PsychOUT: A Conference for Organizing Resistance Against Psychiatry
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto
May 7 & 8, 2010
Call for Papers
Over the last century, proponents of biological psychiatry have used the language of science to naturalize the medical model as an essential way of organizing and managing human experience. In contrast, collective resistance against the theories and interventions of psychiatry has intensified over recent years as psychiatric survivors, activists and community members are contesting this institution on various political fronts. Additionally, people belonging to marginalized groups who are at greater risk of psychiatrization, such as women, racialized people, queers, trans people, people with disabilities, homeless people and other people living in poverty, are resisting psychiatric oppression in different ways, as they/we recognize threats to their/our health, human rights and lives.
The purpose of this global conference is to provide a forum for psychiatric survivors, mad people, activists, scholars, students, radical professionals, and artists from around the world to come together and share experiences of organizing against psychiatry.
Dialogue about these experiences is intended:
• to foster networking and coalition building across social justice movements, disciplines and geographical locations;
• to clarify some key goals in the struggle against psychiatric oppression;
• to develop some longer-term strategies to help us achieve these goals; and
• to help us critically examine how we use specific tools for social change, such as the law, science, theory, media, art, and theatre.
This conference is focused on theory and practice that is directly related to developing strategic actions aimed at challenging the power of institutional psychiatry.
Submission of Papers, Workshops and Creative Presentations:
This global interdisciplinary, cross-movement conference welcomes academic paper, workshop, or creative presentation submissions that can include, but are not limited to, the following topics:
• Feminist organizing against psychiatry
• Anti-racist organizing against psychiatry
• Queer and trans resistance against psychiatry
• Resisting colonizing practices of psychiatry
• Resisting psychiatric interference in nations called "developing"
• Negotiating the complex space between critical disability and antipsychiatry perspectives
• Intersections between anti-poverty movements and antipsychiatry
• Networking and coalition building across disciplines and social movements
• Commonalities and tensions within the antipsychiatry, psychiatric survivor, and mad communities
• Building a global antipsychiatry movement
• Developing long-term strategies to meet antipsychiatry abolitionist goals
• Artistic and creative resistance
• Consciousness-raising initiatives
• Using the law to protect the rights of psychiatrized people
• Supporting youth and other vulnerable groups who are resisting psychiatrization
• Using science to undermine psychiatric theory and practice
• Media campaigns: Challenges, obstacles and breakthroughs
• Examining movement history to inform present-day strategy and action
• The struggle to ban electroshock: strategies, victories, mistakes and challenges
• Resisting the pharmaceutical industry
• Envisioning and creating alternatives
• Resisting the spread of psychiatric control in the community, such as community treatment sanctions
Paper abstracts, workshop or creative presentation descriptions should be between 200 and 300 words in length. Pre-formed panel proposals are also encouraged. The due date for submission is February 15, 2010. All submissions will be peer-reviewed. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, and the author would like their paper to be considered for publication in a book of conference proceedings, a full draft of the paper should be submitted by Monday, May 24, 2010.
Please submit all presentation descriptions here.
For any further information, please contact email@example.com
Okay, you guys, I'm putting you on notice that I'm taking a run at this one. I "presented" at ICSPP a few years back so I have some very vague notion of how to submit a proposal but mostly I'm just flailing around. In the unlikely event CAPA honours me with a spot, this will be my first Canadian trip east of Edmonton. If anybody has any advice as to the right type of language to use, I'd be most obliged. I am serious and I know what I'm talking about but I'm not an academic by any stretch. My paper is on effecting change and finding valuable allies in the most unlikely places.
Good luck G.Pie. Sounds like a lot of work, albeit very very useful. Maybe I can come up with something to submit.
Thanks, Stargazer. I have hatched a plan but it's a bit out there. I want to a make a video and post it on YouTube. Finding somebody willing to do the filming is a bit problematic for various reasons but the submission isn't due until February, I think, so we'll see what happens.
Have a friend who is a videographer on the Island, who goes to Vic lots, and is edgey, however, he is leaving shortly for a couple of months, so I would have to contact him as to his availability
let me know....
Check your PMs, you magnificent creature.
Pardon my immodesty, but I'm not going to submit anything until I find out who else from the team is presenting. How does one go about finding that out? I've heard of some bright lights being snubbed by PsychOut. I sure hope I misheard that 'cause if they're turning down professionals, what does that say for their level of respect for amateur dabblers such as myself?
Is Bob Whitaker going to be there?
Sounds like they are emphasizing contributions from amateur dabblers over professionals.
Then they might actually just accept my submission. My topic is finding allies in surprising places. Like the Philosophy Department at UVic. Most of them are FOAFs and I just have to be brave and ask if I can bend their ears a little. Same goes for Camosun College which offers the Criminal Justice Certificate, or whatever it is, that people need to become police officers. BCCLA is very approachable and CLAS loves test cases, as do law faculties.
Speaking secretly now, just between you, me and all the other babblers, I think I would be an amazing police officer. I am fearless and I can translate woo woo into plain English for the mere mortals. I know for sure that if I had been one of those cops at YVR, RD would be alive and well today.
Well good luck G.Pie. I'm fascinated by the amount of labeling that goes on in the mental heath profession. My 16 year old normal teen aged nephew was diagnosed (and I use that term loosely) with "Disruptive Disorder" aka Being a Normal Teenager.
Here is a decent article on labelling and how the industry profits.
Disruptive disorder! I've never heard of that one. My favourite is still the old standby, 'Adolescent Adjustment Reaction'.
Hahaha. He had another equally silly one added on and for the life of me I forget. It was that stupid.
If you mean they are emphasizing contributions from people who don't work in the mental health system, that is certainly true (it's about resisting psychiatry and there's not a lot of professional resistance to psychiatry) but your way of putting the point is offensive and highly questionable.
I seriously hope the conference is accepting submissions from non-professionals and non-academics. There is a great deal to be said for experience-based information from both psychiatric survivors and mental health care professionals. Anecdotal information often isn't given the credibility it's due, and even the best double-blind study can be flawed by human bias.
I'm not saying that all submissions should be granted a free pass, without any kind of scrutiny. I just happen to think professional and academic credentials should not be considered above content in submissions.
In my experience, many successful people with credentials up to their eyeballs have skated by on politicking and an ability to memorize and regurgitate information. They have no talent for original thinking, and are incapable of thinking outside the confines of the canon of their particular discipline. These are not people you want speaking at any conference, let alone this one. And yet they do.
Of course, I have a personal bias - I come from a family of original thinkers, very bright people who, by virtue of their mental illnesses, are relegated to a life of frustrated under-achievement. Or have committed suicide before realizing their potential or reaching any kind of peace within themselves. And having a deep personal understanding of how mental illness can blight a life, and how dysfunctional the mental health care system continues to be, I have very strong opinions about the need to support marginalized voices and lend credibility to those who do not conform to society's expectations.
I understand "crazy". I've lived with "crazy" all my life. And I support and applaud those who step outside the label - or make it their own - and refuse to be pushed into obscurity and relegated to a silent and borderline existence. Many cheers to all who submit papers to this conference - whether they are accepted or not. You rock.
I'm 58 years old, and although I have never been a fan of the mental health industry, its only the last several years that I've realized that over the course of my whole life I've dealt with the wreckage of the industry. Close friends that commit suicide, family members [in 2 families even] who are "crazies" that sometimes can cope and sometimes can't. Etc.
So definitely, all power to those who won't just be victims.
I don't know what motivates individuals to become involved in health care, or what precisely happens to people with good intentions who come to signify what is worst about the system, but there are systemic problems, and there are societal issues that damage already fragile people to the point where they will never achieve the level of support and stability they need to live their lives as they would choose.
I've given a fair amount of thought to these issues, and haven't arrived at any stunning conclusions, except perhaps that abuse of vulnerable people is spread across the wide spectrum of health care. The elderly, the physically disabled, developmentally delayed individuals, etc. - all I've spoken to have told me of some experience they've had with abuse and exploitation. I think that in the case of a few people who choose health care as a career, it's not so very different from people who are obsessively sexually attracted to children, who choose to work within a power structure that allows them free access to those who are most vulnerable. There are people who choose health care who believe it will allow them access to people they can abuse and dominate with impunity.
Most often it occurs when an individual either has no support system independent of the health care system, or when family members are not able or willing to advocate on behalf of their relatives within the system. Independant "watchdogs' and "ombudspersons" are reliant upon a complaint-driven system that requires an individual, or those on their behalf, to willfully submit to a system that requires reporting and follow-up that may not be practical for those who are most marginalized.
Regardless, I think it behooves those of us who are able to stand up for ourselves and others to provide a measure of check and balance to a system that seems to need an external control.
Actually I was specifically referencing G Pie's comments. But thank you for your concern. Next time I will use quotations so as not to get you all up in arms.
True story. What I meant is although I'm disabled (if you're the type that considers Temple Grandin to be "disabled"), my values and thoughts originate and are based on one side of the psychiatric desk. That's valuable information to smart people like David Healy and Bob Whitaker and Grace Jackson and Rob Wipond and Philip Dawdy.
Maysie, with respect, do you know what they intend to use these funds for? I have it on good authority that they are unwilling to assist potential presenters. In fact, an author/activist who would be an enormous contribution to this conference was turned down flat. MindFreedom International has a much larger scope than PsychOUT so perhaps it's understandable that they choose to assist out-of-town presenters. I have no problem at all donating my time and my effort to a great cause. Asking me to pay for that privilege is a bit of a stretch.
G. Pie I have no affiliations with this group, but I get updates from them and post them here. From what I understand they are a volunteer organization with no outside funding sources, and everyone donates their time and energy for their various projects, including this conference and their annual Mother's Day protest related to anti-shock therapy. The people that I know personally who are involved with CAPA are ethical hardworking activists.
The fundraiser is in Toronto.
I didn't speak out of "concern", but of course you realize that. I did indeed miss the G Pie reference, however. My apologies.
p.s. I am sometimes "all up in arms" but not here
I have no doubt that they are. My problem with CAPA is that ECT saved my life. Twice. Their mission statement threatens my existence. If you want to ban forced electroshock, I'm with you. If you want to remove a last ditch effort where every other therapy has failed, a lot of us are going to turn to other organizations. I hear you that you are just posting the info. I just get a bit ruffled when people tell me they know what's good for me. That's exactly what psychiatrists do. I would hope anti-psychiatrists would hold themselves to a higher standard. I had words with Bonnie Burstow over this issue and thus assume I am not welcome at the conference.
That's pretty much how I see it for ECT. I had a psych professor a number of years ago who swore by the treatment for himself. It has been and remains abused though, and I would support much more stringent restrictions on the use of the proceedure, mainly as in the area of proper education and informed consent than currently are used, at least here in my juristiction.
(I took out the word guidelines and put in restrictions because psychiatrists ignore mere guidelines all the time. )
There's a lot of dis-information in the psychout webpage.
I work in a multi-million dollar community mental health agency. I am the person who answers the phone when something goes wrong, be they persons in crisis, individuals with sever mental illness, family members, police, doctors, nurses, social / community workers and assistants and all range of health care professionals. There is a psychiatrist (or two) and rotating residents on the team, and my front-line position has me in continual contact with clients as well all major elements of my cities mental health care infostructure.
Two of pyschout's most salient mis-representations: a 'mass screening for mental illness' and 'involuntary treatment.'
)There is no 'mass screening' program, it is a fictional characterization. Who would run it, under what auspics, who has access to the assessments? anyway there is no such thing.
)Crudely speaking, there is no 'involuntary treatment' in Canada. Involuntary admission is a rare and challenging event, involuntary treatment is not an option.
After this, I stopped reading the overview. This did not even get to difference of interpretation, those two psychout statements are not true.
The definitions of "involuntary" and "informed consent" should be examined. Someone who is suicidally depressed, generally, isn't in their "right" mind. It's like having sex with someone who is very very drunk - it can and has been construed as rape. The same goes for individuals who are coping with a mental illness. At what point can you say that the individual isn't competent to make decisions for themselves?
Speaking from personal experience with chronic clinical depression, I can say there have been times that I really wouldn't have cared how much my brain got fried, or what "treatment" was conducted. I was so indifferent to my surroundings that, had it not been for people around me and their care and love, I wouldn't have had any sense of self-preservation.
When the desire to continue your life, the most fundamental desire for survival, falls by the wayside, you need to examine the competency of the individual and access their needs accordingly. EST may be the answer, but not necessarily for all. To say, at that point, that the treatment is consentual, is in my mind a fallacy.
Linger, you are woefully misinformed. These concepts are so basic I'm not going to post them here. If your ignorance is genuine, look up Teen Screen and the new Mothers Act. See www.furiousseasons.com See what foster kids go through at their schools. Look at how the rates of ADHD shoot up once Ritalin (basically, speed) was made available.
Rebecca, I acknowledge the problem with informed consent when somebody's at the end of their rope. However, when I am well, I am truly well, a normie. And, as a normie, I would like to sign a Representation Agreement giving my mother authority to consent to ECT. It works. It's brutal and it's using a sledgehammer on a thumb tack but it can be lifesaving. Bonnie Burstow says if consent was informed, nobody would agree to it. That's horseshit. If it had a 50% death rate, I'd still want it. Read David Foster Wallace on the "terror of the flames." Unless you've been there, you have a right to an opinion but not an audience. ECT is far less damaging than long term psychotropic drug use. See Grace Jackson's "Drug-Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime" and "A Guide to Informed Consent."
Definately, and you could make a strong arguement that truely 'informed' consent is a challenge in many cases.
Unfortunately at the present reality may be that a person is crisis and in need of assistance:
)Is treatment with-held until the person is 'in their right mind' (no answer to the larger question of how are they supposed to get 'right' with-out help)
)Is treatment offered, with what-ever clinical advise may facilitate the decision
I do hear where you are coming from and that a vulnerable individual does not have the space to carefully weight the potential risks vs. bennefits. Indeed a large part of my job is establishing rapport when we arrive on the scene and building that up to a point where a person trusts our suggestions for them. But I know that when we arrive on scene to relieve the police, time for contemplation can be a scarce commodity. And at other times I'm compelled to state that I do believe a person, accutely psychotic, is a risk to her/himself and in need of involuntary admission. If treatment is with-held because we say this is not consented too, it may be years before the person recovers enough to even have the discussion we'd like to have.
When you've got a person infront of you who doesn't concieve of traffic, or of roads, and is going to get hit by a car if left on their own, psychotropic medication can be a life-saving treatment.
I agree that drugs have their place. So does electroshock. So does involuntary hospitalization. However, the standard should be imminent danger of harm to self or others as opposed to merely obstreperous, sarcastic and difficult which is where I regularly run afoul of the guidelines. They tend not to let you out if you don't say "please" and "thank you." It's not a fucking charm school, people. I reserve the right to be obnoxious and rude. These concepts involve freedom of speech and freedom of thought as well as other fundamental human rights. Somehow, the Charter applies to everybody except those with a psychiatric diagnosis.
Huh, that is the standard. Section a) imminent danger b) has demonstrated marked improvement with treatment in the past
From your phrasing of the experience, I wonder if the first hand information would be different if the source experienced it present-day, with Patient's right's advocates and the option of a tribunal where patients recieve lawyers to argue for release while doctors are not allowed representation. At any rate, honestly resources are so scarce presently that overt self-injurious behaviour may be treated only with a brief safety plan, a sleeping pill, and a follow-up appiontment (no admission); cantacerous behaviour is more expected than it is reason for confinement.
People voluntarily stay overnight in emergency hoping for inpatient beds to open the next day, resources are so scarce that programs regularly book into the new year and each day we are confronted with people and families asking for services that no-one provides.
Obviously I can only speak of the system I know, the past several years in my city in Ontario. But here people cannot be kept for rude behaviour.
I could live with imminent danger as a standard but "imminent danger" means different things to different people. In BC, the standard is as low as being "capable of mental or physical deterioration" which, handily, includes anybody you want to include. We can thank the fascists at the BC Schizophrenic Society for this Brave New World.
We have Review Panels here but you have to wait 30 days for them. Thirty days of unwanted treatment is an awfully long time. A reliable source tell me that involuntary patients win these 25% of the time. I, myself, win them closer to about 1/2 the time. Still, they are heavily staggered against the patient. Patients have an advocate but not necessarily a lawyer provided except in certain circumstances.
"Self-injurious behaviour" -- does that include smoking and/or overeating? If not, why not? Why is it only the "sane" who are allowed to make bad decisions? My sister died of obesity-related disease. Where was the law to protect her from herself?
In my experience, patients and their families don't share the same goals. Families tend to want their loonies drugged and they're very uncomfortable with the bald facts regarding psychological reasons for mental illness. The biochemical theory satisfies them.
"Rude behaviour" is cast as borderline personality disorder if that's how the treating psychiatrist sees it. The road is much tougher when the psychiatrist dislikes his (and it usually is "his") patient. I've been cast as "bipolar," "schizoaffective" and "borderline." I'm flattered, really.
There is huge validity in this statement.
Obnoxius and rude is viewed as decompensating when it comes with those who have a cognative disorder diagnosis. crying and pitiful behaviour is more acceptable and is viewed as "compensating".
Have often thought that those who have a cognative diagnosis should have teeshirts or hats or some other labelling clothing of item to put on and wear when they are having moments like everybody does. Just so that everyone knows it is not "decompensating".
Today, I am curmudgeon because I wanna be, as I don't feel like crying.
Awesome idea, Remind.
I read in a marriage advice column that an effective way to keep your own space intact is for both people to have a shirt or a hat that they can occasionally wear which says "I love you but I am having some difficulty and need to be on my own and have that need respected." That seems infinitely more productive than what I used to do was just to get pissed out of my gourd by 11:00 in the morning. Nothing says "stay away" like a snarling drunk.
...used to have a hand knitted red sweater from my grandmother that I would put on when I wanted people in my family to leave me alone, and when I was wearing it all boundaries were respected.
In fact the daughter, the nephew and my partner all recognized my use of this sweater for that purpose before I did. From my perspective, I had just put it on when I felt I needed the loving comfort of a grandmother's arms.
G. Pie, I want to thank you for sharing what you've been experiencing over the past couple wks - few people would bare their souls as you have. You may have helped some people.
Happy New Year.
Happy New Year to you both, Remind and Sineed. With respect to spilling my guts, I really had no choice and can take no credit for it. I just keep a faint hope alive that not that many people know who the Goodbye Pie is.
Borderline personality disorder is synonymous with "difficult person". Not that I would dismiss it as a valid disorder, but I'm pretty sure it's applied to people almost indiscriminately who are "difficult", ie. rude and obnoxious. Not that I'm all that keen on dealing with rude and obnoxious people, but sometimes that's the only appropriate response to an insane and violent world.
I was once sent to see a psychiatrist when I was clinically depressed, and confessed to him that I had this ball of anger deep down that I didn't know how to process. He put me on an anti-psychotic drug that, being completely unecessary, fucked me up but good. It struck me that it was way too easy to take a fragile person and send them over the edge into madness by drugging them unnecessarily.
I've nothing against the careful and judicious administration of prescription drugs and therapy to help a damaged person, but some of these guys are walking prescription pads who don't see the ramifications of handing out certain drugs to people who are in a delicate state of mind. Like giving a hand grenade to a toddler, you shouldn't allow neurotic self-serving fools the ability to dispense drugs and advice to the vulnerable.
Great post, Rebecca, thanks. Informed consent is the guideline for all intelligent and humane medicine. Biomedical, biochemical, standard, pseudoneurological psychiatry doesn't even count as a science, never mind a medical one. All psychiatry has ever proved (and will ever prove, in my opinion) is that mind-altering drugs alter the mind. Well done, take a bow, "doctors."
I'm glad you see that belligerence (or "sarcasm and irritability" as my favourite doctor would say) can be a valid response to an insane situation. The system is sicker than the people it purports to help. In fact, that's my Rule #1 for compassionate and effective mental intervention: Try to be more rational than the people you are labelling and treating.
Lastly, I wanted to add that "anti-psychotic" is a misnomer; no drug on Earth is anti-psychotic. Probably the only cure for psychosis is sleep, the first thing that flies out the window when I become ill. Their original name was tranquillizers which is quite accurate. They work by damping everything down -- your hallucinations as well as your functioning, such as it is. "Anti-psychotic" is a marketing term and it works: they're one of, if not the, biggest money makers for Big Pharma. Schizophrenia didn't satiate their greed; they moved onto bipolar in quick order. The FDA has now approved Seroquel as an "add on" treatment for plain old depression.
Hear it from a real doctor.
This is Oliver Sacks, Anthropologist on Mars, page 64, footnote 10:
"The huge scandal of leucotomy and lobotomy came to an end in the early fifties, not because of any medical reservation or revulsion, but because a new tool - tranquillizers - had now become available, which purported (as had psychosurgery itself) to be wholly therapeutic and without adverse effects. Whether there is that much difference, neurologically or ethically, between psychosurgery and tranquillizers is an uncomfortable question that has never been really faced. Certainly the tranquillizers, if given in massive doses, may, like surgery, induce "tranquillity," may still the hallucinations and delusions of the psychotic, but the stillness they induce may be like the stillness of death - and, by a cruel paradox, deprive patients of the natural resolution that may sometimes occur with psychoses and instead immure them in a lifelong, drug-caused illness."
I missed it with you writing your post at the same time I was. As entertaining as your sentiment is, you chose to call a professional uninformed and ignorant, I do not join in this downward spiral of name calling. I bid you aduie.
Borderline is a challenging topic, definately. As with any of the axis two diagnosis, not being able to fall back on a medical model leads to some huge challenges with self acceptance, self disclosure, self identity. It is so rare to meet a person who openly discloses a dx of borderline personality disorder. heh, just today I had a person tell me she 'was borderline schizophrenic So while these people may have a very challenging time, where does rude and obniquous come in?
I find it facinating that terms including 'stubborn, rude, obnixious' are recurring in this thread in relation to peoples experiences with the MH system. I can't even think of a client who said that, or whom other people said about the client. Sure there is talk of 'working within a seeking safety paradigm' or 'recovery model' or 'principles of psycho-social rehabilitation.' But on a larger level the descriptions people have provided, in this case of a system in B.C., are words I never hear.
My point is obnoxious is not really an SMI: I wonder how much of the affirmentioned experiences are more artifacts of bad program design, and sadly because they occured in a mental health program, were attributed to characteristics of the clients instead.
Umm, I think the whole thread is about the "professionals" being uninformed and ignorant.
"Aduie" then, Linger. I will miss your informative knowledge.
It's okay, Polly B. I just slaughtered him with a spelling flame. Downward spiral, indeed.
Linger, surely you understand that the "borderline" in "borderline schizophrenic" is not the same as the "borderline" in "borderline personality disorder"? Surely.
I appreciate the insight displayed in your last paragraph. I'm glad we can agree that obnoxious, snippy, sarcastic et al are "not really" symptoms of mental illness. I'm sorry I was so hard on you before.
I'm not even going near this.
National Post does a Hatchet Job on Psychout conference. There was actually three pages in the print version. This article has more quotes from the dubious Edwin Shorter than it does from anyone involved with the conference. Typically sensational and biased reporting...nothing new there.
This article grossly misrepresents a conference that was a legitimate critique of psychiatric theory and practice. It is sensationalist in focusing on David Carmichael without providing the context that pharmaceutical companies have been forced to put warnings on labels for SSRI's due to increased violence, suicidality and impulsive behaviou people taking these drugs. It has been well documented that people with no history of violence have behaved in completely uncharacteristic ways.
The article also focuses a great deal on comments made by Edward Shorter someone who has made a comfortable career promoting and defending psychiatric myths. Despite Shorter's claims psychiatry remains a pseudo science. The construction and application of diagnostic criteria lack scientific validity. Theories of chemical imbalances not only have failed to be supported by empirical evidence but have been demonstrated to be false. Research on psychiatric drugs has demonstrated that they lack effectiveness and have profoundly negative( sometimes fatal) side effects.
It is also easy to portray M Anne Philips beliefs as bizare but if one is interested in bizarre beliefs and practices one only need to refer to the history of psychiatry with an extensive catalogue of claims of miraculous cures from hydro therapy, insulin coma therapy, electroshock and lobotomy. The miracle claims made for psychiatric drugs are no less invalid. If the author of this article was genuinely interested in a critque of psychiatry he would do well to read conference presenters Linda Andre's book Doctors of Deception or Robert Whitaker's Mad in America. Unfortunately this article does nothing to challenge or even question the pseudo scientific beliefs of psychiatry.
Rally against Electroshock at Queens Park today 2:00pm
If this sounds delusional, then maybe I'm not.
I am a psychiatric survivor. I would like to share with you a new alternative that I'm sure none of you have ever heard about.
First of all, I am VERY ANTI:
3. Restraints of any kind.
4. Psychiatrists, and counsellors for that matter.
I cured myself of schizophrenia all by myself using what is called, "Orthomolecular Medicine." It was started in Weyburn Saskatchewan 65 years ago. The only big name celebrity who was cured of "mental illness" using orthomolecular medicine was Canadian born actress, Margot Kidder.
She has stated repeatedly that as an actress, she had "access to all the best psychiatrists that Beverley Hills had to offer, but the only doctor who could cure me of my manic depression was Dr. Abram Hoffer from Victoria B.C."
During the 1930s, the conditions at the Weyburn Mental Institution was rated the third worst in the western hemisphere ahead of only Jamaica and Dutch Guyana.
When Tommy Douglas came to power in 1944, he wanted to change all that. He wanted to discover a cure for addictions and a cure for schziophrenia and mental illness. He commissioned the only medical study of its kind ever.
According to Dr. Abram Hoffer's book, Vitamin B3 and Schizophrenia: Discovery, Recovery, Controversy,..
A group of medical researchers from England came to Saskatchewan to take part in this study. They wanted to know if there was anything that was naturally produced in the human body that had the same or a very similar molecular structure to LSD-25 which was just isolated in Switzerland in 1938, and to mesceline, which were two hallucinogenic drugs.
They discovered that adreneline, which is produced when mammals are under stress, if it oxidizes, will form another drug called adrenochrome, which is a hallucinogenic drug. This compound is highly unstable, and in normal people, mixes with another compound produced in the body to produce 5,6, di-hydroxy-N-Methyl-Indole. This compound has a calming effect. In schizophrenics, they do not produce this calming effect. Instead, they produce adrenolutin, which causes paranoia, anger, and agitation.
Dr. Abram Hoffer and his colleagues found that by giving patients high doses of vitamin C and high doses of Niacin or vitamin B3, they could combat this negative chemical reaction from taking place. Some schizophrenics responded, but not all did.
dr. Abram Hoffer also discovered a pyrrole in the urine of some of these schizophrenics, and when given zinc along with vitamin C, they recovered very quickly.
These researchers also found that these vitamins in really high doses where able to get people off their drug and alcohol addictions. Bill W, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, came up to Weyburn and participated in these studies.
He told Dr. Hoffer that "if it weren't for these vitamins, that he would never have been able to recover from alcohol." He tried to get vitamins incorporated as part of the AA recovery program, and the American Medical Association said NO.
The problem was that vitamins cannot be patented. Drug companies would not make money, and the doctors would not make money in kick backs themselves. Also, according to Hoffer, anyone can purchase these products themselves. They do not need a prescription from a doctor to get them.
In other words, huge egos, and corporate greed has kept people from living proper lives simply because doctors want to have power and control over the bodies of their patients. Psychiatrists would rather have people perpetually dependent on them rather than let them be well.
In Toronto, on 14 Florence Ave., there is the Canadian Schizophrenia Foundation. they have all kinds of literature on orthomolecular medicine there. It is also called the Canadian Centre for Orthomolecular Research.
For those interested, I strongly recommend people to check it out.