Battle of the Cults

|

Szaszian psychologist Jeffrey Schaler explains why Tom Cruise is right about psychiatry.

Advertisement

NEXT: Coercion = Freedom

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I have a much better criticism than that asshole. It’s “The cure for bad speech is more speech”, not “The cure for stupidity is more stupidity”. I suggest this book to start.

  2. This guy actually equates our current treatment of Scientologists with Nazi treatment of Jews. (Getting to be a rather popular analogy lately, isn’t it?)

    Now, I forgot. Where are those camps where we’re gassing Scientologists in “showers?”

  3. Critics of psychiatry are frequently accused of lacking compassion. I fail to see how depriving an innocent person of liberty, forcing a person to take drugs she doesn?t want to take, and shocking her brain with electricity against her will?all done in the name of treating mental illness?are indications of compassion.

    So, this is about forcing psychiatric treatment on people against their will? Jeez, you know, when I saw that Cruise interview, I coulda sworn he was just going on a tirade against and all psychiatric treatment, regardless of whether it was forced upon the person. Hell, even I’ll agree that, barring serious mental incapacity, no medical treatment whatsoever should be forced upon someone against their will.

    But that’s not what this is about, is it? This is about the validity of what they call a “cult”: psychiatric treatment. Now, you can argue back and forth about that one its own merits, but, don’t try to obfuscate the issue by turning it into a debate about forcible, involuntary administration.

    When you have to resort to such obfuscative and diversionary tactics to prop up your argument, well, that says something about your argument by itself. I don’t know a whole lot about the details of psychiatry, so I won’t get into a debate about it—but, that’s where this debate should stay. Forced administration is a whole other ballgame.

  4. Today, it is as fashionable to criticize Scientologists and Scientology as it was to criticize Jews and Judaism in 1930s and 1940s Germany.

    Doh!!!

  5. “It is not necessarily the case that he?s a Scientology-brainwashed wacko…” You can play around with semantics all you want (“not necessarily the case that…” is a wonderfully useful turn of phrase), but Tom Cruise is a Scientology-brainwashed wacko.

    “Cruise learned a lot about psychiatry from the writings of psychiatric abolitionist Thomas Szasz.” Szasz should make sure he puts that on the jacket of his next book. Probably the most credible endorsement he has.

    The linked article is beneath contempt.


  6. Now, I forgot. Where are those camps where we’re gassing Scientologists in “showers?”
    Comment by: Girth at July 11, 2005 12:10 PM

    Well, even gassing is fine, as long as we stop before we hit hit the 6 million mark, we won’t be like the Nazis.

  7. I like this line of reasoning:

    “Some people say it lacks compassion to criticize Brooke Shields for taking Prozac so can function as a decent mother, rather than live in hopeless misery. But psychiatrists used to use electric shock therapy against patients’ will. Isn’t it silly to say someone lacks compassion for objecting to using electric shock therapy against patients’ will?”

  8. Well, even gassing is fine, as long as we stop before we hit hit the 6 million mark, we won’t be like the Nazis.

    Americans are not Nazis. Nazis killed the people the herded into camps. The government doesn’t have to worry about Scientologists, because they herd each other into concentration camps on their own! To bad the A-rabs won’t do that.

  9. I’d venture a guess that Scientology’s rejection of psychiatry has very little to with the merits (or perhaps lack thereof) of Dr. Szasz’s arguments. Somehow I think it has something to do with L. Ron Hubbard not wanting his followers to get a second opinion about the merits of giving him all of your money. Based on the experiences of my friend’s parents, that’s exactly what scientology is all about.

  10. Today, it is as fashionable to criticize Scientologists and Scientology as it was to criticize Jews and Judaism in 1930s and 1940s Germany. Scientology is recognized by our federal government as a religion and demands the same respect and tolerance we show any other religion.

    I can’t believe the author compared the persecution of Judaism in the 40s to Scientology’s status now. His statement is intent a violation of Godwin’s law and not even close to an accurate analogy. Scientology is a cult. Let’s give Scientology it’s contention that the copious number of former members who criticize their former religion are either criminals or professional court witnesses. Even ignoring that, any organization that requires you to pay to progress through levels, keeps all their “holy” literature under armed guard and aggressively litigates against opponents gets automatic cult status. And America gave Scientology religious status after a protracted court battle. Practically every other nation on the face of the planet considers them a cult.

  11. “One way people try to discredit both Szasz and Cruise is by playing the Scientology-is-a-cult card. Today, it is as fashionable to criticize Scientologists and Scientology as it was to criticize Jews and Judaism in 1930s and 1940s Germany.”

    Jesus fucking Christ!

    “Scientology is recognized by our federal government as a religion…”

    Jesus two-titted Christ!

    “…and demands the same respect and tolerance we show any other religion.”

    Uh, that would be exactly none, bullshitter. Since when are belief systems of any kind immune from scathing criticism, ridicule or outright contempt?

    Get fucked, you bogus “appeal to authority fallacy”-challenged asshole.

    With critics of this caliber, psychiatry, despite its many flaws, will be safe for eons to come.

  12. Now if he could only explain why Cruise is a whiny little bitch..

  13. Whatever the merits or reasons of Mr Cruise’s arguments, he’s still a nutbag. The last couple of interviews I’ve seen of him have totally confirmed that. Not quite as nutty as Mel, but still.

    Uh, that would be exactly none, bullshitter. Since when are belief systems of any kind immune from scathing criticism, ridicule or outright contempt?

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Exactly, Henry.


  14. Americans are not Nazis. Nazis killed the people the herded into camps. The government doesn’t have to worry about Scientologists, because they herd each other into concentration camps on their own! To bad the A-rabs won’t do that.
    Comment by: tros at July 11, 2005 12:27 PM

    I was just pointing out that invalidating “Nazi-like” arguments by using arbitrary lines in the sand wasn’t a good way to base arguments. Apparently, I need to start writing my posts for rather ‘challenged’ people.

  15. Diseases refer to physical lesions, wounds of the body, not behaviors, conduct, or deportment.

    Per dictionary.com

    Disease

    2. A condition or tendency, as of society, regarded as abnormal and harmful.

    Setting aside the article’s other obvious flaws, this particular comment of the author’s would seem to paint the debate over “realness” of mental illness as merely one of semantics. Words are not defined by any criteria other than by how people understand them. If people understand “disease” to include mental illness, then it does. This is a linguistic issue, not a medical one.

    That said, there may be some body of literature or tradition (such as the pathology textbooks he makes mention of?) that defines “disease” in the manner he cites for the purposes of the medical profession. If so, he did his readers a disservice not to source or explain his definition.

    If taking a drug results in the taker reporting feeling better on a reliable basis, I don’t see how observing this and acting on it is unscientific.

  16. Henry, well said. Let me add that he called bullshit on himself with this line:

    The rule of cults is ?thou shalt not disagree.? Break the rule and you break the spell.

  17. It’s extremely ironic that adherents of Scientology can call anything pseudoscience. Are L. Ron’s ideas about aliens and thetans falsifiable? Are Scientologists actively involved in research to study and verify his ideas regarding the working of the mind? Is the only evidence for the effectiveness of Scientology anecdotal?

    Psychiatry certainly has adhered to some unfortunate ideas in its history, but it’s groping around and attempting to find some answers. The brain and how it works is an enigma. There are bound to be mistakes made, and surely they’ve been made.

  18. Our government is in the buisness of recognizing religions?

    How’d that happen? What does it take to be a religion? Is that to prevent me from declaring my corporation a religion and thus being tax free?

  19. kwais,

    The Church of Scientology was recognized as such for tax purposes, I believe. Sort of how the government must recognize a non-profit under certain guidelines for it to claim tax-exempt status. The classification does not mean that the group is somehow “authorized.”

  20. I’m tired of people jumping all over someone and discrediting them just because they use the Hitler comparison. The people attacking folks who use the Hitler comparison really are as bad as the Nazis.

    I also really want to see a movie starring Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise. They could both hop up and down on a couch, hoot, and fling feces for ninety minutes.

  21. I’ve been fascinated by what I’ve read about Szasz’s ideas in Reason in the past. I think we have here a good example of how bad writing can do a cause more harm than good. Poor choice, Jacob.

  22. Fyodor, don’t forget that back in the day ulcers were the result of stress so by this yoke’s judgement ulcers wouldn’t be a disease.

  23. OK Jacob, I notice that your lead-in for this article echoes the first sentence of your lead-in for the preceding article. Since the latter is clearly ironic, the former must be as well, right?
    Please say I’m right. I can’t believe anyone at Reason would endorse this nonsense.

  24. following up on my last post: the article’s mention of our gov’t’s recognition of scientology is really irrelevant. All this “recognition” means is that the group’s business is conducted in such a way that they get special tax status. It doesn’t mean that they’re not a cult.

  25. I called this one right after the Lauer interview. What people need to realize is the difference between the potential absurdity of the words Cruise is using the the absolute absurdity of the fact that _TOM CRUISE_ is uttering those words.

    And insofar as we are talking about people being forced to do things, perhaps against their will, why the fuck isn’t he talking about Katie Holmes’ missing 16 days?

    Anon

  26. Eddy,

    The question, to my mind, is does the medical profession recognize and treat conditions for which it has no physiological fingerprint? I suspect that it does.

  27. Radley Balko has posted a response to Schaler’s piece. There is also some discussion here.

  28. First, it’s crap that Schaler doesn’t allow comments on his blog from anybody other than his own cheering section.

    Second, Scientology is recognized by our federal government as a religion and demands the same respect and tolerance we show any other religion.

    Where does one find records of “recognized” religions, and on what authority do they “recognize” them?

  29. It’s extremely ironic that adherents of Scientology can call anything pseudoscience.

    I’ll second that.

  30. Where is this universe in which phychiatrists don’t argue, disagree with each other, or tolerate alternate opinions?

    Of course, like any good conspiracy theorist, that’s no problem for Szasz. If there is broad agreement about Szasz’s ideas being worthless, it shows the closed-minded faith of the profession. If shrinks argue about a condition or a specific case, on the other hand, it demonstrates that the profession is a fraud, with no reliable standards or definitions.

  31. keith- “I’m tired of people jumping all over someone and discrediting them just because they use the Hitler comparison. The people attacking folks who use the Hitler comparison really are as bad as the Nazis.”

    I hope this is sarcasm. I have no problem with people using comparisons….when the things being compared are in fact comparable. It just happens that when you compare two things that are completely different, you make yourself look stupid. When you compare just about anything to the Holocaust, you look really stupid.

  32. Are L. Ron’s ideas about aliens and thetans falsifiable?

    You nailed it Zevatron. The common denominator between creationists, holocaust-deniers and scientologists is how they all immediately want the discussion to center around the validity of what they are against rather than making a case for their actual beliefs. Usually because those beliefs are garbage.

  33. Girth,

    keith’s post threw me at first two, but I think he was being ironic. Ie, you people who compare others to Nazis are as bad as Nazis. Except he switched between Hitler and Nazis, I think to make his joke funnier by avoiding repetition or over-simplicity. But I think it was a mistake, he shoulda just stuck with Nazis.

  34. Where does one find records of “recognized” religions, and on what authority do they “recognize” them?

    The IRS…on the grounds of the non-profit/tax exempt status awarded to religious institutions.

  35. Scientology is not a cult, it’s a club.

    And all of you nasty grumblers are obviously corrupted by your thetans, and cannot ascend to the next level. When L Ron comes back in the mothership, you will realize your folly.

  36. Goddammit! I can,t believe Joe posted something I agree with. Well put Campbell”s soup cans in my hands, hook me up to a “E-meter”, and call be a clam.
    What really gets me is wht the MSM is so afraid of the COS. Bring on them fucktards and their lawyers; what I say!

  37. Schaler would’ve been better off with his argument if he hadn’t attempted to defend Scientologists. He could’ve hinted that Szazian psych is hindered by its support of a discredited group, but that does not discredit the idea. Though my question is can every medical condition be measured in blood work and other diagnostics or can some only be observed based on behavior. Is there any way to figure out if someone has ED without them telling you? I dislike the argument that just because we can’t measure or explain something (yet) it doesn’t exist.

  38. The question, to my mind, is does the medical profession recognize and treat conditions for which it has no physiological fingerprint? I suspect that it does.

    Yes, epilepsy is very real, and treatable, but usually no cause can be found.

  39. Sorry about the errors…I guess I’ll go that my Prozac now.
    Doh!

  40. Love all the whiny, whiny defense of the cult of psychiatry. Problem is, psychiatry is largely voodoo. And, like voodoo, it can solve some people’s problems.

    Are some folks nuts? Sure.
    Can you prove a cause of their problems? Not.
    Can you feed ’em drugs and mask the problems? Sometimes.
    Can you feed ’em drugs and prove the drugs, and not time, cured the problem? Not.

    That overstates the case, but only a little. Often, temporary masking is a reasonable solution, then again, so is a good stiff drink. And, like lots of stiff drinks, lots masking is also a problem.

    Until psychiatry gets a whole lot more informed (and it probably will), Tom Cruise’s views on psychiatry (despite a nutball “religious” affiliation) need more tolerance than they are getting.

  41. Mo,
    As Schermer says “Unexplainable does not equal inexplicable”.
    In olden times doctors didn’t have a firm understanding of what they were doing and they treated sick people with leeches. Today psychiatrists treat people without having the certainty that goes along with something that can be verified with bloodwork.
    The difference is that mental health issues are often consistent (meaning you can predict how the disease progresses) and respond to treatment. The patients who were treated with leeches usually just died. This guy and the scientologists seem, to me at least, to be equating the mental health industry with purveyors of leech cures and that just isn’t so.

  42. I think all this media hype is a setup for Rain Man II where Cruise busts Hoffman out of the evil psych hospital and they travel the country together selling Dianetics door-to-door by day then watching Court TV on TiVo at night. Starring Kirstie Alley as the vixen who comes between them.

  43. Epilepsy is a physiological problem, not psychological, even if it has to do with brain seizures. Big difference.

  44. Can you feed ’em drugs and prove the drugs, and not time, cured the problem? Not.

    …not.

    Randomized, double-blind studies do just that.

  45. Amazing. How can this idiot claim on the one hand that some diseases are real because they are “lesions” or injuries, etc., and not realize that the BRAIN is also an organ, and that it can also be injured?

    And then he refers to “chemicals” etc., only to subsequently dismiss them…in the most illogical way possible, too! (Everything involves those chemicals, therefore those chemicals don’t have anything to do with disease.)(!?)

    We now are finding out how lithium affects the brain. Though we don’t know what CAUSES autism, we know how it changes the developing brains of infants and children. The chemical imbalances that are often fixed by antidepressants are extremely well-researched and documented.

    Oh and, let’s not forget those other pesky chemicals, hormones. I guess we’ll have to change “thyroid disease” to ” thyroid imaginings”.

    Doesn’t scientology also teach that homosexuality is an effect of having too many bad, dead, alien spirits around you?

  46. After reading these posts, I can see that not one of you knows the history of psychiatry. I do!

  47. Michael Clem,
    His point was that like psychological problems, you can’t always diagnose them with current procedures and can’t identify a cause, much like psychological problems.

    DnB,
    Sure there are a lot of issues with psychology as it is currently practiced. But it has improved significantly and continues to improve. Look at mk’s example of medicine. It was a psuedoscience that we see as a critical science nowadays.

  48. I find it amazing that the comments of a celebrity – who’s only job is to entertain us – are being taken so seriously by the community at large. Do we really have nothing better to worry about.

    I enjoy most of Cruise’s movies, I’ll keep watching them, and frankly I don’t give a damn about what he does or doesn’t believe. If he wants to shout it out to all who’ll listen, well, more power to him. But these sorts of hysterical public outcry’s about something Cruise – a man with no real power, control, or influence said strikes be as being just a little absurd.

  49. xray,
    Don’t you realize Ritalin is a street drug now?

  50. Mo: Good point, you are clear-ly more aware than the average NBC prettyboy. (And no wonder it’s a street drug, cuz ritalin rocks, assuming you have reached puberty.)

  51. Walrus,
    I only ever liked Tom in his small part in Magnolia.
    Anyway, The COS deliberately use celebrities as their spokespersons Which changes the “They are just celebrities” thing just a bit. Otherwise, yeah, it’s all Logic 101.
    The sad thing about it all is that I actually do think that vitamins and exercise will work for many people with depression. I’ve been depressed (more than just “blue”) before and I can vouch for the wonderful effect that getting off your ass, eating better and actually talking to people can have. That this relatively obvious observation could be used to demonize MH and promote Scientology really bugs me.

  52. “Where is this universe in which phychiatrists don’t argue, disagree with each other, or tolerate alternate opinions?

    Of course, like any good conspiracy theorist, that’s no problem for Szasz. If there is broad agreement about Szasz’s ideas being worthless, it shows the closed-minded faith of the profession. If shrinks argue about a condition or a specific case, on the other hand, it demonstrates that the profession is a fraud, with no reliable standards or definitions.”

    I’m an attorney, and part of my job is being a public defender for the mentally ill when they face involuntary commitments. I don’t know what goes on in research or academia, but I’m fairly familiar with ground-level psychiatrists.

    I’ve never seen any of the psychiatrists I’ve work with espouse anything BUT faith in dispensing meds and long commitments. After a half-hour with any person, I could craft a petition that would get them at least a few days on an involuntary commitment. This is because there are really few if any precise defintions or standards. All you need is, for example, a “labile affect” some “disorganized thought” and presto! you’re mentally ill. The only thing the docs I work with seem to agree on besides the need for meds, meds, and more meds and long commitments is the believe that psychiatrists should not be questioned. In my experience, psychiatrists cloak themselves in the mantle of scientific inquiry and skepticism but fail to back it up. People like Szasz expose this, and the reaction from the profession is not unexpected–they circle the wagons in order to keep the profession respected by the public and lucrative.

  53. Often, temporary masking is a reasonable solution, then again, so is a good stiff drink. And, like lots of stiff drinks, lots masking is also a problem.

    I’ve heard this logic before… from books written by Psychiatrists! Look up cognitive therapy and you might find you have more in common with the purveyors of “Voodoo” then you think. While you’re at it, you may come to the conclusion that all of psychology might not agree with the over prescription of Ritalin and Paxil.

    Cruise’s views are inexorably linked to a “church”‘s founder who borrowed heavily from whatever holistic medicine of the time floated his boat (yes even Psychiatry). Setting aside clams and thetans and aliens for a second, Hubbard’s vitamin bath-running-move-ashtray-with your-mind-mumbo jumbo is a hodge-podge of unproven theories (well, alright, running is good for you) from the 1960s and should be met with the scorn it deserves. Judging from Cruise’s words I’d bet he has not even done a cursory examination of the prevaling Psychology wisdom. He is simply a mouthpiece for the Church of Scientology and their ongoing war with psychology.

  54. Epilepsy is a physiological problem, not psychological, even if it has to do with brain seizures. Big difference.

    This begs the question, “what is the difference between a physiological and psychological problem?” I would certainly find it plausible that were depression to be caused by chemical imbalances, that would make it a physiological condition, rather than psychological.

    It is entirely possible that psychiatry, or at least great numbers of practicing psychiatrists, are pretty much bogus. But the article itself is very light on substance for defending Cruise.

  55. What
    TheFuck?!

    Scientology is just as respectable as Judaism?

    Taking antidepressants is just as cruel as being forcibly submitted to electroshock therapy?

    We cannot look at an image of a brain and see a difference between people with a mental disorder and without?

    There’s ten metric tons worth of rational criticism of psychiatry and how it’s practiced today, but Jeffrey A. Schaler seems intent to grasp at straws, despite the fact he’s standing in the middle of a wheat field.

  56. Cedarburg: Is it possible that the doctors you work with are a skewed sample, given that they work with a state agency that gets its budget based on how many people it can commit and medicate? Also, it seems likely that the sort of person who would end up in court facing involuntary commitment is more symptomatic and seems more potentially dangerous than the average psychiatric patient. If we’re going to speak in anecdotes, I’ve known several private practice psychiatrists who eschew immediate medication in favor of talk therapy and lifestyle changes. While I agree that we as a nation may be overmedicated for all sorts of conditions we could probably manage without drugs, I don’t think it’s the case that psychiatrists are en masse relying on medication and hospitalization to the exclusion of other, less disruptive and drastic forms of treatment.

  57. Psychiatry is a science that attempts to examine the root of quite real psychoses. Like physical medicine, its theories and practices continue to improve over time. (Remember the good ol’ days of icepick lobotomies and electro-shock?)

    Although I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Tom Cruise’s personal descent into batshit-looneydom, I do think he’s spreading some dangerous information that people who are gullible enough to… oh, I don’t know, join a sci-fi based cult or something… might think is legitimate advice.

    By the way, does anyone know the street value of a gram of Ritalin? (Pure, not cut with Sominex.) Once in my darker days, I sold my parents’ VCR to buy a vial of Prozac.

  58. I have to wonder if a lot of our psychological problems arise from sticking a machine designed for hunting and gathering on the plains of the Serengetti into a societal/ecological construct for which it wasn’t meant.

  59. “Cedarburg: Is it possible that the doctors you work with are a skewed sample, given that they work with a state agency that gets its budget based on how many people it can commit and medicate?”

    Oh, absolutely. But I guess I’m most concerned about psychiatry’s interaction with society when its forced, i.e., in an involutary commitment setting. And that there could be two such divergent tracks–lots of meds vs. talk therapy and lifestyle changes–sort of speaks to a lack of definitions and standards.

  60. By the way, does anyone know the street value of a gram of Ritalin? No idea. Even the heaviest prescribed dosages of drugs like Ritalin and Adderall are highly unlikely to be more than 30 milligrams. To get anything approaching an actual high, I assume you’d have to eat several days worth of dosages, at least.

  61. Except he switched between Hitler and Nazis, I think to make his joke funnier by avoiding repetition or over-simplicity. But I think it was a mistake, he shoulda just stuck with Nazis.

    Fyodor — saying this just lets the terrorists win.

    Wait, now I’ve gone and confused everything.

  62. Cedarburg,
    I guess there is no point in asking an incarcerated person questions like “Have you been isolating yourself lately?”

  63. Why do you hate America, keith?

    Are you jealous of our freedom?

  64. Couple observations:

    Leeches and bloodletting were probably not nonsensical “treatments” in all cases. Hemochromatosis, one of the most common human genetic mutations, causes people to load unhealthy levels of iron. Bloodletting, whether it involves leeches or not, is one of the treatments for removing excess iron. The places where this treatment was often used, Northwestern Europe and the British Isles, have some of the highest rates for the hemochromatosis mutation. So at least some of the people treated with leeches and bloodletting actually needed, and likely benefited, from the treatment.

    Yes – there are some diseases that can be pretty concretely diagnosed in psychiatry – usually those that involve changes due to physical injury – trauma, tumors, etc. But there are many “disorders” or “diseases” that can be “diagnosed” using psychiatry (and psychology) that are highly suspicious. And historically they have been abused: the “crazy wife or relative” in the attic during Victorian times that often coincided with wealth/control for the spouse or other relatives; the dissidents during Soviet time – who but a madman would disagree with the wisdom of the politiboro? ; the “rebellious” or “promiscuous” daughters of the wealthy who were institutionalized or lobotomized in the US and elsewhere; the “lazy”, “promiscuous”, “immature”, “feebleminded”, etc. – disproportionally minorities – who were sterilized by the thousands in this country.

    There is also a lot of literature, including studies, indicating that psychiatry/psychology and many of its treatments and medications are of dubious value. The studies that seem to indicate that psychotropic medications are as effective or less effective than regular exercise. The studies that show that poor countries that can’t afford expensive medications often have higher recovery rates. The studies linking various medications to assaults, suicides, homicides, etc.

    Libertarians should have a healthy distrust and skepticism for psychiatry and psychology, because they often involves coercion, have often been used as a means of state control, can be used for rent-seeking and fraud, often rely on a captive or coerced customer base rather than voluntary consumers in a free market with full information, etc, etc, etc.

  65. mediageek-

    Taking antidepressants is just as cruel as being forcibly submitted to electroshock therapy?

    Yep – lots of psyhcotropics have horrible side effects, many that are unknown or haven’t been documented yet. Do some googling on the topic.

    SPD-

    (Remember the good ol’ days of icepick lobotomies and electro-shock?)

    They’re still doing these kinds of things, now in some cases with more advanced technology. And many critics say some of the drugs are just as harmful and debilitating.

  66. So Brooke Shields was coerced into taking meds to treat her “post-partum depression”? That is scandalous. I bet she wasn’t even depressed.

  67. CAT: Psychotropic drugs have unpleasant side-effects? Isn’t that an argument against all meds?

  68. mediageek – my friend had a scrip for ritalin. So we smashed it up and snorted it. Gets you tweekin’ like a mofo. Even eating 10 mg got me “high”.

    And Tom Cruise is still a nut. Even a nut can be right sometimes. Like how even a blind squirrel can find a nut. Or how a broken clock is still right twice per day.

  69. xray-

    So Brooke Shields was coerced into taking meds to treat her “post-partum depression”? That is scandalous. I bet she wasn’t even depressed.

    I know you weren’t addressing me, but I for one didn’t say that. If she took the meds voluntarily, with full information, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. After all, people call psychic hotlines voluntarily too. I’m not equating the two, just stressing that any treatment/medication should be voluntary.

    CAT: Psychotropic drugs have unpleasant side-effects? Isn’t that an argument against all meds?

    Nope – only involuntarily administered ones. Or ones given for “disorders” or “diseases” of a questionable, dubious, convenient, or suspicious nature. Or ones given without complete information or with fraudulent information. Or ones given without the patient being able to research the medication or treatment on their own. Or without the patient being able to obtain a second (or third, fourth, etc.) opinion.

  70. CAT: So you aren’t arguing against psychiatry/psychology, just the coercive use of these fields by gov’t. I guess we don’t disagree at all then.

  71. This begs the question, “what is the difference between a physiological and psychological problem?” I would certainly find it plausible that were depression to be caused by chemical imbalances, that would make it a physiological condition, rather than psychological.

    I wasn’t referring to the cause of the problem, but the symptoms. A depression may or may not have a physiological cause, but the result is clearly psychological. An epileptic seizure is, on the other hand, a physical symptom.

  72. my friend had a scrip for ritalin. So we smashed it up and snorted it. Gets you tweekin’ like a mofo. Even eating 10 mg got me “high”.

    Odd. My first year of college, I went onto Adderall for adult ADD. My doc initially told me to set my own dose by starting out at a standard level, increasing by 5mg until I “felt a difference” and then back off.

    I wasn’t *quite* sure what to be on the lookout for, and generally being the sort who needs a big flashing billboard to clue me in, I continued to up the dosage each morning.

    So one morning I’m sitting in math lecture, shaking uncontrollably and wondering “wtf?” Well, that was the big flashing billboard.

    I’d taken, iirc, 90mg that morning. Needless to say, I backed waaaaaaaaaaay off of the dosage- down to 10mg. Regardless, the object lesson was that I now knew what to expect from the drug, and firsthand experience with what it could do.

  73. CATV,

    Speaking from personal experience I can say that taking lithium saved my life. Whatever problems the institution of psychiatry has (and what institution doesn’t have lots of problems), its a damn sight better than a whacked out cult like Scientology that, despite its name, has yet to actually do any science.

  74. I…for…one…welcome…my…new…Scientology…overlords!

  75. Zombie Katie Holmes,

    Apparently Cruise tried to put the voodoo on Scarlett Johanssen and she balked. Or so says MSNBC.

  76. CAT: So you aren’t arguing against psychiatry/psychology, just the coercive use of these fields by gov’t. I guess we don’t disagree at all then.

    Well, the coercive use of psychiatry/psychology by the government AND private parties, including the profession itself and its suppliers, including the pharmaceutical industry. (In the examples I referred to in an above post some of the time it was private parties that were abusing the system, although the profession was comlicit.)

  77. Speaking from personal experience I can say that taking lithium saved my life. Whatever problems the institution of psychiatry has (and what institution doesn’t have lots of problems), its a damn sight better than a whacked out cult like Scientology that, despite its name, has yet to actually do any science.

    Hakluyt-

    Well that’s good to hear, I hope it was done with your informed consent and you had the opportunity to research alternatives beforehand. I would choose differently myself, but its your body and life so its your choice.

    I’m not a scientologist or a very religious person in general. I have read some very critical things about them, but don’t know much personally. I do welcome criticism of psychiatry, psychology, psychotropics, etc., since I think that area has been responsible for a lot of human tragedy and misery, both in the past and now. (There’s been some good too – most of the bad seems to occur when the professions abandon principles of non-coercion, full information, choice, etc.)

  78. CATV,

    Are you bi-polar?

    Anyone who takes medication outside of a nutward generally does so via informed consent. No one makes me take lithium after all. However, I am well aware of the consequences of not being properly medicated.

    Scientology is a thuggish totalitarian cult. If you are truly concerned about coercion, the cult of Scientology’s coercive efforts ought to horrify you.

  79. And insofar as we are talking about people being forced to do things, perhaps against their will, why the fuck isn’t he talking about Katie Holmes’ missing 16 days?

    That’s an interesting article, but if the mystery is why Katie fired her agent and manager, dumped her old associates, and acquired a bunch of new business partners after two weeks in hiding, that’s pretty thin soup. Prior to the missing days, she was a solid b-lister whose only lead role to date had been in the interesting-but-unseen Pieces of April. After the 16 days she became a household name who’s got first right of refusal on every part in tinseltown, and whose fiancee could force any studio to cast her as Stanley Kowalski in a $300 million remake of A Streetcar Named Desire if she got the urge. There are many ways to view Katie Holmes’ transformation with skepticism, but career mismanagement isn’t one of them.

  80. Is Katie Holmes missing 16 days anything like when Jesus seems to have disappeared for a few years?

    I mean, look at how life-changing an event each disappearance seemed to be.

  81. while not referring to Schaler’s article (which i have not read), it is amazing that some people here have been fooled into believing the lies of coercive psychiatry. if someone can point out where Thomas Szasz is wrong, thatd be great.

  82. supersweet,
    No one here has spoken out in support of coercive psychiatry. They have spoken out against lumping ALL psychiatry as coercive psychiatry. That simply is untrue. While psychiatry is still not well understood by it’s practitioners, all psychiatry != coercive psychiatry.

  83. Apparently Cruise tried to put the voodoo on Scarlett Johanssen and she balked. Or so says MSNBC.

    So Katie was his second choice for marriage/induction? Ouch.

    Scarlet is also barely out of her teens, which makes that more than a bit creepy.

  84. supersweet,

    I was never coerced into psychiatry, and psychiatry has helped me to lead a relatively normal life. Oh, and I was never told that I had to fork over tens of thousands of dollars to learn any copyrighted “secrets” either.

    mk,

    Yes, apparently he took her to some fancy facility in Hollywood and show her around for a couple of hours and then sprung a meal on her that was attended by a bunch of Scientology priests (or whatever they call themselves). She bolted as soon as the dinner was sprung on her. Smart. Very smart.

  85. Are you bi-polar?

    No.

    Anyone who takes medication outside of a nutward generally does so via informed consent. No one makes me take lithium after all. However, I am well aware of the consequences of not being properly medicated.

    One would hope so. However, with this country’s current drift toward collectivism, coercion, and erosion of civil liberties I don’t think that’s a certainty anymore.

    Scientology is a thuggish totalitarian cult. If you are truly concerned about coercion, the cult of Scientology’s coercive efforts ought to horrify you.

    I have heard that. I’m not very spiritual and I’m not much of a “joiner” anyway, so I don’t think I’m in danger of being recruited.

  86. scientology’s only a flesh wound.

  87. all psychiatry today is, or potentially is, coercive. this fact doesn’t seem to trouble as many people on this blog as it should.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.