Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Antipsychiatry: Dumb and Dumber

I loved John McManamy’s post today on the antipsychiatry folks.

Because he addresses an issue I used to struggle with a lot … if my meds would kill my creativity. Now I know better … having read the wisdom of such authors as Kay Redfield Jamison and Peter Kramer. But John succinctly comes to defend meds in the same way the masters have done, and for that I am most appreciative.

Because we suffer enough as it is. Please. Prozac isn’t going to keep me from writing. Prozac is going to keep me from writing about wanting killing myself. And sometimes it doesn’t even do that.

I’d advise you to take a peak at his article by clicking here.


An excerpt:

First Stan comments on Vincent Van Gogh:

“If he lived today he would be locked away painting blank canvasses to no one … blinded by antipsychotics … “

Actually, Stan, for all we know, he might have picked up an Oscar the other night and thanked Pfizer for making it possible. What we do know is that Van Gogh aimed a pistol at his chest and pulled the trigger. He was 37.

But Stan contends, “it was never a life in vain.”

Let’s defer to Van Gogh, himself, on this: “What am I in the eyes of most people – a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person – somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low.”


Who knows what choices Van Gogh would make today? Maybe he would choose not to lead a tortured life. Maybe he would choose to stay on meds. Maybe he would choose not to paint. That’s the point, he could choose. He would have choices.

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  • emily

    i am happy that Prozac works so well for you .. but then, it worked horribly for me and triggered a suicide attempt. So maybe Van Gogh would have committed suicide regardless?
    in any case, i used to agree with you completely regarding the necessity of medication for bipolars. Until, that is, i did some research on it. Once educated regarding how the drugs are approved and marketed, and how many drug manufacturers are being sued not only by the FDA, but also by AG’s around the country, including lawsuits brought under the RICO statutes (essentially arguing drug manufacturers are operating as criminal enterprises), reading about a doctor at Harvard who took $1.5 mill under the table illegally to push black box warning drugs to children throughout the country (check out what Sen. Grassley is uncovering in Senate hearings), another lawsuit today involving marketing illegally to children, The British Commons so angry about the failuress of the FDA to fairly protect the population from dangerous drugs that they have asked that the British Health Dept. not depend on the rulings of the FDA to put together their drug formularies for British citizens … Books by Dr. Levine and others ….
    I am so glad i didn’t open my mouth and speak from a place of ignorance (lack of knowledge..not stupidity). I recommend the same wise course for everyone. But then, i remember when people were raised not to offer opinions unless they were informed on the subject.

  • SpiritHappy

    Hi, I am glad your meds work for you. I would never tell a person not to take meds but we have been stopping depression and suicidal thoughts with a combination of faith and science. No meds or therapy. This may sound like a bold statement but I am a filmmaker who worked with many depressed and suicidal people. The key is the mind controls the brain and many people have no knowledge of this. You can re-train yourself to overcome depresion and suicide thoughts, What science left out was the faith aspect which we have helped people with. I feel one should stay on meds if they are doing well but it does not take away from the fact that they can be healed of depression if the will and choose to.

  • SpiritHappy

    It is the combination of Science and Faith that heals depression. But I am not saying anyone should stop their meds if it is helping them. But at my site we have seen cures.

  • John McManamy

    Hi, Emily. I can appreciate where you’re coming from. Psychiatry is badly in need of serious reform, and stands to lose its credibility if it fails to act fast. I’m not against psychiatry-drug industry associations, per se, but the current situation borders on criminal (and in certain situations may have crossed the line into criminality). I have written extensively on this.
    I also appreciate that our meds leave much to be desired, and that psychiatrists tend to turn a deaf ear to our complaints. Again, I have written extensively on that.
    I also appreciate why a good many patients have very negative feelings about meds and their psychiatrists. I’ve listened to thousands of patients over the years, and communicated via email with thousands more.
    So – trust me – I hear you loud and clear.
    But by the same token, I also know that meds and psychiatry – imperfect as they are – have helped untold millions, given people a bit of ground to stand on so they could claw their way back, given people a ray of hope, bought people time till they could rely on their own resources.
    Sometimes we forget that – then I feel I need to speak out.

  • John McManamy

    Hi, Spirithappy. Fully in accord. Congratulations on your excellent work. I’ve replied in full to your comments on my blog.

  • Your Name

    People have to be very careful while taking antidepressants as the PDR lists as adverse reactions mania, psychosis, paranoia, hostility, abnormal thinking, etc.
    Go to where there are over 2,900 cases, with the full media article available, involving bizarre murders, suicides, school shootings [47 of these] and murder-suicides – all of which involve SSRI antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc, . The media article usually tells which SSRI antidepressant the perpetrator was taking.

  • Larry Parker

    Therese, keep in mind that John took the anti-psychiatry comments directly from Philip Dawdy’s Furious Seasons site (
    With Philip’s continuing investigations into Big Pharma ills, I think he and his readership are becoming increasingly shrill about both Big Pharma itself (which is entirely valid) and against all people who take medication (which is most definitely NOT valid).
    But his is a necessary point of view as well, and I don’t think it’s necessary to take sides between Philip and John on this issue.

  • mark p.s.2

    re:Actually, Stan, for all we know, he might have picked up an Oscar
    That is the point. Who is in charge of Vincent Van Gogh?
    People are supposed to have freedom to choose what they want as adult, unless they do something illegal.
    Legal drugs can help, and they can harm, just like illegal ones.
    In my opinion long term constant use of drugs or meds is no solution.

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