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Mental Health Declaration of Human Rights

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Featured | 0 comments

Mental Health Declaration of Human Rights

  All human rights organizations set forth codes by which they align their purposes and activities. The Mental Health Declaration of Human Rights articulates the guiding principles of CCHR and the standards against which human rights violations by psychiatry are relentlessly investigated and exposed. A. The right to full informed consent, including: 1. The scientific/medical test confirming any alleged diagnoses of psychiatric disorder and the right to refute any psychiatric diagnoses of mental “illness” that cannot be medically confirmed. 2. Full disclosure of all documented risks of any proposed drug or “treatment.” 3. The right to be informed of all available medical treatments which do not include the administration of a psychiatric drug or treatment. 4. The right to refuse any treatment the patient considers harmful. B. No person shall be given psychiatric or psychological treatment against his or her will. C. No person, man, woman or child, may be denied his or her personal liberty by reason of mental illness, so-called, without a fair jury trial by laymen and with proper legal representation. D. No person shall be admitted to or held in a psychiatric institution, hospital or facility because of their political, religious or cultural beliefs and practices....

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Citizens Commission on Human Rights

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in Featured | 0 comments

Citizens Commission on Human Rights

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a nonprofit mental health watchdog, responsible for helping to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive practices. CCHR has long fought to restore basic inalienable human rights to the field of mental health, including, but not limited to, full informed consent regarding the medical legitimacy of psychiatric diagnosis, the risks of psychiatric treatments, the right to all available medical alternatives and the right to refuse any treatment considered harmful. CCHR was co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus Dr. Thomas Szasz at a time when patients were being warehoused in institutions and stripped of all constitutional, civil and human rights. CCHR functions solely as a mental health watchdog, working alongside many medical professionals including doctors, scientists, nurses and those few psychiatrists who have taken a stance against the biological/drug model of “disease” that is continually promoted by the psychiatric/pharmaceutical industry as a way to sell drugs. It is a nonpolitical, nonreligious, nonprofit organization dedicated solely to eradicating mental health abuse and enacting patient and consumer protections. CCHR’s Board of Advisers, called Commissioners, include doctors, scientists, psychologists, lawyers, legislators, educators, business professionals, artists and civil and human rights...

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Non-Pharma Alternatives to Antipsychotics for Dementia

Posted by on Feb 12, 2017 in Featured, Pharma | 0 comments

by Bruce Boyers A recent report by the British Psychological Association (BPS) has presented non-pharmaceutical alternatives for the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. The goal of the research is to reduce antipsychotic over-prescription to the elderly—a situation that has persisted despite mounting evidence that these drugs are extremely harmful to the patient. The researchers wrote, “In practice, antipsychotic medication is often used as a first-line treatment for behavioral difficulties rather than as a secondary alternative, despite the evidence that antipsychotic drugs have a limited positive effect and can cause significant harm to people with dementia. Interventions offered should aim to lessen the distress and harm caused by these difficulties and increase the quality of life of those living with dementia and their care givers.” Warnings from Many Sources The harm caused to the elderly by antipsychotic medication has been well-documented from numerous sources. In just a few examples: A 2015 study in JAMA Psychiatry revealed that elderly patients that had been prescribed antipsychotics had considerably high mortality rates than previously thought. Additionally, mortality was found to increase in direct ratio to increased dosage. The FDA issued a warning that use of certain antipsychotics was especially dangerous for those with dementia, yet a research article published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that about 80 percent of prescriptions to people over 65 years of age were for these particular antipsychotics—despite the FDA’s warning. Another recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that antipsychotic medications were linked to higher mortality rates among Alzheimer’s patients. Humane, Non-Drug Approaches The report from BPS goes to great lengths to recommend non-pharmaceutical approaches to both dementia and Alzheimer’s treatments. Researchers wrote, “In the future, greater care will need to be exercised in the prescribing of such medication outside of accepted guidelines, because their limited effectiveness and numerous side effects may lead families to question whether these drugs are being used in their relative’s ‘best interests’.” Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights has been documenting the serious harm caused by psychiatric medications since...

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Announcing The World’s First Anti-Psychiatry Scholarship

Posted by on Feb 12, 2017 in Blog, Featured, In the News | 0 comments

According to a recent article in NOW Toronto magazine, the world’s first anti-psychiatry scholarship has been officially established at The University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute of Education. The Bonnie Burstow Scholarship in Anti-psychiatry is aimed at students of education who believe psychiatric drugs and treatments are more harmful than helpful. The scholarship is named for Bonnie Burstow, a trauma specialist and critic of psychiatry, who will matchdonations to the scholarship fund with up to $50,000 out of her own pocket. An associate professor in the Ontario Institute of Education’s Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Burstow is of the belief that there is no proven biological basis for mental illness, and that psychiatric methods and the institutions that support them violate human rights. Burstow is the author of Psychiatry and the Business of Madness, a fundamental critique of psychiatry that examines the foundations of psychiatry, refutes its basic tenets, and traces the workings of the industry through medical research and in-depth interviews. The book calls for a dismantling of the field the way it is currently practiced. Burstow has many fundamental reasons for her beliefs, her publications and for her founding of the scholarship. “I’m hoping this scholarship will spur alternative ways of arranging society so that we aren’t inventing diseases or brain-damaging people, and there is a greater acceptance of difference. We need to work out problems together rather than bring in experts. I’m looking for the creation of something far more egalitarian1.” Burstown runs an anti-psychiatry support group, which is attended by people who often hold anti-racist and feminist viewpoints. She also attracts medical students interested in hearing from an authority who doesn’t subscribe to the psychiatric paradigm. She says, “The long history of psychiatry is the long history of pathologizing2 women. The feminist community has been aware of that for decades. It is also an institution that pathologizes blacks, lesbians and gays.” 20 to 25 students are attracted to Burstow’s course in a given year. While none of the classes have “anti-psychiatry” in the title, the perspective is always incorporated. Anti-psychiatry may be a niche in the world of academia, but critiques of psychiatry have impacted methods and have certainly shaped public opinion of the field. An outstanding example is Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and its Oscar-winning film adaptation 13 years later, which created an enormous amount of distrust of psychiatry, and specifically electroshock treatments. The Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights has been exposing psychiatry and its abuses since 1969. ——————————————– 1egalitarian (adjective) – asserting, resulting from, or characterized by belief in the equality of all people, especially in political, economic, or social life. 2pathologizing (transitive verb) – to view or characterize as medically or psychologically abnormal...

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Non-Conformists Now Labelled as Having a “Mental Disorder”

Posted by on Nov 3, 2016 in About Psychiatry, Featured, In the News | 0 comments

by Bruce Boyers In news that will come as a shock to many of us who grew up in the 1960s and 70s—it turns out that, according to the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, we were all suffering from a mental disorder called “oppositional defiant disorder.” This “disorder” is defined in the DSM as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior.” The article reporting the news points out that, given the vague nature of this definition, nearly any pattern of behavior seen as strange by anyone else could be categorized as a symptom of ODD. ODD sufferers could easily include geniuses whose behavior or ways of thinking were viewed as eccentric, such as Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell. It could also include giants of our time who challenged social norms and brought about positive change, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. The definition of ODD could even include children who challenge or oppose others of their own age—even though such behavior is extremely common in children and has never even been remotely proven to be a symptom of some kind of disorder. Thought Control Such labels can (and should be) easily dismissed and laughable. But as the article also points out, authorities in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics used medical diagnoses to control and regulate public thinking. Those that dissented with state propaganda, if they were vocal enough, found themselves categorized as mentally impaired and incarcerated in mental institutions. They were forced to take mind-altering drugs that affected them for life. The article quotes a 2002 analysis and commentary on the abuse of psychiatry published in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law: “Psychiatric incarceration of mentally healthy people is uniformly understood to be a particularly pernicious form of repression, because it uses the powerful modalities of medicine as tools of punishment, and it compounds a deep affront to human rights with deception and fraud. Doctors who allow themselves to be used in this way… betray the trust of society and breach their most basic ethical obligations as professionals.” Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights has been reporting on psychiatric misdiagnosis and abuse since...

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Psychiatrist Sued for Crossing Professional Boundaries…to Collect Rare Art

Posted by on Oct 16, 2016 in Featured, In the News | 0 comments

by Bruce Boyers The Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights has for years been documenting cases of psychiatry crossing professional boundaries to obtain sex. But in a bizarre case now being heard in San Francisco Superior Court, the estate of recently-deceased psychiatrist Jerome D. Oremland is being sued for inducing a patient to hand over valuable works of art. According to the suit, during the time of therapy, Oremland convinced his patient John Pierce to give him at least a dozen rare works of art by masters such as Italian Renaissance artist Raphael and French modernist Henri Matisse. The suit was filed in 2015 shortly before Oremland’s death. In addition to allegations of obtaining works of art through the practitioner-patient relationship, the suit also claims that Oremland used his patient to conduct private investigations—sometimes on other patients—and even as a handyman to clean his swimming pool. Attorneys representing Oremland’s estate deny the allegations, and claim that the art was payment for therapy. Yet Geoffrey Spellberg, Pierce’s attorney, stated in an interview that the lawsuit claims Oremland received the artwork at a fraction of its value and basically stole it under the guise of providing psychotherapy. The suit also states that Oremland used many of the sessions to discuss subjects unrelated to treatment such as financial schemes and art solicitation. Pierce had been hospitalized several times before he began a run of “intensive therapy” with Oremland that lasted some 26 years. Oremland himself was known as a major art collector and even published books exploring art and psychology. Pierce was a successful building contractor and also an art collector. Pierce is now claiming that during therapy sessions, he was induced to give Oremland a dozen high end works of art, including paintings by Ferdinand Bol, Matisse, Nicolaes Maes and Local Giordano; a bust of Egon Schiele, and drawings by Edvard Munch, Raphael and Joan Miro. Pierce claims that during one session the psychiatrist convinced Pierce to buy 12 rare David Park woodcuts and give him eight of them. Violations of Psychiatric Ethics Guidelines  Such behavior violates guidelines laid down by the American Psychiatric Association itself. These guidelines warn psychiatrists to respect professional boundaries, because patients “may be especially vulnerable to undue influences.” They continue: “The psychiatrist should be sensitive and careful that his/her conduct does not physically, sexually, psychologically, spiritually or financially exploit or harm the patient.” Interestingly, a professional journal, Current Psychiatry, reported in 2008 that an estimated 6 to 10 percent of psychiatrists engaged in sexual relationships with patients. Other kinds of boundary violations occur more often, the journal said. Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights has been reporting on psychiatric abuse since...

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People Flee British Columbia to Avoid Involuntary Psychiatric Imprisonment

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Featured, In the News | 0 comments

By Bruce Boyer According to a recent story by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a constant flow of people are fleeing the Canadian province of British Columbia to escape its mental health laws. The laws of the province state that a person can be held against their will for psychiatric care. One woman, only identified in the article by her first name, Sarah, said that a year ago she sought treatment for what she thought was depression. She was told to sign a form without an explanation of what it was, and was then informed she couldn’t leave the hospital. After being held for a month, she was told she was being switched to an injected anti-psychotic medication, at which point she says she knew she had to leave. She managed to escape during a smoke break, and fled the province. Now living in Ontario and afraid to return home, Sarah has filed a lawsuit charging that the laws allowing psychiatric patients to be held against their will violate Canada’s bill of rights. Currently a number of other such legal cases in British Columbia are pending, cases that directly challenge the constitutionality of these laws. One suit on behalf of two plaintiffs, treated with electroconvulsive therapy (shock treatment) and injection medications while they were involuntarily detained, asserts that what is referred to as “deemed consent”—consent of a patient assumed by the treating psychiatrist without the patient’s actual consent—and forced treatment violate specific sections of the Canadian Charter (Canada’s bill of rights). If, in British Columbia, a person is involuntarily detained for mental health reasons, they are presumed to have consented to the psychiatric treatment recommended by attending doctors. There is no legal requirement for their decision making ability to be assessed, and they cannot appoint a substitute decision maker such as a spouse or family member. The lawyer representing the plaintiffs in the suit, Laura Johnson, said, “It flies in the face of every other form of health care we have… in no other circumstance is a doctor allowed to propose and impose treatment with no other recourse.” Ruby Dhand, an associate professor of law at Thompson Rivers University, and co-author of a comparative and legal analysis of mental health laws in all of Canada’s jurisdictions, said, “It’s actually very devastating for people and the right to refuse treatment is a fundamental common law principle…I myself have seen and talked to a number of clients who have had to flee to different provinces because they understand they will be forced into psychiatric treatment here against their will if they’re found to be an involuntary patient.” Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights has been reporting on psychiatry’s human rights violations since...

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Major Ethical Transgressions of Psychiatry

Posted by on Sep 17, 2016 in About Psychiatry, Featured | 0 comments

by Bruce Boyers In a recently published article on the web site Mad in America, a retired psychologist Philip Hickey, PhD, primarily criticizes a recent article evaluating presidential candidate Donald Trump from the viewpoint of a psychiatric diagnosis. The author makes the very good point that it would be quite impossible to accurately diagnose someone’s mental health based solely on media reports of their behavior. He then goes on to take up several critiques of this same evaluation. But well beyond that, Dr. Hickey states that critiques of this character are minor, given the major transgressions that psychiatry has committed throughout the years. Given that these come from a psychologist, they are quite telling. They [psychiatry] have created the bogus concept of mental disorder/mental illness, and have relentlessly and shamelessly expanded this concept to embrace virtually every significant problem of thinking, feeling, and/or behaving, even childhood temper tantrums (disruptive mood dysregulation disorder). They have used this concept to formally and deceptively medicalize problems that are not even remotely medical in nature, including childhood disobedience (oppositional defiant disorder) and road rage (intermittent explosive disorder). They routinely present these labels as the causes of the problems in question, when in reality they are mere labels with no explanatory significance. They routinely deceive their clients and the general public by asserting the false claim that these illnesses have known neural pathologies: the infamous “chemical imbalances” that have been officially disproved. They have shamelessly peddled neurotoxic drugs as corrective measures for these so-called illnesses, although it is well known that no psychiatric drugs correct any neural pathology. They routinely coercively administer these neurotoxic drugs as well as high voltage electric shocks to the brain which result in damaged nerves, loss of memory, reduced cognitive skills along with a vast array of seriously harmful side-effects. They have conspired with the pharmaceutical industry in the creation of a large body of questionable – and in many cases outright fraudulent – research all designed to “prove” the efficacy and safety of psychiatric drugs. They have shamelessly accepted large sums of pharmaceutical money for very questionable activities, e.g., the ghost writing of books and papers which were actually written by pharmaceutical company staff; the substitution of pharmaceutical infomercials for Continuing Education Units (CEU’s); the acceptance of pharma money by paid “thought leaders” to promote new drugs and “diagnoses”; the targeting of captive and vulnerable audiences in nursing homes, group homes, foster care systems, juvenile detention centers, etc., for prescriptions of psychiatric drugs. They have routinely disempowered millions of people by telling them falsely that they have incurable illnesses for which they must take psychiatric drugs for life. By falsely convincing people that their problems are illnesses which are essentially out of their control, they have undermined ordinary human fortitude and resilience, and have fostered a culture of powerlessness and drug-induced dependency. They accept no limits to their expansionist agenda, insisting that there are still vast numbers of “untreated patients” who need to be brought into their “care”, including children as young as three years of age, and elderly people in their final years. Given the tireless efforts that Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights has engaged in since 1969 to research voluminous proof of similar statements, we heartily applaud Dr. Hickey’s bringing to light the serious ethical transgressions...

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The Brutal Truth About Electroconvulsive Therapy

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in About Psychiatry, Featured | 0 comments

by Bruce Boyers A recent article by Dr. Gary Kohls, a former natural mental health physician, details the brutal facts and figures of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)—leading anyone to wonder why it was ever practiced at all, let alone why it is still being practiced today. ECT is usually administered when every psychiatric drug avenue has been worn out. According to the author, “ECT is usually only recommended when every imaginable, potentially brain-damaging psychiatric drug cocktail of neurotoxic or psychotoxic psychiatric drug has been tried and failed (or actually made the patient worse).” He points out that psychiatrists can become rich if they have enough over-medicated patients at their wits’ end. According to the article, ECT usually affects both short and long-term memory, often permanently destroying it. Any perceived temporary “improvement” comes about simply because the patient can no longer recall traumatizing events. Dr. Kohls’ article includes excerpts from another piece written by Leonard Roy Franks, an ECT survivor, in 2001. Franks’ article goes into great detail as to the actual practice of ECT, with such facts as: ECT involves the administration of anesthetic and muscle-relaxant drugs prior to applying 100 to 400 volts of electricity for .05 to 4 seconds to the brain, thereby triggering a grand-mal convulsion lasting from 30 to 60 seconds. The group most commonly administered ECT are those diagnosed with depression. For this group an ECT series usually consists of 6 to 12 individual electroshocks, administered three times a week on an inpatient basis. For people diagnosed with manic depression (now more commonly known as “bipolar disorder”), a series may consist of as many as 20 seizures usually administered at the same rate but sometimes given daily. For people diagnosed with schizophrenia, as many as 35 electroshocks may be administered in a single series. ECT effects include fear, confusion, disorientation, amnesia, apathy (“emotional blunting”), dizziness, headache, mental dullness, nausea, muscle ache, physical weakness, and delirium. Most of these effects subside after a few hours, but amnesia, apathy, learning difficulties, and loss of creativity, drive, and energy may last for weeks or months, or even permanently. In his article Franks made this conclusion: “Over the last thirty-five years I have researched the various shock procedures, particularly ECT, have spoken with hundreds of ECT survivors, and have corresponded with many others. From these sources and my own experience as someone who underwent ECT in combination with insulin comas (in 1963), I have concluded that ECT is a brutal, dehumanizing, memory-destroying, intelligence-lowering, brain-damaging, brainwashing, life-threatening technique. ECT robs people of their memories, their personality and their humanity. It reduces their capacity to lead full, meaningful lives; it crushes their spirits. Put simply, electroshock is a method for gutting the brain in order to control and/or punish people who fall or step out of line, and intimidate others who are on the verge of doing so.” Since 1969, Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights has been exposing such brutal crimes of...

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Psychiatric Medications link to Physical Violence – scientific study confirms

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Featured, Get Informed | 0 comments

Paper Links Psychiatric Medications with Physical Violence by Bruce Boyers A recent research paper, citing data from some 176 different scientific sources, has found that drugs that target the brain have effects that are “not always intended.” These effects can be as severe as homicide and suicidal tendencies. The paper focused on the way drugs are absorbed in the body, and how this process can be affected by genetic factors. Individual reaction to drugs can vary based on an individual’s genetics. Genetic variations can result in adverse reactions such as akathisia (the inability to sit still because of uncontrollable movement caused by reaction to drugs). If not recognized for what it is, akathisia may be mistaken for a new mental illness, and treated with further medications. Akathisia often precedes violence, suicidal tendencies, homicide, mania and psychosis. Specifically regarding antidepressants prescribed for depression and anxiety, the paper found that patients with no history of violence may commit violence after being medicated. The authors point out that pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly repeatedly denied that suicidality and violence were side effects of its antidepressant Prozac, yet has paid out tens of millions of dollars to survivors and victims of suicide and murder. Other side effects from antidepressants include hysteria, impulse control difficulties, paranoid reaction, psychotic depression, mania or euphoria, hallucinations, aggression and delirium. Any of these reactions can contribute to suicidal or homicidal behavior. Similarly, patients with more severe forms of mental distress such as the psychiatric designations of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, treated with antipsychotic medication, can also become violent when there is no history of violence prior to medication. The paper concludes that many of the side effects of psychiatric medications are not broadly understood as medication-caused. These side effects can then be diagnosed as new symptoms of mental illness. It was stated that side effects need to be fully and broadly recognized as such, and that they are a cause of violence in patients. The paper stated, “Increased pharmacological awareness of medication/drug toxicities within general and psychiatric training and practice by all health and social care practitioners would play a big part in reducing violence and dependence upon the mental health and welfare benefits system.” The paper also concluded that with the increased use of psychiatric medication, it is reasonable to expect an increased amount of violent behavior from those being...

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