by Don Weitz, Psychiatric Survivor & 24-year activist in the psychiatric liberation movement
1. Because psychiatrists frequently cause harm, permanent disabilities, death – death of the body-mind-spirit.2. Because psychiatrists frequently violate the Hippocratic Oath which orders all physicians “First Do No Harm.”
3. Because psychiatrists patronize and dis-empower people, especially their patients.
4. Because psychiatry is not a medical science.
5. Because psychiatry is quackery, a pseudo-science which lacks independent diagnostic tests, testable hypotheses, and cures for “schizophrenia” and all other types of alleged “mental illness” or “mental disorder”.
6. Because psychiatrists can not accurately and reliably predict dangerousness, violence, or any other type of human behaviour, yet make such claims as “expert witnesses”, and with the media promote the “dangerous mental patient” myth/stereotype.
7. Because psychiatrists have caused a worldwide epidemic of brain damage by promoting and prescribing brain-disabling treatments such as the neuroleptics, antidepressants, electroconvulsive brainwashing (electroshock), and psychosurgery (lobotomy).
8. Because psychiatrists manufacture hundreds of “mental disorders” classified in its bible called “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (a modern witch-hunting manual); such “mental disorders” and “symptoms” are in fact negative, class-and-culturally-biased moral judgments for dissident ways of coping with personal problems and alternative ways of perceiving, interpreting or being in the world.
9. Because psychiatrists, blinded by their medical model bias, fraudulently pathologize and label people’s serious life or existential crises as “symptoms” of “mental illness” or “mental disorder” such as “schizophrenia”, “bipolar affective disorder”, and “personality disorder”.
10. Because psychiatrists compound this fraud by falsely claiming, without scientific proof, that these “mental disorders” are caused by a “biochemical imbalance” in the brain, genetic factors or “genetic predispositions”, despite the fact that there are no genetic factors in “mental illness”.
11. Because psychiatrists frequently misinform their patients, families and the public by claiming that brain-disabling procedures such as the neurotoxins (e.g., “antipsychotic medication” and “antidepressants”), electroconvulsive brainwashing (electroconvulsive therapy/”ECT”), psychosurgery (lobotomy) and other behaviour modification-mind control procedures are “safe, effective and lifesaving”. The exact opposite is tragically true.
12. Because psychiatrists routinely deceive or lie to patients, prisoners, their families, and the public.
13. Because psychiatrists routinely and willfully violate the medical-ethical principle of “informed consent” by misinforming or not informing their patients about the numerous toxic, disabling and frequently permanent effects of the neuroleptics such as memory loss, tardive dyskinesia, tardive psychosis, parkinsonism, dementia (all signs of brain damage), and death.
14. Because psychiatrists routinely threaten, intimidate or coerce many patients – particularly women, children, the elderly, and prisoners – into consenting to health-threatening/brain-damaging “treatment” such as the antidepressants, neuroleptics, electroconvulsive brainwashing, and hi-risk experiments.
15. Because psychiatrists frequently fail to fully inform psychiatric inmates and prisoners about existing safe and humane, non-medical alternatives in the community such as survivor-controlled crisis centres, drop-ins, self-help or advocacy groups, diet, massage, wholistic medicine, affordable supportive housing, and jobs.
16. Because psychiatrists are sexist in frequently stereotyping women in crisis as “hysterical” or “over-emotional”, blaming women whenever they voice real complaints and assertively express their feelings and emotions, prescribing massive doses of tranquilizers and antidepressants to disproportionately large numbers of women, and in sexually assaulting women in their offices and institutions.
17. Because psychiatrists, particularly white male psychiatrists, are homophobic – the American Psychiatric Association (APA) once labelled homosexuality as a “mental illness” or “mental disorder” – and have used forced electroshock on lesbians, trying to coerce them into adopting a heterosexual life style.
18. Because psychiatrists are ageist in prescribing tranquilizers, antidepressants (“medication”) and electroconvulsive brainwashing for disproportionately large numbers of elderly people – a form of elder abuse.
19. Because psychiatrists are racist in disproportionately incarcerating and drugging people of African descent, aboriginal people, other people of colour and labelling them “psychotic” or “schizophrenic”.
20. Because psychiatrists routinely violate people’s civil rights, human rights and constitutional rights such as imprisoning innocent people without court trial or public hearing (“involuntary commitment”), and subjecting them to cruel and unusual punishments or tortures such as forced drugging, electroconvulsive brainwashing, psychosurgery, solitary confinement, “chemical restraints”, and 4-point or 5-point restraints.
21. Because psychiatrists masterminded the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people including disabled children, the elderly and psychiatric patients during The Holocaust in Nazi Germany, and “selected” hundreds of thousands of concentration camp prisoners for death (“T-4 euthanasia” program) – historical facts still missing in psychiatric textbooks and histories.
22. Because psychiatrists have willingly participated in and administered mind-control experiments in the United States and Canada since the early 1950s – its chief targets have been poor patients, women, dissidents and prisoners.
23. Because psychiatry, particularly institutional-biological psychiatry, is based on the 3 Fs: Fear, Fraud, and Force.
24. Because psychiatry is a form of social control or punishment – not treatment.
25. Because psychiatry, particularly institutional-biological psychiatry, is fascist – a direct threat to democracy, human rights and life.
A note from the author: This statement is a slightly revised version of the original written in spring 1998. Feel free to add and publish your own reasons. I am a psychiatric survivor and antipsychiatry activist who has been involved in the psychiatric survivor liberation movement for 24 years. I am also co-editor of “Shrink Resistant: The Struggle Against Psychiatry in Canada” (1988), host-producer of the antipsychiatry program “Shrinkrap” on CKLN radio (88.1 FM) in Toronto, member of People Against Coercive Treatment (P.A.C.T.), and member of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP).
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