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Historical Source: Medication Into Submission; A Review of Mental Seduction and Menticide

This article takes an excerpt of an important book for both its historical context and it’s content.  In the field of Mad Studies – an emerging area of study in academia which, although a part of formal education, extends well beyond its borders – the ideas presented in the book hold a high degree of relevance.  In this book ‘Mental Seduction and Menticide; The Psychology of Thought Control and Brainwashing‘ by Dr Joost Abraham Maurits Meerloo, various notions of mental coercion are discussed in context with the dangers of totalitarianism and domination of the individual. Read more

A Word For The Social Model of Madness: Psychiatry and The Family by Alex Dunedin

When Shakespeare writes about how family and friends drive us mad, and treat us badly, it is great art – when a psychologist suggests it, then it is an outrage; this is a contradiction we find in our culture. The implications of openly accepting that close and dear ones as a source of malevolence and psychological trauma are extensive. It is the love that we dare not speak its name… Read more

What Every Woman Knows: Society By Gas Light

In their bedroom, Gregory becomes impatient and humiliates his wife about making a spectacle of herself in public:

  • Gregory: I’ve tried so hard to keep it within these walls – in my own house. Now, because you would go out tonight, the whole of London knows it. If I could only get inside that brain of yours and understand what makes you do these crazy, twisted things.
  • Paula: Gregory, are you trying to tell me I’m insane? Read more

Appeal To The Man On The Clapham Omnibus by Alex Dunedin

On Sane People In Insane Places was a famous study done by David Rosenhan, a psychologist in America.  Central to the study was the question he posed, ‘If sanity and insanity exist, how shall we know them?‘.  This seems a pivotal inquiry if billions upon billions of pounds are now involved in psychiatric drugs that are proffered as treatments for what gets described as mental illness. Read more

ECT Is Murder: The Historical and Political Roots of ECT and its Hold on Public Imagination By Sonia Soans

Electro Convulsive Therapy is one of those psychiatric treatments that has a strong hold on public imagination. One Flew over a Cuckoos Nest is iconic in its use of ECT as a treatment. The image of a patient being tied by and given electric shocks is hard to shake, brutality and force are ideas associated with this treatment. Inextricably tied to the profession of psychiatry it is born out of experiments with electricity and in abattoirs.

The image of the ‘mad person’ being subdued is powerful, it signals punishment for deviance. It plays on our fear of physical retribution. It is present in films, we have all seen a film where an agitated person was brought in kicking and screaming and given electric shocks only to be subdued. Read more

"Another stupid man, or, reasons why I do not engage with services" By John Sawkins

I was forced to take haloperidol and procyclidine for bipolar. I stopped taking them after 6 weeks. (cold turkey – I never told the doctor). I have not taken any medication for bipolar or other psychiatric condition for 15 years.

One side effect of haloperidol is known to be stroke which I duly experienced one year after taking the drug – and that was only 6 weeks’ worth! (They missed the diagnosis of stroke and put it down to “hallucinations”. I eventually succeeded in persuading an optician to confirm my diplopia (double vision). Read more