you prefer. My goal here is show historical criminal culpability of the professions of psychiatry and psychology. These are professions that have killed thousands. I don't expect psychiatrists, psychologists, or their admirers to appreciate my efforts.

          •  Whatever your goal... (7+ / 0-)

            it is lost in your success of proving yourself as close-minded and wrong-minded as any of the Republicans and Conservatives we fight so hard against here.

            Not that it matters a whit, but I have spent my ENTIRE life in and out of mental hospitals and Dr's offices (psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and courts). I have encountered good and bad...some very bad (and some, very very good). I am currently blessed to have been in the care of the very good for over a decade now. Your smearing of an entire profession is not just plain is downright laughable.

            To broadbrush as you do does your main point no service, and, in fact, all but eliminates any validity it may have.

            As to your "logic" is perhaps the most illogical I've seen in a long while.

            Lastly, whatever your goal was...your attitude towards those who do not agree with you is what people will cull from this diary and its comments. Not the content of what you wrote....but, the nastiness with which you confronted the Kossacks who dared dissent.


            Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.

            by Kysen on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 07:11:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I too had a life under the thumb of gender cops (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and I never met one who was a decent person... until I had enough money to pay a very famous gender therapist. She was not, however, either a psychiatrist or a psychologist, but a sex therapist.

              But I owe my life to the Internet, which I helped build. The Internet broke the AMA's monopoly on hormones. Thousands of transsexual no longer needed to get the approval of a Dr. Dick who wanted a sex object, and were able to self-transition with hormones obtained from overseas without a prescription.

              Once you are hormonally transitioned, it is fairly easy to get approval for surgery, since this reduces cognitive dissonance in medical men.

              You do need a pile of money to transition in the US, and once you transition, you can kiss your career, family, possessions and home goodbye. I went from being a top-ranked Silicon Valley engineer to being a homeless woman who attempted suicide.

              Eventually I got SSDI, which I suspect I owe to president Obama.

              I owe nothing to shrinks, except a need to bring about a historical accounting for my many dead tran sisters.

            •  why is it that you are so sensitive with this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              diarist, whereas other authors, covering different issues, can rant unhibitedly without being chastized for their rants the same manner?

        •  Also, as someone who has taught mathematical (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          logic and theory of computation, I stand by my assessment that this sort of "logic" is laughable. It is like DSM diagnosis -- label somebody pejoratively and then pretend that you have done "science".

    •  also patients whose (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kysen, mimi

      experiences have been very different from what the diarist describes. That's not to say her specific accusations aren't true.

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:38:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I have reason to believe that a few thousand (0+ / 0-)

        people who were a lot like me are dead because they received the same "treatment" I received from shrinks in the 70s and killed themselves after they were denied transition. I've done a fair amount of statistical triangulation of this silent human rights atrocity committed by comfortable shrinks.

        I'd kind of like to be the Elie Weisel for those dead trans sisters.

        •  Then (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          by all means be the Elie Weisel for those dead trans sisters. You are brimming over with anger--with good reason--but a posting in a political blog won't bring your dead sisters back nor will it incite any APA retreat from Zucker's clutches. Millions of humans have died by the hands of the ignorant, from lepers being exorcized by priests to the obese being cut open and rearranged by baryatric surgeons. Psychiatric/psychological evaluation and treatment, like most medical treatment, is experimental. What works for one may not work for fifty more but unfortunately, humans give far too much credit to things that seem to work in the short term.

          •  The male shrinks who made those decisions (0+ / 0-)

            were chasers. Their motives were sexual, not scientific. They demanded a certain kind of pretty boy, who turned them on. They punished those who did not turn them on.

            You are defending criminals as "scientists" experimenting to find better medical knowledge. That is not what was going on. You give the criminals the benefit of the doubt because they had the established authority, and you ignore the voices of their victims because we are throwaway people.

    •  I feel not comfortable with what you are saying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      here, and actually that's the first time, because though my memory always fails me in these days, I feel your heart shining through almost all of your comments I can remember.

      But the fact that psychologist and psychiatrists are among those who read, watch and may be learn by observing our human reactions on this blog, doesn't mean we have to behave in ways they would feel comfortable with. The rant you feel this diary presents is as valuable as any other you can read here. Why would the field of psychology and psychiatry exempted from crucial examination of its methods. Especially if you can easily see that "mental health problems" have rised epidemically. That in itself is questionable and I think the issue the diarist is touching deserves very much a critical research.

      This blog feels like a huge laboratory for psychologists and psychiatrist and there is not a moment where someone can forget that "he/she is watched, evaluated and used as
      guinea pig by those who make it their pet living experience" to judge, heal or advise those who appear here to need "help".

      At least I don't want to be among those, who don't listen to this diarist's voice.

  •  is there something new in this diary (0+ / 0-)

    beyond what you have posted in the past? I don't plan on getting into the same arguments i've had before.

    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

    by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:30:13 PM PDT

  •  I agree with mimi on the value of this diary, tho (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi, atana

    I feel inclined to comment that I personally owe a debt of gratitude to some shining individuals -women in fact - in pyschology (not pyschiatry). I am clearly younger than the diarist, with very different experiences and issues. I understand her personal story, it's value, and it's place in any discussion of mental health and practitioners. And I thank her for her advocacy, because her experience was horrifying, and others should be saved from that nightmare.

    I only provide my personal thanks to some abuse-victims turned counselors who lovingly and gently provided me a model and safe place in which to work out my own issues. This is in stark contrast to the experience of the diarist, I know. Both are very real and impacted us profoundly.

    My hope is that atana can value this as well, and believe that some people - myself being one - have benefited greatly from some wonderful individuals in the field.

    It is our wllingness to value our differences and leave room for our choices that makes DK a pleasant place to visit.

    You do not have to be good...You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves." -Mary Oliver

    by hwy70scientist on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 10:38:17 AM PDT

    •  Psych* suffers from a tendency to count the hits (0+ / 0-)

      and forget the misses. No records were kept of the people turned away by the "gender clinic" shrinks, so their suicides were invisible. It turns out that most of the "androphilic" pretty boys who were given hormones were stringing the Dr. Dicks along, flirting with them and flattering their male egos. After transition, quite a lot of them decided that they were lesbians, which the Dr. Dicks of course didn't like.

      Like many of us who were labelled "true transsexuals" or "primary transsexuals" by the mighty diagnosticians during the following two decades, I had severe social anxiety, PTSD and major depression, and I was a social isolate; -- not plugged into a trans community that could have cued me in to how to manipulate the Dr. Dicks (this was before we built the Internet). I was asexual and ambiguous in gender presentation. I was an ardent feminist... of the "not the fun kind" variety.

      I believe there were many more like me than were plugged into trans social networks, because social isolation is very common among transsexuals.

      But I had a gender therapist who had helped around 500 transsexuals transition, and who said she had known a total of about 1,000 transsexuals. According to her, she had known only 2 "late transitioning primaries", counting me.

      So where did all the others go? Take the number of people who were allowed to transition during the entire gender clinic era, and multiply by some unknown factor greater than 1. My best guesstimate is that we are talking about a few thousand people. They all disappeared into oblivion.

      I came extremely close to killing myself several times after being denied hormones. I do not believe I have any special quality that made me more capable of surviving than the others until the Internet freed us from the AMA. Though, it is just possible that my hatred for our oppressors had something to do with surviving. Certainly, when I worked on the Internet, I dreamed that something like Occupy would be the eventual result. It came as a delightful surprise to me that transsexuals could use it to find each other, organize, free ourselves from the AMA monopoly, and begin to gain legal rights that protect us from our oppressors.

      Nothing we have gained came from the psych* people, nor from any kind of "scientific research". It has all come from laws and court decisions -- such as CA's new law banning Dr. Zucker's life work as a criminal activity.

      All the "progress" from these people has always come from legal threats to them. This is how ethnic minorities, women, and gays have free themselves from psych* oppression, and how we are doing it now.

      It saddens me to know that they will not stop -- they will just find another marginalized group to torture. Our society does not learn from the history of psych* malpractice. The entire field needs to be discredited.

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