Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lloyd Sederer, psychiatry and violent crime

The forced-drugging crowd think they can make hay with the Sandy Hook shootings. New York's director of Mental Health wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed about what he calls the tragedy of mental health law. 

Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D., thinks the tragedy is that mental health law doesn't work to protect communities. Well, guess what? It never has and never, ever will. The real "tragedy of mental health law" is that any state psychiatry exists in the first place.

Our version of this monstrosity was probably generated back in the 1950's by an apparently humane consideration: "Maybe instead of just punishing these people who do terrible things, we can fix them."

Of course, fixing people meant mechanically somehow, like fiddling with their brain chemistry, because people were, after all, understood to be just mechanisms....

It seems that any social institution based on a fundamental misconception will progress through predictable phases, from inspirational creation through ever more onerous work, confusion, complexity, enforcement, incomprehension, ultimately arriving as a nightmare, in dark and tragic farce.

One of the most frightening examples of Orwellian "newspeak" I've seen in a long time, is Lloyd Sederer's call for "user-driven design" of mental health services. User-driven, in the context of the easier forced treatment regime which Sederer favors, must be when patients become pieces of burning fuel to drive roaring combustion in the engine of state psychiatry, producing nothing, taking society precisely nowhere, but deafening and blackening the soul.

Sederer cynically complains that law plays a more prominent role in psychiatry than in any other medical specialty. But psychiatry is more an arm of the law than it is a real medical specialty. Psychiatrists themselves wanted it that way and planned it, beginning at least as early as the 1940's. And without such a prominent role of law - that would be without involuntary commitment or forced treatment, and without the insanity defense excuse for criminal acts - psychiatry would have a much-reduced presence in society or none at all. As Thomas Szasz often suggested, it might just wither away.

The claim that serious mental illness makes it difficult for patients to assess their own need for treatment is a veiled statement of the ultimate "anosognosia" myth which serves only to make the Hippocratic Oath irrelevant and medicine a blind servant of a totalitarian state. 

What really makes it difficult for patients to assess their own needs is psychiatric lies about the nature of mental illness itself, and about the risks and benefits of dangerous drugs, electroshock and other brutal methods of control merely disguised as "treatment".

The rules and procedures for patient protection do not exceed common sense so much as they exceed all comprehension. But that's not because they are outdated and unnecessary. It's because they're a product of constant back-and-forth efforts in evasion, mitigation, alteration and restoration over many decades, as the original, fundamental misconception has gradually produced incontrovertible empirical proof that the system will just never work.

What we need to do is give it the hell up. We can help our fellow man and make our communities safer, but never by "diagnosing" people with fake diseases and drugging them into disability.

We can start with total abolition of involuntary "hospitalization" and "treatment", and the insanity defense.

Only when we erect a wall of separation between psychiatry and the state will the tragedy of mental health law be over.


  1. Great post.
    Let the sanity begin!


  2. Wow! I concur! Happy to have stumbled on this...

  3. Curious to know who you are and where you work, or if I already know you. I agree with you and I also became a human rights lawyer ultimately to resist forced psychiatry. and

    1. Who & where I am is pretty much all in this blog. Continue reading. You're welcome to contact me anytime you like.

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